Coming Soon: Interview With Kadavar, Stratovarius, Audiotopsy, Children Of Bodom and much more
Coming Soon: Reviews Of Amorphis, Soilwork, Soulfly, Children Of Bodom, Kadavar and much more
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Tuesday, August 4, 2015

INTERVIEW: BLOODSTOCK OPEN AIR Founder Paul Gregory On Metalheads - "We're Just One Big Family"

We are just days away from Bloodstock Open Air, 2015. The lineup is amazing and I am sure fans are eagerly waiting for the gates to open. Metal Wani's Vaishali Jain had a chat with Bloodstock co-founding member & one of the best graphical artist who has illustrated many big metal album sleeves Paul Gregory. Check out the Interview below and get ready for BOA 2015 \m/

Greetings from Metal Wani, Paul! First off our entire team would like to congratulate you over the 10 magnificent years of Bloodstock Open Air that have gone by. The festival is in its run for the eleventh time this August. How are you feeling about it?

Greetings to you too and thank you for your kind words. Looking back at the festival's growth and the learning curve that goes with it, it is worthy of a book. The festival has a great team of people, something all endeavors of this nature need to succeed. As to how I feel, I'm humbled by the efforts of everyone involved.

The festivals has continued to grow bigger and heavier over the years and was recently listed in the Top 100 Music Festivals In Europe. When you first started this venture, did you know the festival would grow up to be what it is now?

We very much hoped it would be the beast it is today! Bloodstock has grown organically, which I believe is the best way. What makes the festival what it is, is the fact that the bands, the fans and the organisers are all metalheads. 

With more than 100 bands performing over 4 days on 4 different stages, and with less than a month left for metalheads from around the world to start setting up camps, the staff and crew must be weighed down with work. How do you manage to keep the supply of energy running within the team?

Working as a team is the only way forward and the team has grown exponentially over the last few years. We don't need energy boosting, but if there is one, it's Bloodstock itself.

You have been painting and exhibiting for a better part of your life. How rewarding has exhibiting at your very own Rock and Metal gallery at Bloodstock 2014 proven to you?

Like most creative ideas there's a risk involved, but that's why I do it. I had my own successful gallery in the 80's and given the body of work I'd kept, including album covers and Bloodstock, it seemed an obvious to bring my worlds of art and music together. As to your question given the feedback after the festival, VERY.

The album art on the new Battalion album titled "Generation Movement" looks absolutely amazing! Can you tell us what inspired the piece?

This was my the third album for the band and according to them, the best. The first cover was taken from an album that Saxon were going to have but decided on a different approach, so Battalion asked if they could use the artwork for their album, Underdogs. The character in the albums to follow, would be similar, giving the image an identity. With Generation Movement, I believe their comments and ideas made for a better cover, which in the end is what I try to achieve.

Do you often reflect on the excerpts from the works of JRR Tolkien while painting? If so, how do you think retrospection helps give structure to a piece? 

I always refer to the books when creating a Tolkien related work. I've never seen the films and my first canvas was completed in 1978. For me, deciding to create paintings on this scale with a theme was to see how my work developed over the years. As to looking back, it's something I rarely do. 

Being a painter myself, I have felt that keeping the brush down is more difficult that making the first stroke. How do you know when a work is finished?

A difficult question when relating to fantasy, given the lack of reference. If you're painting from life, you will know.

What is your most important artist tool? Is there something you can’t live without in your studio?

Music and a cup of tea.

Do you also listen to music while you are in your studio? What genres/artists dominate your art-time playlists?

As said, I do listen to music and appreciate many genres given my age. Blues was my first love and it's great to see the likes of Joe Bonamassa revitalizing the genre. As to others, the list goes on and on. It depends on the mood. As you know artists also need inspiration and music for me is the best.

Since you have been painting for so long, you must have developed a few favourites. Which one of your works so far are you most proud of and why?

I don't think in those terms, I think this came about many years ago when I held an exhibition of the late great Terrance Cuneo. I asked him which was his favorite painting, his reply "The next one".

There will be a group of metalheads attending Bloodstock Festival this year for the eleventh time in a row. What have you got to say about the consistency in fan-appreciation? 

This is what makes the festival so great, seeing many of the same faces year on year. We're just one big family. 

What advice would you give to emerging artists and musicians of this generation?

If you mean it, DO IT.

Thank you so much for taking out time to talk to us. We wish you guys all the best with your future endeavours with Bloodstock Open Air!

Thank you and it's my pleasure.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

NEWS: NEAL SCHON: 'The Door Has Always Been Open' For STEVE PERRY To Sing With JOURNEY Again

JOURNEY guitarist Neal Schon has not ruled out a reunion with Steve Perry, saying that the band would happily share the stage with its former lead singer.

"The door has always been open, like I've said a zillion times," Schon told ABC News Radio. "People ask me every day, 'Are you reuniting?' Steve says, 'No,' and I say, 'You never know.'"

Even if JOURNEY does end up working with Perry again, Schon says that the collaboration would not affect the band's current singer, Arnel Pineda. "[We] are always like, 'You ever want to come on and just sing a portion of one song, sing a part of a song with Arnel or sing the whole set, you're welcome anytime you want to come,'" Schon said. "[Arnel is] not threatened. Nobody's on any ego trip. We don't have any bad feelings."

Schon did admit, however, that he doesn't have much communication with Perry anymore. "I mean, he won't allow me to speak to him directly on the phone, and I write to him all the time and just say, 'Hey, what's up? I hope you're doing well,' and that's it, you know?" he said. "And sometimes he writes back and sometimes he doesn't."

The guitarist told ABC News Radio that he looks back fondly on what JOURNEY accomplished while Perry was in the band. "All's we did was create timeless music," he said. "And so for that I'm very grateful. And I'm sure he is too. He said that he is. But, you know, we're grown men and so it's time to take the chips off the shoulder and to grow up and let the kids be kids."

Schon added that he was surprised to see Perry make a series of appearances on stage with alternative rockers EELS last year and expressed hope that Perry would play more shows in the future.

"I was just happy to see him get out there," he laughed. "I thought it was quite ironic the places that he chose to do it. But, you know, I was glad to see him sing and hope that he would do more, actually."

