July 30, 2010


By far one of the lesser known NWOBHM bands that spawned during the golden age of new british hard rock heavy metal music. Everyone is familar with Diamond Head, Budgie and of course Def Leppard, Saxon, Sweet Savage and tons more we will explore later. Stormqueen are one of THE most underrated of all the lot of metals most elite force that was birthed at that time. This is the truth.

Thanks again for giving me the time of day, you guys were gods. How did the band come up?

Dave: The band sprung up around myself and the other guitarist Neil Baker. We knew each other from school growing up in Barry, a smallish town in Wales. We had heard through other musicians that we both knew that we were both looking to form a band with the right people. Neil and I met up eventually at my house, he brought his guitar and some records he wanted me to hear. We jammed together and played each other records, showed each other ideas, and before we knew it we'd agreed we must start a band together.

After that it was a matter of finding people we felt were of the same mind set and had the abilities we were after. It didn't take long to find Boofy our drummer. he was and still is notorious as an absolutely brilliant rock drummer. So for us he was the first person we asked. Then we started jamming together and writing songs before looking for a singer and bassist.

Bryn Merryck seemed the obvious choice as bassist, again a brilliant natural talent (as was proven when he was later asked to join The Damned). Chris Glyn-Jones, the first vocalist came a little while later. That line up played around Wales for a while before Bryn left to join the Damned, and we felt Chris wasn't really what we wanted in a singer.

The classic line up evolved around late 1981, when we placed an advert for singer and bassist, and a guy called Mac answered it for singer. We went to meet with him but he wasn't right for us. however he had some mates in a band called Dead Reckoning, namely Paul Burnett on vocals and Nick MacCormac on bass. We checked them out and asked them straight away as Paul was exactly what we wanted. They joined not long after and the classic StormQueen was born.

Paul: There was a very close knit music scene in Barry South Wales, Dave, Neil and Boofy being friends as well as musicians, formed a band together. That band eventually became “StormQueen”.

When the demo tape was released?

Dave: Well that depends on which demo you mean. The first demo, which I guess is the one most people refer to as "The Battle of Britain" was recorded in 1980. That was with the first line up and it was recorded in a BBC studio in Cardiff, Wales. It was never released as such. Though I know many many copies are floating around and are traded on the net a lot.

It's strange that it should be the demo that has been focused on most as it wasn't by any means the best. We recorded three more demos after that one, and they are all better. The second demo recording was the one that was released as the single. Well two tracks of it anyway. I guess this one isn't as well known other than being the single.

Paul: I can’t speak for the “Battle of Britain” demo as I wasn’t around for that first recording. But I recall there was always great interest in all the following StormQueen demo’s.

Did many buy it?

Dave: We didn't really sell the demos to be honest, it wasn't really done so much back then like it is now. You have to bare in mind it would have all been on cassette tape then, that or vinyl as there were no other mediums everyone had access to. So it was more a case of giving tapes away at shows, sending them to radio stations and people would often record stuff off the radio. But the only music we ever sold as such was the "Come Silent the World" 7 inch single.

Paul: Well, not being involved with the band at that point I would have no idea. Dave is the person to ask really.

Did it have any cover?

Dave: Our demo tapes did have basic covers. Black and white photocopied artwork that I did myself. They changed as I got new photos etc. The 7 inch single did not have a cover. It was just a plain white sleeve. We had to keep costs down so......

Paul: I don’t think there was a cover on StormQueen’s very first demo, at least I don’t remember it as so. I could be wrong…but Dave would know best as he did all the artwork etc for all StormQueen publicity and releases.

What did the people think about it?

Dave: Well the response we got from people was just great. Our rehearsal room was pretty large and very central in town, so as word got round about the band and the place LOTS of people would come and hang out there. Watch us rehearse and write songs etc, they were special times. Feedback from our shows was always excellent. We always put on a hell of a live performance, I mean we're talking fireworks, flashbombs, explosions, huge back drop with the logo. We always hired in our usual P.A. guy and his 5k P.A. rig, and we always had a big light show too. So the a gig was always very definitely an event, and people lapped it up. Interestingly a couple of guys who always came to our shows and everything later formed their own band, TIGERTAILZ. They told me we were a big influence on them to start playing etc, which is great to hear.

Paul: I’m sorry, but again, as I was not part of the band at that point I really have no idea.But Dave can fillyou in for sure.

Why did you decide to call it Battle of Britain?

Dave: Well, that was down to me really. On the first demo I did virtually all of the initial song writing. Neil also contributed, in fact some of the songs we wrote the music 50/50 between us. Others I wrote on my own. I wrote all of the lyrics for the songs. I honestly have no idea where I came up with the concept of a song called "The Battle of Britain". I guess I was at an age where these things caught my imagination, and of course it is a very big thing in British history. We were always taught a lot about it at school and there is remembrance day each year in the UK, where we are asked to think of those who died at war, and the Battle of Britain always features strongly in that. I guess it has good overtones for a metal song too heh heh. Also I had this BBC sound effects album with war sounds on it, including the siren we used at the beginning and the plane sounds in the middle 8. I think that was a big factor, I really wanted to use my sound effects album heh heh, so wrote the song to allow me to do that. Partly anyway.

However, *we* didn't call it "The Battle of Britain demo". It was always referred to by each song title individually, or as our first demo. It's other people, fans, collectors and enthusiasts that have come to call it by that name. It still sounds strange to me to hear people call it that. We might have referred to it as "the BBC demo" too.

Paul: Oh dear, same scenario I’m afraid. I believe Dave wrote all the lyrics for the first demo, and practically all of the music too. So he’s the man to ask.

How many copies of the single were made?

Dave: Ahh well now there is a twist in the tale to this one (see next question). There was initially to be 500 copies in the official release. More ended up being produced due to errors and problems with the first pressing. But 500 *official* copies were pressed, plus a few test pressings for quality check. So, yes it was a small release.

Paul: There were 500 singles pressed, and I think about 100 or so mispressed singles. We were led to believe they were all destroyed, obviously they weren’t.

What I've heard the single also got misspressed. What went wrong?

Dave: Well, when we got the first test copies (10 or so) and an initial production run (which was about 150 - 200 copies I guess), there were flaws. Firstly the labels, which were red with black writing, had bubbled up very strangely and were sort of peeling off the discs. Also they had mis-printed the title of the A-side, it read "Come Silent the Night" instead of "Come Silent the World" as it should have done. I also recall that there were some audible clicks on the pressings on one or both sides, which we couldn't allow of course. And so these were all supposedly sent back to the factory to be destroyed. Apart that is from a few copies that we had given out when we went to do a radio interview (as we really wanted them to play it). After this it was then re-mastered and re-pressed. As far as I am aware, there were only the 500 silver on black copies, and the few red copies that slipped out. I actually prefer the silver on black myself.

Did you ever play live outside United Kingdom?

Dave: Sadly no, or should I say not yet. After all new StormQueen activity is imminent so that possibility is still a reality for us. But in those early days we never got the chance sadly.

Paul: It was a difficult time to be a band from Wales back then. The stigma attached to being form Wales really held you back. Thankfully that parochial attitude has disappeared... well leastways within music it would appear. And rightfully so.

What other songs did you play live? Except for the demo songs and the single.

Dave: Wow, this is a tough one. I mean it depends on which period you refer to. You have to remember the band was together in all for close to 5 years, so we had a *lot* of material during that period and of course it always changed depending on our choices of songs for the set. But we would play tracks that we never did record, some I can remember are:

StormQueen (Ironic given the title but we never did record that. We plan to record it very soon for inclusion o the OPM album release as a bonus 7inch)


Midnight Rendezvous

Seasons in the breeze

The Longest Night

Deadly Veil

Paul: StormQueen were always busy songwriters, so there was always a large set of material to choose from. Many of which I forget now. We never performed covers… it wasn’t part of our agenda at all.

Was the record company interested in releasing more of Stormqueen?

Dave: There was actually. We had interest from Music For Nations, Neat, Bronze, Castle to name a few. Our problem to be honest was being a Welsh band. Back then (and I know Persian Risk, Tokio Rose and other Welsh NWOBHM bands will testify to the same problem) bands in Wales weren't taken too seriously by labels. Well by most anyway. It was something of a stigma. It's very different now of course. But back then, and even subsequently with my later band Warlords/Lord you weren't taken seriously if you were from Wales. With Lord for instance which was even later still I had to tell gig venues and labels etc that we were from California to get gigs. Luckily we had toured over there and had loads of great press to back it up. But for StormQueen, the huge stumbling block was getting out of Wales.

Paul: StormQueen’s single was a self release. RealFire Recirds was our own label and distribution company combined if you like. Had we had the finances back then we would have released an album on the RealFire label for sure.

When and why did Stormqueen call it a day?

