Swedish hard rock veterans Europe recently released their new album, 'War of Kings,' via UDR Music. Today, the band has teamed up with Revolver to premiere their new music video for "Days of Rock 'N' Roll." Check it out below and let us know what you think in the comments!
Vocalist Joey Tempest said, "We simply wanted to make a live video like we used to, uplifting and entertaining and really capture a band and its audience at a peak! The video was shot in Manchester and Wolverhampton on our latest U.K. tour. We used our friend and video director extraordinaire, Patric Ulaeus, who has done our five latest videos. The song is about the rise and fall... and rise of Rock 'n' Roll."
Swedish hardcore heavyweights Refused have announced details for their new album, 'Freedom.' The album is set to release on June 30 via Epitaph Records, and will be the band's first release in 17 years since their last album, 'The Shape of Punk to Come.' Refused also premiered the first new song from the album, "Elektra." Check it out below and let us know what you think in the comments!
Frontman Dennis Lyxzén said, "It's not a reunion anymore. This is one of the most radical things we've ever done, both musically and lyrically." Drummer David Sandström added, "Nobody wanted us to fuck with the image of the band who makes a great album and splits up. Nobody wanted us to dilute it. That actually provoked us."
The band have also revealed an album cover and track listing for the upcoming release, along with a list of upcoming U.S. tour dates. You can check those out below as well.
2. Old Friends / New War
3. Dawkins Christ
5. Thought Is Blood
6. War On The Palaces
7. Destroy The Man
9. Servants Of Death
10. Useless Europeans
May 24 Las Vegas, NV - Punk Rock Bowling festival
May 25 Santa Ana, CA - The Observatory
May 26 West Hollywood, CA - The Roxy Theatre
May 28 San Francisco, CA - Great American Music Hall
May 29 Portland, OR - Doug Fir Lounge
May 30 Seattle, WA - The Crocodile
May 31 Chicago, IL - Double Door
Jun 01 Boston, MA - The Sinclair
Jun 03 New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom
Jun 04 Brooklyn, NY - Music Hall of Williamsburg
Jun 05 Washington, DC - Rock & Roll Hotel
Chris Krovatin is the author of Heavy Metal & You, Venomous, and the Gravediggers series. He is a contributing writer for Revolver and a good-natured pain in everyone's ass. This column represents his opinions–and probably only his opinions.
Sleep with Primitive Man and In The Company of Serpents
Sunday, April 19 at the Ogden Theater
- Sleep's set time: Midnight.
- Comforting thought: The first thing I will do on 4/20 is see Sleep rock Denver.
- Solemn vow: As God is my witness, I will get Voodoo Donut at two in the morning. This I swear.
- Awesome line-up convergence: Two local openers playing before Sleep crushes 4/20 in Denver. Very good vibrations here at the Ogden.
- Appropriate event that coincides with this show: The 2015 High Times Cannabis Cup.
- Best merch of the night: Sleep pillowcases. Pillowcases that have pot leaves and the word 'SLEEP' on them. Truly brilliant.
- Second best: In the Company of Serpents' 'Merging in Light' vinyl EP with the insane Sam Turner cover. It's like something you'd find in the part of the magic shop you weren't supposed to enter.
- Feat of strength: Primitive Man flew back from their European tour today, and here they are.
- Things this reporter would want after returning from a European tour: Burger, ginger ale, bed, cartoons. Definitely not a packed venue.
- First up: In the Company of Serpents.
- Sounds like: A huge, drunk beast awakening from its age-old slumber.
- Percentage of crowd who just got awoken from age-old slumber: 82 percent, and most of them just in time to catch the band.
- Comforting observation: Two dudes making this big and powerful a sound.
- Notable two-person bands: Cobalt, Satyricon, The Howling Wind, Darkthrone…damn, really just a lot of black metal bands.
- Possible reason for this: Doom usually requires that big bass sound in the back to carry it along, so you end up needing an extra player.
- Lack of bass felt by the crowd: None. They're doing just fine up there, pummeling the shit out of the Ogden.
