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News From the Pit
What an insane month I've had.
Good and bad to the point to where your humble narrator almost bit the dust.
I'll start with the good. This is a crazy true story of coincidence and fate.
It started with the other guitarist in my band, Matt Roeder, calling me to tell me he found an amazing deal on two guitars at Pensacola Junior College that were handmade by world renowned, but still relatively unknown luthier Bernie Rico Jr (a guitar maker whose work we absolutely love!), the son of famous luthier Bernie Rico Sr, the founder of BC Rich guitars. The guitars Matt found were handcrafted in the USA with the best woods/quality available, and would each cost $5000 if you ordered them new.
These guitars are also rare. I would be very surprised if there were six Rico Jr guitars in the whole state of Kentucky. They are a sight to behold. My dream guitar. A guitar I could never hope to own. A guitar that if I could chose any guitar in the world to own, this would be it.
Here is the crazy part: the guitars, and virtual 'mountain' of musical gear (including over 40 other guitars), were donated to Pensacola Junior College by the mother of a guy who passed away in 2008, whose name was Alfons Bach, a descendant of the classical music composer Johann Sebastian Bach (not Skid Row's singer, clown!). So the College was selling the guitars to raise money. Mr Bach's dying wish was that the guitars/musical equipment go to someone who would use them.
Mr Bach seems like he was a heck of a guy (R.I.P.). The nice lady at the College who was in charge of selling the guitars told us the College would sell them to us for $1100 a piece.
We freaked out and tried to remain calm. A $5000 guitar for $1100? This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I'd eat Ramen noodles night and day for six months to have this axe! So Matt and I packed our bags and headed to Florida ASAP with the goal of purchasing two dream guitars for one-fifth the cost, and oh, yeah, we were going to smoke out on the beach, and get some fresh seafood!
We got to Florida and about had a heart attack when we saw the guitars. Sold! We paid for our axes with money we really didn't have to spend, and headed to the beach. After hanging out at the freezing beach for precisely eight minutes (it sucked, I had loogies hanging out of my nose), we had the munchies and went for some fresh seafood. I had a blackened grouper sandwich with calamari. Matt had a fargin cheeseburger! I swear that guy will not eat anything other than pizza or hamburgers. Even on friggin vacation!
Now for the bad part.
Coming home through Alabama, we encountered a murderous ice storm that had snarled traffic the worse that I have ever seen in my life. Almost 100 miles of stopped traffic lay before us.
I'm pretty smooth with maps and such, so I tried to plot an alternate/parallel route, to no avail. Heavy sleet/ice/snow was coming down and the highways were all but impassible. Huge trucks could not get up the hills and cars were sliding everywhere. We sat for five hours on an expressway. Hotels were full so we were stuck in Alabama on a freezing highway with no way to get home. The worse part was when it cleared up and we were moving again. I was thinking “Thank god no more ice/snow!”
Then we hit a patch of ice on a bridge doing about 60 mph and started sliding all over the place. Matt was sleeping, and I woke him up with me screaming “oh god, oh god” as we started sliding. My heart jumped out of my neck and was hanging like a necklace. By now Matt was bug-eyed and freaking out because we were sliding all over the road. What a way to be stirred from sleep!
Then miraculously, at the last second before total loss of control and spinning off the highway into trees/oncoming traffic at high speed, the bridge ended and the car tires amazingly caught onto the non-frozen concrete and it literally shot us back into proper position. It was downright weird.
We were goners. It was almost as if a giant hand smacked us back into position at the last millisecond.
Underwear was one hair;s breadth of being soiled. All I can say is 'wow.' It really did seem like something saved us at the last second.
Wrecking at that speed would have likely been fatal. But yes, we are glad that we survived the hideous Alabama ice storm of 2011.
The Metal Grapevine
WIN Tickets to RUSH: (Free-Ride)
April 5 at Yum Center will be a very memorable night. For rock legends Rush will be doing theirMoving Pictures CD in it's entirety! Plus a few other tunes I'm sure.