Dave: Why indeed... well the primary problem was that myself and Neil, the other guitarist found our musical interests moving in different directions. Neil wanted to diversify, bring in more jazz elements, basically get more experimental. But although I was up for experimenting, I felt there was too heavy a jazz/improvisational element to where Neil was going, and he felt the music was constraining him too much. So as time progressed it came to a head, and Neil quit the band. He was very difficult to replace, in fact impossible in terms of the chemistry we had when it worked. We struggled on, and eventually with a different guitarist and bassist (same guitar, vocal and drums) went on and morphed into Vancouver. But I guess that's another story. Paul eventually got itchy feet and had been made an offer from a band in London with management so, quite rightly he left as well. And that was that really.

Paul: The StormQueen split happened because of a number of reasons. I became frustrated that the band couldn’t seem to break through, but I was unaware that it wasn’t down to us, but this Welsh stigma. So I accepted an offer to join Tredegar. There was never anything personal in the break up of StormQueen, although Dave was very hurt and threatened to kill me. We believed in the music but sadly just didn’t get that vital lucky break. If we had been in London like bands such as Iron Maiden, we would almost certainly have seen better success. But hey, maybe it’s on it’s way 20 years later heh heh. There is not and never has been any animosity between us guys. We were always all great friends and remain so.

What did you do afterwards?

Dave: Well me personally, I went on to put together various bands over time. The band I am in presently is called DEFACE. I never stopped playing. I was always in a band doing original material. I've never been in a covers band or anything like that. Right after StormQueen there was a different version of the line up (Paul, Myself, Boofy, Nick MacCormac and a new guy Andy Carney on guitar) and we were called Vancouver. Though we did do a number of StormQueen songs too. So I guess it was a mutation of StormQueen in a way.

After that fell apart I teamed up with our former manager Joey Parratt and formed a band project called "No One". We did that for a while, did some TV appearances, videos etc. Then I hooked up with a band called More Than Passion. Who were Cardiff based. We got to play the Welsh Live Aid, which was amazing. Then I hooked up with the singer I still work with in DEFACE, Christian Sargent. We have been in many band line ups together. Warlords, Lord, DirtBox, Ikon, Mook, and now DEFACE. Warlords toured the USA in 1987, released an E.P. out there, and though the name then changed to Lord we released an album in 1991 also called "Lord". We toured extensively. It fizzled out though for various reasons, and in early 1992 I moved to Los Angeles.

Over there I formed a psychedelic rock band band called My Dragonfly (called Eve's Tattoo early on), where I was on vocals. I also did an electro/industrial project called Ubermensch which I am very proud of. Then Christian and I hooked up again and he came over to the states, moving up to San Francisco we did Dirtbox together. Before heading back to the U.K. to continue as Ikon. Then Mook with different people, and now DEFACE. So you see I have been very active outside of StormQueen.

Paul: I guess I just drifted really….I worked with Tredegar, Carerra, Ashmata Talan and then Ashmata again to record an album. But then I had a long respite from musical involvement, which was a bereft time. It feels great to have StormQueen back on path again. I can’t wait to do more new music.

Which Stormqueen song is your favorite?

Dave: Phew that's a tough one, it really is. I am very fond of "Come Silent The World", I think it is one of the more original songs we wrote. If you listen to it closely it doesn't sound like any other metal band at all. I also love "Cake/These Walls Have Eyes" and "Just For A Day" both from the third demo we recorded (soon to be available on the OPM release and hopefully on cd through specialist labels worldwide too). But I guess Come Silent The World holds a very special place as it was the single etc.

Pau: “Just for a day” from the third recording is very special to me. The lyric is very personal. It is a beautiful song.

Tell us about the current situation of Stormqueen.

Dave: Well it has been quite a roller coaster really since about the time Malc Macmillan published the new version of his book "The New Wave Of British Heavy Metal Encyclopedia". He wrote about us there, and about the single etc, and it kick started a huge wave of interest in the band again, which is great. After that we got tons of people getting in contact, and we talked with OPM records, and from that we are releasing a very special collectors anthology on vinyl with them. It is to feature all of the previously unreleased songs on a vinyl 12", with a full colour gatefold sleeve and picture book/sleeve inserts. To go with that we are recording one song from the early StormQueen days that we never recorded called... funnily enough "StormQueen". Plus one brand new track just written called "Can You Hear ME Thinking" in fact we recording that right now.

After that is complete and the OPM release is out, we are hoping to do a similar thing on cd with a number of labels, in a number of different countries. We may also work on more new material is there is enough interest, and if that goes well who knows, we could see some more StormQueen live shows. It's very possible. Thanks to all the interest, especially from people like yourselves it has been great for us. Just great to have people appreciating what StormQueen was.... Thanks to everyone.

Paul: There is an imminent compilation anthology album out soon on OPM records, in vinyl only format, with a single attached to it. The single will feature the first ever recording of StormQueen (the song) and one brand new song which is fantastic as far as I’m concerned.

Bring it on I say…… I’m raring to go!!!! Cheers!!!

Swedish Erotica

For the sick and depraved i suppose and those who fly the goon flag quite high this is a must have. From Bazillion Points home of the ghouls, and art by Wes Benscoter. Daniel Ekeroth who also masterminded the classic Swedish Death Metal book here orchestrates why we are lured into a new kind of death.

In the annals of grindhouse exploitation cinema, Italy owns the giallo, Australia offers Ozploitation, and Sweden has spawned—the SENSATIONSFILM!

“I look back with genuine joy. I am so very happy I could be a part of the seventies, it was so incredibly interesting. I carry it with me; it is a part of me. I would never deny being in those movies. I know that a lot of people do so, but I just had a blast.”— Christina Lindberg

“Into this rising whirlwind of madness, I was born in 1972. As the ‘70s came along, all limits were forgotten. Sweden was flooded with sexually explicit films of every kind, violent gangster movies…and all morals were gone.”—Daniel Ekeroth

In many respects, Sweden’s place in film history is secure and prominent. Swedish films are associated internationally with the success and high quality of Ingmar Bergman’s reputable works. However, another breed of Swedish film is notorious for its laissez-faire attitude towards nudity and relaxed sexuality. Produced in the backyard of the Swedish film industry, these sexually daring films join countless speculative or sensational movies that deal with shocking or taboo subjects—street punks, space aliens, hard drugs, and drunken vikings. Other efforts are simply too strange and Swedish to ignore. Once again, Swedish Death Metal author Daniel Ekeroth delves into the arcane culture of his homeland, returning with the first comprehensive overview of “Sensationsfilms”—Swedish Exploitation Cinema.

Includes reviews and release information on nearly 200 clandestine Swedish films produced between 1951 and 1993, plus a new introduction by Daniel Ekeroth; and an unpublished in-deep interview with actress Christina Lindberg (Thriller: En Grym Film/They Call Her One Eye, Maid in Sweden, Anita: Swedish Nymphet) Films include uncovered—and undressed!—early movie roles by stars like Stellan Skarsgård (Pirates of the Carribean, Mamma Mia!, Dancer in the Dark), Pernilla August (Fanny and Alexander, Star Wars Ep. I & II), Max von Sydow (Shutter Island, Minority Report), and Lee Hazlewood.

Tom G Warrior Speaks

Triptykon Announce First North American Tour

Decibel Magazine and Stereogum/Haunting the Chapel present the "Weltenbrand Tour 2010" featuring the North American debut of TRIPTYKON with 1349 and Yakuza rounding out the bill. Be sure to visit Triptykon's official MySpace page to view the entire tour itinerary. You don't want to miss out on this monumental event when it hits your city.

Tom Gabriel Warrior (vocals, guitars) describes his emotions on the eve of this new undertaking:

"Ever since my earliest days in Hellhammer and Celtic Frost, I have been extremely fortunate to be able to count on the support, fanaticism, and immense loyalty of the North American metal scene. The recognition my work has received there eclipses anything I have ever encountered in my own native country. Of the 125 concerts performed on the final Celtic Frost tour in 2006 and 2007, for example, a full 71 were played in North America. Some of these performances rank among the most memorable ones in my entire career."

"It is thus an immense honor for me to now bring my new group TRIPTYKON to North America for the first time. TRIPTYKON is further pursuing the path I once began with Hellhammer and Celtic Frost, and I am looking forward to continuing to forge this darkest of musical alliances with all of you. We shall all celebrate masses of unleashed heaviness and morbidity. Only death is real!"

The main purpose of TRIPTYKON is to continue where Celtic Frost left off and to satisfy Warrior's undying passion for extreme music. Indeed some of the material Fischer was working on post-Monotheist ended up on TRIPTYKON's debut album, Eparistera Daimones, so it stands to reason, besides the obvious fact that Fischer fronts TRIPTYKON, the two are sonically and spiritually closely connected. As can be expected, Eparistera Daimones is therefore a musical leviathan.

