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LIFE LIVED THROUGH MUSIC: AN INTERVIEW WITH

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The Heavens Part For The Beale Street Music Festival

Mac Sabbath

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- Contents June 2016 Vandala

8 REVIEWS & EDITORIAL Take - Wake Up Inna Kingston (Reggae) The Coathangers Nosebleed Weekend (Alternative/ Yes! Wave) Hammock - Everything And Nothing (Atmospheric/Ambient) Belvedere - The Revenge of the Fifth (Punk) Chez Album - Kings & Queens (Indie/Hip-Hop) The Virginmarys - Divides (Rock/Grunge) I:9 Harvey The Hope Six Demolition Project (Rock/Alternative) Head Wound City A New Wave of Violence (Rock/Alternative) Book Review: NOFX Hepatitis Bathtub and Other Stories

18 LIVE MUSIC & PHOTOS Photo Highlights - Kalmah and Mongol Choosing Death Festival Killer Book, Killer Show, and a Killer Interview Photo Highlights - Vesperia and Trollband Ov Elves and Orcs - A Behemoth Concert Review Photo Highlights - Entombed A.D, Exmortus Classic Funk With The Family Stone Photo Highlights - George Thorogood & The Destroyers The Heavens Part For The Beale Street Music Festival Photo Highlights- Death From Above 1979 Photo Highlights - Eagles of Death Metal Photo Highlights Hedley, Carly Rae Jepsen, Franseco Yates

70 COVER STORY Johan Soderberg on Amon Amarth's Devastating New Record -I- Live Coverage One of the premier death metal guitarists in the world Johan Soderberg opens up about his goals and band's new album.

44 INTERVIEWS 56: A Life Lived Through Music With Stella Vander 62: The Life of Harley Flanagan 78: Napalm Death Happiness, Dignity, and Grindcore for All 86: Revocation: Evolution, Riffs, and Writing 91: Mac Sabbath: A Multimedia Experience 98: Touring, Writing & The Magic Of Music With Hatchet 04 VanclalaMagazine.Com - May 2016


Front Cover Design By Erin Torrance May 2016 - VandalaMagazine.Com OS


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I laum Reiviiew Toke - Wake Up Inna Kingston (Reggae) By Dustin Griffin- 4.5/5 Dragons When thinking of Germany as a musical landscape, Reggae may not be the first genre that pops to mind, but it's there, under the surface of the streets, the thump of the drum and pop of the bass reverberating into walls, and spilling out under the doorways from dub clubs and roots bars. The current star of Germany's reggae circuit is probably Toke. The young firebrand is making a big noise with the release of his new album 'Wake Up Inna Kingston'. At its heart 'Wake Up..' is a roots reggae record, but by weaving in elements of dub and dancehall, Toke has crafted something uniquely versatile within the simple sounding rhythms and pulsating bass. 'Open The World' featuring Indonesian based Ras Muhamad (Indonesia's answer to Matisyahu), finds Toke rapping socially conscious ideologies over a jumpy groove. `Frizzle' and 'No One' feature killer hooks and irresistible melodies and are both reinforced by lyrics of such acute positivity, they're guaranteed to be a bright spot in your day. Another standout on the album is 'Respect'. The song features Conkarah, another talented artist who leans more to the poppy dancehall spectrum of reggae, but whose voice adds a nice touch to the song. `Running Away' highlights Toke's voice and its range as it explores the steady backbeat that is the spine of the song. And the somber reflection of album closer 'Movements' recalls Bob Marley's `Redemption Song', with its soft acoustic melody and impassioned vocal work. 'Wake Up Inna Kingston' probably won't see a lot of attention in North America solely as a consequence of most Western audiences' idea that reggae music begins and ends with Bob Marley. However, for those of us who keep our ear to the reggae pavement and like to dig around under the surface of corporate sponsored Top 40 music, Toke and his new album will be a close companion on the coming hot summer days. Because despite Germany's reputation for dreary grey days, this album was born in the sunshine. No doubt about it. www.tokeofficialabandcamp.com ELLIE GOULDING'

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Album Remiew The Coathangers - Nosebleed Weekend (Alternative/ Yes! Wave) By Michael Smith - 4.5/5 Dragons This is the trios fifth album, but is an introduction of sorts to a more massive audience, and fans new and old will be very pleased. Filled with catchy hooks, upbeat rhythm, grit, dirt, and tons of attitudes. The trio craft a Joan Jett inspired style of rabble rousing garage punk. Guitarist Crook Kid Coathanger's (Julia Kugel) high pitched, exuberantly youthful vocal style, perfectly complements drummer Rusty Coathanger's (Stephanie Luke) gravely, authoritative and strangely sexy voice. Garage influences spanning the 70-90's are apparent throughout the entire albums, but are delivered with the band's own personal flair creating an aesthetic that is their own, and not falling into the trap of becoming a nostalgia act. Their minimalistic style is easy to take to, overflowing with fun, and at time hard not to dance to, more accurate would be stand with your arm crossed holding a tall boy of cheap beer, tapping your foot (maybe bobbing your head) with an unimpressed look on your face and doing everything you can to hold back the true excitement you are feeling. Nosebleed Weekend is a perfect album for the summertime, and even more so perfect for festival season, or drinking beers with your friends at the pool. www.thecoathangers.com

Hammock - Everything And Nothing (Atmospheric/Ambient) By Michael Smith - 4.5/5 Dragons A powerful and highly emotional release, that is like looking through a hazy kaleidoscope in slow motion. The songs have a sense of tragedy, and transport the listener to the scene of an art house film where everything seems to have fallen apart, and you're left seeking clarity. Looking to the sky for answers, a sign, hope, anything. The wind gently blowing through your hair, as you impassively gaze at the dusk sky lost in more than only your thoughts. The setting sun has a lens flare effect exploding behind you. Does this protagonist discover themselves? Or are they destined to remain wandering the path of the dejected, for what bit of a life may be left. These answers can only be found in the narrative of the listener. The band has created the setting(s), you to create the story. An ethereal sound wave penetrates your psyche, passes through the personal walls, forcing you to confront what's living deep in the limbic system. So, again, how does this coming of age tale end? Where does the story go from here? Escape into the universe of Everything And Nothing, and discover the path you create, and the answers you find. www.hammockmusic.com June 2016 - VandalaMagazine.Com 09


Belvedere - The Revenge of the Fifth (Punk) By Dustin Griffin- 3/5 Dragons If you were a fan of punk rock in Calgary in my generation (that would be Generation or is it Y?), you grew up with Belvedere. Although perhaps not the most successful band of its genre to come out of cowtown, Belvedere have certainly attained the status of hometown heroes many years ago. X,

Despite breaking up in the early noughties, the band started playing shows again in 2012, and the warm response no doubt encouraged them to keep the old Belay train a rolling and eventually lead to this new record you're reading about right now. Thus fulfilling the new millennial punk rock rule of broken up punk bands reuniting (bands that need a break really need to start using the word hiatus more often). So while the fans get a kick out of the bands they heart reappearing, the problem with that when it comes to comeback albums is obvious: do theses dudes still have it? After all, Belvedere's best known album, Fast Forward Eats The Tape, came out twelve freakin years ago. So I'm happy to report that if you were worried that this particular foursome had matured beyond the sound you knew and loved, they haven't. Well, not that much. They definitely sound a little older. In fact, at times they sound like older dudes trying to sound like younger dudes and not quite pulling it off. I know this is as an attempt to recapture their core sound and tap into whatever was making them tick back in the day, and that's admirable, but it can get in the way of the songwriting. Which is otherwise strong throughout. It will tickle your early noughtie bone and drench you in nostalgia. It will remind you of Calgary, if you're at all familiar with the city and its previously vibrant punk scene, and it will remind you why you got into this type of music in the first place. Does it sound dated? It does a little, yeah. But it's a rare band that can make a name for itself playing a type of music that was popular fifteen or twenty years ago, break up and reform and continue on playing that music and still have it sound fresh and contemporary without alienating its audience in the process (although, Good Riddance recently accomplished that very feat). The Revenge of The Fifth is a good album though. It's well played and played with heart and verve. It's catchy as hell and enjoys straddling the line between punk and metal without ever completely committing to either one. 'Hairline, 'Red Pawn's Race' and 'The Architect' are the standouts here and if you don't want to buy the whole album (because who the hell buys whole albums anymore?), you should at least reach into your change purse and cough up a couple of loonies for those little gems. And keep an eye out for the band at a venue near you. Something tells me they'll be swinging through your town sooner or later. www.belvedere.bandcamp.com 10 VandalaMagazine.Com - June 2016


Album Remiew Chez Album - Kings & Queens (Indie/Flip-Hop) By Chad Thomas Ca rrsten 5/5 Dragons Formally known as "Prodigal", Billings, Montana local rap legend Chez conquered his home city years ago and will soon be taking over the entire underground with his unique lyrical flow. And that flow puts majority of the rappers located within the northwest to shame! Rappers will be quitting/retiring as soon as they hear this Montana hip-hop artist spit! First bar they hear, guaranteed! Those who are just starting out early in the rap game won't ever be able to take the mic from his hands. They may try to, but Chezis large success will be wrapped around the mic so tight, it would be like trying to pull the sword out of the stone in King Arthur's kingdom, but in the form of a rnic. A mic that only the greatest are allowed to hold. This Billings rapper can chop fast, is able to create infectious hooks that will stay in listeners minds for months on end, and is capable of making rhymes schemes so sick, they will leave newcomers heads spinning from not being able to believe what just came out of Chez's mouth! Best believe it, this is no joke! Even Bone Thugs N' Harmony showed Mr. Chez much love when the Ohio hip-hop pioneers played The Babcock theater in Billings. Chez's latest release Kings & Queens is a type of rap record that will have the ladies grooving out all night long and will have men proudly bumping the record from their rides, choosing King & Queens as the main record choice during long destinations across the states. The singing from Chez surprisingly works extremely well and doesn't sound forced, especially for the title track, Kings & Kings; it may even make grown men cry! But overall, Chez's singing creates a peaceful environment that allows the minds of hip-hop fans worldwide to escape through their headphones; that place where listeners will escape to is a musical realm found only deep within the heart of the fields of hip-hop that brings nothing but bundles of happiness. The production from Six Point Pros are astonishing and utterly destroys the confinements of staleness with his genuine originality. Chez definitely has the skills to pay the bills! But the most important things is the beats from Six Point Pros meshes perfect with Chez's voice and they should both keep working together forever! The final verdict; this is a strong effort and will make the major labels realize Montana hip-hop is a force to be reckoned with. Kings & Queens is bound to shake the mountains of Montana to their very core! Highlights Include "Honor Roll" Featuring Layzie Bone and Hemingway, "Papi Chulo" "Nightmare" and "Kings & Queens" www.facebook.com/Prodigal

