l a i c Spe
BLACK LABEL SOCIETY
e u s s I
Dope Luna Mortis Mindwarp chamber
assailant and many more....
exclusive interview with John Robb of Goldblade Also in this Issue Hiss of Atrocities Kult Ikon John 5 Toxic Bee Buzz Reviews etc
Welcome to INCLINATION WEBZINE, ISSUE 2. We hope you enjoy this one as much as the first. You’ll notice it’s more than twice as big and full of metal interviews! This is because we helped support the Chicago Powerfest this year. If you didn’t read those before the fest, maybe they’ll inspire you to come next year. I’m already counting down the days. Thank you to Dave Wallace for contributing, and if anyone is interested in writing for us, contact me. Thanks. Lissy MacMillan (Owner &Editor)
PG23 Kiuas (FIN) PG24 Mindwarp Chamber (IL) PG26 Assailant (SE) PG28 Dope (IL) PG33 Black Label Socirty (CA) PG37 Chicago Powerfest Review PG40 John Robb (UK) Punk PG46 Lissy’s Live Recommendations PG47 Kult Ikon (PA) Industrial
INDEX PG2 The Rising Hours (UK) Indie PG3 Eternal Fear (Sweden) Metal PG4 Toxic Bee Buzz (France) Rock PG6 HIGH by Brian O’Dea book review PG7 The Rylics (UK) Alt/Rock
PG49 10 Don’ts in Planning & Obtaining your tattoo PG51 John 5 (CA) Rock PG52 The Crossing (IL) Rock PG53 Predator (FL) Metal
We’re now on:
PG10 Hiss of Atrocities (US) Metal
Facebook and YouTube
PG15 SPECIAL CHICAGO POWERFEST ARTICLE. INTERVIEWS WITH THE BANDS.
Check out the links on our
Diamond Plate (IL)
PG17 Luna Mortis (WI) PG21 Sheephead (GER) NERVECAST RADIO was started in the London area of England by John Summers, because like the rest of us in this biz, he believed in supporting his local unsigned bands and music scene. Well, he was much more successful than he thought he would be and he is now supporting music worldwide with the help of bloggers, webzines, magazines, promoters, DJs, his local music venue, and other such talented people.
Nervecast has over 900,000 listeners a week! Not too shabby!! INCLINATION WEBZINE is very proud to be a part of the Nervecast family. Check them out all over the web: myspace.com/nervecastradioshow nervecastradio.com twitter.com/nervecast the list is growwing everyday....
INCLINATION WEBZINE 2009 ISSUE 2 PG1
pop. I.W: You have three great songs up on your myspace player. Do you have or are you going to record more songs and release and album? Barny: We are writing a lot of new material at the moment, but were gonna play a lot of gigs before we record again, we don’t want to release anything until its absolutely perfect and the best we can possibly be. We recorded those songs to help with gigs and for people to get a rough idea of how we sound. I.W: What’s your song “Hold me back” about? Barny: Hold Me Back’s about a 1 night stand. Its about going home with someone and not knowing where its gonna end up, not wanting to get to attached, its cold but honest.
Interview by Lissy MacMillan The Rylics are a newly formed band from York, England. Self described as Indie/Post Punk/Rock they may take some of their influences from Kings of Leon, Muse and good old Led Zep. If you’re in the UK, get yourself out to a show and I dare you not to move while they rock your socks off!
did you all meet?
I.W: You just formed in October of last year- would you like to start by introducing yourselves?
Barny: We all met at York University in the UK, I was playing acoustic gigs, under the name of Barny R www.myspace.com/ barnyrumbold and me and the drummer drew were just jamming in his room one day, and we had a few ideas for some songs so we called in Nick on lead guitar, and after going through a few bassists we met up with Tim and it all started to come together.
Barny: I am Barny the singer and rhythm guitarist from The Rising Hours.
I.W: How would you describe your band’s sound, who are your main musical influences?
Drew Shaw – Drums
Barny: Main musical influences vary a lot. I am into my indie Joy Division etc, Drew’s into his punk, bands like the Dead Kennedys and shit like that. Whereas Nicks into his metal and Tim’s into his brit
Nick Wright – Lead guitar Tim Pearson - Bass I.W: So how did it all start? How
I.W: What would make you say, “We’ve made it! We can quit our day jobs!”? Barny: A packed out venue with all the kids singing along. I.W: How big of a music scene is there in York and do you think you are at an advantage or a disadvantage being there as opposed to London or Manchester? Barny: There isn’t a music scene in York at all, you could pack out venues week in week out and no industry would ever know, whereas London or Manchester you could get spotted with only 12 people at the show. I.W: What’s your favourite venue you’ve played so far and what would be your dream venue?
Barny: Glastonbury main stage. INCLINATION WEBZINE 2009 continued ISSUE 2 PG2
EVIL DEEDS BY ETERNAL FEAR I don’t mean to cause offense to anyone by saying this, but I’ve always said the best metal comes from Europe. Here is another example that proves that theory; Eternal Fear are an unsigned metal band from Karlskoga, Sweden, and their current album is “Evil Deeds” available on CD and iTunes. This five-piece band is Ove Jonsson (vocals), Danie Henriksson (guitar), Mattias Thomasen (guitar), Mattias “Matte” Lovdahl (bass), and Stefan Almqvist (drums), and even though I don’t know if this is the original line-up, the band has been known as Eternal Fear since 1995, but you definitely hear a cohesion in their playing.
the rising hours continued I.W: Right now with Myspace and technology enabling pretty much anyone to make a CD or an MP3, what do you think a band needs to stand apart from everyone else? Barny: Your live performance, I saw Pete Doherty from Babyshambles walk on stage, and you just cant take your eyes of him, that kind of raw charisma, its amazing. I.W: If you could choose any musi-
CD REVIEW By Lissy MacMillan
You’ll hear clean vocals from Ove, who has a tremendous voice. The riffs are appropriately evil and there are some great unpretentious guitar solos that will make you appreciate the talent of the guitarist. The drums sound pretty technical too, without being over the top. It all blends together to sound like “Metal” when all metal was metal. Which is not surprising as their influences include Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath and Slayer. My personal favorite song from the album at the moment is “Hate”. So angry and straight to the point. Eternal Fear are getting airplay on Metal Messiah Radio and are also back in the studio recording their next album.
cian living or dead to collaborate with on a song who would that be and why? Barny: Jeff Buckley, his vocals, would make any song historic I.W: What are your plans for the rest of the year? Barny: We’re gigging round the country hopefully trying to get our name out there, about a month ago we potentially landed ourselves a really valuable manager. She has
to see us live to see if we can do it like we can on record, and then hopefully we can get our feet off the ground. I.W: Is there anything else you’d like to add? Barny: Thanks for helping us out! I.W: No problem, our pleasure. www.myspace.com/therisinghours
INCLINATION WEBZINE 2009 ISSUE 2 PG3
INCLINATION WEBZINE INTERVIEWS TOXIC BEE BUZZ also featured on
As much as I would love to, I don’t get the chance to listen to every single band that requests me on myspace. But I started getting these emails from “Toxic Bee Buzz” about their new songs and how I should listen to them. Finally I said to myself, “fine, I’ll go listen!! they’re very persistent, I’ll give them that!” So I went to their page, and was actually very impressed by what I heard. Seeit does sometimes pay to annoy us. Ummm.....sometimes....ok? Anyway, read the interview, check these guys out! You won’t be disappointed.
Interview By Lissy MacMillan ...
INclination Magazine: Well first off, I’d love to know who makes up toxic bee buzz, and what does each of you do in the band? Toxic Bee Buzz: In 1992 Fred and I were both without a band and we met each other by chance. We had the idea to create the most violent band ever. Our two albums “visceral” and “libido” were the result of our reflections at this time. Band members are: Fred Wiot/ bass and vocals, Eddy Crillon/ drums, Nico Magi/guitar and programming. I.M: Where are you from? The U.S, Ireland or France? Or maybe
I should ask where are you currently based? T.B.B: We are from France and currently based here. On our MySpace page all the people who have worked on the project are presented by their origins. I.M: I admit it’s very catchy, but where did you come up with the name “TOXIC BEE BUZZ”? T.B.B: It was just a funny and stupid reference to our noisy sound. It was a manner for describing exactly what we were: very angry and really... disturbed! Our songs were something like... the sting of beeeeeeeeeeeees.
I.M: Iain Burgess has produced your latest work, the very same man who engineered Chicago’s doom band Trouble’s album “Run to the Light”. How did that come about and how was it working with him? T.B.B: In 2000 we went to Blackbox studio (Iain’s studio located in Angers, France) to record our album “LIBIDO”. At this time we were just “clients” as we had never worked with Iain before. The recording session was magic. The sound was great and IAIN loves this record... since this time he calls me every year to know if we have new songs to record. What he loves more than ever is making the sound of the guitar, he is a magician; we can’t imagine working with anyone else. I.M: You’re not a doom band yourselves…lol. How would you describe your music? T.B.B: Definitely not a doom band....lol. At this moment our music is a kind of “positive power rock dancing music”!!!!!!! I.M: Tell us about the song “Sidewalks in Flowers”. T.B.B: “Sidewalks in Flowers” could be a homeless’s naive look on a sad reality. Everything
Toxic Bee Buzz Continued
I.M: Are you going to be looking for a label, or are you going the DIY route? T.B.B: Definitely we are looking for a label and especially a manager. I.M: What does supporting your local music scene look like to you, and is there a good network where you live? T.B.B: The local scene here is of very little importance to us. We are most interested in crossing frontiers. Our network is the worldwide Internet. Rock’n’roll was not born in France...
on Earth is going from bad to worse and the situation is going to become simply unbearable for the poorest. I.M: You said you’ve just taken an eight-year break. What was Toxic Bee Buzz doing back then and is this the same line-up? T.B.B: After “LIBIDO” we were exhausted and decided to take a break. Then we had a completely different musical project (in French). Iain produced the record but at the end we were not very proud of our work. So we worked to compose new songs. We had to find a new drummer to play on it. It took us nearly four years to create the new album “Odd Men Out”
I.M: Do you play live shows? T.B.B: We are now working to play live. We need to be on stage. It is the real way to feel our music... I.M: What are your plans for the near future? T.B.B: A video clip of “Odd Men Out” is nearly finished and will be released by Vitale Design. We are also now preparing a single to be released before the album. I.M: Thanks for talking with us. T.B.B: Thank you very much www.myspace.com/toxicbeebuzz
Jako: It came about five years ago at our first band practice; one of us accidentally said Rylics instead of lyrics, hence the similarity and it just kinda stuck around for a while and became the name. I should stress however that changes are on the horizon.... I.W: What has been your biggest inspiration?
The Rylics is an Alt/Rock band from Brighton in the UK. It’s members are: Jako Hooper (Guitar & Vocals), Rudi Oleary (Drums & Backing Vocals) and Tom Peterson (Bass & Backing Vocals) and they say they’re a live band. They have an EP and a live DVD out which you can buy from their Myspace page and people are already crying out for more. Check them out to find out why. www.myspace. com/therylics I.W: When I hear the name The Rylics, for some reason I refer the name to Lyrics, just a little out of order, where did this name come from?
Jako: Well, of course I can only speak for myself. For me personally I guess it was kind of an accident, stuff happens in life and people deal with it in different ways, I just happened to pick up the guitar, or initially writing poetry. Musically we all have so many different inspirations and that’s why I think we gel so well as a band, all three of us are from very different backgrounds and listen to all kinds of genres, being the main reason to our eclectic sound, especially with the new EP we are working on at the moment. So I’m not really sure we could pinpoint a specific event or musician that has been inspirational. Inspiration comes in so many different forms and from so many different people, most of which were probably completely unaware of anyway. Live performance is such a massive part of us and I guess if I was to think of specific things that sparked it INCLINATION WEBZINE 2009/ RYLICS PG1
The Rylics Cont...
all off it would be watching live bands play in front of huge crowds at festivals etc and I just got such a buzz from watching it, - and still do. I wanted to have that experience. Hopefully one day I might begin to play in front of some big audiences. I.W: What do you think has been the biggest or most important show you’ve done so far? Jako: I still believe were looking for our “big” show. I think Redfest in the summer will be a great event for us, we are headlining one of the tents there, its a quite intimate festival of about 5,000 people but will be such a great occasion for us. Being able to use all of our own equipment will be a real luxury as well. It’ll also be perfect to begin kicking off our new release and merch etc, all of which will be ready in time for the festival. It’s also been a big target of ours to get to play a festival, so were thoroughly looking forward to finally being able to say we have played at one.
Jako: Nobody. IW: What made you choose such a career?
I.W: Are there any must haves for a show? Jako: Ha. Apart from general band morale and energy etc I guessss.... Hot food. -Usually quick, sloppy, crappy food, which is cheap and easy. That’s always a specialty at Rylics HQ. So yeah, food. Positivity and all our musical crap, of which I have much. I.W: How do you think American audiences will receive you? Jako: Hmm...I’m not too sure to be honest. We have had some good feedback in the past from the Americans, and its somewhere we have specifically targeted in our promotion via our Myspace page as its certainly a target for us to one day reach there and play some shows in the US. Someone from America did start up a fan site I believe on Myspace so apparently some of them like it! I.W: Out of the bands present on the music scene today, who do you relate yourself to most?
Jako: The love and passion for music I guess. All that cheesy gumph. It wasn’t really a conscious decision to be honest, were still young lads and we started this band when we were just 10 and 12 years old and it just kind of snowballed and as we played more and more together and became closer friends it just made sense, nothing has ever occurred for us to call it a day, we enjoy it very much and were getting to the stage now when yeah, we might actually one day become lucky enough to do it for a living, which is the dream. I personally can’t see myself in any other line of work. I’m just not office material... I.W: What do you think you would be doing if you weren’t in this band? Jako: Well, given that me and the boys are still in education, probably be doing better in our grades, spending a lot less money on equipment and generally being a much more boring person. Lush. I.W: What subject do you think you write about most? Jako: Erm... I write about quite a lot of things. Some are about more personal events like, heartbreak, anxiety, paranoia, ...getting stuck on a train? Etc. Some are about other more.. global events. Some over the top dramatic topics are in there about
INCLINATION WEBZINE 2009/ RYLICS PG2
“end of the world cults” and people being ignorant to not question things around them more. Some stuff is so blatant and hideously wrong it makes you wonder why more people aren’t standing around thinking... “Hang on, what the fuck is this?” People are too scared to question things that are “out of their hands” because they don’t think they can change it. So I cover a bit of ground. I.W: What are your current aspirations for this band?
I.W: How do you think the UK music scene compares to that of the US music scene? Jako: To be honest, I don’t know enough of the American music scene to really answer that. It’s a big place with so much going on I’m not sure I can really say. I guess we will just have to get over there and find out for ourselves. I.W: Do you consider having only three members to your band an > advantage or disadvantage?
opinion) Obviously there are times when you think... ooo a bit of piano here, another guitar there etc etc. But these are things that we overcome and with the use of backing tracks, samples and a few effects lobbed in, we get around that. I enjoy that challenge of it, it makes it all that much more satisfying when everything fits together and there’s only three of you making the noise. I.W: What was the first song you learned to play?
Jako: To get heard, to play in front of some big audiences, to play some festivals and to tour. To just get out there, find out if were any good or not.
