Interview by Kris Peters Most bands that dwell on the hard rock/punk side of town generally walk the walk while attempting to talk the talk but to the discerning eye it is pretty obvious that it is an enforced facade. When shit hits the fan you know many of these bad boys would run cowering to the nearest obstacle and lie in wait until the storm has passed. But there are a small number that are genuine in their disdain. Bands that openly wear their heart on their sleeves and couldn't give a toss what you or anyone else thinks. And those people are the real heroes. Even though they have been around for a quarter of a century, Danko Jones have somehow managed to fly under my radar to this point, but for once I actually feel like I have missed out. Their upcoming album Electric Sounds (September 15) is a rock drenched slab of attitude that promises nothing but delivers in spades. Danko himself joined HEAVY to chat more. "We're always excited when we put out an album," he revealed. "The last five albums we've put out has been more excitement than nervousness because we were pretty confident about it. We just want people to hear it. We're kind of impatient about people hearing it so I just want everyone to hear it." We ask Danko to tell us about the musical side of the new album. "From a musical point of view it's the same as the last ten albums," he smiled. "It's just a hard rock album, and we're hoping that people who like hard rock like it. We do. We wouldn't have put it out if we didn't (laughs)." In the full interview we ask Danko if the band has a set process when it comes to writing and recording, the statement delivered on the very first track Guess Who's Back?, the guest artists on the album and what they brought to each song, the early days of Danko Jones and where they fit in, his early vision for the band and how it has changed since, surviving nearly three decades in the music industry, their upcoming massive tour schedule and more."
Interview by Kris Peters Thy Art Is Murder are up there with Australia's greatest ever extreme metal exports. They have taken their music far and wide, appearing at prestigious festivals around the world like Summer Breeze, Download, Graspop and Wacken and playing with bands such as Cannibal Corpse, Slayer, Kreator, Lamb Of God, Killswitch Engage and Parkway Drive. Their thinking-person’s blackened death metal has challenged, provoked and inspired audiences around the world with little regard for expectation or conformity. In Australia the band has been nominated for two ARIA Awards and smashed existing chart records and convention. They have won the hearts and ears of a global audience and continue to deliver their strong social messages without fear of reproach or muzzling. And you get the feeling they have only just started. With their latest album Godlike set for release on September 15, HEAVY spent some time with guitarist Andy Marsh to go into more detail. We're feeling really good," he affirmed ahead of the release. "It's exciting, especially when you've worked on something for so long and you have to keep it to yourself. I'm looking forward to getting some feedback from the wider community and the fans." Godlike is Thy Art Is Murder's sixth album, so we ask Marsh if by now the band has a set process of doing things or if each album cycle differs from the last. "It's pretty much the same," he said, "get together, write some riffs, put some songs together as best we can and meet up with our producer Will Putney and finish the job. It normally takes four to six weeks. Last year we spent siix months piecing the thing together." We press Marsh on what to expect musically from Godlike. "I can't tell you too much, really," he measured. "We're just trying to step things up quite a bit. We had a lot of time off, a lot of time to think of new ideas, a lot of time to think about where we were thinking of taking the band in the future. So just trying to incorporate some groovier elements, bigger choruses and imagine what we could put on the CD that's gonna help elevate the band to the next level of it's career." In the full interview, Andy talks deeper about Godlike, the singles put out so far and how they represent the overall picture, releasing an album independently for the first time, the themes explored on the album, the cover artwork and where it comes from, how Thy Art Is Murder's sound has changed from their debut album in 2010 to now, future plans and more.
Interview by Kris Peters As much as the majority of our life is spent looking into the future, the past should always feature somewhere in your thoughts. It is, after all, the very thing that shaped your being, a point which rings true no matter what walk of life you are from or what passion ignites you. But this is particularly important with music, as past music - or, more specifically, the initial music releases - are the ones that will more often than not resonate most with fans. Brisbane rock outfit Young Lions will be doing just that, paying homage to their debut album Burn by taking to the road and revisiting that early material in an effort to connect with not only the faithful, but, in some ways, themselves as well. With the Burn 10 Year Anniversary Tour set to kick off in just under two weeks Young Lions vocalist Zach Britt joined HEAVY for a trip down memory lane. "We're really getting into the production rehearsals now," he smiled. "We're stoked to get out there. It's nice to revisit songs. Obviously I've been doing a tour with my other band Dream On Dreamer for the tenth anniversary of Loveless, which has been good, so it's been getting me excited to get out there and do the same things with Young Lions. Everyone really resonates with the music that they've listened to for ten years, and they've had a long time to learn the lyrics. We're getting stoked on some big singalongs and there's so many epic bands coming on tour with us. We've got Shangrila, Chasing Ghosts and Tapestry so it's a really all star line up." In the full interview, Zach lets us in on some potential birthday surprises for fans, the challenges of playing an album start to finish,, why those particular support bands were chosen, the early vision of the band and how it has changed since, his initial thoughts of Burn when it was first released, memories of early live shows, how they have changed and improved since, things they have learnt about themselves and their music over the last decade, their latest album Make A Rainbow And Put It In The Sky and how it differs to Burn and more.
Interview by Kris Peters Any band in the modern age that can take rock/punk/metal music to the increasingly numbed youth of our generation is already a winner in my books, but when they release songs that I can possibly convert my two young daughters with then they elevate to the next level pretty damn quickly. So when I was given the opportunity to speak to a band pitched to me as Punk Meets Disney then you can imagine I was doing backflips. Or something that counts as one at my age. Punk Rock Factory are a band of gentlemen from the UK who have made a healthy career out of playing other peoples songs. But only bastardising them. No-one is immune, with the band spicing up in their own punk fashion tracks from Meatloaf to John Farnham to Hansen and in most cases making them all the better for it. The fact Punk Rock Factory have released six albums since their inception in 2019 speaks volumes, but when you also consider the band has slayed it at festivals like Bloodstock and Slam Dunk then you know they have the mental toughness to back it up. But it was their second album A Whole New Wurst from 2020 that drew me instantly to the band. An album of punk reworkings of Disney classics covering movies such as Moana and Frozen, its discovery has given me renewed hope that my girls will return from the dark side and once more embrace the music they were destined for. And to top it off the versions of Let It Go and We Don't Talk About Bruno (Encanto) are good enough to get Dad bopping! Punk Rock Factory are about to embark on their maiden tour of Australia, so to find out even more possible weapons in my fight against Taylor Swift HEAVY sat down for an entertaining chat with frontman/guitarist Peej to find out more, starting with just why the band has neglected Australia for so long. "It's a big commitment for us," he laughed. "It's the other side of the world and we have to make sure we sell some tickets. We don't wanna turn up and play to no one. There's been a big call for us to come to Australia for a while now. It's something we've been building up to and it's finally time." Things take a humourous turn when we ask Peej what non-essential items he will be making sure to pack. "You guys will tell me that these aren't essential, but I need some kind of spider repellent," he replied, completely honestly. "I don't deal with bugs very well (laughs). You could probably tell me more whether that's essential or not." Which beckons the question do they actually sell spider repellent in the UK? "I'm sure I could find some," Peej measured. "I'm definitely going to try (laughs)." When I tell him there's no such thing the laughter continues. "Brilliant," he smiled. "I'm just gonna have to sleep in a giant box so nothing gets in." In the full interview we discuss what to expect from the live show, where and how the band selects which songs to cover, a typical Punk Rock Factory live show, the success of A Whole New Wurst and if it came as a surprise, if there are any songs or genres they won't attempt, the possibility of punking up songs from heavy metal bands, their home studio The Sausage Factory, the massive European tour to follow and more.
