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Friday, April 22, 2011

Vinnie Paul talks about Pantera's Legacy

On March 11, 1964 in Abilene, Texas, Heavy Music history was made when Vincent Paul Abbott, also known as "Vinnie Paul", was born with a pair of drum sticks. No really, when you think about successful drummers within Heavy Music that have defined not only the style of playing but also the attitude, Vinnie Paul reigns supreme. Whither you know Vinnie from his legendary performances with Pantera, Damageplan, or Hellyeah. One thing is for sure, Vinnie has always put the pedal to the Metal.

It all started when Vinnie and his brother Darrell Lance Abbott (RIP), also known as "Diamond Darrell", started jamming out to bands like Deep Purple, Van Halen and Kiss. After many jam sessions, the Abbott brothers recruited Donnie Hart on vocals, Terry Glaze on guitar, and Tommy Bradford on bass, and started a band called Pantera's Metal Magic (which eventually became Pantera).

Once the band started picking up steam, singer Donnie Hart left the band and Terry Glaze took over vocals, leaving Dimebag as the only guitarist. Later that year bassist Tommy Bradford quit the band and was replaced by Rex Robert Brown, also known as "Rex Brown". Once the line up was locked Pantera became an underground sensation, specially after being part of regional tours that took them beyond Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana.

After releasing "Metal Magic" in 1983, which was produced by Dime and Vinnie's father Jerry Abbott, they worked very hard at getting their music exposed to the masses. During the next few years, Pantera released Projects in the Jungle (1984), and I Am the Night (1985). As we all know, all these albums didn't have the same punch as their later albums, mainly because singer Terrence Lee was missing that punch in your face style of vocals. After Pantera decided to switch gears, they parted ways with Terrence Lee and recruited Philip Anselmo. The band released a slightly heavier album in 1988, titled "Power Metal.

Pantera soon decided that they needed to change their musical style and become an engine of aggression and to single-handedly save Heavy Metal, this is when they ripped off the spandex and decided that "these magic clothes don't play music; we do. Let's just go out there and be comfortable—jeans, t-shirt, whatever—and see where it goes." After the release of "Power Metal", Dimebag auditioned for Megadeth, got offered the gig, but he didn't accept it since his condition was that if Megadeth wanted him in the band, they had to also recruit his brother Vinnie.

You may think that Pantera got their "break" really easily since they were such an original hard working band, but the reality is that the band was turned down 28 times! In a leap of faith, everything changed for them when Hurricane Hugo stranded ATCO Records representative Mark Ross in Texas. His boss Derek Shulman asked Ross to go check out Pantera, who he had been interested in signing after receiving numerous amounts of home videos produced by the band. Ross went to see the band at a birthday party, and after a few songs he had no question that ATCO had to sign Pantera! At the end of 1989, the band recorded "Cowboys From Hell" (its major label debut) at Pantego Studios.

"Cowboys From Hell" proved that Pantera had smartly switched gears into a Heavier and more ass kicking sound, that would win them millions of fans worldwide. After the release of the album, Pantera were asked to perform in front of over 500,000 people at the "Monsters of Rock" in Moscow, Russia. The event was a celebration of the new freedom of performing Western music in the former Soviet Union.

From that moment on Pantera became one of the hardest working bands in Heavy Music history, and released legendary albums such as "Vulgar Display of Power" and "Far Beyond Driven", which hit number 1 on the Billboard Charts.

During the production of "The Great Southern Trendkill", it became evident that the band was having internal problems. The personal relations within the band were an all time low, so Anselmo decided to record vocals for this record at Trent Reznor's studio in New Orleans while the rest of the band recorded in Dallas. Once this furious album was released, the band managed to keep their focus on the music and to tour the world non-stop. In a turn of events, on July 13, 1996, Philip Anselmo overdosed on heroine while at a Texas hometown gig.

From that moment the media took out their magnifying glass and had a feast with all the chaos surrounding the band. After many feuds with the media, specially from Anselmo, the band decided to use their stage as their weapon. They definitely proved this with the release of "Live 101 Proof", which also included two studio tracks.

At the turn of the century, Pantera released "Reinventing the Steel" and once again toured the entire world. After a year and a half of successful touring, which included co-headlining Ozzfest 2000 with Black Sabbath, the band came to a halt on September 11, 2001 due to the terrorist attacks in the United States. At the time, Anselmo told his band members that he was going to go take care of his health issues, but ended up reforming Down and Superjoint Ritual

After a few years of waiting for Anselmo to rejoin the band, who was busy on the road with Down and Superjoint Ritual, Dime and Vinnie decided to start Damageplan. At first glimpse, the fans were very confused about the new band, and were desperately waiting for the reunion of Pantera. After lots of hard work, and when they were finally starting make some noise, on December 8, 2004, Dimebag was shot and killed while at a gig at the Alrosa Villa in Columbus, Ohio. This would be the end of Pantera!

