Kirk H.[Metallica], Slash [G'N'R], Lars U. [Metallica], Geoff T. [Queensryche] & Gonzo S. [Armored Saint].
Photo pretty much sums it up.
It’s not often that band folk such as this get together.
- Kirk is happy!
- Slash – where’s the top hat dude?
- Lars is pretty snug with Tate…
- Tate is prepped out – un tuck that shirt bro
- Gonzo seems glassy-eyed!
*Photo (unconfirmed) R. Stone
June 9, 2012 | Categories: Demolish Issue #1 | Tags: 80's metal, Backstage rock concert, entertainment, Frankie Banali, Frozen in Time Series, Geoff Tate, Kirk Hammett, Lars Ulrich, Metal Moment #5, Metal photo op, Music, Slash | Leave A Comment »
There’s a 100 percent chance of an earthquake today. Though millions of persons may never experience an earthquake, they are very common occurrences on this planet. So today — somewhere — an earthquake will occur.
It may be so light that only sensitive instruments will perceive its motion; it may shake houses, rattle windows, and displace small objects; or it may be sufficiently strong to cause property damage, death, and injury.
It is estimated that about 700 shocks each year have this capability when centered in a populated area. But fortunately, most of these potentially destructive earthquakes center in unpopulated areas far from civilization.
Since a major portion of the world’s earthquakes each year center around the rim of the Pacific Ocean (Ring of Fire), referred to by seismologists as the circum-Pacific belt, this is the most probable place for today’s earthquake. But it could hit any location, because no region is entirely free of earthquakes.
Stating that an earthquake is going to occur today is not really “predicting earthquakes”. To date, they cannot be predicted. But anyone, on any day, could make this statement and it would be true. This is because several million earthquakes occur annually; thereby, thousands occur each day, although most are too small to be located. The problem, however, is in pinpointing the area where a strong shock will center and when it will occur.
While we are on the topic of “Earthshaking”, let’s take a step back in time to 1985 with a dandy slice of “earthshaking” rock from WARLOCK. Live @ Camden Palace.
Let’s see if their “sensitive instruments have the power to shake some houses, rattle windows and or displace some small objects!
*Text from the United States Geological Survey’s (USGS) Earthquake Hazards Program website.
May 17, 2011 | Categories: Demolish A.D. | Tags: 80's metal, Doro, earthquake, earthquake 2011, earthquakes, Earthshaker Rock, Geman Metal, Live at Camden Palace, Live at Camden Palace 1985, Warlock, Warlock Live at Camden Palace | Leave A Comment »
Let’s take a stroll down memory lane.
To a time before Netflix, streaming media, You Tube, Blu-Ray and or even plain o’ DVD’s. An age + audience that did not have any such luxuries at their fingertips. No Google and or Wiki for instantaneous information on [literally] any band in the world! No i-Phones/smart phones, iPod’s or i-Pads either.
This would be the 80′s I am talking about ladies and gentleman, you know — back when the powers that be tried to lump everyone into some lame-ass tag called “Generation X“. I suppose some of you old dogs like me will be able to dust off the “b” cells and get some of those neurotransmitters working again to recall some of this…maybe not.
If so, I am sure you will treasure your memories of being able to see Hard Rock and Metal vid’s on MTV’s “Headbanger’s Ball”. I know I do. Man, I couldn’t wait for Saturday night to roll around to watch that show! I would even set the VCR’s timer to record each weekly broadcast.
So after the success of the “Ball”, which infiltrated millions of viewers homes’ [via local cable TV networks], bands and labels started releasing “home videos” as they used to call them. With the rise of VCR’s (and the fall of pricing for said product) the time was ripe for this marketing phase and everybody and their brother was putting out video tapes.
Most of these consisted of live concerts, extra backstage footage of misc. shenanigans and of course, your latest MTV video clip(s). Regardless of the content, it was great to be able to watch this stuff at your leisure and in your own living room. Pretty hi-tech huh?
Why am I blabbing-off about this? Well, I’ve dug in the VAULTS again and recently uncovered 4 of my favorite 80′s METAL VHS tapes. First up: ANTHRAX with their excellent “Oidivnikufesin” concert footage from 1987. It was recorded at the [in]famous Hammersmith Odeon. The subtitle for this tape is “N.F.V”, in Anthrax-speak, that stands for NICE FU**** VIDEO! Love it…
Is that the Quaker Oats guys on Acid? Or an Amish ANTHRAX thrasher?
Being a drummer, it was a thrill to see Charlie Benante going off on the kit like the madman that he was/still is.
This guy was doing “blast beats” when most current Metal drummers were still in their diapers. And let it be known that he used these beats as a fill or variation, NOT blasting through the entire song ad nauseum. Ugh, don’t get me started on that topic!
Some highlights of the concert include the grinding riffage of “Madhouse”, “Armed & Dangerous” and the frantic set closer —”Gungo Ho”.
Hats off to Jon and Marsha Zazula from Crazed Management + Megaforce fame for their part (whatever that was) in putting this concert on VHS. Looks like they did manage to release this on DVD. The DVD has the full show from these Thrash Metal legends during their UK tour of 1987.
Useless press blurb: “Anthrax are notable for combining metal with rap and hardcore music early on and are classified as one of the ‘big four’ of thrash metal alongside Metallica, Megadeth and Slayer. In the UK they became well-known partly for this legendary concert”.
*Bar none, this is the classic ANTHRAX line up IMO! (Sorry Neil Turbin and John Bush fans).
On the flip-side of the pic’s above, you will notice the kick-ass live concert from Yngwie Malmsteen from 1985. Being long out of print, this VHS relic is pretty rare these days and it seems like only yesterday that I was jamming on this tasty slice of guitar mastery!
Filmed live in Tokyo, Japan, this stellar RISING FORCE lineup consisted of: Yngwie Malmsteen (Guitar), Jeff Scot Soto (Vocals), Marcel Jacob (Bass), Anders Johansson (Drums) and Jens Johansson (Keys).
Yngwie’s unique brand of neo-classical metal and instrumental rock is well-known throughout the world and this VHS tape was a rare glimpse of their up n’ coming live show from that era. The rest is “guitar shredder history” as they say!
Useless press nugget: “An article in Guitar World magazine ranked the début Rising Force album as first in the all-time top ten list of shred albums.”
Setlist: 1. I’LL SEE THE LIGHT TONIGHT 2. AS ABOVE. SO BELOW 3. DON’T LET IT END 4. FAR BEYOND THE SUN 5. ON THE RUN AGAIN 6. ANGUISH AND FEAR 7. I AM A VIKING 8. KREE NAKOORIE 9. DISCIPLES OF HELL 10. HIROSHIMA MON AMOUR 11. BLACK STAR 12. JET TO JET
METAL BLADE VIDEO Meltdown
The first Metal Blade Records home video and the classic DIO concert @ The Spectrum
Up next, is an interesting Video Meltdown VHS compilation from the fine folks at Metal Blade Records. That’s right peeps, even the smaller indie record labels were getting in on the action of the home video boom —thanks to MTV that is.
I must confess that although I was psyched to own the “official” videos for Fates Warning, Candlemass, Trouble and D.R.I., the more commercial direction that the company was headed towards was rather off-putting (and so blatantly obvious) with the Hollywood sound stage style videos for [Betsy] Bitch, Masi, Anvil and Lizzy Borden. I like all of those bands, but this more watered-down version left a bad taste in my mouth.
I attribute this calculated approach to their partnership with Enigma Records (and thus Capital/Polygram, for which these were marketed through). I recently watched this tape again when I converted it to a DVD-R disc, and it was even more obvious after all these years. I am not sure if this ever made it to DVD but I did notice they actually released this on LaserDisc believe it or not!
Metal Blade + Enigma + Capital = ???
Promo blurb from the back side of the VHS: “The first Metal Blade Home video features the best of Metal Blade’s bands plus it features home video footage of Fates Warning, Armored Saint, and Lizzy Borden shot in Metal Blade’s West Coast office”.
“You get to meet all the bands’ and see where Metal happens [I always wondered where that was!]…at Metal Blade’s office!!! It is a behind-the-scenes look at both the bands and the company plus all the great Metal Blade videos in one cool package. So sit back and crank it up for the first Metal Blade Home Video!!!”
“A Special from the Spectrum – Live Concert Performance”
Now this one needs no introduction and or explanation. If you consider yourself a fan of the late great Ronnie James Dio (R.I.P.), then you will have this VHS tape in your collection. If not, then a portion of this amazing show was recently released on DVD under the name “We Rock” (2005). So go out and get it and redeem yourself asap…as this is 51 minutes of some of the finest Metal ever released.
Unfortunately it was bad timing finding this long-lost gem, as Ronnie passed away a few days after I originally located and converted this video to DVD-R! Yikes, what a bummer…I am still not over it.
1. Stand Up and Shout
2. Don’t Talk to Strangers
5. Egypt (The Chains Are On)
6. Heaven And Hell
7. The Last In Line
8. Rainbow In The Dark
9. The Mob Rules
10. We Rock
Clips From these 80′s Classic VHS releases
*Thanks for strolling down memory lane with me. Hope you enjoyed the walk. Rock on! Special thanks to Pat M. for locating another copy of the DIO VHS.
April 23, 2011 | Categories: Demolish A.D. | Tags: 4 Popular 80's Metal VHS Tapes, 80's metal, 80's Metal VHS Tapes, 80's VHS Tapes, Anthrax, ANTHRAX Oidivnikufesin, blast beats, Charlie Benante, Crazed Management, DIO - A Special from the Spectrum, Hammersmith Odeon, Hard Rock and Metal, Island Records, Jon and Marsha Zazula, Megaforce Records, Metal Blade, Metal Blade Records, Metal Blade Records home video, Metal drummers, MTV's "Headbanger's Ball", RISING FORCE, VCR, Video Meltdown VHS, Yngwie Malmsteen | 3 Comments »
WARNING: “Everybody who will be writing HELLOWEEN with an “A” or tries to distribute pamphlets with an “A”, will be turned into a pumpkin”! You’ve been forewarned folks…
You gotta’ love the 80′s Metal bands —especially from Europe and beyond. What they lacked in mastery of the English language or lay out skills, they made up for with a strong D.I.Y. work ethic and kick-ass music. This post is case in point. It seems it was the norm for German bands (West Germany in this case) to create and produce their own press kits and or makeshift mini-’zines about their band or music. I liked this idea and it was quite entertaining to read sometimes.
Some of these “pamphlets” as they call them, were like mini newsletters and contained tour news, band photos, and other misc. odds n’ ends. I have one from WARLOCK here that even had adverts from Reebok shoes (ha – must have been the choice of German Metalheads back in the day!).
This particular newsletter/pamphlet was to promote the new (at the time) self-titled début HELLOWEEN (EP), as their excellent full-length “Walls of Jericho” LP wasn’t even recorded yet until later that year .
*Within this newsletter, you could buy band T-shirts, badges, stickers, autographed photos, and even a poster —all in black & white, simply by using the order form. You could even order their entire recorded output direct on vinyl from them too via this pamphlet.
Being that it was coming from West Germany, I am sure it could have easily taken a month or two to receive back when! No kiddin’ folks, you had to have a bit of patience to be a true Metalhead in the 80′s. I guess that just made you appreciate the music even more when you finally received your package via “snail mail” (they don’t call it that for nuthin’!).
I will re-type the promo text as-is for posterity (not to make of/with):
HELLOWEEN is a four-piece German Power Metal band from Hamburg, with the average age of 21. The origin of the band goes back to 1978 under the name of GENTRY consisting of Kai Hansen (g,voc), Peter Sielck (g,voc) and various often changed drummers and bassmen, with a program including conversion sof Uriah Heep and Black Sabbath as well as own songs, which already expressed the general musical tendency. In June ’78 they won the first award on a festival: The CAN Cup.
In 1980 they renamed themselves in SECOND HELL. Shortly after they took in new and steady members with Markus Grosskopf (bass) and Ingo Schwichtenberg (drums). From now on the fou developed a Judas Priest/Iron Maiden-like style. The tracks “Murderer” and “Victim of Fate” composed during that time still fit in to todays HELLOWEEN-concept. Kai and Peter alternatively performed soli because they didn’t care about the typical rhythm lead guitar classification.
In 1982 the name was changed again to IRON FIST and several performances at rock-festivals were joined in by them. Internal group difficulties caused Peter’s departure and led to automatical pause.
After some time lead guitarist Michael Weikath offered Kai to enter his group POWERFOOL. They showed that two extraordinary guitarists matched most well together in their musical feeling yet they more tended to keep to the Heavy Metal-style rather than POWERFOOL‘s Hard Rock. This resulted in POWERFOOL to be resolved and IRON FIST reborn with the membership of Michael, so that from now on the finally line up consists of as follows:
This is the real deal, not the fancy colorized modern version…
Within short a new concept revealed, expressed by tracks like “Oernst of Life” (out of the former POWERFOOL -repertoire) and “Metal Invaders” both recorded on the “Death Metal” compilation issued May ’84 by Noise Records, Berlin. Prior to this the group changed their named to HELLOWEEN.
Resonance to these tracks was so overwhelming that HELLOWEEN had a feedback of fan letters from all parts of the world, Sweden, Denmark, France, Netherlands, Belgium, Poland, Italy, UK, Canada and on top of that USA besides of course Germany. Especially “Metal Invaders” was emphasised as a highlight and is meanwhile regarded as to be a classic. Following were gigs in Hamburg-scene places Knust, Sounds and Logo (last one with GRAVE DIGGER), two with MANIA at the Leine Domicil in Hannover at FZB in Schneverdingen. Furthermore a Germany-tour is provided in autumn ’85.
As Noise Records registrated exceptionally positive resonance and believes in the abilities and future of HELLOWEEN late ’84 a contract for further productions was concluded. Studio-work began in Jan/Feb ’85 with the 5-track mini LP enclosing “Starlight”, “Murderer”, “Warrior”, “Victim of Fate” and “Cry for Freedom” issued in April ’85. In March ’85 the track “Murderer” was remixed for the Metal Attack Vol.I compilation issued April ’85 with Noise bands exceptionally presented by the German magazine Metal Hammer in collaboration with Noise Records.
There are no studio demos. Only some exercise tapes exist, are, however, not available.
HELLOWEEN‘s stylistic marks are complicated twin-vocal guitar riffs, hymniclike powering sung parts, hunted by aggressive metallic tone sequences which are expressed by Kai and Michael with rasant solo duels and a variety of thundering bass bangs by Markus and violet steamhammer-like drums of Ingo.
If you would like a complimentary .pdf of the entire newsletter, just get in touch by using the CONTACT form and I will send it to you ASAP!
*If you enjoyed reading this post or viewing the rare Metal memorabilia from the 80′s, then please spread the word via true 80′s underground style by forwarding this to any family or friends who may like to read it [27 years later]. You can also sign up to receive post updates via email. Just visit the right hand corner and enter your email. MUYA.
March 9, 2011 | Categories: Demolish Issue #1 | Tags: 80's metal, entertainment, FZB in Schneverdingen, GENTRY, German Metal, German Power Metal, Grave Digger, HELLOWEEN, Helloween (EP), Helloween band, Ingo Schwichtenberg, IRON FIST, Kai Hansen, Leine Domicil in Hannover, Mania, Markus Grosskopf, Metal Attack Vol.1, Metal Attack Vol.I compilation, Metal from West germany, metal hammer, Metal Hammer magazine, Metal Hammer magazine Germany, Metal Invaders, Metalhead, Metalhead in the 80's, Michael Weikath, Music, News, Noise Records, Noise Records Germany, Oernst of Life, Peter Sielck, power metal, POWERFOOL, SECOND HELL, The CAN Cup, Walls of Jericho album, Walls of Jericho LP, Warlock | 5 Comments »
by Curt “Crusher” King
Man, I’ll tell ya’, I sure didn’t expect this band to quit playing hardcore Speed/Thrash Metal and wimp out, but I have the evidence right in my hands! I mean, they are one of the “Gods” of Death Metal for sure, but this stuff is completely shocking!
Well now, does that REALLY sound like a thing that a band called DEATH would do? You don’t think that I would stretch the truth a little do ya’? Ha – not I said the liar!
OK, DEATH fans, wipe that disgusted look off your face because everything I just said is true, except for the fact that they “wimped-out” (besides, you’ve probably already heard this by now as I created this when I received their advance tape -ed). Sorry, I didn’t mean to give you a heart attack folks but I did want to make you a bit angry so that you could prepare yourself for this devastating slab of gore! It doesn’t really matter how much anger you can muster up while listening though because DEATH will out-do you with intensity every time.
1. “Leprosy” 6:19
2. “Born Dead” 3:25
3. “Forgotten Past” 4:33
4. “Left to Die” 4:35
5. “Pull the Plug” 4:25
6. “Open Casket” 4:53
7. “Primitive Ways” 4:20
8. “Choke on It”
All eight songs are pretty much in the same mold as their last album Scream Bloody Gore (1987), meaning, they still sing about death, play deadly songs and do it in the most disgusting [to some] way possible! Every track on this album will terrorize you —but in a good way of course.
People who hate this relatively “new” style of extreme/speed Metal will probably continue to turn their nose up at it, while this will easily [and instantly I might add] satisfy all worldwide Metal fans who are into REAL savage Metal!
This new album [and my opening statements] should scare you too…
Lineup + Info
Chuck Schuldiner – Guitar, Bass and Vocals
Rick Rozz – Guitar
Bill Andrews – Drums
* Terry Butler – (did not play BASS on the album, but was credited for it)
Recorded at Morrisound Recording, Tampa, Florida, USA
Produced by Dan Johnson
Engineered by Scott Burns
Mastered by Michael Fuller at Fullersound, Miami, Florida, USA
Edward Repka – Artwork
Many [myself included] consider this one of the most important DEATH Metal albums ever released. It’s definitely in the top ten. Back when kiddos, you did not have a band such as this on every street corner or parents basement recording such brutal, yet accomplished Metal compositions! Kudos to Chuck (who died of brain cancer in 2001) for putting this style of music on the map and inspiring countless bands for the last several decades. A true unsung hero in the music world. He was very humble and always down-played his part in the Metal history books by stating:
“I don’t think I should take the credits for this death metal stuff. I’m just a guy from a band, and I think Death is a metal band.”
- Chuck Schuldiner
May 13, 1967 – December 13, 2001
January 7, 2011 | Categories: Demolish Issue #1, Vinyl Analysis | Tags: 80's metal, Music, entertainment, Metal, Combat Records, Vinyl Reviews, Death Metal, Death, Death Metal Band, Death - Leprosy, Leprosy the album, 80's Thrash Metal, 80's Death Metal, Death from Florida, Death - Leprosy (Combat), Scream Bloody Gore, Chuck Schuldiner, Chuck Schuldiner R.I.P., Chuck Schuldiner death metal hero, Rick Rozz – Guitar, Rick Rozz, Bill Andrews – Drums, Bill Andrews, Terry Butler, Morrisound Recording, Engineered by Scott Burns, Producer Scott Burns, Scott Burns, Edward Repka – Artwork, Edward Repka Art, Edward Repka album covers, Metal Reviews, Demolish Vaults | 3 Comments »
Our readers will know that I am not fond of press releases and or reporting on the same ole’ crap that you can see on hundreds of other Metal blogs or syndicated news services, but today I felt compelled to pass along some interesting info that appeared in my in-box today….mostly ’cause it featured some noteworthy Metal “name-drops” from my hometown – CHICAGO, but I’ll admit the book intrigued me as well!