Interview by Kris Peters One of the most beautiful things about music is the individual expression that goes into creating a body of work. Sure, a band is made up of several members on most occasions, but each of those members still contributes part of their personal DNA throughout each written and recorded piece of music. But for those musicians adept at playing anything and everything and who record most of the instruments and vocals themselves, then that strand of DNA is magnified exponentially. As is the case with UK outfit Confyde, who started life as a solo project by Martin Jackson and have slowly evolved to the stage where their music is enough in demand for him to start recruiting other musicians. Jackson also moonlights as frontman for System Of A Down tribute act Chop Suey (which also features Sam Totman from Dragonforce and Andre Joyzi from Breed 77) but it is with his original project Confyde that he gets a chance to faithfully represent himself musically. An eclectic mixture of styles with its roots in rock, Confyde have steadily built their career around a string of single releases, with the latest slab of goodness being Scalper. Jackson sat down with HEAVY to tell us more. "It's been brilliant," he enthused about the early reception to Scalper. "Probably the strongest reception so far. I've been putting out singles with Confyde since 2020 when it got rebooted, and by every measure this song has been the most successful so far." We ask Jackson to go deeper into Scalper musically. "I knew, given the subject matter of what I wanted to sing about - the housing crisis and eternal misery a lot of our generation have to live with - there's a lot of anger and resentment around this particular subject, so I knew it had to be angry," he explained. "It needed to be a loud, metal song and I've not done a metal song for quite a while and the influences that came in were big chunky guitars with a proggy tip to them, so there's a Mastodon influence there, and Sikth influence... I'm a huge fan of 12 Foot Ninja and how they switch up genres inside their songs and Confyde is very much a project where every single almost completely transforms the sound and I really admire what 12 Foot Ninja do with that. You kind of have this ebb and flow. Often when you're dealing with a really broken housing system it feels like an absolute roller coaster and nothing is ever resolved, so I like to feel like this song represents that. There are some sections that are really heavy and in your face, some that are more majestic and hopeful and there's others that are sinister and in a pit. It feels like you can never really relax while listening to it (laughs), but at the same time I wanted to have something that... even though I love all this musical experimentation I'm always keen for songs that have solid, memorable hooks. Something people can sing along and shout along to in solidarity with subject matter like this. A big influence on that was probably Alter Bridge and Nothing More." In the full interview, Martin talks more about the musical nature of Scalper, keeping things cohesive while skipping all over the place, the strong subject matter, how Scalper differs musically to previous single Man Down, singles versus albums in the modern climate, playing live and more.
Interview by Kris Peters Canadian death metal outfit Crytopsy have been quiet for just over a decade, seemingly lost to the world of metal. After a succession of well received albums Crytopsy remained as a force on the live circuit, but after releasing their self titled album independently in 2012 have failed to record another full length since. Since then the band has released two EPs - The Book of Suffering – Tome I (2015) and The Book of Suffering – Tome II (2018) - but it wasn't until an eventual signing with Nuclear Blast Records that their upcoming new album As Gommorah Burns (September 8) was finally given voice. Vocalist Matt McGachy sat down with HEAVY to discuss Crytopsy's absence and the new album. "It's great to be back creating full length records," he began. "Throughout the past 11 years we did drop two EPs and then we toured a lot before the pandemic, so we were extremely busy. A lot of people think not much has happened since the self titled album, but we have been extremely busy. Up until 2019 we toured a lot, and then we stopped in 2019 to write a new record and then the pandemic just added a little bit more time." We ask McGachy what has changed with Crytopsy in those 11 long years. "Actually nothing has changed," he laughed, "because we have the same line-up. 2012 John was in the band and then he left and since that moment we are the same four dudes that have been touring the world together. We released The Book Of Suffering Tome 1 and Tome 2 together - those were independent - and then we signed to Nuclear blast which is where As Gomorrah is coming out. Those would be the biggest changes, that we're the longest running Cryptopsy line up and that we signed to Nuclear Blast and will be releasing a full length record coming up on September 8. In the full interview, Matt talks about the musical side of As Gommerah Burns, the singles released and how they represent the album, settling in as vocalist on this, his third album, the dark side of some of the songs and making them gel with the album as a whole, the "new era" of Cryptopsy, the conceptual thread on the album, future plans and more.
Interview by Kris Peters The pairing of Evergrey's Tom. S. Englund and acclaimed US-based pianist/composer Vikram Shankar (Redemption, Lux Terminus) might at first seem like a strange combination, but once you have taken the time to digest the sheer beauty that is the music of Silent Skies things fall easily into perspective. Over the course of two previous albums Silent Skies have set about dismantling convention and expectation by painting sonically rich landscapes of musical clarity that resonate long after each listen. The band returned earlier this week with their third album Dormant, an album which shows yet another metamorphosis of their combined vision. Shankar and Englund both spoke with HEAVY on the eve of the release of Dormant. "We think that it's our best statement yet," Shanker obliged, "and a level up pretty much in all of the ways that characterize what we do." "We spent, honestly, an unhealthy amount of time on this album," Englund added. "We've been into every detail, because that's something we really enjoy doing. Now it's time to leave it for the world to enjoy instead of us having to be in it and fiddle around with stuff that we no longer can affect. Hopefully people enjoy it. Honestly, we are super, super happy with what we have accomplished on this album." In the full interview, we discuss Dormant musically, the singles released and how they represent the album as a whole, new elements on the album and ways they approached recording, the cinematic aspect to their music, how Dormant differs to the first two albums, how much musical growth Silent Skies have left in them, more about Vikram and his musical pedigree, why they started the band, future plans and more.
Interview by Kris Peters Thrashville has quickly become one of the must-attend music festivals on the Australian calendar. Not only is it situated miles away from any form of civilised life – meaning noise restrictions and the like are non-existent – but it is also a damn good festival featuring a splattering of the best in Australian music from major headliners through to up-and-comers. With this year’s line-up – set down over September 8 and 9 at Dashville in the Hunter Valley – comprising a host of talent including CIVIC, Shady Nasty, Crocodylus, Bloody Hell, Downgirl, Wildheart, Operation Ibis, Deadshowws and more, it is the reuniting of two of this countries heavyweight acts that is generating most interest. Progressive rock outfit COG and funk/rock/metal masters Mammal headline over both nights, continuing their successful partnership at the top of concert-goers wish lists. HEAVY caught up with COG drummer Lucius Borich to find out what they have planned for the show, starting with the fact Thrashville is pretty much in the middle of nowhere. "It's perfect for us," Borich smiled. "The Great Outdoors. Maybe it comes from watching that show The Leyland Brothers when we were younger or something... there's also a bit of that touring a lot back in the day we would go to a lot of places that were not just in the cities as well. We all love getting off grid so to speak and connecting with nature and getting out there, and I think to play music in that kind of environment is pretty good. It's the right fit. We've always been inspired by the natural realm and that is infused in a lot of our music as well. It looks like it's gonna be a good spot." COG have a well earned reputation as one of the best live acts getting around, so the spaces of the outdoor environment with no noise restrictions should elevate the band to yet another level. "We'll just do what we love to do best I guess, and hopefully the power will stay on and the generators won't break," Borich laughed, "and we'll be able to get through the set unscathed and have a top night. To do more of those community based gigs in those environments and help the music industry in those regions and bring some quality music to those parts of Australia is a much needed thing and we love doing it. If it's right, if the dates are right and the timing is right we're all about it. We love doing that." In the full interview, Lucius talks more about what COG will deliver at Thrashville, the importance of Australian only festival lineups, renewing their long term association with Mammal, negotiating each respective bands views on life, politics and society, new music in the works, the new vinyl album editions and more.
