Monthly Archives: July 2011
So while listening to my Black Sabbath album on vinyl I was staring at the cover and it got me thinking. What are considered some of the best and worst metal album covers of all time? I would think some of the best would have to be Iron Maiden. Covers such as:
And also the classic:
Regardless of my personal opinion of Iron Maiden’s music, I’ve always been fascinated with their album covers. Now over my life there are so many album covers that I have enjoyed. I have probably purchased several albums just for the covers alone. Surprising how important they are for the artists, it provides the first opinion of the band and could make or break how well the album sells. Here are a few more of my favorite:
Tool – It’s just unbelievable
Godsmack – Goth girls are awesome
Sepultura – bizarre but mesmorizing
Poison – a shoutout for my hair metal boys
Obituary – I never got into their music that much, but damn I love this cover.
Pantera – the definition of heavy metal
I know this isn’t heavy metal, but thanks to my Pop, I got to enjoy this growing up!
Okay and now here are some of the ones that are considered the worst heavy metal album covers. Now before all the bitchin starts, I did not pick these for any personal reasons, just google “worst heavy metal albums covers” and you will see for yourself. I’m just passing along what I found.
So that’s that, are you pissed? Did I offend anyone? Hope not, this was more of an educational post. Actually I found it funny as hell when I saw some of these. Pantera, really??? And twice for that matter?
Anyway what are some of your favorite album covers? Respond and let me know.
101 ways you know you’ve been a Heavy Metal fan for too long…
1. You’re going out and you have to decide which of your 50 black T-shirts you’re going to wear.
2. You have ever had an argument with your wife about wearing a heavy metal T-shirt to a family function.
3. You don’t know the words to the national anthem but you know all the words to Stairway to Heaven, including the extra bits on the live version.
4. You see KISS every time they come to town, because this just might actually be their last tour.
5. You remember when your wife was also into heavy metal, but that was back when Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Regan were in power.
6. You know who the original singer for AC/DC was, and it wasn’t Bon Scott.
7. You know there is absolutely nothing gay at all about grown men dressing in makeup, lingerie and spandex, playing for an all male audience, and gradually disrobing by the gig’s end.
8. You know not to be alarmed if there’s ever a bustle in your hedgerow.
9. You finally worked out what Emo music is, only to find there is an even newer thing called Screamo.
10. You always thought Ozzy Osbourne was a GOD, but then after The Osbournes you’re not quite so sure.
11. You know the name of ten clubs on Sunset Strip, but have never been within 1000 miles of L.A.
12. You can remember when Bon Jovi were metal.
13. You remember where you were when you found out Rob Halford from Judas Priest was gay, and then decided you don’t give a fuck anyway, because Halford IS GOD!
14. You ever wondered where all that leather and studs imagery worn by Rob Halford came from anyway, and then realised there was a guy in the Village People who dressed exactly the same.
15. You get in arguments at parties about whether Led Zeppelin are heavy metal or not, (and they are).
16. Whenever you pose for a family photo you automatically flip the devils horns and stick your tongue out.
17. You have embarrassing photos of yourself wearing a bouffant hair style and fluoro spandex.
18. You have kids and they also wear black T-shirts and listen to metal, and your family comments about the bad influence you are on them.
19. You make comments to complete strangers when walking down the street about the heavy metal T-shirt they’re wearing.
20. The complete stranger responds with “Yeah!” and flips you the devils horns.
21. You’re suspicious of metalheads with short hair, and doubt whether they’re ‘really into it’.
22. You have a friend who wears leopard print spandex pants to gigs, and that’s ok with you.
23. You have another friend who dresses up for gigs like a vampire, complete with blood, and that’s ok too.
24. You have yet another friend who is a complete nerd and dresses like an accountant, but goes absolutely nuts at metal gigs, and that’s ok as well.
25. You’ve blown a job interview or lost a job for refusing to cut your hair.
26. Your wardrobe has only two colours – black and blue denim.
27. You think anything with chrome metal studs is a great accessory for any outfit.
28. You know who Eddie is and discuss him with your friends like he’s a real person.
29. You regard Ozzy-era Black Sabbath and Dio-era Black Sabbath as two completely different bands.
30. You’ve had arguments with friends over which era of Sabbath was the best, and the Ian Gillan era never rates a mention.
31. Your wife is sick to death of you saying “it’s not a style of music, it’s a lifestyle.”
32. You have a special room or shed at home where you hang your metal posters, because your wife won’t let you hang them in the living room anymore.
33. You can’t park your car in your garage anymore because it is stacked full of boxes containing old metal magazines, and you can never throw them out because “It’s history man!”.
