story and photos Dawn Cosnotti Morris © 2016
This story took a long ass time. I was lost at Okeechobee (literally, not figuratively), and I wandered past a stage that literally had energy pouring off it in waves. The band, unknown to me at the time, had truly mesmerized a crowd. I snapped a couple of shots from amongst the masses and moved on. I met a vendor there, she had a lovely daughter she wanted to introduce me to but our paths never crossed. Six weeks go by and I am in Gulf Shores. The only Starbucks for miles is in a Target. In a creepy, non-stalker (swear) way, I see the missing daughter (as mom and I are now IG buddies). The daughter came as a guest of the unknown band. So now my vibe lovin’ universe trusting self-kicks in (coffee helps) and I recognize serendipity when it smacks me in a super store in Alabama. Daughter asks if I will shoot the band. I say I will be so far away, and sand jogging with 17 lbs. of gear is not my favorite workout so I would probably miss them again. I didn’t. The stars aligned, the crowds parted and I took a shortcut through VIP. When I landed in the pit the band I now know as Nahko and Medicine for the People is 1 song in and I am hooked. I do my bit then I actually stay to listen, a rare occurrence. It’s more than the sound, which is sort of genre bending. It’s more than singer Nahko Bear’s awesomely unique tone. It’s more than seeing hordes of clearly devoted followers. I had to piece it together. It was the message. The gentlemen had a story to tell, causes to advocate, a message to send. I went back to my room that night and my old friend Google had some crazy things to say. Social media showed fans who were not band worshipping but rather thankful for comfort and direction. I’m not going to review the music here- you need to go listen (www.nahko.com). I am not going to begin to list the endless causes that are fueled by Nahko’s passion, check them out here http://nahko.com/causes/.
The band’s 3rd (but first label-backed) album drops June 10. I sent a quick note to a publicist and days later finally got to hear what went on behind those words. She said Nahko had 30 minutes; almost an hour later I had to go but knew I had something I needed to share. So what you get here is a crazy, sad, inspiring and amazing story. A big fat smack upside the head sort of reminder that you control your outcome, sometimes your gift finds you, and music is truly a vehicle.
Without trying to quote Nahko (I ditched the notes early on as what he had to say was so compelling) I will try and share Nahko’s story. He was born 30 years ago to a 14 year old prostitute. When he was 9 months old a very strict Baptist family in Oregon adopted him as they felt raising him was God’s work. Home schooled with a heavy dose of the bible every day, Nahko found solace on the bench of a piano at age 6. Raised on the only classics permitted in his adoptive home, he was a self taught but completely unaware musician. By 16 he was teaching music to other children and at some point even became a community theater director. By 17 he rebelled and was thrown out of his home. Drugs and debauchery logically followed. By 18 he had travelled to Alaska and worked his way into a dinner theater. Enamored with Kerouac, and possessing a nomadic soul, he bounced around the country, just beginning to realize his true musical talents. He got local gigs, he got what was big money to him, smoked a j with some old dude and bought his van. He took his first ever road trip to Cali. He went to Louisiana and lived in a house with 12 people. It was about then the money ran out and the inspiration ran dry. Nahko took a bus to Portland for a job washing dishes. He was Alaska bound but woke up in Canada. He hitched 2,000 miles in 3 days for a job as a cook. While the tale read like a whacked out novel, the highs and lows are not as predictable as one would think., Times were not all bad for Nahko. He discovered a deep love for and connection to nature. He travelled to Hawaii for work trade. Farming there gave Nahko a work ethic; made him what he considers a Man’s Man. Going into the wild allowed room for expansion on ideas about God. Like many on this sort of quest, Nahko wound up at Burning Man. It was there he left early and boarded a plane with no particular goal in mind. The woman in the seat next to him asked where he was headed and he blurted out that he was going to find his birth mother. The moment the words left Nahko’s lips he knew them to be true. A complete stranger validated his journey’s mission. Nahko knew everything about the people who raised him went against his own grain; he wanted to know where he came from. There were keys to finding the young woman, for she had written letter after letter to the child she had to give up. His adoptive family held them until he was 18. The letters were written in 14 year old script and verbage , with the girl closing every letter with I am sorry, please don’t hate me. Signing with her social security number so she could one day be found. And she was. Less than 20 miles from the adoptive home Nahko grew up in he found an address for the woman who gave birth to him. When he went there she had moved out just a number of weeks before. He got her number. He called. She hung up. He called again. Once she was assured it was truly her first born, Nahko met his family. A hole he never knew existed in his heart was now filled. She welcomed her child, despite not being born out of love, with open arms. Nahko had siblings, he had identity, he had cultural heritage. Part of the new found family was a grandmother. It was she who prostituted a young woman. Nahko defends her. She was only doing what she knew, doing what had been done for generations before. It turns out he is Native American, and Puerto Rican, and Philipino. A home was filled with languages he did not yet speak, but a family was complete. All less than 10 blocks from the home he grew up in. Nahko was a changed man. He is not uncomfortable telling his life story nor does he use it to garner attention. In fact, attention seems far from his mind. He and a friend bought some acreage in Hawaii a number of years ago and farm there. They are building a compound of their own, a retreat from the rest of the world-off the grid. That would be an amazing enough ending but it was only another beginning. Nahko and Medicine for the People were formed in 2012. A grassroots campaign began. Social media garnered the band a very organic and loyal following. The first two albums were recorded and distributed by the members themselves. A fan used their music and set it to purchased video footage. Someone sent Nahko a link, he thought it was pretty and was happy for the 5 views it had gotten. The video (see here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YsgP8LkEopM ) went viral. Four years later he is still curious about the future and considers himself a newbie in the music industry, but he has clearly found his calling as well as his call to action. He has strong political views; deep concerns about climate change, and involvement in social and environmental movements. Nahko is learning the protocol for direct action but is also putting his music behind it. He wants his music as well as his actions to shift the paradigm; he really just wants people to “wake the fuck up”. Nahko’s life story defines his music. He hopes his transparency allows people to relate in a deeper way, that the vulnerability of sharing will create closeness and courage. Nahko’s music is filled with calls to action, vulnerability, and inspiration. He put all of his deep dark secrets out for the world to see and hear. His sincere hope is his sharing will enable others not to hide.
The Butcher Babies once again graced Pittsburgh with their brand of female fronted heavy metal mayhem on their trek with In This Moment’s Hellpop II Tour. Always entertaining, never taking their rise for granted; Heidi, Carla, Henry, Chris, and Jason have been grinding it in promotion of their latest release “Goliath”. And these girls and guys bring a ‘Goliath’ show every time. Even if female vocals are not your metal cup-o-whiskey, you have to give kudos on the performance alone. But, get past the negative naysayers who can’t get over the fact that they are misogynists and not true metalheads, and get to the fact that these girls have talent and the guys have the goods as well.
We were lucky enough to once again get to spend some time with Heidi and Carla on the Butcher RV just before their set. Check out our interview where they talk to us about: TOURING WITH IN THIS MOMENT ON THE HELLPOP II TOUR, DEALING WITH HATERS, THE OLYMPICS, CARLA’S ART, HEIDI’S SEWING, CRAZY STUFF ON MAYHEM, SLIPKNOT NEWS, TOURING EUROPE, AND HITTING THE STUDIO…
The Butcher Babies hit the stage hard opening with “I Smell A Massacre” and never let up last night (1/15/14) at Club Zoo in Pittsburgh. Other standouts included “National Bloody Anthem”, “Mr. Slowdeath”, “Magnolia Blvd.” and “Axe Wound”. The crowd was pretty insane with serious moshing and crowd surfing, totally eating up what the babies were serving. Check out some of the scene below…
All photos ©2014 AWeldingphoto and Pittsburgh Music Magazine
The end of muted metal has arrived in the form of one of Victory’s latest signings, Texas death metal band, SEEKER. Forming from the remnants of various metal bands in the area,SEEKER officially began in the fall of 2011, destroying local venues with their impossibly quick solos and bone-crushing drums. Garnering a loyal following of avid metalheads along the way, SEEKER has been on the road ever since, silencing naysayers with one swift sweeping of chords. Providing an in-your-face delivery to fans each performance, SEEKER is the auditory Malitov Cocktail for today’s metal scene. Having caught the attention of prominent metal publications Alternative Press, Lambgoat, Metal Insider and more, SEEKER’s path is on an upward trajectory, set to surpass their competition with ease. Wrapping up the production of their upcoming label-debut album which is set for release in October, the guys of SEEKER refuse to rest.
