Portland rock madmen Red Fang, who just celebrated their tenth anniversary as a band, are heading into the studio with Ross Robinson (Soulfly, Korn, Slipknot, Fear Factory) at his studio in Venice Beach, CA to record the follow up to Wales And Leeches (2013). The new Red Fang album will release on Relapse Records, later this year.
Commented drummer John Sherman:
“I’ve never been more excited about making a record in my life. The writing process for this album has been super fun and full of energy and good vibes. And the opportunity to work with Ross Robinson is so crazy – I’ve got goose bumps just talking about it!!”
Robinson also commented:
“Red Fang is the extreme mix of cool, wisdom, fire, life dedication and taste. I’m stoked to see who they are at the deepest level on tape; anyone touched by Red Fang swim in coolness, they are true messengers of inspiration.”
Last fall Aaron Beam gave Ghost Cult exclusive insights about their new album and what it might sound like.
“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.
As the band wends their way down from Portland to California, their will play two shows before hitting record on the new album.
John Reese of Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival co-coordinator
Knotfest has concluded its second Southern California edition this past October (and third year overall) with successful results, giving the heavy music scene an outlet for rising bands to be heard on a larger scale. Plus with one of the genre’s biggest acts to have an event of this size designed around them and hand selecting many of the acts on there, it opens up new opportunities for others.
For hardcore Slipknot fans, having their own festival event became a given for them to put on such an event. Veteran prodocer and event coordinator of the festival, John Reese, plays a huge role is making sure the show goes on smoothly.
He gave his thoughts on what makes them such a likely candidate to hold such an event and becoming successful at throwing a two day event with multiple stages of heavy rock and metal bands, a museum of band related items and even a roller coaster.
“Because I think Slipknot’s so visual. They’re so visual in what they do and it has that crazy side show kind of element that made itself defensible more than most other acts. So they wear masks, it’s dark and it’s visual and their videos are very intense. From the standpoint of creating this giant apocalyptic carnival, which is what I like to refer it to, there’s really no better band on the planet to create something around.”
Photo Credit: Evil Robb Photography
Working alongside the band, Reese played a key role in making the event runs smoothly. Best known for also producing the summer annual Rockstar Mayhem Festival, his experience producing events such as these helped put together such an event.
“It’s not that different. The differences are the substantial amount of curation and involvement with Slipknot. They’re involved in every single decision and I would want it that way because it represents their brand.”
“They’re involved with the curation of the talent. They’re involved in everything that basically puts this thing on. I run all of the attractions by them. I do the leg work. They’re intimately involved in the curation of the event with Cory Brennan, the manager and the band,” he said, explaining his role alongside the Slipknot band members.
Being involved in the production of Knotfest, Reese himself admitted he did get some say on the selection process of the talent. “Of course – I work on it and send them a submission list. If I feel there’s somebody worth fighting for, I’ll fight for that act. So I’m intimately involved in everything, trying to make sure we pull off the right show all the way down the line.”
2015 was the third edition of the Knotfest (and second in Southern California), he explained how they made changes and fine tuning things to ensure it to run better and giving attendees a better experience.
“We basically really wanted to deliver a similar kind of thing to what we did last year because we felt that it worked. We lost a couple of attractions. We lost the zipline and two lane Monster Trucks. We’ve done a lot of different things to make sure that the fans wanted to see and do we did. We felt last year the show was an hour and a half. The show was too long so we reduced the show by one hour.”
“We added acts to the extreme stage. That was an important part. We added a couple of more stages up in the top of the lawn at the Thunderdome with the fire. We added two more stages up there. We tried to adapt and engage and do stuff that we felt like created a good slow loop in the festival and gave people a lot of different things to see.”
When it came to selecting the talent, they took on the challenge of finding acts they felt would best round out such an event, while balancing availabilities and not repeating names from the previous year.
“We have to try to find which artists are available. We didn’t repeat a single act from the year before. Everybody that played this year was entirely new with the exception of Slipknot. That was important and we threw in the hip hop element in there with Mobb Deep and Ghostface Killah. In my business that’s always finding out when bands are available, how much they want to get paid and all of those things necessary to be able to book one of these things.”
Mobb Deep, by Melina D Photography
Reese shared who he was personally excited to see during the Knotfest weekend. Being that he was involved in the selection process in booking talent, he himself talked about who he was excited to see performing on his event.
“I loved seeing Judas Priest. There’s this new band Khaotika that I wanted to see….Belphagor…there’s probably 15 or 20 that I wanted to see. I’ve seen most of them through playing on the Mayhem Festival or other stuff that I do.”
