ALBUM REVIEW: Vitriol – To Bathe from the Throat of Cowardice

Yeah, this sounds fucked upcoming from me the advocate of all things Death Metal, loud and slamming drums, but young extreme bands need to learn when to hold them and when to fold them. There are many moments of technical brilliance – leads and solos in particular – to be found in Vitriol’s To Bathe from the Throat of Cowardice (Century Media Records), but they tend to get lost in a monochromatic cement sea. Continue reading

Sonic Temple Art + Music Festival Releases Running Order

Sonic Temple Art + Music Festival is set to debut in a few weeks, taking place May 17, 18 & 19, 2019 Event At MAPFRE Stadium In Columbus, Ohio. The set times for the Music & Comedy Performances of the festival have been announced, which features Foo Fighters, System Of A Down, Disturbed, Bring Me The Horizon, Ghost, Papa Roach, Lamb of God, plus Andrew Dice Clay, Henry Rollins, Pauly Shore and more at SiriusXM Comedy & Spoken Word Tent. You can see the schedule below and download each day to your phone. The fest also released their mobile app so you don’t miss any of the action. Continue reading

Punk Documentary Series From Iggy Pop and John Varvatos Debuts on Epix

Punk, a new documentary series made its debut on the EPIX channel tonight. Produced by Iggy Pop and designer and music mogul John Varvatos, Punk is a four-part series that explores the birth of Punk Rock. A huge assemblage of stars has come together including Pop, Varvatos, John Lydon (Sex Pistols, Public Image Ltd), Henry Rollins (Black Flag), Marky Ramone (Ramones), Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters/Nirvana), Duff McKagan (Guns n’ Roses), Donita Sparks (L7),director Penelope Spheeris (The Decline of Western Civilization), Joan Jett, Danny Fields, Legs McNeil, Wayne County, Keith Morris (Black Flag/Circle Jerks/OFF), Debbie Harry and Chris Stein (Blondie), Wayne County, Flea and many more. It may become a recurring series since the listing on EPIX refers to it as “Season 1”. You can watch the trailer below and click the link to sign up for a free trial to watch episode 1 on your phone on the EPIX NOW app or mobile device if your cable provider doesn’t feature the channel.    Continue reading

Dumb And Dumbest Podcast 66: Telling A Story With Your Band

Do you know how to tell a story with your band, in order to help engage fans and be more interesting? Check out Episode 66 of the Dumb and Dumbest Podcast- Interview for the scoop on how the hell to do this correctly, and who some of the experts are (hints: Henry Rollins, Dave Grohl, Ghost, Skrillex). The new episode is streaming right now, hosted as always by music executive Matt Bacon (Dropout Media, Ripple Music, Prophecy Productions) and Publicist Curtis Dewar (Dewar PR), and hosted here at Ghost Cult.    Continue reading

System of a Down, Foo Fighters, Disturbed, Ghost, Bring Me The Horizon Booked For Sonic Temple Festival

The festival formerly known as Rock On The Range is now Sonic Temple, and it has its inaugural lineup. The very first lineup is an absolute banger with legends like System of a Down, Foo Fighters, Disturbed, Ghost, Bring Me The Horizon, The Prodigy, Lamb of God, Halestorm, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Chevelle, In This Moment, The Cult, Killswitch Engage among others. There will also be a comedy tent with Andrew Dice Clay, Henry Rollins and more. Tickets go onsale November 30th at 12 Noon EST at the link below. Taking place at MAPFRE Stadium in Columbus (traditionally the home of Rock on the Range) on May 17 – 19, 2019, Sonic Temple promises all the musical firepower of ROTR, but with innovative food and drink options and other features to make it an even more impressive festival experience and more in line with Bourbon and Beyond.

