VENOM: 2019 Interview with Cronos from www.kerrang.com . LINK:https://www.kerrang.com/features/venoms-cronos-without-us-bands-like-slayer-wouldnt-exist/ Venom’s Cronos: “Without Us, Bands Like Slayer Wouldn’t Exist” Venom’s longstanding frontman Cronos talks us through his band’s legacy In the pre-digital age, records released in the 1980s would sometimes feature on their back sleeve a small symbol of a cassette tape and crossbones. Beneath this image…
New video from Death Angel – “Humanicide” 2019.
Death Angel – I Came For Blood:
New 2019 visualizer from Dark Throne – Old Star.
Dark Throne – Duke Of Gloat:
Destruction – Born To Perish new 2019 visualizer.
New lyric video for Vader – “Steeler” from their new EP “Thy Messenger”.
Vader – Steeler:
Full album stream for “Death Angel – Humanicide” 2019:
Album Review: Diamond Head – The Coffin Train
Diamond Head return with their new record, “The Coffin Train”. A slightly different lineup on this record that will appeal to fans of Paul Di’anno era Iron Maiden, with influences from their classic songs like “Helpless” which inspired acts like Metallica and Megadeth.
The record is reminiscent of early Diamond Head with a new lighter rock New Wave Of British Heavy Metal sound with influences of their early material with easily recognizable classic Diamond Head guitar solos which inspired artists like Kirk Hammett.
Fans of Classic Metal and lighter sounding New Wave Of British Heavy Metal with rock influences will enjoy this record, recommended for fans of Judas Priest and early Iron Maiden.
Diamond Head – Belly Of The Beast:
May 21 – Seattle, WA – El Corazon 23 – Salt Lake City, UT – Metro Music Hall 24 – Denver, CO – The Roxy Theatre 25 – Kansas City, MO – The Riot Room 26 – Chicago, IL – Concord Music Hall 28 – Cleveland, OH – The Phantasy Nightclub 29 – Toronto,…
New 2019 audio interview with Entombed from “The Metal Gods Meltdown”.
New Cannibal Corpse video from the 2017 album Red Before Black for the title track “Red Before Black”.
Cannibal Corpse – Red Before Black:
2019 interview with Anvil.
Abnormality – Sociopathic Constructs official full album stream from Metal Blade Records:
ORDER HERE: http://www.metalblade.com/abnormality
Mallika Sundaramurthy: Vocals
Jeremy Henry: Guitar
Sam Kirsch: Guitar
Josh Staples: Bass
Jay Blaisdell: Drums
Sociopathic Constructs serves to further cement Abnormality’s place at the cutting edge of savage ultra-technical death metal. With the follow up to 2016’s Mechanisms Of Omniscience, the Marlborough, Massachusetts quintet have stepped up their game across the board, making for a record that is as violent, complex and thought provoking as any you will hear in 2019, and the band were not afraid to explore and mix things up. “I think this record we felt free enough to just go where we wanted to within a song,” states guitarist Jeremy Henry. “We had no qualms with switching styles and approaches from riff to riff. To have a whole section grinding away and then just switch gears, hit the brakes and drop a slow, old school Morbid Angel warship groove in there. We felt free to follow our instincts, and just let our influences shine through.”
With Mechanisms of Omniscience opening the door for the band to tour with Suffocation, Napalm Death, The Black Dahlia Murder, Pig Destroyer, and Misery Index, their profile has risen dramatically between records. “We learned so much from the past few years of touring, including how to handle adversity. In turn, we have matured and grown as musicians and people,” declares vocalist Mallika Sundaramurthy. However, the writing did not stop, with drummer/lyricist Jay Blaisdell penning lyrics for the album’s successor almost as soon as it was finished, never struggling to find inspiration. “With a lot of lyrics already written, the structures of a lot of songs were written into them. We’ve done that before but not as much as we did on this record, and I think it really paid off this time around,” says Blaisdell. The glorious, attacking-from-all-fronts near-chaos of their song structures is a hallmark of the band, switching up tempos and timings, unleashing dizzying riffs and pushing things to their extremes throughout, never letting the listener get too comfortable, yet never losing hold of that core vision that holds everything together. Only brief, eerie interlude “Aeternum” lets the listener off the hook, the remainder of the record an all out assault, but one with a great deal of variety. “A Seething Perversion”, for instance, opens with a monstrous, stabbing groove that perfectly plays off against the more rampant violence surrounding it, while a militaristic feel creeps into passages of “Kakistocracy”, and a droning evil works into the closing passages of “Curb Stomp”, each track having a strong individual identity. The decimating vocals of Sundaramurthy also make for an integral facet – her monstrous roar the perfect accompaniment to music so merciless – and the solos that scythe through the tumult are a large part of what makes the record so compelling, with no parts included for the sake of it.