Jako: Advantage. I love threepiece bands because there’s something about it a bit more impressive and dynamic, it seems more personal and generally the band are a tighter unit. (This of course is only my humble
Jako: Haha, errrm. Probably the James bond theme. Which I believe I can still play pretty damnnn well.
INCLINATION WEBZINE 2009/RYLICS PG3
As soon as you hear a Hiss of Atrocities song, it’s like being slapped in the face by a loverthere’s power and brutality and yet magic and emotion there. It’s not very often you experience the thrashing onslaught of Death Metal with it’s pounding drums and fierce vocals intertwined with amazing melodies that will blow you away. Roy Lev-Ari and Giovanni Durst started the band in Boston in 2005 and after making their mark in the Massachusetts area, they relocated to LA. They have played all the well-known clubs and in February 2009 they released their first full-length album: “Rituals of the Lost”. I am very excited to see what happens
next for these talented musicians, but first there were some questions I was itching to ask them… First of all, I was very curious to know what their name meant. Francesco – Hiss of Atrocities was a name Giovanni (drummer) and I came up with. The whole concept behind it was to project a subtly evil theme behind our music thus using the word Hiss combined with a strong subject such as atrocity. Roy – Yes, the theme behind Hiss of Atrocities is not necessarily a violent one but more of a descriptive one towards the atrocities that happen in the world. And we like to write about these stories in our music.
There’s a very good reason why you’ll hear such perfection and technicality in their music. Roy, Giovanni and Francesco Artusato are all from Berklee College of Music. I asked them if having that educational background in music was something important to them, and for finding members of the band. Francesco – It was very important for me to play with trained Musicians ‘cause I knew In Berklee I would find artist that were dedicated and would be willing to challenge them selves on a daily basis to improve their craft. Roy – Going to Berklee was very important for me as well. My first objective was to find musicians to form or to join a band in which I knew I could dedicate my whole career to. The greatest thing about Berklee was that I knew that there was a big selection of people that have the same mentality I have and it was just a matter of time ‘til I found the right people that had the same stylistic aspirations. Giovanni– To me more than important it was helpful. Berklee helped us a lot for finding the right people (being in a music school) but not the best place for metal heads!! Mike Z– I think being able to understand music in many different forms is very helpful. From playing an instrument in the 2nd grade band to starting your own first band you go through many changes in your musical journey. Having the opportunity to attend Berklee or learning from other musicians and teachers is very important to help form and preserve the art inside you. As I already said, “Rituals for the Lost” came out February earlier INCLINATION WEBZINE 2009 / ISSUE 2 PG10
this year, and it has the most amazing art on the cover. Anyone who knows me, knows that album art is something I’m always interested in, so of course I wanted to find out about this sick piece. It’s also interesting to find out if the band got to have much input as to how it would all look… Roy – The artwork was created by a Hungarian artist named Plamen. We actually found him through Myspace in one of his ads. The whole illustration was a design we came up with. It was a long and tedious job made of many e-mails sent back and forth. Overall he did an excellent job at interpreting our idea of a demonic figure emerging from a concrete floor surrounded by suffering souls and all of it takes place in an apocalyptic setting. Mike O – And plus he was not too expensive!! Thanks Plamen!! I was looking at the song titles for “Rituals of the Lost” and it made me think that maybe there was a central theme through the album. There’s three songs: Rituals of Aggression, Rituals of sufferance and Rituals of Repentance and I didn’t think this was a coincidence. Francesco- Five songs in the album including the intros and outros are part of a concept. We came up with a “story” of dreams, alternate dimensions, aggressions, sufferance, visions and repentance within the intense journey of a madman and Mike Z did a great job putting it into
Hiss of Atrocities Continued. lyrics. Mike Zero – The concept of this album can be approached from many different angles. When I began writing the lyrics I made myself into this madman and I tried my very best to get lost in this character. I traveled very much
during the writing and was inspired by the deep and mysterious places I found myself from day to day. This album is not meant to emphasize the torment or the aggression our character endures and emits around him, but to really emphasize the journey he goes through. We wanted the album to really show the purest parts of his journey through his dreams and years of being lost in a world and mind of unknown possibilities. The character goes through the stages of ritualistic becoming and realizations. The Rituals Of The Lost is a long process that holds no sense of time. I believe that everyone can take part in the meaning of
this album. What about a video for one of the songs from the album? Mike Z – Videos are super; I would probably want to do one of the long songs! Francesco – That is definitely something that we are considering. We are very tied to the imagery aspect of our music, and we think that with the rich lyrical content in our songs we have a lot of potential in coming up with some sick videos. Mike O – To me, visual art is another means to portray musical emotion. I think that once we have the means to do justice to one of our songs visually we are willing to work with video directors to help us attain this goal. Giovanni – The economy is kind of screwing everything up, and maybe we are going to have to sell someone’s kidney to get what we want. Roy – We haven’t yet decided which songs we want to make videos of but we have some nasty ideas brewing in our heads so it is just a matter of time. Something to look forward to, I’d say…and here’s something else for us to look forward to. When I asked them if they would be touring the album and possibly making a DVD along the way, here’s what they said: Mike Z – We are leaving June 20th to begin our trek across the states starting with a nice INCLINATION WEBZINE 2009/ ISSUE2 PG11
Hiss of Atrocities Continued... run through the West and Southwestern states. The tour is being sponsored by Hollywood Music TV and we will be teaming with them to produce a daily to by daily webisode/documentary showing the tour in raw. If you want to see what a metal band goes through on the road then tune into our myspace and HMTV’s website for the show. I will also be producing a full documentary about our tour that will be on DVD sometime by 2010. It will include interviews, performances and all of the real gritty moment the road brings. Roy – Actually we are going to be touring a shit-load starting form June ‘til November courtesy of CBE entertainment. We are going to start a 30-date leg on the west coast and in august do a full US national tour so we are very excited. Francesco – Video is a good medium to reach out to the masses to show them what we are all about, plus I always love to watch my favorite bands on video and I would love to be able to do that for
our fans as well. Mike 0 – We are touring this summer so everybody come the fuck out. Be sure to checkout myspace.com/hissofatrocities for all our US tour dates. I’ll be there! Now with their melodic death metal sound, they really remind me of the metal bands from Europe. They must be inspired by them, so do they want to tour there and do they think they’ll be well received? Giovanni – For me, being Italian I grew up listening to a lot of European bands such as Dimmu Borgir, Blind Guardian, Antropophagus, Virgin Steel, Necrodeath and so on. So I guess that it was natural for me to be inspired by the European Metal Scene. I would love to tour in Europe and we have tentative plans to do so in the near future. Francesco – I am pretty confident our music will be really well received in Europe ‘cause we have a lot of elements that can be found in European metal. My current musical influences are mostly European (not only metal) and this is the reason why that a lot of the ideas I bring to the band have that
ingredient. Mike Z – I have spent some time in Europe and wrote most of the lyrics and ideas for the vocals on the album while traveling there. For me traveling to Europe and bringing the sound we have developed to the people over there is somewhat of a dream in itself. Lets shoot for 2010! Mike O – I have never been to Europe and I think it would be a great opportunity to spread my American seed…musically. Roy – My biggest influences for the writing process in Hiss of atrocities are the Swedish metal bands that give me a really huge hard on. Especially bands like Opeth, Meshuggah and Archenemy. So Europe here the fuck we come. With their musical background, what I’ve read about their live shows and the quality of their recordings I was interested in knowing whether they thought producing a quality album they can sell was most important for a band, or is it the live performance? Roy – Groupies. Hahahaha Giovanni – LOL, in my opinion the album quality and both the performance have to be of the highest level and that is what Hiss of Atrocities is doing. Francesco – A lot of Groupies…. Just kidding. The album production with the music business nowadays can only be of the highest quality if you want to compete with the rest. In terms of the live performance it is essential for it to be at the highest level also due to the fact that you can’t make a living selling records anymore. INCLINATION WEBZINE 2009/ ISSUE 2 PG12
Hiss of Atrocities Continued... Mike O –Yes I agree with Francesco, I also think that in today’s age of technology it I so easy to polish a turd into a good sounding record, it is “uber” important to be as tight as possible as a live unit. Half the bands today can’t back up their records with their live performances strictly based on the fact that their albums have been over produced beyond their ability. I think we are band that walks the walk and talks the talk and we take both aspects very professionally. Mike Z – I don’t believe either of the two is more important then the other. I believe they are as one. There is a difference between working on composition and writing and performing the music. When you perform the emotion and the feeling comes out of the music. You can capture this on tape but if you cannot deliver your craft in true form on stage I don’t believe you have finished your job. I was surprised that Hiss of Atrocities isn’t already signed… they have the perfect package. Maybe they want to go the DIY route… Are they looking for a label? HoA – YES (IN UNISON). Roy- Right now we are thinking mostly to be on the road and to create a household name in the metal scene while waiting for the best deal to come our way. We have received deals so far but we want to be sure that what we sign will coincide with our ambitions. So wish us good luck!!!!
Francesco – Of course we are.
band? Do they have it on them? I also want to know if it has a special meaning.
There are many things that can be done without a label to expand our “empire”, but only through a label a certain level of notoriety can be reached; only labels can put bands on big tours, big radios, big magazines, so at one point of a band’s life being under a label it always becomes a necessity.
Francesco – Not yet but I promise you I will get it right after we finish our first world tour. The two snakes in the logo are shaped from the two “S”’s in Hiss and of course you can easily see the letters HoA with in the logo. Here is a little game for you; some people see a subliminal porno image in it… see if you can figure it out even though it was definitely involuntary. Roy – I‘m still thinking whether or not I want to get tattooed but if I do I’m pretty sure the logo will be first thing I do. Mike O – I am waiting for Paul Booth to fit me into his schedule. Mike Z – I don’t like Tattoos.
Who would they pick to go on tour with if they could pick anyone? I like to ask this as it lets us know who they really like - who they think they could spend months on the road with.
So, Death Metal bands are usually, or rather stereotypically Satanic with violent lyrics, that’s why I asked the guys if their lyrics were of this content and also what their views on organized religion are.
Mike Z – Lamb Of God, Korn, Meshuggah, DevilDriver
Giovanni – No, we don’t have violent or satanic lyrics and I wouldn’t really label our band as solely a death metal band even though it is one of our main influences. As for religion I’ll let the other guys handle it.
Giovanni – Slayer Roy – Opeth, Meshuggah and METALLICA!!!!!!!!!!!! Francesco – Opeth and Dream Theater Mike O – Right now It would be Mastodon, But I would love to be Jimi Hendrix’ guitar tech. HoA have the coolest logo, it’s also very clever…I’m thinking of getting it tattooed on me somewhere, but what about the
Mike O – “Think for yourself, question authority “ - Timothy Leary Francesco – Even though our music has a lot of heavy and dark sonic elements, our lyrics are very introspective and the final message is a positive one. INCLINATION MAGAZINE 2009/ HOA PG4
Hiss of Atrocities... Mike Z – We don’t buy into this ‘Satanic’ bullshit a lot of death metal bands are spitting out. Sometime seems like they are only trying to be extreme and they have a weird conception that being evil or satanic is cool or something. I personally and I think I speak for most of us think that stance is completely ridiculous and doesn’t help anyone. We want to change lives and affect people in emotional and positive ways. We do touch on dark and dreary subjects and we don’t claim to be religious of any sort so we don’t really base our ideas and compositions on those types of ideas. We love a good tale and we want to write about the things we witness in this world through the past, present, future as well as visions and ideas we come up with. I think we all have our own beliefs and we leave it at that. Roy – We don’t use violent lyrics and I think our beliefs are far from satanic, but we love to describe violent stories and interpret them as beautiful tragedies and I think that is also where our name comes from. In my opinion organized religion has its pros and cons, I think it helps many communities in terms of social behavior with in a moral and ethical aspect that doesn’t necessarily have to be right for others but right for that specific community. I believe the cons are mostly tied to political ambitions in which religion is abused for people own agenda’s and finally in my opinion I think that that is one of humanities biggest flaws.
to thank our families and friends, also everyone who helped us and we know will keep on supporting us. I can’t wait to be on tour this summer/fall and see a lot of metal heads head-banging to our music all over the country. We’ve started writing new material for our second album, we’ve been practicing our asses off…we’ve never been as strong as we are now. I’m really excited for what is to come. Mike O - Peace out thanks a lot for the interview I hope to see all you head bangers at our shows. Roy – I just want to thank everyone at Inclination magazine/ webzines for your support. Hiss of Atrocities will be on the road for the next six months so to everyone who reads this keep posted on our Myspace for our upcoming dates. Giovanni – Thank you very much. Keep it real and keep it brutal. Mike Z – Thanks a lot for taking the time to learn about HoA. We hope to see you on the road. So, make sure you check these guys out on their myspace for tour dates and to check out some of their songs. www.myspace.com/ hissofatrocities. You can also purchase their album from there, its available worldwide. Thank you, guys for such a fantastic interview! Lissy MacMillan
Well, that was pretty much all I had, but the band had this to add… Francesco - First of all I would like INCLINATION MAGAZINE 2009/ HOA PG5
interview with diamond plate by sarah 13 that is quite an honor, how did you react when you received this news?
Inclination Magazine: I noticed you only have one guitarist, and that at one time you were looking to have two guitarists. Do you ever plan on adding another guitar? Konrad Kupiec: We tried for a while to get another guitarist but we just weren’t able to find one that we particularly connected with. There were a lot of talented players, but the chemistry just wasn’t right, and chemistry is something that we take very seriously. Since then we’ve been working extremely hard to make our live sound great and fill the gap of the second guitar player by really raising the bar for our own playing. I.M: You have been named the 5th best unsigned band for 2008 by Terrorizer Magazine,
Konrad: When we first heard about it we were completely shocked. Terrorizer is a magazine based strictly in the United Kingdom and for a band from Chicago to be named one of the top unsigned bands in that kind of magazine is a total honor. We didn’t know we had such a following in the U.K. but I guess we do and it is really killer to see that! I.M: I see you have a few shows coming up, which one are you looking forward to most? Konrad: Definitely Thrasho De Mayo IV at the Knitting Factory in Los Angeles, California. This will be our first time ever out in the West Coast and being part of a huge show like this is nothing short of amazing. We’ve all heard crazy stories about the previous Thrasho De Mayo’s and we’re absolutely pumped. I.M: Do you consider your band to have a particular “image”? If so, what is it?
