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Archive: Pit Stories Columns

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Tales From The Pit: The Power Of Joose

We've been talking to bands and fans everywhere to get their favorite mosh pit stories. This week The Carrier drummer Mike shares one with us:

"Well Rain Fest 2008 was our first fest ever, and our first ever show on the West Coast (Or Northwest, whatever). It was also the first time any of us had ever had Joose, the most unbelievable and magical malt liquor known to man. Well, I guess in the end, after about seven or eight juices, Anthony, who is bigger than most silverback gorillas, decided to mosh during Ceremony's set. It didn't take long for Anthony to knock some dude unconscious. In fact, he hit the kid so hard that the kid landed on some other people, in turn knocking all of them over as well. We don't know what happened to the guy. Hopefully he is okay. That's the power of Joose."

As previously reported, The Carrier has confirmed dates for a European tour this winter with Dead Swans (UK). The Carrier, after touring all summer, has also started working on material for a new full length record. In the meantime, check out some of their music on their MySpace player.

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Tales From The Pit: A Front Flip Facial

We've been talking to bands and fans everywhere to get their favorite mosh pit stories. This week IMPIOUS drummer Mike Norén shares a story from a show they played in Germany:

"We did a show with Cataract at Markthalle in Hamburg back in 2005. I stood next to the stage and watched the entire Cataract set; I was really into the 'With Triumph Comes Loss' album at that time. And on the last song 'Reborn from Fire' I ran right out on stage, threw myself head first towards the monitors, grabbed them just before my head was about to smash into them and did a front flip right off stage. I remember my feet smashing into these German kids’ heads right before my entire bodyweight came slamming down on top of them. After the show a kid came up to me and told me in broken English/German how I 'put my foot in his head.' It was great fun."

I'm not so sure that kid has such fond memories of that night as Mike does! Perhaps it was lost in translation, but no blood, no foul.

Impious' new album "Death Domination" was just released in North America this week and will see an Asian release on December 23rd. You can check out some of their music here.

Check back every Tuesday for a new tale from the mosh pit.

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Tales From The Pit: The All Ages Mosh Pit

We've been talking to bands and fans everywhere to get their favorite mosh pit stories. This week guitarist Matthew Bile of Walking Corpse Syndrome shares his story of an all ages mosh pit in Deer Lodge:

"Montana gets a bad rap for being so sparsely populated, and the small towns in Montana get an even worse rap. But we'll play most any place people want to see us. So when folks in Deer Lodge, where the state pen is located and our drummers are from, wanted to see us, we played a show. We rented a venue. Our friends and family ran sound and lights. And half the town showed up. The other half was busy trying to shut down the 'devil worshiping' music. It felt more like a state fair than a metal show. All ages there really is all ages, from babies up to great grandparents.

"We've also noticed that there's an inverse relationship between size of town and intensity of mosh pit. The less stuff there is to do, the crazier the kids get. And Deer Lodge kids took home the trophy. There were no fewer than 4 mosh pits going on, segregated by age group (high school, junior high, and middle school) and gender (a chick pit is a sight to behold). It was a like a scene out of that movie Fight Club, with punches thrown, pile drivers driven, and even a kid slammed into a garbage can and kicked across the floor. I almost stopped the show because I was getting a little sick watching the mayhem, but not for a single second did I see the smiles leave their faces."

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Tales From The Pit: A Bone Crushing Wall of Death

We've been talking to bands and fans everywhere to get their favorite mosh pit stories. This week, Ben of All Shall Perish prefers to let the video do most of the talking:

"Full Force Festival was probably one of the most memorable mosh pit's All shall Perish has ever created. The crowd busted one of the biggest wall of death's I have ever seen! check out the video from the Jumbotron:

"I heard from a few that attended that day that some kid broke both of his legs... Sorry about that!"

All Shall Perish just wrapped up a co-headlining tour of the US with Born of Osiris and will be heading to Europe in January for their "The Black Procession" tour with Machine Head, Hatebreed and Bleeding Through.

Check back every Tuesday for more tales from the pit.

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Tales From the Pit: Owning The Indie Mosh Pit

We've been talking to bands and fans everywhere to get their favorite mosh pit stories. This week Jason from Winter Storm shows those indie kids how it's done:

"Me and my friends went to a Metal/Indie night for new year's eve, turned out to be 90% indie, we moshed the whole night through and totally owned that night club!!! I think we easily made up for the lack of metal heads HAHA!!"