Here is an EXCLUSIVE interview with drumming legend Vinnie Paul, in which we discuss the legacy of Pantera. This interview took place in Los Angeles at the "Black Carpet", at the 3rd installment of Revolver Golden Gods Awards. Grab a black tooth and enjoy!

We want to thank Pantera, Vinnie Paul, Revolver Magazine & all the fans! This piece is dedicated to DIMEBAG (RIP)! \m/

Related links:
Official Pantera site

Thursday, April 21, 2011

K.K. Downing Quits Judas Priest

K.K. Downing has decided to leave Judas Priest and not be part of the band's final touring cycle. As we all know, K.K. is a vital part of Judas Priest and this is a huge blow for the millions of fans all over the world. Here is his Official press release:

Dear friends,

It is with much regret that I will not be with you this summer. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart for your concerns about my health. Please rest assured that I am O.K.

There has been an ongoing breakdown in working relationship between myself, elements of the band, and the band's management for some time.

Therefore I have decided to step down rather then to tour with negative sentiments as I feel that this would be a deception to you, our cherished fans.

However I would urge you to please support the Priest as I have no doubt that it will be a show not to be missed.

All my love and respect,

K.K. Downing

This is what Rob Halford had to say about K.K.'s decision:

"K.K. leaving was his own decision, for the reasons he made public on his web site earlier today. We had a fantastic time together on the "Nostradamus" tour... But K.K. has his own life to live and we can't force him to do anything he doesn't want to do. He told us of his decision to leave Judas Priest before Christmas time. Personally, I thought this could be the end... Emotionally, for me, it's been very, very difficult... When K.K. said he was thinking of retiring, Glenn Tipton (Judas Priest guitarist) was the first guy to send him a personal email to say: "Ken, I hope you're O.K. If there's anything you need, just let me know." We kept the door open all this time in case Ken changed his mind, but the clock was ticking."

Related links:
Judas Priest's Official Site
K.K. Downing's Official Site

Episode III of the Revolver Golden Gods Awards

Yesterday downtown Los Angeles was dressed in black for a Metallic freak show, in which the elite of Heavy Music was present for Episode III of the Revolver Golden Gods Awards. As soon as we arrived to the "Black Carpet" there were kids waiting anxiously to greet all their heroes and to perhaps get their idols signatures. Then add hundreds of reporters wanting to squeeze in an interview with some of the most prolific names in Heavy Music and you have a headbangers paradise.

The crowd went absolutely bezerk when Sebastian Bach arrived, which called the attention of those that were just passing by. Seeing their faces was absolutely priceless! Imagine you are having a family lunch and all of a sudden you see al these kids wearing black, looking like they came from war, and next thing you know Rob Zombie, Alice Cooper, and Geezer Butler swing by. While those people had no idea what was happening, it was evident that for one day downtown Los Angeles was hell!

Here are some of the maniacs we got to interview while at the "Black Carpet":

- Alan Robert (Life Of Agony)
- Anthrax
- Chino Moreno (deftones)
- Chris Jericho (Fozzy)
- David Coverdale (Whitesnake)
- Duff McKagan (Loaded)
- Geezer Butler & Wendy Dio (Black Sabbath & Heaven and Hell)
- Jamey Jasta (Hatebreed, Kingdom of Sorrow, Jasta)
- Robb Flynn & Dave McClain (Machine Head)
- Shawn Crahan (Slipknot)
- Tony Campos (Static X)
- Vinnie Paul (Hellyeah)
- Wayne Static (Static X)

Once the "Black Carpet" was closed for business everyone rushed inside for the awards show. The event was hosted by Chris Jericho, who's band Fozzy kicked off the night of Heavy Music paradise. From there on, the large crowd who showed up at Club Nokia got a good cocktail of Heavy Music. Here are some of the highlights of the night, when it comes to the performances:

- The original Alice Cooper band played a ferocious set full of attitude, good music and were received with the horns up by all attendees. These guys proved that the older they get, the better they sound.

- History was written when Avenged Sevenfold brought on stage Duff McKagan to perform "It's So Easy" and Vinnie Paul to perform "Mouth For War" with them.The crowd lost their minds and are still looking for their sanity. We don't think they will ever find it.

- Devil Driver's tribute to Black Flag featuring skateboarder Mike Vallely, Brazilian musical terrorist Max Cavalera, and Hardcore legend Jamey Jasta, was absolutely insane. This was the first time the circle pit was in full effect.

