Pegazus Concert Review
Sydney Australia, January 2003
Review and live pics by Brat
January 26th, 2003
Pegazus Concert Review
Review and live pics by Brat
January 21st, 2003
Interview and live pictures By Marko Syrjala
Well finally I was able to have an interview with of one of my all-time vocal heroes – Eric Adams from Manowar. Unfortunately my computer crashed just one day before this interview so I had to try to remember all the questions just from my memory! Eric turned out to be really nice guy with a good sense of humor. We discussed about bands current activities, Eric’s personal life, the past etc interesting topics. I was even able to ask some KISS related questions so.. Read on!!!
EDIT: As can be seen this interview was arranged back in 2002. Because Manowar did not do any interviews and denied shooting shows during current LORD OF STEEL -tour we decided to re-release this oldie then… Hope you like it!
December 19th, 2002
Interviews Done In 2002
PATTON – Bob Watson and Jason Felger
Kaminari – Bernd Wick & Roland ‘Bob’ Seidel
HANOI ROCKS – Andy Mccoy and Mike Monroe
INFERNAL MAJESTY – Kenny Hallman
DREAM EVIL – Fredrik Nordstr?m
October 4th, 2002
June 21st, 2002
June 2002: Women In Metal
A Rant by JP
To celebrate International Women’s Day this year I did a special on my radio show and I was thinking to myself, “There are so many female performers lately?, automatically thinking of Nightwish, The Gathering, Edenbridge, Dark Moor, Arch Enemy etc’ In preparation for the show I made a list and was surprised that I could only come up with a hundred or so bands that have a female performer. It got me thinking, that there has been a massive increase but they (women) still represent only a tiny fraction of the total. And of those 100+ bands a large percentage are newer bands formed in 1995 or later. Why?
A very brief overview perhaps is in order. In the first decade or so female performers were virtually non-existent. You could probably count them on one hand, Girlschool, the Runaways etc’ Around 1983 as Metal had it’s commercial explosion a few pioneers emerged, usually singers. These women often used their sexuality and sexual imagery to their advantage to get noticed. These women include Wendy O’ Williams, Lee Aaron, Lita Ford, Betsy Bitch and a few others.
As time progressed women entertainers realized that they did not always have to use the sexual imagery to succeed, that talent alone could carry a band. Bands like Meanstreak, Phantom Blue, Femme Fatale proved they could rock with relying on imagery but these acts were few and far between and unfortunately regarded by some industry types and as ignorant fans as novelties. For almost 10 years there were not many advances in metal until the sudden and massive increase in women performers, especially in Europe.
So’why now? How did this happen?
As Death metal evolved bands started to bring in new and diverse elements. One very common musical technique in metal is the juxtaposition of two sounds, one soft, one heavy, each accenting the other. Many death bands started adding female background vocals, the sweet clean style acting as a foil to the male growls. It worked, the formula was rapidly embraced as new an innovative, even though Celtic Frost had dabbled with the concept and sound years earlier. Suddenly, Therion, Tristania and others were doing brisk sales.
Suddenly dozens of bands in Europe had guest female vocalists and even full time members. The move spread into other genres, power metal especially where range, power and emotion are the standard and who better than a classically trained vocalist to front an act to make you stand out from the crowd.
By the late 90′s the trend was in full swing and inevitably there came a few negative consequences of this trend. Once the barriers were broken down a number of derivative acts appeared. Big labels started signing acts and heavily emphasizing the fact that the members were female. One such instance is Lullacry with a cheesacake, cleavage shot on the cover of their CD. Sex does indeed sell especially to metal’s predominantly male audience and the labels, managers and even band members are acutely aware of the historical connection between sex and rock’n'roll! Bands like Lullacry can have fun with the convention but there is a darker more disturbing side to the story.
A worst case scenario is the band Kittie. A slick and commercial unit deftly marketed as the next big thing, these four young attractive women were thrown into the gears of “the machine.” Despite being highly derivative and lacking in originality they were “female” and sex sells. The label got heavily involved and suddenly a lame, mallcore, clone with no future are the next big “metal” act. Ozzfest, videos, lame cover tunes, and the use of sexual imagery and lyrics put Kittie on the top of the mallcore heap but not without consequences. As the rigors of the industry took it’s toll and two members have since quit the band.
However the sheer numbers of talented female performers (not to mention industry people, mangers, labels reps, PR people, journalists etc’) seem to ensure that the current increase in numbers is not just a novelty trend but a legitimate acceptance of women into the metal community. No longer to be seen as merely sex-objects many women artists are extremely innovative, technically proficient in their chosen craft. In genre like Metal where talent is embraced and rewarded I predict that we will see many more excellent performers that will one day ultimately be recognized for their talent and not their gender.
