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It’s the end of the year and that can mean only one thing – best of 2012 music lists.
That’s right, it’s the time of the year that every music blogger/journalist/writer across the world starts compiling their best of lists, taking a look at the releases from the past year that made the most impact on them and the music world in general.
So without further ado, we present to you the Electric Phase 12 Days of Christmas Best of 2012 list. We’re going to pick one album for each month of 2012, the album we feel was the best released that month. And we’re going to do it until Christmas.
Here’s Day One – January.
LAMB OF GOD – “RESOLUTION”
Virginia-based metal masters Lamb of God dropped their seventh full-length offering “Resolution” on Jan. 24, 2012, setting the bar for metal releases for the whole year. The album debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard Top-200 chart and No. 1 on Billboard’s Rock Chart. The album sold 52,000 copies during it’s first week of release, showing that at least 52,000 people in this world still have good taste.
Don’t let the acoustic intro from the band’s first single “Ghost Walking” fool you, this album packs as ferocious a punch as you’ve come to expect from Lamb of God. Unlike many bands that struggle to progress musically, and still maintain their heaviness, Lamb of God have managed to meld in some progressive and more melodic elements without losing their edge.
Currently the band is on tour with In Flames and Hellyeah.
Lamb of God – “Ghost Walking”
Auburn-based metal band UnHailoed captured the Tacoma Metal Choice Awards title this past Saturday, playing a blistering set of original tunes at Hell’s Kitchen in Tacoma.
Vying for the top spot with other nominees – Devils of Loudon, Faces Pale, After the Fallout and Plague Ships – Unhailoed outdistanced the second place winner at the show by 170 votes. The winner of the award was decided by Internet voting.
The band, features Auburn High School graduates, Jess Hudson, James Sumner and Dylan Bennett, as well as vocalist Jeremy Luddington and bassist Gabe Wright.
The band recently released a new single “March of the Gnomes” available here.
For more information on the band visit their Facebook page.
Previous Auburn Reporter coverage of the band is viewable here.
Finnish metal show invades El Corazon with Finntroll, Enisferum, Rotten Sound, Barren Earth, Deathmocracy and PhlegethonFebruary 11th, 2011 at 2:30 pm by Shawn Skager
Tomorrow night the cream of the Finnish metal crop will invade Seattle’s El Corazon, bringing Finntroll, Enisferum, Rotten Sound, Barren Earth, Deathmocracy and Phlegethon to pleasure and pummel the aural senses of the metal faithful.
Barren Earth will be among the opening bands on the bill bringing their potent mix of metal mayhem and melody. Although Barren Earth have only been a band for a couple of years and released their first full length offering “Curse of the Red River” this past March, the band features several former and current members of established bands such as Kreator, Amorphis, Follow The Sun and Moonsorrow.
Electric Phase got a chance to chat with Barren Earth guitarist Sami Yli-Sirniö (who is also in German thrash pioneers Kreator) this past week as the band struggled across the Midwest, battling a vicious winter storm that forced the cancellation of shows in Tulsa and Austin.
EP: You guys are from Finland, so you’re no strangers to this type of weather, right?
Sami Yli-Sirniö: Absolutely not, but our driver seems to be. And the roads are closed, so what can you do. It’s actually raining right now, but it’s below freezing so there is plenty of ice on the road. We hit a bad patch yesterday, and after eight miles the driver had to stop. So I woke up thinking I would be in Austin already, but we were only eight miles further than the last place. What the hell, though, guess we’ll just be having a couple of beers in the bus until we can get to Dallas.
EP: Is this your first tour of the United States?
Sami Yli-Sirniö: In the other bands I’ve been in for the past 10 years or so, we usually tour here after each album. But with Barren Earth, this is the first tour at all that we’re doing. We just did some festival shows in Europe and some club shows in Helsinki. So this is the first tour we ever did.
EP: How has the tour been so far?
Sami Yli-Sirniö: Orlando was great and then Atlanta was pretty good, but now we’ve run into this snow weather. Some of the roads have been closed and the shitty part is that we’ve had to cancel (shows in Tulsa and Austin were cancelled). We aren’t able to get to the shows in time so we’re just going to drive straight through to Dallas. But what can you do? Thinks like that happen. It still sucks though. But I think we’re going to make it to Seattle.
EP:Tell me about the formation of Barren Earth?
Sami Yli-Sirniö: A couple of years ago we had our first jams. I’ve known the bass player (Oppu Laine) who was in Amorphis all the way back to the 90s. Helsinki is a small city so when people have the intersest in the same music as you, you’re bound to meet up at a bar or at a gig or something. Couple of years ago I saw Oppu in a bar and he asked if I wanted to jam. So I did and by the time I left we already had some song ideas. So we decided that we should do a demo, the usual shit that everybody does when you start. And then there was an offer for a recording deal, kind of an accident, but with potential.
Yli-Sirniö added that the jam session expanded into an EP, “Our Twilight” which was released in Nov. 18, 2009 which was followed up by their debut album “Curse of the Red River” in March of 2010
EP:Barren Earth is pretty melodic, yet still heavy band. Maybe more melodic than other bands members have been a part of. Was this intentional, as a way to get your more melodic side out?
