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Thursday, November 27, 2014

HAPPY THANKSGIVING AND A BLACK METAL FRIDAY!!!

As you know, we take our holidays seriously around this house. Thanksgiving is a 3 day event..not counting the leftover days....of shopping, preparing and baking. This year, the All Stars' Tour got postponed and we were blessed to be home on Thanksgiving. It's been a few years since we were here eating turkey with the family.


I know I have some chefs out there who ask about our menu, so I thought I would open our home to you! This year, I planned mushroom soup, coleslaw, a Waldorf Salad, mashed russet potatoes, sweetened jams, corn on the cob, green beans within bacon, old fashioned stuffing, a garlic leg of lamb, a honey soaked ham and a giant 23 pound turkey. I make everything from scratch. Some sweet Hawaiian rolls soaked up the turkey gravy, which saturated our plates. In the evening I made Paula Dean's mac and cheese. Damn it's the best mac and cheese recipe around...none of those dry bread crumbs!!






I would like to say thanks to all my Students!! Thank you for moshing on in each week and enjoying the tales. Also, a big thanks to the Tribe which seeped into every country...even the boundary around the Middle East couldn't stop us! The Forbidden Fire is everywhere now! Thank you for having my back, for loving Max, for accepting the Maximum Cavalera package, for being one...Stay True, Stay Metal!!!








Class dismissed......

Friday, November 21, 2014

WAIT!!!! HOLD THAT ORGASMATRON!!!

The end of 1988, I was managing Sacred Reich, who was signed on Metal Blade Records. A call came in one day.......yes, on a landline......no fax machines, cell phones or internet connections back then...that changed our lives. Motorhead had a Christmas Metal Meeting planned, and a band had to pull off. Death Angel had to cancel and the spot on the bill was being offered to Sacred. I was frikken happy, but of course, one flaw; we had to fly on Christmas Eve!!

Motorhead....respect
This was shortly after the PanAm bombing over the UK and we had to fly to LA to catch the flight to Germany. As we boarded the plane...with the other 20 people..we were submerged by TV cameras and reporters asking how we felt about being on the first flight cleared to fly the same route as the doomed airplane that was bombed. We were apprehensive, yes, but the excitement of our first ever trip to Europe was stronger than fear. The only thing that was a bummer to me was telling the kids that Santa was coming on a different day and chose our home to stop at early....it was a sketchy story, but they believed it somewhat.

I really don't know how we managed to complete the tour! I had gotten some tour support from the label but hadn't made any arrangements for travel or anything else. I didn't even know they had various kinds of currency! I got off the plane feeling a bit hungover from all the champagne given to us, and went to sort our transport. Don't ask me how I did it, but we left the airport in a Mercedes station wagon! I had no credit card but swindled a Mercedes! We thought we were flying high!


We had to drive to Bremen which is in the north of Germany. The airline lost all my clothes and I decided I would wear Wiley Arnett's clothes because he was similar to my thin frame. Another problem solved. Next up was how to eat. It was Christmas Day and I thought we could walk in anywhere and spend the $100 bills I had stuffed in my backpack. Wrong! First off there were no restaurants open on Christmas Day and even if they were open, they certainly wouldn't take my Dollars. I learned fast! We stopped in every small town and looked for food but struck out.

Arriving at the Mercure Hotel in Bremen, I was relieved to find a money exchange and restaurant. The rooms were fantastic to us, with German beer glasses and little doilies everywhere! I am quite sure we ripped off anything that looked like it was German! I, however, looked ridiculous, wearing Wiley's sweatpants tucked into knee high stiletto boots and huge shirts!

When we arrived at the venue, we met our German tour manager, Torsten. He lasted approximately one day! Thats how long it took me to realize I knew as much as he did about shows and the production. The trouble arose when Motorhead said they were tired and asked Sacred to go on after them. I wasn't consulted, but of course I would have agreed with anything asked of us...almost. As we suspected, the crowd flooded out after Motorhead and we were left with about 300 diehards compared to the 1000's of fans stuffed in earlier. Torsten walked up and said, "thats rock and roll" and it was the last arrangement he made for us!

Jason Rainey
We soon snuggled our way into the tour; partying daily with Motorhead and Destruction, who was also on the bill. Candlemass and their Messiah also became great friends with us. Phil Campbell struck up a friendship and we hung out often. He would bring me on the side of the stage to hang out and at the last day, he gave me a cool Motorhead wall clock that still hangs in our kitchen! We are still friends and get happy when we reconnect on tours, through the years.