Note: The author would like to congratulate himself on not making any jokes or rude comments about women in this editorial.
‘No, I’m not here to meet men, I actually like the music.’
Being the only female staff member, I’ll probably have a slightly different slant to my essay. The topic for this essay was ‘Women in Metal,’ which, of course, can be interpreted in a myriad of ways. I’ll break it down in three ways: (i) my personal experiences in the metal scene; (ii) types of women I’ve seen involved in metal as fans; and (to a lesser extent) (iii) observations regarding reactions to female metal artists.
In some ways, being a female metalhead is like being a female involved in any male-dominated hobby or profession. You are either: (i) examined more closely by your male counterparts because of being female; (ii) you are treated the same way as a male; (iii) or you are dismissed offhand. Typical examples of how I am treated in some of these ways:
Of course, some of the treatment of female metalheads is because female metalheads, in general, seem to fit into some standard categories. (Of course, inherent in all categories of people, there are exceptions-I’m talking generalities here.)
Women as artists in the metal community face many of the same issues as women as fans, plus some additional ones. First, appearance is often the first thing mentioned about a female artist, whereas it is an issue rarely raised with respect to men. I mean, who ever hears people say, ‘Oh, that Luca Turilli, he looked HOT last night. He was wearing’.’ I’ve intentionally tried to comment on the appearance of guys in some reviews, just to make the point of how ridiculous it is. Second, female artists in metal often have to overcome the ‘novelty’ call-’Did you hear her? She totally sounds like a guy but is really pretty!’ Again, you rarely hear those kinds of comments made about men.
I guess that the bottom line is that women in metal are just a subset of women in general. Some are there because they are interested, some are there for other reasons. Some have talent, some don’t. As in society at large, women in metal should be evaluated for the substance they bring, and not on the basis of their gender. Crikey-I almost sound like a feminist!
Women in Heavy Metal
Women in metal…that’s a big subject! I’m not sure exactly where to go with the topic (or where to go that others haven’t already covered more adequately than I could).
While I don’t think anyone has ever analyzed metalheads as a demographic group, it seems safe to say that it’s an overwhelmingly male-dominated subculture. That being said, women probably play an even more significant role in metal than they would if their numbers were proportional with the percentage of women in society as a whole.
I think women in the metal subculture probably face a lot of extra difficulties simply because of their gender. When introduced to a group of male metalheads, a woman may have to “prove” to them that she’s really a metalhead, and really into it for the music. This would be especially true if she’s dating a metalhead, because it would be very easy to make the assumption, “There are so few women into metal, that the chances are good when we see a woman who appears to be into metal dating a guy who’s into metal, she’s just along because of her boyfriend.” Unfortunately this assumption is made all the easier to jump to because it IS common to see women at metal shows who are NOT real metalheads, and who ARE there merely because of their boyfriends. (I took a non-metalhead girlfriend to a Megadeth show one time, and even gave her a metal shirt to wear so she wouldn’t look out of place). While I suppose it’s happened, how many times have you seen a female metalhead dragging her non-metal boyfriend with her to a concert?
On the other hand I would think gender stereotypes could also work in a female metalhead’s favor on occasion. Scenario for the guys reading this: say you’re starting a death metal band. You need a guitarist and place an ad for one. Out of 5 auditions, one of them is an attractive woman who’s obviously as much into death metal as any of the other guys. Admit it–if she can play death metal guitar on a comparable level with the other four auditioners, aren’t you inclined to give the gig to her? It would certainly be easy for fans to remember your band as “that death metal band with the chick guitarist.”
I can’t speak a lot about the relationship of these two scenarios to reality because of course I’m a male metalhead, not a female one. I can tell you what I think. Is it important to have women in the scene? Yes. Is it important to emphasize the differences between a woman’s approach to metal and a man’s? I don’t think so, because I don’t think there is much of a difference. I seriously doubt a woman’s reaction to Iron Maiden is going to be different than a man’s simply because of her gender. Does the presence of women in a particular band make me more or less interested in purchasing their album or going to a concert? Not in the slightest. I like Nightwish, Edenbridge and Bolt Thrower, but the presence of women in those bands is only relevant to the extent their gender makes a difference in how the music sounds and how good it is. (In Bolt Thrower, for instance, where the woman is not the vocalist, it makes no difference at all). Was Tarja nice to look at on stage when Nightwish played Wacken two years in a row? Of course. But I imagine a lot of the female metalheads in the Wacken crowd had bands they particularly enjoyed seeing because they thought a man in a certain band was cute!
Women certainly belong in metal, and it would be nice to see greater numbers of them. I’m hopeful that the “sisterhood of metal” will increase in the future.
