Mark Tremonti, best known as the lead guitarist of the American rock bands Creed and Alter Bridge. He is a founding member of both bands, and has also collaborated with many other artists over the years.
“The bands are so different,” he said of his two current main projects. “And I write so much. I’m going to do a solo record because there are some songs that I’d hate to think wouldn’t see the light of day because they don’t work for Creed or Alter Bridge.” He is playing guitar as well as singing lead on all of the songs himself. Former Submersed members Eric Friedman and Garrett Whitlock will perform on the record as well.
Although these tracks are certainly melodic, don’t let that fool you as there is some heavy [almost thrash/speed metal] riffing going on with this solo outing!
For sure it’s heavier than either Creed or Alter Bridge. It’s what I like to call melodic AMP (American Power-Metal).
All I Was, the first solo album by Mark Tremonti will be available July 17th, 2012. The album features the first single “You Waste Your Time” which is available on iTunes.
Mark Tremonti performs “You Waste Your Time” from his début solo album “All I Was.” The performance was recorded live at Groovemaster studios in Chicago.
1. Leave It Alone
2. So You’re Afraid
3. Wish You Well
5. The Things I’ve Seen
6. You Waste Your Time
7. New Way Out
8. Giving Up
10. All I Was
11. Doesn’t Matter
Mark Tremonti – Vocals, lead guitar
Eric Friedman – Backing vocals, guitar, bass
Garrett Whitlock – Drums
July 12, 2012 | Categories: Demolish A.D. | Tags: Alter Bridge, american power metal, Creed, Eric Friedman, Garrett Whitlock, Groovemaster studios in Chicago, Mark Tremonti, power metal, Tremonti | Leave A Comment »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
by Matthew King
So I am constantly digging through the VAULT over at the DEMOLISH HQ and I recently ran across a late 80′s magazine with the excellent band EXODUS on the cover. I don’t normally keep old magazines any more (although I certainly used too) so I wondered how and why this ancient publication was able to survive after all of these years. I guess my “metal” subconscious told me to pull it out…so, without any hesitation, I set aside the mounds of paper and carefully yanked it out.
I started nonchalantly flipping through the pages and the first random page turn is none other than Sweden’s CANDLEMASS. Ah’ hah, good pick, as I love that band and their brand of slow-mo but heavy-as-hell “Power” Metal. Moving on a few pages later…b*i*n*g*o, a NUCLEAR ASSAULT article —another great under rated band IMO. Flipping to page 47 though brings us a band called ACROPHET. Hmmmmn, I know ACROPHET is an underground Metal band from the greater Midwest Area known as Wisconsin, so that is cool right? Yes, well, ok I see, they must need a token unknown band or two to try to show some “underground Metal credibility”. But why?
*Is this the “Nastiest Magazine on Earth”?
Enter rant here: In my opinion, ANY half-respected rag that features these Bay Area Thrash Metal Legends on the cover has to be decent -right? WRONGO…as it suddenly dawns on me who is really behind this “new magazine” simply called POWER METAL. It’s the folks from HIT PARADER magazine! Yikes…
Now wait a minute, I know what you are thinkin’, they are an established (old school) basic 70′s – 80′s rock and hard rock publication right? Correct. As a matter-of-fact this is from the fine folks at Charlton Publications Inc. on the East Coast. So what the heck are they doing printing articles on OVERKILL, TESTAMENT and KREATOR instead of their normal subject matter such as KISS, VAN HALEN and the MOTLEY CRUE boyz of “Metal”? Read on…
Well, I will tell you why -they are obviously trying to ca$h-in on the Power + Thrash Metal scene that is apparently dominating all things Metal these days! Don’t get me wrong, I do appreciate them giving up n’ coming underground Metal bands some ink and well-deserved coverage, but something about the mag. just doesn’t “smell” right.
I can see it now. As the Monday morning corporate HQ meeting is taking place at the HIT PARADER offices bright and early at 8AM. The old dudes (you know the one’s that have raked in all the money since the 40′s/50′s but have NO IDEA what is printed in the magazine and haven’t for years) are starting to panic as sales are down and they are wondering what in world is wrong with these kids?
