Category: features


Out now via Megaforce Records

It’s a great time to be a metalhead. Our music is thriving.
Bands are filling stadiums, albums are selling, and new bands are coming onto
the scene all the time. But the best part about our music, and our people, is
that we never forget the good stuff and the people who created it.

And so it was that the many fans of one Bobby Gustafson,
the guitarist instrumental in establishing Overkill as one of the major thrash
bands in the ‘80s, would not leave him alone. For years they pestered him
relentlessly to release his own music. He complied. Axe to the Head of My Enemies (’07), takes the listener on a blistering
ride through battlefields and brutality, combining thrash and melodic death
metal with a Viking edge.

It’s amazing what can happen with just word of mouth. With
zero media or record company support, everyone who bought this CD (it was only
released on CD) told their friends about it and bought extra copies. The
response was so positive that Bobby & Co. made enough money to put out
their latest release, Destruction Ritual,
only this time they are backed by Megaforce Records and it is available on
iTunes and Amazon (now that they replenished their stock – they ran out of the
first run of CDs). And the kicker is, this one takes this band to a whole new
level. These tracks are definitely NOT leftovers from Axe.

From the opening track “Sumbel” you know right away that
this is the sound you’ve been missing. The guitar starts solo, the drums kick
in, and he head starts bobbing even before you hear any words. The heaviness
doesn’t let up on “Sorry You Were Ever Born” and “Thorn in My Side” starts off
sounding like a full frontal assault before settling into a catchy groove.

“Skullkrusher II” is a special treat for those of us who
remember “Playing with Spiders/Skullkrusher” off The Years of Decay (’89). You recognize that haunting melody and
you begin to understand what was so special about the early Overkill years.
Bobby’s outstanding musicianship is all over this album – he’s the guitars,
bass, solos and songwriting. Just as in Axe,
he has the expertise of two vocalists – Dan Ortega and Paolo Velasquez, each
choosing which songs they chose to perform. Jim McCourt joins the team again on
drums. His skills are the perfect accompaniment to this hard-driving,
in-your-face assault.

“Desecration” was released as the single, but this album is
so strong that any one of these songs could have been the single. Yes, we can
buy individual songs these days. Don’t bother. You need to get this whole
album. Just keep this in mind: When a musician of this skill level puts out
music on his own time and his own dime at the urging of friends and fans from
Australia to Japan to Germany to every corner of the U.S., and then does it
again solely for the love of music, it’s worth checking out. Destruction Ritual is that good stuff
that doesn’t ever get old.

Review: SKILLET – VICTORIOUS by Mark Fletcher

Double Grammy nominated quartet from Wisconsin are about to
release their tenth album ‘Victorious’ on 2nd August in the UK. This
is ahead of a tour that will see them playing a number of venues in the UK and
the rest of Europe.

The album has a deep routed core that Skillet seem to have
developed over the years that make the songs familiar yet new and fresh from
previous material. The opening track ‘Legendary’ punches its weight as the
opener with familiar guitar and vocals and the occasional vocal intervention
from Jen Ledger. The title track has a clever construction musically with
strings, guitar, sweet vocals from Ledger and true grit throughout.

As all of their songs, the lyrics carry some key messages
some from personal members’ experiences which are worthy of analysing and
drawing your own conclusions to. Lead singer John Cooper says  ”The lyrics are a call to make
your life matter, you’re realising you have a chance for your life to count
every day. In a sense, we’re all destined to be forgotten, so live the way you
want and don’t turn your back on who you are.”


‘This Is The Kingdom’ reminds me of Imagine Dragons and is
just as intricate but John Coopers’ vocal make the song more gritty and
appealing. ‘Rise Up’ is at risk of covering ground of a previously released
track but with a lesser feel to be honest. Other tracks of note include the
power house ‘Never Going Back’, ‘Reach’ with energy that would suite a road
trip, dark feeling ‘Finish Line’, and the finishing track ‘Back to Life’.

Overall the album is a winner for me but that should be no
surprise with 12 million album sales to date and over 1 billion streams in 2018

This album is worthy of a stream on 2nd August
and if you haven’t seen Skillet before, you may want to catch them when they
visit Europe toward the end of the year.

Interview – BEYOND GRACE by Matt D

your highlights of the year so far?

