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HELLYEAH Release First New Track “333” Off Upcoming Album With Late Vinnie Paul’s Final Recordings

HELLYEAH Release First New Track “333” Off Upcoming Album With Late Vinnie Paul’s Final Recordings

Hard rock stalwarts HELLYEAH digitally release first track “333,” from their eagerly anticipated new album featuring the late Vinnie Paul Abbott’s final recordings via Eleven Seven Music Group HERE.  Early album pre-orders with classic merch are available HERE.

“Vinnie originally came up with the idea for 333,” said singer Chad Gray. “A lot of people may think Vinnie was just a drummer, but he was much more than just a badass, slamming, smashing drummer. He understood production and composition and he was very much a contributor to the writing process. This song was his baby; it belonged to and came from him. Unfortunately, by the time I was ready to actually write the lyrics, it was after Vinnie had passed. The lyrics embrace and recognize the feelings that most metal fans have. Being treated like outcasts and being judged for the way we look or dress. It’s a reminder to all the metal fans that no matter what, you will always have a place in our worldwide metal community. With that said…Welcome to the family! We’re all the root of half evil reppin’ 333!”

Gray continues, “I love 333 and what it represents — being half evil. It was a part of Dime (Darrell Abbott) and (brother) Vinnie before HELLYEAH was formed and very much became a part of HELLYEAH as we carried the torch for Dimebag. They were both so accepting of me and many others, and they taught us to treat people with respect, dignity and humility.”

HELLYEAH will perform a one-night-only special concert Celebrating the Life and legacy of Vinnie Paul, at the House of Blues in Las Vegas, NV on Saturday, May 11.  The band and Live Nation will donate a portion of each ticket to the American Heart Association, in honor of Vinnie Paul.Limited amount of tickets can be purchased at: https://livemu.sc/2UouEnW.

HELLYEAH was formed in 2006 by Pantera founder/drummer Vinnie Paul, singer Chad Gray (Mudvayne) and guitarist Tom Maxwell (Nothingface) with bassist Kyle Sanders (Bloodsimple) and guitarist Christian Brady who joined in 2014. The band has released five albums, culminating in the #2 Hard Rock album release UNDEN!ABLE in June 2016. Their final album with Vinnie Paul is slated for release this summer.

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Walk Through Exits Only: Philip H. Anselmo On Solo Album, Horror Fest & More!

Walk Through Exits Only: Philip H. Anselmo On Solo Album, Horror Fest & More!

phil-anselmo-feature-2013

Love him or hate him, there is no denying Philip H. Anselmo remains one of metal’s most innovative and polarizing figures. Hailing from New Orleans, La., he has spent the better part of two decades establishing himself as one of rock’s most notorious and charismatic frontman. His work with Pantera, Down and Superjoint Ritual has gone onto not only shape, but continue to fuel the genre of heavy music. His contributions to metal are undeniable and his creative fire burns as hot as it ever did. In 2013, the legendary frontman finds himself on a solo mission with the release of Walk Through Exits Only, on July 16 via his own Housecore Records (MRI/Megaforce). Produced by Philip Anselmo and Michael Thompson, and recorded over the past couple of years at his New Orleans studio, Nodferatu’s Lair, with his band The Illegals – Marzi Montazeri/guitar, and drummer Jose Manuel “Blue” Gonzales, ‘Walk Through Exits Only’ is abrasive, aggressive, anthemic and 100% Anselmo.  The album’s eight songs are as unstrained as it gets, from “Battalion of Zero” to “Usurper’s Bastard Rant,” to the album’s title track that goes against the grain and right through the exits.  Brash, brutal guitars cut through punishing percussion as Anselmo screams with uncompromising ferocity and uncontainable fire. On ‘Walk Through Exits Only’ and over his entire career, Anselmo hasn’t just paved his own path, he’s bulldozed it with his bare hands.Jason Price of Icon Vs. Icon recently sat down with Philip H. Anselmo to discuss the creation of ‘Walk Through Exits Only,” the challenges involved in bringing it to life, the highly anticipated arrival of his Housecore Horror Film Festival and more!

We spoke a few years back around the time of the ‘Cowboys From Hell’ re-release. Back then you promised your solo album would be vicious and you certainly delivered on that promise! Thanks for that!

Oh, cool man! No problem!

When you decided to set a course for a solo release, did you ever have any reservations about doing so?

Philip H. Anselmo

Philip H. Anselmo

Reservations? No, not at all. No, no, no, no. I’ll tell you, it started with me, an electric guitar, an amplifier and a recording apparatus. I sat down and honestly, man, the shit just came pouring out of me because I was very focused on the task at hand. I guess, if I feel inspired to do something and I have the focus to do it and the idea in my head to actually do it, it happens. Really, I built these songs from the ground up. Eventually, I taught the stuff from the ground up and found the right musicians. Really, the rest is somewhat recent history but it is history nonetheless. It was a very interesting experience, man. It was certainly rewarding because I did get the record I wanted. I wanted this record to be an ugly record and a tough record to categorize in today’s climate of extreme music and whatnot. There were definitely mission accomplished type points for me. As far as people liking it or digging on it, that is completely up to them and I can’t control how people feel. With DOWN, for instance, we have an established audience, so when I write music, I am absolutely, 100% writing for DOWN. I am not worried at all about gaining or winning over new fans or anything like that, so it has been awhile since I have had to, I guess, reinvent myself and reinvent something very dear to my heart, which is extreme underground music. It is brand new, it is just getting around and it will take some time and eventually we will see where it all sits. As of right now, I have no complaints or regrets.

Was there something that made you feel now was the right time for a solo release?

For me, everything happens so organically. Put it this way, if someone leans on me and says “Phil, you have got to put out this record tomorrow.,” I would probably shy away from it. I just got the notion and not to be ridiculous here, I got the notion and I set myself in motion! [laughs] How do you like that! [laughs] Oh God, that is pretty cheesy.

phil-anselmo-solo-2013

Brace Yourself!

The title of the album is “Walk Through Exits Only.” What can you tell us about the title and what it means to you personally?

That is a good question there. For me, the “Walk Through Exits Only” moniker really came from the song itself and it was just a powerful line in a song. Even when I write the song, I wasn’t positive what to call it but it was something that kept sticking in my heart. It is a pretty powerful line which could mean a thousand different things to a thousand different people. Eventually, that is why I used it as the title of the record. There is no specific meaning, so to speak, because it does mean so many fuckin’ different things to me. I am not going to spoon feed the freakin’ listener like “This is exactly what you are supposed to think.” I want people to do a little thinking on their own and take these lyrics, take these song titles and the album titles and somehow fit it in to their own curriculum, logic and sense to where they can fit it in their own lives.