Messiah from Candlemass

Destruction

Filthy Animal
Wrzel, Lemmy & Phil

We played the 4 German shows and then drove to Holland, for a headline show in the tiny Dynamo club. We were so excited to play and visit Holland. We were prepared to Cheech and Chong our day away. The first thing we asked was 'Where is the weed?' We were sent to a green door in a little tucked in road. It had a number 9 or something on it. We knocked on the door and went up the stairs and came down happy, a bit later.



The club only held about 90 people and it was stuffed!! The funniest part I recall is when Jason Rainey's pedal got flipped upside down and he did hand motions and neck jerks trying to tell me to flip the pedal over. Haha! Yes I was the crew too! To get off the stage, you had to stage dive in the crowd and they carried you to the entrance. Even I jumped!

Greg and Me

We flew home triumphant! Many offers followed and Sacred exploded into the early Metal scene......and I did too!


Class dismissed......

Thursday, November 13, 2014

THIS IS THE PROPHECY........THE VIDEO SHOOT.......PART 5 OF A 5-PART CLASS

After the final masters go to the record label (in The Prophecy's case it was Roadrunner Records) the next step is the label, the band and the band's manager, decide on a single. That's what the first song to be released to the fans is called. There is usually a video that is made to release in conjunction with the first single. The track chosen was the title track, The Prophecy.




Max wanted to keep everything connected to the project artistically parallel to the photo shoot at Monument Valley he had done earlier with Nick Steever. He wanted to shoot the video deep in the heart of the most famous landscape on earth. Monument Valley is so visually rich and the history of the area goes beyond written time. The desert would absorb the song and the song would absorb the desert.




Soulfly had done some shows in Tuba City, Arizona in the past. Each time they were promoted by local Good Samaritan, police officer and community server, Fred Davis. We had developed a friendship because of these shows. Fred has even invited Max and I to the Navajo Reservation to participate for Toys For Tots for Christmas. Naturally, it was Fred who was contacted to arrange this dream of Max's.





We rented a bus in Phoenix and piled our family and friends in to make the 6 hour drive to the location near Four Corners. The colors deepened as we drove nearer and the desert cast its purple, red and golden hues everywhere you looked. Signs to view dinosaur tracks, booths on the highway selling silver and turquoise jewelry and small cafes dotted the side of the highway.



Thanks to Fred and the video team's hard work, the day went off perfectly and the landscape was bared open to us. Max walked deep into the heart of the swirling red rocks, the sand crisp under his feet. He walked far; the band all raged near. The drums perched on the energy of eons of time that had passed. Indigenous local people, cowboys, and settlers crossing in the wilderness had wandered here; cavemen and dinosaurs before them. Spirituality flowed from the land into your very veins.


A restful drive back to Phoenix; a job well done. The circle completed. This is The Prophecy!!!


Class dismissed.....

Thursday, November 6, 2014

THIS IS THE PROPHECY.....RECORDING....PART 4 OF A 5 PART CLASS

Layer after layer, the music became songs...tracks. With much of the music recorded, Max began bringing in the guests. Dave Ellefson was one of them. Dave lives in Scottsdale so it was really easy to not have to rush for time like some of the recordings. When Corey Taylor collaborated on Jumpdafuckup, he was on tour and only had a couple hours to spare....a couple of the sickest, bomb blasting hours ever, I will say!


Corey Taylor and Max

Max had chosen specific songs for Dave to lay the bass tracks down to. He is featured on Mars, The Prophecy and the instrumental piece, Soulfly 4. Dave is really professional to work with and one of the nicest musicians around!
Max, Marc, and Dave

Dave 




Danny Marianino also popped by and belted out Defeat You with Max. He was in the band Northside Kings at the time. We have known Danny forever.

Danny Marianino
Max wanted Asha Rabouin, the female singer on previously recorded songs, Tree of Pain and Fly High, to close the album with the track Wings. Asha's brother passed away a short time after Dana and she was in sync with us emotionally. Her voice is creamy and haunting. Beautiful, flowing so gracefully. We brought her to NYC once when Soulfly was on the Slayer tour. She walked on stage at Roseland Ballroom to a sold out show of rowdy Slayer maniacs and they loved her powerful Tree of Pain! The entire place lit lighters and the hush was like a fog, holding every in a hypnotic spell. We didn't know what to expect, but we ended up with one memorable night!

Max and Asha listening to music...

Asha recording


Max, Asha, and John Grey

The squares on the board filled in, one by one, day by day. Bobby, Marc and Joe, all joining Max, adding the pieces like an erector set growing steadily. Mei Noite added the percussion, springing it like a spice throughout the record.

Bobby and Max recording

Marc and Max in the control room

Bobby, Joe, and Max in the kitchen


And when it was done, the Lion slept.......


Class dismissed.......