Tim Yearsley (Guitar): We
released our first single from the new album at the beginning of the month.
It’s called ‘Barmecide Feast’ (available in all the usual places) and it gives
a good foretaste of what’s to come. That’s the most obvious highlight but I’m
also genuinely excited about unleashing onto the world all the behind the
scenes work we’ve put into our second album.

are your goals for the rest of the year?

TY: Dropping
album 2 is the big one – I’m looking forward to how people will react to the
new songs. From where we stand now, they’re feeling more sophisticated
technically and more mature musically. But putting your own creative work into
the world is always an eye opener… so it’s not only a goal to release the
album, it’s a goal to have people enjoy listening to it as much as we’ve
enjoyed creating it.

Which new bands/artists are you into
right now?

can only speak for myself as across the band we cover quite a broad spectrum of
musical influence. But then again, plenty of our riffs materialise through my
fingers so our songs often reflect my musical preferences, for better or worse.

Right now, I’m enjoying the new
Harbinger album for the heavy stuff, and a Joss Stone Essentials playlist for
when I need something a little different. Plus anything I can see live – does a
band of travelling Shakespeare performers count? I was totally into A Midsummer
Night’s Dream last weekend.

What was the band or artist that got
you into music or inspired you to be a musician?

For most of my teenage years I just gave up on music – I didn’t really see much
point in it. What an idiot! But no teenager can resist peer pressure for long…
by the time I was 17 and picking up a guitar it was only because all my friends
were doing the same thing. And since then, it’s been playing with other
musicians that has always inspired me the most. Everyone approaches music in
their own way so there’s plenty to glean from others’ perspectives and

How best do you write; in a jam room or
a studio?

I write best when I can sit in an ‘analogue’ space – jumping onto the computer
to capture ideas too quickly stops them coming to maturity. So just sitting and
bashing the guitar around in my room is often where the best ideas come from.
But from that place, I’ll transition to ‘digital’ space and record some ideas,
layering drums and putting things into a rough structure. Then the band comes
in and we throw the ideas around some more until we can bring something like a
working song into a practice room, which is a great way to really ‘hear’ a song
for the first time. From that point it’s revisions, re-revisions and adding all
the extra, special details, which normally takes us right into the recording
process. It’s a real process and I’m definitely jealous of any musician(s) who
can just knock out a song in one go.

What was your wildest show so far, and

TY: Playing
in Brighton in August 2017 was one of those moments when I remembered why I
love to play live. We’d toured the whole week to varying crowd sizes – some
shows were good and some less good – but by the Saturday in Brighton we were on
form and ready to end the week on a bang. As our opening air raid siren sample played,
and people flocked in, we immediately knew we were in for a treat. The crowd
went absolutely crazy for every single song. I won’t try to recapture the
moment as I’ll only do a pitiful job, but suffice to say it’s a show we’ll not
forget and Brighton will always have a special place in our hearts.

Where is the furthest across the globe
you’ve played so far?

So far we’ve been focussing on the UK, but I hope we can get into Europe before
Brexitmageddon destroys us all. The festival scene on the continent is
incredible and it’s a life ambition of mine to play a big show outdoors. Who
can I speak to to make that happen?

Live: MINISTRY @ Shepherds Bush Empire by John…

London, 6th July 2019

Having hinted that Ministry would be coming to an end in recent years, it was a surprise to see the band not only put out a new record, but also embark on a full European Tour. Tonight, that tour pulled into London for a show at the Shepherds Bush Empire; quite an intimate set up for a band who many fans regard as the true anti-hero originators of Industrial Rock.

The venue is nice and full and, with the famous Ministry video-screen  Back Drop in place, the crowd awaits to see the bands latest incantation. Led as always by Uncle Al Jourgensen the band begin a set that basically consisted of 2 parts. 

The first was dominated (unsurprisingly) by the band’s latest studio album Amerikkkant, which is received very well. Ministry sound great and it’s really nice to see Al looking well and enjoying his interactions with the crowd.

The second part of the set however, is what most die-hard fans came to see or, as Al said, “Time for the Doggy Treats”. Here we got many examples of why this band had and continue to have such an impact on fans and fellow musicians alike. “N.W.O”, “Just One Fix”, "Thieves” and “Stigmata” are all shredded to perfection. It was also great to hear “Jesus built my Hotrod”, a song i have not heard the band play live in years. 

