2014 Metal Hammer quotes

January issue…

Steve Austin (wrestler): “I remember when I got a scholarship at junior college, I was the guy who got the whole athletic dorm on to Ratt! They remind me of my school days.”

February thrash issue…

Scott Ian (Anthrax) talking about missed opportunities regarding their third album: “The way we worked back then, when there were enough songs for an album then we’d go in and do it. We never wrote more than was necessary. In a way, I now regret that situation. We were on such a roll that perhaps someone should have persuaded us to carry on writing. Who knows what else may have come out? When you’re in that zone, there’s a lot to be said for staying in. I’m not criticizing what’s on Among the Living, but we may have benefited from being a little less hasty in finishing up the writing side.”

Scott talking about Indians not being written by Joey Belladonna (a Native American): “At school over here, you get a warped view of history. You’re taught that there was mutual respect between the white man and Indians, that we learned from each other; wars were fought reluctantly and the Indians were always treated with dignity then you find out the truth. How the Spanish and English invaders had been attempting to wipe out the indigenous Indian population since the 15th century and how we’d tortured, raped and pillaged. That’s kept from you in the education system, and that angered me.”

Scott talking about Indians not being influenced by Iron Maiden’s Run to the Hills, as has often been suggested: “No way. I mean no disrespect to Maiden, but why would I need an English band to teach me about my country’s heritage? Musically, of course, Anthrax owe a lot to Maiden but lyrically? – never. They wrote in a way that I could never imitate. What really got me going on this song was an article about Indian reservations that I read in Time magazine – how there was a huge drinks and drugs problem, and how the suicide rate was very high. It truly shocked me.”

Scott talking about why the producer of Among the Living was hired: “We had Eddie Kramer on top of our list. We were all huge Kiss fans, and he’d produced so many of their best albums including Alive!, Alive IILove Gun as well as Rock and Roll Over. Eddie had also worked with Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix, so he was the man for us. You’ve got to remember that, at the time, everyone wanted the sort of sound that Mutt Lange had given to Def Leppard on their Pyromania album. It was released in 1983, and was still state-of-the-art three years later, when we came to do Among the Living. There was a real mania for over-production but we didn’t want that at all. That’s why Eddie was the obvious choice. If you listen back to what he did in the ’70s, there’s a raw, real live feel to his production. We wanted to keep everything right in your face on this record. We wanted to go against the norm of the time.”

Scott talks about Eddie using reverse psychology on the band: “At first, working with Eddie was amazing. He’d sit around and tell us these great stories about all the people who he’d produced but then we hit real problems. As I said, we got him because of the classic Eddie Kramer sound but, when we got to hear the first track that he mixed, we were all in shock. The vocals had tons of reverb, the guitars were washed out; he’d tried to make us sound like Def Leppard. We were being inspired by his past, and all he wanted to do was follow the trend of the time. We had some furious arguments with him. At one point, he said to me – Is your opinion God? I replied – No, I’m the rhythm guitarist in Anthrax but this is our album. It isn’t Eddie Kramer with Anthrax, or Anthrax featuring Eddie Kramer. It’s Anthrax. This record has our name! We came down hard on him. Every time that he’d play us a mix, and we’d hear the slightest reverb on the drums, it would be – No, we want the drums to sound dry, dry, dry. Throw the effects pedals into the ocean.

Scott insists that was why Eddie was never going to be fired: “No, in fact, if anything it helped. We got so angry with him that all of us were fired up, and I think that you can hear it on the record. There’s an edge which came from these disagreements. If anything, we speeded up the songs because of these confrontations, and got more extreme.”

Scott hints at why Joey Belladonna rates Spreading the Disease as his favourite Anthrax album: “We recorded Among the Living for 6 weeks and mixed for 2. On Fistful of Metal, we had three weeks yet took 6 months for Spreading the Disease but, with the latter, we were also looking for a singer. Now we take about the same length of time to record as we did on Among the Living. I can’t understand why bands want to spend any longer. It bleeds the soul and passion from the songs.”

Dan Lilker (Nuclear Assault) talking about the ultimate thrash metal albums:Reign in Blood was just a non-stop hammer. It was the bridge to death metal, with all those evil riffs. Then there’s Darkness Descends too. Heads down, charging thrash. I wasn’t so much into the more melodic thrash stuff, so the more aggressive bands like Slayer and Dark Angel, they worked best for me.”

Michel Langevin (Voivod) talking about Voivod living in a flat in Montreal during the making of their fourth album: “It was above a strip bar, so there was no problem in making a noise 24 hours a day. It was strange because there were always arguments outside between bikers – I guessed it was over drug deals. We were always curious as to what was going on down below, so we actually put a hole in the wall and lowered a microphone into the club. There were nights when we’d just sit back and listen to everything through the PA but then the hole was discovered, and these bikers came bursting into our place – they were furious, because we had been spying on them! Fortunately, Blacky made up a story about how he’d made that hole because his hamster had disappeared into the wall. If they’d not believed Blacky, then I’m sure we’d have been killed – it was that heavy.”

Kirk Hammett (Metallica) talking about life before and after Cliff Burton: “When I first joined the band, there was a huge infusion of new energy. We were just so psyched about everything and life in general but that kind of ended when Cliff left.”

Jeff talking about Diabolus in Musica (the trendy album): “The biggest difference between this record and Divine Intervention was that I wrote a lot of this one. With that one, I was in a rut and couldn’t come up with riffs which I like. Before I knew it, Kerry had most of it done. So with this record, I really started working hard from the beginning. If it sounds modern, it’s because we’re into modern music and that shows. The one thing that I like about this record is that it is moody. By the time that you get to the end, it reads like a book.”

March issue…

John Kaplan (photographer) talking about Phil Anselmo: “Phil had band posters on his wall just like many 21-years-olds do. But his tastes at the time were also diverse, not just metal. He had a large poster of The Cure above his couch as well one of the Red Hot Chili Peppers!”

April issue…

John Campbell (Lamb of God) saying something similar about the New Wave of American Heavy Metal: “Personally, I’ve been shocked that out of the bands we were grouped with which made up the NWOAHM thing – which was Killswitch, Unearth, Shadows Fall, God Forbid – it was us who ended up closer to the top of the pyramid. Before that, nu metal was sort of falling off. People were sick of that and the heavy fans needed something a little bit more aggressive and I think all those bands filled the gap. I really thought Killswitch were going to be the biggest band in the world. They have catchy tunes and songs about girls, whereas we were pummeling it out in the basement, trying to write political lyrics. I don’t know why it happened. I think some of it is the honesty and the fact that we aren’t writing songs for other people is kinda contagious!”

May issue…

Russ Parrish (who plays Satchel in Steel Panther) talking about 1984: “Ratt released their best record. A lot of people don’t realize this but 1984 was the year of the rat in the Chinese calendar and I think that gave Ratt even stronger powers. Because of that, they had sex with more girls than any other band in that particular year.”

Jinx Dawson (Coven) talking about numerology: “I always knew that in 2013, there had to be a new Coven album released. My connection with the number 13 is very strong. So in the spring, I started to formulate a plan. I went through old Coven tapes and found a few unfinished works that had never been released.”

June issue…

Phil Anselmo talking about how he became rich: “I moved back from Texas in the early 90s when I’d finally made enough T-shirt money from Pantera to buy my first house here in New Orleans.”

Rob Zombie (White Zombie) talking about why he doesn’t like modern horror movies: “It really bothers me that there has to be comic relief in horror now. If you ask someone what the best horror films ever made were, they’ll list films like Rosemary’s Baby and The Shining – films with no humour at all. But still people think you have to counter-balance the horror with comedy. I think it comes down to the success of films like the first Nightmare on Elm Street. It was darker than the later films and everyone fell in love with Freddy. And the studio thought Ah, his one-liners, that’s what everyone likes. And what happens is that if something works once, it has to happen 100 times in the second movie until it’s so stupid that you can’t handle it. So in the next movie, he had to be funnier and have more one-liners, and the one even more. You didn’t see that in the ’70s – ’70s horror was very bleak. CGI has also contributed to the death of movies. It’s a great tool if you use it as a tool but it’s being used as a crutch. Take World War Z – the moments when it was small worked, but it was so gigantic that you couldn’t even follow it. Simple ideas executed work well best. What’s scarier? A CGI monster that will never exist, that you have no frame of reference for, or a guy with a bloody pillowcase over his head coming at you? One is something you can’t relate to, so it’s not scary. The others you can, so it’s terrifying.”

July issue…

Fred Durst (Limp Bizkit) talking about an overlooked metalhead: “People would be very surprised at how metal Lil’ Wayne is. He’s a rocker, man! He’s not gonna alienate what he’s known for, but the metal community would be surprised if they spent a day with him! We bonded while skating. Sometimes we’d never talk, just skate for hours, and eventually the dialogue came along.”

Buzz Osborne (The Melvins) dismissing the notion that the excessive behaviour of the glam scene eluded the grunge scene: “Oh please! Let me tell you right now, there is no difference between those bands and someone like Mötley Crüe. They just dressed like roadies, is all.”

