Posts Tagged “Chunk”

Charlie Steffens of KNAC.COM recently conducted an interview with IRON MAIDEN drummer Nicko McBrain. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

KNAC.COM: On this tour you’re playing the quintessential IRON MAIDEN songs, right?

McBrain: Yeah, we dusted off the cobwebs off of a few that haven’t had a showing for a while. Well, it’s been twenty five years since we’ve played “Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son”, so you could say there’s that one song and that’s it. We pulled out “Trooper”. The last airing of that, I think, was eight, nine years ago. “Phantom Of The Opera”. Classic. We did “Can I Play with Madness” not so long ago. Yeah, those classics right there. We’ve got “Afraid To Shoot Strangers”, that’s always a great crowd pleaser. “The Prisoner”. I love that track. It’s just a wild song to play. It’s got a great groove to it. It’s the third song in the set. It’s so lovely to be revisiting some of the older stuff as well as that mid-’80s period. People think, “Yeah, you’re doing the ‘Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son’ tour,” if you like. But it’s a retrospective look at MAIDEN. You still get the classics: “Number Of The Beast” and “Iron Maiden” always closes the show. We’ve left out “Hallowed Be Thy Name” just because we’ve always played “Hallowed” every tour, although, it’s one of my favorite songs, ever, to play with MAIDEN. So we’re doing a fair chunk of “Seventh Son”, but we’ve got before and after. “Fear Of The Dark”, for instance. “Afraid To Shoot Strangers”. Yeah, we’re really having a good time, mate. It went well for last year in Europe. It most definitely was received so very well in Raleigh the other night. People loved it, and we all came offstage with a smile on our face. You can’t not come off with a smile when you see how many people enjoyed themselves, you know.

KNAC.COM: Are you cruising around in the jet for this tour?

McBrain: No. In a way it would have been nice, but because this leg is just a couple months, or, actually, it’s only four weeks really — it was too cost-prohibitive to a 757 just to do a month out on the tour. That’s kind of the world jet, when we do around the world in a couple of months. You’re self-contained on it. You’ve got all the gear. You’ve got 12 tons of gear and all the crew. Mind you, we got a lot of beer now. [laughs]

KNAC.COM: Well, let’s talk about the most important thing. Beer. Trooper.

McBrain: Exactly. It’s funny, you know. When we were in rehearsals last week, we got to “The Trooper” in the set and before I kicked it off I started out, “All right lads, I think it’s time for a beer.” And they all looked at me and went, “What?” And I said, “It’s Trooper time, isn’t it?” We don’t drink while we play and we don’t drink before. At the very end of a night, we’ve been known to take a pint of Guinness, if we’re in Ireland, and toast the audience with it. But that’s at the end of the night. But yes, this Trooper beer, my lord, it’s so, so delicious. It’s wonderful. For any ale drinkers out there that love to drink a drop of beer. It’s not a lager. It’s like a bitter, extra special bitter, like an ESB. It was designed with Robinsons Brewery and Bruce [Dickinson] actually had a big hand in the design of the beer. When I first joined MAIDEN in 1982, I went out on tour with the band before Bruce. I was supporting the band when I was in TRUST, I went out on the “Killers” tour. All of us then drank ale across the British tour and we all loved our real ale beer in England. So Bruce knew what we wanted to taste in a beer, basically. So with that in the back of his mind, he went in and designed this beer. If you took IRON MAIDEN‘s logo and Eddie off the bottle and had a blindfold test — if you like beer — it’s really, really good. It’s not just IRON MAIDEN selling this beer with our names on it, although a lot of our fans are going to want to buy it because it’s a fantastic bottle. It’s a good souvenir, isn’t it? But it’s a great drop of beer, mate. My preference, by the way, Charlie, is I like it warm. When I say warm, I mean room temperature, not Florida room temperature because that would be 90-odd degrees. [laughs] But it’s funny, because Bruce and Steve [Harris, bass] — out of the bottle — they like it cold. But when you have it out of the cask, you know, the way it’s really brewed to be drank, it should be at room temperature or cellar temperature, which can be anywhere from 57 to 62, 65 degrees. When it’s warmer it has a more firmer taste. It really opens up. There’s a plus and a minus. Some people say, “I prefer it cold and not warm,” and vice versa… I’ve got to be honest with you — I live in Florida — I like ice cold Corona beers, you know. When you go from the hot — outdoors hot — you say, “Oh, I could murder a cold beer.” You do. You’ll have some and you’ll kind of chug it. Trooper beer — you can’t really chug it, even when it’s cold. But the thing is, if you sit down and you kind of take a minute, and you go, “I really want a really tasty beer. I don’t want something to quench me thirst. I’ll take it warm.” And I love my customers in me restaurant in Florida. I actually introduced it there two weeks ago. I was fortunate to actually open the first commercial bottle of beer in America on the Monday. I forget the date of it now. I figure it was the 10th or 12th, oh, anyway. On the next day we had this big launch for the beer and all these folks who came in were having it cold, first of all. Then I passed bottles around and gave them tastes of the room temperature or warm beer. And a lot of the folks said to me, “You know what? We’re American. We don’t like warm beer.” I said, “Just try this. Just for me. Try it and let me know what you think.” Ninety-six percent of the people turned around and said, “The next bottle of beer I’m going to buy in this place is going to be the one that is room temperature. It’s got much more of a fuller taste and I never would have thought I would have liked a warm beer.” So you know, horses for courses, Charlie, end of the day, mate.

