morbid angel enslaved
d 足 ark castle
METAL ZINE SCIONAV.COM VOL. 3
scott kelly & wino
STAFF Scion Project Manager: Jeri Yoshizu, Sciontist Editor: Eric Ducker Creative Direction: Scion Art Director: malbon Production Director: Anton Schlesinger Contributing Editor: J. Bennett Assistant Editor: Maud Deitch Graphic Designers: Nicholas Acemoglu, Cameron Charles, Kate Merritt, Gabriella Spartos Sheriff: Stephen Gisondi CONTRIBUTORS Writers: Adam Shore, Jeff Treppel Photographers: Dan Gonyea, Calvin Melo, Al Mojica, Mirjam Vikinstad, Colin Young-Wolff CONTACT For additional information on Scion, email, write or call. Scion Customer Experience 19001 S. Western Avenue Mail Stop WC12 Torrance, CA 90501 Phone: 866.70.SCION Fax: 310.381.5932 Email: Email us through the Contact page located on scion.com Hours: M-F, 6am-5pm PST Online Chat: M-F, 6am-6pm PST Scion Metal Zine is published by malbon. For more information about malbon, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
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Cover Photography: Colin Young-Wolff
SCION A / V SCHEDULE JUNE June 4th-25th Scion Art Tour: Installation 7: Video CO Exhibitions in Minneapolis, MN June 25th Scion Presents: The Big Idea, curated by Monsieur L’Agent, at Installation LA JUNE 25th Scion Metal Matinee at Double Door in Chicago, IL JUNE 26th Scion Metal Matinee at The Roxy in Los Angeles, CA July July 9-July 30 Scion Art Tour: Installation 7: Video Pump Project in Austin, TX JULY 24th Scion Metal Matinee at The Roxy in Los Angeles, CA AUGUSt AUG. 13th Scion Metal Matinee at TBD in Chicago, IL AUG. 14th Scion Metal Matinee at The Roxy in Los Angeles, CA Locations, cities and dates subject to change Currently Available
Scion A/V Presents: Enslaved — The Sleeping Gods EP MUSIC VIDEOS
Nails, “Conform/Scum Will Rise”
ASK SCION QUESTION: Do you think metal listeners go over-the-top with their classifications of sub-genres? Do you think this intense categorization ends up clarifying things or confusing listeners? I find all the sub-genre classifications important and crucial to understanding the intricacies of this music. Sometimes they’re even illuminating. I surely would never want to mistake “tech death” with “brutal tech death” in polite conversation, they are completely different genres! Southern sludgy doom must NEVER be confused with its northern variations. If someone were to tell me they were really into “progressive avant French black metal” but not “metal-gaze French black metal” I feel I could understand them better. Sometimes I only want to listen to grindcore, sometimes I feel only like listening to fastcore, sometimes I’m in the mood for nothing but power violence. Knowing the difference in these genres makes me feel smarter, sound more interesting and generally be a more impressive person. —Adam Shore, booker for Scion Rock Fest and Scion Metal Matinee series If you have a question, email us through the Contact page on scionav.com
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Story: J. Bennett Photography: Mirjam Vikinstad
As the birthplace of black metalâ€™s violent second wave, the country of Norway itself has always played a crucial part in the music, lyrics and imagery of the bands that emerged from its most notorious music scene. Certainly the country has had a profound effect on progressive black metal masters Enslaved, who have written several albums inspired by Viking lore and whose most recent full-length, Axioma Ethica Odini, ruminates upon the ancient ethical laws attributed to the Norse god Odin.
