Blog Archives

Christmas gift ideas for your headbanger

Everyone loves music…but what do you get for the person who owns CDs, cassette tapes, vinyl records, and MP3s of all their favorite songs already? You could take a chance on new bands such as Greta Van Fleet or Red Dragon Cartel, but you run the risk of getting something that doesn’t quite tickle their ears. Music appreciation is, after all, highly subjective.

Fortunately, there are other ways to enjoy music besides listening to it. Weird, right? But thanks to companies like Funko and McFarlane, you can get collectible figurines of rock stars and band mascots. Here are a few helpful links.
Alice Cooper POP Funko
Funko POP

Ozzy Osbourne McFarlane
McFarlane Figures

Bif Bang Pow! KISS Unmasked

Iron Maiden Super 7 Figures
Various Other Figures and Statues

Playing Cards

I’m The Man: The Story of That Guy from Anthrax by Scott Ian with Jon Widerhorn (2015)

Scott Ian

I’m the Man: The Story of That Guy from Anthrax
by Scott Ian with Jon Widerhorn
Da Capo Press, 2015
376 pages

This book has been sitting on my shelf unread for far too long; I had no idea I would enjoy it as much as I did. Scott Ian, rhythm guitarist and cofounder of thrash metal legends Anthrax, one of the “Big 4,” delivers an entertaining look at a career in the music business, complete with backstage shenanigans and headstrong bandmates. As Anthrax approaches its 35th anniversary, I’m The Man is an honest look back at the group’s history.

In addition to details about Anthrax’s history, Ian delves into the early days of Metallica and his friendship with Kirk Hammett and Cliff Burton before their popularity exploded. Some of the most interesting anecdotes revolve around Metallica, including the devastating events surrounding Burton’s untimely death. Ian was also present at the Viper Room with River Phoenix overdosed, though he did not know the actor personally and was not with him when it occurred.

There is quite a bit of foul language in the book, but if you can overlook that you will get a behind-the-scenes look at a struggling rock star’s life. The only complaint I have is the omission of Ian’s experience with Sebastian Bach, Ted Nugent, and Jason Bonham in VH1’s reality show Super Group. Aside from that, the guitarist covers a lot of ground in his career in Anthrax.

Learn more about Da Capo Press.

Purchase I’m the Man: The Story of That Guy from Anthrax by Scott Ian with Jon Widerhorn.

Farm Machine by Steve ‘N’ Seagulls (2015)


Steve ‘N’ Seaulls
Farm Machine
Spinefarm Records, 2015
50 minutes

Covers albums are generally a bad idea. Poison, Def Leppard, and Guns N’ Roses have all tried and failed, and Metallica’s Garage Inc. is an overrated collection with just a couple of gems. But when a band is able to translate a song from one genre into another, and the song comes out just as powerful as the original, that is when covers albums are great.

That is exactly what happens on Farm Machine by Steve ‘N’ Seagulls. The five-piece bluegrass group performs renditions of hard rock classics by Led Zeppelin, Iron Maiden, and AC/DC, hillbillyfying them and blowing the listener away. This heavy metal hoedown is a perfect mix of passion and power, displaying both the timeless nature of the song and the talent of Steve ‘N’ Seagulls.

My personal favorite here is “Holy Diver,” a song originally recorded by the late Ronnie James Dio. We are approaching the five-year anniversary of the singer’s death, yet this song, which was released in 1983, sounds just as fantastic today as it did when first released, even in a different genre. Of all the cover versions of this song out there, Steve ‘N’ Seagulls’ entry is by far my favorite.

Watch the band perform Metallica’s “Seek and Destroy” below:

1. Grand Opening
2. Black Dog
3. Thunderstruck
4. The Trooper
5. Ich Will
6. Paradise City
7. Nothing Else Matters
8. Over The Hills And Far Away
9. Seek And Destroy
10. Holy Diver
11. Run To The Hills
12. You Shook Me All Night Long
13. Cemetery Gates

Learn more about Spinefarm Records.

