Former Skid Row frontman Sebastian Bach was trending on Thursday morning after he tweeted, “If you support Donald Trump you stand against rock ‘n' roll” — a post that he had pinned to the top of his Twitter page, just in case anyone missed it in the middle of the night. He then doubled down with a spree of angry replies to the MAGA supporters who bashed him.
Many fans seemed surprised, pleasantly or otherwise, by the mouthy metal man’s tweets, apparently assuming that he was politically conservative. But Bach has actually long held an anti-Trump stance — dating back to the 2016 presidential election, when the former star of VH1’s Gone Country and Supergroup and ABC’s Sing Your Face Off snarkily tweeted, “I would do a better job [as president]. After all, my reality TV shows were better than [Trump’s] reality TV shows so that makes me automatically more qualified.”
Jeff Becerra invented death metal. Simple as that. And remarkably, he invented it in 1979, writing what would become the first Possessed song – Burning In Hell – at the age of 11. After passing through a few bands as an excitable adolescent, Jeff joined three school friends to form Possessed in 1983. Full of youthful bravado, Jeff and his comrades were united in a desire to push metal into more extreme territory than ever before: faster, heavier, nastier and more intense than even the nascent thrash movement could muster. If Slayer were scaring lots of people in LA, Possessed were hell-bent on being the Bay Area band that could scare Slayer.
“We wanted to do something that was heavier, more crazy and extreme than anything we’d heard,” he says. “There was speed metal and thrash metal and black metal, so let’s call Possessed a death metal band! I wrote the song Death Metal to make a statement, that we were the first to do it. We wanted to be different.”
As British grindcore mob Lock Up once stated on a t-shirt: ‘Seven Churches on vinyl or fuck off!’ Released in October 1985, Possessed’s debut album was one hell of an opening statement. Adorned with the Satanic imagery that Venom had brought to metal only a few years earlier, and sounding like a sustained screech of infernal rage from the bowels of Hades, Seven Churches was instantly hailed as a classic by fans of the burgeoning metal underground.
More than 30 years later, it’s impossible to deny its colossal impact and influence. As Jeff cheerfully notes, the late, great Chuck Schuldiner often cited Possessed as inspiration for his own pioneering musical efforts with Death, and while other bands had a similar impact on the genre’s later evolution, death metal’s entire vocabulary can ultimately be traced back to a bunch of songs written by these San Francisco teens in the early 80s. Seven Churches is where death metal began. And even though Possessed released two more well-received records before their untimely split in 1987 – Beyond The Gates (1986) and The Eyes Of Horror EP (1987) – it is for Seven Churches that Jeff and co are most celebrated.
“A lot of people feel that way, but the truth is that the second record outsold Seven Churches and it’s the highest-selling Possessed record,” Jeff chuckles. “I like the second one more! But with the first album we were just going buck wild and trying to make a statement. You can’t fake that kind of intensity and debut records are unique in that way, aren’t they? But I tried to make every album different, so that death metal could become this all-encompassing thing. I’m proud of all of it.”
The end of Possessed’s first chapter in 1987 came as a shock to their growing army of fans. As Jeff explains, his bandmates – guitarists Mike Torrao and Larry LaLonde (who’d soon join Primus) and drummer Mike Sus – began to struggle with the rigours of being in an increasingly popular band, and despite the frontman’s efforts to keep things on track, a parting of ways was unavoidable.
YouTube user Lars Von Retriever, who splices together excerpts from President Donald Trump's speeches to popular metal songs as part of a series he calls "Metal Trump", has uploaded his latest concoction, Metal Trump's take on the IRON MAIDEN classic "Run To The Hills". Check it out below.
Lars Von Retriever's previously crafted Metal Trump videos include songs from METALLICA, SLAYER, MEGADETH, SYSTEM OF A DOWN, MARILYN MANSON, RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE and DISTURBED.
In a 2017 interview with Noisey, IRON MAIDEN singer Bruce Dickinson explained why his autobiography, "What Does This Button Do?", contains very few mentions of politics. He said: "I'm a musician. Do I have political views? Yes. Is an autobiography a place to put them? No. What that does is that it attaches an inordinate amount of weight and self-importance to your own political viewpoint, which, if people want to hear your political viewpoint, then be a politician! Join a political party or do whatever. Stand up and say, 'I think you need to hear my political views because I'm especially qualified to tell you why you should do what I think.' I don't have any of that special sauce. I've got no crystal ball. I'm no expert witness on stuff. If you want to hear about what I think about politics, I'll tell you, but why does it matter? I'm just one citizen out of millions and I have one vote and so does everyone else. The fact that I'm famous for being a musician or doing whatever, sorry, it's not enough reason other than salacious curiosity or an attempt to dig up a story which they can then immediately slap down.
