Q&A: Scott “Wino” Weinrich | Decommissioning the fuzz pedal and playing acoustic

By: jonathan.horsley Posted in: featured, interviews On: Friday, February 10th, 2012

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For a dude who has built a revered legacy on the back of playing big biker doom riffs and wailing with Saint Vitus, Scott “Wino” Weinrich’s recent output has been super-mellow. There was 2010 acoustic solo record, Adrift, then a Latitudes session recorded in London with German singer/songwriter Conny Ochs, before the pair got together and put out last year’sHeavy Kingdom, an LP that was largely all acoustic. Sure, at first it was kinda weird seeing Wino leave his Sunn Model T on standby, but it’s pretty cool too. And shit, if anyone in doom was to break ranks and bring it down a level into folk/Americana and still make it sound dark and heavy, it’s Wino.

While he is going to be playing acoustic shows in support of Heavy Kingdom, Wino will be back breaking bad on the mic with Saint Vitus and riffing out with The Obsessed soon enough. When we caught up with him the other week, the change of pace sounded like it was doing him good.

I gather that it was a bit of an accident that you got into playing acoustically.
What happened was, when Punctuated Equilibrium was coming out, my first solo album on electric, there was a motorcycle magazine which had a record release party for me. At the time I wasn’t playing acoustic, but the guy wanted to make some kind of special draw for it so he advertised it, and at the end of the ad for the party he said that I would do a half-hour acoustic set at the end. He didn’t even ask me; he just dropped me in it, but it’s kinda funny ‘cos I agreed to do it anyways even though I wasn’t really prepared. I watched the footage of that… When I saw it back I said, “If I ever do this again I’m going to be more prepared.” What I did was, that winter, I sat down with an acoustic and wrote some more meaningful songs and that went on to become Adrift. After the bassist on Punctuating Equilibrium, John Blank died, unexpectedly, and we were due to start a tour with Clutch literally days after it—I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know whether just to get lost or somethin’. But the drummer, John-Paul [Gaster] from Clutch and Punctuated Equilibrium said, ‘Why don’t you get on the bus with us and just play acoustic, and just support the whole show on acoustic? Play a half-hour set and take a little bit of the cut of you’d get with Punctuated.’ And that sorta got me doing it, and I realised that not only was it easy but it was pretty rewarding. A lot of people had no idea I even played electric guitar, and people were coming up and trying to buy a record, which of course I didn’t have. Those songs went on to become Adrift.

So it was really John-Paul Gaster who made you do it full-time?
It was going from the fat into the fire, and I gotta thank John-Paul a lot because he had a lot of time for me; he pushed me. I mean, playing acoustic guitar to a Clutch crowd? And he said, “Well c’mon, we’ve had a lot of people do it.” And that was not a reason not to do it, just so I wouldn’t be trashed by the crowd.

Did you write on acoustic before? Has your writing process changed much?
It depends where I’m at; if I’m at my house in LA I’ll probably be fucking around with my acoustics, or I might be fucking around with my electrics—I got a really cool little Silvertone 2×12, the amp’s like a 35-watt thing, and that’s really cool to use in the house. So I’ll either be writing with my acoustics or playing through something like that when I come up with an idea. I usually get a riff and then at the same time I’ll get a few different ideas for song titles. Sometimes you’ll be dry for ideas and then BANG! The whole song will hit you in one day. It’s what I call divine inspiration, and what I’ve noticed is that seems to happen to me more often when I’m sick. I don’t get sick very often but, occasionally, if I’ve had the flu or just laying around recovering sometimes it’ll just hit you all at once. Usually I’ve got a riff flowing around, some lyrical ideas and a title and I’ll match the riff to the title and once it clicks in my brain I get the music finished first. Usually, if I am in a recording studio there’s at least one or two songs that I’ll tweak, a few words here and there. There’s usually one or two songs that need a tweak before they’re perfect. Sometimes it happens quick and sometimes it is a slow crawl, but I’m just happy I still have the ideas.

