Dec 052015
 
Eric Marchand

Name: Erik Marchand

Age: 33

Instrument: Bass/backup vocals

Band/Former Bands: What Lies Inside 2008-2009 (metalcore), Evil Emily 2010-2011(progressive metal I guess), Hurt Circle 2012-2013(Rock), Lethean 2013-2015(Pure American Metal), Guerrilla Red 2014-Present(a bit of everything).

How long on instrument: 15 years

Equipment: Warwick 410 speaker cab, Peavey Pro Bass 500, ART power conditioner, BBE 362 Sonic maximizer, Rouge Chorus pedal that turns out was stolen from my current singer, Tech 21 Sansamp Bass Driver, ESP/ltd D-6 six string bass with La Bella Nickel wrapped strings, and can’t forget the tiny carbon fiber jazz 3 picks. Still looking for a few more pieces to get the perfect tone to my ears, but that’ll all come with time and money. It works.

Influences: Ryan Martinie, Les Claypool, Cliff Burton

My first gig: Shooters in 2008 right here in Louisville with What Lies Inside. Turns out my mother (her choice in music is country) was on a cross country trip and came through Kentucky at the right time. Stayed up til 3am (about 6 hours past her normal bedtime) through 4 other metal/punk bands, just to see her son’s first show. That’ll always be a good memory.

Hobbies: Playing bass of course, video games when I’m not completely tired of the ones I have. I really need to get another trail bike and find some trails to ride, used to love that when I lived out west.

Favorite movies: So many to list…how much space do I get? Transformers, Resident Evil, Supercop, Super Troopers, The Last Samurai, 47 Ronin, Saw, you get the idea. Sci-fi, action, drama, horror, love kung-fu movies, stoner flicks. Basically if there is gore or action we’re good.

Favorite food: Again, so many to list, can’t go wrong with Doritos, nacho cheese naturally. If you don’t consider Doritos food, we can’t be friends, just saying.

Favorite place: Very partial to the NW United States. Oregon and Washington are where it’s at. Mountains and oceans, rivers and valleys, forests and deserts, how could anywhere else compare?

Favorite sports or team: Love ice hockey. Go Bruins! Not sure how many people reading this even know what hockey is.

What I’m listening to nowadays: Thy Art Is Murder, Impending Doom, Lamb of God, Volumes, Killswitch Engage, metal 99% of the time. Occasionally I like to chill and listen to jazz and try some of the bass lines I hear. Gotta keep improving.

Coolest thing I’ve done: What defines cool these days? I’ve jumped out of a perfectly fine plane before, skydiving is a rush, you should try it! Yeah that would have to be it, sitting here thinking for anything else I’m drawing a blank. Could just be the stoner memory.

Most embarrassing moment: Pretty recently here. Playing a show at Phoenix Hill Tavern on the roof garden, I thought I’d be a show-off and jump off the highest part of the stage during a song. Busted my ass pretty good.

Bad Habits: Cigarettes, cussing like it’s going out of style, and I’m sure my wife could point out a few more. Please don’t ask her, a guy has to have a few secrets right?

What was your first concert ever: 2001 Family Values Tour in Portland Oregon. First thought was, "Holy shit that’s a lot of people and why is it so loud?" I had no clue what I was in for. That’s when I became a Static-X fan, R.I.P. Wayne.

If you could meet a Rockstar ( past or present ), who would it be, and why: Ryan Martinie for sure. From the first time I ever heard Mudvayne, the bass stuck out the most. Such an unorthodox style but man can that guy play. Best bass player on the planet in my opinion. He’s a big reason why I chose to play bass.

Who do you love: My wife Jessi, my son Adrian, the guys from Guerrilla Red, all the guys from Lethean, current and former, anyone that supports local music, and maybe my cats (when they aren’t being like me).

May 052014
 

I needed to get out to see this show bad. I was craving some new music to review/look into/discover and this was just what the doctor ordered, literally. I almost did not go because I wasn’t feeling so great, but I toughed it out for the sake of you readers and a press request that I had made months earlier. I got the approval to review Volbeat/Trivium at the last minute, so I had to hurry up and get my stuff together fast. I love the Palace, and I love getting to see tons of friends every time I go there. And The Palace has always treated us here at LMN very well. So thanks to those guys! It’s my favorite Louisville venue to see a show at, by far.