When it comes to finding lyrical inspiration, Blaisdell and Sundaramurthy never have to look far. “The world we live in is a fucking mental hospital. The true nature of our reality is something that I’m obsessed with, so it will always come out in my lyrics,” Blaisdell says, asserting that the title itself stems from the ability to read between the lines and decipher the information that is fed to us daily as “truth”. “It’s about a constant search for what is real and what is disinformation. It’s about realizing that many of our leaders, the people in power, are actually sociopaths. It’s essentially referencing the many twisted and immoral acts that have been carried out and painted as something completely different. Most of the songs are individual stories that fit within this overarching theme.” Disseminating the news and whatever lurks behind it sees the lyrics go in numerous directions, with “Monarch Alpha” in fact a sequel to “Monarch Omega” from their debut full-length Contaminating the Hive Mind (2012), both songs about MK Ultra, or the concept of mind control being used to create assassins. “The former dealt more with trauma-induced mind control, ‘Monarch Alpha’ is essentially about the next step up in the program. It’s the more technically evolved, much scarier version of creating assassins.” Following a different tangent, Blaisdell stresses that “A Catastrophic And Catalyzing Event” is a song he has always wanted to write, and is essentially his own personal theory of what really happened on September 11th 2001. “Back in 2005 I accidentally saw a video online that instantly convinced me that the official story of 9/11 is a lie. It was a huge awakening for me. My outrage and shock led me down a never-ending pursuit for the truth. It took me roughly six or seven years before I could figure out my own theory of how it actually went down, based on what I know did and didn’t happen. And it was something that I needed to do for my own personal sanity.”
The album was tracked primarily at The Brick HitHouse in Hyannis, Massachusetts with producers Peter Rutcho (Revocation, Soul Remnants) and Shane Frisby (Becoming The Archetype, Bury Your Dead) with vocals produced by Zdenek Sikyr at Studio Hostivar in Prague. Having worked with Rutcho since 2010, it was a painless, professional process, the band also bringing in Chaney Crabb of Entheos to add a guest vocal to the devastating “Penance”. “‘Sociopathic Constructs’ is the result of tons of hard work and shows the progress we have made as a band since ‘Mechanisms’,” asserts Sundaramurthy. “We feel the time is now for such an album, the brutality perfectly reflects the darkness, violence, and harsh reality of our world.”
New Enthroned track from their new album “Cold Black Suns”.
Enthroned – Vapula Omega:
Venom – In Nomine Satanas 40th Anniversay Unboxing Video:
Best metal bands in Canada compilation clip from YouTube by Deathmetal.tv .
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Deathmetal.tv Best Metal Bands In Canada:
New Atrocity Spell of Blood / Blue Blood 7 Inch and Tour Teaser, out on Nuclear Blast Records.
New Dead Kennedys three live CD set from Manifesto Records.
Forming in 1978 in San Francisco, CA, the Dead Kennedy’s have gone on to become one of the most important American hardcore punk bands of their time. Local success led to the recording of their first single “California Über Alles” in ’79 which attacked the then Governor of California, Jerry Brown. Followed by “Holiday in Cambodia” in 1980, the track brought recognition to the band, with its catchy lyrics and accompanying dark music. Having gotten the attention of both conservative religious groups and US authorities, their shows began to feature a strong police presence. Despite this, the group went on to successfully tour North America, Europe and Australia.
With their 1985 release Frankenchrist, vocalist Jello Biafra, was charged with “distributing harmful matter to minors,” which he fought on the basis of the First Amendment’s right to free speech. The charges were dismissed, but not before The Dead Kennedy’s disbanded in January 1986. The Dead Kennedy’s remain a grueling quintessence of American punk, helping us to shape the questions we need to make about our government, religion, and society.
CD1: Live At Paradiso, Amsterdam, Netherlands, December 5, 1982
02.I Am The Owl
06.Bleed For Me
07.Holiday In Cambodia
08.Let’s Lynch The Landlord
10.Nazi Punks Fuck Off
11.Kill The Poor
12.We’ve Got A Bigger Problem Now
13.Too Drunk To Fuck
CD2: Live At Alabama Halle, Munich, Germany, December 13th, 1982
01.Skateboard Talk + Intro Noise
02.Man With The Dogs
03.Forward To Death
06.Trust Your Mechanic
11.Bleed For Me
12.Holiday In Cambodia
13.Let’s Lynch The Landlord
15.Nazi Punks Fuck Off
16.We’ve Got A Bigger Problem Now
17.Too Drunk To Fuck
18.Kill The Poor
CD3: Live At The Farm, San Francisco, California, May 24th, 1985
02.Goons Of Hazzard
04.This Could Be Anywhere
05.Soup Is Good Food
08.A Growing Boy Needs His Lunch
10.Moon Over Marin
13.Stars And Stripes Of Corruption
15.MTV Get Off The Air
16.Holiday In Cambodia
Dead Kennedys 2019 interview from Billboard Magazine
Dead Kennedys’ East Bay Ray on Their Explosive Live Legacy — And His Hopes for Jello Biafra
When they were fronted by Jello Biafra from 1978-1986, Dead Kennedys were one of the most explosive, zaniest live punk bands of all time. With lyrics that could be either political or comical (sometimes both at the same time), the band — whose best-known lineup also included guitarist East Bay Ray, bassist Klaus Flouride and drummer D.H. Peligro — struck a nerve with the Mohawk set with such classic ragers as “Holiday in Cambodia,” “Too Drunk to Fuck,” “Nazi Punks Fuck Off,” “Kill the Poor” and “California Über Alles.”
Biafra chose not to participate when the others reunited the DKs in 2001, resulting in several singers subsequently taking his spot (the latest being former Wynona Riders singer Ron “Skip” Greer). But to mark 40 years since the band first formed, the group has assembled a three-disc live collection, DK40, which will be released on April 26 via Manifesto Records. It’s comprised of three vintage shows, two from 1982 (the Paradiso in Amsterdam and Alabama Halle in Munich) and one from 1985 (the Farm in San Francisco).
