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Contents Vandaia January j015 8 ALBUM REVIEWS & FEATURES

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Dine Alone Records "Winter Sampler December 2014" (Various) High Highs "Open Season" (Alternative/Pop/Rock) Unity Through Tragedy "Shut Your F*cking Mouth" (Hardcore) Visigoth "The Revenant King" (Heavy Metal) Striker "City Of Gold" (Heavy Metal)

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14 LIVE MUSIC & REVIEWS liructlant iXing

Album Cover Feature Whitehorse - "Leave No Bridge Unburned" Battlecross Pleasing Fans in Philly Clutch and The Spirit of Rock n' Roll

24 INTERVIEWS Torche - Humorous Stories From the Road, Music and More Jamming, EDM and More with Lionize Tim Suit on Clutch's New Record Battlecross: A Band For This Time and Place An Interview with Hiran Deraniyagala

44 COVER STORY - Black Label Society Comedy, Catholicism and Loud Guitars with Zakk Wylde LEAVE NO BRIDGE UNBURNED

"A true heavy metal legend, Zakk Wylde blew us away with his humor and kindness, truly bringing heavy metal to people of all generations."

56 PHOTO SPECIAL A Look Back at the Best of 2014 Featuring each issues highlights plus some of our photographers favorite events and photos of 2014

90 FROM THE VAULT - INTERVIEWS "While wrapping up 2014 we found a few interviews that we thought should not be locked away. Accounting, Hating on Season of Mist, and Music with KEN Mode Blackened Sprinkles' - Interview With Josh Lemore of Cattle Decapitation


COMEDY. CATHOLICISM AND LOUD GUITARS WITH Z

Front Cover Design By Erin Torrance

Front Photo Credit Clay Patrick McBride


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Dine Alone Records "Winter Sampler December 2014" (Various) www.dinealonerecords.com - 4/5 Dragons By Alex SI akva Dine Alone Records is a Toronto based indie label, which has proven itself to be a surprising source of broadly varied, quality artists. Personally, I am an individual who is very prone to disappearing into niche genres (and reappearing baggy eyed months later, much to everyone's surprise) and merely dabbles in the loosely defined Indic.' scene. Dine Alone managed to retain my sparse long term attention because of their above average consistency in terms of their artist roster. This is my personal observation which has been passively moulded over the course of the last year. This internal narrative finally has taken a rigid shape thanks to the release of their free December 2014 Winter Sampler. This is a 26 track compilation of singles from 25 bands signed to the label, the majority of which I was unfamiliar with, with the obvious exception being act calibers such as Tokyo Police Club ("Gonna Be Ready"), K-os (who covers "Turn Me Loose" by Loverboy) and The Dodos ("Competition"). On the surface, a record label releasing a compilation album may seem like a mechanical marketing exercise. In the particular case of Dine Alone Records, it is both a narrative, and a mission statement, which they have vicariously spelt out by featuring 26 Dine Alone singles from 2014. It stems from a variety aesthetic stylings, all of which inevitably converge to a central, sordid sort of emotive. It is this level of precise attention that projects their staff team's passion. For context, if a major label released a compilation it would feel far close to a PR exercise than an album complete with its own themes, arcs and identity. That aside, here are the up and corners that have been my pleasure to discover and will definitely stake their claim in the upcoming year. * (Single Mothers are only omitted because Negative Qualities was in Vandala's previous issue. They rock, Go check it out!)* Deena - "Broncho" The first track on the album, and is best described as a noble effort to revive 70's surf-rock/punk stylings; it even sounds like something by the Ramones. This 3 piece band, from Oklahoma holds little regard for naysayers that say 'rock is dead' (which gives an appropriate context for the band name 'Broncho'). In fact, their 2014 album, "Just Hip Enough To Be A Woman" seems to have secured such a surprising social traction that there is only opportunity for them in 2015. Genevieve - "Lucius" It is hard to pin down Lucius' sound without resorting to meaningless abstracts like 'uplifting bohemian rock'. There is a tranquil ambience in this band's blend of old school Beatles-pop-rock, fused with a head turning Soul style of delivery, over modernized synth/keyboard melodies. Lucius definitely has a finger on the modern 08 VandalaMagazine.Com - January 2015


indie scene's pulse and understand how to reinterpret it through their unique stylistic soul influences downbeat feeling that is common to all. Violent Soho - "Covered In Chrome" This is the best alt-rock track off this sampler, simply by the virtue that it is the sort of song that would be excellent to sing with your mates after a couple of drinks. This band clearly draws influence from the alt rock acts like Pixies and Nirvana (but this track sounds closer to Bloodhound Gang), and their most recent release "Hungry Ghost" just broke gold in their home country of Australia. The next logical step is for their 2015 release is to break into the North American market, right? Burn Out The Bruise - "The Wytches" 'Burn The Bruise' sounds as if a 60's garage rock band is doing an excellent job covering a Misfits' track. The emotionally charged vocals, the downbeat bass lines and lyrics that bring the feeling of horror movie dread straight to the pit of your stomach. The Wytches are definitely a fun treat for classic punk rockers; check out their debut album "Annabel Dream Reader". Career - Zeahorse The multi-media worship of how great "the 80s" were has been in full swing for a while, despite the fact that many of those participating were, at best, not potty trained during its hey days. This track by Sydney's rockers Zeahorse, sounds like an open rebuttal that 90's angst rock was pretty damn good too. While "Career" sounds broody and akin to Korn's Follow The Leader era, their 2013 EP "Pools" is an overall fusion of grunge, punk and psychedelic rock that captures a downbeat feeling that is common to all. The Fighter - Spain To some 'The Fighter' may sound like another simplistic song for the emotionally charged. What separates this track from the aforementioned radio hit is the fact that you can hear Spain's disciplined yet deliberate release of each word, bass line and percussion hit. The singer's voice does an excellent job creating warmth against the melody, but the lyrical context leaves you cold. This complication is the reason why many fans will likely eventually purchase all 5 of Spain's albums in confidence. Hey Miami - Sylvan Esso Sylvan Esso is a playful eletro-pop duo from North Carolina, who released their debut album just this past year. What sets Sylvan Esso apart from the rabble is Amelia Meath's siren song singing, hypnotic both in its catchiness and quirkiness. 11-ley Miami' is an excellent example of this, but that does not mean that the rest of Sylvan Esso's songs are thematically plain or straight forward. There is an element of avant-garde ambition that is both attractive and promising about Sylvan Esso. Sylvan Esso also remixes "Slow Motion" by Phox, which sounds like a Born Ruffians B-side song (i.e. good.) Honorable mentions: Bag Of Glass - Noah Gundersen, Coping Mechanism - Shovels & Rope, "Stepping Stone" Fly Golden Eagle and of course the untitled outro track.

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High Highs "Open Season" (Alternative/Pop/Rock) www.highhighs.com - 5/5 Dragons By Darian Magee I'm surprised Pitchfork hasn't latched onto this band and refused to let go. Native to Australia, Jack Milas and Oil Chang formed The High Highs in 2010. Since their creation, they've had their work featured in Pitch Perfect and two commercials for Amazon and Pacifico Beer. Their talent is not unrecognized, having toured with Vampire Weekend, Sky Ferreira, and Stars for the first time in 2013. Despite their impressive resume, I still think they're deserving of more. Dreamlike and melodic, their fluid sonic texture is something only heard in fantasy. Acoustic and synthetic have never harmonized so well, blending together in stunning concordance that make it clear just how much work goes into their music, The vocals of Jack Milas are soothing with a lilting quality and forgive me for being forward, but sounds the way a warm bath feels. The album paints a beautiful emotional journey and the lush resonance took me to a wave of relaxation I haven't felt since Bon Iver came out with Blood Bank. The High Highs are everything a blissful summer should be. Warm, memorable, and breathtaking. Readers, plug in your headphones and surrender yourself to peace. You've earned it.

