Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Colossus Fall - "Hidden Into Details" (Album Review)

By: Charlie Butler

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 02/09/2015
Label: Independent

Restless, spidery riffs fire from all angles, powered by a jackhammer rhythm section and bolstered by aggressive, barked vocals (top marks for the excellent belch in “Bulleye” too). Colossus Fall negotiates their way through off-kilter time signatures and frenetic fret mangling without being wilfully difficult. A strong foundation of groove and straight head-nodding riffage is maintained throughout, which is all the more effective when contrasted with the surrounding chaos.

“Hidden Into Details” CD//DD track listing:

1. Rise of Adrenaline
2. The Errorist
3. Visions of Inhumanity
4. Bullseyes
5. Disgusting Secrets
6. Kabuki -
7. (We were) Gatekeepers
8. Nonversation
9. F.A:T: (Bonus Track) 

The Review:

Something about Switzerland seems to inspire metal bands to explore the more mathematical end of the heavy spectrum. The likes of Knut, Kruger, Nostromo and Coilguns have all delivered gold-standard riffing of mind-bending complexity and their influence can be felt on “Hidden Into Details”, the debut album from Geneva’s Colossus Fall.

Busting into life with the aptly titled “Rise of Adrenaline”, the band barely pause for breath over the next 30 minutes. Restless, spidery riffs fire from all angles, powered by a jackhammer rhythm section and bolstered by aggressive, barked vocals (top marks for the excellent belch in “Bulleye” too). Colossus Fall negotiates their way through off-kilter time signatures and frenetic fret mangling without being wilfully difficult. A strong foundation of groove and straight head-nodding riffage is maintained throughout, which is all the more effective when contrasted with the surrounding chaos. The overall effect is like a mix of Keelhaul with the crunch of early Mastodon.

The intro of “The Errorist” provides a brief glimpse of the bands slower, more melodic side. Along with the more considered semi-instrumental closer “F.A.T”, it shows that Colossus Fall have more to offer than their trademark breakneck assault and hopefully future releases will see them develop these elements further.

Whilst not quite ready to join the hallowed ranks of their aforementioned countrymen just yet, “Hidden Into Details” is a strong debut from Colossus Fall. It’s delivers a compelling short, sharp shock with the promise of even better things to come.

“Hidden Into Details” is available here

FFO: Keelhaul, Coalesce, Converge, Isis, Mastodon

Band info: Website | Bandcamp | Facebook | Shop | Twitter

Kronos - "Arisen New Era" (Album Review)

By: Richard Maw

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 24/07/2015
Label: Unique Leader Records

By any definition, Kronos are not re-inventing the wheel, but they have made an artistic and technically impressive death metal album which takes in mythological subject matter and superlative performances matched by the excellent production. As they have now returned, long may Kronos continue. Vive (le/la?) Kronos. Vive La France!

“Arisen New Era” CD//DD//LP track listing:

01. Infernal Abyss Sovereignty
02. Zeus Dethroned
03. Soul-Voracious Vultures
04. Rapture In Misery
05. Klymenos Underwrath
06. Aeons Titan Crown
07. Brotherlords
08. Purity Slaughtered
09. Hellysium

The Review:

Here we are, at last. I often think that what I want to hear, RIGHT NOW, is some French death metal taking in the brutality of Greek Mythology. Thank Mount Olympus for Kronos, then! The band return after a seven year break to re-enter the brutal/tech death metal fray. The band whip up a storm on “Infernal Abyss Sovereignty” and “Zeus Dethroned”. Indeed, this opening pairing hits so hard and fast that before you know it, the band's stall is laid out and you are into “Soul-Voracious Vultures”. There is great lead work on display throughout the record. The production is surprisingly bassy- which I don't dislike- and this gives the album a somewhat unusual sound and character.

“Rapture in Misery” has an excellent “trading rhythm guitars” opening and then adopts an unusual rhythmic motif. The vocals are expertly delivered, too- double tracking and panning are used to good effect. It is also very, very fast. “Klymenos Underwrath” is another blasting example of technical death mastery- pinch harmonics and rolling bass drums are assured. “Aeons Titan Crown” nods to their 2003 work with its title and is again unusual rhythmically. The bass is very prominent on this one and really jumps out of the speakers. This is all very much death metal with a strong tech death bias. Easily more comprehensible than Nile and not as tech as something like Arkaik, but more tech than mid-period Morbid Angel.

