Archive: Pit Stories Columns
Every Tuesday we check in with metal musicians from across the genre spectrum to get their most memorable Pit Stories from live shows.
This week guitarist Nick Lee from Riot V shares a tale of a band that's not afraid to leave the stage and get right into the pit with fans - all while still playing the set! Nick had this to say:
I've grown up in pits at local shows and I feel like this was my favorite story to tell. My favorite pit-like experience has to be anytime Alabama's Daikaiju rolls through NYC. Within the first few songs of their set the band (amplifiers, drum kit, and all) is right in the middle of the floor with the audience.
The last time I saw them, right after they set their cymbals on fire in the middle of a tiny, cramped, dive bar with spectators' faces mere inches away, they had the crowd hoist the drummer, and each of his drums into the air, where he played the next song on top of any hands, shoulders, and heads he could balance on. Meanwhile their guitar players are taking turns climbing the bar, and surfing across the audience on their backs, never missing a note. The audience takes the cue and finds their own way to add to the insanity while the employees of the bar look on in horror.
I chose these experiences because they are always intense, sweaty, physical, over-the-top RAGERS but without any violent, chest-beating, machismo bullshit that tends to ruin the vibe of heavy shows. The audience leaves battered and bruised but never without a smile on their face and some crazy stories to tell their friends who stayed home that night.
Riot V - the band born from the remaining members of U.S. metal outfit Riot - is now dropping brand new album "Unleash The Fire." It was released in Japan back in August, and will be released in Europe, Canada, and the U.S. in October.
"Unleash The Fire" is the first record since the passing of guitarist and Riot founder Mark Reale. It features Riot veterans Don Van Stavern on bass, Mike Flyntz on guitar, and Frank Gilchriest on drums, and it is the first record with Todd Michael Hall on vocals and Nick Lee on guitar.
The band is also getting ready to play Loud Park '14 in Japan on October 19th with headliners Dream Theater & Manowar, as well as lining up new tours for 2015. More...
Gather around metal heads: it's Pit Story time again!
This week Dave Davidson from Revocation shares a tale of trying to get a fellow musician to stage dive, who wisely turns the offer down.
Undeterred, Dave decides to show the fans in the mosh pit how it's done, with some unfortunate consequences. He tells the story thusly:
We were playing Cleveland at Peabody’s on the Darkest Hour Legacy tour and I was drinking at the bar with Misha from Periphery. The subject of mosh pits and stage diving came up and he said that he had never stage dived before. I was pretty drunk at that point so I was kind of teasing him about not doing it and challenging him to stage dive. He wasn’t into it so I went up and stage dove during Darkest Hour’s set and came out unscathed.
I came back to the bar and Misha was still not having it so I went for round two to prove my point… but then things didn’t go quite as planned. I dove off the stage backwards but I kind of over shot my jump so instead of catching my whole body the crowd only caught my legs which flipped my body around so that my head came crashing to the concrete floor.
I stood up in a daze after basically “piledriving” myself in the middle of the pit and felt a wetness on the back of my head. I soon realized that wet feeling was actually blood and one of the dudes who worked at the club was nice enough to take me to the ER. 8 staples later I was sent on my way. Misha got the aftermath of the stage dive gone awry on video for your viewing pleasure.
Revocation's forthcoming fifth album "Deathless" will drop on October 14th via Metal Blade. Get a taste of the release by hearing "Madness Opus" here or check out the title track at this location. Check out the end result of Dave's mistimed stage leap in the player below: More...
Every Tuesday we check in with musicians from across the metalverse to find their best Pit Stories from live shows.
While moshing is meant to be a chance to let out aggression while throwing down to your favorite band's music, some metalheads aren't exactly courteous in the pit and tempers are known to flare. Throw in someone who doesn't care about basic hygiene or personal boundaries and you've got a recipe for thrown fists and ejection from the venue.
One such unfortunate incident is chronicled today by drummer Avery Desmarais from Edmonton, Alberta-based metal band Display Of Decay. He had this story to share:
So Disciples of Power is playing their first ever reunion show at the pawnshop in Edmonton, I'm in the audience watching, enjoying the show and some giant asshole keeps elbowing and just laying out the people around him. People who aren't involved in the rowdy violent part of the crowd, people who don't look like they enjoy moshing. And he just keeps laying these people out, boom!