- Duff McKagan's Loaded brought the masses the perfect segue to the more intense performances of the night, and delivered an epic cover of Judas Priest's "Electric Eye" featuring Corey Taylor and Steve Jones. In our opinion Corey stole the show!

- Asking Alexandria were joined by Sebastian Bach and were on fire while performing Skid Row's "Youth Gone Wild". Bach proved that he is one hell of a singer, and one hell of a guy!

- Volbeat brought their Danish power to the masses, and proved why they are one of the best bands to have recently shown their faces and fists in the Heavy Music world. During their set they were joined by Scott Ian from Anthrax and together they performed Dusty Springfield’s “I Only Want To Be With You”.

Now that we have that out of the way, here are the GOLDEN GODS of 2011:

\m/ - Hunted: The Demon’s Forge® Golden God Award: Alice Cooper (presented by Rob Zombie)

\m/ - Ronnie James Dio Lifetime Achievement Award: Mötley Crüe (presented by Corey Taylor of Slipknot/Stone Sour)

\m/ - Honorary Headbanger Award: William Shatner (presented by Scott Ian of Anthrax and The Damned Things and comedian Brian Posehn)

\m/ - Epiphone® Best Guitarists Award: Synyster Gates and Zacky Vengeance of Avenged Sevenfold (presented by Robb Flynn of Machine Head and Wayne Static of Static X)

\m/ - Drum Workshop® Best Drummer Award: Mike Portnoy for his work with Avenged Sevenfold (presented by Vinnie Paul of Pantera/HellYeah)

\m/ - Best New Band Award: Black Veil Brides (presented by Duff McKagan of Loaded/Velvet Revolver/Guns N’ Roses)

\m/ - Most Metal Athlete Award: Skateboarder Mike Vallely (presented by Chino Moreno of Deftones)

\m/ - Rockstar Energy® Best Vocalist Award: M. Shadows of Avenged Sevenfold (presented by Taylor Momsen of The Pretty Reckless and Sebastian Bach)

\m/ - Samson/Zoom® Best Live Band Award: Rammstein (presented by Charlie Benante of Anthrax and Mike Portnoy)

\m/ - Eagle Rock® Comeback of the Year Award: Murderdolls (presented by David Coverdale of Whitesnake)

\m/ - Affliction® Album of the Year Award: Avenged Sevenfold (presented by Jerry Cantrell and Mike Inez of Alice in Chains)

Stay tuned for all of our EXCLUSIVE interviews! \m/

“Lady Gaga tweets about it. James Durbin brings it on American Idol. And our host Chris Jericho represents it on Dancing With the Stars. Metal is taking over the mainstream, and the Revolver Golden Gods is its biggest, baddest celebration. If you missed the party, punch yourself in the balls… Or pick up the Golden Gods issue of Revolver on May 24, tune in to VH1 Classic on May 28, and we’ll see you next year!” –Revolver magazine Editor-in-Chief Brandon Geist

Related links:
Revolver Golden Gods Awards: Episode III

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A Stepping Stone for Horns Up Rocks

Ever since we started Horns Up Rocks we have shared with all of our fans every vital move that we have made in order keep our mission of Redefining Heavy Music, progressing and rising all of us to the top. Yes, all of us. We didn't start this movement for personal satisfaction, we started Horns Up Rocks in order to unite the Heavy Music fans and to celebrate our lifestyles.

Since day 1 we have been all about taking measured risks in order to keep this movement growing stronger every day. Today we are making history at the 3rd installment of the Revolver Golden Gods Awards at Club Nokia in Downtown Los Angeles. We will be covering the Black Carpet at the event and bringing our East Coast/Latino flavor to the Heavy Music elite. We are extremely proud and ready to destroy! Thank you all for the support since day 1 and this one is for you! HORNS UP!!!

Here are some videos we produced last year after the 2nd installment of the Golden Gods, which ultimately was the "stepping stone" for us to be able to be part of these years event!

Related links:
Revolver Golden Gods Awards

Monday, April 18, 2011

Lady Gaga: A Metalhead?

This past weekend Iron Maiden brought their legendary flavor of Metal to Tampa, Florida and showed the sunshine state that Heavy Metal is alive and well. As usual they had an amazing show and the thousands of Metaleros that gathered at the St. Pete Times Forum are still nursing their necks from so much headbanging. One unusual headbanger who attended the legendary performance was none other then pop diva Lady Gaga. Yeah, Lady Gaga! And get this, one of her favorite songs is "Run to the Hills" and her 666th twit proved that she is an avid Iron Maiden fan.