All in all, a great night of nostalgia mixed with a comforting feeling that a band you love can still deliver. Even after all these years.

Review and photos: KISS @ Birmingham Arena by …

Show date – 9th July 2019

At one
time, during the late 70’s and early 80’s, KISS were one of the biggest bands
in the world, certainly the biggest heavy metal act. They were the epitome of
rock and roll debauchery and everyone, well most people, loved them for it. The
makeup, the stage outfits, the out and out theatrics, all made them the biggest
draw in the live music arena.

years later they are still going strong. They’ve had their ups and downs, we
won’t mention the make-up free era, but in 2019 they have one of top 10
grossing tours worldwide. Up there with the likes of the now mighty Metallica
for revenues earned, it shows what pulling power they still have.

As the
KISS Army rolls into the UK, we head to Birmingham for the opening UK date to
get a feel for what KISS can offer in the now extremely crowded world of live

is full of men and women, faces painted in the black and white of their
favourite KISS members, some go a step further down the whole cosplay route. I
watch as two gents, dressed perfectly as Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, take
over 45 minutes to get into the arena as nearly every fan in attendance asks
for a picture. Their cosplay was impressive and their fellow brethren
appreciated it.

stage is hidden behind a huge black curtain, the bands silver logo emblazoned
upon it. As the arena lights dim, screens either side of the stage flicker into
life, a live video feed shows the band leaving their dressing room and heading
to the stage. The time has come, the hairs stand on the back of our necks, the
atmosphere is electric.

opening notes of ‘Detroit Rock City’ ring out through the darkness, pyros
ignite with a bang and the curtain falls. The stage appears in all its glory,
but no band members! They slowly descend from the rafters of the arena on
platforms through more pyro flares as the song continues. If you want your band
to make an impact when entering the stage, KISS are schooling you in exactly
how to do that!

As the
15,000 strong crowd sing through ‘Shout It Out Loud’ it sets clear we are in
for a treat, this is the best in greatest hits packages delivered live. Despite
their ages, each member gives as energetic performance as they did back in the
day. Gene’s tongue making regular appearances as he spots ladies in the crowd
and points in their direction.

Machine’ sees the theatrics grow with Gene’s now trademark fire breathing act,
and ‘100,000 Years’ sees the ever present drum solo with the drum riser raising
back up into the air. Not quite Tommy Lee but not far off. When the hit
classics ‘Love Gun’ and ‘I Was Made For Loving You’ are rolled out Paul Stanley
takes to a smaller stage in the middle of the crowd, fan interaction as always
their top priority.

encore starts with the melodic ‘Beth’ before the roof is well and truly blown
off by ‘Crazy Crazy Nights’ and ‘Rock and Roll All Nite’. They may all be in their
60’s now, but they show no signs of slowing down, and on this epic performance,
long may they reign!

Interview – BOBBY GUSTAFSON by Bonnie Archer

was an absolute pleasure to speak with the “Godfather of Thrash”, Bobby
Gustafson, mostly known for his time with Overkill. Bobby was very comfortable
speaking about the past, what he’s doing now and what he plans to do in the

Let’s start at the beginning. Tell me
how you started out and how you joined Overkill.

had a guitar in my hands all the time when I was a kid. I would literally walk
a mile home from school to play at lunchtime and walk all the way back. My parents
saw how much I practiced, and I got this cheap guitar from Sears. I was still
in my last year of High School. Two years later I auditioned for Overkill.

first show was in a bar when I was 15. A DJ friend of mine snuck me into bars,
and I would carry his records in the booth. His name was Chuck, and he later
became the DJ at L’Amour in Brooklyn. Through him, I met John who played in Law
& Order. That band wanted Ratt (Skates), and he tried to steal Ratt for his
own band, but they recommended me for this band he knew that was looking for
guitarists. We tried to find DD’s house for the audition, and we got lost. By the
time we got there it was pretty late, but they wanted me to come back. We had
another guitar player for 2 weeks, he quit, we tried someone else, he quit, and
I told the band I could do it myself. The band was playing covers at the time
but I wanted to play original music. Within 8 months we had everything set to
go and put on our first show.

first show was in August of ’83. Jon Zazula first saw in Jan of ’84, and it was
a blizzard. No one came out. It was a horrible show. The next time he saw us we
opened up for Anvil at L’Amour in October of ’84 and we ripped. We were razor
tight and had more songs. He gave us a contract the next day. But we had to
wait to get into the Pyramid studio until Nov of ’85. We didn’t know any
better. We were kids. That’s where he wanted us to go. We did what we were
told. So it seems like we were a bit later than the other bands, but we were
right there. We could have had that album out a lot sooner.

