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Archive: Pit Stories Columns

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Pit Stories: Pissing Off The Lead Man

Hello again metal world - it's Tuesday and time for another heavy metal Pit Story!

This week's tale arrives courtesy of Canadian trio Absinthe From Society, with a story of on-stage tomfoolery that left the crowd confused and the front man plotting revenge.

Absinthe From Society's drummer Adam "The Caveman" Roberts had this to say:

I can remember one particular gig that I decided to mess around a little bit, have fun and make people laugh. It all started around 7:00 pm when we were loading in the music equipment for a full night of just Absinthe From Society (AFS) on stage at this venue. It was our first all night gig. Prior to this gig I hadn't written any of the songs or played any other instruments besides drums. Wow, was Ian (Saint Absinthe) Harper in for a surprise.

I immediately told the door lady, after being stamped on the back of my hand for the night, that I had written all the songs for AFS and that the band was mine. She laughed and smiled saying that she was interested in seeing us because she had heard good things about the band.

Two days before the gig we found out that we needed to supply ALL of our own sound gear as well as a sound man. Luckily I owned all my own sound gear and just by a hint of luck was able to find a sound man for the night (off to a good start). We setup our gear, did sound check and were all ready to go around 9:30.

Little did we know at the time what was to come. We had two newly strung guitars but we didn't have extra strings. Ian blew a string after the first song (off to a better start). Okay, we got this. Halfway through the first set Lexi Graham and I switched our instruments so
that she was playing drums and I was playing bass guitar. Ian had no idea we where practicing this on the side and had planned on doing this the whole time. Ohhh the freedom! To be in front! I thought, how could I piss off the lead man in a way that he can't get back at me?

The first thing I did as I started the song was to take the bass, and hit the mic stand so then the mic hit Ian on his lips. I laughed and proceeded to scurry into the crowd because I was wireless and I knew Ian wasn't. Lexi saw what had happened the whole time and was laughing her ass off. We finished the remaining sets with one guitar, there was no feedback because the sound man was awesome and at the end of our last set, I had the whole bar convinced that it was my band and got crazy recognition for playing bass guitar on stage. What a ride!

Oh and the first gig we did as a band, the venue cut us one song short at the end of our forty-five minute set because....WE WERE TOO METAL... That's another story...

Comprised of founder Ian "Saint Absinthe" Harper and Adam "The Caveman" Roberts (drums & percussion), along with Lexi "Shitkicker 9000" Graham (bass & vocals), the trio released latest EP "The Angels Ignored Us" last month. Listen in below or pick up your copy at Bandcamp here. More...

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Pit Stories: Dollarama Weapons And Slam Poetry

Happy Tuesday metal fans! Ready for another bout of Pit Stories?

Most of our tales involve out of control pits, drunk fans, and unexpected violence, but sometimes the pit is less a bloody place and more a gathering for silly fun.

That's the sort of tale we've got this week from Marc Bourgon of Cancelled / Greber / Fuck the Facts, who shares these stories of several memorable gigs:

Years ago, while I was playing in a now defunct band called tugnut, we would regularly play the sleepy industrial border town of Sarnia, Ontario, Canada. There must have been something in the water of the St. Clair river that seeped its way into the veins of the average Sarnian underground metal concert-goer because every show was perpetually more crazy than the last. Not in a “wall of death” or “crowd punishing” manner but something far sillier.

Early on in my years with tugnut we befriended a band by the name of Sarnia. We knew this band was a true titan of soul when they let loose the infectiously anthemic song entitled: “Sarnia.” The song's lone lyric was the word "Sarnia" and the pre-chorus included it being spelled one letter at a time in a gang vocal. They were the ones who put Sarnia (the city) on the map for us and soon invited us to come play there.

The first show we did was at the Eagles hall if I remember correctly. It all started like any other show but once in full swing the show was like a miniaturized version of Obscene Extreme. Costumes. Toy weapons. Acrobatics. Not to mention that when any riff slower than 85bpm was played by any band, someone would yell out: “BIIIIIG STEP!!” and everyone would just start taking giant steps to the music. It was off the fucking chart.

Anyhoo, the show that comes to mind for me was Sarnia (the band)’s CD release. Prior to them playing was all the insanity that we had come to love and expect from a show there but it wasn’t until they took the stage (floor) that it got completely out of hand. A contractor grade garbage bag full of Dollarama weaponry was dumped into the middle of the pit, everyone eyed up their choice of arms and poised themselves for battle. Sarnia started and chaos erupted. Everyone was fighting everyone else and whoever was left was moshing. At one point a shopping cart that had been turned into a tank plowed into the pit and started attacking anyone who dare step into it’s path. Their set ended with a 13 musician rendition of Sarnia (the song).

