All posts tagged metallica

Shiprocked 2014 logoJanuary 6, 2014–For those looking to join the sold-out ShipRocked 2014, a limited number of staterooms have been released. The ultimate rock music cruise vacation sails roundtrip from the Port Of Miami to Great Stirrup Cay in the Bahamas from January 26-30 onboard the Norwegian Pearl. The remaining cabins are available on a first come first served basis at

In addition, Tremonti (featuring Grammy Award winning guitarist Mark Tremonti), ShipRocked 2010 alumni Black Stone Cherry, and DJ Lippy Rage from Tulsa (spinning late-night) have been added to the power-packed ShipRocked bill.

The ShipRocked band lineup now includes headliners Five Finger Death Punch, along with Papa Roach, Three Days Grace, Sevendust, Candlebox, In This Moment, The Halo Method, Living Colour, Tremonti, Black Stone Cherry, Nonpoint, Love & Death (with Brian “Head” Welch), Aranda, Art of Dying, Young Guns, Crash Kings, Butcher Babies,Scorpion Child, Wilson, American Fangs, Digital Summer, and Andy Wood & The Amalgam.

ShipRocked will also feature two heavy metal-infused frenetic comedy performances from comedian and Saturday Night Live alum Jim Breuer, known for his impersonations of Metallica, Ozzy Osbourne and AC/DC. The 5-day ShipRocked cruise–fueled by Monster Energy–will include a special onboard DJ set by Neil Sanderson of Three Days Grace and a comedy set from Big Jay Oakerson. Rock and roll dance troupe Hells Belles Burlesque  is slated for a pair of performances, and will be offering burlesque workshops during the cruise. In addition, Fuse TV’s “Mistress Juliya” Chernetsky will join Kayla Riley of SiriusXM Radio and Ralph Sutton of Tour Bus Radio as guest emcees for ShipRocked 2014.

As in the past, ShipRocked guests will enjoy multiple performances from every band on different stages, artist meet and greets, Q&A sessions, along with artist-hosted activities including contests, game shows, insane parties, theme nights and more. Onboard, bands will perform on the large outdoor Monster Energy Deck Stage, in the beautiful Stardust Theater, the Crystal Atrium stage, and the Spinnaker Lounge. While in port at Great Stirrup Cay, guests will enjoy unforgettable performances on the island’s Beach Stage.

The fifth ShipRocked cruise will host a full ship of nearly 3,000 guests from 44 states across the U.S. and almost a dozen countries around the world.

There will be a different type of Sandman featured at the Apollo next month.

MetallicaMetallica is set to rock the legendary Harlem venue on Sept. 21. They will promote their 3D concert-action film “Metallica Through the Never,” released in IMAX on Sept. 27 and other theaters a week later. It will also air live on a special temporary Metallica channel on SiriusXM.

The Apollo, revered for its place in black entertainment and historic performances from the likes of James Brown to Michael Jackson, has become a venue for rock legends in recent years, including Bruce Springsteen and Paul McCartney.

from the band….

We’re teaming up with SiriusXM to bring back the Mandatory Metallica channel and will be celebrating with a special show at Harlem’s world famous Apollo Theater in New York City on September 21st that will air live nationwide!

Mandatory Metallica will be back with 24/7 commercial-free ‘Tallica music starting Friday, September 13 and will air through October 6. SiriusXM Radio subscribers and members of The Metallica Club will have opportunities to win tickets to the gig very soon . . . keep watching here and for updates.

The Nuclear Blast/Stern Pinball booth (#503) will be in full promotion mode for Picturehouse’s music-driven feature film Metallica Through The Never at this year’s Comic-Con International in San Diego, California.

Metallica Through the NeverPicturehouse – the full-service independent film marketing & distribution company – has teamed up with Nuclear Blast & Stern Pinball to promote METALLICA’s upcoming film with an assortment of promotional items. The Nuclear Blast/Stern Pinball booth (#503) is the only location on the convention floor where these items are available. Fans will have the chance to play the soon-to-be-released METALLICA pinball machines and enter to win tickets to attend METALLICA’s “secretComic-Con show. Come to Booth #503 and become part of Metal History!

METALLICA will appear for the first time ever at Comic-Con in San Diego with a special live performance and Hall H Panel on Friday, July 19 at 6:30 p.m. in support of the groundbreaking 3D feature film, Metallica Through The Never. The band will perform an intimate private concert at a secret location in San Diego. The film’s 6:30 p.m. Hall H panel includes all four members of Metallica: James Hetfield (vocals, guitar), Lars Ulrich (drums), Kirk Hammett (guitar, background vocals), and Robert Trujillo (bass, background vocals) along with actor Dane DeHaan (The Amazing Spider-Man 2), director/writer Nimród Antal (Predators, Kontroll) and producer Charlotte Huggins (Journey to the Center of the Earth). The Hall H presentation world premieres the Metallica Through The Never theatrical trailer and poster, show exclusive preview footage, and discuss the making of the film. During the Hall H panel, Comic-Con conventioneers in attendance have an opportunity to win tickets and learn the location where METALLICA will play later that same evening. Also, the event launches advance ticket sales for the September 27, 2013 opening of the film available online at

METALLICA have released a trailer for their upcoming 3D movie, Metallica Through The Never. A concert/concept story that is described as thus:

Metallica Through the NeverTrip, a young roadie sent on an urgent mission during Metallica’s roaring live set in front of a sold-out arena. As the band performs its most iconic songs for thousands of their fans in a never-before-seen performance created exclusively for the film, Trip is dispatched outside the arena to meet a disabled delivery truck and recover a mysterious item being transported to the show. But the seemingly simple assignment turns into a surreal adventure when his car is hit by an out-of-control driver. Trip, dazed and bruised, climbs out of his van only to find himself pitched in the middle of a tense standoff between angry protesters and charging riot police. In the ensuing mayhem, a vicious masked horseman sets his murderous eye on Trip while delivering indiscriminate deathblows to rioters and cops alike. Fleeing through the desolate, post-apocalyptic urban streetscape, Trip has only his wits to protect him as he attempts to deliver the band’s precious cargo and avoid becoming the horseman’s next victim.

The movie will be released to IMAX on September 27 and regular theaters October 4th.

merciless book of metal listsMERCILESS BOOK OF METAL LISTS

Howie Abrams and Sacha Jenkins

Abrams Publishing

8 out of 10

So I’m sitting in a hotel room in the middle of BFE Indiana and I’ve just received a book to review called The Merciless Book of Metal Lists.

My first thought is what kind of bullshit can this be? A whole book of nothing but lists? I’m thinking it’s going to be somewhere just north of ‘That Metal Show’s Top 5 bullshit list to kill 5 minutes and not actually make a statement‘ lists. I was wrong. It is actually a fairly well put together book about metal that just happens to be in list form. I mean, who needs to write out all their thoughts with nouns, pronouns, adjectives, verbs, conjunctions, complex sentences, and shit? Just think of a snappy title, and throw 5 to 10 items under it, and voila you have you own list of crap that hopefully someone else finds insightful or amusing, and in the best cases… both!

