Photos by Andrew Epstein
While gothic industrial music icons like Nine Inch Nails, Rammstein, KMFDM, and Laibach remain active, the genre has largely returned to the underground. The music is incredibly varied, ranging from Depeche Mode-flavoured pop to Ministry-level intensity. Live guitar and drums do make appearances but electronic elements dominate, with stage setups often consisting of a few consoles and a vocalist.
There are few acts that represent the current incarnation of industrial and dark techno music better than Seattle’s God Module, who sit at the head of a wave of American acts that dominate the scene. Led by vocalist and main composer Jasyn Bangert, they’ve attracted an international cult of fans with catchy horror-themed lyrics and intense beat-driven sample-heavy compositions.
God Module have just wrapped up their North American tour in support of their seventh album Prophecy, a trek that began with the robbery of all of their equipment, and an incredibly successful crowdfunding effort that kept them on the road. I spoke to Bangert before his set at Toronto’s Coalition to get a first-hand account of what happened. We also talked about his sound and why he prefers to play his more danceable tracks in concert, as well as what his ideal live version of the band would be.
God Module have one more date this year on November 28th in Mexico City, and they’ve got some Europe and U.K. dates lined up in the Spring. Their new album Prophecy is available now on Metropolis Records and you can listen to the track “We Are Legend” here.
Photos by Chris Tung
At this year’s Riot Fest at Downsview Park I had the chance to sit down with Toronto-born rapper Jazz Cartier. He was admittedly a bit tired after journeying across the country the night before to be there. It didn’t show on stage however as he turned in an intense thirty minute set where he ended up crowd surfing and climbing the scaffolding.
He’s also turned a lot of heads south of the border with his debut album Marauding in Paradise, which despite Drake’s success, is not an easy thing to do. The album certainly doesn’t sound like anything that’s ever come out of the Canadian rap scene. Cartier is well-travelled, and it seems that it’s had a positive effect on his music. We talked about his cross-border style and why he puts an emphasis on performing live (as well as being insured for it).
Jazz Cartier has upcoming shows in Montreal, Ottawa, and Los Angeles. You can listen to Marauding in Paradise in full below or download it here.
Photo by Hannah Verbeuren
There are many in the metal community that would count former Sepultura frontman Max Cavalera as an essential figure in the rise of nu-metal in the nineties. The first few albums from his post-Sep band Soulfly seemed to owe much to the genre. It wasn’t that surprising considering Cavalera makes a habit of embracing younger bands. After a few albums the band adopted a hybrid sound that was more in line with early thrash music. The new Soulfly album Archangel is Cavalera’s most diverse in years and seems to take influence from all parts of his career. With the a nineties pop culture revival now in full swing, I was curious to find out what he thinks about the purists who decried his early Soulfly albums.
But when I sat down with the legend himself before a recent show at Toronto’s Opera House, I found that he’s quick to distance himself from any nu-metal involvement he may have had. He’s still searching for heavier bands. His new album also continues his spiritual take on metal, and I also wanted to know how he’s able to enjoy so many Satanic and blasphemous bands.
Finally we spoke about how he feels when he plays Sepultura songs and why he thinks Cavalera Conspiracy, the band he formed with his brother and fellow ex-Sep member Igor, retains more of the original Sepultura spirit than Sepultura itself.
Soulfly are currently touring in the U.S. and Archangel is available now on Nuclear Blast Records. Watch the video for the title track here.
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.
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.
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.