Interview by Kris Peters Osaka Punch are one of those once in a generation bands that would be perfect for ANY line up or concert. Their music is a force unto itself, mixing jazz, rock, metal, piano lounge vibes and an eclectic nature often tried but seldom mastered. Until now. If you live in Queensland then you definitely have at least heard of Osaka Punch, but if you live anywhere else in the world and have managed to escape the hype these guys have generated over the last decade then you are about to be baptised with the impending release of Mixed Ape, Osaka Punch's "official" debut album. Featuring all of the above musical nuances with even more spectacular surprises, Mixed Ape is an absolute gem in every way, harnessing Osaka Punches elusive on stage chemistry and humour with an array of styles and influences that have to be heard to be fully appreciated. HEAVY sat down for a chat with frontman Jack Muzak earlier this week to take us deeper into the crazy world that is Osaka Punch. "We did an album with Voodoo Love machine but we recorded it as another band when we were Kidney Thieves," Muzak cleared up. "So ages and ages ago we were a band called Kidney Thieves and another band called Kidney Thieves tried to sue us and threatened to kick us off the face of the planet, so we had to change our name and we changed it just as we were releasing that album. Also, just as we were moving overseas to the U.K, so it was kind of all bad timing. We went overseas, released the album as Osaka Punch and then while we were in the U.K recorded an EP and then that was done in Liverpool. We released that when we got back from the U.K, so we're not very smart at how to release things. It's like, 'here, have this. See ya later, we're going somewhere else'. (laughs). So this is the first one that we're actually doing right. We recorded it in Brisbane, we're releasing it, we're touring it, we're doing it right. We're finally going to have something to tour properly which is cool." Sound confusing? Welcome to Osaka Punch... "There's a whole bunch of songs that didn't make it onto this album," he continued, "which will make it onto the next one. The ones that made it onto this one... first of all, we wanted it to show the eclectic nature of the band. We wanted to show all of the different facets that we do. Every song has either been written by one different member and then added to by others, or written entirely by all four members which kind of is what gives it that... makes them all sound so different. For example, Too Old For This Shit, I basically wrote that on the computer with the vocals and everything and then for the big band swing jazz section I got a mate of mine from the Jazz Music Institute to arrange the big band section so that song was almost entirely written by myself and Travis Jenkins, who is an absolute jazz genius, and then the boys put their own flair onto it. But other songs like Hekyll & Jive - which is the last track instrumental - we all put our brains in and wrote it completely together. The good thing about different brains behind it is we all listen to different music. I listen to funk and more on the jazz spectrum, the bass player listens to a lot of heavier and instrumental stuff, Chrispy the guitarist listens to literally everything but a lot more metal guitars so it kind of brings it all together into this weird, eclectic mix which is cool. To be honest, I would say the songs that were ready first, were the ones that made it on the album (laughs). I'd like to say there was a lot of thought went into it..." In the full interview, Jack talks more about what to expect from Mixed Ape, the styles that went into it, finding the balance between so many influences, the urban myth surrounding the Mixed Ape, the infamous black dildo that seems to make its way into most film clips and where it currently resides, their upcoming tour and more.
Interview by Kris Peters Australian Industrial metal outfit Our Last Enemy are on the cusp of releasing their latest EP As Within So Without, which will be set free on September 22 after being pushed back from August 18. The EP follows and is the companion piece to 2021s As Above So Below, which was a commercial and critical success. Once more produced by two-time ARIA nominee DW Norton and featuring the legendary John Sankey (Fear Factory, Divine Heresy) on drums, As Within So Without is an introspective 5 track release that perfectly encapsulates the past, present and future of Our Last Enemy. HEAVY caught up with guitarist Wade Norris to find out more, starting with the release delay. "Everything's fine," he assured us. "We just wanted a bit more time in the oven to make sure we get the release right. We've got a few things coming out with it that we're lining up and we thought a few extra weeks won't hurt anything." Which leads us to enquiring about the modern trend of releasing music with release schedules based around release schedules and the like. "The other thing is you've got to try and line up shows around releases," he expanded, "and it's getting harder and harder for bands out there to find available venues. You also don't want to clash with the absolute torrent of international bands that are coming over. The environment we're in with venues closing and venues that can't afford to take a risk on a heavy metal night is wild." In the full interview, Wade talks more about the musicality of As Within So Without, having C.J McMahon from Thy Art Is Murder guest on one of the songs, runs through each of the five tracks individually and explains the meaning behind them, having John Sankey on drums, the pressures and expectation of success, future plans and more.
Interview by Kris Peters For a band who only released their debut EP Global Suicide a couple of years ago, Norwegian metalcore outfit Fixation are making big waves in the current music scene. After recent performances at festivals like Tons of Rock (NO) The Great Escape (UK), Summer Breeze (DE), as well as tour dates with well-established acts like Leprous, Smash Into Pieces and Djerv, Fixation are now ready to unleash their debut full length album on the world, More Subtle Than Death. Their unique blend of electronic elements, stadium rock, and post-metal, combined with their emotionally charged and thought-provoking lyrics creates a rollercoaster of melancholic aggression that leaves audiences wanting more - which shall be provided on September 8 when their demon child is borne unto this Earth. HEAVY caught up with frontman Jonas Hansen to find out more. "I'm both excited and anxious," he revealed. "It's been such a long time coming now. We've been working on it for three years - or we started working on it in 2020 - and having it finally in my hands... it's insane. The fact that we're releasing it next week is crazy. I can't believe it." We ask him to tell us more about what Fixation were striving for musically on the album. "For this album - it's our debut album - we started this band a long time ago, we actually started in High School when we were 15 back in 2011," he offered. "We tried a couple of different things. All the guys have different musical backgrounds of what they listen to and what they play, so I think this album is a combination of everything that we have been listening to throughout the years and also trying to find a middle ground for what the five of us like now and how we want Fixation to sound. I think everyone has brought something from their past to create this sound. I don't think we tried to go for anything particular. We just made music that we felt was something we like. Maybe we have one ballad here or orchestral song there and maybe a more upbeat rock song or heavy music here... so I think the album was a combination of everything we wanted to make without specifically thinking we should make this type of sound or that type of sound. It just happened." In the full interview, Jonas talks more about what to expect from More Subtle Than Death, where the title comes from, the singles released and how they represent the rest of the album, how it differs musically to their debut EP, the opening track and what it means, supporting Devin Townsend and more.
