Morgan Lander (KITTIE) On Performing With Former/Current Members “It Was One Of The Highlights Of My Life.”

It’s been twenty years since Morgan Lander helped start the Canadian metal band Kittie (with sister Mercedes and original bandmates Fallon Bowman and Tanya Candler) in London, Ontario. They brought one of the heaviest and most fierce acts we had seen to date, and this is for all bands not just girl bands. There was a thing or two the guys could have learned from the harsh anguish they brought to their music, and I’m sure plenty of their male counterparts took notes and learned from Kittie’s quick rise to stardom in the metal world. Their debut album ‘Spit’ was what got everything started in 2000. The album still to this day is highly regarded as one of the best metal albums of that era. ‘Spit’ was was certified gold by the RIAA and sold at least 600,000 copies in the United States. Keep in mind when ‘Spit’ was recorded the members of the band were only 15-18 years of age. Kittie went on to release their sophomore record ‘Oracle’ in 2001. It was also in 2001 that guitarist and backing vocalist Fallon Bowman left the band. Her infamous growls on the song “Brackish” instantly made her a fan favorite. They followed ‘Oracle’ with the release of ‘Until the End’ in 2004.

Kittie incorporated nu-metal influences as well as incorporating speed, groove and death metal vibes. The combined chemistry of Mercedes and her sister Morgan gave the band this flare that wasn’t seen or heard with other bands. Kittie went on to release ‘Funeral for Yesterday’ (2007), ‘In the Black’ (2009) and ‘I’ve Failed You’ (2011). One of the saddest things the band had to deal with more recently was the death of bassist Trish Doan who passed away in 2017. Vocalist Morgan stated after Trish’s passing “She with her boundless energy, 10,000 ideas and a fiery, vibrant light that could never be extinguished, even now.” In the time spent in the band Trish added an amazing creative element to the Kittie and we were all saddened by her passing. Though ‘I’ve Failed You’ was the bands last release as of now in 2011, they started filming a documentary about the band in 2014 that would include all the past and present members of the band as part of a 20 year anniversary for the band. On August 30, 2017, the band announced the reunion of the original lineup for a one night only concert. They performed on October 27, 2017 in their hometown of Ontario. The show also coincided with the launch of the documentary. Whoever was in the crowd that night witnessed something that most of us would give anything to see. Kittie not only formed in the late 90’s but they molded the whole metal scene and they worked hard to get to their rightful place at the top.

 

Talk Toomey: The Metal Nexus Podcast host Joshua Toomey welcomes Kittie vocalist Morgan Lander on this week’s episode of the podcast. Morgan talks about everything that is currently going on with Kittie and the recent documentary showing their history titled ‘Origins’. Toomey and Morgan also talk about forming the band and sometimes coming down to just looking for anyone that played an instrument. Morgan even talks about touring in the earlier days with much heavier bands like Nile and it made them need to go out with a chip on their shoulder. Morgan also talks about trying to get all the former and current members of the band together and playing a couple shows maybe in L.A. and New York and do something similar to what they did on ‘Origins’ documentary. You can hear the entire interview below.

 

 

Brian “Head” Welch (KORN) “I Think I’m Traumatized From Trying To Keep Family Together.”

 

Bakersfield native and original Korn guitarist, Brian “Head” Welch is an artist who has undoubtedly battled his fair share of demons. In 2005, his demons, who took shape in the form of overwhelming drug addiction and discontent with road life, caused him to leave the band in search of a savior. Welch took refuge in religion, became baptized, and devoted himself to Jesus Christ. Part of his decision for his abrupt change in life course was to protect his young daughter from the decadent rockstar lifestyle he was part of. During his departure from Korn, Welch focused on other creative outlets including a solo album, ‘Save Me from Myself’ in 2008, and multiple biographical books chronicling his life experiences. In 2012, he re-branded his solo project as Love and Death, under which name he has released an EP the same year entitled ‘Chemicals EP’ and an LP in 2013 called ‘Between Here & Lost.’ In May of 2013, a clean and sober Welch rejoined his former bandmates in Korn and has recorded two albums with the band since his return – ‘Paradigm Shift’ (2013) and ‘The Serenity of Suffering’ (2016).