With nine tracks on the album, there is more than enough to satisfy your deathly desires- a little goes a long way. “Brotherlords” exemplifies this well with its labyrinthine riffing and myriad time changes- this is challenging stuff and a million miles away from “Scream Bloody Gore” or Bolt Thrower. That said, it is not jazzy like Atheist or Cynic so is easily brutal enough to get your head banging. “Purity Slaughtered” continues the record's tendency towards songs of four minutes in length but with more parts than the average thrash album in one song. A superb lead section in the last minute really lifts the track as the bass continues to stamp its authority on the album.

The coup de grace of “Hellysium” finishes this impressive death metal set in good style. Great changes and trading guitars again add flair to this album. By any definition, Kronos are not re-inventing the wheel, but they have made an artistic and technically impressive death metal album which takes in mythological subject matter and superlative performances matched by the excellent production. As they have now returned, long may Kronos continue. Vive (le/la?) Kronos. Vive La France!

“Arisen New Era” is available here

FFO:  Prostitute Disfigurement, Nile, Katalepsy, Decapitated

Band info: facebook


Swedish classic / doom rock masters WITCHCRAFT have released a brand new song entitled 'The Outcast', from their eagerly anticipated new album “Nucleus”. Listen the track here:

“Nucleus” is scheduled for a January 15, 2016 release worldwide via Nuclear Blast and will be available as CD, lavish digipack (also as a t-shirt bundle), vinyl (black, clear, splatter, gold) and digital download.

Nucleus track list:
01. Malstroem
02. Theory Of Consequence
03. The Outcast
04. Nucleus
05. An Exorcism Of Doubts
06. The Obsessed
07. To Transcend Bitterness
08. Helpless
09. Breakdown
Limited digipack CD & 2LP vinyl bonus track
10. Chasing Rainbows

Pre-order Limited Edition Vinyl and T-Shirt bundles here
Pre-order the Limited Edition Digipack CD from Amazon here

Nucleus seamlessly mixes the rawer side of WITCHCRAFT's early roots, with a slightly more melancholic modern sound. With an all new line-up (Rage Widerberg on drums and Tobias Anger on bass) the band sounds more hungry and powerful than ever before. In combination with the thrilling, yet down-to-earth production by mastermind Magnus Pelander himself, Philip Gabriel Saxin and Anton Sundell, the band's new album throws you into dreamy sonic landscapes that will mesmerise and haunt you alike.

A Conversation with Dave Angstrom of Luna Sol/Hermano: From The Soul of a Guitar Slinger

Words by: Marc Gaffney & Dave Angstrom

Music should be thought provoking and tell a story in which the listener can take a right or left or be daring and travel down the path less taken, the nominal fork in the road.
Much like a Frost poem in which you have Miles to go before you can sleep, the Luna Sol album is rifftastic with a grown up story of political awareness and human feelings that touches a side a lot of rock does not engage in. It is one of caring and going out on a limb rather than taking a machismo stance and a love of the blaring carburetor of life.

David Angstrom, Les Paul slinger of Hermano, treats us to a feast of riffs and incredibly emotional and solid lyrics in the debut of Luna Sol’sBlood Moon.”

An output that is so pleasing to the ear, you will be enjoying yourself immensely from track to track.  Sit back, maybe grab a nice artichoke dip with some pita chips and enjoy probably and this might get me in trouble, but my favorite interview I have done by far.

Gaff- Thanks for taking the time and chatting

David- My pleasure

Gaff- The new album is really good, I will be honest it is a different vibe than I thought. Lyrically I found it to be really heavy and then in other aspects it was light. Can you take me through your writing process? Is it something that you do as a group or lyrically are you coming up with everything

David- This project, when I moved to Colorado I wanted to write songs that I liked and was just really playing them at home. I wasn’t looking to tour or make a record. I just wanted to keep writing songs and be a songwriter and musician for myself. When I write I have a home studio and my wife is really cool, she puts up with me and my dog and lots of guitars and Marshall stacks. I tend to go into my own space and come up with riffs …and when I like the riff I will structure a song very quickly. I usually do that in a half hour to an hour and then it’s done. I try not to beat it up because I find that when I beat it up it kind of loses its soul.