I'm anxious to see the Yum Center and what the future holds for it. Who knows if Rush will be around in a year or two, so if I were you, I'd bite the bullet and get the tickets before it's too late.
I predict fans from quite far away will be converging upon Yum Center in anticipation for this rare event, so do not think they'll have tickets at the last minute!
For a chance to win tickets to Rush, email me at EDDYMETAL1@aol.com on Sunday, March 27 at 9 p.m. sharp. Closest one to 9 p.m. wins!
In subject line put“Show Of The Year!”And don't forget who hooks you people up:Louisville Music News, LiveNation and Eddy Metal.
BuckCherry/Hellyeah/All That Remains Review\:
Wow, what a fun night.
This was exactly what the doctor ordered. I've been going through some serious family troubles recently, and, boy, did I need some time out to have a little fun during these cold winter months. I've been bummed bigtime. Thank god for Terry Harper. What timing!
I've seen All That Remains and Hellyeah before, and I like both bands, so that rules, but an added surprise was seeing Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian's new band The Damned Things open up the night.
I had no idea Scott was on the bill, or that he had a new band at all. And I've been a huge Anthrax fan since I was 14.
Thankfully, my singer Buzz and I arrived early enough to see The Damned Things let loose a little.
This new band features some serious players from well known bands. As always Scott Ian is badass on guitar. Duh. The new music is totally “NOT” Scott Ian, but I guess a little change doesn't hurt anybody. The music does sound awfully good, though. It will just take some time to get the thought out of my head that Scott Ian is playing the blues. It's kind of like Kerry King of Slayer playing guitar for Milli Vanilli. A total change. It's a refreshing change, like when your girlfriend has a date with Summers Eve. Mr Ian seemed happy to be playing some new music though. Anthrax guitarist Rob Caggiano is also in the band. He is a heck of a guitarist himself. I found that out at Slayer/Megadeth/Anthrax last year.
The music is hard rock, Southern, bluesy groove music with some soulful vocals by a guy named Keith Buckley (also with Every Time I Die). Joe Trohman and Andy Hurley (of Fall Out Boy) round out the rest of the lineup. The music comes across as kinda stoner rock a la Queens Of The Stone Age, but a little heavier.
“This is an amalgam of three very different bands,”explains Fall Out Boy guitarist Joe Trohman, who was first introduced to Anthrax’s Scott Ian three years ago, when the two became fast friends and immediately began writing together. “It seemed unlikely, but it turned out we were on the same page musically. We were both interested in putting together a heavy/classic-rock, blues-oriented, riff-based band while trying to stay away from what makes that sound generic and overplayed. Musically, it’s a good representation of the band. It has the sludgy riffs, but there’s a catchy chorus, a tempo change breakdown, and some leads/solos. There’s a real bluesy feel to the verses. It’s everything the group stands for.”
While I can see what they are trying to do, it was odd hearing Keith's vocals over Scott's signature guitars. You are so used to hearing his patented Mosh guitar sound it kind of throws you off a bit. But don't get me wrong, the music was rockin' and we were getting into it.
The sound didn't start off right; things were a bit muddy and not mixed very well at all, which was surprising, considering Expo 5 usually has excellent sound and has spent much money to get good sound! Oh, well, you can't win them all. The sound did get better several songs into The Damned Things set. Afterward, Scott Ian was hanging out, and a few people told me he was an A-Hole. Heck, I could have told you that. I met the doosh, er, dude, several years back, and he wasn't very nice to his fans like, say, Dimebag Darrell was. Nowhere near it. People don't forget that stuff either, Mr. Ian.
