Posts Tagged ‘guitarist’

Body Count

These days, most know Ice-T from the hit TV show Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, but between his days as a world-famous rapper and the show, he and his pal, Ernie Cunnigan (better known as Ernie C.), who he met while they both attended Crenshaw High School in Compton, California, started a punk-metal band called Body Count. I was in high school when the band released its debut album in 1992, featuring the controversial song “Cop Killer.” 

What many deemed a side project at the time now has lasted 25 years. It’s been a long ride but not an easy one. Three band members have passed, but Ice and Ernie C. have remained. Despite never really going away during Ice’s 16 years playing detective Odafin “Fin” Tutuola on SVU, Body Count had somewhat of a resurgence in 2014, with the release of its album, Manslaughter (featuring “Talk Shit, Get Shot”), and touring on the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival. But was this just a novelty act reliving the glory days? We probably wouldn’t hear from back the band for a while after this, right? Wrong.

With the current unrest and political state of the world, Body Count once again has a lot to get off its chest and its back with what is sure to be another controversial new album called Bloodlust, due March 31, 2017 (pre-order the album here). Now a “full-on” metal band (as Ernie C. told  me), the new release features guest spots from Megadeth’s Dave Mustaine, Lamb of God’s Randy Blythe and Sepultura/Soulfly legend Max Cavalera, along with a Slayer cover medley. And there’s already been some feathers ruffled with the first single, “No Lives Matter.” Yeah, Body Count never has been a band to shy away from the cold, hard truth and tell things from its perspective.

Prior to the album’s release, Ernie C. called in to Live Metal’s Jeff Maki to discuss Body Count’s career, the prejudice the band faced in its early days and the new album. (more…)

Edguy's Jens Ludwig alludes the Space Police for a Live Metal interview.

Edguy’s Jens Ludwig eludes the Space Police for a Live Metal interview.

Live Metal has been around for more than eight years, and even though we are always out looking for new bands to cover, it’s fun when things come around full circle. Such is the case with Germany’s Edguy. When I first interviewed Jens Ludwig, the band’s guitarist, way back on March 19, 2006, for the Rocket Ride album release, we were barely a month old. Since then, we’ve been doing our thing, while Edguy has toured the world, released two more studio albums, a live album and, now in 2014, is about to release maybe its strongest effort yet, Space Police: Defenders of the Crown (April 29, 2014, Nuclear Blast). The band’s over-the-top style is a lot to take in, and its certainly had its critics and probably always will. But for me, Edguy is a breath of fresh air among all the extreme metal that rattles my head on a daily basis. The band has gone from a premier power metal band to more of a hard rock sound in recent years, but with Space Police they make a clear statement to the metal world: There are no limitations and music equals freedom. And for Edguy and its fans, the happiest band in metal also make things lots of fun. Just seeing or hearing the name Edguy makes me smile.

Live Metal’s Jeff Maki once again connected with Ludwig to talk about Edguy’s style and legacy and opening for the Scorpions as a special guest on their world tour. Most importantly, we answer the question: Just who are the Space Police? (more…)

Brian "Head" Welch: "Love and Death ... and Korn"

Brian “Head” Welch: “Love and Death … and Korn”

Days before former Korn guitarist Brian “Head” Welch’s new band Love and Death was set to open for P.O.D. on its U.S. tour at Rams Head Live Baltimore, Live Metal had scheduled an interview with him to talk about his new band, its new Chemicals EP and whatever else came to mind. As it turns out, we had plenty to talk about because the night before at the Carolina Rebellion festival, Head rejoined Korn onstage to perform “Blind,” playing with his old bandmates for the first time in seven years. In what probably was his first interview since the biggest news Korn fans have had in years, Head talked about how it all came together, Love and Death, the hardships of touring and more. (more…)

"17 Again" with Love and Death's JR Bareis

“17 Again” with Love and Death’s JR Bareis

Do you remember when you were 17? Are you even 17 yet? I certainly remember. It was 1994, the year I graduated high school, and I became consumed completely by music while looking into the great unknown. I didn’t care—I was partying with girls, doing things I probably wasn’t supposed to be doing, and it was one of the best years of my life. But there’s no way it was anywhere near as good or memorable as JR Bareis’ 17th, who is spending the year and foreseeable future playing alongside Brian “Head” Welch, the former guitarist of Korn who recently rebranded his solo band, Love and Death. (more…)

Brian "Head" Welch: "Head Strong"

Brian “Head” Welch: “Head Strong”

As a guitarist for one on the most successful metal bands, you would think you were living a dream only a few even could imagine. Everything you ever could want in life would be on your plate. But that was far from the truth for Korn’s Brian “Head” Welch. In 2005, he shocked the rock world by announcing his resignation from the band and devoting his life and his future music to Christianity. Since his departure, most would say Korn hasn’t been the same. But that’s another story. Head’s story is one of excess. Describing his last years in Korn as “torture,” touring and the lifestyle of the road led Head to endless partying, a crystal meth addiction, missing his daughter and internal struggles in the band. You can read his story for yourself in his best-selling 2007 autobiography, Save Me from Myself.

