NOW AVAILABLE AS A FREE DOWNLOAD! A U S T R A L I A’ S P U R E S T H E AV Y M U S I C M A G A Z I N E
SURGICAL METH MACHINE METH, BUDS & ROCK ‘N’ ROLL
DROWNING POOL /// MINISTRY K I N G PA R ROT / / / D E V I L D R I V E R ZAKK WYLDE /// LACUNA COIL R O B E R T E N G L U N D / / / K V E L E R TA K
MAXIMUM SEXY PIGEON ♦ A GHOST ORCHESTRA C O M A C O Z E R ♦ D R O W N T H I S C I T Y
PLUS HEAVY HITTERS: FEAR FACTORY
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14 SURGICAL METH MACHINE
Al Jourgensen is still crazy! Daniel Tucceri had a chat with Al about his new project Surgical Meth Machine and the weird and wonderful process behind it.
18 HEAVY LEGENDS:
MAYNARD JAMES KEENAN Kris Peters pays tribute to the Tool, A Perfect Circle and Puscifer main man.
Steve Jenkins spoke with frontman Jamey Jasta about touring, politics, and the release of their new album, The Concrete Confessional.
Photo: Courtesy of Nuclear Blast Records
47 HEAVY CINEMA
David Griffiths had a chat with Robert Englund, the man who is most famous for playing Freddy Krueger in the Nightmare on Elm Street series.
52 PAST BLASTERS: MINISTRY
Cameron Cooper looks back at the wild ride that was Al Jourgensen and Ministry.
56 HEAVY HITTERS: FEAR FACTORY Nathan Eden delves in deep to the epic Fear Factory release, Demanufacture.
CONTENTS 6 Heavy Places 8 Top HEAVY: Free Music Download 10 Hi-Rotation 21 Chronolyth 24 King Parrot 27 Mantar 29 DevilDriver 30 Black Stone Cherry 32 Fallujah 34 HEAVY Photos 36 Filter 38 Kvelertak 40 Circles 41 Queensrÿche 43 Lacuna Coil 44 Zakk Wylde 46 Elm Street 50 Industry Insight 55 MYOFB! 58 Drowning Pool 60 Oz Underground 64 Now Hear This
C U L P R I T S EXECUTIVE EDITOR Shane Morrison
ASSISTANT EDITOR Robyn Morrison
ART DIRECTOR Peter Falkous
COVER PHOTO Courtesy of Nuclear Blast Records
HEAVY CULPRITS CALLUM DOIG BETHANY MAFRICI BRITT ANDREWS CAMERON COOPER DAMO MUSCLECAR DANIEL TUCCERI DAVID GRIFFITHS DAVID YOUDELL GARETH BRYAN JASON FULLER JEREMY VANE TEMPEST JESS MILLER JOEL ANDERSON JOSH BULLEID KRIS PETERS MATT BOLTON MATT CLEWLEY MICHELLE O’RANCE NATHAN EDEN NIKKI RUSSIAN PAUL SOUTHWELL ROD WHITFIELD RODNEY HOLDER SOFIE MARSDEN STEVE JENKINS TOMI POHTO WILL OAKESHOTT YOK RZEZNIC
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HEAVY MUSIC MAGAZINE is published by SF Media Pty. Ltd. ACN 603511502 PO Box 2206 Fitzroy, VIC 3065 The opinions expressed in this magazine are not necessarily those of publisher SF Media or Editor. All statements made, although based on information believed to be reliable and accurate, cannot be guaranteed and no fault or liability can be accepted for any error or omission. All material published in this magazine are subject to copyright provisions and cannot be reproduced, in part or whole, without the written permission of the publisher. All rights reserved.
MORE CHANGES AT HEAVY MAG
s you may have noticed, you are not reading this issue in print form! We have gone completely digital. Why? Well, we want to further our reach to our readers all across the globe. With a printed format it’s very difficult to attract interest from overseas with postage costs being astronomical and even rising by nearly 40% locally in the past few months in Australia. With our reach widening by the day on the website (which has now been upgraded. Check it out at heavymag.com.au) and Facebook (280,000+ subscribers) it was apparent that our printed product wasn’t reaching as many people as we would have liked, or even as many people as we felt it deserved. The new digital format allows you, our readers, to simply download and enjoy what we offer without dipping into your hard earned. We think that making the magazine a free download can only be a positive move. Firstly, it allows our advertisers to get their product out to a hell of a lot more people. In turn, building their confidence in us and growing the HEAVY brand. Secondly, our contributors have a great opportunity to get their hard work out into the world and be read by 10,000’s of people every quarter. Last but not least of course are our readers, you guys get the same great quality magazine and it’s only a click away and FREE! HEAVY would lastly like to thank our magnificent contributors who continue to go above and beyond in their quest to support the HEAVY music scene and HEAVY Music Magazine. Without these people we would have to close the doors on this place tomorrow. None of this is possible without them and I appreciate their tireless efforts to create something we can all be proud of. Shane Morrison Executive Editor
Stay in the know. Subscribe to HEAVY for FREE and never miss an issue! HEAVY will be available to download via ISSUU four times a year.
Photo: Nelli Scarlet
Words: Shane Morrison Photo: Matt Warrell
Crowbar is Brisbane’s number one heavy venue. They have now been dominating the local scene for nearly four years. In that short time, they have cemented themselves as Brisbane’s ‘Home of the Heavy.’ Crowbar prides itself on showcasing the best local/national and We asked them how their place fits into the heavy music scene, international punk, rock and metal bands along with the best and we were left with no doubt, as they leave us with these whiskey, beer and live music party Brisbane has to offer. thoughts: What makes Crowbar so unique is the staff. They have played in your favourite bands, they’ve toured and they’ve been punters long before they arrived at Crowbar to pour you a cold one. They know exactly what the crowd wants, and they continue to deliver it, week after week.
It’s in our blood! Our Motto is ‘Home of the Heavy.’ It’s on our shirts, hell it’s even on the front of the venue! Whether you’re slaying some karaoke to your favourite King Parrot Songs, or banging your head upstairs to Motörhead, if it’s heavy, we goddamn do it!”
According to the guys, Crowbar is your home away from home. You go and see your favourite bands play, drink a beer and meet a bunch of new mates! The Home of the Heavy is all about making everyone feel at home and having a bloody good time in the process!
Where: 243 Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley. Why: Home of the HEAVY! Web: www.crowbarbris.com
Words: Shane Morrison Photo: Courtesy of DTABM
Deaf To All But Metal
Deaf To All But Metal is one of Sydney’s newest and most exciting HEAVY music nights. DTABM organisers have given the Sydney scene some much needed diversity that has been lacking for so long. Once a month at Valve Bar you will find DJs playing a wide range of metal, live bands, sets from performance artists and amazing party games like black metal Twister! Deaf To All But Metal’s aim is to provide somewhere for metalheads to hang out that isn’t like anywhere else in Sydney HEAVY music scene, where they can hang out and hear a good, diverse range of metal. The club is place where all types of people in the metal scene, whether they are musicians or just fans, can come together in appreciation of what HEAVY metal is all about. We asked the organisers what they think makes them unique: “Deaf To All Metal is all about bringing quality metal music to dedicated metalheads. Whether it is underground, mainstream, old or new, we want to bring good music to the crowd whilst trying to keep the playlists fresh rather than repetitive. Sure, we could probably pull crowds by playing the same handful of songs every month but where is the fun in that? “We also try to bring interesting and enthusiastic local bands
in to play, as well as showcasing performances that you wouldn’t normally see in a metal club. Such as burlesque dancers who perform to real metal (not just the same Nine Inch Nails or Rob Zombie songs that all alternative burlesque dancers use), circus performers and much more. Not only that, we have games and prizes to keep the night interactive for the punters. We try to keep it more like a party for heavy metal friends than a club.” If you are in Sydney, what are you waiting for? Head on down to the Agincourt, have a few beers and see what all the fuss is about. You won’t regret it! Where: The Valve Bar (upstairs @ The Agincourt Hotel) 871 George Street Sydney, Australia 2000 Why: Friendly vibe, DJ’s, games, circus performers and live metal. Web: www.facebook.com/deaftoallbm
Words: Damo Musclecar Photo: Amanda Mason
Simply click on the record below to download these nine hot tracks! 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
Tensions Arise – Darkness Binds Metal, Sydney, NSW Australia Kimura - Forsaken Groove Metal, Perth, WA Australia Maximum Sexy Pigeon – Pistons At Dawn Industrial Metal, Sydney, NSW Australia Vendetta – Standing Tall Hard Rock/Metal, Geelong, VIC Australia Burn Blue Sky - Godzimoth Rock/Doom/Metal, Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.A
6. 7. 8. 9.
The Loom Of Time – The Ashes Of Your Fall Blackened Death Metal, Aberdeen, NSW Australia Lycanthrope - Wasteland Metal, Newcastle, NSW Australia Requiem – Of Atrophy and Desolation Thrash/Melodic Black Metal, Ararat, VIC Australia Bunyip – After Grog Flog Rock/Punk/Metal, Melbourne, VIC Australia
Unveiling the Wicked FEMME FATALE Femme Fatale (1988, MCA Records) It seemed like once the hair explosion took off in the ‘80s, labels signed any old shit they could get their hands on hoping for the next big thing. In the midst of all this mess some A&R guy at MCA Records decided to take a punt on this hard rockin’ band originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico who made the big move to the big city of Los Angeles. Fronted by the ass-kickin’ vixen and producer of the Ex-Wives Of Rock TV series, Lorraine Lewis, and backed by a bunch of dudes no one remembers the name of, Femme Fatale was destined for success, yet after one album they quickly dissolved only to reappear again a few years ago with an all-female line-up that features the one and only Nita Strauss (of Alice Cooper and The Iron Maidens) but sadly have yet to drop a new album. Still, we have this gem from 1988 to let our hair down and headbang along to. I found this record in some trashy store in the USA for a measly $1 and there was no way I was going to leave it behind. I remember reading all about them in the pages of Hot Metal and the focus was always on Lewis’ striking looks and sex appeal. After all, it was the ‘80s when looks came first and the music came second. So as you can see, in the major label world, not much has changed. ANYWAY, Femme Fatale starts with Waiting For The Big One. It’s the ‘80s, it’s hairband central so I can only assume they meant big recording contracts as I’m sure that even though MCA promised riches, I am unsure that this album achieved what the likes of Dr Feelgood or Open Up And Say Aah did. Falling In And Out Of Love sounds like it was penned for Bon Jovi but even he thought it was too cheesy so it eventually made its way to Femme Fatale and they gave it everything they could, and thank god they did because it’s not bad at all and has some shining moments. Nothing gets more hair metal than the double entendre of My Baby’s Gun, which has to be said, is a hard hitting power rocker with bitchin’ solos that sounds exactly like you would expect. It’s the song you wanted on Theatre Of Pain but didn’t get because the Crue were more
interested in drugs and writing such standout memorable tracks like Save Our Souls and Raise Your Hands To Rock. But I digress, Back In Your Arms Again is up next and amongst Lewis’ seductive breathing in the breakdown where she cries out how much she misses her love “like spring misses rain”, it’s not that bad. It’s the kind of song that you’d expect to hear in some ‘80s teen flick where two lost loves are making it in the backseat. It wreaks of all things Sixteen Candles. The token ballad follows and oh my god, what did I subject myself to? Yes, I know it’s a key factor of every ‘80s hair metal band to have a power ballad on their albums but this is just horrible. It’s a cover of Reg Laws’ Rebel and it’s just not something you ever need to hear. We kick off the flipside with Fortune & Fame, which isn’t that bad and has another killer solo while the track Touch And Go is a slower number but it’s a good one and for those who love their Corey Haim / Corey Feldman movies, it can be heard in the movie Licence To Drive, which if you haven’t seen, you need to rectify immediately because it’s awesome and heaps better than this record. Femme Fatale did record a second album but MCA shelved it, so technically this has been the only band’s studio release to date. While this album wasn’t a strong one, it does have its moments. It’s not all bad and the few songs that are worthy of your time are solid but those that are throwaway filler you can go on living just fine having never heard them. I feel that the biggest issue here, apart from members of Cheap Trick not co-writing their songs with them, is the album’s production. The keyboards are too much and the guitars aren’t loud enough. Still, it cost me $1 and I got like 3 great songs out of it that will wind up on mixtapes that I make for the car so all was not lost. I’d love to see them now though because the videos of the all-girl line-up that Lewis has that I see on YouTube are f*ckin’ sick! Google away and see for yourself. Lewis should re-record this album and I’m sure it would sound seriously bitchin’.
SURGICAL METH MACHINE DUST BY
Surgical Meth Machine
Industrial Metal/Experimental El Paso, Texas 15 April 2016 Review: Yok Rzeznic
END OF DAYS BY
Hardcore Stoke-On-Trent, England 29 April 2016 Review: Matt Bolton
The fact that hardcore pioneers Discharge still release great music today after forming in 1977 is a testament to the Brits. They recently released their ninth EP, New World Order, the title track is the opener to their blistering seventh full length album, End of Days. Brothers Anthony ‘Bones’ and Terence ‘Tezz’ Roberts get the ball rolling with the riff to start all riffs. Co-founder alongside Bones, Royston ‘Rainy’ Wainwright belts away at the bass frantically to the infamous D-Beat created by David ‘Proper’ Caution, who makes up half of the new blood in the band, having joined in 2006. The band doesn’t let up from the thrashing album opener to the very last note. Title track, End of Days, stands out as one of the many highlights with a sample used for the intro. The energy this band has makes the Rolling Stones look like escapees from a nursing home. The punk hardcore influenced track, the aptly titled False Flag
Entertainment, reminds me of the Discharge classic, The Possibility of Life’s Destruction. The band’s latest recruit Jeff Janiak adds a lot to the band with his bone tearing vocals. t Not all the songs are the same, a lot of bands today can fall into the trap of boring the listener. This is not the case here with the 15 tracks being strictly, all killer no filler. Hatebomb, is a sing-along anthem which brings Sodom’s, Ausgebombt, to mind. The fact that Discharge has had such an impact on the thrash and metal community is no surprise here with the left-field comparisons. Such high profile groups as Machine Head, Sepultura and Metallica have covered the band showing their influences. For some politically driven hardcore punk that is as relevant today as it ever was, Discharge pull all the strings that many bands fail to.
Al Jourgensen’s latest offering of schizophrenic experimentation of extremities shines through where Ministry faded out a few albums back. Surgical Meth Machine is as manic as you would expect from the man himself, saying he planned to make it “heavier and faster” than anything he had previously done. Well, he has succeeded. Surgical Meth Machine is at times, some of the most devastating noise Uncle Al has created. The best way to describe the venture is that it basically punishes the listener with an uneasy mix of fit inducing strobe-like anger, glitched out stuttering and generally unhinged and chaotic structures. The album plays like a self-destructive night out on a violent cocktail of very nasty drugs, one of those nights that scares you to your core, a fitting soundtrack to a detonating amphetamine fiend, but little else. There is something missing here after all, and it is substance, which only arrives too late in the form of second single/ final track “I’m Invisible” that is the only ‘song’ to be seen here. It’s not without notable moments however, such as the guitar work that seems to dance around expectations of riffs that would be considered distinctly ‘Ministry’, as well as the experimentation of mixing the hardest of electronic with metallic rage.
FRET 12 RECORDS
Metal Florida, U.S.A 29 April 2016
BOOK OF SHADOWS II BY
Southern Rock New Jersey, U.S.A 8 April 2016
Melodic Death Metal Brisbane, Australia 29 April 2016
UNDER ATTACK BY
Thrash Metal Weil am Rhein, Germany 13 May 2016
Review: Matthew Clewley
Review: Paul Southwell
Review: Rod Whitfield
Review: Josh Bulleid
Mark Tremonti became a household name when it came to energetic fist pumping rock ‘n’ roll. He has gathered more hard edged fans, outside of his Alter Bridge and Creed fan bases, to make him a prominent part of heavy metal today. All I Was and Cauterise were milestones in Tremonti’s career after receiving critical acclaim for both albums. Dust is no different. Dust starts off with an energetic kick when, My Last Mistake, rips through the speakers. Once Dead, is a stand out track, it’s rapid thrash metal vibe leads into the gentle, soothing title track, Dust. Catching Fire is a stand-alone track, with the musicianship letting each member showcase their talents. With nods to AC/ DC and Metallica with Never Wrong, it shows how much use the influence has to construct Tremonti’s signature sound and production. Dust has a wide range of variety when it comes to composition, and styles involving speed and melody fuelled by rampant energy and fist clenching chords that are accompanied by lyrics that seem to reflect personal situations, which carries you through the album until it’s end. Dust is yet another landmark the unstoppable force that is Tremonti.
Zakk Wylde may have the image of plundering rock guitar hero, but his various ballads and solo albums show a well-rounded depth of his musical appreciation. The vast range of musical influences are clear, yet they are not overbearing or plagiarized. Songs such as Lost Prayer, Darkest Hour and Sleeping Dogs, expose a vulnerable side to Zakk’s seemingly impenetrable aura, alongside some jaw dropping guitar work with both passionate playing and succinct delivery tastefully combined. Regardless of the guitar shredding on display, the songs remain the priority as is evident in the strength of the melody flowing throughout the choruses, verses and bridges of songs as heard in a later album track titled Useless Apologies. Lyrically the material is largely introspective but with a well-earned amount of self-confidence and a subtle strand of dry humour. The album never shies away from a sense of melancholy but manages to avoid the trappings of being over emotive or selfindulgent, probably through the restraint learnt through life experience which bleeds though a number of the songs presented here. This is a fantastic album full of light and shade that many should appreciate.
Atrophy is this Brisbane five piece’s second full length album, they have taken what they started on 2013’s Sovereign and ramped it a notch. This is a bristling, bruising beast of a melodic death metal album. This band definitely resides at the more brutal end of melo-death, emphasising the ‘death’ more than the ‘melodic’. The vocals are virtually all dirty, the subtle touches of melody coming strictly from the guitars. At the same time, this is no one-dimensional metal album, the band manage to shake things up in a song writing and delivery sense, with much variation in tone, groove and riffage across the course of the twelve tracks on offer here. Best track award goes to the single Ascension, which shows off that light and shade to best effect, with its operatic female vocals and doomy piano outro. Album closer Burn, with its extra length, allows the band to stretch out a little more musically, with its very welcome extra injection of loud-soft dynamics, which send shivers down the spine. All up, Atrophy makes a mockery of its title. It’s a furious metallic fist to the face that should appeal to a very broad range of heavy music lovers all around the world.
Destruction are back with yet another slab of unadulterated, poser-shaming thrash metal. Those familiar with the band should already know what to expect at this point, and Under Attack, the German thrashers’ thirteenth overall original studio outing, makes no attempt to shatter those expectations, even if it is a slightly more intense and energised affair than they’ve put out in recent times. The four-year gap between Under Attack and its predecessor, 2012’s Spiritual Genocide, is the longest break Destruction have taken between records since the eight-year divide between the band’s classic, ‘80s era and the ushering in of their modern incarnation around the turn of the century, and the break seems to have served them well. Whereas Spiritual Genocide, a solid album in its own right, felt somewhat rushed and proved ultimately forgettable, Under Attack sees a revitalised Destruction brushing up against degrees of power and intensity usually reserved for their more-celebrated countrymen in Kreator. Tracks like Under Attack and Generation Nevermore, showcase Destruction at their lethal best, and the band manage to keep the savage assault up for the record’s entire duration. There’s nothing here quite as enticing as Armageddonizer (from 2011’s Day Of Reckoning) but that doesn’t stop standout tracks, Getting Used To The Evil and Second To None, from sitting comfortably among the best the band have produced in quite a while.