The latter is where this book sits. It has two authors but the key to the success of the whole book is that the lists within aren’t just from them. Flemming Rasmussen (Producer on 2.5 Metallica albums) has a couple of lists (Kill Em All Vs Ride The Lightning Vs Master of Puppets, Vs …And Justice for All), Kerry King writes the forward and Phil Anselmo writes the Afterword and there are a host of other contributors.

Sticking with the Metallica theme, one of the best lists in the book (though I disagree with it 100%) is ‘The Very Best Qualities Of METALLICA’S Load and Reload Albums‘. And the entire page is blank. If you don’t get it, then this book isn’t for you.

It’s hard to argue with a book. I mean, all lists are just opinions and opinions are assholes and assholes smell to high heaven. Well, that’s not quite right. It’s hard to argue with a book of lists, though it can be thought provoking at times, it can also be nothing but shit stirring. Which isn’t a bad thing, but reading it, in said hotel room, in said BFE, Indiana, I had no one to argue the finer merits of the 20 Greatest Metal Voices (Manowar’s Eric Adams is #4? Really? Above Geoff Tate and King Diamond? Above the likes of John Bush and Cory Taylor? Bullocks I say. Pure rubbish!

But that’s the point of this isn’t it? To get you thinking, to enlighten you just a bit, and to get you and your friends with a few cold beers to discuss and dissect meaningless things like ‘Rob Halford‘s lyrics re-examined‘ or ‘Paul Baloff‘s Stage Banter‘.

The Merciless Book of Metal Lists is just that. Merciless and Metal. That being said, you can go get your copy HERE or HERE, you’ll thank me later.

1. “yoU’Ve GoT ANoTheR ThING ComIN’
I’m callin’ all the shots / I got an ace card comin’ down on the rocks
Rob’s like, “Shut up bitch—I’m the top here, and I’m gonna pound you until my load drips down your balls!”
2. “BReAKING The LAw
Nobody cares if I live or die / So I might as well begin to put some action in my life
Obviously Rob feels alienated because his friends refuse to accept his lifestyle, so he hops a bus to San Francisco to get laid.
I’m all geared up to score again, loaded, loaded / I come alive in the neon light
Rob seems to not have gotten any in a while, so during a visit to Amsterdam, he hits the Red Light District in search of a Dutch stallion.
4. “hoT foR LoVe
I can’t shake you off / You’re a wolf on the prowl
As he stated in “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’,” Rob fancies himself a pitcher, although as evidenced by this here passage, he doesn’t necessarily mind role-playing as Yogi Berra now and again.
5. “RoCK hARD RIDe fRee
Get a grip on the action / Moving heaven and earth
Really . . . Who DOESN’T like some nice hand release???
6. “Some heADS ARe GoNNA RoLL
If the man with the power / Can’t keep it under control / Some heads are gonna roll
If this isn’t the perfect slogan for premature ejaculators, we don’t know what is!
A new beginning has arrived / At the crossroads of my life / This new love keeps me alive
Finally, Rob Halford finds himself free from the shackles of discrimination and prejudice. Homophobia is fucked up and wrong. All due respect to a true Metal pioneer.

jason newstedThe lyrics for ‘Soldierhead’ deal with what I would imagine would go through the head of a soldier in the middle of the desert in the Middle East, with bombs going off everywhere around them. It’s horror,” Jason Newsted says.

The Metal EP is a call to arms of sorts, with the former Metallica bassist going back to his early roots, dishing out the kind of riffs that would make any fan of Black Sabbath and early Judas Priest reach for their volume knob. Newsted also features drummer Jesus Mendez Jr. and guitarist Jessie Farnsworth.

Soldierhead” is a tribute to the many men and women of the military Newsted has had the pleasure of meeting throughout his career. “We played 40 to 50 countries when I was in Metallica, and I learned a lot about how the world really is. We live like kings and queens in America, getting whatever we want 24 hours a day. It’s just not like that in other countries. These soldiers are out there risking their lives so that we can have the freedoms we do in America. I just want all of them to know how appreciative we are of them and for what they do for us.

Picturehouse‘s first new release will be Metallica Through The Never a feature film starring members of the iconic rock band and Dane DeHaan (Chronicle, The Amazing Spider-Man 2). DeHaan plays a young band crew member who is sent out on an urgent mission while the band is playing a rousing live set in front of a sold-out crowd and unexpectedly finds his world turned completely upside down. The film, written and directed by Nimród Antal (Kontroll, Predators), is due in theaters August 9. One of the bestselling rock acts of all time, Metallica has sold over 105 million albums worldwide.

MetallicaNim and the band have made a film that really captures the spirit of Metallica and their millions of loyal fans,” said Mr. Berney. “It’s an entertaining genre film with a concert inside it, a fun ride featuring an exciting young actor, Dane DeHaan. It’s a very cool project to reboot Picturehouse with.

Added Metallica drummer and founding member Lars Ulrich: “Metallica‘s way of doing things is to jump into unexplored creative endeavors with no safety net whatsoever. Putting this movie together for the last couple of years has been a pretty wild ride, and we’ve definitely done our share of flying without a net! Bringing Bob and Jeanne and the new Picturehouse team in at this point provides us with a much needed level of security for the distribution of the film. Their spirit of independence and desire to work outside the box is something we can relate to in every way, and this makes them both a welcome addition and a natural fit in the Metallica family.

The band added the following statement:
We’re back with an update on that little project we told you about last year… the Metallica 3D movie filmed in Vancouver in August of 2012. Some of you were kind enough to be a huge part of our three nights of filming and may be wondering just what the heck has been happening since then. Throughout the Fall and first part of this year, we’ve been working with director Nimrod Antal and a team of editors to pull all the pieces together and so we are beyond excited to now actually have a release date and a title… drum-roll please, “Metallica Through The Never” coming to theatres on August 9!

We’re also proud to announce that we will be teaming up with independent film marketing and distribution company Picturehouse to help us spread the love in theatres. Like your friends in ‘Tallica, Picturehouse is truly independent, take big chances and often think outside of the box. Founder Bob Berney has overseen the releases of two of the most successful independent films ever, “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” and “The Passion of the Christ,” as well as many other cutting edge, critically acclaimed and award winning films.

It goes without saying that we are really just getting rolling here and will have many more updates for you. And of course, we can’t wait for you to see the film!!

Jon Lord

Concerto for Group and Orchestra


Eagle Records

10 out of 10

Rest In Peace Mr. Jon Lord.

Concerto for Group and Orchestra was originally recorded live in 1969 with DEEP PURPLE and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall. It has seen many performeds and recorded variations (I happen to have it on DVD Audio that I bought about 10 years ago), but it was never recorded in a studio until now.

With the help of Guy Pratt, Brett Morgan, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Paul Mann, Bruce Dickenson, Steve Balsamo, Kasia Laska, Joe Bonamassa, Darin Vasilev, and Steve Morse, Jon Lord was able to finalize a dream that had taken 43 years, 30 performances with different orchestras and conductors all over the world, and 30 more performances with Deep Purple themselves.

Thankfully Jon was able to approve the final mixes before he passed away earlier this year.

Most Deep Purple fans already know about Concerto, and even some casual fans may. This isn’t an album for the fan expecting Smoke on the Water with strings. This is a true musical concerto that was composed by Jon Lord. Yes it ‘rocks out’ in some parts, but this is a true musical movement that needs to be heard to be appreciated.

