|Pete Stahl with Goatsnake in Seattle. (Cat Rose photos)|
Andy, text; Cat Rose photos
When Pete Stahl flips on the switch and slips into his groove on stage, he's transformed into a punk-rock shaman of the highest order.
The singer enters the gig bearing many crucial gifts: a soulful voice, a crazed grin and an intensity that has him twisting and slithering his body all over the stage and into the crowd -- getting people involved and matching his passion for the music. It's always a sweaty and satisfying affair when Stahl is in action with his punk and doom Scream and Goatsnake units these days.
On Sept. 12, Stahl and a host of others involved with the metal/punk Teenage Time Killers project took their turns on stage at the Fonda Theatre in Los Angeles.
After they delivered Stahl's song, the crushing "Plank Walk," he was not satisfied.
Prior to Goatsnake's recent Seattle gig, Stahl belts out an array of laughs and gives the lowdown:
"I'm a punk rocker, man, so I like to turn it around sometimes -- twist it up, fuck it up. I wasn't really getting the vibe I wanted back from the people and so I was like, 'Let's just do it again.' It kind of threw the band for a loop and I think they thought I was joking."
So, on the darkened stage with the band members barely seeing each other, Stahl got them to press replay. Was it worth it the second time?
"It got better, plus we're never gonna play that song again, probably not. So fuck, I'm here, I'm gonna do it twice," he said with a smile. Stahl's brother Franz also played guitar on the live "Plank Walk," and they also rolled through Scream's "Came Without Warning" and Bad Brains' "Sailin' On" at the TTK gig.
Corrosion of Conformity drummer Reed Mullin got Stahl on board with TTK, adding a new aspect to their relationship that spans 30-plus years.
"Scream used to go down to Raleigh a lot and they'd come up to play together in DC, as well. He hit me up about the project and I was flattered that he asked, and I knew a bunch of the other people involved in the project, so I was stoked to get into it," Stahl said.
"I always have fun writing and creating, collaborating with different people. It was fun getting a new track and telling a story with it."
Stahl's TTK song features Mullin on drums, Dave Grohl on bass and guitarists Mick Murphy and Goatsnake's Greg Anderson, who penned the riff. The musicians recorded the song and Mullin sent it off to Stahl with a few other TTK songs minus vocals.
Stahl chose Anderson's tune, noting that, "It was rippin', man," and he felt a connection with it and soon provided lyrics and vocals.
He offers insight into the song and story behind the lyrics:
"I think the riff might have been stewing around in Greg's head a bit, but he worked it out with them and then the lyrics were kind of like about going for it in life.
"When I found out Cliff (Dinsmore) from Bl'ast! was involved with (TTK), it reminded me of meeting him when I first came out with Scream back in the early '80s and hooking up with a bunch of Santa Cruz folk. Those dudes are fucking life-long surfers, and I tried to go surfing with them and I almost fucking killed myself and drowned -- but I had to go for it, you know? Same time, you always do that in life, so the song is kind of a couple little stories in there with that theme in mind."
Stahl felt the TTK gig was special, not only music-wise, but on a friendship level, as well. He got to hang out with Mullin and his old pal Vic Bondi from Articles of Faith, whom he hadn't seen for 30-some years. New bonds were formed with Corey Taylor of Slipknot and others.
Youngster Trenton Rogers of Chaotic Justice supplied vocals to begin the festivities with Rudimentary Peni's "Teenage Time Killers," and Lamb of God's Randy Blythe and Taylor pounded in the final nails with some TTK tunes along with Black Flag, Bad Brains and Weirdos numbers.
On Rogers, Stahl said: "He fucking ruled it and I think it just really set a nice foundation for the rest of the night and built up to a climax at the end."