Mosh Potatoes (Simon & Schuster) is a book that features 147 recipes from legendary icons like LEMMY, ZAKK WYLDE and LITA FORD to the thrash titans of PANTERA, MEGADETH, TESTAMENT, OVERKILL and ANTHRAX to the hair metal bands of GUNS & ROSES, DOKKEN, LA GUNS, STEEL PANTHER, TWISTED SISTER to the mayhem of metal including MUDVAYNE, LAMB OF GOD, SHADOWS FALL, HATEBREED and DEVILDRIVER to death metal pioneers of NAPALM DEATH, OBITUARY and DEATH and the book wouldn’t be complete without the future of the new school like MUNICIPAL WASTE, SKELETONWITCH, HOWL, EVILE and MOTH EATER.
OK sounds pretty cool – so on to the Chicago info!
Mosh Potatoes – CBS News Interview
Music Industry veteran and musician Steve “Buckshot” Seabury author of “Mosh Potatoes – Recipes, Anecdotes & Mayhem From The Heavyweights Of Heavy Metal” was interviewed on CBS News Program about their “The Best Of” segment. Seabury was asked what he thought was the ultimate Metal restaurants and bars in NYC, Chicago and Los Angeles. “Who doesn’t love Metal and good food? These are the places I love to hang at when I am on the road or just going to grab some grub with my friends” states Seabury about his decisions.
*You can find one of his Best Of picks at the links listed below [yes, minus the NYC & Los Angeles links of course].
The Chicago Reader noted for its literary style of journalism, is acclaimed for their critic’s choices and recommendations in film, music, art and dining has named Mosh Potatoes in their top 10 cookbooks of 2010 in their year-end Food & Drink Column.
2900 W. Belmont Ave.
Chicago, IL (773) 604-8769
Kuma’s to me is METAL!!!! When you walk into the place you think you have died and gone to Heavy Metal Heaven. The smell of the grill, the music blasting, and range of beers makes this spot one of the greatest places to eat.
They have 22 kick-ass burgers all named after some of the greatest metal bands ever to jam on stage. When you sit down to eat you feel you are going to your very first metal concert. It’s that good. I recommend the Judas Priest and Neurosis Burgers. They will give your taste buds whiplash! Oh yeah. Did I mention they have Mac & Cheese too? Well they do, and it ROCKS!
For more information on the METAL cook book:
Steve Seabury has an extensive history in the music industry from performing, working at various record and marketing companies. He began his career at Mayhem Records, where he helped launch such acts as Cradle of Filth and Nothingface into stardom. At Spitfire Records/Eagle Rock Entertainment, Steve was the National Sales Director and A&R and had the opportunity to work with rock legends Testament, Zakk Wylde, Ronnie James Dio, Alice Cooper, Ted Nugent, and new developmental acts like Dog Fashion Disco and Sixty Watt Shaman.
At Concrete Marketing, Steve orchestrated and initiated several marketing campaigns for many platinum artists, including Metallica, Velvet Revolver, Iron Maiden, Avenged Sevenfold, Breaking Benjamin, Damageplan, Judas Priest, and many more.
He has taken his experience and recently formed two new companies: Barley & Hops Management and a new Record Company called Giddy Up! Records that is distributed through Sony/Red. You can also see him thrashing like a maniac with his new metal band, Moth Eater. Steve lives in Queens (home of the New York Mets) with his wife Lisa. This is his first book.
December 17, 2010 | Categories: Demolish Issue #1 | Tags: 80's metal, Barley & Hops Management, Best Metal Bars and Eats in Chicago, Chicago Reader, entertainment, Giddy Up! Records, Hair Metal, Heavy Metal, Kuma’s Corner, Mosh Potatoes, Mosh Potatoes (Simon & Schuster), Mosh Potatoes [Heavy Metal Cookbook], Moth Eater, Munchie Foods, Munchies for Metalheads, Music, News, Steve "Buckshot" Seabury, Steve Seabury, top 10 cookbooks of 2010 | Leave A Comment »
Interview with Lenny Rutledge from 1987
by Curt King
It’s not Heaven nor Hell…it’s SANCTUARY!
How many ways are there for an unknown band to get “discovered” or signed for a record deal? I am sure you’ve heard all the success stories and every imaginable way possible for a band to land that ever-so-lucrative record deal/contract! Think again.
For this melodic Power Metal band from Pacific Northwest it [i.e. getting discovered] was definitely not “business as usual” and I applaud them for being so creative and “pro-active” (or at least ballsy). So who are these creative D.I.Y types? One Warrel Dane (vocals), Lenny Rutledge (guitar), Sean Blosl (guitar), Jim Sheppard (bass) and Dave Budbill (drums).
Please join us as Demolish founder/editor Curt King chats with guitarist Lenny Rutledge and uncovers this unique band and brings their very interesting story to light.
CURT: Let’s go all the way back to the beginning, please tell us how SANCTUARY got started?
LENNY: The conception of the band started with my cousin and I —the guitar players in the band. Basically, we started playing guitar on the same day! You see, we kinda’ walked into a record store one day and we saw this $100 bill laying on the floor, which was kinda’ a trip, so we picked it up and ran out of the store as fast as we could and ran to the nearest guitar store and bought a guitar. And that’s how we started out playing guitar!
After we started getting proficient at playing, we went our separate ways. He went to another band and I joined another band. Later on, after we had played for about four or five years, we got back together and started a band called SANCTUARY. It took us a while to get all the assorted members though. We went through a lot of drummers and bass players because we were the only two members of the band that “stuck with it”. Basically we had to “steal” people from bands that were doing good because we couldn’t find anybody that would really stick with it. We stole our drummer from another band! They weren’t really doing that good but the drummer was doin’ really good —so we got him to join our band because we we’re doing well at the time.
For the singer, we just recorded a demo tape. One night we wrote this song called “Wally’s Song”. We had not really met the guy before we had heard of him. We had heard that he was into the kind of mystic, deep, dark-sounding type of songs. Then we wrote that song and the feeling we got from it was like: “f**k, this guy’s gonna’ love this song!” We had that positive attitude about it and when he heard it, that’s why he joined the band. So it was like the total feeling of that and him hearing the song and actually liking it (just like we thought he would). It just hit us off, we all hit-off really good from then on.
Was he in another band at the time?
LENNY: He had just quit a band from Seattle, so we just snagged him and that’s how he joined the band. From there it took like two years to get all the musicians that we wanted. We didn’t want to go with your basic type singer…we knew exactly what we wanted. We didn’t go and play all the bars or anything with just any ole’ singer would fit in —we just waited until we got exactly what we wanted!
Did you record your demo while you were in the process of completing the line-up or did you just start rehearsing and writing material from the get-go?
LENNY: Right, we were writing songs and we we’re playing some covers and stuff. When we finally got our singer, we stopped playing covers and wrote all originals. Then we went in and recorded a demo and got it played on a radio station out here at KCMU. We were number one or number two for a year straight!
With that same demo tape, you were recently signed to Epic Records and are about to release your début album entitled “Refuge Denied”. Tell us how that deal came about.
LENNY: That took place when KING DIAMOND and MEGADETH played a concert here. We had the demo recorded and we were doing OK, but we had only played out once! I went to the show with a friend and two girls. The two girls found out what hotel MEGADETH was staying in, so I talked them into going.
No way, so what happened then?
LENNY: So, what we did was: when we found out what room they were in, I just kinda’ pushed the door open and pushed these two girls in! I figured if Dave Mustaine see’s them then he’s gonna’ let us all in [laughs]. Sure enough, he saw them and the place was like “yeah, let’s party!” So we walk in there and I sat right down next to Dave. He shared his bottle of “Cavasia” (i.e. Courvoisier perhaps – ed) and we talked for a while. Next, we talked him out to our car and we put in our demo tape and he loved it! Then he just decided he wanted to produce us!
He flew us to L.A. And we talked to a few labels and stuff. We did a couple of shows with MEGADETH and then we recorded the album. His manager, Keith Rawls paid for everything. Now he’s our manager also (funny how that works huh! – ed).
Dave produced the album and we kinda’ share a bit of the production credit with him. After we got it all finished, then Keith shopped it around to all the [record] labels. We tried smaller labels at first and a lot of them were really interested, then a lot of the big labels were interested. One label is even flew us down to L.A. For a private showcase but nothing really happened with that. It was like thirty people standing around checkin’ us out —it was like the scariest time we’ve ever played!
I can imagine. That would be tough. So how did you play?
LENNY: We did really good, but they supposedly had some kind of “signing freeze”…something weird was going on. Then, Epic Records calls us up the next day and says: “sh**, we’ll sign you right now!”
*Rockin’ onstage in Holland 1988!
Wow, most bands do not get a record deal early on in their career (let alone a major label deal) and help from a popular character like Dave Mustaine, do you feel “lucky” in any way?
LENNY: Yeah, we definitely feel lucky! We made the right contact and it was definitely a LOT of luck, but [I mean] it was a combination of not just luck. Epic didn’t listen to the tape and say: “Dave Mustaine produced it, it’s gonna’ sell a million albums.” They listened to it and said that it’s got Dave Mustaine’s name on it (also our engineer was the same guy who engineered both the METAL CHURCH albums) and not only that —the music’s good! They listened to the music and they liked the music. Nobody’s gonna’ sign you unless you have good music! If you have good contacts and good music, then your obviously gonna’ “make it” easier. I’m sure some people can go by their contacts alone and go somewhere, but our musics’ good too!
Tell us about the recording of the album and how was it different from your previous efforts?
LENNY: We recorded it at Steve Lawson’s studio in Seattle. It took a little less than a month to record it. We were in a hurry so it went really fast. The demo was totally different. We started it over and did it from scratch. We went through it really fast because Dave was getting ready to go on tour and he only had like a month to do it, so we had to do it right then and there. We mixed it there and after we got signed to Epic, they re-mixed it —so it does sound a little better than it did in just that month.
“There were only two good places to play at and SLAYER shut both of them down! They were just too wild.” – Lenny Rutledge
Some people insist that Mr. Mustaine is a very arrogant person, what was it like working with Dave and in the studio?
LENNY: It was great! We had a lot of wild partying times…it wasn’t just sit there and play —we’d sit there and PARTY [ha ha]! It was interesting as we always kept it interesting and we were always on our toes. He also taught us a few drinking games!
You have some very eerie song titles, do you ever take, say, a “mystical” approach when writing song lyrics? Give us some of the titles and or what they are about please.
LENNY: Well, a lot of it is like, let’s say “Veil of Disguise” for example —it’s like a vampire story. “Ascension to Destiny” is more like if aliens we’re taking over the Earth. “Battle Angels” is kinda’ like an “armageddon” type thing. Wally writes a lot of lyrics about armageddon. “Termination Force” is again, like armageddon! “Die for My Sins” is like the saints that sin on Saturday and ask everybody to repent and die for their sins on Sunday in the church! “Soldiers of Steel” is about a movie called The Keep. Our lyrical approach is very serious, it’s not like ANTHRAX or anything like that. Nothing against them, but we are very serious. We also do a cover of JEFFERSON AIRPLANE’S “White Rabbit”, only now it’s heavier and it’s real “crunchy” and “grinding”. Dave also plays the guitar solo on that one. The last song is called “Sanctuary”, and that’s a song about when you die and when you go to the other side. Wally describes it as a place in between Heaven and Hell. It’s not Hell, it’s not Heaven…it’s SANCTUARY —maybe like a purgatory.
Is that what your band name represents?
LENNY: Yeah, kinda’, in a way. The whole thing is mystical and scary. Not Heaven or Hell, just kind of different and beyond. Our music is tough to describe. It’s tough and grinding and it’s got both melody and speed in it. We’ve also got the slow parts and the speedier, crunchy parts, but speed isn’t that important to us. We like both. We’re not too prone to having “speedy” songs all the way through. We only have a few like that. We like the best of both worlds. Let’s say, like KING DIAMOND meets METALLICA.
I’ve got a lot of feedback from bands in the Pacific Northwest stating there aren’t too many places to play —is that true? You also mentioned that the radio station, KCMU, was giving you some healthy airplay. Isn’t that the station that has those wild “Brain-Pain” parties? If so, please tell us about them…
LENNY: Yes, well those parties are every Sunday night. I usually don’t go to them that much. Our vocalist [Warrel] and bass player [Jim] goes to them all the time. I’ve been to a couple and about thirty people get together and drink some Old English forty-ouncers’! It’s a lot of Thrash Metal and other stuff, but it’s all high-energy Metal —it’s a cool show. They still play us a lot too. The guy who does the show [Jeff Gilbert pic above -ed] really pushes us hard and has been really good to us.
As far as the scene here goes, it is definitely suffering since there is no place to play! There were only two good places to play at and SLAYER shut both of them down! They were just too wild.
Huh? What happened?!
LENNY: They got the crowd going and they ended up tearin’ the place up!
So there you have it folks. What an amazing story on how they were “discovered”. Best of luck to the band. I think they could rightly make their mark on the Metal world. If you enjoy your Metal with lots of power + finesse then give them a shot. Warrel’s vocals soar, the riffs are catchy and melodic and there is enough grinding and or “crunch-factor” to satisfy your Thrash urges. What more could you ask for?
*We hope you enjoyed that relic from the 80′s. This is a partial interview as the original tape is now M.I.A. So let’s just call this a “part one” until the original C-90 is un-earthed and transcribed fully!
Refuge Denied (1987)
- All tracks written by Lenny Rutledge and Warrel Dane, unless stated
- “Battle Angels” (Sean Blosl, Dane) – 4:30
- “Termination Force” (Rutledge, Dane, Jim Sheppard) – 3:49
- “Die for My Sins” – 3:37
- “Soldiers of Steel” – 5:24
- “Sanctuary” – 3:54
- “White Rabbit” (Grace Slick) (Jefferson Airplane cover) – 3:07
- “Ascension to Destiny” – 4:52
- “The Third War” – 3:47
- “Veil of Disguise” – 5:43
Cover art by Ed Repka
Into the Mirror Black (1990)
- “Future Tense” — 5:08
- “Taste Revenge” — 5:00
- “Long Since Dark” — 5:04
- “Epitaph” — 6:02
- “Eden Lies Obscured” — 5:21
- “The Mirror Black” — 5:07
- “Seasons of Destruction” — 4:51
- “One More Murder” — 4:21
- “Communion” — 5:37
Into the Mirror Live (1991)
- “Future Tense” – Studio Version
- “Long Since Dark” – Live
- “Battle Angels” – Live
- “One More Murder” – Live
- “White Rabbit” – Live
- “Taste Revenge” – Live
*sorry, you will have to click & watch on You Tube as the embedding is off!
*Into The Mirror live is live promotional EP of the band recorded on May 12, 1990 at The Country Club in Reseda, CA, during their “Into The Mirror Black” tour. Approximately 1000 CD copies of this were made and less than 500 were ever distributed to radio stations and record stores. Because of contractual problems with Epic Records, the full version was never released for public consumption. Warrel Dane has stated on several occasions that he has the master tapes and copyrights of the full show and intended to have it finally released.
*according to Wiki
*After their début LP was released, they toured alongside Megadeth and the German band Warlock.
After the tour, they entered the studio to record their second and final studio album, Into the Mirror Black in 90′. The above video clip for the song Future Tense was made and it received some air play on MTV’s Headbangers Ball. During the tour for Into the Mirror Black guitarist Sean Blosl left the band and was replaced by Jeff Loomis.
Shortly after, the word on the street is that continued pressure [from Epic Records] to fit in with the flourishing Seattle grunge scene caused disagreements between band members (about the band’s musical direction). So in 91′ Sanctuary officially disbanded.
Refuge Denied and Into the Mirror Black were re-released as a double CD set by IronBird Records on February 22, 2010.
- After disbanding, Warrel Dane, Jim Sheppard and Jeff Loomis formed the band Nevermore in 91′.
- Dave Budbill lives in Florida, and is now the drummer for Alive Inside.
- Sean Blosl is creating music and film independently through Golden Flower Media.
- Lenny Rutledge became a musical producer, and has his own studio. Additionally, he helped Nevermore on the demo sessions of their 1999 album Dreaming Neon Black.
Warrel Dane announced in May, 2010, that Sanctuary will reunite to record a new album. Warrel confirmed on Nevermore’s official forum that he can still hit the high notes he did in Sanctuary’s early days. However, he did not say whether he’d be implementing them into the new album. Sean Blosl is currently working on a film called “Into The Heart Of Shiva” and won’t be taking part in the reunion.
Recently announced that their only US appearance in 2011 will be at ProgPower USA held annually in Atlanta. They will be headlining on Friday night. The dates have yet to be announced. The band will also be playing on the 70,000 tons of Metal festival [which will take place on a cruise ship!] in January of 2011
October 30, 2010 | Categories: Demolish Issue #1 | Tags: 80's metal, “Brain-Pain”, Brain Pain Metal parties from the 80's, Brain-Pain Parties, Can Dave Mustaine produce?, Dave Budbill (drums), Dave Mustaine, Dave Mustaine Producer, entertainment, Epic Records, Heavy Metal, Jeff Gilbert - Brain Pain parties in Pacific Northwest, Jeff Gilbert - RIP Magazine, Jim Sheppard (bass), KCMU Brain Pain Show, KCMU FM Jeff Gilbert, KCMU Radio, Lenny Rutledge (guitar), Megadeth, Music, Mustaine produces SANCTUARY from Seattle area, Nevermore, Nevermore frontman, Nevermore singer, Nevermore vocalist, power metal, sanctuary, Sanctuary - 80's Metal band, Sanctuary - Into The Mirror, Sanctuary - Into The Mirror live, SANCTUARY - Refuge Denied, SANCTUARY 70, SANCTUARY band reunion, Sean Blosl (guitar), Warrel Dane (vocals), What band did Dave Mustaine produce in the 80's?, Who did Dave Mustaine produce? | 11 Comments »
by Steve Fulton
The clowns of Thrash are back. Back with their jams, back with skateboards, and yes —back with more of the top-notch, punchy Thrash that has earned them their place among the élite of Metal bands. It’s relieving to know that after receiving major attention from their last release I’m the Man (EP) (featuring their Rap single “I’m the Man”), that selling out to the commercial world of Metal is far from the minds of Anthrax.
State of Euphoria (1988 Megaforce/Island Records) features moshing tunes like “Finale” (pronounced ‘finally’), “Be All End All” and even a killer cover of Trust’s “Antisocial”. It also seems Anthrax is taking their lyrics in a more political direction. They take their turn at running down television evangelism in “Make me Laugh” (with lyrics like “Jesus saves, but only after I’ve been paid”), and then protest the human tendency of prejudices in “Schism” (stating “A house divided can’t stand/Prejudice is an un-natural thought”).
Anthrax have definitely matured musically and lyrically, but one thing I hate to hear (that often accompanies a matured pocket-book) is a bit of “over production”. But I suppose the complementary, limited edition Anthrax hologram (included in this release) makes up for it!
At any rate, whether you are an old Anthrax fan or “not”, I am certain that one listen to this plastic piece (of vinyl – ed) will leave you in a “State of Euphoria”.
- Be All, End All 6:22
- Out of Sight, Out of Mind 5:13
- Make Me Laugh 5:41
- Antisocial (Bonvoisin/Krief) 4:27 (Trust Cover)
- Who Cares Wins 7:35
- Now It’s Dark 5:34
- Schism 5:27
- Misery Loves Company 5:40
- 13 0:49
- Finale 5:47
Anthrax: Joe Belladonna (vocals), Dan Spitz, Scott Ian (guitar), Frank Bello (bass), Charlie Benante (drums).
Recorded at Quadradial Studios. Miami, Florida.
Produced by Anthrax and Mark Dodson.