According to Ray, fans will get to hear the Biafra-led line-up the way they would have at an actual gig with DK40, standing front and center…albeit without the fear of taking a combat boot to the noggin from a stage-diver. “Most of the tapes [circulating in fan circles] are straight off the PA board, so it’s just voice and drums – no bass and no guitar,” he tells Billboard. “You don’t get the full impact of the Dead Kennedys. But these three were radio broadcasts, so the balances are pretty good.”
What made the band decide to put out a live compilation now?
We actually had the plan for a long time. The packaging was going to be that brown wrapping paper with a string around several LPs. And then we got distracted by one thing or another, and then this is our 40th year, so we wanted to do something special, and there’s a lot of garbage out on the Internet and YouTube. So I went through 30 or 40 different shows that I had cassettes of, and people had sent me digital files. I basically picked the three that had really good performances, and also, really good recording quality. In the sense that you could hear all the instruments.
Can you believe that it’s been over 40 years already since the band first formed?
No, I can’t. I still feel like I’m 32 on the inside. I’m immature for my age, I guess.
Do you recall anything specific about those three performances?
The Paradiso might have been the first time we played there, and that’s a legendary club. The one in Munich, we went to soundcheck and they were going to broadcast it live on the radio, and I remember they taped a little bit from soundcheck, and I went up in the control room to listen to it and help them balance it out better. And the Farm is a legendary club here in San Francisco — it had a lot of good shows. D.H.’s mother was there in the audience!
Something that may be lost on those who did not see the band live back then — there was certainly an element of danger and unpredictability at Dead Kennedys shows.
We were a high-energy band. And still are a high-energy band. When it’s going good we kind of liken it to being in the eye of a hurricane: 99% of the time, it was safe. But it was basically a high-energy good time. And a smart time, whether it be social or political.
And while the band could certainly be viewed as political, there was always a sense of humor detected – “MTV Get Off the Air,” “Jock-O-Rama,” etc.
Well, “Too Drunk to Fuck”…how political is that? They weren’t all political — you’ve got to keep some humor.
Which song created the most controversy at the time?
I guess “Too Drunk to Fuck.” It made it into the top 40 in the United Kingdom without ever being played by the BBC. But that was kind of predictable — using that word.
Do you think a band like the Dead Kennedys could come out today and survive?
Society has taken a big wrong turn, and specifically, I don’t know if you’re familiar with it, but there’s a book about surveillance capitalism [The Age of Surveillance Capitalism by Shoshana Zuboff], and it’s about how Google, Amazon, and Facebook basically eavesdrop on your life — where you’re going, what you’re doing. But the myth that was perpetuated — the distribution of content — it was when these corporations eavesdrop on their lives, and then these corporations use this information to their interest. Google is very good at that — they have more lobbyists in Washington, DC than anybody else now — and then they sell it to anybody that will pay them money. And basically what it is, is that they’re collecting information, and you don’t know exactly what they’re collecting. I think one of the solutions is to have a right for a person to go to Facebook and say, “Let me see the file you have on me.” But the bigger problem is surveillance capitalism. So basically, Google and Facebook, they cut the money on advertising. And the consequence is musicians…like for us, in order to be able to make the same living and still be able to finance your records, you have to have an audience ten times bigger.
Why do you think such influential hardcore punk bands like the Dead Kennedys, Black Flag and the Bad Brains are not in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?
None of those band were mainstream in the United States. In the United Kingdom and in parts of Europe, we were a top 40 band. But not in the United States. In England, the Ramones — who were on a major label, Sire — they never really had a big hit in the United States, like the Clash or the Sex Pistols had in England. That’s part of it. But the thing is back in the day, we had our own record label [Alternative Tentacles], and we’d go, “Hey, here are some records to review.” And very subtly — not directly — it came back, “Well, unless you can afford to buy an ad in our paper, we can’t take you seriously.” [Laughs]
Is there any communication between the band and Jello?
He has an attorney — he won’t talk to us directly. Although I did run into him at a Killing Joke show. Basically, people need to forgive themselves. We’re only human. I mean, the Beatles sued one another, the Beach Boys sued one another — the fans don’t really care, it’s about the music. I don’t know if you know, but Johnny and Joey Ramone didn’t speak to each other for ages. I believe the story is Johnny took Joey’s girlfriend — not because of the music. Our manager was in a new wave band and toured with them, and said, “Yeah, they didn’t talk to one another. But they showed up and did the shows and recordings.” So, that’s what we’re hoping Biafra will realize — the band is bigger than any individual.
New 2019 album from Norweigan Black Metal band Ulver from Oslo, Norway.
Formed in Oslo, Norway Ulver (wolves) are a Black Metal band from the early days of the Norwegian Black Metal scene. The band is an experimental musical group founded by vocalist Kristoffer Rygg in 1993 during the days of the Norwegian “Black Circle” with bands such and Mayhem, Emperor, Enthroned, Dark Throne and Thorns.
Ulver have sold over 500,000 albums and have been nominated for two Grammy awards in Norway.
Napalm Death – Live At Rock City, recently reissued on Earache Digital on all major digital platforms.
Los Angeles all girl grunge act L7 return with their new 2019 reunion album “Scatter The Rats”. During the 1990’s L7 was a large grunge rock act along side of bands like Nirvana and Hole.