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The Virginmary!. Divides Rock rune' Chad Thomas Carsten - 5/5 Dragons The Virginmarys sophomore release 'Divides' is no doubt an amazing piece of art. The lyrics and sound are absolutely brilliant, bold, raw, adventurous, and will leave listeners breathless! Divides is an alternative 1990's style record that will instantly create new fans of the Virginmary's upon the first few minutes of the listener pressing play. It's honestly a beautiful fresh breath of air within today's modern rock genre. Today's Rock 'n' Roll desperately needed this type of record, for the current sounds of the genre are beyond stale with too many bands trying to be what they're not, just to get some airplay on the dying format that is super close to being buried in its very own casket, commonly known as FM Radio. When hearing a band as energetic as The Virginmary's, it gives Rock n'Roll some major serious hope of climbing out of the ashes and taking back the music crown, to a time when only rock shined throughout the record industry. Deep within the sounds of the Divides you can hear what may have influenced that band and those sounds range from the music of The Pixies to Candlebox, to even Sonic Youth! T H f

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Ally Dickaty has flawlessly conquered the true definition of what it means to be an outstanding frontman. Any microphone that Mr. Dickaty holds in his hands will somehow weep in joy from his powerful vocals. It literally soothes the soul, but at the same time the way his voice channels anger will have you rocking out so hard you may need a neck brace after the album is finished. This record is for the kids in the small towns throughout England, looking for a chance to escape their dull lives forever. Major highlights include "Kill the Messenger", "Moths to a flame", "Halo in Her Silhouette", and "Falling Down". www.th evi rgin ma rys. con

PJ Harvey - The Hope Six Demolition Project (Rock/Alternative) By Michael Smith - 5/5 Dragons It is always a major event when P3 Harvey releases a new album, and few in the history live up to their hype on each release, especially living in a musical and business world where always doing your own thing is not rewarded. This release is strong beyond the normal sense of grading, and each listen will provide your body chills and conjure up tears, fusing the anger, and darkness you felt from on Is This Desire? With the whimsicalness of Let England Shake. The album is based off Harvey's 2014 trips to Afghanistan, Kosovo, and most noticeably Washington DC, where the album's title and opening track ("The Community of Hope") directly reference the HOPE VI program where the dilapidated homes of the high crime areas are being destroyed and replaced with higher end housing and pricing out those who (now previously) lived there. Some would 12 VandalaMagazine.Com - June 2016


Album Remiew claim this as progress, others claim social cleansing. "The Community Of Hope" was powerful enough in to draw criticism from politicians running for DC's 7th ward council seat, and any time an artist and/or something they have created can cause public outrage from a governing body, it should be celebrated as well as open eyes and minds to what is likely a bigger issue than ever previously (if at all) believed. The recording process of this album is as unique as what was created. Harvey made the recording sessions a live art installation inside London's Somerset House, where for forty five minutes a day viewers could witness her and the album's producers record. The result is an album that will make you looking a little deeper at urban development in your area, and the plight of the less fortunate a little hard, and is one of the best albums she has ever created. www.pjharvey.net

Head Wound City - A New Wave of Violence (Rock/Alternative) By Michael Smith - 5/5 Dragons A noisegrind super group consisting of members from The Blood Brothers, The Locust, and Yeah Yeah Yeah, they released an EP over a decade ago, reunite in 2014 for a few shows, then write and record and unholy perfect fusion of the three bands sounds. The songs are short (which should come as no surprise) sweet, and colossally aggressive. A musical punch in the face revives and instigates rambunctiousness not as common anymore. The guitars blast through your body with a technical fury, the bass lines reverberate through your veins, Jordan Billie's vocal shrieks continue to shatter eardrums, and what may be the underrated aspect of this band and genre is the drum work of Gene Serbian. The intensity level of the tracks is to a level listeners will be gasping for breath not even half way through the album, and the bulk of that has to do with the rabid manner Serbian drums, that will have those hearing the album or seeing the bandlive in awe at everything going on behind his kit. A New Wave Of Violence is a must listen album for those looking for something loud, fast, a technical frenzy, and just flat out good. www.heachrwoundcity.com

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NOFX - Hepatitis Bathtub and Other Stories

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By Dustin Griffin - 5/5 Dragons I got into NOFX after their 'So Long and Thanks for All The Shoes' album came out in '97. I was 13. The album blew my mind and is still my favourite album by the band. And not just because of the nostalgic component.

The Hepatitis Bathtub cad Other Stories

Sadly, 'So Long...' barely gets a mention in 'Hepatitis Bathtub', the autobiography of the band, told, oral history style, by the band themselves. But aside from the band glossing over the recorded jewel in their punk rock crown, this book is, from front to back, kind of astounding.

I didn't know what to expect from it. I thought it would just be a bunch of stories about the band meant to offend, annoy or sicken the reader. Just like their music. Instead it's a bunch of stories that offend, sicken and inspire the reader. Truly this has to be one of the best examinations of addiction that I've ever read. And just like the Descendents documentary `Filmage' used Bill Stevenson's illness as an emotional anchor in their story, NOFX use Erik Sandin (Smelly)'s e. journey to the very bowels of abyss and back to anchor theirs. In fact, for a 1:3 good two thirds of the book, 'Hepatitis Bathtub' essentially is the Erik Sandin story. It's his stories which are the most unbelievable, the most authentic, the most sickening, the most fun. It's his struggles which give the book its heart. Not only his struggles with addiction, but with his father, with his difficult role as the only sober band member of NOFX and his uplifting role as an adoptive father. It truly puts to bed the age old notion that the drummer is the most replaceable member of a band. I could not imagine this band without Smelly. "All things considered, I'm fucking grateful. I was livin9 with disease-carrying murderers, I was sharing dirty needles, I was using an infected homemade tattoo gun, and I was filling my body with the worst possible poisons. My fnends were going to rison or dying from overdoses.

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—Smelly 16 VandalaMagazine.Com - June 2016


The rest of the band have some inspiring good, moments themselves. Eric Melvin comes across as a very down to earth, kind, easygoing guy. Someone you'd love to hang out with just to hang out with El Hefe, the only member of the band who isn't a punk and doesn't try to be, inspires as someone who worked his ass off to become a professional musician only to see it pay off in the end, albeit in a very different way than he had expected . And Fat Mike? Well, Fat Mike is an enigma. On the one hand, he kept his shit together and stayed away from drugs and self destruction in the early years of the band so that he could be the responsible one and keep them afloat. And it worked, obviously. On the other, right around the point in the book that he starts to experiment with coke and pills and take up the flag of punk rock self destruction left by the likes of Darby Crash, Sid Vicious and G.G. Allen, his story ironically becomes somewhat boring and ultimately rather annoying. The parts about his fatherhood are nice. It's obvious he has a deep rooted love for his daughter and that he goes out of his way to be a good dad. But the rock star posturing on tour, the drug and alcohol abuse, the stunts and the obnoxious behaviour and the obsession with his own sexual preferences and perversions get old quick and you actually start to feel bad for the rest of the band by the end of it all. But that's Fat Mike. He's a proudly divisive character in the modern history of punk rock. You truly either love him or hate him. I felt both emotions for him throughout the course of the book. There are a lot of rock bias about addiction and insanity out there (Motley Crue's 'The Dirt' and Anthony Kiedis' 'Scar Tissue' are two of the best), and there are a lot of books on punk history out there as well (Legs McNeil's 'Please Kill Me' is one of the best). NOFX's 'Hepatitis Bathtub and Other Stories' might be the best book I've read that deftly explores both. With the shock and awe of 'The Dirt' and the juicy punk history and conversational format of 'Please Kill Me'. Easily a must read for anyone who grew up punk, or for punks who stubbornly refused to grow up. NOFX book is available now. You can keep up with the band while on tour: www..lofx.org and www.facebook.corn/NOFX June 2016 - VandalaMagazineaCom 17


COmmiton, 110 5tarlite Room April 19th 2016 Dana &Ili photography more Photos Ilere

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Choosing Death Festival - Killer Book, Killer Show and a Killer Interview Article By Sean Barrett A legendary tome central to extreme metal underground lore, Choosing Death is a 2004 account of "The Improbable History of Death Metal & Grindcore". Fast forward twelve years and enough sub-genres and micro-genres have emerged in its evolving landscape to warrant a revised and expanded edition of this text. To celebrate, we have Choosing Death Fest. As Choosing Death was written by Albert Mudrian, editor in chief at Decibel Magazine, it stands well to reason that this event would be thrown by the magazine in its home city of Philadelphia. Before any band takes any stage, the nerdier element of this crowd, which includes this reporter, attends a "Grimposium" of workshops and discussion panels. The first is a creative writing workshop by JR Hayes of Pig Destroyer, whose way with words is consistently lauded as showcasing what writing in extreme metal is capable of achieving. We're then treated to a death metal vocal workshop by Leila Abdul-Rauf of Vastum, who walks us through a 101-level introduction to growling effectively and safely, before bringing up a volunteer totally new to the process and unleashing the sounds of her inner fury. What follows is a panel discussion on the art of death metal featuring Dan Seagrave, an artist who hand-painted the covers for such immortal releases as Alters of Madness and Effigy of the Forgotten, as well as a younger artist who designed the layout for the first Maryland Deathfest booklet. Wrapping up the chit-chat is another panel on the economics of underground music featuring Neil of Krieg, Megan of Couch Slut, two of the guys from Misery Index, and a battle-jacketed business professor from Franklin & Marshall University. Among the topics discussed are the way music streaming effects artists and freedom of speech as it applies to nazis, sexists, etc. within these genres. Interesting points are made throughout, and Neil, who did most of the talking, has an effortlessly entertaining personality. The Grimposium concludes with a documentary on Chuck Schuldiner of pioneering band Death, but by this point I need to grab some lunch and am not really in the mood to sit down for a movie...sorry. 20 VandalaMagazine.Com - June 2016