THE CONCRETE CONFESSIONAL BY
NUCLEAR BLAST RECORDS
Hardcore/Metal Connecticut, U.S.A
13 May 2016 Review: Steve Jenkins With 20 years under their belt, Hatebreed are a formidable force when it comes to creating brutal heavy metal, and their newest offering The Concrete Confessional, is just that. In fact, the bands seventh studio album may be their heaviest yet, with a little more of a thrash element than their previous hardcore leanings. Starting off with A.D., the masters of metal open the album with a ballsy track. Vocalist Jamey Jasta sounds (if possible) even angrier, as he spits venom and fury over the intensely fast and churning riffs and galloping drums. The anger doesn’t let up as the album progress, with standout tracks including the immensely heavy track, Looking Down the Barrel of Today, and the mosh inducing, From Grace We’ve Fallen. Hatebreed have not forgotten their hardcore roots with songs like, Walking The Knife, featuring gang vocals and bouncy riffs that would make any hardcore lover happy. Most bands would stagnant and become boring after so long as a band, but fortunately for us, Hatebreed manage to push the boundaries without selling out or forgetting where they came from.
THE FALL OF HEARTS BY
Progressive Rock/Metal Stockholm, Sweden 20 May 2016 Review: Matt Bolton
Emerging from the dark fields of Sweden, producing quality black metal and now creating darker rock/metal than any doom band could pull off, Katatonia stick to their guns and pull out a progressive masterpiece with an all new line-up. New drummer Daniel Moilanen does a stellar job, thrashing out like he’s been a long time member. His progressive technique is welcomed with open arms on opening track, Take over. Old Heart Falls, showcases the musicianship of new guitarist Roger Öjersson (Tiamat) who joins long-time guitarist Anders Nyström. They bounce off each other with endless riffs and provide infectious solos throughout the album. The bass playing of Niklas Sandin has a heavy presence leading up to the beautiful acoustic playing on next track, Decima. Taking a turn is the heavy hitting track Sanction, with its dark atmosphere and along with Viva Emptiness are just a few of the many highlights on the album. Jonas Renkse’s vocals improve with
each release as do his lyrics. It’s definitely worth buying the hard copy just to read the bleak lyrics. Residual, is a worthy track that gets heavier as it moves along and its prog influenced musicianship puts bands like Tool in place. The stomping, Serac, keeps things upbeat and the ride is full of surprises, no dud track in tow. Solos, heavy handed riffs, it has it all. Last song before the fade, is another highlight with amazing riffs and solos and even the use of piano adds a nice touch. Each song has a purpose on the album and it must be listened to in its entirety to get the full experience. Closing with the epic, Passer, it’s a perfect way to end a perfect album, destined to be one of the greatest put out this year. Katatonia deliver on their tenth album, let’s hope they bring out another ten records with the new line up.
NUCLEAR BLAST RECORDS
Progressive Death Metal San Francisco, U.S.A 29 April 2016
THE EVIL DIVIDE BY
NUCLEAR BLAST RECORDS
Thrash Metal California, U.S.A 27 May 2016 Review: Matt Bolton
Straight from the Bay Area thrash scene, Death Angel are still gaining strength with every release. Here on their eighth album, Death Angel have dropped ten tracks with more firepower than Tony Montana’s machine gun. Opening track, The Moth, starts off as a much welcome Slayer-esque thrash piece but as soon as that stomping guitar riff takes hold we have classic Death Angel. The good thing about this album is each song sounds different to the one before it. After the upbeat, Cause for Alarm, with guitar wizardry a-plenty from both Rob and Ted, comes something different from the band; that being the favourite track of mine, Lost. The song has a classic metal sound to it reminding me of Armored Saint, who released one of my favourite albums last year, Win Hands Down. The guitar solo three minutes into the song is also a treat. After winding down, Father of Lies, takes things up a notch with a head
banging riff, something the lads are never short of. Coming out with fresh riffs after 35 plus years is a testament to the band. The acoustic guitar also adds to the diversity of this track. The bass intro by Damien Sisson on, It Can’t Be This, stands out and the evil riff and all the chaos created behind the kit by Will Carroll work hand in hand. Another album highlight is Hatred United, United Hate, featuring a solo by Andreas Kisser of Sepultura fame. Mark Osegueda has the lungs that most in the thrash scene would die for after so many years in the game. Teaming up with the same producer for the third time in a row, Jason Suecof (Trivum, Deicide) was a wise choice as the sound is steller. Death Angel continue to create fresh thrash that will stand the test of time, this being an important album for the Bay Area Thrash scene and metal in general.
Gothic Metal Milan, Italy 27 May 2016
Review: Rod Whitfield
Review: Matt Bolton
It’s all subjective of course, but part of me wonders why people still listen to straightup death metal these days when there are bands like Fallujah out there. I mean, this Bay Area five piece is every bit as intense, extreme and crushing as just about any ‘meat and potatoes’ death metal band on the planet, but their music is infinitely more interesting at the same time. They blast with the very best when they need to, but they take the listener on a journey at the same time, a journey full of ambiance and dynamics, compelling twists and turns, imaginative arrangements and vastly superior musicianship. And on this, their third album, they have shifted up a gear again, to the point where Dreamless is the finest moment of their career so far. It is almost the perfect blend of brutality and wonder. I absolutely love the way this album smashes you violently right between the eyes, right before it takes you off into dreamy soundscapes that captivate and cleanse the ears and mind. Dreamless is a work of progressive art.
Bands can survive after the loss of members and still put out some amazing work. Lacuna Coil pull it off with just three of the six original members remaining. Namely, those being the gorgeous Christina Scabbia; the female voice, Andrea Ferro; the male voice and Marco Coti-Zelati; providing bass, guitar, keyboards and synth, and also producing the record. Opening track, The House of Shame, is a blistering way for the Italians to make a return to the scene. Andrea’s vocals sound angrier than ever and the pounding bass of Marco combined with the driving beat of Ryan assures the band will not lie down anytime soon. Christina sounds fresh and the gothic tone will please die hard ‘Coilers’. Marco Barusso who the band used on the stellar Karma Code release, provides all mixing and engineering, proving to be a wise choice. Other track stand outs include Downfall; with an inspiring guitar solo by Myles Kennedy of Alter Bridge, title track Delirium, My demons and Claustrophobia, both of which will please the guitar enthusiast. The gothic industrial track, Blood, Tears, Dust, also features guitar wizardry by Mark Vollelunga of Nothing More. Not letting up with the bass heavy album closer, Ultima Ratio, Lacuna Coil give the listener just the right mix of goth, industrial and heavy to make the perfect cocktail. A worthy come back indeed.
THE ELECTRIC WARLOCK ACID WITCH… BY
T-BOY/UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP
Industrial Rock/Metal Massachusetts, U.S.A 29 April 2016 Review: Matt Bolton
Once the intro of The Last Of The Demons Defeated takes hold with the deafening drums of Ginger Fish and hard hitting riff of John 5, Zombie yells the creative title of his new record, The Electric Warlock Acid Witch Satanic Orgy Celebration Dispenser, a mouthful only Mr. Zombie could create. This really is some of the best music the man has released in some time. Satanic Cyanide! The Killer Rides On! starts with a sample defining rock music as “satanic cyanide that has no place in the house of the light.” The riffs are heavier and the songs mix it up with industrial elements that only Zombie and Co. could pull off. Zombie has the best line-up, dare I say, since his White Zombie days with a stellar line-up of the talented John 5 giving memorable solos and bone crushing riffs, Ginger Fish, dominating behind the kit, while Piggy D keeps a demented groove on bass. One thing I respect is Zombie changing it up, not every song sounds the same on the record and that makes it a winner in my books. The acoustic composition by John 5 adds a nice touch and it leads in to the aptly titled, The Hideous Exhibitions of a Dedicated Gore Whore, which is a favourite with Zombie’s horror references in tow; Wolf Man, Dracula and the like. If Zombie’s new music is fresh enough to bring back some of his White Zombie hey-days, I say fill us up with that ‘satanic cyanide’!
Melodic/Prog Death Metal Melbourne, Australia 1 July 2016
Hard Rock/Stoner Melbourne, Australia 24 April 2016
VOL. 4 BY
Traditional Doom Canberra, Australia
14 March 2016
Review: Nikki Russian
Review: Rod Whitfield
Review: Daniel Tucceri
Vessels is Be’lakor’s fourth triumph and first concept record, but its conception doesn’t add anything too defining in comparison to the thematic qualities and enthralling storytelling of their previous records. For listeners who value Be’lakor’s progressive death metal complexities that are usually constructed into one song, with standout tracks An Ember’s Arc, Whelm, and The Smoke of Many Fires, the band haven’t strayed far from their musical roots, they’ve refined it. Unlike previous records, Be’lakor perfect their lengthy tracks that could otherwise falter into repetitive, unnecessary filler. Each track on Vessels maintains their individuality with distinct intros, well-balanced structure, smooth production and strong vocals. A Thread Dissolves, is an atmospheric interlude that features spoken word and captures the dark essence of the record better than opening track Luma, which falls flat of showcasing the record’s many strengths. Withering Strands, is the longest of the record, boasting a catchy focus on riffs and beat, heavy bass, staccato guitar, brief ethereal vocals, and a spotlight for piano and keys. If Of Breath and Bone solidified the band as veterans in their scene, Vessels is Be’lakor honing in on their talent, giving us a rich and varied new record only just short of a musical masterpiece.
El Colosso is a Melbourne based HEAVY rock four piece featuring some rather well-known names, faces, and playing styles from the Melbourne scene, including members of Mushroom Giant, Bring on the Junta and The Hybernators. While this EP is only three tunes, they pack some serious variation into those three tracks. The title track is a typical barnstorming stoner rock freight train, with its titanic shuffle groove and bluesy swagger. It does what stoner rock does, that is, conjure up images of cruising along endless desert highways whilst indulging too heavily in the wacky tobaccy. Instead of carrying on in that direction, the band turn the EP completely on its head with, Caught in Limbo, a mellow but moody acoustic piece with sweet stringy accompaniments and no drums whatsoever. Strung Out, brings back the beast, with its straight ahead, four on the floor rock groove and thunderous, rolling bass line. Three tracks, done and dusted, with that ‘reverse bell curve’ dynamic; smash to the face, pull right back, then slamming you once again. Simple, effective, classic.
Let it be known; with Black Sabbath being close to done and dusted, Looking Glass mastermind Marcus de Pasquale is the heir apparent. If anything, it would be unsurprising if Tony Iommi himself had a healthy respect for the Canberra natives. Frankly, Vol. 4 is the kind of album a band of Sabbath’s prestige should have, or would have, put out decades ago. Whilst never digressing from traditional doom, there is enough of a variety of sounds and eclectic spread of influences to keep it interesting. Where bands like Kadavar draw from a bow that’s been stretched a few inches too far, Looking Glass are inventive, unique and musically brilliant. There are a handful of the blues riff clichés, but that’s unavoidable when you’re running on five notes. To make the most out of them as Looking Glass do, is genius.
Sludge/Hardcore Chicago, U.S.A 20 May 2016 Review: Matt Bolton
Trying to label the fourpiece from Chicago as one certain genre is out of the question, they mix in the best of sludge, hardcore and grind into the one psychotic package, even referred to by some as an American powerviolence band. The important thing about this album is that it is the band’s fifth and final album. Weekend Nachos give it their all and it’s more of a swansong than an ‘apology’. Opening track, 2015, starts as a pedal to the metal thrash fest of straight out hardcore, which slows down with some thick sludge that leads up to more hardcore excellence with, Dust, in all its breakdown glory. The riffs are harder and heavier than a monster truck on a rampage through town and the bass chugs along with a distorted groove. Other highlights include, Judged, with the stomping riff that would be go insane in a Nachos pit, which continues into my personal favourite, Dog shit slave. Not giving you any time to breathe, Writhe, proves itself
to be a worthy single and it has everything to make a Weekend Nachos fan smile with excitement. Hardcore, sludge, grind, it ticks all the boxes. The home stretch is a powerhouse with tracks like, World Genocide and Eulogy. The heavy hitter, Night Plans, distorts its way into the epic closer, self-titled track, Apology. The almost ten-minute instrumental is an eerie one and an evil track to leave us with. It’s sad to say goodbye to the Nachos and we thank them for the great music they leave us behind. Will they make a return in the future just like Refused did after leaving us with their phenomenal The Shape of Punk to Come? Refused may have come back a little mainstream with their return, I don’t think this will be the case with Weekend Nachos somehow…
As far as Al Jourgensen is concerned, people simply aren’t doing music for the right reasons these days. He would know, the Ministry mastermind was at the forefront of the industrial-metal revolution in the eighties and has released his twentieth full length album in the form of Surgical Meth Machine.
Words: Daniel Tucceri Photo: Courtesy of Nuclear Blast Records
t’s faster, meaner and more chaotic than anything he has previously done. Interestingly, fans of Ministry will note similarities between his latest effort and the pioneering, Land of Rape and Honey. Where the first half of the record is all guitars and drum machines put into overdrive, there’s nary an axe to be found toward the end. “Part of this thing with Surgical Meth Machine (SMM) is we didn’t go in there with a band thinking we’re gonna be big, or we’re gonna make money… or any of this other crap,” the dreadlocked veteran declares. Put simply, Jourgensen is a man who doesn’t necessarily feel obligated to prove anything. Instead, Surgical Meth Machine was borne of a desire “to experiment with faster tempos and see how bunch of old white guys could take to that.” In its nascent stages, SMM consisted solely of Jourgensen and Sammy D’Ambruoso, and didn’t even have a band name. “Me and Sammy talked about it and it was more like, well, there was nobody else around while we were doing this and we did it kind of surgically,” begins Jourgensen. “The first half of the record sounds like some tweaker’s pulse rate, so let’s put meth on there,” he continues, “and then we did all the drums on a machine. Well, Sammy did all the drums and I did all the guitars and bass and then we both shouted into a mic every so often.” Al Jourgensen has endured deaths, divorces and departures in recent years. That which would have broken a lesser man is taken by the industrial pioneer in his stride, and Al sounds nothing short of rejuvenated when speaking about his newest project. Part of the secret to his longevity was placing managerial duties upon both his first and second wives’ shoulders. How does he manage his affairs now that he finds himself a bachelor once more?
“I can’t do it myself. My music would be shit if I had to do that day to day operations shit. As far as getting somebody besides your girlfriend or your spouse or whatever, the problem is I did that once.” Unexpectedly, Jourgensen makes muted reference to his former partner in crime and speaks of him no further. “I think his name was Paul Barker and I can’t remember what happened to him, but that didn’t work out too well. Then you get your self-management company, or some kind of renowned manager and then you wind up absolutely shitfaced broke. “It’s a curious statement given the significant roles played by his former bassist and ex-wives in his life, but Al makes no apologies. “I have not had great success with anyone, and yet I refuse to do it,” claims Jourgensen. “So obviously, if that’s the case, I don’t have an overwhelming need to really give a f*ck about money. I just do what the f*ck I want to do for four months of the year. I actually get to be free and go into a f*cking studio and not have to deal with any of this bullshit.” On the other hand, Al had recently put forth a crowdfunding campaigning after being short-changed by disgraced former Soundwave Festival boss AJ Maddah.
“I actually get to be free and go into a f*cking studio and not have to deal with any of this bullshit.” 1515
cover story As self-deprecating as he may be, the SMM leader reserves his harshest words for disgraced Soundwave Festival head honcho AJ Maddah. When reminded of Maddah’s accusations that Jourgensen didn’t pay his own band members, his voice assumes the unapologetic intensity of a true curmudgeon. “That’s complete shit.” “That is complete shit,” he repeats with each refrain increasing in fervour. “That is complete shit!” “That’s the beauty of the internet, is somebody could just completely make something up and have the majority of people believe it because they saw it, “he bemoans. “That is the most preposterous f*cking thing. It’s complete bullshit. Everyone knows it. What he’s basically done is within the people who know, he’s made a complete ass of himself. Within the major populace, it’s low hanging fruit. People will believe anything.” The same term is used by Jourgensen to describe the seemingly ubiquitous Donald Trump. After making a living off taking George Dubya to task for the better part of a decade, one wonders why he perhaps didn’t have the Far-Right poster boy set firmly in his sights. “That’s such low hanging fruit. For me to do an album of Trump at this point, after screaming at Bush for three albums, would be like my parents walking in while I’m masturbating when I’m twelve and getting caught, “he declares with a hearty and raspy cackle. “Trump is not the problem,” believes Jourgensen. “It’s what society has become. That’s what SMM was making fun about in a lyrical context on this album. It’s what we’ve become, where someone like Trump could rise. Three out of ten people actually think this would be a good idea. That’s the scary part and that’s the part I make fun of.” As to whether he believes Trump has a chance of running the country, the laughter stops and frontman emits a crescendo of no’s. “He gets so much media coverage abroad, so all you people think that Trump is doing really well. Last time I checked, it takes over fifty per cent of a democracy to vote something in. The scary thing about Trump is that thirty per cent think that his ideas are sound and valid. 16
The comforting part is that there’s 70% here who think that wouldn’t work too well on this planet. “ Given that he has never been one to shy away from political discourse, can Al see himself perhaps pulling a Jello Biafra and running for mayor at the very least? “I’d be up for the task, however I have these pesky three heroin convictions, and I have a shitload of Polaroids in the upper reaches of my closet which I never want exposed,” he confesses. One can only imagine the kind of lurid images Al only hints at once he describes the SMM recording process. Chemical inspiration ironically came in the form of medical bud rather than the band’s insidious namesake. “And then, we got our medical marijuana cards. We started ordering pot like crazy,” he confesses. Jourgensen attributes the shift from lightning fast guitar riffs toward a melodic second half to this very reason. “All of a sudden, we failed miserably at doing this superfast album and just resorted to singing our vocals outside without clothes on and staring at clouds.” “By the end of that record, we were fifteen pounds overweight and stoned out of our minds and not knowing what to do with four months worth of recording,” he recalls with a smoker’s chortle. Although he and D’Ambruoso were confident the material was good enough to release, they were initially uncertain as to what moniker was best suited for the music. Jourgensen’s discography includes a number of side projects, from the notorious Revolting Cocks to the Jello Biafra-fronted Lard. The court jester of punk rock guests on the track I Don’t Wanna, which leads one to ask how exactly does Jourgensen go about divesting his songs? As it turns out, the original plan was to release a Lard record after Biafra spent a weekend at Al’s and listened to the new material. “It was on the Lard shelf and then the label called and said ‘no, no, whatever I was just handed, the exact songs you just had, I want that as an album.’ But, it wasn’t intended to be Lard either, it was just an idea. Jello happened to be here and sang on it.”