Pittsburgh Music Magazine caught up with vocalist Bryce Lucien to talk to him about the true essence of Seeker and what they have going on…
You guys operate under the mantra, “Art, community, and aggressive non-conformity above all else”. Can you speak more to why that is so important to the band and how you live that by example?
It’s really just a statement of priorities. We created this band with nothing but absolute freedom of expression in mind. We have all been playing music for a long time, and we hit a point where we realized that art isn’t worth creating unless it’s coming from a deeply personal and honest place. We push ourselves to create music with that in mind, and not trends, or whether our band will sell. We still have a long way to go, but I feel like we’re getting there. As far as community goes, we feel extremely fortunate to have met so many like-minded artists, musicians, promoters, etc and we value these friendships as much as we do the band. We’ve never really been a part of any sort of “scene”, so we had to create our own. Supporting our friends and being an active part of our music community is huge for us.
Can you give us some details about your label debut and what distinguishes your sound from other releases?
We have a new album called Unloved coming out October, 29th on Victory Records. I’m very excited about this release. We really pushed ourselves to experiment and do exactly what we wanted to do with this release. We weren’t actively trying to sound like anyone else or appeal to a certain group of people. That’s really nothing new at all. Pretty much all of our favorite bands operate like that, but it’s something that I think is kind of lost on a lot of bands our age.
Some of your lyrics are pretty intense and seem deeply personal. Where do you draw inspiration from and what is the writing process typically like?
Our lyrics are ridiculously personal. I’m really bad at removing myself from what I’m talking about in my lyrics, so things tend to get pretty dark during the writing process. The heaviest period of writing was between March and early July of this year and I was pretty miserable to be around the entire time. I don’t feel like you can honestly write music like we do without going to a place full of intense emotional extremes. Inspiration lyrically just comes from life. It would be fairly easy for anyone who knows me to figure out what I’m talking about in our songs.
Your band seems to demand to have freedom in their creation. How did you arrive at the decision to sign with Victory?
We do demand total freedom, and the thing that we love the most about Victory is that they’re open to that. They’re just as excited to go on this journey and see where things go as we are. They give us freedom to be exactly the band that we want to be. They’re extremely forward thinking and still incredibly passionate about releasing music, and that’s why we decided to go with them.
Honestly, when we would talk about labels that we might like to work with Victory never even came up. We never thought of them as an option, because while we were growing up they were always the label with the gigantic bands so for them to not only want us, but also give us the incredible amount of freedom that they have is huge. We’re extremely happy and extremely grateful.
You had a tour this fall with KING CONQUER, BETRAYAL, AEGAEON. What are some dream bands you would love to tour with?
We actually just got off the King Conquer, Betrayal, Aegaeon tour and it was amazing. I would love a chance to tour with Chelsea Wolfe, Watain, True Widow, Nails, Deafheaven, King Dude, Retox, Converge, Dillinger Escape Plan, Sunn O))), Rotten Sound, This Will Destroy You… There’s way too many to list. I would literally eat a car to tour with Chelsea Wolfe.
Can you give us some scoop as to what you have coming up this winter?
We leave for a tour with The Last Ten Seconds Of Life, Deserters, and Kublai Khan in a few days. After that we’re home for a couple weeks and then we’ll be right back out on a tour that we’re going to be announcing soon. Look for us on the road all winter. We’re way more comfortable in a live setting so we try to stay on the road constantly.
With Seeker’s work ethic and profound ethos it is no doubt that you will be hearing much more from these guys…just remember where you heard it first.
Just got off the phone with Oderus Urungus, leader and intergalactic humanoid barbarian of GWAR, where we talked about their new release Battle Maximus. I have had the pleasure of listening to the entire release and I have to tell you that it is the strongest effort that GWAR has ever released in my humble opinion. GWAR gets overshadowed by their show rather than their musicianship for reasons that are obvious had you ever witnessed a GWAR show, and that is not to slight their musical prowess in any way…its just their show is that amazing and fun. But, with this album GWAR can silence the naysayers and critics who say that all GWAR can do is throw fake blood and jump around in costumes. True fans have been clued in for years and now many may open their minds and ears to the fact that there is much more going on sonically. GWAR’s Battle Maximus features twelve brand new tracks that not only honor their departed ally, but tells the story of GWAR’s latest struggle against what may be their greatest enemy yet…the insidious “Mr. Perfect”, who has travelled through time itself to steal the power of GWAR–the power of immortality, and use this power to mutate the human race into his twisted vision of what the “perfect” human should be. Listen here as we talk to Oderus about the new album and practicing for the tour, The GWARBQ, Fox Channel, Syria, G-pen vaporizer endorsements, and what we should do with “celebutards”like Miley Cyrus…
GWAR returns to Pittsburgh at Mr. Smalls with Hatebreed 9/14/13
On August 15th of last year, Baroness fans were not so sure the band would ever return to touring or playing music ever again. In a bus crash near Bath, England the band and crew members of Baroness’ lives were forever changed and their fans held their breath and hoped that it would turn out well for all involved. Nearly a year later, Baroness is back out on the road in the U.S. supporting ‘Yellow & Green’, a bit changed, a bit scarred, but not broken. I had the great pleasure to meet with guitarist/backup vocalist Peter Adams before their show in Pittsburgh on June 14, 2013 and was met with great welcome and complete openness about the experiences of the past year.
Hanging out with Pete is somewhat akin to being around one of your best buds. He’s your typical guy from a blue collar background and he has that Matthew McConaughey southern drawl, sort of like McConaughey’s character Wooderson in Dazed and Confused. When he’s not playing guitar with Baroness or with Valkyrie (with brother Jake), Pete can be found in the hills of Lexington, Virginia hunting, fishing, helping at his friends farm and basically living off the land. He’s very down to earth, humble, and friendly, as all the guys in the band are, and we wound up spending a good two hours talking about both of our lives and a lot of what has gone of in the Baroness camp.
I met Pete about 4:30 outside of the tour bus at the venue, Mr. Smalls in Millvalle, just outside of downtown Pittsburgh. We decided since it was a beautiful day in the ‘Burgh to just hang in the open air and conduct our interview. Afterwards Pete asked me a bit about Pittsburgh Music Magazine and my life. It was great to find our common bond in that he has a family full of teachers and I myself am a teacher. Beyond the dreadful experience that he had and how Pete still feels a bit of trepidation every time the engine fires up on the bus, he would go on to let me in on the fact that Baroness would probably not make any money on the tour due to paying top money for the safest bus and the best driver; a driver which has driven for many of the greatest rock and country stars who will relate his many stories to Pete while he sits up front with him watching the road drone on. Singer/guitar player/founder John Baizley used to sit up front, but ever since the accident in Bath, he has taken to being in the back, which is where Pete was when the crash happened , creating in effect a role reversal.
