Mystery surrounds Bon Scott’s death to this day. Classic Rock looks back at Bon’s last hours, the underworld he moved in and the disappearance of the last man to see Bon alive…
Metallica frontman James Hetfield has praised former bandmate and Megadeth mainman Dave Mustaine for his “amazing career” in music
The Horrors are an English rock band formed in Southend-on-Sea in 2005, consisting of lead vocalist Faris Badwan, guitarist Joshua Hayward, keyboardist and synthesiser player Tom Cowan (also known as Tom Furse),bassist Rhys Webb, and drummer and percussionist Joe Spurgeon. Their music has been classified as garage rock, garage punk, gothic rock, shoegazing and post-punk revival.
The band have released four studio albums: Strange House (2007), Primary Colours (2009), Skying (2011) and Luminous (2014), all of which charted within the UK Top 40.
Ventenner are an alternative rock/electronic band from London, back in the studio creating some new material. We caught up with them to find out the plans for this year.
Can you tell us a brief history on how the band came to be?
Charlie: Ventenner started as a solo project around 2009. The early material was very loop based and industrial sounding, basically an easy canvas for me to put my first lyrical ideas on to. The whole concept of writing a song was completely new to me, so it was half experimental and half just doing the best I could with limited resources and experience. It was weirdly liberating looking back at it, the early songs sound dated and amateur now but it was a whole new world of artistic expression that was opening up to me. I went from not being a musician in any way to suddenly going “Hey, I can actually do this!”. That all changed again when I played my first couple of shows and realised I was completely out of my depth and had no idea what I was doing. But it all starts somewhere right?
When writing any record what is most important to you?
Charlie: For me it’s the bigger picture. The theme that runs through it all, from lyrical concepts to artwork to the album title and the general cohesive sound. There’s been a lot of songs in the past where we’ve had to just say “it’s great, but not for this album”.
Jonno: That each song is both as good as it can possibly be and as different as possible from the other tracks around it. We need to make sure that the song keeps the feel and the emotion intended for it but first and foremost it has to feel like something special musically. That means a lot of analysis and taking things apart a few times, but it’s worth it when you look back on something you’re proud of.
For those who haven’t heard you, what top 5 tracks would you say sum up the band?
Charlie: We’re all going to disagree on this I think. For me it’s Attack, Six Blood, Wave, Skin Ritual and Urge.
Jonno: I’d say ‘1’ is a good example of early Ventenner and a bit of a live favorite, ‘Six Blood’ is pretty representative of the last album and what we set out to achieve with it, and for the rest I’d say wait for the new album as it’s the best thing we’ve done so far.
How would you describe the sound of the band?
Jonno: Dark, electronic alt-rock?
Charlie: I tend to always come back to the word atmospheric. Which is borderline pretentious, and doesn’t fit with how heavy we are sometimes, but we clearly don’t sit in a genre whatsoever. We definitely sound like us though, we’ve already got a very recognisable trademark sound.
Which album has been your favourite to write so far and why?
Charlie: This one, definitely. To have all four of us throwing in ideas is great. I never got to do that with the early demos and the first album.
Jonno: This new album we’re working on right now is the one where everything just clicked, writing it was an easier process and we all got to bring our own influences into the tracks. Having four outspoken musicians pulling a track in different directions can make things a bit chaotic sometimes, but it keeps you from falling into a pattern and allows for a lot of pleasant surprises, that’s why this album’s been the best for me.
Ventenner has gone from being a mainly solo outfit and grown into the band it is now- how do you feel this has changed Ventenner?
Charlie: Well I always saw it as becoming this big thing, a full production on stage and on record. It was just tricky to get it off the blocks in that way as there was no one around me in my hometown who even vaguely understood what I was trying to do. So to me it hasn’t changed as such, this was the evolution I wanted from the beginning. Having other people’s influences has been great though. The rest of the band are all very talented and have written stuff I couldn’t have done by myself, so it’s been great to relax my control freak grip on things and let the other guys jump in.