“They used to buy our beloved magazine by the truckloads! What are we going to do? Maybe we should ask our sons and daughters what is popular these days as the old dinosaur rock bands are sure not pulling in the readership that we have enjoyed over the last decade or so. And we thought they would NEVER get sick of FOREIGNER and JOAN JETT pull-out posters! Damn it Jim, get on it and I want an answer and “master” plan by next meeting.”
OK, so maybe it didn’t go like that, but I’ll bet it wasn’t too far off. It “irked” me so much that I jumped on the ole’ IBM Selectric (typewriter) and started crafting my angry “not with MY Power Metal you don’t” letter to send to the editors of this old school “new comer”! More on that later…(see below).
What’s my beef with this magazine anyway?
Well, for starters, let’s have a peep at the advertisements. This is usually an indication of the group that the marketing department has carefully targeted correct? I’ll let you be the judge. Here is the first full-color (rather expensive I’m sure) full-page ad that graces the inside front cover:
*click on images for larger view
DANGEROUS TOYS? These guys are a decent rockin’ band from Texas, but I am sorry as they are NOT “Power” Metal and never will be. I think DT had more in common with Axl Rose and GNR VS German Thrashers DESTRUCTION or KREATOR! You have to wonder sometimes what goes on in major record labels minds in those precious Monday morning meetings. I think maybe this would be a better match for their normal mag. or even RIP or Circus Magazine perhaps.
OK, I am a fair person, I’ll let that one slide. Besides, it was probably the clueless buffoons at the record label anyway right? Let’s flip to the back cover ads. Those are the uber-expensive ones that are usually “reserved” for the hottest bands (or labels with the most money).
So what did we find? SACRED REICH from Arizona? Hell no! What about SANCTUARY from the Pacific Northwest area -they are surely a deserving Power Metal band…nope. The geniuses at Chrysalis Records thought all of you dedicated Power Metal readers might like a new band called THE SEA HAGS!
The SEA HAGS are an (average) hard rock band at best. As a matter of fact, it even says that in their ad (see above pic). It says “Nasty new rock up from the streets and in your face”. This makes me feel sorry for bands like this who are on a major label and the powers-that-be go crazy spending all of this money (that the band has to pay back BTW)…it’s such a waste. It also angers me when companies slap-together crappy product (i.e. this magazine) and try to pull the wool over the readers eyes and think they will convince them that they know what they are writing about!
Believe me, I am more than aware of how many “new” bands that the major label marketing machine signs, promotes, and then kicks off the label for poor sales after wards. For every underground indie band I get here at DEMOLISH, I receive about four times that many major label acts from the likes of Warner Bros., A&M, Sire and Capitol Records etc.
And it’s not the bands’ fault either, they are working hard their entire life to get their “lucky break” and to try to make this happen but their label doesn’t really care about them, unless, they turn into an “over night success” story and sell thousands of records and tapes. It is a business I know, but it just seems lob-sided and or skewed against the band instead of for them.
Ok, so back to the advertisement rant(s) I started.
I have one more “Power Metal” advert to tell you about. This one is finely placed inside the back cover. The “nasty” SEA HAGS appear last, and then when you flip that over, here is what you get (and your gonna’ love this one) on the inside:
Yes, “power metal” boys and girls that is WHITE LION!
And according to their major record label ad, courtesy of Atlantic Records, “Its the Only Game In Town”. Priceless!!! Yes, it may be priceless, but it costs several thousand dollar$ (see some typical ad rates here). Again, not to knock this band, cause’ they do what they do extremely well if you are into that type of sound and style.
I guess they thought they were going to be able to market them to a heavier crowd since (according to the text in the above ad) they were scheduled to tour with OZZY OSBOURNE in the summer/fall of 1989.
There were only three proper full-page adverts in the entire issue:
The Metal heads at Combat (Relativity) know what they are doing.
Notice the ad reads: “Thrash Metal With A Groove“! This FAITH OR FEAR album jams too.
Now that’s more like it.
**The only two other paid full-page advertisements that made sense (and paid the bills).
BTW both of these are decent releases as well if you haven’t checked these out. Esp. LEATHER!
So I know what you must be thinkin’, does this guy like anything about this publication & why is he even posting or “defending” Power Metal music? Well, the answer is a resounding “YES”! As previously mentioned, the EXODUS cover + story rocks and for the fact that they featured the following:
CANDLEMASS (by Mike Gitter who is a respectable writer)
WRATHCHILD (the US band, even though they did not list them on the cover?)