- Layout observation: The Ogden's tiered standing sections actually work really well. You can be pretty close to the stage and still be out of the pit.
- New York venues that would benefit from this: Eh, there's a beauty to how the General Admission floor space becomes a festering beer-toilet in New York.
- Good band name: Beer Toilet.
- Good insult: "Get out of here, you fuckin' beer toilet!"
- Next up: Primitive Man.
- Sounds like: A scathing vortex of misanthropy that God's puking in after he had too much Grandad.
- Cool sonic effect: This music actually makes me feel drunker than I am. It's off-kilter.
- Length of frontman Ethan Lee McCarthy's dreads: Still mane-level, but definitely heading towards full octopus.
- Notable dreadlocked metal frontmen: Brian Fair of Shadows Fall, Chris Barnes of Six Feet Under, Karyn Crisis of Crisis, Lajon Witherspoon of Sevendust.
- Chances this reporter could ever rock dreads: 600/1. It's the curly Irish hair, and I'm just too lazy to cultivate that shit. I prefer the Anselmo crew cut. [Editor's Note: Chris, your celebrity double is Anselmo.]
- The paradox of doom metal: It's so awesome, but man, it usually just expresses horrible, bottom-of-your-soul agony and absolute hatred for all mankind.
- Solution: Stoner doom, which trades in crushing lows for mellow, groovy highs.
- Odds this reporter will collapse during Sleep: 7/1.
- Shitty setup of the night: The Ogden's outdoor smoking section. Too small, too hard to get in and out of.
- Moment of anxiety: Hearing Sleep's techs soundchecking and thinking I've missed the beginning of the set.
- Location reached: Right up front.
- Intro track: It…sounds like ten minutes of a radio conversation between a pilot and a tower? It's hard to decipher what they're saying.
- Five, four, three, two, one: Happy 4/20, everyone.
- And now: Sleep from California.
- Sounds like: A bong made out of a Large Hadron Collider being ripped.
- Weed smoked: Everyone's, by everyone, at once.
- Old-school concert practice reinstated: Passing joints around. Used to be people would light one up and send it off.
- Results: The entire crowd has become a horde of bobbing zombies.
- Safe assumption of the night: The guys in Sleep are easily as baked as their audience, if not more so.
- Interesting aspect of Matt Pike's sobriety: The High on Fire frontman quit booze, but has still been a staunch pot supporter.
- Obvious reasoning: Marijuana is, at its worst, a foggier of thoughts that can result in bad judgment. In the meantime, it can solve many health problems and expand minds. Alcohol will poison you slowly.
- Mmm: Poison.
- Tracks played other than "Dragonaut:" Oh, I don't know. It's all a jumble. Damn, I'm hungry.
- Number of donuts scarfed immediately after leaving: 4.
- Never forget: I'm a man of my word.
Frederick, Maryland teenage rock act Bad Seed Rising will release their new EP, 'A Place Called Home,' on May 5 via Roadrunner Records. In anticipation, the band has teamed up with Revolver to premiere their new song, "Carry On." Check it out below and let us know what you think in the comments!
Chris Krovatin is the author of multiple young adult novels, including Heavy Metal & You, Venomous, and Gravediggers: Mountain of Bones. He is a contributing writer for Revolver and generally comes off as a good-natured pain in everyone's collective ass. This column represents his opinions–and probably only his opinions.
Electric Wizard with Satan's Satyrs
Friday, April 9 at Summit Music Hall, Denver, C.O.
- Places people have come from to see this show: L.A., Albuquerque, Austin, Dallas.
- Cities I would rather see Electric Wizard in: Amsterdam…yeah, just Amsterdam. I love you, Denver, there's just a different kind of black magic in Europe.
- Rituals performed to prepare for seeing Electric Wizard: Watching Black Sunday and The Masque of the Red Death while ripping tubes of Golden Goat in my basement.
- Rituals performed by the members of Electric Wizard before a show: I'm assuming they do the same thing, right?
- General emotional states of the crowd: Unbelieving, giddy, super high.
- Honest admission: After missing them at MDF, I never expected to see Electric Wizard live. This is huge.