Such distinctly national references are unavoidable, says Enslaved bassist/vocalist Grutle Kjellson, who co-founded the Bergen-based band with guitarist/vocalist Ivar Bjørnson in 1991, when both were still teenagers. “It might sound strange, but I think the weather here on the west coast of Norway has got a huge impact on our sound,” says Kjellson. “In fact, I think our climate has shaped us a great deal. Imagine living in a place where the average amount of days with rain and wind [per year] is 220. The positive thing is that it helps accumulate a certain amount of energy we can use in a creative way, like making music. Unfortunately, a lot of people around here don’t make music.” Over the course of 20 years and 11 albums, Enslaved’s music has run the gamut from raw and ferocious (1994’s Viking metal classic Frost) to gloriously heavy and catchy (2003’s Below The Lights) to highly technical and deeply progressive (2010’s Axioma Ethica Odini). Like almost all of their previous releases, Axioma reaped year-end accolades from all the major metal magazines and earned Enslaved their fourth Spellemann Award, the Norwegian equivalent of a Grammy. “It might sound like a terrible cliché, but the only pressure we have comes from ourselves,” Kjellson says. “We are constantly trying to make the perfect album—our contemporary favorite music, so to speak. That said, we feel really honored by all the great reviews and all the nice awards. Acknowledgement is great, and those who claim the opposite are liars! It is definitely inspiring.” Meanwhile, Bjørnson believes the secret to the band’s success has been a simple matter of relying on their collective instincts. “I personally think our lawlessness combined with us trusting that the overlying abstraction/idea of Enslaved will take us in the right direction has brought us where we are today,” he says. “In science, a fundamental widening of understanding phenomena occurred when Planck’s constant measured how much the measurement itself influenced what was being measured. I think of our process in much the same way. Let it happen and don’t poke too much at it, as the poking itself might change things.” myspace.com/enslaved Hear an EP of all-new Enslaved material on Scion A/V Presents: Enslaved – The Sleeping Gods at scionav.com/enslaved
CONFORM/SCUM WILL RISE
WATCH THIS VIDEO, PLUS OTHERS FROM KYLESA, MELVINS, TUSK AND MORE
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K E L LY
Interview: J. Bennett Photography: Al Mojica
Earlier this year, living legends Scott “Wino” Weinrich and Scott Kelly—primarily known for their stunning work in heavily amplified doom/psych outfits like Saint Vitus (Wino), Neurosis (Kelly), Premonition 13 (Wino) and Shrinebuilder (both)— embarked on a weeklong acoustic tour. At the shows, they played material from their most recent solo albums (Adrift and The Wake, respectively), followed by a collaborative set that included a Joy Division cover, a Grateful Dead cover and a song from Jesus Christ Superstar. We recently caught up with the highly respected and immensely talented duo for a brief recap. For part of this tour it was just the two of you traveling in a car together. What was that experience like? Wino: The car time was amazing, man. Scott and I get along really well, and we have a very similar path in life, I think, which is good. We covered quite a bit of ground on our little car trips, actually. Kelly: From a friendship standpoint, it was pretty nice to spend some time like that with Wino. When it’s just two people traveling in a car, you get to know each other more. We both really appreciate each other’s work on a deep level, so there was an energy around the tour that was really cool for both of us. Unfortunately, we had to fly a little bit, too, and I hate dealing with airports—especially when it’s guys who look like me and Wino. We’re just a magnet for security idiots, so it was a huge relief to get into the car.
What did you listen to while you were driving? Kelly: We listened to Wino’s iPod a lot, plus CDs we picked up while we were rolling. We listened to a little Man’s Gin—we played with them in New York, so unfortunately we didn’t get that one until near the end of the tour. And then it was just a radio hunt, which I’m always into doing because it’s like playing the lottery. Wino: I played him the new Premonition 13 album, and he played me some new bands that Neurosis is putting out on their label. Other than that, we listened to a lot of old hard rock and Americana—Townes Van Zandt and stuff like that. There’s nowhere to hide when you’re up there onstage by yourself. Is there a different approach involved than when you’re playing with a full band? Kelly: I did have to get my head right for these gigs because they do demand something different. When I first started doing solo