Unity Through Tragedy "Shut Your F*coking Mouth" (Hardcore) 4.6/5 Dragons By Darian Magee The members of Unity Through Tragedy are each a rare treasure, who shocked me to my core the moment they touched their instruments when I saw them on Halloween night this year. They're loud, aggressive, and one of the best things to come out of Canada since the invention of the pacemaker. I'm not sure if they cranked up the scary when they played at the historic plaza theater, but I know my heart was racing the entire time. Dominating the stage, Danny Rogers (lead singer) thrilled the crowd with his delightfully harsh yet seemingly theatrical vocals that easily filled up the entire auditorium. Their self-titled album Unity Through Tragedy, despite being just a CD, managed to absorb their stage presence and then some, coming to life the instant it hit my Discman. Trust me guys, they're worth a listen. Their fans? Outrageous. Their lyrics? Kind of obscene. Their sound design? Hypnotizing. If you're ever in need of a band to introduce your friends to the metal genre, this would be the one. 10 VandalaMagazine.Com - January 2015


WITH SPECIAL GUESTS

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Visigoth "The Revenant King" (Heavy Metal) www.visigoth.bandcamp.com/ - 4.5/5 Dragons By Jeff Black This album is loaded with unanswered questions. Is the song "Creature of Desire" about freedom and motorbikes, or repressed sexual urges? Will Visigoth release the best "Necropolis" cover of 2015? I know I spout a lot of crap in my reviews but trust me when I say that we've got just about the full monty from the debut album of these Salt Lake City-based bandits. This is pure sword and sorcery metal in the hallowed traditions laid out by Manowar and expanded upon by Twisted Tower Dire. The nice thing about Visigoth is that they tune to low B so you can feel your beer-belly churning when the riff of "Iron Brotherhood" launches a steel-edged sole into your guts. The vocals of Jake Rogers tend to rustle some jimmies out there but I don't get why - the dude is a goddamned monster of a singer with a deep bellow and a richness that vibrates with the center of the universe. Sometimes his D&D lyrics are less than fresh ("Take a chance, roll the dice, is this hell or paradise?") but you can't deny the songcraft of "Blood Sacrifice" or "Mammoth Rider." Best served with cold steel and colder beers.

Striker "City Of Gold" (Heavy Metal) www.striker-metal.com 4/5 Dragons By Jeff Black Just when your faith in the underground was a pile of burnt-out coal in your little sister's Christmas stocking, Edmonton's high-octane rockers pours some kerosene on the sparks by releasing their meanest album to date. I like this album more than 2012's Armed to the Teeth, which was not as toothy as the robotic-dinosaur cover art implied. It's kinda different. More shouty; designed with extra mush in mind with just enough hooks to keep cocks a-rockin' in all the right places. You've still got Dan Cleary wailing his nuts off about Never Giving Up On Your Dreams and axemen Chris Segger and Tim Brown soaking panties from dawn to dusk with suggestive use of plectrum. The rhythm section lands nicely in all the corner pockets, letting the riffs do the heavy lifting. It's a good disk, one that sounds modern enough to turn heads (or raise eyebrows) but still has that Bill and Ted charm in it's chewy center. "All I Want" is my jam of choice. 12 VandalaMagazine.Com - January 2015


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Whitehorse - "Leave No Bridge Unburned" (www.whitehorsemusic.ca) Review By Dustin Griffin

Hamilton, Ontario's Whitehorse are a husband and wife duo that play sleek and sexy pop music with an exciting mix of influences and sounds in the makeup. The band's upcoming album 'Leave No Bridge Unburned' is poised to be their breakout. This despite the fact that the duo already have four releases under their belt, including their last record, which was written and performed in entirely in French and a EP of cover tunes. But while we'll have to wait until February to hear the new material, what we can appreciate and admire right now is the cover art. Featuring the minimalist silhouettes and bold colouring that is becoming more and more prevalent and popular these days it always makes me think of Oily Moss' work), 'Leave No Bridge Unburned's cover gives one a lot to think about with little material. Two people, I'm assuming representing the couple, are running from something. That something seems to be standing in the door of the which looks like a church. That something also looks like a spectre or an angelic presence perhaps. Or a demonic one. Is this a hint at the album exploring religious themes and iconography? Tales of faith found and lost? Spiritual warfare? Or I could be reading too deeply into the spiritual aspect and it could just be two people running from the man. Or hurrying to catch a bus. There's also a neo-sci-fi aspect to the art. A space cowboy theme perhaps. Either way, it's an exciting and intriguing piece of artwork and makes me excited to listen to the record in a few weeks to see how close I got. Or how far off I was, which is probably more accurate. And that's what a great album cover provides. Endless interpretations, endless possibilities. 14 VandaiaMagazine.Com - January 2015


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46, Battlecross Pleasing Fans in Philly Article By Matt Bacon Battlecross have started to carve out their own spot in the scene as a sort of 'gateway band'. Sure they're no Metallica, but when it comes to group ushering fans into the world of death metal it seems that there is no better option than Battlecross. These guys have a decidedly accessible sound that's a lot less alienating than the music of many of their peers. Suffice to say, I was pretty excited to finally get to check them out live, and so after patiently waiting through a few solid opening bands, flirting with girls (Battlecross has some REALLY attractive female fans) the time had come for true heavy metal oblivion to come upon us. The band came on stage and immediately broke into some wonderfully blazing death metal atrocities. Yet the thing isf Battlecross donTt have the sense of evil that dominates so many of their peers. Hell, they rarely ever tune down, of course they sound bouncy! These guys headbang and pull off traditional rock n roll stage moves throughout their set. In some ways its reminiscent of 80s thrash. These guys are clearly having fun on stage, and it leads to the crowd having fun, which of course, feeds back onto the band. There is a beautiful cycle seen here that proves to me at least that Battlecross know exactly what they are doing and what kind of fan reaction they're after. With Kyle Gunther's regular cries of "Headbang" or "Windmill" you start to get a sense for what kind of band these guys are. His charismatic stage presence, featuring lines like "Do a bump every once in a while and I won't judge you!" leaves fans smiling and oftentimes giggling at his antics. The thing is, the dudes in Battlecross are clearly out to have a good time. In a scene that often takes itself far too seriously this is really refreshing. These guys, if nothing else, will make you smile and guide you through the asinine bullshit that might otherwise define your day. Watching a band this tight and this hungry jam out from front and center is an experience like no other. All of this is to say that I thing I have never headbanged harder than I did last night. With hair flying and bodies surfing all around you got a definite sense that Battlecross are on to something special. These guys with their whirlwinds of hair and epic choruses scream out onto dozens of fans who know every word. Sure that may not sound like a lot now, but a storm is brewing. Battlecross are veritable metal masters and watching them last night turned me on to something truly special. As they closed out their set with the cover of the Slayer classic War Ensemble I felt a sense of confirmation, Battlecross are metal masters, and they are going to be impossible to stop. Check out our on location interview with Hiran Deraniyagala of Battlecross' Page 36 Battlecross ONLINE www.battlecrossmetal.comi www.facebook.comibattlecrossmetal For Videos visit: www.youtube.comi Meta !BladeRecords 18 VandalaMagazine.Com - January 2015


