Thursday, June 07, 2012

‘Heavy Metal: From Hard Rock to Extreme Metal,’ Available Now!

My book, Heavy Metal: From Hard Rock to Extreme Metal, is now available! This giant hardcover tome, weighing in at over four pounds, covers all you need to know about some of hard rock and metal’s biggest and best bands, from Black Sabbath to Emperor, and from Guns N’ Roses to Metallica. And what's really exciting for me is that the foreword is by Slayer guitarist Kerry King!

The book chronicles the histories of hard rock, heavy metal, thrash, and the various subgenres related to extreme music, including black metal, death metal, grindcore, doom, prog metal, power metal, and more. It examines metal’s culture, and features close-up sections on bands as varied as Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, Celtic Frost, Napalm Death, and Manowar, recounting their histories, exploits, and what makes them important. These are accompanied by tons of large-scale photos of the bands doing what they do best, rocking onstage. Check it out in the photos below.

Spotlighted bands include: Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, Scorpions, Rush, Alice Cooper, Aerosmith, Queen, Van Halen, Kiss, AC/DC, Rainbow, Def Leppard, Whitesnake, Mötley Crüe, Bon Jovi, Poison, Guns N' Roses, Skid Row, Ozzy Osbourne, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Motörhead, Saxon, Manowar, Queensryche, Dio, Dream Theater, Venom, Metallica, Pantera, Anthrax, Slayer, Sodom, Destruction, Kreator, Megadeth, Celtic Frost, Mayhem, Immortal, Emperor, Napalm Death, Death, Morbid Angel, Cannibal Corpse, Savatage, Helloween, Iced Earth, Blind Guardian, Ministry, Marilyn Manson, Tool, Korn, and, last but not least, Slipknot.

To purchase from Amazon, click here.

To purchase from Barnes & Noble, click here.


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Pantera, Courtney Love, and more!

Apparently it’s been over a year since I’ve updated this blog, so I’m posting a roundup of my recent writings on the web. (Also, check recent issues of Revolver for interviews I’ve done with Jack Black and Kyle Gass of Tenacious D, Kiss’ Gene Simmons, Metallica, Anthrax, and much, much more.)
I interviewed the surviving members of Pantera (and remixer JG Thirlwell) about their classic song “Walk.” We talked about everything from writing it to hearing it in football stadiums and strip clubs, from Phil Anselmo playing it at the Metal Masters show in LA this past April to the last time drummer Vinnie Paul got to  play the song with his brother, Dimebag Darrell.
  120504-courtney-1 I reviewed Courtney Love’s current art exhibition in New York.
I interviewed Lamb of God’s frontman, Randy Blythe, about his life advice, including how to ride freight trains.
I interviewed Mastodon about the time they met Barney.

I reviewed what may be Sonic Youth’s last-ever New York show.
I reviewed a recent Death Cab for Cutie show in Brooklyn.
  alice cooper
 I interviewed Alice Cooper for the Broward-Palm Beach New Times, discussing what he was like as a child, his new band, and more.
And last but not least, I interviewed Marianne Faithfull about her critics, voice, and the Rolling Stones’ Brian Jones.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Neko Case Q&A

Last week, indie-folk singer Neko Case held a raffle to win her 1967 Mercury Cougar (pictured below, which became the cover to her Middle Cyclone album) to benefit 826 National, an organization that helps with tutoring children and encouraging literacy. I interviewed her for the Sound of the City blog, and we talked about her car, tweeting too much, and the movie The Beastmaster. She retweeted it a couple of times and, personally, I find nothing wrong with her Twitter etiquette there.

neko case car

neko case cover

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

PJ Harvey, Gus G., and Kane Hodder

Over the past few weeks, I’ve had some articles published I want to share here. First is my review of PJ Harvey’s new album, Let England Shake, which I wrote for The Village Voice. In it, I talk about her transformation into a political commenter…sort of. I really love the album except for a few minor things. To check my review, click here.

pj harvey

Next up is an interview I did with current Ozzy Osbourne guitarist, Gus G. (pictured below), who played on the album Scream (an album that made my 2010 Albums of the Year for The Village Voice’s Pazz + Jop poll). I got a minor scoop about new music that he’s written for Ozzy and also he told me about how he gave Ozzy a farting pen. To read, click here.

gus g

Last up, is an interview I did with actor Kane Hodder (pictured below), best known for playing Jason Voorhees in Friday the 13th Parts VII through X, and Hatchet director Adam Green. As a fan of the Jason movies, this was a lot of fun. Hodder is exactly what you’d hope he’d be. Also, look for more with these two in the next issue of Revolver out March 8. To read, click here.

