INSIDE SONIC SHOCKS . . . gets its spot in the sun
ISSUE TWO – AUGUST 2011
hile Download and Sonisphere entertain us with their year-long challenge for the best line up, slowly but surely a new contender crawls right behind them: watch your back you two! High Voltage - only 2011 UK Festival so far blessed by proper summer weather – gave music fans a weekend to remember right in the heart of London town. With both the bill and the organization visibly improved, the Classic Rock gathering enjoyed a definite success, and some mouth-watering rumours were already circulating on Sunday afternoon regarding next year’s possible headliners – we won’t tell, but you’d better put that on your calendar. Find out what happened – and what didn’t, damn you Electric Wizard – right here on Sonic Shocks…
R.I.P AMY WINEHOUSE
n the afternoon of Saturday, July 23rd, troubled singer Amy Winehouse was found dead in her apartment in Camden at the age of 27, joining a string of tormented artists passing away at the same age. Amy’s health was fragile lately due to past drug and alcohol abuse. Is rumoured that her recent decision to go off alcohol ‘cold turkey’ may have been fatal, however there are no results yet of a toxicology exam to establish the cause of death. Continued in Page 2
Bigger than the Big 4
O, we made it through another Festival. While we rinse our wellies and get over the usual sun burns and spells of food poisoning, can’t help feeling a bit nostalgic already. Sonisphere was a blast, and how could it not be with a bill giving you the Big Four as an appetizer and Slipknot for pudding! This time braving the elements in the name of Rock’n’Roll for Sonic Shocks were Cristina - Nikon included, our enthusiastic videographer Cayleigh and the lovely Becki and Rebecca taking turns in
chatting to eager rockstars in the muddy surroundings of Knebworth’s media area. As we slowly recovered and unpacked, we got together for you plenty of interviews, pictures and our thoughts on the past weekend. And don’t forget: tickets for Sonisphere 2012 are already on sale! Love, mud & rock’n’roll!
Cristina, Cayleigh, Becki & Rebecca
exclusiVe reVieWs, Photos and interVieWs from sonisPhere and high Voltage big 4 Pullout With exclusiVe full Page Photos of metallica, slayer, megadeth, anthrax Vintage trouble, rise to remain, tesseract, ginger Wildheart, slam cartel, the black dahlia murder, Queensryche, Protest the hero, killing Joke, thunder, triggerfinger, neurosis, combichrist, furyon, John robb & rebellion festiVal and much more
SONIC SHOCKS - August 2011
Amy Winehouse found dead
Following a three-year sabbatical after the multi-platinum, worldwide success of their sophomore effort,The Open Door, Evanescence went into the studio on April 11th this year to begin recording their third studio album with producer Nick Raskulinecz, whose recent producing credits include Foo Fighters, RUSH, Stone Sour, Deftones and Alice in Chains. It is due to be released in the fall on Wind Up/EMI.
(continues from page 1)
The world was left astonished and devastated by the sudden loss of extraordinarily talented Amy. From Kelly Osborne to Piers Morgan, Russell Now they are to tour the UK Brand to Lily Allen and many for the first time since 2007 more, everyone expressed with support from Taylor their sadness and sympathy Momsen’s grunge tinged to Amy’s shattered family. rock outfit The Pretty Reckless and progressive art- Record's producer Mark rockers Fair To Midland. Ronson said: "She was my Kicking off at London’s musical soulmate and like a Hammersmith Apollo on 4th sister to me. This is one of the November, they finish up in saddest days of my life." HipBirmingham on the 13th, hop producer Salaam Remi before heading over to main- tweeted: "Very Very Sad Day. land Europe. Singer Amy Just lost a Great Friend and Lee commented: “We're dy- a Sister. RIP my baby SiS ing to come back to the UK Cherry Winehouse. Love ya and play the new music for always." Kelly Osbourne was our fans. Can't wait!" With what some call a meteoric rise to the top, the band’s first album, Fallen brought the band to global success with more than 17 million records in the hands of fans worldwide, two Top 10 singles, “My Immortal” and “Bring Me To Life” and two Grammy® Awards in 2003 (Best New Artist and Best Hard Rock Performance for “Bring Me To Life”). The Open Door was certified double platinum in the United States and has sold more than 5 million copies worldwide. The album was defined by Amy Lee’s beautiful melodies, profound lyrics, stunning vocals and poignant piano, merged with Terry Balsamo’s urgent, yet intricate guitar playing and
inconsolable: "I can’t even breath right now im crying so hard i just lost 1 of my best friends. i love you forever Amy & will never forget the real you!" Jessie J posted: "The way tears are streaming down my face. Such a loss." Doug Charles-Ridler, The Hawley Arms co-owner, said Amy was "a special person with a good soul, this should not have happened". Winehouse’ fans gathered around the house paying tribute to the young icon, still trying to make sense of her sudden departure, and kept celebrating her memory throughout the week. Amy released her first album
formed a remarkable, ethereal blend perfectly rooted in November 2011 the band’s rock and classical sensibilities, including the hit FRI 4th London single “Call Me When You’re HMV Hammersmith Apollo Sober.” Evanescence is Amy Lee (vocals, piano), Terry Balsamo (guitar) Tim McCord (bass), Troy McLawhorn (guitar) and Will Hunt (drums). For more information, please visit their website. www.evanescence.com
SAT 5th London HMV Hammersmith Apollo MON 7th O2 Apollo
TUE 8th Academy
THU 10th Pavilions
The dates in full are available on your right, Tickets are SAT 12th priced at £28.50 regionally O2 Academy and £29.50 London (subject to booking fee), available for SUN 13th purchase from O2 Academy www.livenation.co.uk
Plymouth Leeds Birmingham
‘Frank’ in 2003, and soon was nominated for the Mercury Prize. 2006 follow-up Back to Black, earned her six Grammy Awards nominations and five wins, tying the then record for the most wins by a female artist in a single night, and making her the first British female to win five Grammys, including Best New Artist, Record of the Year and Song of the Year. In 2007, she won a Brit Award for Best British Female Artist; she had also been nominated for Best British Album. She won the Ivor Novello Award three times: in 2004 for Best Contemporary Song for Stronger Than Me, in 2007 for Best Contemporary Song for Rehab and in 2008 for Best Song for Love is a Losing Game. She is said to have left plenty of unreleased material, however no one knows how far she was with the recording process for the new album, which had been postponed several times as she was desperately trying to fight her demons.
Sonic Shocks Ltd www.sonicshocks.com firstname.lastname@example.org Editor in Chief Cristina Massei
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Keith Caputo is now Mina Rumours over the past month began to circle around about Life Of Agony playing their final shows, around the same time Caputo’s website had postings referring to the vocalist as ‘her’ and Keith Mina Caputo. On the 7th July, a tweet saying M2F transexuals like mê are the women who give up male privilege for femininity! Threaten the patriarchy! #TransLib #WhippingGirl was posted confirming her decision.
Life Of Agony at the time of going to press have played their final shows although Miss Caputo has also stated in another tweet that “it’s got nothin 2 do w me transition-
SONIC SHOCKS - August 2011
Words by Rebecca Cocking Images by Cristina Massei
Head,Killing Joke and The Defiled, to name but a few.
Gus G, guitarist to Ozzy Osbourne, is here with his own Although only in its third band Firewind and knows the year, Sonisphere is already on dilemma that the hugeness of a par with major rock rivals, the Big 4 brings all too well: Download, with this year’s “We’re playing in a tent and line-up having done well in we’re hoping it rains because putting the wind up Doning- we’re clashing with Megaton’s metaphorical skirts. So deth! We want people at our let’s be honest, the only words gig!” you’re going to find on anyone’s lips today are “The Big As well as the Big 4, today is
4”. United, Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer and Anthrax are overshadowing the rest of the day’s line-up which consists of bands such as Diamond
also Superhero Day with 9am starts consisting of glimpses of various Batman and Superman disguises, as well as Mario and Luigi wandering around the press area, catching the eye of Bob and Gus. So what superheroes would they be? “Oh, I’d be Robocop” Bob answers without hesitation. And what about you Gus? “Superman”.
After winning the Metal Hammer Golden Gods Award for Best Shredder, you’re s ome w hat of a superman in that respect! “Yeah! That was a very nice moment but the sad thing was I was not actually able to attend the c e r e m o ny to accept the award so Alice Cooper got it for me! I was on tour with Ozzy then but still, it’s a big honour for me.” Are you enjoying the festival so far?“It’s a summer festival tour but we are Greek so we don’t consider this a summer because it’s raining over and over again. But today is a special day because we’re playing one of the biggest festivals in Europe!” And they’re not far wrong. Unfortunately for us Sonic Shockers though, due to press area demands, we only manage to accumulate between us a meagre Big 2. Skipping off to perv over Dave Mustaine, I find the flame-haired growler and his merry men of Megadethripping the Apollo stage a new one. With the promise of a new album brings with it airing of new material and, following the premier of ‘Public Enemy No1’ in Germany a few days earlier, it’s with great likelihood that we be treated to the same privilege. While the online reaction to ‘Public
Enemy No1’ was significantly lukewarm, it’s a whole different story when witnessed live.
to see any of Metallica’s set (too busy saving lives, y’see), it was difficult not to hear it, as classics such as Master of Puppets, Enter Sandman and Welcome Home (Sanitarium) ring out across the campsites, much to the disdain of proud non-fans.
As the day draws to a close and shouts of Reported by fans as a return “Backscratcher!” alongside back to the band’s seventh one man’s hour long Tom studio album, Cryptic Writ- Jones impression send the ings, ‘Public Enemy’ contains campsite into fits of laughter, all of the trademark snarls it’s safe to say that this weekand lightning riffs Megadeth end has started with one hell are now recognised for, mak- of a bang. ing it a perfect addition to their live repertoire. SATURDAY Returning back to the press area, it’s not long before our It’d hardly be surprising if the very own Wayne and Garth majority of today’s festivalare born, alongside Wonder goers spent the day in their Woman andBatgirl, ready to tents, nursing Deth-ly, Slay-
party on in light of the festivities that Superhero Day at Sonisphere brings. While this particular Batgirl failed
ing hangovers. The lacklustre line-up is a big step down from the previous night, where it seems we’ve trav-
SONIC SHOCKS - August 2011
elled back in time to an era where pop-rock bands like All Time Low and Sum 41 were splashed all over the front cover of Kerrang! Nevertheless, a few exceptions are made with the inclusion of The Mars Volta, Ginger Wildheart and Cavelera Conspiracy breaking up the illusion that Saturday is just a stop-gap before the mighty Slipknot. Sylosis begin the day, doing well to blast away the morning hangovers with their brutal vocal and riff combinations. This is not a band you’d
usually find yourself listening to over breakfast but at Sonisphere, anything goes. To go from such ferociousness on one stage to the soothing tones of Richard Cheese and his band, Lounge Against the Machine, on another is a surreal experience, especially when Cheese opens with a swing cover of the smuttiness that is Closer by Nine Inch Nails, turning it into a song you’d more likely hear your nan listening to. Other songs in Cheese’s repertoire include renditions of Black Eyed Peas’ Boom Boom Pow, Enter Sandman and, perhaps the cover he’s most famous for, Down With the Sickness, as featured in zombie horror movie Dawn of the Dead.
Following the announcement earlier this month concerning the departure of Frank Carter from hardcore punk outfit Gallows, it is with heavy hearts that fans acknowledge that this is their last festival appearance before Carter leaves. Citing musical differences as the reason for the departure, Gallows seem determined not to let any of these differences affect how they perform today and you’ve got to admire them for that. Taking time out from support slots with Soundgarden, a rare UK festival appearance
from Texans, The Mars Volta, turns the Saturn stage a deep shade of bewilderment as everyone looks on, not quite knowing what to make of the untamed energy a band like The Mars Volta brings. Enveloping himself in the stage’s front banners, vocalist Cedric Bixler-Zavala (try saying that when you’re pissed) wails and jerks around the stage, a feral frontman so captivating that it’s difficult to tear your eyes away. And while most rockstars will usually have a bottle of water or alcohol of choice with them on stage, BixlerZavala opts instead for a kettle and hot drinks, adding further to this band’s overall uniqueness in the music world, as if combining jazz fusion, prog rock and Latin American sounds wasn’t unique enough.
every live show turns someThe award for most intrigu- thing that shouldn’t work into ing band of the weekend has something that completely to go to Biffy Clyro- an odd and utterly does. but ballsy choice of headliner considering the nature Later in the day, I force myof a festival of Sonisphere’s self, with considerable reluccalibre. You could puzzle tance, to see at least some of over the reasoning behind Airbourne’s set, starting out the choice forever but it’s not with the widely held view going to change the fact that that they are nothing more they’re here and ready to give than an AC/DC tribute band. it their best shot. While this is certainly true, the showmanship and dareIt wouldn’t be unreasonable devil nature of frontman Joel to assume that the probability of a shower of piss cups and bottles has gone up ten-fold though and, in all honesty, the promise of a golden shower is what’s swaying the decision whether to watch their set or not to a resounding YES. Surprisingly, and a little disappointingly, however, very few bottles and piss cups are thrown and the Scots do well to convince the Sonisphere crowd that they’re worthy of our attention, if just for a few O’Keefe as he scales the Satminutes. This is certainly a urn stage right to the very risk that has paid off. top, guitar in tow, and proceeds to solo from his summit, is more than enough to SUNDAY trick me into thinking otherwise. Of course, they still It’s the last day at Sonisphere sound like AC/DC but with a and while last days at festivals few clever scaffold acrobatics, are usually filled with an ac- it doesn’t take long before you cumulation of hangovers and forget all that and start dancdesperate needs to shower, ing like a loon. something else is hanging in the air, other than the pain- As well as Saturday’s Biffy ful stink of the portaloos. Clyro, another brave choice With Slipknot headlining the of headliner comes in the main stage as well as the an- form of Bill Bailey, a cometicipation of what Bill Bailey dian known for his love of all could possibly bring to a rock things rock and metal. festival like this one, it looks like today is going to be a day His engagement of music with festival-goers won’t forget for humour has paved the way a long time. for a stream of other comedy musicians such as Tim The band with the privilege Minchin and Flight of the of blowing away the morn- Conchords and as he opens ing cobwebs is Denmark rock with the fantastic ‘Insect Nan roll outfit, Volbeat. Start- tion’, a song about the prosing the set 15 minutes earlier pect of insects taking over the than planned, Volbeat play a set with material from all 3 albums, exposing potential new fans to their unique sound- an amalgamation of Johnny Cash type vocals, 50s rock and roll and the riffcentralness of Metallica. A combination of such genres should, in theory, sound absolutely awful but, while it’s certainly an acquired taste, the energy that’s thrown into
world, Bailey comes face to face with Mother Nature herself as the heavens open and it starts to pour with rain. Not that a bit of rain dampens the laughter Bailey brings with his Rammstein renditions of Simon and Garfunkel’s ‘Scarborough Fair’ and the equally as bizarre but comedic genius of the bicycle horn version of Metallica’s ‘Enter Sandman’. Judging by the amount of Slipknot t-shirts spotted
throughout the entire weekend, Sunday night’s headliner are one of the most anticipated bands of the weekend. Greeting the unrelenting rain and an equally as unrelenting crowd with opener ‘(sic)’, Slipknot send everyone into a headbanging, mosh-pitting frenzy. This kind of energy never fails to let up, both on stage and off, creating an atmosphere so intense and special that you’d be hard pushed to find a band who can make you feel that way again. The touching dedication to late bassist, Paul Gray, in ‘Duality’ is enough to change the whole mood but what’s most impressive is the ability in both the band and their Maggots to swiftly regain that previously held energy, ready for the drop and the mass chorus of “I push my fingers into my eyes”. Spine-tingling stuff.
