I just had one of those weekends where most of the stuff that happened involved Big Bands.
It started off on Friday morning when I listened to the new Guns N’ Roses record with a bunch of other rock writers at Universal Records.
The fact there was a lovely spread of sandwiches (cheese and parma ham or chicken tikka) on the table and that a few fellows started moaning it was too loud didn’t ruin the HARD ROCK atmosphere at all.
Oh no. Chinese Democracy did that all on its own. We waited 17 years for a new album and… well, you can read exactly what I had to say about it on Thrash Hits.
On Saturday evening, I went to see the biggest British metal band of recent years perform to a capacity crowd at Alexandra Palace. That is Bullet For My Valentine, by the way.
Heavy metal is not a genre for the minorities any more. It’ll take a while for the mainstream to fully acknowledge that the stream’s a bit wider now but there you go. A close friend and fellow metaller is a good decade older than me and regales me with tales of seeing Pantera at The Marquee in 1993 and going to Donington the first time round at every opportunity. He also moans about how wearing a leather jacket is cool now – the opposite of what it was like 20 years ago. Back then you couldn’t walk down the street with a Mohawk or a denim gumby jacket replete with thrash band-oriented patches without a bag of chips flying through the air at your head.
Now, you get 9,000 kids watching a band that, by all intents and purposes, are not as good as the Slayers, Testaments and Metallicas of the world and never will be. I guess we’re as likely to get another Slayer as we are another Pink Floyd. Harsh reality.
However, Bullet are absolutely the best we’ve got right now and that’s that. Their latest slab of metalcore, Scream Aim Fire reached #4 in both the UK and US charts and has sold half a million. People are voting with both their wallets and their feet.
Keep an ear out for support band, Black Tide over the next 12 months. They’re on a major label, they’re already on Radio 1 (remember my point about metal in the mainstream) and they’ll be selling a lot of tickets very, very soon.
Talking of Metallica, I got wind of a rumour about Metallica headlining a massive outdoor show at Knebworth in July 2009. It’s absolutely just a rumour but there are other European dates scheduled around then so who knows.
Tonight, is a trip to a smaller venue than any of the aforementioned bands frequent. I’m going to London King’s Cross Water Rats to see one of the music world’s current buzz bands – MC Rut. Think Jane’s Addiction meets Idiot Pilot. Next stop is Motorhead on Saturday at Hammersmith Apollo.
Life is good.
Raz is one of the founding members of DrownedinSound.com and now edits ThrashHits.com