Jan 312012

Anthrax/Testament/Death Angel Review:

What a night! It’s been rather slow these last few months in the Louevil scene, so this show was exactly what we needed. It was a chance to get out and see a great show and spend some quality time with good friends. Ever since hearing of this event at Expo 5, I’ve been one stoked mofo. I grew up listening to these classic metal icons. I knew it was going to be one excellent show, and I was right. First off – Thanks to my photographer friend/bandmate Chuck Skibo for taking these killer pics for us! Great job!

A Close Call – With Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian sick as a dog and Anthrax drummer Charlie Benante having to leave the tour for a family emergency, it was almost looking like this show might not happen. I was scared and my heart skipped a beat! But Scott Ian isn’t no wussy by any means, and soldiered onward through illness to perform just for us and, luckily, Testament drummer Gene Hoglan was able to fill in for Charlie Benante. Two brutal sets of drumming in one night? Gene Hoglan, you are the man:)

Late start … There were a few PA changes that had the show start time running a bit late. But all was worked out. Death Angel might have had to cut their set back a little, though.

Death Angel – I like these guys, but I think I had only one or two albums by them. I’ve never seen these guys, before so I was anxious to finally see them live. They played a shorter set because of the slight delay, but they did not disappoint as they unleashed monsters like "Mistress Of Pain," off Ultra Violence, "Claws In So Deep," off of the newer album Relentess Retribution, "The Art Of Dying," ending with "Ultra Violence" and "Thrown To The Wolves." The band sounded tight as hell, and after their set, they hung out with fans quite a long time, taking pictures and chatting/signing stuff. Vocalist Mark Osegueda is a fireball of energy and a full on metal maniac. He is metal to the max and has his own sound style that I’ve yet to see rehashed. He does the growls, and some higher pitched screams that are out of this world. He has the vocal highs and lows on his roster. His timing was right on and he has a good singing voice, too , with good power. No complaints here. He also seemed like a great guy as he spent a lot of time with fans.

However, a few fans were grumbling about them not playing "Bored," "Room With A View," "3rd Floor." No, "Bored" was kinda a bummer to me. "Bored" was probably their most known song. Oh well, these guys are underground and don’t give a farg what’s the most popular song. I really dug "Mistress Of Pain." The guitars of Rob Cavastany and Ted Aguilar were crunchy and brutal and had great tone. It was a short rockin’ set of some darn good, oldschool metal. One fan told me they sounded much better than back in the day. I’m glad I got there early. Many folks didn’t get to see them because they came too late, and also because of the long line to get in. I knew better. I got there when the doors opened.

Testament – What can you say about these Bay Athrashers? I have loved this band from the get-go. They have been rocking the world since 1983. I’ve traveled hundreds of miles just to see them. Almost got stomped to death in the moshpit at one of their shows at Bogart’s waaaay back in the day. This is the quintessential Bay Area metal band. Not those other Metallica sellouts, whose show I felt like walking out on because I was soooo bored. No. These guys have made their mark and have never sold out or compromised their sound to make more money. They don’t need retarded masks and stage show gimmicks to rely on. Pure talent got them where they are!

As always, Testament came out smokin’, kicking off with some older stuff, including "The Preacher" and "The New Order" off The New Order album, "The Persecuted Won’t Forget," off their newest album, The Formation Of Damnation, plus one the band’s oldest songs, "Over The Wall." Bassist Greg Christian’s classic intro solo to "Souls Of Black" was killer. "Into The Pit," off of The New Order, one of my favorite songs and with some of Chuck’s best vocals. "Electric Crown" and "Disciples Of The Watch" was particularly sick. The band wrapped up with three tunes "D.N.R (Do Not Resuscitate)" and "3 Days In Darkness," off of The Gathering and ending the night with the title track from their last album, The Formation Of Damnation.

Guitarists Alex Skolnick and Eric Peterson were in fine form this night! Alex was wailing away and seemed to be getting some serious squeals/pinch harmonics from his Gibson Les Paul. As a guitarist, I really love what Alex Skolnick does on the guitar. It’s very hard to not like this metal guitar duo. Such emotion for such heaviness. Alex has been a guitar fave of mine forever it seems, and Eric Peterson (whom everyone says I look like, someone even asked if I was him at the show!) is the constant rhythmic hammer that keeps everything in order. He is the imperative, sturdy backdrop of canvas to showcase Skolnicks’ bright paints. It doesn’t get much better metal guitar wise!