Live eiroveliagr Outside of the venue, all feathers (including mine) are ruffled by the last-minute cancellation of headliners Dying Fetus. The line-up remains ridiculous, sure, but those cats are the masters of brutality. How do we move forward, and what shall stand in their place? A good amount of people, particularly those who came clad in Dying Fetus merch, drop their tickets and run, but I heard some rumors bouncing around and have to see which one makes its way into reality. Things start slow, very slow, with the one-two punch of Taphos Nomos and Derketa, both of whom take a very earthy approach to death-doom and wield riff-tactic glory as their swords. After Taphos Nomos sets us up in their introduction to our demise, Derketa, the first female death metal act, knocks us down by opening that cavern deeper and hitting us slower, lower, and heavier. The curation of which bands play when shows remarkable foresight in gradually raising the level of intensity. Case in point, next up is PhiIly's rising death metal star, Horrendous, whose last album was named the best of 2015 by Decibel itself. I saw them open for Skinless late last year and, even between now and then, they've hit a new level of competence. Later on, when I run into some of them at the bar, they credit this new found proficiency to their new bassist, who uses maybe a dozen different tones, few of which are typical to death metal. He keeps his playing complex and very hypnotic, drawing the listener deeper in to the nightmare realm of Horrendous, in which, yes, there is triumph, but it too comes tinged with a dark sadness. Shaking things up with a much more pulverizing, abrasive sound, next up is Noisem. These wunderkinds of grind have skyrocketed to the upper echelon of grindcore in just two full-lengths, and some of their members aren't even old enough to drink. Totally captivating, this is my fourth time seeing them and not only do they consistently get better, but my ears learn how to get past that wall of noise and hook into the buried treasure of the riffs that lie beneath. The mosh pit is brought from zero to sixty with this, the evening's first violent act. Now, after so many younger acts who worship the old (Derketa notwithstanding), we're finally ready for an actually old-school band. Deceased has been doing their thing since 1984 with a lot more nuance than one might expect of, well, a band named Deceased, particularly one made up of enormous dudes who sound as scary as they look. What I mean by that is, among all that aural slaughter, some really captivating and other-worldly guitar leads can be found, breaking up the assault in such a way that each blow is felt. Armed with one of the most breathtaking drummers known to mankind, Adam Jarvis, Misery Index and their particular brand of death-grind are just what we need. Caught up in the overwhelming wave of emotions at play, it begins to baffle me how, while we listen to albums like these to cathartically induce negative emotions, seeing this performed live is nothing short of bliss. I get equally baffled at how Mark Kloeppel and Jason Netherton can play so furiously - or, hell, even at all, - while delivering such muscular growls straight from the crypt. All of us who mosh become more feral still, pausing occasionally to catch a leaping body from overhead. The time is nigh. In the absence of Fetus, it falls upon NAILS to really throw a show-stopping performance, and goddamn do they deliver. Remembering back to when I first heard their debut "full-length" (it's less than 14 minutes), Unsilent Death, and mentally screamed "YES!" within the first two seconds, I have a feeling they'll be June 2016 - VandalaMagazine.Com 21


just the band for the job. Even expectations this high are obliterated. I couldn't believe it, but, yeah, they're even more pissed off in person. Combining the best elements of punk, hardcore, and extreme metal is nothing terribly new, and neither is aiming to be the most hard, violent, and destructive band, but succeeding at both of these endeavors is. Vocalist/guitarist Todd Jones, who looks as though he'd have no problem beating you into unrecognizability, brings to his stage banter some real positivity and words of encouragement, particularly, "when you say you wanna go for something, all your parents and teachers are gonna tell you 'Yeah, well you've gotta do this, and you've gotta do that', almost as if they're discouraging you. What they don't say is 'You're smart. You're talented. Go for it.' With all sorts of karate-boy hardcore kids, slam-dancers, stage-divers, and every other variety of thrasher abound, it was one of the most diverse and violent pits I've had the pleasure of taking part in. Holding all that together is the crushing tightness of this three-piece who sound as loud and heavy as a three thousand-piece. At one point, John Baizely of Baroness steps on stage to shred along, which, given what these two bands sound like, is a hell of a surprise. I look forward to seeing Nails religiously whenever they play in town. So now for the big reveal: what have the fine minds at Decibel pulled together in the stead of Dying Fetus? A Sepultura cover set featuring some of the Misery Index guys! Considering that everyone in the room loves Sepultura, it's a pretty sweet call. Richard Johnson of Agoraphobic Nosebleed plays guitar and bellows backing vocals on a few tracks before he's switched out with John Baizely. Tyler of Noisem comes out on vocals to give two songs his all before Vincent Matthews of Criminal Element comes out to do the same. Sepultura served as a gateway into extreme music for me as a young lad listening to the radio past midnight, so these are songs that hold a special place in my heart, and serve as a pretty sweet note to end the night on. Bruised and sore, I run into Albert Mudrian, the man whose book and magazine made the evening possible and ask for a few words on the occasion. He takes a few minutes out of running around overseeing packing up to answer some questions.

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Care to tell us what went down with Dying Fetus and the Sepultura cover set?


Lime Cromeliage째 Albert Mudrian: It's pretty simple. John Gallagher from Dying Fetus contracted a pretty vicious stomach virus last night, and I got some information from the band earlier this morning that they didn't think he could get in a car and make it here because he was just a mess, vomiting for 12 straight hours. We gave it some time; they obviously really wanted to play. When it was kind of clear that it would've been a real mess to get them here, my friend Mark from Misery Index told me about Clenched Fist, which is the Sepultura cover band that they had. It was John Jarvis, who was here doing merch for Misery Index. Adam Jarvis, the drummer, was here, and obviously Mark was here. So, basically, they had another guy from Baltimore who's in the band. They just gave him a call and said "Hey, can you drive up?" and he could. Obviously it was - who else is around? We'll do some fun stuff. A bunch of people jumped in like Richard from Drugs of Faith and Agoraphobic Nosebleed played guitar, John Baizely from Baroness jumped in and played a song. The Noisem kids did some fun stuff too. Everybody pitched in. Nails played a longer set. Given the intensity at which they play, that was mighty kind of 'em. Albert Mudrian: Yes! Nails was on in a rare way this evening. I don't know if another real band should have followed them anyway at that point. Do you think that one-off festivals get better performances out of bands? Albert Mudrian: I don't necessarily think so. I think that really it's a case by case thing, especially with something like this, where - I don't wanna say there's a concept behind it, but - I guess there is a slight concept behind it, something to unify the bands a little bit more with this, I guess. The fact that Nails' performance was great, I think a lot of it had to do with the fact that Todd was just into the whole idea of playing this, and to him it wasn't just a show; it was something he was really excited about. So I do think that came through. I could tell the bands had fun, I know the Misery Index guys had fun. Did any other bands come to mind as to who you might call? Albert Mudrian7 Not really. I figure if we're gonna do something, it should be something that people wouldn't ever really see again. To me it's more interesting for the three or four hundred people who stuck around to say "Hey, remember that time Dying Fetus cancelled but this happened?" To me, that's way cooler than a death metal band cancelled and then another death metal band played it instead. What compelled you to add more to the book? Albert Mudrian: A lot of time had passed. Twelve years passed, or something like that, so obviously a lot of stuff happened in this music and I felt like it was important to document what had happened because there were so many reunions, so many new bands, new styles popping up, and then there was stuff that I don't cover in the original version, part of the history, stuff like the 1990 U.S. tour of Death, Carcass, and Pestilence, thing like that. It's like "Oh, I know these stories," but they didn't make it into the first version and it's like, "Why can't they - if I'm gonna re-do something why can't I just", y'know. What of the past twelve years is covered? Albert Mudrian: There's a whole chapter on the Dutch scene, whole chapter on the Finnish scene, and obviously the reunion bug that bit so many bands.

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Ov Elves and Orcs - A Behemoth Concert Review Article By Sean Barrett Through two-plus decades of relentless touring, Poland's Behemoth has built for themselves not just a large fan base, but a very specific one. Intelligent and serious about occult studies, yet relatable, friendly, and ready to mash. Broadly though I may be speaking, this is perhaps the best representation of how Behemoth fuses the dark enlightenment of black metal with the visceral gut-punch of death metal. Still on the touring cycle for The Satanist, released in early 2014, they are, this time around, playing the album in its entirety, start to finish. If you've heard this album, and wrestled with its complexities, you'll recognize that that's no small feat. Joining them on this run is Myrkur, the Danish one-woman black metal act (with touring musicians, obviously). This tour is her first time playing on U.S. soil, and this evening, April 21st, is the first night of that tour. Taking to the stage atop atmospheric guitar passages, Myrkur's Amalie Bruun arrived in a dress of white, standing in stark contrast to her black-clad, corpse-painted band mates. Making a bee-line to her keyboard, she began the evening with hauntingly fairy vocals from a not quite forgotten world, primeval and elfin. Blending black metal with Insomnium-esque melo-doom and folk melodies of pagan medieval times went down better than you'd expect with this grim and violent crowd. This is probably due to the fact that she balances out such ethereal sweetness with horrific screams (both of which are soaked in reverb and drenched in delay) atop primal, pounding drums. Though she's more Alcest than Behemoth, having her as an opener just feels right somehow. The set ends with all band mates having left and her singing self-accompanied on keys. May her music ignite the black metal nerds of Vinland more than it already has. Next and last, the big guns themselves. Before a single note is played, Orion and Seth stand before screens upon which are projected Begotten-esque sequences, religious in their profundity, horrific in their implication. Nergal enters stage right strumming the intro riff to "Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel", which is a hell of a riff to begin album and show alike. A mass of flesh pulsates towards the security guardrails before the stage. Throughout the peaks, valleys, and repeating themes of this album, Nergal commands his stage with a serpentine presence, as Orion plays and bellows bestially. The years have strengthened these infernal ores. Speaking of, for as many black metal bands swear creative allegiance to Tolkien, it is the war-like evil of Behemoths blackened death metal (or "deathened black metal", as someone there called it that makes it much more plausible for this to be the soundtrack to an orc raid than most any other black metal act. Orion, at one point, spits blood onto a crucifix he holds in inversion. Some more of this blood is spat into the crowd and onto this reporter. Having been to shows where real blood is used and shows where fake blood is used, I'm in a good position to distinguish the two. This was the real deal, though of what animal I know not. Because this was the first stop of the tour, we were nervous as to whether there would be some bugs in their performance of this album that would later get worked out. This turned out to not even be remotely true, as it was deep enough in their collective muscle memory for them to deliver it with ease and aplomb. 26 VandalaMagazine.Com - June 2016


After the album is played through, Nergal gives a very short speech about how, over the past two-plus decades, Behemoth has pushed hard to get to the top, never compromising their art on the way. It hadn't occurred to me before this, but, yes, these guys are indeed at the top of blackened death metal. It then hits me that he could just as easily be referring to black metal entirely, at least as far as album and ticket sales are concerned. This may even be the case with death metal, though it's tougher to say. Something about their particular brand of Satanic glory and blood-soaked victory resonates with a much wider group of individuals than is the case with their peers. Perhaps it's the studious commitment to Thelema. Perhaps it's the sheer f*cking muscle. Here we can only speculate, but, whatever it is, it's extremely effective. He ends this speech by introducing the song "Conquer All" before conquering all himself. The firmament of my mind is disrupted as is that of the venue. For having taken the journey of this album with them, we find the road ending in ball-crushing, earth-rattling frenzy as they close up their set with five of their most violent songs. The pit reflects this perfectly. Kudos and salutations to all who throw down. Glory is yours. For full tour dates please visit: www. behemoth . pl www.facebook.comi behemoth www.twitter.comibehemothband www.youtube.comibehemothofficial