Now I realize this all seems juvenile and silly but it was one of the rare times in life that everyone was on the same page with each other and having a great time at a show. Can’t figure out why this is what came to mind when I read “Pit Stories” but it did. Thanks for reading.

Epilogue: There was a dude who called himself Shmagnet who became a good friend over the years. I recall some generic metalcore band bombing and him forcefully grabbing the mic from the singer and doing some slam-poetry. That uninvited yet crucial move ended up getting the whole crowd chuffed into a frenzy and saving the rest of the band from their already half-over set. By the looks of it the band was into it as well. The singer, not so much. That dude was a fucking hero.

Cancelled is the experimental recording project of Marc Bourgon that just released three song EP "Tenebrific." You can stream all the songs below or grab your own copy at Bandcamp here. More...

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Pit Stories: Crowned On Stage

Is it March already? Here we are with our 10th Pit Story of the year kicking off the start of the month!

This week we've got U.S. prog metal band Vangough on board for a tale of touring bands messing with each other on stage.

Clay Withrow recalls the following story of being unceremoniously crowned while still performing during the set:

While we were on our North American tour in support of Pain of Salvation in 2014, there was one particularly unique occurrence that I’m sure very few bands or even fans have experienced. Our very last show on the tour was booked in a performance arts theater, which was kind of different but also very cool. The stage was extremely deep to account for set changes and such, so it was by far the biggest stage we had played so far.

Anyways, as we’re tearing into the final chorus of our song “Separation,” I suddenly feel a hand on my shoulder and something being placed on my head. The guys from Pain of Salvation were trying to seat me in a king’s throne, while also placing a crown on my head. What made the whole exercise even more difficult was the fact that my explorer-style guitar just wasn’t playing nice with the chair they were trying to squeeze me into, so I’m sure witnessing this event was pretty awkward but also hilarious.

So thank you Daniel Gildenlow and Gustaf Hielm for a very memorable end to our already memorable tour! I’m so glad that wasn’t the night we had to record for our Kickstarter live CD. Though I did get them back when I dressed up in a pink rabbit suit and hopped out on stage during one of their songs.

Vangough's upcoming new album "Warpaint" is due out this coming March 17th, 2017 (read our full review here). Check out advance song "Morphine" in the player below.

Spending over a year in production, this album represents the delicate inculcation of restraint, self-doubt and introspection that was afforded as a result of recent touring efforts. More...

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Pit Stories: Severely White Girl Drunk

In recent weeks we've covered getting rained out of Summer Breeze, experiencing some very dubious sleeping arrangements, and even a little bit of mob justice.

This week we're coming back solidly to the pit itself for a tale of having a few too many and not realizing you'd just met an admired musician - and then taking a headbutt to the gut.

Today's Pit Story comes courtesy of Shelby Tanaka, lead vocalist for the Vancouver-based band This Gun for Hire, who recalls the tale like this:

Now I don't remember most of the minor details to the story, because I was severely white girl wasted, but here it goes. The show, Texas In July. The venue, El Corazon in Seattle WA. I was there hours earlier before lines had even formed outside so I could grab a few drinks at the bar next door to get super toasty for the show.

In the bar I met a married couple there for one of the local bands playing. We bought each other drinks and talked music for a bit. A little later, Alex Good walks in and orders a beer next to us. Now, at the time, I didn't really know what Texas's lead singer looked like, so already slightly tipsy I said something to him that brought him into the conversation. 2 double whiskeys and 5 buds later, the first band was starting up so we all said "nice to meet you, goodbye."

Later in the night it was finally TIJ's time to play. I had been in the pit throwing down for every band and was well passed a sober state of mind. Lights go down, sound turns up, and who else do I see on stage other than Alex Good exhaling viciously with a low growl. I go nuts, pulling everyone's shoulder around me yelling "I had beers with him!" Their first song drops and the pit spins out of control. I work my way to the middle, only to suddenly get head-butted in the stomach by the wife of the couple I met in the bar. She looks up, sees me, grabs me on each side of the head and screams in my face "METAL!" That's one of my favorite pit memories. Be sure to check out our new album that comes out on March 31st 2017 everywhere.