Check out this new video and 2019 interview:
L7 Scatter The Rats Official Album Stream from Spotify:
L.A. grunge pioneers L7 stage their comeback with a snarl and a wink
As she prepared to go onstage one night in Australia in the early 1990s, L7 frontwoman Donita Sparks heard a concert promoter introduce her band by describing their bodies in belittling language that can’t be printed here.
“Look, the #MeToo thing — for me it’s like #WhoHasn’t?” Sparks, 56, said recently of the sexist harassment she and her bandmates endured for years as one of the very few all-female bands in the male-dominated grunge scene. But because there were four of them, Sparks quickly pointed out, “I don’t think any of us ever felt in danger” of the type of physical assault that movement has brought to light.
“Men were kind of scared of us,” she said proudly.
With its sludgy riffs and singsong melodies, L7 found big alternative-era success — opening for Nirvana, scoring an MTV hit with 1992’s “Pretend We’re Dead,” even starting the abortion-rights advocacy group Rock for Choice, which staged high-profile benefit concerts by the likes of Rage Against the Machine and Pearl Jam.
By 2001, though, the band had splintered, driven apart by personality conflicts and diminishing record sales.
So when Sparks called band co-founder Suzi Gardner, 58, in 2014 — she wanted to make a documentary about L7 and needed help gathering archival materials — she didn’t know what to expect.
“Then Suzi picks up and goes, ‘Good eee-vening,’ ” Sparks recalled, laughing as she offered her version of the guitarist’s goofy Dracula impression. “I knew right away everything was cool.”
Five years later, L7 has more than a movie to prove it.
The quartet whose rise and fall was documented in 2017’s “L7: Pretend We’re Dead” is hoping to rise again with “Scatter the Rats,” its first album since 1999, released this month through Joan Jett’s label, Blackheart Records. On Friday, the band — which also features bassist Jennifer Finch, 52, and drummer Dee Plakas, 58 — is set to kick off a North American tour at the Glass House in Pomona.
It’s easy to see why L7 picked this moment to come back. Like Bikini Kill, the influential riot grrrl band that recently launched its own reunion, L7 made its name with bruising yet catchy songs about the appallingly casual predation faced by women.
“Some guy just pinched my ass,” goes the group’s snarling debut single, “Shove,” from 1990. “Drunken bums ain’t got no class.”
Remind you of anyone’s boast about grabbing women by a different body part?
“We like to think that women have come really far, but in many ways, so little has changed from the ’90s — or even from the ’70s,” said Jett, who recruited L7 to back her in 1992 for a Rock the Choice gig at the Hollywood Palladium. “People still hold girls to a completely different standard. And L7 has got something to say about it.”
Yet as timely as the band’s old tunes can feel — not to mention newer ones such as “Dispatch From Mar-a-Lago” — there’s something about how L7 delivers its message that sets this band apart right now.
In an era of intersectional feminism and woke #MeToo activism, Sparks and her bandmates strike a coarser, more freewheeling tone in songs including “I Came Back to Bitch” (“I’m the big dog / You’re simply the bone”) and “Burn Baby,” with its repeated chant of “Lock us up! / Lock us up!”
The women definitely have institutional misogyny on their minds. But they also want to make you laugh, and they’re willing to risk a bit of political incorrectness to do it.
“I think we’re a menace with a wink and a nod,” Sparks said as she sat next to Gardner at a Cuban restaurant in Atwater Village. Her prominent gold tooth glinting in the sun, the singer — who famously threw a used tampon into the audience at England’s Reading Festival in ’92 — added, “We were always slightly threatening, and I think we’ve still got that.”
“We’re not afraid to call things out,” Gardner said.
“But,” Sparks clarified, “without a case of the sinceres.”
Asked what she thinks of today’s liberal youth movement — members of which are sometimes derided as “snowflakes” — Sparks said, “I think they’re in for a world of hurt. You have to pick your battles or you’re going to exhaust yourself.”
“Throwing a conniption because you can’t get the banana-mango vape oil?” Gardner chimed in. “Spare me.”
“The night is long and filled with terrors,” Sparks went on. “And they’re coming for you, snowflake.”
That L7 is contending with these shifts at all comes as a surprise to the band’s members. Sparks, who anticipates each question she’s asked as though it’s sure to be dumber than the last, said she grew up dead-set against rock reunions, at least until she caught the Sex Pistols in 1996.
“They were fabulous,” she said. “Then again, I was wasted.”
More to the point, L7’s breakup wasn’t friendly. Sparks felt abandoned; Gardner spiraled into depression and stashed her guitars beneath her bed, where they sat unplayed while she cared for her ailing mother. The estranged friends lived just blocks from each other in Silver Lake, but they say they never saw each other.
“Actually, I saw you a couple times in your car,” Gardner said as she sipped an iced tea. “One time I even honked.”
“You did?” Sparks asked. “Was I in the Cougar?”
“No, the other car.”
“Oh, wow,” Sparks said. “And you honked at me? Interesting. I probably thought it was one of my exes.”
After patching things up through work on the documentary, L7 started playing live again, albeit without any new songs.
“Writing and recording again — that just seemed impossible at the time,” said Gardner, who described a lengthy effort to regain her confidence as a guitarist.
“But a reunion only has a lifespan of a few years,” Sparks said. “So after we exhausted that, it was like, ‘OK, if we want to keep doing this, we need to make a record.’ ” The L7 movie premiered just days after Donald Trump won the 2016 election, which provided plenty to write about.
