Best Metal Concerts in July in Metro Phoenix

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Jonathan Weiner
Gemini Syndrome

It's 111 degrees outside, and the Valley of the Sun is deserted. Summer is upon us -- which also means that the music industry-touring slowdown is, as well. While the rest of the country delights in sunny breezy festival days, our prime time for outdoor shows is during winter. But oh well -- the good thing about us metalheads is that we show up no matter what. Just give us a few ice cold beers to alternate with water and we're good to go.

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I Called in Sick to Follow Menzingers on Tour

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Melissa Fossum
The Menzingers. Full slideshow here.

Against all odds, Pennsylvania punk outfit the Menzingers gets better with every tour. The band gained quite the following with its fantastic 2012 album, On the Impossible Past. If Past serves as an introduction to the Menzingers, the band's most recent record, Rented World, will make lifelong fans.

The Menzingers has a devoted audience. I speak from experience -- I went on a mini-tour and saw the band three nights in a row.

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DevilDriver's Dez Fafara: "The Earth Knows How to Purge Itself of Brush and People"

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Dean Karr
DevilDriver wants to drive you to the brink.

"We play more shows a year than any band out there right now, unless you have a residency in Vegas." --Dez Fafara, vocalist of DevilDriver.

Upon reading that, there are probably a dozen bands most people would list off the top of their heads -- and probably none would be heavy metal acts.

But as we all know, metal is a genre where most bands have to work twice as hard to get recognition, which includes touring. And nowadays, DevilDriver has been carrying that reputation on their shoulders.

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Motörhead's Mikkey Dee on Lemmy's Health, the Motörhead Cruise, and the Key to Success

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Courtesy of Mongrel Media

There's something fascinating about Motörhead's longevity. Nearly 40 years ago, the English band fused together heavy metal and punk -- fueled by healthy doses of whiskey -- to become one of the early pioneers of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal.


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EyeHateGod's Jimmy Bower Talks About Staying in the Van

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Bill Ebbesen
Eyehategod
"I think there's a big misconception of EyeHateGod," says Jimmy Bower. "People see the name, think, maybe these guys are Satanists, maybe they're just stupid."

I first heard EyeHateGod back in 1992 when In the Name of Suffering came out. Admittedly, I was as enthused by their name as much as their
 music -- I was always looking for bands whose very name was offensive. But with that record I ended up quite pleased by the music that came out of my super-cool Park 'n Swap speakers. I was immediately a fan.

I caught up with EyeHateGod's Jimmy Bower, lovingly referred to as the Godfather of Southern Metal, on Sunday afternoon. Here's what he had to say.

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The 21 Best Heavy Metal Albums of 2013

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Ghost BC
It's that time of year where our focus is officially shifting from reflecting on 2013 to preparing for 2014. Another 365 days have swept by, full of heavy metal ups and downs, groupies and drug overdoses, mind-blowing riffs and sold-out shows. The state of metal in 2013 certainly hasn't blown my mind--I mean, bad pop music is so pervasive in our culture that it's difficult for any other genre to avoid drowning in the thick, soupy droning known as mainstream music.

However, there was interesting music being made this past year, and lots of heavy metal news and some great interviews. And it was a busy year for Metal Mondays. In tradition end of year "best of" lists, here are a handful of my favorite Metal Mondays that ran in 2013, from interviews with world-renowned metal legends to the insane local metal scene.


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2014 Grammy Nominees: Why Metal Will Make A Strong Showing

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Promo
Black Sabbath's return earned a number of 2014 Grammy nominations.
The Grammys has never been known for supporting heavy metal. Heavy bands show up and it's like a burnout kid crashing his parents' fancy dinner party. Even when Halestorm won Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance for their song "Love Bites (And So Do I)" at the 2013 Grammys, Lzzy Hale told me that she felt like the band was the awkward red-headed step child the entire night.

Hell, the metal category isn't even a part of the televised ceremony. Regardless of that, the nominees for the the 2014 Grammy Awards have been announced, and rock and metal have a surprisingly solid presence.

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Top 11 Metal Shows in Phoenix This December

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Howitzer Facebook
Howitzer at this year's UFiesta
It can be easy to miss unless you're looking for it, but there's a lot of metal in the Valley, locals and touring acts alike. Our Metal Mondays columnist, Lauren Wise, is always on the lookout for the best local and national metal shows to come through town.

That's why we had her compile this monthly list of Top 11 metal shows you should hit up this month. We chose 11 for December, because in November we only brought you nine. Merry f**cking Christmas.

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The Shrine: "No One Is Really Running Our Shit for Us"

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K.C. Libman
Jeff Murray, Josh Landau and Court Murphy of The Shrine
Josh Landau can't stop moving -- mostly because he doesn't allow himself to. He's the vocalist for Venice Beach-based The Shrine, along with band members Court Murphy and Jeff Murray, he manages Eliminator, his own skateboarding and clothing company, and the band's about to embark on a series of continent-crossing tours over the next six months. Landau is a busy dude, and The Shrine's squealing feedback and furious riffing is just as unsettled as the Dogtown do-it-yourself era that took place down the street from his childhood home, the sonic manifestation of shotgunned beers and skating as fast as you can through city traffic.

"What we're doing is kind of a neighborhood thing, as far as how we operate on our own terms," Landau says. "No one is really running our shit for us -- we're pretty heavily influenced by a lot of the stuff that went down in Los Angeles, both music and skating. Now there's people all over the world writing in and being interested in it."

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Testament's Alex Skolnick: "The Main Players in Grunge Were All Metal Fans"

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Since 1983, California-bred Testament has evolved into one of the biggest names in thrash metal. If you were a metal fan in the past three decades, chances are such albums as 1987's The Legacy, 1992's The Ritual and 2008's The Formation of Damnation. And of course, the band's most recent album, 2012's Dark Roots of Earth.

Even though the band has gone through multiple line-up changes (guitarist Eric Peterson has been the only constant member) and 20 collective albums, I must say that I still find the band synonymous with the current roster. That includes two of its original members, guitarist Alex Skolnick and bassist Greg Christian, drummer Gene Hoglan, and vocalist Chuck Billy, who replaced singer Steve Souza in 1986 before the first studio album and has been on board ever since.

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