This Gun For Hire's impending album "Something A Little More Sinister" is only a month away - check out two tracks from the release below. More...

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Pit Stories: Rained Out At Summer Breeze

There's a million and one Pit Stories in the metal world and we're on a quest to catalog them all!

After we premiered new track "Genesis 11:1-9" last month, Belgian symphonic black metal crew Saille checked in with us again for a tale of a show almost gone terribly wrong.

If all the equipment and crew manage to arrive in one piece, nobody has burned the place down, and drunk fans don't climb on stage and wreck everything, there's still always mother nature to contend with, as Saille discovered while playing the Summer Breeze fest. Guitarist Reinier Schenk recalls the story like this:

We arrived at the Summer Breeze festival in Dinkelsbühl (Germany) with plenty of time before our gig. We were lucky and got 1 hour for setting up our gear. About 15 minutes before we could get started all hell broke loose. It was already dark at that time, so we didn't see anything happening, but it got extremely windy and it started to rain.

The stage manager came to us running, with panic in his face. He was yelling to us: "Leave all your stuff here and get into that bus NOW!!!" We were looking at each other, wondering wtf is his problem? Everybody in the backstage was acting weird, running, shouting to each other, like a scene from a movie. Then others started to shout the same, so we all went into a bus and the driver started the engine and drove away as fast as possible and took us somewhere else.

Still not knowing what was happening he told us they would have to cancel our show, because a huge storm was heading to the festival site and it was too dangerous to play. We were all disappointed of course, but all of a sudden the driver got a phone call telling him the storm would not hit the festival. He drove us back to the stage (which was very wet from the heavy rain) and there we were... we had 15 minutes before showtime and we had to hurry as hell. No mercy!

Saille will release new concept album "Gnosis" this coming March 17th, 2017 via Code666 Records. Check out a track from the release below. More...

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Pit Stories: Puke Stains And Fried Chicken

Happy Valentine's Day metal heads! Our Pit Story this week may not have much to do with love, but it does feature dirty mattresses where very unpleasant things no doubt went down, so that's close enough, right?

Many of our tales from the pit are all about what's going on during the show, but as any touring musician will attest, there's a lot going of craziness on behind the scenes, especially with bands trying to find a place to hang their hats for the evening before hitting the next town.

This week we've got a tale from the Thera Roya crew about some less-than-pleasant accommodations in Nashville:

I'll never forget when we played in Nashville, TN on our first tour. We thought it would be warm in the winter in New Orleans so we headed south (we're idiots lol). We ended up in a blizzard in Nashville and payed this stellar show at a place called the owl farm. Unfortunately it's not around anymore. This was nearing the mid to end of the tour and all of us were fried at this point mentally. I think Ryan was even catatonic at one point hahaha.

We needed a place to crash that was warm and this guy from one of the other bands had a punk house called the Himan house. We all crammed into this disgusting room with puke stains on the rug and dirty mattresses everywhere. Some of us ran out to get some fried chicken. When we got back and feasted on gas station chicken we noticed these pictures and notes on a wall together and a name that said "Gloria."

One of the members of the house was a repo guy and when he was emptying a house he found a trunk full of pictures and diaries from this girl Gloria who had passed away and he decided to make a shrine at the Himan house. I'll never forget sleeping in Nashville with Gloria's shrine in front of me.

Thera Roya will release new album "Stone and Skin" on February 17th, 2017. A full stream is currently online at this location. More...

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Pit Stories: Bizzaro World Mindfuck

It's Pit Story day once again metal fans!

Today we've got a completely bonkers, off-the-wall story where every element of a show - from arrival and loadout all the way to what happened after getting home the next day - were so insane as to be a surreal, dreamlike experience.

This week's tale comes courtesy of guitarist Jordan Smith of Indianapolis, Indiana-based band Drude. Want more info on Drude? Head over to the band's Facebook profile here. Jordan tells the crazy pit story like this:

When I was asked to share a crazy pit story, narrowing it down became quite the challenge. Which really classifies as the craziest thing I've ever seen? Nude crowd surfing? Shooting up in the audience? Dude with a billiard ball in a bandanna blindly swinging it around at head level? Seeing as nude crowd surfing is awesome and junkies and reckless assholes will be served no honorable mention from me, I am going to with the Cleveland story. More of a crazy show story. Names and locations have been omitted intentionally.

The band I was in at the time pulled up to the building around 5 o'clock and we were met with all the hospitality you'd expect as a touring band. We were shown the place and got unloading. After getting our van stuck in the mud, we managed to make it inside and got setting up.