Konrad: For us, it has always been about the music, not the image. It will always be about the music and making the heaviest stuff we possibly can. A band’s image is only what their fans perceive them as so I think this is a question that is answered better by Diamond Plate fans. I.M: What is the craziest thing that has happened on stage? Konrad: There’s a ton of crazy shit that happens at a lot of our shows. Put a bunch of metal-heads in a room; play some thrash, something crazy is bound to happen. At one of our shows my friend’s nose got busted in the pit and there was blood all over one part of the stage (Exodus song reference anyone?) The craziest thing I’ve personally ever done onstage though is ask my current girlfriend out. I wrote the question on the back of my guitar and flipped it up at her at the end of our set. A different kind of crazy from busting heads in the pit but it’s definitely out there haha. I.M: Who is the one band you would kill to open for or play with? Konrad: I would definitely kill to play with Testament. Those guys have had such a tremendous influence on us when it comes to playing thrash metal. Getting the chance to play with them and to get their approval of what we are doing would be nothing short of amazing. continued.... INCLINATION WEBZINE 2009/ ISSUE 2 PG15
Diamond Plate Continued I.M: Some of your notes and beats are pretty quick, what advice would you give someone who wanted to play that quick?
far? Konrad: With all of us being only 16 or 17, any kind of praise where people tell us our skill level exceeds our ages really means a lot. I always have people that come
Konrad: Not to sound cliché, but if you want to play quick, practice makes perfect. Get a metronome; start off slow, and slowly up the tempo until you get to a fast speed. Once you get fast the only problem is slowing down, which is one thing we are working on a lot; not playing fast all the time but slowing it down and making it groove. I.M: Who would you say is your biggest influence music/image wise? Konrad: It’s hard to pick just one influence because our influences cover a vast number of different artists. Our music is deeply rooted in old-school thrash metal. A lot of bands today are going for that complete old-school sound and are shunning any new influences, but we don’t necessarily agree with that. Our old-school influences are extremely important to us but we want to add something new to the mix. We want to make our stuff heavy and groovy, and we add a lot of progressive elements to our music as well. I listen to my old Testament, Vio-lence, and Kreator records just as much as I listen to Dream Theater, Atheist, or Cynic for example. I.M: What is the best piece of praise you have received so
one of my main influences as a guitarist and just a pure inspiration as a metal icon, but if I had to be handcuffed to a person for 24 hours it better be a person that is going to show me a funass time. Dimebag’s personality is one in a million and I know for sure it would be a blast. Pour some Jack, light some fireworks, spray-paint some beards, and of course shred it up on some guitars. Getcha’ pull. I.M: Where did the name Diamond Plate come from, is there any significance to it?
up to me after a show and tell me “Man, when we saw you guys go on stage we thought you were going to suck big time because you look so young; then you guys started playing a blew me away.” At times our young age can be a setback when it comes to being taken seriously. We’re not some sort of novelty act of little kids. We work damn hard at making sure we can play our instruments, write heavy fucking tunes, and put on a killer show every night.
But for us that’s only half of it. The rest is making sure people know that we’re genuine about it and real. I.M: If you had to be handcuffed to one star, alive or dead, for 24 hours, who would it be? Konrad: I would have to say Dimebag Darrell. Not only is he
Konrad: There isn’t really any significance to it. Diamond Plate is a metal band and that is exactly what actual ‘diamond plate’ is: no gimmick, just straight-up metal. I.M: What exactly is Criminal Justice, in your own words? Konrad: Our song “Criminal Justice” is the song that shows us going towards a slight political side in our lyrics. Jon (our vocalist/bassist) and I worked on the lyrics for this one, and the song is about a convicted criminal on death row waiting to be executed. It deals with the criminal’s mindset as he is in his final minutes knowing that he is going to die. But it also deals with the question of ‘does the justice system or any one system for that matter have the right to decide the fate of a human life?’ The lyrics don’t go out and state our views on capital continued.... INCLINATION WEBZINE 2009/ ISSUE 2 PG16
some of the males) this must shock people. Do you consider this to be an advantage or a disadvantage?
Sitting down to write this interview, I was pretty nervous. I am the newest member here at INclination Magazine and I didn’t want to disappoint Lissy, the bands and especially you, the readers. Lissy sent me the link to Luna Mortis’s Myspace, and when I opened it I immediately liked the music. When front woman Mary Zimmer’s vocals kicked in I was blown away at how amazing they sounded. I hope you enjoy this band as much as I have. Inclination Magazine: Often females (in the metal world) are seen as a joke. Being a female fronted band can make people not take you seriously and come with preconceived notions. Obviously your vocals are amazing (better than
MZ: Haha, this is something I get asked a lot... you know, it’s unfortunate that there are a lot of women out there who don’t have the talent to back up their looks. That’s where the whole idea gets into people’s head that a woman in a band might not deserve to be taken seriously. However, the fans of metal (men and women) are pretty forward thinking people and generally open to the idea of a woman in a band and if I go out and do a kick-ass job, they are sold. I think the fans are pretty much sold on ANY musician, male or female as long as they can hold their own as a performer. If they’re good, they’re good. Period. So, thanks for the huge compliment on the vocals....I work pretty hard to make them the best I can, first and foremost. I knew going in that I needed to be just as good, probably even better than a lot of the guys out there if I wanted to be taken seriously. And most people give me a lot of credit for it and take notice, so it’s definitely been worth it. There are other really great, hard-working female musicians in metal, it’s just that it’s few
Diamond Plate Continued. punishment; it is up for the listeners’ own interpretations. I don’t believe a song should change your mind on an issue; it should only bring the issue to your attention and make you think for yourself. I.M: Any advice or closing comments? Konrad: Thanks a ton for the great questions and hopefully my answers were insightful to anyone reading this interview. We have a new E.P. called “Relativity” that will be released in California at Thrasho De Mayo IV on May 1st and in Chicago at Chicago Powerfest with Devildriver on May 9th! If you haven’t already, check out Diamond Plate (www. myspace.com/diamondplate1) - we won’t disappoint you. and far between...I’m sure more will come out of the woodwork eventually. I.M: Being based in Wisconsin must have been a challenge when trying to get started. Do you think this only made you more driven and enjoy your success that much more? MZ: Well, it was a challenge is some ways but in more ways it was a HUGE advantage for us. We were really able to stand out in Wisconsin and make a name for ourselves. Plus, the metal scene here in the underground is awesome, full of amazing fans INCLINATION WEBZINE 2009/ ISSUE 2 PG17
my very favorite songs if I’ve been jammin’ on them too much. :) So, variety is the spice of life as they say... I.M: I noticed your lineup hasn’t changed since becoming Luna Mortis, do you feel you have a strong bond in the band and that you will be together for the long run?
who put on shows and are true believers in helping metal from the ground up. Also, we’re only 4 hours from the Twin Cities, 2 hours from Chicago, 8 from Cleveland, 5 from Des Moines...you get the idea, we’ve been able to tour a lot as an unsigned band, just because of our proximity to a lot of big Midwestern cities. So, that really helped us get out in the Midwest and network with a lot of great people. The only real disadvantage was getting someone on a major level to notice us, but with the internet and what-not, it wasn’t as hard as it would have been years ago, so overall I think being from Wisconsin has been awesome for us. Metal is big here, so we’re proud of it.
slot! Haha...so I can’t even realistically answer that question. All the bands we love on an international level are people we’d want to OPEN for, so for now, let’s just say we just want to open. :)
I.M: If you could headline your own tour, who would you choose as your opener and support?
I.M: If you could only play one song the rest of your life what would it be?
MZ: Wow, well we’re not even THINKING about trying to headline our own tours yet. It’s hard enough just to get on the opening
MZ: I think I would have to “check out” of life at that point... haha...but seriously, one song FOREVER??? Even I get sick of
I.M: Where would your first stop be? MZ: Anywhere kick-ass where the metal fans are ready! That’s all that matters to us. Preferably somewhere we’ve never been. We get requests to come to the south a lot and the tour we’re on with Edguy in September isn’t going there, so it might be nice to hit Texas or Florida that’d be cool. Of course, Japan and Europe would be the ultimate.
MZ: Yeah, that’s a good observation. This lineup came together in 2006 and it’s definitely the group of people that are permanent. They are the guys we want for the long haul...it took awhile for us to find them. But once we got the right members, we knew that we’d be together for a long time. We’ve got no huge egos competing and we’re the best of friends. It’s a great working vibe between us all, so I don’t foresee anyone jumping ship in the near future. I.M: Are there any special physical preparations you have to make before going on the stage or on tour, like exercise and diets? If so, how do you fulfill these requirements? MZ: Well, overall, I just try to maintain my health. I’m lactose intolerant and have a sensitive stomach, so eating fast food on the road only works for like 1 or 2 days. I definitely bring boxes of protein bars and things that I can eat that are not going to kill me. Overall, I don’t have a routine for going on stage...I just try to vocalize at some point every day before a show, go through my entire clascontinued... INCLINATION WEBZINE 2009/ ISSUE 2 PG18
Luna Mortis Contiued... sical register and then do “Belt” (or rock-type singing) warm ups and that’s about it. I definitely have to be in the right state of mind. Being a singer with years of training behind me, I have my technique pretty well honed, but I have to be sure to not get too neurotic about it and just relax. So, to keep my head straight, I am a person of a couple of vices for sure...I am from Wisconsin, enjoy drinking (especially great beer - not going to lie - we have the best microbreweries here) and I definitely enjoy the occasional “herbal” smoke. I just can’t get too crazy BEFORE I play...haha.... bottom line, I try to take it easy and not put too much pressure on myself. If I do that, the results are disastrous. I just want to get up, sing and have a good fuckin’ time. I.M: What cd do you have in your stereo that you just can’t seem to stop listening to? MZ: Wow....well, there are definitely some albums that have been out for YEARS that I keep listening to despite the fact that I’ve heard them a million times... Definitely Type O Negative’s “Bloody Kisses” and “October Rust” are cds I’m not sure I’ll ever tire of. There are more...but it’d be a LONG ass list. :) “Wages of Sin” by Arch Enemy would be on there, “Heartwork” by Carcass...it’d be long... I.M: Your instrument solos are brutal, how do you come up with such killer solos? Do you write the notes out or just play and see what comes of it?
www.myspace.com/stemm MZ: Haha...well, Brian and Cory are the soloists in the band (occasionally Jake on the bass too!) and I am not sure what exactly they put into their solos, but I have watched them play for a long time now and know it’s carefully planned and practiced. They work extremely hard...I give them a lot of credit. I.M: Do you ever fear that you will mess up your voice and have to relearn singing and screaming? MZ: Nope. I really don’t, but only because I started singing with a lot of training and technique...I’ve also studied screaming with Melissa Cross and I have been a vocal coach off and on for years. If I screw up my voice, I know how to fix it on my own more or less... and that’s happened before. I’ve definitely lost it, but it was more due to what was going on in my head instead of what I was doing technique wise. So, I really don’t
worry about it. Plus, you can’t... if you do you’ll just drive yourself insane and that is not productive for good singing :) No matter how much training you have or how perfect your technique is, if your mind is messed up, it will make your performance messed up. So, the best thing to do is keep a relaxed, casual attitude and enjoy it. I.M: What was your first concert experience like? Who did you see? MZ: At this point, I’ve been to SOOO many shows, I couldn’t even tell you what was my first. Probably some local band in high school. I love concerts and am a HUGE fan of metal still and go see shows whenever I can. I’ve been to hundreds at this point, I’m sure. I can say that I do love the atmosphere at metal shows. I love the community feeling, seeing my friends, hanging out and enjoying continued..... INCLINATION WEBZINE 2009/ ISSUE 2 PG19
Luna Mortis cont... a great band. Relaxing and having a great experience at a concert is the ultimate feeling. I’ll never get enough of that....I’ll be the old and grey lady at the shows someday. I.M: What went through your mind the first time you stepped out on stage? MZ: Well, I’ve been a stage performer in musical theater, opera, classical singing for a long time before I started metal, so I was already ready for the stage when I started playing metal. But, it definitely was intense. I just remember thinking that if I wanted to be a part of the metal scene I’d have to buck up, and get up there and kick ass or I’d sink. I remember telling myself that there couldn’t be any weakness, that I needed to be a big presence and make sure that I was really good at what I did if I wanted to get credit. So, I took a deep breath and got out there and did it...and now I just go on and try to have a good time. I.M: What band has been the most fun to open for? MZ: You know, we’ve opened for a lot of big acts, but this past weekend, we did some opening dates with just us and Warbringer and that was probably the most fun. They’re our label mates, they’re only on their second album, and we’re still kind of in the same boat. Still both new bands, working hard to get out there and get
our careers going. It was a helpful environment, and we could relate to each other’s situations for sure. I think when you play with some really big bands, you don’t get to spend much time with them and you always have separate dressing rooms and what-not, so there isn’t too much bonding or friendmaking. So, probably Warbringer was the most fun...we had a great time with those guys. Also (it might sound weird) but Kittie was really great to open for when we first got our start. They gave us a lot of credit and really dug our stuff. And that was back in 2004 when we weren’t half of what we are now...so they are great too. I.M: What are you most looking forward to, band wise? MZ: I think Japan. Our album is getting released there really soon (no set date yet) but the paperwork is in, so it’s just a matter of the final details. I have so much respect for the Japanese fans and their amazing dedication to the bands and music they like. I can only hope they’ll like us as much as some of the other bands that are big over there. I also hope we can tour there...I think it would be an incredible experience.
ADVERTISE RIGHT HERE. CONTACT US @ firstname.lastname@example.org
FOR INFO. INCLINATION WEBZINE 2009/ ISSUE 2 PG20
INTERVIEW By Timo Satanis INCLINATION MAGAZINE: Thanks for sitting down with us. Who’s your band, where are you from, and what kind of music do you play? Roman: Hi Timo! Thanks for having us, we appreciate it. We are the band Sheephead from Bavaria, Germany (Oktoberfest, anyone?). We play Melodic Death Metal.
mind). It pretty much boils down to this: If you write metal-songs, which are inspired by metal-bands, you are going to sound like any old metal band. Josef is inspired by different genres cause in nonmetal songs; there are so many catchy melodies and very powerful parts. That’s our motivation to write metal-songs with a twist of “new” energy for the “regular” metal-scene.
I.M: What artists have inspired you to make music?
I.M: Where can we see your band play?
Roman: It differs from band member to band member. For instance, I am predominantly inspired by death metal stuff like Kataklysm or Dying Fetus, while Josef, our main songwriter is heavily influenced by stuff that’s not anywhere close to metal (bands like Daft Punk come to my
Roman: For 2009, it is mainly German Summer Festivals where you could go and see us. And we will, of course, be playing the Chicago Powerfest in Mokena, IL. Also, we are planning to go on tour fall through winter 2009/2010. The tour, too, will mainly consist of shows in Germany.
I.M: How do you feel about free music distribution? Roman: With the Internet making it possible to download whole discographies in a matter of minutes, CD sales seem to be a dying market nowadays. Bands and labels have to find a new way to make people want to have an actual physical product. Free music distribution can be a helpful tool: Imagine your philosophy is to never charge people for your music, in other words, anyone can download your music anytime for free: Of course, it would cause you losses in the short run. But let’s pretend that by not charging any money for your music, you are able to get your music out Continued INCLINATION WEBZINE 2009/ ISSUE2 PG21
Sheephead continued... to 50,000 people instead of 500 people, who would actually buy the CD. In the long run, that makes for bigger audiences, therefore higher merchandise turnover, better ticket sales, you name it. So it can be a good thing. It is a double-edged sword, though. With bands literally flooding the (already saturated) MySpace-infected world of online music distribution, it gets harder and harder for bands to keep a potential audience interested. It’s supply and demand really – the more supply, the less demand. The more bands, the less audience for each band. For individual bands, this can really throw the wrench inside their gears. Also, it makes it harder for bands that are actually good and deserve to be heard to stand out from all the bullshit that’s surrounding them. I.M: Are there any mainstream bands you think should be eliminated off the face of the planet? Roman: Oh yeah, big time. Bands like Coldplay, Oasis, Shania Twain (can you call her a band? I’m not too sure) and the most annoying of all bands, R.E.M. Horrible stuff! If it was up to us, 90% of pop bands should go down the tubes. But let’s face it -. Mainstream or not – the problem is that many bands are puppets of themselves,
created by a trend that literally changes every month, boring everyone to death. I.M: What are some of your favorite films? Roman: From Dusk Till Dawn, Shoot ‘em Up, pretty much everything with Jean-Claude Van Damme, all 4 parts of the “Die Hard” series, 300, Pulp Fiction,
it was mainly the fault of greedy predatory lending in America enabling people to live beyond their means – now it has affected the whole world. Of course, European banks had their stake in it as well, but if you ask me, the problem was an American one at first and it has left pretty much the whole global economy in an adverse situation. It’s the same as always – if Wall Street suffers, the whole world suffers. However, I don’t think it’s as bad as people like to depict it right now. With a bit of shrewdness and perseverance, it is nothing that cannot be overcome by an individual. I.M: If you could choose one instrument to spend the rest of eternity with, what would it be?