34. You have a recurring argument with your wife about you throwing out your boxes of old metal magazines to make room for the car.
35. You buy a house with a larger garage so that you don’t have to throw out your boxes of old metal magazines.
36. You can remember the 70s and 80s, and you were really there.
37. You loved the first half of the movie ‘Rockstar’ but thought the second half sucked.
38. The scene in Rockstar where Mark Wahlberg auditions for the band still sends shivers down your spine.
39. That as the years go by your belt buckle causes you more pain when you sit down.
40. You know Gene Simmons is nothing but an egocentric money grabbing arsehole, but you still spend hundreds every year on KISS merchandise anyway.
41. You know there is nothing gay at all about Paul Stanley, despite how he dances on stage.
42. You and your metalhead friends can pinpoint the precise time when Metallica started to suck, but it’s different for all of you.
43. When you first watched “The Decline of Western Civilisation:The Metal Years” back in the 80s you thought it was an excellent chronicle of metal, showing hot new up-and-coming bands who were destined to become the ‘next big thing’.
44. You recently re-watched “The Decline of Western Civilisation:The Metal Years”, and thanked god none of those bands made it, because you realise they were just a bunch of tossers.
45. You have specified in your will at least five metal songs that are to be played at your funeral.
46. You know that real bass players play with their fingers and not a pick.
47. You’ve had several arguments as to why Nicko McBrain from Iron Maiden doesn’t need a double kick pedal.
48. You still scrawl desks and books with the names of your favourite metal bands, always drawn with the correct logo.
49. You remember your first metal gig (and the point you realised you’re not the only freak out there) as one of the best days of your life.
50. You have a straight job, and when your workmates see you in your metal gear on the weekend they call you a ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ personality.
51. Younger metalheads ignorantly refer to you as a hippy and shout ‘Hey Woodstock!’ when you walk past.
52. You have a tattoo of your favourite band’s best album cover somewhere on your body.
53. Your kids have seen all your favourite metal bands because you think it is important to take them along to show them living history.
54. You’ve taken your kids to see a legendary metal gig, got drunk, and then ruined their night by shouting “You’re gonna remember this for the rest of your life”, in their ear at the start of every song.
55. You grow a beard and some drunk yells “Hey Jesus” from across the street.
56. You remember when there was only one genre of heavy metal – and that was anything with a slightly distorted guitar sound.
57. You remember heavy metal before it was called heavy metal.
58. You remember when heavy metal singers could actually sing.
59. You can play on guitar the intro riff to 100 metal songs, but cant play a complete song right through.
60. Or, you don’t play the guitar at all, but can still play the riff to ‘Smoke on the Water’.
61. You try to wear your first denim jacket again and it’s like it was made for a little kid, and it probably was.
62. You know what W.A.S.P. stands for.
63. You look at your massive beer belly in the mirror and realise that Meatloaf wasn’t such a bad looking guy after all.
64. You’ve had hearing problems for up to four days after a particularly good gig.
65. You’ve lost your voice because you screamed too hard at a particulary good gig the night before.
66. You’ve lost both your hearing and voice at the same time because of a gig the night before.
67. You can discuss the progression of heavy metal guitar playing in three words – Hendrix – VanHalen – Malmsteen.
68. You wear a lot of crucifixes but aren’t the slightest bit Christian.
69. You gauge a fellow metalhead’s devotion to metal by how long their hair is.
70. You don’t gauge a fellow metalhead’s devotion to metal by how many band tattoos they have, because hey, you can get a tatt overnight – it takes years to grow your hair.
71. You’ve ever painted an item of furniture black, because it looks cool.
72. You’ve ever painted a whole room black, because it looks cooler.
73. Your car is black and the number plate is “HDBNGR”
74. You know metalheads who are strictly into a specific genre of metal and nothing else. eg. “90s Swedish black metal grindcore.”
75. You’ve tried, but you still can’t work out the difference between Swedish and Norwegian Death Metal.
76. When someone asks you if you’ve heard any good Nu-metal you immediately think of a new Saxon CD.
77. When Lemmy speaks on TV you stop everything and pay attention.
78. You understand that facial warts can make you look really cool.
79. You know the reference to ‘Heavy Metal Thunder’ in Steppenwolf’s ‘Born to Be Wild’ is about motorcycles, not music, despite VH1 constantly referring to it as the first use of the term ‘heavy metal’.
80. You’ve bought a ‘History of Metal’ CD and completely understand why there’s an Eric Clapton song on there.
81. You’re embarrassed about the Poison records in your collection and pass off criticism by saying “Hey it was the 80s.”
