For the Love of Rock and Metal is a blog dedicated to music articles, concert reviews, CD reviews, interviews and all other things related to rock and metal. There is an emphasis on local or semi-local music in the Madison, WI area.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Metal Christmas - Jingle Bells and Silent Night

I hope you enjoyed yesterday's metal Santa songs. Today, we have 2 "traditional" songs metal-style.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Metal Christmas - I Am Santa Claus and Santa Claus is Comin' to Town

For those of you who celebrate Christmas (and those of you who don't) here are some lovely metal Christmas songs to get your Christmas Eve moving. Check out the Top "10" (there are actually 12) here with videos included. 

Friday, December 21, 2012

In Memory of... Jimi Hendrix

James Marshall "Jimi" Hendrix (born Johnny Allen Hendrix) was born on November 27, 1942. He is known as one of the best guitarists in the history of rock. He is recognized as one of the most creative musicians in recent history, one of the best known musicians across all genres, and an influence to countless people in and out of the music world.

I could go into the varied and amazing, although short, muscial career, but most people know about it. Between The Jimi Hendrix Project and Band of Gypsies as well as other bands, projects and shows, he is very well known.

Hendrix received many awards in his life as well as posthumously. Included are the 1968 Billboard Artist of the Year, 1968 Performer and Rock Album of the Year from Rolling Stone and many Grammy Hall of fame awards for singles and albums.
One thing many people might not know about Jimi Hendrix is that he was essentially ochlophobic. He did not like large crowds, which was a cause for concern during Woodstock in 1969. Crowds were estimated around 400,000 people and he became nervous as his timeslot approached. At that time, he requested to be moved closer to the end of the festival and after a rain storm postponed a lot of bands, he ended up in the 8:30 am timeslot on that Monday, when only about 35,000 were still at the festival.

Hendrix died on September 18, 1970. It is very unclear what happened in his last day and even the details of his ambulance ride to the hospital are disputed, but one thing is for certain - we lost a great musician that day at the age of 27. I wasn't even a thought in my parent's mind at that time, but I know my generation missed a huge piece of musical history with the loss of Hendrix. Even today, 42 years later, Jimi Hendrix is a widely known name and is still listed as an influence for many people. Check out his official website here.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Lostprophets Singer Ian Watkins Arrested for Sex Abuse Charges

When you go on, you will find one simple message.

"Following charges made today against Ian Watkins, we find ourselves in a state of shock. We are learning about the details of the investigation along with you. It is a difficult time for us and our families, and we want to thank our fans for their support as we seek answers."

                                          Jamie, Lee, Luke, Mike and Stu

Wakins, 35, was arrested yesterday on charges of two counts of conspiring to engage in sexual touching with two young children and possession, making and distribution of indecent images of children as well as possessing extreme animal pornography. Two women, ages 20 and 24, were also arrested in conjunction with this case. The charges for conspiracy have a date range of May 1st to December 17th and the indecent images charges have a date range of August 12th to December 17th. 

Watkins' lawyer attempted to procure bail for him, stating that his celebrity status would help insure that he wouldn't go into hiding and his mother pledged her home as surety that he would appear at his next court date. It was determined that he would remain in custody at least until his next court date at Cardiff Crown Court on December 31st. 

The band is in shock and has issued the statement above as a result of this arrest. They have also cancelled a planned tour. 

In Memory of - Everyone Lost in 2012

I have a long list of people I want to do "In Memory" articles about, but I don't have the time or energy to do every single one. Here is a list of rockers we have lost in 2012. If I missed anyone, please let me know so I can get them added. For more information, go to Loudwire's page.

