Thursday, December 30, 2010

Year Of The House Of The Flaming Rising Fawn...Champions (R.I.P. Isabelle/Peter/Dio)

this year=
best attended wedding ever. interviewed neurosis.worst break up ever.almost got shot in mississippi. healed a lot of rifts (not all). waffle house jalapenos. became really veggie again (thanks so much jess carraturo/dr. jubb/john fucking joseph/fell in love with kali mysticism (thanks jarboe)/lost my 8 year french pen pal to some band from arkansas (it's all good.xo). started work on pitchfork militia/peter head documentary that someday hopefuly will be finished. realised i have the best, best friends. The John. almost knocked out Stango in front of Sunoco and had crack dealers call the cops...on us. RIP JASON FOSTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Must thank Earsplit Pr. Aged well. Just hung w my cousin Nat from London for first time since Divest was in Applehead. Feel truly spiritually blessed and so positive (thanks Stephanie). believe anything is possible. all my friends (real ones) just get smarter and better looking. drove through Texas blasting "Rock N Roll Johnny" by The Compulsions. Invented "Rainbow In The Dark" Drinks w my man Drew the night Dio died. um...ANTIDOTE 8!!!! (We are really good.Deal with it). Did a lot of things I regret as much as the things I am proud of...but am pretty damn glad that I helped get Ross The Boss to play my town on 9/11 with JTB,Shonda, Aggro or Die, Stench, The Standard Assault and all. Dealt with my father's cancer the best I could and tried to give him attention and space. Saw A Life Once Lost finally. made out with a lot of people I don't remember. Lost my almost wife/daughter. Wrote much of the best music of my life. Wasn't a pussy and went by greyhound to Chicago to see HUM reunite on memorial day (hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!). Sabbath Assembly. Had "hex" talk and Red Wine/Hot Chip fun w Elijah.Ate mex food w Jelena. had many margaritas at El Danz. Became Thor "God Of thunder" and was rewarded by banging N.Portman in forthcoming film. Smoked green. Listened to lots of Type O. Played great gigs w Resurrection Sorrow. Interviewed Sean Yseult again. Got Cambria's baby to wave at me for the first time. Had great talk with Neesh at last show. Said Champions a lot. Listened to Ratt w Dave Daw. Realized Arthur C. would still be proud of 2010 even though no Jetsons cars. Went to Andy Animal's Meltdown. So glad I am vegetarian and not completely blind to all that goes on around me. kissed nice dogs. RIP Sparky (that was so sad). Metal, metal, metal. Have more fun than everyone who is too scared to catch up to what I know. Decided to write several books but ended up still reading a lot of other ones (don't's coming). Drank Joose at Matty Rice's apartment on Morgan Street. Stopped worrying about ex-girlfriends (most of them). So many good albums came out. Bobby Benjamin saw me puke on an eggplant mini-van full of children. Realized I have the best mom. had 1st thanksgiving w my sister Kari and had best time. oh yeah...met Eddie Ojeda and Steve Brown!!!!!!!!! Partied (best yet) w Murphy's Law. Booked the Queers (shhh...not announced yet). started dating my beautiful Emily. Had a great time w Christine Natanael at Mexcico/Harlem and realized we both hate the haters. Om. But Not. Gave peace a chance. King fucking Crimson. The charm of the spanish. saW nice boobs. drank margaritas... new crowbar...I am mellow. Went to Dallas and learned about the band ANONYMOUS from the psych "era" good! I love you all/metal/booze/unafraid people/fashion/true love.

hmmmm... ok...

Liberated Once=


Sunday, December 5, 2010

m.y.e. top 20 metal/punk albums of 2010, baby

Usually I spend a lot of time writing about records and bands but I am only including the album covers in this post because I want YOU to go hear the music yourself. People ask me how I find out about bands...simple= it is my life. I research, try and attract good music to me like a magnet and above all I listen. I love bands with a rich history as much as a new act that is learning how to shine or reach their zenith. I love music as sociology/history/catharsis/lifestyle. That said, please check out these 20 records because they really all are amazing and valid examples that the modern underground is alive and kicking.
p.s. my favorite is Sabbath Assembly. The story behind that record is so fucking coooool! Cheers and here's to 2011 on the way!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Mastodon, Between The Buried And Me, Baroness, Valient Thorr, (Crack Snakes?) April 25th, 2010 Higher Ground Ballroom Burlington, VT

Between The Buried And Me
Valient Thorr

(Crack Snakes?)