“We obviously weren’t going to do the super-earnest thing,” Sparks said. “But we were cool with sticking our necks out. ‘Dispatch from Mar-a-Lago’ is like our ‘Springtime for Hitler.’ ”
That irreverent sense of humor — and L7’s defiantly primal sound — may have kept the band’s comeback at a lower boil than, say, Bikini Kill’s (which opened with four sold-out shows at the Palladium). With some exasperation, Sparks pointed out that L7 has never been invited to play Coachella.
“We thought we were friendly with Goldenvoice,” she said of the company that puts on that cool-hunting mega-festival. “We play other shows for those guys. I don’t know why we haven’t been asked.”
Yet Sparks and Gardner say they’re unwilling to play by the rules of modern pop stardom, in which an artist’s entire life serves as fodder for social media.
“You don’t need to see me weed-whacking, OK?” Gardner said.
“Privacy is cool,” added Sparks. “Years ago, people were curious about our sexual orientation, and I never wanted to reveal that because I felt like I wanted to be a role model for whoever wanted me to be a role model.” With a laugh — and with far saltier words — she said she wanted everyone in L7’s audience to think they could have sex with her.
“I’m an open field,” she said. “Anybody’s got a chance at this.”
L7 2018 Interview From Revolver Magazine
L7: Reunited Alt-Rock Icons on New Album, #MeToo, Getting Pranked by Mike Patton
“We’re not the spokespeople for pussies,” declares L7 frontwoman Donita Sparks one sweltering afternoon in Brooklyn. “We’re a rock band.” Given how they were among the first grunge-rock bands to achieve widespread success, you’d think the Los Angeles group wouldn’t have to make this clarification — certainly not over 20 years in, amid a high-profile, long-anticipated reunion tour. But so it goes with the glass ceiling and the first ones in line to smash it. Between their pro-choice benefits, anti-rape anthems and infamous festival tampon tosses (take THAT, heckling dudebros!), L7 have made plenty of cracks. (For further proof of their monumental impact, check out the 2016’s crowdfunded documentary L7: Pretend We’re Dead, released by the band themselves.)
Following an extensive hiatus, the four-piece — currently comprising Sparks, guitarist/vocalist Suzi Gardner, bassist Jennifer Finch and drummer Dee Plakas — recently wrapped the latest run of their ongoing reunion tour, which kicked off in 2015. For the trek, the quartet have been performing incendiary hits like “Pretend We’re Dead,” “Fuel My Fire” and “Shitlist,” as well as their recent comeback cuts, “Dispatch From Mar-A-Lago” and “I Came Back to Bitch.” We caught up with the band to discuss their historic past, raucous present, their next moves — and that one time Mike Patton may have taken a shit in their orange juice.
YOU RECENTLY ANNOUNCED THAT YOU’RE WORKING ON YOUR FIRST NEW ALBUM SINCE 1999. HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THESE NEW SONGS?
DONITA SPARKS Well, we had done the reunion, but we didn’t really want the pressure of new material at the time, so it was just like, “Oh, let’s do the meat-and-potatoes L7 set, without that pressure.” And so, as time went on, we kind of accomplished that: we were starting to jam on new stuff, and just decided to put out a couple singles, “Dispatch From Mar-a-Lago” and “I Came Back to Bitch” — and now we’re doing a full length.
SO WHAT CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT THE ALBUM?
SPARKS Nothing, except for …
SUZI GARDNER … We’re writing like crazy.
SPARKS We’re writing like crazy, and we do have a PledgeMusic campaign up now that’s doing very well. We will either put [the album] out ourselves, or partner up with a label who’s got some fabulous distribution. We’re unclear about that aspect at this time.
THE PLEDGEMUSIC CAMPAIGN AWARDS PLEDGES WITH TONS OF SPECIAL GIFTS, INCLUDING DONITA’S RECORDING MIC, RARE VINYL, SIGNED SET LISTS AND MORE. WAS IT HARD TO PUT ANY OF THESE ITEMS UP FOR BID? THEY’RE PIECES OF YOUR HISTORY.
JENNIFER FINCH Yes, but sometimes you have to clear out the old to bring in the new.
SPARKS We’ve been holding onto this stuff [for such] a long time in our closets, and at some point, it’s good to just kind of …
GARDNER … let it go.
SPARKS Let it go.
GARDNER Real estate is not cheap in Los Angeles, and so, we have to be realistic with all this crapola.
DONITA, IN A 1997 ROLLING STONE INTERVIEW, YOU STATED THAT YOU COLLECT JIM CARREY MEMORABILIA. WILL ANY OF THAT BE UP FOR GRABS?
SPARKS Well, now, I can take my 8 x 10s that are signed by Jim Carrey, and photoshop my face next to his to make it look like we were a couple, and maybe get it on one of those “Who dated who?” type of celebrity websites. Maybe then we’ll start spreading that rumor that me and Tom Cruise actually used to date. But no, I do not collect Jim Carey memorabilia anymore, because I had to dismantle my Jim Carrey breakfast nook. So I just have a couple of signed 8 x 10s.
WHAT WAS IT LIKE TOURING WITH FAITH NO MORE IN 1992?
FINCH Oh my god. Dirty, dirty, dirty, dirty, dirty. That’s my comment.
SPARKS I believe Mike Patton defecated in our orange juice.
FINCH Because he thought it was funny. Like, really, he thought it was cool to do that. So we’d have like [Faith No More members] Roddy [Bottum] and Billy [Gould] walk in and go, “Don’t drink the orange juice. Don’t drink the orange juice.” And I’m like, “Why?” And they go, “It’s cryptic.”