- Things I would protect less rabidly than my Electric Wizard ticket: My first-born, my internal organs, my Social Security number.
- Bucket list bands left: Metallica, Carpathian Forest.
- Bucket list bands I'll never see: Bathory, Celtic Frost, White Zombie.
- Items immediately consumed upon arrival: A slice of pizza and a PBR. The pizza is surprisingly good, but the PBR tastes worse outside of New York.
- Items saved for later: Half a chocolate bar, brownies. I'd forsake Pabst any day to live in a city where I can buy this kind of dessert.
- Coolest backpatch of the night: The KMFDM 'Godlike' patch on this dude. What an awesome graphic.
- Coolest backpatch runner-up: The huge Mutilation Rites banner patch on this short woman's jacket.
- Exciting discovery: Said woman is actually Cece Loessin, guitarist of kickass Austin grindcore slayers Phobia! And she's super nice.
- Upcoming tour of note: Ghoul, Phobia, and Nekrofilth are doing a U.S. trek starting in May. It's going to be a fucking bloodbath.
- Up first: Satan's Satyrs from Herndon, V.A.
- Sounds like: Wolfmother with a strong left-hand bent.
- Crowd response: Medium at first, but won over by the end.
- Tough situation to be in: Opening for a band who most of the crowd have waited years to see, and therefore not being anyone's primary focus of the night.
- Really good situation to be in: Opening for Electric Wizard. Man, I bet the dudes in Satan's Satyrs just want to finish up and see the Wizard go nuts.
- Pleasant surprise of the set: The band's vocals are a lot angrier live than on their record. There's a real rage to it here.
- Brave fashion choice: Frontman and Electric Wizard bassist Clayton Burgess' light blue shirt.
- Standout track of the set: "Show Me Your Skull."
- Best piece of merch available: The Electric Wizard 'Legalize Drugs & Murder' tote bag. Those are probably all over Brooklyn by now.
- Saddest merch availability situation: No Electric Wizard vinyl?! Man, that's a shame. I wonder if it already got bought out before they got to Denver.
- Post-show course: Dessert, and a whiskey.
- Smoking methods seen in the crowd: Glass pipes, one-hitters, joints, blunts, vaporizer pens.
- Number of attendess who would be thrown out of the show in New York: 1,624.
- Hilarious irony of the night: Watching someone get chastised for lighting a cigarette in here.
- Stoner question of the night: If Anton LaVey and Aleister Crowley got in a drunken bar fight, who would win?
- Answer: Crowley. He was a mountaineering bisexual secret agent. That shit is raw.
- Current mental state: I live, not dead, I live, I kill.
- And now: Electric Wizard from Dorset fucking England.
- Sounds like: The Four Horsemen of the Marijuanapocalypse.
- Opener: Man, they go right into "Witchcult Today." Then it's "Black Mass" and "The Satanic Rites of Drugula." Fuck yes.
- Memory of the night: Watching Jus Oborn scream, "BLACK MASS! BLACK MASS! BLACK MASS!" at the crowd.
- Crowd reactions: Swaying, screaming, bobbing, banging, throwing the horns, and most of all smoking.
- Animals that could be killed by the weed cloud rising from the audience: Six adult kangaroos, three giraffes, a bull hippo, a honey badger, cockroaches.
- Number of security guards tackling smokers: 0. Civilized society, man. Think of the tax revenue.
- Cool look of the night: Guitarist Liz Buckingham's blond jellyfish hair. Even when she leans back and roars into the air, you never get to fully see her face.
- Imagery looping behind the band: All the sex scenes from your favorite 1970s horror movies, obviously.
- Note to modern metal bands: Unless you have a really good graphic artist working for you, maybe just project fake blood spilling onto naked breasts behind your sets. It works.
- Other standout tracks: "Time to Die" and "The Chosen Few."
- Tracks that were missed: "Funeral Of Your Mind," "We Live," and "Dunwich."
- Sad surprise: The abrupt ending at 11:09pm. Aw, really? Is this a curfew thing?