I'm unfortunately now beside him at this point, still watching when he turns, and shoves me pretty good. Managed to stand still, goes for it again and hits me. At this point a guy taps me on the shoulder to get my attention (I do not know this cat), he kinda nudges my hand insisting I smash this guys head in with this empty beer bottle that he is handing me. I think back on it now, I should have. but I'm like nahhh, don't need that kind of drama happening at a venue that I really like going to.
So this asshole, turns to me, and rubs the sweat from his forehead on my shoulder like a cat. Disgusted, I look at him and tell him to "Fuck off." Maybe 15 seconds passed, and I see him going for it again. At this point I'm thinking, okay I really want this guys to be bleeding from his ear right now, so I grabbed this fellow (who keep in mind, definitely has some weight on me, and a few inches, plus he was taller than me) by the shoulders of his jacket and I start whipping him around like hockey players on the ice grabbing the other by the jersey and just giving him all the weight I had.
This guy gets to his feet, swings at me, misses, I throw a punch and I'm pretty sure I hit him in the eyebrow. He swings again and clocks me, but being the spaz that I am along with the help of the pounding doom screaming from the amps of DOP during crisis, it barely phased me. Now we both were grabbed by people and I was taken outside and I went home.
I never saw that guy again. I wonder if he still thinks of me, I wonder if he remembers how we met. Only time will tell.
What's your best pit story of when an inconsiderate mosher practically begged for a beat down? Let us know in the comments below!
Joining the band on stage is a dream for many metal lovers, but sometimes that doesn't always go down the way you might of hoped.
For this week's Pit Story, Martin Drozd from beer-guzzling folk metal outfit Protokult shares a story of inviting a young fan to play on stage without first checking with the rest of the group:
So there we were, doing what we do best and indulging during our pre-show ritual. This venue/backstage was conveniently located right next to a parking lot which was nice and easy access for us to get obliterated before our set.
The sun went down and the Kult was in town and all of a sudden a group of random teenage school kids approached us in the parking lot. They looked a little under age, plus I don't like sharing with strangers so we didn't offer them any swigs but I noticed one nerdy looking kid was carrying some sort of small instrument case. "Hey man, what instrument you got there?" I asked. "I'm a flautist," he chirped back; "just finished a busking gig." I thought to myself, "interesting." Turns out he had the same name as our guitarist (Jeremy) and I decided to test his musical abilities. "If you claim to have studied music all these years, fuck it, join us on stage for a few numbers," I suggested. I am easy going like that and figured it would be worth a laugh; hell, maybe the kid would be amazing!
The young Jeremy was delighted at the thought and I quickly mentioned a few chord progressions for him to keep in mind and practice to. Fast-forward inside the venue. As we're setting up, the nerdy, homeless looking minstrel wanders up on stage and starts blowing his heart out on the flute. Coincidentally, this was the same weekend as the Toronto Jazz festival so I decided to troll the audience a bit. "Good evening folks, this is Jeremy on the flute and welcome to the Toronto Jazz fest." Confusion and apprehension lingered amok but the joke seemed well-received by a majority of the audience. As Jeremy kept fluting relentlessly for what seemed a lifetime, we launched into our first song.
Ekaterina climbed up on stage and gave this kid a swift kick off-stage and in less than a heartbeat, he was gone! He tried weaseling his way back on for a few numbers but she wasn't having it. Being very drunk and focused on my own performance, I took no notice to the occasional plea for mercy and desperate cries of "Please give me a chance, I'm a human being!" Moral of the story? Make sure the full band is aware of any guest appearances prior to performance.
Protokult's new album "No Beer In Heaven" just came out last month and can be heard in full via the Bandcamp player provided below. More...
Tuesday's not just new release day - it's also when we have the best of the best in the metal world share their most memorable Pit Stories.