I wanted to talk a bit about the songwriting process for this record. Did you approach the writing process in a different way for your solo material than you write for other projects?

You know what? I actually did. I would say normally, 98% of the time, it would be music first lyrics second. On this record, especially rhythmically, I find in any language and any sentence structure, there is a certain rhythm that goes along with it. If I had a line in mind, whether it made it on the record or not, if I had a sentence in mind, I would build certain riffs around the rhythm of the flow of the language. That is, to me, a bit of a different thing than I am used to doing and something I really hadn’t done much of in the past. There is a good 30% to 40% of “Walk Through Exits Only,” as far as song structure goes, that I really built from the cadence of the English language. It is a very different approach for me.

phil-anselmo-2013-2

Tell us a little bit about the collaborative process for this record with your production team.

Like I said, everything started from the ground up here at Nosferatu’s Lair, the studio where DOWN records and where I have done several albums. My engineer is Stephen “The Big Fella” Berrigan. He and I have worked together on the last several Housecore Records releases. Steve has been with me since I started demoing the solo record. Anyway, once we felt like we were cohesive enough as a band, we tracked here at The Lair. Mike Thompson, who also co-produced the last DOWN EP, he and I got along really well during the process of creating EP. We really got along really well and developed a great relationship in the studio. Mike is a tremendous suggestion maker. He is very easy to translate your vision to. I can translate my vision to him very, very well. I wanted an ugly, rhythmically heavy sounding record and we got that! Mike is dynamite to work with and is a very smart guy in an old school way when it comes to the studio. Once again, there is a great relationship there.

What was the biggest challenging in building these songs from the ground up and bringing the album to life?

Philip H. Anselmo

Philip H. Anselmo

You know, when you are fucking with time signatures and fucking with song structure in general, to come out with something that is relatively original or at least in my opinion original, is a challenge. I guess teaching a drummer would be the most challenging thing because I did not want speed for the sake of speed. I didn’t want double bass for the sake of double kicks. I wanted things to be rhythmic bursts that created their own style of high intensity feel instead of just playing a million miles an hour because we could do that. My drummer is very capable of doing that but my drummer is really young. When he started working with us after being in WARBEAST for a very long time. WARBEAST is really where the type of 4/4 thrash that he came from and learned from. He is a kid who grew up on 4/4 thrash and 4/4 death metal, so when you start throwing in 3/7 and 3/5 time signatures at him, it takes a little while. I am lucky enough to where he is what I would call an ambidextrous drummer. It is almost like he can do exactly what he can do with his feet with his hands. Not a lot of drummers can do that! That was a luxury right there but to break him out of the mold and get him to really bite down and play these songs with the utmost confidence is a learning process for anybody. I think the toughest part was drums and getting them as solid as possible from the ground up.

Obviously, this is a very personal record for you. Where are you looking to for inspiration for this album?

I wanted to make a record that was as extreme as the most highly respected forms of extreme heavy metal, like black metal or death metal but I didn’t want to even come close to those topics really because it has been done so many fuckin’ times before. Don’t get me wrong, black metal’s cornerstone bands that lead the way and they have bands that are very innovative and trying to do something different within the genres and sub-genres of black metal. Death metal, you definitely have a preconceived notion of what those lyrics might be like. The more real I could be lyrically, even if it was a lyric that didn’t necessarily mean one thing, the more down-to-Earth it came across the better it was for me in general. I wanted to make a record that was lyrically realistic, if that makes sense — more realistic to anybody’s real-life experience instead of ideology, nationalism, gore or even H.P. Lovecraft worship. Don’t get me wrong, I am an H.P. Lovecraft worshipping fool! It’s just been done before.I wanted to make something that was very organic, down-to-earth and mix that stuff with sarcasm and tongue-in-cheek type of shit, which is a big part of my life. My sense of humor is whacky! There are a lot of parts on the record where I am laughing at myself, which at my age, you fuckin’ better learn to laugh at yourself or you’re in big fuckin’ trouble! [laughs] So, ya know, man… I just wanted to be as real as possible. Fuck!

phil-anselmo-2013-6

Speaking of being real, the last time we spoke you had just started working on putting together your autobiography. You have been working with Corey Mitchell on that project. What has the experience been like for you and where are you in the process?

Philip H. Anselmo

Philip H. Anselmo

Baby steps still. I still don’t think with everything that has cropped up and popped up in the last nine months to a year, when am I really going to have time to sit down and grind this motherfucker out? Honestly, I will probably be working on this book all the way through December into the next year. It is going to be a grind. I still think we are not even near being close to being close. For me, it is a little nerve-racking and I hate to use the word hesitant but that word is a true reality for me, so I am no going to hide it. No worries! It will get done but right now, it has almost been put on the back burner because of the DOWN touring cycle just coming to an end and the solo record is just taking off. I have some touring to do with that and then we have the horror convention in October. Obviously, or maybe not so obviously, in November, I have some heads down DOWN writing to do for the next EP. It is going to be a lot of cram work and sleepless nights but you know what? That is why I am here for God’s sakes. I am the type of guy who if he sits around and does nothing for long enough, I will start feeling guilty. I guess I won;t be feeling so guilty in the next few months! I will be working my lil’ ol’ balls off!

What is a typical day like for you when you aren’t in writing or touring mode these days?

These days it is a whole lot of this — talking and doing interviews with awesome fuckers like yourself and making sure this machine over here at Housecore Records works. That is always a fuckin’ challenge. Then there is always the physical aspect of everything, ya know? It is keeping in shape, hitting the fuckin’ bag and sweatin’ it out in this crazy hot weather down here. It is always something man. If it is relaxation time, I am an absolute sucker for horror films whether they are modern, old or very old! I am always watching horror films or listening to music. I’m a nerd, man! [laughs] I love music, horror films and boxing! I still have to watch my boxing matches, so nothing has changed!

Speaking of your love of horror, you have been very busy planning the Housecore Horror Film Festival. The lineup is terrific and it could certainly grow to be an annual event! What do you expect from it?

Taking Horror Conventions To The Next Level!

Taking Horror Cons To A Whole New Level!

