Hard Rock and Heavy Metal news, reviews, and interviews.

Posts tagged “heavy metal

PILE OF PRIESTS Talks to TBOS

Phoenix, Ariz. is home to a bustling metal scene which attracts touring acts from around the globe, great and small.
One band that is currently touring their way to our neck of the woods is Pile of Priests. TBOS got a chance to interview one of their members, bassist Patrick Leyn, and here is what he had to say:
Pile of Priests is from Colorado but who are you guys?
We are just regular jack offs with a similar state of mind and the same approach to enjoying our passion that is metal. We know there isn’t a lot of money to be made in our genre but that is not why we do it.
What style of heavy metal can fans expect? What has influenced your sound?
We are a death metal band first and foremost, whether it’s death/thrash or progressive death, that’s for you to decide! Some of our influences include Death, Edge of Sanity, Sadus, Voivod, Nevermore, etc.

Where was your favorite show on the tour, so far?
So far Cheyenne was our best evening. Tons of locals came out to support, the crowd was insane, we were partying with everyone in the van afterwards shootin the shit, cops even showed up. But that’s why we love DIY venues, you never know what will go down.

Why did you decide to tour?
We always said we would have a solid tour whenever we released our first full length album, the timing could not have been better for all of us.

When can the Phoenix scene see you play live?
We will be playing in Phoenix on Tuesday, April 19th at Club Red with some other amazing bands, check that shit out!

Indeed Patrick is correct as some of the other amazing bands include The Devils of Loudun from Seattle and Before Giants from Las Vegas. This one-night-only shredshow features three other bands too! RSVP to the official Facebook event and invite your friends here!
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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.


MEGADETH, Suicidal Tendencies, Children of Bodom & Havok Live in Phoenix, Ariz. – 2/27/16

This time last year, the future of Megadeth was uncertain to the public. Guitarist Chris Broderick and drummer Shawn Drover had left the band within hours of each other in November. Bandleader, lead singer, and guitarist Dave Mustaine and bassist David Ellefson were auditioning replacements.

There were rumors of a Rust in Peace (1990) lineup reunion. It was attempted, but it didn’t happen.

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Angra guitarist Kiko Loureiro and Lamb of God drummer Chris Adler were officially announced as Megadeth’s newest members in Spring 2015.

The band’s latest effort, Dystopia, was released this January. Widely acclaimed, it hit #3 on the Billboard Top 200. It beat Adele and Justin Bieber for the #1 iTunes spot in Canada and has been regarded by many as Megadeth’s finest album in decades (or at least since Endgame).

Fresh on the heels of Dystopia‘s success, Megadeth set out on the killing road with a killer set of supporting bands in tow: legendary crossover punks Suicidal Tendencies, Finnish melodeath virtuosos Children of Bodom, and emerging Colorado thrashers, Havok. I am a fan of all the bands on the bill and had seen them all previously, which made me particularly excited for this show.

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Havok opened with four songs. Among those were “D.O.A.” and “Give Me Liberty… Or Give Me Death”. On my side of the pit, you couldn’t hear David Sanchez’s vocals very well, but the band put on a hell of a show, as was expected of them. Considering I had seen them play to packed smaller venues, I was surprised that more people in the crowd did not know who they were. I was also slightly disappointed that they only played four songs. But even though most of the crowd seemed unfamiliar with the band at first, Havok was given hearty applause once they finished their set.

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Children of Bodom played another short set, which included songs from their newest album, I Worship Chaos (2015), and classic material like “Hate Me” and “Angels Don’t Kill.” The guitars were nearly inaudible on my side, which saddened me, because I really admire Alexi Laiho’s guitar work. The sound levels were fixed about halfway through their set. Regardless, Bodom shredded.

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Up to this point, the crowd was mostly calm in my area, with a few people moshing and one girl crowdsurfing during Bodom’s set. But once Suicidal took the stage, all hell broke loose.

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Suicidal Tendencies opened with a ripping version of “You Can’t Bring Me Down,” and singer Mike Muir was running and jumping all over the stage throughout their whole set. None other than Slayer’s Dave Lombardo was behind S.T.’s kit. Their dynamic seven-song set was filled with hits like “Institutionalized” and “I Saw Your Mommy”. The crowd was going wild, with plenty of people headbanging, moshing, and crowd-surfing. Even though they had small rigs (the guitarists only had half-stacks), they were the best-sounding band of the night so far, and definitely the most energetic.