SONIC SHOCKS - August 2011
– hey, that’s 0.50 cheaper than Sonisphere and Download! somewhere in between.
RIVAL SONS prove once
Words and images by Cristina Massei
What a great weekend the Classic Rock bunch managed to put together this year, and I’m not just talking about the bill for the 2011 High Voltage Festival… For starters, we had the headliner we had been dreaming all along Download, Glastonbury and Sonisphere: Mr Sunshine, can you believe it? LONDON + UK FESTIVAL = SUNSHINE!!!??! Not in anyone wettest dreams, but it did happen, for the second year in a row… Certainly a sign that High Voltage is meant to go on throughout all the obstacles paving its way to the major UK Festival League. And let’s get those obstacles out of the way, dealing first with the faults of this otherwise great weekend out.
a park on summer night with a CD player and you’ll get pretty much the same result, only cheaper. I’m sure many enjoyed it… As for me, I just saw another legend turn into a money grabbing bunch of has-beens and I truly hope this Farewell tour is not just another one of the Kiss kind. Shut the door behind you when you leave please. THE SOUND – What the hell was that with the Main Stage on the Saturday? Turn it up!
ELECTRIC WIZARD – Pulled out last minute with great disappointment, considered the number of Electric Wizard t-shirts around on the Saturday. Some fans paid a ticket Festival to see YOU. Hope you had a valid reason to let them down and a free London gig for HV ticket holders is the least you JUDAS PRIEST – Initially can do. thought to be a one off appearance – and guessingly And… yes, I believe this is costing a proportioned fee - the end of the cons. Now, to ended up being just one stop why I totally dig this London in a full UK tour, undermin- outdoors weekend. ing - again, my guess - both sales and budget for High Structured a bit like a fun fair Voltage. They acted like – complete of Big Wheel – rockstars offstage, avoiding High Voltage dares to be difpress and banning most pho- ferent with the idea of a Main tographers, and like an aver- Stage for everyone, a Prog age band on stage, where they Stage for the old hippy types looked tired and very little and a Metal Hammer stage enthusiastic, making a mock- for the youngest, turning the ery of themselves and much Festival into a well thought missed KK Downing forcing family event. his replacement to turn into a cheap clone of the original. Aside from the three main Of course we’re all going to stages, a special mention has headbang and singalong at to go to the legendary ACE ‘Breaking the Law’: put that CAFÉ LONDON: vintage amount of drunken people in cars and bikes parked outside
and a small stage presenting a variety of rock’n’roll and blues acts, like thirteen years old Aaron Keylock – tipped to be the next great British Blues guitarist – and Beverly Joe Scott with Dick Taylor (The Pretty Things). As the craze for all things vintage, blues and rockabilly seems to be taking over, we expect Ace Café to be back and bigger next year, maybe with the likes of Imelda May and Vintage Trouble… Just an idea.
again to be one of the bands to watch with their exciting live performance; try their new album Pressure & Time and get there before they get too big. Won’t take long. QUEENSRYCHE – JP watch
Saturday takes off with MICHAEL MONROE 2.0 – Dregen version. As much as we love Ginger and there wouldn’t be a Sensory Overdrive without him, on stage Dregen fits the bill perfectly and brings some new lymph into the band. Between old, new and timeless, Michael’s energetic performance convinces even the most scepti- and learn – open with ‘Get Started’ from new album ‘Dedicated To Chaos’ but fear not, you still get the likes of ‘Jet City Woman’ and ‘Empire’ from a Geoff Tate with less hair, more experience and maturity and the same amount of enthusiasm and professionalism, not to mention talent. And it’s time for THIN LIZZY fronted by Ricky Warwick: all those who doubted this new line up and stayed clear of the last tour can’t escape now. They have to hear it, watch cal ones. Too good and too it and love it, and in the end short! admit that Thin Lizzy + Ricky Warwick – in absence of the Then it all turns into the usu- original – is indeed a perfect al run from one pit to another formula. And there’s nothing with a £2.50 portion of chips better than Thin Lizzy for an
outdoor rock Festival… The party has definitely started. Even Michael Monroe jumps back on stage with his saxophone for ‘Dancing in the Moonlight’. But, as Electric Wizard fail to show up and are replaced by a second appearance from Rival Sons, the High Voltage crowd gathers to Main Stage to pay homage to the one true rockstar and main attraction of today’s bill: Ladies and Gentleman, SLASH! Between Adler’s Appetite and Axl Rose Destruction, here’s all Guns’n’Roses ever stood For. Myles Kennedy is again fronting the band, and - just like Warwick with Thin Lizzy – he doesn’t try to replace Axl, but makes a damn great job of reinterpreting the classics without compromising his own style. Next to unforgettable late Eighties anthems, the setlist offers a mix of Slash’s acclaimed solo stuff, Snakepit and Velvet Revolver, one song after the other taking us all to Paradise City. A flashback of
a warm night in June 1992 – yes fuckers, I was there! – in a stadium, the same song ending it all… Is it ever going
SONIC SHOCKS - August 2011
Page 6 end proceedings.
is technically flawless and impetuous as always. ‘On Time to go home. Just like Somewhere between BCC the Back of Angels’ gives us every other Festival, streets and the headliners, we truly a feel of ‘A Dramatic Turn of have been closed, bus stops hope you found the time to moved and cab drivers alrun to the Hammer stage and lowed to rob punters, somecatch some of NEUROSIS suthing all Festivals, Councils perb set. It’s a bit odd watchand the Police should really ing Neurosis in daylight really, work on together – utopia, I Personal highlights from the it’s hard to create that atmosknow. Prog Stage for today were phere they got us all used to ANATHEMA and VON on a naturally lit stage, but Transport and Priests aside, a HERTZEN BROTHERS, at the same time their sound pretty awesome weekend and from the Metal Hammer filling an open space is somea Festival still in its infancy thing you should all experigrowing fast and in the right direction, as I’m sure this where JETHRO TULL bring year’s ticket sales will also everyone back in time with have proved. an impeccable headline slot. to get any closer than this? Probably not. And, watching JUDAS PRIEST just after, I’d say hopefully not. Slash, stay here and shut the door behind you before Axl comes in please.
Back on main, THUNDER shake the place with an exclusive Festival appearance. I’m quite sure they played a ‘last gig’ years ago, but they still deliver the goods and are more than welcome out of retirement. As ‘Dirty Love’ comes up to end the set, no one seems able to keep hips and hair still. They will all Stage we liked TRIGGERFIN- deny it tomorrow, but do not GER, SYLOSIS and GRAND believe a word: if your mates MAGUS. Then again, you were in Victoria Park on Sun- ence. Here’s a band who needs no gimmicks to give intensity know how it goes at Festivals, to their performance, as the so potentially you may be our music itself fills the air and favourite band and we just the minds. They even tried missed you… Don’t despair. some new material, so keep your eyes peeled for a new alSunday it’s even sunnier *unbum coming Christmas time polite gesture to the weatherand check out our interview man predicting rain*and the with Scott Kelly. Hammer Stage is up to a rocking start with up & coming The final fireworks are courFURYON and THE TREATtesy of DREAM THEATER MENT. Trust us and note on – minus Mike Portnoy. The your ‘to watch’ list. The runlegendary prog rock quintet ning about then begins, while tests the new line up with a we managed to catch some headlining slot in Victoria SAINT JUDE and MICHAEL Park and Mike Mangini gets his seal of approval from the day, they were dancing ‘Dirty Love’ at this point. Everyone – some keep it quiet – loves a bit of Thunder.
SCHENKER on main and the excellent GENTLEMANS PISTOLS back on Hammer. Unfortunately we miss most of the Prog Stage this time,
Supergroup BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION’s members need no introduction. Two albums later, the golden rock combo of Glenn Hughes, Joe Bonamassa, Derek Sherinian and Jason Bonham consolidates its status as a band and effortlessly conquer the audience with their classic rock-blues sound. ‘Man in The Middle’ works a treat live, before paying tribute to demanding Festival audiDeep Purple with ‘Burn’ to ence. His drum solo is well received, and the whole set
To all those involved, a big thank you and see you next Events’, the new album out year! in September on Roadrunner, and from the sound of it Dream Theater’s fans will not be disappointed.
SONIC SHOCKS - August 2011
Vintage Trouble Taking the ‘Next’ off the Next Big Thing there’s nothing better than dancing and there’s nothing better than not feeling like you have to be heavy in order to be serious. There’s something serious about joy, we bring a lot of joy and I think that’s what people like’. Words and images by Cristina Massei
So, here we go again: another crowd with no idea of what is about to hit them. We’re at Sonisphere, so there’s a good chance it’s going to be metal: thrash? Death? Hardcore? Psycho-screamo-something? Nah, just good old blues and soul. Heads suddenly stop banging and hips start shaking to the irresistible sexy innuendo of ‘Hand Me Down Blues’. Vintage Trouble just conquered another piece of land and a big handful of hearts in a mere half hour. I shouldn’t be shocked anymore I guess: I still haven’t met one person who didn’t get on their knees thanking their chosen God after their first dose of Vintage Trouble live. Yet, what exactly are they doing right, in a time when it’s so hard to get people excited? Or is it just pure magic? ‘I think it’s that we like to have a good time, and people like to party’ – says lead singer Ty Taylor – ‘we’re in a time when people are caught up in a lot of anxiety and tension, and we offer a release from the mind game and people really get into the body game with us. People wanna move,
Vintage Trouble have only been around for about 15 months; took far less than that to be noticed by Doc McGhee while jamming in the LA area, an encounter that would have helped spreading the gospel around the world that little bit faster; they decided to start from the UK ‘because of its history, music and because people here have a very educated manner about the way they speak to you about music. They don’t just come to after shows and say ‘oh my god that was amazing’, they get into it with you’ – Ty says with a smile – ‘we’re releasing our record here first. A few months ago we were on Jools Holland and we couldn’t ask for a better gift than that, it allowed us to be seen by a lot of people and to have people fall in love with us the way we got to fall in love prior to coming here with the United Kingdom so it’s been a good relationship… It feels like we’re supposed to be here and you guys are supposed to have us’.
sell out most of them, they’ve chosen so far to only play small venues - or opening slots at big ones like Sonisphere, Bon Jovi’s tour and Hard Rock Calling - which we find a bit peculiar: ‘We played the last four nights in a row, this is our fifth, and what’s most exciting is we’ve been all over the UK and every night is sold out… It’s a new band, and it’s a big moment when you go from having to call people to come to the shows to not having to say one word to anyone and the room is full so we’re getting used to the size of it. We did the Bon Jovi tour and we were playing 60 thousand people a night, and as amazing as it is – like a rush – that’s like a childhood dream. Kids dream to play stadiums, but the adults really like to play in a sweaty club where everybody is sexy and sweaty and you can hear specifically what people ask you to do next. There’s nothing better than playing in a place where the walls are dripping, the ladies are smiling and the guys are pumping their fists. It feels too small
‘It’s the music we were conceived to, it’s what our parents were listening to when they had sex and had us, so it is who we are. There’s also something about music not being so definable in that period, mid 50s-mid 60s; you couldn’t define rock and soul. There were all the Etta James, the Chuck Berry’s , Ike & Tina Turner, this is where rock’n’roll starts, even the Stones , people consider them a rock’n’roll band but they’re also a soul band. They couldn’t see what was what back then, and why wouldn’t you wanna leave in a period that had no structure, all it had was good old primitive raw grooves? It’s the best. Why put anything else on top of that? The 50s and 60s pronounced the individual instrument and the voice and the lyrics and the joy… There’s no other time I would be influenced by.’
ing by preaching to a different kind of crowd.’ And if metal has its Big Four, rock & soul reply with the Big Five according to their favourite preacher: Ike & Tina Turner, Otis Redding, Sam Cook, Etta James, the Staple Singers. For the whole length of our conversation, Ty is smiling; an open, sincere smile, joyous and vibrant like his songs. Vintage Trouble are definitely a happy bunch, and a very close one: ’If at any point our lives become less fun our music will become more fun because we will be using it as therapy to get back to good times, so we’re gonna write songs that are probably happier than the state we’re in at that time because we’ll be using the songs and the music as a refuge into happiness’.
The Bomb Shelter Sessions And here they are, sand- is out now with an extra CD wiched between the Big Four of 5 extra songs, some new and Slipknot’s comeback, sur- some live, and is also comrounded with metalheads… ing out on vinyl – doesn’t Maybe for Vintage Trouble get more vintage than that! music is still not definable There’s a college tour comafter all? ‘You don’t need to ing up in the fall, so get your tickets pronto, and while you run to the record store – this really deserves more than iTunes guys – here are Ty’s last words before saying goodbye to join the Festival crowds: ‘We’re just overexcited, I still can’t believe it’s happening the way it’s happening and every day we tell each other how lucky we are and how grateful we are that people not only get it, but they let us know about it; I think we’re making our famfor the amount of people preach to a choir. We could ily and friends from home that are there, it’s so impet- play in only soul places but proud...’ uous and hot… We always those people already know say that our favourite place about soul; people are here Check out www.vintagetrouto play is someone’s house in general for hard rock mu- ble.com for updates and when their parents are out sic, you bring soul to them, spread the gospel: when you Since their showcase in Feb- of town!’. then you bring soul into an find something as amazing as ruary this year, Vintage Trouarea that didn’t have that, Vintage Trouble on your way, ble have been playing a gig Quite a 50s image: the smok- so the people you’re preach- keeping it to yourself would after the other in the UK, ey club, sweat, some blues ing to actually need to hear be just selfish. London in particular, and and a scotch… So what’s the what you’re saying and you although they would easily fascination with that era? need to perfect your preach-
SONIC SHOCKS - August 2011
RISE TO REMAIN
Soon shredding a venue near you
by Cristina Massei
After an EP, an impressive number of shows and an uncommon number of Awards for an unsigned band, Rise To Remain finally found a home in EMI and got together a proper debut album, ‘City of Vultures’, hitting all physical and digital music outlet on September 5th. ‘Was such a shock’ – say Will and Ben enthusiastically – ‘We took our time to work on this album, and when the EMI deal came together we knew immediately that it was going to be home for us. Is such a great label, they really helped taking this band off the ground and coming out on EMI means having pretty much everything ready to go’.
want to be just another metal band, we don’t want to be too heavy, too riff based, we want to write kind of singable things. it’s a mixture I guess, as some of the tracks kind of revolve over a period of four months and some happened on the spur of the moment’.
