Archive for April, 2010

Drowning Pool

Drowning Pool

In the fickle music business of today, Drowning Pool has emerged as a survivor. They pressed on after the death of singer Dave Williams in 2002 and an unsuccessful attempt to replace him with Jason “Gong” Jones. Former Soil frontman Ryan McCombs came to the rescue in 2005, and it’s been relatively smooth sailing ever since. Heavy touring preceded and followed the 2007 album Full Circle, which spawned the hit single “37 Stitches,” and now they’re back with a self-titled release that at once recalls the band’s early days and moves into new musical terrain. McCombs and bassist Stevie Benton recently checked in with Live Metal’s Greg Maki to discuss the new album. (more…)

Lzzy Hale of Halestorm

Lzzy Hale of Halestorm

Halestorm has come a long way since Live Metal began covering the band in early 2006. Extensive touring (with Shinedown more often than not) helped the group build a following across the nation with only a five-song live EP available for purchase. A long writing process preceded the 2009 release of their self-titled debut album, which spawned the seductive hit single “I Get Off.” About a week after returning home from their first European tour (with Theory of a Deadman), Halestorm hit the road again, this time on their first official headlining run. At the tour’s first stop, Jaxx in Springfield, Va., Live Metal’s Greg Maki caught up with the band’s dynamic frontwoman, Lzzy Hale, to discuss touring, being named one of the “hottest chicks in metal,” the early outlook for album No. 2 and more. (more…)

bullet feverReview by Greg Maki
After three albums, I think I have figured why I have been unable to fully embrace Bullet for My Valentine. They simply do not want to be the band I want them to be.

The band I want to hear is the one that made Scream Aim Fire (2008), a thrashy, classic-metal-influenced recording. This quartet from Wales would rather be the band that released The Poison (2006) and its hit single, “Tears Don’t Fall,” while being just heavy enough to make the cut for a tour like the Mayhem Festival. (more…)

DrowningPoolnewcdReview by Greg Maki
The “self-titled” album, I think, has become a clichéd excuse to not be creative and come up with a real title. And it seems to be happening more and more today. Killswitch Engage has even done it twice.

There are times, though, when it feels right, as with Drowning Pool’s fourth studio album. (more…)


Photos by Greg Maki (more…)

Airbourne-NoGutsNoGloryReview by Greg Maki
There is no other way to say it: If you’ve heard Airbourne’s superb, fist-pumping love letter to rock ‘n’ roll and everything that goes with it, their 2008 album Runnin’ Wild, you’ve heard the Australian quartet’s follow-up, No Guts, No Glory. The biggest difference is that instead of standing up for rock ‘n’ roll, this time they’re raising a flag for it.

Here’s the funny part: That’s not a bad thing. In fact, I might be disappointed if that were not the case. After all, would you tell someone who owns Highway to Hell not to buy Back in Black? Or vice versa? (more…)

Review by Greg Maki
Cold Day Memory, Sevendust’s eighth studio effort, is an important release for the veteran band. (Hard to believe, but it’s been 13 years since its self-titled debut.) It’s its first album since 2003’s Seasons with guitarist Clint Lowery, who returned to the fold in 2008. Some fans might expect the Atlanta-based quintet to continue in the direction it was headed prior to Lowery’s abrupt departure. Fear not—this is not Seasons Part 2. (more…)

Jon Oliva meets the “Father of Live Metal”

Jon Oliva meets the “Father of Live Metal”

He was born before rock n’ roll began. He watched Elvis Presley and The Beatles perform live on the Ed Sullivan TV show. He saw his first concert in 1965—The Beach Boys—and the price of a ticket was $3.50. His most recent concert on April 11, 2010 was Trans-Siberian Orchestra and the ticket price was $76.50. Hundreds of other shows fill the large gap between.

He attended college from 1966-1970, during the height of the counter-culture movement, with hippies and flower power, and the anti-Vietnam War protests. He was in college during the “Summer of Love” (1967) and Woodstock (1969).

While in college he was also a disc jockey, who’s program led the way by playing music from the early psychedelic bands that are now ’60s classic rock: Jefferson Airplane, Blues Magoos, Electric Prunes, Strawberry Alarm Clock, Love, The Doors, Jimi Hendrix Experience, Steppenwolf, Iron Butterfly, Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, The Who, and many, many others.

He later witnessed the birth of heavy metal, and one of his favorite mottos is “If it’s too loud, you’re too old.” And, he is, of course, still rocking after all these years.

OK, so who in the hell are we talking about here? He’s Roger Maki, father to both Jeff and Greg Maki who now run this website, Apparently the metal gene is proving to be a strong one that will surely be passed down from generation to generation.

Jon Oliva, mastermind of Savatage and Jon Oliva’s Pain (who’s new album, Festival, was released April 13, 2010) and co-creator/songwriter of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, recently called in to chat with the forefather of Live

Take it away, Dad … (more…)

Dakota Fanning, left, and Kristen Stewart are shown in a scene from "The Runaways."

Dakota Fanning, left, and Kristen Stewart are shown in a scene from “The Runaways.”

She’s a little runaway: An interview with filmmaker Floria Sigismondi

After establishing herself as an artist and music video director (her resume includes Marilyn Manson’s “The Beautiful People,” among many others), Floria Sigismondi is making her feature film debut as the writer and director of The Runaways, the story of the 1970s all-girl rock band, starring Dakota Fanning as lead singer Cherie Currie and Kristen Stewart as Joan Jett. Live Metal’s Greg Maki recently caught up with Floria for a quick chat about the movie. (more…)

Black Robot

Black Robot

I, robot: An interview with JB of Black Robot

Life was good for Buckcherry bassist Jonathan “JB” Brightman as the millennium wound down. Largely on the strength of the hit single “Lit Up,” Buckcherry’s debut album (1999) had gone gold, and he was living the rock star dream shared by so many across the world. Then came album No. 2, Time Bomb (2001). As it turned out, “bomb” was an appropriate word in the title—that is exactly what that record did. The subsequent tour led to JB’s departure from the band, along with the exits of guitarist Yogi Lonich and drummer Devon Glenn. It took some time for schedules to align, but now JB is back, teaming with singer Huck Johns in a new band called Black Robot. He even looked up his old pals Yogi and Devon to help him out in the studio. With their debut set for a June 8 release through Rocket Science Ventures, JB checked in with Live Metal’s Greg Maki to discuss Buckcherry, Black Robot and more. (more…)

unleashed-yggdrasilSomething happens when a band signs with Nuclear Blast Records, one of the leading heavy metal record labels worldwide. It’s simple; they just get better. The label has a way of extracting the very best out of its bands, especially lately. Almost every album the label has released recently has been above and beyond expectations.

So when Swedish Viking metal band Unleashed signed and initially sat down with the label’s executives for the first time, the one-sided conversation probably went something like this: (more…)

enthroned-pentThere’s something about a release from Sweden’s Regain Records. You always know you’ll get a blasphemous, corpse-painted extreme black or death metal band that sounds like nothing familiar in the United States. Dark Funeral, Gorgoroth, Dismember and Marduk are perfect examples. So why would there be any reason to think the long-standing Enthroned’s 2010 album, Pentagrammaton, would be any different? (more…)