October 31, 2011

Band Horn: Godsic (Sweden)

Roadrunner Records - Eat Your Heart Out
Surging from the Heavy Metal capital, Sweden - is Godsic! A melodic death metal band with a die-hard prowess and an aptitude for creating awesome art are taking the underground scene, one Headbanger at a time. In fact, Godsic has been featured on Roadrunner Records’ Sign Me To page twice and have managed to gain profound status on the unsigned charts! They are causing quite a stir and prickling ears everywhere, so Air Guitar got the details on the next promising big band.

“I think there´s two sides of the story of how Godsic was founded. Chris and I did make a couple of songs and riffs, when Construcdead were put on ice, the plan we had was to record the songs and just find a singer who was willing to do the vocals for us.  Anyway, I think, at the same time period Peter asked us if we wanted to play together again, since Carnal Forge was taking a break and we all had ideas of just starting fresh. So we got together, started showing each other songs and different riffs and just created a bunch of really good tunes. I believe that we asked Thomas to play with us, since he is the best bass player all of us ever worked/played with, shortly after we did the first few songs. Jari contacted us, after hearing the first three songs we did as demos. And now we have more than enough songs for our debut album. The name Godsic is actually Peter´s old solo project's name. We didn´t have a good band name, so Peter suggested Godsic, and well it´s catchy, easy to remember and easy to pronounce. The logo also looks pretty badass if I may say so myself!” states Godsic guitarist Rickard Dahlberg.
Apart from the Godsic logo looking damn awesome, their posted tracks Stillborn Life, Scars Inside and Premeditation are tremendous! The guitar work is tight, the vocals are smooth and the tracks are well produced – hardly any of that newbie band feel.
Dahlberg continues, “We all love the songs and have listened to them for about 10 months now, and they still grow on you. Release date, well, last week (October 22nd) we entered the studio to record the drums. Now, after that it should go pretty fast with recording guitars, bass and leads, and of course the vocals! I mean, we have already recorded all of the songs once, but as pre-production songs, to get a feel for them and maybe make changes. But I´d say we are quite happy the way they are, so we won't make any big changes.”

Godsic has a dark underbelly in their work especially in that of the lyrics, given the song titles are quite twisted.  “To me, lyrics are pretty important. Though I think that the melody of the vocals can be even more important, it has got to be catchy if you want people to pay attention to the lyrics itself. Peter and Chris are our authors. I think that everyday life, most of all inspires them to their lyrics,” says Dahlberg.
The release date for the album As The Heavens Burns has not been set as yet – Dahlberg adds, “I have no idea at the moment, we got to record the whole album first, and it will be done in a few weeks, then we´ll see! Make sure to keep yourself updated by following us on twitter, facebook and our homepage of course!”
Oh and what an overwhelming devoted following Godsic has too! Godsic have several street teams, some as far as Australia!  “That is just great! A bit unreal too! Peter just tossed the question out there for fun on our twitter account. "Hey anyone wanna run a street team?" or if he asked if people had any interest in it. We had a huge response there! All of our street teams/leaders asked to run their own, for their country/area. So all I can say is fuck, amazing, and we're sooo glad that our fans are helping us out with this! Help spreading the news, videos and so on! So a huge thanks from us, [Godsic] to all fans, and of course the people taking their time to run the street teams, you have no idea how good it feels to have you guys supporting us! Cheers!” states Dahlberg.

The attention that Godsic has claimed is astounding – from Roadrunner Records itself to the Swedish Metal scene.  As Dahlberg explains, “We have been playing for so long, so we know what we want to sound like and how to achieve that. Then again, it´s always fun and exciting to see how far you can push yourself, creating some hard to play riffs and making Chris go nuts behind the drums. Sweden has a lot of great metal bands and [that] does not affect us. All the good bands are already signed! Haha! It might get harder to get gigs depending on who we are "competing" with to get a slot at a gig or a festival, but I think it´s great that such a small country as Sweden can produce so many good bands!”
 Godsic have proven worthy of the music industry – given the experience, talent and death punch of their artistic abilities! Their definitely the next big band on the Heavy Metal scene – their army of fans know it and their balls-to-the-wall music shows it!
Visit the official Godsic page or their active Twitter site. Watch and listen on Godsic's Youtube and stay up to date on Facebook. Also vote and request the band on Roadrunner Records and support the Metal.

An awesome thank you to Peter, Rickard, Chris, Thomas and Jari for agreeing to do this interview!

