Posts Tagged ‘lyrics’

A Gift to Artwork: Megadeth

Last month we dove deep to explore the importance of cover artwork, namely through our analysis of two excellent pieces of artwork adorning the latest Caligula’s Horse records. This time we take a closer look at the covers of thrash titans Megadeth , starting with 1986’s iconic Peace Sells… but Who’s Buying? Given its political nature, context is crucial to understanding the artwork and it was created during the latter stages of the Cold War, amidst escalated tensions between the world’s two foremost superpowers of the time, the USA and the Soviet Union/USSR. The world in this period of history was, at times, on the brink of a nuclear third world war, and it was only knowledge that such a cataclysmic event would bring about the Mutually Assured Destruction of both sides which prevented such horrors from occurring. Unfortunately, in the world of Megadeth, that appears to be exactly what has eventuated. Their undead mascot, Vic Rattlehead, stands before a United Nations headquarters lying in ruins, the shades of red and blue depicting a sky ablaze, fires raging in the background. The scene is reminiscent of a nuclear holocaust as three military jets fly menacingly towards the foreground, seemingly scanning the area for any remaining targets, any last vestiges of life. Such themes are undeniably heavy and unsettling in nature, so it should come as no surprise that similarly unsettling motifs have been woven into the record’s music and lyrics as well. ? (Illustrator: Ed Repka) The obvious starting point to our analysis is the all-time classic ‘Peace Sells’. The track emphatically states that peace is nothing more than a commodity, an item which can be easily traded, bought or sold. It is not some idealistic notion to be strived for, but an easily attainable state of the world which the world’s powers manipulate for their own gains. The UN was created following World War II, to bring peace and prevent such atrocities from reoccurring, yet it was powerless to prevent the numerous proxy wars which occurred throughout the Cold War in Asia, the Middle East, South America and elsewhere. Ironically, rather than bringing about peace of any kind, the UN merely served as another theatre of war, this time a political one, in which the antagonistic forces of the US and USSR could engage with one another. The UN headquarters have been annihilated in the illustration, yet that doesn’t stop Vic, dressed as a real estate agent, from looking to sell what’s left of it. One might argue that this would be a tough sell, that Vic is as likely to find a buyer for the rubble as the UN was to find a buyer for world peace. Further still, the fact the UN is on the market at all suggests that, despite its ruined state, it will be just as (in)effective as ever, and thus it still constitutes a legitimate commodity. Looking more broadly at the themes prevalent within the artwork, there are a host of other comparisons to be made. In particular we can cast our minds to the numerous tracks dealing with the occult, beginning with the eerie fan favourite ‘The Conjuring’. Thematically, the war ravaged landscape and grim colour scheme can be seen to represent hell on earth, tying in nicely with the song’s descriptions of satanic rituals and black magic. The song’s portrayal of the devil’s salesman selling yet another abstract commodity, this time the human soul, is further embodied by the figure of Vic, an interesting allegory to his purported sale of a soulless, in every sense of the word, UN. Musically, with the help of the similarly occult ‘Bad Omen’, the homicidal ‘Good Mourning/Black Friday’, the torturous ‘Devil’s Island’ and others, the album as a whole does a fantastic job of providing the illustration with a suitably ominous, disconcerting and sinister soundtrack. Fast forward eight years and Megadeth had just released the polarising Youthanasia . Like its 1992 predecessor Countdown to Extinction , the album continued Megadeth’s transition from the lightning fast thrash which comprised their first four records, to a slower, more commercially viable sound. This radio-friendly approach, with Mustaine seeking that elusive No. 1 ranking on the charts, also saw a shift in the album artwork of the band. The undead Vic Rattlehead was no longer a permanent fixture, whilst this particular cover featured luscious, rolling green hills and cute, innocent babies, images generally associated with nature, peace and positivity. However, it’s crucial to point out that whilst their shift in sound had changed the method of their delivery, their message remained the same. Megadeth still wrote politically abrasive and, at times, downright aggressive songs, only now they were catchier, reaching a wider audience and allowing them to have a greater voice than ever before. This same duality applied to their artwork as well, the youth of their times, symbolised by the babies, being hung out to dry by the older generation, powerless to avoid the oncoming storm. (Illustrator: Hugh Syme) The result is arguably the most shocking Megadeth cover to date, as Mustaine issued a rallying cry, a call of arms for the youth of the ‘90s to take action and free themselves from the status quo. The dark, brooding clouds take up more than half of the image, highlighting the sheer scale of oppression to which the youth have been subjected. Furthermore, there is a seemingly endless line of babies being hung, yet there is only one elderly figure placing them there, suggesting that the oppressed far outnumber their oppressors, and that there is victory to be had in unity. Finally, the imminent storm is itself duplicitous: on the one hand, if nothing is done it will simply decimate the defenceless babies hanging limply from the clothesline; on the other hand, the revolution which Mustaine calls for will see a raging storm engulf society when the opposing factions collide. Thus, the cover of Youthanasia perfectly encapsulates the lyrics and music to be found within, just like the cover of Peace Sells… before it, as Megadeth and their collaborators prove to be yet another gift to artwork. -KD