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The Family Stone Brings The Classic Funk To Chumash Casino Resort Article and Photos By L. Paul Mann Members of the original Sly and The Family Stone band brought their funky rock sounds to the Samala showroom at the Chumash Casino Resort in Santa Ynez, Thursday night April 21st. The seven piece band features two of the original members, Rock and Roll Hall of Farmers, Jerry Martini on saxophonee and Greg Errico on drums. The group also includes, Sy!vette Phunne, the daughter of founding member Sly Stone and the bands original trumpet player Cynthia Robinson, who passed away last year. The band formed in San Francisco during the 1967 'Summer of Love", was a pioneering force in combining genres, musical including funk, soul, jazz and psychedelic rock. The band had the audience on their feet from the start of their show at the Samala showroom. Although Sly Stone has long since retired from the group, the band continues to delight their fans playing their large catalog of dance oriented pop music hits. As they walk the fine line between tribute act and pop veterans, they have developed an amazing repertoire from the golden era of psychedelic soul. The band played their funky dance anthems like Stand, Dance to the Music and Everyday People. But they also threw in some classic covers. Before playing a Prince song in tribute to his untimely death the day before, Martini described the bands interaction with the legendary performer. "We opened for Prince on a world tour that lasted nearly three years. He let us do a 45 minute set of our own music in the middle of his set. He was one of the most gracious and talented performers I ever met". Later on there was a great drum solo by Errico, showing his jazz rock roots. The veteran drummer even played drums for a short while, with the consummate jazz rock band, Weather Report. Alex Davis takes on the daunting task of channeling the spirit of Sly Stone on vocals and keyboard, and even looks very much the part. Then the band played more classic tunes including "Hot Fun in the Summertime," "You Can Make It If You Try" and "Family Affair." By that time anyone in the crowd who was not already dancing about, got up and rushed to the front of the stage. After a quick break the band ended with a double encore of two of their most classic dance anthems, including the historic Woodstock masterpiece "I Want To Take You Higher" and the iconic "Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)." It was an all out dance party at the Chumash Casino Resort. 30 VandalaMagazine.Com - June 2016


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The Heavens Part For The Beale Street Music Festival Article and Photos By L. Paul Mann Day 1 One of America's oldest music festivals marked its 40th anniversary, in the quiet polite mannerisms associated with the regions southern charm and gracious manners, during the first weekend in May. The Beale Street music festival is perfectly situated on the banks of the historic Mississippi River, in downtown Memphis. The event has to be one of the most affordable and eclectic music festivals in the country, as well as the oldest, With single day tickets going for $45.00 and three day passes offering a bigger daily discount, the five stage festival offers up music from nearly every pop music genre. Perhaps the most genuine and historic sounds come from legendary Blues icons, many of whom call Memphis home. The historic city is the birthplace of Blues music in America, with its infectious roots music sounds spreading up and down one of the country's first "highways," the Mississippi River. But the amazingly diverse festival crowd, in all demographic categories, was also treated to big name entertainment from genres like classic rock, hip hop, EDM, Indie Jam bands, country, bluegrass and more. The first day of the festival looked like it might be in jeopardy, with fierce thunderstorms flooding streets from the break of dawn and continuing into the early afternoon. But luckily the festival, which began on Friday, April 29, was not scheduled to start until 6pm. Miraculously the inclement weather let up just a few hours before the first sets began and the skies stayed dry into the early morning hours when a light drizzle fell on the last sets of the long night of music. Anxious music fans lined up early, and dashed into the festival as the gates opened

just before 5PM, to get the best front of the stage views. The festival boasts three massive main stages, spread across nearly a mile of riverfront. There is also a Blues tent, featuring regional, national, and international musicians prominent in the genre. Complete with seating, and its own affordable bar, the Blues tent is worth the price of admission itself, and indeed many Blues fans never leave the tent, There was one more hidden gem of a stage just off to the side of the largest of the three main stages. A tiny stage made into a Blues shack, offered up historic icons of Blues music from across the region, With never more than a few dozen fans watching, these musical marvels offered up some of the most authentic blues music in existence, The Main Fedex stage music started right on schedule at 6PM. Unlike most of the big music festivals proliferating across the country, the Beale Street festival allows almost every performer time to perform a full set. There are none of the ADD 30 minute time slots that are so pervasive in many of the big festivals. All the stages began with impressive musical acts from different genres. These included local acts, the Ghost Town Blues Band and Julien Baker. Ghost Town wowed the audience in the blues tent with their own infectious jam band approach to blues and southern bluegrass music. Complete with a leader singer guitarist playing a cigar box guitar and a funky horn section this band rocks. Julien Baker, on the other hand, opened the Fedex stage with a much more subdued solo set, The young singer guitarist played haunting folksy melodies that may well propel her into national fame. Electronic music maven Coleman Hell opened the Bud Light stage and was the first of many Canadian acts to bring their infectious grooves across the border. The opening set on the Rockstar stage by the English rockers The Struts, rounded out the first sets of the day. This band was a particular favorite with some of the youngest of the early festival goers. The group, fronted by animated lead vocalist Luke Spiller, wowed the crowd in 34 VandalaMagazine.Com - June 2016


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the classic style of an English glam rock band. As darkness fell, more than twenty acts from across the pop music spectrum played into the night. Dozens of gourmet food stands sent savory scents into the moist evening air and copious amounts of alcohol were available across the festival grounds. By the time that the closing headliners were preparing to take their respective stages around 11PM, the festival crowds swelled into the tens of thousands. Surely, the most anticipated set of the day came on the Fedex stage, when Neil Young and The Promise of The Real played a headline set drenched in classic rock jam guitar riffs. Young led his invigorating youthful band straight into a 34 minute opening jam of his classic song "Down By The River". The monumental guitar jam paid tribute to the mighty Mississippi. POTR, an American rock group based in California is the perfect engine to propel Young in his ultimate jam band mode. The band consists of Lukas Nelson (vocals/guitar), Anthony Logerfo (drums), Corey McCormick (bass), and Tato Melgar (percussion). Lukas is the son of the legendary Willie Nelson. As the group tore through the opening jam, a tourist riverboat cruised by lighting up the Mississippi. One could imagine a similar sight a hundred years ago, possibly with classic Memphis blues music pouring from its glamorous ballroom. Other top musical acts like, Weezer, Train, and the guitar veteran Walter Trout played out they're closing sets at the same time. But by the time a light drizzle began to fall, and Young and his band had played into the early hours of next morning, all the other stages had fell silent. Young continued to play until he was literally booted from the stage by festival officials. It was a fine start to three days of amazing music. Meteorology threatened to play a major role in the plans for the Beale Street music festival for a second day in a row at this year's event. But on the second day it was not the torrential rains like the day before that threatened the ambitious live music schedule, but instead an early morning dramatic windstorm. The wind was so damaging in fact, that the first sets of the day had to be canceled, while a small army of technicians worked feverishly to repair the damage to the infrastructure. But once the festival did get underway, the rest of the scheduled bands pretty much played on schedule late into the night. Luckily, for the much larger crowd on this second day, the rains from the night before had completely subsided by the time the delayed gated opened at 3PM. The storms had left large mud fields, however, that forced festival goers to become creative artful dodgers of the stickiest parts of the field. Savvy entrepreneurs could actually be seen near the four festival entrances selling budget waders to a receptive crowd. But muddy feet seemed to be a small price to pay for the chance to see such incredible live music, from so many music genres. The second day of the festival was probably the most pop music oriented day of the three, with a much younger base audience than the day before. But there was plenty of music for the older generations of festival goers as well. The Blues tent was again a refuge for blues loving fans. The musical talent on display in the tent offered up one phenomenal act after another. Charles Wilson kicked things off with a set drenched in Chicago blues. It is hard to believe he recorded his first single back in 1964 at the age of 7. Canadian Jack Semple followed up with a guitar drenched set of funk laden blues music. The most unusual set in the tent came next with the duo of Magic Dick and Shun Ng. Magic Dick was the harmonica player for the legendary rock group, The J. GeiIs Band. He teamed up with singer, guitarist, songwriter, Shun Ng. The young musician was born in Chicago but raised in 38 VandalaMagazine.Com - June 2016


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Singapore. The unlikely pair fused a unique brand of blues unlike anything that came before it. Guitarist Luther Dickinson played next, Dickinson was yet another veteran gem of a musician found playing on the unassuming blues tent stage. His pedigree includes, forming the North Mississippi Allstars with his brother Cody and a stint in the Black Croves. His blues rock guitar lit up the crowd in early evening. It was hard to top this impressive day of music from such accomplished musicians in the blues tent, but the Serbian siren, Ana Popovic rose to the challenge. The golden haired goddess of blues guitar simply shredded for the entirety of her closing set. Meanwhile the outside stages were offering up some of the biggest names in mainstream pop. The Fedex stage offered an eclectic mix of music starting with Miami rapper Lunchmoney Lewis playing in his bathrobe, He was followed by veteran hard rockers Better Than Ezra. California Hip Hop artists Cypress Hill took the stage next, in front of the first massive crowd of the day. An older crowd flooded the field for an evening set by Canadian veteran rockers the Barenaked Ladies next. The band played lots of new music mixed with a few of their classics. The group also played a song called "Passcode," dedicating it to their friends the Violent Femmes, who were actually playing at the same time on the Rockstar stage. The band ended their set with a bang, playing the Led Zeppelin classic, "Rock And Roll". Meghan Trainor closed the Fedex stage with a pop laden, grandiose set full of dancers and musicians. Along with the quirky and just plain interesting set by the Violent Femmes on the Rockstar Stage, bands like Moon Taxi, Houndmouth, and The Front Bottoms also played. But it was the closing set by Modest Mouse that brought the biggest crowds to this stage. Meanwhile, the Bud Light stage offered up its own diverse musical offering. Living blues rock legend, John Mayall, took over the slot for the only no show at the festival, Johnny Lang. The octogenarian singer guitarist, played hard rocking blues in the vein of Simi Hendrix, in a classic rock trio with his masterful bass and drummer. It is hard to believe, as he tells the story that "I wrote my first song as a 19 year old English soldier during the Korean War". The guitarist is a living marvel. Another legendary performer followed his set, the country rocker, Lucinda Williams, with her band of veteran musicians. The music changed up yet again for the next set by California Chicano rockers Los Lobos. The Latin infused jam rockers fired up the crowd as the sun began to set. By the time darkness engulfed the stage, a completely different crowd of mostly teen music fans had swarmed the front of the stage for the next set. Hometown hero Yo Gotti, had the young audience in a dance trance euphoria for his big energy Hip Hop set. But the best was yet to come for young fans of Hip Hop, with the closing set by mega hit maker Jason Derulo. The young rapper led an impressive band and dance troupe through a set laden with his biggest nightclub hits. The rapper also showed his talent as a dancer and real R&B singer as well, offering up a phenomenal high energy set. It would have been hard for any true live music fan not to find at least some bands to their liking in this most incredibly diverse day of musical mashups. Day 3: The sun finally made an appearance at the Beale Street music festival, during its final day of the 2016 season. Music fans flocked to the festival grounds on the banks of the Mississippi River early, in the afternoon and the music got under way just after 2PM, Some came early to imbibe the numerous alcoholic beverages or have lunch at one of the many sumptuous food stands. Others set up their blankets on the river banks and basked in the warm sunshine, while old fashioned paddle wheel 42 VandalaMagazine.Com - June 2016