Next to Warrior, TRIPTYKON features V. Santura (guitar, vocals), Norman Lonhard (drums, percussion) and Vanja Slajh (bass). Eparistera Daimones was produced by Tom Gabriel Warrior and TRIPTYKON guitarist V. Santura. Like Celtic Frost's universally praised Monotheist album, Eparistera Daimones was mastered by Walter Schmid at Oakland Recording in Winterthur, Switzerland.

"It's testament to Triptykon's towering strength that Eparistera Daimones has the power to make its mark in the midst of the thousands of bastard offspring of its ultimate originator."
-- Metal Hammer, UK

"The end is not nigh, it has just begun. 25 years on from Hellhammer, Warrior is still redefining heavy".
-- Terrorizer, UK

"With Eparistera Daimones, Tom Gabriel Warrior's ability to execute his craft expertly is certainly greater than ever."
-- Decibel.

"The fact that Eparistera Daimones meets or exceeds every expectation is a testament to TRIPTYKON's talent. Say hello to the best album of the new year."

"Thunderously heavy and epic in scope, a must-have album."

"This is one of the heaviest, angriest, gloomiest releases ever. This album is a strong contender for “Best of the Year” lists; it certainly tops mine at this point."

"Abandon all preconceptions, abandon all hope: you don’t know heavy until you’ve heard Triptykon."

"Triptykon’s debut proves that Fischer is and always has been Celtic Frost."

"Eparistera Daimones is a dark and pummeling debut."
-- Guitar World.

"The bottom line is that TRIPTYKON has succeeded in creating an album that will stand by itself while also pleasing the legion of established fans who wanted more releases from Celtic Frost."
-- The Examiner

"TRIPYKON is the logical extension of Celtic Frost version 2.0. Monotheist's contemporary flare, commercially accessible and modern crunchy guitars, and doom laden passages remain in tow; however it's darker (though less gothic), more bleak and hateful."

"Tom Gabriel Warrior is the mastermind behind some of the absolutely best metal albums ever in my opinion. The man is a genius and deserves all the praise he gets."
-- Nocturno Culto (Darkthrone), Terrorizer, UK

July 29, 2010


Zack for a living gets to beat the shit out of his drums. If you have not seen them live , surely they will rip your face off. Zack plays for sludgy black thrash grind gurus Goatwhore. I caught up with Zack.

Goatwhore are playing Ozzfest this year, are you doing the whole tour?

We are playing all six of the Ozzfest dates this year as well as headlining dates on the off days. We hit the road in about a week and are out for just under a month. We are really looking forward to this run. It’s an honor to be a part of Ozzfest again.

You guys are well known for being one of the hardest working bands. What keeps you going?

This is all we know how to do basically. Go big or go home, I guess. Some of the guys have side jobs when we have time off, but for me, this is really all I’ve got. It’s probably one of the coolest jobs you can have.

I agree. I think Goatwhore records sound great sonically, but i think there is a different kind of power when you lock in in a live setting. Do you think bands sometimes lose sight of that?

I know what you mean. There is an energy when you see a band live that cannot translate on an album. There are some bands that sound amazing on record but disappoint live, and vice versa. An album can only hit one of your senses. When you go to a show, you can see it, hear it, feel it, and smell it (if we haven’t showered.)

What drummers did you look up to when you got started?

I was a huge Ozzy and Sabbath fan growing up, and still am. I really looked up to Tommy Aldridge. He’s an amazing drummer. As I started digging deeper into the heavier stuff I got into Dave Lombardo, Nick Barker, etc… Nowadays I’m kind of rediscovering a lot of older drummers that kick ass like Cozy Powell, Ian Paice, etc. I’m more into solid rock drummers than drummers that exclusively play fast.

I think Tommy is underrated. Whats next in the chamber for the band?

We have been working on material for a new record that will be out sometime next year. The touring is probably going to slow down toward the end of the year so we can focus on that. Then we’ll hit the road and do it all over again.

Thanks for taking the time brother

No problem at all. Take it easy.

July 28, 2010

A Chat With Iron Maiden's Manager

I don't hide my creepdom-like fascination of all things Iron Maiden related. It all just adds to the folklore of it all. I had the opportunity of bumping into Steve Gadd a while ago, the world famous Iron Maiden road manager known under the alias of Gaddsy.

The Dope Attic: How is it going? How long have you been working with W. A. S. P. now?

Steve Gadd: This is my first tour with W. A. S. P. as their tour manager. I’ve worked with them when they were supporting Iron Maiden in the 80s, because I work mainly for Iron Maiden and this is my first tour with W. A. S. P., it began 5-6 weeks ago.

And how is it going, up to now?

SG: It’s very hectic. We began the tour in Milan with a bus, and we used to pack everyone in it, but then, as it was impossible to go on with a bus, because we were traveling very far, we went back home and then started to travel by plane. In November, for example, we had three gigs one after another, in Estonia, Sankt Peterburg, Warsaw and Frankfurt – four actually. It’s very tough. People often think we live a glamorous life but people who actually work in the business know that this is not true.

Did you choose W. A. S. P. or they chose you?

SG: I was proposed by Sanctuary Music, because Blackie’s was Rod Smallwood. And then Sanctuary called me and asked would I like to go on tour with W. A. S. P., or would I talk to Blackie and Blackie phoned me to ask… do I wanna do it, so, they chose me.

Your a legend, How old are you?

SG: (Laughs.) I’m not commenting on that now.

Fine. So, how long would you say you spent on tour?

SG: I’ve been on the road since I was a musician myself in 1970 and made seven albums. But that band split in 1981 and I started as a technician in Iron Maiden in 1984, and worked on the Powerslave album. Namely I was a Nicko McBrain’s drum tech for 12 years. Anyway, Sanctuary Music sent me off to work with Iron Maiden. They were good friends of mine, but that had nothing to do with the job, if I’d been just a friend I wouldn’t have got the job. They called me in 1996 to make the Virtual XI tour with them. So I’ve been on the road since, let me think, 25 to 30 years.

Steve, you’re somehow very… English.

SG: Yeah, I’m from London.

Maiden Playing Soccer On Stage
So which is your favorite sport – rugby or football?

Maiden Playing Soccer On Stage

SG: Football. I don’t play very well myself, but I like watching any football on TV.

Which is your favorite team?

SG: Arsenal. I used to go and see their games but actually I haven’t seen them for years. The last game I saw, Arsenal played Everton, home. Arsenal had just sold two of their best players, I don’t remember their names, Leam Brady and someone else. And we drew 0-0 at home versus Everton and then I thought “I’ll never go to see football games anymore” and I really haven’t, since then.

I asked you about football because it’s interesting whether you find any similarities between being a football team manager and a rock band manager.

SG:It’s interesting that you ask this because I was the manager of the Iron Maiden football team, and both somehow look like a… massive military operation. In the same way a football team manager makes sure that everything is all right with his team. You, from the spectators’ viewpoint, can’t quite feel this. But I must say that Iron Maiden has fantastic audience, everywhere in the world, and we’ve never had problems with the audience of Iron Maiden. The ordinary guys are a bit scared when they see leather jackets and see that everything is very… heavy metal, you know. I think, the most… unruly fans. But a great audience. Because I don’t work only with metal bands, as a tour manager. I do hip-hop tours, for example. Still not as much as metal tours, but still that gives me the opportunity to see that metal fans are great.

And which is the next big tour for you?

Iron Maiden.

Do you still play the drums?

SG: Playing drums is like riding a bike, yes, it’s like riding a bike – it can’t be forgotten. Yeah, I do find time but sometimes this happens once in two years. Sometimes I do, I go with Nicko sometimes and do drum clinics, which I was doing seriously in the past. But now, as I’m getting older, it’s in the past, I do it only for fun.

Have you met the other Steve Gadd?

SG: You know, this is a very good question. I’ll tell you one story, a true story. Quite a time ago I was playing in a bang called Charlie, and we were staying at the Sunset Marquee hotel in Los Angeles. We were on tour, I think, with Doobie Brothers.

What a name always makes me laugh..Doobies

SG: like 1978, there’s a pool in the middle of the hotel and small speakers around. We’re sitting around the pool and suddenly a voice says “There’s a phone call for Steve Gadd.” And there were the two of us who went to the phone. I didn’t know Steve Gadd then, I got to know him later, when we were working with Steely Dan. But then both of us went to the phone. And later there was a small article in the American magazine “Billboard,” which said “The American Steve Gadd keeps getting phone calls from girls, while the English Steve Gadd,” me, “is called only for recording.” That’s a true story.

And who was that call for?

SG: It was for me, and it was a girl. I met his brother once in New York, years later. But it’s fun that I nearly got to work for him as a drum technician while he was a drummer with Eric Clapton. That would be really interesting.