Then you released Feel the Fire. It was
received extremely well. What did you contribute to that? Did you write lyrics,
music, produce…?:

did a couple of lyrics, on the songs “Kill at Command” and “There’s No Tomorrow.”
I was really good at coming up with song titles, and Blitz would write the
lyrics on his own and then try to fit them to the title. I think I came up with
the album cover. I was the only one who wanted orange, they wanted green, so we
went with green. Then I told Biohazard why we used it, and Biohazard came out
with orange, so I credit myself for them using it. It really stood out. We
needed a color that would really stand out in a dark club. But then the green
grew on me.

You did some overseas tours, correct?

very first time we went overseas was the spring of ’86. Metal Hammer tour with
Anthrax and Agent Steel. Then with Slayer when we’re doing Taking Over, then
with Helloween was a big one in Europe, then with Megadeth, they were promoting
Peace Sells. We did another Slayer
tour in Europe, and a Slayer/Motorhead tour in the US, going into promoting The Years of Decay.

I remember seeing you guys at L’Amour A
LOT. Overkill and Anthrax were practically the house bands. Tell me about those

became friends with the owners, and then they started managing us. We started
opening for bands, and then they started giving us Friday nights, and when
those would sell out, they gave us Saturday nights. Then we’d sell out on
Friday AND Saturday night. Everybody stopped there, from Queensrÿche to Maiden.

What did you do after you left Overkill?

started with I for an I, did some writing, the Cycle Sluts asked me to do a
solo so I helped them out, but I really wanted a change. I didn’t want to be
thrash anymore. I wanted to do something different. I didn’t want to be
compared to what I did before.

Does it bother you to be referred to as “The
Former Overkill guitarist?”

doesn’t bother me. I’m told that they’re still playing my songs, and that the
majority of what the audience responds to are my four albums. To know that you
have four albums from me, 30 years ago, and you have 16 albums after me, and my
songs are getting the biggest response, I’m proud of that. As far as I’m
concerned, it sustains what they’re doing right now. They have albums they
don’t play any songs from. If it wasn’t for me they would still be a cover band
from New Jersey.

In 2017 you released, Axe to the Head of My Enemies. Tell me
why you decided to do that.

on the internet kept saying, “You should play again.” I had material left over,
so we put these 5 songs on the internet. Unfortunately, we used Tune Core, and
they didn’t do anything with it. There was no distribution. Then I wrote 5 more
songs, added it to the EP, created the album and called them “bonus tracks.” We
decided to sell it ourselves. We made enough money to go into the studio again.
I sat down and wrote 12 songs for the new one.

When you released Axe, I remember you wanted to release it on CD only so people could
have something to hold in their hands. Looking back, do you regret not
releasing it digitally?

really. I hear from other bands that they’re not getting paid from it. Trust
me, it’s a pain packing CDs and sending them out. But I wanted control over it.
Sometimes we lost money sending them to Japan and Europe. I just wanted to get
it out there. These songs that I wrote in my room are now in Japan and New
Zealand. That made me happy.

We have to talk about your band name.
Some people love it. Some people are, “What the hell??” How did you come up
with that?”

it is right now, it’s super-hot in Florida. Somebody said, ‘Oh my God it’s hot
as hell.” And the way my mind works, I always have to one up it, so I tried to
think of the hottest thing I could come up with, and I said, “Well, it’s not as
hot as Satan’s Taint.” We giggled about it all day, and I thought, “That sounds
like a good band name”, so I wrote it down, along with other band names. I
didn’t want to take it too seriously. There are a LOT of bad band names out
there. Just scroll on Twitter. I didn’t want to be forgettable. I’d rather have
a good band with a shit name than a shit band with a good name. I thought I
needed something that’s gonna stick out, whether they love it or not. People
loved it at first, it’s only recently that it’s been an issue. With a new band
coming out every day, you gotta have something that’s gonna stick out.  Do you really think that Pink Floyd is a great
name? I think it’s silly, but they’re one of the greatest bands of all time. I
could make it kind of vanilla, so no one gets offended, I could make it a
little scary, a little funny, but I don’t have to impress anybody. My music
will do the talking for me. It sounds good when you say it, it looks good on a
shirt. The word Satan means nothing to me. It’s just a word.

