Posts Tagged ‘WATCHTOWER’

EVIL UNITED – Jason McMaster & Donnie Van Stavern

September 27th, 2011

Evil United 2.jpg

Interview with Jason McMaster & Donnie Van Stavern of Evil United

Conducted by Robert Williams

Filmed by Carlos Llanas

Editing courtesy of Sandra Torres

It’s another beer-soaked Friday night at Encore Records in Austin, Texas as the popular metal record store welcomes the CD release party of Evil United, the much anticipated new band made up of current and former members of Watchtower, S.A. Slayer, RIOT, and Dangerous Toys. Evil United  indeed deliver to their captive audience another hellacious set comprised of tech-thrash and traditional heavy metal riffery alongside the ever charismatic vocals of frontman Jason McMaster. In between greeting fans and well wishers and signing copies of the brand new disc, both Jason McMaster and bassist Donnie Van Stavern took the time to chat with about the debut record,how the band initially formed and plans for the future…

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Posted in 2011 | Comments (0)

FATES WARNING, CYNIC, WATCHTOWER Members React to ‘Mean Deviation’ Prog Metal History Book

November 17th, 2010

VOIVOD Members Contribute to 'MEAN DEVIATION: Four Decades of Progressive Heavy Metal'

'MEAN DEVIATION: Four Decades of Progressive Heavy Metal'

Visionaries Praise Author Jeff Wagner’s Debut

Due for release on Dec. 1, former Metal Maniacs editor Jeff Wagner’s highly anticipated ‘MEAN DEVIATION: Four Decades of Progressive Heavy Metal’ (Bazillion Points Books) has already garnered  staggering advance praise from some of the most respected figures in the progressive metal sphere.

Among the first responders:

Steven Wilson (PORCUPINE TREE): “We now have a definitive book on the relationship between metal and progressive music.”

Jim Matheos (FATES WARNING): “Looks cool! I’m looking forward to digging in.”

Ron Jarzombek (WATCHTOWER): “The book is awesome! Damn, talk about work!”

Paul Masvidal (CYNIC): “The book looks and feels fabulous. I can’t wait to dig into this thing. Thank you, Jeff Wagner, for this massive information highway for all things progressive metal”

Kurt Bachman (BELIEVER): “Wow! I can’t wait to read it.”

Glenn Harveston (ProgPower USA Festival): “The book is awesome. I read it in 2 days.”

Albert Mudrian (Decibel Magazine): “I’ve only read through chapter one, and I’m already hooked.”

Weighing in at 400 pages, the heavily-illustrated ‘Mean Deviation’ offers original artwork throughout by Michel “Away” Langevin of VOIVOD, and a foreword by Steven Wilson of PORCUPINE TREE. The package includes a 16-page color photo insert, a constellation of appendixes, and an exhaustive index mapping the story of heady metal with exacting precision.

For more information, and to order immediately, visit:

America’s “smallest but heaviest publisher,” Bazillion Points presents authors of a submerged reputation to a rabid and otherwise overlooked readership over a bazillion points of interest.

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Posted in Progressive Metal | Comments (0)

Guitarist Ron Jarzombek Issues WATCHTOWER, BLOTTED SCIENCE Update

September 27th, 2010

Acclaimed guitarist Ron Jarzombek (BLOTTED SCIENCE, WATCHTOWER, SPASTIC INK) has issued the following update:

“Basically, what is going on is I have too many things going on right now, and haven’t completed much of anything since the BLOTTED SCIENCE The Machinations Of Dementia CD in late ’07. (Well, I released ‘PHHHP! Plus’ last year but that was previously recorded material). This is what I get for starting up too many things, trying to run everything myself, handling nearly all production work, and I get so overloaded that I lose focus on what I should be working on, what is priority at the time, and nothing gets completed. Hopefully, one of the projects listed below will actually be completed sometime soon, but don’t hold your breath or you will die’

1. Instructional DVDs

I have not touched the DVD material since I posted the Oscillation Cycles video over a year ago. I had so many people asking what the DVDs would be like, so I completed that segment and posted it just to give fans a glimpse of what I’m putting together, but knew that after that I would be getting back with Watchtower in hopes of finishing up Mathematics. There will be three instructional DVDs, the 1st based on common scale use and abuse, the 2nd on timing, and the 3rd on 12 tone uses. I’ve got tons of work done on all three DVDs, but am far from being completed on any of them. They will be completed and released when they are done. How’s that? Believe me folks, I really want to get back to my DVDs, but I usually put bands/projects first when other band/project members are cooperating’

2. Watchtower

Seems like whenever we try to complete Mathematics, we hit a snag, roadblock, or wall. We’ve reworked the material for the third time now (2000, 2004, and now 2010), and I’m just tired of talking about it. It’s really getting old. You guy can keep asking me, but the answer will be the same… I really don’t know when the CD will be done. I really don’t. We need to get the damn thing done sometime, somehow, some way. But we have over an hour of good material sitting around waiting to be recorded and released. If we can just get this vocalist situation worked out, we should be fine. In April ’10 we digitally released ‘The Size Of Matter’ and played the Keep It True Festival in Germany and I thought at that point we would for sure get back on track and get the recordings done (just like I did in 2000 and 2004). So we’ll just have to wait and see what happens.

