Children of Bodom Interviews
Dictionaries define “brutal” as 1. Savagely Violent. 2. Punishingly hard or uncomfortable. 3. See: Cannibal Corpse.
Musicpix’s own Doc Metal catches up with Cannibal Corpse bassist, Alex Webster, to talk about their latest release on Metal Blade Records, Torture.
Doc: Alex, been a fan of your music for a very long time now, what can you tell me about Cannibal Corpse’s Torture?
Alex: Torture is our 12th studio album, we recorded it in September and October 2011, and the songwriting occurred from January until August 2011 in our Tampa practice room. We wrote the songs at home and practiced them over that 7 to 8 month period. We recorded it around El Paso, Tx at a place called Sonic Ranch in the October period of recording, then finished up in November at Manor Studios in St. Petersburg, FL. The producer for both sessions was Eric Rutan, who also produced our last 2 albums. We are really happy with what he has done and love working with him.
Doc: I’ve listened to Torture, and holy brutal it is amazing!
Alex: Thanks, yes we have been receiving a lot of positive responses.
Doc: I see you’re releasing a special collector’s edition of the new album with a figurine. What can you tell me about that?
Alex: Well, in this day and age it is so easy to obtain music illegally. The record companies want to create and sell something to the fans that is worth buying. I am not exactly sure what company made the figurine, but the figurine itself is based on Torture’s cover art, which was made by Vincent Locke. It is something cool, something fun for our fans to collect, and the package also comes with a limited edition T-shirt. The record companies want to keep people interested in buying a physical product.
Doc: You mention how easy it is for people to obtain music illegally. I know some artists that are for piracy, and some are against it. What is your stance on music piracy?
Alex: First of all, I appreciate anybody buying our record. It helps us to finance the creation of a new record. If a record does not sell anything, we cannot make another one and the record label would drop us. We have to continue to keep selling records to keep making new records. An album costs tens of thousands of dollars to make, and it comes out of the band’s pocket. We basically take a loan from the record company for the financing of making a new record. We really appreciate if the fans can pony up the 10 bucks or so to buy the new record. But looking at it from another angle, illegal downloading has helped us as well. By having the music so available, it has made our band bigger and more popular. We aren’t the type of band you would usually hear on the radio, so if someone sees our album, or someone wearing our shirt, they can immediately Google us and start listening to our music. That is not something that could have been done 20 years ago. Back then you were enslaved by what the radio played for you. The internet has made so many different types of music readily available to become popular. There has to be people that buy our records, and there has to be some of our music floating around out there that people can get a hold of to check out. Otherwise, they would have never heard of our band. Digital downloading has not necessarily hurt us, it has actually kind of helped us in the long run. I can’t explain exactly why, but our band is doing better now. People still continue buying our records.
Doc: What is the current track you are promoting from Torture?
Alex: We just released the video for “Encased in Concrete,” the fourth track on Torture. The video was done by David Brodsky. He recorded the band footage in Florida and the rest of the concept footage in Brooklyn. It is what it is. It is about somebody being encased in concrete (laughs)! It turned out really good. He made a great video for a relatively low budget and it is available now (watch the video below).
Doc: What is your tour schedule looking like?
Alex: Well this year so far we did the 70,000 Tons of Metal tour. Then we headed over to Europe and did the Full Hate Festival tour in February with Behemoth and Misery Index, which was killer. Then we followed it up in the UK with a 5 show tour that we just finished up with Tryptikon, Enslaved, and Job for a Cowboy. Now we are starting a tour with Exhumed, Archaic and Abyssmal Dawn until early May. We go back to Europe in June, doing a bunch of festivals and some shows with Amon Amarth, some with Children of Bodom, and then when we get back we are playing the Summer Slaughter tour. We are looking forward to being a part of that.
Alex Webster is the bass guitarist for the death metal band Cannibal Corpse. The band’s latest release, Torture (Metal Blade Records), can be purchased here!
Jacek Leja, aka Doc Metal, is Chicagoland’s local radio personality for WARG 88.9FM. The Doc spins the best local metal bringing to you what’s brutal now! Join him on Facebook!
Eluveitie describes themselves as “The new wave of folk metal”... and they say this with good reason. Their mixture of Celtic music, traditional instruments, and modern metal creates an aural assault that is unique and brutal, as well as serene. Out of the many acts I have had the pleasure to see live over the years, Eluveitie is definitely one of my favorites. I had the pleasure of speaking Eluveitie frontman Chigrel Glanzmann just before their Chicago show last week. We chatted about the band and their upcoming release, Helvetios, which they would give Chicago a taste of later in their set at the Bottom Lounge.