I don’t think it’s the word “Satan”
that’s making people scratch their heads. I think it’s the other word. I’ve
never heard that word used in a band name.

exactly why I did it! You know what it is…Satan – ooh, scary, Taint – juvenile.
One cancels each other out.

never heard that word until we went on tour with Anthrax in ‘86. I think
Frankie had it scratched onto his bass. Some people think it’s supposed to mean
“tainted”…and I thought, well, that’s pretty cool too, like what would taint
Satan’s thought pattern? What would scare him? But most people don’t go to that
– they go to the meaning of the word. You either get it or you don’t.

So there’s really no relationship
between the name of the band and the music. It’s just a name.

There are a lot of bands whose names don’t match what they play. Like Butthole
Surfers. Metallica’s got metal in their name. At my age I wanted to come up
with some dirty ass heavy name, and I look back at what I did 30 years ago, and
a lot of it’s funny. It’s laughable. If you can’t laugh at yourself, you got a
problem. I wanted to have something fun the second time around. I didn’t want
everything to be so serious. I wanted to make music and have fun. I wanted to
be in control and not have deadlines, not have some manager tell me I gotta get
back on the road again. I wanted to make music in my time, when I want to do it
and when I feel like it’s done.

In your music, there are some Nordic
themes, some Viking stuff, so I’m curious: Do you have that heritage?

My last name is obviously Scandinavian. I’m Swedish on my father’s side. There
were Gustafson’s that were kings in Sweden. I don’t really know much about it
because my grandparents were dead before I was born, but my Dad was always
proud of his Swedish heritage and I love history. I always fell back on my
Swedish and Italian background.

So Mom is Italian?

Italian, yeah. We can trace her side back to the 1500. There were two brothers
who have a music school that’s still in existence today.

the Viking television series came out, and that was pretty popular, and I
always wanted to do this music. Other bands have done it; I know it’s not the
most original thing in the world, but it’s something history-wise that I liked.

When you say, “A lot of other bands have
done it”, that’s true, but they’re mostly Scandinavian bands. I don’t know of
any American bands doing Viking music. OK, Amon Amarth have been here so often,
they speak perfect English, they’re on Metal Blade, they are practically an
American Band now (laughing).

was one band in the early ‘80s called Odin, but since it is my heritage I do
have some claim to it. But we also write about other things, like the raids,
the killing, the exploring, that go hand-in-hand with metal. I actually wrote a
song called “Raid Again” that marries both themes together – it could be a
Viking raid or it could be about a band on tour hitting the stage. It’s just
that explorer type of spirit that a band has, on the road, exploring new
places, new lands, countries, clubs…I thought the similarities were kind of cool.

The new CD, Destruction Ritual, I love
the first single, Desecration.

that’s going to be a video soon. We followed the lyrics strictly, and found
video clips that fit. I try to dig a little be deeper, and do things that
people have never heard of before. I’m always reading and coming up with stuff
that’s not typical. I just don’t want the music to be your typical mind candy.
Like the name, I just don’t want it to be something vanilla that people pass
over. Whether it’s the lyric, or the song title, people can research some of
the stuff I’m talking about.

There’s definitely some rage in your
song titles: “Spit in Your Coffin”, “End your Bloodline”…

The engineer said that to me one day. He said, “Whatever made you so angry?” I
said, “Living.” He cracked up. There are enough bands that put nothing out,
nothing that raises your interest or gives you something to think about. I
wanted to fill that void.

I think the music will definitely speak
for itself. And you are going to be releasing it digitally, right?

the pre-orders have already started. You get the one song now. The actual
release date is August 2nd. That’s new for me, this gigantic

I know on the first one you played
everything except the drums, right? What did you play on this one?

the first one, I did all the guitar work; I had some guest musicians do some
solos and leads. I had a couple of different drummers. With this one, instead
of having to mail stuff out to other people, waiting for them to get into a studio
to play, waiting to get it back…I could see it dragging on forever. I had the
music all in my head, I can play bass, so I thought, let’s just get it done. I
did all the solos too. Basically it was me and my drummer, Jim McCourt. I used
the same two singers, Dan Ortega and Paolo Velazquez. They got 5 songs each,
one they sung on together, “Forever is nothing.” They both sing in Spanish on
that one. There’s one instrumental. They got to pick out the ones they thought
fit them musically.