Unreal. Thanks for rapping with me your Mcbrain stories always seem to change my life.

Kosha Dillz

I must say it's nice to see a rapper being himself these days. There are no drive by shootings, heroin deals or talk of Maybach's anywhere on his new cd "Beverly Dillz". Dillz is your every man sort of rapper, not afraid to be himself. For better or worse. We caught up with Dillz fresh off of tour to spread some of his flavored chumus on us.

Dillz, how is it hanging brother? Tell them who you are.

Hey, I'm Kosha Dillz, just an ordinary Israeli-New Jersey emcee/ musician trying to make a name for himself and inspire the listener to have fun and let go of themselves.

Awesome I like that mentality. I hear you were on tour with Snoop Dogg, how did that go?

Opening for Snoop was great. I played the shows in Holland with him. Just imagine the amount of fans who were die hungry for a global icon, got to meet me right before that. It was so monumental for my career since I have been working for the moments and opportunities. I just did around 14-15 shows in 17 days.

Sick..sounds like your in grind mode. How did you get mixed up with Hip Hop?

Hip Hop found me. Just through my friends when we partied in high school. Wu Tang was a big influence and my friend Yak Ballz was coming up in the NYC scene when we were in high school. It wasn't able to be duplicated. I went out to a show and it was 8 mile of NYC. (Nuyorican Poets Cafe) The battle scene. I smoked weed and somehow got on stage and that was the dawn of a new day. 10-11 years later I'm opening up for Snoop Dogg in Holland after the promoter saw me play @ SXSW in Austin Texas.

Your doing it up dog. Any strange mishaps on tour? I'm sure the groupies wanted a kosher joy ride huh? haha

Well many strange things have happened on tour. The night I played with Snoop In Amsterdam I went back to the apartment and my host gave me the wrong Key. I went around the corner and was so mad that I couldn't find my DJ who was in a hotel so we went to this hostel that a guy on the street brought me to. I was so frustrated I had a pocket full of money but told him I had no money and demanded I needed a place to stay. There was weird things in this hostel and well I slept in quite late. I guess my night of prestige turned into a night from hell, and I woke up saying "Only Me."

No ATM i suppose? Whats next for Dillz?

The next thing for me is to go to bed. I have an album out called Beverly Dillz that is on iTunes. I'm recording new music with a producer named Shuko and I'm planning a full US tour as we speak for fall. I also will be in the video game NBA2k11 as a character, and I'm collecting diaries of my time in jail to release with my next project.

I'm going to Czech Republic for some shows and going to London, Vermont, and LA as well.

As far as people I'm working with...
I'm finding some amazing talent from Utah to NY to DC.
I'm working with some good cats with me like Pig Pen, Pat Maine (UT), Kyle Rapps (NY) and Flex Mathews (DC). Kyle Rapps is a children's poet by day who has an amazing album with Belief (who did my album Beverly Dillz) he recorded part of it in Ghana and some in LA. Its really great stuff. he also is doing a project with Kev Brown. Pig Pen and Pat Maine are all over the USA on the DIY grind, and Flex Mathews is my partner in crime/rhyme.
Thanks so much for the interview. I def' did not have rap in the attic before this interview, but now I'll be sure to put my old rhyme books in a safe place!

Pray for Baby Ethian

Baby Ethian was found unresponsive at home on July 26th,2010. The 2 year old little boy was playing on the couch while his father was asleep and mother was at work. He fell behind the couch and was hung by his neck. He was then life flighted to Akron Children's Hospital in critical condition. His family is asking anyone and everyone, to please pray for him to pull through this.

Stop playing your stinkin Farmville or Yoville apps and take a minute to join this cause and help spread the need for prayer for baby Ethian and his family during this rough time.


Let Me In - 2010 Remake of "Let the Right One In"

Hammer Horror and Matt Reeve's producer of Cloverfield has announced the 2010 remake of an eerily wonderful Swedish vampire film "Let the Right One In." Set to debut in the fall of 2010 this new release is said by Simon Oakes to be more accessible to a larger audience without reverting to cheesy special effects.

So I as an avid film watcher, collector, and reviewer ask why?? why? why why?!  Why mess up a brilliant master piece with the intentions of sharing the original story with a larger audience? What has become of the enormous amount of Hollywood remakes exclusively rewritten for the same reason or even for other reasons? They are indeed for the most part trash and unbearable to watch. Foreign language to English movie remakes such as "The Ring" and "Godzilla" were nothing but fancy effects and ultimately major flops.

Granted Hammer Horror's reputation is astounding with films such as Dracula, The Curse of Frankenstein, and The Curse of the Mummy but let's stick to the originals, please?. What would my solution be without a remake? Spread the word on what an awesome movie the original is. If you have the dvd, let your friends know ... invite them over for a vampire movie night, and hey throw Dracula, Brides of Dracula and Vampire Circus in the mix, wink*.

After watching Let the Right One in numerous times and watching the trailer for Let Me In .. my opinion remains the same. The Swedes ultimate victory lies in the characters, the lighting, the thought provoking script, and the creep factor.

I'll let you compare the trailers yourself .. 

Purple Drank

A recreational leaning drink- an alternative to illegal drugs in pure form- that is common in parties and originated in the south.

It generally consists of around two fluid ounces of promethazine/codeine cough syrup, 8 or more ounces of lemon-lime soda (Sprite, Sierra Mist, 7up, Mountain Dew, Fresca, etc), and jolly ranchers for flavor. It is called 'purple drank' for a) the purple color that the dye in the syrup gives it, and b) the southern pronunciation of the word 'drink'.

It was created around the time when chopped & screwed rap music hit the scene, where the drink went well with the music considering it induced a similar 'slow' and 'leaning' feeling in the consumer. The beverage until recently, however, did not become popular on a wider scale, and originally was almost completely limited and known (for that matter) to the southern regions of the USA.

Purple drank has more street names, the most popular being Lean and Sizzurp.
"Mike Jones keeps purple drank in his cup."

"Dude, that drank got me leanin' last night."

"That drank tastes like shit, but feels like sex."

July 27, 2010

A Quick Smoke With Rick Rozz

It goes without saying that the man who co-piloted along with Chuck Schuldiner, the raw and brutal dissonance on the masterpiece album Leprosy by Heavy Metal act Death is a metal institution.

Rick, thanks for taking the time out to kick it with us today, i know you have been busy, why don't you let everyone know what you have been cooking up lately

Well Mitch, I have been working very hard on the new project M INC. It has been almost a year together, and a lot of cool things have been happening, M INC. are putting the finishing touches on our demo, to start shopping a record deal, its old school Death/Speed Metal, and its coming along quite nicely, and getting ready for a small Florida Metal Fest I am putting together in December.

You've been around death metal since its inception obviously, how do you feel about some of today's new metal?

Well I have been out of the metal scene for over 15 years, so I'm not really up to date on most of todays metal, a few bands I have heard that are kick ass are Diabolic, Imperial Conquest. and Wykked Wytch.

Nice, i like Diabolic too. Do you think a lot of the feel has been lost with new technologies of recording and such?

As far as the feel, to me that all comes from the players and band its self, not what you record on.

What guitarist would you say most influenced you to start playing?

Ace Frehley!

Nice i had an idea you might say Ace last time we talked we were marveling over his solo album, how great it still sounds.

What about cult bands back then, what got your blood boiling?

Hellhammer, Venom, Slayer.

And album?..though i know this one
Slayer! Reign In Blood 100% Crippling, nothing can ever touch it!!!!

When can we expect a full length album? What are the plans for M Inc in 2010/2011?

We are putting the finishing touchs on our demo, to start shopping labels, I'm sure a few labels have already heard the tracks we have available now we have another six more track coming soon, for a full demo, which will be our full length album. if that comes to pass, And we are looking to to get on the (Summer/Winter Euro Fests) in 2011.

Sounds sweet. Any last words?

Keep you eyes open for M INC!! This a very serious project, and I'm sure metal fans all over will hear this in our music, M INC is going to give it their all to kick some Ass in the Metal World. And thank you very much Mitch for taking the time to spread the word on M INC!! You Rock Brother

Anytime homie, peace

M INC. Myspace

Darkened Nocturn Slaughtercult

Darkened Nocturn Slaughtercult was called into its cold existence during the cold wintery months of 1997. Here i can explain a time line so that you get a better understanding of how this started and how the journey came to be this way. With the spirit from our metal fathers, take command! Cheers to the darkened one!

After the glorious days of early old school black metal had been infested by Gothic influences, and the betrayal of the Scandinavian forefathers, who apparently changed their allegiance, it was the intention of the two founding members Onielar (Vokills, Git.) as well as Ariovist (Drums) to call forth a band which would contribute it's music to the old traditional vein of black metal.