April 25th, 2010
Higher Ground Ballroom
Burlington, VT

(special thanks to M. Gardner for live band photos)

Even though Christopher Nolan's INCEPTION is all the rage at the moment (*unless you are raging at it...i liked it but am sort of completely in love with Marion Cotillard and took enough LSD in my life or was alienated by enough women to question the nature of all reality to the point that the film made perfect sense to me), I'm going to follow a basic MEMENTO theme here and go backwards in time. This narrative device will thus hopefully convey a proper sense of the disorientation which surrounded the weekend in question. In fact, such was the level of madness involved that it took a long time for this feature to climb out of my fogged brain at all, despite the awesomeness level of the rock and adventures at hand. Now, let's start at the happy ending and go backwards in time:

. Wow. Against Me! is really kicking ass right now. The new material from WHITE CROSSES is so good, some of my favorite stuff from them in years and the crowd is eating up this show. The title track is my favorite new song the band has put out in years, a potent pro-choice anthem AND a great tune. So glad we got Sharpy inside the venue again. This rules! Dead To Me was also great. One of the best live punk bands out right now and a kick ass band for Fat Wreck Chords. "Cruel World" was tight as hell and the band even recovered well from Chicken's bass rig glitching out. It was swell when he spiked his bass on the ground in rage and told kids not to ever do that, then did it again and said "fuck it" or something. The beer hippy guys loved them and had a bromantic time pogoing. MoneyBrother from Sweden really impressed me too. That guy warmed up the crowd from bored collegiate zero to not quite but just shy of 60. A really engaging and terrific Clash inspired folky performance. Cheers!

.Ok. We have disguised Kevin in a hoodie and he has a ticket but is gonna enter the building with the brewery guys because they are his height and also scruffy. If he goes in with us the bouncers will probably remember him because it is easy to remember that the big guy with the giant breasted loud mouthed Jewish girl and the scrawny bald guy was the troublemaker. Not to leave out Watson. He just blends.
.Met some tall dudes from a brewery in the Higher Ground Ballroom parking lot and they are feeding us beer they made. Hmmm... a plan is forming.

.THE RUNAWAYS was good. Needed much more Lita Ford, though. Love the opening scene with the period blood and thought Dakota was great. Even the Twilight chic did a darn good job as Joan Jett, which startled me because Twilight is so lame.

.Now that we have saved Kevin from jail it is time for a serious group Bloody Mary session.CRACK SNAKES REUNION TOUR! Maybe we could team up with Mastodon and form Crackstadon!!! Going to the movies after that and then gonna try and sneak Kevin into the club with us to see Against Me!

.Rescue Kevin from jail. He comes out and tells us great tales of his plight and I throw him a "Go To Jail" Monopoly shirt that I happened to have in my bag through the grace of the Gods/the whim of the Great Magnet:

.Johnny Watson, Lara and I spend all day looking for Kevin in the jails of Vermont and can get zero information from any police related official until a kindly janitor finally helps us and we locate him. Thanks kindly janitor! (I think that's what happened).

.Good morning! Everyone else is leaving but Lara, Johnny and I are going to stay behind in VT an extra day to rescue Kevin and hopefully see Against Me! play tonight so the weekend isn't a total (literal) "bust" for the big Kev man.

.Time for bed. Lara and Johnny and I stayed up late trying to prank order porn on the hotel room TV via Kevin's credit card as a passive aggressive way to get back at him for getting arrested. Lara does a great elderly Jewish lady impression and so we found the worst pay per view smut name possible and had her call the from desk to order it to the room. It didn't work but I'll never forget her saying into the phone. "Yes, Anthony. That is correct. Be a doll and approve it. Yes, that's right...I BANGED MY STEP MOM."

.Show's over. Back to the hotel. Maybe some tasty food stops beforehand.

.Mastodon killed it, though they sorta just stand around these days. Who cares though, 'cuz they are so insane anyway. Like the last time I saw them they played CRACK THE SKYE front to back. Highlights of that were "The Czar", which snakes and weaves and is plain entrancing and the massive and uplifting roar of "The Last Baron". Brent sounded really good on that one. For the rest of the show they did a smattering of tunes from their other records. The mellower, moody stuff from REMISSION works really well at showcasing where they would head with CRACK THE SKYE later. I like foreshadowing. Best song of the night in my opinion from the Mastodon boys was undoubtedly "Colony Of Birchmen", which has such punishing and gnarled mid tempo parts as to destroy any criticism of people who think they aren't cool now that they are a huge band. I hate that snobby shit. If you don't like the newer major label music they made as much, fine, but don't be an idiot and think any band this talented should be disrespected by being deemed irrelevant now that they did the unthinkable and wedged their mutant way into the international musical pop culture consciousness. I believe they even played "Aqua Dementia"!

