Archive for the Metal Music Interviews and News Category

Ozzfest in Los Angeles NYE 2019: Ice T Plays Cop Killer, Marilyn Manson Worships “Say 10,” Rob Zombie Jams with Nikki Six, Ozzy rings in the New Year

Posted in Metal Music Interviews and News with tags , , , , , , , on January 3, 2019 by coletteclaire

This year, Ozzfest decided not to do a full-scale tour. Instead, Ozzfest 2018 became a one-off show at the Forum in Los Angeles in celebration of New Year’s Eve for the first time in its history. This may be due to the fact that tour creator Ozzy Osbourne was forced to cancel the last 4 shows of his solo “No More Tours 2” tour due to illness back in October. Despite the lack of a full tour, those who were lucky enough to attend the NYE event in L.A. were treated to something special. The show kicked off around 2:00 pm, with an outdoor stage set up near the venues parking lot complete with food trucks and a giant Christmas tree. The outdoor stage featured sets by Wednesday13, DevilDriver, and the Black Sabbath cover band, “Zakk Sabbath” featuring Ozzy Osbourne guitarist Zakk Wylde on lead guitar and vocals. As they played, the entire surrounding neighborhood of the Forum in Inglewood, California could hear the sweet sound of Wylde’s leads and his penchant for pinch harmonics.

L.A.’s Body Count opened up the main stage at 6 pm as the show moved indoors.  It was the group’s first time performing at an Ozzfest, and bold statements were not in short supply from actor and rapper Ice-T (aka Tracy Marrow). Ice-T came out wearing an Orange Department-of-Corrections-style jumpsuit with mock police lights adorning the stage. Body Count then proceeded to play a politically charged set that included songs like Manslaughter, from the 2014 album of the same name, which Ice-T described as being about “the pussification of the American male.” The band also played No Lives Matter from their latest released Bloodlust, which declares “When it comes to the poor/No lives matter.” Fans of the band from its early days were excited to hear There Goes the Neighborhood, Bowels of the Devil and Body Count from their eponymous debut album. Ice-T changed the opening lyrics to Body Count, which originally referenced the Cosby show, to reference Trump instead. Ice-T began, “You know sometimes I sit at home and I watch T.V. and I wonder what it would be like to be Donald Trump.” The rest of the lyrics to the song could have been written today, although they stayed original, as it proclaims, “Goddamn what a brother gotta do/to get a message through/to the red, white and blue?”

The most controversial moment though was when Body Count played their 1992 hit Cop Killer, which Ice-T dedicated to former Los Angeles police chief Daryl Gates. Some may remember the controversy behind the song back in 1992; it even had the president and vice president at the time denouncing it, and it was practically the soundtrack to the LA Riots. Many fans were reluctant to sing along to the last line of the song “but tonight we get even” as Ice-T held out the microphone. Ice-T quipped “Y’all are scared aren’t ya?” and then referred the fact that he plays police officer on television (Ice-T has played the role of Detective Odafin Tutuola on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit for many years), but still feels the song is important because police brutality still exists rampantly today. This won over some in the crowd, but not others who seemed to be aware that many LAPD officers were scattered around the venue.

Bathed in an eerie red light throughout, Jonathan Davis delivered a blistering solo set, mainly playing songs from his debut solo album Black Labyrinth released May 25, 2018. He did very little talking to the crowd but did ask if they remembered the movie The Queen of the Damned. Some may remember that the songs for the character Lestat’s band in the film were written and performed by Jonathan Davis and Richard Gibbs. Due to Davis’s contractual commitments at the time, his vocals could not appear on the soundtrack album, but only in the film itself. Hence, the vocals on the soundtrack album were re-recorded by other musicians such as Wayne Static, David Draiman, Chester Bennington, and Marilyn Manson. Davis played the film versions of tracks Forsaken and Slept so Long at Ozzfest that night and they retained the amazing and creepy quality they had in the film (really the only decent part of that film). Davis did take time to add “God bless Aaliyah” afterward, referencing the singer who played the vampire queen Akasha, and died shortly after making the film. Davis had his trademark on-stage energy, juxtaposed with a cello player and a more mellow gothic sound akin to his Queen of the Damned work.

Marilyn Mason played a solid set free of the issues. Some may be aware that Manson’s “Heaven Upside Down” tour got off to a rocky start when an onstage injury forced him to cancel several shows, and he had an apparent “meltdown” onstage 4 month later and abruptly ended a show after 5 songs in Huntington, New York. However, Manson finished that tour without issue, and Heaven Upside Down, his latest album with horror music composer Tyler Bates, is being lauded as his “come back” (although he never left). It debuted on the US Billboard top 200 charts at number 8 and US Top Hard Rock Albums at number 1.

Manson opened his Ozzfest set with the churning and sinister Cruci-Fiction in Space from 2000’s Holy Wood, and powerfully ran through songs like The Beautiful People, Disposable Teens, and his cover of Eurythmics’ Sweet Dreams (Are Made of These). Interestingly, before playing “Rock is Dead” from 1998’s Mechanical Animals, Manson brought another tour incident that occurred back in 1999. He proclaimed, “you might remember a show we did here with Hole back in ‘99. Well, Courtney ain’t here and rock ain’t dead!” He was referring to an incident during the infamous and short-lived Hole-Manson tour. During their show at the Forum in March of 1999, he injured himself 35 minutes into their set during the song Rock is Dead and had to be carried off stage. Thus, fans who might remember that Forum show were treated to a full version of “Rock is Dead” without injury.

Manson, of course, had to bust out his pulpit and light a bible on fire for Antichrist Superstar towards the end of the setbut the truly evil moment came in the middle when he played “Say 10” off Heaven Upside Down. The wordplay on this song is masterful, if not a little tongue-in-cheek, with lyrics like “Cocaine and Abel, I don’t baptize whores/ I’m a legend, I’m not a fable,” and of course the chorus which goes: “You say ‘God’ and I say ‘Say 10.’” Manson got the crowd chanting “Say 10,” which is dangerously close to everyone chanting “Satan,” and was one of the moments that truly made the evening worth it. It reminded the crowd that rock and metal are meant to be controversial; between this and Ice-T’s Cop Killer, the faint of heart had probably escaped out of the back by this point.

A fun moment came with Manson enjoying the legality of recreational marijuana in California; he  was smoking a joint while the band played the opening of I Don’t Like Drugs (But Drugs Like Me)  only to stop the song after the first line and then declare, “I fucking lied, the dope show,” and then played that hit from Mechanical Animals instead.

Rob Zombie, whose band includes Marilyn Manson alumni John 5 and Ginger Fish, also proclaimed that he was enjoying the legal marijuana, along with most of the musicians backstage, asking fans, “Are you high?!” His stage show featured robotic demons and trippy cartoons as he played hits like Dragula, Living Dead Girl, and Never Gonna Stop. He also included a campy number from his latest effort The Electric Warlock Acid Witch Satanic Orgy Celebration Dispenser entitled Well, Everybody’s Fucking In A U.F.O. complete animatronic aliens. He opened the show explaining he had been throwing up in Reno just hours before and thought he may not make it. Then he apologized if the set was off at all due to his illness, though ultimately it was not noticeable. Zombie also took the opportunity at the end of his set to show the trailer for his new film 3 From Hell a sequel to the Devil’s Rejects. One has to wonder how this sequel will play out since the lead characters were brought down by a hail of police gunfire at the end of Devil’s Rejects, but appear to be starring in 3 From Hell.

