Music Metal School - Page 21




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Thread: Metal School

  1. #201
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    But growling aside what do you guys think of rock historians classifying metal as music for white males?
    There is a lot of truth to it. Its not like women, blacks or other ethnicities are absent from the genre, but they are definitely underrepresented.

    Speaking as a black male metalhead, I can assure you that in the USA and in most European countries, the predominant skin color in a typical hard rock concert, and also that women are still pretty rare, either on stage or off.

    When I lived in San Antonio- a good city for metal, BTW- I used to attend concerts with my friends. All white. 3, however, were women.*
    That group was anomalous- typically the pods of pals showing up to the doors with their tickets were running 80% male. My first arena show there- a disasterous, technical difficulty-riddled outing by Dio/Megadeth/Savatage- was a sea of caucasians and hispanics.

    I recall in particular one club I attended regularly in Austin in which I routinely saw one black girl at every show I attended. We never met, but we always gave each other a nod of recognition. I never saw another black face in the audience of that club, though occasionally one would show up on stage- like at the Ice-T/Bodycount/Eye & I show (one of the best I've seen, BTW).

    Part of it (for blacks at least) was that the genre didn't speak to black youth and musicians. Songs about Satan, rainbows in the dark, and the like, simply don't resonate within the black community the way they do among the white community.

    Artists like Hendrix looked past the lyrical trappings and found a genre that could support lyrics about social issues, urban blight, black alienation...yeah, and drugs, too.

    But the black community- and thus, black musicians- still finds more lyrical and social support within more traditional genres such as blues, gospel, jazz and funk.

    Its changing...slowly. Hendrix begat Bad Brains, John Butcher and Tony MacAlpine, whom in turn inspired Living Colour, Fishbone, Follow For Now, 24-7 Spyz, Mother's Finest, Eye & I, Eric Gales, and the guys in bands like Lucy Brown, Killswitch Engage, King's X, Straight Line Stitch, Sevendust...

    And so many more.

    * One, as it turns out, was a freelancer to Kerrang magazine...without a car. As a buddy with a car, I got to go to a lot of concerts for free- including backstage passes to shows by Rik Emmet (of Triumph), LA Guns, Shark Island, Pat Travers, Dirty Looks and many more.
    Last edited by Dannyalcatraz; Tuesday, 20th May, 2008 at 07:16 PM.
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  • #202
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    Shark Island? Wow...reminds of my youth hanging out on the Sunset Strip. Did they make it out to San Antonio before or after Law of the Order? Man...I loved those guys.

  • #203
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    Rik Emmet!?
    I so hate you . . . Triumph is one of my favorite groups of all time. Right now I'm trying to figure out which bank I can knock over so I can see them reunited at Rocklahoma and still make it to GenCon.
    Headmaster of Metal School

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    On one hand, taking away their weapons is a dead giveaway that they will need them. On the other hand, by the time conflict starts the players will already have opened the rulebooks and found the parts that deal with bare-handed combat, performing disarm moves, and using improvised weapons. Players may blunder through dialog with shocking ineptitude, forget the name of the country they are in, or get confused about which side they are on, but once it comes time to roll for initiative they all turn into Sun Tzu. - Shamus Young DM of the Rings

  • #204
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    Re: Shark Island

    They showed up after Law of the Order- they opened for LA Guns. They were cool- one guy politely offered us a sniff of his blow (we declined), and the lead singer was fighting off a cold with OJ and vitamins. They were so good, I decided to buy the album (which I had been considering, but hadn't bought at the time).

    LA Guns, OTOH, was pretty rude.

    Unfortunately, so was the SA crowd. The cholos were there to see LA Guns, and not only didn't join in the fun with SI (standing almost motionless throughout their set), but some guys even chanted for LA Guns near the end.

    FYI, I just found out that SI released a second studio album in 2006 called Gathering of the Faithful.

    Re: Rik Emmet

    He rocked!

    He also was one of the nicer guys we got backstage to see. He didn't get wasted and hit on my friend and didn't just blow us off.

    The nicest band we met were the dudes from King's X. After playing a killer show with Masters of Reality, they hung out in the alley behind the club for hours signing autographs and just talking, mere yards from their waiting tour bus. I who had nothing for them to sign, just thanked them each individually for their awesome show and their face time. They autographed my Out of the Silent Planet the next time they passed through town.


    For the record, King's X released an album today called XV.
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  • #205
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    Shark Island are definitely great guys. I haven't heard the new album yet, but I see from the track listing that they have a couple of pre-Law of the Order songs on it. Cool.
    By far the coolest band I ever got to hang out with was Racer X. Their crew snuck me and my friends into a couple clubs that we were too young for. I begged (and really do mean begged) them to give me guitar lessons (and I actually got a couple).

    I know you aren't a big fan of death (growl) metal. Have you checked out any of the melodic stuff like Dark Tranquility and Insomnium? I pretty much hate the low growls as well, but for some reason, I can work with both of those bands.

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    Chapter 5 – Glam Goes Gold (or how I stopped worrying and learned to love the synthesizer)

    The time is the late 70s, Iggy Pop is drugged out of his mind, The New York Dolls wear more make-up than Poison ever owned, and David Bowie is gold most of the time and as androgynous as Pat on Saturday Night Live in the 90s or Michael Jackson at any point in his career past 1986. It is hard to deny that the music from this time period and this genre was a little lacking musically, not stylistically, but musically. Listen to any of Bowie’s stuff and for him to be strutting around in gold lamiea and glitter with platform boots that would give Gene Simmons pause, his music was more akin to a single acoustic guitar and a bar stool in a dark backroom club.

    Not that there is anything wrong with that, but the 70s still hadn’t figured form following function. Then something amazing happened, New Year’s Eve 1979; it was like the whole world decided to start fresh and the music industry was no different. New Wave, Punk, and Popular music embraced a burgeoning technology that had just started to make a splash in the 70s, the synthesizer. A box that had a dizzying array of buttons and might or might not have a keyboard style input device. The Moog was the grand–daddy of them all and the heavy rock stand-by “Frankenstein” by the Edgar Winter Group, and anything by ELO (Electric Light Orchestra at the time) contained several layers of the instrument. But in 1983 a wonderful thing happened, Yamaha released the DX7, the first digital FM synthesizer (actually it was a phase-modulated synth, but who cares, it sounded great, was portable and you didn’t have to have a degree in engineering to understand how it worked.) From that time forward, the keyboard synth (or keyboard) was here to stay and the old Moog style button/dial/wire models rode off into history.

    By 1984 every pop music group had a synthesizer or keyboard player. The old Fender Rhodes or Hammond B3 organs were retired or at least moved to a secondary position of authority in the arsenal of serious keyboard artists. But a pivotal moment for Heavy Metal came with the release of Bon Jovi’s first radio hit “Runaway” (1983 single release). That cool, choppy, keyboard intro and Jon Bon Jovi’s rough vocal straining pretty much hailed the end of the guitar as the premier instrument of Rock n’ Roll (at least for many years). Producers moved into the studio and sound engineers actually started injecting ideas of how music should sound overriding band decisions (a situation that would never have taken wing in the 60s & 70s where the tried to ‘find’ the sound, not create it.)

    Unlike other editions where I would list a group of bands and tell their contributions, this is more about the hardware involved, because EVERY band had at least one synth player in the group. Now some would argue that this was a bad thing for heavy rock music to incorporate a fresh clean sound into the music, and for the purist, I would agree, however, they were just so darn keen, (Did I actually just say that?) and versatile that you could now interject sound effects into any song without fear of trying to reproduce them on stage with thousands of dollars of audio gear and hope that the sound engineer or hired gun under the stage didn’t miss his cue. Bands that shaped the future of heavy rock were there when they rolled out the originals and began to incorporate and update with the rest of them; Rush, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Whitesnake, Dio, Rainbow, Van Halen, Journey and a host of others followed Bon Jovi and brought out the synth and they found out it was just shot in the arm they need to reach the mass market. On a side note Bon Jovi didn’t headline with this album (they opened up for .38 Special) and it would be another two years before they became headliners with the sound they created. Now it can be argued that there were others that came before Bon Jovi, and of course they did, some of them even had keyed instruments and some even experimented with synthesizers and sequencers, but until that time, there was never a full time position in a rock band for a keyboard player unless your name was Linda McCartney (Wings), Jerry Lee Lewis (himself) Greg Rollie (Journey/Santana) or Keith Emerson (ELP) and with the exception of Jerry Lee or ELP those positions were usually support positions.

    So what did synthesizers do to the industry, revolutionized it and eventually killed it. Glam rock and the genre of synth metal that followed in the late 80s was the harbinger of the end even as it was responsible for opening up the Heavy Metal and Heavy Rock sound to mass consumption by the public at large. Progressive groups like Triumph and Rush sequenced large parts of their concerts to recreate studio work, band hired keyboardists to accompany them on tour and play from off stage to supplement their acts and by 1987 almost every major mainstream act had a keyboard player as an actual band member (with some notable exceptions of course.) Where before the 5 man line-up would have two guitarists, now there was a lead guitar and lead keys, or the singer had to play either bass or rhythm guitar in order to recreate that ‘classic’ sound of dual guitars while the keyboard player gave sound support. But the killing shot was fired by a band that for the most part gets a footnote in musical history aside from a few rabid fans – Tesla. On their freshman release Mechanical Resonance was a small tag line at the bottom of their liner notes “no machines”. Their lack of synthesized audio, in any form, was a pot shot at the new status quo and began the take down for what was quickly becoming a meltdown of epic proportions in the music industry.

    By the time Nirvana hit the stage with a stripped down three piece and a “who cares” attitude, it was all over for Heavy Metal and the heady days of hearing your favorite metal group on popular radio or catching them on MTV (you know when it stood for MUSIC television) was over. Hip-hop, R&B and rap had won the battle of the electronic and rock crawled under a rock and pulled out the distortion pedal again. Glam rock had come full circle, where once the music was all visual and no true substance, it was again. But for a brief shining moment in the 80s, glam was about the aural substance, and all thanks to a piece of plastic that was improperly labeled and today wouldn’t compete with a cheap keyboard you can purchase at Wal-Mart…

    I realize that this may seem out of place in my history of metal, but once you do your research you realize how pivotal it truly was. Some groups of note that used synths to great lengths and great effect (besides the ones mentioned above) were Pretty Maids (a must hear group), Yngwie Malmsteen, Zebra, Dream Theater, Night Ranger, Great White and a host of others. As to their effect, there are several bands emerging now that are pulling their synthesizers out of the closet and blending them with distorted guitars, a testament to the effect they hold over music even today.
    Headmaster of Metal School

    "I may be unconscious, but at least I still look good!" - - Me (at the Halfling Musketeers game GenCon '06)

    On one hand, taking away their weapons is a dead giveaway that they will need them. On the other hand, by the time conflict starts the players will already have opened the rulebooks and found the parts that deal with bare-handed combat, performing disarm moves, and using improvised weapons. Players may blunder through dialog with shocking ineptitude, forget the name of the country they are in, or get confused about which side they are on, but once it comes time to roll for initiative they all turn into Sun Tzu. - Shamus Young DM of the Rings

  • #207
    Did you really just endorse Great White? They suck. I'm sorry they never did anything for me in their prime and don't even get me started on the post-we lit all our fans on fire great white. They're even worse. Saw that version live at some dive in in Mpls and it was honestly the worst show I've ever seen. There has to be some other hair band you can endorse besides Great White I mean c'mon people.
    Just kiss me...deadly

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    Quote Originally Posted by VorpalWarrior69
    I know you aren't a big fan of death (growl) metal. Have you checked out any of the melodic stuff like Dark Tranquility and Insomnium? I pretty much hate the low growls as well, but for some reason, I can work with both of those bands.
    And Amon Amarth. They are godly.
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    Quote Originally Posted by warlord
    Did you really just endorse Great White? They suck. I'm sorry they never did anything for me in their prime and don't even get me started on the post-we lit all our fans on fire great white. They're even worse. Saw that version live at some dive in in Mpls and it was honestly the worst show I've ever seen. There has to be some other hair band you can endorse besides Great White I mean c'mon people.
    Sorry, yes. In their hey-day they were awesome. Saw them open up for Night Ranger and for Whitesnake in the 80s and they rocked the house. I realize that things got a little strange after the incident in New Jersey but, they weren't even the same band at that point. I aught to know, I met them.

    And for an electric blues band, they were extremely gifted musicians, even though they got air-play for their crap and their re-makes (ala Tesla actually). And as always, this is about education not opinion; if you agree, great, if not, then that's fine too.
    Keep makin' the eardrums bleed - Thunderfoot!
    Headmaster of Metal School

    "I may be unconscious, but at least I still look good!" - - Me (at the Halfling Musketeers game GenCon '06)

    On one hand, taking away their weapons is a dead giveaway that they will need them. On the other hand, by the time conflict starts the players will already have opened the rulebooks and found the parts that deal with bare-handed combat, performing disarm moves, and using improvised weapons. Players may blunder through dialog with shocking ineptitude, forget the name of the country they are in, or get confused about which side they are on, but once it comes time to roll for initiative they all turn into Sun Tzu. - Shamus Young DM of the Rings

  • #210
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    Did you really just endorse Great White? They suck.
    Great White had awesome bass lines and better than average blues-rock guitar supporting a vocalist who had an Americanized "Robert Plant" style voice, so yes, they were pretty good.

    (Didn't meet them, but saw them live a couple of times.)

    I can't say I've heard anything with their new lineup, though.

    Tesla was pretty killer, though I didn't appreciate their recent covers album- musically, it was all right, but it had a horrible marketing plan. It was nominally a double album for which you only paid the cost of a single CD...but the complete release (the part with the most interesting tracks) was only available to those who actually attended a Tesla concert.

    Since they passed through town before I could get my hands on the CD (and find out that useful info), I was pretty much screwed.
    IAAL...and an MBA. No, really!
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