I’m not sure the casual music fan can appreciated the music and subtle nuances of Concerto for Band and Orchestra that Jon Lord has written, but if you sit, listen, and open your ears and mind you’ll hear the unmistakable strains of Jon Lord’s Hammond B and you’ll hear wonderful performances from Bruce Dickinson that you would never have thought possible.

Concerto for Band and Orchestra is credited as the first ‘marriage’ of rock band and orchestra. Paving the way for the likes of Metallica’s S&M and Roger WatersThe Wall performance in Berlin Germany as well as a slew of other rock/orchestra events.

You deserve to hear Concerto for Band and Orchestra. You need to hear Concerto for Band and Orchestra. You’ll thank me later.


A Tribute to DEEP PURPLE’s Machine Head

Various Artists

Eagle Records

8 out of 10

DEEP PURPLE may be the best Hard Rock/Heavy Metal band ever. There is no disputing their massive influence on the music scene over the years. And there can be no denying that whatever personnel line up they had at the time the music was magical.

Machine Head was originally released 40 years ago and I defy you to show me an album that old that stands up as well or better than Machine Head. Do yourself a favor and go watch the Classic Albums episode featuring Machine Head and you’ll see that the subject of Smoke on the Water was just the tip of the nightmarish iceberg that the band had to deal with to record the album. That an album was recorded at all under those circumstances is amazing, that said album came to be the monster that is Machine Head is a testament to the band and their perseverance.

Re-Machined a Tribute to DEEP PURPLE’S Machine Head features many acts that were inspired directly from Deep Purple and the album itself. From Metallica to Black Label Society, Joe Bonamassa to Carlos Santana, from Steve Vai to Chickenfoot, Iron Maiden to Jimmy Barnes and more all throw down on Re-Machined with great verve and gusto. There is even a special appearance by former Deep Purple Bassist and vocalist Glenn Hughes.

Metallica’s take on When a Blind Man Cries is one of the stand out tracks on this album. While the original track itself was recorded during the Machine Head session it wasn’t released on the album itself. Carlos Santana and Jacoby Shaddix (Papa Roach) take on Smoke on the Water which has stellar moments (Carlos Santana of course) and not so stellar moments (Jacoby is no Ian Gillan). Chickenfoot’s Highway Star is a raucous take on a perennial classic (Would have LOVED to have seen Metal Church’s version on here as it is even better, but alas that was not to be). Pictures of Home by BLS is pure BLS. And yet Zakk channels Ian almost perfectly. There are several uncanny moments where you can’t tell if it is Zakk or Ian singing. And Lazy by Jimmy Barnes and Joe Bonamassa is unreal. If Metallica’s When a Blind Man Cries wasn’t so strong this may be THE track of the album. These two songs alone make the entire album.

There are always two schools of thought on doing covers. One is you remain true to the original and the other is you provide your own unique take on the song. Both work, IF the band doing the cover does it well. And that my friends brings us to The Flaming Lips. I cannot name one The Flaming Lips song. Not. One. And after hearing their version of Smoke on the Water, I don’t ever want to hear another The Flaming Lips song. Ever. This album, though it is all covers, would have rated a perfect 10 from me (even with Jacoby’s sometimes less than stellar version of the same song), but the inclusion of The Flaming Lips here just baffles me. Firstly there was already a version of Smoke on the Water so it wasn’t like they needed to have this version to make the album complete. Secondly there are so many other bands out there directly influenced by Machine Head and DEEP PURPLE that could have been included here, there was no reason to waste a spot with The Flaming Lips, and lastly, after hearing The Flaming Lips you can’t tell me they were ever influenced by DEEP PURPLE.

So, Metallica, Carlos Santana, Jacoby Shaddix, Chickenfoot, Glenn Hughes, Chad Smith, Black Label Society, Joe Elliott, Steve Stevens, Duff McKagen, Matt Sorum, Jimmy Barnes, Joe Bonamassa, Iron Maiden, and Steve Vai good.

The Flaming Lips bad.

Skip Track 6 and you’ll love this album. I know I did and I do.


And don’t even get me started on the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame announcing their nominees and DEEP PURPLE finally gets nominated the year Jon Lord passes. FUCK YOU ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME.
Fuck. You.

R.I.P. Jon Lord.

Re-Machined – A Tribute To Deep Purple’s Machine Head album to be released on September 25.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the release of this landmark album and in recognition of the influence of the band, and of Machine Head in particular. Some of rock music’s biggest names have each contributed a version of their favorite track on the album to create Re-Machined – A Tribute To Deep Purple’s Machine Head.

Re-Machined features specially recorded tracks from Jimmy Barnes & Joe Bonamassa, Black Label Society, Chickenfoot, former Deep Purple Mk III member Glenn Hughes with Chad Smith of Red Hot Chili Peppers, Iron Maiden, the “supergroup” Kings Of Chaos (featuring Joe Elliott, Steve Stevens, Duff McKagan and Matt Sorum), Metallica, Carlos Santana & Jacoby Shaddix and Steve Vai.

There are two wildly differing versions of the album’s most famous track “Smoke On The Water”, one from guitar hero Carlos Santana with vocals by Jacoby Shaddix and one from alternative rockers Flaming Lips, and Metallica have contributed their own special take on “When A Blind Man Cries”, a track recorded at the “Machine Head” sessions but originally released as the B-side to “Never Before”.

Iron Maiden’s “Space Truckin’” cover was actually recorded back in 2006. Lead singer Bruce Dickinson explains, “Initially we didn’t think we’d be able to contribute anything due to our touring commitments. Then we remembered ‘Space Truckin’ which we’d recorded as a single B-side during our A Matter Of Life And Death album session, but never used. However now, thanks to Kevin Shirley’s remixing skills, we’re able to include it on Re-Machined

Initially released as a limited edition Classic Rock “fanpack” on September 3, this is a truly unique release that will appeal to rock fans everywhere.

1) Smoke On The Water – Carlos Santana & Jacoby Shaddix
2) Highway Star – Chickenfoot
3) Maybe I’m A Leo – Glenn Hughes & Chad Smith
4) Pictures Of Home – Black Label Society
5) Never Before – Kings Of Chaos (Joe Elliott, Steve Stevens, Duff McKagan, Matt Sorum)
6) Smoke On The Water – The Flaming Lips
7) Lazy – Jimmy Barnes with Joe Bonamassa
8) Space Truckin’ – Iron Maiden
9) When A Blind Man Cries – Metallica
10) Highway Star – Glenn Hughes / Steve Vai / Chad Smith

Roger Waters

The Wall Live

PNC Arena

Raleigh, NC

I estimate I have seen/been part of roughly 1,000 shows in my lifetime so far. There have been some great above and beyond shows during that time. Metallica 1988 Justice Tour at the Cow Palace in San Francisco, Queensryche 1992 Empire Tour at the Arco Arena in Sacramento (Operation: Mindcrime in its entirety), Metallica 1997 Pour Touring Me at the Rose Garden Arena in Portland, Fleetwood Mac 2004 Say You Tour at the Walnut Creek Amphitheatre in Raleigh, and Judas Priest 2005 Retribution Tour at the Nissan Pavilion in Bristow are my top five shows of all times.