82. You pass off any criticism with “Hey it was the 80s.”
83. All your best metal albums are on vinyl.
84. You’ve replaced all your vinyl with CDs but still listen to the vinyl.
85. You used to laugh at old metalheads with their grey hair and balding heads, until you recently looked in the mirror.
86. You lie awake at night wondering why Dave Mustaine curls his lip like that.
87. You remember when you first heard Venom and it scared the shit out of you.
88. You remember when you first heard Black Sabbath and it scared the shit out of you.
89. You have ever tried to draw a chart or family tree to explain to your friends the incestuous nature of the members of Deep Purple and their offshoot bands.
90. You said ‘Oh no!’ when you saw Phil Collins playing drums for Led Zeppelin at Live Aid in 1985.
91. .., and then 20 years later you said ‘Oh no!’ again when Live Aid was released on DVD and the Led Zeppelin performance was deleted.
92. You realise the best Guns n Roses tribute band you’ve seen is the most recent version of Guns n Roses.
93. You realise the best KISS tribute band you’ve seen is the most recent version of KISS.
94. You are a very adept sewer from sewing all those patches on to your denim jackets over the years, and you no longer need a thimble because of the callous on your thumb.
95. You have a special facial expression that you give your parents/wife/children when they ask when you are going to cut your hair.
96. You can no longer wait at a gig until 2am to see a particular band play a 30 minute set, drink 20 beers in the process, and then go to work the next morning.
97. The best gigs of your life you can’t remember because you drank twenty beers.
98. You’ve expressed after gigs on so many occasions that “it was the best fucking gig of my life”, that your friends remind you of this every time you say it.
99. You’ve been at a gig and someone has tried to have a conversation with you, and you just nod and smile because you cant hear a thing, and the next day you find out that you agreed to loan them money or help them move house.
100. You’ve worn a leather jacket to a gig on the hottest day in summer just because it looked cool OR you’ve worn a t-shirt on the coldest day in winter for the same reason.
101. You hate the fact all your favourite metal bands are now referred to as ‘Classic Rock.’
At Rocklahoma 2011, Axis Entertainment sponsored a stage for new and upcoming bands to perform and showcase their music. On the night before the festival started, a band named Aformatic performed to the 500 plus sized crowd and set the bar for the rest of bands to follow. I got the chance to talk with Eric (vocals) and Andrew (guitar) and got to know about Aformatic and what they have in store for the future of the band.
Tell me about Aformatic:
Eric-We formed Aformatic in December 2009 and have been writing songs together and working on our new album. We’ve also been playing shows throughout Oklahoma and got the opportunity to play the pre-party at Rocklahoma. Basically being a rock n roll band.
What would someone expect from an Aformatic show?
Eric- One of the goals we like to focus on is whether or not we as individuals are having a good or a bad day, when each of us step on that stage we (as a band) are having the time of our lives. We want the crowd to see this so they can relax, enjoy themselves, and enjoy the music. The audience becomes more responsive to the music and it becomes a release for them.
Andrew- I just like to go up there, not focus on making sure every note is perfect, but more connecting with the crowd to let them know there is nothing else I would like to be doing at that moment than playing for them.
This is a hard profession to try to succeed in, what has inspired you to want to be in a band and make music?
Eric - Childish irresponsibility!! (joking) I could not think of anything else in my life except have fun and preferrable make people smile along the way, also I like to be the center of attention. Plus I am a huge Silverchair and Offspring fan, so when I picked up “Freakshow” and “Ixnay on the Hombre,” it was just the perfect time in my life to make me want to start writing my own music.
Andrew - Well growing up in time when music was really guitar driven, I really enjoyed listening to Van Halen and that just set me off to want to play on my own. It’s just a feeling you get when you’re writing and playing your own music, there’s just nothing like it. Especially when the people responded like they did at Rocklahoma, it just makes the nights that didn’t quite go as planned disappear and allows you to remember why you wanted to do this.
Since I have a frontman and guitarist here today, what are your favorite singers and guitarists?
Andrew - Ty Tabor of Kings X is huge for me, he is a big influence, plus Eric Johnson is really great. And as I said Van Halen, those three are the main ones for me.
Eric - My wife has stated on several occasions that she is going to make me a t-shirt that says “WWMKD” which stands for “What Would Myles Kennedy Do,” I have the biggest man crush on that guy. Of course he’s the singer of Alter Bridge, but also this year he has been singer for Slash. The guy has this phenomenal range and he’s just this confident professional, I just enjoy the heck out of him. Also I enjoy watching Jacoby Shaddix of Papa Roach. Seeing him live was just something so different, when I saw him he had this Rob Halford of Judas Priest feel to him. He made this huge connection to the audience on so many different levels. So being influenced by performers and not just singers made me the frontman I am today.
