Posts Tagged “Ghost Cult”

Keith Chachkes of Ghost Cult Magazine recently conducted an interview with Max Cavalera (SOULFLY, CAVALERA CONSPIRACY, SEPULTURA). A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Ghost Cult Magazine: You have come back really quickly with “Savages” following “Enslaved” last year. Why the fast turnaround between albums?

Max: It felt good to bang out another record quickly. It’s not always the goal, but it was good to write some new music right away. We like to keep it moving. We had everything planned to do a new record for the new label Nuclear Blast. The deal with Nuclear Blast came through perfectly. My son, Zyon, came in to play drums. We had Terry Date on board to do the record. And I really love what Terry did with it. He did a great job, with a raw-sounding record. And we just went for it. It was great to have all of these great fucking people on the record! I love the guest appearances the most. “Ayatollah Of Rock ‘N’ Rolla” with Neil (Fallon), “K.C.S.” with Mitch (Harris) from NAPALM DEATH, Jamie (Hanks) from I DECLARE WAR on “Fallen”, and my son Igor on “Bloodshed”. For me, “Savages” is a combination of both worlds. It has the grooviness of the first SOULFLY album and it also has that extreme death metal-sounding songs. A lot of people liked “Enslaved”, so I didn’t want to get rid of it entirely. A lot of people wanted me to go back to the killer grooves of the very first SOULFLY album. So I decided to write an album that has more of that. And I also like the songs are quite long, like six minutes, seven minutes, ten minute long songs, like “Ride The Lightning” and “Master Of Puppets”, on those old METALLICA records. The songs don’t even feel like seven minutes, to listen to them. Time just flies when you listen to it. It makes you feel good, and the songs are killer. Overall, I’m really happy with the record and I’m very stoked and I can’t wait to even play these songs live. It felt like the right record to make. Like I said, it’s a combination. “Fallen” is a perfect song, with Jamie from I DECLARE WAR. To me, it’s pretty much a death metal song. It’s got all of the elements of death metal. And “Cannibal Holocaust” is a pure thrash/grind/death metal song. But I didn’t want to make that same record again. I wanted to do something totality new. But a song like “Ayatollah of Rock ‘N’ Rolla”, it something totally new. I never did anything like that before. It starts with like this country, cowboy riff, and Neil starts talking over it and it was so killer! And of course that line in the chorus “Ayatollah of Rock ‘N’ Rolla” is from “Mad Max”. It’s probably my favorite song on the album. I don’t want to make the same record over and over. So “Savages”‘ got new things on it that no one has heard from me before, and I am really glad about that.

Ghost Cult Magazine: I think it is very difficult in music, especially in metal, to reinvent your self all the time. Do you keep that in mind from album to album?

Max: I kind of just go with it. I don’t think about that stuff. I just roll with it. If I think about it, it will make me crazy. I just make records. I don’t have a favorite one. They all fit together and they are all a part of my history. They are all a little different, which is great. I have been doing this a long time and I have a lot of records under my belt. What I am interested in is to keep going. I have a vision for my music, I see it going for a long time. We don’t have to write stupid radio songs. We write what we like, we play what we like. And the fans really connect with that. We are playing what we love. They know we are not writing stupid bubblegum, radio songs, concerned with getting played on the radio. That’s not what we’re here for. We are here for the heaviness, for the metal that we love. Because I love metal. Metal is in my veins and it is what I love. I want to keep doing this for a long-ass time. To me, this is only the beginning.

Ghost Cult Magazine: You have produced the vast majority of SOULFLY‘s albums yourself. What was it like to turn over the reigns to Terry Date?