Wanted, Taxi (the French origin!!!) I.M: How do you feel about the current global economy? Roman: Haha, you shouldn’t even get me started about this subject. A lot of the stuff people are now going through could have been avoided if there had been more oversight on the markets. Fiscal conservatism has enabled the market to spin out of control and I am glad that democrats won the run for the white house, so they can at least try to fix the damage done. As a European, I am a bit upset about the situation because
Roman: For me, drums. I think everyone in the band would stick to their instrument. Our guitarists would probably go for a guitar with a vagina, ha ha! I.M: If you could incorporate another genre of music into your own, what would it be? Roman: French House. I.M: Any last words? Roman: Stay optimistic and keep supporting metal! Servus (Hello/Goodbye in good old Bavarian) INCLINATION WEBZINE 2009/ ISSUE 2 PG22
INTERVIEW WITH MIKKO FROM KIUAS By Lissy Macmillan
sauna stove“ was used for ancient Bronze Age graves that were huge piles of rock. I.M: You’re coming to Chicago Powerfest all the way from Finland! Where else outside of your country have you played?
INclination Magazine: Hi, would you like to start by introducing yourselves? Mikko: We‘re Kiuas, the future flagship of Finnish metal! I‘m Mikko, guitar player and composer. The other guys are Iljavox, Teemu-bass, Atte-keys, and Markku-drs. I.M: What does the name “Kiuas” mean? Mikko: It‘s Finnish for „sauna stove“. The sauna has an important cultural and historic meaning for Finns. Also, the word „hiidenkiuas“ or „demon‘s
Mikko: Oh, that‘s list has grown a lot lately! I think USA will be the 15th country. In the fall we did a European tour of 10 countries and a tour in the UK and Ireland, outside of Europe we‘ve played in Japan and the Maldives. Those trips were really special! :) I.M: Do you have other plans while you are here? Mikko: Not really, unfortunately, we‘re quite busy back home so we‘re just going to stay for the three days of the festival. But that‘s gonna be cool anyway, I’m really looking forward to all the bands, and perhaps seeing a little bit of the city, since I‘ve never been there. There are also some other Finnish musicians on Thursday, so it‘s gonna be hard trying not to get wasted on the first night!
I.M: Your latest album “The New Dark Age” was released in January last year, how is it doing and where is it available? Mikko: Actually that was in March in Finland, and I think June in the states. In Finland it‘d done pretty well, it went to number 10 and the single went to number 1. As for the rest of the world, it‘s hard to say, the numbers always come a bit slowly. But for example in the UK we‘ve had quite a lot of media coverage, gigs and activity, so we could say that we‘re getting some kind of foothold there as well. A second edition with bonus tracks was recently released in Europe, so I guess it‘s been doing pretty good out there! As for where it‘s available, I‘m not really sure. I.M: Where did you record it, and who produced it for you? Mikko: We recorded it at Sonic Pump Studios, Helsinki. Along with myself, the album was produced with Nino Laurenne and Janne joutsenniemi, who are both well-known professionals in the Finnish metal scene. I.M: You’re on Spinefarm Records, what would be your advice to bands trying to make it and just starting out? Mikko: Be original!!! I was just judging a Finnish band competition, and it‘s amazing how talented these kids are. The level of musicianship is very good, but the common problem is that in Continued... INCLINATION WEBZINE 2009/ ISSUE 2 PG23
KIUAS CONTINUED... the beginning stages they always want to sound like their heroes, and it takes time for them to develop their own voice. But the sooner they discover it and learn how to speak with it through their own songs, the faster they are on their way to stardom! And the most important thing is to have good songs. Whatever the style, great playing, good looks, cool guitars and so forth won‘t help unless you have GREAT SONGS. I.M: Are you working on your next album yet? Mikko: Yes, we should record the next one in the end of the year, the songwriting has been going on for a long time already, but for the few months before the studio, we‘ll be working on the material intensely on a daily basis.
interview with chicago’s mindwarp chamber by lissy macmillan
INCLINATION MAGAZINE: How long has Mindwarp Chamber been around and is this the original lineup? I.M: What other plans do you have Scott Huffman: The name Mindwarp for the year? Chamber and first bands members came to be known around the end Mikko: Well, for me it‘s gonna of 2005. Ed (Shreddy) Bethishou take most of my time for the rest (Keyboards) and myself Scott of the year, but I‘ll try to keep my Huffman (vocals) are the only personal life going on somehow as remaining original members. well, hahah...so: To work hard, but to enjoy life and Ed Bethishou: We‘ve gone through have a good time! various member changes I.M: Anything else you’d like to add? Mikko: Yeah...if you haven‘t heard of us and are prepared for a new innovative sound with respect to tradition, great songs and great musicianship, check us out on myspace, www.kiuas.net or wherever! And hope to see you at a show!
through the years, while the changes are never easy we always seem to have a special chemistry between us we think it shows in our music past and present.
I.M: Can you tell us a little bit about yourselves? Mike Cerna: We are a progressive metal band from Chicago. As
much as we love past and present progressive music, we feel that our particular style and musical vibe is somewhat of a rarity, and needs to be heard by the masses. We‘re endeavoring to record all of our ideas and get them out to our growing fan base, and promote with some regional shows/tours after we release our second album this summer. I.M: You currently have a CD out called “Delusional Reality” Where can we get it? Is it available in stores? Scott Huffman: Mostly on line at Amazon, CD Baby, The Laser’s Edge, Impulse Music and other fine vendors I missed. You can buy Merchandise direct from our Myspace page and at shows. We are also looking into Distribution Companies for this album and INCLINATION WEBZINE 2009/ ISSUE 2 PG24
mindwarp chamber continued
Mike Cerna: Nightmare Metal Fest II, apart from debuting some new songs, we got to play our material for fans outside of Chicago/ Midwest. We had great food, great times, and great music, making for a memorable concert event that we enjoyed immensely. I.M: When you listen to music in your car, or at home, who are you listening to?
I.M: This is a question for the person who writes the lyrics: What
is interesting, the infrastructure (venues, radio stations etc) is constantly changing and some venues come and go there is always a home for metal in the city. The fans try to come out and support the local acts we‘ve seen some drop off due to the economy but still is a group of fans that come out to see us regardless of the weather, location, or our set length. The band community is great, we have a number of bands that we‘re really close with like Sacred Dawn, Rival, Eden‘s Fall and others that we‘re
is the general lyrical content of your songs? Scott Huffman: I have a somewhat dark way of writing lyrics mostly about evil, greed, being cynical and seeing through the bullshit. I touch on the subjects of precious time and the gift of living. I also like to write about the being triumphant over obstacles and how strange fucked up this world seems through my eyes at least. I.M: What do you think of Chicago’s metal scene? Ed Bethishou: Chicago‘s scene
always willing to play shows with and help out. There is a great musician network here, at any given time there are bands looking for members and the network is always trying to keep people in mind to fill in spots for other bands. I.M: What has been your favorite show that you’ve played so far and why? Paul Kilkenny: For me so far it has to be when we opened up for Kamelot, & Epica at the Pearl room in Mokena IL.
Iron Maiden, Genesis, Kinks, Joe
the next album to get it in more brick and mortar stores in the future. I.M: I love the cover art, who did that for you? Scott Huffman: The cover art was done by Brent Sullivan who is also the bass player and the main songwriter on the Delusional Reality disc.
Marc Malitz: I listen to The Boneyard on XM Radio. Also, on my iPod, you can find the likes of
Satriani, King Crimson, Symphony X, Transatlantic, Opeth, and Circus Maximus. Paul Kilkenny: I am currently listening to progressive bands and artist‘s like Frost, The Flower King‘s, Transatlantic, Neal Morse, and of course the new Mindwarp Chamber music we are currently recording. Ed Bethishou: I listen to lots of metal of various genres, and jazz. continued INCLINATION WEBZINE 2009/ ISSUE2 PG25
Mindwarp Chamber Continued...
interview with By Timo Satanis INCLINATION MAGAZINE: Tell us a bit about your band. ASSAILANT: Well, what to say. A six-man band with almost 6 different types of attitudes when it comes to music but we all burn for the shit so to speak. Formed 4 years ago and since that time we have released two albums, „Nemesis within“ which is our debut album, that one was released in 06.., and then we released „Wicked Dream“ last year. We have had a few rough times due to the fact that the business is what it is but we still hang on. I.M: It seems to me, and I may be a bit biased when I say this, but that
the best metal bands seem to be coming from Europe these days... Who are some of the bands that have inspired you to make music? ASSAILANT: A good question man. For myself as the singer I would like to say, Nevermore, Dio (and by Dio I mean all that he has ever been a part of). That’s just two of the many influences I‘ve got. I guess we don’t have any real ones. As I always say. „Lots of groovy music out there and that’s what makes us move“ I.M: Do you feel your music is politically charged in any way?
ASSAILANT: Oh yeah. At
I.M: I see you played Nightmare Fest as well as going to be playing Powerfest, what other plans do you have this year? Ed Bethishou: We have some pretty good shows coming up in Chicago that we‘re looking forward to. There are plans to get on the road for a few more shows. Our biggest plans for the year are recording our second full length CD; we hope to have a disc out by the end of the year. I.M: Is there anything else you’d like to add before we wrap up? Ed Bethisou: Keep your eyes and ears open for our next release. So far the reception that we‘ve gotten from the new tracks is great. I.M: Thank you so much for talking with us, can’t wait to see you in May!! Scott Huffman: Thank you for the interview and we can’t wait play Powerfest on May 8th . It’s going to rock people least for myself. Political and personal. I have never been able to write lyrics about dragons and warriors of steel and thunder, hehe, if you know what I mean. I‘d rather write lyrics that have some impact on myself as a human being, I know it sounds like a cliché but it’s the truth. Take „The Sin“ as an example. It’s the third track on „Wicked Dream“, in which I sing about the church and the pedophile acts, as we all know has been on the news a while back. Let me say that if I write lyrics that I feel for it’s easy to convey it both live and INCLINATION WEBZINE 2009/ ISSUE2 PG26
Assailant Continued... on record with that certain feeling. I.M: Are there any other forms of art that have inspired you to make music? ASSAILANT: Naah. Not for me anyway. I.M: If you had to use anything to make music outside of your normal instruments, what would it be? ASSAILANT: Hmm. Good question. These days you can use most of the instruments around. I mean with all the midi plug-ins and so on. We use as many as we can to be honest. I.M: Where do you feel metal is headed in the next few years? ASSAILANT: Again a good question. I think the scene has become a lot stronger the last few years. But we still have that “Greed” problem to deal with as musicians. It’s hard to start any new bands these days. Just take the fact to sell records you need to perform live. But to perform live you have to sell records. At least that goes for most festival events. And it’s hard as hell for a band as Assailant to get gigs cuz as we all know everything costs dough. And the clubs ain’t that easy to deal with when it comes to travel expenses and accommodations. So I guess the problem lies in the fact that one day we will have lost a lot of good artists due to old age and there are few new bands that actually get the chance. So who knows? I believe we face somewhat of a crisis.
hem.... I.M: What about the most underrated metal band?
discs almost everywhere online. Locomotive Records hold the distro deal in the US. And of course we will try to bring a few with us
ASSAILANT: I would say Nocturnal Rites. I aint into that type of music but I still feel that guys like that should get a chance at the big buxxx. I know they are big in Japan and somewhat in Europe but I feel that they should be bigger if the labels gave them the shot. And I don’t say this because of the fact that I know them all. It’s just my point of view when it comes to the scene as a whole.
I.M: Who do you feel is the most infamous metal band?
I.M: Where can we find your music?
ASSAILANT: Burzum and May-
ASSAILANT: You can pick up the
I.M: Any last words? ASSAILANT: Well, We are really looking forward our visit to the USA and Chicago. It will be a pleasure to share some beers and neck breaking with all the good people that will visit CPF I.M: Thanks for taking the time to talk with us!
INCLINATION WEBZINE 2009 ISSUE2 PG27
interview with edsel from dope
I was so excited to be interviewing Edsel, as I love Dope. He called me from the road while on tour with Black Label Society. EDSEL: How are you doing, Lissy? INCLINATION MAGAZINE: I’m good, how are you? EDSEL: Oh, I’m hangin’ in there. I.M: Well, thank you very much for calling and doing the interview with us. Your new CD has been out for a month now, how’s it doing? EDSEL: It’s doing good, seems like the fans are diggin’ it. The tour’s going great, sold out
every night, people are singing the words, feeling pretty good about it.
try and make them even better, so it can be more of a challenge to produce yourself than it is to produce someone else.
I.M: Do you find it easier or harder to produce your own band’s albums?
I.M: Being a producer and a musician, which do you preferbeing in the studio or on stage?
EDSEL: I find it easier to produce other bands cause it’s a different dynamic, when you’re producing somebody else you’re relying on the band to bring the majority of the ideas, and you’re supposed to contribute your part- 10% or whatever it is, to kinda push it over the top. When you’re producing yourself, you have to come up with all your own ideas as an artist and a writer, and as a producer standpoint you have to look at the ideas you already came up with and then
EDSEL: I prefer the studio from the standpoint I like to be home and I like to make records. But it’s also very tedious and a much longer commitment. The stage- you play a show, and the show’s over. You can have great shows: “Man I wish it could be that great everyday!” but you can also have crappy shows and say, “Man, I’m glad that’s over!” Whereas in the studio, its gonna
I.M: You Produced it right?
Continued... INCLINATION WEBZINE 2009 ISSUE 2 PG28
Dope Continued... last forever. So I don’t know, I guess they both have their plusses and their minuses, which is probably why I do both so frequently. I.M: How do you guys write your songs? EDSEL: That’s a good question. I would say at this point it can come from a number of different ways. Sometimes it just starts with a riff, other times it starts with a lyrical idea or a phrase that we like that we wanna stick with. It can come from a whole bunch of different ways. But it’s not the traditional sense, we’re not four guys in a room jamming on our instruments, in that regard. It’s a little more thought out. Most of the ideas usually start out with either myself or my guitar player on our own and then we present them to each other and then we expand upon them. I.M: Zakk Wylde plays on ADDICTION. How did that all come about? EDSEL: Zakk’s been popping around for years with us. We’d go through LA and play and it’d be 5 in the morning and there’d be Zakk up on our bus drinking with us. He’s just always been really cool and really accepting of DOPE. We did some shows with him a couple of years back, and they were great,
then we were in the studio recording the album, so we reached out to him, and sent him the track and said “What do you think?” and we got an overwhelming “yes” across the board that he really dug the song and he wanted to contribute, so…it wasn’t as complicated as it seems, it really was a natural progression. IM: And now you’re all on tour together! EDSEL: Yeah! See how everything works out. I.M: You must be having a good old time! EDSEL: Yeah it’s great. Like I said, the shows are huge, sold out every night. It’s great to be a part of something bigger, because we’ve been headlining and doing our own thing for so long, which is great, cause it just proves that we have our fans, but it’s nice to go out and be a part of something bigger, and play to a bunch of people who may not know who we are, or who just may not of heard us in a while and we can just re-introduce ourselves to people. It’s really good.
ways a great place to go, cause we have so many fans there and that show sticks out as being pretty memorable. Philadelphia was another great one, all the shows up in Canada were great, Spokane, Washington was a big surprise. Really, they’ve all been great, but those are the ones that really stick out as being the most memorable so far on the tour. I.M: Whenever I mention DOPE to anyone, I always get “DOPE!! Yeah! They fuckin’ kickass!!” or something to that effect. What is it, do you think, that makes people react that way to your band? EDSEL: Ya know, I don’t know, I think we have a cool Rock n’ Roll sense about us. It’s not too serious but it’s heavy and its got edge. There’s a very sex, drugs and rock n’ roll theme through us, which I think has always worked in rock n’ roll. It’s very hard to categorize us. We have five albums out; we’ve been around a long time. We’ve toured a lot and we’ve reached a lot of people in a lot of different ways. And I think our awareness factor is just massive because we’ve done so much touring. continued...