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Clutch and The Spirit of Rock n' Roll Article By Matt Bacon To be perfectly honest, before last night I didn't know all that much about Clutch. Sure I heard Earth Rocker and thought it was pretty good, but I had no clue they were big enough to have multiple techs, and a merch guy as well as huge backdrop. There was a sense of...not necessarily extravagance, but certainly something like it, speaking the greater power of rock and roll. When the time came for them to storm onto the stage the entire crowd was going mad with anticipation, this is the event they had been waiting for, some for almost all their lives. As the band rushed the stage, I immediately realized that not only are these dudes absolute professionals, they have an understanding of what it means to be rock and roll that only comes with having toured for parts of three decades. Their riffs are huge, melodic lines epic, and the entire crowd sang along. Neil Fallon is one of this generations last rock gods. Vital and vicious his delivery has an impressive energy to it, he is a pleasure to watch play simply because he is so wonderfully manic. As he guides the crowd with theatrical gestures and lots of eye contact he proves that the true spirit of rock and roll is not lost. Simply put, Clutch are coming through in a time where rock and roll is very much quashed. Their jam heavy tones and pummeling grooves are of a sort that will leave you on bended knee, a slave to the beautiful rock and roll magic that defines Clutch. Watching them is a timeless experience, sure there are touches of seventies rock and eighties glamor in there, but there are also moments that seem almost futuristic. Clutch is a band out of time, and because of that, there appeal is immense! They have captured something distinctly human, and I think now and forevermore Clutch will reign proudly because of it. So, last night at the Electric Factory, within all the madness and random appearances from other musicians who were just there for the show (I watched Torche with John Baizley of Baroness) I started to realize the greater power of this band. They speak to some sort of defining idea of rebellion and anarchy within all of us, and give us a chance to look for our own sense of freedom. As I navigated the dank backstage and humble dressing rooms, I had a chance to really understand, Clutch get what rock n roll is all about, and that is what makes them one of the worlds defining rock bands. Check out our on location interview with Tim Suit of Clutch on Page 30 Clutch ONLINE www.pro-rock.com/ www.facebook.com/Clutchband

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Intermiew. lbri@he Humorous Stories From the Road, Music and More By Matt Bacon

Torche are a truly interesting rock and roll force, this is possibly their funniest interview ever (even though much was cut by the editor) when I caught up with them before the show in Philadelphia. How the hell have you guys been? Steve: We've been great Let's start then, what kind of stuff do you pack to stay 'entertained' Steve: Cell phones Andrew: Depends on what kind of entertainment you mean (Laughter) I have a bunch of books, my iPod and a bottle of whiskey in my bag. Steve: We usually have friends in every town so we hang out with friends. Andrew: Depending on what kind of entertainment you mean you don't need to take that much with you. Steve: If we're lucky we go to a coffee house nearby just to get away from each other. It's nice to have your own time. You guys have been rapidly climbing the rock charts as it were, what does it feel like to be in one of the world's premier rock bands? Steve: It feels the same really. Andrew: I'm flattered you call us that. Steve: The difference is that we're playing in front of more people. We don't get more 24 VandalaMagazine.Com - January 2015


groupies or anything like that... Although I kind of cockblocked us the other night. A couple really pretty girls wanted to come drinking with us and I was like "We've got to drive!" That was the night we got pulled over. Andrew: We had a joint on our windshield... Steve: One of Rick's friends left a joint on the windshield and we didn't know. Andrew: We were going to the hotel and Rick got a text that said "I forgot to tell you but I wanted to give you something" And the joint was just jammed into the windshield wiper. So we were on the highway and it was like "woah" Steve: Right before we got to the hotel we got pulled over by a cop. The cop was cool as shit. Andrew: Our trailer lights were screwed up, that's why he pulled us over. Steve: The cop had even heard of Clutch and everything. He was like "Oh yeah, I haven't heard of you guys but I know Clutch." Andrew: As per the question, I think it feels awesome. Have you guys played this venue before? Steve: Yeah in 2010 when we toured with Coheed and Cambria. It's huge! It's always kind of weird because we're so used to playing smaller places. We're usually kind of cramped and now were playing these big giant stages and I'm kind of isolated. Usually we're all cuddled up. Rick: These guys should be running and jumping off of stuff. Instead all they're doing is just playing a show. We have the biggest stages ever and we're all just kinda standing around. Steve has a bad knee if he dances around too much he'll fall down but still... Steve: It's my LL I think... I did that in France... I was jumping around and then all of the sudden my leg gave out. John came up and I was like "I'm f*cking hurt man!" and he was like "What are you doing" He got in front of me so I could get up and my leg just collapsed. It wasn't broken it just happens when I jump around. I had to sing but I was in so much pain. : I think as time goes on we'll get used to playing giant stages. This stage is like eighty feet high which is like... Holy shit. There's a good balance though of intimacy and being impressive usually, but this kind of thing... The shows have been almost all sold out so it feels cool when it's that packed but there is a feeling of disconnectedness which sounds like some kind of punk rock bullshit but it's true. What do you guys love so much about music? Andrew: : The chicks (Laughter) For me it would be next to impossible to pin down a thing. Listening, writing, playing... Steve: It's everything really. Rick: It's everything to me. Everyone connects to something, cartoons, comic books, sports, whatever. This is what we kind of connected with. People grow up and they find something. Steve: When I was a kid that's all I did. My mom never had to worry about me until I was in my mid teens or whatever... I would always just sit in my room and listen to records. I was there when MTV started, I was obsessed with it. I have pictures of me when I was like five years old with KISS iron on shirts. All I wanted for Christmas was records and an ATV, the three wheeler, but my parents couldn't afford that. My nephew got one when he was like three...f*ck that (Laughter) Torche Online: www.torchemusic.com January 2015 - VandalaMagazine.Corn 25


Intermiew. Lionize Jamming, EM and More with Lionize By Matt Bacon

Henry Henry Upton , bassist of Lionize gave a quick interview backstage at the Electric Factory in Philadelphia to talk about the spirit of the Jam and more. A truly exciting live band, it was interesting to dissect what Lionize are all about. How has life been Henry? Henry: In general life is good. How long have you been on the road? Henry: We've only been out for like four days. You're still pretty fresh? Henry: Vup, just getting back in the swing of it. For someone like me who has no knowledge of Lionize, what defines the essence of the band? Henry: We're a live rock band. It's really a lot about playing as a unit and improvising. I think that's the heart of it. It's the raw spirit of the jam that drives you forward? Henry: Yes. We're much more concerned than genre specific things. We try to write good songs and then play them really well. We try to make it so that stuff in between there can happen. So every performance is different? 26 VandalaMagazine.Com - January 2015


Have you guys played this venue before? Henry: Absolutely. We change the set every night and there's moments for improv in every show, When you go back home to Maryland how often do you jam? Henry: When we get off tour we usually take a week or two off but when we're home we'll usually get together and play three to five times a week. We're always writing new stuff. We play a lot. We probably play an above average amount. How is the new stuff evolving? Henry: I wish I knew the answer to that. Were just collecting demos, We use computers to get MIDI stuff and then we go back and try to get it live. Its interesting. How many hours of demos do you do per album? Henry: That's a good question... The last record I think started with something like twenty or twenty five ideas which ten ended up on the record. We write way more stuff than anyone will hear. That's part of the process of making it better over time. Would you want to release that extra stuff as a box set one day? Henry: Maybe, you need time to look back on that kind of stuff. What element do you bring to the band then as the bass player? Henry: I try to think that I'm keeping good time! When I started playing I really was just into a lot of funk music I think that influences the way I play a lot, That's the best I can answer that... Lately we've seen a wealth of jam oriented rock bands, what do you think has inspired that? Henry: There's an interesting cross section between the EDM thing and the jam band world. There's a lot of people who like both of those things. I think there's a sort of symbiotic relationship to that. EDM is helping the jam world in that sense. The other side of that is what the hell do I know about that? Do you listen to EDM? Henry: I don't listen to that a lot. I listen to jam stuff that I like... Do you think it's a reflection of a subconscious longing for music that's more free? Henry: I think that could have something to do with it. Pop music has gotten very small. There's only a handful of artists that everybody knows and who sell lots of records. I think it's good. Any type of music that's doing well that has people playing live is good for everybody. So music for you is like a transcendent being? Henry: The reason to go out there and play is because you like that feeling. The whole reason to travel around in a band is for whatever time you spend on stage because that's kind of an escape. Does that get at what you love so much about music? Henry: Yeah. You kind of lose yourself in the playing... You can escape the self for a while. Final comments? Henry: Check out the band online and come see us live! Lionize Online: www.lionizemusic.com January 2015 - VandalaMagazine.Corn 27