Read the entire interview at KNAC.COM.

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The next great prog-metal tour is happening this fall, and it features a diverse lineup of bands that all bring something unique to the table: Katatonia, Cult of Luna, Intronaut & TesseracT. What a lineup! The sleuths at ThePRP have uncovered a good chunk of dates for these tours: 09/23 Boston, MA – Paradise Rock …

The post KATATONIA, CULT OF LUNA, INTRONAUT, TESSERACT Dates Leak appeared first on Metal Injection.

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Rigor Mortis with Mike Scaccia

Mike Scaccia (left) with his Rigor Mortis bandmates

Rigor Mortis have completed work on their final album, reports engineer Kerry Crafton.

The band has vowed not to continue after guitarist Mike Scaccia – also of Ministry and Revolting Cocks fame – collapsed on stage and died just before Christmas. So the new record, Slaves To The Grave, will be their last word.

In an emotional statement, Crafton admits he’d been planning to finish mixing work with producer Scaccia by his side, and after the tragedy it took him weeks to be able to get back on the job.

He explains: “I expected to have my buddy Mike with me as I did all the mixes. Instead, we had just one day together to set up basic tones and for him to explain what was what. It was a couple of weeks before I was able to begin again. When I got back to it, I found it both heartbreaking and cathartic. Though Mike was gone physically, I still was blessed with his musical presence every day as I soldiered on through the tears.

“This record is amazing. Mike, Bruce Corbitt, Harden Harrison and Casey Orr all performed brilliantly in the recording and I believe they all did the best work of their lives. I feel very lucky to have had the chance to mix this project for such a great group of musicians and friends. The depth and breadth of the material is really awesome.

“This will obviously be the last project from Rigor Mortis, but it is a great final musical statement.”

Slaves To The Grave was executive-produced by Ministry mainman Al Jourgensen, who said of Scaccia’s passing: “I lost my lil’ brother and my best friend. Mikey was not only the best guitar player in the history of music, but he was a close, close part of our family. I lost a huge chunk of my heart.”

The album is set for release in the summer, with full details to be announced in due course.

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Ministry frontman Al Jourgensen has posted a message online paying tribute to his bandmate Mike Scaccia, who passed away in the early hours of December 23rd whilst performing on stage with Rigor Mortis. Jourgensen’s message reads as follows:

“I just lost my lil’ brother and my best friend. The 13th Planet compound is devastated, completely in shock and shattered. Mikey was not only the best guitar player in the history of music, but he was a close, close, close part of our family — and I just lost a huge chunk of my heart today. Our lives are forever changed. Life without Mikey is like orange juice without pulp — kind of bland. I have no words to express what this guy meant to me, my family, my career… everything!