Kane Hodder

PJ Harvey photo by Cat Stevens

Monday, November 29, 2010

Nick Cave, Rob Halford and Queensryche

Nick Cave, Rob Halford and Queensryche, oh my!

Over the past month, I’ve done a few interviews with some of my favorite artists. The first is with Nick Cave for The Village Voice’s Sound of the City blog, and in it we talk about the new Grinderman album (the last one produced one of my favorite songs that year), the Birthday Party, his favorite Bad Seeds album and song, and the lyrics that anger his wife most. He was very candid and forthcoming and, given how he’ll sometimes take on the press, I was happy he felt comfortable speaking with me.


The next is with Judas Priest singer Rob Halford for He’s currently on tour with Ozzy—for a show some refer to as the Prince of Darkness meets the Metal God—and he talked a little bit about his kinship with the Sabbath singer. We also discussed the new Halford album and Priest’s future plans.


The last is with Queensryche’s Geoff Tate and Michael Wilton, also for Their album, Empire, was recently re-released so the interview covers the making of that, staging drug deals, S&M, and what Michael Kamen was like.


I have more stuff in the works, and the next Revolver contains a ton of interviews I did. I’ll post updates on those here has they happen.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Recent Writings: Slayer, Cynic, Xasthur

I’ve recently written a few articles here and there that I wanted to share. First is a web-exclusive interview I did with Kerry King for In it, we talk about Slayer’s 30th anniversary, playing the Big Four shows, raising snakes and more. It’s also a good bookend for my blog about going to Germany and seeing Slayer from Jeff Hanneman’s guitar pit at Wacken.

Kerry King - SLAYER - 2008

Next is an article I wrote for the Broward/Palm Beach New Times on death-via-prog metallers Cynic. The interview focuses mostly on vocalist-guitarist Paul Masvidal’s life growing up in South Florida (since that’s where the publication is) and gives a different perspective on why death metal blew up in Florida. The story was also picked up in the Miami New Times.


Finally, I interviewed underground black-metal firebrand Malefic, the “frontman” for one-man band Xasthur, about giving up on metal for The feature, previewed in HTML here and presented in online magazine form here, also features amazing photos by Bryan Sheffield of Malefic both with and without his corpsepaint. In the interview, he was incredibly candid about everything from the pain he’s endured making his music to the betrayals he’s suffered from the music industry. It’s one of his final interviews (I thought I had his last one), and I’m honored he gave interviewing another go. Also, his final “metal” album, Portal of Sorrow, is actually quite good and I highly recommend it, especially to Ennio Morricone fans.

Autosave-File vom d-lab2/3 der AgfaPhoto GmbH

I’ve got a lot more writing that will be published soon, including pieces on Alice Cooper, Rob Zombie, Nick Cave and more. I’ll post updates here as they come out.

Xasthur image by Bryan Sheffield

Monday, September 06, 2010

On Stands Now!


The current issue of Revolver magazine—with Zakk Wylde on the cover—has an article I wrote on Iron Maiden in it. Bruce Dickinson was really open with me about how he first discovered that he could be a singer and the uncertainty in Maiden’s future. Up the Irons!

All Yesterday's Parties


After Sunn0))) and Boris closed out All Tomorrow’s Parties fest last night with their Altar performance in upstate New York, DJ Kool Herc—the man who basically invented rap—did a DJ set. It was pretty amazing watching the master put together a perfect dance set, including bits of James Brown, Michael Jackson (and the Vincent Price poem from “Thriller”) and basically an encyclopedia’s worth of breaks on the best hip-hop records.

Partway into his set, in walked Wu-Tang Clan’s GZA, who had played a sort-of aggressive set at the same time as Altar (I went back and forth between the two.) He just kept riling the crowd saying, “You’re all looking at me like you’re scared. You guys can’t make eye contact for more than four seconds.” He performed great nonetheless. Anyway, in the presence of Herc, he was nothing but reverent. He nonchalantly stepped behind the turntables and said hello. Check out the pic above. It was one of those rare moments where you felt like you were seeing something rare and historic. GZA grabbed the mic and talked about what a legend Kool Herc was and thanked him before leaving. I’m glad I got to see it take place.