The time came for us to play and we noticed that people started bringing random trash into the building. I didn't wonder about it much, but by the next time I looked up, there was a dude 6 feet in the air crashing down on it. One by one, people were launching off of one another trying to absolutely obliterate this door. Once that had been destroyed, they brought in a wooden bench and starting completely fucking that thing up. Scraps of wood were flying all throughout the room. Mind you, we had fog machines and lights going, so this scene was just a completely intense sensory experience. Next were a few plastic lawn chairs falling victim to cinder blocks being thrown at them and exploding everywhere. Then I smelled burning. Somebody had lit a trash can on fire in the building.

I couldn't believe what was happening. It was amazing. After the havoc, we cleared the stage and began loading into the van. As soon as we got our gear out into the yard the skies broke into a torrential downpour, completely soaking all of our gear. After dealing with that the best we could, we went back in. As it turned out, the last band had left and decided that they weren't going to play. During our set there was a guy sitting on the couch in the back and our bass player had teasingly said something to the effect of "Come on get up, this isn't a coffee shop" and that so greatly offended the guy that he and his whole band left.

About an hour later a lady, who we had assumed was homeless judging by her clothing and demeanor, came in and started grabbing the mic from the final band and rapping into it. Saying all kinds of shit barely discernible through her badly slurred speech. After 10 or 15 minutes it had reached that "Ok, we get it" phase. Curiously, I asked one of the guys if this was a normal thing and why they didn't ask her to leave since she was clearly disrupting the show. The guy told me that there were some serious no bullshit crack dealers living across the street and that was their sister. The last time they kicked her out for coming in there and being a drunken mess, they were met with very convincing threats from their neighbors. So they just sort of had to let her do her thing and play along no matter how annoying or obnoxious she was being. She was harmless and sort of endearing.

Later that night, we were put up and fed by the promoter and the evening had seemed like a passing dream. The next day, we looked at the Facebook event page and it was blown up by some Neo-Nazi dudes just hammering away at how awful we were and making some really shitty comments about homosexuals and people with disabilities. It feels necessary to mention that he was in no way affiliated with the venue or promoters and they tried their best to have our backs. The whole thing was a complete Bizarro World mindfuck. I lost my favorite Sleep hoodie, but I gained a ridiculous story that I've probably told a hundred times since.

Three-piece metal outfit Drude (formerly known as Burn The Army) will release a new self-titled EP on March 3rd, 2017. Check out the title track below. More...

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Pit Stories: Mob Justice

After that crazy tale of a chainsaw clear out last week we're back again for more heavy metal pit mayhem!

A familiar theme arises this week in the form of a cautionary tale. We've heard plenty of times in the past about you should always respect the stage and do your best not to piss off the band, but it's not a lesson that always seems to sink in for all metal fans.

This week vocalist / keyboardist Joseph Michael of Witherfall shares a tale of a New York state show where a crowd had to go all mob justice on one unruly asshole who wanted to ruin it for everybody.

Joseph recalls the events like this:

I was at a show in upstate NY a while back at a place called Albies. The place was known for being a cool place to catch local and touring metal bands. A band called the Blob Mob was on stage tearing up some classic metal and the pit was happening on the floor. All of a sudden a drunk psycho steps up on stage and smacks the “Blob” in the head with a beer bottle, sending shards of broken glass, blood and shitty beer all over the stage...

The “Blob” was a well known and loved local singer who also happened to be at least 350 pounds and was not happy. Members of the audience grabbed the unlucky assailant and carried him outside and beat the living shit out of him until the police arrived. I made my way out the back door and hid until the cops left, as I was not of legal age. After all the chaos died down and the blood and beer was mopped up the band went back on stage and killed it. Great night.

California group Witherfall is set to release new album "Nocturnes And Requiems" on February 10th, which is dedicated to the life of Adam Sagan who passed on December 7th, 2016 during the final stages of production. Check out a track below, and you can follow the latest on Witherfall via Facebook here. More...

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Pit Stories: Chainsaw Clear Out

We've got an epic Pit Story for you tonight metal fanatics!

Forget the feel-good nature of last week's story about gaining a devoted new fan, this week we're back to pure fist-in-the-face mayhem of a proper pit.