Bite your tongue, young man! Don’t say annual yet! [laughs] I need to make it through this first one first! It started out as a small idea. It was Corey Mitchell who came to the house for the first time and was looking at all of the horror memorabilia, framed posters and all the other shit. Of course, I had to show off my collection and he was like “Jesus Fuckin’ Christ!” Off-handedly, he mentioned throwing a horror festival. I am sure I was occupied with something else at the time and said “Oh, yeah. Sure.” The next thing you know, it is a reality. He said “What do you think about bands playing?” I said “I guess that would be cool and we could have Housecore bands, New Orleans bands and Dallas/Fort Worth bands play. We’ve got that covered!” The next thing you know, word got out about the festival and so many motherfuckers came out of the woodwork it was insane! A lot of these things, people, directors, bands and whatnot where just too good to believe and pass up! All of a sudden, it was this cavalcade, an avalanche! It was like “Wait a minute! Let’s tone this down a little bit! This is year one and let’s feel it out!” Once again, I am very, very skeptical about using the word annual just yet. I would like to get through year one first. Really, my goal is to make sure, first and foremost, that people who buy their way ticket-wise into the horror fest have fun. I want people to have a blast! I want people to come away from it and say “Man, that was a great event! I want to come again next year!” and I want them to spread the word. That is the most important thing. I guess a very close second is that the people who are helping to facilitate this thing, the bands, the directors and the younger directors who have submitted films and short films, to have a blast as well. I want them to feel rewarded and at home. I want everybody to have a damn great experience! Right now, it is the type of project where you are always working on something logistically. We are working on things logistically right now just to make sure people do have a fantastic time! Only time will tell. It is one of those things where we will have to wait and see but it is only a few months away, so I am looking forward to it. Fuck, man! I hope everyone who comes out to the thing as an absolute blast!

You seem to be in a great place creatively. What would you consider the best part of being Philip H. Anselmo these days?

A True Metal Legend

A True Metal Legend

You know what? I just got back from Europe, where I was invited onstage to sing by Accept, Voivod, Agnostic Front and Slayer on my birthday, along with several other bands. The camaraderie I have with all of these bands I have looked up to all throughout my life and who have been such gigantic influences in my life is amazing. I have said it once and I will say it again, I am just a music nerd. I love music. I love bands. I love the underground in music. Gaining the respect of these bands and having the having the honor of being invited out by so many bands from so many different realms and sub-genres of extreme music and having their respect is a fantastic thing. I also have to add to that, I think somewhere along the line, I have got to say, I have the greatest fans in the world! Whether they are Pantera fans, Superjoint Ritual fans, DOWN fans or whatever, I feel blessed to have these people who love the music I do, love my attitude and actually have the wherewithal to come up and talk to me. I love meeting people. I love talking to people about music, film or just real-life, it doesn’t matter. I love meeting new people and fans especially! I think the best part about being me is just being a part of this fantastic world of fuckin’ music. There are so many different characters out there, whether you are a fan or in a band. To have that respect and to be that close to the people means the fuckin’ world to me, man. I can’t stress that enough! I really can’t!

Thanks again for your time today, Philip. We look forward to spreading the good word on the record and everything else you have in the works!

Thank you, my brother! Talk to you soon, man.

Get all the latest news on The Housecore Horror Film Festival at www.housecorehorrorfilmfestival.com. Catch Philip H. Anselmo and The Illegals on tour – View the tour dates here!

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Philip H. Anselmo: New Track From ‘Walk Through Exits Only’ Now Streaming

Philip H. Anselmo: New Track From ‘Walk Through Exits Only’ Now Streaming

An Epic Upcoming Release!

An Epic Upcoming Release!

“Walk Through Exits Only,” the title track from Philip Anselmo‘s upcoming solo album, due out July 16 on his own Housecore label, is making its premiere today at Loudwire.com

Produced by Philip Anselmo and Michael Thompson, and recorded over the past couple of years at his New Orleans studio, Nodferatu’s Lair, with his band The Illegals – Marzi Montazeri/guitar, and drummer Jose Manuel “Blue” Gonzales, Walk Through Exits Only is abrasive, aggressive, anthemic and 100% Anselmo.  The album’s eight songs are as unstrained as it gets, from “Battalion of Zero” to “Usurper’s Bastard Rant,” to the album’s title track that goes against the grain and right through the exits.  Brash, brutal guitars cut through punishing percussion as Anselmo screams with uncompromising ferocity and uncontainable fire.

Anselmo will take to the road for his first-ever solo tour, “Technicians of Distortion,” which will kick off July 31 in Tulsa, OK.  On this tour, Anselmo will be joined by The Illegals – Montazeri, Jose Manual Gonzalez on drums, and bassist Steve Taylor.  Dates are below.

JULY

31     Cain’s Ballroom, Tulsa, OK

AUGUST

2     Wooly’s, Des Moines, IA

3     First Avenue, Minneapolis, MN

4     House of Blues, Chicago, IL

6     House of Blues, Cleveland, OH

7     The Intersection, Grand Rapids, MI

9     Royal Oak Music Theatre, Royal Oak, MI

10    Danforth Music Hall, Toronto, ONT Canada

11    Heavy MTL Festival, Montreal, QC Canada

13    The Palladium, Worcester, MA

14    Upstate Concert Hall, Clifton Park, NY

16    Best Buy Theatre, New York, NY

17    Union Transfer, Philadelphia, PA

18    The Fillmore, Silver Spring, MD

20    The Masquerade – Heaven Stage, Atlanta, GA

 

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Philip H. Anselmo Announces North American Tour In Support of Powerful Solo Album

Philip H. Anselmo Announces North American Tour In Support of Powerful Solo Album

An Epic Upcoming Release!

An Epic Upcoming Release!

Philip H. Anselmo will take to the road for his first-ever solo tour, “Technicians of Distortion,” which will kick off July 31 in Tulsa, OK.  On this tour, Anselmo will be joined by his back up band The Illegals – guitarist Marzi Montazeri, bassist Steve Taylor, and Jose Manual Gonzalez on drums.  Tickets go on sale this Thursday, May 23 – log onto  http://www.thehousecorerecords.com/ > ARTISTS for ticketing information.

Technicians of Distortion is in support of Anselmo’s upcoming solo release, Walk Through Exits Only, due out July 16 (Housecore Records/Megaforce) and will take the group to a total of sixteen important markets over a three-week period.  Warbeast, who are signed to Anselmo’s Housecore Record label and just released their new album Destroy (produced by Anselmo), along with industrial doom and drone metal one-man band Author and Punisher, will provide support on all dates.

“It is an incredible pleasure to do my first solo tour with my brothers in Warbeast and to introduce the mighty Author and Punisher to the Exrteme Music audience properly,” said Anselmo.  “This is a killer program of insane variety, so come out and support the gigs!!!!”

Fans can expect a hard-core, stripped-down production that is focused on a set list that will include all songs on Walk Through Exits Only as well as lots of extras.

