The Coathangers Burger A-Go-Go Party 2018

THE COATHANGERS

THE COATHANGERS play Belly Up Feb. 27, 1720 Mar. 2 and Alex’s Bar Mar. 3; photo Chad Kamenshine

Garage-punk trio The Coathangers, headline Burger A-Go-Go making stops at Belly Up Feb. 27, 1720 Mar. 2 and Alex’s Bar Mar. 3. The lineup also includes Death Valley Girls, The Flytraps and Feels.

Whether screaming or singing, The Coathangers continuously come up with catchy songs and lyrics, beginning with their 2007 self-titled debut through their fifth studio album, 2016’s Nosebleed Weekend, not to mention 2017’s EP Parasite. While their live performance pulls out all the stops, at times becoming rowdy and crazy.

Concert Guide Live asked drummer Stephanie Luke about Burger A-Go-Go tours, cracking the Billboard charts, songwriting, among other things.

THE COATHANGERS

THE COATHANGERS Parasite EP cover

CONCERT GUIDE LIVE: The Coathangers have been a part of Burger A-Go-Go several times, what is it about this tour that keeps the band coming back? How does it differ from other tours?
THE COATHANGERS: We love Burger Records, and everyone involved in the label and these tours so it’s nice to be a part of the party! It’s different from most tours we do because there’s a gang of bands all on tour together rather than just being on tour with one band. These tours are always a good time!

CGL: What can one expect from this year’s Burger A-Go-Go if they’ve never been before?
TC: Just expect to see a few bands you might not have seen or heard about before along with the bands you’re comin’ to see… Always a really friendly fun audience too, like one big happy.

CGL: Tell us something about one of your most memorable concerts.
TC: We’ve been so lucky to have had so many memorable tours and shows it’s hard to pick just one! Will say that we just got to play a festival in Mexico City and it was amazing! It was outdoors on this beautiful field the weather was perfect and our good buds Death Valley Girls played with us on that one too!

CGL: Considering The Coathangers have been a band for over 10 years, how did it strike you when Nosebleed Weekend landed on the Top New Artist Albums and the Alternative New Artist Album charts?
TC: We were STOKED! We are still “new” to a lot of people out there and even though we’ve been around a while we still were excited to get on those charts.

CGL: Your live performances are very dynamic, energetic and at times a bit manic from an audience perspective, what’s it like from your perspective?
TC: The same! We are up there tryin’ to entertain and connect with the audience but also doin’ the same with each other on stage. The more energy and craziness usually the more fun for us and you.

CGL: What do you like to do prior to going on stage – any routines or rituals?
TC: We do a few stretches, maybe a shot ‘er two, and always a group hug.

CGL: When you first started out, did anyone have a musical background, or did you just gravitate to it?
TC: Julia (Kugel/guitar) had played classical piano and guitar and done choir and I used to play violin and saxophone so we kinda had but more-so we had been around friends in bands throughout high school and college, so I think we were always around it kinda learning how things go via both experiences.

CGL: It’s going on two years since Nosebleed Weekend, are you working on a new body of work?
TC: Oh, hell yes, lots of good stuff to come!!!

CGL: How do you come up with your songs – it seems some bands have a primary songwriter while others get in a room and jam until a seed begins to form – what works for you?
TC: We do both, sometimes one of us brings parts of a song or lyrics, then we work forward on that, other times we just jam around till something pops up.

Be Here Now With STFKR In SoCal

STRFKR

STRFKR play Observatory North Park Feb.2, Teragram Ballroom Feb. 3 and 4; photo James Christopher

Always entertaining, fun, and lyrically thoughtful, STRFKR return to SoCal playing two nights at Teragram Ballroom Feb. 3 and Feb. 4, following a night in San Diego at the Observatory North Park Feb. 2.

Their set will encompass a balanced mix of all their albums, including the most recent Being No One, Going Nowhere. An album inspired by the book of wisdom, “Being Nobody Going Nowhere” which among other ideas and perspectives inspires one to learn that being alive is good enough.

STRFKR

STRFKR; photo James Christopher

“I like the idea that whatever you are right now is enough,” Josh Hodges (vocals/guitar/keys) admitted. “The idea of striving to be something other than you are is causing suffering and causing confusion.

“The value system that we have is more and more that people need to be something like a celebrity or known for something and it can cause people to be crazy and do crazy things.”

