Thursday, October 23, 2014

New Boston Strangler is...

Some goon from a bad paper zine: why'd you decide to become a straight edge band?
Strangler: We didn't. We decided to be a hardcore band. 

"Slow Burn" joins "Plastic Bomb,"  and "Feel the/Living in Darkness" for my 3+ Minute punk RAWK club, aka GUITARcore for those about know...

I'm sure there's a few more, but do they have pianos/trash can lids in them? In a post Strangler "Slow Burn" world, I now comfortably envision the strangler covering them all in a fetid medley. Bon Scott hears Discharge and sits upright in his tomb. The Who gets referenced again in relation to hardcore. We like solos. 

(You can no longer) BUY THIS RECORD (because it's sold out) HERE.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Pro Wrestling Fanzine Report #1 (AKA WrassleRags #1)

Most of the literate core-folk reading this blog know the importance and history of the printed paper zine. These handmade, hand-laid tomes dug beneath the proverbial surface, dissecting events and obsessively laying out these "left-of-the-dial" discoveries for other, like-minded fans to bond over along with traded tapes and programs. What many likely don't know is that this hybrid form of art and journalism has been used to keep numerous cultural communities in communication with each other from the days of Shatner Star Trek fandom clear down to fans of Man-U and even pro wrestling.

Perhaps no other sport* boasts a fan base more ripe for socio-cultural discussion than that of pro wrestling, a once-heavily protected industry that still boasts an "inside-secret" on par with Santa Claus and god (where were you when you first found out it was all pre-determined? I'd just seen Wrestling with Shadows on VHS). 

Many wrestling fans, writers and promoters kept up with each other, and their beloved subculture, via printed newsletters (or "dirt sheets") which meticulously recorded match and event listings in their local municipalities, as well as their own "shoot" (i.e. "real life") opinions on wrestlers, news items and the industry at large. A few of these sheets have become bonafide pro wrestling staples, still cited and subscribed by the vast majority of the wrestling fan base today.

However, in an era when most, if not all, wrestling news is disseminated via the internet (not 6 months ago, I saw my local 7-Eleven stop carrying WWE Print Magazine on its shelf) there's something to be said of anyone still continuing to produce wrestling content on paper, and charging people money for it (god bless 'em. Really). Here's my take on a few current gems in the wrestling fanzine world, as well as one very cool blast from the past.

"Ya know what makes me sick besides....EVERYTHING?"
1. The Atomic Elbow #10 (2014)
Essentially, the reigning HW champ of U.S. wrestling paperzines. (IC award goes to the UK's Calling Spots fanzine). This one's printed on glorious green with Road Warrior Hawk proudly displaying an airbrushed Weasal Slappers tee. This ish featured more contributions than normal, this author's favorites being Villainous: a Tribute to William Regal and Scott T. Holland's Nitro in Chicago piece (an excellent, if not a slightly depressing, bizarro counterpoint to the Raw in Chicago piece which literally dissects each and every taping of Monday Nitro in the Windy City):
"With RAW, the book remains unfinished, as WWE keeps chugging along, returning several times a year for major events. But the final chapter has been written on WCW, so there will be nothing to add to this story. It's a sad conclusion, but at least I don't have to watch any more garbage for the sake of this essay." -Scott T. Holland
Always a grand mix of insightful wrestling commentary, art (the Jim Cornette illustration in the back and selections from Box Brown's Andre the Giant comic) and nostalgia-mining, The Atomic Elbow IS America's wrestling fanzine. They're almost up to 12 issues and don't show signs of slowing down. Get on it now before they're gone forever because (per his blog) I don't think they're putting out another compilation book.

The Villains
Buy Atomic elbow back-issues and even a GD tee-shirt, here
Scott T. Holland's Twitter is definitely worth following too. (@StarofSavage)
Stay up on the Atomic Elbow (and other great fanzines) via their Twitter: @secondperiod 

