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Photos: GHOST Live in Phoenix, Ariz.

I had the pleasure of being in the pit for Ghost | Facebook during their show in Phoenix on Tuesday, October 25. All photos were shot with a Samsung Galaxy S7.

For the full photoset, visit alecdamiano.com


RICHARD CHRISTY: ‘I still have my fingers crossed that people will get to hear the last CONTROL DENIED album’

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I was fortunate enough to interview legendary drummer Richard Christy for our partner website, Vita In Musica.

Christy is currently prepping for the release of the new CHARRED WALLS OF THE DAMNED album, which features Tim “Ripper” Owens (DIO DISCIPLED, ex-JUDAS PRIEST) on vocals, Jason Suecof on guitar (CAPHARNAUM), and Steve Digiorgio (TESTAMENT, DEATH, SADUS) on bass.

However, we also talked about his time in DEATH, ICED EARTH, and CONTROL DENIED.

In the interview, Christy revealed that the second CONTROL DENIED album, late DEATH mastermind Chuck Schuldiner’s final album, was nearly completed before Schuldiner‘s death in 2001. Christy mentioned some interesting aspects of recording:

I did my drums in December of the year 2000, and I’m really proud of the drums on that, because those I did in one day, and I did every track in one day. The drum sound was amazing, and I really hope that people will get to hear it one day. Chuck did his guitar parts as well, and those are incredible as well… I remember rehearsing that album, and there’s such crazy stuff on that second album. We did this one thing where it didn’t have a time signature. We slowed down just by looking at each other, and then [sped] back up. It’s one really weird riff. I remember when Chuck came up with it and Shannon shouted to me, we were all just laughing because it was so crazy-sounding and so cool.

As for a potential release, nothing is currently set in stone, but Christy is optimistic.

“I don’t have any news on it, unfortunately,” he said. “But I still have my fingers crossed that one day people will get to hear that album.”

He continued: “The thing is, we gotta make sure that it’s something that Chuck would’ve wanted people to hear and that it’s done right. So, I really hope that people get to hear it one day, cause it’s really an amazing album.”

Christy also revealed that the drums for DEATH‘s final album, The Sound of Perseverance, were recorded in 2-3 days at the most, and without a metronome.

CHARRED WALLS OF THE DAMNED‘s latest album, Creatures Watching over the Dead, will be released September 23 via Metal Blade Records.

For the full interview, click here.

 


Interview with DELAIN’S Martijn Westerholt

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I had the opportunity to interview symphonic metal mastermind and keyboardist Martijn Westerholt of DELAIN. We discussed the band’s upcoming album, Moonbathers, which is out August 26th via Napalm Records.

Moonbathers features Alissa White-Gluz (ARCH ENEMY, ex-THE AGONIST) as a guest vocalist on “Hands of Gold,” as well as a cover of QUEEN‘s “Scandal”.

Westerholt also discusses his time in Within Temptation, accusations of “commercialism,” and elitism in metal:

The whole ‘commercial’ argument is total bullshit, because if I want to go commercial, you can not use any guitars whatsoever, and I’m in totally the wrong genre. So, I just make what I love to make… If I want to make money, and if I want to be commercial, first of all, I wouldn’t be into music in general, because the chance that you can earn money with music is REALLY, REALLY small. And second of all, even if I want to do that, then please don’t choose metal, because you will have very limited radio airplay, and metal is not in fashion. But I happen to love metal, and I happen to love hard guitars… I actually really, really dislike–actually, despise–the whole elitism thing. Also, when bands become successful, then it’s suddenly not cool anymore, because ‘your’ band–you have to share them with other people. It’s not your band in the first place… I see the fans as my boss, as my employer, because they spend money on me and I can do this because of them, and I really am grateful for this. But this doesn’t mean they have a say in what kind of music I will make or not, because that’s something that comes from your heart… I make what I want to make. 

You can listen to the entire interview at our partner website Vita In Musica.


NERVOSA’s Fernanda Lira Discusses ‘Agony’, Being a Woman in Metal, Beyoncé, and More

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I had the opportunity to interview Fernanda Lira from Nervosa for our partner website Vita In Musica. We talk about the band’s new album “Agony,” how the band has matured, and being a woman in thrash metal.

During the beginning of the band’s career, people often made up rumors about the band, only because they were women. As the band increased in popularity, the criticism died down and received more support:

“Over time, I think people kinda noticed that we’re not here to show off, you know? We’re just here playing metal because we love metal and we’re metalheads, and that’s it. They have to respect that. It doesn’t matter what our gender is, like if we’re women or men. It just matters that we’re metalheads.” 

