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- Contents

March 2016 Vandala 8 REVIEWS & EDITORIAL Alexisonfire `Live At Coppsr (Hardcore/Rock/Indie) From Ashes To New Day One' (Rap-Rock/Alternative Metal) Diiv - Is The Is Are (Rock) Bloc Party - Hymns (Indie Rock) Bats Out! - 'Flying Blind' (Punk) Chairlift - 'Moth' (Nu Wave/Pop) Hands Like Houses - 'Dissonants' (Rock) Savages - 'Adore Life' (Alternative/Rock) In Rapture 'Oceans To Arsenicr (Prop. Metal/Experimental)

20 LIVE MUSIC & PHOTOS Josh Ritter and The Royal City Band Bring Indie American Folk Energy to Hollywood Trivium at the Starlite Room, Edmonton, AB Blood Sweat and Tears Play the Hits at Chumash Casino Resort Santa Ynez Exmortus Photo Highlights Fleetwood Mac Fest at the Fonda Theater Cauldron and Enforcer Photo Highlights

52 COVER STORY MIMII■■■••nl P • i ntir13

'We Don't Try To Be Loud, We ARE Loud' An Interview With Paul Bostaph of Slayer Slayer are the one and only The princes of artiness, the lords of thrash and the band who will quite literally play the soundtrack to the apocalypse. We got to sit down with their drummer Paul Bostaph and find out more about the explosive force behind the bands trademark rhythms.

34 INTERVIEWS

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34 The Spirit of Rock and Roll with Bobaflex 42 Is It A Dream? An Interview with Toothgrinder's Wills Weiler 60 'I Just Want to be Proud in What I Got to Take Part in Making' John Kevill of Warbringer 70 "Do What You Like" An Interview with Parker Jameson of Starkill 78 'There's Not Enough People Smiling In The World' Interview with Exmortus 84 The Way Of Nature With Tengger Cavalry


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Alexisonfire - 'Live At Copps' (Hardcore/Rockfindie) By Dustin Griffin - 4.5/5 Dragons So in 2001, Alexisonfire formed in southern Ontario. In ten years and change, they were no more. Two important members had left the band, including Dallas Green, who had found fame and fortune in his side project City and Colour. In 2012, following a farewell tour, the band played their last show at Copps Coliseum in Hamilton, Ontario. The sold out gig covered their whole career and was, at the time, the last anyone thought they would hear from the band. Of course, we now know that the band has occasionally reunited for special gigs and whatnot, but that's ok. No band stays broken up these days. "Live At Copps" is the recorded document of that farewell gig and is now available for all to hear. I have to say that the timing here is a little strange. Why not release the show following their departure, rather than almost four years later, after they've reunited? I'm not complaining though. It's nice to have it. Better late than never and all that. The record stretches over a whopping 24 songs and a full two hours in length. I wasn't at the show in Hamilton and don't have a setlist from the show, but it looks as though this was it, beginning to end. Which is great for fans. As far as the sound quality goes, it's very impressive. Live recordings like these can be hit or miss affairs, depending on who was behind the sound console when the show was recorded, but this one is clear and sharp and consistent. As far as the performance is concerned, for fans, it's amazing. I must admit I was never the biggest Alexisonfire fan when they were in full swing. I'm not into screamo and was one of the those people who felt the band would've been way better without George Pettit screaming his lungs out in it. But there are even more people who think that heaviness Pettit brought to the songs was the perfect counterpoint to the prettiness Green brought. And those are the people this record is for and those are the people who are going to be thoroughly impressed with the performance here. It's always nice when you can hear the audience interaction on a live album and there aren't many songs that go by on "Live At Copps" where you can't hear the entire coliseum singing their very hearts out. It's pretty moving even for casual fans like myself. Alexisonfire were a great band and brought a lot of energy and an impressive platter of albums to the Canadian music scene when they were in their original run. Even if I wasn't on the bandwagon myself, I can see why they did as well as they did and this album is a great document of just about the most important show this band ever played. For fans of this band or of Canadian rock music in general, "Live At Copps" is a must hear album. www.theonlybandever.com www.facebook.com/A0Fofficial 08 VandalaMagazine.Com - March 2016


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laum Reiviiew From Ashes To New - 'Day One' (Rap-Rock/Alternative Metal) By Chad Thomas Carsten - 5/5 Dragons The comeback of the 1990's Nu-Metal era has been boiling over the modern rock stove the past five years, as if a giant pot filled with nothing but past urban teenage angst finally decided to spew out from underneath today's bullshit rock radio. That's all because of the spark that slowly ignited beneath today's pot of modern rock radio and turned into a giant flame of pissed off young adults that are currently sick of the radio being soft. These were the kids who grew up listening to Coal Chamber, P.O.D., and Slipknot. And they're finally getting their own chance to shine within the music industry. Meaning, it's safe to say Nu-Metal has officially returned for the better, but with a little more unique flavor thanks to the help of new music technology that's so easily accessible today. From Ashes To New's debut album "Day One" finds the band fully embracing Hip-Hop and infusing it with slick metallic hardcore breakdowns, a mix of clean and harsh vocals, catchy arena rock hooks, solid guitar solos, and electronic elements that will remind some of what DJ Lethal brought to the table with Limp Bizkit's 1999 release "Significant Other". The electronic elements are there to create a distinctive atmospheric tone that meshes perfectly with the hard rocking riffs. The lyrics are built upon teen angst, but it doesn't sound forced and surprisingly works really well for the band. Chris Muser's vocals are powerful! His singing is infectious and is guaranteed to be stuck inside listener's heads long after Day One is finished playing on their IPod. Matt Brandyberry's raps are effective and his Hip-Hop skills really shine on the track "Shadow" Matt's raps are like a combination of Lil Wyte and Deuce of Hollywood Undead and that's a major positive. His rhyming schemes and wordplay are both absolutely impressive. Fans will be busting out their notepads and writing their very own lyrics after becoming inspired by Mr. Brandyberry's originality. Overall, fans of Three Days Grace, Linkin Park, Dangerkids, and even Enter Shikari, will be beyond hooked with this debut. It's a strong effort and will become a force to reckon with inside the mush pit. Major highlights include, "Lost and Alone", "Shadow", "Breaking Now", and "Face the Day". www.fromashestonew.com www.facebook.corn/FromAshesToNew

YOUR THE ULTIMKTE ftitiSiCfvui,,WING GUIDE BAND click for more info IS A VIRUS FOR sERicua INDEPENDENT MUSICIANS AIM DAMS iii: 10 VandalaMagazine.Com - March 2016


Diiv - Is The Is Are (Rock) By Michael Smith- 5/5 Dragons

This album is an excellent throwback to the shoegaze sound of the mid-90's, and will make you heart, mind, and body sway into the night of every listen. The feedback and whirling guitar sounds are coming from an aggressive mind state, and take you on a relaxed venture into the unknown. Zachary Smith's voices pairs with the hazy sound creating an atmosphere you can almost feel the light wind gusts that softly caresses your face making the small hairs on your ears stand. This is the kind of album you put in your car at midnight, no plans, no destination, just you, and the road, maybe you bring a loved one, and drive until sunrise. Smith's wall of sound is the perfect soundtrack for the burdened mind looking to escape into a world of no worries. A place you can relax, not feel the weight of life bearing down on you and just float in a grey paradise. The universe is filled with impatience, and often you need to slow down, take a deep breath, look forward and see that everything is not always as bad as it may seem, Is The Is Are, creates that world for the listeners. www.diiv.net www.facebook.com/diivnyc

Bloc Party - Hymns (Indie Rock) By Michael Smith - 4/5 Dragons This is a very different release from Bloc Party, YM NS BLOC PARTY still very British, and has the feeling of a dark London street with the yellow of the street lamps reflecting off the puddles on a black street ("Different Drug"), but more prevalent are the rays of sunshine bursting through the grey clouds of the morning. Kele Okereke sets the tone for the album early ask everyone (including himself) to "let the love consume us" on the single "The Love Within", which is a catchy and as any single from the band's past catalog, but delivered with a smile, that was not always as prevailing on previous tracks. Past fans may be detracted upon early listens, as Hymns do not have the rock heavy tracks their debut Silent Alarm, or 2012's Four had, but what it does have is a deeper, and more mature songwriting style of a man who is growing, changing, and is not the same musician or person he was nine years ago. Maybe, you can't air guitar to a track like "My True Name", but you can enjoy a great album from a band still creating great music. www.blocparty.com www.facebook.com/ blocpartyofficia I March 2016 - VandalaMagazine.Com 11


laum Reiviiew Bats Out! - 'Flying Blind' (Punk) By Dustin Griffin - 4/5 Dragons Bats Out! is an Oil band or street punk if you like) from Regina, Saskatchewan, who bring more than their share of scenster experience and a long history of roots within the genre to their music. Despite only having been together since 2013, this band sounds as if they've been grinding it out in studios and on the road for the better of a decade already. And their debut EP, "Flying Blind" out now on Pirates Press Records, shows that. Mixing classic 80's era hardcore, shout along UK OI! and the political rave em ups of bands like M.D.C., or even the more recent street punk kings out of Vancouver, Bishops Green, Bats Out! looks set to set the prairies on fire with some much needed punk rock fury. "Flying Blind" kicks off with the song 'Your World' and harkens back to the glory days of Minor Threat, with a forceful, impassioned vocal delivery and a heavy rhythm that gives way to a jumpy chorus of "I don't wanna live in your world", the song is a rallying cry for the antisocial and the outcast. The second track 'Flying Blind' is some catchy, bouncy Oit in the vein of Calgary's Knucklehead or even some of Rancid's better tracks. It's fast, it's exciting, it's well executed and it should make for some fantastic slam pits at shows. ‘F"k Your Politics' is, as you can guess from the title, the most overtly political track on the EP, as well as the most confrontational. It whips by in just over a minute and rather than taking a stance on any one side of the political spectrum, instead takes a stance against politics in general, disowning them altogether as something which are, at the end of the day, pointless and dumb. I can't say I disagree. Finally 'Rebel Rock Revolution' is a love letter to not only underground punk rock and the scenes it has inspired and the lifeblood which pumps through it, but the bands that have championed it and the sound it creates. The band the track most immediately brings to mind is Roger Miret and the Disasters, the Oi! side project of Roger Miret, of legendary hardcore titans Agnostic Front. A great way to end the album. I'm really impressed with "Flying Blind". Considering the band has only been together a couple of years, and considering they are from an area of Canada not known for its burgeoning street punk scene, this points to some exciting things for this band in the future. Keep your eyes peeled. www.batsoutoi.con

