November 2016 Vandala Magazine

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PAIN. HOPE, AND SPONGEBOB INTERVIEW WITH THE BODY & FULL OF HELL

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Photograpners

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Contents November 2016 Vandala 8 REVIEWS & EDITORIAL 3 Reno "Politikilla" (Hip-Hop/Rap) Still Corners "Dead Blue" (Pop) Slaves "Take Control" (Rock) Lo Key "Demon Days" (Hip-Hop/Horror) Phantogram "Three" (Dream Pop, Electronica) Aesop Rock & Homeboy Sandman "Lice Two: Still Buggin" (Hip/Hop) Gabriel and the Apocalypse "The Ghost Parade " (Gothic/Industrial) Book Review: Harley Flanagan Hardcore: Life of My Own 18 LIVE MUSIC & PHOTOS Cyndi Lauper Brings Detour to Arlington Theater

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Photo Highlights: Tegan & Sara Dave Stewart: Another Magical Night of Music at the Troubadour in Hollywood Photo Highlights: Morris Day and The Time Australian Indie Band Sticky Fingers Make it a Beer Night Photo Highlights: Tokyo Police Club A Night to Remember With Alice Cooper Ozzfest Meets Knotfest 2016 58 COVER STORY Diving Into Tidal Wave With John Nolan of Taking Back Sunday Nolan spoke to us about some of the big changes the group made during the production of the album and the direction of Tidal Wave along with much more. 52 INTERVIEWS 52 "Original Gangsters" Ben Westhoff on his Explosive New History of West Coast Hip Hop 66 The Show Must Go On Interview with Pansy Division 74 Pain, Hope, and SpongeBob Interview with The Body & Full of Hell

04 VandalaMagazine.Com - November 2016


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


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Editors

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Reiviiew

3 Reno "Politikilla" (Hip-Hop/Rap) By Chad Thomas Carsten - 5/5 Dragons The Canadian hip-hop master that is 3 Reno proves yet again that his skills on the rnic are untouched and people need to stop sleeping on him as an emcee. He straight up bodies more than half of the rappers that exist in today's hip-hop world. "Politikilla" is 3-Reno grabbing hip-hop by the throat and resuscitating the genre that is being plagued by modern wack rappers. "Politikilla" authentic hip-hop from start to finish and Mr. Reno has bars for days, son! Each verse J-Reno drops within this Reel Wolf release just tears through the hip-hop soul, as if the claws of Freddy Kruger were somehow modified by a mad scientific genius to be more destructive and effective at killing. And that's what 3-Reno does best; is kill every beat featured within "Politkila". The album kicks off with a smashing banger titled "Do What I Want" and that's exactly what 3 did. He always has done what he wants. Why follow what the radio is doing? Be yourself and conquer your dreams by staying true and not selling out to the mainstream record label machine and ignore the practice behind the machine of just producing music just to make a hit. That's the true message within "Do What I Want". J creates an underground hit by staying true and doing music because it's his passion. The guitar behind the beat is brilliant and will have listeners grooving out instantly upon first hearing "Do What I Want". For those who've been clamoring for 3 Reno to return to his dark roots will be cheering at the top of their lungs till their vocal cords blow out! "The Burial" is 3-Reno being as raw as he can be and the flow he brings to the table is a monstrosity of syllables that are bound to blow your wig back, losing all your hair permanently as the result of the powerful flow brought forth by Reno. Dieabolik The Monster is guest featured and he slaughters the beat as well! This track is definitely a major highlight inside "Politkilla". The final verdict; This album is a must have for fans of hip-hop period! 3 Reno is extremely lyrical and this release pounds from start to finish! The album even includes scratching records, which is absent from a lot of hip-hop today. Other Major Highlights Include; "Cut EmT Up " featuring Odoub and Brad Shank "All Talk","Money Power Respect","Real Shit" featuring Mersinary and Resin, "Poltikilla" and "Wake Em Up" (Metal Mix). www.jrenomusic.com

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Album Remiew Still Corners "Dead Blue" (Pop) By Michael Smith - 4/5 Dragons The London duo return, continuing the band's evolving sound, fusing Tessa Murray's frolicsome vocals, the ethereal and atmospheric dream-pop sounds fans have come to expect and love, and adding a much more prominent Human League inspired style of 80's new wave synth effects forming a neon colored dreamland of mystery, seduction, curiosity, and passion. Dead Blue is easily the most user friendly release of the band's library, venturing away from the europop styling of 2007's Remember Pepper?, the melancholia world of 2011's Creatures of an Hour, and the traditional dream pop of 2013's Strange STILL Pleasures, however not moving too far away and CORNERS still keeping in contact with these old friends, as well as making new ones. The atmosphere created by this album can be Lynchian at times ("Skimming", "River's Edge"), upbeat and dancy at others ("Currents"), and provide listeners with one the strongest singles of 2016 in the opening track "Lost Boys", which before Murray has completed the heavily luscious first verse listeners, have hopped aboard stellar journey. It may be a bit redundant given the album's title; Still Corners have crafted an album that is the musical equivalent of the color blue, and the many faces it can take. www.stilicorners.com

Slaves "Take Control" (Rock) By Michael Smith - 4/5 Dragons There is no sense in trying to be eloquent in describing this album, it is anything but. Take Control is a full fledge angst-ridden pure British punk album. Produced by Beastie Boy member Mike D who also makes an appearance on the track "Consume Or Be Consumed") this release is loud, trist into the world of punk rock music. The songwriting is top notch and pulls you with a very catchy rhythm section, and before you know it you are hit in the face with the aggression and cheekiness of angered irate youth. On this release, the band was looking to have a policy all lyrical theme hoping to inspire to have an opinion and let it be known, which is made quite clear in the opening track "Spit It Out". This is an album definitely one of the most exciting and energetic punk fans should have been waiting for, and albums to come out this year. Music that will make you opens your eyes physically, mentally, and possibly politically. wwiN.youareallslaves.com November 2016 - VandalaMagazine.Com 09


laum Reiviiew Lo Key "Demon Days" (Hip-Hop/Horror) By Chad Thomas Carsten - 5/5 Dragons Turn off all your lights, ignite the candles, and sit in the dark with your headphones on full blast, because Lo Key has yet again released another underground masterpiece and it's just in time for the season of pumpkin! Demon Days is Lo Key embracing his horror roots more than ever and this release lyrically proves the American Monster has become a God within the horror hip-hop genre. Each verse from this E.P. will straight up lyrically stab listeners directly into the jugular vein, they're just that brutal, yet so beautifully crafted, even the pure hip-hop purists will be having their mouths hung wide open in astonishment (Thanks to La Key's skills on the mic.) long after Demon Days is finished playing. The album kicks off with a spine-chilling intro simply titled "The Chosen Souls". Its words spoken by a young child about the chosen souls walking hand to hand into the fire together. Most album intros are forgettable and are mainly worth a one-time listen, but this intro makes the E.P. feel completely whole and skipping it would be an injustice to the record. Nicely done! The first real track is "Blood & Whiskey" and the beat featured sounds akin to what is known as "Devil Shyt". It's as if it were produced in the depths of Memphis Tennessee, where the devil style hip-hop genre thrives and the production inside channels the darkness flawlessly! The cool part though; "Blood & Whiskey" seems to have been created solely for the fans who've been following the wicked underground since 2001. Underground elites will be rejoicing for weeks on end because this is the first time Madd Maxxx and Lo Key have rapped on a track together in years and they both murdered the beat so hard, crime scene tape had to be wrapped around their verses. Occurring inside "The Devils Knock" are Lo Key and Playboy The Beast giving birth to the best chopper-style track to be heard throughout the hip-hop community within the last five years, while the track "Hush" (Featuring Madd Maxxx) will serve as the main Halloween anthem for the masked society every October 31st, for years to come, thanks to its hauntingly infectious chorus. "Demons Days" closes out with a banger and that's the track "Into the Fire". It's arguably the best song on the E.P., but Ohio's sinister rap group "Alla Xul Elu" steals the song from underneath of Lo Key (That doesn't mean La Key doesn't shine, because he does, indeed!) and make it their own. Alla Xul Elu just simply know how to conquer songs with their own original lyrical darkness, especially Billy Obey; he has the voice to possess over listeners minds because his lyrics just penetrate the ears and brain instantly and never leave! Those who still haven't heard of the group needed to pay attention because the underground desperately needed a group like AXE and they keep the horrorcore genre alive! Mr. Loke-Zilla made the perfect choice including AXE on "Into the Fire". The final verdict; Even if you're not a hip-hop fan and are a huge lover of the horror 10 Vandalarvlagazine.Com - November 2016


genre, then this release shouldn't be slept on at all by the horror hounds. I can picture Horror icons like Tom Savini and Ramsey Campbell admiring the horror brilliance of Lo Key. For those that don't like horror inside their hip-hop, you can't deny the lyrical genius Lo Key brings to the table. He's more talented than ninety percent of the rappers that exist today. www.listentolokey.com