- Length I'm sad about this: It takes about 20 seconds for me to realize I've just seen Electric Wizard. Then I'm all grinning.
- Thank God moment: Remembering I didn't drive here. I would kill myself and several others if I got behind the wheel right now.
- Street food consumed on the way home: A spicy Polish with mustard and onions, and an order of nachos.
- Amount of commute home remembered: A generous 38%.
- Amount of remembered commute spattered with mustard: 100%.
- Lesson for the kids: Don't do drugs.
Alesana will release their new album, 'Confessions,' on April 21 via Revival Recordings. In anticipation, the band has teamed up with Revolver to premiere the entire new album right here, right now. Check it out below and let us know what you think in the comments!
Chris Krovatin is the author of multiple young adult novels, including Heavy Metal & You, Venomous, and Gravediggers: Mountain of Bones. He is a contributing writer for Revolver and generally comes off as a good-natured pain in everyone's collective ass. This column represents his opinions–and probably only his opinions.
Weedeater with King Parrot
Sunday, April 5 at Lost Lake Lounge, Denver, C.O.
- Pre-game stations: TRVE Brewing on Broadway, Lion's Lair on Colfax.
- Level of chemical enlightenment reached: You've unlocked Slurring Dirtbag!
- Old friend in attendance: Brandon Geist, former Editor in Chief of Revolver, who is visiting Denver with his family.
- Last show seen with Brandon: Mastodon, Gojira, and Kvelertak at Terminal 5 in New York.
- Tragedy about New York: We couldn't buy Sweet Grass edibles in public then.
- State of the Lost Lake Lounge upon arrival: Fragrant.
- Crowd breakdown: A really weird mix. You have your crusties and your hippies, but there are also a lot of everyday neighborhood people and bearded hipster-looking types present.
- Philosophical question posed: Is the 'hipster' aesthetic basically a Brooklynification of the Denver aesthetic? You're average hairy gentleman?
- Level up: You've unlocked Pretentious Douchebag!
- Up first: King Parrot from Australia.
- Sounds like: Pig Destroyer meets new Darkthrone.
- Number of times members cuddle onstage: At least three.
- Crowd reaction: Hugely positive. These guys fucking rule.
- Favorite song played: "Epileptic Butcher."
- Note to the reader: Go check out these guys' videos when you have a chance. Guitarist Ari White's husky cooing is the stuff of hilarious nightmares.
- Easy pickings of the night: Vocalist Matt Young calling out crowd members by their shirts to get them moshing. "Hey, GG Allin, move your ass up here! You, Celtic Frost, don't be a pussy."
- Honest confession: I was Celtic Frost.
- Undignified response: Going absolutely nuts after he called me out. I'm too old for this shit.
- Level up: You've unlocked Wheezing Thrasher!
- Could I ever rock a King Parrot T-shirt: Man, I would've said no before this set, but…
- Hygienic state post-King Parrot: Fragrant.
- Phrase proving complicated: "New Belgium, please."
- Deep, personal worry: I might be all headbanged out for Weedeater.
- Wave of relief: Weedeater is stoner metal. I can just bob and stomp around like a sedated Labrador.
- Dixie Dave quote of the night: "Ah, whiskey! Cures every fucking thing that ails you!"
- Substances that make up Dixie Dave's vocal cords: Gravel, lighter fluid, chips of leather, rattlesnakes,
- And now: Weedeater from North Carolina.
- Sounds like: Taking a resin hit in the bathroom at a Black Sabbath concert.
- Level up: You've unlocked Sedated Labrador!
- Last time this reporter saw Weedeater: Saint Vitus in Brooklyn earlier this year. I got a grinder.
- Call to fans: Bring drugs to the Weedeater show as merch tips! Do you your civic duty!
- Things about Weedeater that are just absolutely crushing: Every last goddamn one.
- Beautiful trait of a stoner metal show: It gives you a chance to stride around headbanging like one of the Fabulous Freak Brothers or Wayne Campbell.
- Honest observation: Man, Wayne's World would have been so much fucking cooler if Wayne and Garth were listening to Eyehategod and Electric Wizard.
- State post-show: Tenderize, dripping sweat, dazed beyond belief.
- Items consumed with Brandon Geist post-show: Mexican cheeseburger at Pete's Kitchen, pentagram donuts at Voodoo Donut.
- Level up: You've unlocked Volcano Guts!
In Revolver's Apr./May. 2015 issue, we explore female-fronted doom bands. You can pick up a copy of the issue here. Below is the full interview with Royal Thunder's Mlny Parsonz where she talks female-fronted doom, influential vocalists, and getting involved in a Christian cult.
by Jon Wiederhorn
REVOLVER What makes the female voice a natural pairing for doom metal?
MLNY PARSONZ A lot of great male vocalists in the '60s and '70s, like Robert Plant and Steve Marriott had really high vocals, so it kind of makes sense that you have a lot of woman singing like that now because there are more of them that can do it. The timbre and tenor of their voice compliments the lower tuning of the guitars.
What attracted you to doom?
When I was 13 or 14, there were these warehouses around Atlanta, C11, C12, I Defy House and The Parasite. Laura [Pleasants] and Phil [Cope] from Kylesa used to play there, and so did [Mastodon's] Brent Hinds' and Troy Sanders' old band, Four Hour Fogger. We'd steal my friend's mom's car and sneak out at midnight and go to the city, do a bunch of drugs and then go into one of these shitholes and see these amazing bands. That's how I got introduced to metal. But the band that had the biggest impact on me was Dammad because she was one of the only chicks. She was this tiny little thing with this guttural growl and mindblowing vocals coming out of her. And I said, "That's what I want to do!"
Are there women vocalists you look up to?
Honestly, no. I think Dave Mustaine played a huge part in influencing my approach to music. As a vocalist, he never stays in a pocket. He's always stretching to find a creative way to express himself. I always looked up to him and [Faith No More's] Mike Patton.
Is there a spiritual element to your music?
I meditate and I'm able to open this third eye that reveals a lot of truth about me and my surroundings. I tap into that big time when I'm writing lyrics. And I sing about my experiences. "Floor" is about a Christian cult that [guitarist] Josh [Weaver] and I were in, and it fucked me up so bad. I'm not a Christian now—point blank.
How did you get involved in a Christian cult?
There was a really charismatic church that drew in these artists and musicians and promised to show us love. It was really scary. At one point, they thought I was possessed. I was on the ground in the corner of the room shaking because I was having a panic attack. I got up to steady myself and 30 or 40 woman walked towards me with their Bibles up, shouting, "Out of her, demons!" They hit me with their bibles. I tried to get up and they kept pounding me. One woman took her shoe off and shoved it in my face and told me to kiss the foot of God. Finally, I got the fuck out of there and never went back and I've never felt better or more awake spiritually.
The following is a reprint of of Revolver's Feb./Mar. 2015 feature story on Marilyn Manson. You can pick up the issue here.
by Dan Epstein
It's New Year's Day, 2000, and Marilyn Manson and Johnny Depp are on a mission. Having spent the night ringing in the new millennium with fireworks explosions and absinthe toasts at Depp's villa in the south of France, the rock star and the actor are now driving crazily around the streets of Nice in a desperate, brutally-hungover search for some American-style fast food.
"We can't find a McDonald's Anywhere," Manson recalls. "But we find a grocery store that says, 'Groceries—Serpents.' They sell snakes there!" Suddenly hell-bent on purchasing a snake or two, Manson and Depp are crestfallen to learn that the serpent area of the shop is closed for the holiday. Groceries, then, it will have to be...
For nearly 15 years, the fireworks, the absinthe and the unsuccessful fast-food-and-serpent run were about all that Manson could remember from his and Depp's little Y2K party. But last summer, while moving into his new home in the Hollywood Hills, Manson unpacked a box that contained his forgotten copy of French poet Antonin Artaud's Heliogabalus: Or, the Crowned Anarchist. "Johnny gave the book to me on that trip," Manson recalls.
"But I think the fireworks, the absinthe and our little adventure derailed me from reading it at the time."
Heliogabalus is a surrealist biography of the Roman emperor Elagabalus, a.k.a. "The Pale Emperor," whose penchant for debauchery was impressive even by Roman emperor standards. The book reappeared in Manson's life at precisely the right time, inspiring both the title of, and some of the lyrical content on, his new studio album, 'The Pale Emperor.'
Created primarily with assistance from Manson's new musical collaborator Tyler Bates (a soundtrack composer best known for his work on such films as 'Guardians of the Galaxy', '300' and Rob Zombie's 'The Devil's Rejects'), The Pale Emperor is pretty much every- thing you could want from a Marilyn Manson album. From the sleazy opening stomp of "Killing Strangers" to the haunting coyote yips that bring the curtain down on "Odds of Even," Manson's ninth studio missive is an alluringly cinematic epic of darkness and decadence, with music that is equal parts goth-industrial atmospherics and cocksure glam-rock swagger. There's a real immediacy to the album, too; not only are songs like "Deep Six" and "Cupid Carries a Gun" infernally catchy,but they seem eminently more relatable—or, at least, more human—than the twisted fan- tasies that have populated some of his more recent albums.
There's an interesting sense of duality running through 'The Pale Emperor's' lyrics, as well, something that's perhaps best exemplified by the track "The Mephistopheles of Los Angeles," which is both a middle-finger salute to the celebrity-besotted culture of Manson's current hometown ("Lazarus ain't got no dirt on me!") as well as a grudging acknowledgement that he may well have sold his soul to it. "I think this album is probably me struggling with the two sides of myself," he tells Revolver.
REVOLVER The last time you spoke with Revolver you were living in an apartment above a liquor store. It seemed designed for maximum creativity, with a home studio and a space for painting. Now you have in a house in the Hollywood Hills. Why did you move?
MARILYN MANSON I was acting on 'Sons of Anarchy' [Manson portrayed white supremacist, Ron Tully] and I needed a place that didn't have any distractions. So I bought a house that was next to one of Johnny Depp's houses. I bought it the day before I started work on 'The Pale Emperor.' It's haunted—doors slam behind me a lot, and I'm always hearing people walking up and down the stairs—but I ain't afraid of no ghosts.
Is it the ghost of a former owner, perhaps?
Yeah, it was owned by a silent film actress from the 1920s. I don't want to say her name, because she'll probably try to come out and give me a Satanic ghost blowjob or something one night. [Laughs] But it's good to have different sanctuaries. When I was recording the last album, I'd have to be dragged into the studio around two or three in the morning—unless it was the studio in my house, which made it even worse because there's something very important about leaving your everyday environment to create. But I hate normal studios, because you have to say "hi" to the person at the front desk. And then you go into the studio, and there's a second engineer in there that you don't know, and then you're stuck in a glass box with some- one talking to you through a walkie-talkie.
Was it a more pleasant experience working with Tyler Bates?
Yeah, it was surprisingly easy. He invited me over to his home studio, where he does all his scoring work. While driving from my house to his studio, I told him, "You know that scene in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me with the pink room? Strobe lights are flashing, Laura Palmer is getting eaten out, and it's in Canada?" He said, "Yeah." I said, "I have something like that in mind." And by the time I got there, maybe five minutes later, he'd already put up a basic sketch of it. We sat face to face, and I said, "Put up the mic, and just play it." So "Birds of Hell Awaiting" was a first- vocal take, and he was playing the guitars while I sang. I didn't know where it was going, but I started realizing that it was really going to take us to a different place. The themes that started coming up—and the record happened very rapidly—were based around the Faustian tradition, relating either to myself as the devil, or to my own devils or to just the metaphorical idea of selling your soul to become who you are. I think that, for the past couple of years, I've been hearing a knock-knock-knock on my door—the hellhounds on my trail, saying it's time to pay up. And this record is my payment, and my payback. It's both sides of the coin.
Which brings us to "The Mephistopheles of Los Angeles." Are you the Mephistopheles of Los Angeles? Is Los Angeles your Mephistopheles, or is it both?