gigs about seven years ago, I’d just kinda get up there and try to play the songs even though I had all this nervous energy. But I’ve learned to really take a moment and relax myself and focus myself in a very quiet way before I do these gigs. I try to settle myself in for a real meditative, slow groove. And then I just have to go moment to moment and focus on each note. Usually my voice is my strong suit and the guitar part is a struggle, but it depends on the night. Wino: Yeah, when you don’t have that big ol’ wall of amplifiers behind you, you don’t have that power, so the volume has to come from you. It’s daunting, man, but I love the challenge. I’m so into playing acoustic right now. You know, in the old days when I went to Guitar Center, I’d never even walk into the acoustic room. But now I can’t get out. I just love the smell of spruce and all that wood. It’s turned into kind of an obsession. How did you end up doing a Grateful Dead cover together on some of the East Coast shows? Wino: It was interesting, because when we’d play together at the end of the night I had really wanted to play some of Scott’s songs, but he didn’t wanna do that. He wanted to play my favorite Grateful Dead song, believe it or not, which is “Wharf Rat.” Now the Grateful Dead do a live version of that song where they take it into a reggae thing that makes me wanna puke. But the original version of that song is amazing. Kelly: It’s just a really beautiful song that Wino turned me onto. I never realized that the Grateful Dead had any good songs, but they actually do. I just thought they were completely boring before Wino played that one for me. It’s a killer song, and perfect for me and him to do acoustically. But I never in a million years imagined I’d want to listen to the Grateful Dead, much less play one of their songs. scottweinrich.com facebook.com/scottkelly.music
Story: J. Bennett Photography: Calvin Melo
While taking in Dark Castle’s second and latest album, Surrender To All Life Beyond Form, the listener might get the sense that the Florida doom duo has a very heavy, very painful chip on their collective shoulders. But that’s only part of the motivation behind the band’s seething, roaring power-dirges and thundering sonic repudiations. “For the last few years, I’ve been trying to get more primal, more minimal, to be in the present moment and to rid myself of the man-made world around us,” says Dark Castle guitarist and vocalist Stevie Floyd. “I don’t want to fight it, I just don’t want to participate. That’s where we’re coming from as a band. We want to be in tune with our true essence, and I think our music is a reflection of that.” Floyd formed Dark Castle with drummer and vocalist Rob Shaffer in 2006, after the two hit it off after a chance meeting at a show Shaffer’s old death metal band, Into The Moat, was playing. Rather than going the traditional route and enlisting a bass player or a second guitarist, Floyd and Shaffer decided Dark Castle would work just fine as a two-piece. “Most of my favorite bands have two or three people in them,” Floyd says. “I like it because it’s almost like you have to try harder to pull it off.” Having just two cooks in the kitchen probably made it easier for the band to fully harness the exotic scales (Hungarian and Japanese), ritualistic chants and deep synth sounds that populate Surrender To All Life. “Even though we grow separately, we always seem to grow together at the same time,” observes Floyd, who recently moved from Florida to Portland, Oregon. “It’s this weird synchronicity we have. It’s important because if we’re feeling two different ways it wouldn’t work. But we’ve never really had that problem. We always seem to be on the same wavelength.” myspace.com/darkcastlemetal Watch an interview and live performances from Dark Castle at Scion Rock Fest at scionav.com/rockfest
Story: J. Bennett Photography: Dan Gonyea
“In this band’s context, I see life as a series of degradations, and the riffs we play just try to reflect that in a way that’s brutal and basic,” says Chris Corry, guitarist for Boston hardcore commandos Mind Eraser. His brief assessment of the band’s musical philosophy is borne out in every punishing chord, furious grind blast and squealing power chug that careens wildly through Mind Eraser’s ever-expanding discography. Inspired by the likes of hard-asnails powerviolence progenitors like Siege, Infest and Crossed Out, Corry formed Mind Eraser with vocalist Justin DeTore in 2003 with no masterplan beyond delivering the unvarnished truth. “We’re a hardcore band, and we don’t do fake stuff,” Corry says. “[For] live performances, there’s no script we’re following. We just get up and play our songs loud. Sometimes we’re feeling it, sometimes we mess around and probably insult the audience. Either way, at least it’s honest.”
