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The Rockstar Ramblings: “Shake That Pussy”

Sometimes these things just fall into your lap. Uh, yes, pun intended. If you would have told me that Captain Zapped would release a song AND video for a song titled “Shake That Pussy” I would have told you to stop yanking my chain (again, yes) and then I would go directly to YouTube and check it out. Here’s my running diary… More...

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Pit Stories: Exposed Genitalia And On-Stage Theft

We've been catching up with metal bands and fans all over to get their best mosh pit stories. This week Prong's Tommy Victor shares the following tale of full frontal male nudity and on-stage theft:

Even though Prong was originally based out of the Lower East Side of Manhattan New York City, we've has some crazy shows out in L.A. Mainly in Hollywood at the Whiskey. For those who are unfamiliar, the lower level is all pit area, with the exception of a few booths by the lower bar. The sound there is always good. Lots of low end and high volume throughout the club, especially downstairs. There isn't a barricade, So if you are onstage you are very connected to the pit audience, literally on top of the crowd.

We did a show years back that was way sold out, that had a few memorable episodes. We were touting like crazy, partying like crazy, pretty much sleeping in our gig clothes, not washing much nor changing much. Our late great bass player Paul Raven had this weird leisure suit that he pretty much lived in. Somewhere down the line the crotch ripped out of the trousers. Raven could care less. With the lack of laundry access and hygiene in general we all pretty much bypassed underwear. So we start our set and I notice a few girls situated directly under Raven pointing upwards and giggling. I'm trying to sing and play and I'm watching these girls laughing at Raven's cock and balls hanging over their heads. We had to stop the show because I couldn't concentrate. I told Raven to move back a bit. He got mad at me.

The show continued and people were going crazy. It was a great crowd. I was leaning over the crowd, singing playing, interacting with the crowd. Suddenly I was interrupted again by a chain smacking into my guitar. I was wearing a chain wallet, I knew that, but this was all chain. I reached back into my rear pocket: no wallet! I was pick pocketed right on stage. I stopped the show and yelled "Somebody stole my wallet!!" I was freaking out, but the show had to go on. I did notice some scuffle by the door, but I continued the set rather upset. There was money, ID, credit cards, etc. in the wallet. Lost now at the Whiskey.

We were loading out and two dudes sweating, panting, approached me declaring they got my wallet while handing it over! They were upstairs, saw the dude who nabbed it. They ran out of the club and chased him down all the way to La Cienega where they jumped him and got it back. They missed the rest of the set but said it was worth it being loyal fans. Every once in awhile I run in to one of the dudes on the Strip and buy him a drink, telling everyone "This is guy who retrieved my wallet ..stolen on stage!!"

Years later Prong is still doing it. We just finished recording and mixing our new LP entitled "Carved Into Stone" on SPV Longbranch records out April 24. Maybe not the Whiskey but see you live soon!

You can get your own taste of Prong insanity live, as the band has already confirmed upcoming 2012 tour dates for February and March. Find a list of the currently announced shows here, and be sure to check back next Tuesday for more Pit Stories.

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Unearthing The Young Metal Underground

A friend of mine often refers to heavy metal and hardcore as "children's music." (No, not this kind of children's music). Today, I am going to grudgingly give him some ammunition for his snobbery, as Unearthing The Metal Underground takes a look at two bands who exhibit extraordinary talent and enthusiasm for playing metal, despite being younger than probably every member of this website.

Gauchos de Acero (Los Gauchos)

Some readers here may remember Gauchos de Acero, as they became something of an internet sensation among heavy metal fans in 2007 when videos of three young boys from Argentina were posted by their father, showing them covering the likes of Slipknot, Pantera and fellow South Americans, Sepultura. Although known as Los Gauchos, the duo did not originally have a name, Los Gauchos being a moniker assigned to them by YouTube users, owing to their user name, "gauchosalta." Not only did they become a hit on the internet, but they also attracted the attention of Argentinean promoters, not least when they were booked to perform at Cosquin Rock 2007, an open air festival which packed in over 20,000 spectators. They were even noticed by the Argentinean government, who supplied them with sound equipment!

