Inside The Shredder’s Studio #3: Jon Levasseur of Cryptopsy

By: justin.m.norton Posted in: featured, interviews, lists On: Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

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Only a short introduction is needed here. This gentleman played on Hall Of Fame certified None So Vile, not to mention the inimitiable Blasphemy Made Flesh. He’s back in Cryptopsy and a big reason their eponymous new album rules. Ladies and gentlemen, we’re proud to welcome Jon Levasseur to the shredder’s studio this week.

Hey everyone! Jon Levasseur from Cryptopsy here to talk about my favorite metal riffs. These riffs have directly influenced my rhythm guitar playing and ultimately, Cryptopsy’s riffing style and songwriting. Here’s my trip down memory lane, hope you enjoy.

Metallica: Master of Puppets

Every riff in this song is unique, from the technical beginning to the gracious clean with twin melodies, from the over powerful power chords to the faster scaling riff after the solo. This song had it all and kept me busy. James Hetfield was the first metal guitarist to influence my rhythm playing with his rock solid down picking technique and his power chords, which he plays with his index/pinky finger. I had a hard time learning that, but it does make it easier and is something that has served me extremely well.

Slayer: Angel Of Death

The violence, chaos, speed and sheer brutality of the riffs are unmatched. That raw guitar sound and razor sharp speed picking from the start to half way through the song where they unveil the epic groove with Slayer’s twin guitar harmonization is just devastating. These guys taught me speed picking and unconventional harmonization, giving a psychotic feel to any given riff. Most of all, this song taught me to keep the insanity and intensity coming, enough is NEVER enough, basically show no mercy!

Testament: Over The Wall

The first time I heard this song (and album), I got shivers. The introduction of complex and hard to decipher picking patterns, the brutal riffing combined to a neo-classical musicality, speed, technicality and the solos…it just blew me away! What I learned from the Peterson/Skolnick duo is this: “pick up your guitar, kid, and get your ass practicing.” At this point, I would practice the same picking patterns for hours. I had quite a few “from dusk ’til dawns” to get my brain and wrist in tune for this but I remember it being the biggest sentiment of achievement when I was able to (barely) keep up with the tape.

Entombed: Chaos Breed

That memorable first riff followed by the epic gallop riff and groove was so intense. This song has some of the best melodic speed picking riffs ever, odd catches within the beats, high on the neck power chords and then the epic down tempo groove using just one chord. So simple yet so devastating! Entombed’s lesson was that it doesn’t necessarily need to be fast and technical to be genuinely awesome.

Carcass: Incarnated Solvent Abuse

Even lower down tuning? Right off the bat: speed, melody, harmonies and all that over a blast beat? My little brain exploded! The guitar tone and heaviness of those chunky riffs combined with a neo-classical feel on the solo section was right up my alley, not to mention the catchiness of the main riff. This proved that it was o.k. to combine brutality, heaviness and musicality.

Suffocation: Liege of Inveracity

Death by firing squad is what the first listen felt like. Holy shit did these guys ever crank it up. Fast changing notes with a psycho-melodic feel, fast speed picking and a brand new over-the-top heavy style of riffing. There are four amazing groove riffs in this song. The riffs (and album) were so advanced and innovative, it gave an “ambience” of extreme brutality and controlled chaos that no one ever heard before.

Malevolent Creation: Slaughter Of Innocence

This song has like four starts before it actually goes. Savage riffing, fast moving power chords, complex picking patterns and violent crunch is obvious here especially in the whole middle build up that leads to the infamous “die mother fucker!” Malevolent Creation had their own sound and style of riffing and were another ingredient influencing my playing.

Dream Theater: Under A Glass Moon

About six months before I joined Cryptopsy. I learned a great lesson my old man tried to teach me since I was a kid (but I wouldn’t listen): “always keep an open mind and embrace a much larger view of the world of music that surrounds us. As a musician, this is where you’ll always find fresh ideas and contribute wisely to the evolution of your music.”What my Dad was trying to make me understand over many years, Dream Theater did in just the time it took to listen to this song. John Petrucci is one of my favorite guitar players and his work here is stellar.

Thanks to everyone who took the time to read this. A special thanks to Decibel for this opportunity to go back down memory lane! Cheers!

