The MetalSucks Podcast

This week we jump on the bandwagon and present to you our picks for the top metal albums of 2016. Instead of trying to write witty asides for every album -- we’ll leave that to the experts -- we chose to give you an audio rundown of the list and share our thoughts on each one. Some of Chuck and Godless's picks match -- not many, but some -- and we cover a lot of ground between the two of us. We did agree on the number one album of the year, and we brought that artist on as a special guest to be presented with the MetalSucks Podcast Trophy (which may or may not exist [it doesn’t exist]) and talked about the release that stood head and shoulders above anything else that came out this year.

Also in this episode, a must listen segment: a big announcement about the podcast in 2017!

We play a few extra songs this week, and we even pulled out our favorite song from the year (which was not from our number one pick).

Direct download: METALSucks20Podcast-Ep0173.mp3
Category:The MetalSucks Podcast -- posted at: 6:55am PST

Dave Stephens, vocalist for We Came As Romans, guests this week on your favorite metal podcast with an interview outside of their album cycle. We catch Dave and the band right in the middle of working on the follow up to their eponymous latest album. Dave talks candidly with us about the recent departure of their drummer and longtime member Eric Choi, how aesthetic and the "look" of a new member will be important, their struggle with being an up and coming band and keeping their feet on the ground, and the idea that they might not be the best musicians but how their hard work and dedication have paid off.

We also unpack a recent interview with Kirk Hammett (did you know Metallica have a new album out?) where he talks about most of his creative ideas for the new record being shut out of the process and how <em>Hardwired</em> is a "Lars album." It's funny to think that even at the level Metallica are, that any members' ideas could be sidelined or not incorporated, although Kirk never appeared to be outspoken. Did he get steamrolled? Again? How is it that the seemingly most creative and sensitive member of the band isn't getting to contribute? After all... these... years? Metallica? Metallica? Did you see the videos from Metallica? Metallica… sorry, we think we glitched a bit there…

Songs:
Metallica
We Came As Romans – "Wasted Age"
Coliseum – "Am I Demon"

Direct download: METALSucks20Podcast-Ep0172.mp3
Category:The MetalSucks Podcast -- posted at: 9:46am PST

John LaMacchia, guitarist of the reactivated Candiria, guests this week on your favorite metal podcast and we dive deep into the band's new record While They Were Sleeping. In our interview we talk about the many projects he's spearheaded, how 9/11 took its toll on him and led to addiction, the dark nature of the music he creates, going back out on tour and what that means for his lifestyle, and what the future might bring.

We also talk about the disappointing sales figures for Avenged Sevenfold's new album, The Stage, which sold less than half the number of first week copies as their last record did. The stunt of announcing the record one day before its release may have backfired. Do stunts and tricks work in a band's favor? Or is it counterintuitive to fake out their hardcore audience by not telling them that you're working on new material? Will this benefit or hurt the band's upcoming lawsuit with their old label? Was the label change a good idea after all? Does anyone really care?

Songs: 
Candiria – "While They Were Sleeping"
Dark Tranquillity – "Encircled"

Direct download: METALSucks20Podcast-Ep0171.mp3
Category:The MetalSucks Podcast -- posted at: 8:07am PST

Adam Dutkiewicz of Killswitch Engage guests this week on your favorite metal podcast. Of course you know him from KsE, but Adam's latest project takes his immense talents in a completely different direction. Serpentine Dominion is a death metal project also featuring Shannon Lucas (ex-The Black Dahlia Murder) and George "Corpsegrinder" Fisher of Cannibal Corpse, so it's a bit heavier than what you might expect from Adam. In our interview, on the eve of the U.S. Presidential election, we decided that Adam needed to be our man on the street and let us in on all his political views, his plans to solve the Middle East crisis and legalizing various consumables. Then we let him off the hook for a bit to talk about music, his career, how KsE keeps Jesse Leach under control, and of course his appearance on the Price is Right.

We delve into some politics, because... politics. But we can't resist talking about the latest Internet fued between two grown men: Dee Snider called Cannibal Corpse’s first album "terrible," Chris Barnes reacted on twitter, Dee apologized, then they complimented one another. That's how you do it nowadays, right? Or would it have been better for Dee to stick to his guns? Either way it’s entertaining to see a champion of free speech in music get called out for talking smack about someone else’s art.

Songs:
Serpentine Dominion – "On the Brink of Devastation"
Crowbar – "Plasmic and Pure"

Direct download: METALSucks20Podcast-Ep0170.mp3
Category:The MetalSucks Podcast -- posted at: 7:32am PST

Jon Mess and Will Swan of Dance Gavin Dance guest this week on your favorite metal podcast. We talk about how the band is shunned by metal fans and where they believe that comes from, how they have succeeded while so many others have failed, and their latest release, Mothership. We also talk about their perspective on the rotating door at their lead singer position, and how that changes the way they write music and what they are able to do as a band. 

We talk more about the lead singer problem in light of the big news this week that Asking Alexandria dumped their new singer to take back their old one. Who has that worked for in the past and how might it feel for the people involved? Is it a “grass is always greener” issue, or the thrill of the chase? It worked for Anthrax, TesseracT and several other bands; fans certainly seem to want the old guy back. Well, except in Iron Maiden…

Songs:
Dance Gaving Dance – "Chucky Vs. The Giant Tortoise"
Whores – "Participation Trophy"

Direct download: METALSucks20Podcast-Ep0169.mp3
Category:The MetalSucks Podcast -- posted at: 7:57am PST

This week our guest on your favorite metal podcast is Jessica Pimentel, both a metal musician and star of the hit Netflix series Orange is the New Black. Her career has been taking off with the portrayal of Maria Ruiz on the jailhouse drama, but her ties to metal run deep, whether with her band Alekhine’s Gun, her main squeeze (Meshuggah drummer Tomas Haake), or just the circles she runs with in her native Brooklyn. In our interview we talk about her recent excursion to see Metallica at Webster Hall, her relationship with heavy music, her background in classical, the similarities and differences between being an actress and musician, how close she was to ending her career as an actor, and what "terrible" album she won’t admit to loving.

