Peter Verzilov Of PUSSY RIOT In Critical Condition At Moscow Hospital Due To Possible Poisoning

Credit: Anton Novoderezhkin

Pussy Riot’s Peter Verzilov is in critical condition at Bakhrushin City Clinical Hospital in Moscow. Receiving treatment in the toxicology wing, Verzilov was admitted to the hospital late September 11. His partner Veronika Nikulshina, explained to Meduza that he’s started losing his sight, speech, and mobility. According to friends, the hospital would not allow his mother to see him the evening of September 12. They also would not disclose his condition or diagnosis  “[At the hospital] they said they don’t have the right to disclose any information… They sent her away and were rude. They said they can’t admit her. They kept pointing at this sheet of paper, saying that they can’t disclose [any information] until the patient signs a release himself, but he’s unconscious,” a friend of Verzilov told Meduza. Continue reading

What I Learned From A Juggalo [Exclusive Interview]

It would be amiss to glaze over the utter confusion that fell upon many as the announcement of the fourth installment of Camden’s Rock Allegiance lineup was revealed. Sure, heavy on the nu-metal, plenty of the current up and comers, but right in the middle of the ad mat sits one that raised more than a few eyebrows. Insane Clown Posse. Admittedly, I laughed and sent out a few snarky text messages in response to it all. ICP? With their “whoop whoops” and their Faygo at a rock and metal festival? Either utter insanity on Danny Wimmer’s part, or pure genius… there was some investigating to be done before drawing any conclusions.

Perhaps it was fate, but somehow through the Metal Nexus community, there lay an answer to every question, even ones unknown. Oddly enough, these words of wisdom came from a dude in a bikini. Mankini, as he is called. Mankini resides in Maryland and he is a world class Juggalo. That last sentence is not facetious whatsoever. Mankini was featured in a BBC documentary, “The World’s Most Extreme Festivals: The Gathering of the Juggalos.” He takes the apprehensive British host around the Gathering, telling tales, debunking myths and setting a really positive tone to a people who are often stereotyped for delinquency and debauchery.

We had the pleasure of speaking with Mankini about his introduction to the fam-uh-ly, experience with the Gathering and other festivals and he even reveals his favorite kind of Faygo. This exclusive interview is only here on Metal Nexus, please enjoy.

 

METAL NEXUS: The BBC documentary about The World’s Most Extreme Festivals that focused on The Gathering put you front and center as a voice and personal tour guide for Juggalos. Which we have to add you spend the entirety of the festival in a bikini, thus your moniker “Mankini”… How has it been placed in an almost ambassador role for the Juggalo community?

MANKINI: Aww man, that’s a crazy one. I always look back on that and think, “What is life? Did that really happen?” And it did, it really happened and in my honest opinion, it was truly amazing, not only for me, but Juggalos as a whole.

It’s funny you bring up “ambassador” when talking about Mankini. This all started on accident during a beer pong tournament at the Gathering, one year prior to the documentary. It was hilarious to me, and everyone else. But, it quickly became “my thing” because the Juggalos embraced it so hard, the bikini became a staple. So, when we talk about ambassador, I guess you could say the Juggalos did that, they let Mankini be, and wanted more of him, and they allowed Mankini to have a voice that’s constantly in the media talking about us. And, cameras of any sort seem to be rather fond of a guy in a bikini. Let’s not forget that I love my Juggalo family and do everything in my power to paint our community in a positive light, anytime I have the chance. Mankini exists because of the Juggalos, there wouldn’t be a Mankini otherwise, my sole duty is to continue spreading this Juggalo love whenever possible.

MN: What has been the best and worst things you have endured in regards to your normal festival attire aka the bikini?

MANKINI: The best? I’ve been pulled on stage, I’ve had some of my favorite musicians pull ME ASIDE and take a photo with me…. that’s completely surreal. Worst? Man, I don’t even want to go in to details, but being a half black dude, in a bikini does not always draw the kindest comments. I’ve had some HEAVY slurs thrown my way. And don’t get me wrong, 99% of the time, it’s nothing but positivity. But when that 1% hits, it hits hard with hate and ignorance. I ignore it, it’s what you’ve got to do.