We also discussed some of her eclectic influences, ranging from Death mastermind Chuck Schuldiner, to Nuclear Assault, to Amy Winehouse, Etta James, and Beyoncé!

“I’m a singer and before I sang in Nervosa–in this raspy, growling way–I started singing in a clean way… I am always learning new techniques and everything. Because of that, I listen to a lot of divas. Like, everyone hates me because of that. My bandmates are like, ‘Awww fuck, you’re listening to Beyoncé?!’ But that’s it. I actually don’t give a fuck. Most metalheads would be like, ‘[groan] she’s not trve enough’.”

She began singing metal doing clean vocals but admits she is still a bit shy about singing clean in public. You can hear her clean vocals in “Wayfarer,” a bonus track from “Agony”.

Nervosa is currently on tour in Europe and will return to North America in the fall.

You can listen to the entire interview here.

Agony‘ was recently released on June 3rd via Napalm Records.

 

 


HANK SHERMANN: DAVE MUSTAINE Did Not Allow Performance With KING DIAMOND, Talks Potential MERCYFUL FATE Reunion, Songwriting

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I was fortunate enough to interview the legendary axeman Hank Shermann (Denner/Shermann, Mercyful Fate) for our partner website Vita In Musica. We talked about the upcoming Denner/Shermann album, ‘Masters of Evil,’ a potential Mercyful Fate reunion, and playing guitar with Volbeat in 2012.

Volbeat singer Michael Poulsen had asked Shermann to play guitar during the band’s run on Gigantour in 2012. King Diamond was supposed to perform “Come to the Sabbath” with the band, but Dave Mustaine did not allow it.

King Diamond also went to Dallas when we did the Gigantour, because he was supposed to play–we did play a Mercyful Fate song–‘Come To The Sabbath’. King Diamond was coming to the show in order to sing it. But apparently, Dave Mustaine didn’t want King to be onstage and do whatever Satanic lyrics, or whatever that was all about… So, King came to the concert and he was given the–he was told that, ‘Hey King, you’re not allowed’ from Mustaine for some reason.”

The band played the intro from “Come to the Sabbath” anyway, as King sang the lyrics from the audience.

Shermann continues, “That was pretty funny. What that was all about, I don’t have a clue. I don’t know if suddenly Mustaine had gotten into God, or you know, for whatever reason [laughs]. That was pretty bizarre you know, because back in the days, they were very good friends… Megadeth were touring with Diamond in the 80s. But there’s a lot of changes in that band. But you know, they’re good guys… and I like them and they have made some really cool records over time.”

He also revealed that he has been in talks with King Diamond over a possible Mercyful Fate reunion, though nothing has been set in stone. There is still an album left on contract with Metal Blade Records.

Nothing has been talked about, specifics. But I mean, it would be a fascinating thought, and let’s all hope that it would happen, at least for the fans, because we owe everything to the fans, that we are still here to this day.”

Denner/Shermann will also be touring Europe and North America later this year.

For the entire interview, click here.

Masters of Evil‘ is due for release on June 24th via Metal Blade Records.

UPDATE (6/9/16 8:27 a.m. PST): YouTube link has been included because the Vita In Musica site is down: https://youtu.be/t5mfMqL7d5I


Interview with REVOCATION’s David Davidson

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I recently interviewed Revocation‘s Dave Davidson for our partner site, Vita in Musica. He talks about the band’s latest album, Great is Our Sin, playing the upcoming Summer Slaughter tour, recording with Aborted, and more.

We also talked about songwriting, his musical background, influences, and his advice for aspiring musicians. He urges new bands to “try to find [their] own voice.”

“If you want to start a band or start creating music, try to get into it for–hopefully–the right reasons. Have something to say. Have this creative spark that you want to share with the world… The competition to be seen and heard is really, really, stiff… In regards to business, try to be smart with your money. Invest in the things that are smart to invest in, like good solid recording… Make sure you think carefully about your aesthetic choices, even like with your artwork. If you’re trying to be a traditional heavy metal band, try to get a logo that reflects that look. If you’re a death metal band, try to have a logo that reflects your sound. Have accompanying artwork that can also add to the music. Try to have a full aesthetic package.

For the whole interview, click here.

Great is Our Sin‘ is due for release on July 22nd via Metal Blade Records.

 


Photos: NERVOSA Live in Phoenix, Ariz.

Here are some photos I took at the Nervosa show in Phoenix on Sunday. I also had the opportunity to interview singer/bassist Fernanda Lira, which can be seen here.