Podcast Episode 57 – Richard Christy and John Arch

The latest episode of the Mars Attacks podcast contains interviews with Charred Walls Of The Damned drummer Richard Christy and John Arch of Arch – Matheos.

Richard discusses the band’s latest album Cold Winds On Timeless Days, what it was like to leave Iced Earth for the Howard Stern Show, his gear, and the late Chuck Shuldiner among other things.

John Arch discusses the album Sympathetic Resonance, his past in Fates Warning, his expectations for Arch – Matheos along with a slew of other things.

During the episode you’ll hear snippets of the following tracks:

Charred Walls Of The Damend – Zerospan
Overkill – Come And Get It
Kill Devil Hill – War Machine
Monument – Fatal Attack
Dark Day Sunday – Halfway To Godz
Arch – Matheos – Midnight Serenade
Arch – Matheos – Stained Glass Sky
Charred Walls Of The Damned – Timeless Days
Charred Walls Of The Damned – Forever Marching On
Control Denied – Expect The Unexpected

The podcast portion can be streamed or downloaded from here:

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Classic Albums – Motley Crue – Shout At The Devil

This month’s Classic Albums Column focuses on Motley Crue‘s Shout At The Devil. Mars Attacks Podcast episode 56 features comments from Glen Drover, Gene Hoglan, Jon Schaffer, Alan Tecchio, Dave Reffett, author Martin Popoff, Mitch Lafon from Bravewords, Mark Strigl from Talking Metal, and John from Iron City Rocks. As we established with the previous podcast we also discuss why this album was selected. You will find the podcast at the bottom of this post.

Remember that you can go here index page to find out further details on everyone involved in the column.

Greg Prato – Shout At The Devil: The last album Motley Crue released that I can still somewhat stomach. They seemed to totally lose their minds after this album – bad glam metal, lame songs (“Girls Girls Girls”), idiotic behavior. Not a fan at all. But circa 1984, the Crue was one of my favs, and ‘Shout’ and ‘Too Fast’ were constantly being listened on my Sony Walkman. After that? No thank you.

Dave Starr – Don’t get me started…. Everyone had this record when it came out, but I always though these guys were way over rated.

Dan Lorenzo – Most bands first albums hit you the hardest. Shout At The Devil was Motley’s 2nd cd but it is STILL my favorite. I am not a fan of much of the Crue’s music that followed “Shout”. Yeah, each cd had a couple great songs, but Shout At The Devil is easily their best. And for some reason, other than Judas Priest, I’ve seen Motley more than any other band-because it was ALWAYS about more than just the music. Nikki Sixx has always described Motley Crue as a pseudo “punk” band. I worship Nikki…but have no clue what the hell he is talking about. I am in no means an expert on punk music….but I am pretty sure Motley has NOTHING to do with punk. Ok, so they stole the riff for “Ten Seconds To Love” from one of the best cds ever ( The Plasmatics Coup De E’tat), but this is glam metal with dropped tuning. The title track and “Bastard” are stunning. And I’m only slightly embarrassed to admit that “Too Young To Fall In Love” gets me EVERY time I hear it on Sirius/XMs “The Boneyard”. Pure pop genius. Mick Mars deserves so much more credit than he gets. As simple as Motley’s music sounds Mick has some tricky moves on this cd. Vince’s voice was already done by the time he left the studio after this…but I’ll still go see them every time they pass through NYC.

Jon Leon – Solid album. The Crue are an attitude band and sell a look. They are the KISS of the 80′s…they have not really aged well though with the material that followed this album. They have lost me over time. As a kid I would rock this one hard and it has some great hooks by Mick Mars who is one of the most under rated guitar players in metal. He really had a cool tone and vibe that made those first 2 crue albums hold up. I would say after this one I would not ever seek out a later release when I am buying vinyl, and I have no desire to see them live. I would have loved to have seen the 84 tour with OZZY though.

Metal Mike – Killer album. Shout At The Devil has modern Black Metal roots all over it whether people are aware if it or not. Songs rock and you are listening to a real band, raw in the studio as you see them on the streets. I miss that sometimes. Crue is bad ass.

Erik Kluiber – The first 2 albums were their best, and then some good radio hits afterwards. Too bad they couldn’t keep the fire.

Phil Rind – They’ve got the looks that kill!

Ricky Armellino – Motley Crue was a big inspiration to me. After watching some of their tv special I just looked at my guitar and was like “maybe hip hop would be a more fitting place for my ideologies”. I literally had rape fantasies about these mongrels.

Mitts – This is definitely the most metal record this band ever released. The pentagrams and occult theme were a little goofy, but the songs are classic.

James J. LaRue – I was into ‘metal’ as a kid, and I did not include Crue, Poison, Warrant, etc in my collection as they were too glam and not really virtuosos, but the hooks were just too catchy on this one and it won me over. Which means it’s damn good. People from all walks of life know these songs. When I see old footage from those days, Crue were obviously there early in that scene and their live shows at the time were insane. You could say it was very derivative of a Kiss show, but more evil and satanic with all the pentagrams. A way heavier image than the music called for. They were on fire, literally, back then.

Kevin Estrada -Motley was one of the local bands in Los Angeles that I was lucky enough to have followed since their beginnings. Too Fast For Love was a great set-up and showed that Motley Crue was a serious force to be reckoned with. But Shout At The Devil was the TNT they needed to explode. The writings were on the wall when Motley Crue performed at the US Festival in 1983 – they were up against major metal bands with huge followings (Judas Priest, Van Halen, Scorpions, Ozzy, etc) – and Motley Crue outperformed most of these bands, while at the same time blowing away the audience and locking in 200,000 new fans. The band’s song writing had matured greatly with Shout – songs like Knock ‘Em Dead Kid, Red Hot, Looks That Kill and Too Young To Fall In Love display this maturity. But overall, it was Motley Crue’s hunger for success that wrote that album and broke that band. It was Magic and all the pieces were there.

Scott LePage – This album came out around the time I started playing covers in my first real band. Of course we covered Red Hot and Shout at the Devil. Great heavy driving songs. Probably one of the only “hair band” albums that I got into.

Jim Florentine – My fav Crue album

Gonzalo Leiva – I first heard of the band when Girls, Girls, Girls came out, at the time I went back and discovered their previous album (Theater Of Pain), and they instantly became one of my favorite bands. Shout At The Devil was even better, with its raw sound, and solid songs that fit really well with the band. Also, tracks like the intro In The Beginning and God Bless The Children Of The Beast give the album a special atmospheric touch. My favorite tracks on the album are Red Hot, Too Young To Fall In Love, Shout At The Devil, Danger (among others), also their cover of Helter Skelter is pretty good as well.

Sean Bryant – Oh, wow. While I as in grade school this album came out. We had to write a story in class and mine started out with walking up to a friends house and hearing the opening track “in the beginning”. In the story I remember how cool and frightening I wanted to make it feel. I really don’t think the teachers and the kids, in a SLC class really appreciated how dark my story was. That is all I remember to the story. So it goes.

