Posts Tagged ‘style’

Closet Witch

Closet Witch – Self-titled

I’m not gonna do it. I’m not going to spiel about how midwestern hardcore doesn’t get a fair shake and that there’s tons of underappreciated bands out there who can fucking trounce the next big dumb band from the next big dumb city. It’s true, but it’s redundant and (to this writer) it feels like excuse-making. Iowa’s Closet Witch need no such excuse; where they’re from isn’t so much important here. This self-titled debut full-length speaks for itself and can whet the appetites of grind and powerviolence lovin’ lunatics everywhere. This is blazing aggression to the nth degree. It doesn’t take long for listeners to learn to hang on to your hat from opener “Blood Orange.” From the freeze-frame stop at the halfway point to the pummelling benter-than-fuck spazzy “groove” that closes things up, it’s apparent that this isn’t your mother’s cut-and-dry hardcore. Moreso, longer tracks like “Rule By Bacon,” “Lost and Unidentified,” and “Personal Machu Picchu” thread in a welcome waves of atmosphere and melody, functioning as much-needed breathers from the baseline full-tilt cacophony. These tasteful detours become especially evocative, dragging things down tempo-wise and folding in a healthy dose of flavor and character while exhibiting the group’s impressive range. It’s really hard not to want more of these moments when they hit so hard and work so fucking well, but as it goes, sometimes there can be too much of a good thing. Still, the album ricochets from maniacally breakneck to pointed, mathy stutters to foot-stomping grooves with utter recklessness. Technically, it’s tumultuous and executed with a devious skill that brings to mind the compartmentalized chaos of less-melodic The Dillinger Escape Plan material. For as disorienting as the first few listens may be, subsequent spins become riddled with those magical mathy moments that you’ll learn to love (check the shifty “Brother” or the angular “It Doesn’t Feel Free”). “Eyelids of Horus” is a galloping Converge style blazer replete with fire alarm bell accents and a snare thrashing that’ll keep Iowa’s music shops in business. As busy or dizzying as the album is, there’s a lean nature to the whole thing. There’s a little wiggle room for some straightforward spitfire grind (“Spell of Giddiness”) and even a classic hardcore tumble (“Daylillies”). The four-piece approach makes things a little easier to decode, too, but the way they assemble and piece apart the core elements in their sound (grind, powerviolence, mathcore, hardcore, et al.) serves as a key to processing the method behind the madness. Like any quality powerviolence act, Closet Witch are simultaneously biting, empowering, and cathartic. Lyrically covering political big-picture topics like feminism, class warfare, identity, and also digging into some more introspective themes, Mollie Piatetsky regularly cuts to the bone, yet she refrains from getting bogged down in a spite-fest. Her delivery is unchained, howling with a tirelessness and purpose that’s equal parts intimidating energy and rhythmically earworming. Her style helps dictate much of the record’s flow and gives a little boost in each track. She’s rock fucking solid throughout the album, but should her repertoire broaden… look out. I have no clue if this was recorded live or individually tracked, but there’s something so inextricably natural about this, where that “live feel” is spot the fuck on in lieu of a more polished “album feel.” Sequencing takes things a step further, breaking down this album into a pseudo set that is dynamic and well-paced. Needless to say, it’s ideal for their style. It highlights the spirit, intensity, and the exciting nature of aggressive music in a live setting, but also a charisma, personality, and interplay of the musicians. Other bands can be loud or tear up your eardrums with 20 minutes of senseless disarray, but it frequently comes off in exercise. Here, it’s alive, embedded in each track. You can almost feel the heat, smell the sweat, and tap into that magnetic sixth sense that lets you know there’s a body flying your way. As far as debuts go, there’s little to nitpick; they seem to have cut their teeth on their EPs and were primed for a bigger statement. There’s no doubt the heart-on-the-sleeve, pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps ethos is alive and well here, and really, this kind of authenticity is difficult to develop, so it’s hard to imagine that Closet Witch are going away anytime soon – good news for us. … Closet Witch is out June 12th on Halo of Flies , SassBologna, Jems, Circus of the Macabre, Don’t CAre, React With Protest. The post Closet Witch – Self-titled appeared first on Heavy Blog Is Heavy .

Anthrax Cover AC/DC’s ‘T.N.T.’ – Exclusive Song Premiere

MegaForce Records Ever since Anthrax first hinted at a potential covers disc last year, there’s been plenty of anticipation of what the metal icons might take on. Now we know the classics tracks that the group have recorded for the upcoming ‘Anthems’ EP, and Loudwire is proud to premiere Anthrax’s ripping performance of AC/DC ‘s ‘T.N.T.’ in advance of the disc’s March 19 street date. Drummer Charlie Benante tells us, “Back in the day, when we would do encores we would play AC/DC’s ‘Whole Lotta Rosie.’ We never recorded it back then, but when we were in the studio making ‘Worship Music,’ we decided we wanted to. But [singer] Joey [Belladonna] really wanted to do ‘T.N.T.’ He felt it was more in his style, and he knew the song backwards and forwards, so we recorded that, and it’s great.” Benante goes on to add, “We recorded the track in Chicago and in Los Angeles [and] the sessions were really easy, felt really good. The thing about ‘T.N.T.’ for me is that there’s not a lot of drumming on it. So the challenge for me was to not go crazy with fills, but to pay tribute to the original recording, and keep it AC/DC.” Anthrax does exactly that, keeping it to the rocking core of the AC/DC classic, but even though Benante says there’s not much for him to do, at the end of the track there’s the all-out free-for-all for the entire group as the band raises the tempo for the song’s explosive finish. Anthrax’s ‘Anthems’ also features the band’s covers of Rush ‘s ‘Anthem,’ Thin Lizzy ‘s ‘Jailbreak,’ Boston ‘s ‘Smokin” and Journey ‘s ‘Keep on Runnin” among others. In addition to ‘Anthems” cover art, Benante and artist Stephen Thompson have subtly redesigned each track’s original album cover art to “Anthrax” it. The ‘Anthems’ EP will first be housed in one of the “re-imagined” digipak covers, and then inserted inside the main CD cover sleeve. The main cover sleeve has been designed in such a way so fans will be able to see which one of the six “re-imagined” covers is inside. Look for Anthrax’s ‘Anthems’ on March 19. You can currently pre-order the disc here . And check out Anthrax’s rendition of AC/DC’s ‘T.N.T.’ below: Listen to Anthrax Cover AC/DC’s ‘T.N.T.’ [button href=”” title=”Get All the Latest Anthrax News Here” align=”center”]

Overkill Vocalist Bobby Blitz Talks East Coast Thrash Metal, Gaining Young Fans + More

Liz Ramanand, Loudwire Bobby Blitz of Overkill was the guest on Full Metal Jackie’s radio show this past weekend. The vocalist spoke about the band’s massive trek with Testament, as well as his feeling towards East Coast and West Coast thrash metal. He also talks about the evolution of Overkill’s music and their new younger audience. Read Full Metal Jackie’s interview with Bobby Blitz below: I’ve got fellow East Coaster Bobby Blitz of Overkill on the show. How are you? It’s good to be here [in L.A.], just flew in from Hurricane Sandy and I’m happy to report we’re rebuilding already. Thank goodness, East Coasters are tough – it takes a lot to bring us down. I never was more proud of living in New Jersey as I was during this disaster and obviously the whole Tri-State New York area and appreciative of the help we got from the West Coast people who sent support over to us. I was very proud being a Jersey guy watching people rebuild saying, “I’m not leaving, I’m staying.” You are from the East Coast and you’re touring right now with Testament who are West Coast. What’s your favorite thing about West Coast thrash that isn’t really indicative of the East Coast? I think there’s a style, when it comes to West Coast thrash – it’s almost recognizable instantaneously to me. I think especially for the old school thrash it has a moniker on it, that Bay area sound is common to most of them whether it be Testament or the early on Metallica stuff. It’s really identifiable, where I think that East Coast thrash is probably more different, there’s not a common denominator through it. I always liken us to more meat and potatoes and they’re more of a seven course meal. [Laughs] Overkill has a well earned reputation of being such a great live band; when you’re up there onstage, when exactly do you know you’ve got them? It’s really more about a zone, it’s not about getting them. I think if you can get into that zone, that becomes really contagious and the zone really spreads out into the audience. It’s really a transfer of energy between let’s say them and us – that’s when you score, when you really start feeling extra high. [Laughs] It’s not about thinking about it, it’s really more about doing it. Hey maybe that’s part of it too, maybe East Coast is more about action. [Laughs] Overkill’s been around since 1980 and you’re latest album ‘The Electric Age’ was unbelievably good, same with Testament’s latest record – they’ve been around since ’83 and their latest album is incredibly good, as well. What is it about maturity that keeps you guys so full of piss and vinegar? It’s funny because you would think angst is really a young man’s game, you don’t really run into too many 50 year olds who are pissed off. [Laugh] It’s supposed to be calmed down by that particular time but I think that one of the things or contributing factors is that there’s a newfound want of this music. The scene is healthy at this particular time, there’s a lot of younger band’s doing it. I think that when the older bands feel that, you say, “Wait a second here, this is the way it’s supposed to be done.” [Laughs] We still have a couple good punches left here, it’s really that competitive nature that keeps this at a highs level and high quality releases. Just talking about the younger generation that’s discovering this style of metal now for the first time. Let’s say a kid comes up to you after a show on this tour, what do you hope he says to you? Well obviously I hope he says, “That was unbelievable,” [laughs] that’s the hope, “You weren’t worth it.” [laughs] One of the things that I notice as this grows and it still is to some degree, it’s growing through youth. I don’t think we’re incorporating new 45 or 30 year old thrash metal fans – we have them but they’ve been with us for a long period of time. So the youth is where our growth is, what I want to hear from them is that they really know the catalogue and they really know how it’s kind of developed over let’s say this 25 year period of touring and 30 years of songwriting, etc., and why ‘The Electric Age’ is more valuable in 2013 than even ‘Horoscope’ was in 1991. It’s more about the current day, that what I want to hear from them. Best of luck on tour, it always a pleasure. I feel like I grew up on Overkill being the Jersey girl that I am. It’s nice to be able to see you guys continuing to do what you do and even better this many years later. I’m blushing. I think we’ve said it on interviews before, I said, “I always have time for [Jackie], she’s a Jersey girl.” [Laughs] Seriously, from my college radio station which is where I started at WSOU in New Jersey is where I actually discovered Overkill. It’s just funny to look back and see to where we are today and to be able to talk to you and look back and laugh at the Birch Hill days, it’s cool to see where things are today. Somebody once told me and it’s 100 percent right that joy is in the journey so I think people like you and I and many other people that listen to this type of music experience that all together and that’s why it’s still strong this many years later. Full Metal Jackie will welcome Steve Von Till to her program this coming weekend. She can be heard on radio stations around the country — for a full list of stations, go to . [button href=”” title=”See Dates for the Overkill / Testament 2013 Tour” align=”center”]

