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Photo Credit: Rob Fenn

Halestorm's new album feels like it's been coming for a while (too long!) and finally, when Joe Hottinger was interviewed by BRfm in England recently, we got a bit of a timeline going on. We got some info about both that and where they’re planning on touring for the rest of the year. Check it out!

Keen to hear the new album from Philly punk band The Menzingers Rented World? The Music have put the entire album up for streaming ahead of it’s release this Friday! The guys were just here for an Australia-wide tour with The Smith St Band and blew us away! 

earnest melodic punk with just enough Replacements-esque recklessness.”  - Pitchfork

“another solid, catchy, punchy, and fun record from a band that is slowly but surely taking over the world” - Wil Wagner from The Smith Street Band for Tone Deaf

“punk rock that bleeds emotion” – The Music

gonna be one of the best records of the year.” – Noisey

The Menzingers are among the most vital bands in contemporary punk” - Rolling Stone Australia

Click on the album cover to get to the stream!

Have you had a chance to listen to OFF!'s new record Wasted Years yet?! The guys have just released a new video for their track ‘Red White and Black’. Definitely a punk video, check it out!

Has anyone caught Killswitch Engage on their Australian tour so far? That show was awesome! Guitarist Adam D went into detail about his EVH Wolfgang guitar and how he’s customized it to make it the guitar he’s used on tour for years!

Check it out!

Finally, it’s here. The first track off The Amity Affliction's new album Let The Ocean Take Me WITH a new video. I only have one word. AMAZING. The album will be out June 6 (aka not soon enough).

Pre-orders:

Exclusive Merch Bundles

iTunes

JB Hi-Fi

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Being a metal head is pretty much a full time job.

Those of us lucky enough to be remunerated for our keen interest in the devil’s music have to keep our eyes and ears peeled at all times – it’s not easy but someone has to do it!

So when it comes to being the complete fan, you can’t leave out the most vital component – the merchandise.

Metal has had the t-shirt market sewn up for decades, so why not top and toe it with the next logical choice… shoes…

Yep shoes.

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One more way for the fans to part with their hard earned… and being the obsessed metal fan I am, it’s not a matter of maybe, it’s a matter of when.

Here are my favourites I’ve collected over the years along with an accompanying audio treat.

It should also be known, like the bands themselves these bad boys will live on forever as they all went straight to the pool room.


SLAYER

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The first pair of ‘band’ shoes I ever got – early 2000’s I think.

Love these shoes, particularly because of the rubber trim around the bottom – looks like you’ve been standing in blood…..after it’s been Raining Blood.

I really wish I’d kept the box – look how much they are worth now!

I’ve been lucky enough to spend a lot of time with the band – great guys whose musicianship, dedication and pioneering attitude will live on forever.


BLACK SABBATH

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Saw them in an outlet store in Smith st a few years ago and HAD TO HAVE THEM!!

Barely worn (Chuck Taylors might look cool, but are soooo bloody uncomfortable….) I just loved the fact that they had acknowledged theVolume 4 album (criminally underrated), and the classic Ozzy pose with the tasseled jacket. The 30 year wait came to an end last year when Sabbath finally returned to Australia – it was worth the wait…… “My name is Lucifer, please take my hand”…..


VAN HALEN

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I’ve been a Van Halen fan since I was 10 years old. The 1984 album was massive, ‘Jump’ was No.1 for weeks……but it wasn’t until I heard ‘Panama’ on the radio one night that I became totally obsessed…… Another band I waited and waited and waited to see live….I had to  go to Boston MA in 2012 to see them with DLR…….4 rows from the front….worth every minute…still can’t talk about it without getting a bit teary……

Very cool kicks in the Chuck Taylor style, the unmistakeable Eddie Van Halen ‘Frankenstrat’ design…..and of course the 5150 on the back. Nearly wore them to Boston…..


METALLICA

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The Kings.

My favourite band of all-time – seen them live 24 times, in two countries, over 25 years…have stuck with them through good times and bad (except forLulu, when I actually disowned them for a small period of time).

For a band that has cornered the tshirt market for many years, they were a bit late to get on the shoe band wagon…and it was with mixed results, but here’s a couple of the better ones. The Hetfield high tops (as worn on stage) above and the Lars slip ons below – still looking for the Kirk and Rob versions (FYI: I’ve got a birthday coming up!).

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A nice addition to the 300 plus Metallica t-shirts in the cupboard… We’ll save that story for another day.