Pete and John have obviously seen a lot on the road besides their accident in their decade long career. Some of things Pete talked at length about were the time he and John suddenly got called upon to fill in on guitar for Mastodon for a brief stretch on tour. How scary riding in a ‘Bandwagon’ can be, especially when you have to load in at the House of Blues in L.A. (see any flattened signs there anyone?). How much respect he gained for Metallica after opening for them, especially experiencing firsthand how humble they actually are, how supportive of their openers they can be, and how they practice every night for an hour before ever going onstage. Baroness was recently invited to the Orion Fest for the second year in a row by The Metallica guys only to be told a bit later that they had to be dropped because they were on the Fest last year and there are not supposed to be back-to-back repeats. Undaunted, Baroness booked a pre-Orion show in Detroit and lo and behold who shows up to introduce them and hang out for the show? You guessed it, Metallica. Pete also talked about driving through the devastation in Oklahoma recently and how mind blowing it was, even bringing back memories of when his childhood home was destroyed by a hurricane back in South Carolina.
Listen to the following audio interview in which Pete speaks about the new guys in the band, the song writing process, ‘Yellow &Green’, working with John Baizley, going back to Europe in the fall, and whether Baroness is working on new material…
That night after the interview, Baroness let the music do the talking. Opening up with “Take My Bones Away”, the band never, ever let up. The beautifully combined vocals of John and Pete and their amazingly intertwined guitar patterns are truly something to behold live. New members Sebastian Thomson on drums and Nick Jost on bass fit like a glove and seem like they have been with the band for years rather than months. The crowd ate up every morsel being thrown at them and regularly cheered at the recognition of the first notes of each song. Baizley was sure to thank all for the support, well wishes, cards, and phone calls in their darkest of times. The emotion in the room was palpable, the crowd and band were overjoyed at the return of Baroness to where they belong…
(If you missed Baroness and would like to catch them in the area again you might be able to catch them on a double bill with Ghost B.C. in Cleveland at The House of Blues in Cleveland…but I don’t think those tickets will last long!)
Highlights: “Take My Bones Away”, “Eula”, “Cocainium”, “Board Up The House”
All photos © 2013 AWeldingphoto and Pittsburgh Music Magazine
Since catching Picture Me Broken last year when they opened for Modern Day Escape & Affiance here in Pittsburgh, it was very clear that PMB was definitely headed for big things. Lead singer, Layla “Brooklyn” Allman (daughter of Gregg- yes, that Allman Brother and rock royalty legend) made quite the impression on the crowd with her stage presence that has been developing since age twelve (she’s now 20). Our interview with her was like speaking with a seasoned pro and the rest of her equally young bandmates (Drummer Shaun Foist and dual-lead guitar players Dante Phoenix and Jimmy Strimpel) were just as professional and impressive. What may be even more impressive is that PMB has not relied on Brooklyn’s dad’s contacts to make it in the biz and have instead opted to make it the old fashion way…hard work, and tour, tour, tour.
2013 brings probably the most exciting opening slot of Picture Me Broken’s career and possibly the most intimidating: opening for two rock legends in their own right from two different eras, Alice Cooper and Marilyn Manson.
Pittsburgh Music Magazine caught up with Picture Me Broken recently and spoke with Brooklyn about what 2013 has in store for the band…
Our story from the first time we met PMB…http://wp.me/p2k1M3-1mJ
John 5 seems like he is everywhere at once. The multi talented guitarist cannot be pigeonholed into any style of playing and he continues to challenge himself and be the humble virtuoso that he has become. The self admitted perfectionist is hard at work figuring out not only how to make sure all the songs are tip top, but how to make sure that the show is everything that the fans expect it to be. Venemous Rat Regeneration Vendor is already climbing the charts and quieting the critics that have been saying Zombie has not been at the top of his game for some time, who are now eating crow and heralding the sounds and scene that John 5, Piggy D, Ginger Fish have helped Rob Zombie create. (Pay attention to the exclusive John gives us about the writing of Teenage Nosferatu in the following interview!!!)
Preparing to rip apart the main stage as the headliner of The 2013 Rockstar Mayhem Festival as Rob Zombie’s guitarist, John took some time from their pre-Mayhem production work in L.A. to talk with Pittsburgh Music Magazine’s Editor and COO, Alan, about the experience of the Rockstar Mayhem Festival and what Rob Zombie and company have in store, winning the best guitarist award at The Revolver Golden God Awards, the new Rob Zombie LP Venemous Rat Regeneration Vendor, having some guitars and personal items stolen from his home, solo work, and working with David Lee Roth. Listen to our exclusive interview here!!! Click below
Don’t miss John 5 with Rob Zombie when they hit Pittsburgh on July 12 or at a city near you…http://rockstarmayhemfest.com/dates
|Jun 29||San Bernardino, CA||San Manuel Amphitheater||Buy TicketsBuy VIP Tickets|
|Jun 30||Mountain View, CA||Shoreline Amphitheatre||Buy TicketsBuy VIP Tickets|
|Jul 02||Nampa, ID||Idaho Center Amphitheatre||Buy Tickets|
|Jul 03||Auburn, WA||White River Amphitheatre||Buy TicketsBuy VIP Tickets|
|Jul 05||Phoenix, AZ||Desert Sky Pavilion||Buy TicketsBuy VIP Tickets|
|Jul 06||Albuquerque, NM||Isleta Amphitheatre||Buy TicketsBuy VIP Tickets|
|Jul 07||Englewood, CO||Fiddler’s Green Ampitheatre||Buy TicketsBuy VIP Tickets|
|Jul 10||Toronto, ON CA||Molson Canadian Amphitheatre||Buy TicketsBuy VIP Tickets|
|Jul 12||Burgettstown, PA||First Niagara Pavilion||Buy TicketsBuy VIP Tickets|
|Jul 13||Scranton, PA||Toyota Pavilion||Buy TicketsBuy VIP Tickets|
|Jul 14||Darien Center, NY||Darien Lake Performing Arts Center||Buy TicketsBuy VIP Tickets|
|Jul 16||Mansfield, MA||Comcast Center||Buy TicketsBuy VIP Tickets|
|Jul 17||Bangor, ME||Bangor Waterfront||Buy TicketsBuy VIP Tickets|
|Jul 19||Camden, NJ||Susquehanna Bank Center||Buy TicketsBuy VIP Tickets|
|Jul 20||Saratoga Springs, NY||Saratoga Performing Arts Center||Buy TicketsBuy VIP Tickets|
|Jul 21||Hartford, CT||The Comcast Theatre||Buy TicketsBuy VIP Tickets|
|Jul 23||Holmdel, NJ||PNC Bank Arts Center||Buy TicketsBuy VIP Tickets|
|Jul 24||Bristow, VA||Jiffy Lube Live||Buy TicketsBuy VIP Tickets|
|Jul 26||Noblesville, IN||Klipsch Music Center||Buy TicketsBuy VIP Tickets|
|Jul 27||Tinley Park, IL||First Midwest Bank Ampitheatre||Buy TicketsBuy VIP Tickets|
|Jul 28||Clarkston, MI||DTE Energy Music Theatre||Buy TicketsBuy VIP Tickets|
|Jul 30||Atlanta, GA||Lakewood Amphitheatre||Buy TicketsBuy VIP Tickets|
|Jul 31||Tampa, FL||MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre||Buy TicketsBuy VIP Tickets|
|Aug 02||Austin, TX||Austin360 Amphitheater at Circuit of The Americas||Buy TicketsBuy VIP Tickets|
|Aug 03||The Woodlands, TX||Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion||Buy TicketsBuy VIP Tickets|
|Aug 04||Dallas, TX||Gexa Energy Pavilion||Buy TicketsBuy VIP Tickets|
Last night Metal Blade Recording artist, Job For A Cowboy, swept into Pittsburgh for the first night of their tour with Hatebreed, Every Time I Die, Terror and This is Hell. What followed was nothing short of brutality. The good kind.
