Posts Tagged “Challenges”

At About.com Heavy Metal we cover the big name releases, but we also support the underground. Each month we bring you unsigned bands with a lot of potential and skill to make it. Dungeonmaster Dan Drago is in an unsigned band himself, and knows the challenges of climbing the music industry ladder. Here are five promising bands. We encourage you to check them out, and discover some excellent metal bands.

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Toby Cook of The Quietus recently conducted an interview with Erik Danielsson of Swedish black metallers WATAIN. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

The Quietus: So the new album is due out next month. To say that it’s a radical departure is perhaps overstating it, but certainly even compared to “Lawless Darkness”, there is certainly, I think, a marked progression. Was it always the intention to create something that was so much more expansive and what were some of the challenges?

Erik Danielsson: I never really compare album to album like that — we never have — and I think that one of the most common things that people say when we release a new album is, “Oh yeah, it sounds very different.” So with that being said, progression has always been an inevitable part of this band. The whole idea of WATAIN and our artistic journey, so to speak, has been to go into the unknown, to explore the unknown within yourself, to go deeper and deeper into yourself, and that is something that we are getting better and better at and it’s happening perhaps more radically the older we get and the more we progress as artists. So that’s why I assume that the leaps between the albums are maybe getting bigger somehow, y’know? I mean, it’s really not something that we think a lot about when we are composing, but now I have to try to analyze it a bit when I’m doing interviews about and I’m doing it interview-to-interview so you’ll have to excuse me if I sound a bit abstract sometimes — but it’s a very interesting journey, going deeper and deeper.

The Quietus: I’d like to move away from the album a little bit now. I think that despite WATAIN‘s increasingly varied sound, you are inarguably still a black metal band. What does the “idea” of black metal mean to you and to WATAIN these days? To me, it seems the scene is in an interesting state of flux right now where you still have these “true cult” black metal bands as well as people like THE BOTANIST and WARDRUNA.

Erik Danielsson: I don’t know a lot about these “new” bands, to be honest — I don’t really keep track of things like that — but to me, it’s quite obvious that black metal is more than just a “sound.” It’s more than just a way of playing music. And, to put it very simply, I think that WATAIN is a very, very good definition of a black metal band. Meaning that our whole anatomy, our bones and our spine all relate to one same source: the Satanic ideal. It is diabolical music with a magikal and transcendental intent. And that to me is very much what defines a black metal band. I am really pleased that after almost two years of black metal being (on a larger scale) quite misrepresented by the media and by the bands that the media uses to represent black metal with, WATAIN is in an important position. We are one of the first bands through which many people will actually find out about and start to explore the word of black metal. I can’t say that that is particularly something that we have been striving to do, but it is certainly pleasing to me as someone who is deeply, deeply connected to that art form.

The Quietus: It’s interesting that you say that – and I couldn’t agree more when you call it an art form — there is something very unique about black metal, something profound that goes far beyond the music itself. How much does it annoy you that despite this a lot of people are still concerned with the murders, suicides and church burnings in Norway that happened over 20 years ago?

Erik Danielsson: Well, I mean, it was a very important period; it was, and there’s no escaping that. But, I think that for people who want to find out about black metal just on the surface and read a little bit about it, I’m fine with the fact that the first thing they will find out is that it’s an art form where very big buildings were set in fire; where a lot of people went to prison; and where a lot of people died. I think that’s a very good introduction to black metal, and if people dare to dig a little deeper after that they will of course realise pretty quickly that it is far more than that. But I still think that that early period is a good first step to be introduced to black metal; I really do.

The Quietus: One of the things with WATAIN is that the live show has always appeared to be such an important aspect of what you are about. I mean, I saw you at the Underworld in London several years ago and there is incredibly transcendental aspect to your performance; otherworldly almost doesn’t seem strong enough a phrase. As your popularity is steadily increasing, however, how much are you concerned about being able to maintain that atmosphere in bigger venues, without it just becoming a spectacle?

Erik Danielsson: Y’know, I like to think of our live shows as being a mystical experience, as a celebration of things not of this world. This might sound a bit closed-minded, but if an underground video director makes a documentary about shamans in the Amazonian jungle and he releases that on a VHS and a small number of people see it, they will be amazed and maybe take it to a few others. If the same documentary gets shown some years later on the National Geographic channel and a million people see it that will still not change what the documentary is about, it will still be that same holy source. And that’s how I like to look at it, that’s how I think I have to look at it order not to allow for peoples misconceptions to taint it, because that’s what it is, it’s a mystical experience in essence and nothing can really change that.

Read the entire interview at The Quietus.

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Chico, California sludge metal outfit, Cold Blue Mountain, recently announced via their website that Brandon Squyres, the band's vocalist, will be participating in the upcoming season of The Amazing Race. The show, now entering its 23rd season, features 11 two-person teams who travel all over the world arguing with each other in taxis and competing in various challenges …

The post COLD BLUE MOUNTAIN Frontman Brings Metal To CBS's The Amazing Race appeared first on Metal Injection.

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The Georgia metalcore band Norma Jean recently released their sixth full-length album Wrongdoers. The band is currently on the Summer Slaughter tour, and vocalist Cory Brandan gives us the lowdown on the new album, a series of lineup changes, the challenges of playing on a package tour and other topics.