STRFKR; photo James Christopher

STRFKR; photo James Christopher

Moving from Portland to Southern California four years ago, much of the album was written and recorded at the band’s practice house in Joshua Tree where the comfort and mystery of the desert provided immense inspiration and reflection.

“It’s a really good environment for me to write and record,” Hodges said. “It’s pretty isolated and you can make noise all night, the house is out in the middle of nowhere. Nature is so big and the desert life out there is so interesting.

“It makes me feel smaller being in nature like that. It’s kind of comforting with all the craziness going on in the country right now.

STRFKR; photo James Christopher

STRFKR; photo James Christopher

“And even if our narcissistic, idiotic leaders get us in some nuclear war and we all die then, whatever it is, our planet is just a tiny little nothing in this infinite “whatever”. It’s meaningful, too.

“Being out there, for me, it’s easier to stay in touch with that bigger perspective. Everyone’s gonna die anyways. I’m like part of all the molecules and matter that makes up my body and who I think I am…it’s like being a part of this old collection of universes or whatever… it’s kind of comforting.”

STRFKR recently released the final volume of the three volume set of rarities and demos that Hodges rescued from a dying computer, Vault, Vol.3. The raw, unpolished material was never intended for an audience but is a remarkable overview to his inspiration from the inside out.

So, check it out and get your dancing shoes on and head over to one of the three SoCal shows. You won’t be disappointed!

Banditos Visionland Visit SoCal

BANDITOS

BANDITOS play Moroccan Lounge Jan. 31 and SPACE Feb. 1; photo Nicole Mago

Birmingham, AL-via-Nashville band Banditos recently released a new album Visionland and, in support, they’ll be playing Moroccan Lounge Jan. 31 and SPACE Feb. 1

After spending much of the last two years on the road, relentlessly showcasing their critically acclaimed 2015 self-titled debut album, the six bandmates of Banditos regrouped in late 2016 at Plum Creek Sound Studios and democratically poured out sonic influences and emotionally charged personal experiences for their new album Visionland.

Produced by Israel Nash and Ted Young, the Birmingham/Nashville-based group’s second full-length has one foot firmly planted in reality as the other tip-toes in and out of mental complexities, self-perception and altered-state illusions. The results are revealing, exhilarating and profound.

Banditos "Visionland" cover art

Banditos “Visionland” cover art

The album-titled track reveals these defining, cohesive thematic intricacies. Visionland is named after the defunct $60 million theme park that was built in the late ’90s near some of the band members’ childhood homes in Bessemer, Alabama. The park was shut down after only five years and the schizophrenic glimmer of hope it offered local residents connects to a greater overlying optimism for life present at the album’s core, an eerily relevant theme in contemporary complex times. Jeff Salter’s sweeping guitar strums swell at the song’s intro, lifting through the murky haze into the warm and sunny clarity of a duet between singer Mary Beth Richardson and singer/guitarist Corey Parsons.

The members of Banditos first met playing in various punk and rock ‘n’ roll projects around Birmingham at D.I.Y., all ages venues. In 2010, Parsons and Pierce began busking around town and were soon asked to perform at their favorite local bar. Without a full band, they invited friends Randy Wade (drums), Salter (guitar), and Richardson to join them. Danny Vines (bass) joined the band later.

Metal Allegiance 2018 Anaheim Assault

METAL ALLEGIANCE play HOB/Anaheim Jan. 25; photo Reuben Martinez

METAL ALLEGIANCE play HOB/Anaheim Jan. 25; photo Reuben Martinez

As NAMM 2018 approaches, the anticipated annual metal assault of Metal Allegiance is also returning to Anaheim, this time stopping at HOB Jan. 25.

The group has just revealed details for their upcoming concert which will include the introduction of Overkill’s Bobby Blitz and Armored Saint’s John Bush to their lineup.

The core four of David Ellefson, Alex Skolnick, Mark Menghi and Mike Portnoy have been working on their second full-length album and all four are expected to be part of the Anaheim show in January. Joining them, and the two newly announced guests, will Death Angel’s Mark Osegueda, Slayer and Exodus’ Gary Holt, Testament’s Chuck Billy and Sepultura’s Andreas Kisser will all be chipping in for the fun.

The night will also feature support from Nuclear Blast labelmates Wednesday 13 and the Musician’s Institute-formed band Superfix.

