"some music was meant to stay underground..."

70000 Tons of Metal - The World's Biggest Heavy Metal Cruise


To date, we have conducted 1449 interviews. If your band is available for an interview, feel free to contact us and we'll see what we can do. Here are our latest:

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Photo of Municipal Waste

Band Photo: Municipal Waste

Municipal Waste Frontman On Thrash And Slime

This past month, many of the biggest names in hardcore, crossover and punk banded together to take part in this year's Persistence tour. Headlined by Sick Of It All and featuring the likes of Walls Of Jericho and Incite, along with Napalm Death at the London show, the trek rampaged across Europe before arriving at the English capital. One of the most anticipated bands on the bill was Virginia crossover thrash metal favourites Municipal Waste, who are currently promoting their latest album, "Slime And Punishment."

Before the show (a report on which can be read here), I had the pleasure of meeting up with Municipal Waste (and Iron Reagan) frontman Tony Foresta to discuss the latest album, as well as the band's extensive knowledge of thrash metal, collaborating with Agnostic Front's Vinnie Stigma and why the movie, Parole Violators is just awesome. You can check it out below.

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Photo of Grave Digger

Band Photo: Grave Digger

Grave Digger Drummer Talks "The Living Dead"

Recently, German heavy metal veterans Grave Digger returned to London for their first British concert in years. As mentioned in my review (which can be read here,) it was a true heavy metal extravaganza, filled with all the fun and excitement that makes traditional heavy metal so beloved. Before the show, I had the pleasure of meeting up with the band's drummer and keyboardist Marcus Kniep to discuss the new album, "The Living Dead" and more. You can watch the chat in full below.

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Kissin' Dynamite Riding High On "Ecstasy"

As time goes on, old things become new again. There are many bands, particularly in rock and metal, who take older styles of the genre and make it sound fresh once more. One such band is Germany's own, Kissin' Dynamite, who have taken the stadium rock and classic heavy metal style and made it sound exciting and new once again.

At a recent show in Bristol, where Kissin' Dynamite opened for countrymen Powerwolf and Swedish outfit, Amaranthe (see review here), I had the pleasure of meeting up with one of the band's guitarists, Jim Müller to talk all about the new album, "Ecstasy," covering a band they're touring with and how it feels to become successful so young. You can watch the interview in full below.

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Clutch Bassist Discusses "Book Of Bad Decisions"

For nearly thirty years now, Maryland rockers Clutch has made a name for themselves by putting out nothing but high quality music. With their mix of southern rock, heavy metal and good time attitude, they can perhaps best be described as "The world's greatest bar band." Their talent and popularity has led them to worldwide success, appearing at some of Europe's biggest metal festivals and selling out venues all over the globe.

One such sell out show occured in Bristol, in the south west of England last month, where Clutch were joined by duos Inspector Cluzo and The Picturebooks. Before the show, I caught up with the band's bass player Dan Maines to discuss the new album, "Book Of Bad Decisions," their reputation and legacy and much more. You can watch the interview in full below.

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Lawnmower Deth On Christmas And New Music

British thrash metal never got the recognition that American and German scenes did. What Britain lacked in attention though, they made up for in tongue in cheek humour, bizarre names and lyrics and frankly, the tradition of taking the piss out of everything. Nowhere was this more obvious than one quartet from Nottinghamshire, whose name alone should set the tone; Lawnmower Deth. Beginning with a split alongside Metal Duck, the British metal underground got to hear some of the funniest music of the eighties, developed even moreso on their debut full length, "Oooh Crikey... It's Lawnmower Deth!"

Nine years ago, Lawnmower Deth returned to support Bullet For My Valentine and have since continued to perform sporadically, including no less than six performances at the Download Festival, the latest of which was released as their first DVD, "Unleashed In The East... Midlands." I've long wanted to see these fabulous metal bozo clowns and the Saturday before last, I got my wish granted when I came along to the Lawnmower Deth christmas show, where they were joined by fellow British thrash favourites Xentrix and Solitary. I also had the opportunity to sit down with vocalist Qualcast Mutilator (or Pete, to use his less metal moniker) to discuss the show, British thrash, working with pop princess Kim Wilde and the possibility of new material. You can watch the interview in full below.

