Roger Waters The Wall Live


Roger Water’s ‘The Wall Live’ left me awestruck. His show was easily the best conception, production, and execution in rock and roll history. Even behind the scenes I received such kindness and respect from the tour manager who made me feel like royalty. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience.

The deluge of emotions one feels in the audience is indescribable – every sense is ignited, lit with pleasure. “Sensory overload” is an understatement. The most prominent theme that impacted me was a return to innocence through the breaking down of barriers. Although we are taught to build walls for our ‘protection,’ it is not until we break down those walls that we can truly evolve.

Waters asks the question: “What are the walls surrounding all our lives that prevent us from getting at the truth to the extent that we’re willing to sacrifice young men/young women under the guise of ideology?” As the show began, a wall was erected on stage, brick-by-brick, slowly obstructing the view of the band. As it grew, it took on a life of its own though the use of projected images perfectly set to each beat. An ever-shifting horizon extended across the stage of fantastical spectacles rising and falling, as the audience journeyed through a dark but hopeful world together with the music.

At one point the Wall became alive with the spirits of the victims of war. The faces and names of soldiers and civilians alike were remembered as a testament to the unjustifiable nature of warfare. Witnessing this on Veterans Day gave it particular poignancy, which still gives me chills to recall. As Waters performed “Us and Them” the audience swayed lighters – each flame representing a soul lost to war. Water’s explained his position as, “There is no them. We are them and they are us.” How many more lives are to be lost before we stand up and unite?

“There are lots of walls surrounding the world today. There’s a wall between the rich and poor, the first and second world, the new world and the old world. There are walls that divide people due to different religious affiliations or other ideological questions. And so we live in a world where we are separated by one another by these differences, not necessarily in good ways,” Waters explains.

Sadly, in this universal narrative, as old as the birth of the nation state, the many must die for the greedy few. Water’s bold symbolism projected on the Wall unflinchingly points out the motivators behind the monstrous machine of warfare through the images of Bomber planes dropping religious and monetary symbols, such as Crosses and Dollar signs. He states: “The beef is always about power, geography, and cash, always. I actually think religious ideology is used as a tool to develop the means for those ends.”

Such tools, and even people, are used for ill-gotten gains, as illustrated by the use of puppets throughout the show. A school master puppet descends from the darkness somewhere high above the Wall as a symbol of authority to frighten the children into submission and quell their bold declaration of “We don’t need no education—we don’t need no thought control.”

The puppet of “Big Mother” is used to condition the children to trust a “higher” protective authority from birth, instead of trusting themselves. The projected image of a mother’s protective arms around a baby, during the song “Mother,” transformed into walls surrounding the now grown man by “Big Brother,” reminding us that: “Of course Mamma’s gonna help build the wall.”

The show was truly a transformative experience that causes reflection upon its symbols long after the final song. For example, no Roger Waters show would be complete without giant, flying remote-controlled pig. The pig hovered above the stadium with slogans and graffiti across its body. Stenciled on its side was a symbol of a man holding a gun to another’s head captioned by ‘CAPITALISM,’ representing the rise of Corporatism still flying under the anachronistic banner of the glorious capitalistic mythology of First World nations. Most prominently printed on the pig was, “Trust us. Everything will be okay. Just keep consuming.”

A homeless man pushed around a shopping cart of junk through the audience, illustrating how we are all caught up in the rat race of conspicuous consumerism. We become obsessed with our attachment to these objects and imbue them with a power so great that our very identity becomes dependent on their possession. This obsession causes us to forget about our true selves so that we all become as spiritually haggard and destitute as the old man pushing his shopping cart of sacred totems.

Yet there are hopeful notes in this dark world created by the Wall. It is this hope that fuels the revolutionary spirit of the show with such symbols as a brilliant red moon hanging over the Wall inscribed with: ‘Believe.’ Waters expressed his optimistic view of the future rooted in the growing globalized nature of our world via internet technology: “Maybe that because of Facebook, Google, YouTube, and all the other machines for communication, it just may be that we stand on the brink of having a chance to say: ‘hey hold on, there’s something wrong with this picture.’ And maybe we (the Us and Them, who are the same people) may at some point get a chance to approach a benevolent truth– we derive more pleasure from building than from destroying.” In reference to his song ‘Nobody Home,’ it is through these channels of technology that we can replace the ’13 channels of shit on the TV’ with new forms of information transcending the confines of each nation’s ‘Big Brother’ and truly have a destination to where we may ‘fly.’

“We get more pleasure from love than from hate, I know I do. Because, I’ve done my share of fussing and fighting, as John Lennon had it, it sort of brings you nothing but grief,” Water’s further stated. “Whereas if you find it in your heart to help somebody, to build a bridge, or to see from somebody else’s point of view, then hey–what a surprise–suddenly you feel better, about not just about yourself, but about everything. ‘So you may say I’m a dreamer’ (to quote the great man), and maybe I am, but I sense suspicions of some of Lennon’s and Gandhi’s dreams beginning to have possibilities and coming true.”

It is the bridges built by the experience Waters creates that force one to remember that one is a part of something bigger than one’s self. The incendiary messages of the show lit the fire of revolution in the hearts of the audience as they shouted out the lyrics “Tear down the wall!” The chanting swelled into a primal beat driving the destruction of the Wall as it came crashing down in a haze of fiery red at the end of the show.