An interesting moment came when Zombie’s band played the opening riff to White Zombie’s Thunder Kiss ‘65 and then stopped. Zombie then asked fans to put their cell phones away before they would continue playing, “The last time I played The Forum was in 1995 with White Zombie and Pantera and it was mayhem. It was mayhem, do you remember mayhem? Put your phones away for three minutes. While your Instagramming ‘best show ever’ why not stop and enjoy that show while its happening?” The band then continued with the White Zombie hit, but too a break mid-song to cover The Ramones’ “Blitzkrieg Bop,” and then veered back into Thunder Kiss. Cell phone use at concerts has become an on-going issue with acts like  The Misfits banning cell phones entirely at their Forum show in December 2017.

A highlight in Zombie’s set was when he introduced Motley Crue bassist Nikki Sixx and Marilyn Manson as joining him on stage. Zombie and Manson just finished the Twins of Evil tour, and Sixx will apparently be playing bass for John 5  and The Creatures upcoming U.S. tour. After the two joined them on stage, John 5 teased the audience by playing the opening riff to Crue’s “Wild Side” and “Too Young to Fall in Love.” Zombie then asked if he knew “Dr. Fellgood,” but apparently not because the band busted into a cover of The Beatles’ “Helter Skelter” with both Manson and Zombie singing and Sixx playing bass. One might remember that Crue covered this song covered the song on 1983’s “Shout At The Devil” album, and also released it as a picture disc which paid gruesome homage to the song’s Charles Manson murder connections. This was not lost on Manson and Zombie, who recorded a version for “Twins of Evil: The Second Coming” released in early 2018. As they played the song, the screens behind the band featured swirling photos of Charles Manson. Manson could not resist the opportunity to mess with former guitarist John 5 by playing with the guitarists’ toggle switch during the song.

A large countdown of the time appeared on the screens on each side of the stage as Ozzy Osbourne came out on stage a bit late, starting at about 11:30. The Prince of Darkness took the stage in a purple sequined ankle-length jacket very reminiscent of his 1980’s perm era and declared, “Are you ready to let the madness begin?”

The band then launched into Bark at the Moon. Osbourne prepped fans for the setlist interruption that would come at midnight with a statement mumbled in typical Ozzy style. He then played the always otherworldly Mr. Crowley complete with a laser light show and snow-like confetti streaming down on the band and audience. Ozzy’s set also included such classics as Road to Nowhere, Crazy Train, and Mama I’m Coming Home as well as Black Sabbath hits War Pigs, and Fairies Wear Boots. A special highlight was 1991’s No More Tears, a song that was not played much while Wylde was out of the band. It is nice to hear it back in the set upon his return with Wylde playing an extended and epic solo. Osbourne paused the show at a few minutes before midnight as promised and did the obligatory new year’s countdown. He rang in 2019 with red fireworks and a shower of large, red confetti with “Ozzy Osbourne” printed on it that many fans gathered up as a souvenir.

While fans across the U.S. may be disappointed about the lack of a full Ozzfest tour with this killer line-up, fans in Los Angeles certainly got a special New Year’s Eve treat with the Prince of Darkness and his minions.


Rise of the Trident Wolf: An Interview w/ WATAIN’s Erik Danielsson

Posted in Metal Music Interviews and News with tags , , , , , on June 5, 2018 by coletteclaire

Posted on Photos by Lone Wolf Productions

This year Watain is celebrating 20 years as a band. Formed in 1998, Watain are a Swedish black metal band that currently consists of Erik Danielsson on vocals, Håkan Jonsson on drums, and Pelle Forsberg on guitars. They are known for their theistic Satanist views and extreme stage shows, which often feature decapitated goat heads on spikes, blood, giant upside down crosses, and fire. Their 6th studio album Trident Wolf Eclipse was released on January 5 via Century Media Records, which is awesomely heavy and raw as only Watain can be. During their recent U.S. tour stop in Los Angeles in March, Erik Danielsson filled us in on the new album, the tour, and the controversy that surrounds the band.


March 17 2018 at The Fonda in Los Angeles – Photo by Lone Wolf Productions

The fact that Watain have been consistently delivering in-your-face music for 20 years is almost hard to believe since many still see them as a younger incarnation of Black Metal music. Danielsson agrees: “We are a new band, old bands to me they are the bands we worship and grew up with like fucking Celtic Frost, Venom, Bathory and Merciful Fate and even Guns n’ Roses for that matter. But you know, the idea of having been around for 20 years is still quite overwhelming also when you think about it. But we are a still a young band, I guess we will always be a young band.” When asked if he imagined Watain being around for 20 years when they first started he replied, “No, no, absolutely not. I don’t think we even imagined being alive for much longer than 5 years, I mean those were years of very heartfelt exploration of everything chaotic and destructive and forbidden. A lot of the things we did were things that could have easily prevent us from going ahead as a band. We were very deep into very dark and destructive things and by now of course those things are still a very integral part of everything we do, but they are approached in a different way and they are perhaps more familiar and known to us now than they were then. I mean we were 16 years old and I think it took until we were 25 to realize that ‘shit this is go on a long time;’ when we realized we survived that many years.” One may wonder what the band’s secret is to staying together this long, once they realized they would be alive a little longer, of course. Danielsson explains, “I don’t plan too much, and I don’t think so far ahead all the time. I just do what feels right, by now I think we kind of understand what it feels like stepping into the wrong direction and when you know how that feels it’s very easy to prevent that from happening.  So I think it will always be based on a gut feeling of what is right, what feels important, what brings us closer to the sacred source that we’ve always been heading towards. That’s all we’ve tried to do.”


March 17 2018 at The Fonda in Los Angeles-Photo by Lone Wolf productions

The new album Trident Wolf Eclipse is a fitting celebration of Watain’s 20 years for a number of reasons.  First off, the title encompasses three of their core ideologies. Danielsson describes, “The album title is a reference to three of the main symbols of Watain, three of the symbols we have been using for almost the whole 20 years that we’ve been around. It’s just a matter of coming full circle, in a way, coming back to the source. The source of Watain in general, the driving force. That’s one way to interpret the title. The title sums up the content of the album very well. I think the title, the way I see it, is quite direct, direct and blunt almost, but at the same time it also has, quite a profound feel to it, it has a poetic feel to it. I like that combination of high and low. As far as the music itself, it also brings together ideas spanning Watain’s career. Danielsson continues, “Also I think that a lot of the things we are doing on Trident Wolf Eclipse are things that we really wanted to do on our first album, when we first started out, and I think that maybe we finally got to the point where we could actually reach that expression. There’s a lot of almost like juvenile aggression in it, something very predatory and hostile that I think we had, we always had it, but it’s not until now that we’ve properly managed to evoke it into music.”