Sami Yli-Sirniö: The very first idea was to make aggressive prog-rock. But then when we got all the guys all together it was obvious it was going to be metal. When we first started recording the demo, there was no plan on what it was going to sound like. It was just five different people writing songs. It just came out metal, we didn’t have a master plan behind it.
EP:You hear about Swedish death metal and black metal from Norway. Is there a certain style inherent in Finland?
Sami Yli-Sirniö: There is Helsinki and then there is the rest of Finland. There are plenty of bands there. If you think of Scandanavia you think of black and death metal in Sweden and Norway, but in Finland there is no particular style that comes to your mind and fits the profile when you think of the country. There is a lot of variety of music that is coming from over there.
Presented by KISW 99.9 FM’s Metal Shop and headlined by Finntroll and Ensiferum, the show gets underway at 7:30 p.m. and also features Rotten Sound, Barren Earth, Deathmocracy and Phlegethon. Tickets for the all-ages show are $22 at the door. VIP tickets are also available and cost $55.
Dick and Jimmy Dale will play Hell’s Kitchen in Tacoma, tomorrow beginning at 9 p.m. YOU SHOULD BE THERE!December 8th, 2010 at 6:14 pm by Shawn Skager
By all rights Dick Dale should be in the hospital.
With the possibility of renal failure hanging over his head, the side effects of his most recent fight with cancer, most people would think the 73-year-old “King of Surf Guitar” would just call it a day.
Those people don’t know shit about Dale.
Tomorrow night Dale will be doing what he does, what he’s done for the last half-century.
Rocking the house at Hell’s Kitchen in Tacoma, playing a split-set acoustic/electric live show with his 18-year-old son Jimmy Dale.
“They want me to go into the hospital and I told them I’d go in when I come back. I’ve got twenty clubs to fill, I’ll see you when I come back.”
Best known for his song “Miserlou” which was released in 1962, Dale pioneered the use of such guitar mainstays as reverb, percussive and staccato picking and the use of non-Western scales in his playing.
According to Dale, the genesis of his style came from trying to recreate the sounds he heard while surfing. Dale drew on the influence of his uncle, a Lebanese oud player, creating a primal music that struck a chord with the surfer crowd in the 1950s and 60s, as well as praise from musicians such as Jimi Hendrix.
Dale has toured consistently since his first album “Surfers’ Choice” was released in 1962, drawing multi-generational crowds.
Dale explained that it’s his influences, from nature to tribal music, that drive the creative process that makes the appeal of his music so broad.
“The reason we get such a range, I get kids from five, six, ten years old, is because a lot of musicians just play to the themselves,” Dale said. “They don’t play the way the average person counts. They count different.”
“The indigenous people, the natives, the indians, they always counted on the one,” he said. “Like the Zulu tribes. BOOM, chickabuka, chickabucka, chickabucka, BOOM, chickabuka, chickabucka, chickabucka. Like that. I play like Gene Krupa’s drums. On the one. I’m playing to the average person, I’m not trying to show off. It’s primal.”
And it’s been Dale’s ability to feed off that primal energy that has allowed him to keep touring through all these years.
“I always get tired of hearing people say, “I hate playing this song, or I hate playing here.” You’ve heard that right? I never get tired of playing any song. Because I do it different every night. I never play it the same way. I can’t understand why some guys talk like that. They just don’t want to play to the people or enjoy the show. Me I never get tired of it ever it’s brand new every night.”
Always a road warrior, Dale has also become a warrior of a different kind.
In 1967 Dale fought rectal cancer and won.
In 2008, however, he was again diagnosed with the Big C, this time a malignant tumor in his intestinal tract that required three hours of surgery to remove.
After care included several months of chemotherapy and radiation treatment.
“What happened was the radiation, I had to go every day Monday through Friday, and I had to get chemotherapy,” he said. “It just tore the shit out of me. I didn’t have drugs or booze in body. So I just had to go along with the pain. Well what happened was that for two years the radiation ate my colon and made fissures. They couldn’t find and didn’t know what it was.”
With holes in his colon leaking poison into his body, Dale’s kidney’s took the brunt of the attack.
“So I could go into renal failure,” he said. “My left kidney is shrunk to the size of a peach and doesn’t hold the urine. They want to go up and redo something with my prostrate.”
According to Dale, this round of dates, featuring his son, are promoting Fender’s new Jimmy Dale Signature Kingman SCE and Dick Dale Signature Malibu SCE acoustic/electric guitars both designed by their namesakes
“We’ve created a whole new thing where guitar players can play without getting a charley horse, or bad back from playing those eight inch wide acoustic guitars,” Dale said. “We’re promoting these guitars, the Jimmy Dale and Dick Dale. They’re only three-inches wide and they’ve got Fishman pickups in them, and a tuner. It’s made out of one wood also, so we’re saving trees. Usually they’re made out of two woods. But we’re cutting them out of all mahogany. The acoustic is electric, you plug them into the amp. You plug it into a Fender acoustic amp and we can play any time of music. You can play anything on them.”
With just a handful of dates left on the tour, Dale said the reaction has been gratifying.
“We’ve been doing great, it’s been incredible,” he said. “Jimmy’s been on stage with me, matching me note for note going nuts. It’s a whole different thing. I’ve got one part where I’m playing and the other where Jimmy is playing with me. It’s like being in a living room. They’ve been giving us standing ovations all through the show.”