Nov 1 - Mitch Lucker - Suicide Silence - Age 28

Oct 9 - Joe Siracuse - Sons of Azrael - Age 29

Sept 1 - Vance Bockis - Obsessed, 9353, Pentagram - Age 50

Aug 23 - Eric Cook - Lethal

Aug 12 - Patrick "Pakelika" Cochrun - Kottonmouth Kings - Age 34

July 31 - Tony Sly - No Use For A Name - Age 41

July 30 - David Ellenburg - Dogbane - Age 47

July 16 - Jon Lord - Deep Purple - Age 71

June 30 - Ivan Sekyra - Drakar - Age 59

May 26 - John Harrison - Hankwind - Age 69

June 4 - Bobby Durango - Rock City Angels

May 31 - Michael Grant - Onward, Crescent Shield - Age 39

May 24 - Mark "Bam Bam" McConnell - Blackfoo, Sebastian Bach - Age 50

May 21 - Bryan Hagan - Heir Apparent - Age 39

May 20  - Steeve Hurdle - Negativa, Gorguts - Age 41

May 14 - Trondr Nefas - Urgehal - Age 35

May 4 - Adam Yauch - Beastie Boys - Age 47

May 4 - Rob Doherty - Into Eternity, Final Darkness - Age 41

April 10 - Ritchie Teether - Twisted Sister, Dictators - Age 61

April 5 - Jim Marshall - Marshall Amps - Age 88

March 23 - Will - Mastic Scum

March 3 - Ronnie Montrose - Montrose - Age 64

Feb 25 - Dee Cernile - Sven Gali - Age 46

Feb 17 - Michael Davis - MC5 - Age 68

Feb 14 - Tonmi "Otus" Lillman - Lordi - Age 38

Jan 25 - Mark Reale - Riot - Age 57

Jan 17 - Therese Hanserot - Destiny - Age 48

Jan 14 - Robbie France - Diamond Head - Age 52

Jan 6 - Nicole Bogner - Visions of Atlantis - Age 27

Jan 2 - Larry "Rhino" Reinhardt - Iron Butterfly - Age 63

In addition to the rockers we lost, I would also like to take a moment to remember many of the other people who passed away this year, including all of the children and adults killed in Newton, Ct, any and all military - past and present, and anyone who you loved. I don't mean to get too serious on this page, but metal is about passion and family. Keep yourself and those around you safe and healthy and never take anything for granted.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Coming Up... Metal Merry XXXMAS

What's going on this weekend? Have plans? Me too, but I managed to squeeze this in to my busy schedule. Saturday, December 22, 2012 at the Regent Street Retreat (RSR Stage/Formerly known as The Annex - you know the place) 301 and Savage Productions with ETM Records presents Merry Metal XXXMAS. 

This show features one of my favorite bands ever and the band that really got me into the local metal scene - Malice in Wonderland. You may remember them from this article and this article. In addition, Stux, Black Hole Conspiracy, Descending the Heavens, Murdercore and Chemical Strike will be playing.

 Check out the bands at the links below and I hope to see you there. $5 at the door, 9:00 pm. Come get your metal on! \m/


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Loudwire List: Top 50 Metal Songs

Check out Loudwire's Top 50 Metal Songs of the 21st Century here. I've highlighted some of the songs below with accompanying videos. And for the record, I think Number 20 (Lamb of God - Redneck) should have been ranked better. It is by far one of my favorite songs ever.




Monday, December 17, 2012

Update: Randy Blythe Legal Situation

Mary Ouellette,
A few weeks ago, Randy Blythe was officially indicted for the 2010 death of a concert-goer. At that time, the court was obliged to either set a trial date or postpone it in order for the prosecutor to collect more evidence.

 Late last week, it was announced that Blythe's trial will begin on February 4th, 2013 and is expected to last approximately 4 days. Blythe previously stated that if he was indicted, he would return to the Czech Republic to stand trial and would not hide out. Blythe and his legal team still maintain his innocence in the manslaughter case.