With the fall of the Wall came an end to the spectacular fantasy, as the band emerged from rubble and dust, formed into a united front. The basic white stage lights fell upon the troupe of revolutionaries, banjos, trumpets and other instruments in hand, bidding thanks in a humble acoustic farewell.

The show left me longing to jump a plane to the following tour date just to experience it again. Look for tour dates in Europe 2011 for Roger Waters, The Wall Live, and check out a preview of the show at

Written by Roya Butler


Interview with Slayer guitarist Kerry King


Slayer formed in 1981 by guitarists Jeff Hanneman and Kerry King. Known for their distinctive musical traits, involving fast tremolo picking, guitar solos, double bass drumming, and screaming vocals, Slayer quickly gained recognition with their 1986 release Reign in Blood, which has been called “the heaviest album of all time”. The band is credited as one of the “Big Four” thrash metal bands, along with Megadeth, Metallica, and Anthrax.

Criticized by religious groups (which consequently generated album bans, delays, lawsuits and, most importantly, publicity) due to their outspoken lyrics and creative album art, Slayer’s lyrics cover topics such as serial killers, Satanism, religion, warfare and the Holocaust.

Selling over four million albums in the United States alone, since their debut record in 1983, the band has released two live albums, one box set, and ten studio albums. The band has received two Grammy nominations, winning one in 2007 for the song “Eyes of the Insane”, and headlined music festivals worldwide, including Ozzfest and the Download Festival. Roya sat down with legend Kerry King to catch up on their Christ Illusion tour.

Tell me about your 666 tattoo?

King: I got it in June 6th of last year. We were supposed to tour then, but our plans changed, and my buddy Paul Booth who’s a tattoo artist was supposed to come out to the Show in San Diego and do it there, but the show got canceled so I just said, hey why don’t I go out to your place and get tattoos.’ So me, my wife, him, his girl, and his apprentice all got 666’s on that day.
All in the same place?

King: No, all different *laughs*.

What does it signify?

King: Just the day. It was the day The Omen came out, and it comes around once every hundred years; I thought it was pretty cool.

How was it working with Tony Petrossian (Killswitch Engage, Slipknot, Stone Sour) on the Eyes of the Insane music video?

King: I’ve never met him/Never talked to him–It’s just one of those things. He had a treatment, and we all dug the treatment so we just turned him loose. After we saw the first draft we gave a couple suggestions and that was about it.

Tell me a little about that video and your political/religious views related to this video as well as to your new album.

King: The entire video is just shown in the reflection of a soldier’s eyes; so you’re seeing what he sees in war everyday. It’s pretty cool–I thought it was neat idea–very different, especially for us, because we usually do performance based videos.

How is it with Dave Lombardo back in Slayer?

King: It’s awesome. He’s been back with us for five years now, cruising along–Slayer sledge hammer.

How is this tour with Unearth going so far–what have been your favorite cities to play?

King: We’re coming up on NYC. That’s always a good one. I think we did Ottawa. I think for the first time. It’s such a long career and when we hit some place only once or twice I tend to forget, but I don’t think we’ve been to Ottawa before, and that was a really good show. We did three in Hamilton, London, and then Ottawa– Ottawa was the best Canadian show so far. We didn’t do LA. San Diego was good. House of Blues in Vegas is always off the hook.

Did you like playing Salt Lake City?

King: I don’t like that venue. *laughs*

Why not?

King: It’s just, you know, it’s fucking in the middle of no where. Kind of a dump, but backstage they’ve gone… I don’t know if they’ve gone out of their way, but they’ve finally started dealing with the amenities…making them a little nicer in the backstage area, so that was cool.

What’s it like playing for so many years and still selling out shows?

King: It’s cool, man. If they stopped coming I wouldn’t have a job, right? *laughs*

In your mind, what’s been the progress in the metal scene?

King: I think it’s a good time for metal right now. Because there seems to be a lot of new bands out there right now contributing to what we’ve been contributing to for so long. It takes new bands to get more people interested and revitalize the movement.

How’s married life treating you?

King: Awesome, my wife is going to be in New York, so I’ll see her day after tomorrow–counting down the days!

In the past 5 years, I’ve noticed an increase in your marketing efforts (merch and exposure).. has your wife influenced that?

King: She’s good at that. If I’d never met her, I’d probably would have never done my own t-shirt line. All the endorsements from all of the music people keep me more focused.

What inspired the Christ Illusion cover art (by Larry Carrol)?

King: The album cover… we just told the artist, who we hadn’t worked with in fifteen years… we uncovered that dude and we said to him, “here are the lyrics which we have so far, and go.” I think it’s cool when you can just let an artist be free and go do there thing with out telling them what to do…let them be free, like we are when we make music.

Wait, so you hadn’t seen Carrol in fifteen years?

King:No, didn’t know if he was still doing art of any kind.

What album did he do before?

King:He did Rain, South, and Seasons.

And so what inspired you to try and get in touch with him again?

