Sunday, January 31, 2016

Caught In A Mosh With Anthrax Part 2




State Of Euphoria (1988)
Persistence Of Time (1990)

Anthrax career as thrash metal pioneers peaked with “Among The Living” and the success was a fact. The album sold really well and they did high profile tours as support to Metallica. In 1988 Anthrax was a big name in the genre. It was time for the follow up. What could possibly go wrong?

Well pretty much everything actually.

Recorded in the spring of 1988 and released in September the album that was produced by Mark Dodson failed to surpass the expectations that “Among The Living” had generated. The album starts with the looming cello in the intro to “Be All End All” which has a crushingly heavy opening riff. The song is actually one of my favorite Anthrax tracks ever. Then “Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind” and “Make Me Laugh” follow and here is where at least I began to think that something was missing on “State Of Euphoria” even though I had a hard time pinpointing exactly what it was back then.

Then the cover of French metal pioneer Trust's song “Antisocial”. Well it’s both a blessing and a curse. It was the song that got the most attention on the album and is still included in their live set as it gets any crowd into a frenzy. The problem is that no one remembers anything else from the album. The rest of the album feels tired and formless after that and that is a shame because there are some great songs on there like “Now It’s Dark”. The sound of the album is another problem for me. The crispy sound of the previous album is now replaced with a thicker sound that does not work fully for the riffing of Scott Ian. I turn up the volume but the guitars just don’t crack the speakers as one would expect and Joey Belladonna's vocals are buried way down in the mix.

“State Of Euphoria” might have some great tracks on it but as a whole it just doesn’t work. And maybe they were thinking too much when they wrote and recorded it. It doesn’t sound as if they had any fun. The darker sound that they were attempting just sounded dull and the humor that they laced their songs with earlier was gone.

Two years later. The world of metal was changing. Grunge was still an unknown beast but the winds were a-changing none the less. Gone was the glam and hairspray. The Berlin Wall was gone. Nations disappeared and new countries were born. The threat of nuclear apocalypse seemed gone.

I think that “Persistence Of Time” has been sadly underestimated as an album.  Anthrax realized that what had been done in the past was history and that something new had to happen. It wasn’t until 1993 that they would take the final step out of the 80’s but they celebrated the new decade with an album far more mature and well crafted than the previous one. “Persistence Of Time” was recorded in the fall of 1989 again with Dodson behind the mixer and the recording session was tormented by a fire where all equipment in the studio was destroyed. But when the album saw the light of day in august 1990 it revealed a band that had progressed in big way musically. The thrash element was still there but the album is by far the heaviest and most diverse in the discography so far. The speed was reduced and the songs are better compositions all together compared to “State Of Euphoria”. And the darker sound that partly was introduced on that album suits this one way better.
 
Considering that this was to be Joey Belladonna's last album with Anthrax for almost 20 years it’s kind of ironic that he has some of his absolute best moments as singer on this one. Gone is the over the top banshee screams. Instead he has found a very nice midrange voice that fits right into the darker music. As a whole this album feels more like a unit of eleven songs that are well thought through and executed with precision. And on this one it’s the band's own songs that make the album so great and not the cover of Joe Jacksons “Got The Time”, even though it’s one hell of a party starter.

In 1992 Belladonna suddenly left Anthrax. Record label politics and Scott Ian’s quest for world domination were the main reasons for this. The music industry shifted and everything was supposed to be “alternative”. For that job Anthrax made the decision to let Belladonna go and bring in John Bush whose voice has that nice cozy grunge rawness. But that is another story.

-The Void

Antisocial

In My World

Got The Time

Saturday, January 30, 2016

A Ripple Conversation with Steve Darrow of Sonic Medusa


When I was a kid, growing up in a house with Cat Stevens, Neil Diamond, and Simon and Garfunkel, the first time I ever heard Kiss's "Detroit Rock City," it was a moment of musical epiphany. It was just so vicious, aggressive and mean. It changed the way I listened to music. I've had a few minor epiphany's since then, when you come across a band that just brings something new and revolutionary to your ears.

What have been your musical epiphany moments?

Hendrix, when I was too young to remember!
My Parents told me I freaked out over Jimi when I was about 2-3 yrs old ( that was in 1967, so AYE & AXIS where still new then ) I had a Hendrix poster on the celling over my crib... After that It was Alice Cooper in 6th grade (some kid brought in a Cassette to class and it flipped me right out ) Black Sabbath shortly after that. Then by '77-'78 my friends and I got deep into Punk, the 1st wave. Iggy, Damned, Runaways, X-Ray Spex etc. Then a few of the Local L.A. bands where blowing  etc. minds around the same era.

Talk to us about the song-writing process for you. What comes first, the idea? A riff? The lyrics? How does it all fall into place?

Well, for Sonic Medusa it's usually a riff, or more often, a loud, mindless jam between bass / drums & I. Just about all of our songs came out of nonsense jams. But a few of the songs have been drafted from the ground up, based on a riff.

Who has influenced you the most?

Me personally...

Where do you look for continuing inspiration? New ideas, new motivation?

Usually to the past, and Movies for me.

We're all a product of our environment. Tell us about the band's hometown and how that reflects in the music?

Thats a hard one, being from LA. Only because theres so much here & so much has come out of here. The big misconception's are:
 A) It's Really easy to become famous here.
 B) Everyone here is super groovy & mellow & record contracts grow on trees here.
 C) That in a town with so many thousands of musicians, that it's gonna be simple to just find a bunch of dudes to play with and start a band overnight.
 D) That all these musicians that are here are going to dig & understand exactly the stuff 'you' are into.
 F) Also misconception that either all the Musicians are like the Eagles / Jackson Browne or Van Halen / Motley Crue or Red Hot Chili peppers. There's also really no 1 'Scene' or 'Scenes' like there was 20 or more years ago ( at one point you had the Punk/ Hardcore thing running parallel to the early Hair Metal Scene etc.Then A slew of other local genres / scenes all buzzing at the same time, up until the '90s) 
  There's NO 'L.A. Sound' right now. It's all a mush of rich kid's paying to play or Singer/ SongwriterS being coaxed out here by what's let of the Major labels that have stayed afloat here in town.

Where'd the band name come from?

It's a play on word's from the DEAD BOYS song 'Sonic Reducer'

You have one chance, what movie are you going to write the soundtrack for?

The remake of 'psychomania' ( or better yet, the original, but with my soundtrack! )

You now write for a music publication (The Ripple Effect?).  You're going to write a 1,000 word essay on one song. Which would it be and why?

'Last of the Teenage Idols' - Sensational Alex harvey Band

What is you musical intention? What are you trying to express or get your audience to feel?

Well, trying to get them to expand slightly from what they are used to hearing ( a least when listing to other bands in our similar 'Genre' - Ie: Stoner/ doom etc. We started as a band firmly in that scene, but always aimed to add ellements of other Metal / Hard Rock etc. that nobody seemed to be doing at the time. As much as we all worship Sabbath, There where more than enough band's trying to copY that sound ALREADY.

Come on, share with us a couple of your great, Spinal Tap, rock and roll moments?

Our entire history, basically.

Tell us about playing live and the live experience for you and for your fans? 

It's great, but it's also a rare & special occasion when it does happen. It takes alot out of us and unlike some bands that go out & tour night after night, we need time in between gigs to re evaluate, but just not as MUCH as we've waited this time around...
The fan's experience will be only 'Slightly' Painful, hopefully.

What makes a great song?

Hard to say, but it's more than just a great Riff or words. For me it's usually when you hear a song and it's SO out in left field & original, or it sounds like a song I've written in my head, but nobody has heard. Also the old 'if you are humming it' a few minutes after hearing it, and you don't even realize it.

Tell us about the first song you ever wrote?

'M-1' when I was about 12. It sounds remarkably like the songs I write now...So not much has changed, unfortunately. I thought it was a baddass name cuz' M-1 was the name of a rifle, but it really stood for 'Music #1' since it was my 1st  tune. Thats what I wrote on the paper.

What piece of your music are particularly proud of?

The one ya'll haven't heard yet. Also 'Medusa' from the Sunset Soundhouse EP.