We also talk about Lords of Chaos being made into a Hollywood film. What does it mean for an underground genre of metal to get the dramatization treatment? We ponder what other stories in metal might be worth telling in the same format; there have been plenty of compelling narratives involving metal music and musicians over the years, but which one would you choose to put on the silver screen? What kind of disaster show will Hollywood make of the soundtrack for this movie? What SHOULD the soundtrack include?

Songs:
Alekhine’s Gun – "Atlas"
Opeth – "Chrysalis"

Direct download: METALSucks20Podcast-Ep0168.mp3
Category:The MetalSucks Podcast -- posted at: 7:38am PST

Jordan Mancino, drummer for Wovenwar (and ex-As I Lay Dying) guests this week on your favorite metal podcast to talk about the band's new record, Honor is Dead, which is out now. We talked with Jordan about the recent departure of bandmate Phil Sgrosso (he'd been a part of AILD and/or Wovenwar since he was a teenager), how they were able to reconstruct themselves after Tim Lambesis decided to "go rogue" and what that looked like from the inside, how that time in their history informs who they are today, and their experience as a Christian band evolving into a secular group in such a visible way.

We also talk about bands who come to represent entire genres of music. Some bands that barely have a connection to a type of music adopt a new aesthetic and sound, then rise to the top of a genre by writing middle of the road tunes that play on the popular pieces of the genre's past and capitalize on the lowest common denominator of fans. Are such bands legit? It's happened with many different genres over the years: Green Day with punk, Limp Bizkit with nu-metal, Avenged Sevenfold with metal and many more.

Direct download: METALSucks20Podcast-Ep0167.mp3
Category:The MetalSucks Podcast -- posted at: 7:02am PST

Vicky Psarakis, vocalist of The Agonist, guests on your favorite metal podcast this week, and in our interview we discover a genuine and enthusiastically nice person behind the voice of one of the most exciting bands in metal today. We talk about how she finds and fleshes out great hooks and writes songs, her rise from a YouTube singer to taking over for Alyssa White-Gluz as the frontwoman of an up-and-coming metal band, transitioning from never being in a band before to touring around the world, why being a singer shouldn’t affect your ego, and what it was like living in Greece during the financial crisis and how that spurred her to innovate with her music career.

We also talk about how bands need to be more proactive on all platforms and social media. We’ve all seen the tour updates, behind-the-scenes studio videos and the like, but there aren't many bands who can get past the clichés and turn their online presence into something more relatable for their audience. Some of the best are using different outlets to round out the ‘who’ more than the ‘what’ of their music careers. Should it even matter? No matter the answer, due to the ever-changing ways of consuming music and art bands need to be ready to open the doors and let the audience in.

Songs: 
The Agonist – "The Moment"
CarBomb – "From the Dust of This Planet"

Direct download: METALSucks20Podcast-Ep0166.mp3
Category:The MetalSucks Podcast -- posted at: 6:58am PST

This week on your favorite metal podcast we talk to virtuoso guitarist Monte Pittman, who has played with plenty of non-metal acts like Madonna and Adam Lambert, but also alongside Tommy Victor in Prong. He ha an extensive solo catalogue as well, including his latest metal installment Inverted Grasp of Balance. In our interview we talk about his whole career, from starting out in East Texas to becoming the King of LA (crowned by us), his ability to work with all walks of life, what it's like to play both stadiums and small clubs, teaching as an outlet for expression (as well as an income stream), and we try to find out more about his personal life.

We also talk to DX Ferris, author of the definitive biography on Slayer's Reign in Blood, to commemorate the 30th birthday of the album. On October 7th, 1986, metal changed forever, and DX enlightens us on some of the huge misconceptions about the record, what really spurred the change from longer songs to a shorter, more polished attack, how this album may not be their best-selling, and more (you’ll get the rest in a detailed post later this week on MS). DX dispels myths about producer Rick Rubin's influence on Reign in Blood's songs as well as late guitarist Jeff Hanneman's contributions. Mind = blown.

Songs:
Monte Pittman – "Arisen in Broad Daylight"
Slayer – "Necrophobic"

Direct download: METALSucks20Podcast-Ep0165.mp3
Category:The MetalSucks Podcast -- posted at: 6:33am PST

This week on your favorite metal podcast we talk to virtuoso guitarist Monte Pittman, who has played with plenty of non-metal acts like Madonna and Adam Lambert, but also alongside Tommy Victor in Prong. He ha an extensive solo catalogue as well, including his latest metal installment Inverted Grasp of Balance. In our interview we talk about his whole career, from starting out in East Texas to becoming the King of LA (crowned by us), his ability to work with all walks of life, what it's like to play both stadiums and small clubs, teaching as an outlet for expression (as well as an income stream), and we try to find out more about his personal life.

We also talk to DX Ferris, author of the definitive biography on Slayer's Reign in Blood, to commemorate the 30th birthday of the album. On October 7th, 1986, metal changed forever, and DX enlightens us on some of the huge misconceptions about the record, what really spurred the change from longer songs to a shorter, more polished attack, how this album may not be their best-selling, and more (you’ll get the rest in a detailed post later this week on MS). DX dispels myths about producer Rick Rubin's influence on Reign in Blood's songs as well as late guitarist Jeff Hanneman's contributions. Mind = blown.

Songs:
Monte Pittman – "Arisen in Broad Daylight"
Slayer – "Necrophobic"

Direct download: METALSucks20Podcast-Ep0165.mp3
Category:The MetalSucks Podcast -- posted at: 6:33am PST

The latest episode of your favorite metal podcast is absolutely crucial for every Metallica fan. This week marks the 30th anniversary of one of the greatest losses in metal history, the untimely death of Cliff Burton. We wouldn’t normally commemorate an artist on their death date, but it really is stunning that three decades after the tragic bus accident on September 27, 1986, we still compare metal bass players to Cliff. We took the opportunity to talk to Joel McIver, author and biographer, who has released several books on Metallica including To Live Is To Die: The Life And Death Of Metallica's Cliff Burton, which has been recently updated. We talk about Cliff’s influence on metal, we discuss how fans to this day are affected by his influence even without knowing it, and Joel gives us more details about the events surrounding the fatal bus crash in Sweden.

We also are very honored to interview Cliff’s father Ray Burton. We talk about who Cliff was as a child, how he saw himself in the world of metal, the loss of his brother at the age of 13, the decision to start playing bass, his experience with Metallica and how his loss affected the family.