Doc: Last time I had the chance to see Eluveitie perform here in Chicago, you stopped the show and gave us (the audience) a choice. You had us decide on a set with more of your “metal” material, or a more acoustic heavy set. The audience responded loud and clear for the acoustic version. The band seemed a bit puzzled at that. What was your reaction from our acoustic choice?
Chigrel: (laughs) It was definitely different. Look around you. Almost everyone here looks to want the more “ metal” package. It was great to see that people wanted to hear our other music and branch out.
Doc: With all of the bands that you have toured with over the years, are there any you have grown to be close with?
Chigrel: We have toured with a lot of bands and get along well with almost all of them. The two bands that I would like to mention that we have grown to be close with are, Finntroll and Coroner from Switzerland. Those two bands are the most fun to play with.
Doc: What is your opinion on music piracy?
Chigrel: Well, we make most of our money by touring. Sure it is stealing, and we don’t like that, but also it’s free promotion. So I guess the strengths and weaknesses are 50/50.
Doc: Helvetios will be released here in the United States on February 10, 2012. What can you tell me about the new album?
Chigrel: Well, It is our first concept album and that would make it a little special compared to our other releases. Lyrically, it is telling a story about the Gaulish wars. These are wars that happened like 2000 years ago, between the Celts and Ancient Romans. We wanted to tell the story in and out… and not just lyrically, we wanted to express it with our music. The album is laid out kind of like a movie soundtrack.
Doc: I recently saw your newest video from Helvetios, “A Rose for Epona”. Where did you film the video and can you tell us what the song is about?
Chigrel: It was shot in Poland outside of Wroclaw and it was the first time we worked with the Polish company Grupa13. They were a really cool company to work with. The song is about a young girl questioning her God during the Gaulish wars.
Doc: What are Eluveitie’s upcoming plans?
Chigrel: We are going to be touring the United States and Canada until the end of March, then start touring again in Europe. A world tour is in the works and we plan on touring until March of 2013.
Doc Metal (Jacek Leja) is a radio host for WARG 88.9FM and local metal DJ in the Chicagoland area. Join him on Facebook to follow what’s brutal now!
James Durbin, one of American Idol’s final four of Season 10, has released his debut album “Memories of a Beautiful Disaster” and is winding don his current tour with upcoming shows in Libertyville, IL and Milwaukee, WI. Durbin had previously auditioned for American Idol in Season 8 but wasn’t chosen but he didn’t give up. Two seasons later, Durbin brought metal to the masses and almost went all the way but Country crooner, Scotty McCreery took the top spot. The end of Durbin’s Idol career is only the beginning…
Musicpix recently had the opportunity to talk with James about his rise to fame, his future and the glamorous life of rock and roll…read on.
Musicpix: Obviously, you became known to the world via American Idol. Advancing to the final four is an amazing accomplishment in and of itself. Less than a year later, you’re signed with Wind-up Records and you’re on tour promoting your new record “Memories of a Beautiful Disaster.” I’m sure you’re grateful for the Idol experience, but are you anxious to be getting on with the James Durbin rock star experience?
James: I’ll always be grateful to Idol because they gave me a launching pad for my career because I’d been singing in bars. Singing in bars isn’t going to get you where you need to be so Idol was it for me. At this point, I’m really happy to be doing my own songs with my own band. I can be myself a let go on stage now…
Musicpix: I can only imagine the anxiety that Idol causes. You’re being critiqued by the judges on national TV and subject to elimination every week. It must be quite a relief to be able to perform in front of an audience that you know is already on your side…
James: It’s really great. It’s also good that the majority of the fans that come to my shows are fans of Idol who voted for me.
Musicpix: Your new album “Memories of a Beautiful Disaster”…the first obvious question is, what’s the title referring to?
James: I was looking back at my life and I was at the point where I thought it was a disaster. But now, I’m able to look back at those moments, those memories, and see the beauty. Those moments made me who I am today and I would never want to change that.
Musicpix: When did you start writing the album? Were you stressed about it?
James: I wasn’t too stressed about the whole thing. Actually, I was really happy and really excited and took it that way. It’s so much fun for me to be in the studio and be able to do so many different things. I started writing the album as soon as Idol ended and through the Idol tour.
Musicpix: “Stand Up,” the single from your album, is also on the NFL’s official game day disc. How did that come about? That’s got to offer tremendous exposure as you’re not always going to have football fans being American Idol fans…
James: Yeah, definitely. I’ve just found that there are a lot a people who are willing to give that song a chance and it’s very satisfying. I was approached by the NFL as soon as I got off the show and they were interested in working with me for their game day soundtrack. They approached me with the song. I loved the song and switched it around and made it more to my liking. It got so much support and exposure, that we decided to throw in on my record. The rock single and the video releases January 24th.
