STAENCEʼ ME RU ESIS
ʻ TH ND’S ROCK SOUICT! VERD
“I have definitely
gone too far”
BRING ME tHE HORIZON OLI SYKES…
SAint or sinner ?
NEW MUSIC FIRST
BRINGING IT ALL BACK HOME
HANSON AND ROLLERBLADING! WTF?
THE SECRETS ARE OUT!
EVERY tIME I DIE
“EVERYONE ELSE IS JUST SH*T!”
“DIRTY, DISEASED AND BROKEN”
ALl tIME LOW
AMERICA’S HOTTEST PROPERTY!
PLUS AFI • THRICE • SKINDRED • STEEL PANTHER FRANK TURNER • CHUCK RAGAN• ALICE IN CHAINS FUNERAL FOR A FRIEND • TWIN ATLANTIC DEAD BY APRIL • SIGHTS & SOUNDS • WINTERSLEEP
4x EXCLUSIVE ART CARDS INSIDE! www.rocksound.tv
£3.80 OCT. 2009 ISSUE 127
USA $8.99 / CAN $10.95 / AUS $9.75
9 771465 018091
MAIN FEATURES 38 FRANK TURNER 64 ALICE IN CHAINS
YOU ASKED FOR IT! CROSSWORDS, HAYLEY WILLIAMS AND SMASHING UP MCDONALD’S, FRANK TURNER ANSWERS YOUR QUESTIONS…
54 BRING ME THE HORIZON
LOVE them or hate them, everyone thinks they know oli sykes and co. rs goes behind the scenes TO FIND OUT MORE…
WITH 12TH STUDIO ALBUM ‘ENDGAME’ OUT THIS MONTH, WE CAUGHT UP WITH DAVE MUSTAINE TO DISCUSS HIS LENGTHY CAREER…
ALICE IN CHAINS ARE BACK, STRONGER THAN EVER AND REVEAL ALL BEHIND THEIR HIATUS AND NEW FRONTMAN…
66 ALL TIME LOW
THINGS ARE LOOKING PRETTY PEACHY FOR ALL TIME LOW RIGHT NOW. WE CAUGHT UP WITH THE QUARTET AT WARPED TOUR…
70 ENTER SHIKARI
THE ZEITGEIST MOVEMENT, HANDJOBS IN THE WOODS AND WRITING SONGS ABOUT TESCO, WE FIND OUT EXACTLY WHAT’S GOING ON…
76 EVERY TIME I DIE
© Nigel Crane
WE GET THE LOWDOWN FROM ETID VOCALIST KEITH BUCKLEY ON SHIT, SHIT AND MORE SHIT…
© Ben Rowland
“We love having a good time but it’s not like we’re clowns.” Alex GAsKARTH, ALL TIME LOW No.127 OCT. 2009 rocksound.tv 
FEATURES EDIT 42 BENJI WEBBE (SKINDRED) 44
WELCOME TO MY WORLD PARAMORE THE TWO OF US
46 STEEL PANTHER
48 INVISIBLE CREATURE DESIGN DEVILS 50 JET Q&A
52 MASTERS OF REALITY REVOLUTIONARIES
115 CHUCK RAGAN THE LAST WORD
What a crazy month… Fun times were had by Team Rock Sound at the inaugural Sonisphere festival. Nine Inch Nails were a bit of a let down but I managed to dodge the rain on the Saturday, so it was a fantastic event overall. Our publisher got his rock on to Avenged Sevenfold and wouldn’t stop talking about them for a week – we eventually had to issue him with a gagging order. We’re eagerly anticipating 2010’s event already. Read our full coverage on page 98. Speaking of anticipation, it’s that time of year when the whole world and their dog decide to release a new album so this issue is jam-packed with a myriad of awesome new releases from the likes of Muse, AFI, All Time Low, Brand New, Paramore, Alice In Chains, Every Time I Die and loads more. Next month’s reviews list is already bursting at the seams with bands set to unleash their beasts, the likes of Rammstein, Biffy Clyro, Slayer, Hatebreed, Comeback Kid, Atreyu, Pelican and Rock Sound’s favourite Savannah rockers Baroness are all included and the list keeps on growing and growing. These may be tough times economically, but musically they’re the best yet. Darren Taylor, Editor
And their favourite ginger... Rock Sound, Unit 22, Jack’s Place, 6 Corbet Place, Spitalfields, London, E1 6NN Tel: + 44 (0)20 7877 8770 Fax: + 44 (0)20 7377 0455 e-mail: email@example.com twitter.com/rocksound
Chris Goss: Not quite mastered the Vulcan welcome
6-7 RSVP Got something to say? Get that shit off your chest…
8-24 THE NOISE Who’s making a racket in the world of rock, featuring Slayer, Ash, Oceansize, Memphis May Fire and more. Plus, the latest studio news from Kids In Glass Houses and Slaves To Gravity. Also this month: Win a load of Imperial Never Say Die tour goodies, Atticus clobber and Freeze Fest tickets
25-36 EXPOSURE. The best new bands you need to know about, featuring Twin Atlantic, Blackhole, The Hickey Underworld, Dead By April, VIVIAN GIRLS, Sights & Sounds, THE HOT MELTS and more…
82–97 REVIEWS ROCK SOUND reviews and rates over 100 new releases in music, films, DVDs, games and books. Featuring Muse, AFI, Brand New, Paramore, The Black Dahlia Murder and more, while Protest The Hero tackle the singles.