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Review: FROM ASHES TO NEW – ‘The Future’ [Official Videos]

 

From Ashes to New is a 4-piece rock band from Lancaster, PA. Getting their start in 2013, From Ashes to New has released 2 EP’s. The first was self-titled and released in 2013. Their next EP was titled ‘Downfall’, which released in 2015. In addition to those EP’s From Ashes to New have also released a full length studio album titled ‘Day One’ which hit stores in 2016. The band is now added yet another release to their discography, ‘The Future’ will be out this Friday, April 20th, on Better Noise/Eleven Seven records. Having consistent lineup changes, From Ashes to New started out as a 5-piece band and stayed that way until late 2017/early 2018. The current members of From Ashes to New are: Matt Brandyberry – clean vocals, rap vocals, keyboards, rhythm guitar, and programming, Danny Case – clean vocals, unclean vocals, Lance Dowdle – lead guitar, and Mat Madrio – Drums. In addition to their releases FATN also are credited with creating the theme song for WWE’s 205 Live along with CFO$. Being a fan of the WWE, it’s amazing when you those two worlds collide.  FATN has been going building their fan base and anchoring their sound for 5 years now, and we certainly hope they continue on for many more to come.  Continue reading

The Bucket List with MEKA NISM

* For the Metal Nexus’ Bucket List series, we pose the age-old question to some of your favorite artists: “Before you die, which band(s) would you want to see play live that you haven’t seen before, and why do they mean so much to you?” *

This week, we focus on Orlando, Florida’s art metal mavens, Meka Nism. The quintet consisting of Meka (vocals), Bobby Keller (lead guitar), Jarret Robinson (bass), Christopher Lane (drums), and Jay Adkisson (keys) have made quite a name for themselves in the metal world through their uniquely eclectic, genre-melding sound. Influences swirling throughout their music include everything from opera, to rock, to nu-metal, to black metal, and beyond. It’s no wonder that we see such a wide array of musical styles pop up on each band member’s bucket list. Continue reading

Women’s Month: Tatiana Shmaylyuk of JINJER

March is National Women’s Month, and we have decided to celebrate some our favorite women in metal. Every week during March we will honor some of the most respected women in the metal and hard rock world.

Today we focus on the stunning and amazingly talented, Tatiana Shmaylyuk – lead vocalist of Ukrainian prog metal band, Jinjer. Having joined the group in 2010, Shmaylyuk has been essential in propelling them to reach accolades that include being named Best Ukrainian Metal Act of 2013 and 2016, and Best Metal Video for “I Speak Astronomy” in 2016. As a frontwoman in the primarily male-dominated world of metal, Shmaylyuk’s vocal ability, range, and stage command put her not only in a class of her own, but in a position to rival some of the best men in the game. Continue reading

Elijah Witt (CANE HILL) “Nickelback Is A Hit Machine”

 

Cane Hill formed in 2011 in New Orleans. They took their time finding their sound and released their self titled debut in 2015, then released their first full length in 2016 titled ‘Smile’. This is the album that truly got fans to open their eyes. The band doesn’t just impress in the studio either. We had the opportunity to see Cane Hill at 2017’s Chicago Open Air and their performance was one of the most dominating of the weekend, which is saying a lot considering the lineup was packed with heavy metal icons like Slayer, Behemoth, Lamb Of God and Body Count. The band has announce they were releasing a new album titled ‘Too Far Gone’ in 2018. Everyone was excited for the album, but when it dropped they quickly brought on a fire storm of new bands. ‘Too Far Gone’ has been one of the most talked about albums this year. Elijah Witt stated about the album “A lot of these songs reference a time in our lives when we were really headstrong about what we were doing as far as drugs were concerned and believing we were invincible. It took this shift as we realized we were losing ourselves. I think it’s lucky we recognized that before it became a problem. We definitely went a little bit past our limit, and we’re coming to terms with those mistakes. We went too far gone with everything. The title encapsulates the entire era.” They are the fresh meat in the nu-metal genre and they are proving that newer bands can crank out material that can compete with the elder nu-metal that are still relevant today like Korn, Limp Bizkit, Slipknot and Papa Roach. ‘Too Far Gone’ will likely be one of the best albums of the year for most people. The genre has only had a handful of bands still keeping the sound of the late 90’s and early 2000’s alive, but that has changed with Cane Hill turning heads and proving they can unleash an album that makes those veteran acts realize there is new competition in their genre.  Continue reading

