Zillah

March 12, 2012

ZILLAH/Edinburgh

How would you describe Zillah’s music to someone who has never heard you before?

(Tim Rasmussen and Rob Coverdale, guitars): I’d describe it as chaotic, progressive and brutally abrasive.

Where does your songwriting inspiration come from?

We have quite a lot of varied influences on our style. Our main influences are probably bands like Voivod, Neurosis, Burnt By The Sun, Botch, Mastodon and more recently Swarm of The Lotus. All pretty original bands that have their own sound and identity – I’d say we’re inspired by that kind of originality and also try and create a unique sound.

Do you think metal is a misunderstood genre? 

Not really. I guess a lot mainstream press and reviews tend not to understand it, patronise and mock it unfairly at times and just don’t get it or realise how big it is.  It can be frustrating but the way I see it you’re either into metal or you aren’t and we all don’t need to explain it to anyone that doesn’t get it.  There’s plenty of us metal fans and it’s such a strong genre with so much depth and variety that it never gets tired and it doesn’t matter if it’s not got a wider following than it already has.

How healthy do you reckon the Scottish metal scene is at the moment?

I think it’s been better – there’s not as many extreme and heavy bands as there were a few years ago or gigging as much but there are some really good bands still around.  Cancerous Womb and Scordatura are two death metal bands that are playing a lot and I’ve got really into Acatalepsy from Edinburgh recently. There’s probably quite a few newer bands I’ve not heard yet though.

How did you get into metal in the first place?

[Iron Maiden‘s] Live After Death!

You’re based in Edinburgh, which has been dogged by talk of venue closures recently. Do you think the city’s music scene is dying a death?

There’s definitely fewer good venues now, and some of the bigger ones and even the smaller ones have some frustrating curfews and so on, but I wouldn’t say its been a problem for local gigs.  It’s just a bit harder to get more of the established bands with a bigger pull to play here rather than Glasgow as a result.

And finally – what gets you up in the morning?

The constant noise in our heads in the form of riffs and melodies that is always there whether we like it or not. When you get up each morning and pick up your guitar and jam out a few ideas, it’s something that happens. It sounds cheesy but when you do this, when you write music, it chooses you – you don’t choose it. So whether you like it or not, when you get up in the morning, there is usually a riff there that is screaming to get out of your head and on to a fret board. Sometimes it’s a curse as you might get up and have something else that’s important to do, and all you can think of is that amazing riff in your head. In saying that, if those riffs weren’t there, you’d never get that feeling of satisfaction when you finally hear it in its completion with the entire band. And that makes it all worth it.

www.facebook.com/zillahnoise


Protest The Hero

March 5, 2012

PROTEST THE HERO/ABC2, Glasgow/08.03.12

You’re playing Glasgow on March 8. Why should people come down and check you out?

(Arif Mirabdolbaghi, bass): Why not? Our live show is for fans of progressive rock who don’t like the cheesy showmanship of wanking guitars or a front man with his head up his ass pretending he’s Razor Ramone.

Why is your live show better than anyone else’s?

It’s not. We do our best but we’re not exactly Gwar, or GG Allin, or a stage production of Cats.

On the same night of your Glasgow gig, Cannibal Corpse will be playing upstairs in the same building. Who is going to put on the best gig?

I’ve never seen Cannibal Corpse but they’re immortalized in Ace Ventura so they’ve got to be doing something right.

They say there’s a time and place for everything, so when’s the best time to listen to Protest The Hero and where’s the best place?

I’m not sure because I don’t listen to Protest The Hero. Choose your own adventure!

How would you describe your music to someone who has never heard it before?

New progressive rock with a side of thrash.

Who else is floating your boat in the music scene right now?

Outside of Propagandhi and occasionally Mastodon, there’s precious little in the world of rock/metal/etc that does anything for me. I love listening to The Eagles when I go down on my girlfriend though.

And finally, if you were threatened with death and the only way to escape was to either collaborate with Justin Bieber or Miley Cyrus, who would you pick?

This is a stupid question. I would collaborate with either, collect my sack of money, then fuck off to an island to do drugs and play ukulele til I die at 27.

www.protestthehero.com


Metal Monday

January 23, 2012

Here at The Daily Dose like a bit of metal, so it’s a good thing that there’s plenty of the stuff in Scotland over the next couple of months…

Four Year Strong, who so valiantly bridge the gap between metal and pop-punk, take to the Garage in Glasgow on 28 January, whilst the same venue plays host to metalcore troupe The Devil Wears Prada eight days later on 5 February. The latter aren’t very good, but they’re quite popular. We’re sorry if you like them, but your silly opinions are misguided.