Having released “Demonacracy” a year ago in April 2012, JFAC has been hitting the road hard. Despite the revolving door policy that has plagued the band since inception, the current line-up showed a very tight and concise maturity from the first note. Running through a good bit of their new material, peppered in with some classics and a little Pantera jam, JFAC definitively showed why they continue to rise in the ranks of death metal, if not metal in general.
This was my first time experiencing the shear strength and tonality that Jonny Davy can manipulate from his pipes. Many of you might think that someone who has the ability to sing in the fashion many death metal bands do are all the same, but I can assure you that this is not true. Jonny has some very distinct nuances that can be discerned in each song and it really adds to what the band is doing. On top of that, Al Glassman and Tony Sannicandro make a great duo of rhythm guitar and lead guitar respectively. Tony seems to have added some new dimensionsal aspects with his playing while Al, Nick Schendzielos (bass), and Jon “The Charn” Rice (drums) lay down the crunching driving force that keeps each tune moving at merciless speed.
We here at Pittsburgh Music Mag are seriously looking forward to Job For A Cowboy coming back when they hit the Mayhem Festival and come back to our backwoods July 12. Until then, we’ll be keeping the Jameson capped for them…
All photos 2013© AWeldingphoto and Pittsburgh Music Magazine
Anticipating the release of Drowning Pool’s fifth release, Resilience, lead guitarist and founding member CJ talks to Pittsburgh Music Magazine regarding new singer Jason Moreno, working on the new record again with producer Kato Khandwala, writing “One Finger and a Fist”, summer tour plans, supporting the U.S. troops, the concept of the cover art, and the YouTube sensation video of “Bodies” being sung by a parrot…Drowning Pool Interview with CJ 2013 (click where it says ?attachment)
YOU CAN WIN THEIR NEW LP “RESILIENCE”! RE-POST THIS ON YOUR FACEBOOK AND YOU WILL BE ENTERED TO WIN. CONTEST ENDS APRIL 12. WINNER WILL BE SENT CD DIRECTLY FROM 10TH STREET ENTERTAINMENT.
COME SEE US AT: http://www.facebook.com/PittsburghMusicMagazine
“I’m starting a petition to banish black licorice,” states Jesse Barnett (lead singer of Stick To Your Guns) to the packed Altar Bar crowd in the historic Strip District of Pittsburgh. Myself, along with the crowd, and guitarist Josh James, was not quite sure where this was going. But if you’ve seen STYG before, you knew Jesse was going to take you on a positive journey somewhere with a message good for your soul, so you put your trust in him and listen. What followed was one of the most entertaining, if not genius, analogies of how ridiculous it is for our country to decide who it is one can love. It was a special moment in what was truly an awe inspiring performance. Among a stellar list of bands performing that evening (The Ghost Inside, Stray from the Path, and Rotting Out) STYG put forth a set that was pure raw energy. Going to see punk godfathers Green Day two nights later was a complete let down compared to these guys- what STYG is able to do with a few lights and a small stage makes big budget bands look like imitators and wanna be’s and pale in comparison to STYG. As always, Jesse and crew (Josh, Chris, George, and Andrew) had the audience not only singing every word of songs like, “Diamond”, “Such Pain”, “This is More”, “We Still Believe”, “We’re What Separates the Heart From the Heartless”, D(I am) ond, and “Against Them All” but had them singing them from the stage on mic… and then they would promptly jump back into the crowd. The other bands fed off the energy so much they not only jumped in to sing but also jumped into the crowd, much to everyone’s delight. It was an amazing time on a gorgeous day in the ‘Burgh. If you missed this performance then (like the guy passing us in the interview…see below) then make sure you check with them on the Vans Warped Tour this Summer- they will hit Pittsburgh at First Niagara Pavilion in Burgettstown on July 17.
Listen below for a very in depth interview with Jesse and Josh of STYG where they discuss their Independent Music Award nomination, the success of Diamond, new recordings for Sumerian, and the controversy surrounding the Supreme Court talks regarding Gay Marriage…STYG Interview 2013 (click here and then click SMALL text of STYG interview)
All photos property of AWeldingphoto and Pittsburgh Music Magazine ©2013
Goths. Shock Rockers. Lost Boy wanna be Marilyn Manson copies. Michael (Orlando) Vampire has heard them all. And he could care less. He keeps moving on with his vision regardless of what the negative minded masses might have to say. Founded in 2009 Vampires Everywhere have grown and morphed into something quite different from where they started out. Don’t expect that growth and change to remain stagnant. Michael and his creative writing partner DJ Blackard (guitar) seem to be the types who are never truly satisfied in a good way; like many creative types who strive to always squeeze more and do more with their talents. They get the comparisons and they also get those who don’t get it. Watch an interview that truly reveals how much these guys have going on for themselves, the experience of the sophomore release and change in musical direction, what the future holds, their feelings on the Supreme Court hearings on gay marriage, and much more…
All photos property of AWeldingphoto and Pittsburgh Music Magazine ©2013
Video: Jesus Sadida
“So, did we live up to the hype?” This is what Davey Suicide questions me after his bands’ set at Altar Bar in Pittsburgh. I definitely think Davey and his band lived up to the hype and I personally had a great time experiencing an up and coming band making all the right moves and following their passion. With a sound and visual aspect part Manson part NIN all electro goth fury, Davey Suicide provides what many bands have forgotten in this day and age…the show. They prove that a band on a budget can still provide quite a bang for the buck ( Davey and company actually did a kickstarter campaign to get a lot of their stage lights and set). Davey is very ambitious, intelligent, well spoken, and poised to make a name in a very tough business as you will see in this interview…
All photos property of AWeldingphoto and Pittsburgh Music Magazine ©2013 and Davey Suicide
Video: Jesus Sadida
Every once in awhile in this business one becomes lucky enough to get introduced to some gems early on. I, for one, put a lot of faith in Adam Duritz to pick talent. I’ve loved the Counting Crows since August and Everything After and so has our editor in chief, Rob, who actually got to hear it from Adam (when his band opened up for the the Crows) before it was ever put out! We both got to hang out with Adam last summer at his Outlaw Roadshow, but more importantly we were introduced to two great bands: Field Report and We Are Augustines, both of which we now count as friends of Pittsburgh Music Magazine. Let us add another great talent to that list in some ways via Adam…Runaway Dorothy. These NYNY gents via the South are going to grace us with their syrupy sultry southern tinged folk rock tunes that feel like beautiful wood etchings, great textures, and multiple layers that leave you discovering more and more each time you go back to them. We caught up with Runaway Dorothy while on the road before they hit up Pittsburgh next Friday April 5th…
We’ve been introduced to some awesome bands like Field Report and We Are Augustines by Adam Duritz of The Counting Crows. Tell us a little about your relationship with Adam and your experience with The Outlaw Road Show?
Well I guess my relationship with him started well before he even knew of me. I used to do really bad covers of Crows songs when I started out. I mean really bad. The first time we met was in a pizza joint in NYC. A random chance encounter. Ironically enough it was the day before the cmj outlaw roadshow. This was before we were even a part of the outlaw roadshow. Since then we have played all the outlaw roadshows except for the last one at sxsw. And we were invited to play but just couldn’t make it. But it has been great. And I am sure we will do stuff with Adam and Ryan from Ryan’s smashing life soon.
Tell us a little about the making of the video for “Hurry”, your dogs, and the studio experience in North Carolina…
That was all thanks to our bassist Sammy. We shot a lot of footage while in the studio and he put that together. We wanted to give a little glimpse of what it is like in the studio. And to show our kickstarter backers and our fans what their contributions did for us.
Most of the dogs in the video are the dogs at the studio. Only the little wiener dog is mine. He had to come along to make sure we didn’t screw anything up. You can’t make a country record without dogs around.
As far as the studio in experience in NC. It was great. It actually had come about last minute. We were scheduled in Nashville with Oran Thornton the producer of our last album, but schedules and finances kept that from working. We had already put aside that time in our life to record and so we decided we would self-produce and go ahead. My friend Price actually found the studio for us and he came in and helped us out tremendously in the studio.
