Moe Train’s Tracks has reached the apex of all that is metal. In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, home of The Tracks (Philadelphia, PA); MTT met up with the metal legend himself, Phil Anselmo, frontman for PANTERA, DOWN, and Philip H. Anselmo &The Illegals. We originally thought that we were only interviewing Phil, but we ended up having The Illegals (Marzi Montazeri, Joey “Blue” Gonzalez, and Stephen Taylor) join us as well!
For over a half hour, we sat down backstage in their dressing room and talked about everything from Pantera, to his solo album, autobiography, Housecore Horror Festival, raising the underground, to an extended roundtable discussion of domination. No, not the Pantera song “Domination,” but domination as a lifestyle. This intense interview with Philip H. Anselmo & The Illegals is bound to make your damn head explode, Jack. The Tracks Crew was on the scene armed with a video camera, mics, and a fully loaded double dose of EXCELSIOR. Stay tuned to MoeTrainsTracks.com, as well as Moe Train’s Tracks Music & Interview Show on iTunes to hear/read/watch all of the amazing MTT coverage of Philip H. Anselmo and The Illegals.
Oh, one more thing… Phil gave his stamp of approval after our interview:
“THAT WAS A GOOD FUCKIN’ INTERVIEW.” – Phil Anselmo
Every once in a while, I listen to an album that makes me actually say out loud, “HOLY SHIT, THIS ALBUM IS GREAT.” Hatebreed’s Divinity of Purpose made me shout obscenities within the first few minutes that I listened to the album… And I was in the gym. (Sorry old people trying to get a workout in, but Hatebreed possessed me.)
“WHO’S GOT MORE HEART THAN YOU?!?!
God damn right. Not only did I feel superhuman powers flowing through my body, but I will go on record as saying that Divinity of Purpose is one of the BEST hardcore album to come out in YEARS. It’s that fucking good. From sing-along chants to bone crushingly full drop-d mayhem, Hatebreed has made a mindblowingly great album. So, apologies in advance if I’m slightly more aggressive and hardcore than normal.
Frontman Jamey Jasta’s voice is full of uplifting and empowering grit, with Chris Beattie’ providing rib rattling basslines. Frank Novinec and Wayne Lozinak’s guitars are like a crunchy, crowd moving symphony, as Matt Byrne’s drums provide a percussive pounding that rivals the best drummers in all hardcore.
“NOTHING!!! NOTHING!!! NOTHING FUCKING SCARS ME!!!”
Hatebreed has created anthem after anthem on Divinity of Purpose. If you don’t find yourself singing along with every track, you’re dead inside. And dead to Excelsior! (Kidding.) The metal and hardcore hybrid shines through creating another benchmark as a manifestation of a modern hardcore classic.
Hatebreed, we fucking salute you.
Tracks of Note: ALL… Ok, if I have to name some of the standouts:
NOTHING SCARS ME
Honor Never Dies
Own Your World
Before The Fight Ends You
Dead Man Breathing
Divinity of Purpose
Hatebreed – Divinity of Purpose (8.8/10)
Have you ever popped in a freshly pressed CD, and soon wanted to throw around massive amounts of weight, then put your fist in the back of someone’s puny ass skull? While listening to Burial Mound’s With Honor in my car, I had a huge urge to hardcore dance at 80 miles an hour, but decided that in the best interest of the world around me, and the future of Excelsior, I’d wait till I got home.
If you’re going to name your album With Homor, you’d better damn well better honor whatever you’re trying to honor. If Burial Mound is setting out to honor the metal gods, living and decaying, their offering is pretty solid.
With Honor had to grow on me a bit. Honestly, I was drawn in by the tight, methodical instrumentals. Machine gun drumming, cohesively brutal bass/guitars… Then the thin, un-dynamic vocals dropped in. Ouch. I realize that he was taking some vocal chances with range, but it was too “all over the place” for the music. Still, I listened on, hoping for a moment of musical clarity.
One song later (Sacrilege), Burial Mound brought the fucking noise. With flashes of Atreyu, BM (a tough acronym, but one nonetheless) pushed the shit out, and destroyed it. The instrumentals are very consistent throughout, and the vocals seemed to widen and attain more balance with the rest of the band.
Nothing Is Sacred features a solid guest spot by Paul Goddard from Diecast. The harmonious singing that Goddard brings is welcome change in the album, and frankly, one that could be something more utilized in the future.
Go grab yourself Burial Mound’s With Honor, strap on some steel toe boots, drop kick the next person that gets out of line, and honor your fallen ancestors as well as Team Excelsior.
– The Train
“Damn it, I’m home.”
And home is hot as hell! As I surveyed the sights and smells of Camden’s Rockstar Mayhem Fest, I quickly threw down one or two Landshark beers, and set off across the street to get our press credentials. There was a huge line of people waiting to get into the venue, and guess what the predominant color worn was….
Yep. You guessed it. 90% (at the minimum) of the people in line were rocking out their best black. Yes, I was guilty of it as well, but I wore a navy blue shirt last time and stood out like a sore thumb.
I scored our passes, and flew over to the press room, which was dark like the rest of the fest. How fitting. Members of Asking Alexandria were being interviewed for Fuse, and there were a few others being interviewed by misc outlets. I listened in as I prepared our field recording equipment and thought to myself, ‘thank god we don’t do interviews from a cookie cutter.’