As a lot of the band have other bands/projects is there a chance one day for a larger collaboration or gig together?
Charlie: I pretty much 100% doubt it. Mostly just because this dynamic works, trying to transpose it to something like Living Dead Girl or Exquisite Ending would be a mess. Plus it’s important to have other interests outside your main project, just for you. I have Snake Blood Seance, it’s just me doing my thing. It’s nice to switch off and do something just for the love it, especially stuff that wouldn’t fit with Ventenner.
I hear there might be some vinyl coming out as well as re-issues. Can you tell us a bit more information about that?
Charlie: I always wanted to see Ventenner on a variety of formats. People still love it despite the obvious ease of downloading. It was a mixture of the right time and having the right funding for everything, it all came together this year so I will finally get to see the music on vinyl and cd. I’m hugely excited about it.
You recently joined the Blackstar amps family- how did that come about?
Charlie: I was struggling to find a good amp sound, the sound I wanted to get but often fell short of, especially live. Blackstar just ticked all the boxes for me, way above everyone else. So I dropped them a line and went to Blackstar HQ and played with all the amps. They’re a great team and now I get to have my massive sounding HT Metal 100 on stage and in the studio.
Who has been your favourite band to have shared a stage with?
Charlie: We’ve played with a lot of bands who are now dear friends and make music we love, especially Cold In Berlin and Little Death Machine. The one I felt the most honoured to open for though was The Young Gods. They really are legends. I got to chat with them afterwards and it was a real privilege.
Jonno: Little Death Machine, in fact I got a chance to play guitar with them for a song at one of their shows sometime last year and they’ve since returned the favour on a couple of our stages. They’re local favorites of ours and each release they put out is better than the last. Such an exciting band to keep an eye on and a pleasure to share a stage with them.
Is there a new album in the works? Very keen to hear it!
How did getting a gig with Mortiis come about? Which is kick-ass news by the way!
Charlie: I saw he was touring again and I’d already listened to the new single, and musically we’re a pretty good fit. A phone call later and we were on the bill.
What are your plans for the rest of the year?
Charlie: Recording the new album is the biggest thing on the horizon. The average person has no idea just how long the timeline is to putting an album out. So that’s what will be occupying my time for the next 6 months. We’ve also got a show coming up with 3TEETH in August.
Thanks for speaking to us again
In Celebration of record store day we thought we would show you some of the prettiest vinyl’s we have here at Snapdragon HQ.
Words: Tom Lancaster
As a way to broaden the metal scene in Greece,
The Athenian trio Brotherhood of Sleep released their second LP after their self titled one 2009 album in 2011 entitled Dark as Light. The album includes four rift- heavy, head-banging, rock out with your socks out songs which are completely instrumental pieces. Each of the four pieces, “Afterlife Unearthed”, “Naze”, “Aranian Gates” and “Dark as Light” although different seem to form an angsty narrative that sinks its teeth into the listener as Dark as light progresses.As the title in insinuates, the ambiance of the music seems to contrast mixing light and mellow elements together with dark and heavy elements fastened with the ohm-like spiritual sounds that reverberates throughout the entire album. This is especially evident in the track “Naze”, which is the longest track on the album at fourteen minutes and eleven seconds long.
As the Grecian scene grew more recognised one could have only hoped that Brotherhood of Sleep could have lead them to international recognition of underground music. However since their untimely split in 2013 this may no longer be the case.
Can you Belieb it!?
Chino Moreno has shocked Deftones fans around the world, admitting he’s a ‘Belieber’ and confessing to having the polarizing pop artist Justin Bieber on his iPod. While some might consider this heresy in the rock and metal world, the singer explained himself and refused to back down!
When speaking with Kerrang! magazine, the dynamic frontman was asked what song people would not expect to find on his iPod and the answer he gave was certainly unexpected. He responded with “What Do You Mean?” which is the latest from the young pop sensation. Defending himself, Moreno stated, “I actually downloaded this song just yesterday. I had to; it’s completely unavoidable! It comes on in the car every time I get in it. And you know what? I like it! I really do! I don’t know how surprised people will be about that. I think people who know me know that I listen to a lot of corny s–t! I’ve got no problem with it, so I’ll just keep on enjoying this one.”