METAL ALLEGIANCE play HOB/Anaheim Jan. 25; photo Reuben Martinez

METAL ALLEGIANCE; photo Reuben Martinez

Mark Menghi comments, “SoCal should prepare for a full thrash assault. We’ve assembled a band that includes some of the Bay area’s finest mixed in with the East Coast thrash attack while adding a sprinkle of L.A. and a dose of Brazil. This show is going to be a no-frills, no-bull shit throw down. With all that’s going on in the world, down to our personal lives, a statement needs to be made and thrash is in all of our hearts, so no better place to do it than with our friends in Southern California.”

“We’ve been doing Metal Allegiance shows in Anaheim at the end of January almost every year and it is always THE metal event of the year,” adds Mike Portnoy. “Each year the show gets bigger and better and I look forward to another metal extravaganza in January!”

“The January gathering of Metal Allegiance friends in Anaheim has become an annual tradition, with each concert promising a special lineup and set list that’s different from before,” comments Alex Skolnick. “This time around, we have an abundance of fresh original material to add to the mix, as well as familiar classics, and it’s always a fun time. Join us if you can!”

John Bush says, “Real excited that I’m jamming with the Metal Allegiance guys for the upcoming show at the House Of Blues. I’m breaking my cherry! See you all there.”

David Ellefson states, “It’s time for our annual Metal summit in Anaheim. With new songs and album in the works we’re looking forward to bringing the tribe back together to celebrate all things Metal in January!”

“I always look forward to playing with all my brothers and sisters involved in Metal Allegiance. But! The show that I look forward to playing with them the most every year is The Metal Allegiance show in January in Anaheim! Always an amazing set! Always special guests! And always a guaranteed unforgettable night for everyone on stage, and in the crowd! Once again, I am honored, and excited to once again be a part of it!” comments Mark Osegueda.

“I’m very happy to jam with MA again in January 2018,” adds Andreas Kisser. “Always great vibes with amazing musicians and playing the music that inspired all of us to be metal warriors today! A lot of fun! Long Live Metal Allegiance!”

“We are really excited and looking forward to being a part of this year’s Metal Allegiance show in January 2018,” says Wednesday 13. “This will be such a different audience for us, and we are excited to be included alongside such legendary musicians. It’s gonna be a great show.”

Dream Syndicate Still Got A Groove

THE DREAM SYNDICATE

THE DREAM SYNDICATE play the El Rey Theatre Dec. 15; photo Chris Sikich

The Dream Syndicate will wrap up 2017 on the west coast stopping at the El Rey Theatre Dec. 15 before heading up to San Francisco. They’ll be playing select songs from their history along with many from their current record How Did I Find Myself Here?

“We’re playing a lot of the new record because we’re really excited about it and also it fits in with the older stuff really well,” Steve Wynn said.

Of course, there will be long, spur-of-the-moment, psychedelic jams, too, something the band is known for, with the eleven-minute title track being Wynn’s current favorite song to play live.

“I think right now that’s my favorite one because I’m always surprised,” Wynn admitted. “I don’t know where it’s gonna go and it’s exciting. It’s thrilling to be on stage and really not know what’s going to happen next. Usually it works and when it does work it’s a rush. It’s an adrenaline feeling that’s fantastic.

“And the great thing is when you take chances in front of an audience you can feel the tension. And when it works I think everybody is relieved all together. I think audiences respond to that. That you were there for a moment that never happened before and will never happen again. It’s almost like the audience is in the band with you, “come on, you can do it,” and then you do and it’s great!”

Although The Dream Syndicate played live and released several records throughout the 80s, they eventually broke up until re-uniting in 2012. Yet over the years Wynn continued to play Dream Syndicate songs in his solo bands and now he’s having fun reinterpreting them.

“These days we’ll take an older song and find new ways of doing it,” Wynn mentioned. “That’s kind of fun.”

How Did I Find Myself Here?
is like finding a favorite shirt and it still fits perfectly. The new songs compliment the older tracks seamlessly although they were written recently and specifically for The Dream Syndicate. Wynn approached the songwriting in the same way as when the group first started out which meant “finding a groove and digging deep,” as he put it.