INTERVIEW: HATE ETERNAL's Erik Rutan On "Infernus", New Drummer, MORBID ANGEL New Line-up & Death Metal

HATE ETERNAL is the brainchild of extreme metal luminary Erik Rutan, who created a charging death metal juggernaut. In the United States this style has been virtually synonymous with Florida and especially the Tampa Bay Area for a long time. More aggressive and technically complex than its Swedish counterpart, Floridian death metal grew out of thrash during the mid-1980's and was founded by such as the legendary DEATH, OBITUARY, and MORBID ANGEL. While many of its early protagonists went on experimental paths, HATE ETERNAL remains true to the original formula, while continuously pushing the boundaries of this extreme style. Founded in St. Petersburg, Florida in the year 1997, the band faithfully keeps the death metal spirit alive as their long-awaited sixth studio album 'Infernus' now uncompromisingly demonstrates. HATE ETERNAL's first new full-length in four years doubles down on their patented, high-velocity assault of dizzying ferocity combined with wide-range dynamics, outstanding songwriting and skull-crushing brutality. HATE ETERNAL delivers extreme music at the highest level. There can be no doubt that 'Infernus' will be regarded by many as the best death metal record of 2015!

Gearing up for the release, Metal Wani's Editor In Chief Owais 'Vitek' Nabi had a chat with Legendary Erik Rutan. He discusses new album "Infernus", songwriting, Chason Westmoreland powerful drumming, update on his hand injury, playing with Morbid Angel, his opinion on new Morbid Angel Line-up & new album, his journey as a Death metal producer, possible collaboration with Morbid Angel on new album & much more.

Stream The Entire Interview Below:

NEWS: FRANKIE BANALI Says QUIET RIOT Documentary Has Elevated Interest In The Band

Following the critical success of "Quiet Riot: Well Now You're Here There's No Way Back", the feature documentary on the seminal heavy metal band QUIET RIOT, drummer Frankie Banali is enjoying a new found appreciation both for his contributions to music and devotion to keeping the memory of his friend and former frontman Kevin DuBrow alive.

Banali sat down with Steve Lacy, the 10 o' clock anchor at Fox 5 in New York City, for a wide-ranging discussion about his rock 'n' roll roots, drinking all night with Alex Van Halen before the US Festival and Kevin Dubrow's brother, famous plastic surgeon and reality TV star Dr. Terry Dubrow.

When asked about the current state of music and singing competition series like "American Idol", Banali summed it up about as well as you can, saying: "Being in a band should be something that's organic; it should not be something that's corporate or, you know, you put it in a microwave and it's done in 30 seconds. You've gotta bake it for a number of years.

"I'm really grateful that, living in New York, and then I was living in Chicago for a while, when you were in a bar band, you did four, five and six sets a night of cover songs, so you had to learn a huge variety of music by a huge variety of artists and styles," he continued. "That's a lost art. Nobody does that anymore. They wake up on Monday, they decide that this is the kind of music that they like and this is the kind of music they're gonna do, and by Friday, it's on 'American Idol', sink or swim."

Banali added: "You've gotta do the time. Look at it this way: a surgeon doesn't become a surgeon in one year. Any professional does not become at the top of their game in one year. It takes time."

Frankie also spoke about how the advent of the Internet and cell phones has changed the touring lifestyle. He said: "It keeps you honest in that you can do a performance… I mean, I can tell you that we've done a show and when I go back to the hotel room, I've got an alert on my e-mail, and it's already on YouTube. So it keeps you on your toes." He added that things were much different in the 1980s when a touring band was "like pirates. It was, like, the tour bus was the ship and we'd roll into town, and it was 'rape and pillage,' and it was great," he said. "And you got away with a lot — because nobody could track you down; there were no cell phones, [there were] early versions of fax. Now you get on a tour bus and you've got satellite TV and you have your cell phones and you can go online and all that. Back then, you had the bar; that was it. You had nothing else."

Speaking about the success of "Quiet Riot: Well Now You're Here There's No Way Back", Banali said: "I didn't know it at the time when director/producer Regina Russell came to me with the idea, after we had a conversation on the subject of QUIET RIOT, and she thought it might be a good idea to do a documentary. And at the time I had no idea, first of all, how it was possible and how it was gonna turn out, but I had no idea that what it has done is that, on one level, it's elevated the band interest, or the interest in the band. But, on a much greater level, what it's done is it's shown the fans of QUIET RIOT and people that weren't fans of QUIET RIOT and weren't aware of the band, what it really is like to be in a band. It's not as glamorous… It can be, for that two hours on stage, but it's not as glamorous as a lot of people think. It's a lot of work, and a lot of the problems that so many people have in life, just in regular jobs, you can see that we have within this thing called being in a band. And it's really, really helped the perception of the band. So there's a much greater interest in the band ever since the documentary came out."

NEWS: CHRIS BRODERICK On His Decision To Leave MEGADETH: 'I Was Constantly Weighing The Positives Against The Negatives'

Former MEGADETH guitarist Chris Broderick spoke to Guitar World magazine about his decision to leave the band last fall, explaining that he "was constantly weighing the positives against the negatives" during his tenure with the Dave Mustaine-led group.

Only hours after drummer Shawn Drover announced his exit from MEGADETH on November 25, 2014 to "to pursue [his] own musical interests," Broderick revealed he also quit the legendary metal band, saying that he was leaving the group "due to artistic and musical differences."

Asked if there was a dress code in MEGADETH, Broderick told Guitar World: "There definitely was a dress code that he wanted to maintain for a MEGADETH look. For me, with everything in this camp, I saw very early on that Dave [Mustaine] is the owner of the company and he is the one that has the right to say how the company is presented and how it should look. The only time we had any issues was when I didn't know a specific thing about how he wanted my appearance to be, and then I would find out as we went along. I saw it very early on as a job requirement and I felt that if the job is worth it to me then I would make those changes."

Regarding whether he had considered leaving the band in the past, Broderick said: "I was constantly weighing the positives against the negatives. I likened it to a lawyer that's working for a firm and finally wants to break out and start his own firm or a chef that wants to open up his own restaurant. You have to deal with the corporate mannerisms from the company you're working for. And once it gets to a point where you feel like you would be happier on your own, that's when you finally to cut the cord. I had been thinking about what to do for a long time, but up until I decided to leave, I always felt the positives outweighed the negatives."