King:Because the last one he worked on with us was the last one Dave played on. So when Dave came back, I thought I’d be really cool if we uncovered the guy that did the last cover that Dave was on.

And how do you think this album compares to God Hates Us All?

King:I like it better. I like both of those two. I think they’re the two best records we’ve done since Seasons of the Abyss. So when God Hates came out, that was my favorite one we’d done in a long time. Then when Christ Illusion came out… I think it’s more complete than God Hates… I think it’s just a better record. We did ten songs, which is very old school, as opposed to doing, you know, whatever’s popular — thirteen, fourteen, filling up a disc with stuff you’re not as comfortable with. So we went into this one knowing that we were only going to ten or eleven songs, and I think we really streamlined the hell out of them.

And Carrol didn’t have the album name when he was doing the artwork?


How did you come up with the name Christ Illusion?

King: Well, we had to call it something, and Tom suggested that. It was a line from the song Cult.’ That was the one that was out already, so it kind of linked in reference to the EP we put out, and it worked well with the art itself, I think.

Does it signify anything going on right now politically or religiously?

King: Not really. As far as an album title goes, it was just something that was in our songs already. It’s not like we had to make something up… It already existed.

Is Christ Illusion an overt outcry to shake people into realizing that organized religion is a legalized form of mind control (as is TV)?

King: For me it is. But I know that Tom and Dave both are religious people. Just goes to show you that grown people can be in the same band and have very different views.

How many guitars do you take on tour with you?

King: I think there might be ten. But I don’t play them all. Some are back ups. In any given set… I’m playing six right now.

And why do you switch it up?

King: Different tuning for one thing, because during out set we play three separate tunings. A lot of times if we play a set, I’ll switch because I just want to make sure to stay in tune.

Rick Rubin (who has been with Slayer since the 80s) is credited as executive producer of Christ Illusion. How is it having him on your team? How has he helped you through the years?

King: I didn’t even see him on this record. Executive producer means “guy on the record label.” And what he does for us is listen to our mix and throw in some suggestions when we are essentially done with it. He has an idea of what he thinks it should sound like–it might be something minuscule like “turn up the snare drum just at three minutes ten seconds into the song”, or “just for this one hit”… quirky shit, you know.

Please clarify this long term misconception that Slayer is a bunch of Nazi fascists.

King: I can say anything you want, but… *laughs* I haven’t joined the Hitler youth in any recent times, so nothing’s different… just Scott hating king.

Has your family been supportive of your career?

King: Yeah, my dad was stoked on the Grammy. I didn’t really care, but I knew that my dad would, because it gave him something to be proud of.

Were you inspired in any way by the hardcore movement–did you see American Hardcore?

King: I don’t think I saw that. But Jeff was totally into hardcore around the first album. And it took me a while to get into it, because I was into singers, and I didn’t understand the punk screaming thing for a long time. So at that time I was all into Dickinson and Halford–real singers. But once I figured out that it was the angst part of it that made it cool, then I put the two together.

I heard you’ve had some intense fans, like the guy who had ‘Slayer’ carved into his back that you had in one of your EP covers a while back. Have you met up with any recent fans that have made you step back and smirk?

King: Not at dramatic as that. You see the cool back tattoo or something that people put big pieces of art on themselves of my band. That’s kind of cool. But that one guy, I think he was in Sacramento and his buddy did it with a broken beer bottle.

I hear you love horror movies. What’s your favorite one of all times? Do you plan to produce a horror movie in the future?

King: No, I don’t have the vision or the patience to do anything like that. That’s a hard question – favorite horror movie of all times. There are tons of good ones – Silence of the Lambs, Seven, Exorcist 3, all kinds of good shit.

By Roya Butler


Interview with No Use For A Name bassist Matt Riddle


No Use for a Name (sometimes abbreviated NUFAN) is a punk rock band from San Jose, California, United States formed in 1987 by Chris Dodge (guitar), Steve Papoutsis (bass), Rory Koff (drums), and Tony Sly (vocals). The band's sound has evolved considerably through its career, taking on a much lighter brand of melodic punk as the years passed.

The original line-up of four added Ramon Gras as a second vocalist and Doug Judd as a second guitarist. The band was first featured on Maximum RocknRoll's 1987 Turn it Around compilation, with the song "Gang Way." A year later the band's self-titled debut EP was released on Woodpecker Records. Their second EP, Let 'em Out, was released a year later through Slap A Ham Records. Chris Dodge, Doug Judd, and John Meyers left the band after the release of "Let 'em Out". Soon after, Tony Sly entered the band.

NUFAN's debut album, Incognito, was released in 1990 through New Red Archives. Chris Dodge rejoined on second guitar, and they released their second album Don't Miss the Train in 1992 before signing up with Fat Mike's label Fat Wreck Chords in 1993. During this year Chris Dodge left the line-up, and was replaced with guitarist Robin Pfefer, who took over on lead guitar so Sly could concentrate on singing and stick to rhythm. No Use for a Name also released its first record on Fat this year, The Daily Grind, which turned out to be a highly successful album.

