October is always a big month. It’s basically a month-long party for me with the greatest holiday in existence, Halloween, and my birthday is only a few days beforehand. In my experience, October is also a great month for new releases from bands that I love. This year, Portland, OR based stoner metal/rock band Red Fang return with their fourth studio release entitled Only Ghosts (Relapse Records). It’s different from their previous releases, but that’s part of what makes this album as entertaining as it is. Continue reading
Portland riff rockers Red Fang have been powering through on the road and continuing to push their latest album Whales and Leeches. Their latest venture took them through Knotfest in Devore, CA where they were greeted with a swarm of fans for their early set time.
Being that it is a bit over two years since the release of their current album, they have stretched the lifespan of the release beyond where they had thought it could possible reach.
“It was October of 2013 when it came out so it’s about two years. This is the last tour we’re doing on it. We’re trying to play some smaller cities and cities we haven’t played in a long time. We wanted to get out with some of our favorite bands Whores and Wild Throne and take those guys out. We’ve been writing some new songs and we wanted to try some of those songs out on the tour. We didn’t play them today (Knotfest) because it was a shorter set, but on the rest of the tour we’re doing three to four new songs,” said bassist Aaron Beam, talking about where they stand today.
He talked playing Knotfest and how different it is playing an American festival versus the numbers of European festivals Red Fang had participated on over the years.
“Most of the people at Knotfest speak English! They speak English at most of the festivals in Europe too. I feel more comfortable speaking to the audience here and feeling like they understand me. Besides that, generally festivals are festivals and they’re pretty similar,” he said.
During their 2011 release Murder The Mountains, Red Fang took part on the Rockstar Mayhem Festival tour across North America and played in front of crowds largely geared towards the younger, modern metalcore oriented audiences. Now fast forward to 2015, Beam talked about how playing Knotfest differs from back then.
“I think the lineup today was a bit more varied than Mayhem was the year that we did it. I know Mayhem changes up but the year we did it there was lots and lots of metalcore and more thrash bands. We were the only band that was a rock band. Today was good. It seemed like people were more locked in.”
He also talked about public awareness growing over the years and fans becoming much more saavy with the Fang helped sway them in their favor.
“That’s it too. More people know about us now. Almost any time you go to see a band cold and you’ve never heard of them before, you’re not going to be thrashing around. You’re going to be paying attention and listening, especially when it’s something so different from everything else during the day.”
Recently, Red Fang has released a new seven inch single on Volcom Recordings with two covers – an Elvis Presley and the theme song for the popular 1980s television series Fraggle Rock, reinterpreted by the band.
“There’s two covers on the Volcom seven inch. There’s the Elvis cover which is only the lyrics are the same. The song is an old couple of riffs that we’ve never figured out how to turn it into a song before. Then there’s also a cover of a song from that TV show Fraggle Rock, which is similarly lyrics and an old song that I wrote from before Red Fang even existed that we modified and turned it into a track that worked with that vocal melody,” he explained.
Beam himself took part on the Teenage Time Killers’ record Teenage Time Killers: Greatest Hits Vol. 1 on a song titled “Your Empty Soul,” which he also involved Corrosion of Conformity drummer Reed Mullin. He talked about how he got involved in this project.
“It was actually through this guy Sean Cox, who’s a tech for the Foo Fighters. Several of the Foo Fighters crew live up in Portland. So Sean was helping us out with some guitar problems and we were just hanging out and he asked me if I would mind if he put me in touch with Lou, who engineered the thing. I was like ‘yeah…’ “
“Reed was originally thinking of having Pepper [Keenan] sing on that track but something happened and Pepper couldn’t do it. So it was like ‘you know what would be cool is if we got that guy Aaron from Red Fang.’ I think it was like Reed mentioned it and then Lou talked to Sean, and then Sean talked to me and that’s how it came together.”
While he enjoyed working on the song, he missed his one chance at performing it live at a recent one time show in Los Angeles.
“No I’ve never played it. That was my chance I guess with the concert that they did (Teenage Time Killers at Henry Fonda Theater) in LA but there was no way for me to make it down. Juggling kids and being on tour was real hard. That was a weekend I wasn’t available. Hopefully they’ll do another one and I can do it. I love the idea and I want to actually perform the song once.”
While Beam and the Red Fang guys experienced a lot during this album cycle, he shared some of the highlights he experienced throughout the past few years.
“This last tour with Whores and Wild Throne was big. That was one of the funnest US tours we’ve done. I also loved that tour we’d done with Big Business and American Sharks earlier, and we did a tour right in the beginning with Helms Alee, Wild Throne and a band before them called Gaytheist. Those were all super fun US tours.”
