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Interviews   

John Garcia: “I’m on a mission”


When we called him on the phone, John Garcia was getting ready to go on a camping trip in the mountains with his family and enjoy a “well-deserved break”, as he put it. Admittedly, the man whose voice has graced the music of several brilliant stoner rock bands (namely Kyuss, Unida, Hermano and Slo Burn) has been rather busy lately. After a hard battle to reform Kyuss – which led to legal action from his former colleagues Josh Homme and Scott Reeder – and an album released under the name Vista Chino, John Garcia is back with that solo album we’d been expecting for so many years. The small tour he did with Unida, and which stopped by Hellfest, was just the icing on the cake. The hectic Kyuss Lives! episode obviously made him want to focus on himself, and on the simple yet important things, like his family or the songs he loved but had put into a box. “I’m on a mission”, he says again and again in the second half of this rich interview. And the goal of this mission is simple: to find happiness.

It’s a truly generous interview this self-described musical explorer gave us. Always honest and passionate, sometimes moving, John Garcia first talks about his newly-released solo album, then gradually lets us into his life and personality. We talked about “his desert”, as he likes to call it, about Josh Homme and Scott Reeder, about his future as a solo artist, and about his various bands. Although the interview is quite long, you should enjoy it from start to finish if you like the man and his music.

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Interviews   

Septicflesh or the art of outdoing yourself


How do you outdo a gigantic undertaking? The answer to that is Septicflesh’s latest album, Titan. Communion and The Great Mass both fell under the “grandiose” category in terms of work and resources. In August 2012, when we interviewed bassist/vocalist Seth Siro Anton on the subject of his visual art, he confessed he was worried regarding Septicflesh’s musical future. Two years later, the Greeks are back with an even darker album (if that’s even possible), whose orchestral aspect, for which the band is now renowned, has reached a whole new level.

Christos Antoniou, the band’s guitarist and orchestrations overlord, turned out to be extremely confident and proud when we called him to talk about this titanic new work. And although some of his answers might sound a bit presumptuous (like the title of the album, which has its significance), there’s nothing wrong with feeling proud when you’ve given yourself 100% and when the result is that impressive. Let’s talk about all that with him.

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Interviews   

Kypck: a name to carve on the wall of your memory


We obviously didn’t wait for the troubles in Ukraine to take an interest in Kypck (pronounce “koursk”), a band whose name derives from a famous Russian nuclear submarine and who boasts three rather excellent doom/melancholic metal albums in their discography. But we have to admit the context was interesting to try and shed some light on this unusual band and understand what’s behind it. Kypck was founded in 2007 by Sentenced’s former guitarist and composer, Sami Lopakka, with one main idea: to sing in Russian and to develop a strong imagery based on Soviet symbols. The concept was later refined and improved, most notably after the hiring of singer Erkki Seppänen, who speaks fluent Russian, is fascinated by Russian history, and even worked at the embassy in Moscow for a time. Erkki is the one we called on his way to the concert venue in Tampere, Finland, where the band was playing that evening, to talk about Kypck, where he stands on the Ukrainian crisis, and the new balance of power between Russia and the West.

But we especially wanted to talk about the band’s third album, Imena Na Stene (Имена на стене with the proper Cyrillic spelling, meaning “The Names on the Wall”), released earlier this year and reviewed on this very website a few months ago. A striking record which received very little exposition, at least in France, but which deserves all your attention.

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Interviews   

Tesla: The simplicity of an interview with Jeff Keith


At some point in a band’s career, time seems to stretch out and its members no longer want to rush things. That’s what seems to be happening to Tesla, thirty years after they first introduced their high-class bluesy hard rock to the world. Tesla want to take their time, manage things themselves and as they please, go on tour when the sun is shining and not for too long. Tesla also want to do things simply, genuinely, in a world that relies more and more on the complexity of technology. That’s precisely the basis of this new album, Simplicity, released six years after Forever More. Gone are the modern impulses of the later and of the much acclaimed Into The Now; the music is now back to “the bare minimum”, as vocalist Jeff Keith puts it.

In the following interview, Keith talks about the spirit that was driving the band during the making of this new album, and about his solo career in country music, which he only started up last year. We also got some intel about the band’s past and an explanation regarding the tomato story…

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Interviews   

Philip H. Anselmo on all fronts


Just a few weeks after we published our interview with Phil Anselmo regarding Down’s latest EP, we were on the phone with the man again. The singer is everywhere lately. Shortly after completing a North-American tour with Down, he was ready to go back on the roads of the old continent with his solo band The Illegals.

Although he sounded tired, the man was also in a joking mood. When he picked up the phone (“Aahhh, yeah!”), we automatically asked: “Is this Philip Anselmo ?”, just to hear him reply: “No, it’s Gene Simmons!” Why did we even ask? This ballsy voice leaves no place for doubt: it’s the one we’re used to hearing on “I’m Broken”, “Walk”, or “Drag The Waters”. “Ah, busy as fuck, getting ready to head over to Europe Monday”, he said when we asked him how he was doing.

