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Pit Stories: Knocked Out Before The Show

Gather 'round metal heads, it's story time!

That's right, we're back for your Tuesday Pit Story, this time from Dan Gargiulo of U.S. outfit Revocation.

For this week's tale, Dan shares a story about getting knocked out quite unexpectedly in Boston... in full view of a future band member. Gargiulo tells the story like this:

I was about 19 and a band I was in played a show in Boston. I was watching one of the openers fairly close to the front row. Next thing I know I'm having a dream about some clouds and stuff, but a few moments later I regained consciousness and my buddies were asking if I was alright.

Apparently a pit busted out and before I even realized it, some dude cracked me in the jaw hard enough to knock out a skinny teenager. I drank some water and I was awake but definitely confused and I didn't really know where I was. We were on next so I just got up on stage and did my thing. I'm told we played alright, but I don't remember many details from that night. I wonder if I had a concussion?

Anyway I'd love to file that under "embarrassing scenarios that nobody but me remembers", but I can't, because one of the attendees of that show was none other than David Davidson, who I would end up meeting a few years later. When I joined Revocation, we had some laughs over that story.

Revocation's new album "Great Is Our Sin" is coming July 22nd via Metal Blade Records. A lyric video off the release is available below. The band also currently on tour in North America - get a full list of upcoming dates right here. More...

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Sunday Old School: Cruachan

Those of you who follow international football (or soccer, if you insist,) you will probably know that less than two hours ago, the Republic of Ireland were eliminated in the Euro tournament by the host nation, France. While we won't be seeing any more Irish contributions to the Euros, the nation's reputation when it comes to music is outstanding. Irish folk music, along with that of the Middle East, is possibly the best known in the world and the country has produced a number of top rock and metal bands too, with Thin Lizzy probably the most famous example. With kudos in both of these musical styles, it was only a matter of time before Ireland had a world class folk metal band and they arrived in 1992, under the name of Cruachan.

Cruachan came to be following guitarist Keith Fay's endeavours with the J.R.R. Tolkien inspired black metal band, Minas Tirith. He had formed a new group, taking it's name from the capital of the middle ages Irish kingdom of Connachta, after becoming more interested in folk music and hearing how two of his favourite genres could be blended on the debut Skyclad album, "The Wayward Sons of Mother Earth." It would be two years before the band recorded material, which surfaced in the guise of the "Celtica" demo in 1994, before a full length album, "Tuatha na Gael" followed the next year through Nazgul's Eyrie Productions. More...

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Pit Stories: The Harry Potter Scar

If you were hoping for the follow-up to last week's Vow Of Thorns pit story about a crazy show in Orlando, sadly I've got to let you down: Panzerfaust hasn't sent me the other half of the tale yet!

We've got something just as good though, as Australian group Be'lakor has got in touch to share a tale from the pit in which an overzealous fan getting injured in the pit led to a very happy ending indeed:

Many years ago, we were playing a lot of local shows in Melbourne and routinely had quite a few regulars show up. One of these guys would really get into it—head banging, shouting and, as is tradition in Australia, heckling the band. On one occasion, he was moshing with such reckless abandon that he struck his forehead on the fold back monitor. He split the skin open pretty deeply, there was a lot of blood and it left a Harry Potter scar on him. This didn’t slow him down one bit though. Fast forward to 2016 and this guy – Elliott – has now joined Be’lakor as our new drummer. He’s a wizard behind the kit!

Be’lakor os a progressive/melodic death metal band from Melbourne that will release fourth album, "Vessels," worldwide through Napalm Records on June 24th. The full album has also come online for advance streaming and can be heard right here. More...

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Sunday Old School: Unleashed

There are some countries where heavy metal is very popular, then there are countries which don't just appreciate heavy music, they contribute to it... heavily. Many fans of the genre will tell you that it was born in England but Germany is its spiritual home, though Scandinavia is where it's very welcome to stay. Indeed, it's not uncommon to see metal bands reach high chart positions in Finland and their neighbours to the west, Sweden, are almost as welcoming, spawning many amazing and important bands of their own, as well as the famous Swedish death metal sound. This tone is often credited as the Gothenburg sound but many of these groups came from the capital city of Stockholm, including today's band, Unleashed.

