Texas Hippie Coalition's Big Dad Ritch on Vices, BBQ, and the Money Behind the Pantera "Reunion"

Categories: Metal Mondays

Texas Hippie Coaltion
THC is coming for you

There's no doubt that THC is all about making you feel good. It causes you to laugh, feel nostalgic, forget all your worries. Plus, it makes barbecue taste 10 times better.

And by THC, I'm talking about Texas Hippie Coalition.

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Rock TV Host Eddie Trunk: "There's No Mystique or Surprises" in Music Anymore

Categories: Metal Mondays

Colin Douglas Gray
The hosts of That Metal Show

Forget being left out of the Grammys; you rarely hear about anything in those heavy metal and hard rock in the news, unless someone passes away or gets arrested for something ridiculous.

But it doesn't really faze metal and rock fans that much. We don't really care about whose dating whom, or who is in a fashion feud. It's all about the meat of the matter -- debates over the five best guitarists of all time, or the story behind the new record, or a collection of memories from musicians that pays homage to the 10th anniversary of Dimebag Darrell's death. And it's that type of content we get from programs like VH1's That Metal Show, a sort of Tonight Show for hard rock and heavy metal enthusiasts.

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Former Megadeth Members Announce New Band, Act of Defiance

Categories: Metal Mondays

Street Shot/Act of Defiance
So new they haven't even been photographed together yet.
Arizona is no stranger to Megadeth drama. So when guitarist Chris Broderick and drummer Shawn Drover officially left the band last year, metal fans anxiously wondered what musical endeavor they would dive into next.

Enter the aptly named Act of Defiance.

The former Megadeth members revealed that this new hard rock act would also include vocalist Henry Derek (from Scar the Martyr), and bassist Matt Bachand (from Shadows Fall). Signed to Metal Blade Records, the band is working on their debut album with world-renowned producer Zuess (Hatebreed, Rob Zombie). From the get-go, I wondered what the project would sound like. Would you hear that Megadeth-y vibe? Or would they lean more towards commercial metal?

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13 Best Metal Concerts in Phoenix This March

Categories: Metal Mondays

Jim Louvau
Korn, with our without dreadlocks, will play Pot of Gold Music Festival this month.

March in Phoenix is usually one of the most beautiful months of the year -- the transition between winter and summer is in full swing, so the weather is usually in the, oh, high 80s. For those who aren't familiar, no -- we don't have a spring season here. It just goes from three weeks of coat weather to one week of cool breezes, to five months of grueling heat. Then it just repeats.

So make sure you get suitable time outdoors, because the nights are filled with lots of heavy metal. There are a ton of great shows around town, which is why we compiled a monthly list of the best metal and hard rock concerts happening at venues around the Valley during the month of March.

There are legends like Anvil, Whitechapel, and Texas Hippie Coalition, an outdoor festival featuring Korn and Godsmack, and a local metal Annual Mustache Massacre and Metal for the Hungry event.

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Rock in Rio with Metallica, Deftones, Sepultura to Be Held in Vegas This May

Categories: Metal Mondays

Rock in Rio
A photo of a main stage performance at Rock in Rio

While I try not to whine about it too much, it's a true fact that our fair Southwest desert doesn't get too much "rock festival" action. Sure -- we seem to have EDM raves and indie rock fests galore. But when it comes to weekends packed with hard rock, and a little enclosed world metalheads can call their own, I'm constantly racking up airline miles flying over to the East Coast and Midwest.

However, during this spring it's the desert's time to shine, when Rock in Rio will make it's U.S. debut in Las Vegas, just a mere 4.5 hours away, on May 8-9 and May 15-16.

The theme-park-like Rock in Rio on the Strip, teamed up with MGM Resort, has been about two years in the making--but the plan is that it will stay for the long haul. Not only was an entirely new open-air venue, called City of Rock, constructed for the event, it's already attracted some of the biggest names in music--and we even get a dose of that heavy metal feeling, too.

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Ella Kaye's Collaborative EP Features 12 of Band's Phoenix Metal Peers

Categories: Metal Mondays

Courtesy photo
A record exec ripped apart Ella Kaye's new record, and the band released its response EP last night.

One of the great things about Phoenix bands is that they constantly pump the local scene.

Local hardcore/death metal at Ella Kaye reinforced this with their recent EP release Comas Collide on February 8. It's a collaborative effort; meant to showcase metal variety and musicians having a damn good time, rather than celebrate the local band that actually came up with the idea.