Watain has recorded at the same studio with the same producer on every album, yet they all have a very different feel. One has to wonder how they pull this off. Danielsson responded to this by saying, “I think that’s a matter of, first of all, speaking from the heart, and also making very sure that we’re fighting stagnation all the time. There’s never any standing still, we are quite restless as people, and there is always movement, there is always progression, there is always evolution as far as our own persons go, and as far the spirit of the band goes. So, I think each album is a monument to the specific moment in time when the album is being made and I’m not sure at least since we are a band in constant progress, you are going to have different kinds of expressions in each of them. But it’s also nice at the same time to be able to come back to the same studio, working with the same people, just to avoid unnecessary time being spent on getting to know a new place and fucking trying to get along with dickhead producers.”

It is had been five years since Watain’s last studio album, and Danielsson explains the process between the previous record and Trident Wolf Eclipse: “I wouldn’t say it took 5 years in the making, we had 5 years between the last albums release and this albums release, but that doesn’t mean we worked constantly for 5 years on the new album. I think the new album actually came together quite fast. The Wild Hunt, our previous album, was quite an epic project. It was a very big album, emotionally and it took a little bit longer to have it runs its course. It was, just emotionally, touring wise, as well of course, and just workwise it demanded quite a lot so we just decided to take a little bit more time before we decided to enter into a new creative process.”

After a three year wait, Watain returned to North America on tour from February 23 – March 31, 2018 in support of the new album, and to kick off their world tour. The U.S tour was overall a very successful endeavor for Watain. However, there was a venue issue in San Francisco, California, but nothing major enough to stop the tour. Some may have thought the controversy was due to allegations against Watain of Nazism after their live guitarist Set “Davide Totaro” Teitan was seen doing what some mistook as a Sieg Heil/Nazi salute at a live show at the Kraken in Stockholm, Sweden in January 2018. Afterward, Watain quickly released a statement declaring, “Watain band members have no ties to Nazi ideology neither publically nor personally, and with this statement we want to put an end to further unnecessary speculation in this tiresome subject.” However, the controversy in San Francisco actually surrounded opening band Destroyer666. The DNA Lounge posted on its website, “Short Version: I kicked a support band off of a bill because I learned that they are virulent misogynists. Then the headliner, who claim to definitely not be Nazis, cancelled the whole show.” This is a perplexing statement for several reasons. First off, the show was not cancelled, it was simply moved to a different venue. Additionally, misogynists are not automatically Nazis, and Watain supporting their opening act does not make them either misogynists or Nazis. It means they are honoring the business commitment they made with Destoryer666 and their fans.


March 17 2018 at The Fonda in Los Angeles-Photo by Lone Wolf productions

Danielsson explains his take on the controversy by saying, “We just heard the DNA lounge, in San Francisco, didn’t want Destroyer to play for some reason. Things just got too controversial for the local promoter to handle, which I guess, fair enough, it’s San Francisco after all. I know things are a bit tense there in general when it comes to political correctness. And we told our agent to look into it and see if we could just get another place, because we want fans to get what they paid for, not half the tour package but the full one.  And when our agent actually found a second place the thing just kinda went through the roof with some very malevolent statement from the DNA owner. And so for us, it was just a matter of us trying to get the full tour package for the fans. Along the way,  the [DNA Lounge] promoter decided to not do it. It’s a shame, its really a shame, but at the same time you have to also be prepared to face things like that when you have a band that’s not patting people nicely along their backs.” One also has to wonder why the DNA Lounge even booked the show in the first place if they were afraid of controversy; Watain is not exactly a family friendly band and the allegedly misogynist comments made by Destroyer666 took place back almost two years ago. Despite this hiccup, Danielsson assures us that it has been “a good tour, it’s a very good tour. Just pretty much everything we hoped for.”

Controversy is nothing new in the black metal scene. Christians have been protesting the overt Satanic references in some black metal for many years. Danielsson elaborates, “Yeah there’s always been stuff like that, and if there wasn’t, something’s wrong. If you play in a Black Metal band there has to be a certain kind of opposition otherwise I think you’re doing something wrong.  What really aggravates me about this more recent thing, it’s more political, people are talking about sexism and racism and so on. And I don’t even how to respond to that. Things like sexism and racism are very human, mundane things that I loath and have no respect for whatsoever, the worship of the flesh, which racism somehow is, it’s the very antithesis to what we are about. So it aggravates me to have to defend myself for something I was not even apart of in the first place. It makes the whole thing very absurd or bizarre.” If anything, the recent controversy in San Francisco just brought more media attention to the tour, which is probably not what protesters intended.


March 17 2018 at The Fonda in Los Angeles- Photo by Lone Wolf productions

A Swedish band starting their tour in the U.S. might seem a little unusual, but Danielsson describes why they made this decision: “We had a lot of discussions about what to do for the U.S. when the album came out, and we figured why do we just start actually in the U.S., start touring the album in the U.S. because there’s always an explosive feel, I think, touring in the U.S. There’s always something that’s always about to burst when we are touring here. Which rhymes very well how, with the nature of the new album I would say. So, we decided to start and that’s exactly what we got. I don’t know, but I think it has more to do with the general cultural climate of the U.S. as compared to Europe. For example, the general political and cultural climate just allows for a bit more heartfelt emotions here in the U.S.” As far as black metal being more popular in Europe, Danielsson disagrees. He had this to say about black metal worldwide: “Now it feels like everything is so spread out. I mean most shit that’s going on it’s on the web any way right. So, a lot of those borders that used to be very defining of how black metal was experienced from country to country, I think a lot of those things have just vanished now. It’s become more of a universal feel to it. You can still tell the difference when you’re in these different countries touring, but I think black metal is something publicly available now in a whole different way than it used to be.  I am very narrow minded when it comes to what I define as black metal to start with. I mean people say that there are a thousand good black metal bands from Europe, I say there’s about 10. If you count from the very first one to where we are at today. I am very strict about what I call black metal and what I appreciate as black metal.  So out of maybe the 20 or 30 bands worldwide that I would define as true black metal bands, I would say sure a few of those are from the U.S. For me it’s not a geographical thing, it’s not a thing that is defined by lines being drawn on a map that they call boarders. I don’t really care about those kinds of things. I think black metal is what it is regardless of where it’s from or whose doing it. It’s still, will always be a very small minority based subculture.”

As far as being a Satanist, this is a question that Danielsson gets asked about often. As far as his personal religious beliefs, he had this to say: “I understand why people ask these kinds of questions, and the older I get the more I realize that however I word it, however articulate I may be when I try describe my own beliefs, it has never lead to a proper understanding of them, I think with that in mind, it’s something that I speak less and less about.  If people are interested in Satanism there is the thing called Internet now, where you can find out about things, you know for hundreds of years people have been burnt, staked, tortured for these kinds of ideas. The youth of today have a quite a lot of easier time if they want to find out about these things. So, I think if people are interested in that then go for it, search away.”

Pick up a copy of Trident Wolf Eclipse and find Watain online at the links below:

CRADLE OF FILTH – Dani Filth on Victorian Ghosts, Nudity, & Heavy Metal in CRYPTORIANA  

Posted in Metal Music Interviews and News on December 30, 2017 by coletteclaire

Posted on 

Formed in England in 1991,  have solidified their place as one of the most popular extreme metal bands in history. The band generated an immediate underground buzz with their early demos and their debut album The Principle Of Evil Made Flesh in 1994, and subsequently released other seminal albums like Dusk…And Her Embrace in 1996, and Cruelty And The Beast in 1998. More recently, albums like Godspeed On The Devil’s Thunder in 2008 and Hammer Of The Witches in 2015 show that  have no intention of going gently into that goodnight anytime soon. The band is currently releasing its 12th studio album Cryptoriana – The Seductiveness Of Decay in September 2017it’s second on Nuclear Blast Records. The band’s combination of detailed, literary lyrics, intensely dark/gothic imagery, and intricate heavy riffage has certainly not ceased on this effort.