Who today, writes great songs? Who just kicks your ass? Why?

ummmm? I'll get back to you on that one.

Vinyl, CD, or digital? What's your format of choice?

Vinyl, then digital....CDs just sucked. Always been a vinyl hound & I deal in vintage/ rare LPs and memorabilia for my 'living' ( if you can call it a living ).... SO vinyl has never gone out of my life. Digital is so easy & has changed the way we all listen. Not in a bad way, for me. But its fucked up allot of other peoples musical reality unfortunately. I do feel sorry for this & the future generations that have been born in the 'digital' age.

Whiskey or beer?  And defend your choice

Neither, believe it or not. Theres actually only one of us in the band that drinks at all anymore, sad but true. And he doesn't even chug much any more...but if asked him, he'd say WHISKEY for sure!

We, at the Ripple Effect, are constantly looking for new music. What's your home town, and when we get there, what's the best record store to lose ourselves in?

Wombbleton, Rokaway, Record Parlour and of course, Amoeba, although it's so big now that its not at all the same as a little dusty rat-hole shop in the suburbs. But everyone goes there when in town.

What's next for the band?

Work on new tunes, finish a few 1/2 baked ones & try to record them at the same or better quality as the Sunset Soundhouse Tapes.

Friday, January 29, 2016

A Ripple Conversation with Matt Bischoff and David McElfresh of Moonbow

When I was a kid, growing up in a house with Cat Stevens, Neil Diamond, and Simon and Garfunkel, the first time I ever heard Kiss's "Detroit Rock City," it was a moment of musical epiphany. It was just so vicious, aggressive and mean. It changed the way I listened to music. I've had a few minor epiphany's since then, when you come across a band that just brings something new and revolutionary to your ears.

What have been your musical epiphany moments? 

Matt: When I was a kid about 8 years old, I would hear my older brother playing Metallica Ride the Lightning and Judas Priest records. I started to love Metal at a young age because of this. In my house, we got cable TV when it came out and I watched tons of MTV. Back when you could actually watch videos and be turned on to different stuff. When I was 16, I got a job at Musicland in the mall. We would get in promo CDs before the records would come out... one of the perks of working at a CD store. I remember getting Facelift by Alice in Chains and falling in love with it. That was a huge epiphany for me. And I also want to point out that I was a huge Pantera fan after getting Cowboys from Hell at the CD store. I was reading an interview in RIP magazine about Phil Anselmos top 5 favorite records he was listening to. Kyuss "Blues for the Red Sun" was on his list. I bought it and was hooked. It was the heaviest shit I had ever heard and it wasn't "Metal"

Talk to us about the song-writing process for you. What comes first, the idea? A riff? The lyrics? How does it all fall into place? 

Matt: Typically, David will have some riffs and ideas ready to present at practice. Also, Steve Earle and Ryan also play guitar and write stuff. The musical ideas will be jammed on in the jam room and I will start feeling out melodies and making up whatever pops in my head just to get the melody down. I record everything on my iPhone so I can listen to it while I drive. I will get a certain emotion or vibe from a song and I will be inspired to write the lyrics from that.

Who has influenced you the most? 

Matt: Depends on what your talking about.... If you are asking who has influenced my Beard, it would be Hans Langseth! As a singer, I would say my favorites are Layne Staley, Mark Lanegan and John Garcia. All different, all bad ass.

You have an interesting personal past, with Survivor and BMX, tell us a bit about it? 

Matt: BMX and Music always went hand in hand. I grew up riding, ended up getting sponsored by Dirt Brothers and Snafu BMX and getting a paycheck for riding. I ended up starting my own brand called Failure bikes which was a fun grassroots brand. Had a lot of great times. I have always had ramps and dirt jumps in my backyard and put on an event in 2005 called The Redbull Backyard Buildoff in my yard. Google it. I could talk write a book about my BMX career, but it would take too long. Currently I work for DK Bikes as the Sales Manager. I am able to be who I am and do something that interests me. And Survivor... I am a huge fan of the Show. I was in the Philippines in the Summer of 2012 filming Caramoan Fans vs Favorites 2. It was a dream come true. It was life changing and I still can't believe I actually got to play the game. I do a lot of charity events and I will get asked to do all kinds of things from Speaking engagements to judging talent competitions. I love it all.

We're all a product of our environment. Tell us about the band's hometown and how that reflects in the music? 

David: We all are from the "Greater Cincinnati area" which includes Cincinnati, Ohio, Northern Kentucky and Southeast Indiana. There have been really great, world known recordings in the country and rhythm/blues that were recorded in downtown Cincinnati. Ranging from Hank Williams to James Brown and so on.. To many great players that reside(ed) to many that "transplanted" to Nashville in the early days. We could go on to many other genres, as far as a very rich music history for this area but basically we love jam, write, record and do more shows . Anyway, we all currently live within a 50 mile radius to each other here in the tri-state .

Where'd the band name come from?

David: The band name stemmed from researching some Kentucky history and facts, which included the song title Octavia. That's another story, but yeah,a Moonbow can be seen in Cumberland Falls, KY and Yosemite Park from this hemisphere, we hear:)

You have one chance, what movie are you going to write the soundtrack for?

David: Hmm, taxi driver 2? Maybe uber cab driver that gets lost and things take a turn? Hahah but really, but if anyone needs music we'd love to give it a try!

You now write for a music publication (The Ripple Effect?).  You're going to write a 1,000 word essay on one song. Which would it be and why?

Matt: That's a hard question. How about "California King" This song was written about being out in the desert with John Garcia at a place called The Indian Canyons. We ate chicken, drank some whiskey and John caught a California Kingsnake. He is an animal lover and a Snake Charmer. Hell yeh.

What is you musical intention? What are you trying to express or get your audience to feel?  

Matt: We write songs we love. From heavy to acoustic... whatever feels good. We want to put out great music and tell some good stories and make people want to hear more.. sing some shit and groove along to.

Come on, share with us a couple of your great, Spinal Tap, rock and roll moments?

David: When I was supposed to kick off a Hank 3 tune on fiddle one of my tuning pegs "slipped" and it went way out of tune. I started and there was no hope. Hilarious yet embarrassing because on stage there's no excuses.

Tell us about playing live and the live experience for you and for your fans?

Matt: Live shows are my favorite. There is nothing like performing music that you are passionate about on stage for people. Our shows are always full of energy, beer and lots of head banging and beard banging. Hope to see ya in the crowd.

What makes a great song? 

Matt: To me, a great song has to have some great riffs and good choruses. It has to have good vocal melodies. I hate it when I hear something great but the melody just isn't there, or if the singer sounds like the Cookie Monster... I just can't get into it. I like hooks and memorable shit you can sing to.

Tell us about the first song you ever wrote? 

Matt: My Dad died of Cancer when I was 14 and I wrote a song called "Father" We played it in one of my first serious bands called Dirtwagon. It was about what I was feeling. Pretty sad and emotional. Still like listening back to some of those old recordings from time to time.

What piece of your music are particularly proud of?

 Matt: The song End of Time which became the Title track from our first record. It is still one of my favorite Moonbow songs and to me defined who we were. We had the music for the song and on Christmas Eve 2011, I laid down all the vocal demos in Garageband while I was getting ready to go to Grandmas with the kids. Will never forget that.

Who today, writes great songs? Who just kicks your ass? Why?  

Matt: So many great bands out there. Right now, I have been listening to Brant Bjork "Black Flower Power" Brant writes some plain and simple bad ass and grooving rock songs. Gotta give props to my friends band Valley of the Sun. Our bass player used to play with them. They are bad ass.

Vinyl, CD, or digital? What's your format of choice? 

Matt:  I love Vinyl. I have more CDs than vinyl just because it was always the easier route growing up. I find myself buying more vinyl these days. That is my preference. Something about the experience of putting on a record. The process. It is great.. Can get that with digital.

Whiskey or beer?  And defend your choice 

Matt: Beer. I enjoy drinking new and different Craft beers and IPA's But PBR will do just fine too. Hell, Im drinking PBR right now.

We, at the Ripple Effect, are constantly looking for new music. What's your home town, and when we get there, what's the best record store to lose ourselves in?

Matt: Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky is our home. Shake it Records is the place to go!