August 27, 2010 | Categories: Vinyl Analysis | Tags: 80's metal, Anthrax, Anthrax 1988, Charlie Benante, Dan Spitz, entertainment, Frank Bello, Island Records, Joe Belladonna, Mark Dodson, Megaforce Records, Music, Scot Ian, State of Euphoria, Thrash Metal | 8 Comments »
Due to our widely popular first post on Heavy Metal advertisements from the 80′s, we are back [by popular request] with another prime batch of Metal memorabilia for our fine readers out there in the blogosphere!
This go around however, we are featuring a rockin’ gallery of carefully selected [full-page] adverts from Europe. Most of these puppies are from around 82′ – 85′ and are mostly in black n’ white even. This was before the real explosion in U.S. Metal popularity, so I guess the labels were a bit reserved in the advertising department. You will see a lot of American bands featured in the ads. Stay tuned for an extra mini-post with some half page ads.
We hope you enjoy this trip [esp. since it took us almost two days to scan these -ed] down Metal lane. Please sound off via the comments field and let us know which ones are your favorites —I personally have too many favorites to name. But I guess if I had to spout off about one of em’ it would have to be the full-page ANTHRAX ad.
“Man, do they look young in this relic!” – Curt King
Oh yeah, check out the one for the VIDEO releases as well. That’s right fans, Metal was getting “hi-tech” back when this ad was placed. Peep the text, it says: Hi-Fi Stereo & VHS or BETA! I happen to own the Queensrÿche Live in Tokyo VHS and it jams. It’s before they became overly “slick” or commercial —there was still some “grit” and aggressiveness to their sound during this excellent Japanese show. Too bad they have never released this one on DVD. Highly recommended.
I don’t recall if I ever got to watch the Scorpions or Helix vid. Probably not or I would remember.
*As a special bonus, I am also throwing in a very old Jimmy Page advert from the UK endorsing an old school Roland GR-700 Guitar Synthesizer (w/ midi even!).
Enjoy the gallery peeps…
*click to enlarge
August 19, 2010 | Categories: Demolish Issue #1 | Tags: 80's metal, 80's metal nostalgia, entertainment, Heavy Metal advertisements, Kerrang!, Metal adverts, metal forces, Metal Forces Fanzine, Metal Forces Mag, Metal video, Music, Roland, Roland GR-700, Roland GR-700 Guitar Synthesizer, UK heavy metal, VHS or BETA | 6 Comments »
by Mike Cervantes
1988 is proving to be a year where more emphasis is being placed on high quality Metal. It appears the Metal population are becoming connoisseurs of bands that have honest-to-goodness talent and unrelenting “drive”. Which brings us to the case in point…
Drive originates from Houston, Texas. Fronted by Rick Chavez (guitar/vocals) and (long-time mate + bassist) Michael Anthony Guerrero. They began as a group called Pegasus. Mainly playing classical rock and citing such influences as Clapton, Blackmore and Hendrix, Pegasus toured the small club circuit, gaining a following of loyal fans. Then citing newer influences such as Queensryche, Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, the band changed musical directions and adopted the name Drive.
Combining their classical blues rock influences and what they describe as “high tech stuff”, Drive formulates a sound that drives screeching down cranium lane! This finely tuned machine roars with power and precision. Too heavy to be Rock and too refined to be Thrash, Drive offers a lethal dose of melodic yet powerful metal.
Led by the twin axe attack of Rick Chavez and Mercy Valdez, the fantastic vocals of David Taylor (R.I.P), the pounding fury of bassist Michael Guerrero, and the hyperactive drumming of Valentine San Miguel, Drive blazes a path of Metal destruction.
July 20, 2010 | Categories: Vinyl Analysis | Tags: "Best of the West" Compilation, "Metal Mike" Cervantes, 80's metal, 80's Rock, Best of the West (Rampage), Characters of Time, David Taylor, David Taylor (R.I.P.), Drive, entertainment, Mercy Valdez, Michael Guerrero, Mike Cervantes, Monger Dude, Music Industry, Music News, Rampage (Division of Rhino), Rampage Records, Rick Chavez, Valentine San Miguel, Vinyl Reviews | 7 Comments »
So who doesn’t enjoy a good “round” of sex?
Well, in my ongoing effort to bring you insightful and unusual items from the Demolish Vaults, I was able to pull this gem out of my bag-o-metal-relics! I found this hilarious backstage pic that I took many moons ago from Bogart’s in Cincinnati, Ohio —which is still @ 2621 Vine Street oddly enough.
*warning: please be advised this post + pic might contain some slightly lewd and or crude language below.
Upon first viewing you might not be that impressed (me either -ed), but upon closer inspection the hushed giggles will probably begin to well up in your belly.
Feast your eyes on this work of art:
Eat yer’ heart out Vanna White!
*In a nut shell, some crafty beaver put together a homemade “Heavy Metal Wheel of Sex” life-size board game. I suppose this person (or persons) were pretty darn creative and or bored out of their skulls while backstage. Personally I thought it was great and when I ran upon it I had to give it a spin or two!
This was in the late 80′s folks and I guess the Wheel of Fortune TV show was going strong and of course in those days Vanna was quite the young hottie.
*It appears someone used an old ass bass drum head from a previous concert, that from the looks of it, took a beating (pun-intended)!
For all the Metal purists/fact-checkers out there (and or real drummer types), this looks to me like an old school 20″ – 22″ Remo Control Sound Series (w/Silver Dot) bass drum head. I could be wrong…
I attended many great shows at Bogart’s throughout the 80′s (since it was just a few hours drive from my Midwestern home base) at the time. If you were into Hardcore, Thrash Metal, Speed Metal, regular Heavy Metal, Rock etc. —it didn’t matter, it was all there…seven days a week.
I really miss that place + the “Golden Era of all things Metal“. It’s still there, but I live in Chicago nowadays and that’s just too far to drive and or too expensive to fly. Besides, why would I want to do that when there is a thriving Metal scene practically in my back yard in the great Windy City?
*Original Bogart’s post card flyer
Some local sources say the place has not changed in years (or decades perhaps – ed) and needs some TLC and serious remodeling. I recall someone saying that they were forced to close the upstairs balcony area due to ceiling leakage and water coming down on the main floor; talk about dangerous! Yikes…I remember that (in)famous floor as being the host to some of the largest and most violent pits I ever saw anywhere peeps. When that band started and it was time to mosh, then let me tell you it was ON!
*Check out some of those lineups!
I remember a time when SLAYER played there (keep in mind this is a smaller theater type environment that holds just shy of 1500 ragers) and they had security up the wazoo. They were lined up on each side of the main floor like some sort of military exercise. Come to think of it, I think it might have been real Cinci Police Officers! Even with all that security, I think someone ended up getting stabbed and or hurt real bad in the mosh pit even. Go figure.
I don’t mean to paint a picture of Bogart’s as a bad place, but I think you know how damn crazy and rabid SLAYER fans can be? If not, beware as you will be rudely awakened —and rather quickly I might add, should you ever get “thrown to the wolves” or forced to go to one of their (awesome) live shows against your will!
OK, enough no-nonsense nostalgic ramblings, let’s get back to the program.
Since it was such a smallish backstage area, the bands ended up playing with this thing for hours on end. I saw many uproars and or drunken bellowing coming from “The Wheel” —day time or night. Undoubtedly with plenty-o-booze (usually those nasty 32 oz. Foster’s Lager cans) + whatever “party favors” were around, then I guess pretty much anything can be funny and or positively entertaining!
Random History Note: This was pre-internet and cell phones young lads. This was when you had to use your imagination and or creativity to be entertained. ha ha!
I wish that I had taken more photos of this legendary Metal lore as some of the spots on “The Wheel” are not legible. Looks like I had the flash set to “auto” on my rusty 35MM camera! Oh well, I am just glad that I took this quickie shot, otherwise I would just be talkin’ smack and or reading a page outta’ my “Life With Heavy Metal” story book out loud —which is only published inside my head.
Step on up dude (and dudettes), spin the wheel and see what you land on (or get I should say). “Crabs”, arrrrggggh…spin again.
ACTUAL SCENARIOS ON the WHEEL:
- 38 DD Titty F**k
- Spin Again
- 14 year old (sic)
- She just wants to be friends
- Female impersonator
- Talk to her (for 4 hours) & her BF shows up
- Good Head
- Too drunk to f**k
- She falls in love with you
- Great Sex
- Devil Woman 666
- Snappin’ P*ssy
Couldn’t make out the last 2 -sorry!
I wonder who the creative genius is who actually built this beauty? I am pretty sure I snapped this pic while hangin’ out at the EXODUS + M.O.D. show. This would be the killer “Fabulous Disaster” era and tour fan boys & girlies. Those guys were all crazy, so maybe these Bay Area Thrashers are to blame/thank?
Maybe some old geezer/local Bogart’s regular will read this article one day and be able to correctly identify the master craftsman. If you are said geezer, then please contact us for extra credit “80′s Metal” points.
Here is a short list of other bands I interviewed and was lucky enough to see during that time (so the caper might be hiding among these musicians):
KING DIAMOND, TROUBLE, C.J.S.S, WRETCH, VIO-LENCE, FLOTSAM & JETSAM, TESTAMENT, DAVID T.CHASTAIN, ARCH RIVAL, OVERKILL, SLAYER, ANTHRAX, ZOETROPE, HEATHEN, MEGADETH, WARLOCK, SANCTUARY, VOIVOD, CRUMBSUCKERS, D.R.I., METAL CHURCH, SACRED REICH etc. The list goes on and on…
*Original “Hell on Wheels” stub. Click to enlarge
Take another good look at “the Wheel” pic above and see if you can find where the center of the wheel came from. I just happened to notice this after 20 years. I did not remember it being there at the time. I will give you a hint —it pre-dates the 1987 “Hell on Wheels” Tour (which featured a young HELLOWEEN, GRIM REAPER and ARMORED SAINT).
Quite suggestive I know, but I guess times were much different then and everyone wasn’t so outrageously politically correct. Tipper Gore and her cast of idiots over at the P.M.R.C. were putting up a “stink” about Metal Music in general and the above graphic artwork seemed pretty “playful” back when.
Thank you Bogart’s, staff, bands and Booking Agents for hosting so many great shows! You may not be the spiffiest of venues around to see live entertainment but you sure rocked my 80′s Metal World!
June 26, 2010 | Categories: Heavy Metal Wheel of Sex! | Tags: 2621 Vine Street, 80's metal, 80's nostalgia, backstage concerts, Bogarts, Bogarts Ohio, entertainment, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal Wheel of Sex, Music, Music News, Vanna White, Vanna White Bikini, Wheel of Fortune | 4 Comments »
Queensrÿche’s Geoff Tate
Discusses Operation: Mindcrime
Interview: Bart Kamp
Forward & Translation: Scott Funkhouser
With today’s vast catalog of music, it is becoming increasingly hard for a band to stand out from the pack and bring forth a new spark of unused creativity. Queensrÿche, from Washington have opened the door to that problem throughout their past and have come up with some very progressive and unequaled music. This time around they have really out done themselves with a conceptual (and thought-provoking) vinyl masterpiece entitled: Operation: Mindcrime!
*pic courtesy of A. Gernandt (ex-Shock Power/Germany). Yup, he’s in the middle!
Written as cleverly as Pink Floyd, Yes and King Diamond have done in the past, “Mindcrime” displays Geoff Tate’s extremely imaginative mind. Tate has generated a complete and well-rounded story that any Metal fan (or literature buff) would enjoy, while the band has written tasteful music that fully compliments everything so well.
The album was recorded here in the states at Kajem Victory Studios (Gladwyne, PA.) but they actually mixed the LP at Wisseloord Studios over in Hilversum, Holland this year (1987 – ed). Luckily we have a European correspondent in that area, so we were able to get this exclusive interview with main man/vocalist himself Mr. Tate the very day they finished mixing the project!
Join us as Mr. Bart Kamp discusses the essence of Operation: Mindcrime and clarifies future plans for this advancing unit.
Bart Kamp: Can you please explain the album’s title and what exactly you were trying to carry out this time around with the album?
Geoff Tate: “Explain the title? I’ll tell you a bit about the album first. It’s a conceptual album from beginning to end, with a solemn storyline that follows all the way through. The title is to do with the subject matter of the story, which is a sort of espionage/violence relationship that goes on and it’s to do with revolution, anarchy, terrorist movements and things like that, which are happening now.”
At first I thought that some of the lyrics were about AIDES. Is the subject of AIDES mentioned and or discussed in the story perhaps?
GT: “AIDES, really? I don’t think so. It’s mean to be a look at how prostitution is looked down upon, yet it’s an integral part of our society; it’s like a needed industry. It’s basically a look at prostitution and people using each other for different reasons.”
How do you think this music compares to your previous album Rage for Order?
GF: “I think the music came out sounding pretty violent and aggressive -probably due to the frustration we were having through the past year of splitting with our management, being out on our own and being severely in debt. You know, trying to make the right decisions. Since that time we’ve got everything sewn up tight. We’ve got a new management deal + a new record contract with EMI and things are looking great!”
The new material is said to have more of a “street level” feeling to it. What made you change from, say, “high-tech”to “street level” per say?
GF: “I don’t know. This one still has a lot of high-tech embellishments in it, but the roots of the songs are all very guitar-oriented…very street oriented, back to the first EP days. It definitely has a high-tech feel because it was recorded and mixed all digitally, so it has a very hard, clean, hi-fi sound to it; but very aggressive. With us, we sort of go through all these changes -one album will be like this, another album will be in another direction. That’s kinda the way we are. We get bored doing the same thing.”
So every album will be a departure from the previous one then?
GT: “Yeah, I think so.”
Do you think Rage for Order was ahead of its time or too early perhaps, say by 2-3 years?
GT: “Too early? You mean that the fans weren’t ready for it?”
Yes, and also in terms of sales, which I think wasn’t as good as expected maybe?
GT: “Well, you always think an albums going to do really well. But we didn’t lose any sales -we actually gained sales on it, but they weren’t phenomenal sales.”
You mentioned you had new management, how did you get in contact with Q-Prime?
GT: “We first came into contact with them back in 93′, when we released our self-titled EP. They called us and said that they were interested in managing us but we had just signed a management deal and we thought we should stick to our contract. When the contract expired, Burnstein & Mensch contacted us again and said they were still interested. We started talking with them and seeing each others viewpoints and ideas and decided that they were the best team to sign with.
Meanwhile, we had lots of offers from all the major management companies around the world, like Smallwood (the people who handle Loverboy), the people who handle Sting -all the major rock people, you know, and it was a difficult decision for us to field all their offers and figure which one was best for us. In the end, we chose Q-Prime because they seemed to be on the same wavelength as us as far as ideas go and what they wanted to do with the band and what they wanted to achieve.”
Will the album concept carry over to the stage in your live performances and will you try to do the entire album?
GT: “Yeah, but because we’ve now got four albums out, we’ll have to do a cross-section of the album so we hit the major areas of the storyline and put them together cohesively. Right now though, it’s still kinda early to say what we’re gonna do for the tour because we’ve concentrated on getting the album out.”
It was rumored that you were going to headline the Aardschok Festival (1987), but turned it down because you thought you weren’t big enough.
GT: “The rumor that we were asked is true, but we turned it down because we didn’t have any management at the time and it wouldn’t have been a good business move to take on something of that stature because it’s very expensive.”
Were you aware of how successful you were when you last appeared here in Arnhem (the central Netherlands -ed) supporting Bon Jovi? After your set, a lot of people left!
GT: “That’s what people have told us, but at the time, we didn’t know.”
Getting back to the album, how did you come up with the storyline and characters? Is any of the material a reflection of yourself and your own life or is it merely your imagination at work?
GT: “It really has nothing to do with me personally. It should be thought of as an audible film with three main characters and these characters each have their own backgrounds and identities; their own lives. In writing it, I made an outline of each character and when I am singing on the album, it is actually one of the characters speaking.”
The lyrics on The Warning LP are pretty mystical and slightly vague, but they’ve been more straight forward ever since it seems. Could you please elaborate on that and is it because some people do not understand your lyrics and were having trouble interpreting them maybe?
GT: “I think that’s part of it. Sometimes, if you’re too vague people don’t catch on to what you’re saying, so on this album I tried to be a little more concrete in my statements. Very down-to-earth, very street-level and also to fit the story and the characters involved. Nikki, (the main character) isn’t the kind of guy who spouts off philosophical ideas on life…he’s a street kid, so he should speak that way and the lyrics reflect that.”
The album was produced by Peter Collins (Jill Music Limited), why did you change producers on this album?
GT: “When we were ready to start on the album, we were planning on using Neil Kernon again, but he was still involved with the Dokken thing at the time, so we had to look for someone else. Our management suggested Peter Collins because of his reputation -he is considered a top producer.
So he flew out and we talked about the ideas we had for the album and he seemed to be really into it. He organizes very well, he doesn’t mess around with any gizmos and we finished the album today and under budget!”
Where was the album recorded?
GT: “The drums, bass and rhythm guitars were recorded in this huge warehouse used for studio storage in Pennsylvania. Everything else was recorded in Montreal. Of course the mixing was done here in Holland.”
The album is very long -around an hour. Are you worried at all how it will sound on vinyl when pressed?
GT: “Oh, it’ll sound good on vinyl, but it’ll sound great on CD and cassette. Not many people buy albums now, they usually buy CD’s or cassette.”
Before we wrap this up, I’d like to ask you a little about the future plans of Queensrÿche. I hear you were asked to headline the Aardschok Festival again, will you do it this time around and are you planning an American tour?
GF: “It is still up in the air whether or not we will do the festival. We haven’t decided on that yet and unfortunately I am not sure where the tour will start or when we will hit America.”
Thank you for your time and good luck in the future!
GT: “Thank you.”
Check out Operation: Mindcrime because it truly is a masterpiece of work. This album is one of the years best releases and I sincerely urge you to buy a copy no matter what the format! Geoff Tate and the boys are headed to new heights. This could be the album that makes America take more notice of a band that Europe has already fallen in love with!
Geoff Tate – Vocals
Michael Wilton – Guitars
Chris DeGarmo – Guitars/vocals
Eddie Jackson – Bass/vocals
Scott Rockenfield – Drums
*Special Guests: Pamela Moore (vocals on “Suite Sister Mary”)
Produced by Peter Collins
Engineered by James “Jimbo” Barton and Paul Northfield
Mixed by James “Jimbo” Barton
- “I Remember Now” – 1:17
- “Anarchy-X” – 1:27
- “Revolution Calling” – 4:42
- “Operation: Mindcrime” – 4:43
- “Speak” – 3:42
- “Spreading the Disease” – 4:07
- “The Mission” – 5:46
- “Suite Sister Mary” – 10:41
- “The Needle Lies” – 3:08
- “Electric Requiem” – 1:22
- “Breaking the Silence” – 4:34
- “I Don’t Believe in Love” – 4:23
- “Waiting for 22″ – 1:05
- “My Empty Room” (Tate, Wilton) – 1:28
- “Eye’s of A Stranger” – 6:39
“Operation: Mindcrime is widely regarded as one of, if not the most original and groundbreaking conceptual album ever released. Conceived by lead singer Geoff Tate while he was living in Montreal, the album is a tale of revolution, brainwashing, and conspiracy. The songs are all very progressive and Power Metal in vibe, with cold, biting guitar tones.The band showcases its zeal for Heavy Metal with cuts such as “Revolution Calling” and “Speak,” while the epic, more progressive fan will find songs such as “Suite Sister Mary”, “The Mission,” and “Eyes of a Stranger” quite appealing.” – Brian Heaton/Anybody Listening
*The album was remastered and re-released in 2003 with two bonus tracks: live versions of “The Mission” and “My Empty Room” from separate shows in the 1990s.
