Archive | Interviews
Recently, our friend Gary “Turbo” Webb from KRSC/Claremore/Tulsa, OK caught up with Chimaira’s Mark Hunter in Oklahoma City. He spoke about the new album, Crown of Phantoms, as well as the Indiegogo campaign to help fund content creation (btw, in just four days, the band have raised over $25,000 of their goal of $30k, so they’re well on their way to success), the first time a band and label worked together with a crowd funding campaign.
Another topic he touches on is using media states to push political or social agendas, which is where Dave Mustaine’s name comes up, saying “I want people to do what they want, so the onus is on them,” he says. “If Dave Mustaine makes a silly 0r ridiculous claim about religion, then the onus of proof is on him.” As far as touring with Asking Alexandria, who are a little more “core” than them? “It’s going to leave people scratching their heads, and that’s interesting to me,” Hunter says. “What’s the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. I like that it’s making people scratch their heads, it’s out of the box for us.”
And what metal is he listening to? Try rap. Hunter names Rick Ross, Yelawolf, Kanye West and Pusha T. as artists he’s been listening to lately. Check out the interview in the SoundCloud player after the jump. Read more »
Phil Demmel of Machine Head
The first band that I was in was called On Parole and we were… It was the early 80’s so there’s a lot of Iron Maiden influence and, kind of like, Van Halen, Riot. A lot of those rock – they were probably known as “metal” back then – but they were really rock bands, but we were into Priest and Maiden, stuff like that. Wrote all the lyrics, wrote all the music, and it was really bad.
Greg Mackintosh of Paradise Lost
I never really had a first band. It was always with just Nick, the singer of Paradise Lost now. It was always just me and him doing stuff since the age of like 17. Just messing around and different people came and went until because Paradise Lost. So, there’s a few weird names along the way, but it was the same couple of guys just pulling other people in.
Fredrik Åkesson of Opeth
My first band was called Whip. I think I was about 9, 10 years old. I wrote the songs and lyrics all about this guy going to war. it was kind of classic metal sounding.
Dethklok is my first band. I’d put projects together and it would be like, “The Brendon Small Band” and I would do that at music school, put like a project together. It would be, grab a really good drummer and a really good bass player and go and do an evening of some stuff, and write some original stuff and try to put that in there too. And that’s what I would do, but it was always a project thing. This has become more of a band. It started out as a project thing. I think the influence of the other guys have kinda like, knowing what they can do, helps me compose. Knowing what Gene (Hoglan’s) fortes are helps me compose stuff.
Paul Waggoner of Between The Buried and Me
We were called the Johnny Ross Quartet. We were just a bunch of idiot fifteen, sixteen year-olds. Of course, there was five of us. We were trying to be ironic, the Johnny Ross Quartet, with five dudes. Oh man, we were awful, dude. It was terrifying how bad we were. It was fun, just a high school thing. I think we did a Deftones cover from their first record. I guess we had that nu-metal vibe going, which at the time was just Korn, Deftones and bands like Korn. That was kind of our thing. We were into bands like that. It was pretty dark days, man. But, I was young and really just getting into heavy music and stuff like that, I guess that was the beginning of it. The funny thing about it is that everybody starts somewhere, obviously. Most people have some shitty band they were in and it’s only really by accident and happenstance that you wind up in a successful band or a band that’s pretty good. There’s a lot of good players out there that are just destined to be in shitty bands their whole life. Even though I’m embarrassed to say I was in the Johnny Ross Quartet, I could easily be in a band like that now. It just so happens that I found some people that have a unique synergy with one another and write some tunes that people kind of like and we’re all committed to it. Everybody has been in a shitty band at one point or another; it’s really just dumb luck that you end up in a cool band.
With “God Is Dead?” being released later today, this is definitely not the only Black Sabbath post you’ll be getting from us today. Guitarist Tony Iommi gave a candid interview to the Birmingham Mail yesterday in which he discussed the new Black Sabbath album, his grueling cancer treatment, and touring. For a 65 year-old battling cancer, Iommi is surprisingly upbeat. ““Medics say that the condition is manageable with treatment. I enjoy where I’m at now, I really do,” he says. “It’s a good place. I’ve got a good home life and a good family, great friends and support. And I’m fortunate because I’m still able to go out and play music.”
Yet he’s only able to go out and play music on a limited basis. The treatments dictate that he be back every six weeks.