This week metal warrior Casey Orr of Rigor Mortis (...and Warbeast, and GWAR, and Ministry, and a whole bunch of others) shares a tale of camaraderie in the pit when metal heads and punk rockers come together to tear shit up and have a good time. Casey recounts the story thusly:
I grew up in Arlington, TX, just east of Ft. Worth and about 30 miles west of Dallas. Though only about 30 miles apart, Dallas and the Arlington/Ft Worth area are very different. While Arlington/Ft. W was clearly the birthplace of heavy metal in North Texas, Dallas, being a bit more "big city," was a fertile breeding ground for punk. At that time my only exposure to punk had been through main stream outlets. I was aware of Devo, The Sex Pistols, and The Ramones, but not much else. Our side of the Metroplex was all about Sabbath, Skynyrd, Led Zep, and the burgeoning NWOHM.
Sometime in 1984, a friend told me and Rigor Mortis drummer, Harden Harrison, about this crazy club in Dallas we HAD to check out. It was a punk rock club called The Circle A Ranch, and we said hell yeah, let's go! So one night Harden and I drove out to Dallas to this seedy area called Deep Ellum in search of enlightenment, or beer, or a fight, or all of the above.
We found the club, a dingy dump up a rickety flight of stairs, and we entered. As we got to the top of the stairs I looked around and realized we were the only longhairs in the room. It was all skinheads and mohawks! The band that was playing (I've long forgotten who) was playing faster and more aggressively than almost any of the metal I'd heard up to this point. After a slight verbal altercation between Harden and the doorman over "being a long haired hippie," which ended in mutual respect and acceptance (I was so mesmerized I barely noticed, I think I threw money at him and just went in), we proceeded into the room and soaked in this amazing scene that appeared in front of us. The first mosh pit we had ever seen!
There must have been 50 - 75 hardcore punk rockers slamming each other as they moved in a counter clockwise direction. It looked like they were beating the shit out of each other, but they weren't. In fact if someone went down, they were immediately helped back up and the melee continued. I felt like John Belushi in The Blues Brothers when he's in the church and has his revelation about "the band." After a couple of minutes we looked at each other, grinned, and jumped right in. Of course we went the opposite direction as they were going; what better way to introduce yourself? After a couple of songs we stepped out to catch our breath. Right about then two boots and braces type skinheads also left the pit and came right to us. The bigger of the two, who was bleeding from his forehead, said "I don't give a shit if you guys come here or not, but that shit (pointing at my spiked wristbands) has got to go!" Without even thinking about it, I popped the wristbands off, threw them over my shoulder, threw my arm around the big skinhead and dragged back him into the pit with me. We had a blast that night and it definitely changed me forever.
Rigor Mortis eventually played our first Dallas gig at The Circle A Ranch, and were the first metal band to infiltrate Deep Ellum and the punk scene. Sure there were constant scuffles between our fans (The Longhairs), and The Skins, but we never backed down and gained the respect and friendship of most of the punks in Dallas. And the press did wonders for our reputation!More...
Every week we check in with rock and metal musicians from across the globe to get their best stories from live shows.
While these traditionally take place directly in the mosh pit, sometimes the best stories take place just before or after the show.
This week vocalist / guitarist "The Horde" from The New Jacobin Club shares one such tale of a pants-less evil clown wielding a cattle prod and narrowly avoiding trouble with the local police:
In 2009 we were a 10 piece horror rock/sideshow on the road in Western Canada. At the time, we were on our “Cannibal Circus Roadshow,” tour, and some of our theatrical entourage were dressed as clowns…and not the sort of clowns you take your kids to see at the circus.
One night we found out that two of them were being questioned by police outside the club. One of them was no longer wearing pants. It turns out there had been a report of “two clowns carrying a cattle prod around in public.” One of them did have a cattle prod.
Their reply - “No, officer, we just found this lying here by the alley.”
The cop said “So you’re telling me that there must be two other girls dressed as clowns that were running around the clubs on this strip with a cattle prod?”
The police let them go. This actually happened.
What's the closest you've come to a run-in with the law while attending a metal show? Let us know in the comments!
Every week we check in with musicians from across the rock and metal scene to get their most memorable Pit Stories.
