To date, we have conducted 1214 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:
Project Independent has had an incredible year. Headed by CEO Jeff Totten, the National Band Search Program has recently nailed down a new distribution deal with Century Media Records. This is a major victory for the underground scene because this will allow the next Project Independent compilation CD comprised of top unsigned U.S. metal acts to finally reach the masses and yet not sacrifice the original appeal of its grass roots approach: to find the best of the best burgeoning talents working hard to make a name for themselves directly out of the hottest club venues in cities from coast to coast . I recently conducted this roundtable interview with Jeff Totten himself, along with Florida area promoter J-Rock of The Rock Solid Pressure Showcase, Erik Ulrich of I.R.A.T.E, Greg Bowman of Level Nine Entertainment and Rick of the Texas-based thrash metal band Grain to get a deeper perspective from all of these forces involved on the good, the bad and the ugly of this impressive band search program.
In conjunction with the Hammerslag Vinterblot 2006 sponsorship, I sent over some questions for Norwegian black metal band Sarkom by email. Sarkom's vocalist E. Unsgaard has taken the time to respond.
DELIVER US FROM EVIL from Evansville, Indiana is one of those discoveries I can lay claim to this year that I still feel is pound for pound one of my best. They are doing daring things musically that most metal acts wouldn't even try and they continue to put fear into each and every local band that have to share the stage with them. It's been a tremendous year for these guys and I freely admit that they are several heads above the rest of their peers in terms of collective determination and pride in how they go about laying down their groundwork for how heavy music will move forward into the next decade.
What a year in metal it has been for York, Pennsylvania's NINETAIL.. And what a great group of people involved here, from Greg Bowman with Level Nine Entertainment to each and every bandmate in this act. I have to deal with a lot of headaches or 'head cases' if you will from so many countless upcoming acts that come nowhere near the level of greatness that you will surely find here with this underground phenomenon. They have been stomping through one venue to the next on their local scene in support of their debut LP "The Process Of Conversion" here in 2006, playing alongside some really big names, and seem to have built up an an incredible following that should certainly help propel them to the top names of the business in 2007. I had the opportunity to get some Q&A in with their bass player, Griff. Watch it go.
In conjunction with the Hammerslag Vinterblot 2006 sponsorship, I sent over some questions for Norwegian doom/extreme metal band Malsain by email. Malsain's drummer, Phobos, sent some brief replies:
On November 13, 2006 I had the privilege and honor to interview Paul Mazurkiewicz, the drum master of Cannibal Corpse. He was one of the nicest down to earth guys I've ever met - not at all what I expected. I was expecting a rip your face of type of guy and at first thought that as I got on the Cannibal Corpse tour bus as everyone in the band clearly hits the gym at least twice a week. After the interview I expressed how much of a dream come true the opportunity was and asked if they would sign my "Vile" and "Eaten Back to LIfe" CD booklets, and every band memeber was kind enough to sign (except for the Alex Webster, one of the axmen for Cannibal Corpse, who was missing in action at the time of the interview). After the signing I went on my merry way. What follows may shock Cannibal Corpse fans, you have been warned. The interview is as follows:
Framferd have been a staple of the Hammerslag Vinterblot Festival each of its three years of existence due to their relationship with the fest's organizer, Dark Side of Norway. Framferd's drummer, Magnus Nødset, took the time to answer some questions related to the festival and what's new with the band by way of a followup of last year's interview (with vocalist Matt Kittelsen).
Los Angeles, California's ANKLA are powered by the earth shaking guitar dynamics of ex-Puya axe slinger, Ramon Ortiz. The band has already seen two major label releases and been on nationwide and South American tours, including playing Ozzfest in 1999). The band offers up a fury-laced Latin metal sound that is unrivaled and seems to be gaining fans daily in the same outright explosiveness inwhich they deliver their unmistakable sound. They have just released their new album "Steep Trails" off Beiler Brothers Records and I am really happy to have conducted this recent Q&A with their very down to earth lead vocalist, Ikaro Stafford.
Norfolk, Virginia's emperors of thrash metal LOFAT have had quite the year here in 2006 and continue to draw a strong worldwide following mainly due in part to their heavy promotional attack via the web and networking sites like MySpace. They have a growing legion of fans or 'fatheads' I supposed you could call them who continue to champion this group of true underground metal heroes. They are refreshingly one of those rare bands today that are totally uncompromising in their own approach to heavy music. The band is getting ready to unleash its debut record on us here very soon and so I am very happy to be able to get some Q&A in with their guitarist and bassist, Simon and DZL.
In conjunction with the Hammerslag Vinterblot 2006 sponsorship, I sent over some questions for Kampfar by email. Kampfar's drummer, II13, has taken the time to respond.
San Francisco's ANOMALOUS is a pure death metal band on the Brutal Bands record label and are about to release their debut EP "Cognitive Dissonance' at the start of 2007. The band truly gets it done right for this wildly popular sub-genre that mostly finds itself bogged down with shitty production after the next. I got some Q&A in with their lead vocalist and rhythm Guitarist, Tim Hale.
SEVEN YEAR EXISTENCE out of Champaign, Illinois is a young metal band with big goals. They take from old school hardcore metal and blend that with the newer crushing sound ala Lamb of God and seem to have found a perfect mix of demonic as all hell sounding heavy music that most veterans ten years older than them simply wishe they could attain. The band is one of the more popular unsigned acts on its local scene and recently took second place at their first major Battle of the Bands competition with Bodog Music in Chicago, IL's Lakeshore Theatre on August 9, 2006. Their victory was based on crowd reaction and crowd turnout. I got some Q&A in recently with their guitar player, Jason Ellett.
Pennsylvania's SCARS OF HATRED cites Slayer, Slayer, Slayer as its primary influence. And with one listen of what these guys are doing musically, it's easy to understand. With a heavy as hell guitar sound, deadly low end, crushing drums and all-out brutalizing vocals, they seem to have the extreme metal approach firmly in grasp. They are working on thier debut full-length and have been playing their local club scene with other respected names like NINETAIL and FROM DISSENSION. They have a two guitar approach, and I was lucky enough to get some Q&A in with their tried and true axe slinger, Steve Junkins.
Alchemy—(Al-Ce-Mi): the transmutation of base metal to heavy metal such as platinum and gold. Like the alchemist that fuses together elements to make potions this band combines the sounds based in the Los Angeles streets. Whittier, California's AL-CE-MI is a band that doesn't pull its punch when it comes to expressing itself across all dividing lines of rock music. The band has just finished recording its debut EP with legendary NoFX producer Ryan Green and are gearing up for a new round of shows throughout the Southland. I got some Q&A completed, amazingly, with their rough and tumble and always ready to poke you in the neck with a stick guitarist, Ned Barrett.
Edison, New Jersey's MUTINY cites Children Of Bodom , Symphony X, Arch Enemy and Deicide among its main influences and upon hearing this band's progressive black metal music, it's easy to understand why they're now starting to climb up the ladder. Featuring incredible talents among all its lineup, Mutiny is definitely a band to watch out for right now. I got some Q&A in with their lead vocalist, Kaan, and I think everyone is going to really enjoy what this guy is all about.
Hypocrisy is one of the bands that have written their own chapter in the metal archives. From the very beginning 15 years ago, this band released a number of amazing albums and their music never became stagnant.
Last Friday, Nov 17th, I sat down with legendary mainman Peter Tagtgren after their performance in Worcester, MA. Here's the transcript of our conversation:
PANDEMIC is a progressive thrash metal act from Sonoma county. They formed in the summer of 2005 initially with drummer Eric Ford and guitarist Julian Kidd, following the break up of their previous short lived project D.E.K. Their potent lineup now is rounded out with vocalist Andy Giardina, formerly of TOTAL ECLIPSE, Patrick Daly on rhythm & lead guitar and Adam Herman on bass guitar. The band is set to release a full length album soon and turn up the tour dial up to eleven around the Southern California area in support of it. I got some Q&A in with their lead guitarist, Julian Kidd.
Boston's HOSTILE TAKEOVER is one of beantown's more talented upcoming metal acts that features in its skilled lineup Ricardo Matos on vocals, Kevin Raposo on drums, Matthew Freeman on lead Guitar, Dustin LaRose on guitar and Serg on bass guitar. They cite Pantera, Lamb Of God, Shadows Fall and Unearth as their primary influences and it shows. They pay a direct homage to the bands before them without watering their sound down with pop sensibilities to try and land on the next cover of "Hey, I wear makeup and bracelets' rock magazine. These guys are committed to planting the true metal flag back in the soil it sprouted from and based off the unrelenting and heavy as hell songs they're dropping on everyone right now, they look to be one of the brightest acts rising from out of the east. I tracked down their drummer, Kevin Raposo for this Q&A session.