“I think the thing that we did when we started out, which we’re doing again now, is we’re using a lot of repetition and simplicity and grooves and just hypnotic approaches to music,” Wynn explained. “It’s something that we’re known for and it’s fun to write that way. It’s surprisingly hard to write a song where nothing much happens because you have to find ways to build the story without a lot of chord changes.

“In my solo work sometimes there’s a lot more verse, chorus, bridge, hooks, chord changes, all those kinds of things – pop songwriting. The thing about The Dream Syndicate, for everything that people say they were, a guitar band or a feedback band or this or that, we’re really a groove band. All the way from Days of Wine and Roses to the new album.”

Reaching fans in a more intimate or personal way has always been an important part of touring and being in a band for Wynn, starting long before the internet, up to and throughout the rise of social media.

“I’ve always tried to find a way to connect with fans beyond just “here’s our show, see ya later,” Wynn revealed. “In the 80s I used to write postcards to every fan that would write to us. It sounds crazy, but I did that. I meet people all the time at shows who will say, ‘you wrote me a postcard.’ That’s probably true.”

During the mid-90s when he first became aware of the internet, Wynn started a tour diary, writing about the tour every day on the road.

“I thought it was a fun way to kind of reach the fans and at the same time glorify the touring life and also demystify it,” Wynn recalled. “I would write about what we ate on road stops, who we met along the way and stories that happened. And this was before of course social media. Before Facebook and twitter, etc. It kind of trained me early on how to be finding ways to reach fans more directly.

“I appreciate the people that make the effort and stuck with us all these years. It’s the least I can do. The great thing now is it’s easier. Writing a postcard, you had to buy a postcard, put a stamp on it, and now you just type a few things and “click” you’re there.”

Psychic Temple, one of Wynn’s favorite “new” bands, will be the opener at the El Rey.

“They put out a record this year called Psychic Temple IV that’s probably my favorite record so we’re really excited to have them on the bill.”

Meet London’s Dirty Thrills

DIRTY THRILLS

DIRTY THRILLS press photo

Raunchy, bluesy London band Dirty Thrills may not have hit this side of the pond, yet, but don’t wait to check out their music. Featuring strong, signature vocals ala the Small Faces Steve Marriott or any other old-school rocker, the songs are catchy, full of swagger and high-energy.

Since forming in 2013, the charismatic and fun-loving quartet have released several EP’s, and a couple of albums including 2017’s Heavy Living not to mention over 100 shows including both headline tours and arena support tours.

Concert Guide Live reached out to the band who shared tales of getting banned from venues and hotels, their latest album and so much more.

CONCERT GUIDE LIVE: Your band name is quite evocative, how was it chosen?
DIRTY THRILLS: After many names were thrown about, we had a long list of names many of which were song titles from particular artists. We couldn’t find any common ground so after a long debate, Louis (James/vocals) suddenly came out with Dirty Thrills.

CGL: When/where was the first Dirty Thrills concert? How did it go?
DT: Well, amazingly our first ever show was at the world famous 100 Club in London. We were real excited about this and it was a dream come true to play there. It went better than ever, and we won over many fans that night, and realized we had a good thing going here. We did however have a dispute with the venue which went onto us apparently being banned from playing there again. Not sure if that still stands ha! If so then 100 club… water under the bridge guys, we love ya.

CGL: What do you like to do right before you go onstage?
DT: We are quite the energetic bunch of lads on stage, that takes a bit of preparation beforehand. A lot of mental preparation, we each warm up our instrument (wink). 😉 Then maybe a beer or whiskey to wet the whistle. We leave everything out there on that stage so no matter how much we prepare, we rarely come off alive. Ha!

CGL: Tell us about an interesting/unexpected/funny or surprising situation that has occurred on the road.
DT: While touring with Europe, which was real exciting for us and it was our first taste of a big tour in several countries and staying in various hotels. We got a little too sassy on the last night of the tour, didn’t end up doing the cliché ‘trash the hotel room’, don’t worry. But Louis did end up very drunk walking around the lobby in search of his and his girls room, totally naked with a kettle full of whiskey in hand. He must have knocked on about 20 different rooms that night, greeted with shocked customers at every door. Haha. Needless to say, we aren’t allowed back there anymore.

CGL: How long did you work on the latest album Heavy Living from writing to recording the songs?
DT: About seven months, give or take. We had a couple songs already that we wanted to add to the album as we felt they needed to be on it. As far as the rest, they kinda wrote themselves really. We recorded it at the famous Monnow Valley which was amazing! And we did the entire thing pretty quick actually. All in all, it took about a year to write, book studio time and pre-production to finally cutting the record.