Bullet for My Valentine’s Matt Tuck on ‘Riot’ Riff: ‘It Was So Annoying That It Was Cool’

Simone Joyner, Getty Images Bullet for My Valentine are enjoying the success of their current single ‘ Riot ,’ but frontman Matt Tuck tells Loudwire that the song’s start initially struck them perhaps in the wrong way. He recalls of the track’s beginnings, “It was just that, ‘De-da-de-lada-dow-dow,’ that annoying riff that we had that was the intro of the song. It was a riff that Padge had on one of the songs he was kind of writing so we offered to finish it. It was so annoying that it was cool.” Once the band got past the initial ‘annoyance,’ Tuck says he and the group began to envision grander plans for the song. “I could just hear it being live in a big arena. I thought it would be an amazing song, so we kind of stole that riff from Padge, wrote the rest of the song musically and it was so in-your-face and direct and punk rock that it had that rebellious spirit and anarchy and punk rock, and I just thought ‘Riot’ was a perfect kind of theme for the song really,” explains the frontman. The singer says it’s been great so far hearing the “whoa-oh-oh’s” back from the audiences, as the band recently played a show in Cardiff before returning to the States. Tuck says, “I think it’s definitely going to be one of the highlights of the Bullet shows for years to come. It’s just an undeniably catchy kind of rock song. I just know it’ll go over live. The tempo’s perfect, the lyrics are nice, the melody’s cool and there’s that flashy section in the middle where you can get circle pits going. It’s kind of the perfect modern kind of metal tune in my eyes, you know what I mean? So yeah, it’s good.” Bullet for My Valentine fans will be able to hear ‘Riot’ on the band’s HardDriveLive trek with Halestorm. To see the dates for the tour, click here . And check back very shortly for our full interview with Matt Tuck. [button href=”http://loudwire.com/bullet-for-my-valentine-temper-temper-album-review/” title=”Next: Read Our Review of Bullet for My Valentine’s ‘Temper Temper’ Album” align=”center”]

Meshuggah Vocalist Jens Kidman Misses U.S. Shows Due to Illness, Replaced by Cardboard Cutout

Liz Ramanand, Loudwire Meshuggah vocalist Jens Kidman has been fighting a serious flu during his band’s current North American tour with Animals as Leaders + Intronaut . Since Feb. 12, Kidman has been unable to perform because of his affliction, forcing the rest of the Swedish extreme metal band to get creative with filling Kidman’s vacant spot. Tonight (Feb. 15), Meshuggah are hitting New York City for a crushing performance, but since Jens Kidman hasn’t been healthy enough to perform in Atlanta, Ga., Charlotte, N.C. and Philadelphia, respectfully, the vocalist is still questionable for the show, along with Meshuggah’s remaining North American dates . The band took to Facebook on Feb. 12, breaking the bad news of Kidman’s illness to their Atlanta fans: Jens is down with the flu. And this flu means business. He has been forbidden to even speak. He’s mute for now. WE WILL PLAY ANYWAY. So memorize the lyrics and bring your very best growl Atlanta. You will all be Jens tonight!! Lets make this happen! We hope he’s back tomorrow, or it’ll be vocal-duties Charlotte! To help replicate Meshuggah’s heavier-than-hell live show, the group brought a cardboard cutout of Kidman onto the stage to fill his empty space, while a live vocal track from a past Meshuggah performance blasted through the speakers. Intronaut guitarist / vocalist Sacha Dunable has also been giving Meshuggah a helping hand (or voice) by claiming guest vocal duties for ‘New Millennium Cyanide Christ.’ Kidman himself posted an apology via Meshuggah’s Facebook page right before the act’s Feb. 13 Charlotte gig: I just need to say a few words here guys. I’m truly unable to perform tonight. Again. Me not being able to do what I’m supposed to do is really really frustrating and I feel that I’m letting you all down. Not just you, the fans, but the band as well. But we try to make the absolute best we can out of this situation. So its either cancel OR play for you guys anyway. We opt for playing. Its what we’re here to do. So that’s what we’ll do. With your help it’ll be awesome. I will see the doctor again tomorrow and will hopefully get a green light to perform in Philly. Fingers crossed. So a big humble thanks goes out to all of you for your support and understanding!! Let the mayhem commence Charlotte!!! /Jens Stay tuned for more news on Meshuggah and the health status of Jens Kidman. Meshuggah Perform ‘Bleed’ with Cardboard Jens Kidman (Live in Atlanta) Meshuggah Perform ‘New Millenium Cyanide Christ’ with Sacha Dunable (Live in Atlanta) [button href=”http://loudwire.com/meshuggah-bleed-top-21st-century-metal-songs/” title=”Meshuggah – Top 21st Century Metal Songs” align=”center”]

Trapt, ‘Living in the Eye of the Storm’ – Exclusive Video Premiere

Trapt: YouTube Trapt are back with a brand new album, ‘Reborn,’ and Loudwire is proud to team up with the band to premiere the video for their new single ‘Living in the Eye of the Storm’ (watch below). Led by frontman Chris Taylor Brown, Trapt have been going strong for more than 15 years, hitting it big with their mammoth single ‘Headstrong’ in 2002. Now, with ‘Reborn,’ Trapt are heating radio up with the first single ‘Bring It,’ and hope to do the same with ‘Living in the Eye of the Storm,’ and powerful track that deals with inner turmoil. “When I wrote the lyrics to this song, I was going through a lot of hardships, personal struggles, and it was affecting the way I was treating other people and myself,” Brown tells us. “I remember looking around at what was going on in the world and thinking that there must be a lot of other people going through some of the same inner battles that I was. There are a lot that we take for granted that we really only notice when things are falling apart. It puts things in perspective, when you are sitting there in the eye of the storm, where it’s calm, but everything around you is coming apart at the seams. It was hard to want to venture out and do what I needed to do. But, in the end, through writing songs like these, it helped me see what was happening in my life and it helped me turn a few things around that needed fixing. I’m hoping this song does that for a few more people.” The video, which is has a military theme, pays tribute to the members of the Armed Forces who fight to defend their country. Brown explains, “For the video, I wanted to really give a shout out to the armed forces. Those people are out protecting freedom at the expense of their lives and their families lives, far away from home, so that we can sleep soundly at night. I respect that so much. I think a lot of people take their freedom for granted and I also think there are a lot of people  that don’t live in a free world, like the one we live in and hate seeing the kind of freedom that we have. I just wanted to show a little appreciation for the sacrifice that our armed forces take part in to keep those enemies at bay.” Check out the video for ‘Living in the Eye of the Storm’ below, and be sure to pick up Trapt’s brand-new album ‘Reborn’ at iTunes in a standard edition or deluxe version (featuring a handful of bonus acoustic tracks). It’s also available in CD form at Best Buy for the special price of $7.99. In addition, catch Trapt on their upcoming U.S. tour, which kicks off in March. See the dates here . Watch Trapt’s ‘Living in the Eye of the Storm’ Video

Stone Sour Unleash New Song ‘Do Me a Favor’ With Lyric Video

Liz Ramanand, Loudwire Stone Sour know how to set a mood, and frontman Corey Taylor certainly does just that vocally within the new lyric video for the band’s latest single, ‘Do Me a Favor.’ The track is the first single off the band’s upcoming ‘ House of Gold & Bones Part 2 .’ The clip is set against the backdrop of a desolate landscape before finally directing the action inside a dilapidated house where the lyrics, and occasional silhouettes presumably of Taylor, come to light against a tattered wall. As we learned with ‘House of Gold & Bones, Part 1,’ the story centers on a person’s downward spiral and it feels as though lyrically the brutal nature of the character’s viewpoint is definitely intact on ‘Do Me a Favor.’ Taylor opens the song belting, “ I am an anti-everything man / A scab on the lips of the lord / My caustic dismissal / Is all I need to get you to fall on your sword ,” and he later offers the thought-provoking line, “ Ignoring your history is killing your past / You might run forever if death never lasts .” As for the chorus, the criticism comes harsh. The frontman sings, “ So do me a favor / Your behavior / Is just the reason there is no savior / When your wasted / Let’s face it / There’s a side of you that knows you’re a failure / Lives for the danger / Feels like an enemy / But looks like a stranger .” ‘House of Gold & Bones Part 2′ is set to drop on April 9, and ‘Do Me a Favor’ feels like the perfect transition from what we got on the first disc to lead into the second. The band is currently on tour in support of both ‘House of Gold & Bones’ discs. Watch Stone Sour’s ‘Do Me a Favor’ Lyric Video [button href=”http://loudwire.com/corey-taylor-new-stone-sour-albums-favorite-childhood-swear-words-more/” title=”Next: Watch Corey Taylor Discuss Stone Sour, Swear Words + More” align=”center”]

Buckcherry Singer Josh Todd Talks ‘Confessions,’ Seven Deadly Sins, New Film + More

Photo by Stevie D. Buckcherry have a busy year ahead of them with the release of their sixth studio album ‘Confessions,’ which drops Feb. 19. They are also in the midst of a U.S. tour with Kid Rock that runs through early April. Loudwire had the privilege to speak to frontman Josh Todd about the new album and the things in his life that influenced its theme of the seven deadly sins. We also discussed the film project he is working on to compliment the new disc. Check out our interview with Josh Todd below: You’ve said that ‘Confessions’ is based on the seven deadly sins, and I’m wondering if you can expand on that and also tell me what the album title means to you personally? There was a point in my life – when I was a youth, when I lost a family member and I acted out in my grieving process through the deadly sins so that’s kind of what the story’s about on the record. I think the seven sins are timeless and that everybody struggles with them in their daily lives all the time – it’s something that we’ve been throwing around for a long time, [guitarist] Keith [Nelson] and I as far as doing a record. There’s a lot of people who’ve done it but we wanted to do our take on it and I feel like we really did it justice. As a lyric writer, I wrote all the lyrics — it was really challenging for me and fun, as well. When I sit back and listen to this I’m so proud that it’s part of the Buckcherry catalog. The record makes me look at the seven deadly sins in a different way – when I listened to ‘Sloth,’ I didn’t expect it to be so soulful. When thinking about specific sins, did you already have a certain direction in your mind that you would go with them? I’m glad you brought that up about ‘Sloth,’ because nobody’s really talked about it. That was the hardest song for me to get through. When you look up sloth it relates to suicide and my father committed suicide when I was 10. It’s about how I felt when that happened – when he actually called my sister and I on the phone that night before he did it. I can’t remember what he said to me because I was just too young to process it. He was just saying goodbye and I didn’t know what that meant, until the next day. It was heavy and I struggled getting through recording those vocals and Keith worked with me and was really sensitive about what I was going through to get it out, but I think it turned out to be really beautiful. There are songs named after the seven deadly sins, but there’s a total of 16 tracks on the record. How did you choose what other songs would accompany the theme of the album — such as ‘Nothing Left But Tears,’ ‘Water,’ ‘The Truth’ etc. I wrote a short film to go along with the record and we’ve had such a hard time with the funding and we’re still working on that. The original idea was to have the record be the soundtrack to the film and we wanted to incorporate some of the elements like ‘Air’ and ‘Water’ and that’s why those are there. ‘The Truth’ coincides with the love interest in the story and it’s a real beautiful story but I also wanted to write songs that were memorable and mean something to somebody else not just me and what I was focused on at the time. That’s part of the challenge with writing songs – you want to take enough of your personal experiences so that you can get excited about performing it every night and you can go back to that place and get motivated because you have to sing your songs thousands of times. What did you notice about writing a screenplay that differed from writing songs for you? I’m a really big fan of storytelling and writing and I read a lot of books and I’ve done some acting and I’ve read a lot of scripts. Maybe about six or seven years ago I took a swing at writing a screenplay on my own, and I wrote a comedy actually, and Stevie D., our guitar player read it at one point and was like, “Why don’t you ressurect a character that was in the comedy?” and make it about this film. At the time I was just writing a screenplay based on my life so I just combined the two. What’s the progress on the film project? We got a great director, his name is Billy Jayne and he just directed both of our first two videos ‘Gluttony’ and ‘Wrath,’ and we introduce the character in the movie. His name is Gilby Stretcher. He basically is me in the movie as an adolescent 17-year-old kid. It’s going to be good, it’s a beautiful little journey about a kid that comes home from school and finds his dad dead and acts out through his behavior and the seven sins and then finds a love interest. In the end, he forgives his father and his this girl that he’s down with who’s the complete opposite of him. It’s really cool. If you had to choose a well-known actor to play you in a biopic, who would it be and why? Let’s see I’d like a young Leonardo DiCaprio. He did ‘Basketball Diaries’ and I think he’s just a great f—ing actor. I’m a big fan of his and I think he’d do a good job. ‘Confessions’ is the sixth studio album for Buckcherry. How was the recording process of this album for you? This record took a long time and it was aggravating at times – a lot of writing and re-writing, we just put a lot of work into it. I think it’s going to pay off and I think it’s our best record, honestly. As a whole, as a body of work, I think people will take us a little more seriously than they have in the past. We did it again with Keith [Nelson] who produced it with Marti [Frederiksen] and that’s how we’ve been doing the last two records so that was familiar which I like. I like having Keith there because he and I have a long history and I can talk to him in ways that nobody understands. What is one of your favorite tracks off the record and why? Probably the one I’m most lyrically proud of and spent a lot of time on is ‘Pride.’ I think that’s a very cool song for us and really off the beaten path. It was more poetry, that song and I’m a big fan of The Doors and Jim Morrison. I wanted a song that was poetry and the verses are like that so I’m proud of that song. Buckcherry’s ‘Confessions’ drops on Feb. 19. The album is available for pre-order in a few cool bundles through the band’s merch site or digitally via iTunes .  [button href=”http://loudwire.com/buckcherry-josh-todd-new-single-gluttony/” title=”Next: Josh Todd Digs Deep Into New Single ‘Gluttony'” align=”center”] Check Out the Video for Buckcherry’s New Single ‘Gluttony’

Dave Grohl Rocks With Krist Novoselic, Corey Taylor + More at L.A. ‘Sound City’ Show