Since going solo, although now a devout Christian and drug-free, Head’s life hasn’t exactly been peachy. His debut album was released to mixed reviews, and he admits that, looking back, he isn’t completely satisfied with the effort. A record label he founded, Driven Music Group, shut down after bankruptcy, and Head just now is beginning to fight and claw his way back. With a driving new single, “Paralyzed” recently released, an announcement of an upcoming Head EP and constant rumors of if and when he will rejoin Korn,’s Jeff Maki had an extensive and honest talk with Head to get some of those answers. (more…)

Apart from an absence from the band in 2005-2007, guitarist Christopher Amott has been at the “root of all evil” since the 1996 inception of Sweden’s Arch Enemy. Together with his brother Michael, they form one of the most formidable guitar tandems in extreme metal. Following the recent release of re-recorded songs from their first three albums, aptly titled The Root of All Evil, Arch Enemy embarked on the “Tyrants of Evil” tour in January 2010 across the United States with Exodus and Arsis in support.

On the first night of tour,’s Jeff Maki and Ryan Mavity talked with Christopher backstage at the Recher Theatre in Towson, Md. Chris talked about the tour, his time away from the band, The Root of All Evil and a solo album he plans to release in 2010. (more…)

God Dethroned: A Q&A with guitarist Susan Gerl.

God Dethroned: A Q&A with guitarist Susan Gerl.

The Battle of Passchendaele was one of the largest battles of World War I. It was fought for control of the village of Passchendaele near the town of Ypres in West Flanders, Belgium. Hundreds of thousands of Allied and German soldiers perished, many drowning in the thick, muddy landscape while bombarded by heavy artillery.

What does this have to do with anything? It’s the concept behind God Dethroned’s new album, Passiondale (the name that Passchendale was later changed to) and could very well be the band’s defining record. Set against a backdrop of melodic death metal, the history and story of Passiondale comes alive through God Dethroned’s violent, literal lyrics, painting vivid images of war in the listener’s mind.

Active since 1990, God Dethroned has long been a rising force in extreme metal, releasing strong albums such as Lair of the White Worm (2004) and The Toxic Touch (2006). Several lineup changes have occurred over the band’s career, but it hasn’t derailed this death metal force. Their latest addition is a girl, but she’s not to be underestimated–guitarist Susan Gerl.’s Jeff Maki had a Q&A with the new God Dethroned guitarist, in which she answers questions about females in metal, Passiondale and more. (more…)

Edguy: "Holy Ear Damage"

Edguy: “Holy Ear Damage”

You would be hard pressed to find a more entertaining rock band than Germany’s Edguy. Known mainly as a power metal band in the early part of their career, starting with 2004’s Hellfire Club and on through their last album, 2006’s Rocket Ride (review), Edguy showed a knack for comedy and ’80s glam rock flair. The style received mixed reactions from fans and peers, but Edguy remained successful nonetheless. It had reached the point where people were starting to wonder if Edguy was serious about anything anymore, or were they merely a parody of heavy metal?

With their new album Tinnitus Sanctus (review), Edguy has surprised everyone. Not only does the music take on a more serious nature, but they have virtually abandoned the over-the-top power metal in favor of a more straightforward hard-rocking, heavy metal album. Not long after its release, Edguy guitarist Jens Ludwig phoned in to’s Jeff Maki to talk about the album and Edguy’s musical direction. Despite Jeff’s somewhat negative review of Tinnitus Sanctus (much to the chagrin of Ludwig), Jens put his feelings aside and was still able to do the interview as scheduled. (more…)

Warbringer: "Thrash 'til Death"

Warbringer: “Thrash ’til Death”

Who doesn’t miss the glory days of thrash metal? I’m talking old Metallica, Megadeth and Slayer, Testament, Exodus, Kreator, Clash of the Titans, bullet belts, jean jackets, skateboards, long curly hair and real circle pits–not this hardcore dancing crap we see today. Well, you don’t have to miss it as much anymore. Ventura, California’s Warbringer leads a pack of bands carrying the torch for thrash metal–right where it left off. A new revolution is well underway and Warbringer’s album War Without End (reviewwas released Feb. 5, 2007 on Century Media Records. It recalls all that I mentioned above and opens the door for a new order of thrash metal fans. Even more astonishing is that the band members range in age from 17 to 22. Speaking of Exodus, Warbringer is fresh off a tour supporting the thrash legends and is preparing to head out with Eygptian-themed death metallers Nile. recently talked with guitarist John Laux about getting signed to a label, their new release and what they bring to thrash metal in 2008. (more…)

annihilator-metalHere is the most appropriate album title of the year. Metal by Annihilator is an anthology of different metal genres, filtered through a unique brand of guitar rawk. It’s an album that should have the makers of the Guitar Hero series salivating, with its blistering leads by band maestro Jeff Waters. (more…)

JF Dagenais: "The Heartbeast of Kataklysm"

JF Dagenais: “The Heartbeast of Kataklysm”

Sunday afternoon cook-outs? Running errands? Sleeping in? Who needs that shit. spent Sunday, April 29, 2007 in downtown Baltimore, Md., for the Invaluable Darkness Tour featuring the mighty Dimmu Borgir, Unearth, Devildriver and the purveyors of Canadian hyper-blast, Kataklysm. Before the show, the staff met up with Kataklysm guitarist J-F Dagenais outside of the venue. During the afternoon, we sat on a park bench and talked about the tour, the band’s feud with Devildriver and Kataklysm’s new member, the “Heartbeast.” (more…)

Sounds of the Underground with Björn Gelotte

Sounds of the Underground with Björn Gelotte

A year after opening the main stage of Ozzfest 2005, Swedish metal kings In Flames are braving the near-100-degree heat of the American summer yet again with a featured slot on the second installment of the Sounds of the Underground tour. Jeff Maki and Greg Maki of caught up with guitarist Björn Gelotte at the tour’s recent stop at the Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Md., to discuss the band’s evolution, touring and early plans for the follow-up to their latest release, Come Clarity. (more…)