MN: What drew you to the juggalo community? Was it just the music or was there more to it than that?

MANKINI: It was the music, initially. I remember in high school when a buddy of mine said, “you know what, I think you’d really like Insane Clown Posse.” I had no idea what he was talking about, it was completely foreign to me. So, I went to a friends house and got on Napster and downloaded a song he said I had to hear “Still Stabbin.” I highly recommend it to anyone who has never listened to ICP. But, I heard that song, and I was pulled in immediately, I can’t tell you what drew me to them from that song, but I know that’s upon first listen, I instantly wanted more. I went and picked up the only album I could find, The Great Milenko, which had already been out for more than a couple of years. That album changed me forever, it was the only thing I listened to for 3 months straight. Thus began my journey into all things ICP. It wouldn’t be until 11 years later that I made it to my first Gathering ever. And that’s when everything really hit me. I had been to shows before, met local Juggalos, and even friended a few online. But once I hit the Gathering, I found something I didn’t know I was missing. I found that hike away from, where all of my extended family had been meeting up all the years prior. But I’ll tell you, it all starts with that music, and I really can’t put my finger on what it was, but there was something that just called to me, and told me “you belong” and I never looked back. Man, I love my mother fucking Juggalo family!

MN: You are just returning from this years The Gathering of the Juggalos in Ohio which in addition to Juggalo acts also featured CKY, Butcher Babies, Attila, and Gwar. How do you feel this festival compares to festivals like Rock Allegiance?

MANKINI: I’ll say this in, in what I feel the realest answer is. The Gathering is the last of the truly independent, truly about freedom, most accepting music festival in the country.

Don’t get me wrong, I attend all kinds of festivals, and man do I love going to them! But they are not the Gathering. They don’t have the camping literally on the grounds of the festival, the Gathering doesn’t have $16 beers because you bring your own. The Gathering doesn’t charge you an arm and a leg for simple access to their festival. The Gathering kinda has no rules, kinda. There’s obviously rules, but they’re much more guidelines simply there for your safety and the safety of others. It’s one giant party that doesn’t stop for 4 days….literally. You think a guy in a bikini is fun, there’s people at the Gathering, and I mean more than 50 people, who just walk around naked all week, it’s freedom and it’s fun.

And I’m not knocking Rock Allegiance at all, but it’s a different beast, with a different audience. Juggalos will show up to Rock Allegiance for ICP. Metal heads won’t show up to the Gathering for Gwar, CKY, Butcher Babies, Sevendust, or even Cannibal Corpse. The Gathering is something special.

MN: From the documentary you were featured in we also heard about the “year of the butthole”, can you tell us about that? And what was it this year?

MANKINI: Hahahahahahahahaha! This is why Juggalos are so great. That wasn’t like the official theme of the year, that was all done online by Juggalos. It gained traction online in all the Juggalo forums, and took off for real as soon a as we hit the Gathering grounds. Actually, that was the 17th annual, the year of the butterfly, and there’s a whole story there, but I don’t think we have the time for that one. This years theme was Whoopstock, embracing the peace and love of the Juggalo community and spreading it like never before. We even had cover bands of actual Woodstock performers. There was a Hendrix Cover band, a Grateful Dead cover band, even a Santana cover band. It was really cool.

MN: ICP is slated to perform at this year’s Rock Allegiance festival on October 6th in Camden, New Jersey. How do you feel they fit in on a lineup that is predominantly rock or metal?

MANKINI: In actuality, ICP belong at that festival. I mean, ICP have got to be one of the few acts that can perform at rap or metal fest and still do damn good.  Not to mention, ICP have been doing this for 30 years, these guys are well known, despite the hatred they get. I think they fit in perfectly! And, I assure you, there will be mosh pits.

MN: Metalheads and juggalos sometimes clash, what do you think some misconceptions are that keep them from being more friendly?