Since we’d already largely talked about Down and his solo band during our latest two interviews, we took this new opportunity to question him about more general subjects (especially the stage), and about his performance of Pantera songs alongside Kill Devil Hill and Black Label Society, precisely ten years after the death of guitarist Dimebag Darrell. A topic that led us to talk about his current relationship with Vinnie Paul, which he explains with great honesty…

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Interviews   

Killer Be Killed: the ways of collaboration


“I don’t understand why people in hip-hop and people in jazz they make records together, they collaborate often and in metal, everyone seems to be very concerned with hanging on to the success they already had and not really stepping outside the comfort zone.” This assessment pretty much sums up the reason Killer Be Killed was created. The project gathers together three big voices of metal: Max Cavalera (Soulfly), who’s used to all kinds of collaborations by now, Greg Puciato (The Dillinger Escape Plan), and Troy Sanders (Mastodon), accompanied by Dave Ellitch (ex-Mars Volta), a high class drummer. Every collaboration carries the risk of failure, especially when egos are involved, but this kind of experience is always rewarding and can even turn out to be very gratifying. The first Killer Be Killed album is a first step on a whole new path, where the singers had to learn to know one another as people before anything else.

Although he’s very impulsive and intuitive, Greg Puciato is also a highly intelligent man, as the (very) long and fascinating interview he gave us last year, when The Dillinger Escape Plan released their latest album, already proved. It is therefore with great pleasure that we talked to him about this new band and his desire for collaborations.

Lire l’interview…



Interviews   

California Breed on a bright, sunny highway


Glenn Hughes, aka The Voice Of Rock, is unstoppable and ineradicable. According to him, it only took him a week to get over the fact that Black Country Communion would not go on following Afterglow, owing to Joe Bonamassa’s inability (or lack of desire) to tour with the band. It was his encounter with a young prodigy, guitarist Andrew Watt, that truly prompted him to create California Breed with his rhythm buddy Jason Bonham. Three generations getting together in the name of rock – the symbol is strong, and the result is one of the most remarkable albums of 2014.

Glenn Hughes might be the oldest guy in the band, but the passion and the voice are still there. Few guys from his generation can pride themselves on being in such form. “anybody has to keep up with me”, he confesses. The future is bright for California Breed, and the highway that is stretching before the band isn’t blocked by a single obstacle.

Let’s talk about all that with Hughes in the following interview…



Interviews   

Richie Sambora in tune with his heart


Richie Sambora has remained a passionate musician despite thirty years spent touring the world at a hectic pace with Bon Jovi. But these last few years, he realized how much he had missed in terms of family life, and he retired from the stage from April 2013 on, letting Phil X fill in for him. It apparently did him good: Richie Sambora is now on top form for his solo tour (which will stop by Paris on June 26th) with the divine Orianthi, with whom he shares a “magical” relationship, “a tremendous thing”. So magical, in fact, that their collaboration should give birth to an actual album.

We discussed all this in an interview with the talkative, relaxed, and very pleasant Richie Sambora. After reading it, you’ll know all about his story, his values, his musical experiences (his latest infatuation being Black Sabbath), and his love of guitar. As a bonus, you’ll even find a few confessions on the subject of Bon Jovi.

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Interviews   

Rob Zombie more alive than ever


Rob Zombie is unstoppable! Being both a filmmaker and a metal singer, the man is constantly working on new projects. His latest album, Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor, was released only last year, but he’s already busy with its successor. Rob Zombie – the band – is in top form, and the singer intends to make the most of it. Their first live DVD, The Zombie Mad Mad Horror Picture Show, will soon see the light of day and immortalize what Rob deems his best line-up and his most impressive show to date. But that’s not all: Rob Zombie – the filmmaker – is currently working on his new horror movie, entitled “31”, about which information is sparse but which is already getting the fans excited. The film has taken priority over all his other screen-related projects, among which a movie on hockey, and a TV series in collaboration with American Psycho’s author, Bret Easton Ellis.

On top of it all, Rob Zombie and his gang – John 5, Piggy D., and Ginger Fish – are on their way to Europe. We will have the pleasure to see them in France on June 20th, for their second appearance at the Hellfest.

We called the tireless singer, one of the biggest shock rock icons, to talk about all these subjects.

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Interviews   

PHIL ANSELMO: DOWN, VIBRATIONS AND “A BREATH OF FRESH AIR”


Phil Anselmo seems to be omnipresent in the metal world these days – a bit like at Hellfest 2013, where he gave two concerts and joined Voivod and Accept on stage. A year after our last chat (at the time, he was still working on his solo album and Down had released their first EP just six months before), he’s back to talk about his band’s second EP, in a planned series of four.

This rather quick interview was limited to the basics, namely the line-up changes within the band, their state of mind at the time of writing, and the future of Down and his solo project with The Illegals.

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  • Thursday, 25 September 2014 à 9:49
    AN INDECENT INTERVIEW WITH BLAZE BAYLEY
    Thursday, 21 August 2014 à 8:36
    Max Cavalera fosters his tribe of savages
    Wednesday, 6 August 2014 à 16:32
    John Garcia: “I’m on a mission”
    Sunday, 20 July 2014 à 22:08
    Avatarium: a new icon for the Temple of Doom
    Monday, 16 June 2014 à 16:53
    Philip H. Anselmo on all fronts
    Tuesday, 10 June 2014 à 21:51
    Richie Sambora in tune with his heart
    Saturday, 7 June 2014 à 13:02
    Killer Be Killed: the ways of collaboration
    Wednesday, 4 June 2014 à 13:31
    Rob Zombie more alive than ever
    Saturday, 17 May 2014 à 15:33
    California Breed on a bright, sunny highway
    1/3
    base
    kprod