Owing much of their reputation to their powerful live performances, Rise To Remain are obviously all set to follow the release with a three week tour of the UK with Bleed from Within and The Safety Fire. ‘We’re really mega excited about, as it’s probably the biggest headlining tour we’ve done in the UK as a band’. In the meanwhile, another set of dates has been announced, this time Rise To Remain are just back in the company of Trivium from Sonisphere France – and In Flames: after just one ‘the weather was great’… are month break, Rise To Remain you complaining about our will be heading to mainland trademark Festival showers? Europe and back to the UK Come on! – and hiding in the nice and dry guest tent they give us a little preview on their much anticipated full length. ‘A couple of tracks from the EP will be on the album but it’s mostly new material. It’s been quite a long process; with this band we’re going to just write and write and write and we’re going to criticize what we do quite heavily as we really want these tracks on the album to stand out. We don’t
for all those who missed out the first time… Busy bees! So how did it all happen? ‘As Rise to Remain we’ve been playing together since 2008 but me (Will) Ben and Austin have been together as a separate band called Halide Since 2006 and Joe and Pat were in another band called 12 Ton Method. We all met in 2008 and decided to join forces and it’s been going nowhere but up since then!’ However, let’s face it: many of us know about Rise To Remain as ‘the band of Bruce Dickinson’ son’. It’s barely mentioned on Wikipedia, you won’t find much about it on rock magazines, but the man on the street – or the kid at the show – will know the singer’s dad is in Iron Maiden before he knows any of the songs. Fact. It’s one of those ‘pink elephant in the room’ situation, where there’s something fairly big and colour-
ful right in front of you and you’re supposed to pretend it doesn’t exist, and most of all, you’re not allowed to say it out loud, although everyone’s whispering about it… Well, we like to face the elephant, and find out from Will and Ben what it is like – in good and bad – having Dickinson Jr fronting their band. ‘When Austin joined us, Will and I were playing in another band called Hours Past and we were doing a UK unsigned thing in London; we were signed up to another project and we were looking for a lead singer and met Austin. He joined in, we had a rehearsal, but no idea who his dad was. One day he said we were going to his to do some work, and ‘by the way, do not freak out because my dad is a musician and he plays in Iron Maiden…’ and it was Bruce Dickinson! Yes, you get some contacts, but at the end of the day we’ve been working really hard for this. We don’t really give a shit about what anyone else thinks. Yes, some people instantly criticize saying ‘Ah, they got there because…’, but to be honest we didn’t, we earned pretty much everything we got. There’s a big difference between getting the shows and holding our own at the shows, which I feel we do very strongly’. Do you think this album is going to break this prejudice and affirm you as a band? ‘I think so, can’t see why not, we worked very hard for it’. If you were to headline Sonisphere next year and pick your support, who would that be? The Safety Fire! Up and coming band, friends of ours from London, album coming out, they’re playing tomorrow on Redbull stage and they are phenomenal, kind of a pro-
gressive nature, definitely a band to watch out for. ‘City of Vultures’ is all ready to go and show the world there’s more to Rise To Remain than a noble legacy. So, should we part with our hard earned cash to own this particular slice of London metal? ‘You should because… It’s a bunch of lads from London who like metal, we’ve been into it for years, we love the community, the culture of it. We listen to a whole bunch of the latest new wave in American metal and if you’re young and you’re into metal, it’s got the shredding, it’s got the beats, it’s got the soaring melodies, we got the rock songs side of
things, we got the more jazzy, technical side of things… You should buy it because there’s a little bit of everything and it’s young, we’ve got fire and you’re gonna have a great time listening to it.’ Read more on ‘City of Vultures’ on our review section. Good luck to Rise To Remain and thanks to Will and Ben for their time and honesty. Get ready to sing and sweat at one of their upcoming UK dates in September or December or – why not – do both. You know you want to.
SONIC SHOCKS - August 2011
By Becki Kremer
Tesseract – what the bloody hell is it? Is it a cube or a dimensional being? Actually, in this case, it's just a band. In between sparking fires on stage with staggering riffs and their energetic onstage dynamics, we managed to lasso one of them in and have a brief chat before their set at this year's Sonisphere. I spoke with the lovely Jay – drum extraordinaire and Steps enthusiast – about everything four dimensional. Where do you guys slot in genre-wise? If you go into HMV it's in the metal section. But we're not strictly a metal band because we all listen to a lot of music. The main guy Acle that writes our stuff grew up on a strict diet of Jeff Buckley and Zeppelin. I listen to stuff like Meshuggah and Incubus, but when I was really young I listened to stuff like Steely Dan so I've got quite a wide spectrum of stuff. But the same can be said for everyone in the band, so I guess we're just a progressive rock band.
What, like you were all abducted by aliens one day!! Yeah, we are actually four dimensional beings and the tesseract is our god!
How do you feel about being a part of the Sonisphere experience then? Intimidated or nervous or excited? I'm looking forward to it a lot. I don't get nervous beWhat do you guys think you fore going on stage, but I have as a band that can help probably will today. But I you continue on for the next just really want to go on – I five to ten years? see other bands playing and We've all been in bands since think 'I want to be there, I we were little kids, and it's want to do that!'. Loads of Where does the name Tesser- certainly something that I my mates are here, bands act come from? wanted to do my whole life. that we know really well, I could make something We just released our first al- bands like Sylosis, Archiup that's really cool or I bum so it feels like we're just tects, Protest the Hero. We could give you the actual on our way up now. We've were out with those guys story... Yeah, I'll say the got Australia at the end of (ProtestTheHero) last night, actual story, but it's really the month – we're flying and we watched Metallica crap! Basically our guitarist out there for 3 days, it's ri- from on top of their bus. At was watching a film called diculous! We'll be flying for 3 in the morning we were Hypercube and looked it longer than we'll be playing! getting wrecked with Rody. up on the internet to find Then we've got a UK tour It was great! All of our mates out what the hell it was all with Chimp Spanner and in one place, it's brilliant. about when Tesseract came a French band called Unup. That's it (laughs). But even Structure, it's gonna be Do you have any horrific gig a tesseract is a four dimen- very cool. We're back in the tales or tour horror stories? sional cube, and that sort States in October, Novem- Yeah, it's really grim but... of mirrors the music be- ber, December and maybe We played India in Decause it's sort of layers and the early part of next year cember last year – and the layers... Without sounding as well. Lot's of travelling, second time we went there pretentious! That was the but it's a dream come true – we played in a place about real story, but I would have we're doing what we want to 4 hours east of Calcutta. to make something up for do, and we're the very lucky We'd been there the previthe fake one. ones. ous month and played three
shows that were just stunning, and had a five star hotel room each... It was the rock star treatment, literally. Then the second time we went there we had this really sketchy bus ride from the airport to the venue and it was literally a case of dodging the bodies. There were just bodies on the road where people had just been ploughed down and left minutes before. It was so so grim... But seeing these different cultures just makes you realise how lucky we are over here, you know? So you've played the US too before, but how do the crowds differ over there to here? Are they crazy? It feels different but it's also about the show that you're on, cus we've been opening up for bigger bands. We did the Devin Townsend tour last year and the Protest The Hero tour at the start of this year, and obviously they're more established bands so you get loads of people coming down to the shows and the energy levels are way
up there. But in terms of what you're actually doing it's exactly the same as over here, you've just got much further distances between the shows. Although I only get jetlag flying back from the East, like from America back here I'm fine! But when I was coming back from India I was really ill for about a week, and it was just because of the time difference! Last question for you: Obviously, you've heard of awesome films like The Karate Kid and Rocky that have great music scenes in them. So, besides your own music, if you had to make a music montage to go with your band what kind of music would you put with it? Erm, because of our eclectic taste in music I'm gonna pick some crazy stuff. I'm going to say... Steps. Wait, no, that's crap! Uhm, I'd actually want stuff like Deftones, Tool, stuff like that. Because I think a video of us, whether it was just... Actually, no, fuck it, I'm going with Steps! Yeah, Steps!
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at the moment – but we've been playing on a few radio stations. We've been playing more radio stations in America, especially California, and people love it. They really get something they didn't think they were going to get because we don't just play thrashy stuff. We play stuff you can proper sing along to with hooks and melodies, and it really does turn people on to our way. ” Tom also piped in saying, “I guess the album has a bit of an american sound to it. We've been told that by a few people. It does really go down well over there! It's easy for people to make up their own minds about what the songs mean as well. Some of the lyrics are quite personal but people can just take what they want from it – there's nothing not to get.”.
by Becki Kremer
ing out, lead singer Giles Van Lane was pretty damn chipper about it. “We're really excited – we wanna give it to the masses. As a band, we want to see what people round the world think of it. I mean, the majority of people we play to – they love it. Cus it is a little bit different and old school in a way, as we've got a lot of hooks and a lot of energy when we play live. It's been a great reception...”.
From the deep dark depths of a quiet, slow-moving city called Laaandan Town come a little 6 piece band, with a grinding sound that fuses punk attitudes with hard, dirty rock, called Slam Cartel (or Slam Dunk as my mind seems to call them for no apparent reason at all). Self described as “edgy, melodic and rousing”, three of the lovely lads (Giles, Terry and Tom) caught up with us after “Yeah, especially since notheir set at Sonisphere to talk body has heard of us!” US fans, dreadlocks, and gylaughed guitarist Tom Henrating. driksen. “It's the first time everybody's hearing our Their debut album Handful stuff, but they're all rocking of Dreams is set to be emand jumping about.” barked upon the world soon (26th of July to be exact), Being “asked back” for a secand speaking to us about ond Sonisphere in a row, the the fans reaction and rock-
“It just makes people feel happy,” Giles explained, “and that's what we like doing. When you're doing your own band you are quite biased – but you have to be, to be good. And to be true, and to make people believe what you believe”, added Giles, rounding off the topic nicely.
chaps shared amicable feelings about the set and fans. The mere passion in their words about their band and the festival was pretty inspiring, and rather hard to find in a genre so saturated with inflated egos and copycats. “We felt honoured!” added second guitarist Terry Warville. “You know, you look at the players on the bill – Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, Slipknot... We're on that same poster, and it's incredible.”
the sort of music you can strip to,” Giles mused with a cheeky smile. “I maybe do gyrate on stage – and I know Tom does and Terry does. And secretly within the band we say we don't, but it's very sexual... Don't tell the wife, but yeah!”
In the midst of being baffled by Rebecca's dreadlocks, and being surrounded by what they considered “horny women”, the boys claimed they're not used to having groupies throwing themselves at the stage but let us in on what they really think their music is for. “It's
Slam Cartel’s album ‘Handful of Dreams’ is out now on all Anonymity is something that digital platforms. a debuting band have to deal with right up until their first album or big break. Single Sundown is released on
When asked for their input on their ideal rockstar band lineup they responded with various names including Danny Carey, Chris Cornell, Dave Grohl and Kerry Katona, but I think Tom said it best when he responded, Hey, what happens at Soni- “Ideal lineup? We're pretty sphere stays at Sonisphere! happy with each other!” Right? All three, one after another: “We are the Knights of Schtum.”
And Slam Cartel are no exception, according to Giles. “We're not that well known
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The BLACK DAHLIA MURDER’s magic use ouiji boards to do that so it was a perfect idea. Do you believe in the paranormal? I believe in something, I just don’t know what it is. I think there’s just stuff that we can’t Preorders of your 5th studio explain. Too many weird album, Rituals, came with a things happen for me to be ouiji board- where did that like, “Nah, I don’t believe in that!” But I don’t know what it decision come from? The whole record has a loosely is- I don’t think any of us know tied concept. It touches on a what it is. lot of occult things and different rituals and practices Do you have an opinion on and just bizarre things that black magic and/or religion? people do. Different songs on I’m not religious but it’s defithe record can be stories from nitely a personal thing for the perspective of that person everybody. People base reliwhether it be a serial killer or gion too much on organised somebody who abducts peo- religion- they feel like they ple. These people have rituals have to fall into a category of themselves that they’re com- some sort. It should just be pelled to do for some reason. more about the idea in your There’s a song on the record, own head. But as far as magic Conspiring With The Damned, is concerned, there’s a whole that’s based on someone that load of stuff that I just can’t we know who played with explain so it would be foolish ouiji boards when they were of me to say it doesn’t exist just younger and claimed to have because I don’t know. an entity follow them for years, who never identified How do you feel about the themselves and say messed fact that ouiji boards were up stuff to them. It’s related, used as toys back in the 60s? I’d say. People perform rituals Personally, I think they should and talk to the dead and they be taken a little more seriousactress, moves to California, gets a career, gets involved in some stings, she’s murdered and there’s this whole crazy story that goes along with it and it’s still unsolved today.
the morning. We’ve been here in Europe for 3 weeks so we’re all exhausted. We’ve done a Hi Shannon! Are you enjoy- bunch of festivals and shows ing the festival so far? in between so we’ve been pretYeah, I mean, we’ll see what ty busy! happens once everything gets going and all the bands start You are named after one of playing but so far so good! the most famous unsolved murder cases in America- do Are you hoping to see anyone you have a personal interest today? in this? I’ll probably watch some It’s fascinating. It’s a classic exSlayer and a little bit of Me- ample of the American dream. tallica but we fly home at 5 in A young person wants to be an An interview with Shannon Lucas by Rebecca Cocking
ly. I’ve heard too many weird stories from people that I know and they don’t lie. I definitely think it can be dangerous if people don’t know what they’re doing. Selling the ouiji board in the kit was a cool idea and people like it- I just personally don’t want one in my room! What are your thoughts on the reception you got from Ritual? Great! It did better than we could’ve imagined and all the reviews seem to be pretty good and fan reactions have been great too- we can’t ask for any more! Compared to our other albums, it’s done better in the charts, especially in this day and age when everything’s digital and everyone downloads everything. Will you be playing a lot of the new material in your set today? We’ll be doing a handful but it’s a short set today. We’ll try and squeeze as many songs into it as we can and keep it balanced. Thank you and good luck!