Chuck Billy is a special metal singer, no doubt about it. No, he is no Rob Halford, Bruce Dickinson or Ronnie James Dio. Chuck sings in a much lower octave range than those guys, but Chuck does have equally great singing skills and creativity when it comes to providing lyrics and melodies for songs. That is one of Testament’s high points. Yes, his voice is growl-y a lot of the time, but he still writes where there are actual musical notes to hit and difficult melodies to achieve. In other words, it’s not noise and ‘cookie monster’ vocals all the time like waaaay too many bands do now, but carefully planned singing. It’s a lot more challenging than screaming nonstop. That’s one thing I always admired about Chuck. He put the work in to do it right. Such heavy music with really intelligent, meaningful vocals. Chuck can go from a relaxing beautiful drawn out clean note to a seriously brutal growl in no time. Chuck Billy’s growls are unholy. The lyrics are great too. Chuck is The Man in my opinion, and a big time vocal influence to me, not to mention a good, friendly guy!And he always sounds good in concert. Bassist Greg Christian is always right on the money as well. I talked to Greg before the show for about 10 minutes. He is a super nice guy. Not the average “holier than thou” attitudes that us lowly rock columnist usually get from the rockstars. Drumwise, the band has been touring with drummer Gene Hoglan since former drummer Paul Bostaph left the band in December. Gene is a drum god and can play anything. Testament didn’t miss a beat. Nuff said.

Testament sounded excellent as usual and didn’t look their age at all. They were like psyched little kids. They still felt the spark and haven’t lost the hunger. The out-of-control pit was going nuts for Testament, even on a Sunday night! People were pouring over the barricade one after the other. Those security guards were kept busy.

I was kinda bummed they didn’t play a few of my favorites, like "The Legacy," "Trial By Fire" and "Sins Of Omission."

I wish Testament could have gotten on the 2012 Rockstar Mayhem Festival with Slayer and Anthrax. What an added bonus that would have been! The band does have a new album coming out in April, called The Dark Roots Of Earth. I can’t wait to hear it. Some of the brand new tracks are "The Dark Roots Of The Earth," "True American Hate" and the first single, "Native Blood."

Anthrax – What’s weird is that I love Anthrax just as much as Testament. These guys are neck-and-neck as favorites! To me, these New York hardcore legends, particularly guitarist Scott Ian, invented moshing, and that crisp, tight, punchy, hardcore, mosh guitar sound. Then you have the vocals of Joey Belladonna. Another guy like Chuck Billy who has made a mark in metal history by being himself and being creative and not giving a flying farg whether you like his unusual vocal style or not. I’ve seen them twice since Joey got back with them, and both times were great. Death Angel and Testament got the crowd totally pumped up, so when Anthrax hit the stage it was mayhem.

Anthrax launched into songs like new tunes "Earth On Hell" and "Fight ‘Em ‘Till You Can’t," then they broke into their classic "Caught In A Mosh" off their Among The Living album. Ahhhhhh. The real Anthrax! As I said before, seeing Anthrax back together is like seeing an old dear friend after a long, long time! Anyone growing up in Eighties was bombarded with Anthrax, as if they were a disease or something! I was a fan from Fistful Of Metal. I remember spending my allowance buying it because the cover looked cool.

Then they rocked the popular Trust cover "Antisocial." The crowd was moving as they tore into another new one "The Devil You K," and a song that everyone loves, "Indians," with an extended and super-rocking wardance part. Because some people were not participating, guitarist Scot Ian stopped the show and would not continue any longer until everyone went crazy, which they did. "In The End" is a song dedicated to the late metal icons Ronnie James Dio and Dimebag Darrell. The new Anthrax rocks! Oldschool classic metal is alive and well with these unreal bands. Joey’s vocals on "In The End" are darn good. He has incredible stage stamina and range for an older guy. Both times I’ve seem him since returning he really did well. It shocked me to be honest. He has the goods now more than ever. I interviewed Joey during Christmas break and he was so cool. A pleasure to talk to. They then played "Got The Time" off Persistence Of Time, and an oldie that was requested by fill-in drummer Gene Hoglan, "Death Rider," from Fistful Of Metal, which totally shredded and got the fans of the older Anthrax stuff all worked up. It was fast and furious. Then they played one of my favorites, "Medusa." I love Joey’s vocals in this one and it might be my favorite vocal work by Joey. The soaring vocal highs mixed with the uber chunky guitars and heavy groove of "Medusa" made my day. Joey made that song his beeyatche! Nailed it like it was child’s play. Good ole Joey. Joey remarked that this was the coolest Flea Market in the world. Ha! And he was happy with the turnout on a Sunday night! He was like "YEEEEAH!"

