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One of my bands, Zombies Love Gizzards, will be playing at 10pm this Saturday Oct 13 at The Red Room located at 2530 NE 82nd Ave, Portland, Oregon 97220.
Please come check us out. It will look something like this…NSFW

We also have an album you can purchase here: http://zombieslovegizzards.bandcamp.com/

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Last night I got to see Ion Storm‘s inaugural show! They were amazing from the first song to the last. For those unaware I interviewed  them here. Go get acquainted with them and then come right back. It’s OK. I’ll wait.

Everything I’ve heard from them so far has impressed me, but those were only recordings. One really must see them live to get the full impact. First, amazing guitar tone and a pretty tight outfit. I know these guys practice up to 12 hours at a go and it shows. Their current bass player is a recent addition and it showed a bit, but overall he brought the low end. Drummer Tim was solid, fast, and interesting. I thought there was a moment when he was losing the beat, but it was just a part of a tempo change that was written into the song. Grady and Chris had some great harmonized riffage going on that seemed to focus around 4ths and it sounded great. My main complaint was the vocal levels. This show was at the Red Room and their vocals always seem low, but Grady represented growl well.

Oh, did I mention they have a Minotaur? His name is Drew. Look at him.

Do you have a Minotaur? No, you do not. I played bullfighter with Drew for a bit. It was good times.

This band has a lot to offer and brought the heat, which leads me to the title of this post. Look up there ↑ and read it again. At most there were three people up off their butts rocking out, including me and Drew. I wish that this was the exception rather than the rule. I know people want to blame smart phones etc, but it’s not that. In my estimation it’s our self reflective, self conscious society. To put it another way: we are afraid of having fun and looking like fools(Well, not me clearly. I played bullfighter with a Minotaur). It needs to stop now. Do it for yourself. Get up!! Dance! Bang your head!! Visibly enjoy yourself!!!

But also do it for that band up there on the stage or the one on the floor where the pool tables had to be moved to make room. They don’t spend 12 hours at a go writing and rehearsing so you can sit there drinking your PBR and golf clapping after every song. And I can guarantee you they didn’t do it for the money, because bands rarely get paid much if anything just starting out. This is a two way street. They are there for you and you need to be there for them.

Some pics from the show:

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This has been making the rounds and it’s just too cool not to post here. I did a review of Stop Making Sense, Talking Heads seminal and landscape changing concert film. Here we have them four years prior, live in Rome, full concert. Simply wonderful.

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Forget about subgenres. Put your preconceptions aside and just accept. This is heavy metal, my friends. Ion Storm is steeped in myths and lore of its own creation standing on the shoulders of giants. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Ion Storm!


Could each of you give me a little on your musical background and how you joined Ion Storm?

Chris “Killgrinder” NewmanI formed it. As far as background I come from the school of “Crank the amp/Hit strings and raise hell!” Thats all I’ve ever done, I hate click tracks and theory and even giving a shit about what the bpm(beats per minute) is and it’s allways been like that for me.

Grady: I haven’t had any musical training at all really. I just ended up getting a guitar for my birthday one year and I started teaching myself songs from bands that I was into. The first band I was in was “Mirus Malum” which is a project that me, Tim, and our friend Drew originally started. If you like middle eastern scales and Egyptian themes in metal then you should like it. The way I ended up joining Ion Storm was a strange process. To shorten it up, Ion Storm’s old drummer knew my grandma and was shown a homemade music video me and my friend made which led to her recommending me to Chris.

How did Ion Storm start?

Tim “Bullet” Martin: If I told you, I would have to kill you.

“Killgrinder”: “Ion Storm” started as “Kill” when i was around 13, After years of writing down ideas and riffs in my bed room, i looked at the towering pile of notebooks and cassettes and said “OK its time to do something with all this.” I spent two months puzzle-piecing it all together and came out with 100 songs. Picked out 20 to fill a “Debut” record and then picked 10 of those to fill an hour live set.

Spent months whoring for a practice space. After that was done I put out an ad to bring in other musicians. Spent 4 months practicing/hiring and firing till getting our current lineup together which is pretty solid and we all have the same sense of humor which is a plus \m/.

Grady: Chris. Simple as that. haha

Do you have an overall philosophy for the band and if so what is it?

“Killgrinder”: Yeah, We don’t and will not ever write about “Real” life. We write our own myths and stories 100% of the time. You will never hear us crying about an ex girlfriend or politics in our music…..Ever!

“Bullet”: We definitely have our own personal philosophical perspectives on things, and I think it all comes together to make a pretty great and unique sound once we can focus it into one cohesive musical presence. We’re all pretty creative guys.

Grady: Our philosophy involves the belief that every emo should be killed with fire.

What is the song writing process?

“Killgrinder”: Well  so far all the music is mine. Tim and I write the lyrics and Grady helps with arrangements and vocal melodies.

