Posts Tagged “Guitar Player”


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Orange Goblin’s Ben Ward is currently hanging with the amazing trio of bands on this year’s Lords Of The Riff tour! Here’s how it’s going so far…

Day 4 – Wednesday March 19th – Another Day Off!

Woke up to the smell of bacon cooking as our good host served us up a full English breakfast and a pint of tea! Before we left Colchester we stopped off to pick up some sleeping bags (essential touring kit) and debated going to visit a zoo or a castle but everyone decided to get to the hotel in London and get some much needed rest. In no time we were back in the smoke and the band got some sleep whilst I managed to go home and do some laundry. Later that evening we all met up for some food at possibly the worst Chinese restaurant in the world before heading to The Red Lion in Leytonstone for beers.

We were joined by a few friends including Joe, the guitar player from Orange Goblin, and the night soon started to get messy as everyone started sampling the wide range of guest ales. We ended up back at a friends house drinking whiskey, wine, cider, more beers and whatever else was going whilst rocking out in the kitchen to Captain Beyond and Budgie. I don’t remember leaving but I must’ve staggered home at some point and the band jumped in a cab for the hotel. Days off RULE!

Day 5 – Thursday March 20th – o2 Academy 3, Birmingham

Off to the birthplace of Heavy Metal! The home of Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and Judas Priest amongst many others. Everyone was feeling a little sceptical about this show as we knew that Red Fang, The Shrine and Lord Dying were playing across town and could seriously affect the turn out. With this in mind I did what anyone in my position would do……….I got in touch with my friends in Red Fang and arranged for them to put us all on their guest list for after Scorpion Child had finished!! We rolled into Brum around 3pm, found a place to eat and did some press before the doors opened. The turn out in the small room was great and all the bands put on a fantastic show. A fan arrived with an awesome cake for the bands (see pic) which I was amazed remained intact throughout the entire evening.

Unfortunately due to the timings of both shows we didn’t make it across town to catch up with Red Fang but we all considered the night another massive success for all involved. After the van got loaded we headed to a friends house, drank some beers and played the cheesy band name game, which involves trying to incorporate different cheeses into band names. I can’t take the credit for it but the best was ‘Crosby, Stilton Nash’!!! Tomorrow, the Lords of The Riff head north!

Fri 21 Mar – SHEFFIELD Corporation (SC closes)
Sat 22 Mar – GLASGOW King Tuts (MT closes)
Sun 23 Mar – NEWCASTLE Academy 2 (SC closes)
Tue 25 Mar – NOTTINGHAM Rock City (MT closes)
Wed 26 Mar – LONDON Underworld (MT closes)
Thu 27 Mar – MANCHESTER Roadhouse (SC closes)

Tickets are on sale now. To buy online, visit www.seetickets.com (Sheffield shows),www.livenation.co.uk (Newcastle, London, Manchester), www.gigsinscotland.com(Glasgow) and www.alt-tickets.co.uk (Nottingham). See you at the front.

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On March 12, singer/bassist Schmier of German thrash metal veterans DESTRUCTION was interviewed by Nick Perkel (a.k.a. Japan Nick), a contributing writer for The Aquarian Weekly and host of “Japan Nick’s Rock And Metal Pandemonium” on Montclair State University’s WMSC 90.3 radio station. Asked about his recently announced side project with members of ACCEPT, Schmier said: “It’s actually the drummer, Stefan [Schwarzman], who used to play for RUNNING WILD for many years, and he’s playing for ACCEPT now for many years also. And it’s Herman Frank, the guitar player. We met on several festivals in the last years and we’ve been hanging out. And they’re great guys. And we liked each other since point one. And somehow we had this crazy idea that in between ACCEPT and DESTRUCTION breaks, we could do something together. Because Stefan lives very close by now; he moved down here where I live. So we started to do some stuff, some rehearsals, and it turned out really great.”

He continued: “I’ve been doing this HEADHUNTER project back in the ’90s, and that was also a mix of classical heavy metal with a little bit of DESTRUCTION. So now I’m gonna go back to using my DESTRUCTION vibes, but the music is gonna be much more classical heavy metal, but it’s also, of course, gonna be more heavy and a little more powerful than ACCEPT stuff. So it’s gonna be a nice mixture. It fits really well.