You can read his original statement here regarding the arrest, his return home last summer, and any future proceedings.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Volbeat Drummer

So, you may all know that I have a connection with the world's sexiest drummer/drummist (not Jon Larsen)... check out the blog written by Kurt Stapleton that is all about drums. Here is one of his posts about Jon Larsen, the Volbeat drummer. There are also drum tips, reviews, and lots of other things on there. Enjoy.

Jon Larsen, Volbeat drummer
Volbeat's latest album "Beyond hell/Above heaven" is one of the best I've heard this year. It debuted on Nov. 25 2011, and the band has been touring nonstop ever since to support it. It's a great hard rock album with a twist of metal. Drummer Jon Larsen put's his stamp on this album with some really nice double bass work on every song. It's not overdone or over the top, but rather, with a tasteful, almost playful approach. The sound is so fat, and punchy, and the cymbals really sound great in the mix. I love the bass drum work, I can't seem to stop tapping my fingers when I listen to the c.d. 

The track "Fallen", which was their first single, really launched the album and their music career to new heights. "Heaven nor Hell" is a great rock track with nice harmonica work in it. Solid, with a nice time change, this track should be a single that could match the popularity of "Fallen".

"Who they are" has this cool Metallica/Slayer feel to it, that seems to be an influence in  their writing.
"A better believer"  has a really cool time change that keeps the listener intrigued by it's push/pull feel.
The song "7 Shots (featuring Mille Petrozza)" has a "Ghost riders" sound to it that stands out in the crowd on this disc.

If you like a great, solid, straight-up hard rock c.d. with double bass and catchy melodies, put this in your Ipod and give it a shot. You shouldn't be disappointed.

See original link here.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Metallica Unveils New Record Label

Photo from
We all knew it was coming. Metallica is one of the biggest names in the music world and they have launched their new record label. It's been chattered about recently, but we weren't sure what they were going to call it. Honestly, there were so many available options for names. They recently unveiled the label and its name, Blackened Recordings.

One of the more amazing things about this is that in 1994, they negotiated an almost unheard of contract provision with Warner Bros that means that they have complete control over and ownership of  their master recordings. Their 28 year relationship with Warner Bros has ended with the creation of their new label and they now have control over their already-produced music and videos as well as control over all future music. It means an entirely new sense of independence that comes from producing your own music without an outside company exerting power over it. Good for you Metallica. I hope you can do much better than St. Anger, which was a disappointment to all.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Musician Mug Shots

I ran across this and found it quite interesting, so I thought I'd share.
Check out some Musician Mug Shots... (click the link to see all of the mug shots)

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Featured Video: Beyond Threshold - Revolution

Here is Turkey Vulture Records' Beyond Threshold performing "Revolution," their first single from their debut album.

Check Beyond Threshold out on their Facebook page.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Rammstein to Release Video on January 15

(Reprinted from Metal Underground)

Rammstein has announced the January 15th, 2013 release of "Videos 1995-2012" on standard DVD and Blu-ray. The collection includes the legendary German band’s complete music video catalog along with two new videos for the song “Mein Herz Brennt.”

The set contains over seven hours of material featuring 25 music videos, 24 behind-the-scenes clips, and a 56-page booklet. Available on three DVDs or two Blu-rays, the collection will be released through the band’s marketing and distribution deal with Density Records in the US.

“Mein Herz Brennt,” from the band’s 2001 release, "Mutter," will see new versions of the song released on December 11th, 2012 as a six-track digital single with booklet - available exlusively through iTunes. The single package also includes the previously unreleased track, “Gib Mir Deine Augen.” Fans can also purchase the two new videos via iTunes – one on December 11th and the other on December 18th.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Featured Video: Malice in Wonderland - Guilty

Here is today's featured video: Malice in Wonderland performing "Guilty" at the Regent Street Retreat on November 10, 2012.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Return of the Prodigal Band

In case no one in the area has been paying attention... Malice in Wonderland played their first show in over 2 years last night. Apparently Santa got my letter this year and delivered my present early in the form of Dave O, Chris and the rest of this great band.