Interview by Kris Peters Brisbane masters of noise New Clear Vision returned for our listening pleasure last year with a fresh line-up and renewed vigor. A mainstay on the music scene for a number of years, New Clear Vision took a break that many hoped would be fleeting, with frontman and all round nice guy Brad Bromfield promising there was more to come. And hasn't he delivered on his promise! When NCV returned to our stages last year expectation was high. This was a band whose live show borders on legendary, with a full nuclear wasteland type visual component offset by ferocious and scathing lyrics delivered with a rap/metal/nu-metal hybrid unlike anything to come out of the Australian music scene in perhaps forever. Now, with Daniel, Brodie and Zac on board, Bromfield has managed to elevate the legend that is NCV even more, delivering pulsating recent performances that has seen the band added to the whole upcoming Nu Metal Mayhem tour which features Anders Colsefni (Slipknot) and Wayland Reavis (Mushroomhead). But, before that, New Clear Vision are set to explode your senses with a crushing new single The New Rage, which will be premiered via HEAVY at midday, August 31. Bromfield sat down with HEAVY to take us further into the world of New Clear Vision. WARNING: PLACE EAR MUFFS ON CHILDREN BEFORE LISTENING "It's been nearly three years," he almost sighed when asked how long it has been since New Clear Vision have released new music. "It's very, very exciting. It's a better product - and that's no disrespect to anyone that's been there before - but we're finding the sound that I wanted 6, 7, 8 years ago." We ask Bromfield to delve deeper into the musical side of The New Rage. "We were supposed to release it when we did the show at Caloundra earlier this year," he explained, "but thank fuck we didn't because we hadn't had it... there's now some samples at the start and some different shit there thast we've never done. I won't say too much about it, but it's hitting those nu-metal vibes that we're all about and always have been. Decisions were made just before we were gonna release it so we had a few things and different ideas. And, again, thank fuck we did because now it's a product of what we represent and what we always should have been." In the full interview, Brad talks more about the musicality of The New Rage, how they have changed the song from it's initial version, releasing it as audio first and why, the planned film clip and what it entails, how The New Rage kicks off a proposed trilogy of sorts, introduces us to the new members and what they bring to NCV, the upcoming run of shows as part of Nu Metal Mayhem, a new album and more.
Interview by Kris Peters Bad Manners are ska/punk royalty. Period. No arguments, no debates, just pure, simple fact. With a track listing including Lip Up Fatty, Special Brew, Walking In The Sunshine, Lorraine, Just A Feeling, My Girl Lollipop, Inner London Violence and of course the ultimate knees up Can Can, Bad Manners peaked back in the late 1970s but their enduring legacy has seen them survive all that Father Time has thrown their way as the band fronted by the legendary Buster Bloodvessel gears up for Australian assault with a Greatest Hits Tour this October. Buster joined HEAVY earlier this week to run us through the life and times and future of Bad Manners. "We are coming to tour your lovely country and eat all your pies," was his initial greeting. Which was followed up by, "I don't really care if I offend anybody, but I'm not really an offensive person. I can be if it's pointed in my direction (laughs)." We move on to the setlist, which, of course, is made up of fan favourites, but we ask Buster if there would be much difference to the songs played if he was to choose his own personal favourites. "Not quite, but not far from it," he measured. "I mean, all the songs we do live are usually my favourites. Songs that make people dance have always worked for me." In the full interview, Buster tells us what we can expect from the shows, what he never leaves home on tour without, the early days of Bad Manners and where they fit in, his early vision for the band and how it has changed since, what he feels was the best time period for the band, making allowances on stage as you get older, some of his personal highlights, changing with the music scene, his top three commandments of punk and more.
Interview by Kris Peters When it comes to drummers they don't come more top shelf than Carmine Appice. After leaving Ozzy Osbourne in the early 1980s, Appice decided he was done with working for other musicians and decided instead to forge his own path, with his own band. That band became King Kobra who burst onto the music scene in 1985 with their debut album Ready To Strike. With a sound that nestled somewhere between heavy metal and glam metal, King Kobra have undergone several line-up changes over the years, as well as taking more than one gestation periods off, but one thing has remained constant throughout. Carmine Appice. Now, with a renewed line-up featuring Quiet Riot guitarist Carlos Cavazo and former Dio member Rowan Robertson, King Kobra are back with their seventh and arguably best album to date titled We Are Warriors. It is a typically hard hitting album from the band and one which Appice promises will be the start of another fresh era of metal from one of the greats. HEAVY sat down with Appice to find out more. "I've always tried to stay within the limits of whatever band's I'm working with," he began. "We Are Warriors started out with me and Paul (Shortino, vocals) and sometimes Rowan and sometimes Carlos putting some ideas down because we all have studios. The whole album was done by everyone in their home studio, because the kind of budgets you get today and everybody lives in different places... it doesn't pay to fly everybody in and get hotels and sit around and write songs and then go into a studio. You might as well throw your money out the window that you're getting. Me and Paul probably made 5c an hour making that album because we spent a lot of time on it. A lot of time writing the songs. But we did it all by the internet. As you can see I have my studio behind me and I engineer my own drums. We did everything that way." In the full interview Carmine goes deeper into the writing and recording process, what he was going for musically with We Are Warriors, what the new members bring to the sound, how much King Kobra's sound has changed from their debut album to this one, working with Ozzy Osbourne and being sacked by Sharon, changing with the times and more.
Interview by Kris Peters Good Things 2023 is only months away, and with a line-up including Fall Out Boy, Limp Bizkit, Corey Taylor, Sepultura and Behemoth it is easy to get lost in the big names and the hype. But there are a plethora of bands that will potentially make up the next generation of music. Bands that might not be on your radar now but if you allow yourself to venture outside of your comfort zone and check them out, could well rise to the top of your personal playlist based on just one listen. One of those bands is Magnolia Park, a band known for their unique blend of hip-hop, hard rock, pop-punk and alt-pop and also one whose star is very much on the rise. Earlier this month the band dropped two EP's simultaneously in MoonEater and SoulEater, each showcasing differing sides to the band's musical psyche. HEAVY caught up with frontman Joshua Roberts to find out more. "It's so exciting," he enthused about Good Things. "Just to see the line-up and be a part of this legendary festival is amazing." We ask Joshua to introduce us to Magnolia Park. "Magnolia Park is a... I like to call us a hybrid pop/punk style of band," he measured, "because we put so much fusion and different cultures and sounds in our music. We are very energetic. Most of our songs are about mental health problems and being broke on a Tuesday (laughs), so it definitely has a little bit of everything and I think that people will like it if they give it a chance." In the full interview Joshua discusses the Good Things line-up, who he is most looking forward to playing with, preparing for your first tour of a new country, what he is expecting, what we should expect from them, the blending of styles in Magnolia Park's music and how they make it work, dropping two EP's at the same time and why, how they each showcase different sides of Magnolia Park, how they differ from last years debut album Baku's Revenge and more.