“The highlight of show for me was…and we’ve played a lot of really good shows. But the one that really was the most memorable from this album was Hellfest in France. It was the third time we’ve played it and we’ve got a pretty decent main stage slot. I would say conservatively there were 25,000 people watching us play, and they were not just standing there. It was packed and people were rocking out all the way to the back of the crowd. It was amazing. It was so fun.”
“Lots of times there’s something about the energy of an intimate club you can’t capture on a big huge festival stage like that. But with that many people it was awesome. Maybe we’ll never get to do that again but that’s really memorable.”
They met a lot of high profile names along the way, and many were not necessarily from the heavy music world. One person they met was David Letterman, where they had a rare opportunity to perform on his television show – Late Night With David Letterman – before he retired earlier in the year.
“That was on this album cycle! It seems like so long ago,” said Beam, suddenly remembering this moment. “That was an amazing experience. It was one of those things where I didn’t feel nervous until they started taping the episode. Once they tape it there’s no stopping. It feels like when you’re climbing to the top of a huge waterslide or you’re about to skydive. You know you’re committed. There’s nothing you can do – you have to do it. You’re terrified when you do it and as soon as you do it, you want to do it again. It was exactly like that. It was awesome.”
They also got to work with actor and musician Fred Armisen, who appeared in their music video for ‘Blood Like Cream.’ “He played in a band called Trenchmouth in the 90s that my kids’ mom they used to play shows together, like way back when. She knows him from the music world before he was on TV at all. Pretty interesting.”
Lastly, Beam talked about a new Red Fang also in the work, following the conclusion of their touring cycle.
“Yeah for sure. We’ve already got three songs that are totally done, and we’ve got pieces of…I don’t know…30 more songs worth of material. We’ve got to start as soon as we get back from this tour we’re gonna lock in and start bashing out the songs and turning them into finishing them. We have studio time tentatively booked for end of February or beginning of March.”
“We’re really buckling down now. These tour things come up and A) you’ve got to make money and B) we wanted to try out these songs on the road as well and dial them in a little bit better and see how they’re working. That really helped a lot.”
He gave a preview of the new material that is in the process of becoming the new Red Fang album. “You’ll probably be able to find some YouTube videos of some of the new songs. We’ve played them on this whole tour. One of them is called ‘The Shadows’ and it’s actually on this seven inch we’ve already put out. We’ll do an updated version of it.”
“There’s a new song that I’m super excited about that we’re playing on this last tour that’s kind of a slower, a little dirtier songs but it has this more Russian Circles kind of thing that happens half way through it. It’s got some surprises.”
“We’re still experimenting and branching out and trying new things always. It’s clearly going to be a Red Fang record but with some stuff you haven’t heard before.”
Teenage Time Killers, the supergroup put together by Mick Murphy (My Ruin) and Reed Mullen (COC) is putting on a one-off all-star concert in Los Angeles on September 12th. Featuring many of the big names that make up each of the tracks of Greatest Hits Vol 1, (Rise Records) taking the stage with Murphy and Mullen will be Randy Blythe, Corey Taylor, Neil Fallon, Lee Ving, Tommy Victor, Vic Bondi, Phil Rind, Ron Beam, Tony Foresta, Clifford Dinsmore, Tairrie B. Murphy, Jonny Webber, Greg Anderson, Pat “Atom Bomb” Loed, Karl Agell, and Trenton Rogers. Tickets are already on sale at this link:
Have you ever heard an album so good you thought it was made just for you? Like someone reached into the great boombox in your brain and pulled out just what you wanted to hear? Well, Greatest Hits Vol. 1 (Rise Records) by Teenage Time Killers is that album for me. If you have yearned for some new tunes to come along and kick your ass back to 1988, then this music is for you. Masterminded by Mick Murphy (My Ruin, and Reed Mullen (Corrosion of Conformity), the core band is rounded out by the ubiquitous Dave Grohl and chipping in everything except lead vocals and Greg Anderson (Sunn O)))/Goatsnake) and his mighty axe. In addition to a cavalcade of former and current stars from across punk and metal, it’s an ambitious attempt to turn the idea of a supergroup on its head.
Certainly, a lot of hype has gone on about the assembled players, especially the vocalists. If you re thinking of Grohl’s Probot project, you are not far off. That was Grohl paying tribute to his metal heroes. TTK is all about paying tribute to a certain mindset. An era when writing fun, smart songs that hit you where you live was the norm. Mullen has put his distinctive angry yelp on many C.O.C. albums and does a fine job here on the opening track ‘Exploder’ and on ‘The Dead Hand’. ‘Exploder’ is just a classic punk track with all the whoa-oh-ohs you can handle. Second track ‘Crowned by the Light of The Sun’ sounds like an early-era Clutch song and thus Neil Fallon is right at home singing over some stone grooves. The most blistering track here is the thrash/punk ‘Hung Out To Dry’. Randy Blythe (Lamb of God) just slays the track with his parts.
Following these first salvos the rest of the album is a tad uneven in a few places, but on repeated listens the entire thing holds together well. Jello Biafra is predictably pissed off in the too-short ‘Ode to Hannity’. ‘Barrio’ featuring Matt Skiba of Alkaline Trio/Blink 182 has the second-best track on the album. It’s another fun old-school sing-a-long that is both fun and political. Mike IX (EyeHateGod), Tommy Victor (Prong/Danzig) and Tairrie B. Murphy (My Ruin) anchor the three of the remaining real standout tracks. While it’s great to have an album in 2015 with Lee Ving (Fear), Karl Agel (COC Blind/King Hitter) and Phil Rind (Sacred Reich) altogether, at times you wish the tracks were a little stronger. Although a little short of total greatness for all the meaningful names, Teenage Time Killers backed up having the stones to call this album Greatest Hits Vol 1.
Teenage Time Killers will be releasing their long awaited release Greatest Hits Vol 1 on July 31, 2015 via Rise Records. The brainchild of Corrosion of Conformity drummer Reed Mullin, guitarist Mick Murphy (My Ruin, The Birds of Satan) and producer John “Lou” Lousteau, the project has released a track listing along with a breakdown of guest credits. All instrumental tracks on Greatest Hits Vol. 1 were recorded at Dave Grohl‘s 606 Studios in Northridge, California. The album was produced by Lousteau, Mullin and Murphy, engineered and mixed by Lousteau at 606 Studios.
Stream “Barrio” (with Matt Skiba of Alkaline Trio) and “Hung Out To Dry” (with Randy Blythe of Lamb Of God) below.
Vocals: Reed Mullin
Featuring Pat Hoed (Bass), London May (Drums)
02. “Crowned By The Light Of The Sun”
Vocals: Neil Fallon
Featuring Jim Rota (Guitar), Dave Grohl (Bass)
03. “Hung Out to Dry”
Vocals: Randy Blythe
Featuring Mike Schaefer (Guitar), Dave Grohl (Bass)
04. “Power Outage”
Vocals: Clifford Dinsmore
Featuring Dave Grohl (Bass)
05. “Ode to Hannity”
Vocals: Jello Biafra
Featuring Mike Dean (Bass)
Vocals: Matt Skiba
Featuring Brian Baker (Guitar)
07. “The Dead Hand”
Vocals: Reed Mullin
Featuring Woody Weatherman (Guitar), Dave Grohl (Bass)
Vocals: Corey Taylor
Featuring Dave Grohl (Bass)
09. “Plank Walk”
Vocals: Pete Stahl
Featuring Greg Anderson (Guitar), Dave Grohl (Bass)
10. “Time To Die”
Vocals: Mike IX Williams
Featuring Greg Anderson (Guitar)
11. “Days Of Degradation”
Vocals: Tommy Victor
Featuring Dave Grohl (Bass)
Vocals: Tairrie B. Murphy
Featuring Dave Grohl (Bass)
13. “Big Money”
Vocals: Lee Ving
Featuring Pat Smear (Guitar & Bass), London May (Drums)
14. “Devil In This House”
Vocals: Karl Agell
Featuring Dave Grohl (Bass)
15. “Say Goodnight To The Acolyte”
Vocals: Phil Rind
Featuring Jason Browning (Guitar), Dave Grohl (Bass)
16. “Ignorant People”
Vocals: Tony Foresta
Featuring Greg Anderson (Guitar), Nick Oliveri (Bass)
17. “Son Of An Immigrant”
Vocals: Johnny Weber
Featuring Brian Baker (Guitar)
18. “Your Empty Soul”
Vocals: Aaron Beam
19. “Bleeding To Death”
Vocals: Vic Bondi
Featuring Dave Grohl (Bass)
20. “Teenage Time Killer”
Vocals: Trenton Rogers
Featuring Greg Anderson (Guitar), Pat Hoed (Bass)
Portland, OR based sludge band Lord Dying return with their new album Poisoned Altars (Relapse Records) due out on January 27th. With the album streaming through various sources, fans and new listeners can get a taste of what’s to come before the official release this week.
The only real problems I have with the record are the vocals. While Erik Olson’s voice remains steady and constant, I have a hard time finding much emotion behind it. The instruments do all of the talking and seem to leave the vocal tracks seem a bit out of place at times.
The music itself is absolutely solid and captures your attention. None of the songs feel overdone or unnecessary. I could easily listen to an instrumental version of this for hours. That said, there are a few tracks that especially stand out to me. ‘An Open Sore’ is a fantastic break up song. You’re not going to be wallowing in pity because it makes you want to get up and move (all of your ex’s stuff to the curb). The song also features Red Fang’s nerdalicious Aaron Beam performing guest vocals.
My favorite track off of Poisoned Altars is a toss up between ‘A Wound Outside of Time’ and ‘Darkness Remains’. ‘A Wound Outside of Time’ is the shortest song on the album and every second of it is filled with excellence. It starts off slowly but quickly gains momentum and keeps the listener engaged. ‘Darkness Remains’ wraps up the album in just under seven minutes of pounding riffs and vocals before ultimately fading out.
This is an album that you really have to spend some time with. You’re not going to get everything in just a few listens. I’m sure there’s much more the remains to be seen and heard in person as well. I’ve never seen Lord Dying live but I’ll definitely have to add them to my list. I anticipate a wicked bangover in my future.
ALEIDA LA LLAVE
Teenage Time Killer, an all star project headed by Corrosion of Conformity’s Mike Dean and Reed Mullin, has reportedly signed a record deal with Rise Records. The name was taken from a Rudimentary Peni song. The instrumental parts for the upcoming CD were recorded at Dave Grohl’s (FOO FIGHTERS, NIRVANA) Studio 606 in Northridge, California on the famous Sound City mixing board, which was the central focus of Grohl’s acclaimed “Sound City: Real To Reel” documentary. The effort was mastered by Bill Stevenson (THE DESCENDENTS, BLACK FLAG).
Reported artists who have contributed to the project include:
Randy Blythe (Lamb Of God)
Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters)
Corey Taylor (Slipknot/Stone Sour)
Neil Fallon (Clutch)
Jello Biafra (Dead Kennedys)
Lee Ving (Fear)
Tommy Victor (Prong)
Nick Oliveri (Mondo Generator, ex-Queens Of The Stone Age/Kyuss)
Aaron Beam (Red Fang)
Pete Stahl (Scream, Goatsnake)
Greg Anderson (SUNN O))), Goatsnake)
Karl Agell (ex-Corrosion Of Conformity)
Tairrie B Murphy (My Ruin)
Mick Murphy (My Ruin)
Vic Bondi (Articles Of Faith)
Clifford Dinsmore (BL’AST!)
Pat Hoed (Brujeria)
Max Cavalera (Soulfly)
Tony Foresta (Municipal Waste/Iron Reagan)
Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein (The Misfits)
Keith Morris (Black Flag, etc.)
Phil Rind (Sacred Reich)
Asked if there are any plans for TEENAGE TIME KILLER to go on the road in support of the upcoming CD, Mullin told INDY Week: “Touring, I don’t know. Dave Grohl’s folks — his management and marketing people — are going to help us do all that with the thing. We recorded about 98 percent of it at his studio. They were talking about — since there’s so many people from so many different bands — maybe do something like ‘[Jimmy] Kimmel [Live!]’ and have three or four different singers come out at one time, like Jello and Lee Ving, maybe Randy from LAMB OF GOD, something like that. All the songs are real short, so we could do, easily, four songs and not go over. But you know, we’d have Brian Baker come out and play guitar, Pat Smear play bass or guitar or whatever. It’s pretty star-studded.”
He added: “It sounds really organic. It sounds like we — the people that we associated with for the different songs — wrote the songs together.”
Rock ‘n roll is definitely alive inside of The Troubadour and the energy is definitely at a high as the crowd eagerly awaits the return of Oregon rockers Red Fang. The packed crowd is ready for a high energy show and they definitely got that.
Opening with ‘Malverde’ (off their last record Murder the Mountains), Red Fang set the pace with their riff driven rock n roll sound and rarely allowing the tempo to relax along the way. The riffs come a flowing throughout each song, while their punk esque demeanor to their sound adds a different flavor that makes them desirable and somewhat dangerous sounding.
Guitarist Bryan Giles and bassist Aaron Beam traded lead vocal duties throughout their set, each giving a different feel to each tune while the crowd screamed along to each song. Much of their set list consisted of songs from Murder The Mountains while including songs from their newest album Whales and Leeches. Songs like ‘Crows in Swine’ and ‘1516’ hit the crowd hard, but they still managed to absorb the blow without any setbacks. They took in each song as if they were regulars in their set for years.
Their other guitarist, David Sullivan, quietly worked in his guitar magic, occasionally adding his tasteful riffage, while drummer John Sherman bashed away in stride. They also brought out guest keyboardist Roger Manning for a one time appearance on ‘Blood Like Cream’. The latter part of their set list ended with three songs from their self titled release. ‘Sharks and ‘Prehistoric Dog’, and the surprise encore tune ‘Good To Die’ left the crowd with a lot more rock than they originally bargained for.
Red Fang definitely lives up to their hype alongside the current wave of dirty riff-driven rock bands such as Baroness, Torche, Mastodon, and Clutch, while carrying the flag with pride. Oregon should be proud and music fan should take notice if you haven’t already.