STREAMING: The Casualties “Brick Wall Justice”

By: Chris D. Posted in: featured, listen On: Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

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It’s isn’t often the “extremely extreme” or the “new noise” transitions from death, black, doom, or whatever to punk rock, so on September 19th, 2012 the Deciblog puts on a pair of 20-year old Doc Martens, trades our jean jacket with the Kreator backpatch for a leather one with studs and self-painted logos, and defies gravity by making our long hair go up instead of down. Today is the day of punk rock in the form of New York City legends The Casualties.

Taking cues from British punk (e.g., Discharge, The Exploited, GBH, and English Dogs) and an old-school New York City attitude (pre-Giuliani, please), The Casualties’ aggressive and uncompromising brand of punk is just tonic Americans need for uncertain times. Certainly, The Casualties may be old-school and unchanged but drummer Meggers was right in a 2010 interview on Barebonesmusic.com, “One thing that I have always loved about punk rock. It’s for everyone. Some of my favorite bands are super political like, Crass, Aus-Rotten, and Dirt. And others are more of the fuck the world; sing about personal issues, like the Threats, GBH, Black Flag. So I believe there’s plenty room for all and all should be heard.”

So, hear The Casualties’ “Brick Wall Justice” away. It’ll make old hats yearn and newjack punks grin.

** The Casualties’ new album, Resistance, is out September 25th on Season of Mist Records. It’s available HERE on CD, LP, and limited edition LP. Tell ‘em Decibel sent you. They might tell you to piss off or “Go and boil your bottoms, you sons of a silly person.” Or, you might get something extra cool. Who knows?!

LIVE REVIEW: Fucked Up Deliver Sweaty Man Hugs For All

By: adem Posted in: featured, heavy tuesdays, live reviews On: Tuesday, September 18th, 2012

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Fucked Up, Rifflandia Festival, September 14, Victoria, BC
Rifflandia has one of the coolest names for a music festival. It seemed in past years when it was smaller that it was more about the “riff” than it is in its current iteration, where hip-hop, Americana, indie rock and, well, Fucked Up intermingle. For instance, we preceded our attendance at this show by seeing the Flaming Lips do their damnedest to bore a football field of people who were really excited about being at a music festival on a beautiful late summer night. Talk about a missed opportunity. This was the best part of the show and it took place in the first minute. Yay, giant balloons!

That show ended at 9 pm promptly when the band finally stopped flogging “Do You Realize” and departed. We needed a beer and since our next stop, Soprano’s, was a place we were sure wasn’t going to have anything worth drinking we beelined it to Veneto Lounge, where a pint of Pike Double Trouble set us right. Suitably primed we ambled down the street to Soprano’s where we promptly ran smack into Fucked Up front man Pink Eyes getting his punk rock on to BC’s White Lung. Can we just say that the dude is a mensch? Friendly as hell and easy with the conversation. We shared tales of Poison Idea and other old-dude talk until he had to go backstage to get away from me get warmed up for the show.

Indian Handcrafts from Toronto were Fucked Up’s direct support and the duo filled Soprano’s with a forceful roar that was as thunderous as it was groovy. Both guitarist Daniel Brandon Allen and drummer Brandyn James Aikins did vocals (sing? not really) and they just exploded through a set heavily drawn from their latest album for Sargent House Records, Civil Disobedience For Losers. Highlight for us was the seriously catchy and equally brutish “Bruce Lee.” Imagine if all those classic Am Rep bands listened to a little more P-Funk, this is what it would have sounded like.

Indian Handcrafts

We feel bad for the members of Fucked Up who weren’t the lead singer or wearing a dress on this night. Because, near as we could tell, those guys did not garner a whole lot of attention from the crowd. Three guitarists and a drummer who was obscured by the stage full of musicians in front of him provided the, we sure, unintentional backdrop for a maniacal singer and a female bass player who played like a punk rocker, but was definitely dressed for something more like a cocktail party. The juxtaposition between the beauty and the beast became all the more apparent, when after a song or two Pink Eyes removed his shirt to reveal he had on a sweater underneath.

Sonically there was no separation between the entities that make up the group. Fucked Up are relentless. North Americans mostly stopped making music that’s anywhere close to this about two decades ago. In the imaginary twilight where Poison Idea began to fade and the Pixies began their rise, there lies Fucked Up’s musical origins. There’s the wall-of-sound bombast of early ’70s Who in there, too, but there is denseness to the sound that feels like it’s unstoppable.