“I have to have an antibody administered by drip every six weeks or so to keep the lymphoma in check. It sort of coats the cancer cells, stops it from going anywhere else. I have to come back home no matter where I might be in the world. The tour dates are arranged so that I can always get back for treatment. It’s the only way I can manage my illness and keep on the road. I’d love to play more shows than we’re doing but my health has to be sorted out first.
“The infusions I have are part of the chemotherapy regime. It’s relatively new treatment and they don’t know what all the side-effects might be yet, but I wanted to try it. After each session I feel sick and tired, and that lasts for a week or so. I’m finding that it takes around 10 days to fully recover from each round of treatment, but if that’s what it takes, I have to accept it.”
Among the other revelations in the interview is that the person that first told him to get checked for lymphoma was Ozzy Osbourne. He’d apparently had a prostate problem, and he thought that’s what the pain in his groin was. Ozzy had dealt with Sharon’s cancer several years ago and urged Iommi to get checked out. With his treatments, there’s only a one in three chance that his cancer will return.Also, while Ozzy has admitted he wants to duet with Adele, Iommi has someone else in mind he’d like to collaborate with: Tom Jones. Read the whole article here.
Soilwork had lots to celebrate last month. That’s because the group’s double album The Living Infinite not only cracked the top 60 in its first week, but also marked the Swedish metal group’s best debut ever. Yet singer Björn “Speed” Strid isn’t letting himself rest to enjoy the victory, as Soilwork continue on with an extensive North American tour. Strid did, though, take a minute to speak with Metal Insider about his thoughts on the album’s success, life after guitarist Peter Wichers, Trivium frontman Matt Heafy’s high praise for the band, and how The Living Infinite is without a doubt Soilwork’s most collaborative album to date.
First off, congrats on The Living Infinite cracking the top 60 in its first week!
What was your first thought when you heard this?
Well it was incredible. I was definitely shocked. There was really good buzz going on, so I expected it to at least hit the top 200 because [2010’s] The Panic Broadcast, hit number 88. I hoped for even better than that, but then again you never know. So it was definitely a surprise and a happy one at that.
I think what’s even more impressive is that it reached the top 60 as double album.
Yeah, that’s true. I mean, it did have a very good campaign [behind it]. At Best Buy it was only $7.99, which is incredible for a double album. It’s probably one of the best deals I’ve seen, so I think it helped. But your right, it is a double album and not everyone buys it at Best Buy, so that’s pretty impressive. Read more »
Twelve Foot Ninja has taken their home country of Australia by storm with their debut full-length Silent Machine. While the album has yet to be properly released in the U.S., the group’s unique style of prog metal (imagine Mr. Bungle infused with elements of djent) has already caught the attention of many American fans, including none other than Periphery. That’s why it’s not surprising that the members of Periphery are making an appearance in Twelve Foot Ninja’s new music video, which the group recently launched an online campaign to help fund the making of.
Guitarist Steve “Stevic” MacKay took the time to chat with Metal Insider about the inspiration behind the new music video (which finds the group taking retribution against the world of internet trolls in an extreme way), how Periphery became one of the band’s closest allies, and about Twelve Foot Ninja’s hopes to soon perform in the U.S.
The concept of the video essentially has the band attacking and decapitating internet trolls who do nothing but post mean comments about other people. What exactly inspired this idea for a video?
When we released the album [Silent Machine], we got so much positive publicity and so many awesome comments from people saying they enjoy what we do. But what we did notice was that when it got more exposure and we started to get a bit more well-known, and we had a lot more high profile bands and such giving us kudos publicly, out came these troll like comments that I hadn’t really experienced before that. Obviously I experienced people saying “It’s not my cup of tea,” “It’s not heavy enough” or “It’s too heavy,” all that type of stuff which is subjective, but then you get these sort of comments that’s beyond a subjective view. It was interesting to deal with, and I actually spoke to Spencer [Sotelo, vocalist of Periphery] because he’s had horrible shit [said about him] on the internet for his vocals. It was just really personal stuff that I just thought was really absurd. It’s an abstract concept because when you make an effort, like Twelve Foot Ninja and I know Periphery do a lot as well, I try to talk to everyone who takes the time to talk to me on the internet. I see the internet as an extension of real life, not as a separate thing. So I see it as if someone comes up and is abusive, it’s like they’re doing it to me at a show. And my reaction at a show [to this] wouldn’t be positive. No one likes that shit.