Asked when that balance tipped, Broderick responded: "Not until the last quarter of 2014. I was dwelling on my lack of musical creativity in the band. Dave was getting ready to go in and do another CD and my heart just wasn't in it because I knew I wasn't going to have any artistic say in the definition of the album and the music. He was calling, saying, 'Hey, I want to get you guys down there.' The last thing I wanted to do was go down there and work on a partial CD and then say, 'Hey, this isn't for me.' It was just the right time to leave."

NEWS: SLAYER's TOM ARAYA 'Was Apprehensive' About How 'Repentless' Album 'Was Going To Come Together'

In a brand new interview with Noisey, SLAYER bassist/vocalist Tom Araya spoke about the songwriting process for the band's new album, "Repentless", without the contributions of SLAYER's co-founding guitarist Jeff Hanneman, who died in 2013.

"We started this process, like, four years ago [before Jeff died]. It's been a long time coming. We started with the idea that we needed to do an album — well, our management was, like, 'You know, it's about time you guys do another record.' and we said, 'Oh, okay.' [Laughs] So we start working on ideas and put together some new songs, and then four years later, a lot has happened. Kerry [King, guitar] had a lot of stuff written, and Jeff was working ideas out, but he was very limited because he had a tough time playing his guitar. Jeff was always writing music, so he had demos and stuff that he liked, and he started cutting and pasting those together and trying to make them work."

He continued: "So, we had a lot of material already, but I was a little apprehensive, because Jeff and Kerry wrote the music for SLAYER. We all contributed to the lyrics, but music was written between the two of them. So you have half of SLAYER — musically you have half of SLAYER — and physically you have two-thirds of SLAYER, so it's a big percentage of the band. Two-thirds is still a big percentage, and, like I said, I was a little apprehensive because they each wrote differently, so it would be a lopsided wheel, you know what I mean? [Laughs] And when we went into the studio, the relationship me and Kerry share is very different than the relationship me and Jeff had. The relationship between me and Kerry is more black and white."

Asked if his relationship with Kerry is "more business," Tom replied: "Yeah, more business. And through the course of our history, Kerry and I have a different relationship than Jeff and I. I had to wonder how things were gonna be, because the studio experience was always different with Kerry. With Jeff, it was very open, and things came together, and magic happens. With Kerry, he didn't allow the magic to happen, you know what I mean? It was very cut-and-dried. I was apprehensive about how this record was going to come together, and so we sat down, we communicated, we shared our feelings, I shared my feelings about how I wanted to move forward if we were going to finish the record. We shook hands and we said, 'Okay, let's do this record,' and we went in there."

He continued: "I did what I did, and we had a great producer that listened to what I was doing, and really liked the stuff that I was doing, and who said, 'No, this sounds really great. We're not changing anything.' Kerry was able to pull a couple of rabbits out of his hat and wrote some slower, heavier music, too; he's written the heavy stuff before, it's not like he hasn't, but both heavy songs kind of just came together in the studio. In the beginning, you're, like, 'Holy shit, what's this gonna sound like?' and then in the end it was, like, 'Okay, this is good, this is SLAYER.'"

"Repentless" will be released on September 11 via Nuclear Blast.

NEWS: JIMMY PAGE On LED ZEPPELIN Reunion: 'I Can't Foresee Doing It Again'

In a brand new interview with The Daily Beast, LED ZEPPELIN guitarist Jimmy Page was asked why the band didn't continue in 1980 after the death of drummer John Bonham, and why he doesn't expect them to reunite again as they did at London's O2 in 2007.

"LED ZEPPELIN was a creative force that you can't just snap your fingers and create," he responded. "It was a blend of these four master musicians, and each of us were important to the sum total of what the band was. I like to think that if it had been me that wasn't there, the others would have made the same decision not to carry on. Besides, we couldn't just get somebody in there and say, 'Do this, this way?' That wouldn't have been honest or of the same creative nature that we had always striven for. And it's why we still have only done it properly once."

He continued: "We tried [to reunite] a few times. It always seemed to be done in a hurry and it never worked. That's why the O2 show was done with such intent. We rehearsed loads so that Jason —John's son — felt like he was part of the band and not just some novelty. We all needed it to be that way. But I can't foresee doing it again, because we all have to agree and agree for the right reasons."

LED ZEPPELIN singer Robert Plant last year mocked Page's remarks regarding Plant's on-again, off-again interest in a LED ZEPPELIN reunion. Page, who was promoting the deluxe reissues of the first three ZEPPELIN albums, came out and blamed Plant for being the band member thwarting any hopes of a ZEPPELIN reunion tour. During a lengthy interview with The New York Times, Page said, "I was told last year that Robert Plant said he is doing nothing in 2014, and what do the other two guys think? Well, he knows what the other guys think. Everyone would love to play more concerts for the band. He's just playing games, and I'm fed up with it, to be honest with you. I don't sing, so I can't do much about it. It just looks so unlikely, doesn't it?"

During Plant's press conference in Morocco to publicize his side band, the SENSATIONAL SPACE SHIFTERS' shows, Plant addressed Page's comments, saying, "He needs to go to sleep and have a good rest, and think again. We have a great history together and like all brothers we have these moments where we don't speak on the same page, but that's life."

NEWS: First Taste Of New IRON MAIDEN Music From 'The Book Of Souls' Album

A 30-second preview of a new IRON MAIDEN song from the band's forthcoming album, "The Book Of Souls", is available in the YouTube clip below.

In a recent interview with U.K.'s Kerrang! magazine, IRON MAIDEN bassist Steve Harris was asked if singer Bruce Dickinson's cancer diagnosis at the end of 2014 affected the recording of "The Book Of Souls".

"Well, it didn't at all, because Bruce didn't know and none of us knew anything about… There was no inkling of any of it," Steve said. "He'd finished all his vocal bits completely anyway, and then there were some other bits and pieces we were doing. Really, we didn't know anything — he didn't show any signs at all. I mean, his singing, when you hear it… He's singing better than ever."

He continued: "It didn't cause any problems in that department at all. He wasn't showing any signs of being ill. I didn't even know until a few weeks afterwards, when he got his results back. It was such a shock to him and everybody else, because it just wasn't expected at all."

GIG REVIEW: Rockstar Mayhem Festival, Bristow, VA - July 24th

It was a warm summer morning, Friday, July 24th, 2015, preparing to head to the Rock Star Energy Drink Mayhem Festival. For some, this has become an annual ritual. A ritual that seems to be potentially nearing its end, with exaggerated comments and expressed displeasure among co-founders, bands and fans alike, and painfully obvious declining ticket sales.