3. Blotted Science EP and new drummer!

When we got together for the Tampa rehearsals in mid ’08, we began talking about plans for a second Blotted Science CD and came up with a wacky concept. Let’s just say there were lots of crazy and interesting ideas floating around. The ‘Laser Lobotomy’ and ‘Oscillation Cycles’ rehearsal videos were posted and talks of gigging were in the air, but nothing materialized. No writing for the second CD really happened after that. Alex continued working heavily with CANNIBAL CORPSE, Charlie with BEHOLD THE ARCTOPUS, and I was working on the DVDs/Watchtower. We just kept in contact and were thinking of how we could pull off this ‘concept’. After a year and a half of focusing on WatchTower, and it coming to a grinding halt, I REALLY wanted to get moving on something. I was getting hounded by fans about a second Blotted Science CD, so I began putting things together for Blotted Science II. Realizing that a full CD would take too long to complete, we decided that an EP would be our best and most realistic move at this point. Alex is heavily involved with Cannibal Corpse and our new drummer Hannes Grossman is writing/recording/touring with OBSCURA. New drummer?! What?!! Yes, folks, please welcome Hannes to Blotted Science! Those of you in the death metal world should be very familiar with his work with NECROPHAGIST and Obscura. Of course Alex and I wish Charlie the very best with his current bands/projects/sessions, and many thanks for doing an absolute brilliant job on Machinations.

The EP will consists of 4 songs totalling 22 minutes (3 of which are already already written), and will be hopefully released in early ’11. But again, but don’t hold your breath.

4. ‘Duodecimal Levorotation’

While Watchtower was in Germany playing the KIT Festival, we stayed over a few days and I got to hang out a bit with Hannes and Chris from Obscura. Chris and I soon starting talking about music theory, 12 tone uses, and thought that it would be cool for us to put something, maybe just a song or two, and have it available digitally. To fill out the recording lineup we fired up Hannes, and I asked my SPASTIC INK bandmate bassist Pete Perez if he was interested, so we all pitched in with a few tunes each, and came up with a 6 ‘ minute song. We haven’t come up with a name for the project yet, but the name of the song will be ‘Duodecimal Levorotation’.


My local RUSH tribute band Exit Stage Left is at it again. We will be playing in the San Antonio area at Clicks (I410 and EVers), the Broadway 5050 Colonnade, and at Hooligan’s in a few weeks. Come out and have a brew while I kill my guitar on ‘Bytor’. Our first gig back is Nov. 6.

6. Ray Riendeau

Congrats to RAY RIENDEAU for completing his fifth solo CD Atmospheres. Ray played on the song Words For Nerds on Spastik Ink’s second CD Ink Compatible. And so my playing on the song ‘A Search For Life Forms’ from ‘Atmospheres’ completes our ‘trade’. Many thanks Ray, a freaking killer CD!

7. Online lessons

I have received quite a few inquiries about online gtr lessons. Right now I am only doing private live-in-person lessons 5 days a week at 3 locations in San Antonio, but am thinking about getting into online lessons. If/when this happens, I will post any info on all of my sites.

8. About my sites, if anyone wants to get a hold of me for anything, do not send anything to either myspaces or facebook. My email is I check my email a few times a day, and go to the myspace/facebook emails maybe once every week or two. I hate the setup of MySpace and Facebook emails and don’t care to deal with either of them (and of course on facebook there is so much garbage to sift through). If you send an email to and I don’t get back to you within a few days, it’s probably because I’m working on a few things.”

Posted in Heavy Metal, Progressive Metal | Comments (0)

Ron Jarzombek – Spastic Ink / WatchTower

August 24th, 2005

Ron Jarzombek of Spastic Ink / WatchTower
Interviewed in February 2000 by Noel

Spastic Ink is a solo project of former Watchtower guitarist Ron Jarzombek. Watchtower dissolved due to physical aliments and certain members other commitments. Ink Complete specializes in super-complex instrumental fusion metal. Jarzombek’s distinctive style is in top form here. There are few other bands that possess such technical and musical prowess. Completely brilliant in it’s complexity and unique original thought. Currently the line-up seems to be Sean Malone (ex-Cynic), Steve DiGiorgio (Sadus/Testament), and and none other than former Watchtower vocalist Jason McMaster (Dangerous Toys), and drummer Richard Christy (Death/Control Denied) but that is yet too be determined. So be prepared too dive into a glimpse within the Watchtower Past and Spastic Ink Future.

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Posted in 2000 | Comments (0)

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