Today's story comes courtesy of Davin Jones from Pissed On, who recounts a tale of one wonderfully drunk fan bringing a rather dangerous object into the pit. Davin tells the story like this:

It was Halloween Eve and it was Pissed On's third time playing Cincinnati, our first time playing Rake's End. To set the atmosphere, let me tell you that it was essentially a costume party and just about everyone there was bloody and horrific. The crowd was comprised of your usual grind freaks, crust punks, and a handful of hardcore kids but one attendee stood out.

His name was Steve and he was dressed in a long brown trench coat and wore a mask a la The Purge. In one hand he held a half-drank beer and the other a chainsaw with the blade still on. We first met Steve when he came over and drunkenly gave us a Four Horseman speech in Spanish. Needless to say we knew he was going to be a good time.

As we set up to play our set, the crowd slowly came closer. Rake's End is a smaller venue so people packed in tight and when a pit arises it conjures up in the very front next to the band. Steve made his way to the front, chainsaw in tact, even more drunk than before. Our set begins and bodies are flying side to side, and Steve is being tossed around like a joint. I see one kid get his septum ring ripped out of his nose, blood everywhere. At one point I turn away from the crowd and feel a fist meet my neck. Mic stands are being knocked off and chaos is ensuing.

Somewhere amongst the cluster fuck of a pit going on, Steve decides to put his chainsaw in the air and subsequently start it. With the chain on. In a crowd of people. He was soon kicked out, but he found his way back in and even bought us beer (which he tried to give to us while we were playing). We never got to thank Steve because after the third time being thrown out he started chasing a car down the street with his chainsaw. I don't know where you are right now you crazy fuck, but thank you for one of the best Halloween's of my life.

Damn... in all the crazy pit shenanigans, I don't think we've ever experienced a live chainsawing before! If anybody has footage of that night, please let us know so we can share it!

"The Hanged Man" by Kentucky grinders Pissed On is due out this coming March 17th, 2017 via Advocate Records - check out an advance track below.

Oh, and a brief plea from your friendly neighborhood metal zine worker: for the love of god, please don't name your band anything like Pissed On. You see I have to search for that phrase to find your music, and do you know what kind of things get seen between typing those words and finding a page actually associated with your band? Fuck my eyes... More...

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Pit Stories: Gaining A New Fan

Ready for another dive straight into the pit? Every Tuesday we check in with bands and fans from around the globe to get their most memorable stories from live shows!

Recently our Pit Stories have been all about bad fan behavior, from an overly aggressive mosher getting booted from the venue by the Melvins to an especially eager fan crawling on stage and interfering with a Empyrean Throne show.

We're shifting gears this week to a much more positive interaction: drawing in metal heads who have never heard your band before and become a fan based off a strong live performance.

Raj Krishna from prog group OmnisighT shared the tale below of gaining a new fan during a Vancouver set. Footage of the person in question is available after the jump, where you can literally watch him work his way through the crowd towards the stage as he gets more and more into the music.

One of our best sets was at the Rickshaw in Vancouver, BC during Wacken Metal Battle Canada finals. We're pretty intense live, we can bring in cold fans that have never heard or seen us before. We knew we had a good set that night, and some cool videos of it.

One night we were hanging out and watching some Omni on you tube when we saw a vid of "Plasticine," the last song that night, which went over really well. The video is pretty shitty quality. The point is, this guys never heard of us and just decides to record us on his tablet.

The vid is shaking, the musics too loud, but it captures the energy! You can see throughout the song, he gets closer and closer to the stage until he's right in the pit. He's chanting OmnisighT by the end of the song! I'm pretty sure we got a brand new Omni fan that night!

Omnisight's upcoming EP "Power of One" is slated to arrive on January 20th, which follows 2016 live album "Live At The Theatre." Check out the title track and pre-order your copy over at Bandcamp here. More...

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Pit Stories: Respect The Stage

Following on from last week's tale of a fan being chastised by the performing band, today's entry in the ever-growing Pit Story catalog also features a band laying down the law on an unruly participant.

Today's story comes courtesy of Empyrean Throne vocalist Andrew Knudsen, and concerns respecting the band's space. Stage crawling/diving is all well and good - so long as the band is on board!

Andrew recalls the story of opening for Nile:

Our shows tend to get crazy and violent. People get wrecked in the pit area, glass gets broken if you’re not looking after your drink. Our fans are a wild bunch. We encourage rabid crowd participation. However, we take our performance very seriously. It is a ritual. There is a spiritual intent with our shows, and when we are on stage, it is treated as sacred ground.

