Artist Interview | Page 8 | Revolver

Artist Interview

Paal-Audestad.jpg, Paal Audestad
photograph by Paal Audestad

The following is an excerpt from the Kvelertak feature in the June/July issue of Revolver. Here, the Norwegian metal group's frontman Erlend Hjelvik discusses hanging out with James Hetfield, the advice he ignored and the band's rise in popularity.

To read the rest, pick up the new issue on newsstands now or get your copy here. Story by J. Bennett.

Hjelvik is speaking with Revolver from Paris, his latest stop on a European interview tour to promote 'Nattesferd.' The title's English translation is "Night Journey," which Hjelvik says is "a good description of the whole album and a small nod to Rush's 'Fly by Night'"—yet another record that happens to feature an owl on its cover. Like Kvelertak's previous releases, 2010's 'Kvelertak' and 2013's 'Meir,' 'Nattesferd' is an infectious concoction of metal, punk, hard rock, and black metal that practically bursts with triumphant tempos and earworm melodies. Their oft-unexpected musical mash-ups (new song "Svartmesse" achieves a rare synthesis of Mercyful Fate and a riff recalling Survivor's "Eye of the Tiger") and balls-out live show have earned them opening slots with the likes of Foo Fighters, KISS and Metallica. In fact, James Hetfield is a confirmed fan. "It's crazy," Hjelvik observes. "The first time we met him was when we played in San Francisco at a place called Slim's. I was in the kitchen getting some food and the chef there said that James Hetfield called and asked to be on the guest list. I was like, 'Yeah, right.' But when we were playing I looked over and saw him on the side of the stage banging his head. He hung out with us after the show and was super cool, even though we were probably totally annoying fanboys."

But perhaps most surprising about Kvelertak's rise to prominence is the fact that all their lyrics are in Norwegian. In Kvelertak's early days, Turbonegro bassist (and fellow Norwegian) Happy Tom pulled Hjelvik aside and told him he should start writing lyrics in English if Kvelertak hoped to find success outside of Norway. Hjelvik ignored the advice, but he does have a theory about why Kvelertak has proved an exception to the rule that bands with non-English lyrics often don't do as well in the States as they might elsewhere. "I think when you're from Norway, you automatically get an extra star in your book because of the musical history of black metal here in the '90s," he offers. "I think people into metal in general hold a special place in their hearts for Scandinavia, with the whole culture of Vikings and Norse mythology and mountains and fjords. It's a really metal country. Plus, singing in Norwegian makes us stand out more and makes us sound more interesting than if we would sing in English."

For the rest of the story, pick up the June/July issue.



credit-Whitey-McConnaughy.jpg, Whitey McConnaughy
photograph by Whitey McConnaughy

The following article is from Revolver's June/July 2016 issue. It is on newsstands now and available for purchase in our webstore.

by J. Bennett

Famed nu-metal producer Ross Robinson might seem like an odd choice for a stoner rock band, but working with him clearly has its benefits. "Ross has a studio built into the ground floor of his beachfront house, so it's pretty miserable," Red Fang vocalist/bassist Aaron Beam jokes. "I'm not sure what it's called, but we're calling it 'Jim Morrison's Dojo' because Jim used to hang out right down the road."

After enlisting indie-rock star and fellow Portland, Oregon, resident Chris Funk of The Decemberists to produce their last two records, Red Fang signed up with Robinson— known for his work with Korn, Slipknot and Limp Bizkit—for its latest after he was recommended by members of Wild Throne and Cancer Bats. "I honestly didn't know much about him, but I was excited about the idea of a producer who helps with the arrangements of the songs and really pulls performances out of you," Beam says. "As soon as we mentioned Ross as a possibility, he flew up to Portland and spent an afternoon with us, which really meant a lot."

"We've never worked with a producer who gets quite so personal," the bassist adds. "He really digs into the meaning behind the songs so that when you're [recording], you're doing it with conviction and purpose. It's less about the little technical things. He's more concerned with getting a performance and focusing on what you're trying to give the world by making this music in the first place."