Musicpix: In your young career, you’ve been able to play with some of the Gods of heavy metal such as Judas Priest, Zakk Wylde, and Mick Mars who also played on your album. That had to be kind of surreal for you. Did anyone of those artists give you advice going forward with your career?
James: Not so much. I just kind of figured it out for myself. It truly is a long way to the top if you want to rock and roll. I talked to Nikki Sixx recently and he said that they used to play in delis. I spoke with Evanescence and they said when they had a hot song on the radio…”Bring me to Life,” they were still playing roller rinks. We just played in a Mexican restaurant in Bakersfield, California so….
Musicpix: Rock and Roll isn’t all glamour is it?
James: No, definitely it’s not.
Musicpix: You broke the Idol mold bringing metal to the show…do you think your preferred genre ended up hurting you?
James: No, not at all. It’s what I like and a lot of people listen to it. People gave it a chance so anything that I did or didn’t do on Idol, I have no regrets. If I did, it would just eat me alive from the inside out. What’s really the point? What’s done is done. What matters now is what I’m going to do with my career.
Musicpix: What should the audience expect when they go to a James Durbin show?
James: Fun! Be ready to have a lot of fun. Be ready to push you way to the front and rock. We’re into putting on a great show…we’re all showmen.
Musicpix: You’ve been diagnosed with Tourette syndrome and Asperger syndrome yet at 22, you’ve accomplished what most only dreams of. Do you envision yourself as a role model? You’re really an inspiration to every living human being. I hope you realize that…
James: Thanks so much. I never really thought of myself of a role model but I have values that are important to me and I’m not out there to get wasted or live for the party. I’m very content on how life is. I’ve been able to find the things that I love very early in life. For anyone that I’ve met, I’m always willing to talk and hear what’s going on with them. Music has always been important to me and has gotten me through some hard times and I’m completely honored that people find the same relief in my music.
- James Durbin
Def Leppard represents everything about the 80’s and truly captured an entire decade with hits such as: Rock of Ages, Foolin’, Photograph and Pour a Little Sugar on Me. Without question, the band has a gift for songwriting. But as they openly admit, MTV was responsible for turning them into global superstars. Musicpix had the opportunity to sit down with Phil Collen and Vivian Campbell of the 80’s mega- band prior to a performance to talk about the band’s longevity, their new material and holding a world record in the Guinness Book of World Records…read on.
Musicpix: Def Leppard was once a curiosity and 34 years later, you’re globally adored. Can you talk about weathering success?
Phil: We just love doing it. The motivation has always been about the music instead of presenting the band. It’s never been about image or anything like that…it makes it more real. We’ve got a lot of ambition to go that’s why we’re still here.
Musicpix: I was fortunate to be a teenager in the 80’s…I watch teens now gravitating to your music decades later and getting acquainted with the 80’s. Can you talk about why you think we crave that 80’s sound?
Phil: In general, I don’t think there are many new bands coming up that aren’t a real product of the industry. If there are those new bands, they don’t have the amount of hits that we’ve got. We never spilt up so our technique remains very much intact as far as that goes.
Viv: People have been bashed over the head with these songs for decades…these songs are branded in their DNA. Back in the 80’s, MTV was the driving force of the culture so you couldn’t escape hearing what was popular. Today, we live in a very fragmented world where people only tune into what there’re interested in. There’s so much media everywhere…the internet, cable channels, satellite radio, personal computers, cell phones… everyone is living in their own world. Back in that day, you couldn’t escape music so we were fortunate that we grew up in an era and we were a part of that, so our music is a part of that fabric and that’s what they want to hear. I think it’s different for musicians growing up these days…it’s got nothing to do with whether or not the music was a any better in that era…nowadays it’s harder for stuff to stick. That’s fortunate for us. We have something that people want to hear and we enjoy playing live.
Musicpix: Talk about the three new tracks on your latest release Mirrorball…
Phil: In general, we had three songs finished and I liked the idea that we weren’t doing a whole album. Going back to the days of Bob Dylan, The Stones, The Beatles, where you get inspired to write a song, you’d write it, record it and release it. You didn’t have to write the record one year and release it the year after and do seven other filler tracks. The whole idea was three new songs and that’s where we were in the beginning of this year. I think there was more energy that went into it…it was more of an artistic endeavor than a business and I really loved the idea. When we finished, we have three new songs which definitely had a new feel. Especially nowadays, people want to hear a brand new song. It fits perfectly into that that train of thought.