This line-up was reinforced by Velnias (Git.) who joined their ranks after approximately six unholy months. The position of the bass strangler stayed vacant since day one. Darkened Nocturn Slaughtercult stands for own satanic and nihilistic beliefs, along with the conspiracy for raw black metal this spirit is carved deep into their hearts. Thus, it seems nearly impossible to find an individual which combines both the skill and the mandatory views of the occult. Only these individuals may join the Slaughtercult.

In the following months the darkened trinity put much effort, sweat and blood into their very first hymns. During this time many tried out for the open bass position, but all were slain, all fell down to be mere cannon fodder. As time passed by it got more clearer day by day that soon the ways of Ariovist and Slaughtercult would go into different directions. While his path led off into a more pathetic human direction - Slaughtercult kept heading straight forward towards the human rank and file in order to slaughter under the banner of blasphemy. Thus during the second half of the year 1999 the first official release The Pest Called Humanity was recorded.

The line up back then was:
Onielar - Vox, Git Velnias - Git Ariovist - Drums Grigorr - Session Bass

This album being dedicated to pure underground deeds combined the true spirit, which is grim, dark and evil as well as a quality production.

1999-2001 The 2nd Chapter - Follow the Calls for Battle

After the demo, The Pest Called Humanity was released the line-up was reduced to just Onielar and Velnias. Without bass and drums the heralds of Slaughtercult continued working feverishly on new material. Beyond the battlements of Saldor the fact of loosing a skilled mercenary on drums was somewhat a set back, but patiently the steel was sharpened.

Many dared to sit down upon the mighty drum throne! However with the only result of wasting unecessary time. Early creations like Thanatos, Our Glorious Presence and Hora Ruid which were the first new tracks after the departure of Ariovist, already reflected that the black heart of the band was pounding stronger than ever before. With the distant plan to strike again, they managed to find an excellent replacement on the drums: Horrn, the second session member!

The goal of unleashing the second chapter in front of their eyes five more tracks were written, without knowing what they would sound like with bass and drums. Then finally after almost two years Slaughtercult unsheathed the swords and invaded the studio to record the first full length album: Follow the Calls for Battle! While the first chapter was merely the beginning, the second chapter took it a whole level higher. In every aspect the material had improved, faster, more aggressiv and much, much more brutal. This time they showed their deriding worn out masks, which cleary stated their line up during that time:

Onielar - Vox,Git Velnias - Git Horrn - Session Drums Grigorr - Session Bass

Rumor has it that Horrn decided to join the band as a full time member.

2001-2004 The 3rd Chapter - Nocturnal March

Whilst Follow the Calls for Battle turned out to be a violently, restless raging beast in the world wide underground - Slaughtercult began integrating permanent drummer Horrn. Thus preparing for the first live battle March 16th, 2002. The aftermath of this very first live performance brought forth yet another recruitment. Former session member Grigorr was replaced by Emporonorr on bass. From there on a stable line-up rampaged stages on a more less frequent level in Germany as well neighboring countries.

The second chapter still spread out like a malevolent fungus for the next three years. Thus, in the meantime once again smoke began to rise from the forges set afire beyond the walls of a massive saldorian stronghold. Early works of the third chapter like "Wicher Za Gorami", "Through Rotting Stench" and "Spectral Runlets of Tulwod" gave evidence of another devestating strike in the distant future. Concurrent to these hymns a treaty was signed with Luxemburg's Donkelheet. This pact was released in form of a mini split LP late 2003 and featured one track of each band. Slaughtercult's share entitled Underneath Stars of the East prooved to be deeply rooted within the overwhelming landscapes of the Polish soil.

Striving for a worthy follow up of the second chapter Slaughtercult re-entered the studio during the second half of 2003. For the fourth time trusting into the capabilities of long time friend and producer A. Rave. Constantly attempting to reach the highest level of perfection the recording sessions went on an on. Being an indepedant pure fucking black metal horde time is no longer of importance... finally "Nocturnal March" was unchained. With pounding trembles in the earth Slaughtercult hordes charged out through scraggy portals in order to deliver a final blow without mercy to all those daring to stand up. The first full length release with a complete line-up:

Onielar - Vox,Git Velnias - Git Horrn - Drums Emporonorr - Bass

2004 - 2006 The 4th Chapter - Hora Nocturna

Triumphantly the horde returned from their march towards nocturnal blasphemy through dark and mantling clouds. Having gained tremendous strength through whole new experiences upon devestated battelfields the black crusaders were focusing even stronger on the Occult philosophies within their ranks.

Literally being devoured by the might of a self crowned I there was no other option aside channeling this precious newfound wisdom into the complexity of thoughts, visions and prophecies. Thus, carefully molded within the utmost bowels of penciled spiritual vigour Slaughtercult spawned a malignant, pallid creature to henceforth execute their will.

Bestriding an expectorating beast the descend into human perversion, utmost deep thoughts and ritualistic horros began. Within the circle of the possessed a blessed drop discerped from the spirit to set vastness ablaze, thus opening celestial spheres for the Cult to conquer. A journey further into abyssmal grounds once more backed up by loyal deeds of producer A. Rave.

Upholding hell's glistering bane as foul winds graze ceremonial robes:

Onielar - Vox,Git Velnias - Git Horrn - Drums Emporonorr - Bass

2006 - 2009 The 5th Chapter - Saldorian Spell

A decade had been evoked elevating D. N. Slaughtercult to new found heights. From the very spires of chaos plunging down, descenting to the last circle. Leaving the weak and feeble behind - for them to dispatch the curse of uncreation, the Cult primarily focussed on the essence of existence - the ruthless stride afar the well tread out path.

Henceforth the worthless's sorrow came with pure malevolence.

Through the ashen remains of ancient times rose a previous darkened existence. A shadow absorbing pencilled vigour in order to manifest Saldorian Spells amongst the Cult, once more relying on the keen and thorough presence of long time producer A. Rave (Soundsight Studio).

A crimson pact was signed beneath the moon at retreating horizons. For no other reason but to eventually provide more time to paint audible landscapes with a color named utmost black!

Chiming the bells of a saturnine chapel:

Onielar - Vox,Git Velnias - Git Horrn - Drums Grigorr - Bass


Just Blaze On The Beastie Boys

I'm too lazy to spell out everything on Just Blazes resume but i can tell you one thing, it's ugly. Over some fine buds and a few beers i had to find out about some ancient folklore. Read on my loyal minions.

I'm really not going to waste your time and just jump into it. I have no interest in Sean Carter. How did you hook up with the Beastie Boys?

They reached out to me on this. I got a call one day and it was like "the Beastie Boys want you to remix their new single. They use some of your tracks in their shows." They used to rhyme on Flipside, which I did for Freeway, and Eric Sermon's React during their shows. I was like "for real, are you serious?" For me it was an honor, you know what I mean?

Yeah definitely.

I remember stealing my cousins License to Ill tape back in 86 and never giving it back. That's still one of my favorite albums of all time. So I didn't have to think twice I was like "man lets just go ahead and do it!"

So when you were talking did your folks come up with any guidelines on the remix?

It was like basically go ahead and do whatever you want. I'm asking them questions and they're like "just do whatever you want."

So they gave you full control?

They asked me what I wanted them to do. Once I listened to the original, the tempo was so fast, like 116 bpm or something like that. I wanted to slow it down to like 107. For the original version of the remix I just time-stretched their vocals. But after listening to it more, I was like man they should really do it over. And they were completely cool about doing it. There were like "man come on." So we went down to the studio one day and they went in and smacked it out no problem.

Was this the new studio they set up for the album?

Yep, their studio. It was cool; the remix is really old school sounding. My favorite incarnation of the Beastie Boys is the License to Ill era. I really just wanted to do something that sounded like it could have been on that album or at least in that era.

I think that their new album has that concept in mind as well. It's stripped down. That's why your remix fit so well.

Exactly, don't get me wrong. I like their other albums too, but the stuff you grow up with as a kid is your favorite. You know what I mean?

Yeah it's what you've been built off of.

JB: Exactly. You know I just wanted to go back to that. I hadn't even heard the whole album yet but I kind of felt that I personally knew a lot of people who would have loved to hear something like that from them because they haven't done it in 20 years. I kind of just made the record you know, I didn't do it according to what I'm known for, or like the sound people usually know me for. I was like you know what, I'm just going to do what I want to do and you know people love them because that's pretty much what they're known for. They don't stick to guidelines. They don't conform. They do whatever they feel like doing. I figure that's what people love about them and you know in the end I was just honored to be a part of it. They let me do what I wanted, which was even better.

What was your involvement in the video they shot?

Basically, Yauch called me and asked me to come down and shoot a little bit of extra footage with them at their studio. So I went down and I just knocked it out. They already had footage from the original video they never included. So they took their footage and cut it up with the new footage of me in the studio. You know it worked and it was hot. In the end I was just happy to be there like "I can't believe I'm in a video with you dudes right now."

