To date, we have conducted 1202 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:
If there's a "new" band you should watch for, it would be Scar Symmetry. Hailing from Avestas, Sweden since 2004, the band features singer Christian Älvestam (Incapacity, ex-Angel Blake, Torchbearer), guitarists Jonas Kjellgren (ex-Carnal Forge, Centinex) and Per Nilsson (Altered Aeon), bassist Kenneth Seil and drummer Henrik Ohlsson (Altered Aeon, ex-Diabolical, ex-Thrawn). They are often compared with In Flames and Soilwork, but the main thing that sets them apart from other melodeath giants is the existence of clean vocals, which alternates with the death metal growls. Not to mention the amazing guitar work. These guys prove that the Swedes are still at the top of the metal game.
When fellow Swedes Dark Tranquillity and The Haunted brought their co-headlining tour to Vancouver, BC, it gave me the chance to sit down with the two Scar Symmetry guitarists in their tour bus to ask them a few questions, hear them share their pearls of wisdom and learn some Swedish from them. Here's how it went down:
American Hardcore captures the history of hardcore punk from Los Angeles through Washington D.C. and NYC, circa 1981-1986, based on the book of the same name by writer Steven Blush. Paul Rachman's documentary is a strong-willed outcry, which set a politically minded foundation for a lot of later bands.
Interviews with legends such as Ian MacKaye (Minor Threat), Henry Rollins of Black Flag, and H.R. (Bad Brain's fuel-injected dreadlock front-man) infect this DVD with power of such magnitude that you are transported into the sentiment of the time. The movie subtly points out the numbified herd mentality of the general populous, which gives the viewer a much needed kick in the arse when comparing the Reagan administration with the political state of today. Hardcore's aggression was a unified force-it didn't matter if you were a hoodlum, vegan, or straight-edge-at shows there was a sense of unity.
Edward Colver contributes a cornucopia of photos, keeping the movie true to the scene. The DVD also features live footage of Minor Threat, D.O.A, and the Circle Jerks.
I had the opportunity to sit down with Paul Rackman and Steven Blush and talk to them about the newly released American Hardcore DVD; I am grateful to bring this exclusive Q&A to longtime hardcore fans.
Slayer formed in 1981 by guitarists Jeff Hanneman and Kerry King. Known for their distinctive musical traits, involving fast tremolo picking, guitar solos, double bass drumming, and screaming vocals, Slayer quickly gained recognition with their 1986 release Reign in Blood, which has been called "the heaviest album of all time". The band is credited as one of the "Big Four" thrash metal bands, along with Megadeth, Metallica, and Anthrax.
Criticized by religious groups (which consequently generated album bans, delays, lawsuits and, most importantly, publicity) due to their outspoken lyrics and creative album art, Slayer's lyrics cover topics such as serial killers, Satanism, religion, warfare and the Holocaust.
Selling over four million albums in the United States alone, since their debut record in 1983, the band has released two live albums, one box set, and ten studio albums. The band has received two Grammy nominations, winning one in 2007 for the song "Eyes of the Insane", and headlined music festivals worldwide, including Ozzfest and the Download Festival.
I sat down with legend Kerry King to catch up on their Christ Illusion tour.
Unearth is the exception in today's generic radio-friendly metalcore, with songs that are injected with raw emotion rather than the ever so popular commercial mainstay. "A lot of our friends who used to be in kick-ass metal and hardcore bands are adding these pop choruses now for no reason," says frontman Trevor Phipps. "I think they're making the same mistakes that all the bands in the early '90s made when metal turned to complete horseshit. They're totally watering down their tunes to sell more records. We're just trying to prove that bands can still sell records and tour and have a career by making a heavy fucking record."
Unearth was formed by Trevor Phipps, Buz McGrath, Ken Susi, Mike Rudberg, and Chris Rybicki at Winthrop, Massachusetts in 1998. On the small independent label, Endless Fight Records, they released their first EP called Above the Fall of Man on May, 1999. Years after the release, Unearth signed to Eulogy Recordings to release The Stings of Conscience in 2002 and Endless in 2003. During the process of Endless, bassist Chris Rybicki left the group and was replaced by John Maggard.
I sat down with John Maggard to talk about their tour with Slayer.
Portland, Oregon's PROVEN is a hardcore metal band to sit up and really watchout for. The band is on a literal shooting star ride through the system on their way to worldwide recogniton, all in a matter of literal moments it seems since I first discovered them several months back on MySpace. The band is comprised of vocalist, Marc Halverson, Randy Ross on guitars/vocals, Sam Boggess on guitars, Josh Dixon on drums and Keith Fitzgerald on bass. I actually fell head over heals in love with their straight ahead, non-over produced hardcore sound when I first heard their demo tracks, but then obviously when I noticed they were being mentored along very closely by Billy Graziadei of Biohazard fame, I'm not going to lie, that really caught my fascination. I am very pleased to bring this new exclusive Q&A session to all of you that I've conducted with Proven's vocalist, Marc Halverson.