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Untertow By Tool Turns 25

The year was 1993 and the times they were a changing. The generational pull of Gen X was underway and a new American President ushered in a hopeful, new time for a while. Some of the cultural touchstones of the time included a weekly science fiction program about aliens and monsters dominated prime time in The X-files, the best comedy in ages, Groundhog Day reminded us why Bill Murray was and is a goddamned national treasure, and Jurassic Park was the most dominant movie in half a decade. Also, a little known “alternative metal” band from Los Angeles, by way of everywhere else named Tool hit the scene with their début full-length album and changed the course of modern music. Oddly those particular references to pop culture coinciding with Tool’s ascendance from the underground to popularity all signal a weird synchrony that was represented by the band and the music they brought to bear.

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Blind Idiot God – Release A Video For Their Track Rollercoster, New Album In The Works

Reactivated legends Blind Idiot God have shared a video for their track ‘Rollercoster’, from their cult classic 1989 album Undertow, reissued recently via Indivisible Music. The band is heading into the studio soon to make their long-awaited fifth album, due out later in 2018. Continue reading

Randy Blythe of Lamb of God On Punk Rock

Lamb of God 2015 travis shinn

Since the release of his book Dark Days: A Memoir and his band Lamb of God’s latest album VII: Sturm und Drang, frontman Randy Blythe has spoken about many subjects pertaining to his life. One area that he has spoken about is his connection to the punk rock world and how the music often helped him through tough time periods throughout his life. Continue reading

Jim Wilson of Motor Sister Talks Mother Superior

Mother Superior

Mother Superior

Motor Sister have become the LA rock supergroup who have made waves within the music world. Their debut album Ride (out now via Metal Blade Records) comes from the ashes of another one time band fronted by band singer and guitarist Jim Wilson.

Before Motor Sister came to life, Wilson once fronted a much talked about band called Mother Superior. From 1993 until 2011, the lineup of Wilson, bassist Marcus Blake and drummer Jason Mackenroth (later replaced by Matt Tecu in 2005) was a much talked about yet underappreciated rock outfit who made waves throughout Southern California and beyond.

Motor Sister

Motor Sister

Wilson spoke about Mother Superior and about their time together and the history of the band.

That’s a good question because I always get that mixed up,” he said, clarifying how many official releases Mother Superior had out. “The thing is we released eight different CDs of original material but there was one at the very beginning that I recorded myself on a reel to reel tape recorder that we used as a demo called Right in a Row. It was nine songs that never came out anywhere else. It’s a whole album’s worth of material.

That was the album, as a demo, I got to give to Henry Rollins when I worked at Aron’s Records (longtime LA indie record shop). I said check out my band. He listened to it. I called and he said I really like this and let’s stay in touch. That’s an album that gets put on ebay as an album. It actually is a full album but was never properly distributed. That would be nine, and at the very end in 2008, we had a French label come to us and said they wanted to put out a Greatest Hits of Mother Superior and if you had any new tracks we’ll take them. So it had seven old songs, two new songs plus we did a cover of a Beatles song which we did for a Beatles tribute album that never came out. We gave them that song too. So that’s like a tenth album. It’s got new material but there’s eight proper distributed albums. Not to mention we recorded three albums with Henry Rollins and a live album, so we did do a lot of music in the time we were together.

Some may recall them as the second version of the Rollins Band from 1997 until 2003. They recorded Get Some Go Again (2000) and Nice (2001) during their time together, touring internationally and reaching new audiences.

I always knew Henry was into the same kind of music I was into like Black Sabbath and he liked Parliament and Funkadelic. He was a real music fan. He liked Miles Davis. When we first met Henry, he was hardcore getting into the Beatles. He would always know about the Beatles. I met Henry and showed him my Beatles bootleg collection. He asked ‘can I borrow these overnight, copy them all and bring them back to you?’ It’s Rollins so of course. He got so into the Beatles and at that point we were sharing music together.

It’s like Motor Sister now. We were a band with Rollins because we were friends. We were musical friends. That’s how it feels now. When Mother Superior started, that original trio – we were all working in record stores and growing up together. We were friends and as time moves on, everyone has families, kids and it gets harder to keep the same three guys together. You start to turn into this alcoholic freak show instead of like proper adults. We took that as far as we could before you start looking around in your life for other experiences and other friends.

