Interview: Flaw @ Louder Than Life 2015 [AUDIO]

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While we were at Louder Than Life 2015 we stepped away from the crowd and spoke briefly with Chris Volz, Ryan Jurhs, and Jay Daunt of Flaw. They were on tour and drove 24 straight hours from Maine to Louisville to play the festival. In 2014 the band was the ribbon cutters of the festival in a sense being the first band to play the festival in its inaugural year. The band is currently working on their new album which should be released in the first quarter of 2016. We caught up with the guys after their amazing live set.

Interview with Jason Shi of Wildlights and ASG!

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Jason Shi

Jason Shi of ASG and Johnny Collins of Thunderlips have formed together an ass kicking duo and put out their debut album. If you haven’t heard of ASG or Thunderlips you can go ahead and crawl back under the rock you have been hiding under. The new self titled album was released on August 21st and is also on beautiful color vinyl via Seasons of Mist. They have a true rock sound that has really been absent in the music world for a while. Call it what you want, surf rock, desert rock, its just good music with great riffs that stick with you. We had the pleasure of speaking with Guitarist and Vocalist Jason Shi and asking him a few questions about what has been going on.  Continue reading

Interview with Josh Brown of Full Devil Jacket!

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Full Devil Jacket have released one of the best comeback albums in the last decade titled “Valley of Bones”. Singer and lyricist Josh Brown also spent some time in the christian rock band Day of Fire, during the time FDJ was apart. While both bands are great we are very glad to have Full Devil Jacket back and making new music. Josh and drummer Keith Foster are the only two original members still in the band. FDJ has always been a lyrically driven band and that hasn’t changed after so much time apart. Many people, including myself credit Josh Brown’s lyrics as one of the main things that aided in getting through life’s struggles. The lyrics cast away the darkness that tries to surround us all. We had the opportunity to speak with Josh before they head out on their next tour. Continue reading

Interview: Pissing Razors Guitarist Mathew Lynch!

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Mathew Lynch

Mathew Lynch

 

The band Pissing Razors is the biggest name in metal in El Paso, Texas, but their name is known much further than the Lone Star State. The band was formed in 1996 and three of the founding members are in the current line up. Eddy Garcia on drums, Mathew Lynch on guitar and Joe Rodriguez on vocals. No one has come close to creating a sound anything similar to Pissing Razor, and they likely never will. The band has this brand of music they refer to as “Psycho Punko Groove Metal” and that really is the perfect name for it. They can’t fit into a genre because the music they make is always evolving and has completely different influences from track to track. Even though they can’t be pigeon holed into a genre they have still managed to create this signature sound they call their own. Often you would hear the band heralded as the closest thing to Pantera or that the two bands sound very similar. Those are some very big shoes to fill, but the band has ran with it and managed to be some of the most humble musicians I’ve had the chance to meet. When I seen them in Nashville, Tennessee on the Revolution Tour in 2004 and each member took the time to speak to every fan there. The band has been on a hiatus since 2004 and have just reformed in the last year. We are very pleased to know they are back and spreading their infectious groove to the masses from stages all over the country. Can’t wait to see them live again, it’s been far too long.

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Interview: John Aragonez of Long Beach Vagrant!

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Recently I was able to hear two of the new songs from the forth coming Long Beach Vagrant album “Death Be Thy Name” that released this week. Immediately I was impressed and was fortunate enough to get in touch with one of the members of the band. Drummer John Aragonez took the time to speak with me about everything going on with the band and what the future may hold for the California based metallers. (There was a technical problem when we were speaking on the phone the call was supposed to be recorded so I could later write the information out, Due to the error I’m not able to quote everything exactly, so the following is in my own words). As some of you may or may not know Long Beach Vagrant (formerly Vagrant) has been around since the 90’s and has opened for some amazing acts in their long tenure. John spent some time in the band about 5-6 years ago. He was living in the high desert and the distance from the other members in the band made it difficult for him to commit to the band. However, now he is fully invested in the band and brings a great amount of experience to the band. He has an amazing drumming style which you can hear on each song. Some drummers that he looks up to are Joey Jordison formerly of Slipknot and All That Remains drummer Jason Costa. The one original member of the band is Mike Pain, who is greatly influenced by horror movies. He also is a renowned artist and because of that the band has a lot of horror related lyrics. They have spent time touring with other horror based bands. We also mentioned that a lot of horror based bands perform at horror conventions around the country as well. It really helps define their audience and fan base since they have horror based lyrics. Instead of trying to garner the attention of a broad audience they can narrow down the field to people that are already passionate about the subject matter. The band also has two new members in Randy Blount on vocals and Rob Gresham on bass. John mentions that these two guys have really brought some new life into the new band, and the fact that they are younger has brought some new influences into the band as well.