I vomit riffs out and if they feel good while I am playing them I start humming melodies and writing lyrics. I walk my dog a lot around here it is just beautiful in Colorado, there is a nature reserve near my house, and I would just walk and think about different cities I have been to, and I wanted to create, I had never done this before, I wanted to create a space to write within and decided to take the old tales from cities, you know, kind of creepy and tell about the dark side of Colorado because it is so pretty, but there are haunting elements as well, like there was a lady who lived in a cabin for 32 years and she went fucking nuts and dies in this cabin. That dirt in the cracks of the beautiful landscape were seeping into the lyrics and the headspace where I was coming from at the time. I was trying to put it all together. Some songs are written in different stages, I was thinking about the continual wars that are going on and conversations I had been having with my son and a chorus just popped out for “Your War”. I would like to say I am some kind of genius but I am not, I am a slob and it just kind of comes natural.

Gaff- I find that usually ends of the most genuine

David- Yeah, me too. I grew up listening to Alex Lifeson, Johnny Winter and Leslie West. I like the purity of players like that. When I write songs, I try to do the same thing with the songs.

Gaff- The one thing about the album from a listening standpoint, it is in no way contrived.
David- Thank you very much

Gaff- Some stuff you listen too, especially in certain genres, some will write only about certain things, this is riff and boogie ridden but is dealing with mature topics, which is what captivated and grabbed me. So you have the lyrics and riffs, how do you go about the process of putting it down in the studio?

David- I have always loved recording and since I was twelve years old I was working with a 4 track my friend David Barrick bought. Well actually I had 2 radio shack recorders first and then I bought a 4 track. So I have always written that way. I was in a studio in Atlanta and Brendan O’Brien and Nick were in there, he is so talented and just the sweetest guy (Brendan), he gave me some of his drum samples and sometimes I will write over my own cut-n-paste jacked up beats and tell the guys this is what I am going for. I have used those samples for 15 years for writing.

It is just a kick, snare and hats and cymbals and I create drum beats under a riff, sometimes I will create a drum beat that I think is kind of cool and that is why the drums sound really weird and Pat is the first drummer I have played with that has tried to emulate some of that stuff as it is really quirky and bizarre. He always says “I want it to sound like your writing demos”. He’s a badass, that’s not easy to do.  I demo everything. I put harmonies on tracks and everything to hear it as complete as I can sometimes.  The coolest thing about playing with Pat, Shanda and Shannon is that they are so unique in their own sounds and personalities …they bring these totally different layers to where I was originally going. Shanda and Shannon add their own harmonies that always make me smile. 

Once we started playing together and working on songs together I could hear them and started writing into their thing. So yeah, I kind of tend to throw everything down and I send it to them to check out. Then they tweak it and we start breaking the ideas in and creating them as Luna Sol in the practice room.   When we are writing a record, I will send those guys a riff and ask what they think, but I am quick also to throw things away. I will go back and listen, if I don’t love it, I know it is disposable. I don’t linger on songs and ideas…if they grab us, we use them, if they don’t we don’t.  It is kind of cool what you said about writing. I think, being older and looking back, I used to be that way. When I was in Supafuzz, I loved being in that band. The soul kind of left the band because we were writing to be on the radio or to appease some music biz weasel who was promising the world. You forget that at the end of the day man it all started when I was 10 years old and I put on the radio and was blown away. I’ve discovered that by having wife and kids in my life and heart that I already own the world…having the right riff and playing music is just the icing on the cake. 

Gaff- I think there is a thing with growing older, the sanctity of your soul, there is no substitute for it. Like I said, lyrically, this album the strengths are its tonality and the articulation of the voice and really just the lyrics.

David- Thanks man. I also see myself as a guitarist so when you are saying that, it makes me blush. (Laughing) I had to sing because no one else wanted too.  That started when I was 10 years old in my first band with David Barrick and Jon McGee, outside of Hermano it still holds true.

Gaff- That was the question I was going to ask you, and you answered it. You have been in Supafuzz, Hermano, over 5 bands, is it easier being a singer songwriter or do you still see yourself as the cat with the black Les Paul just fucking rocking out?