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Tim Suit is a truly interesting individual, a guitar god with the demeanor of a dentist, he's a cool dude to get to talk to. We sat down for about fifteen minutes and discussed his upcoming record and the future of the band, it seems like we have promising things to come!

By Matt Bacon


So how have you been Tim? Tim: I've been good! You're in an interesting position as a band, yet its still kind of a cult thing... Tim: I can accept that... How does that feel? Tim: I really don't see those kind of things. We do all right, we play good shows and we're lucky enough that people come to our shows wherever we play. We're not a huge band by any stretch of the imagination. I'm certainly happy that even one band would come to our show! How did you get hooked up with Oscar Hernandez your tour manager? We've known Oscar since we toured with Prong and Drown in the mid 90s. He was working with this band from LA called Drown who were more of an industrial rock band and we've known him ever since. He's been with us for pushing for twenty years now... The Clutch family is solid... We've had a lot of steady crew members. A lot of bands go through crew members every tour but we've kept it to a core. We've had people come and go but usually we keep it to a core group who want to be here and want to do it. Any special reason for that? Tim: Nope, they just still want to do it! We're an easy band to work with. No one has ever thrown a guitar at any of our guitar techs heads or anything so I think they find it safe to work for us. I've noticed a lot of bands like Brant Bjork that kind of imitate Clutch, how do you feel about that? This groovy rock is rapidly growing and you're kind of the fathers of that... Tim: I don't know if that's necessarily true, this style of music has been around for a long time. You mentioned Brant Bjork and he was in Kyuss and we were heavily influenced by them early on. You might be hearing that we're influenced by them. Kyuss was a pretty big influence on the band early on, especially during the transitional period between our first two albums. We had to wait four years for Earth Rocker, are we going to have to wait that long for a new Clutch record? Tim: We are planning on putting out a new Clutch record in the next year, of course next year begins in a couple days. We are going to be going into the studio to record it on January 11th so we've got it all written and it's ready to go. We've got a few new songs we are going to play every night and weTre pretty excited about it. Have you played any of them on this tour yet? Tim: Yes. We are making a concentrated effort to play as many new songs as possible. How many can we expect? Tim: About three or four, we've got twelve written so were just rotating them to be as prepared as possible for the studio. How is it an evolution on Earth Rocker? Tim: It might be still a little too early to ask me that question. When Earth Rocker was out I know I said it was probably our fastest and most aggressive album to date, but this album is definitely our fastest and most aggressive album to date. There were a couple 32 VandalaMagazine.Com - January 2015


Interiview. Tim Suit vibed out tracks that I like a lot to, but I'm going to say what I said for Earth Rocker, it's our most rocking album! A lot of our earlier stuff has the high energy stuff but it was mostly midpaced. That's how I look at it. I think it's more riffed out and focused than Earth Rocker but I probably said the same thing regarding Strange Cousins... So this rocking direction is essentially what you've been building towards? Tim; We started with the rocking direction but we've stuck with it... Earth Rocker is obviously faster and heavier, and this record will be more so, but most bands do the opposite as they get older... what inspires this? Tim: It's just the songs we wrote when we got together. There was really no focused effort. Quite honestly it's probably a little too early for me to get into too much of the new album because I could wake up tomorrow and decide every song is terrible and say we need to write fifteen more songs. So the songwriting process to this was pretty similar to Earth Rocker? Tim: From the time that we stopped writing the songs for Earth Rocker and the time we actually got together again to start working on new material was a full year. We toured and played shows but we never got together and worked on new material and wrote new ideas. It was the first time in the history of Clutch that we didn't work on any material whatsoever for a full year. When we came back together everything seemed very fast and in your face. Was that from something like separation anxiety? Tim: I'm not sure exactly what happened but I'm definitely happy about it. So you've just been doing it for so long that it kind of fell back into place naturally? Tim: I think so yeah. It must be cool to be in a band that established within intrapersonal relationships. Tim: It's taken twenty five years to build up to it. We're comfortable with each other when we're writing the songs. No one has a huge ego. We just get together and keep working on the songs until we think they're good enough to be a Clutch song. If we don't think they're good enough then we just throw them out and don't think about them anymore. We probably worked up thirty or forty possible song ideas for this album and we ended up narrowing it down to only twelve that we actually liked and that we wanted to get on stage and perform. The focus of Earth Rocker was to be able to get out there and play the entire album from front to back. This new album has that feeling as well, whereas a lot of our past stuff has a lot of impossible studio guitar parts that are impossible to play live. We need three guitarists to make it sound like the album. So you're going for a more live feel overall? Tim : Perhaps. We're not really going for a live feel totally but we want songs that we can play live, not just studio tracks. To head towards the end now... What do you love so much about music? Tim: My favorite thing about being in a band is playing live really... Any final comments? Tim: Thanks for all the support over the years!

Clutch Online: www.pro-rock.com & www.facebook.com iClutchband January 2015 - VandalaMagazine.Corn 33


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Heavy metal masters who are on the brink of becoming true lords of the genre, Battlecross are one of the most exciting bands out there today. It was an honor to sit. clown the always eloquent Hiran Peraniyagala and learn about. what makes hi music so special. So how have you been? Hiran: Really good man. Just been on the road. The shows have been cool, it's been fun. To paraphrase the Big Lebowski, sometimes there's a band, and sometimes there's a band that's right for its time and place. Is Battlecross that band? Hiram I feel like we're one of those bands that kind of crosses genres so to speak. To me we're ready to at any time and at any place. We'll do shows where maybe it's not a full on metal show to a full on metal show. I don't want to ever be that band that only does a thrash metal type show or only an extreme metal type of thing. I want to be one of those bands that can be put on a line up and do our thing and still make an impact. To me, any time, any place we'll be there and we'll play. We're going to do our thing it doesn't matter what other people think and if you like it awesome and if you don't, listen to something else. You're not trying to be trendy, but somehow you kind of managed to luck in to what people want in death metal right now, would you agree? Hiram Yeah. I think going back to what I was saying with crossing boundaries... I think we're doing something that resonates with people who do like extreme metal but we also have people who don't really like extreme metal who are turned on to what we're doing. There's a little bit of technicality with what we do but I think more so there's the song structure that's in there and melodies and hooks that you hear from the bands that were really successful. Bands like Pantera, Metallica, Slayer, Testament, Megadeth. All these bands that have moved on and are considered one of the greats. It wasn't just technicality that was in their music, it was a mixture of technicality and songwriting. We try to keep a balance of that. With a lot of extreme music its technically good but it's too much for some people. When you have a lot going on like that I think you limit your audience. Now you're just kind of playing for the people that appreciate that music and are musicians. If you take the average person they're just listening to hooks and melodies...It's cool maybe for metalheads but maybe for people who are borderline metalheads they may not just connect with them. We're doing stuff that connects to a variety of different types of audiences. We also play in standard E and drop D, we don't go into the drop tuning stuff. It stands out a bit more and it's punchier. I think that people catch on to it a bit more. With that effect people kind of grasp on to that. Live too. When we play live were not just standing there playing our instruments. We're really putting on a live show. People will say that "You guys jam. You just go up there and play hard, it's not just standing in one spot!" If you take a band, whatever type of music it is, if the music resonates with you and the live performance, anybody, no matter what you listen to people grasp on to that. I think that's just how we fit in. So in a way you're basically a gateway band? Hi ran: I would say so! Totally! 38 VandalaMagazine.Com - January 2015