LIQUID VIOLENCE on Rut Records is a throwback thrash/punk metal band that is starting to catch a buzz and no, I'm not talking about their beer drinking habits. This trio is simply hardcore to the bone and features Bess on drums, Andy 13 on bass and Ol' Dirty Bailey on guitars and vocals. They have been slamming the rounds of one east coast venue after the next and are working on taking their game now to the next level and plan on breaking a few necks if that's what they gotta do. I am pleased to bring all of you this Q&A with their frontman without a tude, Ol' Dirty Bailey.
Novato, Califonia's HOSTILITY has been leveling everyone in their path this year with their debut album "Uncompromised" off The Penn/Voltaic Records. They are one of the few bands that seems to properly incorporate the best of thrash and death metal into their own brand of heavy music destruction and are looking to take their game now to a higher level for 2007. I've been lucky enough to see these guys live and to hang out with them and wanted to continue educating all of you on a real metal band that deserves the hype and killer national exposure this band is certainly now receiving. I was able to recently get some Q&A in with their lead vocalist, Greg Haran.
ARTIST PROMOTIONS LLC, subsidiary of IRONMAN CORPORATION LLC, is a promotions based company geared toward local/national bands & music events, who will be promoting top-rate metal events once per month, flip flopping between New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Tomorrow on Nov 18th, 2006 will be the Ironman Metal FestEVIL held in Gibbstown, NJ. The bill will feature an assortment of underground's newest and brightest metal band talents, such as ADDER, TREMOR and Metal Blade records THE NETWORK, along with many other top New Jersey area acts. I caught up with the man behind it all, Adrian Lugo of Ironman Corp. LLC and I am pleased that I can help us all learn more about what he's got planned to help continue growing out the true underground heavy music scene we are all in love with.
Los Angeles, California's newest heavy music sensation CROWNED BY FIRE comes in the form of a group of crazy as bobcats in levis and flannels, beer pounding til dawn rock n roll animals, who, oh - just happen to be led by Zakk Wylde's ex-guitar tech, Justin 'Slush' Manning on lead guitar. We all know what a character Slush is from my previous interview with him. Well, I think we have him beat now with the band's singer, affectionately known as John The Impaler. This dude is about as rocker as they come without it becoming too obscene. Actually, scratch the last statement. This interview does get obscene. I tracked him down for this Q&A somewhere inbetween sheer drunken stupidity and a blackout from too many shots of the black tooth. Getcha pull!
Cape Coral, Florida's EKOTREN has had one of the most successful year's in recent memory for a metal act made up of all twenty-one year olds. They have been touring the lights out of their Florida area scene in support of their debut EP 'The Tables Have Turned' and are getting ready to enter the studio for the recording of their first full length effort. I had a lot of fun conducting this interview with their band manager, Eddie of The Edge Factory and the entire Ekotren band. They are guitarist Keith Finnell, bassist Sean Fiene, Eric Pottle on drums, DJ/keyboardist Steve Chin and vocalist John Sheldon.
The Central PA music scene has a real heavy metal war machine in its midst with NINETAIL. The band is simply shining like glinting chrome over all other acts in its home scene. They have been touring around from one venue to the next with an increasing army of fans in support of their debut CD entitled 'The Process Of Conversion' from Level Nine Entertainment. I got a chance to get some Q&A done with their drummer, Max Melton. Let's take a deeper look into the brilliance behind these steel-toed musical soldiers.
Los Angeles, California's hardcore metal act I.R.A.T.E. has seen more than its fair share of adversity this year, including a name ownership battle with NYC counterparts who seemed to want to see this band crash and burn under outrageous 'character assassination' attempts and even literal 'death threats', yet still managing to even hold its own against the other enemy that needs to be worried about: a stiff wall of competition coming from countless hordes of other upcoming rock acts making their rounds on the most famous music scene of them all, Hollywood's Sunset Strip. Sure, this band has been touring the lights out across this great nation of ours with The Project Independent Tour and doing a great job at making friends and fans with their music from one city to the next, but I think what is most compelling about I.R.A.T.E. is their abiity to take all the good and bad in stride and never forget what they intended to be in the first place, a powerful and important rock n roll band. I got a chance inbetween the band's recent touring break to conduct a fresh round of Q&A with their always entertaining frontman, Erik Ulrich.