This summer’s edition of the Rockstar Mayhem Festival had more than a little controversy surrounding it. Festival organizer Kevin Lyman caught flack for saying that ticket sales were low because the metal scene had got “bald and fat” and hadn’t produced any new headlining bands. A number of bands publicly disputed his comments included the festival’s headliner Slayer. Guitarist Kerry King criticized the second stage lineup and cited a general lack of organization. Lyman would eventually say that there may not be any future editions of the festival.

There are two things I should admit. I think that King was right about one thing. There was definitely a disparity between the headliners the second stage. However the other thing I have to admit is that I actually had a really good time. Yeah attendance could have been better, but everyone was in a good mood, the sun was shining, and the tunes were loud. I also got a chance to speak to a couple of the stronger bands on the second stage.

First up is guitarist Daniel Trejo from the Texas metal outfit Shattered Sun. They’ve been highly visible after playing a North American tour with Testament and Exodus. They have a unique hybrid thrash sound so I spoke with Daniel about where it comes from and whether it’s been rough opening for thrash royalty.

Shot and Cut by Chris Tung

Shattered Sun is currently on tour in North America with Soulfly, Soilwork, and Decapitated until late November. Their debut album Hope Within Hatred is available on Victory Records and you can watch the video for the title track here.

Next I spoke with guitarist Zakary Gibson of Illinois metalcore act Sworn In. This band definitely add a bit more brutality to their sound than most of their peers, and it turns out that avoiding clichés is something that is important to them. As well we spoke about the conceptual aspect behind their latest album The Lovers/The Devil.

Shot and Cut by Chris Tung

Sworn In are currently on tour in North American supporting Escape The Fate. The Lovers/The Devil is out now on Razor & Tie Recordings and you can watch the video for “Scissors” here.

Earlier in the day I also sat down with Hellyeah guitarist Christian Brady. He’s been playing with the band since 2014, so we talked about his personal experiences over the past year and his developing role in the group. As well we touched upon Hellyeah’s involvement in raising funds for the No More campaign against domestic violence and sexual assault.


Hellyeah will be playing the Shiprocked cruise this January. Their latest album is Blood for Blood, and you can watch the video for “Hush” below, which was a part of their involvement with No More and revolves around experiences from vocalist Chad Gray’s childhood.

Finally please enjoy some bonus photos of headliners Slayer and King Diamond courtesy of Chris Tung of Pink City.

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