Take the opportunity to listen to Cliff's music and realize how advanced his songwriting and playing really was.

Songs
Metallica – "Anesthesia (Pulling Teeth)" / "Whiplash"

Direct download: METALSucks20Podcast-Ep0164.mp3
Category:The MetalSucks Podcast -- posted at: 8:01am PST

Our guest this week on your favorite metal podcast was suggested to us by none other than Chris Adler of Lamb of God back when he was on the podcast last year, although we have been fans of Allegaeon for quite a while outside of that endorsement. In our interview with guitarist Greg Burgess we talk about trying to top what you think is your best work, the shuffling of the staff around the band, manager and booking agent and why they needed to make a change, what surrounded the shift in singers for their new record Proponent for Sentience, and we find out how much it costs to get Bill Nye in your music video.

We also discuss the non-beef beef that came up this week between Born of Osiris guitarist Born of Osiris and The Acacia Strain's Vincent Bennett. What appeared to be drunk Tweets got serious when the metal media paid it some attention. Are we taking ourselves too seriously? Drunk Tweets are just drunk Tweets, right? Even if you are picking a fight with someone who doesn’t even know why you are fighting with them in the first place. When a band feels they have to diffuse a situation as the first reaction to something that can be attributed to an over-the-limit BAC level, maybe we need to adopt a sense of humor. Let’s just apologize now for our discussion too while we’re at it.

Songs:
Allegaeon – "All Hail Science"
Steve N Seagulls – "Symphony of Destruction"

Direct download: METALSucks20Podcast-Ep0163.mp3
Category:The MetalSucks Podcast -- posted at: 9:10am PST

You might know Richard Christy as a cast member of The Howard Stern show, but metalheads know him as being a badass drummer with Death, Control Denied, Iced Earth, and now Charred Walls of the Damned. In our in-depth interview we spend a lot of time talking about that history, his relationship with Chuck Schuldiner, the story of Death and the end of the band, how he approaches the drums, and what Charred Walls of the Damned means to him in his very busy schedule. Christy has been a vital part of not one but two crucially important and disparate cultural icons, Death and The Howard Stern Show; how did he do it? We dig in.

Also this week we praise ICP followers for being the most dedicated fans of all time. Cutting one's finger off to pay tribute in a ritual salute to a fallen Juggalo is the most metal thing we have heard a fan of any genre of music doing in twenty years. Boredom and Faygo can be a dangerous mix.

Songs:
Charred Walls of the Damned – "The Soulless"
Alcest - "Oiseaux de proie"

Direct download: METALSucks20Podcast-Ep0162.mp3
Category:The MetalSucks Podcast -- posted at: 6:07am PST

The Dillinger Escape Plan guitarist Ben Weinman guests this week on your favorite metal podcast, and we decided to make this the definitive interview about the impending split of the band. He and drummer Billy Rymer were willing to discuss the decision in depth with us, what it means to them to make a choice to quit at the top of their game, who ultimately raised the idea of breaking up, whether there's a chance it might be a fluke or snap decision, where they plan to go from here, ... we asked every question about the breakup of the band from every angle we could think of. We also dive a little deeper into Ben’s personal life, and ruin him for any other podcasters out there. Sorry, guys.

We also play the new song from In Flames figure out where we've heard the chorus before (hint: it was a big hit in 2001). Once you hear it, you won't be able to un-hear it! The "original" is not just an obscure track, it comes from an album that is listed as one of the top Nu-Metal albums you must own. Coincidence? Are In Flames surrounded by sycophants? Or has the overprotection of new material by an artist fearing the leaking of a new track... backfired?

Direct download: METALSucks_Podcast_Ep0161-redux.mp3
Category:The MetalSucks Podcast -- posted at: 7:01am PST

Author Dayal Patterson guests this week on your favorite metal podcast to give us a lesson in underground black metal; his book Black Metal: The Cult Never Dies Vol I will come out via Decibel press this month (order here). We wanted to find out more about the significant evolutions in black metal that came from its controversial origins. We all know black metal can be a very secretive genre of music, sometimes by design, other times by accident, and what Dayal has done to get artists to expose themselves to the world is unrivaled in this underground scene. Beyond the mythos and the big stories of burning churches and murders, who are the people involved and what is the story of the music they made that created a movement that's lasted over 30 years?

We also explore Havok's woes on getting booted from their tour with Megadeth, either by Dave Mustaine or his son Justis Mustaine -- the story isn’t crystal clear -- after they refused to sign a management contract with Mustaine Management. We try to make sense of the controversy for you, or at least tell you what the right opinion should be. (Hint: Ours.) Of course, we disagree about how it was handled and who was at fault. And someone gets a round of applause that you would never expect.

Songs:
Solefald – "Jernlov"
Metallica – "Hardwired"

Direct download: METALSucks20Podcast20Ep0160.mp3
Category:The MetalSucks Podcast -- posted at: 7:52am PST

We have wanted to talk to Devin Townsend for quite some time now, and we finally got our chance! He has been a guest on your favorite metal podcast before, but Axl and Vince had the opportunity to do the interview and now we run him through our own ringer. You gotta love this guy! To call him a singer or a guitarist would be selling his talents short, and although he hates to be complimented, Devin is one of the most prolific and inspiring musician of the last two decades. Whether you loved Strapping Young Lad, Ziltoid, the Devin Townsend Project or any of his guest appearances or records he produced, his talent is undeniable. We consider ourselves lucky to have such a candid chat about psychosis, the different ways he sees music as opposed to just hearing it, the progression from one style or influence to the next, how his wife deals with his eccentric nature and the debut of Fun Sponge (you’ll get it when you listen).

We also discuss the Dio hologram that took Wacken 2016 by storm. You thought Dio had died, but his visage has been resurrected via technology to adore and shock fans at this year’s festival. Hell, he even took the time to wave a Wacken banner on stage before leading a chant of "We Rock." But is it the right thing to do? Obviously those in control of his estate, and the Dio Disciples, think a hologram does justice to the metal legend. But, more importantly, do we? His music should always live on, but are we setting ourselves up for something more perverted and disappointing by not letting our passed heroes lie? Or are we introducing a new generation to the greatness of the legends that only old metal dudes and dudettes got the chance to experience?