Dick Dale and Jimmy Dale will play Hell’s Kitchen at 9 p.m. tomorrow, supported by The Fucking Eagles and Rat City Brass. The Gritty City Sirens Burlesque troupe will also be on hand and there will be a raffle to win a Fender Malibu guitar.
Tickets are $20 for the 21+ show and available at Rocket Records, at the Hell’s Kitchen door or online at ticketweb.com.
Ratt vocalist Stephen Pearcy will perform with That 80s Show, this Friday at the Muckleshoot Casino’s Club Galaxy.December 1st, 2010 at 4:29 pm by Shawn Skager
Stephen Pearcy, lead singer for 80s metal band Ratt will perform with 80s tribute band That 80s Show at 9:30 p.m. this Friday at Club Galaxy in the Muckleshoot Casino.
Pearcy will perform several of Ratt’s hits, including “Wanted Man,” “Round and Round”, “Slip of the Lip”, and more.
That 80s Show performs regularly at Club Galaxy on Friday nights, performing hits from the decade in character as Madonna, Slash, Billy Idol and Flock of Seagulls.
Admission to Club Galaxy is free.
For more information visit That 80s Show’s Web site here or the Muckleshoot Casino’s Web site here.
“Bring the Pain for Jaclynn Redmon” benefit Thursday at Hell’s Kitchen aimed at helping model deal with medical expensesNovember 29th, 2010 at 5:15 pm by Shawn Skager
This Thursday six local bands will gather at Tacoma’s Hell’s Kitchen for the “Bring the Pain” benefit, featuring a little metal and lot of cause.
Beginning at 7 p.m., No Living Witness, Deathbed Confessions, Bloodhunger, In the Mouth of Hell, Devils of Loudun and Martyr Machine will perform a 21-over show to assist Burning Angel model Jaclynn Redmon pay for medical expenses in her battle against endometriosis. The show is free with a suggested $10 donation with all proceeds going to Redmon.
Redmon – who models for Burning Angel as Maven Mayhem – is currently uninsured and facing massive medical bills as she faces a hysterectomy to curb the symptoms of her condition.
Redmon said before her diagnosis with stage IV endometriosis last year had no idea what the condition even was. All she knew was she was in pain. A lot of pain.
Endometriosis affects the female reproductive organs, with a tissue similar to that of the uterus lining growing outside the uterus. The lesions, which can grow into cysts, often turn up in the ovaries and fallopian tubes, but occasionally infest other organs as well.
The main symptom of endometriosis – which can ultimately lead to infertility – is pelvic pain, often so severe that it can debilitate those with the condition.
That’s how it was for Redmon.
“I was officially diagnosed last year but I’ve been dealing with the pain now for four years,” she said. “They just kept telling me it was something else and giving me antibiotics and I just started noticing it was getting really bad. During that time it was excruciating, can’t-even-stand-up pain. It was mainly these random really sharp pains digging into my stomach and I knew something wasn’t right. It got really bad, especially at work. I almost lost my job because I would just randomly fall to the ground in pain sometimes.”
At the time Redmon, who is originally from Fort Collins, Colo., was living in Federal Way and working at Bigfoot Java in Auburn. Unable to continue her job as a barista, Redmon moved back to Fort Collins to be near friends and family.
She said it wasn’t until she moved back to Colorado and received an ultrasound that she found she had a cyst on her right ovary.
“When they went in they found the endometriosis,” she said. “I guess it doesn’t show up on any tests, they have to actually go in and find it. So they finally figured out what it was.”
Although thankful that she now knew the cause of her pain, Redmon said the shock of having to fight the condition without medical insurance was a “slap in the face.”
“I’ve been repeatedly denied for health the last couple of years, it’s been really difficult,” Redmon said. “Once they find out you have a recurring medical history they don’t want to help you out. But also because I don’t have a child, I’m not pregnant and I’m not married. It’s really hard to get health if you are single and don’t have a kid. You’re not really a priority to them I guess.”
She added that even getting financial help from hospitals has been difficult.
“It sucks, it makes me bitter,” she said. “There is people that need serious medical help and they can’t get it just because they’re not rich or have insurance through their jobs. The way our medical system works is messed up.”
Now Redmon, who recently underwent a colonoscopy to determine the extent of the damage is trying to raise the several thousand dollars needed to get a hysterectomy.
“I had to have a colonoscopy because it’s totally annihilated my intestines and my colon and they’re really concerned,” she said. “That let me know how bad the damage has gotten over the last year. That way, when they go in for the hysterectomy, they’ll know what they’re dealing with. That alone was $700 up front.”
Redmon said the damage wasn’t as bad as feared, but she still will require surgery to remove her uterus and halt the spread of the condition.
Normally self sufficient, Redmon said it’s been hard to ask for help.
“I really had to swallow my pride, big time. I’ve never relied on anyone and I’ve always been taught to fend for yourself, so asking for help isn’t something that comes naturally for me,” she said. “But a Burning Angel member, Tristan, was a tremendous help to me, talked me into it. Basically I didn’t have an option.”
Also instrumental was her friendship with Auburn’s Chris Johnson, resident piercer at Action Tattoo and Piercing.
While Redmon lived in Washington, the pair bonded over tattoo’s, piercing and music.
“I used to hang out at the store a lot and talk with Chris,” Redmon said.