Interview by Kris Peters South Australian groove metal/hardcore act Suffer The Evenue return with their pulsating new single Sick Crnt this Friday, September 1. The track is lifted from the band's upcoming EP Vol 1 Superdead, which is set to drop on September 15. HEAVY caught up with vocalist Nick and guitarist Dom to find out more, plus we are also privy to an exclusive sneak peek of the song just days out from release... "I recently entered this band about 14 or 15 months ago," Nick explained, "and they came to me with a few skeletons of songs, and this is one of the ones we worked on straight off the bat. We all fell in love with each other in a bro kind of way with this track (laughs)." "It was good to… as we were on the search for a new singer have a couple of songs to just throw out to someone and say 'here, listen to this and see what you can come back with'," Dom added. "But also when we wrote this song it just fell together. We brought in a new singer who grabbed it, and that fell together, and it's just one of our favourite, as a whole." In the full interview the boys talk more about Sick Crnt from a musical point of view, their blending of genres and how it works, the video clip and what it is about, their 4 track EP, a bit more about each song on the EP, covering Primer 55 and why they chose that particular song, future plans and more.
Interview by Kyra-Jade Coombs Magic Dirt released Young and Full of the Devil 25 years ago and has celebrated with a double LP re-release. This era of Magic Dirt is a special time for the band with Raul stepping in as their new guitarist, that would turn into a lifetime of friendship and shows together. HEAVY caught up with frontwoman Adalita to reflect on the past and delve into the future. As well as releasing a wild purple-colored vinyl, they decided to hit the road on a monster tour to play their album in full. If you haven’t had the chance to watch Magic Dirt live, they have this amazing and wild energy that they’ve carried on as a trademark since their early days. “We’re animals. Love playing loud and love the riffs”. I really wanted to reflect and take Adalita back to the ‘golden age’ of Aussie rock/punk music, the 90s and 00s. If anyone has cool stories, it’s got to be these guys, right? We talked about being on the road, the Big Day Out festival days, the Channel [V] era and what it was like to be right in the guts of it all. “So many lost brain cells in and blur of awesomeness”. Living in a time when you could fully immerse yourself in a world without social media certainly had its rewards and perks. “We used to drive around and guess where the venues were. Living life actually and not virtually”. Can’t sit here and say I’m not envious of the lifestyle having grown in the internet world… At one point I asked if Adalita still resonates with Young and Full of the Devil’s lyrics and content and what it’s like to play the songs today. In response, she explains that she understands and knows exactly who that person was and where the emotion and lyrics came from, and it’s amazing to be able to play these songs again and re-live those memories and experience the songs through who she is today with all the life lessons she’s learnt along the way. Which I personally think is a beautiful thing to have. Imagine having a record with all your angst from the 20s as your living diary. I wondered if she had any advice she would give her younger self to which she said she would actually rather receive the advice. A cool thought to have. This weekend Magic Dirt are heading to Byron Bay on their tour for the first time since the 2000s, promising to rip it up and have a hell of a time! You can find the full tour guide on their website, grab some merch and a copy of Young and Full of the Devil for yourself. Do it!!
Interview by Kris Peters Confidence goes a long way in music. Not just in yourselves and your music, but also in terms of your ideas. In a musical climate becoming increasingly saturated new bands often need something special to get people's attention. Put simply just having good music sometimes isn't enough. Emerging Sydney outfit Shu-Nagua have displayed an ability to think outside the box and follow their instinct from the outset, establishing their own musical conceptual universe from which to launch their sonic assault. It is an idea so grandiose it should actually work, and one which has seen the band added to the upcoming Simo's Maiden Voyage music cruise, which sets sail on September 24. Lead singer Lachlan Boon sat down with HEAVY to tell us more. "It sounds like a good time to me," he enthused. "We were lucky enough to be put on the first line-up. I think they are looking at doing a monthly thing, doing heavy music around Sydney Harbour." We ask Boon to tell us a bit more about the band. "Shu-Nagua musically is very diverse," he explained. "It's kind of… the way it's been written… it bends genres a lot. We'll go from something that's very bluesy and jazzy to something that delves more into prog-rock metal and everything in between. That's kind of where we sit. We have some of those heavier elements, but because of the concept we tend to shift the mood and genre to fit in with that overarching narrative. It gives us lots to explore." In the full interview Lachlan talks more about the concept behind the band and music, how they plan to create a continual series of releases based on this concept, translating the story into the live arena, writing to a concept and how that changes things, their live mascot and how he fits in with things, future plans and more.
Interview by Kris Peters In a world obsessed with technology and the quick fix band aid mentality it is refreshing to see bands that still adhere primarily to the old school formulas. When an album cycle meant getting out on the road and taking your music far and wide, engaging with old fans and connecting with new. The simplistic approach made possible in the modern age can often lessen the appeal and/or viability of such public displays of affection but I, for one, still love that vibe put off by a band who just wants to get down and dirty with their fans. Brisbane rock machine Gutterfire! have been touring relentlessly since the release of their debut album Chill some two years ago, traversing the East Coast of this great land on countless occasions and often more or less forcing people to give their music a listen. Not that that is such a bad thing because Gutterfire! are damn fine at what they do. With only a handful of shows left before the band settles in to complete their hotly anticipated follow up effort, Gutterfire! guitarist Az Stonely and frontman Photon Jon sat down with HEAVY to discuss their final few shows of the album cycle and what they have planned next. We start off by talking about their upcoming gig as part of Rock Beats Depression at the Mansfield Tavern on September 16. "We've done it every year since very early on," Jon offered. "We love Caity, the organiser, and it's for a good cause. Everyone who plays the show really gets behind it for that reason." We ask what Gutterfire! get personally out of playing shows such as this. "Personally, I'm autistic and ADHD," Jon revealed. "So it's close to my heart and I work in that field as well. Mental health in general... it's really cool how since I was a kid I've seen the conversation change and become more open. I remember when I was a kid people were questioning whether or not depression even existed, so seeing a nice big festival like that and raising money towards awareness is pretty awesome. Very different from when I was a kid." In the full interview, Az and Jon discuss the importance of festivals supporting depression and mental health issues, the fact these things can affect anyone, any time, the other bands on the line-up and who they are looking forward to playing with, next weekend's shows with Cairns outfit Forest, the High Kicks Forever Cancer Research Fundraiser they are playing on September 30, supporting charities, how it feels to be nearly finished a long and successful tour, new material and what direction it is heading and more.
The Campaign For Musical Destruction tour title could not be more fitting for Napalm Death considering their perfect adaption of visuals and sonic chaos to everything that they create and stanbd for! For forty years Shane, Barney, Danny and John have done little else than ensure that we are willingly and graciously sonically accousted by being in the presence of Napalm Death; whether that be via our stereos or witnessing their entertaining and exhaustive live shows. The imminent return of Napalm with special guests Wormrot is about to hit Australian and New Zealand shors in a few shorts weeks, so frontman Barney thankfully gave us here at the HEAVY offices a few moments of his time to discuss all thing extreme including how aging has affected and changed his approached to writing and performing, plus he graciously spent his time with Metal V talking about somes of his favorite songs in Napalm's extensive back catalogue and why he chose them for us. Make sure you listen to the full podcast for another insight into the mind of one of extreme music's most poignant, prolific and humble legends.