Songs:
Devin Townsend Project – "Failure"
Dio – "Evil Eyes"

Direct download: METALSucks20Podcast20Ep0159.mp3
Category:The MetalSucks Podcast -- posted at: 6:06am PST

Karl Sanders of the mighty Nile is our guest on your favorite metal podcast this week. We caught up with him midway through the Summer Slaughter Tour for our interview and he had quite a bit to say about the tour package, playing with old friends Cannibal Corpse and Krisiun and the young bands on the bill like Carnifex and After the Burial. We also chat about the transition from touring to home life, his experience and what kind of person he becomes while at home, his routines and training in martial arts, and his favorite video game. Karl shares some insight into why the relationship with the band's former record label ended so badly and his reactions to expectations from fans, and we also get a few details about the recent flap they encountered in Russia with the singer of Belphegor. 

We also talk about getting left behind in a band. Angus Young may be the last man standing in AC/DC and now it appears that Kerry King may be left on his own at some point in Slayer. When a band member does decide to hang it up, what happens to those who still have the strength to carry on? Should a band continue without certain members? If the band is all you have done for decades, what other choices does one have if not carrying on with the band name?

Songs:
Nile - "Evil To Cast Out Evil"
Urobilinemia - "完全感覚おち○ぽこ"

Direct download: METALSucks20Podcast20Ep0158.mp3
Category:The MetalSucks Podcast -- posted at: 6:30am PST

Neil Fallon of the mighty Clutch guests this week on your favorite metal podcast! In our interview with the singer, we talk in-depth about the 25 years of the band's history, how it might have just been a nice accident that they have lasted this long, the progression of their music through their career, his side projects Dunsmuir, The Bakerton Group, and The Company Band, dealing with the ever changing landscape of the music business as a band and, more recently, as the owner of the label Weathermaker Music, what the plan looks like for the next 25 years, and what you do when Lemmy gives you advice. Neil also tells us about the Clutch song they played every night for several years but now don't... and gives us details about his house!

We also discuss when musicians need to stop. Is there an age limit to the metal? Should bands who cannot do it anymore just finally give up and go home, or is there still a place in metal for the old guard? Vince’s editorial about Jason Newstead sparked the discussion about a musician's ability to make good music, be it with a distortion pedal or an acoustic guitar, after his or her prime. Once you are on the treadmill of the industry, do you have to keep running? Can you get off gracefully? How should a musician gauge when their time has passed? And who are we to judge???

Direct download: METALSucks20Podcast20Ep0157.mp3
Category:The MetalSucks Podcast -- posted at: 7:45am PST

Sumerian Records proprietor Ash Avildsen is our guest this week. You might know him from an array of different projects, whether you are a fan of his music, the bands on his label, his pioneering touring packages like Summer Slaughter or the recent movie What Now and soon-to-come American Satan. We started our chat by celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Summer Slaughter Tour with Cannibal Corpse, Nile, Suffocation, After the Burial and plenty more, but as is our tendency, we stray from the path into his interesting history with women, his family and the dynamics it take to be successful in today’s business.

We also attempt to unpack the unprecedented divisiveness we are seeing in the metal community. It’s not just cvlt vs. posers -- or any of those age-old separations that seem to be creeping into the world of metal the past couple years -- but a much more scary form of racism and misogyny that's fighting back in a way we haven't seen before. Is this indicative of the anti-PC movement we are seeing play out on the political stage? Or is it simply the playing field of today’s industry which we need to accept and move on?

Direct download: METALSucks20Podcast20Ep0156.mp3
Category:The MetalSucks Podcast -- posted at: 7:55am PST

This week on your favorite metal podcast we feature our first interview with a member of the Mt. Rushmore of the metal industry, Brian Slagel, founder and owner of Metal Blade Records.

Brian and Metal Blade have been in the metal business for nearly 35 years, developing some of the biggest acts in the history of metal such as Slayer, Gwar, Amon Amarth, Behemoth, Between the Buried and Me, and so many more. Brian's early career found him side by side with some of the most well-known musicians in the genre; his first release included a track from a little-known band called Metallica. We're a bit star struck, as his ability to choose acts and stand tall with and against trends over the years is the stuff of legend, but Slagel is still one of the most down to Earth people in the industry and maintains day to day operation of his label. We talk about the past and future of Metal Blade and the industry as a whole, his finest achievements and biggest mistakes, how streaming is effecting the current revenue models in the metal world and whether or not he is still speaking with one of his most controversial artists.

Songs:
Abnormality – "Synthetic Pathogenesis"
Norma Jean – "1,000,000 Watts"

Direct download: METALSucks20Podcast20Ep0155.mp3
Category:The MetalSucks Podcast -- posted at: 6:50am PST

Scott Ian Lewis, lead singer for deathcore mainstays Carnifex, guests this week. In our in-depth exclusive interview we talk about their new record, Slow Death (out next month on Nuclear Blast), what it takes to make it in the music business, leaving a label that wasn’t a good fit for the band, taking a hiatus to try and regroup, and being able to survive the pitfalls of constant touring. Plus, Lewis talks about his songwriting strategies, the financial burden of touring musicians, and much more.

We talk about the new Thy Art Is Murder EP and we try and make sense of why a band would continue with a singer or a member who already left the band. When a member decides that it's time to move on to different things, why would a band even bother to put out music featuring that member? It’s one thing if a member dies, but if they just want to do something else does it make sense to release new material with them on it? Or is that just longing for times that have already passed and teasing fans about something they can never have?

We also talk about the tragedies last week related to cops killing black civilians and the deaths of five police officers in Dallas. Perhaps this wasn't the most appropriate time for Godless to introduce his son to Body Count.

Songs:
Carnifex – "Six Feet Closer to Hell"
Thy Art Is Murder – "They Will Know Another"

Direct download: METALSucks20Podcast20Ep0154.mp3
Category:The MetalSucks Podcast -- posted at: 6:51am PST

Dave Davidson, acclaimed guitarist and vocalist of Revocation, makes his return to the podcast this week, and we debut "Profanum Vulgus" from their upcoming album Great Is Our Sin. We talk about the new album and we talk Dave's views on politics and religion and how that all influences his songwriting and perspective on making music. Revocation enjoy nearly universal acclaim for their genre-clashing songs and Davidson's virtuosic guitar playing, so hear from the brains and fingers behind the music and listen to a brand new song for the first time anywhere!