Interiimelfy? 'Hiram DAertamiyagala That must feel pretty cool to be able to indoctrinate people! Hiran: Absolutely man. I think its awesome that we can pull people into the genre. We're not only helping ourselves were helping an entire genre of metal. You get these people that may have never really listened to metal and then all of a sudden they're seeing us and they're like "Wow I didn't know metal was this type of thing" and then they get pulled into metal and start discovering other music. Everyone starts out with a band that pulls them into this. I didn't start out listening to heavy metal until I was listening to gateway bands like Rage Against the Machine, Marilyn Manson, Korn. I was listening to that kind of stuff in middle school and then I wanted to go heavier. That just drove me into more extreme shit, death metal and grindcore and all that stuff. All just because a few bands got me started. Where are you from? Beyond Detroit... Hiram My background is Sri Lankan. My parents are from Sri Lanka they actually met in England, myself and my siblings were born in England. We moved to the states when I was two. I pretty much grew up in Michigan. I have a similar story, I was born in France... So my question was, growing up did that give you a sense of being 'other' and did that kind of guide you towards heavy metal? Hiran: Definitely growing up I didn't associate with a lot of Sri Lankan people, a lot of my friends were of American culture. I grew up in that. As far as my Sri Lankan culture versus this, it's different, I didn't get pulled in to how the culture is over there. But I wasn't just different in that sense. Growing up with my certain friends we didn't associate with cliques or the like. In high school and middle school I wouldn't say I was the 'outcast' but in an essence I really wasn't the popular kid. I just rolled with my friends. We never tried to associate ourselves with anybody. Musically I kind of go back to growing up with my brother. We definitely grew up with popular music at the time. As a kid you just listen to whatever the radio is throwing at you. I had no one to show me the underground shit, I discovered a lot of that on my own. Around middle school we had the big brother little brother syndrome and he was like "Stop following me and doing what I'm doing" so that kind of diverted me into finding my own music. Honestly Marilyn Manson was my divergence into weird kind of shit. I saw the video for Sweet Dreams and it was kind of creeping me out. I tried to find more bands like that, the weirder side of music. I found bands like Tool. Then I got into heavier and heavier stuff and going to Ozzfest and finding bands like that. It was always just trying to be my own person, find my own music and be different in that sense. I asked a similar question to Acid Witch as they're from Detroit too... Detroit is kind of a f*cked up place right now, how is that affecting you? Hiram Detroit has been facing a lot of criticism lately... I honestly say that it's getting better. That goes for like the city of Detroit as a whole. The city at one time was definitely in shambles it was bankrupt. The actual heart of the city... there was nothing around there. Dan Gilbert who is the CEO of Quicken Loans moved the business down there and ever since he's moved the company down there the city is booming I think. They're totally changing the city. It's growing and getting better. Yeah, there's still bad areas but you're going to get that in any city. Detroit was the Motor City and that's where Motown came from. For a while people didn't think anything was coming out of there. You had Bob Seger and Kid Rock but as far as metal goes you really had nothing coming out of Detroit. Then you have Black Dahlia Murder and they kind of explode onto the scene. That was kind of like "Oh this band from Detroit is making waves" a lot of the attention isn't on Detroit. We don't have the January 2015 - VandalaMagazine.Com 39


industry. That's where all the labels are. There is attention there. Bands that come from there you're probably going to get more attention versus a Midwest band... We want to do this for a living, we want to make music, we want to do our thing and explode out on the scene. We don't have a label on our doorstep, we have to keep doing shows, putting in the hard work ourselves. We can't rely on anyone for our career. That's where the Detroit attitude comes in. You go in, you work hard, you punch in the clock, no bullshit. That's where our attitude comes from. You don't rely on anyone else you just do it. I think that's what we've proven though. If you keep working hard and just keep busting ass and make things happen for yourself it works out. People say "How did you get signed" we didn't play some club and have some record executive get into us. We just kept hitting the pavement and making contacts. Doing things on our own to where, even if people told us no it would be like "Oh that person said no let's keep going" it wasn't the end all be all. Of course building relationships within the industry and slowly doing that has helped. Being the hard working band that everybody needs to be got us where we are and that's the Detroit attitude To clarify, is Battlecross your job? Hiran It's my career. I don't want to say job. When I'm home I do work if I have the time that allows me too. This doesn't pay the bills and it's not there yet. But we view this as a career kind of long term investment building thing. It doesn't pay the bills yet but we're in the mindset that it's an investment that's going to build our career. If we need to make money while were home and we have the time we'll do it, but we basically gave up our jobs to do this. A lot of us had to quit the jobs that we had just to go out on tour. Eventually we hope that this becomes something we can live off of. It's hard these days. We definitely have the faith and the mindset that we can do that. What do you love so much about music? Hirai- When it comes to metal in general I love that there's so much variety within the

genre. Performing for people that appreciate it and love it. Metal can be a tough genre for the fans they can be very negative and critical. I've learned to look past it and just say "If you like it cool, if you don't just listen to something else" Part of what I love about music is that someone can listen to something and think it sucks and then someone else can listen to it and think it's the best thing on the planet. That's what's so awesome about music and art in general. It's so subjective. You put in this work and it can mean so much to somebody but it can also means so little to somebody. You have people who come up to you and tell you how much it means to them and how much it inspires them. Any regular job, maybe there's stuff that connects to you, but with music it's a feeling you get that connects that you can't get anywhere else. You can't explain why it just hits you that way. You get up there and pour your soul out and there's people that love it. Final comments?

Thanks you everyone that supports Battlecross and music and metal in general. We appreciate everything that people have done for us and supports us. We're not going to stop being us. We can't wait for next year we have a new album coming out and we look forward to seeing everyone next year and playing new shows! Battlecross just wrapped up an amazing tour but be sure they will be hitting the raod and a ton of festivals. Until then catch Battlecross Online at www.battlecrossmetalcorn www.facebook.comibattlecrossmetal For Videos visit: www.youtube.com/MetalBladeRecords 40 VandalaMagazine.Com - January 2015