.Between The Buried and Me were impressive. I was mostly blown away by their bassist who was so fluid and mellow, "effortlessly" leaping from transition to transition no matter what was going on. He really has that technical professionalism thing down completely. Heavier "Alaska" stuff still sat well with newer material and the crowd went ape for these dudes. THE GREAT MISDIRECT songs were rather mind blowing and truly lengthy but have so much atmosphere and vibe that it works. These guys are on top of their game, even if I don't like every vocal choice. I could still follow them around on tour like they were the Grateful Dead, though. Them touring with Mastodon is great. Nothing I hate more than when a good band has shitty openers to make themselves look better. This tour made everyone step their game up because every band is sick!

.Told one of the Valient Thorr guys the tale of our comrade's apprehension by the law and that he had gotten kicked out for being grief stricken at missing them play. His reply ," That guy's fuckin' cool."

.Baroness ruled the night by far (though, alas, we missed Valient Thorr who always rule the night, really).John Baizley and crew kept it more raw and engaging with the crowd than the other bands and they were just brilliant. BLUE RECORD stuff was huge live. "Swollen and Halo" gets everything right. Love those melodic guitars and the upsurge of the bass from Summer Welch as the song builds and builds. They are showing so much growth and are truly a force to be reckoned with. Kevin is gonna be so pissed he missed them.

.Turns out Kevin was so drunk that he was pushing people around and was really upset we missed Valient's set and even punched a security guy in the face! I asked the staff where he went and they said ,"away in a cop car." Interesting. That was a new record. We were in the venue ten minutes before Sharpy got kicked out! Wow. I was just looking at the crowd moshing around happy and bumping into each other and not doing any dumb, new school spin kick pit deathcore bullshit gayness and had been thinking ,"this crowd is alright. They are just happy metal stoners out to party." Turns out WE are the assholes. Awesome. It's cool. I love being from New York and have been developing a superiority complex about it. Cheers!

.Higher Ground Venue is awesome. They are lucky to have this place up here in Vermont! Really nice sized room with great sound and cool bar plus good merch set up. Rad.

.Outside Higher Ground the other car of friends has gone inside. Kevin Sharp is milling around with some kids from a Nu Metal band called COYLE from Albany,NY. They are pounding Jim Beam with Kevin and are amazed that we are also from New York and came all the way up here for this show as well. Still, Coil was one of the best "industrial" bands of all time and they should know not to have a nu metal weird spelling (ala Korn) version of the same band name as a legendary act. "How To Destroy Angels"?

.Kevin made us stop at the booze store near venue even though he had already slammed a ton of tall boys on the ride up and showed passing cars his penis. hmmm..... Our other friends arrive. Jesse Cunningham from the band The Blind Ambassadors and his gf plus photographer-punk Mike Gardner.

.On ride up Johnny Watson, Lara and I have decided to form a fake band with Kevin called CRACK SNAKES! We will have two rhythm sections and no guitars.I love fake bands. I have some other ones like Windy Napkin and Rising (Flaming) Fawn with some other friends.

.Tiger Piss play a show in New Paltz,NY the night before we leave for Vermont and just kill it. We stay up way too late drinking. Lara has a great voice and killer stage presence and is funny as hell. "Zombie Slave" is a great song and they also sing about vaginas sometimes. Kevin Sharp is my favorite taco store owning drummer.Lara's drummer in her other band Lara & The Champtones, Mr. John Watson, is a kind man and has offered to drive us all to Vermont where we will meet other NY friends and then kick some ass!

. Kevin Sharp, who owns a place in New Paltz called Taco Shack got a whole bunch of us rooms in Burlington,VT and actually got some time off from his own business to attend the concert with us. Gonna see Mastodon, Baroness, BTBM and fucking Valient Thorr (most importantly)!!!! Yeah, man. Best metal weekend ever coming up.

Ok. That's my version of events. Finally kids, for extra comedic value, here's Tiger Piss drummer Kevin Sharp's "review" of the show:

KEVIN SHARP: So a funny thing happened on my way to the drunk tank. Let me tell you about it.

It was my first two consecutive days off since we got back from our last Tiger Piss tour. A little over 2 months ago. We had tickets to the metal show of the decade. Mastodon, Baroness, Between the Buried and Me, and Valient Thorr. I had been on a serious Valient Thorr kick for the preceding 3 weeks. Something about a band of bad asses with professional beards just hits my special spot. I also happened to fall in love with Baroness' "Blue Album" around the same time. So I was fucking psyched.

Getting really cheap fancy hotels on priceline is one of my many unmarketable skills, so we had 2 bad ass rooms at the Burlington Sheraton. The ride was about 5 hours so I decided to pick up a sixer of High Life 16oz. Johnny Watson's ipod has a ridiculous amount of good shit. Some of the highlights included "California Uber Alles", "Looking down the barrel of a gun", and "Creeping Death".