Towards the latter half of Mother Superior, Wilson landed a gig playing with famed producer Daniel Lanois’ solo band, which opened his world towards sharing the stage with larger acts.

I’ve been playing with Daniel Lanois for eleven years now because I’m his friend. I’m the longest running musician in his camp and has been playing with him. It’s fun for me because Daniel is a world class musician and he’s treated with respect everywhere we go, and I get to be in the passenger seat as his bass player and co singer. Because of Daniel, I came back from DC a couple weekends ago and did the Emmylou Harris tribute show with Kris Kristofferson and Chris Hillman from the Byrds, Rodney Crowell, Don Was and The All Star Band. I get to be part of that world too.

He shared his status with his longtime bassist Blake, with whom co-started Mother Superior with. Aside from Rollins Band, the two also were in Lanois’ band together. Then he explains what happened since then.

He was first in Rollins Band and he did play with Daniel for a while. Then Daniel had his project called Black Dub and that was a weird point. For his Black Dub project, he only needed a bass player and a singer, and since I’m a singer he asked me if I wanted to play bass and I said yes. I played some bass – not all the time but whenever he needed it. When I joined the Black Dub project, it turned into a world tour and very successful. I think he felt a little bit of ‘wait…why are you playing bass?’ It’s nothing personal. It also brought it into the band. I think after the original Mother Superior drummer Jason Mackenroth and that was the closest we ever were and friends that hung out. Matt Tecu was the second drummer and he was a great drummer. He joined the band as a replacement because we needed a drummer. We didn’t have the comradely the original band had. Due to that, I think me and Marcus grew apart a bit.

When I came back after Black Dub and into the situation of Mother Superior – oh are we going to make another album? No offense to Marcus but he brought in frustrations while I was away on tour and he had a bunch of songs he had written that he wanted to sing and said ‘on the next album I want to sing at least three songs.’

There I was listening to him. He asked if he could use my guitar when we got together. He said he’s got a Foo Fighters kind of thing. I was like ‘listen…this has all changed. It’s not the same band it used to be. That’s when I decided to make a solo record. That pissed him off so I got a nasty email. ‘Don’t use any of our connections if you’re going to do a solo album…you keep it separate.’ It was that time where if I tried to do anything different it made the guys in the band angry. It wasn’t like I could go back into the Mother Superior situation and pretend like it wasn’t existing any more.

There’s a saying that sometimes alcoholics use…I love alcohol but I’m not an alcoholic, but I love the saying that trying to do something different the same way every time is the definition of insanity. That’s what it felt like at the end of Mother Superior. We had a sound and we couldn’t do anything different or it would make the old band mad. We had talked about trying to change and it meant something different to each of the guys. We would never see eye to eye. I know other bands in other situations where they say ‘oh we don’t get along but we still play together.’ That’s because those kind of bands…say like Metallica or something, they’re getting paid millions of dollars not to like each other. Of course they’re going to go to Portugal and get paid a million dollars if someone’s going to pay them. I don’t know if that’s good or bad. Mother Superior has never had that situation where someone said ‘hey I’m going to pay you a lot of money to be friends.’ So we haven’t done anything together.

Wilson admits he did reach out to Blake about his involvement in Motor Sister, which some fans may have noticed his absence from the project.

To be honest, I tried to get in touch with Marcus when this project came about and got a negative response. So I tried to explain that the only thing that could happen is anyone who is interested will go back and check out the old stuff. Maybe it was too soon. Out of respect to the band, we changed the name. We threw the name around and there’s a song “Little Motor Sister” and Pearl [Aday, vocals] said “what about ‘Little Motor Sister”? And I said what about Motor Sister? Then it’s still MS. Now that we did that – I’m so glad that we did because it’s given it its own identity. It’s still related in a way where if anybody wants to know. I have nothing but respect for the original music. There are my guitar riffs and my melodies and all of my lyrics. As a singer I said I have to write all of the words that come out of my mouth. I’m glad people can still listen to the tunes and it’s going well. I wish all of the guys the best. Sometimes it takes time.