LINKS OF INTEREST
*Misc. Queensryche promo ads & or pics from Anybody Listening (see above link).
**Portions of this Queensryche interview ended up being used in LOUD! zine’ after the demise of Demolish.
*to transport you directly back to 1987 we will continue to keep the language in the posts “present tense” even though this is 2010.
June 2, 2010 | Categories: Queensrÿche's Geoff Tate Discusses Operation:Mindcrime | Tags: 80's metal, Chris DeGarmo - Guitar, Classic Concept LP's, Dr. X, Eddie Jackson - Bass, EMI Records, entertainment, Father William, Geoff Tate, Michael Wilton - Guitar, Music, Operation: Mindcrime, Peter Collins, Queensrÿche, Queensrÿche's Geoffe Tate, Scott Rockenfield - Drums, Sister Mary, the Anchorman, the Nurse | 6 Comments »
*This is an ancient Metal relic that I pulled from my collection. It is a very early info promo sent out by the International WARLOCK Fan Club around 1984. I hope you enjoy it!
BTW I am correcting the bad English, to see the spelling exactly the way it was printed, contact me for a scanned .pdf of the original. I thought it was charming.
“A Magazine From Fans, For Fans”
So here it is, the first issue of the WARLOCK info mag. We hope that we’ll be able to make people attentive to the name WARLOCK. This mag. will be released every three months or so with a circulation of 10,000 copies, most of which will be in English.
The mag. is available in record stores and at the below address. With this first issue, we hope that we can give you a small insight into who and what WARLOCK is. If you have any questions about the band or the mag. please feel free to write us: INTERNATIONAL WARLOCK FAN CLUB P.O. Box 2640, 6401 DC Heerlen, Holland.
THE STORY SO FAR…
Düsseldorf, September 1982…
In an old factory building about thirty bands had their rehearsal rooms. One of these bands was called SNAKE BITE. The line-up was: one guitarist, a drummer, the bass player Frank Rittel and female vocalist Dorothee Pesch. They believed they couldn’t do anything with one guitarist, so they decided to look for another ace man. After a few sessions a young guitarist named Peter Szigeti (formerly with BEAST) got the job. From the band, SNAKE BITE, they also got their new skinsman: Michael Eurich.
With this line-up they played their first gigs, which weren’t as successful as they hoped they would be. That’s why they split up as they were rather frustrated. Frank went on to join a band called STORMWIND and Michael was looking for a new band. So, only Doro and Peter stayed in the band, who really wanted to know what they were worth now.
After lots of sessions they found Rudy Graf (a guitarist) who tried to start a band with Michael Eurich. They decided to give it a try together as they already knew Michael. At that time the line-up was: Peter Szigeti (guitar), Doro Pesch (vocals), Michael Eurich (drums) and Rudy Graf (guitar). The latter came up with the new name WARLOCK, which is old-English, meaning with illusionist or magician.
After finding a new bass player, they did a few gigs in the Düsseldorf-area (which were rather successful and promising) but because they didn’t organize it properly, it really got mixed-up. That’s why they started looking for a manager.
They found a guy called Peter Zimmermann (Pezil) from Düsseldorf, who had lots of experience in the Heavy Metal scene, but had decided to leave the scene, after his band called SIN CITY split up. They used their power of persuasion to get him to the rehearsal room, but then he was totally enthusiastic after hearing the music and especially Doro’s powerful vocals! He decided to become the manager of the band.
He arranged several gigs (supporting TRANCE), so lots of people saw the band and soon they got the name of being a totally hot live band! At that time they got their first success: No.1 at the German Rock Meeting and No.2 at the Newcomer Festival in Düsseldorf. Because of these successes, they decided to produce a single and finance it themselves. After recording the single they received several offers from small record company and forgot about the single.
Now they wanted to release an album right away. After a few hassles, they signed to the Belgian record company Mausoleum and only two months later, they started to record their first album. While recording demos for the album, they found out that the present bass player wasn’t capable to fill the job properly and they tried to persuade Frank Rittel to join the band again.
With Frank back, they started recording the album, which took only six days! The album was produced by Axel Torboville, but after hearing the first results, they called two acquaintances named Pezi (R. Assmann and H. Staroste) to remix the album. So now everything was alright until the next setback: the cover.
*Time to jam on the Dark Fade song!
The original artist Nico Chiriatti) came up with a “drizzly” drawing for the cover for Mausoleum. It was used without permission and had nothing to do with the original idea. But in spite of all these problems, the album sold really well (almost 20,000) in the first six months -which is rather remarkable for a newcomer band.
The reviews were good to very good in Metal Forces (UK), Kerrang (UK), Enfer (France), Aardschok (Netherlands) and several other mags. Even in Australia they reached No.24 in the Heavy Metal charts. Decisive for the sales of the album were their live performances. After lots of concerts in Germany, they also did gigs in Luxemburg, Belgium and especially Holland.
From the Dutch gigs, the three at the Dynamo-Club (Eindhoven) and the one at the Earthquake Festival (Kaatsheuvel) were the best. Unfortunately, other very important gigs abroad had to be canceled because of lack of backing from their record company Mausoleum. In Autumn of 84′, 1-2 gigs in England and 1 gig in Paris were planned, but they had to cancel these gigs because they didn’t get any financial support and they didn’t feel good about this either!
All in all, they weren’t happy with Mausoleum Records, because the distribution of the album was bad and they didn’t get paid and or any royalties. It was impossible to get the album in some countries although the album should have been released there. It was all in the contract with Mausoleum, but they (the band -ed) didn’t bother to dispute it.
Favorable record sales (for an independent label) is probably the reason for the interest from bigger record companies. That’s why a delegate from Phonogram Records was present on their first gig in Lacomblet, Düsseldorf on September 14th,84′. He had to be convinced that WARLOCK really had the quality to offer. Apparently his report to the record company wasn’t so negative, because when WARLOCK played the Dynamo in Eindhoven (Holland) on October 6th, some more people from Phonogram were present.
After the gig they met and did some serious talking about a possible deal. So, this night was their first step on the road together with Phonogram. Finally in February 85′ after all conditions had been settled, they signed to Phonogram.
The first WARLOCK album for Phonogram will be released May 85′, after which the band will go on tour in Europe with their new equipment and stage show, visiting the following countries: Holland, Germany, France, Belgium and the UK. Then the last doubter will hopefully be convinced that WARLOCK is another rising star in the Heavy Metal Heavens!
*Check out those dandy sneakers in the advert above!
There will be a lot of you out there who still haven’t seen WARLOCK on stage yet. For those people, we’ll try to describe what the band offers live. First to be noticed is Doro’s superb singing. Live she sounds the same (or even better) than on the album! Visually, Doro is like the bands “sign board”…a female vocalist and one that even looks good. Not many bands can offer that either (I agree - ed).
The rhythm section consist of Frank Rittel (bass) + Michael Eurich (drums) and they both work with the precision of a Swiss watch so that the “axe-crazy” lunatics Peter Szigeti and Rudy Graf can present their great show without loosing touch. Another eye-catcher is the fact that Rudy is right-handed player and Peter is left-handed. During a typical gig 17 or 18 tracks are played. Among them are the older songs Demon’s Party, Ticket to Hell, On the Run or Iron Lady and the entire Burning the Witches album.
All the songs are faster and heavier live compared to the album. Everything sounds really spontaneous because they don’t study their stage movements prior and or use lots of fireworks. Only the show opener Wildfire and the track Without You uses some dry-ice and pyro effects.
*Have a listen to the excellent Burning the Witches track.
The song Burning the Witches easily becomes the gig’s highlight and is often played twice (when and if the audience so desires). We feel the band is worth a visit if you get a chance to see them live. You probably will because the band will be back on the road in May and June with a small European tour.
For Fans Only!
Our goal is to unite the WARLOCK fans together and keep them posted on what’s happening with the band. A one year fee is 20 Guilders, 20DM or $8 US. For that, you will get an autographed photo, a fan club button, a membership card, several info mag’s, four fan club mag’s and discounted merchandise.
*The first 250 members will also get a free WARLOCK T-shirt (printed on both sides). Other fan club members can buy the shirt for 5 Guilders, 5DM or $2 US (+ p&p costs). If you have any questions, please contact us at the following address (please enclose an SAE): International WARLOCK Fan Club P.O.Box 2640, 6401 DC HEERLIN, Holland.
Readers To The Front!!
In front of you is the very first WARLOCK info mag. and of course we hope that you like it! We felt that in the future mag’s to come there should be a section reserved for the readers only. So, if you have any ideas or questions (maybe to a member of the band ) then please feel free to write us. Even if you just want to write something about WARLOCK yourself, please do and we’ll try to insert everything we receive in the mag.
Anyway, we hope that you participate!
BURNING THE WITCHES (1984)
01. Sign Of Satan
02. After The Bomb
03. Dark Fade
04. Homicide Rocker
05. Without You
06. Metal Racer
07. Burning The Witches
08. Hateful Guy
09. Holding Me
02. All Night
03. Earthshaker Rock
05. Down And Out
06. Out Of Control
07. Time To Die
08. Shout It Out
09. Catch My Heart
YOU HURT MY SOUL (1985)
01. You Hurt My Soul (On ‘N’ On)
02. Evil/Turn It On
TRUE AS STEEL (1986)
01. Mr. Gold
02. Fight For Rock
03. Love In A Danger Zone
04. Speed Of Sound
05. Midnite In China
06. Vorwärts, All Right!
07. True As Steel
08. Lady In A Rock´n´Roll Hell
09. Love Song
10. Igloo On The Moon (Reckless)
FIGHT FOR ROCK (1986)
01. Fight For Rock
02. Mr. Gold
03. Midnite In China
04. You Hurt My Soul
05. Turn It On
TRIUMPH AND AGONY (1987)
01. All We Are
02. Three Minute Warning
03. I Rule The Ruins
04. Kiss Of Death
05. Make Time For Love
06. East Meets West
07. Touch Of Evil
08. Metal Tango
09. Cold, Cold World
10. Für Immer
May 24, 2010 | Categories: WARLOCK: The Story So Far | Tags: 80's metal, Music, entertainment, Warlock, Warlock (Germany), Doro, Doro Pesch, 80's Metal Music, Warlock Fan Club, Burning the Witches, Hellbound, You Hurt My Soul, True As Steel, Fight for Rock, Triumph and Agony | 9 Comments »
By Curt King
*Are you a lyric person and know each and every word to your favorite Metal song(s)? Are you mainly into the music (like me) and enjoy the grooves, power or riffing throughout? Or perhaps you are just a casual listener and just like listening to the music “as a whole” and do not go off the deep-end analyzing your tuneage?! Which ever type you are, did you ever think about what the real musicians in your favorite bands thought? Yes, no…maybe?
Either way -I thought it would be interesting to “get inside” the head of the bands that I spoke to during Demolish interviews and or the various musicians we hung out with backstage or on their tour bus, you know -to find out what makes them tick and to see what they think makes a good song. Remember these guys are music fans too.
For my curiosity I decided to pose the question above to a wide selection of bands (you might even notice a certain Canadian band member filling out the “official” Demolish questionnaire in a pic below)! I really enjoy giving out these sheets for the guys (and a few gals) to fill out. Oftentimes it turns into a comedic outbreak and the bands really have fun with it. Other times I have to corner some of them to get them to take part. It never ceases to amaze me what they end up writing down too. Some are comedians, some are sarcastic BUT I would never say any were boring!
It also helps me to remember what we were doing at the time, for example, I recall eating pizza and drinking some beers with SACRED REICH backstage before their show at Bogart’s and you can still see pizza and or food stains all over the sheets! Priceless. Many of the band’s even gave me their home address and or phones number so I could send them the issue they appeared in. Wow, you mean at the end of the day these guys are “real” people? You bet…
OK, without further ado, here are some of the results from a hand-picked selection of my favorite bands! N-joy…
“Originality, intensity, feeling and good lyrics…something that never grows old.”
-Jay Abbene (Wrathchild) Guitar
“A song that grooves, has melody and context (and has nothing to do with religion.”
-Brad Divens (Wrathchild America) Lead Vocals/Bass
“Structure, heaviness and good lyrics.”
-Shannon Larkin (Wrathchild America) Drums
“Honesty”- Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth (OverKill) Lead Vocals
“Anything, any topic. Any feel or mood that’s cool. Must have power and talent, whether it’s three chords or three hundred.” – Bobby Gustafson (OverKill) Lead Guitar
“A good groove and good melody line. Also a good performance + production.” - Sid Falck (OverKill) Drummer
“When they say – Hey, that’s a good song”
- Chuck Billy (Testament) Lead Vocals
“A good feel. Good grooves and good lyrics that mean something.”
- Eric Peterson (Testament) Guitar
“One that is well-played, well-written and that you like and you won’t forget.”
- Alex Skolnick (Testament) Lead Guitar
“Make sure that it’s not boring! A lot of colors, a lot of changes, BUT with harmony and even melodies.”
-Denis “Piggy” D’Amour (Voivod) Lead Guitar
R.I.P. Piggy we miss you! You were a phenomenal guitarist and way ahead of your time.
“Feelings have to pass through my body…whatever it is.”
- Denis “Snake” Belanger (Voivod) Lead Singer
- Jean-Yves Theriault (Voivod) Bass/Artwork
“Must have a good topic, heavy/speed + slow “crunch” and something unexpected.” – Sean Killian (Vio-Lence) Lead Vocals
“Originality.” – Phil Demmel (Vio-Lence) Guitar
“The structure helps a lot. A strong riff with a catchy melody or hook + good playing.” -Robb Flynn (Vio-Lence) Guitar
So hopefully now you will know what these Metal giants think “makes a good song”!! Maybe you enjoyed reading these as much as I did asking them and compiling them over the years. If so peep the first round here.
*If you liked this post and or day dreaming inside our Metal time capsule, then please make sure you subscribe via our RSS feed (or via regular email)…if you are lost in Demolish land and cannot find your way out or where to go next, then click here. Rock on! - Curt King (Demolish Ed.)
May 7, 2010 | Categories: Demolish Asks II, Demolish Issue #1 | Tags: 80's metal, Alex Skolnick, Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth OVERKILL, Bobby Gustafson, Brad Divens, Chuck Billy, Denis Belanger, Denis D'Amour, entertainment, Eric Peterson, Heavy Metal Songs, Jay Abbene, Jean-Yves Theriault, Music, OverKill, Phil Demmel, Robb Flynn, Sean Killian, shannon larkin, Sid Falck, Testament, Vio-Lence, Voivod, what makes a good song, wrathchild america | Leave A Comment »
Forward – Curt King
Interviews – Phillip Cerreta Jr.
After having opened yet another box of metal goodies from the Demolish HQ Vaults this weekend, it became even clearer that there was no way in Hades (the place – not the band – ed) that all this would fit in the first issue of the magazine. As a matter of fact, when this started to become painfully obvious, I (being the editor in chief) started to morph into General Patton mode and began ordering the troops in the field (i.e. – writers) to start condensing the articles and interviews that were underway and or try to edit them in order to try to make them fit in the première issue.
When that too became rather obvious and there was just no way we could make all the articles fit, then we had to start
making some decisions…and fast. What to do now? Leave out some important features or reviews, if so, how do you decide what to cut and what to keep? I liked ALL of them and even promised several bands and or labels ample space inside the “friendly confines of Demolish.”
With that being said, when it came time to find a printer we made a mock copy with the exact layout and number of pages, ads, cover artwork etc. Then we could methodically start to “give em’ the axe” and proceeded to place bands, articles and reviews on the chopping block. This is certainly something that I did not take lightly and was not looking forward to. In fact, we put it off far longer than we should have!
Fear not though, the “others” were to be swiftly placed and guaranteed space in Demolish Issue #2, which was full at this point as well (yes, even before the début issue was printed and or distributed). I guess this was a good problem to have but it was a problem none-the-less!
OK, enough rambling about the inter-workings of trying to run a fledgling magazine. At the end of the day this will probably be good news to some of you in 2010, as it’s likely that we will be able to post the full interviews at some point and I will just simple call them “Part II” when posted, now….on to the music.
Power Metal Goodness
From the East Coast we have two great up n’ coming melodic Power Metal bands. VIRGIN STEELE and ESP. First up is a condensed interview with David DeFeis, singer for V.S.
*Before I forget, I still have some left-over promo posters from these guys. If you would like one, then use the handy contact form (top right hand side) on this site and leave your contact info and address and why you want one. The first 25 to respond will get one.
Since the release of the band’s highly acclaimed début in the latter part of 1982, VIRGIN STEELE have continued to deliver nothing but the “noblest” of Metal. Virgin Steele is the eponymous début album by this New York Metal band. This was the first album released by Music for Nations label in Europe.
Originally formed by guitarist Jack Starr (who plays on their first two full releases and one EP), they are now led by the awe-inspiring vocals of David DeFeis and flanked by the likes of guitarist Edward Pursino, bassist Joe O’ Reilly and drummer Joey Ayvazian, the band has carried on without compromise towards the success they so deserve. With a new LP on the way, Dave DeFeis took a break out of his busy schedule to fill Demolish in on the following topics…
Phillip Cerreta Jr: Do you mind the term Heavy Metal?
David DeFeis: “No I don’t mind Heavy Metal, but Heavy Metal today means so many different things to so many people. Some will say Heavy Metal is Metallica – that type of stuff and not what we are doing, while others will say it’s what were doing and not that! I don’t know what you’d call what were doing, but if you have to give it a label, I’d say “adventure music”, drama music -music that has movement and light and shade to it, while conveying an image of adventure.”
“Freddie Mercury from Queen was a big influence -he’s one of my favorite singers, especially the early stuff like QUEEN II.” – Dave DeFeis
PC: So, exactly how would you define the band’s sound then?
DD: “Magic fire music…if that makes any sense? It burns, it cooks and it’s got a sense of magic and mystery to it. Like I said before adventure -very dramatic, sort of grandiose and pompous.”
PC: You have such a strong and recognizable voice, both in chorus and speech, have you ever had any vocal training or done any singing outside the Metal genre?
DD: “I haven’t had any real vocal training. My sister was an opera singer and I went to her coach once or twice, plus I’ve learned a few things from my sister but that’s about it. All the learning I’ve done is through listening to people like Robert Plant, Freddie Mercury and David Coverdale -that sort of thing and just singing constantly since I was eleven years old. Also by singing in bands and blowing your voice out! You find out just how much you can take and how far you can push it.
I’ve done a few things outside of Metal. There was this Jazz thing that I did when I was very young but I really haven’t sung any opera yet, outside of fooling around the house. I haven’t recorded anything like that yet but you never know what’s in store, so I guess you can say I’m basically self-taught.”
PC: Is there anything you do to prepare your voice before going onstage?
DD: “Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t. It just depends on how the day goes. If I’ve got time to actually warm up, then I” do a couple of exercises and I’ll massage my throat, back of the neck and sides of the neck to get the blood flowing in there. I’ll also do a few push-ups and things like that to get the whole body in that kind of physical state but sometimes you don’t have that kind of time. Like during the last tour we did, when you’re bouncing around from city to city, you just have to go onstage and your first song is your warm-up. So you just take it easy from there and as your voice starts to get warmer and the blood starts to flow then you can start to do more with it.”
PC: What tips would you give any aspiring vocalists?
DD: “Eat right…I always try to eat right. I also try to do some sort of physical exercise everyday, be it push ups, a bit of weights or sit-ups. Sit-ups are very good for keeping the diaphragm in shape. Getting that thing strong is how you wing out the notes while taking the strain off the throat. Also don’t drink excessively or smoke! Drinking is fun but you have to know when to drink and when not to drink cause it can dry out the vocal chords. Herbal teas are good with honey -I usually drink that before going on. The honey is like a sugar buzz. I also drink it when I come off cause’ you wanna’ cool down the throat and body.”