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Next up was the band everyone was waiting for.

Suicidal quickly tore down their equipment, and a curtain dropped, revealing the massive futuristic apparatus Megadeth would be playing in front of. It was nice surprise to see Mustaine’s guitar tech, Willie Gee, setting up. From what I knew, he had retired last year.

About twenty minutes later, the lights went down. An intro animation of Megadeth’s logo danced on the video screen as “Prince of Darkness” played in the background. Then, the band launched into “The Threat Is Real,” strutting onstage as lights flashed and smoke machines went off.

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Dave Mustaine may not be the most flamboyant frontman in metal, but he strode all over the stage throughout the band’s set, bobbing his fiery mane up and down while his fingers danced all over the fretboard. His voice sounded in particularly great condition tonight. Even though the band was tuned down to D to accommodate his vocals, it gave the songs an added darkness.

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David Ellefson and Kiko Loureiro also walked up and down the stage as they played, heading back to their microphones in time to sing backing vocals. Even as they sang, they smiled and interacted with the crowd, throwing us picks in between songs. To say Kiko nailed Marty Friedman’s solos would be an understatement.

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Chris Adler was situated atop a massive drum riser embedded into their futuristic stage prop. I couldn’t see his face much during the actual show, but the pictures I took show him smiling.

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Their setlist spanned 30 years; they played material off most of their albums from Peace Sells…But Who’s Buying? (1986) to Dystopia (2016). It was awesome to hear some deeper cuts from Rust In Peace like “Dawn Patrol” and “Poison Was The Cure,” as well as their hits like “A Tout Le Monde”.

What struck me as odd was that the Phoenix crowd did not seem to know the “Megadeth, Megadeth, aguante Megadeth” chant that Argentina had pioneered for “Symphony Of Destruction”. Not only do the Argentinian crowds chant it, but so do the crowds in other Latin countries. Fellow Latino Kiko Loureiro came to my side of the venue and saw me mouthing those words, then he smiled at me.

As the four members united at center stage to take their final bow and throw picks and wristbands into the audience, my only thought was, “Why did it have to end?”

I had seen Megadeth before. Not once, but three times, and those three shows paled in comparison to this one. It was like I had seen a different band, and in a sense, I had. All the members seemed legitimately happy to belong to the same group, and you could feel their radiance beaming from the stage.

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Catch this tour if you can. You won’t regret it.

Megadeth Setlist:

  1. The Threat Is Real
  2. Hangar 18
  3. Kingmaker
  4. Wake Up Dead
  5. In My Darkest Hour
  6. Sweating Bullets
  7. Dystopia
  8. Dawn Patrol
  9. Poison Was The Cure
  10. She-Wolf
  11. Trust
  12. Skin O’ My Teeth
  13. Fatal Illusion
  14. A Tout Le Monde
  15. Symphony Of Destruction
  16. Peace Sells
  17. Holy Wars…The Punishment Due

Other setlists: Suicidal Tendencies, Children of Bodom

 


Why the Grammys Are Clueless About Metal

Unless you’ve been away from the headbanging world, you are aware that Halestorm won the 2013 Grammy for “Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance”. This win is historic in the sense that singer Lzzy Hale is the first female singer to ever be nominated for that category and win.

By all means, congrats to Halestorm. They are a hard working band and “Love Bites (So Do I)” is a great song.

But once again, this decision reflects the cluelessness of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS), the head of the Grammys, when it comes to metal.

The hard rock/metal category has undergone several changes.

The first and only “Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance Vocal or Instrumental” Grammy was awarded in 1989. It was expected that Metallica would win. Their album “…And Justice For All” had spawned the hit “One” and was their best-selling album to date.

But non-metal band Jethro Tull won.

Jethro Tull released an ad in Billboard Magazine showing a picture of a flute and the line, “The flute is a real, heavy metal instrument!” Subsequent editions of Metallica’s “…And Justice For All” contained a sticker reading “Grammy Award LOSERS.”

Metallica: Grammy award LOSERS. Photo courtesy frenk tatranky on Flickr.

Metallica: 1989 Grammy award LOSERS. Photo courtesy frenk tatranky on Flickr.

Entertainment Weekly called it one of the biggest upsets in Grammy history.

Due to criticism of the academy, separate hard rock and metal categories were created (though the two genres were recombined into one category for the 2012 awards.)

