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JULIE CHRISTMAS could sing a bus schedule and make it sound compelling. On The Bad Wife, her solo debut, she roars, wails, coos, shrieks and croons with more guts and versatility than any singer this side of CHRIS CORNELL, making every lyric matter in a way that metal records almost never do. Featuring her bandmates from MADE OUT OF BABIES and SPYLCAOPA (including CANDIRIA's JOHN LAMACCHIA,) The Bad Wife is just as vital musically, creating an arresting blend of sludge metal and experimental rock that deserves to be heard by anyone with a pair of ears. (more…)
By Ben Apatoff
Decked out in band posters (some signed) featuring an array of metal gods and cult heroes, the Lucky 13 Saloon in Brooklyn is as close as New York gets to having a metal museum. Then again, how many museums host DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN CD release parties, SKELETONWITCH video shoots and the best jukebox in all of New York City ("South of Heaven" reportedly being the most popular song)? Not to mention a lethally affordable house brew and enough horror movie memorabilia to satisfy a wing at Comic-Con. (more…)
You owe it to yourself to either check out or revisit CANDIRIA, one of the most inventive and underrated bands in metal recently. New music from these guys is scarce, which is all the more reason why I'm majorly pumped for Candiria: A Process of Self Development, a film about the band due in 2010 and directed by Anthony Cortez-Fernandez. Besides having the Candiria name attached, it actually looks like a thoughtful, well-crafted movie, as hinted at in the trailer and clip below.
Drummer KEN SCHALK on life and golf: (more…)
Being a drummer myself, I'd have to admit I tend to hone in on his business more so than the rest of the band. It's a well known saying that "the drummer can make or break any band", but there is a lot more to it than hitting things as fast as you can to be amongst the top metal drummers of today. Much consideration went into the following list including: Agility, Diversity, Endurance, Style, Precision, Embellishment, & Showmanship.
Now, I'm not a big fan of "Top 10" lists, I personally feel there is no place for competition in music, but when Rob approached me with the idea of talking about my favorite drummers, how could I decline? I now present my 10 favorites in no particular order. (Give me a break! it was hard enough to narrow a list down to 10.)
Kenny probably has the smallest kit of anyone on my list, but damn does he make up for it with his creative grooves. Raping the shit out of his 4 piece kit is what Kenny seems to do best, proving you don't need a big set to provide thorough ass kicking. With a predominate background in jazz, he's lead the futuristic NY metal-fusion band Candiria into the progressive spotlight before one even existed. Not only is he an incredible drummer, but his form behind the set is a spectacle unto itself. If your not familiar with Candiria's music, sit down and enjoy the ride.
CANDIRA – Elevate in Madness
My first experience with Candiria was while I was waiting for a bus home on the way from high school, when Carly Coma approached me upon rocking out with head phones on, to hand me a Candira business card. This was of course pre- internet days when face to face communication with your audience was key, and word of mouth was essentially the RSS feed of it's time. Having seen stickers plastered all over the NYC area for this band, I knew there was some buzz about them, but it wasn't until my first experience seeing them live that I understood what all the fuss was about. (more…)
SPYLACOPA began as an obscure ambient-electronic side-project for Brooklyn-based CANDIRIA guitarist John LaMaccia, but after accruing a band of notables – namely Greg Puciato of DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN, Jeff Caxide of ISIS, and Julie Christmas of MADE OUT OF BABIES – the project was bound to gain momentum. Judging by the sounds of the new song "Haunting A Ghost" that was posted to the band's MySpace earlier this week, SPYLACOPA has evolved into an entirely different beast all together. While LaMaccia proved to have a knack for combining head-pounding beats with ambient soundscapes on SPYLACOPA's earlier output, this song is far more rocking and metal-friendly than anything I've heard from them so far. LaMaccia's distorted guitar progressions and electronic sequencing seems to have matched perfectly with the lush mix of Puciato's own touches and his trademark vocal approach – the high contrast of soaring melodies and screaming and bellowing – and the thick layer of groove from Caxide. Their forthcoming debut self-titled EP (available November 18th) has already garnered high praise from Terrorizer Magazine, and Puciato seems to like it well enough… but don't just listen to us! Listen to "Haunting a Ghost"yourself online here.
In related news, LaMaccia has finallly made an update regarding CANDIRIA and has revealed more about their forthcoming Toying With The Insanities 4 volume series of remix/interpretations 12" LP's that will be released on his label, Rising Pulse Records. The release is said to feature contributions from members of SUICIDAL TENDENCIES, DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN, DYSRHYTHMIA, DUB TRIO, KAYO DOT, DÄLEK, and more. However, this great collection will only be released as a limited edition available on vinyl (with free mp3 download with purchase) with only 250 of each volume pressed. Pay attention to their myspace for release updates so you can get your hands on one of these!
What's even more intriguing is that LaMaccia implied that there will be new CANDIRIA recording in the future(!), saying that the band is "moving forward" and was "back on track". After news last year, that CANDIRIA wasn't allowed to release their last album through Type A records since they couldn't tour, many people were unsure if we'd ever hear from them again. I'm looking forward to hopefully getting my hands on this remix collection, and thankfully now I've got hope for more CANDIRIA in the future. Stay tuned here.
While no well-versed metalhead would ever consider the ambient sounds of SPYLACOPA to be "metal" by any stretch of the imagination, there are good reasons why news of a debut release from a band that unites members from so many noteworthy metal bands to be of importance. Although this slowly developing project has been Brooklyn-based former CANDIRIA guitarist John LaMaccia's baby since the band disbanded few years ago, the project has accumulated a cast of cohorts over the course of its life that have turned it into a kind of supergroup of sorts. As of now, SPYLACOPA consists of LaMaccia, Greg Puciato of DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN, Julie Christmas of MADE OUT OF BABIES and BATTLE FOR MICE, Jeff Caxide of ISIS, (and formerly Chris Hornbrook of POISON THE WELL). Their debut EP will be independently released on November 4 in an extremely limited pressing.
Those who are familiar with CANDIRIA would agree that they were one of the most progressive hardcore/metal bands to be birthed from the scene in the late-90s. While their polyrhythmic technicality and tendency to embrace everything from ambience to free jazz to hip-hop helped to lure in many dedicated listeners, that same eclecticness and propensity to experiment also made it hard for them to cross into more conventional metal territories. In SPYLACOPA, LaMaccia and friends are delving even further into the atmospheric and decidedly "non-metal" aspects which make their respective bands so unique within their sphere of music. SPYLACOPA approach electronic music from a much different point-of-view than is typical for the genre, and as such they layer their songs with a brooding intensity that is not very different structurally from the heavier sounds of their other bands. Although SPYLACOPA has much more in common with artists such as MASSIVE ATTACK or LUSTMORD than the likes of DEP, ISIS, MADE OUT OF BABIES, or CANDIRIA, there is a different kind of rage and a chaos subliminally present within the music that makes it a great listen for even a casual fan of these musicians. Either way, it's an interesting experiment that might give you a better perspective of what is inspiring the artists in all these bands right now. If you're interested in hearing more, check out the band at their homepage at www.myspace.com/spylacopa and pay attention for more info on this unique release in November.