Friday, June 26, 2009

RIGOR MORTIS Is Setting In! Texas' Beloved Thrash Metal Band Is Back!!!

As excited as I was to do the Iron Maiden interview, I was even more stoked to sit down with three of the four founding members of Texas' Rigor Mortis. As an adolescent, I thought the band was among the better thrash bands of the era, largely because of guitarist Mike Scaccia's unique picking technique. Unfortunately, the masses didn't really pick up on it until he left the band to join Ministry.

But regardless of all that, I had a great time with Casey Orr, Bruce Corbitt, and Harden Harrison.

Here's a taste of all the formaldehyde-y goodness:

Is Scaccia still as fast as he used to be? How did his guitar style develop? Was it originally an accident, a joke, or was it something that he really worked at? I don’t think the term “speed metal” has any relevancy without Scaccia’s work on those Rigor Mortis albums.

CASEY: Mike’s a mother***er, ain’t he? Yeah, I’d say he’s every bit as fast as he ever was. He’s a freak of nature. He doesn’t play the guitar; it just bends to his will! I used to say that trying to keep up with him felt like running down a steep set of stairs too fast, knowing you’re going to trip and end up at the bottom in a broken heap!

BRUCE: I met him when he was 16 and he was already able to do that unique picking style at that time. He told me back then that after he first started playing guitar, that for some reason he was just always able to do that. So it was just something he tried, and it came natural for him. People have said his picking style is sort of like a bumble bee. He is just as fast as he used to be, maybe just a slight adjustment with how he does it as he gets older.

HARDEN: Yeah, he’s fast as ever. It’s an inborn nervous twitch type of thing, but he also worked very hard at mastering the guitar and practiced more than anyone I’ve ever known...or even heard of.

Read the whole massive monstrosity here!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Put them in the IRON MAIDEN! Excellent!!!!

As excited as I was to do the Gary Hoey interview, I was even MORE chuffed to get an opportunity to speak with a member of the band that almost wholly inspired me to pick up a musical instrument, IRON MAIDEN. Last week, I had a great phone conversation with drummer Nicko McBrain. And although the conversation was cut short, due to a restrictive schedule, I managed to get some great stuff out of him.

Here's a teaser:

Iron Maiden is a band that needs no introduction. The band’s name is legendary, and their concerts border on religious experiences. This week, the Flight 666 documentary movie hits stores (and recurrent airplay on VH1 television). Through the film, we see these legends as men – jovial, emotional, and philosophical. But rarely, do we ever get the opportunity to interact with these fables of the flesh.

Examiner was fortunate enough to be able to spend some time with the jolliest of all these hallowed beings, drummer Nicko McBrain to discuss some of the background and internal nuances of the movie. Read on, as we talk with Nicko about Flight 666, the dangers of golf, pizza etiquette, and Anvil!

Was there an extensive group discussion about participating in this movie, or was it an executive decision from Rod Smallwood [manager] saying that you had to do it?

No, no, no, Lord almighty. There were many, many discussions. It kicked off one night after a show in Europe. We were talking amongst the band – we do talk to each other, contrary to popular belief. Bruce came up with the idea about getting our own jet airliner and touring around the world.

We discussed the places we’ve never been to, places we wanted to go to, how much money it costs to tour these places, and how cost-prohibitive these places were. And Bruce said, “Well, we’ll have our own magic carpet!” Then we started thinking that that might be a great idea; we could get a 747! And Bruce said that he was thinking more along the lines of a 757, because he wasn’t rated for the 747. Then we pitched it to Rod, and discussed the logistics of where we wanted to go. And originally, the idea for taking the 757 was so we could take all our gear, have Bruce pilot it, and bring all of our family along. Then someone said, “Well, we have to take all the journalists of the world with us, too, because this is an historic event!”

“Hhhhhmmmm,” said Rod, “why don’t we document this here bloody trip. It is historic, after all. Nobody’s ever done this before - customize a 757 and whatnot. Even better, we should have a documentary crew 24/7 for the duration of the tour!” Boy, that’s when it went down like a fountain in a 2-man submarine, believe me. There was a bit of rumbling, a bit of grumbling, some trepidation…my lord, trepidation! So yeah, it wasn’t a matter of “yeah, let’s all do it.”

Read the whole interview here!