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Friday, August 28, 2015

EASTERN EUROPE 1989 101.....SACRED REICH AND ATROPHY

In 1989, I had two bands that I was managing...Sacred Reich and Atrophy. Sacred was born in my brother and my local Metal club, The Bootleggers, and I discovered Atrophy from a cassette demo tape called Chemical Dependancy. I absolutely loved them from the minute I heard it! They were from Tucson, Arizona, which fit my radius at the time, which made them even more appealing. I signed them with Holly Lane, the A&R at Roadrunner Records. By the time Violent BY Nature (With Richie's first appearance in Metal, in the cover art, drawn by Paul Stottler), the second full length was released, they were the number one selling band at Roadrunner, selling over 40,000 units in one year.

I had an idea to make a European run with Sacred Reich and Atrophy supporting, but I knew Atrophy would make approximately $50 per show, and not be able to get an adequate amount of tour support to finance their tour. Ah, the baby band's lament.... I formed the idea to have Atrophy be the crew for Sacred, in exchange for airfare, a lift on the bus, catering, and sharing gear. This worked out perfectly and we headed to Europe.

Greg Hall and Me


The tour was about 3 months in duration, if I recall, and included much of Eastern Europe, which was beginning to open up for shows. Keep in mind there were no cell phones, fax machines, pagers or wifi at that time. Every border had to be dealt with by border patrol searching the bus, producing your visas and God knows what other surprise would befall you. The only phones were pay phones with crazy coins and operators that didn't speak English. I remember the first time we crossed into Czechoslovakia. Greg Hall and I were so excited, we got out on the side of the road at a small restaurant and had a drink, bread and sausage. We were living the dream!

Cemetery in Berlin


Backtracking a bit, we entered Berlin for the first time also on this tour. There was one highway into the city, from Western Germany, and it was so bumpy, the bus would shake and bounce the entire route. Checkpoints were empty shells on the side of the road, and parts of the Berlin Wall were still strong. It was a different Berlin than the modern city you visit now.

I mentioned to our driver, Bill Leonard, that I had heard about a cemetery in Berlin, that held the remains of young people, teenagers, who had tried to climb the wall to freedom on the other side, but were gunned down by the guards. He knew exactly what I was talking about and took us there, to pay our respects. Young freedom fighters, warriors..

On the side of the road buying local crafts...

Fans in Belgrade

As we entered Yugoslavia, I felt my roots becoming sharply aware. The customs, the food, the architecture.....everything Mom had talked about. It was all real!! Months before, I had received a fan letter to Sacred Reich from a young man in Slovenia, named Gregor Musa. I instantly was excited to hold that letter in my hands. From him, I met a promoter who brought the tour package to former Yugoslavia. It was one of the most exciting times I entered a country. The country I knew so well!! I could smell the smells and see the people before I ever physically arrived.

Sacred Reich and Atrophy at dinner



More to come.....
Class dismissed......

Thursday, August 20, 2015

CHAOS AD....THE LOST PHOTOS......

I have been looking for some of the older photos for my Students...only back at school a couple weeks and here they are! Sitting right in front of me!

Me,  Max and Zyon (photo credit: Stefan Schipper)
Recording Chaos Ad was a precious experience. I still recall Max walking up to me, as I pushed Zyon in the stroller near the Rolls Royce, parked in the studio lot.... Max had this huge grin, a grin of excitement. I could tell he had just thought of something huge. "I know the name of the record. I'm going to call it Chaos AD. It's cool, right?" And, yes, it was cool.

Recording at The Chepstow Castle

Recording at The Chepstow Castle

Recording at The Chepstow Castle

Recording at The Chepstow Castle

Who would dream we would all travel to Chepstow Castle and record "Kaiowas?" But we did. The seagulls were soaring. The birds were flying free as the melody.

The calm before the storm...

At the end of the recording, the studio threw a big party and we all laughed the night away. The masterpiece created. We could all rest easy. I even danced a couple rounds with Andy Wallace....60's music if I recall....



Class dismissed......

Thursday, August 13, 2015

A WARNING COMES TRUE...AUGUST 16

In my family, I am the first girl born of my generation. I did not realize it until the late 90's, the first born girl of the generation, on my mother's side, lost her firstborn son in a violent manner. I can trace this back 5 generations and I am sure it goes beyond. Coincidences or curses...you choose.

My Aunt Natasha was caught in Stalin's net in the 1950's. She was sentenced to 10 years of hard labor in a Siberian prison for simply stating the country would improve if they had a new president. She was narced off by a young co-worker, in a factory she had taken a job in. She gave birth to a son in prison. This son was murdered some years later...an ice pick through the heart. The date was August 16.
Aunt Natasha and Sasha in Siberia
Enter the 1990's, life is exciting. Our family and careers are booming. There is much love and unity in our home. Then, the phone call came. A warning from a woman in Brazil who had a vision. "Get your children out of the house! Do not return until at least September 6. Someone will try to kill one of them if you stay home." Did I listen? Of course not. No one has that knowledge except God... Max and I sat Dana and his girl, Kristen down and warned them. It was a half warning, nothing taken seriously.
Dana
The days crept closer and Max and I left on our ill-fated tour with Sepultura and Far. You all know the outcome. As we arrived in Donington, my son was running for his life. We were excited for the show, but Dana's adrenalin was flowing from other reasons....fear.

When I returned home, I picked up the notebook I had given Dana to record the office messages. His notes leading up to his last hours were all there, recorded for all time. He had no idea he was about to become another lost son in a long line of lost sons.
Dana's notes...

...notes continued
Dana coincidentally left this blessed Earth on August 16, the same day as Sasha's murder on the other side of the planet, but another year. Will this inheritance stop now that it has been discovered? I wonder, with a bit of fear, when I look into the eyes of Jadore, also the first girl born in this present generation, if I can lay this hex to rest.....

Class dismissed...

Thursday, August 6, 2015

LET'S TALK TURKEY!!!!

As you know, Soulfly recently played with KORN, Gojira, and several other acts in Istanbul, Turkey. Why my interest in the exotic countries and in the Middle East, you may ask. Thanks to opening my Facebook account and making it a must to reply to every private message, I began to learn many things about the world that had mystified me in the past. I learned about the persecution of Metalheads in other countries and even torture. From this information, Forbidden Fire, by Killer Be Killed was born. But let's go back to Istanbul...


Anahid MOP
Personally, I love this city! Ancient architecture whisked in with modern day, museums with antiques that make your eyes pop out, the great Bazaar with its flying carpets, leather stores, harem outfits, and pottery with the tree of life. Mosques rising up through the ocean of buildings and prayers ringing through the air...colorful Istanbul!! Oh...and don't forget the traffic!!!!


Istanbul

Istanbul

Istanbul

I made the concert in Istanbul in order to create a very special and rare appearance of one of the guests on the upcoming Archangel cd. Finding a way to get the beautiful and talented Iranian warrior, Anahid MOP (who guests on the song Max wrote about me titled Mother of Dragons), to perform, was my quest. Growing up persecuted for being Metal in a country where Metal is outlawed takes a lot of courage to stand up to. Young people suffer arrest and even worse for wearing Metal gear, and for playing or even listening to Metal music. These peops really have to search for their heroes!! We take freedom of music as our right and these kids should be able to also!



Being Metal in the forbidden zone
Turkey has a European side of the country and an Asian side to the country. While there are many ancient beliefs strongly held, there is also a modern day leniency in the country, and this allows the people many of the freedoms humans should be naturally given. And that is why Max and I have travelled there many times, sometimes only with each other and sometimes with the band.

The Mamara Hotel was popping that weekend, I will say! We ran into Gojira, Behemoth, Dark Tranquility, Annihilator, and many others chilling withTurkish coffee, teas, icy beers and chatter. To this we added Dave DeeDevil and his beautiful wife Roya, and Meraj and Anahid MOP, our close friends from Iran. It was a dream both ways...them to hang with us and us to be with them!


Group dinner before the show

Roya and Dave
The show was massive and the camaraderie backstage was infecting us all. Great Turkish cuisine was our friend too! I will admit a giant monsoon hit and the stage and backstage area turned into a mud pit the size of Woodstock, but it can't stop Metal! The brotherhood surrounded us! Fieldy, from KORN, is an old friend, from the Days of Dana, and we hung with him, our brains turning back in time together. The past, the present and the future...it is what you make it! Now have a nice summer! Visit Turkey and support Metal Awareness in the Middle East. Let's protect our brothers and sisters....





Meet and greet stage




Class dismissed.....
*PHOTOS OF ISTANBUL SHOPS, AQUEDUCT AND AUTOGRAPH SESSION ARE COURTESY OF AGGY CARNOTA*