With one additional date to be announced, the confirmed itinerary for the Technicians of Distortion tour is as follows:

JULY

31 – Cain’s Ballroom, Tulsa, OK

AUGUST

2 – Wooly’s, Des Moines, IA

3 – First Avenue, Minneapolis, MN

4 – House of Blues, Chicago, IL

6 – House of Blues, Cleveland, OH

7 – The Intersection, Grand Rapids, MI

9 – Royal Oak Music Theatre, Royal Oak, MI

10 – Danforth Music Hall, Toronto, ONT Canada

11 – Heavy MTL Festival, Montreal, QC Canada

13 – The Palladium, Worcester, MA

14 – Upstate Concert Hall, Clifton Park, NY

16 – Best Buy Theatre, New York, NY

17 – Union Transfer, Philadelphia, PA

18 – The Fillmore, Silver Spring, MD

20 – The Masquerade – Heaven Stage, Atlanta, GA

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PHILIP H. ANSELMO: Metal Legend Talks Record Store Day and the Comeback of Vinyl Records

PHILIP H. ANSELMO: Metal Legend Talks Record Store Day and the Comeback of Vinyl Records

An Epic Upcoming Release!

An Epic Upcoming Release!

Earlier this week, Forbes Magazine (Forbes.com) posted an in-depth piece on the comeback of vinyl and Record Store Day, written by Tim Clark. In a time where people are quick to label the current state of the music industry as “failing” or “experiencing a downfall”, Tim Clark points out that the independent record store experience illustrates otherwise.

Down vocalist and Housecore Records CEO Philip H. Anselmo was interviewed for the piece, and gave his personal thoughts on the rise in record store activity and how it supports growth in the music business and community. As one of the leading voices of the recent indie label and independent music takeover, Forbes looked to Anselmo has a voice of authority.

From Forbes piece: “When he was younger, Anselmo used to constantly scour underground record stores and to this day still believes in the vinyl format. “Record Store Day promotes this type of passion of having the actual product in your hand instead of just a download,” said Anselmo. “I love having the full album, art, lyrics and I think vinyl sounds better. And as a label owner, it makes me happy to see that people slowly but surely want to have this tangible copy in their hands instead of a free [expletive] download, which is driving me [expletive] bananas.”

Record Store Day is now celebrated on the third Saturday every April is the one day that all of the independently owned record stores come together with artists to celebrate the art of music. Forbes calls Record Store Day, “an industry phenomenon.”To read the full article, visit this direct location.

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Philip H. Anselmo To Unleash Solo Album, ‘Walk Through Exits Only,’ On July 16th!

Philip H. Anselmo To Unleash Solo Album, ‘Walk Through Exits Only,’ On July 16th!

phil-anselmo-solo-2013

Brace Yourself!

Philip Anselmo, legendary frontman of Pantera and Down, will release his career-first solo album, Walk Through Exits Only, on July 16 via his own Housecore Records (MRI/Megaforce).  Walk Through Exits Only will be available digitally, on CD and on vinyl.

Produced by Philip Anselmo and Michael Thompson, and recorded over the past couple of years at his New Orleans studio, Nodferatu’s Lair, with his band The Illegals – Marzi Montazeri/guitar, and drummer Jose Manuel “Blue” Gonzales, Walk Through Exits Only is abrasive, aggressive, anthemic and 100% Anselmo.  The album’s eight songs are as unstrained as it gets, from “Battalion of Zero” to “Usurper’s Bastard Rant,” to the album’s title track that goes against the grain and right through the exits.  Brash, brutal guitars cut through punishing percussion as Anselmo screams with uncompromising ferocity and uncontainable fire.

“It wasn’t about doing a paint-by-numbers thrash or heavy metal record,” Anselmo explained about the project.  “It’s an angry album that only I could do.  I don’t see anybody else out there screaming about the same shit I’m screaming about.  On this album, there isn’t any wordplay, there isn’t any hidden message, it’s all right there in front of you.”

Anselmo and the Illegals will support the new album with a major North American tour planned for this summer.   Anselmo, who is up for Best Vocalist at this year’s Revolver Golden Gods awards, will make a special appearance at that event.

On Walk Through Exits Only and over his entire career, Anselmo hasn’t just paved his own path, he’s bulldozed it with his bare hands.

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Zakk Wylde To Release ‘Bringing Metal To The Children’ In May 2011!

Zakk Wylde To Release ‘Bringing Metal To The Children’ In May 2011!

William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers today announced plans to release on May 10, 2011 the handbook to all things heavy metal: BRINGING METAL TO THE CHILDREN by Zakk Wylde, guitar legend and Black Label Society frontman. Wylde invites all who dare onto the tour bus for tales of glory, debauchery, and general mayhem. The book is co-authored by Eric Hendrikx.

In BRINGING METAL TO THE CHILDREN, Zakk Wylde, the man who turned heavy metal touring into a journey of fantastical excess, shares what really goes on behind tour bus windows and backstage doors. The twenty-five year music veteran of the Ozzy Osbourne band and Black Label Society details his survival techniques for maintaining a life on the road, managing a band of raging vikings, and somehow making it on stage and blowing the crowd away night after night.

Beginning with Wylde’s “true rocker test” (TRT), the reader answers and self-scores ten questions to determine if he is a true rocker and should continue reading, or if he’s just a complete tool who needs to hand the book to someone more metal. Wylde continues the journey with his epic stories about life on the road, using his Black Label Society (BLS) coaching techniques to instruct the reader on proper touring hygiene, pre-concert preparations, and post-show etiquette. The road stories include wild nights with many of heavy metal’s gods including; Rob Zombie, Eddie Van Halen, Dimebag Darrell, Alice In Chain’s Mike Inez, Skid Row’s Snake Sabo, Metallica’s Lars Ulrich, professional wrestlers Chris Jericho, Bubba Dudley and Stone Cold Steve Austin, UFC Former Light Heavyweight Champion Forrest Griffin and of course the Godfather of heavy metal, Ozzy Osbourne.

BRINGING METAL TO THE CHILDREN also features Wylde’s roadmap for success in the music business, tour planning and exclusive tips for the aspiring “metal musician,” as well as the best methods for surviving a mosh pit and plans for how to set up a shooting range on the tour bus.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS:

In the two decades since Ozzy Osbourne hired him away from his job at a New Jersey gas station, Zakk Wylde has established himself as a guitar icon known and revered the world over.  Wylde has won nearly every guitar award imaginable, graced countless magazine covers and is a major influence to a new battalion of rock guitarists.  Writing and recording with Osbourne led to multi-platinum success, inspiring him to create the now iconic Black Label Society in 1998.  In the decade plus since, BLS has turned the notion of what a rock band should be upside down by inspiring legions of fans (known as Berserkers) all over the world to follow the mantra: Strength, Determination, Merciless, Forever (SDMF for short).  Wylde and his Berserkers have established a heavy metal institution true to the vision of uncompromising, unfiltered and unrestrained rock ‘n’ roll.  To date, Black Label Society has sold more than 3.5 million albums worldwide and continues to be a massive presence on the worldwide touring and merchandising circuits.  Black Label Society’s latest album, ORDER OF THE BLACK, was released in August, 2010 and debuted at #4 on the Billboard Top 200 Album chart.
Writer, photographer, and fellow Berserker Eric Hendrikx is a notable contributor to more than a dozen books including Forrest Griffin’s New York Times bestsellers Got Fight? and Be Ready When the Sh*t Goes Down. A lifelong musician, Hendrikx played guitar in the rock band Snake River Conspiracy and toured with bands including Queensrÿche. He currently lives in Southern California with his son Stone.