Upon arrival, the first noticeable sight was the lack of lines to enter. I last attended Mayhem in 2013 and we ultimately ended up missing at least the first three bands to perform because we were stuck in tremendous lines to enter the venue. This time around, no lines. None. It was slightly discouraging.

Jiffy Lube Live has become a staple in the east coast music scene. It is an outdoor amphitheater seating up to 25,000 fans, with beautiful grounds and an expansive gravel parking lot. We were alarmed that the parking lot seemed even more expansive this year. We later learned it was because of the repositioning of the festival amenities. One thing is for sure, DO NOT follow the signs posted on Route 66. They will lead you to nowhere and get you lost. Someone should really fix them. 

Once inside the venue, it became even more apparent how scaled down this event has become. The two side stages that were once located on one end of the parking lot (which explained the larger size of said parking lot) were combined into one that was crammed into a small space in the main festival grounds in front of a set of restrooms with merchandise tents all around. With the amount of people that actually attended, this cramped space didn’t really seem that bad once you were in the middle of it.

Aside from the obvious differences from previous years, fans were still treated to several high energy performances, both on the Victory Records stage and the Main stage. For various reasons, the first full set we were able to catch was Thy Art is Murder, a four-piece band out of Blacktown, Sydney, Australia. I wasn’t sure what to expect as I’ve never seen TAIM play live. They put on a rousing, high-energy show, one I would not have expected from a traditional deathcore band. CJ McMahon’s vocals are brutal with Sean, Lee and Andy delivering a clean yet thunderous backdrop. I’ve seen mosh pits travel in a circular motion. I’ve never seen a circular mosh pit. The fans literally moshed in a circle around a very inconveniently placed tent in front of the stage. It was quite fun to watch and I may have joined in if I was about 30 years younger.

Opening the Main stage for the evening was The Devil Wears Prada, a metalcore outfit hailing from Dayton, Ohio. Delivering an equally high energy performance, TDWP blasted out their setlist to a sparse crowd as many people didn’t enter the pavilion until they started. Their stage show wasn’t exactly awe-inspiring but they certainly made up for it with intensity. I really enjoyed hearing the song “Supernova” from their new EP, Space, which is an epic record. I highly recommend picking it up. It’s a 6-track EP that takes you on a journey into the realm of space, fraught with powerful imagery and amazing songwriting with complicated riffs and hooks. Go get it. Now.

Next on the bill was Hellyeah, a mixture of former members of various bands who joined together to keep pounding out their love of metal. Chad Gray (ex-Mudvayne) belts out the vocals with Tom Maxwell (ex-Nothingface) and Christian Brady (ex-Magna Fi) assaulting the senses with a double-guitar threat, Kyle Sanders (ex-Blood Simple), master of the bass and Vinnie Paul (ex-Pantera, Damage Plan) thundering the drum kit like Odin and his Hammer. Opening with Blood for Blood, Hellyeah cranked out an amazing set consisting of old and new songs alike utilizing the same high energy stance presented by pretty much every other band we’ve seen today. They’re a solid and tight band that clearly shines in a live setting. The guys closed out their set with a few more songs from their latest release, “Demons in the Dirt” and “Moth”.

King Diamond then descends onto the stage which boasts a massive castle set, lots of lights and theatrics. Opening with “The Candle”, King Diamond reminded everyone in the audience why he is The King. Being in the industry for over three decades and dealing with medical issues that sidelined him for a period of time, The King still has every bit of vocal range as he ever has. He is one of the only men I’ve ever heard scream like a woman and MEAN it. It was so great to hear old Mercyful Fate songs like “Come to the Sabbath” while enjoying The King’s highly theatrical stage show complete with actors and props. The King still puts on one hell of a show.

Finally, Slayer hits the stage. They had what seemed like a rather long intro which lead into the title track of their new record, “Repentless”. Tom, Kerry, Gary and Paul seem sort of subdued on stage, not displaying all of the physical antics of some of the other bands but, again, when you’ve been playing live for three decades, you may not move around as much on stage as you used to. However, they still deliver the high intensity thrash metal that they are known for. With Tom now having a big, unruly grey beard, he reminds me of the Heavy Metal Santa bringing headbanging Christmas presents to us all. In July, even. As always, Slayer gets a great fan response with lots of moshing and crowd surfing. They also had a very active stage show with pyrotechnics and lots of sinister imagery and symbolism projected onto the screens on stage behind them. Tom Araya also continues to nail the trademark screech that has been a staple in Slayer’s music. Gary Holt and Paul Bostaph have assumed their roles in the band seamlessly and gave yet another stellar performance.

It’s unfortunate to see the decline in attendance for this festival. Maybe next year they can get a killer line-up and rock it.

Metal Wani would like to thank Adrenaline PR for the support \m/

Review By,
Dawn “Mama Love” Brown

Saturday, August 1, 2015

INTERVIEW: TWDP's Jeremy DePoyster On "Space" EP, Rockstar Mayhem & Touring Life

The Devil Wears Prada is the musical embodiment of a generational shift. Built on a diverse array of heavy, dark, melodic and genre-defying music; hardened and sharpened by putting in road work together since the days when they had to skip class to tour: The Devil Wears Prada is at the forefront of a movement that bridges the gap between Rockstar Mayhem and the Vans Warped Tour.

TDWP’s first official release since 2013, the conceptual “Space” EP will be out later this month. They are currently on tour with Slayer, King Diamond and other amazing bands. The “Space” EP is comprised of six songs and is a wholly-collaborative effort, with all band members - Mike Hranica (vocals), Jeremy DePoyster (rhythm guitar, clean vocals), Andy Trick (bass), Daniel Williams (drums), and touring musicians Jonathan Gering (keyboards), and Kyle Sipress (lead guitar) - contributing. The end result is a collection of thematic songs that each explores a different point of view of space and those things that exist outside of the Earth’s province - the sun, the moon, aliens, asteroids, and the interstellar space explorer. The very metal “Space” EP features some of the most sophisticated lyrics, arrangements, and musicianship The Devil Wears Prada has produced, depicting the emptiness, loneliness and vastness of space.