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A true heavy metal legend, Zakk Wylde has always been able to give a good interview and is always interesting to talk too. Always willing to share what's going through his mind, Zakk Wylde blew me away with his humor and kindness, truly bringing heavy metal to people of all generations. So how have you been? Zakk: I'm doing good man, I just got back from the South American part of our tour, doing some gigs in Columbia and then Sao Paolo. That was pretty cool. How are the kids doing? Zakk: They're doing pretty good man. Everybody is always asking if the kids come out on the road with us. They've got lives of their own man! When they're little we would take them out, but now they've got school and over the summer they've got their friends. They get to see us play all the time. They don't feel like coming to our workplace. A question I had for you about going on the road, you're a professed Irish Catholic, how does that face manifest itself on the road? Zakk: Well I mean with Ozzy first we have all the Satanic rituals and the show and then I would convert back to Catholicism after the show. (Laughter) There's also with the Doom Crew throughout all the years, especially during the Animal House years, anytime we saw a church I would go in to say a couple prayers for their blackened souls for whatever boozing and comedy was going on the night before. Just looking after the fella's! (Laughter) So all is right with God for you? Zakk: It's always been. But the thing is people always ask "Did you quit drinking because

you found God?" And I'm like no, I was drinking when I was rolling with God! Here's another bit of comedy, people would always be like "Zakk You are a soldier of Christ who you are fighting for him?" and I would say "Muhammad Ali, Smoking Joe, Ernie Shavers, he was pretty tough!" Guys are looking at me all confused? Who am I fighting? I was going through the BLS discography, you do a lot of acoustic songs, but you've never done a happy acoustic song whereas a lot of the people you draw influence from have, why is that? Zakk: I don't know. I love Van Morrison too. To me the lyrics that have the most depth and weight to them, whether its The Band or any of the Allman Brother's acoustic stuff, anything, like Bad Company or whatever. We always just laugh about it. I love Chris Cornell too and when he does sadder acoustic stuff. If you handed him the phone book it would be beyond ridiculous because he's the man. Same with Jerry Cantrell, with Alice's acoustic stuff he has amazing lyrics and stuff like that. The joke we always had was that you could give Chris a super happy song and let him do it acoustic and he would make it sad. His delivery would make it sound like Knockini on Heavens Door! I could listen to the lyrics in the 70s whether it's Foghat and classic rock or KISS, with lyrics like "She's a dancer, a romancer, I'm a Capricorn and she's a Cancer, She saw my picture in a music magazine" We were crying laughing. It's so silly. War Pigs seems to carry a little bit more weight than stuff like that. I think that there's not a lot of stuff that you can do with it. It's like with Spinal Tap, Lick My Love Pump is in the saddest of all keys. If I have a good lyric it's usually the darker stuff. It just seems to work better 46 VandalaMagazine.Com - January 2015


for me. What is the saddest of all keys for you? Zakk: (Laughter) It was D Minor in the movie, but once you start playing anything minor it's dark. It doesn't matter. You were twenty years old when you got recruited into Ozzyls band, I'm 18 now, and I don't see any sort of possibility for rock stardom in any form. Is there any hope for people of my generation to become rock stars that way? Zakk: I think with your generation it's definitely at a different point. But look at the NFL. You look at all the moves on the field and the presentation between back then and now. The graphics are different, the way the camera angles are, everything is different. But the field is still 100 yards and the rules are still the same, you've got 4 downs and you've got to go 10 yards. Same with baseball, since Babe Ruth the field has stayed the same. So it's like saying with Led Zeppelin that there will never be another Led Zeppelin but then all of the sudden there's a band like Guns n Roses, and they were awesome. They had the same type of impact. As far as excitement and everything like that at least. To say that will never happen again... Like after Jimi Hendrix people where like "Oh it's all been done on the guitar" then all of the sudden seven years later you've got Eddie Van Halen who comes in with Eruption and he demolished the planet. To say it will never be done again for your generation... probably in regards to having a Black Album type moment with something that sells 20 million copies or whatever, that might not happen. Obviously people are downloading records now, that's the way it goes now. When people realize they can get something for free... It's no big deal. There's no sense of complaining about it. I'll buy stuff on iTunes or Amazon. If Van Halen came out today I think it would have the same impact and excitement with David Lee Roth and it doesn't matter on era. It's just them. Unless you're a pop or country artist you can't do well in regards to that. Now its down to touring. It's harder for your generation because how do you get the money to build a following? YOU can promote as much on social media and stuff like that which is cool too. Back in the

day you could kiss as much ass as you wanted but if MTV didn't want to play your video then that's that. When Alice in Chains went from the best kept secret to people going "Wow that's amazing" but if we didn't get on MTV it was like "This sucks, career over" Now you don't have to kiss their ass, you can put your stuff all over social media and have five million people see it. That's a plus. I think some friends who start bands and they get a tour bus and they need to get a thousand dollars a day minimum. They see they'll be getting thirty grand and they think they can build a following. But you can't! If you're 18 years old you need your parents to take out a business loan for you! It's like if you're starting a pub, you gotta take out a loan and go into business. It's like Apollo 13, we've got to figure out a solution. If we've got to take toilet paper rolls to stick stuff together to make us get back home or whatever, we've got to get back home. This forces us to be creative to look at how you can get people to listen to your band so you can do music for a living as opposed to having some crummy crap job that you can't stand you know what I mean? What bands, if any do you think will be able to have that kind of impact? Zakk: Nowadays as far as the younger guys go, you've got Avenged Sevenfold. They're the biggest band right now. For the younger generation thats their Guns n Roses, their Zeppelin their Metallica. Black Veil Brides have a following as well and that's all guitar driven rock and it's not like they're on MTV 24/7, they're doing it all themselves. It's not like they have somebody funding them and the whole nine yards. They're working their January 2015 - VandalaMagazine.Corn 47


balls off. If you really want to do it it's just bands like that who keep grinding it out. You have too man! It's just like me and you sitting around going why work some crummy job you can't stand? What are you doing, we want to do music! If you want to do music then figure it out I don't care if you have to get in a van with all the fella's and grind it out. We may not be at Madison Square Garden yet, but us sitting at some crap job that we can't stand isn't exactly helping. Everything we should be doing should be geared towards music. Now on a different track, for you as a guitarist in the 80s, were you aware of the extreme metal scene coming up? Zakk: I knew about Metallica and Slayer. But what about the death metal scene? Zakk: I had friends that were into that stuff. But for me there wasn't really anything for me to sink my teeth into. Like the punk rock stuff... I appreciate everything. I had friends who were into death metal, black metal and Led Peking Zeppelin. I liked everything from Skynyrd to Sabbath, all the classic rock stuff. My other friends were totally into punk and the thrash stuff and everything that was coming up. For me as a guitar player I was into Randy Rhoads, Tony Iommi and Jimmy Page. My guitar teacher turned me on to Al Di Meola and stuff like that. That's what I could sink my teeth into. They were amazing guitar players. If I'm listening to a band and hear their guitar player given what I'm listening too everything else is kinda silly next to this stuff. I'm not going to eat at some shitty restaurant when I'm already eating at a top notch steakhouse! If you listen to the Sex Pistols and the Clash compared to some other punk rock, it's just shit. It doesn't matter what style or genre of music, like with Miles Davis, there's good jazz and bad jazz. Especially as a guitar player I take more inspiration from that. If you learn how to play Eruption and Spanish Fly why not play that than learn a song from some third rate punk rock band? I could break my arms and play better than that! That's what punk was about though, they didn't give a shit, they didn't want to play Spanish Fly. Like you said, I was in another place. What do you love so much about music? Zakk: It's just kicks ass. A lot of people don't like coffee, smoking, or whatever, but I don't know anybody that doesn't like music. It's that Peking easy. In the course of one day you can listen to black metal and then Neil Young. It can put you in so many different moods. It's really cool. It's really just that powerful. Any final words of wisdom? Zakk: Find what you love and then do that!