Max: It was just the right time and the right place. Terry has been coming to SOULFLY shows forever. The last time was in Seattle with FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH. He came to the show and he was just hanging out. I said to him, “Man! When are we going to work together?” I kind of gave the question to him. And he said, “Just call me!” and we’ll do it. So when it came time to make the record, we called him. He gave me a great deal because he really wanted to work with me. We first met with the DEFTONES when they did “Around The Fur” I came into to do “Headup”. Terry is a really a rocker, man. He loves metal and he loves rock. He is a real professional. He has done so many amazing records, like the PANTERA records, DEFTONES, the SOUNDGARDEN records, like “Badmotorfinger”. Those are heavy records. Just classic fucking records. I was really excited and very motivated to work with him. So a lot of the writing for “Savages” had that in mind. I was thrilled that Terry was in charge of the record. I knew working with him, it had to be good. And he didn’t disappoint me. To me, it’s my favorite sound. This is the best-sounding SOULFLY record. Best guitar sound, best drum sound. Terry has done an amazing job and not to put any others down, even me, but this is the best one. The other records are good, but it doesn’t compare to Terry‘s stuff. Terry is just a master.

Read the entire interview at Ghost Cult Magazine.

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Rise Above The Anchor recently conducted an interview with CHIMAIRA guitarist Emil Werstler. You can now watch the chat below.

CHIMAIRA‘s seventh studio album, “Crown Of Phantoms”, sold around 7,400 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 52 on The Billboard 200 chart. The record arrived in stores on July 30 via eOne Music.

CHIMAIRA‘s previous CD, “The Age Of Hell”, premiered with more than 7,000 units in August 2011 to debut at No. 54. The band’s 2009 effort, “The Infection”, registered a first-week tally of 15,000 to land at No. 30. This figure was roughly in line with the opening number of CHIMAIRA‘s 2007 album, “Resurrection”, which shifted 16,000 copies to enter the chart at No. 42.

CHIMAIRA recently made headlines by way of crowd-funding a fan version CD/DVD where they doubled their initial goal via IndieGoGo.

In a recent interview with Ghost Cult, singer Mark Hunter stated about CHIMAIRA‘s new CD: “‘Crown Of Phantoms’ is the culmination of three years of going through tons of changes, harsh realities but also excitement. It’s something brand new and when you put all those things together you get ‘Crown Of Phantoms’ as a result. These are exciting times for the band and it’s the polar opposite of where I was with the band two years ago.

Regarding whether he thought of packing it in after the numerous lineup changes that CHIMAIRA went through since the release of 2011’s “The Age Of Hell”, Hunter said: “Many people on the Internet thought we were done for. By the timing and the speed things were unraveling, I had the luxury of not thinking rationally and I simply soldiered on. It was happening so fast and not thinking about quitting was a sort of defense in a way. I defended what I hold dear and what I wanted to fight for. Of course there were moments of insecurity and doubts. Luckily, I had a good team and a good support system of friends and family around me telling me that I was crazy if I wanted to change the band name or quit altogether. They pointed out that bands like MEGADETH and BLACK SABBATH went through countless lineup changes. BLACK SABBATH had a super successful era without Ozzy. Of course, with MEGADETH, ‘Rust In Peace’ was one of their best albums and it wasn’t recorded with the same lineup who did ‘Peace Sells’, which is another MEGADETH classic. There are more examples of bands that went through major lineup changes and still had major success. Of course, to be in this situation is scary as hell.”

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Helena Rosendahl of Ghost Cult Magazine recently conducted an interview with vocalist James LaBrie of progressive metal giants DREAM THEATER. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Ghost Cult Magazine: Your first release featuring new drummer Mike Mangini from its inception, truly his “right of passage” into the band, what has been your collective intention with the album?

LaBrie: Well, I think that as a band what we realized is that with “A Dramatic Turn Of Events”, leading up to that album, one of the original members left [referring to ex-drummer Mike Portnoy], and then we did the auditioning. We found a guy that we knew from the very start was going to fit like a glove, and I think from that point it was a matter of us doing what we do. Let’s write a great album; this is really necessary. But Mike Mangini wasn’t involved in that writing process for “A Dramatic Turn Of Events”, but granted he came in and he came in and still did a phenomenal job when it did come down to him doing his tracks. I’ve known Mike Mangini for over fourteen years, he played drums on three of my solo albums; first two MULLMUZZLER albums and “Elements Of Persuasion”. So I’ve known him for quite some time. And so I also knew that he’s the man.

