Opeth Mainman Mikael Akerfeldt Discusses New Album, Artwork & More

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By Andrew Bansal

Swedish progressive metal band Opeth have never been one to shy away from making bold moves creatively, and their latest album ‘Heritage’ was a classic example of just that, receiving mixed reactions from their fan base but an album that vocalist, guitarist and principal songwriter Mikael Akerfeldt and his band mates enjoyed making. Now, Opeth are putting the finishing touches to their eleventh, as yet untitled studio album, and once again, it’s something fans are looking forward to with great curiosity. A few days ago, I spoke to Mikael Akerfeldt for a 2-part interview to discuss this new album in detail. Check out part 1 below, and part 2 on Guitar World using the link at the bottom. Continue reading

Interview With Tankcrimes Records Owner Scotty Heath

Interview by Avinash Mittur

Tankcrimes is an Oakland CA-based DIY metal/punk record label owned and operated by Scotty Heath, and aside from working hard on a select few releases such as the Exhumed/Iron Reagan and Ghoul/Cannabis Corpse split albums that came out recently, Tankcrimes also puts together the Brainsqueeze Festival, the second edition of which is slated for April 18-20 in Oakland and boasts of a killer lineup. Our Bay Area expert Avinash Mittur did this detailed and very insightful interview with Scotty Heath to talk about Brainsqueeze, the recent releases, and about all other things Tankcrimes. Enjoy the conversation below.  Continue reading

In-depth Interview With Goatwhore Vocalist Ben Falgoust

By Andrew Bansal

New Orleans black ‘n roll tyrants Goatwhore are currently slaying stages across North America on the Metal Alliance Tour alongside Behemoth, 1349, Inquisition and Black Crown Initiate, and are ready to unleash their sixth studio album ‘Constricting Rage of the Merciless’ on July 8th via Metal Blade Records. They delivered a crushing set at the House Of Blues Sunset Strip last Saturday, despite vocalist Ben Falgoust’s insane schedule that day wherein he flew straight from New Orleans to make it to the show just in time for the set. To discuss that adventure and lots more including this tour, the new album and rock ‘n roll influences, I spoke to Ben over the phone yesterday April 8th for a detailed interview. Enjoy it below, see them on Metal Alliance and pick up their monstrous new album this summer. Continue reading

Interview With Animals As Leaders Guitarist Javier Reyes

By Andrew Bansal

Instrumental progressive metal band Animals As Leaders just concluded a North American headline tour to coincide with the release of their third full-length studio album ‘The Joy Of Motion’, which came out on March 24th via Sumerian Records, an album that musically moves the band forward from the previous release ‘Weightless’ but at the same time revisits themes and vibes that fans of the debut album might enjoy. Animals As Leaders played the last show of their month-long headline tour at the Roxy in West Hollywood on Sunday March 30th, and a few hours before they took the stage to deliver a typically excellent performance, I sat down with guitarist Javier Reyes for a chat. Enjoy the conversation below. Continue reading

In-depth Interview With Steve Stevens

By Andrew Bansal

Los Angeles-based guitarist Steve Stevens has enjoyed a prolific, multi-faceted 35-year career in rock ‘n roll thus far, and is still going as strong as ever with no sign of stopping. Known primarily as guitarist for Billy Idol, Stevens has also collaborated with musicians such as Vince Neil, Slash, Sebastian Bach and several others. Currently he’s getting ready to go on another huge Billy Idol tour, but before doing so he took part in Franky Perez’ monthly residency show at the Viper Room as a guest guitarist on Friday March 28th, and before the show I sat down with him over a cup of coffee for a detailed interview to discuss his current musical endeavors, the Sunset Strip, his gear setup, his beginnings as a guitar and his love for the acoustic guitar, impromptu jams, his take on rock vs metal, and a few other topics. Enjoy the insightful conversation below, along with a couple of live videos from the Viper Room. (Photos and videos by Joe Dolan) Continue reading

Kevin Estrada Discusses ‘Rockers Against Trafficking’ Benefit Concert & Photography Career

By Andrew Bansal

Kevin Estrada is a veteran photographer based out of Los Angeles who’s been taking spectacular photos of rock and metal bands for a number of years, some of his earliest work now seen as legendary because of the era they represent. He continues to work with bands for live shoots and studio session gigs, but besides his still burning passion for photography, he feels strongly about the issue of human trafficking, and for that reason he’s putting together a ‘Rockers Against Trafficking’ benefit concert at Paladino’s in Tarzana CA on April 11th, featuring an all-star lineup of musicians. A few days ago, I sat down with Kevin to talk about this show and his photography career. Check out the deeply insightful conversation below. Continue reading

Sonata Arctica Frontman Talks About New Album “Pariah’s Child” + More

By Andrew Bansal

Finnish power metal band Sonata Arctica have been in existence for 15 years, releasing seven studio albums and touring worldwide in the process, and garnering a sizable fan base that admires their musicianship and on-stage energy in the live setting. Vocalist/keyboardist Tony Kakko has played an integral role in the band’s popularity with his high-pitched traditional metal style of vocals, whimsical lyrical themes and a dynamic personality. He spoke to me a few weeks ago to discuss the band’s impending eighth studio album “Pariah’s Child”, released in Europe on March 28th and set to hit the market in North America on April 1st via Nuclear Blast Records. Enjoy my conversation with the ever-insightful and humorous Tony Kakko below. Continue reading