You can see live photos of Black Label Society live at The Shaw Conference Centre, in Edmonton, AB on January 2nd, 2015 on the next page. Plus check out the photos of The Butcher Babies & Hatebreed. Be sure to catch Black Label Society live for yourself. If you missed them live not to worry since you can keep up to date with them online. www.zakkwylde.com www.facebook.comiblacklabelsociety www.blacklabelsociety.com www.johnjddeservio.com www.eviltwinhq.net 48 VandalaMagazine.Com - January 2015


Live at The Shaw Conference Centre, Edmonton, AB January 2015


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February Vandala Re-launched February 2014 after we spent months creating a daily website and an all around new and improved Vandala

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To get ready for festival season we had the very talented Local Natives grace the cover. Bottom Left:

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Another favorite photos to go with an article was of Josh Martinez. Who wrote a humble yet very important article on "How I Won and Lost The 1ATCMA Nomination" Top Right:

One thing that is important to Vandala is to show case festivals and artists at all stages. A good example is Farmageddon Open Air Festival in the middle of now where Ryley, AB. Pictured is Calgary's' KYOKTYS Photo Credit Dana Zuk Photography Bottom Right:

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Tequila Mockingbird Orchestra at the well known NXNE. Photo Credit GGS Photograpy


January 2015 - VandalaMagazine.Com 73


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August 2014 Top Left: Who better than Monster Truck for the cover of August and festival season. Bottom Left: Ever3rtime I Die was a crowd favorite at Vans Warped Tour Photo Credit Lana Nimmons Photography

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Top Right: Sadly Keloha Music Festival will not return to Kelowna, B. With Local Natives, Monster Truck and as in the photo The Kongos the stage was full of talent along with sun and beaches. Photo Credit Vandala Photography Bottom Right: Want a little different festival? TURF' in Toronto, ON is where to go with acts like Gogol Bordello Photo Credit GGS Photograpy


January 2015

- VandalaMagazine.Com 75


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January 2015 - VandalaMagazine.Com 77


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Legends "Decendents" reemerge onto the live circuit and we caught up with them for an interview Bottom Left:

We had "Loud Music and Peruvian Adventures with David Kush of the Atlas Moth"

INTERVIEW AND NEW MUSIC WITH PAUL /.(ASVIDA.L

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LOUD MUSIC AND PERUVIAN ADVENTURES WITH DAVID KUSH OF THE ATLAS MOTE

interview about his new music. Right: VELD Toronto, ON brought some of the hottest Dj's to town Bottom Right:

VELD took to lighting up the stage to a new level with flames to pyrotechnics in Toronto, N.

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October 2014 Top Left: We Thrashined it up with Zetro Zetro of Exodus about what makes him ticks and why he loves thieir latest album "Blood In Blood Out" and much more Bottom Left: The New Record and the Eternal 15 Year Old "Death metal LEGEND Rob Barret chats about the lasting power of Cannibal Corpse. Photo Credit AlexMorgan Top Right: Right: Hawkwind and The Spirituality of Music With Nik Turner Left: Tanya Tagaq's Animism Wins the 2014 Polaris Music Prize Bottom Right: Interview with Chris DeMakes of Less Than Jake chats about the band's history, the new record and more. Photo Credit Jo diphotograph yr.co.uk


January 2015 - VandalaMagazine.Com 81


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November 2014 Top Left: Vandala went behind the Scenes with Joakim Broden & Hannes Van Dahl of Sabaton in Calgary, AB Bottom Left: Amon Amarth takes over the stage with an epic performance inVancouver, BC. Photo Credit: Trendi Creative Hairstying & Photography Top Right: Right: Lynam brings rock to the famous Whisky a Go Go in Hollwood, CA. Photo Credit: www.joedolanpr.com Left: Texas festval Housecore Honor Film Festival & Horror & Heavy Metal Fest 2014 was amazing. Sadly we lost Corey Mitchell, co-founder of the festival. Bottom Right: Vandala covers the carnage at Carnival of Death Tour. Photo of Suffocation Photo Credit: Tanner Johnston of www.hellosumo.org


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Top Right: The Trews, The Glorious Sons and Open Air all in one night of incredible rock in Calgary, AB Photo Credit Crimson Art Photography Bottom Right: Fedora Upside-Down threw another legendary party across the city of Toronto. Pictured is the Lemon Bucket Orkestra Photo Credit GGS Photograpy


January 2015 - VandalaMagazine.Com 89


arin Fr Qrn_lrivAlVitnAR2Ainieftwv -vftv _ Accounting, Hatrngton Season of Mist, and Music with KEN Mode By Matt Bacon

Shane and Jesse, two fun loving brothers who have a tendency to wax eloquent about everything and nothing. A truly interesting band who somehow manage to make enough of a living of their music to not need real jobs, KEN Mode will blow your mind. How have you guys been? Shane; We've been good! We just adjusted to the time zones for North America because we were just in Europe. Jesse: I guess I'm adjusted but not to my regular schedule for North America. I woke up at nine today! I don't wake up at nine! Shane: That's a normal adult schedule! We're good, we're just readjusting to being in North America. That was a long short answer! How did the European tour go? Shane: It was a lot of fun. We were out with Hark in continental Europe and the last week we were in the UK. The shows went really well, they went surprisingly well. Jesse: We had kind of a rough tour in 2013, and the dates on this one were significantly

better which is good because we have a bunch of festivals coming up next year! We're doing Road burn in April, Temples in May and a couple more that are being talked about. One of the things that KEN Mode is kind of well known for is that you're both accountants and metal is how you make your living. Does the bassist still have a job? Jesse Our new bassist Scott, he works a job at an independent theater in Saskatoon. He mostly does that because he can pull it off in between tours and would like the extra money. Also, Shane and I are the main people for the administrative stuff. He loves his job and he's stoked that he's able to make it work. It's weird because in Europe we had 90 VandalaMagazine-Com - January 2015


sporadic wi-fi access so he would get 800 emails at once and you would hear him freaking out because he had an issue at work that he only just found out about. I feel for anybody whose working a regular job while being in a touring band because irs tough. How do you finagle that? What are your living conditions when not on the road? Jesse: Very very minimal. I haven't really had my own place in three years. Shane: Live cheap, take advantage of friends. "Do you care about me? Then maybe I could sleep on your couch for free" Jesse: It's a weird sacrifice to make because we're on the road so much it really doesn't make sense to have your own living quarters. While we live this way we will continue ridiculously minimalist, no vehicles, no real place of our own. It's weird and kind of hard to wrap your head around as an adult. Us being in our thirties. We're trying to make this a go. I'm not bummed about it, it's just kind of an economic reality. I read an article on line where Iggy Pop talked about how you can't make a living playing music anymore. In this day and age you've got to make pretty significant sacrifices. Especially with our educational background, we can do other stuff. Its a well thought out choice. If you're bummed out that you don't have a nice car or place to live, then go back and work a desk job, but that's not nearly as cool as doing this type of shit. We're down in Texas on our birthdays and hanging out and watching bands. There's pros and cons to everything. I'm not saying this is the greatest and that type of life sucks, there's pros and cons to everything. There's moments where I've been on tour and you had a long drive and you played a show that wasn't the greatest and you're going "Oh f*ck, I would kill to be behind a desk Pcking sitting back right now" I've definitely come to acknowledge that the grass is always greener on the other side. You've just got to step back, take a look at the situation and do what makes sense. I want you to finish this sentence for me "I've never told this story before and probably shouldn't but..." Jesse On the last tour we had a half hour discussion about the difference between cookies, biscuits, pies and cakes and their various taxation in Britain with the Hark guys. Shane: That's the type of shit that Gunnar from Season of Mist said is boring and to stop talking about. Jesse: He said "No one will ever cover you if you talk about stuff like this" What do you love so much about music? Shane: Music is awesome. It has the power to take you back to a time and a place in your life in a second. That's the thing that consistently brings me back to thinking that this is a great life to lead. I've had it where you put on a record that will instantly bring you back to being fourteen years old. That's art in general. On the way down I was doing a bit of a time capsule thing with myself. We recently for this next record demoed all the material on a four track recorder that I got in high school. We haven't used that thing much at all as KEN Mode. We started using it in our first demos in 1999 and 2000 then we thought it was broken so we haven't used it in fourteen years. So we demoed this entire record over and over on this four track. Hearing myself, fourteen, fifteen, sixteen, seventeen years later... I have demos that I did in high school where I played every instrument. So much has changed yet so little has also changed. My speaking voice is the same. A lot of this new record is very much a return to the roots of the music that Shane and I got in too when we were teenagers. It's January 2015 - VandalaMagazine.Corn 91