MIW is the first local band I ever enjoyed enough to go to every show (which is a nice way of saying "stalked") and they set me on the path I'm on now. They gave me a new appreciation for metal, the local scene and a better understanding of how it all works. If it weren't for then, I might never have started seeking out more local bands and local music, which led to this blog. So, if you don't like this blog - feel free to blame them. Their unique sound, 2 vocalists and heavy instrumentals are unforgettable. Here is the article I wrote about them when I first started this blog, which may have been the letter that Santa got and decided I was good enough this year to have this band back.

They played a half hour set as the last band of Mad City Underground, a 2 stage event at the Regent Street Retreat. I've been waiting for this and was not disappointed. It was just like I remember and definitely brought back some great memories. Here are a few pictures and one video. Check back in a day or two for another video being featured.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Seven Signs Videos and Photos

Are you tired of hearing about Seven Signs yet? I know that everyone around me is. Well, here are some videos and photos from the show last night at The Wisco in Madison, WI. There were other bands, but I do not plan to do a review for this show so this is all you get.

Click Read More to see the rest of the photos and videos

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Featured Video - Seven Signs at High Noon Saloon

Featured Video: Seven Signs at the High Noon Saloon in Madison, WI - Halloween 2012

I apologize that the vocals aren't very clear. This was taken from my phone since I forgot my video camera at home, but you ge the idea. This is from the show on Halloween at the High Noon Saloon. 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Tribal Call, Seven Signs and Ultrea - Wednesday, October 31st in Madison, WI

Tribal Call, Seven Signs and Ultrea 
Wednesday, October 31st in Madison, WI - High Noon Saloon

Photo from Tribal Call's Facebook Page
An excellent end to my favorite holiday came in the form of a Halloween show at the High Noon Saloon in Madison, WI, featuring Tribal Call, Seven Signs and Ultrea. (I apologize for the photo and video heavy post, but enjoy it!) Tribal Call played first and I missed the first few songs of their set (who knew that all of a sudden rock and metal shows are starting on time?). I did catch about half an hour of the uniquely punk-rock band. Tribal Call is a 3 piece band made up of a bass player from England, an American drummer and a Puerto Rican female vocalist.

 I've said it before and always seem to prove myself wrong, but I don't usually like female singers in rock and metal. And honestly, I don't think I would have enjoyed this vocalist if she was purely rock but she had a beautiful punk sound that made me feel like I was on the set of SLC Punk. It was a smooth and traditional sound that didn't minimize individual talents but melded together perfectly. It was easy to listen to and was the kind of band that I wouldn't object to seeing again.

Up next was Seven Signs. Now, do I really need to say (again) how much I love Seven Signs? Read through my other reviews of their shows and you'll know I can't exactly be unbiased when it comes to them. They were dressed up for Halloween, including Mike the bass playing pirate, which made the show that must better. Vocalist BT de-costumed within a few songs, but I won't hold that against him.

I will admit this show was a little rocky about halfway through. It was their first show in 3 months and somewhere in the middle they were experiencing problems with their monitors so they had trouble hearing each other. It wasn't a complete disaster, but it wasn't their best. Luckily, they get another chance this Saturday at the Wisco on Williamson Street in Madison. Overall, I'm not complaining. It was great to see them and they were as charismatic on stage as usual. 

Following Seven Signs was Ultrea, a female-fronted metal band from Poynette, WI that I have seen a few times in the past. I really enjoy this band (including the female vocalist). The singer had one of my new favorite costumes on (arms popping out of a pregnant belly). They played my favorite song of theirs called The Calm Before the Storm (check it out on the Reverbnation widget below). I must say - there is nothing more metal than a pregnant woman singing/screaming/growling her heart out on stage at a Halloween show. 

All in all, a great Halloween. I definitely recommend you check out these bands (especially Seven Signs and Ultrea - who often play together). And check out the bands on Facebook at their links below:

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

Today is October 31st and you know what that means? It's my favorite day of the year! All of the freaks will be out and about and who can say no to free candy? Here are a few Halloween things for you to entertain yourselves with...