Gauchos de Acero - "Refuse/Resist"
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Sunday Old School: Dub War

Personally, one of my favourite things about metal music is finding ways to fuse it with other genres. From rap to jazz, metal seems to find a way to work with anything. In the early nineties a group from Wales named Dub War found a way to entwine it with reggae. Dub War began life back in 1993 in Newport, Wales, and immediately gained notice for their distinctive sound, which quickly earned them a record deal with Words Of Warning Records, a small label which had previously released records from Britcore legends Gunshot amongst others. Through Words Of Warning, Dub War released their debut mini LP, "Words Of Dub Warning," which circulated throughout the metal underground and eventually found its way to a Mr. Digby Pearson, founder of Earache Records, who were known for putting out music by such extreme bands as Napalm Death, Morbid Angel and Godflesh amongst others. Pearson decided to take a chance on the band and Dub War were signed to Earache in 1995, releasing their first album through the label, "Pain" the same year.

"Pain" proved to be fairly successful. While the first single, "Gorritt" was largely ignored, the band earned their first charting single in the form, of, "Strike It" which entered the British Singles Chart at number seventy. With the release of the album, a charting single and the touring process that came with it, Dub War soon gained a reputation for their live shows, which featured the members experimenting with their sound and singer Benji Webbes commanding stage presence, coupled with his unique form of crowd interaction. The tour even took them to the legendary Dynamo Open Air festival in the Netherlands, where they played alongside such bands as Agnostic Front, Machine Head and Madball amongst many others in front of a crowd of 135,000 people. More...

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The Rockstar Ramblings: Van Halen Top 5 Videos

This week brought the first single and video from the new Van Halen album. Not only do we get David Lee Roth back, but also Eddie Van Halen’s son, Wolfgang, instead of Michael Anthony. There’s a lesson here kids. ANYWAY, the new video is “Tattoo” and the reviews have varied from “It’s good to hear Dave’s voice again” to “How many years did I have to wait for this shit!” Does the new video hold up to the vintage Van Halen videos? The old VH videos showcased a band with a sense of humor, keeping the balance between the song and having a good time. This week a look at some classic Van Halen videos before we dive into the new video… More...

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Pit Stories: The Viking Kiss Of Life

Every week we track down musicians and metalheads from all over the world to get their favorite mosh pit stories and crazy tales from live shows. This week comes a story of Viking mayhem at Sweden Rock 2010 courtesy of Metalunderground.com reader Cbella:

At Sweden Rock 2010, I wanted to see Danzig but none of my group wanted to so I made my way alone over to the stage. On my way, I encountered a group of the biggest Vikings I ever saw! They charged at me and one of them threw me into a fireman’s lift. Anyway, he was trashed and it had been pissing with rain so the ground was really wet.

So this fucking Viking slipped, dropped me on my face, knocked me out and knocked my front tooth out! If that wasn’t bad enough, when I came round, this vomit-smelling, Sloth-from-the-Goonies-looking fucker, was trying to give me the kiss-of-life while I was bleeding from the mouth! Nice!

Many thanks to Cbella, and we hope your next festival is experienced fully conscious and with significantly less Viking face-destruction action. Check back in again next Tuesday as we share more Pit Stories from readers and metal bands.

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Unearthing The Power Metal Underground

Power metal: master of epic guitar solos and frequent champion of all that is cheesy. Some love it for the deliciously grandiose high-pitched vocals, and others hate it for the exact same reason. While not all can appreciate the lyrical themes and vocal stylings of the genre, the level of both passion and technical proficiency displayed by the power metal virtuosos can't be denied. There are the obvious big names in the scene like Fates Warning, Blind Guardian, and Jag Panzer, but what’s going on in the underground these days?