The show started at 6:30 and Valient Thorr was the opener. We are very slow people so we were getting later and later as we drove. We might have been able to catch Valient if we hadn't stopped at the liquor store. Me and Lara both got fifths of Jim Beam. We asked the lady at the counter if we could sneak liquor into Higher Ground. She said no and I proceeded to tell her how adept at smuggling we were. I think I might have also given one of our friends (who may or may not have made a sex tape with Lady Gaga) a hard time for making a sex tape with Lady Gaga.

Regardless, we missed Valient Thorr. I put a fifth of Jim Beam to the face in a couple minutes in the parking lot. My blood alcohol content was probably at an indecent level when I woke up due to double whiskey and cokes at the show that we played the night before. The High Life didn't help, the Jim Beam was the knockout punch. I vaguely remember sharing shots with some dude from a metal band from Albany, with an unfortunate name that I can't remember.

I don't remember it, but apparently we got into the place as Baroness was playing. Morgan and Lara tell me that I was falling around and knocking people over. I lasted 10 minutes. I have vague flashes of being in the back of the cop car with zip tie cuffs on. Those things fucking hurt.

Everything afterward gets hazy until the Burlington drunk tank. There were about 25 of us in there, separated into 2 cells. None of us were arrested or charged with any crime. Apparently they can incarcerate you for 24 hours without any charges. Which is probably good in my case. At least I didn't get a fine.

They hold you in the cells until you can blow a zero on a breathalyzer. Every few hours the guards come in and give you the tests. When I started regaining consciousness and realized that I was trapped in a cell I started having some anger issues. Calling one of the guards Denzel Washington repeatedly and commenting on the state of physical conditioning of some of the others definitely did not endear me to the staff. Nor did my statements of my interpretation of my constitutional rights in regards to imprisonment.

After awhile I realized that I wasn't going to scream my way out. All of the guys in the cell were pretty chill. Mostly Vermont college kids. There was one older dude that had been in since 1 in the afternoon on the day before.

There was a jail cell style metal toilet in the corner so you had to piss in front of a room of dudes. One kid was laying on a mat near the toilet. Every 1/2 hour or so he would wake up and yak into it. He blew a 0 sometime in the morning while I was asleep and got released.

About 2a.m. they bring in this kid that got into a fight with a bouncer at a bar. The bouncer fucked him up and hurt his knee really bad and then called the cops and had him taken in. He wasn't wearing any pants and he was limping. He kept screaming about how he was going to bring his pit bull to the bar and have him eat the bouncer. Then he started screaming to the guards that he was going to chew his wrists open to kill himself. A guard came into the cell and gently explained to him that if he kept threatening to kill himself they would be forced to put him under 48 hour psychological evaluation, rather than releasing him in a few hours when he sobered up. He stopped screaming.

They fed us waffles for breakfast. I passed out for a few hours and at around 8 a.m. I blew a .02. They told me it would take about an hour and a half to get that out of my system, but they were only doing the tests every 3 hours or so. They gave us hot dogs and beans for lunch but I didn't even pick up my tray. At noon they tested me again and I blew a .05. The breathalyzer is not a completely accurate blood alcohol testing device. After dealing with the soul crushing reality that I was not getting out anytime soon I watched all of my cellmates blow 0s and get released. Even the "Chew my wrists open" fucker had his father come and get him out. Just me in the cell.

At about 12:45 they moved me and the soberist guy from the other holding cell into one of the cells that people stay in for months. It had the bunk bed cots and a toilet that got flushed remotely by the guard. At this point I hadn't smoked a cigarette in 15 hours and I didn't know if my friends had any idea where I was.

Me, Lara, Morgan Y. Evans, and Johnny Watson went to the Mastodon show together. On the ride up we decided to form a fake band called Cracksnakes. Despite the fact that we were 2 singers and 2 drummers in real life. At about 1:45 I got released. They were waiting outside the jail with my phone which was picked up at a police precinct 2 miles away, my cigarettes, a "Go directly to Jail" monopoly shirt, and a bunch of one liners.

We went out for bloody marys, chicken wings, and saw THE RUNAWAYS. Lara got us tickets to see Against Me! at the same venue the next night. I put on a hat and a hoodie and snuck back in. A Fat Wreck Chords band Dead to Me rocked the fucking house with a drummer that made me wish I was better and Against Me! killed it. Maybe I'm just not meant to have 2 days off in a row but all in all it turned out to be a fun weekend.