When asked the age old question, ‘Who do you wish you had seen or could see?’ my answer was always Pink Floyd. I missed them for the Division Bell and Momentary Lapse of Reason tours, and was too young to see them prior to that not to mention they toured so damned little back then.

So Pink Floyd was my go to answer, and it was followed up with, ‘Performing The Wall in its entirety’. Hey, people can dream right? Depending on the source it is reported that The Wall has only been performed anywhere from 27-31 times ever. That is prior to Roger Waters’ current tour. So when Mr. Rogers himself decides it is time to dust off and update The Wall and take it out on the road for a world tour or two, you better believe I was watching the dates unfold and trying to figure out how to get my ass to one of the stateside shows.

I can go into what The Wall means and represents to me, how I identify with the missing father, overbearing, smothering, but loving mother, loveless wife, social unrest/turmoil, etc. Even the slight decent into madness via drugs, but that is better served to my shrink than y’all here and now. Just know that there are only two or three fictional characters I have really ever connected with on a deep cellular level, and the character of ‘Pink’ in the movie The Wall is the main one.

So the third and supposedly final leg of Roger Waters The Wall Live tour is announced, Raleigh is listed as one of the stops, and yours truly begins dancing like a giddy little school girl. Tickets were acquired immediately. When your bucket list show of shows is happening, your life is listed as a tragic fail if you don’t actually make the show. Hell I took the day off to ensure nothing would keep me from the show.

I worked hard to ensure I never mosied over to YouTube to see any videos of the current version of the tour. I did not want to know what I was in for. I mean in tours past they’ve flown airplanes into the wall, pigs have always flown at a Pink Floyd show, and the main characters have been represented as 40 foot inflatables. The light show I was sure would be spectacular, but how would the wall itself work once completed during the show with the band behind it? I mean why not just play canned music at that point because we can’t see the band, so why make them play right?

Having read the reviews of friends and critics alike praising it’s virtuosity without revealing any spoilers, I knew I was in for one hell of a show, and if my instincts were correct, a show that would at least crack my top 5 all time shows. I mean, even if the show ‘just’ met my expectations it would be a spectacular success, if it managed to exceed my expectations, well then, fuck me, I’m in for the show of shows.

I have always heard that Pink Floyd shows were 3 hours of sheer epicness, over the top (but not cheesy) production values that left your jaw on the floor and your mind soaring in the clouds. The musicianship was top notch and the overall package was not to be outdone by any other band out there. Ever.

I was concerned that it just being Roger, and that he was ‘updatingThe Wall for the new tour I was a little concerned that he might be taking my dream gig of all time and fucking it up.

Well, I am here now to tell you that everything I expected, everything I ever hoped, everything I dreamt about, every detail I played over as a possibility in my mind over the years (and most certainly over the last few months since the show was announced) were nowhere close to the reality that was The Wall Live.

Walking into the venue and seeing the stage, the partially constructed wall, the ubiquitous circular screen and lights as backdrop, the front of house area taking up a third of the main floor area (biggest FoH I have ever seen, TSO comes close, but nothing rivals this), 3 PA arrays flown (front, center and rear), I hadn’t thought I could be any more excited than I had been leading up to the show. But taking it all in was breathtaking. This was it. This was possibly going to be the best show I was ever going to witness. This was going to be my ‘ultimate dream gig’. The fantasy turned reality.

In time the house lights dropped, the announcement came over the PA, and brick by brick the wall was built. I will not spoil anything. I refrained from reading/seeing anything that might spoil the show for me, and I will not do that to you.

I will say, the surround sound of the show was incredible, the production was over the top (but again, not cheesy), the visual aspects of the show were stunning, and Roger Waters’ ‘updating’ of the show was actually very well done. Even if he hadn’t used current world climates and issues, the 34 year old songs and messages still resound well today.

I knew I’d have trouble holding back the tears during Mother, but what I did not expect was to be emotionally overwhelmed several times throughout the show. And I was not alone. In the group of 17 people that I went with, when the intermission started, all most all of us were quiet, moved, and wiping tears/recomposing ourselves. It. Is. That. Powerful.

I have read a couple short reviews this morning from friends who attended the show last night, one of them said that it was a life changing event, that, ‘… it made me think. A lot. About the world, about how we interact, about taking care of each other…anyone who left that show without thinking about that for at least a split second, without wanting to be a better human being, has absolutely no heart.’ And I think she hit the nail on the head.

Music is powerful. Music is magic. Music can educate, move, transform lives, and heal. The Wall Live encompasses all of that. Again, without spoilers you’ll have to take my word for it, better yet, get your ass on a plane and get your ass to one of the remaining shows. You owe it to yourself, you owe it to the music, you owe it to the spectacle, and you owe it to The Wall.

RED FANG kicked off their highly anticipated European tour in Gävle, Sweden at the “Getaway Rock Fest” The tour which includes numerous festival appearances runs through August 4th at the “Porifestival” in Pori, Finland. All dates are listed below

The band is completing work on a documentary that was shot by the band’s resident director Whitey McConnaghy. Whitey followed the band while they were on the road in Europe with label mates Black Tusk. This short film is being sponsored by Converse and will be released in the coming months.

Drummer John Sherman commented on the upcoming documentary:
Our first European headlining tour was completely amazing. We were totally overwhelmed by the crowd response, sleep deprived, exhausted and stoked. Luckily, our man Whitey was there with his trusty camera to capture it all.”

While at the festival Aaron Beam and Bryan Giles sat down with Metal Injection to discuss their favorite subject, BEER!

RED FANG are streaming Murder The Mountains in its entirety now. The album is now available on CD, 12″ vinyl, and deluxe digital via Relapse HERE and on iTunes HERE

European Tour
7/6: Roskilde, Denmark @ Roskilde Festival
7/7: Osnabruck, Germany @ Bastard Club
7/8: Colmar, France @ Le Grillen
7/10: Marburg, Germany @ KFZ
7/11: Oldenburg, Germany @ Amadeus
7/12: Ballenstedt, Germany @ Rock Harz Festival
7/13: Erfurt, Germany @ Stoned From The Underground
7/14: Nijmegen, Netherlands @ De Affaire
7/15: Dour, Belgium @ Dour Festival
7/16: Versailles, France @ Royale Festival
7/17: Bordeaux, France @ Heretic Club
7/18: Toulouse, France @ Dynamo
7/19: Gigors Et Lozeron @ Gigors Electric
7/20: Lodi, Italy @ Festival
7/21: Tonsberg, Norway @ Slottsfjell Festival
7/22: Barcelos, Portugal @ Milhões de Festa
7/24: Karlsruhe, Germany @ Die Stadtmitte
7/25: Audun-le-Tiche, France @ Entr’pot
7/26: Saarbrucken, Germany @ Kleiner Club Garage
7/27: Viersen, Germany @ Eier Mit Speck Festival
7/28: Berlin, Germany @ Greenville Festival
7/29: Prague, Czech Rep @ Matrix
7/30: Budapest, Hungary @ Durer Kert
8/1: Graz, Austria @ Generalmusikdirektion
8/2: Munchen, Germany @ Backstage
8/3: Wacken, Germany @ Wacken Open Air Festival
8/4: Pori, Finland @ Porifestival

MusicFest NW
9/5: Portland, OR @ Roseland Theater


Deep in the Ditch

Wulverine Records

8 out of 10

Automag ain’t your Daddy’s Southern Rock. They are a moonshine fueled four piece out of Johnston County North Carolina. Never heard of JoCo? Well, you’ve heard of Flowers’ Moonshine and NASCAR right? Where do you think that shit originated? JoCo. Damned straight.