“Bullet”After 30 minutes of jamming: “Ah dude that was fuckin great! How did it go? I don’t know! Did anyone record that? No. SHIT!”

Grady: It’s a pretty standard process. It begins with us lighting candles and making a pentagram in the center of the room. We then chant sacred unholy phrases in latin as a means to appease the Metal Gods. After that the possessions occur and we channel the dark energy into what you perceive as music.

“Bullet”-drums, Grady-vocals, “Killrinder”-guitars

What’s the story behind the name of the band?

“Killgrinder”: I had a lawyer write to me to change the name of the band and the same day I was watching star trek and they were on this planet and a giant storm came and destroyed everything and somebody yelled “It’s an Ion Storm!” It was a no brainer.  hahaha!

“Bullet” The name literally means “eternal storm” if you go back to the original greek. It represents the sound we are going for well I think.

How would you describe your sound?

“Killgrinder”: Its a 50/50 mix of 70’s stoner doom and 80’s thrash with modern Viking/Thrash vocals and myth based lyrics. I call it “sci-fi metal,” Tim calls it “Myth Metal” \m/.

“Bullet”: I could give a long creative description involving way too many adjectives here, but instead I will just say that its aggressive, melodic, dark, and you should listen to it to find out for yourself!

Grady: It sounds like the beautiful screams of agony that would be echoing from a planet being devoured by an ion storm.

What song of yours best represents what Ion Storm is about? 

“Killgrinder”: “The Craft” Covers it all. It has doom parts, thrash parts, really dark lyrics and it’s super heavy and catchy.

“Bullet”We are all about making good music that you can really feel, bang your head, and beat the crap our of your friends to. “God VS Minotaur” is a pretty good representation of what we are about.

Grady: Not sure what song best fits Chris’ vision of Ion Storm but my favorite so far is probably “Rise ov the Centaur”

Any plans for live shows? If so, why should people come see you live?

“Killgrinder”: October 2012!, I have all the gear ready and a backdrop in the mail. We have a few offers lingering and really it’s just crunch time to practice, practice, practice!

“Bullet”We absolutely have plans for live shows. People should come to our shows because we will rock the hell out of them, and possibly initiate the Apocalypse.

Grady: Yes. We have some stuff lined up in October. If you like whiplash and blown out eardrums then you’ll love us.

Any plans to record?

“Killgrinder”: Yes. We start tracking drums early October with a producer and then I will be recording all the bass and guitars except for a few solo sections, Grady has to keep it tight. Then late October I will be producing Grady’s vocals.

General plans for the future?

“Killgrinder”:  We are going to do a few local gigs to warm up and then start on the California and Seattle markets.

“Bullet”Write music, play the hell out of our setlist locally, hopefully go on tour before long.

Grady: Fuck shit up.

What is your favorite robot?

“Killgrinder”: ROBOCOP!

“Bullet”The Terminator. I guess that’s a cyborg, but he’s mostly a machine so that counts.

Grady: Quickstrike from Beast Wars.


Thank you so much Ion Storm. And, dear reader, here is a little teaser of what they sound like. No vocals, but you can get a feel for the music and lyrics.

Follow Ion Storm: https://www.facebook.com/IonStormOfficial
Youtube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/IonStormOfficial/

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This week we are joined by Scott Woeckel. He is prolific and varied in his pursuits and talents. His answers are incredibly thoughtful and I really enjoy his perspective on one of his goals for his band Everyday Ghost. There is a lot to experience here so let’s jump in.


First, thank you so much for doing this. You have quite a lot going on it seems. I want to ask you about most if not all of it, but first let’s discuss Everyday Ghost. Can you tell me how EDG got started?

SW: My pleasure. and thank you for having me! EDG got started after I got back from Seattle in February 2011. My good friend and long time musical associate Wood Fowler had passed away suddenly up there and I just got to thinking about where I was going with my music life and everything else you think about when a death hits so close. So, what had originally started out as a recording project turned into a full blown live band when Charlie Peterson found me on Craigslist looking for a pedal steel man. As fortune would have it he’s one of about two of the truly great pedal steel players in the great city of Los Angeles. He’s a complete source of inspiration, and the first day we met, we played EDG’s first gig on a Saturday night at T-Boyles in Pasadena entertaining a rugby team as a duo. Add in a couple of extremely talented guys on drums and bass, and we started booking shows around some of my old haunts.
How long have you been together?
SW: About a year and a half now.
What’s the reception been like?
SW: It’s been mostly really good. There’s always gonna be bad gigs, and clams, and with a new band it’s a rocky road sometimes to go through those growing pains to get to the really good stuff. But I don’t think we’ve played a show yet where someone hasn’t come up to us and said they really liked this or that tune. I think the biggest compliment has just been people coming back to hear us play again!
What’s your song writing process?
SW: It’s eclectic. Whenever I write a song though I hear a soundbite of Thelonius Monk running through my head which says, “Keep it simple as possible, so people will dig it.” Aside from trying to keep things simple, I’ve got songs that have started from all elements of music…a melody, a chord voicing or progression, a rhythm, a lyric. I could start writing a song from the ending just about as well as the beginning, or the middle, so long as I keep it simple and the song I wind up with at the end holds together as a whole and conveys to me what I want it to convey. The best ones are always fast, they come together in a day or two at most…the ones that tend to be unsalvagable train wrecks are usually the ones I toiled over for a week or more. So these days I just try to capture the inspiration when it’s there and capture as much information as possible while it’s there.
Any plans to record?
SW: Yes! Lot’s of plans to record. I still have a record to finish, and I’ve written a lot of new material I’d like to be on it, so I’m hoping to get back into the studio in the coming months and start tracking!
What is your goal with EDG?