All That Remains was up next and I was excited! This is one modern metal band that I actually like quite a bit. How can you not like this band? It features awesome guitar riffing from a guitar beast named Oli Herbert, whose playing soars above the stratosphere and beyond. I still remember the last time they were here, when some kid jumped onstage and accidentally kicked Oli in his nugget while flipping around. Oli was PO'ed. Philip Labonte's half screaming/ half singing vocal approach is tasteful and mixes well with the wonderful music of this talented Massachusetts powerhouse. His melodic vocal parts stick with you for a while, and you will be stuck singing/humming them without even realizing it. Labonte used to sing for Shadows Fall at one time, before he was kicked out and replaced by Brian Fair, which I don't understand that at all. Labonte can sing rings around Fair at any given time, even with bronchitis! Fair couldn't sing his way out of a wet paper sack. His cookie monster rendition of Ozzy's classic “Bark At The Moon” last time I saw them was hideous. All That Remains has become a force to be reckoned with these last few years. I literally wore out their The Fall Of Ideals CD. I still need to get the newer releases, though, (somebody hook me up!). Intricate riffing and melodic choruses make ATR special. There is a hook there that many bands never achieve. ATR has that, and more. The band was tight and looked like they were having a ball. They played “Hold On”, “Two Weeks”, “Forever In Your H”, “Six” and, of course, “This Calling” which is probably their most well-known tune. Rock on, ATR!
Hell, yeah, now it was time for Hellyeah! Cowboy hats, metal and whiskey was in abundance. I saw these rockers a year or two ago at Rupp Arena and was digging it much more than I thought I would. It was sick! They've gotten a lot better these last few years. Mudvayne's singer, Chad Grey, is creative and has a very distinctive voice, going from sounding like Don Dokken to totally chaotic screams in zero flat. Impressive. He sounds pretty much just like his recordings too. When I first saw him sing with Mudvayne in the video “Dig” I was hooked on Mudvayne. Now Chad is letting loose Texas-redneck style and fans seem to be eating it up.
This supergroup, which features members from Mudvayne, Pantera and Damageplan is perfect redneck partying music. You cannot lose with Vinnie Paul on drums, and Mudvayne's Greg Tribbett on guitar, backed by Chad's wicked vocals. The place was packed as Hellyeah tore Expo 5 a new one. Louisvillians were ecstatic to get a kickass musical break like this from the dreary February monotony.
They tore into “Cowboy Way”, “You Wouldn't Know”, and the acoustic slide-inspired “Alcohaulin Ass”, not to mention the anthemic and slammin' “Hellyeah,” which is my favorite! Total pros like this are a pleasure to watch and learn from. Metal drumming don't get much better than Vinnie Paul. I like these guys better each time I see them.
Vinnie Paul was hanging out with folks after the show, just like his brother used to. Good people. I forgive him for taking a chick from me that I was hitting it off with several years back. It sucked then, but looking back at it now, it's pretty funny. Who better to steal your potential woman, than Vinnie “fargin” Paul?
Next up was Buckcherry, a band that I know absolutely nothing about, except for that radio song “Crazy Bitch.” This band from Los Angeles is a good band live but I'm afraid it's not really my style.
However, it is chock full of cool grooves, decent vocals and some sleazy wah and bluesy leads.
Vocalist Josh Todd is a fireball, constantly moving around, and he sounds good live, too! He has good stage charisma, works the crowd well and has a rather strong voice for such a thin guy. His live vocals are very close to the recorded versions. You can't ask for better.
The duo guitars of Keith Nelson and Stevie D are rocking, and a lot better than I thought it would be.
It got pretty down and dirty, with a little sleaze thrown in. Some of the soloing reminded me of the early days of Guns N' Roses with Izzy. These guys have a lot more respect from me than the day before this show, that's for sure. They opened up with “Dead,” then played a nice long set, including tunes like the popular drug anthem “Lit Up”, the acoustic cheeseball ballad “Sorry” (I like their sleaze side better!), then, of course, the hit single “Crazy Bitch,” which had teenyboppers going insane. They closed out with “Out Of Line” and the incredibly energetic “Whiskey In The Morning.” (I think I would have put that wrist-buster earlier on in the set!)
All in all, a good set from a relatively new band to me! Good party music. So we had thrash, redneck metal, hardcore, bluesy rock all in one show. I'd say we did pretty good! Expo 5 rocks! Support them or I will hunt you down!