98–110 LIVES The hottest gigs from around the world reviewed, including Sonisphere, Bloodstock, Blakfish, Young Guns and loads more, while Funeral For A Friend and Johnny Foreigner give us the gossip about life on the road…  rocksound.tv
EDITOR: Darren Taylor (Hayley Williams) firstname.lastname@example.org twitter.com/rocksoundtaylor DEPUTY EDITOR: Darren Sadler (Josh Homme) email@example.com REVIEWS EDITOR: Darren Taylor SUB EDITOR: Jen Walker (Nicola Roberts) firstname.lastname@example.org EDITORIAL ASSISTANT / STAFF WRITER: Faye Lewis (Mick Hucknall) email@example.com GAMES EDITOR: David Jenkins (Gillian Anderson) FILMS EDITOR: Rachel Kellehar (Lauren Ambrose) DESIGN: Alistair Cook (Lily Cole) firstname.lastname@example.org ONLINE EDITOR: Andy Kelham (Jessica Rabbit) email@example.com WEB DEVELOPER: Sonic Network ROCK SOUND SLAVES: Tarik Algin, Trevor Baker, Duncan Bryceland, Jim Burt, Richard Cartey, Helen Catchpowle, Richard Childs, Alex Deller, Mike Diver, James Dominic, Robyn Doreian, Victoria Durham, Lewis Fraser, Neil Gardner, Noel F Gardner, Eleanor Goodman, Shane Harrison, Mike Haydock, Chris Hidden, Darren Johns, Emily Kearns, Rachel Kellehar, Mike Kemp, Adam F Kennedy, Ronnie KerswellO'Hara, Jonathan Long, Amy Mcgill, Joe Marshall, Ken McGrath, Iain Moffat, Dan Morgan, Giles Moorhouse, Tim Newbound, Paul Raggity, Oli Robertson, Plum Woodard. HAPPY SNAPPERS: Tom Barnes, Duncan Bryceland, Nigel Crane, Steve Gerrard, Kate Hoggett, Zen Inoya, Mark Latham, Mei Lewis, Danny North, Owen Richards, Graham Smith, Andy Stubbs, Joe Watson, Gary Wolstenholme.
US & CANADA CORRESPONDENTS: J Bennett, Nick Green, Chantal Hennessey, Hardeep Phull, Kevin Stewart-Panko, Corey Taylor (8), Robin Laananen (photos) SPECIAL THANKS: Johnfold Wright, Michael ‘Get the kettle on’ Copus, Chloe Brown for dedicating a year of her life to Rock Sound. ADVERTISING MANAGER: Lianne Sparkes (Bradley from EastEnders) Tel: 0207 877 8776 firstname.lastname@example.org PUBLISHER: Patrick Napier (Ben Crudgington) Tel: 0207 877 8779 email@example.com CORRECTION: The photo of Shaped By Fate in issue 125 (page 110) was taken by Tom Griffiths. Newstrade distribution by Marketforce. If you have any trouble getting hold of Rock Sound in the shops please call: 020 3148 3333. Subscription rates are as follows: UK £34.97, Europe £46.00, US/Canada £46.00, Rest of world £66.00. To subscribe or if you have a problem with your subscription please call: 0844 249 0217 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org Rock Sound cannot accept responsibility for any unsolicited manuscripts and photographs or for material lost or damaged in the post. All material remains the copyright of Rock Sound Ltd. No part of Rock Sound may be reproduced in whole or part without the prior permission of the publisher (and that includes scanning and uploading it to the net, kids!). Or our lawyers will be round (and they’re very scary!). ABC Member of The Audit Bureau Of Circulation July-Dec 2008: Average net circulation 20,011 ISSN: 1465-0185 COVER PHOTO: Tom Barnes Printed in the UK by St Ives (Roche) Published by Rock Sound Ltd – a 100 per cent independent operation. Text printed on 100 per cent post consumer recylced waste.
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…well, almost according to Ash
orthern Irish trio Ash are preparing to return to the fold this October with new material, but rather than serving up a common-or-garden album they’re instead choosing to release 26 individual songs one-by-one over the period of a year – oh, and they’re arranged to cover the alphabet from A-Z too. The band have been holed up in their own Atomic Heart Studio in New York for the best part of 18 months trying to make sure they have enough material ready. As frontman Tim Wheeler explained, the pressure has been intense. “It’s like making a double album, but it’s harder because each song has to stand up on its own and have its own value. We’ve had to make the songs as different as we could. There are more weird sounds on these songs than have been on any of our other albums.” The alphabetically-themed fortnightly series will be available through shops, mail order and through subscription via their official website. It’s a theme they’re also set to apply to their upcoming UK tour which is also arranged to visit 26 different towns – one for each letter of the alphabet. “The only one we’re cheating on is ‘X’, for that we’re playing Exmouth. We do have one for ‘Z’ which is going be in Zennor, Cornwall. I couldn’t believe that there was a town in the UK beginning with ‘Z’ but not one with ‘X’. You learn something new everyday…” www.ash-official.com
RS DO READING (AND LEEDS) Check out our Reading / Leeds coverage online
Rock Sound recently celebrated the Reading and Leeds festivals in style with a raft of online photo galleries from the likes of Lostprophets, The Gaslight Anthem, Bring Me The Horizon, Rival Schools, Alexisonfire and more. We also teamed up with Gibson to record an exclusive acoustic session with Mariachi El Bronx at the guitar company’s studio in the heart of London. For all the galleries, films and festival action head over to www.rocksound.tv now!
DEE HOM SHEEE BRé ET !