Will Carroll – The last great Crue album which is kinda sad considering its only their second. This album was my soundtrack for 1984. They took KISS and added fake Satanism and buckets upon buckets of sleaze and I ate it up. Mick Mars’ guitar tone makes this album and let’s face it, at the time nobody looked cooler.

Steve Smyth – I was big on Crue for the first 2 albums, and this one to me defined them in many ways. Their sound was much tighter, and the songs were strong. Red Hot, Bastard, Danger and Shout stood out to me as strong songs, and showed the writing strength of the band, as well as chops of Tommy Lee and Mick Mars.

David Ellefson – In some ways Motley played up the Satanic image more than most and the mainstream bought it. This album was just heavy enough to be loved by the metal heads and just mainstream enough to loved by all.

Chad Bowar – The Crue’s second album saw them refining their sleazy Sunset Strip glam metal, although the sound was still pretty raw. “Looks That Kill,” “Too Young To Fall In Love” and the title track were successful singles, and they also did a cover version of the Beatles’ “Helter Skelter.” Commercially it also did rather well, peaking at number 17 on the album chart. It symbolized the sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll vibe that the ’80s were all about.

Shawn Duncan – I enjoyed this CD when it came out. Motley Crue mixed Metal with glam rock and nailed it. From Shout at the Devil to Looks that Kill this album opened the door for an entire genera of music! You cannot deny the impact of this record.

Jason Bittner – Shout at the Devil was the best album by Motley hands down! At the time they kicked ass, I loved this record, and I was a big Tommy Lee fan when I was a kid (it was 1984 and I hadn’t discovered thrash just yet) of course years later when I met the guy, it was such a letdown that I can sum it up in one word…. A great art rock band from the 90′s – TOOL!!!!!

Scott Thompson – When someone mentions Shout At The Devil my mind always goes back to 1983 practicing in the garage and jamming on the title track. Our guitarist at the time happened to also be a very busy coke dealer and would invariably be late for practice…in his garage. There was this always eager Tommy Lee wanna be that lived next door and would take the opportunity to come over and try to sit in. So I would take the guitar, the drummer would take bass and “Tommy Junior” would hop on the kit. Problem was he only knew the opening part so the whole thing would be him playing that part accompanied by Tommy inspired stick twirls. As pointless as it was it did provide some humor while we waited for the guitarist to show up.
Sadly I don’t think that kid ever had the innate sense to explore the rest of the album. That boy missed a aural feast. This was a still hungry Crue with all the swagger of “Too Fast” but having the benefit of a better budget and some nicely gelling song writing chops.

Let’s start with the cover, I bought this bad boy on vinyl and that black cover with the pentagram was not be ignored. I will admit that a few months later I was also lured into buying the picture disc of Helter Skelter. Most people bought that disc because it was at the time their only way to hear the Leathur Records mixes of a two songs off of “Fast”. That wasn’t the appeal to me since I already owned the original Leathur version. I bought it on the strength of the tunes on “Shout”. I was just caught in the momentum.

To this day the tunes from this album continue to be the cornerstone of any Crue show. It’s almost guaranteed that they are going to play Looks That Kill , the title track, and at least one more. Even though Vince’s voice ain’t what it used to be these tunes always rock balls live.

No matter what else they release I think this album will remain the blueprint of what is considered the Cure sound. Even the title track from their latest release harkens back to “Ten Seconds ‘Till Love”.

There will always be the contingent that will say the Dr. Feelgood is their definitive release but for those of us who bought this own when it first came out, there’s no other Crue release that will ever come close.

Kirk Windstein – Shout At The Devile had a huge impact on me…at the time it came out, I already had Too Fast For Love. S.A.T.D. was much more abrasive sounding, and also took their look a few steps further!

The songs are very strong, and this record, in my opinion, encompasses everything Motley Crue are. It’s the perfect “Cure” record, and the last to still feature their “fuck the world” punk side! I give it 10/10 for sure…a record I never turn off when it’s playing!!!

Jorge Salan – They’re a great rock band, the issue I have is that they have some hits that I can’t profess to really liking, the chick thing, the being on the beach thing, is sort of on a different wave from where I’m at. That said, once Bob Rock got a hold of them things went to a different level, especially a song like Kick Start My Heart, which is such a great song, or something like Sticky Sweet, all of those songs, and actually that album (Dr. Feelgood) is more of my thing.

The podcast portion can be streamed or downloaded from here:

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Podcast Episode 55 – Vinny Appice and Steve Zing

The latest episode of Mars Attacks Podcast contains interviews with Vinny Appice and Steve Zing. Both of these interviews were conducted a few months back, before Black Sabbath announced their return, and before the Danzig Legacy dates took place. As a result, some questions regarding both of these topics have since been answered.

Steve’s interview is up first, he discusses what it was like to prep for the aforementioned Danzig shows, what it’s like to switch from bass or drums (which he has played in Danzig and Samhain respectively), to lead singer in his band Marra’s Drug. Marra’s Drug is the main focus of the interview, but we give you a sneak peak of a future Mars Attacks Classic Albums Column, when Steve is asked about The Misfits. Steve grew up in the same town (Lodi, NJ), went to school with Doyle and was there when the band rose, and consequently came apart. As a result, he provides a unique point of view on the band, and the folklore/urban legend that has surrounded the band all these years later. He also discusses his tenure in Samhain.

Vinny’s interview comes up during the last half of the show, and centers around his new band Kill Devil Hill. He discusses how the band came together, their musical direction, and what each member adds to the mix that makes Kill Devil Hill. With Vinny you also get a sneak peak into a Black Sabbath album that will be featured in an upcoming Classic Albums Column that will debut this summer. While commenting on Sabbath he discusses the possibility of Heaven & Hell continuing without the late Ronnie James Dio, and mentioned several lead singer, namely Glenn Hughes, Bjorn Lande and Rob Halford. He also bring up the fact that he was asked to join Ozzy’s Blizzard of Oz before being asked to join Sabbath, how he purposely set out to differentiate himself from his brother Carmine, the project 9 Chambers, and what it was like to take part in Drum Wars with Carmine.

The episode contains music from Marra’s Drug, Danzig, Black Sabbath and Dio.

The podcast portion can be streamed or downloaded from here:

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Classic Albums – Judas Priest – Painkiller

This month’s Classic Albums Column focuses on Judas Priest‘s Painkiller. Mars Attacks Podcast episode 54 features comments from Doro Pesch, Glen Drover, Gene Hoglan, Jon Schaffer,Alan Tecchio, Dave Reffett, author Martin Popoff, Mitch Lafon from Bravewords, Mark Strigl from Talking Metal,Anirudd “Andrew” Bansal from Metal Assault,and John from Iron City Rocks. As we established with the previous podcast we also discuss why this album was selected. You will find the podcast at the bottom of this post.

Remember that you can go here index page to find out further details on everyone involved in the column.

Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal – I’m a long-time fan of Priest, going back to Rocka Rolla and Sad Wings, they were cool, bluesy, but also melodic and composed, harmonies everywhere, such a great band. From there they got heavier and more intense with each album. They really ripped your head off at moments with Painkiller.

Greg Prato – Painkiller: Although not my all-time fav Priest album (a two-way tie between ‘British Steel’ and ‘Screaming for Vengeance’), it was a great to see the Priest return full-on with ‘Painkiller,’ after a few missteps during the late 1980′s. Rob Halford’s vocal performance throughout the album showed once and for all that he is unquestionably one of metal’s greatest singers (I’d say he and Ronnie James Dio are at the top of my list).

Dave Starr – I love JP, but this is not one of my favorite CD’s from them. I do love several tracks though: “Hammer and the Anvil”, “A Touch of Evil”, and “Hell Patrol”.

Dan Lorenzo – When I was a in high school my favorite bands were Kiss, Cheap Trick, AC/DC and Aerosmith. By the end of high school Kiss was getting cheesy and I discovered Judas Priest. I’ve seen Priest live more than any other band. I saw them as recently as two weeks ago. I even saw them twice with Ripper. Right before Painkiller came out I was “over” Priest. The song “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin” kinda ruined the whole vibe for me. It’s not even a bad song and I LOVE the rest of that cd. But moms now “liked” Judas Priest and I was getting more into Slayer etc. I’ll never forget the first time I heard the title track from Painkiller. I was working on writing the early NON-FICTION material and I thought I knew what was cool and what was not. Dave Holland’s weak drumming was gone and a monster named Scott Travis was now on the throne. Damn. Glenn/KK/Rob, Ian…you got me again. Painkiller is kick ass. I even love the more commercial “Touch of Evil.”. Priest were back on the right track and they have stayed that way. I’ll always cite “Hell Bent For Leather” as my favorite…but Painkiller was a very welcome surprise and a return to form.

Peter Ellis – My favourite Priest album and in my opinion the very best album they ever made. By the time Painkiller came out both KK and Glen Tipton had really matured as guitarists and had started introducing lots of different sounds and new elements to the band’s music and of course this album features some of the very best performances in Rob Halfords storied career too. Also the addition of Scott Travis on the drums proved to be one of the best decisions the band’s ever made and personally I wish they’d done this a lot earlier as I think that Travis sounds like the natural successor to Les Binks and I’ve always believed that bringing Dave Holland in held the band back and put limitations to their style that wouldn’t be there with a more competent drummer.

Jon Leon – Judas Priest gave everyone what they wanted with this album. Scott Travis on drums along with the thrash movement inspired a new direction. It is classic priest but heavy as hell and at a million miles an hour. No Parental Guidance type songs here. Less catchy and more balls out. It was the exclamation point that rounded out and finalized the legacy of the great Judas Priest. I saw the tour as a little kid and they opened with Hell Bent for Leather -it was insane.

Metal Mike – I love this record. It set a blueprint for some many other bands to follow. Bands are still trying to rewrite Painkiller every year, but we all know that there is only one Metal God.

Erik Kluiber – Saw this tour with Megadeth and Testament. Unfortunately, my neighbors who gave me the ride hated priest and forced me to leave once they took the stage.

Ricky Armellino – Always loved the Priest. Just never a reason not to listen to them, ever. Unless you need a break to listen to Dio but you could always just do what I did and play both simultaneously.

Mitts – Judas Priest meets double-bass. The cornerstone heavy metal band added a much needed dose of modern drumming to their sound. Great riffs, too. A punch in the face record, redemption for the band that made “Turbo”.

Chris Tsangarides – What can I say about a record that I made without sounding like a complete ego maniac! But this record is one that I am very proud of on many levels. I was in 7th heaven during this project. It is one of the most cohesive and focused Heavy Metal albums in my humble opinion of all time. We set out with the objective of making a great recording and that’s how it came out. It is so hard to get clarity in the sound when the tempos are so fast but because of the great arrangements between the instrumentation we managed to achieve this. It also inspired a whole slew of bands to carry on in that tradition of Power/Speed Metal.

Raul Galvan – This album along with some of Manowar’s work is what I consider to be the top of the mountain for heavy metal.

JL – Another classic, from one of those bars that oozes smoke, alcohol and metal. Tipton and Downings had their axes sharpened like knives, but nothing cut through more than Halford’s voice. From the album cover, to the song titles, there is nothing more metal than this album, not even if the sky opened up and a downpour of knives ensued!

Gonzalo Leiva – A very powerful album, the opening track makes you say wow after the first listen. The rest of the album is also good, containing some very heavy and technical drumming from Scott Travis. Painkiller is a punishing track, but you also have tracks like Nightcrawler, Between The Hammer And The Anvil, A Touch Of Evil, and Hell Patrol (just to name a few). These tracks make this album a must have for any rock or metal fans.

David Lozano – One of my all time favorite albums, I think it is of utter importance that it finds its way into any metal fan’s album collection. I still think this album is a head of its time, case in point, I still hear bands implementing things in their music that Priest did on this album.

Sean Bryant – I had seen quite a few Priest concerts growing up. One I remember mostly was during Turbo Lover Tour. Bunch of friends and I went to the Salt Palace in SLC. This was the first time I had heard a band blowing the power at a large venue. I always looked forward to him driving his motorcycle out onto the stage. With this album in particular, the only thing that comes to mind is when drinking at the Anchored Inn and Shana from Bad Dream ran down the stairs while she was dj’ing. She insisted that we do shots throughout the song!! Needless to say, my pain was killed that night and many after that.

Will Carroll – A very important album. Not only for JP but also for Heavy Metal in general. It extended the lifeline of metal for a few more years until metal was nearly wiped away in the early/mid nineties. A favorite JP album for many and I can totally see why. My favorite is Sin After Sin.

Steve Smyth – Oh HELL yeah! The mighty Priest delivered the goods after a disappointing few previous records. I loved it when Scott Travis joined them, and Glenn and KK got up some new chops, as Halford delivered the goods in songs like All Guns Blazing, Nightcrawler, Hell Patrol, Leather Rebel, and the title track! One of my favorites from the mighty Priest!

Jon Bodan – This was the album that got me into Priest, before that I had come up on some glam like Skid Row and from that got into bands like Metallica and Testament. So I heard these guys on a compilation CD and was like “where have I been”? Halcyon Way used to tease the song “Painkiller” at the end of our set but we could never be bothered to learn the whole thing, haha. But the best story with this is that one time I was with our old singer Sean at this Korean karaoke bar, and all these people were singing these Korean pop ballads….so I went over and signed him up to do “Painkiller”. It was hysterical, everyone there was like “What the hell????” Classic.

Domonic Rini – Rob Halford really shows his vocal prowess in this effort. Some of his greatest tones on any Priest albums are found in this one. I think with Painkiller, Judas Priest was really trying to see how metal they can be and it really shows.

Shawn Duncan – Awesome, Love Painkiller!