Ed Gregor replaced Robin Pfefer on lead guitar soon after the release of The Daily Grind. In 1995, after the release of Leche Con Carne, their fourth full-length, Chris Shiflett and Matt Riddle joined the band to play guitar and bass, replacing Ed Gregor and Steve Papoutsis respectively. With the punk music breakthrough in 1994, No Use for a Name received a larger audience after releasing this album, compliments of their video for the song "Soulmate" which was played on the MTV show 120 Minutes. This was the first video on Fat Wreck Chords to ever be aired on MTV. In 1997, after the success of Making Friends, the band went on a worldwide tour through the U.S., Europe, Australia, Canada, and Japan.

After releasing More Betterness!, Chris Shiflett left the band in 1999 to join the successful Foo Fighters, being replaced by Dave Nassie. Two years later, the band contributed to Fat Wreck Chords with the release of their live album, Live in a Dive: No Use for a Name and during the following year in 2002 No Use for a Name released its seventh studio album Hard Rock Bottom.The band released their 8th full-length studio album titled Keep Them Confused June 14, 2005. It takes a more political position than earlier releases. Roya sat down with bassist Matt Riddle to hear stories about the band and their new album.

Tell us about your new album, when did it release?

Matt: The new album, named Hard Rock Bottom, came out June18th, first day of the warp tour.

Where are you guys form originally, and how’d you start up?

Matt: California. I was in this band called Face to Face. We did the first warped tour together. That’s how I met NUFAN. When I got out of that band, NUFAN called me up and asked me to be in the band. The band has been around since 1987 with line-up comprised of singer/guitarist Tony Sly, guitarist Chris Dodge, bassist Steve Papoutsis and drummer Rory Koff. They weren’t really serious, it was kinda a joke, hence the name NUFAN. Shiflett is with the Foo Fighters now. The Line-up has changed a lot, and Sly and Koff are the only original members left. It’s pretty serious now.

How long have you been doing this?

Matt: About 10­­­­-12 years now. Before this I was in mainly heavy metal bands. I was a little metalhead.

How have you noticed that the punk rock scene has changed since the first Warp Tour?

Matt: Well when your on the Warp Tour, its so different, you have so many radio bands out here. Its really weird with bands like us, that aren’t really radio friendly. Some of the kids are really into us, and some don’t really know the songs but are into it cuz it’s energetic. So it’s fun, we love it.

What have you noticed from the first tour in 1995 to this one?

Matt: The Catering is a lot better. Heh. More stages…There used to be one or two stages, now there’s six or seven stages. There’s 40-50 bands a day. It’s huge. I really like the Warp Tour. The only thing is, If you’re not on it, it’s really hard for a band to tour in the summer, cuz you’re up against something really massive, and it’s really hard to do.

Do you think you get new fans

Matt: Yea, we definitely get lota new fans this way. Some kids just come for the radio bands, and they see us and they like it, and they come to our merch booth and we get to meet them, and it’s really great for us to be able to come in contact with our fans.

So what bands have influenced you; more Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, or Sex Pistols, The Clash?

Matt: Iron maiden is my favorite band of all times! Seriously, I just watch them and I’m blown away. They were the reason I even started playing bass, I saw Steve Parris and would try to play along with the guy listening to it or watching it or whatever. I even try to look like him stylewise, when I’m on stage. But, I don’t like any of that glam metal. I’m more into Hardcore Goth Stuff like Black Sabbath and Norweigen Black Metal like Meyhem. The Punk Rock I like is weird, like old English punk rock: Toy Doll, The Addicts, Rudementary Peni. They are so adamant about what they say. There’s so many cool bands out there that a lot of people are not familiar with.

Have you noticed the difference between the perspective between old and new bands?

Matt: Yea. The bands that are influenced by Green Day--they know like 3 chords! These kids are going to their guitar teachers and they wana learn a Green Day song--like ‘these three chords is all I need to know’. But they’re not asking to learn a Led Zeppelin song, which is far more complicated. And that’s what new bands are doing now. But it’s not an insult, cuz it’s whatever makes you happy. If they like playin it, and kids are appreciating it, then who am I to complain about that. But yea, a band like us is influenced a lot differently, we understand harmonies and melodies and that’s just how we’re influenced. Like I said, one of most commercial bands I listen to is Bad Religion. I love Bad Religion.

Are you glad Bad Religion is back to the original line up?

Matt: Yea it’s pretty close to the original line up. Their drummer is friends with our guitar player. They were in Suicidal Tendencies together. It’s pretty cool.

That’s insane you got the Suicidal Tendencies guitarist on your lineup now!

Matt: Yea.

Do you think that the Warp Tour is going to go back to what it first started as, or become more Punk Rock?

Matt: I don’t even wana guess at the future. I don’t wana even guess what’s gonna happen. But, you know the minute it drops off and it’s not fun anymore I’m so out of here. This is all for fun, that’s why I’m doing it. That’s what makes it so high energy. I don’t wana ever just be goin through the motions. I don’t wana live my life like that.


Hard Rock Bottom, 2002
The NRA Years, 2000
More Bitterness, 1999
Making Friends, 1997

Official Site:­


The Ramainz interview with Marky Ramone


Marky Ramone, longtime Ramones drummer was born in New York City on July 15, 1956. Marky Ramone joined the Ramones in 1978, recording Road to Ruin. Born Mark Bell, he adopted the name Marky Ramone and played with the band through 1983. He took a break for four years, returning in 1987 and playing strong until they broke-up in 1996.