Live Comerege a steamboats floated by, packed with tourists. The music began fittingly, with a nationally little known, but historically significant, band, Those Pretty Wrongs, featuring Memphis local Jody Stephens. Stephens was the original drummer of the cult classic rock band Big Star. The inventive band was an American progressive power pop band formed in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1971 by Alex Chilton, Chris Bell, Jody Stephens, and Andy Hummel. Although the group broke up in 1974, they're critically acclaimed music has influenced some of the most successful Indie American rock bands ever since. In the last few years there has been a huge resurgence of interest in the group 's Beatleesque ground breaking albums from the 70's. The interest has led to a series of concerts featuring some of the biggest names in Indie music, playing their own interpretations of the classic albums. This new group features Stephens and Los Angeles singer and guitarist Luther Russel. The band made their Memphis debut at the festival as an acoustic trio, and sang in harmonies akin to early Crosby, Stills and Nash songs. The band played mostly songs from their debut album which is set to be released shortly, with a few Big Star gems thrown into the mix. Guitar rock seemed to be the dominating force for most of the final day of the festival. The Blues tent was again drenched in incredible blues guitar talent. Blackberry Smoke brought the Southern rock tinge to guitar jamming early in the afternoon. They were followed on the Fedex stage by another guitar wailing set by the Arcs, featuring Dan Auerbach, the guitarist of the headlining group The Black Keyes. Playing with little hype and in relative obscurity across the festival circuit, this double drummer group, in many ways plays more sophisticated rock, than Auerbach's more well known moniker. The Cold War Kids followed with their own brand of jamming Indie rock. But the real guitar hero of the night, Beck, closed the main Fedex stage with a ferocious set of his classic songs. With an awesome band of musicians keeping pace, the singer guritaitst flailed about the stage like a young punk rocker. The multi talented musician rocked from his opening classic "Devils Haircut," all the way to his guitar wailing encore. The Rockstar stage featured more classic rock through the day, all be it a myriad of genres. The Indigo girls brought their folk laden harmonies to an appreciative crowd early on. The energy level advanced with the band that followed, the FMB drenched Nathaniel Ratliff and The Night Sweats. But it was the closing set by pop music icon Paul Simon that drew the biggest crowd of the day. Simons huge group of veteran musicians played rock rhythms drenched in world music roots, while Simon strummed his acoustic guitar and rattled off his classic hits in his trademark voice. The singer played a whole host of crowd favorites including "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover," "Slip Slidin Away," "Mother and Child Reunion" and "Me and Julio Down by theSchoolyard". But, perhaps the biggest crowd response came when Simon played songs off the "Graceland" album, honoring the historic Memphis institution and home of Elvis. The Bud Light stage offered up the most eclectic mix of music this final day. The local Memphis group, The Band Camino opened with some good clean Indie rock riffs. They were followed by another local musician, Alex Da Ponte, with a more folksy blue grass tinged approach to Indic rock. The music took a decidedly different turn when the next group took the stage. The Joy Formidable, originally hailing from North Wales, brought an electronica drenched Indie rock sound to the festival. Their thick accents lent an international air of charm to their trance inducing music. Hailing literally form the other side of the planet, Australian singer guitarist Courtney Barnett brought the 46 VandalaMagazine.Com - June 2016


emphasis back on wailing blues guitar with her explosive performance. As night fell awhole new much younger audience appeared at the front of the stage. The musicturned back into more dance oriented Indie electronic rock, with the chart topping music of Bastille. Led by charismatic singer, Dan Smith, the group literally wooed the crowd with well known songs like their number one hit "Pompeii". As the music on the other stages started to wind down, the final set of the night took place on the Bud Light stage. European EDM star ZEDD, closed out the festival with his Grammy winning thumping beats that had young fans in a dance trance euphoria. Despite threats from inclement weather, the 2016 Beale Street music festival was a huge success by most all accounts. With almost every band playing the eclectic three day festival getting a full set and staggered start times for the different stages, the festival offers up one of the best festival opportunities to experience the most musical bang for the buck. Long live the blues! Memphis rocks! More On the Festival: www.memphisinmay.orgi beale-street-music-festiva I More Photos Online Via www.VandalaMagazine

June 2016 - VandalaMagazine.Com 47


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Stella Vander of Magma is a truly interesting woman and patient as she was dealing with our awful phone connection she managed to communicate an even greater sense of wisdom about all facets of the music industry after a fashion that only someone who has truly lived it can. How are you? Stella; I'm fine. We are in Austin, in a nice room! We had a very good concert yesterday and we've some time before flying today so we can rest a bit. I didn't realize this until recently, but your first EP came out when you were 13. Stella: Yes! I was spending a lot of time with one of my uncles who were only fourteen years older than me. He was introducing me to music and jazz and we were listening to the radio like everyone does and we thought that everything that was on the radio was stupid. We said, "Why don't we do songs that we love?" We tried and recorded a two song demo and sent it to a record company and they wanted to sign me. It started like that! It was a joke in the beginning! Did your uncle influence you in Magma at all? Stella: No After the EP I kind of stopped - it wasn't what I wanted to do. It was too deeply invested in show business and that's not what I wanted to do. So I stopped for a while until I met Christian. I started to talk with him and in the beginning there were very few female musicians so I was doing a lot of management because I knew the music industry well. I started to sing in 1973 because he needed to have more vocals in the band. You said that the stuff you were doing when you were 13 didn't appeal to you long term... what about Magma appealed to you? Stella: When I met Christian Magma had not been founded. He was jamming in a club but I thought that the way he was playing was very interesting and different and I think that's what I was looking for. That wasn't Magma at the time. He had been starting to rehearse with a few musicians. Where in Paris were you living? Stella: Paris is divided into twenty arrondissements; it was in the north of Paris in the 18th. Like Pigalle? Stella: No it was a bit further north. The nearest metro station was the 18th Town hall. What was that scene like? Stella: Foreign people think Paris is very romantic but when you live there all your life it isn't. We were not really into fashion or any movement. We were into Magma's 58 VandalaMagazine.Com - June 2016


Interiview, Stella Vaud r of Magma .

music and it was a tough time for this. Finding a record company and all that. We were not really a part of what was happening in Paris. To me Paris was always a busy city with music everywhere, it's the same today, but the music is getting worse! The music was fantastic in Paris in the 70s, in the 80s I was going out less, except in the jazz clubs where bands we liked were playing. There is less and less music in Paris nowadays, there are more bands than ever, but if you want to play there you have to pay to play, organize it all yourself, guarantee that you will bring a minimum of people. It was easier in the early days. You said the music was getting worse, what makes music good to you? Stella: Trying to be original and powerful. Not trying to do something to be on TV or radio - just doing your own stuff whatever it is. Be truthful to yourself. That's it! You said that Magma was outside of the scene for a long time - do you still feel like outsiders? Stella: We didn't try to please people - we always tried to do what we wanted to do and nowadays it still is not very easy for us. We were never playing to a huge amount of people. Every day we have to work on many things besides the music. For example we have our own record label. That's part of how we survived. In the 80's we decided to do our own record label because no one wanted to sign us. Today it's not super easy. We have to work every day on more than just the music to still be here. Magma is not on the radio or the TV; we didn't care for social networks early on and found out the hard way that we can't. We are trying our best. The idea is to keep on doing the music we want. We have the chance in France to get some grants from organizations that help us to record and tour. Not every county can offer that. You've been in Magma for upwards of forty years, what do you learn after touring for that long? Stella: You don't learn that much! It's always the same thing! We learned that we trusted some people when we were young and didn't make the right calls. We got ripped off on many albums and we still have three albums that are sold by another record company and they don't give us any royalties. We made a few bad calls and now we won T t do that again. That's why we wanted to have our own record company, we know that we are not as powerful as we could be but at least we control it. That's what we learned, that we have to control it. Any young guy who would sign with a record company today would go to a lawyer first. In the 70s everyone was so happy that something was happening and someone wanted to sign you and record we made a few mistakes. That's mainly what we learned. The only difference is that as you get older you need more time to get older and you can't go out and spend time with fans after the gig. It's no longer possible. It's only because we are getting a bit older! What do you love so much about music? Stella: Music was always what I did all my life. I thought from the beginning that it was the only thing that would work for me. It was my main reason for existence. I have done many things outside of music because I couldn't live only off of it. It was always completely natural for me, I've never really thought about that. This has been my life! It's normal every day to think about something related to music. What I can say is that every musician who is dedicated to his music is only concerned about continuing his music and nothing more. I think that it's the same with any artistic thing. www.magmamusic.org www.twitter.com/MagmaOfficiel June 2015 VandalaMagazine.Com 59


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Interview Harley Flanagan represents New York Hardcore to the fullest and he deserves every bit of success he has underneath his belt through out his entire thirty years of creating the best Harderâ&#x20AC;˘e Punk to ever come out of New York City. Harley is the true sound of the Cro-Mags! His brand new solo album will indeed make listeners hearts explode from its very own intensity! Can you briefly describe what the average day in 1980's New York was like? Harley: That's a big one to start off with. Laughs I'd have to take you back with a time machine. Everything was different. When I was a kid there were a lot of abandoned buildings, a lot of crimes, a lot of drugs, and a lot of criminal stuff going on in general. I don't know if you've got a real look at my Facebook page, but I just posted a couple articles and photographs from back then. One of the photographs is by the gentlemen John Conn, which is on the cover of my new record and the story is entitled "When The New York City Subway Was The Most Dangerous Place On Earth". If you read those past stories it's really true, it was a different world! Back in my neighborhood you always had a knife or something in your pocket, because sometimes that might be the difference in you getting home or not. To be honest, (New York City) it's starting to get a little weird again. Random slashings have gone up. As nice as the city has gotten in the last 20-30 years, you still got to remember you're in a big city and a lot of crazy shit will go down. You've been making music for over 30 years, what exactly keeps you motivated to keep on making kick ass music to this day? Harley: I think it's some kind of mental disorder. The fact is I always have cord progressions and time signatures just running through my head. If I don't try to figure them out/don't try to play them, they will drive me crazy! I will stay up all night with them in my head. If that's not some sort of mental disorder, then I don't no what is. (Laughs) What the result is I play instruments /my bass guitar everyday and I try to write riffs/ write and play songs everyday. Every now and then I get lucky enough to get into the recording studio and track with friends of mine and make some music. That's the way it is. It's a part of me. It always has been. I've been doing this my whole life. How does the bass guitar reflect who you are personally? Harley: There is something about the instrument and the way it feels to play it that really appeals to me. It's a little bit more thumping and driving than guitar in certain respects. It's definitely more percussive. As a drummer (I love playing drums too) I have connection to it rhythmically. I play my acoustic guitar everyday. I try to bring that same type of rhythmic drive into what I write on the guitar. I do a lot of other weird stuff on the guitar too. A lot of arpeggiated circular rhythm type of stuff, ya know, odd time signatures. It's art! Just like drawing or martial arts, you gotta embrace it and make it your own. What's the main reason behind titling your solo album "Cro-Mags"? Harley: Well, there were a few reasons, but for the main reason I feel that the name Cro-Mags really has been getting misused and it's been dragged through the mud for a real long time. That's something that I came up with/I was the person who came up with that name. I was the main songwriter and the main lyricist. The band that John McGowan has been performing with the last how many years doesn't have any of the original Cro-Mags songwriters in it. So, they've been basically playing songs that I wrote thirty years ago and masquerading as the Cro-Mags. People have been paying money to see a fraudulent act with a singer that joined the band after all those songs were written. June 2016 - VandalaMagazine.Com 63