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cessible, people can get me on Twitter, we can talk to each other and people really respond to that. They like to know you find them important, and who doesn’t find their fans important? They put food in my baby’s tummy, they’re incredible. Many artists don’t keep in touch with fans and I think it’s just lazy. Work harder, deserve where you are, make your fans happy to be fans, make them go out and tell other people how great it is to be a fan of your music. If they ain’t gonna put the word in, you aint’ gonna last long! ‘
Words and images by Cristina Massei
anyone else I can fit in’. Ginger just left Michael Monroe’s band, due to differences with the management, but the relationship with the Hanoi Rocks frontman is said to be intact, and after the success of Sensory Overdrive, a future collaboration in terms of song writing hasn’t been ruled out: ‘I wouldn’t have a problem doing it, it all depends on how I was approached. I love Michael and I would do anything I can to help. I wouldn’t … be against it’ – he concludes looking at the camera with a smile – a message for you Michael?
We meet Ginger at Sonisphere, where he’s about to play as ‘Ginger Wildheart & Friends’: probably the only band in his rich CV which could go on forever, as – while he may be too much of a character to stick with the same job for too long – the man’s creativity and friends list are endless. So here he is, with this flexible, malleable formula and a bunch of UK rock’n’roll finest – more precisely Chris Catalyst, Rich Jones and Jon Poole, ready to entertain and be entertained. He seems to be in great spirits, so we eagerly grab him for a no-holds-barred chat in And while the music world true Ginger style. struggles to put out an album and even more to try As a warm up question, we’re and sell it while fighting the curious to find out which uncontrollable growth of onperformances he’s not go- line piracy, Ginger recently ing to miss in this weekend’s gave away a couple of albums sonic overload, considering for free – why not. And no, his knowledge and taste: ‘I they’re not leftovers from the just saw the Gallows, they rejects shelf either. Ginger, are were great, and I want to you insane? ‘I believe in putcatch Biffy Clyro – I love ting music out for free. The Biffy Clyro – Slipknot, Mas- only common sense thing to todon… These are the ones do now is to draw people to I really wanna see, and then your band, draw them to the
show and then sell t-shirts! Back in our days, when you would hardly get a record deal, you wouldn’t see any money from your albums anyway. You’d get money from touring and merch, but all from being a touring band, and then you’d be a very good live band, and you do that by setting standards for yourself. I think nothing has really changed, people complain about not making money from albums, but we never made money from albums, I don’t know what planet people are living on! I believe in putting out free music because it’s all about promotion’. I think back to the days when we used to exchange tapes and record songs off the radio, and if an album was really really worth it we’d go and buy the original anyway. We’d want the original, especially in the glorious days of vinyls – maybe it’s not a coincidence that vinyl sales went up 55% in 2011 – and today it’s not at all that different. I have a thought that maybe there are not enough albums out there nowadays worth our money,
So, you would never put out a disappointing album just for the sake of it? ‘No, I would never! When I’m writing an album I feel like a receptor, I feel like I’m reporting on the human condition, so I don’t question the material, and that’s the simple reason the information, I just know why they end up staying on that it’s coming through for the shelves; I compare notes a reason and I put it out and with Ginger. ‘I think there’s then it’s up to other peosomething in that. People ple to like it or not… but I buying less albums creates couldn’t write or record an a natural cooling effect, album unless I felt it had a kills off a lot of substand- reason for living’. ard bands and substandard albums. I’m a music freak, I Talking to Ginger feels like like to buy music, buy CDs, being Alice suddenly lost in I hate to buy a CD that is not Creativity Wonderland: you very good. I feel cheated, I want to explore every corner feel insulted by the band! Is of his mind, and the more that the best you can do?? you explore the more you get Are these the best songs lost and completely fascinatyou can write??! You should ed. No interview slot will ever find another job if this is the be enough, but we’ll give it a best you can do! If someone good go… So, what inspires made cars and the wheels Ginger these days? ‘Everyfell off, people wouldn’t go thing! That carpet, this taback for the cars. There’s a ble, your coat… Everything lot of bands that have to be is inspirational for me. The killed off in the competition wisdom that comes with age, to be one of the few bands that’s massively inspirationwho actually makes im- al. Every single thing that portant music. I think it’s a goes on around me’ . What’s good thing, there’s no place the weirdest thing that ever for bands who do not push inspire one of your songs? ‘I themselves to be better’. couldn’t tell you ‘cause it’s Obviously for someone like Ginger being killed off shouldn’t be much of a worry anymore, yet he keeps giving his all, also in his relationship with the fans: ‘I’m easily ac-
naughty! Some sexual situation… and I won’t tell anymore! It’s a song on the Yoni album called This Bed Is On Fire. You’ll have to go and listen to the lyrics. That was kind of… interesting!’
SONIC SHOCKS - August 2011 challenging thing to listen to, and I think that’s often worth more. After that, I’ve got lots of songs lying around that just don’t fit in anything that I’m doing, but they’re great songs and I’m driven mad by them. I’m trying to sleep and a melody will come into my head , or when I’m walking down the street, and the only way I can get rid of the noise in my head is by recording songs, and then it goes away. So I’m going to record these to get them out of my head, then I can do something new’. Let’s toast to plenty more Ginger to come then, very good news in a jungle of creative substandards!
And when he’s not getting inspiration from carpets, tables, wisdom and sexual events, Mr Wildheart can be found playing live something, somewhere, with someone. And it will always be a gig to remember. ‘There’s an acoustic tour coming up in August and an electric one in December which culminates with my birthday show in London, this time in Islington Academy which is the biggest one I’ve done so far: it’s 800 capacity and we’re 20 tickets away (they were… the show is now sold out!), and in between we have a few Festivals. I have one in particular coming up… I wanted to take my boy to a Festival, with camping and everything, he’s three years old, and this Festival is in the Lake District, quite near to where we live, and it’s sold out! I went ‘oh nooo, would have been perfect for him!’, so I’ve agreed to play a set just for the tickets, so I’m playing for my supper basically, the way people used to do it. You know when mu-
sicians used to come into town, play music and the baker would give them some food, the landlord would give them a bed… I’m playing for my tent space’. So what’s the priority right now in Ginger’s world? ‘Mainly I wanna finish this album, it’s driving me nuts, and I want to start recording another one, which I can’t do until I finish mixing this one. It’s a new project called The Ginger Wildheart Mutation and it’s very very noisy, very experimental, very heavy and it’s really hard to mix, ‘cause it’s so noisy you just go deaf after you listen to it for a few hours. It’s not gonna be the most pleasant thing to listen to, but it’s probably gonna be the most
Busy enough? Nope. In his spare (?) time, our man has also been writing a column for Classic Rock’s website (www.classicrockmagazine.com) where he goes searching hidden music gems the majority of us missed out on. ‘You can listen to them on Spotify, but if you like them, buy them! If you don’t buy the album, buy a
t-shirt, but remember that none of us can do this for free, so spend something somewhere and then we can eat!’. Ginger’s latest discovery is Exit International, a young band from Cardiff: ‘They’re fantastic! Two bass players and a drummer, really noisy and screamy but really interesting. One bass player plays really high, one really low, it’s all very sexy. With two bass players you know where it’s gonna hit you, and it’s not in the ears! Check them out, get in there early ‘cause they’re gonna be big’. Having noticed earlier Ginger mentioning the Lake District, I wonder what happened with his decision to move to New York two or three years ago and if this means he’s permanently back on this side of the pond, which would mean even more gigs and some improvised appearances – sorry for being selfish here… ‘I’m back in England and I think we’removing back to London. I have a lovehate relationship with London, but I know it so well, I lived in London longer than anywhere else, I’m the guy who directs the bus to the venue ‘cause I know all the sideroads… I should just move back. We’ve been through the hate period and I’m now starting to miss it. All my friends are there, it’s got a very familiar, confiding kind of vibe’.
Being back in England and having a love-hate relationship with the press in general as well, I wonder how Ginger feels about the whole recent Murdoch scandal… The very last issue of The News of The World is coming out tomorrow, are you gonna buy it? ‘No. But I’m gonna have a celebratory drink to that Coulson wanker who’s hopefully gonna be raped in jail in the showers by someone with a huge penis. Repeatedly! Over and over again. His little virgin ass will become public property in there I hope. Murdoch will just go and do another newspaper…’ – ‘Yeah, The Sun on Sunday apparently…’ – ‘Great, just what the world needed! There are always gonna be scumbags with jobs, it’s politics. I certainly won’t be buying it. But I will be toasting to the fact that SOMEONE is gonna lose his virginity! Very soon!’ Ginger final words today are to his fans: a big thank you also from his family for being there and allowing him to do what he does. ‘Thank you for letting me do my next album and the one after that, and if I release something and you don’t like it please tell me. Now let’s go have a few beers , have fun and let’s all lose our voices together tonight… How about that?’
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QUEENSRYCHE: 30 years living in the Now puzzle, taking all these elements and linking them into the other and connectCelebrating thirty years of ing all the dots, but it’s also prolific career, Queensry- tedious, so we decided to do che are ready to play main- something different’. stage at High Voltage, only Festival appearance in their Queensryche are one of the UK tour backing new album few bands who managed to ‘Dedicated To Chaos’ . ‘For sail through the Seattle revothe last two studio records lution pretty much unscathed we’ve done concept albums due to their versatility and back to back; we wanted to creative boldness. Surely It take a break from that and can prove a challenge after do a collection of songs all this time, a challenge to that could really stretch out which too many bands anthe album musically’ – says swer by repackaging the same Geoff Tate to Sonic Shocks thing over and over, but that’s – ‘It’s satisfying recording a not the case for Geoff: ‘I’m a concept album, it’s like put- creative junkie, whether is ting together a crossword music or movie or sculpture, by John Morgan Photos Cristina Massei
I need to do that to keep my head straight. ‘Queensr yche has always been a band in the now, never been a band who looks back. We are not defined by our past, we’re defined by this moment.’
about ‘Dedicated to Chaos’, with Geoff picking for us what he feels is a standout song on the album, ‘Big Noise’: ‘It’s a very different song for us, there are lot of jazz chords being used and it has a really neat kind of sound. We experimented a little bit with jazz chords in the past but this is the first time we said ‘let’s really make this happen’.
something songs… Sometimes it just comes down to the flip of a coin (laughs) or we have these poker games where we go ‘I’ll play Right Side of My Mind if you play Before The Storm, we trade for favours… Not sexual favours, more like monetary favours! (laughs)’.
around for artists and musicians. We don’t have to give into the whole idea of genre and labels. Music is going to be free in the next five years, all the big labels are gonna be gone. A lot of people are thinking about this now, a lot of people are throwing out ideas on how to make this work. It’s a new beginning, all the rules have gone. You can get bitter about it, have all this fear and animosity, or you can flip that attitude around and think it’s what it is, how do I make the best of it’.
A new album out in 2011 is however a completely different story than it was thirty Sounds good, but we all years ago. As piracy and know how it goes at Festi- downloading continue to invals, especially when a band flict losses on the music inhas a thirty years career and dustry, we weigh the pros and As the sun a rich back catalogue behind cons of the internet era with shines on them… So how do Queen- Geoff: ‘I’ve been through my V i c t o r i a sryche choose their setlist? bitter period, I had my rant, ‘Dedicated to Chaos’ is out Park, we get ‘It’s incredibly difficult! We now I’m embracing it. It’s now on Roadrunner Records. into a bit have a hundredandtwenty- a really exciting time to be more details
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by Becki Kremer
Anyone who has a remote interest in Sci Fi – and somewhat of a pulse – will know that there's been a slight dilemma for years as to which is best: Star Wars or Star Trek? But as for Protest the Hero's Rody Walker, there is not a shadow of a doubt in his mind. “Star Trek or death!” he proclaimed loudly, as if stating a fact. Bearded and cheery, he continued on with his message for the band's fans, stating, “Trek is law, fuck Star Wars. George Lucas stole his idea from Gene Roddenberry – that's a fact!” Personally, I'm a Star Wars girl all the way. But I digress... Originally from Ontario, the metallic 5 piece have been around since the late 90s, and recently released their third studio album Scurrilous in March. But despite their signature heavy post-hardcore sound Rody insists that they're country boys at heart. As he took time out to speak with us behind the Sonisphere scenes, he said through a smile, “To be honest, I'm not really a heavy metal enthusiast. I used to be in my youth, but I think I might be much happier at a country music festival!”.
and started to hark back to fonder musical times with less “chugging” artists and “gratuitous solos”. He added, “A couple of us are more involved in country music than metal music, but I think when I got into heavy music is was about good, catchy riffs, excellent singers, and really well crafted songs, and that art form seems to be lost on the new generation of metal bands. To be honest with you I really genuinely hate it!”.