Check out "This Is Halloween" Light Show created by Edwards Landing Lights

Squidoo's Top Ten Heavy Metal Halloween Songs

(Go to the link above to see the YouTube Videos for the songs)

# 10: "Vampira" by The Devin Townsend Band
# 9: "Feed My Frankenstein" by Alice Cooper
# 8: "Trick Or Treat" by Halloween
# 7: "Dracula" by Iced Earth
# 6: "Dragula" by Rob Zombie
# 5: "Fear Of The Dark" by Iron Maiden
# 4: "Halloween" by King Diamond
# 3: "Bark At The Moon" by Ozzy Osbourne
# 2: "Night Crawler" by Judas Priest
#1: "Halloween" by Helloween

Want a different list of Halloween Metal Songs? Metal Underground has their own list here.

So... now that you have a little bit of a Halloween fix... what are you doing tonight? Trick or treating? Handing out candy? Why do that junk when you can head out to the High Noon Saloon in Madison, WI to see Ultrea, the amazing Seven Signs and Tribal Call for a Halloween show. The event information is available on Facebook. I will see everyone there (because we all know I almost never miss a Seven Signs show)! 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Black With Envy

I'm not sure if this band is still out and about (I can't find any current shows or news), but I thought you guys might enjoy some of this music. Definitely check out Black With Envy on Reverbnation. I couldn't find a video (so this isn't technically a Featured Video), but enjoy some of the music provided here. And if anyone can tell me who the vocalist sounds like (especially in the track Black With Envy), you'll get a special prize because I can't put my finger on it.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Featured Video: So Much for Sweet Dreams - Look, I'm Burning

Today's Featured Video is "So Much for Sweet Dreams" from Look, I'm Burning, a local band from Madison, WI.

Check 'em out on Facebook now.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Murdershow on MaxInk Radio

Photo from

A new show on MaxInk Radio ( featuring local, regional,
midwest, national and unsigned metal bands. Hosted by Chad Elliott and Desiree Tiffany (of Savage Media Productions - who have brought us some great metal shows in Madison and other areas in WI) on Thursday nights from 9:00 pm until 12:00 am.

Check it out and if you're in a band or have some suggestions for music you want played, send it in MP3 format to

Go here for more information.

Normally I don't post twice in one day, but this show is on TONIGHT. Check. It. Out.

Featured Video: En Masse - Across the Coals

While I try to get my shit together and get some new articles posted, enjoy this video (and a few more forthcoming) of En Masse live at The End Zone on September 24th, 2011.

And be sure to check out their Facebook page. If you can check them out live, I highly recommend it. See my review of one of their Madison, WI shows here.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

New Nonpoint Album and Tour Dates

Nonpoint Releases Self-Titled Album

Photo from Nonpoint's Facebook Page

Remember a few months ago when Nonpoint came to Madison to film a new music video? Well, I do - I was there! The video was for "I Said It" which is on their new self-titled album that went on sale one Tuesday, October 9th. I'll admit, I've been too busy to get it (since I like to have a physical copy it's not as easy as buying a digital copy online), but I will soon and will review it. Until then, I've been listening to it via the links the band has been posting on their Facebook page. So far, the album has had an amazing response from critics and fans. Also, a bunch of tour dates have been posted - so check it out below. I've also included a sneak-peak of the song "I Said It."