Basically, that's kinda my way of reclaiming what was mine. I'm not trying to disrespect anybody by doing it; I just think it's more genuine. I'm still writing songs that still have that same signature style, because I was the songwriter. So, I'm just reclaiming what I feel is mine by using that name. Which past metal and punk albums did you listen to for inspiration behind your solo? Harley: The inspiration is in my blood from all these years! I still listen to the same music I listened to in the early days [Laughs] I honestly avoid listening to anything new hardcore or whatever is new in the metal scene, because I don't want that to accidently seep into my brain and influence with how I write. I don't want my music to turn into fly by night/play of the week bullshit! I want to stay true with what comes out of me and what comes out of me is my experience growing up in New York City! Where was the album primarily recorded at and any behind the scene studio details that you'd like to share? Harley: I did it at HoboRico Studios in Hoboken, New Jersey and Pete Thompson was the co-producer and engineer, Pete also did some guitar leads. I went in with my acoustic guitar, quick tracked and I laid down most of the songs. And then at a different time I went in with a drummer (that I known from jujitsu and has a black belt) and him and I laid down the bass & the drums together over the same tracks. Then I had Sean Kilkenny from Dog Eat Dog lay down some guitar, as well as Gabriel Abularach (who had tracked Alpha Omega with me), Albert Romano, and Pablo Silvia on drums. I basically had friends come in to basically do guitars, because although I did them on acoustic I'm not really a guitarist. I would never try. Once you plug it in and try to track with it, it's a totally different animal. My fingers don't have the dexterity for that type of stuff. Can we get into the details behind the album cover and how it represents your own life/ music? Harley: It represents my music because the picture represents New York in the 80's (which is when I grew up). Which is basically when the sound that I still play really came together and when I really got my signature sound. What I was looking for was something that really represented New York and gave you the feel of the city. I stumbled upon that photograph and I was like "This is it!" It's just funny that the album cover is what it is with the Webster Hall incident being so recent. Pure coincidence. First thoughts that rushed through your mind when you found out the case dealing with the Webster Hall incident was thrown out of court? Harley: [Laughs] I really can't even put it into words, but it was a big relief! There was still a lot from the fall out. It took some time for things to eventually even out and pan out and for me to actually start moving ahead/forward. But things are going really good for me right now! It's going better than they've ever had in my life in a lot of respect. Sometimes you have to have major trauma and devastation in your life to really breakaway from all the negative shit and really rebuild stronger and better. That's what I have now. I'm rebuilding my life with better foundation. I have a lot of better people around me now. When all that shit went down I saw who really mattered/who was really there for me. When I re-built my life I realized who I should keep in it and knew who to discharge. Because of the trials and tribulations I'm in a much better/much stronger place! Was the reason why you kept the album below 25 minuets a way to keep the hardcore classic feel? And be straight to the point? Harley: That's why I wrote all the songs short and to the point. I would have liked the album to be 30 minuets, but I ran over the budget/ran out of funds. I didn't have the 64 VandalaMagazine.Com - June 2016


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ability to track anymore. So, it wound up being what it was and I was like "So what, f*ck it! This is totally old school!" Kinda like the Circle Jerk's first album, which just comes in and kicks you in the balls, punches you in the jaw and walks over you. I should say more like, runs over you! For those who haven't heard the new record, what does the lyrical content primarily focus on? Harley: Basically, I'm the kind of writer that writes about my true-life experiences and what I've witnessed myself. I'm not a fantasy lyricist. A lot of people out there write a lot of bullshit they've never actually gone through. Unfortunately, I was going through some pretty hard times (no pun intended) at that time and that came out in the lyrics. I'm in a much better place in my life right now. So, I can't really say where the lyrics are going to be at on my next record, but I do know the music's gonna be ripping, because i've already (not in the studio) recorded/writtenidemoed like eight or nine new songs. I think they're far above and beyond where I've been before and I can't wait to get back into the studio!

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Is the final product of your solo album everything you wanted and hoped for? How satisfied are you? Harley: I'm pretty satisfied with it, but as any artist probably only 80 percent or so. I would have liked to add a couple more parts in there, but as stated before I ran out of budget. I would have liked to add more additional guitar work too, but you know what, I'm a "don't look back" kind of musician at this point. I always feel like there is more music to record and write a head, rather than pissing and moaning over things not turning out the way you wanted them to. God knows the quality didn't turn out the way I wanted it to. But with that in mind, move onward and forward and try to make a better record next time. That keeps you striving for something better. It sucks, but at the same time it's a good thing! Can you give us a little sneak peak preview of what the first chapter of your book Hardcore Life of My Own will focus on? And do you have plans on turning it into a full on motion picture? Harley: That was never my intention, but it has come up several times. When Anthony Bourdain read my book that was one of the first things he said; "When this movie comes out, whoever plays your mother is going to be nominated for an Oscar". I had never mentioned anything about a movie prior. When he said that I thought; "Maybe this book is something! Maybe it's going to be more than I thought when I first starting writing it?!" When I first started writing, it was just me letting people know about my real life from my own words, because I knew one day when I'm dead and gone (just like every other musician) some other asshole tells your story. I knew they would get it wrong and I knew they were gonna lie! They would misrepresent me and misrepresent the real truth. So I decided I'm going to tell my story for no other reason than just to tell it and let people know the true story. People always told me I should write my life down and I finally did! Laughs The first chapter is about the day at Webster Hall and then from there it goes back June 2016 - VandalaMagazine.Com 65


InL ieriviem, Ike lit of iliariley Planaga, to my childhood. And that's pretty much how the book starts. What do you look forward to most when performing on stage and for those who have never seen you live what can they expect? Harley: The thing I look forward to the most whenever I play is interacting (first and foremost) with the other players. Then secondly, interacting with the audience. But I mean truthfully, there is less interaction with the crowd than what it used to be. At this point in my life I'm really not so interested in the people who are perceiving whatever it is they're perceiving. I'm interested in the interaction with the other players. I don't want to sound so jaded, but ya know, the audience and their expectations, values, and their perceptions of things have changed so much since the old days, that a lot of the shit that goes on at today's shows don't interest me. But playing does! I put out a hundred and ten percent every time that I play a show. I definitely don't disappoint people. tell you that right now! Every time that I play there is a chance that explode and you'll be scraping up my inners off your face! Is there any advice to musicians on how to keep pushing forward and move past the struggle? Harley: Yes. Don't quit your f*cking day job. Laughs But you know what?! say the same thing I say to my kids! Create as many options as you possibly can for yourself. Because you don't really know what will finally work out in the end. www.cro-mags.corn

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Johan Soderberg is one of the premier death metal guitarists in the world. He has a lot of interesting opinions and though he was tired, was willing to open up about his career, goals, and his bands mammoth new album. How is the tour going? Johan: Really good! The tour has been going well. No complaints here! You're in Omaha today... being from Sweden, what is your perception of Omaha? Johan: I have never been here before. It looks like a small town. We had a nice barbecue today, so that was nice! So the new record is a major step forward for Amon Amarth - why did you make this step now of all times? Johan: I don't think it was a conscious decision to do something really different. I think we wrote the way we are used to writing. I think maybe why this album seems more melodic is because we had a new drummer who allowed a lot more space and allowed the melodies to stick out. We weren't necessarily looking for that either. Normally we program the drums initially and have Tobias add his stuff before doing the proper drum tracks. I think our drummer on the record used less kick drum throughout and that helped. Can we expect more of this in the future? Johan: The next album will be completely different. If Joakim stays in the band he will have a totally different way of drumming. We want to have a drummer with a certain sound. What defines Joakim's style? Johan: He's probably the most technical drummer we have ever had. Is that weird to work with? Johan: It's actually amazing! It's never been easier to play the songs live than now! Its super tight and we can hear every fill. Obviously there has been a rise in paganism in recent years, how do you feel about that, do you feel like you benefited from that Johan: I don't really think about paganism so much. I don't really have any spiritual tendencies. We are just a heavy metal bands and we write about Vikings and their way of living, it's nothing I want to practice personally. I am happy as a metal musician. The historic and mythological side of the band is more our vocalist. He's more interested in those things. What's your relationship been like with Viking culture? Johan: I think it's just a cool heritage. It's something to be proud of that we had in our history. It's cool that we can write metal about it, it's a perfect fit for me as a musician to write music for those kinds of stories. How do you construct a song to reflect a story like that? Johan: That's the big difference on this album. In the past we wrote the song without knowing what the lyrics would be. Now we have the story and different parts of the story needed music. I was composing as if it were more of a music story. It's much easier to get into the mood if you know what you need to be getting at before you start writing. 72 VandalaMagazine.Com - June 2016


Did you have to change your approach to music going in? What were the precise changes you made going in with more of a vision? Johan: I knew more how I should think when I started to write a song. It was also harder because you also don't have completely free hands as you do when you start writing without lyrical content. So it's both easier in one way and harder in another? Will you do more of this in the future? Johan: I would like to have more lyrical content before I start writing a song. I don't think I would want a whole concept album again though. Maybe we could do it 50/50 with half the songs figured out already and the rest would come up with the music coming first. I've kind of grown up with Amon Amarth as one of the biggest bands in the world. I've always been struck by your portrayals of masculinity - it's almost Manowar like at times. Do you ever worry that will bite you in the ass or be called outdated? Johan: I don't think so. On this album for example we have a female side to the story as well. Even though its super masculine with big muscular Vikings, our music sounds like that, we need to write lyrics reflecting that. It would be strange to write an Amon Amarth song about flowers and love. I don't think that will ever come back at us because we have the more female aspect. It's not all about war! You and your band have had a mark on heavy metal that is impossible to ignore. What do you think your legacy will be when Amon Amarth is gone? Johan: I hope we get kids growing up to start playing music influenced by us. When I was growing up I had bands like Iron Maiden and Metallica influencing me. Black Sabbath are one of my earliest influences too. For me they started heavy metal. I looked up to those bands. Now that I'm a musician myself I still have some of those influences in my writing style today, hopefully I can do that for kids. I feel like that's already happened... Johan: I can't really hear that in any bands yet! To head towards the end... what do you love so much about music? Johan: Its a big passion. I think about music 24/7, I always have music in my head. I can never turn it off. Sometimes it's annoying but I just guess that's the way you are if you're a musician. You say you have music going in your head all the time... is it other bands or your compositions? Johan: It can be a bit of both! Be sure to grab your tickets to see Amon Amarths spectacular tour, which is a must see show! LIVE PHOTOS ON THE NEXT PAGE www.amona marth.com June 2016 - VandalaMagazine.Com 73


74 VandalaMagazine.Com - June 2016


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AN ACOUSTIC TOUR WITH

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Both musically and philosophically, Napalm Death have, for more than thirty years now, served as both the undisputed fathers of grindcore and perhaps the hardest hitting force imaginable. At the helm of this anti-war war machine sits vocalist Barney Greenway, both a gentleman and a scholar. Before the band came to town on their current tour with The Mel ins and Melt-Banana, we had agreed to conduct the interview at a semi-nearby vegan Chinese restaurant as we wait for the food to arrive. He is the only person I've ever interviewed who, at the end, asked if I had enough material. So,

start in an obvious spot: tell us about this tour.

