2016 Metal Hammer quotes

January issue…

Trevor Strnad (the vocalist of The Black Dahlia Murder) describing Pierced from Within (a Suffocation album) as the record that he wished that he had made: “My all-time favourite death metal record. It’s so twisted, convoluted and alien-sounding. It’s an endless labyrinth of riffs. It’s aged really well. It still sounds modern. It laid the groundwork for most of brutal death metal to come afterwards.”

Trevor explaining why Razor’s Violent Restitution is the most obvious example of an album that makes him want to fight: “It’s a brazen thrash record, and their lyrics are kinda corny – people are being double-crossed and there’s lots of hand-to-hand combat. The guitar sound on it was ahead of its time. Don’t worry about the corny-assed cover art with the chainsaw (it looks like it was drawn on somebody’s folder in high school), because it’s seriously good.”

Steve Harris (Iron Maiden) discussing Nightwish:  “No disrespect to Tarja, but Anette’s voice suited them a lot better.”

Max Cavalera talking about someone’s opinion of Morbid Visions: “Phil Anselmo actually told me this is absolutely his favourite Sepultura album, and I told him – Well, it’s out of tune – and he said – I don’t care; that’s probably why I like it so much.”

February issue…

Michael Weikath (Helloween) citing David Bowie’s Heroes as the album that no-one would believe that he owns: “He’s done one version in Spanish, one in Italian, one in English obviously, and I had gotten the German version. It was so strange, hearing him sing those German words – which I thought he’d know better, given he’d spent so much time in Berlin! But it was so intimate the way he’d pronounced the German things wrong – you embraced it, you took it and you sang with him that way – the wrong way.”

Jim Root (Slipknot) bestowing a compliment to Mastodon’s The Last Baron: “This is an example of epic songwriting. Its melodic, heavy, intricate arrangements hold the listener’s interest.”

Jim comparing Entombed’s Out of Hand with the younger music taste of Alessandro Venturella: “It’s super heavy, direct and to the point. Alex listens to some cool stuff like Sikth and Meshuggah, but ultimately I still need to hear a song.”

Jim comparing his own music taste: “When I was a kid getting into guitar, I listened to Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force a lot, because I wanted to be able to play guitar like that. But after a very short amount of time, I found myself going back to bands like The Who, who could actually write songs. They had attitude, melody, proper lyrics and were great musicians, too. Substitute is one of those songs that sounds so simple but it’s just so powerful and timeless.”

Shawn Crahan (Slipknot) on Depeche Mode’s Clean being representative of his music taste before becoming fully immersed into metal: “I used to think metal was just weird hair and tights, until Paul Gray introduced me to righteous metal – Testament, Sepultura, etc. Before that, I was an alternative guy. I’m 46, so I grew up on Bad Brains, Dead Kennedys and Black Flag then (as I got into college) it was Siouxsie and the Banshees, Ministry, Pixies, Dinosaur Jr., Mudhoney, The Mission UK – bands that had a different mindset from regular rock bands. So I loved Depeche Mode from the first time I heard them. This is just an amazing song from an amazing band.”

Corey Taylor (Slipknot) bestowing praise on Megadeth’s Liar (not an album title): “I kinda rediscovered this song in the last year or so. I was going through all my music and I was like – Oh my god, how did I forget about this tune? – It’s probably my favourite Megadeth song. It’s on a very underrated album (which is one of my favourites) and the riffs in it are just sick. It’s a metal song with a real punk vibe to it, and you can just feel the attitude in it. It’s so in-your-face.”

Corey praising Van Halen’s Unchained (not the title of an album): “This is my absolute favourite Van Halen song. It’s just the perfect rock song. It’s got a great riff, but the music doesn’t do the driving – the vocals do. The vocals keep the song at a 4/4 pace. Musically, it’s so weird; it’s playing off the beat – it’s just not on the meter, but the vocals just keep charging the song forward until the chorus, which is just the big payoff! I can put this song on and every time I just have a blast with it.”

March issue…

Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters frontman) talking about Lemmy (the bassist and vocalist of Motörhead): “I walked up to Lemmy and said – Excuse me, Lemmy, I don’t want to bother you but you’ve influenced me so much. He looked up from his video game and he said – I’m sorry about your friend, Kurt. This gun-slinging, whiskey-drinking, bad-ass rock star with a heart. I walked away thinking I may never see him again, but that’s enough for the rest of my life, but then we became friends.”

Terry the Tramp talks about himself and Lemmy sharing a squat: “I remember one time walking into Lemmy’s room. He was playing Monty Python and getting a blow job! I’m not sure how that combination worked, but he seemed to be having a good time with it! From then on, I never walked in when he was playing Monty Python. We moved into one squat, and the lounge didn’t have any floorboards or wiring. Lemmy was on tour at the time, so we took up the floorboards and wiring from his room to use them in the lounge. When Lemmy returned from the tour, he got busted at the airport. The police took him home to search his room, so he showed them where it was. One policeman walked in, tried the lightswitch (which didn’t work) and then fell through the ceiling! They beat Lemmy up, and all for something that he didn’t even know about.”

Triple H (WWE) talking about the first time that he met Lemmy: “I met Lemmy for the first time in Los Angeles, backstage after a show, and we hit it off! I ended up going to a couple of Motörhead shows and they came down to some WWE shows, and I ended up actually recording with Lem on a track on Hammered. It’s this spoken word track, Serial Killer, and we did it over a couple of days in the studio. Eventually, we could hang out and we could talk for hours. It wouldn’t even be about music or about my business, we would just talk. They played me to the ring at two different Wrestlemanias. I was on this riser coming up to the stage with the world title on me. There’s lasers and pyro. You look to your left and there’s Lemmy singing a song about you. I got in the ring. I turn around, point to him, he’s on the stage, he points straight back at me and there was just this moment – this connection. I’ll never forget that.”

Enid Williams (Girlschool) talking about how Lemmy wasn’t sexist as she had imagined him to be: “In 1978, we released a single that got the attention of Motörhead’s manager, who thought we would be a good fit for supporting Motörhead. Phil Taylor and “Fast” Eddie were like – We’re not touring with girls! But Lemmy came down to the rehearsal. We were a bit scared of him, actually! But he was really lovely. He went back to the guys and said – Listen, they can really play. They can play bloody better than you can! He just told them that we were going on the tour. We went out and toured with them many times. It was just a great privilege.”

April issue…

Lzzy Hale (Halestorm) revealing David Draiman’s trade trick: “He showed me this trick, where if you’re struggling to hold a high note, you put your arms over your head so your lungs can expand and they’re not put under any strain.”

May issue…

Chino Moreno (Deftones) talking about creative crafts: “Often, the best movies, art and music is the stuff that only comes into focus when you give it time.”

June issue…

Lars Ulrich (Metallica) complimenting Dave Mustaine and two bands: “He was cool and confident, he had a cool haircut. When we went and hung out with him at his apartment, there were girls there. He was much more of a man of the world whereas James and I were these weird, awkward, disenfranchised teenagers. Venom need to get name-checked more when people talk about Metallica’s early days. One band you can’t leave out of a conversation about our influences are Mercyful Fate. They had long songs that were journeys through all different moods and dynamics. By the time we’d spent six months listening to Mercyful Fate, we’d added an extra verse and chorus.”

Matt Heafy (Trivium) talking about the March 30 gig at Middlesbrough Empire: “Dirty, lots of garbage around, no shower, and when we asked for a trash can – they strapped a trash bag to a door handle. Ha!”

Jonny Z (owner of Megaforce Records) talking about Paul Curcio being Metallica’s first producer and James Hetfield feeling uncomfortable as a singer: “The producer loved Kirk’s lead. He wanted it to sound like a Santana record – where Carlos Santana’s lead guitar is at the front. James & Lars came to me and said – Hey, Jonny, there’s a problem. This producer thinks we’re done with the tracking; can you sort it out? At one point, there was even talk of Lars becoming the frontman. For about five seconds.”

July issue…

Jonas Renkse (Katatonia) speaking highly of the album which he would break the speed limit to: “Morbid Angel set a new standard for how fast you could play in metal. I remember hearing Slayer and thinking – You can’t get faster than that. A few years later, Altars of Madness blew me away. To this day, it’s an amazing record.”

Dez Fafara (Devildriver) referring to Limp Bizkit, Linkin Park and Papa Roach in a roundabout way when being asked to name the worst band in the nu-metal genre: “I can’t do it. I’ve got to be a gentleman. Let me just say this – after the core group of bands (Coal Chamber, Korn, Deftones, Static-X, System of a Down and Slipknot) broke the scene, a few bands came along that are huge now. They’re just terrible. I can’t understand for the life of me how they sell records, or how anybody who listens to them can take the music or the personalities in the bands as authentic.”

October issue…

Jonathan Davis (Korn) talking about Follow the Leader (1998): “This is the album that makes or breaks a career. If the third album does well, you’re set for life. We had two successful records. If we’d failed with Follow the Leader then I’m sure pretty sure we wouldn’t be talking here now. That album blew it open for us.”

November issue…

Jonathan talking about how Roots (1996) was a compliment and an insult because of a producer named Ross Robinson: “That was just a blatant Korn rip-off, and I had it out with Ross about that because he just took our sound and gave it to Sepultura. My young brain couldn’t handle it. But they were one of our biggest influences, so I guess they get a pass; and that’s a classic album, so it’s all good.”

He is asked if he believes in psychic stuff: “I believe that we’re all connected through a matrix. Whether you want to call it God or whatever, we’re all connected, and there’s all this weird stuff, like, déjà vu or coincidence, and there’s obviously some higher intelligence that’s making this happen. That’s my trip right now, but it might change when I get older.”

James Shaffer (one of Korn’s guitarists) following up by referencing a ’93 album: “Yeah, but here’s the thing – that was us trying to imitate them. When they released Chaos A.D., that was a huge influence on us, and it’s still one of my favourite records. Now I’m older, I can appreciate art inspiring art.”

Brian Welch (the other Korn guitarist) describing Jonathan in elementary school: “You know Mr. Burns from The Simpsons? I look back, and I think if Mr. Burns had a grandkid, it would have been Jonathan!”

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