Ghost Cult Magazine: Is that because you had that “working relationship” already in place?

LaBrie: Yeah, just because I love his personality; he’s one of the easiest guys to get along with, you know, he has such a great attitude. He’s a phenomenal drummer; the best, I feel, on the planet and I don’t think I’m alone on that one. I think what really helped was we had an entire world tour (“A Dramatic Tour Of Events”). When you’re out on the road, that’s when the true colors of someone really starts to show themselves and not only that, you get much more in tune with, no pun intended, the musician and you understand how he works, he reacts, he interacts, and I think that by the time we went in to start thinking about what we wanted to bring this album, he was fully on board. We knew that it was just going to be a phenomenal ride with him — which it was. He showed up from the very first day that we started writing and he was ready. At the same time, what was really great about him was he’s very respectful, like he understood, you know, that “these guys have been doing this for 20 years plus, they’ve got a chemistry going on here so, you know, I’m gonna sit back but at the same time I’m also going to be involved and really enthused,” which he was. That wouldn’t have happened if he hadn’t done fifteen months out on the road with us, so that was a crucial step. So moving right to that point, now usually what we do is we discuss where we think we want to go or what we think is necessary or what we’d like to see be included within this album, the next musical journey.

Ghost Cult Magazine: I understand that you once again recorded your vocals separately with engineer Richard Chycki in Canada. Why do you prefer this approach?

LaBrie: I don’t like anyone to be around when I record my vocals. It’s the same with John Petrucci when he’s doing his solos or tracking his rhythm guitars; he doesn’t want anybody around. That’s just the way that I work best. I work where it’s just me and the engineer. It’s my interpretation, it’s my bringing, conveying what I feel it emotionally says to me. If anyone else is in the studio, I find it to be a distraction. So yeah, Richard Chycki and I have a huge history; we’ve known each other for 25 years. We were in a band in the ’80s together called WINTER ROSE and so we have a great connection and a great chemistry with one another. And the thing is that Rich, he knows me probably just as much as the guys in DREAM THEATER as a vocalist. He knows how I like to work, he knows how I like to really be patient in the way that I find the voice that is right for that particular section, and it’s just worked wonderfully for the last two albums under those those principles. What’s funny is that I worked under those principles the first few DREAM THEATER albums and then we started bringing in John and Mike [Portnoy] and if I could go back, it would’ve been, “Let’s not ruin a good thing here, let’s keep like I know I can work my best.” Not that I’m ashamed of, or I feel that I didn’t do something vocally there that I shouldn’t have, but it’s just that I know that this is the best way to work.

Read the entire interview at Ghost Cult Magazine.

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The official web site of the NIGHTWISH keyboardist and main songwriter Tuomas Holopainen has uploaded a 30-minute audio interview with Holopainen as the first installment of the site’s “Campfire Sessions”. You can now listen to the chat at this location. It is also available for streaming below.

NIGHTWISH‘s August 3 performance at the Wacken Open Air festival in Wacken, Germany was professionally filmed for a concert DVD and Blu-ray, tentatively due before the end of the year.

In a recent interview with Ghost Cult Magazine, former AFTER FOREVER frontwoman and current REVAMP singer Floor Jansen — who has been performing with NIGHTWISH since last October — was asked if she would be willing to front NIGHTWISH permanently if she were asked to fill the slot.

“I’ve been asked to fill in for the current world tour and for a couple of festival dates, but what will happen after that is still unclear,” she replied. “NIGHTWISH will take a break after the current touring cycle and they’ll make a decision next year. Until then, everything is still up in the air.”