SW: A difficult one to articulate, but I think the main goal driving EDG is to foremost and primarily acknowledge that we are upright, and sucking air. Therefore, as musicians, we must play…regardless of any particular material goal, such as to be rich and famous. I think a lot of the music we’re doing has the power to touch hurting souls, and maybe even lift them up and let them know they aren’t alone. And if we can achieve that through this music, I would consider that a goal worth pursuing.

Let’s switch gears a little. Tell me about the work you’ve been doing with Brandon Schott. 
SW: I’ve had a great time working with Brandon in support of his awesome new record “13 Satellites”. Brandon is an inspiring and unique talent, and I’ve been honored to work on a few videos with him and just be a part of it. Brandon has a way getting things in motion and done, and just seeing how hard he’s worked for so many years and through so many challenges, I hope any small part I’ve played will help him toward the recognition for his art, which he deserves.
What have you learned from that?
SW: I think I’ve learned it really takes an army working behind you these days if you expect to make any kind of major impact or dent in today’s musical landscape. There’s just so much stuff you have to do to simply keep from being forgotten about from one day to the next. It takes care, marketing, and a lot of financial planning, and the help of a lot of good friends to put a solid record into contention out there on your own.
What is the Moonflower work you’ve been doing?
SW: Moonflower is a really cool studio project that has spawned into all kinds of things. That band is the brainchild of James & Martine Dryden, they wrote all the material and have been kind enough to let me play a little double bass and guitar on a few tracks, as well as a little tenor sax. James is one of the best audio mixologists out there, and the record “Hey Daddy’O” is done, it’s in the can, and hopefully will be released very soon.
One of my favorite songs you wrote is “Small Town Love.” How did that song come about?
SW: Thanks! That’s a really personal tune, I wrote it after what amounted to a realization that I was no longer the small town boy I used to be and recognizing I had become alienated from that whole world. I come from a place where very few people have had the opportunity to truly pursue their dreams, and I tried to reconcile all those conflicting feelings in that song.

Small Town Love

You play guitar and sing, but you also play saxophone. How did you first get started playing sax?
SW: Well, my guitar playing is highly inspired by horn players, as opposed to guitar players. So I was always on the look out for a sax to try, and I did pick up the clarinet in college which gave me a little taste of the world of winds, and even studied and played with Harold Land for a few years, but I was poor, so I didn’t really get an opportunity to try a sax even. So a few years ago I picked up a sax, and started teaching myself to play, and the rest has just been expensive. Saxophone is an expensive habit. And it’s extremely addictive, and challenging, and worth every moment. I will say I’ve always held saxophonists in high esteem, but having walked in their shoes, I have an immense new respect for the instrument and even more awe when it comes to the great masters.

“I think a lot of the music we’re doing has the power to touch hurting souls”

What attracts you to jazz?
SW: Freedom. It’s one of the few genres of music that demands a certain sense of spontaneity, sophistication, rhythm, and musicality…and if you can put all that together in collective or individual fashion you can travel to some really amazing places. And not just musically, there is a space in jazz thats akin to “the zone” you feel in any great athletic sport, but it’s bottomless, and boundless. There are moments in jazz when you are playing from that space where you couldn’t play a wrong note, in the wrong spot, at the wrong time, if you tried. Having experienced that space, and knowing it’s there is a very spiritual connection, and I feel it most strongly expressed through the jazz idiom. That being said though, I think the space is the same for all music. In other words, I believe you can still be playing “jazz” in that spiritual-spacial-zone, even while reading down a Beethoven sonata for instance. And I think it’s that knowledge that allows me to move fairly freely through various genres of music, and instruments without ever feeling stuck, or committed to playing, say, one style of music.
Check out Scott’s sax skills: Stella By Starlight
Are you able to tell me anything about the new Plasticsoul record?
 