Without making the metal scene seem too hopeless, the ever friendly front man let us in on his two favourite bands at the moment. “When it comes to heavy music”, he explained, “there's two bands that I can think of that I genuinely love – one of them is from Canada, the other is from the UK. The When asked to divulge fur- Canadian one being Propather into his personal tastes, gandhi, and the UK band he revealed that he's not as being Sikth. Unfortunately big a metal fan as would seem they're disbanded, but I still
very much loved them.”
was a pretty smooth transition...”.
slight soft spot for us Brits, Rody spoke favourably about the trips the band have made Rolling out words in his Canadian twanged (albeit Despite his praise for their over here to see the different slightly amusing) accent, we gold-tongued bassist, he crowds, saying, “We've been exchanged words about the also let us in on the mixed pretty consitent about comchange to the writing process reaction from fans, adding ing to the UK since we were of their latest album. “It was through chuckles, “Some re- about 18 or 19 years old! It mostly just the lyric writing acted very positively, and just depends on if the tours – Arif has always done it in some reacted very negative- are there or what we're dothe past, and he's got a gold- ly. Some seem to think the ing at the time...” en tongue, ya know? He's record is the best we've ever got a gift for words really, done, and some think it's So perhaps this signals more and he just wasn't interest- the worst record that's ever gigging oppourtunities for ed in doing it anymore. He been created by anyone. But the band over here and a just came to me one day and I like to think that it's some- change for a lighter paced, was like 'I don't really care where in between those two less metal Protest The Hero? As they say (whoever they to continue writing these extremes!” are) only time will tell. Until stupid heavy metal songs!'. And that was fine – at that In between pronouncing the then, watch this space and point I had written a set my- word “tours” as “tooors”, and keep those Vulcan salutes at self and I think that once he giggling whilst re-adjusting the ready. found out that I was writing his hat, he managed to share again he completely gave up with us his love for us lot on on even thinking to write! It this side of the pond. With a
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That THUNDER that hit Victoria Park pestering us. So we had a chat about it and we agreed High Voltage Festival 2011 has that provided it didn’t conbeen widely recognised at the flict with anything we were ‘Classic Rock’ festival on many doing as individuals, away a bands touring calendar. The from Thunder, then fine. It Main Stage on Sunday was worked out that the Union home to headline act Dream album wasn’t coming until Theater, who had caused quite mid September, so we dea stir of anticipation in the cided why the hell not! run up to this event. However, Thunder was the band You’re between Michael that both media and fans were Schenker and Black Country discussing with much excite- Communion today. Thoughts ment. With a so called ‘warm- on those two artists? up’ show at Nottingham’s Rock Michael is a fantastic guitar City just days before, the offi- player. I know he has had cial UK reunion exclusive was his problems with various to take place at High Voltage. things, but he really is a fanSonic Shocks caught up with tastic guitar player. Black Luke before the show to find Country Communion... all out a little more about Thun- great musicians once again. der’s plans.... I’ve worked with Glenn on a couple of charity things, I High Voltage, the big one know Jason Bonham well. I Yeah! The big one indeed. don’t know Joe Bonamassa as well, but again, he is a Is this the official one off ? fantastic guitar player. The Yeah, basically it is. High thing about a day like today Voltage approached us in is that it is all about great February and said ‘do you music and people watchfancy it?’. We said no ini- ing and enjoying it, so we’ve tially and then they kept never been fussy about by Dan Balchin
where we have been on the bill. We aren’t precious about that. I wouldn’t like to follow us though!
Rock Magazine and these are all things with help. Of course, you have the internet I grew up on Thunder and now and people Little Angels, do you think are finding out that sound is coming back much more about in the bands that are coming it. I think it’s an through now? exciting time for I don’t think Classic Rock rock music. has ever gone away. I think it mutates and comes back It’s important to slightly differently. Most have a day like this music starts off or is influ- when you have the enced by the blues anyway. sounds of old and I think Little Angels were new coming tomore like Def Leppard, gether... then they were like Thun- Absolutely, that der. Thunder was less driven its exactly right. by pop and influenced by You have a new Led Zeppelin, Free – a bit generation comblueser. Rock music is broad ing through, like Heaven’s and there are lots of differ- Basement and Saint Jude. It ent stages here, but we’re all is very good. under the same umbrella. I don’t know if there is a par- Thanks for taking the time to ticular facet coming back speak to me and the fans look with greater popularity than forward to seeing what you another, but I do know that have to offer in the future. rock music has a voice now. Top man, all the best. With the support of Planet Rock, Rock Radio, Classic After the festival, not only
were Thunder voted the Best Act Of High Voltage 2011 on Planet Rock’s poll, but they also updated their Facebook page reiterating that no promises will be made for an official reunion, but that a Christmas show may be announced shortly. There is no denying that Thunder still hold a place in the hearts of many individuals.
By Dan Balchin
We welcome the well-dressed trio to our interview area to share a few laughs and engage in musical chit-chat. Hailing from Antwerp, Triggerfinger have been causing waves on European shores in recent months and the UK based on their stage performance and numerous fans crammed around the Metal Hammer stage during their set, it is no wonder Triggerfinger are now firmly on the radar. Latest release ‘All This Dancing Around Again’ is a definite purchase on your next music haunt. So, High Voltage, how did you get to come here today? We did a London gig in May at the Barfly. Quite soon after that we heard that this festival was announced. We
all think it’s such a cool fes- play is a chance for new fans. tival and we were excited to Where can the fans get hold play it. of merchandise? Is this your first time at High It is available online. The Voltage, as fans, or as a band? album has been out since the 4th July. They can buy Yes, that’s right. it here, they can buy it on Is this the type of festival you the internet. Fans can buy it would expect to see Trigger- anywhere! finger at? We do different festival in Concert Live: how did that Europe. A few weeks ago partnership come about? we played in Holland and They just asked us! I think it is more diverse. I think they asked every band, but it’s great, because we can they wanted to record the do both and High Voltage set and make it available for is more focused on Classic the fans after the gig. Rock and this we feel this is a good place to be for Trig- Are you nervous? No (laughs) gerfinger.
though? The atmosphere is Thin Lizzy definitely. Of what makes it perfect for us. course, you need to watch Slash when you come to Are you adapting your set for High Voltage. We have also the audience today? seen Michael Monroe on No, apart from it being a stage and he was very good. shorter set. We are used to We’ve been talking to Scott playing between 60 and 90 from Thin Lizzy backstage minutes, but today we have and we are going to be on been given 30. tour with them in September in the UK. Then, in OcKeeping all the favourites? tober, we are going on tour Absolutely! (laughs) You with Within Tempation. need to sing along with us Wow, that is an interesting I will! What is your stage combination. presence like? Yeah, it definitely is. AnVery powerful (laughs) Eve- other opportunity for us to ryone is at the front of the gain some new fans. Like stage. Everyone is equal we said, we are able to cross and the audience can enjoy many genres with our muall the elements at the same sic and that is what we love This weekend is the perfect Will it be a 100% perfect set time. about Triggerfinger. We’re opportunity to get some new today then? smart men who make smart (laughs) Now, that you nev- Is anyone you are looking fans... music! (laughs) Absolutely. Every show you er know. What is perfect forward to seeing?
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we work together as a unit, we survived 33 years which Last time we spoke to Jaz if you consider the lifespan Coleman – or even better HE of a band is between two and spoke to us – was before Ab- three years… It’s not easy solute Dissent came out. We keeping a band together, were all dying to know what I’m sure many of them realit would be like, hoping not ize that, but us surviving 33 to be disappointed. Of course years means we outlasted all we ended up talking about of my marriages together!’ totally different stuff, like life, There’s something about hidden powers and nutrients. marriages and rnr that just The album however was what doesn’t seem to work… we were hoping for and more, ‘I know, look at me, I got and earned Killing Joke great divorced seven years ago recognition by both their fan and now I’m living with my base and the critics. ‘It got ex wife again! Do I get my album of the year, I can’t money back?’ complain, I’m very fond of it. But now we’re dealing You got awards from Claswith the 2012 recording and sic Rock and Metal Hammer it’s the heaviest album we’ve and even been honoured in ever done. I’m very excited. France, how does it feel to be And it’s good - as I get to this finally ‘recognized’? graceful age - to be increas- ‘At night? Well, it’s a long ing the workload. I think way from breaking entry being with these guys exem- into chemists! (laughs) It’s plifies what a band should been an incredible journey, be: they’re my best friends, as in the whole band we by Cristina Massei
don’t even have an exam between us. I left school at 14 and I conducted for some of the world’s greatest orchestras, and three of the band are professors, we’ve got two architects… No one has a single exam and everyone has done really really well. One of the band works with David Rockfeller, looks after his art collection… We actually achieved everything without going through all the conventional routes, which I like to think will hearten some young people who don’t even have a high school exam yet and they’re already being deemed by society as useless, unfit and of no economic worth. There is another way, and it’s to self educate. It’s your duty to educate yourself. From the age of 21 I used what little money I made from Killing Joke and I went and studied again. I studied intensely orchestration, then by the time I was 30 I had another career, two careers as different as two parallel universes. And I’m amazed, I never thought this could happen.’ Does self educating prepare you for life better than today’s academic system? ‘… And you don’t get a big bill at the end of it! I think if you have a round the world ticket and you go really slow around the world for a year or two, you’ll learn more in that
time than by going to any scholastic establishment. It depends on what type of person you are, there are different types of intelligences, there’s a more ‘academic’ intelligence that absorbs lot of information and regurgitates it in an exam, but there’s a creative, emotional intelligence as well, and I guess we’ve gone down this path. There weren’t any schools to cater for people like us. Killing Joke has been my entire university and it’s a great way to learn about life. I’m really happy with the decisions I’ve made and I’ve been lucky considering one in a hundred are successful in this industry; and when you consider that one in every eight rock musicians dies before the age of 35, it’s a higher rate of mortality than being sent to Afghanistan as a soldier.’ What’s next for Killing Joke? ‘There’s a movie about Killing Joke that will be released in 2012 at the same time as the new album being recorded now; it has been shot over the last 7-8 years and it’s 2 and a half hours long. Should be a bumpy year! I want to play Great Barrier Island (where Jaz currently lives in New Zealand) on the 21st December 2012, that’s the aim. That’s the date when it’s believed we’re going out of one age and into another and nobody knows
really what is going to happen. What do I think? I have a good idea of what is going to happen, and I hope it’s completely wrong. The magnetic North Pole – which is meant to move at a rate of 2 inches every 10 years – is moving at a rate of 100 miles a year and it’s left Canada and is looking towards Siberia; what I think might happen is that we have a complete pole shift where the magnetic pole flips; that means the Earth will cease to go around the way it is and stop, and then start going around the other way. What happens when this happens is Earth displacement. If you imagine a carpet with a lot of rocks going underneath it, that’s Earth displacement. If you can imagine a one mile high tidal wave, that would be the outcome. If that – God forbid – should happen, there will be possibly two places in the world that are safe: the Pole, high up in the mountains or South America on the Andes. Where are you gonna go? Me, I don’t look at life like that. I believe that when fate and destiny are sealed you’re set, when your time is up your time is up. The most important thing for me is to complete the things that I have to do in this life. I’ll keep touring and keep playing until there’s no more world to play.’
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Taking over the world one step at the time time to do it, and when I don't have time I'm not forcing myself, because Combichrist is my main priority. It's sometimes a little shame because I do have other ideas I want to do but I'll put it on the back burner and it just has to wait until I have time.
David Lees talks to Andy LaPiegua about his remixing work, success, the industry and the Scandinavian Cock project. How's the tour going so far? So far it's good. It's been the end of a really long run, but it's been quite successful, almost without technical problems. How do UK shows compare to Europe and US? It's always hard to compare because it's rather easy to compare city to city rather than continent to continent. You have places like Berlin which might be similar to New York, it's more the big city to the smaller cities. But the UK's always been really good to us from the beginning on and it's been all over, England, Scotland, Ireland, everywhere. You've been doing a lot of bigger shows such as the tour with Rammstein. How does that compare to playing smaller clubs? It's always good to mix it up, we feel like we belong more in a venue type and not an arena type, but it's definitely good for us to be able to do, we did close to 100 arena shows, so it's definitely good for us to be able to
do what we do and stand around, and not have to change anything to crossover, we presented what he have for a completely new audience. Which is a great opportunity. The one thing we always do is, we do what we want to do at all times, we don't want to change the format just to crossover so, yeah, it was a great opportunity but it's nice to be back in normal venues again and it creates a certain energy that an arena doesn't, you know, that closeness and intimate feel. What would you say sets your live show apart from other bands, industrial and in general? In the industrial scene I think just the fact that we all come from a metal and hardcore and punk rock and rock'n'roll background. We obviously all listen to music in the scene but we bring that with us to the stage compared to most other bands in the scene. I think we are bringing more of the rock'n'roll and hardcore attitude to the shows which creates a completely different atmosphere. Are you still working on other side projects and how do you fit those into the Combichrist schedule? I do other things when I have
About remixes, I know for a lot of bands starting out are a good way to get exposure, but what you get out of doing them? I've probably done more in the last few years than I've done before. I never actually did remixes for the publicity, just when you start getting a name and people want to remix your stuff and if it's for the name, or if it's because they like my work, that would be up to them to answer. Every now and then you have something in your hands, and it’s like "Yes, I can do something with this" and you enjoy doing it because you recreate something that somebody else did and you make something new out of it. I don't like to do a remix and make it sound the same as the original because it takes away the whole purpose. It's just like putting a new light on something that's already made and create something completely different, which is also why I prefer to remix stuff that sounds completely different to Combichrist, it always makes a more interesting result. Making Monsters, how has it been received and how do you feel about it yourself? I was really, really happy with this album. I mean I'm always really happy with the albums, if not I wouldn't release them, regardless if I look back on it in time and go, "meeeh". At the time I release because that's what I wanted to do. Most of the fanbase have gotten the feel of that, they understand that every release I made from my heart and not from what people expected me to do and they have been very happy with it. There's always some people who hate everything you do anyway and some people who love whatever you do, mostly we've gotten good feedback from it, especially live, they come across really well and I also think that with all the live experience we have you have a little bit of that in the back of your head when you're writing songs, that it will fit to a live show. How was people's reaction to
the Scandinavian Cock project? Really good. You'll have some pure electronic people who'll absolutely hate it, "What is Andy doing!?", but what they don't realise is that is where I'm from before electronic music, so for me it's not "Oh I'm going to try this, I've never done this before", iI'm just picking up something old, something that I just want to do, and it's not something I want to do to replace Combichrist, it's just something I want to do when I have time, to be able to stay objective to Combichrist. I just feel like more and more I want to do something that I used to do and instead of putting too much rock into Combichrist I'd rather do it on a separate thing. The pure electronists, they should be happy that I'm doing it because if not I would start putting rock'n'roll elements into Combichrist. If they don't like it they just shouldn't listen to it, that's how easy it is. It's really none of peoples business, but for the people who like that scene and like that music there's been a very good response to it. How would you, as a musician, define success? For me it is to be able to do what you always wanted to do and do it full time. When I started out doing music all I wanted was to write a song, then when I first wrote a song all I wanted to do was be able to play that in a band, and then I first played that in a band all I wanted was to do a show and then all you want to do is have a release, then all you want to do is go on tour, so it's always a step, I don't have any aspiration to become huge or anything, since I was a kid it's always been steps, I never wanted much more than what I had. I think for me success it's always to be able to complete that next step. CC started out as a character, but MM is a more personal album. Is it worrying when you put more controversial songs, say Fuckmachine, on an album and people know it's coming from you rather than based around this character? There’s always two sides to that. It doesn't mean it necessarily has to be... first of all I don't think it's very controversial. I always find it funny when people think "Why is this song so controversial" because you watch any movie and it's way worse than anything we
do or think about but nobody reacts to it because it's a movie, as soon as its music suddenly it’s "WOW". I don't look at it that way. I never did anything to try to shock anybody, I always did it for the entertainment value of it and there's a lot of irony in it. Because the rest of it is personal a song like Fuckmachine was just to break away from all the seriousness and kinda do something a little bit more funny, one reason for that is I never try to take myself too seriously. At the same time, Fuckmachine can just be a song between two people, it could be a guy, it could be a girl, it could be a girl singing it to a guy. People have their own relationships with each other, and it's just a fun song. How do you think the industry's changed since you started? It's changed completely, it's upside-down. It went from people can be successful just writing music and never tour and now it's the other way round. But it's nothing new, the record industry went back to what it used to be in the fifties. The only people who made money in music in the fifties were the ones in the top twenty and they got a short cut of it, because the record companies took all the money. It’s like now too, if you're top twenty, top forty, whatever, it’s not artists, it's the record companies that create the artists and it’s still the same thing. The only difference is now you download from the internet. Back then you didn't buy the record, you listened to it on the radio, so it's really not that big of a difference. You listen to the radio or you listen to it on the internet. What’s your advice for any band starting out? There's no such thing as being completely original and creating new things, it's all about picking the elements that you need from different things and not copying something blatantly. We get inspiration from other types of music and bands like anybody else but you have to do something you want to do and not something that is already popular, because by the time you get good at it you'll just be sounding like something that was popular three years ago. my advice is, no matter how weird the music might be, just do exactly what you want to do.
