Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Happy Halloween! ... Zombie style

In honor of tomorrow being the best day of the year, here's some Cat Rose pics from a zombie-themed event we attended last Saturday in the Seattle area. Enjoy!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Welcome to Holy Grove's riff-wielding, pounding rock lair

Holy Grove in action. (All Cat Rose photos)

Yes friends, the strip mall rocked last Saturday night.

Flights Pub in Everett, WA was the spot... surrounded by a fabric store, a discount mart, a barber shop, a Thai restaurant -- you get the picture.

There weren't any to-go boxes, shopping bags or hair cuts on the docket for us. We were present to bang our heads to the walloping rock/fuzz anthems of Holy Grove, our pals from Portland. Also on the bill were Witchburn and Suction.

The Grove consists of vocalist Andrea Vidal, bassist Gregg Emley, guitarists Sam Boggess and Trent Jacobs and drummer Craig Bradford. Check 'em out at:

Cat Rose pics aplenty:

Holy Grove: Rock and Roll Champions

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Orange Goblin's Millard and his top gigs: Sabbath, Floyd and beyond

Orange Goblin's Martyn Millard in Seattle. (All Cat Rose photos)

By Andy

Martyn Millard -- that man with the crazy long hair.

Most of the time when he's banging his head on stage as the bassist for raging UK metalists Orange Goblin, you can't see the face that lies beneath that cascading mane.

Our blog once honored him with a gold medal for headbanging: "The way that Millard flies his locks about makes it look like he has his own personal wind machine on full force," Cat Rose wrote.

When Orange Goblin hit Seattle on Oct. 12 at the Highline, I tracked Millard down for a conversation about the top gigs he's attended and played.

Take it away, Martyn.

Sabbath with Ozzy and crew

The Black Sabbath reunion in '97 in Birmingham. There were two shows, and it was like the first time they played together in Christ knows how long, like 20 years. It was that one moment when you're just like, 'This is it, man --THIS IS IT!' Because Sabbath hadn't done anything together for so long, and to get the four of them on stage and hearing them songs which you'd grown up with and loved and they're such an influence... Orange Goblin were still quite a young band then, and we'd only been going three or four years, and just to hear them songs, it was like, 'Wow!'

Joe Hoare and Millard, top; Ben Ward, middle; and Chris Turner, bottom.

Mind-blowing Pink Floyd

I saw Pink Floyd twice, both of them blew my mind. I saw Floyd when I was 12 at Wembley Stadium, in 1987 at the 'Momentary Lapse of Reason' tour. My dad took me. I knew who they were, and my dad was into Sabbath and Floyd and Yes and all this prog stuff, Atomic Rooster and stuff like that, so he said, 'You're going and I'm taking you.' And he kind of marched me in almost. Wembley Stadium, there's a soccer pitch, and they had a dog track to race dogs, and then a wall where the seating were. He took me in and stood me on the wall, I was only 12, and said, 'I'll see you afterwards.' And it blew my mind, it really was just incredible.

I saw Floyd again in '94 on the 'Division Bell' tour and it was just unbelievable. (In London at Earl's Court Arena.)

Wild thrash, death metal

When I was 16, I saw the Gods of Grind tour: it was Carcass, Entombed, Confessor, Cathedral... and we got to know Cathedral very well, obviously. It was like nothing I'd ever seen or heard. I was kind of going that way into the death metal scene, it was like natural progression. Goblin used to be a five piece, and Pete, our guitarist, he left in 2002, we went to school together, so we grew up and we progressed into Maiden and Slayer and Metallica and onto death metal. (The gig) was chaos because what sticks in my mind is on that stage at Astoria Theater -- big stage, big cinema-- it was a stage-diving free-for-all, which I'd never seen and I've never seen since. And, of course, that's the first time you stage dive. Stage diving itself is pretty much potluck, as you stand there waving at people to catch you, which is pretty naff. I think I've done it a few times--- nah, not for me.

Thinking about it now, some of the early thrash shows I went to as a young teen were just mind-breaking. I saw Metallica at Wembley Arena in 1990, so I was 15, so that was major.

Soon after that was the Clash of the Titans tour: in the UK, it was Slayer, Megadeth, Testament and Suicidal Tendencies, and that was pretty special.

There's been thousands... I've seen so many awesome bands. They are the ones (gigs) that jump straight to my mind. We've been lucky enough to play a bunch of shows where you're like, 'Wow!'

Laying down the bass with Orange Goblin 

There's a bunch of different shows for different reasons, which are always great.

We grew up just near Wembley in London, all of us worked at the Wembley Arena in the bars, serving pizza and beer and stuff. And then to go back a couple years later and be supporting Alice Cooper and Dio in that arena (in 2000) and you kind of feel like, 'Fuck!' Dio was awesome, such a lovely, lovely man. He'd come out of his way everyday and come and say hello and hang out and have a beer (during the 10-day UK tour).