Women in Metal
This long overdue topic of women in metal is one that can be approached from several angles. The idea that more women are involved in heavy metal BANDS is what I’ll be ranting about.
In the 80′s most “women in metal” basically meant women in metal videos. Not many women were actually playing/singing metal. Many of those that were, were in fact window dressing. For example watch a Lita Ford video or Lee Aaron’s “Metal Queen” video’it’s all about SEX! Of course, as a perverted teenager I loved it. But looking at it form the shoulders up it’s not really about their musical ability. You can argue that most of them had talent, but the real “talent” that got them exposure was not their playing. There were some females in heavy metal back then who were not just about looks and who were serious performers. For example there was Doro Pesch from Warlock. She is still putting out hard rock/metal albums under the name “Doro” today. There is also the much lesser known Ann Boleyn from Hellion and vocalist Sabina Classen who joined Holy Moses in ’84 (until they broke up in 1992). There have always been women in metal; it’s just that they were not all equally known. Back in the 80′s you would see much more revealing pics of Lita Ford in the metal rags then other musicians who didn’t flaunt it so much.
Since then, what has changed? I think attitudes have partially changed. Until the end of time, guys will always ogle over metal chicks and that’s just being human, but it’s also clear that there are more and more women who are not just in a band for window dressing. Some of that still exists of course. For example, check out Angela Gossow, lead vocalist for the Swedish extreme metal band Arch Enemy. Her promo pics are the type that makes most red-blooded males go wild’.but beneath the cheap gimmick of “flesh for press” is a brutal death growl that stands shoulder to shoulder with most male death metalers. On the flipside is Kimberly Goss who happens to be one of my favorite female vocalists. She is a co-founder/writer, vocalist and lyricist for Sinergy. Her appearances prior to Sinergy mainly come from the “black” metal scene with bands like Avernus and Dimmu Borgir. She is one example of a strong willed and highly talented female who leads a heavy metal band and she is making it because of her great voice. Another example is Elisa C. Martin from the lesser known Spanish power metal band Dark Moor. They currently are on their third album and her vocal style is in the German power metal style (Helloween, etc). It is true that most females in metal today are doing vocals, and sometimes bassists. There are not as many lead guitarists or drummers out there but of course there are always exceptions!!
There are women in metal who do not actually sound metal or who are not actually “metal” in and of themselves. A perfect example of this is Tarja Turunen from the Finnish melodic metal band Nightwish. She does not sing like a metal singer at all, yet she is in a melodic metal band. Her voice is powerful, but it’s not aggressive like say Kimberly Goss. Tarja’s vocals are opera influenced and are what sets Nightwish apart from other similar bands. One gimmick which I have come to dislike is that of mixing together the male death metal vocals with the “angelic” pop sounding female vocalists. That is the one style of female singing found in some metal bands that I am not a fan of at all and you can find examples of this in death/black metal and even moreso in the questionable gothic “metal” style.
I know I haven’t mentioned EVERY female vocalist in metal here, and that isn’t the point of my rant. What I have done is focus on some that I happen to be a fan of. More women are involved in metal bands now than before but they still are the minority. Heavy metal is still a “man’s world” despite what spin you try to put on it. Attitudes have been changing in that you don’t always hear people questioning the talent of a woman just because she’s in a band. People are open to the idea thanks to the pioneers from the 80′s and will listen before they judge. Perhaps the reason why there are fewer females in metal bands is as simple as the fact that most metal fans are not female. Go to any metal gig and look at the crowd’eliminate the women that are there with their boyfriends or are the wives/girlfriends of the bands. How many are there? Not a lot. Perhaps it’s a throw back to the traditional roles of men being more brutish, savage and ogre-like then the fragile refined woman?!? I dunno…what do you think? Let us know!
There are and always will be differences between the sexes (thank you Satan) but it’s always nice to see a women kicking ass as hard as any “dude” in a metal band. That’s my 2 cents anyway!
Links for women in metal / hard rock who deserve recognition:
Doro Pesch – www.doropesch.com
As an addition to my above rant I had some correspondence with Angela Gossow herself!!
Some of what she had to say was “I know, I did an excellent album with Arch Enemy, I know, I am a good front person and we are touring our asses off at the moment. I don’t wear feminine clothes to get coverage, I do it cause this is MY STYLE.”
What I was trying to say above was that for Arch Enemy it’s NOT a “gimmick” used to gain attention. The band on it’s own is killer and doesn’t need a gimmick. I was trying to point put to people who think that her presence in Arch Enemy is a gimmick that she is as good as any other extreme singer and that she has the “balls” to kick ass as hard as any other, even though she is not afraid to show her beauty. Perhaps I didn’t make that clear. I was trying to challenge some perceptions that some people have. I’m sorry if anyone took it the wrong way, that was not my intention.