Which isn’t to say that Mind Eraser doesn’t at least try to give the crowd its money’s worth. “If they bother to watch, I hope they’re entertained,” Corry deadpans. “Even if we suck, hopefully the people watching have good laugh. You can’t put a price on a good laugh.” Given the band’s penchant for cranking out as much music as possible—much of which Corry records himself and releases through his own label, Painkiller Records—it’s not surprising that the guitarist actually prefers recording to playing live. “I love putting down new songs,” he says. “I love hearing a finished piece of work for the first time. I like permanence. Death is permanent. Live gigs are fleeting and you have to bring your stuff with you to them.” glacialreign.blogspot.com Watch an interview with Mind Eraser and videos of their live performances at Scion’s Metal Matinee series at scionav.com/metal
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Interview: Jeff Treppel Photography: Colin Young-Wolff
As far as death metal goes, it doesn’t get much more legendary than Obituary. When they arose from the Florida swamplands in 1985, death metal barely existed. With their down tuned guitars, varied tempos and John Tardy’s unintelligible grunts (he didn’t even have lyrics for some songs), they helped set the stage for everyone who came after them. They recorded several classic albums, took a little break in 1998 and returned in 2005 a little older, a little wiser, but just as nasty and brutal as ever. We talked with founding guitarist Trevor Peres and new bassist Terry Butler (ex-Death, Six Feet Under) prior to their appearance at this year’s Scion Rock Fest in Pomona. Here’s an excerpt: Having been reunited for a while now, how do things differ from the first time around? Peres: It’s different because we’re a little more mature now. I mean, we’re still kids, we still act crazy, do stupid things, but we’re all kind of on the same page. We can communicate better. If there is an issue or problem, we can work through it. I think when we were younger, it was easier to ignore a problem and not work through it. When you get five people together, it’s like a family. It’s more of a family now than ever. I met Donald [Tardy] and John [Tardy] in 1980, so that’s, what, 31 years? I’m 41 now, so I met them when I was 10 years old. I’ve known them longer than I’ve known some of my cousins. How do you feel your post-reunion work compares to the classic material? Peres: It’s real heavy. To me, that’s what Obituary is. It’s the same thing, in a way. Butler: To me, coming into the band a year ago, I’ve known Trevor and Donald and John for a long time, but from my point of view the music sounds a little more thought out, a little more together, a little more mature. From front to end, it’s like a complete song. Not that the others weren’t before, but it feels like now you have your beginning, your climax, your lead and then you finish off the song. They just sound like classic songs. I understand you guys actually have lyrics now. Butler: That’s even more a part of the maturity process! Peres: No central meaning to them, but actual words now.
Do you feel that it’s limiting to just be expected to put out Obituary material, or is that how your brain works anyway? Peres: I do what I want to do for music. I want to write this heavy, Celtic Frost/Slayer style brutal music, and that’s what we do. I don’t really care if a journalist says, “Oh, it’s the same old thing.” Yeah, so is AC/DC! Butler: When a band has their style, why break it? Rush are always going to play Rush songs. AC/ DC aren’t going to start playing reggae. Obituary is going to play Obituary music. Why change it? How does it feel to be such a big inspiration to newer generations of bands? Butler: Old. Peres: It’s pretty weird to be an influence to young kids. I never expected that. Ever. I remember the first day our first album came out, in 1989, holding the vinyl in my hand and going, “Killer! We got an album!” We were just a bunch of young kids having fun playing music. And then, Obituary broke up at one point, and I did a little side project band. I was on tour in Europe a few times, and there were younger bands on tour with me, and I was opening up for them most of the time, but they were always telling me, “You influenced us so much!” I thought it was kind of weird, because it was just coming out at that point that we were influential. It’s cool, though. I don’t even know how to describe it. Why do you think that death metal has endured as a genre? Peres: The music is real. I said this years and years ago, when people would ask me, “Do you think death metal will continue forever?” I was like, “I don’t really know,” but I consider it kind of like blues music, on the same kind of level. I think there will be death metal going forever, real death metal. Like, my children, when they were infants, I’d put on some Celtic Frost and they’d stop crying and go, “Whoa, what’s that?” You feel it. obituary.cc Watch an interview and live performances from Obituary at Scion Rock Fest at scionav.com/rockfest
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Story: J. Bennett Photography: Colin Young-Wolff For metal fans the world over, Morbid Angel requires no introduction. Along with a very small handful of other groups, they are among the elite of the first generation of Floridian death metal bands that set the underground ablaze in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Known for their insane technical virtuosity, intense psychedelic atmosphere and strict alphabetical album-release strategy, Morbid Angelâ€™s core foundation is guitarist Trey Azagthoth, drummer Pete Sandoval (who is currently recovering from major back surgery while former Hate Eternal drummer Tim Yeung fills in) and vocalist/bassist David Vincent. The band recently headlined the Scion Rock Fest in Pomona, California, and are about to release Illud Divinum Insanus, their first new studio album in eight years. The following is an excerpt from an interview with Vincent before Rock Fest.
I’ve been asked before about the kind of different vibe that Morbid Angel has, because it’s definitely not just a metal thing. Of course, we’re fans of Judas Priest and a lot of the metal stuff that came before us, but our lead guitar player, Trey [Azagthoth] was also into guitarists like George Marino, Jimi Hendrix and Uli John Roth, who were certainly influenced by, for lack of a better term, psychedelic-type stuff. When you listen to that sort of guitar work, there’s a kind of moaning, off-kilter feel to it. It still feels really good, but it’s not just straight-ahead. Trey likens it to an 8-track tape that was left on the dashboard of a car to melt a little bit. When you go to play it, it has this interesting warped feel to it when it comes through the speakers. And Trey actually put some riffs together based on that model.
Morbid Angel is generally recognized as one of the bands that personifies death metal. Do you feel a weight of responsibility that goes along with that? That’s very flattering, and there’s probably some truth to it, but that’s not something we ever thought about when we started doing this. We just wanted to do something different. Back in the day, there were a lot of fanzines, underground tape trading. It was a really bohemian sort of thing. There just happened to be a few other bands in Florida—obviously Chuck Schuldiner [of the band Death], and there was also the band Possessed. I’d certainly put their first record, Seven Churches, on the list of important albums in this thing we call death metal or extreme music. With that comes the responsibility of having to push the envelope of extreme music, and that’s something we’ve always done. We’ve always tried to pull elements from outside our genre. Sometimes we get an awesome response, sometimes people are like, “I wonder what Morbid Angel are doing this time…” But we’ve always followed our hearts and we continue to try to break new ground and boldly go where no band has gone before. There seems to be a psychedelic quality to some of Morbid Angel’s music that really makes it stand out from other death metal bands. What do you attribute that to?
Azagthoth has been recognized by Decibel magazine as the greatest death metal guitarist of all time. Being in a band with him for so long, what’s your take on his abilities? As of late, a lot of magazines have been recognizing that Trey’s contributions to music have been substantial, and I agree. He’s a tremendously talented, tremendously creative guy. For better or worse, he’s taken a torch and forged a path. I hear little Morbid Angel inferences on other bands’ records, but he honestly has a feel and approach to the instrument that’s unlike anyone else’s. You left Morbid Angel in 1996 and rejoined in 2004. Why did you decide to come back? When I left in 1996, I had some personal issues I needed to address. When they called me in 2004, it was to play four shows in South America for a promoter who happened to be a personal friend of the band. We put together a set of classic Morbid Angel tracks and went down and played the shows. It was only going to be those shows, but it turned into our booking agent’s phone ringing off the hook. And it was interesting. Once we got into the groove, it was almost like there had never been a gap, even though the band had done three records in my absence. The response from the fans was overwhelming, so it turned into more shows, more festivals and now a brand new Morbid Angel record. What would you say Morbid Angel’s musical philosophy is at this point? Has it changed over the years? Morbid Angel’s musical philosophy has vacillated quite a bit over the years, with one common thread: to always push boundaries, to always come up with something that we really feel
special about and that we can share with people who are fans of the band. We try to create things that are entirely Morbid Angel [without] sort of cannibalizing the same things we’ve done in the past. There are things I did 15 or 20 years ago that there’s no reason for me to do again. People say, “Oh, this doesn’t sound like the old stuff.” Well, great. That’s what the old records are there for, you can listen to them. There’s no reason for me to repeat myself. That’s boring, that’s small. It’s certainly not giving our fans their money’s worth or the kind of spiritual camaraderie that they’ve come to expect from us over the years. So we will always push boundaries. The walls are high, but they can always be torn down. What do you want Morbid Angel’s legacy to be? I hope that when it’s all said and done and I’m 70 years old and experiencing what Trey and I call “the rocking chair effect,” when we’re sitting on the porch and everything, my hope and my belief is that Morbid Angel will be looked at as a band that brought things to the musical table that had not previously been there—and that we were able to inspire people to do the same and push their art in the same way that we did. morbidangel.com Watch an interview with David Vincent of Morbid Angel from Scion Rock Fest at scionav.com/rockfest