PC: Are there any new bands or vocalists you admire?
DD: “Yes, Paul Shortino (from Rough Cutt – ed) I really like. I think Eric Adams from Manowar is a fine singer. As far as my listening goes, I mostly listen to the older guys like Robert Plant…the Zeppelin stuff. Freddie Mercury from Queen was a big influence -he’s one of my favorite singers, especially the early stuff like QUEEN II. Also David Coverdale and Dio of course…Ian Gillan too. I could go on all day (laughing)! Frank Dimio from Angel is great and Phil from UFO and so many other singers.”
PC: What can we expect from the new album?
DD: “The new material is very heavy, very up -very positive and I think it’s gonna’ be an even-stronger record than the last “Noble Savage” album. We’re very confident and proud of the new songs and I think the production will be even more intense since we have a bigger budget -one which we’ll definitely be taking full advantage of.”
“It’ll be the usual VIRGIN STEELE epic stuff, plus there will be some straight-ahead rockers and very fast, up-tempo tunes. There’s also several ballads plus there will be some anthem-like things like “We Rule the Night”, you know, American-sounding things. The records not gonna’ be any more commercial then the last -just some good songs, good playing, singing, drumming, bass playing and some ponderous keyboards too. The VIRGIN STEELE trademark will continue!”
*Listen to the song “We Rule the Night”.
PC: In closing we want to thank you for the interview. We really appreciate your time and enjoyed talking with you. I am sure our Demolish readers are chomping at the bit to hear the new material!
One last question -is there going to be any promo videos this time perhaps?
DD: “There is a video budget so there will definitely be videos. A lot of the songs cry out for videos cause’ they’re pretty visually oriented in terms of the lyrics, so you can expect a few when the album comes out.”
*Listen to “The Burning of Rome (Cry for Pompeii)”
Links of Interest:
Next up is Connecticut’s own:
Like the dawn which has ascended from its darkness, Connecticut’s ESP have arisen to shed new light upon the North-Eastern Metal scene. Forging ahead with a style that is as powerful as it is melodic, contagious as it is rare, vocalist Billy Jennings, bassist John T. McCarthy (R.I.P.), drummer Sean Kelly and co-lead guitarists Brian Waterbury and Bill Gleason shall no-doubt emerge victorious from the battle impending.
In the midst of recording new material, John McCarthy granted Demolish the following interview…
Phillip Cerreta Jr: Can you please tell us a bit about the band’s background.
John McCarthy: “ESP was formed about two years ago in 1985. Brian, Sean and myself started rehearsing and then we recruited Billy Jennings and later second guitarist Bill Gleason.”
PC: Is being from Connecticut a plus or a minus for the band?
JOHN: “Well, a lot of talented bands are emerging from Connecticut. There’s Obsession, Fates Warning, Liege Lord etc. So in that sense it’s a plus. The club scene is starting to pick back up again. People want to see live rock again so that’s also a plus, but if we had our choice, I think we would rather be out west in Los Angeles. I visited out there a few months back to talk to Metal Blade RecordsMetal Massacre Eight compilation we are featured on and the scene is really happening!”
*Have a listen to their track “Take Em’ Alive”.
The song is supposedly about a “futuristic Vietnam-type war.”
PC: Tell us, how did the name ESP come about?
JOHN: “I can’t really remember! I know our drummer Sean came up with it and we all looked at each other and said: “that’s it”. Plus it’s a large subject with a lot of meaning. We could really do some wild things with “ESP“!
PC: Is the name in any way reflective of the lyrics?
JOHN: “Well, I wouldn’t say it directly reflects the lyrics, but in the title track off the LP “The Future is Now”, it has somewhat of a meaning behind it. I don’t think we’ll ever write about one main topic. There’s so many things to write about, I’d hate to see us stuck with one format.”
1. PSA (105)
2. Never Too Scared
4. The Future Is Now
5. Don’t Put Up A Fight
6. United And Strong
7. Chance Of A Lifetime
8. Take ‘em Alive
9. Tower Of Babel
PC: How would you define the ESP sound?
JOHN: “I like to call it Power Metal. It’s not totally commercial nor is it anything like Thrash. It’s got catchy riffs with a heavy edge to it I guess. Everyone will just have to judge it for themselves but if you are into mainstream Metal with some good changes, then I think you’ll really enjoy the album!”
Have a listen to: “The Future is Now” from their 87′ debut LP of the same name.
PC: Which bands have had the biggest influence on ESP?
JOHN: “We’ll there’s a Queensryche influence that’s for sure, but we also enjoy Loudness, Iron Maiden and bands like that. I really don’t think you can compare us to any one band.”
PC: What’s your opinion of the current Metal scene?
JOHN: “I like a lot of stuff that’s coming out today and the Metal scene is picking up that’s for sure. But there’s also a lot of garbage out there. Don’t get me wrong, I like bands like Metallica, Megadeth, Metal Church and Agent Steel to name a few, but there are some awful Thrash Metal bands that aren’t making music -just noise! That whole thing is quite boring to me.”
PC: Where was the new demo recorded?
JOHN: “We recorded the latest demo at the same place we recorded the album -Audio West in West Haven, Connecticut…it’s an excellent studio.”
PC: Are you happy with the results?
JOHN: “Yes, for the low-budget we had for the demo we’re happy. It’s funny cause’ when you first record everything sounds awesome, but then the more you listen to it you start to pick out little things that you would do differently. I guess the same thing will happen with the album but we had more money, so hopefully it’ll come out better.”
PC: How’s the reaction been? is the underground picking up on it yet?
JOHN: “Yeah, the underground’s really picked up on it! We’ve been requested on a French radio station called Neptune. It’s #20, right next to David Lee Roth, Bon Jovi, Metallica and Poison! We’ve also been in many magazines, fanzines and radio stations all over Europe and in the States as well. We’ve also been featured in the January issue of Hit Parader‘s Heavy Metal Hot Shots, so the underground scene had really been supportive.”
PC: Just wanted to say thanks again for your time and interview. We really appreciate it!
What’s the next step for ESP?
JOHN: “We’ll finish the album next week and it should be released in Europe by the end of the summer on Dream/CBS Records in France. We’re still negotiating on which label to release it here in the states. So until then it will be available only as an Import for people in the states.”
“The album will be produced by Joe Bouchard (ex-Blue Oyster Cult bassist). ESP has in the past played with Malice, Obsession and Leige Lord, who Bouchard also just finished producing their new LP as well. We’ve also just finished about ten dates here in Connecticut, so we’ll start writing new material and continue playing live. Hopefully a tour won’t be too far away!”
Links of Interest
*Tt’s pretty slim-pickin’s as far as info about ESP on the web goes. If anyone has any photos or anything of value, please contact me and I will add it to this post.
**unfortunately guitarist Bill Gleason has recently informed me that bassist John T. McCarthy (R.I.P.) has since passed away!
*in order to transport you directly back to 1988 we will continue to keep the language in the posts “present tense” even though this is 2010.
April 24, 2010 | Categories: Demolish Issue #1, Double-Dose of Power Metal Goodness: ESP + VIRGIN STEELE | Tags: 80's metal, Age of Consent, Bill Gleason, Billy Jennings, Brian Waterbury, David Defeis, Edward Pursino, entertainment, ESP, ESP - 1986 Demo, Frank Gilchriest, Jack Starr, Joe O’ Reilly, Joey Ayvazian, John T. McCarthy, Josh Block, Metal Massacre 8, Music, New York Metal, Noble Savage, power metal, Sean Kelly, The Future is Now, Virgin Steele | 4 Comments »
Our regular readers out there already know that I am a big fan of Thrash/Power Metal. And I especially love the American west coast varieties! HEATHEN is yet another excellent San Francisco Bay Area based Power Metal band that deserves more ink. Their sound borders on Thrash Metal (in the traditional style of the “Bay Area” sound) but also has a firm foot rooted in melodic vocals, quality arrangements and of course the “crunchy” guitars, which creates quite a powerful sound!
The band is comprised of: David Godfrey (vocals), Lee Altus (guitar), Doug Piercy (ex-Anvil Chorus – guitar), Mike “Yaz” Jastremski (bass) and Darren Minter (drums) and were formed between 1984-1986. Of course there were a few lineup changes here and there but I am not going to bore you with the details. I will though, throw in a credit for original drummer Carl Sacco (ex-Metal Church) who played on the demo and album. Carl is pictured above, top left.
With mucho exposure in the Bay Area underground Metal scene, the band has managed to garner the respect of hordes of headbanging fans everywhere. Add in a respectable number of albums sold to date and radio airplay on at least 103 radio stations nationwide. This is a pretty impressive feat for a relatively “unknown” band.
The radio airplay was mainly due to the very successful single, a cover of SWEET‘s “Set Me Free”, which seems like an odd choice for a Metal band, but it was a good choice and turned out to be very popular. They also made a video for the single, which garnered heavy rotation on MTV’s Headbanger’s Ball.
HEATHEN first rose to prominence with their killer début demo called “Pray for Death” in 1986. This demo was legendary in the underground trading circuit and was one of the best tapes we received here at Demolish. I’ve played this demo many times with standout tracks such as “Goblin’s Blade” and “Open the Grave”. And no one has the “crunch-fest” guitar sound and precision back-picking that this band exudes (except maybe EXODUS).
*Check out the “Goblin’s Blade” track from the above demo tape.
After the demo was well-circulated, they were offered a record deal with Combat Records on the strength of these heavy + high quality recordings.
Let’s fast-forward to March of 87′, when their excellent début album “Breaking the Silence” was released and has since received abundant national and international press and more radio support.
The album was produced by none other than Ronnie Montrose (who also produced Chicago Thrashers WRATH -ed) and engineered by Roger Wiersema at the Music Annex in Menlo Park, CA.
Curt King and Demolish Mag. was able to track them down on the road as the band was in the midst of a major tour in support of the album. Please join us as we chat with Doug Piercy and Darren Minter before their headlining show at Bogart’s (in Cinci, Ohio).
Curt King: So how’s the tour going so far?
Doug Piercy: “It’s going pretty good, we’re getting to meet a lot of people. It’s like the fourth or fifth day, and it’s going pretty well.”
Where did the tour begin?
DP: “It started around the Chicago-area in a place called Aurora, which is a little town to the West of Chicago.”
That’s cool, what band did you play with at that show?
DP: “We played with Zoetrope.”
Ah, another great Chicago band! Why did you start there VS maybe starting on the West Coast and working your way East?
DP: “I don’t know. That’s like a good, expensive question! It cost a lot of time and money to get there. It seems like we should have started in Marino, Salt Lake City or somewhere like that.”
Yeah, I was just curious about why you stared there, seems unlikely but…
DP: “Yeah, we just wanted to get out East (where we have a lot more supporters) where everyone likes the music.”
So how big is this tour and how many dates will you be doing?
DP: “It’s going to be around thirty dates. It’s probably going to be around thirty, but I’m not 100% sure as they keep adding more dates!”
So have you made it to the East coast yet, where your biggest supporters are?
DP: “Yeah, we’ve played in Washington DC and that was a great show! And we’ve played in Pittsburgh and now we’re supposed to play in Connecticut. We’re also going to New Jersey for two shows and from there, we go to Texas.”
So how is Zoetrope, and are you guys getting along on the tour thus far?
DP: “Yeah, those guys are great.”
Is there any chance that you guys might get a larger arena tour, say with a larger band as an opening act perhaps?
DP: “Probably the closest thing to that would be a show we are doing in Arizona, which is with EXODUS, M.O.D., PAUL DIANNO and ZOETROPE. There will be some other bands there too. It will be in a giant place!”
Great, that is a cool lineup – is EXODUS headlining the show maybe?
DP: “Yes, EXODUS will be headlining and the playing order is about how I told you.”
What band(s) would you love to go out and tour with given the chance?
DP: “Oh God, I don’t know -probably METALLICA, MEGADETH, IRON MAIDEN or JUDAS PRIEST. And if you’re talking about arenas, then we’ve got the equipment.”
The début album “Breaking the Silence” has been out since last summer correct?
DP: “Yeah, but the single, the “Set Me Free” thing, came out first. Then the LP came out in August.”
How has the album been doing so far? I know a lot of people were waiting for a long time for it, ever since the demo came out!
DP: “We’ve sold around fifty to sixty thousand copies so far.”
I heard that you parted ways with your management, what’s the story with that and are you currently looking for a replacement?!
DP: “Yeah, we did. Oh yeah, like right now we’re screwed up and on tour, so we really can’t shop for one. But, we’ve had some bites already and we’re still looking cause’, you never know.”
How did you guys hook up with guitar great RONNIE MONTROSE to produce the LP?
DP: “Actually that’s Steve’s thing (Clausie Productions, their previous manager -ed), he set that up and at the time it was pretty good. Steve set it up and our attorney helped out.”
So what was it like to work with Ronnie?
DP: “He’s crazy! One thing I must compliment him on, he kept the budget happening. The next album we are going to co-produce though as we know what we want. The demo (“Pray for Death” – ed), we co-produced and the demo, in some ways -is more classic!”
Drummer Darrin Minter has a seat at the table and joins in…
Ronnie Montrose is not really known for producing Thrash or the heavier stuff is he?
Darren Minter: “No, but he did another band called WRATH and it was really well produced.”
Was it his idea to remake the “Set Me Free” song or what made you decide to add that to the album and make the video?
Doug: “It was like, fun…we played it a little bit and we’d been playing around with cover tunes trying to find a cool cover to do. Our management heard it and decided we should try to push it as a single. Which in some ways is good, because it got us on MTV, but conversely, it screwed us with the heavier audience because they thought we were that kind of band. Actually, it’s still debatable, but I think it’s great we’re on MTV! It went over good and we made a cool video from it. But, at the same time I’m really pissed off, the band, you know, with the death/thrash shi** -we would have had no problem had it not been for that song. We just do what we do, that’s the bottom line. If they like us, fine, if they don’t, fu** em’! We have that side to us and can do things like that.”
I like the cover and your version of “Set Me Free” really caught my ear. I know it’s hard to do a cover song that sounds better than the original, but your version really does!
DP: “It caught a lot of peoples ear. It also gave us a real shot at doing better things.”
DP: “That “Desolation Boulevard” album (by SWEET -ed), I got that when I was real young. I just went off on “Sweet F.A.”, you know like “Set Me Free” was on that album too, we need to do “Sweet F.A.” too, you know, just to play it.”
Darren: “You really think it does sound better? That’s the second time I’ve heard that today!”
MTV picked up the video and that had to really help out, but I was just curious to why it was shot in black and white? Was this a conscious choice to “stand out”, or was it a creative decision perhaps?
DP: “It was cheap, and the way we did it was cool. It worked out good. The way it was set up was cool, with a good contrasting set and location.”
You have a new drummer with Darren here, tell us what happened with your other drummer?
DP: “You know, personal problems…how do I explain it?”
Darren: “He had his thing, but the band had theirs. His life changed.”
DP: “He wanted to stay close to his family. They were moving down to San Diego.”
So tell us, how did you hook up with Darren?
DP: “That’s due to “Clausie” (band manager -ed), he got us Darren. If it weren’t for him, we might not have found Darren that fast.”
Darren: “He was my old bands manager as well as HEATHEN‘s.”
Is your old band still together now that you left?
Darren: “No, they broke up after I left.”
DP: “I’ll never forget the phone call. Darren was saying “no problem, sure I already know all the songs”, and they were like in the background crying. I couldn’t believe it! You know, like what a dick! The other band was right in the same with him, he was like “I’m in another band right now, but I’ll leave right now.”
So tell us, are you having a lot of fun now with these guys and how is everything working out?
Darren: “Sure, their great.”
Did you do any shows in California to warm up before going on tour or did you come straight on out?
Darren: “We played a show at the Omni -it’s this big club in the San Francisco area. We’ve been touring up and down the West coast and practicing a lot.”
So what have you got planned for tonight’s show in the way of a song list?
DP: “We’ll do the whole album, plus we’ll play a song called by RAINBOW called “Kill the King”, and we’ve got a new song called “Killing Once Again”.”
How long is this our going to last…any idea since they are adding more dates?
DP: “It’s supposed to last until the end of March, then we are going to go home and start rehearsing for the new album in April. And hopefully start recordings as early as May. But we’re not really sure. But we want to get it out so we can start again in the summer.”
What’s in store for any future projects?
DP: “After this tour we’re going to start rehearsing all the new material for the new album, which is about 80% complete.”
Will the new album be released on Combat Records again and how many more albums are you contracted to them for (if you don’t mind me asking)?
DP: “Yes, it will be out on Combat. And we’re contracted for three more albums.”
You have a pretty heavy, but melodic sound on the album, tell us -is that what separates you from all the other bands out there (esp. the Bay Area)?
DP: “Yes, definitely, it’s by design. All the way from the beginning like that.”
“Yeah, we love fast shit! It get’s you going. It gets the audience violent, you know “gory”, like a friendly knife attack.” - Doug Piercy
What do you think of all the classifications in Metal these days and or where do you see yourself fitting in?
DP: “Heavy Metal. Fu** the classifications. Call it butt fu** metal, whatever you want to call it!”
So, like myself – it appears you think classifications suck too then?
DP: “Yeah, they suck!”
OK, getting back to the beginning of the band, what are some of the bands that had a major impact on you?
DP: “When I was little I got cardboard guitars because I wanted to play. In those days it was THE WHO, HENDRIX and HUMBLE PIE. I was like nine years old then. Then I discovered JUDAS PRIEST. Lee was into DEEP PURPLE.”
Lee Altus decides to wake up and chime in…
DP: “Alright, everybody, he IS into PURPLE! Lee was able to get DEEP PURPLE albums on the black market in Russia. Lee, did you ever get JUDAS PRIEST there too? Yo, Ivan, hey Boris, did you ever get PRIEST in Odessa too?”
DP: “Fu** you, you got PURPLE albums in Russia, that’s all I am saying.”
Lee: “You said I WAS into PURPLE.”
DP: “He got SWEET there too, which is cool. Solo-wise I like Schenker, Lee likes Blackmore and Sykes. I like anyone whose good. I don’t care about personality or if there a clone or a rip-off, if their good then I like them.”
DP: “Did you ever get SWEET there too?”
One of my favorite questions to ask is: some of your songs are pretty damn fast, is speed that important to you?
DP: “Yeah, we love fast shit! It get’s you going. It gets the audience violent, you know “gory”, like a friendly knife attack. We like tempo changes a lot too, the new album coming out has lots of tempo changes…lots. I mean, it’s almost to the point of being ridiculous. But it’s cool though, cause’ that’s exciting you know.”
So, to wrap things up, what direction do you see yourselves going in as far as the next album?
DP: “Less commercial, definitely less commercial -to make everybody who was “unsold” by the “Set Me Free” song. The new shit will be even heavier, we have a couple of new songs that by design are not as heavy, but it’s much more crunching and the tones are going to be much better.”
Ok, cool – I love the crunchy guitar sound…the more the better for me! I want to thank you guys for the interview and inviting me to tonight’s show. I am really looking forward to it.
One last question before your sound check: So what’s in the future for you guys?
DP: “The next album is definitely on our minds. And touring this summer as well”.
I wish you guys all the best on tour and I cannot wait to hear the new material! I am sure HEATHEN will be heading up the second big wave of Thrash Metal dominance (along with Metal Church, Flotsam & Jetsam, Overkill, Death Angel and Testament etc.) and should be a household name by time you read this!