CGL: Which song was the most challenging and why? Did any of the songs seem to write itself?
DT: Ha! As said before, many songs wrote themselves. Once in the flow, we seem to get shit done pretty quickly. There were no real challenges as such, some songs are harder to perform due to their lyrical content and meaning, but apart from that, we are a well-oiled machine.

CGL: Is there a primary songwriter or does everyone contribute?
DT: Lyrics and melody are usually Louis and Jack (Fawdry/guitar), as with riffs, then we go into the studio and put all our heads together, work on the arrangements and tweak any parts we feel need a little TLC.

CGL: What inspires your songwriting?
DT: Anything really. Can be a drunk jam, to hearing a song you dig, even from hearing a tv advert jingle. A lot of the time I (Louis) will just hum or whistle a tune and something will come out of it. There’s never really any regular process.

CGL: How did the four of you meet and was there a specific moment when you realized you wanted to do music?
DT: Louis, Steve (Corrigan/drums) and Jack all met at uni [university]. Louis dropped out and immediately wanted to form a rock band. He called up Steve, who was up for it. Steve then contacted Jack and that was that. Aaron (Plows/bass) came along about a year later after our original bassist had other plans. DT was complete after that.

CGL: Do you all have similar tastes in music? What’s the last “record” anyone bought?
DT: We do, and we don’t. I can’t stand some of the stuff the guys dig, as I’m sure the same goes for them. We have a love of rock and whether that be metal, hard or classic, it’ll find its way, and the eclectic mix bodes well for us when writing interesting tunes. The last Record I (Louis) bought, was Rival Sons Great Western Valkyrie.

CGL: What is on the horizon? Are there plans to tour the U.S.?
DT: The Horizon is forever changing, we can never know, but we are constantly heading toward it, at great speed. We are excited about the future and we can’t fucking wait to tour across the Pond! We love you guys and I’m sure you will dig us too!

CGL: Is there anything you’d like to add?
DT: Check out our album Heavy Living – OUT NOW – if ya dig that classic rock vibe with a modern bite!

Black Pistol Fire Add Madness To The Good Vibes

BLACK PISTOL FIRE

BLACK PISTOL FIRE play The Constellation Room Nov. 16, Troubadour Nov. 18, The Casbah Nov. 19; photo Charles Regan

Deadbeat Graffiti is the latest release by the wild and stimulating rock duo Black Pistol Fire who will be playing The Constellation Room Nov. 16, Troubadour Nov. 18 and The Casbah Nov. 19. Melodic, and at times soulful, and at times frantic, Black Pistol Fire should be on your radar if they aren’t already.

Concert Guide Live talked to drummer Eric Owen about the California music scene, the new album, the story behind the name and more.

CONCERT GUIDE LIVE: I imagine you must have played in Southern California before –
ERIC OWEN: We played recently at a semi-private show in Mission Viejo, but it’s been about 2 ½ years since we played a proper show in Southern California. We’re pretty excited to get back.

CGL: What do you look forward to when coming out here to play?
EO: Some of the best music coming out now is happening there – the whole kind of garage, psychedelic scene is pretty amazing. What Burger Records is doing, Thee Oh Sees, Ty Segall. A lot of good vibes out there and great music.

CGL: What sort of setlist will you be playing, which songs from the new album?
EO: You know that changes night to night. But the couple that are seemingly getting played every single night would be “Lost Cause” which is the new single, a song called “Bully” and a song called “Speak Of the Devil”. Those three are getting played every single night. And we’ve been rotating a bunch of other ones sort of in and out like “Blue Dream”, “Yet Again”, “Fever Breaks”, and “Eastside Racket”.

CGL: What’s one of your favorite songs to play live?
EO: I like playing “Bully” because it’s got that soft chorus then sort of soft verse then that chorus hits so, so hard. If someone hasn’t heard it before, it might take them by surprise. I like that aspect.

CGL: When did you realize you wanted to be in a band and play in front of people?
EO: I think it was watching music videos as a pre-teen. Seeing bands like Nirvana and Weezer. And then the music station we had in Canada growing up used to play a lot of concerts. Seeing those crowds, the way they reacted to a band was something appealing that I didn’t know if it could ever be possible necessarily, but it was something very attractive and looked like a lot of fun and emotional.

