True American Firepower: In Conversation With Diamond Lane Singer Brandon Baumann

By Andrew Bansal

In 2014, Los Angeles-based quintet Diamond Lane made a rapid rise as a force to be reckoned with in the hard rock and heavy metal scene in their hometown and beyond. For Diamond Lane, 2014 was centered around the release of their latest full-length effort ‘Terrorizer’, a nine-track offering of quintessential American ‘working class’ heavy music. In addition to mind-blowing local performances at venues such as Loaded and Troubadour, Diamond Lane frequent Las Vegas and the California desert, and in their attempt to branch out into newer territories in 2015, they’ve already announced their participation in the upcoming Rocklahoma festival. I recently caught up with singer Brandon Baumann to talk all things Diamond Lane and more. Enjoy the conversation below. Continue reading

Michael Sweet Discusses New Collaboration With George Lynch & More

By Andrew Bansal

Known and revered as Stryper frontman for three decades, along with a solo career that has existed for almost as long, vocalist. guitarist, songwriter and producer Michael Sweet has launched a new collaborative side-project with guitar virtuoso George Lynch, a project that also features the rhythm section of Brian Tichy on drums and James Lomenzo on bass. The ‘Sweet & Lynch’ debut album ‘Only To Rise’ was released in late January 2015 via Frontiers Records. I recently had a chance to talk to Michael Sweet about this new project, production, singing, future plans and more. Enjoy the conversation below. Continue reading

Wizards Of Fuzz: An Interview With Blackwitch Pudding

By Andrew Bansal

Hailing from Portland, Oregon, Blackwitch Pudding have been propagating their fuzzed out cosmic party doom wizardry on earth for the past 600 years, and recently completed a successful ‘Magic Up Your Butt’ US headline tour. The tour included a Los Angeles stop at the Five Star Bar on February 6th, and a few hours before they took the stage and cast their spells on the fortunate ones in attendance, I sat down with guitarist/vocalist Space Wizard and drummer/vocalist Wizard Wizard to discuss the tour, the wizardry, the live rituals, the parties and their latest album ‘Covered In Pudding – Volume 1′. Enjoy the conversation below. Continue reading

Blind Guardian Frontman Discusses New Album & More

By Andrew Bansal

German epic metal storytellers Blind Guardian have returned to grace the spotlight with the release of their tenth studio album ‘Beyond The Red Mirror’, put out in late January and early February worldwide by Nuclear Blast Records. The band’s first album since the 2010 effort ‘At The Edge Of Time’, this one has been in the making longer than any previous Blind Guardian release, and has been gleefully accepted by eagerly awaiting fans. With the band now planning to embark on a world tour, I spoke to vocalist and lyricist Hansi Kürsch to discuss the album and touring plans in detail. Check out the conversation below. Continue reading

In Conversation With Skull Fist Guitarist Jonny Nesta

By Andrew Bansal

Blending elements of thrash, glam and power metal with traditional vocals, riffs and harmonies, Skull Fist are a quartet based out of Toronto, Canada that excels at creating instantly catchy tunes and thrives as a live band. I was part of their journey on their recently completed US headline tour with support acts Elm Street and Night Demon, and got a chance to see them from close quarters. Freshly nominated for the 2015 Juno Awards, Skull Fist look ahead to an eventful year. Minutes after they got off stage at the Catalyst in Santa Cruz last Sunday January 25th, I spoke to guitarist Jonny Nesta about the tour, future plans and other things. Enjoy the converstaion below. Continue reading

Elm Street Frontman Discusses US Tour & More

By Andrew Bansal

Hailing from Melbourne, Australia, Elm Street have been bringing their brand of high-octane thrash metal to the American masses over the past four weeks. The quartet just concluded a US tour with Skull Fist and Night Demon, a tour I had the pleasure of being part of. On the last night of the tour, before they took the stage at the Catalyst in Santa Cruz, California, I caught up with vocalist/rhythm guitarist Ben Batres to talk about all things Elm Street and more. Enjoy the conversation below. Continue reading