This week, guitarist David Mena Ferrer from U.K. outfit In Search Of Sun shares a story of a band that frequently makes the top of anyone's favorite pit list: Slayer! David had this to say:
Well it has to be none other than SLAYER!!!!!! June 9th, 2007 to be exact. It was my second Download Festival ever and the weather was immaculate for a change, the sun was blazing and we sank warm beer after warm beer. My friends and I were positioned left of the main stage, chilled down at the little hill (you know the one), and watching the masses of beautiful festival freaks stumble past us, already half cut, all eagerly awaiting the coming of the mighty Slayer to blow our fucking brains out!
I even remember seeing a dude dressed in a burglar costume eating a crab that day…wherever the Christ he got that from I don’t know! But anyway, the time was finally upon us so we decided to get our asses up and get closer to the action. Maybe a bit too close perhaps…More...
A few weeks back Halycon Way checked in with us to share a Pit Story about a massive wall of death at a Lamb of God show, and now the Atlanta prog metal group is back for another tale of pit shenanigans.
This week the group shares a tale of an unwanted pit failing to erupt at the NAMM convention. Halcyon Way had this to say about the event:
So, it's the Winter NAMM show in January of 2013. I'm at the Grove in Anaheim for an industry-only show there, and it's Exodus, Prong, and Jeff Loomis playing. I'm with a group of friends - other musicians, manufacturers, our producer Lasse Lammert is there, it's a good group. The Grove is a good sized venue, and it's probably about half full, so there's a pretty fair amount of room in the crowd area too, because the venue's floor is kinda segmented, with 20 foot sections going up from the stage. Basically, you have a 15-20 foot deep section the width of the venue, then there's a couple of steps up and a short wall, and there's another level a couple feet higher. I think there's 3-4 total. Keep in mind that this is an industry-only event, and that the general public was not allowed in. You had to get a pass from Dean Guitars in the NAMM show at the convention center.
So, during Prong's set there's a small pit breaking out in the lowest level, and that's cool. The people that didn't want to pit were up higher watching the show....until some drunk numbnuts decides he's going to start one 2 levels up. And the douche didn't even know how to really do a pit, he just decided to drunkenly stagger from one side of the venue to the other, and ram into as many people as he could. Women? Sure. Dudes? Of course. Mom with baby? He would have if there were one there. The guy was being a complete toolbag, just ramming into anyone at random, hitting them from behind, etc.More...
Get a bunch of amped up metal heads into an enclosed space and shenanigans are bound to happen, but add alcohol to the mix and you've got a recipe for pit craziness.
For this week's look at Pit Stories from metal bands across the globe, Crimson Shadows bassist Morgan Rider shares this tale of a festival getting shut down when the crowd turns on an unruly fan:
I have been playing shows the entirety of my adult and teenage life. I have seen just about as much crazy shit at concerts I have attended as the next guy has too. But actually PLAYING the show gives you that vantage point on the crowd and the pit that being a part of the crowd does not provide. Above all, some of the most insane crowds I have ever seen have been in our home country of Canada. I don't know if it's in the water or the poutine, but I personally think it may be the fact that Canada is one of the less-hit markets in the world for metal. The crowds here NEED their fix of metal!
One instance I can recall comes from another band I play in. We were playing an outdoor festival in Ontario right next to the lake and we were one of maybe 10-12 bands. I remember vaguely as we were gearing up to step up on stage, a roamer happened into our backstage area and started to harass our guitar player at the time that we had better play Lynyrd Skynyrd or Pink Floyd or he'd stab us in the throat or something to that degree. We told him to fuck off so we could get ready to play. And yes, this is the part where he losses his shit and attacks our guitarist who he was previously harassing. The quick tussle ended up in them both being bloody-nosed, bruised and covered in dirt, but otherwise OK! We kicked the random guy out of the backstage area and we moved onto the stage to perform. We didn't really hear him shouting at us about how he was going to round up his boys and come back for us though. Onward the show!