“Get to know his lead parts, for they are in the pantheon of music! Unfortunately, most of you didn’t get to know Mikey’s soul, which is in the pantheon of humanity. He is my hero, my friend and my idol. Mikey was always beside me – my right-hand man – through thick and thin, the good, the bad, the ugly and the beautiful.

“Rest in peace my brother, my friend, my heart.

“Please pray for Mike Scaccia and Jenny, his wife and their children, and his family.”

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MINISTRY mainman Al Jourgensen has releasd the following statement regarding the passing of the band’s guitarist, Mike Scaccia:

“I just lost my lil’ brother and my best friend.

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Download 2012: It's gonna slay

After a 12864 hour journey, an early mudbath, some tears, some fights and a couple of broken dreams, we made it to Download 2012. That’s right Donington, we fucking made it!

Sadly, both Cancer Bats and Rise To Remain had to have their main stage sets pulled (although Cancer Bats managed to get onto the Red Bull Bedroom Jam stage later tonight), meaning that industrial metal overlords Fear Factory are the first band to step out and step up today. The shitty weather meant that for the first couple of songs half of the crowd area was cut off, so inevitably, when it was all finally opened up, shit went down and the place went ballistic. A couple of new numbers were thrown in as well, and while Burton C Bell’s vocals were lost in the wind sometimes, overall, this was a fine way to (finally) get this beast of a bill up and running.

Quite what you thought of NOFX’s set probably depends on quite what you think of NOFX. The pop punk icons are gods to some and tedious wallies to others, and while a healthy chunk of the crowd seems happy to throw themselves into songs about as suited to this weather as Dino Cazares to a salad, it’s pretty hard to take a band at this point in their career still making jokes about pooey tit wanks seriously.

Billy Talent, on the other hand, are all business, smashing out tracks like Devil In A Midnight Mass with the kind of energy that has made them one of the most deservedly big deals in rock in recent years.

Anyhoo, it’s time for some small band called Machine Head and another called While She Sleeps. Not bad, Download. Not bad. Stay tuned….

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Australian metal trio Kunvuk will be donating 50% of all profits from the band’s second album “Consume Rapture” to the “Save the Tasmanian Devil Program.” The band commented:

“Devil Facial Tumour Disease threatens the existence of this incredible animal and we are putting our money where our mouth is to help save this most metal of all creatures. We will be donating 50% of all profits from the ‘Consume Rapture’ album. So when you purchase a copy of our album, either digitally or physically, you’ll be putting a good chunk of that money towards not only supporting Australian music but one of our most beloved and iconic animals. For further information on the cause go to this location.”

Kunvuk is set to release the band’s second album “Consume Rapture” later this month. After touring nationally in support of debut album “Immute: Jackals,” Kunvuk retreated to Shadow Mekanik Studios for six months to carve out a stomping and screaming sophomore punch-in-the-face. The album was mastered by Alan Douches at West West Side Music in New Windsor, New York.

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SleepDopesmoker reissue
2012 Southern Lord
Ray Van Horn, Jr.

You know the legend of Sleep’s Dopesmoker, namely that it is an hour-long haze ride through distorted ostinato.  You’re also probably aware Dopesmoker was a four year process, which may stun neophytes and the inhibited, given the singular, perpetual crunk of the album.  It takes a special ear and even more special patience to hang with this album, but if you’ve been through Boris’ Absolutego and Green Carnation’s Light of Day, Day of Darkness, you’re acclimated to the visionary concept of a sixty-minute contemporary track.  Dopesmoker (and its twin sister Jerusalem), by attrition, is beyond visionary.

Perhaps you’re familiar with the fate of Dopesmoker, namely that it was shelved by Sleep’s one-time label, London Records after the imprint sunk a fair chunk into it then cried foul when Al Cisneros, Matt Pike and Chris Hakius delivered the most inaccessible album any band could.  Satanic majesties returned to London Records that year.  For certain, Dopesmoker was wrung out of more than one cannibis leaf during the nineties, even if to this writer’s ears, it could’ve been recorded on a stray fishing boat in the Mekong Delta post-Vietnam. 