Here comes another bloodbath With rumours abound that Slayer are to split after the release of their 10th album, Kerry King sets the record straight… layer axeman Kerry King has been offsetting rumors that 10th studio album ‘World Painted Blood’ could be the influential thrashers’ last. Frontman Tom Araya’s recent comments that the foursome will be “sitting down to discuss their future” upon the album’s release certainly worried a few fans, but an optimistic Kerry assured Rock Sound, while he’s still having a good time, there will still be Slayer. “There are four people in the band and I can only speak for myself; I’m in fair enough shape that I’m not tired and hating my job at the end of every show, I’m having a great time and I think everyone else is,” King explained. “However, if something happened at some point – a family thing, it could be that I’m not having fun anymore, it could be the ‘I’m too old’ kind of thing, it’s going to happen – especially with four individuals. I know that doesn’t appease [the fan’s] fear of life without Slayer and I don’t want it to happen as I’m having a good time.” With a bloody reign of almost 30 years, King said that Slayer is the only band for him. “Realistically, living with four guys your own age, the only thing I can compare it to is living with four directional siblings, but at the end of the day I don’t want to be in another band as long as Slayer still exists. We all know that the four of us make each other better. I’ve already got ideas for the next record so hopefully we’ll be here to do another one.” Produced by Greg Fidelman (Metallica, Slipknot), ‘World Painted Blood’ bears parallels to ‘Reign In Blood’, Slayer’s most significant work to date. “I didn’t want to call it ‘...Blood’ because everyone is going to immediately refer to ‘Reign In Blood’,” laughed King. But the parallels don’t stop at the title; sonically, ‘World Painted Blood’ sees the band returning to the all-out, balls-to-the-wall thrash assault of their early years, with most of the music written at the studio rather than demoed beforehand. “It sounds very retro,” stated King. “We were on the brink of missing the window of time that Fidelman had open, so we had to rush ourselves in to get started and get the ball rolling.
Everything was fresh and that was similar to how we used to write in Tom’s garage years and years ago, so that’s another reason why there’s a retro vibe to it.” With songs penned by King and fellow axeman Jeff Hanneman bearing the usual uncompromising subjects of serial killers (‘Psychopathy Red’, about Russian mass murderer Andrei Chikatilo), necrophilia (‘Playing With Dolls’) and hate in general (‘Hate Worldwide’), there’s even comment on how the rest of the world view the fearsome foursome’s homeland in ‘Ameri-con’.
“I don’t want to be in another band as long as Slayer still exists.“ Kerry King “I had the idea for that when we did ‘Christ Illusion’ and was like, ‘How can I pull this off?’ I wasn’t trying to be a traitor; when you come from America you have to present it in a way so that Americans aren’t offended by it,” Kerry told us. “Everywhere in the world, people think differently of Americans. Being in so many different countries and watching how they present their news programmes really shows what people think it’s like to be an American. Our news is different to that in the UK; you get to see different sides of the story and different opinions. Here it’s all good news about the war where anywhere else you get what’s really going on.” ‘World Painted Blood’ is out on October 26 on Sony. www.slayer.net
THE BEST NEW MUSIC Though with the same management and sharing tour habits within the family, Blackhole promise they’re not riding on the back of Gallows and we’re not ones to argue with them…
LINE-UP: Richard Carter (vocals), Andreas Yiasoumi (guitar), Nick Mitchell (guitar), Alex Hunt (drums), Max Hart (bass) FROM: Watford / Hemel Hempstead SOUNDS LIKE: A broad-minded blend of rock ‘n’ roll spirit and punk rock spite. CURRENT RELEASE: ‘Dead Hearts’ (album, Search And Destroy. Out now) WEBSITE: www.myspace.com/blackhole DOWNLOAD THIS: ‘Scared To Change’
The five young souls that make up Blackhole have achieved a lot since forming three years ago. In that time, the band, with an average age of 19, have released a well-received, eponymous EP and played an impressive number of shows in the build-up to the release of their spanking debut album ‘Dead Hearts’. Like many young bands, they’ve also had to make sacrifices along the way: jobs have been lost, guitarist Nick has delayed plans to go to uni, and drummer Alex left behind his position as a trainee player with Watford FC. Meanwhile, guitarist Andreas is currently balancing the band with his final year at the University Of Hertfordshire. “It can be hard, but I feel it’s worth it,” he says. “Some of my lecturers actually like the band, too.” Mixed by Colin Richardson (Slipknot / Machine Head), ‘Dead Hearts’ was recorded over three weeks last November with production duo Jeff & Ginge (Bullet For My Valentine, Skindred), at their Nott-In-Pill Studios in Newport, South Wales. Singer Richard Carter’s vocals were subsequently tracked at home in early January with his brother, Gallows guitarist Steph. Blackhole’s familial association with Gallows, arguably the UK’s best-known contemporary punk band, has led to inevitable, if somewhat unfair, accusations that their success is founded
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largely on nepotism. “We’ve heard all the shit, and it’s true to say that we got a step-up because of the association between Gallows and ourselves,” says guitarist Nick. However, while Blackhole have toured with Gallows and the two bands are with the same management company, Nick very fairly asserts that his band have worked damn hard, and can more than hold their own. He adds: “If people are holding back from coming to see us purely because they think we are riding on the back of Gallows, then I think that’s really stupid. Come and check us out, and if you still don’t like us, then everything’s cool, but at least give us that chance.” With the quintet promoting ‘Dead Hearts’ on a 19-date UK tour to a growing fan base, Rock Sound recommends you take up his challenge. “We’re not a band that’s all about walls of death and kicking people in the head,” concludes Richard. “We’re more about just having a party and a good time.”
© Nigel Crane
BEATING HEARTS, BABY
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THE BEST NEW MUSIC
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SOUNDS LIKE: Tuneful, sometimes melodic, sometimes in-your-face punk rock ‘n’ roll.