GARDNER Roddy and I got attacked by a hippopotamus in Germany.
WOW, WE WOULD LOVE TO HEAR THAT STORY. CAN WE HEAR THAT STORY?
GARDNER Well, we were playing in a circus tent place and we snuck out to where they had this hippopotamus in a tank, and we walked towards it and it lunged at us, and we [makes wiggle moves]. It was really scary.
FINCH I wonder if that hippopotamus is doing a reunion tour.
SPARKS I wonder if that hippopotamus is a pair of shoes right now.
FINCH Take it to the dark place!
POLITICALLY, LYRICALLY AND MUSICALLY, YOU PAVED THE ROAD FOR LOT OF BANDS. ARE THERE ANY BANDS THAT YOU’VE SEEN OVER THE YEARS THAT YOU WERE LIKE, “I REALLY LOVE WHAT THEY’RE DOING. I REALLY THINK THAT THEY’VE CAPTURED KIND OF WHAT WE STARTED?”
SPARKS No. I don’t know, man — there’s not a lot of meat-and-potatoes bands out there. Since our reunion, we’ve been getting lumped in with a lot of bands who we are blown away to be mentioned alongside: The Stooges, and Motörhead, and you know, these, like … great rock bands. Our name being thrown into those circles, I think, is our proudest achievement, because that’s what we started out to do.
HOW IMPORTANT WAS MOTÖRHEAD TO YOU GUYS WHEN YOU WERE COMING UP?
GARDNER They were very influential. We rocked out to them a lot. I still rock out to them, serial-listening in my car, so I’ll be listening to them until I’m killed by death.
SPARKS And Motörhead were an island. Their music classified as metal and hard rock, but the band didn’t belong to any specific scene.
FINCH And they crossed [into] DIY and punk and all different genres .
SPARKS Yeah. And I think, you know, the Ramones are a lot catchier than Motörhead tunesmith-wise. I think we’ve got a lot of that, too, ’cause we like the Ramones, as well, and the B-52s.
L7 WERE AMONG THE FIRST BANDS TO DEAL WITH SEXUAL ASSAULT, EQUAL PAY AND OTHER FEMINIST ISSUES THAT HADN’T YET PROLIFERATED THROUGH THE MAINSTREAM. WHEN YOU REFLECT ON THE SCENE IN 2018, IN THE WAKE OF THE #METOO MOVEMENT, IN PARTICULAR, DO YOU THINK FEMALE PERFORMERS ARE BETTER OR WORSE OFF THAN WHEN YOU WERE ON THE COME-UP?
FINCH I think certain people are more aware about safety, and, in general, that’s a good thing.
SPARKS Maybe now, they’re more aware about sharing their abuse stories with each other and getting empowered that way. See, I think that there was possibly a lot more shame attached to some women’s issues back in the day, so I think that that’s a cool thing about the youth, that there’s more sharing.
However, these changing attitudes can sometimes come with a little hypersensitivity that I think, in a hyper-reactive sense, can be a little boring and unnecessary. It sucks the fun out of some things, you know what I mean?
In some aspects, you have to get over it. If you don’t like a certain word or something, then combat that with some humor, as opposed to getting up in arms about every misstep somebody takes. People say stupid things all the time. I said something stupid on stage last night. We can’t nail everybody to a cross, because then you don’t know who your friends and enemies are.
FINCH It’s a big learning experience, I think, for society right now, and there’s gonna be missteps. And you just flow with it. You just go with it and support people the best you can.
WE’RE ALSO SEEING CHANGES TO DIY COMMUNITIES, ON AN INSTITUTIONAL LEVEL — PEOPLE SPEAKING UP ABOUT SYSTEMIC ABUSE AND ABOUT THE POWER STRUCTURES THAT SOMETIMES LEAD TO SITUATIONS WHERE WOMEN FEEL UNSAFE, AND THEN CREATING REAL CHANGE. WERE THESE TYPES OF POWER STRUGGLES DISCUSSED AMONG ARTISTS IN THE L.A. SCENE, TO YOUR KNOWLEDGE?
FINCH I think there’s always been this joke of a “casting couch” — the understanding that there are players, and there’s a dynamic of sexuality in the entertainment industry that has always been talked about. But the talk about definite structure and who controls the power is a new conversation.
SPARKS And I’ll say something: You know, there are also plenty of people who would be happy to give a blowjob to get a part in a movie, also! So there’s that side of it, too! There are some people who would go very low to get a part in a film, so, you know …
FINCH Or get high.
GARDNER I’m really bummed. I can’t sleep my way to the top.
SPARKS I wonder if I’d have ever blown somebody to be like a No. 1 artist, or on the cover of Rolling Stone. [Turns to her bandmates] What do you think? Would you have blown someone?
FINCH Yeah, it’s interesting, you know. I didn’t know it was actually an option in our particular genre, but now, we’re actually experiencing power. We have employees, so we make sure those employees understand and sign off that they’re gonna get sexually harassed on a day to day basis. Men, women, trans — it doesn’t matter. We’re equal opportunity harassers.
SPARKS And offenders.
FINCH Oh yeah, offenders.
SPARKS Contact our attorney, Larry Parker.
GARDNER But seriously: It is good that the environment now is that you don’t have to suffer in silence if you don’t want to. Like, there’s people who are speaking up. The pendulum is swinging and whacking us all, and I see that as a good thing.