David- Guitar geek is how I see myself, it is just Les Paul swung low, that is when I am having the most fun. I am still working on my guitar plating and recently really began working on my vocal style. You know it is interesting, when I was writing a couple initial ideas that grew into what is now on “Blood Moon”, my wife would kind of pull out stuff and say, “You know, that doesn’t sound really sincere, it sounds like you are trying really hard” when I was trying to sing higher parts and stuff, she would tell me to just be myself. “When you sit around and play guitar, you do not sound like that.” So in Luna Sol I tried to approach it as being more honest and not caring what came out. Well caring, but not forcing.  I definitely see myself as a guitar player but I love to write songs. I really enjoy singing and harmonizing too, I can’t lie.  I love the craftsmanship of songwriting, the art form. I love it all, especially with Hermano, you know those guys are so amazing and I can be sitting in a room and pop off 6 riffs and you know put some turn around in there and come up with a pre chorus and a bridge and literally write a song in 5 minutes. That is fun, I love it. It’s a rarity and I’m honored to be a part of Hermano and Luna Sol.

Gaff- Do you find, with this, you are not focusing on the riff so you are able to be a free with playing because you are focusing on the vocals?

David- I actually do not focus on the riffs, I just let them come out. John (Garica) told me one day, and I remember we were offered a tour, and I was like we gotta do that. We were on the phone and John said “We gotta do what? First of all we don’t GOTTA do anything.” I was like, haha..yeah, you see I have been in Supafuzz for 10 years playing every dive bar in the US and you are already well known, we were playing in shitholes, so yeah in my mind, we had too. It was really cool to have a friend of mine just grab me and say you do what you want to do when you want to do it. Then it is really real. It’s pure and honest.  Done because you love it and crave doing it vs feeling you have to do something for someone else.  He taught me that freedom and I think that is becoming a bigger part of my life in a lot of areas and it is really nice. I am very grateful for John and all of my friends.  OK… I am not sure if I answered your question or just rambled.  My brain is fuzzy at times. hahaha

Gaff- No you did, it seems as if the riffs come out effortlessly and vocally, do you see yourself thinking more about singing than playing the guitar

David- No, it just all kind of happens. I mean I had to be the singer when I was 10 years old and in sixth grade I had a band called Aftermath with David Barrick, who now produces Black Stone Cherry and also the Kentcuky Headhunters, David is amazing.  Also Jon McGee from Taildragger.  He’s so talented as well. 

We were kids growing up together in Glasgow, Kentucky. Those guys didn’t wanna sing and said I had to sing, we were trying to emulate Rush, Itchy Brother, and Mountain. We were trying to learn all this stuff and I said I can’t focus on guitar because I have to sing and I can’t focus on singing because I have to play guitar and it’s was confusing to me.  Then one day, I don’t know, I just found this space when I was a kid and just started doing it and it would come out. I didn’t have to struggle with it after that. One thing that is kind of interesting and one thing that I have learned about myself is that if it’s not there, I am not gonna force it.  If I can’t find a melody I don’t force one anymore.  I mean we have 5 tunes that I think the riffs and the songs are just amazing musically, but I can’t find a natural vocal part …so I just scrap them. They are just songs, we can make more.  hahaha

Gaff- Yeah, it seems as the interplay with the guitar and vocal is very natural sounding.

David- Well Thank you

Gaff- As a band how long did the recording process take you?

David- Well, these guys are all badass so when we kind of decided we were really a band, we tracked for a week in my home studio in Colorado with the amazing David Prasse co-producing. I would find time to do vocals around work and life, so it took about a year to complete to be honest. I work a lot, so I would get up around 5 in the morning just to sing vocal parts, about once a month I would have time to do that. So as far as music goes it was done pretty quickly, and were passing files to friends so they could play on it. It did take a little time, but David Prasse really did an amazing job and it was worth every moment we took to create “Blood Moon” in my heart.  I’m very proud of this record.

Gaff- Who mixed and mastered the album?-

David-I am really glad you asked that man, a really good friend of mine named David Prasse, he actually was the attorney that was behind the force of Supafuzz. He traveled all around and did so many great things for us.  Of all the people in the music business, I know a hand full of people that are good people, Ram (Hermano/Luna Sol manager), David Prasse they are great people who love music like we do. David and I have always been friends and we hadn’t connected in a couple of years since I moved out here, so I shot him a note and was like “hey I wanna make a record” and he was like, “Oh I am doing a lot of recording at home just for fun.” So I told him he should come out to Colorado from Atlanta and let’s make this muther together.  He did, he paid for his own flight, brought his own Miller High Life and tracked us.  He brought his own mics and really became a part of this record from the first note recorded.  He is definitely a part of all of this and he has done a great job with it. He actually just recorded Hermano here at my home, too. David Prasse rules, man.  Great guy.

Gaff- I was gonna ask you about the 12 songs 

David- Yeah, my poor neighbor’s man. I’m loud and always writing.