Like Biafra, Jourgensen is exactly three years shy of sexagenarian status, but has no plans to wind back his touring or recording commitments any time soon. “Ministry’s only still touring because I signed a contract. I am obliged to meet that contract, ”a stern voiced Jourgensen points out, adding a thinly veiled reference to the aforementioned Maddah. “Unlike other people we were just discussing.” Revealing his plans for the remainder of the year, Jourgensen continues. “Two years ago, it sounded like a good idea. We’ll do these last shows in Europe, we’ll have a really good time doing them, and then it’s time to go back in the studio and see what the f*ck comes out over the next four months when I’m in there.” “I plan on going in the studio in September, I plan on being out by Christmas.” His mood brightens when discussing the prospect of an Antipodean sojourn. “And maybe I’ll take a holiday over Christmas down to Australia, that’s as close as I’m getting to any more touring
for a little while.” In particular, Jourgensen has especially fond memories of Melbourne. While there, he got a taste for the notorious ‘Hellfire Club’. For all you young ‘uns out there, it was the kind of place where the amount of paddling’s and straddling’s would be enough to make Sasha Grey blush. “I remember the first time we were there, that was by far and away my favourite city and you used to have a place called the ‘Hellfire Club’…” His voice trails off into an uncharacteristically awkward laugh. “I came back didn’t I? Some freaky shit happened. I’m not going to go into it, but I love that f*cking city. “Just look for me around Melbourne, I’ll be some dumbass guy with piercings, drunk and lying in his own vomit in the street probably. But, I’ll say ‘hey’ to you, man, and get me a tall one and roll up a fatty!” Brace yourselves, Melbourne. Surgical Meth Machine is out now via Nuclear Blast Records. H
Words: Kris Peters Photo: Tim Cadiente
“Music is about listening. The more you play, the more the magic spreads,” Maynard James Keenan once said. “I believe that music is a force in itself. It is there and it needs an outlet, a medium. In a way, we are just the medium.”
orn James Herbert Keenan in Bedford, Ohio on April 17, 1964, Maynard (as he became known) is more than just a musician. He also dabbles in record producing, wine making and acting, but it’s his vocal prowess and innovative music as front man for progressive metal band Tool that has seen him become something of an enigma. In an age where image is everything and time in the spotlight is seen as a short cut to fame and notoriety, Maynard has shunned the accepted parameters and preferred to let his art, rather than public perception, dictate his career. He is opinionated and steadfast in his beliefs, and while never going out of his way to be engulfed in controversy, he is not one to shy away from a battle. He has influenced many in the world through his music and has become a cult hero to his fans, while always maintaining his individuality and nonconformist beliefs. His indifference to his peers and his refusal to be cornered make him a rarity in the industry, he has never wavered from his self-belief merely to appease the masses. Put simply, he is an icon; an important cog in the musical universe and a vital component in the chasm between pretentious musicians and career 18
musicians. His love affair with music manifested itself through two early independent bands in 1986 and 1987, where he played bass for TexA.N.S and also sang for Children of the Anachronistic Dynasty, releasing two albums with each. After relocating to Los Angeles in 1988, the love affair turned into passion and in 1990 Maynard found himself performing live and recording with Green Jelly, alongside future Tool band mate Danny Carey. Maynard performed backup vocals on the bands hit song The Three Little Pigs, as the voice of the 1st pig on their debut album and appeared in the music video for Slave Boy on the follow up LP. It was also in L.A that Maynard met Adam Jones who was to become a vital link in the emergence of Tool, after suggesting the pair form their own band and have Maynard be not just a part of the part of a band, but more the focus. After initially being reluctant, Maynard was finally persuaded and in 1990 the music world was revolutionised with the birth of Tool. Maynard was anointed front man, with Jones on guitar, his neighbor Danny Carey on drums and Paul D’Amour (later to be replaced by Justin Chancellor) on bass. It wasn’t long before Maynard’s vision of musical utopia was realised, and the band, with a fresh new sound that defied current trends, manifested itself into a simmering powder keg of ideas that transgressed all parameters set before it. When describing the writing and recording formula for Tool, Maynard had this to say, “The process that we go through in recording with Tool is very organic, but at the same time it is very thought out. There is a very left brain process of dissecting what we’re doing and drawing from source material; it’s very research oriented and esoteric.” After signing with Zoo Entertainment in 1991, Tool released the Opiate EP the following year and celebrated by touring with Fishbone and Rage Against the Machine. In 1993 they released their debut album, Undertow, which went gold after just eight months and platinum less than a year later. A musical revolution had begun. Here was a band who didn’t just play music, they were consumed by it, with their live performances and video clips for their singles ushering in a new era of visual and aural musical appreciation. Their clips were confronting and eclectic, both horrifying and entertaining, with Jones also doubling as video creator
and director. In 1994 they released the single Prison Sex and accompanying film clip, which was deemed too graphic and offensive by MTV and withdrawn from their program. Despite this, Tool refused to conform to departmentalised standards, with Maynard defending his band mate. “Adam does most of the work when it comes to videos and he basically does the same as I do with the lyrics. The videos are his visual interpretations of our music,” he said. After releasing AEnima in 1996, which performed better than its predecessor, being certified gold in ten weeks and achieving double platinum status in ten months. Tool became embroiled in a bitter and lengthy legal battle with their label Volcano Records (formerly Zoo Records) over contract violations. The proceedings proved damaging to the momentum and stability of Tool, and particularly Maynard, with the band members deciding to take some time off in the immediate years following the saga, which has only recently reached a resolution. “It got really ugly and shameful,” Jones admitted in the book, Unleashed: The Story of Tool. “This is a real simplification of the matter – but imagine paying auto insurance, getting into a wreck and expecting the insurance company to cover you. And they come back to you and say ‘well, you drive an SUV and we don’t consider that an auto so we’re not going to cover you,’ and then they turn around and sue you because you want them to cover you. It’s crazy.” The initial injunction resulted in the band agreeing to a new three record deal, but the scars that were left on Maynard through the experience eventually forced him to pursue outside musical interests. It was on this band hiatus because of the legal distractions that Maynard began working with Billy Howerdel, Tool’s guitar tech on the AEnima tour, and together the pair started Maynard’s first official side project, A Perfect Circle, in 1999. While Tool’s music is dark, complex and challenging, A Perfect Circle provided a more ethereal, harmonic and mainstream sound. Now, Maynard had two different outlets to showcase different sides of his musical psyche and he utilised and manipulated both to get the best out of himself. A Perfect Circle’s Mer de Noms was released in 2000, with Tool’s third album Lateralus, released in 2001. Lateralus quickly surpassed sales of Tool’s first two albums, reaching number 1 on the U.S Billboard 200 albums chart in its debut week. And earning the band their second Grammy Award for best metal performance of 2001 for the song, Schism. From there, Maynard appeared to split his efforts between the two bands, with A Perfect Circle releasing Thirteenth Step in 2003 and eMOTIVe in 2004, leaving 19
Words: Rod Whitfield Photo: Courtesy of Chronolyth
many fans questioning his commitment to Tool over what they perceived as merely a side project. Maynard responded to this with an emphatic statement in favour of his original band. “The real problem with running Tool and A Perfect Circle at the same time was they both operate the same way. They’re both live touring bands with a label, still working under the old contract mentality,” he explained. “So I thought it was time to let A Perfect Circle go.” While A Perfect Circle have continued to perform live sporadically, they have not released any further albums. In 2003, Maynard added yet another chapter to his resume with the formation of Puscifer, a “premiere improvisational hardcore band” and his “catch-all, stream of consciousness, anything goes project.” He better defined the band in a later interview with Rolling Stone, where he described the band as an “attempt to make music to inspire people… This is definitely not thinking man’s music, but grooveoriented music that makes you feel good.” He added to that with an interview with Artistdirect, when he said he did not want the lyrics to be puzzles but instead wanted the complexity to be in the music, stating, “That’s the part that gets under your skin and makes you feel good.” After releasing songs to the soundtracks for Underworld and Underworld; Revolution, Maynard financed and released Puscifer’s first album, “V” Is for Vagina, in 2007. The album was in direct contrast to Maynard’s other releases, with drummer Tim Alexander from Primus, who played as a guest musician on the album, describing the music as “trancy and hypnotic” and a “total 180 from Tool.” Although never reaching the same success critically or commercially as Tool or A Perfect Circle, Maynard has continued with this project, releasing two more studio albums, Conditions of My Parole in 2011 and Money Shot in 2015. While known for his eccentricity as well as his music, Maynard exudes a confidence and unique talent that defies any and all musical trends. Despite wearing outlandish outfits on stage like Kabuki masks, bras, tights and wigs, at times even covering his entire body in blue paint. Maynard shuns the limelight while performing, often preferring to be alone at the rear of the stage with minimal or no lighting, facing the backdrop rather than the crowd. Tool’s live video director Breckinridge Haggerty summed it up best when he said, “a lot of the songs are a personal journey for him and he has a hard time with the glare of the lights when he’s trying to reproduce these emotions for the audience. He needs a bit of personal space and he feels more comfortable in the shadows.” 20
It’s now more than ten years since the release of Tool’s last album, 10,000 Days, in 2006, and although Maynard has stated that work has begun on the long awaited follow up, no release date has been set. Tool, and particularly Maynard, have never been bound by the restraints of supply and demand, but throughout his career his fans have remained loyal and patient. The one thing that is certain is that the next album won’t be released until Maynard is ready, and judging from past endeavors, if it’s good enough for Maynard, it will be good enough for the rest of the world. H
It’s amazing what a bit of hardship and some soul searching can do for a band. Brisbane melodic death metal monsters Chronolyth were questioning their very existence as a band up until just recently, however they pulled through that tough time more or less unscathed and have come out the other end rejuvenated and re-energised.
hese things can kinda push the ‘re-set’ button in effect, and now guitar player Alex Nisirou could not be happier with where things are at right now. “What we didn’t tell many people, we kept this pretty confidential, for obvious reasons,” he begins, “for the last year and a half or so, I think a few of us began to question why we were doing this, looking for perspective and motivation, and other personal things going on in our lives which made it a little bit difficult to write.” It was also the injection of some new talent into the band that gave them a kick in the arse. “Ben (guitarist Ben Constable) and I pretty much wrote the music 50/50 on this album. With Sovereign our previous release, that was when the band was still forming. So I wrote most of that. Ben came in and stepped up and really helped make it happen, and if it wasn’t for him, there probably wouldn’t be an album, to be honest. “But as things progressed, we found the motivation again and now we’re better than ever. These past few months, as we’ve gotten tours organised and everything behind it. I’m stoked.” Now they are set to unleash their second full length album, which had apparently been sitting and gathering a little dust while the band sorted themselves out. “The album’s been recorded for about a year now,” he reveals, “it’s been put away for a long time, because we were waiting for the right time, to make sure everyone was fully behind it. We ended up conjuring up something for it and it’s a whole different story now.” With the release of Atrophy, the band are about to head out on a very extensive tour of the country, which
takes in many of the less well trodden places that original heavy music acts tend not to go to in their touring schedules. “We’re going to a lot of the rural places,” he says, “through central Queensland, north Queensland, and a lot of smaller places like Ballarat, Maryborough, places like that. Broaden the places we can go, go places where people can’t usually see live music. From past experiences there’s some of the coolest people out that way and they really appreciate it when you make the effort. So we took that into account, picked our favourite places that we’ve been to in the past. We’ve also gone out on a limb and gone to a few places we’ve never been to before, Rockhampton, Gladstone, places like that.” And since the band is heading to some of these more out of the way places, Alex is very happy to let the local punters know what they are in for when Chronolyth thunder into town. “We try to set an atmosphere,” he describes, “I think that’s our main goal. We make it a priority to give an experience to the audience, and it is generally a darker vibe for most people, but here and there we’ll loosen up and have a bit of fun with it. We don’t want to be too serious and gloomy all the time, typical of the genre. We try and mix that up.” Longer term, the band have some pretty broad and lofty goals for themselves, especially now that they are back and heavily motivated again. “Like anyone, it’d be great to get it overseas,” he says, “and see how the music is received over there. That’s obviously a big goal. We just want to grow the fan base and really push it out there.” Atrophy is out now. H
TOUR DATES 20 May – Molly Malones, Townsville 21 May – Billabong Kuranda, Cairns 03 June – Enigma Bar, Adelaide 04 June – The Basement, Canberra 10 June – Karova Lounge, Ballarat 11 June – TBA, Melbourne 12 June – Musicman Megastore, Bendigo 17 June – Flamingos, Rockhampton 18 June – TBA, Gladstone 19 June – Railway Hotel, Bundaberg (All Ages) 24 June – Bald Faced Stag, Sydney 25 June – Leagues Club, Woy Woy
“Luckily were just able to not have to do 300 shows a year anymore, I think back then the priorities were a little different and it was like you get all those support tours”
Words: Steve Jenkins Photo: Courtesy of Nuclear Blast Records
Over the last 20 years, Hatebreed have established themselves as a staple of heavy metal. Through sheer hard work, talent and an impressive catalogue, the heavy hitters have made a name for themselves and established a loyal following.
ursting onto the Connecticut hardcore scene back in 1994, Jamey Jasta and his bandmates have made a name for themselves with their relentless mixture of metalcore and hardcore resulting in seven studio albums, numerous Grammy nominations, a slew of magazine covers and last but not least, respect - from both fans and their peers. We spoke to the frontman of this machine known as Hatebreed, Jamey Jasta. Aside from his work fronting the immensely popular band, he keeps himself busy running his own record company and clothing label, hosting his podcast show, The Jasta Show, and appearing in other bands such as Kingdom of Sorrow, Icepick and his solo project, Jasta. The accomplished singer spoke to us about the new album The Concrete Confessional, touring, politics and the importance of supporting your favourite artists. 22
“I feel great, the first thing that I did was the street test for the new album. Once you put in the headphones, you go for a run, if you want to turn back and go back to your house after the first couple of songs then it’s not a good record. But if wanna run forever and run up a mountain, which I wanted to do and I ended up doing, then I knew it was a good album.” You see a lot change over a 20-year career in a band, especially with the rate of decline of music sales due to online piracy. But it does mean that bands like Hatebreed can work a schedule suits them and foster creativity, as well as being able to choose where and when they can play shows. That sounds like a sweet deal, as Jamey explains. “Luckily we’re just able to not have to do 300 shows a year anymore, I think back then the priorities were a little different and it was like you get all those support tours and you take all those
pay cuts in hopes to gain fan bases in all these areas where you thought it could sustain heavy metal and hardcore communities. So I guess the biggest change is we’re able to do it globally now and globally things are thriving, which means we can do less shows but provide better for our families and ourselves and not kill ourselves on the road.” The lyrical themes to the new album take a slightly more real and relevant path and deals heavily with topics such as social injustice, police brutality, drug abuse and self-positivity through positive mental attitude. A way to voice his frustration through current world events, Jasta has always used a microphone as a release and on the new album he doesn’t hold back. “Well we have this juxtaposition of something that’s heavy, hard and solid with something that’s honest. I was like, alright, how do you make all these words kind of fit under this title? Because I had the title before I had a lot of the lyrics. Once we went back to that title, I mean we bounced around a few other titles, but in the end it was representative of a lot of things that I haven’t said before. The discussion of violence, not just in America, but everywhere is something that is a really divisive discussion. Because you hear people say - If we had guns here none of this would have happened, or if we had just bombed all these people none of this would have happened. So while you’re having this heated discussion, I see these novels on Facebook in the comments and I go - While you’re having these discussion and debates, there are literally morons and idiots who are able to get into political positions of power. To create the policies that led to these decisions that you are discussing.” Hatebreed are seasoned veterans when it comes to touring Australia, always being welcomed with open arms by their extremely strong and dedicated fan base Down Under. They were one of many bands that were meant to be here in early 2016 for Soundwave, before it’s unfortunate end. Jasta tells
how he is incredibly eager to come back and that it could be a mere matter of weeks before we hear something worth getting excited about. “I really hope its soon and I really wish that people had it together enough to have this worked out before I started the press for the new album. It’s just like, once Soundwave got cancelled, it created this domino effect of scrambling to find other things and then bands changing their plans. So luckily we’re in a position where we can just come out and headline and do what we have to do in other places. We knew the writing was on the wall, we should have had better plans in place. We should have had a backup plan, a plan B, a plan D, I mean nowadays in the music industry you gotta have a plan F. There are promoters that want to bring us down and there are some great promoters doing great things right now in Australia. So let’s just hope that in the next month or two we’re going to see something pop up and there’s going to be a window of time where it’s going to work.” Hatebreed were in fact approached by the crowd-funded festival, Legion Fest, to join them on their new venture, but unfortunately it wasn’t meant to be. “I wish them the best of luck with that, I really hope they get a strong package and that does good numbers. Because as we’ve seen, if you don’t do the numbers you’re doomed. Are we ever going to see a Vans Warped Tour in Australia again? Not likely. We have to remember that this is a business and without the business there is no show. Schedule wise it didn’t work for us but I really do hope that it works out for them.” Being a man of promotion and self-made success, Jasta has a final message for Hatebreed fans and it’s a message of importance. If you want to see your favourite band play more shows and make more music, then avoid the free downloads and spend a small amount of money on something that they work hard on. It’s sure to guarantee that everyone ends up happy and the strong army of talented bands out there will continue to flourish. “I think if word of mouth is strong on this record and I think if everybody is Australia and New Zealand spreads the word about us and we go back to that kind of DIY mindset of supporting the bands, buying the record, the vinyl. I think if this record charts, and we really make a splash, then I think the headline tour is going to be much easier to do and more possible and quicker to book. I feel it’s all about your first week of album sales and charting these days for a lot of bands. We know it’s possible, we see it with a lot of pop-punk bands and those who have a more commercial and accessible fan base, but that means we need to put metal and hardcore back on the map.” The Concrete Confessional is out on 13 May 2016 via Nuclear Blast Records. H 23
Words: Kris Peters Photo: Courtesy of King Parrot
“I wanna f*ckin see blood!!” Slatts bellowed into the microphone before ripping off the protective wrapping around the dry bars, prompting Youngy into a vicious verbal assault as he stalked the tabletops, screaming in the face of those brave enough to stand firm.