She continued: “If they would ask me, I would be very flattered and I would love to do it. It will be a major overhaul in my life and my career as a singer, but then again, we’re not rushing things.

“Both the guys in NIGHTWISH and I have experiences with previous band breakups and all emotions that come with it. It’s almost like dating. Things feel good and it’s going well, but we’re not in a rush to tie the knot, so to speak.”

Regarding how she looks back on her experiences as a stand-in singer for NIGHTWISH so far, Jansen said: “It’s still too early for me to really reflect on the whole NIGHTWISH adventure, because there are still a couple of tour dates pending, including some summer festivals.

“What can I say? It’s an incredible ride and it feels really good. Things went really well from day one. The timing was really awkward, because Annette Olzon just left the band and there wasn’t really time to rehearse with the other NIGHTWISH members. Anxiety levels were running high, because replacing a female singer mid-tour is a hazardous experience, to say the least. They were running the gauntlet to make sure that none of the remaining tour dates had to be canceled. They were scared and so was I.

“Things went surprisingly well.

“It doesn’t matter where you perform, YouTube will be plastered with movies of the gig the next day, so I really gave it my all. Everyone in the band and crew were really supportive and all the positive reactions and the warm acceptance by the NIGHTWISH fanbase was beyond my wildest dreams.

“Some people would rather see someone else fronting the band, but you can’t please everyone.”

Jansen made her live debut as the frontwoman of NIGHTWISH on October 1, 2012 at Showbox Sodo in Seattle, Washington following the abrupt departure of the band’s lead singer of five years, Anette Olzon.

Holopainen has known Jansen for more than 10 years already, having previously toured with her former band, AFTER FOREVER.

Asked about the reasons for Olzon‘s sudden exit from the group, Tuomas told U.K.’s Metal Hammer magazine: “I’m sure it came as a shock to everybody. We came out with a statement [regarding the split], which pretty much says it all. It still is a private matter, and that’s all we wanna say about it, like, ever. It was an amicable divorce, so to say, and made in good spirit, and we are just looking to the future. There really is no reason to go back into all the details and all that. I mean, this is not politics, this is a rock band.”

Regarding whether there is a chance that Floor will become the official new NIGHTWISH lead singer, Tuomas said: “The way that we have decided is that we’re gonna continue with her until the end of the festival season in 2013 — just have fun, just do the shows the best we can. I mean, the atmosphere in the band is so good at the moment, [we want to] just enjoy this what we have right now. They try not to think about NIGHTWISH at all for a few months. Everybody take a little vacation. And we already have the rehearsal place for the next album booked in 2014 — from July to September. So that’s how far we have planned. But when we do the last festival show next August, after that, it’s gonna be total nothing for a few months. So I would say everything is possible, but that’s really not the thing that we want to be thinking about right now, because there’s absolutely no reason to.”

Interview (audio):

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Renowned multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter, producer and now ringleader Devin Townsend played a special concert October 27, 2012 at the Roundhouse venue in London, England as part of a one-night-only event, dubbed “The Retinal Circus”, that was recorded for both DVD and Blu-ray, to be released on October 29 in North America (Sepember 30 in Europe) via InsideOut Music.

The official promo video for the song “War”, taken from the forthcoming DVD, can be seen below. The clip was produced, directed and edited by Paul M. Green for Cybertech Productions.

“The Retinal Circus” will be released on several formats, including a lavish and bonkers limited edition befitting of the man himself, and which took months of hard work to put together. The complete list of formats is below:

* Standard 2-disc DVD
* Standard 1-disc Blu-ray
* Standard 2-CD audio
* Special edition (2 DVDs/1 Blu-ray/2 CDs) box set
* Diehard deluxe fan box including 2 DVDs, 1 Blu-ray, 2 CDs (full details of contents to be revealed soon)

