In 1996, the hottest new ticket was Atlanta was MK Ultra. MK Ultra went EVERYWHERE
and almost everyone you talked to in every shitty little bar in town could say
that they had heard the name. That’s pretty fucking good when you think
about how many baby bands are in this town. Did you every wonder what became
of them? They became doubleDrive
In 1996, the hottest new ticket was Atlanta was MK Ultra. MK Ultra went EVERYWHERE
MusicIncider loves music. All GOOD music. Annie Minogue makes good music straight
from the heart. This rising star gave me a great interview. She was real, just
like her music, and she was a lot of fun to talk to. Read on
I got the chance to speak with the lead singer of Billy Talent, Ben. In case
you have been living with your head in a hole, Billy Talent is the next big
thing coming out of Canada. Avril Lavigne was cute trying to cover James Hetfield’s
vocals on the MTV Metallica Icon show, but I am thinking that Ben would have
been the Canadian that would have nailed it.
was innocently watching television. The scene keeps playing over and over
in my mind. Jay Leno says that his musical guest will be The Doors. The
Doors, I say to myself. The Doors. I had not been drinking.
I had not been inhaling. Surely, Jay Leno must have been inhaling. My
curiosity got the best of me, and I watched on.
Imagine my surprise when I saw Ray Manzarek and company on the stage of The
MusicIncider: Let’s begin with some background info, how long have you
been in Chimaira?
Chris Spicuzza: I’ve been in Chimaira, since November of 1999. The band
started in 1998. Members have come and gone, and the final line-up was solidified
in June 2001, when we got Matt [DeVries- rhythm guitar]. From then on, this
is how it’s going to be, we’re going to have this line-up…
until the end, I hope.
MI: The first time I heard of you guys, you were playing on Farmclub.com, tell
me about that whole experience.
CS: We were an un-signed band at the time, and we were trying to get anything
for exposure, and this nice lady, Marcy Jacobson went and saw us play at the
Continental, in New York City, and she was a Farmclub rep. She liked our set,
and thought we had a pretty good stage presence and a great set. Months later,
we just get a call, and they’re like, “Oh, you guys want to do Farmclub?”
and the next thing we know, three days later we’re on a plane to L.A.
and they picked us up in one of those nice vans, and drove us to our hotel,
and we basically just got pampered like rock stars. We were un-signed and used
to living on floors of hotel rooms, and just living like shit, so it was amazing,
just to be so pampered and treated like gods. As for as the actual show goes,
it was interesting, it wasn’t like a real crowd. It was more like strippers,
and dancers, it was totally not like a rock show. They just hired people to
dance for you. That was kind of corny, but other than that it was awesome. Free
alcohol, free food, and everything.
MI: How long after that did Chimaira get signed to Roadrunner Records?
CS: After that, we were stuck in a contract with our indie label, so we were
supposed to sign right after, but we didn’t. It wasn’t until like,
March of 2001, that we signed the record deal, and then two weeks later, we
were out in L.A. recording. So, it was a pretty annoying five or six months,
waiting for our indie label to release us, so we could get signed, now we’re
here, so everything’s great.
MI: Chimaira released “Pass Out of Existence” in 2001, with Roadrunner
Records, but shortly after that Jason [Hager-rhythm guitar], one of the band’s
co-founder’s, left the band… what happened?
CS: He started a family, God bless him. He got married, and had a kid, and
he wants to be there for his kid, and that’s the best thing you could
do. When we started off, we were not making money to raise a family, so to do
what he had to do, he had to be home, to raise money for his kid, and he’s
doing it. He started a new band though, and it’s a metal band, just like
we would expect. You’ll probably hear about it, a few months from now.
He’s just starting it off, and getting the band together, but he’ll
have something recorded by the end of the year, I guarantee it.
MI: Since the release of “Pass Out of Existence” Chimaira has been
a touring machine. What have you gained from your experiences on the road?