In their homeland of Germany, Donots have found themselves in something of a surreal situation – being nominated for a radio Grammy for the single ‘Stop The Clocks’, something a punk rock band releasing material on their own label never dreamt could happen. “It’s just so weird that MTV has played that song 24/7 and it was on every radio station,” says frontman Ingo Donut (just like the Ramones, the quintet keep the brotherhood of punk rock real with adopting the same surnames). “We were completely blown away. We didn’t expect anything like that.” “People have been comparing the song to ‘Coffee And TV’ by Blur,” he continues. “It’s been attracting so many people from different genres; the punk rock and hardcore kids could relate to that as much as, say, a housewife or a pop guy. We didn’t write that song for the radio, it just happened so naturally. I guess that’s the best thing for
a radio single – that it’s not meant to be a radio single.” The song features on the band’s (exclusive to the UK) mini-album ‘To Hell With Love’, which also features some of the best melodic punk rock songs that Rock Sound’s heard this year. And no, their name doesn’t reflect their hardworking ethos. “It is a contradiction, yes,” laughs Ingo. “Obviously we’re not the laziest people in the world, what with having our own label and touring constantly. I guess we’ve done over 1,000 shows up to now and we could go on forever – we just kept the name.”
HEAR THE BEST NEW MUSIC FIRST... SUBSCRIBE NOW! SIMPLY CALL 0844 249 0217 AND QUOTE RSP127 OR VISIT:
CURRENT RELEASE: ‘To Hell With Love’ (mini-album, Solitary Man. Out September 14) DOWNLOAD THIS: ‘Stop The Clocks’ WWW.MYSPACE.COM/DONOTS
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+ FREE CD
SOUNDS LIKE: (These Arms Are Snakes + The Blood Brothers) x Darwin’s theory of evolution.
“There’s more of a varied range of science on this one. The EP [‘Cruel Sea Scientist’] was mainly biology, whereas this one kicks off with physics and a bit of sex. Then there’s a good bit of biology too and chemistry, more of just the general attitude to science and the popularity of superstition.” No, Bats singer / guitarist Rupert Morris isn’t talking about some college assignment, he’s giving a brief overview of what topics are covered on his band’s debut full-length. Recorded in Massachusetts with Kurt Ballou (Converge, Genghis Tron), ‘Red In Tooth And Claw’ is a raw and engaging album, owing as much to the weird influence of These Arms Are Snakes as it does to Charles Darwin and an appreciation for science. Yes it’s smart, but it never forgets that you need the initial elementary particle of a good riff to begin with. “It starts off with ‘Higgs Boson Particle’. That’s the
tiniest, furthest, we can go into the past. It’s relative to the Big Bang. That’s the start of the universe and it goes all the way through to the end with people being burned because of superstition,” Rupert says, referring to album closer ‘The Barley’ which deals with the Salem witch trials. “The start of the universe, the birth of man, to man fucking falling prey to falsehoods.” How ironic, then, that Kurt Ballou’s recording studio is called Godcity because one thing’s for certain, you’re not going to find these winged mammals hanging around a church on Sunday. CURRENT RELEASE: ‘Red In Tooth And Claw’ (album, Richter Collective. Out now) DOWNLOAD THIS: ‘The Cruel Sea’ WWW.MYSPACE.COM/LEATHERBEATSFEATHER
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YOU THE FANS ASK THEM THE BANDS…
He hates kids, hates defining others, hates the government and hates The Daily Mail, but he does think Hayley Williams is quite fit. Frank Turner answers your questions…
INTERVIEW: Faye Lewis / PHOTOS: Zen Inoya
ITH THE EXCEPTION OF MUSIC, WHAT OTHER HOBBIES DO YOU HAVE?
Luke Walker, Bristol “I like a good crossword. I’m also an avid history buff. I recently crossed that over with music, as I’m obsessed with discovering as much traditional music as possible. History and crosswords. God, I sound like the most rock ‘n’ roll guy on the planet…”
HAVING SEEN YOU EIGHT TIMES LIVE, I’VE NOTICED YOU PERFORM A FEW COVERS IN THOSE SHOWS. IS THERE ANY CHANCE OF YOU RECORDING A COLLECTION OF COVERS AND RELEASING THEM AS A BONUS DISC?
Timbo Walker, East Boldon “I’ve thought about two different angles: I would consider an album of traditional English songs which would technically be covers. Then the other was a cover CD of songs written by people I know. I think it would be a good idea for singers who haven’t had as much exposure as me. I would help them out and it would be representative to my life and attitude towards music.”
WHAT ARE THE BEST AND WORST GIGS YOU’VE DONE IN YOUR CAREER, INCLUDING MILLION DEAD? Chris Hunt, Kingston
“Best, I’d say playing sold out home shows takes some beating. The worst? I had a really bad gig with The Offspring once and ended up in a shouting match with the audience who were a bunch of marine jocks and weren’t happy about English folk music.”
HOW MUCH DO I ACTUALLY KNOW ABOUT YOU THROUGH LISTENING TO YOUR LYRICS? THEY SEEM VERY PERSONAL – HOW MUCH IS MADE UP AND HOW MUCH IS YOU?  rocksound.tv
Iain Hunter, Christchurch “In my mind there’s a very clear line between what’s private and public. I guess that’s not hugely obvious because of the style of music but I have to keep some stuff back, I would go insane otherwise. I don’t want to be one of those people whose entire life is available online or whatever. There’s a private anchor which is mine.”
TELL US ABOUT YOUR NEW VIDEO. WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO PLAY THAT MANY GIGS IN 24 HOURS? MENTALIST…
Jamie Williams, Cardiff “I wish I knew! I decided it was a bad idea about two thirds of the way through. It was like, ‘Hold on, I don’t want to do this video anymore, I want to do something else’. It was cool and a good idea for a video, it gave us a kind of structure. I’m already looking back and laughing at it now so it can’t be such a bad thing. All these people who do four gigs in 24 hours, I thought they were a bunch of fucking pussies… so I did 24.”
IF YOU WERE ASKED TO TELL THE TRUTH, THE WHOLE TRUTH AND NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH, WHAT IF YOU SAID ‘NO’?
Oliver Cartey, Manchester “Erm… I’m not sure I understand.”