Tour Dates: 

With Taproot and Black Oxygen
10/16 Corpus Christi, TX Brewsters St Ice House
10/17 Houston TX Scout Bar
10/18 Broussard/Lafayette, La The Station
10/19 Mobile, Al Soul Kitchen
10/20 Columbus, GA Chaos On The Rocks
10/22 Pensacola, Fl Vinyl Music Hall
10/23 Knoxville, TN The Valarium

With Taproot and Surrender The Fall
10/24 Memphis, Tn Newbies

10/25 Sauget, Il/St Louis, Mo Pops
11/15 Appleton, WI Luna Lounge

With POD
11/16 Minneapolis, MN First Ave

11/17 Wausau, WI Fillmor
11/20 Fayeteville, Ar Georges Majestic Loungue
11/21 Little Rock, Ar Rev Room

With Sevendust
11/23 Jacksonville, Fl Club Rain
11/24 Tampa, Fl Tampa Cuban Club
11/25 Orlando, Fl House OF Blues

11/28 Rockford, IL The District
11/30 Battle Creek, Mi Planet Live Music
12/1 Libertyville, Il Austins Fuel Room

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Featured Video: Ultrea - The Calm Before the Storm

I've seen this band a few times before and look forward to seeing them again. Check out this video shot at The Wisco in Madison, WI

And check them out on Reverbnation and Facebook.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Paul Gray's Doctor Charged with Involuntary Manslaughter

Daniel Baldi, a physician that helped run a pain management clinic, has been charged with Involuntary Manslaughter in the deaths of 8 people. Included is Slipknot's Paul Gray, who was found dead in a hotel in 2010. According to the Des Moines Register, the documents released allege that Dr. Baldi “did unintentionally cause the death of Paul Gray by the commission of an act likely to cause death or serious injury, to-wit, continually wrote high-dose prescription narcotics to a known drug addict from 12/27/2005 until his death.” 

In the documents, 7 of 8 of the deceased were listed, including Paul Gray. In addition, the other people are Chad Martin (Sept. 16, 2011), Frederick Pritchard (May 29, 2011), Carla Davis (Feb. 25, 2011), Jason Spong (Sept. 16, 2010), Stoutenberg (Sept. 11, 2010), and Jeff Lilly (Aug. 21, 2009). The final person who is not listed is believed to be Kathleen Cronkwright (October, 2010). You may wonder why I included everyone here. I did it because it is tragic, no matter who they are and no matter if they happen to be famous, drug addicts, or anything like that. It also shows a patter for Dr. Baldi. This is a lot of people to be considered a fluke. 

Some family members of the other people have come forward to say that Baldi should have known that the patients were habitual drug abusers and taken steps to prevent their deaths and especially stop prescribing large amounts of prescription narcotics. Some patients allegedly only saw the doctor once each; however in at least one case, a family member has stepped forward to say that they personally accompanied the patients to his office on more than one occasion. 

Now, here's the thing. Generally, I'm all about personal accountability. And in this case, I am still in support of it; however, I believe that physicians have a lawful duty and a moral obligation to not take advantage of or feed into drug addiction. With prescription drug abuse spiking, it is more important than ever that they are cognizant of it, especially when dealing with someone who is a know drug addict (specifically, it was not a secret that Gray struggled with drug problems). Sure, I don't think he should be charged with murder, but involuntary manslaughter seems to fit. It will not help the 8 patients referenced in this case, but it could protect patients that may have seen him in the future and will make other physicians aware that they need to be safer and more cognizant of their patients' needs. 

Slipknot has released the following statement after the charges were announced: 

“As the loss of our brother Paul Gray is still very fresh for us in the Slipknot family, this new development has us all in a state of anger and sadness. The fact that this person took advantage of our brother’s illness while he was in a position to help others has outraged everyone in our family.
"We can only hope that justice will be served so this can NEVER happen to anyone else ever again! Our thoughts go out to the families of the other victims. We plan to cooperate as much as we possibly can to ensure this tragedy is never repeated, and to make sure this man pays for what he has done."

View the original Des Moines Register article here.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Interview with Phobia vocalist Shane "The Pain"

Shane "The Pain" MacLachlan Interview
By Nicki Stapleton
Originally published on The Blacktooth

After 22 years on the Grindcore scene, Phobia is still pushing forward. With a new album released and a tour on the horizon, they are as ruthless as ever. Front man and founding member Shane “The Pain” MacLachlan took time to speak to me about the album, the industry, and life in the band.

