Let’s discuss The Mayhem Festival. Don’t you like the word discuss? It is one of those fucking three dollar words that lead into the four dollar words known as discourse and dialogue-but I am definitely slated to be a three dollar publication. I am a million dollar photographer, but a three dollar publication.
So here we go. Mayhem was the best festival experience I have ever had. It was easy to get in. The security wasn’t overly obnoxious. It was actually easy to get my photo pass. Interviews were lined up and on time. It wasn’t an endurance contest to get where I needed to be. I had access to the VIP longue to keep my cameras from getting fucking wrecked when it started to rain. I had access to walk around and talk to people in order to fully cover the event and each show, rather than be corralled somewhere because I had a camera. Now, I am not bitching about being corralled-which is what normally happens at a larger size event. (After three songs, somebody usually grabs you and stows you until the next band gets on stage.) What I am saying is this: a lot of the shit that normally can be irritating was gone.
It was pretty damn sweet for the people that went too. Let’s start with the basics. It started after two pm. Why is this important? Well kids, the sun is hottest between twelve and two. Most all day summer festivals start around ten am. People start drinking beer to cool off, get heat stroke because they actually aren’t hydrating themselves-and either start leaving or leave via screaming ambulance-and there were plenty of free Rockstar beverages on hand and tents to cool your ass off in. So the audience was stoked up on energy drinks and not getting heat stroke. This is a far cry from heat stroke and piss drunk and beating the shit out of each other because somebody put a hand on your girlfriend’s ass. -I am of the opinion violence should be reserved for the pit. Kicking ass should have music as a backdrop in order to fully enhance the experience. Not that I WOULD PERSONALLY KNOW –MUHAHAHAHAHA. Security ALWAYS watches me. I may be taking some sort of unauthorized picture of Peter Conlon, or industrial spy pictures for Madison Square Garden. Notice that I said security always watches me. I did not say they always stop me-because for the most part they are the most AWESOME bunch of motherfuckers EVER. I could very well have unauthorized pictures of the local music magnate and party animal –one Peter Conlon. I could be in book negotiations with Simon & Schuster right now for some sort of unauthorized pictorial biography. Think about it Big Daddy. Did you hear a shutter snap? Recently? HAHAHAHAHA.
And while we are at it. Some of you have been visiting Rara. For those of you that don’t know, he sits outside and talks to the general public. He is the officially elected mayor of midtown Atlanta. He also listens to every CD that hits the mailbox, and if he howls in pain-we have to take it off. Some of you local boys, yes I have caught you and you know who you are, have been trying to reason with Rara about a second listen. So, you need to know he is a sensitive little guy. He likes what he likes, and you also need to know that the little diamond at the base of his collar is a very small spy cam and is activated when people get within a certain distance of him. I can’t afford to hire him security, because you are a bunch of cheap fuckers that do not want to pay for your pictures. Do you really think calling him on his birthday is ENOUGH? Shit. Anyway. His favorite guitar player is George Lynch, period. In his humble cat opinion, everybody should sound like George. He misses Andrew WK. He loves Danzig, especially that song Cat People. He does feel as though the line Green Eyes needs to be changed to Gold Eyes. He seems to think that Sixx AM song is actually about Persian Cats, and wants to meet the girl cat in the song and make sweet love down by the fire. Currently, he is into OTEP (he wants to get some Special Pets for himself), Disturbed (he is an Indestructible God of War), Hinder (Get Stoned-need I say more), Slipknot (The Heretic Anthem-this is especially good for thrashing around the house to), The Souls Of We (EVERYTHING, DAMN-I love you too Georgie, but I have to do some other CD reviews), Shinedown (Devour), The Kings Royal (Naked Angel), Tom Petty (Jack), Cat Stevens (Everything-end of the day chill out music), KMFDM (Everything-especially WWIII and Jihad), Buckcherry (Too Drunk, Crazy Bitch, Lit Up, Sorry) and Seether (Gasoline, Burrito, Broken, Rise Above This). -Locally, he likes Ingrain, TIGER TIGER (Buffi Aguero is like a goddess to him), neeDeep, State Of Man (he loves John Stringer’s hair-reminds him of his own), Collosick (Tom and Justin make him smile), and Stuck Mojo (Southern Born Killers-He is an SBK every day, all day). –So he is a pretty well rounded little guy. KMFDM is his battle music. He likes to listen to it before he goes out and terrorizes neighborhood dogs and bitches at my neighbors for having neighborhood dogs so close to HIS fucking house in HIS fucking part of town. But my point gentlemen is this-he is my cat. I do the typing. Silly bastards. HAHAHAHA.
Back to Mayhem. Everybody got a fully color glossy about who would be where and at what time as they hit the door. Nice! The concert goers got to make sure they saw EVERYBODY they came to see. There were just as many bands as an Ozzfest line-up, AND we had flying motorcycles as a most excellent sideshow. Now, what was there to bitch about? I did not see one person get dragged off in cuffs. It was as though Mayhem was actually put together by someone who had been to a concert, and an all-day festival at that. So the actual Mayhem was reserved for the music. Imagine that. – Let’s talk about who I actually got to see. If I had my choice, I would have cloned myself and camped in front of every stage. This was not possible –so I did what I could. Some bands were left out, not as an act of neglect –but as an act of god. It is impossible to be everywhere at once. I’m not Corey Taylor, and he doesn’t have to drag my cameras around, but if he wants to meet me next year, drink the Kool-Aid, and carry my cameras he is certainly welcome to do that. It has to be the pink Kool-Aid though.
So here are the unusual suspects. -Black Tide: Menudo on CRACK with an Iron Maiden injection. These little fuckers wail pretty well. You cannot expect deep, meaningful lyrics from them yet. They aren’t dark –yet, but they will be. And they can fucking play their instruments. What impressed me about them: Their poise and stage presence. These kids handled it well. Atlanta is a metal friendly town, but they will walk away if you don’t sell it. Nobody walked away. Metal is GOOD for the children. –Collosick: It was damn good to see local metal band Collosick on the Jagermeister stage. We turned out in full force for Tom Blair and company and they fucking wailed. It was good to see them shake the nerves and have a damn good time. Collosick is at its best as a band when they take over and throw a party. On this occasion, they did and did it well. It also says a lot for the Mayhem organizers. It was damn cool that they threw in a local. I have never seen a local on Ozzfest, and local hardcore metal bands really don’t have the opportunity to do much big stage, big event, opening for national acts. It was sweet. It made me cry, not with the usual agony –but because I was so motherfucking touched. Yes, I am evil-but not entirely heartless. Not entirely. –WALLS OF JERICHO. This was my very first introduction to this Trustkill Records upstart. I was impressed, amazed, and enthralled. I took one look at Candace and thought –this little bitch could open for Slipknot. The music was just that hard, and she was just the fucking powerful out front. I would love to see her as a part of an Otep, Arch Enemy, Kittie, Straight Line Stitch tour. Maybe it could be called The Real Monsters of Metal. My second thought was this –that girl is going to be a major star. Women are a vital part of the metal community, and more of them need to be on stage. Not is an Amy Lee sort of bitchy whiny way, or in a wheezy Jesus-y Flyleaf way (not that I have ANYTHING against them –Lindsey and Amy-HAHAHAHAHAHAHA)-but in a commanding, strong way. Doesn’t ANYBODY remember Doro Pesch? Or Lita Ford? Or Girlschool? Power is not a male dominated attribute. A penis does not imply power, nor does is give the owner of the penis magical abilities to be powerful, excellent, and good at everything. Why do you think there are Viagra commercials on TV? –God DAMN, I crack myself the fuck up! -Maybe if certain male photographers took Viagra prior to a shoot they could actually take sexy and provocative pictures that would make people want to listen to the music of the musician at the end of the lens. Viagra could be the answer to some of your retarded shooting! Think about it! Get a hard on about your work motherfuckers, and stop making everybody look like computer animated CGI dead crap. Your limp dick cheats anybody that looks at your pictures. You know who you are. We are watching, and we have your phone numbers you old, limp-dicked bastards! HAHAHAHAHAHA.
But I digress yet again, the subject here is Mayhem. Airbourne: Perhaps the band that made me have the most hope for the future of metal. I could not help but think of ACDC. That kid (Joel O’Keeffe) that fronts that band looks like Bobby Blitz and reminds me of Bon Scott. It is the look in his eyes. I have had a weird an obsessive, infatuation with Airbourne since Mayhem. They seem to be defending the faith that metal/ rock is hard, wild, and happy. The purist in me LOVES them. Check out the Runnin’ Wild video with Lemmy from Motorhead. If Lemmy likes them enough to drive a truck for their video, you should at least listen to them and see what Lemmy thinks is good about them. DRAGONFORCE: Polished, epic metal. They are pretty to look at, and have an amazing stage show. To me, the most amazing thing about them was their guitar skills. I do love some good guitar. This is a little known fact about Dragonforce. They were in a band called Yuki Yamamoto. Yuki was their front man, and he has the ability to levitate and incorporate various freaky shit into his stage act like Chris Angel. Yuki and Dragonforce parted ways over creative differences, it was my understanding that they did not like to be set on fire publicly. This is understandable. Currently, Yuki is touring Japan and Shanghai. I hear he is looking for guitar players that like fire. DISTURBED: Dave has one of the most unique voices in metal. It was my insane pleasure to actually take his picture. Get his, for those of you who had to work, they wheeled him out onstage with a Hannibal mask on. How fucking cool. I was so fucking stunned and enthralled that I did not take the picture-FUCK. That STILL pisses me off and makes me reach for my cherry tobacco. Disturbed is amazing, and their music is absolutely different than everything else. Disturbed is one band that has managed to stay both dark and mainstream-a very fine balancing act that many bands cannot pull off. I should interview you Dave. Soon. –Slipknot: I loved it. It was like a KISS show on mescaline. If I said it one I will say it again, the Midwest breeds serial killers and rock stars. Or serial killing rock stars (Otep?)? I have always wondered about that fucking Lucky from Lucky charms. Slipknot is the one band that puts a shitload of percussion out there and makes it their mission statement to assault you with as many dark nightmares as possible. Alice Cooper would be proud, but there are so many members of Slipknot that an onstage productions like Cooper’s would be nearly impossible. So they take it over the top in a way that makes people want to actually buy a ticket to the show. For example, this show in particular featured Joey Jordison doing a solo on a ninety degree rotating drum kit with a pentagram that lit up on the bottom. You would have to be stupid an blind to have not stood up and screamed your fucking head off. It was so fucking cool. Slipknot is definitely a performance oriented band. And of course, we have the mighty-voiced Corey Taylor over the top of all of it. I love him, and he is going to be SUCH a great camera tech. –So if and when Mayhem comes around, go. You could see Taylor carrying my cameras!