-Simon M

via Cool Accidents

Who else is excited for Masotodon's new album?! Brann Dailor caught up with Metal Insider to reveal the meaning behind the name ‘Once More Around The Sun’ (the title of the new album for those not quite up to date), the writing process for the new album and the relationship that they have with their label! Check it out!

You’ve named the new album Once More Around the Sun. What does it mean, man?

Once more around the sun?  Repetitions, A year in the life basically.

Is that a lyric in one of the songs?

It’s usually something I say to people on their birthday. Like “hey you made it!” Once more around the sun my friend, Congrats. It’s like all the things that can happen in a year. This past year, being a lot of craziness. A lot of crazy things happen every year, of course. But seems like the themes that appeared on the record have a little more to do with what has happened, what has transpired throughout the year. Rather than previous albums dealing with subject matter in the past.

This is your second album that doesn’t have an explicit concept or theme. Did you feel like you were writing yourself into a corner by doing that with your first four albums?

No, I don’t think it was that conscious of a decision. If it comes up again that we want to do another concept album, it’s there for us. We have the capabilities but, yeah I guess maybe we sort of felt like we were becoming a band that was predictable almost. Like ‘oh yeah its that band  that does crazy concept albums and 15 minute long songs, that’s what those guys do.’ We don’t want to be that band that everyone figured out.

You’ve mentioned that you may be releasing another EP with some songs that didn’t quite fit with this album. Is that something you thought about while recording the record?

Well we knew going in that we were going to have too much material, but liked all of it. We put it all together  and listened to it as we were starting to finish and it was a little bit exhausting. It was like 1 hour and 15-20 minutes. And it was just really 2 separate feels going on. It seemed to me that it be a cool idea to, because we have this small group of songs that were a little more moody, a little more slow and chill. And since this record is coming out in the summer, it a mover and shaker. We want it to be present at every 15 year old party in the woods. Like when I used to go to a party in the woods, whatever just came out in the summer was the soundtrack for it, and it was some of the best time of our lives. You know what I mean?

I’m sure you weren’t expecting mass radio play when the band formed over a decade ago. Another thing that’s changed is the rise of streaming services. How do you feel about that?

It is what it is, so there’s no way to take control of it. The band that we are and the band we’ve become over the years, I don’t know, a lot of it might be due to the fact that those people heard it for free. I don’t know how much of it equates to legal or illegal. Who knows? I get told all the time that “If it was the 90’s you guys would be selling this many records.” I’m like ‘really, you think so?’ Who knows that? All I know is its hard to sell records and we kind of go about our business and play lots of live shows and we’re still old school in the thinking that we want to put out a record that makes sense from start to finish and we aren’t too interested in releasing singles.

We like the idea of The Album from start to finish and the vinyl, and the packaging and cool art to go along with it. That’s where we’re at, we’re slowly becoming dinosaurs. But i think vinyl over the past five years or so, has slowly picked up and we’re the kind of band that is sort of a collectible band. So we’re all set with all that because kids like the vinyl and we like the vinyl  and we’ll release the monster edition ofOnce More Around the Sun on crazy vinyl.We’re releasing it more for ourselves then anything else because we wanted to see it, because the art is really out of control and amazing. The artist Skinner did a four-panel piece that’s really ridiculous.

Asking Alexandria frontman Danny Worsnop recently had a chat to Full Metal Jackie on Loudwire Nights. You can check out what he has to say about his interesting songwriting technique, his photography and advice to young bands out there.

Danny, you’re not only a musician but also a photographer. Do you think visually as photographer and imagine lyrics as pictures when you’re writing songs?

I do not, no. Most of my lyrics are improv. I’ll be honest. I’m like a rapper.

You improvise when you’re in the studio or when you’re writing?

When I’m in the studio. I don’t write before hand.

So you don’t go in with prepared lyrics …

No. I have a very messed up process that leaves people very worried and concerned. I leave it to the very last second. The product always comes out, so that’s good.

So you’re that guy that everyone is worried about not having anything done when they come in.

Exactly. Some days I go in and just nothing comes to me. So I’ll sit there for a few hours, and say, ‘Yeah, it’s not happening today, guys.’ Then everyone goes home.

So just randomly you’ll come in …

Yep. Recording the last record, there was a period of two weeks where I didn’t even go in. I had nothing, I just wasn’t feeling it. But then, I showed up one day and gold came out.

What do you think inspires you? What happens on those good days you come in and suddenly happens?