Twin Cities
2. The Soda Killers #2 (2014)
The Soda Killers isn't a wrestling zine necessarily (but it does begin the zine by quoting Lance Storm and does feature Verne Gagne prominently in the centerfold, along with other famous Minnesotans), but features plenty of wrestling content and comes from the land of the AWA so I'm into it. I got this in a trade with a friend I made on Twitter and think these zines are just great. Quality way over quantity with tons of music reviews (mostly hip-hop here, which is cool for a paperzine) and awesome live reviews from seeing Poison, Anthrax, Death Angel, Anthrax, The Dwarves, Swans, tons more) Make this half-sizer feel really substantial. Dude sent me a ton of cool ones which will find their way into the rotation. Worth price of admission for the incisive commentary on old thrash metal egos.
"Question: if it's warm enough for cargo shorts, can it also be cold enough for a leather jacket? I ask because this particular combo seems to be the sartorial preference of many in attendance this evening. Also, what purpose does a sleeveless jean jacket serve anyway?" -The Soda Killers #2 [individual author unknown].
For your own, I highly suggest emailing:
or doing it the way I did, and making friends with OMNOB on Twitter. (@OMG_NOB) 

How about: Berne Ganja? The fictional AWA champ who just couldn't ever pass those pee-pee tests? (joke credit: my buddy Kyle)

3. Hardcore Wrestling - Premiere Issue (1985)
Here's my granddaddy catch though, a find via Ebay for a paltry $8 (that's like 1/6 of the last TNA PPV too). I think by this point, most know Bob Mould's involvement in the pro wrestling business (for those who don't: well post-Husker Du and on a hiatus from Sugar, Mould was a writer during one of WCW's darkest eras. You can read about that in his new book, wherein he reveals himself himself to be one of the only members of Earth's populace to not completely despise Kevin Nash.)

True to the cover's word, this fanzine was produced by Mould and Dave Hintz (Toxic Reasons) rounding up some of his buddies from the equally colorful world of 80's punk and hardcore including some of this author's favorites (a wrestling book review by Josh Barker of Rest in Pieces) and some lesser knowns (was Stretch Marks ever on an Agnostic Front flyer, or am I thinking of a band called Balls?) all round out the 1985 version of what Ride the Fury fanzine could be, but isn't quite. 

Immediately, I'm struck by the old typewriter layouts, the cartoon illustrations, the *literal* dirt sheet content and the high-contrast photos...but with the suspension of nostalgia and disbelief, I can also see that Hardcore Wrestling #1 is a fascinating relic from a pre-internet time that highlights 3 essential, undying, facts:

  1. Wrestling fans have always, and will continue, to suggest to the world that they all suffer from low-grade forms of autism.
  2. The WWE (WWF in 1985) has always been empowered by its detractors
  3. Hardcore/punk will always provide an ample cross-section of professional wrestling fans, no matter the "era." I wonder if WWE marketing team acknowledges this?
Were it left entirely up to me, I'd probably just scan this whole thing in, page by page and just be like "see how incredible this is?" but as a "serious journalist" I'm inclined to only feed you pieces of the info and somehow encourage you to try and find this thing on your own. Here's a few of my favorite bits throughout the zine:

  • The bold proclamation at the beginning of the zine that this is the first United States coreman-wrestling zine, taking up the torch that Canada's Piledriver fanzine first lit. 
  • Weird, paranoid, and oddly prophetic musings on the WWF, made all the more interesting based on the fact that 100% of the editorial staff make up "outside territories" that the WWF would mine for talent (AWA in MPLS, NWA Territories down south, Canadian territories, etc.). Also, at this point, WWF had only successfully pulled off one Wrestlemania (to great success) and had managed to raise the eyebrows of everyone in the industry who were now watching their every subsequent move.
  • Bill Stretch (of the aforementioned Stretch Marks) ruminating on the then-recent 20/20 piece "Pro Wrestling: Exposed!" episode which had just aired, citing all particpants (Hulk Hogan, Vince McMahon and David Schultz) as "fake. 
  • Richard Sheir giving the history of professional wrestling, from the 1950's down and an elaboration on Gorgeous George. The piece ends with the line: Richard Sheir may very well be the only person to attend both Woodstock and the Sex Pistols at Winterland.
  • Actual dirt sheets and scene reports given for various promotions and territories around the country by writers and for fans who legitimately had no other access to this information.
  • Tyler Davis from Lynchburg Virginia talks some major shit on Andre the Giant, Hulk Hogan and of course Mr. T's involvement in the next Wrestlemania event. 
  • Ruminations from Barry Stepe (Caustic Defiance) as to wether it's ok to foster anti-Russian sentiment via pro wrestling storylines and why open-hand slaps should be eliminated outright.
That's certainly not all here, but if I wrote out too much more you'd likely not seek it out for yourself. For slightly more online info, consult the only listing I ever found for this zine here