Unleashed was founded in 1989 by singing bassist, Johnny Hedlund, who had only just been fired from Nihilist, the band that was to become Entombed. He was joined in his endeavour by drummer Anders Schultz and guitarists Robert Sennebäck and Fredrik Lindgren. The former was replaced by Tomas Måsgard pretty quickly and the group set about making their mark by recording the demos, "Revenge" and "Utter Dark." The tapes soon found their way to German label Century Media, who snapped up the band almost immediately, resulting in their 1991 debut full length, "Where No Life Dwells." The record was hailed instantly as a death metal classic and remains one of the most popular albums to emerge from the Swedish metal scene to this day, which helped propel the band's popularity massively, allowing them to tour Europe and the United States with fellow death metal favouites, Morbid Angel. More...

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Pit Stories: A Show To Remember In Ontario

Time for the next in our ongoing series of heavy metal Pit Stories! This week Canadian black metal group Vow Of Thorns shares a tale of an infamous night with a very drunk crowd where nothing went quite as planned. Vow Of Thorns tells the story like this:

Last June we were playing a show in Sarnia, Ontario, with Wounds and Panzerfaust, and the whole night was just ridiculous. It was a big party in town that weekend and we had one drunk and drug fueled crowd.

During our set some coked out old guy gets going wild at the front of the stage. At one point I look at him and he’s got his hands on his belt undoing his pants. I’m thinking this guy is about to whip his dick out at us, so I turn my back to the crowd and jab our bassist with my guitar to get his attention. He looks up just in time to see this agile old fella with his pants around his ankles bent over damn near touching his toes. Now he’s disgusted and I’m laughing my ass off.

After he got his pants back he decides he’d like to join us on stage. There was no way I was about to let this guy on the stage. He’s right in front of me trying to climb up. He would’ve ended up right on my pedal-board and fucked something up. So I thought, do I kick him in the head? Or do I kick him in the chest? I figured a boot to the face might be a bit much, so I gently nudged him off the stage… well I don’t think I kicked him that hard, but he took quite a tumble.

We had overheard that guy bragging about being a KKK member and spouting some white power bullshit, so I didn’t feel too bad about it. The night just got worse from there. Mainly just a few idiots causing problems. One fight that started inside and ended in a street fight. I only caught part of that. But the night was capped off with one strange little sadist offering himself to Panzerfaust. That part of the story, however, is probably better told by Panzerfaust's vocalist...

The Ontario-dwelling black metal doom fusionists making up Vow Of Thorns will release "Farewell To The Sun" on July 15th, which will be preceded by Canadian tour dates. Check out a track off the album below. More...

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Sunday Old School: Laaz Rockit

It's funny how some people come to bands through others. Perhaps when looking for the American cult heroes Pentagram, you stumbled across one of the bands of the same name from Chile or Turkey.

Maybe you never would have heard of Trust if Anthrax hadn't covered "Antisocial." Many American metal fans, and indeed younger fans from all across the world were introduced to the likes of Diamond Head, Budgie and Holocaust via Metallica covers. Speaking of Metallica, it was on an unlicensed documentary about the Bay Area quartet that I discovered today's featured band, as one of the interviewees mentioned he only attended one of their early shows because he wanted to see another group, by the name of Laaz Rockit.

Laaz Rockit was formed in San Francisco in 1982 by guitarists Aaron Jellum and Phil Kettner, along with vocalist Michael Coons and bass player Dave Starr, taking their name from the Clint Eastwood movie, "The Enforcer," before rounding up their lineup with drummer Victor Agnello, as well replacing Starr with Willy Lange in 1983. That same year, the band recorded their first demo, "Prelude to Death," which led to a record deal with Target for their debut, "City's Gonna Burn." Though by no means a bad album, there are fans who regard it as a slightly weak debut, feeling it's an unfocused work that didn't capture the band's full potential. More...

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Pit Stories: The Center Of The Wall Of Death

Time for another Pit Story my metal loving friends! Sorry about missing last week - I was a wee bit busy in the hospital having my son be born and forgot all about the column.