Winter Storm is playing the Femme Metal Fest on November 7th and is currently recording their first album "Serenity In Darkness," due out February 2010.

Check back every Tuesday for more tales from the pit.

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Tales From The Pit: Letting It Out In A Slayer Pit

We've been talking to bands and fans everywhere to get their favorite mosh pit stories. This week’s story is from Jussi Heikkinen, the guitarist of Soulgrind:

"Slayer pit, of course. I remember one, when they were playing here in Finland at sauna Open Air, tampere. I just got a ticket from cops for driving too fast. They also took my driving licence for a couple of months, so I was REALLY pissed off when arriving to the gig. So I ran to the pit and got violent. In a positive way :) I jammed, slammed, hit, and banged with all of my heart and my over 100 kg weight. And after the gig, some youngsters came to me and thanked me about my great attitude in the pit. And thanked for me for hitting them HARD! That’s Slayer pit, indeed."

Soulgrind will perform at the UK's Femme Metal Festival at The Peel in Kingston, London on Sunday, November 8, 2009.

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Tales From The Pit: Wheelchair Moshing To Gwar

We've been talking to bands and fans everywhere to get their favorite mosh pit stories. This week’s story is from Oderus Urungus from GWAR. When asked what the weirdest thing he'd ever seen from the stage in the band's 1,500 shows over the course of their career, here's what he had to say:

"I can tell you the funniest thing. We were playing a show and I looked down on the audience and I was like, 'Why is that guy slamming in a lazy boy?' And I realized he was in a wheelchair and people were picking him up and passing him over the top of the crowd. Hilarious! He was screaming and fell out of his chair and was booted into submission. He only had a broken leg before the show, but now he’s totally paralyzed."

This may be a slightly exaggerated of the story told in his recent interview with Metalunderground.com. Don't miss Oderus' previous pit story detailing their defeat of a skinhead wall of death.

Gwar recently released their 12th studio album, "Lust In Space," which entered the Billboard Top 200 album charts at number 96. The band is currently on tour with Lamb of God and Job For a Cowboy.

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Tales From The Pit: Redefining A "Hardcore" Pit

We've been talking to bands and fans everywhere to get their favorite mosh pit stories. This week’s story is from Magnus "Adde" Andreasson of Hardcore Superstar:

"When we played in this club in Sweden last year a wild thing happened. I was halfway through our set digging into my drums as usual when everyone in the band suddenly starts to signal me and point their fingers to the front row. OK, so I look and see two girls making out, kissing and licking on each others tits. 'Wow' I think. This goes on for a while and then this guy comes up from behind and after a couple of minutes he starts to fuck one of these girls from behind. Right there in front of us. That's the wildest stuff I've seen so far during a concert."

For more on Hardcore Superstar, we recently interviewed them as well as reviewed their latest album, "Beg For It."

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Tales From The Pit: Ripping off "Mosh Dude's" Ear

We've been talking to bands, fans, and promoters to get their best mosh pit stories. This one comes to us from Josh Silbernagel of the Facedown band Hands.

"So I'm like 15 years old at the time and have never been to a metal show in my life... let alone anywhere near a mosh pit. Suffice to say that at the sight of all the piercings, tattoos, and studded/spiked leather apparel... not to mention the wildly violent looking folks who were wearing them... I was experiencing some hardcore culture shock (...no pun intended).

"There was one kid in particular who was really freaking me out. He was this pudgy little bald guy who was wearing tough looking worn out army boots, shredded up old Levi jeans, and a sweat stained formerly white t-shirt that had the words "Mosh Dude" scrawled across the front in permanent marker. To top it off he had a crudely fashioned hole in his earlobe the size of a pencil (which I later found out was made with a paper punch and a pocket knife). From this hole hung a rusty piece of chain. Now I'm not talking about something you buy at Hot Topic or from some extreme body modification accessory store... I'm talking about a rusty old link that looked like it came from a chain your great grandpa would have fastened to a team of oxen to pull a stump out of the ground. It looked like it had been cut with a hack saw in a couple of places to make an opening, and was now apparently considered jewelry. I could not take my eyes off that thing for the life of me.