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Chairlift - 'Moth' (Nu Wave/Pop) By Michael Smith- 4/5 Dragons Rising from the ever growing indie-electro pop sounds of New York is this latest release from Chiarlift. Just referencing New York in a genre explanation for this band and album. Even down to the album artwork Moth gushes everything that is the current sound and feel of the city's always evolving scene, the group may be from Colorado originally, but this release further cements them as New Yorkers. The album stands out from many you'll hear, unlike many who create a beat associated with hip-hop, the duo goes more 11111i‘ directly to the source and combine their synth soundscape with a lounge jazz and 80's-90's R&B beat, with Caroline Polachek's voice serenading you in the way the likes of a Sade does. Some listeners could make the comparison to peers such as Grimes and her latest release, however where that album extremely bright and full of color, this one is much more laid back. The color is there, it's a red velvet in a low lit basement jazz club as the smoke of a cigarette wafts through, with a few dance tracks thrown in("Moth To Flame") to keep things interesting, and exciting. www.chairlifted.com www.facebook.com/chairlift

Hands like Houses - iDissonantsi (Rock) By Crystal Lee - 4.8/5 Dragons We first heard 'I Am" back in March of 2015 and then 'New Romantics' which was released October 2015 though after the long wait 'Dissonants' finally hits stores at the end of February. Why the long wait? As Trent Woodley put it "It's better to get it right than to get it done." And they got it right. Australian Rock quintet Hands Like Houses may have similarities to other bands but you can't quite put your finger on who. Which this is great as that makes them have their own sound and especially with Woodley's vocals. Most would expect that Am and 'New Romantics' would be the best 2 songs off the album but they're not. The album is well thought out and flows very well and I found myself listening to tracks 1 thru 12 without wanting to speed through with many favourite songs along the way. One of the highlights of this album is that each song has its own story part of the whole picture. Another sign that the band taking that extra time gave quality to 14 VandalaMagazine.Com - March 2016


Album Remiew 'Dissonantst. In songs like 'I AmT you have a chorus that blasts, "Bloodline' is a little lighter it has expressive, passionate and very powerful lyrics, which blew me away. Personally that song was on my favorites as the lyrics were so well thought out and meaningful. Another song that I fell in love with was 'Colourblind' that is just a smooth transitioning song to listen to over and over with singing along. Another favorite was 'Degrees of Separation' which mixed some great features of the other songs into this one. If you want deep bass lines (personally I also became a fan of bass player Joel Tyrrell in this album), great guitar riffs, creative drop work and spectacular vocals, harmonies along with expressive, and passionate lyrics this is the album for you. This album was worth the wait! www.handslikehousesanet www.facebook.com/handslikehouses

Savages - 'Adore Lifer (Alternative/ Rock) By Michael Smith - 5/5 Dragons This album is a brutal and aggressive rock album with immense power and excitement. Jehnny Beth's voice is an audial treat for the ears; volatile, soft, playful, and many other emotion pours out on every track. Beth's vocal work is not the lone star of this album or band, the three other members of the band are some of the best at crafting sound and mood in the world of music today. Adore Life could be a bit of a coming out party for guitarist Lemma Thompson, whose talents are put on a much more obvious display on this record. The two tracks to show this off for fans would be the opening track "The Answer" and the dark and very crunchy track "Slowing Down The World". Thompson may be on display much more here, but fans of this band know the true musical backbone of this band comes the drum play of Fay Milton, and bassist Arse Hassan. Nearly every track is lead by Hassan's bassline, and whether, it's listening to a record, or seeing them live is near impossible to take your ear, and view of her. Having your rhythm section be the main source is a skill few could ever master to the heights of Milton and Hassen, and you can hear their bond flawlessly on the unconventional track "I Need Something New", if asked to create a super group, when it came to the selection of a bassist Hassen's would be the first, and only name, as well as the only name selected without a shadow of doubt. .4.1)0RF. 1.1FF.

One of the most intriguing factors about this band, is the embracement of music's darker side, and not cosmetic aspect, just the mental mindset, and sound of course. There is clear punk influence throughout this entire release (check out the single T.I.W.Y.G.), but it's short sighted only to attach a punk superlative to this band, this album (more so than 2013's Silence Yourself) has an LA Goth sound very similar to that of Christian Death, but minus the pageantry of the bands of that world. www.savagesband.corn www.facebook.comisavagestheband March 2016 - VandalaMagazine.Com 15


allauffro In Rapture - 'Oceans To Arsenic' (Prog. Metal/Experimental) By Chad Thomas Carsten- 4/5 Dragons Deep within the core of the Rimrocks located in Billings, Montana, rises the six-piece instrumental titan known as, In Rapture. A young fresh new breed of hard working dedicated metal musicians, who've nearly mastered the art of progressive shredding. Recorded at Robert Lang's infamous studio (bands that have recorded there include, Nirvana, Mastodon and even Queensryche.) in Seattle, Washington, "Oceans To Arsenic" is an epic forty-six minute local hometown proud masterpiece that is capable of capturing the hearts of progressive metal fans worldwide. With breathtaking soaring guitar solos, haunting keyboard melodies, beautifully laid out ambient soundscapes, and being able to combine slow ballads with neck-snapping mush induced breakdowns, that will leave your bones crushed (yet feeling more alive than ever), "Oceans To Arsenic" is bound to instantly create diehard loyal fans out of first time listeners. It will take new listeners on what appears to be a timeless atmospheric metallic journey inside their headphones for hours upon hours, because time gets lost when listening to this type of record. Its made to be a journey to lose track of time to, while grinning ear to ear upon replaying the album over and over. The journey that awaits inside Oceans To Arsensic is so musically tasty, some parts you can literally feel your blood pressure drop, because the album becomes so peaceful and laid back in some spots. And then when your body is all relaxed and calm , it unexpectedly jumps into full blown fight or flight mood from the addreadline that starts to coarse through your veins when the manic breakdowns hit. The opening of the keyboards for the track "Destinova" will have listeners music souls trying to flee to the Renaissance Ages, because of it's brilliant eeriness that harkens back to the glory days of dark classical music, while the guitar solos inside "Kill The King" could even make Yngwie Malmsteen proud! In Rapture are destined for greatness in the near future, as they've already conquered the thriving music scene in Billings and will continue to grow across the states. For fans of Animals As Leaders, Between The Buried And Me, and Dream Theater. www.facebook.com/inrapturemusic

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Josh Ritter and The Royal City Band Bring Indie American Folk Energy to Hollywood Article and Photos by L. Paul Mann A large crowd gathered at the historic La Fonda theater in the heart of Hollywood, on a cold, wet and sleepy Tuesday night, January 19th, to hear American music crooner, Josh Ritter. The smiley fresh faced singer, who at age 39, has been recording his own songs for nearly twenty years is perhaps more well known on the East Coast Indie circuit. But the Idaho native may be reaching a wider audience on the strength of his new, more rock oriented album, "Sermon on The Rocks". The evening began with the Indie Americana quintet, Elephant Revival, playing a brilliant opening set. The Nederland, Colorado band occupies a musical genre somewhere between the sounds of Mumford and Sons and Arcade Fire, but with their own endearing musical stamp. Their music sometimes described as "transcendental folk," incorporates all sorts of elements of American music blended with Scottish Celtic traditional fiddle tunes. Fans who have been following the band from the beginning may have been a little wary since original Banjo wary since original Banjo player and vocalist Sage Cook left the group. But the bands new member Charlie Rose, seems to have made the transition flawlessly. The multi instrumentalist added his own rich vocals to the mix Tuesday night, and the band had the crowd in a dancing mood form the opening song. The band played a wide range of material and along with bands like "The Oh Hellos," could be part of the next wave of American folk headliners. Josh Ritter took the stage next, shortly after 930 and delivered a powerful near two hour set of rock drenched Americana music. The show opened with several solo songs by Ritter showcasing his unique vocals, putting him the rarified air of modern American folk troubadours like Bob Dylan, Lou Reed or Tom Waits. By accident or default, Ritter also had a strong influence on his music, from Celtic 20 VandalaMagazine.Com - March 2016


Lime Cromerage? roots, much like Elephant Revival. But his influence came directly from a trip inspired by Glen Hansard and his band The Frames, when they invited him to return with them to Ireland, after hearing him play early in his career. The resulting rich blend of a myriad folk styles has made his music his own. No doubt Ritter enjoys his role as the Indie troubadour, smiling from ear to ear for the duration of his set. After the short solo set, Ritter was joined by his masterful band of rockers, The Royal City Band. The group features, Zack Hickman on Bass, guitar, tuba and various stringed instruments, Sam Kassirer on Piano, keyboards, organ and accordion, Austin Nevins on Guitar, lap steel and baritone and Liam Hurley on Drums and percussion. The band particularly shined on the new more rock oriented material from their latest album, Sermon on The Rocks. But the quintet led by the ever smiling Ritter, easily moved between the rocking new songs from Sermon and older finger-picking folksy tunes like "Certain Light" and "Change of Time." Ritter seemed quite comfortable swapping back and forth between his acoustic Gibson and an array of electric guitars. Moving seamlessly through an array of genres the band rocked an appreciative crowd late into the night. Ritter ended with an encore of his trademark song "Kathleen," the hit from one of his earliest records, "Hello Starling," that first helped launch Ritter on the Indie music scene. It was a good night for Americana music in the heart of Hollywood. www.joshritter.com www.facebook.com/joshrittermusic