Judas Priest, by Melina D Photography
Photo Credit: Hillarie Jason
“I hadn’t seen Judas Priest since the early 80s so I was really stoked to see them. I always love seeing Korn. I loved the hip hop collaboration between Mobb Deep and Ghostface Killah. I loved that. It was great seeing Clutch. I hadn’t seen them in forever. Suicidal Tendencies – I’ve never had them on any of my festivals so it was great to see them. Love Cannibal Corpse. I could keep talking but…”
Korn, by Melina D Photography
Clutch. Photo Credit: Evil Robb Photography
Cannbal Corpse, by Melina D Photography
Overall, he was happy with the results with Knotfest and the hard work put in by the members of Slipknot. “I’m just so proud of Slipknot. I actually went and signed them with Ross Robinson back in 1998 and watched them become arguably one of the biggest heavy bands in the world. They stick to their guns and they never compromised. They took a big risk and a big shot with putting Knotfest out there and I think what they’re doing for heavy music should be commended.”
As for a 2016 edition, Reese would not give a definite answer at this time, but was positive about its future.
“Well we’d love it to be an annual thing so we’ll see. We’re going to have a debrief and we’ll sit down and decide what we’re going to do next year if anything. Obviously I hope it comes back. The plan is for it to be an annual event in San Bernadino. That’s the plan but stranger things have happened. So that’s our plan and we’ll see what happens.”
As for Rockstar Mayhem Festival or any other hard music related festival tour in the near future, he did not have anything definite at the time and said “I’m working on some stuff. Who knows? Once again, never say never. I don’t know yet. Nothing’s in stone yet. We’re still working on some things. We’ll see what happens.”
Cancer Bats has booked an upcoming headline run with Exalt as support. They will be performing songs from their forthcoming album Searching For Zero, out in March via Metal Blade.
Produced by legendary multi-platinum producer Ross Robinson (At The Drive-In, Slipknot, The Cure, Sepultura, Glassjaw), Searching For Zero is the most melodic, yet menacing CANCER BATS release to date, described by bassist Jaye Schwarzer as a, “raw, open wound.” The record incorporates the crude hardcore punk of their 2006 debut, Birthing The Giant, and the more metal leanings of 2008’s Hail Destroyer, while pushing the heavy hybrid sounds of 2010’s Mayors Bears Scraps And Bones and 2012’s Darker Dead Set On Living to a new plateau. The choruses are hookier, the screams more savage, the riffs more vicious, the songs more powerful. This is CANCER BATS at their “True Zero.”
CANCER BATS w/ Exalt Mar 15: Magic Stick – Detroit, MI Mar 16: Fubar -St. Louis, MO Mar 17: SXSW – Austin, TX Mar 23: The End – Nashville, TN Mar 24: Strange Matter – Richmond, VA Mar 25: Underground Arts – Philadelphia, PA Mar 26: Cake Shop – New York, NY Mar 27: Middle East – Upstairs – Cambridge, MA Mar 28: Saint Vitus Bar – Brooklyn, NY
Philm is a relatively new band who has attracted new fans across the music world with their eclectic yet avant-garde sound. The trio of drummer Dave Lombardo, singer/guitarist Gerry Nestler, and bassist Pancho Tomaselli are slowly venturing around the globe and playing to new audiences everywhere they can possibly hit. While touring plans are being put into place, Lombardo admits Philm has not toured enough to his liking. “Not as much as I’d like to,” he said. “I want to continue to work and tour as much as possible. Things are developing and hopefully more shows ahead of us.”
Photo By Annie Atlasman
While Philm has mainly done select tour runs in Europe and South America, Lombardo has recently done drum clinics around the globe. His most recent appearance was in Brazil, where he has had huge success and a strong fan base in over the years. “Amazing. They were really, really good. Ten clinics in twelve days – a great time to connect with the Brazilian people, and enjoyed the culture and seeing all of the different cities that they have. It was a lot of fun. I can’t wait to go back. Philm is going to play in Brazil and also doing a cruise in Brazil with Sepultura. We have some shows in Chile and Argentina.”
Speaking of Sepultura, he made a guest appearance on their latest full length release The Mediator Between The Head and the Hands Is The Heart, on the track “Obsessed.” “I was at the right place at the right time. I was walking down the beach with my daughter and my dog. I texted the producer and said ‘hey Ross [Robinson] – just giving you a hello. I’m out here at the beach. I’d like to go by and say hi.’ Very, very non chalant – just something random. His reply was ‘you wanna play drums?’ I said of course. When I got there, there were two drum sets set up and all of the Sepultura guys were there. It was great. It was really nice to see them.”