These boys fly their New Southern Outlaw flag drenched in mud, blood, shine, metal, Hank, cheap beer, and a lil’ JoCo stank for good measure. With songs like 4 Lo (the album title Deep in The Ditch comes from a line in the song) swinging with plenty of Southern swagger and double innuendos to make AC/DC blush. Ya might think it’s about good old fashioned mud boggin’ but I’m tellin’ you it’s all about that not so innocent Southern Bell pussy.

Automag has made a career singing about shine, bikers, good clean Country livin’ (oxymoron I know..), and a whole lot of drinking. Their third album may be their most accessible from a wide range of audiences. From today’s Country listeners (think Jason Aldean, Black Stone Cherry, and early Steve Earle) to the hard rock AC/DC aficionados and later day Metallica fans can all find something to celebrate in this album.

Do It celebrates any and every Friday or Saturday night hangin’ with your buddies, tailgates down, beer and shine being passed around a huge ass bon fire while your girl swings and sways to the music blaring out the pickups windows.

The big surprises on the album are actual ballads. We’re not talking Automag’s original ballad Black Mountain (never officially released but MUST be put on their next album. Hear me Mr. Paul Quinn? You want Rock and Country stations to play your shit? Black Mountain is the key to it. It is as relevant today as it was 10 years ago. More so now, look at the music landscape. Blackberry Smoke, Jason Aldean, Brad Paisley, Black Stone Cherry, etc. etc. Black Mountain is right up there with them today.)

Where was I? Oh yeah, the ballads. Think of Me and In Your Arms may surprise long time fans of Automag. Full out songs of love and longing with acoustic tinges and the wonderful Wendy ‘Woo’ Brancaccio backing up Quinn’s mournful vocals aren’t the norm for Automag but fit well on the album and live it takes the shine fueled machismo of an Automag show down a couple steps and allows the audience to catch their breath, squeeze the cycle sluts a little tighter and simply appreciate good song craftsmanship.

I’m not saying that Automag is going soft, with the grit and swagger of In The County and the ridiculous riff running through Raise Hell, there can be no mistake that the boys in the band are still swinging a massive set of hard country tinged rock and full blown JoCo attitude.

The drumming on Deep in the Ditch may just be the best I’ve heard on an Automag album. The production of the album has finally been taken care of and at the level that all previous Automag albums should have been at. Dave Cook isn’t as technical as his predecessor Mike Cook (no relation), but Automag music needs a fly by the seat feel the swing of the beat drummer and Dave’s ability to swing one minute and beat the drums to bloody hell the next is what allows Automag’s swagger and power to reach its full potential.

This isn’t Hellbound, The band’s first album. But then, there isn’t else out there that is. My mistake and a lot of other peoples is that they constantly try to compare new Automag against Hellbound. While it isn’t fair to the new material it does say something about how strong their debut album was and still is. Production value aside, I’ll put Hellbound up against anything else released in the last 10 years. It remains in constant rotation on my iPod, it is one of four albums I tell people about to this day that they need to check out when they are asking me for new music or new bands to listen to (Throttlerod’s Hell and High Water, Isabelle’s Gift’s American Idle, and Brand New Sin’s self titled debut being the other three).

But this is a good solid album you can hang your hat on so throw it on the stereo, drop the tailgate, take a swig of some good ol’ fashioned Flowers‘ shine, smoke a lil kind, grab your favorite girl, and drop the hammer on 9 great tunes.

New leads in the Morgan Harrington case… watch James Hetfield‘s message about it and see how you might be able to help.

In October 2009, college student Morgan Harrington left a Metallica concert at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville and disappeared. It would be several months before her body was discovered in a field about 10 miles away.

We need your help to find her killer. The Virginia State Police, Fairfax City Police, and the FBI have released two enhanced sketches of the suspect and are reminding the public there is a reward of up to $150,000 for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the case.

Savannah, Georgia’s BLACK TUSK, have confirmed that they will be heading back to Europe this summer for their first ever European headlining tour. Support on the tour will come from Okkultokrati. The tour is scheduled to begin July 8th in Köln, Germany and run through July 20th in Tonsberg, Norway with an appearance at Slottsfjell Fest.

BLACK TUSK are currently on the road and will be joining back up with Municipal Waste‘s headlining tour, which will also feature special guests 3 Inches of Blood. The dates with Municipal Waste run from June 11th in Anaheim, CA and wrap up June 26th in New York, NY.

BLACK TUSK will be taking part in the “Orion Music & More Festival” curated by Metallica. The event is set for Saturday June 23rd and Sunday June 24th at Bader Field in Atlantic City, NJ. BLACK TUSK will be featured on the “Damage Inc” stage on Saturday June 23rd alongside label mates RED FANG and many others. More information can be found HERE.

BLACK TUSK is currently streaming Set The Dial at this location. The album is available for purchase via here and iTunes here.

BLACK TUSK Tour Dates:
6/7: San Diego, CA @ Ruby Room
6/9: Bakersfield, CA @ Stramler Park (Rockin Roots Festival)

With Municipal Waste and 3 Inches of Blood
6/11: Anaheim, CA @ Chain Reaction
6/12: Hollywood, CA @ The Key Club
6/13: Oakland, CA @ Oakland Metro Operahouse
6/15: Seattle, WA @ Neumos Crystal Ball Reading Room
6/16: Portland, OR @ Hawthorne Theater
6/21: Chicago, IL @ Reggie’s Rock Club
6/22: Columbus, OH @ Screamin’ Willies

Orion Music + More Festival
6/23: Atlantic City, NJ @ Bader Field

With Municipal Waste and 3 Inches of Blood
6/24: Albany, NY @ Bogies
6/25: Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer
6/26: New York, NY @ Santos Party House

European Tour With Okkultokrati
7/8: Köln, Germany @ MTC
7/10: Manchester, UK @ Star & Garter
7/11: London, UK @ Underworld
7/12: Amsterdam, Holland @ Winston
7/13: Stuttgart, Germany @ Juha West
7/14: München, Germany @ 59 to 1
7/15: Berlin, Germany @ Cassiopeia
7/16: Prague, Czech Rep @ 007
7/19: Gothenburg, Sweden @ Truckstop Alaska
7/20: Tonsberg, Norway @ Slottsfjell Fest

Portland Oregon’s RED FANG are in the midst of wrapping up their European tour with a show tonight in Moscow, Russia and their final gig tomorrow in St. Petersburg, Russia. Before they had back state-side the band is pleased to announce that they have just confirmed a new batch of North American tour dates. Included in this run are headlining shows as well as shows serving as direct support to The Sword. All tour dates can be found below.