HEPBURN OR PARAMORE? Tim Summers, Wrexham Frank: “What’s Hepburn?” RS: “They were a classic all-girl pop-rock band that formed in 99. They were most famous for single ‘I Quit’ that got into the top 10 and featured on the Buffy The Vampire Slayer album.” Frank: “Wow! I’ve never heard of that. But Paramore? My voice has broken so I’m not really interested. That stuff’s fine, but it’s children’s music. Although the singer in Paramore will be quite fit when she is legal. I refuse to believe she is older than about 12.”
Brian ‘the shredder’ Molko
“I threw bricks at cops and set fire to stuff, smashed up a McDonald’s and things like that. It was transparently bullshit, but fun at the time.”
“We used to put on our rider that there must be no yellow in the building because we wouldn’t play if there was.” Brian Molko You do know that’s bad luck, don’t you? rocksound.tv 
“No offence or anything, but the band wouldn’t do fucking anything if it wasn’t for me.” Oli Sykes  rocksound.tv
If that UFO gets any closer it’s going to mess up me friggin’ hair!
BRING ME THE
HORIZON HEAVEN & HELL TH E C D ON !
As equally loved as they are hated, it can’t be denied that despite everything that’s been said BMTH are doing pretty damn well. ROCK SOUND discovers the foundations of the band...
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WORDS: Andrew Kelham / PHOTOS: Tom Barnes
n a relatively quiet street between a steel blowing plant, a wiremesh fence manufacturer, a Pentecostal church and a massage parlour stands an architecturally unremarkable warehouse on the fringe of Sheffield city centre. It is three storeys tall, overlooks the River Don and until recently the building was occupied by Proper Pasty Ltd. Now it has a new tenant, Drop Dead Clothing. The company is the brainchild of Bring Me The Horizon frontman Oli Sykes and it’s come a long way since it started in 05. From humble beginnings, the business has grown from a Myspace page and a stack of boxes in Sykes’ bedroom to a 14-employee operation with global reach. In four short years Drop Dead has gone from a hobby to a full-time wage for his mother Carol (the boss), father Ian (warehouse and distribution manager), brother Tom (design production), cousins and friends. Impressively, Drop Dead Clothing is now made in the same factories that create Next’s garments and last week alone nearly 2,500 orders were packed and shipped across the world from this very unit. Rock Sound finds Sykes sitting upstairs in an office with his brother Tom and the company’s designer talking about the forthcoming range, stitching detail and a graphic idea while he sketches lazily on a piece of paper. Lounged in other parts of the room are the rest of Bring Me The Horizon, drummer Matt Nicholls, bassist Matt Kean, guitarist Lee Malia and new guitarist Jona Weinhofen, who was recently installed as the permanent replacement for original member Curtis Ward. Weinhofen had planned to return home to Australia for a few months to reconnect with family after leaving Bleeding Through, but when he was offered the chance to play with BMTH he cancelled plans, packed a bag and left for England. He’s not been back since. “I still have a place in Orange County that I’m paying rent on,” he admits laughing. “At this stage I won’t get a chance to get back there, pack my stuff up and move out until Christmas.”
ANCIENT SKY ‘ANCIENT SKY’
MEM JAGO (THE GHOST OF A THOUSAND)
ad Religion’s ‘Stranger Than Fiction’. I first heard it when it came out in 94. My brother had just got into the punk scene, and Jag was showing me the ways of punk rock. This was probably the first time I ever really got into political punk rock as a teenager.”
‘GODFATHER IN BLACK’
ALICE IN CHAINS
‘BLACK GIVES WAY TO BLUE’
(HELVETE & HATE)
Following the intense, brooding darkness and technical brilliance of 06s ‘Artefact Of Madness’, Agamoth and his fellow henchmen return with another lesson in fear-mongery. ‘Godfather In Black’ is another spine-tingling exercise in extreme black metal featuring labyrinthian arrangements, scorching guitar work, intense drums with a ludicrous beats-per-minute ratio, and lyrical concepts best left to interpretation. Abgott profess their music to be “the musical translation of the darkness and evil that dwells inside every human being”. Listen to this on your own in the dark and you may well pee in your pants. Gripping from beginning to end, Abgott continue to impress. FOR FANS OF: Gorgoroth, Marduk
Make no mistake: Alice In Chains are back in business. From the off, ‘Black Gives Way To Blue’ is the sound of a band very much reborn and ready for the next chapter. In new addition William DuVall, Jerry Cantrell seems to have found his musical soulmate and their harmonised lead vocals perfectly balance the churning, angular and, at times, epic off-kilter riffery (eg: the droning groove of ‘Check My Brain’, which will lodge itself in your grey matter and refuse to shift). This is ‘classic era’ AIC and then some – the mother of all comebacks; you will not be disappointed. FOR FANS OF: Soundgarden, Tool, Stone Temple Pilots, Smashing Pumpkins
ALICE IN CHAINS
‘TIME INSULTS THE MIND’
(PERPETUAL MOTION MACHINE)
There’s always been an unwritten rule concerning black metal bands signing to Relapse: nope. Creating a rather fine, fine line in that regard are Black Anvil, though the corpse-painted set will claim they don’t have enough Christ-killing claret in their veins. Actually, the panda bears would be right about something for once. Featuring members of NYHC mainstays Kill Your Idols, this trio injects the uppity punk / thrash of their long-time day gig (especially in raging ‘Release The Kraken’) into scalding, thrashing black metal. They don’t play with the same precarious looseness as Darkthrone, but have as their defining characteristic the uncanny ability of combining dark melodies with gritty atonality. FOR FANS OF: Bathory, Darkthrone, Immortal, Celtic Frost
ANTI-POP CONSORTIUM ‘FLUORESCENT BLACK’
A welcome return for the hiphop visionaries whose spaceage funk, titanium beats and lyrical dexterity have been much missed since their somewhat acrimonious split in 02. However, Anti-Pop Consortium’s vitality has not diminished over the years as Beans, High Priest and M Sayyid blast through some splendid, often surreal, wordplay over producer Earl Blaize’s supremely cool digitised electro. That the robo-funk of ‘Superunfrontable’ and the chugging sequencers of ‘Dragonov’ supercede the current crop of grime stars proves the quartet have always been ahead of the game. On this impressive showing APC still sound like the future. FOR FANS OF: Dr Octagon, MF Doom, Madlib, M.I.A.