Interview by Kris Peters Asking Alexandria have always traversed the sonic tightrope between rock and metal, refusing to be stereotyped or labelled in the process. Over the course of seven previous albums the band has had moments of pure aggression offset by lashings of beauty, creating their own musical boundaries with a contempt for convention rarely sustained by bands with a global fanbase. Frontman Danny Worsnop has been behind many of the sonic disparities released by Asking Alexandria, his voice capable of shredding with the best of them but also becoming a source of emotional and sorrow at will. They are a band who are divisive in some quarters but have only ever proclaimed to be serving themselves as master with others more than welcome to board or alight the train at any time. With Asking Alexandria's eighth album, the ominously titled Where Do We Go From Here? due out on August 25 it seems the band have taken personal stock of their career to date and committed to disk a collection of songs that serve as a culmination of their career to date. HEAVY caught up with Worsnop as he sat in the tattoo chair recently to talk more about the album. "It always sounds bad to say, and I don't mean it in a bad way, but I don't care about releases," he answered when asked if nerves were still a factor before an album drop. "This has been our album for the last year and as of three days from now it's not our album any more. It's everyone elses album. A lot of people look at the release date as the start of the album, but for me it's the end. Come Friday, that's when I get to start the next one." Where Do We Go From Here? is being promoted as a culmination of Asking Alexandria's historical body of work, so we ask Worsnop how much of a tightly wrapped package it is. "We very much didn't want to try anything new," he offered. "We didn't want to re-invent the wheel. We didn't want it to be anything exploring or adventurous. It was supposed to be a look back on the last 15 years and a snapshot of everything thus far, sonically touching on everything we've done prior to thematically going back to subjects that have resonated with people from those albums. Instead of it being a personal record for us it's definitely for them." The title Where Do We Go From Here? could serve as both a statement or a question, but Worsnop argues the way it was written was slanted more towards the latter. "It's a question, and one I ask myself a lot," he answered. "And one I think everyone should be asking themself all the time. I'm very goal motivated and orientated, so in my life that's the question I ask the most because regardless of the success or failure or win or loss that's the first question because you've gotta figure out what the next step is. When things are bad that's the only question we can really ask ourselves." In the full interview, Danny talks more about the subject matter on Where Do We Go From Here?, how it encapsulates the last 15 years of Asking Alexandria's life, closing certain chapters of music, the one minute banger Kill It With Fire and its surprising origin, the title and closing track and how it ties in with the album theme, his personal line of tequila and more.
Interview by Kris Peters Aussie rock and metal is currently in good hands. With a healthy swathe of older, established bands still doing the circuit and pumping out albums and an ever growing assortment of new and up and coming bands feeding off their wisdom it is fair to say the future of Australian music has never looked or sounded as good. So much so that few bands stand out and demand attention, many falling victim to the wealth of music saturating the market in ever increasing volumes. But there are a couple of bands that manage to stay elevated in the public spotlight, be it through hard work, touring or quality of material - or, more often, all three. One such band is Melbourne's Triple Kill whose high energy music and live shows have seen them maintain a steady upward trajectory that should peak even further with the impending release of their latest album Blackened Dawn. Another banger full of meaty guitars and driving force, Blackened Dawn gives you a ringside seat at the next phase of Triple Kill's musical journey and peels back yet more layers of their sonic landscape. Drummer Connor O'Keane and bass player Ethan White joined HEAVY to take us inside the album. "Excited is an understatement, for sure," O'Keane quipped when asked how they were feeling on the eve of the August 25 release. "Also exhausted and we're not even touring yet (laughs). The amount of work we've put in behind the scenes to get this out is a lot, especially in the last month. I think we've put out three music videos in the last month while also practicing and getting ready for tour." We ask the boys to explain Blackened Dawn from a musical point of view. "We wanted to advance our own skills," White measured, "so having that thing that kept us all locked inside for a couple of years really allowed us to take a moment to practice what we've got and develop some new skills. Or try some more challenging things that we hadn't touched on before in the way of writing something. This album is definitely from a musical standpoint something that we have advanced on. It's something new for us and something a bit more challenging in the way of our writing. Then the themes are just things that we love." "I think we've certainly tried to have this album be a step up for us musically in each of our own departments," O'Keane added, "while also looking back at the stuff that we really like about the first album and the stuff that we think has stood the test of time and expand upon those and hone in on the stuff that we feel worked the most in the first album." In the full interview, the boys talk more about what to expect from Blackened Dawn, how the world situation at the time of writing influenced the end result, the surprise opening track and the idea behind it, their upcoming shows with Orpheus Omega and what to expect, what's next for Triple Kill and more.
Interview by Kris Peters Night At The Barracks returns to Manly's picturesque North Head this September for a series of outdoor concert events starting on September 15 and finishing on October 8. The showcase event kicks off with legendary Australian act Hoodoo Gurus, with celebrated artists such as Missy Higgins, Kate Cebrano, James Morrison Motown Experience and Tina Arena among the featured artists. But it is September 29 where we draw our focus today, and the musical extravaganza that is The Rolling Stones Revue. Fronted by Magic Dirt's Adalita, Tex Perkins and Tim Rogers (You Am I, Hard-Ons), The Rolling Stones Revue has been drawing rave reviews around the country with their unique slant on the music that shaped a generating as performed by Australian artists. For this special occasion, The Rolling Stones Revue will also be paying homage to the classic Stones album Sticky Fingers, as well as delivering fan favourites and greatest hits. Adalita joined us earlier this week to chat about Night At The Barracks. "I can't wait," she enthused. "I've not played Night At The Barracks before and it sounds like a really great event. I love playing outdoor gigs and it just sounds beautiful. Manly is great, I played there back in the day but it's been a while." We turn our focus to The Rolling Stones Review and what to expect. "It's a group of us - Tex Perkins, Tim Rogers and myself in this particular revue," Adalita explained. "We have had Phil Jamieson in the past and Sarah McLeod as well, but for this particular one it will be myself, Tex and Tim. We just get together and bang out some Stones classics. There's a lot of Sticky Fingers songs and alot of classics as well. It's just so much fun to do. I've always loved the Stones and playing besides Tex and Tim is just a joy. They're amazing. We have such a great time and the band is incredible. It's unexpected that I would do something like that, but I like going out of my comfort zone." In the full interview Adalita talks about how they rehearse for the show, how faithfully they keep to the original versions, choosing who performs which songs, who channels their inner Mick Jagger best, playing a classic album front to back and potential difficulties that could pose, the state of the art visual component to the show, future plans and more.