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Solstafir On "Berdreyminn" And 2019 Tour Plans

We're in an interesting time for metal music. While previous eras were marked by glam metal, thrash, metalcore and a bunch of others, right now, there doesn't seem to be a style that's dominating the metal scene. What many people are being drawn to though, quite appropriately, are metal bands that don't seem to fit into one box, such as Iceland's own, Solstafir. People have been debating for years what they fall under: Black metal? Post metal? Progressive metal? Whatever you may call them, no can call them untalented.

At a recent show in Bristol, I had the pleasure of catching up with Sólstafir frontman Addi Tryggvason to discuss their latest album, "Berdreyminn," what makes a Sólstafir show so special and what fans can expect in 2019, including a possible live release. You can watch the interview below.

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Sumo Cyco Welcomes Us To Cyco City

There's been a lot said recently that rock is dead. This ironically cliche statement has been put out by vocalists Adam Levine and Oli Sykes of Maroon 5 and Bring Me The Horizon respectively, as well as Rammstein guitarist Richard Kruspe. With respect, more or less all of to the last name, I disagree. There's a lot of younger rock and metal bands around today that are putting out some truly excellent music, paired with original and creative ideas. One such band is Sumo Cyco, from Ontario, Canada. Led by charismatic vocalist Skye Sweetnam, the quartet has over the course of two full length albums, two acoustic releases and an extensive catalogue of music videos, developed a fierce reputation as a band that's as fun live as they are visually captivating and musically energetic.

At a recent show in London supporting CKY, I was able to sit down with Skye Sweetnam herself, along with drummer Matt Trozzi, to discuss the acoustic releases, Sumo Cyco live shows, the magic of visual media and much more. You can check it out below (a transcription will be coming soon.)

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Photo of Sodom

Band Photo: Sodom

Sodom Frontman On New Album And U.S. Tour Plans

Who'd be a metal journalist? You get to see some of your favourite bands, often meet them and hear all about their plans first. Oh well, there's always someone worse off I suppose! Sarcasm aside, last week in London I was treated to the Headbanger's Ball tour, a thrash metal extravaganza headlined by Exodus (see interview here) and also featuring Death Angel and Suicidal Angels, along with one of Germany's most beloved bands Sodom. Having seen and met Kreator and Destruction earlier this year, it was a real treat to complete the trilogy so to speak and sit down with Sodom frontman Tom Angelripper to discuss the new EP, "Partisan," progress on the new album and whether or not fans in the U.S.A. and Canada can expect to see them across the Atlantic any time soon. You can watch the interview in full below.

Diamond Oz: We're here with Mr. Tom Angelripper and for those of you that weren't here, they've just put on an amazing show.

Tom Angelripper: The crowd was brilliant. This is the first time we've played here at The Electric Ballroom. Years ago we played a couple of shows at The Underworld. It was the same crowd, a lot of punks, it was really sweaty, not a big stage but I like it like that because there's a lot of contact with fans and when people spit at me I can spit back.

Oz: Well of course one of the places to start with is "Partisan," which is out now, finally. You played the two new songs tonight which were both excellent, especially the title track.

Tom: Yeah that was a big question, if we would play the new songs or not, but we want to show the people what we're going to do next and the direction of the next album. It's always hard to choose songs for a one hour setlist.

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Photo of Exodus

Band Photo: Exodus

Exodus Drummer On New Music, Thrash And More

It could be argued that thrash metal was the first recognised sub-genre of heavy metal. The mix of hardcore punk and the sound of the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal saw a huge wave of talent from the USA and Germany gain prominence with this new sound that broke necks and burst eardrums. At the forefront of this fresh new sound in the Bay Area was Exodus, who along with Metallica and Slayer, are hailed as one of the most influential Californian bands of the time and gained a fierce reputation for violent live shows and equally violent music.

