There are many words of wisdom born from the soul of Michael Alago that he has shared in his memoir. Most know him as the music industry legend that signed Metallica to Electra Records and helped guide them on the path to being the biggest band of all time. The Drew Stone documentary Who The F*ck Is That Guy: The Fabulous Journey of Michael Alago(now on Netflix and Amazon) shined a light on him that he deserved for decades. But there is so much more to his story, to the person than bands he signed, and who whom he rubbed shoulders with. The film was a terrific introduction to his life and times and why he deserves the credit he does. The book slowly peels back the years, all the wonderful and terrible things that life can bring and all the in-betweens. A lot of formative times with his family growing up in Brooklyn, dear friends, loves and losses. A terrific tapestry of experiences, stories, and reminiscences. There are many standout movements, including instances of Michael being surrounded the greats of the music and art world; Jerry Brandt, Bill Graham, Danny Fields, Bob Krasnow, Robert Mapplethorpe and many more. It’s cool enough to have met those people, but what really matters is listening and learning from greatness when it comes across your path. He did just that. Continue reading →
I wish I could say I knew Jonny Zazula back in the day, but I wasn’t quite old enough. Sure, I had heard all the stories. As a major Metallica and Anthrax fan, Jon and his wife Marsha’s life stories are Metal history as much as any riff, album or chorus. I bumped into Jon about twelve years ago at Starland Ballroom in New Jersey. I was there to see a Testament headline show. Jon and Eddie Trunk, who owes his career to Jon and Marsha to an extent, walked right by and I totally fanboyed out. I’m pretty sure I blurted out something lame like “Holy shit, Jonny Z! Thanks for everything!”, since that what was in my heart. He gave me like a half-pat on the arm, half a “hey dude I need to get by you” move and slipped past me on his way backstage. Trunk just smiled. That was my in-person brush with him, until a recent phone interview (coming soon) for this book release. The book is a memoir about an enterprising music lover who put a genre or two on his back and raised up everyone around him toward greatness.
With the Progressive and Tech Metal climate being so crowded and, at times, stagnant, any new breed of band has the unenviable task of trying to stand out from the hordes by bringing in any resemblance of freshness or innovation. Whilst there is undoubtedly an abundance of quality talents out there, all too often acts fail to leave much of an impression in comparison to many of their peers. Continue reading →
These words are not just the battle cry of every heavy music fan or the chorus of a song from a band famous for body oil and loin cloths. These are the final words in Brian Slagel and Mark Eglinton’s For The Sake Of Heaviness: The History of Metal Blade Records. The book not only serves as a way to celebrate the 35th Anniversary of Metal Blade, but it serves as a partial memoir and life in metal of label founder and CEO, music historian, hockey fan, and all around great guy Slagel. To say metal and rock fans owe him an unpayable debt would be a gross understatement.Continue reading →
If you’re a fan of metal music, there’s a big chance you’re also a fan of all things horror. Just released from 3 Wolves is the motion comic version of the Realm of the Damned comic book series, and it’s a Black Metal delight. Written by Alec Worley, who’s done a huge amount of work with UK publisher 2000 A.D.,Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on Nickelodeon, and Star Wars. With artist, colorist, and letterer, Pye Parr they created a tale worthy of a metalheads’ time. Continue reading →
If you know me at all, you know that Metallica is my favorite band of all time, and you know that James Hetfield is one of the biggest inspirations in my life. It’s been that way ever since I first heard Master Of Puppets in the hallways of my middle school, and the love for this band is still as strong today. When I heard that Mark Eglinton was working on the first and only biography of James Hetfield, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. I’ve followed Hetfield’s career more than most, and any chance I have to learn more is a welcomed opportunity. While this book did not tell me anything that I didn’t already know, because I’m as die-hard at they come, it’s still a brilliant look into one of heavy metal’s most important icons. Continue reading →
If you are a fan of Slayer, and picked up their 2015 album Repentless (Nuclear Blast, then you might be aware of the three music videos/ short films directed by BJ Mcdonnell; ‘Replentless, ‘You Against You’ and ‘Pride in Prejudice’ from the album. Now serialized in a three issue series is coming out monthly from Dark Horse Comics, Slayer- Repentless the comic is written by Jonathan Schnepp (Metalocalypse: Dethklok, Collider on YouTube), drawn by Guiu Villanova (The Twilight Zone, 100 Bullets, Dark Shadows, Weird Detective), lettered by Nate Piekos (Darkhorse Presents, Marvel Adventures: Fantastic Four, Green Arrow, Weird Detective) and colored by Maurico Wallace (Weird Detective, Magnus: Robot Fighter, Turok).Continue reading →