The band’s line up currently consists of Dani Filth on vocals, the only original member, Martin Skaroupka on drums, since 2006, Daniel Firth on bass, since 2012, Lindsay Schoolcraft on keyboards and female vocals, since 2013, Richard Shaw on guitar since 2014, and Marek “Ashok” Šmerda also on guitar since 2014. Cryptoriana was conceived during the summer of 2016 when  met in Smerda and Škaroupka’s native Czech Republic. Then, the band went on to meticulously piece together the album with long-time producer Scott Atkin back in the UK during the first half of 2017. Filth, in his typical articulate, British, style gives us some insight on the making of the record: “It was a bit of a team building exercise. We obviously still went sightseeing in the Czech Republic, and, you know, it felt like being on holiday in Europe, which was great for the band itself. But obviously the most important thing was that we collated all our ideas together, because everybody had been working so proficiently on tracks or parts individually, we thought we could fill the puzzle. And we actually came away from that with 80 to 85 percent of the album written, so after that it was quite easy to finish the record. Even in Canada or in England, Scotland, or the Czech Republic, and then in the studio, there was further mutation. Once you get a producer involved sort the demos you can be Close to done and to the actual mix.”

Filth has said that this album is building on the success of 2015’s Hammer Of The Witches. Filth explains the progression between that album and this one: “A couple of the tracks were actually written for Hammer of the Witches. They just didn’t work out, as they weren’t developed enough at the time, and so we decided to hold them back. We didn’t even know if they’re going on this album or not, but we developed them further. They sit better with this sound than the previous record. There’s things about this record that are very different. I think for the first time we don’t have an orchestral intro or an orchestral outro or orchestral middle section and instead those orchestral parts are incorporated into the bulk of the song. The songs are longer and there’s acoustic guitars on the record and there’s more guitar solos, but they’re not just there for the sake of it, they’re really well-thought-out. I’d say it was more interaction with the guitars their are in a sort of twin guitar new wave of British Heavy metal vein. Yeah we’ve got choir on here with the emphasis on high soprano so it’s very ghostly. It fits perfectly with this sort of Victorian Gothic horror story vibe. There are some really heavy tracks on the album like Death and the Maiden, which finishes the main bulk of the album on the special edition. On the special edition, there’s also a cover version of Annihilator’s Alison Hell, which we’ve been wanting to do for ages and reason we’ve done it now is A. because it fits very well with the theme of the music and the album. And also because we bumped into Jeff Waters recently, I say recently as in the last couple of years, and mentioned that we were going to be undertaking a cover of that track and he gave his full endorsement. He’s indeed heard it since it’s been finished and he loves it so that’s the biggest accolade you can get when undertaking a cover.”

Another comparison that might be made about Cryptoriana is its resemblance to some of Cradle of Filth’s previous work like 2000’s Midian or 2004’s Nymphetamine. Filth elaborates on this: “By nature the music, the twin guitar work and the fact that the stuff is very ornate and fast with a bit of Gothic melodrama thrown into parts of the album, especially on Achingly Beautiful and The Night At Catafalque Manor, which is one of the bonus tracks, I think that just immediately links it back to the past albums like Cruelty and the Beast or Midian or indeed Nymphetamine. I think just by default alone.  Oh and Vengeful Spirit features the voice of Liv Christine, who was featured on one of our older tracks Nymphetamine [as a guest vocalist]. But it’s a very different track. Christine characterizes the protagonist of the song, a woman betrayed who commits suicide and then returns from purgatory to torment the person who has wronged her in life, which is me basically. So we sort of feature as a duet. So anybody expecting Nympetamine part two will be slightly disappointed because you know there is a slightly faster song, but it’s unmistakably her and it’s very catchy. Also, it is the same line-up as the previous album, but, you could say, the newest members are fans of the band. When they joined the band they were fans and since then we’ve been rehearsing and playing a lot and you know doing a diverse amount of material from our entire back catalog, so they’re fully integrated into the Cradle sound. The way the songs integrate with each other, the speed of them , the intricacy of them, the atmosphere of the songs, and me.  Because it is fast, there’s a very high vocal as well, although there’s a lot of deep vocals on the album, which is quite new as well, it immediately brings to mind early records.”

Speaking of older material, next year is the 20th anniversary of 1998’s Cruelty and the Beast. Dani reveals that the band is “subsequently releasing that album again, but we’ve remixing it because people always had a little bit of a problem with that. They Don’t really love the sound. We were going to bring it up to date, but not at the expense of the atmosphere, so that’s going be a very fine line that we have to tread. We already done a test mix and the record company is very happy with it.” As many fans would hope, Filth promises that the drums will be more prominent in the mix: “It’s going to sound very up to date, but that’s why he didn’t want to farm it out to an outsider, as it were, someone who doesn’t really know the album. We really want to make it as atmospheric as we can without losing the power or vice versa. And that should come out about April 2018 I believe.”

Cradle of Filth have stuck with long-time producer Scott Atkin for many albums now. Filth gives a little insight into how this effects the music on Cryptoriana and previous albums: “Yeah I think it’s great. People say, ‘oh it’s all going to sound the same’ and it’s not. Absolutely not. And that’s because, as the technology moves along, we can play the songs right through. What I mean by that is guitar tones, guitar heads. You know you can fine tune the drums. These new techniques coming out to change things. We went out of our way in some places to make the album very different like I say we used acoustic guitars for example. Just way some the riffs are written some of the bass parts etc. etc. Cryptoriana is definitely a more ornate record than its predecessor.”

Cradle of Filth has released a video for Heart Break and Séance from Cryptoriana that is really striking thanks to the artistic genius of Arthur Berzinsh, who also does the cover art for them albumFilth explicates: “He was the artist for Hammer of the Witches and I wanted to use him on this album. Then I found out from some of his peers that he was as good a video director if not better than he was an artist. And so immediately I went okay and started discussing my ideas with him. We decided, for the video budget, we went to Latvia, which of course was going to be cheaper than doing it somewhere like England. And yet when we got there we were just absolutely blown away by just the enormity of the crew and the cast and the attention to detail and the props and the extras and things, and snakes. Absolutely no CGI. It’s very cinematic and indeed mimics the record. The record is very cinematic and dramatic and theatrical. He’s a really really really nice nice person. Very classy very artistic. You know he’s an author and a musician as well as a video director. There’s not much he can’t do. It’s actually sickens me to be honest.” The song Heart Break and Séance lyrically is “a Victorian tragic story of two lovers who been separated by a great war, it doesn’t specify which one, but the British Empire obviously had skirmishes all round the world in order to keep their empire. So in death he’s watching her from beyond the pale. He’s going to return to her arms while she makes contact, or tries to make contact with him, through spiritualism, through the Ouija board. And not actually getting to break through that porous border. He just watches her she spirals towards suicide and then, only then, she’s with him again. So you know it’s like a tragic love story. Any context in the video, the art work is very classically themed. It has Victorian costumes. But it’s it’s almost timeless. You’ve got that classic mythology wrapped around Victorian sensibilities.” Filth describes the experience of being painted all in black during the video shoot: “it was more uncomfortable trying to get it off for about five hours. We had to go to the airport and then realizing, ‘shit it’s still on me it’s in my ears and on my fingernails.’ We were trying to represent the personification of Death who’s always to be depicted to be pure black. Very demonic looking.” The video features Filth as Death standing above a tableau of naked extras “which is always a good thing.”