This Winter, Exodus are back on the road in Europe, being joined by two other legends of thrash, Sodom and Death Angel, as well as one of the more impressive younger thrash bands, Suicidal Angels from Greece. At their stop in London, I had the pleasure of meeting up with Exodus drummer Tom Hunting to talk about the tour, as well as their latest album, "Blood In Blood Out," new material and much more. You can watch the interview in full below.

Diamond Oz: This is the Headbanger's Ball tour, which is obviously kind of a blast from the past. Like an eighties revival if you like. It's you, Sodom, Death Angel and Suicidal Angels, which is like a wet dream for thrash fans...

Tom Hunting: And a nightmare for others!

Oz: How has it been going so far?

Tom: Tillburg last night was off the hook. You never know what you're gonna get with Holland but there's something going on in Holland because they were fucking maniacal last night.

Oz: And this is the only UK date?

Tom: Yup. We're in and out in twenty four hours. Catch us while you can, London!

Oz: Well it's also a dream come true for some people to get the fuck out of England as quick as possible! But, how did this lineup come about?

Tom: This tour was put together months ago, it just wasn't announced until we finished our last little Summer run. It was always in the works and it's a fun bunch and it's a kick night of metal. All four bands are bringing it every night and we're on the bus with our bros from the Bay Area, Death Angel and we're having a great time.

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Photo of Skeletonwitch

Band Photo: Skeletonwitch

Skeletonwitch Guitarist Connecting Jazz And Metal

Fifteen years after forming, Athens, Ohio's own Skeletonwitch has become one of the most beloved bands in the metal underground. After making the difficult decision to replace their vocalist, they released their first full length album with new singer Adam Clemans, "Devouring Radiant Light" in July of this year. While there will always be fans who are put off by changing the frontman, the heart and soul of Skeletonwitch is still very much there. The band is still a force to be reckoned with both live and when it comes to new material and will keep on thrilling fans who come out to see them.

At their recent show in London, I had the pleasure of sitting down with guitarist Scott Hedrick to discuss the changes in the band, the "Devouring Radiant Light" album, the influence of jazz on their music and how their appearance in the Get Thrashed documentary affected their career. You can listen to it in full below.

Diamond Oz: Straight into it, the new album, "Devouring Radiant Light" is out now. It's been quite a gap between this and "Serpents Unleashed." Obviously you've had the new vocalist come in but aside from that, why has it taken so long for a new album?

Scott Hedrick: Well, we've also done an EP, "The Apothic Gloom." That would be the biggest thing, changing singers, in between that we wrote and released an EP, then we wrote and released a record so it just took time to regroup, to figure out what we wanted to do and there's been an overhaul in the sound of the band too. You can hear it progress from "Serpents Unleashed" to the "Apothic Gloom" EP to "Devouring Radiant Light," I think if you listen to those three in a row, even with the vocalist change, you can hear the music going in the direction that it's currently in. But yeah these things take time, we just don't want to rush anything, we wanna make sure that we're happy first and foremost because we're doing it for ourselves, so if other people think that it took a long time then we don't really care!

Oz: Well, you can't rush quality! Like you said, this is your first full length with Adam, how was recording a full length album different from recording an EP?

Scott: It was great. There wasn't much of a huge difference between those two, more of a difference between him and the former vocalist. Adam listens to so much more music and has better taste and a wider variety of music that he listens to. Within metal and outside. So he's got more of a palette to work with and he knows more references, so I can reference non metal bands and if I'm talking about a certain part that we're working on. In addition to that, it's much easier to collaborate with him.

There was a time in the past where I was told, "I'm the singer, don't tell me what to do," when we were just trying to work together, which was something I feel we wouldn't do. It was kind of like: Write music, give it to the singer, he'll do what he does and there's not very much back and forth. With Adam it was completely different, he's open to working back and forth with ideas and he can handle constructive criticism and I think ultimately that's one of many factors which led to "Devouring Radiant Light" being, I think our most developed and mature album yet.

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Uriah Heep Guitarist Still "Living The Dream"

What can be said about Uriah Heep? After nearly fifty years, the band led by guitarist Mick Box is still going strong, regularly releasing new material and performing to fan all across the globe. This September they released their twenty fifth studio album, "Living The Dream" and it appears the group is still doing just that. With a solid new album and an upcoming tour in North America with fellow legends Judas Priest, there's a lot to be excited about for fans of Uriah Heep and indeed the band themselves.