Metal Wani's writer Dawn Brown had a chat with guitarist Jeremy DePoyster as the band was gearing up to tear Bristow, VA on July 24th. He discussed Rockstar Mayhem Festival, lineup, TDWP New EP "Space", songwriting, a decade long career, upcoming tours and much more.

Listen To The Interview Below:

Big Thanks To Herfitz PR for the support \m/

GIG REVIEW: SOULFLY Live @ O2 Academy, Islington UK

“Do you like surprises, London?” This question posed by the legend that is Max Cavalera during Soulfly’s explosive return to London was met with a resounding “yes!” by a large gathering of old and new fans at Islington’s O2 Academy on Saturday, July 25th. And Cavalera did not disappoint on a night filled with surprise, excitement and amazing performances at one of this year’s most memorable gigs to date.

Support on the night respectfully came from relative newcomers Design the Chaos and Incite. It was something of a special occasion for Design the Chaos, who paid tribute to their previous drummer who passed away a year ago to the day. This complimented their already powerful set and made a great impression on the appreciative crowd. Managed by Max’s wife Gloria Cavalera, Incite followed with an incredibly tight, musically diverse, perfectly delivered set which attracted an ever growing audience with each new song.  Their acknowledgement of the fans, bands and everything in between endeared them to all attending and confirmed Incite as a band to watch out for.

Amidst a chorus of restless chants, Soulfly took to the stage, pulling no punches from start to finish and making no apologies for it. Blasting off with a triple, back-to-back intro of “Frontlines”, “Fire” and “Prophecy” blended into one almighty rush, Soulfly were just getting started. The pace never slackened as they moved into “Downstroy”, “Seek ‘n’ Strike”, and “Blood Fire War Hate” with a snippet from “Blitzkrieg Bop” thrown in between change-overs. There was no dead air in their set, as Cavalera worked the audience like the seasoned pro he is.  Feeling like a small pub gig and an arena event both at once, the energy throughout was complimented by a wonderful sense of intimacy.   A brief nostalgia trip followed with a rendition of Sepultura’s “Refuse/Resist”. Although Sepultura tracks are dubbed covers at Soulfly shows, having seen both bands in the last year, one could argue over who the cover band really are, as Max Cavalera owned every word and note with the crowd mirroring his passion.

“Carved Inside” and “Bloodshed” led us into the only new track from Soulfly’s upcoming album, ‘Archangel.’ The anthemic “We Sold Our Souls to Metal” was a huge crowd-pleaser, being welcomed into the set list like a long-lost family member. “World Scum”, “No Hope = No Fear”, “Umbabarauma” and “No” fitted perfectly and continued to rile the crowd as they headed towards the night’s first closer, “Rise of the Fallen.”  The band returned for a mesmerising encore with “Back to the Primitive.” Drummer, and Max’s son, Zyon Cavalera, then respectfully stood down having delivered an on-point set, allowing ex-Sepultura drummer Igor Cavalera to take the drums for the classic “Roots Bloody Roots”, and the crowd erupted. Witnessing the rhythm section brought by Igor Cavalera Jr. on bass, accompanied by his father on drums, with Max fronting and Marc Rizzo proving why he is not only an incredible guitarist but a blood brother to all standing by him, was truly memorable to behold. Following with “Roots”, this family affair levelled Islington’s O2 Academy to the ground and had the audience clamouring for more. Zyon returned to the kit to finish out the set with another back to back outro, “Jumpdafuckup”, “Eye for an Eye” and “Unleash” as Max bid goodbye to a thrilled and exhausted audience as the band played him off stage to a snippet of Metallica’s “Creeping Death.”

Soulfly brought their A-Game to London with a lengthy set list spanning three decades; an on-point performance with heavy crowd interaction that served as a reminder as to why Cavalera and Soulfly have endured throughout the years and will continue to endure. Electrifying, powerful, and memorable, this was night not to be forgotten.

Click Here To Watch Interview With MAX CAVALERA At O2 Academy

Reviewed By,
Carl O'Rourke

NEWS: UDO DIRKSCHNEIDER To Embark On Special ACCEPT 'Farewell' Tour In 2016

Former ACCEPT and current U.D.O. singer Udo Dirkschneider will embark on a special tour next year during which he will perform ACCEPT songs one last time before he closes the chapter for good.

The 62-year-old German singer revealed his plans at a press conference in the VIP tent of this weekend's Wacken Open Air festival in Wacken, Germany.

During this ACCEPT "farewell" tour — which he will perform under the DIRKSCHNEIDERbanner (not U.D.O.)— Dirkschneider will only showcase songs from the Udo era of ACCEPT. The German rock staple will close a huge chapter of music history forever. In the early '80s, the Solingen-raised singer skyrocketed to worldwide acclaim with the band ACCEPT and with his unmistakable voice, he had several hits such as "Balls To The Wall" and "Princess Of The Dawn". Now he has announced that he will perform these much-loved hits on this special tour one more time before he removes them from the setlist forever.

"I still love singing these songs live," Dirkschneider says. "The songs still are an important part of my catalog and still suit my voice very well. But at some point in your life, it's just time to close the chapter. There has been so much talk and speculation about ACCEPT, so I just want to give my last definitive musical statement about it and give my fans a chance to see me perform a complete concert of these songs one last time on stage."

After this tour, Udo will only play songs from his extensive library of U.D.O. material. Following his dismissal from ACCEPT in the late '80s, he garnered many classic hits with his new band in a long and successful career, such as "Animal House", "Timebomb" and "Man And Machine". "There is enough high-quality [U.D.O.] material to fill a two-hour set with no problem," says Dirkschneider. "U.D.O. has been the band where I belong for 18 years and I want to pay tribute to them from now on."


DEF LEPPARD guitarist Vivian Campbell says that he hopes that reports of his band being introduced by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at next month's Iowa State Fair are untrue, because doesn't want his name associated with "this clown."

CNN reported last Friday (July 17) that Trump will handle the introductory duties forDEF LEPPARD at August 15 concert at the State Fair Grandstand on the fairgrounds in Des Moines.

But, according to Campbell, he has no knowledge of Trump making an appearance at DEF LEPPARD's gig, which is also set to feature STYX and TESLA.

"I really, really, really hope that there's no truth to this rumour," Vivian wrote on hisFacebook page while posting a link to the CNN story. "DEF LEPPARD have never been a political band, and if we were, I for one wouldn't be associating my name with this clown."