Phantogram "Three" (Dream Pop, Electronics} By Michael Smith - 5/5 Dragons The last two years have been very productive for this duo. 2014 saw them become more of a household (or dorm room) name, with the highly acclaimed album Voices, then 2015 saw them raise to an even larger world of prominence with the Big Boi collaboration Big Grams, and with expectations at an all-time high, we are given their latest release, Three, a high-powered effort on par with the what is expected from the band. The hip hop inspired synth beats continue to impress, and the silky texture of Sarah Barthel's voice creates an ambiance that listeners will want to carry them through the night sky. Some fans were made nervous upon the early releases of a . 1 R F. couple singles the band had ventured into an overly commercial version of their sound and recent success would correlate with the release of an album devoid of the attitude of the past, those fears are misplaced. The mystery is there, the production value has never been better. Three may mark the start of a push into the mainstream (whatever that means anymore), but this album is as ambitious as any of their releases or projects, and stands strongly amongst an amazing catalog. www.phantogram.com

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Aesop Rock

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Homeboy Sandman "Lice Two: Still Buggin" (Hip/Hop) By Chad Thomas Carsten - 5/5 Dragons Aesop Rock and Homeboy Sandman presents "Lice Two: Still Bugging"; A fun filled hip-hop ride that lasts the length of a quick drive to the nearest local record store. "Lice Two: Still Bugging" is bound to challenge listeners, but it will also spark their creative side. Hip-Hop heads will no doubt be constantly bobbing their heads from start to finish to all five tracks, as the production is damn catchy, yet smart and innovating. Each is track produced by a different producer, including Aesop Rock. Yes, it's just five tracks and they're short, sweet, and straight to the point, while continuing to showcase the lyrical genius behind Aesop and Homeboy.

It also shines on the fact of how exactly the two are capable of evolving their flows on each song, but at the same time not trying to be too serious. That's what makes Lice Two a great release. It's not trying to impress and become the greatest rap E.P.; it's Aesop Rock and Homeboy Sandman just simply having fun in the studio and playing off each other brilliant rhyme schemes and respecting one another passion to keep pursuing the art form of the hip-hop genre. All five songs are solid and none should be skipped. This is a great surprise for fans to pop up online for free out of nowhere and the fans should greatly appreciate Lice Two for what it is; a gift to the Rhymesayers family that show nothing but love and support every day! So smile and bump this in your whip on your next trip to the record store. www.aesoprockhomeboysandman.bandcamp.com

Gabriel and the Apocalypse "The Ghost Parade " (Gothic/Industrial) By Chad Thomas Carsten - 4/5 Dragons

GABRIEL AND THE APOCA1APSP THE GHOST PARADE

The Gothic culture is alive and well thanks to the release of "The Ghost Parade". It's a high octane hard rocking release that instantly makes you want to get up and move! Lindy Gabriel's vocals are absolutely stunning inside "The Ghost Parade" and will indeed have fans singing along the entire record countless times, thanks to her beautiful voice! It's fierce, aggressive, yet awesomely catchy and may very well impress the likes of Courtney Love and Jessicka Addams by how powerful Lindy is as a vocalist and songwriter. The Ghost Parade aims at being a concept record and does so effectively without losing any of its bite. With it being a concept record the album brings forth a wide array of emotions, like being strapped down in an electric chair while being

12 VandalaMagazine.Com - November 2016


inside an amusement park roller coaster for hours upon hours with the electric chair shocking you continuously throughout the hellish roller coaster ride of your life! The riffs are spectacular and they downright make you want just jump around your bedroom start moshing with a group friends with how tasty the riffs are. Another strong point of the album is how effective the synthesizers are showcased. They bring forth a dreary raw flavor that opens up your musical soul by creating a wall of overabundant feelings and experiences a person has never felt before until they heard the driving synths from Gabriel and The Apocalypse, while also making the record sound like it belongs as the main theme to the world ending. Above all, The Ghost Parade is unique and original. Fans of the darker material will be rejoicing. The Gothic Industrial genre needed this type of record. For fans of Marilyn Manson, Alice In Videoland, Hole, Jack of Jill, and Flyleaf. Major Highlights Include: "Until We Dream", "The Ghost Parade", "Beauty Under Glass", "Everything Is Red", "Thrill Of The Kill" and "Since We've Become Ghosts" www.gabrielandtheapocalypse.com 411111R%e/

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Harley Flanagan Hardcore: Life of My Own By Chad Thomas Carsten - 5/5 Dragons

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Harley Flanagan expresses the lifestyle and all the struggles he experienced as a musician throughout his entire career in such great detail, that readers are fully able to close their eyes and picture everything that's written inside "Hardcore: Life of my Own". The words are written so in-depth, it's as if the person reading were side by side with Harley witnessing all the chaos that occurred during 1970's Euro punk scene and 1980's era of hardcore; that's how great of a writer Harley is! You can truly feel every word on every page and all the situations involving Mr. Flanagan like it's your very own memory.

The most beautifully written part of the book is Harley describing his life in Denmark before moving to New York City. Knowing that Harley and his mother had to hitchhike across Europe to survive is so heart-breaking! It just tugs at the heart strings so hard that you can almost feel your heart about to fall out of your chest, yet it captures Harley's childhood so flawlessly, the struggle just straight up This book is the punch in the face you want and need. pops out of the pages and strangles you — Anthony Bourcbin by the throat till you're turning blue about half dead and then the force of the struggle slowly let's go so you can breath again and continue to have your mind blown by what the pages contain. The first chapter proves this book needs a motion picture and if it does become one, whoever directs it needs to include the scene of Harley punching out the truck driver in Spain because the driver attacked Marley's mother and tried to force himself on her. It's just beyond powerful and proves that Harley's mother meant everything to him, no matter what the situation involved he was there for her every step of the way. Another major highlight is the final chapter, which dives into great detail about CBGB Fest slashing incident. Readers eyes will be popping straight out of their skulls by what's written. It's just the way Harley's words will move readers. His words inside the final chapter are capable of raising your adrenaline level to heights you've never felt before. Readers will be thinking twice on it if they were somehow stabbed with a needle pumped full of adrenaline upon reading, it's just so intense! Above all; this is a great read! Fans of the hardcore genre won't be able to put "Hardcore: Life of my Own" once they start reading and will end up reading the entire book in one sifting, it's just that great. Salute to Harley Flanagan for writing such a masterpiece! 14 VandalaMagazine.Com - November 2016


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Cyndi Lauper Brings Detour to Arlington Theater Photos and Article By L. Paul Mann Cyndi Lauper sauntered on to the stage of the historic Arlington Theater Wednesday night Sept. 29, literally with a suitcase in hand. The feisty 63 year old singer opened with a Wanda Jackson cover song from her new country tribute album, Detour. The pop icon, who has sold over fifty-million records, belted out the song in her trademark bluely voice, sounding more like a teenage rock star, than a sexagenarian. The singer proceeded to lay down a diverse fourteen song set, exhibiting the same crystal clear vocals, throughout the entire two-hour performance. In a style similar to the comedic Steve Martin, who recently played in Santa Barbara, Lauper spent as much time injecting witty story telling into her set as she did the music. The result was obviously endearing to the adoring crowd who sat patiently through most of the set. Early in the show Lauper brought put her opening act performer, Charlie Musselwhite as her special guest. She praised the 72 year old harmonica player, who played on her 2010 hit blues album, Memphis Blues. From the Blues Lauper turned to pop music next with a tribute to the R&B rock rhythms of Prince. The lavish theater, at first was under the strict control of a draconian security staff. But, late in the set the mood suddenly changed when Lauper played her 1983 hit cover of "Money Changes Everything," originally a tune by the punk rock group, The Brains. Shortly after she began singing the song, the singer abruptly ordered the band to stop. Eyeing a particularly aggressive security guard she yelled at him, "Wait, we're not allowed to dance? I'm up her breaking my ass, and the audience is sitting in their chairs. Where the hells are we; a Mormon church?" With that said all hell broke loose and the pent up audience rushed the stage overwhelming the astonished security guards. From that point it was game on with the crowd singing, dancing, and high-fiving the amped up singer. Lauper led her crack band into a two song encore featuring her two biggest hits. The reworked songs featured a country tinge reflecting the talents of the highly skilled band. The crowd sang nearly every word of "Time After Time" and "Girls Just Want to Have Fun." Lauper earlier had mentioned the latter song, recalling the irony that it was written by a man. Long a proponent of LBGT and equal rights for women, Lauper 18 VandalaMagazine.Com - November 2016


changed the lyrics at the end of the song and encouraged everyone to sing along, "Girls just want equal funds." The beloved singer returned for one last solo encore, playing an acoustic guitar and singing, "True Colors." The song was both the title track and the first single released from Lauper's second album. She ended the evening by urging everyone to vote, reminding the audience "It's the first time in history we can vote for one of us."