Usually I had been on quite a binge, you see. I do like my drink. Yeah, something wild would happen and say, ‘This would make a great song!’ Then it does.

How do the high and low points of your life affect your music? What is it about music that gives you the strength to survive those extremes?

You see, the worst thing about most of my highs are they are the low points. Because they’re not the highs I’m supposed to be having. That’s pretty much what all my music is about, is whatever I happen to be going through at the time. So, when I go through my high points I usually write songs like ‘Run Free’ where it’s very — has a positive message behind it. Then the other 364 days of the year I’m writing just really pissed off aggressive stuff.

What is the biggest advice you would give to young musicians starting out, looking up to you guys playing on stage?

Pick a different f—ing profession. [Laughs] It’s so much work. It is not the glamorous lifestyle that everyone sees on the outside.



Read More at Loudwire

Phil Mucci and Jill Janus

An awesome video can really make a song and director Phil Mucci has probably worked on some of your favourite videos. Having worked with Stone Sour, Opeth and Korn (to name a few), this guy has raised the bar for metal videos. Loudwire caught up with Phil for a pretty interesting interview, see below!

I know you’ve worked with artists from all genres, but it seems that you have really made a home in the hard rock and metal world of late. Can you talk a little about your own metal background?

I was a total nerd in my youth, as I am to this day; my dad loved classical music, so I developed a real taste for that first, then movie soundtracks. Metal came in my early teens, when I started to get exposed to it by friends at school. First it was Ozzy and Iron Maiden, which led me to Black Sabbath and Judas Priest. It was the Reagan era, so by the time I got to high school, I was all about rebellion. I got into punk and thrash then, Suicidal Tendencies, S.O.D., and Slayer – I got into Slayer big time! That led me to more black metal — I bought the first two Mercyful Fate albums on vinyl! That was really just the beginning of the modern metal scene, so from there it took off and I’ve been listening ever since. Lately I zone out to a lot of stoner/doom stuff while I’m working — Electric Wizard, Windhand, YOB, Cough, that sort of stuff. But to this day, I still think there are a lot of similarities between intense “classical” music and metal. Listen to Gustav Holst’s ‘Mars, the Bringer of War’ and tell me that isn’t a sick riff.

In terms of what drew me to the current metal artists, it sort of worked the other way around. My first two short films were hybrids of the horror genre, so when I was starting out in music videos, those were what people saw. I basically got categorized from the outset as “dark”, so the only videos I got offered were for similarly “dark” acts, which was fine with me. It’s very difficult to break through, so whatever works; what really did it for me was developing a strong relationship with Rick Ernst at Roadrunner Records. He was one of the first people to take a chance on me as an unknown director. Roadrunner really breathed down my neck on the first couple projects, but by the time we got to Opeth, Rick basically offered me the gig if I could come up with a concept that Mikael liked. My good friend Dan Simpson at Flux Paradox in San Francisco showed the Opeth video to High on Fire, along with my short films, and they asked me if I’d like to do a video for them. I was already a fan, so of course I said, “Hell yeah!”

 

With Pig Destroyer into High On Fire and Opeth and more recently with Stone Sour and Huntress, your videos began to take on a certain style of their own — kind of a cross between Frank Miller’s ‘Sin City’ and the black light posters of the ’70s. Can you talk about some of the visual artists who have influenced your style?

Thanks! Yeah – it was definitely an evolution. Again, it all kind of started with Opeth. Before that, I was shooting with larger budgets — the Korn video I did for ‘Oildale‘ had eight times the budget of Opeth — and always with performance playing a central role. Those videos had different demands — they’re more akin to commercials, where the label, management, and band all have a say in the final edit. Most music videos live in that world, so Opeth was a breath of fresh air. I had a much smaller budget, but I didn’t have to shoot the band, and more or less had creative freedom.

The concept I got approved was one that I wasn’t even sure how I was going to pull off! But that’s how you grow — you take on new challenges — and when you’re given creative freedom, the money doesn’t matter so much. You just jump off the deep end and try to figure it out before you drown! And I almost drowned on that one — it was stressful as hell, since I was learning on the job. But it was totally worth it; I learned so much on that gig that my work grew by leaps and bounds from that point onwards.

If I had to credit a main inspiration for the style as it pertains to the character animation, it would definitely be Ralph Bakshi. I’d always been a fan, and then I watched a lecture he gave about how he developed his rotoscoping style by seeing how Walt Disney had used it in ‘Cinderella’ — shooting live actors and drawing animation on top of them, frame by frame. In the lecture, Bakshi basically said it was a technique that modern computers made easier, and he encouraged filmmakers to get out there and try it. So I did!