his was my introduction to King Parrot live, back when they were one of a number of promising bands striving to break out of the Australian metal circuit. Even back then, the band had an urgency and talent that made it impossible to look away; a grab you by the throat approach to their craft that gave them that elusive edge. It was not long after their debut album Bite Your Head Off, was starting to gain some traction. It was certainly a long way from where they now stand, which is on the precipice of international acclaim. In the four years since that debut, King Parrot have shared the stage with some of the heavyweights of the metal world and have vindicated their early potential, fusing into a band that is as entertaining as they are ferocious. “You look back and you can be surprised,” bassist Slatts mused, “but I suppose when you are doing it every day and you have incremental success you don’t tend to notice it as much.” “When you are caught up in it you don’t sort of go ‘now we’re doing this’ but when you look back at it over four years it’s pretty amazing. As things happen 24
you take them in your stride.” That stride has turned into leaps and bounds for the band, with their follow up, Dead Set, a worthy successor to their debut despite being written and recorded under vastly differing circumstances. “When we did Bite Your Head Off we were all still in jobs and we would finish work and go to rehearsal and do stuff for the album but with Dead Set we were in the States and we’d finished a tour and we were starting another tour a month later and it was too expensive and too f*cked up to return to Australia and more or less turn around and go straight back so we were lucky enough to have a friend who, through his parents, opened doors and they let us set up in their barn in Vermont for a month and we basically set up our equipment and sat there and wrote our album. “That was a new experience for all of us. Every day we got up and ate breakfast and we went to the studio and built these songs until we had a decent amount. So from there, we worked with Phil (Anselmo) as a producer who offered his angle on it and then we stayed at Phil’s place with a studio on the property. We were literally getting out of bed and walking into
the studio. It was great, but it was a totally different experience for us. Bite Your Head Off was recorded over two days with drums and bass and a bit of guitar, and then the rest of the guitar and vocals were done over another day or two, so it was a lot shorter and more in line with what I’d been used to in the past.” As legend goes, King Parrot played a gig at a festival in the States and passed some of their stuff on to one of the other bands who happened to live on Phil’s property and the rest is history. When I ask Slatts what it is he thinks the ex-Pantera frontman saw in them, he looks back at me deadpan and says “Well, you’ve seen us play haven’t you mate,” with his tongue firmly planted in his cheek. “I guess he’s just got such a huge interest in all sorts of music and in that sense I feel very lucky that he took an interest in us. When I first met him he said that Australia has so much good shit going on and we agreed from there. I think there’s shitloads of good music coming out of our country and we were fortunate that he saw that in us.” That meeting culminated in King Parrot recording Dead Set at Phil’s studios with the man himself overseeing and assisting with production. Topping the phenomenal success of their debut wasn’t going to be easy, and Slatts says that the bands laid back approach and sense of humor helped ground them and focus on the task at hand. This sense of humour shines through in their film clips, with the accompanying video for popular single Shit on the Liver setting the standard for future endeavors exceptionally high. “We’re all f*cked in the head,” Slatts offered, “but with our videos we have ideas of themes and more often than not the stuff that goes into it is unscripted or on the fly. When we have ideas there’s probably
not necessarily much humor in it but it just naturally happens. Ari (guitarist) has said to me before that sometimes I put pressure on myself and my ‘acting’ and he tells me to stop f*ckin acting. When it’s good stuff it’s just as being who we are I suppose. We’re being weird c*nts and not putting anything on outside of being ourselves.” After a whirlwind recent tour of their home country, King Parrot leave our shores on May 17 for another bite of the Big Apple, joining Voivod and Child Bite on tour. But Slatts says finding that balance between sustaining a presence in multiple locations is vital to the bands existence. “The first time we went overseas was great,” he said. “It was about having a go but when we got home we realised we couldn’t just think ‘oh, that was great and we’ll go back next year’. We realised that we actually had to maintain a presence, so at that point we started pushing harder in Australia so we could build the foundation here as well as develop a new market in another country.” That sustained effort in Australia was justified with the recent announcement of the HEAVY Music Magazine Awards, with King Parrot winning four categories; Best Metal Band, Best Film Clip, Best Australian Heavy Band and Best Metal Album. Despite being humbled by the victory, Slatts still took the news with his typical laconic humor. “I feel touched by an angel,” he beamed, “on my eardrums, like angels came down and spoofed in people’s eardrums because they were listening to King Parrot.” “But seriously, it was really cool. It was nice to see Clowns getting amongst the awards too. I just want to thank everyone who voted for us very much. We appreciate your support. Keep on shampooing your hair and keep your battle jackets washed and hung and well aired and we will see you soon!” H 2525
Words: Kris Peters Photo: Courtesy of Nuclear Blast Records
“It is a full band!” spat Hanno, one half of two-piece German metal merchants Mantar. “First of all, it’s not about the amount of members, it’s about the energy among the members,” he continued, reiterating the point.
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hen we started this band it wasn’t like a dogmatic thing where we said ‘okay, we’ve gotta be a two piece’ or something. Pretty much no-one else wanted to join when we first started playing, so it was just the two of us, and after the first couple of hours of jamming we knew we could pull it off with just the two of us. The energy was really good between us and I think a third or fourth member, no matter how talented he or she was, wouldn’t improve on the overall energy that existed between Erinc and me. “We never thought about getting another member in and we don’t plan on doing that because nobody has complained yet that the band is not loud enough or anything like that. There are a lot of benefits of being just a two-piece but that’s not the main thing. I don’t wanna be labeled as a two-piece band. It doesn’t matter how many members Mantar has. It’s not a gimmick. I don’t want people to say for a two-piece band it’s pretty good, I wanna mix it with five and six piece bands and I think we can.” Hanno and Erinc have been friends for 20 years, but it wasn’t until 2012 that they turned that friendship into a musical endeavor. After the initial feeling out of each other musically, Hanno soon decided that this was collaboration worth pursuing. “To be honest, we didn’t have a lot of expectations or goals to start with. We just wanted to do some demos and give them away to friends and maybe do a couple of shows. Then the first record came out and the rest is history so to speak. We started touring because we got so many offers because of the internet buzz around the band and everything moved pretty fast for us.” Despite consisting of just drums, guitar and vocals, the huge sound Mantar produced through minimal output struck a chord with metal fans. This was driven home on debut album, the acclaimed Death by Burning, a ferocious slab of brutality that was borne from the ashes of many differing styles. “It’s not easy to choose our sound,” Hanno mused. “I think first of all we are a very simple band. We are very simple and raw and we like to play that way and try to aim for the primal instinct in man I guess. That’s what we do. I think it’s more a raw display of power. I grew up on punk and thrash metal and stuff, but on the other hand we really like our doom and black metal, so if you mix all that up and play that with a Motorhead rock and roll edge then you get something that might sound like Mantar.” While anger to fuel the creative fire can come in many shapes and forms and from a plethora of mediums, Hanno says that the distinctive raw brutality that is Mantar has at its basic core, one component. “I think it’s the joy of destruction,” he almost grinned.
“I’ve always been cool with the idea of f*cking shit up and destroying things instead of building things up. I never felt that was interesting. There is a beauty in destruction and slaying with the band is almost like a cathartic moment, so we like playing as hard and with as much intensity as possible.” With the recent release of their second album, Ode to the Flame, Hanno says that Mantar felt no extra pressure of now being an established artist which had much to do with the band remaining in control of their own destiny musically and creatively. “First of all we weren’t really sure if we wanted to do a second album at all. We never made any long term plans with this band or if we wanted to go with a second record. When we decided to do it we pretty much did everything the same, which was basically a do it yourself mentality. We began with the first album with no producer and recorded the album for ourselves, and we completely finished it even before we showed it to a record label, so we decided to go the same way. We only wanted to put it out if we agreed 100% on it so in that respect there was no real pressure. We wanted to make something at least as good and we feel this one is actually better.” Ode To The Flame is out now via Nuclear Blast Records. H
Words: Jeremy Vane-Tempest Photo: Courtesy of Napalm Records
Dez Fafara is more than driven, some might say he’s (puts on sunglasses) Far Beyond Driven. Why wouldn’t he be though? He’s just been set up for the next decade or so.
n a world where being a musician has less job security than an ice maker in Antarctica, DevilDriver’s new record, Trust No One, has garnered something far more tangible than just star ratings. When I speak to Dez Fafara, indomitable frontbeast of DevilDriver, there is a slight difference in our circumstances. I am ‘on a break’ at my day job, holding a phone in one hand and a recording device in the other, concealed in a storage cupboard on a freezing cold morning in Sydney. Dez, meanwhile, is enjoying a sunny Los Angeles afternoon, and he’s about to go meet with some label reps and put pen to paper on one of the biggest contracts of his life. “I sent the record to the label and got a call back literally ninety minutes later and they’d already listened to it twice”, Dez gushes over the phone line. “They’re quoting lyrics, quoting songs, they’re into it, man. Then they flew out here and went surfing with me and said that they wanted to sign DevilDriver for three albums with a fourth option. That never happens nowadays!” Dez is practically shouting with excitement at this point. “You’re lucky to get one album, maybe an option tagged on at the most. I’m actually heading over there to sign the record deal in an hour or so. They know that we’re in it for the long haul and we’re gonna be f*cking furious about what we do; that we’re gonna take it to the bank and take other bands to the floor. The label sees that, and they back me, and they back the band and they back our art. When you have a partner like that, who understand what you’re about and what you do, that is the greatest asset.” Trust No One is groin-grabbingly good, in that you’ll probably fall to you knees clutching at some sensitive part of your body when you hear it. It’s a raw, visceral and occasionally pessimistic account of a man who thinks a pessimist is just what an optimist calls a realist. “As an artist, it’s incumbent upon me to shine a light on where I’ve been in the last two years and illuminate what the f*ck is really going on in the world,” Dez explains, “and what’s happening around the world is this; you go into an airport and there are signs everywhere saying ‘if you see something, say something’. It’s getting to a point where everyone’s looking over their shoulders, second-guessing everyone else.
“I parted ways with many people over the last two years and let me tell you, my life has gotten a lot better since I went and cut those negative influences out of my life. I’m very lucky to have an amazing wife and family behind me. I can sit down with them and say, ‘I haven’t been feeling this person for a long time. They’ve got XYZ negative things around me’ and their automatic response is to tell me to do what makes me happy. Life is about being thankful for every breath you take and I can’t do that if I’m surrounding myself with people who are bringing me down to their level. Granted, some of the stuff I sing about is negative but it’s all to empower the listener. They can hear what I’m saying and go ‘oh man, he’s been through that too? I’ll listen to him and hear how he dealt with it and that will help me in my own struggles’.” For every Deftones or Fallujah, there’s a band throwing breakdowns and Drop D into an incoherent mess and calling it a song, and it shits Dez to tears. “A lot of bands think that they only need two or three really good songs,” Dez rolls his eyes so hard I can actually hear them through the phone line. “Some of my favourite bands just churn out the same album over and over again. I have never lived that life and I’ll never make that kind of art, and the proof is right here. The press has had Trust No One for a few weeks now and the response has been incredible. We’ve had almost unanimous ten out of tens, people are calling it our brightest moment. I always said to watch out for DevilDriver in our later years because that’s where we’re going to excel. I wanna get back in the studio and keep recording because I’ve got a fire in me, man.” In closing, I mention that, unlike the athlete who hits his use by date at 30, DevilDriver are fourteen years into their tenure and better than ever. This inane observation is met with dutiful scorn. “Age is just a number, brother,” Dez sniggers. “I bombed a hill on my skateboard yesterday that would scare the shit out of any f*cking teenager. It’s just a different story now. I’m competing with bands full of twenty year olds as my f*cking job, and I’ve been doing it for two decades. I’m on the treadmill doing five to eight miles every day to make sure I’m ready to go. If the time comes where I’m not giving it 110%, I’ll put it down. I’ll be done with it.” Trust No One is out now via Napalm Records H
Words: Kris Peters Photo: Courtesy of Black Stone Cherry
Not often in life do we get to take ourselves back to our origins with a fresh outlook on life and a decade and a half of success under our belts and be able to savior the sweet smell that is contentment.
ime and circumstance changes many things, not least our ability to be humble, but for Black Stone Cherry their recent return to their roots proved to be not only a celebration of where they have been, but also a glimpse into where they want to go. “It was more or less a case of why not?” lead vocalist and guitarist Chris Robertson laughed when I asked why they chose now to return to the scene of their self titled debut album in Glasgow, Kentucky for their latest album, aptly titled Kentucky. “We knew there was a great engineer and a great studio there and it was 30
all only 25 minutes away from home so why wouldn’t we go back where we are comfortable?” For Chris and the other members of Black Stone Cherry (Ben Wells – rhythm guitar and backing vocals, Jon Lawton – bass guitar and backing vocals plus John Fred Young – drums and backing vocals), the decision to follow a musical path was relatively easy, with the small town confines and their mutual love of music the catalyst for these four friends to want to break out and take their collective voice to the masses. In the ensuing fifteen years the band has remained
as one, with the current members being there from the start, and Chris believes this has been a significant component of their success. “It’s everything,” he stressed of their bond. “The fact that we were all friends before we decided to do this as a band is a lot of the reason we have managed to stay together. In this day and age to have four people sign a record deal as friends and maintain that 15 years later is pretty special.” From early in their career, Black Stone Cherry have been very much a band who did things their way and based on what they felt was right at the time, and it was this self belief that played a significant part in providing the platform before their debut had even come out. Shortly after completing recording of Black Stone Cherry, the band was invited back to their hometown and school in Edmonton, Kentucky, by their former principal to perform a homecoming gig in the school gymnasium. The show was attended by 1500 people with many lining the streets waving signs of encouragement and from that point Chris says their future was sealed. “It’s been amazing, stressful and tragic,” he said of the bands trajectory. “It’s definitely something we didn’t expect. When we started the band we were all 15 and 16 so to be able to draw a crowd like that when we got our first record deal and have people take notice of what was going on was incredible and it’s been an amazing journey ever since.” That journey has culminated in the aforementioned Kentucky, an album which was not only recorded back where it all began, but also gave the band a chance to reflect on their roots and rediscover what it was that made them fall in love with music so many years ago. “Just being back home for the first time since our debut and recording at the place we first ever recorded was inspiring,” Chris enthused. “Getting back to the basics of just the four of us in a room with a guy hitting the record button was a big thing for us.” The album also marked the first time the band had produced their own music, with Chris admitting the process was made infinitely more personal and special because of it. “Basically producing ourselves allowed us the freedom to do anything and everything we wanted. A lot of times a producer will tell you what they think works and that you should try this here or that there, but by doing it ourselves we got to try things we had always wanted to do. We got to add a horn section to a couple of songs; we got to add female vocals, even
things down to a small drum lick, but these were all things we wanted to do previously but never got a chance to. This time everything was in our hands and on our backs.” This album also marks the first time that the majority of the songs were written by the band themselves without assistance from co-writers, and Chris concedes that this is another freedom which had been stifled in the past. With their recent move from Roadrunner Records to the Mascot Label Group, he says that another of the bands restraints has been released somewhat. “The only reason we wrote with other people to begin with was that our previous record label wanted a certain kind of sound,” he stressed. “It’s always been amazing to me that someone signs a band because they like the band but the first thing they do is change the way the band sounds! This time around the songs were written not so much as a job but more to have a good time which comes back to us being given our freedom.” Black Stone Cherry had been originally slated to perform a run of headlining shows across Australia in June, but recently decided to put those plans on hold in preference of touring as support to Steel Panther. Although it was not a decision made lightly, several factors were instrumental in their decision. “We had booked our tour and we expected to honour that, but then we were given this opportunity to come down with our friends in Steel Panther,” he explained. “We honestly thought it was a no brainer. To come there for the first time with some of our friends and be able to play to their great audiences every night sounded great and made sense. We have only postponed our own shows there so don’t worry.” The music industry is renowned for crushing the spirits and altering the genetic make-up of many who are consumed by it, but according to Chris the trappings of fame and notoriety have been lost on these four kids from Kentucky. “We’re the same four dudes we were when we were 15 or 16 starting this band,” he mused, “and the only difference now is we’ve got mortgages and wives and three of us have kids. There’s no room in this business for people to be egotistical or be an asshole. We get to play music for a living! I mean, I’ve struggled with depression and anxiety throughout our career but now I look back and think what was wrong with me? I get to get up in a different city every day and meet new people and spread positivity and when I finally realised that I had the power to make people smile and forget about all of the negative crap they have to deal with every day, it was very special. There is no need for more negativity and music is the biggest release for people, ever.” Kentucky is out now via Mascot Label Group. H 3131
“This record has a lot more room to breathe, it’s groovier and it’s more head-bangable, it’s just a heavier record but in a different way. It’s more so about these large, epic, expansive, groove sections as opposed to brutality and speed.
Words: Steve Jenkins Photo: Tamlyn Koga
Fallujah are the best band in metal that you haven’t heard of, and if you aware of this Californian progressive death metal powerhouse then you know all too well how technically gifted they are.
ith their third album Dreamless released on 29 April 2016, the new album is a stepping-stone in the process of re-inventing themselves, which will set them up for a lengthy and promising career. Vocalist and original member Alex Hofmann talked to us about the new record, influences, touring and diversity. “We busted our asses getting this record together, so seeing the positive response from those that have heard it is very rewarding. We’ve still got lots of work to do, we still have to put out the other songs, shoot a music video, lots of work still to be done to set up the final product properly. It’s definitely exciting to be busy and to see lots of buzz around this thing.” Although it’s not the first time they’ve used female vocals on their albums, Fallujah have delved into that area once again on Dreamless. Creating a euphoric 32
and toned down vibe that switches between the intensity of their extreme music. “I think we wrote the songs with that in mind, that it was always going to be an element, I think it’s become a bit of defining element for the band. I think with how the themes sound on the album it sounds really right, you kind of have to use those elements conservatively, you can’t just put them all over the top of everything. It has to be tasteful and it has to make sense, but it’s something we definitely pre-meditated. A lot of cool things happened in the process of recording them, and a lot of things changed, a lot of progression, sort of like, things came to life differently than we imagined them.” Fallujah fans are usually 100% behind what the band does whether it’s trying something innovative and different or just the overall consistency of their
unshakable riffs and melodies. “I think we did try to write this album with the name in mind that it was going to be a bit more diverse. I don’t necessarily like the idea of having a particular label to our sound. I think Fallujah wants to have the freedom to be able to tour or play with or be in the same category as a number of different bands with different sounds so I think Dreamless is an album where there are going to be a lot of different people who won’t necessarily be into the whole death metal thing that can extract and understand something from it.” The atmospheric elements are probably the key factor that differs Fallujah to other bands in the extreme metal genre. Creating a dynamic sound that takes you to another universe, the question is where and how do they get the inspiration to create such a beautiful component? “It kind of depends, it’s from a number of different things. The electronic part of it definitely comes from electronic music. A lot of ambient music or even various things from stuff like drum and bass and techno music as far as sound goes. As for the atmospheric, black metal part, bands like Wolves To The Throneroom, even elements from the Deftones and various ‘80s bands. It’s become less literal over time – less easy to trace the genesis of it. I think we just began to handle the atmosphere in our own way and bring that atmospheric element into our own accord as opposed to the way it used to be where it was more us seeking out influences. There’s now a myriad of places that we draw those kinds of influences from.” Of course, the question had to be asked, and the answer was simple. Will Fallujah be making their way to Australia soon? It seems so. “Yeah, it’s happening
this year.” Hitting the road for over two months this April/ May in the States with The Black Dahlia Murder and our very own brutal boys from Brisbane, Disentomb. It’s something they’re very much looking forward to, going back to basics and reaching every possible city they can to please eager fans. “We met the bass player from Disentomb on 70,000 Tonnes Of Metal (a yearly metal cruise ship) a few weeks ago actually. So the ice has already been kind of broken with meeting the band. It’s going to be really cool to see these guys out on the road. It’s going to be interesting because first of all it’s our longest tour we’ve ever done. It’s also interesting that it’s a small venue type tour with all of the shows being in clubs. They (The Black Dahlia Murder) wanted to play small, packed houses that are going to be full of energy, sell out some smaller places. It’s going to be a wild and hectic environment and I’m looking forward to it.” Alex had a closing message for those who are looking forward to hearing Dreamless upon it’s release, sounding proud and accomplished, he had the following to say about an album I would go as far as calling, in a word, flawless. “This record has a lot more room to breathe, it’s groovier and it’s more head-bangable, it’s just a heavier record but in a different way. It’s more so about these large, epic, expansive, groove sections as opposed to brutality and speed. That’s the most comprehensive way I would describe how this record sounds. It’s a really well balanced album and it’s equally if not more powerful than any other album that we’ve done before.” Dreamless is out now via Nuclear Blast Records. H 3333
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“I’m like ‘how much are these guys getting away with?’ Only now I look back on it and I realise I could’ve been so much more heavy handed.”
