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  #61  
Old 12-09-2013, 03:20 AM
Onioner Onioner is offline
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What up people! I got another really fucking long article for y'all. This is kind of a history on Brocas Helm, a band that I consider to be among the greatest ever. After the Impaled article, I had no idea what I wanted to write about next. Then the Brocas Helm show got announced and I realized that the band is like a total fricken mystery, and that it could be fun to hunt these dudes down.

I first hit up Justin Weis, the mastering engineer for Black Death and Defender of the Crown, for the band's contact info. He directed me to our pal Mike Scalzi from Slough Feg. Unfortunately, Mike couldn't find a number for his friend in the band, guitarist/vocalist Bob Wright. So I remembered this article that Mike wrote for Invisible Oranges that said that Bob is an electrician, so I did some googling and found a random number online. I call it on a Saturday morning, and within one ring I hear on the other line this monolithic and commanding voice- "This is Bob Wright." I'm basically freaking the fuck out, and I introduce myself/explain the article/babble incessantly and somehow we schedule an interview and I get his email address. We eventually do chat on the phone and what follows is the most amazing interview I've ever done. Bob tells me so many cool Brocas Helm facts, stories and details that I just totally nerd out. He also starts grilling me, asking me what I want do with my life- best part of the interview:

Bob: So what do you want to be, a writer or an engineer?
Me: An engineer, but I like writing for fun.
Bob: Well, why didn't you go to college?
Me: I do go to college, I go to UCLA.
Bob: UCLA huh...? (Long pause) I bet the girls there are really hot, eh?!

I totally lose it and crack up like no tomorrow- that's something that happened so many times throughout the 70 minute long interview. Next was the rest of the guys. A few days later I found former guitarist John Grey on Facebook, added him and sent a message explaining myself and the article, and we did a phone interview right on the spot. John turned out to be a massive help for the article, he gave me lots of really cool info, access to old photos, and even got me in touch with the other former guitarist, Tom "T-Bone" Behney. John got really into the article, and was the only one to look over his transcript when I sent it and offer corrections. Super nice guy, and just a really cool dude in general.

Next was former guitarist T-Bone. I called him and left a voicemail on a random weeknight one day. Dude calls me on a Saturday morning while I'm asleep, I wake up, find my entire right arm asleep and I flop around like a beached whale to my phone to talk to him. My roommate got a kick out of watching me derp around haha. T-Bone was another source of good info, and turns out he really went out of his way to encourage his kids to get into music when he settled down. He even told me a really sweet story of how he played Limelight by Rush with his son on drums for a middle school talent show. Really pleasant guy to talk to.

Next was the show itself. The universe decided to say "FUCK YOU ONIONER" and gave me the shittiest possible week of school leading up the night I flew home for the show. Ended up pulling two all nighters in like 4 days or something like that, just because of homework overload. It was all worth it though, just so I could attend the show. I already recounted how that day ended up being one of the best and most awesome days in my entire life in my gig report, so you can read it there. In short though, Brocas Helm gave an unforgettable live show, and meeting Bob Wright was an experience I will always cherish. I have never met a man that loves life, the people who are good to him and the good things that come with it all more than Bob Wright- an amazing human being by any standard.

I interviewed drummer Jack and bassist Jim at the show, both were really chill and laidback to talk to. At the show, Jim gave me a CD with dozens of really cool photos of the band, some of which were over thirty years old. Most of the photos used in the article were Jim's. I did manage to hit up Brian Lew, the original Bay Area thrash historian and he found one old photo that I could use. My friend, ace photographer Ray Ahner, also took some choice shots at the show itself that I ended up using.