October 26, 2011

25 Reasons Why Your Band Sucks!

As long as people want music and see it as something of inherent value, the industry as well as the band will continue to exist. However, Bands get it wrong from the word “go”. Like in anything; the foundation determines the outcome.
So where is your Band getting it wrong? Let me break it down in 25 reasons!
1.       There should be an internal band agreement between ALL band members regardless of the relationship. If things go sour, each member must be able to stand their ground. Full stop.
2.       Internal agreements can contain various clauses but the most recommended ones include; ownership of band name, ownership and control of copyrights, division of the bands assets and income, responsibility of each member in the band, consequences and negotiations of a band member quitting.
3.       Research your band’s name. Do you want to spend a decade on creating amazing shit for 3 bands with the same name in another country? I didn’t think so.
4.       Trademark is the asset of assets to a band. Consider legal trademark status for merchandise purposes. This makes 50% of your income.
5.       Another word on trademark is the protection of a domain name. It is professional, classy and makes any band look more established than they really are.


6.       If you want to be professional – hire an artist/band manager. A manager is the grape of the wine. Enough said.
7.       Finding a band manager is no pie. Let me express the difference between a good manager and an effective manager. A good manager can promote, plan, manage the team around the band, and develop sales and products. An effective manager believes in the band. An effective manager has short-term and long-term goals for a band. An effective manager employs artistic manipulation of people on behalf of the band.
8.       Do the band and the possible manager need separate contracts? Absolutely. Employ separate attorneys where possible.
9.       Last word on a band manager: the there must be a high level of trust between band and manager.
10.   So, the Artist and Repertoire (A&R) at Roadrunner threw your demo in the bin. Shame. There are more labels out there than you think. If you have not sent a demo to 70 different labels than you are in the wrong industry.

11.   Facebook and twitter are not the only social media. Remember MySpace and Youtube? How about college radio stations? Underground webzines? Even traditional local print? There are people looking for music news every day. That is 365 days of public attention per year.  
12.   Besides being able to network on the World Wide Web –its time to get out of the jam room and into the live music scene. 1 gig is worth 10 rehearsals.
13.   And nothing beats a full house and real fans as opposed to 3000 “Likes” on Facebook.
14.   A band will need to explore funding opportunities continuously. Get ready to beg, borrow, steal and recycle until the band obtains the money needed to get a kick up and about. How a band does it – that’s up to them. Just remember that there are a number of humble tarts out there willing to place money on something inherently valuable. So make sure your band is the hot shit!
15.   Press kit please? A press kit contains the band’s essentials. These include:
a)      Band Biography: These explain the Who? What? Where? When? of the band. It observes a brief history of the band.
b)       Band Press releases and press clippings: The idea is to grab the attention of the reader as they read about the band written from another source.
c)       Band Photographs: A visual stimuli is of utmost importance. A picture is 1000 words. A Cliché that runs blood true.
d)      Band Gig List: Where has the band been jamming?
e)      Demo CD with corresponding song list: Give the listener an ear orgasm of 3-4 of the bands best songs. Cannot decide which track? It should be the track that seizes the listener in 15 seconds or less.
f)       Band Website/s: An internet presence is highly reputable.
g)      Band Contact information: How can we get hold of you?
16.   Note that the Press Kit needs to be in KISS format. In other words Keep It Simple, Stupid!
17.   At number 12, I mentioned 1 gig is worth 10 rehearsals. Let me delve into performing. Performing is an art and the band is the artist. The artist needs to sell, sell, sell!
18.   At sound check DO NOT work on band music rather work on sound.
19.   At sound check DO NOT play your best licks in an idle moment.
20.   If you change instruments a lot – sound check those songs
21.   If there are a number of detailed changes, please write it down and hand a copy to the sound engineer. It should be common courtesy.
22.   A band that has done 3 really awesome gigs cannot demand the attention of the industry gatekeepers. Here is the thing: If you went to play football with your friends and scored several times – you won’t be calling Manchester United!
23.   With the above in mind, it is safe to say that at least 50 gigs get accumulated interest from the industry.
24.   General musician etiquette both on-stage and off-stage is a must. Without that any band can kiss their dreams goodbye. Here is a quick run through of the P’s and Q’s:
a)      Be punctual to the venue.
b)      Be aware of the other bands on the billing and DO NOT badmouth them. Nobody likes a band who thinks their super high on their self esteem.
c)       Be prepared for the gig; going beforehand to check the venue is an ideal. Know what the stage looks like and adjust your band accordingly.
d)      Never play past your time.
e)      Remember fans go to shows to see their favourite band. Make a point of meeting those who support your band. DO NOT sit in VIP the entire night swigging beer – go mingle and swig beer with the band supporters.