Barney: It's been fantastic. We knew it was gonna be good anyway, and we're always positive with that stuff, but I think it's probably fair to say it's exceeded our expectations. The amount of people that have been coming out has blown my mind. That also goes for Napalm when it's gone out on its own right. The last three years, we've actually been to the states more than we have in the last twenty years, if you look at it statistically. We just keep getting asked to come out. The balance has kind of tipped; we're more in the states now, and less in Europe. Strange almost. I noticed on your Spotify page, the most played songs - you think they'd be off of Scum or Harmony Corruption - but they're all off the new album [Apex Predator - Easy Meat I â&#x2013; Barney: I mean I don't look at that stuff, but that's interesting to know. Wow. How long is a Napalm Death touring cycle? Barney: So this is the thing: we don't think in those terms. We're not one of these bands that kind of has a production line mentality towards things. We'll go as long as we think it's appropriate, playing on this album, and then the thing that would interject with that is if we feel like making a new album. If you figure that the album's been out since January of last year, technically we could go another couple of years. It all depends how we feel. We'll take advice from record labels, but we won't be pressurized into doing something if we don't think it's the right time. Like I said, Europe - it's not meant on purpose, but has sort of been minimized a little bit for us. So, naturally, once we get back we'll have to start doing that, because we need to be playing everywhere. That's the way our approach has always been. People talk about the "Late Era" of Napalm as being from, urn Barney: Enemies of the Music Business, yeah. -but, to my ears, it seems Apex Predator sort of begins a new one. Do you have a sense of that as a band? Barney. Yeah, kind of. It's all subjective, of course. Everybody's gonna think a different thing. I mean, I think Enemies was a turning point for us, but I also think that Utilitarian and the new one have almost been a sub-era, like a new one. What has been compounded is those fringe elements of Napalm that people talk about as much as the straight-up attack stuff - hardcore meets metal meets punk thing - the other stuff beyond that, like Swans, Throbbing Gristle, My Bloody Valentine, all that stuff is a big thing for Napalm. I just think that those, in the past, those elements have quite some separation from the more traditional elements, but I think now we're mixing. It's a lot more consolidated. To me, that's a good thing. 80 VandalaMagazine.Com - June 2016


Imberiviiew, Barney drieemway of Napalm Eked FIR A lot of lyricists, and I'm guilty of this, are very good at criticizing and satirizing without offering a vision of what to do going forward. Barney: Sure. And this new album, focusing as it does on labor exploitation - do you think the way out of this is to organize workers or form a political party? Barney: Well, the immediate issue is to organize the labor, 'cause that's more pressing. Not only organizing the labor, but if laws are good for anything, if we have an international criminal court - and I think it actually comes into that realm, if you believe in that sort of thing - there has to be proper punishment set in place. Look at the Rana Plaza thing, which was the catalyst for this - the whole subject matter on this album. When you look at it, when you drill down into it, there have been no penalties to speak of. So that's the first thing. The political will comes later. The issue is protecting people's lives in producing consumer goods. I spent three years living in Cambodia and have seen a lot of this, protesters shot by government thugs even. Barney: I get all the stories daily of union leaders being secreted away, or intimidated, or attacked, or this and that. It's happening every day. That has to be addressed. I think it's really important at a wide level. If all these countries sign up to human rights acts, then that's power. That gets conveniently side-lined for some reason. Well, that leads veil into my next question. The motives of a capitalist society and workers being protected are really at odds. Do you think that organizing labor and having this punishment can exist and be done well with society as its aims are? Barney: Well, it would have to be, is my answer to that. Because the system isn't changing anytime soon. I've seen two camps about this. The Roman Empire wasn't infallible; empires crumble. I suspect that it's unsustainable, the way things are going on. In a few generations time, things will need to change. I think the pillars will crumble. Maybe. We may go to a system that involves some kind of bartering, were people bring what they can to the table and nobody's left behind. People might call that naive, and might call it pie-in-the-sky, but, like I said, empires crumble, and I think people - the majority of people - are sick and tired of being put out for the sake of private companies being given carte blanche to do what they want. There are implications and there are possibilities. On the other side of things, recognizing that we are where we are, then we have to work within it. So that's where the organizing comes in. Afterwards, the political - or simultaneously. It doesn't have to be afterwards. As we're hearing these death knells of things as they are, what role do you think people like Jeremy Corbyn and Bernie Sanders play in all this? Barney: If there is authority that we can trust, there are good checks that things are maintained. In other words, dignity, happiness, and equality for all - they are good checks to that. I like Bernie. I'm naturally suspicious of any politician, but the fact that each and every thing that he's said so far, his policy points have kind of struck a chord with me. You know what's really important? Two things, to me: universal healthcare. It's essential. I come from a country that's got it. It's essential at this point, unless you June 2016 - VandalaMagazine.Com 81


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want even more people to slip through the net, it's essential. And, of course, the continuation of a woman's right to choose. That needs to be preserved, and it is under threat. So, yeah. I like Bernie Sanders. Jeremy Corbyn's having more of a difficult time of it, actually, in the U.K., because and even I would say this - he's a little bit flakey sometimes. Bernie Sanders isn't. It's positive. We have Bernie Sanders' people, his volunteers, working on the gigs, with stalls on this tour already. Wait, what? Barney: He had stalls set up and his volunteers were canvassing at our shows. A friend of mine, who was involved in the anti-censorship movement twenty-plus years ago, he's now working on his campaign, in the New York and Florida areas. I've read that you identify as a Darwinist. How do you reconcile that with fighting against this economic Darwinism? Barney: You kind of answered my question there, because they're separate things. As human beings, we have evolved and will continue to evolve to the way things are, but human consciousness can make decisions. Economic Darwinism is a controllable thing by people. Our evolution, there's nothing we can do about it; we'll adapt to our surroundings, but [in economics] we can intervene when things are going wrong, so I think there's a distinct difference between the two things. Moving forward, have you been writing on this tour? Barney: You know what? I've got some ideas, some semblances of ideas, but nothing concrete. Something I would like to do maybe - and this is a big maybe - I wanna talk about the refugee as a concept. What I don't like is that it has become distinctly nasty, people separating out so-called economic migrants from the others, and the bias on that. At the end of the day, people are people. You can't break them down like that, desperate people searching for a better life. I don't see what the problem is with that, because the trouble with human beings is they're quite happy to sit on their own accumulated things, and then deny that to others. That doesn't figure for me. I think that's distinctly inhumane to separate people out like that. www.na palmdeath.org www.facebook.comiofficia Inapalmdeath www.twitter.comiofficiaIND

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Dave Davidson is perhaps the best guitarist in metal today. That's why we were especially stoked when he took the time to sit down with you and talk about his writing process and the direction of Revocation. How the hell are you? Dave: Doing great man! Playing Saint Vitus tonight, looking forward to that! Revocation has been in a quiet place for a few months now... Dave: To some people it's been quiet but to us it's been anything but. Our last show was in Colombia in the fall but then as soon as that show was done we were just writing and getting through the recording process. We started recording in January and finished in February. We had maybe two weeks off before we started doing shows again and now we're back at it. What's the process been like with the new record? How was it an evolution? Dave: With every record we try to evolve but maintain our core sound. With this new record our new drummer Ash had to fly in from Vancouver to practice. He would document his practices with the GoPro though and the way technology is we can send files to each other and Skype to come up with ideas. We definitely made it work I think he did a fantastic job on the new record; it was a little different in that regard. We couldn't just meet up and practice. One thing I found interesting from your perspective with this record is that you're the only person left from the founding days of the band. How has the dynamic shifted with you being the only original member left? Dave: The writing process is basically the same. Dan has been in the band for years

now and he started contributing songs in 2012 or so. Usually how we do it is I will write 8 songs and Dan will write two. We kept that pattern of writing. Not much has changed. The other thing people note about Revocation is how prolific you are. Where do the riffs come from? Dave: I just really am passionate about metal and I love a lot of different genres of metal and I find a lot of inspiration, not only from the metal genre but also separate genres of music. I think having a diverse taste in music helps to inspire me. You never know when inspiration will strike. It's one of those things where I could be at home or on tour but when a riff comes to me I try to document. That seems to be the key, being able to document it on your phone or something before putting it onto your computer. I try to make sure that I have the means to capture stuff when it hits me. What's the attrition rate on riffs? Dave: It depends. With songwriting the more songs you write the better you get at it.

I think I've gotten better at self critiquing. Just because you like a riff doesn't mean it fits with the vibe of a song. Sometimes a riff will initially make it into a song and then be taken out. That doesn't mean that we will never use it again, but if it keeps getting kicked out of songs then that suggests it's not gelling or gibing with a certain set of parameters we are trying to go from. Maybe you can take something from that riff that you liked though. This happened to me recently with a riff that was in a different tempo, I had written it 88 VandalaMagazine.Com - June 2016


linteriview. Dame Damiclsom of Remo@atiom a while ago but I wasn't quite as in love with it anymore. But by playing with the tempo and altering the feel I ended up really liking the riff again. I managed to update it into something that would suit my taste now. Just because you're not feeling something doesn't mean you have to totally scrap it. I try to explore riffs so that I can see how I can make them fit. If you're stocking away riffs like that for so long, how do you label them? Dave: I used to label them at random. I would just name them after the bands it reminded me of. I have a better system for it now where I organize ideas by tempo. A couple times now you have mentioned the Revocation aesthetic. What defines that for you? Dave: I think we are a death thrash band, that's a core element of our sound. There are other elements in there as well. There is a progressive and technical side. We even take influences from black metal atmospherics or even riffs from a band like Alice of Chains who were an influence on us growing up. Death metal and thrash metal is the basis of our sound but we try to be creative in the context of that genre. You as a player have a very interesting sense of timing, especially in terms of how you end your riffs, where does this distinct timing come from? Dave: I think it comes from an open mindedness and a diverse taste in music. I studied jazz in high school and went to Berklee and studied with a lot of great musicians there. Jazz timing always intrigued me and is something I still work on. It's a very different way of feeling the beat. By listening to a lot of jazz guitar players I can hopefully pick up on some of their vibe. Rock and metal tends to have some more straight eighth notes. Our producer actually was mentioning to me how the songs have a triplet feel, it's definitely swung. Listening to jazz and learning transcriptions and working out different jazz guitar parts like Pat Metheny and Kurt Rosenwinkle, there's so many great players, Wes Montgomery's 4 And 6 was one of the first I ever transcribed. That really changed my sense of timing. When I was in high school, Empire Of Existence came out and that changed everything for me. One thing I noticed with jazz and death metal is that after a point you can ONLY write jazzy death metal... Dave: Well if you're passionate about something and love it then that inspiration will creep in. Death metal and jazz are both very anti status quo genres. They are meant to push the limits. That's what drew me to both those genres. It was the same thing with classical music. There were constantly new sounds and it requires such a passion for the music. If you share that passion it comes through in the writing process. What do you love so much about music? Dave: Just the myriad of emotions it can conjure up for me. It can be nostalgic but it can shock me. It can make me feel deep emotions that not many other things in this world can make me feel. Great music is an expression of the ineffable. It connects with you in some way and it's too difficult to put into words in some cases and that's what I love about music. Revocation Online www.revocationband.com www.facebook.com/Revocation www.twitter.comirevocation www.youtube.com/OfficialRevocation June 2016 - VandalaMagazine.Com 89