*in order to transport you directly back to 1988 we will continue to keep the language in the posts “present tense” even though this is 2010.
Sometime after the tour bassist Mike “Yaz” Jastremski (R.I.P.) left the band and it seems the band went through several bass players and vocalists between 1988 and 1991. Then back in 1989 David Godfrey decided to leave the band due to personal and or musical differences. I think for a few months even Paul Baloff (ex-Exodus screamer R.I.P.) filled in for the vocal spot as there were some demos floating around with him.
The band also enlisted the late Metal Church and Reverend vocalist David Wayne (R.I.P.). But ultimately, in 1990 David Godfrey returned to HEATHEN, except under the name David White this time.
So it’s time for their second LP “Victim of Deception” to be released finally and the band grabbed Marc Biedermann from BLIND ILLUSION to help out on bass duties in the studio. This time around the album was released via Roadrunner Records.
“Victim of Deception” was a lot more technical and featured the bands signature odd time signatures and tempo changes. The album did well and received favorable press and reviews, but ultimately was not as successful as their début album. The band included a RAINBOW cover this time called “Kill the King” and also released the track “Prisoners of Fate” as a single, which garnered some decent rock radio airplay as well.
*Have a listen to “Prisoner of Fate”. Crank it!
*That year Heathen found a permanent bassist in Randy Laire and toured extensively until the untimely death of Laire and his girlfriend in a car accident. The band replaced him with Jason Viebrooks. Doug Piercy departed from the band in 1992 and was replaced by Ira Black. The band planned to record a covers EP dedicated to Laire and his girlfriend as well as White’s deceased brother Jeffery. But the band went on hiatus in 1992.
*In 2001, Heathen reunited with David White, Lee Altus, Ira Black, Mike Jastremski and Darren Minter, to play the Thrash of the Titans concert to help Chuck Billy and Chuck Schuldiner raise funds for Billy’s throat cancer treatment and Schuldiner’s brain cancer treatment. The concert was a huge success, but in 2004, Mike “Yaz” Jastremski left the band again, and was replaced by Ulysses Siren bassist Jon Torres. A full-length album, Recovered was released on Relentless Metal Records, consisting of re-recorded old material and cover songs. A new demo was released in August 2005, containing three new songs.
*check out the THIN LIZZY cover “The Holy War”
*In 2005, Heathen recruited Terry Lauderdale to be the second guitarist and toured across Europe. Also in 2005, Lee Altus joined Bay Area thrashers Exodus but remained on Heathen’s lineup.
*In November 2007, the band recruited Prototype guitarist Kragen Lum and Mark Hernandez to replace Minter and Piecy. In addition, drummer Darren Minter returned to the band. They released The Evolution of Chaos on King Records in Japan Dec 23, 2009, Mascot Records Europe Jan. 25, 2010 and Mascot Records USA in Feb 2010.
*Heathen played at the Rock Hard Festival in Germany 2009, and later supported Testament, Exodus, and Kreator at Thrash Domination in Kawasaki, Japan, where they were voted best band by the fans on the Thrash Domination forum. In support of Heathen’s first original album since 1991, “Evolution Of Chaos”, Heathen will tour sometime in 2010 after having to cancel their planned March dates.
*according to Wiki
April 10, 2010 | Categories: Demolish Issue #1, HEATHEN-Breaking the Silence | Tags: 80's metal, Bay Area Thrash, Combat Records, Darren Minter, David Godfrey, Doug Piercy, entertainment, Headbangers Ball Video, HEATHEN, Lee Altus, Metal, Mike "Yaz" Jastremski, Music, Set Me Free MTV video, West Coast Metal Scene | 10 Comments »
The Wait is Over…
by Curt King
Love em’ or hate em’, but you cannot deny how hard this band works and how dedicated they are! I love em‘ and have known about them for a couple of years now. Up until then, I had read only a few blurbs here and there in various Metal magazines and always heard they were a killer live act.
These cats have been around for several years with various members and lineup changes, in fact, their current lead singer and bassist Brad Divens even had a brief stint as a member of KIX. For those of you who are not familiar with KIX, they have some rockin’ songs but they are more of a basic hard rock band with melodic songs. Wrathchild however, are much more intense and have a different attitude altogether.
Jay Abbene (Guitars/BG vox), Terry Carter (Guitars/BG vox) and their ace —”wild man” drummer Shannon Larkin round out their present lineup. Are you one of those who thinks Tommy Lee is a powerful + a great show man? Just wait until you see Shannon perform live on the skins!
Some of you may be thinking to yourself (after a quick glance at the above photo), “this doesn’t look like the glam band from the UK”, well, your correct —it’s NOT! This Wrathchild is from the good ole’ U.S.A. (Maryland to be exact) and are in no-way-shape-or-form related to those characters from England (except of course for the obvious -the name).
Wrathchild plays a widespread type of music that jumps back and forth from being heavy, to fast, to slow, to melodic, to…well, I don’t even know what you would call it —other than good!
The band hinted at success a few years back with their 1983-84′ “Danger-us“ demo tape. It rocked, but sadly they were not able to capture the power and intensity of their live show within’ those four original tracks. Don’t get me wrong, songs like “Heartache Queen”, the twin guitar attack of “Metal Madness” and the AC/DC influenced “Roll the Dice” (and the title track “Danger-us”) certainly jams hard, but they lack the originality of their newer material.
You can also detect a definite 70′s influenced guitar sound on that demo but this is now coupled with a heavier sound ala’ early Priest or Maiden. So yes, obviously (if you have to be influenced by someone) then those are some great musical influences to have! In some of the smaller clubs they require you to play some covers, so the band usually does a short set of cover tunes and a full-set of their originals at their live shows.
They have a track called “Armed to Deliver” featured on last years L’Amour Rocks 87′ compilation album, which showcased eight up n’ coming young bands.
I am sure Wrathchild was included mainly due to the strength of their live shows, which has taken them all over the U.S. and especially the Midwest (including the Baltimore rock scene where they a very popular).
These East Coast natives are easily the standout band and their special blend of power + Metal should help them rise above all the “wanna-be’s” out there on the club circuit these days.
*check out this relic for some band history.
OK, let’s dig in a little bit deeper and see what makes this band tic as Curt King has a chat with front man Brad Divens to get the run down of their struggle to the top.
Curt King: I understand that you guys have been at it for a while, exactly how long have you been slugging it out and has it been hard sticking with it over the years?
Brad Divens: “We’ve been together for five years as we are now. Terry and Shannon started the band a long, long time ago when they were in high school. It’s basically been like this for the last five years. It’s been rough at times. Not really rough as far as sticking together, but with just all the financial problems and playing constantly with all the ups and downs.”
You were a five piece unit at one time, what happened to your bassist?
Brad: “We were a five piece unit for like three and a half, almost four years and then our bass player (Kevin Keller - ed) seemed like he lost a little interest. The songs we were writing just didn’t have any feel. He was writing everything and we were just learning it. We didn’t like that too much, so we parted ways with him.”
Brad: “I’ve always played guitar -for about sixteen years (as previously mentioned above, he had a brief stint with KIX during this time before he joined Wrathchild – ed). When he left, instead of hiring somebody else and trying to find the right person, I just said, “hell, I’ll do it”. If you can play guitar then you can play bass.”
Which instrument do you like to play the best then?
Brad: “Oh, I don’t know, that’s a tough one. Actually, I play guitar at home all the time. I like playing guitar a lot! Terry and Jay are a lot better than me though. When we first started out, we had three guitars believe it or not. We all switched off leads and stuff, it was pretty cool.”
You guys have been constantly touring and promoting the band for the past few years, can you tell us about some of this touring, you know -where have you been, who have you played with etc.
Brad: “We’ve played constantly for five years. We’ve been out to L.A. and back twice. We’ve also played Ohio, Texas, Arizona, Oklahoma, Colorado, North Carolina, South Carolina, Mississippi, Louisiana…just everyplace! And we’ve gotten a good response everywhere.”
“We’ve played constantly for five years and we’ve gotten a good response everywhere.” – Brad Divens
There is a cool local place here called Kramer’s Lake that I should hook you guys up with. It’s actually an amusement park/lake during the day and by the time Sunday evening rolls around each week, they have live bands out there.
Some of the bands are really great (like Buster Brown or New York) and play originals, although most bands just play cover tunes. But it’s a fun time and I know someone in the family that runs it, so I will try to hook it up for you through your manager (Chip over at James Turner Productions).
Brad: “When we go out on the road we hit the same clubs and always try to play new clubs if it is financially possibly. A lot of the places, for the first time, don’t like to play very much and we’d have to see if it is worthwhile to go out of our way to play the place.”
Where is your biggest following at?
Brad: “We’re the most popular in the Baltimore/Washington area, along with Cincinnati, Ohio. We did exceptionally well in L.A.”
Who are some of the many bands that you have played shows with thus far? Any national acts? I heard the show in Baltimore with Twisted Sister impressed them enough to result in another show – this time at the infamous Brooklyn, NY Metal Club L’Amour’s.
Brad: “We’ve played with Accept, Saxon, The Ramones, Anvil, Ace Frehley’s Comet, Foghat and yes Twisted Sister at L’Amour.”
Your live show features a variety of of songs, ranging from the Sex Pistols, to Metallica, to Bad Brains, to Pink Floyd (not to mention a whole sh**-load of originals – ed) are you, as a band, influenced by any Punk or Hardcore type of music or do you even like it?
“We are influenced by everything basically” – Brad Divens
Isn’t it true that certain members of the band have other side-projects that’s along the lines of Hardcore?
Brad: “Yeah, Kiddie Porn. That’s Shannon’s little project. That was basically done for fun. They did a tape and sold a bunch of copies of that. Jay also plays with him, along with a bassist named “Tumor”. I don’t what’s gonna’ happen with them though, they might go back in the studio and record some more songs just for the hell of it. Shannon likes playing Hardcore and Punk so much that it’s good for him to get that out of his system! The lyrics are also too sick and demented for Wrathchild (laughs Brad).”
Brad: “Some of us are influenced by Punk + Hardcore. Jay are Shannon are and I like some of it too. I personally don’t like a lot of the Hardcore stuff, but I like Punk music. We are influenced by everything basically.”
Didn’t Shannon even try out for the mighty Slayer once when they lost Dave Lombardo for a while?
Brad: “Yeah, he did try out for Slayer. He wasn’t unhappy with Wrathchild or anything, it was just that Slayer is his favorite band! We all encouraged him to do it. We said “yeah, go do it, and if/when they offer you the job, we’ll come and talk you out of it.”
I heard that he did pretty damn good and came close to getting the job?!
Brad: “He was definitely one of the likely candidates!”
You guys recorded your second four song demo in 87′, can you please tell us about those songs and what kind of reaction it stirred -if any?
Brad: “We got a bunch of write-ups and stories in magazines. That demo also got us the deal with Atlantic Records. The songs on the demo consisted of:“Climbing the Walls”, which deals with what all happened to us on one road trip. I mean everything happened to us, from not being able to get motel rooms to getting stopped by the police, to getting screwed over on money! “Day of Thunder”, deals with war -any kind of war. “Candy from A Madman” (my favorite – ed) is about an insane person out in the streets. The kind of freak that molest little girls and stuff. Don’t take candy little girls (laughs)! “Hell’s Gates” is about what actually happens when you go to hell…if there is a hell. That’s one of my personal favorites. We have some other songs like “Armed to Deliver”, “No Deposit, No Return”, “Wasted by the Night”, “London After Midnight”, “Hernia”, which is an instrumental. Also “Silent Darkness (Smothered Life)” and “Danger-us”.
“Our style has changed because now it’s a mixture of everybody’s influence as compared to just one person writing the whole song -lyrics and all!”
You do seem to have a pretty widely varied sound/style that appeals to a variety of people.
Brad: “You can’t really pin point our style. You’ll hear us doing something and you’ll think it’s Heavy Metal or Thrash and then we’ll break into some off-the-wall shit -Blues or Jazz or something! You don’t know what style.”
You’ve recorded your début album and I have received a pre-release of it and it’s great! How was it to work in the studio and do you feel that when this is released that it will finally give you the recognition you so rightfully deserve?
Brad: “We will definitely start getting, at least, a little respect. Respect and two cases of beer instead of one. And hot dogs (laughs)! When we first started talking to Atlantic they told us to pick out some producers we wanted. We talked to Michael (Wagener -ed) and sent him a tape and everything. We flew him out to see the band and he loved us! I mean, he definitely wanted to work with the band. It was great.”
I’m more-than-sure that you are familiar with the Glam band from the UK that also uses the name Wrathchild?! What do you think about them and who has the rights to the name?
Brad: “They suck! I’m pretty sure we have the rights to the name. Anyway, they changed their name to: Wrathchild UK, so we don’t have anything to worry about now. I don’t think they have ever came over and here and I am sure we’ll be able to go over there to play. We’ll do anything to avoid confusion with them, even if we have to say U.S. Wrathchild!”
What’s going through your minds now and what future plans do you have as a band?
Brad: “To get the album out definitely. Then just driving it down peoples throats by playing everywhere possible (to a certain extent), I mean, we wouldn’t tour for two years after our first album. We’ll probably tour for year and go in the studio and do another one. We want to be successful and have our name known everywhere because we definitely want to go to Europe! Hopefully our booking agency will get us on tour. We’re hoping for a band like Iron Maiden, Ozzy or even AC/DC.”
Yeah that would be cool. Any parting last words our Demolish readers and or future Wrathchild fans?
Brad: “That’s about it -so everybody please make sure to buy the album”.
After many years of touring and hard work, it seems that these rockers are finally about to get their big break. Right now though, they are in the midst of an ongoing legal battle with the UK “Wrathchild” who are fighting them a bit for the rights to use that name. I hope they win too as I like their name and it fits them like a glove. The UK band with the same name are some “sleazy glam boyz” and certainly not up to the same pro-level as our beloved Wrathchild from America.
Wrathchild have everything going for them and I am pretty positive that the time is now for them to take the world by storm. I have predicted this ever since I saw several of their awesome, energy-packed live shows!
*In order to transport you directly back to the 80’s (i.e. 87′ – 89′ to be exact) we will continue to keep the language in the posts “present tense” even though this is 2010.
Call it “shticky” if you must but…I thought this would be way better than always saying “back in the day” or “this is the way it was back when…” over & over & over. -CK
I am happy to report that I was successful in connecting their management with Kramer’s as you can see from the pics above (if you actually read the captions) and they indeed played Kramer’s several times. They were able to get in by agreeing to do a set of cover tunes. Some of which can be heard here. So all of you E’ville peeps out there now know who you can thank for all of those great times!
*Well, I cannot take all the credit, as we have to give special thanks to Daphne’s mom as well for taking a “chance” with the (then unknown) band. Those pictures were taken in the spring of 1988 on March 20th.
They were so successful that they branched out and were booked to play other gigs in the Tri-State area including Funky’s.
Enjoy a few more pics…
When I met up with the rest of the band, I had them fill out the famous “Demolish Asks” questionnaire. These are some of the earliest known copies of these documents as well! I asked the band what their Top 5 current albums were and what do you think makes a good song?
*click on each for a larger view
Well, I am not happy to report that the band or label ended up delaying the release of their début LP “Climbin’ the Walls” almost 2 years later —in the first part of 1989! They were also either forced to (or willingly) added the silly “America” to their name to avoid further confusion with the UK band. This was all fine and dandy but I think it surely let the steam out their sails a bit and in the process maybe killed the “buzz” they had managed to create to date. Couple that with the changing times in the music industry and a lackluster job by Atlantic Records at promoting these rising stars and that translated into average sales and further complicated matters. That’s a damn shame too, as this is a gem of a band AND album and they deserved better.
I don’t think the label knew what to do with them. They do not fit nicely into one classification that’s for sure. Some journalists tried to lump them into the widely popular Thrash Metal genre, but while they did show some rather fast + heavy moments (that resembled “straight up” Thrash), they were much more melodic than that. They also were able to add in the “catchi-ness” of older Heavy Metal and even some blues and jazzy parts. Maybe even some heavy waltz parts here in there right in the middle of their songs!
Best of all these seasoned musicians were able to put on a show and did not just stand there head bangin’ like most Metal bands of the day. Plus their drummer —Shannon Larkin, out “head-banged” nearly every Bay Area band from BEHIND the drum kit! This is no lie. He must have a rubber neck.
Check out the cool video the band made to promote the album. I did see this on “Headbanger’s Ball” a lot!
At the end of the day, I think most people did not understand them, did not give them a proper chance and or just didn’t “get it” perhaps. Maybe some fans did not gel with their songwriting and or often satirical lyrical output? Most of that was meant to be funny and or tongue n’ cheek, so maybe they too it too “seriously” unfortunately. Let it be said here now: These warriors are pro-caliber musicians and execute live with total precision and authority.
If you call yourself a fan of Metal or Hard Rock and you (somehow) missed these guys the first time around, then please redeem yourself by going here and getting the “Climbin’ the Walls” CD. It still holds up today and I have listened to it several times while writing this post.
1. Climbin’ The Walls
2. Hell’s Gates
3. No Deposit, No Return
5. London After Midnight
6. Candy From A Madman
7. Silent Darkness (Smothered Life)
9. Day Of The Thunder
*The band ended up co-producing the LP with Mark Dearnly (& David Radin).
After a rather un-momentous first experience with Atlantic Records and their major label début, WRATHCHILD carried-on (as they usually do) and shrugged off the negative vibes and kept on rockin’, show after show, song after song. I am not sure if they were ever able to meet up with the “UK Wrathchild” (that caused them so much grief) and kick their asses!
Either way, the boys went back into the studio and recorded another great twelve track album simply called “3-D”. This time around, which was another two years later (i.e. 1991), things were even more awry in the music industry. The Power Metal and or Thrash Metal scene was starting to implode on itself and the 80′s left-coast “Hair-Metal” scene was starting to dry up as well. I mean, how many more “power ballads” could we take?
Check out their second promo video for the song: “Surrounded by Idiots”
Excuses and or “bad-timing” aside, this albums rocks from start to finish! This album is much more varied and complex vs their début. The power + “catchi-ness” is still there and the sound quality is better as well. Songs like “Desert Grins” and “Surrounded by Idiots” just ooze with clever songwriting and skill!Perhaps this song sums it up best:
Surrounded By Idiots
All through my life every day’s the same
And they tell me I’m losing again
I can talk until I’m blue in the face
But can you tell me who’s the one to blame
And what are you gonna do when we get old
And we’re tired of doing what we’re told
Because the government’s broke and we’re out-of-place
In a country that’s already been sold
I don’t know what to think
But I know what I see
I think I’ll have another drink
You wanna join me?
I can’t make sense out of any of this
The more I try, the more I get pissed
This confusion that I can’t erase
Can’t seem to crawl out of the abyss
Desperate groupie making a pass
The little slut didn’t just want my ass
She said, “I wanna be cool and have a rock star’s kid”
But will the novelty of the bastard last?
I don’t know what to think
But I know what I see
I think I’ll have another drink
Wanna join me?
Surrounded, Surrounded, Surrounded
Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right
(Here I am) Surrounded, I’m surrounded, surrounded
Surrounded by idiots
The TV gods and the Jesus freaks and the flag burners
And the rapists, and the murderers, would you check out
All the geeks…I can’t believe what walks the streets
From Hollywood to D.C.
You banned little red riding hood
censored mister Rogers’ neighborhood
I go to jail if they find a seed
But meanwhile the mayor runs free
Now I know what I think
And I know what I see
I say everything sucks
Surrounded, Surrounded, Surrounded
Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right
(Here I am) Surrounded, I’m surrounded, surrounded
Surrounded by idiots!