Then they played the title track of Among The Living, complete with the cool, spooky, clean guitar intro. Then the show was over. Um…NOT!

The band played an all-out powerhouse and barnburner of a closing triple encore: "Madhouse." which soooo rocked, "Metal Thrashing Mad" and last but not least, the classic "I Am The Law." The packed crowd at Expo 5 friggin loved it. Anthrax was tight, youthful, entertaining and played quite well considering Scott was ill and Gene was thrown in at the last minute. I didn’t hear one mess-up, but a few parts were particularly thrashy in that Gene Hoglan double bass sort of way! Like an Anthrax cranked up on Meth or something! That’s a good thing, though.

Guitarists Scott Ian and Rob Caggiano work well together and I am happy with Dan Spitz’s replacement, although I was a tad skeptical before first hearing Caggiano a few years back. I love Scott Ian’s crunchy guitar tone and powerhouse rhythms. Such powerful memorable groove! What kind of amp is that man using? Enquiring minds want to know. I got to get one of those! Bassist Frank Bello always sounds good and has magnificent bass tone, too. Pounding! You couldn’t hear Frank’s backup vocals that well, though, they should have turned that chit up! Drummer Gene Hoglan tore it up and did a fantastic job of filling in for Anthrax’s Charlie Benante in a time of need. Now that is a good friend. I imagine it was rough to play drums to two long sets of super-shredding metal back-to-back for a guy in his late forties. I guarantee Gene has been sore as heck since he started doing double duty! Strong man!

Anthrax drummer Charlie Benante (who is wicked on drums) left the tour to be with his terminally ill mother. Right on, brother! We don’t blame you there one bit. In fact, we fans wish you our deepest sympathies during this difficult time in your family. God bless the Benante Family. Take all the time you need dude, your fans will be here when you are ready, however long it takes!

Metal is definitely alive. These three bands proved that without a doubt. Expo 5 sold out, I’m thinking. If not it was right on the cusp of selling out. That place was jammed and hot as hell. I saw so many people I know it was ridiculous. Lots of good friends. Overflowing with cool people who love metal music. I saw friends from all over the region there. Many drove a good distance to see this show! Getting to the toilet was a fargin epic journey though, and god help you if you had to pee bad. Louie The Local Guy stated "From the pit….it was one of the largest and most intense pits I have been in a while….surpasses Hatebreed, Five Finger, Clutch, Asking Alexa , All That Remains, Disturbed, Korn, …..going back almost a year including Lou, Indy, Nash, and Cinci." Another big fan, Mark Doss, who was in the pit, said "there were NO slamdancin’ spin kickin’, douchebags there to ruin a good ole fashion moshpit. That is what a true pit should be at any metal show." It was a helluva time all around.

Total props and much thanks to: the good people at Expo 5 (especially the super-cool managers who always treat me well), the staff and security there too – good job! The band’s label and indispensable PR people, Maria, Julie and Brian. Keep up the excellent work:)

And last but not least, thanks to promoter Terry Harper for giving Louevil one of the baddest MF’ing shows we’ve had in a long while. Dude is the Heavy Metal Savior of this Region. Without him we would be screwed.

I hope you peeps enjoy the pictures that my buddy Chuck Skibo took! Check them out, they are cool.

On a local note: I saw a few songs on the second stage by regional rockers Maltese Cross and The Stonecutters and both bands were rockin’. Soundguy Brian Daniels is the man! He ran sound for my band Krosjoint a few months back when we opened for Down, and he is one of the best in town for sure. Brian knows that PA well and had The Stonecutters sounding absolutely thunderous. I was digging it. They have never sounded better with guitarist Chris Leffler on board now! Overload played too, and I heard they rocked, but I didn’t get a chance to see them. These local bands playing on these big bills like this are very cool. I had a blast playing on the Down bill. I hope Terry knows how much we appreciate him making it so that Louevil talent can be heard on a larger scale.