First up was Trivium, a young melodic metalcore band from Orlando, Florida that I first saw many many years ago at the old Jillian’s. I met them and they were one of the coolest bands I’ve met. Real nice young guys. Well, those younguns have come a long way since then. Now they are crushing and shredding beyond belief. I have one of their newer albums and it slams! Their talents have really matured and the guitar playing and songwriting have come a long way. The music is more complex and layered. Their sound was tight, heavy and sounded really good through the house PA. Vocalist Matt Heafy sounded a bit dry, considering the music he was playing. Some deeper vocal effect would have gone well with that style of music, but he didn’t use much effects on his voice. The guy sings and shreds (on lead too) on guitar at the same time, so I’m still impressed. But I think he should get another guitarist so he can focus more on vocals. I wasn’t very impressed with the singing aspect of their show. The music, however, was pummeling, but still melodic and catchy. Lead guitarist Corey Boulieu is a beast on guitar. I love his creative lead solos (during the vocals) that accompany the rhythm guitar. Very melodic and heavy all at once. Never let it said that music has to be non melodic to be considered heavy. His solo is “In Waves” is sick. I really like his Middle Eastern/trippy feeling riffage that he does some of the time in his soloing. The guy has some serious chops, mucho feeling in his playing, and his amp tone was nice and chunky with the perfect amount of effect. No complaints on the drumming or bass playing. Bassist Paolo Gregoletto’s bass tone was crushing. Meaty and punchy. All were right on the money. I heard no meaningful mistakes. I don’t know their song titles or music, so I’m not able to tell you which songs they played. Luckily Mark Doss, my friend and a fan of Trivium, was there to help me out by telling me what songs they played! Thanks Mark. According to Mark, the band played their popular tunes: “Brave The Storm,” “Strife,” “Through Blood And Dirt And Bone,” “And Like Light To The Fires,” “Dying In Your Arms,” “Down From The Sky,” and “In Waves. “

The intricate and super-fast, muted picking that Trivium does is impressive. It’s crisp and tight as phuck.

Modern sounding and yet still very much metal. Nu metal? I dunno about that. As a guitarist myself, I heard some old-school influences here and there quite frequently in this music. Some serious Iron Maiden influences too, especially in “Dying In Your Arms. ” Almost like a young American version of Maiden without Dickinson. And I love Iron Maiden, so I enjoyed watching these guys kick some butt. But there seemed something missing in the overall performance. It was definitely in the vocals. Maybe not enough actual singing? Maybe the vocals were too dry? Maybe it was dude’s voice in general. With music that good and melodic, I was maybe expecting more old-school type vocals? I think that is what it was. Their music almost demands more of an old-school vocal sound. Regardless of the slightly subpar vocals, Trivium’s sound was awesome, and I enjoyed hearing this young band once again! Hail, Trivium!

Volbeat was up next. What can you say about a band from Denmark who came outta nowhere and has kicked some serious butt in so short a time? Not to mention the guy who discovered them, Scott Frasier, is a Louisville native. Well, it makes for an interesting story of success. Vocalist/guitarist Michael Poulson is a genius and quite a performer as he rips it up on his Custom Gibson SGs. The man has created something different and profited hugely off of it. The style of music he has come up with is rock, thrash, punk, metal, rockabilly, alternative, all thrown in with a healthy dash or two of Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley, all mixed into one big-ass crockpot of musical jams. It’s Metallica meets Elvis, meets Johnny Cash, meets Brooklyn hardcore band Life Of Agony, meets the Swedish Chef. I have noticed that Michael Poulson’s vocal style closely resembles that of Nineties hardcore band Life Of Agony’s singer Keth Caputo, now known as Miss Mina Caputo. I don’t know if dude was snipped or what, but he is now a she. Poulson really sounds like Caputo! Especially on the LOA song “Through And Through. ” Is this the vocal influence Poulson adapted his style from? Damn I’m good!