Now that we're back on track, we've got a tale from Denmark's Helhorse, who warns about the possibility of a wall of death going bad if the crowd doesn't have the right energy going. Helhorse tells the story like this:

At some point (no one remembers excatly when) after the release of our second album ”Oh Death” our lead singer Mikkel – when playing live shows - got into the habit of doing a a wall of death, and before the audience would run into each other, he would get off stage and put him self in the middle telling people to do their worst and really rough him up. And it always seemed to work, the crowd would go nuts after that.

At one show in a small Danish city he did it once again. Up to that point it had been kind of a weird show. The vibe was sort of off. The crowd for some reason seemed a bit pissed off (maybe they all simultaneously had a shitty week.) But at the same time they didn't move a lot, so we weren't getting the reaction we wanted to.

A lot of tension was building. So Mikkel did his thing and put him self in the middle of the wall of death. And when it came to it, they just tackled him like it was the rugby match of the century, they were furious, it looked absolutely crazy.

Right after they hit him, he went down, and for 5 or 10 seconds he stayed down. We all started to get worried, but he slowly came on his feet, his face slightly bloody looking very confused. Mikkel has never – for some reason – put him self in that situation again.

Helhorse just released a self-titled album last month after signing with Spinefarm Records earlier this year. Check out a music video taken off the album for the "Hell Of A Ride" track below. You can also follow the latest on Helhorse at Facebook here. More...

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Sunday Old School: Baron Rojo

We're back! After a long hiatus, save only for a very welcome contribution from xFiruath, Sunday Old School has returned. I could bore you with the details of the red tape that's caused such a long delay and the hassles that emigrating can bring, or I could tell you all about one of my new homeland's most revered bands in their contribution to heavy metal. A band that took their name from one of the most legendary figures of the first world war, Manfred von Richthofen. A band by the name of Baron Rojo.

Baron Rojo were formed in the Spanish capital of Madrid in 1980 by brothers Carlos and Armando de Castro, originally going by the name of Coz, though an internal split led to two versions of the band going at the same time for a period, before CBS Records, who owned the rights to the name demanded the version with the de Castro brothers change their name, with the siblings picking the more familiar, and frankly better, moniker. More...

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Pit Stories: Enthusiastic Teens, Calm Adults

In recent weeks we've explored quite the range of show stories, including an epic drunk journey to see the Misfits, a truly violent farewell show, and a sad case of a mosh pit turning on the hardcore kid.

Today's Pit Story comes courtesy of psychedelic outfit Suns Of Thyme. Drummer Jascha Kreft shares these memories of teenage enthusiasm and more restrained adults trying to have a good time:

The most exciting mosh pit I ever experienced during a show of mine that was with my very first band back in my hometown in the most provincial backwater in northern Germany 10 years ago. I remember about 200 or so 14 year old teens "moshing" their hearts out (for most of them the first time I guess), falling on the ground constantly, older attendees laughing about them but enjoying themselves.

So far it seems to me that the audiences in Berlin are a little more calm, or more into themselves or just spoiled but there are exceptions. I had my last proper mosh at a concert of Fuzz. People were hanging from the ceiling right from the first song.

Suns Of Thyme recently inked a deal with Napalm Records and is gearing up to release new album "Cascades" on May 27th, 2016. More...

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Pit Stories: A Blitzed Journey To See The Misfits

We've got one hell of a pit story this week metal heads, going from S.O.D.'s Billy Milano crushing a fan's hand to a truly epic trek to see The Misfits that's worthy of a Harold & Kumar style movie.

Hilariously, the vast majority of this pit story takes place nowhere near the pit, as a drunken idiot friend tanks all chances of getting to the show. Vocalist Mike Stack from False Gods tells the tale like this:

I have slowed down a bit in my present age as far as going to shows but back in my more carefree and reckless years it was probably my favorite pastime. I think a big part of the adventure was taking the train into New York city from the island because it gave you ample time to get your drink on.

I remember one Halloween getting so lit on cheap rum that the last thing I remember is walking on the city streets in the middle of a Halloween parade and my friend looked at me and said “I have to go kill a midget” and started sprinting through the people full speed. I didn’t see him again for a few days after that. One time the exact same friend, during S.O.D. was standing next to me in the front of the stage screaming in my face. I had assumed he was so excited by finally getting to see them because they had been on a hiatus but to my disbelief he was screaming because Billy Milano was standing on his hand and he was screaming in pain.