"So the show starts and Mosh Dude is right in the thick of things. He was an old school push-mosher and was really laying into people... especially the hardcore dancers. Finally one of them got fed up with it and did a crazy spinning windmill kick within the general proximity of Mosh Dude's head. I think it was supposed to be a warning of some sort... but it didn't work out that way. You see, somehow the hardcore dancer's infant girl sized jeans managed to snag Mosh Dude's rusty chain-link earring... I'm not exaggerating when I say that blood literally sprayed across the entire pit. This guy's already abused ear seriously got ripped halfway off his head. And when I say "ripped half way off his head" I mean "ripped half way off his freaking head!!!". It was just hanging there, blood gushing from the side of his skull like water being shot through the blow hole of a mighty Beluga Whale!!! Okay... so that's a small exaggeration... but you get the idea...

"I expected this guy to first kill the kid who kicked him and then to see him die from blood-loss. The whole pit was watching with fascination and horror. To everyone's surprise (and to others' disappointment) Mosh Dude neither took a life nor lost his own. He simply ripped off his t-shirt, tied it around his head to slow the bleeding, then turned to the kid who had ripped his ear off and stuck his hand up in the air for a high five, declaring to everyone present... "THAT WAS #$!%ING AWESOME!!!". He then continued to mosh through the entire set with his blood soaked "Mosh Dude" t-shirt tightly holding his what was left of his ear to his head. It was a disgustingly awesome occasion... and a very intense way for me to lose my mosh-pit virginity.

"I will probably never see Mosh Dude again, and to be honest that is totally fine with me. But I will never forget him or his mangled ear. So I guess this story is his legacy as far as I am concerned. Bummer for him."

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Tales From The Pit: Knocking Out The HxC Kid

We've been talking to bands, promoters, and fans to get their favorite mosh pit stories. This is from Bake in Indianapolis.

“Here at the Emerson (Indianapolis) it’s impossible to see a show without some ‘tard tough guy trying to smash heads all night. So I went to see Zao and Unearth and this dude wearing daisy dukes kept running to the front and jumping on us. I grabbed the guy from the back of the head and told him I’d kill him if he hit me again, and he spit in my face... just a little. So my bud kept his eye out for when the kid was coming to jump; we all moved when he made his flight. Luckily for me, the stage took care of knocking the f**ker out. Stupid bastard.”

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Tales From The Pit: Knocked Out At Figure Four

We've been talking to bands and fans to get their favorite mosh pit stories. This is actually from a Metal Underground reader, Nate.

“A few years back I went to see Figure Four, and I probably picked the worst spot in the whole crowd to stand. Although it was nice to get closer to stage, I was feeling a little nervous about being so close to the throngs of thirty year olds that come out with tough-guy comes to town. But I was chillin...having a good time. Then Kill and Deceive came up, and about halfway through I got kicked straight on the side of my head. It was "Now I know your weakness" and the lights went out. Thankfully someone was looking out for me. I came a couple minutes later propped up against the wall. A lit cigarette hung in my mouth.”

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Tales From The Pit: Joey Vera's Mosh Pit Flips

We've been talking to bands to get their best mosh pit stories. This one is from Joey Vera when he was on tour in 1986 with Armored Saint, opening for Metallica and WASP.

"Just about every night, whoever happened to be watching Metallica's set from side stage, got invited out to sing the 'DIE!' part at the end of Creeping Death. One night in Texas, there I was, hammered and waiting for my nightly invitation. Sure enough, I get the wink from my gracious host, Cliff Burton.

"On I go and give my best beer soaked "DIE!". After my part is played, I walk to the edge of the stage in front of Cliff's floor monitor, turn around to face him, and with all my strength I hurl myself in a back flip into the audience. Luckily the crowd takes pity on my poor aerial form and catches me. Then I find myself in a flurry of sweaty limbs as I begin to surf towards the front of the stage. Metallica's crew pulls my sorry ass out and back onto stage while Mr. Burton tops my score with a thumbs 'way' up. Good times."

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Tales From The Pit: Unholy Rocks A Boxing Ring

We've been talking to bands to get their favorite mosh pit stories. This week's story comes from Unholy's Billy Price.