Is there any possibility that you might
get out and tour?

working on it. I’m talking to other bands, calling in favors, but I think what
will probably really help is when the album comes out. A lot of the agencies I
spoke to that said, “I’m a big fan of your old stuff” might come around. I’d
love to do a festival or a cruise.

Is there any guitarist out there right
now that you follow or admire?

are tons of great guitar players, tons of players better than me. I learned
early on not to judge anybody. A friend told me long ago that if you play by
yourself, you will develop your own style. I don’t worry about what anyone else
is doing. There are plenty of good players who are just not discovered. But if
you don’t have a song – that’s what connects with people. I’m not worried about
my guitar playing; I’m worried about writing a song, because that’s what people
remember. They don’t remember solos, they remember songs. I consider myself a
better songwriter than I am a guitar player. You need something memorable that
connects with people. Anyone can shred. Look at Yngwie – I think he’s probably
the world’s best guitar player. But what was his last song? Couldn’t name it.
That one from the ‘80s? People will come and watch you play and do a solo for
90 minutes, but are they walking out humming anything? If you just want to see
someone shred go see Steve Vai.

So what’s the plan to get this new CD

interviews like now, the link is out on Facebook, and hopefully get a few shows
in. The video should help. We’re going to try to do videos for two more songs.
I’ve already started writing a 3rd album. I’ve got about a 106 riffs
right now. Every time I pick up the guitar I put something on tape.

Speaking of videos, every once in a while
you catch an Overkill video on a “Metal Hour” on TV, you know which one?

(laughing). I still dig that video.

It’s a great song, it’s a great video.

some history, that song almost didn’t make it to the album. We had all the
songs written except for that one. It was half done. When we went in to go
record, I finished it in the studio. We almost made it an 8-song album, but I
said, “No, I really like this riff.” So I finished it, and we recorded it.

Every song on that album is great, and
it sounds like you have a great album ready to come out.

funny; people tell me there are people’s kids coming to see me. But now kids
are totally getting into the 80’s, and their parents are still digging it too,
which is crazy. I would never listen to the stuff from the ‘60s my older
brother would listen to. But there’s something about metal it’s one of those
forms of music that just continues as long as the songs are good. I think it’s

want to be remembered for putting out good music. This new album is the best
continuation of what I did with my previous band that I could possibly have
right now.

And by putting out a second CD, you’re
showing that Axe to the Head of my
was not a one-trick pony, that it wasn’t just material you had left
over but now the well has run dry.

in the least. Wait until you hear it. It’s all the best from the first album
magnified on this one.

I think that’s a good note to end on.
Thank you for speaking with me about your career, and your history, and your
new music, and what you have planned. I look forward to seeing where this goes,
and of course, to the release of the new album.

very exciting to have something released after all these years. I said when I
first started that as long as people keep buying it, I will continue to put out
music. I’m not looking to get rich off of it, just to make enough to make
another album.

Ritual will be released on August 2nd on Megaforce Records.

Interview – WORDS THAT BURN by Matt D

Photo credit: Down The Barrel Photography – copyright 2019.

Following quite the milestone with number 1 chart placings on the Irish Itunes and more we caught up with Roni from Words That Burn…

What’re your highlights of
the year so far?

Roni MacRuairi(Vocals):
It’s been pretty busy behind the scenes this year but so far it’s been the
completion of our next album “PYRES” which we will be releasing soon. The first
single “ARISE” hit the number one spot on itunes metal and rock here in Ireland
so that was pretty awesome!


What are your goals for the
rest of the year?

RM: The first thing on the
agenda is releasing PYRES. Then its back to gigging as much as we can. We have
a few headliners coming up and a few festivals so we’re looking forward to
that. We’ll be doing and Ireland & UK tour at some point.



Which new bands/artists are
you into right now?

RM: Usually we are all
listening to different things but right now we are all buzzing off the While
She Sleeps & Periphery albums. Personally I can NOT get enough of the new
Whitechapel record. It is outstanding.