My all time favorite story though is when me, my brother and two of my friends went to go see the Misfits back in 1996. During the Michael Graves years. We had a handle of Bacardi rum with us and the ride to the city was only an hour. The first 20 or so minutes went without a hitch, small talk and some laughs, then for whatever reason my friend (we'll call him "Tim") was like “we have to finish this bottle before we get to Penn station” I am usually under the assumption that putting any type of deadline on yourself is a dangerous game to play. After this statement he proceeded to guzzle almost half the bottle of booze until I had to actually interject and take it away from his mouth.
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Pit Stories: A Gift Of Violence

It's Tuesday again already? How about another epic Pit Story then?

This week we get a tale from Hollow Bones, reminiscing about a chaotic night where a crowd of music fanatics came together to send off a beloved band with a frenzied gift of violence! Hollow Bones vocalist Patrick Anthony tells the story like this:

The year was 2014. We were at the Loft for Breathtaker’s farewell show. The glory days of Poughkeepsie shows had long since passed. Tuesday night local shows, with a turnout of 200 kids was a distant memory clung to desperately by veterans of the local scene. However, when some of those veterans happened to be in a band that had been around since the aforementioned glory days is throwing a farewell show, people come out. They come out in droves, and they come out to fucking party.

This was one of those occasions that will go down as a legendary night in local show history. The crowd was warmed up throughout the night by all the other local bands, but the moment Breathtaker came out on stage, the entire room turned utterly violent. One of our friends started moving the pit from one end of the room, all the way to the bar in the next room over, then came back swinging, jumped onto the stage, kicked a number of people in the face, all before diving face first into a sea of swinging fists. At one point there wasn’t even a pit in the general sense of the word. It was just people fighting each other. Punching each other in the back of the head, in the face, kicking each other, falling down, getting stomped on, etc. and at the end of it all, no one was mad. No one took any of that anger away with them. We offered it up to our friends as a gift for their last performance.

It was like all of those nostalgic feelings that people held onto were being manifested that night on the floor of the Loft, while a soundtrack of breakdowns played over everything. It was pure and utter chaos. There have been plenty of shows that all of us had been to for bigger bands that had awesome pits, where people climbed on each other, and swung hard. But this was special. This was our night to relive our memories, and send our friends off the best way that we could.

Hollow Bones will self-release new album "Lionheart" on May 27th, 2016. The album can be pre-ordered now at this location. More...

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Sunday Old School: Ancient

Hey, what's this... I'm not Diamond Oz! Sorry folks, he's out this week, so I'm here to take over Sunday Old School. Today we're headed back in time all the way to the early '90s and mythical Norway, birthplace of second wave black metal and much diabolical full moon mysticism.

During that hallowed time in metallic history would emerge a black metal group called Ancient, which over the years mixed a lot of melody into the BM sound, utilizing memorable atmospheric interlude tracks and a gothic, vampiric vibe.

That would all arrive a good deal later though, as Ancient's beginnings are more rooted in the classic, raw black metal that would become so well known among the giant names like Emperor, Immortal, Mayhem, Burzum, and so on.

Beginning with just band founder Apahzel and vocalist Grimm, the first full-length Ancient release was “Svartalvheim,” which has everything you could want from a '94 black metal metal album, complete with breathing fire in a Norwegian forest!

Much like with the more well known Cradle Of Filth, there is a small but vocal subsection of the fan-base who feels this earliest, more kvlt release (along with the subsequent “Trolltaar” EP) is really the only era of the band worth hearing. Whether you agree with that assessment or not, “Svartalvheim” is easily a classic old school black metal opus, including the fuzzy production and frozen and gloomy atmosphere. If early '90s Norwegian BM is your thing, this is a forgotten classic worth checking out.

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Pit Stories: Crowd Turns On The Hardcore Kid

Ready for a new bout of pit mayhem today, metal heads? This week pit story comes courtesy of Ontario-based outfit Black Absinthe.

We've all seen the hardcore kids throwing the windmills and fighting invisible ninja, which the more casual show-goers generally don't care for. They might be obnoxious, but you can't fault their enthusiasm at a live show.