If you've got a zine, or no where I can track down more pro wrestling-centric fanzines, please get in touch here or at

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Greg Willmott interview pt. 3 ("goofy" band w/ "goofy" image)

If I'm gonna get any flack here (besides the inherent flack of re-packaging old paper-zine content to html plastic), it's likely for running a little too dorky here, potentially assigning too much importance to LOC. Whatever. Hardcore was absolutely the center of my universe then and it reflects in the stupid things I asked. It's all I talked about with my friends and a lot of my friends HATED Lockin Out.  What's hardcore if not for nerding out over it anyway? Plus, this portion of the interview yielded the impetus for the lil character below. Well, that and Onslaught's Power from Hell. (Keen observer will note: my LOC and diet soda splatter replace Power From Hell's pentagram and phantasmic plumes).
(I think he's actually a bad guy from Ninja Turtles in spirit.) My favorite bit of content here was talking about blood splatter tees and the WNYU tapes. 

Power from Diet Soda + Protein Powder

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3:

Tell me about Boston. It seems like it's a big component of Lockin Out's identity.
Boston rules man. There was a tight crew of dudes around me and we had some incredible times. There were a few apartments just packed with crucial dudes who loved nothing but diet soda, protein powder, dead lifting, moshing and listening to Breakdown. A lot of them are still around, and have the same ideas and I guess I'm one of them. At the time, we were super young and didn't have much responsibility so everyone hung out a lot more. I'm not around quite as much because of my job and a lot of the dudes have moved on to becoming adults. It's just how it goes. I'm still tight with a lot of the people I used to roll with, we just don't get to chill much as a crew anymore... 

There was definitely an undercurrent of people who seemed miffed that Lockin Out bands weren't "serious" the way that hardcore was at the time. I can understand people not liking that "style" of hardcore, but looking at it logically, it would seem that you guys took it very seriously. Seriously enough to tour and release records.
Yeah, I can really only speak for Mental here, but we definitely played anywhere we could every weekend. Once we got our shit tight, it was always tight. We always changed up our cover songs, we always practiced. The band was never a joke to us. That's not even a question. We busted our asses. Plus, bands like Righteous Jams are just dope bands. Why wouldn't they do well on tour? I just think the "image" of hardcore was WAY too serious at the time.

That's what made Lockin Out so refreshing for me. It wasn't presented as "tough" or "sincere" like a lot of hardcore at that time. It was lighter and kind of refreshing.
It's like this: how many bands have guns or knives or knuckles on their shirts? No disrespect to the ones who actually use them, but what percentage of those bands ACTUALLY would? I didn't want Mental to have that fake image, so if we were the "goofy" band with a "goofy" image that's fine with me. I'm a light-hearted dude so that fits me more than having some blood splatter or knives on our tees. I really just liked the image of old school hardcore bands. Those bands had the same attitude that I have now. You listen to old tapes, bands were always crackin' wise and having a good time. To me, that's what it was all about. Having fun and letting off some steam.

WNYU tapes come to mind. It sounds like bands are hanging out with each other. I've heard you're like a connoisseur of those WNYU tapes...
When I got into hardcore I used to go to this record store in Hyannis and the dude working there got me heavily into NYHC. I got most of my WNYU tapes from an older head from Connecticut. I started collecting all the rare shit once I started traveling more with Mental and making connections with people who had good collections of stuff to dub for me. I love those WNYU tapes man. Supertouch doin' it live on St. Patty's day! Shit is dope.

Funky fresh

I think the "Live on WERS" tapes are the closest I'll ever get to having my own cache of  WNYU tapes. Can you tell me anything about Mental's session?
It was recorded live and in one take! That's why I couldn't really swear and stuff. That was a lot of fun and we had so many people in that studio. WERS is awesome. 

I've always loved the Sweet Vision comp. It's just one of those great "moment in time" comps. Do you think there will ever be another LOC comp?
I'd LOVE to do another comp, but...Sweet Vision was all recorded at the same studio. If I did it again, I'd follow the same blueprint. I think it makes for a very cool record that way, but It's just nearly impossible to get all those bands to get all their shit together and into a studio. Like super hard.

