2015 was a pretty metal year in my life with so many great new albums from new and classic metal bands, many great new horror films like Bone Tomahawk and Deathgasm, and tons of great new craft beers on the shelves! Here are five of the most metal things that happened in my life this year, in no particular order:
Seeing King Diamond perform Abigail in its entirety. King sounded better than ever live this year. His band, his stage show, and the fact that he played all of the Abigail album AND one of my favorite King Diamond songs EVER “Eye of the Witch” live made for one hell of an experience! Plus, thanks to Brian Slagel I got to meet the King and show him a picture of my King Diamond/Royals makeup mashup that I wore to Game 4 of the World Series on Halloween night! Thankfully the King approved! I also had the pleasure of speaking with King about my guinea pig Taco (RIP) who’s colors looked exactly like King Diamond’s makeup and was even featured during King’s appearance on That Metal Show! Getting to talk to King Diamond about the KC Royals and my little guinea pig Taco was a dream come true!
Getting to play drums with Coheed and Cambria. I’ve been a huge Coheed fan since 2004 and getting to jam with them at St. Vitus in Brooklyn, New York was pretty freaking awesome. St. Vitus is one of my favorite metal bars in the world and it’s walking distance from my house, yes I’m a very lucky metalhead. Having the Kansas City Royals win Game 2 of the ALDS Playoffs Game earlier that night made the whole experience even sweeter!
Recording drums for the third Charred Walls of the Damned album and Monte Pittman’s solo album. I can’t wait for metal fans to hear the new Charred Walls of the Damned album, it is SO CRUSHING! Thanks to my buddy and CWOTD guitarist/producer Jason Suecof, I got the best drum sound I’ve ever had on our new album, and all of the track were recorded in one day! Plus we got to celebrate afterwards with my favorite dish in the world – Chicken Bryan at Carrabbas! I have very fond memories of Chicken Bryan because that is what Jim Morris, Chuck Schuldiner and I ate to celebrate finishing drum tracks for the Death album The Sound of Perseverance back in 1998. Monte Pittman’s album is a total crusher too and I had a blast laying down the drums for him, I have to thank my buddy Brian Slagel for hooking that one up, people are going to freak when they hear how great Monte’s second solo album is! Also, the brand new 2015 batch of Charred Walls of the Damned barleywine style beer from Burnt Hickory Brewery is out now and it’s freaking delicious! Perfect pairing with whatever Metal you’re listening to!
The 25th Anniversary of Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Orlando. I’m a MASSIVE Halloween fan, I start celebrating in August. I always tell people that if there’s a heaven, for me it will be eternity at Halloween Horror Nights. This was the 25th year of the event and they have it down to a science. It’s literally like walking into a big budget horror film. At night in Septembers and Octobers they turn the whole Universal Park into a Halloween wonderland. With beer stands on almost every corner too, it’s an over 21 year old horror fans dream night. This year had an incredible 9 different walk through haunted houses and multiple scare zones that feature chainsaw wielding manias, fog, and various creatures. If you’re into horror or Halloween or both, I highly suggest you check out Halloween Horror Nights!
You’ve probably noticed a pattern in my Top 5, yes the Kansas City Royals! The most metal thing to happen in 2015 was (in my humble opinion) the Kansas City Royals winning the 2015 World Series!!!! I’ve been a Royals fan since birth and even got to meet Willie Wilson and Willie Aikens in 1983 at the age of 9 at a Wendy’s in Fort Scott, Kansas after waiting in line for two hours! The 2014 World Series was the most exhilarating time I’ve ever had watching baseball in my life but the ending was a heartbreaker. Not this year! Getting to see the Royals win in New York City on Halloween night while wearing blue and white King Diamond makeup is an experience I will NEVER forget! Plus I’m SOOO fortunate to have a Kansas City Royals bar in my neighborhood! John Brown Smokehouse, a Queens BBQ restaurant, is where you’ll find me during any Kansas City Royals, Kansas City Chiefs, or KU Basketball game. They also have Boulevard beer on tap! A Kansas City legend!
So in closing, Happy Holidays, Happy New Year, and here’s to a very METAL 2016!!!!!