So you still have love for the old school?

I mean I'm young, but I come from a somewhat musical family. I was just telling someone that the first record I ever bought with my own money was RUN DMC's first album, which was like 83. I think I was 6 years old spending my money at the record store.

I was the same way. I had that tape first then traded it for License to Ill with a friend. That's why the laid back 80's sound of that remix was so appealing to me and I think a lot of Beastie Boys fans. Especially those who've been around since the get go.

Yeah, I've noticed that. I look at the forums and the fan sites and it's funny because I've even read some fans say they like the new version better than the original. And most of them say it reminds them of something from those days, especially the older people.

Right. You say you grew up in a musical family. Did you have any professional training or are you self-taught?

My father was a keyboard player and my mother was a singer. He was self-taught so I picked some stuff up from watching him. I'm not great cause I've never gotten heavily into the technical side. I usually play by ear.

So about your new label, what are you guys doing?

It's going to be interesting. We have two artists: Dave Young, who is an R&B singer from Chicago and Saigon who's one of the hottest underground MC's in New York. He's been on the mix tape scene for two or three years now and it was funny because I almost gave up on finding a rapper. I mean I could find one easily, but I didn't want one that sounded like everyone else. So many rappers don't have their own identity they sound like Jay or Biggie or like Nas or Snoop.

I heard you had an open call for people to submit work. How does someone shine to person such as yourself?

That was actually an internet rumor which killed me. The phone lines in my studio were lit up for a week. It wasn't true and my phone lines went crazy because someone actually posted the phone numbers to my studio, but it's cool. Basically I'm looking for something that's different but its got to ride the fine line it has to be different but it has to be accessible. Not saying it has to be corny or sellout but you know as artistically free as you can be, the label still has to sell records.

It's a business right?

Right it's not the music business; it's the business of music. You know what I mean? It's two different things. I've come across certain artists that I love, but I was like I just couldn't sign them. Maybe I'll use them down the line but I needed someone right now who already had a buzz who I could do something with. I need someone with presence and respect on the street. You know he was a natural addition and I've been working with Dave the R&B artist for the past year on his album, which is fun. It's a different direction. I didn't want to do the typical R&B thing where people get whatever hip-hop beat was hot last year and sing on it. I didn't want to do that. I wanted something totally fresh and different. And you know we finally came up with it so right now we're about seven or eight songs deep into his album. I don't want to spread myself too thin though. I'm trying to do those two for right now and I just want to do those two. Once those albums are done we'll concentrate on putting them right where they need to be.

Do you find you can only move forward as fast as you can be creative?

Exactly! Yes I don't want to be a factory. If you can sit down and recycle stuff all day like a regular formula then you start becoming predictable, which I don't want to be.

There are some nice cuts on that Ch-Check it out remix. Do you spend a lot of time practicing scratching?

Nah, not as much as I'd like to anymore. I started out DJing as a kid.

Do you follow the turntablism scene these days?

I keep up, but I can't say I follow. Whenever I come across a DVD of a competition or an exhibition or battling and I happen to be around it, then I try to take it in. I can't say I follow it. I don't know all the new hot ones, you know what I mean?

So then you definitely still enjoy it?

Yeah, yeah, definitely. I mean I have turntables set up in my house and in my studio. I still DJ out and do parties now and then.

I guess there's a flow. Start out Djing, and then eventually work with your own beats.

Yeah, it's crazy like one of the biggest payoffs for me on a personal level. I mean I used to DJ parties all the time and I haven't done it in a long time, and now I'm playing my own records you know? It's one of the biggest rushes you can really get.

For sure, it's a dream for a lot of bedroom DJs, or even scratching your own voice for that matter.

I think it's almost like in mainstream hip-hop you don't hear a lot of scratches anymore. It used to be like every rap group had a DJ and those days are done for the most part. I like doing my part to keep the DJ alive in hip-hop.

It fell in nice with the old school mix of the song. The Beastie Boys try to preach peace and unity, is this soft rap or smart rap?

To be honest, I just look at it as hip-hop. I try to not make categories. I think what they're doing though is definitely not soft and is smart rap. I was telling someone I work with just the other day that you have to realize it takes more of a man to be angry about something and not have to resort to violence rather than take the easy way out. To me it's more of a manly thing to do. Think about it. In situations like that, once there's some kind of a war or a feud going on and they resort to violence, it doesn't stop till someone is dead. It has gotten to the point that, like back in the day you may have a fight and someone looses a tooth or gets a scar and that's it. Nowadays it doesn't stop until someone is dead. We're at the point now where they don't fight anymore and they just shoot each other. So much of their life is reflected in hip-hop that the lines have become so blurred. You know I really respect Jay and Nas for that. They just kept it all on wax. There are a few others that kept it on wax and a few others that turned real and have had some real problems. Once you take it to that level where it doesn't stay on wax more than likely it's not going to stop until someone gets seriously hurt or dead. It's stupid that we already lost Biggie and Tupac over some senseless acts of violence. So I'm really not one to prolong or even lead into that. So yeah man, I definitely don't consider that soft rap…that's smart.
I'm not going to press you on gear questions but I can't get away with not asking you your favorite piece of equipment.

Gear questions are cool. It depends on what I'm doing really. I do most main sequencing and sampling on an MPC 4000. In my main MIDI room I also have a MPC 4000, XV-5080, 2080, 3080, I love Roland, anything Roland I love. I have the whole 1080 through 5080 series. I have a Korg Ms2000. I have an SE 1x, studio electronics 1x, and the analog box. I got pro tools with every plug in. I've got logic, but I haven't really gotten that into Logic, I got Logic with pretty much every VST ever made but I haven't gotten too heavily into that yet.

It takes some time to get into all that.

Yeah, all the stuff I did on Jay-Z's Dynasty album I did on Logic. That was back in 2000 so there's been like two to three major editions since then. I dabble with it. It's definitely the way of the future. It's the way to go as far as ease and portability but something about just sitting down at an MP and knocking it out. I can't really explain, but it just feels better.

I can relate. There's more feel to me tapping it out rather then coloring in squares on a computer screen.

Yeah and also AKAI makes those pads, but they're not the same. I had those pads, and I went out and bought Logic again for the fifth time. Those pads are functional but they just don't feel the same.

I read that you used to listen to your productions on boomboxes at the ROC.

Yeah. Basically the truth is when you listen to a beat loud it kind of tricks you. Just because it has a lot of bass you know all of a sudden you're like this beat is retarded it's crazy. Then you go home and you listen to it. You might put it in your car or put it in your radio and you're just like "man, well it's okay but you know it's just okay." So whenever producers would come in to play beats for Jay or other artists over there we started making them play it in boomboxes. That way if it's hot in the boombox it's going to be hot.

Do you have a personal favorite piece of equipment to listen to a track on to know it's mixed correctly?

There's this one little stereo system, one of my engineers brought it ands it's funny because we usually don't use regular stereo systems to monitor mixes on, but the first time we did it was for the Ch-Check It Out remix. We've been using it as a reference ever since because it's so good. It was a little home system with a 3 CD changer, that type of deal, I can't remember the model number of it though. I will say this, it's better to do what you got to do as far as, you know, mastering in the studio or mixing in the studio, but also go back and listen to your mixes on regular speakers because you got to realize 99% of the world is not listening to your records in the studio they're listening to it on some kind of a boombox or a car stereo. Just because your record sounds good in the studio doesn't mean it's going to sound good everywhere, so you have to go back and test it in a couple different places.

Hip-hip has been a young man game, especially the MC world. How do you feel about artists such as the Beastie Boys extending their careers into their 40s?
I was actually discussing this with someone not long ago and it's funny because hip-hop really hasn't had a career artist because it's a young form of music. With rock and roll artists start out and 30 years later people like the Grateful Dead and Ozzy Osbourne, who are in their 60s are still performing and still sound young. It's kind of like why can't we do that with hip-hop. But it's also so youthful and so competitive. Not that many forms of music are competitive, but hip hop is almost built on competition and it gets hard to be competitive with the young guys when you're old.

I guess it helps when you have the same fans for 20 years like KRS One and the Beastie Boys.

Exactly. There are very few artists who are capable of that. Most artists aren't capable of changing with the times and transforming themselves and still staying relevant to their fan base. You will not always stay relevant to the masses but you can certainly stay true to your fan base. You know there's those who come out of the gates and sell ten million records and then what happens as time goes on they're not the hot new kids anymore. As long as you can maintain your relevance and keep putting out good music, out of those ten million fans you had after your first couple albums, you'll still have maybe two million or so. Jay always has a solid two million that come out for us every time. DMX has his solid one and a half to two million that come out for him every time. As long as you can maintain that, you're good. The thing with Jay and the Beastie Boys is they're not running around like they're eighteen. They've grown and their audience has grown with them. One cool thing about the Beastie Boys that is hard to say about any other rap group is that even though their fan base grows with them, they always have a solid fan base of eighteen to nineteen year old kids as well.