Musicpix: Phil you wrote, "It’s All About Believin’...talk about the new stuff. It’s so inspiring. Your song is all about inspiring us to believe…
Phil: I actually wrote the song with a friend of mine in LA…When we came up with the idea; it was definitely a Def Leppard song. I write songs all the time for other bands but this song was obviously for Def Leppard. It wasn’t religious at all…it’s about faith in yourself and being positive.
Musicpix: Let’s talk set list selection. You HAVE TO play Sugar and Photograph right? How in the world do you decide what else you’re playing night after night?
Phil: We actually change our set list depending on where we are. Like when we’re in Japan. They love it when we actually go into deep tracks but in America, not so much. We’re fortunate to have a lot of material to choose from thank God.
Musicpix: Here’s a fun fact…in 1995 Def Leppard went for the big one and played 3 continents in one day -a feat for which you received a mention in the Guinness Book of World Records. Starting at midnight in a cave in Tangiers, Morocco, you played an acoustic set. Then you flew to London, England to play at midday. Finally, you end up in Vancouver, Canada for yet another show….. 5,845 miles in a day! Is there a record that you’re trying to break these days?
Phil: Yes, we could try to break that one but someone would have to sponsor it. [laughing] Yea, it was on three continents…someone dreamed this up for releasing our greatest hits album. It was pretty cool so if anyone wants to suggest something and actually pay for it, we’d be happy to oblige.
Musicpix: Are there bootlegs around for that?
Phil: Good question. You would think there would be…it was great live in the cave. It was quite surreal. It felt like a week but it was a 36 hour period.
Musicpix: Lastly, the phrase: you’re not getting older you’re getting better applies. You guys are now middle-aged and flooded with work. Is there something you’ve always wanted to do that you haven’t done?
Phil: Yea, it gets more difficult with Def Leppard though. We had an album in 1996 called Slang and it was very different in the way we recorded it. We recorded it live. We didn’t spend a lot of time on the writing. We wrote it and recorded it. It was really cool but lot of people didn’t like it because it was experimental. We found that you can’t really do that when once you’re established. It’s a very fine line with what’s acceptable with your fans and what’s cool vs. selling out to wallpaper music…you want to make it cool. So it becomes more challenging but we actually have become better writers and producers over time.
Joe Elliot-lead vocals, guitar
Phil Collen-guitar, vocals
Rick ‘Sav’ Savage-bass, vocals
Vivian Campbell-guitar, vocals
1980 On Through the Night
1981 High ‘N’ Dry
2008 Songs from the Sparkle Lounge
2011 Mirror Ball: Live & More
2011 Dreamin’ With Def Leppard
Tue 08/16/11 Toronto, ON
Wed 08/17/11 Clarkston, MI
Sat 08/20/11 Burgettstown, PA
Sun 08/21/11 Darien Center, NY
Wed 08/24/11 Cuyahoga Falls, OH
Fri 08/26/11 Saint Paul, MN
Sat 08/27/11 Kansas City, MO
Mon 08/29/11 Englewood, CO
Wed 08/31/11 Salt Lake City, UT
Fri 09/02/11 Albuquerque, NM
Fri 09/09/11 Mountain View, CA
Sat 09/10/11 Irvine, CA
Sun 09/11/11 Wheatland, CA
Wed 09/14/11 Ridgefield, WA
Thu 09/15/11 Auburn, WA
Tue 09/20/11 Tulsa, OK
Thu 09/22/11 New Orleans, LA
Fri 09/23/11 The Woodlands, TX
Sat 09/24/11 San Antonio, TX
Sat 10/15/11 Perth, Australia
Tue 10/18/11 Hindmarsh, Australia
Thu 10/20/11 Darling Harbour, Australia
Sat 10/22/11 Melbourne, Australia
Tue 10/25/11 Canberra, Australia
Thu 10/27/11 Boondall, Australia
Sat 10/29/11 Newcastle, Australia
Sat 11/05/11 Osaka, Japan
Mon 11/07/11 Tokyo, Japan
- Def Leppard
Megadeth is arguably the hardest working band in metal. Having released 13 albums since 1985, Megadeth it seems is a constant fixture on the tour circuit. Much to the delight of their throngs of loyal fans. Dave Ellefson, one of the founding members and bassist of the legendary heavy metal band sat down with Musicpix.net’s Chris A. during the band’s stop on the Mayhem Festival in Cincinnati, OH. Check out the interview, and see what Dave had to say…