SW: All I can say is a few of the tracks that will be on that have been stuck in my ear since the first time I heard them live. Plasticsoul is my favorite LA band, and if you’ve heard “Peacock Swagger”, I imagine the new Plasticsoul record will be similar, but I believe it goes to 11. That’s one more.
What are your hopes/plans for the future as far as your involvement with music?
SW: For the most part to just keep doing it. I’m never bored, and music could easily occupy all of my time. I think the most important thing for me is to keep learning, searching, growing and expanding my abilities and keeping the music as fun as possible. Although I’ve been involved in the music industry for over three decades now, I still feel like a beginner. There’s always something new to learn, and it’s amazing the places music can take you. You just never know!
What is your favorite flavor of ice cream and why?
SW: Strawberry, and I have no idea!

Thanks again to Scott. Remember to follow Everyday Ghost at https://www.facebook.com/EverydayGhostBand

Also check out The Tremors, one of Scott’s previous bands. Country, rootsy, folky, bluegrassy, alt-rock about guns, drivin’, drinkin’, & heartache: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/tremors

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As mentioned in the previous post I am embarking on a series of interviews with my talented friends and acquaintances. This first interview is with Terry Sheldrick from Netheravon, Wiltshire, United Kingdom. Terry and I first met via guitar.com. (that site will come up a few more times in future interviews)

Terry’s band/music project is Dirty Face. It’s straight ahead rock. When I listen to his music I can tell the tones he recorded started in his head and he has a real honest vocal style that is easy for me to appreciate. In the interest of full disclosure I did do some design work for Terry’s album “Cocaine Woman”, which you can purchase at Create Space or Amazon. I recommend getting it from Create Space as Terry will see a larger cut of that and I’m all about supporting the arts!


Dirty Face is pretty much just you right?

TS: Yeah Dirty Face is just me. I kind of have been a one man band since I picked up the electric guitar. Just me and my brain!

What does your name mean?

TS: Well, the name came because of my 6 year old son. I never shave when going into a studio or when writing, not sure why just like to be the caveman singing dirty blues! Anyway, when returning home from the studio my son said I had a Dirty face and the name stuck!

What is your song writing process like?

TS: I don’t sit down and think I must write a song. Do that and you end up with a headache. I don’t play guitar everyday. Sorry, but you’ve either got it in your head already or you should just take up needle work!

Tell me about the writing and recording process for Cocaine Woman?

TS: Believe it or not but Cocaine Woman from lyrics to chords, chorus, solo, and bass were done within 15 minutes. It was the first song I had for the album. When I had that I just knew an album was born plus I had just found my old producer on facebook so believe in fate or not something was working that Christmas 2010! Then started recording in jan 2011!!

Did you do all the instruments?

TS: Yeah, done the guitar work also bass, solos, the drums where down to a good old drum machine I’m not really a gadget person I’m fairly lazy like that.

Did you have people sit in?

TS: No just me and my producer Ian Marshall wish I could of really but the budget was tight and I was and still am funding this all by myself! Maybe in the second album!!

Where did you record and what was it like?

TS: The Album was recorded in Salisbury City County Wiltshire England, It was a great feeling getting back into the music studio and meeting up with Ian again who I had not seen for awhile. For me it just feels like you are an 8 year old boy in a sweet shop; you can’t stop smiling!

Tell me a little about the gear you use.

TS: I have my beautiful Fender black top “Mexican” also an 8 track CD Boss recorder which I do all my work demos on. With so much to chose from in pedals “that’s when I get headaches” lol.

What have you learned from that process that will change recording the next album?

TS: This one is a difficult question really. I would have loved more time, money, backing singers, but really go with what you got. I’m a firm believer in not putting things on albums because it sounds nice for someone else; it should be always for you! The second album is something for another day in time, but what I will say is I’ll be playing on it!

Plans for the future?

TS: I want to at least give Dirty Face a shot, a chance out there. We all want to be loved, I’m no different! It’s a good album.

If you could be a plant, what plant would it be and why?

TS: I’ve smoked a lot of plants in my time! But the one I can remember as a child was the Bluebell. We used to go on school trips to Westwood. I was always blown away, hence there is a song called “Bluebell Woods” on the second album! Brings me back a smile again!


I want to thank Terry for taking the time to share a little bit of what makes him and Dirty Face tick. You can find Dirty Face on Facebook here: Dirty Face

Album available at Create Space or Amazon

And I leave you with a fun video of the title track off Terry’s album

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Hello all. My band, Zombies Love Gizzards, has recently finished recording an album. We are super proud of it. It was an amazing experience. A very good friend, Circus Bear, helped us immensely and produced and engineered it. We recorded the music live and then went back and did vocals and added some bells and whistles. It’s 13 songs for $7. I feel very privileged to play with the two guys I do. So, here’s the link, please give it a listen.

http://zombieslovegizzards.bandcamp.com/album/palabra

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