"The Number of the Beast. Having' beers listening to Maiden w the New York Boys. Happy 666 Twitterland."

You're probably thinking "what a poseur"! Well, the truth is that Lady Gaga has been into Heavy Metal for many years. Actually, she claims that when she was a Gogo dancer one of the songs that got her grooving was Black Sabbath's "Black Sabbath". Speaking of Sabbath, when Ryan Seacrest interviewed Ozzy Osbourne this is what the "Prince of Darkness" had to say about Lady Gaga:

"She's very clever, very interesting. She's wacky and I like the zaniness of that woman."

To this Lady Gaga responded: "Are you kidding? I'm the biggest BLACK SABBATH fan on Earth!"

Next time you see Lady Gaga ask her to put her Horns Up and prove to you that she is not a poseur! Hahahaha.

Related links:
Iron Maiden's Official site
Lady Gaga's Official site

Agnostic Front: "My Life, My Way" with Mike Gallo

There is no question that Agnostic Front changed the face of New York City Hardcore forever, actually they were one of the first bands that helped shape up the scene over 25 years ago, and to this very day they have been the ambassador's of NYHC. While you may think that at this point of their careers, they are sitting back and relaxing, the reality is that when it comes to Hardcore music the bands never stop writing music, performing all over the world, and flying the Hardcore flag with pride and joy.

With the release of their new album "My Life, My Way", Agnostic Front have proven again that they are untouchable and have plenty of fuel left in their musical arsenal. The record delivers the bands signature sound with more of a Punk Rock feel then their previous albums. This actually happened very organically, and the band didn't go against it. Produced by Freddy Madball and engineered by Erik Rutan from Hate Eternal, the vibe of the album reminds of their legendary album "Victim In Pain".

“After all is said and done we are amazed on how great our new record turned out! It’s by far our catchiest record to date and it’s going to make everyone want to sing along for sure. Freddy killed it on the production end, just capturing that hardcore vibe that only he can get out of AGNOSTIC FRONT. The boys all put nothing but passion into the songs, and Erik Rutan just dialed it all in to make AGNOSTIC FRONT sound as natural and as organic as ever. This one will definitely be a classic once it’s heard worldwide!” - Roger Miret

Track listing:

1) City Street
2) More Than a Memory
3) Us Against the World
4) My Life My Way
5) That’s Life
6) Self Pride
7) Until the Day I Die
8) Now and Forever
9) The Sacrifice
10 A Mi Manera
11) Your Worst Enemy
12) Empty Dreams
13) Time Has Come

The band is currently gearing up for a global takeover that will keep them busy for the next few years. They will also be part of the upcoming Black N Blue in New York City, which will take place on Saturday May 28, 2011. We recently had the chance to chat with Agnostic Front bassist Mike Gallo about the new album, their immediate future, and the state of the music industry. Here is what went down.

We want to thank Agnostic Front, Jon Freeman (Freeman Promotions, and the Black N Blue Productions team.

Photo credit: Cornelia Wickel of Music Photocalypse

Related links:
Official Site of Agnostic Front
Agnostic Front on Facebook
Agnostic Front on Twitter
Agnostic Front on You Tube

Sunday, April 17, 2011

No Mercy Metal defined by Open Denile

Open Denile recently performed at the first No Mercy Metal Showcase in Brooklyn, and they brought their flavorful Melodic Death Metal to the hungry fans that took over Club Europa. One of the things that was evident to all attendees, is that they have consciously adopted a musical style that blends European Metal but with the new breed of American Metal in a very original and smart way.

From the moment they get on stage, these young guys jam their souls out and make sure that everyones face is melted. Their is no doubt that this band works very hard at crafting their music. This is evident when they take the listener through various Metallic passages during their well structured songs. Open Denile is definitely taking a smart risk by writing longer songs then most up and coming bands, and this can only be accomplished thanks to their great musicianship. If you think about Old School Metal bands and compare them to newer bands, their songs are much better structured. How has this influenced the destructful sounds of the band?

Well, all the members of Open Denile have very different musical influences and this makes them challenge each other when composing music. However, when it comes to Old School Metal they all agree that watching and learning from the legends of the genre, have helped them to shape up the sound of the overall sound of the band. This is really important because when you have musicians that have different procedures when writing music, it is essential to find that common ground in order to make sure that nothing clashes. If anything Open Denile is clashing the New York Heavy Music scene with No Mercy Metal!

Here is an EXLUSIVE interview with the entire band after they outperformed every band that took part of the No Mercy Metal Brooklyn edition!

Related links:
No Mercy Metal
Open Denile