d is p i r it Interview: Adam Shore Dispirit is the epic black metal project of guitarist and vocalist John Gossard, previously of Asunder, Weakling and the Gault. He’s joined in the group by Peter Blair on drums, Todd Meister on bass and N.S. on guitar. Last year their Rehearsal at Oboroten made critics’ top year-end albums list even though it was a self-released demo . Here, in a rare interview, the band talks about their evolution from a casual jam session into a full-on force. You didn’t plan to start a band. How did Dispirit come about? Gossard: The years that Peter and I were doing this stuff,
Photography: Calvin Melo When you record, is it just one mic in the room or are you micing the drums and all the instruments and actually producing these sessions? Gossard: Now we mic everything because over the years Peter built a computer system. We’ve destroyed four fourtracks and a few PA systems. We have a giant box of tapes that came from a single mic, and then two mics, then four mics. Then Peter made the decision that he wanted to make us something so we could record onto a hard drive because we kept eating up these four tracks. A lot of times we would find something that was really cool, but the levels weren’t right and there was no way to change it.
we would record with whatever was around. It would last
Why release demos?
between one hour and two hours to a maximum of four
Gossard: The real short answer is we had a show coming
hours. We would record part of the practice and find maybe
up and we thought we should have something available. I
a few minutes of good stand-alone stuff.
grew up when everyone had demos and I love them, and
Blair: We went in there a couple of times a week and we
I think they sound better. I don’t actually think our tape
would have these long jam sessions, some of which we
sounds that lo-fi. I think it sounds raw and live, but I can’t
recorded, and they would develop over time. It was such
stand modern recording production, I can’t stand clarity.
a nice release. I wasn’t really looking to be in a band
Because we’re playing it live, there’s no isolation, there are
and record albums and play shows, it was really just a
limits to what you can do. When we put out an album, there
transformative experience of watching things develop.
will be more clarity. It won’t sound different, but there will
How do you structure your sessions? Gossard: In the very beginning, I didn’t really have much material that was structured to be part of a song. When I was in the Gault, I started using a digital delay all the time, which makes everything a lot more psychedelic and weird. So I was going back to some of the stuff I was doing in Weakling, but adding this delay. It was completely improvised. We would play long, doom-y passages or blasting passages and never really be sure what was going to happen.
be more assurance that what you’re hearing is supposed to be there.
dispirit.org Watch an interview and live performances from Dispirit at Scion Rock Fest at scionav.com/rockfest
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Story: J. Bennett Photography: Gaea Woods Of all the bizarre things potentially happening in Providence, Rhode Island, right now, perhaps the most bizarre is whatever the members of the Body are up to. Composed of guitarist/vocalist Chip King and drummer Lee Buford, two Arkansas transplants who migrated to the Northeast in pursuit of higher learning and artistic sustenance, the band released an album late last year that defies all description. Its title, All the Waters of the Earth Turn to Blood, is taken from a line in an obscure 1970s song called “The Vision,” which is basically a retelling of the biblical Book of Revelations by Bahamian musician Exuma. It’s a uniquely appropriate theme for the Body’s crushing sonic miasma, a collusion of bleak atmosphere and severe low-end hauled into the daylight by Buford’s total drum domination and King’s ominous doom chords. “I think thematically we have a lot in common with black metal and the nihilism and negativity that it usually portrays,” Buford says. “We both grew up playing in punk bands, and like most punk bands, they dealt a lot in politics. Over time, though, I think any positivity we had in trying to change the world turned negative. Now I feel like that negativity towards humanity and how to deal with it is the main theme of the band.” Still, All the Waters has moments that could easily be called uplifting. The album opens with