Once I transcribed all the interviews, I got cracking on the article itself. It ended up being less "journalistic" and more casual, just because there was less investigation to be done so to speak. These guys generally haven't had as much drama as Impaled had, so I injected more of my own opinions and such to make the article more interesting. After writing it was editing and re-writing like mad, then doing the layout. Anyway, hope you guys enjoy it! I have no clue what I'll write next, but I'm sure it'll be fun.

http://metalassault.com/articles/201...y-brocas-helm/
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Brocas Helm/Hatchet/Exmortus/Midnight Chaser 11/22
High on Fire/Kvelertak 12/12
Exodus/Nails/Hellfire (???) 12/20
Neurosis/Bl'ast!/YOB (???) 12/29

Last edited by Onioner; 12-09-2013 at 03:37 PM.
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  #62  
Old 01-12-2014, 01:13 PM
Onioner Onioner is offline
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Hey dudes, got another article fer ya! This one's actually a reasonable length haha. It's on a hardcore punk band from Santa Cruz called Bl'ast! No real cool story here, this was just a standard press request for an interview and meeting the dudes at the show. Cliff and Mike were both real cool and down to Earth, and Bl'ast! killed later that night. Anyway, enjoy!

http://metalassault.com/articles/201...from-the-past/

I've got what I think will be a pretty cool article coming up, and it'll be really engineering-focused. Can't wait to get the ball rolling on that.
__________________
Brocas Helm/Hatchet/Exmortus/Midnight Chaser 11/22
High on Fire/Kvelertak 12/12
Exodus/Nails/Hellfire (???) 12/20
Neurosis/Bl'ast!/YOB (???) 12/29
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  #63  
Old 02-10-2014, 11:22 PM
Onioner Onioner is offline
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Moar article! This is a piece on Slough Feg and their new album Digitial Resistance. It's also heavily on Slough Feg's engineer, Justin Weis. As some of you may or may not know, I was lucky enough to assist with some of the sessions for the album. Well, I found out that my name won't be on the record (deservedly so, Justin did 99.9% of the hard work and this is one his best recordings and mixes ever) but I figured on the plus side that it would mean I could at least write an article without too much fuss or whatever. So I did.

I proposed the idea to Mike Scalzi months ago and he was stoked, so I reminded him and we got it rolling right away. I spent two hours on the phone with Scalzi just info gathering and shooting the shit. Scalzi is probably one of the most intelligent and genuinely cool people I know. He's the kind of guy that will take time out of his day to do something mentally stimulating like spend time with a friend even if it may inconvenience him. I really really wish more people my age or hell, more people in general were like Mike Scalzi.

I interviewed drummer Harry Cantwell next. He's just an incredibly cool and humble dude and a constant inspiration as a drummer to me, so calling him a friend is something I'm continually mindblown by. Our interview was via email, but it still worked super well.

Last was Justin Weis. He's a busy guy so it took a while to find a time to talk, but we eventually did and it was killer. He's been like a mentor to me in so many ways, which is again kind of a mindfuck since I worshipped the guy's work just two years back before I even met him. Hell, I still kinda do. Life's weirdly awesome like that right now. Anyway, here it is. I also threw in a fuckton of electrical engineering analogies and jokes and crap, I hope it ain't too enginerdy.

http://metalassault.com/articles/201...ital-resistor/
__________________
Brocas Helm/Hatchet/Exmortus/Midnight Chaser 11/22
High on Fire/Kvelertak 12/12
Exodus/Nails/Hellfire (???) 12/20
Neurosis/Bl'ast!/YOB (???) 12/29
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  #64  
Old 03-24-2014, 01:56 PM
Onioner Onioner is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Everywhere, CA
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This is a little old, but here's a short piece on Hazzard's Cure, a band I helped record last summer. To me, they're kind of like what the ideal bay area metal band would be like: unique, rocking and kind of weird. They're the nicest guys in the world, and true underground heroes. The EP they did also has Laurie Shanaman from Ludicra doing vocals on a song. Her performance in the studio was one of the most jaw-dropping and awe-inspiring musical performances I have ever witnessed. I remember she basically nailed the entire song in one take, and we were all just like, "Well shit, I think we're good." I think we got another take from her just for the hell of it. She is also a total sweetheart, which made her performance all the more striking haha. I did the interview via email, so I don't have any fun details to offer there unfortunately.

http://metalassault.com/articles/201...tal-amorphous/

Next up is something that has the potential to be my masterwork when it comes to heavy metal journalism. It's a story that I can't wait to share when it's ready.
__________________
Brocas Helm/Hatchet/Exmortus/Midnight Chaser 11/22
High on Fire/Kvelertak 12/12
Exodus/Nails/Hellfire (???) 12/20
Neurosis/Bl'ast!/YOB (???) 12/29
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