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Blood Sweat and Tears Play the Hits at Chumash Casino Resort Santa Ynez Article and Photos by L. Paul Mann Blood Sweat and Tears brought their jazz drenched classic rock to the Chumash Casino Resort in Santa Ynez last Thursday night. The band, along with their English counterparts Traffic were most well known for their innovative fusing of rock, blues, pop music, horn arrangements and jazz improvisation into a hybrid that came to be known as "jazz-rock," beginning in the late 1960s. Former American Idol rocker Bo Bice acts as the current lead singer of the band. Guitarist Dave Gellis has been with the band the longest, some 31 years. But even he joined the group over a decade after the band had their phenomenal run of hits. In fact Blood Sweat and Tears has had one of the largest and most diverse group of members in rock music history. The original band formed in New York in 1968, featured the legendary Al Kooper and many of the musicians that would go on to form Frank Zappa's Mothers of Invention. But it was when Canadian David Clayton Thomas took over the lead vocal roll in the early 70'sf that the band had their greatest success, rolling out a string of hit songs. In addition to Bice and Gellis, the current band features, Glenn McClellan on keyboards (Ween), Buster Hemphill on bass, Mike Cottone and Trevor Neumann on trumpet, Mike Boscarino on trombone, David Mann on saxophone, and Dylan Elise on drums. Bice and the band kicked off the night in top form, launching into "Lucretia Mac Evil" and getting the nearly full house into the dance party mode almost immediately. Though they may not be well known, Bice's bandmates showed their collective skills throughout the evening, including when Bice took a break backstage and left them to deliver a riveting rendition of "Serendipity," which brought the crowd to their feet in a dance frenzy. Bice returned to the stage and blasted through some of the band's best-known hits, including the Carole King classic, "Hi-De-Ho," "Spinning Wheel" and the 1969 hit, "You've Made Me So Very Happy." Together with the usual top notch production touches at the Samala showroom, including perfect sound, lighting and live big screen video feed, the show was a big hit with an amorous audience. The show was a real tribute to some of the most interesting music to come out of the jazz rock genre. 24 VandalaMagazine.Com - March 2016


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Fleetwood Mac Fest at the Fonda Theater Article and Photos by L. Paul Mann The latest installment in the Best Fest came to the Fonda theater in the heart of Hollywood for two sold out performances on February 9th and 10th. The Best fest, which began in New York, is a star studded charity event bringing well known film and music personalities together to perform benefit concerts for Sweet Relief. According to the organizations website; "Sweet Relief Musicians Fund provides financial assistance to all types of career musicians who are struggling to make ends meet while facing illness, disability, or age-related problems. In other words, Healing Musicians in Need." The Best fest has had several installments in the past including celebrations of the music of Tom Petty, The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, George Harrison and Brian Wilson. This year's concert took on one of the most complex projects yet, featuring the music of Fleetwood Mac. A small army of performers took up the challenge this year led by the Cabin Down Below Band. Fronted by bass player Austin Scaggs (Boz Scaggs son), the 10 piece band has been the anchor for the show since its inception. It was interesting to note that a house full of music critics invited the first night tended to savage most of the participants for over the top performances and not adhering to recreations that were loyal covers of the Fleetwood Mac songs. But in their reviews the following day most seem to miss the point entirely. The mix of actors and musicians who teamed up in various combinations, actually made the music their own by putting their unique spins on the daunting task of playing such complicated music. The all volunteer line up, most of whom had never played together before, had varying amounts of success tackling the complex harmonies of Mac music, but nearly everyone onstage gave a passionate heartfelt performance. For the critics that really mattered, the music fans in the audience, the response was an overwhelming positive and emphatic one. On the second night, the band opened with a perfunctory but rousing version of Tusk that attracted the hoards of music fans huddled around the bars sponsored by Jameson whiskey, into a swarm around the stage. Then the onslaught began with different performers taking over the lead vocals for one song and then handing the microphones to the next singers, no less than 25 times. Emily Armstrong lead singer of the rock group Dead Sarah, a veteran of Best fest, brought a Jim Morrison persona to her stunning version of "Edge of Seventeen," even diving into the crowd at one point. The hot young LA band Phases, with former members of Phantom Planet and Rilo Kiley, played a funky version of "Everywhere"; bringing it into the 21st century. Juliette Lewis, also a veteran of Best fest and many other charity events throughout Hollywood, gave a whirling Dervish performance to Nicks' signature solo hit "Stand Back." The performance was so intense, it had many in the crowd wondering what was going on backstage besides the Jameson. There were other Hollywood celebrities on the bill as well, including; Danny Masterson, who played guitar for "Second Hand News," while Will Forte played the part of Tom Petty to Karen Elson's Nicks in a rendition of "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around." Courtney Love took the stage in a long purple gown with a strategic slit up the middle, which she used to flash the crowd at the beginning of her rendition of "Silver Springs". She first thanked the band "For putting up with so many Divas/' then launched into a sultry hypnotic version of the song which she made her own with her unique grunge age vocals. Speaking of hypnotic, Perry and his wife singer 2B VandalaMagazine.Com - March 2016


Etty Farrell gave a positively trance like performance off the song "Gold Dust Woman". Rock prodigy were on hand as well with Dhani Harrison playing guitar for Australian EDM vocalist Mereki on the song "Landslide". Bijou Phillips joined actors Danny Masterson and Adam Busch for their version of "Second Hand News". There were also plenty of musicians on hand to spice things up as well. Both Jamestown Massacre and Cold War Kids, played acoustic covers of "Man of The Word" and "Never going Back Again," respectively. Doyle Bramble III reached deep into the old Fleetwood Mac catalog in the days of Peter Greene and played a spellbinding version of "Black Magic Woman". Brian Bell of Weezer played a wailing guitar for Karen Elson and Will Forte on "Stop Draggin My Heart Around". Mark Ronson played guitar for The Kills singer Allison Mosshart on an electrifying version of the song "Dreams". There were so many incredible performances in the near four hour set, there are too many to mention. But a wide eyed Sarah Silverman performing "Go Your Own Way," with guitarist Butch Walker has to get an honorable mention. The 26 song set list ended with two major jams involving many of the musicians of the night, featuring renditions of, "The Chain" and "Don't Stop". Most of the entire crew returned for a final bow that engrossed the entire stage. It was a brilliant night of music custom med for the historic Fonda theater in the heart of Hollywood. Ticket Sale Proceeds From Fleetwood Mac Fest went to Sweet Relief (www.sweetrelief.org ) and The Sweet Stuff (www.thesweetstufffoundation.org ).

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Marty McCoy of Bobaflex is a bonaficle rock and roller in the grand old style. We of to sit down and talk about why he loves the genre, and how he seeks to reflect that in his own music. So, How the hell are you? NA--fâ&#x20AC;&#x2DC;i: I'm great. Busy but great. Parking in New York City is hard though, it takes a little while to park a big ride and a big trailer. It doesn't happen very often! Other than that the tour has been great, the guys in Orgy are awesome, the crowds have been great and it's great to be back in New York City. How's it been going with the new record? Marty: Really good. It's actually been getting some of our best reviews from magazines and online stuff. We love the record and it's my favorite record that we've ever done. It felt like we were a band again. It's been great. We have a new single called Spiders in the Dark coming out soon and it tested really high so we're excited about that. That's coming out soon! What does it mean when you say you 'felt like a band again'? Marty: Well we got a new bassist because our old bassist Jared got married and he wanted to have a kid and he don't want to tour anymore. When you don't want to tour anymore touring is a nightmare. When Jimmy came in and Dave Tipple came in, this is our first record with him, we were all together we weren't living in separate cities. So we locked ourselves in a room for two months and it was a joint effort. It felt like being in a band again. Was it a return to your youth! Marty: Absolutely! The album became a lot more rock and roll. When Jimmy and Dave joined the band they toured with us for about two years straight so it was there band too. Everyone had equal input and so the record went a lot more places. Do you think that a part of this rejuvenation is due to the revival we've seen in the nu-metal movement? Marty: Absolutely. Rock took a backseat to other things for a minute but now it's crawling out of the grave. Everyone from the Guitar Hero days grew up so now rock guitar is coming back. The guitar heroes are making their way back to the forefront. Bands like Poison and LA Guns are selling clubs out again an rock radio is starting to change and take chances. A lot of really cool bands are coming up now too, there's a lot of energy in it now. Do you identify more with rock than nu-metal? Marty: Yeah. In the 2000's it was like, if you don't wear wristbands and jump around a lot no one gave a shit about your band. That was never really my thing but I kind of grew up in the late 130s and early 90s and had that influence. I was always more into Guns n Roses and stuff like that. All the influences have come together in our writing and the more we write the more we ignore the rules and pull away from what is popular an just what we like. People seem to connect a lot more easily now and are more into it. I think rock and roll is a big wide genre and you've got death metal, which I don't say is rock and roll, but there's a wide spectrum of things that fit in there. 36 VandalaMagazine.Com - March 2016


Imberkview, Marity ..â&#x20AC;˘ @Elroy of Bobaflex Why isn't death metal rock and roll? Martyr Because it's death metal! It's music from hell. A better question might be is what is rock and roll? Marty: Guitar solos! That whole screaming thing I never got into. I come from a time where you sing. You sing melodies and then that whole scream thing ruined it for me. People thought they were sounding like Pantera but they forgot that band had one of the best guitar players on the planet and Phil Anselmo can sing his ass off. It was cool when I Was fourteen but after a while I wanted harmonies again. I like girls and I like when girls are at concerts. When we were coming up in the early 2000s we were constantly partnered with bands that were so brutal that their fans hated us. TT Records didn't understand that we didn't want to be on tour with those kinds of bands. They would be like "You guys are going on tour with Butchered at Birth!" And that doesn't make sense because we do four part harmonies with falsettos. The more we did that the more we pulled away from that. Nothing against those bans, they're great. The bands that do that well are really cool. I can't sing like that though or play guitar like that. Rock and roll needs to have guitar solos and that blues influence for it to work. You've named dropped Guns n Roses two or three times now... Marty: There's a reason I smoke cigarettes, wear leather jackets and play Les Paul guitars. I was at that age when they were coming up. I saw them on TV at the music awards when they were cursing and drunk and my parents were like "This is awful!" Which immediately turned me onto them. I was there when Metallica started coming out too. That was the Headbangers Ball era and I stayed up late to watch that. Those were the dangerous days of rock and roll where it was like 'Are these guys going to show up? Is there going to be a riot?" It was insane! That's what kind of brought me to cigarettes and music, it was bands like Guns n Roses and Metallica, with great guitarists and singers. What do you think of the reunion? Marty: Excited! I saw Slash with Miles Kennedy and that blew my mind! I hope it works out with the lineups and all that - but if it doesn't happen, I saw Slash with Miles Kennedy and I'm good. If it doesn't happen and they don't show up, I saw a pretty good version of it. Slash looks great and Miles Kennedy is just so good. He's a great guitarist too! The rest of the band is awesome! I just saw them play in Florida when we were on a bill with them and we just stood there with our jaws dropped. Slash is just timeless. It was amazing. I've followed them for so long and I remember waiting in line to get Use Your Illusion and now what happens for video games used to happen for albums. Watching skinny white dudes sell out stadiums was a beautiful time. Because that's no longer the case do you worry that rock and roll is no longer dangerous? Marty: When you listen to the radio I'm not scared of the people. I think there are bands that are starting to bring it back but the real deal crazies are hard to find and don't last very long. I listen to rock radio and there's exciting stuff happening now. I love that bad Nothing More and Red Sun Rises. They are starting to change March 2016 - VandalaMagazine.Com 37