SONIC SHOCKS - August 2011
Not everybody can hear God but sure you will hear NEUROSIS
John Morgan was the happiest man in Victoria Park when we got him to have a chat with Neurosis man Scott Kelly! Here’s what went on... You’re headlining the Metal Hammer stage today, how does that feel? Feels good! The sun is shining… Does that work for Neurosis? Hopefully by the time we go on it’ll be gone, that’s the idea. We did a couple of Finnish Festivals where the sun doesn’t go down and it’s a different trip, it’s not the same, and it’s not our intent to play that way. We’d rather have darkness, it’s better for the visuals. It’s not just music with Neurosis, it’s the whole visual, the whole ambience, the whole package… Yes, it’s the whole idea of transforming any room into our room, every night, no matter where we are. How’s the summer tour going? It’s been great, we had really big crowds everywhere, and everyone is getting on well. You’ve been together since 85 and when you started Neurosis was with a view for a long term career you were going
to follow for the rest of your days. You obviously changed a lot in time, but is there still a place to go to for Neurosis in 2011 after all these years? Do you still find the challenge to explore? It’s vital for Neurosis, especially considering our approach in doing things for the long term; you need to keep things vital and exciting, push your boundaries and experiment. We generally try to find our weak spots and go dig in there to make them good. It’s a lifelong commitment, so we just keep digging deeper and deeper. Emotionally you can’t really dig deep enough. You’re also doing some acoustic stuff aside Neurosis. Do you find having more outlets for your creativity gives you more confidence as a musician? I do actually, that’s a good question, nobody asked me that before. I think that it wasn’t really anything that I intended with it, my main thought was that I wanted the challenge of trying to express myself through a really primitive bare form, nothing to hide behind. Within Neurosis I have this cloak of amplifiers and sound and visuals and lighting - and although Neurosis is very open emotionally - in many ways I thought that if I was actually to strip it down to a voice and a guitar it would force me to dig deeper into my own self. The whole goal
was this cathartic kind of self expression - very selfish expression – trying to come to terms, accept who you are, what you are, become a better person in life… It must be strange having all the eyes on you when you always had the shadow of Neurosis around you… It’s terrifying for sure! You know, it’s funny, it’s one of those things I found when I stopped getting high all the time. I got sober about ten years ago and about the same time I started doing the solo gigs and they’re pretty much my new high. It’s fucking scary to do it because it’s bare, and you’ve gotta deal with the people, if they’re talking, not interested in what you’re doing, you’re laying your heart open and they’re clinking glasses. It can make a pretty interesting situation and you have to handle them on the spot. But I’m totally into it and writing and recording a new album of that right now; I feel stronger and stronger with every song I write. I feel that I get better at it and more ready to step into it. Back to Neurosis, you’ve been an influence to many bands of different genres, whether for the music, the visuals, the emotions ; how does that make you feel , is it something you envisioned when starting the band? Definitely not, but it’s a honour, it makes you feel good. Music is so important, without it I wouldn’t be here and I wouldn’t have made it through my teenage years. Everybody needs a positive outlet… Yeah, and even if anyone thought it was a negative outlet listening to music and getting wasted and fight all the time, still for me was something that really helped me, and I was getting wasted and fighting with other people who had the same problem, right (laughs), so who gives a shit, no one was re-
ally getting hurt in the deal. And then to go through that, a little 14-15 year old, starting to get into some deeper shit and you had bands like Crass coming along, really giving you some ideas about life, different ways to do things, different avenues for your life. And then you start chipping on the sound, and you start going back and someone turns you onto Black Sabbath… Music is still to this day the ultimate religion and the most true form of communication. It’s hard to imagine life without it… Yeah, I mean, not everybody can hear God, it’s basically what it comes down to. That to me is what music is, I don’t subscribe to religion, I just subscribe to music, I just subscribe to the religion of the Electric Church, that’s what it’s about. You’re currently writing a new album; when you write new material for Neurosis, being a legacy band, do you look back at stuff you’ve done and compare it to ensure some sort of continuity, or is each album just based on where you are in that period and they all link somehow further down the line? It’s kind of both. Typically we’ll do some listening to the previous record, see if there’s something that in the end we didn’t like, that didn’t work for us and then take note of it and either remove it or try to go deeper into it to get better at it. But primarily is a very slow meditation of songs, they come very slowly for us. It usually starts out with riffs, building and setting up the skeletons of the songs, then we figure out the arrangements and we just let the songs build themselves until they’re completed. Do you normally write separate riffs and then get them all together, chuck them in the pot and see what you’ve got, or people come with a set idea for a song from start to
finish? There’s not a real set way, but typically things start with Steven and I sitting down in a room and just putting the riffs on the table, each comes out with ten riffs and maybe little sequences and stuff and put them together and see what is what. We co-write pretty much everything. Then we take it to the other guys and they start ruminating on it and come up with their thoughts. Everybody has a very strong role in the song writing process. It also starts sometimes with drumbeat, keyboard riffs, a bass line, a vocal idea or a completely abstract sort of painting idea, like we want to create a fuckin’ mountain. We try to just let go, we just let it come through us. Can you tell us more about the new material? Recording is in December, we’re close to having it all written, so it should be out next year. I don’t want to define it or anything because is not done yet. I’m really happy with how it’s going though. We’ll be playing a couple of the songs tonight, so those who are here will have the opportunity to hear a little bit of it. Tonight you’re headlining, but when you have to reduce your set for a Festival, how do you compromise, is the sacrifice argued about? Luckily we have a full set tonight, 90 minutes, but we had to do a 60 minutes set a couple of weeks ago. It feels real short for us, it’s pretty much when we’re right in the middle of it. You make sacrifices to get the opportunity to possibly play to a huge amount of people who would wander into a tent randomly, any Saturday, wherever you are. The good thing about Festivals is that they give people the idea of trying something different... and hopefully at High Voltage they finally discovered Neurosis...
SONIC SHOCKS - August 2011
Classic Rock and Metal Hammer believed in Furyon from the beginning, and if you have a functioning set of ears so will you. Dan Balchin catches up with the band after their opening set on Metal Hammer stage at High Voltage... Sonic: How has the journey been so far for Furyon starting from the inception of the band up to this point? Matt Mitchell: Chris Ingham basically at Classic Rock Magazine in fact both Metal Hammer and Classic Rock have been massive supporters of the band asked us to open and of course we said absolutely and here we are opening the Metal Hammer stage today! Sonic: How did you get discovered? Chris Green: Actually we did a tour with Winger that I believe Classic Rock sponsored then we had a talk all together in a room about doing something together, as you know we released our EP through the magazine then we got asked to perform at High Voltage. Sonic: So if I asked you a year ago about playing the festival you would have done it? Chris: Probably THE festival for us if I’m honest because the music that we play has elements of classic rock and a heavily progressive influence along with metal so to be honest our stage should have been in the middle of it! [laughs] We’ve got classic rock anthemic choruses, progressive moments and metal riffs. Matt: I was excited when they said we were going to play the Metal Hammer stage but at the same time I feel we could have done the main stage as well. Chris: Next year!
Sonic: So headlining Metal Hammer or opening main stage? Matt: Well if you’re headlining it beats getting up at six in the morning .. Chris: The rider’s bigger though on the main stage. [laughs] Matt and Chris then high five in agreement on opening the main stage. Sonic: How was today’s set? Matt: Fantastic. The good thing about opening is you get a line check so you know what the sound is going to be like, we didn’t know what sort of crowd we were going to get, it was nice to see a lovely full crowd. We were surprised as we thought it was going to be half of that. Sonic: What about seeing the band’s name on the t-shirts? Matt: It’s the best thing. Chris: The crowd singing the words back as well.
Matt: I’m like wow, you can actually understand my lyrics! Chris: See Matt doesn’t need an autocue, all he needs is five kids at the front like this [Chris then mouths the words to part of one song]. Matt: I was just chatting to someone round the corner from the stage straight after, a guy came over from Nor-
way just to see us. We were the band he really wanted to see which is beautiful. Chris: We don’t go out to just see how many people are out there because if you go out and do that then get despondent on what’s going to happen it dulls you. So we’re like ‘you know what let’s get psyched up, it’s going to happen.’ If there’s 2000 or 200 people they’re just going to get it. Sonic: So how did the set progress from the smaller shows to today? Any major alterations? Chris: A lot of our tracks are pretty long and progressive so you have some that are 7 or 8 minutes long, you try doing that at this kind of set there goes a third of it! Matt: In fact what happened here was that one of the songs that we play has two sections to it and we played both sections even though we were really only meant to play one. We’re thinking ‘oh my gosh we’re going to go over our time!’ Sonic: Do you feel that the EP was the big kickstart to everything that has fol-
lowed? Matt: The odd thing about that is that I feel it lights the pilot light, there’s probably still hundreds of those magazines with EP’s sitting next to someone’s bathroom. We reached a fan very recently in our hometown and he mentioned the CD but hadn’t had chance to listen to it.
Sonic: He remembered the name though! Chris: That’s the more important thing because even if they hadn’t listened to the CD they knew who Furyon were so even if someone saw us at High Voltage and were ‘oh yeah’I remember the CD’. So Chris Ingham [salutes] thanks for the break!
and sing along to the tracks.
Sonic: Your new album has been produced by Rick Beato who’s worked with Shinedown, Bullet For My Valentine and Fozzy. How did that come about? Matt: We did a tour with Winger and Kip Winger knew Rick and he’s a hard man to get in touch with. Chris: He’s a New York ItalSonic: And speaking of peo- ian type character and he ple who know you, Joe Elliot is so into his own thing but from Def Leppard is a fan. he loves British bands, you Matt: He’s been very kind. go into his studio and you [Does bow down motion ala hear Black Sabbath, ZeppeWayne’s World] I remember lin , Stones, Beatles and The being a young kid looking Who. up Hysteria in a shop and Matt: Chris was chatting to buying it, to hear someone Kip and said we were looklike him going check this ing for that Shinedown band out was wonderful. sound. He actually turned Chris: It was almost so passé down another album to do but to hear it from someone ours. like him was great. Sonic: So what can we expect Sonic: It’s good that him and from Furyon in the next few Nikki Sixx mentioned only months? you in that interview. Matt: We just literally came Matt: That’s the thing that off a UK tour but we plan hit me the most that I re- to go back out there somealised he actually remem- where around October time. bered particularly as he was Chris: We’ll probably add given the CD that day! a couple of new tracks into Chris: Take the metal and the set, it’s difficult because the progressive parts aside the album’s been out for a there’s still songs within year as far as the UK is conour stuff and that’s what we cerned but new to the rest of pushed to do for people to the world. be able to know the lyrics
SONIC SHOCKS - August 2011
by Sophia Disgrace Welcome to your one stop drop for all the news on the best burlesque nights in the capital and beyond! I’m Sophia Disgrace and I’ve performed at numerous events in the UK and abroad, from festivals to the most exclusive clubs. I tend perform in a neo burlesque style and often incorparate other elements such as fire play into my routines. Burlesque- or 'the art of tease' as it’s also known - first rose to prominence in the 1950s; in recent years its enjoyed something of a revival, with stars such as Dita Von Teese helping to popularise the scene once again. London, as ever, is at the fore front of this movement, which is both alluring and inspiring for men and women alike....
Here are my pick of all things burlesque this month...
Kiss Me Quick Cabaret Sunday 7th August 2011 The Battersea Barge Vauxhall,London 7pm-11pm A charity night of burlesque performance, comedy and dressing up - expect the unexpected! Visiting the venue itself is alone worth the ticket price:The Battersea Barge is an actual boat situated on The Thames, its interior is utterly sumptous, befitting of the burlesque events regularily held there. All money raised goes to the charity Fun For Life, which runs arts projects for disadvantaged children. Tickets are £5.00 and can be purchased via the Facebook Kiss Me Quick Event Page.