And amidst the maelstrom is a bald, bearded bear who’ll scream his fury into your face one moment and then grab you in sweaty man hug the next. We were partial to the ample assortment of songs from the band’s debut, Hidden World, especially “Baiting the Public” and “David Comes to Life,” but this show was almost less about the songs and more about the assault on the senses. At the end of it all, we realized that we had loved every minute of it, but weren’t sure we could stand any more.

Meet A True Metal Badass: Papu Martinez

By: Shawn Macomber Posted in: featured, gnarly one-offs, interviews On: Tuesday, September 18th, 2012

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When through the magic of Facebook we recently learned that a twenty-five year-old aspiring solar panel technician and diehard thrash metal maniac from Calexico, California had tattooed the epic artwork from the poster of the inaugural Decibel tour onto his right forearm, it was pretty much inevitable we’d reach out. Turns out Papu Martinez is a hilarious, cool-ass, very enthusiastic all-metal motherfucker — add him on the aforementioned social network for further proof — who was as willing to spill the beans on the back story of the tattoo as he was to spill his own blood getting it.

So…tell me how you ended up deciding to brand this Decibel tour poster onto your body for life.

Well, I just saw it in the magazine and just thought it looked fucking sick. And I thought to myself, “I have to get that.”

Did you make it out to one of the tour dates?

No, but you know what? I’m not into any of those bands. [Laughs] I mean, I don’t think they’re bad, just not into them. I heard In Solitude a little bit. They’re alright.

So this was purely based on your love of the sick art.

Yes. And I’m a huge fan of the magazine. I think it’s the best metal magazine out there.

It’s a pretty intricate design. Was the process painful?

Not really. This was my eleventh tattoo, so I’m pretty used to the pain.

What are some of the other tattoos Decibel joins on your body canvas?

Well, I have three Iron Maiden tattoos — Killers, one off the Fear of the Dark album, and the devil from Number of the Beast.

Whoa, awesome!

I have Exodus Bonded By Blood. Slayer Show No Mercy. Testament The Legacy, Souls of Black. Razor Evil Invaders.

What you’re telling me is you’re basically 100 percent metal — a walking metal art billboard.

Ha! Yes. And my other tat is just family related.

Are you the only metal head in your family?

Yes. I’ve tried getting my nephews into it…and I fail.

What has been the reaction to the tattoo from your family and friends?

INTERVIEW: Mark “the Shark” Shelton on Hellwell side-project and new Manilla Road album

By: jonathan.horsley Posted in: featured, interviews On: Monday, September 17th, 2012

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“Epic’s in my nature,” says Mark “the Shark” Shelton. “That’s all there is to it. It’s all about the telling of a good story.” He’s talking about his writing style and ethos for Manilla Road and new side-project with Manilla Road bassist Ernie Cunningham Hellwell, but such a declaration applies equally to Shelton’s expansive conversation style. He loves a good story, and he tells it well. Since forming Manilla Road in 1977, he’s banked plenty of war stories, but crackling down the line from his home in Kansas, Shelton has plenty to talk about in the here and now.

We were calling to ask him about Hellwell and how it came about, but seeing as he’d just finished mixing the new Manilla Road album, Mysterium two days prior to our call, he was good enough to expand on what we can expect.

It’s weird that Manilla Road have been undersold through the years; while they’ve never gone short on love—1983′s Crystal Logicis widely and rightly considered a solid-gold classic—they have gone wanting for widespread appeal. Maybe that’s as much down to Shelton’s choices, too, (as he explains below) in choosing to stay in Kansas and resolutely do his own thing for the band. Even now, speaking about a new European distribution deal with German label Golden Core/XYZ, he sounds kinda guilty, like he’s selling out the underground because there’s someone willing to put his record in stores across Europe. But he shouldn’t worry: Manilla Road will always belong to the underground, just as the underground will always belong to them.