What's next for the band? 

Matt: We are heading into the studio this month to begin tracking our next record. We couldn't be more excited. We just got nominated for best Hard Rock/Metal for the Cincinnati Entertainment Awards which is an honor. Win or lose... its just cool to be recognized. Also one of our songs will be featured in the Vans shoes BMX video later this year. 2016 is gonna be a good one. Hope to play some shows and do some small tours.

Any final comments or thoughts you'd like to share with our readers, the waverers?

Matt: Thanks to Todd and Ripple for the interview and the love. Be on the lookout for our new record as well as our acoustic record we just put out last year called Volto del Demone. One of my favorite recordings I have ever been a part of. Cheers.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

A Ripple Conversation with Nicolas Foucaud of Los Disidentes Del Sucio Motel



When I was a kid, growing up in a house with Cat Stevens, Neil Diamond, and Simon and Garfunkel, the first time I ever heard Kiss's "Detroit Rock City," it was a moment of musical epiphany. It was just so vicious, aggressive and mean. It changed the way I listened to music. I've had a few minor epiphany's since then, when you come across a band that just brings something new and revolutionary to your ears.

1. What have been your musical epiphany moments?

I think my very first big epiphany moment, was the first time I saw No Quarter on TV, the live album of Page & Plant in 1994. I was 13 years old. I was already a music lover, and a fan of bands like Nirvana or AC/DC (I still am today !) but this moment was really a revelation to me.
The emotion of Plant’s voice, the magic of Page’s guitar playing, the richness of compositions and orchestral arrangements… It was a real blast ! I remember thinking, later I want to do THIS. I became a huge fan of Led Zeppelin after that and it’s still my favourite band today.

2. Talk to us about the song-writing process for you. What comes first, the idea? A riff? The lyrics? How does it all fall into place?

Most of time I just take a guitar electric or acoustic and let my fingers play and sometimes there is a melody that stands out. It’s like a click in my head. « Oh ! this is cool, I like it ! Let’s see what I can do with it». And generaly this idea brings me to another and another and another etc… And after it depends. Sometimes I have quite everything in my head and I explain what I ear to the others, sometimes I just have the base of the song and we jam all together around it.

3. Who has influenced you the most?

For this new album, I would say Pink Floyd, Mastodon and Gojira. But I think I’m influenced indirectly by many other bands without realizing it. The main influences for the band in general are Black Sabbath, Alice in Chains, Pantera, QOTSA or Led Zep. Nothing very original . But as you can see, not so many real Stoner Rock bands in this list.

4. Where do you look for continuing inspiration? New ideas, new motivation?

Inspiration is something you cannot control. I remember, at the end of the recording session of « Arcane », I said to the boys « I think I’ll never do better than this ». Not to say that « Arcane » is perfect, I would not allow me to say that, but I thought that my inspiration capacity was at its apogee, that ideas would not renew anymore. But I was wrong. I let time do its job. I took maybe 6 months without trying to compose anything and one day it came back. When we started to think about the concept of the new album, ideas came very naturaly and songs came the one after the other in a very simple way. During the « Arcane » composition, we wrote many songs, every single idea was worked, but in the end, we had to cancelled some of them to get a global coherence in the whole album.
For « Human Collapse », the composition flew by itself and all gives a very consistent album.

5. We're all a product of our environment. Tell us about the band's hometown and how that reflects in the music?

Well, we live in Strasbourg in the North-East of France. It’s a very beautiful city ! With a long and great history. Strasbourg already existed in the middle age and you still can see some of these old districts in the center of the city. But it’s a city turned to the future as well, cause it is known as the « European Capital », we have the European institutions and particularly the parliament. It’s not my city of birth but I've been living here for 11 years now and wouldn’t leave for anything. It’s a fantastic city in the middle of a beautiful area and close to the frontiers of Germany, Belgium and Switzerland. I like both its dynamic, cause it’s a quite big city and its serenity gained through the centuries. Perhaps this is what you can find in our music, this contrast.

6. Where'd the band name come from?

Ah the classic question ! Haha ! At the very beginning of the band, LDDSM was a side project for each one of us. We all played in several bands, Metal, Punk Rock… but we were already friends. Not as close as today, but we used to see each other quite often. When I came to Strasbourg, my band just split and I was « bandless ». So I suggested to Julien we form a cool Stoner Rock band just for fun. And one day, when he left his home to go to our band practice, his mother asked him which band he was going to practice with and he answered « the other guys » and his mother said « Ah ! The dissidents ! ». And when he told us that story a few hours after, we found it very cool ! So the « dissident » part of the band name was born. After that, we had a massive brainstorming and each one proposed his ideas « I want a very long name ! » « I want something that makes people think about road movies » « why not a spanish name ? » etc etc.. And this is how Los Disidentes Del Sucio Motel came to Earth !

7. You have one chance, what movie are you going to write the soundtrack for?

What a hard question ! Our music has always been influenced by cinema, from the beginning to today. The first album was written as an action road movie soundtrack hence its name « soundtrack from the motion picture », the second « Arcane » is a concept album based on myths and beliefs and of course horror and Z-movies. This new one was inspired by apocalyptic and anticipation movies like « The road » or « The book of Eli ». So as you can see, we like many kinds of cinema and inspiration depends on the moment. But we are all big fans of Star Wars, so maybe the last episode : Star Wars episode VIII in collaboration with master John Williams ! A film by Tarantino or the Coen brothers would be awesome too !

8. You now write for a music publication (The Ripple Effect?). You're going to write a 1,000 word essay on one song. Which would it be and why?

There are so many songs blowing my mind at each listening, it’s hard to choose ! I hesitate between « Since I’ve been loving you » of Led Zeppelin and specially the No Quarter version, for the reason you know now and « Shine one you crazy diamond » of Pink Floyd cause it makes me travel mentally with each listening… Sorry I cannot chose ! So, I would write 2 essays for you !

9. What is your musical intention? What are you trying to express or get your audience to feel?

It has evolved in the history of the band but also as individuals. At first we wanted to convey above all a big energy and a lot of fun and show that we did not take ourselves seriously. Then we grew up and we start approaching things a bit darker. Today through this social apocalypse story in the new album, we try to talk about more serious things, or even more philosophical. How the journey of a random man could change him in its essential nature in the context of the end of the world. This man, it could be you, me, anybody. What would we do if we knew that the end was near? Stay home? Find our family? Get out of control and fuck everything?

Still, the most important thing for me is to convey emotions, through the music or the lyrics, I want to touch the person deeply and if I can help you forget your worries for just 5min or make you think about something, then I have achieved my goal.

10. Come on, share with us a couple of your great, Spinal Tap, rock and roll moments?

Oh there's been so much in 10 years! I would say the one time when we’ve been blocked in Germany in a middle of a anti nuclear convoy protest.

Indeed, we had to play in a rock squat in a small town which was tranversed by a train of nuclear waste. Perhaps you've heard of "Castor"? Anyway ... When we arrived there, we took the wrong entry and we entered a military base. What was amazing, is that this squat in which live a dozen of modern hippies in total autarcy, have for neighbor a fucking  military base! So a military man came to the van's window and asks us what we were doing there. "We are the band playing tonight." "The band? Tonight? What the hell is this crap ? Get out of there !" We didn’t understand what was happening, but the base was in full boil. The men were all armed, armored trucks were all out, they looked like they were preparing for war. So, we understood that we were at the wrong place. The organizer of the evening welcomed us and began to explain the context. On one side, Castor’s anti protesters which were part of his friends and therefore 99% of the potential audience of the show and on the other side, the army ready to intervene.

We were there in the middle and we did not know what to do. Are we just going to play tonight? We waited for hours on site, in the hope that spectators would show up, but after a while we had to face the facts, the real show was outside!

We asked if we could leave rather than stay and sleep there because we had a long road the next day and we wanted to maximize our evening. But he told us that all roads were cut off and it was impossible to leave the area. Naively we thought he was mistaken and that we happen to find a good way ... Error! So we got back into the van with all our gear and we took a chance. We were far from imagining what was going on outside! It was civil war! Protesters burned tree trunks to block the roads and if it was not them, it was the army that was blocking access with their armored vehicles. We tried for hours to pass, taking every fucking road, even the country roads, but it was just impossible ! The perimeter was completely blocked. So we went back on our feet and we returned to our squat. Our host made a little fun of us, but he accepted to take us back for the night. So, we lost time, fuel, energy, we did not play, we were not paid, but lived a moment we won't forget!