Words: Daniel Tucceri Photo: Myriam Santos
Nearly twenty years ago, Richard Patrick of industrial rock group Filter made no bones about his role in the band. “The big important thing that people understand is that Filter… has always been Richard Patrick”, he told MTV in a 1998 interview.
hilst being central to Filter, Patrick has collaborated with industrial heavyweights Danny Lohner and John 5, as well as newcomers such as John Radtke. Presently, his new line-up features two Australians, Oumi Kapila (guitars) and Chris Reeve (drums). For their newest record, Crazy Eyes, Filter involved past collaborators Lohner and Ben Grosse, who produced the seminal, Title of Record. The result is a throwback to the more aggressive sounds that put Filter on the map and made them one of industrial rock’s most important bands. “I just wanted to get back to anger and the crazy,” states Patrick bluntly. He also worked with former members
Mitch Marlow and John Spiker, but not everything made the final cut. “Everyone was into it, everyone wants to contribute and do stuff. But for whatever reason, I ended up doing the best stuff with Blumpy (Michael Tuller of Nine Inch Nails) and with Oumi.” The current Filter line up consists of relative newcomers with a median age of thirty, as Patrick explains. Perth based drummer Reeves had never toured the United States or played on a major label release. As Richard sees it, he is “giving opportunities to young people to contribute.” Patrick even lists the achievements of past Filter alumni in other bands as a proud father would. There are no hard
feelings and it’s a far cry from his experience in Nine Inch Nails as a touring guitarist early in his career. When reminded of his previous comments about his role in Filter, the frontman objects. “The reality is that I never wanted to be the guy that had to say, ‘Filter is Richard Patrick’. I just felt it was too egocentric and, you know, I’d left a situation where it felt like ‘dude, there’s a lot of people working with you and you’re not giving credit out to anybody’. I left a situation which was very one-sided.” With nothing but a Mac computer as his writing partner, Patrick soon found himself with a live band once Brian Liesegang joined Filter. Recalling the Filter song Captain Bligh, he compares the fate of its namesake to life under the Reznor Regime. “The reality is at some point, here’s Captain Bligh. And he’s absolutely an amazing naval captain, and after the mutiny he took a small sailboat and sailed it all the way back to England. The problem is that his crew were so overwhelmed by his disciplinary tactics that they mutinied and they went crazy.” Inevitably, Patrick was forced to do the same thing in order not to go crazy. “When I was in Nine Inch Nails, it was very weird. I’d been touring with this guy for four years,” begins Patrick before detailing every luxury item Reznor had at his disposal. “He had a house in Beverly Hills, he was spending twenty-five-thousand dollars a month on rent, he drove around in a four hundred thousand dollar Porsche, he had assistants, he had all the studio, he’s been paid a tonne of money by Interscope records.” He draws a deep breath and raises his voice an octave. “…and then there’s me!” “I lived in Cleveland and when I moved to Los Angeles, he gave me four hundred dollars a month to live off. I had zero money, I had zero everything and I sat there and wrote Hey Man, Nice Shot,” he recalls. “I said, ‘well, here’s my song’. And he kind of went ‘well, you know, it’s ok… uhhh. I think it’d be cool. But I’ve gotta own the whole thing.’ So I said, ‘okay, what am I doing wrong?’ There was almost a financial thuggery going on, where I’m so poor that I can’t do a god damn thing”. The next comment is the most damning and has stayed with Richard Patrick ever since. “Then the icing on the cake is that he told me ‘there’s a little pizzeria down the way, if you need extra money, go deliver pizzas.” Instead, the Filter Svengali found his work appreciated by Warner Brothers. They went as far as offering him a million dollars and Patrick found himself behind the ship’s wheel. In hindsight, he feels that the Nine Inch Nails experience made him a little too generous for his own good.
“When I was the leading songwriter of the thing and everyone was being paid on a weekly basis, and I’ve got all this overhead and I’m incurring all these costs, I’m like ‘how much are these guys getting away with?’ Only now I look back on it and I realise I could’ve been so much more heavy handed.” Patrick admits that hard living made it easier for some of his former bandmates to point the finger and asking for more than their fair share. “You realise if you let everyone tell you that you’re doing a bad job and that you’re partying, if you let everyone get away with murder, they will.” Where his bandmates had children being born under healthcare and insurance he provided, Patrick himself chose to keep himself grounded and live in an apartment. His experience is a reflection of the all too common situation in America where “a fat cat in the mansion is given a gold bar and they maybe give you a bit,” as he puts it. Patrick can’t help but make pointed reference to America’s most infamous frontrunner for their upcoming nominations. “How many gold bars has Donald Trump devoured and how many people has he stepped on to get that?” Despite enjoying all the trappings of a record deal, that opportunity became a trap in itself. As much as the “internet has destroyed art” in his opinion, it offered his fans an opportunity to directly inform the creation of Crazy Eyes, particularly with its opening track. “I did Mother E and it’s the heaviest shit I’ve ever done and it was so f*cking liberating,” an energised Patrick proclaims. “I put it up as I was in the session and I said ‘what do you guys think about this?’ And they’re like ‘this is awesome, this sounds like crazy young angry Richard from Short Bus’. And then, not only did they say this was cool, they were like ‘I’m gonna pre-order the record and the vinyl and get a t-shirt’ and they invest in the record.” In recent interviews, Patrick has admitted that spree killers such as Jared Loughner and Adam Lanza inspired the new album’s title with images of their penetrating stares. Did looking into the eyes of the insane help him tap into the ‘young angry Richard’ in question? “The young angry Rich has always been there,” he assures me with a faint growl. “It’s just that the last two or three records, I’ve had these producers telling me to sing more and be less of a crazed lunatic. So when I produced the record, I went ‘no one’s gonna touch me’. I’m gonna get in here and do exactly what I need to do to get my musical points across to have a good time.” It’s good to have you back in charge, young angry Rich. Crazy Eyes is out now via Wind-Up Records. H
deaf to all but metal Sydney’s monthly heavy metal party! FEATURING Heavy DJs, live music, performance art games, prizes and more!
For location, event dates and more info: Words: Callum Doig Photo: Paal Audestad
www.facebook.com/deaftoallbm We also have a heavy metal podast:
soundcloud.com/deaf-to-all-but-metal Norway, we’ve known you for a long time. Not just for your freezing weather, but also for your bands, and the dark history behind most particularly, black metal.
hat being said, Norway’s next biggest thing from their scene known as Kvelertak are set to unleash their third full-length LP entitled Nattesferd. I spoke to main man Erlend Hjelvik about the band’s upcoming record, and all of the hard work that took place during the making of Nattesferd. “It was a real different approach this time,” he says. “For the first two albums, we recorded with Kurt Ballou, but this time, it was a lot more collective. We wrote the whole album in a practice space together, and then we recorded live in the studio. It’s a different sound and such, but it sounds great right now. We kind of produced it ourselves, and then Nick [Terry] started engineering our sound, which became a really good collaboration for us.” Those familiar with Kvelertak would also be aware of Baroness frontman John Baizley being the one responsible for the artwork for their last two records. This time, however, Erlend and co. contacted New Yorker Arik Roper to create the art for Nattesferd, he has also created album covers for Sleep, The Black Crowes and Weedeater in the past. “He’s been on the top of my list ever since we made the first record. I’ve always wanted to do something with him at some point, so we used the opportunity to get him for this record. When it comes to artists, he’s the first person that comes to mind. The artwork he’s done looks perfect. It looks like something I could use for a family foundation book, and not to mention, the art suits the music on the album perfectly.” Talking to Erlend about the songs in particular, he states there isn’t so much of a highlighted track for Nattesferd, though he states that he has personal favourites off the record. “There’s no particular song I think that stands out in this record. But, my personal favourites would be Heksebrann and Ondskapens Galakse, because they have a lot of new shit that we’ve never done before, which makes it sound fresh and original. Heksebrann is this nine-minute song that sounds kind of proggy at the beginning with a Neil
Young riff, with some country music in there.” But as far as the title and work behind Nattesferd is concerned, Erlend states that there hasn’t been so much of a concept with all of the songs that take place on Nattesferd. However, he can definitely feel the spiritual connection between Nattesferd and their sophomore Meir. While that’s the case, the songs seem to have a concept of their own. “It’s pretty similar in spirit to Meir, because of the balance of rockier and more metal songs. There are a lot of throwbacks to Meir, but there’s not exactly a concept to a Kvelertak record like this. I mean, Dendrofil for Yggdrasil is obviously a preference on the Celtic tree of life in Norse mythology, which is pretty self-explanatory. It’s a good way to start the album, because it’s really heavy.” Over time, Kvelertak have also managed to gain love from Metallica frontman James Hetfield and even the Norwegian Crown Prince Haakon. But as it turns out, Kvelertak have treated the praise as something extra than anything to be considered honourary. “We’re getting very spoiled by that. It’s a bonus for us, really, but we try not to think of that too much. It’s nice when the crown prince and such take notice of us, because it really gains more exposure for us as a band.” With Kvelertak announcing themselves as a rock band, they’ve actually never taken the black metal label as something that would be tattooed to their name, for they have a much more diverse take on their music from rock ‘n’ roll to hardcore punk to hard rock. “We’ve never really called ourselves a black metal band. I respect the genre too much for that, but we definitely have a lot of elements from that, despite us being a rock ‘n’ roll band. It’s all natural, but we have diverse influences from the likes of The Beach Boys and those kind of bands, while still being influenced by a lot of metal bands. To me, this record sounds like something that would’ve influenced us by the likes of Motörhead, as well. It’s important that we do those kind of things, because we really take pride in it.” Nattesferd is out now via Roadrunner. H
TOUR DATES Words: Rod Whitfield Photo: Courtesy of Nuclear Blast Records
Words: Rod Whitfield Photo: Andrew Basso
It’s always a brave decision for a band who have attained a strong degree of notoriety relatively early in their career to make a strong stylistic change to their sound, but that is exactly what Melbourne progressive masters Circles have done.
hey established their sound in no uncertain terms with their classic EP of 2011, The Compass. Their epic debut long player, 2013’s Infinitas, was a clean, natural evolution from The Compass, and fully established their place in progressive heavy music on a national and international scale. When it came time to put together their sophomore album, the band decided against maintaining a cushy, comfortable road that would have pleased their existing fans, in favour of taking a risk and shaking things up significantly, even after they had several songs written in their traditional style. The results are stunning, and guitarist and key songwriter Ted Furuhashi is happy to chat about the transformation of their sound. “Ever since Infinitas came out, and our tour overseas with Dillinger the first time in 2013, we’ve been writing music,” he recalls, “I never stop, I just write and write, but we got serious about it after that. I reckon we had eight or ten songs, and both Dave (drummer Dave Hunter) and I sat down and listened to them and we said ‘you know what? I don’t think this is what we want to do, as in direction wise.’ It was all great, we were happy with what we were hearing, we didn’t think it was organically evolving. “They were great songs, and it would have made a great Infinitas part II, but we really just wanted to go completely different in terms of song writing approach and production approach.” Furuhashi believes that, whilst it may surprise some existing fans of the band, the new direction was one that
they simply had to take for the band to be completely happy and comfortable within themselves regarding their music, and to perform the songs live with absolute integrity and belief. “To be honest, I don’t want to sound selfish, but it’s a record for us,” he admits, “and if we’re not happy with it, we can’t perform it honestly and enjoy it. And I think that translates to the public and whoever comes to our shows. Or for any show for any band for that matter. “If you stand in the crowd, and I go to shows all the time, if the band isn’t performing with conviction and if you can’t tell that they’re enjoying it, you’re bored.” Another factor in the evolution of the band has been the addition of new member, former Glass Empire guitarist and vocalist Ben Rechter, who is not only a highly accomplished guitarist, but also a very gifted vocalist in his own right. “The addition of Ben, our new guitarist, has brought new flavour,” he says, “he’s put new things into these songs vocally, as well as stylistically and musically. He gave us a few angles that we would never have thought of in terms of song writing and sounds. He’s been a great addition.” Once the album is released, the band will be casting their eyes towards national and international touring once again. “We’re itching to tour again, we haven’t toured for a long time,” he states, “so that’s the plan, we’re going to release the album, tour, and tour overseas again as well. We’d love to get to the States this time, and we’re looking at Asian tour this time too.” H
11 October – The Triffid Brisbane 13 October – Fowlers Live Adelaide 14 October – Prince Bandroom, Melbourne 15 October – Manning Bar Sydney
Guitarist Michael Wilton and his band, the legendary, long running progressive rock/ metal band Queensrÿche, have been through the ringer in the last four to five years.
he band have experienced a tumultuous time in their history that saw a massive row over the use of the band name and logo, lawsuits, major line-up changes (including the departure of iconic frontman Geoff Tate) and all other manner of upheaval. Wilton, speaking from his home in Seattle, is absolutely confident that those times are now in the past, and they are forging forward with a new singer, by the name of Todd La Torre, and a new sense of energy and purpose. “We were definitely in the trenches as a business at that time, and trying to figure things out,” he recalls, “but a change was needed, when your business is whistling through the graveyard, you’ve gotta take matters into your own hands and get things going again. Because, as we’ve seen, the world wants more Queensrÿche! “We came through that tunnel of desperation, it wasn’t easy for our families, it was just a time that needed to happen. And now it just seems so long ago! It’s four or five years ago, and we’ve moved on since then.” It got to the point where Wilton and his fellow remaining band members actually wondered whether Queensrÿche would even continue at all. “You know, in the back of your mind, there’s always the ‘what ifs’,” he says, “there were those considerations, what if it didn’t work? We could have done a version, but we knew we were the original members, the three guys that started this whole thing back in the beginning in 1981. “We knew rightfully that the name was ours, and we just had to believe in what we do. But yeah, we did think about it. All of a sudden all that hard work you’ve done over the years, and you’re not going to have it any more. But ultimately we had to not think like that, and now the outcome is exactly what we wanted.”
La Torre joined the fold in 2012, and has really given the band a kick in the arse, energy-wise, since he became the Queensrÿche’s frontman, and he is assisting to broaden the appeal of the band beyond their long time, hard core fans. “Totally, it’s a shot of adrenaline,” Wilton says, “we’re building a whole new fan base, as well as the old fans that have been there since the EP and (their debut album of 1984) The Warning. We have younger fans now that love the band that don’t know anything other than our last two albums.” Aussie fans will get to experience that renewed energy in the flesh when the band visit our shores for only the third time in their three-and-a-half-decade long career in October. Wilton is thrilled to be returning and very confident that they are bringing a highly impressive show. “We’re ecstatic at the opportunity to come back to Australia,” he enthuses, “it’s a great hard rockin’ environment for Queensrÿche, and especially for this rebirth of the band with Todd. It’s going to blow people away, and we’re just so thankful the promoters have opened their eyes and their ears and getting us there. We’re just so happy, and the fans are just gonna love this.” The band released an album called Condition Human, their fifteenth in total, last October, and they will be featuring tracks from that release on the Australian tour, plus of course many from their prodigious back catalogue that are sure to keep long-time fans happy. “This is the Condition Human tour, so we’re promoting that album,” he announces, “with a few select songs from that album. Plus, a set list that spans the fans’ favourite albums, and just a super high energy show that we think will impress a lot of people in Australia.” H
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TOUR DATES Words: Rod Whitfield Photo: Alessandro Olgiati
12 October – Amplifier Bar, Perth 13 October – Max Watt’s, Melbourne 14 October – The Metro Theatre, Sydney 15 October – Max Watt’s, Brisbane
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It’s fantastic when a band, who has carved out a rather prestigious career for themselves with a certain sound, can change stride two decades in and really shake things up. It would be much easier to keep churning out the same album over and over, like many well-known bands (who in this instance shall remain nameless) do.
hat’s even better is when that change of direction entails a massive injection of heaviness into the band’s sound, and this is all exactly what Italy’s favourite female fronted goth metal band Lacuna Coil have done. Their monstrous seventh album Delirium is about to be unleashed upon an unsuspecting world, and the male half of the band’s male/female vocal tradeoff Andrea Ferro joined us recently from the Nuclear Blast headquarters in Germany to tell us about the thinking behind their shift in direction. “That’s exactly the feeling we wanted to put into it,” he explains, regarding the record’s dark, powerful vibe, “we just wanted to get a reaction from people. We didn’t want people to think ‘ok, that’s another Lacuna Coil record, they’ve been doing it for a while’. We wanted to strike the attention a little more and let people know that we have used a different approach on this record. Other factors influenced the change in direction as well, however Andrea is quick to assure existing fans that they will still enjoy the album. “We’re kind of opening a new chapter for the band,” he continues, “we have a little new, fresher line-up, we’re producing the record ourselves for the first time, so it was import for people to understand that it will sound like Lacuna Coil, because that is something we can’t avoid, because we’ve been doing this for a long time and we do have our characteristics. “But at the same time it’s something where we want to push our boundaries a little.” He admits to just a touch of trepidation as to what the reaction of the fans is actually going to be when they finally do get to experience the album for the
first time. “We don’t know!” He laughs, when asked what he thinks the reaction will be, “we don’t know yet, at least. But I think people will listen to it and maybe don’t like it at first, or be surprised by the first impression, but I’m sure it will be something you need to listen to in full to appreciate. That’s what we wanted, we wanted to challenge the listener, to say ‘okay, this is not the Lacuna Coil that we’re used to, but this is a new direction’. “Obviously there are people who will love it and people who hate it, but that’s with every record. Even if we repeated ourselves forever, some people are going to love it because that’s all they want to hear, and some people will hate because they say ‘these guys play the same songs over and over’. So there’s nothing you can do. All you can do is artistically what comes to your mind and try to follow the inspiration.” The vocal trade-off between Andrea and female front person Cristina Scabbia works like an absolute dream on this record, with Scabbia in stunning form. He is more than happy with his fellow vocalist’s work on Delirium. “Yeah, she is like an Italian wine, it ages well!” He laughs again. “We wanted to have more variety in the approach of the vocals. Cristina is singing more ‘epic’ than she ever did, and I’m singing in more of a variety of styles than I have ever done. More powerful, more modern in some ways, so there’s quite a variety going on.” Lacuna Coil will be heading to Australia in October to kick off their first headline tour on Australian soil for a long time, and we can’t wait. Delirium is out 27 May 2016 via Century Media/ Sony Music Australia. H 4343
Words: Paul Southwell Photo: Justin Reich
American guitarist Zakk Wylde is not unfairly described as a workhorse. Whilst out on the road with the Generation Axe tour, which constitutes playing alongside a list of fellow guitar wizard luminaries, the man has made time to discuss his recent and long awaited sequel solo album release, Book of Shadows II.
he fact that it will also probably be toured between the next Zakk Wylde’s Black Label Society release, on a string of international tour runs indicates the ongoing, powering work ethic and also confidence in the project. He also retains his sense of humour on all tours, describing his current Generation Axe tour as being “very hot rocking, tonnes of laughs and a good time.” Recently performing with blues legend Buddy Guy, he is equally enthused. “Yeah it was awesome, that Hendrix Experience tour. That was killer,” says Wylde. Whilst the late guitar master Randy
Rhoads is clearly a massive influence on Zakk, especially with his world conquering tenure in the much celebrated Ozzy Osbourne band, the latest solo album has unmistakable references to the late, great Jimi Hendrix. “Some of the chord voicings are definitely classic Hendrix such as on [Book of Shadows II] songs Lost Prayer and Lay Me Down. Some hammer-ons and pull-offs around those chords are certainly a Jimi trademark.” The track, Autumn Changes, is also reminiscent of Eric Clapton in Zakk’s vocal delivery. “If Eric was just a frontman, he’d be amazing and up there with the great blues singers,” responds Wylde.