And this is where it gets interesting. We were maybe 3-4 songs into our set; we were enjoying the awesomely large-ish and crazy crowd, the cold Canadian beer and the feel of the breeze coming off the lake when Cpl. McTrailerpark and Company come drunkenly stumbling up into the festival grounds. I guess the guy originally did not realize we were the next performing band, so he went straight for the first long-haired and bearded fellow he happened across and a fight broke out immediately. Of course, we saw everything that was going on, so we shouted at someone to break the fight up before it got even further out of control. Now I have never seen this happen, except if a soccer team loses in Brazil or a bunch of fans streak across a football stadium, but the ENTIRE crowd B-lined and went straight for the guy and his buddies!
The whole crowd swarmed these guys and totally gang-beat them. Of course we did not stop playing. Within 5 minutes, ambulances, police cars and a paddy wagon all arrived with an even larger crowd of on-lookers. Eventually, the police came on stage and stopped us from playing and stopped the entire festival.More...
It's Tuesday again, which means it's time for more Pit Stories!
This week we head into one of the most infamous, bone crunching, bruise-inducing pit activities: the dreaded wall of death.
Atlanta prog metal band Halcyon Way shared this story with us about a wall of death during a Lamb of God set:
One of my all time favorite bands is Lamb of God, and if you know Lamb of God at all then you know that they are known for doing a wall of death at the end of their show. So I was attending their show in Atlanta at the Tabernacle, and the time came for them to play "Black Label" which everyone knows is when the wall happens. So people started lining up, my best friend and I decided that we were gonna do it! So Randy Blythe started counting, when he hit 4, both sides of the room flew towards each other.
In the confusion I lost sight of my best friend and just began fending for my life it seemed! I saw some people on the ground, but saw that they were being helped up and didn't think much of it. It wasn't until I saw videos on Youtube later on that I realized that the side of the wall we were on had completely collapsed under the pressure from the other side and that we were mere feet away from being right in the middle of it, with no idea that it was even happening! It was definitely a blast though and I'd do it again in a heartbeat!
Halcyon Way's forthcoming album "Conquer" is due to drop on August 19th in North America via Nightmare Records and August 23rd in Europe via Massacre Records.
The live show is the heart of the metal scene, and both fans and musicians from across the globe have their share of epic stories from the mosh pit.
From amorous couples who can't be bothered to wait until getting home, to bursts of violence, and on to booze-addled shenanigans, the pit has been the site of just about every crazy scenario imaginable.
This week King Of Asgard guitarist Lars G. Tängmark shares this story of trying to see a Paradise Lost show but botching the whole affair from the beginning when he runs into his old friend Jagermeister:
This was the cold winter of 1992 and Paradise Lost was going to play Norrköping. It was probably one of the many brilliant club nights held under the "Trash Bash" flag in the early 90's where international metal celebrities could be enjoyed on a small stage, in small town, on a regular basis. All this less then hour by train away from the even smaller town where I lived and rehearsed with countless obscure musical projects (nothing has changed today BTW).
At the time I was in habit of being absolutely pissed before even leaving home on a Friday night, but on this particular day I made an exception and didn't start pouring Jagermeister down my throat until I got on the train. Had I made an estimation (which I was NOT in the habit of making) I should have understood that the show was still three hours away and I would have to pour the Jager really, really slowly to even be conscious at the time of the show. Did I mention that I looked really good too? I didn't really have the "metal" look going at the time, probably because of some kind of constant identity crisis, so I my hair was semi-long and part at the middle. I had decided for some type of normal clothing, but since I was in "experimental" mode when leaving the house I opted for a huge darth-vader black trenchcoat that looked more weird-granny than Edward Scissordhands. Neat.More...
Each week we check in with metal musicians from across planet Earth to get their best pit stories.
This week we asked guitarist Greg Burgess of Allegaeon for his most memorable story from a live show, and this is what he had to say:
Oh man best our Allegaeon pit story... We were playing outside of San Francisco. During our last song "Accelerated Evolution" the crowd charged the stage and circle pitted around us while we were playing. After the show a dude comes up to us in his boxers saying, "I lost my pants in the pit." Awesome.
From teeth to prosthetic legs there's a lot a metal fan can find himself missing after moshing - what's the worst thing YOU'VE lost in the pit? Let us know in the comments section below!
Every week we check in with metal bands from across the globe to get their best stories about life as a musician.
Normally these tales center around the mayhem in the mosh pit, but sometimes bands have stories so interesting from the practice room or even trips to shows that we've just got to share them.