Dopesmoker is (by modern lexicon) a classifiable doom and stoner epic, but when Matt Pike is allowed to step out of the primary laggard grind of the composition, his soloing is exquisite, far-flung and translucent.  His psychedelic solos are the reward for letting the entire trio hammer down on your ears for so long and be warned, you will experience ringing on the first go-round with this album.  The aquatic bridge (finally appearing around the 45-minute mark) is acidy yet beauteous.  Though it may enchance the overall listening session of Dopesmoker if you’re carrying a buzz, the precision of Pike’s ghostly strumming, Cisneros’ grumbling bass lines and Hakius’ restrained rat-a-tats are better savored sober.  Dragged snarling out of Sabbath Bloody Sabbath and Saint Vitus’ Born Too Late, Sleep found their muse in doom chords and doobies on Dopesmoker.  Yet it takes skillful hands to command a listener’s attention with something this massive in scale and Sleep may have been toked up through the entire jaunt, but it’s evident pot was inherent to the creative process.  They used it as a construct versus an embellishment.  Indeed, Dopesmoker might not have been the same album without marijuana.

In 1996 when Dopesmoker was first embarked and recorded, metal was still underground in the United States, and stoner music was a cult phenomenon relegated to Kyuss, Orange Goblin, Fu Manchu, Weedeater and Bongzilla.  This was ambitious yet private music Pike and company bravely undertook, particularly when you factor the original backlash handed to Dopesmoker by London.  Just rewards, the album soon took a life of its own thereafter through the metal underground. 

We can thank Josh Homme and Clutch for exposing this low-tuned vibe to a larger audience, and now we can thank Southern Lord for bringing Dopesmoker back to life this year with new artwork and a bonus live track of “Holy Mountain.”  Best of all, this reissue of Dopesmoker makes use of audile cleaning technologies to produce the most definitive (by the band’s and label’s analysis) tone of the album yet heard.  By all means, the crispness of Dopesmoker’s audio wash magnifies the hapless vibratum and the swirling inertia Sleep intended to project through analog.  The album remains dirty in execution but far more homogenized in conveyance.  It’s perhaps even heavier now than ever before.

I need no further commentary at this point.

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Five Finger Death Punch

LA groove metallers Five Finger Death Punch have recently kicked off the next leg of their Share the Welt tour in Las Vegas, Nevada!

Their album, American Capitalist, debuted at number 3 on the Billboard 200 when it was released in September, and the band have been charging hard ever since, recently spending a chunk of free time by playing a series of shows for US troops stationed in Kuwait. The band returned to the States to resume their tour with Soulfly in the support slot, and they will soon be announcing their summer plans, with rumours of headlining a very big festival, along with possible further European dates later in the year surrounding their set at Download in June.

Metal Hammer caught up with the band before the second stop of the tour in Pomona, California and asked how it felt to be nominated for Best International Band for Metal Hammer’s 2012 Golden Gods Awards.

“Man, it’s really cool,” said drummer Jeremy Spencer. “We’ve been a part of that awards show before and any time you get recognized for something that you do and that you’re proud of, it’s really special. So I think it’s awesome and we’re very grateful to the fans and the readers.”

Damn straight! And you can vote for Five Finger Death Punch and grab your chance to win tickets to the Golden Gods 2012 by clicking on the link below!

Golden Gods

Props to our boy Joe Daly for the interview.

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MastodonThe Hunter
2011 Reprise Records
Ray Van Horn, Jr.

Mastodon has now reached a critical point in their careers, not that one would assume it to be the case. Riding high on a major label yet commanding the respect of the underground which gave them flight, Mastodon is still one of the mightiest metal acts of this generation–if not the mightiest.

For a band that has written its own rules, Mastodon finds themselves in a precarious position marketing-wise. Normally no one recording a second indisputable masterpiece as Mastodon did in 2009 with Crack the Skye would have to answer to any powers but their own. Yet, where Mastodon finds themselves as of their fifth album The Hunter is in answer to their label–at least to an extent.