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Interview with Jason Rockman, Vocalist of Slaves On Dope!

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We were recently able to catch up with Slaves On Dope frontman Jason Rockman. If you aren’t familiar with the band you are probably under the age of 25 or you’ve been living under a large rock. The band stormed the scene in the late 90’s and early 2000’s and won fans over from their stomping ground in Montreal, Canada all the way across the U.S. They were slung in the nu-metal category with other bands of that time frame, but they aren’t really a band you can put in such a narrowly defined genre. I remember vividly buying the album “Inches from the Mainline” just because I thought the album art was cool. Sometimes back then that is how you bought albums, sometimes you won and sometimes you lost. This one was a major win. Slaves was different, they brought a lot of elements to their sound that made them stand out and that is why they still have fans addicted and eagerly awaiting new material.

Metal Nexus: So Slaves On Dope spent some time apart from around 2004 to 2009, What inspired you guys to reform?

Jason Rockman: Kevin and i took some much needed space away from the band, and sorted out life after slaves..we both needed to reinvent ourselves, and we both agree it was the best thing we could have ever done for the future of slaves. we both came back to the table with renewed interest in writing and creating, and it shows in the music we have made since, and are continuing to make
Metal Nexus: When you reformed was there an immediate chemistry or was there an adjustment period to get back in the rhythm with the band?

Rockman: It was like no time had passed. We took to it like a fish in water

MN: You released “Over the Influence” in 2012, How did that seem to go over?

Rockman: The last album was a lot of fun to do. We had zero expectations, and gave zero fucks what people thought of it. We did it purely to please ourselves, and in the process, it ended up making our fans pretty happy. Just the fact that we were back at it was enough to please some, and being able to produce our own videos to accompany the songs was amazing!

MN: We haven’t heard much from you guys as of lately, what has been going on with you, as well as the band?

Rockman: I am really busy at CHOM and CJAD, and work with Heavy Montreal as a spokesperson for the festival. I am also very involved in Montreal and Ottawa Comiccons, and am developing a TV show about Geek culture. Kevin has a studio, and is a full time producer. He also plays a mean game of hockey

MN: We have heard that you guys have been working on a new album, when can we expect another release from Slaves on Dope?

Rockman: We are in the process or recording the next album, HORSE, and hope to have it out in late 2015

MN: I know you have played Amesia Rockfest the past 2 years and will be playing Heavy Montreal in the next couple weeks, How are crowds receiving you guys? Has anything changed with how you perform on stage?

Rockman: It has been great! The crowds seem to really dig it. We are obviously older, but i think we do pretty well for a couple of middle aged men.

MN: A lot of late 90’s and early 2000’s nu metal bands are making waves like Flaw and 40 Below Summer, Do you think nu-metal is making a comeback? Or do you think it never really left?

Rockman: It is definitely starting to make a comeback. Let’s face it, it was a great time for bands in that era, and the aggression was there, It also had a groove to it that just doesn’t seem to happen in newer rock bands

MN: Do you have any plans for a U.S. tour in the near future?

Rockman: Fingers crossed, we should be stateside in 2016. I know the first city that will get a SLAVES U.S show will be Madison, WI..WJJO and the on air staff there are like family…we owe them big time. Randy Hawke and Ozz the bomb.

MN: Also as most people may or may not know you are on the other side of the microphone now too. You of course have your own radio show called “Amped with The Rockman”. How has that been working on the media/radio side of things? Who has some of your favorite interviews been with?

Rockman: I have the best job ever. I am in the position to help young bands get airplay, and really play a part in their development . I feel like SANTA when i am able to tell a band that we have added them to rotation. Some of the best interviews have been with U2, Peter Gabriel, Dave Grohl, Phil Anselmo, Ice T, Mastodon, The Offspring, Queens of the Stone Age and New Order

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I’m sure Slaves On Dope fans worldwide are very pleased they are working on a new album titled “Horse”, as of July 27th Jason was laying down some vocals. Great to know as well that they are doing everything themselves and have 100% artistic freedom. I also want to add that Mr. Rockman celebrated a major anniversary recently. July 25th marked his 23rd year sober and we couldn’t be happier for him. We look forward to hearing the new album and hopefully seeing them on U.S. soil soon.