We bring a lot of stage paraphernalia to each show. We have an altar with actual animal bones, war banners, tons of candles, a ritual dagger, blood, and tons of other trinkets aside from our gear. Because of this allotment we don’t invite fans on stage. Outside of performing, we spend a lot of our personal free time and money on constructing—as well as maintaining—these items. So when we perform we also demand that the audience respect the stage, its contents, and performers.

Last February, when we opened for Nile at the Grove of Anaheim, some young and quite hammered kid kept trying to force his way on stage and pull at various members’ boots and legs during our set. This guy was raging, he was the finest specimen of filth that evening. Totally cool until he climbed up on stage. I’m not sure what he was trying to accomplish, he wasn’t there to stage dive or crowd surf, he was just there flailing around like a lunatic.

From what I recall, he tried to grab my incense censor and part of our altar before, literally grinding up on the leg of one of our members. At that point I grabbed him by the neck and threw him into the audience, who did not make an effort to catch him. They cheered instead. After the show the young lad came up to our merch booth and apologized for his tomfoolery, and proceeded to buy one of every item from our store. We thanked him for coming out and supporting us. It’s something we still laugh about today. I guess the moral here is this, support the band and get into the music, but also respect the stage and the performers on it because we will protect ourselves and our property at all costs.

Empyrean Throne's new album "Chaosborne" will be self-released this coming January 24th, 2017. Telling the story of a hapless Templar knight in medieval Europe and his subsequent decent into the realm of Chaos, the album offers eleven solemn hymns to unbecoming. More...

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Pit Stories: Chill Out Fucker!

Happy Tuesday metal heads! It's officially our first Pit Story of the new year!

We're kicking the 2017 edition of the column off with a tale of an overly-rowdy fan who managed to get himself ejected... by the band itself!

Charlie Dowzell from U.K. doom group Sail shared this tale about an unfortunate fan being called out mid-show by none other than the Melvins:

A couple of years ago we went to see the Melvins in the Exchange, Bristol. Fantastic venue and very small indeed - 200 folks tops, I think. The place went absolutely mental when they came on and the vibe stayed at an all-time high - they were loud as all hell and played banger after banger.

Near the end of their set they played 'The Bit' and the already pumped-up crowd somehow became even wilder, which was ace. This is where things fall apart a little. Somebody was clearly 'in the zone' as it were, and King Buzzo must have thought it too much - admittedly I think the guy was beginning to knock people down and maybe actually hurt them, I'm not overly sure.

Next thing I know, the band have stopped mid-song and this guy gets a royal bollocking from King Buzzo, who told him to 'chill out, fucker!' to a rapturous applause. Tail between his legs, this guy yells out 'I'm sorry!' to which Buzz tells him he doesn't care that he's sorry, and wants him gone.

Think they ejected him from the venue, and on went one of the most intense and fantastic shows of my life. That will always stay with me as something so powerfully surreal and very funny. 'Chill out, fucker!' indeed.

Sail's new album "Slumbersong" is being prepped for a March 10th, 2017 release via Hibernacula Records. Check out a track off the release below. More...

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Pit Stories: Marshmallow Girl In The Lion Onesie

Remember the chicken guy who used to go to all the Baltimore/D.C. area shows in a full body chicken costume, or that masked midget who would order people around in the mosh pits of California?

Rock and metal shows are known for their interesting characters, but its not just the die hard fans or musicians themselves who show up in interesting attire... sometimes its the journalists like us who cover the shows!

For this week's Pit Story we've got our own Amy Dyer sharing how she likes to hit up music festivals and live shows and make an impression wearing something just a bit out of the ordinary:

When I photograph gigs, I take a bag of marshmallows with me and throw them into the crowd during the wait between acts. I have now earned a reputation as Marshmallow Girl. I once went to a gig as a punter and someone recognized me as marshmallow girl and bought me a pint XD. More funny than interesting but it's still makes me laugh.

I've gained a similar reputation at festivals when I spend the entire weekend in a Lion onesie. Andy Copping (owner of Download) has no idea what my name is but does know I'm the photographer in a lion onesie XD.

Amy was kind enough to share a few photos of this lion outfit below... including one where she's meeting a very bemused Marilyn Manson!

What's the strangest thing you've seen someone wear to a festival, and what's your preferred show-going attire? Let us know in the comments section below!

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Pit Stories: Flying Bottles

Tuesday's Pit Story time has come around again!

Gather round for a new tale from the pit, this time from vocalist Chase Thibodeau of Vancouver thrash metal band Terrifier.