Nicki Stapleton: Tell me about the new album Remnants of Filth. What do you think sets it apart from Phobia’s other albums?

Shane MacLachlan: Everyone is going to have their favorites, just like I have my favorites. With this record, the lineup I’m working with is great. The music is faster and has more brutality than other records.  22 Random Acts of Violence was calmer and the lyrical content, passion and integrity is different than what we’ve done before.

NS: After  being around for more than 20 years, how do you keep the music fresh and different?

SM: When I write, I love what I’m doing. You need to have the passion to want it and its in my blood. I am the same person I was when I started. Well, I have grown I would hope because I’m not 19 year old anymore. The fan base will be picky, but you just have to keep going and enjoy the new stuff. I mean, we aren’t going to fix what isn’t broken and we’re just going to keep doing what we love.

NS:  I have seen Phobia described under many different genres and subgenres – punk, metal, grindcore, etc. What do YOU consider Phobia to be and why?

SM: We are a punk band, punk rock. Grindcore is often thrown around as slang being used loosely. Punk rock is more of a movement and grindcore was often played by punk rockers who wanted to make something more obnoxious.

NS: What do you hope for people to take away from your music?

SM: I want them to know that you can do what you want to do and to learn something. And if someone reads the lyrics and takes away from that, it’s great. I’m a lyricist so, I believe the lyrics are the most important part.  I believe in being open-minded and realizing everyone thinks differently, whether it’s politically or personally or whatever. Music is emotions. I guess I want people to feel that and I want to make people happy.

NS:  I’m sure you get asked about this a lot, but Phobia has a big turnover of members. How is it working out with the current lineup and do you expect it to stay this way for awhile?

SM: It is the best I’ve ever had. It’s a great mix of talent. Brian has been with me for almost 10 years, doing more touring and not as much recording stuff. It’s just a different vibe, not as much business with more fun. It’s more of a friendship, more family. Some people who are no longer with us are still involved in the band. Any band that has been around for so long will have a large turnover and it is often just the singer with a different lineup. They are really just “hired guns” in some bands, but not with us.

NS: Is there anything you do to get ready for a show? Any rituals or superstitions?

SM: Well, there’s not really anything specific. We just try to to drink so much, but I do like a few shots of whiskey. A couple of Jim Beam on the rocks. Some of us have a few beers. Cece is very disciplined and we try to just be professional. We know we’ll fuck up if we aren’t good. There have been disasters in the past, especially while touring.

NS: I know your lyrics and many other bands’ lyrics often focus on social and political issues and commentary. What would you say to people who believe heavy bands are just about violence and anger?

SM: Its kind of ignorant. I mean, no one knows what is going on in someone else’s mind. Everyone expresses their views and emotions in different ways. Anger is an emotion too, but in a song it may represent something else, something deeper. Music is emotion. Music is entertainment. All songs represent emotions and sometimes if I just want to relax I might put on Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon. It’s all in how it makes you feel.

NS: If Phobia could tour with any band (current or past), who would it be and why?

SM: This is a hard one. It probably wouldn’t necessarily be a grindcore band or a death metal band. It might be someone like Willie Nelson. I’m a big fan and he’s brilliant and a great lyricist. I’ve seen him many times before. I don’t know if that would work out very well though. It may even be someone like Discharge. They are a huge influence. Or The Exploited.

NS: What do you do in your spare time.

SM: Well, I like to make t-shirts, like for other bands. I enjoy writing and playing music outside of the band. I do it all the time. I guess music is a hobby of mine. Calum likes to garden, Cece is a vegan cook and about to open her own business and Brian does a lot of construction things. We all just try to keep busy. I also like reading and I love to cook.

NS: With current events surrounding an incident with a member of another band, how do you feel about fans jumping on stage.