From The Vault. Inter yew Jesse: interesting hearing the similarities between the stuff we're writing now and the stuff we were writing back then. We're all still the same dudes but we've just lived half a lifetime. Shane: You're drumming was better then. The only reason why I'm playing drums is because I told him I liked playing drums more. When we were starting the band he was the better drummer. I'm finding my position in the band. He slowly stopped playing drums because he focused on bass and guitar. Jesse: Originally I was just a bassist I started doing vocals out of necessity. Shane: We're really good at getting longwinded for no reason. Final comments? Jesseâ&#x20AC;˘ Listen to us. Go see us on tour. Go see any of your favorite bands on tour. Especially in this day and age, the smaller bands need you coming out and supporting them more than ever because no one wants to pay for that shit and they're doing their best work now, don't miss out. Don't wait until twenty years from now and say "I wish I had seen them when they were twenty five and full of piss and vinegar" This is the time you want to see them. Shark: Bands are a time and a place, everything is a time and a place. The Black Flag reunion... it's not the same thing. If you really like a record go see the band on tour right now.

KEN Mode Online www.ken-mode.com www.facebook.com/kenmode Check their latest album 'Entrench' at: www.kenmode.bandcamp.com/album /entrench

96 VandalaMagazine.Com - January 2015


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grtom The Vault. Interivriew Blackened Sprinkles Interview With Josh Lemore of Cattle Decapitation By Matt Bacon

Josh Lemore plays in one of the heaviest and most offensive bands known to mankind, yet he is still a remarkably kind and funny guy. Delving into his mind and reflecting the negative with him was a truly interesting experience that opened up the realities, not just of Cattle Decapitation but also the life of a death metal musician. Can you tell me about your new song Plague Born? Josh: That's the first song we wrote for the new record and the one we felt the most confident on. We've played it a million times because we wrote it a long time ago but we still had to get the new sheen off of it and become comfortable with it live. Its a whole different experience to sitting in your room where its a controlled environment and comfortable. A lot of the new material is like that. It's a little more dynamic. Sure there are blast beats and screeching and stuff but we just tried to hone the songwriting aspect. We wanted the songwriting to be as good as we could and have parts just feed off one another and be effective as possible in creating the best product as a whole. So it's becoming more memorable? Josh: It's deathgrind with Blackened Sprinkles or whatever. Were trying to write as catchy riffs as possible without compromising the brutality. 94 VandalaMagazine.Com - January 2015


You used the word Sprinkles'... Josh: I compromised the brutality right there! "He said Sprinkles!" Is that an approved deathgrind word? Josh: I don't think that's on the approved words list. What other words do you use that aren't on the approved words list? Josh: Tinkle, I don't have children and I still use the word tinkle. Not in reference to myself, only when I pay for it Dindin, but I have dogs but I talk to them like that. So itTs like I have children. I'm sure there are other ones that aren't allowed in the tough guy... At this point Cattle Recap is at the top of the deathgrind heap Josh: All three bands? We crawled our way to the top! Slashed tires and told fibs! Do you no longer feel obliged to comply to the maxims of the genre? Josh: It's funny because all of us like so many different kinds of music. This goes for people in bands metal or otherwise. Everyone always wants to say "I'm following my vision and no one can corrupt it" and they're still putting out stuff that sounds like every other band. It's not that you're compromising, you're just finding the compromise between the bullshit part and the part that rocks. I hate to say that, it sounds totally stupid. Here's something a little bit more out there... Rebecca from Subrosa and I just went to the Family Dollar to get some sunglasses, and the guy at the counter referred to Cattle Decapitation as a rock band. You have a couple hundred thousand facebook fans and whatnot, so how do you regulate those two things. Like "I'm a really popular death metal musician, but no one knows what death metal is" Josh: Say at my job people are like "He's a guy with a band, he's fine, it's just a silly band" Which is good, it's under the radar. I don't want to answer questions about it because that is extremely painful. No offense coworkers, I love you all, but sometimes the questions, as well meaning as they are, are just like ... You just have to destroy your mouth while you're smiling. I don't think any of us consider ourselves famous... People know who we are in this micro community. It's like the tiniest tiniest piece of pie, and even in that piece of pie we're this tiny sliver of that. Our moms don't know who we are. It's nice that if you put work and effort into something people enjoy it on some level. We appreciate it when people feel that way but we don't conduct ourselves in a higher manner. Where do you work? Josh: I work in a law firm. I'm a legal assistant. That seems really ironic, for a guy playing on a record with a cow shitting out a human... Josh: There's a few coworkers that enjoy that cover. I don't really go out of my way... but I'm not the guy who brings up band stuff at work unless someone asks me. If people want to look they know. They know what's out there, but I'm not putting that information in front of people. There's a couple coworkers who are like "Can I just send out an email" and I'm like "No! You can put in a nice little paragraph or a picture of whatever but don't go like "Check this out, oh crap can you believe it" The grief I would get is endless. I just want to go to work, do my job and that's it. Does that dual reality ever take a mental toll on you? Josh: I feel privileged that I can do that. I've been there a long time, and they've gotten used to it. Every time I come back I feel like they're going to say "This isn't working anymore" or something but I've been fortunate that I've been able to live both types of January 2015 - VandalaMagazine.Corn 95


From The Vault? Bla@kenecl Sprinkles' lifestyles. It's probably not the safest thing in terms of planning for the future or whatever but it's better than having to find a job every time you come back from tour. It's a decent job. It's not a job that if you weren't doing something else you would walk into and say "This is my career" but it works for me right now. Not to disparage their business or that company. You can ask them, that position is not a lifer thing. For anyone who doesn't want to throw themselves out a window I wouldn't recommend it. To head towards the end, I want you to finish this sentence for me "I've never told this story before and probably shouldn't but..." Josh: If I wasn't doing this I'd probably have glasses down my nose making my own cheese...Not on my person but actually making it with other people and stuff. I'd probably be more boring than I am now. Does that get at what you love so much about music? Josh: Not really. I love what everyone does. Ever since I was a little shaver it was like "Oh I'm going to listen to the radio" I would obsessively do that. Then my parents made the mistake of buying me a Walkman. I started with early hard rock. As soon as I outgrew my moms Christopher Cross cassette, which I still have, it's really good, or her doowop and motown stuff I got into the hair bands and then Metallica was the first heavier band. The older I get the more abrasive ridiculous music I like. Its not a matter of idealizing your twenties and sticking with that. You'll always have stuff you come back to. Anyone who truly loves music isn't going to limit themselves to a slice of their life, they won't be able to starve themselves they'll just love it, in no matter what form that takes. www.cattledecapitation.com

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What better way than to start 2015 than with Zakk Wylde on the cover. We caught up with him to talk about everything from guitars to Catholi...

January 2015 vandala magazine  

What better way than to start 2015 than with Zakk Wylde on the cover. We caught up with him to talk about everything from guitars to Catholi...

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