Interview by Kris Peters Certain bands in history are untouchable, with every genre having a stoic pecking order. When it comes to death metal bands such as Morbid Angel, Obituary, Death, Cannibal Corpse and Atheist sit atop the proverbial tree, unflinching in their resolve and unyielding in their unrelenting pursuit of metal supremacy. Certain names stand out above others as well. Names such as John Tardy (Obituary), Cronos (Venom), Chuck Schuldiner (Death) and Glen Benton (Deicide), but perhaps above all others is Kelly Shaefer, pioneering and revered vocalist of Atheist and unofficial revolutionary and spiritual leader of death and extreme metal. After a period of inactivity, Shaefer returns to the metal realm, this time fronting an entirely new outfit Till The Dirt that threatens once more to derail the very fabric of sonic intensity. Despite being a main cog in the death metal machine, Shaefer has allowed himself to further develop musically, harnessing the elements that drove the early parts of his career but combining them with a myriad of outside influences that would once have been considered taboo. By blending elements of grunge, black metal, jazz, rock, dark wave, and even a dash of classic pop to his musical furnace, Shaefer has thrown expectations and convention to the wind in his search for sonic clarity, which has manifested itself into Till The Dirt's debut album Outside The Spiral which will be released via Nuclear Blast Records on August 25. Shaefer sat down with HEAVY earlier this week to tell us more. "I think I'm anxious more than nervous," he admitted. "I've been around long enough now to... even as long as I've been around I still feel that anxiousness; that excitement. It's been 13 years since I've done a new record - 2010 I did Jupiter with Atheist - and I feel very fortunate and lucky to have tripped upon this prolific period of song writing that happened, because I never intended on having a new band or new music at all. It just naturally came out of thin air, so here I am back in an album cycle again and it's fun. It's exciting, it's different, but it's a lot like sending your kids to school. You hope all the other kids like your kid, and you hope the teachers nice to them, you know what I mean (laughs). So there's those nervous feelings, but I'm super proud of it and I can't wait for people to hear it. I've been sitting on it for two and a half years (laughs)." We ask Shaefer to take us deeper into the music side of Outside The Spiral. "It's fusing all of the things that I love," he smiled. "I've had dual careers. I've had a career with Neurotica and a career with Atheist and both bands did well in terms of making a mark in their own right. Neurotica was much more singing, there was more clean vocals. It was heavy rock/metal with Atheist being obviously crazy, technical metal so I've never had an outlet like this where I was able to combine the two and really pay homage to all my 90s grunge influences, my stoner rock, desert rock Kyuss and Atomic Bitch Wax, all that kind of stuff that I really like. Black Sabbath and 70s thick, groovy shit along with blast beats and chaotic screams and harmony vocals. It's a plethora of shit that really just came out of isolation from COVID and frustration and anger and unknowingness. It came from a really natural place, where art should come from. It should come from a place of not just happiness." In the full interview, Kelly talks more on what to expect from Outside The Spiral, how the album came together, putting yourself in different head spaces to bring out different sides of your musical psyche, the different styles inherent in Till The Dirt and how they come together, personal limitations if any, enticing Scott Burns out of self-imposed exile to produce the album, what effect he had on the finished product, future plans and more.
Interview by Kris Peters Post punk/goth outfit She Wants Revenge hit pay dirt with their first ever single Tear You Apart back in 2005, a song that somehow made it to the ears of Lady Gaga, who in turn insisted producers of a TV show she was working on called American Horror Story: Hotel included the track in its soundtrack. This early leg up introduced She Wants Revenge to an instant global market and served them well over their debut self-titled album and follow ups This Is Forever and Valleyheart before disbanding in 2012. 2022 saw the band reunite and start producing music again, with their ensuing success setting She Wants Revenge down a touring path that sees the band finally travel to Australia for the first time this October. HEAVY caught up with guitarist Justin Warfield to delve deeper. "Dude, it's like... it is a running joke amongst the band, and I'm sure any Aussie fans by now, that if we were to have announced these shows no-one would believe it anyway," he laughed. "Every time we do it gets cancelled. So, Thomas Froggatt - who is the bass player in She Wants Revenge and started in the original line-up as guitar player - he is from Byron Bay and Melbourne and he grew up between the two, so when I told him the dates we were coming he said 'yeah, yeah right, I'll believe it when I see it (laughs). And, so, it's really exciting. It sucks to dealing stereotypes but I just have to be honest. Whenever I can go to a place where the culture has inspired me or us as a band and as individuals, it's exciting. It's a place where there's so much great history and so much great music and so much culture and for me as a lifelong surfer to get to the Gold Coast is unbelievable. I grew up watching... I'm a bit of a nerd when it comes to surfing and some of my absolute heroes of the sport are from there and I've been looking at photos and videos forever. So the idea that not only do I get to go and play shows for audiences that probably thought we would never come - plus we're a band that has broken up twice before - so for the people that have been with us the whole time and grown old with us and are like 'oh wow, they're really coming', or for the new people who have discovered us from a soundcheck or Pandora or Spotify or a playlist... the fact that they get to experience us and what we do live and we get to share three nights of music with our fans old and new... we get to see the culture and the cities that are so exciting to us and the fact that I just get to surf... It's going to be outrageous." In the full interview, Justin talks more about what to expect from the tour, preparing for a run of shows so far from home, what they are expecting from us, their breakthrough single and being noticed by Lady Gaga, what that meant for the band's career, the chances of a new album and more.
Interview by Kris Peters Ever since leaving Nine Inch Nails to form Filter back in 1993, the name Richard Patrick has been synonymous with industrial tinged rock. With their debut album Short Bus spawning the hugely successful single Hey Man Nice Shot, Filter's trajectory started on the up and has only soared higher over the ensuing years. Despite having to overcome potentially crippling personal problems along the way, Patrick has managed to constantly maintain the rage musically. He flirted briefly playing alongside Dean and Robert DeLeo of Stone Temple Pilots and Ray Luzier of Korn in the project Army Of Anyone, but after a triumphant return to Filter with 2008s Anthem For The Damned Patrick rekindled his love affair with music and the band that gave him life. After a seven year wait, Filter is set to return once more with The Algorithm on August 25, bringing Filter into the modern music era while still endorsing the band's signature sound. HEAVY caught up with Patrick to find out more. "I am really psyched," he enthused of The Algorithm. "I think it's definitely a great body of work and I'm excited. It reminds me of the old days, like Title Of Record, that era, and I'm super pumped and can't wait to hear the reaction from the fans." We ask him to dive deeper into the album musically. "Well, I love working with new artists when working on Filter records," he began. "I love working with Sam Tinnezs and Zack Munowitz and my bandmates Johnny Radtke, Elias Mallin and Bobby Miller, and it's... it was really fun because I wanted to make something that was really agro and crazy, but something that also had hooks. Something that you could walk away with and hum to yourself, and I think we did that." In the full interview, Patrick talks more about what to expect on The Algorithm, the singles released and how they represent the album, the album title and where it comes from, developing the album musically, his guest artists and what they brought to the table, the early days of Filter, how his vision for the band has changed over the years, their 30th anniversary and reflecting on his achievements, his upcoming tour with Rob Zombie, Alice Cooper and Ministry and more.
Interview by Kris Peters You certainly can't accuse Melbourne rock/metal hybrid Ne Obliviscaris from doing things in shades. After four long years - their last Australian tour was in 2019 - Ne Obliviscaris has announced a run of four dates this September, bringing with them an international assortment of fellow metallers in The Ocean Collective and Rivers Of Nihil. The last time Rivers Of Nihil were out here was actually on that tour, when they made their debut Down Under and left a trail of sonic devastation in their wake. Despite the Exul tour, named after Ne Obliviscaris' recent album, being a homecoming of sorts for the hometown heroes, many punters are just as excited to see the return of Rivers Of Nihil - who are armed with their own new album The Work - with bassist/backing vocalist Adam Biggs joining HEAVY to discuss things more. "It is how it is," he shrugged when asked if the run of four shows in five days would be draining. "We always just keep track of things and do the shows... it's the job (smiles). It will be an awesome five days I'm sure." We ask if he thinks Ne Obliviscaris will be hitting the stage with a point to prove after so long away. "Hopefully," he laughed. "Hopefully they come out with some motivation and some will to kick some ass. I'm sure we will as well. It's been a little while for us too. I wanna see everybody really motivated on these shows to give the crowd the best of the best they can." In the full interview we discuss Rivers Of Nihil's first trip to Australia with Ne Obliviscaris and what they were like to tour with, playing with The Ocean Collective and what they are expecting, what to expect from Rivers Of Nihil live, the diversity of bands on the line-up and how important that is, their new album The Work and how much of that we are likely to be hearing, their most recent single The Sub Orbital Blues and if that is a stand alone single or part of the next album cycle, what's next for Rivers Of Nihil and more.