RED FANG will be headlining “A Benefit For Grant High Art Department” scheduled to take place Friday May 25th at the Hawthorne Theater in Portland, OR. Support will come from Lopez, Nether Regions and Grant High’s own Hell’s Parrish. Doors for the show at are 7:00 pm with the first band hitting the stage at 7:30 pm. Tickets can be purchased for the show HERE.

RED FANG will also be taking part in Metallica‘s inaugural “Orion Music + More Festival” June 23rd in Atlantic City, NJ.

RED FANG are streaming Murder The Mountains in its entirety at this location. The album is now available on CD, 12″ vinyl, and deluxe digital via Relapse HERE and on iTunes HERE.

May 7, 2012 – (Burbank, CA)Mastodon have announced that they hit the road in Europe, performing both major festivals, including Pinkpop, Sonisphere, and Nova Rock, as well as headlining shows beginning May 23rd and continuing through the end of June. Mastodon will also perform at both the Reading and Leeds Festivals in the U.K. in August. Mastodon have always commanded a high press profile abroad and The Hunter continues to amaze fan and critics alike. Kerrang! Magazine, the UK’s leading hard rock publication has nominated Mastodon in both “Best Album,” and “Best Video: “Curl Of The Burl” at this year’s Kerrang! Awards set for June 7th, in London. Click here for further info.

Mastodon are touring in support of their critically acclaimed current album The Hunter, which entered the Billboard Top 200 Album chart in the Top 10 and found its way onto several Year End/Best Of critics’ lists, including those compiled by Rolling Stone, Spin, Revolver, Decibel and many more. A video for the current single, “Dry Bone Valley,” shot live at London’s Brixton Academy, has been posted here. Another live video clip from the same show for “All The Heavy Lifting,” is being readied for release now. Details to be revealed soon.

The band travels to Europe a few days after performing at this year’s Rock on the Range Festival on May 20th. Mastodon have been on the road since early April co-headlining a triumphant U.S. tour with Swedish metal band Opeth and special guest Ghost that wraps on May 12th with a show in Mastodon’s hometown Atlanta at The Masquerade.

Mastodon on the road with Opeth:

05/07    Minneapolis, MN    Brick – Ghost 8:00 | Opeth 8:50 | Mastodon 10:20

05/09    Washington, DC    The Fillmore – Ghost 7:30 | Mastodon 8:20 | Opeth 9:50

05/10    Charlotte, NC       The Fillmore – Ghost 7:30 | Opeth 8:20 | Mastodon 9:50

05/11    Myrtle Beach, SC  House of Blues – Ghost 8:00 | Opeth 8:50 | Mastodon 10:20

05/12    Atlanta, GA          Masquerade Music Park – Ghost 7:00 | Opeth 7:50 | Mastodon 9:20

Rock on the Range Festival:

05/20     Columbus, OH       Crew Stadium

European and Canadian tour dates:

05/23    Oslo, Norway            Valle Hovin

05/25    Lisbon, Portugal         Bela Vista Park / Rock in Rio Lisbon (w/ Metallica, etc.)

05/26    Madrid, Spain            Getafe Sonisphere

05/27    Landgraaf, Holland      Pinkpop Festival

05/28    Werchter, Belgium       Boutique Festival (w/ Metallica, etc.)

05/30    Yverdon, Switzerland   Sonisphere at Rives du Lac (w/ Metallica, etc.)

06/01    Bavaria, Germany        Rock In Park Clubstage

06/02    Nurburgring, Germany  Rock Am Ring Clubstage

06/03    Warsaw, Poland          Ursynalia Festival

06/06    Horsens, Denmark        Open Air

06/07    Sölvesborg, Sweden     Sweden Rock Festival

06/08    Zagreb, Croatia           Rokaj Festival

06/09    Muenster, Germany       Vainstream Festival

06/10    Nickelsdorf, Austria       Nova Rock Festival (w/ Metallica, etc.)

06/13    Bergen, Norway           Bergen Calling

06/15    Copenhagen, Denmark   Copenhell Festival

06/16    Gothenburg, Sweden     Metaltown

06/17    Seinäjoki, Finland          Provinssirock

06/19    Tallinn, Estonia             Rock Café

06/20    Riga, Latvia                 Palladium

06/23    Roeser, Luxembourg      Rock A Field Festival

06/24    Eindhoven, Holland        Effenaar

06/25   Amsterdam, Holland       Melkweg Max

06/27   Rome, Italy                  Atlantico

06/29   Werchter, Belgium          Rock

06/30    Belfort, France             Eurokennes

07/14    Ottawa, ON                 Ottawa Bluesfest          

07/15    Quebec, QC                 Festival D’Ete Quebec

08/25    Reading, England           Reading Festival

08/26    Leeds, England              Leeds Festival


[Originally Published 5/24/2012]

It appears that Merriam-Webster is going to have to revise another word in their dictionary. perseverance-(noun)see BLACK SUNSHINE’s Matt Reardon. After three long years, several record deals, and a staph infection that nearly cost him his leg the extreme skier turned rock ‘n’ roll frontman bursts onto the scene with his latest band BLACK SUNSHINE. Recently Away-Team’s Jason Rybak had the chance to sit down with Matt to discuss BLACK SUNSHINE’s inevitable path to becoming this planet’s next big, bright stars. However, you may need to grab a cold beverage and pull up a chair…this is no short journey!

AWAY-TEAM: Congrats on the upcoming release of your new album, and your current tour. You guys rocked tonight.

MATT REARDON: Thanks, dude! Tonight was cool, it was a good show. It was nice to be on the big stage.

AWAY-TEAM: Like I said before, to see the response…and the fans standing outside of your merch tent for hours, that was awesome.

MATT REARDON: I mean the response, the only thing that’s being spun on the radio around here is “Once in My Life”. Everybody in the front knew the words, I was just amazed. That’s the coolest compliment you can get as an artist, to watch people sing your songs.

AWAY-TEAM: Yeah, I mean that is what you do this for…that’s what you’re looking for as an artist.

MATT REARDON: Oh yeah, and even the songs that they didn’t know, they were just all… everyone was all into it. It was cool.

AWAY-TEAM: And that was the same thing with me, I had really only heard “Once in My Life”…and that’s a great song, but your other shit just rocks. I was blown away.

MATT REARDON: We wanna have an album that takes you on a journey. But, you know, I’m a huge fan of this latest SHINEDOWN album. It comes out and fucking kicks you in the teeth. It makes you just like… after the first two songs you’re like, “Holy shit man!”. It gives you a breather and it picks back up again, and that kind of quality musically where you can take people on a journey in their lives…

AWAY-TEAM: Was that the driving force for enlisting Bob Marlette as a producer?

MATT REARDON: I think Bob saw a lot of potential in my vocal chords, like he did with SHINEDOWN; I’ve had that comparison with them quite a bit, and that’s a big compliment.

AWAY-TEAM: You’ve got huge vocal control, never having seen you live before, I was quite impressed.