Interview: Brad Hursh of Love &Vengence and formerly of V Shape Mind.

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Brad Hursh (Photo Courtesy of J. Burger)

Brad Hursh was formerly in the band V Shape Mind that was formed in 1999 in Illinois. They released one album “Cul-De-Sac” in 2003 via Universal. The hit single off that record “Monsters” featured Chad Grey from Mudvayne. They toured with Mudvayne and Powerman 5000 as well as some other well known acts. I was fortunate enough to catch the band on tour with Mudvayne and it made me a fan instantly. One of the most in your face and quality sounding bands of that era. The catchy melodies and hammering riffs were just some of the things that made them who they were. There is no doubt that anyone who seen them live would walk away a fan for life. The band called it quits and played their last show in May of 2004 in their hometown of Decatur, Illinois. Since then Brad has done some solo work and has now formed a new band called “Love & Vengence”. The new band also features Vic Zientara who was in V Shape Mind with Brad. We were able to get in touch with Brad via email and talk about his new project and how much music has changed in recent years.

Metal Nexus: V Shape Mind released Cul-De-Sac in 2003 and toured with Mudvayne and Powerman 5000, What were the contributing factors to the band ending?

Brad Hursh: Yeah, we did a lot of touring that year with those bands and also got to play with some other killer bands during that time. One of the highlights for me was playing with Anthrax at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa. That venue has some great history and Anthrax were one of my favorite bands growing up. There were lots of factors in the band breaking up, which are very common tales in the music industry. Our label telling us a lot of things that were just flat-out lies while doing next to nothing to promote cul-de-sac. We felt like we did everything they asked us to do and they chose to put their attention/money elsewhere. At the same time, finding out that our team of people we surrounded ourselves with, manager/lawyer/etc…weren’t the kind of people we needed to look out for us. There’s obviously more to the story but those are the main reasons we felt like we were back at square one, after busting our asses to get to the point where we were. It left a very bad taste in my mouth and I wasn’t really interested in “dancing” for the industry any longer.

Metal Nexus: David Bottrill produced the album, he has worked with some amazing bands like Tool, Dream Theatre, Mudvayne, Staind, and Flaw. How was it working with him?

Brad: David is an awesome guy and a fantastic musical mind. We were so stoked to have him involved. He was looking for a band to sign for his upstart label through Universal. Basically, he got us signed just from a 5-song demo that we did in Minneapolis. He was just amazing to work with, he knew how to get the best out of us a band and out of the songs I had written. Plus, I was already a huge fan of his work so I was completely stoked to be working with such a badass!

MN: Your current project is entitled Love & Vengence, The story is you had two shows booked before you had any material written and didn’t have a full band yet, How did that happen?

Brad: That is true. When I decided that I wanted to put this project together, I had mentioned it to a few people and a couple of shows were offered. I think I had 2-months time to put together a band and write a short set of material. That’s definitely not an approach that I usually take with a project, but I figured it would light a fire under my ass to make it happen. Deadlines can be a good thing, occasionally, since I usually don’t write at all unless I’m feeling inspired.

MN: The band has been formed since 2012, how has fans reacted so far to the music? When can we expect a release?

Brad: Love & Vengeance is a project that we (the band members) decide to do whenever we feel like being active. There’s no pressure that we put on ourselves for shows, etc. We may go a few months without even getting together to practice and we’ve actually only had 3 shows. We like to be picky about playing as opposed to just playing everything that comes our way. Recording an EP has been talked about for quite a while now but it’s just been a matter of everyone’s schedules lining up. That being said, I believe we’re gonna get that ball rolling very soon since it’s something we all really want to happen.

MN: The music industry has changed drastically and record companies aren’t always the best way to go anymore as I’m sure you would agree. West Virginia metal band Byzantine has recently had a lot of success with their album they self-released and are topping the charts on satellite radio. What do you think the advantages and disadvantages are of self-releasing an album?

Brad: I think self-releasing is awesome and the way it should be. I’m not a fan of big labels and the machine in general, so doing it yourself really appeals to me. Of course, it takes money, time and resources to do it yourself but you’re also in control at the same time. Major labels deserve the position they are in from decades of greed, so fuck them, haha! Bands now are making their own records, merch and booking their own tours. Once again, it takes money to make it all happen but at least it’s on their terms and that’s a beautiful thing!