“We have already written five songs. It’s actually still not really so official. So you’re one of the first persons that is interviewing me about this. I only did one interview before, with a guy from Israel, who basically put this on Blabbermouth back in the day.

“We still don’t have a name for the band. We’re writing songs right now, and as soon as we have a demo, then we’re gonna put out an official statement. But we’re having those five songs recorded now as a pre-demo, so when I’m coming back from [touring] the States [with DESTRUCTION], then we’re gonna enter the studio and record a pre-recording for the final album. So I’m excited. It sounds great. It sounds fresh. To me, it’s something different than DESTRUCTION, so it’s a great experience. And the guys are, of course… especially Herman, he’s a little bit older than me. He’s like my big, old brother. He has a lot more experience. Even if I am in the business for a long time, he has some more years, so I can learn from him. And it’s very interesting.”

He added: “I love classical heavy metal; it’s my fucking favorite. And it’s gonna be fun to do that. So I’m really looking forward to it. It’s a great side project.

“I’m not somebody who likes to sit at home the whole day. I like to be entertained and play music and have fun. And I’m looking forward to this new thing.”

Regarding whether fans can expect to hear the first music from the new project before the end of 2014, Schmier said: “It could be by the end of this year. If everything works out, we’re gonna have demos in April/May. Then look for a label. So we could enter the studio in the summer. So I hope it’s gonna happen. But, I mean, I have to do a DESTRUCTION album also, which will have top priority, of course. So we’ll see how everything goes. But I think the way it goes right now, the project will be [in the studio] earlier [than DESTRUCTION]. ‘Cause we have five songs done, and we already have new ideas. So if we find a good label fast, then it should be out by the end of the year.”

DESTRUCTION‘s 30th-anniversary album, “Spiritual Genocide”, was released on November 23, 2012 via Nuclear Blast Records. The follow-up to 2011′s “Day Of Reckoning” was recorded at Gernhart Studios in Troisdorf, Germany with engineer Martin Buchwalter and was mixed by Andy Classen. The album features guest appearances by Thomas “Angelripper” Such (SODOM), Andreas “Gerre” Geremia (TANKARD) and Ol Drake (EVILE). In addition, the “Mad Butcher”/“Release From Agony” lineup of DESTRUCTION — featuring guitarist Harry Wilkens and drummer Oliver Kaiser — reunited for one song.

Photo credit: YellMagazine.com

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Bryan Reesman of Attention Deficit Delirium recently conducted an interview with guitarist John Petrucci of progressive metallers DREAM THEATER. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Attention Deficit Delirium: Your wife, Rena Sands, plays guitar in the JUDAS PRIESTESS tribute band. Is there ever a chance that you two might do a musical project together?

Petrucci: We would love to. We talk about doing that. It just depends on what the style would be and just finding the time to do that. She’s such a great guitar player. We’re celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary. We just got from back from Vegas actually.

Attention Deficit Delirium: Congratulations.

Petrucci: Thank you. When we first met, music is the thing that we really connected with and has always been a big part of our lives. We now have three kids, all teenagers who play music, and this is something that we’re all really connected to. That would be unbelievable to do something together.

Attention Deficit Delirium: Artists often have a hard time handling relationships because of our crazy schedules. How have you two managed to make things work for 20 years?

Petrucci: It takes a lot of understanding. I think [due to] the fact that my wife is a musician and is in the same career, she completely knows what’s involved and is the type of person who is just unbelievably supportive. When you think about how much time I have to be away because of touring…as you said it’s an unconventional kind industry situation, and I’m in the studio for 10 to 12 hours a day. Meanwhile we had three kids, twins first, so she spent all that time raising them. I’m 100,000,000% convinced that I wouldn’t be where I am today in my life and my career without her and that level of understanding, support and strength. It’s unbelievable. It really is. The fact that she’s able to give me feedback and that we can talk about things creatively and share ideas as I’m writing is just amazing. It’s really, really cool.

Attention Deficit Delirium: I’m enjoying the new DREAM THEATER album a lot. When the band started, it was a mixture of progressive complexity along with melodic elements that made it radio friendly. The mid-period of DREAM THEATER got more into epic songs and complexity, but it seems like the last couple of releases have gotten back to mixing these off-kilter time signatures and crazy riffs with catchy choruses. I wrote that in my recent studio report, and there were some fans who were turned off that idea, but I think it’s a good thing. Was this a conscious return to that style of songwriting, or did it just come about naturally?