We also talk about waiting for new albums form your favorite bands. So many people are obsessed with when the new Tool album will drop, or when Metallica are going into the studio, or if *insert band name here* is working on something that might be cool sometime in the future. Why are fans so focused on what is coming from their ancient favorites and not paying more attention to the great new music coming out now? 

Songs:
Revocation - "Profanum Vulgus"
D.R.I. - "Anonymity"

Direct download: METALSucks20Podcast20Ep0153.mp3
Category:The MetalSucks Podcast -- posted at: 7:33am PST

 

Alex Erian, vocalist for recently reactivated deathcore pioneers Despised Icon, guests on the podcast this week. In our exclusive interview we delve into the reasoning behind the band breaking up and moving on and then, after a short time, making the decision to come back together. We talk about their new record Beast and how recording with two bands at one time creates headaches for him. We find out there might actually be a hip hop beat behind one of the songs on the new record and about how they've been able to retain their fanbase despite what looked like the end for the band. Maybe all bands -- and couples -- need to break up and get back together.

We also talk about the recent editorial on Decibel about "SJWs" in metal that turned the metal internets into a firestorm. With opinions ranging from "SJWs are tearing our scene apart" to "nazi metalheads must die," is there a real discussion going on right now, or are we all just picking sides while trying to reinforce whatever we believe already and refusing to hear anything that might challenge those opinions? Is there a real problem, a perceived problem, or are we missing the target altogether?

Songs:

Despised Icon – "The Aftermath"
Be’lakor – "Roots to Sever"

Direct download: METALSucks20Podcast20Ep0152.mp3
Category:The MetalSucks Podcast -- posted at: 7:09am PST

Aaron Turner of Sumac, ex-Isis, Mammifer, Old Man Gloom and Hydra Head Records is our guest this week. We discuss the new Sumac album What One Becomes, how he has changed emotionally since his early days with Isis, the role his wife played in turning him into a more well-adjusted person, his introverted nature, whether Isis will return someday, how a different view of his life shapes his reaction to his past art and what he is currently working to express with new musicians.

We also discuss Benji Webbe, frontman for Skindred, who mocked the young women of Babymetal at the Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards, It's pretty obvious that his attempt at humor fell flat and appeared racist, but did his "apology" via Twitter pacify Babymetal's fans? Or did he actually make it worse by giving a halfhearted statement? If you screw up what makes for a good apology, is it more important to be truthful? If not, it can really look worse than the faux pas you committed in the first place.

Songs:
Sumac – "Rigid Man" (Partial)
Make Them Suffer – "Ether"

Direct download: METALSucks20Podcast20Ep0151.mp3
Category:The MetalSucks Podcast -- posted at: 7:11am PST

Jamey Jasta, lead singer of Hatebreed, joins us this week. In our in-depth interview with the revered frontman, we talk how politics inform Hatebreed's new album, The Concrete Confessional, as well as his songwriting process, how small utterances on social media can provoke big reactions, his thoughts on the state of the music industry, why a separate metal streaming service would be a bad idea (at least for him), and how music is only one facet of his life alongside podcasting and branding. Plus: we offer you the worst segue in our podcast history. That’s right, if there were a podcast awards show, we'd have this category locked down!

We also speak to Noisey writer Cat Jones about her recent story she penned detailing the reasons Wax Idols and King Woman dropped off their tour with Pentagram. Cat discusses the importance of taking on a story like this, and how it matters to not just the women who were potentially wronged by Bobby Leibling and the Pentagram staff, but to the entire metal community.

Direct download: METALSucks_Podcast_Ep0150.mp3
Category:The MetalSucks Podcast -- posted at: 12:38pm PST

This week we take a look at the best metal albums of 2016 so far. Of course we see it differently from one another but we lay out what this year has offered and what it really means in the scope of metal history and the rest of the year to come.

We also invite Rob Pasbani of Metal Injection and the Metal Injection Livecast to offer a different perspective on this year’s releases. He fills us in on his new-car jams and takes a look ahead at which albums might be on the slate for the top of the year overall. We talk about Gojira's new album Magma as well as other highly anticipated albums of 2016 and how they have measured up to expectations, as well as some albums that've surprised us.

Rob also tells us about the coolest listening party in history: a small gathering of journalists and friends at Gojira's new Silver Cord Studios to hear Magma in its entirety. What does he think of one of the most anticipated metal albums of 2016? We spin four of the year's best tracks on this episode instead of the normal two.

Songs:
Primitive Weapons - "Ashes or Paradise"
Zeal and Ardor - "Devil Is Fine"
Mantar – "Era Borealis"
Fallujah – "The Void Alone"

Direct download: METALSucks20Podcast20Ep0149.mp3
Category:The MetalSucks Podcast -- posted at: 7:13am PST

Cristina Scabbia, lead singer for Lacuna Coil, guests this week to talk about the band's new album Delirium, their eighth studio album over a 20-plus year career and the first to be totally self-produced. Cristina talks about relationships between band members, experiences with past producers and the pressures the band has been under leading up the album's release. She talks about where the lyrical themes on this album stem from, some metaphorical and others from her personal relationship with mental illness. 

Chuck and Godless discuss a very common word that we may or may not need to take out of our vocabulary (especially as Chuck is 'blank' for Nails). We examine how the botched launch of Prophets of Rage turned our internet feeds into a frenzy of activity, but for the wrong reasons. Did Rage Against the Machine control their message in the wrong way, or did they simply underestimate the appetite for a reunion? Zach de la Rocha may be having the last laugh, until he hears our idea for the one dude on earth who would be more interesting and would draw bigger crowds.

Songs:
Lacuna Coil – "The House of Shame"
Nails – "Savage Intolerance"

Direct download: METALSucks_Podcast_Ep0148_copy.mp3
Category:The MetalSucks Podcast -- posted at: 8:12am PST

The legendary black metal drummer Frost of Satyricon is our guest this week. In our interview we talk about the re-release of their classic album Nemesis Divina on its 20th anniversary, what that means for the band, if the classic albums he grew up with would be different if they were remastered, and whether or not there is space in black metal for change and openness in songwriting. Forgive us for the poor quality of the recording, but in trve black metal style we chose to distress the audibility of his phone connection for full effect.