That show that we got signed, Lee Dorian signed us on at Rise Above Records, we were supporting Electric Wizard. It was supposed to be in a bar, but the gig got canceled and then it got moved on the day, so there were signs up saying, 'Gig's now here.' There were probably like a hundred people in a bar (in Camden), and they said, 'Yeah, we'll put it on.' I remember playing that show and going, 'Yes!.' It was before even Chris our drummer joined and we was Our Haunted Kingdom then, it wasn't even Orange Goblin (they immediately changed their name when they got signed). That kind of sticks out as one of those where we kinda knew we'd done OK and we knew Lee was there to see us.

We played Hell Fest twice, a big festival in France, and both of them shows were incredible. Like 8,000 to 10,000 people just going wild. Deafening... that roar from 10,000 people coming back at you-- just like breath-taking.

They're very few and far between, them festival shows. We play in clubs like this in front of 150, 200 people-- this is how we like it. We would take playing to more people, but this is how it is--- so we embrace it. The last two shows, we played in Portland last night and Eugene, Oregon, the night before -- the vibe has been so cool. We thrive on this sort of stuff.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Revisiting Red Hare: Live and loud in Seattle

Red Hare's Joe Gorelick, Shawn Brown and Jason Farrell rage in Seattle. (All Andy photos)

Red Hare graced our blog with an interview in June, and now they're back starring in photos that Andy snapped at their stellar gig supporting Coliseum last night at the Highline in Seattle (Deadkill and Heiress opened). They blazed through their "Nites of Midnite" tunes plus Swiz's "Nine" -- killer.

Regular photographer Cat Rose took the night off, but Andy and our friend Scott were out in full force in her absence.

Dave Eight on bass.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Catching up with Kraut's Doug Holland

Kraut's Doug Holland in 2011. (Konstantin Sergeyev photo)
By Andy

What were you up to at age 18?

You could have been twirling your pencil during high-school classes or putting your grubby hands in the popcorn bin while toiling away at a movie-theater job.

You definitely were not fucking opening for the Clash.

Doug Holland and his Kraut comrades did just that, people, at Bonds in NYC on June 11, 1981.

"Faith, pestilence and persistence got us that gig...We only had been together for three months!" Holland wrote in an email to me recently. He added that the band placed its three-song, four-track demo in the right hands and the punk-rock gods shone down upon guitarist Holland, bassist Donny Cowan (22), singer Davey Gunner (15) and drummer Johnny Feedback (13).

(I guess I could have led in with 'What were you up to at goddamn ages 13 and 15!?'... you get the point -- let's move on.)

Holland added a few more priceless morsels to the Clash scenario...

"Donny...was banging the chick in charge, no, no...He had a fine relation and she was a great asset. Not only did she get us in every night, she gave Mick Jones our demo...which Mick loved! He asked, 'Are they Nazi?'...NO!!!...'Sure! put them on the bill.' The show was the first time ever anyone of us played in front of people. It was all a dream...One that will stay in my heart forever."

Early Kraut: From left to right, Feedback, Gunner, Holland and Cowan; positions reversed below.
(Tom Marcelino photos)

And the good fortune kept rolling Kraut's way.

A year later, the band hammered out a set of its anthemic punk tunes like "All Twisted," "Kill for Cash," "Don't Believe" and "Unemployed" in an opening slot for two graduates of the punk Class of 1977 -- former Sex Pistols Steve Jones and Paul Cook and The Professionals in Boston.

Holland reminisces: "We were one of N.Y.'s top punk bands, so when it came up for a chance to play with The Professionals (!!!), we were as dazed as when we opened for the Clash!...And now Steve and Paul? It was really great! Steve and I hit it right off!!! He knew I was still at almost 19, still not manly yet! And he treated me like his little bro! He liked my playing. And there are times when jokes he had told me come up, and I still laugh out loud."

Jones remained tight with the Kraut boys and played guitar on "Kill for Cash," "Sell Out" and "Onward" on the band's album "An Adjustment to Society," released in 1982. Jonesy also strapped on his guitar alongside Kraut at a handful of live dates.

Kraut's tunes struck a chord with me, and Holland is proud of them, as well. They still resonate with him 30 years later: "They were an artwork of music! They were a porthole into what was going on in the world in our tongue. They will last the test of time."

From the TSHIT collection.

Another feather in Kraut's punk cap was shooting a video for "All Twisted" ... and it ended up on people's fucking TV screens.

Holland: "The 'All Twisted' vid was shot in NYC, sometime '82. It was a deal to get on someone's reel to show they make videos. It was a new concept -- Everyone was on it. So, Don Cowan knew the person who paid to shoot 'All Twisted' for his reel and ours!! What came after was the story: MTV picked it up in light rotation. First independent punk band on MTV!"

From the TSHIT collection-- "fan club" stuff from the '80s.

Next up for Kraut was the "Whetting the Scythe" record (1984), which featured more rock-styled songs to some people's dismay, but in my mind, the band still packed a punch and the songs were just as vital as before. It was during this time frame that I saw Kraut live for the only time at the Concert Factory (former legendary Cuckoo's Nest) in Costa Mesa, CA, with Channel 3 in 1985... it was a blast!