CGL: What do you like to do right before you go onstage; do you get a little nervous?
EO: It depends. If everything is sounding good in soundcheck and if everything’s going well on the technical side of things, that definitely takes away some of the nervousness.

There’s a different feeling, of course, when you’re about to go on as opposed to just practicing. It’s kind of a feeling of excitement. Both Kevin and myself stretch and try to loosen up a bit. It’s a pretty physical show so we try to just be quiet and warm up for the madness that’s about to happen.

CGL: How did the band end up being a duo?
EO: Just over the course of several years, it ended up being a lot of trial and error with different people and us just clicking and working and here we are.

CGL: What’s the story behind the band name?
EO: Years ago, we were trying to figure out a name and Kevin read it somewhere that in firefighting there’s a term called a black fire which means it’s something that can’t be put out. No matter how much water or anything you do, the fire can’t be contained, and you have to let it run its course. It’s kind of a powerful word and image. And then going through a bunch of other words and so on and so forth we eventually went from black fire to black pistol fire. You got a color or shade, a weapon and element. A powerful image there.

CGL: Do the two of you write the songs together or is Kevin (McKeown-guitar/vocals) the primary songwriter?
EO: No, Kevin does the primary, for sure. He is the pilot, the captain, the creative genius behind the whole operation.

CGL: How did you gravitate to playing the drums?
EO: I think it was watching Dave Grohl of Nirvana. And then two of my friends in elementary school – one was playing guitar and the other was playing bass and they didn’t have a drummer. I heard they were jamming and I thought that would be my in. I could try to learn to play the drums and I eventually did. I think we learned three or four songs over the course of a couple of years – they were mostly Nirvana songs and one Stone Temple Pilot song – and probably not done very well. But we learned them any way and that’s how it came to be.

CGL: What is one of the most memorable moments you’ve had while touring?
EO: The one that sticks out most to me is last October in Monterrey, Mexico, there was a pretty big festival and we knew there was going to be a good amount of people there, we thought we had some fans in Mexico.

Then playing the set and seeing the crowd of several thousand people just growing and swelling and having it be crazy by the end. Then to not really be able to go out in the crowd because you’re getting your picture taken. It was just surreal and strange but interesting. Something we hadn’t really felt before or since for that matter. It was a whole different world down there which is cool. It’s pandemonium.

Meat Beat Manifesto Celebrates 30 Year Catalog

MEAT BEAT MANIFESTO

MEAT BEAT MANIFESTO play Cold Waves Festival at Regent Theater Nov. 11; promo pic

Industrial music legend Meat Beat Manifesto will be performing on Day 2 of the first Cold Waves Festival in L.A. along with Revolting Cocks, MC 900 Ft Jesus, Crash Course In Science, Boy Harsher and Not Breathing on Nov. 11 at The Regent Theater.

Original mainstay Jack Dangers has continued to create and evolve musically over the years, but for this performance, he will primarily play a lot of the older stuff.

“Some of the songs I haven’t played live, I’m not gonna say which ones, I’ll let that be a surprise, but some of them we haven’t played on stage for 25 years,” Dangers teased. “I had to get all new video for that. We use a lot of video and samplers live.”

Sampling has always been a part of the music since the beginning, often using spoken word samples from films. So, Dangers went back to the original source films where he got the samples in the first place.

“Like when the technology came up to speed about 12 years ago, you could miniaturize these bits of video into computers and have them to play live – project them,” Dangers explained.

“It’s even more fun being able to go back and get the film and turn that into a video sample and mess with it. You can speed it up, put it in reverse, you can chop through the sample itself. Originally, I would use tape machines and then when samplers became available I would be using those.

“We use the audio as well as the image. That always makes a difference as well rather than just spinning out images.”
For example, in “Helter Skelter” there’s a scream that goes off and on all the way through the song which is from the film “A Clockwork Orange”. It’s from the scene where the main character is experiencing the Ludovico Technique.

“I used that as just an audio sample,” Dangers said. “The Helter Skelter sample is Lydia Lunch. She’s saying that on one of her spoken word records she did back in the 80s.”

Another memorable sample from that song is “it’s in my brain now” which comes from “T.V. Mind” off Big Sexy Land by Revolting Cocks who coincidentally will be performing the album at Cold Waves.