Gaff- So that is great, you were able to re connect with someone, and did he do all the recording, mixing and mastering

David- Yeah, he did it all at his house. He would send it to us in dropbox and that was around him working on record deals, as he has his own full time gig, and it was great, and he is such a good friend that it really meant the world to me that he was involved in it.

Gaff- In terms of the mix, are you guys, well some engineers are like, please get the fuck out of my hair, are you all hands off and let the engineer do his thing and listen then on the car stereo, or hands on?

David- I am definitely hands on and always involved.  As co-producer I helped sculpt across the board, but David and I work really well together.  We have a blast!  We set up mics together and made sure sonically that the album sounded real. David REALLY did an amazing job to capture a real sound, I wanted to hear a record that was honest sounding like Zappa, Clutch or Government Mule.  You know you can get something back from an engineer and it is so squashed, and they say “it’s better for radio”.  Honestly, I could care less about this playing on the radio, I wanna listen on my home stereo. Loud!  Let other people kill it with their own compressors, I wanted it to sound natural and David did too. He and I did a lot of that stuff, Pat was involved a lot too.  He had some amazing ideas. Shanda and Shannon had a lot of ideas too, they are all so very talented.  As far as the engineering and technical chores though they all really trusted what David and I had done before and let us do our thing. They are very trusting. and badass! I’m lucky.

Gaff- What was some of the gear, guitars, amps pedals, what kind of shit were you running?

David- I have a plexi reissue and a JCM800 that was modded for me by Steve Wilson. He’s an amazing tech and great guy.  Check out his company Bias King.  Amazing!  He was Stevie Ray Vaughn’s tech. He is an amazing guy out of Louisville. Shanda and Shannon brought their won kickass gear as well.  In fact, one of the reasons Shannon is in the band, I knew when she walked in with a 76 P bass and a 72 SVT that she got it.  She knew tone.  That made me smile.  Shanda also has this old Electra that sounds so great, and a purple sparkle Flying V that sounds great. She showed up for our first jam with that Purple V and a kickass JCM900 (her 900 sounds amazing!) and I thought, “well, Shanda’s in”.  I use Dimarzio pickups. Steve Blucher has always been good to me there. I use what most people use for the neck position in my bridge position, I like that goofy old sound.  As for pedals I use a Greenhouse Effects Gold Drive pedal, Roy’s pedals are amazing. I also use my SugarBoost from Brad/Fu Manchu’s company Creepy Fingers, I have one of his original pedals that he made for me. I love that pedal and use it all the time. It’s like butter…well, fuzzy warm butter.  Ha.  So… yeah, a bunch of old pedals, some new pedals and a bunch of crappy chords that have been in road cases way too long.  Those cables bring the crackle to the party.  Ha.

Gaff- Is the Les Paul your main axe in terms of everything?

David- I think so, I mean when I was growing up Ace Frehley was everything to me. Then, at 11 or 12 I went to the music store and Sam Bush and Greg Martin were all hanging out and they would tell us to bring in a record and show us what kids were listening too. So we would bring in Kiss and they would all laugh. These amazing bluegrass and blues players, they were all laughing at it. So this amazing guitar player, Kenny Weber (Kenny was a mentor, teacher and friend to me..he passed but is still a part of my soul) said if you are going to listen to rock you need to listen to Johnny Winter, man. He put it on and I was like holy shit. So I really got into Johnny Winter, so I got a Firebird, Strat, Melody Maker, LP Jr., Silvertone, Gretsch, J200… I just love guitars man. Each one is very different.

Gaff- Growing up in the south, were you an Allman Bros fan?

David- Oh my god yeah.

Gaff- Yeah, because it tinges through for me in some of the stuff you guys are doing, Tonality wise, some of the Duane stuff shines through in some of the stuff you are doing. Which is the shit, I fucking absolutely love it. So, I really get a tinge of that in what you are doing, so thank you.

David- Oh man, I really love the Allman Bros. If I could even play like Duane Allman could played with the slide on his pinky toe I’d be stoked.  Ha.  I’m a hack slide player, but slowly learning. 

Gaff- There is that Southern tinge in which I find to be very relaxing and not a lot of bands, in terms of the heavy riff rock thing, have that laid back soul, so that was another thing that I thought was really happening

David- Oh man, that is awesome.  I will always have my Kentucky roots and southern soul.