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Cyndi Lauper latest album "Detour" is out now and available at all major retailers such as iTunes. Also check her out online to see everything Cyndi is up to including show dates! Cyndi Lauper Online: www.cyndilauper.com www.faebook.com/ofticialcyndilauper www.twitterecom/Cyndilauper www.instagram.comfcyndilauper www.youtube.comicyndilauperni

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Dave Stewart Another Magical Night of Music at the Troubadour in Hollywood Photos and Article By L. Paul Mann Dave Stewart brought another magical night of music to Hollywood on Monday night 14111111r October 3 at the iconic Troubadour nightclub in x - kss*I.;N Hollywood. The masterful English rock guitarist is, perhaps best known as one-half of one of the most successful pop duos of the 1980'5, The A Eurythmics. He has been a regular fixture in the Hollywood music scene over the last several years, playing numerous jam sessions in the I most prestigious small venues around town, including the Troubadour, Roxy, El Rey Theater and the Ricardo Montalban Theater. Billed as Dave Stewart and Friends or the Dave Stewart Rock And Roll Circus, the extended jam always feature sessions surprise guest singers, which in the past have included Joss Stone, Pink, Ringo Starr and Marilyn Manson to name a few. But the well-known singers that join Stewart on the stage are just part of the musical magic L. Paul Mann that the self-proclaimed ringmaster creates. The shows also include a phenomenal band of veteran sessions musicians that Stewart put together to create several albums at the Nashville studio owned by John and Martina McBride, the Blackbird Studios. •

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The Hollywood shows have even included the Lucha VaVoom alternative circus, featuring masked Mexican wrestlers, burlesque dancers, and acrobats. The shows always showcase new talent from the stable of performers that Stewart produces. The marathon concerts, with tickets never costing more than $25.00, are all unique and truly astounding musical events, each in their own right. The shows feel even more special in the light of the immense success of Stewart in undertakings ranging from film and television production, music production, author, director, photographer, filmmaker, and philanthropist. Two years ago, Stewart appeared on the 50th-anniversary television special honoring The Beatles first appearance on the Ed 22 VandalaMagazine.Com - November 2016



Sullivan show, alongside Annie Lennox, in a Eurythmics reunion. He also filled the Hollywood Bowl for three consecutive nights the same year, doing concerts honoring the 50th anniversary of The Beatles performance at the Bowl. The latest incarnation of Dave Stewart and friends featured long time collaborators from his Nashville session, Randy Cooke on drums, Jon Button on bass, Michael Rojas on keyboards and the multitalented Dan Dunmore on guitar and pedal steel guitar. The band played several songs from Stewart's extensive collection of solo albums, before bringing out guest saxophonist, Michael Lington who laid down a rock jazz jam perforce that wowed the crowd for several songs. Backup singers Stevvi Alexander and Holly Quin-Ankrah then took over vocals for a spine-tingling rendition of the Eurythmics classic, Here Comes The Rain Again. The main guest of the night, New Zealand vocalist Jon Stevens then took the stage. Stevens is a veteran rock singer. Although he is a New Zealand-born singer of Maori descent, he moved to Australia and became a citizen of that country in 1981 to pursue his music career. He has been in many successful bands; including a two-year stint in the classic 80 's rock band IN CS, after the death of their original lead singer Michael Hutchence. On Ringo Starr's 76 birthday last July 7, Stevens appeared with Stewart in front of the iconic Capitol records building, right beside Ringo's star on the infamous Hollywood "Walk Of Fame," to sing several songs with Ringo. Stevens and Stewart have reportedly been working on a secret new album together called Starlight. As soon as Stevens began to sing it was apparent why Stewart chose him to work on the project. The bluely singer belted out a tirade of classic rock tinged wailing vocals throughout the rest of the night. There were more surprises yet to come, in what has become a trademark of the unique musical events that Stewart has orchestrated. Towards the end of the set, Stewart brought out another guest, Vanessa Joy Amorosi, an Australian singer-songwriter and recording artist. Although not that well known in the United States, her combined album, and single sales have reached over 2 million worldwide. The veteran singer with a phenomenal vocal range was a good matchup, holding her own in duets with Stevens that astounded the audience. The night continued with a surprise rap song by yet another young Australian guest singer. The entire entourage returned for a spellbinding two song encore of Eurythmics classics, Missionary Man and Sweet Dreams. The packed audience in the tiny theater all sang along with the band in what surely felt like a magical mystical moment for all involved. www.davestewart.corn 24 VandalaMagazine.Com - November

2016


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Australian India Band Sticky Fingers Make it a Beer Night Australian indie band Sticky Fingers put on a beer-soaked performance this Thursday at SAIT's The Gateway. Touring in promotion of their recent album drop, Westway (The Glitter and the Slums), the five Sydney, Australia natives played a solid combination of new songs and old favourites. As lead singer Dylan Frost sung stories of drinking, drugs and debauchery, it became clear that the young crowd could relate as they screamed the lyrics back at him between sips of their drinks.

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While the band themsel audience's unwavering created such magical en Fingers' popularity in evident in the large twenty somethings that of whom find Calgary's appealing. 30 VandafaMagazine.Com - November 2016


When the show ended, Sticky Fingers left the stage to the sound of the roaring audience. Calls for a second encore were lost amongst the chatter of the crowd as they dispersed, headed to their next party destination. The fact that it was a thursday seemed not to matter. Sticky Fingers will continue their tour, having booked dates all the way through until 2017. What they have planned after that is unknown; however, it is obvious that they will always be welcomed back to Calgary with open arms. Article & Photos by Claire Bourgeois Photography

es played well, it was the enthusiasm which really ergy that evening. Sticky heir home country was ercentage of Australian Hied The Gateway, many proximity to the ski hills

November 2016 - VandalaMagazine.Com 31


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A Night to Remember With Alice Cooper Article by Ashton Clemmer Photos: Crystal Lee Vandala Photography With only a couple weeks before Halloween, it seemed more than fitting that Penticton, B. was getting ready to witness the Godfather of Shock Rock himself, Alice Cooper. The 'Spend the Night With Alice Cooper Tour' had arrived in the small mountain city and brought with it tons of anticipation from fans. Known for his on stage theatrics, and impressive sets, fans could only imagine the night they had ahead of them. However whatever was going through their minds couldn't compare to what was in store for the South Okanagan Events Centre on October 16th, 2016, but no one left disappointed. With people packed in they seats, the lights went out and everyone rose to their feet. The show kicked off with 'The Black Widow', and 'No More Mister Nice Guy' and as the night progressed, each song seemed to have a theme that came along with it, whether it be multiple wardrobe changes from a massive "toy box" that was behind the band on stage, too a massive ten foot tall monster costume that accompanied the song, "Feed My Frankenstein" as well as a mock beheading of Cooper during "I Love the Dead". As the show went on, I became increasingly impressed with the stamina and performance of Alice Cooper. This guy is almost seventy years old and shows no signs of slowing down. His vocals were clean and crisp and he sounds as good as he did thirty years ago. Despite the theatrics events happening on stage, it was hard to keep my eyes off of guitarist Nita Strauss. Strauss has to be one of the most entertaining guitarists rye ever seen live. When she wasn't melting faces with her powerful riffs or shredding her guitar with insane solos, Strauss was all over the stage and totally captivated the audience with her plethora of guitar tricks, including some serious guitar spins. During a lengthy solo, she not only played her guitar strings but also played the heart strings of every guy in that arena. With the amount of talent, she displayed, it's obvious as to why she's playing alongside Cooper. Near the end of the show, Cooper and his band paid tribute to late artists, Keith Moon of `The Who', David Bowie, and Lemmy Kilmister of `Motorhead' by performing his own renditions of 'Pinball Wizard' (The Who), 'Suffragette City' (Bowie), and 'The Ace of Spades' (Motorhead). Cooper then finished out the night with the widely known songs, 'Eighteen', `School's Out' and 'Elected' which included copious amounts of balloons, confetti, fireworks, and even two masked people dressed as Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton fighting, and making out on stage. Alice Cooper and his band joined hands for a final bow as the act had come to a close, and with a "Goodnight and Happy Halloween!" from Cooper, the group disappeared off stage. Although there were no opening acts, the audience was perfectly content with having only Cooper play for the evening, and concert-goers would have loved to see more as the night came too a close, what seemed like too soon. After a massive 22 song set, the crowd slowly shuffled out onto the street, better people after getting to spend the night with Alice Cooper. 34 VandalaMagazine.Com - November 2016



South Okanagan Even Centre (SOEC) Penticton, BC, October 16, 2016

Full Photo Gallery Online HERE 36 VandalaMagazine-com - November 2016


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November 2016 - VandalaMagazine.Com 37