Cotati, California's AFTERTAYST is certainly about as green as they come through the doors here at metalunderground.com. I do think it's important amid all the top level names that I do bring to my worldwide readership here to not fail in recognizing the fact that there are bands who are just getting out the gate and need as much of our support as the rest of them. How the hell else is heavy metal going to prosper in the future? Unless you're all waiting for Justin Timberlake to start slam dancing behind the microphone. What is it with this guy lately anyway? The world acts like he's the second coming of Moses. Anyways, I digress, Aftertayst shows solid potential in many areas of their developing metal sound that I scout for: heavy, heavy... and yes, more of the heavy. Let's keep our eyes and ears open, along with devoted devil hornz raised for these dudes and wish them the best of luck as they move into the literal void of the metal biz, shall we? Here's my Q&A with Dan, their guitarist.
Sweden's VANMAKT are a black metal band that, that like so many coming up from the underground scene today around them, have found the newest form from the past decade or so now of this great metal sub-genre, to be wholly over-produced, synth'd out to the max and just plain watered down by the likes of big time acts such as Cradle of Filth. They have recently signed on with Singapore's Pulverised Records and are scheduled soon to release their debut album entitled: ”Vredskapta Mörkersagor”. And any black metal fan that is worth their salt needs to at least hear what these guys are up to, for I truly believe this band and many others off the greatly respected Pulverised label are going to set a new standard in the sound of pure evil for many years to come. I got some new Q&A in with their unholy menace on the four strings, Vladr.
British Columbia's OVER THE COALS formed initially back in the spring of 2004 in their hometown of Prince George, B.C., under the name of Burn Out West. Comprised of vocalist James McMurtrie, guitarist Matt Starkes, bassist Mark Moser and drummer Max Matthews, all having solid backgrounds in other local projects such as Disdain, Feedback and Fistfiller, they soon morphed into a much larger musical beast under the newly christened moniker: Over The Coals, thus starting to immediately cultivate their defining sound, a cross between Pantera and Corrosion of Conformity, with other old school metal influences that helped them create a genuinely distinct, ferocius and simply undeniable crushing style that would soon garner them much attention throughout their home scene within just their first set of gigs. The band is now arming itself with new material in ultimate preparation for its debut album and also plan on making it out to the west coast of the United States later this year to begin carving their name out on the rock world in this most legitimate of manners. I recently conducted some Q&A in with their guitarist, Matt Starkes to learn more.
London, UK's BORDEL is gearing up for an eventful 2007, totally intent on making waves all over the globe with a fistful of gothic metal attitude that's combined with a dedication to writing heavy songs with the literal independent spirit of the underground and a focused intent on making as many new fans of their music as humanly possible. A relatively new band, having only met its inception in 2002, this band is utterly fearless and makes no bones about what they strive to accomplish in an over crowded rock business that feeds off of the last hit band's newest failures. I think what makes Bordel a legitimate contender in the long run is that they don't seem seem to have much care for understanding of the market they are in and that unlike most who dare to break the mold for fear of not fitting the perfect formula, Bordel takes their route through the backdoor, not making a noise as they creep up on the first time listener and simply let their kick ass music do all the talking. I got some Q&A in with their drummer, Iban.
IRON BEARD is not the name of an upcoming B-rated flick starring one of the guys from Cheech N Chong. No, this young, upstart metal acts hails all the way from The Rhondda Valleys, South Wales. The band consists of drummer, Richard (Dicky) Mears, bassist Luke Jones, guitarist Nathan Morgan, and Julian Dickman on vocals. They blend a multitude of different heavy music sounds that certainly stays clear of the extreme metal expression dominated by over the top blast beat dramatics and keyboard synth'd out calamity you hear being produced by so many countless metal acts today. No, this band strips it down, much like New Orlean's Down has been doing it all these years and are still kicking everyone in the nuts. They seem to have their heads on straight for the shady and outright scandalous doings of the record business with a positive vibe that emanates from the fact that these cats just like to throw it down for the love it. I'm pleased to bring you all this ever-so-worldly Q&A with their bass player, Luke Jones.
Chicago, Illinois metal act HURTLOCKER has been through the ringer these past couple years, mainly with having lost their former dummer to a drug-related incident. But they also would soon learn the ugly side of the business when they got little or no PR and touring support from their label Napalm Records after putting out their brillant last full-length offering entitled "Fear In The Handful Of Dust". But they're metalers, not pussies, and they still are more than alive and kicking with a new positive approach to how they will handle things once they complete recording of their new album here in 2007. I expect some great things from these guys, more than just about any upcoming act I've scouted, promoted or made of fun while doing my work here. I sat down for some cool Q&A.with Grant Belcher, Hurtlocker's lead vocalist.