Gaff- So you have the album out, do you guys wanna tour, where do you wanna take it?

David- I don’t have any pre conceived notions, I just wanted to make a record and was blessed that David and Randy’s label wanted to put it out in the states. Isa and Martin at Cargo in Europe stepped up, Alex too over an email I sent out when I was on a plane asking if anyone would want to put this out for me and Isa said, “I will, Dave.” She rules. 

Gaff- I was actually able to go to Cargo last year. Man, what incredibly nice people. So if something happens great, if not, you have an album that fucking slays.

David- If it is in the cards, I’ll play cards. I suck at playing cards, my wife always beats me, but whatever…no plans, no failure, just music for the love of music these days.  I’m at a stage musically where I don’t want to make any plans. I have enough gear in my house in that any moment I can go in and have more fun that most people get to do at clubs …so I feel deeply blessed.

Gaff- Do you have a favorite track on the album? Or one that really hits you when you are playing and singing?

David- They are all so different that I don’t know if I have a favorite. I had not thought about that. I mean I really like singing the chorus of “Your War”, I like bringing to light that politicians easily send people over to be killed, yet stay home protected themselves. My dad was in N. Korea and Viet Nam, so I am trying to reflect what he may have gone through in the song “December”. That really hits me as I am really close with my Dad.  I used to write stuff with a lot of hidden messages, and I just tried to be honest in writing this time. I had a great time, so each one of them is different and they are fun to play which is kind of cool.

Gaff- Yeah it’s not fun to play an album and you fucking hate playing it

David- oh dude, yeah. As a kid, I was blessed to work with the attorney, Linda Mensch, an amazing person and she helped this band I was in, Black Cat Bone, and asked on the demo is there any song that you hate, and I said, yeah and I told her and she said to take that song off and I asked why and she said that will be the song that will be a number one hit. She said every band, the song you hate is the number one song even before they get a chance to hate it. I said that was interesting. I loved and love Linda Mensch.  She was a great guide for me early on in my music business path.
Gaff- You turn into Quiet Riot.

David- Yeah, no publishing. I watched a video on that drummer.

Gaff- He was a great drummer, for that style of rock.

David- He is amazing,

Gaff- You forget that Randy Rhodes was in that band. Rudy Sarzo on bass. Franky had a great back beat for a sunset strip band.

David- What an amazing guitar player. Rhodes, Oh fuck yea. The drummer, his style was so different. When I was in Supafuzz, we got this call from our booking agent about this weird in between date and it was opening for Quiet Riot, but they have to use your gear, we were like, Hell yeah we will do that. Rudy Sarzo and Frankie, hell yes. It was awesome.

Gaff- Who was playing guitar, Carlos?

David- Yeah Carlos was playing, it was all of them.

Gaff- What year was that?

David- It was 95 or 96, maybe 94. We started Supafuzz in 94, it was early on and we were just hitting the road and playing anywhere we could. It was trip and I loved Rudy Sarzo.

Gaff- Especially since he played with Ozzy and did the Whitesnake shit. He has played on some Epic albums. In terms of influences, growing up in the South, were you way into the boogie swing or really have a lot of different influences in your style of playing? Obviously, you also loved Kiss.

David- I love metal, early Priest, you know, if I ever work out, I can’t help but crank some Priest, I just love it. Really everything, I just love music. I adopted, even late, when I met my wife, she had put a Tom Waits track on when I was with Hermano, and now I am learning about Gogol Bordello and Tom Waits from her. Amazing artists!  I have just always tried to soak in good music and I try to think about what Eddie Van Halen said about Cream when I was growing up. “Hey, you can always learn from anybody, sometimes you learn what to do and sometimes what not to do, but you gotta learn.” I was like, that is really cool. So I try to adapt that. I am not saying I am good at adapting that (laughing), but I try.

Gaff- In terms of the journey you have had, do you still love playing as much now as you did as a kid? Or now, being able to reflect on certain moments, is it more fun?

David- I actually like playing and writing even more now than I ever have. I don’t like going out and playing in clubs, trying to play at midnight, I could care less about that. I’m not interested in impressing anyone; I just want to play guitar hahaha. I love to play guitar and write songs, but I also love to think back about being all over the world and I have done some really cool shit and the reason I was able to do it was because of that Black Les Paul. Watching Greg Martin when I was 10, thinking, I could do that. He is amazing, I didn’t really think I could pull off what Greg does but he was so honest in his style and tone.

More importantly, Greg Martin was standing beside me, saying you can do this and let me show you how. It was never a question. I never thought I would be as good as Greg Martin and I still can’t play like him as he is amazing and one of my favorite guitar players in the world, but just being around that, I think it changes your view of what might have seemed so distant. I love playing, its different, I used to like the fight and the struggle of the dive car circuit.  We are headlining on Friday, we got the best tour, but honestly I could give 2 shits about that anymore; I just wanna play guitar man. With Hermano, we will play matinees, blow their heads off and let the young kids with skinny jeans and even skinnier tone fight it out who is gonna go on late and ask themselves what the hell just happened. I realize that skinny jeans kid was me a few years ago and that makes me smile for them.  It’s all good stuff, just different stages and different paths, I think.

Gaff- We get to play early shows and you are done at 9pm, for guys our age that is spectacular.

David- Now that is what I am talking about that is my favorite. Last time we went on tour, which was a few years ago, my wife and I were dating and when we would get done, she would laugh as we would grab a bottle of wine, go up on the second floor of the tour bus and watch Six Feet Under, now THAT is an after party.

Gaff- I get it takes a lot to rock. You are stinking and sweaty, need some downtime.

David-exactly, you know what is crazy, when you are young and no money you get in the studio and have to hurry, now you are older and you have a family and responsibilities so time is limited and again you have to hurry, it is as if things have come full circle. But I have better gear now. Haha.

Gaff- so true, I think now I can relate better and play and sing better as I can look back and really know what I am doing now, as opposed to being young and not really taking it for what it is worth. I now really understand the math and science of being in a studio and really how it works. It is such a crazy thing and people so take it for granted. Next thing you know from a click click, you have 7 guitar tracks and 5 vocal harmonies and you are asking yourself how the fuck did you do that. But in all honesty, without bands like Hermano, I wouldn’t be doing this today, so thank you so much for doing what you do my man.

David-  Hermano is such a joy, like you said, you feel blessed, you get to a point where you are doing it for the love of it and it is a different element and it is really nice.

Gaff- I feel it comes out really genuine. That is why when listening to your playing in Hermano and Luna Sol, the boogie and certain influences so hit home for me, and I truly love it.

David- No one gets that so I am so happy you got it and thank you.

Gaff- So obviously your heart and soul has been put into this album, is it an easy transition then into the Hermano tracks, you can hop on the les Paul, not worry about singing and just let it ride?

David- Yeah man, I have my friends over, we get up, make a huge pot of coffee, and we start writing riffs and record them. Some of the songs we had gotten together about 5 years ago and did a little session to see what we could write and we did 5 tunes.  David Prasse was laughing as he kept timing, we had not heard these songs in 5 years, let alone play them. We would listen to them and he would say the longest time it took for you to run a song before tracking was 7 minutes.  He was like “you guys are insane”. There is something in that band, we are just such good friends you know and it just clicks, we are all very different yet musically we think a-like. Hermano is definitely a blessing and I am humbled and honored to be a part of it. They are all just great, life-long friends. We get done at night after recording with Hermano, and most bands talk about how great it sounds and how badass you are, we get out the catch phrase game have a drink and that’s it. We don’t even talk about the songs.  We just let them live on their own. 

Gaff- We enjoy eating chicken wings.

David- Friendship is just as important.

Gaff- If not more important

David- Yeah, you are definitely right.

Gaff- It is such a marriage

David- You are right man. I have always had that. I have always been lucky and it took me getting older to truly see how I lucky I was you know to have that. I don’t know if a lot bands are lucky enough to have that. Good thing about being in the bands I am in, we have no egos and we have no money, but we have a deep, true friendship and love for loud slamming riffs.  That trumps money any day. (laughing)

Gaff- I am just happy I had money to buy some gear. Guys get all wacky and pissed about who is getting credit for writing what, it is a band; everyone is contributing to the process. You hear horror stories about bands making these great albums but members are still pissed because they only got a fifth of a credit. So it’s great you guys are free about that stuff.

David- I had a buddy came in and he helped me with a riff and I turned it around but gave him points on the album. Why not, was the right thing to do.

Gaff- It gets crazy

David- People get so crazy about points, I am like dude, I will give you 43 cents right now, fuck it. You are worrying yourself to death over nothing.

Gaff- Yeah, here, I will take this quarter and cut it in thirds, there you go.