Trump is doing well in the polls despite his controversial comments characterizing illegal Mexican immigrants as criminals. In his June 16 speech announcing his candidacy, he said of people crossing the border from Mexico, "They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people."

When asked if he was offended by Trump's controversial statements on immigration, KISSbassist/vocalist Gene Simmons, who immigrated to America from Israel at a young age with his mother, told FOX Business Network's "After The Bell": "I believe Donald Trump is a good man. I think he's smarter and better than using incendiary language."

NEWS: TOMMY LEE Has Got A Whole Brand New Thing Planned After MÖTLEY CRÜE's 'The Final Tour'

MÖTLEY CRÜE's "The Final Tour", which kicked off last year, will end New Year's Eve at the Staples Center in Los Angeles after one more round of North American gigs.

Speaking to Clubhead TV about what he plans to do once the CRÜE has retired from the road, drummer Tommy Lee said (hear audio below): "Right now, I haven't really told anybody about my future plans, but just know that I've got plans, and I've been writing a bunch of music and kind of putting aside. I think I'm gonna take a little break, first of all, when we get down with the tour, 'cause this will be, by the time we're done with it, close to a two-year tour with MÖTLEY. So I'll take a little bit of time off, but, knowing me, I won't be able to sit around very long. I'm gonna start getting it together for some time in 2016. Just know that I've got a whole brand new thing planned that I've got going."

Asked if he will be embarking on another DJ tour or if he will incorporate more live performance into his next project, Tommy said: "It will definitely [be] more live performance-driven, but it will be super-heavy electronics and what have you. But, yeah, definitely it will be something visual, for sure. That's really important and I just feel like it's missing in the sport of electronic music — it's missing terribly — so I'll try to bring some new shit to the party."

While announcing the first details of "The Final Tour" at a Los Angeles press conference in January, the four members of MÖTLEY CRÜE revealed that they took the unusual step of having their lawyer draw up a formal "cessation of touring" agreement that goes into effect at the end of 2015 and prohibits the members of the group from going on the road again under the MÖTLEY CRÜE banner.

Asked what the main reason was that MÖTLEY CRÜE decided to call it quits, Lee "We have musical peers that we've watched fade out by playing in clubs and county fairs. There was no way we were going to let this band hobble around on three legs. We chose the route that every professional actor, athlete and musician should do — leave the legend intact and bow out at the top. It's such a respectful way to do it. This way you leave all your fans with great memories. It's been such a crazy tour so far. Everywhere we are playing it's been maxed out to the rafters. I got perma-grin; it's insane."


Swedish metal band The Murder of My Sweet was formed by drummer and producer Daniel Flores in 2007. The band plays symphonic metal laced around heavy cinematic elements, deriving inspiration from a variety of sources such as epic cinema scores, concepts, the art of storytelling and grandeur often reminiscent of bands like Queen and Electric Light Orchestra. Popularly known to be playing cinematic metal, The Murder of My Sweet received widespread acclamation especially for their 2009 debut album ‘Divanity’, Angelica Rylin’s amazing vocal range and the epic orchestrations invoking vivid ideas. The band then toured Sweden, France and Germany before returning with the next album ‘Bye, Bye Lullaby’ in 2012. Three years later, The Murder of My Sweet are all set to release the new record ‘Beth Out of Hell’ on August 21 under Frontiers Music Srl.

‘Beth Out of Hell’ is kind of melancholic, and much heavier than the band’s previous work. As described by Flores, the album is based on a concept: “an apocalyptic love story between good and evil” where Lucifer’s daughter falls in love with the archangel Michael. This album also introduces bassist Patrik Janson, best known for his work in progressive power metal band Platitude. 

The new album, like the band’s previous two, also upholds the glory of melodic metal and bold orchestration as well as an unconventional essence of hard rock. What really stand out are the keyboards and Rylin’s soaring vocals. Although sometimes similar in sound to bands like Nightwish and Delain, ‘Beth Out of Hell’ retains its uniqueness in aspects such as the amazing vocal range (despite not being too operatic), the glimpses of traditional metal, and bold elements such as the children’s choir and voice actors Grace Méridan and Andi Kravljaca which embellish the overall sound of the album. The album sounds modern like the band’s previous records, and even the minutest details, both heavy and subtle, are highlighted by the brilliant production. The epic arrangements render the sound very grand and the well-thought out, inherent melodies speak volumes of the band’s musical acumen.

The album is like an odyssey which begins with a beautiful intro and kicks off with “The Awakening”, a heavy, intense track with a memorable chorus and a somewhat progressive approach. One of the best songs on the album, “Always the Fugitive”, blends the essence of hard rock with a modern twist and features yet another nice chorus. The great production is evident in songs like “Still” which is mostly about the brilliant mixing, while “Tide After Tide” is a dark, intense rendition of melodic metal. 

The album showcases diverse and interesting elements and definitely explores new dimensions in the intelligent blending of dominant symphonic parts with harmony, melody and rock grooves, besides retaining a good deal of catchiness. The symphonic approach asserts itself in songs like “Euthanasia” and “Poets by Default”. The cinematic elements seem overdone at times, but that is probably the signature of the band’s sound which renders it quite bold.

All in all, ‘Beth Out of Hell’ is a wonderful concept musical featuring a plethora of interesting aspects and a few unconventional ideas.

Rating: 8/10

Reviewed By,
Debarati Das

Thursday, July 30, 2015

INTERVIEW: SLAYER's Paul Bostaph On 'Repentless' - "It's Aggressive, Dark & The 2015 Version Of Ruthless SLAYER"

Slayer, the long-reigning titans of thrash, returns with “Repentless” the band’s 11th studio album and its first album for Nuclear Blast. Produced by Terry Date, “Repentless” was written and recorded by guitarist Kerry King and singer/bassist Tom Araya at Henson Studios in Los Angeles, along with returning drummer Paul Bostaph and guitarist Gary Holt. “Repentless” is crushing and brutal, steadfastly refusing to cater to the mainstream. Thirty-four years into its career, Slayer remains the preeminent punk-thrash band that helped establish the genre and that up-and-coming metal heads continue to revere and emulate. Slayer is a five-time nominated, two-time Grammy Award-winning metal juggernaut that writes songs which mirror the turmoil and aberrations of our society. “Repentless,” the band’s first new album in six years, continues the Slaytanic offensive with a twelve-song, blood-shaking sonic attack. “Repentless” is dark, fast, aggressive and without mercy. It was also the most challenging record Slayer has ever had to make.