We also discuss the announcement of Ozzfest Meets Knotfest. We try to figure out if it actually means anything for the genre, or if it's just another cash grab for the Osbourne family. Why would Slipknot give up half of their successful (or seemingly successful) festival? To get hold of the brand? To extend their legacy? Or is this just an example of the lovely spirit of cooperation in the metal community?

Songs:
Satyricon – "Forhekset"
Black Crown Initiate – "For Red Cloud"

Direct download: METALSucks20Podcast20Ep0147.mp3
Category:The MetalSucks Podcast -- posted at: 8:18am PST

This week Joe Duplantier of the mighty Gojira returns to the podcast for another interview ahead of the release of their new album Magma. We find out how the emotional impact on the Duplantier brothers of losing their mother effected the production of this album, whether having kids makes Joe think about the business differently, what the changing direction of their music means for the future of the band, how they feel about peoples' responses to the new record, and how building a studio in New York City changes the way he looks at making music.

We also talk about "fake" bands, whether it's a band that has a front, as in Dethklok or new Season of Mist signees Sons of Balaur, or as in the case of Ghost Bath, where a band propagates misinformation to make themselves seem more interesting. Is it right to try and fool people into thinking you are something you are not? Is having a "story" worth the effort it takes to create something larger than your original band, like Gwar?

We also give you a first hand account of the David Vincent country show last weekend in Austin.

Songs:
Gojira – "Stranded"
Beartooth – "Aggressive"

Direct download: METALSucks_Podcast_Ep0146_copy.mp3
Category:The MetalSucks Podcast -- posted at: 7:57am PST

Luc Lemay, legendary guitarist and vocalist for Gorguts, guests this week, and in our revealing interview we discover how he became and maintains the status of being the nicest guy in death metal. We even try to get him to hate on people but he holds his ground, refusing to say one bad word about anyone we mentioned. We also talk about his return to composing after such a long hiatus, how he was sure to be very careful around all the sharp objects in his woodshop, and the process of writing a single 33-minute song that turned into the band's new EP Pleiades' Dust.

We discuss our disappointment in Iron Maiden's decision to bow to the Chinese government by changing the way they perform their set. Should a band stick to their principles and not censor lyrics, or is it OK to cater to a government so the fans of the band actually get a chance to see them play? We know where Maiden came down on the subject, but were they right in doing so?

Songs:
Gorguts – "Wandering Times" (Exerpt from Pleiadies Dust)
Polar – "Blood for Blood"

Direct download: METALSucks20Podcast20Ep0145.mp3
Category:The MetalSucks Podcast -- posted at: 7:39am PST

Evan Brewer guests this week on the podcast, fresh on the heels of releasing the debut full length album with his new band Entheos. In our interview we spend more time talking about bass than ever before, but we also learn about his decision to leave The Faceless, what that meant for his career, why going solo for a few albums was a good idea and whether or not he likes watching movies with all the other nerdy prog metal guys that are getting popular these days.

Later in the episode we talk about Monuments' financial woes, which led them to drop off a tour, and how dumb mistakes can ruin your band's future, or at least create hurdles that may or may not be overcome. We examine the dynamics of finances and planning on a band's well-being and what should be expected at certain levels of the game... and let’s just say Monuments should be way ahead of where they are now.

Songs:

Entheos – "Terminal Stages of Nostalgia"
ETHS - "Nihil Sine Causa"

Follow us on Twitter: @BeardedApe and @GodlessSpeaks
Follow us on Instagram: @ChuckandGodless
Support us on Patreon: www.chuckandgodless.com

Direct download: METALSucks20Podcast20Ep0144.mp3
Category:The MetalSucks Podcast -- posted at: 7:26am PST

This week the always intense and enigmatic Ministry mastermind Al Jourgensen guests on the podcast. His new project, Surgical Meth Machine, just released their debut self-titled album, and we find out where this next level of music came from and how it turned into something bigger than expected, how the grind of the industry drives him crazy and how he inadvertently became what he most despised by creating his own label to combat the things he hated.

We also discuss the boundaries an audience needs to obey when going to shows. A young woman gets literally kicked off the stage at a pop-punk show; is that reaction justified? Does this coincide with the David Draiman discussion from last week? Where should we draw the line between audience and performer? The rules of the game are changing every day, but no one seems to know what best practices are for audience behavior... except us... we obviously know the right answer.

Songs:
Surgical Meth Machine - "I Want More"
Death Angel - "Cause For Alarm"

Direct download: METALSucks_Podcast_Ep0143.mp3
Category:The MetalSucks Podcast -- posted at: 7:32am PST

Filter's Richard Patrick takes over the podcast this week -- and when we say "takes over the podcast," we mean it! Filter's new record, Crazy Eyes, is out... but we talk about the new music for maybe two seconds before the conversation shifts to the nature of art, Patrick's belief that music and art should be subversive, how the radio hit "Take a Picture" exemplifies this belief, and the U.S. Presidential election (spoiler: Richard does not like Mr. Trump very much).

We also discuss Metal GF's recent MetalSucks editorial,  "Is Metal Still Counterculture? Is Anything?", and how it seems that metal has been not just accepted by, but adopted into, the mainstream (see: Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, Paris Jackson, etc.) 

Direct download: METALSucks20Podcast20Ep0142.mp3
Category:The MetalSucks Podcast -- posted at: 3:20pm PST

Dez Fafara puts in his second appearance on the podcast. DevilDriver's new record Trust No One will be the first in a decade with new personnel playing and writing music for the band. We talk in depth about Dez's work ethic, his view of the lineup changes, what that means for this album and the band going forward and how his attitude changes without negative influences working against him.  

We also get to hear David Draiman go after a fan in the audience who he claimed was texting the entire show. Although the woman says she was texting her scared daughter, and Draiman apologized, was he in the right for calling out someone for not paying attention to the show? Or is he in the dark about how audiences operate in the new world order? The time may be here to put away the phones, stop texting at shows and experience the reality of... reality.