Learn more about Steve ‘N’ Seagulls.

Purchase Farm Machine by Steve ‘N’ Seagulls.

Steve N Seagulls

Fans can get involved with Inside Metal

Inside Metal


The early ’80s metal scene in Los Angeles has become legendary, as it spawned such worldwide headliners as Mötley Crüe, Ratt, Dokken, W.A.S.P., and originally, Metallica (before the latter relocated to San Francisco). And the new documentary, Inside Metal: Pioneers of L.A. Hard Rock & Metal, chronicles the entire scene.

Directed by Bob Nalbandian and produced by Metalrock Films, Inside Metal features all-new interviews with countless bands and artists that thrived on the scene, and tell its story, first hand. To ensure that this killer documentary receives the attention it deserves, a fundraising campaign has been set up at – which will help strengthen the film’s distribution, marketing and promotion.

This groundbreaking movie features exclusive and candid interviews with members of Metallica (Lars Ulrich), Ratt (Stephen Pearcy), Dokken (Don Dokken), Quiet Riot (Carlos Cavazo), W.A.S.P. (Chris Holmes), Megadeth (David Ellefson), Great White, (Jack Russel), Y&T, (Dave Meniketti), Stryper (Michael Sweet) and Armored Saint (Joey Vera).

Inside Metal is about giving fans the real inside story from the behind the scenes world of metal and hard rock with in-depth interviews, ultra-rare concert footage and photographs, and an original music score from that era; in this no-holds-barred, never before seen, recollection of untold stories.

Check out some sneak previews below:

Early feedback has been exceptional, including renowned video director Jonas Åkerlund (who has worked with the likes of Metallica and Ozzy) raving, “This film captures an era that catapulted metal into the spotlight and takes the audience on a wild ride down memory lane. After watching it I wanted to get in my time machine and experience those days for the first time. You’re hit with a potent nostalgia, a time I thought we couldn’t get back, not until I saw this film. I can’t get enough of this shit, what an amazing film to watch over and over again, well done!”

Metalrock Films ask—and want—real and serious metal fans to be a part of this historic documentary and spread the word that this was the scene where it all began, ground zero. “Our Fanbacked campaign will raise the direly needed financial support to bring this film to one and all in the US and Internationally in order to pay for the marketing and promotion to get it noticed by the general public. We want to bring this film to your theatre, town, bar, club and living room! Unite and support us. We have created some one of a kind opportunities for our friends and fans to participate with us in birth of this film. Get your name on the screen and let the world know that you support metal and the bands that create it. Help us tell the story of the music you love and let the world know you love it. Join in the festivities of our, and your, accomplishments by being at the premiere of the movie and interact with the artist that participated in its creation. Commemorate your participation with a plaque, t-shirt, poster or other limited edition merchandise items that says ‘Metal Rules.’ Keep checking back as we add more tasty premiums.”

And thanks to you and your donation, Inside Metal will finally get the true story of the scene heard – worldwide!

To make a donation, go to:

Do you want to hear the new Metallica song?

One of the greatest thrash metal bands debuted a new song in concert last night in Bogota, Colombia. The band is performing a series of “By Request” concerts in which the fans pick 17 of the 18 songs, the 18th slot reserved for “The Lords of Summer.”

While this is better than a lot of the stuff Metallica has released over the past twenty-plus years, it’s still nowhere near the epic level of “Master of Puppets,” “For Whom The Bell Tolls,” or “Welcome Home (Sanitarium).” Not that I expected it to be; Metallica just isn’t the same today.

R.I.P. Lou Reed

(March 2, 1942 – October 27, 2013)

Singer and guitarist for the Velvet Underground and later a solo artist, Lou Reed passed away October 27, 2013. Reed’s last studio album was a collaboration with Metallica called Lulu. Velvet Underground bandmate John Cale wrote, “The world has lost a fine songwriter and poet…I’ve lost my ‘school-yard buddy.'”