Filth then addresses the inevitable question of whether the album overall is a concept album: “Each song has a story. It’s rooted in the Victorian era. And the songs are there placed in a Victorian era like the Seductiveness of Decay, which concerned itself with Victorian England’s crowning glory, which is London and it’s the juxtaposition between its respectability and high morality and its rotten underbelly. So it’s about Romance and the macabre. it’s in the vain of Victorian Gothic horror writers like E.F Benson, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, H.Rider Haggard, Oscar Wilde, Arthur Machen and Algernon Blackwood.” As far as the major role that aesthetics have always play in the band, Filth describes his feelings on the subject: “well obviously, the music’s of paramount importance. We’ve always been very theatrical and I just think it’s good to represent your art that that little bit further. So whether it is the lyricism, the artwork, or the videos, or the costumes. We’ve always been very finicky about how we project ourselves and I think after 12 albums and subsequent EP’s, live records and stuff you’ve kind of backed yourself into a corner and the people expect that. Every time I do an interview immediately people say Is this a concept record because they come to expect it of Cradle of Filth.”

The band has a tour coming and Filth promises it will come to the United States among other countries: “We’re just announcing the tour piece by piece at the moment. Let the dust settle around the European leg a bit. I believe with the North American/Canadian tour, the final details are just been ironed out. And then I think in the next two to three weeks that leg of the world tour will be announced. And then after that will be the third leg. Hopefully, Latin America is going to precede North America/Canada but after that will be Japan, Australia, Philippines Malaysia I think. It’s going to be, I think possibly, the most extensive will tour that Cradle of Filth have done for a long while.”

In closing, Filth had this to say about the band’s upcoming releases: “ Well obviously the album’s coming via Nuclear Blast Entertainment on September 22nd. I urge people to buy the special edition because you get not only The Night at Catafalque Manner, which is a great track. We don’t always know what we’re going to be put on the record so we buy everything and give things as much love and attention as they possibly can have, so that’s a great track. And then obviously you get the Annihilator cover as well. You know what’s a few more dollars between friends when you get like a special edition? So I advise everybody to buy that one. I advise people do go to the Cradle of Filth Facebook page because we’re always announcing stuff. And now that we are in a really busy period of releasing the record there’s stuff being announced all over the place. We’re going to Japan to play Loud Park and we hope to film a DVD there.” They have just released the official lyric video for the venomous new song Achingly Beautiful as well which is available on YouTube.

The Dramatic Fairytale of – SEVEN DAY SLEEP

Posted in Metal Music Interviews and News on December 30, 2017 by coletteclaire

Posted on 

 is a very new band. However, this does not mean that they lack talent or professionalism. They bring something new to the table with an interesting blend of metalcore and gothic drama on their first release, an EP entitled A Home For Disgusting Fairies.  The members consist of Sofia Ruszczyk on Vocals, Can Temiz on Bass and synths, Okan Isik on Guitar, and new addition Jesse Farmer on Drums. Temiz describes where the band’s name comes from: “It was the name of the condo Okan and I rented on AirBnB in New York. It was the house we finalized the first demos of A Home For Disgusting Fairies at. It was a place that you could rent weekly. I think that was the reason it was called ‘.’ But it sounded much more mystical than that to us that time. And it was the exact spot that this band’s story has started.”

All the members are from different parts of the world but managed to converge together in Los Angeles. Ruszczyk elborates, “Yes we are all from different parts of the World. Can and Okan are from Turkey, Jesse is from Hesperia in California and I am from Switzerland. I was already living in LA when Can and Okan decided to move out here and we met through a mutual friend that I had from college. She hit me up asking if I wanted to audition for this metal band and I met up with Can and Okan and once I sang a little bit for them and we got to talking they wanted me to be a part of . Jesse recently joined the band, about two weeks ago, so we are really excited to have such a solid drummer part of the band now.”

It is no secret that the band’s sound is hard to describe. Ruszczyk explains: “It’s so hard to pinpoint what the sound of our band is like because as the artist you see a much broader spectrum of what the music conveys so when an outsider is listening it can be easier for them to classify what the ‘specific’ sound or ‘genre’ to the music is. However, if we have to describe our band’s sound I would say its Horror metal with fun dance grooves that have symphonic elements.”  As far as the band’s musical influences, they do give an insight into the varying sound and gothic look of the band. Temiz describes, “I think we all find inspiration from different sources. My influences vary from 90’s punk rock, metalcore, Opeth, In Flames, My Chemical Romance, and Evanescence to Old School Hip Hop, Queen, Mozart and Southern Gothic.” Guitarist Okan Isik adds, “Muse, R.H.C.P., Arctic Monkeys and Queens of The Stone Age are my main influences.” And Finally, Ruszczyk chimes in with: “A few of my influences are Marilyn Manson, Beartooth, The Used and Tesseract.”

When it comes to song writing, Temiz describes the process of creating A Home For Disgusting Fairies: “Well Okan and I had started Seven Day Sleep before we met Jesse and Sofia and I had written the songs initially.  Then Okan and I finished the compositions for the EP together.” As far as the title of the EP Ruszczyk elaborates, “We wanted the title to represent our sound and who we are as people so  really is representing a place that anyone can belong because we truly believe everyone is beautiful in some way and people would love to argue that but it’s all a matter of perspective. Being in a judgement free space where you can truly be yourself, being free is so important. We wanted to use the fairy as a creature to represent beauty and disgust because all over the world you will see different representations of a fairy and yet they all are a part of this fantasy world. It’s like our music, even with our heavy, grungy ‘disgusting’ parts it’s also sometimes the best and most beautiful part of the music.”

What’s really impressive is that A Home For Disgusting Fairies is Seven Day Sleep’s first release as a band and they did everything themselves. Ruszczyk explicates, “Yes this is the first release that we have put out as a band and it’s very exciting to finally be taking the first steps for our dream. That is correct, we have been doing everything ourselves and it’s been quite a journey where we have been learning a lot on how things work and really how much effort and work goes behind creating everything that comes with our music, but it’s so liberating at the same time, we love it!”

It doesn’t hurt that Ruszczyk is a classically trained vocalist. This prowess shows while listening to A Home For Disgusting Fairies. She explains further, “I have had classical training. When I studied at Berklee College of Music it was a requirement to sing classical repertoires. However, throughout my life I’ve had different forms of vocal training and I am still trying to learn as much as I can to improve my voice technique. I’ve been trying to focus on getting my growls and scream more solid and I’ve been using this video called ‘The Zen of Screaming’ to try and get different perspective and it’s been amazing so far.”