I tried to get some pics, but my camera and the lighting weren't cooperating, so Jason Koerner was able to provide some pictures of the show. Enjoy, and thanks to Jason for the pics!
Sepultura And Nevermore At Expo 5:
Here is a show you metalheads will not want to miss, trust me!
On Monday May 23, Brazilian wrecking machine Sepultura will be invading our Territory for one night with special guests, Seattle progressive demons Nevermore, which is one of my favorite bands. I just learned that Nevermore bassist Jim Sheppard just had brain surgery to remove a tumor, but thank god, the operation was a success and Jim is recovering at a great speed and is already cracking jokes and stuff. So I expect Jim will be back in action by May for sure! Dude is an unreal bassist and super cool guy. Get well soon, bro.
SnotOzzy (the Ozzy Tribute) Returns with The Future Of Louevil Metal lineup:
It's time we give the young rockers in town props for learning their craft at such young ages these days.
Several months back I was going on and on about the very young Ozzy Tribute rockers SnotOzzy and The Crazy Babies! A band that has a thirteen- year-old drummer and fifteen-year-old guitarist who can play classic Ozzy solos like it's nothing. Not to mention louevil legend Pat Bareis, the quintessential Ozzy cover band vocalist. Looks and sounds just like Ozzy. It's uncanny. Well, I think we need another dose of that high octane music, so I booked them again. This time, they will be accompanied by other very talented young underage musicians for a Future Of Louevil Metal Show. Slakker is the other band the young SnotOzzy members are in, and they play Megadeth, Pantera, originals and a lot of good metal.
I was very impressed with them and their singer, too. The kid sings with some serious growl for being only seventeen. Other teenage rockers on the bill include Fear Only Us and Blessed By Death. The talent of these Louevil teenage rockers blows this seasoned columnist away. I wish I was that good at fifteen. It's really to see these really shred!!! Do yourself a favor. See it for yourself, and you can thank me later.
Friday, April 1 at Phoenix Hill Tavern. The Future of Louevil Metal.
Robert Plant coming to The Palace:
On Friday, April 8, a legend will be in town. Led Zeppelin's Robert Plant will be performing with The Band Of Joy at the Louisville Palace.
Plant is truly a vocal icon and a one-of-a-kind artist. While I've never been a serious Zeppelin fan like all those hippies I grew up with, I still always respected Robert's voice and the melodies he created. His music will live on forever. Now is your chance to catch him in action and that is something you don't want to miss, I'm thinking, especially at a sweet venue like the Louisville Palace. Will Robert still be able to hit those super high notes still? Will he have the stamina to recreate the old tunes to perfection?
Will Robert's band be able to pull off some old Zeppelin songs? Find out in April.
Get your tickets now, as this will probably sell out.
UFC in Louevil March 3:
The Ultimate Fighting Championship is coming to Yum Center on Thursday, March 3. This is a first for Louisville so you people should show some love, and who knows what other cool stuff we could get next time! I'm a MMA fan, and to me, the fight card looks mediocre, but it's more of a participate today for the chance at something much better later type deal. Get in there and show the peeps at Yum Center that we do appreciate it and can handle true sports/music events with a smile on our faces. The next time we could get a killer fight card.
Louisville Music Showcase Coming April 29:
Heaven Hill is back and ready to start the new year in positive fashion by having another Louisville Music Showcase. This time the popular annual original hard rock event will be at Headliners Music Hall. Bands confirmed so far are Heaven Hill, Bonejinn, A Lion Named Roar, Year Of The Gun and others T.B.A. I'll keep you people informed of the news as I get it.
South By South End Festival Is Coming Soon:
The SXSE Music and Arts Festival will be happening again this year. Details are being hammered out and stuff is being worked out, so stay tuned and I should know something in a month or so! The SXSE festival is a good thing for our music scene and for local artists as well. Last year's was hampered by bad storms that flooded the area (my own basement flooded and I had guitars floating around!), so hopefully this year won't be ruined. We deserve some good luck this time around!