In a recent interview with Ghost Cult Magazine, Devin stated about how “The Retinal Circus” came to be: “I’ve been making music for so long and the main hurdles I’ve run when dealing with any public exposure is that many of my projects are so different from each other. There is the cyber thrash/death metal stuff, pop, rock, silly music and everything in between. So when a new record is presented to record stores and magazines, people have difficulty with how to label my music. So when I signed on to the new management I have now, the main problem we were facing was in terms of how we should make my music more visible. What I said to them is that the aesthetics of each album may be different but the intention is the same and that’s being true to whatever I wanted to do. So they came up with the idea of using the platform of a circus to essentially present my back catalogue in some way to people in one space. The logistics of that took approximately a year and there were close to a 100 people involved with it. The whole thing was wrapped in a dubious story, but a story nonetheless, and all the things that went into articulating that. We worked on it up until the point of rehearsal. We essentially rehearsed the whole show with all the performers in a period of only two days due to financial restraints. That’s essentially how it went. It was chaos, then incredible chaos and then unbelievable chaos and then it was over. After that, it came down to mixing and coming up with the artwork and that was another hurdle to get over.”

He added: “It went well, but it’s fair to keep in mind that I did a lot of editing, not only to the audio, but also to the video to try make it as close as possible. to the original vision behind ‘The Retinal Circus’. During the actual show, there were syncing issues with the video, people coming in at the wrong time and some of the gear went down. I had a debate whether it was more important to leave the show exactly as it was or to make it as close as possible to how I envisioned it. I decided to do the latter thing, because it’s my thing. Every time I put it on, I saw the mistakes and I viewed those mistakes as unneccessary distractions.”




devintownsendretinalformats

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Rick Horton of The Metallic Onslaught conducted an interview with CHIMAIRA frontman Mark Hunter on August 24 at the Montage Music Hall in Rochester, New York. You can now watch the chat below.

CHIMAIRA‘s seventh studio album, “Crown Of Phantoms”, sold around 7,400 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 52 on The Billboard 200 chart. The record arrived in stores on July 30 via eOne Music.

CHIMAIRA‘s previous CD, “The Age Of Hell”, premiered with more than 7,000 units in August 2011 to debut at No. 54. The band’s 2009 effort, “The Infection”, registered a first-week tally of 15,000 to land at No. 30. This figure was roughly in line with the opening number of CHIMAIRA‘s 2007 album, “Resurrection”, which shifted 16,000 copies to enter the chart at No. 42.

CHIMAIRA recently made headlines by way of crowd-funding a fan version CD/DVD where they doubled their initial goal via IndieGoGo.

In a recent interview with Ghost Cult, singer Mark Hunter stated about CHIMAIRA‘s new CD: “‘Crown Of Phantoms’ is the culmination of three years of going through tons of changes, harsh realities but also excitement. It’s something brand new and when you put all those things together you get ‘Crown Of Phantoms’ as a result. These are exciting times for the band and it’s the polar opposite of where I was with the band two years ago.

Regarding whether he thought of packing it in after the numerous lineup changes that CHIMAIRA went through since the release of 2011’s “The Age Of Hell”, Hunter said: “Many people on the Internet thought we were done for. By the timing and the speed things were unraveling, I had the luxury of not thinking rationally and I simply soldiered on. It was happening so fast and not thinking about quitting was a sort of defense in a way. I defended what I hold dear and what I wanted to fight for. Of course there were moments of insecurity and doubts. Luckily, I had a good team and a good support system of friends and family around me telling me that I was crazy if I wanted to change the band name or quit altogether. They pointed out that bands like MEGADETH and BLACK SABBATH went through countless lineup changes. BLACK SABBATH had a super successful era without Ozzy. Of course, with MEGADETH, ‘Rust In Peace’ was one of their best albums and it wasn’t recorded with the same lineup who did ‘Peace Sells’, which is another MEGADETH classic. There are more examples of bands that went through major lineup changes and still had major success. Of course, to be in this situation is scary as hell.”