Johnson, who is a staple in the local metal and hardcore music scene’s said he decided to pull together his connections and try and help.
“She’s a close friend she needed some help and I had the musical connections to help her out,” Johnson said. “I just wanted to do something good for friend. When you get a friend in need you do what you can to help them out.”
Hence the idea for the “Bring the Pain” show was born.
For Redmon – who won’t be able to attend the show because of her financial situation – just the idea that people cared enough to organize and help her deal with her expenses helps her get through the day.
“Honestly, I haven’t had a very fortunate, good luck life,” Redmon said. “I’ve had worse things than this happen to me, so I just look back and know I can make it through this too. It’s the only thing that’s really kept me going, that and the few close friends that have helped.”
To make a donation to help Jaclynn Redmon go here.
Or if you’re 21-and-older, pony up some cash and come out to Hell’s Kitchen at to bang your head for a cause at 7 p.m. Thursday. The club is located at 928 Pacific Ave. in Tacoma.
More information is available at www.hellskitchenonline.com.
For information on the band’s playing visit the following sites:
No Living Witness
Devils of Loudon
From the lost files of Electric Phase we bring you the oft mentioned, never before seen interview with Chris Adler, drummer of Lamb of God.
This interview was done just a week after Lamb of God closed their summer festival swing with Mayhem Festival 2010 in August.
We caught up with Adler at his home in Virginia, where he was taking some much needed time off from almost two years of constant touring to prepare to head back on the road for Lamb of God’s now concluded nine-show headlining tour of South America. We talked about the band’s new super-cool box set extravaganza “Hourglass” and the bands opening spot on Metallica’s nine-date Australian and New Zealand tour which kicked off Oct. 13 in Auckland and concluded Nov. 11 in Sydney.
Adler, a founding member of the Richmond, Va. based metal band also shared his thoughts on being a inspiration to a new generation of metal drummers and talked about the future of the band and plans to begin working on it’s seventh album.
Electric Phase: I gotta tell you this is the first time I’ve interviewed a musician before noon.
CA: (laughs) Well I’ve got a two-year-old baby daughter, you could have got me at 7 a.m. if you wanted to.
EP: Are you guys on break now?
CA: Yeah, we just got back from Mayhem. A week ago today (Aug. 15) was our last show. So I’m just at home playing Mr. Mom.
EP: So when do you guys go back on the road again?
CA: We’re here for a month and then we’re all of South America, headlining that. Then in November and December we’re doing New Zealand and Australia with Metallica.
EP: Awesome, you’ve got to be looking forward to that.
CA: Definitely, we spent the last entire year on the road with those guys, and I’m obviously very honored and flattered that they’d even ask us. Now we’ve become somewhat friendly with the guys and it’s really a good time.
EP: So how is it adjusting to getting a prolonged period of time off the road. Is that a hard adjustment for you?
CA: The month that we have off now is the longest time we’ve had in two years, since the beginning of the touring for the “Wrath” album. (released Feb. 23, 2009) So it’s been go, go, go. The adjustment has been a little rough coming home, because we all have families and it’s the opposite of being on the road where you hang and party every night and go to bed at 4 or 5 in the morning. Now I’m waking up at 4 or 5 every morning with my daughter. So, it’s kind of the opposite, but you get used to it pretty quick. You just have to curb some of those behaviors that make that 5 or 6 in the morning not feel so good.
EP: How was the Mayhem tour, typically you do the European festivals during the summer, why did you decide to do Mayhem this year?
CA: We had done OzzFest a couple of times and had a real good time with it. Mayhem came and offered us the spot on the main stage. Initially we were kind of hesitant because the bands that were surrounding us were not our style. I don’t have a problem with any of them but I’m not the biggest Korn fan. I’m not the biggest Five Finger Death Punch fan. I’m not the biggest Rob Zombie fan. And I wasn’t sure if our fans were going to appreciate us going on something like that. But they’ve got a really cool business model going with that. Tickets were only $25 and I figured for that, you’re going to see sixteen bands, something like that. And even if none of our fans showed up, you’re going to, probably for the first time, get in front of Korn or Rob Zombie’s audience. Those kids may have never seen a band as heavy as we are and we might be able to walk away stealing their audience, stealing the show for some of those kids who are just learning what heavy metal is all about. So that’s why we did it.
EP: So did you guys feel like your were successful at that? What was the reactions that you got after your shows?
CA: It was great. We kind of went on at twilight, so we didn’t have the big flames and pyro and dragons, or the big huge show. We just went out and did our songs. We just went out there, turned it up and did what we do. And I think that, in comparison with some of the other bands’ shows which were just full of that huge production stuff, I think we were a little bit more of an honest band. And I think that actually worked in our favor. It went really well for us.
EP: I saw you guys here in Auburn (Washington) and you were awesome. I think you were my favorite on the main stage. I’ll tell you what though, I’ve never seen more fire at a concert before in my life. And I was going to concerts in the 1980s.
CA: I know everything was on fire the entire time.
EP: It was unbelievable.
CA: And as a kid, I loved that. I’d be really impressed. But for me it comes down to the tunes. And that’s what we got.
EP: So what bands were you excited to be able to watch on the second stages? There were a lot of great acts out there?