Oh yeah, and…

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

I won’t kill you, kid. You’re the only friend I’ve got. (I AGAINST I)

I could have gone with “we all have it coming, kid” but decided to be more PMA. That said, this country is always a stupid fucking pendulum. It’s not that I can’t even get mad anymore. Everyone knows that isn’t true. Still, I feel a disconnect from most people nowadays. It’s not that I got too into Hinduism or am a nice guy (I am, but…) seriously…I feel like I just see through everyone (including myself). I keep up on politics and the whole 9 and stay informed way more than the average manipulated fucktard in their backyard, but I feel like everyone misses the point and is totally trigger happy based on their own insecurities and/or life experience. I remember crossing whole U.S.A. on a busride BACK to NYC on week of 9/11 and everyone no matter who they are were just holding their kids and scared shitless and didn’t know what to believe and the best of these people clung to their neighbors of any background and the familiar. Listen, your experience matters but doesn’t. Mine does but doesn’t. We all very much matter but are all part of the bigger picture. If you dis Dre you dis yourself. It comes down to what they told me when I took a drug counseling class at Ulster County Community College back when I was completely brain damaged and scared and ignorant like the young buck in UNFORGIVEN aiming to take a shot at the big time. Difference between me and others in class back in ( I think was ’95…)…was I was shooting dope and taking acid everyday and at age 16 was youngest student in the college. I was trying to take a class as deep cover so that I would pretend to be a counselor in training but really not try to overdose by mixing wrong. Saved my life, eventually. Anyway, buzz word phrase was “set and setting”. What you expect to happen (comfort zone) and what you encounter is the whole nag/bag of tricks. It means what your beliefs and level of will to participate/vibe determines your ability to adapt to things outside your usual parameter of macaroni. Bottom line, we are all chicken shits and prefer to harp like experts rather than entertain other people’s ideas. JAI KALI MAHA DEVI. I against I against I. I just watched UNFORGIVEN with my “black” friend Troy (who loves the Bullet Boys) on a weds. Night in Kingston, NY and am really sad our country is so polarized and too dumb to fuck or remember anything. All we do is make the same mistakes every single party after party after shitty party. That’s why I am not a slut. Business is not bad. Regulation is not bad. Tug of war= bad.


P.S. “acting on your best behavior/turn your back on Mother Nature.”

4 realz.

Monday, October 25, 2010

My new HAILS AND HORNS John Joseph "Meat Is For Pussies" Interview!

every time in my life (as now) that i have lived a vegetarian lifestyle i have felt at my best and most happy. it was awesome to talk w john joseph of cro-mags about his new amazing book MEAT IS FOR PUSSIES for Hails And Horns magazine (who I always enjoy writing for as the mag truly kicks ass). Shit, I get to have my stuff printed in the same magazine that Bill from Black Sabbath has a column in...I mean, fuck yeah, dude! Anyway...PLEASE read this eye opening interview w John Joseph. He really walks the walk and I couldn't possibly recommend his new book more if you care about yourself, your health AND the world. This is not some hippy crap. John has shown construction workers, athletes and even cops that it is way better to be a vegetarian. He busts apart the macho meat eater myth and makes it his bitch.
here's direct link, kiddies:

Friday, October 8, 2010

Champion Challenge: Embrace The Call of YOUR Life!

my good friend Darla was kind enough to ask me to guest write an entry for her fashion, rock n roll and philosophy blog so hold fast! here we goooooooooooooo:

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


"PS: They’re going to dump me in prospect park lake Brooklyn and not even fuckin cremated. (Ha! Ha!) There going to put me on a meat slicer."