You can stream Hellwell’s Beyond the Boundaries of Sin at Shadow Kingdom’s BandCamp page. Here’s “The Shark” on how the project got together and what’s coming up for Manilla Road …

STREAMING: Norska “Norska”

By: Chris D. Posted in: featured, listen On: Monday, September 17th, 2012

Norska, Jim Lowder, Dustin Rieseberg, Aaron Rieseberg, Jason Oswald

According to Russian linguistic experts, appending the suffix “ka” to the end of a word is to mean it’s little or so small it’s cute. In the case of Portland, Oregon’s sludge doom outfit Norska, there’s nothing on the group’s self-titled new album that’s easily identifiable as “little” or “cute”. It’s the opposite, actually. Elongated songs, slurred tempos, and a roar that’d make any Russian teenage girl with a Fendi bag recoil in horror are Norska’s rule rather than exceptions.

That’s the least interesting tidbit about Norska. Sure, they can cram 40 minutes into five songs—a sort of doom metal threshold—but members of Norska also consider lauded sludge doom darlings Yob as home. So, really Norska is an extension of Yob under a different guise with slightly different intentions. Yet both manage to alter states, which is exactly the sort of thing music of this edge should accomplish.

Time to zone out out on a lawn chair and look for the stars to the serious sounds of Norska. Cute, eh?

** Norska’s new self-titled album is out September 18th (that’s tomorrow for those of you without a calendar) on Brutal Panda Records. It’s available HERE on finely formed wax, which is limited to 500 copies universe-wide, broken down into 200 Olive/Forest Green, 300 black, and 10 test presses. Hey, that’s 510 copies universe-wide. Crafty bitches.

Bonin’ the Interhole – Francesco Marras

By: Dan Lake Posted in: featured, interviews, listen On: Friday, September 14th, 2012

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Bands like Gojira and Godflesh might be major brand names ‘round these parts, but mention them to your average Metallica-loving broseph and you’re likely to get a squinty-eyed, the-fuck-you-say? half-nod.  But Decibel just won’t quit.  We dig deeper, danker, darker and dirtier (though rarely fitter or happier) to turn up a few otherwise overlooked gems.  While Throw Me a Frickin’ Bone lays it out all hard-copy-like, every Friday the Deciblog brings you the stealthiest bandcampiest demos, EPs, singles, one-offs, full-lengths, and start-up acts that catch our attention with Frickin’ Bone 2.0:  Bonin’ the Interhole.

This one’s for you, instrumental power guitar god worshippers.  Not sure what the hell you’re doing listening to this kind of technically proficient, turbocharged, cloud-climbing Top Gun-era riff raff when there are perfectly adequate mountains of underplayed amp feces piling up everywhere you turn.  On Black Sheep, Signore Marras ed amici serve up sick speed, pretty melodies, and a tone feast that could sate even the most gluttonous guitar guru.  There’s no lack of passion or personality on the record, and if you’re into windy vista-gazing, princess-saving or sunset-riding then you should totally jam this shit.  Nothing else could make you feel a fraction this heroic… or this Italian.  Come to think of it, I was indeed in Italy the last time this insistently sensitive style of metallic rock really lifted me off my feet.  You know what they say – when in Rome… SHRED!

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How do you feel about Black Sheep, now that it’s done?

I’m very proud, is an important goal in my musical career. I’ve always been a band guitarist and I love it, but with my solo album my guitar can “sing”. I’ve started to work on it about 5 years ago with no pressure, in my free time; after I’ve realized that was arrived the right moment for an entire instrumental album. I like a lot of different kind of music like progressive, hard rock, aor , blues, punk, rock’n’roll, grunge, stoner, etc. , with “Black Sheep” I can take a break from what I usually do with my bands and I’m free to play anything I want.

What was the writing/recording process like for you?  How did it compare to your experiences with Screaming Shadows and Black Demons?

There’s not a great difference from what I usually do for my bands, I work in studio every day so the writing/recording process is easy for me.  For “Black Sheep” some songs are born with no guitar in my hands, only singing a melody with words, other songs are born from a guitar improvisation or from a guitar lick, etc, anyway, without limits in composition or in musical genre. In every song of my album there’s a chorus and a very strong musical theme, it isn’t only guitar solos and the songs’ structure is similar than a song with the voice.  I’ve started to compose my own music in ’98 with Screaming Shadows, in this years my songwriting has grown, no music lesson can teach you what you’ll learn composing your own music, for me is the most important thing for a musician. I create my music with passion not thinking about chords or scales.

What music first caught your attention and made you want to play it yourself?

