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.

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. 

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Knotfest, Mosh Pits and the Metal Family

Knotfest was yesterday in Somerset, WI (just northwest of the middle of nowhere) and I must say that it was a blast. I don't know if writing about it could possibly do it any justice. The bands that played were top notch  and they did not disappoint. On the main stage, Dillinger Escape Plan, Serj Tankian and the Deftones set the stage for the ultimate event of the evening. On the second stage, Gojira, Prong, Cannibal Corpse, Machine Head and Lamb of God tore it up. To be honest, I'm not a huge fan of Serj Tankian without System of a Down, but it was still enjoyable. 

Click Read More to see the rest of the photos from Knotfest

Monday, August 13, 2012

Featured Video: En Masse - War Wounds

War Wounds by En Masse, the band I saw last week for the first time. I love this song and now I love it even more now that I know a little of the story behind it. Check it out.

Check them out on Facebook and Reverbnation.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Postmortem Resurrection, En Masse and Anticosm - August 9th, 2012 - The Wisco - Madison, WI

Postmortem Resurrection, En Masse and Anticosm at The Wisco in Madison, WI - August 9th, 2012

I knew I needed to make it to a show to review and was tired of reviewing bands I've seen over and over again. There's no fun in that and it makes it hard to expand my knowledge of the local music scene and the bands in it. When I saw this show posted, I knew I had to go and check out some metal that I haven't heard before. 

Image from Postmortem Resurrection's
Facebook Page

First up was Postmortem Resurrection from Madison, which was interesting to say the least. Generally you hear "We are...." when a band introduces themselves, but in this case the one man band, Kyle, introduced himself "I am Postmortem Resurrection." Right then, I prepared for the worst. Fortunately for me, I am still alive and therefore able to be pleasantly surprised. Postmortem Resurrection was really enjoyable. He played the guitar while the rest of the instruments were pre-programmed and played through an iPod (or something similar - I didn't get close enough to see). The guitar was clean and fast and the programmed music fit really well and was extremely well done. According to the Facebook page, Kyle does all of the programming himself. His voice was good, although at times sounded a little strange. Watching him and listening to him, I couldn't think of a better name for this self-described "one man metal machine" than Postmortem Resurrection. It fit really well and I found myself enjoying it. 

Next was En Masse, a four piece metal band from Aurora, IL. The first thing I noticed was the very big and beautiful drum set. That usually means one of two things - either it is a mediocre drummer hiding behind a big kit or it is a decent drummer who doesn't fully utilize the tools in front of them. In the case of En Masse, neither was true. This drummer, "Parrot," was very good, very technical, and made the most of the big kit. I knew at sound check that I would probably enjoy this band. 

All four band members seemed to be having a good time. It reminded me of just a bunch of friends jamming in a basement or garage, which made me feel more comfortable. The vocalist, Don, had a good range and a harsh sound and blended well with his back up vocalist. He interacted well with the crowd and even played the air guitar. Bass player Tony had a nice clear sound and guitar player Mike had hummingbird-fast hands. The whole band blended well with blunt sounds. Not only did I like this band for the night, but I've already convinced a few friends to check them out. Below is my favorite song that they played, War Wounds.

Image from Anticosm's Facebook Page
The last band I saw at this show was Anticosm from New Jersey. They stopped in Madison on the way to a show in St. Paul, MN and I'm happy they did. There were some sound issues with the vocals early on in the show, but they did their best to work around it and fix it. The drummer had a relatively small kit, but beat the hell out of it and did a great job. There was a really strong bass and excellent rhythm guitar, bringing the brutal sounds together. Basically, it was an all out assault on my ears, which isn't a bad thing. The one thing that did stick out for me was the amount of hair this band was carrying around. They all had a lot of it and they definitely fit into the image of an ear-splitting metal band. They did look like they would be more comfortable if they had more space, but I think that is true of many bands that play The Wisco, which is a pretty small area.

This was a pretty great show, although I will admit that I left early (I'd estimate about 3/4 of the way through Anticosm's set) and I think there was one more band (who either played before I got there or after I left I think), but I guess that's what happens when you have to get up early for work. I like The Wisco because it is a comfortable and cozy bar, but it is really small for metal bands that like to move around. As long as bands keep playing there, I'll keep going, but I'd rather see them pack venues like the RSR Stage (formerly The Annex) like they used to.

Give the bands some love and check them out on Facebook:
Postmortem Resurrection
En Masse

Monday, August 6, 2012

Randy Blythe Official Statement

Here is the official statement from Randy Blythe:

Greetings. This is D. Randall Blythe, checking in from my beloved hometown of Richmond, VA, United States of America. I was recently released on bail from Pankrác Prison in Prague, Czech Republic, after over a month of incarceration. Now that I am out for the moment, I would like to say a few things.

1. While in prison, I had minimal knowledge of how my case was viewed anywhere but the Czech Republic. I was told by my attorney that I had a lot support from peers in the music industry, my hometown, fans, and of course my family. I cannot express how emotional it made me upon my release to read about even a fraction of the voices that were raised on my behalf. From legends in my music community, to fans across the world, and even people who were previously unaware of my existence but sympathized with my plight- I am truly humbled. I cannot thank you enough for your thoughts and prayers. I would especially like to thank the people of Richmond, VA, for standing by me. In the 48 hours I have been home, many people I have never met before have stopped me on the street, waved and smiled as I passed by, or said hello in a restaurant. All have said "We are glad you are home, Randy". You all make me proud and grateful that I call Richmond home.