Kevin Winter, Getty Images Dave Grohl had perhaps the biggest and most impressive celebration for his ‘ Sound City ‘ film to date, with one rocker after another lining up to take the stage as part of his Sound City Players performance at the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles Thursday night (Jan. 31). The gig followed a red-carpet premiere of the Grohl-directed documentary. We were lucky enough to attend the incredible concert, during which the one constant throughout the evening was Grohl, who performed on every single song, whether it be on drums, guitar or bass. The ‘Sound City’ mastermind started the evening on bass while his Queens of the Stone Age cohort Alain Johannes led the crowd through a rocking set that included the Queens album track ‘Hangin’ Tree’ as well as the ‘Sound City’ contribution ‘A Trick With No Sleeve.’ Masters of Reality’s Chris Goss was next, but his set was bolstered with some power drumming from Rage Against the Machine ‘s Brad Wilk. The hard rocking performance featured the infectious beat of ‘She Got Me (When She Got Her Dress On)’ and the moody ‘Sound City’ soundtrack song ‘Time Slowing Down.’ Grohl stuck around on drums for a brief set featuring Black Rebel Motorcycle Club’s Peter Hayes and Robert Levon Been. The performance included the ‘Sound City’ cut ‘Heaven and Hell’ as well as a sped-up, jammed out ‘Whatever Happened to My Rock and Roll.’ While the early performances were enjoyable, the energy level seemed to pick up with the introduction of Fear frontman Lee Ving and his “one-two-three-four” openings for every song. Ving got the amped up crowd rocking to the sing-along ‘I Love Living in the City’ and ‘Beef Bologna.’ There were smiles all around as Grohl and guitarist Pat Smear in particular got to exercise their hardcore roots and Hawkins was getting in some rapid-fire drumming. Arguably the rocking highlight of the night came next with Slipknot  /  Stone Sour frontman Corey Taylor leading an inspired Cheap Trick set featuring that band’s own Rick Nielsen on guitar and a guest appearance by Nirvana ‘s Krist Novoselic on bass. Taylor whipped the crowd into a frenzy with ‘Hello There,’ making sure the “ladies and gentlemen” of the audience were “ready to rock.” For the first time during the evening, there was audible singing from the crowd on such favorites as ‘Ain’t That a Shame’ and ‘Surrender.’ During the latter track, one lucky audience member went home with a some vinyl as Nielsen tossed an old record into the crowd to coincide with one of the lyrics. Taylor also received a warm response for the recently debuted ‘ From Can to Can’t ‘ from the ‘Sound City’ soundtrack. The most levity of the evening came with Rick Springfield’s set, with the rocker visibly having a good time playing off drummer Taylor Hawkins , tossing his guitar in the air, and at one point getting a wry smile after missing a mark in ‘Love Is Alright Tonight.’ Dave Grohl joked around with Springfield throughout the set, offering the most stage banter of the evening. At one point he congratulated Springfield after the first three notes of ‘Jessie’s Girl’ rang out to loud cheers. Grohl laughingly joked that Springfield had truly made it by penning a song that everyone knew after hearing one second. Springfield also brought some good time rocking to the night with ‘I’ve Done Everything for You’ and ‘Love Somebody’ during his performance. For guitar lovers, former Creedence Clearwater Revival frontman  John Fogerty ‘s performance was a pure treat. The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer expressed his joy at taking part and said that all of the people in the film had one thing in common — their love for Grohl. Fogerty’s performance consisted of such well known favorites as ‘Travelin’ Band,’ ‘Born on the Bayou,’ ‘Centerfield,’ ‘Proud Mary’ and ‘Bad Moon Rising’ and the full lineup appeared to be most in sync of any performance during the evening. But perhaps the biggest surprise in the set was the wicked guitar work laid down by Fogerty during the CCR track ‘Keep on Chooglin’,’ with much of the band laying back in awe before both Grohl and Chris Shiflett got in a full-on synchronized jam with Fogerty. Fully enjoying the moment, the rock vet threw his arm around Shiflett’s head and later hugged Grohl. Fogerty’s set ended with a duet with Grohl on the classic ‘Fortunate Son.’ Already clocking in at three-plus hours, the ‘Sound City Players’ concert rounded out with a huge response for Stevie Nicks . She returned the audience affection with a solid yet brief set that opened with ‘Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around’ and ‘Dreams,’ before taking things down with an intimate version of ‘Landslide’ with only Grohl on guitar and some brief accompaniment from Rami Jaffe on accordion and Jessy Greene on violin. Nicks and the entire Foo Fighters lineup finished out the night with a full-on jam of the Fleetwood Mac classic ‘Gold Dust Woman.’ In addition to all the great performances, the night also featured highlights from the ‘Sound City’ documentary which brought all the musicians together in the first place. The film is currently available for purchase as a download here and can be seen in select theaters across the U.S. [button href=”http://loudwire.com/dave-grohl-hopes-to-perform-sound-city-shows-around-the-world/” title=”Next: Dave Grohl Hopes to Bring ‘Sound City Players’ Around the World” align=”center”] Dave Grohl and Stevie Nicks at Sound City Players Concert in L.A. Kevin Winter, Getty Images Dave Grohl and John Fogerty at Sound City Players Concert in L.A. Kevin Winter, Getty Images

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