‘THE ROOT OF ALL EVIL’
‘DEAD HEARTS’ (SEARCH AND DESTROY)
One of the most exciting things about youthful Hertfordshire quintet Blackhole is that, if they can hold it together, they’ve got plenty of time to develop as musicians. Given the quality of this debut album, they have the potential to be one hell of a band. Led by Richard Carter’s fittingly acerbic but impressively coherent vocals and featuring some fine guitar interplay, solos, and gang vocals, ‘Dead Hearts’ is a mighty collection of 11 filthy, rock ‘n’ roll-infused punk songs, melding aggression to tunes that are catchy without ever being cynically preened. It’s not breathtakingly original, but they’re way better than many of their young contemporaries. FOR FANS OF: Cancer Bates, The Bronx, Gallows, The Plight TIM NEWBOUND
BLOODY PANDA ‘SUMMON’
www.archenemy.net KEN MCGRATH
‘BROKEN SIDE OF TIME’
ALL TIME LOW
 ‘RED IN TOOTH AND CLAW’ (RICHTER COLLECTIVE)
Sinking their roots deep into blues-influenced folk rock, from the first opening bar of ‘Song Three Blues’ Alberta Cross’ statement of intent is clear. Rough-sounding guitars and jagged vocals sweep over the listener like a mixture of Neil Young backed by The Raconteurs. At times there is a stylistic mimicry to that of BM Linx, especially on standout track ‘ATX’ which equally exerts all the cool factor of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. But Alberta Cross expand the scope of their influence moving into more easy-listening terrain such as on ‘Taking Control’. Occasionally repetitive but never dull, this first full-length is full of promise. FOR FANS OF: Band Of Horses, Neil Young, The Band
It was always going to be tricky, topping an album as catchy as ‘So Wrong, It’s Right’, but All Time Low have nailed it with their third offering, ‘Nothing Personal’. Lead single ‘Weightless’ kicks things off in cracking fashion with its epic sing-along chorus, and the momentum continues well into the rest of the album. Matt Squire (Panic At The Disco) returns with his trademark production polish, but a rumoured collaboration with Blink-182’s Mark Hoppus sadly fails to materialise. Still, highlights ‘Stella’ and ‘Break Your Little Heart’ more than make up for it, and will no doubt be instant fanfavourites on their UK tour. FOR FANS OF: Hit The Lights, You Me At Six, Sing It Loud
Considering the turgid slop that was ‘Pheromone’ it’s reassuring to see these avant-doomsters step up their game on signing to one of America’s best labels and make an album that’s worthy of the Profound Lore logo. Rather than pedalling the sub-standard plod of yore and relying on a maledominated doom demographic to make a boatload of excuses for an attractive chanteuse (see also: Monarch), ‘Summon’ has upped the ante by burying itself ‘neath a pall of funerary organ notes, abstract guitar thrum and Ms Ohara’s startling array of wails, groans and caterwauls to make a surprisingly stark, multi-layered and enigmatic slab of heaviness. FOR FANS OF: Asva, Khanate, Jarboe, Ehnahre
 www.bloodypanda.com ALEX DELLER
Taking the TAAS / The Blood Brothers left of centre and refusing to be formulaic approach to riffs and drum slices, with added science, Bats are onto a good thing. Opening with the subtle ‘Higgs Boson Particle’ before flowing rapturously into the more energetic ‘Gamma Ray Blast: Second Date’ it’s immediately a big evolutionary step up from their ‘Cruel Sea Scientist’ EP. ‘Lord Blakeney’s Arm’ is a furious, syncopated blast, ‘Shadow Fucking’ comes laden with hooks, while ‘The Barley’ rolls along darkly before erupting vocally. Absolute highlight is the occasionally erratic, yet never needlessly spastic and lyrically engaging ‘The Cruel Sea’. Good stuff. FOR FANS OF: These Arms Are Snakes, The Blood Brothers, Down I Go
Taking a selection of pre-Angela Gossow songs and adding her vocals to re-recorded versions may seem like a good idea but it’s absolute dross. Arch Enemy might have run out of ideas and these, generally poor songs anyway, are not in any way helped by Gossow’s voice. The melodic guitar parts sound like 80s cartoon theme tunes, which are rarely as good as you remember, and that’s the thread running through this. Arch Enemy became a powerful, interesting band but the cheddary ‘Silverwing’ and the sub-Down groove of ‘Bury Me An Angel’ don’t fit with that. A bad choice. FOR FANS OF: Arch Enemy die-hards.
www.myspace.com/antipopny NEIL GARDNER
A classic rock cousin to the downcast floor-toeing of kinsmen Pygmy Lush here, substituting many of that band’s mournful plinks ’n’ plonks for loose, gangly navel gazing and the occasional big ol’ riff that Mountain axeman Leslie West might’ve churned out after chewing a fistful or two of homebrewed blotter acid. Lugubrious though they might be, the results are somehow comforting – a warm swaddling of familiar sounds, hushabye organ swirls and maudlin croons that just about demand you welcome these new best buddies to the fold with wide smiles and open arms as though you’ve known ‘em for years. FOR FANS OF: The Black Heart Procession, Grateful Dead, Crystal Antlers
(EMI / VIRGIN)
CHICKENHAWK ‘A. OR NOT?’