To a double bill then genuinely worth wetting yourself for as Mastodon bring with them one of rock and roll’s best live acts, The Dillinger Escape Plan, to the Barrowland, Glasgow on 7 February. We reckon Mastodon‘s ‘The Hunter’ was the best album of 2011; will this be the best gig on 2012? Maybe. Probably not. Will it? Okay then.

Mastodon: So good they don’t even need faces

Only a day later and progressive metal godfathers Dream Theater visit the same city, set to excel once again in their whole no-one-knows-about-us-yet-we’re-massive-and-pretty-amazing thing that they do; they are genuinely incredible however, both in their musicianship and songwriting nous. Pulled Apart By Horses, who deserve a big audience too, play King Tut’s on 13 February, and although they’re not typically metal, there’s certainly a lot of hairy balls and chunk going on. That is ‘hairy’ balls and chunk – not ‘hairy balls’ and chunk – although we’re pretty sure cumulatively their baby-makers equate the hairiness of eight coconuts.

And what better way to end this post than with a look at 8 March; the day when metal takes over Glasgow’s ABC – the salad bowl that usually consists of indie kids, freshers and sweaty hunters looking for aforementioned fresher prey. And the salad dressing? Well, there’s probably not a lot of dressing, to be fair. Upstairs in ABC1 under the fancy disco ball you’ve got death overlords Cannibal Corpse headlining a Metal Hammer sponsored shindig, whilst downstairs in the smaller ABC2 are the fantastic Protest The Hero. They don’t deserve to come over all the way from Canada to play in that horrible, pitch-black room with that corner where last night ‘Wee Johnny’ from the Caley Uni halls puked up 99p jelly vodkas. Poor them – take pity and buy ten tickets each so next time they come to Scotland they get bumped up. Just look at the video still below: the bassist is playing whilst walking a dog, and the guitarist is rocking out on a bike. What’s not to like?


Turisas

October 31, 2011

TURISAS/Garage, Glasgow/03.11.11

You’re playing Glasgow on 3 November. Why should people come and check you out?

(Olli Vanska, violin): We’ve played in Glasgow many times and it’s always been a blast. We’re known for highly energetic, fun-packed live shows with a lot of dancing and singalong-worthy tunes. We are coming to the UK straight from the European Heidenfest tour, so you can be guaranteed that we are properly warmed up. On this tour we wanted to play all over the country, even in some very small clubs. A night to remember.

Is Scotland a place that holds many memories for you?

I think we’ve done Glasgow maybe three or four times? At least Cathouse, Academy, probably Garage as well. Always had a fun time. And you seem to deep fry almost anything? I also remember sitting a whole day in a bar called the Lord of the Isles, drinking some local stuff and eating Abbot Ale pie. Good one.

How would you describe your music to someone who has never heard it before?

Ahh, this is always a difficult one… think of a gypsy wedding raided by drunken disco-dancing Scandinavian battalion with big balls.

You like a bit of dressing up and a bit of red and black make up too. What’s the thinking behind it all?

For us, it’s not about live-action role playing or anything ridiculous like that…It’s more like a war paint and gear, stuff that just fits with the music. Originally it was just blood splatters and dirt, but on the first tour the patterns just became more recognizable. It was like an arms race, everybody was trying to top the other guys’ paint job. From another angle: I couldn’t think of us performing in metal band t-shirts and camouflage shorts, playing our music – that wouldn’t be credible.

Metal seems like a genre that is always open to theatrics, which in turn often leaves it open to ridicule. Do you get a lot of people who criticise you and your costumes?

Yeah, of course. In costumes like these it’s inevitable. We’re no Lordi or Gwar, though. Then again, it’s just a costume – others play in a tuxedo, some in jeans, some in a battle gear. In the end it’s about escapism, I guess; people want that feeling of immersion. It’s easy to laugh on internet, but we’re pretty damn good in convincing people in live shows.

You’re from Finland. Just how big is the metal scene back home in Scandinavia?

Pretty big. There’s a lot of live shows and even on the mainstream summer festivals the amount of metal acts is notable. Finland has a lot of internationally known bands such as Nightwish, HIM, Children of Bodom and well, us. It’s pretty normal for CoB to go #1 on the national chart, for example. Sweden of course has its own scene, specialized in melodic death metal; Norway is renowned of its black metal bands. Still, apart from the spearhead bands, there are a lot of middle-rank bands in all Scandinavian countries that are hardly millionaires.

And finally, what’s the best way to spend a Sunday afternoon – flower pressing or some sewing?

From these two, I would definitely go with sewing. I’m no good with plants, I even managed to kill a cactus. Although flower pressing generally involves dead plants, after all.

www.turisas.com


Between The Buried And Me

September 26, 2011

Between The Buried And Me

One of our favourite metal bands Between The Buried And Me hit Glasgow recently to play a sold-out show at King Tut’s, so naturally we thought we’d catch up with the band to check how they’re doing. Bassist Dan Briggs tells us more.

Your recently released EP has three songs on it, and clocks in at 30 minutes. Does writing long songs come naturally to you?

Someone will either start off with a part or a series of parts and then once one person hears it – like maybe Paul [Waggoner, guitar] will play me something and I will instantly have ideas to spawn off of that. Because of the bands we like and we listen to, we’re used to songs that don’t wrap themselves up very easily – it’s like they have to go through a bit of a journey. Our idea of songwriting has gotten a little more expansive over the years. It’s interesting to see what we do on the next album – I kinda want to try maybe doing some shorter bits. It’ll be cool to experiment.

Because of all that, you get the ‘progressive’ label a lot. Are you happy with it?

Absolutely. When I was talking about some of the music that we listen to…Yes are obviously known for all that – ‘Close To The Edge’ was a three song full-length album – and there’s Rush, King Crimson, all these bands. They’re bands that I still listen to, and when I listen to them it’s like I’m enjoying it but I’m also just constantly learning and doing research. I’ve always been a big Zappa fan, but this summer I feel like I’ve gotten way into all the live stuff and everything. It’s almost like it was a lesson in school or something. That’s what I get from that music, and I think that’s what we strive to get in our music. We’re kind of like the musician’s band or whatever – we’re always trying to get better as players and as songwriters. It’s just like trying to satisfy that crazy urge that we have. So yeah, our band is always trying to progress.

Do you think you’re making prog cool again?

I don’t know. I would think there were already bands before us doing that, like The Mars Volta and Mastodon. There’s bands out there that are not doing it in a kind of geeky way. We kind of take from both worlds – we’re not afraid to be geeky.

Your music is very technical. Are you human?

Of course. When we write it at first, there’s always parts we can’t fully play yet, and that’s expected with every album. It’s not like we wrote ‘Ants of the Sky’ and then the next week we showed up and played through the whole thing. We wrote it and then seven months later, after we’d already recorded it, preparing to go on tour, we could sort of play it. And now we can actually play it. Four years later!

Who’s the most important member of the band?

We were playing a game before this tour where we were like ‘Who would replace each member of the band?’ We found replacements for Paul, Dusty and Tommy, but with Blake and I, they were up in the air. We said we’d probably replace Blake with Navene from Animals As Leaders if we had to,  but they couldn’t think of a good bass replacement. I don’t think they were thinking very hard. But we’ve had this line up for about six years now, and if you were to take away any one piece and it’d be weird.

But you’re a bass player – no-one would care if the bass player isn’t there!

A bass player who writes music though…people may hear guitar parts and not realise the bass player wrote them. When I write though, I write on the guitar. I started on guitar when I was really young, and moved to bass when I was about 12 or 13. It’s always my go-to. I play guitar in another band, called Orbs. I’m always playing guitar, but I’m always playing bass too, so best of both worlds.

You’ve done a covers album in the past. If you could choose one band to cover your songs, who would it be?

We toured with Dream Theater, and we knew Mike Portnoy was a fan of our band, so it might have been cool when he was in the band. And it’d be interesting to see how a band who is usually melodic would interpret our songs. But yeah, I’d probably say Dream Theater.

www.facebook.com/BTBAMofficial


The winter of…content

August 29, 2011

Summer is leaving us as quickly as last night’s chips and cheese from Best Kebab, so we’re preparing ourselves for dark clouds and a lot of rain. And what better music to soundtrack the autumn and winter months than metal? Good thing then that Scotland has some barnstorming metal lined up over the next little while.