So I started looking into internet trolling, and there’s so much stuff on the internet, there are psychological profiles on what causes people to do this sort of thing. And I saw in the UK that there’s a 150% rise in online convictions for cyber bulling and such. It’s a new kind of phenomenon. My initial response was to try and find the people and confront them in person, and be like “What’s your problem?!” Then it dawned on me that it could be a really cool film concept, to actually depict what an internet troll is. It’s someone who essentially had something happen to them or they feel powerless in real life, so they become this sort of “internet hero” or “keyboard warrior.” Then I thought “What would happen in an extreme circumstance of playing out a tale of retribution on these people?” So I took to the extreme because I love films and Quentin Tarantino’s stuff. I wouldn’t condone doing what I’m suggesting in clip. [In the video] I actually track one down and we have a battle. He turns into an actual troll, and I end up dismembering him and turning him into hamburgers and feeding him to Periphery. I thought it was a little bit like the South Park episode [where Cartman feeds another character chili made out of his dead parents’ bodies, and gets Radiohead to call him a whiny little bitch], and I thought that was just the best. It’s something with a bit of humor.
At the same time, I think it’s interesting to shine a light on these people who just lash out. I don’t think it’s cool that bands have to absorb that shit. It doesn’t sit right with me, and I guess I sort of make a bit of a statement about it and open the discussion. And I know it’s probably going to bring more dickheads out, but at the same time I think we got the last laugh. Read more »
For over eleven years, Terror has served as a standout example of hardcore music. And on April 9, Terror continues the tradition with its fifth full-length album, Live By The Code. Frontman Scott Vogel, a vocal supporter of the underground music scene, took the time to speak with Metal Insider prior to kicking off Terror’s tour with Hatebreed. During our chat, the vocalist discussed how the word “hardcore” has been stretched to a fault, what gave him confidence in signing with Victory Records, the lack of care that goes into an album’s full packaging, and what he learned from Randy Blythe’s trial in Prague.
You have always been vocal about Terror staying true to its hardcore “roots,” a message the band continues to express with Live By The Code. What would you declare the “codes” of hardcore to be specifically?
Well I don’t know if you were given the artwork or layout. In a way, I can’t really just put into words without the artwork. We took a really long time, got an artist and really thought out the title because with a title like that, people are going to automatically think there’s a set of rules 1-10, like “these are the codes of hardcore, cut your hair short, wear this uniform, go into the mosh pit.” It’s absolutely nothing like that. Basically, I urge everyone who sees the title and really wants to know what it means, I don’t care if you buy the record or go to the record store and open it up to look in there and put it back on the shelf…I first urge everyone to look at that layout. People just go and either legally or illegally download the record and you’re only getting part of the record. I think that the full packaging on the record is very necessary to get the full understanding and full vision of the band. Music for some people is just something to put on in a car while they’re driving. I would think and hope that people in the underground take it a little step further than that. The artwork and everything we said in the layout clearly and fully describes what “live by the code” means to us.
To give you a short answer because I don’t want to just snub the question, there isn’t a written set of rules. I just think as someone that’s a member of underground music, whether it’s real hip hop or real metal or real hardcore, you’re not accepting what’s fed to you in the mainstream and what’s society says. So it’s of going against the grain and living your life your own way and taking your own path. Read more »
You can tell what you’re getting from Clutch’s tenth studio album, Earth Rocker, by its album title. Re-teaming with producer Machine, who last worked with the band on 2004′s Blast Tyrant, the album barely lets off the gas, and is their most uptempo record in years. We caught up with bassist Dan Maines to talk about how the album evolved, the inevitable comparisons to Blast Tyrant, and how they feel about using their music in TV shows and commercials.
Let’s talk about Earth Rocker. What lead to you working with Machine once again?
First off, I think we just wanted to put ourselves in a different situation recording wise than we’ve been for the last couple of albums. Machine is much like a different environment than what a typical band would be used to. I think the songs themselves felt blended to his approach. We had recorded the Blast Tyrant record with him in the past and we knew his process so we just felt it would be a good choice.
Did you make a conscious decision to make Earth Rocker a little bit more upbeat than the last few records?