MATT REARDON: Thanks man. We just did like fourteen shows in a row. We were doing radio at like seven in the morning. I can’t believe they’re (re: vocal chords) still working out good, I’m still learning all the time but uh…working with Bob was a situation where I just kind of knocked on his door pretty much, and found a way to sneak in the back door, and you know… just talked him into giving me a chance. I kept sending in demos, and finally I sent him “Once in My Life”, “Burn to Shine”, and “Tears” and he was like “Okay, what label are you on? Let’s do the album”. ‘Cause I kept getting record deals, and then the deals would fall apart, and record labels would fall apart and…

AWAY-TEAM: You know I had read that, that you’d had about three years of…


AWAY-TEAM: …meetings and trying to land record deals?

MATT REARDON: I had several record deals in that process. But, I also had several record deals that just wouldn’t do anything, because it just didn’t have the people behind it, and the right energy, and the right kind of mindset that, you know the music business doesn’t work so good without that. And we wanted someone like Kevin Zinger, and a good radio guy like John Kuliak, and just people that were forward thinking and wanted to step outside the box and shake things up a bit.

AWAY-TEAM: So, uh, how’d you all meet?

MATT REARDON: “Toast” (drummer Matt “Toast” Young) and I… I moved from Vermont to Lake Tahoe, I was on a mogul tour and I ended up in this tiny town of Truckee, CA and I was on a open mic one night and “Toast”, who was on drums was like, “Dude, you’ve got a great voice”. I was playing acoustic and singing like some TESLA song or something like that, and he was like “I have a band”, and he was just starting. I knew he was the drummer, and he invited me to play guitar with him. And I was in a band at the time, called FUNGUS, with Shaun Palmer who’s kind of like a Shawn White, I guess I could say. Shaun Palmer’s got his own video game, and I was his guitarist. It’s one of these things where I was a pro skier, he was a pro snowboarder, our bassist was a pro skier and we just had this whole family style thing going around the local scene. “Toast” and I bonded really, really good, and we played off and on; and he went out and became a drum tech for like the best drummers in the world…and I always had a lot of respect for him. He didn’t give up on his dreams. He always wanted to be a drummer on the pro level, and he had every bit of talent to do so. Here he was working with Josh Freese, and Matt Sorum, and Brian Tichy.

And then umm, the bass player… I had a record deal in Arizona where they moved me back from Germany, and it was this Christian rock deal where they threw a bunch of money at us, and I moved back there and I met Chris Serafini from being out in the clubs and I was a big fan of this producer who had a band called LET GO and he was the bass player for that, and I was like ‘That guy can flat out play’. He’s a good hang, he’s a good mountain biker; “Toast” is a great snowboarder and skier. That was just umm… over the period of years meeting people like that.
And then I was shit-faced drunk down here in Florida in Miami, I’d just finished doing seven days of recording with KK Downing from JUDAS PRIEST and Yngwie Malmsteen. They just randomly found my voice, or my demo on uh, a Union management desk, you know Union Entertainment they handle NICKELBACK? And uh, it was real random, when we finished the record, I was just kind of baffled. I had just gotten a job to headline Laguna Seca Raceway for Red Bull, and my guitar player that I had been using just got the job for Miley Cyrus. And they were like “Dude, you should go down to the Keys. There’s this kid that plays violin, he plays drums, he plays guitar, he plays bass. So I drove down there, and went into Dirty Harry’s, I think it’s called. And he was in the house band, he was playing like violin…and he had been on tour with the Van Zandt‘s as a multi-instrumentalist. And just solid, just good people, good southern style; and I flew him out two days later. We did a gig like ten days later in front of 7,000 people. That’s ultimately the story behind each and every person.

And then once we got the record deal there was no like…I mean, I listened to some of the people in Hollywood…they were like “Dude you need a dude with tattoos”, so I was working with a couple different people so the look was right and then I was like ‘fuck this man!’ I want family style and good people, and now we all own the business, and we’re all like business partners together, and umm…yeah it’s EASY!

AWAY-TEAM: That’s gotta be a great feeling. Essentially you are running a business, and to be able to do it with your “family”? That’s great!

MATT REARDON: We wouldn’t be doing this if I’d had listened to all the fuck-heads in Hollywood sayin’ “Oh he’s gotta look like this, he’s gotta do this” I mean umm…

AWAY-TEAM: (sarcastically) Yeah, there’s gotta be the look.

MATT REARDON: Yeah, but there’s also a feel that you can’t buy.

AWAY-TEAM: And a voice that goes along with it, and you’ve got that voice.

MATT REARDON: You know it’s funny, we were almost signed by Universal/Republic, the like top rock radio guy was like “I have the band that we’re gonna sign”. He ended up signing like eight bands that did nothing and they spent millions of dollars on them. And it’s kind of nice because that certain gentleman is in our camp now working our stuff at radio independently for us. And the one guy, there was two, but the one guy at the end of it all was like “Well they’re over thirty, it’s too radio friendly, and I don’t hear a hit”, and that same guy just heard it and he didn’t know, he only knew my last name…that same guy heard it under BLACK SUNSHINE and was like “This is a hit!” And he heard the same song, same shit-different day, two and a half years ago…

AWAY-TEAM: Under REARDON? (the name of Matt’s former band)

MATT REARDON: Yeah. And he said it was too radio friendly and he didn’t hear a hit, and I wrote that down. I was like ‘That’s the dumbest shit I ever heard in my life.’ It’s good though we’re working with good people, we have a good team. This is Uncle Vern (points to Tour Manager Vern Stratton), he and I have stuck together through and through. He takes a lot of shit!

AWAY-TEAM: So the debut album…


AWAY-TEAM: It’s been out there that it was the product of a horrific accident you suffered while you were skiing…

MATT REARDON: A couple of songs on it, yeah.

AWAY-TEAM: Tell me about that, how was the recovery, and all the surgeries and all of that? How’d that go?

MATT REARDON: I didn’t really have a horrific accident, to be honest with you. If you’ve seen a poster of what I do, or you know what I do, if you’ve seen the videos…

AWAY-TEAM: Yeah, yeah.

MATT REARDON: So, I went into a hospital to get a routine procedure, I was down in New Zealand, and when I went into the hospital in France I contracted a staph infection from the hospital. Which then became, you know, I went from like hero-to-zero where it was a little bit like umm, I woke up the next day and they’re like “We might have to amputate your leg, if this spreads any further. You have a serious problem with a staph infection”. A staph infection, you get in a hospital. They sew you up and then you get it from being in the surgery room, and I had like the worst strain that you can get. And there’s one anti-biotic called Vancomycin, that saved my life, and they opened me up like seven times and they cauterized everything, so I lost all the nerves in my leg, and umm, they burned everything to the point where I was like I had this gimp leg with no muscles. I couldn’t ski again, I couldn’t walk again, the right way and I ended up finding the right doctor. Took a second mortgage out with my parents to help pay for it, and I ended up getting like eleven surgeries, and an artificial meniscus, and grew my own cartilage in a Petri-dish for a year and they put it back in. So it was like surgery-after-surgery-after-surgery. That was just to where I could walk correctly, and you know, I couldn’t even push in a clutch in a car. I wasn’t supposed to be able to ski again, or run, or walk and I’m just fine. So it was a long process, and very character building but I’m actually skiing better now than I ever have in my entire life.

AWAY-TEAM: So you seem to be a bit of an adrenaline junkie…

MATT REARDON: (laughs) I like a challenge.