Chunky, semi-complex, downtuned riffing, you say? This three-track EP from Leeds’ Chickenhawk could go one of two ways. They’re clearly enthusiastic about metal, and they’re equally evidently neophytes, in their influences at least. But are they nu metal? Well... they’re austere, budget-touring DIY grafters who, although they toss in a little grungy vocalising, never threaten to rap. But some of the riffs employed here are straight-up Deftones, and sounding a bit like Botch and Refused doesn’t lead you out of this particular haunted house of genre. It’s not bad or owt – it’s just funny, the mental filing systems people use for bands. FOR FANS OF: Botch, Deftones, Rolo Tomassi
www.myspace.com/chickenhawk NOEL F GARDNER
EARTH CRISIS  ‘TO THE DEATH’
When Earth Crisis reunited in 07 they must have known that if they of crossover metallic hardcore, lacking in none of the latter’s intensity wrote any new material it would be judged harshly by diehard fans but delivered with all of the former’s precision and dynamic clarity as and critics alike. The band who made history in the early 90s hardcore the band give people 11 good reasons to pay attention to them again. scene by marrying the sounds of Pantera and Sepultura with the CroYou may not care for the vegan straightedge life of activism that Earth Mags and Final Conﬂict weren‘t going to get away with half-arsing a few Crisis shamelessly promote, but you can’t deny the sound of a band new songs so they could tour. If a new album was to be released it had returning to form. (INTERSCOPE) FOR FANS OF: Strife, Birthright, Cro-Mags to be good, Earth Crisis knew that and acted accordingly. New album ‘To The Death’ is a blistering hybrid of 95s album ‘Destroy The Machines’, AFI’s eighth album ‘Crash Love’, recorded once with Davidwww.myspace.com/earthcrisis ANDREW KELHAM 96s album ‘Gomorrah‘s Season Ends’ and the 98 Roadrunner offering Bottrill, scrapped and then re-recorded with Joe McGrath and ‘Breed The Killers’. The album, their ﬁrst in eight years, is the crispest
Jacknife Lee, is the band’s most important offering to date. 06s ‘Decemberunderground’ was a number one album, produced by the greatly missed Jerry Finn and a fitting climax to 15 years hard work. So where do AFI go when they have reached the top? Further upwards seems to be their answer as ‘Crash Love’ continues climbing skywards with ambitiously melodic tracks that are slower, less obvious and perhaps more compelling as a result. Highlights are scattered throughout the album but they don’t come forward immediately, the album demands your time, your attention and your lack of prejudice for it to shine. AFI are a great band, this is a good record and it doesn’t strand fans by wholly transcending their discography, but that strength is also the weakness of ‘Crash Love’. What keeps it familiar also holds it back from being an amazing slice of timeless rock music. This album reaches slowly, it doesn’t grab you straightaway. It will be interesting to see whether the band’s rabid fan base take to ‘Crash Love’’s softer, more tactile embrace.
FOR FANS OF: The Smiths, Samhain, Alkaline Trio www.afireinside.net ANDREW KELHAM
CHILDREN OF BODOM
‘SKELETONS IN THE CLOSET’
WAS THIS AN EASY ALBUM TO WRITE? “The writing was very natural, very inspired. When me and Jade [Puget, guitar] sat down it ﬂowed very naturally. There were a group of songs on the record that I remember writing and immediately thinking, ‘That’s a great song, that’s going to make the record’, and it did. The writing process was very inspired this time.”
YOU HAVE SAID THE ALBUM CONTAINS COMMENT ON THE CULTURE OF CELEBRITY, IS THERE ANY REFLECTION ON MUSIC’S ROLE IN THAT? “What people tend to want out of music has changed greatly. I grew up being interested in bands and records and the culture surrounding it, nowadays people are more concerned with simply a song, the image of the person that wrote the song and what that person does between midnight and one in the morning when they are out on the town.”
DOES THAT SADDEN YOU? “That the music culture I love no longer exists really breaks my heart, it’s strange to me that people no longer value music and the culture that surrounds it because it was so important to me. Going to record stores, looking through music and talking to people who shared my interest was something that was such an important part of my life and my upbringing. The desire for that substance and that greater background are not even there anymore and people don’t miss it because they never knew it was ever there, it’s sad. If you look at it from a more commercial sense, the rock icon, the rock artist, the rock stars, those don’t really have a form to exist anymore either. I don’t know if there is form for us to ﬁnd a new Iggy Pop, David Bowie or Marc Bolan. I don’t know if there’s a place for it anymore when your average person is going on YouTube and watching 30 seconds of the clip before moving on, it really doesn’t allow for very much connection.”