Plus, Lockin Out's "family" is a lot more spread out now. It must've been so cool when Lockin Out started expanding beyond strictly "Boston" area bands. Were these relationships all built off Mental tours?
Just friends of mine from out of town you know? When Mental would tour, I'd see tons of different bands and meet different people. If I dug it and they were down I'd fuck with them like that. That's what I love about touring. You get the chance to meet a lot of people that you'll be friends with for a long time that you wouldn't normally meet. Iron AgeJusticeCold World...those guys all blew up which is a great thing. I love helping my friends out. It makes me really happy to be able to do that.


Since you're not touring now, how are you finding new bands to work with?
I'm not really scouting hard for bands. It's not a priority. Like I said, the label is just a hobby. I'm not out there pounding the pavement trying to find the next new thing.

Do bands send you their stuff much? Wanting to put stuff out on LOC?
Bands get in touch with me all the time, but I usually don't even listen to the demos.

Maybe it was that Nike shirt designs, but what's your take on the "jock hardcore" accusations?There's always that weird thing about sports and punk and all that shit. What's your take?
The first band I sang in back in high school had a song called "white hat trash fuck off!" I didn't write it, but believe me, I fucking hated jocks in high school.

So you didn't play sports in high school?
No I didn't. I played tennis for a year, but fucked up my ankle skateboarding. I'm still dope at tennis but only play when it's nice out with my roommates or whatever chick is hanging out. I haven't had any good competition since high school, but I think I'm a better athlete now than I was then.

Be true to yer school

Friday, September 26, 2014

Greg Willmott Interview pt. 2 (Early days of Lockin Out)

Here's where it starts to get a little more nuggety, tracing the Lockin Out story. I was most stoked on the Stop and Think anecdotal then, and re-reading it, it's still really cool. For context, check out part 1 here

Part 2

Lockin Out was established as a means to release the Mental EP (And You Know This)...was there intention to turn it into a full-blown record label?
At the time, we weren't trying to associate with anyone. We kinda wanted to create our own lane. That's why we decided to release it on our own...on Lockin Out. Really, I just put "Lockin Out" on the back of the Mental record because it sounded cool. After releasing the Mental record, I realized "oh, this isn't that hard to do." So I did it for one friend's band, and then another friends band, so on and so on. Then it became what it is now...

Did you have a "blueprint" for how you wanted it to go?
I definitely worship the early Revelation stuff and tried to make it like that...and still do.

Maybe it's just revisionist history, but Lockin Out kind of represented an overall sea-change for what hardcore could be. It was very different from the current climate. How did that influence your decisions?
We did feel some of that. That's why we wanted to release our own record. We wanted to do something new. We loved NYHC and just old hardcore in general and it seemed like all the bands around at the time weren't playing hardcore. They were playing some other shit, but not like the shit we were into. Song structure? Lyrics? Nothing like we were into. Except maybe Stop and Think. That's why I love that band. They sounded like what a hardcore band should sound like to me.

Without Words

The age old, English professor question I guess. "What is hardcore?" Some see it as a medium for change or politics, for others it's like being in a junior indie rock band. 
I just look at it as a way to release aggression. I don't think it will change anything in the world nor do I think it should. It's cool and keeps kids out of trouble and maybe some of the messages can help kids with some personal issues, but as far as changing the world, nah. Fuck all that! (laughs).

So you run Lockin Out from your house...
Oh yeah. I got a big dirty closet full of all sorts of Lockin Out shit. It is very bare bones. It's a DIY hardcore label man! (laughs).

Yeah, I guess I'm asking if it's financially stable. Do you have to supplement Lockin Out much with your own money?
Lockin Out usually supports itself, but sometimes I have to throw some money into it. I usually make a little bit of money, break even or lose a little money off of my releases, so at the end of the day overall, I break even. When I'm hit with multiple releases at once, I usually need to give some money to the label from my pocket, but it's worth it. I feel like at the end of the day I'm doing my part to support what really helped me out when I was younger: hardcore.

Who's been instrumental in getting it off the ground?
I wouldn't have been able to do it without my boy AJ. He was like a mentor or manager to me, and still is. Joey C was a big influence to keep me motivated just by seeing the way he was about motivation and dedication to getting shit done. The dude has a work ethic, and so do I, but he really made me realize what hard work will yield. Same with AJ. That dude would get up at like 6 AM to run hills when he was boxing. That shit makes you feel like you can be doing more. Hard work is the key to success in anything. Anyone who does a label or a zine or anything really, they all know it can't be done without a lot of hard work. If you look at the shit we did and still doing, you know it doesn't just happen on its own.

