(NON-SPOILER ALERT) In the Easter egg of all Easter eggs thus far for the entire nine-year series of AMC’sThe Walking Dead, the 1990s classic by Wang Chung, ‘Space Junk’, was heard in the new episode of the series (S905). There were many Easter eggs if you follow the show, but the song was infamously heard in the very first episode of TWD in 2010, and even had a call out in the original comic series by Robert Kirkman. The episode, the best of the season so far, has been billed as the last ever for the main protagonist of the series, Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) on the show. Hear the track below. Continue reading
Once again it’s that time of yer where the temperature drops, and hopefully our spirits are light. As we approach the holidays in this spirit of giving AND sharing, Ghost Cult once again brings you “End Of Year” lists, memories, and other shenanigans from our favorite bands, partners, music industry peers, and other folks we respect across the world. We’re kicking things off in killer fashion with the imitable Tony Foresta of Municipal Waste/Iron Reagan fame. Tony shares with you his Top 9 Random Highlights of 2016!
Brent Hinds of Mastodon has revealed post on Instagram that he broke his leg riding his motorcycle and cast doubt on his availability to tour with his various projects including his new supergroup Giraffe Tongue Orchestra, Fiend Without A Face, and Mastodon. Continue reading
Are you excited for The Walking Dead tonight? The fourth episode of season seven is happening at 9PM(EST), and we have the perfect clip to get you excited for the new ‘Service’ episode. Continue reading
Anthrax is in the middle of their current tour with Death Angel and Slayer, and they had a very special guest join them at The Tabernacle in Atlanta. Continue reading
It’s a freezing cold day in Worcester Massachusetts, but nobody on the “Through Space and Grind” tour seems to care. Exhumed front man and guitarist Matt Harvey certainly doesn’t seem to mind it. Hell, he’s having himself a backstage beer.
“The tour is awesome,” says Harvey. “It’s a great package, I think. The bands are all different and yet there’s enough commonality that it all makes sense and it’s not boring for the kids. Everybody is really cool. Everybody gets along good. All the bands hang out and party together.”
Pairing up again with headliners Napalm Death certainly doesn’t seem to hurt either. “We toured with them and Municipal Waste a couple of years ago now. So now with Iron Reagan, Napalm Death and us it’s a little bit of a class reunion kind of thing,” Harvey says.
But the real reason why Harvey is sitting in a cold dressing room in Massachusetts is not the camaraderie, but to start promoting the recently reissued album, Gore Metal – A Necrospective. (Relapse) “Lots of Gore Metal songs on this tour,” says Harvey. “Like, we do one song from Necrocracy and everything else is from the first three albums. I think we play one song from Anatomy is Destiny, one song from Slaughtercult, one song from the Hemdale split which is like a minute and a half, and then everything else is Gore Metal. It’s easy. We can play all the songs wasted, so it’s great for us [laughs].”
Harvey is well aware that re-recording an album isn’t the most popular idea amongst metalheads. Especially one held in such high regard amongst hasher circles like Gore Metal. While Exhumed’s label Relapse Records wanted to include Gore Metal as part of its 25th anniversary batch of reissues, Harvey had his own personal reasons.
“We knew we could do better. The sonic messiness of the album kind of became emblematic for me of the crappiness of that time in our lives and the schism with the band and the chemistry was terrible. So now being able to go back and re-record it in a way that – I like anyway – without trying to change it too drastically, I think for me turns a negative memory into a positive one. I mean that sounds sort of hippie-ish or whatever [laughs]. To me the album today is a lot closer to the way we would’ve liked it to be in the first place.”Matt Harvey of Exhumed, by Hillarie Jason Photography
Exhumed may be famous for gory lyrics and song titles like ‘Horrendous Member Dismemberment’ and ‘Limb from Limb,’ but the general public’s level of tolerance seems to be changing. While no strangers to some mild controversy: “We’ve been conspicuously asked not to come back by certain places,” Harvey says. “I think in this day and age it’s hard to be like too shocking. I mean if you just look at TV now versus TV in the 80s or whatever. There’s stuff that they can get away with and stuff that people are into. I mean you look at how successful The Walking Dead is. My stepdad who’s a conservative Christian, Fox News watcher loves The Walking Dead. Which is good because it gives us something to talk about aside from politics where we just argue. The appeal is huge and I think people find what we do to be cute at this point. It’s not as shocking.”
While a population being more open to accepting violent content in entertainment signifies less scrutiny for bands like Exhumed, Harvey worries that the “outlaw aspect” is at risk. We do live in a world where chefs are just as likely to have a sleeve worth of tattoos as the metal musician. “There was this shift where everything that used to be on the fringe got co-opted by the mainstream in not really a good way,”. “It’s a weird time you know. You can get a job and have long hair and tattoos. Which I guess is good, but now means that anyone can do it. Doesn’t mean you’re into this kind of music or into whatever. Just means it’s a fashion… A lifestyle, you know.”
WORDS BY HANSEL LOPEZ
There are few voices in metal, either lyrically or sonically as unique as Mike IX Williams. Best known for EyeHateGod, Mike has been a music lifer and pioneer for the sound of several sub-genres of metal for thirty years now. Although he is a performer that leaves his mark on all those who see him, it is his gift for words that really sets him apart from all others. If metal had a Poet Laureate, it would undoubtedly be Mike, although he might not accept the title, because he’s not in this for awards. Rather, it is about creating a body of work, whether it be on stage with EHG or other past projects such as Arson Anthem or more recently, the explosive super-group, Corrections House. We chatted with Mike, calling in from his home in Louisiana, on the eve of the release of the first new EyeHateGod album from in 14 long, hard-fought years.
The new self-titled album has been a long time in the making. Now that it is done we asked Mike for his perspective on the process and the finished product:
“I think this is the best record we’ve done. I love all of our records. I love everything we’ve ever done, but this one is just special to us. It’s got a different kind of sound on it. Some of the best songwriting I think we’ve done too. We’re all very proud of it. It’s awesome. We had tons of titles we could have called the record. Lot’s of those “Take As Needed for Pain” type of titles, you know. We don’t like to be predictable. Throwing this type of thing in there confuses people and I love to confuse people. Besides that we had talked about ,these lists and lists of titles we had. We all sat around and discussed them. This is before even Joey died. Then it was kind of a no-brainier. I don’t even think we had a real discussion about it; just “Let’s self-title it”. We just called it EyeHateGod. It seemed like a logical thing. His drums are on the record, but it’s also like a new beginning. There is a new start with a new drummer. This album is definitely a tribute to him, so it seemed like the smart thing to do.”
Obviously the loss of Joey LaCaze looms over this album and his playing was immense. We wondered if it was painful to hear these songs, and perform them under the circumstances: “Of course we miss him. We’re not going to bum out about it. He wouldn’t want us too. Joey would not want us to be like that. We’re not gonna dwell on him being gone. We’re gonna keep moving forward because that is what we do. We’re not gonna drone on and be sad. There was never a thought of not doing this anymore. Our first thought was “ok, who are we gonna get to play drums”. Joey wanted it that way. He told us he wanted it that way.”
In addition to the album releasing on Housecore records, Phil Anselmo was apparently a big part of making the album: “We proud to be working with him as well. As far as signing to the label, there was a question that was up in the air. What we were weary about was just how would it be to work with our friend, because he is such a good friend, and such an old friend. And we are just weary of working with a friend, because it could end up badly. Sometimes it does. Phil helped out with the vocals here at Nosferatu’s Lair, where I am speaking to you right now from, because I live upstairs. I live right upstairs from the studio so it was easy for me to walk down the stairs and take a left at the bottom of the stairs, and I’m sitting in in the studio. And we’d wait every day until it got dark and then he’d say, ‘do you want a drink’ and we’d get out the wine and start recording. It’s rock n roll time! He helped me a lot with the vocals, giving me ideas and coaching. Of course, it’s all my lyrics and I wouldn’t change that ever. He always gives me some tips and pointers coaching on the vocals, maybe how to put the parts together. Of course he is one of the most successful metal vocalists ever, so I would be a fool to not work with him. I would never pass up the chance to work with the guy. We had worked together before on Arson Anthem, which was the same thing, just me and Phil putting everything together for that record. We worked with him before, but this was really special because it was for EyeHateGod.”
After originally starting the sessions with Billy Anderson, but ultimately to Stephen Berrigan took over the controls and finished the album:
“It was basically made at three separate studios. We started with Billy and it just fell apart due to some personal things. There was a documentary crew their making a film about Billy and they were really in the way. And that was a mess. We felt really rushed and we were unhappy. So we scrapped everything from those sessions, except Joey’s drums. And I know Billy is really proud to have recorded Joey’s last drum session. After that we went up to our rehearsal room, to a place called the “Riff Room” and that is where we worked out the rest of the music. Then we came here (Nosferatu’s Lair) to do the vocals with Steve and Phil. Steve, man, he’s a good engineer. He hasn’t been doing it as long as Billy, but he is really good with what he has done. He’s done a bunch of the Housecore stuff man. He’s worked on the HAARP record and Warbeast album; just a ton of stuff and we all grew up with him, so that’s cool.”
“The whole Billy thing was just too rushed. We should have waited and planned it out better. We were really excited to do it with him and it didn’t work out. It just wasn’t the right time, but at least we got Joey’s drums out of it.”
We asked Mike if he felt relieved to finally have the album done and behind him:
“Yeah of course. It’s definitely a relief. We’ve been wanting to have a record out, since the last record. Drug problems, personal problems, record label problems, Hurricane Katrina.You name it, it seems like something went on. Something was keeping us from doing a new record. We had some of the songs for a long time, and some were written more recently. Hopefully people really dig it, and we get more recognition from it, so we can tour places we never have before.”
Since Mike’s lyrics are always so abstract we asked if he wondered what the listeners think of his lyrics and how they are interpreted. “This album for sure, you can tell all of what I’m saying more than other albums. Where as in the past some of the vocals were incomprehensible and you could not understand me. I like confusing people, man. That’s why we are ‘The Masters of Organized Confusion’, EyeHateGod (laughs), which is a song off of Dopesick. And my lyrics are really abstract and cryptic at times. And sometimes people do bring in different meanings and different kings of things. It think its cool when people do find their own meanings in the song. I think it’s cool when people find different meanings in my songs Sometimes people will say “I think it means this”, which is very cool to me. It’s more of a free-flowing, cryptic, abstract, stream of consciousness kind of thing.”
It’s been almost 10 years since Hurricane Katrina. As a resident and a person who had his life forever changed from the storm, we asked Mike to share his thoughts on that turbulent time:
“What happened….everyone has their own story. Every single person that went through it has their own story. And a lot of people left and evacuated, and I stayed. Which looking back on it was kind of stupid, because I got into a lot of trouble and I got arrested and had a lot of problems from it. It definitely changed my life. It was something out of a movie.”
“I have Post-Traumatic Stress from it, not that I didn’t already have it probably. It messes you up when you see dead bodies lying in the street. The hurricane caused a lot of destruction obviously and people lost their homes, lost everything, but what happened with people and their behavior was worse. It’s like you watch The Walking Dead. Sometimes I will watch the show and I will get a flashback and think “That is just like Katrina”. People just became like animals. Fights breaking out and people hurting each other and stealing from each other. It was terrible.”
WORDS KEITH CHACHKES