Today guitarist Renaud Baril from Trainwreck Architect shares this chilling tale of how the band ended up with a beer fridge:
Some people wonder why our jam space fridge is always filled with fresh beers. Here's my confession of a really strange story that happen some years ago...
Our jam space is located on St-Antoine street in Montreal, in an old building just behind the Bell Center. The artwork of our latest album 'Traits of the Sick' portrays the neighborhood at his best: old buildings collapsing in pieces, teethless prostitutes... you have to check where you walk or you'll get your feet on a needle and get HIV! At this time of the year, when the snow has melted, there is a putrid smell of rotten beer.
It was at night, we just finished a show at Piranha bar, and I was walking toward the jam space with a girl I picked at the show... she was named Rebecca. Two blocks away from the jam space, there were ruins of a building being destroyed. It was not totally destroyed yet, but there was a pile of junk lying near the street. Upon this pile of junk, I saw an object some people might recognize: one of these olive green old school fridge.
It has been a while since the rest of the band were wishing for a fridge in the jam space. I had a chance to make everyone in the band happy. Also, Rebecca was this kind of rockabilly girl so she convinced we needed this piece of collection in the jam space.
So I climbed the junk pile and took the fridge. Damn this fridge was heavy! We removed all the saw dust from the fridge and carried it at the jam space. (I will admit it, Rebecca helped me to carry it... not that I'm weak but damn this fridge was really heavy!)
As usual, the elevator was broken, so we had to use the stairs, five levels up! At the top, we were so tired, we wished there was some beers in this fridge, but there was not...not yet!
In the jam room, I plugged the fridge to make sure it was working. It was like in those old horror movies, all the lights in the jam room flashed for 10 seconds... then everything went okay. Surprisingly the fridge was working fine.
We did not really pay attention to the fridge after that. I just wanted to spend a good time with that chick. After one hour though, I had to take a leak, so I left the jam room, leaving her alone (with the fridge).More...
Each Tuesday we check in with metal musicians from across the world to get their best Pit Stories from live shows.
Today Estonian folk metal band Metsatoll shares a tale (which the band swears is true) involving Siamese hair-twins, flavored lube, and backstage jujitsu. Metsatoll's Kuriraivo tells the story this way:
Once upon a time on one Metsatöll gig the were two longhaired moshers n the
front of the stage. The crowd was bizarre, men with drinking horns, women with horny drinks, drinks with horned men. Mad! And those two moshers, one small and thin as Mexican money, the other big, long and strong as (censored).
Anyway, they got somehow stuck within each others hair and they kept on moshing during all our songs. The tiny-one seemed to flew through the air as the big-one moshed his feet up from the ground. Yes, there was unnatural power in the mosh of the censored-one. After the show, we were all very excited, as we all saw the "mosh of the pseudo-Siamese twins," we called the pair to the backstage after that and offered our help to let them loose from each other. As we have on the tour different kind of lubrication-crèmes: you know, with the strawberry, pepper
and iron taste. For every occasion. So, we tried to use this stuff on mosher hair. Nothing.
Then we had an idea to use our stage-manager Janno, hes been doing judo for
at least three lifetimes, so he tried some of his famous ju-jitsu. The Mexican-money-man did loose some of his hair from the top of his head, but luckily the hair in the back did stay still long, so its still metal! And the bigger guy turned out to be a bearded woman with only one foot and a
golden ring inside her nose, just escaped from her home and a man, who’s cheating her with an Alice Cooper male fan. Mosh and go! What a night! The unbelievable part of it is that it’s a true
Metsatoll will be touring with Eluveitie and Tyr this Fall, with dates available at this location. The shows will be in support of Metsatoll's new album "Karjajuht" (reviewed here). Find out more about the album by reading our interview with the band. More...
For this week's Pit Story, we caught up with German metal outfit Holy Moses, which was also covered in our Sunday Old School column last month.