2. I would like state that I suffered no abuse, from either authorities or inmates, during my incarceration in Pankrác. I received no special treatment, and was in general population with everyone else- make no mistake, it was prison, not some celebrity rehab tv show. But I was treated fairly by the guards and kindly by my fellow inmates. People are dying of starvation all over the world. Men and women are losing their lives daily in the Middle East and other war torn regions. I had food, clothes, shelter, and no one was trying to kill me. I cannot complain over a short stay in prison while many people elsewhere fight to survive on a daily basis.

3. If it is deemed necessary for me to do so, I WILL return to Prague to stand trial. While I maintain my innocence 100%, and will do so steadfastly, I will NOT hide in the United States, safe from extradition and possible prosecution. As I write this, the family of a fan of my band suffers through the indescribably tragic loss of their child. They have to deal with constantly varying media reports about the circumstances surrounding his death. I am charged with maliciously causing severe bodily harm to this young man, resulting in his death. While I consider the charge leveled against me ludicrous and without qualification, my opinion makes no difference in this matter. The charge exists, and for the family of this young man, questions remain. The worst possible pain remains. It is fairly common knowledge amongst fans of my band that I once lost a child as well. I, unfortunately, am intimately familiar with what their pain is like. Therefore, I know all too well that in their time of grief, this family needs and deserves some real answers, not a media explosion followed by the accused killer of their son hiding like a coward thousands of miles away while they suffer. I am a man. I was raised to face my problems head on, not run from them like a petulant child. I hope that justice is done, and the family of Daniel N. will receive the closure they undoubtably need to facilitate healing. I feel VERY STRONGLY that as an adult, it would be both irresponsible and immoral for me not to return to Prague if I am summoned. This is not about bail money. This is about a young man who lost his life. I will act with honor, and I will fight to clear my good name in this matter. Thank you for reading this, and I wish you all peace.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Mouse-keeping...Would you like to be fluffed today?

Just wanted to write a quick note about some housekeeping things.

First, I'm not a a fan of censorship and will allow pretty much any kind of comment on here. I will not allow any direct attacks on myself or any bands or members. That's not to say that you can't disagree with me or even post your opinions, but do so in at least a somewhat respectful manner. And if possible, include why you think whatever it is you feel... That might give me more to write about and people are likely to take you more seriously. I've only had to remove one comment and hopefully it stays that way. Now, let's all be grown ups.

Next, you may notice a new labels toolbar at the top of the blog. If you click on any of those labels, it will bring you to any post tagged under it, which makes finding specific things much easier.

If anyone has a topic you want me to write about, let me know. As long as it's music related, I can likely make it happen. Email me via the link on the right of the page or send a message on Facebook. Also, if you know of (or are on) a band you want me to review or talk to, let me know.

Last thing... Is anyone artistically talented enough to create a logo for this page? I'd really appreciate it and would give whoever it is full credit and maybe a little something for their time and trouble. Let me know, send me an idea, and we will work it out.

Thanks for making this a success (kinda)... We are right around 2500 hits. Share the page, like and share the Facebook link and keep reading.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Update: Randy Blythe and Knotfest Lineup

News came down today that Randy Blythe was released from a Czech jail on bail. In a closed session, it was decided that he could be released with the only condition that the bail be paid (which it had been previously). He boarded a flight back to the US shortly after his release. He may still need to return to the Czech Republic for a trial regarding the 2010 death of a fan. It is reported that his defense team has a strong case. Randy said he is relieved to be out of jail and that it wasn't bad, but "it wasn't exactly fun."
Related to the news of his release is the news that Lamb of God has been put back on the Knotfest bill and will be playing both shows (Aug 17 in Iowa, Aug 18 in Wisconsin).
Check out the video below to hear Randy's interview after his release. He is expected to release an official statement soon.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Destruction of the Local Music Scene

I don't know if anyone else has noticed, but there has been a gradual destruction of the local music scene. Actually, most people don't notice because they aren't out there and that is the problem. Venues are closing, bands aren't playing out and when they do there isn't as much of a crowd. It makes me sad and angry every time I go to a show and I see only a handful of people. Here are some things you can do to help the local music scene get back on its feet and stay there:

First and foremost, get out and go to shows. Go see bands you love, go see bands you like, go see bands you've never seen before. The important thing is that you get out and to the shows. That is the number one way you can show your support for the bands, the music, and the scene. If there are no asses in the seats (or barstools), then there is no reason for venues to stay open and book bands. This is especially important for genres like metal where there is not as broad of a following as mainstream music.

While you are at the shows, check out the bands' merch booths. T-Shirts, hats, CDs, DVDs, anything they have to offer. Remember that these local bands aren't rich and famous. They have day jobs (sometimes more than one) and put their own money in to record albums and have t-shirts and other merchandise made just to get their names out there. They play in a band because they truly love it, not because they're paid millions to do it.
When you go out to shows, drag your friends with you. Post information about bands on your Facebook or other social networking pages - photos, videos, band pages and websites, and anything else you can. Get the word out about the bands you find and love.

Many radio stations have a local music platform. In Madison, WI, 94.1 WJJO has the JJO Local Stage every Sunday at 9pm. You can call in and requests the local bands you want to hear on the radio (608-321-0941 in Madison).  I'm sure bands like to hear their music played on the radio and it gets it out to that many more people.

 So basically, get involved. Get out and enjoy some music. Show the local scene that you want it to stick around otherwise one day there won't be any more.

New Facebook Page for For the Love of Rock And Metal

Check out the Facebook page for the blog. I will be posting my articles plus any other links, photos, or anything that I think my readers may find interesting. So, like the page and while you're at it, become a follower of the blog.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Featured Video: Casket Robbery - Everyone Dies (Sharon Tate)

Today's Featured Video is Madison, WI band Casket Robbery's "Everyone Dies." Check out the video below and check out their Reverbnation page to listen to more.  There are also shows listed, so if you like the music, go out and see them and support your local music scene.