AWAY-TEAM: What’s the bigger rush, jumping out of a helicopter? Or taking the stage?

MATT REARDON: It’s really, you know, it’s a lot in the same. When you’re in Europe doing the freaky shit with the helicopters, it’s like when I get down to the bottom I’m just so jacked! It’s the same when I walk on stage, but it’s kind of funny I’m getting really comfortable with walking out onto bigger stages. And it’s cool, ‘cuz I’m understanding the energy that you can control and translate out into a crowd. And we’re just learning the big stage, I’ve done some bigger stages in Europe, but tonight was like a big pinnacle for us. And they’re just two different animals, those two things; but they’re one and the same you know what I mean? I don’t know how to describe that really. You know, when you ski a big face in Alaska or a first descent, and you have an avalanche chasing you, you just cheated death, you beat Mother Nature and you kind of feel larger than life. You get the same feeling when you walk off after nailing a big show.

AWAY-TEAM: So I understand you worked on a movie soundtrack? Mount Saint Elias? Tell me about that.

MATT REARDON: It’s a buddy of mine who is one of the world’s best mountaineers…we used to be on a team together for about eight years, this guy Axel Naglich, he plotted to ski the longest ski run in world’s history. The place where you do that is Alaska so you can ski down the fjord to the ocean from 20,000 feet. It’s a dangerous, gnarliest, and one of the guys that taught me how to play guitar; which I wrote a song about him on my first album, which has been kind of an anthem for people that have passed away, which is called “White Room”. He died on that mountain, and I knew about the mountain from that. Then Axel contacted me, and I’d worked with Red Bull before he said “Hey man, I’d like you to… ‘cuz you know me, I’d like you to write a song. Because we’re gonna spend all this money on Nothing Else Matters from METALLICA with the orchestra…Do you think you could do something like that?” I was like “In my sleep, no problem”. So I submitted a few things, and then, they were like “Alright”, and then Red Bull was like “Fuck it, let’s hire the Vienna Orchestra”. I happened to be in France, doing a film at the time, they flew me to Slovenia…and we worked with a composer there and mapped it all out…and then they liked that first thing, which was an insane type of ballad, kind of crazy, it’s called “Second to None”, and then, then they were supposed to license CREED’s Higher, and they were like “Let’s have Reardon do it. He sounds like CREED.” So then I wrote a song called “Higher Ground” and then uh, they produced it and they liked it, and they just kept taking more. We just won Sundance for best sports documentary. It actually has won, almost every film festival that it has entered. If it hasn’t won, it got second place; and only once it got third place. That’s out of like, seventy different film festivals worldwide right now.

AWAY-TEAM: That’s some heavy shit man. So when you write a song, does it go back to your sports roots?

MATT REARDON: With this guy, I know him, but… does Jack Johnson sing about surfing? No, he sings about life, you know, the trials and tribulations, and what you go through. And I knew what was going through his head, ‘cuz I’ve done some gnarly shit, but, nothing like what he did. Because what he did was gnarlier than Mt. Everest times ten. He did it with skis on his back, and he did some fuckin’ crazy shit. But umm, it’s one of those things where you just tap into your own energy, and what feels best.

AWAY-TEAM: You can put your energy into somebody else’s?

MATT REARDON: Oh Yeah, I’ve been submitting country music, lately. Because I like country. It came across my desk and somebody was like “Can you write a country song?” I was like, ‘of course I can’, I started out in Louisiana I grew up on Hank Williams Jr. It’s about real stuff, real things that are happening in life, not just some pissed off music, ya know?

AWAY-TEAM: Growing up in Louisiana, how the HELL does a Louisiana boy end up becoming a world-class extreme skier?

MATT REARDON: (laughs) My aunt and uncle lived in Connecticut, and my dad was starting over, again for the second time in his life. He had his partner embezzle all his money, so me and my dad shared a room, shared a bed in my aunt’s house. I finished high school, he was getting back up on his feet; and my uncle took me to see a ski movie, I was like ‘I wanna do that, I’m gonna do that’. He took me skiing, and then I got hooked, and I bought a pass, and I was detailing cars for a living in high school, and bar backing. Got a job, and worked, worked, worked…didn’t get into the college of my choice, was trying to go to UVM, and then umm, I ended up getting a bar back job and joined the Killington Mogul Team. I trained in aerials…

AWAY-TEAM: What part of Connecticut?

MATT REARDON: I graduated from Avon High School.

AWAY-TEAM: Are you kidding me? I used to work in Avon all the time. I’m from Holyoke, MA!

MATT REARDON: Right on! (punches fist)

AWAY-TEAM: Matt, thanks for your time, and good luck. I know you’ll go far.

MATT REARDON: Thanks dude, I appreciate it.

From battling the forces of nature, to becoming a natural force in the rock ‘n’ roll world, Matt Reardon and Black Sunshine are ready to unleash an ass-kicking on our eardrums. Are you Ready??? For more information on BLACK SUNSHINE, Tour dates, music samples and details on how to pick up a copy of their debut album, head over to

AWAY-TEAM’S Jason Rybak with Matt Reardon.Special thanks to Matt for his time, Uncle Vern for making it all work, and to James at Kerosene Media for setting us up with this opportunity.



Warner Bros Records

-10 out of 10 (THAT’S A NEGATIVE 10 OUT OF 10!)

When Metallica & Lou Reed performed Sweet Jane at the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame 25 Year Anniversary show a couple years ago, it was a good rendition of a great song.

Then someone somewhere, smoked a huge vial of expired rancid cow shit, and thought what a great idea it would be to have them collaborate on an entire album together. Now to be fair, the idea isn’t that bad. Who knows how good or bad the final outcome would be? I mean it is the legendary Lou Reed and Mighty Metallica after all? How bad could it be?

Well, you’ve heard the single streaming for sometime, and I swear, I SWEAR, I thought it was a goof! I thought there was no way in hell that THIS was the final product. But alas, I was wrong. It wasn’t a goof, it wasn’t a ploy to throw us all off the scent, this was the final product, they were serious, and this was the roasted dog turd that they were serving up known as Lulu.

Now lest you think I am a Metallica hater, I have always and still do defend St. Anger. There are some great riffs, and songs buried in that album. Yes the production stinks, but go back, and really listen to it. Ok, well listen to the DVD of them playing it all live, it is much better than the CD itself. And listen to the songs again. Buried in the repetitiveness and overkill of each 10 minute song is a great 4 minute song struggling to get out.

That being said, it saddens me to call this album worse than Limp Bizkit’s Gold Cobra. Hell, this is even worse than Stryper’s cover album The Covering and that was a steaming dog turd!!!!

I just reread my review of Stryper and realized that musically (and for song choices they covered) I had them at 4 out of 10 before Michael sang. And that dropped it back to 0.

So in all fairness I should give this ‘Less Than Zero’, as it only garnered one point for some of the underlying riffs that Metallica lays down throughout this horrible horrible album. So, as I said with Stryper’s attempt at recording the worst album of 2011, DO NOT PICK THIS UP. You’ll thank me later.

If you HAVE to listen to it for yourself, you can listen to the entire album streaming here.

But don’t say I didn’t warn you.

My heart hurts. I have to go drown it in some Slayer now thank you.