Obviously the music of Iron Maiden! I’ve listened my first Maiden’s album when I was 8 and it was the day my life changed forever. I love the sound of electric guitar, it’s powerful and strong. Everything I do and I’ve done in music is for Iron Maiden, I really love their music. Sometimes I wonder if Steve Harris and Co. can understand how much they have changed the people’s life with their music.

What musicians have influenced you to become the guitar player you are today?

My style is influenced by a lot of guitarists like Steve Vai, Yngwie Malmsteen, Satriani, Paul Gilbert, Nuno Bettencourt, Kiko Loureiro, Phil Collen, ecc.  My favourite guitar player is Adrian Smith and I think that the solo of “Stranger in a strange land” is the best of all times. In “Powerslave” and “Somewhere in time” there are the best Maiden’s guitar solos. Write a solo is very important, what happen “under” the melody is as important as the solo, I always prefer simple and functional choices like the Iron Maiden style, with harmonic modulation or time changes.

Do you feel that the style of music on Black Sheep exists in a supportive scene, or is it less popular than other styles of rock/metal?

Maybe is less popular than other styles of rock but it has always had his audience, thanks to artists like Steve Vai and shows like G3. Now that my solo album is finished I can easily do clinics, demonstrations and show cases everywhere, the mail for the bookings is francescomarras@hotmail.com

Is music your primary occupation right now, or is it something that you balance with a day job?

I’m working to make the music my first occupation, I teach electric guitar in schools and I do private lessons, I produce some bands of my city in my own studio and I try to play live as much as I can. I really love music and I hope to make it my only occupation.

Have you been playing these songs live?  (If so, how have shows been going?)

I’ve not played  yet a whole show with the songs on the album, but I’ve played the acoustic version of two songs as opening during the acoustic show of Mariangela Demurtas (singer of Tristania) in my city and I’ve played the song “Black sheep” with John Macaluso during one of his clinics in Sardinia. The feedback from the audience was very good and on my you tube channel        (www.youtube.com/FMGuitarChannel ) you can see the video of all this shows.

Is there a particular type of guitar or set-up that you especially enjoy playing?

I usually play a B.C.Rich ASM Pro that I’m proudly endorser. This guitar have a very comfortable fretboard, with sustain and volume also when it’s plug out, it sounds good and I really like it.  I’ve recorded all the guitars and bass in my own recording studio and I’ve used an ENGL tube pre amp, a Marshall 9200 power amp with a 4×12 Marshall cabinet with Celestion speakers. I love the sound of British amps like Marshall.  I’m also endorser for : Morley pedals, D’Addario strings and Horizon pickups.

A special thanks to Decibel Magazine for the support! Please visit my site and follow me on the web: www.francescomarras.com.  Ciao!

Ahoy…or Something. Scythia Premiere “For the Bear”

By: kevin.stewart-panko Posted in: featured, listen, uncategorized On: Thursday, September 13th, 2012

Scythia 2012 - press photo

Vancouver’s Scythia is a confusing bunch. Are they pirate metal? No, not really. Folk metal? Nah. They may have folk elements, but they’re not that dour. Yeah, you heard me. Battleshield metal? I made that up, but it makes them sound a lot tougher and more sinister than they actually are. Let’s go with what I found on their Facebook page: “BC based theatrical metal band with costumes and an oboe of death.” Morgan Zentner plays the oboe (of death), they all dress like Ren Faire folk drinking with the Braveheart fanclub on a scurvy-ridden pirate ship and obviously have a sense of humour.

They also have a new EP out, the follow up to their 2011 album …Of Exile. It’s titled For the Bear and according to their bio and the blurb in the CD, “The intention of this EP was to capture Scythia as they sound live. They have chosen to abandon fancy post-production sound effects and extensive guest musicians in favour of capturing the energy and excitement of these compositions. “Fierce Riders of Scythia,” “Black Death” and “Dies Irae pt.1″ were originally recorded back in 2009 and appeared on Scythia’s debut …Of War release. These tracks have been re-recorded and re-mixed to capture the mood and intensity of Scythia’s current line-up. The “Mattawa Reel” has been adapted from a Quebecois folk song written by Robert Forest. The “Video Game Medley” features excerpts from Wizards and Warriors 1, Castlevania, Skyrim, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Final Fantasy VI and Tetris.”

Shit, aside from Tetris, that last sentence might as well have been in Mandarin as far as I’m concerned. So, give the title track a whirl and see what you think.