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Phil Anselmo Reflects On Two Decades of ‘Cowboys From Hell’ & Much More!

Phil Anselmo Reflects On Two Decades of ‘Cowboys From Hell’ & Much More!

Phil Anselmo is a man who needs little introduction. Hailing from New Orleans, La., he has spent the better part of two decades establishing himself as one of rock’s most notorious and charismatic frontman. His work with Pantera, Down and Superjoint Ritual has gone onto not only shape, but continue to fuel the genre of heavy music. Now, 20 years after Pantera exploded onto the scene and left their undeniable mark, Anselmo and the remaining members of the band are taking a look back at their roots and celebrating a major career milestone. As fresh and releveant as the album still sounds to music fans, it is hard to believe one of rock’s most ferocious albums, ‘Cowboys From Hell,’ is celebrating its 20th anniversary.

Jason Price of Icon Vs. Icon recently sat down with Phil Anselmo to discuss the commemorative re-release and making of that epic album, impact of Dimebag Darrell’s passing, shedding light on the misconceptions that surround him with his upcoming autobiography, and what we can expect from his solo material.

You have influenced so many with your musical projects. I was curious about how music first came into your life?

Oh man! I lived in the French Quarter. My earliest memories of childhood, the first stuff off the top of my skull, I was living in the French Quarter on a really, really busy street. I had really young, young parents. My mom was just into her 20s. Led Zeppelin, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles, King Crimson, all that stuff was shakin’ the floor, man. So it was born into me, so to speak. [laughs]

We all know, as fans, how wild a ride it has been for you through the years. To what do you attribute your longevity?

I get where you are coming from. I think it starts with having a great band around me, if you are talking about my longevity. Pantera was great, man. They were the most incredible musicians that I have ever played with. Great songwriters. I learned a lot from them. It’s making those great records, touring and being visible and I’ve gotta say, on the technical side of things, Pantera changed the way records sound today. We upped the ante on production at the time. That was really based around Dimebag’s guitar sound. He always had a ferocious guitar sound but it was the late ‘80s when we recorded ‘Cowboys From Hell’ and production was at a very strange point in time. The was no Pro Tools and no computer bells and whistles, so we were really recording stuff the real way. It was all based around getting that guitar sound organically, man. We really changed things right there.

Let’s talk about the Pantera reissue of ‘Cowboys From Hell.’ It’s hard to believe that it has been 20 years. How involved with the re-release were you and what can fans expect?

I tell ya what, man. I know it is coming out in a lot of different formats and I have seen ‘The Ultimate Set’ and it is really, really, really kickass! I gotta admit it, man! They dug up old pictures, Rex, Vinnie and myself contributed with some liner notes, some old memories that we had in regards to writing that record, what we were thinking and what was going on, etcetra. The packaging is really killer. I don’t know, for any collector out there and if I were a collector and loved the band that wanted every little thing — I think it would be an awesome thing to have.

Looking back on the making of ‘Cowboys from Hell,’ did you have any idea that the album would have the impact that it has?

Straight up, NO WAY! Heck no.

What was the biggest challenge in making that epic record?

I guess it was like I was saying. To get that guitar sound roaring, because at that time, we had taken over the club scene, Pantera had. Regionally and in Texas, the live shows were insane to say the least. We had that live energy. I think capturing that live energy and that feel and putting it on the record was our main goal as well as our biggest obstacle. If you listen to ‘Cowboys From Hell’ and then to ‘Vulgar Display of Power,’ you can hear our sound evolving slowly, ya know. Especially with Terry Date. Terry Date was a great producer. Without him, there is no way we could have achieved those awesome sounds.

Do you have anything that stands out as a fond memory from that time period?

Well, I mentioned those live shows. We had written 99 percent of that material, anywhere between 1988 and 1989. We recorded in late ‘89. We record ‘Cowboys From Hell,’ I can almost name the date because it was when Mike Tyson got knocked out, lost for the first time to Buster Douglass, I will never forget it. I almost couldn’t finish the record! [laughs] Anyway … what was the question, man?

What was the fondest memory from that time period?

Ohhhh man! I just gave you the worst memory! [laughs] How did that pop out? [laughs] Well, once again, one of my favorite memories from that record is ‘Primal Concrete Sledge’ coming out of nowhere. Vinnie Paul came up with this awesome drum pattern and me and Darell were just staring at each other saying “Man, that is kickass!” He started looking at his guitar and I was like “Come on! Do something! Do something!” The next thing you know, he just starts chugging and everything just fell together! It really did! That was an awesome, awesome thing. It also shows where we were heading mentally. Just to backtrack one second, like I said, most of stuff was written in ‘88-’89. We were moving forward. So once again, I can’t stress enough how ‘Primal Concrete Sledge’ was that springboard in between ‘Cowboys From Hell’ and ‘Vulgar Display of Power.’

Dimebag Darrell and Phil Anselmo

We obviously can’t talk about Pantera without talking about Dimebag Darrell’s untimely passing. It has been five years and you guys are putting together this commemorative release together. It is clear that his death has had a major impact on you. Is it getting any easier for you as time passes?

No. As a matter of fact, in a strange way, you kinda just took the words out of my mouth and asked the right question. No. Every year gets harder. Every year, when the dates roll by it gets harder and this past year has been the hardest year of all. I think initially, the first year, two years … [pauses] I don’t know how long. It was just such a shock. It is very hard to comprehend, but I get it now. I get it now. I understand. Sure, I think about what could be. Yes, I think about Dimebag every day of my life. Every waking day of my life, man. So, no. It doesn’t get any easier.

You have had a love/hate relationship with the “rock media” for years? What are your thoughts on that part of the industry these days and your relationship with it?

Well, honestly it has a whole lot to do with my attitude. I think for many, many, many years I was a wounded animal lashing out. I was making a lot of mistakes with medication, drugs and alcohol. I was just fucking … [pauses] pardon the F-bomb … but I was just fucking out of my mind and I was really lashing out. After major back surgery, and that is a heck of a struggle, to come back from that both physically and mentally, today I am in a much better place. It is like what I give is what I get back. With the press, when I would fly off at the mouth, the press would eat it alive. Good or bad. I learned that lesson a few different times after being suckered into different confrontational things via different articles or different things in magazines and whatnot. Hence my silence after Dimebag’s passing. There was no way I was ready to have a microphone shoved in my face. That is why I shut myself off for a long while. I have had interviewers, not many, I have definitely had a couple that try to wind me up with questions, that are designed to do just that. But hey man, it is tough to fool the ol’ fat now. You can’t fuck … with me.

