Friday, May 29, 2015

Dana D-LOW...Growing Up Metal

Many of you know the name and the face of D-LOW. His name spread around the Metal World like fire on that August 16 morning in 1996. Donington would not be the same that year; it would be marked with a moshpit of sorrow, whose arms would spread through the ages. When the wave of bodies held their lighters in the air, this time...this time it was truly a connection of the fan's love of and the darkest moment yet for our Cavalera family. Max and I couldn't look into a crystal ball and see the dominoes falling in front of us; we could only live and breathe each second by second. We could not see the beginning of the end of the biggest split in Metal History. Tunnelvision crept in and we could only live and breathe through life, second by second. But that is another story...let's travel back in time...

Dana started out his life in Colorado with a hippie mom who loved music. Fishing, skiiing and just being a kid was life for Dana...until he turned 5. The release of The Cars first album hit Dana like a sledgehammer and overnight he was consumed by music. He began to live, breathe, eat and sleep music. When The Cars came to Denver, he had to go; he just HAD to go! Rocking the night away made him realize concerts were his new addiction and rock music his best friend. Fisherman Dana morphed into a teeny tiny rock music fan and we spent many afternoons going shop to shop looking for small band shirts, patches and stickers for his wardrobe.

When Uncle Paul convinced Hippie Mom to move to Phoenix and run a bar, Dana had no idea of what road he was about to exit on! Walking into the redneck Bootleggers, no one could see the future with the walls stuffed with black shirt Headbangers and the mighty Flots Nazi flag burning on the stage! There was only beer drinkers and lover's fighting in view. Could we see Metal in the Friday Fish Fry?

The Bootlegger's introduction of garage band St. James was an event that would open the floodgate, allowing the river of Metal to fill to the brim, never to hit a drought in Dana's lifetime. Bands poured through everyday and soon the Bootlegger's became a haven for thrash Metal and a playground for a young music lover. His mom was his hero and best friend. Why go hang out with friends after school when you could dash to the Bootleggers and chill with people who understood you, and who looked like you?

One day, Dana said he had an idea for a haircut and took off across the parking lot to Hair Blazers. When he returned, we all had heart attacks! The right side of his hair was shaved, leaving the rest in a sideways sweep. It was shaved off about the size of a grapefruit, while the rest of his hair was shoulder-length. I called the hairdresser and asked what the heck she did to my son and she insisted Dana wanted it that way, so I accepted it. With all the bands coming and going from LA, the haircut spread around the world. When it became a trend, Dana went in and shaved the other side too. In no time, that cut was a fad. When it became too popular for Dana's liking, he turned it into a foot and half tall mohawk, which he spiked up every day for school with Elmer's glue. One day he came home from school and said he was in love with Miss Arizona, who had visited his elementary school and singled him out for a photo.

Dana's drumming on Poison's drumkit was the catalyst for the downfall of the Bootlegger's and the introduction of Mom into band management. Dana was right by my side when I asked Sacred Reich if they needed a manager. He was with me booking shows, going to shows and planning tours. His life was exploding and soon he was meeting all his heroes. When his friend Jason Newsted filled in after Cliff Burton's untimely death, Dana's dreams became true and he got to chill with Metallica backstage.

One day, Dana was 13 at the time, he approached Metal Mom and handed her a cassette tape of Sepultura. Monte Conner of Roadrunner Records had asked Mom to manage this new band from Brazil and consequently, Dana had recently been given the band's cassette tape by friend, Danny Lilker. The long ride was about to begin, but that's next week's class....!!

Class dismissed...

Friday, May 22, 2015


In 1985, I went to open our club, The Bootleggers, only to find a police officer there! The police had put chains through the door and confiscated our club for all the wrong reasons. Basically because we refused to turn it back into a redneck pool bar, instead of the Metal direction we we're heading in. He looked at us and said "Sue us! We are the city!" He laughed at us as our very souls crashed to the earth! In one second, my brother, Paul, and I lost everything we had in the world!