I.M: What’s been your favorite show on the tour so far? EDSEL: Oh that’s rough. Milwaukee’s alINCLINATION WEBZINE 2009 ISSUE2 PG29
Dope Continued... We’ve been around so long, it’s hard to find a person who doesn’t know who we are, and thankfully it’s not a lot of people saying “I think that band sucks”. I have to attribute it to the simplest terms what this band was started on, it was founded on the energy of bands like Motley Crue, Guns N’ Roses and stuff I grew up on. I think that even though music is heavier now, we’re obviously a bit more extreme than those bands; it’s that essence that I think people react to with the band. I.M: What’s your opinion on the war on drugs? Do you think it’s the reason there is all the gun violence associated with drug dealing, and do you think marijuana should be legalized? EDSEL: I definitely think marijuana should be legalized, because I think at the very little we can tax it, like we do alcohol and nicotine and we can spend that money in much better ways. I mean if we were taxing marijuana and the government was profiting from it, not only would we have a huge revenue stream that we could use on positive things for our country, you could also eliminate the entire
revenue stream that we’re spending to fight it. In that regard, that just doubles the hundreds of millions of dollars that we can then use for more useful things for this country, The overall war on drugs, I feel very similarly about it, I feel we’re spending astronomical amounts of money to fight something that isn’t going away and I think that rather than fight it we would be better served to figure out a way to profit from it. Again, we’re talking about something people are doing to themselves; there was a time when alcohol was illegal. I think the biggest stickler we’re going to have to cross with marijuana becoming legal is there’s not a simple test for it like there is for alcohol. It’s going to be hard for the government to say OK, we’re going to legalize marijuana, cause then you can get high and drive down the street and technically be high when you shouldn’t be driving, but there’s no simple test you can give someone to prove beyond unreasonable doubt that this person was smoking pot. I think that’s going to be the hardest one to get past. If there was a simple sobriety test, like there is for alcohol where they can test your blood alcohol level by blowing into a tube, if you could do that for marijuana I think we’d have a much easier time getting it passed
as a legal substance. I.M: You’ve had a lot of line-up changes. But how did you meet up with everyone that’s in the band now? EDSEL: Well the guitar player’s been in the band for nine years. Bass is a guy by the name of Tripp who was the singer for a band called Twisted Method that used to open for DOPE, and one time I was producing the band, we did a side project together, he’s been a buddy for years, and when our former bass player had a baby and couldn’t commit to the full touring cycle, it was a very natural progression for him. Our drummer, Angel has been kicking around for ages in different bands, he’s a real hardworking kid and has built a really good name for himself on his own and we needed a drummer, and started looking to guys we knew, and he was available and just fit the void. So…if you trace the history of the band its not uncommon for us to go through a band member or two every record or so. I think in this day and age, being that we’re not an equal four member, traditional band, it makes for change a lot more frequent for several reasons. Continued...
INCLINATION WEBZINE 2009 ISSUE2 PAGE30
Dope Continued... 1. You have one main creative driving force that sort of runs the show, and you have other guys that may like what’s going on or may choose to pursue something different, and of course who am I to stop anyone doing that? As well as other responsibilities happening to people, like I said, the former bass player having a baby and not being able to commit to the rugged tour schedule. At this point, it’s almost like a pro-football team, you keep the guys that make sense and the other guys go on and do something else and you look for someone to fill the void. The core of the band is myself and my guitar player and I’d like to think that these guys will be here for the next record but who knows? You can just never tell. I.M: Your third and fourth albums were released on your own label after a disappointing experience with a label. I see you’re now with Koch, or E1 as they’re now called… EDSEL: We only did our third record on our own, the fourth record we actually signed with a company called Artemis. A record company is definitely something that you need at the moment. Until the CD becomes obsolete and it all becomes downloads and iTunes then record companies are gonna have some relevance because they have the relationships to ship the records and get them into the stores across the world. So I think it makes sense. I think record companies are going to turn into marketing companies and they’re not going to have the same function. Right now their function is to
get your record shipped to record stores, but I don’t think, eventually stores are going to carry records, so we’ll see where that all goes. But again this was just another natural progression for us. We’ve always had a label of some sort, one time we kinda had our own thing going, but really at the end of the day, it’s kind of a façade more than anything because we’re calling all the shots, we’re spending someone else’s money and when that someone decides they don’t want you spending their money the way you think is best, they make the rules and you’re back in the same situation again. It is what it is. It’s a circle, sometimes it works out really good sometimes it sucks, at the end of the day, we’ll be a band doing what we do and we’ll be in business with somebody who works to our advantage, hopefully not our disadvantage. I.M: Your videos for Addiction
and 6-6-Sick are hot! Can you tell me about them? EDSEL: You know, they’re getting back to what we spoke about earlier: the sex, drugs and rock n’ roll. It’s what Dope does. The Addiction video, we had to make it real sexy, and we went more of a rock n’ roll vibe with it, cause that’s what I think the song called for, hopefully people will check it out. You can find it all over You Tube and on our Myspace. The 6-6-Sick video we got a little more creative. The song is about a psychedelic hell-ride basically, and it was a lot of fun. We decided to film a green screen video and get a chopper and do all kinds of stuff. Hopefully people will check them out. There’s a lot of energy in them. A lot of fun making them. I.M: Who did you have direct them? Continued... INCLINATION WEBZINE 2009 ISSUE 2 PAGE31
Dope Continued... EDSEL: I directed them with a buddy of mine named Rage who’s done a tremendous amount of stuff. He’s worked with everybody from Mudvayne to Fall Out Boy. He does a lot of the Hip/Hop stuff. So he knows how to make it look great. I generally come with the ideas and I’ll direct the videos myself, but in this case, time was of the essence and I needed that someone with that extra bit of experience and eye to help me get it all together, but I came with the ideas and Rage helped them come to life. I.M: Do you have any advice for young musicians or bands out there trying to make it? EDSEL: Hooo, Just be very very realistic and almost clear what it is you’re trying to accomplish. The business has changed so much, the opportunities are slimmer and slimmer, and more so than ever, this business preys on your desire to be an artist, and really unfairly compensate you with just the ability to do so. So many kids are willing to say “Yeah, if you’re gonna put my records in stores and put me on tour, I’ll do it for nothing. I’ll do it for a bologna sandwich for the opportunity” and that’s exciting when you’re young, but you do that for long enough and you start to go: well hold on a minute, I wanna have a future, I wanna have a family some day, and so on and so forth. You have to be very careful, cause this business was founded on using the artist’s desire to want to be on stage and perform as the artist’s compensation, unless you sell a bazillion records and make millions of dollars. There’s a
lot of rich people in this business and there’s a lot of poor people in this business. It’s very rare to find guys like myself that have made a pretty solid, reasonable living from music- I’m not rich, I’m not poor. I’m probably what you would equate to a guy who opened up his own tattoo shop a few years ago and has been successful at it. It’s a small business that I run like a business and I’ve been fortunate enough to have enough success from my business to have it last as long as it has. But again, that’s generally the exception to the rule, generally, you either get very lucky and make a lot of money or you get taken advantage of and make very little money, but you dedicate a very large portion of your life to it. So I would recommend people really know what they’re trying to get out of it and give yourself a certain amount of time and if you think things aren’t going the way want them to go, let music be your hobby. ‘Cause there’s nothing wrong with music being your hobby and being what you escape to, cause one day you might be in a situation where it is your job and not your hobby anymore and that can be very un-fun. I know a lot of people that play music for a living that hate music that used to love it, because it’s now how they have to pay their bills. That’s not a fun feeling to have.
fans like. Put together great artwork and videos and put on great rock shows. We’ll do it as long as they’ll let us do it and we’re very clear on that. We know without the fans we mean virtually nothing. We’re very grateful and very humble by our ability to do this so long and have so many true fans that come out and see us on such a consistent basis. We very much appreciate it. I.M: Are you looking forward to coming back to The Pearl Room for Powerfest? EDSEL: I am. ‘Cause the Midwest is our home. Mokena is an hour away from Chicago that we call home; we’ve had so many great shows there. It’s a small room to be coming in there with Black Label, it’s gonna be retarded, Yeah! We’re looking forward to it! I.M: Thank you very much. EDSEL: No problem, thanks for your time. www.myspace.com/dope
I.M: Do you have any words for your fans? EDSEL: Thank you! Wouldn’t be here without you. We’ll continue to do this as long as you guys are there for us and like what we do. We do INCLINATION WEBZINE 2009/ PG32
e Intervi ew with Nic k “Evil Tw in” Catanese
By Lissy MacMillan Inclination Magazine: Hi Nick, Thanks for doing this interview with us today. Nick: No Problem. I.M: Black Label Society has a new CD coming out very soon, would you like to tell us about it? Nick: Well, it’s a …Skullage you mean? I.M: Yes. Nick: It’s basically a compilation of Pride & Glory stuff, there’s some Black Label stuff, there’s a couple shots of Zakk and I doing acoustic bits. So it’s another little collectors piece. I.M: Sounds like you weren’t sure what I was talking about there for a sec. Do you have something else planned too? Nick: Well Zakk’s gonna be in the studio doing the new Black Label album about, probably late summer, that’s his baby, so… I have a project called Speed X with Mike Stone from Queensryche. In-be
tween Black Label I’m working with him, we’re trying to get that going, you know it never stops. It’s always going, trying to make music.
I.M: You’ve been with the band a long time, how did you meet Zakk and join Black Label Society? Nick: In about 1996 I actually sent Zakk an email. There wasn’t an ad that he needed a guitar player. But I saw his email address, asked if he needed a guitar player and we’ve been together ever since! I.M: Would you say that the band has grown in that time and is it evident in Skullage? Nick: The band has grown huge compared to back in ’98 to now. It’s unbelievable! The places that we used to play compared to…you know we did the Verizon Theater in NH, Manchester, which is like a big Arena. You’re talking Seven-
dust and Dope, that’s a great bill! But yeah, you’re comparing that to back in ’96 being in the back of an Astro Van driving around together, so things have definitely stepped up for the better. I.M: What does “Black Label Society” mean to you? Nick: It’s a way of life. Everyone who’s in it, is a part of your family. Like Zakk always said, it’s bigger than the band. The fans that come out are really dedicated! The tattoos, they’re really really into it! It’s just really really really flattering, and it’s an honor! Even now, people are getting tattoos of my logo, because I’ve been with Zakk for so long, people associate…even during the introduction, Zakk’s like he’s Keith Richards and I’m Ronnie Wood. That’s how close we are together as guitar players. I’ve been here so long, I’m furniture. I’m not going anywhere. It’s been a great experience- the coolest thing he ever said to me was “Use me as a stepping stone to get to where you need to be” and I’ve never had to Continued... INCLINATION WEBZINE 2009/ ISSUE 2 PG33
go anywhere. Everything has just happened through him. For me, having my first signature series Washburn guitar to now being with Paul Reed Smith, and I have my own signature series coming out with Paul Reed Smith. I’ve got my own Dean Markley Strings, EMG, I got my own Monster drink, I’m with Affliction Clothing. It’s all cool stuff and it happened through Black Label. It’s just such a blessing. You have to be marketable, and have fun with it, that’s where people miss the boat with it- it’s supposed to be fun! The hardest part for me is people are like “oh you get paid to play” no no no,
I play for free. I get paid to live out of a suitcase, I get paid to live on a bus with ten guys, I get for missing my friends and family- that’s what I get paid for. That hour, two hours of playing is the only time that anything makes sense. You know why you’re there at that point you’re on stage, and you see people sing your songs back. Everything makes sense then. When you’re by yourself, and you’re in a room and you’re dwelling on everything, that’s when you think “Now I know what I’m getting paid for”, but today, I’m sitting here in Myrtle Beach in my room and I’m over looking this beautiful marina. There’s a golf course that at 2 o’clock me and Clint and Morgan and Vinnie from Sevendust are all gonna go to. I don’t golf, but I’m gonna drive the cart. I’m the designated cart driver. It’s been a blast! This whole tour’s been a blast! I.M: Cool, make sure you get some pictures too! Nick: Absolutely, I’ll have to take my camera, did you ever see the movie “Caddyshack”?
I.M: Yes Nick: Well I’m gonna be like “Wang” Rodney Dangerfield’s little guy? That’s gonna be me, I’m gonna be Wang for the daythat’s my job! Everything’s going great, you get to play your instrument and hang with your best friend all day. I.M: What more could you ask for? Nick: Who can say that? I.M: When did you start playing guitar? Did you take lessons or are you self-taught? Nick: I started when I was about twelve and took lessons for a couple of years, then just sort of played it by ear. Then I got a band together when I was fifteen and we just started playing. The band that I started was called High Voltage. We were together up until I was twenty-one, then I was going to quit and go to computer school, but lo and behold, I emailed Zakk and my whole life changed. I.M: Wow! Nick: Yeah it’s crazy! When things are meant to be, it’s meant to be. It’s been a really crazy ride. I.M: You’ve been on tour for a while now, are there any interesting stories that you can share with us? Nick: The Singer from Sevendust…I’ve been friends with Continued... INCLINATION WEBZINE 2009/ ISSUE 2 PG34
BLS Continued... these guys for almost twelve years and I’ve known Clint for a long time and Lajon’s always the best, he’s always worn the Black Label vest. The second show…I actually had one made before I left and I was looking at my old one and there’s so much wear and tear on it- that’s my vest. So Lajon was in the dressing room, and I walked up and tossed him his vest and he was like “you’re kidding me?” and I said Nope, and he was like “12 years I’ve been waiting for this”. His last couple of songs he wears it, and it just goes to show the brotherhood we have. They said this is the best time they’ve had on the road with a band. I.M: So will they be with you when you come to Chicago Powerfest then? You know, to come and hang out, and watch? Nick: When is that? I.M: You’re playing May 8th. Nick: Oh yeah yeah, I’m sure. Cause they’re playing with us ‘till the end, I think so. I.M: What’s your favorite song to play live and why?
eight to ten hours a day on guitar hero, I just wish…put eight to ten hours on a real guitar, ya know? They’d be really good. Guitar Hero did bring Rock back to the forefront, which is really cool. I like seeing twelve and thirteen year old kids wearing Guns and Roses shirts. It’s like Wow, never saw that before! I think Guitar Hero really did a good thing by bringing rock and metal back to a place where it was dead for a while and it was all just hip/hop and rap and blah blah blah. And now you can tell the difference where it’s obviously a lot better. I.M: All the kids now know all the classic rock songs from back when we were growing up. Nick: Yeah! I know, it’s awesome! I.M: Tell me about your involvement with St Judes, and what can we do to help? Nick: All the meet and greets we do, all the money goes to St Judes, and just about anything we can do to help the kids. We’re big with the military, getting donations for Continued...