I had the pleasure of asking the influential guitarist some questions about the album, the band's legacy and future and much more this week, as you can see below.

Diamond Oz: Your new album, "Living The Dream" was released this year. What would you say separates it from its predecessor, "Outsider" and how does it fit in with the rest of your extensive catalogue?

Mick Box: It is a natural extension of our ‘Outsider,’ album but with Jay Ruston as our producer and the luxury of some pre-production time, we felt we had delivered something special for the fans.

Oz: I really like the artwork for the record. It's simple but beautiful. Could you tell us a little bit about it?

Mick: It is a simplistic idea that lets everyone know that dreams are possible and to never stop dreaming, as that is what makes the world go around.

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Mantar Reveals The Modern Art Of Setting Ablaze

Having formed in 2012 after fifteen years of friendship, the Bremen born duo of Erinç Sakarya and Hanno Klänhardt, better known to the world as Mantar, are now promoting the release of their third full length album, "The Modern Art Of Setting Ablaze." Those who have heard it will testify that it's a vicious sonic assault, mixing elements of hardcore, black metal and all other extremities to create a wall of noise that puts the boot into your first nerve and doesn't stop kicking until it's over.

This Winter, the two have been on the road with Skeletonwitch promoting the record, although sadly they had to cancel the two British shows as Hanno has been taken very ill. While we wish him a very quick recovery, we were nonetheless delighted to sit down with Erinç to discuss the new album, as well as the history of the band, creating such a sound with only two people and much more. You can watch the interview in full below.

Diamond Oz: The new album, "The Modern Art Of Setting Ablaze" is out now. Having seen you at Bloodstock, I'd say that it captures your live show really well too. How would you say the reception to the album has been so far?

Erinç Sakarya: Actually, our thing is to put the things we do to the extreme. When we're working on the songs, I kind of have the impression, that's it more like pop songs played in a heavy way. I was afraid that maybe we're getting too soft. When we work on the songs, we leave the vocals away and just concentrate on the music and the arrangements. I heard the vocals pretty late and that was the point when I thought, "OK, we are still Mantar." It's kind of like the way we always do it except this Hanno had some riffs ready and we made complete songs out of it. Usually we'll work on this stuff together but it's not so easy when he lives in Florida and I'm in Germany. But I must say, I'm really happy with the result. More than ever. We both think that we did a good thing here.

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Mark Tremonti Explains "A Dying Machine"

With a recording career that stretches back twenty five years, founding two of the most successful rock bands in recent memory and with a blistering and respected solo project under his belt, Mark Tremonti has become one of the most revered guitarists of recent times. Selling over fifty three million albums worldwide with Creed alone, Mark Tremonti has fought through every obstacle in his path to craft some of the most popular rock hits of the 21st century.

This year, Mark's eponymous solo band released the album, "A Dying Machine," a science fiction concept album that's paired with a novel Mark co wrote with John Shirley. It's a fascinating story of love, technology and freedom which comes together as a solid ball of rock and has so far delighted both listeners and readers. Last night, I caught up with Mark to discuss the album, the book, the success of his solo band and when we can expect to hear new material from Alter Bridge. You can watch the interview in full below.

Diamond Oz: The new album, "A Dying Machine" is out now and it's very special because it's not just an album, it's a book as well. Obviously a lot of thought and preparation has gone into this. How long how had you had this idea?

Mark Tremonti: I was on tour with Alter Bridge in Hungary and I was warming up and came across a chord progression a really liked and started singing along to it and the lyrics, "A dying machine" came out. I was reading the Dark Tower series at the time and in the third book, Wastelands, there's a scene where a giant, two thousand year old creature that's part machine is dying and I thought that was kind of cool concept, a machine dying. So I created this conversation between a man and a woman, the machine being the woman that was built and put on this Earth just to a partner of this man and she was getting old and falling apart while all she knows is to please this man, but he's kind of over it. I loved the journey that writing the song took me on and from that point on it just took off.