Seven Day Sleep is hoping for record company support, however, despite the fact that they’ve done pretty well on their own with a very professional look and sound to what they have put out.  Ruszczyk continues, “We are definitely looking for support from a record label that believes in helping us to keep creating what we are trying to achieve and express as a band. However, it might take time to get someone to notice us and that’s alright, so we will keep on trying to create and build our fan base because as long as our music and creative expression is connecting with people around the world that’s all that truly matters to us.” Judging from the 16,000+ views they already have on the A Rose Infested video this doesn’t seem like it will be a problem.

The band’s recently released video for A Rose Infested is really visually striking. The video for this track is in a dark, moody vein as it shows the band jamming in a creepy forest type setting as lead singer Ruszczyk struts around in a Gothic rocker outfit. This alternates with shots of her wandering around and picking up a gun. Ruszczyk describes how they came up with the concept, “Well we all came up with things as we started bouncing off ideas. I brought the concept of filming the story line to the song in the forest and showing this girl going on a journey to what we think is the end point of her life but we soon see that she overcomes her demons/fears and breaks free from them. Can then added that we should have a man representing her demons and that’s the figure you see in the video that is dragging me by a chain. I then wanted to have us in a black room for the performance shots and Can’s wife had the most amazing idea to hang roses from the ceiling, so we ended up hanging about 300 roses from string.” Temiz adds, “Our director Görkem Tekdal combined all of our ideas with his vision.”

As far as what the future holds, Temiz explains how the band is working on new songs now that the lineup is solidified, “We jam here and there but we are really excited to sit down and really focus on writing new material.” Isik adds, “Sofia and Jesse were not in the band while this EP’s songs were being written. Of course their participation to the songwriting process will change many things. Actually, we’re very excited to see what will come up.” As far as the direction of this new sound Temiz elaborates, “Musically our greatest passion is always exploring new musical territories, discover and try new things. But that’s something that forms when we are in studio. But lyrically I’m trying to go into a much more deeper, striking, poetic and intimate level. That’s why nowadays I’m working on Modern American Poetry and masters like Bob Dylan, Tom Waits, Leonard Cohen, David Bowie and Jim Morrison etc. But of course horror culture and fairy tales will always remain as my main influences. “

Ruszczyk concludes that there is even more on the horizon for Seven Day Sleep, “We have a lot going on in the next couple months. We will be dropping two lyric videos that we are very excited about and we have a very fun acoustic video coming out but we can’t talk too much about that for now. As far as performing you can catch us next on September 29th at the Silver Lake Lounge in Los Angeles. We will also have a couple other shows around California you can keep an eye out on our social media for dates. Last but not least, since we have Halloween right around the corner we are planning on doing a fun ‘activity’ for all of our horror fans that I personally can’t wait for, it’s going to be scary but exciting!”

Find the band at:

The Bizarre Life of Darin “Dangerous D” Malfi: Blood, Sweat & More Blood

Posted in Metal Music Interviews and News on December 30, 2017 by coletteclaire

Posted on 

Anyone who has gone to a major rock festival or turned on a television recently has potentially been confronted by Darin “Dangerous D” Malfi and one of his deranged stunts. Malfi is a  professional sideshow performer, stuntman, and actor who currently owns and runs the largest traveling circus sideshow in the world, The Dangerous D Shock Show. He’s toured with and performed at events such as Ozzfest, Warped Tour, Musink Tattoo Convention & Music Festival, Rob Zombie’s Great American Nightmare, and Knotfest. He has also appeared on multiple TV shows like AMC’S Freakshow, Hellevator, and was a finalist contestant on America’s Got Talent. With this type of resume, it is certain that Malfi has probably had some insane experiences, and he decided to share some of them with us.

Usually, one’s high school guidance counselor does not have “Freak Show Performer” listed as a potential career, so one has to wonder how Malfi first discovered his unique abilities. “I’ve always been a bit nuts, but from a young age, I realized I had a high tolerance for pain and would always gravitate towards the strange, bizarre, and unusual.”  Malifi says.  “I was the guy at parties that would spit fire with liquor, or smash my head through stuff just to make my friends laugh. In Baltimore, in 2008, my good friend, Christopher Scarborough started getting into sideshow performing pretty seriously. He had great stunts, but no stage presence. At the time, I was in a band, so we booked a few shows together. It wasn’t long before I became his hype man (talker) on stage. I was like his Flavor Flav. Soon after that, we put together a full show torturing ourselves for others twisted entertainment. In 2013, I moved to Los Angeles and started performing a solo show and it snowballed from there.”

One might be wondering how the Shock Show is better or different than similar acts like Cirque Berzerk or the Jim Rose Circus. Malfi explicates, “Besides being more modern, more extreme, and better looking, I pride my show on theatrics and new stunts. We tell a story and my show has brand new pioneered stunts and feats of danger that no one else in the world performs. It’s important to evolve and not just be doing a new version of something old. I want new stunts invented!” According to Malfi, he does not use gaffs, effects, or pads when he does stunts; everything is real. His weirdest stunt, is known as “The Human Hourglass.” This trick entails him taking an industrial zip tie and constricting it around his waist making the diameter of his stomach go from 32 inches to 6 inches in 3 seconds. The most dangerous stunt he’s ever performed, thus far, is falling on concrete and broken glass into a real bear trap with a noose tied around his neck pulled about 30 feet backwards. This was for the show Hellevator during Season 1.

For those who may not be familiar, Hellevator is a 2015 American horror game show hosted by Jen and Sylvia Soska that premiered on October 21, 2015 on Game Show Network. In it, a team of three contestants rides a haunted elevator through an abandoned slaughterhouse. Malfi elaborates, “Hellevator was a killer experience! I was hired for one episode in season one to perform ‘block head’ (hammering a nail in the nose). Just one stunt. But the crew was so rad, they wrote me in like 8 different stunts and allowed me to coordinate and do it my way. I ended up shoving scissors in my nose, getting stapled, falling in a bear trap, and a few other fun ones! We got such good footage they asked me back for ALL of season 2.” Sadly, though, Hellevator will not return for a season 3.

Since Malfi performs his crazy stunts at rock and metal festivals as well, this begs the question of which is his favorite thus far: “That’s a hard one to answer…but it would probably have to be Ozzfest 2016. I ran the largest Circus Sideshow in the world, The Dangerous D Shock Show. We had over 45 performers and it was amazing! A close second was when I performed at Dr. Phil’s private birthday party last year.” Malfi goes on to explain that some other shows that stand out are Insane Clown Posse’s Gathering of the Juggalos, Ozzfest/Knotfest, Blackest of the Black Fest (with Glenn Danzig), and Musink. He explains that this year’s Blackest of the Black Fest was especially awesome because “Dave Navarro came and suspended from his back during our show.”