“For the bluesy, raspy voices you’ve got Father Eric, Gregg Allman, Michael McDonald and Bob Seger. There’s some Rolling Stones in there but with the clean tone solos on the record, it has a Clapton feel. It also reminds me of Dickey Betts. The Cream stuff is also great but Eric is a triple threat with singing, guitar playing and song writing.” Zakk is well versed in performing mellower tunes in tandem with heavier material in a live environment. The solo album contains a large amount of electric guitar and drums interspersed with the Hammond B3 organ and other smoother sounds to add dynamics. “We’ve done the mellower stuff live a bunch of times already,” confirms Wylde. “We’re just blessed and fortunate that we can do both so that we can go out and do the mellow stuff when we want. As much as I love listening to Black Sabbath doing Into The Void and Led Zeppelin doing Black Dog, I also love it when they do, Changes and Going to California [respectively]. So, this album is a reflection of what we listen to and I love Van Morrison, Stones doing Wild Horses, Bob Seger, Percy Sledge and Sam Cooke.” Zakk’s songwriting process usually involves presenting the written songs to his drummer to discuss the various changes and song parts. “Next thing, we’ll go into the studio, record it and that’s one song done, onto the next song and we’ll just keep tracking like that,” reveals Wylde. “Jeff [Fabb – drummer] had his drum tracks done in three days with recording around eight songs a day. We tracked about forty ideas or songs. After that there is a scratch bass track then I’ll put down the vocals and guitars. Or, JD [John DeServio – bass] will put real bass down, then I’ll do the vocals. From there I’ll write solos once I have a real feel for the song and how it sounds after the chorus kicks in for the solo spot. So, I definitely compose the solos and then you’ve got to play it the same way live. Saint Rhoads was the master of that. Aside from technique and tone, we still talk about him and Hendrix because of their writing.” The Hammond B3 which adds a definite embellishment flavour to the album, wasn’t used during writing for the album, it is simply an instrument that Zakk enjoys playing and it suited a lot of the songs. “I just love the sound of it,” explains Wylde. “With some the artists we’ve been talking about and with say Bad Company, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Van Morrison, The Band or the Allman Brothers, the Hammond B3 is so indicative of that sound and that style of music. It is like adding tabasco sauce to a soup making it taste the way
you want it.” “Most albums we’ve done were knocked out in one shot. We track it, do it, sing on it, mix it, tweak it and then it is done. This one, whilst we tracked everything, it was between tours so when I came back, I’d put more guitars down, sing on it or write more lyrics. That was weird because we’ve never really recorded like that. But, it doesn’t matter how, as long as it gets done. You’ve just got to get it finished.” There are bonus piano versions of certain tracks on the CD release, despite all the songs being written on guitar. “I ended up transposing songs onto piano,” comments Wylde. “I’ve done that on The Song Remains Not the Same with a piano version of Sabbath’s, Junior’s Eyes. I just took a super heavy song and made a piano version of it because I enjoy it because you can make the song really moody or whatever. I just love those versions of me just sitting at piano doing certain songs.” Huge bands are still around today in the guise of say Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, AC/DC and Metallica. However, their longevity is sadly finite. Carrying the torch onto new successors of definitive influences may seem unlikely but Zakk doesn’t entertain such naysaying. “When Led Zeppelin was gone, everyone thought that but then along came Van Halen and Guns N’ Roses,” replies Wylde with assurance. “For that genre, Guns N’ Roses was everyone’s Led Zeppelin when it happened. After the Sex Pistols and The Clash, you eventually had Nirvana and Green Day. When Barbara Streisand retires then you have Celine Dion and Adele. After Jimi Hendrix died everyone said ‘no one will ever be that good at guitar’. Then seven years later Eddie Van Halen appears. Eddie didn’t knock on the door or kick it down, he just blew it right off the hinges. There will always be hungry kids that will be inspired and creative to fill that void. “Avenged Sevenfold doing arenas make them the Metallica of the younger kids. People can say what they want but Justin Bieber does stadiums on consecutive nights. He can sing, dance, play drums, play guitar and writes his own songs so everyone can go and f*ck off. It is just in a different form. When Madonna retires you then have Lady Gaga and she is her own person for that style of music. You will always have inspired people with drive that want to succeed. So, I think we’ve got nothing to worry about.” Book of Shadows II is out now via Spinefarm/ Caroline Australia. H
Words: Joshua Bulleid Photo: Matt Allan
Words: David Griffiths
Melbourne heavy metallers Elm Street have set their sights on world domination with a broader and more-personal second album.
hey may have grown to become one of the most exciting and renowned acts on the front lines of Melbourne’s hefty heavy metal scene, but Elm Street is a band literally built from the ground up. There’s doubtless, plenty of bands who share a similar origin, a bunch of high school friends, going to concerts together and hanging out watching Metallica and Iron Maiden videos, but few probably decided to form a band before any of them knew how to play an instrument. “We found out our lead guitarist, Aaron’s dad was a guitar teacher, so I went to him and started learning guitar,” explains frontman Ben Bartres. “Aaron started learning guitar as well and in the end we just found our instruments and tried to see where we could take it from there.” Elm Street’s efforts culminated in the release of Barbed Wire Metal in 2011, an instant classic that stands as one of the best heavy albums Australia has ever produced in my opinion. “The reception was better than we had hoped,” says Bartres. “But, at the same time, we expected it because we had put so much hard work into it, not just into the music and the recording process, but into the marketing side, and into the artwork, everything was presented to what we thought was world-class quality.” Now, in 2016, with the impending release of their second full-length outing, the declarativelytitled, Knock ‘em Out… With A Metal Fist. Both Elm Street and Australian heavy metal are about to embark on a bold new chapter. “When you saw [Barbed Wire Metal’s] Ed Repka artwork you straight away though, ‘ok, this is a thrash album,’ so we had pocketed ourselves in that genre,” says 46
Bartres. “Obviously we derive from bands we like in the thrash scene; like Megadeth, or even some of the newer bands like Warbringer; but we like a broad spectrum of heavy metal.” “We’re not called Elm Street because we were massive horror fans,” Bartres clarifies, “we’re called Elm Street because we really like the theme song from [A Nightmare On Elm Street] Three: Dokken’s Dream Warriors.” “We’ve always been big fans of metal, and we’ve always liked all those big cheesy band’s, we’re into Manowar; we’re into Iron Maiden; we’re into the old school bands who are proud to show their heavy metal colours, and we’ve always had that theme, not just in the band but in our personal lives as well.” Suitably, along with its shift toward a more traditional heavy metal sound, Knock ‘em Out… promises to be a more-personal affair than its predecessor. “We’ve spent years travelling the world, changing jobs and things in our personal lives,” Bartres explains. “We’ve grown, so we thought it was time to sing and write music that’s reflective of our personal journey.” The more intimate approach on Knock ‘em Out hasn’t quelled Elm Street’s thirst for global domination. “We want to push it to the big stages in Europe,” Bartres unabashedly declares. “[There will also be] more of the same, more of playing our arses off, because that’s what we enjoy, “he clarifies, “but we really want to push the boundaries with this album. We want to take it to the next level and see what we can create there.” Knock ‘em Out… With A Metal Fist will be released worldwide on 25 June 2016 via Massacre Records. H
Actor Robert Englund needs no introduction to anybody that is a lover of the horror film genre. For many of us, Englund was the man behind one of the first characters that stayed with us after a trip to the cinema and appeared in our nightmares that night – the character of Freddie Kruger from the extremely popular Nightmare On Elm Street franchise.
hen I ring Englund to talk about his latest film, the brand new The Last Showing which will be available in Australia in September, he is preparing for a night out at the cinema with his wife. You don’t need to talk to Englund for very long to learn that this is not only a man who enjoys appearing in films, but a man who has seen so many films over the years that he is now a walking film encyclopedia. “We are so proud of The Last Showing,” says Englund with a laugh after I tell him that after just one viewing I am a huge fan of the film. “This is some of the best work that I have done in years. When I first read the script for this film I really couldn’t put it down. You know they teach you that when you read a script, you read it once so as an actor you get a sense of where you are in the timing, but I just couldn’t put this down and I was so eager to do it. I kind of felt like the Robin Williams role in One Hour Photo. ” So was it just the script that won Englund over to play the role of the villain in The Last Showing? He’s keen to explain there were other factors involved as well. “Actors do jobs for a variety of reasons. Sometimes obviously it’s the money, sometimes it’s the location, who doesn’t want to shoot a film in Paris or Hawaii? Sometimes it’s because you want to work with a certain director or actor. That was also the case here for me. I knew who Emily Berrington was from The White Queen and I knew who Finn Jones was from Game Of Thrones and they both do tremendous work in this movie. You know, without Finn’s performance this movie just wouldn’t work. In The Last Showing Englund plays Stuart, a talented film projectionist who becomes enraged after being sacked from working at his beloved cinema after years of service. As a result he decides to deliver some payback (and make his own horror film in the process) on some unsuspecting cinema goers attending the latest popcorn blockbuster. So what was it like to spend so much time filming in an actual cinema? “We actually filmed in this cinema just out of Manchester,” explains Englund. “It was strange because the movie Minions was a huge hit that summer. There was this huge ten-foot
Minion in the lobby that we had to move out of the way whenever we were shooting, so at the end of the night (they filmed at night) Finn and I would be walking around covered in blood with our shirts out and these little English schoolgirls would come walking in for the early morning screening of Minions with their Mums, their backpacks and lollipops. They’d rush over to pat the Minion and see us standing in all these pools of blood, so we really were violating the memories of these English schoolgirls. Wait until they see the movie and can’t bring themselves to eat popcorn again.” One of the things that angers the character of Stuart in the film is the fact that modern horror films seem to centre around the torture porn genre so what does a horror legend like Robert Englund think about the new wave of horror films? “To be really honest I love period horror and I think we are all getting a little tired of the future, I know I am, I prefer to travel back in time so I’m enjoying things like Penny Dreadful at the moment. It just mashes up all these horror characters in a kind of graphic novel style while taking place in Jack The Ripper’s London. But it has that period detachment which I love… it’s a little bit steam-punk. “I love it when horror isn’t afraid to go back in time and especially when they do that graphic novel style, it’s great to see the past reimagined with all the technologies we have today. I’m different to Stuart when it comes to theatres though. While it was sad to see some of the grand old theatres in the States chopped up and made multiplexes I’m not going to sit here and say that I don’t enjoy watching film on Netflix or on demand, and I sometimes enjoy being able to watch a film in a cinema where they bring you cocktails or cheesecake. There’s a time and place for event cinema but there is also a time and place to sit back in your bed with some takeout Chinese food and binge watch some new television shows or movies.” So there you are horror buffs when The Last Showing becomes available this September get under your doona, grab some beef and black bean with noodles and sit back and enjoy one of the best horror films of the year. H
THE GREEN COOTIES INFERNO Director: Jonathan Millott, Cary Murnion
Director: Eli Roth
Stars: Lorenza Izzo, Ariel Levy
Stars: Elijah Wood, Rainn Wilson, Alison Pill
Summary: A group of American student’s head to the Amazon to protest for a tribe about to be wiped out by loggers, and while they fear being arrested they should be worried about the tribe they are going to protect.
Summary: When a teacher starts a job at a new school he is expecting to maybe have trouble fitting in with the other teachers or perhaps having to deal with unruly kids, what he isn’t expecting is for the zombie apocalypse to break out.
Review: David Griffiths
Review: David Griffiths
ver wonder why Australia has the largest amount of illegal downloads of films and TV shows in the world? I’ll tell you why, it’s because they make us wait for months (sometimes over a year) for films that we hear people raving about overseas. Yes, Eli Roth’s The Green Inferno is finally available in Australia and if you like your horror to virtually be hardcore torture porn then you are going to want to check this one out. Actually, perhaps using the term torture porn to describe The Green Inferno is not quite right because while the film is hardcore gore (and contains torture scenes) it is a hell of a lot smarter than films like Saw and Hostel. Yes, the premise is pretty flimsy, American teenagers go to a country where they don’t understand the culture and find themselves in peril, but the fact that it is the masterful Eli Roth at the helm that makes this film so special. Grouped together with another Eli Roth film floating around at the moment Knock Knock (check out the review on the Heavy Mag website) The Green Inferno also helps announce young actress Lorenza Izzo as a modern day scream queen. Her acting during some of the more horrific scenes in this film makes you think that she could even shine in films of a more dramatic nature. Yes, believe all the hype that you have probably heard about The Green Inferno online. Roth has had fair share of knockers over the years but The Green Inferno clearly shows that when he is at the top of his game, he is right up there with Rob Zombie as one of the finest horror directors going around.
hen filmmakers decide to try and mix horror and comedy together they are always taking a big risk. There have been many films that have tried this mix over the years and many of those have failed. Either the comedy just isn’t funny or the horror is so lame that genre fans just groan and avoid it. This year we have already been blessed with the surprisingly good Scouts Guide To The Zombie Apocalypse (check out the review on the Heavy Mag website) and now we are blessed with another stunner, Cooties. Cooties is wrong on so many levels, but wrong in the sense that you are going to be laughing out loud in the same way that you did when you first watched Tucker & Dale Vs Evil, just be prepared for some serious scorn from anybody that just can’t fathom that violence against children (even if they are zombie children who are out to kill everybody in their way) can ever be portrayed in a funny way. Surprisingly directors Jonathan Millott and Cary Murnion are newcomers that had no feature film credits to their names before this film, because watching this film makes you feel like you are watching a film that has been put together by some comedy legends. The comedy styling of the film also allow the cast to have a heap of fun. I mean who wouldn’t enjoy playing a psychotic PE teacher who gets to legitimately hit kids who are attacking him, and this really does show the world that Elijah Wood does have a future outside of The Lord Of The Rings. Wood shows a flare for comedy in Cooties and shares some great comedic moments with his on-screen love interest, Alison Pill. Don’t let the inclusion of the word comedy scare you off from watching Cooties. This film works sensationally well and is one of the few films that can boast that it will impress fans of both the horror and comedy genres.
HELLIONS Director: Bruce McDonald
LANDMINE GOES CLICK
Stars: Chloe Rose, Robert Patrick
Director: Levan Bakhia
Summary: A young girl decides that she will stay home on Halloween after finding out that she is pregnant. What she doesn’t realise is that she is about to experience a night from hell as some visitors from…well, Hell… decide to come for her baby.
Stars: Sterling Knight, Spencer Locke, Dean Geyer
here was a time when horror directors and screenwriters used to try and push morals across onto their audience through the use of storylines in their films. Yes, while many parents have loathed letting their kids watch horror movies over the years, they probably don’t realize how many times directors have inserted little things like the kid that does drugs or has sex is the first to die when the slashing begins. In a lot of ways McDonald gives your serious horror fan everything they want in a film. At the core this is a teenage girl under threat in a creepy house on that night of night, Halloween. While McDonald does try to be a little creative in the style of the ‘creatures’ that are coming to attack Dora (Chloe Rose – The Lesser Blessed) his best friend here is suspense. Once it is established that things are serious enough to want to kill in order to get the unborn baby, (and yes that means killing Dora as well) the suspense level here is what fuels this film right up until the moment when the final credits roll. The good thing is that McDonald is smart enough to use the ‘creepy house’ surrounds to boost the suspense but never allowing the film to become a cliché at all. He’s also talented enough to know that he needs to make Dora likable and the script easily allows the audience to want to support this young girl who has simply just made a mistake in her life. Hellions is certainly no award-winner but if you’re looking for a simple horror flick to watch on your beer and pizza night then it is certainly well worth a look.
Review: David Griffiths
Summary: An American tourist is forced to watch as his girlfriend is being brutally assaulted after he finds himself trapped by standing on a landmine. But was it all an accident or is something more sinister at hand? ne of the great things about attending Melbourne’s Monster Fest horror film festival every year is that you walk away seeing some absolute gems that you might never get to see otherwise. One of those films this year was Landmine Goes Click, which now thankfully is being released on DVD. There is no beating around the bush, Landmine Goes Click is one of the finest horror films to surface this year, and while the subject matter might be a little too hardcore for some, this is a film that is going to be lapped up by hardcore horror films. Get your money ready because you are going to want to go out and buy this film the instant it hits the shelves. Director Levan Bakhia (247F) takes this film into some pretty dark places and gets the absolute best out of his cast, which sees young couple Chris (Sterling Knight – 17 Again) and Alicia (Spencer Locke – Resident Evil: Extinction) menaced by the psychopathic Ilya (Kote Tolordava – Taxi). Oh and Aussie Dean Geyer (Neighbours) shows that he has some pretty decent acting abilities here as well. So what makes Landmine Goes Click such a great film? To be honest it is how this film builds. When Chris and Alicia happen upon Ilya so early on the film you find yourself wondering just how long the landmine scene can keep going for, but strap yourself in because that really is just the beginning of a film that has so many twists and turns, that there is certainly no way you can ever predict what is going to happen next. Bakhia takes this film to levels that you just don’t see in mainstream cinemas and the result is a sensational horror thriller that is going to make you remember this film for a long time.