What is the biggest misconception about yourself?

[sighs] Where do I start?

You have been working on your autobiography. Is that your way of shedding some light on the man behind the person we see in the limelight?

Sure! That is an interesting thing to bring up. Writing a book is a very interesting process because you get to go through and find out for yourself what fueled the man as a youngster and all the little different things that happened in succession where you put one foot in front of the other and the next thing you know, you are doing the 20-year anniversary of your first record, ya know?! So it’s like “How the heck did I get to be 42 years old?!” It’s a hell of a story.

Definitely.

I guess the biggest misconception will be deduced by the people from whatever I put out, because I am going to tell the truth. I’m going to be subjective and I am going to come from the gut and from the heart. Look forward to reading that sucker. I have been working tediously on the thing but I am very particular, so don’t look for it next week or anything, but it’s coming.

Looking back on your career, is there anything you would do again differently if you had the chance?

Well, I get that question every now and again and, I tell ya what, I would have probably kept the partying down until after the show, so that all of the crazy jumping and physical exertion on stage would have been “in check.” I probably would have done some more sit-ups and some more corework … [laughs] and maybe I would have landed it better and maybe I would have made some more decisive decisions while stage diving! Ya know, sometimes that can be into the waiting arms of the crowd or the lovely concrete 7 feet below! [laughs] I have done both! [laughs] I would have been a little more careful there!

There have been rumors of a solo album from you circulating in the fan community. Can you elaborate on that at all and how do you envision a Phil Anselmo solo album sounding?

Well, it’s vicious. I have been in so many different side projects, I like to say that not all of them sound alike. With that being said, there is no way I would want to rehash anything traditional, so to speak. I’m gonna touch on tradition, ya know. Tradition is distorted guitar, drums, bass. But yes, I have been writing new stuff. Yes, it is super motherfuckin’ aggressive. It’s at its beginning points man but I got over 10 things that are close. I can’t give you a timeline, but I think, little by little, I might leak some here or there when it is done. I will just let people take it in how they want but, once again, I know heavy music. I see where heavy music is. I want to take heavy music like a ball of clay and reshape it, if you catch me. Reshape it differently than it has been shaped before. That is where I am at right now.

What is the best piece of advice you would give to aspiring musicians out there who want to make a career in the industry like you have?

Don’t stop. Just be completely dedicated to your instrument, whatever it may be, to your unit of people. Take practice dead serious. Play as many shows as you possibly can with the same lineup of people. Keep an open mind as far as your influences go. Look, I know there are a lot of genre bands out there. That’s fine. If you want to play “Death Vomit Core,” that’s great! Just be the best at it! Keep churnin’! If you want to play pop music, be the best at it. When I say that, it is easy for it to come out of the mouth, but just be prepared mentally and physically to be on that stage and doing your best. 150,000 percent every night.

I know we are a little pressed for time, but is there anything that you want to say to the fans and let them know before I let you go?

Heck yeah! New Arson Anthem coming out October 12th, 2010. Thirty minutes, 17 songs, old school hardcore. I know many people have heard that before but I think this record is awesome! It’s Mike Williams from Eyehategod singing. I play guitar, yes I do! Hank III plays drums and, goddamn, does he play drums! My boy, Colin Yeo, the singer from Pony Killer, plays bass. It is BRUTAL! After that, look for haarp. ‘The Filth’ is the name of the record, out on Housecore Records, which is my record label. Aside from that, I love all of you people out there. Thanks for all of the dedication and all of the kind words. I read them every now and again on the comment boards. I really, really, really love ya. I really love ya, man. I appreciate the support and wish nothing but good for everybody!

Thanks for your time, Phil. We will be spreading the word and will be talking to you again really soon.

Thanks, man. I appreciate the fuck out of it, man! Be cool!

– –

For more information on all of  Phil Anselmo’s projects, check out:

www.housecorerecords.com

www.philanselmo.com

www.down-nola.com

www.pantera.com

Posted in Blog, Celebrity Interviews, Featured Stories, MusicComments (4)

The Iceman Cometh: An Interview with Vanilla Ice

The Iceman Cometh: An Interview with Vanilla Ice

pic_iceAfter surviving his initial success on the pop charts, Vanilla Ice now is rising from the underground and remains a force to be reckoned with. With his past behind him and growing support from an underground fanbase, Vanilla Ice continues to breakdown barriers and live life “Wide Open.” Jason Price of Live-Metal.Net caught up with him at a recent stop at the Bottle N’ Cork in Dewey Beach, Delaware. Rob Van Winkle aka Vanilla Ice opened up about his past, the status of his next album, his relationship with Dimebag Darrell, his hardcore fans and more.

Live-Metal: What is the biggest misconception about Vanilla Ice? 

Vanilla Ice: The biggest misconception was that I was a novelty act because I never was. I write my own music. I produce my own music. When I first came out, the impact was so huge that they crossed it over to the pop market. I didn’t even know what pop music was, man. I was a little 14-year-old breakdancer that made 40 bucks a day spinning on my head. I don’t know anything about it and I just saw money, and they paid me millions of dollars.

I was on tour with The Stop the Violence Tour with Ice-T, Stetsasonic, EPMD and Sir-Mix-A-Lot and I didn’t know anything about pop music because at that time, hip-hop was not pop. So if you could bring it back to those days, radios just did not play hip-hop! So here I am like the guinea pig white boy thrown out there. And at the time, I think there was “New Kids With Snot” was on the charts, or some shit, right? LL Cool J had that slow rap song and Hammer, so we where all hitting that pop thing at the same time. You can see today how artificial it is from the stuff that they have done on American Idol and everything. It is basically karaoke to me. It’s good for TV but is a slap in the face of musicians. So there was a consequence to pay for that. That is when a lot of people figured out how Vanilla Ice was, when it went pop.

But there was a Vanilla Ice for three years before that on a small label out of Atlanta, Ichiban Records, that sold 38.000 copies in three years. So the bigest misconception would be that I was a pop artist when I really never was. I was just used, basically for an image. They changed my image, the record company. The publicists writing stories on you and all that shit and changed the whole entire story, image and look to fit the format. So I went from playing with Ice-T, playing to big all-black audiences to playing huge stadiums to 14-year-old kids with braces! So I was like “Whooooooooooaaa! What  the fuck just happened!” But I accepted it and it’s cool. The crowd was bigger and the money was a lot bigger.