As a result, Beam says we can expect the most personal Red Fang album yet. "Before, I'd write about some weird documentary I'd seen or some general apocalyptic sci-fi shit that was cool but wasn't really about anything," he explains. "This time, my lyrics are almost entirely about personal relationships with my ex-wife and my current girlfriend." He pauses and then laughs: "So I'm going to take it very personally if people don't like it."

Wilson-Corbin-Alvae.jpg, Corbin Alvae
photograph by Corbin Alvae

Detroit hard-rock outfit Wilson are shitter aficionados. They've been rating toilets on the road for a while on their own blog, and now they're bringing their expertise to The band is on the road all summer and hitting the major festivals, from whence they will be educating us on their various bathroom encounters. Here, singer Chad Nicefield and bassist James Lascu give us the recrap on Rock on the Range.

Chad's Toilet Review:
It was a Code Orange between my gluteus maximus the afternoon of Sunday May 22 at Rock on the Range. We decided that on our day off after our show day, we would hang behind to drop The Glorious Sons off at the pool like a "civilian" at ROTR and catch some of the bands playing. What I didn't account for was having to use the public porta-pottys… once again. I have to ask the question: Why the FUCK hasn't there been a new development in the way we as humans use The Shrine while outdoors? Portable Johns are so 1940s (the year the first one was invented–yeah, I'm not just a total dumbass who finds poop humor entertaining still even in his 30s).
I took a beating the night before at an after party where we drank "all the free shitty beer you can drink" so my insides were Highly Suspect this afternoon, to say the least. At the Drive In to the fest I immediately had to find a poo poo room… and after being denied entrance to the artist area three times, I made The Struts towards the ol' hussy of a line of turdis. Between the Buried and Me the Silver Snake that was heating up was gunna be a doozey to say the least. At this point I had no to room to discriminate which plastic box would be my assholes Wolfmother. So I walked up to the nearest one, knocked and entered.
As I opened the sweat box doors, to my surprise, I picked a totally unused outhouse! What the actual fuck was going on? I smiled like a Cheshire cat, for only god knew what Death from Above 1979 I was about to release below me. After approximately 10 minutes of gut-wrenching Deftones sounding out in the waters below, I pinched my blow fish hole back up, turned my torso 90 degrees and reached for the TP. What is this, a full untouched roll?!? Blessed be! Today is my day! I whipped, threw my evidence on top of the pile of Red Hot Chili Peppers I left for my brothers and sisters, grabbed a squirt of hand sanitizer and was off chipper than a 16 year old at Bring Me the Horizon concert! As a wise man once said, "Today Was A Good Day."

9 out of 10 here in the armpit of the world – Columbus, Ohio.
James' recrap:
As we were coming into the Columbus area Friday evening, we saw reports of rain starting at 1am until 8am followed by heavy overcast until 4pm. Then potential for more rain throughout the rest of the night.  At that point we thought maybe we were in the clear. Maybe we wouldn't have to play in the rain like we did two years prior. Maybe we wouldn't have to worry about our gear like whiny little girls. Maybe we wouldn't feel so badly about everyone getting soaked down to their underpants just to watch us five dinguses play rock music. But, well, sometimes history has the tendency to repeat itself. 

I woke up the next morning at 9am to the sound of rain. And that's when it sank in.... We're all gonna get wet... so wet today. As we were setting up our gear on stage three it looked like things might clear up. But as soon as we started sound check it was obvious we were doomed to a stage that might as well be covered in water-based lube. Even worse, the looming threat of death by electrocution was becoming a possibility. By the end of sound check, we still had another 20 minutes to wait until we played. Again, hoping for a break in the weather all we got was an even wetter wet stage. A few minutes before show time and people actually started to come to our stage!

Like a bunch of wet puppies we scurried onto the stage. Puhy gave us two hi hat hits and we hit that first note... And just like that the crowd blew up! People were going ape shit! When I looked up, I saw smiles, head bangs, horns in the air, crowd surfers, mosh pits! Instantly I no longer saw the rain as an obstacle. I didn't really pay attention to it at all. Our mood and show was saved by the crowd! That's when I realized it was better for all of us to be wet together than to not be together at all! And that was some intense fuckery if I ever saw it! Rock on the Range 2016 was by far the wettest set we've ever played as a band. But god damn it felt amazing! 



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Wilson recently released its new album, 'Right to Rise,' via Razor & Tie. For more on Wilson, follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

Wilson tour dates:
July 15 – Oshkosh, WI – Rock USA #
July 16 – Cadott, WI – Rock Fest #
# Festival dates

Suicide-Silence-Article-Jeremy-Schott.jpg, Jeremy Schott
photograph by Jeremy Schott

The following article is from Revolver's June/July 2016 issue. It is on newsstands now and available for purchase in our webstore.

by Chris Krovatin

Most death metal bands playing songs about violence, anguish, and the darkness within want nothing to do with the nu-metal scene of the late '90s. But California deathcore progenitors Suicide Silence refuse to be typical, and when the chance came to work on its upcoming new album with producer Ross Robinson—whose client list includes Slipknot, Limp Bizkit, and Vanilla Ice—they jumped on it.

"It was a joint effort," says frontman Hernan "Eddie" Hermida. "He was pursuing us while we were pursuing him. We're really fired up to work with him, and he's really fired up to work with a band as hungry as us. That we're massive fans of his just greased the wheels."

Even though it's only a few days into Suicide Silence recording its follow-up to its crushing 2014 release, 'You Can't Stop Me,' Hermida is giddy to lay down the band's new material, even if the writing process has been at times grueling.

"I've been in this hot, stinky garage for five months now," says the vocalist, "and I fucking hate driving the 65 miles I do to rehearse here seven days a week. But I'd do it 50 times over. I feel like I'm that 16-year-old in his first band, sleeping on his friend's couch."

Though his history with All Shall Perish and his exhilarating performance on 'You Can't Stop Me' make him a genre veteran, Hermida is still learning the ropes with Suicide Silence. "Every single day, there's a small smidgen of a reminder that I'm the new guy in the band. As much as this band is mine now—and it's become that, I'd say—there's still so much to learn, and to gain."

To be fair Hermida's "new guy" situation isn't a common one. Suicide Silence's former vocalist Mitch Lucker died in a motor- cycle accident on Halloween night, 2012. According to Hermida, his presence still lingers on. "Mitch is still pretty much around in this room," he says of the band's practice space. "We have two portrait pictures of the band before I was in it, and they look down on us. So as much as it is our spot, it's the house that the band built before."

That introspection seems to be the guiding light behind Suicide Silence's existence after Lucker. That kind of tragedy turns some bands into addicts and monsters, but Hermida says he's quit all his vices, and tells bands that things that might seem "emo" or "hippified" have made this most recent writing process the band's best to date.

"I'll let you in on a little secret," says Hermida. Every day, when we start writing, we sit down for two to three minutes in complete silence, where everyone does not think about a single thing other than what we're doing, and man, it has done wonders. So if you and your band want stuff to work, you just walk into that room and be a service to your bandmates."

PTV-Articlecredit-Jonathan-Weiner.jpg, Jonathan Weiner
photograph by Jonathan Weiner

The following is an excerpt from the Pierce the Veil feature in the June/July issue of Revolver. Here, the San Diego-based post-hardcore group's frontman Vic Fuentes and bassist Jaime Preciado talk about why its latest, 'Misadventures,' was four years in the making.

To read the rest, pick up the new issue on newsstands now or get your copy here. Story by Richard Bienstock.

"The idea was to get the record done in two or three months," Preciado says. "And the whole band was there working all day and all night. We actually lived in the studio." He pauses to emphasize his point. "And I'm just saying that—we literally had beds in the studio and slept there. We went at it 12 to 15 hours a day, every day, for about two-and- a-half months, and we had all the music done. Then the band flew back home and Vic stayed behind to finish up."

Fuentes picks up the story: "Basically at that point the album was sitting there on
a silver platter for me. And I was writing lyrics in the studio, and even finished a few songs... But it just didn't feel right." Worried they
were starting to spin their wheels, the band decided to make a move. "I'm the kind
of guy who will keep going and going," Fuentes continues. "And I was in the studio a couple extra months, working with Dan. But eventually the guys had to be like, 'Yo, just get out of there. Let's do some touring.' And that's what had to happen. I needed to get out on the road. I needed to see my friends, see my band, see the fans." And so with the album still not completed, Pierce the Veil headed out on tour with Sleeping with Sirens, and followed that up with a summer run on the 2015 Warped Tour. Here, another misadventure hit when, roughly a week before the start of Warped, guitarist Tony Perry was involved in a mountain biking accident and sustained several broken ribs, a torn shoulder, a collapsed lung, and a broken sternum. "He had to have a couple surgeries and sit out the tour, but luckily he was OK," Preciado says. "But it was definitely a scare for us all."

Following the Warped Tour, Fuentes continued on the road—only this time, alone.
"I started traveling again," he says. By the time he completed all the lyrics to the new songs, he had journeyed through-
out California—a cabin in the mountains of Big Bear, a rental house in his native San Diego, a "rustic" place in Santa Barbara, and yet another rental in Marina Del Mar. "I'm basically an Airbnb expert at this point!" he laughs. "I stayed
in a lot of them while I was bouncing around trying to finish up the lyrics. I liked the stimulation from being in different locations, different houses, different cities. It helped a lot because writing every day in the same room wasn't working for me."

"Vic was trying to find these words that he knew were there somewhere," says Preciado. "Because for us, everything we write and everything we do, it's gotta mean something. We're not the kind of band that writes stuff to sound cool. We have to feel it and it has to make sense."

For the rest of the story, pick up the June/July issue.



GojiraArticle-Gabrielle-Duplantier.jpg, Gabrielle Duplantier
photograph by Gabrielle Duplantier

The following is an excerpt from the Gojira feature in the June/July issue of Revolver. Here, the French metal act's frontman Joe Duplantier talks about the lyrical meanings behind new songs, "The Cell" and "Stranded," as well as the three reasons why the band has been together for so long.

To read the rest, pick up the new issue on newsstands May 31 or get your copy here. Story by J. Bennett.

If there's one song on 'Magma' that completely embodies the sense of upheaval that permeates the record, it might be "The Cell." When Revolver suggests that the lyrics seem like they're written from the perspective of someone who's completely overwhelmed by their circumstances, Duplantier nods enthusiastically. "Yeah, absolutely," he agrees. "I feel overwhelmed most of the time. But I see that in other people, too. A lot of people feel overwhelmed by their fears, by their everyday lives, by their jobs, by their families. Technology is moving so fast [that] it's difficult to comprehend the impact on your spirit and on our bodies and on our brains. So that song is not just about iPhones and computers, but about a time where everything went out of control."

And Duplantier will be the first to admit that he's as addicted to technology as anyone. "Like most people, I'm never too far away from my phone or my computer," he says. "When something happens onstage at our shows, everyone is grabbing their phone to capture the moment. But capturing the moment with your phone is really lame compared to capturing the moment in your soul. But I have that reflex, too. When my children do something special, I want to film it. Somehow I have to fight that. So 'The Cell' is a prison cell, but it's also the smallest particle that defines the body. It's the essence of what we are, but it's also where we can lock ourselves up."

Yet he's less eager to discuss "Stranded," the first single from 'Magma,' which features the line, "You kill me face down, dead." He concedes, however, that it is directed at a specific person in his life. "I don't know if I want to talk about that—it's too personal," he laughs uncomfortably. "But it has to do with communication. When you want to talk to someone who is important to you, but this person is locking the door to communication, and you feel stranded. That's the idea."