Time finally came to interview Tim from As I Lay Dying, and this dude was a beast. I’m sure you are aware that Team Excelsior is a pair of beasts themselves, but Tim may fit the description of a future Excelsior member. I always find it intriguing that some frontmen of metal bands can be so soft spoken when not on stage. (Matt Pike from High On Fire was quite the opposite, but cool as hell) We’ll have a transcript of our interview with AILD soon.
After the interview, I headed out to the grounds to shoot some bands when I bumped into Scott Ian and Joey Belladonna from Anthrax being interviewed on Sirius XM. (I want that DJ job ASAP) I rarely ever get starstruck anymore. We’ve interviewed some of the biggest acts in music, but seeing Scott and Joey sent me back in a musical time machine of greatness. I blurted out “that’s legendary stuff right there” to another “media” guy who was too coolto acknowledge how legendary they were. Hey man, you’ve gotta give props to greatness when you see it.
After listening in to a great interview, I headed out to meet up with King B and get this show started…
More to come…
Oh festivals, you used to be so easy. Getting to Mayhem Fest in Camden, NJ was a bit trying this year. I had to get a few final supplies at Staples on the way to the city, and my memory card broke. Good thing I had the files saved to my phone. Filled our field audio recorder with fresh batteries and a new memory card, but it wouldn’t read the memory card. Went back in to get a different memory card, but that didn’t work either. Decided to fly back home in 15 minutes to look for the old card… Which was nowhere to be found. Flew back to another store which finally had it, picked up a 12-pack to stay hydrated, then back on the road.
About an hour and a half to As I Lay Dying interview time. If I FLEW up 322 to 95, I should be fine. Fuck Murphy’s Law. Channelling my inner Dale Earnhardt Jr, I put the pedal to the metal while cranking Slipknot’s new “best of” through my speakers. Eventually, I sat in silence as I ran through the interview in my head. Excelsior dominates all interviews and this would be no different.
As the Philly skyline came into view, I asked the gods for no traffic, and thankfully, there was none. Could I do GTA insane stunt jump over the Delaware river and cut 20 minutes off of my time?
Damn it. I was out of my nitrous boost.
The shitfest of Camden was immediately evident after crossing the bridge into The Dirty Jerz. I really wish that this venue was on the PA side of the river. Isn’t Camden the Murder Capital of the US? Shady shit around every turn. It’s crazy what danger people will put themselves through to see live music, isn’t it?! I couldn’t help but to think that the “Park Here” signs would lead to the infernal pit of doom. Thankfully, we always park across from the venue.
As the minutes ticked off the clock, Jaegermeister trucks became visible in the distance. Waved closer and closer by the friendly Camden police, I ended up in the closest lot to the venue, and surrounded by a sea of black shirts, excessive piercings, BBQ smoke, and balls to the wall blasts of people’s favorite metal band (most commonly: Slayer).
Pulled my car into a ridiculously tight space, greeted my new neighbors, cracked a cold beer open, and with about 35 minutes to interview time, thought to myself…
‘Damn it. I’m home.’
Keep your eye on moetrainstracks.com for more Mayhem Fest coverage!
Reading is Fun-da-Mental.
If you were born between 1972 and 1983 (let’s not get caught up in specifics, somewhere in that range), you must read Chuck Klosterman’s Sex, Drugs, and Coco Puffs. It is incredibly entertaining. No other book has made me laugh out loud so many times (in fact this may be the only book to ever make me laugh out loud period). Klosterman makes the kind of observations about pop culture most people fleetingly consider and ties them into astute and tangible theories regarding the psyche of a misunderstood generation (the Gen-Xers).
Here’s the synopsis from the back of the book:
“Countless writers and artists have spoken for a generation, but no one has done it quite like Chuck Klosterman — with an exhaustive knowledge of popular culture and a seemingly effortless ability to spin brilliant prose out of unlikely subject matter. Whether deconstructing Saved by the Bell episodes or the artistic legacy of Billy Joel, the symbolic importance of The Empire Strikes Back or the Celtics/Lakers rivalry of the 1980s, Chuck will make you think, he’ll make you laugh, and he’ll drive you insane — usually all at once. Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs is ostensibly about movies, sports, television, music, books, video games, and kittens…but, really, it’s about us. All of us. As Klosterman realizes late at night, in the moment before he falls asleep, “In and of itself, nothing really matters. What matters is that nothing is ever ‘in and of itself.'”
**I’m telling you, even if you’re not a reader, check this book out. It’s freakin great. Don’t worry, it’s only 240 pages and the font on the pages is nice and big.
Matisyahu covers KOL and lives to tell about it.
Found a video of Matisyahu covering Kings of Leon’s Use Somebody for “Mashup Mondays” on Billboard.com. I love when he beatboxes at the end with the acoustic guitar playing wingman. It’s pretty legit, check it out.
- Chuck Klosterman (chuckpalahniuk.net)
- Chuck Klosterman accidentally undermines ‘indie popularity’ in Pavement article (trueslant.com)
- Chuck Klosterman and the study of culture (cultureby.com)