Unlike with the hordes of black metal or death metal, there isn’t nearly as large a pool of unknown talent in the power realm. In this case that’s not necessarily a bad thing, as lesser quantity can lead to better quality. For this week’s edition of Unearthing the Metal Underground, we’ll look at three lesser known bands from different corners of the globe that all approach the power metal style from a slightly different angle.

Tiluland

To start our expedition into the power metal underground we’re headed to Finland for a tour-de-force of shredding solos and pounding drums. Tiluland dropped the debut album “Axes of the Universe” last year and put a surprising twist on the style by going completely instrumental. Driven by guitar acrobatics instead of the standard falsetto singing, Tiluland is the band for you if you love the fast and epic instrumentation of the genre but don’t care for the vocal style.

Check out more on Tiluland via Facebook, or listen to two songs from the “Axes of the Universe” album below.

“Tilu of the Kings”
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Sunday Old School: Coroner

Many are under the misnomer that Coroner got it's start as Celtic Frost's roadies, but that's not entirely true. Coroner had been an established band a couple of years before they served as Celtic Frost's road crew on a U.S. tour. Coroner went on this tour of America as a way of promoting it's "Death Cult" demo in the U.S. back in 1986, and Tom G. Warrior even sang on it. When it came time to release their debut, "RIP," Tom once again offered to do vocal duties. By then, Coroner had bassist Ron "Royce" Broder assume the vocals as well. Ron had never sang before and even surprised himself with how well he rose to the occasion. More...

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The Rockstar Ramblings: Jean Jackets and Fishnets

Happy New Year! Let’s kick it off with a couple of new bands paying homage to the glam metal of the eighties. First up is New York’s Nasty Habit. Their video “Saturday Night” is from their recently released EP. More...

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Unearthing The Metal Underground In Cuba

While the Caribbean island of Cuba may be a source of mistrust for some owing to it's political history and it's former leader Fidel Castro being seen as both an enemy and an icon, the country boasts quite a healthy metal scene, one which certainly deserves to be brought to the attention of headbangers the world over. When scratching the surface, one can find a diverse range of metal bands in Cuba, from the epic to brutal. Here are just a few of the Cuban metal acts on offer.

Sed

Formed in La Habana in 2009, Sed mostly comprises of former members of The Flowers Of Evil and Radical OH. The band is perhaps best described as a combination of speed and power metal, featuring crystal clear and powerful vocals along with epic sounding riffs and stampeding drums. The band released their first demo CD, "Sed De Tantas Cosas" last year and has even been able to perform on Cuban television.

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Sunday Old School: Bon Jovi

Discuss New Jersey rock and roll and many think Bruce Springsteen; however, Bon Jovi has built quite a reputation themselves. With over 130 million albums sold, the boys from Sayreville, NJ continue to change up their sound and are making a run at "the boss" for notoriety in the Garden State.

The original band has been together since their first studio album (one exception being a change at bass in '94). The initial line-up was led by lead singer Jon Bon Jovi (who shortened his name from John Francis Bongiovi, Jr.), guitarist Richie Sambora, bassist Alec John Such, keyboardist David Bryan, and drummer Tico Torres. The initial thought when looking at this band was not that they had a lot of hair, but that they were also very pretty and smiling at the camera -- unlike the scowls of David Lee Roth, Nikki Sixx, and Stephen Pearcy, Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora were just a couple of guys with a hardhat mentality and hair most women would kill for. Was it just me or did David Bryan actually have better hair than Jon? Just me... okay. Anyway it is quite preposterous to think that the keyboardist would have better hair than the lead singer. Moving on...

The first album, their self titled debut from 1984, featured a single titled "Runaway" that displayed Jon Bon Jovi wearing either leggings or bandanas around his ankles. This video was also the beginning of the rise of Jon Bon Jovi's hair, something that would peak during the second course of "Livin' On A Prayer." In 1985 they put out their second album, "7800 Fahrenheit," an album with "In and Out of Love," a song showing arena anthem potential complete with a live video showing the world how much fun you can have at a Bon Jovi concert. The first album showed potential and gave hope of the band becoming a hit, but the second album didn't blow up, instead steadily building on the first album, if nothing else, an example of a band working hard to create music and tour to support. This hardest working band mantra would last from their start through present day. Of course, they would get a break, which changed everything in 1986. More...