Interview by Kris Peters Thirty years in any industry is a massive achievement, but when your chosen field of operations is music then those thirty years can often seem like plenty more. It's a commonly held belief for those outside of the industry - but an overwhelming fact for those in it - that only the randomly selected few can ever hope to realise their personal dreams or lofty ambitions that accompany a sudden and meteoric rise up the ladder of the arts. Most are in it for the love and social experiences provided by a career in music, comfortable with the reality that their passion and commitment will not be felt and/or appreciated by those not in the immediiate inner circle. And that's just from a performers position. There are other areas of the music industry that are far less glamorous and infinitely more demanding. Areas where you have to deal not only with fellow musicians or artists, but also those on the other side of the musical fence such as promotors and business interests. These people are the unsung heroes of the industry, often caught between a rock and a hard place playing the intermediary between two highly probably warring parties. So when you hear that someone on this side of the musical playground is on the cusp of celebrating the triple decade milestone you should nod silently in appreciation and acknowledgment for having the mental fortitude, patience and stamina to survive where countless others have failed. Sydney based label Battlegod Productions, founded in 1984 by Peter Kotevski, is officially the longest running heavy metal label in Australia. Built from the ground up by Kotevski - who still holds the reins today - Battlegod Productions boasts musicians such as Tony Martin (former Black Sabbath vocalist), Tony Mills (ex-Shy/TNT vocalist) and Ralf Scheepers (Primal Fear vocalist) as part of their worldwide roster but it is a sustained commitment to nurturing those in his own back yard that has seen Kotevski endure the many tribulations that inevitably arise in a prolonged tenure in the music industry. HEAVY sat down for a chat with Ktevski recently to find out more about Battlegod Productions and their servitude to the Australian music community. "I sign up bands internationally, worldwide," he replied when asked to detail his role within Battlegod Productions. "I do a lot of promo and distribution and marketing on a local and international scale. I deal with people like Rockhard magazine and a few others around Europe as well. I've been doing it for many years now. It's had its moments and ups and downs, but it's cool." With many bands not understanding or possibly not even caring about spending their time building their brand before rushing into things, we ask Peter what are some of the basics an emerging band needs to understand before approaching a label. "I like a band to be pretty much on the ball," he said. "When I set up interviews for them I expect them to be done by a certain date. I like bands to have good production when they offer me something. If it's someone that's well known or a known artist or band I accept hearing their demo material to get an idea of what their stuff is like. I like a band to be reliable at the same time, and not just for business. I like to get to know my bands on a personal level as well. That's what I have done with all my bands. They have all become friends along the way which is pretty cool. They say never mix business with pleasure but I do it all the time and it seems to work fine for me." In the full interview, Peter talks more about services provided by Battlegod Productions, steps you need to take to progress in the world of music, working with Tony Martin, how he plans to celebrate Battlegod's 30th birthday next year, his early vision for Battlegod and how it has changed since, evolving with the ever changing musical landscape, convert events and more.
Interview by Kris Peters Remember when rock music was pure and real? Before the advent of technology and seemingly magical remedies to remove natural deficiencies in the studio using an invisible golden paintbrush to mask the truth, there was a time where what you recorded stayed recorded, warts and all. While there is no questioning it has helped musicians the world over create and achieve their own perfect sound you still can't help but feel - even in only a small way - a little bit cheated, especially when it comes to the live arena. Sydney rock outfit Dirt City subscribe to this ancient mythology of keeping it real and have today released their debut self titled album to prove it. HEAVY spoke with guitarist Ishan on the eve of release day to find out more. "This EP has been around for a little while now," he began. "Since pre COVID, and even a couple of years before then, we started writing the riffs and getting all the vocals down so we've been sitting on it for ages and wondering what everyone is going to think of it and how we're going to release it. We've lived with these songs for a long time now so we are excited to just get it out there and excited to play soon and really get things happening." In the full interview, Ishan talks more about what to expect from the EP, the two singles released and why the band chose them to introduce their music to the world, what sorts of things they discussed as a band going into their debut release, pushing musical boundaries, the use of Middle Eastern mysticism and where it comes from, touring plans and more.
Interview by Kris Peters One enduring quality possessed by the vast majority of Australians is an untenable bond that ties us together and stays through thick, thin or indifferent. Be it the sporting arena or the social or even the blue collar working mentality there is no denying that if one person can have a good time doing something, then five could have infinitely more. It's sort of a pack mentality that sees us put everything on the line for our mates and epitomises, to me anyway, what being an Aussie is all about. Which is why it shocked no-one earlier this year when Melbourne punk legends Bodyjar and Perth rock machine Gyroscope announced they were embarking on a trek around the country together under the guise of a "tour". But just in case there was anyone who dare doubt their motives, both bands conveniently have album anniversary landmarks to potentially celebrate so whether they like it or not the tour side of the party became official. Not that you would imagine the fun side of things was, is or will ever be in any danger. With Gyroscope celebrating the 15th birthday of their album Breed Obsession and Bodyjar going ten better with their album No Touch Red the stage for a travelling punk/rock extravaganza was well and truly set. Luckily for both bands they also rate highly on the live performance radar so what could go wrong? What indeed... To find out just how much of a tour this will be and how much of a social gathering it already is, HEAVY cornered Bodyjar frontman Cam Baines earlier this week and gave him the chance to set the record straight and what better way to cut straight to the chase than ask if he has already packed and readied himself for the road. "Not yet," he smiled. "I normally do my packing the morning that we go, which really freaks out my wife. We're all jammed up; we've been practicing, we've run through the old songs and made sure we've got a few surprises for the crowds. Some of the Melbourne shows will see some ex members and stuff get up and do a few songs, so I feel mentally prepared, musically prepared and I think we're raring to go. We've planning this for a while and a lot of the shows are sold out and everything so we are hoping for a banger!" Being an anniversary party it only seems fitting that No Touch Red will get the lions share of attention, which is affirmed by Baines. "Yeah, we'll be doing that in full, start to finish," he nodded, "and then we'll just do whatever people wanna hear. The popular songs people wanna hear like Not The Same, One In A Million, Surrender... whatever people yell out we will play it." In the full interview Cam talks about having to play an older album in full, especially when at the time it wasn't even considered to be a complete live package, his memories of when the album came out in 1998 and how it impacted Bodyjar's career, recording it in Canada and why, some cool recording stories and how that particular album was almost doomed before being started, his thoughts of the album back then and if he saw anything special or enduring in it, touring with Gyroscope and why they are a good fit, writing new music and more.