From an interview with Angela from the Texas regional press here is some words that relate to this topic:
April 1st, 2002
Interviewed by EvilG
Many of you know the name Janne Warmen thanks to his work with the band CHILDREN OF BODOM. Just as many are probably unaware that Mr. Warmen is also a solo artist and the album BEYOND ABILITIES is his second. I spoke to Janne about everything from keyboards, his thoughts on other players to Britnay Spears?! An interesting and comical discussion was had indeed!!
December 19th, 2001
Interviews Done In 2001
- SINERGY – Kimberly Goss
- ICED EARTH – Jon Schaffer
- Heavenly – Pierre-Emmanuel P?lisson
- Sonata Arctica – Tony Kakko
- Megadeth – Dave Mustaine and Al Pitrelli
September 10th, 2000
Read the rest of this entry »
September 1st, 2000
WACKEN OPEN AIR 2000
We are please to present you with our exclusive coverage of the Wacken Open Air 2000 Festival. For those of you who haven’t heard of this festival, Wacken is a Mecca for metalheads in Europe, and for those elsewhere who can afford to fly there :-)! Wacken is a small village in northern Germany, about 50km northwest of Hamburg.
Metal-Rules.com secured backstage and photo passes for the festival for our two newest staff members – Michael De Los Meurtos (author of the excellent book Fire, Metal, Blood and Money) and Ice Maiden. Metal Cid also tagged along and has written up his review of this two-day festival.
January 1st, 2000
Interview With Sharlee D’Angelo
Bassist Sharlee D’Angelo is a name you cannot escape. This guy has contributed bass skills to several bands including technical melodic death metal gods Arch Enemy, super-group Sinergy, and the ill-fated Ill Will. Sharlee is currently an active and full-time member of both Witchery and Mercyful Fate. I spoke with Sharlee in early January on the eve of the European Witchery tour.
January 1st, 2000
IRON MAIDEN Interview With Bruce Dickinson
Bruce Dickinson is one of the more entertaining personalities to speak with in this business and never more so than when he is “feeling his way.” The celebrating in the IRON MAIDEN camp must have been furious this week. The happiness with this new Millennial MAIDEN is intoxicating in and of itself but when Bruce has obviously been with the grape; well that makes for an altogether different interview. Not one to hold out from peer pressure (or for lack of a better excuse!) I popped myself a can of suds or six and got to the point, as much as was possible by the end of this drunken verbal marathon we were on. Fact is, there is quite a bit of business in both the Bruce Dickinson and IRON MAIDEN camps, time to get serious.
Dickinson has recently released yet another solo album, this time a live disc, and as faithful metalheads would expect from Bruce, it is top shelf material all the way. Representing the largest portion of setlists from concerts in several Brazilian cities, “SCREAM FOR ME BRAZIL” showcases the Bruce Dickinson Band at their rocking best. No MAIDEN numbers here, the focus is on solo material, as Dickinson will explain, there was no need to because he is once again back with MAIDEN. So, what we have here are songs representing the best of Dickinson’s solo catalogue performed in front of a teaming arena of crazed Brazilian metalheads. The tour book sized CD insert documents it all and is itself so incredibly well done that special mention should be made of it and, I guess, just has been! Kudos to the art director for the mass of photos and other documentation included.
In addition to the live solo record, issued under Dickinson’s own AIR RAID RECORDS imprint, there are to be several other releases. At least three SAMSON releases that feature Dickinson, the reappearance of the “METAL FOR MUTHAS” series and a compilation of rare and unreleased solo tracks and by years end another solo studio album, whew! Combine all that with a full-blown MAIDEN album/tour cycle and it looks to be yet another busy year for Mr. Dickinson to say the least.
Bruce phoned in from France where he was finishing up the new MAIDEN epic. We covered a lot of ground as the hour we had planned to speak slipped into two and then quite nearly three. Here are a few feet of that territory, as for me, next stop is the aspirin bottle.
August 22nd, 1999
Interview by Patricia Renda
A few months ago, we received a memo from Nuclear Blast saying that, for everybody’s amazement, Chuck Schuldiner, the leader of the world’s most important death metal band, was about to begin a series of treatments against a brain tumor, discovered right after the end of the recordings of Control Denied’s CD - his other band apart from Death. During August, after wishing his best and his full recover, we were lucky to be one of the twenty magazines around the world to receive the Control Denied CD, entitled The Fragile Art of Existence, enclosed with a proposal to interview Chuck himself. We surely couldn’t let this opportunity to talk to him slip through our fingers. After all, we wanted to know how things are and wish him the best of luck personally. Here’s what happened during this cheerful interview.