"We played this show in NYC and midway through one of our songs this fight breaks out in the pit and these two guys start slugging it out. Theyknocked over at least 5 people rolling around going at it, get back up and start trading blows, the crowd starts to form around them creating a boxing ring type of effect. No one bothers to step in or break it up and we keep playing while these guys try to take each others heads off. Finally one of the brawlers decided he had enough and disappeared into the crowd, the winner then proceeded to finish moshing to the rest of the song! It was probably the closest we will ever get to playing a live boxing match."

Next week we'll hear about Joe Vera's exploits at a 1986 Metallica show.

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Tales From the Pit: Spin Kicking Davey Havoc

We've been talking to bands around the world to get their best mosh pit stories. We heard from Makh Daniels of Early Graves about his favorite pit experience:

"11 years ago at a now defunct SF venue called the Cocodrie, I was stage diving and moshing a bunch at a Disembodied show. During the part in the song "Bloodshed Rain" where it goes "GOD SAVE US!" I ended up spin kicking Davey Havoc in the face and nearly knocking him out. Highlight of my spin kicking career."

Next week we'll hear about an impromptu boxing ring at an Unholy show.

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Tales From The Pit: Ravage Stops Moshing Kegs

We've been talking to bands around the world to get their best pit stories. This week's comes from Al, vocalist for Metal Blade band Ravage.

"Ravage was playing a thrash/ speed metal fest recently featuring Bonded By Blood, and some other touring and local bands at a place we call 'The Metal Hall' just outside of Boston - which was basically a glorified kegger party in a room with a stage. It ended up raining a lot before the show went on - and outside the hall is an unpaved road and industrial yard, so the crowd tracked a lot of mud onto the floor when they came in and the floor of the place became a slippery, muddy mess. When the bands went on, the pit became insane and people were sliding around like crazy, so it was a wonder no one got seriously hurt. The walls were padded with a lot of sound foam, so that probably helped.

"Toward the end of the show I was standing in the very back and filming the bands on a hand-held camera. All the kegs had been drained and a lot of people were completely blasted. I was standing next to the empty kegs and one particularly sloshed guy came up to me and slurred, "We need to inject a little CHAOS into this party!" He proceeded to pick one of the empty beer kegs up over his head and he tried to bring it down directly on the head of some little guy standing next to me. When I realized what he was doing, I grabbed his arm and was able to stop him from completely crushing the guy's skull (the shocked little guy escaped with just a glancing blow). I grabbed the keg from the crazy guy, put it down and pushed him back into the ongoing circle pit, where I thought he at least wouldn't be able to murder anyone. A few minutes pass and I'm still filming, not totally paying attention to the crowd, and from out of nowhere the same crazy guy comes back, grabs an empty keg from behind me and bowls it into the circle pit where it took down at least two unsuspecting moshers who fell backward onto the slippery floor and were covered in mud and beer. That was one of the weirdest things I've ever seen someone do in a pit."

Stay tuned for next week when we'll read about knocking out AFI vocalist Davey Havoc.

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Tales From The Pit: Losing an Eye in the Pit

We've been talking to bands to get their best pit stories. This week's is from Matthew Zadkovich, guitarist for Starring Janet Leigh:

"I was in Toronto at the Reverb for a show with the Cancer Bats (Blackmarket/Distort) and The End (Relapse). It was in the middle of The End's set and I hadn't been in a pit for a while after some older injuries nearly ruined one of my hands (not too good for a guitarist), but they're a great band and adrenaline was pumping so I figured what the hell, time to bring the mosh! I was a couple people from the front in the crammed pit and one guy up front jumped up on stage to stage dive. 'Right on,' I thought. The dude jumped right at me and instead of going on his back went face first with his fingers pointed out. All of a sudden I couldn't see and my head was spinning. I stumbled out of the pit now realizing that this guy's finger had gone about an inch into my eye socket. I found my way to the bathroom to see blood coming out of my eye socket, and I could only see out of my other eye. Nothing like seeing blood pouring out of your eye socket to make for a memorable pit injury. Amazingly my eye was ok after a few days, but that's one for the ages: middle finger one inch in my eye socket. Yikes haha!"

Next week we're going to hear from Billy Price of Unholy, who tells about playing a show for a live boxing match.

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Tales From The Pit: Trigger The Nosebleed

We've been talking to bands to get their best pit stories. This week's story comes to us from Trigger The Bloodshed guitarist, Rob Pernell

"We recently played Hammerfest in the UK and because our UK label also had a stage we played two sets, one on the main stage and one on the Rising Records stage. Both shows were fucking crazy with some real brutal pits and each time we saw a few people leaving the pits in a bad way! But there was this one dude who came up to us after our second show, with a stitched up nose and a shirt covered in blood as he had managed to break his nose during our set. So he get us to sign his bloodied shirt and when we thought we were done signing, he whipped out another equally as bloodied shirt which was the product of his first broken nose from the day before again during our set! 1 Festival, 1 band, 2 sets, 2 fractures!"

Next week's story will be from Matthew Zadkovich, guitarist for Starring Janet Leigh, and how he almost had his eye plucked out.

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Tales From The Pit: Moshing with Bats, Barbed Wire

We've been talking to bands to get their best pit stories. This installment is from Justin and Angela from Facedown band The Great Commission.

"Rather than go to our prom in high school, Justin and I decided to go to a show instead. Versus the couple hundred dollars we would have wasted, we paid $8 to see Figure Four, Shattered Realm, and Bad Luck 13 at The Showcase Theatre in Corona, CA. It ended up being the craziest show we had ever been to. When BL13 played, they threw weapons into the pit including bats with barbed wire, thumb tacs, fireworks, forks, and random metal objects that were thrown at people. Needless to say it was pretty violent as you could imagine and my shirt caught fire from one of the fire crackers! By far the craziest pit I have ever seen."

Next week hear from Trigger The Bloodshed's Rob Pernell.

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Tales From The Pit: Shai Hulud Loves Pit Ladies

We've been talking to bands to hear their best pit stories. This week, we've got a tale from Matt Fox, guitarist for Shai Hulud.

"I learned pretty early on I wasn't suited for "moshing", though I certainly had no idea I could sustain an injury simply standing in "the pit"...

At a They Might Be Giants show.

For those unfamiliar with They Might Be Giants, they're not terribly mosh-friendly, a far cry from Slayer in speed and aggression (and Satanism for that matter) and inspire more pogo hops than anything else - there is, however, the odd stage dive. I didn't expect it, and I didn't see it coming, but I felt it well enough. I'm not sure if it was a stray hand that belted me, or if the diver and I collided forehead to forehead, regardless, it smarted. The shock of the impact was brief; the shock of the one and a half seconds that followed lasted a good 15 fifteen years plus, as I'm here retelling this story from 1992 in 2009.

So there I am, after getting good and smacked, holding the culprit in the air with another person who's got her legs. Me? I've got her breasts. All two of them. One in each hand. How they got there, I have no idea. I was too busy getting physically smashed to intentionally grope anyone. She scowled at me, and then I pawned her off on the person to my left. If they got past second base with her, I'll never know."

In the next installment of "Tales from the Pit" we'll hear from Angela and Justin from Facedown band The Great Commission. To give you an idea, it involved barbed wire, fireworks, and baseball bats.

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Tales From The Pit: Jono Helps a 1-Legged Man Mosh

We've been talking to bands to hear their best pit stories. This week, we've got a tale from Jono, drummer for The Destro:

"All too often on the road, the words "I'll never forget this" are uttered out of my mouth. A stop in Wichita Kansas was the perfect opportunity. The night goes as typical as any given show night, a set full of intense headbanging, plenty of booze to counter the side effects, and just enough pointless conversation with strangers to entertain yourself. In the middle of one of those conversations, i was asked to do something i simply couldn't refuse, pick up and assist this dude in the pit....that was completely wasted....and missing a leg. i picked up and spun the guy fast enough to inflict some serious hurt on anyone in the way of his roundhouse kick. No one was safe from our crippling violence, including us. We were eventually ganged up on and taken to the ground. Turns out picking up a guy with one leg is way harder than it sounds. Watching my inebriated attempts had to be agonizing for everyone paying attention. I finally got him up. He pounded my fist, showed some horns, and hopped off. I’ll never forget that; dude was a rager."

In the next installment of "Tales From The Pit" we'll hear from Matt Fox of Shai Hulud.

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