Typically we try to stay away from rumor mill material with Ghost Cult, as we like to leave that up to our peers who trade your trust for clickbait daily. On rare occasions, we will share a story that is developing that would be of great interest to fans if it comes to fruition and will let you know up front if we only have some of the facts. Such is the case with John Reece, co-founder of the now-defunct Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival. Reece posted last night on social media to the Mayhem Festival account, posing the question: should the fest should make a comeback? Reece who also used to run the Taste of Chaos tour with his then partner Kevin Lyman (also of Warped Tour) have been tight-lipped since the farewell messages at the end of the 2015 run of dates that ended the run of eight years straight starting in 2008. As of now, there is no pending announcement or further information we have to indicate the fest is coming back, but we’d love to see it! Once it went dark some of the bands that would typically play the fest went over to play Warped, which is also no longer a touring fest. Even as a destination fest (the current trend), we feel Mayhem would make a huge comeback. Both Reece and Lyman are incredible entrepreneurs with Reece involved with fests like Back To The Beach and the new Real Street Fest, and Lyman still running Warped and FEND, so there is no doubt they can make this happen and bring it back. Mayhemfest, as it was known, was a strictly Rock and Metal fest that was an answer to Ozzfest in America, after that event went on hiatus. The fest boasted lineups that included Slipknot, Korn, Disturbed, Slayer, King Diamond, Marilyn Manson, Lamb of God, Five Finger Death Punch, Avenged Sevenfold, Killswitch Engage, Cannibal Corpse, Behemoth, Hatebreed, All That Remains, Testament, Godsmack, Megadeth, Anthrax, Motörhead, Mastodon, Amon Amarth, Machine Head, Trivium and more!
Ghost Cult caught up Bullet for My Valentine on the road in New Jersey a while back for an interview. The UK rock and metal band have been to the USA three times in the last year supporting their 2018 release Gravity (Spinefarm). We chatted with drummer Jason Bowld about the fan reaction to Gravity, being at peace with your choices as an artist, touring with Avenged Sevenfold, We Came As Romans, Spotify his approach to drumming live in amphitheaters and festivals, staying sane and fit on the road, and more. Interview by Keefy with videography by Omar Cordy of OJC Photography. Assisted by Paul Coughlan. Continue reading
Once again it was time to convene the holy church of rock and metal that is the Rock Allegiance Festival. We have gone to ¾ of these fests, the North East’s biggest heavy music event every year. This years lineup was good, but perhaps not as stacked since the fest became a one-day affair in 2017. Still, even with the loss of Avenged Sevenfold (they canceled their entire tour due to illness), the fest was heavy on young talent, solid mid-level bands and big draws like Limp Bizkit, Papa Roach, GWAR, Insane Clown Posse, Fozzy and more. As we mentioned the early day was just packed with great young bands, maybe more than any fest Ghost Cult attended worldwide in 2018. From Blacktop Mojo’s soulful grungy metal, Badflower, Stone Broken, Bad Omens, Sylar and Knocked Loose bringing the hardcore, and even local Philly area openers Siravo are worth investigating. These bands are the bright future of music we have to look forward to.
We split the team into two so we could interview a slew of bands (check out our YouTube channel) and also see the show and take in the fest. BB&T Pavillion is a fun venue on the water with a real Naval battleship to hang out on for the VIP’s. Cool to see bands framed against the Schuylkill River, overlooking the beautiful Philadelphia skyline.
Besides seeing some of the early bands mix it up, there were impressive amounts of fans for Fozzy (in a rare American fest appearance), From Ashes To New, ICP, and the mighty GWAR who brought their “A game” and their full show to the Pavillion stage. They pulled no punches, murdered people, bled and came on fans (not really) and upstaged every other band. GWAR seemed to be playing to a brand new audience this day, which is always rad to see. ICP predictably had a ton if heads in the house, many who seemed to be there just for them. They were never my thing personally, but you have to respect what they have put down. Whoop whoop, indeed.
Expected high energy sets from Fever 333, Beartooth, Motionless In White made up that solid middle of the bill we spoke of. Bullet For My Valentine has taken a lot of flack over their new album Gravity being too far out of the box for fans. Still, they rule live and those in attendance today got the full the BFMV experience in person, and a great one at that.
Skillet is one of the hardest working bands in the world and when I ever I see them live I feel like they ought to be headlining these festivals. They have a deep catalog and frontman John Cooper is amazing!
Papa Roach had the fans amped as the crowd filled in the amphitheater for the last few bands of the day. They put on an excellent show, played some new jams, and had an amazing g light show. It was sick to hear fans sing and rap along to the band that is creeping up on 20 years I the scene. Of course, they closed with ‘Last Resort’ and of course people went apeshit.
Limp Bizkit put on their customary big show. Coming on with a tribute to Prince, complete with all purple lights and “Purple Rain” played over the speakers. Opening with ‘Full Nelson’, complete with a several minute elongated opening, so Fred Durst could pump up the crowd. And the crowd didn’t flag, they loved it, which shows the power of the band, even after all this time. Next was their short cover of Ministry classic ‘Thieves’, and this set the stage for many covers and medley breaks in the set. For the third song ‘Hot Dog’, Durst ran into the crowd and to the barricade between the pit and the seats and sang with the crowd. This was mere feet from me and it was pretty awesome how Fred touched ever hand he could, shared the microphone and seemed to make a personal connection to everyone near him. People can hate all they want, but he was awesome on this night.
The band rolled (pun intended) though some of their legit hits like ‘Rollin’. ‘Nookie’, followed by more covers like ‘Cowboys From Hell’ and ‘Creeping Death’ followed by more originals like ‘Take A look’ around’. With songs like these, the crowd was pretty hyped.
After a fast run through of their ‘Faith’ cover, the infamous “dropkick that wasn’t” happened where ICP’s Shaggy 2 Dope tried to attack Durst. It was pretty weak and dumb, although I can see why people thought it a PR stunt with all the beef between the two groups over time.
Still, LB pressed on and finished the set with even more covers like ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’, and ‘Killing In The Name Of’, and before closing with ‘Break Stuff’ and ‘Take A Look Around’. It was a pretty fitting end to a fun day. See you next year Rock Allegiance!
WORDS BY KEITH CHACHKES
PHOTOS BY OMAR CORDY & PAUL COGHLAN
There have been some bold claims coming out of the Disturbed camp with regards to seventh album Evolution (Reprise Records); and for one of Rock and Metal’s biggest, most successful and most stable acts to be making noises about a release setting them up for the next phase of their career, this must mean the feeling in the camp must be that this album is “the one” – the definitive release. From the redesigning of the logo, the stripping away of the Heavy Metal demon that has fronted most of their stock, to the slick and calculated pre-release campaign, there is a weight of evidence that Disturbed have gone away and found their new selves. Continue reading
Check out all of today’s new releases in the music world you need to know about, from your friends at Ghost Cult! Continue reading
When Atreyu’s Suicide Notes and Butterfly Kisses (Victory) was released in 2002, the band was entering a sonic journey in the prime time of the Orange County Metalcore scene. They have stayed relevant by releasing six strong full-lengths since. This year, they celebrate their 20-year anniversary with the release of their seventh album In Our Wake (Spinefarm). Continue reading
Avenged Sevenfold has answered fan complaints of their just released new single ‘Mad Hatter’ from their Black Reign EP, in conjunction with the release of Call Of Duty: Black Ops 4. Fans clapped back at the band on social media about the new song, and the mixing job on it. Note that the track was only public in the game and the music video and single on DSPs last week, and just released the entire album publicly on Friday, September 21st. The new version will go live today. Frontman M. Shadows took to Reddit to answer fans and explain the new version. Continue reading