Bay area thrash legends FORBIDDEN sadly have to cancel their performance at this year’s Wacken Open Air Festival. Long time bass player Matt Camacho has left the band and vocalist Russ Anderson decided to take a break from music business, forcing FORBIDDEN to cancel the appearance.
Here is the official statement of the band:
“I am extremely saddened to have to announce that our bassist and brother since 1986, Matt Camacho, has decided to retire from the music business and leave FORBIDDEN permanently. For those that know and love Matt, this may be a shock to you. Matt‘s always been gung-ho for the band since the beginning and was a positive guy. But ever since he went to law school after FORBIDDEN split up the first time, he was on a career path that would eventually take him to this day. His job position keeps getting better and taking care of our families is the most important thing.”
Matt had this to say about his experience of being in FORBIDDEN:
“Playing in FORBIDDEN has been a dream come true for me. It has allowed me to tour the world, play with and meet some of the most amazing bands, make friends for life, perform some phenomenal shows, and, most important, experience the most amazing FANS…I’ll truly miss the inspiration and love that people from around the world have shown towards the MUSIC. As I leave for a new endeavor, I want to express my thanks and gratitude for all the incredible musicians both past and present who have graced their magical touch on FORBIDDEN’s music. To be a part of this band and to have these guys as friends and family for life is a true blessing. Thanks guys for the support and I look forward to seeing FORBIDDEN carry on for years to come.”
Commented guitarist Craig Locicero:
“With that being said, Russ Anderson has made the decision to take a break away from music to get his bearings back and rekindle his fire for FORBIDDEN. Russ is not quitting, but has decided that he needs to do this for himself. We support him and his decision to not fake his way through what needs to be real. I had always said since we reformed in 2008, that as soon as things become tedious or a grind we’d either stop doing this or take a break. But we’d never say never again! FORBIDDEN is not through yet. Russ simply needs to recharge his Thrash Metal batteries!
So then there is the unfortunate reality that under these circumstances FORBIDDEN will not be appearing at WOA this year. This breaks my heart as much as anything else! Steve, Sasha and myself were very much looking forward to playing in front of that crowd and we had been holding out hope for Russ to change his mind. But he feels strongly that he just can’t do it right now. So we must respect his wishes and let him have his space.
We’d like to apologize to our fans, Continental Concerts, the WOA organizers and everyone at Nuclear Blast Europe. You’ve all stood by us for so long and we understand how bad the fans in Europe want to see FORBIDDEN again. But you deserve to see FORBIDDEN at it’s best. Not under these circumstances. This is our promise to you, we’ll come back with stronger and with new material! We’ve already got half of the new record written and we’ll finish it up when Russ feels good enough to Thrash it up again! Thanks to you all from the bottom of our hearts.“
FORBIDDEN founding member / guitarist / songwriter Craig Locicero has issued the following update:
“Recently I’ve been getting bombarded with questions as to what exactly I am doing musically because I have so many updates about my different projects. FORBIDDEN, SpiralArms, Demonica, and now Manmade God have all been thrown out there. So please let me explain a little bit.
“At the end of 2011, I made a commitment to myself: 2012 will be the year I have the most musical gratification and fun I will ever have had in my life. So far my mission is working out pretty well.
“FORBIDDEN. We are writing a record presently and what we have so far is smoking-shit-hot-thrash-attack! Sasha Horn has been a lightning rod for our original energy since he’s joined up. The only issue we have is the amount of time we get to spend together with Steve Smyth and Sasha both living elsewhere. But we have our “Four Dates of the Apocalypse” coming up here in April and we finish that up in Santiago, Chile and Sao Paulo, Brazil! That will be awesome. While we get together to practice, we also work on new songs. Then, it’s Wacken in August and recording the new record before the end of the year for a 2013 release. I sure hope there is a 2013!
“SpiralArms. Big plans for this year…FINALLY! When I joined back up with FORBIDDEN in 2008, we put Spiral on hold longer than we ever intended it to happen. I love this band, man! Tim Narducci has been finishing up the mixes for Freedom over the last few weeks and it kicks some MASSIVE ASS! There’s a very positive response to the songs from every turn in the industry right now, and that’s exciting, but I think we’ve all gotten over the idea of becoming huge and just want to do things right. Spiral can be a kick ass cult band and maybe a lot more, but we’re cool letting momentum take us wherever we may end up. Great f’n band and I am committed to seeing things through. Can’t wait for everyone to hear it!
“Demonica. We are in suspended animation while Hank Shermann is killing it in Volbeat and I’m so damn busy. Need a new drummer eventually. Maybe this time a guy from Europe that I don’t already play with… hmmmm? But ultimately it’s Hank and Klaus Hyr that call the shots in Demonica. So Marc Grabowski and I will await instructions.
“And yes, Manmade God got together for the first time on March 28th since our crash-and-burn in 2005. It was a kick-ass experience for all of us and very therapeutic. The idea is for us to love and respect each other and the music we wrote that hardly anyone got to hear. It was a surreal and wonderful experience playing the songs again along with some other gems that reminded us of why we did what we did. On one hand, seems like a small travesty that more people didn’t know about MMG when it was happening. However, it seems like we’re better equipped to deal with ourselves this time around. Honestly, I think we sound much better now! So we are gearing towards a show in late July and will take it slow. No hurries, no worries but for friendship, respect, and the love of our music. We made a new Manmade God band page on Facebook if you’d like to be updated. We’re pretty much videotaping the entire process for later use. Go ahead and check that out.
“So that about covers it. I guess I’ve better get back to work.”
Watch the video for the track “Omega Wave” on YouTube.
For those who were either born too late or living in the wrong part of the world while music which has now become legendary was exploding from the Bay Area’s thrash metal scene in the early-to-mid 1980s, here’s your second chance to re-live history.
With a very special All Ages show marking the 10-year anniversary of former EXODUS singer Paul “Pavel” Baloff’s passing, “Bonded By Baloff: A Decade Of Remembrance” will take place at the Oakland Metro Operahouse on Saturday, February 4th, 2012 and features the evening’s headliners EXODUS plus POSSESSED, FORBIDDEN, HEATHEN, and MAD AT SAM on the Main Stage. Playing the Second Stage are ANGERHEAD, MUDFACE, THE VENTING MACHINE, HELLFIRE, and HYSTERIA.
The evening is well on its way to being a SOLD-OUT event and may very well turn into the second installment of the recent Bazillion Points book Murder in the Front Row (which can be purchased here), so don’t miss out!
Of the event, EXODUS guitarist Gary Holt has previously stated:
“[We] knew it was high time we do something special to remember the legend of Paul Baloff, so we decided to put together a show the Bay Area will not soon forget. There are some nice surprises in store as well! It will be ten years and two days since the thrash world lost one of its greatest frontmen ever, and we will always make sure his memory lives on and is never forgotten. Long live The Destroyer!”
Advanced tickets for “Bonded By Baloff: A Decade Of Remembrance” can be purchased at this location.
Sasha Horn, newly crowned drummer for reunited Bay Area thrash metal band FORBIDDEN (once home to well-known skinsman Paul Bostaph), has been featured in the February 2012 NAMM issue of DRUM! Magazine. In it, Sasha discusses his near life-long admiration of the band, his audition, and the importance of chemistry.
FORBIDDEN’s current line-up – which features original vocalist Russ Anderson, founding member/guitarist Craig Locicero, original bassist Matt Camacho, Steve Smyth on guitar, and Sasha Horn on drums – will debut at the upcoming, nearly sold-out Bonded By Baloff: A Decade Of Remembrance event at the Oakland Metro Operahouse on Saturday, February 4th, 2012 commemorating the 10-year anniversary of former EXODUS singer Paul “Pavel” Baloff’s passing.
About his upcoming debut performance, Sasha shares:
“There is no better place to cut my teeth and sharpen my claws than in front of the ones who pioneered the genre, and in front of a hometown crowd filled to the brim with old school die-hards. It is an honor and a privilege to be able to call the Bonded By Baloff gig my first with FORBIDDEN. This entire experience should prove to be heavier than time.”
All remaining advanced tickets for Bonded By Baloff can be purchased at this location.
FORBIDDEN lead guitarist Steve Smyth will be participating in the following Artist Signing Sessions and Meet-and-Greet appearances at this year’s Winter National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) show, taking place at the Anaheim Convention Center from January 19th – 22nd:
Friday, January 20th @ 3 p.m. – EVH Amplification, 3rd Floor Ballroom E, Room 300
Friday, January 20th @ 5 p.m. – EMG Pickups, Hall C, Booth #4778
Saturday, January 21st @ 3 p.m. – BC Rich Guitars Hall C, Booth #4878
In related news, Guitar World magazine recently reviewed the Steve Smyth Signature 6 B.C. Rich Bich Guitar in the February 2012 issue (out now!) and has awarded it the Gold Award in Performance. Regarding his guitar’s prestigious review, Smyth states: “I AM STOKED BEYOND BELIEF!!!” Watch Guitar World’s video review here!
Three years in the making, both the 6-string and 7-string versions of Steve’s signature guitar are currently available now at retailers and will be on display at the NAMM show.
• 2 Volume, 1 Tone, and 1 Three-way Toggle Controls
FORBIDDEN’s 2010 reunion album, Omega Wave, debuted at #27 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart, #83 on the Billboard Top Hard Music Albums chart, and #92 on the Billboard Top Independent Albums chart the week following its release.
EXODUS and FORBIDDEN are just two of the bands from the now infamous Bay Area thrash metal scene who will be performing at the special show marking the 10-year anniversary of former EXODUS singer Paul “Pavel” Baloff’s passing. “Bonded By Baloff: A Decade Of Remembrance” will take place Saturday, February 4th, 2012 at the Oakland Metro Operahouse.
States guitarist Gary Holt of EXODUS:
“With February 2nd being the 10 year anniversary of Paul’s passing, the band knew it was high time we do something special to remember the legend of Paul Baloff, so we decided to put together a show the Bay Area will not soon forget. We’ve pulled some of the Bay’s finest for this, bands who knew and shared many a stage and drink with Pavel. There are some nice surprises in store as well! It will be ten years and two days since the thrash world lost one of its greatest frontmen ever, and we will always make sure his memory lives on and is never forgotten. Long live The Destroyer!”
FORBIDDEN guitarist & founding member Craig Locicero adds:
“Everyone in FORBIDDEN is honored to have been asked by Gary and EXODUS to play this show marking the 10th anniversary of Paul Baloff’s crazy fucking life! I witnessed his insanity first-hand at the Mabouhay Gardens and Ruthie’s Inn. As EXODUS got bigger, Paul got crazier – in a good way. It was genius at work. He was the mold that all thrash frontmen cut themselves from, but he was also a pretty damn sweet guy. Always kind to those he liked, he’d be in the front row at FORBIDDEN gigs screaming things like ‘Why does it have to be so heavy?’ and my favorite, ‘Heavier than time!’ I’m laughing just typing this!
“At his memorial, I saw people I hadn’t seen in years. So much love, so many laughs. It made me happy in some strange way just to see that kind of respect displayed for Paul. We all really loved him. Luckily his legend has returned with a vengeance… and hey, Paul, you did it: You’ve become heavier than time!”
The Main Stage line-up for “Bonded By Baloff: A Decade Of Remembrance” includes: EXODUS, POSSESSED, FORBIDDEN, HEATHEN, and MAD AT SAM.
Playing the Second Stage are: ANGERHEAD, MUDFACE, THE VENTING MACHINE, HELLFIRE, and HYSTERIA.
Craig Locicero, guitarist & songwriter for the Bay Area thrash band FORBIDDEN and co-host of the Omega Wave Podcast, attended the Occupy Oakland demonstration on November 2nd and inaugurated a special video episode of the Omega Wave Podcast. View the footage here.
“I’m here to ask questions,” states Locicero in his introduction. “I don’t really have any answers… but I can tell you this much, in my opinion, and the one thing I know for fact: this is better than sitting on your ass and complaining about the world.”
People interviewed in this 43-minute segment include:
Rabbi Lerner from SpiritualProgressives.com
Haroon, an injured protestor
Rick, a carpenter & union worker
Mary, a retired schoolteacher who works with the Oakland Education Association
Musicians Allen & Barry, members of Contrast The Water from South Africa
Winston Burton from B.O.S.S.
Calvin, an Occupy Oakland attendee
Craig Locicero, Bill Shields, and Jeff Schenck of Metalluminati.com (co-collaborators & producers of the audio/video versions of the Omega Wave Podcast) are currently seeking another producer/talent booker to assist with the show. If you are interested, please contactBill Shields at Barbedwirebill@gmail.com.
FORBIDDEN recently announced the addition of new drummer Sasha Horn into their ranks. The band’s Omega Wave albumdebuted at #27 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart, #83 on the Billboard Top Hard Music Albums chart, and #92 on the Billboard Top Independent Albums chart the week following its October 2010 release.
Veteran thrashers FORBIDDEN have checked in with the following message:
“Calling ALL Forbidden fans. Our guitar tech/tour manager and friend, Dane Wolf, was attacked by a group of thugs after the DEATH ANGEL/TESTAMENT/ANTHRAX show in Denver on Wednesday night. Dane has a cracked skull and other serious injuries. He was working Death Angel and had to drop off of the tour. We need your help to cover his hospital expenses. Please donate whatever you can. It all helps!
“Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart for contributing to my recovery. This is above and beyond anything I could have ever imagined, I have never felt so blessed in my life. I am focusing on healing right now, and your generosity reduces the stress that was brought into my life by the senseless violence of this individual. I will keep you posted on my recovery and look forward to getting back out there doing what I love when I am ready. Thank you so so much, I can’t describe how much this means to me, my friends and family!”
The latest installment of Craig Locicero of FORBIDDEN’s Ωmega Wave podcast hosted former-Machine Head, former-Testament/current Spiral Arms & Attitude Adjustment drummer Chris Kontos. Chris spoke about the A.F.A.R. coalition he founded (Alliance For Artist Rescue). According to A.F.A.R.’s statement: “Our mission is to assist metalhead refugees that are in dangerous cultural situations overseas; to help them settle in the U.S. by hosting and finding them jobs upon their arrival to the Bay Area.”
Chris shared some of the moving – and in some cases, horrifying – back-stories for these artists. He and his partners are a selfless organization that has already helped bring artists from Iraq, Iran, and South Africa into the United States. It is a noble and amazing effort that should be respected and shared with everyone in the metal community.
Locicero and his co-host “Barbwire” Bill Shields (former host for “In the Dark” Radio, professional wrestler, and current Ordained Minister of the Collective Conscious) will speak off-the-cuff on whatever controversial subject may come up. The goals of the Ωmega Wave Podcast are two-fold:
1) To speak to different compelling and controversial lyricists in Metal and Hard Rock weekly. They will be asked about their motivation, their craft, and what exactly inspires them in these challenging times to do what they do. Their thoughts & opinions on the most current affairs and intensely debated issues will also be discussed.
2) Have listeners sit in on a real conversation between good friends without censorship watering those thoughts down. Hosts Bill and Craig will take questions & topic suggestions live and do not filter their reactions to them. These conversations can get very heated at times, depending on the topic.
Previous guests include: Neil Fallon of Clutch, Jon Schaffer (Iced Earth, Sons of Liberty), Peter Dolving of The Haunted, Henrik Ohlsson (Scar Symmetry), Barney Greenway & Mitch Harris of Napalm Death, C.J. “The Metal Motivator” Ortiz, Charles Elliott of Abysmal Dawn, and Mr. Axe from Anonymous.
Listen to the tracks “Forsaken At The Gates” and “Dragging My Casket” from FORBIDDEN’s 2010 reunion album, Omega Wave,here.
FORBIDDEN’s reunion album, Omega Wave, debuted at #27 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart, #83 on the Billboard Top Hard Music Albums chart, and #92 on the Billboard Top Independent Albums chart the week following its October 2010 release.
Craig Locicero, guitarist / songwriter / founding member for the reactivated Bay Area thrash band FORBIDDEN, has issued the following band update:
“After getting kicked in the balls last month, we’ve managed to land on our feet and keep running. We’re already starting to think about the next record now and will be choosing a drummer sometime in October. I would call that progress!
“Ever since we started our quest for a new drummer, we’ve been walloped by videos from some pretty amazing players as well as offers from more established guys. It’s been fun looking at the videos objectively and imagining what these hopeful dudes could do with FORBIDDEN if given the chance. There will be a lot more videos posted on our YouTube channel and we’re still taking video submissions through the end of September. Some of the most impressive guys aren’t all from the U.S.; some drummers from abroad have to be taken seriously. We’ll announce our decision as to who gets to come out and jam with us soon. Stay tuned for that.
“We performed at Belgium’s Alcatraz Festival in late August with Gene Hoglan on the drum kit. It was an incredible night. The fan reaction was a huge lift to our spirits. That gig may have been one of our BEST shows since we’ve gotten back together! Getting to play there after cancelling our European tour was pretty special, and hanging out with our friends in Death Angel, Helstar, Anacrusis, and Vicious Rumors was way too much fun. Seeing them on the side of the stage while we were playing was good motivation! Thanks to everyone involved with the festival and all of the fans that came from different parts of Europe to see us. We still have a tour to make up!
“We’ve been invited to play the ProgPower Festival in Atlanta this weekend. This will be another show with Gene behind the kit. We’re getting spoiled! There are many cool things about playing this gig, but the coolest one is that we’ll be filming it for a live DVD to be released some time in the near future. Our fans have been hounding us about when we’re going to do something like this; the time is now. Those of you fortunate enough to be there on Saturday will be a part of our history! We will be playing a few songs we have not brought out in years, too. Maybe even something off of 1995’s Distortion? We shall see…”
Drummers interested in online auditions should send their name & contact information plus their video via a Dropbox, Fileblaze, or Mediablaze download link to: firstname.lastname@example.org. NOTE: Your submission means you are granting your consent to having your video file uploaded onto the FORBIDDEN Drummer 2011 YouTube channel and other social media sites for comments.
The Tuska Open Air Festival has become one kind of institution amongst all metal festivals in Europe. Tuska was previously arranged in the heart of Helsinki in the central park Kaisaniemi during the past 10 years. The park underwent construction to have a better environment and other mandatory improvements. The organization of Tuska didn’t have a choice but to find and switch the whole festival to a new area. This new area is still located in Helsinki, but only a few kilometers away, to a place called Suvilahti. Having this area was definitely a big part of the whole idea and concept of Tuska. The Kaisaniemi park brought an intimate picnic and park feeling with the grass and trees. Whereas Suvilahti was more like an industrial environment with the burning and redhot asphalt under the feet.
Another thing forcing Tuska to make a change was the date. Originally the festival was supposed to be in the beginning of July, but another big more international based festival took over the date and Tuska was postponed until three weeks later. Well at least some people got pissed off at the changed date. Obviously a few band negotiations needed to start all over. Hopefully Tuska will return back to the original date. However, the line-up looked amazing after all. Morbid Angel and Amon Amarth were headliners, so was Devin Townsend once again. Cult metal bands like Hell, Bulldozer and then something type of stuff such as Jex Thoth, Church Of Misery. The festival was an utter success although the event wasn’t sold out. All in all 28000 people visited Tuska during three days.
Metal-Rules.com was present to check out a lot of bands and check out the new Tuska area.
Guitarist / founding member / songwriter Craig Locicero of the Bay Area thrash band FORBIDDEN has issued the following update:
“This has been the week of all weeks for FORBIDDEN highs and lows. It started with losing a drummer and cancelling an entire tour. Really low. But there has been a few silver linings as well.
“First good thing is Gene Hoglan (Dark Angel, Death, Strapping Young Lad) had an opening in his schedule and is playing a one-off with us at this weekend’s Alcatraz Festival in Belgium. Gene is our Bro! Because of him, we salvaged the European tour’s biggest date.
“Then, the ProgPower Festival in Atlanta, Georgia inquired about August 27th. Gene once again has an opening… so here we come Atlanta! We’ll bring our Thrash to both of these amazing festivals thanks to the Mighty Atomic Clock coming through!
“As for our long-term drummer solution, well… some other fantastic drummers with respected names have offered their sticks from all over the world. Many of our awesome friends and peers alike have made it clear they would lend us a hand or flat out want the gig! That is an honor beyond words and we thank all of you. But there is simply no way to get everyone into a room to jam and have it be practical. That would take weeks we don’t have.
“We want the right player so we’ve decided to set up a YouTube channel specifically for the truest contenders. A place just for those serious enough to show the band and the world your skills playing FORBIDDEN songs. Send a video of yourself bashing out ‘Forsaken At The Gates,’ ‘Infinite,’ and another FORBIDDEN song of your choice. We will look at all of the videos objectively and decide who goes to the next level. At that next point, chemistry becomes everything. First we need to get past 1st base before sliding home.
“If you deserve to sit on the same throne as Paul Bostaph, Steve Jacobs, Mark Hernandez, and Gene Hoglan, you’d better get ready to bring it out in the open! As far as we’re concerned, those are 4 of the greatest drummers in Thrash Metal so give it your best shot! What are you drummers waiting for? Let’s see what you’ve got!”
Guitarist Craig Locicero of reactivated San Francisco Bay Area metallers FORBIDDEN has released the following statement to BLABBERMOUTH.NET:
“This is the most painful update I have ever had to write…
“Due to family obligations on the part of our longtime drummer Mark Hernandez, FORBIDDEN is forced to cancel its tour of Europe and will start to search for an adequate permanent replacement right away. Compounding things is the fact that Mark and I also play in DEMONICA, who were to open the tour.
“Unfortunately, at this late date, there is no time nor budget to find a replacement who can handle both bands and our only option right now is to cancel the entire tour.
“FORBIDDEN would like to apologize to all of the different promoters, Continental Concerts, the bands COMMUNIC and DEMONICA, our label, Nuclear Blast, and most importantly, our fans who have been waiting for us to finally make it overseas for our first proper European tour in support of ‘Omega Wave’. You all deserve better. This is a collective kick to every ones stomach and it is very difficult for us to swallow.
“If there were any way to find one drummer to do both jobs and learn over 22 songs of material in only a couple of days, we would do it. But there is no way to teach somebody all of that material from the ground up and give the fans our very best. Our first choice was longtime brother Gene Hoglan, and since Gene is very familiar with our current set list, this makes the most sense. However, he only has a very small window to work with and no time to commit to an entire tour. But he did agree to fly out to Belgium with us so that FORBIDDEN can play the Alcatraz Festival on August 27th! That works out to be the only days that work within Gene’s busy schedule and it also allows us to get in front of as many fans as possible for one show.
“In no way does this make up for all of the other gigs we will miss. They MUST be rescheduled for the future! Unfortunately, that future will have to be without Mark Hernandez. He has played for the last time with FORBIDDEN and we will be looking for the right replacement as soon as the dust settles. Obviously, it takes a great player to play drums in FORBIDDEN. We will only accept the best!
“We all love Mark and hope he finds peace and serenity in his future with his family. In the meantime, we will continue and take the momentum we have gained from ‘Omega Wave’ and use it as fuel for the next record and beyond!
“Looking forward, not back…”
FORBIDDEN’s “Omega Wave” video can be seen below. The clip was created by SchneppZone video director Jon Schnepp of “Metalocalypse” fame.
“Omega Wave” is the title track of FORBIDDEN’s latest album, which was released in Europe on October 22, 2010 and in North America on October 26, 2010 via Nuclear Blast Records. The CD landed at position No. 27 on the Top New Artist Albums (Heatseekers) chart, which lists the best-selling albums by new and developing artists, defined as those who have never appeared in the Top 100 of The Billboard 200.