This well publicised show features hot to trot burlesque artists such as the delectable Kitty Bang Bang, is hosted by Joe Sparrow and includes an in house DJ for plenty of shimmying between shows. Tickets £10-£12.50 available via Paypal and Ticketweb
Burlesque Life Drawing Wednesday 3rd August 2011 Bristol Folk House,Bristol 6-9pm A night of glitz, glamour and nipple tassles awaits all you budding artists out there; following a sellout event in Febuary this year, this exclusive class is back - bring along New York hardcore band Life Boomtown Fair your own paper and art sup- of Agony are considered to 11th-14th August 2011 South West London location plies and get sketching! be trail blazers of their gento be disclosed re.Not only because of their 4pm Thurs to midday Monday Tickets-£10 available via the longstanding career (they venue or by calling 0117 926 have been going strong for Okay so Boomtown isn’t 2987 some twenty years now) but strictly a burlesque event, also because of their heartfelt I’m doing walkabout perforlyrics and unconventional mance here, but it has such front man - now frontwoman an eclectic line up it would This month’s velvet curtain re- - Keith Caputo. Keith has this be a shame not to mention it. veals.. week shook the notoriously Attractions includeThe Town macho hardcore scene to Centre - aka the main stage its very core, after declaring featuring jump up swing and The spotlight falls on that she is 'transgender and heavy gipsy music actsThe Burlesque workshop proud'.Now known as Keith Ghetto, headed up by a dance 2nd & rd Tuesday every month Mina Caputo, feedback from team and a super sized boom- The Jekyll & Hyde, Birmingham the general public has been box - expect body popping From 8pm varied and at times extremely aplenty - and The Invisible hostile; some metal fans seem Circus, which features vari- Allow experienced Burlesque to be unable to comprehend ous, well versed avante garde performer Dani Demilo to that 'one of their own' could performers. With a sideways show you the tricks of the be outing themselves in this nod to the world of circus, trade and tantilising moves fashion. cabaret, music and art, this behind the feathers and underrated festival promises glamour, in this workshop The world of heavy metal, to pack a creative punch, to with a difference. Discover punk and associated sub genthose young and old alike - your inner vixen and cele- res have always been known families are very welcome! brate yourself! Dani also in- for their masculine, extreme Oh, and there’s even an inflat- cludes various tips on make attitudes to life and society up, costumes and takes a look in general.While some artable church - I kid you not! Tickets are available from at the history of Burlesque. ists such as Rob Halford, The BoomTown website- Fun frolics guaranteed! Freddy Mercury have come easily accessed via trusty old out as gay, this is the excepGoogle and can be purchased £40 for two classes,includes tion, rather than the rule. As a complimentary drink on for transgender metal heads, for under a 100 squid arrival,call for more details well, it’s virtually unheard 0121 236 0345 of! Marilyn Manson may Carnival Divine toy with the concept, in an Friday 26th August 2011 attempt to further outrage Matt and Phreds Jazz Club middle America, but it’s not Manchester something he lives under on Doors at 8pm, show 9.30pm a day to day basis.
So, in a scene that is supposed to be the alternative to the mainstream, that is supposed to embrace the forbidden, the outlandish, the free thinking, why are so many up in arms by Caputo's recent admission? I guess the answer is simple - predjudice has reared its ugly head and turned one time fans into disgruntled, outraged hecklers. The fact that Keith Mina has come out as transgender should be celebrated - she has shown great courage by refusing to conform to image ideals and her physical appearance doesn’t detract from her innate musical skills and amazing vocals. One only has to watch live footage of her fronting Life of Agony to see she more than carries the band - she gives them a truly unique edge, which no doubt helped to propel them to were they are today. In a scene riddled with tattooed meat heads, Keith Mina offered an abrasively sensitive alternative. Her image may have changed and to some, this may seem a concept hard to grasp, but underneath the freshly applied make up and styled hair, she is the same creative, thoughtful person as she was before. Coming from an extremely troubled background - she was left an orphan after his heroin addled parents died - Keith Mina has long been an advocate for self expression and 'being yourself '; I have nothing but admiration for her and hope that, at last, she may have found peace of mind.
SONIC SHOCKS - August 2011
Metal Blade Records - Out Now
Fiction - Out Now
Awaken The Tides
by Matt Dawson
by Becki Kremer
Malefice took a big risk recently when performing at Download, as instead of doing the usual festival set of crowd favourites from ‘Entities’ and ‘Dawn Of Reprisal’ - with maybe one song from ‘Awaken The Tides’- the set was all new material.
Japanese Voyeurs are one of those bands that I'm selfishly torn on – I can't quite determine whether I want them to stay relatively unknown as “my” band, or if I want them to expose themselves and all their grotty glory to the world, thus becoming dominators of “popular rock”. But by the sounds of their stellar debut Yolk I don't get to decide – these guys are going to be HUGE.
‘Awaken The Tides’ however is good enough to make that risk justifiable as there is more of a diverse standpoint, for example ‘Minutes’ managing to be one of the highlights showcasing the masterful guitar work by Ben Symons during the intro and chorus. Dale Butler also expands the clean vocals that were showcased on ‘Dawn Of Reprisal’s Hatred Justified on ‘Minutes’ and ‘The Day The Sky Fell’ to great effect silencing the critics that feel death metal vocals are his one range. The greatest showcase however on ‘Awaken The Tides’ is the near ten minute closer ‘The Haunting,’ showing that Malefice have decided to go all out and damn the consequences: half death metal influence then becoming slightly progressive in the second half as reversed guitar, acoustic guitar and clean melodic vocals combine to close the album in style. With ‘Awaken The Tides’ Malefice are making their presence felt as a force to be reckoned with not just only in the UK but globally. If you can, catch them with fellow rising stars Sylosis in October for a unforgettable night. Recommended tracks: Minutes, The Day The Sky Fell, The Haunting, Awaken The Tides
Now embarking on a tour with the top hat-wearing, living legend himself – Slash – the boisterous quintet can expect much massive exposure soon, especially after their sets at this year's Download and Sonisphere literally blew people away. I was lucky enough to catch them at Download and their set was so bewitchingly captivating that it actually gave me goosebumps. A big fan of the band (surprise, surprise), I have been long awaiting the release of this album, and let me tell you – it was beyond worth the wait. Breaking open like a deliciously oozing wound of fearlessness, starter track You're So Cool takes an invisible baseball bat to your ears and doesn't stop till you give up trying to not hit repeat. Grunge may very well be dead I fully ignored that memo - but whether they acknowledge it or not JV are vigorously smashing its bloated corpse in the chest with defibrillators like there's no tomorrow. The comparisons are difficult to avoid, with shards of bands like the Melvins and Daisy Chainsaw shattered throughout their tunes. But with melancholic post-emo horseshit with dodgy haircuts (whom shall remain nameless) being the norm these days it's a relief to see what
was once the Seattle sound getting a makeover. It's also difficult to avoid Romily Alice's amazing marmite vocal ability when she's shrieking and whimpering at you at the same time. Yowling above the wombscraping riffs of Cry Baby with a gravelly tone to her voice that hints at magical oesophagus powers, her brutally strangled approach grows on you immensely throughout the tracks, so much so that you'll be needing Strepsils for a week. Johnny Seymour's Nirvanaesque bass twangs and Steve Wilson's rigidly messy drumming on Double Cheese is catastrophically good and highlights the immense musicianship of the five piece. Callously meshed together instruments, including Tom Lamb's rugged finger-bruising fret work and (aka. Keyboard Guy!) Rikki Waldron's jagged chord swirling, pack enough spunk to put a porn star to shame, and truly shape the album into a gutsy debut of swamped glory. The appetisingly sour sounds and cryptic lyrics of Milk Teeth and Get Hole are some of the grittiest tracks on the album and it would seem that JV have pulled off the impressive stunt of not having a dull moment. The only issue I have with the release is that when you're hoping for a 60-track long saga, 12 songs don't seem like a lot. Despite my false expectations, in Yolk there are no half-arsed attempts, no tepid sentiments and no punches pulled. And just when you think they don't have the ability to write a floaty, slow song – unlike the deceptive soft to aggressive temperament of killers like Blush and Smother Me – they throw in Heart Is A Fist, that sleepily descends with grace without killing the mood of the album. Essentially Japanese Voyeurs are to music what Lohan is to the rehabilitation system – a commodity. And it's about fucking time that music got it's annual injection of promising trailblazers. It would appear that The JV train is now leaving the last station on its way to Worldwide-Successville so do your best to jump on board while you still can. It's going to be a short ride...
RISE TO REMAIN
City of Vultures
EMI - 5th September 2011
by Matt Dawson So when your vocalist is the son of one of the greatest rock musicians of all time any band you form will be under the microscope pretty damn hard. The critics have been out there in force claiming they’ve been pushed too fast due to certain factors but after all that the question is this: Are Rise To Remain worth the hype? To start answering the question we must remember their 2010 EP ‘Bridges To Burn’ showing their main influence in metalcore, a genre that over the past few years has been led by Trivium and Killswitch Engage to name two. In the time that has passed only two tracks from that EP have survived the cut in ‘Bridges Will Burn’ and ‘Nothing Left’ and there hasn’t been much of a change to those two, but the rest of the album shows that not only have Rise To Remain been listening to their metalcore but their melodic death metal as well. Case in point: Austin Dickinson’s voice has shown more growth than on the EP; rather than trying to strain it in the melodic singing moments of tracks such as ‘Power Through Fear’, he manages to finally balance the growl and the melody. Now whether it is in part to Colin Richardson who has produced albums by Bullet For My Valentine is not clear, it is possible however as there are moment of a similar vocal style to Matt Tuck. There’s a sense of confidence in Rise To Remain overall, the guitar work is crisp and manages to go from a riff based mindset to
a ballad in ‘Talking In Whispers’ smoothly; lyrically as well there is a sign of progression with tracks such as ‘God Can Bleed’, showing their thoughts on war and religion. So to answer the question posed earlier, while by no means Rise To Remain can be to the heights of bands like Bullet For My Valentine quite yet, this debut is a promising start and with dates coming with their peers in Trivium the whole shadow of Bruce can be removed once and for all.
Sony Music - 29th August 2011
by Cristina Massei Ah, good old Dolly… Who doesn’t need a bit of Dolly Parton in their life, especially on a lazy, sunny Sunday morning? There’s something about the curvy country icon that says everything is going to be fine, even when she sings about struggles and dark times. ‘Better Day’ is an album of hope, shining a positive light overall and finding a bright side in the rainy days gone by. Parton couldn’t have chosen a better opener than ‘In the Meantime’, expressing serene, joyous classic country at his best, so get your dancing boots out for these twelve timeless tracks; sunshine and an old guitar strongly recommended. ‘Together You and I’ may not stop the rain, but surely will put a smile on most faces, before jumping on a bright red truck for a Texan road trip to the sound of ‘Country Is as Country Does’. Particularly memorable is ‘The Sacrifice’, an introspective look back into the quest to fame and fortune, followed by poignant ballad ‘I Just Might’. But don’t get the blues now, as ‘Better Day’ and ‘Shine Like The Sun’
SONIC SHOCKS - August 2011
bring light hearted joyfulness back into the equation.
Obviously you know more or less what you’re getting with Dolly Parton, and if you’re a fan you’ll have your dollars ready on August 29th; but if you’ve never tried one of her albums back to back, if the n.1 country star is still not part of your CD collection, I strongly recommend ‘Better Day’. It doesn’t only do what it says on the tin: it does what it says in the title as well, and God knows if we could all do with some hope in what tomorrow will bring.
Blood of The Saints Metal Blade - Out Now
by Matt Dawson It’s not every day that a record combining werewolves, prayers such as Agnes Dei and pentagrams arrives, but let us introduce you to Romanian/German power metallers Powerwolf. What makes Powerwolf stand out is that - despite the combination mentioned above - they know exactly how to play it for fun. Attila Dorn’s operatic vocals manage to convey the whole preacher towards his congregation routine on songs such as ‘Sanctified With Dynamite’, ‘Dead Boys Don’t Cry’ and ‘ira Sancti’. The Greywolf ‘brothers’ manage to also show influences of bands such as Iron Maiden, given the use of the ‘gallop’ during tracks like ‘Murder At Midnight’ and ‘All We Need Is Blood’; combine this with the haunting organ provided by Falk Maria Schlegel and you have a dark yet catchy selection of songs. Get ready to pray and headbang at the same time as Powerwolf spread their gospel. Recommended: ‘Sactified With Dynamite, ‘We Drink Your Blood’ and ‘Murder At Midnight’
Page 27 ZEBRAHEAD
Kicking and Screaming
Problems to the Answer
Rude Records - 29th August 2011
Roadrunner Records - 8th August 2011
Frontiers Records - 23rd September 2011
By Cristina Massei
By Matt Dawson
by Denise Britt
by Matt Dawson
And it’s album number nine for prolific punk rock rappers Zebrahead. ‘Get Nice!’ hits the shelves at the end of August, withholding some of that summer heat and energy we’ve heard about here in the UK.
After two albums that caused great division in ‘The Crusade’ and ‘Shogun’, Trivium bring us ‘In Waves’ and, for those wanting a return to the days of ‘Ascendancy’ rather than the Metallica worship of ‘The Crusade’, this album is a big step in the right direction.
Well, well, well. I stand in total awe. This might be the best new album I’ve heard in years. Seriously.
For the third album by Liverpudlian skate-thrashers SSS do not expect them to suddenly do wacky experiments, once again this is pure thrash with a side of punk straight from the start.
Despite being one of the leaders of the metalcore brigade that has inspired such bands as Rise To Remain in recent years, Trivium have dared in parts of ‘In Waves’ to show a slight influence towards black metal.
From the title track ‘Kicking and Screaming’ to the finale ‘Wishin’ this album doesn’t waiver one little bit from one kick ass song to the next.
A band to be fully appreciated in a live contest, Zebrahead seem to have managed this time to get their energy on record in impressive amounts, but it doesn’t end there. Ali’s rap and Matty’s more melodic vocals clash like buckets of paint to compose the most colourful, rich album of their career. Next to the radio friendly ‘pop punk with a twist’ of ‘Nudist Priest’, tracks like the opening ‘Blackout’, ‘Ricky Bobby’ or closer ‘Demon Days’ take it all up a notch, stealing off early Offspring with the occasional addition of some unexpected metal tinged riffs. We love the tongue-in-cheek humour of ‘She don’t wanna rock’, fitting right next to Bowling for Soup ‘1985’. And if you feel the title track is a safe – as unsurprising -choice for first single, move on ‘The Joke’s on You’, ‘Too Bored Too Bleed’ and ‘Kiss Your Ass Goodbye’ to see that fortunately Zebrahead have grown up, and there’s more to ‘Get Nice!’ than catchy numbers for kids to bounce to. But don’t take my word for it: catch Zebrahead live if you can – at Hevy Fest or at London’s Garage on August 8th- for a little preview. You won’t be disappointed.
Granted you’re not going to hear Matt Heafy suddenly scream about Satan and doing a show like Watain, but on songs such as ‘Dusk Dismantled’s opening and the closer of the album ‘Leaving This World Behind’ there is a little hint. There is a good enough balance however between the Trivium that are willing to branch out and the Trivium that doesn’t want to alienate the core fanbase they have built up, so the fast pace, frantic solos and clean vocals - which Matt Heafy shows more maturity of control towards on this album - still exist. ‘In Waves’ is a step towards getting back the fans that felt alienated by Trivium’s past work but it also brings up a big question: If a band like Trivium want to branch out from being purely known as metalcore is it the end of metalcore? With ‘In Waves’ this may be Trivium’s rebirth at the cost of a genre.
How about a statement from the man himself on his new album. “"Kicking & Screaming is my best record yet and I can’t wait for all of you to crank it!” states Sebastian Bach. I 100% agree.