Petrucci: It’s definitely something that we wanted to focus on a lot. As far as the style of the band and the way that we come across, it’s important to us that that always stays intact. We’re a progressive band with a metal sound, and the musical style is very powerful. We try to push the boundaries, but having said that, the most important thing is the songwriting. At the end of the day, it’s the compositions, it’s whether or not your music reaches people. It’s communication. It’s always been an important element of our music — the melodic side that you said, the catchy chorus side but also the overall melodic content — how the vocals hit you, how the song message hits you — I think that separates the men from the boys in a lot of aspects as far as writing in a progressive style. The songs need to be catchy, they need to be relatable, they need to be strong, and we did focus more on that this time, there’s no doubt about it. We did go in saying we’re going to make a strong and bold album. It’s going to be everything that we love to do, but we’re going to take extra special attention on the compositional songwriting elements so that within that structure the songs are even that much more powerful emotionally.

Read the entire interview at Attention Deficit Delirium.

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Hamburg, Germany based avant-garde metal act Todtgelichter (which was covered in our look at non-traditional black metal ) is currently looking for a new guitar player due to the imminent departure of longtime member Claudio. The band comments: “With a dedicated new guitar player we aim to strengthen our live presence in 2014 and to start the composing process for album number 5. “We are searching for YOU: you are no rookie, you have a sense for melodies and songwriting, you play tight, groovy and in time and (ideally) are familiar with the songs of our last two albums ‘Angst’ and ‘Apnoe.’ Furthermore, you are able to rehearse twice a week in Hamburg/Hamm; you like rehearsing as much as playing live and you are always looking to improve your playing and to broaden your musical horizon.

The post Todtgelichter Splitting With Guitarist Claudio appeared first on Daily Heavy Metal News.

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FU MANCHU guitarist/vocalist Bob Balch and drummer Scott Reeder have joined forces with former KYUSS bassist Scott Thomas Reeder in SUN & SAIL CLUB. Their debut album, “Mannequin”, will be released in early November via Satin Records.

The first in a series of video clips featuring footage from the “Mannequin” studio sessions can be seen below.

Said Balch: “In between FU MANCHU tours, I was writing all this material that was really frantic and dark. Lots of notes and strange chords.

“A lot of times I would go interview a guitar player for my site PlayThisRiff.com and come back inspired and full of ideas. Just to make Scott Reeder laugh I would send him a file to play drums on.

“Well, anybody who has seen FU MANCHU live knows Reeder is a monster behind the kit. So I would try to throw him some curveballs to trip him up. No such luck. Every riff I sent him he nailed. After a while, there was an album’s worth of stuff.

“I really wanted Scott Thomas Reeder to play bass on it. I love the work he has done in his recording studio too, so I figured that if we recorded stuff there, hopefully he’d dig it and play on it.

“I remember after the first take we walked into the control room and Reeder said, ‘I had an idea!’ He asked to play on it and I almost crapped myself. I don’t think I’ve ever said ‘Yes!’ faster.

“His bass lines are insane. Lots of drop-A stuff which is probably pretty hard on bass. He nailed it too!

“Once the bass tracks were in place, we needed vocals.

“I had lyrics and melodies in my head. A lot of the vocal parts were four-part harmonies. Crazy stuff. So I laid down vocals on the home demos using a vocoder and a guitar.

“I thought if I could get an unmixed album with vocoder vocals together, I could start sending it out to singers that I liked to see if they had any interest. I went back into Scott Thomas Reeder‘s studio to lay down the vocoder parts as a guide for singers. I did the track ‘Gang Justice’ first and Reeder turned around and said, ‘That’s how the vocals will stay. It’s inane.’ He asked, ‘Do you have stuff for every song using the vocoder?’ I did. So we went to work. The only song I didn’t have vocals for Reeder sang. It’s named ‘I’m Not Upside Down’.

“Overall, this record is heavy and dark. It’s inspired by DEVO, VOIVOD, KRAFTWORK, TORCHE, SLAYER and much as it’s inspired by ASWAD, JOE PASS and WES MONTGOMERY. The riffs are heavy and the vocoder vocals are full of harmonies.

“I wanted a super-heavy groove that would support angelic vocal harmonies. I think we achieved that.