Here are some more examples of the board’s knowledge:

  • Metallica won the 1991 metal Grammy for their cover of Queen’s “Stone Cold Crazy,” though Queen itself was never nominated.
  • Motörhead won the 2005 metal Grammy for a cover of Metallica’s “Whiplash”.
  • The 2009 metal Grammy was awarded to Judas Priest for a live version of “Dissident Aggressor,” a song originally released in 1977.

Now it’s 2013, and though the board appears to have made progress, there are still changes to be made.

Up against Halestorm were Iron Maiden, Megadeth, Anthrax, Marilyn Manson and Lamb Of God.

Iron Maiden has one Grammy to their legendary name. They are often credited as one of the pioneers of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal and are regarded as one of the most successful metal bands of all time.

Anthrax and Megadeth are two of the Big Four of Thrash Metal, which were credited with popularizing the genre. Neither have won a Grammy. Megadeth holds the record for the most Grammy nominations (eleven) in the metal category without a win.

The hard rock/metal category is the still the only one dedicated to this art form and the award is not televised. Eddie Trunk and other metal journalists have complained about the outright disrespect for these musical genres by the board.

Though the talent of all this year’s nominees is unmistakable, Halestorm’s win is reminiscent of actions by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Winners and inductees are not chosen according to a band’s record sales or influence, but according to politics.

While KISS, Deep Purple (“Smoke on the Water”), Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, and countless other influential rock and metal bands have yet to be inducted, newer bands like Guns N’ Roses and non-rock acts like Madonna are in there.

With all due respect to Halestorm, the proponents of “Music’s Biggest Night” have a lot of explaining to do.


Mayhem in Muncie

TBOS sat down with Zach Clifton, drummer for Indiana death metal band Nezera. He revealed their plans for their upcoming album, “Demons to Some, Angels to Others,” their single “It’s Not The Bath Salts,” and their appearance at an upcoming metal festival.

You can hear the full interview below.


Testament, Overkill and 4ARM Live in Tempe, Ariz.

  1. Mere hours before the show began, Testament guitarist Eric Peterson held a meet-and-greet at the Tempe Guitar Center.
  2. Here at the Tempe @guitarcenter waiting for Eric Peterson of @testamentband! http://twitpic.com/c051tr
  3. Peterson signed memorabilia and took pictures with his fans.
  4. Me with Eric Peterson! Time to haul butt to the Marquee now. http://twitpic.com/c05bxd
  5. Metalheads congregated at the Marquee Theater.
  6. Opening band 4ARM played a six-song set that left headbangers’ necks sore.
  7. 4ARM just finished up their set. My neck already hurts. http://twitpic.com/c05w87
  8. Sound check for Overkill. The drums resonate in your chest! THIS is how a thrash band is meant to sound. http://twitpic.com/c05zak
  9. As the crowd waited for Overkill to take the stage, “Walk” and other songs by Pantera were blared over the P.A. system to get the fans pumped.
  10. Overkill played an impressive set to a destructive crowd. The charismatic frontman Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth strutting across the stage.
  11. Overkill just finished their set. INSANE crowd. Just got crushed by 2 crowd surfers.
  12. Bobby Blitz is one hell of a frontman. One of the best I’ve seen.
  13. Headliners Testament thrashed to a 15-song setlist, heavily composed of tracks from their latest album, “Dark Roots of Earth” (2012).
  14. Overall, the event was great but fans were left wanting to hear more classic material from the headliners.
  15. Testament put on a hell of a show, even though I was expecting “Electric Crown”. http://twitpic.com/c079qt

Doro Pesch Interview Transcript – Part 3

In Part 2 of our interview with Doro Pesch, she discussed her experiences performing at the Monsters of Rock and Wacken Open Air Festivals, her first tour with Judas Priest, and receiving health advice from Blackie Lawless. Here, she talks about meeting Lemmy Kilmister for the first time,  discusses being a female pioneer in metal and gives advice to aspiring musicians. Click here to read the interview from the beginning. 

The Blog of Shredding: Do you still keep in touch with (the musicians you’ve toured with)?