Wayne Findlay – Painkiller…Wow, what a killer intro with Scott Travis at his best.
I was blown away when I found out he got the drummer position for Priest. He was great in Racer-X and when he joined Priest, it took them in a whole new direction. This album just brought it to a whole new level for Priest.

Tim Ripper Owens – Great cd. Really brought the Priest back to form, and that was with a lot of help from Scott Travis. WOW, he was just amazing and gave them the spark they needed! But everyone was on their Game. Amazing guitar playing, Bass playing and Singing!! P A I N!!!!!!

Jason Bittner – Priest’s best album hands down- the guitar work got amazingly better from Ram it Down to PK!! Obviously the BIGGEST improvement was adding the mighty Scott Travis to the band! I got PK on tape for Xmas in 1991, and refused to leave my basement that day for family affairs until I had that intro learned and down!! And I succeeded too!! Many many years later Scott and I are friends and I actually bought his old kick drum road case off him back in 2004- he still asks me about it, and yes I still have it- gonna be sad to see this band actually say “farewell”. Priest rules!!

Anthony Esposito – Monster cd,
hello Scott Travis……from the opening sound making his arrival noted. He is a monster drummer. We played a show with them in Los Angeles right after this (album) was released.
At soundcheck, while Priest was up onstage George quietly turned to me and said “Ant, we are gettin blown away tonight.” The title cut and A Touch Of Evil are my favorites (on the album). Rob’s voice is amazing as usual.

Kirk Windstein – It was a welcomed surprise after the disappointing RAM IT DOWN record. PAINKILLER is an over the top, pure metal masterpiece! Great riffs, solos, and of course, vocals. Halford earns a 10 out of 10 for his work! Actually, all the members do, and the addition of Scott Travis was the icing on the cake. In my opinion it should have been the follow up to DEFENDERS…Judas Priest (The Best Heavy Metal Band Ever), were at their finest on this classic! Thanks for the Metal, Gentlemen!!!

Jose Izquierdo – I discovered Judas Priest with this album. I mean I had heard songs, but I really didn’t know people that where in tune with the band, and could hook me up with a tape of their songs. There wasn’t really a radio station in Albacete (Spain) that played Judas Priest either. Someone gave me a copy of the album, and of course after that I started really looking into their music.

David G. Alvarez – I remember seeing Painkiller, Jugulator, and a video compliation, I believe it was called Metalworks, I don’t exactly remember. But and then saw images in Rockarolla, and thought to myself, I think I bought the wrong tape. I saw that hats, and everything else they were wearing and though it was something else. My favorite track off of the album is Metal Meltdown, it’s obvious they made a serious changes to their sound, especially with the guitars. They changed from very melodic playing to sweep picking, and they returned with their own proper sound. Scott Travis also gave a big push to the band, a lot of energy.

Jorge Salan – I really like this album, but I have to say that Stained Class is my favorite album by the band. A track like Exciter is one of those that really inspired me, it’s a classic. I think the redone version from Hero Hero, I don’t remember if it was a compilation, or if it was all new tracks, but it had Victim of Changes, which I think is just ridiculously good. I really like Painkiller, but I’ll stick with those two I mentioned.

Militia – A great album through and through! Killer songs loaded with all the best elements of


Halford’s vocal performance is enthralling- an uncanny balance of raw aggression and operatic precision. Lyrics that are borderline Shakespearian. Artwork, imagery and storytelling of creatures and monsters that create its own heavy metal mythological world. Guitar tones and riffs that singe your fuckin ears. Drums that relentlessly beat your brain into a bloody pulp. And that signature Priest groove that keeps it all together is so addictive…

Some of my favorite Priest songs are on here: Hell Patrol, Nightcrawler, Metal Meltdown, Between the Hammer and the Anvil and the ultimate metal anthem as well as one of my favorite songs to sing- the PAAAAINKILLAAAAH!

Chris Howorth – This is such an incredible album, and its arguably the heaviest priest album of all time! The title track pretty much sums the whole thing up, starting with Scott Travis ripping drum intro and non stop double bass, and Tipton and Downing turned the gain knob to ten and shredded their asses off from start to finish, I always loved Judas Priest but this album got brownie points for being extra heavy right at the time when grunge and all that crap was getting popular. This album is a lesson in real metal, pay attention all you trend following scene metal bands!

Remember that you can go here index page to find out further details on everyone involved in the column.

The podcast portion can be streamed or downloaded from here:

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Podcast Episode 53 – Kittie, Vangough and Edge Of Paradise

During this episode we bring you three interviews, Morgan Lander from Kittie, Clay Winthrow of Vangough and Margarita Monet of Edge of Paradise. Morgan discusses Kittie’s latest album I’ve Failed you, her gear, touring with the band, playing with Lazarus A.D.’s Jeff Paulick, etc. Clay discusses his transition from solo artist to Vangough, what influence if any Oklahoma Citys has on the band’s music, their latest album Kingdom of Ruin, and being a professor at a local university among other things. A few of the topics Margarita covers includes Edge of Paradise’s album Mask, playing with Tony Franklin and Gregg Bissonette, and what the band’s connection is to Robyn McAuley.

The episode contains music by all three bands, as well as Orange Goblin and Wildestarr.

The podcast can be streamed or downloaded from here:

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Podcast Episode 52 – Uriah Heep & Pop Evil

The latest edition of the Mars Attacks Podcast consists of two interviews. One with Phil Lanzon of Uriah Heep, and other with Leigh Kakaty of Pop Evil. Phil discusses everything from the band’s latest studio album Into The Wild, what it’s like to be a keyboard player in a band like Uriah Heep, and what difficulties he runs into with gear while out on tour, etc. Leigh discusses working with Johnny K on War Of Angels, how exposure sports outlets have helped spread the band’s name, and what it was like to open for Whitesnake and Judas Priest, among other things.

The episode contains tracks from Uriah Heep, Pop Evil, Huntress, Trent Reznor, and Holy Grail.

The podcast can be streamed or downloaded from here:

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Classic Albums – Megadeth – Peace Sells…But Who’s Buying

This month’s Classic Albums Column focuses on Megadeth‘s second full length album Peace Sells…But Who’s Buying?. Mars Attacks Podcast episode 51 features comments from Chris Poland,Glen Drover,Doro Pesch, Gene Hoglan, Jon Schaffer,Alan Tecchio, Dave Reffett, author Martin Popoff, Mitch Lafon fromBravewords, Mark Strigl from Talking Metal,Anirudd “Andrew” Bansal from Metal Assault,and Aaron from Iron City Rocks. As we established with the previous podcast we also discuss why this album was selected. You will find the podcast at the bottom of this post.

Remember that you can go here index page to find out further details on everyone involved in the column.

Here is a Q&A with founding member of Megadeth David Ellefson. The questions obviously focus on Peace Sells.

When writing/recording the material that ended up on Peace Sells…But Who’s Buying? was it apparent to you or anyone else in the band how important this album would be for Megadeth and for metal?
We didn’t think about in those terms but as we did a quick three week tour just prior to recording the album we could certainly tell that “Peace Sells..” Was going to be a hit. Beyond that, we worked really hard touring that album for 18 months around the world in the USA, Japan, Europe and finally ending with a show in Hawaii. It was epic and was so cool to do that at such a young age.