Do you think it's because they have their fingers on the pulse?

I think its partly they're also a little bit ahead of what's going on. They always try to do something different and they always cross the genres. They don't just do hip-hop, they just don't do rock, they've done punk, and they do everything.

Even country. All right thanks for taking the time to speak with me and communicate with your fans through I hope that working with the Beastie Boys will expand your fan base a little bit.

Yeah it already has. Like I said, I read the forums and there are some kids who listen to the Beastie Boys, but don't listen to hip-hop. They're asking, "Who is this guy, who is Just Blaze?" They're inquiring about what other records I've done. They go out and download some records and it's technically not legal but I'm not mad at them because they're doing their research. I'm not mad at all. I'm happy

Death Club

Chuck Palahniuk is one of those authors that never pulls punches. Instead of running away from chaos and uncomfortable things he explores, prods, and even embraces them. In a market where many authors dream about becoming an Oprah Book Club Book, Chuck writes with the hopes that men will pick up his books and find something that speaks to them. His books move forward at break neck speed with more twists and turns than a mountain road. years have passed and Fight Club is still present everywhere we go i suppose. It's no surprise that Fight Club translated so well onto the screen.

I sat down with Chuck in a little diner in Portland, Oregon. I was very nervous for some reason, so i decided to take a few percosets to even out. When I got there he was hard at work on the latest draft of his upcoming novel. Unassuming and soft spoken, Chuck isn't the kind of person you'd expect to create Fight Club's Tyler Durden or Invisible Monster's half-faced Evie. Beware, you are about to come face to face with genius.

Warning: this interview contains spoilers, if you have not READ Fight Club be aware you may learn about some key plot twists.

What exactly IS the name of the main character in Fight Club, is his name Tyler, Jack, or something else?

His name was never given in the book. They needed a name for the screenplay to put next to the character's lines so they just put Jack in there for the hell of it. In the book at one point he even takes out his drivers license and shows it to Marla to prove that he's not Tyler Durden, but Marla was introduced to him under a dozen different names in the support groups. So when he finally comes to save her as Tyler, that's who she knows him as. All the people who have met him have met him as Tyler, so that's who they know him as. But his name is really…. I have no idea.

Support Groups play a strong roll in Fight Club. How did this come about and what's your experience been with them?

I used to work as a volunteer in a hospice, but I don't have any nursing skills or cooking skills or anything, so I was what they call an escort. I would take people to the support groups every night and I would have to sit sort of on the sidelines so I could take them back to hospice at the end of the meeting. I found myself sitting in group after group feeling really guilty about being the healthy person sitting there - "The Tourist". So I started thinking - What if someone just faked it? And just sat in these things for the intimacy and the honesty that they provide, the sort of cathartic emotional outlet. That's really how that whole idea came together.

What are your feelings about the movie version of Fight Club?

The first time I saw dailies of the movie was when I went down to the film's location, and David Fincher would drag me off the set to his trailer to show me dailies. He would be watching me for my reaction, and I had little or no idea where these scenes fit together. Here were these wonderful reaction shots and things like that which seemed so random, beautifully composed, attractive and funny in their own way, but I had no idea how they went together. I felt so self-conscious with David watching me. Now that I see the movie, especially when I sat down with Jim Uhls and record a commentary track for the DVD, I was sort of embarrassed of the book, because the movie had streamlined the plot and made it so much more effective and made connections that I had never thought to make. There is a line about "fathers setting up franchises with other families," and I never thought about connecting that with the fact that Fight Club was being franchised and the movie made that connection. I was just beating myself in the head for not having made that connection myself.

The movie reveals something about Tyler Durden much later than you do in the book. Which way do you feel was most effective and how did each one impact the story?

The actual realization was one of the parts of the movie that was the closest to the book, the process in which Tyler was revealed. It's almost word for word from the book, that scene in particular, and the telephone call to Marla. So I was very happy with that. It's funny, there was so much concern about whether or not people would accept the plot twist and David just kept on saying, "If they accept everything up to this point, they'll accept the plot twist. If they're still in the theater, they'll stay with it."

Being an author of a book that criticizes material possessions and having that book be wildly successful, does success challenge at all your original feelings about possessions?

Not really. It's sort of ironic, too, all of the things I dreamt about buying some day if I had money. Now that I have money I really don't have interest in things. I mean, look at me, all my clothes seem to look as if they come from Good Will, my house still sort of looks like hell. At this point I recognize the burden that things are, and so I really don't want a lot of things. In a big way I think, thank god I didn't have the money to buy all that stuff or I would be living with all that stuff. I'm really glad that up till that moment I never had the resources to make the kind of mistakes I would have been making.

There have been reports of real fight clubs popping up in various parts of the country. What are your feelings about that?

I hear BYU has enormous fight clubs with like 200 guys. People have been sending me newspaper articles on it about colleges trying to get then shut down. In a way I have to think that it has to be meeting a need. I train with a fighter three times a week in grappling, and I love it. It is the most fun thing I have done in years, and I look forward to it every time I go in, just fighting for two to three hours. If there wasn't a reward or big pay off, why the hell would people be doing it? It's not attractive and it's not something we'd think of as fun.

So was grappling something you did before writing the book?

No, just being angry was what I did before writing the book.

What was it like sitting down four years after your first published Fight Club, watching an interpretation of your work, and then having to talk about it on a commentary track?

It was spookier than that, because the work was an interpretation of the things my friends and I were actually doing at the time. Watching the DVD, it's like watching a movie version of my life, and seeing, if not myself, then at least all of my friends saying the things that they were saying at the time. The line, "We are the all singing, all dancing, crap of the world", was something that my friend Carston actually said. He was just learning English at the time and so he spoke in cliché's like "all singing and all dancing". It's sort of spooky and surrealistic to see things that were real suddenly portrayed in this enormous Hollywood way.

Now wait a second. How much of this was was based on real things?

Everything except for the clubs themselves.

Even Project Mayhem?

Project Mayhem was based on the Portland Cacophony Society, which I used to do more of. They get together and pull these enormous pranks. They're international now, almost every major city has a cacophony society and they pull huge pranks and jokes and stunts.

It was pretty amazing just how much dialogue in the movie was taken directly from the book. Were you surprised at how much they used from the book?

I had never been through this process before, so I just assumed that's the way they did it. So I can't say that I was really happy or really disappointed - I was glad. It's funny, I could pick out the lines that were not from the book, because there were so few lines that weren't from the book. The ones that were original to the movie were sort of jarring.

How do you react to critics like Roger Ebert who call Fight Club "Macho Porn"?

Oh really, he did? I haven't had a television for ten years, so I really don't keep up on all the review shows. "Macho Porn", I love that. It combines two of my favorite things, thank you, Roger… I heard that Rex Reed said that nasty thing that "maybe this film will find its audience in hell…" I'm going to have to look him up in hell and buy him a drink some day.

There seems to be a very small segment of literature oriented to men, very few books talk about the male experience, or explore what it is to be a guy. Fight Club is a quintessential exploration of being a guy living in the late twentieth century.

I was told that 85% of all fiction sells to older middle-age woman. 85%, my God! I just felt like I was really cutting my throat to write a book that wasn't about an older middle-age woman to fall in love. Somehow I knew there wouldn't be a market for it, but what else am I going to write. I think it's more important to write something that brings men back to reading than it is to write for people who already read. There's a reason men don't read, and it's because books don't serve men. It's time we produce books that serve men.

What is the one thing you truly want people to get out of Fight Club and your other books?

That we need to be more comfortable and more accepting of chaos, and things that we see as disastrous. Because it is only through those things we can be redeemed and change. We should welcome disaster, we should welcome things that we generally run away from. There is a redemption available in those things that is available nowhere else.

The plots in your books take a lot of twists and turns, especially Invisible Monsters. Would you consider this a part of your style or just something present in the books you've written so far?

So much of what I do is a reaction to what I don't like about books. One thing I don't care for, that really angered me, was fiction that just plodded along, and would spend a whole chapter discussing the color of an orange or someone waiting for their tea to cool enough that they could drink it. I was like, "screw this", I wanted fiction based on verbs, rather than a fiction based on adjectives. I get into enough description as I can to get by, but I really think that's the reader's privilege to fill in the blanks and I'll handle the verbs. Sometimes, like in Invisible Monsters, I get too out of control and instead of a plot point every chapter I want a plot point in every sentence.

In Fight Club I used the bomb recipes, because so much cute fiction was being written with food recipes in it, like Nora Ephrom's Heartburn, Like Water For Chocolate. It got to be so you couldn't pick up a novel anymore without feeling like you were reading a cookbook. So I thought, why not a novel with like, guy recipes. So that's why I started doing that.