The Sword’s Kyle Shutt Discusses ‘Apocryphon,’ New Drummer, Texas Roots + More

Photo Credit: Sandy Carson The  Sword guitarist Kyle Shutt was the guest on Full Metal Jackie’s radio show this past weekend. Shutt spoke about the band’s latest album ‘Apocryphon,’ their new drummer Jimmy Vela and what it is about being from Texas that influences their sound. Read Full Metal Jackie’s interview with Kyle Shutt below: Congratulations on another great record, ‘Apocryphon.’ Thank you, it took a long time, sitting around waiting for it to come out. I’m glad it’s finally out and we’re out on the road supporting it. It’s good times. It’s stressful right, when you have this record and you know there are some people that have it. Isn’t it like a freaky, scary time where you’re like ‘Is it going to leak? When is it going to leak?’ and you just want it to be out there and done. Yeah, that’s right. Everything’s going to leak eventually but it was about a week before when we saw some evidence of it leaking so we did a good job, keeping it under wraps. Obviously, a lot had happened since the last time I saw you guys. You have a new member in the band. Yeah we’ve had two drummers since you last saw us but this guy, Jimmy Vela, he’s great. He fit right in with the band, honestly it feel like he’s been in it the whole time – I wish he had been, but that’s okay. [Laughs] Tell us what it’s been like touring with your new drummer. We did some tours with him before we made the album, one with the Kyuss Lives! thing that they did, we did a whole North American tour and it was good. When we started writing songs in January, we got about six of them written in a month. It just started flowing out and he fell right in line with our style of music and he plays with a little more finesse than Trivett [Wingo] did. It was fun just playing off each other and writing new songs. Unlike the last album, the new one ‘Apocryphon’ isn’t a concept album. Musically, these songs aren’t so much about precision either. Was that a conscious decision to cleanse the musical pallet so to speak or was it just naturally distancing yourselves from the previous album cycle? No, honestly we just write ten songs at a time and the only reason the last album was a concept album was because J.D. [Cronise] had written this awesome story and it just felt appropriate to apply it to the songs we had written. These are just the next ten songs we’ve written and we’re moving on, we’re not going to try to rehash old stuff – just shake it up and be original and try to write some great music. It’s not uncommon for bands to alternate setlists but on this tour, you’ve got several – seven I think is what I read. What is the purpose of having that many options? We kind of just shake it up every night so you don’t get board. I’ve seen bands go on an eight week tour and play the exact same set every night. It’s not that ours is wildly different every night but we try to throw in some different songs here and there just to keep things fresh. Sometimes people will drive from show to show so you don’t want to disappoint them, you know they see you four times and it’s all the same set. You guys are from Texas, what about coming from that part of the country affects your approach to metal the most both as players and as fans? Really, I think we have this funky rhythm section that a lot of people when they play metal it’s just a straight forward four-four thing just trying to be as relentless as possible but we just try to be as funky as we can so people can dance to our music. I think that’s what sets us apart from a lot of the things like that – being from Texas, too, you got bands like Pantera and ZZ Top and all kinds of funky, rock and roll music, it’s just in our blood down there. [Laughs] What can we expect from 2013? We’re going to be on the road forever on this one. We’ll be everywhere twice. So just hang tight people: if we haven’t been there yet, we’ll make an appearance very shortly I promise. Full Metal Jackie will welcome As I Lay Dying frontman Tim Lambesis to her program this coming weekend. She can be heard on radio stations around the country — for a full list of stations, go to .