Chase recalls a particularly drunk 'n rowdy Canadian pit at the Cobalt, telling the story like this:

I remember the first time we came to Vancouver to play at this old classic dingy bar called the Cobalt. It was the main local venue for many years. It was located in a rough part of town so it was a good venue for metal. There we're fights breaking out in the pit constantly. When we first got up to play we had a few bottles and glasses fly on stage but we remained focused on delivering the goods.

I remember getting soaked in vodka and thinking man this crowd is wild. I looked down and saw this chick up front get hit so hard her glass flew out of her hand. The whole time I thought they we're throwing bottles at us until I realized they we're givener that hard lol I'll never forget that.

Terrifier recently signed to Test Your Metal Records and will be releasing second album "Weapons of Thrash Destruction" on January 20th, 2017. The nine-track mosher follows 2013 EP "Metal or Death" and 2012 full-length release "Destroyers of the Faith." More...

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Pit Stories: Protecting The Van

Ready for a new Pit Story metal fans? This week's come courtesy of Canadian group Malacoda, and moves away from the pit and onto the road where bands spend countless hours travelling to bring you the craziest shows in the music industry!

Tour van break-ins are a fact of life for metal bands, and there's usually not a month gone by that we don't post about some crowd funding campaign to recover lost items after the latest robbery.

Some bands have taken up preventative security measures to prevent such activity - but they don't always work out as planned. Brad Casarin, guitarist of Malacoda, recalls his road story like this:

We were in Vancouver playing a show and the venue was on Hastings. Anybody that's been to Vancouver knows this is one of the worst areas in North America for drugs and drug users. After the gig half of us got to sleep in a hotel room while two of us volunteered to sleep in the van in front of the venue.

Around three in the morning we are woken up by a hand reaching into the van - older vans used to have these push out windows that you could just squeeze your hand through. The hand was trying to unlatch the pull up lock! Luckily I remembered I had packed a cO2 cartridge BB hand gun. So I reached for it as the hand was feeling around for the lock and I unloaded it 10 - 12 times about three inches away into his hand.

The perpetrator screamed in agony trying to get out of the tight fit he had maneuvered his hand into, all the while screaming "Please, oh God, please stop!" from outside the van. It was then that I recognized the voice as our drummer who had come back to the van to grab something. His swollen BB filled hand eventually healed up in a week and he could drum again at full capacity!

Malacoda's six track EP "Ritualis Aeterna" was released last week (December 2nd, 2016) and can be streamed in full below. More...

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Pit Stories: Epic NOLA Nights

Pit Story day has rolled around, as we check in with bands and fans from across the world to get their favorite stories from live shows.

From lost nude roadies to stumbling across the scene of a stabbing, there's a million and one crazy Pit Stories and we're on an endless quest to discover them all!

Today we've got Ross Brown of Louisiana-based stoner metal band Vermillion Whiskey sharing two epic nights burned into his memory that he'll never forget.

Ross tells the tale like this:

The most energetic and slightly horrifying pits was at a HAWGJAW show on a sweaty south Louisiana night. The crowd was totally into the bands raw and intense style. The singer had a huge back piece tattoo of a huge monkey on his back. He was rolling around on the ground in the middle of the pit and whipping himself in the head with his mic. I was probably 18 at the time and was etched in my memory.

Then there was a wild road trip to see my friends band Pig Knuckle play with New Orleans band Mangina. It was at a 24 hour laundromat/Bar Checkpoint Charlies who serves scrambled eggs 24/7. They had a 10 year kid doing backup vocals, bass player was wearing a thong, and singer had a cape. Then in the midst of downright debauchery, the singer drop kicked a heckler in the crowd right upside his head and the bass player and singer got into a fight. That night was EPIC like most of my trips to NOLA.

Vermillion Whiskey's new album "Spirit of Tradition" is coming on February 10th, 2017. Get full info at this location. More...

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Pit Stories: The White Whale Amongst Bathers

Ready for a new round of Pit Stories?

This week we've got a tale of a lost and very drunk roadie and a band scrambling to find their wayward companion, who has been up to no good while in an altered state.

Dre Versailles, vocalist of Gatineau, Québec-based band Inire, tells the Hangover-sequel worthy story like this:

Some names of people and places have been changed. The idiocy remains unaltered.

A friend of ours in London graciously offered us his pad while he was out of town so we could crash the night after the show. His door has multiple locks and he gave me specific instructions to lock up when we left in the morning because doing it improperly could result in him being locked out. I don’t need to tell you, this is important.

