Posts Tagged ‘Interviews’

With less than one week until the release of its sixth album, Bloodlust (March 31, 2017) Body Count (featuring famed-rapper and TV star Ice-T) has dropped a video for what is sure to be another controversial track, “Black Hoodie.” The video is a depiction of the February 2012 shooting of Trayvon Martin, in which Ice tells the story from a young, black teen’s perspective. Martin was dressed in a black hoodie when killed by George Zimmerman, causing a massive protest. Watch the video inside and check out some quotes from our recent interview with guitarist Ernie C. (more…)

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…)

Overkill

Legendary New Jersey thrashers, Overkill, will unleash their upcoming 18th studio album, The Grinding Wheel, on February 10th, 2017 via Nuclear Blast. To date, the band has revealed a series of album trailers for the album discussing the artwork, lyrics, musical direction and much more. Today, the band revealed their fifth trailer in which vocalist Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth talks about his heavy metal charity organization “Rock Against Dystrophy.”

Check out all the trailers for The Grinding Wheel inside. And in case you missed it, be sure to read our brand new interview with Blitz here! Straight from the gutter, the frontman tackles everything from current-day-competition, Overkill history and, of course, more info on The Grinding Wheel than you can withstand!
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Battlebeast—how can that name not bring a smile to a metalhead’s face? The Finnish band combines power metal and traditional ’80s metal into something special: anthemic songs with big hooks and choruses to bring out that inner headbanger in us all. Formed in 2008 and originally featuring vocalist Nitte Valo, the band was left in a compromising position in 2012 when she had to leave the band prior to a coveted opening slot on a tour with Sonata Arctica. In stepped the wild-haired, big voice of a frontwoman, Noora Louhimo, who up until this point had never performed in a heavy metal band. Well, Noora (or as she had me pronounce it, New-rrr-a, with an emphasis on the tongue roll) now has become the heart and soul of Battlebeast, as the band prepares to release its third album with her as vocalist, Bringer of Pain (Feb. 17, 2017, Nuclear Blast Records). The band—rounded out by bassist/vocalist Eero Sipilä, drummer Pyry Vikki, guitarist Juuso Soinio, keyboardist Janne Björkroth and his brother, guitarist Joona Björkroth—will serve as openers, along with Leave’s Eyes, for Sabaton on a U.S. tour this spring. Live Metal’s Jeff Maki talked with Noora about Bringer of Pain, the interesting story of how she joined the band, it’s ’80s metal style and much more. (more…)

testament-2016

Testament, 2016

Instead of a long history of Testament, I’ll give you my version. Thanks to Headbangers Ball, Testament was part of my “Big Four” back in the late ’80s and early ’90s. Along with Metallica, Megadeth and Sepultura, Testament’s Practice What You Preach became one of my go-to cassette tapes, with tracks like “Greenhouse Effect” and “The Ballad,” both of which had music videos that were featured prominently on the cult MTV show airing at midnight every Saturday night. I went back and discovered the thrash metal masterpiece The New Order, then came Souls of Black and Low. I had a Testament concert poster proudly hanging above my bed. In summer, I wore a black tank top displaying the band’s iconic logo. Years after their release, I was still listening to those albumsreligiously. Then in the late ’90s, like many metal bands, Testament kind of lost its way, and I kind of went down a different path musically.

Now, Testament—after disbanding and reuniting in early 2005—is about to unleash its third album of the 2000s, The Brotherhood of the Snake. And if it’s anything like its previous two, The Formation of Damnation and Dark Roots of the Earth, then fans, new and old, are in for a treat. The Testament I grew up with has been back for a few years now, and there’s no end in sight.

Vocalist Chuck Billy took a few minutes of his time to give us some dirt on the new album, The Brotherhood of the Snake. (more…)

Testament-band-2016

Testament

Legendary bay area thrash metal giants Testament have released the title track for their upcoming 12th album, Brotherhood Of The Snake, which will be released on October 28, 2016 via Nuclear Blast. Recently, we had the chance to chat with vocalist Chuck Billy about the new album. In the soon-to-be-posted interview, Chuck further elaborated on his recent comments that “he didn’t have fun making the album,” (read here) saying that the recording process was “something the band just maybe had to go through,” even at this stage in its career. He also described his vocal style on the album as similar to the band’s classic album, Practice What You Preach, and its previous effort, 2012’s Dark Roots of the Earth.