SLAYER (a typical shorty “live evil” snip)
TESTAMENT (certainly deserving, but a somewhat cheeky article/writer)
DESTRUCTION (excellent article by Mike Gitter again, of course)
NUCLEAR ASSAULT (worthy article and coverage)
WHITE ZOMBIE (nice piece on up n’ comers. Mr. Gitter calls them a “Bizarre New Band”)
++LIZZY BORDEN - Full Color “Pin-Up” Poster
*yikes, I am not sure what young girl (or guy for that matter) would want to hang this scary shot up!
++ANTHRAX – Side B. Full Color poster
(complete with matching Adidas tennis shoes)
SEPULTURA – totally deserving press for this killer new band!
*(except by a ghost writer named “Weird Waldo”)
SAVATAGE (another great powerful band)
ACROPHET (let the mighty Mid-West underground be known!)
SHOK PARIS – (same as above, great melodic band)
MOTORHEAD and METALLICA (typical)
They actually feature SACRED REICH but they neglected to list them on the cover and, get this, they were too lazy to even have someone interview them and poor Phil Rind (bass + vocals) had to interview the band himself -pitiful! The quote they highlighted from said interview was “We’d like to do a big U.S. tour this year.” Well duh!
HIT PARADER always has a section devoted to song lyrics. I always thought this was cool when I was growing up and worshiping bands like KISS, CHEAP TRICK & VAN HALEN. Well, in this special Power Metal issue here are a couple of the “power metal” songs they printed: “Still Alive and Well” by rockers CIRCUS OF POWER and “Attack of Life” by glamsters BANG TANGO!
They also include random “power-metal” photos throughout, some in color but most in black n’ white/cheap newsprint-style paper. So needless to say, these pages are almost turning yellow and tear very easily and the color pages (which were reserved for ads and a few special features) are few and far between.
Back to the pics, page 13 includes the “power metal” band SKID ROW and includes the text:
“SKID ROW may not exactly play Power Metal, but they may be one of the hardest rocking bands to reach the top of the charts”.
I agree, but why even include them in the 1st place?! It seems that maybe my letter that I sent in (see below) is perhaps “sinking-in” a bit around the offices?
Lastly, their “Faces of Death” photo section included:
THE BROKEN HOMES with the caption “They look like poseurs to us”! German rockers BONFIRE have a new LP coming our way -ain’t we lucky”.
Here is the funny letter that I sent them in 1989 that they actually published in their MAIL BAG section! It starts on scan two below.
*Start here (click to enlarge)
Wow, I feel a lot better now that I got that off my chest! At least they had the balls to print it.
*Please remember to subscribe (via RSS or email below) and or pass along the DEMOLISH blog posts to your peeps if you digg?
*in order to transport you directly back to the 80′s we will continue to keep the language in the posts “present tense” even though this is 2010.
So what IS Power Metal?
For some, I guess it’s considered a verb or a descriptive word and for others, it’s a GENRE within the grand Heavy Metal tag. It also depends on when and how it’s used perhaps. I am using it as a GENRE when it started appearing to describe heavier bands in the 80′s that did not fit under the normal “Heavy Metal” tag.
After bands progressed way beyond the generic “HEAVY” tag, then that’s when all the Death Metal, Grindcore, Extreme and or Black Metal tags started appearing to further describe and or help pinpoint the exact sound. I think this is an interesting topic and matter of eternal debate among Metal fans and journalists, so I will not go off and start another rant here. I will save that for a future Part II post on these pages.
In the meantime have a peep here (from the great INVISIBLE ORANGES blog) for a pretty cool debate over Metal terminology and what the term Modern “Power” Metal means to a selection of different fans. You will see that of course I had to throw in my $0.02. Hopefully this post will clear up any questions or concerns as far as where I am coming from in this ongoing (never-ending) “debate” or should I say discussion about POWER METAL…still one of my favorite genres of HEAVY METAL music!
March 2, 2010 | Categories: What is Power Metal? | Tags: 80's Metal Magazine, Cosmo Lee, entertainment, Heavy Metal Genres, Hit Parader Magazine, Invisible Oranges, Invisible Oranges Blog, Music, Music Genres, power metal, Power Metal Magazine, write a letter | 4 Comments »