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the mold again and are starting to make active rock radio a little less safe. Once Nickelback had success labels signed a bunch of clones and it just turned into stuff that your mom could get into. That's not it for me. For me you have to sneak it behind your parents back. I remember getting AC/DC records and feeling like I was in trouble for looking at the album covers! And I would get in trouble. With all of those bands it felt kind of evil. I haven't felt that way in a long time but it's starting to come back. People are starting to smart up and not shoot heroin or do too much cocaine. That's how you die as a rock star! It just seems like it's starting to come back and the clubs are getting bigger and the fans are coming back. It's a good thing and we're really happy about it. What do you love so much about music? Marty: I love music. I love going to the studio. I love tours, I love going on stage. My girlfriend asks me why I do this every day an I have to say that this is not what I choose to be this is what I have to be. If we go home and have some time off of tour which seldom happens, I get a day to rest but then if I'm not doing something with music I feel pretty worthless. I have no other skills. I can't build stuff or do any of that fun shit. It's just who I am. When I was 8 I got my first guitar and I knew that everybody in our school would go work in factories and I knew that wasn't the life for me. I could be doing something for eight or nine hours a day and not realize time had passed. I lucked out and found four other guys who are the same way. It's a business where I say "God damn I never thought I would see that!" Every other day. You can't freak out, you need to find guys who are laid back and want to play music. It's hard to find but then the sky is the limit. Any final words of wisdom? Marty: I don't have much wisdom. If you are in a band rehearse every day and buy a tuning pedal. You can't go on stage and not have a tuning pedal and expect to run with the greats. If you want to really be a musician its 24 hours a day at 110% if not its a hobby and that's totally cool too. Don't bitch about the scene sucking if you can't tune your instrument and barely practice.

Bobaflex will be on tour starting February 25th with The Verr Union across the U. Also their latest release 'Anything That Moves' is available on 'Tunes, Amazon, Google Play and all the usual places. Until then you can follow the band online: www.theofficia I hohaflex.com www.facehook.corn Bobaflex www.twitter.comibobaflex www.youtube.comitheofficialbobaflex

38 VandalaMagazine.Com - March 2016


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The mathematicians and madmen who from Asbury Park, New Jersey's Toothgrinder have arrived in a big way. After years on the road, Nocturnal Masquerade, their debut full-length has been spinning heads throughout the worlds of rock and metal. With dizzying riffs interspersed with moments of floating melody, these dudes have crafted themselves a niche in which they reign. On his lunch break, I got a phone call from Wills Weller, someone as energetic and enthusiastic as you might expect from someone who hits the skins for an act such as Toothgrinder. I wanted to start with kind of a weird question: have you ever seen a movie called Haze? Wills: Haze, no. I only ask because there's a scene of a dude with his head tied to a pipe in such a way that he has to slide across grinding his teeth against it. Wills: Really? Oh, that's gnarly, dude. Yeah, I guess I assumed there was some connection there. Wills: The band name is kind of interesting. We kind of look at Toothgrinder as a feeling, like that feeling when you're grinding your teeth or you're trying to do something, you're right in the thick of things, and you're gonna make it through even if you don't think you're gonna. It's just that feeling of pushing through and getting it done. When I was listening to this album, it reminded me of - I don't know how old you guys are - back in 2003, I was twelve Wills: I'm 26, so Okay, I'm 24. It kind of takes me back to when bands like Deftones, Nothingface, and Slipknot were all over fm radio, inexplicably. Was that a time when you were all kind of starting out and Wills: Oh, yeah, dude. Like, Deftones, and - I know it's kind of corny - Limp Bizkit. Honestly, man, but even to Jimi Hendrix and Pink Floyd. It's cool that you make that connection, man, because we grew up the same time; we were definitely listening to that stuff, listening to Chino [Moreno, Deftones] yell and scream and just loving it `cause your parents didn't like it, like "Aw, this rules!". Yeah, it was a weird time when you could hear Tool or Lamb of God on the airwaves. It was a pretty magical time to get into metal. Wills: Agreed. I think maybe that's probably why it so easy to get into, because it was easy to find; it wasn't that hidden genre of metal, or the hidden genre where you find out when you're older, like "Oh, wow! There's this band, or this style of music that I didn't even know was a thing, but I've always wanted to hear," so I feel ya on that. But I feel like it's - I mean, maybe it's not radio-acceptable - but we've been played on some shows that I didn't think we would get played on. I know Music Choice has a metal thing, but it has a rock side as well and we've been on some rock stations, where I was like, "Really? If you know that Between the Buried and Me was my favorite band, you might double think about [putting us on there]" [laughter] I'm glad you mentioned Between the Buried and Me, because I hear a lot of that too, a lot of the more modern metal sound represented there. 44 VandalaMagazine.Com - March 2016


10eriview. Wills Weller of Toptililgriiroder Wills: Totally. Big fan of that. I've gotten to meet the drummer, I'm a big fan of the drummer. I've only met him in passing and he knows a couple of mutual friends of mine, but I would love to play with those dudes. That would be so sweet. It says on your facebook page that you've been banned from several venues. How do you manage that? Wills: Well, you know, sometimes it's just our live performance. We tend to get a little crazy, and for the sole fact that we believe in the music that we're playing, and sometimes it takes ya into a different place, and sometimes your emotions get the best of you. We've never hurt anyone or anything. One time, we were playing in Brooklyn and we like to climb on stuff, jump on stuff, give a show. I can't just stand there and - well, I play the drums - if I was the guitar player, I couldn't just stand there and play, especially because the music we play's fun and energetic, so the singer was climbing up on one of our amps - and it was a small place - but, like, went to grab the truss for the lights, and it literally, as soon as he touched it - it's like it was up there with bubblegum and tape - it literally just ripped right out of the wall and fell behind me - I didn't even realize it - smashed into the snake that all the miss were plugged into on the stage, and ripped out all the cables that were in the back of our amps. No sound, the lights were down, and I didn't realize `cause I have a click-track in my ear, so I didn't really know what was goin' on; I'm going apeshit and for the last thirty seconds of our set, it's one guitar, the guitar player took his guitar off, threw it on the ground and started doing vocals, completely ignoring the fact that we ripped the lights out of the wall, just continued playing. As soon as that song was done, all the lights went on, and the guy came onstage. He was like "Alright. Show's over. Everyone get the fuck out." We helped pay for it and everything, but, sometimes, y'know. things happen. [laughter] I'm seeing the album everywhere, just reading the blogs that I read, which is surprising for a debut album. Wills: Yeah, it's been wild man. With anyone that's trying to put out a piece of art into the world, you always know that you're gonna get judged. You can't create something without someone else judging it for what they think, and you have to be open-minded to the negative and the positive, and keep in mind to yourself that it's okay if someone doesn't like it, because it's just not for them. Surprisingly, the response - and I don't even mean to say surprisingly to downplay the record because I'm very proud of it, but I'm very overwhelmed by the response that it's been getting, how positive people have been reacting to, y'know, just some songs that we put together as friends in our rehearsal space in Asbury, never thinking "Someone's gonna need to call me on Wednesday and talk about this" [laughter]. It's so cool. It feels surreal; it doesn't even feel like it's real, y'know? March 2016 - VandalaMagazine.Com 45


You plan on touring? Wills: Oh, yeah, definitely. We were hoping that some tours lined up with the release, but they unfortunately didn't, but that's okay. I'm just excited that the album's out. We're just lucky that we did a lot of touring up to the record. Even though we didn't get on a tour for the release of the record, all the touring we did for that whole year and the year before, it was almost like that helped so much, because people were like "Alright, you only have an EP and I can't wait to hear this", and now, finally, after all that, we're like "Here ya go; here's a full-length." People were just excited. We had a lot of people always soaping us out, checking us out, always coming back, a lot of repeat customers. From the Periphery tour in 2014, which was our first tour ever, we literally haven't taken more that two or three months off since then. We really haven't. We would go on tour, we could come home, we'd be home for a month or two months, we'd go on another month's tour, we'd be home for three weeks, then we recorded a record, and we were gone for forty-five days, then we were home for two weeks, went on another tour, came back a month, went on another tour, went home again, did another full U.S. tour for a month and a half, and that led into December, and it was, like, dude, that year was done, already gone. It was so crazy to play in front of that many people, and now to just kind of be like "Cool. Full-length." Now we're still fresh in people's minds. They haven't forgot about that time with Periphery, 'cause it's still pretty there with them. It works in ways that we didn't expect it to work. What're your plans for going out again? Wills: The only thing that we have solidified absolutely is South by Southwest; we're actually playing a really cool show, the Metal Sucks/Metal Injection showcase. We're playing their show on 6th street, and that's, I hear, just stupid-crazy every year, so really excited for that. Back to Periphery, is that tour how you got their vocalist to do a guest spot on this album? Wills! Yeah, give you the quick background story with our relationship with Periphery. It started in 2013, when the drummer, Matt Halpern, did a clinic at this music store where I work at, where I'm on break from right now [laughter]. He did a drum clinic, and it's about him; it's not about me or my band. All I did all day was tune his drums, if he was hungry get him some food, get him some water, because he's in my spot. I wanner make sure he's comfortable, yiknow, and I respected him as a drummer. So the day goes by, and he says "What goes on around here?" He saw a flier for Whitechapel, and my band was opening up for them. He's like "Dude, Whitechapel's playing around here?" 'Cause he likes them, he's known about them, and someone chimed in "Wills' opening", and he goes "You're in a band?" I was like, "Yeah, I play the drums. I tuned your drums today." So, whatever, we got talkin', back and forth, so we switched numbers, and kept in touch. A year later - literally a year later - we booked a show in California, a d.i.y. tour. No idea why we did that, no idea why we thought it was a good idea. We weren't signed, didn't have management, nothing. Just figured, "Well that's what you do. You go on tour, and you tour places you've never been...so, let's go to California." So we went to 46 VandalaMagazine.Com - March 2016