“Maybe I’ll run on stage and have a mic,” Dangers chuckled. “You know Luc Van Acker was the guy who originally did that, so I’d have to run on stage and grab the mic off of him.”

As the song came together it included a bit of Lydia Lunch, a bit of Revolting Cocks and the famous beat from “Hot Pants” by Bobby Bird (produced by James Brown).

“I actually spent a day messing around with that beat making it sound different,” Dangers said. “If you played it next to the original you’d see that I changed it quite a lot.

“At that point, 1989, we didn’t really have the technology like a few years later what you could do with drum and bass and jungle. We’d cut the rhythm track up. So back then I was using different chunks and playing them back a different way and using effects.”

Considering the current political climate, one would think there would be a virtual treasure trove of samples to draw from, but Dangers thinks it’s almost too much and too obvious.

“It’s like this nightmare has happened,” Dangers stated. “I’m more interested in the way that Twitter and Facebook were used to make this all happen. Rather than the usual right-wing talking points and misinformation.

“It’s obvious all the misinformation and fake news that’s put out there by the Russians so Trump would benefit. It wasn’t the other way around. These things always take time to come to the surface.

“This is such a surreal level that I think you could address it in a surreal way more than an obvious in-your-face political stance.”

Impossible Star is a new album ready to be released in 2018 which Dangers has been working on for a couple of years but don’t expect to hear too much of the new stuff played this time around.

“We’re looking to do that next year,” Dangers promised. “We’ll be doing some live shows next year – me and Ben Stokes – that’s the lineup when we play live. The two of us. We use a lot of multi-media, a lot of video.”

Cold Waves Festival has been running in Chicago for a few years, bringing together classic industrial-type artists. It’s unique and thrilling for both fans and musicians alike.

“I’m excited to be playing with the other acts,” Dangers noted. “I’ve always liked Crashed Course In Science and I’m good friends with Not Breathing – worked with them on and off through the years.

“I’ve done some remixes for MC 900ft Jesus – got to see him [Mark Griffin] actually when we played in Dallas last year. He came to the show. That might have been some inspiration for him to get back on the road because we hadn’t been doing it for a while, like him. Not as long as him, though (laughs).”

“And Revolting Cocks – Big Sexy Land was a big album for me when it came out – getting to see that live. It should be a good night. It’s the hottest show in town!”

Indeed.

GWAR Fight Their Way To California

GWAR

GWAR to destroy HOB/SD Nov. 21 and Fonda Theatre Nov. 22; promo pic

Obnoxious, loud, funny, frightening rock band GWAR may still be AWOL from the Masters Army but you can catch them if you dare at House of Blues/San Diego Nov. 21 and the Fonda Theatre Nov. 22.

“You can expect to get your fucking head chopped off if you get too close to the front row,” Pustulus (guitarist Brent Purgason) invited. “You can expect to be covered in blood and god knows what other bodily fluids … But you can expect to have your fucking sox rocked off, literally.

“What other band are you gonna go see that would show such appreciation for the fans that we expel a lot of bodily fluids on to them? I don’t think other bands would do that for you. We sacrifice life and limb to bring you entertainment. And I doubt you’re going to get that from Nickelback.”

In fact, a memorable good time at one of their shows involved throwing a fan into a barricade.

“Have you ever seen Uncle Phil throw Jazzy Jeff out the fucking door at Fresh Prince Belair?” Pustulus asked. “Well, I got to do that to a guy in Edmonton, Canada during a show and that was pretty fucking cool. I got to Jazzy Jeff him right into the fucking barricade.”

It is well-known that GWAR are not of this world, and were part of the elite fighting force, The Scumdogs, before arriving here on earth.

“We all got frozen in Antarctica during the ice age, but the problem was I was doing some bong rips in the closet and I was trying to hot box it out,” Pustulus admitted. “Everybody else got thawed out and got whisked away to join a rock band, while I got left in there for another 50 years. It sucked but I’m here now so it’s all good.”

Not being very good at doing military stuff, each member of the Maximus Clan earned a reputation as an intergalactic fuck-up.

“Well you know the raping, the pillaging, the constant imbibing of various substances throughout the galaxy, that kind of put a damper on us doing what we’re told,” Pustulus noted. “Self-gratification is one of the things we tend to revel in. Quite frankly that didn’t fit into anybody else’s work schedule.”

Speaking of work, coming to California to play isn’t really what they look forward to doing while here.

“We look forward to just watching the vagrants walk the streets,” Pustulus said. “You know, everything smells like weed out there. Definitely, don’t look forward to the actual performance other than the after party and the getting paid part.”

October saw the release of Blood Of the Gods, the first album since 2013’s Battle Maximus and without founding member/vocalist Oderus (Dave Brockie).

Battle Maximus was a record put out more or less under duress,” Pustulus explained. “It was important to us that we weren’t viewed as something that could falter. I don’t think it was rushed but I think we could have taken more time.

“As for Blood of the Gods we were absolutely not going to rush this record in particular. A lot of times we’re just fighting and kicking and screaming and biting and fucking each other through the album process. People were involved and included the entire time which is not always how this band has functioned in the past.

“We all work together when we’re not fighting or when we’re not stealing each other’s girlfriends or drugs or pawning each other’s TV’s we’re writing great music together.”

But, don’t forget the killing. That’s something else Pustulus likes to talk about. Killing things that you love.

“You know, if you’re going to kill something, the best way to do it is to have it trust you first. So that way when the life is fully drained from it it gives you that look of ‘why?’.

“And plus, you know, if you care for something and you take its life that’s a way to feel emotion. Because when you’re as emotionally de-void as I am at this point in time, you have to do things that make you feel alive. And you know, stuff like that will do it.

“That’s not too dark, is it?”

My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult Perform Iconic Wax Trax! Albums

Thrill Kill Kult play Teragram Ballroom Nov. 4 and The Casbah Nov. 5; promo pic

Celebrate 30 years of high energy craziness with My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult (TKK) at 80’s Bar Nov. 3, Teragram Ballroom Nov. 4, and The Casbah Nov. 5. They’ll be performing their first two iconic Wax Trax! albums I See Good Spirits And I See Bad Spirits and Confessions Of A Knife.

Forming in the late 80’s, TKK was one of the early Wax Trax! Label bands alongside Ministry, Front 242, KMFDM, Frontline Assembly and others who were part of the early industrial music scene. However, TKK was also known for their tongue-in-cheek, sometimes hilarious, lyrics and samples and nods to B horror films. Not to mention outrageous live sets and props.

I See Good Spirits And I See Bad Spirits

I See Good Spirits And I See Bad Spirits album cover

Songs such as “A Daisy Chain 4 Satan,” “Sex on Wheelz,” “The Devil Does Drugs,” among several others became alternative radio hits.

Concert Guide Live caught up with founders Groovie Mann and Buzz McCoy on a recent tour and this is what they had to say.

CONCERT GUIDE LIVE: What do you remember about the first TKK live show?
THRILL KILL KULT: Our first show was a Halloween show at the Riviera in Chicago. Robert Englund aka Freddy Krueger was there to introduce us! We had no idea what we were doing. We put the band together literally within a week or so of the performance and practiced in our drummer’s parent’s basement! The show itself is kind of a blur.

Confessions Of A Knife album cover

CGL: We take the computer for granted now but in the early days, touring must have been quite different. Any particular mishaps or surprises come to mind?
TKK: Our set up remains basically the same. We’ve just replaced the old drum machines and sequencers with a laptop now. A bit less to set up and a lot less midi cables to deal with. Actually, we had more mishaps when we first started using a computer on stage because it would freeze up sometimes. Luckily those days have passed and laptops and associated software are much more reliable now.

CGL: What sort of setlist will you be playing? Do you have a particular song you look forward to playing live?
TKK: It will be a very dance oriented set list, with some remixes thrown in. Our favorite song to play changes nightly, depending upon our mood. Some nights they’re all our favorite, other nights we’re sick of them all!

CGL: Lyrically, do you consciously set out to push the limits, or is it more of a natural process, writing what comes to mind and what you like?
TKK: We don’t consciously set out to push buttons or be provocative. It’s just the way we write.

CGL: Do you have any new favorite B movies from the last few years?
TKK: There was a film called “Sexy Evil Genius” which wrote TKK into the story line and used a couple of our songs. That was cool, and a bit flattering.

CGL: As a final question, do you have any pre-show routines/rituals?
TKK: Besides alcohol? Haha. No. No séance or prayer circles for us.