This year, Marky Ramone, along with DeeDee Ramone and his wife Barbara Zampini recorded a live album “The Ramainz.”
Roya: What is your favorite song on the ramainz album?
Marky: I like Chinese Rocks because the Ramones did it, and so did the Heartbreakers with Johnny Thunders—that was the original Heartbreakers, before Tom Petty’s Heartbreakers. I like the way Dee Dee interpreted it. Dee Dee wrote it, and Joey sang it on one of the Ramones albums. The way Dee Dee sang it was the way he wrote it, which comes across on the Ramainz live album.

What was your inspiration to make the Ramainz album?

Marky: We were talking about doing a fun show in New York, so we picked a club with a good soundboard; we did a tight sound check, and wired everything up so that the mix would have high-quality, and we could take it into a studio and mix it the next day. So the inspiration was to have a entertaining night with good fun. We just wanted to get a bunch of friends packed in really tight, close to the stage—which we always like to do. This live album is just an aftereffect of the fun we had that night. Dee Dee was fantastic—he was really very terrific, playing guitar and singing—everyone was just having a great time.
Was there any press there?

Marky: We didn’t invite any press down, but maybe there was. We just wanted to have a really fun night. It was initially for us and some friends. We played at The Continental—they advertised it, and it was oversold, so we said “great so let’s just do this and record it.” We were really happy to do it at that club, since it’s a small venue—it holds 350-400 people.
How did Dee Dee meet Barbara Zampini?
Marky: Dee Dee married Barbara 2 years after he met her in Argentina, where she was originally from. She was 21 years old when she recorded that album with us. Dee Dee lived in Argentina for a year.

Was making this album a natural progression for you?

Marky: It was natural, yea--two Ramones doing Ramones songs. So hopefully after so many years of doing them, it better come natural or you better just give it up, you know.

What do you feel is evidence that the younger punk fans are able to fully respect and appreciate what pioneers like you have done?

Marky: It’s evident by their influences in music, which I’m extremely grateful for. You hear it everywhere in bands like: Greenday, Rancid, Offspring, The Donnas, and The Queers, to name a few. It’s wonderful. I mean they could have gone the other way and been influenced by WASP, White snake, you know, bands like that. Everyone has their own taste in music genres, but The Ramones have left a pretty big legacy in the punk scene.

Were there plans for a studio album? If so were there any songs completed that might get released eventually?
Marky: With the Ramainz, no, unfortunately. At that point, I was asked to join the Misfits as a guest, and I couldn’t really do anything with Dee Dee at that point, he was doing his own thing. When we got into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, I saw Dee Dee there, and he was in great shape. I was going to bring up to him the possibility of recording a studio album, but unfortunately he passed away a little bit after that. But I’m totally grateful that that album was made. It was his live legacy.
What’s your favorite Ramones album you recorded and why?

Marky: Road to Ruin. The first song I recorded was: “I wana be sedated.” And I really liked the production on “Mondo Bizzaro,” which was one of the last albums we recorded. And “We’re Outa Here” with Rock and Roll High School. It’s tough to pick just one…

Tell me about your upcoming tour with the Misfits.

Marky: That’s going to go through the United States. We’re playing about 30 shows, starting in Ohio, all the way through Chicago, and on Halloween night in New York at The World on Broadway. Then we travel back to New Jersey, to Boston—all around the US—Washington. I just got back from a 30-day tour with my other band that I play with out there, so I’ll be coming back on the Misfits tour. It’s going to be a lot of fun. I really enjoy being around them. They’re dedicated and they really love their fans/friends, and it’s going to be a great tour. We’ll be playing on November 2nd in Reading at The Silo. We’re doing an in-store signing at J&R Records in NYC on October 30th at around 2:30pm. We look forward to seeing our friends/fans there.
By Roya Butler


Full Blown Chaos Drummer Jeff Facci Interviewed


Hailing from Queens, New York, Full Blown Chaos is a Hardcore/Metal band well known for their songs of inner-strength backed with riffage that hug hairpin turns and a dynamite-triggering rhythm section.

Touring with bands such as Hatebreed, Sick of it All, Terror, Madball, Himsa, Napalm Death and many others, Full Blown Chaos commands insane mosh pits with their intense stage presense and connection with their fans.

I had the chance to sit down with Jeff Facci, drummer of Full Blown Chaos; as he told me about his background, about the band, and their new album Heavy Lies the Crown released June 2007 on Ferret Music.

Tell us how you got your new bassist.

Jeff Facci: Our old bass player was basically a real piece of shit. I’m going to say it on record: If Ed Conroy ever comes in my presence, I’m going to beat the shit out of him, cause I hate him. You can put that in the interview--please, actually. Basically, we were touring with Agnostic Front and Ed had to step out of the tour for back surgery. So we had our crew guy, Mike, fill in. We toured Canada, and then went to Maine and New Hampshire. In New Hampshire I called up our manager and said, “Listen, we can’t have Ed in the band anymore.” Within that week of playing with Mike in the band, instead of Ed, everything was just so smooth and stress-free. That’s how Mike joined the band, and Ed was kicked out.