How does hailing from the South influence your music?
I think I am just a musical product of the things that were around me. Country music, working class families, friends that stay your friends forever, farmland, and a distinct accent. I can’t hide any of that influence. I have tried, but even if it’s not all apparent it’s there. How I like my guitars to sound, what instrumentation we use, vocal harmony, and songs about heartbreak. I basically just watched an episode of Hee-Haw with my grandpa and decided I wanted to make my version of music like I was hearing.
How is the tour going so far and where have you had the best experiences?
We are actually in right now. Just doing some spot dates here and there to make sure we don’t get rusty. We have had a bunch of things going on away from writing and playing music. We have been using this time to set our strategy for releasing the album and planning the tour. We are very lucky to have a great management team that does a lot of this for us.
How did you pick Frank Germano to do the fabulous cover art for “The Wait”?
Frank actually designed a poster for us for a show we did for Ryan of Ryan’s Smashing Life in Boston and it was amazing. So our manager Nicholas approached him about designing the album. I had had the concept for a while and originally thought I wanted a photo, but after seeing what Frank did I can’t imagine the album looking any other way.
Do you still talk to Ryan Adams at all or at least get to thank him for his ‘push in the right direction’?
No. I only ran into a few times after we originally met. Once in Charleston and once after I moved to New York. I wasn’t even sure he would remember me or the evening. But he did and he was very awesome about the whole thing. I am definitely thankful for the push. I needed it.
Can you describe the song writing process for the band?
That’s a great question. We have a formula and it looks something like this.
Dave + Girl + broken hearts = the new Runaway Dorothy album
What are the goals for the band with the new record and tour?
The goal is to reach as many people as we can. And see who likes it. And then pack up the van and go play for the ones that want to hear it. And hopefully the finances will fall in place so we can do that.
If you could collaborate with any artist(s) living or dead whom would they be and why?
I want to share the stage with Noel Gallagher. I learned everything I know about writing a song from him and it will be amazing to see firsthand what his process is for writing and recording.
So looking forward to these dudes coming in…hope to see you guys there!
All photos property of AWeldingphoto © 2013 and Pittsburgh Music Magazine
Here I am at Mr. Smalls in Millvale, approaching my mid forties, hunched down in a pit, attempting to snap some pictures of bands half my age, playing to a crowd that for the most part is of high school age and praying for a two hour school delay due to the four to six inches of snow due to fall after midnight; and I love it. The metal bands of today are fierce, powerful, and highly entertaining. Tonight brings a line up that is rare and special. The Chariot, For Today, As I Lay Dying, and The Devil Wears Prada are all decimating crowds across America, and tonight (as well the next night) Pittsburgh is on the list.
What occurred was nothing short of an experience that makes true meaning of the above quote from Faulkner’s novel, from which the band we came to see and interview lifted their moniker. Life is about living and experience, and after having felt somewhat dead of the experiences that I so craved, I started this magazine to have these types of moments. Having the pleasure of getting to talk to people like As I Lay Dying‘s Jordan Mancino in the interview (below) as well as his bandmate Nick Hipa backstage is just part of what transforms my otherwise mundane life into something extraordinary. Getting to see bands of this caliber up close and personal and getting surprised by some of them (The Chariot) adds to the charm of this lifestyle my partners and I have taken on.
As I Lay Dying are a phenom live. Period. I have only had the pleasure of having seen them twice on this tour, but they are so tight and dead on it truly is impressive. The lights, smoke, and utter showmanship are just icing on the cake to a musicianship that comes from many years on the road and a brutal touring schedule that appears to be ahead well into the future due to the success of “Awakened”. We are truly blessed. And we left with big smiles on our faces and our metal hearts filled to the brim.
Check out the interview with Jordan…
and make sure to see As I Lay Dying on the road…you won’t regret it, especially if you are an old metalhead like me.
Mr. Smalls, Millvale/Pittsburgh, PA 3/24/13 Setlist
Renaissance man. That is how I would describe Wil Francis AKA William Control. He’s a writer, producer, engineer, performer and as his press kit puts it, “a willing ambassador to the outside world for black sheep everywhere”.
Stepping outside of his role in Aiden, Wil takes on the alter ego of William Control to bring the electronic dark wave that is reminiscent of New Order, Bauhaus, Gary Numan, and Depeche Mode. Although this genre of music is not my first choice on my iPod, while listening to Control’s latest effort “Silentium Amoris”, I was deeply impressed with the lyricism and the respect and reverence with which Wil pays homage to his influences. But don’t let those influences that you assume stop at 80’s synth pop and New Wave. Wil grabs from Sinatra to Cash to Sabbath.
Silentium Amoris has a thematic bend to it, (a) “journey about finding a voice in
the rubble of a broken world…a stepping-stone in the development of a protagonist who is seeking revenge. It is proof that one can come to his senses through otherwise unconventional means – pleasure and pain – and come out better able to fight through the obstacles set in his path. London, Paris and Berlin serve as the gritty backdrop for this utterly unwholesome romp, intertwining fantasy with harsh reality”.
Wil’s performance at The Altar Bar was an extremely high energy romp that had the dark tone and atmosphere of a Lord Byron party on ecstasy. The sold out crowd ate up all that Wil threw at them and at times the high squealed screams of the girls (and some boys) was overwhelming.
Check out our interview with Wil where we discuss Morrissey, Black Sabbath, writing poetry and lyrics, capitalism and music, the book he is writing, and much more…
All photos property of Pittsburgh Music Magazine and AWelding Photo 2013
I don’t know about you, but the tour I am most psyched for right now comes into my town (Pittsburgh) on Feb. 7 at Stage AE and contains no less than Russian Circles, Between The Buried and Me, and headliners Coheed and Cambria. I have been fascinated with Coheed’s sound since their first record which my good friend and tattoo artist Ben Merrell turned me onto when it first came out. Here it is almost eleven years later and they have survived in a very tumultuous business with their integrity and vision intact. A feat not many can claim. Pittsburgh Music Magazine got a chance to talk with drummer Josh Eppard as the band prepared for the tour. Listen in on getting ready to appear on Conan (Monday Jan. 21), the thread between The Afterman Ascension and Descension and how it relates to Josh, the songwriting process, what to look forward to on the tour, “yelling at Travis”!, the importance of rehearsals, being back in the band and not taking things for granted, choosing Between the buried and Me and Russian Circles to tour with, and how Pittsburgh is their third favorite city: Josh of Coheed and Cambria
Feb 04 2013 – Washington, DC – 9:30 Club
Feb 05 2013 – Washington, DC – 9:30 Club
Feb 07 2013 – Pittsburgh, PA – Stage AE
Feb 08 2013 – Detroit, MI – The Fillmore Detroit
Feb 09 2013 – Chicago, IL – Congress Theatre
Feb 10 2013 – Minneapolis, MN – First Avenue
Feb 12 2013 – Des Moines, IA – Val Air Ballroom
Feb 14 2013 – Denver, CO – Ogden Theatre
Feb 15 2013 – Salt Lake City, UT – SaltAir
Feb 17 2013 – Portland, OR – Roseland Theater
Feb 18 2013 – Vancouver, BC – Vogue Theatre
Feb 19 2013 – Seattle, WA – Showbox SoDo
Feb 21 2013 – San Francisco, CA – Warfield Theater
Feb 22 2013 – Los Angeles, CA – The Wiltern
Feb 25 2013 – San Diego, CA – House of Blues
Feb 26 2013 – The Marquee – Tempe, AZ
Feb 27 2013 – Albuquerque, NM – Sunshine Theatre
Mar 01 2013 – Austin, TX – Stubb’s
Mar 02 2013 – Houston, TX – Bayou Music Center
Mar 03 2013 – Dallas, TX – Palladium Ballroom
Mar 05 2013 – Atlanta, GA – Tabernacle
Mar 06 2013 – Saint Petersburg, FL – Jannus Live
Mar 07 2013 – Lake Buena Vista, FL – House of Blues
Mar 08 2013 – Miami Beach, FL – The Fillmore
Mar 10 2013 – Charlotte, NC – The Fillmore Charlotte
Mar 11 2013 – Philadelphia, PA – Electric Factory
Mar 14 2013 – Boston, MA – House of Blues
Mar 16 2013 – New York, NY – Radio City Music Hall
Brooklyn, New York sent vistors to Pittsburgh Tuesday night when Bear In Heaven and Snowmine shared the stage. The cold and ice was met head on with a solid 2.5 hours of lush-laden guitars and electronica. Snowmine opened the night with a syncopated echo driven pop set best described as a junior varsity version of the British powerhouse Keane. Fronted by keyboardist, Grayson Sanders, who seemed very appreciative of the warm reception the Brillobox crowd gave Snowmine.