MANKINI: Well, I think the biggest one is, we can’t get along because our tastes in music are so far from each other, we never see eye to eye on anything. I can tell you firsthand, as being someone who loves both metal and rap, both sides are actually kinda similar. I’ve met plenty of Metalheads that are insanely accepting, of everything, and many of them even talk about their love of Juggalos. I also think that Juggalos are very weary of just letting metalheads into our community, while there may be some “things” you see from and around Juggalos, metalheads can carry a pretty bad reputation too. Honestly, I think we can all get along, if we just kinda talk it out first.

MN: When did you realize that ICP fans are more than just music fans?

MANKINI: Shit! After my first ICP show. I’ll never forget walking into this club in DC, with my buddy, and literally being welcomed by everybody in the room. The fact that I was at the show, made me their friend…er, family, and it was the coolest, most sincere feeling.

MN: As most of us know Faygo is the favored drink of Juggalos, what is your favorite faygo flavor? …… For people that are unaware can you explain what a Faygo Armageddon is and should we expect one at Rock Allegiance?

MANKINI: Favorite flavor? 60/40, it’s like a grapefruit lime soda, It’s fucking delicious. A Faygo Armageddon is the culmination of an ICP set. Throughout the entire they will throw and spray and Faygo, but during the last song it goes completely ape shit bonkers! In many cases, Juggalos bum rush the stage to throw the soda as well. We’re talking cases and cases of Faygo being sprayed and thrown rapidly, it’s like splash mountain on acid!

MN: You’ve been to plenty of metal festivals, what has been some of your favorites?

MANKINI: Rock On The Range is probably top of that list. And not just because Mankini is so insanely accepted and loved there, but because it feels like my Gathering before the Gathering, and I treat it as such. I’m actually hitting Louder Than Life for the first time ever, and I’m super stoked to be there! There is one that I really need to hit, and that’s Wacken Open Air, in Germany. Next year is their 30th anniversary of that festival and I really want to check it out….I wonder how they’ll take Mankini at a European metal fest???

MN: Other than the lineup and/or bands performing, what are some of the most important aspects of a festival to you?

MANKINI: Food offered. I’m a fat kid, I love food, good food at that. You bring the good eats, I’ll bring my feet’s. Vendors. If you have a bunch of insanely corporate vendors at your festival, I really don’t care what you’re about then, because you’ve made it clear you only care about money. I’m all about independent vendors, artists, young musicians, Fuck Cancer (I love that whole crew by the way).

MN: With the exception of ICP, who is your favorite band performing at Rock Allegiance?

MANKINI: I’ve got to give you two… Limp Bizkit and Papa Roach. I’ve always loved the both of those bands and have followed their careers for many years, and will continue to do so. They’re going to throw it the fuck down! And I can wait.

MN: As you well know Rock Allegiance is ran by Danny Wimmer Presents who promotes some of the largest and most revered festivals in the country. How important is it do you think that ICP is making its way onto the stage of a mainstream kind of festival?

MANKINI: I mean, these guys played Woodstock 99. They also go on nationwide tours every year, they even tour overseas and in Canada. I know that festival is critically panned for all the violence and everything else that went down there. But, it was one helluva festival when it happened. But, this is huge too, insanely huge. I’ve always said that DWP needs to start booking ICP on their festivals, these guys absolutely kill any stage they touch, and the set is always a crazy party. Hopefully we get more DWP/ICP from this.

MN: So for all the naysayers and metalheads out there that are totally against ICP performing at a rock or metal festival like Rock Allegiance, what is your pitch to them to check the band out when they perform?

MANKINI: Come, come see the greatest show you’ll ever see. It has clowns, freaks, zombies and weirdos. ICP will literally blow your mind with their set, and you won’t even know what to do afterwards. I promise, you’ll be pleasantly surprised, and definitely soaked in Faygo…so don’t forget to bring something to keep your phone safe. I challenge you all to step outside of your box, and try something different.

MN: Last but not least, have you chosen what bikini you will be wearing to this event yet?

MANKINI: Not yet….but there’s still time. It’ll definitely be sexy.

Aside from being an incredible sport and tremendously fun interview, Mankini made some remarks that really resonate. Namely, the community aspect of scenes. Whether one is a Juggalo, metalhead or a country fan, there should be an unsung honor within our respective scenes. Juggalos preach for “family.” There is no judgement, no hierarchy and really no reason to banish anyone. I have been attending metal shows for over a decade now, and whole heartedly admit my guilt in the following. There is a definite elitism that is very apparent in metal. It could be a “my taste is better than yours” or the thought that has crossed my own mind an embarrassing amount of times, “this is only your 5th show? Well, it’s my 17th.” In this thinking there is primal flaw. It doesn’t matter if one loves Norwegian black metal, 9 string prog or war history power metal. We are all playing on the same team. A victory for one is a victory for all. We all like heavy riffs, for god’s sake. The Juggalos don’t care if this is your first or your millionth Gathering, so why should we think less of someone for not being into metal long enough or liking more mainstream bands? If you’re at a metal show, you’re part of the crew.

Going into this interview, I struggled to believe that much substance would come from something that was seemingly very lighthearted and fun. But living with it for a bit and allowing these thoughts marinate, it ended up as a critical retrospective for my identity as a metalhead and the metal scene as a whole. With a new found respect for Juggalos and an agenda to be open, welcoming and positive. Shows are where we go to get away from work, school, relationship issues and anything else that sucks in life. Let’s just all enjoy a good beer, listening to some heavy shit and have a great time.

I will likely not be wearing clown makeup to Rock Allegiance, however, I will certainly take the time to check out Insane Clown Posse’s set. If you STILL haven’t purchased your tickets yet, it’s not too late, and you can do so right here. The festival is right around the corner and yes, Mankini WILL be making an appearance. Details for his meet and greet to come. 

 

ARCHITECTS Announces The Holy Hell Tour & Releases Brand New Track ”Hereafter” From Their Upcoming Album!

After having released one of their (if not) best records ‘All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us’ Architects are back to release a brand new single ”Hereafter” , announce a huge EU & US tour and announce information about their full album ‘Holy Hell’!

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Aftershock 2018 Spotlight: ALL THEM WITCHES [Video Stream]

*This is part of our “Aftershock Festival 2018 Spotlight” where we branch out and focus on some of the up-and-coming bands that fans can see at this year’s Aftershock Festival on October 13th & 14th.  This week, we’re checking out ALL THEM WITCHES.*

Bringing their awesome brand of psychedelic/stoner rock to the stage at this year’s Aftershock Festival is Nashville’s own All Them Witches. Since forming in 2012, the band has been quite prolific with recording. They have four full-length studio albums released – with their recently reviewed self-titled LP set to drop later this month – plus multiple EP’s, live albums, and singles for fans to check out.  Their sound often has a retro quality and rawness that allows the music to breathe organically without the filter of flashy studio polish. The stony vibe will have you reaching to turn on your lava lamp and blacklight as you trip out to The Doors-esque, groovy keyboard jams on tracks such as “Fishbelly 86 Onions” from the band’s upcoming album. Continue reading

LOUDER THAN LIFE: Set Times, Overlapping & Who To See!

 

The 5th annual Louder Than Life festival brings us a massive music lineup for 2018 including Nine Inch Nails, Alice In Chains, Godsmack, Deftones and much more. The World’s Largest Rock n’ Roll Whiskey Festival has expanded to three days – Friday, September 28th; Saturday, September 29th; and Sunday, September 30th – at Champions Park in Louisville, Kentucky. One thing that we often have to worry about when it comes to day long music festivals is bands set times overlapping. We have all been put in that situation where we are picking between bands because its impossible to see both due to logistics. Sometimes the set times are slightly staggered and while they do have some overlap it still leaves enough room to watch part of each bands set. We have made decisions dozens of times on who to see and we feel we may be able to help you make those hard decisions as well.  Continue reading

LOUDER THAN LIFE 2018 TICKET GIVEAWAY [Entry Details Inside]

 

The 5th annual Louder Than Life festival announces massive music lineup for 2018 including Nine Inch Nails, Alice In Chains, Godsmack, and Deftones. The World’s Largest Rock n’ Roll Whiskey Festival has expanded to three days – Friday, September 28th; Saturday, September 29th; and Sunday, September 30th – at Champions Park in Louisville, Kentucky. Louder Than Life features a selection of award-winning bourbons, whiskey, spirits, craft beer, and some of the best food Louisville has to offer; along with a powerful music lineup of rock legends and breaking talent performing on three stages. The festival celebrates the bourbon culture and culinary heritage of this unique American city.

The daily music lineup for Louder Than Life 2018 is as follows:

Friday, September 28th: Alice In Chains, Limp Bizkit, Breaking Benjamin, Slash featuring Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators, Seether, Black Stone Cherry, Skillet, Underoath, Suicidal Tendencies, Red Sun Rising, TremontiTurnstile, Jelly Roll, Hyro The Hero, Badflower, Islander, True Villains

Saturday, September 29th: Godsmack, Five Finger Death Punch, Shinedown, Bush, Bullet for My Valentine, Hellyeah, Body Count, Pop Evil, Sevendust, GWAR, DanceGavin Dance, From Ashes to New, Sick Puppies, Cane Hill, Bad Omens, Blacktop Mojo, Awake at Last, Stone Broken, The Jacks

Sunday, September 30th: Nine Inch Nails, Deftones, Ice Cube, Primus, Billy Idol, ActionBronson, Clutch, Asking Alexandria, Yelawolf, The Sword, Glassjaw, The Fever 333, Monster Magnet, Spirit Animal, The Dose, The Breton Sound, Anemic Royalty

Watch the Louder Than Life announcement video here:

Not feeling lucky? You can purchase tickets to the festival here.

To Enter the Ticket Giveaway!     

1. Subscribe to our Youtube channel. (click here)

2. Share article which is a pinned post on our Facebook page. (Make sure share is public!)

3. Answer the following question in a comment on the pinned post on our Facebook.

4. What is your favorite non-music related thing/activity/vendor about Louder Than Life?

5. Comment on one of our videos on Youtube and include ” #LouderThanLife “!

6. We will choose a winner who has completed all of the above.

7.   Good Luck! Winner will be announced on September 15th!

(Included 2 General Admission Weekend Passes)

 

FAT LIP FEST 2018 [Review & Photo Gallery]

I was running late due to heavy traffic on the horrible M5, but had to rush to get to The Lanes venue to grab my credentials – luckily with no drama – and catch the end of True Heights‘ set who are blowing up in the UK right now. The festival is in its second year, and with a turn out that I witnessed, you would have thought it had been going longer than that. Fat Lip Fest is set in three different venues along one street in the city of Bristol, and all within a stone’s throw of each other. The Lanes had an inside stage and also an outdoor courtyard acoustic stage. Karl Ficarotta kicked off to a decent sized crowd in the courtyard, and rightfully so, with the release of his new video. Continue reading

Review: ABORTED – ‘TerrorVision’ [Official Music Videos]

If you are a fan of the heavy Aborted is all you need. They come from Belgium and are ready to let everyone experience what brutality really is about. With vocals from hell and riffs that will literally kick your ass I can tell you that Aborted are back to raise hell with the release of ‘TerrorVision’.

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State Of The Art: FEAR THE CONCEPT [EP Stream & Official Video]

*This is part of our State Of The Art series, showcasing bands every Monday from the featured state. This month’s state is Florida.*

The state of Florida is home to a thriving underground Metal scene, with up and coming bands from all different sub-genres. In this installment of State Of The Art, we will be taking a look at newcomer Metalcore outlet, Fear The Concept; there’s definitely something special with these younger bands that are just getting their starts, and this Florida quintet. The ambition these young guys bring within their recordings is a nothing short of a youthful display of aggression and energy that ensures they’re here to stay for a long time. The group was founded in June 2011 out of Orlando, Florida, and, despite some roster changes over the years they have successfully found a group that is sure to continue making music for their fans’ listening pleasure and experience. With one EP release since 2015, they are steadily and surely progressing their careers into a more mature and established group, and we are excited to see what their future is gonna bring. Continue reading