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Ineriviiew. ac Sabbath Mac Sabbath has the potential to be a truly iconic band. Their unique look and distinct sound has been capturing the imagination of fans across the globe. This is the rare band that are able to take what appears to be a one note joke and turn it into something truly great. As I spoke with the bands manager Mike Odd I slowly realized, this band is actually going to take over the world. How are you? Mike: I'm well! I'm ready for another Groundhog Day! Another Groundhog Day? Mike: Well it tends to be familiar things happening every day you know? What is life like on the road with Mac Sabbath? Mike. Complicated! For the most part it's pleasant but Ronald is very complicated. He's very unpredictable and very left field. He's all obsessed with these Orwellian doom and gloom concept and he's under the impression that the time traveled here from the 1970s to save us all from the current state of sustenance and wants to bring us back to the last time when music and food was genuine. I get to hear a lot of that and there is no understanding of technology. There are a lot of fights when it comes to anything technological. If I put you in a room with him you would end up with a pie in our face for saying the wrong thing. The rants go on and on about the 70s coming before 1984 and how 1984 has come and gone without us realizing it. Weird conspiracy theory stuff. It just gets really confusing from there. That's what I deal with on a day to day. What about the other guys? Mike: They are much easier to deal with. They are cuddly in comparison. We've seen a lot of bands like Mac Sabbath rise up in recent years, be it Ghost, Babymetal and weird things like that seem targeted towards viral marketing. Was that a goal setting out for you guys? Mike: I don't think so at all. That happened. But I don't think there was any intention of that whatsoever. We are all very surprised about what happened. I haven't heard that take on it before! I think it's more about fun and if fun translates to viral then hey, that's great! One of the things that appealed to me early on about Mac Sabbath that you are about fun, and not a lot of bands are fun these days. Why is it that way? Mike: Life in general is not fun! The thing that's interesting about it is that not only is it really fun and funny if you break it down and look at the lyrics you see that it is very serious and has a poignant message. I don't think you usually get a combination of the two. One of the things that captured my attention is that you have no recorded material out, but you have been around the country a handful of times now. What's that like? Mike: Well that's what it is. ItTs a live act It's not like a band. It's a lot more than that. I don't like to use the words multimedia experience but it's theatrics, it's visuals/ it's comedy, it's so many things that I don't think would wrap us up neatly on an album. That doesn't mean that won't happen I just haven't really been able to get it done. There is pressure for that to happen since things are going so well. I am trying to figure that out, but trying to do an album in 2016 with somebody whose only reference points go up until 1979... that makes it difficult. Things get lost in translation. I'm on the phone trying to find people who will put out eight track tapes and we can't find the players 94 VandalaMagazine.Com - June 2016


anywhere. It gets a little silly. I don't know how it's going to go, but so far it's been great without it! You said just now that you want Mac Sabbath to be a multimedia experience, what do you envision it growing into? Mike: Well it already is! I'm not sure where it's going to grow. I haven't planned or foreseen anything that happened. It's all been a surprise to me; I think it just kind of is. It belongs to the people and it's going to be what they make of it. One thing I will say is that Black Sabbath is in the middle of a tour called The End and for this band its just the beginning. So you are rising from the ashes in the name of hatred of fast food? Mike: I guess so! Something I'm genuinely curious about... when you found Ronald Osborne, what where his first words to you? Mike: It was such a blur, a weird mix of bravado and concepts that were spewing out of this thing. The first thing that came out of his mouth, I believe it was him calling me Mr. Odd. He knew my name somehow. He said "Welcome to your destiny" that was one of the first things he said! I was just looking for the hidden camera! If this is your destiny, at what point did you go, "Oh f*ck, this is actually happening?" Mike: When Black Sabbath posted the video put up. I was so surprised. I was beside myself. It was New Years Day. It was like "Wow, this is the year of Mac Sabbath I guess!" I was blown away; it went out to 29 million of the right people. I was just so amazed and I realized it would change my life. That video has almost a million hits and when that happened the calls started coming in and it was like "Oh yeah come to England and play with KISS and Motley Crue and Judas Priest!" But you still haven't been on a festival with Black Sabbath? Mike: I think it would be a bit redundant. But if Ozzy was doing solo we might do it. Now that you've been able to do the impossible with Mac Sabbath, what are you going to do next? Mike: I'm not sure! I'm not trying to do anything; I'm just riding the fried fish sandwich wave! I don't know what's next; I'm just letting it play out however it's ditched out. Has this been negatively impacting your work with Rosemary's Billygoat? Mike: It's a double edged sword! I have a lot less time to do stuff with that band. We have an album in the can that's been delayed because of all this, but it's also getting us a lot more press. So well see! Time will tell. We have a show coming up in April. Still at it! What do you love so much about music? Mike: It fuels me and drives me. To me its a regular human need, like eating and breathing. I don't really think about it. I've never broken it down. Live music has always been so important to me. I've always been moved more by live bands who do more than just music and put on a show and that always really moved me. What is it? That's the mystery. Any final words of wisdom? Mike: Stay in school! Avoid the drive thru! That's all I got! www.officialmacsabbath.com June 2016 - VandalaMagazine.Com 95


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Inter-N/dew. ouriimgf Milto

Julz Ramos is a fascinating individual, a guy who has dedicated his entire life his thrash metal band and is going for it with everything he's got. Ratchet is a band who has the potential to set the world on fire - are you ready for the ride? How the hell are you? Julz: I'm doing good man, how about yourself? I'm wonderful! There's a lot of things I want to attack with you guys. We were talking earlier about how stressful it is to set up a show at BB Kings... what's your favorite New York metal memory? Julz: It was 2013 when we played with Soilwork at the Gramercy Theater. We were lucky enough to be on the bus with Soilwork so we didn't have to worry about parking or loading. We kind of lucked out being on the same bill. The Gramercy Theater is a really cool place. I know it's in Manhattan, but despite that it was one of the easier places we've loaded into to play. A lot of people don't think of that as a problem, but trust me it is. Everyplace has its own set of rules and its own thing. In New York it's pretty stressful. What does it feel like to play in a venue this legendary? Julz: Well BB King man! You can't get much more metal than that! When it comes down to rock and roll going back to the blues, he was as big as they get. It's great. We love playing here. Just everything about it is great, its a legendary place, and what can I say? What got me in your set are the bitchin' guitar solos, what's your musical background? I learned everything by ear and always gone by what sounds good to me. My influences over the years have definitely helped to shape where jive gotten. We're not a shred type band, but even if we do a technical solo we try to have bends and runs so that it accentuates the music. What goes into crafting a Hatchet guitar solo? It's a song within a song. The way I look at writing songs is they have to be catchy and somewhat technical; its not just party thrash. There's a place for everything but for a Hatchet solo it has to be memorable and go up or down. It can't go straight out in full retard mode. We like to kind of give ups and downs and give it a general direction. Like I said, it's almost a song within a song. We want it to go to some notable places. You mentioned party thrash and I feel like you've been tied into that scene... How do you feel about that? Julz: It has its place and some of those bands are doing great, and that's awesome, but it's not really for us. I personally like to think of Hatchet as a bit more of a mathy thrash band. Some of our biggest influences writing wise are Testament, Xentrix and stuff like that that's a little deeper in the genre, a little more involved. It's not just straight up power chords and pentatonics. We definitely try and bring a different character to the sound if that makes sense. We definitely like to get to the next level. Everybody currently in the band has different influences and that helps shape the band. What draws you to those kinds of bands? Julz: When I started doing Hatchet me and the drummer at the time we were playing n a melodic death metal band with a friend of ours who led us for about a year. Me and the drummer wanted to branch out and really play some shows. We were really influenced by melodeath though with melodic passages and catchy riffs. After playing that kind of 100 VandalaMagazine.Com - June 2016


Iinteriview? Jul q Ra [mos Qf Hatchet stuff it clicked that we should be playing more intelligent thrash. I like all of it, Slayer, Metallica, all that stuff, but I'm a very melody driven guy and I love the Iron Maiden harmonies. I love the simpler but heavier riffs. Bands like Slayer pick at a million miles an hour and you can't pick it out. I'd rather do it slower and have the drums set the speed of the song. There's a catchier side of thrash that I think so few bands explore and I like that. One thing that got me that didn't hit me until I saw you live... You have a very distinct sonic aesthetic... I can't help but admire that. Where will that sound go? Julz: I'm really excited because I don't know where it's going to go. I've been the sole writer for all three albums. Being a touring band living in a van when we're not playing venues or driving we're parked at Wal-Mart's and look like the scum of the earth. It's hard to make people want to do that. When I get those people in the band it's very refreshing. We just make it happen. We haven't explored writing with the new people yet, since it's been me for so long, but I'm looking forward to what the other guys bring to the band. I'm looking forward to seeing what the next writing process will be like. Some of our newer guys are very death metal driven, they know we are a thrash band but I think everyone has come full circle and the next album is going to be a great next step for us. That's exciting to hear just because there is so much that COULD be Hatchet.. .. Julz: That's what I think too. I feel like we have hit a ceiling. I have been writing the material for so long and been doing everything else too, like being the tour manager and getting the art together. It would be really nice to get something together with people who can stick with me. I think with our new members we can do something really exciting. Our drummer is the youngest member of the band right now and he is very Bung ho about wanting to tour. That's always great. He's very open to receiving input and keeping in the vein of material that Hatchet wants to do. We want to mold it in a certain way. Not that "This is what it has to be" but every band has their certain sound, and he is very good about understanding that. He's doing great in terms of performance style. Given how much you tour how do you maintain that real life/tour balance? Julz - It's very difficult. Hatchet unfortunately has had many lineups and a lot of that has had to do with the fact that touring is not a glamorous thing. A lot of people think that this is going to be a glamorous thing, and I try to explain this up front about how we are often going out of pocket and it doesn't always work out. It really separates the men from the boys. I've been wrong before but I think the lineup that we have will stay together. Our new guitarist Clayton has been in another band who have been touring a lot but on a smaller scale. Still - he has a good understanding of what it takes. So does our bass player - he knows what it is. So when it comes to a stressful show they can deal with it. That means a lot to people who have been in that situation. It keeps people in a positive direction, even when we do all this work to play to thirty people. What do you love so much about music? Julz: That this is what it involves! Touring, playing, and booking agents... It's a huge part of my life. It's a huge part of who I am and I never set out for it to be that way but that is what it's become. There's a whole energy and work ethic behind it and it's what makes me who I am. www.facebook.comi hatchetofficial www.theendrecords.comi hatchet www.youtube.comihatchetthrash June 2016 - VandalaMagazine.Com 101


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Profile for Vandala Magazine

June 2016 Vandala Magazine  

Interview, shows, reviews and more interviews! What a busy month. We caught up with Johan Soderberg of Amon Amarth, along with Napalm Death...

June 2016 Vandala Magazine  

Interview, shows, reviews and more interviews! What a busy month. We caught up with Johan Soderberg of Amon Amarth, along with Napalm Death...

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