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The Rockstar Ramblings: The Guns N’ Roses Top 25

The story that won’t go away, NOT Guns N’ Roses elected to the rock and roll hall of fame, but will they reunite to accept the honor? Despite recent reports, this is HIGHLY unlikely. Here’s one person’s list of the top 25 GNR songs to date. As in the past, note that although personal opinion was weighted heavily, I also took into account popularity, videos, etc… Since there were overall too many honorable mentions I won’t list them; however, I will say that from Chinese Democracy the songs Better, I.R.S., and Sorry were all close to cracking the top 25. More...

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Pit Stories: Once In A Lifetime Crowd Surfing

We've been tracking down metal fans and bands everywhere to get their best stories from the pit. This week, German prog rock/metal band Beyond the Bridges shares the following story of a bassist embarking on a glorious crowd surfing trip, and a vocalist who wasn't quite as lucky:

Actually we're not a hardcore extreme death metal band, which kicks ass with hard riffs and death-bringing blastbeats. In fact the music of Beyond the Bridge is meant to a polyrhythmic head-nodding audience. But even “BtB” has a dark past as a school-band with alternative-indie-progressive-rock songs, only known in and around Frankfurt, Germany.

A single legendary gig we had one night in one of the most famous clubs in Frankfurt, a newcomer band contest. Hundreds of fans were traveling with us and celebrated until the last encore. We saw nothing but raised hands, time for stage diving. Bass man “Dömsen,” our featherweight, jumped down the stage and was carried all the way to the FOH, yeah!

Our singer at that time, was jumping down, too, but he wasn´t that kind of airy as Dömsen was. And the crowd felt that their own security is more important than taking the once in a lifetime opportunity of touching the singer of a rock band. But it was indeed a once in a lifetime experience for the singer.

Beyond the Bridges recently signed with Frontiers Records and "The Old Man And The Spirit" album is scheduled for release on January 20th, 2012 (EU) and January 24th, 2011 (North America). For more details on Beyond the Bridges, head over to the band's Facebook profile.

Check back in again next Tuesday as Metalunderground.com continues to share more Pit Stories from metal bands and fans.

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Unearthing the Metal Underground in Comedy

No matter how hard metal tries to separate itself from comedy, the two modes of entertainment are often linked, whether by accident or on purpose. Manowar might feel overwhelmingly macho and barbaric wearing cod pieces and furry boots in promotional pictures, but these visual statements are so over the top that some will find the sentiment absolutely hilarious. The grave nature of black metal can also be construed as humorous, especially the visual aspect. Some may view corpse paint as a morbid, anti-Christian statement, while others perceive the strategy as something reserved for children’s birthday parties.

Still, some bands make no qualms about having a sense of humor. Bands such as S.O.D. and Anthrax may pummel their fans with no-bullshit thrash metal, but always make time for joke songs such as “I’m the Man” and “King at the King.” These groups are musicians first and comedians second, whether their songs or presence was intentionally humorous or not. However, in the past few years comedians have started a new trend.

Trend might not be the correct term, certainly three albums do not constitute a “scene,” but metal labels are starting to sign comedians. Each of the three comedians signed to a metal label—Brian Posehn, Jamieson and Jim Florentine—are connected to metal in some fashion. Jamieson and Florentine join metal journalist Eddie Trunk as hosts of VH1 Classic’s “That Metal Show.” Posehn isn’t considered a metal expert like Jamieson and Florentine, but he is an unabashed fan. Jamieson and Posehn include humorous metal songs on both of their respective album. However, they are the opposite of the thrash bands listed above; they are comedians first and metal musicians second.