Who helps out now?
Alex is my ace right now for packing orders and all that bullshit. AJ always has my back when I need help. Money, rides, favors...anything. Chucky Edge is the OG Lockin Out Records employee. If he's in town and I need help, he's always there for me. Honestly though, it's mostly just me.

Do you have any conscious intentions of making Lockin Out "bigger?"
It's slowly growing and evolving, but I like the pace I'm going now because I can handle it. If I bit off any more I wouldn't be able to chew it, you know? Plus, I like being involved in every step. I like going to the studio for recordings. I like to be there when the record is mastered. Realistically, I can only really keep going at the same pace I've always been going. I think if I wanted it to get bigger I'd have to starter cranking out stuff and the quality would go down. That's the most important thing to me. The quality of the releases that I've put out, and will continue to put out. I'd eventually like to get more T-shirts for bands and things like that on the site, but again I'm super picky about shit. If it's not the HOTTEST shirt the band ever made, then I don't wanna put it on my site.

I see some labels putting stuff on iTunes. Keeping it in circulation that way.
I might re-release some stuff on iTunes, but that's probably it.

Missed Part 1? Read it here

Art/Layout from Drug Dogs #1

Monday, September 22, 2014

Greg Willmott Interview pt. 1 (Mental broke up, U2 did not)

I'm sure at some point I've probably said something stupid like "I'll never post my paper zine interviews online" and "blogs are killing zines" and "everyone younger than me is dumb" etc. etc. Time and experience tend to iron out the craggiest of crags and we are. I still think that zines and blogs aren't interchangeable entities, but I've also loosened up on my stance that blogs have no merit (obviously). They do. They're accessible, and I do this for the working man. The monkeys with computers doing SEO and copywriting and whatnot. Those who spend more time in front of a computer than they do with their children and families. 

I'm going to bleed in some of my old Drug Dogs interviews little by little since they'll likely never be re-printed in their original form (never say never though) and you know what? I'm proud of them. I'd like people to see them. Know your history and whatnot. I've seen a few zines and podcasts go up with Greg Willmott in them recently, and maybe I'd just like to throw my hat in that ring.

Drug Dogs zine was my attempt at making a "good zine" (i.e. the kind of zine I'd want to read) and not just reprinted garbage from the internet. I'd made a crappy zine before (In Low Carb) that lasted 10 issues and NO ONE read it because it just wasn't very good, and Drug Dogs was going to change all that. It was all done by hand, illustrated and with photo contributions by a guy I met on B9 named James Campbell and the writing was heavily influenced by Hardware and Bullshit Monthly. It was also released during one of hardcore's "rebuilding" years (2009) when it seemed like all of the good bands from "my" era were disappearing and it was my first real experience dealing with "younger" people and bands now dictating the direction of where things would go. (Predictably: when I was first going to shows, I was constantly told how much better everything was in the 90's, how much "realer" and punker it all was and how me and my group of bafflewit chat-room yahoos were going to ruin it all, know). Personal biases accounted for, I feel like 2007-2010 represented a particularly "dry" era in hardcore when there were very few exciting new bands, few good zines, and a whole lot of derivative shlock. I was a huge fan of Trapped Under Ice's 7"s and full-length, as well as Bad Seed's stuff because to me, moshy hardcore was JUST about to become over-saturated when those hit but that style was still kinda in a sweet spot. Also, not withstanding any cred I may get for saying, TUI just wrote great stand-alone songs...but this is all for another post. It was also where I saw the "fests" starting to become a core staple which was exciting then, but seems kind of silly now, and we see how far it's come already.  I guess I'll call it an "interesting" time to be diplomatic, and one the bebs will probably remember a lot more fondly than me. 

Anyway, this Mental interview was conducted over the course of several weeks. Lockin Out hadn't really done much in a while (as you'll see later on in the interview) and more than anything, I was still kind of mourning the loss of Mental (in a Trumbull Escapades blogpost that's no longer on the internet) Morgado summarized the "Lockin Out Era" as the time period between Mental's first show and the Planet Mental record release in 2005. If that's the case, then by 2008 we were well into post-after-party status and so now, in 2014, where are we? Revival time? Someone ask someone on that giant ass Lockin Out thread on B9. 