‘My Own Worst Enemy’ really showcases Nick Sterlings insane guitar skills. This kid is amazing. 21 years old and plays like he has been playing for 30 years. Coupled with Sebastian’s crazy good vocals and wildcat like screams…. whew. ‘I’m Alive’ slows it down a little. It is the kind of song that every album has, a slow down, get-your-breath-from-rocking-sohard song. Killer vocals. ‘Live the Life’ has all kinds of sounds going on and I love it. “come on, come on, come on, live the life around you”. YEAH! Ear splitting guitar solo along with SB’s scream…. what more can you ask for, really? ‘Dream Forever’ could have been written by me at times in my life. Damn Sebastian. Next. ‘One Good Reason’ gets you going again without too much thinking, just rockin’. (And feeling like I need to give Sebas a throat lozenge after those intense screams) ‘Lost in the Light’ might just be my favorite of these 13 incredible songs. ‘Wishin’ ends the album with a sweet, slow song about “finding the light in the darkest hour, take your dreams and give them power” and how “wishin won’t make it true”. Oh Sebastian how I’ve missed you. My advice to you? Mark your calendar for September 23rd if you are in Europe and all of you in North America that would be September 27th for you. Two words for Sebastian. Thank you.
Earache Records - Out Now
With topics such as the reliance on substances to get through the grind on ‘Eat Me, Drink Me, Burn Me’ Foxy manages to capture the spirit of the disenfranchised while doing his best to make sure you get the message by screaming it into your head. He’s not alone either as on three tracks (‘The Kill Floor’, ‘Roar’ and ‘Here Comes The Neighbourhood’) he’s joined by Barney Greenway from Napalm Death who as you expect makes his presence known then leaves, no bullshit of hanging around and outstaying the welcome here, similar to how the guest vocals were recorded in one day. The closer in ‘Strangenotes’ may surprise some by being nearly eight minutes long and being a pure instrumental but it still keeps to the core values described at the start and also not the only time instrumentals have been present, such as the opener of their previous album ‘The Dividing Line’. ‘Problems To The Answer’ is a pure slice of thrash showing why SSS are one of the leading UK thrash bands to arrive in the past few years, ferocious without going pretentious.
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SONIC SHOCKS - August2011
THE PLEASURES, KIRIA, KITTY HUDSON Boston Rooms, London 1st August 2011
by Cristina Massei Nevermind tonight’s main attraction The Pleasures, this gig had me at Kitty Hudson! First of all, I just discovered a gem of a venue in The Boston Rooms, Tufnell Park: right off the Tube Station, no fuss no stress, plenty of space, good sound, pub attached. A revelation. I will be back. Openers Kitty Hudson offered their timeless blend of punk rock’n’roll and got the crowd boogieing from the start… Sadly small crowd, has to be said, but as loud as a big one and definitely in a party mood. Check out Kitty Hudson if you’re after some genuine, dirty rock’n’roll to get you going. I was quite looking forward to Kiria; unfortunately our pink punk lady was struck by laryngitis at the last minute, so… nope, she didn’t pull out, far from it! With some vocal help from her bandmates and a cheerful audience plus a dose of sense of humour, she managed to put up somewhat of a performance and even stretch her chords to a couple of songs. Respect, and still looking forward to see her at full power. The Pleasures… Ah, what can you say about The Pleasures? Don’t remember last time I had this much fun after only a couple of beers! Preceeded, surrounded and follow by colourful confetti and glitter, they took stage in front of a crowd that was still small, but now even louder. For those of you who don’t know The Pleasures, think of Al-
ice Cooper fronting the New York Dolls in a very special rendition of the Rocky Horror Picture Show – and, in fact, we all ended up joyfully doing the Time Warp at some point. Energetic, colourful, funny, with a very individual style and some songs to make you wonder – once again – why you have to put up with Black Veil Brides instead, I found The Pleasures to be one of the most underrated bands of their kind. Make sure you check them out and join me in praying for them to be back in the UK soon. After such a brilliant night, however, I went home with a bad taste in my mouth: yes, it was Monday and it’s Festival season and everyone’s skint, whatever, but there’s no excuse for an empty venue on a night like this. Please support the underground scene, it’s the only way to make sure the usual suspects are not going to keep telling you what to listen to. Instead of playing Mafia Wars and filling imaginary aquariums, check out your events invitations when on Facebook; listen to the songs, give it a chance and treat yourself to a night of true music. And if you’re too lazy to do so, fine, but remember: next time you turn the telly on and you’re greeted with Peter Andre ‘singing’, YOU created the Monster, or at the very least didn’t do anything to destroy it. Thanks to Nix and Alison for a very special night and the uttermost respect for their outstanding contribution in keeping the London scene alive.
SEXBEAT, THE CHA CHA HEELS, DEMIMONDE Danse Macabre @ The Classic Grand, Glasgow 23rd July 2011 The Cha Cha Heels opened with a Blondie cover and closed with the B-52's love shack, which pretty much summed them up perfectly. In between they owned the stage with a breathtaking sleazy exuberance and a series of killer power pop tunes that drew more noise from the small crowd than I would have guessed they could produce.
by David Lees Danse Macabre is a relatively new club night in Glasgow, specialising in goth, disco and everything 80's, but DJ's Catnip and Pasta are already dedicated to bringing some of the best 80's bands back to Glasgow for a new generation of goths, starting earlier this month with The March Violets. For their second show they managed to procure Sexbeat, the goth/glam rock band the grew out of London's legendary Batcave club, with support from local bands Demimonde and The Cha Cha Heels.
The Cha Cha Heels were the epitome of the phrase "a hard act to follow" and initially it seems as if headliners Sexbeat might suffer from having a more restrained performance but it was soon clear they could hold their own with an easy charm and charisma and, more importantly, a killer set of tunes including, naturally, their original hits Sexbeat and Batcave Boogie.
The goth scene in Glasgow has been pretty quiet of late but nights like these are exactly the shot in the arm it needs, bringing together new and classic acts for a great show with enough variety to draw in fans from Demimonde started the night with different generations. I can't wait to an extremely flamboyant set of elec- see what's in store next. tronic rock/pop. Despite a few tehcnical fluffs they put on a great show and despite needing a little of the polish than inevitably comes with more live experience they had the beats and stage presence to make them a band well worth keeping an eye on.
SONIC SHOCKS - August2011
ANTARES, YEAR OF THE FLOOD, BLACK VEINS, CRASH NIGHT The Old Wharf, Birmingham 16th July 2011
pressive sound that belies the fact that there are only two members at it’s over all too quickly. The last time I saw Black Veins they had a few more members then they do tonight, and their sound was more attributed to Converge than the power violence they blast out tonight. Bassist Ben, who recently took over vocals, gives an awesome energetic show especially when he drops the bass and takes the show into the crowd and the newer material is the most impressive this band have ever written. by Matthew Tilt
Compared to Black Veins Year of the Flood seem to drag. It’s Critics be damned. Anyone who not that their mix of melody and claims that the scene in Birmingepic, crushing style isn’t good, ham exists should have been here it’s just that when there’s no one tonight to witness this, admithere ten minute tracks feel a little tedly free, show because there are too much like self love. Not that at least fifteen people here. That’s Antares have this problem with a right this toilet venue is less than short set consisting of five tracks, half full and it’s a sad state of afincluding the awesome To Youth fairs because, while the majority and Valour from their split with of free shows might be below par Rolo Tomassi, it becomes too verging on utter shite, tonight we short a set to truly take in. have a line up you’d be happy to pay for. If you thought these guys were insane on record you don’t know Kicking things off is the two piece a thing until you see those hands sludgecore outfit Crash Night fly up the fret boards for real. An who assault the crowd with a wall energetic end to a gig that could of noise that quickly separates never deliver what these bands the pub regulars from the people truly deserved. who actually made the effort to support these bands. It’s an im-
NOAH AND THE WHALE iTunes Festival, The Roundhouse, London 24th July 2011
by Victoria Dillingham He may emit an enviable air of selfconfidence and the ability to lead followers two-by-two, but that’s where the biblical similarity ends in the case of Charlie Fink, front-man for Noah and the Whale. Despite natural assumptions about the band’s name, fans will of course be aware that there is no religious reference to their title. The name is in fact the witty fusion of the band’s favourite film - The Squid and the Whale and it’s Director - Noah Baumbach.
An instrumental rendition of Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ provides a somewhat dramatic prelude to a flawless 60 minute set which opens with ‘Give A Little Love’ from their first album. Aside from their suits, there’s little that could be tighter about tonight’s performance as they power through 15 tracks spanning their last three albums and five years together as a band. A slight and unassuming figure projecting a silhouette of well-groomed curls, Fink takes centre stage, but is overshadowed in parts by multiinstrumentalist Tom Hobden who seamlessly transitions between the violin and keyboard throughout.
A sea of hands punch the air on Fink’s command to their newest release Tonight’s the Kind of Night, before the tempo slows for album favourite, ‘Wild Thing’. Fans are left holding out until the very end when When the film-loving five aren’t play- the quintet finally unleash popular ing homage to their favourites from festival anthems, ‘5 Years Time’ and the big screen, they’re winning over ‘L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N’ before returncrowds at gigs and festivals across the ing to the stage for one final encore of UK, and tonight’s iTunes Festival at ‘Give It All Back’. the Roundhouse in Camden is no exception. Sadly unlike Glastonbury there’s no surprise appearance from former More than 4,000 fans fill the North band member Laura Marling, but as London venue eager to catch a crowds spill out into the foyer, the glimpse of the Twickenham based lyrics:“And it was fun, fun, fun” echo Indie-folk band who have garnered out onto the High Street, marking the a loyal following with hits such as ‘5 end of another successful night in the years Time’ and ‘L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N’. iTunes Festival calendar.
SONIC SHOCKS - August 2011
play massive festivals- Rebellion are cool about this and understand the situation- we love his records and are really thrilled about his amazing comeback k- his gig in manchester last month was stunning and we wish him well. It would have been great if he had played but we have a great enough bill at Rebellion with or without Adam! What by Matt Dawson How does it feel to have Goldblade play again at The Rebellion Festival? Great. It's the best punk festival in the world and a really great crowd go there. We get to play in the Empress ballroom which is an amazon venue. The best part of the whole festival, though, is that it's a social and you get to meet people you haven't seen all year- nd that's thousands of them! What is the future for the literary festival at Rebellion? We are just finalising it now- looks like a really good line up. there's lots of weays of expanding it further as well and getting more ideas involvedthe people we invite have really good stuff to say and it also gives a chance for people with hangovers to relax in a quiet room!
crass explained what it was Rebellion will be hosting a Poly Styrene tribute, thoughts on Polly’s impact on the punk movement? Polly changed the role of women in bands- she was unconventional, poetic and beautiful but nota dumb dolly bird, after Poly women could be what they wanted in bands. her lyrics stand the test of time and she was a total one offshe was also a very good friend of mine and i miss her a lot. What are the bands you are looking forward to seeing? Any new/ upcoming bands to recommend? There is so much great stuff on that its unfair to make a list…but jello biafra and keith morris's Off ! are tow highlights…
As the 35th year of punk hits what would you say are the top three moments that defined punk personally for you?
This year’s Rebellion already has produced slight controversy with the situation concerning Adam Ant. Is there any thoughts you have on the situation?
Pistols anarchy- without the pistols there would be nothing god save the queen- set the agenda crass- the pistols sang about anarchy-
It would have been great if Adam had played but there was no controversy- his manager decided he should do his own touring and
thoughts on the future of both the industry itself as a musician and as a journalist? Do you feel the manifesto that Louder Than War follows should be carried elsewhere? The industry is over in its old formtimes of change are always exciting and being underground and DIY is something we are all used to…
Who would you like to see perform at Rebellion in the future? Sex Pistols, Rancid, Dropkick Murphys
SONIC SHOCKS - August 2011
SONIC SPEED FREAKS
New artists driving the fast lane
Matt Dawson talks to Danny from Departures What have been the main influences for Departures both for the band as a whole and for yourself? As a band we all listen to so many different types of music it’d be really difficult to pin it down to just a few. No two members share the same music taste, there’s obviously similarities and crossovers, but everyone together probably listens to near enough everything there is. Personally I was brought up on old rock/metal, but as I’ve grown older I’ve gotten much more into indie/ pop and melodic music in general. It’s quite rare for me to be into a metal band these days. How does it feel to be playing Hevy Festival? Any bands in particular you are looking forward to seeing? Feels absolutely amazing, we are so excited for it! It’s easily the biggest gig we’ve played as a band and we really hope a few people that haven’t heard us before will enjoy it. Aspi-
rations aside, the fact we’re even on the bill is fairly mental to us. Cannot wait to see Basement, More Than Life and Defeater again. Also really looking forward to Heart In Hand, Four Year Strong, NCF, Tec One.
What was the album that defined music for you while growing up? I’m going to sound like a fucking loser but an album called Falling Into Infinity by Dream Theater. It’s the album that made me want to play drums (I used to do that) and What do you feel has been the defin- they are still my favourite guitarist and drummer in any band. I don’t ing moment for Departures? We’ve done some cool stuff over the really listen to them much now but years I guess, we’ve done some stuff their influence is probably fairly apfor radio 1, played T in the Park and parent in my playing without me been on tours seeing parts of the even realising it. If I was trying to be world we’d never seen before..but I cool I’d say Enema Of The State by think the rest of the guys will agree Blink 182. It was my (and probably with me in saying recording the al- most of the people I know’s) favourbum together then finally getting it ite album for years when I was a kid. out there for people to hear is the biggest moment so far and it’s defi- What are your thoughts on the innitely defined us as a band. Person- dustry e.g. the idea of doing a limited ally, recording was a time in my life run of vinyl is a recent step taken by I’m never going to forget. bands in an era of I-tunes? We don’t really think about it much. What is the craziest gig you have been If people are going to listen to our album that’s enough, regardless of to? I once saw a guy thrown through a the method of delivery. There’s a lot wall at a gig in the place we practice. of small labels doing relatively well, but in the end the huge labels are That was fairly over the top. always going to be huge iTunes or
not. They’re still making shit loads. For us doing a limited run of vinyl’s wasn’t even our idea, and probably wouldn’t have even happened without the help of our label. It sounds fairly trite but I genuinely mean it when I say we’re really grateful that anyone would ever want to listen to us, regardless of if they paid for it or not. To us even the fact that you could google our cd and find loads of places to download it for free was amazing. Where do you see Departures in five years time? I don’t know, hopefully people will still look back on our album and think “yeah, that was good”..I won’t say something like “signed to bridge 9 and touring the world”..perhaps in our dreams. Any words in closing towards the fans? Uhm..just thanks for listening to the album..it’s all we really hoped for from it!