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Terror On New Bassist, New Album And Vinnie Paz

Following our recent interview with Madball vocalist Freddy Cricien (which can be seen here,) we followed his brother Roger Miret's words and went from the East Coast to the West Coast to catch up with one of Los Angeles' biggest hardcore bands, Terror. Currently on a European tour with Deez Nuts, the quintet stopped off in London last night to bring their ferocious music to the English capital.

Before the show, I had the opportunity to climb aboard the tour bus and speak with Terror drummer Nick Jett about the band's new album, "Total Retaliation," how bassist Chris Linkovich is settling into the band, the group's relationship with rap star Vinnie Paz and much more. You can check it out below.

Diamond Oz: The latest album, "Total Retaliation," was released this year. It's a really solid album. How would you compare it to the last album ("The 25th Hour")?

Nick Jett: I guess we don't really have a strong idea of "we're going to try and do something hugely different compared to our last one," but I guess the slight difference is a little more thought out and structured, like chouruses and just spending a little more time on it, compared to the last one which was a little bit more about trying to capture a raw and rough soud, just jamming in the studio. This time a bunch of songs were written and we picked the twelve that worked best together, just a little bit more thought put into it.

Oz: One of the songs that really sticks out is "Post Armageddon Interlude," for the obvious reason that Vinnie Paz appears on it. Of course, Terror and Vinnie Paz have had this relationship for quite a long time. How far back does that go?

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Freddy Madball Still Fighting "For The Cause"

Many music fans like to claim that they "live and breathe" it. Very few people however, have literally done so. Having gone on tour with his brother Roger Miret's group Agnostic Front from the age of seven before the aforementioned band decided to form a side project named Madball with the youngster on vocals in 1988, Freddy Cricien has been involved in hardcore music for almost his entire life.

Thirty years and nine full length albums later, Madball are as popular and revered as ever. Their latest album, "For The Cause" has been hailed as their most diverse yet, staying true to their sound while showing flashes of other genres such as reggae. Last night in Bristol, I had the pleasure of meeting up with Freddy himself to discuss the new album, how the search for a new guitarist is going and what makes New York hardcore the most popular scene in the world. You can watch it below.

Diamond Oz: Well straight into it, the new album, "For The Cause" is out now. It's been out for a little while now, so how's the reception been to it overall?

Freddy Madball: It came out in the Summer and we've been touring it ever since.

Oz: It's a real solid album. Possibly the most diverse album yet, probably the most obvious example would be "Rev Up" where you've got the reggae at the beginning.

Freddy: Yeah, there's a lot of examples on there I think. It's definitely the most diverse, I can't think of another record we've done that's more diverse but it still has all the elements that make us who we are so I'm extremely proud of this one. It's being well received, I wouldn't say it's "been well received" because it's still reaching people.

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Doro Pesch Discusses New Music And Old Friends

Heavy metal has its fair share of heroes and legends. While many bands mean a lot to people, heavy metal has given the world of music some true icons such as Ozzy Osbourne, Motorhead's Lemmy and King Diamond. In a genre which is seen to have been dominated by men however, a number of woman have made their presence known and voices heard, perhaps none more so than Doro Pesch. Doro achieved success fronting Warlock, who released four albums before legal issues meant she had to change the name of the band to the eponymous, Doro. As a solo artist, she's released a number of stellar albums, creating pounding anthems and satin smooth ballads, collaborating with everyone from Lemmy to comedian Helge Schneider in the process.

Last night, Doro kicked off the tour in support of her first double album, "Forever Warriors, Forever United," performing as special guest to fellow metal legends Saxon. I was lucky enough to meet up with her after her set and discuss the new album, the influence Lemmy had on the record, the impressive cast of collaborators and how the place of women in heavy metal has changed over the decades. You can watch the interview in full below, while an excerpt reads as follows:

Diamond Oz: You've just done an amazing show! I saw you at Bloodstock a few months ago which was also incredible, but this time you've changed the setlist up a little bit and it's not so Warlock orientated. The new material sounds amazing!