Black Absinthe shares this tale of one such individual who unfortunately reaps what he sows... but soldiers on anyway:

The first few formative years of the band, we played a lot at a place called 751. Located on 751 Queen St. in Toronto this was our preferred and beloved dive bar for many years. Cheap beer 'n shot combos combined with dirty metal shows in the basement made it an ideal spot to start playing.

Our bass player Kyle Scarlett was working there as a bartender and privy to a front row seat of the bloodbath that occurred before we had a chance to grace the stage. It was the second band of a four four bill, good and crowded in the basement. Given that the capacity down there was something like 50 people max we had a good crowd of about 70 throughout the night.

The earlier bands were more on the hardcore end. And with hardcore you're gonna have some motherfucker throwing down. I'm all for getting worked up to the music and givin' 'er (windmilling at shows with dreads has led to some altercations) but the dude was just pushing everyone out the way that wasn't about to do Super Saiyan back at him. You could feel the crowd feeling the same thing like, "fuck can someone just give the dude a decent elbow and we can all get back to watching the show without guarding from a random clock in the face?”

So the vibe against the kid is turning, sitting behind the bar I can just feel it. Then eventually BAM! He finally gets a hit that launches him over to the wall (which I should mention was fairly stuccoed. If I had to give it a description I’d say...coarse?). Seeing the kid after I immediately take back whatever past feeling I felt about hoping he 'gets it' because this kid got it hard.

As I get a look at his face I see this front pepperoni slice sliver of his nose is hanging straight off the bottom of where it should be. Straight up figure 8 of fucked up face. Dangling, asking to be ripped off like a ticket from a skeeball machine. The open bit is gushing plenty of blood to clear out the room until the next band sound checked but I will credit the kid with being hard. He wanted to stay for the whole show. Pained me to tell him go to the hospital, stitch the front of your fucking nose back on, and that we'd be back another time.

Black Absinthe's upcoming album "Early Signs Of Denial" was produced by Dave Baksh (Cross Dog, The Mahones) and mixed and mastered by Frank Gryner (Rob Zombie- Hillbilly Deluxe). Set for release on May 13th, 2016, the album is the band's first professional recording and follows three self recorded EPs. More...

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Pit Stories: Crowd Surf Fingering

Time for a new Pit Story! After hearing about good karma with a travelling bottle of Jack Daniels and a tale of a missing yet indestructible guitar, this week we hear about a bevy of entertaining live shows from Atlanta outfit Dead Register.

We usually get some odd tales told in offbeat ways, but sometimes, these tales from musicians just absolutely sing with poetic wonder. This is one of those times.

Vocalist M. Chvasta of Dead Register today offers up an awe-inspiring retelling of a string of Jesus Lizard shows, in which girl bits both were and were not fingered, and penis both was and was not seen. He tells the story like this:

One time in the 90’s, I went to a Jesus Lizard show. Some band that sounded like Jesus Lizard opened. Two for one.

One time in the 90’s, I went to a Jesus Lizard show. Some whorish girl wearing super-short shorts wanted tons of attention from men. She would NOT stop crowd surfing, which was totally annoying (like most crowd surfers). She did not have underwear on. Dudes were fingering her girly-bits as she crowd surfed, to her delight. I think I saw Dave Yow’s dick, too.

One time in the 2000’s, I went to a Jesus Lizard reunion show in Nashville. Their tour shirt design was a bag of money, perfectly fitting. My then friend, but now wife and bandmate went with me. We moshed like champions, like it was in the 90’s. She did not crowd surf, nor did she get fingered. I ran into Larry from Pegboy who is a fine gentleman and a wonderful heartfelt singer. Pegboy did not open this show. Pegboy does not sound like Jesus Lizard.

One time in the 2000’s, I went to another Jesus Lizard reunion show in Atlanta. I wore an orange flannel shirt. Like it was the 90’s. Except I did not see Dave Yow’s dick.

Jesus Lizard and Pegboy are not metal.

Fuck crowd surfers.

We appreciate the clarification at the end there Chvasta! Dead Register will release new album "Fiber" on May 7th and two tracks off the release can be heard below. For more info on the band, head over to the Dead Register Facebook profile. More...