3-D Track Listing:
1. 3-D Man
3. Gentleman Death
4. Forever Alone
6. Surrounded By Idiots
7. Desert Grins
8. What’s Your Pleasure?
10. Another Nameless Face
12. I Ain’t Drunk, I’m Just Drinkin’
Check out a rare interview + the rare “Spy” promo VHS clip.
Check out this MAJOR blast from the past here:
Rewind the tape back to 1984: CBS News began a pre-production for a new prime time series. The show, in the format similar to 60 Minutes, will eventually be titled “West 57th”. Producer Craig Leake decided to film a segment based on the struggles of a young touring act trying to break out of the night club “death march”. After reviewing several bands, from upstate New York to Washington D.C., Mr. Leake picked Wrathchild.
Sometime after the band was dropped from Atlantic Records, they decided to retire the Wrathchild America name and continued to make even HEAVIER music. This time around they were called SOULS AT ZERO. I will be the first to admit that their output during these years was pretty decent as well, but there was just something “missing” that I cannot put my finger on as to why they could not make it and or move up the ranks if-you-will.
I think the band was (rightfully) pissed-off and wanted to make aggressive music that definitely could be considered Thrash Metal this time around. The band still added their signature quirkiness though and were like dynamite live as well. I only got to see them one time under the SOULS AT ZERO name unfortunately. It was at some “Hall” on Fulton Ave. in Evansville (I cannot remember the name – and it’s since been demolished).
So there we have it, yet another amazing band that was never able to rise above cult status over the years.
*Shannon Larkin left the band in 1994 to fill the drum seat in Ugly Kid Joe.
Souls at Zero Releases:
Souls At Zero (Energy) 1993
Souls at Zero – six-t-six (Energy) 1994
Souls At Zero – Taste of the Perverse (Energy) 1995
*Terry Carter – A.K.A. “T-Bone” has since moved on to playing in country and blues bands and just about any other form of music that puts him on a stage in front of a crowd. For a short time he toured with Fear Of God but now resides in Florida.
*Brad Divens is now a successful producer /promoter/sound engineer working with such bands as Mindset and Linkin Park, Cyndi Lauper and Slayer.
*Jay Abbene was in Kiddie Porn with Shannon. He’s toured with Fear Of God and Crowbar.
*according to their Souls at Zero (fan page).
Links of Interest
*there are some cool photos on here
Souls At Zero:
But their music on Amazon
March 29, 2010 | Categories: Demolish Issue #1, Wrathchild (America): The Wait is Over | Tags: 3-D, 80's metal, Brad Divens, Climbin' the Walls, Danger-us Demo, Days of Thunder Demo, entertainment, Heavy Metal, Jay Abbene, Kevin Keller, Kramer's Lake, Music, power metal, shannon larkin, Souls at Zero, Terry Carter, Underground Metal, wrathchild america | 21 Comments »
I know first-hand how much all of you crazy Metalheads like to read or compile “Best Of” album lists and how you like to look at special collections, rare Metal memorabilia or relics from the hey days of Metal. So I thought I would put together an eclectic selection of advertisements (or adverts as they say in the UK) from 1980 through 1990 (with a few thrown in from 91′, which were mostly recorded or released at the tail-end of the 80′s).
It’s interesting to look back at how the graphics have changed and also the marketing “tactics”, which was something I was unaware of when I started “testing the Metal waters.” I was really just into the graphics or artwork (who wasn’t right -ed) and if it looked cool and or slightly “outer-fringe” then it was probably decent (in my innocent mind). Up to this point, I really did not pay any special attention to the silly record label wording in the ads and or what label it was released on. That did not concern me in the least, as long as I had my Heavy Metal I was fine!
Looking back, I was like a musical sponge, soaking up anything and everything I could get my hands on and magazine advertisements were one of the main ways to find out about new bands or releases back when. Remember kiddos (for those of you who weren’t even born yet) there was no such thing as the internet and there were not many radio stations that actually played Heavy Metal music or even “heavier” bands (like Slayer, Metallica, Kreator, OverKill etc.). In my experience, the only stations that I could tune into that played such music were local college radio stations!
MTV’s “Headbanger’s Ball” was something that was just starting as well and besides, it was only aired ONCE per week. Can you image having to wait an entire week to hear new stuff? Hey, we were happy as hell to even have that and I can remember many times that we made that special night into an event! We either had the VCR set to timer-record the show and or we made a mad dash back home when it was about to come on!
You had to have some “Metal patience” back then folks. And that is where the mighty album artwork and liner notes came into HEAVY play as well. That gave you something to think (or dream) about during the “down-time” and or while you were actually listening to the music.
My fondest “dreamer” moment was opening up the first KISS Alive album or Alive II and folding that baby out and voila’, a huge panoramic photo of inside a concert arena! Wow, I was hooked and I sooo wanted to be inside that scene! I literally sat there and imagined what it was like to be there while jamming on the record. You could sense the excitement as the lights were about ready to dim! The only thing that was left out of my imaginary scenario was the smell of the special “left-handed” cigarettes wafting about that some (who are we kidding here – MOST of the -ed) fans rolled themselves!
*click to play and step inside the arena
So without going into a full-on rant about “how it was back in the Metal 80′s” (I will save that one for later), I will however, slam on the breaks and shut it down…so you can at least enjoy these hand-selected Metal/Hard Rock adverts.
BTW these are not arranged in any special order or anything for all of you anal Metalheads or O.C.D. candidates!
METAL Advert Gallery
*To experience the photo gallery/carousel, just click an image below. You can then navigate between photos using the left and right arrow keys, or by clicking or tapping the arrows on the left and right. When you’re done, click anywhere in the background or press the Esc key on your keyboard to return to the thumbnails.
*OK, so which one(s) are your favorite?
You gotta’ love the early Judas Priest ad from 1980! It says “Can You Take 12″ of British Steel”!! Ha ha, Mr. Halford must have had something to do with that one.
Coming in at a close second is the silly Krokus ad for their Hardware LP. It reads: “It drills, it bites, it hammers, it cuts through anything”. Now that is really bad! I hope those morons weren’t paid too much who came up with that bit of sheer brilliance. I used to jam on “Burning Bones” and “Rock City” when the band was into being an AC/DC clone.
Love the “Good friendly, violent Fun” quote for the live Exodus release. Classic!
New York’s Mongel Horde Records announce in their ad that the “devastation of planet earth” was coming with “the formation of their record label” that was “dedicated to releasing, bone-crunching records for molten Metalheads all over the Earth”…..priceless! Oh wait there’s more: All “flesh-ripping Metal bands, send your blood-thirsty tapes to us if you want to be included on our Monster Metal Compilation.” It doesn’t get any more 80′s Metal than that peeps!
Oh and who could forget the dirty lil’ Helloween ad (above) for the “Keeper of the Seven Key’s Part One”, which showcases a bare-assed cartoon hottie who is about to “pounce” on a pumpkin/stem of all things! You will NEVER ever see tongue n’ cheek (pun-intended -ed) ads like that ever again folks. The world is far too politically correct today.
Honors for worst ad?
This would have to go to Pretty Maids with their cheeseball “bald-head” ad. It’s main headline is: “Pretty Maids are after your head”. And the text spiel reads: “Pretty Maids have put a buzz in the metal underworld. They thrashed Europe with their first albums and left thousands of bodies strewn about SRO concert stages.” Oh boy, where to start with this one. So when did Pretty Maids become “thrash-metal” anyway? “Bodies strewn about”…bad, bad, bad! I am sure it was the label who cam up with this garbage anyway. I bought their decent “Red Hot And Heavy” LP back in 1984.
Runner up goes to Noise International‘s Destruction ad, which reads “Guess who’s back?, Destruction is back, Cracked Brain is Here.” And then it has this text: “Turn the volume to 11 for this one” (how original -ed) wrapped-around a pair of mini headphones!
Tyketto’s “It don’t come any better” slogan and “Town Bad Girl” title by Legs Diamond is pretty lame-o too.
Most “desperate” Ad:
Goes to the “Let the MEGAFORCE be with you” (Deeper into the Vault) by Megaforce Worldwide. Who could pass up on: “14 rare and unreleased tracks in a classic collectors deluxe package. Unique & Essential”??? I wonder how much this is worth now? Props to Megaforce for their earlier output with Metallica, Testament, OverKill & S.O.D!
Hands down the Megadeth “Rust in Peace” (by Ed Repka) and the Suicidal Tendencies “Join the Army” (by Michael Sieff) covers are amazing!
I hope you enjoyed this latest trip down memory lane and at least got a kick out of a couple of these ads! Disclaimer: Even though I rip on album covers, song titles, lyrics and sometimes cheesy Metal band names, I am still a life-long fan of Metal music – Kinger
*Don’t forget to pass along these gems to your friends (and you can also support us by donating or subscribing via RSS).
March 16, 2010 | Categories: Top Metal Adverts from 1980-1990! | Tags: 80's fanzine ads, 80's metal, 80's Metal adverts, 80's Metal Magazines, Ed Repka, entertainment, Headbangers Ball, Heavy Metal, Kiss, Kiss Alive I, Kiss Alive II, Metal memorablia, Michael Sieff, MTV, Music | 8 Comments »
Is Nothing Sacred?
by Curt King
So what comes to mind when you hear the name SACRED REICH? Well, for me nothing really, but I am sure for many others that is not the case. You see I am more than familiar with silly band names — band names that are simply meant to shock people, and or bands that pick monikers that mean NOTHING at all. I usually try not to get too hung up on such trivial things and besides, what’s in a name right?
Fast-forward to the SLEEPY TRIP rehearsal space (1985/86′).
After our bands practice that night, a young Arizona transplant named Mike Gunner was throwing in his $0.02 on up n’ coming bands that I should feature in Demolish.
His vote of course was a band from his home state called SACRED REICH (who at this point were only together for barely a year). Now to tell you the truth, I was a bit skeptical upon hearing this name and coming from Mike — who was really more into all things “hardcore”, I was not really listening to his words with much enthusiasm. So after a bit of thrash/metal VS hardcore musical chit-chat, I informed him that if he could hook me up with their demo and or get into contact with this young band, then I would certainly give them a chance. I’ll admit he did piqué my interest with his enthusiasm and excitement with which he spewed forth.
So the demo finally surfaced and their impressive “Draining You of Life” demo became one of the most sought after underground tapes to make the rounds. Of course there was already a bit of a “Metal” stir in the Phoenix, Arizona area around this time with [the excellent] FLOTSAM & JETSAM preceding them by a few short years. As a matter of fact, main man Phil Rind (bass + vocals) temporarily replaced Jason Newsted of Flotsam fame when Mr. Newsted was recruited by the METALLICA camp. During his stay, Phil played a couple of dates with Flotsam in L.A. and their drummer Greg Hall was even a serious candidate for the drum seat in SLAYER when Dave Lombardo went AWOL!
I am not sure if the Flotsam crew hooked up their Arizona friends’ with Metal Blade Records or not, but the title song of their début album “Ignorance”, was added to the demo and ultimately recorded for the Metal Massacre VIII compilation. From what I hear, the response was so great that SACRED REICH was added to the Metal Blade roster in 1987. Things were looking up for these desert thrashers as they became the first thrash metal band in the label’s history to be offered major distribution through Capitol Records!
What I like about SACRED REICH is that they combine a sense of seriousness in their lyrical content but at the same time are not afraid to have fun. Phil has some interesting conversations with their audiences in-between songs, sometimes comedic while still remaining in-your-face Thrash Metal! Another aspect that separates the band from the ever-growing list of sub-par Speed Metal or Thrash bands worldwide is the inspired guitar work of Wiley Arnett. His guitar runs and solos are unique in this genre and have added yet another dimension after joining the band. Wiley replaced original guitarist Jeff Martinek (who appeared on their demo) after he left the band to join the U.S. Army.
I was able to meet up with the band at their stop in Cincinnati, Ohio (at Bogart’s) after their killer performance! This is one powerful band live and I am digging the “Ignorance” album folks.
- “Death Squad” – 4:19
- “Victim of Demise” – 3:29
- “Layed to Rest” (Wiley Arnett) – 2:14
- “Ignorance” – 4:00
- “No Believers” (Rind, Jason Rainey) – 3:17
- “Violent Solutions” (Rind, Rainey) – 4:09
- “Rest in Peace” (Rind, Rainey) – 3:40
- “Sacred Reich” – 3:10
- “Administrative Decisions” – 3:20
CURT KING – So are you guys happy with the way “Ignorance” turned out and is it shifting any units?
PHIL RIND: “It’s doin’ better than probably what we expected, but we don’t know any exact numbers.”
GREG HALL: “A while back we signed with Great Southern Merchandising. They do IRON MAIDEN, AEROSMITH and BON JOVI, so we got a cool deal there. Now all we need to do is find a good booking agent! We’ve got good distribution and everything until we ran into this guy who is f**k**g us over. Our shirts are selling very well, better than they expected.”
Wasn’t your début LP the first début album on Metal Blade to be distributed through Capitol Records?
WILEY ARNETT: “Yeah, it was the first album to get that distribution. They have other bands to get it, but we were the first band to get it on our début album. Usually they have a band for a few albums and then they’ll hook em’ up with this deal. Brian Slagel’s been very supportive so far. Metal Blade are killer!”
Can you link the great support and Capital distribution deal to your success thus far?
GREG HALL: “Oh yeah, if we didn’t have Capitol Distribution then we wouldn’t be in half the places, as far as record stores are concerned, that we are in. I’m sure there are downfalls too, but there are people who have heard of us in places that I’ve never even heard of! We played Cleveland, Ohio and I figured they were gonna’ be some f**k**g shit little town, but they were great!”
What’s the concept and or meaning of the album’s title and cover artwork?
PHIL: “The whole “Ignorance” thing is if you look inside the album cover, there’s a little picture and that was the original album cover but they said it was too harsh, so we picked the lower right-hand corner and that represented “Ignorance”.
WILEY: “The original album cover was way more-detailed. If you look at that, it pretty much sums everything up. It shows teenage drunken driving, overdose, abortion, the space shuttle, aids — just everything. It’s just the “Ignorance”, the ignorance of the world! It’s our concept.”
Your songs are very fast and powerful (esp. the drums -ed), is speed and power that important to you?
GREG: “No, it used to be though. When I got in the band, it was like, let’s play fast. But now it’s like there’s a time to play fast and a time to just PLAY. It seems like every band is going fast and to me personally, I try to stay away from the old clichéd drum licks. There’s already one Dave Lombardo. Why burn it out? It seems like everyone said: here comes Dave Lombardo and went F**k! And everyone started playin’ like him. I said, I’m gonna’ play the way I wanna’ play and if people respect me for that then that’s cool. If they don’t like it, then that’s cool too.”
“There’s already one Dave Lombardo. Why burn it out?I’m gonna’ play the way I wanna’ play and if people respect me for that then that’s cool.” – Greg Hall
It appears that you are not into the same ol’ [typical band] lyrics and some of your lyrics seem to show various statements. Can you please touch upon that a little more?
PHIL: “There’s enough dungeons and dragons satanic bands in the world already. There’s enough bullshit to write about, so there’s no reason to write about that crap!”
I agree, so how do the lyrics tie into this “central theme” then if-you-will?
PHIL: “Well, it didn’t really start until “Ignorance”. I mean, there are a couple of songs on the demo that have probably nothing to do with the way we are now. It’s social consciousness, political themes and everyday life. I figure they all tie into administrators ignorance and school systems putting out “obey-ers” and stuff. It all ties in together.”
“We have something to say and want to create awareness.” – Phil Rind
Have you received any flack from your name – being ironic as it is?
JASON: “No, we were kinda’ stereotyped for a while, but we started doing interviews and got it out. Some of the fans would write and say this is the Sacred “REICH”, especially the Germans. They thought the “REICH” was sacred. We’re doin’ it as a sarcastic over-exaggeration. We’re being sarcastic! You know — the SACRED REICH. It’s like the ultimate Ignorance.”
A lot of thrash fans do not read too deeply into the lyrics, do you think your fans are [actually] reading the song lyrics and or “getting” the concept?
GREG: “I think a lot of them do. I think a lot of em’ understand what we’re trying to do. Well, the lyrics are there and the people definitely know the lyrics to Slayer’s “Reign in Blood”, it’s like their in front of your face. If you buy the album your gonna’ want to read em’. A lot of people like our song “Administrative Decisions” because they can relate to it. Everyone’s been to High School and everyone’s dealt with f**k*ed up teachers and principals and people who just f**k you! I think our fans understand our lyrics and read them. But then again, there are some stupid one’s too, that come there and don’t know shit.”
PHIL: “Just because they don’t understand the lyrics doesn’t mean they are stupid! Some people are just into music instead of the lyrics. I’ve read reviews where people say they don’t really care about the lyrics and that’s up to them. We’re musicians and people are gonna’ listen to what we’re sayin’, so we may as well put out something that’s halfway intelligent and means something. If we can make a positive statement to people who are listening to you and you’re in a position to reach a lot of people, then why not take advantage of it.”
What did the press think about them?
- “With the release of the LP “Ignorance”, they slam on to our Hard Hitters Chart and take the number one most added slot for the second week in a row” – The Hard Report
- “Intelligence and Metal are two things not normally associated with each other, but in the case of SACRED REICH, they blend to form a powerful musical message” – Hit Parader
- “It is a raw slice of ultra-thrash metal with lyrics that veer in a different direction from your standard demons and destruction fare” – Don Kaye (RIP)
- “This is an LP that leaves you thoroughly exhausted at the end and begging for more. Grab, steal, buy or sell your soul – it’s that good. 96 out of 100! – Metal Forces
- “Ignorance” stands as the best début thrash LP this year. KKKK3/4″ – Kerrang!
- “A stunningly fast, heavy album with a lyrical stance that bypasses blood and gore for the harsh realities of life” – Power Metal
After extensive worldwide touring and the mega-successful release of “Ignorance” (which you can see from above, received the highest praise from a large selection of respected magazines), the band returned in 1988 with the “Surf Nicaragua” (EP). Other than the excellent current title track, “Draining You Of Life” from their 1st demo was re-recorded, and a Black Sabbath cover of “War Pigs” was added from the past and lastly “One Nation” points to the direction they are headed, as they move into 1989.
“Surf Nicaragua” was recorded in Los Angeles at Track Studios under the guidance of Bill Metoyer, who also did the first SACRED REICH album. The CD version has two bonus tracks “Ignorance” and “Death Squad”, both of which were recorded live. This (EP) shows the band progressing both musically and lyrically from where they were. This band is determined and quite a musical powerhouse.
