Aug 182010

The music comes first. The people who make the music come second. That’s just the way it is. But when the music strikes a chord, you want to know more about the people who make it, and how they make it, because sometimes, it opens a wider window into what you hear. And sometimes it doesn’t. Like we’ve said before, musical talent doesn’t necessarily go hand in hand with being able to express yourself in other ways.

We got an advance listen to Connecticut-based Pristina‘s forthcoming album on Trendkill Recordings, The Drought (Ov Salt and Sorrow), and were blown away. We posted our review of the album yesterday. In connection with our review, we asked vocalist/bassist “Evil” Brendan Duff if he would answer a few questions, and he foolishly agreed.

What started as a small handful of e-mailed questions to fill in a few blanks in our review turned into a mini-interview, and as more questions occurred to us, Brendan continued to answer (instead of telling us, “fuck off already!”), and it became something more full-fledged.

More than that, it was one of those genuinely window-opening conversations. We learned, among other things, about how this stunning album came to be, about some unusual aspects of how it was recorded, about how Today Is The Day‘s Steve Austin can come to resemble the demented shark-hunter in Jaws, about how the lyrics emerged from Brendan’s struggle to get clean from heroin, and about where this band is headed in their future music. In other words, we had a few of those days that make creating this blog truly worthwhile.

Our interview with Brendan Duff follows the jump, along with a few more tidbits of information about the band and the music. Continue reading »

Jan 182010

Henry Rollins has led an interesting life. In the early 80s, he was the uber-intense frontman of legendary hardcore punk band Black Flag. After Black Flag broke up, he formed the Rollins Band and continued to record and tour, while also releasing a series of spoken-word albums (and won a Grammy for one of them). He’s published multiple books of diaries, essays, and stories, he’s appeared in more than 20 films, and last year he became a running character in the TV biker drama Sons of Anarchy. And he continues to tour the world as a one-man show.

Whenever he opens his mouth, which is basically always open, something interesting usually comes out. A few days ago he touched down in Dublin and gave an interview to TimesOnline (UK), which you can find here. The whole interview is worth reading, but this passage in particular caught our eye:

A couple of years ago Rollins went to see Van Halen on their reunion tour. “And they were good,” he says. “I know all the lyrics. I like those records. But to watch men in their fifties play music they wrote in their twenties, there’s something distinctly sad about that.” A famous friend of his, he says, “sells a gajillion records. But he has to go out and play the same 20 songs each night. He says, ‘Well, that’s what the people want’. That’s one school of thought. I’m more from the Ornette Coleman, John Coltrane school: What they want? Who gives a fuck what they want? The art says we move on. So as I hurtle toward 50 I’m trying to be brave. I want to do stuff that looks like I am. I’ve got grey hair, a leg that kind of thunks around. I’m still mad as hell. I’m just trying to rouse rabble in a different way.”

Seems to us that Mr. Rollins has hit the fucking nail on the fucking head. His words resonated in our addled brains as we browsed the latest metal news on Blabbermouth this morning. There we saw the following reports about the following bands/performers — all on the very first page of Blabbermouth reports. My mood?  Bored shitless. Continue reading »