“Curl of the Burl,” the first single off of The Hunter, is so atypical of Mastodon one automatically feels the band was compelled to write a straightforward rocking ditty to appease Reprise/Warner Brothers. After all, the megalabel conglomerate has invested a fair chunk into Mastodon and eventually the check comes due. In this case, Mastodon has to pay up with a potential hit single–or at least a sincere attempt at one. “Curl of the Burl” is a rhythmic chugger that takes some getting used to if you’re still hung over from the dizzying sludge prog Mastodon has thrown at their listeners from Leviathan on up. “Curl of the Burl” is FM friendly and thus the track has nudged its way through the airwaves. We’re happy for Mastodon, but still leery. Motley Crue and Metallica were never the same after FM gobbled them up.

Would we say Mastodon has sold out? Absolutely not. Would we say they’ve crossed over? Well, at least through the first few tracks of The Hunter we could say they’ve made a case for mainstream acceptance. Albeit the safe and steady radio hawks are likely going to be tailspun by the time “Stargasm” and “Octopus Has No Friends” start whirling like the Mastodon we know and love.

The sure shot statement about The Hunter, however, is that Mastodon has dipped back into the gargantuan riff structure and prog patterns of Leviathan and replicated them with a veteran’s polish. While there’s a curious perfection to this Leviathan update, this also permits Mastodon to include occasional sublets of Led Zeppelin (i.e. “Octopus Has No Friends”) and Yes (“All the Heavy Lifting”). Hell, we get a blatant though tasty rip on the Steve Miller Band at the beginning of “Creature Lives” with a Lucas-esque THX overhaul of the spacey synth intro to Miller’s “Jet Airliner.”

While “Black Tongue” retains Mastodon’s trademark heavy stamping and note bobbing, there’s a hair more musicality to it and therein lies the primary mojo to The Hunter. Hard-edged musicality versus climactic thunder. Safe to say Brent Hinds is snug with his mountain man clean wailing, because The Hunter’s songs are tailored for maximum impact yet with enough restraint to let Hinds color them vocally. He is Ozzy-esque on the psychedelic title track, while Hinds, Troy Sanders and Brann Dailor harmonize together on the snakebiting “Dry Gone Valley” to create a gnarly Josh Homme-Layne Staley cadence. Then again, there’s no way to describe the band’s chuckly yipping on “Creature Lives.” Did we honestly foresee this as far back as Remission? Not really.

Speaking of Brann Dailor, the man deserves Drummer of the Year accolades without challenge. Only Dave Lombardo can surpass this cat and yet, Dailor’s supreme tommy gun snares, rumbling rolls and perfect floor tom strikes (at double or single beat) offer the metal drumming performance of 2011. Dailor is always money, yet The Hunter might be his comeuppance–as if he already hasn’t had it with Leviathan, Blood Mountain and Crack the Skye. No matter how tempered and driven the songs are on The Hunter, be it “Black Tongue,” “Blasteroid,” “Dry Gone Valley,” “Thickening” and “Curl of the Burl,” of course, you can count on Brann Dailor to give them all more excitement and flair with his detailed skin work.

If The Hunter has any guilty offenses, it’s simply giving their label what they want, which is a shrewdly-focused album still with their massive hooves planted in the scene giving them life. Outside of Slayer, Mastodon is the heaviest act the majors will bank on (almost nobody in the big leagues would sign a band based on the mashing detonation Mastodon dishes on “Spectrelight”) but it’s to the band’s credit they remain progressive artists in the process of keeping their employers happy. They dash “Bedazzled Fingernails” with enough weird electronics to remain heavily quirky, while the gorgeous yet trippy “The Sparrow” still runs as the most accessible tune Mastodon has ever written, “Curl of the Burl” notwithstanding. On “The Sparrow,” Mastodon professes to pursue happiness with diligence, and the sludgy guitar solos make their point amidst the song’s dreamy swoon.

In the end, The Hunter is another huge success for Mastodon. “Curl of the Burl” is a grower but it is a sign to take note of as Mastodon continues to hammer the metal scene with its prolific might. However, for all the commercial plying Mastodon employs on The Hunter, they respectfully counter it with blazing prog and the occasional bit of nuttiness to prove they still have their metal hearts where they’re supposed to be.

Rating: ****

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