Other major influences would be the work of Richard Corben, Moebius, and a lot of the ‘Heavy Metal’ magazine artists, as well as the seminal animated feature film of the same name from 1981. I think it’s hard to be totally conscious of your influences once you reach a certain point. It becomes sort of “everything” you’ve ever been exposed to, but I’d say the work of filmmakers Mario Bava, Ray Harryhausen, Roger Corman, Alejandro Jodorowsky, Jess Franco, Jean Rollin, and Dario Argento have all had an influence on my music video work.



Working with an artist like, for instance, Corey Taylor, who you know is well versed in comics and graphic novels and loves that stuff as opposed to an act who doesn’t come from that background, does it make it easier or harder to achieve the final video vision?

Corey Taylor is basically a super-prolific, multitalented genius, so it’s hard to compare him to other acts, to be honest. My work for him was like none of my other projects in that he basically entrusted me with HIS story. My treatment for ‘Do Me a Favor’ was just the Cliff Notes to his larger story. He was working on the graphic novel at the same time, so I didn’t have a lot of that to go off, but Corey was super cool about it.

I’d say what Corey brings to the table is the confidence of a guy who’s making stuff all the time. He hires the right people to interpret his ideas, and let’s them do their thing. That’s a total badass where I come from. Not a lot of people have the strength not to micromanage. In that regard, he was one of the easiest, most supportive guys I’ve ever had the privilege to work with.

Jill Janus from Huntress is another. She doesn’t come from the comics and graphic novel background that Corey does, but she’d seen my videos up to that point, and really responded to High on Fire’s ‘Fertile Green.’ I’d actually reached out to Huntress months before through my agent, after I’d seen their ‘Eight of Swords’ video, but their label wasn’t very responsive. Then Jill and her manager Jackie Kajzer reached out to me directly, and it was on! Like Corey, Jill has a keen sense of who she is, and by extension, how I could contribute to the Huntress legacy. I mean, she reached out to me before she even recorded ‘Starbound Beast,’ so it was a real honor. When other artists invest that kind of confidence in your work, it really brings out your best. Dave Wyndorf from Monster Magnet knows that too, and the video we’re cooking up together for ‘The Duke’ is gonna be off the hook!



These videos of late have a very cinematic feel to them and I know you’ve directed short films in the past. Would there be any thought to potentially directing some sort of music film with great visuals and music from some of today’s acts, a la ‘Heavy Metal’ or ‘The Wall’ from our youth?

Actually yes, there’s been plenty of talk about it. Various bands have approached me, and other potential interested “parties.” But talk is very cheap, and movies are very expensive! Doing the work that I do is creatively very fulfilling, but financially it’s a break even situation. Taking time out to do a film right now isn’t really in the cards, but we’ve definitely got plans, and more than one potential project in early stages of development. But writing takes time, and so do my video projects — literally 14 hrs a day, 7 days a week — so it will be a while before I can afford to take the time off to do it.

The thing is, I originally came out to LA to direct my first feature; but that was in 2008, when the sky was falling, and things didn’t work out. Doing music videos was basically the result of me scrambling to get work as a director when that deal fell through, and when most of the people I’d just met in LA — including my agent and manager — lost their jobs in the recession. Luckily I’ve been able to establish somewhat of a reputation — even if it’s only in hard rock and metal, which I love, but which notoriously have the smallest budgets.

I think the upside of all of it is that since I’m working with less money, I’ve been forced to learn how to do more of the work myself, so I’ve actually acquired a lot of the skill-set needed to make a low budget feature. Having worked to build a reputation in two fields now, I can honestly say that adversity breeds creativity, and many times the things you think are holding you back, are actually doorways to new modes of thinking . The fact that I’m able to be a filmmaker, and get my stuff seen online and in film festivals – even if it’s just music videos or shorts – is all that matters to me right now. You have to understand that, as a photographer, I went for the commercial cash in a big way, and I paid a heavy creative and emotional price for it that effected all aspects of my life, so I’m actually okay with being poor but fulfilled right now.



Read the rest of the interview at Loudwire

Just as we’re starting to get excited about the new album called Pale Communion from Opeth, we’re now even more excited to see these guys after they played at Roadburn Festival in The Netherlands recently! Some kind metal head has filmed the footage and made it available for streaming so you can check it out below!