Reading djenters TesseracT hit Glasgow’s Cathouse on 13 September, soon followed by fellow tech-metallers and all round pant-wetters Between The Buried Me, who will no doubt demolish King Tut’s to smithereens on 23 September. It is going to be amazing. We promise.

Young Legionnaire aren’t quite metal, but they aren’t quite ‘rock’ either, and they play King Tut’s on 5 October. They feature members of Bloc Party and The Automatic – but don’t judge them. From alt-rockers to scary men in makeup, Black Veil Brides hit Glasgow’s ABC on 9 October with all their theatrical pomp. But we’re informed it is sold out, so good luck getting a ticket.

Black Veil Brides: Weird (photo: Chad Michael Ward)

But who cares about unit-shifting metallers when you’ve got great talent on your doorstep? Scotland’s Achren and Zombie Militia play the 13th Note in Glasgow on 15 October, but let’s hope the latter’s live show is a tad more engaging than their interview skills.  It’s a pinch and a punch of Manowar for the first of the month meanwhile as the semi-naked warriors return to Glasgow on 1 November, but it’s not all about the Dear Green Place as Swedish overlords Opeth play Edinburgh’s HMV Picture House on 10 November.

December usually brings a lot of goodness, like snow, presents and Jingle All The Way on ITV2, but it seems like the gods of metal are being extra nice to us this year. Ear drums will be begging for mercy as Glasgow looks set to reign supreme with a triple-header of stupendous bills in three straight days of anarchy. Machine Head and package tour chums – Bring Me The Horizon, DevilDriver – hit the SECC on 5 December before Trivium and In Flames ambush the 02 Academy only a day later. But in what is our Most Anticipated Gig Of The Year, Every Time I Die visit King Tut’s on 7 December, promising to be the most stupidly sensational metal gig of 2011.

However, George Michael is playing the SECC on the same night. Decisions, decisions…


15 Times Dead

April 4, 2011

15 TIMES DEAD/Glasgow

How do you sum up 15 Times Dead in three words?

Scotti Watson (guitar/vocals): Chunky. Assed. Metal.

Wullie Brownlie (drums): Groove, power, performance.

Why 15 times dead? Is one not enough?

SW: One is never enough where metal is concerned…unless you’re Metallica.  Besides, we killed a lot of people to secure the name so it’s more of a trophy number. Seriously though, Wullie’s mate worked with a guy who had a heart attack and died in the ambulance but was revived on route to the hospital, where he then died a further 14 times, each time being revived and is currently back at work, having been ‘15 times dead’…TA DAH!!!!

You’re the self-proclaimed ‘Godfathers of Girth Metal’. What makes your music so girthy?

SW: We decided after someone commented on our song ‘Girth Giver’ and said they really liked our Girth Metal sound…it stuck and given there ain’t anyone like us out there it made sense to proclaim to one and all that we are the Godfathers of Girth Metal – we like it big, heavy and chunky…

How did you get into metal into the first place?

SW: For me it was the end of the 80s and my mate left a tape of Iron Maiden‘s ‘Seventh Son of a Seventh Son’ at my house.  I listened, I loved and I was hooked since then.  From there, the natural wish to play guitar (after my parents refused drums) followed…

Andy and Tom Ritchie (bass/vocals, guitar/vocals): As brothers we lived together and Tom drummed metal and rock into me every night as I tried to sleep.

WB: For me it was Pantera versus pop in the 90s. I was a skater at school so was an outcast rebel from the start. I grew up in a biker household and angry music followed.

How often do you listen to your own tunes?

SW: Every day of course! Aside from in the studio and practicing, we’ve got the tunes on playlists on our iPods/MP3 players/phones plus any time we have a new tune we tend to listen to it to death to see where it can be improved.  Not narcissistic but if you don’t love your own stuff what’s the point in playing it?

What’s your take on the current state of the Scottish metal scene?

The metal scene in Scotland is pretty damn healthy, the venues perhaps not so.  There are a lot of great bands of various different styles all over the country.  Some favorites of ours personally are the likes of Komatoze from Greenock, our mates in Attica Rage of course, Dirty Rose and the Amorettes over towards Edinburgh then the likes of Firebrand Super Rock and Ten Tonne Dozer from the east and the Shetland respectively.  There’s bucketloads of talent but at times I think because it’s not mainstream it’s ignored and that is not only a damn shame but it makes me damn angry as well. 

And finally, girth or length?

After you’ve seen us live you’ll KNOW it’s definitely about THE GIRTH…

www.myspace.com/15timesdead