CA: Definitely, and we’re friends with all of those guys we’ve been touring in the same circles for years and years. I’ve always been a fan of the band Chimaira. We’ve brought them on tour several times. More recently we’ve been bringing the band 3 Inches of Blood on tour with us. And catching up with the guys in Hatebreed is always good. There was one band over there called Winds of Plague that we’ve crossed bands with several times. I’ve become good friends with their drummer Art. It’s basically just like a big party, it’s great seeing all those bands.
EP: Although 3 Inches of Blood are actually from Vancouver, they play the clubs down here (Washington) all the time. It’s nice to see them starting to get a little bit of recognition.
CA: And they’re great dudes. Incredibly awesome senses of humor and really talented band as well. We always have fun with those guys.
EP: So tell me a little bit about South America, have you guys toured there before?
CA: No, this is our first time going. In a shocking turn of events all of the shows sold out more than two months in advance and we’re not playing small places. The average show size is 12,000 people. We’re excited to get down there and obviously, we should have gone sooner.
EP: Going back to Mayhem a little bit, how does an American festival crowd compare to maybe some of the shows you guys have done in Europe.
CA: Europe and America are actually pretty similar. But there are a lot of places around the world that you start to notice differences. Like, we just came back from doing a whole mess of shows in Asia where we played the Philippines and Singapore and actually did China, places where people don’t see a whole lot of rock and roll shows. And that’s where you get the people just going insane, because they don’t have it. Like New York City, there is a different show every night, so you kind of get spoiled and people show up lazy or whatever. But in these places kids live for it. In the Philippines we had 30,000 people show up because we were one of two concerts this year. And people were just going nuts, they couldn’t get enough of it. The place turns into a riot when you’re done with your 90 minute set. It’s a little more chaotic in places like that. I’m not complaining about places in Europe and the U.S., that’s obviously where we’ve done the best in the world, but kids there have seen a lot of shows so it’s not quite the same as going to some of the far off places. Our reaction is always good. Mayhem is a little weird, like OzzFest was as well, because it’s all seats. Bands like us we’ve kind of grown up in the more mosh pits and open area kinds of venues. I know our fans, being stuck in a seat is not our favorite thing. But I still think we pulled it off.
EP: You guys definitely did here. I was excited to see the Wall of Death. That was my big thing. I’d never seen it and everybody was all, ‘you’ve got to see the Wall of Death!’ That was awesome.
CA: They were doing some crazy stuff up on the lawn.
EP: You and Slayer are the only bands that I’ve actually seen with mosh pits on the lawn out here. So you guys are in good company.
CA: No doubt. We’ve spent about three years on the road with those guys, so maybe it’s rubbed off a little bit.
EP: So do you ever wake up and find yourself just kind of pinching yourself? I mean you’ve played India and the Philippines. That’s got to be kind of surreal.
CA: It is. Definitely is. I mean we never thought we’d play the bar down the street in Richmond, Virginia, never mind getting up to New York to play CBGB. We thought we were superheroes when we did that. Now that we’re really traveling the world and it’s really quite humbling to think our music has really gotten that far and that people care about what we do and want to see us. When we show up people are smiling. It’s really an amazing feeling. I try not to get too wrapped up in the actual success of the band or get too big of a head about it, or anything like that. But it’s very, very flattering to be able to travel the world and see the reaction when we show up in a place you can’t even pronounce.
EP: A lot of younger drummers put you up there with the greatest drummers in metal today, how comfortable are you with your spot in the pantheon of metal drummers?
CA: I’m comfortable with it. Not to say I don’t appreciate it, but it recently hit me over the past year. I’ve really started to notice it. I’ve noticed it before, but I didn’t really believe it. Maybe I didn’t want to accept that all these kids were being influenced by me. But I think over the past year it’s made itself just so unbelievably apparent, where it’s not just kids at the signings saying, ‘hey man you’re a good drummer.’ Now I’m getting teachers that are coming up to me asking me how to do something because all their students are asking them how to do it. It’s starting to sink in that this is real, that I’m really influencing people and my playing is changing metal a little bit. But I try not to think about it too much because I don’t want to jinx myself or put any undue pressure on myself. I just try to keep my work ethic together, keep practicing and step it up on the next record. That’s really all I can do.
EP: So who were the drummers that influenced you? Who made you want to play drums?
CA: The band that really set it off for me was Wrathchild America. At the time the drummer was Shannon Larkin. He’s gone on to do many different things. But that was the sound that I really wanted to get into and emulate on the drums. He was really able to take the drum kit and make it much more a part of the music. He wasn’t just the backbeat for the guitar player. He made the band, especially for the time, very progressive and pushed the boundaries of what drummers were doing at the time. So that was my big influence at the time.
EP: So do you remember what your first big concert was?
CA: First big concert? Growing up in the suburbs in Virginia, I’d gone to a lot of local metal shows with cover bands and stuff like that or small regional bands that would come through. But my first enormous show was at the Capitol Center in D.C. with Aerosmith. I’m trying to remember who opened, I think it might have been The Cult. And this was probably 1984, maybe on the “Done With Mirrors” tour. That was a good time. A lot of interesting smells that I came across at the time.
EP: We call it incense when we bring the kids to shows. So tell me a little bit about the box set (“Hourglass“)? Why did you guys decide to do such an elaborate release?