At what point does the album’s importance become apparent to you?
Once the video for “Peace Sells.” hit MTV we knew we had something special going. You could tell by watching it that it wasn’t your typical high gloss, overly produced film-type of video but rather a real raw and edgy clip and that was something really unique on MTV in those days. After that people outside of just Thrash metal took notice of who we were.

The opening bassline of the title track is arguably your most recognizable part, who came up with that intro? When recording the track did you ever think that people would identify you with it 25 years later?
Dave wrote the song and it quickly came together in our rehearsal room as a four piece. I remember adding the high harmony vocal to the outro chorus and everyone looking at me like ‘wow, he can actually sing like that!’. It was from my training listening to Michael Anthony’s vocal lines in Van Halen as a teenager.

The bass line and end guitar riff are essentially the same part and starting the tune with the bass riff was unique as most metal tunes start with a guitar riff or the entire band. Dave was always calling me to the forefront of the songs rather than just being a background bass player and I think that really set us apart from a lot of the other metal going on in those days. We had a really powerful front line to the band with two very different guitar players and an aggressive bassist in me.

How much pressure was placed on the band to deliver the album?
Initially it was recorded for Combat Records, our label at the time. We were more insistent on getting it done than anyone because we had completed the “Killing Is My Business” a few months prior and we knew we had to get the next album done to get back on tour. Plus, we were hoping that a major label would pick us up.

Once Capitol Records got involved to pick up our contract and be our new major label we couldn’t wait to get going. By that time the album was recorded and mixed and then they brought in Paul Lani to do a re-mix to give it a bit more polished sound. He was the one that muted the band during the “Peace Sells.” chorus, which really helped make it sound more like a radio hit. He also muted the bass on the beginning outro riff for “Wake Up Dead” and that added a nice dynamic to build the ending of the song.

A lot of emphasis is always placed on you and Dave Mustaine regarding this album, that said, could this album of been recorded with anyone else but Chris Poland and Gar Samuelson?
After having recorded our debut album and then doing the pre-production tour for “Peace Sells.” in early ’86 we had really tightened up as a band. It was the four of us that had that magic sound for that record. There isn’t another album in our catalog that sounds quite like it!

Given what they did on the Megadeth albums does it surprise you that Gar and Chris never had any commercial success after the band?
It’s very difficult to ever have ANY success in this business and usually lighting doesn’t strike twice if you get one shot at it. The simple fact is that even though the Megadeth fans will always check out other things we each may do they really just want us in THIS band.

How has your gear evolved from when this album was recorded?
Pretty much everything is different. I was using BC Rich basses back then. I used two of them to record that album. The one was the fighter jet graphic Mockingbird which is now in the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. It had Alembic P/J pickups and active preamp. The other was a red Mockingbird that had two Dimarzio P-bass pickups with the standard active circuitry from BC Rich. They both had Badass bridges.

For amps, I had these two 4×12 cabinets made by a manufacturer in down town Los Angeles known as Decuir. They had some generic bass speakers in them. I used an Ashley pre-amp and AB Systems power amps that were part of a PA system I owned back in Minnesota a few years earlier. I picked those components out and put them in a rack to build a bass rig for myself and brought it out to LA with me when I moved out there in 1983 after I graduated high school.

Not too long after we went on tour for that album in late ’86 or early ’87 I switched over to Jackson Concert basses and Hartke 4×10 cabinets with GK 800RB heads. I use a similar setup now with a new line of Jackson basses and the latest Hartke LH1000 amps and their HyDrive 810 cabinets.

What is the biggest compliment you’ve received concerning this album?
I think that so many people regard it as this seminal album, one that has such an impact on their lives. That’s always cool to hear and of course I’m always appreciative of the compliments on playing the “Peace Sells.” opening bass line!

Does the album’s impact of the album effect the band when going in and recording a new album?
I think you tend to draw on all of your experiences when recording a new album. All of those albums help you get to where you are now.

One thing that has always interested me about Megadeth is you never hear band members come out and say our new album is “our best album since Peace Sells” or “it sounds like Peace Sells Vs. Rust In Peace). How important is it to the band to make sure each album stands out on its own?
To us those couple of fan favorite albums like “Peace Sells.” and “Rust In Peace” are just albums we did during those periods and are just part of our overall work. It’s like trying to pick our your favorite children.you can’t do it because they are all part of your family. We put the same intensity into every album we do and it’s every once in a while one will rise up as the crème’ de le crème’ for the fans. For that, we are truly appreciative!

Here are comments sent in by others regarding the album.

Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal – Great album! Love what Poland and Ellefson did on that album…

Greg Prato – I’m not the biggest “prog metal” fan, but Megadeth is about as close to the style that I can say I honestly enjoy. Dave Mustaine is one of metal’s greatest guitarists, and I don’t judge a “great guitarist” by how fast he/she can solo. I mean the amount of great riffs, their influence on other guitarists, etc., and Mustaine certainly fits the bill. I first heard ‘Peace Sells’ in late ’86, and it blew me away – especially all of side one. I still sometimes wonder what Metallica would have been like if they kept their short-lived Hetfield-Mustaine-Burton-Ulrich line-up intact.

Dan Lorenzo – Do you want to know why I have a ton of respect for Dave Mustaine? Because he’s a survivor. Imagine the horror of being kicked out of a band that is about to take off big-time. Lesser men would fold and never be heard from again. One time, Jason McMaster told me he thought Megadeth were Metallica-lite. I don’t see it that way at all. Dave was a VERY important ingredient in the first Metallica album, and I love the first Megadeth cd. When I first heard the opening track, “Wake Up Dead” off “Peace Sells” I knew Dave could be in for the long hall. I LOVE Wake Up Dead. Peace Sells scared the shit out of everybody in HADES. Why? Because we were pulling up to LaMour in Brooklyn to open up for Megadeth as they were doing their soundcheck. My God, they sounded JUST like the record. We felt better when we realized they were filming a video for “Peace Sells” and it WAS their record. Dave could be intimidating, but he was always cool with us…even wearing the ugly red HADES shirt I gave him after the show. I loved their cover of “I Ain’t Superstitious” as well.

Jon Leon – I remember when I was given this as a gift on cassette. From the sound of the capitol records beeps came a riff that to this day defines what thrash IS to me. Wake up Dead is just a perfect thrash metal song. Along with Slayers Angel of Death and Metallicas Battery-it was one of the 3 1986 anthems that opened 3 amazing releases. This album features the 2 MVP members of Megadeth-Chris Poland and Gar Samuelson(RIP) Chris Poland has always had an amazing Jazz/metal fusion band called OHM that plays in L.A. often and I recommend seeking them out. This album is the best Megadeth and one of thrashes all time must owns.

Joel Gausten
- Best bassline in Metal. This and “So Far…” define Megadeth for me.