The pit usually takes place apart from the band, but at a festival stop last year the fans had to share the mosh directly with Holy Moses! Vocalist Sabina Classen shares this story of a circle pit breaking out on-stage while the band was still playing:
We had a cool pit story in August 2013 at Oulu Festival in Finland. We already played there a few years before. A Holy Moses tradition is to bring up a few people to the stage for the last song to headbang with us. This seems to be rather unusual there and the Finnish rules are strict. Back then the security was a bit overwhelmed with all the people coming unto the stage. When we showed up this time, the first thing they asked us, was if would do that again. We said “of course!”
At this festival there were special areas a bit further in the back, where people could drink alcohol. It wasn’t allowed in front of the stage. So there were a lot of people rather in the back having a beer and some thirsty people in the front. At the last song we invited, as usual, some people to join us on stage. These people were on fire. They started doing a circle pit on stage. We never had that before. We had to be a bit careful to not get run over, haha. We all had great fun. I think some the guys stole some of our stage beer, but that was OK. We were done anyway and they were not being allowed drinking in front of the stage and they were thirsty.
You can see the on-stage circle pit for yourself via the video below (at about the 50 second mark). Check it out, and let us know about your favorite time at a show that the band and the fans collided for some good old fashioned moshing.
Holy Moses has a new album titled "Redefined Mayhem" out now via SPV/Steamhammer, with the artwork available below the video clip. More...
Every week we have metal musicians from around the planet share their favorite stories from live shows, and while these are usually centered on the mayhem in the pit or the interaction between band and crowd, sometimes the best stories come from before the show has even started.
This week Eddy "Snow" Levitsky from Montreal outfit Hollow shares a story of something many metal bands can relate to: an uncooperative sound guy!
I’ll tell you a tale which has become one of the most used inside joke in Hollow. When you have gigs, most of the time, the venue will have all you need to accommodate your stage needs and if you’re starting out, the staff to help you. Sometimes, though, you get the one sound guy who’s had either too much to drink or hasn’t slept well enough before coming to work and who obviously does not care for your music, or anybody else but himself, for that matter.
I’m not sure if I can name which venue and when this happened, but I do remember the circumstances around this story. We were setting up our gear on stage and getting ready for the sound check. Every question or important fact that we needed to tell the soundman about our performance seemed like a chore to him, even though the guy was paid to do this. Hey, we rented your venue for a reason, we want to have a good night, and at least you could be pleasant with us, even if it’s just a little bit.
So we are completely set up and I take the microphone from its stand to start sound check. As I walk away from the stand, the mic gets stuck on something and I almost drop it. To our amazement, we all realize that I’ve got a six foot wire, plugged straight into the floor of the stage underneath the mic stand. Being six foot and one inch tall and needing to move to and fro on stage to give a better show, I turned to the sound guy and asked in the nicest way possible if he could procure me a longer wire, say a twenty five inch one or longer. I’ll never forget his face, bothered, vexed and desperate at the same time, as he looked at me and answered:
“Do you like, REEEEAAAAALLLLY need this?”
For our many readers who are musicians themselves, be sure to let us know your story of a venue employee who just had to make the night a little more difficult in the comments below.
With digital music readily available through services like Bandcamp and iTunes, heavy metal is now readily available everywhere from your phone to your computer, but that hasn't stopped the live show from being the heart of the scene. That's why every week we check in with musicians from across the globe to get their favorite stories from live performances.
As any regular show-goer knows, you shouldn't piss off the band unless you've got the balls to throw down or the numbers to back you up and out-shout the vocalist. From Dave Mustaine's infamous rants, Josh Homme from Queens of the Stone Age chucking things at audience members, and Bruce Dickinson's viral anti-pot tirade, many fans have made the mistake of ticking off a front man during a set.
Today Johnny Gorilla from The Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell shares this tale of his own back and forth with a crowd heckler:
We played in Scotland with Orange Goblin to a sold out King Tut's and this Russian guy calls me a cunt! He didn't remember meeting me the night before in a bar coz he was so pissed drunk. I stopped the gig and got the whole crowd to call him a cunt, by name. He looked like he was gonna cry.
Also a guy called "Scabby Dave" used to sit in front of us picking the scabs and eating them while we played! TASTY!!!
Admiral Sir Cloudsely Shovell's new album "Check 'em Before You Wreck 'em" was released earlier this month, and a music video off the album can be seen below.