25.   Lastly, your band sucks because you don’t have a back–up plan! The golden rule to any band is to ALWAYS have a back-up plan!

 

October 24, 2011

How Devoted Are You?

Are you a devoted fan of any Heavy Metal Band? Are you willing to show it and tell the whole world about it? Then I NEED you!
Air Guitar is hosting a Devoted Metal Fanatic feature and you can be in it!
All you got to do is comment on the Devoted Metal Fanatic Blog post writing why you are so devoted to the cause or contact the author via twitter or via e-mail. All contact details on the side of the blog!
To make this worth your while and effort; Air Guitar will give the most truly Devoted Metal Fanatic a prize package from South Africa! That is right! South Africa! What could it be? I will keep you guessing but it is definitely brutal!
Send pictures, write in why your favourite Band is the Saviour of your world and prove to Air Guitar just how devotedly awesome you are! Maybe you have a Band tattoo, run an army of street team websites, have all Band albums and its memorabilia or maybe you went to every single show that they have done – with pictures to prove! Tell Air Guitar your story – tell the world your story!
Just to get you started have a look at these:



Best of luck and Metal wishes,

October 20, 2011

Band Horn: Wisdom (Hungary)

Heed to the words of the Wise-one
Hungarian band, Wisdom is like a breath of fresh air, purely invigorating and quite underrated! They have been able to capture the brutal hearts for many when they opened for Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and Saxon to name a few.
 For me the [number one] gig was when we opened for Iron Maiden. I am a great fan of the band and it was one of our dreams come true. Not that we even dared to dream about such gigs…” says Wisdom guitarist Zsolt Galambos.

Far from having big dreams, Wisdom, are completely self-made since 2001. Zsolt adds, “Since most of us have been poor musicians, the quick rising on the ladder gave us much headache. It was pretty hard for each of us to deal with success. We all had our ups-and-downs but I think all of us got out of the situation pretty good. We are different people now, more humble.”
More humble indeed and thoroughly successful, Wisdom walked away with an award from both Finland’s Eurovision Song contest and the Hungarian Music awards. Furthermore, Wisdom has been able to continue their suggestion or concept of the “wise-man” which prevails throughout their songs. As Zsolt elaborates, “The first thing when we’ve started the band was to find the right name for us. It had to be simple and yet succumb to a powerful meaning. Wisdom is an easy word to remember by anyone, but also has an influential meaning. At this time we began thinking about a concept story that we can work on every new CD. Wise-man represents all the wise and holy people who lived and shared their knowledge with us but has a mask on his face through which he cannot speak. This represents the people not listening to the old but time neglects wisdom.”

 This concept is evident on Wisdom’s new release Judas! The current album is more established to the prior album Words of Wisdom and settles on striking compositions and easy-listening melodies. The one track that stands out from Judas is ‘Heaven and Hell’ – absolute pagan die-hard and beautiful.
Unfortunately, the world as we know it is facing a lull of recession and likewise the live music scenes in all corners of the globe are facing a dip too. However, Wisdom has a strategy to combat such issues such as FREE shows, “Since the beginning of the recession, less and less people are visiting gigs, except for the festivals. This is the cause we came up with the idea that our fall tour (X Wise Years Tour of the 10th year of Wisdom) will be free of cost, i.e. no entry fee will be charged for anyone. This couldn’t have been done without the help of our sponsors, of course, so I want to thank them this way as well,” states Zsolt.
A fine band, detailed, professional and makes art for the sake of art! I recommend their latest album Judas released by Spinning Records! If you are in Wisdom’s range – go for a show or two; you will thank me later!
For more information on the Thrash Hungarian band Wisdom, go to:


A Big thank you to Zsolt Galambos and Wisdom for the interview!
Editorial: Lav Nandlall


October 16, 2011

Show Me The Metal On The Majesty of the Seas!

70 000 Tons of Metal made its debut appearance aboard the cruise ship, MS Majesty of the Seas in January 2011. That’s right – instead of battling it out on the fields, it going to the seas! With a limited number of rich kids getting tickets from various countries – they saw 40 Metal bands play.
With three stages: a Theatre set-up, Pool Deck and Lounge, 40 major bands such as Sonata Arctica, Exodus, Amon Amarth, Nevermore etc  played out till their hearts content.

Furthermore you can mosh while Blind Guardian is playing, sing karaoke with Saxon band members, play a hand of poker with Exodus and have brunch with Amon Amarth! So worth it! And no longer will you be wondering what do the Vikings of Metal have for breakfast ...
It was announced on 30th March 2011 that a second 70 000 Tons of Metal would take place on the 23-27 January 2012. The route confirmed is from Miami to the Cayman Islands and back to Miami. The bands confirmed so far include: Amorphis, Cannibal Corpse, Hammerfall, Dark Funeral, Nightwish, Stratovarious and Children of Bodom, Riot and many more!


It must be noted, that even though this trip is worth every penny, it comes at a high price!
Between coughing-up cash for university and paying for bills in a recession – I am kindly saving money for 70 000 Tons of Metal! I should have saved enough by 2015!
 However, that is my plan and you can make your own. Visit 70 000 TOM for more information on how to splurge your recessional cash.

October 12, 2011

Show Me The Metal Cyprus!

                                        
Cyprus is the third largest island on the Mediterranean Sea with a population of  788,457 according to the 2007 census. However, they prove that Metal and Hard Rock is still a favourite...!
 Cyprus shows me the Metal as they prepare to host MetaLmorphosiS Festival on 28 October 2011 at The Pavilion Concert Hall in Nicosia.

Pitch Black Records has made the official following statement:
Following the recent tragic events of July 11th; after the massive explosion at the Limassol district Naval Base, Mari area, where young lives were heroically lost and people were seriously wounded, leaving Cyprus saddened and in mourning, especially the town of Limassol, as well as many families. Tragedy EnD Productions, following continuous conversations during the past few days with Arch Enemy and Spiritual Beggars management, has decided to move the MetaLmorphosiS Festival to October 28th 2011, which is the most recent that could be arranged, at a venue which will be announced early September. Unfortunately, Spiritual Beggars will not be able to join us then, due to previous obligations. Revised line up will be released also early September.
The organizing company, as well as all band members and band management, express their heartfelt sympathy and deepest condolences to the families who lost their loved ones and to all the people of Cyprus. May their memories give us strength.
Note to all holders of tickets and invitations:
All tickets and invitations are valid for the October 28th event.
For any info you may call (+357) 99 238494 during working hours (Mon-Fri, 8am-6pm)
With Spiritual Beggars unable to perform, expect to see other awesome bands on the billing such as Arch Enemy, Plague of Angels and Disharmony!
Extra Info: To make sure you get your daily dose of Rock, Hard Rock and Metal news; do check out Cyprus Rock Times.
I highly recommend it! http://www.rockcyprus.net/



October 10, 2011

Show Me The Metal Mexico!

There is a beautiful uprising of Metal Bands in Mexico and their taking to the stage at the Hell and Heaven Metal Festival.
This is the only festival of its kind in Mexico and is dedicated to all genres of Metal: from Goth to Industrial metal. Last year, Hell and Heaven Metal Festival show cased three stages and an exasperating 40 bands! This year, the promoters are expecting a larger audience and have confirmed 57 bands with the Big Thrash band; Megadeth as the headliner!
 On 19 November 2011 at Guadalajara, be prepared to see the likes of:
Megadeth

Dark Funeral

Lizzy Borden

Thell Bario

Nostra Morte

Fun Fact: Interesting to note that the festival is entitled Hell and Heaven!

After Ozzy left the band in 1979, Sabbath stabilized with the introduction of lead singer Ronnie James Dio for the reinvigorated albums Heaven and Hell. To this day, fans are split with many fans preferring Ozzy as Black Sabbath lead singer, even with the limitations of his voice at his age, while many other partisans of the Dio years follow the alternate version of Sabbath known as Heaven and Hell. Either way, Black Sabbath counts as the band that definitively established the distinct metal sound and, along with Led Zeppelin, are the key templates that almost every metal band has followed since their inception.”

Extract from Encyclopaedia of Heavy Metal by William Philips and Brian Cogan (2009)




October 07, 2011

Band Horn: Septicflesh (Greece)

Due to Twitter and The Cyprus Rock Times, I have become acutely aware of the Metal Bands in Greece and the surrounding areas. One of which profoundly stands out is: Septicflesh.

The Great Mass
Dimmu Borgir might have stolen my orchestral virginity but Septicflesh restored my love for all things grotesque beautiful. Septicflesh’s latest offering The Great Mass is worth every penny – absolutely unexpected from a death metal Band. With an astounding collaboration of 32 singers and 80 musicians, it keeps me guessing just how big a budget they had.

Band aside, the music speaks for itself. The first track of the album The Vampire from Nazareth sets the pace of what is to be expected. Clean vocals, powerful shreds from the guitar and the synchronization of orchestra and electric strings make an exceptional track. A few of the other tracks on the album such as A Great Mass of Death creates an apprehensive ambience. It makes one feel scared, nervous, and fearful almost like a classic Horror movie. Not many albums can fashion such emotions that resonate so well.



Lyrically, Septicflesh have composed layers of profound material. In a Metal Underground interview, Sotiris Anunnaki states,
Each song deals with a different subject. I visualized the whole album as kind of a strange liturgy and each song as a psalm on this mass. I have used also some religious symbolism in a peculiar, thought provoking, way. There are various layers on the topics of the album. I have a prologue for each theme, where I ask bizarre questions about, life, death, knowledge, reality etc.”
 Each listener can fathom their own lyrical meaning and explanations from The Great Mass; just the way Septicflesh would have wanted it.  

Another gem of the album is the artwork (see above) created by Septicflesh band member Seth Siro Anton. The lyrical themes and the grotesque beautiful all correlate in the artwork. So, it is disturbing but highly fascinating too.
Septicflesh are underrated but they are highly exceptional. I definitely recommend their album, The Great Mass!



October 05, 2011

Support The Metal - Be Awesome!

So, you are in a Band or maybe you are a solo artist or maybe you just prefer to listen to music? Either way; welcome to the Music industry!
I want to invite each of my Blog readers; from all over the Globe to participate in a fresh and enthusiastic innovation called The Heavy Metal Summit. http://heavymetalsummit.com/
The aims of this grand innovation are to:
 Heavy Metal Summit is a Music & Promotion platform that integrates the idea of what the Website Coalition Party is. Heavy Metal Summit is not just a Music website, the definition of it is it's a meeting place in high regard that allows members to socially promote their Music and Website as a party and this is what will separate itself from other Music websites around the Internet.

And if Heavy Metal is not your thing, you don't have to worry because we cater for all kinds of Music; and of course we have our Social party promotion group that you can get involved in too. More on that below.

The Website Coalition Party is a Social party that through a Music website such as Heavy Metal Summit members can choose to participate in helping their fellow registered members.

They can choose to support websites either by forming agreements with fellow members or just by individually choosing to support the website of their choice and becoming involved in Social party promotion activities that are there to help promote your website.

And the best thing, you have a deciding role in how you go about promoting websites. You can come up with new ideas of promotion, form networks with other websites and much more and that's only just a part of what the Social party is about on our forums.

Our mission is to cater for Music fans but also provide a platform for social interactive promotion through social party activities.

All you have to do is register with a valid e-mail address and voila! Now you can have access to forums, news, views, and reviews and even blow off some steam!
So, my friends from Indonesia to Sweden please go ahead and support the Metal.


Hard Rock Cafe in Cologne, Germany Supporting the Alternative.

October 03, 2011

Metal Festivals

A part of the Metal Music culture is Festivals. It can be stated that no band would have existed without the ultimate support of their fans that gather to see them play whether it be at a backyard mini-festival or a large scale festival.
Due to Metal Music being so marginalized in mainstream culture; a typical large scale metal festival can attract an average of 70, 000 people. That is anyone’s mind is mind-blowing! In modern day festivals, there is often more than just the bands. Stalls that sell merchandise, albums, and musical instruments are often present. In larger scale festivals; workshops and seminars with music veterans are on the festival site as well as the meet and greet areas for fans and bands.
The most illustrious festival takes place annually in Britain; that would be the Download and Reading festival. In mention are the ever growing Wacken Open Air in Germany and the infamous Rock in Rio in Brazil which hosts over 200,000 people.  Alongside the festivals mentioned, there are a number of growing festivals that take on the Metal scene and some are mushrooming in the most unexpected places. In addition to fixed festivals there are the “travelling” festivals. The most prominent being the Ozzy Fest, Mayhem, Earthshaker, Family Values and Gigantour.
In current years, due to the idea of Metal being global, going to a festival has become a sort of pilgrimage. Watching a favourite band, jumping in a mosh/snake pit, meeting like-minded individuals, drinking the barrels of alcohol and experiencing the outdoor camp life is all part of the deal – a big deal too.
Being an avid Metal music fan and a travel lover – I can vouch that going to  Festivals or even experiencing a Festival is the crown jewels of life. You cannot go wrong no matter how disorganised the festival might be or how big it can get.
Horns up!

My mapped out European Festivals for 2012



October 01, 2011

Band Link: Sober Truth (Germany)

I am a Huge fan of Sober Truth from Germany. They have done awesomely and insanely well over the past couple of months. If you like to know more read my prior post. Here is a YouTube Video of the band and also check out the Sober Truth Webpage.