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Raymond Westland of Ghost Cult Magazine recently conducted an interview with guitarist/vocalist Luc Lemay of Canadian technical death metallers GORGUTS. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Ghost Cult Magazine: GORGUTS disappeared from the scene almost a decade ago. What happened?

Luc: After Steve McDonald (former GORGUTS drummer) passed away in 2002 I decided to move away from Montreal, because I was done living there. I wanted to be closer to where I was raised and be closer to nature in a way. After Steve‘s death, I wasn’t interested in playing music anymore. I was very content with the musical legacy of the band at that point and I was ready to start a new chapter in my life. I started to make a living out of woodworking. Back in 2006, Steeve Hurdle asked me to join NEGATIVA. I joined his band on the condition that everything would be low key. It was all about having fun playing music for me. After a rehearsal, Steeve pointed out that it would be cool to make a new GORGUTS record to commemorate GORGUTS‘ 20 years of existence. I was all for it and from that point the idea came to play with John [Longstreth; drums], Kevin [Hufnagel; guitar] and Colin [Marston; bass] and create a new record. The rest is history, as they say.

Ghost Cult Magazine: “Colored Sands” took quite some years to be completed. How so?

Luc: When I decided to put GORGUTS on hiatus back in 2002, we were signed to Olympic Records and they were taken over by Century Media, so suddenly they owned my contract. Although I didn’t play music anymore, I had to go through a lot of red tape. Stupid as I was, I signed the new contract without reading the fine print. So when I approached Century Media about doing a new GORGUTS record, they were totally into the idea, but I wasn’t happy with the old contract, so I asked them whether we could negotiate better terms to make the contract more up to date. They agreed to, but in the end we didn’t see eye to eye on things and we mutually agreed it was better to go our separate ways. Dissolving the contract was a very time-consuming and complicated legal affair. As a band, we decided to push on recording “Colored Sands”, regardless of how long it would take to settle the legal affairs with Century Media. While the music was already written, it took me years to write all the lyrics.

Ghost Cult Magazine: “Colored Sands” is a combination of technical death metal and more atmospheric parts. How did you manage to make it all stick?

Luc: It was a matter of adapting to a new musical vision and playing with new musicians. When writing the new record, I wasn’t interested in sticking to traditional song structures. At the time, I started to listen to more progressive bands like OPETH and PORCUPINE TREE, so that certainly had a major influence on my writing. I really love Steven Wilson‘s music, be it his solo work, BLACKFIELD or PORCUPINE TREE. I really love the atmospheric songs on “Deadwing”. PORCUPINE TREE‘s “The Incident” record as a real eye opener for me when I was working on “Colored Sands”. I wanted to translate that style of writing into my own music. As you may know, all GORGUTS albums have their own distinct personality; we never made the same album twice. I wasn’t interested in making an “Obscura” or “From Wisdom To Hate Part II”. The main GORGUTS elements are certainly there on “Colored Sands”, but we made our atmospheric side a little more prevalent this time around.

Read the entire interview at Ghost Cult Magazine.



gorgutscoloredcd_600

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Raymond Westland of Ghost Cult Magazine recently conducted an interview with ANNIHILATOR mainman Jeff Waters. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Ghost Cult Magazine: “Feast” is a particularly inspired effort. Are you happy with it?

Waters: I certainly am. As an artist, you’re sometimes lucky when it all comes together, be it painting, singing or whatever. Sometimes you want to do something good and when you’re busy with it, you seem to hit the nail on the head. When you listen back, it doesn’t contain your best work. Sometimes it just works. Bands like IRON MAIDEN, JUDAS PRIEST, SLAYER and also we in ANNIHILATOR have great records and we have our share of not-so-good records. Different times, different places, you know. Maybe we were lucky with “Feast” and maybe we were inspired. A lot of it comes from that my partner in ANNIHILATOR, singer/guitarist Dave Padden, said that we should take a break for three years from writing music and focus on other things. We did a lot of touring, I worked in my studio, give guitar clinics for Gibson and Epiphone and we played the 70000 Tons Of Metal cruise, all these cool things. The break breathed a lot of new life in the ANNIHILATOR music and that’s probably where a lot of the inspiration came from. I’ve been writing music for the band since 1984.