Even after Mother Superior’s untimely ending, Wilson has kept active within music. He found a cult fan base for his music that became more apparent as time went on.

I’ve been working on music since the Rollins thing. I’ve been super blessed that I get to do this. Somehow I survive. Because of that things change, and because of Daniel putting me in his touring band so much, it took me away from Mother Superior a little bit. It let me see it from a different place. While you’re in it every day…I can’t tell you how many times out of frustration, either the drummer or the bass player would say ‘we should have a meeting…’ and we would have a ‘meeting’ just for a chance so we can bitch each other about how we can’t pay our rent.

We really were a punk rock band that no major label would touch. We had fans that wanted us to keep making music. People were telling us ‘I love you guys! Don’t ever give this up. You really have something special. And you’re trying to keep this going but there’s no dash from the gas tank. Then you start looking for other ways to make this happen. At first we got lucky with Henry because I got to take the whole band on the adventure without changing anything. Henry took the whole band so nobody got left behind. But as time went by it wasn’t always possible. I had the opportunity to work with Daniel and it was something I needed to do. As it took me away from Mother Superior, maybe it made me go I don’t have to do that forever.

“You know that Canadian band Anvil? I love them. I actually saw them open for Aerosmith in the 80s. I thought they were great. I saw that movie and thought about me and the other guys. I don’t want to end up in a dead end scene. I wanted to break away. I also think about Miles Davis and John Coltrane, and how John Coltrane was in Miles Davis’ band. He wasn’t afraid to take a chance to step outside that and that inspired me to do something on my own. It’s the history of music that not only makes me keep creating but not be afraid to try something different and doesn’t make sense at the time.”

By Rei Nishimoto

KEN Mode – Success

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A wail of feedback, a sludgy, laconic riff, a jarring bass line and Success (Season of Mist) shudders into being in the style of that too-cool-to-give-a-fuck band that ambles on stage and begins the song with each member starting at their own pace and point of choice. KEN Mode, kings of the post-surf/noise rock power-trio kingdom stroll acerbically into their sixth album.

Jesse Matthewson, known for intelligent, confrontation and biting observations, has chosen to measure his delivery this time, and most of his outpourings are part-spoken and spat, rather than roared or thrown from his maw, seemingly intent on imparting off-centre soundbites. “I would like to kill the nicest man in the world” he states at the outset of ‘These Tight Jeans’, where he trades off lines with Jill Clapham in both a catchy and knowingly cool fashion, channelling his inner Jesus Lizard.

The hand of Steve Albini is present all through, as the In Utero (Geffen) producer skuzzes up ‘The Owl’, an astringent swagger with stoner undertones, before a bass crunk and cello mid-section pull the song into a discordant yowl over clashing chords, as KEN Mode play with the notion of traditional song-structure effectively. Sonic Youth would be proud.

Yet all is not rosy in KEN and Barbie’s world. There is a nagging feeling that while Clutch (for whom KEN Mode certainly owe a something to) are naturally and instinctively quirky, for the first time KM things feel a bit forced, as if stating “Handfuls of proverbial shit tossed over and over against that same proverbial wall” (‘Blessed’) is a little close to the mark, and that moving to a more caustic pop sound may be contrived, such as on the overly self-aware and smug ‘A Passive Disaster’. The cap might not fit at the moment, but all it would take is adjusting the clasp at the back. At times, this new KEN Mode just sits a little uncomfortably. But then such doubts are stomped to dust by the rising dynamic of ‘Management Control’ which builds to feedback end, or the exemplary dark, brooding, sprawling ‘Dead Actors’, that recalls The Doors clashing with a more progressive Nirvana.

Mixing a Clutch of stoner, a Tad of grunge and pinch of Mudhoney slovenliness in their Helmet of groove, KEN Mode can consider their transition a Success. Just.

 

7.0/10

KEN Mode on Facebook

 

STEVE TOVEY