Guitarist Rob Caggiano, freshly recruited from metal legends Anthrax, seems to fit the bill perfectly. Dude is a wicked guitarist, but it was kind of weird seeing him play much easier riffs with Volbeat than what he was used to in Anthrax. Some of the Volbeat guitar rhythms were very easy to play, I thought. but Rob’s leadwork wasn’t so easy at all. It is the one instrument that really soars in this band, other than Poulson’s powerful vocals. I have to admit, Michael Poulson’s vocals were awesome. The guy sounded better live than on his recordings, and as a music critic, one does not find that very often. He projects his voice in a way that is majestic and uplifting. And he does all of this while playing guitar at the same time. And strangely, he doesn’t lose power in his vocals by concentrating on guitar riffs. He balances concentration between both chores very well in my opinion. As good as Chris Cornell does!

While I’m not a big Volbeat fan, I do admire what they have accomplished, and I like a few of their songs. Bassist Anders Kjolholm was all over the place and I couldn’t even get a picture out of the guy because he was non-stop. He had killer bass tone, too. I liked the way the guitarist/bassist did the backup vocals as well. Sounded great! Drummer Jon Larsen was quite good, as you would expect him to be.

The stage show was pretty basic, nothing fancy, just good music and some decent lighting. No gimmicks or monsters running around on stage. The band sounded great. Very tight as a unit. And the vocals soared this night for Volbeat. The crowd seemed to eat it up, every song! The band kicked offf with “Doc Holliday,” “Radio Girl,” “Lola Montez,” “Heaven Nor Hell,” “Fallen,” “Guitar Gangsters and Cadillac Blood,” “Maybellene/hofteholder” (complete with acoustic guitar intro), “Still Counting. “

The last few songs were “Pool of Booze, Booze, Booza,” “The Hangmans Body Count” (probably my favorite. I hummed that riff half the night after we left!) and “The Human Instrument/Warriors Call”. The crowd went nuts over every song. Volbeat could have pooted on the mic and the crowd would have yelled “Yeeeeaaaahhhh!” Ha! Speaking of pooting.

The night was marred by some person in front of me and my date who was crop dusting the most horrendous farts known to mankind. Worse than Egg McMuffin farts. And no, the smeller was not the feller! Ha. My nosehairs shriveled, and I almost melted as if Pepe LePew walked by! Unfortunately we never indentified the anonymous farter (lucky for them). I think this was Karma for what happened at Flaw (Read Flaw Review Below) a few nights earlier. Ha.

Earlier in the night I saw Volbeat manager and longtime friend Scott Frazier in the crowd with his children. He came up to me and we chatted for a few, and I congratulated him on his success these last 5 years or so. It was so cool seeing Scott up there with his very excited kids, who later on, got to go onstage with Volbeat for a song or two. Scott looked real happy to be there at Louisville Palace with his band headlining. He was smiling from ear to ear and was very friendly. Some people talk shit about Scott (fargin bitch ass haters), but he’s always been cool to me. He was very down to earth and humble despite the success he’s had recently. It’s awesome that a fellow Louisvillian has done so good on the world stage. Congrats bro!

Anyways, it was a great show of new music! The band played a good long set to an enthused crowd of rockers that had the Louisville Palace filled to about 90% capacity., I’m thinking. Some douche recently said I don’t cover enough new music, so this one is for you a-hole!

Feb 042014
 

Two new rock titans are heading this way to Louisville’s coolest venue, the Louisville Palace Theater, on Wednesday, April 23. This should be a barnburner of a show and will sell out, so you might want to get your tickets ASAP. I’ve never seen Volbeat before, and would really like to. I kinda like them. It’s a lot better than most garbage on the radio these days. One cool fact I found out is that their manager (and the guy who discovered them), Scott Frazier, is a Louisville native, who also manages Saving Able and Flaw. Small world, huh? Congrats to Scott for his success in the music business. Volbeat is a juggernaut these days and the money should be rolling in bigtime.


Trivium is another band that has come a long long way. I remember seeing them/meeting them many years back at Jillian’s when they opened for Lacuna Coil. Very, very, nice young guys and talented, too. Nowadays, they are some serious shredders and their popularity has soared! They have evolved leaps and bounds since those Jillian’s days! The technical prowess of their music is off the hook. So ,yeah, this should be a monster of a show., in a pristine venue of epic porportions! Get your tickets NOW!! Or be left out day of show. And you know you would be one crying, whining mofo!