CA: I guess at this point the label was interested in doing some sort of a greatest hit thing. As a band we generally hate those things for two reasons. One, as a fan it sucks. When your favorite band that does that, it may not suck, but it’s like ‘why am I going to buy that, I already have all those songs.’ For the kind of fan who collects everything it just feels like a cash grab from the band or the label. So we didn’t want to do it for that reason. Second, we’re a metal band. We don’t have any fucking greatest hits. It’s just stupid to even think about. But we realized that we were right in the middle of the touring cycle. We’re kind of coming to the end of the tour and we’re going to bunker away for a year to write and record the next one. So there is going to be a time where there is really no Lamb of God out there. So we thought, what if we come up with something that was of value to both new fans we made off the Mayhem Fest, and to the older fans who could get something that was a little more unique than a greatest hits album. So we come up with these five different packages, the simplest one being just a couple of CDs that highlights some of the tunes that have done well for us in the live setting throughout our career. We thought that new fans that would be the one that the new fans would buy. So here is this new thing that has a little bit of everything, you can walk away with that and feel like you got something cool. Then you’ve got the super deluxe pack that comes with a guitar, a flag, the art book from artist Ken Adams – that has everything from our laminates, T-shirts, album covers, to the early sketches of everything – signed pictures, a USB in a cigarette pack with every single album. We really tried to find something that bands are doing and that was a unique piece to anyone who was a super collector, so that they could feel like they really had something special. On that one, it’s really made to order. When you order one it comes engraved in a coffin case that contains everything. We were just trying to come up with something that would bridge that gap between releases.
EP: After Australia and New Zealand, are you heading into the studio?
CA: That’s the plan. Actually we head into our little rehearsal den of sin and see what we can come up with. Mark (Morton) our guitar player has probably seven or eight tunes. And I know Willie (Adler) has three or four more. By the time we bang our heads around those, it will probably turn into five or six that are going to make the record and we’ll stick it out in there, sweat out a couple more and see if we can get an albums worth of stuff together. It’s going to be tough though, we’re not getting any younger and “Wrath” we really felt like was a special moment for the band. We kind of all walked away from the studio on the “Wrath” album feeling happy for the first time. We felt like we all nailed it and that we wouldn’t have done anything different. So we’ve kind of got this, it’s not really a mantra, but we all definitely agree that we don’t want to put out anything that we feel isn’t as good or better in some way than what we’ve previously done. So I think we’re going to step it up on this one I think. I don’t know, we’ll see what happens.
EP: Is Lamb of God a band you envision playing in for the rest of your life? How much longer do you think the band will go on?
CA: That’s funny, my wife asked me the same question when we got married in 2001. “New American Gospel” had just come out and we’d done a couple of tours, but it always felt like we were walking on egg shells, like ‘this can’t last.’ So she asked me the same question. I told, her ‘I love doing it, I hope it lasts for a while, but honestly maybe six months, who knows.’ And now it’s 10 years later and she’s still asking me the same question. I think there is going to be a point where we realize that we’re not able to keep up the pace and the momentum of what we’ve done in the past. And we don’t really want to tarnish the legacy of the band by putting out some watered down, ballad-filled crap album. So we’re going to be pretty honest with ourselves when it comes to that time. For the moment, I feel like “Wrath” is a really aggressive record at a time where people were expecting us to maybe lay back, let the money come in and do some commercial crap. We went the other way and I’d like to keep going that way. I feel like I’m even more capable after playing those songs and preparing for that album. I feel like I’m a better player and able to do more than I was 10 years ago. I’d love to keep it going. I think that if we see one of the guys slack off or not care we’re going to have to take inventory and see if we want to replace him or push on or something like that. But right now I think we’re still very much a team and I think we’re all dedicated to doing at least one more record together.
EP: Do you have any other side project stuff or anything else that you do besides Lamb of God?
CA: You were talking to me earlier about kids talking about me as a drummer. Right now I’m starting to write out every one of our songs in drum tab. So I’ll be able to get those drum teachers and stuff like that. So that’s taking up a lot of my extra time. Plus, as you know having a little kid, that is definitely a full-time job in itself. But if I can get the tab book done and keep practicing as much as I need to so I can keep up with these kids today, than I’m in pretty good shape. That’s pretty much all I have time for.
EP: So how is it touring with Metallica? Do you get to hang out?
CA: Oh yeah, they insist on it. They’re really great guys. They come into our dressing room every night, bring drinks or take us out to the bar or dinner. We have no choice. They’re really very friendly, really hospitable. Everyone of them. There is not a guy who is standoffish or weird or anything like that. They all hang out. Kirk (Hammett, lead guitarist of Metallica) has invited us – we’re doing this thing were we’re touring for two weeks, off for two weeks, touring for two weeks – he’s invited us to stay with him and go surfing (in Australia). We’ve really got to know them and it’s really been fun. I know I’ve seen their movies too and some of their albums aren’t necessarily my favorite, and it seems like this really dysfunctional thing. But they’ve fixed whatever it was. They’re really very positive guys who have their shit together and know what they want to do from here forward. It’s really inspiring to be around them, they’ve been doing it for so long. We were just talking about how long can you keep going. With an example like them, I guess we can keep doing it for a long time. They help keep us fresh when we’re around them.
The Stone Temple Pilots proved that they are still alive and well and more than capable of putting on a kicka** live show this past Wednesday at the ShoWare Center in Kent.