First off, the band's EP features eight signed musicians and 12 total artists -- on just five tracks. Ella Kaye's founder and vocalist, Justin Chard, and guitarist, Michael Martin, are the only two band members involved in the making of the record. Album guests include Matt Good (From First To Last), Jared Warth (blessthefall), and David Sanders (The Attitude), Eric Lambert (blessthefall), Michael Barr (Volumes), Alexia Rodriguez (Eyes Set To Kill), Tony Pizzuti (The Word Alive), Aaron Matts (Betraying The Martyrs), Tony Pizzuti, and Zack Hansen (solo) (The Word Alive).

"People are fans of the album's guests rather than my band [Ella Kaye], so it's a cool story," admits lead vocalist and founder, Justin Chard. He decided to make an album with all his favorite musicians, and by a mix of pure serendipity and great connections, the people he asked agreed and came together.

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8 Best Metal Concerts in February in Phoenix

Jim Louvau
Marilyn Manson has a new album out, and he's coming to town to promote it.

The start of February made it one of the busiest, most exciting months of 2015 in the Valley of the Sun. More than a million extra people crowded into town for the Phoenix Open, the Superbowl, or the fact that they're just snowbirds. Clearly cause for shots of whiskey and heavy metal. Lucky for all us metalheads, the heavy metal scene isn't resting on its laurels, even with all the other heavy excitement, traffic, and rain around town.

Don't let that keep you indoors, though. There are a ton of great shows around town, which is why we compiled a monthly list of the best metal and hard rock concerts happening at venues around the Valley during the month of February.

There's local EP release bashes, legends like Napalm Death and Marilyn Manson, and even a show by metal guitarist John 5 on Valentine's Day. I know where I'll be pre-gaming before the strip club.

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Dark Tranquillity's Niklas Sundin Explains Why Everyone Should Be More Like Carl Sagan

Categories: Metal Mondays

As one of the original Gothenburg (Sweden) metal bands, Dark Tranquillity offers a style of music that's few and far between. Formed in 1989 by guitarist Niklas Sundin and vocalist/guitarist Mikael Stanne, the five-piece melodic death metal act has released 10 studio albums over the years, each one substantially different then the last.

The band constantly experiments with different musical textures and vocal styles -- one album will focus on heavy growling vocals and abstract riffing, while the next centers around clean soft choruses and atmospheric keyboards. And then there's their most recent and diverse record, 2013's Construct.

The album marks the band's descent into their "darkest period" thus far, and the title refers to the negative "construct" of faith and organized religion as an excuse or safe-guard that people use to defend what they do. It's melody-driven, emotional and heavy, and lyrically focuses on a world-weary viewpoint of mankind's ignorance and bigotry, straying from the band's typical songwriting method to include contributions from basically all the members. The result is liberation from what Stanne describes as a previous struggle with writer's block.

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Periphery's Misha Mansoor Explains Why He Hates Guitar Solos

Categories: Metal Mondays

Courtesy of Periphery

Periphery is one of those bands that are difficult to forget. It's not because they are constantly in the mainstream, shoved in your face by way of radio play, music videos or non-stop festival headlining. Although I'm sure they wouldn't turn down any of that.

No -- you remember Periphery because of the musical prowess. The heavy yet delicate mix of poly-rhythmic patterns and climactic melodies. The unexpected tumultuous flow of the music, and variation between raw screams and soaring vocals. The members, vocalist Spencer Sotelo, guitarists Misha Mansoor, Mark Halcomb and Jake Bowen, bassist Adam "Nolly" Getgood, and drummer Matt Halpern, are actually progressive in every sense of the word.

Periphery is a djent movement pioneer, often compared to a younger, heavier Dream Theater. The members self-produce everything they do, and since the self-titled debut five years ago, have created two other albums. The third, a double concept album called Juggernaut, comes out on January 27.

Juggernaut is two whole albums worth of material released as two separate discs, one called Alpha and the other Omega.

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Incantation's John McEntee Describes the Band's "Organic" Death Metal

Categories: Metal Mondays


Death metal bands that have been able to permeate the metal industry up from the core of the underground scene are few between. But a band that has been able to do that consistently for a quarter of a century, and still not view their artistry as a "job," well -- that's Incantation.

The American extreme metal band, formed by John McEntee and Paul Ledney in 1989, was one of the pioneers in the New York death metal scene alongside such acts as Suffocation and Immolation. And much like the definition of its name, Incantation has been conjuring up heavy doses of unique metal over the course of nine full-length albums. And while the band has had more than 30 lineup changes over the years, it has somehow kept its ritualistic style of tempos that aptly leap from down-tuned and sludgy to rapid and suspenseful.

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