Metal Mike – I sharpened my guitar skills to this record. I must say that Megadeth is probably the band that had the most influence on how I write songs and structure guitar riffs. I love early Megadeth stuff. It’s absolutely amazing. Obviously, there is nothing like Mustaine when he is lit up and pissed off.

Erik Kluiber – Possibly the greatest album of all time.

Phil Rind – The last record I liked by Megadeth. Killing is my Business is my fave.

Ricky Armellino – Mustane was such a crucial vocalist for me growing up, you don’t even know. I’m only managing to pull off these vaguely on key speaking grunt vocals and I’m looking over at my copy of “Sells” and I’m all like, “I know I can, Dave. I just know it.”

Mitts – Classic record. This was the point where Dave Mustaine started to write actual songs, instead of trying to prove that Megadeth could play faster than Metallica.

James J. LaRue - This being pre-Marty, I didn’t really get into it. I got to know the title track since it would become a concert staple for them, but Marty’s exotic sounding leads against Dave’s mechanical rhythm is the foil that gave Megadeth their appeal for me. So I’ll always see Rust in Peace (non remastered version) as their “classic”, and it’s the one that got me into them. I love Megadeth, one of my all-time favorites, but I only listen to Marty-era stuff.

Scott Middleton – Light years better than the shoddy production of Killing is My Business…Peace Sells is a true speed metal classic. Wake Up Dead is easily one of their best songs to date and Peace Sells was probably the first Political themed song/album for thrash metal, and really proved that metal could be technical or “thinking man’s music” when it wanted to be

Jaye Schwarzer – This is what your band sounds like when you are still pissed off about being kicked out of your old band and you start railing huge amounts of cocaine. I had never heard songs played so fucking fast while being equally as melodic. Riffs!!

JL – You have to take into account that the albums that I like most by the band are Countdown to Extinction and Youthanasia, but this album was the one that got me into the band. What would have happened if Metallica would have never gotten rid of Mustaine? Would they be infinitely bigger than they are today? I try to focus on the fact that we have been able enjoy a lot of good pieces of music due to the decisions that were made.

Chris Shrum – Some of the best classic Megadeth ever, you can still listen to regularly and never get tired of it!

Mikey Pannone
- I am a huge Megadeth fan, and this album is one of the main reasons why. Dave Mustaine gives us all a lesson in pissed-off genius musicianship, and “Good Mourning/Black Friday” still gives me goosebumps to this day.

Sean Bryant – This was one of those albums that I got into after Metallica. Megadeth was just so fucking raw at this point. Mustaine wasn’t getting all whiny and shit but was washing you with some gritty, no holds barred, fuck you metal. Most of the albums that followed fell off my radar as it seemed that polish started to come about. I like it raw!!

Will Carroll – I loved this album the second “Wake Up Dead” started. Every song rules. Even the cover tune “I Aint Superstitious” delivers. This album gives ANY…ANY Metallica album a run for its money.

Steve Smyth – One of my alltime classic favorites, and 2nd favorite lineup of the band as well! Chris Poland is amazing on this album, and the title track, The Conjuring, Devil’s Island, Good Mourning are standout faves of mine

Chad Bowar – In thrash annals, Peace Sells… captured Megadeth in their prime; a tight, well-oiled machine. Their second album blasted off with “Wake Up Dead,” and includes Megadeth classics like the title track and “Devil’s Island.” The 1986 lineup of Dave Mustaine, Chris Poland, David Ellefson and Gar Samuelson was a strong one, although struggles with drugs made the recording of this album rather difficult.
The band recently released a 25th anniversary remastered edition of the album, which also includes a previously unreleased concert from 1987. Megadeth plays songs from their first two releases, and it’s a very solid set, especially for those who prefer the band’s early material. Superfans and those with some extra cash might want to skip the 2 CD version and go with the deluxe box set.
The box set includes 5 CDs: the original album, the 1987 concert, Dave Mustaine mixes for the 2004 reissue, Randy Burns mixes and the album and concert in high resolution audio. It also comes with 3 LPs, a book, photos and replicas of vintage Megadeth memorabilia. It will set you back nearly 130 bucks, but for hardcore fans it’s well worth it. For thrash fans, Peace Sells…But Who’s Buying? is mandatory.

Bat - I bought Peace Sells on Vinyl when I was about 14, I thought it was amazing, loved Black Friday and used to bring it to the disco in my local community center and ask the DJ to play it, he played it once! A great album.

Etan Rosenbloom – I personally prefer Rust in Peace, but 25 years on, Peace Sells…But Who’s Buying? still stands out among all the other thrash albums from the mid-’80s. Mustaine’s songwriting was so diverse compared to that of his contemporaries, and his distinctive vocal style – a combination of snide growls, roared melodies and spoken asides – grants the charisma that allow his politically-charged lyrics to shine. Thrash metal wasn’t all partying and high tops, and Peace Sells epitomizes the more thoughtful wing of ’80s thrash.

Shawn Duncan – Love this Album! The band sounds killer on this. Peace Sells, Bad Omen, Waking Up Dead, Good morning/Black Friday…The whole thing kicks ass! Always liked Megadeth especially the first 3 records!

Grover XIII – I tend to prefer Rust In Peace for my quick Megadeth fix, but Peace Sells is an undisputed classic. The bassline on the title track is usually enough to give me a half-boner.

Tim Ripper Owens – Wow..What a record!! I did plenty of these tracks growing up in the local scene here in Akron, Ohio!! I did Peace sells, Devils Island, Wake up dead…maybe more!! This is just a great cd, and a classic!! Love the Cd, Love the guys!!

Doug Gibson - I was always partial to Metallica over Megadeth, but “Peace Sells…But Who’s Buying” is a classic that’s held up well over the years. “Peace Sells” and “Wake Up Dead” are timeless thrash classics, while “The Conjuring” and “Devil’s Island” are good cuts too. Anyone growing up in the MTV era likely had the Peace Sells intro bass line ingrained in their heads as I do.

Alex - It is my honor to talk about this album, as it is exactly as old as me. That’s right, aside from ‘Master of Puppets’ and ‘Peace Sells… But Who’s Buying?’, my dad also forgot to pull out. Guess a lot of metal shit was born that year…

The thing I don’t understand about Megadeth’s 80s album titles is: Why did Dave (almost said ‘they’ for a second, hehe) use every punctuation mark in the goddamn universe? Why not call it ‘Peace Sells’? Why call it ‘Peace Sells… But Who’s Buying?’

If he feels witty about it, why not go all the way and name it ‘Peace sells… But who’s buying? Huh? Who is it dude? Tell me. Tell me GOD DAMMIT CAUSE I WANT TO KNOW!!!’ — At least that way I would have been mildly amused by it.

But let’s not nitpick the title too much, after all, it doesn’t matter. Instead, I’m gonna nitpick the songs.

I’m just gonna talk about the title track… First of all, can we really call it ‘the title track’? Correct me if I’m wrong, but the song is called ‘Peace Sells,’ that’s it. Why have common sense about the song, but write a long ass title for the album?