There is never gonna be another Peter Steele, that's for sure. His is a fascinating story ripe with great tunes on a winding-road of sociology that included both "deep shadows and brilliant highlights" indeed (to borrow a turn of phrase from the band HIM). 1st of all, How many 6' 7", born to sing Goth metal crooners out there do you know about? Over his musical career as a satirical button pusher, both in Fallout and Carnivore and then with the mighty Type O, Peter was truly an artist who was hell-bent on being an individual. Type O in particular were absolutely brilliant at blending their musical influences like Black Sabbath and The Beatles with their own flavor of melodic woe, soul searching and tongue-in-cheek black humor.
The most important vantage point from which to view Peter Steele and his art is by remembering that he was human, full of talents and flaws, a troubled soul like the rest of us who managed to make platinum selling music out of his unique, twisted sonic landscapes, doubt, pain and even...confidence. Pete could sound like the cockiest dude in the world on some songs and then the most vulnerable, sad person you'd ever heard...despite his insanely low and menacing voice, nonetheless!
I am very, very progressive politically, and while this would often make me question the taste or validity of certain Type O songs, I am a HUGE fan of the band. I am not an "apologist", but I will say that "Kill All The White People" is basically about racist black people, a basically much poorer-taste Brooklyn faux-racist version of "Guilty Of being White." Type O was always about saying "fuck you" to being "PC". When the rather heterosexual (to say the least) Steele found out that his famed Playgirl centerfold spread was mostly seen by gay men, he wrote the campy and ridiculously immature-mouthed "I like Goils" that talked about how he didn't want his poop poked, but Type O also covered "Angry Inch" from Hedwig & The Angry Inch on the same record! The band was not about catering to popular opinion and loved to push buttons, much like, say, Steve Albini in his Big Black days. Remember..."We Hate Everyone"! I have to say, I still always preferred the more serious or Gothy-fun side of Type O to these sort of songs, however, which is why OCTOBER RUST is my favorite Type O record by far.
As a music journalist, I was really hoping I would get a chance to talk with Peter when Type O made another record. I had a great time interviewing Johnny (drums) once for his newer band Seventh Void, and everyone I've met associated with Seventh Void or Type O has always been super fucking cool.
Looking at the band's catalogue or live output, there are so many moments that stand out. The warm and gloomy cover of "Summer Breeze" on BLOODY KISSES. The fun and again 'campy" yet emblematic hit anthem "Black No.1". The stunning "Wolf Moon" from OCTOBER RUST, maybe the most beautiful and hypnotic sounding best (and only) song ever written about having werewolf sex with someone while they have their period! (hmm...maybe Moonspell has a song like that too).
The live footage of Type O at Wacken Open Air that is on the deluxe CD version of DEAD AGAIN is nothing short of brilliant. Watching it again gave me goosebumps the other day.
I can remember playing "Angry Inch" really loud in a health food store where I worked and seeing an old lady turn white when Peter started talking about getting a sex-change. Awesome. We had to put on Yanni afterwards to pacify the customers!
The last few years as the national and international music scene grew even more and more fluff than ever before with cookie cutter "emo" bands who've never even heard of Rites of Spring, Fugazi or Team Dresch cluttering pop culture with the same bad haircut, I found myself returning to bands like life of agony and Type O from my earlier days as a metal head more and more. Granted, there are tons of killer bands out nowadays like Ava Inferi, Kylesa, Stray from The Path and Salome who are being themselves, but it also was cool to know every time I picked up a record of Peter's that he was going to make you think, throw in some startling twists and turns and use his real, insanely personal voice. I am a melodic singer. I love death metal and hardcore (and have interviewed many major artists in these genres) but I hate when say, "metalcore" bands all try and copy the same screaming style ad nauseum. Peter was always someone who reminded listeners you could fight hard and make it big by sounding like yourself. Fuck yeah.
There's a lot of contradiction within Type O at times, sure. The tray of LIFE IS KILLING ME bore the phrase: "Type O Negative is a non-prophet organization".
The following (and final album) DEAD AGAIN would find Steele unloading tons of baggage and grief following the death of his mother and a newfound faith in a Catholic God. Some of this was easily foreshadowed to fans on the song for his mom "Nettie" that appears on LIFE IS KILLING ME, a beautiful and very personal song Pete wrote to his mom hoping she wouldn't be ashamed of him.
Later on in interviews he would take his religious views to a new extreme, while still performing "Christian Woman" and other "blasphemous" songs live and begging for forgiveness before performing them. Why do it? I guess to be an example of 'sinfulness'? ,who knows. His band mates stuck by him anyway. The former atheist Steele even felt that God had spoken to him.

PS: But I have pretty much been instructed to say three things: One is that God will not be the man let the man be the man. That abortion is the killer of angels and I am guilty of that myself. And that peace on earth shall not come until this state of design has been converted to fuckin Christianity. And that you are going to fuckin pay for what you say and that’s your ticket to death so. . .

Prior to this it is well known Steele had a rough few years from family deaths to prison for assault and acute paranoia from cocaine abuse. He had to spend time in a mental institution and let me tell you, that kind of shock, especially I can imagine after being such a big rock hero, is a lot of strain on a person. Despite DEAD AGAIN having some very conservative streaks in it like the anti-abortion "These three Things" (which also claims Zion must convert to Christianity or we're all fucked), it is still a great album, a snapshot of a struggling person. Peter enjoyed a long period of sobriety and was turning things around, it is said, towards the end of his life. Some people use God for that. That's fine. The ironic thing to remember here, and this is not an attack on Peter, but a hard that Catholics condemn a lot of rock n' roll people simply for being themselves and finding salvation or a path to sacred feelings or self-worth through rock music. That is bullshit. Music is just as valuable as religion and brings many more people together than stringent orthodox thinking. The Pope certainly wouldn't approve of Type O's music, but I sure do, and that is what fucking matters
I write this as a fan and not to be insulting, but rather that some of this controversy overshadowed the talent of Peter and Type O at times. The thing we should all keep in mind as music fans is that he was looking for answers just like you and I are, and that the full sweep of his music, whether you agree with all of it or not, is a testament to that.
Thanks for all the music, Peter. RIP. NYC and music were forever fucking changed.