Jan 252012

JUST IN: Wow, this could be the best Rockstar Festival yet! The closest one to us will be on Tuesday July 24th at Riverbend in Cinci! Other bands include, As I Lay Dying, Whitechapel, High On Fire, Asking Alexandria, The Devil Wears Prada, and there will also be a special guest announced on March 5! ( I wonder who they will get! Someone killer I bet. )
I’ve been to a few of these shows, and I’m telling you they are a lot of fun! You will not want to miss this one. Tickets go on sale April 6th so you have plenty of time to save your money. The Headliners are psyched, that’s for sure…..here is what they had to say regarding the Tour…

Corey Taylor of Slipknot says “You knew we’d be back. Now, you know we’re coming. This will be a tour people will scarcely want to miss. It will definitely be a show to remember. Can’t wait to see the states again from behind a mask.”

Slipknot’s, Clown states “Slipknot is headlining this summer’s Mayhem festival and it’s going to be unlike anything you’ve ever felt, sensed, or seen. You miss this, you miss everything. Everyone seems to think that there’s a chance we’re gonna go away. This is the farthest thing from the truth. Stay sic and don’t ever judge us.”

“Mayhem 2012 might just be the last and greatest metal festival before the world ends!! So wreak havoc and go out in style!!” adds Tom Araya of Slayer.

Slayer’s Kerry King comments “ We can’t wait to get rolling on Mayhem 2012! Been 3 years since we played it last, and it’s gonna be brutal!!! You can’t go wrong with Slayer and Slipknot, pure phucking mayhem!!!!


Jan 172012

Hey folk’s, be sure to check out my Interviews with legendary ANTHRAX Frontman Joey Belladonna AND KY ( Lexington ) Born FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH bassist Chris Kael~!!!

INTERVIEW w/ Legendary Anthrax Vocalist Joey Belladonna: Wow. You don’t get to interview your influences very often, so I figured I needed to do this one for sure. It’s a singer who made his own mark in the musical world with attitude and an original vocal style usually not used with metal. A singer whose lyrics will stick with me till the day I die. Joey Belladonna is a vocal hero and inspiration to many of us metal fans the world over. Anthrax has been super busy touring in support of their new album Worship Music. But I was able to catch Joey as he was relaxing at home a few days before Christmas.

Eddy: Joey! I got your new album Worship Music and it rocks! It’s great to hear the original Anthrax sound back on disc. What’s it been like these last few years since you’ve gotten back with the guys? Is it just like the old days? Or has anything changed?

Joey Belladonna: Of course there have been some changes in the lineup throughout the years, but overall I still go about it the same way. Everyone has become smarter, the musicianship has gotten better, as well as the songwriting and delivering them live. We are much more together as a band, and wiser.

Eddy: Man you guys sound better than ever!

Joey Belladonna: Thank you, and thank you for plugging Worship Music.

Eddy: I got to see Anthrax with Slayer and Megadeth last year. Dude, you hit every note! Your energy and range was impressive! A lot of vocalists lose their Mojo as they age, but you, my friend, sound better than ever. What is your secret?

Joey Belladonna: Well, I really don’t have anything in particular, if anything, I’m singing now more than ever now that I have a cover band going as well as the Belladonna solo work.

Eddy: You have a cover band?

Joey Belladonna: I have a cover band called Chief Bigway that plays classic rock covers. I play the drums and sing. We play Queen, Boston, Foreigner, Pink Floyd, Cream, Deep Purple, Rush. We don’t play really big places yet, but we get to play in some pretty interesting layouts. We cover mostly 70’s music and arena rock, but we do do some metal like Priest, Sabbath, Dio, and we also do some recent stuff.

We cover a wide spectrum of classic rock from the 70’s to the 80’s and beyond. People like to dance, so we try to mix it up well. It’s mostly just for fun, we pack up the pa and drums and rock out upstate NY. But as far as your question goes, No I don’t have a secret. I just stay busy singing more than ever and working on what I do. Chief Bigway has some stuff on youtube if you want to check it out.

Eddy: On to Worship Music. What is your favorite song on the album? And why?

Joey Belladonna: I guess maybe “In the end” is one of my favorites at this point. It’s one of those songs that was so unbelievable when we did it. This song came together in one day, and knowing that it was about Ronnie James Dio & Dimebag Darrell made it mean something to me. I just love the tune itself, it has a lot of great groove to it. There are a lot of great songs on Worship Music, but that one comes to mind first.

Eddy: What do you like to do when you aren’t on tour? And do you have any hobbies?

Joey Belladonna: I have three Rottweilers so when I’m not touring they keep me pretty much busy.
My hobbies right now are my cover band, that kind of thing. I’m not into skiing, shooting hoops, or into golf. I do like to watch TV! I like recording concerts and talkshows. I do love watching football and watching my team the Minnesota Vikings, even though they have had a rough one lately.

Eddy: What has been your best show since rejoining the band? Ya know, there are so many shows, that it is really hard to pinpoint anything. One sorta runs into the other. Many times we’ve had crowds who take it up that extra notch certain nights. Plus I’ve forgotten a lot of shows! The festivals in Europe are always fun, it’s a different atmosphere over there and with all festivities and people hanging out, the band comradery is good, and a lot of cool stuff is going down.

Eddy: What do you think of today’s music? Is there anything you really like? Or is it just a bunch of “Plastic People”? HA! ( Eddy: it’s a reference to Anthrax’s song “Imitation of life” )
Joey Belladonna: Good one man! I like a lot of new stuff to check it out. I’m pretty open. What I listen to depends on the mood I am in. I probably don’t own as much new stuff as I should/could. I listen to some weird stuff. I could listen to Filter in the morning and Seal in the nightime. I wonder how people come up with stuff. I take a lot of time studying music, the way people write, and learning. I just love to listen to music and learn.

Eddy: You have a show here in LouEvil on Jan 29th! A lot of peeps are excited. What can we expect, and what would you like to say to your fans here in Kentucky regarding your upcoming show?

Joey Belladonna: Well, get ready for a good night of metal, that’s for damned sure! We are gonna have a great night together and I’m sure everybody is looking forward to it as much as we are. We’ve ripping out a pretty lengthy decent set depending on the local cerfews there. We plan on playing as long as we can! We are just very happy to be out there and covering your market.

Eddy: Well we definitely can’t wait to see you! I want to thank you for taking the time to chat with me Joey. I wish you a great Christmas and Happy New Year. I will see you January 29th at Expo 5!

Joey Belladonna: Thank you, and God Bless. Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

INTERVIEW w/ Five Finger Death Punch bassist, and Former Kentuckian, Chris Kael:
Hey Chris, Congrats on the success of your band FFDP. I’ve been a fan for a few years now and have covered your shows whenever you are even near Louisville. I can honestly say that FFDP is one of my favorite newer metal bands! I had almost given up on good new American metal until I heard FFDP. That makes it all the more cool that one of their members “you” are actually from Kentucky. This state hasn’t bred too many rockstars as of yet. Ha! Well, no one I would brag about! Until you, dude.

I’ve heard through the grapevine that you are one cool, humble, down to earth person who really cares for his fans. I’ve met a lot of rockstar’s brother, and that is a rarity indeed. So Thank You- for taking the time to do this interview ( when you are so fargin busy stomping ass every night ) and letting everyone in your home state know whats up with you.

Let’s do this…

Eddy: Let’s talk about your upbringing in Kentucky Chris? Lexington right? Where did you go to school there, and did you get good grades? And what are some of the things you used to do there as a kid/teenager? Were you a wild destructive kid who carried brass knuckles? I admit I had a pair. Shee-it, all true redneck teenage boys have a set of brass knucks! And now you have one on your bass! Cool….

Chris Kael: Yessir! Born and raised in Lexington. Went to Lafayette High School; but, ended up bowing out about a year early as I was spending more time writing and playing with other musician friends in my parent’s attic than I was actually making it to class! So, I’m living proof that dropping out and following the dream can work! Though, I don’t recommend it for most.
During those years, I spent a lot of time going to all ages shows at The Wrocklage. Once that shut down, I was pretty instrumental in bringing all ages shows with James Flax into The Millennium (though, now the entire block has been torn down!). All ages shows growing up were extremely important to me in both my social and musical upbringing. Gave me nice solid base for what I’m currently doing now.

As far as being a destructive kid, I was always the type that looked pretty intimidating; but, was the exact opposite once you actually approached me and got to know me. Someone actually described me, and fairly accurately I believe, as the nicest scary guy they’ve ever known. That pretty much hits it right on the head.

