Posts Tagged ‘barack-obama’

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

Megadeth Frontman Dave Mustaine Chalks Up Obama Re-Election Comments as ‘Stage Fodder’

Mary Ouellette, Barack Obama has been re-elected president and Megadeth leader Dave Mustaine is still an American citizen. The rocker, who made headlines earlier this year suggesting he might move out of the country if the president was re-elected, says his comments were primarily “stage fodder.” The vocalist tells Atlantic City Weekly about his Obama commentary in front of a Singapore audience, “A lot of that was stage fodder … I was just there marveling how beautiful Singapore is and I started thinking about how our nation is changing and I don’t know if we can handle all of the taxation. I know years ago that in England the taxes got so out of control that people left and I can see it happening here. There could be a mass exodus here.” Mustaine went on to add, “There are quite a few musicians who are blessed enough to be making $250,000 or more a year and they will be taxed. I think what will happen is that bands will be dying left and right. What’s happening now is that everything America has been built on will be destroyed.” Regardless of what happens politically, Mustaine says, “I think life will continue on. We’re a strong nation, no matter who is in the White House.” The vocalist has been quite the lightning rod in the past year for some of his comments made onstage and in interviews. However, Mustaine said in a recent interview he’s learned his lesson about voicing his thoughts. “You can’t joke around very much anymore without people misinterpreting what you’re saying,” says the vocalist. “You know, I probably should have said things differently. I probably should’ve skipped that altogether … I learned a valuable lesson from all of this stuff.” Recently, Megadeth have been revisiting their ‘Countdown to Extinction’ album on tour, and Mustaine says the feelings now are similar to when the album was first recorded. He explains, “What’s similar about now and then is that it’s a difficult time in our country. There’s extreme tension now and there was extreme tension then. Maybe that’s why ‘Countdown to Extinction’ is still resonant today.” [button href=”” title=”Next: 10 Best Megadeth Songs” align=”center”]

Daily Reload: Nine Inch Nails, Ozzy Osbourne, Shinedown + More

Mary Ouellette, – Trent Reznor has some big news and it involves Nine Inch Nails ‘ return. [ Loudwire ] – All hail the new President of Heavy Metal — Ozzy Osbourne ! [ Loudwire ] – Shinedown fans may not have to worry about a big break between albums as Brent Smith says the next record has already been recorded. [ Loudwire ] – Barack Obama gets a second term as President of the United States. See how the hard rock and metal community reacted. [ Loudwire ] – Anthrax are without the services of drummer Charlie Benante on their current tour. [ Loudwire ] – The Black Keys have debuted the new fan-shot video for ‘Sister.’ [ ] – The Last Vegas will open for Guns N’ Roses in Las Vegas later this week. [ Rock Music Report ] – Not everyone is happy with Barack Obama’s re-election. Ted Nugent voices his displeasure. [ Ultimate Classic Rock ] – The original Blue Oyster Cult lineup reunited … for one night … in New York City. [ Ultimate Classic Rock ]

Motorhead’s Lemmy Kilmister Calls Mitt Romney a ‘F—ing Monster’

Liz Ramanand, Loudwire With Election Day taking place in the United States tomorrow (Nov. 6), Barack Obama vs. Mitt Romney is getting exponentially more heated. As one of the few subjects that truly divides groups of human begins into two halves, politics constantly draws passionate statement from people of all backgrounds. One of those backgrounds happens to be playing bass and providing vocals for Motorhead , with the legendary Lemmy Kilmister offering his two cents on the election. During a recent discussion with Rolling Stone , Lemmy was talking about his inclusion for a Chuck Berry tribute concert. During the conversation, Rolling Stone journalist Patrick Doyle shared an experience he had while interviewing Berry, who teared up while saying, “My dad said, ‘I don’t know if we’ll live to see it, but one day we will [have an African-American President] – and thank God that I have.’” Lemmy responded to the story with a passionate statement of his own. “I would have said America wasn’t ready for it. And I don’t think they were, because they’re trying to drag him down now,” begins Lemmy. “I mean, the poor f—er’s only just gotten rid of all that George Bush s–t that he left, or is trying to. And he’s being stonewalled by the f—ing Congress all the time. I don’t know how he’s gotten anything done. They should be glad. I mean the alternative is Mitt Romney. Please, please don’t vote for Mitt Romney. F— him. Repeal abortion law is the first thing he’ll do. F—ing monster.” When Lemmy was asked whether he had been watching the debates, the musician responded, “I couldn’t bear it.” Be sure to head out and vote tomorrow (Nov. 6), but in the meantime, make sure you cast your vote for our President of Heavy Metal election. Lemmy almost made it to the final round, but was defeated by Rob Zombie , who faces Ozzy Osbourne for the sacred title. [button href=”” title=”Vote in the President of Heavy Metal Election” align=”center”]

