Doc welcomes Front of House Sound Engineer, Steve Lagudi, to the show and they talk about Steve’s break in the industry working for Metallica’s fanclub, learning on his own how to do sound by doing demos for Emmure, meeting God Forbid and hitting the road as their sound guy, his close relationship to the band and helping save the God Forbid by doing demos for their last album, Equilibrium, how he got the Machine Head gig after God Forbid broke up, what he has done to grow as an engineer, and why he gets so invested with his work that he almost becomes a “6th member”.
This episode features the songs “Wesley’s Theory” by Kendrick Lamar and “Circle The Drain” by Machine Head.
Doc talks with prolific guitar player, Steve Smyth, about what makes the bay area such a gold mine for talented metal musicians, how he got his professional start with Vicious Rumors, getting his big break as a touring guitarist with Testament for 5 years, playing with Eric Peterson’s black metal side-project, Dragonlord, the ups and downs of joining Nevermore and to contributing to the classic This Godless Endeavor album, working with Forbidden on Omega Wave, and launching his own band, One Machine.
This episode features the song “The Body Snatchers” by Circle Back from their self-titled EP and the song “New Motive Power” by One Machine from their album The Final Cull.
In the last few years, something seemed to happen and I barely noticed. Suddenly, I’m no longer the young kid at the show. I’m one of the guys hiding out by the bar. I’m not crowd surfing, not covered in sweat with my shirt off, and I’m certainly not moshing. I’m also not randomly yelling “Slayer!”, but that seems to span all demographics. I became… (gulp)… an adult. I don’t know what the range is in the ages of the followers of MetalSucks, but I’ll assume that it’s a mix of younger and older metal fans. I am 29 years old, but I still feel relatively young and energetic considering my opening salvo. I’m the youngest member of my band, and younger than a good majority of my friends in bands and the industry.
With that said, I think there comes a time for all metal heads, and probably all adults for that matter, when you look at what is popular amongst the true youth culture (16-24), and you feel as if not only do you not relate to it, but it feels alien, as if it’s creation was not meant for your consumption (which it wasn’t) – and it also seems inferior to music that you grew up with. I’m only 29, and I’m already having “back in my day” moments. It kind of scared me, and I began to wonder if I was being obtuse and a little too set in my ways, or if my analysis was accurate.
We’ve all been there. Tensions are high in some packed, sweaty venue, sparked by feverish excitement and the potential for violence. These people paid good money to enjoy some type of cathartic release. The frontman for whatever hard-nu-death-crab-metal-core outfit is brazen and demanding. Can you believe this shit? You PAID to be entertained, and this guy is telling YOU what to do! The speech goes something like this: “I want everybody in this room moving! Front to back, side to side, NO ONE STANDS STILL! When this part kicks in, I want total [Insert destructive word here like “chaos,” “mayhem,” or “bedlam” if you’re witty]. If the person next to you isn’t moving, MAKE THEM MOVE!” Than, if the action is not adequate, this screamer/pep rally organizer calls YOU some variation of “pussy” or “faggot” or really anything to make you feel like a soft, womanly bitch of a man in order to get in that pit and kick another grown man in the face, all in the spirit of making this band look like they are awesome. But then something happens, as if the air is sucked out of the room at the moment of impact – when those glorious staccato chugs kick in, the crowd is almost always powerless to its charms regardless of the obvious lack of substance. Like junk food and reality TV, we have a love affair with breakdowns.
A couple weeks ago, I did an interview with Metal Injection for a retrospective on the highlights, trends, and cultural significance of the heavy music scene from an insider’s perspective concerning the last ten years. Near the end of the interview, I was asked if there were any sub-genres or trends that I didn’t like, or that seemed to get on my nerves. I thought about it for a minute, and generally annoying things like nu-metal or screamo or stale metalcore just seemed obvious and an easy target, when something dawned on me. I was generally annoyed by the whole ReThrash scene.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Municipal Waste, and have enjoyed the likes of Warbringer and Toxic Holocaust on occasion. I consider myself a diehard original thrash fan, counting Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, and Testament as some of my all-time favorite bands that really imprinted themselves on my musical DNA, displaying exactly what great heavy metal should embody. After this interview, I kept thinking about this, and realized that what perturbed me wasn’t the music at all. I liked plenty of these bands. What I really didn’t like was when any type of retro trend gets way too much credit without bringing anything significantly new to the equation. So I guess my real beef is with metal critics, blogs, websites, industry aficionados, and publications, all of which tend to have an over reaching obsession with nostalgia. Not to play favorites, but I am also equally bothered by the metal media’s constant stroking of the stoner rock scene, AKA 10,000 bands that all sound like Black Sabbath.