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Pit Stories: Certified To Withstand A Car

Every week we catch up with bands from across the globe to get their favorite stories from live shows. While most of these take place squarely within the mosh pit, sometimes the most interesting shenanigans take place right before or after the show, as is the case this week with a tale about a missing guitar. Finnish outfit Shiraz Lane shares this story:

For some reason the capricious forces of the universe have had their fun at times with me (Miki Kalske). One reputable example occurred on one average show day. We were preparing our gear at our rehearsal place and heading for load in as always. After we got our gear all packed up, we drove to the club.

Everything was going smooth and until it was time for sound check; I couldn’t find my guitar anywhere although I had a clear memory trace that I brought it out of our rehearsal place and left it leaning against the vehicle to be loaded among the last items. After a frustrating and inconclusive search, a horrendous thought rushed through my head that perhaps we had forgotten the guitar back at the rehearsal place. I had a bad gut feeling that maybe it was somewhere outside laying open and vulnerable for some dishonest citizen to steal.

We called our landlord who had both good and bad news; luckily the guitar was there, but apparently a car had driven over it since it had tire marks stained on it. To make matters worse, at that time I didn’t carry the guitar in a hard case, but in a flimsy carry-on bag instead to save space and my back when occasionally traveling on foot after a gig. After an hours excruciating drive back to square one, we located the beaten-up instrument. My heart skipped a beat as I opened the bag to see if all the bits and pieces were still intact.

At first glance the guitar seemed to be alright (miraculously) and even after closer analysis I was relieved to notice that the only flaw was that it was out of tune. After a quick tuning session and a double check I was ready, once again, to hit the stage having my precious six-string hanging around my neck. To this day I still play with that same guitar, recorded our debut album with it and have played all our gigs with it ever since.

By no means do I want to end this short story with a hint of endorsement, but I am inclined to thank ESP Guitars (although I am not an official artist in your roster). At least this guitar is certified to withstand a car, literally.

Frontiers Music Srl released the new Shiraz Lane album "For Crying Out Loud" on April 15th, 2016. Check out a music video off the album below, and more info can be found at the band's Facebook profile here. More...

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Sunday Old School: Death SS

Heavy metal has been linked with Satanism practically since it was born. The genre's long standing fascination with the man downstairs, the occult and blasphemy has made it a target for religious groups, politicians and any religious leader who wants a spot on the local news. Of course, such accusations have usually been dismissed outright by the bands and fans of the genre, but sometimes these people actually find a band with Satanic links, such as today's featured band, Death SS and their singer, Steve Sylvester.

Sylvester, whose real name is Stefano Silvestri, a member of the Ordo Templi Orientis, formed the band in the town of Pesaro in 1977, along with guitarist Paolo Catena and eventually recruiting Daniele Ugolini on bass and drummer Tomaso Castaldi. The group used many elements of horror and macabre theatrics to create a terrifying stage show, which went on to influence many black metal artists. Though they lasted for five years in their initial run, the band did not release a full length album, managing only two demos before Sylvester left the group and was replaced by Bologna native Sanctis Ghoram, who appeared on the EP, "Evil Metal" in 1983 before the group parted ways the following year. More...

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Pit Stories: Good Karma With Jack Daniels

From destruction of property to destruction to facial features, usually our many crazy Pit Stories have less-than-desirable outcomes.

Not so this week, as Karma To Burn shares a tale of fans who both take and give back, with a bottle of JD leading to some good karma that spanned more than one country. Evan Devine tells the story like this:

Our best mosh pit story is definitely from Hellfest 2013 in Clisson, France. Its one of the biggest metal festivals in Europe, I think the crowd was 50,000 that year. We were playing the valley stage as a two piece, just a drum set and guitar stack in front of 6,000 people.

Well, Jack Daniels was backstage giving out bottles of whiskey. During our set, after we each had enough, Will threw the half full bottle out in to the audience, and a guy caught it and started passing it around the pit.

Two weeks later, we were playing a show in Switzerland, and after our set there was a bottle of Jack on stage, with a note on it reading "Thanks for the bottle at Hellfest, now its my chance to return the favor."

Currently embarked on a European trek, Karma To Burn will follow that tour with a North American run starting May 13th. Dates for the U.S. and Canadian shows are as follows: More...