Jan 292014
 

Another band bites the dust: after more than three decades together, MÖTLEY CRÜE announced The Final Tour, to be followed by the band’s  retirement. The announcement was solidified when the band signed a formal Cessation Of Touring Agreement, effective at the end of 2015, in front of global media in Los Angeles. Before quitting, however, they will do complete The Final Tour, which includes a stop at The KFC Yum! Center on October 14. Tickets for that show will be  $20.00, $45.00, $75.00 and $125.00 (plus applicable fees)  and  will go on sale to the public beginning 10am on Saturday, February 1 at LiveNation.com.

More details and the full list of stop on the REALLY BIG FINAL TOUR are at http://www.motley.com

Jan 092014
 

Hailing from Huntington, West Virginia is Zeroking, a four-piece original rock band that does really well. Zeroking is Andy Haught on vocals, Shane Day on guitar, Paul First on bass and Chris Webb on drums. They have opened for such artists as Bobaflex, Drowning Pool, Soil, Pop Evil, Nonpoint, Black Stone Cherry and others. I know this band because I used to be in a band called Sideshow with the singer Andy Haught, formerly known as Andy Christ of the band Sick World. a band who played Louisville frequently back in the late Nineties. Zeroking has done well for themselves, fan wise, and at getting national gigs. Andy has a very melodic voice when he wants to and that is his strong point. Former Louisville metal radio pioneer Black Frank (whom I hear is managing bands or scouting for bands) has taken an interest in these guys and I can see why. The band just put out a video for the song “Dead Rockstar” (which debuted on Revolvermag.com) and I’m checking it out now. I’m impressed with Andy’s vocals. He sounds better than ever. The quality of the recording is darn good, too. A good amount of money was spent here on this. This is a bit more commercial, musically, than what I’m used to hearing Andy sing, but it’s still good. Andy has always had good range and projection in his voice, and he’s always been a good charismatic frontman. You don’t see many singers like Andy these days. The guitars of Shane Day cut through very nicely. Awesome solo! Nice guitar effects implemented. Great tone and playing by all members, really. The drums sound great. The video looks pretty good, sounds good, and was filmed good too. You can’t really ask for much more from an up-and-coming band like Zeroking. The studio they went to is really good! There aren’t a lot of rockin’ bands around the Huntington area I would guess, but Zeroking is looking to expand to bigger and better things, and with music and video like this, I would say they are off to a damn good start.

I really need to get these guys a gig here in Louisville. Until then, check out “Dead Rockstar” right here!!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RuJSqszl17Y

Jan 062014
 

Wow, these guys do not give up. I totally respect their dedication and persistence. Having been through several lineup changes, you think they would give up and start anew, but giving up is not in these guys vocabulary, apparently. The band parted ways with singer Billy Burton (There’s a fargin’ surprise. Not! I hate to say “I told ya so” but I just can’t resist.) and guitarist Tony Henry a few months back but have announced a new lineup coming your way soon. The band has enlisted Troy Hendrix on vocals and James Toler on guitar. Two guys I haven’t heard of before, but that means nothing, as there are lots of undiscovered talent out there just waiting to be heard. These new dudes could be awesome. And knowing Troy and Nick for as long as I have, I’m sure they jam pretty good to even be considered. We will find out on February 7 at Phoenix Hill Tavern when they play one of their first shows back! So be out to support the guys and their new members.