I was a nervous little mark talking to Greg. I had the opportunity to interview him on their tour with Justice, but I was a dumb high school senior and didn't have the wherewithal to make it actually happen (but I did get to see this tour in 3 different cities). He was great to interview, and didn't make fun of me when I asked dumb questions.

This is the web-version, so you aren't getting the FULL EXPERIENCE (i.e. the meticulous hand-layouts I did, and the illustrations which I see getting shared [without my credit] all over Tumblr) but oh well. Does anyone really read words anyway? Here's part 1, where we started things out talking about Willmott's life post-Mental and about working with U2. Enjoy.

The interview was conducted in 2008 and printed in 2009. Some of the content has likely changed in parts. All illustrated content by me. More to come. Enjoy. 

Was the edge break what killed Mental?
No, that's not why the band broke up. Dookie and I broke edge but the other dudes in the band didn't really give a shit. We were all straight edge when we met and started the band, but none of us were really judgmental like that. We were just straight edge. It wasn't what really defined us as people or as a band. We kept it moving once Dooks and I started being wastoids. The band broke up because Dookie didn't wanna do it anymore. I'm not sure the reason, but it wasn't a problem with any one of us. It was just what he wanted to do with his life at the time. I can't speak for him, but that's the gist of it. When I talked to him about it, I was like "fuck it, let's call it a day." We had a good run and didn't wanna wear it out. I think a lot of bands stay around way too long and don't ever realize it. We had also agreed, way back, that we would never do the band with different members. WE defined the band and all had our own things we contributed, so without Dookie there really was no Mental. We just played our last show at the end of our tour with Blacklisted and Iron Age, which was a ton of fun. There was never any moment where we were playing shows that we didn't want to. When we got to Atlanta it was just like "this will be our last show." We played it and never really thought twice about it.

How have your opinions of straight edge "evolved" since Mental?
I just keep it moving man. It's not anything I consciously think about, but I'm sure a lot has changed. I've grown up a lot, I've learned a lot about "real life" you know? I'm 25 now, not 19. I've been around the world a few times, met some inspirational people and been through a lot of shit. Sure that's changed me some, but I've still got the same heart. I still feel like a fucked up 16 year old kid. I think people who know me well will say I am still the same person.

At the time, I heard so much stuff about what happened after that. I heard some rumor that you were in a band that sounded like Black Sabbath (laughs). There was definitely a lull in Lockin Out activity, right when Mental broke up.
I went away for about a year to work on the crew for Robbie Williams and then U2. It was just a good opportunity. I took a job at a small tech company in Massachusetts and they basically taught me all this shit in a month or so, then sent me off on the road. They hired me based on my experience from touring with Mental and shit, not so much my technical experience. I still work with those dudes, I don't plan on doing a tour any time soon, but I have to go to a lot of shows to set things up. I'm finishing this interview from the production office in Miami for the Jay-Z/Mary J. Blige "Heart of the City" tour.

Working on the U2 crew? Damn. Did you Bono?
I saw the dudes and met them, but I wasn't hanging out with them or anything like that. Bands on giant tours like that have a whole crew of people working to set up their concert all day and the artists usually roll into the venue an hour or so before they hit the stage. The crew is very tight with each other, but the artists are definitely on another level.

I mean, obviously it's a job not like you were trying to work with U2. Did you have many thoughts on them before hand? Perceptions that were changed after working with them?
They killed it on that tour. I don't fuck with them personally, but I respect the hell out of how gigantic they are. Those dudes are PAID.

Yeah, I mean likely THE most globally recognized band ever. Did anyone give you any flack for it? Some punk flag-wavers or anything ridiculous? 
Nah, no one has ever given me shit, but I doubt many people know or care (laughs). I don't really know what working for U2 has to do with my label. I literally could have been working for anyone in the world. It was just a job. A way to make money. I didn't set out to be on tour with U2 per-se, I just had an opportunity and jumped on it. 

It had to be a shock though, going from touring with Mental and then seeing how these, you know...iPod rock business men are peddling their wares.
It was really touring on that level. Indeed, it was a dramatic contrast to touring around in the Mental van, but I got that job from being able to function at that level of shitty touring.