If you’re interested, For the Bear comes out September 25th. Check out the links below for more info and ordering info. And don’t scrimp on the eating, drinking, being merry with your sword and shield.

www.scythia.ca
www.facebook.com/scythiametal

Decibrity Playlist: Vision Of Disorder

By: zach.smith Posted in: featured, interviews, listen, lists On: Thursday, September 13th, 2012

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Back in 1998, Philly’s Troc hosted a fantastic triple bill featuring Sepultura, Vision Of Disorder and Earth Crisis. Notably, each band had released a record that year that, for better or worse, would serve as a turning point in its career. While Sepultura ushered in the Derrick Green era with Against and Earth Crisis jumped to Roadrunner to release the criminally underrated Breed The Killers, it was Vision Of Disorder that jumped ahead of the pack that year when it dropped Imprint. Rawer and more experimental than its predecessor, the record was a huge step forward both in terms of sound and ambition. Unfortunately, the quintet would go tits up a mere four years later not long after releasing the divisive From Bliss To Devastation, never to be heard from again…

…until officially reuniting in the fall of 2008. And four years after getting back together, the New Yorkers have finally given us a new album in the form of The Cursed Remain Cursed. Given the length of time between albums, we asked guitarist Matt Baumbach and bassist Mike Fleischmann to take a little trip down memory lane and tell us about a non-VOD record that related in some way to each of their band’s full-lengths (including For The Bleeders). As usual, you can listen along here as you read about their picks.

Vision Of Disorder (1996) :: Korn’s Korn
I would say the album that influenced me most during this time period was Korn’s first record. We had played with them on Long Island at a place called the Roxy right when they were gaining momentum and I also caught them at their first NYC show opening for Biohazard. I liked the fact that they had alternative parts along with the darker, detuned heavy ones. It was a nice change from the more metal and hardcore stuff we were used to. I also remember wanting to go alternative in a more hardcore way but being pleased that [VOD vocalist] Tim [Williams] wasn’t into Korn cause everyone was trying to sound like Jonathan Davis’ painful vocal at the time. The music was more the influence for me personally. You can hear it in tracks like “Zone Zero”, “Through My Eyes” and even earlier stuff like “Beneath the Green”. (Matt Baumbach)

Vision Of Disorder (1996) :: Sepultura’s Roots
One of the first times we were invited to the Roadrunner offices, they gave us a sneak peek listen to Sepultura’s Roots. Our jaws all dropped on the floor. From that point on, that was the quintessential heavy record for me. We needed to aspire to be as heavy as that record. The production on our first album came nowhere even close… (Mike Fleischmann)

Imprint (1998) :: Neurosis’s Through Silver In Blood
This record’s process was crazy because we were writing nonstop as soon as we got off the road following our stint on Ozzfest. One of the bands we played with on that tour was Neurosis, who we hit it off with big time. We would party like crazy on that tour with those guys, but there was also a huge respect I gained for what they were as a band. Their record Through Silver In Blood is a classic, groundbreaking album to me. I became heavily influenced by how noise itself could be a musical movement. If you hear stuff on Imprint like the verse of “By The River” or the riffs in “Colorblind” or “12 Steps to Nothing”, you can hear the influence. I wanted to play more dynamically after Neurosis and I think the whole band had similar feelings. Neurosis was the heaviest thing we had heard in a long time. (MB)

Imprint (1998) :: Radiohead’s OK Computer
During this period in 1998, I was listening to a lot of Radiohead. OK Computer came out and we picked it up while we were on tour. We would make all of the other bands that that came on our bus to hang out on Ozzfest listen to it. After touring for a year, I remember that being the only show I was willing to go see as I was so sick of being at shows. They definitely were an inspiration to try new things and it shows on that record. (MF)

For The Bleeders (1999) :: Pantera’s Vulgar Display Of Power and Life Of Agony’s River Runs Red
Being that this was pretty much a re-recording of demo material, I would go back to that time with a 50/50 split between Pantera’s Vulgar record and Life Of Agony’s River Runs Red. Both influenced us immensely in the very early days between ’92 and ’95. The groove of both bands were their biggest assets for me. I think you can hear Pantera in songs like “Take Them Out” and LOA in stuff like “Formula for Failure”. It was all a mish-mash in the early days. We didn’t really know what we were doing except just trying to sound good enough to play out. (MB)

