I recently had the opportunity to interview one of the most ridiculously good goddamn drummers around, Brann Dailor of Mastodon for the Suicide Girls website. You can check out the interview HERE!
Friday December 14th 2012 is a day that will forever be inscribed into the hearts and minds of all of us who learned with painful shock and awe of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting where twenty children and six adults were suddenly and unexpectedly robbed of life and taken from their families in a baffling and brutal fashion. I can’t begin to speak about this day, let alone cover a concert or interview, without bringing light to the fact that all those in attendance who I interacted with were savagely impacted by news of the tragedy and hesitated into the evening with contrite and broken hearts. I have no illusions that I can accurately capture exactly what resonated inside the hearts and minds of everyone in attendance, and certainly lack any combination of words and meter that can begin to truly explain what the families of those afflicted felt that night and will continue to feel.
I was personally dismayed even further upon discovering that a family closely connected to my small church lost a child in the tragedy. And yet, although it seems to this writer that we all felt a natural resistance in trying to continue with our plans for the evening, we pressed in with an appropriate mindfulness of this unfathomable tragedy that co-occurred on such a dark and heavy day resonating within our collective corner of space and time. If for nothing else to honor those lost with a celebration of life through an explosion of noise, energy, screams, sounds, and sweat, all poured out in gratitude and with a renewed appreciation for the lives, music, and loved ones we are still so blessed to hold. (more…)
Steve Von Till is best known as singer and guitarist for the atmospheric metal band Neurosis. Steve is also in Tribes Of Neurot, and records solo work under both his given name and the moniker Harvestman. His solo albums comprise of original songs and traditional folk arrangements, using minimalistic acoustic guitar and vocal styles. Outside his semi-professional role as a musician, he works as an elementary school teacher.
The following interview was conducted via phone on 12/12/12.
The Steve Von Till Interview (more…)
Chester Bennington is most recognized as the lead singer of Linkin Park, his higher-pitched, emotional vocals balancing out those of main rapper Mike Shinoda. A victim of sexual abuse, Bennington had a childhood that was far from picture perfect, and when his parents divorced at age 11, he turned to drugs to deal with his pain. By the time he was a teenager, Bennington had gotten heavily into cocaine and methamphetamines, supporting his drug habit with a gig working at Burger King. Despite his drug problems, however, Bennington never forgot his childhood dream of becoming a rock star — he was a huge fan of Depeche Mode and Stone Temple Pilots — and in 1993, he joined up as the lead singer of the local band Grey Daze. The band built a sizable following around the Phoenix area, but Bennington ultimately grew unhappy with the group and decided to leave in the late ’90s over creative differences. He then moved to Los Angeles and became the final piece of burgeoning rap-metal act Linkin Park in 1999. (Bennington came up with the name, changing their then-moniker from Hybrid Theory.)
Brandon Boyd is an American musician, author, and visual artist. He is best known as the lead vocalist of the American rock band Incubus. Boyd graduated from Calabasas High School in 1994 and attended Moorpark College for two years before committing to Incubus. Brandon grew up in Calabasas, CA with Ricky Taylor who inspired him to write music. Brandon is also known for playing several instruments such as the didgeridoo and djembe. He also has some guitar parts during live performances. Boyd’s voice was part of what enticed Sony’s Epic/Immortal Records, and Incubus was signed in 1996.
The Chester Bennington & Brandon Boyd Interview
With his emotional and gravel-coated bellow, vocalist/guitarist Chuck Ragan made a name for himself as one-fourth of the much loved Gainesville post-hardcore outfit Hot Water Music before releasing his first solo album in 2007. Alongside friends Chris Wollard, Jason Black, and George Rebelo, Ragan formed Hot Water Music in the early ’90s. Through a slew of well-received albums for labels like No Idea, Doghouse, and Epitaph — and an incessant grassroots touring regime — the passionate crew turned itself into a highly respected and influential act on the underground scene. Outside of his main gig, Ragan also recorded two side albums with some friends, including the stripped-down rock of Rumbleseat and the punk-oriented Cro(w)s. Ragan’s third solo album Covering Ground is as much of a love letter to his transient lifestyle as it as a concession to the loved ones he often has to leave behind and is also undeniably his most honest and accomplished album to date. Musically Covering Ground sees Ragan peeling back the layers of his songwriting style and allowing the talented cast of musicians to fill out the arrangements with their own voices. Despite the fact that Ragan is working with instrumentation that has existed for hundreds of years, Covering Ground is also a remarkably diverse-sounding album and showcases the range Ragan is now able to attain with his whiskey-soaked pipes.
*The following interview was conducted after Chuck’s set at The Acoustic Basement Stage of the 2012 Warped Tour stop in Hartford, CT on 7/22/12.