Anybody in my shoes at the time would have done the same thing. Eminem can pretty much use that as a guideline on what to do and what not to do. So I was the guinea pig that went through that and took all the hits and punches for everybody for doing that. Puff Daddy can now go sample his songs and he can be OK with it, but when Vanilla Ice did it was “Ohhhh my gooood, he stole that song!” And that was because I was introducing hip-hop to people for the first time to people’s ears who had never considered listening to it. Yeah, it had been done way before I had done it, but no one had had success. No one had sold 20 million records. I would have licked my mother’s butt back then for a million dollars, anybody would have, so it is hard to speculate if it was the right move or the wrong move because it has ups and it has downs. People now, after the VH1 special, are starting to understand it. Now it is more acceptable. Now you see it more across the board from Rage Against the Machine to everything else, so it is more acceptable. But at the time when I was doing it, it was like there was some unwritten rule that really doesn’t exist but it does in people’s minds that you aren’t allowed to do that. Just like a rapper isn’t allowed to go make rock-rap or rock-country, you’re not allowed to fuse these together, just back then it wasn’t allowed. Now you got everything across the board and it is totally fine and if it sounds good, it’s good and that is basically the way it should be. It shouldn’t be about gimmicks. It shouldn’t be about image. And that is what took over with me, the image and the gimmicks and shit. I got caught up in it and it was like a wave that I was riding and I couldn’t get off of it. The thing had to hit the shore and basically for the past few years, I had a weekend that lasted a few years and during that time I swam out and caught another wave. Now I am doing it my way and enjoying it. It is a learning experience and whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. It’s a true fact!

Your latest release is still pretty fresh. What was the biggest challenge in making Platinum Underground?

Challenge, there was no challenge really. I don’t look at challenges. I just look at adventure. I look at it like an adventure. Making a record is an ultimate thing and you enjoy it. I don’t have any pressure over my shoulder saying, “You better make a song that is three and a half minutes long or they won’t play it on the radio.” [laughs] I don’t make radio-friendly music anymore. I totally make music not to be played on radio anymore basically because I don’t need radio. I sell millions of records without radio and without video. I have a clientele built which not many people can do. Not many people can survive without the industry, the network and the radio and the videos. Basically they would be shooting themselves in the foot. I can do it because I play 100 shows per year and I basically create a clientele, a very loyal following that is not a pop following. These kids are like 16 to 25 and they are aware of  “Ice Ice Baby,” but they are more in tune with what I have been doing lately. They have it all on there iPods. The stuff I did with Korn, the stuff I did with Slipknot and everything like that. They know every word, man. It’s amazing! We can’t pick our crowd, they pick us. They are body pierced, they’re tattooed and they are extremely loyal. There are guys who come out, and they will be here tonight, with Vanilla Ice tattoos all over. There are a bunch of them that will drive 600 to 700 miles just to come see me around the country. I am starting to know them on a first name basis! It is weird at first, but then you meet them and it’s like, “Wow!”

So what I was telling you about the studio. You go in and make this music, you write these words and you do this whole thing, and my stuff is real personal. I got a message through all my shit. I take you on a journey on what has been going on in my life. People find that interesting to the point where it effects their life. There use me as some kind of, not a role model because I am never a role model. That is one thing about back in the day, I never liked being put in that position. I mean, don’t do what I did! [laughs] I am rockstar full blast! and that is not the message you need to send to the kids!  But I never intended to be a role model. I am just a musician. I was put in that position, it was uncomfortable for me and I felt guilty. So the good thing is that it has all been lifted off my shoulders now and I can do whatever the hell I want and it is an adventure.

Going in the studio is an ultimate thing but when people accept it to the point that it effects their life, that is the ultimate high. I am just in the studio doing my thing, making music and it is great and it sounds good to me. But when it crosses over into people’s lives and it effects them to the point where they come out and they tellyou that they owe you their life, this is why they are so loyal. They will be here today and they will be here tomorrow, not like a pop crowd. A pop crowd is like you are in the ninth grade and you like this music, but when you are in the 11th grade you are like, “Your gay! You still listen to that shit, dude! I used to that shit in the ninth grade, dude! You’re not cool no more! Your old school!” [laughs] You know, that is pop music, that’s pop culture. Two years later, you’re done!

Limp Bizkit is the perfect example. Nobody is showing up at Limp Bizkit shows no more. When they were hardcore they had a very loyal following that wasn’t as big and wouldn’t have made them as much money, but they would have been there a lot longer. The ultimate high of music is when it translates. You put it on wax, it comes out and they put it in their ears and you are communicating through the music in a way that effects them and changes their life. It’s amazing!

In your song “Survivor,” you make mention of Dimebag Darrell. I take it you are a fan of his work?

Definitely.

vanillaice-713649How did you get into him originally? 

Well we are both from Dallas, Texas, first of all. I knew him very well. Bobzilla the bass player that was on stage with him was my bass player for the whole Hard To Swallow project. The guy took some shots at him, one to the right and one to the left. The guy aimed right at him and missed him. He says he doesn’t know how, but it was like slow motion, one bullet went on the right and one bullet went on the left and he dropped his bass and jumped off the stage. He jumped back on stage, went up and saw Darrell and vomited. It was crazy.

So they are all from Dallas and Dallas doesn’t have a lot of famous people coming from there, so we all know each other. We all know and respect each other. If you have success coming from Dallas, Dallas is very loyal. It is a very big city with six million people, a huge, huge city because Dallas and Fort Worth grew together, but it’s got a small town mentality where everybody knows everybody. It’s not like Florida. I lived in Florida 20 years, I am a Miami kid. In Texas, it is like, “Oh yeah, I grew up right down the street! I know your grandmother and your mother!” Everybody knows everybody. So it was a heartfelt moment when that guy did that. That is a freak accident. I still get goosebumps over that and I don’t even understand why. It was a fluke and hopefully an isolated incident. But fuck, what a loss man. What a fucking loss. There are psychopaths out their man.

Have you started working on your next album? 

I have actually. I have got two songs finished. I am doing an album with ICP [Insane Clown Posse]. It’s going to be a very underground, hip-hop, punk record. Something different! I always try to keep it interesting when I do something. I get bored with music quick, so I don’t want to do the same thing I did on the last record. I can do that all day long, but I don’t enjoy it. I want so if I can’t come up with something that sounds different, so that it is more interesting to me, so that I can enjoy the adventure. It has to please me first. If it doesn’t please me then I am gonna flip the script and scratch it off and go in with a fresh head and start over again and do something different.

Do you have a title for the album you are doing with ICP yet? 