Avantegardedog In Nashville Recording:
Louisville's premier musicians guitarist Kevin McCreery, bassist Chip Adams and drummer Steven O' Rielly (all extremely talented at their craft , so much so that makes me want to quit playing guitar!) are hard at work recording an album in Nashville.
Chris Henderson from 3 Doors Down is producing the CD, and there will be special guests featured on it, so it should be interesting to see what it sounds like. Bassist Chip Adams had to be tortured into revealing the sound the band is going for, but he says it's an “in-your-face-groove-progressive-arena-radio-melodic-chop-rock-album-that-your-girlfriend-will-love-as-much-as-you-do--type sound..."Ha ha!
I bet it will sound ridiculously good. The guys are stoked and are looking at a Spring 2011 release!
I'll keep you informed so stay tuned.
Old Vikings, From Louevil:
I'm digging this from the get-go. Old Vikings is a doom metal/black metal/sludge metal band with some nice riffage. “Den Of The Frost Wench” is oldschool as metal gets.
This reminds me of some early Celtic Frost. The riffs and vocal tone are a bit repetitive at first, but the breakdown in the song kicks butt. Very nice! The drummer is killing his kit on the end of this song!
I can't wait to see these monsters live. “Blood Eagle” has a creative guitar riff that makes this a tasty little affair with your eardrums. There is good groove and some nice muted picking going on guitar wise. Catchy and memorable! I like the sludgy hardcore chorus, too. Very cool guitar work, if I do say so.
“Skull Splitter” starts out with a Sabbath-like feel and transforms into an all-out Down/Clutch type groove that has an impact. I'm liking the effects-driven guitar solo. It works well with the rhythm guitar. This sounds like something I would write. The low growly vocals seem to work well with the down-tuned blues doom metal sound. I think the name and Viking motif is very cool, by the way. One of the wickedest books I've read is called “Eaters Of The Dead” (the movie version is called The 13th Warrior), a book about Vikings and a race of Cro-Magnon human cannibals they fought against. I learned a lot about Vikings and Vikings are cool. I'm looking forward to seeing this new band Friday, March 4 at Phoenix hill.
I liked every song and am glad that I decided to book these guys and give them some exposure. It makes me feel good to be able to hook up a brand new band that not many people have heard.
In the meantime, see what pillaging these vicious Norsemen from South Louisville have been up to lately. Check out their cool Nordic metal at myspace.com/oldvikings.
Kentucky Native To Join Metal Supergroup:
Not many folks in Louisville know about Michael Duncan, amazingly. The guy is one of the best metal singers in our state. He hails from Lexington and has been with the same band, Pownd, for some fifteen years. I had the pleasure of opening for them several times in Central Kentucky with my old band Inhuman. Michael's vocal style is that of a Geoff Tate of Queensryche meets Warrell Dane of Nevermore meets Ronnie James Dio.
Fans of Priest, Maiden, Nevermore, Dragonforce, Metal Church would be in love with Mike's voice. He's all about classic metal from days of yore. Dude has an amazing set of lungs and can belt out tunes with the best of them.
So the news is that Mike has just joined a thrash metal band called Shatter Messiah from Akron, Ohio, which was built with a nucleus of ex-Nevermore, and Annihilator guitarist Curran Murphy, Robert Falzano (drums and Annihilator alumni) and Jason Chamberlain (bass). According to their publicity by adding Michael Duncan and Patrick Gibson (guitars), they have “upped the ante on their debut CD,Never To Play the Servant, and follow-up effort,God Burns Like Flesh.”Find out more at www.shattermessiah.com or check out Central Kentucky metal veterans Pownd at www.myspace.com/pownd
The Krosjoint Debut and the Faceplant Reunion:
I'm excited, peeps. In a very short time, I will be debuting my new metal band, Krosjoint. I haven't played metal in a band since 2004, when I was in 13th Level. After a seven-year layoff, I have decided to play metal once again, so with the help of some very talented rockers, including vocalist Brian 'Buz' Pyles (formerly of Dogwater, Rathbone), guitarists Matt Roeder and Myself (13th Level, Year Of The Gun, Inhuman), bassist Marcus Goldsmith (Caldera, Kentucky Deathwish, 13th Level) and drummer Jeff Beaven (Dogwater, Rathbone), we set about writing some sludgy, doomy rip-roaring Kentucky redneck metal to drink whiskey to. It's a mixture of a redneck Ronnie James Dio meets Black Sabbath/Corrosion Of Conformity/Black Label Society/Down type entity. I think we have an individual sound, though. It's also a bit thrashy. Buz's high-pitched but soulful vocals work very well with the doom-y down-tuned metal riffs I've been writing. I hope to see you all Friday, March 4 at Phoenix Hill to hear the new stuff. Attention: Nineties Louisville metal veterans Faceplant will be returning for a reunion show to melt your faces off, so you young folk/newer louevil metalheads won't want to miss this one! See the musicians that rocked the Ville in the Nineties, in it's music heyday.