For The Bleeders (1999) :: The Beatles’ Abbey Road
At this point, I was listening to a lot of The Beatles, mostly Abbey Road. I was getting very tired of heavy music and had never really explored Beatles albums before. I always thought of them as something my Mom listened to. It sounds clichéd, but it’s important for every musician to go through a Beatles phase. For The Bleeders was actually recorded while we were demoing songs for From Bliss, so those both kind of roll into each other. (MF)

From Bliss To Devastation (2001) :: Soundgarden’s Superunknown
This record was probably the most challenging. We knew we were taking a chance and I became super heavy influenced by Soundgarden’s Superunknown record. I remember thinking that even if it was not received well by fans of Imprint, it was still something we had to make. The band seemed to be up to the challenge of going more simple but also maturing and trying to make actual “songs”. Sometimes it worked out great on tracks like “Itchin’ to Bleed” or the title track and then other experiments like “Pretty Hate” didn’t fare well. I was really into the idea of writing guitar parts with melodic dissonance like Soundgarden did and then combining them with the heavier, sludgier groove stuff. I still think “4th of July” by them is one of the heaviest riffs ever. The overall musicality of Superunknown can be heard all over this record to me. (MB)

I had all Soundgarden records in heavy rotation at this point, but mostly Superunknown. I was really into the sound of that record, it was dark and heavy, but was still easy on the ears. You can hear their influence on FBTD. Got to see them again recently and it was awesome! (MF)

The Cursed Remain Cursed (2012) :: Slipknot’s Vol. 3 (The Subliminal Verses) and M83′s Saturdays=Youth
Currently, I can’t really say that there is one record that influenced this new record. Over the years my taste has gotten more diverse. I will say that I consistently listened to Slipknot’s Vol. 3 all the way to M83′s Saturdays=Youth. Everything can be an influence nowadays as long as it is done with full integrity, which is hard to come by. I also referenced our back catalog now and again because I had not heard it in a long time. I’m really into big dynamics with music now. Songs on TCRC like “Annihilator”, “Hard Times” and “Heart and Soul” I think show that. It takes time for a band to fully understand who it is from a sound perspective and this one is VOD at its most coherent. (MB)

The Cursed Remain Cursed (2012) :: Queens Of The Stone Age’s Rated R
There’s a good ten years of albums and influences between FBTD and TCRC. If I had to pick a main album that really stands out, I’d have to say Queens of the Stone Age’s Rated R. I definitely listened to that album a ton, but since iPods were invented after we made our last album, I prefer to put my music on shuffle and let the gods of rock and roll decide what I am going to listen to! (MF)

*Photo: Tez Mercer

**Pick up a copy of The Cursed Remain Cursed here!

***We update one Spotify playlist for each new Decibrity entry, so feel free to subscribe to that here. Past entries include:

Grave
Anders Nyström (Katatonia) (Part 1) (Part 2)
“Best of” Rush (Part 1) (Part 2)
Dawnbringer
Ufomammut
Shadows Fall
Horseback
Greg Mackintosh (Paradise Lost) (Part 1) (Part 2)
Torche
“Best of” Meshuggah
Astra
Pallbearer
Barren Earth
Shane Embury (Napalm Death) (Part 1) (Part 2)

STREAMING: Lecherous Gaze — “War Woman”

By: justin.m.norton Posted in: featured, listen On: Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

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We get a lot of music in these parts that doesn’t make you feel good. So dB will gladly accept sweet party anthems secure in the knowledge that many readers give ample spins to Appetite for Destruction when they are claiming to dissect some obscure 80-minute black metal opus.

“War Woman” comes from Oakland’s Lecherous Gaze, who describe themselves thus: “#1 Rockin’ band in the entire world… Like the prow of a mighty ship cutting through a sea of turd, Lecherous Gaze carry on the legacy of bands like the MC5 and Black Flag to bring dangerously heavy rock back to the masses.”

The band will release their debut On The Skids on October 9 via Tee Pee Records. It was recorded at Oakland’s Earhammer Studios and it’s pretty sweet. Check out an early stream below and get in touch with the band.

September tour dates:

13th – Ojai, CA @ THE HUB
14th – Long Beach, CA @ Ulysses’ House (Leslie’s Birthday Party)
15th – La Concita, CA @ the Beach Hut Location
21st – Oakland, CA @ the SWAMP