At the time, I was 5 months pregnant with Jason. Depression rolled in and I withdrew into myself. We were kicked out of our apartment, lost our vocation and had no where to turn. It was a miserable time for us all. Even our "friends" who hung out everyday, disappeared. They all headed for the next club to prey on. 4-5 people remained with us to encourage us to go on. This was a great learning experience for me, Christina and Dana, as we learned the full meaning of "groupies."

In time we found a small apartment and I began to come out of my shell. One of the people who remained loyal was Jason Rainey. He is the Father of Sacred Reich, and The Bootleggers was the OB Ward, giving birth to many bands. He stayed true and I am forever grateful to him for that unconditional love he showed me. One day in 1985, he called me in the evening and said he had received an offer to sign to a label called Metal Blade Records. He lamented that he didn't know what to do with it. All of a sudden, the magic words slipped out of my mouth...."Do you want me to manage you guys?" In a split second he blurted out a big "yes!" That was the magic moment! That very second I began a career that now spans 30 years!

Sacred Reich
I looked at Christina and Dana, who were my sidekicks, my inspiration, my Believers, and said "What does a manager do?" They surely didn't know any more than I did, but what was important; we all believed I could do it!

The next day I went to the store and bought a Metal magazine to look for tips!! I found an article interviewing people in the Metal community...Debbie Abono, Peter Paterno and many more that I can no longer recall. I wrote to Debbie to introduce myself and ask for a tour with her band, The Possessed, and next, I gave Peter a call. You know what? Peter was so REAL, so humble, and so cool that he answered his phone and took my call! This was someone I would love forever!! He said he would represent the band and guide me through contract negotiations!

The Possessed
All said and done, the first birth was the famed album, IGNORANCE. How much fun was attached to the recording, I can never express! I was in the Metal community! Shit was real! Organizing the recording with the producer, Bill Metoyer, was a process and what better teacher than someone who had worked with the greatest bands of all time!! Metal Blade spewed Metal and Brian Slagel, the owner and founder was about the nicest guy you could ever meet! I had a home and university all rolled into one!

Jason Rainey and Bill "Valium" Metoyer

Sacred Reich and Bill Metoyer
Bill helped arrange all the details, the studio, hotels, travel, every detail! He was so patient, we called him Bill "Valium" Metoyer. I trusted him from the first second! He never knew, but he was the first person who worked in recorded music to EVER contact me! He left a voice mail on The Bootlegger's answering machine one day, asking if Lizzy Borden could play there!!

Me rocking the 80's hair!
Ignorance was the first born to Sacred Reich. It was immersed in politics, laughter and love of Metal. Every track, better than the one before! Paul Stottler, our friend from doing the fliers at The Bootlegger's, was a natural choice to do the cover and to this day, he is the Sacred Reich artist!!! We never had cameras much, as we were poor and we had to develop film for all the rolls, but a few memories are preserved for time!

Phil on bass, Greg in the Chair and Wiley in the back

Setting up Greg's kit
This was love! Phil Rind, with his raspy voice, passion for lyrics and thumping bass...... Jason Rainey with the sickest rhythm guitar sound I have ever heard ( equalling my Fudge Tunnelers!)....Wiley Arnett, with his emotional solos...and Greg Hall, with his Bill Ward style of first band! My babies....the start of my lifelong Metal virus!!!

Party in our hotel room!

Class dismissed.......

Friday, May 15, 2015


Many years ago, when I was just starting out, I managed Sacred Reich. I had been with them since the first day of their birthing by Jason Rainey, and actually long before, since Jason was a regular at The Bootlegger's. We grew together. I guess you could say, they were my university after graduating high school at The Bootlegger's. The first touring I ever did was with them...but that's another class.

Greg Hall and Me

One particular tour in Europe, the band was booked to play in Queen's Hall in Bradford. I loved that venue and everyone who worked there was so cool! That was also where I saw my first dreads. I even told Dana about it when I got home, telling him I had seen the coolest hair style for him! He laughed..

At night, the day before the show, the band, crew and I decided to go to a local pub and have a pint or two...or three. We were having a smashing time, when suddenly, a biker gang pulled up and came in to raise hell...and that's what they did!!!

We all could see it was getting sketchy, and decided to head out. I had to go to the girl's room in the tiny balcony above, and the guys swigged their drinks. When I came down the tiny staircase, all Hell was breaking loose! I could see Goody, the guitar tech, being held by his arms behind his back and being punched in the face! He was falling forward, but they held him and kept swinging! I vividly recall his blonder than blonde hair swinging side to side, over and over again. Phil Rind was beginning to be dragged out the front door.

I pushed through the crowd in time to see Phil coming out through a plate glass window from the store next door and Goody running down the road to a phone booth. I stood there and watched in amazement. When I caught my breath, I realized I was alone and surrounding me was the biker gang. Some young man came up, my new best friend that night, and tried to get me through the circle forming around me. All of a sudden like the Batmobile, our tour bus pulled up to save me!!!

Goody with broken nose

I jumped in to find Goody with a broken nose, Phil all mugged up, but everyone else intact. The guys that got out first had run to the bus and altered the driver, who raced to save us. I instructed him to find a hospital to treat the wounds.

It turns out that when I travelled to the girl's room, Phil had a tiny harmonica and started playing it to some girl next to him. That's all it took to get thrown through a storefront window! Goody had gotten away from his pounding and ran to a phone booth to call the police. The gang had jumped in a car and actually tried to run the phone booth over, with Goody in it! The bus driver saved the day and our lives.

Greg drumming
I admit I was a bit naughty in the hospital, fighting with the police, in my pinted-up, scared to death fury. I could not understand why the policeman would do nothing to the bikers, when we even knew their names. Could it have been the fact that an officer's home had gotten fire-bombed by the gang the week before?? I did call the US Embassy and notify them, as we were in a bit of an apprehensive state with a show the next day. The man who took my statement said it was the wildest occurrence he had over the weekend... Yeah, us too!

Beer bong and friends
The show went on with Metal fury as we looked over our backs the entire time! The story made for some good press in the UK mags and we went on to do beerbongs in Yugoslavia...

Class dismissed.....

Friday, May 8, 2015


POO...Number 2....Mr. Hanky.....Caca.......Poop....Shizzle......whatever your word of's all the same. Everybody is doing it but no one wants to talk about it! You smell it, step in it, wipe it, pinch it and you hold many verbs!! The etiquette of pooping is very much a part of Touring 101. There are certain rules on the bus, in the venues and dressing rooms... Let's talk shit!!!!

The first tour I ever did was in a van, so the unwritten rules of dressing rooms and hotel rooms stuffed with 15 other men became reality to me early on! Greg Hall in Sacred Reich termed the Dump and Flush phrase right off the bat! Flushing numerous times after every eviction results in far less chance of chasing everyone out of the from some odor resembling last night's pot roast! This is essential and I hope it makes a comeback like everything else from the '80's did!! Many the hallway and dressing room I have fled from....

In the old days, one of my pet peeves, but one I deal with, was walking in the girl's room and having the stalls filled with crew and band members. "The men's room was trashed" is the common reply as I growl at them. I admit it is kinda funny because the dudes get all embarrassed. After being in this predicament 100's of times, my ways have softened and I just go in the men's room. I found they weren't really as bad as the guys say and there was more privacy!

Graduating to a bus brings more demands! Nothing clumpy in the toilet and sit while you pee...I doubt guys ever do the latter. I just can't see it happening.... Nothing worse than waking up 60 miles from the nearest truck stop and feeling the tacos from the after show the night before! You could stop the bus and hop outside on the side of the freeway but I don't recommend it! When all else fails, start looking for a bag and "Bag It!" I know it sounds bad and it's not anyone's personal choice, but it is better than exploding and making a mess! The worse is where to put the bag! I have seen them on the bus roof, the venue's back yards, the Flyiing J's garbage! Show some creativity!!

The most unusual poo-business I ever beheld was a wild Brazilian on our bus in Eastern Europe. No bag...what to do? Why the pizza box was his choice! I happened to be in the bus lounge just in time to see a pizza delivery of the most unusual kind delivered to the feet of two lovebirds canoodling at the bus stop. They seemed to freeze...

can you see him?

And last but not least, every bus has a Phantom Pooper. Sneaking in the night, falling over the boots in the hallway ever so silently...the Phantom strikes on every tour. Morning brings a stench of another color and sometimes even a nice plug in the pipe. It's happened that the Phantom Pooper pissed the driver off so much, that doors get locked and people squirm; everyone looking at each other through slitted eyes. Silent blame, a wry joke...the side salad for the Secret Pooper. When all else fails, tell the driver it must have been some guest from the night before!! This saves you when he puts the gloves on and gets THAT LOOK in his eyes.

There you have it! Whether you are a newbe or a groupie, about to hop in a van, a bus or dressing room....know your Poo Etiquette! This blog can help you learn answers to the questions you just can't ask....WHAT A BUNCH OF CRAP!!!!!!

Class dismissed.....

Friday, May 1, 2015


With the release of the latest CC record, Babylonian Pandemonium, last October, I had to make a tour plan to get the music to the fans. The result is the current package crushing across the States for your moshing enjoyment, Cavalera Conspiracy, Death Angel, COC Blind, and Lody Kong. After 3 weeks together, I can truly say we have become a band of brothers...with 2 sisters...Aggy and me!

You may see our train of buses and COC's Bandwagon, zooming down the highway. The buses and trailers are canvases for the many talented dust drawers we run into at every show! What is it that makes dudes draw men's hang-downs everywhere?? Who do I ask for an honest answer?

CC Bus

Death Angel's bus

COC BLIND Bandwagon

Trailer of Art!
The night starts out with the Lody's 25 minute blast. Damn, I love my Lody Kong. They have grown before my eyes in the last years. Its not easy to develop a band, but I have been fortunate to have....and utilize... the platform to be able to do so. The Art of Touring 101, build a tour and put your new band on it. There is a lot to learn, stage presence, bus etiquette, merch sales, people to meet, dressing room behavior, it's not all fun! It is another life, being on the road, and there are unwritten laws. The best place to learn them....from the road itself!

Lody Kong

Aggy and Igor

Tour food...a necessity... pizza!!!
COC Blind is up next. They perform the Blind record from start to finish and end with Rather See You Die ripping from the lungs of the crowd. This is Southern Hospitality by Karl Angell on vocals and Reed Mullen on drums from the original lineup who recorded Blind. COC is a band that survived by morphing into many artistic appendages. And...these dudes are fun!!!

COC Blind

COC Blind
The Bay Area band, Death Angel, rocks the planet next! They haven't lost an ounce of vigor and truly kick the crowd's ass the entire set! "Tha Kid" Mark Osegueda is like a hopped up cheetah on Red Bull, pouncing across the stage and drawing everyone into him. A Metal legend, what more can I say? Still humble and enjoying the Metal world!

Kevin with Death Angel Crew

Scone sighting...

Ted from Death Angel

Death Angel crowd

Death Angel pirates treasure chest...
Cavalera Conspiracy, what can I say? Brut force from 32 years of music built up inside, layer after layer of hits! A treat for the "I need the reunion" people, the Cavalera people, the new fans, the Tribe! Max fronting the stage, Iggor's Hammer of Thor arms pounding behind him. Flanking is Marc Rizzo, the BEST guitarist on the planet, and bassist, friend and badasss, Johny Chow. The final countdown.

CC guitars

Max's rack

Kenny and Scone do Denver

CC closes the night
Only a week left and I have to say this is one of the coolest tours I have been on in a while. Never laughed so much, and felt so safe! We were all excited before we left home and everything we hoped for was true. Unity through music and lifestyle..can't beat it!
See you in the pit!

Me...self portrait
Class dismissed....