Jan 232014

(We welcome the return of guest writer Alain Mower and the third in his series of interviews of women in metal. In this edition, he talks with two members of Portland-based Eight Bells – Melynda Jackson and Haley Westeiner — whose 2013 album The Captain’s Daughter turned a lot of heads.)

This series is dedicated to creating discussion and awareness by expressing the observations, thoughts, and opinions of current prolific metal musicians who, in their spare time, also happen to be women. This began as a direct response to the few stragglers in the community who think that there is still a place for misogyny in metal.

If this results in you punching some loud-mouth, drunk sexist at the next show you go to or calling someone out when they question the attendance, attire, or musical capabilities of a woman at a show, then that’s all I could ever ask, and then some. Continue reading »

Jul 142012

Agalloch’s current North American tour kicked off on July 11 in Portland and I saw the show when they moved up to Seattle the next night. That pic up above is the awesome poster created by Stevie Floyd for the tour. I intended to buy it at the show, but lost my mind at some point during Agalloch’s set and forgot.

They played at The Crocodile, a venue that was a fixture of the Seattle music scene (Nirvana played their first live show there, for example) for 16 years before it closed in 2007. It reopened under new ownership in 2009 after extensive remodeling, but this was the first time I’d been there (they don’t book many metal shows). Nice place — a big open floor with a full bar in the back and a small balcony area to the right. By the time Agalloch started (well after 11 p.m., unfortunately), the floor was jammed with people all the way from the front of the stage back to the bar.

Preceding Agalloch was another Portland band named Eight Bells (who aren’t part of the full NorthAm tour) and then Taurus (a two-woman band, also from Portland, that includes the afore-mentioned Stevie Floyd from Dark Castle). I enjoyed Eight Bells’ post-rock instrumentals, but the tag-team vocals of Melynda Jackson and Haley Weiner were too often off-key, and I confess that I gave up after the first three songs and went outside and spent the rest of their set catching up with Ryan Yancey and James Furrow from Blood and Thunder, a hard-working, hard-playing band we’re big fans of, who are forging ahead despite a couple of recent line-up changes. They’ll be opening for Korpiklaani, Moonsorrow, Tyr, and Metsatoll in Seattle on September 8, and I’m tremendously stoked for that show. Continue reading »