Rob Halford (the singer of Judas Priest) talking about the band’s importance: “There are no originators of jazz still alive, no originators of blues still alive but we’re still alive, so seeing Judas Priest live is a bit like going to watch Picasso paint!”

Ian Hill (the bassist of Judas Priest) comparing how today’s music is handled in comparison to that of the past: “It’s got to the point where people expect free music. Well, it ain’t free. It’s never been free. Even in the medieval days, wandering minstrels would go to the local tavern and perform for their food.”

September issue…

Phil Anselmo talking about the album which he breaks the speed limit to: “Dark Angel’s Darkness Descends is one of the most relentless records in the history of relentlessness. There’s a power within old-school thrash that I don’t think is better exemplified than on this record. It’s relentless and outrageous from front to back. Big thumbs-up for that one.”

Phil talking about the album that should not be: “I would have to say Load by Metallica. I mean, it’s a terrible record, man. I just don’t get it. If you’re gonna put out a record like that, just do a side project or something, ya know?”

Phil mentions what album that he would give if a kid asked him what metal is: “I would sit him down for a good semester and go through Dr. Phil’s history of heavy metal. But honestly, as dated as it might be, no one can deny Judas Priest’s British Steel is 100% pure heavy metal. Case in point – listen to Rapid Fire and the way that Rob Halford delivers, the lyrics, the riffs; it’s the epitome and blueprint for what Slayer would bring later. You can’t go wrong with that one.”

Michael Amott: “Sadly, I don’t think the riff is as big a thing as it used to be. It depends what genre you look at, but I don’t know if it has the same importance these days. The `80s, when I was first getting into music, were all about the riff. Now, it’s more about rhythmic patterns and choruses. It’s like pop rock has sort of infested metal! Ha ha.”

Phil Demmel (the lead guitarist of Machine Head) reminiscing about Pantera’s paradigm shift at the turn of the nihilistic nineties: “Cowboys from Hell was a game-changer. It had the energy of thrash but a groove that made you want to dance. That’s the beauty of Dime and his riffs; he didn’t know a lick of theory, it just poured out of him. He was a natural, organic resource for this thing called music.”

October issue…

Joel O’Keeffe (Airbourne): “I thought it was pretty funny when they called us musicians or talk about our musicianship. We play rock ‘n’ roll. We don’t play music. Music takes talent and some sort of education. We just go out and hit things.”

November issue…

Robb Flynn (Machine Head): “I used to be a drug dealer. I had people who had been up for nine days on speed coming to my house and tweakin’ and carrying guns. I had to deal with gnarly biker dudes buying speed. I ran with a crazy crew. The impetus for me starting Machine Head was me getting jumped and my friend stabbed the guys that did it, and I had 12 dudes who wanted to murder me. I didn’t walk a split second outside of my house with a .45 in my belt. They wanted me dead and bad, for 6 or 7 months. That was fear. I don’t regret it, but I don’t feel that I’m that person anymore and I’m happy that I’m not! I use I romanticize that time and other people do, too. It was pretty intense. They were crazy times. We were banned from every club in the Bay Area for months at a time.”

Robb talking about his favourite non-metal album: “Disintegration by The Cure. It’s just epic. Even the sound of it, it sounds like it was recorded in the grand canyon. It’s so huge. Great songs and great hooks; Fascination Street with those driving riffs. It’s a surprisingly dark and heavy record for that kind of music.”

Warrel Dane (Sanctuary) talking about Dave Mustaine: “I have nothing but the utmost respect for Dave. He never let us settle for something that was merely good. He pushed me hard, which I needed. He got performances from me which I didn’t think I could deliver, and if people believe that the album is great then a lot of the credit has to go to Dave.”

December issue…

Robb Flynn talking about In Comes the Flood: “I watch the pharmaceutical industry in the U.S. come up with a drug for every single affliction on the planet. There’s no incentive to heal because, if they healed everybody, they wouldn’t be making any money and there’s billions of dollars at stake. And so money has become the priority, to keep people sick and to convince us that we’re these frail things with all these afflictions when we’re not!”

Joe Giron talking about being a photographer for Pantera in Russia (circa 1991): “As we hit tourist area after tourist area, locals would do double-takes as they observed this entourage of westerners with long hair, tattoos and leather jackets. A group of children gasped, giggled and stared in amazement. They were getting the biggest kick out of Dimebag’s pink goatee. Dimebag, being an even bigger kid, engaged the young ones – giving them guitar picks, introducing himself by asking them to slap his hands and generally having a grand time. The smiles on everyone’s faces are what speak to me in my photograph. It was heartwarming seeing him use the universal language of communication to make these children laugh, trust him and enjoy their brief encounter. He didn’t speak any Russian and they didn’t speak English, but it didn’t matter one bit.”



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