David- Ah, here man, here is a whole quarter, I’m cool.

Gaff- Oh you are on Itunes, let me break it down for you, I make enough to buy a fucking jiffy pop at the end of 3 months. If you are in it to become a millionaire overnight, fucking auto tune your voice and do something different, because it is not gonna happen.

David- Yup, yeah no thanks, not doing that.

Gaff- so the album, all tracks are killing, is this the easiest album you have done?

David- The new Hermano album is the easiest album I have ever done. It just took a few moments of my life. I was laughing my ass off the whole time. The Luna Sol album was a labor of love. I wrote maybe 25 songs just to get the ones we ended up with. I wanted to make sure it was good and I think David did a lot of work on his side, tone wise and going back and forth, making sure I was happy and it is was all done in a real positive light. You know, we had a blast, I felt 15 again in the back of a Camaro, cranking Van Halen. It definitely took a lot of work but I love it.  …and my friend and executive producer Art McIntish came in and saved the day helping us finish up the album and getting it released in the US.  He’s a great guy too. I’m lucky.

Gaff- Then Hermano, if you are ripping tunes in 7 minutes then that truly can’t be a time you hated, ha.

David- It is crazy, the drummer Chris and I have been friends since we were 13 years old. It was a totally different vibe with Luna Sol as it is them playing my songs, with Hermano, we just get in a room and everybody riffs and we track it, like the first Gov’t Mule album. Luna Sol is a crafted band that ultimately creates the sound organically after running the songs several times.  I really dig both very much.  So cool.

Gaff- I think a lot of times, with guitar players, their solo album sounds exactly like the band they are in, whereas the Luna Sol stuff so definitely has its own vibe. So, I commend you in terms of that.

David- Thanks so much man. 

Gaff- When Steve Perry did, “Oh Sherry”, fucking Journey could have done that.

David- I wanted to be Ace Frehley and do “Back in a New York Groove.” Sound like Kiss kind of, but no, not.

Gaff- You would have to get on Quaaludes and have that Brooklyn drawl. So it just seems like everything and this is one of those albums where you listen to it, then listen to it again and by the third time, the Luna Sol album has you hooked. Like I said, lyrically it hits places a lot of bands in different genres shy away from. The maturity along with the riffs is what really sunk its hooks into me, so Thanks so much for putting out a great album.

David- Thank you so much for those kind words.

Gaff- Like I said, I was not sure what it would be like, so I listened to it and then I had my son listen to it and then I went back and listened to Hermano and the Luna Sol stuff is different but still has the chug to it where you can still shake your ass in a bit if a different light. Is there a date when the Hermano album is coming out?

David- I have no idea. John is out in the desert doing vocals and with all of this stuff, Hermano and Luna Sol, it happens when it happens. No plans, no pressure.  I am sure it will see the light sometime next year. I am really stoked for it.

Gaff- Thank you so much for doing what you do. It touches a lot of people and lets people feel better about themselves.

David- Thank you for helping to get the word out. I love to make music man and I hope to be able to do for a long time. At the end of the day, the fact that people like it makes it so much more. And if my kids and wife dig it, I’m happy.  I’m so lucky that my folks bought me a guitar for my 10th.  It’s allowed me to see the word and make some great noises with wahs over the years.  

The End

So, what have we learned from this discussion friends? David might be one the coolest and most down to earth players in this hemisphere. He is what one may call the Wyatt Earp of guitarist in the fuzz driven world of rock that roll, where pure confidence and ass kicking display of the power of the riff compels me.

Loving the music you make and sharing it with the people of the world is such a wonderful gift and David is hitting it out of the park with his release from Luna Sol. It is a mature, lyrically story telling of the common man, and what and how people are feeling in this insanely motorized and crazy busy society we co-habitate in. It is a breath of fresh air when pollution is loomimg it’s ugly head around and above the street corner of desire.
My advice, get this album, put it on, mellow out your mind, body and soul and just listen as it transcends boundaries of wonderful musical escapades.

The riffs fly and the bass and drum work set such a wonderful foundation, no leaks will ever be intruding this piece of art. Yes art folks, due to the pouring of emotionally adequate vibes that were introduced to the ears of listeners. Much like a Basquiat painting, it lets you into what the artist was feeling and wanted to portray at the moment it was conceived.

Bravo Luna Sol, thank you David for a piece worth its weight in Gold.

Gaff out.   

Band info: bandcamp |facebook