How to make Napalm with Frozen Orange Juice and Gasoline?

Well, Ed Norton changed one ingredient in every one to make them useless. So, that really pissed me off because I really researched those really well. Actually its styrofoam and gasoline - it make the most incredible explosive.

If they ever make Invisible Monsters into a movie, who would you most like to see cast in it?

It's funny, because even now I can't get Helena Bonham Carter out of my head. She is such an exceptionally attractive person and also I felt the kind of actor that Edward Norton is. She's aware of even the tinniest gesture and how she appears. Maybe it's just that I'm sort of fixated on her after Fight Club, but Helena Bonham Carter is just, I think, probably the most extraordinary actress possibly of our generation. I can't think of anybody I'd rather see.

I love that moment in Fight Club where she takes that puff of smoke and time seems suspended.

The French inhale thing, and the subsonic sound that David puts in on top of that. It was so perfectly Marla. It was really sweet to take my friend who Marla was based on and introduce her.

What's the current status of Survivor as a movie?

It's in pre-production at Twentieth Century Fox. Gwenneth Paltro's brother Jake got the contract to write the screenplay. He's Steven Spielberg's protégé right now. He did a really fantastic screenplay about a robot that falls in love, and it was just about to go into production when Bicentennial Man with Robin Williams came out. It killed the whole project. In the shadow of that the whole thing just died, no matter how good it was. He's under contract to do the screenplay; apparently he really loves the book. It's not really until a screenplay is done that they can get the actors and directors under contract. They've mentioned Jim Carrey and Jerry Bruckheimer. They've talked about doing it more along the lines of a big action excitement spectacular movie.

Wow, doesn't all this Hollywood attention just blow you away?

I am always so terrified about the next thing that I don't have a lot of energy to put in. I hope for their sake that they do a good job, because I want them to make money. I want them to be happy with their product. To tell you the truth I am so worried about my next project, that's where I am.

Are you on track to be doing a book every year?

Boy that sounds like a treadmill, doesn't it. Not necessarily a book a year. Right now I am working on Choke for next year. I am doing a lot of magazine work. Playboy just published a chapter from Choke as a short story in this month's issue. I have another chapter from Choke coming out in the Christmas Playboy in December.

It's such a small place to work in, writing a story for Playboy. Talk about making every word count.

That's what's nice about short stories, it trains you to make a lot happen in seven pages. It's a perfect framing to write a real action-filled novel. Whatever happens has to happen in so many numbers of pages to keep the plot going. I love that about short stories.

If you were asked to pen a screenplay for one of your novels, would you be interested in doing it?

I would love to try it just because now that I do this full time, I am afraid that it is going to get boring - "Oh, time to crank out another one". I did do one screenplay thinking that they'd be really easy. All you do is get that screenplay software and boom. It's only 113 pages, and I could knock that out in a weekend. And I did one and it was terrible, it was absolutely awful. My agent declined to present it to anyone and I realized that there's a lot more to this. It's going to take some real training and real studying to learn how to get it down.

You really have the gift for dialogue and narration. I'd think that could translate well into screenplays.

In books you can just wallow in dialogue and you can just wallow in written words. In screenplays every line has to serve the purpose of the line that's implied before it and the line that's implied after it. Maybe five lines have to do the work of fifty lines. So much more has to be implied, has to occur in the viewer's mind so that everything isn't sort of expository and explained to the viewer, and that's a skill I am trying to develop.

There must be increasing pressure related to your success, now you've got one book that has been made into a movie, another in pre-production. How do you deal with the pressure?

I seem to be productive enough that I don't perceive a lot of the pressure; I am sort of a workaholic also. Additionally I've been going off and doing some interesting magazine pieces. I just got back from living a week on the USS Louisiana, this nuclear submarine down in Florida for Nest Magazine, a design and living magazine. They wanted to see how people lived on submarines. So I get to do these very cool guy things I've always wanted to do.

Who has influenced you in your writing?

Tom Jones, the Seattle writer, Amy Hemple, she's a short story writer from New York, she lives in the Bay Area some times. Amy Hemple is incredible. Joan Didieon's essays. It's funny, so much of my fiction is so much like essays, sometimes I'll drop the plot altogether and I'll do a chapter that just sort of discusses something, like the Stairmaster chapter in Survivor - it's just a long rant on the nature of modern life and trying to achieve epiphanies within really limited time windows. I love to read essays, because I write so much like essays. I really like Bret Ellis' collection, The Informers. It's his only collection of short stories. I really loved American Psycho. I couldn't believe what a good job they did with the movie of that book. I really loved that movie - it really made me want to go back and re-read the book.

Many people put both American Psycho and Fight Club into the same category of fiction that crosses the boundaries of what many people may consider 'acceptable'. How do respond to that?

I find it important to give myself license to write without apologies. You wouldn't believe how many single mothers I've had come up and want to pick a fight over the line "What you see in Fight Club is a generation of men raised by women." Single mothers are so angry and offended by that line. They are even more angry about that line than they are about Marla's abortion line. You have to give yourself license to put things in that might be inflammatory, permission not to have to please everybody. If you try to please everybody you won't please anyone.

What role has the Internet played in your writing?

To tell a really horrible secret, when I was researching Invisible Monsters, I didn't know anything about transgender hormone treatments. So I would get into transgender bulletin boards and chat rooms explaining that I had illegally obtained female hormones to begin self medicating myself and I needed to know about dosages and side effects and what to use and what to stack for different hormonal effects, different treatments periods, all the details about dose per weight and stuff, and how big my breasts would get and everything like that. All these very caring, very nurturing transgender people were e-mailing me constantly for months. Well, OK, they were e-mailing a person named Cherry at my e-mail address - "How's it going Cherry Girl, how's your breasts? Are you doing good?" My housemates kept coming across these e-mails and they were not happy. They kept on saying, "This isn't a nice thing. Cherry needs to die". Eventually Cherry had a really bad car accident and never ever responded to e-mails again. The whole experience really helped give the whole issue of transgender a face, it made them into real people, instead of stereotypes or dirty jokes.

For Choke I've been going to Sexaholic's Anonymous meetings, because it makes those people again into human beings, rather than just being perverts or nymphos . I can't make fun of them, I can't hurt them, because I see them too much as these human beings. In a way it's great research, but it's also a real safety on my part to keep from ever finding fun at their expense.

It'll be really interesting when you release Choke as you'll have a book with strong violence themes and one with strong sex themes. It seems that people tend to be more up in arms over sex in movies than violence.

Really? I thought it was violence that wasn't okay, and sex was great. Boy, after Fight Club I thought, I'm never doing violence again.

Are you surprised that Fight Club didn't have more problems with the MPAA?

It's funny, a little inside thing about Fight Club, and I won't tell you whether or not it's true - I heard that the only way that David got an "R" for Fight Club was that he screened it without the impact sounds in the fight scenes, so you didn't have those really gruesome meat packing sounds in the fight scenes. Apparently without those sounds those scenes are much more stagy and artificial looking. Once it went into distribution those sounds may have somehow found their way back in. They cut a lot thought to avoid an "NC-17".

The studio was all over David about that abortion line, they begged him to take it out and at the last minute he said okay, and they gave him carte blanche to change it to anything. After they saw it with the new line, they hated it even more and begged him to change it back. So David wins. I thought David's line was even more effective because you needed a laugh at that point to break the tension after all the sex was portrayed, and David's line gets a laugh whereas my line just gets a shock. David's line is much better and more appropriate.

Considering your books have a number of more extreme themes, have you encountered pushback or resistance from your publisher and editor on what should and shouldn't be in your books?

That's what I really trust about Gerry, my editor for Fight Club, Survivor and now Choke. Gerry will let a lot of things go through, but he pulls me back on some things that, when I look at them in retrospect, I'm so glad he pulled me back. In the original draft of Fight Club they did castrate the police chief. There was a freezer full of bagged testicles in the Paper Street house, and Gerry said, "No, that's just going to lose too much sympathy. Don't have them do that." So I pulled back there and I am so glad I did.

How did you first get your break in writing, and what were you doing before writing Fight Club?

I worked at Freightliner for thirteen years right after college. I worked on the assembly line for several years. Then I moved into working as sort of a research mechanic, I would do repair and vehicle modification procedures and then write about them. So I worked on trucks and wrote about them. Fight Club had its genesis while I was working at Freightliner. I had been on vacation and I had gotten into a really terrible fight. When I came back on Monday from vacation, I was just so wiped out. Nobody would acknowledge just how terrible I looked, because it seemed nobody wanted to know what I did in my spare time. I thought that if you looked bad enough, you could do anything because nobody will ever call you on it. It was that day I started writing the Fight Club.