Brooklyn alt-metal veterans Life of Agony had a big 2018, spent touring hard in support of their latest album, last year's A Place Where There's No More Pain, and breaking in new drummer Veronica Bellino, who joined the band in January. The quartet capped it all off with two recent shows with fellow NYC heavy-music longtimers Sick of It All, the two groups' first shows together in their parallel 30-year careers. To further cap off 2018, we asked LOA vocalist Mina Caputo to share some of the highlights of her year. Below is what she offered up.
Goes without saying, I'm so enthusiastic about this new incarnation of the band. Spiritually, musically, it's been inspiring and refreshing. There's a renewed, warrior-like fun, lots of creativity, light-heartedness. I see lots more records, traveling and just all-around creating a ton of great music. Indeed, one of the most special moments of the roadless Agony traveled.
It's a complete honor to work with Ryan (Oldcastle), both in my solo band and here. He's a complete visionary: incredible artist, songwriter, guitar player. This is a special project, because it's just the two of us. We're free to detach, and get our heads inside this eclectic, exotic anti-music exploring the desolation of rock & roll. Our second record in seven years, it's a true departure from the first: It gives off weird, strange, fucked-up, but a stellar night-drive record. A true psychedelic's delight.
It's fantastic to see how progressive the state's been — humanity needs to restore the respect for this plant that's been here millions of years prior to us. It's only a matter of time until other states follow. Don't take it from me, but knowing how there's tons of amazingly positive benefits, psychologically and neurologically, the evidence is clear, and out there. Take the time to do your own research — you'll be pleasantly surprised.
Another step in the right direction; great to see the government starting to wake up and find ways to break away from pharmaceutical dependencies. This "War on Drugs" nonsense is fundamentally a war of humanity's consciousness. Shamans and our ancestors have been using this extremely sacred fungi for millennia. It's fantastic to see its dignity restored, and earn the respect it lost in modern culture. Everyone should experience one to three doses of "magic" mushrooms in their life to have that otherworldly experience of digging a million layers deep within themselves to learn their true selves. It's quite honestly the most euphoric experiences one could ever have.
When things like this happen, I want to cry in celebration. Nobody, regardless of who you are, should be crushed for anything. Our universally-given rights to be happy shouldn't even be a question. It's disturbing to see how cisgender people feel they have the right to determine how everyone else should be or act. If every parent had a trans child, they'd truly understand, or at the very least, have a deeper understanding of what their child is experiencing. It blows my mind how somewhere like the United Arab Emirates, everyone is openly accepted, but here in America, you have issues like the media blurring trans issues or having your rights shifted to the voting ballot.
When I look into my dog's eyes, the world stops. I can feel her majesty; the way she perceives. All the animals — from insects to whales — are speaking to us, but we are not listening. Only those dedicating their lives to keeping the populations of the endangered species growing are. We as a global society need to open up our hearts much more and co-exist peacefully. We created the mess, we need to continue repairing it.
What a night — fucking magical being surrounded with the musicians, band and crew that have been with Lou his entire life. Being able to sing "Candy Darling," and sharing the stage with them. Also being with another great wordsmith/poet, Neil Hilborn. I had a great time sharing the stage with him; witnessing his ability to being able to channel this higher awareness in a very rusty, raw way was a trip!
Their new album is an absolute smash — it's now one of my favorite records by them, yes, I said it! Of course, I'll always love Scott, and everything he did with the band, however, Jeff is real special, and the work he accomplished is impeccable. As always, the de Leo Brothers continue to be my John Paul Jones and Jimmy Page. I'm looking forward to future records. I'll always be a fan. I feel like they never can do me wrong.