MN: A lot of bands are turning to the fans to actually help fund studio time and production of a new album. How do you feel about Kickstarter and things like that as a way to help get money to make an album?

Brad: It goes back to the previous question/answer, but I think it’s great. Unfortunately money is what it takes to get things going and let’s face it, most musicians are poor, haha! One of the guys in L&V actually mentioned the idea of a Kickstarter-type of thing to help with making our EP. I’m not real sure how to make that happen but I’m not above asking for money…….hence the “most musicians are poor” comment 😉

LOVE&V

If you haven’t heard Brad and Vic’s former band V Shape Mind you have truly been missing out. The greed of some record companies has cost the music industry a lot. There has been many musicians call it quits because of record companies wanting a larger share of the pie, and just micro managing them. We are highly anticipating the debut release of “Love & Vengence”. You can follow the band on their facebook here.

Here is V Shape Mind’s single “Monsters” featuring Chad Grey.

Interview with “We Are The Riot” guitarist Cheyne Fritts!

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We had the honor of catching up with “We Are The Riot” guitarist and co-founder Cheyne Fritts. The band has released a demo along with a hard hitting single and music video for “It’s Not What You Wanted.” The band includes two members of Coal Chamber, guitarist Meegs Rascon, and drummer Mikal Cox. The band was formed in 2010 and was the first time Meegs and Mikal had played together since the Coal Chamber split in 2003. The material released so far is a fresh new sound that will appeal to a wide range of audiences. In a recent interview on Bods Mayhem Hour, Mikal referred to We Are The Riot as a “baby band”. Even though the band released material a year ago they are still considered a “newborn” in the music world. The band has all the right pieces and is in the writing process of capturing what will eventually become an album I’m sure we will all grow to love.

 

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Cheyne Fritts

Metal Nexus: You and Meegs formed We Are The Riot in 2010, Did you have a specific sound in mind when you first started?

Cheyne : Not really. We just wanted to have fun and not have any rules. Our only rule was that there were no rules. No idea could be shot down unless we tried it. We try and stick to that as much as we can. I don’t give a shit if one of the guys wants to play a flute in a song as long as it sounds good.

Metal Nexus: The Hollywood Demos was released in 2014, as well as the video for “Not What You Wanted”, How did that material go over with everyone?

Cheyne : I think it did ok. We only really put that out so that we could have something to give away and sell when we went on tour with Wayne Static. We have been hard at work with new material recently.

MN: You have recently been working on new music, When can we expect a debut album?

Cheyne: I really have no idea. We are just trying to write as much as we can right now . I’m hoping to have at least 20 good songs to choose from for an album. We will definitely have more of a idea of a timeline in the next few months. Sometimes our writing process feels like we are taking as long as Tool . Sorry.

MN: Do you have a title in mind for the album or know who might produce it?

Cheyne: As far as a album title; I think I’d like Jimmy to come up with one after we finish it. He might have a certain direction he wants to go with as far as lyrics. Who knows. We have worked on a couple of songs with Ulrich Wild and I think we might be sticking with him. He has a pretty awesome group of artists and bands that he has worked with, and he’s just a really cool guy.

MN: One of the last tours you went on was the Static-X “Wisconsin Death Trip Tour” celebrating 15th anniversary of that release. The tour ended in June and Wayne passed away around 5 months later, was that something hard to handle after being on tour with him so recently?

Cheyne: I didn’t get to know him as well as Mikey, Meegs and Andy but it definitely came to everyone as a surprise. It always sucks to loose a close friend to addiction or accidents.

MN: What is the earliest we can expect a tour from you guys? And will you be making it to the east coast as well?

Cheyne: There are no plans for tour right now. We are looking for booking agents for the near future. So those things will come when we find the right one. Trust me; we want to go EVERYWHERE!!

MN: If you had to describe how We Are The Riot sounds to someone that hasn’t heard you guys before how would you describe it to them?

Cheyne: Maybe If Helmet had a bastard child with Deftones but was raised by Bring Me The Horizon and The Cure.

The satisfaction of knowing the debut album will not take as long as the new Tool album is a great piece of information. We are looking forward to hearing the new material and have our fingers crossed it doesn’t include a a flute player. Make sure to follow these guys as they put alot of hard work into their writing process. You can purchase “The Hollywood Demos” via iTunes here. You can keep up with them on social media through Facebook, Twitter, or their website http://www.wearetheriot.info/ We would like to thank Cheyne for the interview, we know he is a busy guy and we are very gracious for his time.