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California, came back, and I called Matt and said, "Dude. What am I doing wrong? What am I missing? We just booked this west coast tour, like, I dunno, never been there, playing for people," and he goes, "Holy shit. Dude, hold on. Give me ten minutes." And literally ten minutes later, Mike Mowery, who's the owner of Outerloop, our manager, calls me. "Yeah, so Matt says you're in a band and says I should really talk to you." So Matt just vouched for me, just from that, that one day we hung out and shot the shit, he vouched for me to his manager like "To, you should talk to Wills. His band's a local band, but you should talk to him." And, so, I talked to Mowery for like two hours in the first conversation, and we kind of just clicked. It was so exciting to talk to someone who actually gave a shit about the music that we were making, and kind of just encouraging me to be like "Yeah, you should keep writing these songs." We hashed out a deal with Outerloop. Outerloop kind of brought us on, got us in to record our first EP, and the day we went to record our EP was - it was in Bethesda, Maryland - it was the same place that Periphery did P2, which was their second record. We walk in the first day and Spencer's hanging out with Taylor, because they're both also in From First To Last - Spencer's the singer of From First To Last now, and Taylor's the guitar player - they're hanging out. So Spencer walks in, really doesn't know that I know Halpern too well, but we're on the same management, so he kind of gets wind of a new band coming in. We don't sound like Periphery, we're not trying to sound like Periphery, so, immediately, Spencer was like, "Hell yeah. This rules," 'cause we just kind of went in and did our own thing and didn't treat 'ern - the same way I didn't treat Matt like he was the superstar drummer that he is; I just treated him like a peer, like a normal person - and so Spencer was just immediately attached, and just really liked our songs. So, we finish the record, we shop it around, we get picked up by a label, and as soon as we get picked up by a label, Matt Halpern gets wind of it, and Spencer gets wind of it, and were so excited they're like "Dude, we wanna take you guys on your first tour. I saw you make your first record, and now you're getting picked up by a label, and we were the ones who showed you Outerloop, and now you're actually taking advantage of it and running with it." So they took us out on our first tour, and them giving us a shot, again, a local band that has nothing, no online sales, no this, no that; we print our own merch, we design our own merch. A band like Periphery who is so good and so good and so respected to stick their neck our and be like, "Yeah, we want Toothgrinder, the kids who get high and go crazy all the time. We want them, we wanna hang out with them." They just enjoyed us as people, so they brought us out, and we got to play the coolest shows and it was so badass. What a great first real tour. Literally, we just got signed, and we got that tour, the EP got delivered to us during that tour. It was just really, what an incredible couple of months. It just felt so cool. And not just any label, but Spinefarm. Wills: Yeah, when we were doing the EP, of course we were joking back and forth, "We're gonna get signed," like any kid does who just likes to be in a band, and then offers started coming through and we're like, "Holy shit, this is crazy. People actually like this," and then that offer came through. It's kind of like when you go fishing, and you're having a really good day catching whatever, and then you get the five or six pound bass and that made the whole day worth it. That's kind of what it felt like, just March 2016 - VandalaMagazine.Com 47


like "I can't believe we're getting this right now; this is crazy." We looked at our manager who just kind of looked at us like, "Dude! This is super-respectable!" Not to downplay it but I didn't expect to get this, and sure as hell the dudes in the band didn't expect to get this, so we just kind of looked at each other like "I think this is one of those opportunities where, even if you crash and burn, let's put up the good fight; let's see if we can do this." Spinefarm has been amazing. They've been the most encouraging, respectful bunch of people. They're our friends as well as our partners in business, which has just been so incredible - to be so new to the industry and have these guys who have worked with incredible artists just kind of take us under they're wing and be "You're our guys. We're gonna do this, but we're gonna do this together." Down to the artwork, song titles, the way the songs sounded, the names of the songs, they didn't put their hands in anything. They literally would just be like, "That's awesome. That's what you guys want?" "Yep." "Cool, let's get this done. Looking great, guys." They were just encouraging. It was really crazy. It all felt surreal. Normally I like to read through lyrics before doing this, but I couldn't find yours online. What sort of things are touched on here? Wills: It's a lot. The record is supposed to be a dream sequence. When you think about being in a dream, you can be anything, anyone and do anything. Anything can happen. A lot of Justin [Matthews]'s lyrics are dark, they're really moody, they're sometimes sexual, they're angry, they're happy. It's things he sees, it's things in life. It's just interesting, and I feel like he touches on things that people don't write about, and he's not afraid to say things. There's one lyric specific in Blue, it's "Bound, naked, and force fed by government/familiarity rapes the sublime/don't lose grip just yet/one more sip, forget" and then it says "I ain't nothin' but a goddamned monster", so it's like "Woah". That's a little deeper than "Alright, so my girlfriend left, and I'm bummed," so it's like "Holy shit, okay." He kind of digs deep and he's not afraid to either take a shot or just really speak what's on his mind. It's kind of cool. He takes lyrics from his own personal life, from things he reads, this and that, really from all different aspects. I think that's why the songs have their own specific little universe-feel, which is kind of cool. The whole album's a dream sequence? Wills: In a way. Everything can just be linked to a different dream. There's a song called Dance of Damsels, very sexual. There's a lot of metaphors for stuff like that, and there's another one that's Waltz of Madmen. Dance of Damsels, if you think of a girl dancing, she could either be a stripper, she could be a ballerina, she could just be slutty, and that could be the metaphor for dancing around. Waltz of Madmen could just be the seven a.m. grind out the train, up the stairs, into your forty-story office building, and walk out. That's like a dance, it's syncopated and happens every Monday through Friday. The Waltz of Madmen could just be a really crazy guy who kind of just sleeps with a bunch of ladies and is getting around. it could really go in any direction, and it's cool that we kind of lay it out and you have to figure out how it makes you feel. It could make us feel differently, but there needs to be a meaning for you. How does that song make you feel? What do you get when he says "Under sheets/ Become one" in Dance of Damsels? What do you think about? Are you having sex? Are you sleeping? What's going on? It goes all over the place. I like leaving it open like that, because I 48 VandalaMagazine.Com - March 2016


Imberiview. Will VAeller of Toptililgiiimder read into things and I feel emotionally attached to different things that might not even be there. For instance, our album art derives from something we've already done, an album we've already done, but we bought back the same animal head, but we added feathers to it, which is adding another animal, and the weird part about that is we've been traveling a lot, and I feel like birds migrate to different places. We added another piece to the puzzle. The elephant head has longer hair. It's matured; it got a little older. The horns grew out and kind of changed direction; it's no longer a young thing; it's now older. It matures, and so does the band, and so does everything that we do. It's funny to kind of incorporate those little things you might have never even realized, but to me it means so much, but that's just me, that's on a personal level. I like to read into things like that, so little things like that we like to add in, here and there. The first EP we named Schizophrenic Jubilee, so we took that title and now we worked it as one of the songs, and then we named the animal head as a character, it's now called Jubilee. It's something that we've taken, we've referenced things from the EP in Justin's vocals. He references Jubilee a lot. In the first song that we released, The House (That Fear Built), he says - and it almost sounds like a demonic, schizophrenic voice - "What will it be, what will it be, queen beef what will it be, what will it be, Jubilee?", and it's almost like he's speaking to this crazy animal and trying to figure out what it needs or what it wants, almost like a god or like a deity in a way. That's just a whole side of it that you could get into if you really wanted to. It's like a religion; if you really wanna dig deep, you can find some cool things, or you can just be "Yeah, no, I'm not into it." [laughter] It's fun to do stuff like that, and it makes it interesting for us as - and I use this term loosely, but - as artists. We're creating a piece of art. We might as well hit all bases of music, artwork, yiknow, sonically, how it sounds, to everything. Will Jubilee ever be joining you on stage like Exhumed's chainsaw guy, running around and amping up the crowd? Wills: Dude, I would love that. I would either love that or just have it like a deer on someone's fireplace, just have this huge monster, like, Iron Maiden-style thing. I feel like, if the budget increases a little bit, yeah, maybe we'll have room for some crazy shit like that, 'cause, dude, that would be like watching Slipknot play and, yeah, their dude's running around in a mask, but when you've got fire, and crazy devil things popping out, that is a show. I mean, I can rip down the lights and that's memorable, but so is fire. [laughter] So yeah, that would just come with playing more, and, like I said, that budget, so I think we just gotta get a little better at everything and that'll come in time, unless you're really good at paper mache, then you can come hang out and we'll make one. Be sure to grab Toothgrinders release 'Nocturnal Masquerade' available on iTunes and all the regular places. Also you can keep up to date with the band online. Toothgrinder Online www.facebook.comitoothgrinder.usa www.toothgrinder.bandca mp.com www.twitteracomitoothgrinderusa www.instag ra m.com /toothg rind er_usa March 2016 - VandalaMagazine.Com 49


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Vite IDomit ray IT速 BR Loud, We ARE Loud Slayer are the one and only. The princes of darkness, the lords of thrash and the band who will quite literally play the soundtrack to the apocalypse. We got to sit down with their drummer Paul Bostaph and find out more about the explosive force behind the bands trademark rhythms. How are you? Paul: I've been alright. Running around trying to get stuff together. So I just got through listening to Repentless again and I was wondering... going forward with the solidified lineup what do you think your role in the band will be? Paul: Well my role in the band is obviously to play drums and contribute what I can creatively. I think that's always kind of what it's been nothing more than that. I'm just trying to be a good band member. Do you ever feel like you're in the shadow of previous lineups? Paul: I used to. I don't anymore. In the beginning it was definitely that and you can't erase the past and the past records are awesome - I'm a fan of those records. I feel like I'm a part of that now. In regards to the records you were I noticed that you said you favorite Slayer record that you played on was Diabolica In Musica... which is an interesting choice. Can you tell me more about that? Paul: It's kind of funny that you bring that up because I like each records for different reasons and I don't know why I said that. That album is one of my favorites for sure because the songwriting was killer and it was the only album we worked on with Rick Rubin from top to bottom. I actually had the chance for him to sit in on my drum tracks the whole way through which was really cool. How was the experience of Repentless relative to the other records you did with Slayer? Paul: It's weird because on those other records I had never taken as much time away from the band. Now it's been 13 years or something since I last left. There's a lot of personal perspective and reflections that come from gaining knowledge and working with other individuals. I think this album is a lot more personal. I'm not trying to be the best drummer in the world I'm just trying to do my best on these songs. I'm assuming there's going to be more Slayer right? Paul: I hope so. Do you want to expand your role in the future? Paul: That will be the future and I can't tell you what the future is You never 54 VandalaMagazine.Com - March 2016