WHO ARE SOME MORE RECENT BANDS THAT YOU’VE BEEN DIGGING LATELY?
FINCH You mean besides Imagine Dragons? [Laughs] No, which actually, secretly, I really like.
SPARKS I like FIDLAR, Tijuana Panthers, Bleached — and oh, there’s a lot. There’s a lot of music.
FINCH: We’re big Peaches fans. There’s a lot of stuff out there.
YOU’VE BEEN PLAYING TONS OF SHOWS RECENTLY, MANY OF THEM SOLD-OUT. HAVE YOU BEEN SURPRISED AT ALL BY THE TURNOUT AND RECEPTION?
SPARKS It’s been very heartwarming. There are older fans and then younger fans, and the older fans are nice and thick and they can support the light ones very easily. Young kids are just flying around, and the older ones are just kind of sturdily holding them and catching them. So that’s kind of cool.
FINCH: Most of our fans do do Crossfit, so … [Laughs]
AND DOES L7 DO CROSSFIT?
FINCH [Raising hand] I have!
This interview has been slightly edited for flow and clarity.
L7 2017 Interview with Billboard Magazine
L7’s Donita Sparks Talks Trump, Music Industry Sexism and the Band’s Enduring Legacy
As the burgeoning Seattle grunge scene of the early ‘90s exploded into a global phenomenon, fans and record executives alike scrambled to find the next denim-and-flannel-clad savior of rock’s new movement, which favored anguished power chords and stripped-down aesthetics over the glam metal bombast of the ‘80s.
But as Nirvana and Pearl Jam led the crusade with their brooding agro-anthems, the all-female punk foursome L7 flexed irreverent with furious, tongue-in-cheek ragers like “Wargasm” and “Fast and Frightening” (which boasts the iconic lyric, “Got so much clit she don’t need no balls”).
The Los Angeles quartet — Donita Sparks (vocals/guitar), Suzi Gardner (guitar/vocals), Jennifer Finch (bass/vocals) and Demetra Plakas (drums/vocals) — often got lumped in with their grunge contemporaries, but their music bore more similarities to the unhinged punk-metal of Motörhead and the satirical, gory stage production of GWAR. L7 enjoyed minor commercial success with 1992’s Bricks Are Heavy, featuring the hit single “Pretend We’re Dead,” and founded Rock for Choice, a series of pro-choice benefit concerts that featured Nirvana, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Rage Against the Machine. But they also gained notoriety for their onstage antics — particularly for their performance at the 1992 Reading Festival, where Sparks tossed her used tampon into the mud-slinging crowd and yelled, “Eat my used tampon, fuckers!”
The ensuing years were not as kind to L7, as lineup changes and dwindling label support led them go to on an “indefinite hiatus” in 2001. But in late 2014, Sparks began assembling archival footage for a documentary that eventually culminated in the crowd-funded L7: Pretend We’re Dead, which is out on DVD on Friday (Oct. 13). The band hit the road for a well-received reunion tour in 2015, and last month they released their first single in 18 years, the sardonic, Trump-skewering “Dispatch From Mar-a-Lago.” They currently have a new single in the works as well.
As she prepared to fly to Brooklyn for a film screening and Q&A, Sparks talked to Billboard about the new documentary, sexism in the music industry and L7’s enduring legacy.
When did you start doing interviews for this project?
God, it’s such a blur now. Probably three years ago or so. I think the footage and a lot of the photographs had been handed over the year before that, so the director, Sarah Price, had the visual content, but then the audio stuff was coming in about three years ago.
Did you all take part in the interview process separately?
Yes. At the time we hadn’t even spoken yet or seen each other in 17 years or whatever. It was just via email and stuff like that, arranging the interviews.
You said previously that working through all the archival footage originally prompted you to consider if it was the right time for a reunion.
There were friendly salutations and things in the email, so that was a good sign that nobody seems to hate each other here. But the initial thing was me posting stuff to a Facebook page that I had created, and I wanted to archive my photographs and band photographs that I thought were great that I wasn’t seeing on the Web. So I started posting those, and we were getting all these likes, and it was an unusually enthusiastic Facebook crowd. Every time I’d post something, it was like, “Reunion!” So then it was just kind of like, “Wow, I guess there is a demand.”
Do you feel that with the documentary and reunion tour, there’s been a reappraisal of L7’s legacy?
I think so, because we were sort of forgotten about, a bit swept under the rug. We didn’t have a big digital footprint on the Web. We had no press agent, so we were not contactable to do pieces on the ‘90s or whatever, like maybe some other people were who had still press agents or things. So we were kind of forgotten about. This has definitely sort of reminded people that we were kind of an interesting band.
Journalists often connected you to the burgeoning riot grrrl movement of the ‘90s. Did the band actually identify with or feel connected to that movement?
Well, we were all punk rockers, but riot grrrl was formed on college campuses, and we were urban. And we were kind of from the nitty-gritty, impoverished city artist scene. We weren’t college kids. We were more from the underground in that way.
I think that riot grrrl was more of a political movement using rock as their delivery mechanism, where we were a rock band who happened to be feminist. So it’s a little bit different. We were not on a political platform. We formed Rock for Choice, but we were not riot grrrls. We were grown-ass women, not college kids. And riot grrrl was very serious, and we had a lot of fun.
It’s refreshing to see you were willing to straddle that line and have fun with your music.