Also be sure to check in next week for more Pit Stories, and let us know your favorite tale of a heckler getting called out during a set! More...
Every week we check in with musicians from across the metalverse to get their favorite Pit Stories from live shows. Today vocalist Pekka Heino from Finland's Brother Firetribe shares this tale of how the legendary Finnish love for alcohol got out of hand on a cruise show:
I was doing a show on a big cruise boat sailing the Helsinki-Stockholm line. Things get easily out of hand there as the audience tends to be pretty drunk - to put it mildly. This one time people were extra special messed up, really partying to the music we played.
Some guy got a little too excited and made his way onto the fence dividing the stage and the audience. He started rocking his body back and forth while holding on to the fence with only one hand. The state he was in made sure that it wouldn't end up well. And it didn't. He slammed face down on stage so that his body followed, legs and ass twisting over his neck. Of course he landed on glasses and bottles people had placed on stage while partying, and of course on our bass players pedal board. The bassist didn't really appreciate this, grabbed a hold of the guy and threw him off the stage. Another face down landing in just a few seconds.
While I'm watching this episode, a bald body builder type of guy grabs a hold of my clothes, trying to pull me off stage so I'm left with no choice but to cross check him in the forehead with the mic stand. He was so out of it he didn't even blink, just showed me the thumbs up and kept on rocking.
At the end of the gig, during the last encore, our guitarist jumped onto the audience to play a solo, tried to jump back to the stage over the fence, failing epically and landing on his back like a beetle turned upside down. I laughed so hard I couldn't finish the song.
Brother Firetribe features Nightwish guitarist Emppu Vuorinen and will release "Diamond in the Firepit" via Spinefarm Records on May 2nd. Pre-orders are available now on physical format or digital via iTunes. More...
Every week we check in with bands from across the globe to get their most memorable Pit Stories. Today Charlotte Wessels of symphonic outfit Delain checks in to share the lessons she's learned over the years in the pit, and to offer to sign any Metalunderground reader's mosh pit bruises! Charlotte had this to say:
My best moshing days were probably when I was between the ages of 14 and 17, so I believe I owe a lot to moshpit etiquette. Still, I had to learn a lot of things the hard way. For example the fact that I should rather stagedive backwards then forwards (that time my boobs landed exactly in my grinning friend’s perfectly cupped hands) and that All Stars are NOT moshpit sensible shoes (that time I didn’t notice I’d been jumping through broken beer bottles for two hours. Blood. Blood everywhere). Also, the fact that many musicians find it an awkward request if you ask them to sign your fresh bruises after a perfectly friendly violent pit.
Now, Delain’s audience is not the mosh-till-you-bleed type of crowd, nor are we the projectile-vomit-over-your-audience type of band - just picking up on two recurring themes in this website’s stories :) - but if anyone wants their mosh pit bruises signed after a show, be my guest! You earned those!
Tuesday has rolled around again, which means it's time to hear another Pit Story, this time from Norwegian outfit Trollfest. The band shares this story of a figure-8 pit breaking out in Austria:
Once upon a time in Austria, on the road with Korpiklaani, the trolls were trying to breathe some life into a slightly scattered crowd. It was time for “Der Jegermeister,” which is ALWAYS accompanied by a circle pit, usually of violent proportions. But there was no room! The concert hall consisted of several huge concrete columns of death!
The creative side of Trollmannen was let loose, and he went on a passionate rant that seemed to take on a life of its own. “Can you do it around the columns? We’ll have one there, and one over there.” Said the energetic frontman, pointing. The crowd cheered. “Fuck it, can you do it in a figure of 8!?” Trollmannen was inventing on the spot. “Allright, let’s do a circle-of-8 pit! I have to work on the name, but this is going to be legendary!”
Some hard core metal heads were already trembling with anticipation, wanting the song to start ASAP! “This song is called Der Jegermeister!!” roared the bearded Norwegian, and Trollfest went head first into one of their classic neck breakers. And yes, Trollmannen’s faith in the Austrian fans paid of and a fantastic 8-pit ensued! Some blood was probably spilled and some teeth left home, but it was worth knowing that we invented a new game to play!More...