During the Snowmine soundcheck I had a chance to catch up with singer Jon Philpot, guitar/bassist Adam Wills and drummer Joe Stickney of Bear In Heaven. We discussed a variety of topics including their 24 hours in Pittsburgh, a trip to Russia, meeting Bob Mould and recording I Love You, It’s Cool.
Listen to our chat.
Bear In Heaven did not disappoint with an electric sample-loop driven set hitting the mark with tracks from their latest release. Joe Stickney was the evening’s workhorse plowing through the set with Brooklyn swag. Philpot handled the loop add-ins and ambient keys. His voice soared with a slew of effects over top the steering groove eloquently played by Adam Wills. My bet is the Brillobox might not accommodate the overzealous interest generated by BIH. Catch you next time guys….in a much bigger venue. Save travels!
PMM > Writer & Photographer
Voivod has become synonimous with gaining one’s true understanding of the history of metal. Hailing from Jonquière, Québec, Canada, Voivod started out in the early 80’s and has been astounding our ears with their unique brand of speed, thrash, and prog metal that has been so influential and inspirational to so many in the biz today. With their new release, Target Earth, and recording with Dan “Chewy” Mongrain (who replaced Denis D’Amour due to his unfortunate death), Voivod is ready for an amazing 2013. Pittsburgh Music Magazine had a chance to speak with Dan about the band’s plans and what else is happening in the world of Voivod…
What are Voivod’s plans for touring?
Hi there! Well, after the album’s out in January, we’re gonna tour as much as we can and at as many places as we can. We’re going to Chile in April for a start, gonna probably do shows before that of course. As for touring Europe and the states, there is nothing I can talk about right now, but we’re gonna go there for sure! It’s gonna be a busy year for Voivod!
How was your studio experience, considering this is your first time recording with the band?
It was just fantastic! We worked well together as a team, the vibe was awesome. It’s one of the best creative journeys I’ve experienced so far in my career.
The music business has changed so much since the inception of Voivod. How are the members adapting to the new ways of promotion and communication?
I think we’re doing pretty good, but I think the best way to promote the band is still touring since it advertises us in as many places possible. That’s where the music, the very core of your art, is at its best– when it’s live.
Do you have any favorite pieces from the new effort?
I have a hard time finding any “favorite” things in life, it changes all the time. It depends on how I feel. I’m very proud of the whole album. It’s like asking a parent if they have a favorite child…
It’s kind of a trap. I really enjoy playing “Mechanical Mind” and “Kluskap O’ Kom” onstage, I love the outro of the album. I dig “Warchaic” for its dynamics and build up. I also like “Empathy for the Enemy” for its melodic and progressive sides…I appreciate the whole album really, each song for a different reason.
Can you give our readers a bit of a rig rundown?
In the studio, it was just my Gibson Les Paul classic with Burstbuckers pick-ups through a JCM 800 and a Marshall 4×12 cabinets with greenback speaker. Also, I doubled each track with a Triple rectifier through a Hiwat Cab. I used my custom made Liberatore for some solos and my Fender thin-line telecaster in a Tone King amp for clean sounds.
On tour I just use a Radial Plexitube tone bone distortion pedal through a T.C Electronic G-Major for FX, then send the signal to a JCM 800 or a Mesa dual rectifier on the clean channel for EQ only. That’s it. I use a voodoo lab Ground Control pro as pedal switcher and a RJM Mini effect Gizmo as loop switcher.
Do you believe that there are aliens, and if so, why?
I believe in forms of life in other places than the earth because it seems very logical and probable to me.
What are your favorite bands to cover or jam to?
Besides Voivod? Hahaha! I don’t have such a hobby. I prefer to practice and learn country licks or Jazz improvisation concepts. Transcribe some songs or solos…I mean, I’m teaching music in college full time, and I’m involved in at least three serious projects, plus I’m a freelance musician, so when I have spare time…I usually do something else than music. Like beer tasting at my favorite Micro-Brewery (Hopfenstark), fishing, or riding my bicycle.
Any new bands that you really like out there now?
New bands…Like I said, I’m not a big music listener for now because I’m pretty much 24/7 into music.
The last band that caught my attention is a band called Virus from Norway. They made me want to listen to more music again.
In the first of a series highlighting women who are famous in various genres of entertainment and unabashed about their “metal” status, Pittsburgh Music Magazine reached out to Thee Metal Girl for many of us. You probably best know her as “Miss Box of Junk” from That Metal Show, but Jennifer Leah Gottlieb is poised to make herself more of a household name. Jennifer has talents way beyond looking gorgeous and bringing out the prize box during Stump the Trunk. Read on to learn a little more about the girl we wish would spend more time in our living rooms…(on our TV’s!!!).
Do you ever have opportunities to hang out with any of the musicians pre or post show?
Yes,I do! I have had the chance to meet some of the greatest musicians of all time. I have the coolest job ever.
Since That Metal Show only films a few weeks per year, what are you
up to at the moment and what do you have in the works?
I am a personal trainer full time right now. I spend my days kicking
my client’s booties into shape. I have a few acting gigs in the works, but can’t talk about them yet. Will share soon! 😉
What was it like playing Linda in the Broadway touring version of
“That Wedding Singer”?
Linda was my dream role, so it was totally
surreal. Being on the road was challenging, but I would say it was
the greatest experience I have ever had.
I learned more about myself in that year than I ever have. I also
created life long friendships.
Since you are a personal trainer-‐what are your
favorite techniques to teach your clients (i.e. crossfit,etc.)?
I do a lot of HIIT workouts with my clients. (High intensity interval training). I believe it is the best way to burn fat.
I am also a BLITZ coach at Reebok Sports club, which is a
crossfit style class.
It’s been pretty well documented that you love AC/DC’s Brain Johnson-‐who else do you love in the rock n roll world?
Joe Satriani, Steven Adler and Lita Ford.
Who would you love to see on That Metal Show who has not shown up
Any possibilities of seeing you interview some guests in the future?
I would love to! We will see…!
Any inside stories you care to share with our readers?
The guys have a star chart for who can get ready and mic’d up
first for each episode. Don wins EVERY time! We also have a
great tradition of going to The Rainbow on Sunset for our cast
party every season.
What happens at the Rainbow, stays at the Rainbow…but we have a
A LIFE ONCE LOST roars into Pittsburgh at the Garfield Art Works next Friday, December 14 with Revocation and Ken Mode. Bob Meadows, lead vocals, took some time to speak to Pittsburgh Music Magazine about the frustrations of the music business, playing Pittsburgh, taking and giving vocal lessons, their new release “Ecstatic Trance”, and the inspiration for the lyrics behind “Madness is God”, check it out by listening here…
A LIFE ONCE LOST has existed on the forward edge of modern metal, where progression and innovation collide with tradition, since its inception. From day one, the path the ALOL have blazed has not only been defiant but also their own.