11. Tell us about playing live and the live experience for you and for your fans?

To me, it is primarily a moment of complicity with my brothers on stage and with the public. I like the energy that runs through us all, whether we are on stage or in the pit. I like to feel that, it pushes the buttocks, play hard and sweat.

For the next tour, we plan to extend the live experience beyong anything we did before. Indeed, to go into the concept of « Human Collapse » until the end, we plan to project a synchronized video on our music that shows the character we talk about in the album. But we're working on it and I can not say more for now.

12. What makes a great song?

I think, if you can play it on a single acoustic guitar and that it still sounds good, you are on the good way ! I tried to apply this theory on the new album. Several songs were written on my acoustic guitars first. Then, you have to find good melodies, not necessarily simple, as you can often read, but just good. If it’s simple it’s a plus ! The important thing is that the song has a soul. Its own identity.

13. Tell us about the first song you ever wrote?

Oh my God ! That was sooooo bad hahaha ! I think I was 12 or 13 years old. I played the guitar with my best friend. We started playing the instrument at the same time. We were big fans of Metallica and spent many days trying to play their songs. I remember we recorded our « covers » on cassette and made our friends listen to them… Sorry guys for all you heard… We made you waste so much time ! haha ! And so one day, we tried to compose our first heavy metal song. It was called « Iramon » from the cartoon character "Conan"! He was the bad guy changing people in stone with Star-Metal! Pure evil man !

So it had neither head nor tail, we just connected riffs without worrying about whether they were really good together and if we played in the same tones! But it was fun ! I think I still can play it today ! We were so proud of ourselves ! Good souvenir !

14. What piece of your music are particularly proud of?

I would say « Journey » on « Arcane » and « The rebirth » on the last album, for their epic dimension and the harmonic work on it.

15. Who today, writes great songs? Who just kicks your ass? Why?

It’s sad to say but for me, since Kurt Cobain, the Earth has not experienced a new musical genius. They are many awesome bands of very high level, in every kind of music but to me, the last Rock revolution still remains Nirvana. It therefore makes a good while now ! I think Dave Grohl is the biggest Rock star on Earth today and fucking great composer but we must recognize that for quite a few years he wrote nothing purely brilliant, his last masterpiece remains « The pretender » to me. I think bands like Mastodon and Kvelertak have changed Metal in an exciting new dimension recently, giving to the extreme technique a new melodic and catchy way and I like it. Recently, I’ve been kicked in the ass by the band Mutoid Man, a side project with members of Cave in and Converge. Their last album is crazy, with an amazing sound. They worked with Kurt Ballou, the guitar player of Converge. He’s one on my favourite guitarist, great musician and great sound engineer. He’s the guy who mixed our last album. It was an honor to work with him.

16. Vinyl, CD, or digital? What's your format of choice?

I use all three. At home I listen mostly to vinyls and CDs occasionally if I do not have those albums on 33 rpm.

Otherwise, when i'm travelling or in my car, I use digital, but I always encode in high quality, because I hate the sound of too compressed MP3.  It’s really horrible.

From a purely artistic point of view, I much prefer vinyl for the beauty of the object. A vinyl cover is so much more beautiful than a CD and I still need the physical support. For me, an album is a whole: a concept, a mood, a sound, good songs and a fucking great cover. I have vinyls framed at home, just for the beauty of their cover.

17. Whiskey or beer? And defend your choice

Definitely beer! For the simple reason that I don’t really tolerate whiskey. I'm getting old man! Seriously, I do like good whiskey but I have little health problems and spirits alcohol fail me, so I try to avoid them.

But I love beer and I'm always curious to try new ones when I can. But I prefer quality over quantity.

18. We, at the Ripple Effect, are constantly looking for new music. What's your home town, and when we get there, what's the best record store to lose ourselves in?

As I said, we live in Strasbourg. It’s a great city but unfortunately there are not so many record stores… But if you are looking for cool vinyl at low prices, you can check « L'occase de l’Oncle Tom » and « 33 and co ».

19. What's next for the band?

Promote the new album, shoot a video clip and hit the road to play the new songs.
We are working on a European tour with the Canadian band « Chron Goblin » in early June for about two weeks and we will probably play a little bit throughout the year.

We'd love to come and play in the US also, it is a dream for all of us, so this is a call to anybody who could help us to book it soon!

20. Any final comments or thoughts you'd like to share with our readers, the waveriders?

A huge thank to all the people supporting us for 10 years, to Ripple Music to welcome us into their beautiful family and more generally to people who continue to advocate freedom by going to concerts. Recent events in France have really moved us and without these people, musicians' work would be meaningless, so we thank them. We hope that the new album will bring you as much fun listening to it as we had to make it. See you soon !

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

A Ripple Conversation with Wayne Rudell of Fuzz Evil and the Borderland Fuzz Fiesta



When I was a kid, growing up in a house with Cat Stevens, Neil Diamond, and Simon and Garfunkel, the first time I ever heard Kiss's "Detroit Rock City," it was a moment of musical epiphany. It was just so vicious, aggressive and mean. It changed the way I listened to music. I've had a few minor epiphany's since then, when you come across a band that just brings something new and revolutionary to your ears.

What have been your musical epiphany moments?  

Growing up our house was always filled with music. Both of my parents played instruments. My Dad played bass and keyboard and my mom played guitar. They were always singing and playing together growing up. My parents were very religious so as a kid there was mostly gospel music around.  I think my first musical epiphany was when I began venture out and listen to music outside of what my parents approved of.  One of the first records that blew my mind was Jimi Hendrix’s “Are You Experienced.” I couldn’t get over his guitar playing. It was like nothing I have ever heard; unreal, and unearthly. I remember losing myself in the track “Are you Experienced.” I had similar experiences with Black Sabbath, Thin Lizzy, and Led Zeppelin, But Jimi music was my first awakening as a young musician.


Talk to us about the song-writing process for you. What comes first, the idea? A riff? The lyrics? How does it all fall into place? 

For me the song writing process will start with a melody that I hear in my head. I will usually l have to record it in my phone as a voice memo until I have time to sit down to develop it. Sometimes its turns out to be a riff other times it is a vocal melody. You never know how it will end up. In the specific case in the Powered Wig Machine’s song “I Got the Brain of Hank Pym” I wrote the lyrics and melody for the whole song before I ever picked up my guitar.   My brother Joey and I usually will write everything together. We have been doing that since we were kids. The process normally goes with one use coming to the table with a riff.  Joey and I will format it, and then I will come up with vocals melodies. Lyrically I will format dummy lyrics or soft lyrics till I feel something that feels right then I will finalize the lyrics. We like to test drive our new songs at shows with soft lyrics to see if they flow naturally. Neil Fallon from Clutch does this quiet a bit. I loved his writing style and used it myself. I loved on the extended release on there “Blast Tyrant” re-release the progression of the song “Cypress Groove.”  The song grew and evolved into what it is today.

Who has influenced you the most?

It is tough to pin it down just one band or artist. As a guitarist I would say Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page, and Josh Homme are the three guitarists that have shaped my guitar playing. The three of them had such great ways of phrasing leads and riffs on the guitar.  As a vocalist I have always admired the lead singers of the 70’s. Freddy Mercury, Robert Plant, Phil Laynot are a few of the guys that I idolized vocally growing u. They were just larger than life in their delivery and presence.

Where do you look for continuing inspiration? New ideas, new motivation?

For Riffs I love going back and listening to old rock n roll records. Ram Jam, MC5, The Stooges, Hawkwind, and Black Sabbath. There is a goldmine of great riffs in those records. We also look to our peers for influence. They say iron sharpens Iron. There are always great new fuzz rock records coming out. I really dug the new Ruby the Hatchet, Black Rainbows, and Egypt record that came out this year. Lyrically all of the songs I write are stories. I read a lot of Fiction and Comic Books. Comic Books have the most intriguing storylines. I am always trying to push my imagination to new places from graphic novels for lyrics. I also like to use a lot of illusions and metaphors from older cult films. The new Fuzz Evil debut will be out in spring 2016 and most of the lyrics with the exception of two songs are all influenced by sci-fi and fantasy themes.

 We're all a product of our environment. Tell us about the band's hometown and how that reflects in the music?

 We live in Sierra Vista, Arizona. Sierra Vista butts up to the old 1800’s military base Fort Huachuca that is home of the legendary Buffalo Soldiers from the civil war era.  Thirty miles north of us is where famous Indian Chiefs Geronimo and Cochise called home.  We spent most of our time growing up and going to school in Tombstone, Arizona. When  We started playing out in music the only real place to play was in Bisbee, Arizona, an old mining town from the 1800’s, that was about 15 mins away from Sierra Vista. Bisbee is now a thriving art and music community. Culturally Bisbee nightlife is rich with Blues, R&B, and 60’s rock/psych. We had elements of all of these so we could get gigs. If you add our love of Sabbath, Hendrix, and The Stooges it was the making of the Fuzz Evil Sound.

Where'd the band name come from?

FUZZ EVIL!!!  I love Fuzz pedals. I have dabbled in building and collecting old classic pedals. I built this pedal for Joey my brother and when he tried it out he said, “Man that Fuzz sounds Evil.” I had my Dewey Cox moment putting together what he said and boom ! Fuzz Evil was born.

You have one chance, what movie are you going to write the soundtrack for?

Man that is a tough call. I think I would love to write the score to the old cult film Vanishing Point.  Kowalski racing across the desert in his Dodge Challenger to make to San Francisco by 3pm!  Hands Down one of the best car movies ever made.

You now write for a music publication (The Ripple Effect?).  You're going to write a 1,000 word essay on one song. Which would it be and why? 

If I had one song to write a 1000 essay it would be Yes’s “Heart of The Sunrise.”  In my opinion it is such an incredibly written song.  The unmistaken Chirs Aquire  bass with the trippy Bruford drumming. The alternating 6/8 time signatures against 3/4 time signatures make it such an epic building groove. The Lyrics are so eloquently phrased. Jon Anderson was an incredible lyricist. You don’t hear lyrics that anyone more. Just classy and poetic.
“Straight light moving and removing
SHARPNESS of the color sun shine
Straight light searching all the meanings of the song
Long last treatment of the telling that
relates to all the words sung
Dreamer easy in the chair that really fits you”

What is you musical intention? What are you trying to express or get your audience to feel?

Our musical intention to push ourselves and our amps to 11! We want people to lose themselves in the good vibes of Rock N Roll!

Come on, share with us a couple of your great, Spinal Tap, rock and roll moments?

Being a musician is a lot of hard work, but don’t let anybody fool you. Touring is easy. Eating candy in a van, drinking every night and sleeping til noon are not hard. The hard part is holding you liquor every night and still nailing your solos. I remember one night on my birthday; My bud kept buying me Wild Turkey shots all night.  We were playing last and I was already Lyndsey Lohan drunk the first band in. I remember having to stand perfectly still playing or else I would fall over. I was fighting barfing most of the set. Joey had to nudge me to remind me what the next song was. Lol people probably thought I was just mysterious or in the zone. Truth was I was keeping it real….real drunk.

 Tell us about playing live and the live experience for you and for your fans? 

I am a firm believer in the power of positivity. I believe it is something tangible with music and contagious.  The relationship between fans of our music and us is symbiotic live.  They are putting off energy watching us play, and we us that energy to push ourselves musically.  I love playing live.  Everything opens up a bit more.  In the end all of your recorded material cds, vinyl, and tapes are all promotion tools for the live show.

What makes a great song?

For me a great song is all in the hook.  Sometimes you hear a new song then that riff hits, and it has you.  For instance like the first time I heard the new Orange Goblin song “Red Tide Rising.” Holy Hell that riff was unreal. I bought that record only listening to the first 3 mins of the record.

Tell us about the first song you ever wrote?

The first Fuzz Evil song I ever wrote was the song called “Good Medicine” that will be on the new record coming out this spring. I just got off a tour with Powered Wig Machine and needed a nice musical reset.  Whether your gone on tour five days or two months you always miss your loved ones you leave behind. This song was about my wife Saxony. She is my good medicine. She is a rock n roller through and through, and I don’t think I juggle it all without her.

What pieces of your music are particularly proud of?

I am really proud of our debut coming out . The songs are some really deep cuts. Heavy psyched out grooves. I know it has taken longer than expected to get this record out, but we have really but it under the microscope to put something out very special that I think people will dig. Brian Gold at Primrose Studio is an incredible engineer and has great ear for the genre.  He put a lot of hours into this record and you can tell. He is hands down one of the best up and coming engineers for stoner and psych.

Who today, writes great songs? Who just kicks your ass? Why?

In my opinion Elder kicks so much ass! It is the main reason why I booked them as the Saturday Headliner for Borderland Fuzz Fiesta 2016. I think hands down there music is just a cut above everything out there right now. They are Incredibly  talented guys. There is very organic. It reminds of what it would sound like if Mastodon and Baroness joined forces. There Lore record that came out in 2015 is a great piece of music that landed on almost everyone’s top records of the year list.

Vinyl, CD, or digital? What's your format of choice?

In my day job I am a truck driver, and I drive 8-10 hours a day so I discover a lot of my new music on Bandcamp and Spotify.  I really get to enjoy it though when I spin it at home on vinyl. I feel it is the best format for really getting into music.

Whiskey or beer?  And defend your choice

For me it is Whiskey all day. It is a drink of gentlemen and rock n rollers, plus If whiskey was good enough for Lemmy that it is good enough for me.

We, at the Ripple Effect, are constantly looking for new music. What's your home town, and when we get there, what's the best record store to lose ourselves in?

 We live in the small town of Sierra Vista that has about 60,000 people in it. We have one record store called Hasting that has a modest selection of new and old vinyl.  People are always trading in their old records there. I have found some really great records in the dollar bin there.

What's next for the band? 

Well 2016 is going to be a busy year for the band.  We will be hosting and playing Borderland Fuzz Fiesta in Tucson,AZ . Feb 26th-Feb27th. We may try and jump on a few others us summer festivals. We will be releasing our debut record in the spring with Battleground Records. We also will be appearing on a split later this year that is still in the works.  Later in the fall Switchblade Jesus and US will be hitting the road together for  a bit. We are shooting for Europe, but if it isn’t in the cards we will be doing a east coast tour instead.

Any final comments or thoughts you'd like to share with our readers, the waveriders?

Keep you eyes to the skies and Fuzz Hard. If you live in the southwest or want to road trip it Tucson, AZ check out Borderland Fuzz Fiesta Feb 26th-Feb27th. Dead Meadow, Elder, Yawning Man, Switchblade Jesus, Blaak Heat, Zed, Blackwulf and more.  We still have two day early bird passes available at:

Bffearlybird.brownpapertickets.com-Two day Pass 30$

BFFDeadMeadow.brownpapertickets.com-2.26 Dead Meadow single day 20$

BFFelder.brownpapertickets.com-2.27 Elder Single Day  20$

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

A Ripple Conversation with Alex from War Cloud




When I was a kid, growing up in a house with Cat Stevens, Neil Diamond, and Simon and Garfunkel, the first time I ever heard Kiss's "Detroit Rock City," it was a moment of musical epiphany. It was just so vicious, aggressive and mean. It changed the way I listened to music. I've had a few minor epiphany's since then, when you come across a band that just brings something new and revolutionary to your ears.

What have been your musical epiphany moments? 

The first time I ever heard Thin Lizzy changed my life forever. Now I have every album and they continue to blow my mind. Bands like Cactus, Leaf Hound, Humble Pie, and Mountain had a profound impact on me too. It’s about the rhythm and groove but a voice that stands taller than it all makes for a long lasting impression ya know?

Talk to us about the song-writing process for you. What comes first, the idea? A riff? The lyrics? How does it all fall into place? 

Riffs always get a song going, other times it’s in a word or a few words being sung a certain way. It doesn’t take much for us to get going into a jam and we usually work it out that way.

Who has influenced you the most? Steve Marriott's voice and swagger, Phil Lynott's heart that he wears on his sleeve, Michael Schenker’s perfection, and Nuge’s animal instinct.

Where do you look for continuing inspiration? New ideas, new motivation? 

Westerns, mother nature, engines and the open road. It’s all chaos to me so picking out details in the fabric tends to fuel my imagination.

We're all a product of our environment. Tell us about the band's hometown and how that reflects in the music? 

I was born and raised in Baltimore but War Cloud formed after we all met in San Francisco. Joaquin and Tony are locals and Sean grew up in LA. Now we are split between Oakland and SF. The gritty facade of downtown Oakland reminds me of Baltimore, and even though it’s a rust town, it’s got some wild west attributes.

Where'd the band name come from? 

Our name comes from a Wicked Lady song. Another band that continues to blow my mind.

You have one chance, what movie are you going to write the soundtrack for? 

I have the soundtrack for Dead Man that Neil Young did for Jarmusch. It’s amazing in the film and holds up by itself as an album just fine. Has there been a rock and roll western? Something along the lines of campfire crackling meets the sounds of water flowing, and primitive percussion, better throw a guitar in there too.

You now write for a music publication (The Ripple Effect?).  You're going to write a 1,000 word essay on one song. Which would it be and why? 

Without a doubt, Highwayman by The Highwaymen. The lyrics are very human, embodied by the greatest voices in showbiz. Anyone can sit back and enjoy the tale of the highwayman and if you can’t relate to this one than I’m afraid you ain’t livin’.

What is your musical intention? What are you trying to express or get your audience to feel? 

Our songs are meant to tell a story that listeners can relate to. The voice takes many different positions, whether it be the predator or prey, victim or assailant, or purely a mode of aggression and excitement one gets when they redline their engine.

Come on, share with us a couple of your great, Spinal Tap, rock and roll moments? 

We’ve only been a band for a year and feel very fortunate to be stoked on the music we make, the bands we’ve played with, and a killer music scene here in the bay.

Tell us about playing live and the live experience for you and for your fans? 

I’d like to consider myself an entertainer. Getting on stage really turns me on. I’m not thinking, my head goes out the window and my body takes control. I’m gonna be doing my thing regardless, but if the audience wants to show me some love, it’ll escalate my excitement and what I can give back.


What makes a great song? 

Rhythm, groove, a sturdy voice, and some killer leads wouldn’t hurt either.

Tell us about the first song you ever wrote?

 The first song I ever wrote and recording myself was a garage kind of surf number. No words, just layered guitar and a garage band drum.

What piece of your music are particularly proud of? 

It’s typical to think this way but I am particularly proud of the latest batch songs War Cloud has been cooking up. Once Tony joined the band our writing changed. Having two lead guitars opens up so much that we can do, especially live.

Who today, writes great songs? Who just kicks your ass? Why?

Some of em are still alive, but the entire outlaw country movement continue to write some of the best songs out there. I wish I could be so eloquently simple with my words. I’m talking Waylon, Willie, David Allan Coe, Johnny Paycheck, Jerry Reed, Tom T Hall.

Vinyl, CD, or digital? What's your format of choice?

Vinyl is our first choice but digital is convenient.

Whiskey or beer?  And defend your choice. 

Tequila, it’s all natural and good for you.

We, at the Ripple Effect, are constantly looking for new music. What's your home town, and when we get there, what's the best record store to lose ourselves in? 

I haven’t been back to Baltimore for a couple years now but last I checked, Celebrated Summer Records was the spot and you can find it in Hampden, hon.

What's next for the band? 

This year we are gonna buy a van and get on the road, shoot a music video, and continue to release some heavy jams. (Rumor has it that it’ll be with Ripple…?)

Any final comments or thoughts you'd like to share with our readers, the waveriders?

Grip it, rip it, kill it, grill it, and occasionally get some sleep!

Monday, January 25, 2016

A Ripple Conversation with Teepee Creeper


*The Name Teepee Creeper:

Jon- The name Teepee Creeper among certain tribes can mean different things and I'd like to assure people that its not of the derogatory nature.

I was in Arlee Montana for a 4th of July Pow Wow with my mother and her best friend.( My mother was full blooded Native from the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes).
I was talking to her friend about people cheating on each other and she said that was "Tipi Creeping",  "when you go creeping into another man's tipi looking to sleep with his woman", or vice versa. Which I found pretty funny!

A couple years later I was talking to a friend about band names and Teepee Creeper came up,  we all decided it was a good name for a band or a strain of weed.

Teepee Creeper was formed in Port Angeles Wa  which lies at the bottom of the Olympic Mountains and Hurricane Ridge, it was basically a logging community not unlike Aberdeen. It is a beautiful area surrounded by rain forests and access to surfing, kayaking, fishing, snowboarding etc...
It can be a boring and sometimes dismal town with not much to do if its crappy out,.which is where playing music can help save a person from a depressive state of mind and give them a creative outlet during the rainy days. The mountain backdrop invokes heaviness which I feel we pull from and put into the riff.

*Musical epiphany:

Jon- I was around 13 and met this punk kid on the school bus home, I had just started skateboarding and built this crappy ramp in my yard. He came over and I had on a Winger tape, he said it was garbage and pulled out Jane's Addiction Nothing's Shocking and the Butthole Surfers Rembrandt Pussyhorse. I laid in my bed that night and never looked back. He then loaned me a Thrasher and a Maximum Rock n' Roll. We became best friends and were like brothers until his passing in 2010, He did and still does inspire me to play loud and heavy. I later fell in love with Tad, Melvins, Nirvana, Mudhoney and Dinosaur Jr. And hundreds of others....

*Inspiration, new ideas motivation:

Jon- Personally my biggest source of inspiration comes from my piers and favorite albums.  I'd say over the years Tony Reed has been very inspiring watching him perform and listening to his many projects specifically Mos Generator. We are lucky in Teepee Creeper to have him as a friend and colleague.

 I'd also say along with Mos Generator. Red fang, Torche and Disenchanter are who's continually writing great songs, all of there abilities to write heavy riffs while still keeping a catchy hook is what keeps drawing me in. Cody Foster Army is also very inspiring for their live energy. Right now I have Infinite Flux on heavy rotation,.I can keep going but I want to keep it short. There's just to many to name.

Ian- My main inspiration for a long time would have to be Maynard James Keenan. His stage presence his progression to try things new things, lyrical and content wise. I am never disappointed. and of course Tony Reed and his musical mastery.

Jeremy- Inspiration?  Tony Reed of the Mos Generator, I listen to Tony's music more then any other. Treepeople, 1230 Dreamtime, Lict and Mos Generator he is an amazing musician and I've enjoyed his music for 2 decades. It kicks my ass because its constantly evolving and gets better with age, I'm not trying to be all Tony-Tony Tony, but its the truth.


*1st song ever written:

Jeremy- The 1st song I wrote and completed was in 1990 called "how long will it last" I wrote it for my dying grandmother at her bedside with the acoustic guitar she bought me.
Jon- I wrote a song called "on the bus" I recorded it on my answering machine while holding the record button with my toe.


*On Playing Live:

Jon- I just want to be loud and move the room in unison while losing myself in the music. I write music to escape from the daily grind and hope those who attend will do the same.

Ian- When i play live I put my heart and soul into every strike trying to hit harder, my main goal is to put as much feeling and emphasis into what I am doing that the crowd will feed off this energy and in return I feed off  them.

Jeremy-I get an undescribable high from playing music and hope to convey the passion and power of music.


*Spinal Tap moments:

They are yet to come!


*Witchcraft:

Jeremy- I once dated a girl with a Pentagram carved into her breasts. That's my witchcraft.

Jon-I dated a few girls who thought they were witches and could cast spells, They couldn't. I also dated a few girls who didn't know they were witches. I like the band Witchcraft!

Ian- No comment


*Favorite format:

Jon-Vinyl
Jeremy-Vinyl
Ian- Digital (he's always on the go)

*Drink of choice:

Unanimous...BEER!

*We as Teepee Creeper would like to keep moving forward while not sacrificing the heaviness of the Riff. Ultimately we'd like to play some festivals and make it overseas before this whole planet burns into oblivion. Even then we'd like to play the spaceship's bar that will  take us home.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Caught In A Mosh With Anthrax (Part 1)

 



Spreading The Disease (1985)
Among The Living (1987)

At the end of February Anthrax will release the new album “For All Kings” and to celebrate that fact we will now make a two part journey through the albums that made Anthrax part of the Big Four and established them as one of the most important bands of thrash metal.

Back in the mid-80’s thrash metal had gained so much speed that nothing could stop it. Bands like Slayer, Metallica and Exodus had established the genre to a wider audience outside the Bay Area. In New York Anthrax released their debut “Fistful Of Metal” in 1984 and had made some ripples on the scene but not much more. The main problem according to guitarist and co-founder Scott Ian was  Neil Turbin who handled the vocals in the beginning and on the debut album who had an ego that grew into a monster. For the follow up changes needed to be done.

Enter Joey Belladonna.

With the exit of Turbin (and original bass player Danny Lilker) and the addition of Belladonna Anthrax got a front man with a voice that gave the band their unique sound that we all know and love when it comes to Anthrax. His vocal range surpasses Turbin's by far and adds that nice NWOBHM-element to the hardcore infused thrash metal that the band had come up with so far. Ian's vision of a band that got it’s main energy from bands like Iron Maiden and Judas Priest was fulfilled.

And on “Spreading The Disease” Anthrax really did achieve something special and is the starting point of what many consider the classic setting of the band with Belladonna on vocals, Charlie Benante on drums, Frank Bello on bass, Scott Ian on rhythm guitar and Dan Spitz handling the solo guitar. Together they would release some of the true classics of the genre starting with “Spreading The Disease” and ending with “Persistence Of Time”.

“Spreading The Disease” contains some of the best riffs that Scott Ian ever wrote. The riffs in the album opener “A.I.R”, “Madhouse”, “Medusa”, “Gung Ho” and to sadly underestimated songs like “Lone Justice” and “Aftershock” are immortal. Bone crushing and heavy they crawl upon you like a tank. The rhythm section has always made me happy when it comes to Anthrax. Benante and Bello lay a rock hard foundation for the mosh and Frank Bello's bass is comfortably put up front in the mix which is an unmistakable part of the Anthrax sound and as a nice homage to Steve Harris.
When the album ends with the galloping “Gung Ho” in which Charlie Benante reaches subsonic speed on the double bass drum you can do nothing but realize the greatness of this thrash metal classic. How could it be possible to evolve from this?

The answer is of course “Among The Living”. On the third album of Anthrax's career the songs are better, the vocals are stellar and it comes with a truly iconic artwork. Thematically the lyrics really dig in to the band members big interest in comics and Stephen King novels in songs like the title track, “I Am The Law” and “Skeletons In The Closet”. But it also makes some serious statements about the world in tunes like “One World” and “Indians”. And they promote the thrash metal ethos of good ol’ fun and violence in front of the stage in bangers like “Caught In A Mosh”.

But what always gets me when I spin this one is the sound of the album. For the production of the album Anthrax managed to enlist Eddie Kramer who is a true legend of the mixing board with some of the truly iconic rock albums with Kiss and many more classic bands of the 70’s. On “Among The Living” he created a sound that is nothing but timeless. It still sounds fresh and crispy until this very day. It got the perfect balance of the mix with a nice dry sound to the guitars and with the bass and drums upfront as it should be. And Joey Belladonna's voice has some of its finest moments on this one.

“Spreading The Disease” and “Among The Living” are LP’s that made Anthrax such a great band back in the days. When the band released these two albums it was exciting and new. They infused energy into the thrash metal scene that had been missing. On stage they were a tornado. Never a dull moment. They had humor and wit combined with some of the best riffs in the business.
In 1987 Anthrax were at their best to put it simply. What would happen next?

To be continued in part 2.

-The Void


Saturday, January 23, 2016

A Ripple Interview with Tom Corino of KIND and Rozamov


What have been your musical epiphany moments?

Tom: My biggest epiphany came the first time I head Black Sabbath’s Reunion album. My friend got it from his folks and he gave it to me to listen to while we drove to a Mets game. That record blew my mind, and that started my slow descent into heavy music.

Talk to us about the song-writing process for you. What comes first, the idea? A riff? The lyrics? How does it all fall into place?

Tom: The songs almost always generate from a jam. Someone will come in with an idea and we’ll just come up with some ideas to compliment it.

Who has influenced you the most?

Tom: Sabbath, Zeppelin, Can, Tool….

Where do you look for continuing inspiration? New ideas, new motivation?

Tom: The most inspiring thing to me is seeing bands or artists live. Seeing either a friend’s band or a touring band killing it on stage always inspires me to start writing.

We're all a product of our environment. Tell us about the band's hometown and how that reflects in the music?

Tom: Boston is a great music town and we have a really strong heavy music scene. That combined with cold, bleak winters makes for some really interesting and (a lot of the time) dark music. I think we kind of wanted to come up with something that was different from that attitude, heavy yet exciting and fun.

You have one chance, what movie are you going to write the soundtrack for?

Tom: Any Quentin Tarantino film or spaghetti western would be awesome.

You now write for a music publication (The Ripple Effect?).  You're going to write a 1,000 word essay on one song. Which would it be and why?

Tom: Yob’s “Burning the Altar”. That main riff is able to do so many thing at once. It’s both innovative and familiar, groovy yet weird, atonal yet completely memorable and melodic. I could listen to that riff until the end of time.

What is you musical intention? What are you trying to express or get your audience to feel?

Tom: We want to take people on a psychedelic riff journey!

Come on, share with us a couple of your great, Spinal Tap, rock and roll moments?

Tom: Rozamov opened for Slayer at a special show at The Sinclair last year. Obviously this is huge and we’re all a little nervous. So we get on stage together and tune up. Right before our guitarist addresses the crowd, I notice that our drummer is nowhere to be found. He yells into the mic “What’s up everyone we’re Rozamov!” hits a chord and turns towards me. I’m just standing there pointing at the drum riser laughing my ass off. He smiled, shrugged and we just made a bunch of feedback for a minute before the drummer appeared and we started our set. Turns out he had forgotten his sticks or something.

Tell us about playing live and the live experience for you and for your fans? 

Tom: Playing live is an absolute blast with KIND. Total positivity, tons of improvisation and lots of riffs.

What makes a great song?

Tom: A great song is able to take you to a different place or make you think or feel in some way. Great music moves people to either dance, cry or think.

Tell us about the first song you ever wrote?

Tom: The first song I wrote was a crappy thrash tune with my high school band, nothing notable haha.

What piece of your music are particularly proud of?

Tom: This entire record and the new Rozamov album.

Who today, writes great songs? Who just kicks your ass? Why?

Tom: If you are talking just straight pop songs I gotta say whoever wrote the new Bruno Mars record is killin it. But when it comes to heavy stuff my boys Elder are at the top of their game right now.

Vinyl, CD, or digital? What's your format of choice?

Tom: Vinyl is by far my favorite.

Whiskey or beer?  And defend your choice

Tom: Lately I’ve been on a bourbon kick. You just look way cooler with a whiskey neat in your hand.

We, at the Ripple Effect, are constantly looking for new music. What's your home town, and when we get there, what's the best record store to lose ourselves in?

Tom: Armageddon Records. Best place in town.


Any final comments or thoughts you'd like to share with our readers, the waveriders?

Tom: Thanks for digging the music!

Friday, January 22, 2016

A Ripple Conversation with Kingnomad



What have been your musical epiphany moments?

Jay - Wow this could easily become the longest interview in the world! I´ll try to keep it short :-)
I´ve had quite a few epiphanies so far. But the ones that come to mind are the first time I heard Yngwie Malmsteen, as a guitarist that blew my mind! He is the one who first made my want to be a better musician.
Yes - close to the edge, and Sleep´s Jerusalem / Dopesmoker and Ghost need´s to be mentioned too.

Max - Probably Jumpin' Jack Flash with Rolling Stones introduced by a former girlfriends dad when I was a teenager. "This riff is why I like Stones more than the Beatles" he said, and I was blown away. That he'd had the record since new didn't make it less cool. He also gave me a pair of awesome Lee bellbottoms which he bought in 1971. I still got them, and have used them on many gigs.

Talk to us about the song-writing process for you. What comes first, the idea? A riff? The lyrics? How does it all fall into place?

Jay - First comes the riff, then comes the melody, and last comes the lyrics.
Max - and last but not least - the groove...

Who has influenced you the most?

Jay - For me as a songwriter, Peter Gabriel will always be one of the greatest!
When it comes to lyrics, Sting is the master of telling stories in his songs. And Clive Nolan from prig rock giants Arena likewise.

H.P Lovecraft and Lao Tzu´s Tao Te Ching is the provider of themes and hidden messages in our songs.

Where do you look for continuing inspiration? New ideas, new motivation?

Jay - hahaha here I think our answers will set us apart!
If I´m stuck on a song I often put on some old Black Sabbath, or perhaps Orchid.
But I do find inspiration almost everywhere. It can be an image, or a feeling that a certain song brings. It may be Mozart or Morbid Angel, and that "feeling" or "state of mind" if you will. That is something I may want to recreate.
For me music has always been about being transported to a different world, weather I´m listening to music or writing music.

We're all a product of our environment. Tell us about the band's hometown and how that reflects in the music?

Jay - Its a small town in the northern part of Sweden, its dark and cold 8 months of the year.
Maybe thats the reason why we are writing music so that we can travel in our mind.

Where'd the band name come from?

Jay - Well... I wanted a name that kind of meant something, but at the same time dosen´t. Together the words "king" and "nomad" kind of becomes nonsens. And they are also each others opposites in some way, like love and hate, yin and yang and so on... I kind of like that!
Don't know were I got it from, from out of nowhere it was just in my head.

The first band name I thought of was "Devil`s fire". But I got that one from being on the crapper taking a quite painful dump, witch meant that every time I would think of our band I would think of that burning turd. I decided that was not a good idea.

You have one chance, what movie are you going to write the soundtrack for?

Jay - An old school horror movie, maybe with an erotic touch.
I love working with vocal arrangements, so it would be spooky sounding choir vocals all over that nudity!
Max - Fangs and females in unholy serenity.

You now write for a music publication (The Ripple Effect?).  You're going to write a 1,000 word essay on one song. Which would it be and why?

Jay - Genesis - Supper`s ready.
Because its one of the best song ever written.
Max - Rush - By-Thor and the Snow dog.

What is you musical intention? What are you trying to express or get your audience to feel?

Jay -  Regardless of what musical project I may have been involved in through the years. My intention has always been to create a musical vessel in witch one can travel in. To be able to step outside our daily life for one moment, to dream or to meditate on.
With this band I have really been able to tap into that intention.
We are escaping reality when we are playing together, hopefully the listeners can feel and do that too.

Come on, share with us a couple of your great, Spinal Tap, rock and roll moments?

Jay - When I did what was supposed to be my first European tour around 96/97 with my then hardcore band Purusam. No one told us that almost all the gigs had been cancelled (for some yet unknown reason). So we drove for two days straight to Amsterdam, did a couple of crappy gigs on the floor (cause there were no stage) in some dark alley bar where everybody was doing drugs. Then we went home again.

Tell us about playing live and the live experience for you and for your fans? 

Jay - Since we are new band, not many people have heard us yet. So the reaction from the audience have been - "Wow we didn't expect that!" Witch is a great feeling.
And as for the four of us, we are still kind of getting to know each other musically. So there is always a great energy at our rehearsals, a feeling of "you never really know whats gonna happen next" you know. Our songs are constantly growing and evolving, what you hear on the album is not exactly what you´re gonna hear live.
That is something I really enjoy with this band!

What makes a great song?

Jay - Oooo thats a tough one.
For me it is when a song turns into a vehicle, that takes me someplace else. I can't give you the perfect formula, but I´ll tell you what`s gonna help. and that is - When there is a thought, an intent, a meaning, a theme. an idea of a wholeness.
That equals goosebumps for me!

Tell us about the first song you ever wrote?

Jay - "Lucifer is dead" is the first song we ever wrote, the opening track on The second coming of heavy III. Me and Marcus was sitting in my studio, drinking beer and playing fuzzy Sabbath riffs. Then out of the great nothing, something suddenly appeared... A riff that turned into a song in a blink of an eye, and it was kind of to good not to do something with.
So the song turned into an idea about a concept, and that turned out to become a full blown band. And here we are!

What piece of your music are particularly proud of?

Jay - When we get a theme going between songs, either with the lyrics or the melody or whatever. Like we did on "The Sibylline oracles" and "God of stone and sand" Those songs are like a sister and a brother. That makes me strangely kind of proud.

Who today, writes great songs? Who just kicks your ass? Why?

Jay - I´ll probably gonna get my ass kicked by people for saying this... But Ghost writes the most amazing songs! They have great arrangements, interesting melodies and chord progressions. They put time and thought into their music, and not many bands does that...

Al cisneros of Sleep and OM is too an amazing songwriter, he takes music to a completely new level.

Max - All of the above, except maybe Ghost, hehe. And Robert Plant, all through the years.

Vinyl, CD, or digital? What's your format of choice?

Jay - Vinyl is my choice.

Whiskey or beer?  And defend your choice

Jay - A good whiskey is more enjoyable, but I don't drink so much these days. I do yoga instead!

Max - Beer. Works better with hot dogs.

We, at the Ripple Effect, are constantly looking for new music. What's your home town, and when we get there, what's the best record store to lose ourselves in?

We actually don't have a record store in our hometown, we have to drive for two hours to the next city to do some crate digging... It sucks big floppy donkey dick.

What's next for the band? 

jay - Well because I have a built a recording studio at my house (The room of doom), we are constantly writing and recording stuff.  We have songs for almost two full albums soon!
We have eight songs that we think belong together, so we are going to put down some extra work on them. I´m gonna re-record some vocals, and Maximilian has some bass work to do. Then I'm gonna do some mixing, and stuff. But so far it is sounding awesome!


Any final comments or thoughts you'd like to share with our readers, the wave riders?

Jay - Be good to each other.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Satanic Warmaster/Archgoat - Lux Satanae (Thirteen Hymns of Finnish Devil Worship)



By definition, a hymn is a song or ode in praise of a deity, a nation, etc. If that is the case, these are definitely hymns to the ruler of darkness. Finland brings us many bands with a dark heart, but there are not many bands anywhere in the world with hearts darker than these two bands. Sometimes I hear of bands that swear allegiance to the Dark Lord, but you wonder just how serious they are. All it takes is one pass through this work of dark arts and you will know that these bands are not playing.

These are some exclusive tracks, with both bands taking older material and reworking and re-recording it just for this release. This is a very limited release available from our friends at Hells Headbangers, and once again they turned out a magnificent product.

Satanic Warmaster are first up on this split, and they contribute four songs to the mayhem. They play a very traditional style of black metal, but gussy it up a bit with some symphonic touches. Their first track in particular, “Black Destiny”, is sheer black perfection. It hits all the right notes, has some great lyrics, and really sets the tone for the rest of this release. They also cover “Satanic Winter” by Finnish band Pest and it is very well done. If you like your black metal with some production and a flair for the dramatic, you will dig these four tracks a lot.

Archgoat is a band that I have written about before, so I won't get too worked up in rehashing my feelings for them. They are foul and begrimed and blasphemous in the extreme, and their black metal is more primitive and more likely to click with the reptilian part of your brain. Their songs are much shorter and to the point, so they actually contribute nine hymns. Tell me friends, how can you go wrong with tracks like “Penis Perversor” and “Angelcunt”?

This release works on a couple of different levels. If you had a friend who didn't know what black metal was, this would be a really good album to have them listen to. They could hear the variety that exists even within a sub-genre, and they could hear some very good practitioners of these styles. If you are serious about your love of Satan, these songs are definitely worthy of inclusion in your next worship service. While you may not understand those who worship in this way, there is no doubting the fervor and sincerity with which these bands do their thing. All we can really ask for is honest music played by those with honest feeling for what they do. Satanic Warmaster and Archgoat deliver in spades.

- ODIN






Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...