No, I don’t have a title for that yet. I do have two songs pretty much finished. One is called “Holy War.” It’s got a lot of messages in it about what is going on in the world today, so it is pretty worldly. I am a worldly person because I have been out there. I have played Iraq. I have played Afghanistan, dude! I have played everywhere from Koalalampour to Egypt, all the Muslim countries. They go crazy! They love me over there. It is an amazing thing that a musician, even though I am American, they don’t tie the American thing to me. I go over there and they love me, they freak out. There were 50,000 people at this United Arab Emirates concert and they were all full blown Muslims yellin’, “Iccccce… Vanilla Ice Ice Baby!!!!” And they are going off man! Why can’t we just translate that to our countries, ya know? Why can musicians have this unwritten law that they can go out and be loved from wherever they are from and their country doesn’t attach to them. It’s really weird, but the album has a message about all that shit in it.

Is there just one message that you want people to walk away with? 

No, there is not just one message at all through all my music. It all just ties in together. Each time I go in and make a song I don’t have a plan. I don’t go in thinking, “OK, I am going to make this type of song.” A lot of people do, I don’t. I walk in there and if I am working with Wu Tang Clan or Slipknot, I just say. “Hey man, let’s just come up with something right now. Let’s just fuckin’ scratch.” When we are in The Dungeon like before and we are all hungry and we want to make some killer music. Let’s not think about influences like radio or influences like saying “fuck” or “shit” or advocating the use of marijuana. Let’s not worry about anything except making a killer song that we would all like! Then it is just like everything is released off your shoulders and all your creative shit flows and it’s fuckin’ awesome. It’s an awesome adventure and I live for that moment!

As far as your live show, for people who have seen that, how would you describe it? 

Unpredictable! [laughs] Yeah, it is very unpredictable! We get chaotic, man! We enjoy it! That is why I am out here. I mean, financially, I have made great investments. I’ve got a mortgage company, real estate investments, I build homes all over Florida and have really done well with my investments, which is pretty rare in the music industry. People blow their wad and are left kinda like MC Hammer, ya know? I have made great investments and I am not a smart guy, so don’t get me confused with some genius Bill Gates guy, ’cause I am not! It’s a no-brainer, real estate works. I don’t know shit about the stock market and ya buy homes and ya sell them, it’s that simple and make money of it. It doesn’t take a real genius. I have done really well in that aspect and opened up several businesses and just cleaned house in Florida. It’s a goldmine. It’s free money the way that I look at it. So that enables me to do what ever the fuck I want. So when I come out here and I jam, it’s just wide open. I do whatever the fuck I feel and if the crowd is into it you will see the energy feed. I feed off them and they feed off me and we just get chaotic. I love gettin’ wild, I love doing the rock star thing, but I also have my responsibilities. When I go home, I handle my kids and handle my business, but when I am out here it is party time, bro! You gotta get a little bit of all of it in your life to make it complete.

What inspires you these days?

My inspirations stem from a long time ago, man! It started with a group called Parliament. I looked at them and just watched them do their thing. Funkadelic and Rick James, they influenced me and there is still something in me from a young age that still fuels me to this day. That’s what keeps me going. I just have to live on my influences’ legacy and so far, so good! Like I said, “Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” I am enjoying the shit out of myself. I don’t need to be out here for finances. I am out here for the thrill of it. The thrill of making the music. This is what I started it for. When I was on tour with Ice-T, I didn’t get paid. I was out there for the love of music. It is a shame that people actually come out expecting the money. I could care less. I get paid, sure, but who cares? The thing is that I don’t need to be out here for money. The great thing of it is that it is for the sake and for the love of the music. You will see tonight that I enjoy the shit out of myself!

Seeing how you straddle both worlds of rock and rap, how do you feel about the state of both genres??

It is cool that it is all fusing together. Even country, rap and classical. I don’t care what it is, there is no law, there are no rules. Hopefully, the message is getting out there. It’s not so deep as people try to make it out. If it sounds good, it’s good. If it doesn’t, it sucks. It’s that simple! If it sounds good, it doesn’t matter what you fuse it with. When I am going to the track, music is a mood. When I am going to ride my motorcross bike, I am listening to Slipknot. I am listening to Slayer. I am listening to Pantera. I am listening to the heavy stuff because it energizes me and it fuels me. When I am in a romantic mood, I am not listening to that. Music is all about mood! So I would be listening to Marvin Gaye or Sade or something. If I feel like dancing or bobbing my head, I am throwin’ on some hip-hop. It is all about hip-hop with me and the beat. When you fuse it all together, it is like you are fusing everybody’s moods together. It’s cool. It’s new. It is cool to see it all come together because music is one thing and there is no rule that says that you can or can’t do this. I am here to break down every barrier that there is! And if you say I can’t do it, I will do it just to show you that I can. That is my motto.

There are some rumors floating around about you and a new album being entitled 31 Flavors. Any truth to that? 

Could be. It’s a toss up. Nothing is in stone right now. That is one of them. It’s funny that you say that. Ya know, we are gonna do the record with ICP and we don’t have all the details ironed out just yet but we are gonna get in the Dungeon with Mike Clark who produced our first couple of records, which is HUGE, man.? I don’t know if you know much about ICP, but their fans are very loyal. More loyal than any group in the entire universe! So people who don’t understand it, just don’t get it. They are like “Why do these people know all these songs? Why are they so loyal?” It’s beyond the music. It’s deeper than that. If you just show up you aren’t going to understand. It is a subculture following. It totally is and I have them doing me right now. It’s amazing and it is about who the people are behind it. A lot of them are my fans, their fans, tarot readers, sons of jugglers and Carny kids, pretty much, right? So it is hard from the outside listening to mainstream music, being a normal mainstream person, living a 9 to 5 life and then you stop and look at that and you are like, “I don’t get it. I don’t fucking get it.” It is because you are not going to get it like that. You aren’t going to get it overnight. You have to be a sponge and really absorb it. When you do get it, you are hooked forever! There is no backing off, you are a Juggalo. Until you reach that point, you won’t understand or have all the answers to the questions of why people are so loyal to this. It’s more of a complete subculture following. Take away the music for a minute, that ties us in together, but it is more of a relationship, a long-term one.

So on that note, is there anything you want to say to those people, your fans? 

Oh, they aren’t fans, they’re family. They’re not fans. There is a big difference. My fans will be here tonight. There will be some family here, too. But I am going to convert some of these fans here tonight into family. There is a difference. I am super grateful for it, too. I love them and I treat them like family. I hang out with them after the shows. We go to the Gathering (juggalogathering.com) and shit, 7000 people are there and there is nothing but love around you. It’s like family, love, protection and we are a group and our own breed of people and it is a great thing. It’s cool thing!

Well, that is all I have for you. Thanks for you time! 

You got it, brother!

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