We may be a bit older, but we've still got the goods!
Friday, March 18 – Jesse Dale.
Saturday, April 9 – Under Red Skies, Bury The Wicked, Chaordica and Blessed By Death.
Thursday, March 10 – Haste The Day, MyChildren Mybride, The Chariot, A Plea For Purging, Through Our Perception. 6:30p.m . $15
Saturday, March 19 – Alesana with Get Scared, When Hearts Fail and Cnidaria Rex. 7 p.m..$12
Tuesday, March 22 – Dance Gavin Dance with Iwrestledabearonce, In Fear and Faith, Close To Home, Just Like Vinyl, DJ Big Chocolate. 7 p.m. $15
Thursday, March 24 – All Shall Perish with Conducting From The Grave, Abysmal Dawn, Sinistral and We Are War. 7 p.m. $12
Sunday, April 10 – Asking Alexandria with Emmure, Chiodos, Miss May I, Evergreen Terrace, Lower Than Atlantis. 5 p.m. $20
Thursday, April 28 – Black Veil Brides with Destroy Rebuild Till God Shows, I See Stars, Versa Emerge and Conditions. 5 p.m. $15
Monday May 23 – Sepultura with Nevermore, Bonded By Blood, Hate, Keep Of Kalessin and Neuraxis. 6:30 p.m. $16.50 - $50.00
Headliners Music Hall
Friday, April 29 – The Louisville Music Showcase with Heaven Hill , BoneJinn, A Lion Named Roar, Year Of The Gun and others T.B.A. 6 p.m.
Phoenix Hill Tavern
Friday, March 4 – Faceplant (reunion), Nailgun Strategy, the debut of Krosjoint, Rockaway Drive and Old Vikings. 8 p.m. Free before 9 p.m.
Friday, March 11 – Better Day Parade, Normac, Stallpoint, Poetry Of The Dead and If Walls Could Talk. 9 p.m.
Saturday, March 12 – Hot Action Cop, E-Flat and band TBA. 8 p.m.
Saturday, March 19 – The Zoo Kings with 19 Stone and Cougar Express. 9 p.m.
Friday, March 24 – Taddy Porter 8 p.m.
Friday, April 1 – The Future Of Louevil Metal!!! (featuring The Ozzy Tribute with teenage phenoms) SnotOzzy and The Crazy Babies, Slakker, Fear Only Us, Blessed By Death and Overload. 8 p.m. Free before 9 p.m.
Friday, March 4 – Downslave, Swingshot, Unclean, Broke and Bleeding. 8 p.m.
Props Of The Month
Okay, I fully admit the scene is nowhere near what it used to be, but thankfully we do have something good to talk about. The fresh new crop of promoters in Louisville are good people who actually care for our music scene. There have been promoters over the years that really get on my nerves, but now I can honestly say I like almost every one of them that are active in Louevil. Newer promoters like Allen Ashbaugh, Tim Hicks, Frank Karaglanis, Angel Hall and Jeanette Lively have all proved they are decent individuals with the right attitude and motivation that we need in this most unprecedented time in our fair city's music scene.
Keep your heads up and never say die, we'll bring back life to this MF even if it kills us.