A LIFE ONCE LOST was formed in ’99 in the Philadelphia suburbs by Doug Sabolick (guitars) and Bob Meadows (vocals). The nascent band immediately forged a noisy, high-impact wall of sound combining dissonant, modern aggression with the hallmarks of traditional metal. Almost as soon as ALOL had songs, the band started cutting their teeth in the Philly-area DIY circuit playing alongside their peers in Converge, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Lamb of God, God Forbid, and more.
Early releases followed on Deathwish, Inc. and Robotic Empire, and ramped up to 03’s punishing ‘A Great Artist’, their first proper full-length. ‘A Great Artist’ saw them take hold of their dark, rhythmic sound and took A LIFE ONCE LOST from a Northeast favorite to a true national band. It was the catalyst that enabled them to get signed to Ferret Records and to then embark on their first national tour(s) alongside Between the Buried & Me among others.
Then ALOL released its’ sophomore album, the more refined ‘Hunter’, in ‘05 and moved to the forefront of the New Wave of American Heavy Metal. The band conquered America for the next 2 years touring as part of Ozzfest 2006, as well as direct support tours alongside Lamb of God, Clutch, Opeth, Strapping Young Lad, As I Lay Dying, Every Time I Die, High on Fire and more.
Their 3rd album ‘Iron Gag’, released in ’07, saw significant critical acclaim. That album had ALOL introducing traditional rock grooves and a more confident swagger into their already-explosive sound. The ensuing ‘Iron Gag’ tour saw the band crisscross North America and Europe, from Alaska to Mexico and London to Moscow respectively, once again alongside High on Fire; The Dillinger Escape Plan + new tour mates, Suicide Silence, and Job for a Cowboy.
At the end of the ‘Iron Gag’ World Tour in ‘09, they begin practicing again only to find fractures in the band. After a year plus of writing, Sabolick and Meadows were faced with their most difficult decisions yet. In order to realize their vision for the next evolution of A LIFE ONCE LOST, they needed to scrap almost all of the new material; cut ties with the other members, and start again on their own.
ALOL’s process was arduous, and required Bob Meadows and Doug Sabolick to rebuild everything from the ground back up. The writing process was intense while the two tried to meld a diverse range of influences – Killing Joke to Can, King Crimson to Kraftwerk, Fela Kuti and more – while respecting and remaining true to the sonic art that they had always traveled.
Three years in the making, A LIFE ONCE LOST’s new album ‘Ecstatic Trance’ (Season of Mist), is the product of that unwavering determination and raises their patented rhythmic attack to hypnotic new levels of precision and expression. Huge, jagged riffs and churning, syncopated rhythms are the blueprint for the emotive guitar-playing and explosive vocals of Sabolick and Meadows respectively. Dark washes of melody and ominous Hammond Organ tones color epic tracks such as “Madness Is God, “Something Awful”, and “The Blues”, giving their material a bold, raw sense of expression unlike any they’ve shown before. ‘Ecstatic Trance’ is one of 2012’s best metal albums, and proves that the path of A LIFE ONCE LOST is always moving forward.
Michael Spreitzer is one of the guitarists of the American heavy metal band DevilDriver. He replaced guitarist Evan Pitts in 2004. Michael co-wrote and performed on DevilDriver’s albums The Fury of Our Maker’s Hand (2005), The Last Kind Words (2007), Pray for Villains (2009) and Beast (2011). This is our interview with Mike 11.26.12 at Mr. Smalls in Millvale (Pittsburgh) just before the DevilDriver show with GWAR on the last night of the tour.
After a silence of over a decade, Jim Martin agreed to a Q&A session with fans via a British based fan site. A set of 15 questions were selected by administrators of the fan site from over 500 submissions by fans eager to hear from Jim.
What follows is a Q&A session with Jim Martin, former Faith No More guitar player, songwriter, and producer, and fans of Faith No More.
“Some weeks ago, the FNM “fan club guy” was asking about how to contact me, he wanted to talk to me about the fan page.. After several exchanges via email, he and I decided to do a Q&A thing for the fans. My departure from FNM in 1993 was controversial; I left while the band was still at the peak of its success. I am proud of my contributions to the success and legacy of FNM. I appreciate the time and effort it took to put these questions together. Thank you for the opportunity”, states Jim Martin.
1. Nefertiti Malaty
Q: What do you consider the highlight of your career?
A: Performing with Bo Diddly, Klaus Mein, Metallica, Gary Rossington, Pepper Keenan Sean Kinney Jerry Cantrell John Popper Jason Newstead, singing Misfits songs with Metallica live during our tour with them and GNR.
2. Eric Land
Q: You are an influence to many younger guitarists today, but who were your biggest influences and what do you remember about how those people helped to craft your sound and play style?
A: My influences to a greater extent were Jimmy Page, Jimi Hendrix, and David Gilmore. Mostly Page. His method of using a pick and his fingers at the same time and his way of squeezing the humanity out of a guitar. It’s funny how influences work. My influences were influenced by old blues men. Those legendary blues men were influenced by their tribal ancestors. The tribal ancestors are the link back to the beginning; they are the keepers of the essence. Through my influences I am connected to the roots of time and the music that elevates the primordial spirit of mankind. We do not truly compose anything genuinely new, the listeners and the presentation are what is new, and it is the perspective that varies. The ability of expression and improvisation, the stuff of creation that fascinates all life.
Q: It was great seeing you play again during the Metallica event…also some very great words spoken about Cliff….it was great to see ya!
Weird question, Big Jim…and I only just thought of it while scrolling through the last post on FNM Blog: What was the deal with you being the only clothed FNM member in the infamous “FNM underwear poster”? Did you just think the photo idea was dumb, or did you think it’d be better/funnier with one dude dressed to the nines in jeans, leather vest, etc. while everyone else was near nekkid.
Thanks for doing this Q&A, man! Excited to see the responses!
A: I remember it was one of the first big photo shoots for us set up by London Records. Ross Halfin, “Famous Rock Photographer”, was pretty aggressive, barking orders and abusing band members, particularly Puffy. He ordered everyone to strip down. I said “forget it” (I thought it was dumb). The other guys did, he snapped the picture and at that moment, I understood why he was famous…
Q: I’m a crazy obsessed fan and have listened to just about all the bootlegs and read all the interviews…Despite “not being into” the music on Angel Dust (so it is written in places), you played flawlessly all of 92-93 and I even caught you banging your head enthusiastically during the Phoenix Festival. Also, while others were bad-mouthing you, you always played it off with a joke and came off as the bigger person (you were hilarious in the Maida Vale interviews!)…somethiing doesn’t add up. Were you really that unhappy? If so, how do you keep such a cool head and stay so professional?
A: Thank you for the great compliment.
My publicized “not being into” Angel Dust was all about the way the whole process went down. There was a lot of weird pressure to follow up The Real Thing, and as a consequence, the album AD was more contrived musically than I thought was necessary. I wanted more of the record to happen in the studio and Bill wanted every last tack nailed down before we went in. I wanted to spend time with it, management and the record company wanted to rush it out the door. There were a bunch of journalists in the studio. We were paying for a bunch of sampling that we could have created. Matt Wallace was calling me on the phone complaining about Mike Patton’s performance. Management and record company were calling me complaining about Mike Patton’s performance and desire for outside projects.
The record company president came in the studio and said: “I hope nobody bought houses” All the air got sucked out of the room. That was one of those great moments when reality slaps you in the face. Some of my associates (had) bought houses. The pressure was on, and everyone wanted to be in the studio with me while I recorded, endlessly tinkering and fucking with me and fucking with Matt, and Matt is a really fucking wound up guy already. Prior to AD, I would work alone with Matt and his assistant engineer period. I had to kick everyone out and even though it was not a new concept it really pissed everyone off.