Ghost Cult Magazine: With every ANNIHILATOR album, you take on many different roles, including the one of producer, mixer, main songwriter and guitarist. How do you prevent losing your mind?

Waters: That’s true, and the reason behind it is pretty simple. I have my own studio since 1994 and I got into gear, reading books from other producers and studio engineers, and as weird as it may sound, it turned into my hobby. It started out as something I had to do, because when metal music lost a lot of its commercial staying power back in the early Nineties, you had to start thinking about business just to survive. For most bands, it was already too late, but I was smart in the way that I invested in a house and my own studio. I produced all the ANNIHILATOR since 1994. I don’t particularly go nuts because I enjoy every aspect from the process, but there are some negatives as well. First of all, you get severe tendonitis because of all the guitar playing and spending so much time behind the computer. I had to deal with it six years ago and I luckily recovered from it. Another element is that’s hard for your ears to stay objective, because you’re listening to the same stuff over and over again for four months, and that’s where an outside producer or mixing engineer could certainly help. And thirdly, you really can get nuts because of the intensity of the whole process. [laughs] What I’m doing now is recording the albums and take a lot of breaks, you know taking a week off. The whole process becomes very efficient, because you have the get the same amount of work done in a smaller time frame. It keeps your brain and ears in good shape. Another aspect is that you’ll save a lot of money when you do everything yourself. It’s basic economics, really.

Ghost Cult Magazine: Dave Padden is your partner in everything ANNIHILATOR for quite some years now. How was your working relationship with him developed over the years?

Waters: When Dave came in 2004, he was just “another” singer. We had a lot of different singers and musicians in the band throughout the years. Looking back, every singer was good for the time they were in the band and without them things would have been much different. When Dave joined the band 10 years ago, things were different, because he was a guitar player and not really known as a singer. When he auditioned, I really liked the versatility of his voice, so I decided to give him a chance. I stuck with him and worked with him long enough to see him developing into a killer guitar player and singer live. He’s a very talented guy. He came from being scorned and criticized to becoming an integral part of some of our best albums. After four or five years, I realized he became more of a partner and I start phoning him to ask for his input on touring, equipment and endorsement deals. So we’re half a band nowadays; you get two out of four. [laughs]

Read the entire interview at Ghost Cult Magazine.

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Raymond Westland of Ghost Cult Magazine recently conducted an interview with renowned Canadian multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter and producer Devin Townsend. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Ghost Cult Magazine: Can you takes us through the motions of coming up with the concept behind “The Retinal Circus” to the point where you have actually performed it?

Devin: Sure. I’ve been making music for so long and the main hurdles I’ve run when dealing with any public exposure is that many of my projects are so different from each other. There is the cyber thrash/death metal stuff, pop, rock, silly music and everything in between. So when a new record is presented to record stores and magazines, people have difficulty with how to label my music. So when I signed on to the new management I have now, the main problem we were facing was in terms of how we should make my music more visible. What I said to them is that the aesthetics of each album may be different but the intention is the same and that’s being true to whatever I wanted to do. So they came up with the idea of using the platform of a circus to essentially present my back catalogue in some way to people in one space. The logistics of that took approximately a year and there were close to a 100 people involved with it. The whole thing was wrapped in a dubious story, but a story nonetheless, and all the things that went into articulating that. We worked on it up until the point of rehearsal. We essentially rehearsed the whole show with all the performers in a period of only two days due to financial restraints. That’s essentially how it went. It was chaos, then incredible chaos and then unbelievable chaos and then it was over. After that, it came down to mixing and coming up with the artwork and that was another hurdle to get over.