Tell us about your tour so far.

Jeff Facci: Tour’s been great. I think this is day six, or seven maybe, I don’t even know. But it’s been going really good—the fans have been really cool. I don’t what else to say about a tour. It’s the same thing over and over again, everyday.

How’s the food on tour?

Jeff Facci: Eating habits on the road are very poor. As you can see band dudes are big most of the time. Lately there have been really skinny dudes, but mostly they’re big guys, because on the road you can’t eat anything really healthy. And if you can, you must have more money than the other bands. Because it takes more money to buy shit that’s good for you, than to buy dollar menu shit at McDonald’s, or wherever else. So be prepared to eat like a fucking disgusting animal while on tour.

Tell us the difference between your fans in Philly and your fans in New York.

Jeff Facci: What fans in New York? *laughs* No, I’d say that the fans in Philly just care a little bit more, because we’re not a local band. Like in New York it’s not fans, it’s more like friends. But in Philly we actually have people that come out that don’t know us in everyday life. It’s cool; I like it.

Tell us a little bit about your new album.

Jeff Facci: Well, it’s heavy. *laughs* It’s angry. There’s not much positivity on the record. Lyrically I don’t really know what to say about it, because it’s mostly Ray Mazzola’s stories and what he wants to tell, and I don’t really write lyrics. But I know he’s pissed off at a lot of people and he wrote songs about a lot of those people. Musically it’s probably the most metal album we’ve ever done, but we still have hardcore aspects to it. Some people beg to differ, but I say that the record is pretty well balanced between hardcore and metal. It was produced by Billy from Biohazard. I mean that right there is enough in the hardcore world to have the hardcore touch in your music. It was really a lot of fun to write and make, and I’m really happy with the way it came out.

How does it compare with your past records?

Jeff Facci: Like I said, it’s more metal than our past records. It’s more similar to our older stuff than our last record before this one. That one was really rushed, and a lot of songs weren’t finished the way we wanted them--it had to be put out in time for Ozzfest. I think, personally, our new album is comparable to our older stuff. There will always be people saying, “No, it’s not like you older stuff. Play the old stuff!” But I don’t want to play the old stuff. I like the new stuff.

So tell me about the rest of your tour and what you plan to do after your tour is over.

Jeff Facci: We worked our way from Chicago, to Detroit, to Cleveland, now we’re here in Philly. Then we head down south into Florida, and then we work our way up through Texas and into and through Cali for a few days. They we work our way back through the Midwest and end up with our last day in Boston on December 22-- a few days before Christmas. So it’s going to be a long, cold run, but its fun--It’ll be good. And what I plan to do when I get home is nothing. Sit around and sleep and watch movies. That’s about it, really. Hang out with my family. Maybe write some more music. I don’t know. Maybe get a job. I never know what I’m going to do after I get home from a tour.

So you don’t have any tours scheduled after that.

Jeff Facci: Not after this one, no.

And no plans to record anything else?

Jeff Facci: Not any time soon, no.

Let’s talk about your video.

Jeff Facci: It’s almost done; we did it a while ago. It should be airing on Head bangers Ball soon.

Tell me a little bit about it.

Jeff Facci: It’s for Halos for Heroes. It’s kind of like a mafia movie in a way. We had a bunch of actors come out and we filmed it in New Jersey in some abandoned mental facility--some haunted joint. Basically, the story is that this one guy was with the mafia boss’ daughter, and he fucked her up, beat her and what have you. The two hit men then find him, rough him up, throw him in the trunk, and bury him--it kind of goes with the song which is “don’t fuck anyone over, or you’ll get yours.” It’s a pretty cool video. I’ve seen it, and it’s going to be pretty sick.

Do you believe in karma?

Jeff Facci: I don’t know. The song’s written by Ray, so it’s what he believes. I just play the drums--and I play them good (scratch that out of there *laughs*).

Tell me about Rev Ray.

Jeff Facci: Ray’s the reverend. He took a course online and got a certificate. So if he wanted, he could marry people. It’s kinda pointless in a way. It doesn’t really serve any purpose for the band, or him I imagine. I don’t see the big hooha in Ray’s being a Reverend. It’s kinda funny. He did it because he wanted to help people. *laughs*

Come on, tell us the truth! Was he tryin to get with a girl who'd only get with him if she was married? *laughs*

Jeff Facci: Yeah, we can go with that, too. You can put your imagination to it. Ray being a Reverend is blank to you. What does it mean to you? That’s what I want to ask you people.

Thanks, Jeff, this was a fun interview. Do you have anything to add?

Jeff Facci: Buy our new cd now. It’s good. And you’ll like it. It’s heavy, and it’s moshy, and it’s…. I’m trying to make the interview fun here! *laughs* Yeah, just go buy the record. It’s on Ferret Music. It’s called Heavy Lies the Crown. Just check it out. Don’t down load it. Or do, I don’t really care. Just come out to a show and have a good time.

by Roya Butler


Anti-Flag Interview with Justin Sane and Chris 2


Hailing from Pittsburgh, PA, Anti-Flag is known for their outspoken views on American government and activist movements.
Anti-Flag was formed in 1988 by singer/guitarist Justin Sane and drummer Pat Thetic. During the band's early years, various guitarists and bassists moved in and out of the band, including Justin's sister, Lucy Fester (aka Lucy Geever-Conroy) formerly of Chicago band Toothpaste. The band failed to solidify, and it fell apart after playing just one show. In 1993, Justin and Pat reformed the band, now with Andy Flag on bass.

Anti-Flag have been involved with activism throughout their musical career. This has included starting the activism groups The Underground Action Alliance, Military Free Zone (A group to protest a clause in the No Child Left Behind Act, which gave military recruiters automatic access to student's personal details) and The Bright Lights.

They have been involved in performing at multiple protests, these included two in support of Rage Against The Machine.
The most recent protest they performed at was outside the National Republican Convention in 2009, they were supposed to be the last band to play but they had been touring with Rage Against The Machine and had decided it would be a good idea to get them involved since they had a long history of getting involved in related events. When officials found out they were going to perform, they shut down the stages power and the band performed two songs using megaphones.
They also regularly support political organisations which include: Democracy Now! the latest headlines from which can be found on the band's homepage. PETA,whom are one of the sponsors of their 2010 'The Economy Sucks Let's Party' tour. Amnesty International, whom the band donated money from the sale of The People And The Gun to and who are one of the sponsors of their 2010 the Economy Sucks Lets Party Tour. Greenpeace, whom the band worked in conjunction with in order to persuade world leaders to attend the climate conference in Copenhagen and whom are one of the sponsors of their The Economy Sucks Lets Party Tour.

The Gun Star is the symbol for the band Anti-Flag, designed by Anti-Flag guitarist Chris Head. It was first used on the cover of the album Mobalize. It was later used on merchandise. It is made up of a number of broken M-16 rifles in the form of a star shape. It is not infrequent for fans of Anti-Flag to get a Gun Star tattoo. Also, they used the O & X superposed symbols on Die for the Government LP frequently.

What are your name and instruments you play?
Justin: I’m Justin Sane and I play guitar for anti-flag.
Chris: I’m Chris (number two) and I'm the bass player for Anti-Flag, and I like baby carrots.
How did you guys start out?

Justin: We’re from Pittsburg, PA. Basically the drummer and I started the band ten years ago—we were just a couple kids with nothing better to do. Most of the other kids were just doing drugs and getting fucked up and being idiots, and we wanted to do something different and play music.
So you guys are straight-edge?

Justin: I wouldn’t classify us as straight-edge. I don’t use drugs or alcohol, but it’s a personal choice; I just chose not to do those things.

Chris: I mean you gotta do whatever gets you through the day, as long as you’re not causing harm to anyone else. But we feel a lot of negative energy gets attached to labels, but yea, we do what we need to do to get us through the day...
Justin: …and for us that basically is just staying straight.

How did you conceive the name of your band?

Justin: Well the idea behind Anti-Flag is to bring down the false barriers that are put in place by people in power around the world. We think that Patriotism and Nationalism—they’re imaginary boundaries that are being set up by the people in power that divide the masses. We want to break down those barriers and bring people together. Instead of having different flags around the world, to have people united under one flag.

Chris: Again its one of those things where it’s open for interpretation. The way I see it is everyone should be anti-flag. Everyone has a part of what the band is. We could end it tomorrow if the world chose to view human beings for what they are, and treat human beings the way they should be treated. At that point, there would be no necessity for anti-flag. Until that day comes, we’re going to use our music and our ideas to reach people Anti-flag is not a name, it’s a value.
Justin: It’s the idea of seeing people as human beings—not as a religion, or as nationalities—not as cowards or hero’s, that’s the idea behind anti-flag

I know a lot of your songs are politically based, why is that so?

Justin: Well, to me it’s like any other political publication, except with music instead of print. The reason behind the political lyrics is that there are more social issues around the world that effects everyone’s life—not only everyone’s life, but the world as a whole—psychologically, so I think its important that we are in control of what’s going on around the world, and move things in a positive direction. I don’t think the leaders of this world rather, people in power (I don’t really like to call them leaders because, they don’t lead by example, in fact, I don’t think they lead at all) abuse those powers, and I believe they use the masses of the world to keep themselves in power, and to gain more power. So with these abuses in place, we defiantly want to make a statement against those kinds of obscenities and offer an alternative solution or resolution.

Who has been an influence on you, past or present?
Justin: Someone who I really look up to is Billy Brag. I really love Billy Brag. One of the things he really advocates is humanitarianism; that’s something I’ve learned from him and try to make conscious in my life. I try to treat people how I would like to be treated; when I see something wrong, I take the side of right, make a statement and try to make an impact.
If you could influence your fans, with one statement, what would it be?

Justin: Well if there’s one main message it’s treat people like human beings—act like brother and sister, and discard any adversarial thoughts of hatred due to differences (be it nationality, religious belief, or sexuality).
Chris: I think that right now the Government and the businesses of the United States don’t view people as individuals, but instead, as a group. I believe that thought process is a profound problem; we hope to convey that.
Tell us about the album you're currently working on?
Justin: We’re working with Tom Morello from Rage Against the Machine. The new CD will be released soon on Fat Wreck Chords.
Tell us about Mobilize, your new full-length CD.
Justin: Well Mobilize is a new release on our label, AF Records ( Mobilize contains a free sampler with A-F bands. Included on the sampler is my solo project, Justin Sane: Life, Love, and the Pursuit of Justice—it’s along the lines of Billy Brag, lots of love songs. The sampler also contains two songs from #2’s band Whatever it Takes: “Stars and Skulls”.
What has been your best tour thus far?

