Mastodon's Brann Dailor Remembers His New York City Youth

Categories: Interviews, Metal

Photo by Travis Shinn, courtesy of Warner Bros. Records
Progressive metal band Mastodon call Atlanta home, but drummer Brann Dailor is originally from New York. Born in Rochester, Brann grew up with parents he calls "hippies," who gave him a Celtic name (pronounced "Bron"), derived from a mythical king, Bran the Blessed. The king's story involves a magic cauldron, a talking severed head, and a troubled sister. It's the sort of stuff you might find in Mastodon's lyrics, or on their concept albums dealing with themes of death or grand quests.

These days, everything about the band — the scale of their music and their success — seems to be ever-increasingly colossal, as will be the size of the crowd likely to turn up for their SummerStage performance in Central Park on May 19.

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Sex, Knives, and Veganism: Ten Things You Didn't Know About Doyle From the Misfits

Photo by Karen Mandall
Alex Story and Doyle

Last night, punk icon Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein and his band ravaged Saint Vitus with a set of songs both new and old for metalheads and punks alike. Beer cans sailed through the air; agitators flailed in an aggressive circle pit; and I know for a fact I was not the only female participant relishing the intimate setting. (At 50 years old, Doyle is as ripped as ever.)

The band Doyle are the sort of group who go for broke onstage, leaving behind nothing but sweat and spit after playing their hearts out. The man Doyle cuts a more mysterious figure, beginning with his dichotomous personality and extending to the reality that many Misfits fans are unaware that he even has a band.

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Lamb of God's Randy Blythe Shares His Photos in 'Show Me What You're Made Of'

Categories: Interviews, Metal

Photo by Randy Blythe
Randy Blythe's "The White Monkey King Destroys the City"
Randy Blythe is most recognized for his escapades with Virginian metal band Lamb of God, but this week reveals another side of the charismatic frontman. His first photography exhibition, entitled "Show Me What You're Made Of," opens May 2 at Sacred Gallery in Soho. The show presents images Blythe has captured over the last several years as he's traveled around the world on tour.

"All the photos involving people were taken when either I or the subject or both of us were in an extreme or heightened emotional state," says Blythe, explaining the theme of the show. "With photography, I'm trying to get outside of myself a bit and just notice what's there. That's easy enough to do if you're just sitting there and your subject is smiling and everything's OK. But if the subject is in an extreme emotional state, or you're in the extreme emotional state, it takes focus."

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'Why Would We Want to Be Motley Crue, Jr.?' Nikki Sixx Steps Out With Sixx:A.M.

Photo by Paul Brown
Nikki Sixx
Nikki Sixx is calling from the bunk of his tour bus in Detroit, ten days into the Sixx:A.M. tour. And ten days after that band's April 29 concert, the bassist goes from medium-size venues to behemoth sports stadiums for the final Mötley Crüe tour. The FINAL final, legally speaking. In 2014, the hair-metal demigods signed a legally binding "cessation of touring agreement" that at the end of 2015, Mötley is kaput. For good.

Any second thoughts? "No, none of us have them," says Sixx. "We know it's time, and we're OK with that. We made the decision, we were proactive in this. No one came to us and said, 'This would be a good shtick.' We said, 'We're doing this and we want it to stick.' People said, 'You're going to leave a lot of money on the table,' and we said, 'If it's just about the money, we're in the wrong business.' In the future, when bands say they're doing a farewell tour, I hope they also draw up legal documentation that says they will [make it final]. Because, you know, bands lie to fans, and fans don't trust bands." (A prime example of this phenomenon would be Ozzy Osbourne's No More Tours tour from the early Nineties.)

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Twisted Sister's A.J. Pero Remembered for Finesse -- And Merciless Drumming

Categories: Metal, R.I.P.

Photo via
A.J. Pero of Twisted Sister and Adrenaline Mob
Twisted Sister and Adrenaline Mob drummer A.J. Pero has died at the age of 55, the announcement coming on March 20 from Twisted Sister's official Facebook page and website: "The members of Twisted Sister are profoundly saddened to announce the untimely passing of our brother, AJ Pero. The band, crew and most importantly the family of AJ Pero thank you for your thoughts and prayers at this time."

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Christian Mistress Singer Christine Davis: 'I Hope Kanye West Will Change His Artwork'

Categories: Hip-Hop, Metal

Artwork for the next Christian Mistress album is due in about three weeks, and the band is at a crossroads.

"We'd like to do something that is lighter and more reflective," says Christine Davis, singer for the Portland-based, Seventies-metal-inspired group. "We'd like to use less dark colors and have something that really pops out and really represents the power and sharp brightness that we feel the band is at right now." All of the band's previous releases have been decidedly more, well, black. More metal.

But the one constant is a religious symbol they've used on every release since forming in 2008, one that's become synonymous with the group. It clanged around the music blogs, Twitter, and Reddit this month, finding its way in front of more eyeballs than ever in its history: Kanye West was gonna use the symbol on his album, too.

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Cannibal Corpse and Behemoth Prove It Feels Damn Good to 'Be Alive' at Webster Hall

Jena Cumbo for the Village Voice
A fan awaits Cannibal Corpse's set amid the sold-out crowd at Webster Hall. Photos: Metal Reigns Over Webster Hall
Cannibal Corpse are one of the constants of the metal universe, a perfect example of artistic conservatism as a life path. Their music has remained essentially unchanged since their 1990 debut album, Eaten Back to Life: They play fast, aggressive death metal, but somehow manage to shoehorn just enough melody into their songs to make them memorable beyond a head-down blur of riffs and blast beats. They don't really have one representative album to recommend to newbies, though everything since 2006's Kill has been ridiculously impressive.

Behemoth, their partners on this tour, are a different story. They've evolved substantially since beginning as a black-metal band in the early Nineties, moving closer to death metal and getting more and more sonically and compositionally ambitious. Their most recent album, The Satanist, is their best by a long stretch. They've also got a better story: Frontman Nergal recently triumphed over leukemia, an experience that has clearly affected him. After the first song of their set at a sold-out Webster Hall, he asked the crowd, "How does it feel to be alive?"

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Hull Say Goodbye to Brooklyn Metal with Heavy, Heartfelt Final Concert

Greg Cristman for the Village Voice
Hull play their last show ever at Brooklyn's Coco 66.
"Did we finally sell out a show after eleven years?" asked guitarist Nick Palmirotto from the stage. "I'm gonna fucking cry."

Snow, slush, and wintry rain couldn't keep a throng of metalheads from packing the house at Coco 66 Saturday night to bid farewell to Hull. The progressive sludge band has been a staple of the Brooklyn metal scene for the past eleven years, but have decided to disband as life takes each member in new directions.

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Behemoth's Nergal: Taking a Page From His Satanic Bible

Categories: Interviews, Metal

Photo: Grupa 13
Who is Nergal?

Polish celebrity Satanist and household name in his home country, where he's been a judge on the Polish version of The Voice: yes. Inscrutable frontman of death metal band Behemoth: yes. Cancer survivor at 37 years old: yes.

But who is Adam Michał Darski, really?

"Michał is no more," he says, speaking by phone while driving to Warsaw late at night. "Middle name is Nergal."

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Anthrax's Scott Ian Drives Motor Sister

Categories: Concerts, Metal

Photo: Stephanie Cabral
"I forgot..." reads the subject line of an email from Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian that lands in my inbox mere minutes after we'd hung up from an interview. It's about his new band, Motor Sister, and its debut, Ride. Apparently, Ian had another thought about the album: "It's the best rock record since Appetite-era G N' R," his e-missive states. "To my ears!"

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