Everyone has their guilty pleasures and considering Moreno’s résumé, he has earned a pass on this one. Earlier this year, Bieber was spotted wearing an Iron Maiden shirt and he was even recorded goofing around, mouthing guitar lines from Metallica‘s “Fade to Black” in 2013.
Moreno isn’t the first heavy metal figure to gush about his adoration for some pop music. Rob Halford of Judas Priest not only likes Lady Gaga, but has collaborating with the singer on his bucket list.
Vicar Street, Dublin
Oct 26th 2015
Dublin has waited 18 years for a Carcass gig and in the space of 13 months they roll into town twice, this time with a host of Metal legends as part of the Deathcrusher Tour. Since it was announced back in June it was touted as the biggest extreme metal event to ever visit Dublin but, for me it was a question of who was going to come out on top.
The night’s mayhem began with New Yorkers “Herod”and although they had just a 20 minute set and a still half empty venue to play for they gave it their all and had the crowd, when they eventually dragged themselves from the bars and the merchandise stall, in good spirits for when Voivod hit the stage.
Voivod, who last appeared in Dublin in 2012, were a better known entity, and as the venue had filled up, appeared with a cameraman and lifelong Voivod fan Eric Campbell who was doing a video tour diary.
The Canadian outfit blasted through Psychic Vacuum from their earlier career and thundered on towards The Unknown Knows and Voivod. Like Herod before them, time was not on their side but it was plain to see both band and crowd enjoyed it.
It was now time for the English to show what they can do and Napalm Death did not disappoint.
No matter what other shit is going on, the English metal bands will always rule in Dublin, they can communicate with the crowd like life-long drinking buddies, as we say here, “havin’ the craic”. Vocalist Barney Greenway tearing around the stage like he was been attacked by a swarmwasps takes us through old favourites like Scum, Suffer the Children to material from their latest album (Apex Predator) Smash a Single Digit and Metaphorically Screw You. They finished up what was an energy charged set with their cover of the Dead Kennedys Nazi Punks Fuck Off. By this stage the crowd looked exhausted and there were still two bands to go.
Obituary was always going to have it tough, sandwiched between two of England’s “Gods of Grind”, they needed to show what they were made of. Unfortunately it was a bit of a letdown as it appeared John Tardy and Co wasmore interested in waving their perfectly groomed hair around like they were auditioning for a shampoo commercial. Don’t get me wrong, they did rip it up with “Centuries of Lies” and “Slowly we Rot” but it was all too tame for what I hoped for and they stuck rigidly to set times.
The same can’t be said for Carcass, time slots weren’tgoing to dictate their show. Carcass came out on stage and tore through “Unfit for Human Consumption and Buried Dreams”. Like Napalm Death earlier in the night there was an element of good old fashioned banter. Vocalist Jeff Walker insisting that because of some Irish blood he was going to get to the comedy section a bit later in the set. No stand-up act came but what did happen was a show that ripped every ounce of energy from the crowd, bodies went tumbling over the barrier at the front of the stage onto a busy few security guards as Incarnated Solvent Abuse and Cadaver Pouch Conveyor System was delivered with such intensity you could feel your bones vibrate. By the time Exhume to Consume and Reek of Putrefaction came round the crowd were totally fucked but they kept going, finding that extra bit of energy you can only summon at a Death Metal gig.
Yeah, Carcass played over-time and yeah we missed our buses home but it was worth every ear-splitting second. The question before, who came out on top? Well the answer is obvious; the night belonged to Carcass and Napalm Death.
Review by Andrew Cooke
Don’t be fooled into thinking this is just your run-of-the-mill doom record. This shit rips when it needs to, terrifies when it needs to and bring an audible high whenever humanly possible.” – Metal Injection