"But I would fit somewhere," he continued. "I'm right of center, but not very far. Put it this way. I'm not a socialist at all but I do believe in a nice humanistic approach to the way society should be run. I think there's a difference between profit and greed. I think profit is a way of measuring how efficiently a business or a society is being run. Greed is just evidence of its corruption and fecundity. I'm not a fan of greed. For those reasons, some of the Thatcher years were appalling, but at the same time, what happened to the U.K. during those years was transformative. Because at the end of the '70s, we were toast. The country was washed up. At the end of the '80s, it was not. In between was a whole other thing, some of which I didn't agree with, but every politician makes mistakes.
Veteran Maryland rockers KIX played their first "socially distanced" concert Friday night (July 24) at a private party in front of 50 people. The show took place at Tally Ho Theater in Leesburg, a town in Northern Virginia, which entered Phase 3 of its reopening plan on July 8, and is allowing performing arts venues to reopen with half capacity indoors.
On Saturday, KIX took to its social media to share video of the performance, and it included the following message: "Our first social distancing gig! We haven't played in four months. Private party at Tally Ho Theater in Leesburg VA. The venue did an outstanding job adhering to state guidelines. Temperature checks AT THE DOOR, no more than 50 people allowed, all venue staff wearing masks at all times, KIX crew wearing masks, KIX band wearing masks when not performing, hand sanitizer everywhere, stand up tall tables six feet or more apart with no more than four at each table, all patrons wearing masks, catering for the band was no contact, and we had a great time being able to play again and the fans had a great time! This was a dot your I's and cross your T's way to conduct a live show in the post COVID, pre-vaccine world and we are proud to be a part of it!"
As states across the country enter the next phases of reopening, nightclubs and music venues are near the end of the list of places allowed to resume normal operation. In the face of the coronavirus pandemic, thousands of concerts and festivals have either been postponed or canceled, as social distancing and self-quarantining make performing live music and attending live shows all but impossible.
KIX was founded in 1977 and released its first, self-titled album on Atlantic Records nearly 40 years ago. Their breakthrough came with 1988's "Blow My Fuse", which sold nearly a million copies, thanks to "Don't Close Your Eyes". The band continued to ride the hard-rock wave until 1995, when KIX took a hiatus. Nearly 10 years later, KIX reunited and started touring regionally. A 2008 performance at the Rocklahoma festival led to more gigs and the release of a live DVD/CD called "Live In Baltimore" in 2012.
In 2014, KIX released its seventh full-length album, "Rock Your Face Off" (Loud & Proud Records), the band's first studio effort since 1995's "Show Business".
Nuno Bettencourt was joined by his "Generation Axe" tourmates — Steve Vai, Zakk Wylde, Yngwie Malmsteen and Tosin Abasi — along with QUEEN's Brian May for a six-guitar performance of QUEEN's timeless classic "Bohemian Rhapsody" as part of AXS TV's "At Home And Social With Nuno Bettencourt & Friends" special. Video footage of the performance can be seen below.
"At Home And Social With Nuno Bettencourt & Friends" aired this past Monday (August 3) and benefited the Music Forward Foundation's Crew Nation initiative, raising funds and awareness for the touring and venue crews who are vital to the live music experience and have been negatively impacted by the shutdowns resulting from COVID-19.
In the spring of 2016, Vai, Malmsteen, Wylde, Bettencourt and Abasi teamed up for a North American tour called "Generation Axe", in which the five musicians shared a backing band and performed together in addition to playing individual sets. A year after their successful inaugural tour, the five guitarists reconvened for an 11-city tour of Asia that included a stop in Beijing, China. Select performances from that April 2017 concert appeared on a live recording, "Generation Axe - The Guitars That Destroyed The World: Live In China", which was released in June 2019 via earMUSIC.
Vai said the idea behind "Generation Axe" was "to create a seamless show with one backing band and five completely accomplished and astonishing guitarists that take to the stage in various configurations, performing some of their solo music and merging together as cohesive co-creators of lushly orchestrated guitar extravaganzas."