- “Surf Nicaragua” (Phil Rind)– 4:39
- “One Nation” (Rind, Wiley Arnett) – 3:24
- “War Pigs” (Black Sabbath) – 6:07
- “Draining You of Life” (Rind) – 3:18
- Bonus live tracks on CD re-release
- “Ignorance” (Rind) – 4:04
- “Death Squad” (Rind) – 4:31
Alive at the Dynamo (Roadracer/Metal Blade 1989)
- “Surf Nicaragua” (Rind) – 4:27
- “Violent Solutions” (Rind, Jason Rainey) – 4:31
- “War Pigs” – 6:14
- “Death Squad” (Rind) – 6:00
*Recorded on May 15, 1989 at the Dynamo Open Air Festival in Holland (Metal Blade/Roadracer Records)
“You take 24,000 screaming, slamming, diving maniacs, add a whole bunch of Heineken, a bunch of great music, and a lot of fun, and there you have it” – Phil Rind
The American Way (Enigma/Metal Blade 1990)
- “Love… Hate” (Rind, Wiley Arnett) – 4:02
- “The American Way” (Rind, Arnett) – 3:34
- “The Way It Is” – 4:51
- “Crimes Against Humanity” – 6:04
- “State of Emergency” – 6:03
- “Who’s To Blame” – 3:33
- “I Don’t Know” – 3:08
- “31 Flavors” (Rind, Arnett) – 3:10
All songs written by Phil Rind, unless otherwise stated
“Musically, we’ve tried to expand our horizons without forgetting our roots. Some people will appreciate the changes. Others, let’s just say, they’d be satisfied with ‘Ignorance II’” – Phil Rind
A Question (EP) (Hollywood/Metal Blade 1991)
- “A Question” –5:25
- “Let’s Have A Way” (FEAR cover) – 2:20
- “Who’s to Blame” – 3:39
Independent (Hollywood/Metal Blade 1993)
- “Independent” (Rind) – 3:38
- “Free” (Rind) – 4:34
- “Just Like That” (Rind, Jason Rainey) – 5:42
- “Supremacy” (Rind) – 2:37
- “If Only” (Wiley Arnett) – 3:46
- “Crawling” (Rind, Dave McClain) – 6:30
- “Pressure” (Rind) – 2:47
- “Product” (Rind) – 3:44
- “I Never Said Goodbye” (Rind) – 7:46
- “Open Book” (Rind, McClain) – 4:21
- “Do It” (Rind) – 2:24
- “Let’s Have a War” (Fear) (Bonus Track) – 2:21
*All lyrics written by Phil Rind, music as stated.
**Original drummer Greg Hall left during and was replaced by Dave McClain (who later went on to drum for Machine Head)
Heal (Metal Blade 1996)
- “Blue Suit, Brown Shirt” – 2:27
- “Heal” – 3:43
- “Break Through” – 3:38
- “Low” – 4:03
- “Don’t” – 2:52
- “Jason’s Idea” (Jason Rainey) – 0:40
- “Ask Ed” – 4:07
- “Who Do You Want to Be?” – 2:23
- “Seen Through My Eyes” – 3:19
- “I Don’t Care” – 3:16
- “The Power of the Written Word” – 2:37
- “Beef Balogna” (Bonus Track) – 1:39
*All tracks written by Phil Rind, unless otherwise stated.
**Dave McClain on drums.
Still Ignorant (Metal Blade 1997)
- “American Way” (Wiley Arnett, Rind) – 3:48
- “Administrative Decisions” – 3:40
- “One Nation” (Arnett, Rind) – 2:55
- “Independent” – 3:51
- “State of Emergency” – 5:35
- “The Power of the Written Word” (Arnett, Rind) – 2:51
- “Heal” – 3:48
- “Blue Suit, Brown Shirt” – 2:37
- “Who’s to Blame?” – 3:44
- “Violent Solutions” (Jason Rainey, Rind) – 4:36
- “War Pigs” Black Sabbath) – 7:03
- Originally released on the Paranoid album.
- “Death Squad” – 4:30
- “Surf Nicaragua” – 4:49
*All tracks written by Phil Rind, unless stated otherwise stated.
This album sees the return of original drummer, Greg Hall (after an absence of six years). Dave left to join Machine Head.
The band also contributed the Black Sabbath cover “Sweet Leaf” to the Hempilation: Freedom Is NORML compilation album to help NORML, and the Subhumans cover “The Big Picture” appears as the B-side of the “Open Book” promotional single.
A three disk boxed set with remastered versions of Ignorance and Surf Nicaragua with additional bonus material, including the “Draining You of Life” demo tape and a live DVD, was originally slated for release in September 2005, but was released in Europe only in the summer of 2007 by Metal Blade Records.
A clip of the band’s video for the song “The American Way” is used in the movie Encino Man. The title track from the album “Independent” can be heard in the college football movie The Program.
*Special thanks to SACRED REICH for over two decades of thrashin’! – Kinger
As a reminder, please feel free to pass along these posts to your Metal buddies to help spread the “Metal Gospel“ if you like what you read!
Metal blogger tip:
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February 25, 2010 | Categories: Demolish Issue #1, SACRED REICH: Is Nothing Sacred? | Tags: 80's metal, Flotsam & Jetsam, Gloria Bujnowski, Greg Hall, Jason Rainey, Metal Blade Records, Phile Rind, Sacred Reich, Surf Nicaragua, Wiley Arnett | 13 Comments »
By Curt King
It was at this time last year (Dec. 1987) when I first heard the group called LADY SABRE. They sent me a demo cassette with over twenty(!) of their melodic, hard-rock original songs on it that just oozed with mounds of talent and potential. They have sent their tapes all over the world and have gained a large, positive response to their music and in turn have managed to gain generous amounts of radio airplay and various articles and features in many magazines.
Since the “buzz” was so BIG on this Florida band throughout 87′ -they decided to go back into the studio (their own studio by the way, that they simply call “The Dungeon” -ed) and record an albums worth of new material.
This tape was released as an “official demo” to generate interest among record labels and the result of this is an admirably packaged ten track affair entitled “Under a Strange Spell”.
“There is something for everyone on this tape.This is the tape that we send to our fans and we ask them to write back and let us know which songs they like the best. The same five songs are mentioned every time” added Sandra.
|Listen To: “Total Eclipse”||
The core of this band is the hard-working team of Sandra Thomas (Vocals/Keyboards) and Chris Warren (Guitar/Keyboards). They are a great duo who write, produce and arrange all of their songs together. As far as other members go, four different drummers were used on this project and Chris played bass guitar. Chris also produced and mixed the entire recording. Before I tell you about their songs, I must assert that this band is destined to break wide-open in the music business. They have so much to offer it almost hurts!
For starters, they pretty much have their own sound that should please almost every person who claims they enjoy melodic hard rock or well-polished metal. LADY SABRE are just approaching the song/music composition aspect in a way that differs from most “unknown” bands. They are always exploring new musical territories and have lots of experimentation going on throughout their songs such as: “Moon Song”, which is very original and unique (it even has a flute tucked away in there -ed), “African Origin”, which is very artistic and has many things flowing about ever-so-smoothly. The multiple keyboard segments, mood-setting guitar leads and the electronic “African-style” drums suck you into its moody, percussive atmosphere and make you want to hear more after it ends!
Sandra is a dramatic vocalist who has her powerful, crystal-clear voice under control at all times. Additional songs like “Fangs and Claws”, the slower/melodic “Lovers Kiss” and the massive anthem-like qualities of “Love from Afar“ will clearly show this as this song is immense. I can just visualize this being played in arenas in front of thousands of screaming fans!
Sandra is also more feminine than most of those cunning women of metal that sell their looks instead of good music. Sandra is quite attractive, but her lungs are on display here! She also experiments around with multiple vocal harmonies and odd back ground vocals on the HEART/ABBA-like (vocals only -ed) “In Need of Your Heart” and “At the End of Time“. It is also on these songs that guitarist Chris Warren shows his master abilities with catchy lead guitar work and solid riffs. When he kicks in with his leads you can hear one of the finest “undiscovered” guitar talents at his best! “Strange Spell”, “Fear for Life” and “My Love for You” are all straight-forward hard rockers and just three more examples of his fluid guitar structures that complement the song’s contents along with Sandra’s soaring voice.
“Four of our songs won awards in the 1987 Music City Song Festival (Nashville, TN.) in the Professional Rock Category.” – Sandra
This tape is good enough to release on vinyl (as-is) and they even have over nine more complete songs and three more instrumentals to play. Four of their songs recently won awards in the Pro Rock Category in the 1987 Music-City Song Festival in Nashville, TN. They have also started their own publishing/production company and Chris impressed me enough to feature a special column for guitarists in each issue of DEMOLISH entitled the “Bizarre Guitar“, which he writes solely.
|Listen to: “Lady Sabre”||
LADY SABRE are pretty impressive to say the least, but you say two people a band does not make, well, they have that under control too because they have just added: John Salzlein (drums), Richard Von Haiden (bass) and Steve Hardin (keyboards) to round out their line-up.
The only thing left for them to do now is to keep playing and promoting themselves until some record label and or management company comes knocking on their door in beautiful Florida to give this truly deserving young band some major backing!
Sandra and Chris are really cool and I am glad that I was able to feature them in this special extended review for the DEMO DUNGEON section.
If you would like to get their tape, they have a special fan club membership with kits (which includes: a bumper sticker, button, press-release, bio, photo and the demo tape) for only $5. Write to: LADY SABRE P.O. Box XXXX, Delray Beach, Florida. 33447 U.S.A.
I will be covering hundreds of up n’ coming bands in the DEMO DUNGEON section, so make sure you stay in touch. You can easily do this by subscribing to our RSS feed(s) and or you can enter your email address (at the bottom of this page) to be informed when we post new reviews.
*in order to transport you directly back to 1988 we will continue to keep the language in the posts “present tense” even though this is 2010.
2010 Band Update
Looks like Sandra and Chris were able to release their début LP in 1989 entitled “Enchanted”. Four songs from the demos made it on this release as well.
2. Desert Sunset
3. Palace In The Sky
4. Iron Overload
5. Love From Afar
6. Sudden Attack
7. Shrines Built To Time
9. Your Love Is A Deadly Weapon
11. To The Point Of Pain
12. Total Eclipse
13. Feelin’ Somethin’
14. Black Night
15. At The End Of Time
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January 7, 2010 | Categories: Demo Dungeon | Tags: 80's metal, Chris Warren, Demo Dungeon, Demo Review, Enchanted, entertainment, Florida Heavy Metal, John Salzlein, Let Her Slay You, Music, Richard Von Haiden, Sandra Thomas, Steve Hardin, Under A Strange Spell, Wayne Glass, Wayne Glass Photography | 13 Comments »
By Curt King
I thought it would be neat to get inside the head of each band or band member that I spoke to and or hung out with, you know -to find out what makes them tick. For this issue I decided to pose the following question to a wide selection of bands: What do you think makes a good song…and why?
Gary Meskil (THE CRUMBSUCKERS) – 1.) “It’s gotta’ be melodic. 2.) It’s gotta’ be memorable and 3.) It’s got to be musical. That’s about it (if it has those three qualities), oh and good lyrics too.”
Brian Lehfeldt (WEHRMACHT) – “I dunno’, I guess if it’s fun and I really like playing it a lot.”
Mike Gilbert (FLOTSAM & JETSAM) - “I think a song should be catchy first. It should catch your ear and then by the end of the song you should be up on your feet and kinda’ fidgety about doing something. The sound of certain chords or chord progressions’ can make you do that. Other ones are going to make you feel like, oh, this is nice…big deal!”
“For example: a DOKKEN song (sorry Don -ed!). I can listen to that and I won’t feel like going out and running around the block or something. But if you listen to a METALLICA song, it’s well-written and it just makes you wanna’ get into a fight! That’s what I think makes a good song -if you can feel something after you done listening to it. Even if it makes you feel like crying or something, it definitely proves a point.”
Terry Carter (WRATHCHILD AMERICA) – “The song should take me somewhere I’d rather be. I should be able to hear that the writer followed his instincts, his own likes and dis-likes and his feelings. I think it should tell a story in itself. I like to see a picture in my mind when I hear it.”
King Diamond (MERCYFUL FATE/KING DIAMOND) – “I don’t like to do the ordinary way of writing songs, like, intro, verse, chorus, verse, chorus, solo, verse, chorus and end -you know. That’s not very interesting to me and it seems to be too easy. But still, when you listen to other bands that do it that way, some of it is really good. It depends on who’s performing it and how their performing it.”
“The production plays a big roll also. If you have a real good heavy production, a simple song can work fantastic. It depends on who did it. What was the vocal line like, how is the guitar performance and how are the drums. Even the simplest song can have a very, very strange and interesting drum beat. So you can do so much even though you are working over a simple riff.”
“When I’m writing music I’m playing a lot of stuff. When I come up with good riffs, suddenly I’ll continue whatever I got and I will never think in terms as, now I’ve got a verse, now we’ve got to come up with a chorus -that doesn’t mean much to me. If I come up with a good chorus line and there’s room for it, then it’ll be there. If not, it’s not gonna’ be there! It’s gonna’ be exactly how I feel. I’m not thinking in any strict terms, it’s very, very open and free when it comes to composing.”
Michael Kelly Smith (BRITNY FOX/ex-CINDERELLA) - “A good strong hook, a good melody and LOUD everything. It should be tastefully played, yet not being over-played nor under-played. Just a good, solid song, like straight-forward rock n’ roll without being too progressive or too basic.”
Dell Hull (LETHAL) – “Basically something that’s melodic with a lot of feel to it.”
Dan Lilker (NUCLEAR ASSAULT) – “That’s too vague. I guess something that makes you want to hear it again. I don’t like the SCORPIONS for the same reason I like NAPALM DEATH.”
Lenny Rutledge (SANCTUARY) – “Just a basic, good song structure with melody. First, you gotta’ get a good, strong rhythm and then you have to get a good melody line within that. Then you have to get a good subject and then you have to base it all within the music and notes.”
Stephan Gebedi (THANATOS) – “I think the structure of a song is the most important thing. You can play fifteen unbelievably killer riffs, but if they don’t fit together -it sounds like shit. So you should try to get a number of good riffs that fit together and combined the right way.”
Steve Murphy (PROCESS REVEALED/ELDRITCH RITE) – “What draws people to music is similarities in the music-to-speech patterns and bodily movements (not Satan). I listen closer in the construction to the balance in harmony, rhythm and sometimes melody and also lyrical content.”
Doug Piercy (HEATHEN) - “A good killer rhythm-section with something memorable about it -whether it’s super-crunchy, melodic or whatever. Also needs a good chorus and guitar solos. Basically, a well thought out, good structured song and not just re-hashed crap!”
Paul Arnold (AT WAR) – “Originality is one, but not over-original, because over-originality can turn into weirdness at times. It’s also got to be an aggressive song and self-confident. Just all-around entertaining.”
Peter Wagner (RAGE) – “First, the riff itself has to be original. Then there must be a groove in the song. Some bands add one thousand riffs to a song, so in the end, you don’t know how it began and what you heard. Finally, the guitar and vocal melodies must go in the ear.”
David T. Chastain (CHASTAIN/C.J.S.S.) – “M * u * s * i * c * a * l * i * t * y.”
Peter Lundstrom (AGONY) - “I think that it has to be interesting and not all that fast.”
John Brenner (REVELATION) – “Mostly out-right HEAVINESS —whether fast or slow, speed makes no difference. Also it must have sincerity in the lyrics.”
Killjoy (NECROPHAGIA) - “Something that’s new and original. It’s also got to have a lot of power!”
Kevin Steele (ROXX GANG) – “I’m a guitar freak, so it’s gotta’ have a good lead and you gotta’ be able to rip! To me, what’s hard, is to write a song that your happy with that you don’t feel like you have sold-out.
A song that still has some edge but, yet it’s gonna’ appeal to a lot of people. Commercial enough to appeal to a lot of people to get on the radio.
You’ve also got to have the hook and catchy chorus too.”
So hopefully now you will know “what makes a good song!! Maybe you enjoyed reading these as much as I did asking them and compiling them over the years.
*If you like this post, please make sure you subscribe to our Metal Blog via RSS feeds (or email)…Curt King (Demolish Ed.)
January 1, 2010 | Categories: Demolish Asks | Tags: 80's metal, AGONY, Brian Lehfeldt, britny fox, C.J.S.S., CHASTAIN, Dan Lilker, David T. Chastain, Dell Hull, Demolish Asks, Doug Piercy, entertainment, Gary Meskil, Great 80's Heavy Metal songs, HEATHEN, John Brenner, Kevin Steele, Killjoy, KING DIAMOND, Lenny Rutledge, lethal, Mercyful Fate, metal songs, Michael Gilbert, Michael Kelly Smith, Music, NECROPHAGIA, Nuclear Assault, Peter Lundstrom, Peter Murphy, PROCESS REVEALED, REVELATION, roxx gang, sanctuary, songwriting, Stephan Gebedi, Steve Murphy, Terry Carter, THANATOS, WEHRMACHT, what make's a great 80's Metal song?, what makes a good song | 4 Comments »
Here is another Top 25 of 1988 list. This time from another main staff writer: Scott F.
Scott is a very gifted songwriter and melodic guitarist (hence the lean towards “guitar-centric” releases).
He is also 1/4 of the Indiana Metal band SLEEPY TRIP.
*We will post some of their demos later.
25. JUDAS PRIEST – Ram it Down
24. JASON BECKER – Perpetual Burn
23. ACID REIGN - Moshkinstein (EP)
22. DOOM – Killing Field (EP)
21. CHASTAIN – The Voice of the Cult
20. INDESTRUCTIBLE NOISE COMMAND – The Visitor
19. SACRED REICH – Surf Nicaragua (EP)
18. SANCTUARY – Refuge Denied
17. FATES WARNING – No Exit
16. TOXIK – World Circus
15. SLAYER – South of Heaven
14. DEATH ANGEL – Frolic Through the Park
13. OVER KILL – Under the Influence
12. OZZY OSBOURNE – No Rest for the Wicked
11. JANES ADDICTION – Nothings Shocking
10. JOE SATRIANI – Surfing With the Alien
09. VOIVOD – Dimension Hatross
08. FLOTSAM & JETSAM – No Place for Disgrace
07. CRUMBSUCKERS – Beast on My Back
06. TESTAMENT – The New Order
05. MEKONG DELTA – The Music of Erich Zann
04. QUEENSRYCHE – Operation: Mindcrime
03. MEGADETH – So Far, So Good, So What
02. KING DIAMOND – Them
01. METALLICA – …And Justice For All
As I dig into the DEMOLISH vaults, I will post random interviews, articles, reviews etc. Eventually I will work my way through the first two issues. It appears that blogs such as this are the new [online digital] magazines and physical print magazines are dropping like flies. Of course we have Decibel and Revolver covering the new bands, but what about the 80′s scene and current 80′s revival? That’s where we step in!
Here’s the scoop:
DEMOLISH was a dedicated Metal Music fanzine that I started back in the day (late 80′s) but was put on “permanent hold” when I was not able to secure funds prior to printing. Unfortunately this was after many people contributed articles, submitted killer artwork, wrote reviews, attended concerts and took amazing pic’s etc.
Believe me, I wasn’t very happy with the result either. All of us worked pretty much non-stop on this project for well over a year and a half! In any event, we are alive and online now.
Are you ready for a kick-ass “blast-from-the-past”?
If so, then dig out those albums (yes — I said albums) and dust off those old cassettes, try on that old Metal jean jacket (you know — the one with no sleeves and covered with your fav. band’s patches and buttons) and hopefully you will enjoy this chunk of Metal history!
So what makes us different?
You may notice this at the end of our articles:
*In order to transport you directly back to the eighties (i.e. 87′ – 89′ to be exact) we will continue to keep the language in the posts “present tense” even though this is 2009. None of these articles, interviews and reviews have ever been published! I plan to keep them in their original form.
I thought this would be way cooler than always saying “back in the day” or “this is the way it was back when…” over & over ad nauseam.
We will also try to track down the original artist that was featured for a current update and post current links where possible. If you know, or have a way to contact any of these bands, then by all means please forward our links and have them get back in touch with us as we would love to hear from them!
Thanks again and enjoy the site!
Curt King (aka’ Kinger)
(ex-Sleepy Trip/Kuru-Ama drummer)
December 5, 2009 | Categories: An Introduction, Demolish Issue #1 | Tags: 80's metal, 80's thrash, demolish, Demolish Metal Mag., Eighties Metal Fanzine, Eighties Metal Magazine, Heavy Metal Music in 1988, metal fanzine, Music | 8 Comments »