Nick: My favorite song? Probably Stillborn. Just because people sing it, they know the words. The drumbeat and the groove. It’s the last song of the show and everyone’s pumped up. That’s probably my favorite one. I.M: Black Label has some songs on video games, right? Nick: I think on Guitar Hero, Stillborn- yeah. Stillborn’s on Guitar Hero. I see kids putting in INCLINATION WEBZINE 2009/ ISSUE 2 PG35
the military. Everything we do as far as charities, and I’m actually selling a guitar, one of mine, it’s a Dean Razorback. I’m trying to sell it for donations for St Judes and the military and stuff. So, we’re always trying to make money and make people aware of people that are less fortunate. There was a show we did in Hartford and it was one of those days where I woke up and I was bitching about everything being a whiner and I walked on stage and there was a kid in front of me. He was in a wheelchair and he was just having the best time of his life, smiling. And I looked at him and everything just came into perspective. There’s no way I can walk up to this kid and tell him what my problems are. He’s in a wheelchair, he can’t stand, he can’t speak and he’s smiling bigger than I did the whole day. And I’m like Alright I get it! It’s all good, everything’s in perspective now. That’s the good thing, doing things for people, keeping yourself
humble. A lot of people get lost in it a bit, and you really can’t. Everyone’s a human being and nobody’s better than anyone and you just gotta take care of people.
agendas, and if we can, great. I.M: Is there anything else you’d like to add? Nick: If anyone wants to check out the band I’m doing, it’s called Speed X, they can go to www.myspace. com/speedxband and they can hear some songs, some demos, and I believe some time in May, we’re gonna be doing a show in Atlanta at the House of Blues. I’ll keep people up to date on that. But that’s it. The States we haven’t hit yet with The Bash, we’ll be seeing you soon, and those we did, we hope you enjoyed it! I.M: And I’ll see you on the 8th of May! Nick: Yeah! Thank You. I.M: Thank You.
I.M: I think its awesome you guys do that. Nick: I think a lot of people should do it, but everyone’s go their own
INCLINATION WEBZINE 2009/ ISSUE 2 PG36
amazing female drummer! They’ll be on The Summer Slaughter Tour before going on the European Paganfest Tour. Moonsorrow gave me chills! I didn’t want their set to end, but there were still two more bands to go. With Primordial and Korpiklaani you really got the folk sound with the metal and you know why they were the last two bands to play. I would love to see Primordial again and with all the drinking songs, I felt like I should be in a pub sitting on a stool with a tankard while listening to Korpiklaani, and that is not a bad thing at all!! Wow! A week later and my head is still reeling from this year’s Chicago Powerfest. Some of you have already heard me say this, but I compare Powerfest to Christmas Day- you want it to be every day, but know it would about kill you if it actually were. The first night I head up to The Pearl Room early, get a decent place in line and watch people with face paint, kilts and interesting props arrive- It’s Paganfest!! Some of these people really get into it. I’m excited because I missed the first night last year and I heard it was really good. The bands were: Swashbuckle from New Jersey, Blackguard (Sumerian records)
from Montreal, Canada, Moonsorrow (Spinefarm) from Helsinki, Finland, Primordial (Metal Blade) from Dublin, Cork, Ireland, and Korpiklaani (Nuclear Blast) from Lahti, Finland. Yes, Swashbuckle dressed and talked like Pirates. They even had a couple of those inflatable palm trees on stage- it gave “Jolly Roger” a whole new meaning. Blackguard has this
Friday night I considered to be the “Big Night”. Black Label Society was headlining and Dope, who have been on tour with them, were also playing and I love Dope. They also opened up an acoustic stage in Capones to provide entertainment in between bands on the main stage. Lost in Blue was the Buzznews.com Metal Wars winner and they opened the night with an energetic performance, which proved why they won the contest. After these guys was Chicago’s Mindwarp Chamber- a band I was very much looking forward to seeing live! They did not disappoint
From out of town or just don’t want to drive home? Just across the street from The Pearl Room is the Super 8 Motel. As well as the convenence of being so close to the venue, it’s within walking distance of the Metra Line which will take you into the City if you want to spend the day down there. Their phone number is: 708-479-7808. In the immediate vicinity, there is a Dennys, White Castle,
Beggars Pizza, Wendys, Subway and a Mindys. It’s not too far down the street for more selection, but I think there’s more than ample choice right there. If you tried to book your room at the Super 8 too late, there are other lodgings available nearby: The Hilton Garden Inn and Country Inns & Suites are just down the road. INCLINATION WEBZINE 2009/ ISSUE 2 PG 37
me, and I am hoping to see them again on June 13th at Doug’s Rock House in Aurora. The acoustic stage was now ready to start, so I popped next door and there was Will Bozarth standing on stage with his guitar singing to a very interested and chill crowd, it was a very different atmosphere in here, and I really liked the variety it provided. I also like to move around and this gave me a good reason to do so. I was talking to a friend of mine when I heard the music start up next door again, and when I got over to the Pearl Room there was Assailant from Sweden. These guys were great and I hope they make it over again, their set seemed way too short, oh and most of them were wearing Blackhawk shirts where they had gone to see a hockey game, good to see them supporting the right team. As I walked into Capones it was rather packed and, already playing was Sacred Dawn- yes, Sacred Dawn did an acoustic set! They did a bloody good job of it too. I know for a lot of these bands, this acoustic performance was a first for them, but it would be a great to see more of it, as it showcases the talent of these musicians very well. Next door, Kiuas from Finland played next, and for a lot of people, this band was the highlight
of the evening for them. This band, as well as having an amazing hard to define metal sound, as it includes progg, melodic, death, folk- dammit lets just call it “metal” – they also have a great stage presence. The last acoustic set of the night was Earthen Grave- you’ve probably heard of them before if you read my articles regularly as I had seen them recently play a regular show, opening for Macabre. They managed to Wow! me again, there is something very special about this band. Check them out with Mindwarp Chamber at Doug’s. The last three bands to play were from the Black Label tour: First was John JD DeServio’s project Cycle of Pain, you can tell he is in and very influenced by BLS. Dope was brilliant as always, they were my headliners for the night. There was a lot of anticipation and a long build up to Black Label Society coming on the stage. They put a big curtain up so we couldn’t see what was going on and this crowd of walking BLS leather vests was shouting “Zakk Wylde” and
“BLS” as they got impatient. I was wondering if the stage was going to get stormed and the curtain torn down. There’s no question that Zakk can play guitar and that they have some very passionate fans, but my night had ended when Dope left the stage. Day Three…relieved and sad at the same time. I am getting very tired and I’m grateful for the chair and table set-up in Capones so there is a chance to sit down when I feel the need (Oh dear I am getting old aren’t I?) Tonight’s acoustic entertainment is Gwynbleidd, from Brooklyn, NY, Chicago’s November’s Doom- who are also playing their regular set on the main stage and then Tony Valle who’s a comedian – yep I did say a comedian, and you know what? He was bloody hilarious and it didn’t seem as weird as it sounds. Over on the main stage, this fantastic young band called Diamond Plate opened up the night. There weren’t many people at the venue yet, but they got every single person’s attention with their stage presence and ripping guitar solos. Then there was Luna Mortis from Wisconsin, I was very happy to finally see them play and I was very impressed with Mary Zimmer’s vocals. The next two bands were both from Germany and were Sheephead and Perzonal War. Sheephead were brutal, with
INCLINATION WEBZINE 2009/ ISSUE 2 PG38
screaming vocals and very fast instrumentation, they had a lot of energy. Perzonal War is different, they mostly sing with clean vocals but their performance is no less energetic, just most of the movement comes from the guitarists rather than their frontman. These next guys have been around a while, and it was evident in the quality performance that Chicago’s Novembers Doom put on for us on the main stage. It was great to finally see this band that I have heard so much about. It’s always good to watch a Soil performance, they’re a band you can watch over and over again and not get bored of. The headliner for Saturday was DevilDriver! How can anyone not love this band? Especially live! They put on a great performance and I was sad when they were done and the night was finally
over. This was CRJ Production’s 7th Chicago Powerfest and I can’t even imagine the amount of work that must go into organizing something this big, so I have a lot of respect and admiration for these guys. I want to thank them for one of the best weekends of the year. I know from talking to people, there are several of us already looking forward to next year’s. By Lissy MacMillan
INCLINATION WEBZINE 2009/ ISSUE 2 PG39
JOHN ROBB: It was recorded in London at Pat Collier’s studio. Pat used to be in “The Vibrators” years and years ago. He has this cool little studio and does a lot of the punk bands. He did Cock Sparrer- they’re on the same label as us. He’s very laid back, gets the job done. We did a really quick thing, we did it in about six days because we’d rehearsed and because of touring. He did a really top job, it sounds ace. I.M: Who did the CD artwork? I really like it!
Lissy MacMillan interviews JOHN ROBB from
Finally!! I feel like I’ve waited so long for this moment. John Robb is not only the front man for the amazing punk rock band Goldblade, he is also a journalist, an author and a TV show host!! When does he find time to sleep? Some of you may also remember him from the band The Membranes. I was very lucky to do this interview over the phone, and have a good chat with him…hope you enjoy. INCLINATION MAGAZINE: How’s your latest release “Mutiny” doing for you? JOHN ROBB: It’s sold slightly better than the one before. The
other one did good for an underground band, which is what we are, really. I’d say it’s done about 10% better. It’s from touring for us and playing festivals because a band like us, we don’t get the radio, coz in England they don’t play our kind of music on the radio. I think there’s maybe one punk show on Radio 1 and they play us. That’s it, that’s all you’re gonna get, so just by doing support gigs and festivals, anyone outside of those who have already heard of us, get to hear our music. It’s kind of frustrating. I.M: Where was it recorded?
JOHN ROBB: This guy called Simon Clegg. I grew up in Blackpool and I was in a band called The Membranes in the 70s and 80s and he did every single sleeve with us. He’s like a mate. The guitar player in The Membranes was a guy called Mark Tilton and his brother was Ian Tilton, he is quite a famous music photographer in England now. I used to work with him for Sounds, did loads and loads of jobs together, he’s got quite a big reputation now. Now his best mate in school was Simon Clegg and that’s how we knew him. It’s kinda weird how everyone you know seems to be good at something. You don’t expect anyone to do anything good in Blackpool, but somehow we had this little crew of people that were good at stuff and like all punk bands you just use your little pool of friends. What we did was, describe the picture the picture to Simon, and then he’d send a little pencil line of it, we’d say, “Can you change this, this and this? Make it look more Continued... INCLINATION WEBZINE 2009/ ISSUE 2 PG40
John Robb Continued... macabre” and he’d send me back a new drawing. I like the way he draws. Look at the Membranes artwork, there’s loads of his stuff all over the Internet. IM: Do you write the lyrics? I hear you’re a bit of a writer… JOHN ROBB: Yeah, yeah I am. I writebooks. I just finished writing this big book about Manchester. So I’m always writing, writing lyrics, writing little stories. It’s kinda funny; you spend your whole life tapping away at your laptop. It’s not very Punk Rock is it? You kinda get into music because you love it and you want to play it, how did I end up writing about it? It wasn’t really the plan, you know? I.M: Do you currently have a single out from the album? JOHN ROBB: We did a Christmas single. We re-recorded one track off the album, “City Of Ghosts” and did “City of Christmas Ghosts” with Poly Styrene of X-Ray Specs. It came out in the UK only, we did a couple thousand vinyls of it, it’s sold out here, but you can get it on iTunes if people wanna get it. If you look it up on YouTube, there’s also a video of me and Poly walking down the Prom in Brighton. Poly sounded ace, sounded like she did when she was younger, she’s great, really cool! If we’d been on a big label, if we’d had lots of money, we could have had a big hit with it, but our hands are tied. To have a big hit, you have to have loads of money. It’s funny, when you’re a little kid, you think you’re gonna make lots of money getting a hit record but it costs you about twenty thou-
sand quid to get one in the charts. I don’t have that money at all, and of course we can’t get on the radio! There’s just every excuse in the world to not play your record. “Well we don’t play that type of music” “Well what type of music do you play?” You go to an alternative station and they wont play it, you go “Oh it’s alternative music is it? Is it too alternative for you?” They move the goal posts all around all the time you know. I.M: Tell me about your band Goldblade. JOHN ROBB: We’re essentially a punk rock band, there’s no limitation. There’s so many styles of music and they’ll all emerge in there somewhere. I grew up a Punk Rocker and I still listen to Punk Rock a lot. But I like a lot of different styles of music, blues, hip-hop, rap. I don’t narrow myself down and somehow it’ll end up in our sounds, we don’t
do a hip hop track, because there’s nothing more corny than a band like ours trying to do a hip hop track, but there’ll be little flavours of it mixed in there, which no-one would notice unless they knew how we did it. It all kinda mooshes together into our songs. We like the crowds to join in and sing with us, because to us, Punk Rock is communal experience. It’s not about Rock Stars, like with U2 or something. We’ve played some pretty big gigs in our time and it’s great when you play the song and you get the whole crowd to sing them that to me is one of the important things about Punk Rock, breaking down that barrier between the band and the audience. It’s about community too, it’s a world-wide community, that’s a very modern thing, you can have more in common with someone in Chicago than you have with your next door neighbours, kind of more joined tocontinued... INCLINATION WEBZINE 2009/ ISSUE 2 PG41
John Robb Continued... gether like, because of the internet. Because we’re a band that tours around the world, you can feel this community it’s very strong out there. There’s people in Tokyo that are on your wavelength and you can find them, and I like that idea of Punk Rock. I.M: I saw on your calendar that you’re going to be playing “Mutiny Festival”… JOHN ROBB: Yeah a festival named after our album, isn’t that cool!?
now and it’s going to be one of the main punk festivals this summer. Another thing we did is we got in touch with one of the punk festival promoters and said “Look, all you guys have got to work together, there’s no point in having rivalry” and they’re all good mates now and going to each other’s festivals, which is important too, because it’s all about teamwork in the music we’re involved in, because you don’t get the radio, we don’t get a lot of press. So we have to
I.M: Yeah it is! I was going to ask if it has anything to do with your album, that’s awesome! JOHN ROBB: The Organizer is a huge Goldblade fan, and because we have a lot of energy, I think he’s got some of that energy from us. The idea of Goldblade is to inspire people to do stuff. I know bands sell merchandise, which is nice because it’s what keeps a band afloat, but I think there’s more about going to a gig. You know we go to see some of these big bands sometimes and people with queue and buy six T-shirts and I think, “Why not buy one T-Shirt and a guitar and make your own music?” because really that’s what Punk Rock is all about. This guy, Fisher, can’t play music, so he’s putting on his own festival. I think it’s really good. But it’s a tough call with the recession, but give him credit, he’s put his mind to it and sorted it out. He’s put a lot of money into it. He’s selling a lot of tickets
work together to keep our bands alive. All the bands do know each other and do tend to work together, which I think is really cool as well. Sharing information. I.M: Do you know who else is playing? JOHN ROBB: Stiff Little Fingers, UK Subs…You know when you play so many festivals, you forget who’s playing at which one, they’re roughly the same bill at each one. It’s on the internet- look at the website… http://www.myspace.com/mutinyfestival I.M: Where else will you be going on tour this year?
JOHN ROBB: UK tour in April, then we’re gonna do a German tour in Oct/Nov. Another big UK tour around that. We’re trying to get back into America. Got back in touch with SOS Records, see if they wanna do the album and then…it’s kinda hard to tour America, because the real problem is getting a visa. Just to go over there it costs about three thousand quid, to get the whole band into America. Where the other way around: American bands get to come into England for free, bit crap really ain’t it? There’s a lot of paper, it’s really complex. So a lot of bands aren’t touring right now. I.M: I grew up listening to bands like The Damned, Stiff Little Fingers…I know you now play shows with these guys. Who did you grow up listening to and have you had the chance to play with anyone that was a huge influence on you?
JOHN ROBB: I grew up with Glam Rock bands like Mott The Hoople, T-Rex, Bowie, all that kind of stuff. But it seems very unattainable, like it’s from a different planet, that kind of music. The great thing about Punk is that it’s made so you can do it yourself and that’s such a powerful message. You know when the Buzzcocks did “Spiral Scratch” it was like, WOW! They have made this record themselves. You could tell they’d photocopied the sleeves. You think you can actually make your own record. Now it’s nothing because you Continued... INCLINATION WEBZINE 2009. ISSUE 2 PG42
John Robb Continued... can just shove all your tracks on the Internet, but at that age, just the idea of making a record that everyone could hear just seemed absolutely impossible. It was quite inspirational that you could make your own record, so that’s what we did. We made our own record. So for the punk thing…the glam thing turned me onto music, but the punk thing turned me onto making music, the idea that you could make your own stuff. You didn’t have to learn eight hundred chords to make a song. We couldn’t even play our first gig- we just got up on stage and tried, that’s what it should be, you know? You don’t have to be a virtuoso to be in a band. If we’re at a gig and some band’s playing and they’re really struggling, ore power to them, at least they’re up there trying to do something.
I.M: What do you think sets you apart from other Punk bands of this era that has made you so successful? JOHN ROBB: What sets us apart? Well I dunno. We’ve got our own little version of what Punk Rock is and I don’t think that any version is more right or wrong than any other version. You can play on a bill with a band like Conflict, they’ve got an absolute wall of sound, it’s great because it’s challenging, there’s a lot of energy and an-
I.M: What’s your opinion on the current state of politics and the economy in both the UK and the US? How do you think the music industry, that’s already struggling will get through this?
ger to it. They sound completely different from what we do but somehow we’re joined together, you know? I don’t see it, as one band’s better or more important than the other. I guess what we have as a band is the songs are catchy, melodic, there’s a lot of energy, we do a really full-on gig, a lot more energy than most bands. We took a lot of care over the lyrics. Yeah those kinds of things give us our flavour, and because we’ve been playing a long time, we’re a tight band.
JOHN ROBB: Quite interesting really, because its all those things we’ve been singing about for years in the Punk Scene, ya know? It’s the end of capitalism, or it should be. You can tell they’re really panicking, the money people. They’re trying to put a finger in a dam that has a massive crack in it. I think with Obama getting in, there’s not much he can do, it’s a feel-good factor, the situation is fucked. We’ve had this situation before where we’ve crashed and come out the other side, but how long is the crash gonna last for? The bank system is so corrupt, so bent. You can’t justify the money they make shoveling bits of paper around; it’s not even real money. I often wonder what the fuck they really do. How Continued...
INCLINATION WEBZINE 2009 ISSUE 2 PG43
John Robb Continued... can they justify making all that money when nurses are making none, it’s a fucked up society. In a thousand years time people will look back and say, “How could they do that? It doesn’t make any sense” You know, how we look back on the Victorian era when people lived in the city full of clouds of smoke, or families of six people living in the cellar of a house like they did in Manchester, you know that seems really wrong. These guys pay themselves huge amounts of money and bonuses for basically shifting fake money around, they’re criminals, they’re crooks aren’t they? And they’ve been found out. All those years, those political people on the punk scene who know about this, talk about this, sing about this, and now it’s general knowledge. I can’t say I’m sorry to see these people fucking up. I think its bad that people lose their jobs as a result of these people’s greed, but I think the way we were living up to the point of this recession was absolutely ridiculous. I’ve got a car, but it’s twenty thousand quid and it’s not as good as one that’s twenty-four grand, so I’ll buy one on me card. Why not keep that one car going? People living beyond their means for a long long time. In the end all our debt gets called, and that’s what’s happening now. I think that’s a fucked up situation, but people are adaptable, people deal with situations. The other big story of our times of course is the situation in Iraq and Afghanistan and I think that’s a fucked up situation as well. Hopefully Obama will put out the hand of friendship. I know he’s tried;
it’s kind of weird- he does that then sends twenty thousand troops into Afghanistan. I hope it’s not a case of says one thing and does another; you’re hoping he is what you believe he is. To have America respected again- no feared, but liked to a certain extent, at least like it was before Bush became President where people loved American culture. They didn’t like the president so much, but they loved the culture. It’s sad when you see people hating America because there’s some great things about America, just not the people who run it. That’s what’s exciting about Obama, there’s a person that the people said, “I like this guy” He does seem really likeable. The people over here are more excited about him getting in than anyone getting in over here! With the current situation everyone needed an “up” something to get excited about. There’s no way he can be as good as what people are hoping, that’s impossible. Also everyone has different expectations, so you have to compromise them somehow. But I would like
to see him make friends with as much of the world as he can do. There are some with such extreme positions they will be impossible to make friends with, but with a little diplomacy, a lot of situations could be sorted out there. I just wonder what the comedians are gonna do now, because Bush was such an easy target! I.M: You have a new book out on the history of Punk Rock! Do you want to tell us about it? JOHN ROBB: That one came out a year and a half ago actually. It’s all quotes, about six hundred pages long- a huge book! It came out really good; it’s done really well! The new book I’ve got coming out is the same format; it’s The Oral History Of Manchester Music. It starts off with Punk; we kind start out with the Buzzcocks into Joy Division, goes on into Roses, Happy Mondays and ends with Oasis. It’s all about generation really. The generation of Punk Rock Continued....
INCLINATION WEBZINE 2009 ISSUE 2 PG44
ple that lived it. There’s a lot of people that are really good talkers like that in the book. It was hard squeezing everything in the book, a lot of it had to be edited out. It’s about a tenth of the size it could have been. It’s coming out in the UK and Europe in April, then the agent’s going to look for a deal in America. I.M: How many books have you written?
John Robb Continued... N’ Roll and how they diversified and criss-crossed the music into different styles and ends with Oasis because Noel’s probably the last person that grew up on the edge- he’s younger, but he grew up touched by punk rock living in Manchester. So I thought it was an interesting place to end it, when Oasis played to 250,000 people at Knebworth, which is quite a spectacular place to end. It starts off with The Pistols and Buzzcocks gig and 40 people there which basically started the Manchester scene, a really important gig. It’s a really great story, because no matter what you think of the bands, they’re all really interesting characters. You’ve got people like Johnny Marr and Ian Browne and they can really talk, they understand their pop-culture inside out. They know why they’re wearing a pair of socks and what record that pair of socks related to. They’re like Pop Professors, not academics, but peo-
JOHN ROBB: Four. One’s about the history of Manchester. One’s about the noisy underground scene of the 80s when I was involved with The Membranes. So there was The Membranes, The Three Johns, Nightingales, The Witness. It was like the post post punk scene. Very Underground. We were all over the world; we toured America a few times, all over Europe. It was little pockets of resistance to crap in the mainstream really. I.M: Is it true that you gave us the phrase “BritPop”? JOHN ROBB: Yeah I did. It’s not the world’s cleverest piece of word play. 1988 I reviewed The La’s over in Liverpool and I’d seen some article on British Punk bands and they’d called it “BritCore” So I just twisted it around and called The La’s BritPop a week after. And that was six years before BritPop started. It kinda kicked around the press then stuck to that scene. It used to be a little game when working for newspapers, quite fun actually, making up completely
fake adjectives, but they would stick and people would just start using them. I made up quite a few at the time, but I can’t remember them now. I.M: You’ve accomplished so much! What would you say is your greatest achievement so far?
JOHN ROBB: Surviving. Being able to create something, that’s one hell of an achievement. So many young bands, they get a record deal, make a couple of records, get dropped, split up and they don’t make music ever again. Being creative is in your blood; it’s there all the time. Whether you’re walking around or if you’re lying in bed you’re thinking up tunes and ideas and concepts. It doesn’t switch off does it? If you’re in a band for only two years, you’d have to force yourself to not think like that anymore. I don’t really understand that because it’s always going on. It’s a little fire that doesn’t go out. I can’t say: On April 4th 1989 I did this thing that was really mega, its lots of little things.
I.M: Have you started writing any new material for another album yet?
JOHN ROBB: Yeah, we got about four new songs. We’ll probably wait to do another album until next year because we’ve got to tour America with this one first. Give it time to get this one sold. We’re not Continued... INCLINATION WEBZINE 2009 ISSUE PG45
John Robb Continued.... like U2, where we put the record out and get on TV- they’ve been on TV like twenty times the last week! It’s not like that; it’s just the way the cards are dealt. So if we were to tour America this time next year, we’d be touring the new album and we’d be getting ahead of ourselves. It’s not like we ever stop writing though. I.M: Is there anything else you’d like to add?
JOHN ROBB: Go check out our music on myspace, you can make up your own minds about us, Myspace is great for all that stuff, shame it’s owned by Murdoch but it’s great for bands coz it lays out your table: Here’s what we sound like, here’s our videos, come check us out. And when we come play in America, if you like our music, come check us out, come chat and that cause we’re not a band that sits in the dressing room like rock stars doing cocaine or something. We like to hang out with people and talk about Punk Rock all night, that’s what we love doing, you know? We wanna hear other people’s music as well. I.M: OK, who’s one of your favourite bands right now? JOHN ROBB: Hard to say, it changes all the time. Last night I was blasting out Black Flag’s first album. To me, it always sounds ace, that record, totally great record. Never get sick of it.
LISSY’S LIVE RECOMMENDATIONS I love going to live shows- no surprise there, right? Well, I thought I’d share with you some of the bands I’ve seen that have made an impression on me. I don’t always have the opportunity to interview PRIG
or write a whole article on everyone I go and see, so I thought this would be a good way to let you know who I’ve seen and who I think you should check out. Friday night I went to see my EARTHERN GRAVE
friends, Thorn Fetish play and as usual they nailed it. They had a couple of great bands playing with them: Habit of Force, from Joliet, IL. and Prig from St. Louis, MS. Habit of Force is Bigtruck on Vocals and Guitar, Jason on Drums and Junior on Bass. Their influences are Pantera (they played an awesome cover of a Pantera song), Machine Head and Soulfly. Check them out at www.myspace.com/ habitofforce. Prig’s a five-piece hardcore metal band with JB on vocals, Jay-Dub: Drums and vocals, Josh on Guitar, Dan on Bass and Freebs playing Lead Guitar. They played a high energy performance and you know they were putting everything they had into their music. The crowd was loving it and feeling it too. www.myspace. com/prig1. The other week I saw a band recommended to me by my friend JennX at Nervecast Music called Earthen Grave. My initial impression was “WOW!!” You will not see a band like this very often, if ever. What makes Earthen Grave Continued...
I.M: Well thanks so much for doing this interview with us! INCLINATION WEBZINE 2009 ISSUE 2 PG46
Lissy’s Live Recommendations Continued...
INTERVIEW BY TIMO SATANIS IM: Why don’t you tell us a bit about who you are and where you’re from? JD: Johnny Daggers of Kult-Ikon. Formerly of Blackmass99 and The Soundtrack Killers. I hail just east of the “Steel City”, Pittsburgh. IM: What artists have inspired you the most? JD: Numerous artists. Skinny Puppy, Ministry, Psychopomps, Leatherstrip, TKK, Mussolini Headkick,Boris Mikulic, Numb, Rozz Williams, Front 242 and the list goes on. IM: What bands do you think you’re most similar to? JD: None that come directly to mind.
I see a lot of similarities between what I am doing with Kult-Ikon to the aforementioned artists. The traces of influence are there but I don’t think that the songs or album on a whole sounds like anyone in entirety. IM: Any plans on touring any time soon? JD: Touring...well considering that I am an agoraphobic that’s yet to be decided. Seriously thou, if I could find the right group of musicians. As you may know, Kult-Ikon is a one-man outfit. I had to go it alone because I was sick and tired of being in bands where very talented musicians lacked the dedication to actually make the shit work. I just got to the point where
ever. What makes Earthen Grave very special is that they have an Extended-range electric violin played as part of the main band by world renowned artist Rachel Barton Pine. It was amazing to watch, and the audience agreed with me. The rest of the band are all very talented artists in their field: Mark Weiner: Vocals, Tony Spillman: Guitar, Jason Muxlow: Guitar, Ron Holzner: Bass, Scott Davidson: Drums. If you’re coming to Chicago Powerfest, you’ll see them Friday night. Watch out for an interview with this band coming in the near future. www.myspace. com/earthengrave. A real kick-ass garage/punk band from the Chicago area is called Gunrunner. My friends from American Anti-Gravity have been saying for years- “you gotta see Gunrunner, u gotta see Gunrunner” So, I saw they were playing down the road from me one night and checked them out. Doug E. Danger on Vocals, Steel on Drums, Scout playing Guitar, and Adam Cautious on Bass combined make up the band and I was extremely excited watching these guys play. What would make me really happy?? A Gunrunner, American Anti-Gravity and Mr Russia show this summer…guys, make it happen, huh? www.myspace.com/gunrunnerrock
INCLINATION WEBZINE 2009 ISSUE 2 PG47
Kult Ikon Continued... I thought, Fuck it. If no one else has the heart and passion than I will do it by myself. For now KultIkon may just randomly make appearances once or twice a year. I like the thought of keeping the fans hungry and not wearing out my welcome. I like to think of Kult-Ikon shows as being a pilgrimage that fans make once a year or every other year. Again thou... if I had dependable musicians backing me for a live tour and if I could bring my wife Tara I would seriously consider a large tour. IM: Where do you feel the US is headed in regards to the industrial scene compared to artists from Europe? JD: Here’s where I should bite my tongue. The United States needs to wake up in so many ways. We are becoming more and more of a closed-minded society with each passing day. So much so that it sickens me. I think that this thought process or lack there of has infected the entire music industry in the U.S. and in regards to the U.S based industrial bands I have one word, EXPERIMENT! Too many bands use the standard verse, chorus, verse chorus, break, solo, verse, and chorus. I don’t think that there is anything special about Kult-Ikon but the songs are unstructured structure, if you know what I mean. The European audience is more open and more apt to understand, appreciate and enjoy Kult-Ikon.