Brian Posehn

Brian Posehn was the first comedian to sign to a metal label. In 2006, Relapse Records picked up Posehn’s first album “Live in: Nerd Rage.” Posehn’s first album, at least the stand up portion, was recorded as part of the “Comedians of Comedy” tour and includes a sketch with Bob Odenkirk. Odenkirk and Posehn now each other from the HBO skit comedy show “Mr. Show” and its movie spin off “Run Ronny Run.”

Posehn also recorded a couple of songs. “Mr. Show” produced the joke-metal band Titanica whose performance of “Try Again” appears on the said album. Posehn also performs in Posehn, which features Scott Ian [Anthrax], Joey Vera [Armored Saint], John Tempesta [White, The Cult] and Brian himself on vocals. His solo-dubbed group performs a track called “Metal By Numbers,” which rips on metal stereotypes. His 2010 Relapse release “Fart and Weiner Jokes” includes more social commentary about the metal community. “More Metal Than You” is about how metal head often turn being a fan into a competition. Additionally, Brian Posehn is an actor and writer who has appeared in front of the camera on “The Devil’s Rejects,” “The Sarah Silverman Show” and “Seinfeld.”

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Sunday Old School: Life Of Agony

Alternative metal is probably the loosest tag of any metal sub-genre, which is what makes it so alternative I suppose. Nevertheless, today Sunday Old School looks at Life Of Agony, an alternative metal band from Brooklyn, New York. Life Of Agony was formed in 1989 by singer Keith Caputo, guitarist Joey Z and bass player Alan Robert, who went through a number of drummers before settling with Sal Abruscato, a founding member of the gothic metal band, Type O Negative. The group slogged it out for four years before signing a record deal with Roadrunner, who were also home to Type O Negative. Through the label, the band released their debut album, "River Runs Red" in October of 1993. The album was critically praised and in time has become known as one of the finest records in the entire Roadrunner catalogue, gaining popularity through singles such as, "This Time" and "Through And Through."

A more emotional direction was employed on the group’s next studio album, "Ugly," which was released in 1995. The album was once again highly praised and was notable for featuring a cover of the Simple Minds hit, "Don’t You (Forget About Me,)" as well as a cover of Bob Marley’s, "Redemption Song" on the special edition of the album. Shortly after "Ugly’s" release, Abruscato announced that he was leaving the band and was replaced by Dan Richardson, formerly of the bands Pro-Pain and Crumbsuckers. With their new drummer in tow, Life Of Agony recorded and released their third album, "Soul Searching Sun" in 1997, but were dealt a major blow when Caputo announced his resignation from the group, claiming his heart was no longer in to the type of music Life Of Agony wrote. The band soldiered on, initially recruiting former Ugly Kid Joe vocalist Whitfield Crane, but parted company with the singer when they began working on a new album. After toying with the idea of Robert switching to vocals and guitar and bringing in Stuck Mojo bassist Corey Lowery, Life Of Agony decided to simply call it a day, feeling that the band couldn’t continue properly without Caputo. More...

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DIY Update: In Depth With bandcamp

A while back we looked at some Facebook plugins to allow users to hear your music on your Facebook page. One of those was the newly launched bandcamp plugin. This week, I wanted to take a closer look at the bandcamp service.

For unsigned and underground bands, one of the easiest hurdles to overcome is selling your music online, thanks to great services like Tunecore, CDBaby and bandcamp.

While Tunecore and CDBaby are great ways to get your music into the major online stores, bandcamp should be the first option bands sign up with for a number of reasons. First and foremost, bandcamp is a customizable online store for your band, which allows bands to directly sell digital downloads and physical products. There are no setup fees and no recurring charges for the service itself. You can set up a page for your band, customize the design, add your releases, upload them, link up your Paypal account, and you’re ready to sell your music online. (Note: Paypal is not available everywhere around the world, so that may be a barrier to some bands.)