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Sunday Old School: Nasty Savage

Professional wrestling and heavy metal music has plenty in common, perhaps more than one might initially think. Both fan bases are mocked by many people who don't share their enthusiasm for the colourful world they adore, both are perceived as appealing mostly to white males, though of course there are many overlooked female fans and both vary from the no nonsense to the ludicrous. So what happens when a professional wrestler has a penchant for metal music and brings his antics from the ring to the stage? Why, you get Nasty Savage of course!

Nasty Savage was formed in 1983 by lead singer "Nasty" Ronnie Galetti, along with drummer Curtis Beeson, bassist Fred Degischan and guitar players Ben Meyer and David Austin, in Brandon, Florida. The band recorded two demos, "Raw Mayhem" and "Wage of Mayhem" in 1984 and built up a solid following in their home state, thanks in part to Ronnie Galetti's outrageous stage persona, which would include smashing television sets over his own head. Their notoriety and popularity spread enough to earn the band a deal with Metal Blade Records, with whom they released their self-titled debut in 1985. More...

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Pit Stories: The Weirdness Of Guernsey

It's time for another Pit Story! This week we checked in with U.K. sludgy doom outfit Pensevor to hear about an interesting experience at a live show. Guitarist Pat Hopkins had this to say:

Way back in the early 00’s my old band was doing a very brief Channel Island tour, Jersey on the Friday night, prop plane over to Guernsey for the Saturday and back to Jersey for the Sunday night. I was playing in a dream pop band at the time (hey don't judge me) and we were supporting a couple of post hardcore bands from the UK mainland.

Having never been there before, I found Jersey a bit weird, but the Friday night show was fun. We got the early flight over to Guernsey on the Saturdaymorning and got to a pub near the venue before lunchtime and started playing pool and drinking. Mark (Pensevor vocals) had come over as an unofficial roadie, and to help us party hard.

The gig was in the function room at Guernsey hockey club, we went on first and it went OK. A band from Guernsey played, I think they were called Mechanical Lobster. By now I'd started to realize that Guernsey was like Jersey, only even more weird – a bit difficult to put into words, maybe a bit like Royston Vasey... Even friends who had lived in Jersey for a long time reckoned Guernsey was weird.

Anyway, the headline band went on and rocked out but the kids all suddenly went totally apeshit – it was like they'd all been electrocuted at the same time – I was a bit unprepared for the way they'd so enthusiastically reacted to the guys from the UK, stage diving, full on body slamming and so on.

After the gig, Mark snuck off for a cheeky smoke with the locals and we didn't see him again until the Sunday lunchtime back in Jersey. He had managed to get back to the hotel, fall asleep in a random room and missed the flight we all took back to Jersey. Fortunately the airport staff were cool and let him take a later flight. Lots of other shenanigans that weekend; bed wetting, snare drums on luggage carousels, conversations about smegma, and debates on optimum bath temperature for improved fertility. Ahh, Guernsey!

What's the spot in your area known for being the weirdest or having the wildest live shows? Fill us in via the comments section below!

Pensevor will release new album "Klothod" through Hibernacula Records on May 6th, with pre-orders up at this location. More...

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Sunday Old School: Infectious Grooves

Metal music has long experimented with other genres. We've seen metal make the short trip to mix with punk and hardcore and it's been known to flirt with more distanced genres such as reggae, electronic and rap music. One band who helped pioneer the hybrid of metal, punk and funk music was Venice Beach's own, Suicidal Tendencies, led by one of rock's most charismatic frontmen, Mike Muir. When the group recruited bass player Robert Trujillo, Muir appeared to have found a kindred musical spirit, who not only shared his love of funk, but brought it into the band's sound. This partnership was to expand beyond Suicidal Tendencies and cause a new band to emerge, who go by the suitable name of Infectious Grooves.

Muir and Trujillo began the band in 1989 and were joined in their endeavour by Jane's Addiction drummer Stephen Perkins and former Excel guitarist Adam Siegel. The group brought a very bizarre and silly humour to their music, which had previously been seen Suicidal Tendencies, though not to the same extent and invented a character called Sarsippius, a reptilian lover who appeared in skits on the band's albums. Their quest for a record deal was a relatively short one, signing with major label Epic, who also housed Suicidal Tendencies. More...

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