James Murphy Has Brain Tumor Relapse; Donations Welcome
James Murphy, former guitarist of both Death and Testament, as well as founding member of the death metal band Disincarnate, has had a relapse of the brain tumor that sidelined him back in 2001. Murphy stated that the tumor had returned but that it was a non malignant and that it was being treated pharmacologically. Unfortunately, those medications have serious side effects that have left him unable to work. The option for different medications is available, but at a cost of over $1000 a month, and he needs a minimum of 6 months of medication for treatment to be effective. With his medical expenses extremely high and James not being able to work due to the side effects of the current medications, the metal community is being asked to come together and help one of their brothers and donate to help him beat this once and for all.
To donate funds to help offset James’ medical bills please visit PayPal at this secure link. Thank You!
Read more about James previous surgery and ongoing treatment after the jump. Continue reading →
Map Of Metal is a totally addictive and endlessly entertaining interactive website, designed by Metal Historian Nick Grant and Graphic Designer Patrick Galbraith. The site traces Metal music all the way through from its 1960s beginnings to its latter-day mutation into crazily specific genres (Black Ambient, Mathcore, Crust Punk, Swedish Death Metal, etc ad infinitum). The artists featured are as diverse as Black Sabbath, Queen, Slayer, Lamb of God and Cannibal Corpse. Different genres of music not usually associated with metal – Punk Rock, Grunge and Post Rock – but with ties to the genre are also represented. The Map of Metal is available to order in various poster sizes (and would surely make an amazing gift), but the online version includes hundreds of sound files and doubles as a heavy-metal radio station. It takes a few minutes on the site to orient yourself and get used to how the interactive functions work, but it’s best to get started by clicking on the “Navigation Map” thumbnail in the upper right hand corner of the page. Then just drag your cursor all over the place, from sub-genre to sub-genre, as you explore the Origins of Head Banging in all its brutal glory. Valhalla, I am coming.
A snowy day (like we are having right now in NYC) provides a great opportunity to just sit at home and read shit on your computer. For starters, check out my metalriffic new interview with Jon Schnepp, director of everyone’s favorite Adult Swim series Metalocalypse, which is up now for your reading pleasure at Ink 19 Dot Com! Please enjoy, and Death to False Metal!
Horns up, Metalheads. Metal Injection has posted a hilarious and educational Flowchart of Heavy Metal Band Names, which is just hours of crazy fun. While anal retentives will find the chart to be far from completist, it is fairly in-depth and even includes a few “mistakes” – such as listing “Led Zeppelin” under misspelled band names, then misspelling the band’s actual name. Also, the category of “Deadly Things” includes Death By Chocolate, which is actually a British retro psychedelic band whose music is not metal in the slightest. Lots of fun!
When I saw the above graphic, featuring a collection of black and death metal band logos, I immediately recalled my reaction every time I open a package of promo CDs from Earache, and chagrin to myself over how impossibly difficult it is to even decipher the name of the band. Hilariously enough, Viceland.com discusses this very phenomena in an Interview with Christophe Szpajdel, a 37-year-old Belgian artist living in the UK. During the last 20 years, Szpajdel has designed more than 7,000 logos, mostly for black and death metal bands from all over the world, including Emperor, Moonspell, Nachtmystium and Enthroned. Nearly as entertaining as the interview itself are the passionately dimwitted comments from readers. Enjoy!
Martin Axenrot knew he had big shoes to fill when he was called on to sit in for Opeth’s long time drummer Martin Lopez, who had become ill and was unable to tour with the group. After completing five tours with the titans of Swedish metal, Axenrot became a full member of Opeth in the spring of 2006. Being a fan of many styles of music, Martin never had any difficulty adapting his playing style to authentically replicate Opeth’s music live, but he did feel challenged when it came time to enter the studio to record the band’s latest masterpiece, Watershed. But judging by his fantastic performance – a brilliant mix of blast beats and precise double bass offset by impressive prog rock chops – captured on what everyone from the band’s rabid fans to Opeth founder, singer/guitarist Mikael Akerfeldt is calling the group’s best effort, Axenrot had no need to worry.
While Axenrot appreciates the creative freedom that Opeth gives him to play in a more wide-open style, he’s also able to pursue his other, more extreme metal projects when the band is not on the road. “When we’re touring the only thing I have time for is Opeth,” the drummer admits, “but when I’m home I might I have time to record an album with Witchery or Bloodbath. I recorded a new Bloodbath album just before this tour, actually. That will be released maybe at the end of the summer.” Martin spoke with Metal Edge about his gear preferences on Opeth’s current Progressive Nation tour with Dream Theater.
Metal Edge: Let’s talk about your gear. What kind of kit are you playing for this gig?
Martin Axenrot: I’m playing the DW Collector’s series kit in a pearl white finish. I have two 24-inch kick drums, three rack toms that are 8, 10 and 12-inches, and 16 and 18-inch floor toms. I usually prefer using a wooden snare, but on this tour with Dream Theater we play larger venues, so I have two different snares – a brass 6-inch snare drum and a wooden 6 ½-inch snare – that I switch between for different venues, depending how it sounds on stage. Sometimes the sound can disappear in the stage sound when it’s a very large venue. That’s why I usually play the brass snare for those situations, because that drum cuts through more.
Metal Edge: For many of your peers in the metal genre, the double kick is where their sound takes off. Is there any one part of your kit that you consider to be the center of your sound?
Martin Axenrot: I think I like the snare best on my drumkit, or maybe the ride cymbal. Having double bass drums is like [the standard set up in this genre]. It can make the music more interesting at certain times, but if you use it too much it can get quite boring. The same goes for the blast beats; I think if you play fast all the time everyone gets the point, but if you go from a slower rhythm and then add the blast beats it’s a shock, as you say. It’s more effective to just use it sparingly.
Metal Edge: Do you by chance use the Buttkicker sonic throne shaker?
Martin Axenrot: I don’t right now but I’m going to look into getting one of those, because I started with in-ears (monitors) on this tour. It’s my first time playing with them and as I get more used to playing with in-ears I think that having something that helps you feel the beat more would be great.
Metal Edge: What kind of pedals are you using and how do you set them to get the best action on your kicks?
Martin Axenrot: I’m using DW pedals as well and they’re not very tight, actually. I used to have them tighter but I loosened them up a bit so it’s not as tight as most guys playing extreme metal would have them.
Metal Edge: What’s your practice routine like?
Martin Axenrot: At home I have a practice kit in my apartment that I use a lot. But on tour I don’t really have a practice routine rather than to warm up at the sound check. On this tour though I have started lifting weights. It helps with stamina because the last time we toured we were out for two years straight and my back hurt from that as well as my shoulders. On this tour I’m doing weights and getting massaged and that helps. You have to stay in shape because drumming is so physically demanding.
Martin Also Plays:
Sabian Cymbals, Promark Sticks and Evans Heads
This article was originally written for Metal Edge Magazine as part of a monthly column by Gail Worley (under the pen name Jayne Rollins). With the magazines’ dissolution, the article has been added to the content base of The Worley Gig for our readers’ enjoyment.
My pal Swami recently turned me on to the virtual Death Metal band Dethklok, and I have been enjoying their cartoon adventures on the Adult Swim Channel’s very clever show, Metalocalypse for the past couple of days now. What I want to know is this: does anyone else out there notice a resemblance between Dethklok vocalist Nathan Explosion and Type O Negative’s Pete Steele? Anybody?