With his extensive experience touring, Malfi has definitely encountered some bizarre incidents inspired by his tricks and stunts. He remembers a particularly bloody evening during Rob Zombie’s Great American Nightmare tour: “During this event, I was performing a stunt called ‘the staple game.’ I walk through the crowd and let people staple money to my body for tips. The higher the bill, the more sensitive the place, and I’m not afraid to drop pants! After a full run of about 80 staples, I went back to the tour bus to pull the bills out and change. Rob Zombie, Sheri Moon, Tommy Lee, Kat Von D, and a few others were on the bus drinking and bullshitting. As I pulled the bills out one by one, I began to bleed pretty good and they all started watching. Most of them cheering me on, so I got Tommy Lee to staple my ball sack to my leg. After I pulled the rest out, I was covered in blood, dripping all over the place. Tommy turned to Rob and said ‘This is one crazy motherfucker.’ Rob replied, ‘If he keeps bleeding all over the place, I’m kicking him off the tour.’ It was pretty funny!”

This staple game also apparently led to an interesting run in with the Los Angeles Police Department: “One time after a show, I was taking a large bag of cash money to the bank, roughly $3,000, that was stapled to me from a few shows earlier that week. Just wanted to deposit it in my account. Some bills were covered in blood pretty bad, but I figured they wouldn’t notice. After about 30 minutes of them in the back room re-counting the money, in walks two L.A.P.D. officers. They look around and walk right up to me and ask me to step outside, so I do. Then they proceed to tell me that I fit the description of a suspect in a recent robbery/murder. They wanted to know where I got the bloody money. Well, you can only image how difficult it was to convince them it was stapled to me and it was my blood. I showed them my social media and they eventually let me go. Funny thing though, I got a letter from the Treasury Department stating they wouldn’t accept half of the cash because it was covered in bodily fluids and that’s a Federal offense. Even more funny, two nights prior, I had a police chief staple me!”

Another bizarre run in involved a famous actor: “I’ve met a lot of celebrities during events I’ve performed. Some I really liked and some I didn’t even know, but one interaction stands out. While performing my tennis racket stunt (contorting my body through an unstrung tennis racket, head-to-toe) I have my shirt off and my belt unbuckled so I can get the racket past my waist. During the performance, this drunk dude kept interrupting me trying to stick money down my pants, and making jokes like I was a stripper. I was pissed at first, but then realized he was stuffing 10’s and 20’s in there, so I played along. That was a bad choice. He got worse and worse, groping and grabbing me, driving me nuts! I finally finished the stunt and he finished with a nice big ass slap and grab! I waved security over and they grab the dude and he disappeared. I found out later that night, it was fucking Andy Dick!”

Of course, Malfi’s tricks don’t always go as planned: “Things go wrong all the time. That is what my web series, Living Dangerously is all about. You can find it on YouTube. One of the worst repercussions of my type of performing was, I think 2010, I broke so many things over my head during performances and filming, I suffered 5 concussions in one year, and some may say that left some permanent damage.”

Despite this, he is in the process of talking to different networks about his own reality show. He also performs solo shows that are anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. “I go all out. I perform most of my catalog including fire…”

As far as upcoming performances, he has Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor in October and Ozzfest Meets Knotfest in November.

Find him online at:

Atreyu’s Dan Jacobs & Travis Miguel on Festivals, New Material, and their Hiatus

Posted in Metal Music Interviews and News on December 30, 2017 by coletteclaire

Colette Claire and her Fiance Joshua Munson with Dan Jacobs & Travis Miguel 

Posted on 

On May 27 2017,  played at the Blackest of the Black Fest in Oak Canyon Park, Silverado, California. Oak Canyon Park is a sprawling 750-acre forested area in Orange County with mountains, a lake, plus fishing & camping. It was a sufficiently remote and creepy setting for the two-day long event that included sword swallowing, fire breathing, hook suspension performances, and a fake human sacrifice along with performances by some of the biggest names from the darker areas of metal music such as Danzig, Ministry, Suicidal Tendencies, Venom Inc, and Combichrist. The crowd was certainly an interesting mix of people donning black leather, spikes and band shirts supporting various sub-genres of extreme metal, including the skinny jean clad metalcore types inspired to attend because of ’s presence.

Many may remember when  exploded out of Orange County in 2002 alongside their friends and peers in what some call the New Wave of American Heavy Metal. The band started in the 1990’s with Dan Jacobs on guitar, Brandon Saller on drums and Alex Varkatzas on vocals when they were only in junior high school. Named after the character of the same name from Michael Ende’s fantasy book The Neverending Story released their first full-length album, Suicide Notes and Butterfly Kisses in 2002 and broke down the barriers between rock, melodic hardcore and metal.  Atreyu has maintained a fairly solid line-up throughout most of their career. The three friends, Varkatzas, Saller, and Jacobs, remain in the band to this day along with Travis Miguel on second guitar and Marc McKnight on bass. According to Varkatzas in 2015, Miguel is more or less an original member since he’s the first second guitar player and the “new guy” McKnight has been in the band for over 10 years.

After a few albums on famous hardcore label Victory Records, a couple of albums on major label Hollywood Records, the adoration of fans, clothing lines, praise and festival billing, in 2010 Atreyu disappeared for a while. During the hiatus Varkatzas mostly concentrated on fatherhood and his CrossFit & Muay Thai gym in Costa Mesa, California, while Saller became the front man for his solo effort Hell or Highwater. Varkatzas explained that the hiatus occurred partly because he was burnout and unhappy with the direction they were going. He said it felt like a redundant cycle because they were always either touring or making another record.

In 2014, on their Facebook page, the band announced that they were back making music again. They released their triumphant return Long Live in 2015. Their sixth studio album, it peaked at #26 on the Billboard Charts. It was Atreyu’s first album since they released Congregation of the Damned in 2009.

At the Blackest of the Black festival, on a beautiful May Saturday in 2017, Dan Jacobs and Travis Miguel explain what they were up to during the break. Jacobs elaborates, “Travis and I in particular do a lot of writing for other artists. We’re with BMG publishing, so we do a lot of developing artists, a lot of bands in the rock/metal world, or even other types of music. They get songs written for them or we help them write their songs.”  However, both Jacobs and Miguel confirm that Atreyu is the main focus again: “that’s out bread and butter the rest of it is just margarine and pita bread.” Jacobs jokingly claims that the band does not plan to go on another hiatus “unless it’s cool again to go on hiatus. Then we’ll go on hiatus when it’s the thing to go away and come back.”

Long Live was certainly a worthy return for the band with its stripped down in-your-face style both musically and visually. For example, the video for Do You Know Who You Are, a heavy but introspective anthem, was released in 2015, and features different people holding signs that say things like “I am a fighter.” Jacobs explains, “Our bass player Mark had a lot to do with the visuals when it came to Long Live.  He did Do you Know Who You Are and any music video stuff we did for this, as well as the album art work itself. We wanted everything to tie into that vibe, and that was more of a stripped down thing.”

Atreyu just finished up a major tour at the end of 2016 in support of this latest effort and was spending some time off when the opportunity to play the Blackest of the Black Festival in 2017 came up. Jacobs explicates, “This is a pretty mellow year for us. It’s kind of an off year. We finished our album cycle for Long Live last year, but it’s a nice local show. This is our backyard. It makes it way more convenient. We can just drive home because its right around the corner. We figured why not do a metal festival?” When asked if they attended the Friday night performances at the Blackest of the Black fest, Jacobs admits, “It’s like the calm before the storm. I thought ‘do I want to go crazy and then like go crazy again tomorrow?’ We decided let’s just save it. We’re too old. You’ve got to learn how to pace yourself.” In their mid-thirties, they hardly seem too old, but it is still understandable that they stayed home on Friday May 26th 2017 to prepare for their own performance the next day. Aside from their own performance on Saturday, Miguel revealed that he’s “psyched to see Ministry. I’ve never seen Ministry before. I remember I bought Psalm 69 on CD when I was a wee lad and still haven’t gotten to see them so today’s the day.”

Since Atreyu has progressed so much throughout their career, Jacobs discusses what has changed from the beginning to now as far as their music goes: “You start to smooth things out a little bit. When your younger everything’s a little bit crazy and a little bit chaotic. You’re not sure exactly who you are as people or musicians and musically. Then you get older and you learn more about who you are as a musician. I think also working with different producers who’ve worked with different bands you just become more knowledgeable and more experienced and you can hear all that experience in every album. We’ve learned these new tricks now, or we don’t want to do this anymore because we didn’t like that, or it didn’t feel right, or it did at the time and now it doesn’t. You ask ‘why did I do that?’ or ‘how come I didn’t do this sooner?’” Miguel adds, “When we first would go into a new album we were pretty much going into it blindly because we had never really been outside of California, let alone in the studio, so we learned things on that end too, like when you go back into the studio for your second, third, fourth album, or whatever it is, so were seasoned vets now.”

As for what’s next for the band, Jacobs and Miguel confirm that a new album is in the works. Although, Jacobs says that “it’s still very new we haven’t really dove into it yet, that’s the next move.” Miguel interjects, “we have some ideas floating around, but nothing solid or concrete yet, but it’ll get there. There will be a tour after the new album its standard procedure.”

The band is also excited about their upcoming Foundation Fest event. Last year Atreyu hosted, curated, and headlined the first-ever Foundation Fest held at The Observatory in Santa, Ana, California on Friday, December 16 and Saturday, December 17 2016. Jacobs describes, “Foundation Fest is a way for us to have some hometown fun around the holidays and put together a lineup that showcases some of our favorite Orange County bands, as well as some great acts from around the globe.”  Atreyu headlined both nights in 2016 with bands such as The World Alive, Adamantium, Capsize, and Death By Zero. On Friday evening, Atreyu played a special set featuring their A Death-Grip On Yesterday album, celebrating the record’s tenth anniversary. Jacobs says, “We’ll probably start working on our next foundation fest at the end of 2017.” Miguel adds “We’re aiming to do it every year about the same time near Christmas, so hopefully that will pan out to be as awesome as it was last year. It was a lot of fun.”  Jacobs goes on to say that he enjoys festivals like Blackest of the Black and Foundation Fest because “it’s like a buffet of bands. Instead of going out and ordering one meal, it’s like, I’ll take a variety, a little of this band, a little of that band, but I’m going to save most of my appetite for that band though that’s the tasty desert at the end there.”

Later that evening of May 27 2017, Atreyu put their heart and soul into their performance at Blackest of the Black Fest. Atreyu has always had a rabid following in Orange County and this still certainly proved to remain true.

You can find out more about Atreyu at:

 Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein- A Man of Few Words

Posted in Metal Music Interviews and News on December 30, 2017 by coletteclaire

Posted on 

crop-doyle-pressIn case you weren’t aware, Misfit’s Guitarist  Wolfgang Von Frankenstein also has an eponymous band called . Their music continues in the same vein as Von Frankenstein’s former project Gorgeous Frankenstein, pairing metal riffs with punk rock beats and covering horror themed subject matter such as death, monsters, and chicks. The music is admittedly catchy, and fans of the Misfits will certainly dig it. But don’t call it a solo project, or Von Frankenstein will not be happy about it. He claims, “ is NOT a solo project, it is a band.”

The current lineup, according to , consists of Alex Story of Cancerslug on vocals, Brandon “The Crusher” Pertzborn on drums, and Izzy Strate on bass. As far as why  does not sing the songs himself he explains, “After I had written all this music, [on the band’s first album Abominator] I realized I had to get someone to sing this stuff- once I’m done recording guitars, all I can see is myself just playing that riff, you know? That’s my thing, not lyrics and singing.”

The band released a clip of the new song Run For Your Life back in February 2017. This song will be featured on ’s second album, Doyle II: As We Diewhich will be released on May 5 via EMP Label Group, the label of Megadeth bassist David Ellefson, with operations headed up by former Corporate Punishment president, A&R and marketing exec Thom Hazaert. It will also be released in conjunction with Doyle’s own Monsterman Records, which released the band’s first album Abominator.

doyleAs far as why he joined up with EMP this time around Doyle explains: “When Dave came to me with an offer for our new CD As We Die, it was a no-brainer. He has been a good friend of mine for 20-plus years, and has never done me wrong, and in this business that’s unheard of. We didn’t want to release it ourselves on Monsterman, we wanted a bigger push and EMP has a lot of exciting things happening in 2017 that will do that for us.”  As We Die will be available in different versions with alternate artwork by legendary horror/comic/album cover artist Sam Shearon, known for his iconic works with Rob Zombie, Iron Maiden, Clive Barker, KISS, Ministry and Rammstein. It will also be released in several limited edition vinyl configurations, along with a CD reissue of Doyle’s first album Abominator.

Von Frankenstein is no stranger to the world of comic book artists. Recently, Alan Roberts from Life of Agony, who is also a graphic novelist, included Von Frankenstein as a character in his Killogy series. Back in August 2016, Robert explained that, “For Killogy we partnered with a Canadian 3D animation studio and along with my company they produced a six min teaser using the actual voices of Frank Vincent from Good Fellas, Marky Ramone from the Ramones, Doyle from the Misfits and Brea Grant from Heroes. We put together basically a proof of concept clip of what the show would be and we’re in the process of talking to studios.”  According to Doyle, the series “Hasn’t happened yet.” However, judging from the available teaser clip it would certainly be a cool cartoon to watch.



When asked how it feels to be larger than Life, seeing all of these animated depictions of himself over the years, Von Frankenstein replied that it “feels normal.” One can only assume that being in the legendary band the Misfits can probably make most anomalies in life seem normal. Just recently Von Frankenstein appeared in the Rob Zombie video Gore Whore dressed as Frankenstein’s monster.

Doyle is currently on the Abominate the World Tour, which includes dates in the UK, Germany, Austria, Italy, Hungary, and more. 2017 US Dates are yet to be announced. So far Von Frankenstein says the tour is going great, and “the crowds have been very receptive.”

Fans may be shocked to learn that while Von Frankenstein has played with the Misfits since 1980, he actually prefers playing Doyle. He proclaims, “I like it better than the Misfits by far.” Many musicians feel like there’s things they can do with other projects that they can’t do in their main project. For example, Doyle is a bit heavier than the Misfits, and a little more metal.

As far as what’s up with the Misfits right now, Von Frankenstein claims that they are currently doing “Absolutely nothing.” This is despite rumors to the contrary following the Misfit’s appearance at Denver’s Riot Fest on Sunday, September 18th2016. Glenn Danzig took the stage with the Misfits for the first time in 33 years, and the show was very well received, which made it seem likely that they might collaborate again.  When asked what it was like sharing the stage with Jerry Only and Glenn Danzig at the same time again after all that time, he simply replied, “It was funny.”