four minutes of gorgeous chanting from Providence’s all-female Assembly Of Light Choir, led by the band’s friend Chrissy Wolpert. Conversely, the song “Empty Hearth” is arranged around a looped and chopped sample of a church group speaking in tongues, culled from the infinitely strange 1980s compilation Sounds Of American Doomsday Cults. And it might just be doomsday that the Body are preparing for, if the arsenal of self-defense mechanisms depicted in the All the Waters artwork is any indication. “I don’t think it’s too far-fetched to think that something might go wrong in our lifetime, so we try to stay prepared for it,” Buford explains. “The imagery we use does try to go along with our fatalist view of humanity.” aumwar.com Watch an interview and live performances from The Body at Scion Rock Fest at scionav.com/rockfest
P h il a d el p h i a Sc en e Rep ort As the home of Decibel magazine and some of the most prominent independent metal labels in the world—Relapse, Season Of Mist and Candlelight, to name a few—Philadelphia is a key city on the international metal landscape. But like any metropolis worth its slot on a tour schedule, Philly’s cred starts from the ground up. We recently spoke with Chris “Xos” Grigg, vocalist, guitarist and founder of Philly black metal squad Woe, about points of interest in the City of Brotherly Love. Long in the Tooth The record store I go to most often is Long in the Tooth on Sansom Street. They’ve got a good combination of new and used stuff, and a lot of great vinyl. The dude who owns it is really cool, and he buys a lot of stuff directly from bands. I like it because you’ll find the weirdest stuff in there. Kung-Fu Necktie, Johnny Brenda’s & The M Room The interesting thing about Philly is that most of the best metal shows, I think, tend to happen at DIY spots around town—warehouses and basement venues that suddenly appear and disappear. The city suffers from a lack of allages venues, and any touring band worth seeing is usually playing at a bar. So Kung-Fu Necktie, Johnny Brenda’s and the M Room are the places that a lot of the bigger touring bands play. They’re all in like a three-block radius of each other in a neighborhood called Fishtown. Tattooed Mom Tattooed Mom on South Street is probably the place to go as far as bars that have metal on the jukebox. The last time I was there, they had Disfear, Entombed, Slayer... I know Napalm Death’s Scum is like a staple on that jukebox. WKDU WKDU is the Drexel University radio station, and there are a couple of different metal shows on there, at least two or three, I think. And they always have bands play live on the radio,
occasionally even touring bands that are coming through town. I think the Atlas Moth might’ve played there recently. My old band, Near Dark, played on WKDU a few times, and they interviewed Woe after our first album came out. Phillymetal.com I built and operate Phillymetal.com, which is a website and message board for show postings in the Philly area. It’s pretty much self-sustaining because the show postings are all user-submitted. There’s a weekly email newsletter that goes out listing all the shows. It’s a very simple site. It’s modeled after the old, pre-Internet bulletin board system, and it has sort of a black metal aesthetic to it. It’s all black and gray, and there are no images on the entire site. quietly.woeunholy.com Watch an interview and live performances from Woe at Scion Rock Fest at scionav.com/rockfest
BLOG ROLL bravewords.com Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles is more than just a great spot to read news and fight with fellow metal fans on message boards. It’s also a place to listen to brand new tracks and grab crazy amounts of band merch.
decibelmagazine.com The online companion to the only monthly extreme music magazine, Decibel features exclusive interviews, news and articles that you won’t find in the printed edition. Topics covered include major bands playing tiny shows and essays on tour bus drivers.
metalassault.com Founded and run primarily by Aniruddh “Andrew” Bansal, Metal Assault follows metal from the mainstream to the farthest reaches of obscurity through interviews, show reviews, photos, videos and audio releases.
R adi o 17 To p Pic k s
Radio kmbt A true staple of the extreme music landscape, Scott Kelly has been making metal for 25 years as a founding member of Neurosis, as well as moonlighting in Shrinebuilder. His new show on Scion Radio 17, Radio KMBT, began back in April, and on it Kelly plays (in his words) “everything from Miles Davis to Black Breath.” With taste like that (he also lists one of his main influences as Hank Williams), we had to ask Kelly what’s been flipping through his musical brain. His answers certainly did not disappoint.