Added Scott Thomas Reeder: “Yeah, Bob from FU MANCHU came into The Sanctuary do some recording with the other Scott Reeder — the drummer from FU MANCHU. I was stoked — been wanting to meet that guy for years! So they knocked out some crazy tracks all in a day — jaw- droppingly great stuff. I didn’t know if it was supposed to just be drums and guitar… so I asked later on, ‘Who’s playing bass on this stuff?’ They hadn’t decided yet, but Bob was gonna come back and put some bass tracks down later. I suggested that maybe I take a stab at it, and they were down! It’s really crazy stuff, the most challenging material I’ve done since I was in THE OBSESSED. I got through most of it — there were a few ‘guide tracks’ in there that I asked Bob to put down that were flawless — I ended up leaving those in. Spent just a few more days with Bob coming back to the ranch to add some textures with his arsenal of effects.

“I was kinda bummed when we wrapped on tracking! It was a blast working with these guys, and I’m glad the the other Reeder is a great guy and a monster drummer — can’t wait for the confusion that is sure to come from having both of us on this thing.”

Said Scott Reeder: About two years ago, Bob and I started trading riffs and beats back and forth via the wonders of modern technology. Sometimes he would be sending me three different things in one file and I would just throw up a 57 as an overhead and record my whole kit and send it back. Or I might have a beat and say, ‘Hey, play something to this.’ ‘Whites Of Your Eyes’ started that way. It was much faster and I was just warming up around the kit and got inspired to get it down. Then we got together and just slowed down the tempo and he added new parts.

“We agreed that most of the stuff needed not to be super picked apart and scrutinized. It was more of a ‘first-thought-best-thought’ approach. And whatever made us just laugh and go, ‘Yeah, that’s super weird. It’s gotta be that way!!’

“It all springs from Bob‘s riffs; he can play anything, but he plays it the way you want to hear it!! As always, that’s the most fun stuff to play to. I think that shows up in recording. It’s fun to listen to.

“We blasted through 10 songs of basics in four hours. We were just having a great time, so we just knocked it out!! And to have that great bass playing of Scott‘s in there, I could not imagine it sounding heavier but, of course, he just blew me away.”

Continued Balch: “In the end, we had J. Robbins (CLUTCH, THE SWORD, THE HIDDEN HAND) mix the record. I loved his work and I’m a big fan of the band he played bass in GOVERNMENT ISSUE. He mixed THE HIDDEN HAND‘s ‘Mother, Teacher, Destroyer’, which is one of my favorite-sounding records. I wanted to get a heavy sound like that, but I also wanted a DEVO ‘Duty Now For The Future’ or RUSH ‘Moving Pictures’ vibe. I think that those ingredients play off the vocoder really well.

“I’ve never even met J. Robbins. It’s funny, I don’t even know what he looks like. We spoke on the phone about the approach I wanted and then I sent the tunes to the East Coast to have him work on it. He did an insane job and was a total pleasure to work with.

“We picked Dan Coutant at Sun Room Audio to master the record. He has worked with CLUTCH and COLISEUM in the past. We saw eye to eye immediately.”

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GWAR‘s new album, “Battle Maximus”, sold around 3,500 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 109 on The Billboard 200 chart. The CD — the band’s first full-length studio effort since the loss of their longtime guitar player Flattus Maximus — was issued on September 17 on Metal Blade Records.

GWAR‘s previous CD, 2010′s “Bloody Pit Of Horror”, opened with around 2,800 units — roughly half of the first-week tally registered by 2009′s “Lust In Space”, which premiered with 5,000 copies to land at No. 96.

“This album is both a tribute to Flattus and a telling of the next chapter in the story of GWAR,” Oderus Urungus stated about “Battle Maximus”. “The combo of the brand new album and show should satisfy even the most hardcore Flattus devotee with the fact that GWAR‘s slay-skills are as supreme as ever, and the band stands poised to embark on our most earth-shattering world tour yet. We have mourned, we have honored, and now it’s time to fucking DEVASTATE in the name of Flattus and the supreme entity that is GWAR.”