We partied a bit after the show, responsibly for the most part but our friend and roadie “Mustachio” (yes, that’s what I’m calling him) decided he was due for a solid one. It wasn’t long before we lost sight of him. Nor was it long before the police came poking around about a disturbance of some sort. We told them we knew nothing (which was technically true but also false in the sense that we all had a prime suspect in mind… name starts with “M”). Thankfully they ended up leaving empty handed (and probably a little confused).
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Pit Stories: Cuttin Up Hookers... At A Crime Scene

Its been a pretty wild ride lately for our weekly Pit Stories: there was a crowd that nearly cooked at an overly-cramped Rammstein set, some crazy shroom tripping at the flame-filled CromFest, and a recounting of those terrible 1st show blues.

That ride gets no less wild this week as Infinite Earths checked in with us for a harrowing tour tale!

The band recounts an event during a 2014 live trek where one member was wearing a particularly ironic shirt while finding himself unexpectedly at a crime scene. Infinite Earths recalls the story like this:

It was the summer of 2014 on tour with Mindscar. We just put in a hard day’s night with supporting acts Miridian, and Thoughts Of Redemption in Satellite Beach, Florida at Wynfield’s enjoying a pre-load out beer. During the first quarter of the tour we were accompanied by brother Felix, lead photographer of FXO photography and acting roadie. Naturally, Felix is bumping elbows with me getting a cab tetris’d back into the death wagon when I hear a bloodcurdling scream off in the distance. It came from a motel looking joint just passed an unpurposed field behind the venue.

Inspired by my drunken stupor, I draw the dudes attention toward the clatter. Like a slovenly Freddy waving the Scooby Gang about. I propose we should go check it out, begging the question of what Batman would do. I sauntered off merrily with fuckless abandon and even more so with the more tattooed dudes I convinced to follow. Felix is into the action, a boots on the ground kinda mother fucker, the rest of the guys following his shredded rambo like gumption.

Into the fray, we dashed across the field toward the source of the distress. As we get up to the building we see a door on the top floor of this two story building burst open halting us in apprehension. A woman stumbles out of this room screaming bloody murder as she bumbled toward us and down the stairs. She flopped out onto the parking lot like a surly wounded walrus. Not that she was fat, it was more about the way she did it. “I got stabbed, I got stabbed!” she blubbered from the depths of her aquatic gut.
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Pit Stories: Some Serious Miscommunication

After the insanity of shroom trips and flaming statues at Crom Fest and a look at all the things that can go wrong at a 1st show, Pit Stories returns this week with something completely different.

We asked Michael Arcane and Stack Manley from 100% true hair metal band Turbo Shokk for his best pit story, and that's when things got a little hairy and lost in translation.

Check out the full exchange below, which is undoubtedly one of the most odd in our never-ending quest for the most insane mosh pit stories from metal history.

Metal Underground (MU): So, onto pits. More...

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Pit Stories: Mushrooms And Flaming Swords

For the first Pit Story of November and one of the last of the year, we've got a truly epic tale of the best of metal culture: getting stoned out of your mind and hitting up a proper festival.

This week guitarist Nate Jones from Florida stoner / sludge metal outfit Junior Bruce shares a tale of fiery terror from Cromfest 2010. Nate recalls the events like this:

February 2010, with very loose directions and gear loaded up, we embarked on a journey to an isolated area just outside of Cassadaga, FL to play a party called Cromfest. $5 all you can drink, bonfires, and metal celebrating fucking CROM? Seriously I can't make this shit up!

Darkness falling and people starting to show up, it was time to eat some shrooms! Moments later the bonfire was blazing and things were warming up fast. These guys even had the forethought to have shit laying around to throw on to the fire all night long - old sofas and other random junk furniture and flammable garbage. The people at the party were fucking nuts - there was a guy walking around with a python, people with legit sharp ass dangerous as fuck battle axes, fuck - even the guy carving the smoked pig was using a jacked up sword to cut the meat (you know the kind that you'd find at a flea market or outlet mall for "decorative purposes only").

There was another guy that fashioned a mace out of a steel chain and bowling ball, another guy had a giant hammer to smash things with, and someone built a flame thrower out of a propane tank and was torching the pigs head mounted on a steak. This shit was intense! Did I mention they smoked a pig? People were smashing shit, throwing shit on the fire, and getting fucked up. It was Ocala / Volusia county at its finest! Pure testosterone filled redneck destruction - all in the name of CROM!
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