I love that when Peter died no one was sure if it was real or not. THAT is so perfect for Type O fans, sad as the reality may be. But remember, "don't go there to mourn, but to celebrate...". On the bright side, maybe he has finally found some peace of mind.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

"Fear" Of A Black Rainbow

Current mood:om
my pal neesh wrote me yesterday and wanted to know why i tweeted an old flier. it was from 1st ever pitchfork militia woodstock show w shabutie/melancholy in '94. she also wanted to know more about Pat, the drummer of my first band Melancholy. Next year will be ten years since his tragic overdose. upon careful reflection i wrote neesh this back (with some minor editing for this blog):

Just an old flier.was trying to make point about how long we've all been@this & how sad drug shit was for the still hurt by coheed's conduct. i don't let it HURT me anymore as have embraced compassion, so i am not writing out of anger so much, but will always speak what i believe to be the truth. I don't NEED anything from them and am not asking for it, other than respect adn the truth. know you (neesh) and jtb666 (john the baker/eppard uncle/my hero) are well intentioned. only you & ern from weerd science ever said anything good about amp/crusher ws intierviews i did for josh after they came out.josh-just complaints...even after he + coheed never admitted my sis Cambria exists,stonewalled nate kelley for years & used my lyrics-"be the engineer"-in hearshot kid disaster song,a tune which i've performed 2x w them live back when i thought any day they'd admit it! best was when i intyd liam from the amazing dillinger escape plan for (in the archives section now) re-ire works & he was sad about chris leaving dep for coca & didn't know i was in a band w original shabutie drummer nate kelley at the time (PPSP)! irony is a dead scene for sure-speaking of which,on the subject of DEATH...i am one of only people who tried to save mic todd,a former band mate of mine (the electric ten inch) & a one time best friend-even after he scooped someone he knew i was madly in love w off me,his now ex wife-who i am friends w again. mic's own dad thanked me later & said "we almost lost mic"! "be the engineer" was fuse song (my old band: on error 404 comp i put out w shabutie on it! the 1st time they were ever on cd was due to me and my friend Tom Moretti! my real life sis cambria was called liar/whore by coheed fans just for telling stories to kids on message boards and no one stood up for her. coheed wrote her and said 'it wasn't meant to be weird"/ so tell the truth then!!!! coca all knew pat howland from melancholy, we all played shows every weekend together! & they saw me struggle w dope at age 16! read my book i will be scene. i even had a sci fi novel comic in fuse going back as far as 97 tying in w fuse songs (before them)!


they don't care about me or my family or truth. i loved & always have tried my whole fucking life to help us all rise. they never helped my old band divest like they always talked about, even though we also worked w doc from bad brains and had same applehead producers as coheed. dave parker from divest even quit the band to join coheed! dave/josh ALSO even asked me to try to help mic todd by doing an intervention about his drug use & i didn't know they were fucked up 2 (i later apologized to Travis for this)! meanwhile, DIVEST had written a full length album about my struggles with heroin GHOST TOWN RECKONING that these people were a part of or orbitting!!!!!! i am positive person but don't deserve/need this. i will be scene took me 15 years to write & not 1 word from coca about it! pat's story is in there as is mine & much of theirs.mic hasn't talked to me in 4 years despite my attempts.last thing i told him on phone was "i love you like a bro/please stop smack!" mic overdosed @ a7x/coheed civic center show backstage. have tried for years to extend olive branch to him, when it should've been the other way around.
sorry...just seeing JTB666 (who i have huge respect for and love) tweet about how coheed was all about "family", when they are named after someone from MY family and have stonewalled me, who helped them all the time for years in the early days, really made me sad. I love the guys from 3 (for example) and everyone in the scene and have no problems with 99.9% of people in my life except a truly small handful of people.everyone knows i am all about the love. i was even hapilly talking with travis and being civil for awhile/extending faith for a better outcome/healing and I sent him congrats when i heard the amazing news about them and peter david working on YOTBR together/i am proud of that for them! but i saw them a few years back at a boris show and said i wanted to get through our differences. they agreed. SO This is not an "attack" but still after all this time they still have never admitted one of my claims even after i tried to make peace and wrote nice things about coheed in a baroness AMP interview and several other major national articles. Mic still won't talk to me. I interview bands for free everyday trying to help the scene. I make no money doing so, not a cent! I have $60 to my name and my dad has cancer and thousands to pay in medical bills. I do this from the heart. Mic's "recovery" has become just more spin for the band when earlier his problem was so hushed up he almost died several fucking times. i find it hard to get enthused at the same old song and dance and sweeping of this shit under the rug.
it takes 5 seconds to tell the truth and is always better policy. i always credit everyone who influences me or try and keep the history of the scene true. i am sure i will always believe that is right. it's less about anger or money than the truth.lifers keep going at this out've faith and love and will never stop even when we are starving artists, so it's certainly not all about money, more about respect/the truth and the people who died fighting for the same cause that get no respect/are forgotten. that's my motivation. love ya all/even Coheed. This is still fucked, though.