We also discussed more details about the album, including its theme and individual songs. Look out for the interview in its entirety in the near future, but for now, watch the lyric video for Brotherhood Of The Snake inside:

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Fozzy

Fozzy

Chris Jericho attained worldwide fame as a professional wrestler, but these days you’re much more likely to find him onstage fronting Fozzy—his hard rock/metal band that many might be surprised to know has been existence for more than 15 years—than you are inside the squared circle. Since Jericho and his bandmates made Fozzy their priority circa Chasing the Grail (2010), the band has grown steadily, achieving its biggest success to date with its latest album, Do You Wanna Start a War, released in July 2014 via Century Media Records and featuring the hit single “Lights Go Out.” Jericho recently called in to chat with Live Metal’s Greg Maki about the making of the new record and more. (more…)

Fyleaf, from left: guitarist Sameer Bhattacharya, drummer James Culpepper, vocalist Kristen May, guitarist Jared Hartmann and bassist Pat Seals.

Fyleaf, from left: guitarist Sameer Bhattacharya, drummer James Culpepper, vocalist Kristen May, guitarist Jared Hartmann and bassist Pat Seals.

Nine years after many music fans’ introduction to Flyleaf on the 2006 SnoCore Tour (as part of a bill topped by Shinedown and Seether, and also featuring the then-unknown Halestorm), the band, which for the past two and a half years has featured vocalist Kristen May, who replaced original singer Lacey Sturm, has found itself headlining that very same tour. When SnoCore came to Rams Head Live in Baltimore, Maryland, Live Metal’s Greg Maki sat down backstage with bassist Pat Seals to discuss the tour, Flyleaf’s new, crowd-funded album (Between the Stars) and more. (more…)

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Don’t tell anyone, but Corey Taylor was actually a really nice dude.

Better late then never, here are our top Live Metal interviews of 2014. With so many shows, festivals, in-person and phone interviews that took place, there were a few that stood out from the rest of the pack. From interviewing Corey Taylor at his Roast on the Range, to talking with Mushroomhead vocalist J Mann about his return and the band’s comeback, to frontman Rick DeJesus of Adelita’s Way holding nothing back on his disgust with the music industry, 2014 saw some of our most popular interviews since we began in 2006. Take a look below at our most -viewed of the year and see if you missed any of these—they are all must-reads.

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Rob Caggiano of Volbeat

Rob Caggiano of Volbeat

Rock is dead? Someone forgot to tell Volbeat. The three-fourths Danish band has ridden a string of hit singles from its 2010 album, Beyond Hell/Above Heaven, and its latest release, last year’s Outlaw Gentlemen & Shady Ladies, to its biggest U.S. tour to date, a co-headlining arena run with Five Finger Death Punch (with support from Hellyeah and Nothing More). Lead guitarist Rob Caggiano (the one-quarter of the band hailing from New York) never expected to end up in Volbeat when he left Anthrax about two years ago. But he quickly went from producing the newest album to becoming a full-fledged band member. And he couldn’t be happier about it. When the tour rolled into the Baltimore Arena in Baltimore, Md., Caggiano sat down for a chat with Live Metal’s Greg Maki. (more…)

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Ryan Hayes of Righteous Vendetta performs on the Ernie Ball Stage at Rock on the Range 2014, Columbus, Ohio

Maybe I didn’t pay enough attention to a band we interviewed earlier in the year, Righteous Vendetta. At the time, they were a little-known Christian metalcore-style band that I saw open the Ernie Ball stage (view live photos) at the 2014 Rock on the Range festival in Columbus, Ohio (May 16 to 18). Though they were a memorable live act and tight musically, this just wasn’t the kind of band I thought would start to blow up so quickly. Plus, they are a Christian band, often a death sentence for a band in the metal world. But since my introduction, Righteous Vendetta has started to make a name for itself, having toured with Trapt and currently out supporting Eyes Set to Kill and Nonpoint. After that tour, they’ll join Thousand Foot Krutch, We as Human and Like a Storm starting Oct. 12 through Nov. 9. They also just released an EP called Defiance (featuring “Take Over”) and have a hit radio single on Octane in”This Pain.”

So with all that said, let’s unveil this interview we did with vocalist Ryan Hayes earlier in the year. We better do it now before Righteous Vendetta blows up anymore and no one believes we met them first. In the interview, we talk about the bad rap given to “Christian” rock and how they plan to change it. (more…)

Wretched_DanielCunningham_04
North Carolina’s Wretched (without a “The”) had its biggest break as a band playing the 2014 Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival, supporting its latest release,
Cannibal (June 10, 2014, Victory Records). It’s safe to say they were one of the more extreme bands on the bill, but when it comes to categorizing Wretched’s music into a particular metal subgenre, it’s nearly impossible. When I wandered over and saw them on the first-ever Victory Records Stage, I thought this same thing. I was at a loss for words (and hearing), either because I was worn out from the long drive to Bristow, Va., or because my ears were being obliterated by this sonic mayhem. With machine-like drumming, dual guitarists churning out nonstop evil riffs and a singer who looked like Phil Anselmo after a trip to hell and back, Wretched left a lasting impression. So when I met up with guitarist Joel Moore after their set, we at least had a little to talk about for a band I was otherwise unfamiliar with. Until now …  (more…)