Live performances were always very strong. From my perspective, we came across a lot heavier than the records. Over time, the chord progressions and the arrangements would morph in subtle ways that would make the set heavier than the studio version. As far as the bullshit in the press, yeah, there was a lot of negativity, and I tried to avoid being part of it to the point of refusing interviews. Of course I was unhappy; individuals were making decisions which would prove to be damaging to FNM. However, despite these distractions, real people paid to see a show and we were able to deliver thanks to the support of a great crew and a great sound man, Greg Bess, who was used to working with the heavy bands. I actually really enjoyed those shows.
Q: If you could collaborate for a single cover song with any musician, dead or alive, who would that be and what would the song be?
A: I sure miss Cliff. Cliff Burton. We could do any song and twist it up horribly. I think if there were an opportunity to collaborate, we would write something new. Put Dave (Donato – Agents of Misfortune) in there on the drum kit and create something Cliff’s mother would call “Fucked Up Weirdos”.
6. Matt Slavsky
A: I’ll get this one out…what is your relationship like now with the members of Faith No more?
Q: To be honest Matt, that is an emotional subject. There has been much negative rhetoric in the press, and it was my choice to either play their game, fight with them and let the press spin it, or leave them to play with themselves and allow you to make a decision based on the work I left behind. In an effort to avoid the negativity, I chose the latter. However, there are some points that I would like to address.
I read a couple of interviews Matt Wallace did, and his simplified explanations can lead one to believe that I hate homosexuals, I did not contribute to Angel Dust, and I did not play guitar on the record. Ouch. Something else is a little more accurate. The guitar parts are mine; that’s me playing guitar on all the tracks. I contributed much to the songwriting and arrangements. Bill added some fluff to “Midlife Crisis” and “Midnite Cowboy” and wrote everything for his song “Small Victory”, Mike wrote everything for “Malpractice”, I wrote everything and created the samples for “Jizzlobber” ; Bill contributed the keyboard outro. Mike wrote all of the lyrics for the album except Roddy wrote lyrics for “Be Aggressive”.
Matt’s commentary about Roddy seemed a little weird; we (band members) all knew Roddy was gay long before he “came out” and it was not an issue for anyone.
Matt also forgot to mention that he and I spent a lot of time together on the production of TRT and AD improving the recording method and sonic profile in the studio. I insisted on the co-producer credit for FNM on those 2 records because of that work. Notice The Real Thing and Angel Dust are the only two FNM records co-produced by Matt Wallace and Faith No More.
I saw something in Wiki where someone pulled a comment out of an old bucket: Jim Martin said “I don’t know why It’s called Angel Dust, I had nothing to do with it” While that is true, it is not complete. The idea was Roddy’s, and nobody else had anything to do with it either. He came in with a basic concept of a bird front, meat locker back, and Angel Dust for the title. The question was: “How do we get it (Roddy’s idea) to the record cover?” We lost control of the sleeve art on the last 2 releases. The Real Thing and Introduce Yourself were conceived and designed by “the record company” and we simply paid the bill. This was an opportunity of artistic expression and finally one of us had an idea everyone would go along with. I got in contact with Mark Leialoha to discuss the idea, he got Werner “Vern” Krutein involved because Werner ran a stock agency and was able to produce the necessary photographs allowing us to realize Roddy’s idea. I had the idea of the Russian army in the sleeve, inspired by The Pogues album “Rum Sodomy and The Lash” which I was really into at the time. I rode hard on that and made sure it happened the way WE wanted it to happen. There was a lot of squealing when it came time to pay the bill, but at the end of the day, we retained control of our resources, we were able to use our people, and we maintained creative control.
7. Matt Thompson
Q: Jim! With your publicized dislike of the content/direction of Angel Dust – are you surprised by how, 20 years on, it is widely regarded as one of the most influential ‘metal’ albums of the past 30 years?
A: Thanks for the opportunity Matt.
As for my like or dislike of AD I touched on that a little, so please refer to question 4 above.
I am happy AD is regarded in a positive way. It is an affirmation of the legacy we all worked to create. I am aware that some of the newer bands I actually like have referred to FNM as an influence. I am also aware AD was on the Kerrang! Most influential albums List of 2003. Is it an artist’s affirmation? That’s fine. Am I surprised? I don’t think anyone can be expected to anticipate something like this.
8. Otto Will Hashmi
Q: What kind of music are you listening to today? Is there anything that we might not generally expect that you like to listen to?
A: I’ve been listening to Machine Head, a great metal band out of Oakland CA. I enjoy classic jazz, reminds me of weird times as a kid. I like the “Glorious lethal euphoria” of The Mermen It’s crazy hardcore psychedelic surf music and hits the mark hard. I’ll listen to any improv, at least for a few minutes.
9. Follow The Bubbles
Q: Is it true that you were offered to perform at reunion tour dates – if it is true why did you decline? Fans would have been so happy to see on stage too!
A: Thanks Bubbles.
For some time during 2008, I had been receiving information with increasing frequency that “we” were booking a reunion tour, festivals, Europe. I was informed that yes, the promoters were selling it as the original line up. In February 2009, Roddy called and said they were just beginning to think of putting something together, and just now feeling out everyone, and what did I think? I said yes, I was interested. I also told him I knew the tour was already booked, they were on the eve of announcing it, and it was time to sign the deals. I told him to send over the contracts so I could review them and started pressing management for details. Several days later, I was able to get management on the phone who told me they decided to use someone else…I know it’s odd, no, you didn’t miss anything. It happened just like that. In an effort to preclude any sloppy misinformation, I made the announcement that I would not be participating in the rumored reunion dates several days before they made their announcement.
10. Sean Kehoe
Q: If Faith No More tours again and if they asked would you make an appearance, kind of like when Chuck did a couple of songs? Would love to watch you perform songs like Malpractice or Jizzlobber would be awesome!
A: Thanks Sean. I know the fans want the real thing, and I was prepared to have a real dialogue about doing a run together. Unfortunately, it didn’t happen. As for a random appearance, I do not feel that would do anyone justice.
11. Jon Hanusa
Q: If you could use Bill and Ted’s phone booth to go back in time to the Angel Dust era, would you do anything differently to make sure you and FNM were heading in the same direction? If so, what?
A: Number one thing: limit journalist access and impose more control over the interviews. Almost anyone could get an interview at that time. It was a free for all, and it hurt us.
12. David Barajas
Q: Have you been jamming with anyone lately, and do you have any plans to make more music?
A: No, I’m not working with anyone right now but I do have plans to publish more music. I released a record some time ago called “Milk and Blood” go to rotgrub.com and email the webmaster for details.
Q: What do you think of the music FNM have created post you? And how do you feel when you see other guitarists belting out you licks?
A: I remember hearing some of the music a long time ago but I didn’t really study it. I remember thinking it was heavily reliant on Mike. As for other persons playing my music, I don’t really believe anyone could book a show as FNM without playing my music.
14. Bob Anderson
Q: Being one of the best shredders of your era/generation, and having rubbed shoulders with some awesome musicians in your time, have you never considered forming your own little “supergroup” to set the music word to rights!!??
A: Most of my associates have families and projects taking up their time, and I’m very consumed with the things I am doing. I hope I can get to a place where I’ll be able to do something pretty soon. There are no specific plans at this time. Thanks for a great compliment.
15. Mark Rayburn
Q: Hey Jim, thanks a bunch for doin this. So where did you get the moniker “big sick ugly” from and did you like it??
A: It was bestowed upon me by the filthy press. I am pretty sure Geoff Barton gets the credit. Steffan “Cheese Burger” Chirazi, “Krusher Joule” and Neil “Greasy Chester” Perry helped magnify and perpetuate it and it was Kerrang!, once again, who rolled that one out there. Thanks to them for some funny times.