Currently on Mayhem Festival & gearing up for the release of new album "Repentless", Metal Wani's Dawn Brown & Owais 'Vitek' Nabi had a chat with SLAYER Drummer Paul Bostaph. He discusses Mayhem Festival, declining ticket and record sales, SLAYER new Album "Repentless", what makes "Repentless" one of the deadliest Slayer album, differences in Slayer since his departure twice, current line-up, his opinion on social media, his opinion on Metallica's "Black" Album, future of the band in terms of albums, tours and much more.

Stream The Interview Below:

Big Thanks To Herfitz PR for the support \m/

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

REVIEW: SPOCK'S BEARD - "The Oblivion Particle"

Many of us look for a mind-bending experience when we listen to Progressive Rock. Satisfaction is guaranteed after our mind has been bent, stretched, blown and what not! It gives us that  wonderful high  which we desperately seek from music. Los Angeles based prog-rock act Spock’s Beard’s latest album ‘The Oblivion Particle’ gives you that high, and it is such a pleasure.

The track “Tides of Time” throws open the album to the endless fascination of the listener. Their talent (and there is lots of it) will be your first realization while listening to this satisfying opener. It is certainly a small reminder of the old Spock’s Beard tunes, but   feels a tad different.  There is a lot of the “oomph” factor in this opener and it is the perfect appetizer for rest of the album to follow up.

The entire album showcases the band’s seemingly endless talent. The album features Alan Morse (guitars/vocals), Dave Meros (bass/keyboards/vocals), Ryo Okumoto (keyboards/vocals), Jimmy Keegan (Drums/vocals) and Ted Leonard (guitar/vocals). Each role in the band seems to have made a serious impact on the overall sound of the album.  There are so many variations, sounds and textures on here that nobody could have possibly been left out!

The song “Minions” will leave you singing along with the lyrics while going bananas! It’s flanked by some amazing textures that sound so unconventional yet appealing. Each song presents a different experience and is unique in its purest essence. The highlight of this album is possibly the song “The Center Line” which opens up with a neo-classical piano intro, joined later by the bass guitar. There is so much to this song in emotions rather than just its musical side. The instruments and vocals are certainly a perfect couple in every aspect. In the midst of all its complexities, everything seems to come at the right time. It is as though you’ve always known this song but haven’t heard it until now! The wonderful groove, the complexities of prog-rock, the tasteful textures and sweet vocals make this song something that any music lover would not want to miss.

‘The Oblivion Particle’ is nothing short of being avant-garde. There’s a little bit of everything in this album, like progressive elements, funk, jazz and sheer melody and harmony. It is an indulgence to the ears. What is incredibly outstanding from the brilliant instrumentation is the magic on the bass guitar. It isn’t merely hanging around for a rhythm section, but taking a lead role in creating textures in the album, complimenting and supplementing everything. The brilliant production has done justice to the universe of enthralment and allure this wonderful band offers in its music for this album. You’re invited into this universe. Spock’s Beard’s  ‘The Oblivion Particle’ is not to be missed! 

Rating: 9/10

Review By,
C Roshan Machayya

NEWS: Did TONY IOMMI Get Inspiration For BLACK SABBATH's 'Paranoid' Riff From Obscure Michigan Band HALF LIFE?

The Dangerous Minds web site has pointed out "remarkable" similarities between the signature riff in BLACK SABBATH's classic song "Paranoid", the title track of its 1970 album, and the opening to "Get Down" a song recorded by the four-piece Michigan garage-rock combo HALF LIFE in 1969.

"Paranoid" was recorded in June 1970 at Regent Sound Studios and Island Studios in London, England and the album's title track was written as an afterthought. Drummer Bill Ward explained: "We didn't have enough songs for the album, and Tony [Iommi, guitar] just played the guitar lick and that was it. It took twenty, twenty-five minutes from top to bottom." In the liner notes to SABBATH's 1998 live album "Reunion", bassist Geezer Butler recounted that they wrote the song "in five minutes, then I sat down and wrote the lyrics as quickly as I could. It was all done in about two hours." The single was released in September 1970 and reached number four on the U.K. charts, remaining BLACK SABBATH's only Top Ten hit.

HALF LIFE recorded "Get Down" in a single take on June 27, 1969 at GM Studios in East Detroit, but the song failed to gain any traction on Detroit radio. The track is now available as part of the compilation "A-Square (Of Course): The Story Of Michigan's Legendary A-Square Records", which also features other rare recordings from the Ann Arbor-based label from bands like the legendary MC5 and THE SRC (THE SCOT RICHARD CASE).

As Dangerous Minds points out, it is highly unlikely that Tony Iommi, one of the most influential guitarists of all time, lifted the epic riff for "Paranoid" from a little known garage-band from Saginaw, but the similarities are still uncanny.

You can check out both songs below.


NEWS: JUDAS PRIEST's RICHIE FAULKNER Has 'Tons' Of Riff Ideas For Possible Follow-up To 'Redeemer Of Souls'

Amber Lee of WYDR The Drive 94.3 FM conducted an interview with JUDAS PRIEST guitarists Glenn Tipton and Richie Faulkner before the band's July 16 appearance at Rock USA festival in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. You can now listen to the chat below. A couple of excerpts follow.

On whether they prefer the older days when JUDAS PRIEST was recording to tape or if they like the convenience of Pro Tools:

Glenn: "I like Pro Tools. You've gotta move on with the times. Pro Tools offers you the chance to rearrange songs easily, if you only do it on a rough basis and then go and record it live, so to speak. On the new album, we used Pro Tools, but we tried to make everything live sounding: we mic'ed the cabs up, there's no processed drums, there's very, very little… I'm not saying we went into the studio and played the songs there and then, but we tried to [capture] the live atmosphere. If you use it in the right way, Pro Tools is the way to go. But, you know, it's crossed my mind, and I'm sure everybody in the band, that it would be nice to just rehearse a new album, and go and play it, and just see what happens."

On whether JUDAS PRIEST is thinking about going back to the studio to work on the follow-up to last year's "Redeemer Of Souls" album:

Richie: "We seem to be working quite a lot at the moment on the touring circuit. We keep getting offers in, so it keeps extending. But at the same time, we are talking about what the next album's gonna be, what it's gonna sound like, what it could incorporate, where we could go from 'Redeemer'. It is a time-consuming process, so we'll see what happens. I think we end around Christmas with this tour, and then we'll see what happens next year. We might go into the studio and start putting down some ideas, or we might get some more offers and go back out. We don't know what the future holds. But we are talking about all different types of possibilities."

On whether he stores riff ideas on his phone:

Richie: "Always. Yeah, guitar riffs and whistles and singing, although I wouldn't show you them. When you're in your hotel room and you come up with an idea and you sing it into the phone; I've got loads of 'em, I've got tons. But it's great to see it happen before. You might come up with a little idea or a melody in a kitchen or your bathroom or whatever, and all of a sudden it gets to the stage where Rob's [Halford] putting vocal melodies over it, or it becomes more than just an idea; it becomes a song. And then it becomes… You know, in the live format, it goes from that initial spark of an idea to signing with the fans, so it's quite special thing to see it transform from an idea into that."

"Redeemer Of Souls" was released in July 2014. The follow-up to 2008's double-disc concept album "Nostradamus" was billed as a return to JUDAS PRIEST's heavy-metal roots.

"Redeemer Of Souls" sold around 32,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 6 on The Billboard 200 chart.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

NEWS: SLAYER's PAUL BOSTAPH: KERRY KING 'Worked His Ass Off' On 'Repentless'

On July 17, John Doan of conducted an interview with SLAYER drummer Paul Bostaph at the Camden, New Jersey stop of this year's Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival. You can now listen to the chat in the YouTube clip below. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow.

On the writing process for SLAYER's new album, "Repentless", which will be released on September 11 via Nuclear Blast:

"Kerry [King, SLAYER guitarist] and I worked on the album… Kerry had some material… There were some pre-existing songs that were… that Kerry had before I rejoined the band, and some of those he actually worked on with [original SLAYER drummer] Dave [Lombardo]. And then the majority of the record is all me… all me and Kerry."

"The whole album, except for one song, was built around Kerry's riffs and Kerry's ideas. Kerry, when he comes in with a song, he has a very strong idea of what the structure is gonna be, for the entire song. Because, like, when you write a song, as the visionary of the song, you have an idea of what you want the song to do when you're writing a riff. Or even as a drummer, if I'm writing guitar riffs, I'll know what the drum beat is gonna be, or I'll start with a drum beat and go the other way. So I understand what it's like for songwriters to write songs. So Kerry had a really strong vision of the whole album. He worked his ass off on this record. I think a lot of people need to know that."

On how long it took to record "Repentless":

"We weren't recording and writing the album for two years. We went in the studio and I think the drum tracks were done in, like, a week and a half for the majority of the record. Then when we went on tour and came back and there were some other songs they wanted to do, so we went ahead and did a few more songs as well. I mean, we probably… I think we did over fifteen songs for this record… maybe more. The recording process for this record was different than any I've ever had before, because I had my recording kit with all the microphones on it, then I had another drum set set up — it was a rehearsal kit — and I had a practice kit in the main room. 'Cause some of these ideas were ideas I hadn't played before. So we'd come in, and Kerry would show me the song, and we'd jam it out, and I'd learn the arrangement, take it to the recording kit, record it, take it home, come back the next day, we'd rehearse it a little more and then record it. There were some songs on this record, I think, we probably only rehearsed maybe ten times. Not the whole record… The majority of the record, Kerry and I, we had it hammered out pretty well."

On having EXODUS guitarist Gary Holt in SLAYER as the replacement for original SLAYER axeman Jeff Hanneman, who passed away in 2013:

"Its' freakin' awesome. I mean, when I was a kid, I'd go see EXODUS shows. So I've always known that EXODUS was killer, and I toured with EXODUS when I was in FORBIDDEN back in the day, and I had the honor of playing on [EXODUS's] 'Shovel Headed Kill Machine' and touring behind that record with Gary as well. I mean, I know Gary — I know what kind of guitar player he is and what kind of person he is. It wasn't like when I rejoined the band, there was Kerry and Tom [Araya, bass/vocals], and, unfortunately, Jeff not being with us, and then some guy I didn't know. It was, like, we had all played together, so we were more of a band from the get-go than ever.

"Gary had Jeff's blessing when he was filling in for him; they were friends. Gary's family. And it's a really important thing to this band."

PREMIERE: Stream KYLESA New Single 'Lost & Confused' From New Album "Exhausting Fire"

KYLESA are about to deliver their seventh album, 'Exhausting Fire'. In its current incarnation the band from Savannah, Georgia in the United States is made up of Phillip Cope, Laura Pleasants, and Carl McGinley. 'Exhausting Fire' provides a crowning example of the positive output that comes at the hands of their incendiary and powerful, yet nuanced and colourful framework. Following on the heels of the challenging 'Ultraviolet' (2013) and keeping this band's tradition of artistic broad jumps that they have exhibited since forming in 2001, 'Exhausting Fire' hurls even more rulebook pages out the tour van window. KYLESA further explore and incorporate psychedelic rock, new wave, space-age twangy Americana, 80s goth and death rock into their pitch-thick DIY punk/metal roots. 'Exhausting Fire' easily representing the most diverse, dynamic and fully-realized work of their discography.

In writing 'Exhausting Fire', the trio found itself culling inspirations before getting together in various permutations at various times to wade through the amassed collections of riffs and ideas stockpiled before, during and after the punishing 'Ultraviolet' tour schedule. 'Exhausting Fire' strikes the listener with the infinitely comfortable and confident sounding manner by which the co-vocalists emerge working as more integrative unit.

Captured at the familiar confines of the Jam Room in Columbia, South Carolina, 'Exhausting Fire' witnesses the trio immersing themselves deeper into themselves and their own process by refusing to hire an outside producer to assume Cope's position. In fact, he reports having additional engineering duties dropped into his production seat, and spending more hours than ever working behind the board. In that sense, it is not difficult to take the band at their word when Philip describes Exhausting Fire as "an album we really put our hearts on our sleeves for. We’ve always done that, but emotionally, it’s probably the most honest and raw album we’ve ever done."

“No band sounds like us and we don't sound like any other band,"concludes Pleasants. "After all these years of experimenting with different styles and sounds, we’ve really developed our own thing and I can faithfully say that we sound like us. With this album, we’ve successfully made a record that incorporates all the elements we’ve always played with into a record that works on its own."