Doro Pesch: Oh good! It was the first time we've played "Blood, Sweat and Rock & Roll." We were so excited about it but everybody sang along, it was great!

Oz: And of course that comes from the new album, "Forever Warriors, Forever United." It's been six years since "Raise Your Fist" so I'd imagine quite a lot of material has built up over that time.

Doro: Yeah, totally but we always release something every year like DVDs and then we spent about two and a half years collecting all the new material together. It always takes a long time to really get into the mindset and make sure everything sounds right and now it's a double album for the first time!

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Photo of BillyBio

Band Photo: BillyBio

Billy Graziadei Feeding The Fire With Solo Album

With a career stretching over thirty years, Billy Graziadei is one of the most accomplished musicians in the history of hardcore. Initially receiving for his role as the vocalist/guitarist in Biohazard, Graziadei has also found success with bands like Suicide City and Powerflo, the latter of which he co-founded with Cypress Hill rapper Sen Dog. In just a few weeks, Graziadei will unleash another relentless monster into the world, when "Feed The Fire," the debut album from his solo project BioBilly hits the stores. I had the pleasure of asking Billy some questions about the project, as well as the status of Biohazard, the longevity of Powerflo and the social and global problems which shaped "Feed The Fire" into a ferocious beast.

Diamond Oz: Your debut album, "Feed The Fire" will be out in just a few weeks. Can you explain the meaning behind the title and what subjects are dealt with on the record?

Billy Graziadei: The new album Feed the Fire is a one-two jab in the face, over and over again. It’s not for the weak hearted, the sheep who don’t want to face the reality we live in. On this record, I hit the subjects that we are surrounded by every day. We live in a crazy world that appears more insane each day. The infighting amongst ourselves has become a giant distraction to the real issues that we need to face. It’s defiantly a record to get the blood pumping, not something you listen to while practicing yoga!

Oz: What would you say separates BillyBio from your previous work with Biohazard, Suicide City etc.?

Billy: I love everything about and being part of Biohazard and Powerflo. Suicide City was another great experience I had with some friends. For me, an artist doesn’t paint his painting then invite his friends over to comment on and change the colors he chose to use. BillyBio is me, pure and true, condensed and stream lined like a prize fighter. No bullshit, no fluff, just 100% raw and un-filtered.

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A Conversation With Orange Goblin

Two days ago in Cardiff, I had the pleasure of witnessing one of the most exciting tour packages of the year, as Corrosion Of Conformity hit the road with Orange Goblin, Fireball Ministry and Black Moth. Needless to say, the show was incredible but beforehand I had the pleasure of speaking not only with Corrosion Of Conformity guitarist Woody Weatherman (which can be viewed here,) but also with Orange Goblin vocalist Ben Ward. During the interview, we discussed the band's excellent new album, "The Wolf Bites Back," balancing day jobs with being in an established metal band and what makes them so relatable to British rockers. You can check out the interview in full below.

Diamond Oz: Well straight into it, the new album, "The Wolf Bites Back" is out now, which is a great and quite typical Orange Goblin title if you like. Very simple but very effective. The same goes for the artwork, can you tell us a little bit about that?

Ben Ward: Well, we wanted something simple but striking. A lot of the classic album covers aren't really over elaborate, think "Dark Side Of The Moon" etc. When the title, "The Wolf Bites Back" came up, it was just a case of a simple striking image of a snarling wolf. We asked our mate Roland (Scriver of Familiar Ink) who's done a lot of artwork for us over the years with t-shirts and other things and he did a great job.

Oz: Well you did a great job on the album yourselves. Without going too far, there's a little bit more of a death metal influence on this record, a bit more doom...

Ben: Yeah, I think it's a melting pot of what the four our collective tastes. Myself and Martyn come from a more extreme/heavy metal background. Chris comes from sort of a more hardcore/D.C. punk scene background and Joe's always been into the blues and classic rock so I think that mixture is what defines Orange Goblin. It comes together to create something unique, although we always joke that we've ripped something off to create our own sound. It's almost impossible these days to create something completely original, everything's kind of been done before, especially with this kind of music with the Sabbath and Motorhead influences. Tony Iommi wrote the book.