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Michael Christopher of Vanyaland.com recently conducted an interview with ALICE IN CHAINS singer William DuVall. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Vanyaland.com: Fiven the success of “Black Gives Way To Blue”, was there less pressure going in to record [“The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here”]?

DuVall: Yeah, in many ways there was, mainly because there was no hill to climb like the hill we had to climb making “Black Gives Way to Blue”. That presented a unique situation that you wouldn’t wish on any artist. [laughs] The force of will that it took — no pun intended — to face down all of those challenges from within and without, to shut out that noise, the court of public opinion that was raging in the outside world, to shut that out and kind of develop a cocoon like mentality to get that record done was pretty tremendous. That was a unique thing that will never happen again, thankfully, and just glad that it all worked out. Going into this one, it was much more about the music, I’m happy to say.

Vanyaland.com: And there’s already enough pressure that you guys put on yourselves when it comes to just the music.

DuVall: We’re going to put ourselves through the wringer to do anything anyway — it’s who we are. We’re harder on ourselves than anyone on the outside can be on us. We are always trying to max out our capacity to dig down and come up with whatever is needed, to paint the most accurate picture of whatever is going on in our lives. It was nice to have it just be about the music, it’s not the outside world saying, “How dare they!” and “Do we even have the right to do this?” It’s not defending your very right to exist — that has become a settled question.

Vanyaland.com: The title probably threw people for a loop more than Jerry‘s [Cantrell, guitar] haircut.

DuVall: That’s what I’m talking about. It was influenced by what’s happening in the world that we’re living through. There’s a lot going on in our country and in the world. We kept coming up against this kind of push back mentality; one might say willful ignorance even. It’s not like the moral majority in the ’80s, this now is something that’s influencing the laws in a way that I’ve never seen it before. It’s always been in the mix, but now it’s loud as hell. We’re seeing people on the national scene, people controlling or at least contributing to the national discourse, like when that guy [Rep. Todd Akin] came out with that statement about “legitimate rape,” and there were hundreds of statements like that, it seemed like there was another one every day. We’re looking at this and tripping out, going, “Wow.” It’s a snapshot of what’s going on in everyone’s life, “Well, the devil put dinosaurs here,” it was a semi-humorous take on what we were observing throughout that whole period leading up to now.

Vanyaland.com: Last month, Layne‘s [Staley, late ALICE IN CHAINS singer] dad came out during a show to say hello to the audience. And I remember a few years ago you telling me the story about how one time you played in Seattle and Layne‘s mom came up to you after the show and she was telling you how proud of you she was. Obviously those are events that are going to be emotional for the band, and I’m guessing that it’s got to have some resonance with you as well.

DuVall: Well, sure. It’s really heavy, personal stuff. This is somebody’s family. I just sort of try to ride that stuff out and be very sensitive to the whole situation, to the whole picture. It’s a lot of good feeling and good vibes all around because everyone is aware of the losses and of the sadness. Now, those situations become further examples of how you move through something like that and how you build on top of losses. Resonance? Of course; it has resonance for all of us and we all just tried to be sensitive towards it.

Read the entire interview at Vanyaland.com.

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Tonight on the Metal Hammer show, Alexander Milas interviews Kobi from Orphaned Land, talking about the challenges of being an Israeli metal band, the new album, and how Metallica changed his life during the first gulf war.

Our Milas with the Orphaned Land guys in Tel Aviv!

Plus, music from Down, Devin Townsend, Royal Thunder, Hark, Hawk Eyes, Carcass, and Kyuss.

Tune in tonight from 9pm-midnight on TeamRock Radio!

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At About.com Heavy Metal we are big supporters of underground and unsigned bands. Check out our monthly column Drago’s Dungeon, featuring great albums from unsigned metal bands. Dan Drago is himself a member of an unsigned band and knows the struggles and challenges unsigned bands face. If you’re in an unsigned metal band anywhere in the world, or know someone who is, there’s information in the column on submitting material for future columns.

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Revamp’s vocalist Floor has checked in with the following announcement about working on a new album: “In the few years of ReVamp’s young existence the band endured many challenges and unexpected circumstances. Heavy winter storms with long periods of suffocating frost! Followed by sudden summer rains with wild streams of water that’s taking everything with it into unknown territory. A survival of the fittest! ReVamp came out stronger, more mature and with darker and more brutal music that tells the tale of this wild ride! “Never before in my career I faced a situation like the one we were in with this album.

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ANTHRAX members Joey Belladonna, Charlie Benante and Frank Bello recently spoke to Fuse about the origins of their classic rock covers EP, “Anthems”, and the challenges of playing their classic album “Among The Living” in its entirety on the “Metal Alliance” tour.

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At About.com Heavy Metal we are big supporters of underground and unsigned bands. Check out our inaugural monthly column Drago’s Dungeon, featuring great albums from unsigned metal bands. Dan Drago is himself a member of an unsigned band and knows the struggles and challenges unsigned bands face. If you’re in an unsigned metal band anywhere in the world, or know someone who is, there’s information in the column on submitting material for future columns.

Read Full Post

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