Review: David Griffiths
Words: Michelle O’Rance
anine Morcos has made a name for herself in publicity and promotions and has accomplished a lot in her career. From small time agency to Roadrunner Records and Soundwave, Janine is now Head of Publicity for Cooking Vinyl Australia. Commanding an extensive client list, she has worked on hundreds of successful campaigns and has had a lot of fun along the way. As someone who has always had a love for music it wasn’t until after high school that Janine realised that she had a knack for promotions when she was working with her friend’s bands in Sydney. “I was very proactive when I finished high school; booking and managing friend’s band’s, and I soon realised I enjoyed the promotional side of it and I was pretty good at it. But it wasn’t until I had my first ‘real’ job in the industry with a promoter and booking agency when I realised PR is what I wanted to do,” she explains. Janine began studying Music Business at JMC so that she could understand the industry as a whole. A year and a half into the course she was offered a role with a booking agency. Taking the role meant gaining valuable experience, so she completed her advanced diploma via correspondence. While this way worked for her, she advises that formal qualifications aren’t for everyone. “The course definitely helped me understand the business as a whole. I haven’t completed any study since and I don’t necessarily believe getting formal qualifications is for everyone, but I do believe
In this issue of Industry Insight, we dive into the world of Janine Morcos, a burgeoning PR legend in the Australian music scene. So, if you are looking to make a career in public relations, or you are a band wanting to know how to pick the right publicist, read on for some great tips and advice from a PR professional. marketing, business and PR courses do help,” Janine says. Picking up an internship is also a great way to get your foot in the door. “Internship programs are a great way of working out what it is you want to do. Be proactive and reach out to companies and people who inspire you, and where you will learn different areas that you find interesting. You can find internship programs advertised on music and arts based websites. Don’t afraid to be a go-getter and ask questions, it’s the only way you learn! Internships are also a great way to network, meet others who can give you advice on the areas of the business that you are interested in. Internships sometimes lead into future work, whether it is short or long term. Your hard work is always noticed.” Hard work and long hours are a big part of a publicist’s life. This is definitely not a nine to five job where you can switch off at the end of the day. This role demands the ability to handle several projects at once, and the dedication to make sure you are delivering the best for each and every client. “You need to be on call whether it be for interviews taking place between artist and media, to liaising with clients overseas due to time differences, to going out to industry events and shows. It is nonstop,” advises Janine. So what does a typical week hold in the life of a publicist? “A typical week consists of writing press releases
for tour announcements, single or album releases, album streams, a video premiere or a project announcement. There is administration and reporting that needs to be done and liaising with artists and media for interviews and radio play,” Janine explains. “I also project plan where I map out timelines for each project I work on. I sit down and map out the plan of attack and what my goal is for that project, before I start pitching and locking in my coverage with media. From these plans I can report on the coverage and feedback that each artist receives.” It’s busy and consistent but it’s also fun and Janine stresses the importance of passion in her role. “Be passionate about the clients you work with; no one gives a 110% performance with a project they’re not passionate about.” She also has plenty of advice for bands looking for a PR representative. Whether it be a new band or a band that has more of an established name as Janine points out, you should do your research before picking a publicist, but you also need to make sure that you are staying active and relevant or the momentum you gain from one successful campaign will be wasted. “Definitely do your research. There are so many amazing publicists and everyone has their own strengths. You want to work with a publicist who will understand your band and who is going to be excited to be working with your band. See who their clients are and who they’ve worked with. That will give you a great understanding before you approach them. Your band needs to be ready with a realistic plan and have a team around them. Questions to ask yourself; do you have an agent or a manager? Do you have recorded material and have you set your band up with all social media? You can’t expect to rely on your publicist, you need to be active. “I think it’s really important for every band to know who they want to be and have a point of difference. You want to make a statement and show you are different from other bands. Bands shouldn’t be afraid to be creative and approach their campaigns with a left of centre approach. Create interesting and entertaining viral, have others talk about it. It sets you apart from the rest,” Janine also adds. As for picking the bands, a publicist looks for the following aspects when deciding whether or not to take on a campaign. “There’s a lot of factors to consider when taking on a new client. A few factors include the client’s
history, how well they are established - what the history is like for the established artist or if they’re a developing artist - how much work is required? Do they have realistic expectations or do they require expectations to be managed? We also make sure that we have time to do the project and not take on too many projects at the one time. Lastly, is there progression and can we see future growth.”
“I think it’s really important for every band to know who they want to be and have a point of difference. You want to make a statement and show you are different from other bands. Bands shouldn’t be afraid to be creative and approach their campaigns with a left of centre approach.” The last one is the most important because as Janine pointed out previously, you need to be active for your career to keep gaining momentum and growing. In this ever-changing media landscape that advice is sound for both bands and their publicists. There are always going to be challenges in any industry but for PR, Janine feels that technology is the biggest challenge for everyone. “We see the change of print media and the shift of publications moving to digital platforms. Social media and mobile technology has changed how we market and promote releases in the last few years alongside the growth of how music is consumed. I think the greatest challenge in the future is keeping up and evolving with the change of the media landscape.” Janine adds some final words of advice for anyone looking to make a career in publicity. “Find yourself a mentor and learn from them. Your mentor can guide you, give you advice and motivate you.” “And most importantly, enjoy it and have fun!” H 51
Words: Cameron Cooper Photo: Courtesy of Nuclear Blast Records
Name: Ministry Formed In: Chicago, U.S.A 1981 Notable Members: Al Jourgensen – vocals, guitars, keyboards, programming Stephen George – drums Paul Barker – bass, keyboards, vocals, programming Mike Scaccia – guitars, programming Louis Svitek – guitars Tommy Victor – guitars, bass Sin Quirin – guitars Recommended: The Land of Rape & Honey (1988), Sire Records
Industrial metal pioneer Al Jourgensen and his project Ministry represent many different things to many different people. With a career spanning over 30 years, a ton of releases, side-projects and more alumni than a football team, it can be difficult for newcomers to know exactly where to start. While you’d probably need a book to capture the convoluted history of the band that brought electric guitars to industrial, HEAVY are going to give it a crack by going back to where it all began: with a new wave band in Chicago…
s the decade of excess that was the ‘80s dawned on the world, the musical landscape of the U.S and many other nations turned to synthesisers: no longer just expensive toys for studios and weird German musicians, they were now slowly but surely entering the mainstream. It is within this climate that young Chicago-native Al Jourgensen would pomp-up his hair, sling a guitar over his 52
shoulder and embark on his own The Cure-inspired journey via synthpop/new wave project Ministry. Although the band revolved around Jourgensen, he did find a stable drummer in Stephen George and together with a number of other musicians dropped singles, in the form of 1981’s Cold Life and I’m Falling. The sound, far and away from the dirty, aggressive and metallic vibe the band would later became
known for, caught the ear of major label Arista. Soon after, the band would issue their first record, 1983’s With Sympathy. Chock-full of new wave influences including saxophones and jangly guitars, the album would soon be disregarded by Jourgensen. Although interviews from the time of release show him being pretty chuffed with the record, he would later reveal that he felt pressured by the label to create something far more poppy and mainstream than what he had initially set-out to do. “They sign you because you are unique: you have a following, you’re aggressive, you’re whatever,” Jourgensen would explain in the early ‘90s. “And what happens is they sign you for this following and for your uniqueness and then they try to mould you into everything else so it is easier for them to market and easier for them to make their profit. So what originally attracted you to them is immediately discarded, and they try to homogenise you and in my case, during the first record, they succeeded quite thoroughly.” After With Sympathy, Jourgensen took a few years to plan his next move. 1986’s Twitch saw Jourgensen part ways with George and the major labels. The record, which Jourgensen claims to contain songs from before With Sympathy, encapsulates the guitar-less, digital sample-riddled industrial sound of the time. Darker, more underground and definitely heavier than the band’s previous work, the record allowed the band to regain much of the street cred lost during their tryst with the charts. However, Ministry’s transformation would not be complete until 1988 when the band, now comprised of both Jourgensen and the far more reserved and ponderous Paul Barker, released arguably the first industrial metal album, The Land of Rape and Honey. Clocking in at 46-minutes, the album was a grinding slab of pure Industro-Satan, with samples and programmed beats interplaying with heavyas-hell guitars and aggressive, tortured vocals. The album bears the first instance of Ministry’s classic sound, and would come to define the band into the early ‘00s. The record was a statement, but not even Jourgensen and Barker could have predicted exactly how their message would come back to plague them. 1989’s The Mind Is A Terrible Thing To Taste would further the band’s standing, but it was Psalm 69 that blasted the band into the mainstream like never before with the southern-fried, hellbilly number Jesus Built My Hotrod, it’s music video freaking-out stoned teenagers around the world to this day. The band’s sound shifted further into the realm of heavy metal, thanks in no small part to the inclusion of Rigor Mortis axe-slinger Mike Scaccia to the fold. The band were on top of the world: Jourgensen’s enigmatic persona and image became synonymous
with underground metal, and the band’s live show, an aspect both Jourgensen and Barker seemed to hate, was a force to be reckoned with. They were the band parents feared their children seeing. They were the rock ‘n’ roll boogie men hiding under the scumsoaked bed. But when you’re playing on 10, there’s only one way to go: off. In 1996, the band embarked on the SphincTour in support of Filth Pig. The tour was captured by film-maker Douglas Freel (eventually released as part of Fix: The Ministry Movie), and chronicles the band’s downfall. Killer performances give way to depressing debauchery, and eventually a realisation that Jourgensen may have travelled too far down the rabbit hole. Although the sincerity of his actions have been questioned, there’s not a lot more un-nerving than seeing a man discuss how “they” are trying to hold him back, checking in and out of hotels twice a day to avoid detection, all the while attempting to rationalise his increasing drug dependency. If the film is a bit too much for you, however, 1999’s Dark Side Of The Spoon, gets the point across. “There’s a spot where Ministry could do no wrong, they were on a roll but that volatile stuff backstage… the insanity and the chaos, and the chemicals and the drinking ended up taking it out at the knees. You woke up one day and it was gone,” Tool’s Maynard James Keenan stated in Fix. “Because Ministry weren’t there to take up space, it kind of left a void and it just got filled up with stuff like Limp Bizkit and crap like that.” Although severely crippled, Ministry weren’t dead: Jourgensen sought help for his drug dependency, and the band focused on 2003’s Antimositisomina. While not a bad album by any stretch, the record seemed to miss the mark in terms of both metal and industrial influences. Barker bowed out of the project soon after for personal reasons, with Scaccia becoming Jourgensen’s right hand man. With the release of Houses of the Molé in 2004, the band underwent their transformation into a thrash metal influenced, anti-Bush band.
“Because Ministry weren’t there to take up space, it kind of left a void and it just got filled up with stuff like Limp Bizkit and crap like that.” 53
Photo: Sofie Marsden
HOW TO OBTAIN SPONSORSHIPS & ENDORSEMENTS FOR YOUR MUSIC BUSINESS. Music is a tough industry where many business entities often struggle to successfully develop steady and reliable income streams. Particularly in the early days of their business.
Whatever your bag, anyone who listens to Ministry takes something different away from it. It might be terror, aggression, happiness or confusion Molé marked the band’s, for now, final evolution. Rio Grande Blood would follow in 2006. Jourgensen recorded The Last Sucker in 2007 with Tommy Victor and Sinhue Quirin on guitar. Following the 2008 tour, Jourgensen attempted to draw a curtain on the band’s history to coincide with the end of the Bush administration. Of course, like most retirements for the chronically creative, it was short lived. Lured back into the studio by Scaccia, Jourgensen put together another line-up and recorded 2011’s Relapse. Working with Scaccia again reinvigorated the (now clean) electro-pirate, and it looked like the band was on the up. Recording sessions for From Beer To Eternity would follow in 2012 with Scaccia, Quirin, Tony Campos on bass and Aaron Rossi on drums. On top of the world from the sessions, Scaccia left the studio to tour with Rigor Mortis. Tragically, he suffered a heart attack on stage three days later, passing away. What followed was a difficult three months of Jourgensen and producer Sammy D’Ambruoso finishing the album, which would see the light of day in 2013. Although Jourgensen, understandably, noted that he would no longer be performing live with Ministry and instead focus on a career in literature, this hiatus was again short-lived. Ministry continue to tour 54
today with Quirin at Jourgensen’s right hand, the most recent line-up featuring Rossi on drums, John Bechdel on keyboards, Cesar Soto on guitar and as of 2016, Mandi Martyr on bass. That said, Jourgensen has stressed it is unlikely for the band to enter the studio again, with his focus now on his most recent side-project Surgical Meth Machine. It’s hard to capture the madness of Ministry and the cyberpunk-pirate at its helm. Within the scope of one article, it’d be impossible to delve into all the madness of side-projects like Revolting Cocks and Lard. The number of tunes, tours and talents that the band has enjoyed could fill a book. To some, Ministry will always be a new wave band that went “weird” in the late ‘80s. To others, they were the wacky innovators behind industrial metal; to the younger generation, they’re generally thought of as “that crazy pirate’s band who sing about Bush”. Whatever your bag, anyone who listens to Ministry takes something different away from it. It might be terror, aggression, happiness or confusion – either way, whether they last another twenty years or fizzle out tomorrow, Jourgensen and his death-rollin’ horrorshow is the kind of band the world of heavy music will never forget.
In an era of plummeting record sales, minute streaming royalties, and rising operating costs, I am an avid enthusiast about approaching companies and proposing partnerships with them to create mutually beneficial sponsorship and endorsement deals. So how does one go about obtaining a sponsorship or deal? The first step towards receiving anything is to actually ask for it. There’s a real power in simply putting yourself out there and just asking for things. People are sometimes afraid of rejection, but what’s the worst thing that could happen? They might say no. Before beginning the quest of asking any company or organisation if they’d be interested in sponsoring or endorsing your business, the key question to ask yourself is “What’s in it for the sponsor?” Ask yourself why would they want to sponsor you and what can you and your business offer them? You really need to emphasise to the potential sponsor exactly what value you could potentially bring to the table. Ensure you always highlight the benefits to the sponsors of associating themselves with your brand and business. Which sponsors should you target? Which organisation is the recipient of your proposal? Does it fit their company strategy? Who are the company’s core customers? These are all core questions you should ask yourself before approaching any potential backer. Think outside the square when approaching potential sponsors. You don’t have to limit yourself to approaching the obvious equipment makers, stick, skin, and string manufactures. Your future sponsor partners might also include clothing manufacturers, energy drinks, alcohol companies, media outlets or even the local pizza store. Consider the company’s size relative to your business and ensure that they compliment each other. Ensure you can
make a clear connection that your business, brand, target audience, fans and customers all correlate to those of the company with whom you are seeking sponsorship. Write a brief proposal! It’s always important to write a brief proposal to send to the potential sponsor accompanied by a brief cover letter. Make your proposal look as professional as possible. Use lots of colour and images that accurately reflect your brand and business. Remember that a picture tells a thousand words, and that the person receiving your proposal has probably already received twenty requests for sponsorship that week. If you do decide to send a physical copy, make sure you get it professionally bound and covered. It’s really important that you do your best to research the appropriate person’s name to send your request to. Never just send it, ‘to whom it may concern.’ The next important stage of the proposal is to quickly highlight the benefits that you will bring to the sponsorship deal. Really make this stand out to the reader. This should obviously include the obligatory branding and use of the company’s logos and images in your marketing materials, website, social media posts and so on, but could also include: • Product placement in official photos and music videos. • Highlighting ways in which your potential sponsor’s sales might be increased by association with your products and services. • Social media posts discussing the sponsors products or services. • Shout outs from stage about the product. • Any community service benefits that may be associated with your business? • Potential naming rights sponsorships of events and so on. • Be creative here and know the more value you can provide the more appealing your offer should be.
The Offer In the final part of the proposal you should discuss what you actually want. Sometimes if you’re not sure what to ask for ask the recipient if they are interested in the deal and what they would be prepared to give in terms of support. Let them make the first offer. Remember to explain to the potential sponsor that your requests are merely suggestions and that you are completely open to negotiate. At the end of the day you really are after a win-win situation where both parties are happy and feel as if they are receiving good value from the deal. You should be striving for lasting business relationships rather than one off type deals. Always get your agreements in writing before you actually undertake any of the proposed options. At a minimum have everything spelt out in an email. If the deal is something that you don’t completely understand or that is something that could potentially have lasting effects on your business always get a music business lawyer to look over the agreement. These suggestions are merely the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the ‘courting process.’ Remember that these companies are in it to do business, not to just give money or product away. They want to see a return on investment so make your offer to them as irresistible as possible. On Tuesday May 24th at 7:30pm I’ll be hosting a free live web training session on “How To Create The Perfect Sponsorship Proposal”. If you’d like to join me and learn how to create a proposal that will blow potential sponsors away then register for free at www.musicbusinessfacts.net/ sponsorship Feel free to contact me anytime at Rodney@musicbusinessfacts.com
Rodney Holder has been a drummer, writer, promoter and manager in music for over 20 years so when he talks, you listen. He's best known as that guy from Alchemist, that guy from Metal For the Brain and that guy who runs musicbusinessfacts.com.
Words: Nathan Eden Photo: Courtesy of Nuclear Blast Records
HEAVY HITTERS FEAR FACTORY DEMANUFACTURE
ear Factory’s second full-length, Demanufacture, saw defining changes for the band when compared with their 1992 debut release, Soul Of A New Machine. While its predecessor slotted in comfortably among the death and grindcore CDs at Brashs, Demanufacture shed the jagged edges in favour of a crispness that made it something entirely new. Many would cite Burton C Bell’s vocals on the debut as the first time the light and shade of growls and clean
Writing, recording and releasing a legitimate game-changer, which receives a humungous amount of praise and comes to reinvent a genre, might sound like the dream of any young band but surely it has its negatives too. How do you ever top a release like that?
singing was put to record, but it was Demanufacture which saw a wider audience begin to listen. The death growls were also replaced with a harsh, Max Cavaleralike shout. Then there’s the music itself, which shifted to a much greater reliance on groove. Production and song writing were both given clarity. Triggered machine gun drums and staccato riffs to match, forced listeners to pay attention, as Burton painted his picture above, of how one day we’ll all be slaves under the command of robots. But
doesn’t that description fit pretty much every Fear Factory album? I should probably point out that this was 1995; about four years before we saw Keanu Reeves in a long black coat and a pair of sunglasses. There were a few industrial metal bands we had heard and liked and sure, the idea of a concept album was nothing new, but this was the first time for many that it actually felt like a story they could get in to, a story with crunching riffs that made you go from six to midnight before you could say “Dino looks like Ron Jeremy’s Hispanic cousin,” those drums that had everyone convinced Ray Herrera was actually a machine, and the strange dystopia described by Burton’s shout-scream-andhook voice. Yes, the album was extremely well-executed in terms of song writing, the planned precision of the drum triggering which was as much a selling-point for the album as Dino’s rhythm-only guitar mechanics, but perhaps it was the vocals which pushed listeners over the edge. Burton’s clean vocals weren’t exactly Dio-worthy, but the industrial flow of the album lends itself to a digital enhancement that fits in with the underlying soundscape perfectly. Besides, nobody cared too much at the time as it was something which hadn’t been previously heard. I remember a good mate always referring to the clean vocals as, “Burton’s Pet Shop Boys bits.” Personally, the album had such an influence on my friends and I that we managed to convince a mate’s mum to drive us five hours to see them play in 1996. Alas, they didn’t front and there was no explanation. Some kids got angry, other kids got nervous. One dude smashed a beer carton on the ground in frustration and the next thing you know, cops on horses, channel 7 choppers; a lovely day out really. Speaking to Burton last year, it turns out the whole thing was his fault. He told me that he and his band mates were watching TV from his hotel bed as Roger Climpson told the nation about a riot at the UNSW Roundhouse and “American heavy metal band, The Fear Factory.” Issues with his vocal chords meant that my mate would have been deprived of his favourite Pet Shop Boys bits, so they decided to cancel. It’s just that nobody told the fans. For the record, Burton laughed off suggestions that he should cover fuel costs my mate’s mum has been trying to recoup for 20 years now. Interestingly, there are those who will tell you that Demanufacture stands the test of time and holds up just as well as it did upon release, while there are just as many who say that it sounds dated. A subjective
matter though it is, we’re all in universal agreement that the album was ahead of its time. I use that cliché simply because this album actually sounded like the future. Fear Factory’s 2015 release, Genexus is arguably the best the band has produced since the early days of that ‘classic’ Fear Factory line up of Dino Cazares, Burton C. Bell, Raymond Herrera, and Christian Olde Wolbers (who actually only contributed backing vocals and one or two writing inputs to Demanufacture). It is interesting that Burton said his current line up looked to the past for inspiration when putting Genexus together. The vocalist said that through “introspection” and “research,” they discovered that the missing link between capturing what was great about Demanufacture and more recent albums could be put down to a “lack of groove.” This proves that even the band themselves look to Demanfacture as the defining moment, as do many other bands since. Songs like the title track, Replica, H-K (Hunter-Killer), Pisschrist and others, cemented the band’s legacy just two albums in. The album was a timely piece that meshed the sound of the future with a great tale to suit, along with heaviness aplenty dosed with just the right amount of melodic hook. As with all game-changers, there have been many albums since that have attempted to find the same vibe, but as with all things great, it’s almost impossible to find a legitimate replica. H
TOUR DATES 24 July – Kings Arms, Auckland NZ 26 July – The Gov, Adelaide 28 July – Max Watts, Brisbane 29 July – Manning Bar, Sydney 30 July – Max Watts, Melbourne 31 July – Capitol, Perth
Words: Kris Peters Photo: Courtesy of Nuclear Blast Records
“Oh man, I wanted to preserve the legacy as much as I could,” explained Drowning Pool vocalist Jasen Moreno, searching for words to describe the enormity of fronting the band.