With this album we wanted it to sound short, sharp, aggressive and have every song possible to play in a live environment. Not do much with overdubs, guitars etc. We wanted it to be about what we want to take to the stage and we've been playing about four or five songs from the album, mixing it up too. After nine albums you tend to get a bit bored playing the same songs over and over again so when new material's available it's something fresh.

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Photo of Corrosion of Conformity

Band Photo: Corrosion of Conformity

C.O.C. On "No Cross No Crown," Voting And More

Few bands can change their sound as time goes by and still retain a loyal fan base and a revered legacy. While many bands such as Metallica, Kreator and even D.R.I. have received backlash from fans for not repeating the same sound, Corrosion Of Conformity is a group which has evolved and explored new areas in their music since their inception, making them just as beloved by fans of hardcore punk as by fans of blues rooted, stoner metal.

At their recent show in Cardiff, the penultimate in the impressive tour package with Orange Goblin, Fireball Ministry and Black Moth, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Corrosion Of Conformity guitarist Woody Weatherman to discuss this wide range of material, the new album, "No Cross No Crown" and the classic "Vote With A Bullet" and the importance that song still holds today. You can watch the interview in full below.

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Threshold Explains "Legends Of The Shires"

After an initial cult status, progressive metal has grown to become one of the more popular sub-genres for headbanger's these days. The likes of Anathema, Queensryche and especially Dream Theater have all found critical and commercial success and are often viewed as the "thinking man's metal." Hailing from Surrey, Threshold has become one of the most respected and challenging bands in all of progressive music since the release of their debut, "Wounded Land" twenty five years ago.

Now with former vocalist Glynn Morgan back in the fold and their latest record, the double concept album, "Legends Of The Shires" being hailed by many fans as their best, the future looks even brighter than their respected past for the English quintet. At their recent show in London, I had the pleasure of speaking with guitarist Karl Bloom and bass player Steve Anderson to discuss the story, ideas and nature of "Legends Of The Shire," the parallels between man and country, Brexit and more. You can watch the interview in full below.

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Sigh Frontman On New Album, Drugs And Old Ads

Many bands strive for commercial success, others work for respect. Then there are the true artists, who simply create to express themselves, regardless of what anyone else thinks. Some examples would be Tom G. Warrior of Triptykon (and ex Celtic Frost/Hellhammer,) Lou Reed and in today's case, Mirai Kawashima of Sigh. The Japanese band has been challenging preconceptions about music and art since their debut, "Scorn Defeat" was released in 1993, with subsequent albums such as "Imaginary Sonicscape," "Gallows Gallery" and "Hangman's Hymn," as well the superb 2015 release, "Graveward" surprising listeners at every turn.

Three years on from "Graveward" and fans are in for another shock with the release of, "Heir To Despair" on November 16th through Candlelight. The record is completely different from the previous effort, boasts a guest appearance from Phil Anselmo and most importantly, is a strong artistic and personal statement. I had the honour of having my questions answered by the band's vocalist and leader Mirai Kawashima who discussed "Heir To Despair," his insistence that fans will hate the record and the influence drug advertisements had on the artwork.

Diamond Oz: Thank you for taking the time to speak to us. Obviously the first place to start is with the new album, "Heir To Despair." You maintained for months that fans would hate the album. Why is this?

Mirai Kawashima: There is no other reason than I have been feeling so. It's not a part of promotion plan or anything. I just mean it. This is 100% my personal album. This album is not meant to please anybody including the band members. I am quite sure the other members do not get what it is about, either. So far "Homo Homini Lupus" has been published and people say they liked it, but this song is a big exception. This does not have an Asian feel or flute, which is a feature of the album. Other songs do not sound anything like HHL. If you liked HHL, that means you'd hate rest of the album.

Oz: There is a trilogy of songs on the album entitled, "Heresy." Could you tell us more about this concept?