Final U2 question. I'm not a huge fan, but my Dad likes 'em. I listened to Achtung Baby a lot as a kid. My Dad saw them on the ZOO-TV tour and told me they had the most elaborate stage set-up he'd ever seen. Exploding TV's and paper machete statues and stuff like that...anything cool like that?
Yeah man, they had a crazy set up. Lots of political shit going on, but to tell you the truth I don't think I watched the whole show even one time. Like I said, U2 isn't really my shit. They had a lot of typical political footage like your Dad probably saw. The cool thing about their setup was just that they had these huge Marshall cabinets stacked up, like 100 of them. Maybe more. THAT was the shit that impressed me.

Now that Mental's broken up, can you see yourself ever being in a band again?
I'm still hoping to start a new band, I just don't have time to get it going. For now I'd rather just not say anything about that.

Check out Part 2 here

Friday, September 12, 2014

Zine Seizure: Out for Blood #1

Out for Blood is the next step behind the sordid mind(s) putting out Excitement Level Zero and the band Cretins, and announces itself on the cover as a zine that'll "shit-talk."

A great aesthetic and layout, not too different from ELZ really. Unfortunately, I found the John Evicci interview to be kind of softball, which was a bummer because (like the rest of the world) I love Out Cold. No matter because the Jon Westbrook interview picked it back up, tracing Knife Fight's history with a few things nerdy and nuggety here and there, and because the dude is always willing to talk about cool shit from their era and he's not afraid to pontificate on California's weirdness and KF's outcast status.

Honestly though, the zine's real identity lies in its (as suggested on the cover) outspoken reviews. The author has a serious thing against "dangly earring punks" and makes fun of Tumblr almost as much as I do. I'm also a big fan of the term "chain posers" because...who doesn't agree that this is kind of getting out of hand here? Also, I like that he disses The Flex and Obstruct, just because I (still) think it's funny when popular hype bands get shit on, regardless of my own feelings on them. Contrived or genuinely angry, it was an entertaining read, and as anyone who's ever tried to write about music knows, it's way more fun to talk about that which sucks than that which gets your approval. 

I got mine here. By the looks of it, you can too. 

Friday, August 22, 2014

Crossover Quarterly #1: 5 Nugs of Metal Mania for Norman Coreman

We luv u dark continent--goodnight.
1. Power Trip's Future in Film Scoring
After SXSW 2012, my GF became the first member in our relationship to see Power Trip live. She describes the experience as "horrifying" because she saw a 12 year old get brained with a trash can. This was all it took to get me to set up an interview with Riley, their vocalist. We talked all manner of nuggety shit, namely: Monster Magnet and LSD. Here's an excerpt for a "forthcoming" interview which has been in development hell since iOS 5.
 If you could lend one Power Trip song (let's just say "Hammer of Doubt") to any film scene what film do you choose?  
I'd either replace Cannibal Corpse in Ace Ventura Pet Detective with us performing instead of them, or redo the soundtrack to Wayne's World with all our songs so Wayne and Garth come across as actual metal-heads and not two assholes who listen to Aerosmith. -Riley Gale
Beyond the realms of DEF
2. Bob Belmonte Beyond the Realms of Death
Because Rock N' Roll Disgrace is the best label ever (The reaper logo, rubber stamps and the Battle Ruins EP make it so) I conducted an interview with CEO/head honch Bob Belmonte where the conversation quickly drifted from Mott the Hoople and The Bruisers to mustachioed rockers of seasons's past. Who doesn't have an opinion on Judas Priest though? Here's Bob's. 
Judas Priest or Iron Maiden? 
Priest = Stained Class = bottom of the gene pool kids try to blow their heads off to it and now one looks like gonzo = I listen to this once a day = when I'm buried, a cassette walkman will be on my head playing “Beyond The Realms of Death” = if I was gonna be the "point of entry" for some dude it would be Bob Halford! (laughs).
This is a MAAAD world
3. Reed Mullin and The Obsessed getting salty about punx + signing to Metal Blade (feat. Slayer)
In the time I've written for music mags, I've never really gotten too "star struck" (except when I interviewed Wyndorf ). When C.O.C.'s self-titled record dropped, I got to chat with Reed Mullin and the discussion was every bit as nerdy and nuggety as I could've hoped. Talk of Void, Pushead, DC hardcore and a ton of other material that didn't make it to print. Here was one of my favorite anecdotes, transcribed by me from a digital recorder. Read the piece that made it online here