Chris: I would have to say this tour with the Bouncing Souls and The Mobilize for Peace Tour. That was a really great tour to do because it was right after September 11th and we weren’t sure how the world would look at Anti-Flag. We went out and basically had the best shows we ever had. It was refreshing to see people uniting and thinking about the world as a whole verses just crime for bloodshed. It was heartening to see people asking why September 11th happened versus trying to blow people up or go over and kill someone due to outright hostility...

Justin: …not only asking why September 11th happened, but resolving the problems at hand, as well as deep-rooted problems. The anti-violence movement was really very exciting to witness. We didn’t know what it was going to be like. There were a lot of kids who thought that George Bush was not doing a good job, and that violence was a horrible solution to violence. It was really magnificent to go out there and find others like us, and to feel the unity of people that were feeling this way.
Chris: Every time you turn on the TV, there were messages of retaliation—of let’s go bomb them…
Justin: …Which is pretty much how it is now—it’s still that way. Kids went to the shows and saw that there were a thousand kids who felt the same way they did; they recognized that they were not the only ones who saw the hypocrisy in bombing Afghanistan. So at that point, yea, it was very exciting.
Why do you take that stance?

Justin: I think we are all connected and that we come from the earth. We are all a part of the earth. It is important to have respect in the way we treat the earth, and in the way we treat each other. I think it will all come around indefinitely.

Interview by Roya Butler


Animosity interview with frontman Leo Miller


Animosity is a deathcore band from San Francisco, California.
Their debut album, Shut it Down was released on Tribunal Records in 2003. In 2005, they released their second album, Empires on Black Market Activities and toured the United States with Origin and Malevolent Creation.
Animal was released October 2007, and produced by Kurt Ballou of Converge.
I had the chance to sit down with singer, Leo Miller, before their show at The First Unitarian Church in Philadelphia.
I heard you guys started out in the industry at a young age.

Leo Miller: Yeah, we started out at around fourteen--about seven years ago. I met two guys right before we started high school; they were the only guys around my age that were into metal, so we started jamming together. Since then, we’ve added a few more people and played a lot in high school and locally. When I turned 16 and got my drivers license, we started hitting other states. Right when I graduated high school we did our first full US tour. We’ve been on the road ever since.
How did you get discovered/signed?

Leo Miller: I just sent it out to all the record labels, and they were interested in us, and put it out for us. Our first record, ‘Shut it Down’, is on Tribunal records out of North Carolina. It was a pretty cool deal; no strings attached--they just put the record out for us, and that was it. So it gave us a good head start, and from there we were able to hook up with Black Market Activities, which is our current record label. They put out our last two records, including ‘Animal’, which we put out three weeks ago.
It has been rumored that there is some Deicide influence on your new album,‘Animal’.
Leo Miller: All sorts of bands influenced us; I don’t think at this point we have any main influences--It’s just an eclectic mix. Death Metal as a whole influences us. We listen to a lot of different Death Metal bands, so it’s not just one band like Deicide that’s changing our sound, but a lot of our influences come from other styles of music. Just individually each player has a different history with a different kind of music. I’m really into Latin Brazilian music and seventies music: Jimmy Hendrix, Frank Zappa. Our influences are really broad, and that’s what makes our sound somewhat unique.
How do you feel that your sound has changed from your first album to ‘Animal?’
Leo Miller: We’ve matured a lot; we’ve moved away from genetic sounding trends and song structures. Most of the songs on our first record were written when we were fifteen years old. And so naturally six years later the songs that we write are just more mature. Everyone’s grown as a musician and as a listener. We’ve never consciously made any changes, like contrived a new sound or anything. But as a whole we’ve just become much more extreme, technical, and proficient in our playing.
Any plans after this tour?

Leo Miller: Right after this tour we’re going to go home for two weeks, and then spend a week in Mexico--we’ve got a couple shows down there. After that, we really don’t have anything planned. We’ll be looking for some new tours. I’m sure we’ll still be out on the road. Hopefully we’ll have a little more of a break this time, though. We’ve literally been on tour for years. So looking forward to a little down time, but we’ll see what happens. *laughs*

How much time do you have in between tours and recordings?

Leo Miller: The most time we’ve ever had off, was like three months--and we used that time to write our new record, and practiced nearly every day during that time. The normal break is about a month. Between three to six weeks is decent break for us.

So it took you three months to write and record ‘Animal?’
Leo Miller: I mean, some of the songs took two years to write, but we had a couple songs. When we buckled down and stopped touring to write a record, we had three and half months off to do it, and we got it done. It could have taken forever if we hadn’t had a deadline, but we were in a little practice room everyday trying to make music.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Leo Miller: Check out the new record if you can get it. It’s online. It’s in stores, and it’s pretty fierce.
Interview by Roya Butler