What was the band or
artist that got you into music or inspired you to be a musician?

RM: Back when I was
younger it was Smashing Pumpkins. They inspired me to pick up a guitar and
start writing. I think I knew like, 2 chords the first time I wrote a song.
I’ve never been into learning other people’s stuff, I just wanted to write
straight out of the gates.    


How best do you write; in
a jam room or a studio?

RM: That has changed over
the years. We do a little bit of jamming in the practice room but when it comes
to Album time, we do all the pre-production and writing in our own studio.  The process generally involves Shane (our
guitarist) bringing his ideas to the table. Then we’d work some basic vocals on
it and see how things fit. Then jam it out a bit to see how it feels and then
tweak it in the studio again.


What was your wildest show
so far, and why?

RM: As part of our last
European tour we played a festival in the Czech Republic called Týnecký Mazec
festival…. We were on in the late evening just as the tent was filling up and
as soon as we started playing the crowd kicked off!! It was hands down the best
gig we’ve ever played.  



Where is the furthest
across the globe you’ve played so far?

RM: Last year and the year
before we traveled across Europe as far as Serbia which is somewhere we never
expected to visit and it was beautiful. The crowds were fantastic and the
people were lovely. We can’t wait to go there again sometime.


Support: Raging Speedhorn

Show date: 28th June 2019

The sky is clear, the sun is beating down and hundreds of fans in
Pantera shirts mill around the streets of Digbeth, waiting for the door to open
at The Mill. The venue is the scene of tonight’s show, Phil Anselmo, once of
Pantera fame, and his new band The Illegals are in town and they’ve brought
Brit noise mongers Raging Speedhorn along for the ride. Whilst this is a Philip
H. Anselmo & The Illegals show, the fans have come out in support of their
heroes past just as much as his present.

Corby’s finest, Raging Speedhorn are the battering ram chosen to open
the show. The six piece have been together for over twenty years now and are
given a full hour to warm up the crowd. Starting with ‘How Much Can A Man
Take’, Frank Regan and John Loughlin take center stage. The vocal duo have
“whipping up the crowd into a frenzy” down to a fine art and soon have the
boisterous crowd in the palm of their hands.

The darker ‘Bring Out Your Dead’ has an eerie sound, heavy as hell with
Andy Gilmore’s menacing bass line. Older songs ‘Superscud’ and ‘Thumper’, for
two decades the fans favourites, brutalise the assembles masses, before the set
is rounded out with catchy number ‘Fuck The Voodoo Man’ and ‘Ten of Swords’. 

Possibly the best Raging Speedhorn performance of all time has turned the
temperature dial up, 32 degrees outside, it’s more like 40 degrees inside now.
The fans now wait with baited breath for the headliners to arrive, their latest
album, ‘Choosing Mental Illness as a Virtue’ has attained critical acclaim, but
can the live show live up to it?

They open with ‘Bedridden’ and ‘Little Fucking Heroes’ the grinding
guitars and Phil’s gruff voice intertwine to produce an angry, angst ridden
sound. Phil toys with the crowd between songs, telling tales, joking and
generally entertaining. He may not have the energy he did in his 20’s but none
of the showmanship has dwindled. 

After forty-five minutes of all original material from the Illegals, Phil talks
for the first time about his fallen friends. Chants of ‘Dimebag’ ring out from
the fans followed by ‘Vinnie’ as Phil talks on the subject. He says with
Vinnie’s passing he felt it was time to breathe life back into some of his
classic material. We all know what’s coming next…

As the opening riff of ‘I’m Broken’ rings out the 500+ fans go crazy.
From wall to wall they are bouncing, limbs flailing and singing along. The fans
lapped up the original material, this reaction is something else. Phil looks on
with a wry smile and asks for help with the vocals as they launch into ‘Fucking
Hostile’; another crowd pleaser. 

As the set is rounded out with the classic ‘Walk’ the fans get to leave happy.
For some they had never witnessed Pantera live and that second half showing
could be the closest they’ll come to it. For others it was a chance to relive
the 90’s height at which the band reached. We should be walking away discussing
just how good that Philip H. Anselmo and The Illegals show was, but for most,
the talk down the pub tomorrow will be of those old school covers.