GWAR‘s “Battle Maximus” features twelve brand new tracks that not only honor their departed ally, but tells the story of GWAR‘s latest struggle against what may be their greatest enemy yet… the insidious “Mr. Perfect”, who has travelled through time itself to steal the power of GWAR — the power of immortality, and use this power to mutate the human race into his twisted vision of what the “perfect” human should be. Once again GWAR finds themselves as the only thing standing between the human race and the latest super-powered shithead bent on the destruction of GWAR and the enslavement of their worshippers.

“Battle Maximus” track listing:

01. Intro
02. Madness At The Core Of Time
03. Bloodbath
04. Nothing Left Alive
05. They Swallowed The Sun
06. Torture
07. Raped At Birth
08. I, Bonesnapper
09. Mr. Perfect
10. Battle Maximus
11. Triumph Of The Pig Children
12. Falling
13. Fly Now

The song “Bloodbath” can now be streamed using the SoundCloud widget below.




GWAR_Battle_Maximus_600

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On the latest episode of “Metal Invaders”, host Sonny Bellavance talked with GWAR frontman Oderus Urungus. You can now listen to the chat below.

GWAR‘s new album, “Battle Maximus” — the band’s first full-length studio effort since the loss of their longtime guitar player Flattus Maximus — was released on September 17 on Metal Blade Records.

“This album is both a tribute to Flattus and a telling of the next chapter in the story of GWAR,” said Oderus Urungus. “The combo of the brand new album and show should satisfy even the most hardcore Flattus devotee with the fact that GWAR‘s slay-skills are as supreme as ever, and the band stands poised to embark on our most earth-shattering world tour yet. We have mourned, we have honored, and now it’s time to fucking DEVASTATE in the name of Flattus and the supreme entity that is GWAR.”

Oderus continued: “This is our first record in our brand-new Slave Pit Studios, which Flattus had a lead role in designing, but without him we had no one left to twiddle the buttons, much less play the blazing metal leads and provide the musical direction that rescued GWAR from the depths of clown-band obscurity. I mean, Balsac is no slouch, but Flattus‘ departure left a huge hole in our band. We had no choice. We had to blow the Horn of Hate…”

The follow-up to 2011′s critically acclaimed “Bloody Pit Of Horror”, “Battle Maximus” features twelve brand new tracks that not only honor their departed ally, but tells the story of GWAR‘s latest struggle against what may be their greatest enemy yet… the insidious “Mr. Perfect”, who has travelled through time itself to steal the power of GWAR — the power of immortality, and use this power to mutate the human race into his twisted vision of what the “perfect” human should be. Once again GWAR finds themselves as the only thing standing between the human race and the latest super-powered shithead bent on the destruction of GWAR and the enslavement of their worshippers.

“Battle Maximus” track listing:

01. Intro
02. Madness At The Core Of Time
03. Bloodbath
04. Nothing Left Alive
05. They Swallowed The Sun
06. Torture
07. Raped At Birth
08. I, Bonesnapper
09. Mr. Perfect
10. Battle Maximus
11. Triumph Of The Pig Children
12. Falling
13. Fly Now

Interview (audio):

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GWAR frontman Oderus Urungus was interviewed on the latest edition of “The Classic Metal Show”, which is heard live on Saturdays from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. EST at TheClassicMetalShow.com. You can now listen to the chat using the audio player below.

GWAR‘s new album, “Battle Maximus” — the band’s first full-length studio effort since the loss of their longtime guitar player Flattus Maximus — is set to hit the streets on September 17 on Metal Blade Records.

“This album is both a tribute to Flattus and a telling of the next chapter in the story of GWAR,” said Oderus Urungus. “The combo of the brand new album and show should satisfy even the most hardcore Flattus devotee with the fact that GWAR‘s slay-skills are as supreme as ever, and the band stands poised to embark on our most earth-shattering world tour yet. We have mourned, we have honored, and now it’s time to fucking DEVASTATE in the name of Flattus and the supreme entity that is GWAR.”

Oderus continued: “This is our first record in our brand-new Slave Pit Studios, which Flattus had a lead role in designing, but without him we had no one left to twiddle the buttons, much less play the blazing metal leads and provide the musical direction that rescued GWAR from the depths of clown-band obscurity. I mean, Balsac is no slouch, but Flattus‘ departure left a huge hole in our band. We had no choice. We had to blow the Horn of Hate…”

The follow-up to 2011′s critically acclaimed “Bloody Pit Of Horror”, “Battle Maximus” features twelve brand new tracks that not only honor their departed ally, but tells the story of GWAR‘s latest struggle against what may be their greatest enemy yet… the insidious “Mr. Perfect”, who has travelled through time itself to steal the power of GWAR — the power of immortality, and use this power to mutate the human race into his twisted vision of what the “perfect” human should be. Once again GWAR finds themselves as the only thing standing between the human race and the latest super-powered shithead bent on the destruction of GWAR and the enslavement of their worshippers.