Mirai: Actually this trilogy is the main reason that I keep saying fans won't appreciate the album. It has nothing to do with metal. I myself do not know what they are. I just made those songs without thinking much. I just wanted to make something druggy and evil. For Heresy II and III, I tried to imagine how schizophrenic people see and hear this world. Heresy I was remixed by David Harrow. He also remixed "The Tranquilizer Song" on "Gallows Gallery". David is one of the artists I truly respect. "Tantric Steps" by Technova, which is actually David, is one of the druggiest techno stuff I have ever heard. It's a genius work.

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Enslaved Frontman On New Members And Vikings

Few bands from the Norwegian black metal scene transform themselves into a more complex entity. Emperor would of course be one example but it doesn't get any more progressive, complex and introspective than Enslaved. Since the band's debut, "Vikingligr Veldi," the band has evolved constantly and become one of the most revered Norwegian metal bands performing to this day.

At their recent show in Bristol, England with High On Fire (see interview here,) I had the pleasure of sitting down with frontman Grutle Kjellson to discuss their latest album, "E," the recruitment of new keyboardist Håkon Vinje, when we can expect new material and how he sees modern depictions of Vikings in movies and TV shows like "Valhalla Rising" and "Vikings." You can listen to the interview in full below.

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High On Fire Frontman Heralds The Electric Messiah

Very few musicians make it so far as to form an influential band, let alone two. But since Sleep's debut, "Volume One" in 1991, metal fans have been treated to the awesome might of Matt Pike's guitar sound and in 2000, listeners have become familiar with his distinct voice, as High On Fire released their debut, "The Art Of Self Defence." Over the course of this nearly thirty year period of releasing records, Matt Pike has come to be seen as a modern metal legend, with fans often comparing him to Motorhead frontman Lemmy, something he modestly refutes.

Before their show in Bristol yesterday, I was lucky enough to sit down with the man himself to discuss his career, the new albums from both High On Fire and Sleep and the meaning behind the awesome "Electric Messiah" artwork. You can watch the interview in full below.

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Voivod Drummer Explains "The Wake"

After a five year wait for a new full length album, Quebec's legendary thrashers Voivod are back with "The Wake." A concept album telling the science fiction story of a great event which changes humanity forever, the record has everything fans love about the band and still manages to surprise listeners. To promote the album, the band are currently on the road in Europe and at their recent show at The Underworld in Camden, North London, I had the opportunity to meet up once again with the band's drummer, co-founder and resident artist, Michel "Away" Langevin to discuss "The Wake," the 70000 Tons Of Metal cruise, the fate of humanity and more. You can watch the chat in full below.

Diamond Oz: The new album, "The Wake" is finally out and it's a very ambitious album. I suppose the first thing to ask is about the story, could you tell us a bit about that?

Michel "Away" Langevin: I could but Snake is probably the guy to ask about that. But as soon as started working on it, Snake mentioned that he wanted to write a long story and then Chewy thought about bringing back musical themes but re-arranged. So we wrote the album and the lyrics together and I know that at first, the story involves an undersea disaster which triggers a big revelation that changes all the systems, religious and social and if you look at the album it becomes it's very introspective. In the end it's totally intergalactic, so I think Snake wanted to touch on all the subjects that he was interested in and it's related to this planet and the state that it's in but in the typical, post-Apocalyptic, sci-fi Voivodian way.

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A Neighbourly Chat With Okilly Dokilly's Head Ned

Many of us have areas of pop culture, history or science which we become obsessed with. For most of us on this site, heavy metal music would be one of them of course, but there are many bands which focus on specific areas such as Ex Deo singing exclusively about the Roman culture and empire, Nile and their focus on Egyptian history or the Red Hot Chilli Peppers and their unhealthy feelings for California. One band which has grabbed the attention of people across the spectrum in recent years though, is Okilly Dokilly, the metal outfit from Phoenix, Arizona who focus solely on the friendliest neighbour in the world, Ned Flanders of The Simpsons fame.

Being a Simpsons fanatic myself (a true one that hates everything after a certain point,) I jumped at the opportunity to meet up with the band's frontman and founder, Head Ned, where we discussed the concept behind the band, as well as his feelings on more recent episodes, Futurama, Disenchantment and what we can expect from the band's second album, which currently goes by the working title, "Howdilly Twodilly." You can watch it in full below.

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