I really like the song, I just think the lyrics are a bit on the pretentious side…

“What do you mean I don’t believe in God? I talk to him everyday” seems like something a maniac would write on a wall before going on a killing spree in a school. I am not suggesting Dave is crazy, but there’s something about people who claim they ‘talk’ to God 1 on 1 that doesn’t sit well with me.

“What do you mean I ain’t kind? I’m just not your kind” — See what he did there? He used the other meaning of kind and flipped the question around, ha ha ha, classic!

I could go on and on about Dave’s lyrics, but I’d just waste both my time and yours. Instead I’m gonna be serious for a second and say that this is a very decent album, and in spite of my lame jokes, I actually really like the title track. I just don’t think it’s anywhere near what Metallica released that year, and yes, I totally went for the obvious Metallica comparison.

I’d give this album a 5 out of 5 star rating if this was a proper review, or if I had any credibility as a music journalist. But it’s not, and I don’t, so let’s just say that it’s a Megadeth classic…. But who’s buying the 1432 remastered editions?

Jason Bittner – “peace sells………hands down the BEST Megadeth record in my opinion! the riffs, the playing, the attitude, you can tell Mustaine had a Metallica monkey on his back. from start to finish this CD kicks major ass, and I used to play along to it all the time………many many years later when I actually “made it” I played some of these tunes with David Ellefson when we did some clinics together – very cool and very fun. Gar was a master drummer – a jazz cat in a metal band…….he was a beast!! RIP

Jessie Sanchez - Growing up in the “mtv generation” i had no idea mtv news was using the intro to peace sells for all their segments. I had been a Megadeth fan before but had never heard “peace sells” back then. My first Megadeth album was “Countdown to Extinction” and i was immediately hooked after the first riff hit my ear drums, I found myself buying all their albums soon after. After finally getting a chance to check out “Peace Sells but whose buying?” i was blown away, the opening track, “Wake up Dead” had a 16 year old hormone pumped Jessie running up the walls with inspiration. “Peace Sells but who whose buying?” was one of the first albums to influence me to pick up the bass in the first place. every black friday i still paint the devil on the wall

Scott Thomas - A bass line, one of the most iconic albums of 1986 is most remembered not for the brilliant guitar work but for a bass line. Dave Ellefson’s classic opening to Peace Sells has been pumped into millions of metal fans heads never to be forgotten, and as the opening for MTV’s news segments it has been infused into millions of non metal fans as well.

So there’s one bit of irony. Then there’s the fact that at 69 bpm, Peace Sells (the best known track) is the slowest overall track on the album. An album from a band with a reputation for being the most uncompromisingly thrashiest band around. Yet it sounds like a freight train hell bent on destruction. There lies a second ironic twist. And yet in that irony lies the brilliance of Megadeth which finally blooms with this album and would explode with the followup “Rust”.
A mere thrash band would just go for speed. Megadeth was no mere thrash band. They brought elements previously taboo in thrash. Gar and Chris brought in jazz and bop. Combined with the hard rock and classic metal elements from Dave squared and you get the light and shade that influenced so many bands that came after including future lineups of Megadeth. Yes, some of this was present in Killing, but here was an album with a better budget that allowed that vision to be fully formed.
Seven tracks (I’m not counting the cover tune) of pure rage and substance fueled metal. In the words of someone I can’t remember “All killer, no filler”. Perfectly sequenced on vinyl with a heavy on the mids sonic signature shamelessly copied ever after, Peace Sells continues to be quite simply one of Mustaine’s finest hours.

Perhaps it isn’t put any better than in Dave’s own words from “My Last Words” final track on the disc, “Feel a might unsteady, but still I have to play”.

Jorge Salan – I love this band, especially Youthinasia. This is one of those special albums that catched you during a certain period of time, a certain period of your life, around thirteen years of age. And I can’t say for sure it’s their “best album”, but due to the age you start listening to the album, it becomes something special to you. Especially the second track on the album Train Of Consequence which to me is just a huge song.

Jose Izquierdo – An absolute gem! What this band does is very special, you hear the guitar parts which are very thrash, but what they do on bass and drums is extraordinary, and puts the band at another level. Given what we do in this band, Peace Sells, and Rust In Peace go beyond being simple albums. They become essential lessons of what needs to be played in this band.

David G. Alvarez – To me this album is a reference point for not only for thrash, but all of metal. Regardless of how many years have gone by, this album still sounds relevant. I love the original mixes of this album, although they didn’t do much to alter the sounds with the remixes, there is something special with the sound on the original mix of the album.

Victor Valera – They put out Killing Is My Business, and you could see certain things with the band, but they put Peace Sells out, and it was a statement, here we are, and get ready for what’s about to come your way.

Remember that you can go here index page to find out further details on everyone involved in the column.

The podcast portion can be streamed or downloaded from here:

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Podcast Episode 50 – Chris Poland & Mike Orlando

The latest episode of the Mars Attacks Podcast contains interviews with Chris Poland of Megadeth fame, and Mike Orlando of Adrenaline Mob. Chris discusses what he is currently up to with Ohm, and Omphrey, and addresses why Damn The Machine came to an end. His tenure in Megadeth is not discussed as this portion of the interview will form part of things month’s Classic Albums Column.

Mike Orlando discusses putting Adrenaline Mob together, writing the material for the band’s self titled EP, and what it was brining all of the members into the band among other things.

The episode also contains a review of the Iced Earth, White Wizzard and Fury UK show that host Victor M. Ruiz took in this weekend.

You’ll hear tracks from Megadeth, Adrenaline Mob, Ohm, Damn The Machine, Sick Speed, Dave Reffett and Iced Earth during the episode.

Pictures courtesy of Chris Poland and Mike Orlando.

The podcast can be streamed or downloaded from here:

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Classic Albums – Tool – Aenima

This month’s Classic Albums Column focuses on Tool’s second full length album AEnima. Mars Attacks Podcast episode 49 features comments from Charlie Benante, Gene Hoglan, Alan Tecchio, and Aaron from Iron City Rocks. As we established with the previous podcast we also discuss why this album was selected. You will find the podcast at the bottom of this post.

Jon Leon – Tools finest hour. The title track is the best sarcasm on fake culture in hollywood you will ever hear.

Vince Neilstein – Aenima was the beginning of the beginning for Tool. Undertow had great songs, but Aenima saw the band experimenting and branching out with longer songs, complex time signatures and what would become their general sense of Tool-ness. It was only a sign of what was to come.

Erik Kluiber – Tool at their peak

Phil Rind – Heavy, thought provoking and inspiring.

Ricky Armellino – This is the album that completely expanded my 12 year old mind and introduced it to the idea of fisting.

Jaye Schwarzer – I had never listened to anything that was so heavy and so seething while at the same time being so chill and mellow. There WAS another approach to being a heavy band.