Jan 052014
 

Billy Youngblood is a very busy individual, indeed. Aside from being an incredibly talented guitarist and singer, Mr Youngblood has his own indie record label called Smokin Gorillas Records. Billy mostly does acoustic shows these days, but also does the full rock band thing when the time is right. Billy has quite the resume, having played with Louisville breakout stars Days Of The New and short stints with Tantric and Modern Superstar. Billy currently resides in Fort Wayne, Indiana but loves Louisville and plays here when ever he can. I’m so glad Terry Harper turned me on to this guy, because not only is Billy a ridiculously good guitar player, but he is one great guy as well, and I think a lot of Louisville musicians could learn a lot from a guy with his experience. Billy is seriously thinking of moving to Louisville soon, and I hope he does. We need more people like Billy in this town. “Too Much Pain To Cry” is an odd acoustic rocker of a tune. There is some kind of stringed orchestra instrument playing with the acoustic guitar that sounds really cool. The acoustic tone is awesome. This reminds me a lot of Days Of The New. Billy’s voice is one of confidence and classic influence. He has a great classic singing voice that mixes well with the laid back guitar vibe. This kind of reminds me of Hendrix a bit too. Neil Young meets Hendrix! This is some good stuff. Acoustic rock with a serious classic rock vibe. Very nice alternate picking technique. I would have liked to have heard more effect on Billy’s voice in this recording, though, it’s a bit oo dry for my taste. Other than that it, sounds really good. I bet Billy knows every guitar chord in existence. He puts off that kind of vibe. A guy that knows guitar like the back of his hand, and probably knows more about guitar than any 100 average guitarists, including me! It’s very good songwriting, lyrically and musically. “No Romeo” is the song that was released in Europe last year through an European distribution deal, and later released in the USA through a deal with Viacom Media (MTV). This song is different. I love the lead guitar work Billy does. Sounds excellent. It’s hard to describe the music in this song. It’s jazzy, funky, energetic and original. Santana meets Eric Johnson! Clean guitars, jazzy leads, and funky clean rthythms, this song has it all. Heck, it even has a South American feel about it a little. The sound quality of the recording is good. I’m not even sure what category of music this would be in! It’s rock, but a different sort of rock. Hard to catagorize. I’ve been scrolling through a few of Billy’s songs and dude is very good on guitar. His leads shred! He does covers as well. I was checking out a cover of Zeppelin’s “No Quarter” live and his leads were killing. He did a cover of Hendrix’s “Foxy Lady” and his vocals sound like Jimmy. A killer cover! This really sounds good! 2014 should be a good year for The Smokin Gorillas, especially if these distribution deals Billy made pan out the way they should.

Lately though, Billy has used his music to spread a far more important message. Billy’s son David has been the target of bullying and the authorities have done nothing about it, so billy has launched a campaign against bullying through his music. It’s a touching story and no child should be bullied, especially one with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), like his son David has. I myself was bullied a lot growing up and it is not a cool thing to live in fear. It only stopped for me when I took Tae Kwon Do and started cracking ribs with kicks. Alas, violence is not the answer these days, so I hope Billy can make some headway battling this situation with his music and music connections. Check out Billy and his son’s story. http://thejunglevine.wordpress.com/

I’m going to try to bring Billy back down here in a few months so you mofos can get a taste of the Smokin Gorillas in action once again. Until then, check out Billy’s unreal playing online at http: //www.reverbnation.com/smokingorillas/songs

Jan 032014
 

My favorite Louisville cover band Scary Uncle is calling it a day after their New Year’s Eve gig. There is no drama or bad blood, just life catching up to the guys with family, jobs, kids and stuff like that. This blows, because I loved the variety of covers that Scary Uncle played over these last several years. How many band can play Guns N ‘Roses and make it sound good? This band played a lot of songs that most cover bands do not do, that is why I loved seeing them compared to other cover bands who always play the same crap over and over. (If I hear “Bulls On Parade” one more time, I’ll frikkin’ barf.) I wish more bands would be like Scary Uncle and mix that chit up a bit and throw your own personality in there. Vocalist Chuck Weber has a frikkin’ great voice and it will be a loss to the scene if he gives it up for good. I hope not! I do know that guitarist Frank Campbell and drummer from hell Danny Murphy are talking about putting together an Eighties cover band. That would be super cool, as I love Eighties rock. So good luck to those guys, who BTW, are awesome dudes all around, and a credit to the Louisville rock scene!! I hate to see you fellers go, but I understand.

I’ll keep you folks updated on the Eighties tribute when I hear more.

Dec 272013
 

After partying with Flaw at their recent show at PHT, I don’t know if I can handle more awesome shows like that. I’m getting’ too fargin old! I was exhausted. For all you youngsters, and youngsters at heart, New Year’s Eve at Diamonds promises to be a barn-burner of a show. You get to see Flaw in action again, as well as newly signed Villebillies, Signal The Revolution and Elephant Room. One price and you are covered for the night, party favors included! Noise makers, goofy hat, champagne toast, stuff like that. This show will probably sell out pretty fast, so you better get your tickets asap or you’ll be left out in the cold. So take my advice, don’t wait!!! This promises to be one epic show.