Eve to Adam Showcasing Two Songs From Forthcoming Album on Fall Tour

Photo: Kathy Flynn Eve to Adam continue to enjoy a successful run on their ‘Banquet for a Starving Dog’ album, but are already ahead of the game on their follow-up release. During their stop in Los Angeles as part of a triple-bill with Halestorm and In This Moment , the band revealed that they’ve already worked out half of their next record with producer Elvis Baskette and plan to return to the studio after their current run concludes to finish up the disc. Loudwire caught up with the band to discuss their breakout after years of struggle, their current recording sessions, and the addition of Dope guitarist Virus to their live lineup. ‘Banquet for a Starving Dog’ is now over a year into its cycle and still going strong. In many ways, this has to be a breakout record for you guys, right? Taki Sassaris: In a lot of ways, yes, it’s helped to introduce us to a lot of people that weren’t familiar with our music, with our style, and I think it’s a pretty solid foundation record for us, you know. It’s allowed us to get back with radio and get a larger fanbase, coast-to-coast and internationally, and it’s definitely got a lot of peoples’ interest piqued and they’re watching to see what we’re gonna do in the new year with the new material, so I think we’re one of the bands that’s on the radar that a lot of people have high expectations for. It’s a good place to be, but it’s a little bit of pressure because you know that you’ve got to deliver, but I think we do our best work when our back’s against the wall and I think that it’s pretty well evidenced by this new material that we’re laying down that I think we’re going to turn a lot of peoples’ heads with this new music. You’ve been touring for such a long time on this record, but Alex, if you could, what’s you’re favorite songs of this record that you love as much now as you did when you started supporting this record over a year ago. Alex Sassaris: I’m torn. ‘Run Your Mouth’ and ‘Reach,’ the two singles that were from that record, they obviously represent a certain sonic quality of Eve to Adam, but the message of ‘Reach’ and the tempo kind of inspires me every night, and I think off the ‘Banquet’ album that is pretty much my favorite song to play live. It’s in the set tonight and it always gets a reaction and the dedication that we give before we play the song to armed service personnel and people that keep us going and safe, it kind of means a lot, so I would say ‘Reach’ definitely. Guarav, same question, something in the live set that’s really standing out to you… Guarav Bali: Well, for me, and for all of us I think we’re really enjoying trying out the new material we did. We’re playing actually two songs these days live. One of them is an amazing song called ‘Straightjacket Supermodel’ that was co-written by Eric Bass of Shinedown . After the last Creed tour we flew down to his studio in two days and recorded it with Elvis [Baskette] and it turned out amazing. The other one is a very different song for us. It’s called ‘Bender.’ It real fast, quick tempo, and Taki does some Lemmy-like vocals and it’s a real fast tune that picks up the set a lot. The process of this has been different for us because for the first time we actually weren’t home for a long time writing. We actually wrote some stuff on the road for the last Creed run and then we got back, demoed it really quickly and got down to Orlando with Elvis and sort of finished it as we were recording it, which was really different for us. We actually wrote a song with him with different parts that turned out amazing. We actually just got the final mixes today of that song. So for me, it’s actually the two new ones that are very exciting, and it makes the older stuff more exciting too. Luis, how are you liking the pace so far? Obviously going out on the road with the band now for a bit, but immediately going into the studio at the first break is not something that’s common. Do you prefer that? Luis Espaillat: I think this is exactly what I want. A break in between is nice, and I’ve had those opportunities before, but this pace seems to keep the creativity going and the energy up because we’re coming from a situation where we’re creating from the ground up and then going straight to live where we’ve got the energy we’ve got from the new songs and be able to present it to the audience, so right now, it’s working really well. Right now, we’ve been out away from home for almost a month since we started the recording process and now we’ve started this tour with Halestorm and In This Moment and it hasn’t felt this long at all, just because we were busy, and when we’re out here I’d rather be busy and not stagnating and just sitting around, so I like this pace a lot, yes. Elvis Baskette is known for having a pretty cool studio. Can you talk about what it was like working with him? TS: He’s going to be located now out of Orlando and he’s got great gear. He’s got an amazing board. We were recording on a 75 Nieve. It was like The Who recorded on it and it’s one of nine in the world. He’s got amazing outboard stuff and compressors and he just, he’s a detail oriented individual and he’s very creative and he’s a lot of fun to work with and he loves creating rock and roll, high energy stuff, and it was just a lot of fun. And when things are fun in the studio it goes by really quick and you come up with really great stuff and everybody’s having a good time and it doesn’t seem like work. So I think anytime you’re in a studio and it doesn’t feel like work, you’re in a good spot. So I’m really excited to finish this album with him in January, and I can’t wait for some of our fans to hear this cause I think it’s going to be the shot in the arm that they’ve all been waiting for. Everybody really loved ‘Banquet,’ but I think a lot of the anthems on this are just going to have an energy that the audience is going to take to live and tear the place apart, so I’m looking forward to a lot of pandemonium. I think it’s kind of cool this way, that you’ve recorded some stuff, but then get to go out on the road for a bit before you go back in. Does that kind of rejuvenate you and both the live and recording processes? AS: We’ve never had an opportunity to do it like that and working with a guy like Elvis and knowing we’re gonna go back to him with this great live experience in between, I mean, this will be 150 live shows for us after this run is done, and that’s a good amount of touring for our band and I think we’ll be able to infuse that into the final five or six songs, or whatever it’s going to be. I was happy that the chips fell like this this time. And Creed were the guys that tipped you off to Elvis? TS: Yeah, it was Mark Tremonti and Eric Friedmann. We were blown away by the Tremonti album and on that last Creed run we lived with that album a lot. We liked the production on it and thought it was fantastic so we were like, ‘Mark?! What can we do here?’ and Elvis was in the midst of making the Falling in Reverse record so he was kind of hard to get a hold of initially, but once we got in touch, Mark’s recommendation and vote of confidence really made a difference. He wasn’t really looking to do another project, but because Mark had spoken so highly of us, he took on the project, and he was really glad he did, because we had a great time and came down with some really great material and it gives him the opportunity to take a brand new, up-and-coming band and put his stamp on it and showcase why he is who he is. So it’s a really perfect union for a group that is as hungry as we are, colliding with a producer who is ready to remind the world why he sold 25 million records. I think when you get that kind of synergy, really incredible things happen. I think if the energy and experience we had with him in the studio as contagious as it was, as uplifting and enthusiastic as it was, if the audience catches wind of that, I think it’s going to spread like wildfire. I think in 2013, you better look out cause this group is about to turn things on its ear. You mentioned Tremonti and the guys from Creed. It’s got to be a better experience being out on the road with guys you like. So often starting off, you may not know the bands you’re playing with. Guarav can you talk about getting to check them out nightly and the camaraderie there? GB: It’s amazing, because I think the biggest thing is it’s a learning experience to see how they do it, and you pick up tips here and there about various things, whether it be performance, sound, pacing of a set, cause I mean Creed played for a long time, and when I say long time, I mean they played a long set, and they played 15 or 17 songs that every time you hear them, you’re like, ‘I know every one of these songs.’ And that’s hard to do for a band that has a catalog like that. So it was a great learning experience to be out with them. Just the fact that they’re amazing guys just made it that much better. And I saw on the website, that Virus has joined you guys? How did that come about? GB: Well the boys here have been talking for several years about having a second guitar player, and I was never really comfortable with it for various reasons, but the theme of these new songs and our upcoming year is expanding our horizons and we’re writing with new people, which we’ve never done, and we’ve got a new producer, and so we decided to expand the sound live as well. I do a lot of different guitar parts on record which you can’t obviously play live without having eight arms, so I’m limited to choosing what I play live. So this allowed me to play some of those parts on the records that I’ve never had to play live and Virus got recommended to us, I talked to him on the phone, I was comfortable with him and he came to Queens and hung out with us and it was like we’d known him all our lives. That’s the most important thing because everyone has to remember that the show is however long it is per day, whether it be 30 minutes, an hour, two hours, but the other remaining time you just have to live with someone in a confined space so that’s important too. And he’s very easy to get along with, a great player, professional, and he was the one I felt comfortable saying, ‘Hey, what about him? I think he would be cool.’ Virus no longer makes you the new guy, but you’re still fairly new. Luis how has it been playing with these guys? Luis Espaillat: It’s been great. I’m the next newest guy. I’ve been with the band since July. I met these guys when I was playing with Tantric last year and they were on the bill as well, and when they invited me, I love their material from the get go already, and at that point they were already playing ‘Run Your Mouth’ and ‘Reach’ which are two of my favorites from ‘Banquet.’ I mean they’re great. Not only do they really care about what they do more than anybody else I know, they’ve been at it for many years. And there’s many people that I know that some of the stuff these guys have gone through, they would have quit, so I really appreciate the tenacity these guys have and the dedication, which is always something I wanted to align myself with because I take my craft very seriously and what I do very seriously, and these guys have put in a ton of time and I appreciate them first and foremost. They’re great people, and they’re great players so there’s not much more I could ask for. As far as Virus coming into it, it’s been great as well. Virus has been around and has that experience with Dope, and him bringing his experience to this whole mess if you want to call it that has been fantastic, so it’s been really great. The reason we’re here tonight is the show with Halestorm and In This Moment. If you want to share what it’s like and your relationship with the two other acts on this bill so far. TS: I think it’s great to see these bands reaping such success from so much hard work that they’ve put in because it gives us hope. Being the opening slot on this tour while we’re seeing these two bands break out now [is great]. They both have Top 10 rock singles and Halestorm has multiple. I think In This Moment is going to be enormous. They have a very wide, appealing sound. They’re modern and I think ahead of the curve, and the curve is going to catch up with them in 2013. They’re gonna blow up huge. And Halestorm are amazing instrumentalists. Lzzy and Arejay are a lethal combination duo, and great showmanship. She’s got an amazing voice and songwriting. You know, it’s great to see strong good bands do well, instead of what we’ve had for quite some time — you know, the one hit wonders or bands that got by on a gimmick. You know, these bands are the real deal and they’ve earned where they are. It certainly reaffirms that hard work pays off and sticking to your guns certainly does. It’s inspiring to us and we’re happy to be here and thank them for being gracious hosts. Obviously Halestorm has the sibling thing going on and here we’ve got Taki and Alex. What was it like growing up brothers and deciding who was going to do what? AS: Well, we were pretty bad at sports, so we figured out alternative measures. [laughing] TS: Speak for yourself. AS: Uh, well, he was a high school hero I guess, but I don’t remember those years apparently. [laughs] Okay I was terrible at sports, so we picked music watching Guns N’ Roses on MTV kind of blowing minds when ‘Appetite’ came out we just kind of looked at each other and thought it would be fun to not have to grow up and do music and it really bit us hard at very young ages and it just gave us a bond and something to work toward together and I wouldn’t want to play music if it wasn’t for Taki on the stage. I seriously think that’s where I belong and that’s how I envision it playing out. TS: We could’ve never gotten through this river of s— without each other by the way. I can’t stress enough to you how duplicitous this business is and it’s so difficult to try to become an artist and put your heart and soul into your work and really achieve things from inside of you and watch them blossom and create art because especially in today’s day and age or whatever, people are so callous and it starts with the industry. They don’t have time for anything and nobody wants to develop anybody. There’s no patience. It’s really an anti-art culture, the business itself, and you have to fight through all of that to get to why you got into this in the first place. You have to protect the embryonic dream with everything that you are, while trying to navigate and maintain relationships with people that you may not necessarily like and are quite, in fact, the enemy, to your central motivation. So it’s a very complex relationship, and if I didn’t have him to stabilize me and crosscheck things with I probably wouldn’t be here right now … I really feel like it’s a new beginning. We’re close a chapter and beginning a new era and the stakes are getting higher and the pressure’s getting more, so I’m really glad that I have two more brothers. So it’s like what John Lennon said about Elvis. It’s unfortunate that he was by himself to go through all that madness, and at least they had each other as the Beatles, and I kind of feel like that’s what the great part of being in a band is — that you don’t have to go through all this s— by yourself. Looking ahead, what’s on the horizon? TS: ‘Straightjacket Supermodel’ is likely going to be the lead-off single. We don’t have a release date as of yet, but we’re probably looking at middle of spring, late March or early April for a release, right into a spring tour and summer tour. What else can you tell us about ‘Straightjacket Supermodel’? Where did it come from? TS: Well we wrote this song with Eric Bass and when we listened to the track and everything, he kind of asked me where I wanted to lyrically go with this and he kind of asked me what concept I had for the song and the song, it had this really kind of eerie, kind of crime scene thing, and I know [Guarav] really loves ‘CSI’ and stuff, and ‘Dexter’ and there was a bit of a serial killer vibe to this thing, and the way it sets up, it’s kind of methodical and the lyric lays out this plan and ideology of this egocentric character that is hell bent on creating this act that will reap him immediate fame and media glory, and it’s very reflective of what it is today to be in this society because every situation seems to be a juggernaut with the media cycle. You can go from zero to villain in three seconds, and it seems like everybody has their own little chaotic psychotic world going on with their Twitter and Facebook and everybody is pretty much the center of their own universe now, so it’s getting a little crazy, so that’s the ‘Straightjacket’ part, and ‘Supermodel’ is just being looked upon as being beautiful and perfect and that quest for an obsession for physical perfection and to be looked upon in that limelight as the ultimate badass. So it has a lot to do with what we’re trying to do also, so it’s not like we’re talking about someone else. It’s definitely autobiographical, but I think that’s why it connects really well. We’ve been playing it four shows in and the song’s gotten a really great reaction. We have high hopes for the tune and really enjoy playing it, which is the best part. Have you guys done the Thanksgiving on the road? AS: Applebee’s baby! [Laugh] We’ll be somewhere in Portland on this run, but you know, we’re with our family already — our extended family anyway. It would be nice for Luis to be with his family in Nashville, but, you know, we’ll be together. TS: It’s part of the sacrifice of doing this. [button href=”” title=”Next: Watch Eve to Adam’s ‘Reach’ Lyric Video” align=”center”]