A Small, Dumb Part of Me, Reborn

By: kevin.stewart-panko Posted in: featured, gnarly one-offs, listen, stupid crap, uncategorized On: Thursday, February 9th, 2012

deciblog - lockjaw tape

If trends and interests and habits and all that sort of bullshit moves in cycles, I guess I’m presently going through the second phase of voraciously listening to a bunch of stuff that’s borderline unlistenable. And loving it. Let me explain…

If you were a tape trader back in the 80s, you’ll remember scoring N th generation copies of demos, rehearsal and live shows from a shitload of the world’s metal bands. This was back when, if you wanted a copy of Possessed’s Death Metal demo or R.A.V.A.G.E.’s (Atheist before they were Atheist) On We Slay demo, you had to either write the band directly or get a trader friend (or “Penbanger” as Metal Forces magazine called ‘em) to make you a copy. Either way, you had to spend a fair amount of time testing your luck and waiting by the mailbox. If you were lucky, your fellow rivet head had a copy, a double cassette deck and as much free time as yourself. Or, the band in question wasn’t sold out of the item you sought and you caught them before they sunk to copying their masterpiece onto those shitty lightweight cassettes that were used to store PET computer data on and the sound quality was a step above marginal.

If you were brave enough to request recordings of live shows, lordy only knew how many times down the chain the copy that Death Angel live at Ruthie’s Inn tape was. And nine times out of ten, any rehearsal tape you requested from your trading pals were recorded using a boom box, not a multi-track recorder. You know the old equation: boom box recording + multi-generation copies = hellish fun for your ears. But the thing was that no matter how shitty the demo, live, rehearsal tape of whoever I was digging on at the time, I would listen repeatedly and religiously. Y’see, extreme music wasn’t always as readily available as it is today and if being able to experience Holy Terror or Exhorder meant listening to hissy, shitty sounding recordings, then bitch, goddamn that’s what we had to do.

I grew out of that phase many moons ago and until recently, figured it was never coming back. Until I discovered www.lockjaw-yappy.blogspot.com. Now, there are a fuck-ton of blogs out there that make available any and everything you could possibly imagine, but I stumbled upon this little gem first and huge portions of it uncannily resembled my mountainous tape collection from back in the 80s and early 90s; a collection I’ve mostly recorded over or just plain got rid of over the years. Tons and tons of rarities make up this site’s content – everything from the pant-load of Nasty Savage and Slayer live and rehearsal recordings to demos by the unheralded likes of Moriorr, Castle Blood and Infernal – and that’s just the first page of posts. Their post archive goes back to 2007 and content as far back as the mid-70s! Some of the older posts and content have taken a hit, as material was linked and made available via the recently shuttered Megaupload, but there’s still easily a few weeks worth of time wasting to be had here. And I’d beg you very kindly to not ask me to explain why I’m downloading old Mordred demos and Sweet Savage EPs as well as live Sacrifice and Slayer shows from the 80s that sound like old Mordred demos and Sweet Savage EPs and live Sacrifice and Slayer shows from the 80s onto my iPod. Somethings are better left unexplained. Although, this might help you to understand.

STREAMING: Borknagar “Roots”

By: Chris D. Posted in: featured, listen On: Thursday, February 9th, 2012

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By now, Norway progressive/black-ish/folk-ish metallers Borknagar should be a familiar entity to most ‘bangers. They’ve managed nine quality albums — including new long-player Urd — across a 17-year timeline and had the balls to recall and then host former frontman ICS Vortex alongside screamer/crooner Vintersorg, which is something most bands don’t do unless they’re on a reunion tour/album and there’s plenty of dollars to be had for the inconvenience.

While I’m sure plenty of old-school Borkies would rather have Garm at the helm for no other reason than he sang on Bergtatt and did that stupendous Perdition City album, the dual assault of Vintersorg and ICS Vortex presents an interesting contrast, which in many respects is like fusing Quintessence with Epic. Best of both worlds, so to speak. Musically, Øystein Garnes Brun and longtime sideman Jens F. Ryland have crafted an album majestic yet rife with smart menace. Which is terribly awesome we get to premiere a stellar track — called “Roots” — from Urd, ’cause Borknagar hasn’t been this vibrant in a long while.