Ghost Cult Magazine: Given the little time and limited recources you managed to put on quite a show.

Devin: It went well, but it’s fair to keep in mind that I did a lot of editing, not only to the audio, but also to the video to try make it as close as possible. to the original vision behind “The Retinal Circus”. During the actual show, there were syncing issues with the video, people coming in at the wrong time and some of the gear went down. I had a debate whether it was more important to leave the show exactly as it was or to make it as close as possible to how I envisioned it. I decided to do the latter thing, because it’s my thing. Every time I put it on, I saw the mistakes and I viewed those mistakes as unneccessary distractions.

Ghost Cult Magazine: You also included two STRAPPING YOUNG LAD songs in the setlist. This is quite remarkable because you commented that the STRAPPING YOUNG LAD book is closed for you and that you moved on as an artist. Why this decision?

Devin: True, I’ve said that many times in interviews and it’s fairly well documented why I don’t want to do any new STRAPPING YOUNG LAD material anymore. I’m not ashamed of STRAPPING YOUNG LAD and it’s still a huge part of my life. The reason why I don’t want to do it anymore has more to do with people wanting to force me to do certain things and that’s absolutely the wrong way to approach me. The best way of me not doing things is to demand it from me. My nature in reacting to that is a big phat no. I have no interest in being told what to do. STRAPPING YOUNG LAD is a representation of me, just as much as “Ki”, “Ghost”, “Ziltoid” or “Infinity”. There’s no difference, it was just a different period of time. Including “Detox” and “Love?” on “The Retinal Circus”, seen from the point being it a retrospective, is just obvious to me.

Read the entire interview at Ghost Cult Magazine.

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Metal Storm recently conducted an interview with CHIMAIRA vocalist Mark Hunter. You can now watch the chat below.

CHIMAIRA‘s seventh studio album, “Crown Of Phantoms”, sold around 7,400 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 52 on The Billboard 200 chart. The record arrived in stores on July 30 via eOne Music.

CHIMAIRA‘s previous CD, “The Age Of Hell”, premiered with more than 7,000 units in August 2011 to debut at No. 54. The band’s 2009 effort, “The Infection”, registered a first-week tally of 15,000 to land at No. 30. This figure was roughly in line with the opening number of CHIMAIRA‘s 2007 album, “Resurrection”, which shifted 16,000 copies to enter the chart at No. 42.

CHIMAIRA recently made headlines by way of crowd-funding a fan version CD/DVD where they doubled their initial goal via IndieGoGo.

In a recent interview with Ghost Cult, singer Mark Hunter stated about CHIMAIRA‘s new CD: “‘Crown Of Phantoms’ is the culmination of three years of going through tons of changes, harsh realities but also excitement. It’s something brand new and when you put all those things together you get ‘Crown Of Phantoms’ as a result. These are exciting times for the band and it’s the polar opposite of where I was with the band two years ago.

Regarding whether he thought of packing it in after the numerous lineup changes that CHIMAIRA went through since the release of 2011’s “The Age Of Hell”, Hunter said: “Many people on the Internet thought we were done for. By the timing and the speed things were unraveling, I had the luxury of not thinking rationally and I simply soldiered on. It was happening so fast and not thinking about quitting was a sort of defense in a way. I defended what I hold dear and what I wanted to fight for. Of course there were moments of insecurity and doubts. Luckily, I had a good team and a good support system of friends and family around me telling me that I was crazy if I wanted to change the band name or quit altogether. They pointed out that bands like MEGADETH and BLACK SABBATH went through countless lineup changes. BLACK SABBATH had a super successful era without Ozzy. Of course, with MEGADETH, ‘Rust In Peace’ was one of their best albums and it wasn’t recorded with the same lineup who did ‘Peace Sells’, which is another MEGADETH classic. There are more examples of bands that went through major lineup changes and still had major success. Of course, to be in this situation is scary as hell.”

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