What If Everyone Had Scott Ian’s Beard?

Megaforce For a long time, Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian has sported one of metal’s most celebrated beards. Once predominantly black, these days Ian has taken a more natural approach to the beard, allowing some gray into the mix. Ian’s beard deserves a prominent spot in some sort of Rock and Roll Facial Hair Hall of Fame next to James Hetfield’s goat-like chin-plant and Kerry King’s whimsical bristles. Few possess the pure manliness to grow such a beard. The dedication involved is staggering in itself, no doubt taking many months or even years to cultivate. But what if everyone was able to grow a beard like Scott Ian? Obviously we would all grow one, but what would it look like on some of the world’s most recognizable faces? A beard of this stature deserves the upmost reverence, so we’ve decided to attach Ian’s breathtaking chin-locks to various lucky recipients. So, what if everyone had Scott Ian’s beard? They’d look something like this: Dave Mustaine Lars Ulrich Marilyn Manson Smashing Pumpkins Axl Rose Jay Leno Barack Obama

Eddie Vedder Rips Mitt Romney While Performing at Barack Obama Fundraiser

Gareth Cattermole, Getty Images Pearl Jam vocalist Eddie Vedder performed a short set for a Barack Obama fundraiser last night (Sept. 20) in Tampa Bay, Fla. Along with playing for President Obama and a crowd of 85 guests, who paid $20,000 per-person to attend, Vedder had some choice words for Republican candidate Mitt Romney and his recent claims that 47 percent of Americans consider themselves as victims who are entitled to government assistance. According to Rolling Stone , Vedder addressed Romney’s words during the Obama fundraiser. “It’s very upsetting to hear a presidential candidate be so easily dismissive of such a ginormous amount of the population.” As a supporter of government-funded programs and someone who benefited from those programs before hitting it big with Pearl Jam, Vedder recalled signing up for a government security guard training program. “I’m an example of someone who never made it to university,” Vedder told the crowd. “I did have this dream to be a musician. I felt that this dream had an expiration date … It was that job which allowed me to keep affording to guitars and microphones,” the Pearl Jam frontman said. “For me, it all began with that ability to get the proper training for a decent job.” President Obama went on to thank Vedder for his words, while praising the musician’s grassroots rise to fame. “For you to share that story with us, Eddie, speaks volumes not only about you but about this country,” Obama told Vedder. “That story captures better than anything what this campaign is about and what this country is about.” Pearl Jam are scheduled to play a handful of U.S. shows to round out September, before Vedder embarks on a solo tour, which begins in Las Vegas on Halloween night. Check out those dates here . [button href=”” title=”See Pearl Jam on our 10 Most Anticipated Albums of 2013″ align=”center”] Eddie Vedder Obama Fundraiser Setlist: ‘Rise’ ‘Without You’ ‘Millworker’ ‘Rockin’ in the Free World’ (Neil Young cover)

Megadeth’s Dave Mustaine Claims President Obama Staged Recent Shooting Massacres

Surprise, surprise! Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine has said something ridiculous yet again! His latest rant, however, may be the Mustaine’s most bizarre claim to date. During Megadeth’s Aug. 7 performance at Fort Canning in Singapore, Mustaine took some shots at Barack Obama, claiming that the President was “staging” various massacres on American soil to gain support in the passing of stricter gun control laws. Mustaine stated that President Obama is “staging” the

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