Eddy: Do you still have family here in KY, and do you get a chance to visit when you come in for a show? And does your family ever come to see you play? If you like, tell us metalheads about your family….any characters, goofy uncles, a mammaw, etc, etc……

Chris Kael: Oh yeah. Most of my family is still back in Kentucky. Once I moved out to Vegas about ten years ago, they’ve been out to see more than I’ve been back to Kentucky to see them. Given the chance to hang in Vegas, I’d take coming out there too! Though, I do try to get back every now and then – usually at least once a year. It’s been great seeing friends and family out on the road with Death Punch when we come within driving distance. After all the years of putting up with me pursuing this dream, it feels nice to be able to extend a little VIP courtesy to all of them. I certainly haven’t forgotten my roots. And, I’m STILL an avid UK fan. If it’s on TV, I’m watching it. Hoping to make a trip back to see a game or two in the downtime this January. I’d love to address the team with my story as there’s a lot to be said in never giving up, listening to that inner voice, and going after whatever it is you want in life.

Eddy: Did you play in any original bands in KY? If not, then how did you get started at playing music? And who were your influences growing up?

Chris Kael: I picked up my first bass at age 15. It was some cheapie that I’d picked up from one of the guitar stores on Southland Drive in Lexington (Willcutt’s Guitars is STILL my favorite guitar store. Period.) My first “real” bass when I really started getting serious a year or so later was an Ibanez Rickenbacker copy.

The bass that most people back home from that era will remember me with was my B.C. Rich Warlock. That’s the bass that I always used when gigging out. Hated the tone; but, loved the look! Nikki Sixx played one in “Looks That Kill” and I knew I had to have one the moment I saw it. After mowing grass over a summer, the bass was mine.

Spent many years gigging with various bands between Lexington, Louisville, Cincinnati, Columbus, Dayton, Nashville and Huntington. Shared bills with a TON of great bands from that area growing up like Chum, Crone, My Own Victim, Flaw, Supafuzz, Ted Bundy’s Volkswagen, Kinghorse – SO much good music was coming out of the area at that time. I l look back quite fondly knowing that I had the chance to be in Kentucky during a very special time musically. So many great musicians there. A lot of those guys are still playing today as well. The move to Vegas, luckily, worked out for me. Ten years after moving to Vegas, here I am touring the world with Five Finger Death Punch. It still amazes me.

Eddy: You live in Las Vegas now, which is like another world from here. Tell us about your life in Las Vegas! Wife, kids? Big ass house? Stacks of music gear out by the pool? Hot little Vegas rocker chicks lounging half naked? Lol. What’cha got cookin’ out in Vegas bro? What do you do for fun out there?

Chris Kael: Vegas has obviously been a life changing move for me. Rather than being the big fish in a small pond, I took the leap and immediately was thrown into Lake Mead as a guppie. I’ve always been one Hell of a networker so I made a ton of musician friends out here and started up a couple of projects. I did some regional touring through California, Arizona, Utah and what not. Basically just plugging away and continuing to develop my playing, songwriting, vocals and stage presence.
After not having done anything live in a while, I met the guys in the Sin City Sinners. I was going out to see them damn near every week at The Dive Bar here in Vegas when one of my friends told them that I played bass. They invited me up to play a couple of covers and I caught the live bug again. Those guys are great friends of mine and I credit them with initially getting the ball rolling in my getting back off of my ass and back into music. I’ve had a ton of support from a ton of people and I sincerely can’t thank them all enough.

Eddy: Let’s get to the band stuff. I recently got an email from your label, you’ve just put out an album that is doing very well for only the few short months it’s been out, as well as selling out in many venues on this current tour! I’m glad to hear it Chris. That’s awesome.
So it’s obvious you’ll be touring for a while in support of Amercian Capitalist, but after that what’s next for FFDP? You guys have been super busy it seems for years now. It has to be exhausting at times.

Chris Kael: We just finished up the Share The Welt tour in support of our latest release, “American Capitalist.” It was mindblowing be out there on my first real tour playing venues ranging in size from 2,000 to 8,000 seaters with my (now) friends in Hatebreed, All That Remains, and Rains there in support. It seems that nearly 90% of the shows were sold out. Just massive crowds with such passionate responses. Couldn’t have asked for a better first run for me with Five Finger Death Punch.
I’m now at home in Vegas on a bit of a break to kind of recover from the road! The travel alone is the hard part. It just gets draining physically moving from spot to spot to spot. You give and give while you’re out there; so, it’s good to have that time at home where you can find some time for yourself before you set out to do it all again. I’m certainly not complaining though as it beats serving drinks to tourists at the Hard Rock on The Strip; which, is what I was doing six months ago!