B,ostraplii of Slayer want to write the same record twice I can tell you that. Once we get into the writing sessions we will be in a different place and we will have this under our belts. Obviously I like playing and I would like to have a bigger role on certain tracks and improve production values but that will be the future - I'm not there yet. I noticed that is you're super into Clive Burr and Tommy Aldridge... how do they impact your playing? Paul: Those two drummers are very heavy influences on my playing. Tommy Aldridge has always sounded amazing. lie has some great bass fills and the stuff he did with Ozzy was amazing. Clive Burr was a single bass drummer but he had an almost punk style and I relate to those drummers a lot. You've talked a lot about your ying yang philosophy, how much does that carry on to your day to day? Paul; I don't think it only applies to drumming. Drumming is an extension of who I am it's not who I am. If drumming isn't who you are - who are you? Paul: Playing the drums is an entirely different thing for me. Its a space I get in not just physically or mentally. People call it the 'zone'. I get into a zone with it. I really only get that from drumming. It's something that when you're doing it you're so occupied with doing it you're not thinking about it You drift away from the mechanical part of it and you're just in a total flow. If I could have that in my everyday it would be amazing. Is it a spiritual thing? Paul: Almost. You kind of connect to it through other means than your brain. When I'm thinking I'm not playing well - when I don't think I'm playing well. Obviously Tom Araya has been pretty open about his faith - do you have any religious leanings? Paul; I believe in God. After that... I'm not religious. I don't go to church at all really. That's as far as it goes really. People can believe what they believe. I think sometimes people only look at things inside the box from which to live and don't accept that there is more than one way of thinking out there. I try and accept that. On the song Disciple - that was the first Slayer song I ever heard and that song changed my life... It kind of put me into a phase of being 'The Slayer kid' in high school. What do you think it is about Slayer that you think cultivates this extremely focused die hard fanaticism that goes beyond what you see in other metal bands? Paul: I think it goes down to the fact that there's no compromises in this sound. No one compromises their sound or what they are writing about. This band has been true to its convictions since the beginning. I think that's what it is. They are loyal to themselves. From a fan standpoint I get that and that makes me stay loyal to them. Is that what drew you towards Slayer back in the day? Paul: Their first record I heard was Reign In Blood and that knocked me on my ass and then of course South Of Haven and Seasons In The Abyss were amazing it showed they were relentless and there was no compromises in the sound. When I got a record I knew what band I would be hearing. It wouldn't be invalid and it would never be commercial. That's what I loved about it. March 2016 - VandalaMagazine.Com 55


I r ,' .rvi wO We , mu rsy IT速 Be Loud, We ARE Loud A lot of people in recent years have made the argument that Slayer has compromised... I think that certain people believe that Slayer are a corporate entity now... Paul: They haven't been around for thirty years! If you're around for thirty years existing in an industry your band becomes a brand. After thirty years of being in the business if your band hasn't becomes a business then you wouldn't be in that industry you would be doing something else for a living. You can't ignore this side of being in the music business. You need a business sense, that's how you keep afloat. You need to do a lot of things and wear a lot of hats. If you think we compromised we haven't. If you think the compromise is being in the industry well that just doesn't work - you can be in a band and in the business as well. If people listen to your records they shouldn't have to deal with that stuff. Band guys usually just want to play music and not worry about anything else, but unfortunately it's also a business and you can't ignore that Do you ever long for the garage days? Paul: No. Not at all. The skill level and the songs were so far behind us now. In those days I was trying to get out of the garage I don't want to spend any more time getting back into it. In the garage days you would get the cops called on you for playing too loud. And now you're trying to be the loudest... Paul: We're just loud. We're not trying to be loud! Why is there a desire to be so loud? Paul: There actually isn't. I try to play deliberately and that's the way I get the best sound. That's the only reason why - I like it. Going through your biography and looking at everything you've done is obviously really impressive but I've noticed you've had to take breaks due to injuries and stuff.. do you ever worry about the future of your career due to this history of injuries? Paul: I don't worry about that. My health is in a good place. The other thing I was trying to figure was... when you weren't in bands what were you doing? Paul: I was still doing music. I was just doing it on a non-national level. I was largely giving drum lessons. You've gotten to play in all of these awesome bands like Slayer, Exodus, Testament and Forbidden, which is your favorite? Paul: At the end of the day probably Forbidden since it was the first band I was in and it was the first time I went on tour. It was something special. It was totally my band. We shared the experience of having nobody know who we were and passing out fliers and trying to make our music better I imagine it has to be a weird thing mentally to go from playing to dozens of people with Forbidden to playing literally hundreds of thousands with Slayer... how does that feel? Paul: It's pretty unbelievable at times. In Forbidden that's what we were striving to do - we wanted to have some longevity to play these bigger stages but actually 56 VandalaMagazine.Com - March 2016


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getting to do it with Slayer was pretty great. With Forbidden it was small steps and then with Slayer I wasn't climbing a ladder - instantly I was on the big stage. It was pretty unbelievable. The first time I did it was in front of 50-60,000 people. I didn't have much time to soak it in to be honest with you I was so focused on remembering the parts! I couldn't let myself live in the moment at the time. I wanted to ask - what do you love so much about music. Paul: I love to listen back to something and realizing how it captures a feeling. I like working with other musicians and creating something with other people. I really enjoy how you can get together with a group of people and make some sounds that when you look back at them you get excited about it. It's like "Wow that sound was inside of me" and then I find myself in the music and that's what I like best. Any final words of wisdom for me? Paul: Brush your teeth! (Laughter) If you're in a band don't push your band mates buttons. Respect each other and the guys you play with and if you don't find a different group.

Slayer starts their North American tour February 19th with special guests Testament. They continue hitting the festival stages over in Europe this summer including Hellfest, With Full Force Open Air, Volt festival and ending at Bloodstock. \•

Many dates are already sold out so grab your tickets early. Also pick up your copy of %Repentless' which is out now on iTunes, Amazon, and all the other usual retailers.

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Stay up to date with Slayer and follow them on the road onine via: wwwislayer net www.facebook.comislayer www.twitter com/Slayer www.instagram.comislayerba dofficial www.youtube.com/slayer

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"I Just tliont to he Droud in Lillint I hot to Take Dna in Mulling" lin Interview With John IieUill


John KeviII has always been a charismatic dude, and a very intelligent one too. Picking his brain about the spirit of metal, what Warbringer really is and what it means to be a performer was a fascinating experience. So how are you? Doing good man! We just trucked it across the US of A and now were here at Gramercy Theater! How was the trucking? John: We had what I thought was way to much marijuana but it turned out to be not enough. We have a driver this tour and so we spent a lot of time just sitting around smoking. He did a thirty hour driving shift which was nuts. It was so badass. So you're swinging back into tour life? John: This is day one. After a few shows we'll see how my neck is handling it. I wanted this though and I signed up for it! What's happening with Warbringer now? John: We're going to do this tour and then I will let you know after! If I am able to I am going to make another album. But we're going to do this tour and then see what happens. How has it been coming together with the new lineup? John We've had to replace guys right and left throughout the history of the band but this time it's extra shitty because I put together a whole new lineup that fell apart right before the tour. Rather - those pussies quit! If you're going to sign up to people f*cking do it! If you don't you don't have my respect! Within two months of this tour starting we had lost three guys in our line up. Fortunately Carlos Cruz came up and he is my favorite drummer to work with. He hit me up and wanted to do it again and that was like "Hallelujah." So then you had me Adam and Carlos and Adam has been a longtime member as well as Conan from Exmortus doing double duty. We basically reached out to people in our scene who we knew could do it. After this tour all I know about the line up will be me, Adam and Carlos and between the three of us we have all the instruments covered and I know how to make Warbringer songs be Warbringer songs. What defines a Warbringer song? John: I don't exactly know man. I don't know how to play an instrument but I know how to read music and stuff so I can communicate usually. I try to make the structures a certain way. We have a design philosophy to our thrash. We don't want any fat - we want to be tight, lean, quick and hit you in the face. We want it to be catchy, evil and I want their to be hooks but also brutal and dense riffs. I focus on that and I think we have a way of doing that and I think that as a vocalist I have a pretty different personality. I think that a lot of the way I do things put's a stamp on it along with the way Carlos and Adam write the music. I feel like at this point that I'm sort of the thing that keeps it being Warbringer and not some other band. It's like Gary Holt in Exodus because he will always write those immediately identifiable riffs. He just kind of has that. If someone else were to write that it would sound like a knock off of that. 62 VandalaMagazine.Com - March 2016


Imberriview? John Kemill I was impressed at the bitterness in your voice when you called the ex-band members "f*cking pussies"...

One of them had legitimate reasons. The other two were to young and had unrealistic expectations. Our first show was a giant festival in Indonesia in front of thirty thousand people. We had a string of good shows and then a string of bad shows and then they quit. It was funny because one of these guys had previously paid to play opening for Warbringer, this time he had been paid at least something for every show and he was complaining and I just don't get it. I'm like "Don't you know that you just joined a band that is doing super well? If you were to get a record deal today you wouldn't be as well off as we are now" That doesn't mean we have it easy but you better have a realistic expectation. It's for the best that they quit because we got Carlos back in. I don't care anymore because Cruz is back in. The attitude that some ex members have had are just not attitudes that you can have in this band. With three legit members of the band and two strong fill in I really hope that we will be able to give the fans a really good show and keep the band on the map. We want to get out there and play live because that's what Warbringer has always been about - wrecking shit on stage. On a totally separate note - what is it like for your first show in a year to be in front of thirty thousand people? John: It was crazy. I'm used to playing shows so once we started it was fine - but before and after it was like "Holy shit" I've only played a few shows like that in my life and it's amazing. Most people are afraid to stand up and speak in front of a room of ten people. Why do you think that you are able to do that? John: It's just what I've always been doing. If you're going to be in a band and play a concert you don't get to say "I'm not going up there" If you're afraid of how it might go you have to trust in yourself. If you're the only person who can do it then you have to do it. You have to believe in what you're doing and give the people watching you, whether it's two or twenty thousand. You have to give it your all. ItTs like this bullshit with Guns n Roses getting back together. F*ck that. Axl Rose leaves the stage for petty reasons as a performer myself I've nothing but intense disrespect for that. There's so many better musicians that would love to play in front of half that many people and you've got a fat old washed up guy complaining and bailing on shit and being prissy. Being prissy is so not rock and roll. Rock and rollers grit their teeth.

Lemmy, rest in peace, was a real motherf*cker. I was watching his documentary and his attitude about playing a show no matter what and doing it for the people was awesome. That dude was on stage right before he died. That's what you're supposed to do! Stage fright won't stop me. I get it too but I'm going to do it anyway. No matter what bullshit is happening we go up and do the best we can and that's it. No one can touch that. That's something I've always admired about Warbringer, that of American thrash metal wave you were among the most... unique. After such a long break are you afraid of meeting the quality of material from the last record? John: No. I think we can do better than then last record. I feel like the last record broke a lot of new ground. If I could make that record again I would focus more on March 2016 - VandalaMagazine.Com 63


64 Vandala.Magazine,Com = March 2016


March 2016 - VandalaMagazine.Com 65


the darker stuff. When we made that record we wanted to prove that the people who claimed that we were '80s knock offs were wrong. We made an album that looked different and had songs that were a total left turn. We did that very much on purpose so people who said we were copying the 805 would be objectively wrong. While you could legitimately say that maybe the first record was like that the second and the third record had plenty of shit that the 80s bands didn't do. If you find one part that's like one band then the next part is not like that band. Warbringer has been able to carve out a sound for itself. I sure as hell can tell that it feels different to me. Empires was really an effort to show how much this band could do. In retrospect I would have toned that down a bit and cut some of the more lighthearted material to make it darker, but that's just me in retrospect. There's other record where I'm like oh "This song would be better with this part" I've thought of all kinds of shit, but it is what is. That's what art is like. For the next record, I hope we make a next record and I know what I want to do for it. On the last one I handed over the reins a lot though on the first three I had a much more dominant role. On the next one I have a very specific vision. It will be different. I know what it's going to be like and I'm not worried that people won't think it's awesome. What do you love so much about music? John: It's human expression, it's awesome. Writing it is one thing and that's creatively rewarding - working with talented people. Live you get to go out and play that for people who stood out in the cold and paid to see it and that's amazing. You get to physically express and perform this stuff that you wrote. Once I started doing it I couldn't fathom stopping. It took a lot of tenacity to be here in New York City. I thought about folding a lot for a time it was a rough time for me because I didn't know who I was anymore, it was all I had done since high school. I'm studying to be a history professor now and that should be doable within three or four more years but I still just want to play metal. I've got a few more years of this left in me and I want to keep doing this until I Don't have an idea for a next record. I want my last record to be a good one. I don't want to put out a shitty record before deciding to hang it up. In the end I just want to be proud in what I got to take part in making. What inspired you to be a history professor? John: I've always been into it. Why else do you think the band has the old military theme? Its a logical thing. I like to perform and talk it's kind of like being on stage, some of that skill is transferable. Before I was in metal people said I should do that - then my band got a record deal. Any final words of wisdom? John: Keep rocking. If you are in a band and play a show you had better sweat, or else you suck. Keep it metal! Warbringer Online www.warbringermusic.com www.facebook.com/Warbringermusic www.twitter.comiwarbringerband www.instagram.comiwarbringermusic www.youtube.com/WarbringerOfficial 66 VandalaMagazine.Com - March 2016


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Parker Jameson of Starkill seems to be not fully over the fact that his band is doing so well and touring internationally. One of the most exciting acts out there right now, and Parker, with all his charm makes for a captivating interview. So what's going on with the new album? Parker: I think most people who follow the Metal Injection, Blabbermouth world saw several months ago that Century Media got bought out That's not a secret. They're like a subsidiary now. Basically a lot of the staff and people who were close with us at Century Media who we had been working with for years are gone. I don't want to say too much because business is business but it's different people now and a lot of bands are leaving. This has been our longest gap since being in the studio between records. Normally it's I2-ish months. Every twelve months or so we're in the studio. We had the choice between switching labels or trying to crowd fund the upfront costs. When you don't own your own music it makes profiting off it impossible so if we can fund it then we are going to make a ton more money off of our stuff. It's not all about the money but it's about being able to scrape by. I like to be able to scrape by. We've had to turn down a couple of huge European tours for that reason because we couldn't get the money we needed. So f*ck it, were going to crowd fund it and that will keep us on the road way longer. It's been a big progression for us. So you're not putting out via Century Media, or are they distributing it? Parker: We are recording and distributing it ourselves and we are looking into companies that will help distribute it but give us rights. Obviously the interview to leave Century Media is kind of scary... Parker: Exactly. The overhead costs of recording an album are frightening, you have all the costs of a producer and studio and are also taking a month off of work to work twelve to eighteen hours days to work on this stuff, plus PR and advertising. I think we can meet the goal and even if we don't we can take some time off. The appeal to owning your own music is too big of a thing to not have after doing this for four years. A lot of bands have been doing it. Owning our own music is our biggest priority right now. We're still a young band, our drummer is only twenty one. Now that you're outside the label structure how have you been able to get on tours like this? Parker Compatibility. We have been offered tours with Moonspell before, that was one of the ones that we had to turn down because we couldn't get the money to get to Europe. When we came here it was a predetermined match and they were buddies with other bands that we've toured with. This is the first show and we're playing new material and we get to play some bigger venues with the new guys. Have you been doing this all on your own... or is there a manager? Parker We've had a new manager for about a year. The last one... I don't want to get into it, but remember that this is our first band, for me and Spencer at least. When you're young you have no idea how the music industry works. I think I had been to one metal show in my life but I had no insight. I loved the music, I genuinely did, but I had no clue how the scene worked. It made things a little bit complicated. Now were fixed. We have our feet on more solid ground. Doing things this way is going to help out a lot more. Did you feel alienated from the scene at first? 72 VandalaMagazine.Com - March 2016


Imberiviiew; Parker Jar

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Parker: Not really. I just play. My focus is being on stage and delivering a product. On our first big tour with Wintersun and Fleshgod Apocalypse I was out there every night - simply because this was a new experience for me - I had never been to a metal show before. I should be in the pit right now. I can remember being in the front row for Wintersun every night. I just dived into and I think people can feel the genuine enthusiasm. I'm not really a metalhead, I just play metal music. I have an Avril Lavigne poster in my room! What's your relationship with Avril Lavigne? Parker: I appreciate her songwriting. I feel like there are two types of metalheads. There's the guys who listen to Necrophagist and super brutal shit and only listen to heavy music but then there's those who can listen to normal stuff too. There's talent behind top 40 songs. I think song structure is incredibly important and that you should be able to pull influence from anything from Avril Lavigne to Dark Funeral. Does Avril Lavigne impact you musically? Parker: Not consciously. But I'm a huge fan of choruses. Choruses are the shit, choruses and guitar solos. As long as we have some of those I am content. So China... how did that happen? Parker: Our manager had Havok go to China. He knows a promoter and one of the magazines that's really big in Shanghai and they do a circuit of regular shows and they don't get bands all the time and there's some local scene in each place but as far as touring stuff goes it's not that big. They said if we could afford to get over there we could do it so we had a Chinese party for two and a half weeks. It was very different. Culturally there was a tangible difference between the US and EU crowds and the Chinese crowds. We didn't get a lot of culture shock in Europe. China was like stepping onto Mars. The little things like the way they walk and the distance they have between each other. Little things like that added up and made the experience new and weird and fun. We played Shanghai and two hundred people came out, not because they had heard of us but because we were a new metal band. When we played some of the smaller less Americanized cities we played a venue where dads in suits would come out and didn T care that we played metal. People over there don't care about the genre and they just go to see music and be non judgmental. They loved it for what it was and that was a really new concept. There were people who would show up in glasses and ties and be afraid that we were at the wrong venue but within four chords theyâ&#x2013;ş got it and were mashing like crazy! There were no real social implications that metal was weird and scary, not like they could understand the lyrics anyway, because y'know, language barrier. t

To what extent was the language barrier a problem? Parker: We had a great tour manager and translator who helped us out a lot. Part of the reason why China worked was that unlike the European tours that would benefit us more in the long run was that you can get a hotel room for six dollars and eat for fifty cents. The trains were cheap too. That's obviously not the case in Europe or the States. Shoutout to Painkiller Magazine for helping us out! They knew so much about us, so much stuff you couldn't even Google. There was a lot of respect from people who had high roles. I will say though that day one on this tour has been amazing. Everyone has been March 2016 - VandalaMagazine.Com 73


do

Wikat You Like"

been around the block and is amazing This is the most comfortable first day I have ever had on a tour of the States for sure. Now that Starkill is starting to get really established - where are you going to go from here? Parker: I was talking to someone else earlier about this. When we first formed the band it was our 'first band' and at that point in time I hadn't practiced singing with my clean vocals and had only heard of like ten metal bands so on that first record there's a very prominent influence from a couple of those bands because that was all that I was listening too. I liked a lot of bands with cleans but I couldn't do them. I very specifically made sure to write songs on the first record that would never need cleans. I didn't want to go back and say "Shit I wish I did cleans" I think that our new record with huge clean vocals might have some people calling us sellouts - but actually we just really boxed ourselves in on the first record. On this new record there's no boundaries or judgment. I'm not afraid to call out the influence of bands like All That Remains and Slipknot as well as the traditional stuff. It's just like, "Here it is, deal with it" Now with the new guys in the band and their experience touring it's a four person project versus a one person project which is what the first record was. What do you love so much about music? Parker: When I was ten years old we had a music day at our school and I picked up a saxophone and made notes and it was like 'wow I can make sound'! It was purely coincidental that I could dick around on it. I just like being able to convey images and emotions in a sonic format. I'm not a very emotive person and I'm not a super big metalhead, I listen to Smash Mouth all the time. I like to shred down and get it out in that format. It's all I like to do. I dropped out of college to do this, to scrape by and I love every f*cking second of it. Any final words of wisdom for me? Parker: Do what you like. Having done this for four years the more that we do what we like, the more we like what we do... I think that's an Andrew WK lyric from Party Hard! Help Starkill on their upcoming album by pre-ordering! www.indiegogo.com / projects/ starkill-new-album#

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74 VandalaMagazine.Com - March 2016


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Not Enough People Smilng In Tike Worild Mario from Exmortus is a friendly dude - and a smart one too. He has a clear vision for his band and their breakneck album release cycle. Exmortus have rapidly made a name for themselves as one of the most exciting bands in death metal, and they will never slow down. So, Mario, why do you like making people smile at metal shows? Mario: There's not enough people smiling in the world and it's good to bring some joy to something that I feel shouldn't be taken so seriously in the sense that you don't need to be a stuck up elitist to come to a metal show. It's somewhere to come to just have fun. In high school there was a venue close to my house that would have bands four or five times a week and it was awesome to have an outlet to appreciate music for what it is rather than what people try to make it to be. How do you feel about this tour thus far? Mario: So far so good! We drove straight here from LA with 20-30 minute breaks at the most. Still we had a day to recover. We're in good company. We used to be on a label with Enforcer and we've crossed paths with Cauldron a few times and we've known Warbringer for years. Its good to all be together and to be travelling across the country, aging and putting smiles on people's faces. Even though it's the first night it's pretty good. Everybody got to meet each other earlier and it' just been good vibes all around. This is your second time playing here in three months, where you worried about how the draw would be impacted? Mario: Well last time we were with Marty Friedman he is a big name and this is a big place... I was a little worried because Enforcer haven't played the US in years and we have never toured with Warbringer and I knew we could never pack the place alone. Still - it's pretty good for a Tuesday! I wanted to talk about Ride Forth. How do you feel that it's an evolution on previous stuff? Mario: With every album we try to improve on something, whether it's lyrics or the rhythms or the leads. I feel like with this album we found more of a balance between lyrical structure and melody along with maintaining some sort of a consistent rhythm - not that the previous albums didn't, but this album feels a lot more hooky. A lot of this comes from Conan's evolution as a vocalist, especially since his debut was only on Slave To The Sword. It wasn't that we had never written lyrics before but there had always been someone else to sing them. When Conan went to vocals we made our attempt and with Ride Forth we fine tuned a lot of that. 80 VandalaMagazine.Com - March 2016


Imbriiay,

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The next album will be better. It's like Goldilocks and the porridge, to hot, to cold. I'm happy with how this album turned out but there is room to improve. I think the hooks and choruses are a highlight here but of course the leads are still awesome. Why did you want to make this album hookier? Mario: I think we are comfortable with just playing. We can sit there and just play write riffs and shred. That comes natural. What hasn't really come natural to us so much is the lyrical and I feel like we've nailed the shred work so with this album we wanted to emphasize more on the vocals because we felt like it was something that we were lacking. I definitely got that from previous material. it's like you've come into your own... Mario: Exactly! Everyone in the band started doing things they didn't want to do. I originally started on guitars but we kept losing drummers so I moved to drums. Then we kept losing vocalists so Conan went to vocals and guitar. It's not that we hate doing the instruments and we enjoy writing music but the emphasis on vocals just came from not paying attention to it previously, and like I said we just want to improve and make that effort. Like I said, a lot of times we could just play, and it sounds great musically but the vocals would always come last. We ended up compromising vocal structure for the riffs and sometimes we would have vocal melodies that we thought were great but the riffs were already concrete and it was hard to balance it. With this album a lot of it was written in the studio. While we had a lot of time to pick through there were also a lot of things we missed and I wish we had more time to record. I think that overall we got the songs the way we wanted and we are content with the final product. Did you spend more time in the studio... or were you panicking? Mario: The whole thing was that we wanted to release an album within a year. Having an album helps you get tours and press and gets the momentum going. The issue was that the person who we wanted to record with was not as open with scheduling so we had to book our studio time way in advance to make sure it was guaranteed. When it came down to the eleventh hour whether we had it or not we had to go in. Like I said - we could come up with riffs and ideas for days but I guess the hardest thing was picking which songs we wanted to be on and which riffs were going to be expanded into songs. Some songs ended up being two songs. I think that For The Horde, Speed of the Strike and Relentless were originally one song. But it seemed like two songs, so we split it up and then found a third in there. We built from the ground up. We also wanted to give each song enough attention so by the time we got to the studio a lot of the writing left to do was lyrics. The foundation was there we just had to put the frosting on the cake. I think that anything that we would do is not far off from what we did. If we had to rerecord now it would not be that far from what the actual album was. So did you not feel rushed? Mario: Oh no - we felt extremely rushed. I think we went into wanting nine songs on the album and we only had like 5 ready to go. Some of them were missing entire middle sections. WE had an ending but no bridge. Since we recorded everything day by day I did the first four songs that I could that day, then we went back to our hotel March 2016 - VandalaMagazine.Com 81


Imberivoiew. ikeneis Not Enough People Sfiro in

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and finished writing the next. Learned how to play the drums in the morning and then recorded them. Then while the bass recorded we finished the solos and lyrics. That brought us time too. It was a matter of buying time and figuring out how not to compromise and rush but still get it done. It was extremely rushed and was nerve wracking but it got done. I'm kind of glad that it happened that way. Sometimes there's a little more excitement when you're on the spot and can't question how good something is. A lot of the album is like that. Not all of it though - a lot of the lyrical parts though. Most of the arrangements were there but it wasn't like we were in the studio trying to come up with stuff. It wasn't like Black Sabbath recording Paranoid basically as they wrote it. Are you going to keep up the high pace of putting out albums then? Mario: We're going to try! I can't guarantee that we will come out with something. Right now the goal is if we can't do an album every year then we want to do an EP before the end of this year. We're already working on stuff and we already have a concept and an album title that we could use. I won't say it now because it's so indefinite but it will be about metal and steel and all that stuff. There will be 'steel' in there. I will give that hint! Writing music and jamming music comes naturally to us it's more about figuring out what we want to represent the band because it's really not that definable. Because of that it's kind of hard to say "This is Exmortus" We don't even know half the time! We have an idea a direction and standards but it's a matter of combining all of those elements in a seamless manner. It can't be Frankenstein-esque. It has to look and feel seamless. Is vague homo-eroticism supposed to be a part of that? Mario: Like the buff dudes and stuff? Yeah! (Laughter) Mario: We've never taken it that way, I think Manowar kind of tarnished it. But we do have photo shopped image of us with super pex and stuff. We don't take it as seriously as Manowar but growing up we were all super into fantasy and the band kind of picked up with it and we kind of felt like we don' want to stray from it because a lot of it does tie into day to day life. The stuff is about the band and every aspect of it, we just mask it in a fantasy word It's kind of like getting rid of Eddie in Iron Maiden. He's always there and he's always changing. I think we will eventually grow to more modern themes but we will still have dudes on horses in armor. As we go forward we won't leave behind the homoeroticism though! Maybe we'll bust out some loincloths for the next album cycle! Exmortus is just finishing up their tour February and will be back on stage in Houston, TX at the House of Blues April 15th supporting Amon Amarth. This is one show you want to make sure you grab your tickets early for. Also be sure to grab their latest album 'Ride Forth" out now! Exmortus Online www.exmortusmusic.com www.facebook.comiexmortusofficial www.exmortus-officialibandcamp.com www.twitter.comiexmortusband 82 VandalaMagazine.Com - March 2016


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In, lerivjew Tma,oer 3/404 The Way Of Nature With Tengger Cavalry Interview By Sean Barrett

iltngteeritualirr We unite. We fight.

How did you come across metal living in Asia? Nature: My first time hearing this kind of music is actually from a real time strategy game called Red Alert 2. The menu music is very heavy and I immediately felt like I wanted to listen more of this kind of sound with heavy distortion. Then I bought Metallica and Slipknot albums from few underground metal stores. What's your background in traditional Mongolian Folk music? Is your family involved in playing it? Nature: Not really my family. My mother is more into traditional Chinese opera singing performance while I am into Mongolian folk music. As you might know we have both Mongol and Chinese heritage. I studied traditional Mongolian throat singing and Morin Khuur fiddle for 7 years in Beijing. Tell us about the traditional instruments used. Nature: We use Mongolian horse head fiddle Morin Khuur, Mongolian two string guitar Tobshuur, and Jaw harp. Also for percussion we use Djembe, Frame drum and shakers. How long have you been in NYC, and how do you find it? Nature: I have been living here for 2 and a half years and so far I really like the freedoms here. I am not talking about the political propaganda freedom or the Hollywood filmic motto but the real artistic and philosophical freedom USA provides. This latest album shares its name with a 2010 demo. What's the connection between the two? 84 VandalaMagazine.Com - March 2016


Imberiview. Natuie Gaingambaiga Nature It is an re-arranging and re-composing album based on the 2009/2010 original song structures and musical motives. 2015 saw a massive overhaul to the line-up. What happened there? Nature: So since I moved to NYC in 2013 and my previous Asian band mates couldn't keep up with me, I recruited new people stateside and so far the new line up works very well and I am excited about it. You've mentioned taking influence from film scores. Who are some of your favorite composers, and would you ever consider scoring something? Nature: I actually scored for few documentaries already. But nothing very major. I studied in New York University and majored in Film Music Composition Master Degree. Hans Zimmer is defiantly on my top list, even though people keep bullshitting about how bad he is at reading score [laughing]. His film score is very heavy and epic. From everything you released in 2015, it seems to have been a busy year. What do you have in store for the months ahead? Nature: We are planning for east coast tour, west coast tour and eventually EU tour. Also we are preparing to release a new EP called Mountain Side.

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Tengger Cavalry Online: www.tengger-cavalry.com www.facebook.comftenggerOcavalry www.twitter.com/tenggercavalry www.instagram.comitengger cavalry March 2016 - VandalaMagazine.Com SS


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March 2016 vandala magazine  

The snow is melting and the bands are coming out in full force with tours, and new albums. On the cover we had the honour of interviewing Pa...

March 2016 vandala magazine  

The snow is melting and the bands are coming out in full force with tours, and new albums. On the cover we had the honour of interviewing Pa...

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