An Interview With Joshua Toomey (Talk Toomey Podcast / PRIMER 55)

 

Most of you are some time or another have heard something that Joshua Toomey has created, whether it be his music with the Nu-Metal legends Primer 55, or his Nashville based band 12 Volt Negative Earth, or his popular podcast Talk Toomey. The bass player turned podcaster was originally from the Nashville area, but moved to the Bluegrass state in order to join Primer 55. From 2002–2007 Toomey was the bands bassist and toured both near and far with the band. Prior to Primer 55 Toomey was a member of the band 12 Volt Negative Earth. I happened to see the band live and their sound was incredible and a band that should have went much further than they did. When Toomey left 12v to join Primer 55 he was replaced by another bassist you may know, Chris Kael now famously known as the bass player for Five Finger Death Punch. When Toomey left the stage and started a family (who are adorable by the way) he still had that creative itch, and was inspired by other podcasters like Jamey Jasta. He felt like he had something to say in a creative manner so Talk Toomey was born. His last name which I’m sure has been a headache at times was finally put to some good use and it didn’t take long before a vast amount of fans were familiar with the name. After speaking at the Louder Than Life festival in 2016 and 2017 Toomey and I (Fist – Editor & Founder of Metal Nexus) decided to join forces bringing together Talk Toomey’s incredible conversations, already established fan base, guests and insight with the hard working Metal Nexus staff and our fans. The partnership was instantly a hit and Metal Nexus is incredibly happy to have Talk Toomey as part of the Metal Nexus family. This interview was an opportunity to allow you – the fans to get to know the man behind the mic a little better, and also for two friends to just shoot the shit.

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Review: CANE HILL – ‘Too Far Gone’ [Album Stream]

Cane Hill is finally back after roughly 2 years since the release of ‘Smile’ which has always been my number 1 nu-metal record but after listening to the just released album ‘Too far Gone’ I am not so sure anymore. It has been released today, 19th of January, via Rise Records and it is even more insane and chaotic as before. But we can’t forget about the stellar EP ‘Cane Hill’ which features some of their greatest hits such as ”Time Bomb”, ”Screwtape” and ”Oxblood”. So with that being said, let’s get right into the mix!

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Review: MACHINE HEAD – ‘Catharsis’ [Official Video + Track Stream]

 

Throughout their 24 year career, the modern metal colossus that is Machine Head have seen their fair amount of love, hate and skepticism. A band who change with the times, not necessarily with the trends, they have shown especially interesting senses of progression most recently through adding string sections, choral chants and a bigger sense of scope to their crushing brand of metal. Fans have been kept on their toes in other words and the Machine Head brand is not easily painted into a corner. So when the band’s new record, ‘Catharsis’, was unveiled and its mission statement was to be a major statement for rock & metal music in 2018, one can’t help but let curiosity take over and see what the Cali boys have concocted this time. ‘Catharsis’ was recorded with Zack Ohren (Fallujah, All Shall Perish) at Sharkbite Studios in Oakland, California and will be released via Nuclear Blast on January 26th, 2018.

 

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Robb Rivera of NONPOINT “If You Don’t Leave The Stage Sweating And Bloody, You Haven’t Done Your Job”

Photo Credit: Brenda Daniels

 

This week on Talk Toomey: The Metal Nexus Podcast, Joshua Toomey brought Robb Rivera of Nonpoint back on for a third time.  The two talked about Nonpoint‘s plans for the upcoming year and whether or not there’d be any shows or tours coming up.  Robb also shares his reactions to Nonpoint’s The Poison Red album.

Josh also pulled Robb’s opinions on nu metal and we listened to his song picks and stories from the bands (Hed) peStuck MojoDownsetOrange 9mmDeftones, and Snot. Robb informs us he credits Snot with changing Nonpoint‘s on stage performance stating “If you don’t leave the stage sweating and bloody, you haven’t done your job.”

Check out everything Robb has to say and all things Talk Toomey here!