Newsted – Heavy Metal Music (2013)

Newsted CD review

Heavy Metal Music
Collective Sounds, 2013
57 minutes

Jason Newsted will always be known as the guy who used to play bass in Metallica. No amount of new projects (and he has had plenty) will change that. But it is nice when a new release comes along that makes you remember fondly his time spent with the thrash masters, an album that hearkens back to those days while not imitating them to the point of parody. Heavy Metal Music is just that—a fitting tribute to his past with his feet firmly planted in the present.

Newsted delivers the voice and bass guitar for the band, with Jesus Mendez Jr. on drums and Jessie Farnsworth on guitars. Mike Mushok of Staind joined the band on the road as Newsted toured with Megadeth on their Gigantour. Newsted’s vocal delivery sounds like a cross between Motörhead’s Lemmy and Megadeth’s Dave Mustaine, more suitable for the faster-paced songs such as “Soldierhead,” but still appropriate for the mid-tempo rockers like “Above All.” There are no blazing guitar solos to make your jaw drop, but Farnsworth’s worth fits each track. There is no doubt that Newsted is the star of the outfit, and his band is not about to upstage him on his debut solo record.

Highlights of the album include the whiplash-inducing “Soldierhead” and “King Of The Underdogs,” the latter being an anthem for unappreciated metal fans all over the world. “Nocturnus” has a great groove and may bring to the listener’s mind a mid-70s Black Sabbath vibe. “Twisted Tale Of The Comet” also has a great vibe and a great story behind it, written for his late Voivod bandmate Denis D’Amour.

If you are hungry for some new metal that doesn’t sound like the cookie-cutter trash on commercial radio, give Newted’s Heavy Metal Music a try.

1. Heroic Dose
2. Soldierhead
3. …As The Crow Flies
4. Ampossible
5. Long Time Dead
6. Above All
7. King Of The Underdogs
8. Nocturnus
9. Twisted Tail Of The Comet
10. Kindevillusion
11. Futureality

Check out the video for “Soldierhead” below:

Learn more about Newsted.

Learn more about Collective Sounds.

Purchase Newsted – Heavy Metal Music.


IT’S FRIDAY!!! (part 7)


I’m planning to see Guns N’ Roses tonight at the US Bank Arena in Cincinnati, but I couldn’t find a GNR cover band mocking Rebecca Black. So I figured Metallica is the next best thing! Not really. Hetfield and the boys haven’t done anything really good since 1986ish. GNR had the massively awesome Chinese Democracy. So there.

This ain’t your daddy’s Metallica

The new Lou Reed & Metallica album Lulu is now streaming online.


(P.S. – Not appropriate for young’ns.)

Do you like to discover new music?

DISCLAIMER: This is a shameless plug for my weekly radio show.

Every Saturday night, I host a radio program on non-profit WMWX in Cincinnati called “Hard Rock Nights.” This program can be heard on 88.9 FM in the local market, but we also stream online so anyone with an internet connection can listen in. The station’s website can be found at

As you can probably figure out from the name of my show, I play a lot of hard rock music. Stuff by bands you’ve heard of, like Metallica, Deep Purple, Dio, Twisted Sister, etc. But I also play a lot of stuff that you have probably never heard, but would probably enjoy if you like the aforementioned bands. Bands like Coldspell, Jorn, Freakshow, and Joetown.

This coming Saturday, I just happen to have a couple of very cool artists appearing on the show with me. The first is Helena, the lead singer for Spider Rockets, a band from New Jersey. The second is Nigel Dupree, who fronts the Nigel Dupree Band and just happens to be the son of Jesse James Dupree, the frontman of a little band you may have heard of called Jackyl.

I will be talking with both of these fantastic people and playing some of their music, as well as the music of bands such as Sleeze Beez, Warrant, Alice Cooper, Ace Frehley, and much, much more. If you are so inclined, I would love to have you tune in to the broadcast this Saturday evening, beginning at 9 pm EDT on

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