then again:
"kali can be defined as the insight born of tragedy, catharsis and suffering. Kali's glance reveals to us the deeper meaning, transforming our lives. Yet Kali is not present only in suffering. Her SHAKTI represents the seasons of spring and summer as much as she manifests death and decay. Every transformation holds some of Kali's shakti. We need to embrace the power of transformation inherent in every moment. Ultimately embracing all life at the momnt of death brings us full circle with Kali's forces...the dilemma rests in that we only want to embrace the changes we enjoy and resonate with. This isolates us from the reality of transformation itself, drawing us into inertia and mediocrity. Kali facilitates all transformations, including those that are painful, thereby connecting us..."-Shambavi L. Chopra from YOGIC SECRETS OF THE DARK GODDESS.

so, i am embracing and feel fine./peaceful...but it isn't wrong to speak what i believe is true.
Currently reading:
Star Wars: The Truce at Bakura v. 4
By Kathy Tyers

Monday, March 15, 2010

march madness and the lessons of riding the lightning

march has always been a transformative month for me, whether i like it or not. things always seem to come to a head around the time that winter is playing tug of war with the forces of renewal. spring is timid at first and then boldly abundant.
i am embracing change. got a great pop punk demo the other night from a band called 'With The Punches', really well done demo. The band name couldn't be more fitting right now. I am not feeling so much 'poor me' as just accepting and learning. It's all you can do when you have struggles or tumult in your life. It's like after you learn how to defy PTSD, you can look at yourself and say-"who was i before this trauma and what have i learned as a result".
been having great results with mental excercises lately to sort of, not purge negativity, but try and not be ruled by it. i must admit i do often wake up grumpy, usually because i don't sleep well in the first place.
but yeah, march usually seems to be when long time relationships have ended or the end of cycles. i used to sort of curse it. i now try to recognize things better. years ago at a height of depression i tried to kill myself in the early part of march. (i don't mind the ides, becasue it means we are in the homestretch, lol)...this year has been an example for me of the promise inherent in humility and also that good and "bad" co-exist. Cambria, my 'kid' sister, had her first child this march and it is a beautiful baby who was born early and yet is doing well. Other forces in my life that are peripheral remain sick in some ways, some people with blocks or mental problems...other elements of sickness have struck at my family.
But all things are present in the greater cycle. We are whole, though we often live with blinders on.
I am too much of a 'punk' to give up on my raw emotion, because i long ago learned that it can be very beneficial if harnessed correctly. That said, again, it is really important not to be ruled by it. evaluate and take stock of what events or life is churning up in you and allow yourself to FEEL it, but don't let it own you. Otherwise you are more the tool of what you are expressing than the one who is in command of what they speak. We've all been there.
So, yeah, i've been writing a lot and living at home with my parents, trying to help them out. My father has cancer but has a good attitude about it, though the whole process is frightening.
I am very thankful for so many fo the connections I have in my life. It keeps me bol;d in times of 'famine'. I feel humble and that even though the economy has rocked a lot of us and is certainly giving me a hard time right now, that bonds and rock n' roll and humility LACED with a sense of purpose and pride is ok and will get us by.
I read a great quote the other day in SHAMBHAVI L. CHOPRA's wonderful book on Kali called YOGIC SECRETS OF THE DARK GODDESS. In it she writes ," Wealth, abundance,desire and happiness are not maya (ie:often negative illusion), if we experience their pure essence with grace."
I couldn't agree more. It is the bedrock of my outlook on music and creativity, really. I make art and write with a purpose and of course I want to be succesful, but I would never try and sacrifice anyone along the way, and it is why being a part of the punk scene is very much about community for me. We are all part of this organic larger creature. It works better in harmony with itself than when people showboat over others. Just like the real world, i disagree that over population means the planet can't sustain us. Mother Earth (or the rock scene) is bountiful enough and poewerful enough to sustain us all, but the problem is that we are all idiots and emphasize the wrong lifestyles or (in the case of music) old philosophical approaches, to make it work for everyone. Think of how many crops die on the vine and how wasteful people are, or how the emphasis in mass media is all flash in the pan and not about building culture up. It sucks, for example, that many black people don't acknowledge their heritage as the pioneers of rock n' roll. That's your torch, baby, not just hip-hop!
Anyway, it has been really great to be working with Dave Daw and my new band Antidote 8 at Darkworld Studio. I feel reconnected to the musical process like never before and also have had the luck to have some wonderful philosophical conversations lately with artists of as varied backgrounds as Facedown records' great Christian Hardcore band Wrench In The Works and black metallers Aosoth (the latter has yet to be published) for
Everyone has a piece of the puzzle to reveal adn we are all humans with different backgrounds tinting out lenses. This is something we often forget as we label one another red or blue or whatever.
I am trying to keep in this headspace and stay positive, revelling in the fragrant aroma of life's varying hues.