From here, the current plan is to start touring again in February and stay out on the road until close to the end of the year. The guys will be writing while we’re out on the road and I’ll be contributing in whatever way they think will make Death Punch stronger. I’m a beast live; so, I know I’ve definitely helped there. Looking forward to seeing where the next phase takes us.

Eddy: Last question; Chris, what are some of your most memorable moments in 55DP? Give us homestate fans two stories that you will never forget! And don’t hold back on us!

Chris Kael: One of the biggest memories for me will always my first sold out arena rock show in Denver. That’s the one day sheet and ticket stub that I saved from the whole tour. A lot of great shows; but, looking out and seeing that arena filled with fans there to see us was an incredible memory that I’ll take with me to the grave.

As for great stories, I’ll give you one that’s suitable for print. The rest you’ll have to wait for the book. I think we were playing in Texas when this one went down. At one point in the show, Ivan sometimes invites a handful of kids and their parents up onstage to celebrate the future of rock and heavy metal. They’re all lining up onstage and this one TINY little kid is walking around by herself. From the looks of her, she couldn’t have been more than three years old. One of our security guys, Case – a massive, straight-out-of-prison-scary-looking-MF type guy (though, like me, is scarier on the outside than once you get to know him) picks up the baby and holds her at arms length yelling, “Who’s phucking baby is this? Who the fuck leaves a baby onstage?” The baby then opens its mouth and responds, “Put me down, a-hole. I’m a midget – not a baby! I’m thirteen!” The combined expression of terror, amusement, and embarassment on his face was enough to make my first tour with Death Punch a memorable one.

Eddy: Once again, many thanks to you Chris Kael, for doing this interview even with a busy schedule and the holidays right around the corner!
We are gonna have to hang out when you come this way!!! I’ll let you buy me a beer for all the shameless plugging I’ve done for you guys:) Ha ha!

Chris Kael: Thanks Eddy for the Interview/Shameless plugs: You can follow the band at www.fivefingerdeathpunch.com, on Facebook, and on Twitter @FFDP. You can find me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/officialchriskael and on Twitter @5FDPChrisKael. As for the beer, you can take the boy out of Kentucky; but, you can’t take the Kentucky out of the boy – I’m still a bourbon guy at heart! Be ready for a shot or seven of Maker’s Mark on me my friend.

Eddy: You’ve got a deal!!!

Jan 102012

Yup, that’s right peeps. 80’s iconic rockers Van Halen (w/ David Lee Roth!) will be kicking off their 2012 tour right here in Louisville!! It’s Saturday February 18th at Yum Center w/ special guests Cool & The Gang. I saw the real Van Halen at Freedom Hall in 1984 when I was 14 and it was awesome! I still remember it like yesterday. It was one of the better shows I’ve seen and I have seen hundreds of top notch shows. It was VH in their prime. I am quite stoked to see them once again with David Lee Roth. I was never a fan of the Van Hagar era, even though I like Sammy’s solo stuff. The only bummer now is that original bassist/backup vocalist Michael Anthony ( a critical VH element in my opinion ) will not be there. Michael Anthony’s backups and bass playing were great! Hard to replace. Alas, Eddy Van Halen’s son, Wolfgang Van Halen, will be on the bass guitar. Despite the bands brand new single “Tattoo” receiving bad reviews, I believe it won’t matter because I’m sure the band will bring out all the old classics once onstage. That is what everyone wants to hear them play. “Panama”, “Running with the devil”, “Unchained”, “You really got me”, “Pretty woman”, “Jamies cryin”, “Jump.” The question is- can David still sing? I hope so. I still haven’t been to the Yum Center yet, so I am hoping to finally see/review a show there. I was very disappointed by not getting to see Rush at Yum Center, especially after I plugged the heck out of the show for them in the newspaper. Hopefully that will not happen again. Because VH is the perfect opportunity for me to review a classic rock band and great new venue. Tickets go on sale January 16th! Make plans now to see a truly legendary American rock band in action at a brand new Louevil venue that supposedly has a sound system so wicked, that it would even make Steven Spielberg cream his pants. VH will be touring in support of their new album A Different Kind Of Truth due out on February 7th 2012. Don’t miss this concert folk’s!