Chris Tsangarides – If I could play guitar in any band it would be this one. This album is just so full of awesome grooves and the sound they get on record is pristine. Many influences in their music from Beefheart (again) to Arabic and Greek time signatures. I love it when I hear original and unique music, I can’t think of a bad thing to say about this band. The thinking man’s rock band? I don’t know about that but they have become huge without conforming to any convention but their own. Probably one band that is closest to how I feel how music should be made, long may they rock!

Scott LePage – I freaking love this album. I could listen to Eulogy 100 times straight through and still want more. So many textures on this album. Probably one of my top 10 favorite second albums of all time.

Chris Biermann – Best album I’ve ever heard sonically – that is the kind of mix I aspire to attain, though I will never be able to! LOL!

Raul L.R. – What to say about Tool and the tremendous album that Maynard and the band released. This was the first album I heard from the band, I can thank a friend for that, he played the album in his van everyday going to rehearsals. To me they’re the perfect band, dark, and wise with the way that they develop and execute each one of the tracks on the album. The first track Stinkfist is a declaration of the band’s intent. Maynard is unreal with each melody, Danny Carey is a savage on the drums, Adam Jones playing is easily a 10. He is one of my favorite guitarists, not because of his virtuosity, but because he knows exactly what each track needs, without having to be some over the top guitar hero that gets carried away with some self indulgent solos. His playing helps each album become a musical journey into the world of Tool. I listen to the second track Eulogy every morning, it happens to be the alarm clock on my cell phone! This track is simply genius. Justin Chancellor’s playing on the album is just sublime throughout; he is a true master at the bass, and something for every base player to aspire to be.

JL – This marked a before and after. It was an album that I could never put on while I was studying, because it required all of my attention. There was always a detail to discover, especially with Danny Carey’s playing which is just plethoric.

David Lozano – Unfortunately I’ve never gotten into Tool, that said, I appreciate their talent.

Steve Smyth – I always dug how this band could put together good ensemble-like pieces, songs like Eulogy, Stinkfist, and 46 and 2 I remember hearing a lot, like everyone else, but the title track is a standout as well, and who could forget Hooker With A Penis?

Luke Wenczel – Danny Carey of Tool is another ongoing influence. His creativity and expression behind the kit really speaks volumes and adds to the tracks he plays on to no end. Danny is a drummer of many layers. The playing he hammered out for Tool’s third release Ænima is something I always come back to and rediscover. Danny’s the reason I play a 14×8 inch snare and, like Nicko, he plays his Ride in the same place. A few of his cymbal choices have also made their way into my set-up, mainly the effect cymbals, the china and splashes!

Etan Rosenbloom – I still remember being holed up at my aunt’s house in late 1996, some mysterious flu-like illness forcing me to stay inside night and day. Tool’s Aenima, released just a few months prior, was my solace, a constant presence on my portable CD player as I convalesced. The closing track “Third Eye” was the most powerful to me, but there are memorable moments aplenty on Aenima – the gargantuan opening riff to “Stinkfist,” which was the most intriguing song on rock radio that season, and easily the mot bizarre video on MTV; Justin Chancellor’s serpentine bass lines throughout “Forty Six & 2;” the propulsive drive and righteous hatred all over “Hooker with a Penis;” Maynard James Keenan’s misanthropic tribute to Bill Hicks in “Aenema” (“Learn to swim / See you down in Arizona Bay”). The German monologue “Die Eier von Satan” freaked me out to no end, even after I discovered the guy was just offering a recipe for Mexican cookies. More than any individual moment, Aenima felt like a triumph of sustained mood to my teenage self. I’d never before heard an album that felt like it was made for arenas but felt so intimate, one that balanced cerebral, ofttimes spiritual ideas and visceral music in such powerful ways.

Shawn Duncan – Wow, Aenima, what a killer album! Opens with Stinkfist and this should have alerted you immediately that something was gonna kick your ass!! Awesome drum tones..great production..Tool has a way of being progressive without getting ridiculous, they always manage to maintain a “song” mentality and groove Danny is a MONSTER!..H, Pushit, Hooker with a penis, and Forty Six & 2!!! I mean c’mon, how could any die hard metalhead rock and roller not fucking dig this!?!?!?

Mark Hunter – I discovered Tool on the Lollapalooza tour. I instantly became a fan as this was a new spin on heavy music. When Aenima came out, Tool changed the game once again. Epic song structures, beautiful melody and technicality that virtuosos can stand behind. They infused more psychedelics and all of the musical boundaries disappeared. Very few words can do this album justice. It’s better to just turn off the lights, turn on the album and take a journey of your own. This is one of the most important records of all time.

Grover XIII – For some reason, when I’m listing albums that I really, really like, I always forget about this one. I’ve listened to this album so many times that the whole thing sticks in my mind, and ’46 & 2′ is one of my favorite songs ever, and yet it always escapes my mind. This was easily some of the darkest, most unique music to get played on major radio that I’ve ever heard, and the influence it had on my musical tastes is something that I’m still not fully aware of, I think.

Wayne Findlay – It was and still is a big inspiration and influence on me. Not many bands get 7 minute songs on the radio these days!! And only a few can say that they do…Incredible musicianship all the way around.

Jose Izquierdo – One of our tour van’s all time classic albums. You either love the album or you hate it, it can drive you nuts, or you’ll only want to listen to this album. I can attest to this because it’s happened to me.

David G. Alvarez – Wow, what to say about this album? I actually dig the last one a lot more, and I’m not sure if this album or Lateralus has the track that was written based on the Fibonacci Code, but their writing is pure genius. Some people complain about the time signatures, and what have you, but you have to appreciate their talent whether you like them or not. I remember having to dissect Adam Jones’ parts, from a technical stand point, they aren’t difficult to play. But the way that he has mastered how to use something as simple as a delay, and create all of the sonic textures you hear on this album. Justin Chambers and Danny Carey, both are incredible players and do some amazing things on this album.

Remember that you can go here index page to find out further details on everyone involved in the column.

The podcast portion can be streamed or downloaded from here:

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Podcast Episode 48 – Mark Hunter of Chimaira and Dave Reffett of Shredding The Envelope

During the latest episode of the Mars Attacks Podcast we interview Mark Hunter of Chimaira and Dave Reffett of Shredding The Envelope. Mark discusses the band’s new album The Age Of Hell, some of the band’s line up changes, releasing the new album for free in the UK, and what it’s like to have Chimaira associated to shows like Mythbusters, The Farmclub and Deathklok. He also fields a bunch of listener submitted questions.

There isn’t enough I can do to thank Dave Reffett for his help, he has assisted us in obtaining quite a few guests. As a result it is my pleasure to include him in the episode. He discusses his project Shredding The Envelope, what it was like to feature people like George Lynch, Chris Poland, Glen Drover and Mike Mangini (among others) on The Call Of The Flames album, his gear, and briefly touches on future projects he’ll be working on. He didn’t want to mention a whole lot about the latter, but I’m sure it will be cool none the less.

Pictures courtesy of Chimaira and Dave Reffett.

The episode contains tracks off of Chimaira’s Age of Hell, and Shredding The Envelope’s The Call Of The Flames

The podcast can be streamed or downloaded from here:

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