“Battle Maximus” track listing:

01. Intro
02. Madness At The Core Of Time
03. Bloodbath
04. Nothing Left Alive
05. They Swallowed The Sun
06. Torture
07. Raped At Birth
08. I, Bonesnapper
09. Mr. Perfect
10. Battle Maximus
11. Triumph Of The Pig Children
12. Falling
13. Fly Now

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In a brand new interview with Sick Drummer Magazine, legendary BLACK SABBATH drummer Bill Ward spoke about his current and upcoming recording projects. “I think the soonest [people will hear me on a new record] is probably on an album we are trying to finish right now. We’re in the final mix and some of the tracks are mastered. It’s an album called ‘Accountable Beasts’ and I’ve been working on and off with it for about five years. I play seven or eight of the drum tracks on it, have put a lot of really hard work into it and I wrote most of the material. I am quite pleased with the amount of work I’ve put into the album to date and I’m hoping it will come out at some point in the near future. I can’t say definitely, but I can say that we are working on the final mix and I kind of have a goal behind that, which is let’s get this thing finished and mixed as soon as possible. We are working on that right now, in fact this very day, to go into the studio and so on and so forth. Setting up our dates, studying my mix sheets, and working out final overdubs if any need to be done. We have some of the material which is already what I like to call ‘master-mixed,’ it’s board mixed and we don’t need to touch it, it just goes to mastering. There’s nine songs on the record, I believe, so that would be the first time you’d get to hear me drumming again, at least at this point. We have other projects that are going on as well, but it’s a bit too early to tell yet.”

Asked if he also wrote most of guitar parts for the album, Ward said: “Yes. Well, I don’t play guitar but what allows me to be able to work with guitar is that I have an incredible guitar player. He’s so open-minded that when I take my keyboard notes to him, I’ll just play a little bit of the melodies and such. I love working with melodies and I can work out a lot of the different parts, so when I do that my lead guitar player is extremely amicable. We put our egos outside the door and it’s like… OK! let me see what we can achieve here. Let me see if I can produce these things you’re trying to get at. It’s a very good working arrangement and he sounds absolutely great on the record, he’s fuckin’ rock and rolling! I mean, it’s really good! I obviously like it and I hope everybody else will, but it’s definitely a good piece of work.”

Ward claimed that he sat out the current BLACK SABBATH reunion because of unfair contractual terms, although the members of SABBATH have hinted in other interviews that he wasn’t physically up to the task.

Ward was on board for the reunion when it was first announced in November 2011, but backed out soon after.

SABBATH has used Ozzy‘s regular touring drummer Tommy Clufetos since then for live work. RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE‘s Brad Wilk laid down the drum tracks on SABBATH‘s new album, “13″, which came out June 11.

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FU MANCHU guitarist/vocalist Bob Balch and drummer Scott Reeder have joined forces with former KYUSS bassist Scott Thomas Reeder in SUN & SAIL CLUB. Their debut album, “Mannequin”, will be released in early November via Satin Records.

Said Balch: “In between FU MANCHU tours, I was writing all this material that was really frantic and dark. Lots of notes and strange chords.

“A lot of times I would go interview a guitar player for my site PlayThisRiff.com and come back inspired and full of ideas. Just to make Scott Reeder laugh I would send him a file to play drums on.

“Well, anybody who has seen FU MANCHU live knows Reeder is a monster behind the kit. So I would try to throw him some curveballs to trip him up. No such luck. Every riff I sent him he nailed. After a while, there was an album’s worth of stuff.

“I really wanted Scott Thomas Reeder to play bass on it. I love the work he has done in his recording studio too, so I figured that if we recorded stuff there, hopefully he’d dig it and play on it.

“I remember after the first take we walked into the control room and Reeder said, ‘I had an idea!’ He asked to play on it and I almost crapped myself. I don’t think I’ve ever said ‘Yes!’ faster.

“His bass lines are insane. Lots of drop-A stuff which is probably pretty hard on bass. He nailed it too!

“Once the bass tracks were in place, we needed vocals.

“I had lyrics and melodies in my head. A lot of the vocal parts were four-part harmonies. Crazy stuff. So I laid down vocals on the home demos using a vocoder and a guitar.

“I thought if I could get an unmixed album with vocoder vocals together, I could start sending it out to singers that I liked to see if they had any interest. I went back into Scott Thomas Reeder‘s studio to lay down the vocoder parts as a guide for singers. I did the track ‘Gang Justice’ first and Reeder turned around and said, ‘That’s how the vocals will stay. It’s inane.’ He asked, ‘Do you have stuff for every song using the vocoder?’ I did. So we went to work. The only song I didn’t have vocals for Reeder sang. It’s named ‘I’m Not Upside Down’.

“Overall, this record is heavy and dark. It’s inspired by DEVO, VOIVOD, KRAFTWORK, TORCHE, SLAYER and much as it’s inspired by ASWAD, JOE PASS and WES MONTGOMERY. The riffs are heavy and the vocoder vocals are full of harmonies.

“I wanted a super-heavy groove that would support angelic vocal harmonies. I think we achieved that.

Added Scott Thomas Reeder: “Yeah, Bob from FU MANCHU came into The Sanctuary do some recording with the other Scott Reeder — the drummer from FU MANCHU. I was stoked — been wanting to meet that guy for years! So they knocked out some crazy tracks all in a day — jaw- droppingly great stuff. I didn’t know if it was supposed to just be drums and guitar… so I asked later on, ‘Who’s playing bass on this stuff?’ They hadn’t decided yet, but Bob was gonna come back and put some bass tracks down later. I suggested that maybe I take a stab at it, and they were down! It’s really crazy stuff, the most challenging material I’ve done since I was in THE OBSESSED. I got through most of it — there were a few ‘guide tracks’ in there that I asked Bob to put down that were flawless — I ended up leaving those in. Spent just a few more days with Bob coming back to the ranch to add some textures with his arsenal of effects.

“I was kinda bummed when we wrapped on tracking! It was a blast working with these guys, and I’m glad the the other Reeder is a great guy and a monster drummer — can’t wait for the confusion that is sure to come from having both of us on this thing.”

Said Scott Reeder: About two years ago, Bob and I started trading riffs and beats back and forth via the wonders of modern technology. Sometimes he would be sending me three different things in one file and I would just throw up a 57 as an overhead and record my whole kit and send it back. Or I might have a beat and say, ‘Hey, play something to this.’ ‘Whites Of Your Eyes’ started that way. It was much faster and I was just warming up around the kit and got inspired to get it down. Then we got together and just slowed down the tempo and he added new parts.

“We agreed that most of the stuff needed not to be super picked apart and scrutinized. It was more of a ‘first-thought-best-thought’ approach. And whatever made us just laugh and go, ‘Yeah, that’s super weird. It’s gotta be that way!!’

“It all springs from Bob‘s riffs; he can play anything, but he plays it the way you want to hear it!! As always, that’s the most fun stuff to play to. I think that shows up in recording. It’s fun to listen to.

“We blasted through 10 songs of basics in four hours. We were just having a great time, so we just knocked it out!! And to have that great bass playing of Scott‘s in there, I could not imagine it sounding heavier but, of course, he just blew me away.”

Continued Balch: “In the end, we had J. Robbins (CLUTCH, THE SWORD, THE HIDDEN HAND) mix the record. I loved his work and I’m a big fan of the band he played bass in GOVERNMENT ISSUE. He mixed THE HIDDEN HAND‘s ‘Mother, Teacher, Destroyer’, which is one of my favorite-sounding records. I wanted to get a heavy sound like that, but I also wanted a DEVO ‘Duty Now For The Future’ or RUSH ‘Moving Pictures’ vibe. I think that those ingredients play off the vocoder really well.

“I’ve never even met J. Robbins. It’s funny, I don’t even know what he looks like. We spoke on the phone about the approach I wanted and then I sent the tunes to the East Coast to have him work on it. He did an insane job and was a total pleasure to work with.

“We picked Dan Coutant at Sun Room Audio to master the record. He has worked with CLUTCH and COLISEUM in the past. We saw eye to eye immediately.”

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