Me: I dig all the different "eras" of C.O.C, but honestly Animosity is my favorite. I heard it when I was super into Metallica and DRI and it just fit while my cement was wet. And since Animosity came out on Metal Blade... 
Mullin: (laughs) I've got a good story about Metal Blade. We'd done some touring off of Eye for an Eye, and for its time it was pretty "crossover." When we played live, it sounded pretty heavy and it was a weird thing for an American Hardcore band to have as much metal influence as we did. For one song we used the word "cornucopia" and the song "Redneckkk" is just a Black Sabbath song sped up! We did lots of touring and became friends with that first generation of thrash bands like Death Angel, Dark Angel, Metallica, Slayer and Anthrax. Their scene was still in the beginning ages, relatively small compared to how big it got later. We were friends with Slayer and got a show on their first American tour, I think it was Haunting the Chapel, in Baltimore. At the time we were pretty popular in Baltimore and the bill was The Obsessed, Slayer and us. So we get there and we're all stoked because we usually have good shows in Baltimore, and this is when Slayer was touring in a Trans-Am and a U-Haul trailer. But there's some hubbub because the Obsessed refused to headline for a "punk" band, so there was some drama. The place was packed anyway, but it made Tom [Araya] and Dave Lombardo and the rest of those guys mad like 'we don't know these fuckin' Obsessed guys!' and we were kinda like 'who cares? let's just play. The place is packed.' It was a great show and as we're packing our stuff and the Obsessed is setting up, Slayer and their roadies took the stage. 'Now we're gonna play so you don't have to play with a 'punk' band.' Anyway, Slayer plays and it's like a popcorn machine with people flying all over the stage. After the show they're loading up their trailer and Lombardo and Tom were like 'dude, you guys gotta get signed!' and getting signed back then was an anomaly for a band like us. They offered to talk to Brian Slagel for us. It was nice of 'em, but I didn't think anything would happen. Sure enough though, Monday morning in my Dad's office fax machine, there was a contract with Metal Blade … and that's how we ended up putting out Animosity. Slayer hooked us up!
"WTF! Cinderella?!"
4. This drawing of Jorge Merauder watching Headbanger's Ball with "Bong in Hand."
The title pretty much "speaks for itself" here (-Stigma), but for background context: somewhere along the way, I conceptualized a zine that exclusively dissected metal/HC vids from the Headbanger's Ball era. The project fizzled out (mostly because the other writer was flakey) and since I had too much on my plate I scrapped it. Videos we had planned (including corresponding illustrations): Morbid Angel "Rapture," Pantera "5 Minutes Alone", Biohazard "Punishment," Voivoid "Astronome Domine" and of course Merauder's "Master Killer". The above image of Jorje was to be the cover, though we never really did come up with a title. It was the spiritual predecessor to Crossover Quarterly though (itself a paper zine that will probably happen once every 8 years). For now, just enjoy the image and think about what could have been. Seriously. Imagine Jorje, seated in his throne from the "Master Killer," throwing shit at his TV every time Rachtman made the call for Poison's "Satisfaction."   

"This next song is called 'Chopped in Half', and it's about the price of fettucini alfredo every Tuesday."

5. This crayon drawing of Obituary
I hate going out to eat at "nice" places. I hate getting dressed up. I hate paying $68 for soup served in a bowl no bigger than a sacrament cup. I hate how they don't put "$" next to their prices in the menu (fooled us guys!). Essentially, I just hate every facet of the whole GD experience. On occasion I can talk my girlfriend (you know, the one who saw Power Trip before I did in the first paragraph?) into eating at dumpy suburban chain restaurants like Olive Garden. I dig these joints. They don't bat an eye when I ask for crayons and a children's menu, and you can bet your ass that unlimited breadsticks and a Ginger Ale isn't going to run me an entire day's wage. Here's a good, waxy memory from a weird time in my life. Indeterminate members of Obituary (it's actually based off a "Threatening Skies" vid I found on Y-tube) scratched out entirely in shitty Rose-Art crayons (more wax than actual pigment) that restaurants always have. My girlfriend is perpetually embarrassed of me and my (lack of) taste...and this is certainly no exception. Unbenownt to her though, this drawing is hanging up at an Olive Garden somewhere in Sandy, Utah and so that's basically like having it hanging on Guido God's fridge.