But if there's a group of people that Duplantier isn't having trouble talking with, it's his bandmates. That Gojira is comprised of the same four members—the Duplantiers plus bassist Jean-Michel Labadie and guitarist Christian Andreu—almost two decades into the band's existence makes them a modern-day rarity. But the vocalist says there are three reasons why he thinks they've managed to stick together for so long. "First of all, I think we got lucky to find each other. Our personalities fit together pretty well," he offers. "Second, we don't do drugs. A lot of times when someone is going too deep into alcohol or cocaine, it creates a disturbance in the band and it's really difficult to come back to normal. The third reason is communication. If someone doesn't feel good about something, we talk about it. We're real brothers."

For the rest of the story, pick up the June/July issue.




Articleimage.jpg, Jeremy Saffer
photograph by Jeremy Saffer

Hatebreed appears on the cover of Revolver's June/July issue, which will hit newsstands on May 31 and is available for purchase online right now! You can view the cover below, which was photographed by Jeremy Saffer.

Below, you can also read an excerpt from the issue's cover story, written by Dan Epstein. In this section, frontman Jamey Jasta talks about 'The Concrete Confessional's most personal track, which is inspired by his struggles with anxiety.

"Something's Off" is 'The Concrete Confessional's longest and most personal track, inspired by the crippling bouts of anxiety that have plagued the frontman throughout his life. Jasta says the anxiety was at its worst during his days on MTV's 'Headbanger's Ball' (which he hosted from 2003 to 2007), but reveals that it's something he still struggles with.

"Anxiety is still an everyday thing for me," he admits, "and trying to deal with it is like a moving target. Some days I hop out of bed and do everything I've gotta do, I have a great day, I'm grateful, and everything's awesome; other days, I'm completely paralyzed by one simple decision. It's hard to describe...

"I used to drink to try and deal with it. When you've got 500 people at your signing, and everybody has bought your record and supported you through thick and thin, and has liked the music you've created or watched the TV show you were on or listened to our podcast, you want to give everybody that time, and you want to truly thank each and every individual—but some days, you don't want to get out of your bunk on the bus. And those days were filled with a lot of booze and other things, and that wasn't the answer.

"I haven't had a drop of booze in 10 years, and being off TV has been a positive thing," he continues, "but still being in the public eye, still being in a band, doing appearances, doing signings, doing a pod- cast, doing world tours—it wears on my brain. Having more of a balance in my life has definitely helped—trying to not be such a workaholic, trying to have a better relationship with my family, trying to do more exercise and have a better diet. But that's not going to work for everybody, so you have to be careful how you talk about it; when you have a voice and an influence and you write a song like that, it comes with questions from interviewers and questions from fans. Everybody's different, so I'm not telling you to not see a psychiatrist or get a prescription for an anti-anxiety med, because maybe those things will help you.

"But I'm really happy with the way the song came out," he asserts. "If people have ever felt like that, they'll hopefully feel like the song relates to them—and hopefully they'll do whatever's right for them to help them with their suffering."

For the rest of the story, pick up the June/July issue.


hesitation wounds jay weinberg, Erica Lauren
photograph by Erica Lauren

Hardcore supergroup Hesitation Wounds — featuring members of Touche Amore, Slipknot, The Hope Conspiracy, Trap Them, and more — will release their debut full-length, 'Awake for Everything,' on May 27 via 6131 Records. In anticipation, the band has teamed up with Revolver to premiere their new song, "Bleach." Check it out below and let us know what you think in the comments!

IMG_0370lighter-color.jpg, photo by Jordan Vance
photograph by photo by Jordan Vance

Richmond, Virginia-based doom quartet Cough will release its new album, 'Still They Pray,' on June 3 via Relapse Records. In anticipation, the band has teamed up with Revolver to premiere its new track, "Let it Bleed." Check it out below and let us know what you think in the comments!

To get 'Still They pray,' visit Relapse's webstore or Bandcamp. For more on Cough, follow them on Facebook.


Littleton, Colorado-based hard rock act Red Tide Rising recently released its new EP, 'Voices,' via Vanity Music/Sony Red. Today, the band has teamed up with Revolver to premiere the entire stream of the EP right here, right now! Check it out below and let us know what you think in the comments! For more on Red Tide Rising, follow them on Twitter and Facebook