I hand the baton back to Holland: "After 'Adjustment,' I started to write more melodic songs. And what I really wanted was to let my freak flag fly!

"The Cro-Mags were getting it together when I was on tour with Kraut..Great tour!...But, as they say, sometimes -- or all the times -- you go with your instinct. I told my bros about me wanting to move. I told them, 'You guys are my brothers. I need to cut my teeth right now! So, use my name, use my songs, get another git player and move on. You have my respect.' (Holland joined the Cro-Mags in 1985.)

"But, we were working on a third album with songs already in the can. So, Don met Chris Smith (ex-Battalion of Saints) one night and asked him, 'Would ya like to play with Kraut?'...Smith jumped on that move like a lion on a gazelle!!!...Shame only months later, Chris Smith slipped and fell in a bathtub of water and drowned ... That was the last move for Kraut."

Holland with the Cro-Mags. (From Doug Holland archives 2000)

Kraut's latest move will be sharing the stage once again with Channel 3 on Oct. 17, 18 and 19 in Philly, Brooklyn and Long Branch, NJ.

"CH3 are our West Coast brothers!" Holland said. "It is always an honor to play and laugh and have a great time with great guys! otherwise stoked!" (Channel 3's Mike Magrann shares his wild and woolly experiences with Kraut below.)

Top: Gunner with Calum Mackenzie in 2011; bottom: Gunner and Holland with Gerry White in 2011.
 (Konstantin Sergeyev photos)

Along with Holland and Gunner, their two new Kraut colleagues are Calum Mackenzie on bass and backing vocals and Gerry White on drums.
"Don And John are living a non-punk rock life with family. They will always be brothers to Kraut and Kraut's goings-on," Holland said. (All the original members played a reunion gig in 2002 at CBGB's during the "New York Thrash" reunion and recorded a live album to mark the event. And nearly 30 years after their first gig, Kraut opened for Stiff Little Fingers on June 3, 2011 in NYC.)

So, it's only fitting for Holland to close out by sharing some stories about Kraut's beginnings all those years ago.

With a love of punk and rock in his bones, Holland -- who hung out at NYC clubs like Max's Kansas City, Mudd Club and CBGB's at age 15 -- began leaning toward forming his own band:

"Disco was a plague! ... And rock had one name: "Kansasjouneystyxforeignerboston." Dude!..When your American head is broken open by Jimi Henderix, Black Sabbath, Motorhead, Thin Lizzy... I thought, it's time to make my own moves. The kids from the block were lost! Except a chosen few...

"I had met Don Cowan through friends. I met Johnny Feedback from a schoolmate. And Davey Gunner was best buds with Feedback. So, I wanted to put Kraut together. It was late '80, I had started to write tunes. It was the right time: The yippees were dragged down and disco was dying.

"We got along really fast -- It was fresh air! We did some Ramones tunes, Sex Pistols, Clash, then I started to bring out the songs I'd been working on the last two years. And the drummer of 13 years old, Johnny Feedback, clicked with me. When I came up with a tune, he was right there...So was Davey and Donny."

Here's the "All Twisted" video:

... And some words of wisdom from the lips -- err, fingertips -- of CH3's Mike Magrann:

We first met up with the Kraut boys winter 1982. It was our first stay on the East Coast and those mismatched roommates Jack Rabid and Doug Holland graciously allowed us to crash at their apartment on the Lower East Side.

New York City, and especially those dodgy alphabet city streets, weren’t the cleaned up hipsterville they are today. It was a scary, nasty place…. in other words, fun!

We had the best tour guides in the world in Doug and Davey Gunner, who showed us around the dark alleyways and dive bars of the area. Doug was also working behind the bar at the legendary A7 club as well, so we would start every morning leaving the joint in morning light. We played half a dozen times in the city that first trip, multiple shows at CBGB’s and A7, as well as doing shows with the mighty Kraut in Baltimore and Boston as well.  In short, we fell in love with the city, and I often think it was because we met up with Kraut that first jaunt that we hold such fond memories of the place.

Over the years we stayed tight with the Krauts. They would come out West for a tour together, we would go back East. On our long 1983 Summer tour, at one point we sat in moldy motel rooms in Calgary, talking on the phone to the fellas as they splashed around in my Mom’s pool back in Cerritos, the fuckers! But that’s what our relationship was and remains: tight as family.

And so these last few years, while we were out riding the Old School wave with every other goddamned punk band from the '80s, we always wondered why Kraut wasn’t out there with us. Davey and Doug lost connection for a bit, Donny and Johnny went on to other things. But we always kept in touch, and every trip back to The City wasn’t complete unless we at least visited and had a drink or three.

But our last trip back, 2010, we got the boys out for a gig in New Jersey, and were blown away! They hadn’t lost a step, Davey belting out the lyrics as if he were still the bratty 18-year-old Bowery Boy. Doug by his side, grooving down low with the tobacco Les Paul, all the sound and fury right there again.

And so it is a thrill for us, back together with the guys for a weekend coming up. We’ll tell the same old stories, make fun of each others’ accents, and toast to the years gone by and those yet to come!