Songs: 
DevilDriver - "Daybreak"
Architects UK - "A Match Made In Heaven"

Direct download: METALSucks20Podcast20Ep0141.mp3
Category:The MetalSucks Podcast -- posted at: 10:08am PST

The legendary Ihsahn guests on the podcast this week. We talk about his new album Arktis being a departure from his last experimental album, working with Trivium’s Matt Heafy and his love for black metal, the differences between writing music in a band setting versus the creative process as a solo artist, and if he would ever entertain returning to a "band" or he's too comfortable working independently. Also: find out why he isn't really interested in the business side of the music industry.

We couldn’t let the flap with Gloria Cavalera go unnoticed either: in a recent post to Facebook, she called out some other band that may or may not be Sepultura (she never named a name). Godless seems to think she is just doing her job telling it like it is in a time where too many people sit back and get walked over, in stark contradiction with others in the MS family.

Songs:
Ihsahn – "Mass Darkness"
Walls of Jericho – "Reign Supreme"

Direct download: METALSucks20Podcast20Ep0140.mp3
Category:The MetalSucks Podcast -- posted at: 7:40am PST

Otep Shamaya, known for her outspoken and honest nature, brings it to the podcast this week. We talk about her new record Generation Doom and how it almost didn't happen, how her history informs her present, how the music industry almost ruined her passion for music, her work as a voiceover artist and what it feels like to have regained the passion for her art. We could only fit in part of our lengthy interview, but we talked at length about politics and the state of the union. The full interview, including her take on the current U.S. Presidential race, is available to members of our Patreon family at chuckandgodless.com.

Chuck and Godless talk about crowd funding fatigue; are you tired of being the go-to source for funds for your favorite bands? With more and more artists attempting to monetize their work individually -- to record, tour, buy a new van or pay for their medical bills -- have we reached a tipping point, or are those things what we should be spending our money on in the first place? Perhaps that money you've been saving on music the last two decades by downloading it for free needs to be put to better use than picking up a grande latte if you really want your favorite band to make a new album.

Songs:
Otep - "Zero"
Killswitch Engage - "Quiet Distress"

Direct download: METALSucks20Podcast20Ep0139.mp3
Category:The MetalSucks Podcast -- posted at: 6:44am PST

Anthony Notarmaso, vocalist for the embattled After the Burial, guests this week with one of our most heart-wrenching interviews to date. It's unfortunate that the band can't do interviews without talking about their late guitarist Justin Lowe, who tragically passed away last year, but that enabled the band to reach into spaces not many can comprehend. We talk about Justin, how the band decided to carry on in spite his absence, how the loss continues to effect them every day, what it meant to try and move on so quickly and how they struggled with this new album Dig Deep and ultimately released their highest debuting release to date.

We also talk about how a bunch of teenagers could possibly be suffering through their sophomore slump. The new Babymetal song is out and isn’t as aggressive as their last record; does this signal a shift in their approach? are they trying to go more mainstream? does anyone even care? It would appear that a softer image might play better in the US as they are poised to start doing more shows in the States, or perhaps this is where the rubber meets the road for a band whose debut everyone praised.

Songs:
After the Burial – "Laurentian Ghosts"
Babymetal – "Karate"

Direct download: METALSucks20Podcast20Ep0138.mp3
Category:The MetalSucks Podcast -- posted at: 7:41am PST

This week's guest on the podcast is Johan Hegg of the mighty Amon Amarth! Listen in as we discuss why he the band's new album, Jomsviking, may quite possibly be the band's finest work to date, the story behind the band's first concept record, the cause of their first line-up change in twenty years, and their decision not to hire a new permanent drummer.

Plus: Eyal Levi is back again for another installment of One Minute to Midnight! Two unsigned bands have their material examined by one of the finest producers in metal today, who offers up tips to help them continue to grow their careers. On this episode, Sweet Little Machine and Plagued by Humanity face the chopping block, and... well, let's just say they have some work ahead of them.

 

Direct download: METALSucks20Podcast20Ep0137.mp3
Category:The MetalSucks Podcast -- posted at: 9:03am PST

Steve Austin, vocalist and guitarist for Today is the Day, recently formed a new band called UXO with his longtime friend Chris Spencer of Unsane. We invited Steve to chat with us and wound up having one of the longest, most interesting discussions we've had in a long time. We talk about how the UXO project came together, where his drive to create introspective, destructive music comes from, how his relationship with his family molded the person he is today and how his children changed his outlook on life and music.

We also try and figure out whether or not Bring Me the Horizon's Oli Sykes really has beef with Chris Martin and Coldplay or if he's just trying to get more people to pay attention to him. He claims he did not know that his stunt at the NME Awards was directed at the band, but we're not necessarily buying it. Also, just to warn you, there will be graphic depictions of a surgical procedure one of us had in this episode... let's just say the results were unexpected.

Songs:
UXO - "Trauma"
Toothgrinder - "The House (That Fear Built)"

Direct download: METALSucks20Podcast20Ep0136.mp3
Category:The MetalSucks Podcast -- posted at: 7:21am PST

This week we were recovering from our trip to the Caribbean on the 70000 Tons of Metal cruise. The floating festival is in its sixth year, offering 60 bands over the course of four days, and somehow we survived our third trip. Whether you love to see the crowd, the destinations or the bands you will have a spectacular time. As part of the press corps, we got the opportunity to talk to some of the bands on board in an "official" capacity, and this can present some challenges for your hosts who tend to talk without end.

The guitar shredder Herman Li of the mighty Dragonforce took some time to speak with us. They had a tough go of it -- their first performance was cut due to tech problems, then rescheduled, and their final show was booted from the main stage by the weather -- but he was in good spirits the whole trip and we were able to have an in-depth chat with the man behind the guitar.

We had been working to get Alexi Laiho of Children of Bodom to guest on the show when their latest album dropped and couldn't make it work, but he had nowhere to run on the cruise ship. You may forget how long Children of Bodom have been bringing the metal, and his history with the band is obviously interesting, so we pick his brain to find out what drives him to keep moving forward, both personally and musically.