Ozzfest Meets Knotfest 2016 Photos and Article By L. Paul Mann Day 1: Black Sabbath Says Goodbye to California at Ozzfest On the top of a hill, at the back of the massive San Manuel amphitheater in Devore California, a carnival sideshow was adorned with a sign that read "Welcome to Hell" The carnival was a part of the first two days Ozzfest meets Knotfest combined heavy metal festival. The moniker was an appropriate one for the opening $?, day of Ozzfest, as the festival unfurled across the massive expanse of the largest outdoor venue in the United States. One of the final days of summer offered up the relentless blazing sunshine with temperatures nearing the century mark. A huge traffic jam ensued as nearly 40,000 people made their way to the rural venue located in the midst of the San Bernardino County desert landscape. Hot dry winds blew a steady cloud of dust across the vast expanses, from the parking lot al to the amphitheater. Once inside fans were greeted with a massive festival landscape featuring four Ross Halfin music stages, countless vendor stands, and a classic carnival complete with an old fashioned sideshow. Across the festival grounds large natural gas installations periodically belched massive flames into the air. women on giant stilts, dressed in little more than black bikini thongs posed for photos with excited metal fans. Sword swallowing and pig wrestling were just a few of the sideshow attractions. Against this hot, hellish windswept backdrop, thousands of eager metal music fans mashed and crowd surfed in huge man-made dustbowls. The music began early, just before a blazingly hot high noon, with secondary stages offering up non-stop hardcore metal music. Mostly nondescript opening bands laid down a relentless hardcore beat, while their vocalists shouted out their lyrics in primordial screams. Younger festival goers were caught up in the excitement of the pit early on, while older fans seemed to be pacing themselves for the main stage action, which began later in the afternoon. By the time hardcore punk rock veterans Suicidal Tendencies took the stage for the final set on one of the secondary stages, sponsored by Monster beverages, a huge nosh pit had formed. 38 VandalaMagazine.Com - November 2016



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Lime Comerege. Ozogest eets Kmotfest 2016 Ozzfest made its first appearance at the amphitheater twenty years ago. Ozzy and Sharon decided it was time to revive their slumbering festival, which had been on a touring hiatus for nearly a decade, as a fitting finale for the final Black Sabbath concert ever in California. The latest incantation of Ozzfest featured six established heavy metal heavy hitters on the main stage. These included explosive sets by opening bands, Rival Sons, Black Label Society, and Opeth. The logistics and mechanics at the main stage were nearly perfect. The massive sound system worked flawlessly and bands generally kept to their tight schedules. By the time the sun began to set, offering respite from the relentless heat, a huge crowd had gathered to hear the veteran metal mavens Megadeth play an ear shattering ninety-minute set. Led by iconic metal guitarist, Dave Mustaine, the band captured the rapt attention of the dusty crowd early on. The former Metallica lead guitarist had the distinction of being too much of a hardcore party animal for that band and was asked to leave. The fiery performer then formed Megadeath which has been part of the "Big Four" of heavy metal music ever since. Long time bassist for the band, David Ellefson rejoined the band several years ago and the current incantation of the group is a cohesive powerhouse of classic heavy metal music. By the time Disturbed took the stage, the desert sky had blackened and the giant gas torches lit up the night sky in bombastic explosions. The stage itself became a hellish scene of exploding flames throughout the set. The group was the most melodic band on the main stage to precede the headliners Black Sabbath. Also, one of the most commercially successful groups to play the festival, the band tore through a ninety-minute hard rock set that inspired the crowd to moth and crowd surf. By the time the band played their huge hit song, "The Sickness," most of the massive crowd were on their feet. Black Sabbath took the stage for their farewell performance just before 10. The band performed a nearly two-hour set, playing the 14 song set list that the group has been playing on the final leg of "The End" tour. The show is actually a scaled back version of the one that they performed locally and worldwide back in 2013, when the band reunited to record their first album together since 1978. That album, Black Sabbath 13, may be one of the group's strongest albums to date, augmented by the immense talents of legendary producer Rick Rubin and drum tracks by Brad Wilk from Rage Against The Machine. The last time the original band members played together in southern California, including original drummer Bill Ward, was during the 2005 Ozzfest tour. The band headlined an army of heavy metal favorites at that show, including Slipknot. The final Ozzfest saw bassist Geezer Butler and guitarist Tony Iommi in fine form strumming the heavy blues rock beats that became the blueprint for heavy metal music. Ozzy, as is often the case during his performances apologized for being under the weather. But he more than made up for his choppy and off-key vocals, with his sheer energy prancing about the stage like a teenage rock star. The set list included the band's most iconic hit songs, but sadly the band dropped the three songs from the new album, they had included in the set list on the 2013 tour. The shorter set was a bit disappointing, especially since it was most likely the very last performance the band would make in California. But after playing 19 dates alone in the last few months, it was amazing that the aging rock stars had the stamina to perform even the shortened set. It was a bittersweet moment for Black Sabbath fans young and old as they said goodbye to the originators of the heavy metal music genre. 42 VandalaMagazine.Com - November 2016



Likvie Comerege. Qz•gest eets Kmolfest 2016

Knotfest Takes Over San Manuel Amphitheater The Sunday festival began with little difficulty, with the opening bands on the three side stages playing pretty much on schedule. Temperatures were nearly as hot as the day before tempered only by stronger desert winds. The downside to the temperate wind was a virtual dust storm blowing across the venue. Music fans who arrived early in the day to mush and crowd surf, sported bandana masks to help fend off the dust. The masked audience created a bit of a Mad Max scenario across the festival grounds. Bands like the Butcher Babies began early, riling up the crowd which seemed significantly younger than the day before. While things were going well on the secondary stages, the organization on the main stage was not as fortunate. Ozzfest had the benefit of an extra day of preparation to prepare the massive production. But Knotfest had to try and load in their equipment in less than a day and almost immediately ran into problems. The opening set for Motionless In White was delayed for over an hour as technicians struggled to get everything set. The gothic metal band had their thirty minute set cut even shorter by the delay. But that didn't help make up the time line for the rest of the festival and each set change seemed to take up an agonizing amount of time, cutting short nearly every set of the day. Only the headliners Slipknot managed to play a full set. Trivium, the Orlando Florida based heavy metal rock band, played a brief but spirited set helping bring the early main stage crowd out of their heat induced coma. But it was the heavy metal veterans, Anthrax that really got the crowd going. The New York based band is one of three of the "Big Four" metal bands that appeared at the two day festival. Sadly they had their set cut short as well. 44 Vandalallagazine.Com - November 2016




November 2016 - VandalaMagazine.Com 47


Li kvie Comerege. Qz•gest

tâ–ş Kmolfest 20 6 The delay actually helped the next band, Swedish death metal mavens Amon Amarth deliver a more powerful presentation. Stage hands struggled to build their stage set, which included a giant Viking ship, complete with a centerpiece drum riser. The delay sent the set time for the animated performers into the night, allowing the band to perform in the desert darkness. The darkness suited the band with a pension for the dramatic delivering a performance that would be right at home in a segment of "The Game of Thrones." Led by vocalist Johan Hegg, the band includes guitarists Olavi Mikkonen and Johan Soderberg and bassist Ted Lundstrom, all of whom look the part of Viking warriors. The band used their props well, with Hegg sporting a gianthammer of Thor and all the

band members jumping on and of the massive Viking ship in the middle of the stage. The theatrics of Amon Amarth were topped only by the sheer energy of the next band to take the main stage. Slayer may be the most hardcore metal band of the "Big Four," and had many adamant fans in the crowd. Their set was probably the most intense of the final day, with the euphoric crowd only unhappy at the end, when the veteran rockers also had to end their set early. The final set of the night by Slipknot was definitely a crowd pleaser. Benefiting from being able to play the only full set of the day, the band played a very special performance of their album Iowa, in its entirety. The performance was in honor of the 15 year anniversary of the release of the album. The dark album was the second from the Iowa based band and helped solidify their stature in the heavy metal community. Slipknot is as much about performance art as it is about the music and even the serious fall that lead singer Corey Taylor took recently, resulting in a neck fracture, didn't slow him or the band down. With multiple drum risers catapulting the multiple drummers into the air, the masked musicians' frantically racing about the stage and massive flame throwers exploding all across the stage, the show at times looked like a sadistic clown convention in hell. The crowd loved the show savoring every second, singing the chorus on almost every song. It was a strong finish after a day of mayhem at Knotfest 2016. www.ozzfestmeetsknotfest.com www ozz fest. co m www.facebook.com/KNOTFEST www.facebook.comiozzfestofficia I 48 VandalaMagazine.Com - November 2016



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Ben Westhoff is an award-winning journalist who has written pieces for some of the biggest media outlets in America. He was also the music editor at L.A. Weekly. In 2011, he published a book about the southern based hip hop scene called Dirty South. A scene which built and bred some of hip hop's most revered acts, including Outlast and Wayne. His new book, Original Gangstas: The Untold Story of Dr. Dre, Eazy-E, Ice Cube, Tupac Shakur and the Birth of West Coast Rap, is generating rave reviews and must-read status for any fan of the genre of hip hop, or music history in general. We spoke to him about his new book and what went into writing one of the definitive accounts of west coast gangsta rap. How long was this idea germinating in your head? Ben: I was a big fan of this music in high school. The Chronic and Doggystyle were the biggest albums in my school when I was there, so I've always been a fan. And when I was at L.A. Weekly in 2011, I got an opportunity to interview a lot of these big names, like Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg and Ice-T. And I had written a history of southern hip hop and initially thought about doing a complete history of the west coast, but decided that the era between the formation of N.W.A. and culminating with the deaths of Biggie and Tupac, highlighted a really exciting period for this music. So did you start on this hook immediately after finishing your previous book (Dirty South)? Ben: No I didn't have anything in the hopper, and it sort of came to me like a bolt of

lightning, like, 'this is what rye got to do' How easy or hard was it to get cooperation from the subjects of this book? Ben: With some exceptions, most people were happy to

cooperate. Some people have

mentioned the fact that it was such a volatile era, but I think that these things happened twenty, twenty-five years ago really loosened people's tongues and they were able to talk about stuff that they wouldn't have back when it was happening. Were you ever able to connect with Suge Knight? Ben: No, that would've been amazing, but he wasn't interested in having company.

How did you prepare for this book? Ben: I just tried to read everything I could. I read every book, every magazine article,

every interview, and I just kept really extensive outlines. Once I combined all my interviews and court documents that I found as primary source stuff, it kind of wrote itself. The information itself is so compelling. Your last book took place during a more recent time period, was it more difficult in this book to write about an era that happened over twenty years ago? Ben: Yeah. I mean essentially this is like a history book. And I was fortunate that most

of the people I wanted to talk to are alive. But it gets more difficult the further you go into the past. So sometimes what someone said might not add up to the historical record. And that's understandable. I can't remember what happened twenty-five years ago. But it's not so far in the past that you can't put all the documents together and get November 2016 - VandalaMagazine.Com 53


a good sense of what actually happened. While you were writing this book, the movie Straight Outta Compton came out and was hugely successful. You mention the movie a number of times throughout the first half of the book. Did the movie influence your research at all? Ben: Initially, we thought about rushing the book release so that it coincided with the release of the film, but I wanted to wait and report this out thoroughly, and I'm glad we did that. Most of the stuff in Straight Outta Compton was kind of the broad strokes of this story. But I'm glad the film came out. I thought it was good and it brought a renewed attention to this era, which I think is very worthy of attention. I think it was the success of the film that led N.W.A. to get inducted into the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame. Even though a couple of decades have passed, you touch on some pretty sensitive stuff in this book. Stuff including not only the musicians, but the L.A.P.D. and some gangs in the L.A. area. Did you encounter any threatening situations while researching this story? Ben7 Not really. There was some off-record stuff. I've definitely got a file of stuff that was too hot for the book. Stuff that's so scandalous and out there that, either I couldn't identify it, or someone's security would be threatened if I published it. One thing I like about the book is you don't let your position as a fan let anyone off the hook. For example, you go into detail on the allegations against Dr. Dre regarding his abuse of women in his younger years. Was there ever any hesitancy in regard to including some of this stuff? Ben: Well, my philosophy as a journalist has always been that your readers are who you're responsible for and that you have a responsibility for the truth. But I always

wanted to be fair. I never wanted to disparage someone, or talk trash about someone for no reason. Its important to keep in mind that these guys were all in their early twenties or late teens. If someone was writing about all the crap I did when I was that age, I couldn't even imagine it. But while violence against women is always wrong and violence, period, is always wrong, I just wanted to tell the whole story and not be judgmental. Just let people come to their own conclusions. What was the most surprising thing you discovered while researching this book that you hadn't known before? Ben: Definitely the stuff about Eazy-E on his death bed. He was diagnosed with HIV, and then was downgraded to full blown AIDS very, very quickly. Not long before that, he fired (his manager) Jerry Heller, and on his death bed he married his girlfriend. Then there were all these machinations to get control of Ruthless Records, which was valued at $30 million at the time. And the Nation of Islam came to guard him by his bedside and they were trying to cure him of AIDS with this experimental drug from Kenya that people legitimately thought could cure him. So these are all things I discovered while reporting my book. It was a crazy few weeks and people are still, to this day, unraveling it all. There are all sorts of conspiracy theories about how Eazy died. People have blamed everyone from Suge Knight, to Jerry Heller, to Eazy's widow to the CIA and Jack Ruby, probably. So I untangled all these theories in my book and that was really fulfilling as a reporter and really surprising at the same time. The book ends with the deaths of Biggie and Tupac. Those deaths killed that era of hip hop music, as far as I'm concerned. But the 90's were a golden age for hip hop. From Ice Cube's first record in 1990, right through to the release of Eminem's Slim Shady LP in '99. Do you feel like you're done with this decade of rap history, or do you feel you might 54 VandalaMagazine.Com - November 2016


Im permiew, Rem Westliiofif l 'Origiroal GaiiigsterGi return to it sometime down the road?

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Ben: Well I think this era, and these personalities and this music is endlessly compelling. But I don't have any plans to do another project on this era. At least not right now.

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Fair enough. Now, I have to ask this, so forgive the unoriginality here, but: best hip hop album of all time? BP— . From this era, I would probably say (Snoop Dogg's) Doggystyle. I think (Dr. Dre's) The Chronic is amazing, but I think Doggystyle is just a little bit better. But personally, I think Kanye West's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is my favorite album of any genre of all time. Good picks. I would put both Doggystyle and MBDTF in my top five, for sure. Finally, this book might be the definitive account of the gangsta rap era thus far. Does gangsta rap still exist, or did it die in the mid-90's? Ben ; Thank you for saying that A lot of the ideas from gangsta rap, thematically, are still around and I would say dominate hip hop today, this sort of gangster mentality. But nobody calls it gangsta rap anymore, it has all kw sorts of different sub-genre J titles, like drill, trap and ratchet. All those genres owe a debt to gangsta rap though. Even if the sounds aren't necessarily the same, I think it's fair to say that gangsta rap is still alive. "Original Gangstas: The Untold Story of Dr. Dre, Eazy-E, Ice Cube, Tupac Shakur, and the Birth of West Coast Rap" Ben Westhoff is out - ow and available at Amazon and other retailers in both hardcover and digital. Also be sure to check out many of Bens' other great books such as "Dirty South: OutKast, Lit Wayne, Soulja Boy, and the Southern Rappers Who Reinvented Hip-Hop" For more information visit: www.benwesthoff.comi www.facebook-com/dirtysouthbook www.twitter.comiben_westhoff November 2016 - VandalaMagazine.Com 55


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ImtoTidal Waive I have been listening to Taking Back Sunday for a very long time. Unsurprisingly, the first song I ever heard from the group was "Cute Without The 'E' (Cut from the Team) from their debut album, "Tell All Your Friends" which was released back in 2002. That album would act as a catalyst for my following the group as it did for a major portion of the band's fan-base. Current lead guitarist John Nolan, who is an original member of Taking Back Sunday, performed on the iconic album, but before its massive success, Nolan had exited the group in 2003 to form Straylight Run. In 2010 Nolan returned to Taking Back Sunday, and the group has since made three records after his return, the September 16th, 2016 release of Tidal Wave being the third. When listening to Tidal Wave, long-time fans are going to be taken back by it's sound and direction. However, it's something old and new fans are also going to be completely enthralled in. The album displays a massive growth in the groups sound, and capabilities musically, showcasing the individual abilities, and advancements in their art. Nolan spoke to us about some of the big changes the group made during the production of the album and the direction of Tidal Wave. Before the official release of the album, Tidal Wave, were you getting anxious for the fans to hear it? John: I was. It's always a crazy time leading up to a record like this. We finished recording it months ago and that's usually the case; there being a huge gap between finishing a record and release time. You have all that time to live with the record and get excited about it during the big build up to the release and there's always a lot of anticipation What did you think your fan's initial reaction was going to be? John: I'm never really sure. For me this record is a big step forward for the band and it's a big step forward from the last album. I think people listening to it for the first time are going to be really surprised and really excited about it. You never really know, it's hard to predict how people are going to react to certain things. To you, personally, how does the Tidal Wave album compare to the previous efforts you've done with Taking Back Sunday? John: I am extremely proud of the self-titled album (2011) and 'Happiness Is' (2014) and I feel with each of those albums we were learning a lot and breaking some new ground. With Tidal Wave, I feel like we took everything we learned from making those two other albums and took all of it and ran with it; we went to another level. 'Tidal Wave' seems very sentimental. and listening to it, I sensed a lot of growth and maturity in the group's sound since the days of 'Tell All Your Friends' (2002). To what extent did past experiences influence this record? John All any of us can really draw from is our experiences and whether it's the lyrics or the melodies, I think all of that comes, very much from our lives and what we've personally experienced. It's hard to say how it all filters into music and how it affects it, but that's what we do as a band; we put our lives into our music. What methods did you use while you were making this album, and was anything done differently during production than on previous efforts? 60 VandalaMagazine.Com - November 2016


OirrirbWilevy 0 JUREIONÂŽIMINSIlifiTigliBaek Mrirc John: One of the big changes is that with the last two albums we had an initial writing period of where we would just get together outside of the studio and write, and do really rough versions of songs for a couple of weeks. Then we wouldn't start doing demos for those songs until we got together for another session at a studio. With this record, we just jumped right into the studio and started doing demos for everything as we were writing it. We sort of skipped our first step by moving right into the studio. Also, throughout the recording of the record we ended up just taking this stance that the songs are not ever "done" and that anything can be added or taken away from them, all the way up until the record is done being made. That was something we didn't do as much with the last two [albums]. We might have done it during pre-production but when it came to actually recording the record, it was like, 'ok, this is the song now, and we're recording it this way.' With Tidal Wave, the songs were constantly evolving right up until the end.

TAKING BACK SUNDAY ==-1

Do you think going straight into the studio was a better way to build the album? John: I do. It turned out that way (laughs), and we weren't really sure if it would be better because we had liked that, in the past, you have that initial phase of really rough writing. Going immediately into the studio seemed to be a better situation and one thing that ended up working out is that the studio we went to do some of the earliest demos ended up being the place where we recorded the record. We had just gone to that studio to demo only and we ended up loving it, and loving the engineer, Mike Pepe, who was working on our demos there. So we had him also working the record with us. Some of it was just luck that we ended up at that studio. It was a great place, and to have that place where we could stay at and keep working, and keep developing the songs where we had initially begun recording. Did having Mike Pepe engineering bring a new aspect to the record? Definitely. We had Mike Sapone producing the record, and with Mike [Pepe] engineering and their interactions with each other and influences on one another; from the sounds we would get, into what choices in direction to take a song, having them was a very big part of the record and it wouldn't have been the same if they had not been involved. I noticed that there is a lot of acoustic guitar on this album. Was having more acoustic something that was planned? John: It just felt right and honestly until you said that, I didn't really think about it (laughs). It's kind of funny too because there isn't really an "acoustic song" on the album which is interesting, as in there isn't a stripped down, just nothing but acoustic and vocals type songs. I personally always try to work in the acoustic to any recording because I love the texture and the sound of the acoustic guitar. I especially like it when November 2016 - VandalaMagazine.Com 61


Imberiviiewg DiivAirag Imto liicial Wayke it adds that percussive element to a track where it's buried within the song but you hear that percussiveness of the acoustic coming through. The percussion is showcased a lot throughout the album, through the acoustic, but also heavily through the drums. How did the drum tracks affect each song during writing? John: Our drummer, Mark [O'Connell] has always been a huge part of our song writing

process. On this album, he took things to another level. We received songs, maybe three or four of them, where he wrote the music for them on Garage Band on his phone. It was electronic, so he was making beats in Garage Band and doing keyboard and some synth stuff. So the starting point of those songs was his rhythms and melodies. I think because of him [O'Connell] being a drummer, even when he does something on a keyboard, he's thinking rhythmically and it made some of the songs different from what they would have been. We've never really written anything starting from that point, with a Garage Band type of track. Mark has been playing for so long now, that his confidence level, and his skill level in the studio is through the roof, and he's gotten to the point where he can do some really complicated, crazy stuff and pull it off, knowing how to do it the right way This is your fourth album, with Taking Back Sunday, has working with the group over the years made the songwriting process easier? John: To some extent, there's always a little bit of a feeling after you're done making a record that you wonder if you're going to be able to do it again, like you're unsure how it's going to get started, but then it always ends up happening. There's a momentum that we have going. Since we put out that self-titled album, we toured constantly and then went right into making Happiness Is (2014). After that we toured constantly again and then jumped right into the current album. I think there's a momentum that we've brought with us that really helps." I'd like to talk about the music video for "You Can't Look Back." It's fairly graphic and unpredicted. What inspired the idea for the video to go in that direction? John: The character has the idea to have a bonfire party in the dessert, thats the setting in the video, and initially that idea; to have this fun party, just kind of hanging out. We liked the idea of that and the visual of that, then Adam [Lazzara] started saying that something dark, and more f*cked up needs to be going on. That was the start of it and we all agreed that if we could combine that fun party atmosphere with something that was a little disturbing and nightmarish. To me, it was presenting this nightmarish scenario where everything is great, and fun and all of a sudden, nobody sees you and you're literally collapsing and dying without anyone noticing. What is your biggest aspiration for, Tidal Wave? John: I think our big thing is that we hope this album can bring some new people into our fan base, and hopefully reach some people who haven't given the band a chance before. I think that ideally we would like to accomplish that and also have the people who have been following us forever be really incredibly excited about the album as well. I think that's always the goal, to have everybody who been with you for ten years or whatever, have them super psyched about it and then also get some new listeners into it. Taking Back Sunday is currently on tour so grab you tickets early and be sure to grab the latest album, "Tidal Wave". Whether you're an old fan or new, don't pass this one up because it's something you'll want to have in your music collection. www.takingbacksunday.com If

62 VandalaMagazine.Com - November 2016


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Playing joyful punk with killer pop-sensibilities since 1991, San Francisco's Pansy Division has, in spite of working in various capacities with fellow SF punk luminaries such Mr. T Experience, Green Day, The Avengers, and Jello Biafra of Dead Kennedys as well as writing timelessly memorable tunes have never quite grasped the popularity level of those acts. Why? Well, probably because of their explicitly pro-homno content and the fact of their, at the time, being the only act to take such a message so far and deliver it so full-throatily. From another paradigm, however, these cats are easily the most widely heard of any queercore band. Now, 25 years down the line, Pansy Division maintains a loyal following from back then while continually earning new generations of fans. Nice guys all around, Luis 'Hades (drums), and Chris Freeman (bass and vocals) agree to sit down in their tour bus to talk about, among other things, the band's history, maintaining the dream, and their specific cultural role in a changing world I'm gonna start with a weird question here. This here book on character building for an RPG from the '90s (Dark Reflections: Spectres) quotes your song "Deep Water" and my roommate wanted me to ask you to sign it. Have you seen this before? Luis: Oh, shit! No, I've never seen this. to Chris) Okay, so open this. Chris: What the hell? That is really odd. Luis: It just seems so out of place. Christ I-I-I- (momentarily at loss for words) I'm thrilled and baffled at the same time. I'd assumed they would've asked you permission or something. Chris: They don't have to reprint lyrics...oh, wait, maybe they do! Call Judge Walpner! "Lyrics reprinted by permission", I've seen that before! Yeah, sue them for every crystal and spell packet they're worth. Luis: Y'know what, I had a friend who opened up a business recently in New York that's a role-playing game store called Twenty-sided, and when she told me about her business plan, I was like "There's no way that's gonna work," and she's killing it because they have group games in there and she's selling all this stuff. It's kind of awesome. I love that exists, and she's doing great. Chris: Well that was very odd. I never thought that was a world we'd be part of. Luis: That's so strange. So how's being in the second-gayest city in America? Chris: (stoked): Is it really? Yessir. Chris: I had no idea. So it's LA - er, - San Francisco's first, and then - wow...Well, I love Philadelphia. We went here on our first tour, and we try to come here every tour if possible. I did not know that it was the second gayest city. That's awesome. Luis: There ya go. Chris: Very friendly. Luis: Oh, we had our film showing here at the Philadelphia Gay and Lesbian Film Festival. I think that was FOS. November 2016 - VandalaMagazine.Com 67


InL ipriviheiw, lbw Stow Must Go Om That was the documentary? I haven't had a chance to see it yet. Luis: It's on VouTube now. "Life in a Gay Rock Band" Just look on YouTube and it'll be there. One thing I wanted to ask that the documentary might have touched on is what has your experience in the south and Midwest been like? Luis: It's been a while. Chris: Yeah. Luis: Honestly, I'd say we do better on the coasts than in the Midwest. We do well in Austin,

and I think we do well in Chicago. We also do well in certain towns like Gainesville, Florida. There are bohemian enclaves in the south. Obviously, we go to people - what was that town we went to in Missouri, where we met all those kids and went to that house. Was it Columbia, Missouri? Chris: Uh, yes. That was it. Luis: There are some cool college towns and some weird bohemian circles. I just personally was in Birmingham, Alabama recently, and, y'know, I don't want to move there, but I had some decent experiences there, and I had some weird undercurrents. Y'know there's something weird about the south where people don't say stuff, but there's a feeling or general undercurrent involved. In fact, that was what John (Ginoli, guitars/vocals) - John wrote that song on the last album called "The Average Man" with Jello Biafra, and that was a lot about an undercurrent Late at night, and just kind of general unspoken... Chris: Y'know, we actually thought we'd do worse in the south like we would be actively sought for something, and we never did. In fact, the worst reaction I had was right in Bakersfield, California, so go figure. It's all those Korn fans. Chris: Exactly! Urn, but to get to the coasts, you go across the states somewhere. Usually, we loop around and do the top half or the bottom half depending on reasons, but we haven't had any need to do anything other than the coasts. Luis: Yeah, we'll fly into Austin, Chicago, or certain other places. We used to tour seven-eight months out of the year, and cover every inch of this country and Canada as well. Everywhere! Any town! Chris: I think part of it is we wanted to make sure that the band could last. The thing that brings a band down the most is shitty shows. If you travel all that way, and you're playing to ten peopleLuis: In a cornfield (laughs). Chris: - it takes a lot to get a band from one city to another, and you get those shows and it

just brings the band down. So we thought "Let's just cut out the stuff that we don't want to do anymore, we don't have to." Luis: We used to really get off on that thought, and something changed. We did get off on playing all those small towns, and it was fun to us, and then at one point Chris:- money. (both laugh) Luis: It's also just diminishing returns of enthusiasm, and people would still come out and see us, but all the things you sacrifice in your life to be on the road, it wasn't worth it anymore. It was call when you were in your twenties and early thirties even, but at a certain point it's "Alright, I'm not going to sacrifice being in a healthy relationship, or having any kind of security, sublet my apartment every time just to cover the bills, get in a van, to play the Knights of Columbus hall in Toledo." That's not diminishing playing the Knights of Columbus hall in Toledo, 'because it used to be awesome, but when you're in your forties... 68 VandalaMagazine.Com - November 2016


Imberviievy, Luis I'll des and @Innis Erieemaro of PaiRsly .

It reminds me of that first scene in Hedwig and The Angry Inch where she's playing for these people eating dinner. Does even that come with a sort of thrill of shaking people? Luis: I think there's less a thrill of shaking people and more of a resigned showbiz exhaustion. Chris: We finished our last tour in '99. I'd say that was our last big year of touring, right? I was about to turn forty and I realized "I've got twenty-five more years of earning power before I retire and I have nothing." I had nothing. Nothing, nothing, nothing. Zilch. So I thought "I've gotta change my life". If this had happened to me ten years earlier - I was already thirty when I joined Pansy Division, so it was like "Oh, I'm gonna do this, this is gonna be great," but I can't live on three hundred dollars a month anymore. I think it was probably me that put my foot down and said "I'm sorry, guys. I can't tour anymore. I gotta get a career and get going on something. It's going to take me a while to get a career and figure out what I want to do, and then I don't wanna break the band up, but this is never getting any better for us. We're not going to get richer. We're not gonna all make some huge amount of money, and on top of it, if we have to do that because of our livelihood, then what is that doing to the band? Is it putting an undue weight on the band that it becomes our resource for our living?" Luis: And what does that do to the music? Chris: Exactly! All these things were impacted.

Now we put out albums when we want to, we write songs when we want to, we tour when we want to, and it's far more enjoyable and rewarding. This little tour we're doing is far more rewarding than slogging it out. Luis: Also, when you define yourself by it,

when it's the only thing you're doing, you live by this band, and it defines everything that you do, which is, in a way, very much living in the moment, living within the message of your band, if anything doesn't go well it kind of destroys you. The nice thing is coming back to this band with an excitement to do it, and a belief in what you're doing instead of a resigned, imagined resilience that you think that you have to have This band always had something to prove, and now I don't feel like we do - I mean, we do!...there's more to us than just this. This is one of the biggest points in history in all of our lives. We have to come back to it and keep adding to it, finding new ways to say the things that we want to say. Chris: If people in the band are suffering personally, then how can the band survive? So, let's take care of number one, because the band's never gonna survive if I'm - know what I mean? On top of that, then you look at "Do we have to put out an album every year? Is there a reason for that? Is anybody super waiting for that, or do we just need to put out another album so we can have another excuse to go out on tour so we can pay rent?" That didn't wash with me anymore at a certain point, because I could see that we're not gonna get huge. I dunno. You've got the right pop sensibilities. Luis: Well, they can't sell us in Walmart and shit like that. That's not important now, but it

used to be very important. November 2016 - VandalaMagazine.Com 69


InL ieriviiew, Ike Show Must Gip Om Chris: Y'know, we talked to major labels and they said "Love your band. Never gonna sign you because what would be the point? We'd have to put warning stickers on your records." That's their paradigm. So there were a number of reasons but now it's a lot healthier, and we do things that we like. It seems like you live on this knife's edge of keeping the momentum going with this band while being healthy, happy people with lives. When you all live in different cities, what tells you to put out an album? Chris: Well, we overlooked our twentieth anniversary; it kind of came and went, and we thought "Well, it's twenty-five coming up." That seems more of a quarter century Ysknow, I'm as old as this band. Chris: Holy Toledo! Yeah. Chris: Unbelievable. Yeah, see, now that makes me feel great, but Val also like "Oh, God, I'm old!" (All laugh). We kind of messed around with our formula a bit over the years, but really what it comes down to is when John has a group of about maybe a dozen songs, then we know it's time to get to work. There were some points when John went back to school after he did his book and we did our tour in '09. He went back to school, got a degree in paralegal so he could do the same thing that I was doing, which was "Okay, I'm gonna get a career, get started, and start making money so I can actually retire at 65." He wasn't writing a lot after that last record, but then I went up and he had five songs, we had these demos, and we had the twenty-fifth anniversary. I put some songs together, Joel (Reader, guitar) and Luis put some songs together, and it just happened. It was good. It was like "Okay, that's an album. That feels like a record. Now it makes sense. Let's do it." That was kind of it. Luis: We trade too; we send demos to each other. I drive from New York to Boston and kind of workshop the songs with Joel. Chris would drive from LA to San Francisco and workshop songs with John, but we have enough albums. It's not like anyone's gonna be shedding any tears if we don't make another one, but we had to feel like there was something that we needed to do and something that we needed to say. Part of it's just because we enjoy each other's company and we love making music together. Part of it is, a long time ago, part of the conversation was, especially for Chris, "Imagine a time when this band doesn't need to exist anymore." In a way, we've met some of those markers, culturally, but no one came along and did anything else. We thought there was gonna be all these younger queer punk bands coming up. It kind of didn't happen. Well, there's Limpwrist. Luis: There are so many bands that come and go and break up over such trivialities, and we realized all the different things we've been through. We've still stayed friends, stayed collaborators, and that speaks to a lot of things. I mean, how many bands do you know of that kind of had a good thing going and then just broke up because they had a disagreement that they just couldn't get over? So many. We have a gift that we're nice and generous to each other. We have our issues, sure, but we forgive each other and we try to find a way to work together. Being on the other end of that, being a little bit older, and I guess this is the point that I wanna make is that the generation previous to us died out from AIDS. When we were younger and kind of coming of age, we didn't have a lot of role models to look up to. Not a lot of us were - a lot of our history was in the closet, but a lot of the people that were one generation ahead of us weren't around. You could seek out your Gore Vidals, you could seek out your James Baldwins, and you could seek out these people, but there weren't a lot of stories being told. I think that we all found that to be very important and I think when we started writing these songs we thought "Oh, god, a lot of these songs are about getting older and change of the times." We were wondering if that was gonna be tired or not, but we realized that's incredibly valuable, especially for a lot of people that are coming of age 70 VandalaMagazine.Com - November 2016


Iintetwiew. Luis I'll des am @lank Free man of Patilay in an era where HIV is an inconvenience rather than a death sentence, where they can swipe left or right on their phones to decide if they're gonna get up off the couch and go smooch somebody. There are a lot of things that are wonderful luxuries that people have today, but I think it's important to know what it's like on the other end, both the beauty of growing older and falling in love, and fears of not realizing the holes you've dug yourself into until it's too late to dig yourself out of them. I think that's a lot of why we felt this record needs to exist. Chris: Yeah. We played a show in San Francisco and Jello (Biafra, Dead Kennedys) came up and said "Y'know, I think it's time for another Pansy Division record," and we were like "We're getting close I think. We've got some songs," and he goes, "I really wanna know what it's like for you guys to be your age and to be gay, and what does it look like? What does it look like to be you at this point?" and "Well, this is very good timing." As Jello pointed out, we've got a history of records, so it's like "Okay, what do we have to say now?" So a lot of songs came where we've said that before, we've done that dick-song before, we don't need to do those anymore; we've got that. What's gonna challenge us? What's gonna be the next thing that's like (inhales through teeth) hard to say? Like, "That's a hard thing for us to put down; that's gotta be potent if it's hard to say." One of the songs on this album - we came out a long time ago, but we haven't really come out as atheists until now, so this is saying - because we've got a song called "Blame the Bible" which is, we blame the bible for a lot of the woes of the world. (Joel enters to grab his guitar) Going back to our first mission statement, which was basically saying "We wanna live in a world where there's gay music, gay punk, gay something," 'cause there wasn't anything before. Now we live in that world. Are we defunct now? If Sam Smith can have a number one album as an out artist, is our mission over? Him and Frank Ocean, yeah? Chris: Who? I don't know that. Luis: Yeah, Frank Ocean from, uh, Odd Future. He had, I think, a couple top ten singles as a gay R&B artist. Chris: Okay. I had no idea. So, yeah, it's about what more can we add to the snowball, if you will. If it's going to keep growing is it gonna keep growing nicely? We still love doing it, and we know people are coming to the shows. We're really happy about that, the fact that someone as old as our band is coming to see us. It's remarkable; we would have never thought of this twenty-five years ago when we started the band. We had no idea. Honestly, the idea of a pop-star being openly gay from the get-go was also not on the table. Gay marriage was not on the table, none of it. Our little particular strain of mushroom popped out of the ground at the right time and here we are. I think it's fabulous that we can still be doing this. And the fact that we have jobs says we are for sure not doing it for the money. We all have jobs; we all have other things to do; we're only doing it when we want to and we love doing it. There's no cleaner reason for being in a band. Pansy Divisions' latest release 'Quite Contrary' is out now. Also they will have shows in San Diego, Long Beach, Palm Springs, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, and Los Angeles in November. For full details visit the band online. Pansy Division Online: www.pansydivision.com www.youtube.com/PansyDivisionvideo www.pansydivisionfilm.com www.twitter.comipansydivision November 2016 - VandalaMagazine.Com 71


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PAIN, HOPE, AN SPONGE I = TERVIE ITN THE 0 Y LL F HELL Interview By Sean Barrett


In a fusion of animalistic hatred, the agony of loss, and a bright-eyed yearning for hope all swallowed by chaos and noise, The Body & Full of Hell's collaboration One Day You Will Ache Like I Ache pushes listeners through the haunted corridors of the collective human psyche, splintered and cracked by the pressures of the modern world. At the Philly stop of their tour together performing this album, I got a chance to sit down with Dylan Walker (vocals, Full of Hell), and Lee Buford (drums, The Body). Fair warning: Lee's joining us was a happy surprise, and I did a The Body interview for this magazine a few months ago, so this interview's pretty Full of Hell-focused. Here goes! so, to what extent was this collaboration worked out beforehand versus jammed out then and there in the studio? Dylan: Zero percent planned. A hundred percent jammed out. Lee: Well, we wrote it in the studio, but we didn't take rehearsal time to write it. Definitely

conceived in the studio in a short period of time. Was it then memorized for this tour? Dylan: Yeah, we wrote and recorded the record in the studio, and then later we planned this tour, and for this tour, we rehearsed for three days. That's how we did it. That's so f*coin' raw. When I listen to this thing, I can usually get a sense of where it's more of a The Body song or more of a Full of Hell song. Is that sort of alternating lead/follow dynamic there or am I just tripping? Dylan: Yeah, definitely. Some songs Lee would build the beat from the bottom up. Some songs Spencer would come up with a riff and lead it, so it'd be led by the guitar. In some songs, I'd have a structure in my brain and I'd try to articulate it. Each song is definitely led by one or the other. According to the Full of Hell Tumblr page, the lyrics to this thing are taken from "The Fool Who Ripped His Pants" off of SpongeBob. What about that song moved you artistically? Dylan: I'm sure we just answered that question on a whim on Tumblr. There's no relation, unfortunately. No asks are really serious on that Tumblr, lotta joke answers. Sorry. We do all like SpongeBob a lot, though. Even The Body likes SpongeBob. They went to see the SpongeBob movie. Lee: I think I saw it four times on tour when it first came out. The first movie.

The one with David Hasselhoff, right? Lee: Yeah. Sweet! Dylan: I've been watching that show since it premiered when I was eight years old. I heard you jumped up on stage with The Body during their last Baltimore show. How'd that go down? Lee: Yeah, 'cause we did a CD where Dylan sang a song, so we just put it in there. No, it's a CD they did for their IndieGoGo campaign to raise money for the band. They just sent me this track and I could do whatever I wanted. Yeah, that show was cool, 'cause Neil from Krieg sang - what was it? November 2016 - VandalaMagazine.Com 75


fil a Cld SwmgeBob Lee: Oh, we did a Screamers cover, "I Manna Hurt". Dylan: Yeah, Neil from Krieg sang that. It was a fun show. So a mutual buddy of ours, Mike from Bandit, says there's an upcoming Full of Hell split, but the other artist is a secret. Is that still a secret? Dylan: Yeah, definitely. Okay. Dylan; It's not The Body. I can rule that out. How about you guys? I know The Body's super-prolific. You working on a solo thing or a collaboration thing? Lee: Yeah, we're doing collaboration with these guys in...a couple days? Dylan: Yup. Lee: Then, after they leave, we'll start working on a new record. Dylan: The split's already done. Its just a secret. This is another collaboration...part two. `Cause we have more to do, I guess. It's fun. The tour's been awesome, so were gonna do another collab, then do another tourmlcause its fun. Alright, time to get into the weird, abstracted stuff. Dylan: Alright. I wrote this one when I thought I was interviewing just Full of Hell, but I'd love to hear your thoughts too. I get the sense that, in the cosmology of Full of Hell, pain and animal-level rage are exalted as having great meaning and importance. Is that there or am I just projecting that? Dylan: No. I would say that those are the crux of my existence. I try to distance myself from those as much as possible, but I feel like its part of the human condition. When I happen to sing about those kinds of subjects, it's more of a coping mechanism rather than a glorification. Word. I guess I mostly got that idea from the final lyric of this collaboration: "Accept the pain/ Release/ Be free" Dylan: Oh, yeah, thematically, for that record, I was imagining different sorts of people, the pain they're going through, and maybe it's okay just to give up and be swallowed by it. How about you [Lee]? Lee: Yeah, that's probably the main point of The Body songs, suffering, but in a different way, yiknow? Me and Chip are both pretty miserable people, but kind of have to focus on what's good in order to just get through the day. I think a lot of it is the yin and yang of complete misery and then complete hope. Do you think that the natural state of man is to be in conflict and that harmony is a sort of aberration, or maybe the other way around? Dylan: It's not an aberration. It's just a moment, y'know what I mean? It's probably really, really hard for a human being to find that medium that balance, especially if you're trying to do anything in your life, move anywhere, and interact with any other living thing. The perfect middle balance point, I'm sure as you're sliding back and forth you happen to come across it, for a moment or two, but it's no more of a fiction than misery is. It's just part of it; you just slide between. 76 Vandalalvlagazine.Com - November 2016


Intersview,

DAy & gull of Hell

Lee: I don't think anyone can ever really be - I mean, I guess there are people that are happy, but I don't know how sincere. Dylan: Not in a life where you're actually doing things, like growing or interacting with other people. Lee: Yeah, I would find it hard, if you exist fully in the world, to be happy. Do you think that authentic interaction with raw experience is more valuable than feeling good? Lee: No. I would rather be a complete idiot and be happy. When people do drugs and shit, whatever they do to get through the day, it's hard to knock 'em. The world is terrible. Whatever you can do to get through the day, I can't really look down on. There seems to be this view in the occult world of this dimension being a sort of prison. Do either of you guys find yourself on that train of thought? Dylan: No. I don't think so. I don't know what Lee thinks, but I don't think there's as much of a cadence to life like that. I don't think there's a grand design. I think we're just complex organisms, and we live and have conscious thought because we're at a certain evolutionary point, but I think it's all just kind of pointless. But, because it's pointless, I think you can make life about whatever you want it to be about, but I don't think it's some realm on top of some other realm. Lee: There's a part of me that - like me and Chip, we use a lot of Christian stuff, 'cause there's a part of us that wants to believe that there's some sort of reasoning to people, that there's going to be some retribution for the pain. Do I think that? Probably not. It's a nice thought to think that people will pay for whatever they've done. When I do my thing, as much as I might wanna write about being in love or drinking with buddies, because that's stuff more acceptable to relate about outside of art, I don't feel compelled to put it in. Lee: I think everybody's song's a love song. Dylan: What is hate but the inverse? Lee: I mean, most of our songs are about loss, and if ya don't love something, it doesn't matter if it's lost. Every song we write is a love song. Some are more direct than others. To me that's the only emotion you should try to focus on. Grab your copy of their collaboration "One Day You Will Ache Like I Ache" and follow both bands online at: www.fullofhell.com www.facebook.comf fullofhell www.facebook.com/thebodyband www.thebody.bandcamp.com

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