Words/images: Tim Finch

Interview: ONYX AND THE RED LIPS by Matt D

What’re your highlights of the year so far?

Floriane Andersen “Onyx” (Lead singer/songwriter) – It would
definitely be opening for the amazing Michelle David & The Gospel Sessions.
It was such an honor to be able to play alongside such an incredible band. We
were allowed to watch the whole show from the side of the stage. It was such a
special moment, watching someone you admire perform and experience it from
backstage. It can be a challenge sometime to play for an audience who doesn’t
know your music, but the crowd was so incredibly welcoming. Playing at the Bus
Palladium in Paris in January was another highlight as it’s such a legendary

 What are your goals for the rest of the year?

O – We are touring for the first time for the release of our
debut album so our goal is to meet our audience and bring our music everywhere
in the world. We are lucky enough to perform all over France and now in the UK,
and we hope to be able to go further and introduce our music to more countries.

Which new bands/artists are you into right now?

O – I am very lucky to be surrounded by such talented and
creative people. Two of them released beautiful EPs this year. Billy Bogard and
has a folky universe with a very touching soft voice. A French artist, Mey, has
a more dark, electro-alternative vibe. The lyrics are unapologetic, and the
music has a heavy and floating sound. Very different styles but both authentic
and personal.

What was the band or artist that got you into
music or inspired you to be a musician?

O – Motown music produced in the ’60s and ’70s has been a huge
inspiration to me. Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross and Frankie Valli spoke to me,
but Michael Jackson really impacted me throughout all his career and the evolution
of his music. He managed to navigate between so many different styles without
losing his personality. He was one of the first to have such a strong cinematic
universe, and to mix dance, music and storytelling. Seeing Thriller for the
first time was a revelation.

How best do you write; in a jam room or a studio?

O – My writing process is a very lonely one. I usually compose
music first on the piano, sometimes with just a theme in mind. Then, once the
music and atmosphere is set, the writing process can start. The music creates
emotions and words arise from it organically. Melody and vocal harmonies
usually come last quite naturally as the chords and words are matching in a
certain way. Arrangements are sometimes a more collective process as everyone
in the band add his personality through their instruments.

What was your wildest show so far, and why?

O – Definitely our first festival the Galeria Biker Bay.
Biggest crowd and biggest show. A lot of pressure, but the audience was so wild
from the first notes, we felt unstoppable. Playing alongside Henry Padovani
(one of the founders of The Police) was such an honor. It was a turning point
for the band as we felt like we were in the big game.

Where is the furthest across the globe you’ve
played so far?

O – Our wildest show happened to also be the furthest. The
festival was set in Corsica, and the stage was set right across a cliff and you
could see the sea at the back of the stage. It was such a stunning view! We
arrived to the Island by boat, quite a journey and an unforgettable adventure!


Curated in partnership with, the 2019 program and keynote speakers, including Klas Bergling, Zane Lowe & Charlotte De Witte, focused on mental health, diversity and examining club culture with the objective of developing fresh strategies and leading the direction for change; 3 days that saw over 1200 delegates and press from over 50 countries taking part in important discussions that went beyond mere music.

The summit started with the IMS Business Report providing vital and telling statistics of how the industry has grown each year. The full report can be found below:

Read the 2019 Edition here

In addition to the three-day summit, IMS Week delivered a schedule of unmissable events including Remedy State presents ARETÉ (an exclusive entertainment industry focused wellness retreat), daily yoga sessions, Ibiza club openings, the first event Ibiza club broadcast from Boiler Room, and over twenty networking events and parties across the island, including the IMS Dalt Vila  broadcast live on radio in forty countries globally on Nicole Moudaber Presents In The MOOD.

A seven-hour music celebration marked the grand-finale of IMS Ibiza at the 2,500 year old UNESCO World Heritage Site. IMS Dalt Vila featured some of the world’s leading house and techno artists including Luciano, Adam Beyer, Ida Engberg,  plus a closing set from Charlotte De Witte broadcast live on the globally syndicated radio show Nicole Moudaber Presents In The MOOD in partnership with Mixcloud.

IMS Ibiza has again unquestionably upheld itself as the key annual networking event for all electronic music industry professionals, a place where the international dance community congregates to network, share business opportunities, discuss new technologies and tackle key industry challenges face on.

More info and highlights/round up of events can be found here: