Melvins, Napalm Death and Melt Banana Announce Tour Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 2nd, 2015 by JJ Koczan

melvins

You know who really likes the Melvins? Everybody. Also everybody’s mom. So it’s little surprise that the news that the now-even-longer-running heavy rock weirdos should team up with Napalm Death and Melt Banana for a cross-country jaunt next spring should be well received. At least I’m not surprised. Are you? They’re so wacky!

The Melvins‘ latest offering is a film chronicling their 51-day tour of all the US states and Washington D.C., and it’s out now on Ipecac. Off to the PR wire for more:

melvins napalm death melt banana

THE MELVINS AND NAPALM DEATH TEAM UP FOR SAVAGE IMPERIAL DEATH MARCH TOUR IN 2016; MELT BANANA OPENS

THE MELVINS’ ACROSS THE USA 51 DAYS: THE MOVIE! AVAILABLE NOW

Napalm Death and the Melvins join forces for the Savage Imperial Death March Tour, a six-week Spring trek that that kicks off on March 26 at The Marquee in Phoenix, Ariz.

“We have been talking about doing a tour like this for a long time so we are thrilled it’s finally happening,” says Napalm Death bass player Shane Embury. “Having been long time fans and friends of the Melvins we are very happy to be embarking on this six-week tour of musical madness with them and Melt Banana. Expect the unexpected!”

Melvins’ singer/guitar player Buzz Osborne added: “Napalm Death sounds like a gorilla on LSD firing a machine gun… and I mean that in a good way. We’re happy to be heading out with the ultimate grindcore pioneers.”

This isn’t the first time the two bands have collaborated. In 2004, Buzz Osborne, Shane Embury and Danny Herrera played together in Venomous Concept, with their debut release (Retroactive Abortion) coming out via Ipecac Recordings.

The Melvins released Across The USA in 51 Days: The Movie! on Friday. The DVD release, filmed by the band and crew during their 2012 attempt to break the record for the fastest tour of the United States (plus DC), dedicates one minute to each state (and district) along the ambitious outing. 

Savage Imperial Death March Tour dates (tickets for all shows are on-sale this Friday, Dec. 4):

March 26 Phoenix, AZ The Marquee
March 28 Albuquerque, NM Sunshine Theater
March 30 Dallas, TX Trees
March 31 Austin, TX The Mohawk
April 1 Houston, TX Fitzgerald’s
April 2 New Orleans, LA One Eyed Jacks
April 3 Birmingham, AL Iron City
April 4 Pensacola, FL Vinyl Music Hall
April 5 Tallahassee, FL Sidebar Theater
April 7 Ft. Lauderdale, FL The Culture Room
April 8 Orlando, FL The Plaza Live
April 9 Tampa, FL The Orpheum
April 10 Atlanta, GA The Masquerade
April 12 Washington, DC 930 Club
April 13 Philadelphia, PA Underground Arts
April 14 Brooklyn, NY Music Hall of Williamsburg
April 15 New York, NY Webster Hall
April 16 Boston, MA Paradise Rock Club
April 17 Montreal, QC Club Soda
April 19 Toronto, ON The Opera House
April 20 Detroit, MI Majestic Theatre
April 21 Cleveland, OH Agora Ballroom
April 22 Chicago, IL The Metro
April 23 Milwaukee, WI The Rave II (Downstairs)
April 24 Minneapolis, MN First Avenue
April 25 Omaha, NE The Waiting Room
April 27 Denver, CO Ogden Theatre
April 29 Salt Lake City, UT Urban Lounge
May 1 Seattle, WA The Showbox
May 2 Vancouver, BC The Venue
May 3 Portland, OR Roseland Theater
May 5 San Francisco, CA Slim’s
May 6 San Francisco, CA Slim’s
May 7 Los Angeles, CA The Troubadour
May 8 Los Angeles, CA The Troubadour

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Melvins, Across the USA in 51 Days clip

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The Obelisk Questionnaire: Lee Dorrian

Posted in Questionnaire on July 1st, 2015 by JJ Koczan

lee dorrian

There is not much one might do in doom or metal in general that Lee Dorrian hasn’t done. From getting his start at the beginnings of grindcore with Napalm Death to forming the massively influential Cathedral to fostering and continuing to develop an underground rock aesthetic few can predict or match with Rise Above Records — giving bands like Orange GoblinWitchcraftNaevusRevelation and Electric Wizard a home in their early stages — his work over the better part of the last 30 years has not only resulted in badass records like Cathedral‘s 1991 debut, Forest of Equilibrium, or the 2002 Rampton album from the one-off project Teeth of Lions Rule the Divine with members of SunnO))) and Iron Monkey, but has actively played a role in reshaping what we think of as heavy. An inimitable stage presence, Dorrian put Cathedral to rest in 2013 after the release of The Last Spire (review here), but he continues his forward-thinking work with Rise Above, releasing landmark works from the likes of Ghost and Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats as well as potential doom-shapers like Lucifer.

This week, Cathedral reissues their first demo, 1990’s In Memoriam, complete with bonus live material, and I’m thrilled to be able to have Dorrian provide his answers to The Obelisk Questionnaire to mark the occasion:

The Obelisk Questionnaire: Lee Dorrian

How did you come to do what you do?

Just from being a fan of music since I was a little kid. From a very early age I was fascinated by not only the music, but also the lifestyle and culture surrounding it. In my early teens I started doing a fanzine, this led me to booking shows in local pubs and venues when I was sixteen. This in turn led me to joining my first ever band, which was Napalm Death and it went from there.

Describe your first musical memory.

I have memories of listening to records with my dad when I was about four years old. In particular, I remember him playing Beach Boys over and over but I also remember rocking out in the living room with him to Slade around the same time. Also, one very vivid memory from around this time was continually playing the Small Faces single on Immediate Records called “Itchycoo Park.” For some reason it had a blue ink stain on the black and white labels and I used to watch it going round and round, whilst the sound effects on the track would make me dizzy, haha. It was my favourite single when I was a little kid but the first single I actually bought with my own pocket money was “Kung Fu Fighting” by Carl Douglas. After that I got into the Bay City Rollers, then became serious about rock ‘n’ roll and was a Teddy Boy at eight years old! I used to hang around with the older Teds and they showed me the ropes, what to wear, how to dance, etc.

Describe your best musical memory to date.

I guess it was hearing a track off the B-side of Scum on the John Peel radio show. He had been my idol (if that’s the right word), since I was 10/11 years old, so hearing him play a record that I was on was just completely surreal. Then I got to know him a bit, which was just amazing. Nothing I did after that really topped it to be honest.

When was a time when a firmly held belief was tested?

When Cathedral signed to Columbia Records in the US. As anarchist teenager, I said I would never be in a band that signed to a major label. The opportunity came to us, we didn’t chase it, or even desire it. All I can say is, we had some great times as a result but it also fucked everything up.

Where do you feel artistic progression leads?

Genuine artist progression leads to absolute greatness, though it depends on how you interpret it. I’m sure many artists I’ve admired early on, but not liked them so much as they’ve “progressed,” would view their progression differently than I would. I’m sure the same could be said for many people that have listened to some things I may have been involved with over the years: I might think it’s good, they might think it’s crap.

How do you define success?

Doing something you believe in and getting it right artistically. To me that would be more important than selling millions of records.

What is something you have seen that you wish you hadn’t?

Swans a few weeks ago in London. Having said that, the first time I saw them in ‘86 was one of the best shows I have seen in my life.

Describe something you haven’t created yet that you’d like to create.

A planet where only cool people lived.

Something non-musical that you’re looking forward to?

My daughter coming back from vacation!

Cathedral, “Morning of a New Day”

Cathedral on Thee Facebooks

Rise Above Records on Twitter

Rise Above Records

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Roadburn-Exclusive Vinyl from Napalm Death, YOB and Candlemass Now Available

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 28th, 2014 by JJ Koczan

Over the last couple years, the number of Roadburn‘s fest-exclusive releases has been quietly growing. In 2013, one could pick up vinyl from Dread Sovereign and The Obsessed, and this year, no less than the grind royalty of Napalm Death put together an EP. Add to that live records from YOB and Candlemass and you have a bit of a series going. Or Burning World Records has a bit of a series going, anyway.

Today the label has put the word out that they’ve culled all the leftover vinyl and instead of hording it all to themselves, holing up in a corner somewhere with their arms wrapped tightly around Our Pain is Their Power, they’ve decided to make it available to the buying public who maybe didn’t get the chance to pick the stuff up at the fest itself. In addition, Burning World has made Elder‘s Live at Roadburn 2013 — which I’m told has one or two of my photos in the layout — available as a pay-what-you-want download, which if nothing else is generous. Elder‘s on tour now in Europe with Hull, so that ties together nicely.

Burning World sent the following down the PR wire:

Roadburn Festival exclusive vinyl

We managed to get our hands on these exclusive and limited Roadburn Festival 2014 only vinyl releases:

Napalm Death – Our Pain Is Their Power – The Roadburn Festival EP
Yob – The Unreal Never Lived live at Roadburn 2012 2LP
Candlemass – Live At The Marquee 1988 2LP

Free Elder Live at Roadburn download

Download Elder Live At Roadburn 2013 from Bandcamp. As usual with the Roadburn releases this download is free (or more exact ‘pay what you want’). If you need more you can pre-order the album on cd (in digipack with artwork) here (vinyl is sold out, get it on tour with the band).

http://burningworldrecords.com/
http://burningworldrecords.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/officialnapalmdeath
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Yob/36708497970
https://www.facebook.com/candlemass

Elder, Live at Roadburn 2013

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Roadburn 2014 Day One: “So Much Still Lingers…”

Posted in Features, Reviews on April 10th, 2014 by JJ Koczan

04.11.14 — 00:08 — Thursday night/Friday morning — Hotel Mercure, Tilburg

This afternoon and this morning both seem like a really, really long time ago. I got asked a few times today when I got into town and I couldn’t seem to remember. 2009 maybe? Breakfast was two double-double espressos. Dinner was a protein bar and two bottles of water, some ibuprofen. No time for anything else. It’s Roadburn. There are places to be.

After much vigorous folding of the Weirdo Canyon Dispatch issues — I was handed one when I walked into the venue this afternoon, which was a cool feeling — I went downstairs from the 013 office to check out Sourvein‘s soundcheck and found their “Dirty South” had gotten a little northern flair thanks to the addition of Halfway to Gone‘s Lou Gorra on bass. When they were done, I went up to Stage01 to watch Hull get their sounds and was treated to a preview of “Fire Vein,” about which I had no complaints. They’d be my first two bands of the day, in that order, so it was like I was getting ahead of myself. Which is fitting for how completely out of time the entire day seemed.

If I’m not mistaken, and I’m pretty sure I’m not, Sourvein is a completely different lineup, Gorra included, than played here in 2011. The one constant, of course, is vocalist T-Roy Medlin. To his credit, no matter who he seems to bring aboard in the band — people come, people go — it always sounds like Sourvein. You’d think after a while a polka player would slip in unnoticed or something, but their Southern sludge has seen no diminishing of its aggressive potency over the years. One imagines if that happened, whoever was responsible wouldn’t be in the band long. They grooved angry and gave the fest a wake up call from which it didn’t look back.

Knowing that Hull were playing Stage01, I made sure to get there early, as in by like half an hour. Say what you want for the practicality, the same thing did me no good later on trying to get up front for Conan at Het Patronaat. Sometimes you need to show up and wait if you want a place up front. Pretty much every time, actually. I was hoping for some new stuff from Hull — who are on tour in Europe with Boston’s Elder, also Roadburn veterans — but cuts from 2011’s Beyond the Lightless Sky (review here) like “False Priest” and “Earth from Water” were hardly time wasted, and both the old-made-new-again “Legend of the Swamp Goat” and “Architect” from 2009’s Sole Lord were right on, as was the extended closer, “Viking Funeral,” which shook the floor with volume that seemed ready for it to be later in the day than it was.

I didn’t hear the Beastmilk album, but I certainly heard a lot about the Beastmilk album, so I thought I’d check out their set, what with Hexvessel‘s Mat McNerney fronting the band. McNerney brought a good deal of Joy Division-style drama to songs like “Void Mother” and “You are Now Under Your Control,” and the music behind him was probably what someone will step up and call neo-goth in a few years if they haven’t yet, mining the moodiness of late ’80s dark rock and presenting it in a we-could-be-playing-black-metal-if-we-wanted-to context. Fair enough, but with Samothrace going on at Het Patronaat across the street, I wasn’t sticking around all that long.

Merch is outside this year, which is different from at least the previous five Roadburns. I stopped myself at a copy of the second Rotor CD and Monster Magnet‘s Love Monster. I didn’t buy the gatefold version of Colour Haze‘s All, or any of this year’s Roadburn exclusives. It was the first money I’ve spent since I got to Europe, and it was 22 of the 70 euro I had in my wallet left over from the 2013 fest. My unemployed ass was as sparing as it could be en route to Het Patronaat.

For Samothrace, I wound up standing in front of one of the house P.A. stacks near the side of the stage, and needless to say, I didn’t stay there long, as the throb of Joe Axler‘s kick drum felt like the pedal was hooked up to my rib cage. I had been looking forward to seeing them, since 2012’s Reverence to Stone was so killer and I missed them on their East Coast tour supporting it, and they justified my anticipation, both in tonal weight and atmosphere, the latter which it’s easy to overlook in their sound because the rest of the time they’re so damn heavy, but which ultimately made both the record and their set stand out from the rest of the day, guitarists Renata Castagna and Brian Spinks taking time to space out in a way that presaged some of what I’d catch later with Mühr at the Cul de Sac, Spinks furthering the dynamic with assorted screams and growls. Was glad to finally see them play and witness their shifts between tumbling lurch and excruciating crawls for myself. It seemed overdue. And oh yeah, then Napalm Death played.

More than several years have passed since the last time I caught a Napalm Death show, and while Roadburn 2014 seems an odd fit for the British grindcore progenitors — vocalist Mark “Barney” Greenway, guitarist Mitch Harris, bassist Shane Embury and drummer Danny Herrera — they tailored their set to the occasion, culling some of their more experimental, less blastbeaten, Swans-y material into something unique for the Main Stage crowd. It must be nice to be in a band for more than 30 years and still have the drive to change things up, and seeing them do so only furthered my opinion that they should tour in art galleries exclusively. Five or six bands formed and started writing songs while Napalm Death were still on stage — that’s how influential they are. They’ll never have the same kind of reputation for experimental rock as for grind, but their lead-in for Corrections House wound up as one of the smoothest transitions of the day, both bands having industrial elements at work.

In the case of Corrections House, those come courtesy of beats delivered via laptop from Sanford Parker, who took the stage first as he did when I saw them in Brooklyn early in 2013 (review here). Whether it’s Parker, who was in Buried at Sea, Yakuza‘s Bruce Lamont, Scott Kelly of Neurosis and Eyehategod vocalist Mike IX Williams, it’s hard separating the members of Corrections House from what they’ve brought to and done in their other bands, though Lamont‘s sax, played to lower end to cover where a bass might otherwise be, definitely had an appeal distinct from that in his main outfit. Their debut album, Last City Zero, came out last year and I didn’t give it enough time. Watching them play was my punishment for not knowing the songs better than I did, and I’d have stayed longer, but Philly’s Nothing were just finished at Het Patronaat and I wasn’t about to miss the start of Conan.

Seemed to me that 25 minutes before their set started would be plenty of time to get front and center. It was not. Not only were there people already up front when I got there, but they were already shouting requests at the UK trio, whose 2014 outing, Blood Eagle (review here), I consider one of the year’s best records, and who had a new bassist in the form of Chris Fielding, known perhaps best as the recording engineer who’s done their studio stuff and worked with Electric Wizard, Undersmile, and many others in the UK’s fertile scene. That was something of a surprise, as I hadn’t known he joined the band with Jon Paul Davis (guitar/vocals) and Paul O’Neil (drums), but he fit in well with the destructive path beaten out by “Crown of Talons,” which made for an ultra-doomed opening statement.

Conan were one of my gotta-see bands for the day, and their set at Het Patronaat with the line of people waiting to get in running most of the way back to the door from the 013 only emphasized how far they’ve come in the two years since they played Stage01 at Roadburn 2012. One expects utter dominance from them and they did not disappoint. Still, they were one of my gotta-see bands, and the other happened to be Amsterdam space-doomers Mühr, whose slot overlapped at Cul de Sac. They were not the highest-profile act on the bill, but I only watched one complete set today, and it was Mühr doing “Messiah” from their 2013 single-song full-length of the same name (review here). With ambience heavier than many bands at their most crushing, seeing Mühr, which seemed unlikely from the start, was a highlight of what was by then a long stretch.

You could almost call what they do post-metal, but for the fact that where a lot post-metal comes across as claustrophobic, Mühr make efforts to sound as expansive as possible. Their psychedelic, cosmic droning was rich in tone and righteously loud, vocals sparse, but a presence, the whole five-piece lit mostly by candles set up in front and to the sides of the stage. It was something I’d probably only ever see at Roadburn, and when they were done and left the stage one at a time after an extended wash of feedback and effects noise, they came back out to take a well-earned bow before still-cheering crowd. I was so into it it was silly, and I know already that the ability to say I saw Mühr live is among the things I’ll be most grateful to carry with me in a few days when I leave Tilburg.

There were so many bands I missed today. There always are. You can’t see everything. I got back to the Main Stage in time to catch Crowbar doing “All I Had I Gave,” “Planets Collide” and “The Cemetery Angels” and had every intent of sticking around to see Freedom Hawk close out in the Green Room, but the weight of needing to write and the thought of getting up for more Weirdo Canyon Dispatch work in the morning got the better of me. Not the first time that’s ever happened, at least as regards the former.

Tomorrow is Mikael Åkerfeldt‘s curated day. Only Day Two which feels odd for how immediately immersed in the vibe of Roadburn I and seemingly everybody else was by when afternoon became evening. If you told me we’d been here two or three days already, I’d believe it, but maybe lack of sleep is a factor there as well. All the more reason to nod.

More pics after the jump. Thanks for reading.

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