It was a huge year for Revolver. Not only did we radically reinvent the print magazine, but we fully relaunched the digital arms of the brand, complete with a robust slate of original video content. We visited Maynard James Keenan at his home in Arizona for an in-depth documentary series; we joined Gwar as they subverted Warped Tour; we got heartfelt insights on life and creativity from Killswitch Engage's Jesse Leach, and hilarious workout tips from Mastodon's Brann Dailor; and we enlisted Myrkur to reimagine King Diamond's "Welcome Home" as a stunning piano ballad. And that was just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Here are 10 of the original videos that we're proudest of.
For the final episode of Revolver's four-part video series with Maynard James Keenan, "The Art of Work," the Tool, A Perfect Circle and Puscifer frontman brought us into the Arizona dojo he co-founded to demonstrate his insane prowess as a purple-belt grappler. Impressive as his Jiu Jitsu skills may be, the real treat was getting inside the musician's head, and learning how the challenge of the fight intersects with his creative mindset.
Multi-instrumentalist Amalie Bruun — better known as folk-metal impresario Myrkur — proffered up a stirring tribute to heavy-metal forefather King Diamond for our stripped-down performance series "No Distortion," delivering a hauntingly beautiful cover of his seminal "Welcome Home." The reinterpretation's gravitas acts as exhibit A for Bruun's ensuing proposal for King Diamond's inclusion in school curricula; judging by her take on the late-Nineties classic, we're inclined to agree. Hope you took notes, metalheads.
This year marked the 20th anniversary of Deftones' Around the Fur, an album regarded by many as the moment where Chino Moreno and Co. arrived at the expressive, expansive sound we've come to know and love. The first of Revolver's "Game Changers" series paid tribute accordingly, with Moreno and guitarist Stephen Carpenter taking a deep dive into the creative defiance, improvisational ambition and late-night antics that led to one of their most adored efforts.
In the second episode of our "Rise Above" series, Killswitch Engage and Times of Grace singer Jesse Leach opened up about his battles with depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts. It was a dark, intensely personal story with a light at the end of the tunnel — specifically, the pivotal moment when he took to social media to publicly reveal his struggle, a transformative experience that deepened his connection to both his music and his fans.
Before they were a Grammy-nominated metalcore outfit, August Burns Red were country boys from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, jamming out on drummer Matt Greiner's family farm — in the egg room, no less — and balancing backbreaking chores with crushing practices. We joined the band members in their rural hometown for the kickoff episode of our cleverly named "Hometown" series, and the result was at turns surprising, funny, poignant and inspiring.
Eggs, beer, push-ups, booty shorts, explosions: These are but a few of the secret ingredients responsible for Brann Dailor's percussive prowess, as revealed to Revolver in a hilarious video detailing the Mastodon drummer's grueling training regimen. To make the behind-the-scenes peek even more epic — and absurd — he donned a rainbow clown wing and his band's signature booty shorts. Hey, whatever works.
To kick off "Full Bleed," Revolver's video series profiling the finest artists working in heavy music, Baroness frontman and celebrated illustrator John Dyer Baizley headed to Wales for a romp through the moors with Richey Beckett (Black Sabbath, Metallica, Mastodon) for an enlightening discussion of their formative influences, creative identities and proudest accomplishments. You could call it an interview, or you could consider it — complete with an original score by Baizley and Baroness guitarist Gina Gleason — a collaborative, kvlt-as-fuck character sketch.
If the clothes make the man, does the battle jacket makes the heavy-metal musician? With that question in mind, we met up with Max Cavalera — Sepultura, Nailbomb, Soulfly and Cavalera Conspiracy main man, and the owner of some truly badass garments — in L.A., where he showed off two of his oldest vests and revealed how seminal punks Discharge inspired him to make a "battle jacket" before he even knew what a battle jacket was, how he constructed his own "bullet belts" from AA batteries — now that's doing it DIY! — and why he's so set on safety-pins.
It's a no-brainer: When a bunch of bloodthirsty aliens invite you on the road for the traveling punk festival known as the Vans Warped Tour, you say yes. Given Gwar's history of intergalactic mischief, we at Revolver knew we'd be in for some shit — but we'd be lying if we said we were prepared for the bloody showers and the recurrent presidential assassinations in effigy. "All these other bands, they go up and they just give you music," explained guitarist Pustulus Maximus, successor to the late Flattus Maximus. "Gwar gives you everything. Gwar gives you life and death — and cum." They weren't kidding.
Anyone who's seen Royal Thunder live or heard their raw, bluesy 2017 album Wick knows that frontwoman Mlny Parsonz is a fucking badass. What you might not know is just how much of a badass she is. When she's not rocking hard, she can often been found roaring down the back roads of her home state of Georgia on a motorcycle. We joined her for a day of riding — and getting tattooed and setting off fireworks — and musing about the spiritual connection between bikes and rock & roll.