Maybe not initially, but as we got more involved in the writing process, I think that the faster tempo songs were exciting to us. At that point we did put more of a focus to having songs that blended themselves well to that faster tempo. If we had written a song or part that was slow, we definitely experimented with speeding it up and seeing if it still carried through. So that was a conscious decision, yeah. Read more »
Back in October of 2012, Eminence made their live U.S. debut aboard Metal Insider’s CMJ boat show with Prong and For Sleeping Or Jumping. And to say that we were extremely impressed by the Brazilian metal outfit’s set is an understatement. Eminence put on a face-melting performance that night, making us anxious to hear their long-awaited follow-up to 2008’s The God Of All Mistakes. The wait won’t be too much longer, as the band has been in the studio working once again with Tue Madsen (Moonspell, The Haunted, Sick Of It All). However, Eminence are taking a break from the studio to perform at SXSW, marking their first performance on the West Coast.
While in Austin, Texas, guitarist and founding member Alan Wallace took a moment to chat with us about working with long-time friend/Sepultura bassist Paulo Xisto Pinto Jr., how their original plans to work with producer Terry Date fell through, and the difficulties that come with being an unsigned band from Brazil. If you’re at SXSW make sure to check out Eminence’s show at The Jr. (603 Red River St.) on Friday, March 15. Read more »
Everything has to start somewhere, and this fact is no different for our metal heroes. Over that past few years I have been asking some of my favorite artists the question “What was your first band called and what did it sound like?” and here are their answers.
Oderus Urungus of GWAR
Oh, my first band was GWAR. I’ve never been in any other bands than Gwar. I mean, I was in the third shock army of the Master Scumdog Stormtroopers, I guess it was kind of a band in that we were bound together, or bound to get into trouble. A band of brothers if you will! We marry few! We were an elite war unit, but we still had a band, we had a marching band that we would play, you know? Tubas and weird, like, space horns and stuff like that. We didn’t really get into heavy metal until we came to Earth though.
Michael Keene of The Faceless
My first band was called The Electric Complex and it was with Brandon (Giffin), our old bass player in the Faceless and it was like… hard rock I guess. I don’t know what we sounded like, we were really young. We were really confused I guess. We probably wanted to sound like Foo Fighters.
Dan Briggs of between The Buried And Me
I was in my first band when I was twelve and I’ve been in a band every year since up until I joined Between The Buried And Me when I was 20 in 2004, early 2005. it started with cover bands playing Nirvana, Hendrix tunes with me playing guitar back then. I couldn’t even tell you what else we played, probably Metallica. I started on guitar a few years earlier. my mom was a trained cellist and classical guitarist and a music teacher. So, I guess it was kind of natural for me to fall into that. that was right in the early to mid 90’s, and popular rock music was golden. I was kind of lucky because everything around me i was hearing was really awesome and also stuff that seemed an attainable goal to play. From there it snowballed. In high school I got into Dream Theater and playing in a lot of different classical ensembles and jazz ensembles, then college happened and I was studying the upright bass in a strictly classical curriculum. All the while, I had been friends with Tommy (Giles) and Paul (Waggoner) and we kept in touch over the years, and I was about to start my forth semester of college and Tommy called and said, “We’re giving our bass player the boot, I was just curious if you had any interest in relocating and coming down?” and I was like, “Yeah, of course.” There wasn’t a professional musical existence before me joining Between The Buried And Me, but I was active cultivating my musical skills.
Blake Judd of Nachtmystium
Very first band was called Helm’s Deep, a Tolkien reference obviously, and we did that before the movies came out. We read the books when we were younger. Anyway, Helm’s Deep was my band, and it was in probably a year a when I started Nachtmystium when I was seventeen. I was sixteen in Helm’s Deep. So, it was me and the guy who played drums for Nachtmystium originally, this guy named Pat McCormick. It sounded like early Nachtmystium, honestly. Like, our real real early stuff. Like, our demos. We were sloppy and not real skilled players yet, but it was the spirit of what I wound up doing later on.
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Welcome to Metal Insider’s video game column, What Are You Playing? This week, we speak with guitarist Jesse Liu of Chthonic.
Earlier this year, the Taiwanese metal group teamed up with Chun-Mu Mediatek to create their very own mobile app. Titled Chthonic – Rhythm Crusher, its a rhythm game that features 12 of Chthonic’s songs. As to why Chthonic, Chun Mu Mediatek’s art director Scott Chen explained to us, “We’re heavy game players and also produce games for our clients. One day we thought why not make a game for ourselves, which has the music we love? So we contacted Chthonic through their art director and friend of mine — Oink Chen, and brought our proposal to them.”
Liu took a moment to talk with us about Chthonic’s involvement with the game’s development, getting the chance to challenge fans “live battle” at Rockaholic in Tokyo on March 8, how recording for the band’s new album has been going, and (of course) what video games he has been playing as of late. Read more »