IM: If you had to choose one piece of musical equipment to use for the rest of eternity, what would it be? JD: My Alesis. With my previous self-manned project “The Soundtrack Killers” I played many live
shows using nothing more than heavily orchestrated synth arrangements. IM: How do you feel about the incorporation of live video mixing at industrial shows? JD: I fully support incorporating live video mixing. Concerts should be an assault on all of ones senses. As an artist and musician our job is to lore in the audience and make them feel what we are trying to convey. I firmly believe that fans have been cheated if they do not leave a show and still feel the lingering effects from it for the reminder of the night or in to the next day. Ticket prices are over inflated and all the wrong people are profiting from it. I believe today’s concert attendees seriously weigh their options of which band they
go see. The days of being able to afford 2-3 shows a week are long over. Give the fans their moneys worth. Implement video and or stage theatrics and connect with the audience. IM: You’re stranded in the desert, being attacked by candy ravers. How do you respond? JD: I love horror films and I think that being attacked by candy ravers is perhaps one of the scariest scenarios that I’ve been asked to think about. Wouldn’t that make a Great Romero film? The way I envision it thou, it sounds more like a project for Roger Corman. I suppose I would either eat their candy thus rendering their powers or pull out my boot knife and start slashing. Either one depending on my mood at the time. IM: What’s your favorite sample of all time? JD: If you are asking in regards to samples from other bands, there are so many. My favorite sample that I ever used was for The Soundtrack Killers. I used a sample from a doctor on Jenny Jones who was describing the dangers of Shaken Baby Syndrome. The doctor was explaining how the spinal chord is ripped from the bas of the brain and comes crashing through the boney exterior of the skull. It saddens me that I lost that sample and have never been able to find it again. My other favorite is the 911 sample that I use in the new song Code187.If I had to choose ones INCLINATION WEBZINE 2009 ISSUE 2 PG48
10 “Don’ts” in planning and obtaining your tattoo I’ve been tattooing professionally for 13 years now, and in that time I have witnessed many regrets of customers who made hasty decisions. As tattoos become more and more popular, it seems many people take for the granted the seriousness of permanent body art. The following is a top 10 list of things to avoid when deciding to get a tattoo. 10. DONT ASSUME AN ARTIST IS SKILLED JUST BECAUSE HE/SHE WORKS IN A TATTOO SHOP. As tattoos become more popular, so do tattoo shops. Its supply and demand. Many people are jumping at the chance to take your money by opening business without any prior experience. Just because someone can trace doesn’t mean they’re an artist. There are many people tattooing who shouldn’t be. Insist on seeing the portfolios of artists before making a decision on who does your tattoo. Examine every picture in the artist’s portfolio. Kult Ikon Continued from another band; I would have to go with the samples in Skinny Puppy’s song “Brap”. Not for the samples particularly but for how the samples created such a wonderfully horrific atmosphere. As a child I had a morbid fascination with death and nightmares. I would purposely put “Brap” on repeat every night for like a year to sleep to and see what nightmares it would evoke. I can honestly say that a lot of dreams as a result to that song where like a bad acid trip. So the way that the samples were used to cre
By Dave Wallace of Culture Shock Tattoos 1052 Marsh St. Valparaiso, IN 46383 (219) 476-0101
Real tattoos are forever. You can shop around for deals, but make sure the artists are worthwhile first. If the price is too high but the artist is the right one, have some patience and save your money. It’s better than paying twice as much in the long run for having to fix poor work. 8. DONT BE IN A HURRY.
A portfolio is to show skill, not for you to choose a design. So don’t just flip through the portfolio looking for designs you like. If the quality of the artwork looks poor, simply say “thanks for your time”, and leave. Ask people who have tattoos about where they obtained theirs, and what their opinion of that shop and artist is.
Too many people these days want everything “NOW”. A tattoo should never be done in the spur of the moment. If your artist is too busy to get you in right away, that’s probably a good sign that he/she is in demand. If the artist is skilled, it’ll be well worth it to wait for a couple days, or even a couple of weeks.
9. DONT SHOP BY PRICE.
7.DONT BE AFRAID TO ASK QUESTIONS.
We all need to save money these days, but the price of a tattoo should be the last thing inquired about. A good tattoo isn’t cheap, and a cheap tattoo isn’t good. If price is the most important issue for you, go get a stick-on tattoo. ate the imagery in “Brap” was very monumental to me. IM: Any last words? JD: The debut is scheduled for release in Oktober of this year on 90f9 Records. I am currently working on kultikon.com, which will be up, and running very shortly. For anyone interested in obtaining the EP please contact me via myspace. I am also looking for a European label willing to pick up the debut release. I want to thank you for taking the time and in-
Tattooing is a surgical procedure and you have the right to know everything and anything you want to know about it. If your artist is truly knowledgeable, as well as professional, he/she terest in Kult-Ikon. Also, a big thanks to Lissy. And to all of the Inclination Magazine readers. Keep supporting this wonderful publication. I see many a great things coming your way. And please, by all means check out KultIkon. www.myspace.com/kultikon www.kultikon.com (coming soon)
INCLINATION WEBZINE 2009 ISSUE 2 PG49
“Don’ts” in obtaining your tattoo continued.... will have nothing to hide and be more than willing to answer every question you have. Remember, G.I.Joe says, “Knowing is half the battle!” 6. DONT PISS OF YOUR ARTIST. Over the years, I’ve had to deal with a few customers with serious attitude problems. Needless to say, I wasn’t all too gentle with them. It’s never wise to upset or insult the guy with a needle in his hand. Make sure you extend the same courtesy the expect from your artist. And try not to irritate your artist during the tattoo process. Shut your cell phone off. If you can’t go an hour without texting someone, you are not mature enough for a tattoo anyway. 5. DONT GET A TATTOO JUST BECAUSE YOUR FRIENDS DO. Make sure you get a tattoo because it’s something important to you. Again, tattoos are forever. It’s ok to be someone without a tattoo. Sure, you wont be as cool as the tattooed folk, but its ok. 4. DONT TAKE ANYTHING BEFORE GETTING A TATTOO. Alcohol is a big “no-no” before getting a tattoo. Alcohol thins your blood, and causes excessive bleeding during your tattoo. Painkillers, even aspirin, also contain blood thinners, which helps the medicine move more quickly through your body. Excessive bleeding can result in loss of color, as well
as scabbing. So come in sober and medication-free. If you cant handle the tattoo straight, then you are weak and dont deserve the honor of being tattooed any way. 3. DONT EXPECT YOUR ARTIST TO SPEAK CHINESE. Many shops carry kanji (Chinese symbols) in their flash racks. Most of the time, these sheets of flash are not created by your artist, but rather bought by them. In these cases, your artist usually cannot guarantee the definition of the symbol. It’s quite possible that the symbol you chose for “badass” actually translates to “trendy douche-bag”. Your artist should warn you about this, and then you can’t hold him/her responsible. Maybe instead of getting that kanji, you should be a little more original.
people think they have the magic relationship that could never fail. Tattoo your kid’s names, ok. Tattoo the name of your deceased grandma, sure. Husband/wife or boyfriend/girlfriend is not cool. I’ve seen couples married for 30 years, and one of them gets a name and the relationship crumbles. Some say the name-tattoo is cursed. Whether you believe that or not doesn’t matter. Why tempt fate? There are no guarantees in life. Even if your relationship is perfect, people die, and eventually those they leave behind decide to move on. Just wear each other’s underwear. It’s cheaper, and you can always burn their undies if things don’t work out. Let me say one last time, tattoos are forever. Think it over. Talk it over with your artist and see what he/she thinks. Brainstorm together and come up with some amazing. Take your time and you will be much more satisfied with your tattoo in the end. www.myspace.com/cultureshocktats
2. DONT GET TRENDY TATTOOS!! Tattoos are not like a pair of jeans. You can’t just throw them away when they aren’t cool any more. A tattoo should have personal meaning, or be an amazing piece of art. It should be an expression of you. BE AN INDIVIDUAL! Make your tattoo stand out amongst all others. A talented artist wants to give you something amazing. These days, when you show someone your new tribal armband, they are probably thinking “yeah, like I haven’t INCLINATION WEBZINE 2009 ISSUE 2 PG50
John 5. Upon hearing the name most people have no idea who you’re talking about. There are those, however, who know this man as a talented artist; John has been a member of both Rob Zombie and Marilyn Manson. I logged into my Myspace one day and scanned over the announcements and saw John 5 was launching a clinic tour. I clicked the link hoping that he would appear in my city, and to my luck he was. I made plans to go with my friend Dominick, so when the day came I got myself all dressed up and headed to the Sam Ash guitar center. Due to conflicting schedule times on two different websites and getting lost I arrived a little late. I didn’t let that deter me; I maneuvered around people until I could get a good look at John 5. He was just finishing up discussing his different guitars before launching into a quick paced song.
At the end of the song he took some more questions and I learned how versatile of an artist he was. He came from a musical family and decided to pick up a guitar. John went to his guitar teacher and told him he wanted to play Kiss when first learning guitar. At my side, Dominick snapped photos and videos of the
performance so I could enjoy myself. I watched as his fingers skirted across the frets as he strummed some notes, a habit it seems most guitarists or bassists pick up. I noticed his brightly colored tattoo sleeves stood out against his pale skin and worn red shirt. His make up, was a genuine
John 5 creation, one of a kind, it appeared he stuck to some of his Marilyn Manson roots when it came time to apply his make up. His chin length blonde hair hung loosely and swayed around his face as he shook his head to the music, playing in a way that was uniquely his own. He stretched his black coated ‘half-Joker’ like lips into a smile as John revealed that he passed on the chance to appear on American Idol to be at the guitar clinic. John played a wide variety of music, from bluesy, to rock, to classical and country, John played it all. He demonstrated the notes to play each genre and informed us not to stick to one type of genre, to keep it broad. Much to my delight he launched into Thunder Kiss ’65 and Sweet Home Alabama as part of his set. His fingers moving quickly almost at an inhuman speed up and down the instruments neck, never faulting. At my side, I heard Dominick, who didn’t even know who John was, praise him. Dominick spoke of how good and talented he was, he couldn’t hide the surprise and shock in his voice. I smiled, he was stating what I already knew, and turned back to John so I could listen to him intently as he told of his most embarrassing moment. He was playing his first gig at a Detroit bar, when he was around the age 11,
INCLINATION WEBZINE 2009/ISSUE 2 PG51
John 5 Continued
when he fell onstage and skinned up the side of his face. I remember this because when John 5 left the stage, after throwing some guitar picks and cd’s to the crowd, he disappeared to rest before meeting the fans, there was a trivia game and raffle taking place. The question asked was in what city did John have his most embarrassing moment. I shot my hand up and answered with the correct city, Detroit. Earning myself a Fender shirt. John 5 set himself up at the merchandise table and greeted the anxious fans. We were told that we could have our items signed that we brought, or that we purchased at the merchandise table, we also had the option of having a mini poster signed that was complimentary on fender. We were instructed that we could take a photo with John, but to be courteous and not hang all over him or shake his hand. I lined up and as I was waiting, I purchased a John 5 shirt. Finally I reached the front of the line and slid my poster to him, his black surgical gloved hands skirted over the picture as he imprinted his signature upon it. I gave him a smile and asked for a picture, his response was a polite “of course”.
Review of “Chemical Gods” by The Crossing (Chicago) I thanked him and stood next to him, flashing the devil horns as Dominick captured the image. I told him he did really great and that he was awesome, his reply was “Thank you so much” before greeting the next fan. That night I walked out of the guitar center in my platform boots with a smile, knowing I had met one of the legitimately talented musicians in the world of music. John 5’s latest album ‘Remixploitation’ can be heard on his Myspace http://www.myspace.com/ john5official. Where you can also purchase his other albums and learn more about this talented artist. You can also check out more pictures and videos on my Myspace: http://www.myspace.com/ shortlilpeanut
Chicago Rocks!!! Here’s more proof in the pudding, and that pudding is very sweet…The Crossing is a Rock/Alt band whose influences range from Slayer to Rush, Metallica to Cheap Trick and Stone Temple Pilots to The Beatles. This four-piece band is made up of the following: Steve Lazzara (vocals), Danny Jett (Bass and Vocals), Pat Ring (Drums and Percussion), and John Bullaro (guitar, keys and vocals), and each member is very accomplished in their area of music. This has resulted in their new release: A 2 disc, 40-song album called Chemical Gods. They sent me a 10-song sample CD to review for them, and if the rest of the album is as good as this one-fourth then I highly recommend you get it. Especially if you are fans of good classic rock like Rush and Journey, but also if you’re into the newer rock and alternative bands that are being played on the radio today. The Crossing have brought their own edge to a classic rock sound that will have you loving this album on the first listen. Their overall sound is clean with catchy lyrics about girls, drugs and rock n’ roll and with a cover of “Relax” in there you can’t go wrong. www.myspace.com/ thecrossing1111 By Lissy INCLINATION WEBZINE 2009/ISSUE 2 PG52
Predator are a self-described “Heavy Metal” band from Ft Lauderdale, Florida. Their sound is more Power Metal though, Nestor Aguirre sings in a high register typical of power metal bands, he has had some vocal training from a coach called Ross Salvosa and says he learned a lot from him and Dan Galante uses two bass drums to get that fast beat. The guitar solos just absolutely blew me away; Damien uses a Moser Genesis, a Moser Wraith and guitars that he makes by hand! Chris uses a Moser BVI and a Damien Raven that Damien handmade for him. What guitarists do they aspire to? Chris: I like a lot of guitarists. There is always something you can learn from everyone. Damien: I think each guitarist out there brings something new to the table. Can’t really pick a favorite. It all depends on the mood, too. Rudy (Bass) wasn’t around to answer questions, but I asked who was his favorite metal band and Nestor told me that he’s always talking about Slayer.Their debut album was released June 16th, visit their myspace to order it. The twelve song, self-titled CD was produced by Chris Reiser and Damien Lee Thor themselves, and then mixed at Studio 107, in Ft Lauderdale by Brian Harelik. Each song is very unique, Damien who writes all the lyrics said: “Writing poetry (and I have also written books) has always been very natural for me. Every song is about something different. I covered many social subjects with the songs on the album. We already wrote most of the songs for our
By Lissy MacMillan second cd, too!” A couple of songs that really stood out for me were Die Unborn and an instrumental piece called Fugue-itive. Damien told me about Die Unborn… “I had played around with the idea for a long time for this one. The riff for the intro Chris had composed a few years back when he was in Metal Militia with Paolo Gregolletto, who is now the bass player from Trivium. We used the intro riff and basically created a whole new song from it. It is one of my favorites that we play live because it has that raw and heavy power that I love in a metal band. It is a song about abortion. A touchy subject where two opposing views always collide. I thought it was an interesting poem if it were written from the point of view of the unborn. It is difficult when both sides are right and wrong at the same time.”
It’s no wonder Fugue-itive stood out for me; it’s actually a piece by J.S Bach called A Fugue that they had adapted for themselves! It sounds amazing. There’s also a really beautiful and surprising intro to Mercy Just when you think you can’t get any more impressed with these guys, you find out that they are donating money from the sale of their CDs to Women in Distress Shelters!! I find this to be truly altruistic of them. Damien told me why they’re doing this: “Because there is a great need for help there. Domestic abuse is a deep problem in our society. It happens more frequently than most people realize. Many women stay because they feel trapped. Women in Distress offers them a way out and re-establishes hope for them.” So, buy the CD for the blistering power metal, the ball grabbing vocals that I would kill for (almost) and the knowledge that you’re also helping a fabulous charity. INCLINATION WEBZINE 2009 ISSUE 2 PG53
Read about the best of the unsigned and indie music and the lifestyle associated with it.