The California-based band, which formed in 1986, broke up in 2003 and reformed in 2008, ripped through a 18-song set featuring several of the band’s hit singles, as well as selections of their latest self-titled studio album.
Initially the band was derided by critics when they released their first album “Core” in 1992 for sounding too much like Pearl Jam and other Seattle-based “Grunge” bands. Since then the band has been successful in distancing themselves from the criticism by releasing more nuanced albums in the 1990s and early 2000s which transcended the “Grunge” genre, a tradition that continues on the band’s latest offering.
In 2003 the band broke up when singer Scott Weiland left to join Velvet Revolver – featuring Guns N Roses alumni Slash, Duff McKagan and Matt Sorum, as well as Wasted Youth guitarist Dave Kushner – which released two albums. During the band’s hiatus guitarist Dean DeLeo and bassist Robert DeLeo released an album with Filter singer Richard Patrick and drummer Ray Luzier under the moniker Army of Anyone. Drummer Eric Kretz filled his time running his studio and playing for Spiralarm
At the ShoWare the band roared through a crowd-pleasing version of Led Zeppelin’s “Dancing Days” as well as several STP classics “Interstate Love Song” off of 1994′s “Purple” and “Plush” from 1992′s “Core.
The band also heavily mined the material off “Stone Temple Pilots” – their first studio album since 2001 – playing four songs, “Between The Lines”, “Hickory Dichotomy”, “Huckleberry Crumble” and “Cinnamon” from the new disc which was released in May of 2010.
The band closed with an encore of “Dead and Bloated” from “Core” and “Trippin’ on a Hole in a Paper Heart” from 1996′s “Tiny Music… Songs from the Vatican Gift Shop.”
The opening band for the show was TAB the Band from Duxbury, Mass., which featured Tony and Adrian Perry, sons of Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry, as well as Lou Jannetty and Ben Tileston.
Stone Temple Pilots Set List
Heaven & Hot Rods
Between the Lines
Dancing Days (Led Zeppelin cover)
Interstate Love Song
Sex Type Thing
Dead and Bloated
Trippin’ on a Hole in Paper Heart
Katatonia guitarist Anders Nyström talks new album, touring, fans, influences and stuff. That’s right, I said stuff!October 15th, 2010 at 3:42 pm by Shawn Skager
Electric Phase recently interviewed Swedish metal band Katatonia founder and guitarist Anders Nyström.
Katatonia recently completed a 26-date North American Tour in support of their newest album “Night Is The New Day” released November of 2009 on Peaceville Records and is currently in the midst of a Scandinavian tour. After that the band will hit the road for the No Sleep Til festival tour in Australia and New Zealand, featuring Megadeth, NOFX, GWAR and 3 Inches of Blood, among others.
Nyström reflected on the new album – an atmospheric, melody-laden slab of Swedish metal that his the next step in the maturation of the former doom-metal band – the tour and the differences between audiences in Europe and the United States, as well as talked about his influences.
Electric Phase: Are you guys going home now after this tour? I know you’re going to Australia later in November.
Anders Nyström: It’s no rest for the wicked here, we’re actually doing a one-week Scandinavian tour coming up. It is non-stop action here.
EP: So what are your impressions of the United States so far? Is this your first big tour over here?
AN: It’s the third tour we’ve been doing. The last tour was three years ago so it’s been awhile. But the impression is the same, it’s a crazy ride. No day is the same. It’s just interesting. Coming to a new city or coming to a new state, it’s like coming to a new country, basically every time. People are different, attitudes are different. The laws are different. It’s just an interesting ride and an adventure every day. But we’ve been having a blast, really. It’s been a real smooth and successful tour, I’ll probably look back on it as being one of my favorites.
EP: So what is the difference between crowds in Europe as opposed to the United States?
AN: I think the crowds in Europe are a little more like the music police. They’re more into complaining about what you do wrong. Here, I’ve never experienced anything like that. People here seem to be really happy that you make the effort to come across the Atlantic and head over here and play for your fans. It’s very rewarding to see that we’re appreciated that much. When we hang out with people at the shows, they’re really into it, and they’re easy to talk to. People here are definitely not as reserved as people in Europe. That may have something to do with, in Europe everybody plays in their own band. It’s different as well, I really didn’t consider it country by country. It’s really city by city. Some of the cities here have a European feel as well and some of the European cities, the shows are really, really wild. So I’d have to say, when we went up to Canada, they were crazy about metal there. Totally crazy.
EP: They’ve got a great tradition of metal, plus they have really good beer so that helps.
AN: I can see that when were down in Arizona and coming from Texas. All those people were crazy about metal as well. So it’s different every where you go.
EP: You released the album “Night is the New Day” a while ago (Nov. 10, 2009 on Peaceville Records) how is that sitting with you now that you’ve kind of let it breath on the road?
AN: To me it feels like the album was released yesterday. It’s still so fresh, I’m still so proud of it. It sounds great. Obviously, we’re promoting the album right now so the most songs are off the new album. We’re still very caught up in the whole thing still. I think I still need another year to reflect on it, because right now I’m still caught up in the moment and enjoying it. I’m very proud of it.
“Forsaker” track one from “Night Is The New Day”
EP: So what’s the reaction to the people at the shows been? Do they like it, has it been all positive?