Songs:
Dragonforce - "The Game"
Rotting Christ - "Tou Thanatou"
Children of Bodom - "I Worship Chaos"

Direct download: METALSucks20Podcast20Ep0135.mp3
Category:The MetalSucks Podcast -- posted at: 7:54am PST

This week we invited Steve "Stevic" MacKay of the genre-bending Twelve Foot Ninja to the podcast for one of our favorite interviews to date. Shamelessly outspoken about music, the business side of things and the media, Stevic tells us all the things that are haunting him as a person, and the obstacles the band has encountered from the other side of the globe in Australia. His unique perspective is quite a bit different than what we had expected, and we were impressed with how candid and concerned the person behind the music really is.

We spent a lot of time with Stevic in this interview, and we are currently sailing the seas on the 70,000 Tons of Metal Cruise, so we left our weekly topic at the door. Don’t worry, there really isn’t anything to talk about in metal right now anyway, right? 

Songs:
Twelve Foot Ninja – "One Hand Killing"
Amon Amarth – "First Kill"

Direct download: Metalsucks20Podcast20EP0134.mp3
Category:The MetalSucks Podcast -- posted at: 7:04am PST

Steffen Kummerer, guitarist and vocalist of Obscura, guests this week. With their first new album in five years, Akroasis, coming out this week, we talked to Steffen in depth about his approach to writing the new album, his experience and education, how the shifting membership in the band shaped where they are today and whether having a master's degree or being a metal vocalist gets more traction with the ladies.

We also invited Mike Schleibaum of Darkest Hour back for another edition of our political segment "Sadist Nation" to talk before today's Iowa Primaries. We also couldn't ignore the controversy involving Phil Anselmo and his Nazi salute and "white power" scream at Dimebash; you may have read the statement about the incident from Darkest Hour last week, but Mike elaborates further about what it means for the metal community. (Note: we recorded this episode before Anselmo's apology video, but we got a feeling his sentiment did not change much).

Songs:
Obscura - "The Monist"
Darkest Hour - "Painkiller"

Follow us on Twitter: @BeardedApe and @GodlessSpeaks
Follow us on Instagram: @chuckandgodless
Support us on Patreon: chuckandgodless.com

Direct download: METALSucks20Podcast20Ep0133.mp3
Category:The MetalSucks Podcast -- posted at: 9:08am PST

James LaBrie of the legendary Dream Theater guests this week. We talk about their new album The Astonishing, the process surrounding making their most ambitious concept record to date, putting together an extensive live production for it, his relationship with fans, how he is able to adjust to touring vs. home life and whether the changing tide in the music industry effects the way he leads his life.

We also talk about VH1 Classic canceling That Metal Show and whether or not it signifies a turn away from metal music in the mainstream. If a major media company does not see the value in keeping metal and hard rock as part of their arsenal what could that mean for the genre as a whole? We also look at declining live ticket sales across the board as another possible indicator of where the last bastion of income for our artists may be headed; are we looking at the beginning of the end, or just a major shift in methodology?

Songs:
Dream Theater - "The Gift of Music"
Holy Grail - "Crystal King"

Direct download: METALSucks20Podcast20Ep0132.mp3
Category:The MetalSucks Podcast -- posted at: 8:19am PST

Tim Millar, guitarist for Protest the Hero, guests this week. Protest the Hero have reinvented the way to make music so many different times we had to talk to Tim about the crowdfunding for Volition, their new subscriber campaign through Bandcamp, whether they realize that they are turning the industry on its head, what the consequences may be for touring and releasing records, and how this new strategy might effect the rest of the bands in the industry who may want to try new things with their music.

We also talk about bands who fall victim to and are stuck in the old model, with all the legal flap around Metallica suing a Canadian cover band and Warner Brothers Records working hard to keep Avenged Sevenfold on their roster. The struggles in the industry are real even for the top metal bands in the world. We talk about the tragic events of the first part of the year -- Lemmy, Bowie, Rickman, Tera Wray -- all turn to dust, and how that kinda sucks.

Songs:
Protest the Hero - "Cataract" (Sample)
Protest the Hero - "Yellow Teeth"
Fleshgod Apocalypse - "The Fool"

Direct download: METALSucks20Podcast20Ep0131.mp3
Category:The MetalSucks Podcast -- posted at: 11:06am PST

Back by popular demand, "One Minute to Midnight," in which veteran musician and producer Eyal Levi lends his ear and expertise to two unsigned bands who submitted music for us to pick apart. We give Hasta La Muerte and With Silent Eyes some creative direction and tips and tricks that could make their music better. 

Last week Derek Brewer of Outerloop Management wrote an Op-Ed piece for MetalSucks on Thy Art is Murder vocalist CJ McMahon's claim that he wasn't making enough money to live on. We invited Derek on the show to talk a little more in depth about the budgeting numbers he listed, why they' don't apply to everyone and what you can really expect as a growing band out there on the road.

In light of Myrkur mastermind Amalie Bruun's decision to cut her social media presence due to death threats from, as she puts it, "mainly American men," we discuss why these men might have problems with women, or at least women who somehow threaten their sexuality and dominance over the music industry. Are our collective penises so small we need to assault all that we don't like with violence? Why are some of us so obsessed and feel the need to take it to that level?

Songs:
Agoraphobic Nosebleed - "Deathbed"
The Anchor - "The Ghost Inside Makes Sheppard's Pie"

Direct download: METALSucks20Podcast20Ep0130.mp3
Category:The MetalSucks Podcast -- posted at: 6:57am PST

We're back from the holiday break with a guest we have wanted to talk to for quite a while: Randy Blythe of the mighty Lamb of God guests this week on the podcast ahead of their U.S. tour. We only had a short time with him, but we chat about his immense workload, struggles with addiction, his retirement plan, plans for 2016 (including a couple of books) and what he will look like on stage in 20 years.

We also talk about the passing of Lemmy Kilmister, reflecting on his contributions and how there may never be another icon with his gravity in our scene ever again. We talk about whether Motorhead should continue, much like other bands of late who have lost members (we're looking at you, Emmure). How many band members does it take to break a band's brand? Just one? All?

Songs:
Lamb of God - "Embers"
Motorhead - "Killed By Death"
Motorhead - "When the Sky Comes Looking For You"

Direct download: METALSucks20Podcast20Ep0129.mp3
Category:The MetalSucks Podcast -- posted at: 7:26am PST

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