Pig Destroyer Talk ‘Book Burner,’ Nihilism, New Agoraphobic Nosebleed Music + More

Relapse Pig Destroyer are one of the most celebrated grindcore acts in modern metal. Having released definitive masterpieces of the 21st Century such as ‘Prowler in the Yard’ and ‘Terrifyer,’ fans salivated over a new Pig Destroyer album for over five years before ‘Book Burner’ dropped in Oct. 2012. Pig Destroyer also leave fans rabid for live performances, as the band almost never takes the stage for a concert, but thanks to MetalSucks, Metal Injection and 1000 Knives, the band turned up for an incredible performance in Brooklyn, N.Y. on Oct. 18. We got a chance to speak to the entirety of Pig Destroyer for a rare interview, where we discussed ‘Book Burner,’ the label of ‘nihilism’ following the band throughout their career, upcoming music from guitarist Scott Hull’s other project Agoraphobic Nosebleed + much more. Check out our exclusive interview with the grind-masters of Pig Destroyer! ‘Book Burner’ seems like a very different type of album title for Pig Destroyer. How did you end up choosing that for the title? J.R. Hayes: I had a song called ‘Book Burner’ on the record and there was a couple of references to that in the story that I wrote for the record. We went through a million titles trying to find the right one, and that was one we felt good about and we just went with it, probably mostly because we were sick of trying to come up with other titles. Scott Hull: It’s difficult to try and agree on titles. We go back and forth about that or what the artwork is going to be. You just sort of relent and go, “Yeah that’s good!” and if we have one better, “No that’s it,” but it doesn’t have any particular significance other than it shows up in his story. J.R.: There’s a couple of different ways to tie it in. You guys don’t tour all that much. What is it about tonight, here in New York, that brought you all the way here? Blake Harrison: We wanted to do a couple of shows for our record when it came out. I mean, it’s been over five years since we put a record out and MetalSucks, we really love the website; they asked us and it coincided with the time the record was going to come out. So we’re also doing this in Baltimore. J.R.: And it’s New York! Right up the street. Last time you were in New York, you guys played on a boat. What was that like? J.R.: That was one of my favorite shows of all time, actually. You get to get on a boat with Eyehategod and Goatwhore and a bunch of crazy fans and drink and just be merry. It was just a really rainy, nasty night too, so the fact that everybody managed to have such a good time I thought was really impressive. Harrison: I think that was one of our better shows as far as crowd energy and wildness goes, but I get horribly f—ing seasick. J.R.: Talk about having a captive audience though. [Laughs] We had them quarantined. The production for ‘Book Burner’ is interesting because again, with your other records, no two albums sound alike in its production. How did you choose this style of production for this record? Hull: For me, I wanted something that was very, very natural sounding. Not unproduced, but just very, very natural, sort of like the early Black Flag records or the early Melvins records; something that was just very honest and you can hear what the drummer’s doing, you can hear what the guitar player’s doing, and not oversaturate it with a huge wall of guitars. I just kind of wanted it to be rather ‘bare bones’ and let the music speak for itself in the performances as well. I wanted it to sound good and clean, somewhat, but I also didn’t want to overproduce it by putting in a bunch of triggers and stuff like that. There are no drum triggers?! Hull: There are some drum triggers in the kick to make them a little steady sounding rather than being overly dynamic, but no, there’s no triggers on anything else. It’s all this dude (Adam Jarvis) right here. The kick has a little bit of trigger mixed in but other than that it’s as we played it in the studio. With Pig Destroyer, the drumming has always been so focused. There’s always been a big spotlight on the drumming. Is it difficult to fill the void of Brian Harvey’s departure? Adam Jarvis: Yeah, learning all the new material plus learning all the old material … because when I first joined, we basically just started jamming on all of the new stuff immediately, but then we had to play a couple of shows so then I had to start learning all of the old stuff and just intermittently go back to the new stuff, so it was definitely a challenge. J.R.: We wouldn’t been doing it if it wasn’t a challenge. What has Adam brought to the band? Harrison: I think a nastier energy, man. It’s almost like a new band in my eyes. It seems like with the crowd reaction, they feel that way too. Hull: We’ve got another person in the band who’s pushing us forward, driving us and not to mention the fact that he has a different particular set of skills that we can capitalize on and move forward in areas that we haven’t been able to in the past. Jarvis: Scott was like, “So how fast can you blast?” I was like, “Uhhh … fast?” And he’s like, “Check out this song, it’s only at 300 beats per minute.” [Laughs] You had some of the Agoraphobic Nosebleed members come and do guest vocals on the record. Why was this the right time to experiment with those other vocalists? J.R.: I really wanted to have some people when we did ‘Phantom Limb,’ but that just didn’t happen so I ended up being the only vocalist on that record. So for this record, I wanted to bring in some other people just for fun. Just to try and mix it up a little bit because I don’t have the biggest range in the vocal world, so just to give it some dynamic and just to have some friends in the studio, you know? They’re all very close friends of ours so it was more of a family affair. Kat Katz is on the record and I’m a big fan of hers from Salome and Agoraphobic Nosebleed. I interviewed her a while ago, right before ‘Agorapocalypse’ came out, and she told me that in the studio she makes a “war face,” but she wouldn’t tell me what it looked like. Hull: [Laughs] Yeah, we push her. We just did a track for the Christmas flexi for Decibel. We did it last year and we’re doing it this year as well, and she came in and did vocals for that, and yeah, she brought her war face. So what exactly does the war face look like? Hull: When she’s gotten to that stage, when she’s ripping it, when you see her in the studio, she means it. You can definitely tell that somebody stepped on her d–k and she’s definitely not happy about it. J.R.: We try to get her to think about the B she got in Chemistry. That got her all worked up. [Laughs] Oh, right, she’s in college now. She got a B in Chemistry? J.R.: Yeah, that’s not acceptable for her. [Laughs] One term that has followed Pig Destroyer throughout your entire career is the term ‘nihilist.’ The term ‘nihilism’ has definitely followed you. What do you think about being associated with that term? Do you find yourself to adhere to that philosophy in any way? Harrison: Thumbs up! [Laughs] Wouldn’t a true nihilist have hated that? J.R.: I feel like I’m more of a cynic than a nihilist, but I don’t think those two things are really all that different sometimes. Hull: All the intellectual property of the band is definitely coming through him (J.R.) and the visuals and all that, so he tends to channel a rather dark side and that comes out as the face of the band. It’s an interesting and unique aesthetic and I think that fits us pretty well. I wanted to ask about the use of samples in your music. It seems like the samples are perfectly placed. There are so many metal bands that use samples and I think you do it really well. Is there ever a point where you are watching a film or you hear something and you think, “I need to use that line.”? Hull: Sometimes. Sometimes I hear other bands that use samples and I hear the sample and recognize the movie it came from. You would never have thought to take that thing out of that context because when you’re watching a film, you’re kind of engrossed in the story. So you have to step back from the movie a little bit and be looking out for stuff. But yeah, there are times when things pop out and I go “Oh, that’s pretty interesting.” J.R.: We try not to use anything that’s too obvious. You don’t want to drag all the other baggage that comes along, like if you put in a ‘Taxi Driver’ sample, you know what I mean? We want to use things that are a little more obscure that we can kind of appropriate. Harrison: A lot of it to me is that I like to listen to overdub stuff because the way the dialogue is delivered, it’s more stilted a lot of times. I try to take the piece of what it is and take it out of context. So like, I’m not using a James Earl Jones quote because you’re going to know it’s James Earl Jones and think, “Oh I love ‘Conan the Barbarian!” It adds a tacky layer to it. Hull: You remove the layer; the suspension of disbelief. You pull it out of the movie as it were, so a lot of the talky samples we really don’t get from movies so much as things like preachers and sermons that we find online, books on tape; things that come from different sources. What about the ‘Jennifer’ samples? Hull: That was a story he (J.R.) had written and I was trying to figure out a unique way to deliver that on the record and the way we figured out we were going to do that was to put it through a text-to-speech utility for people who are blind and want to use computers; they can just pump the text into this thing. So I just dialed in the right voice and that’s it. Harrison: I think it adds to the tension too. When we do that live, as boring as that is for us to sit through for the 800th time, it gets the kids f—ing wild; its crazy. It’s always good to see that explosion right after that happens; its killer. Are we going to get any new Agoraphobic Nosebleed stuff anytime soon? Hull: Yeah, that’s the next thing I’m going to work on. We got a little bit of relief from the flexis we had to do for Pig Destroyer, so I’m going to go back and start working on the ANb stuff. The next Agoraphobic thing isn’t going to be a single full-length CD, it’s going to be four separate EPs, each one based on a different theme from each member. One is going to be a Black Flag-type of hardcore record, one is going to be a Godflesh-type of industrial record, one is going to be a doomy record and I think the fourth one is going to be a proggy jazzy thing. So they each reflect the different aspects of each of the members. It sounds like a bit of an alarm at first, but I think that’ll sound good. Are you going to be releasing any more of those ‘Audiofilm’ three-inch CDs? I really liked that. Hull: Oh cool, thank you. I don’t know. I want to do more stuff like that, but it just depends on whether I have time. I have to juggle a few bands, a family and a job and stuff. I want to because I very much like that but we’ll see. When you guys released ‘Natasha’ it was definitely very different for you guys. It was real sludgy and I was kind of expecting that to be a bridge to ‘Book Burner.’ Was that ever something that was on the table? Hull: That was actually released with ‘Terrifyer,’ that was a bonus disk with ‘Terrifyer,’ but it was in a quirky, weird format so nobody really listened to it. The label figured we were going to take a long time with the next record, so they wanted to go ahead and release ‘Natasha’ on its own, so that was really kind of a bonus experiment-type thing. We do have some more material like that; that we’ve recorded that we’re actually going to put out at some point. We just don’t know when. [button href=”” title=”Pig Destroyer – Top 21st Century Metal Songs” align=”center”]

Stone Sour Talk ‘House of Gold & Bones,’ Reveal Touring Bassist

Roadrunner Records Stone Sour ‘s ‘ House of Gold & Bones Part 1 ? is set to be released Oct. 23 as the first of a two part concept album, with the second part expected in May of 2013. In a new interview, singer Corey Taylor and guitarist Josh Rand spoke with Metal Shrine  about a number of topics, including the band’s new touring bassist. Taylor explains the genesis of the album, saying, “I’ve had the idea for the concept for a few years actually, but I’ve never given myself the time to really flesh it out and see it clearly. It was right about the time when we did the Sonisphere shows that for some reason “Boom!”, it f—ing hit me! I saw it as clear as day, beginning, middle and end. I knew the characters, I knew the world that I wanted to create, I knew what I wanted to do.” After the exit of Stone Sour bassist Shawn Economaki earlier this year, the band recruited Rachel Bolan from Skid Row to play bass on ‘House of Gold & Bones.’ Rand says it was a great experience: “He’s a phenomenal writer on top of being a phenomenal bass player and he brought this style into it that we felt had been lacking. Instead of following the guitars, he actually plays bass and it elevated all of the songs to a whole new level.” Rand adds, “He came in, a super cool guy and did all 24 songs in five days. It was insane! I don’t think people realize how great of a player he is. It was just insane to watch him knock these songs out. With him coming in and doing that, it just added another level of energy to the whole project and he took a lot of the songs to a different level.” Bolan’s schedule with Skid Row won’t allow him to play live shows with Stone Sour, and Rand revealed the touring bassist will be Johny Chow. Chow has played with Cavalera Conspiracy, Soulfly and Fireball Ministry. Stone Sour will  embark on a European tour at the end of October that will last for the rest of the year. They”ll also play Australia in early 2013. [button href=”” title=”Watch Stone Sour’s Lyric Video for ‘Gone Sovereign / Absolute Zero'” align=”center”]