AN: It’s been, actually all positive, which hasn’t happened before. On past album we’ve always had a double sided thing to it. Some people just didn’t get into them. Which I appreciate them telling me, because I want an honest opinion, rather than asslicking things. So that’s cool, but on the new album, everybody has been working on it. It just proves that all the hardwork – it was three years in the making – it just paid off. I couldn’t be more happy with it.
EP: It’s a more melodic album, you guys have been progressing from the more black/death metal days. Do you have any fans who complain about the more melodic approach, or does everyone seem to be into that?
AN: That was years and years ago when that happened. We had a really rough time when we left the death and black and doom metal thing and went over to this contempary thing we’re doing now. We had a hard time with that transition. But it feels like all those people that were complaining back then, they’ve also moved past it. We’ve been able to finally drag them over to our side. Every night I see black metal people at our concerts that are really into our sound now. That just proves we’re doing something right here, we’re sticking by our identity and not following anything else, it’s like take it or leave it. And people seem to be taking it.
EP: What kind of brought about the more melodic approach, what was the genesis, what spurred that?
AN: I think it was just something, that’s where our target is at. We’re comfortable making dark, atmospheric and melodic music. That’s what Katatonia is about. That’s what we want to do. People always ask me what my influences are and I’m like it’s not really different from when we were black metal and doom metal. It’s not really different. This is what we’re striving for. We’re very open to progression and we’re open minded people. This is where we’re going.
EP: What bands made you want to become a musician?
AN: Well, that would be the whole heavy metal movement in the 80s. That’s directly responsible for me even picking up the guitar. Judas Priest. Accept. Basically those two bands were my favorite back then, they made me want to pick up the guitar. From that it went on, thrash metal got me into the death metal thing. Paradise Lost was actually the band that was responsible for Katatonia being born. So I owe it to those bands, I guess.
EP: So how about non-metal influences. Which kinds of non-metal stuff do you listen to?
AN: There are a lot of singer-songwriter stuff that were into. Jeff Buckley is a favorite of ours. All of the ballads from him. He’s not around any more, but he was tremondous talent. I’ve never heard any one sing like him. He’s been a big influence on me. There are just so many good tunes. Basically, we’re not the type of people that sit and listen to radio all day. But if I hear a good tune, I will definitely not be shy to say it’s a good tune. Everything is influencing you, regardless of what genre you’re listening to. There is a lot of good music out there in every field, whether pop, rock, classical, whatever. We’re just trying to find something good and take some elements of that and incorporate that right back into Katatonia.
EP: What’s the last band or song you heard that just kind of blew your mind, that was awe inspiring for you?
AN: Let’s see, Porcupine Tree is a good band to mention here. They’re awesome, just an awesome band. I love them. Wow there is a lot. On the heavier side, I was super blown away by watching Behemoth live. You know Behemoth from Poland? They were one of the most craziest live acts I’ve ever seen. Such precision, such a fierce show. Aggessive. Brutal. I was blown away after watching them, I have to tell you.
EP: So soon you’ll be going to Australia and New Zealand for the No Sleep ’Til tour (a six-date festival featuring Megadeth, NOFX, Dropkick Murphys, Descendents, GWAR, Atreyu, Alkaline Trio, Suicide Silence and 3 Inches of Blood, among others).
AN: It’s a very varied bill. There is a lot of different music on that bill, so we’ll have to see how that goes. I don’t know if we really share an audience with any of those bands, so we’ll have to see how it goes.
EP: Anybody you’re excited to check out on that tour?
AN: I’m a fan of Megadeth, I have been since I was a teenager. Obviously they’re like a classic act. Other than that I’m not really into any of the other names on the bill. It’s just not my cup of tea. I’m opened minded though, so if I hear something good I’ll check it out. But I think it will be good fun.
EP: Have you guys been to Australia yet?
AN: Never this will be our first time. So we’re really excited to just go there.
Katatonia’s new album “Night Is The New Day” as well as their back catalog are available through Peaceville Records’ Web site.
Sweet heartbreak and soulful country on tap with “Patsy Cline … Anytime!” at the Auburn Avenue Theater this weekend.September 17th, 2010 at 6:34 pm by Shawn Skager
Beginning tonight, and continuing through the weekend, the Auburn Avenue Theater will resound with the soulful country and sweet heartbreak of legendary singer Patsy Cline, as channeled by performer Cayman Ilika (pictured above).
Presented by Purple Phoenix Productions, “Patsy Cline … Anytime!” will feature Ilika backed by a five-piece band, performing such Cline classics as “Crazy”, “I Fall To Pieces”, “Walking After Midnight”, “Back In Baby’s Arms”, “Heartaches”, “Sweet Dreams” and “She’s Got You”.
Although Cline died in 1963 when her small plane crashed in the Tennessee woods, the legacy of her music has lived on.
“I think she’s so revered because she sings for the common people’s soul,” David Duvall, bandleader and producer of the show said. “I think it either makes you feel good or hurts so good that you can wallow through your own pain through it.”
The show, a two-hour set with 15-minute intermission, will be conducted at 8 p.m. tonight and tomorrow and 2:30 p.m. Sunday.
General admission is $20, students/seniors are $15 and groups of eight or more are $10 each. Tickets are available through www.brownpapertickets.com or at the door or by calling 206-799-6914.