What are your most memorable experiences being in Aformatic?
Andrew - Rocklahoma was a huge experience for me and I hope it’s just the beginning for us. When you have experiences like that it’s a double-edged sword, particularly when you’re at the stage we’re at now in our career. We just want to walk off stage and head to the next performance to keep everything going, but also it reminds us of what we are trying to achieve. It fires us up but it also reminds each of us to keep going to achieve the most we can as a band.
Eric - It’s hard to not look back at the photos from Rocklahoma and in several we were just caught up in the moment to have a crowd who was so ready to rock, as their faces looked like they had been starved. But it didn’t hit me how cool that moment was until someone had sent me a photo taken from behind the stage and the crowd was endless, and again I remembered this crowd was here to see our band. I remembered at Rocklahoma 2010 I was in the crowd watching all the bands, now I’m the one on the stage rocking the crowd. It was so surreal to me. Also recording our new CD has been quite memorable. When you’re the artist and you are putting so much into making the CD sound just perfect. So when I listen to all we have done on the album, all that makes it all worth it. (The new CD should be released late July/early August)
What is your opinion on the digital downloads in music today?
Eric- Honestly I think it is good and bad for music. For the music industry it is the worst thing, CD sales is where they made their money. But then it got way out of hand, people started to download because they got tired of paying $18.00 for a CD. Also then performers started realizing it was a faster ways to get their music to the fans. I think downloading turns more people onto your music, hands down. Yes you might not get that certain amount of actual cd sales you were accustom to, but now more people from different areas and different countries will have the opportunity to get to listen to your music. And that is just because they are able to access your music a lot easier and quicker. I am on the like side of downloading music, but I can’t blame anyone that doesn’t like it. I just saw on television recently that the record industry stated that presently there are less that 15 artists that have had a platinum selling record,that is a direct respondent of electronic music.
With the music industry how it is now, do you feel a band benefits from signing a record deal with a major label?
Andrew – For tour support, yes. The way it is now if you are going on tour and don’t have a label, when you book shows it’s kind of like the movie Anvil. You’re going to the shows hoping that everything goes the way that it should and everything comes out as agreed upon. So then you have to hope you have enough money to get to the next show. There are so many advantages and disadvantages of being on a major label or and independent.
Eric - I completely agree on the touring aspect Andrew brought up, I do think it depends on the band. There are so many that try and try to get on a label, really any label, but that’s just the trophy they want. They want to be able to say, “We’re on a label.” But I feel most of the bands out there today, don’t really need one. You have the opportunity to do more yourself, you can make your own CD’s or handle your own merchandising. What it really comes down to is how much are bands willing to work to promote themselves. I would have to say there is probably a particular type of genre or band that needs a label. Heaven forbid if we were a pop band touring with Rhianna we would need a label. Luckily we are not and one thing I really like is that Aformatic has a particular sound that I don’t think we are major label material. But don’t get me wrong I would of course hear one out if they came to use, just to see what they could offer us.
What is next for Aformatic?
Andrew – Just touring as much as we can, the more exposure we can get the better for the band.
Eric - Basically we are looking at booking some shows with friends of ours that are in bands. Playing some shows in their town, opening for them as they opened for us before, and just going from location to location having fun and playing for as many people as we can.
Check Andrew/Eric and Aformatic at the following links to hear more about Aformatic:
Ever listen to a band so much that you just get tired of them, then you wonder “what other bands sound like this band but are different?” Well now you can, check out http://audiomap.tuneglue.net/. It’s an interesting website that when you type in a bands name , the website will generate a list of artists that in one way or another, are similar to the band that you typed in. Here’s an example:
I start with Guns N Roses (easy enough):
Next click on expand on the circle, then it will create the list of bands:
Basically what you would expect, Izzy, Slash, Velvet Revolver, Skid Row. I assume the other GNR is the “new” version of GNR.
So then you can click on another circle to keep the extension going.
So now apparently Skid Row is an extension of Cinderella, Motley Crue, Crash Diet and many more. I was bored, so I took it even further:
I don’t really think that the creator of the website expects you to find out more than you already know about the bands that are being searched, but it was mildly entertaining to do. So for that, thank you TuneGlue.
Check it out and have fun.
Now System of a Down has been out of the spotlight for awhile, so enjoy this video to help soothe the pain until they return.
July 19th, Cold’s new album, Superfiction, will be released. Check out the newest single, “Wicked World.” For those that don’t know the band, I would first check out two of their previous albums, “13 Ways to Bleed on Stage” and also my personal favorite (so far) “Year of the Spider.” Check the band out at their website.
Here is the official video for “Wicked World”