“In regards to the depth, diversity and magnitude of our new album, Urd, it almost feels painful to slice off just a tiny bit of the bloody roast for the very first official ‘starter’,” says Brun of “Roots”. “I would argue that each and every song on the new album stands on solid ground, but as usual with our music, the songs empower each other in the context of a full album. That said, “Roots” is probably the song on the album that gives you the most representative impression of Urd. Musically, it contains most of the elements that framework the musical universe of Borknagar, and lyrically this song is gnawing on the very spine of our lyrical tradition. Hope you enjoy this song, the first tiny glimpse into our new opus. The beast is about to be unleashed…”

Borknagar “Roots”

** Borknagar’s new album Urd is out April 3 on Century Media Records. It’s available for Pre-Order HERE. If a Pre-Order is not an option, consider a flight to Bergen, Norway, but it’s about $1,300.

Decibel’s “Braintrust” Sees the Darkness in Philly

By: andrew Posted in: featured, live reviews On: Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

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I didn’t watch the Super Bowl. I’ve died many small deaths with the loser-ass Jets for 26 years and really wasn’t in the mood for one more dick in the ear. Instead, I Netflix Instant-ed this…

… which had its moments, but wasn’t long enough to sufficiently ignore the entire game. And so just as I commit to masochistic fourth quarter hate-watching, on pops this commercial:

Now, remember, this is Sunday. I was eagerly anticipating our esteemed editor-in-chief Albert returning to Philly for the first time since the birth of his daughter, not because I wanted to see baby pictures, but because he hooked us up for the Darkness show at the Trocadero on Tuesday. So, sure, the band had been bouncing around the periphery of my mind (along with wishing I had two dicks and considering throwing some espionage/stolen plutonium in my next novel). But I think it’s safe to say nobody on fucking earth anticipated a zillion dollar commercial in which Justin Hawkins Kool-Aid Manned his way into a world where a bunch of smartphone cunts knew every word to the nine-year-old “I Believe in a Thing Called Love.”

This, of course, meant the Troc show would be beyond sold out. Albert and I got lit elsewhere and timed it perfectly, walking in just as the lights went down to their intro music (“The Boys Are Back in Town,” nice). We spent the first four-and-a-half songs in the balcony upstairs, so we could drink more, which was a mistake on multiple levels. First, the ceiling slants down severely, so if and only if you sat on the barf/beer/jizz-stained carpet behind the back row, you could maybe get a sweet panoramic view of the band from the waist down. Second, they fucking opened with “Black Shuck,” “Growing on Me,” some jam I’ve never heard, gotta check out second album deep cuts again, and “One Way Ticket.” Justin was wearing a stars-and-stripes jumpsuit. You don’t want to be sitting Indian-style in smegma for that.

(these pictures suck; blame albert)

stage

At this point, Albert and I decided to play Vonta Leach and Ray Rice. This didn’t entail unzipping our pants so much as him fucking bulldozing all the way to roughly the sixth row, and me nimbly following in his destructive wake. Immediate consequences were paid via two 97-pound girls (could’ve been dudes; there were a lot of wigs) punching him in the shoulder blades. But mission accomplished: we were in the middle of, well, not a pit so much as a bunch of smartphone cunts fist-pumping to the new kinda-weak-but-whatever-it’s-better-than-the-shit-Andrew-W.K.-puts-out single “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us.”

It was at this point when I realized I only really know-know like eight Darkness songs. As for Albert, uh, don’t be surprised when Permission to Land shows up in the Hall of Fame someday. He was making fast friends with the various fatties and weirdos requesting songs the band debuted, like, a day ago in NYC while I patiently waited for “Get Your Hands Off My Woman” and “Love Is Only a Feeling” to rule faces. Maybe an hour into it, they busted out a beyond radical Blue Oyster Cult-esque cover of Radiohead’s “Street Spirit (Fade Out)” that nobody seemed to recognize for some reason. Oh my god, it was the best. Radiohead can feel free to redeem the last 15 pointless years of their career by covering “Growing on Me” any day now. Thom’s dance goes perfect with that one.

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around the world

Like true showmen, they saved the best for the encore. No, not “I Believe in a Thing Called Love” (it ended the main set, and was excellent), but a possibly 20-minute version of “Love on the Rocks With No Ice,” which involved a) Justin leading the crowd in a ridiculous falsetto call-and-response, b) a bouncer carrying Justin, soloing the whole fucking time, the perimeter of the floor on his shoulders, c) Justin climbing up to the balcony Ed Ved-style and swan-diving almost right onto us (I touched his boot OMG!). Oh right, I also caught a pick (well, picked it up off the ground after the dorks in front of me whiffed), which was attached to Justin’s bare chest by god knows what. Good show. Listening to the second album as I type, it’s only got a few clear-cut winners, but I assure you: they will all rule live.

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Decibel’s Bruno Guerreiro All-Growed Up Art Show

By: Chris D. Posted in: featured, gnarly one-offs, interviews On: Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

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Decibel illustrator and layout guru Bruno Guerreiro is curating his first art show in Philadelphia. Huzzah! Held at Kung Fu Necktie, a neighborhood-centric watering hole/club, Guerreiro is aiming for the highest highs, displaying his illustrations to a backdrop of outer space heavy — in the form of local astro rockers Rosetta and Restorations, Brooklyn-based doom outfit Batillus, and newjacks Sunburster — and blitz-making beverages.

WHERE Kung Fu Necktie
1248 N Front St.
Philadelphia, PA 19123
WHEN February 10th, 8 PM
HOW MUCH? $10, Tickets HERE

We’ve also managed to corner the master Bruno mid-curate for questioning. Of course, knowing the guy who illustrates the wacky “Cry Now, Cry Later” section, we had to prepare ourselves for the unexpected. Would he be all Danzig WTF or Gaahl IDC? If either situation reared, we’d have to take it in the chin, so to speak. Anyway, here it goes.

As an artist, what is the fire that burns the seat of your pants on a daily basis?
Bruno Guerreiro: Not having yet witnessed a Stanley Cup be brought back to Philly.

Are there singular inspirations you draw from or is it a collective form of input?
Bruno Guerreiro: I think when I’m working on a poster, it’s probably collective. I enjoy drawing and creating monsters, demons, zombies, etc. I am also fascinated by space, and feeling insignificant, so I try to bring these things together in my most recent work. If I’m working on album art, then usually most of my inspiration will come from the songs, lyrics, and the mood it creates for me.

Do you have a favorite medium in which you work?
Bruno Guerreiro: Right now my favorite tools to use are a brush pen, sharpie pen and a sketchbook.

You’ve done a bunch of handbills for shows. Describe what goes into creating a handbill? I know you do custom printing, which is, at this stage, sort of like saying you only drink RC Cola or Tab.
Bruno Guerreiro: All the handbills that will be in the show were completely done by hand. From the illustration to the text. I only use the computer to apply color. Since doing magazine layout forces me to be on the computer, when I work on freelance projects from home, I try to stay away from the computer as much as possible. I’ve been very much inspired by old show fliers that were all done by hand, some old comic book covers as well. Since I’ve been doing hand lettering in Decibel, and drawing at home, the two finally joined forces at some point, which produced all the posters in this show. When I finish a poster and decide on colors and paper, I usually send it over to my friends at Awesome Dudes Printing or Sire Press, and both do great work when screen printing posters for me.

What about the Decibel illustrations? Are they conceived on-the-fly, so to speak, or planned out based on the textual content?
Bruno Guerreiro: The “Cry Now, Cry Later” article written each month by the wonderful J. Bennett, usually starts with an email from me picking his brain for what he’d like to see accompany his story. Sometimes he has a clear idea, and sometimes he’s more open to interpretation. Any other illustrations done by me in the magazine are usually just based on the textual content.

OK, us 99% will never participate in or curate an art show. What does it entail? Soup to nuts kind of stuff. I’m sure most of it is project management, but dealing with the artist must be a pain in the ass. Oh, and the artist is you, so…
Bruno Guerreiro: Well, this is my first art show, but so far everything has been pretty smooth. Having a friend at KFN [Kung Fu Necktie] helps the process a bit I’m sure. But this week will be interesting since I have to start hanging work and getting the space ready for the show. So, I might have to get back to you on this one.

You’re hosting the show at a local music venue/bar called Kung Fu Necktie. Why this setting and not some downtown gallery, where people with 18th century facial hair and smart outfits sip smarter cocktails?
Bruno Guerreiro: Kung Fu Necktie is probably one of my favorite venues for shows. I spend enough time there, so it just made sense. The opportunity to have bands play that inspire me and that I have worked with, makes this even more ideal. I don’t hang around too many art galleries, so this is way more comfortable. But honestly, the real reason, I live a few blocks away and I’m super lazy.

Will felines be in attendance, either as bouncers or petable extensions of yourself?
Bruno Guerreiro: In a perfect world, it would just be me and a bunch of cats hanging at the bar banging our heads. Mr. Bonazelli would be the bouncer. Bennett would be the ring master. Albert would have to be my personal masseuse, making sure I don’t get too tense. And well Chris, maybe you should make sure none of the cats are using my pieces as scratching posts.

There will be live music too, right? Tell the world about the complementary audio pieces?
Bruno Guerreiro: Yes! Batillus will be coming down from NY to melt all the faces. They crush live. My close friends in Restorations will be playing. I’ve done a lot of art work for these guys. They will hand out good vibes to all. Rosetta will be blasting everyone off into space to end the evening. I’m a big fan of those guys. Sweetest dudes. The opening band will be Sunburster. I don’t know enough about these guys yet, they are a fairly new local band. I believe they have a stonery vibe, so I’m cool with that.

Can we expect to meet other illustrators and artist types there?
Bruno Guerreiro: Let’s hope not. I don’t need them judging me with their eyes. [Laughs] I’m not really sure who’s coming out to this. I’m really just looking forward to hanging out with friends, enjoying some drinks with new faces and soaking in the heavy sounds.

Will the discerning art connoisseur be able to pick up original Bruno art at the show? Or maybe frameable prints of original Bruno art?
Bruno Guerreiro: Absolutely. I will have a limited amount of prints for each of the posters that will be hanging. The ones hanging in frames will also be for sale, as well as original art. Anything that goes unsold, which I imagine would be everything, might end up on my online store: Bruno Guerreiro’s Art Store

No Chimes in Decibel-land

By: zach.smith Posted in: featured, gnarly one-offs, stupid crap, uncategorized On: Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

cover

About two weeks ago, a massive set of Bob Dylan covers compiled to honor 50 years of Amnesty International—4 discs, 73 tracks and 73 different artists—hit shelves.  Sure, it’s fascinating to see an expansive and eclectic roster that includes old-timers like Pete Townsend, Jeff Beck and Mark Knopfler alongside relative newcomers like The Gaslight Anthem, Cage the Elephant and, um, Miley Cyrus.  But when we scoured the tracklist for Chimes of Freedom: The Songs of Bob Dylan for any “extreme” representation, we were not surprisingly left with only two-time Decibel cover darlings Queens of the Stone Age.

The sheer number of artists that have covered Dylan over the decades should mean that a fair number of dB-worthy acts have covered the Bard at one point or another, regardless of whether those tunes appeared on some highfalutin compilation album, right?  RIGHT?!  After all, legend has it that without Uncle Bobby, there’d be no Judas Priest (well, at least the band name).

Yet when the Deciblog went to the ends of the internet in search of “extremely extreme” Bob covers, we were shocked to find very few.  In fact, we discovered a grand total of six that we were comfortable enough to share (although, for both elitist and technical reasons, that number will be more like four once you finish reading this).  Our selections run the gamut from awesome to absurd, straightforward to bizarre.  Not to mention, they include selections from three of our HOF inductees.

If nothing else, however, our painstaking research indicates that, at least in Decibel-land, the vast catalog of one Robert Zimmerman is ripe for picking!  Plus, he exists in that cover song sweet spot somewhere between obvious (let’s cover Slayer…no one else has!) and monetary (just ask any ‘90s Roadrunner act).  If Too Damn Hype can throw together a tribute to THE FUCKING CURE (nothing against my namesake and co.) that included the likes of Cave In and Converge, how is it that Dylan hasn’t yet gotten his?

We don’t have the answer to that weighty philosophical question, but if one of our flexis in the next year or two features a cover of Minnesota’s #1 export, you can really say that the times they are a-changin’ (like we could resist).  And if we forgot to mention one below, don’t hesitate to let us know.

(1) The Good—Entombed covered Dylan you say?  Of course they did, seeing as these Swedes have one of the most extensive repertoires of covers in the extreme universe (compiled nicely on 2002’s Sons of Satan Praise the Lord).  Even better, they don’t go for the obvious, both in terms of song selection (“The Ballad of Hollis Brown”) and execution (though the murder-suicide slant certainly doesn’t hurt their street cred).  Rise Against tackled this tune on Chimes.

(2) The Good—Ministry also went the non-obvious route, at least when it came to tackling one of Bob’s most popular, albeit country, tunes.  The fact that Al Jourgensen and company’s cover of “Lay Lady Lay” (first appearing on 1996’s divisive Filth Pig) sounds nothing like the original is just part of the reason it works.  The fact that it’s Ministry takes care of the rest.  Angélique Kidjo put her spin on this on Chimes.

(3) The Bad—It takes some big time cajones to pick a Dylan song that, thanks to Hendrix, has long had a cover more famous than the original.  But what makes such a decision even more unforgivable is barely deviating from Jimi’s version!  We expected more from you, Candlemass, though we will always cherish your “All Along the Watchtower” (particularly Robert Lowe’s vocal performance) more than DMB’s on Chimes.

(4) The Ugly—We respect the song selection, but Sergeant D may be the only person we know who could appreciate Arsonists Get All the Girls’ take on one of Bob’s most incendiary songs, “Masters of War”.

(5) The Best—Our favorite “extreme” Dylan cover belongs to Rage Against the Machine.  Like the best cover bands, they’ve managed to make “Maggie’s Farm” their own while keeping part of its soul intact.

(6) Mystery Box!—Because we’ll take any excuse to talk about Brutal Truth, this column wouldn’t be complete with the quartet’s cover of The Minutemen’s “Bob Dylan Wrote Propaganda Songs”, which somehow didn’t make it on to Chimes.

The Devil Sends the Beast With…Beer

By: adem Posted in: featured, gnarly one-offs, heavy tuesdays, liver failure On: Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

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It’s a well-established fact that Satan is responsible for all the best bands. Without His presence in the music—from AC/DC to Zyklon B—it wouldn’t be as dangerous, wicked or br00tal. Every metal band worth a damn has in its own way paid the devil his due. Like Diamond Head, for instance, who wrote a song called “To the Devil His Due.”

But the Devil’s wickedness is certainly not the exclusive domain of the metal world. Oh no, his reach goes out into other evil pursuits, such as imbibing. Specifically, drinking beer. His presence is strong within the beer world and takes many forms. Bear witness to the ways He corrupts the innocent with his malt-based alcoholic beverages. Delicious, refreshing and intoxicating malt-based alcoholic beverages.

They say they devil takes many forms, and in this case He’s a badass hop flower (or “HopDevil”), just waiting to harsh thy mellow with his potent bitterness.

We’re not entirely sure why the Devil is always portrayed as being that same red color as the weird tube steaks they cook on the metal rollers at 7-11, but we’re supposing that it’s because of the all the hellfire and whatnot that’s given him a permanent hellfireburn.

Anyone who mistakes this one for Tuborg Gold will be in for a helluva surprise. This is Satan’s top-of-line brew, a strong Belgian ale worthy of His name and image.

Let us recite the many names for which He is known by: Belzebud, Beezelbub, Beazlebub, Belzaboul, Beelzeboul, Baalsebul, Baalzebubg, Belzebuth, Beelzebuth, and Beelzebus. All of which are pretty close to “beer.” And “ale” sounds a lot like “hell.”

This “Old Devil” is not too old to still kick your ass (with alcohol). Actually, this brew is no longer made, probably because He didn’t like being portrayed as “old.”

The devil, of course, has “needs” (see Rosemary’s Baby) and when he’s gettin’ in the mood for some sexy time, nothing does the job like a bottle of this high-powered brew.

Sometimes His beer even comes in a can, so that it can be consumed while mowing thy lawn or fishing in thy bass boat.

Let him who hath understanding reckon the alcohol content of this Beast. For it is a human number. Its number is—holy shit!—fourteen point nine percent! Ah hah hah hah hah ha ha!!!

Top Five Tru Metal Moments in the Metal Screamer Episode of Made

By: Shawn Macomber Posted in: featured, tv On: Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

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So Alissa White-Gluz of The Agonist recently appeared on MTV’s Made to wear odd tiny hats and dispense life advice as a quote-unquote “Queen of Scream.” Her disciple is a lil pious church mouse named Julia, a sixteen year-old so terribly cyberbullied that by her own admission the only places she feels safe are “church, home, and the drama room” and who believes the solution to these problems lies in becoming a “Metal Screamer,” thus punching her ticket to the untouchable in-crowd, which, among other things I suppose, goes to show how long ago I graduated from high school.

To this end Professor White-Gluz demonstrates flamboyant, cringe-worthy headbanging technique, offers pointers from the metal-screaming-is-just-whispering-real-real-loud school of bellowing, explains vegan straight-edge to Julia’s bemused Midwestern parents, and employs a Socratic method that results in nuggets such as this palm-to-forehead gobsmacker:

“If I walk up to you and say, ‘God doesn’t exist,’ what would your response be?”

“Yes, he does.”

Exactly. So if somebody walks up to you and says ‘Julia sucks,’ what would your response be?”

“No, she doesn’t.”

Sure, If God doesn’t exist, you probably actually do suck is the kind of advice that makes you wonder if perhaps MTV shouldn’t have instead looked to Betsey Bitch as a potential coach, but there are at least five reasons metalheads should check out the episode:

1. Julia skips attending a metal show with Alissa and Iwrestledabearonce to build a series of elaborate gingerbread houses with a gaggle of old women. If you don’t understand how this helped Julia maintain her fledgling metal cred, it’s okay. Get back to me after you watch The Agonist’s absurdist capes n’ hand fans video for “Thank You Pain” and the bear wrestlers’ conceptual film based on the track “Tastes Like Kevin Bacon”. (Real talk: If these fuckers actually once bested a bear, that bear must have had leukemia.)

2. Julia’s mother breaks up Alissa’s first pink bedroom “scream session” — sample yelps: No more! Look who’s laughing now! — with her own Benton-style growl of Time to go to bed! suggesting the older woman’s previous ostentatious concerns over the potential for Julia to slip into “devil worship” via metal were actually part of a elaborate cover to hide a Rosemary’s Baby-esque conspiracy. Run, Julia, before your parents embed the spawn of Satan in your womb!

3. Tie. Julia’s hot pink Auditions for Metal Band flyers vs the tuff grrl drummer’s ceaseless mocking of Julia for being unwilling to call her band Two Balls Shy. Julia ultimately goes with the fey-as-fuck This Too Shall Pass, but on the upside I don’t think any female drummer has showed this much promise since the era of Samantha Maloney and the Doughnuts.

4. A metalhead “friend” sneers that Julia will “probably scream about how angry she was that the latest episode of Gossip Girl didn’t go the way she wanted it to go.” Right on, bro! Taylor Momsen is a sellout! This quip makes the list mostly because later in the program it is amusing to imagine the lines Julia screams — i.e. “You never know when your lungs will fill with broken glass”; “Stop feeding off them, they are poisonous and divine” — are actually snippets of Chuck Bass fan fiction.

5. Johnny Plague, singer of Wings of Plague and a man possessing such metal prowess he is able to summon pits both at strip clubs and in cartoons, feels Julia’s pain backstage (“I was bullied. I have also written songs about being bullied”), then onstage betrays no sense of irony as he dedicates a song to “all the bullies” entitled…”Decimate the Weak.” Yeah, Plague, I bet all the bullies in the house took that as a diss, not a call to arms…

Q&A: Municipal Waste frontman Tony Foresta on new crossover project Iron Reagan

By: jonathan.horsley Posted in: featured, interviews On: Monday, February 6th, 2012

Iron Reagan

The phone just kept ringing out and going to Tony Foresta’s voicemail. We tried a few times, on each occasion considering leaving a “horny message” at the beep, as requested by the Municipal Waste frontman. It feels now like an opportunity missed. Ach, no matter, it was all cool. Foresta wasn’t dogging the call, obviously, he was busy preparing for a Superbowl half-time show with YouTube cranked up

“I’ve been learning Disturbed and Limp Bizkit lyrics; I’m about two songs in,” he says. “We’re playing in this joke band for half-time show during the Superbowl. We dress up as rappers and it looks really stupid. We do it once every couple of years, it’s like a big joke, and play for ten minutes. Whenever they get a shitty half-time artist, like Madonna, we do our thing… Anyway….” Yeah, anyway, this was beginning to sound like it had a bit of mileage in it, but we were working to a brief: we wanted the details on his new hardcore crossover project, Iron Reagan.

Featuring fellow Waste dude, Phil “LandPhil” Hall on guitar, drummer Ryan Parrish and bassist Paul Burnette (both ex-Darkest Hour), Iron Reagan is a sort of throw-and-go, ferocious one-take crossover band, no beer jokes and pissed at life’s injustices etc. They just played their first show the other week, and are trying to commit as much material to tape as possible before the touring cycle for new Waste LP The Fatal Feast consumes all of messrs. Foresta and Hall’s spare time.

CONTEST: Win Free Warbringer Swag!

By: Chris D. Posted in: contest, featured On: Monday, February 6th, 2012

warbringer_lineup_decibel

Teaming up with Warbringer and label home Century Media Records, we’ve been able to score — for you, of course — a pretty swell prize pack for doing almost the same amount of work as flipping over a couch cushion.

See, the Californian thrash outfit are currently on tour, in support of new album Worlds Torn Asunder, with Iced Earth and Symphony X. And we think you need more from Warbringer. You know, more than viewing their destructo-thrash metal on YouTube and arguing in the comments section which era of thrash was the best. We actually want you to own a little piece of Warbringer.

Of course, we can’t give you a lock or two from John Kevill or John Laux’s always-flailing hair or a militarized paint chip from Warbringer’s war-van, but we can promise something just as cool. Here it goes.

1. One (1) limited edition “Rough Mix Tracks” CD from Waking Into Nightmares
2. One (1) autographed Worlds Torn Asunder poster
3. One (1) Warbringer girly t-shirt
4. One (1) USB flashdrive dog-tag (with all three Warbringer albums in digital format)

What do you have to do? Almost nothing.

Tell us which Warbringer full-length kicks your rosy red ass by emailing to: warbringer@decibelmagazine.com .

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** Warbringer’s new album, Worlds Torn Asunder, is out now on Century Media Records. It’s available HERE, unless you’d rather play the odds at winning this sweet little contest. Odds are 1/1,000-ish.