t really was nothing to do with what I wanted to do, it was more about what I didn’t want to do. I didn’t want to come across as disrespectful. I didn’t want to come across as me just trying to do my thing with Drowning Pool. I really wanted people to feel at ease with this change because, you know, the band has been through some singers now and the fans are loyal but it’s always a lot to ask of them when you make a drastic change like that. That was a pressure I really felt, just to reassure everyone that Drowning Pool is still Drowning Pool and it’s gonna continue to be Drowning Pool. Don’t hit the panic button just yet. Don’t give up on us.” Since releasing debut album Sinner in 2001, Drowning Pool have had a steady stream of vocalists. The first being forced upon them after the passing of original singer Dave Williams from heart disease, with the bands remaining members trying unsuccessfully until now to find the perfect replacement. After debuting on 2013’s Resilience, Jasen has not only proved himself competent in the eyes of 58
his band mates, but, equally as importantly, has been accepted by the loyal legion of fans. Not that this was always the case, with the initial reaction being far from positive. “There was loads of it, man. Loads of it,” he offered of the negativity. “There are haters but you have to take that with a grain of salt. As far as the true fans that still come to shows – because I’ve had many people come up to me – and they will be frank and very blunt and say things like ‘when you first joined the band I didn’t know what to expect but I figured I’d come anyway and give it a chance’ and that’s really all you can ask of a true fan, just give it a chance. If you don’t like it, fair enough. I’ve had people come up to me and say you sold me man, you’ve made me a believer again and I’m glad I made the choice to come out. That’s all I’m trying to do.” Despite putting on a brave public face, Jasen admits that the criticism did affect him on a personal level. “Yeah of course,” he said, “I’m human, man. Being as green as I was I guess I was a bit naïve about the whole thing. I guess I had stars in my
eyes and it really hit me hard being attacked like that. People say hateful things. Of course it affected me.” With the release of their latest album Hellelujah, which is also his second as vocalist, Jasen says Drowning Pool are finally starting to feel settled, which can only mean good things for fans of their music. “Overall I’d like to say it’s been a positive experience,” he enthused of the album. “I know for a fact that we’ve been trying to make this record for a couple of years now and we’ve finally been afforded the complete freedom to make the exact record we want and now that it’s out I believe the fans have been waiting for this record as well.” When pressed upon what he means by freedom, Jasen becomes excited. “I mean that we won,” he offered. “The label didn’t ask to hear a single piece of music, they truly didn’t, it was accepted kind of like just off our name alone I guess. They didn’t ask to hear anything, which was kind of unprecedented. Who does that? The only experience I have had was with Resilience and we had to submit demos and they wanted to hear a lot of it and they wanted their single and they were very involved and I expected this label to be the same way and they weren’t which allowed us to make the exact record we wanted to make. We stayed out of their way and they stayed out of ours which allowed us to make the best Drowning Pool record we possibly could with this line-up at this time.” With the focus being more on guitars and a heavier tinge this time around, the comparisons to Sinner will undoubtedly come, but Jasen says rather than try and distance themselves from this, the band actually embrace the notion. “This album is part of the natural evolution,” he
stressed, “of Drowning Pool in the current lineup. We’ve been trying to get back to that heavier sound ever since I joined the band. I think that it comes from the freedom we were given to make the kind of record we wanted. Perhaps doing the Sinner re-issue and touring that ignited some fire with C.J (guitarist) but it isn’t as if the band wrote all the music and I wrote all the lyrics either. We shared those duties and I think we were all on the same page which was a heavier record and I fully expect that to continue. I think the next Drowning Pool record will be heavy as well.” With a looming Australian tour on the horizon, Jasen says Drowning Pool are intent on proving to their fans over here that they are finally ready to move in to the future with a clear musical vision and have laid to rest the demons of the past. “You guys can expect a very fiery Drowning Pool show,” he stated emphatically. “No half measures, no dogging it, we’re going for it. You can expect songs off every Drowning Pool record.” Which leads me in to my final question and the one which every Drowning Pool fan wants answered. Is Jasen going to be performing songs by each of the past three singers? “I’m comfortable with all of them,” he reassured. “I know that Ryan’s style is difficult. It’s been the most challenging out of all of the back catalogue of songs. He’s got such an iconic voice and his range is a lot lower than mine. I’m much more comfortable singing Dave’s songs just because they’re closer to my natural range. I don’t dislike performing Ryan’s songs - I like all of the Drowning Pool songs, it’s just as a vocalist it’s more challenging for me but you’ll be getting Dave’s songs, you’ll be getting John’s songs, you’ll be getting Ryan’s songs and you’ll be getting new songs.” “You’re getting it all!” H 59
Drown This City
Drown This City - EP Launch Friday 17th June at The Workers Club in Melbourne.
Words: Rod Whitfield Photo: Andrew Basso
It’s very difficult to stand out in the heavy music crowd. And especially in the heavily crowded melodic metalcore/post-hardcore scene. However, new Melbourne post-hardcore band Drown This City is poised to stand up, wave a massive red flag above their heads and scream ‘look at me!’ They have at least two major points of difference that should distinguish them from the cookie-cutter pack, the most obvious one being the fact that they are female fronted, which is extremely rare in that scene. We spoke to frontwoman Alex Reade and bassist Michael Furolo recently, and Reade reflected on her role in the band and how her gender and, even more importantly, her unique approach to her craft gives them a less conventional sound. “Specifically in post-hardcore, with more modern bands like Crossfaith, Amity Affliction, Bring Me the Horizon and so on, there aren’t many females at all,” she declares, “that was definitely a challenge, because I felt a lot of pressure to live up to the men in this scene. And I worship a lot of the male vocalists, and when we were starting out recording, especially with clean vocals, a lot of listeners expect clean vocals with no vibrato. I think it’s easier for male vocalists to pull that off, especially in this scene. “So I was trying to tailor my sound to that sound, and thinking I need to sound like that. I listened back and thought ‘that doesn’t even sound like me at all. I just have to be who I am and hope that people like female vocalists! Because a lot of them don’t like it.” Reade states that she wants to be appreciated as a vocalist, not as a female vocalist. “I think of myself
as a vocalist, it shouldn’t matter if I’m female or not, people will like me for the sound that I make, not just because I’m female. I love being a girl and I love playing in a band and I like people’s reactions. I like not being expected, I like being the dark horse, I like surprising people.” The other factor that this band brings to the table is a very strong electronic sensibility that is also quite rare in this sub-genre. In fact, the band began its life as a techno project, but it quickly morphed into the blisteringly heavy act, with strong electronic touches, that we hear today. “Our original intention was to write soft electronic music,” Reade recalls, “and all of a sudden we said ‘this is our last chance, let’s just go as heavy as we possibly can’, and our project genuinely turned into a really heavy post-hardcore electronic outfit.” “We all had heavy influences,” Furolo adds, “that was always our influence, heavy music. So we wanted to do something different, incorporate electronic influences in.” “I wasn’t even originally planning on screaming. But the next thing you know, everything’s screaming, and we had to find parts for clean vocals in there!” Reade laughs, “I don’t think a lot of post-hardcore fans like synth, so we decided the very first song we put out, the first 20 seconds, synth, crazy synth. We thought this would shock everyone, and if they can make it through that, this is a good representation of our music.” The debut EP from Drown this City, False Idols is out on 3 June 2016. H
Comacozer Words: Cameron Cooper Photo: Courtesy of Comacozer
Between the Black Sabbath and Acid Bath worshippers making up the weird world of doom and stoner rock, there are the few whose cosmic rumblings defy expectations. Deep within Sydney’s dope-soaked halls is a disastrously heavy psychedelic power-trio. In ancient times they would have been called wizards, demons or heathens – but now? We may call them Comacozer. “In the beginning, we just improvised,” says drummer Andrew Panagopoulos on the group’s astral-walking beginnings. “We have never played any of the songs the same way twice.” The band’s free-form, jam-oriented sound has a precedent in heavy metal, but the inter-dimensional grooves they explore share a lot in common with The Grateful Dead: driven by Panagopoulos’ beats, bass player Richard Elliot and six-stringer Rick Burke trade evil melodies and effect-laden rumbles to craft blissfully dissonant melodies give way to spiritual and…er… substance-fuelled pondering. “We’ve been called Space Doom, Acid Psych and a bunch of other monikers,” Panagopoulos explains. “We have so many different influences, whether it’s middle eastern, spacey tunes, or soundtracks. The over-arching theme is that we want to take the listener on a journey.”
Although the band initially planned on bringing a singer into the mix, it soon became clear that they had a good thing going as a space-walking, instrumental trio. It has certainly worked in their favour, with the band catching the scene’s attention via their mind-bending live performances and 2014’s Sessions EP – a noisy, MC5-esque sketch of what was to come. The Comacozer sound was refined soon after with 2015’s Deloun under the guise of Frank Attard, who has also taken the helm for debut fulllength Astra Planetala, which hits the cosmos in June via Headspin Records. “[The] album has the same vibe as Deloun, but is definitely a step-up in taking the listener on a journey. When we were writing the tracks we always had the structure of the album in the back of our minds, not just the formula of the individual tracks,” explains Panagopoulos. “An audio mindf*ck of psychedelia! A bit of a toke or acid pop might help the whole experience as well if that’s what you desire.” With some interstate shows on the horizon and plenty of gigs in NSW, the only way is forward for the threeheaded beast they call Comacozer. Heavy, evil and nothing you’ve ever heard before – go see them before they blow-up. H
A Ghost Orchestra Words: Will Oakeshott Photo: Courtesy of A Ghost Orchestra
Maximum Sexy Pigeon
Words: Gareth Bryan Photo: Neck Ro
Maximum Sexy Pigeon are a special type of underground act, a predominantly studio project that has let its sound do the talking, from a slew of positive reviews from their debut EP Unfit For Human Consumption, to scoring the honorable position of contributing heavily to the soundtrack of a rather famous game. It’s a standard they only wish to raise for themselves with every move, so who the Hell are they? “We’re just a couple of antisocial dudes who hide in our house and make music when we’re capable of putting pic to string, we do everything between the two of us like a symbiotic unit.” explains Yok, one half of Maximum Sexy Pigeon alongside A.D, a man who has already made a name for himself with his Flood Of Rain project and the band Viral Millennium. “We started not long after meeting a TAFE where we were studying music and both wearing the same metal shirts. Not long after that we contributed an early song to a compilation benefitting victims of the 2011 Brisbane floods which got us noticed. From there we wrote and released Unfit For Human Consumption, which has had nothing but good reviews.” The band forged their own sound from ‘90’s MTV and Cyberpunk movie soundtracks, with a violent, down tuned guitar attack with dirty, grinding bass, programmed mechanical drums and crafty synth melodies and samples putting shimmer on the rusted hulk of each song. One could easily classify the band as industrial metal but covering a lot of ground within
the term. There are flourishes of influences from White Zombie, Fear Factory, Ministry and Strapping Young Lad for the mainstream music fans as well as Cop Shoot Cop Foetus and Skrew for the initiated. The ‘rather famous’ game they have contributed to music wise is none other than the latest installment and revival of the controversial Carmageddon series, an ultra-violent racing game of overpowered vehicles, buckets of blood and a huge dose of dark humor. “We were very lucky to be chosen to provide music for this game, we both grew up playing it and games like it, and to be providing the music to one now is just mindblowing. “ But with that done and waiting for release, what do we have to expect from the two-piece? “Well, around the time this is printed, we should have a single out for our song Cuntaminate, which we did a silly little film clip for, and while everyone is chewing on that we’ll be putting the finishing touches on our album Refinery, which has been in the works for some time now, but we can take our time being independent so, deadlines? BAH! Who needs them? Also, on top of that, we’ll be putting together a live show once we sort out the logistics of two guys being spread over 6-7 positions to bring the songs to life, perhaps we should hire another band to do it, outsource it, it’s the way of the future, right?” Maximum Sexy Pigeon’s single Cuntaminate is available now online. H
An incredible facet about music, regardless of genre, is how it unites people together on an infinite scale of proportionality. Whether it’s a small basement punk rock show unifying kindred spirits or a stadium benefit concert such as Live Aid which astonishingly raised over $245,000,000; there is an influence of togetherness that connects people through this moving art form. For Adelaide’s noisecore quartet A Ghost Orchestra, a recent supporting role to Adelaide metalcore role models I Killed The Prom Queen, brought about familiar memories with the iconic quintet for the most part as fans, not as the band they are today. As vocalist Adam Geisler explains: “We loved to finally hit the stage with IKTPQ, especially on such a special show being their ten-year anniversary of Music For The Recently Deceased. At the time that album came out I was so heavily into that style, and to know they were an Adelaide band made it that bit more special to me.” Adam continues: “Not only did they construct a way for Australian heavy music; they also put Adelaide on the map! If it wasn’t for bands like those I wouldn’t have met the people I hang out with these days. It really brought people together at shows of that calibre, which is such an amazing sentiment.” Idols and recollections aside, with the four-members of A Ghost Orchestra finally meeting through avenues previously mentioned and social circles, the band’s birth
quickly escalated to live shows and a well-received demo. The next phase brought about their Vile Hymns EP, an impossible intensification in their live performance and a string of very noteworthy supports including an invitation to play the final Soundwave festival. “On behalf of the lads I would have to say playing main stage at Soundwave was a huge milestone. Being able to open the stage for Slipknot and Marilyn Mason is a rare thing for any band to say. I had post-Soundwave depression for a while afterwards. Getting a taste of playing at a festival like that is very addictive. I must admit though, playing a small club show with bands like Every Time I Die, Cancer Bats and Norma Jean is just as satisfying.” The logical subsequent move for the four-piece is the adventure of recording their yet to be titled debut album. As Mr. Geisler informs this scribe, the challenging recording part of this journey has been completed, but what to expect from the 11 or 12 songs which will make the final cut is still a mystery for the outside world. “We recorded the album with Julian Renzo at Legion studios (Guitarist in Jack The Stripper). He is a good friend of ours and it was an absolute pleasure to record a full-length with him. As for mixing, Julian will take that in his hands and for the mastering we are still in debate about that. All I will say is its dark, intense and groovy as f*ck!” H
NOW HEAR THIS RANTS FROM THE DESK OF JASON PC Words: Jason Fuller
This article is geared more towards musicians starting out looking to do their first recordings. And while it may seem obvious, it is often ignored by musicians new to the studio environment. Do not go into the studio with an instrument that either cannot be tuned or that you are unwilling to tune. It sounds so simple … Tuning a drum kit, guitar or a bass is an essential part of the recording process, a simple thing, yet it is often overlooked. We all know that our instruments should be tuned, but younger or less experienced bands often neglect this part, preferring to get a sick amp tone. Here is a basic recording fact; No matter how good the amp, it will not make you sound good if you are out of tune. In fact, being out of tune makes your whole recording sound weak and shitty. Thinking about it, there certainly are records that I love where I don’t care about the tuning. Albums such as Sore Throat’s Unhindered By Talent, certainly didn’t benefit from what to them, was so minor an issue as tuning. In fact, I would go so far as to say that tuning would have
diminished the effect of what they were trying to convey. Sore Throat and like-minded bands aside, in almost every other instance, you owe it to everybody to have your shit in tune. There is something that happens when a drum is out of tune. You no longer have the chance of obtaining that perfect, big, expensive sound in the production. Generally, if you tune the drum well, what comes out of the microphone has a good chance of sounding fantastic with apparently little or no effort. Being in tune makes everything sound 100 per cent better. You might think you can EQ your way out of the problem at mix time, but every time an EQ is engaged to try to alleviate a problem you are just causing more problems. If you can’t tune up, hire someone to come to the session to be your tech. Drummers are barely employable at the best of times, so getting a good drummer to come down and help you out shouldn’t be that difficult. A good drummer or drum tech will take into account the room you are recording in and tune your drums to the best they can sound within that room. It really makes all the difference, and not only to the sound. It especially makes a difference when you’re recording on a budget. Guitarists, here’s some advice for you. Even if your guitar is in tune at the start of the first track, you owe it to yourself to check the tuning after every take. It takes just a few seconds to do; not doing it can destroy something that was otherwise perfect. Buy a tuner. I recommend the TC Electronic Polytune tuners. They are well priced and they work really, really well. Try to avoid the Boss TU-2 tuners because they have so much movement in the readout that it’s hard to tell if you are spot on. The TCs are solid. Get one, and don’t be scared to use the f*cking thing. Use it a lot. I promise no one
HEAVY MAG IS NOW AVAILABLE FOR FREE DOWNLOAD VIA ANDROID AND APPLE MAC USING THE ISSUU APP will complain that you are too in tune (unless you are in Sore Throat). Engineers and mixing guys want to stand behind our work. That work is your band’s recording, so we want it to sound great. Believe me, I know that in this day and age, bands do not have tons of excess cash. The buckets of money from the recording industry are long gone. The money you use for recording your band is generally coming out of your own pocket, so things need to be produced quicker than ever before. If your band plans on recording and mixing a demo or EP in a couple days or even a day (this has happened a bit recently), having a kit or guitars that are out of tune, that suffer from bad intonation or that are simply shit, really does no-one any favours. To the untrained ear it sounds as if the recording itself is bad. I know I tend to bang on about this, but the sound of a band being good can be captured with almost nothing. Listen to some early 1980’s demo tapes. They can be horrible twentieth generation tape dubs that were badly captured to begin with, but through it all you can still hear that the band is f*cking good. If the band is sloppy and you have tuning issues all over the place, even if you throw up $50,000 worth of expensive German mics, they will simply create a very accurate representation of a sloppy, out of tune band. In fact, the recording will sound cheap and shitty. Sometimes that is a good thing, but generally, it is what is it. Shit. But you can work the other way around. Be super tight, be in tune, and even if the recording is very basic; surprise, surprise – it will sound super f*cking great.
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The cover star this issue is Al Jourgensen and his new band Surgical Meth Machine. We also look back on his career with industrial Greats Mi...
Published on May 16, 2016
The cover star this issue is Al Jourgensen and his new band Surgical Meth Machine. We also look back on his career with industrial Greats Mi...