CS: Nothing goes right [laughs]. We always have problems with vehicles. We
learned to just suck it up, and deal with what happens, and when something goes
wrong now, we just say it’s, “the Chimaira Curse,” and that’s
it. We just start laughing, and then go on. Just like the other day, a bus accident.
We figure with a bus now, that we wouldn’t have to worry about accidents
or anything going wrong, and the first fucking week, something goes wrong. Basically
suck it up, and go with the flow, that’s what I’ve learned.
MI: Didn’t the tour bus you had last year give you trouble too?
CS: RVs. We had vans, we blew up our van; the transmission. We were pulling
a huge trailer, and it was way too big for a van. We were touring in that van
for four or five months. By the end of the tour, it was just dying. Actually,
the transmission caught on fire, and then we went to an RV, and we broke three
or four RVs. They just kept, fucking falling apart. Finally, the last straw
was on our headlining tour, we got stranded at like 5:30 in the morning between
Georgia and South Carolina. It was the fucking worse thing ever, and that was
after four weeks of the RV breaking down, every week, and this was the last
straw. So since then, we’ve been trying to get our own bus, even if it
takes our own money. Thanks to the “Chimaira Curse” with our transportation,
no matter what, something will break down.
MI: There was also an accident on the video shoot as well [on the set of the
video for “Down Again”]?
CS: Yep. That’s another part of the “Chimaira Curse.” We
were shooting our video, and the whole set is made out of walls, wrapped in
gauze. We had shot for five hours, and they took apart one wall, and were setting
up to do dolly shots, which is when they have the camera on the side, and they
drag it along a dolly. We were on our lunch break, and all of a sudden we hear,
like a light breaking or something. The next thing you know, we hear guys screaming
for fire extinguishers, and we all look over, and the whole set is on fire.
In a matter of two minutes, our set was gone. We had to wait two days, and they
sort of re-built the set, and we had to re-paint the studio, but we changed
it, we did it with gauze. What they did was they used half gauze, and half wood,
and that was basically done black(the tape was kinda fuzzy at this part, so
if we could find out EXACTLY what was used in re-doing the set, it would be
great). The video came out great. I’m happy and proud that Paul[Brown-director]
stuck through it, even though his studio got ruined, he sucked it up, and he
made it happen, and I think the video turned out great.
MI: When can we expect to see the video?
CS: I’m not sure when if it’s going to be on Uranium, Much Music,
and MTV2. I think it will be, but I’m not sure when it starts playing,
but it’ll be on the internet May 9th. The Friday, before the record release.
MI: With the success of a major label debut, and over 10,000 copies sold of
Chimaira’s independent EP, “This Present Darkness” you guys
have accomplished so much, in such a short time… going into the studio
this time around, what was the focus for Chimaira?
CS: With the second record, “Pass Out of Existence” that was like
three years of music, written, over time and being tossed around. Riffs taken
from old songs, and just three years of music put into that record. With the
new one, we had to start over, and touring with a lot of bands like Fear Factory,
and mostly Slayer, it was like wow. We just want to be like a band of that status,
we want to be the next Slayer. We just wanted to step it up, and that’s
what we did. We locked ourselves down, in a hot-ass practice space, for three
or four months and just wrote, every day. We were definitely more focused this
time, and we were more level headed. The last record, we thought it was going
to be easy. Put a record out, and it’ll be blown-up or whatever. Not this
time, we know that we have to work hard and sweat it out, and hope that we do
well. It’s definitely a focused record, and this time it was a collaboration
of everyone. It wasn’t just two guys, like the last time it was mostly
just Mark[Hunter-vocals] and Rob[Arnold-lead guitar] writing everything. This
time it was everyone, so it was real cool.
MI: On the last record, Stephan Carpenter[Deftones] was brought in as a guest
on “Rizzo.” This time, did you have any guest appearances?
CS: No. Not one. We wanted it to be Chimaira, and that’s it. On a b-side,
we did have a bunch of friends, we had one those Biohazard-gang style choruses,
where everyone like screams you know, and that song’s called “Army
of Me,” actually it’s now called “AOM” because “Army
of Me” is also a Bjork song, and so people kept thinking it was a cover,
but it wasn’t. So, we just had a bunch of friends, and I guess you could
call that a guest appearance, but that’s it.
MI: You’re now back on the road, with Lamb of God, Atreyu, and 18 Visions,
and you’re new album, “the Impossibility of Reason” hits stores
on May 13th, how have the fans on this tour reacted to the new material?
CS: Good. Huge response. One of the last songs we play, is “Pure Hatred.”
The chorus is pretty simple, and Mark gets the whole crowd on it, and they know
the chorus by the second time he says it. It’s fucking awesome, to have
a brand new song, that isn’t even out in stores yet, and hearing the whole
crowd sing the chorus… fucking awesome.
MI: Listening to the new album, I noticed the vocal harmonies on “Down
Again” kind of have an Alice In Chains vibe, was that intentional?
CS: Mark is a huge Layne Staley[Alice In Chains’ front man, who died
in 2002] fan, and it was kind of a tribute to him almost, because he’s
gone now, and we wish he were here. That’s just how it comes out of Mark,
even on the last record, he kind of had that vibe. He’s a huge Layne Staley
fan, and he really loved the style, and he just put it in with his own, and
that’s kind of how it came out.
MI: Chimaira have been dubbed, “the New Wave of American Heavy Metal.”
What does the band think about that?
CS: It’s an honor. That’s a big title to have branded on you, and
our label seems to really back us on it, and I hope that we can hold up to it,
you know? We’ll see when the record comes out.
MI: “The Impossibility of Reason” was co-produced by Mark and Rob[along
with producer Ben Schigel- front man for Switched]. Having two of your fellow
band mates double as producers, what did it do to the recording process?
CS: Actually, on the last record, Mark had a lot to do with producing too.
He was basically almost a co-producer too, so it was almost the same thing,
twice. Basically, they just sat there the whole time in the studio, day and
night focusing on making the record better. Just making sure our producer was
going in the right direction, and not leaving in just the producer’s hands.
We really wanted to have it be our own, and it came out good. If you’ve
heard it, it’s us, it’s Chimaira.
MI: This tour goes on for about another month, before ending in Virginia, after
that, what’s in the future of Chimaira?
CS: We’re going to Europe with Spineshank. We’re doing the Download
Festival. It’s a huge festival, with Iron Maiden, Deftones, and more.
We’ve never played in front of crowds that big. The Spineshank tour goes
until the end of June, and in July we come back, and then jump on tour with
In Flames, for about three weeks. There’s no tour dates for it yet, but
we have it confirmed. After that I’m not sure.
MI: After In Flames, are you going on a headline tour?
CS: We’re not really sure, we have to see what’s going on. The
summer tours may still be going on, so we may just do a few small dates, and
if Ozzfest would ever happen to call us, then we’d be more than happy
to jump on it.
MI: That would be good. I think you guys would do well on there.
CS: Who knows, maybe next year. We were hoping to play this year, but it didn’t
MI: A few months ago, I found an online petition to get you guys on Ozzfest,
it had quite a few signatures on it.
CS: Right. Its really cool that all those people wanted to see us on Ozzfest.
MI: Between recording, and touring, what do you do when you have “down
CS: At home, we spend time with our families, girlfriends, and friends. I stay
on the computer all day long, I’m a nerd. Mark loves movies, and a few
of the guys have day jobs, I won’t say though, because they’ll get
embarrassed [laughs]. That’s about it, when we’re home, we have
to still make money. Other than that, when we’re not on tour, we just
hang out with people all day, and play video games. Nothing too exciting, we’re
not like, “party animals” by any means. We might get drunk a few
nights, but we’re not like Motley Crue, or anything. You can’t even
MI: If there was anything you wanted to say to the public what would it be?
CS: Check our record out, give us a chance. You might love it. If you didn’t
like Chimaira before, there’s a good chance you may like us now. We’ve
stepped it up, and I think we’re a stronger band now. I hope everything
goes well, and I just hope you guys check out our record.
Brutal Planet was released by Alice Cooper in 2000 on Spitfire Records. Sometimes something is so fucking intelligent and excellent that it deserves a look and
press well after the release. Look at it this way, Star Wars I came out years
after Star Wars IV. Isn’t Cooper that fucking good? Doesn’t he deserve
the prologue treatment like Lucas gave Star Wars? Music Incider thinks so. Baby
Tender Love thinks so.
I don’t care what my fucking brother Charlie thinks. He doesn’t
own my fucking magazine.
Corey Taylor, Josh Rand, Jim Root, Shawn Economaki, and Joel Ekman
put on a show that makes you want to slap your mama for not making you
take guitar lessons and for yelling at you for singing in the shower.
Four regular looking guys got on stage at Earthlink Live in Atlanta, by
regular looking I mean no make up and no masks, and slammed the house
with beautiful fucking ass-kicking metal. Stone Sour is a
drink-whiskey, orange juice, and sour mix. I guess you throw in the
orange juice for vitamins and the whiskey for Morrison. Stone Sour is a
band, and I guess you throw in the lyric poetry for vitamins. Taylor is
a showman and a poet is the tradition of Morrison. Trust me, you want
to see this man live. He lets it all hang out. The Atlanta Police
Department was looking for the person who threw him the joint onstage-in
case you were wondering, he stuck it in his pocket as any true rock and
roll star would do. He poured a bottle of water down is pants at the
beginning of the show and sang his first three songs with a big fucking
wet spot on his pants. What you see is what you fucking get. He
doesn’t hold back his thoughts or feelings. He is his own man. He was
the last to get on stage with his own personal entrance music. Fuck, he
ended the show offstage reading a poem. It makes me wonder if he is Jim
Morrison’s illegitimate child. If he is, I think daddy would be proud
of him. He has a mesmerizing stage performance. Corey is going to
fucking blow you away or die trying.
That night, Josh Rand and Jim Root were like little twin Steve
Vai’s. Root even broke into a little Steve Vai in between songs on
stage-to Taylor it was all the same fucking thing. Funny shit-Vai was
in town. He should have been there. Vai would have probably
said-everybody wants to be me. We know that know, don’t we. Vai would
have probably tried to recruit Root and Rand for his core of fucking
demon guitar players over on Favored Nations. This isn’t Slipknot kids,
this is Stone Sour. This is where Taylor and Root take off the masks
and be themselves. I would describe Stone Sour as a heavy metal
emotional band. You can see and feel their emotions come through their
performance. Taylor is the focal point of Stone Sour’s emotional
state. Stone Sour’s emotional state is everybody’s emotional state.
Stone Sour makes fans feel understood, much like Slipknot does-but with
a difference. That difference is Stone Sour is more than just fucking
angry. They have a full range of emotions, just like their fans.
When I saw them that night, I felt fucking Morrison. It was like
Jim was watching over them as a guardian angel. I felt the Doors.
There is no place better for Stone Sour to be than onstage. They are
real, and they make you feel at home. Their fans become a part of the
family. Stone Sour took time out after the gig to speak with their fans
outside of the tour us in front of Earthlink Live for at least an hour.
They didn’t have to do that shit at all, but they love their fans.
MusicIncider Magazine is a wholly owned and copyrighted subsidiary of
Barbara Ann Fara Productions, Inc.
The Masquerade- Atlanta, GA – Opeth
May 12th 2003
On a Monday night, the Masquerade in Atlanta was packed. Yes, on a Monday. The
moon was full and there was a slight chill in the air-chilly outside. Inside
the club it felt like 102 degrees. The house was packed no breathing space at
all. All for one reason –OPETH. If you drop the ‘t’ off of
OPETH, it means city of the moon. A whole fucking city was jammed into the Masquerade
to see the melodic death metal giants off of Koch Entertainment. How could a
whole city inside of the Masquerade be wrong?
We got to the Masquerade around nine o’clock. Yakatsu was great. We loved
them. Lacuna Coil was different, and they are going places-but nobody from Atlanta
was there for Yakatsu or Lacuna Coil. All we heard were the chants for OPETH.
The fans came to see their gods. I like to call then Frankenstein and Company.
We found out why OPETH fans waited in a sweatbox for hours. OPETH has a down
to earth stage presence that connects with the heart and soul of their fans.
Any fucking idiot could have seen it when OPETH hit the stage. Frankenstein
and Company hypnotized the fans immediately. This turned out to be a very good
thing. I never saw a band so adored and loved. The crowd sang every lyric to
every song they played. Frankenstein and Company also took requests from the
fans and they did not let them down. Some people covering the band complained
about fucking mosh pits. How could there be mosh pits when these fans were under
the spell till the end of show? At MusicIncider we stay until the end of the
show. OPETH covered every song from their first album to their latest, Damnation.
We can’t forget the four encores or the fact that they played until two
I call Mikael Akerfeldt Frankenstein, because I am a psychic and that is how
I see him. All Frankenstein every wanted was for people to relate to him through
his pain and to see how he was human. The fans of OPETH want the same thing.
OPETH’s lyrics and music reach straight though to the soul and grab it
by the throat and make you feel understood. You could see it with every song
they played. The kid in back of me (while I was in the photography pit) grabbed
his heart and sang along with every word. That is a true meaning of being in
concert and a reason for going to see someone live.-OPETH also announced they
would be back on tour in July for their new release, Damnation. The fans were
just happy to know that Opeth would be back in Atlanta. Those fans remembered
when Opeth first played Atlanta and the Masquerade-you could just tell by the
sheer love and adoration they were giving the band. Frankenstein told his followers
they were happy to be back, and remembered the first time they gigged at the
Masquerade. He thanked the fans for an amazing evening. Atlanta doesn’t
remember everyone like that. Everyone doesn’t remember Atlanta like that.
When OPETH comes back to Atlanta, that is reason enough to go to the show.
The Masquerade is an amazing place, but an OPETH show in Atlanta needs more
room-not for the band, but for the fans. I feel they need to play bigger venues.
I would love to see them play the Garden in New York, or Turner Field in Atlanta.
OPETH is ready to play big arena shows. This is a band I would not miss for
a second. They are true gentlemen on stage, and yet they are monsters born to
rock. They adore their followers. I have not seen the Masquerade ever that packed,
except for one other time and that’s when Andrew W.K played there. -Exactly
at 11:00 PM OPETH’s fans started chanting for them till they got on stage.
They played till 2:00 AM. That’s including four encores for their fans.
I can’t stress it enough. You want to see OPETH live-ANYWHERE. They have
great albums, but to see them LIVE is an experience not to be missed. Fucking
fly to anyplace you can get a ticket. I’ll bet you can find one thousand
people in Atlanta that agree with me.
MusicIncider Magazine is a wholly owned and copyrighted subsidiary of Barbara
Ann Fara Productions, Inc.
Jeff Pilson becomes a metal sexual shaman on Wicked Underground. I haven’t felt such a sexual shaman since Morrison of the Doors. George Lynch turns up the heat on this vision quest. Who the fuck would have thought metal and shamanism made such a good mix? Lynch’s background yells take you to the next level-deeper and stronger. Wicked Underground is a grinding, hot story and I love it. That picture of the two little boys on the inside album liner is misleading. Wicked Underground is for fucking grownups kiddies. It is a sexual vision quest of the highest order. I can see Jim Morrison, Jeff Pilson, and George Lynch dancing with the Native Americans on stage leading the tribe in a healing explosion of sexual energy. Pilson and Lynch send shivers up my spine and grab my soul. This album is a masterpiece that will live for lifetimes. It is a Grammy winner. If this album is not nominated, then we know the fucking Grammys are fixed and that true musicianship is not respected. Lets break the album down. It is time to take that Moonlight Drive into the world of Jeff Pilson and George Lynch’s vision quest for the tribe.
BREATH & A SCREAM- This song takes me on the first psychic trip that I had when I was eight years old after my car accident. I thought I was losing my mind. Here’s our hero in the song all grown up having the same battles. No one can understand that feeling unless they have gone through it. This song marks the beginning of the album’s spiritual journey.
BEAST IN A BOX- I can see our hero in this song sitting inside a church talking to a priest. Our hero is confused and doesn’t understand the voices and the visions that he is having. So the priest tells him he is evil. He has to turn off the visions in his head. It has to be the devil talking to him. He shuts himself down because he doesn’t want to go to hell-he puts the spiritual growth (beast) in the box. He should have told the priest to go fuck himself.
WHEN YOU BLEED- The visions come back, and his guide finally appears in front of him. He can’t believe this is happening to him. His guide pushes him to do better and be more. His guide has not introduced himself yet and he thinks he is hallucinating. Our hero hates this guide. He doesn’t understand. All of these visions that he is having is making him feel like he is going crazy. His hatred toward his guide makes him feel like he is bleeding inside.
VACCINE- When I die, bury me with an oxygen tank, a bottle of Jack, and a carton of Marlboro Reds. Be sure to put a key to the crypt in my pocket so I can get out. In other words, who the fuck needs Zoloft, Prozac or any other anti-psychotic medication? We are born the way we are. If people can’t accept us for who we are, the automatic answer is you need medication. My answer to this is-if you can’t accept me for who I am and how I am go fuck yourself. Parents should listen to this song. Are drugs another way not to be a parent?
EVER HIGHER- This song is Lynch/Pilson’s version of the Footsteps prayer. This song is about spiritual death and rebirth. He goes to the guide for help, but doesn’t trust him fully, and the guide takes him to the next level. The song is beautiful-it gives you hope.
ZERO THE END- Near death experience. This song is about where you go and what happens when you die. It can be taken as either a spiritual or a sexual orgasm. In the end, it doesn’t matter. For example, do you think Bush will be redeemed?
THE EVIL THAT YOU ARE- This should be the first single off the album. Self-medication doesn’t help. It cuts the visions. The song reminds me of a battle between good and evil. Everybody has a dark side that needs a hug. It is a Danzig type of song. He must fucking love it.
AWAKEN- This is a love song. It is a great fucking song. The energy in it is just supernatural and pure. It grabs you by the balls. It makes you realize that every moment on earth should be cherished. Be grateful for the people that love you. It is time to forgive, not to hate.
CROMANIC- The guitar and the bass on this song electrifies you. The song is romantic and rage filled at the same time. It makes you feel like you are in a swimming pool of lust with the demons knocking at the door of your soul. If they are knocking, are you going to let them in?
GOODBYE UTOPIA- Goodbye to the perfect life. Look how much the world has changed. It is a very political song. We are watching the old world crumble before our eyes. Nobody is doing a fucking thing to save it. We wake up with the threat of being bombed every morning. The man that has the key to save it is flushing it down the shit hole.
INNER VIEW- This is the hot one. In a lust-filled soulful way it awakens your mind to look at the emotional side of life. We take a shower everyday and comb our hair. We eat. We shit. We piss. Do we bathe our spirit? Do we bathe our emotions? Do we bathe our psyche? Do we bathe our soul?
CLOSER TO NONE- This song is the beginning of the same psychic trip we started on at the beginning of the album. Life is about the trip, not the destination. Don’t be afraid to take the trip. You have all of the answers that you need inside of you.
If I was to give stars, this would be a five out of five. This is a learning album. It is a bath for your soul. Everyday we need to bathe that soul. The album makes you take a walk on the spiritual wild side.
MusicIncider Magazine is a wholly owned and copyrighted subsidiary of Barbara Ann Fara Productions, Inc.