SM: It’s no problem for me if fans jump on stage. If they just want to sing or whatever, its fine. But, there is a limit to everything and limits can be surpassed. I mean, they don’t know if I’m drunk or something and sometimes they start throwing fists. The stage people just need to be on top of it and use their discretion.

NS: Anything you’d like to add?

SM: Check out the new record. It has cool artwork and cool music. We are expecting to start touring around October. The tour dates should be announced soon.

NS: Where can we expect the tour? U.S., North America, World?

SM: Right now we’ll be touring the Midwest. I love touring in the Midwest, it’s a lot of fun there.

Check out Phobia on Facebook and their new punishing grindcore album that is their heaviest yet. 

Originally posted on The Blacktooth

Friday, August 31, 2012

Interview with Andy Dörner of Caliban

Originally publish on The Blacktooth
Written by Nicki Stapleton

Caliban, a metal band from Essen, Germany recently released their new album “I Am Nemesis” and I had a chance to talk to vocalist Andy Dörner about the band and the album. It took the quintet more than 10 months to perfect the new album, but was well worth the time and wait with it’s brutal sounds and intense social messages.

Nicki: Can you tell me a little about the band?
Andy Dörner: The band was formed around 1997 by Marc and me and 3 other members who left us over the years. The formation right now has existed for about 7 years now.  We make heavy and intense music, our roots are in the 90´s hardcore scene. We are on the road as much as we can, because Caliban is our full time job.   We almost toured the whole world and wont stop until we die...for a more information, check ourWebsiteFacebook etc.

Nicki: I know Caliban can is the name of a few different things (the antagonist in Shakespeare’s The Tempest, the moon of Uranus, a Marvel Comics mutant, and a few others) – why did you choose the name?
AD: We took the name from "The Tempest." We all liked the character of Caliban and what he stands for. Later on we learned about the mutant and his face is on our first mini cd. 

Nicki: What is it like to tour in so many different countries? Which country/city gives you the best welcome?
AD: It feels great to have the chance to see so many different countries. We feel everywhere welcome, so it´s hard to pick any specific place.
Nicki: What is your favorite song from the new album (I Am Nemesis) and why?
AD: There is no favorite song, because I like the whole record very much, but special to me is "Memorial," because it´s song for my dead father and the second one is "This Oath," because this one is for my wife.

Nicki: What kind of music/bands did you listen to growing up?
AD: I started very late to listen to the very beginning it was the 80´s pop music, but when I started to widen my horizon I started to listen to Metallica, Megadeath, Anthrax, Machine Head, Rage Against The Machine, Suicidal Tendencies etc...and after that I started with Hardcore / New School like Unbroken, Chokehold, Earth Crisis, Snapcase, Morning Again, Culture, Converge, Swing Kids. 

Nicki: Were you a good student?
AD: I just went to school and I sucked big time.

Nicki: What is the song writing process like in the band? Is it usually one or two people writing the lyrics or is it a group collaboration from the start?
AD: Marc is doing the music in co-op with our producer Benny Richter. I start writing the lyrics and before we record the final songs we work everything out together.

Nicki: If you could describe Caliban with one word, what would it be?
AD: Priceless ;) 

Nicki: What is something your fans would be surprised to know about you (individually or as a band)?
AD: Two of us are married, otherwise we are just normal guys who like making music. 

Nicki: I noticed that the new album points to a lot of social issues. Is there specific reason for this?
AD: We started with that topic on "Say Hello To Tragedy" and we liked the way it felt, so we decided to write more in this direction. There is enough bullshit going on in this world.

Nicki: Is there anything else you’d like to add?
AD: Thanks everyone for your time and patience!!! Check us out and feel free to follow us!!!

Show Andy Dörner and the band some love at their website or on their Facebook  page, and check out their new album I Am Nemesis.

And check out metal magazine The Blacktooth to read more of my interviews and other great content.