IN THEIR WORDS
DAVEY HAVOK (VOCALS)
‘DAY OF MOURNING’
Children Of Bodom have become as renown for their bizarre array of covers as Mastodon for their facial hair, so it’s not much of a surprise to see their many ‘reimaginings’ of legendary rock, metal and pop numbers finally bound together on one album. Featuring only three previously unreleased tracks alongside well-established versions of Maiden’s ‘Aces High’, Andrew W.K.’s ‘She Is Beautiful’ and W.A.S.P. classic ‘Hellion’ among others, Bodom fans can probably already gauge whether ‘Skeletons In The Closet’ is worth a punt or not, although the jury is still out on that Britney Spears cover. FOR FANS OF: In Flames, Skyfire, Iron Maiden, Destroy Destroy Destroy
On paper, Chord sound like the ultimate post-ironic pisstake. Featuring four Chicagobased guitarists (most notably Pelican’s Trevor De Brauw), their lengthy compositions consist of one solitary chord, with each member assigned to a particular note. Look past this preposterous premise, however, and ‘Flora’ emerges as a surprisingly thoughtful slice of drone that is anything but one-dimensional. Each track follows its own evolutionary path, with tone, timbre and texture taking precedence over structure and melody. ‘E9’ feels soulful and reflective, while ‘Am’ is an effects-heavy nightmare with a throbbing industrial pulse. Sunn O))), eat your hearts out! FOR FANS OF: Sunn O))), Earth, Skullflower
The Hot Water Music frontman’s solo recorded output thus far, mixing up barndance styled hoedowns with downtrodden violin-driven Americana, has won fans far and wide as part of the new folk revolution. His tales of love and loss on ‘Gold Country’ will appeal to those who enjoyed unearthing ‘Folsom Prison Blues’ from their parents’ vinyl collections, particularly on the likes of ‘Rotterdam’. This is the sound of an album made by a man with nothing left to prove, his reputation as a grade-A singer / songwriter with both his band and on his own long since established. FOR FANS OF: Lucero, William Elliot Whitmore, Sundowner, Johnny Cash
The lead-off track to this Montreal band’s fourth album is entitled ‘Les Temps Changent’ which, considering our abysmal French, we think translates to ‘the times change’. Funnily enough though, nothing’s really changed in Despised Icon’s world as their music remains the same texture-less, breakdown-heavy, tech-metalcore it’s always been. There are a few songs that spit some storming riffs, namely ‘All For Nothing’, ‘Black Lungs’ and the title track, but even in those instances the sextet too often take a turn towards generic soullessness with ham-fisted chugging, quantised blastbeats and one-dimensional dual vocals – go figure! FOR FANS OF: Job For A Cowboy, Oceano, Whitechapel, Beneath The Massacre
SONISPHERE FESTIVAL KNEBWORTH PARK HEAVEN & HELL
© Nigel Crane / Zen Inoya
HEAVEN & HELL
CATCH ALL THE BACKSTAGE ACTION AND INTERVIEWS AT WWW.ROCKSOUND.TV
Alien Ant Farm  were always a bizarre choice of opener, and within a few minutes of their long-forgotten chummy tunes emanating from the stacks (not helped by bassist Tye Zamora’s idiotic gurning antics), it’s proof enough for the capacity crowd to realise we don’t really need to be reminded of them. Taking Back Sunday , though, are always good festival value and today they’re no different, and after a predictably ace performance they leave the crowd wanting more goose bumpinducing winners. But it’s the mighty Anthrax  who really turn up the heat despite the damp air, and with John Bush back for Sonisphere they sound truly immense and treat the salivating crowd to classic after classic, ending with a colossal rendition of ‘Indians’. The biggest surprise of the day (apart from Coheed And Cambria missing their ferry, resulting in them missing their slot and being told to play on a different stage), has to be the awesome Heaven And Hell , who lift the ever-dampening spirits of the now drenched crowd with a blinding display, Tony Iommi in majestic form. However, there’s no doubting the buzz for Linkin Park , who sound simply stunning in the evening air and put in an electrifying performance to match, (bar an impromptu and unnecessary visit from Chester Bennington’s side-project Dead By Sunrise). A fitting end to an excellent first day, all said and done.
SUNDAY The glorious sleaze of Buckcherry  is the perfect antidote to a heavy night of mud and rain, and is lapped up by all, before Killing Joke  offer their trademark alternative proposition and deliver a dark and powerful set. Lamb Of God  simply erupt on stage and immediately go bananas, turning the crowd into a seething mass of hurling bodies throughout their blistering metallic frenzy. But despite their pre-festival tantrums, a war of words with Limp Bizkit and subsequent U-turn to Knebworth Park, the anticipation for Machine Head  is the greatest yet. However, to their credit, they deliver a gargantuan performance, only marred by the constant ranting of Robb Flynn between songs, but with the possible performance of the weekend under their collective belts, all is surely forgiven. Clearly uninterested in throwing their toys out of the pram (DJ Lethal is even sporting a Machine Head TShirt), Limp Bizkit  do themselves proud despite being ominously sandwiched on the bill between two heavy metal heavyweights, ‘Nookie’ and ‘Break Stuff’ winning the biggest kudos with their huge stomping grooves. Nine Inch Nails  could (and should) have stolen the show by treating their adoring fans to a magnificent farewell set, but ever the enigma, Trent Reznor decides to please himself instead and plays a bewildering set of lesser-known tracks to a somewhat muted and confused audience. But there’s no chance Metallica  would ever suffer the same issues as they plough through a monster set of memorable classics, with a thunderous rendition of ‘Seek And Destroy’ to end with pyrotechnics and fireworks galore (and on James Hetfield’s 46th birthday no less) – it’s an awesome spectacle. Sonisphere 2010 just can’t come soon enough. JIM BURT
VOX ROCK We caught up with some familiar faces at Sonisphere to get their lowdown…
DANIEL P. CARTER (HEXES) WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR HIGHLIGHT OF SONISPHERE? “I found a church that was selling cakes for 50p but I had to walk over some graves to get them.”
RICHARD HOLLYWOOD (BLAKFISH) WHAT MEAL DID YOU CHOOSE IN ARTIST CATERING AND HOW WAS IT? “I had the lasagne which was very nice and I followed that up with crab sushi, but I put too much wasabi sauce on it. I also had some salad to keep healthy and some cookie dough Ben & Jerry’s.” JOE STASZKIEWICZ (SWOUND!) WHAT’S THE WEIRDEST THING YOU’VE SEEN AT SONISPHERE? “Bert McCracken’s fat neck and his Sir Bobby Robson comb over haircut!” GUSTAV WOOD (YOUNG GUNS) WHAT’S YOUR ULTIMATE RAINY FESTIVAL TIP? “Bring soap. If you bring soap then you don’t need showers, just get naked in the rain and lather it up… almost like I did onstage.”
Go to www.rocksound.tv and feast your eyes and ears over a heap of interviews carried out over the Sonisphere weekend – Alice In Chains, The Wildhearts, Cancer Bats and many, many more… rocksound.tv