Doro Pesch: Yes, yes. Sometimes when I see somebody’s on tour, then I always go there. And actually the closest I’m with Lemmy and Motörhead. I love Lemmy so much, and I love all the other, you know, bands… I don’t know. I love him so much and he’s one of the first (famous) people I’ve ever met. It was actually—we played the Monsters of Rock festival at Castle Donington together. And I met him before too. And I couldn’t speak one word of English! (laughs) It was like the very early 80s. And he was so nice. He said, “Oh yeah, have a cigarette. Have a whisky cola.” And you know, we hung out and had a great time… He actually sang a duet with me on the new record. It’s called “It Still Hurts” and I love it so much. It means so much to me.

But all the other people too. When I see Judas Priest is playing where I am, I always try, you know, to go. Or the Scorpions. And Udo Dirkschneider from Accept and many many other bands. Yeah.

The Blog of Shredding: Why did you choose metal at the time when it was such a male-dominated music genre?

Doro Pesch: I love metal so much and think everybody knew that—that no matter what—I never thought it made a difference, being a man or a woman. If you love music and people, they feel you can touch their hearts, I think it doesn’t matter. I never thought, I never felt degraded or second-best being a woman. I felt really good, really respected. All the bands that we just talked about— and many more bands—they were always treating me really great. I never thought it was such a big deal. I always had a great time and always felt very supported. So, yeah, to me, I feel I’m just a human being and I want to try to do my best and make people happy, give them positive power, positive energy. I never felt bad being a woman. I just-I think it doesn’t matter in the end. And I think music is about that.

The Blog of Shredding: How do you feel about (female-fronted band) Halestorm being nominated for the hard rock/metal Grammy? Lzzy Hale’s the first woman to be nominated for that.

Doro Pesch: That’s super! I was so happy when I heard that. I just found out a couple of weeks ago, and I was like, “Wow! Super!” More power to them and more power to her, and of course, I keep my fingers crossed that she will win. And that’s great! I think that’s awesome! That’s awesome.

And I must say, when I started, we were just maybe a handful of women. And now there’s so many more, so that’s great, you know. It doesn’t feel so lonely anymore!

But all the women that were doing this, I always had great connections. Most of the girls I know, and most of the girls I’m great friends with, like for example, the girl of Girlschool. We started together in the early 80s. Yeah, I think that’s great. Halestorm were nominated. Super!

The Blog of Shredding: What do you want your legacy to be?

Doro Pesch: Just when the fans think of me, that they know that I always try to give my best and try to make the fans happy and give them something that they will never forget, that it’s like the real thing. And something they could always count on. I promise you that I will never ever give up and I want to do it till the day I die.

I will never ever do a goodbye tour, I promise that. And I will always try to give 150 percent in songs or shows or records. And they know that I love the fans more than anything else in this world and the fans, they are my family and they’re the most important thing to me, my only inspiration and motivation.

I love the fans—to death! (laughs)

The Blog of Shredding: Do you have any advice for aspiring musicians?

Doro Pesch: I just would say, always give your whole energy, your whole heart, do 150 percent, and never let them change you. Always do what you feel is right. Follow your heart, follow your instincts. And never ever ever give up and do what you feel is right. Do what is you, you know, don’t follow a trend and just, you know, express yourself. Be the best you can be. And always try to find good people who will help you, support you, and even if you can’t find them, just believe in yourself and do whatever you can. I would say, you know, it’s a hard road but everything is worth it. If you try, if you believe in it, if you don’t give up, in the end, you definitely get to go to places. You definitely get successful. Whatever is in you, just follow that… And maybe find a good management. If you find somebody or if you want to sign a deal then, I would say, you know, it’s good to consider a lawyer because I [laughs] must say I can talk from experience. I signed my life away many times [laughs] because I thought, “Oh, everybody just wants the best for the band, just what’s best for you.” So I would get legal advice. Yeah, seek legal support like a lawyer before you sign a contract. Yeah, I would say that’s pretty good because, you know, I didn’t do it. And back in the day, actually, we made many handshake deals, which I believed when people told me something, that that was for real. I was very naive—I still am. I just want to believe the best in people, but sometimes it’s good to have a second opinion, somebody who knows. Yeah, a good lawyer who, you know, who loves music but takes care of you. That you don’t wind up in too much, you know, problems (laughs). I guess, you know, these experiences in the end, you know, it was alright to go through some hard stuff. And always know, always know it will always go up and down, up and down. But always try to keep a good attitude and if somebody knocks you out, get up as fast as you can, and you know, fight more and fight for what you want to do.

To be continued. Part 4 of 4 will be published soon.