That’s the gist of it, but some other compelling features include a music player and embeddable streaming widgets for blogs and social networks, in addition to recently released Facebook app, which allows you to completely integrate your store into your band’s Facebook page. More...

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The Rockstar Ramblings: Twas the night before…

The date: December 24, 1988
Location: Southern California

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the rock world
Not a guitar was sounding, not even a chord.
The bandanas were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that even more bandanas soon would be there.

The groupies were passed out, all snug in their beds,
With visions of DIO, dancing in their heads.
And Axl wearing his boxers, and Slash in his cap,
Had just settled their lawsuits, shot up, and decided to nap.

When out on the tour bus there arose such a clatter,
Bret Michaels sprang from his bed of whores to see what was the matter.
Away to the window he flew like a flash,
There he saw one of his whores, running away with his cash. More...

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Unearthing the Brutal Bangkok Underground

It doesn’t take long when wandering the streets of the sprawling, congested, and smog-ridden city of Bangkok, once known as the Venice of the East due to its many canals, long since paved over, to realize that metal lives here. Young and old sport metal t-shirts with surprising regularity, metal paraphernalia abounds in shops here and there, and even airport employees asked this recent visitor to the country, upon seeing his tattoos and metal garb, “What metal band are you in?” Though scene insiders in Bangkok remarked to this correspondent that the Bangkok scene is largely split among subgenre lines, it clearly does little to diminish the following among the brutal bands of the Bangkok scene. Here are four punishing bands hailing from Thailand’s capital waiting to unleash upon you and aural assault of massive proportions. More...

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Sunday Old School: Exodus

This past October Sunday Old School looked at British doom metal band, Electric Wizard. In the introduction, I stated that some bands are essential to a genres fan base, the first example being California thrashers, Exodus. So this week we’re going to examine the band in greater detail and see just how important to the thrash metal scene Exodus really are. The band was formed in Richmond, California by guitarists Kirk Hammett and Tim Agnello in 1981, along with drummer Tom Hunting, vocalist Keith Stewart and bassist Carlton Melson, who was soon replaced by Jeff Andrews, with Agnello leaving shortly afterwards to become a minister, leaving the second guitarist spot to be filled by guitar tech, Gary Holt. More departures would soon follow, with the band deciding to replace Stewart with their eccentric friend, Paul Baloff and Jeff Andrews departing after the band recorded their first demo to form an early version of Possessed and most notably, founding member Hammett leaving to join Metallica, who were just about to record their debut album, "Kill ‘em All" in New York. With Hammett now replaced by Rick Hunolt, the band began recording their debut album, "Bonded By Blood," which despite taking over a year to release due to business issues, proved to be well worth the wait, as it has since been hailed as one of the most influential thrash metal albums of all time.

Despite the overwhelmingly positive feedback Exodus received for "Bonded By Blood," they decided to fire Baloff as he was too much for them to handle and replaced him with Legacy frontman Steve "Zetro" Souza. This lineup of the band proved to be stable to some degree, and they released their second album, "Pleasures Of The Flesh" in 1987 which entered the Billboard charts at number 82, a position which was matched by the third Exodus album, "Fabulous Disaster." This album featured the song, "Toxic Waltz" which received regular rotation on the MTV show, Headbanger’s Ball, ultimately proving to be one of the most popular Exodus songs. Tom Hunting left the band after the release of "Fabulous Disaster" but they took a big step by signing with major label, Capitol Records, who housed fellow Californian thrashers, Megadeth at the time. The resulting fourth album, "Impact Is Imminent" received very negative feedback and after a live album, "Good Friendly Violent Fun" and another album, "Force Of Habit" in 1992, which saw the band experiment with their sound, they decided to call it a day, reuniting with Baloff briefly in 1997 for a live album entitled, "Another Lesson In Violence" before breaking up again. More...

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The Rockstar Ramblings: Video Heaven, part II

This week we travel from Russia to Brazil and take a look at some new videos recently released. More...

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