Earth, Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light I (Southern Lord)
I’ve been listening to the new Earth record. I’ve been absorbing it slowly. As usual with their records, it takes time to soak in all the patterns and the landscape. I really enjoy their explorations. I always look forward to their tunes, they’re always so unrestricted in their approach and their construction of music. Black Breath, Heavy Breathing (Southern Lord)
On the other side of the map, I’ve been listening to Black Breath, which is more of a traditional hardcore or metal record. It definitely takes a heavy dose of Entombed’s Left Hand Path kind of stuff, as well as some Poison Idea, a little Discharge. There are really nice, visceral guitar tones and a strippeddown approach. I like it because when you listen to them you can tell that they’re doing exactly what they want to do and not trying to fit in anywhere. They’re just playing the music they enjoy. I had a chance to see them when they supported Neurosis when we were playing up in Seattle over New Year’s and they were really great live. Billie Holiday
I’ve been digging into a lot of old jazz stuff lately, listening to some Billy Holiday. I’ve got about half of this box set of her early stuff, it’s all pre-1945, and I still like listening to her haunted melodies. I love oldsounding records. I like old things, but old sounding records in particular really capture my attention. There’s something about her. It’s like listening to Hank Williams, where it’s so much older. When you listen to her you don’t realize that you’re listening to someone in her twenties. It sounds so wise. I find myself trippin’ on stuff like that endlessly, ever since I got old enough to appreciate it.
Ornette Coleman, The Shape of Jazz to Come (Atlantic) Ornette Coleman, he’s a little more modern. He was the original free jazz guy, with The Shape of Jazz to Come. I listen to music for all sorts of different reasons. Sometimes I listen to [The Shape of Jazz to Come] to move me or get me going, wake me up. Sometimes I listen to it as more of a driving, pastoral landscape type of thing. Other times it’s for the ear candy aspect of it, like Spacemen 3 or something, where it’s pumping out of the speakers and doing things to your mind. I just like to soothe my brain in some way, and I’ve always found that this music does that for me. Jesu I’m a pretty tone-associated listener, so there’s not a whole lot of metal that transports me to the same place that jazz does. The only heavy stuff that does that to me is Jesu. That’s the only stuff that puts me in a place where I feel like the music is doing something to kind of calm and expand my brain. When I’m feeling overburdened or not right, I just find myself following these patterns of the rhythm or the tones. Generally metal is way more jagged and staccato and the tones are more machine sounding. That’s a different emotion for me. Black Sabbath, The Dio Years I’ve been listening to the [Ronnie James] Dio era Black Sabbath stuff in the last year, since he passed. I’ve been reflecting on everything he did and really appreciating just how good he really was. Neurosis did a show with Heaven & Hell just a couple months before he got sick, and there were no signs. That guy was so healthy, and so strong with the most amazing, most powerful voice that I think I’ve ever heard live. Definitely, in my opinion, the greatest singer to ever come across what they call heavy metal music. I don’t think anybody comes close. I think [Tony] Iommi and [Geezer] Butler are pretty blessed to have probably both the most original and unique guy in Ozzy [Osbourne] and just flat out the best guy in Dio as their main frontmen. Listen to Radio KMBT every month on Scion Radio 17 at scionav.com/radio/channel5
Souther Salazar at Installation 7: Video at Installation LA
Primate at Scion Rock Fest in Pomona, CA.
Guests at Scion Metal Matinee in Los Angeles, CA.
Guests at Installation 7: Video in Brooklyn, NY.
Mind Eraser at Scion Metal Matinee in Los Angeles, CA.
Mind Eraser at Scion Metal Matinee in Los Angeles, CA.
Justin Hampton at the 11:11 opening at Installation LA.
a bo u t Guests at Installation 7: Video in Brooklyn, NY.
Bastard Noise at Scion Rock Fest in Pomona, CA.
From Ashes Rise at Scion Metal Matinee in Los Angeles, CA.
Noisear at Scion Metal Matinee in Los Angeles, CA.
Wormrot at Scion Rock Fest in Pomona, CA.
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