In-depth Interview With Desecrate

By Andrew Bansal

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Los Angeles-based progressive thrash metal quartet Desecrate have been in existence for longer than most people in the scene realize. Aside from utilizing their natural abilities to write compelling heavy music, the band has worked tirelessly to stay together and stay relevant. Veterans of the local club circuit, Desecrate are preparing to play at the Troubadour on Saturday March 21st along with Diamond Lane, Delta Rose, BrainDead, Future Villains and The Sahns, for a show put together by Lara Gladstone. For Desecrate, the show marks the release of their long-awaited and well thought-out third full-length album ‘Of Death And Damnation’. Last week, I sat down with Nick Simile (vocals/guitar) and Chase Becker (guitar) for a detailed chat about all things Desecrate. Enjoy the conversation below and LA folks can purchase tickets here to check them out at the Troubadour. Continue reading

Enslaved Guitarist Discusses New Album ‘In Times’ + More

By Andrew Bansal

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Norwegian progressive metal group Enslaved is constantly on an introspective mission to explore and expand their musicianship, and the latest result of their creative efforts is their thirteenth studio album ‘In Times’, slated for release via Nuclear Blast Records on March 10 2015. A follow-up to the magnificent 2012 release ‘RIITIIR’, the new album comprises six tracks of songwriting brilliance, giving extreme metal a new level of accessibility even to non-fans of the sub-genre, by intertwining its elements with soaring clean melodies. To present material from ‘In Times’ and from their back catalog on stage, Enslaved are about to embark on a North American headline tour with support acts Yob and Ecstatic Vision, and will play a record release show at the El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles on Friday March 6th (purchase tickets here). A few weeks ago, I spoke to guitarist and principal songwriter Ivar Bjørnson to discuss the album, among other things. Enjoy the conversation below. Continue reading

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