I think you're the first person to realize the double side of that song. That is exactly what I intended. That song was, originally in my mind, the title or theme for the record, though I hadn't completely decided on
a title. But then I was unpacking boxes after moving into the new house, and I came across the first book Johnny Depp ever gave me, which was Antonin Artaud's Heliogabalus: Or, the Crowned Anarchist—the biography of the first Roman emperor to deny the existence of God. He was young, in his teens, and his complexion was pale, so they called him "The Pale Emperor." He liked to have peasants cut up in the middle of the street, and then he would pour wine over them and make their families drink from their dying relatives. He also castrated all the men around him—which is the ultimate form of cock-block, I must say— and made them dance for him. And I thought, "This reminds me a little bit of me, too..."
In other words, "The Pale Emperor" became a persona or concept that you could wrap the album around?
Well, it just so happened that I found the book on the day I'd finished "Mephistopheles of Los Angeles" and played it for the record label. I noticed that one record label person... it wasn't a speech impediment, but he was just really not capable of saying "Mephistopheles of Los Angeles." [Laughs] I didn't change my concept because of that, but I thought making the album simply about Los Angeles—and, as you say, the two ways of looking at it—was far too regional. The record unconsciously follows the tradition of the blues in that I'm telling a story, and the story is about the listener as much as it is about me. The images you conjure up while hearing it could be the same ones as mine, or you may be manifesting mine into your own version of it, like when you read a book. There was Flannery O'Connor, there was Baudelaire, there was Faust... there were a lot of things rolling about in my head while I was making it. But it was a record that, once it started rolling after that first song, it had a certainty to it—and I knew exactly what I wanted it to be.
You've talked about this album being blues-influenced, but I think the bluesiest aspect of it is that there's a sense of universality. On some level, everyone can relate to the stories you're telling here.
Thank you. That's what I was intending. When I listened to the record with my father, it sounded like it was a lot about him. When I listen to it with my girl, it sounds like it's a lot about her. And that's when I realized that it's about where you're at when you're hearing it. And I feel that's the greatest achievement of this record.
Your mother passed away while you were making this record. Did that influence it in any way?
I think "Odds of Even" was probably influenced by it, since it was written after that, and she died in the house that we lived in. While I was in the studio, I heard some coyotes outside tearing apart a small animal. The story [of the song] had already formed itself, in the sense that you take on the world, and you stand up and fight, and then maybe you meet somebody, a romantic sort of situation—and you think you can win, but in the end you always die alone. It's not really a sad story, but it is the reality story. We all die alone. It's what you do when you're alive that counts. And if you make a deal with the devil, don't try to outrun him, because in the end, he's always going to be there. Hearing that animal being torn apart made me think of how I'd been ganged up on before in life—verbally, personally, physically, and things like that.
How did her death affect you personally?
I think a lot of people were worried that I would crumble after my mom's death; instead, I went sort of in the other direction. I stopped drinking absinthe—mostly for vanity purposes, but it also clouded my temporal lobe. Making this album, I would wake up and go running—not from the police, but for exercise purposes. And I was doing fight training, because I was on Sons of Anarchy, and I thought, "I don't want to ever end up in jail and be on the receiving end of what my character does on that show!" When you're sweating and doing physically active things, your brain synapses fire off entirely differently. I would go to training, and then immediately want to go to the studio. So I had a lot of testosterone going through my bloodstream when I was making this record! It's not angry, it's not aggro, but it definitely has a swagger and a certainty about it—a sureness, a positivity. I think that there's a sense of masculinity on this record that isn't on any of my other records. I might have been angrier or louder in
the past, but I know who I am on this record.
Who else played on the album besides Tyler?
I will be very, very specific: Tyler Bates made the music, and I did the singing and wrote the lyrics. I played some percussion—tambourine and pill bottles—and then we brought in Gil Sharone [from Stolen Babies] to add live drums after- ward. Tyler also brought in some musicians to play saxophone, and he also used some live strings—he sort of cheated and took some of the 'Guardians of the Galaxy' score that he recorded at Abbey Road and snuck some strings in there from another session. [Laughs] The only other person was [actor] Walter Goggins—he's the preacher at the beginning of "Slave Only Dreams to Be King." I worked with him on Sons of Anarchy, and he has the sort of deep Southern accent that would be just perfect for a tent revival.
Who will be playing in your band on this tour?
The same band that I played with at my Halloween shows— Paul [Wiley] on guitar, Tyler on guitar, Gil Sharone playing drums, and Twiggy playing bass.
Can we expect anything unusual for these shows?
Absolutely! This will be a whole different ballgame. We've developed it into some- thing newer and more biblical, though not religious—and, strangely, not anti-religious. Imagine a church tent revival, and combine that with the evil part of the deep South... I think I'm bringing both elements of that to the stage. As far as the performance goes, I want to create an atmosphere, and use 5.1 sound and imagery and shape and form to transform the stage from one thing to another, as if you're watching a movie. But not in a big-budget, overblown sort of way. I want to create a structure out of the stage where each stage becomes my place. The stage will transform into what I want it to be, rather than me having to adapt to the stage. So it's a very chameleon-like stage show, and it's not going to end like people would guess, based on the past. But there will be some glorious elements of the past which I wish to revive. I'm not going to make it a tour where I play only new songs.
You talk about the stage show being biblical, yet not religious. Can you elaborate?
The album is all biblical or nautical or funereal. It has a burial element to it and a resurrection element to it as well. Lazarus was raised by Jesus from the dead, which made him the first zombie in the Bible. A lot of people don't think about it, but the Bible has every horror element that you can imagine. It's got the devil, the Antichrist, Lucifer, and Satan—which are four different characters. It's got the end of the world. You've got zombies, giants, demon possession, a lot of murder. So there are elements of the album that are very biblical, but I don't think it's about me trying to speak out about religion, like I have in the past. It's more about me seeing it from both sides. Both sides are always going to be a part of me, because I grew up around religion—whether I want to hate it or not, it's still a part of me.
It's interesting: Music is such an integral part of most religious services, yet the religious establishment has often tried to suppress secular musical expression.
The church wouldn't have tried to suppress music if there wasn't so much power in it. When you listen to a mass in Latin, it sort of hypnotizes you. When I was making this record, I got the Latin phrase "Solve et Coagula" tattooed on my hands, which refers to breaking something apart and putting it back together stronger. It's really all about alchemy in the end. It's about turning lead into gold, and that's what making music is. And they fear that—that's really the thing. It's not, "Oh, that evil rock and roll music— it makes the kids go out and have sex!" It's, "They're stealing our market! Those are our customers! Give them back!"
Hardcore punk act Good Riddance will release their first new album in almost a decade, 'Peace in Our Time,' on April 21 via Fat Wreck. In anticipation, the band has teamed up with Revolver to premiere their new song, "Disputatio." Check it out below and let us know what you think in the comments!
Vocalist Russ Rankin says, "'Disputatio' is a Latin word which describes verbal dispute, discussion, or disagreement. The song is about holding on to what one believes is their truth, even in the face of opposition and ridicule. I suppose it stems from a lifetime of being told we aren't able to affect change, that we possess views which are fringe and insignificant. As one grows older, it can become difficult to stand one's ground, to resist the prescient tide of normalcy and consent."
04/16/15 Hollywood, CA Troubadour Good Riddance, Bad Cop/Bad Cop, A Wilhelm Scream
04/17/15 San Diego, CA Brick By Brick Good Riddance, Bad Cop/Bad Cop, A Wilhelm Scream
04/18/15 Santa Barbara, CA Velvet Jones Good Riddance, Bad Cop/Bad Cop, A Wilhelm Scream
05/02/15 Meerhout, Belgium Groezrock
06/05/15 San Francisco, CA Slim's w/ Death By Stereo & Bad Cop/Bad Cop
06/06/15 Santa Cruz, CA The Catalyst w/ Death By Stereo & Bad Cop/Bad Cop
06/19/15 Hamilton , ON Canada Club Absinthe
06/20/15 Montebello, QC Canada Amnesia Rockfest '15