Richmond, Virginia's SOUTHERN VEIN has just now started to find its own footing in the underground heavy music scene and at this early stage appears to be one of those acts that clearly knows what it wants to do musically, easily heads above ninety-five percent of the upcoming competition that surround them. Formed in the winter of 2005, with a leaning toward Southern-rock and punk, they have found that kind of unique voice I believe, along with the proper nurturing, that could take them to incredible heights in the business. But as is anything in life, we all kow that only time will tell. I got some Q&A in with their lead vocalist, Brandon Malone.
Boston's HOSTILE TAKEOVER is one of the more legitimate contenders I've scouted recently to have a chance at moving out of its small hometown ranks and possibly onto a more promising future in the metal world. Its lineup features Ricardo Matos on vocals, Kevin Raposo on drums, Matthew Freeman on lead Guitar, Dustin LaRose on guitar and Serg on bass guitar. They cite Lamb Of God, Shadows Fall, Pantera and Unearth as their main musical influences and seem to have a strong grasp early on at what they want to achieve. I got some Q&A in with their bassist, Serg.
York, Pennsylvania's NINETAIL has stuck with the same headline on their MySpace music profile all along: "Fuck you, come and get us!". And I can't help but see that this daring attitude they've put out there among the swirling ocean of thousands of competing metal bands - to indeed be that thorn in everyones side - is now what's truly started to reflect itself in their recorded music and live shows, performances that have included them sharing the stage with some of the biggest names in the business like MUSHROOMHEAD, DEVILDRIVER and SOULFLY. Back in 2004 the early version of Ninetail hooked up with the two driving guitar forces behind SPINEBELT, Don Belch and Chris Evans. Its been a match made in heavy metal hell since. I am really pleased to be able to get some Q&A done with lead guitarist, Belch.
Fargo, North Dakota's SONS OF POSIEDON are one of my recent metal music discoveries that flatout continues to grow on the proverbial ears with each and every spin from their new self-released album entited 'North American Metal'. They have become hometown favorites over the last several years with one highly entertaining performance after the next and a bass player that is clearly unrivaled in the 'let it all hang out for the hell of it' department. Whether he's covering his nearly nude body in strawberry preserves on stage or sticking fireworks in his ass and lighting them off for the cheering crowd, Hat of Sons of Poseidon always seems to be doing a bit more than just his part of throwing down a rockin rhythm section to entertain his fans and that's what rock n roll is all about.
PROVEN out of Portland, Oregon formed late in the summer of 2005. They have begun to quickly build a strong fan following throughout the Pacific Northwest, showing all very quickly that they are embraced on a nationwide audience as well by way of the attention garnered via traditional and XM radio satellite broadcasting. The band is now at its most pivotal juncture as they begin to record their debut full-length album with producer/engineer Billy Graziadei of Biohazard and Suicide City fame. Couple this with the fact that this act understands the furthering legacy of hardcore music rests in their very hands, Proven is a heavy music act to keep your eyes and ears open for. I am absolutely thrilled to have gotten this opportunity to conduct a Q&A session with the band's guitarist/vocalist, Randy Ross.
BURNT OFFERINGS is a straight ahead metal act from Spokane, Washington that just newly formed in August, 2005. This is a group of friends who are working tirelessly to put themselves on the musical map and to continue getting a tighter sound and band identity for everyone to embrace. It's one of the favorite parts of my job is to scout out young acts like this - amid the more seasoned, label attached bands - because guys like this just flatout remind you why heavy metal music is such a great world to be in: honor, friendship and diehard commitment to the music genre itself, by any means necessary. I got some Q&A in with their highly spirited lead guitar player, James.
Evansville, Indiana's Blood Tribe have really started to make a name for themselves on their local scene, while working hard on getting their debut album completed. The band cites Testament, Machine Head and Slayer as their main influence but seem to have their own unique heavy music sound and identity developing. WIth other compelling hard-hitting metal acts around them as they begin to make their rise form obscurity, Blood Tribe seems to really have its head on straight as a musical unit, with full understanding that a band and its members need to work ten times harder than the next act behind them if they are truly going to have that rare chance of scoring a record deal. I had the opportunity to get some Q&A in with their friendly drummer, Clayton Evans.
Evansville, Indiana's 7 Days Of Pain is a local favorite from what's developed into one of the more potent metal scenes in the States. Having shared the stage with other notable Indiana metal names such as Blood Tribe and Deliver Us From Evil, 7 Days Of Pain is currently at work on their debut album. Based off the early demos from this talented bunch, they seem to find themselves in a promising position should they be able to produce something even a tad bit more polished, they just might find themselves soon getting numerous indie record deal offers, for they clearly have serious songwriting talent. I got some Q&A in with their lead vocalist, Drew.
Chicago's HURTLOCKER released their debut LP “Fear In A Handful of Dust” in 2005 on Napalm Records, offering up an all-out sonic assault of ones senses, clearly showing everyone around the true metal community that they're a name to reckon with for the future of metal as it moves forward out of the emo-fied, pop sweetened crap heap of bands that are merely using the great genre's name to try and pawn itself off as the real deal. They have enjoyed some strong radio play off Chicago's largest rock station, 94.7 The Zone, being put in rotation among the elite names of heavy music such as Lamb Of God and Anthrax and are now in preparation to record the next album, in hopes of finally pushing themselves to the top of the game and onto world tours where they rightfully belong. I am pleased to present the following Q&A with their guitarist, Tim Moe.
Sweden's black metal masters IN AETERNUM, after being on Poland's Agonia Records label are now residing with Singapore's PULVERISED RECORDS, the home of great acts such as Dissection, Watain and Sathanas. The highly anticipated first release for them will be the brand new Mini-CD "Curse of Devastation" that's been produced at the Abyss Studios with engineer Tommy Tägtgren. This MCD will be available probably during late January/early February 2007. I fully believe this is one of the more important underground metal acts around, mainly due to the fact that they keep it honest and true in concern to black metal's original meaning, while not getting bogged down too much in that over the top snynth'd-out production that you get now from Cradle of Filth and so many other in this sub-genre. I am beyond honored to have landed this Q&A in with one of heavy music's more remarkable drummers, Perra Karlsson.
Los Angeles, California's SOCIETY 1 band is one that needs no introduction at this point. An industrial metal unit for the ages fronted "Mr. Hooks in His Back", Matt 'The Lord' Zane, a true talent that has pretty much seen and done it all in the heavy music world to this point and he's still not anywhere near thirty years old. Let's be more to the point that people either love this band and Zane or they positively despise them. They have undergone a label change and a lineup facelift in over the past year and I can guarantee that those people that hate this band are really going to be pissed at the fact that Zane, unlike many rockers of his stature, has not decided to slow up on his continued assualt versus the mainstream way of thinking in the music business. The band is currently at work on putting out a brand new album and so I ventured into his dark realm recently to get some Q&A in and think you'll all enjoy the brief trip into The Lord's world.
Pandemic is a Sonoma County, California based metal band that I stumbled upon while covering a show for HOSTILITY last year. Their style is a combination of the more traditional Iron Maiden heavy metal, mixed up with some of the thrash and melodic death metal. One of the things that I love the most about the work I do is getting to meet so many different types of metal musicians from all walks of life, and let me just say that this band Pandemic may not even register on a restaurant napkin right now with most of you, but this band, to me at least, is what heavy metal is all about: brotherhood, having a damn good time while you're alive and kicking, yet still being able to throw down some music that revitalizes the scene by any means necessary and not just going the copycat route. This is a band that really could care less what anyone outside of them thinks. Yeah, they want to try and make it somewhere, who the hell doesn't? But they will not sacrifice eachother or their music to make that happen. And that's the kind of metal band I want to be around. I am real happy to bring this Q&A to all of my readers here with Pandemic's colorful and out spoken lead vocalist, Andy Giardina.
New York's LIQUID VIOLENCE are working on their new album on Rut Records and plan to keep it heavy and straight ahead with their unmistakeable rockin out the walls of a joint sound. With clearly a great live reputation that far proceeds them, this is one of those recent band discoveries for me where I must fully confess makes me feel rather guilty for now just jumping on the bandwagon. But that's not this issue. Music is always about new discovery and it's clear to see that this band has been paying its dues for quite some time now and slowly but surely have begun to develop a strong fanbase of alcohol chugging, rip the beer bottle cap off with your teeth type of following. And that's not to say that these guys aren't talented musicians in their own right and can't draw the more musically educated fan. They can bring it with the best of them around when they need to. All one has to do is hear what they're about and make their own mind up. I got some Q&A in with their drummer, Bess.
Fort Wayne, Indiana's LATHE is a hard-hitting metal band that cites Slayer, Slipknot, Pantera and Mudvayne as their main influences. They are still working hard at getting the word out on their self-released debut full-length effort 'Now Or Never' from 2005 and are looking to start playing hotter venues in the east here in 2007. I got some recent Q&A in with their drummer, Jim Neal, to find out more about this upcoming act and their highly aggressive and ready to take over the world attitude that they possess.