For some people, we weren’t political enough. And I would read stuff over the years saying that we were not feminists. And it’s just like, “What the fuck are you talking about?” I’ve gotten so much shit my whole life for being a feminist, and to be called not a feminist is just so outrageous. So we either weren’t political enough or too political. We gave a shit but we wanted to have fun, too.
It’s kind of ironic how you’re sometimes perceived, and then you’ve got to try and set the record straight, which I think this documentary does. And actually, I think our new track also supports that sort of approach as well.
When did you start writing “Dispatch from Mar-a-Lago”?
We wrote it a couple months ago, but we felt it was very urgent to get it out. We thought, “He’s either gonna get impeached…” — and then we thought Mar-a-Lago was gonna get wiped out by the hurricane. So it was just this urgency, like, “We gotta get this song out! Because it may be irrelevant in a very short amount of time.” We’ve never felt such urgency to get a track out.
You’ve had so many crazy, buzz-worthy moments in your career—in particular, the Reading incident in 1992. How do you think those antics would be perceived differently in a quicker, Internet-based news cycle?
I don’t really know the answer to that question. I know that it is a shocking thing that I did, and it is still very shocking, but I find it funny that young gals are really embracing that, and they’re throwing tampons at us onstage. Not used tampons, but they’re homaging us by writing messages on tampons that say, “We love you L7!” and they’re throwing them at us.
You go through phases of, “Oh yeah, that was really cool that I did that!” and then, “Oh God, I hope my mother never finds out about that,” or, “Oh God, why did I do that?” And then, years later, it becomes this moment that the young gals are really digging. So as far as the Internet cycle, I really don’t know, but it certainly has lasted because I’m asked about it in every interview I do.
That must be a head-trip for you, that the incident has been co-opted as a gesture of empowerment by your fans.
Which it is, but it was also an absurdist moment, because I am an absurdist at times. So it wasn’t like this big, “I am woman, hear me roar” thing. It was kind of like, “Fuck you! You think you can throw mud at us? Well, we’re throwing blood at you.”
How have your reunion shows been different than your first go-round in L7?
Well, I think we’re all better musicians, even though we got really good. We started out as just having a cool thing going on, and then we got better as songwriters and better as musicians as time went on.
Is it more financially viable for L7 to tour now?
At our peak, I really don’t know where the money went. But right now it’s good. We’re not making huge bank, but we’re not [just] breaking even either. I don’t think we’re getting Misfits reunion money, but it’s just kind of interesting: We’ll play a festival and we’ll be fifth down the line on the bill, but we’ll get the article in the Chicago Tribune or whatever. It’s this weird thing where we’re not getting placed in a certain place on the bill, but we’ll get the press.
So I don’t know. What is that? I’m not sure. Is that sexism? It’s like, once again, here we are in the Tribune and we’re seventh on the bill. But whatever, we’ll take it. We’ve always been the underdogs of rock. That this has not changed much doesn’t really surprise us. As our manager says, “You’re getting skirted.” Isn’t that ironic? Skirted.
Do you still experience that sexism on a regular basis in the music industry?
We’re not dealing with that from our peers. We never have. We’re not dealing with that from the media. We used to, but we don’t anymore. Media are seeing us more as sort of legacy territory. They’re less gender-obsessed now than they used to be with us. But the people holding the power strings, you’re still at their mercy. And those suits, whether they be record label suits or concert promoter suits, they hold the power. Whether [sexism] is a factor, I am not sure. I don’t know. I’ve never known what goes on in the back rooms.
It seems like being in L7 could be kind of a thankless job when you were in the thick of it. Have the reunion shows and documentary changed your perception of L7’s career at all?
I can look back and see some mistakes that were made, but I would say for the most part, we were just a band of those times, in a way. For a band to last a long time and sustain a certain level is an incredibly difficult thing to do.
We lived the full experience of a rock band, I feel, which is: you climb, and then you plateau, and then you decline. That’s a very interesting life experience that not many people have experienced. So it’s all good. The fact that we did suffer those horrible, shitty times, it’s like, wow, that’s some character building stuff. That’s some humble lessons. So we’re very thankful for everything that we have right now.
Video Interview: Does Morgan Steinmeyer Hakansson Marduk’s Guitarist own of piece of Dead’s skull and brain from Mayhem?
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The Earache Records live album series “Into The Pit” previously only available on iTunes is now available for download on all media platforms. ALBUM LIST: At The Gates – Live in Krakow The Berzerker – Live in London Bolt Thrower – Live War Cathedral – Live in London Cult of Luna – Live at the…
New video form the upcoming Darkthrone album “Old Star” out May 31.
Dark Throne – The Hardship Of The Scots:
Destruction – Born To Perish new album teaser:
In a new audio interview Alex Hellid from Swedish Death Metal band Entombed will be releasing a new album, also check out their new live album “Entombed – Clandestine Live” which features a full live version of their classic “Clandestine” album.
New Death Angel album out May 31 on Nuclear Blast Records.
Death Angel – Humanicide:
Death Angel – The Pack:
02. Divine Defector
04. I Came For Blood
05. Immortal Behated
06. Alive and Screaming
07. The Pack
08. Ghost of Me
09. Revelation Song
10. Of Rats and Men
11. The Day I Walked Away (bonus track)
Vader – Grand Deceiver from their new EP “Thy Messenger” Out May 31.
Vader – Grand Deceiver: