Biography
LA Thrash Legends
Megadeth

Megadeth is an American thrash band formed by guitarist and frontman Dave Mustaine, shortly after he was fired from Metallica. Both bands are part of the so-called "Big Four" of thrash, along with Slayer and Anthrax. The Big 4 were among the first bands to achieve commercial success in the thrash genre, and are credited with the rapid expansion of its popularity in the mid- to late-80s. The "Big Four" distinction was first used in reference to these bands' classic mid-80s albums. In Megadeth's case, it was their sophomore effort, Peace Sells... but Who's Buying?. Released in 1986, Peace Sells... is widely considered a milestone of the thrash metal movement, and has been featured prominently on lists of the greatest thrash...

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Tribute
Static-X Frontman
Wayne Richard Wells
a.k.a. "Wayne Static"


Wayne Richard Wells, known in the music world as Wayne Static, was an American guitarist, keyboardist and songwriter best known as the founder and frontman of Static-X. In addition to releasing six full-length albums with Static-X, as well as two EPs,a live album and a compilation, Static also released a solo album in 2011 and made guest appearances on projects by Godhead, Dirge Within, Skinny Puppy and many others. Static's biggest commercial success came with the 1999 Static-X debut, Wisconsin Death Trip, which was certified platinum for selling over a million copies...

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Biography
Grim Reaper Founder
Guitarist Nick Bowcott

Nick Bowcott is a British guitarist, author and songwriter best known for founding Grim Reaper. Bowcott founded the band in 1979, at the onset of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal. After shifting a series of musicians through the lineup, Bowcott hired Steve Grimmett to handle lead vocals and Grim Reaper's signature sound was born. The band built a respectable following around their hometown of Droitwich, England before getting their first big break in 1981. The band's single "Reaper," which featured a different vocalist than Grimmett, was included on a compilation of British hard rock acts called Heavy Metal Heroes. The band also won a battle of the bands competition in '81...

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Biography
Bay Area Thrash Prodigies
Death Angel


Death Angel is a legendary thrash band that came up in the early 80s Bay Area thrash scene, the same movement that produced three of the so-called "Big Four" thrash bands, Metallica, Slayer and Exodus. Initially formed in 1982, Death Angel's classic lineup consisted of a group of cousins that were the children of Filipino immigrants. The band was active from 1982 to 1991 before taking a 10-year hiatus after their drummer was injured in a bus accident that nearly killed him when he was still a teenager. The band reunited ten years later to take part in a benefit concert for Testament frontman Chuck Billy...

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Biography
Canadian Rock Legends
Triumph

Triumph is a Canadian hard rock band formed in the mid 1970s in Mississauga, Ontario. Along with fellow power trio Rush, the band rose to prominence in the late 70s be delivering powerful live performances. Sometimes referred to as a progressive rock trio like Rush, the band actually produced music of several styles, and are also thought of as a hard rock or heavy metal band. The band has released 10 studio albums and five live albums to date, earning gold or platinum certification in either Canada or the US on all but five of those releases. Considered one of Canada's most successful rock bands ever, Triumph has been a regular nominee at the annual Juno Awards...

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Biography
Progressive Metal Masters
Queensrÿche


Queensrÿche is a progressive heavy metal band formed in Bellevue, Washington in 1982. Considered one of the most important bands to emerge from the progressive scene, the band has released 13 studio albums, including the 1988 masterpiece Operation: Mindcrime, considered by many to be the best concept album ever released. Queensr?che has sold more than 20 million albums worldwide, and is cited by musicians from multiple genres as a major influence. In addition, the band's longtime vocalist Geoff Tate...


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Biography
Five Finger Death Punch

Five Finger Death Punch, often abbreviated FFDP or 5FDP is a popular heavy metal band formed in LA in 2005. Producing a style of music often referred to as groove metal, the band has had a significant impact on reviving heavy metal in the 2000s. 5FDP didn't release their debut album, The Way of the Fist, until 2007, yet already has three gold albums, including the debut, and has virtually lived on album sales charts all around the world. 5FDP's popularity on radio, meanwhile, has prompted dozens of stations around the country to alter their format and fueled a resurgence in the popularity of metal music. 5FDP was formed with members of other bands, including WASP, Motograter,...

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Biography
New Jersey Thrash Pioneers
Overkill


Overkill is an American thrash metal band formed in New Jersey in the early 1980s. Behind Anthrax, Overkill is considered the most important extreme metal act to hail from the East Coast, and both are also considered among the most important acts in thrash history, along with Bay Area heavyweights like Metallica, Slayer and Exodus. Overkill is also one of the most hard-working bands the thrash movement produced, releasing seventeen studio albums in the last 30 years while never going more than...


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Biography
D.R.I.

D.R.I., or Dirty Rotten Imbeciles, are an influential American band considered one of the pioneers of the crossover thrash genre that hardcore punk and traditional thrash metal. Led by frontman Kurt Brecht and guitarist Spike Cassidy D.R.I. Was also an integral part of the Bay Area thrash scene in the mid 80s, often splitting bills with thrash legends Metallica, Slayer, Exodus and others. DRI are counted among the biggest influences by bands from nearly every extreme metal form, including Suicidal Tendencies, Corrosion of Conformity and S.O.D., the other bands credited for pioneering the crossover sound. While never achieving a mass audience, D.R.I. has left an indelible imprint on...

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Biography
Prong Frontman
Tommy Victor

Tommy Victor is the lead guitarist and frontman for Prong, the industrial metal / crossover thrash outfit he founded in New York in 1986. Victor has also performed and recorded with Ministry and Danzig, and has appeared on albums from Rob Zombie, Marilyn Manson, Trent Reznor and Soulfly, among others. Prong's music has left a lasting impression, as the band is cited as a major influence by dozens of artists from the industrial and alternative metal genres. Prong's music...


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Biography
Metallica



Metallica is a heavy metal band formed in the San Francisco Bay Area in the early 1980s. With sales of more than 120 million albums, they are easily the most commercially successful band to come out of the thrash genre, and are ranked fourth among bands of any genre in album sales since Nielsen Soundscan began tracking music sales in 1991. Metallica is also the most prominent member of the so-called Big Four, credited for founding and evolving the thrash sound. The Big Four also includes Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax...

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Biography
Black Metal Gods
Venom

Venom is an extreme metal band that was formed in 1979 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. Considered one of the pioneers of extreme metal, Venom paved the way for sub-genres such as thrash and death metal, and its second album, Black Metal, was such a major influence on the industry that the sub-genre most used to describe Venom's sound was named after it. Since 1981, Venom has released...

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Biography
Dark Angel
a.k.a. "the LA Caffeine Machine"


Dark Angel is an iconic American thrash band formed in the Los Angeles suburb of Downey in 1981. Considered one of the major forces in the formative period of the American thrash genre, the band earned the nickname "the L.A. Caffeine machine" because of the extremely fast and frenetic style. While Dark Angel did not achieve the same commercial success enjoyed by other early thrash bands like Metallica and Slayer, they are considered pioneers of the genre and their second album, Darkness Descends is a favorite of thrash fans worldwide.

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Interview
Chris Reifert
Vocalist, Drummer, Songwriter
Autopsy, Abscess, Death


FIB Music: Before starting Autopsy, you spent a short time in another legendary extreme metal band, Death. How much were you involved in the Scream Bloody Gore sessions?

Chris Reifert: I played all the drums. I didn't write any guitar riffs of course, but I'd like to think that I successfully put my individual stamp on the songs from my end of things.


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Biography
Thrash Legends Exodus



Exodus is an influential American thrash metal band that came up in the San Francisco Bay Area in the early 80s. Along with bands like Metallica, Slayer, Anthrax and Testament, Exodus is considered among the founders of the Bay Area thrash scene. The Bay Area movement not only defined the thrash genre during this time, but also helped it reach a far greater audience. Exodus was an integral part of the movement, and their debut album Bonded by Blood is considered among the elite thrash albums ever released. In the 34 years since it formed, Exodus has seen numerous lineup changes...

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Biography
Rob Flynn
Vocalist, Guitarist, Songwriter
Machine Head, Vio-lence, Forbidden

Robert Conrad "Robb" Flynn was born as Lawrence Matthew Cardine on July 19, 1968 in Oakland, California. He is currently the guitarist and frontman for Machine Head but has been a mainstay in the Bay Area music scene for nearly 30 years with stints in popular Bay Area thrash bands Forbidden Evil (now Forbidden) and Vio-lence. Flynn has achieved tremendous commercial success with Machine Head, and some of his earlier work such as the Vio-lence debut Eternal Nightmare is considered groundbreaking material and important to the evolution of thrash metal itself.

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Biography
Death Metal / Doom Metal Legends Autopsy



Autopsy is a Bay Area thrash band formed in Concord, California in 1987. Considered one of the most influential bands from the death metal and doom metal movements, the band has released seven studio albums, four EPs, two live albums and two compilations as well as a pair of DVDs. The majority of the band's music was written by drummer / lead vocalist Chris Reifert with occasional contributions from other band members. Along with Reifert, guitarists Danny Corrales and Eric Cutler have been mainstays in the Autopsy lineup, while the bass duties have been handled by a series of eight musicians.

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Biography
Metal Church

Formed in San Francisco in 1980, Metal Church is one of a handful of bands that were responsible for the technical precision and rapid-fire rhythm that would become the thrash metal sound. In addition to being a part of the early 80s Bay Area thrash movement (Metallica's Lars Ulrich once auditioned for the band), they also became a significant part of Seattle's storied music legacy, earning the unique distinction of being founded in both cities. While Metal Church did not enjoy the level of success achieved by Metallica, Slayer or Anthrax, they were very much a part of the formative years of the genre...

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Interview
Exodus, Hatriot Vocalist Steve 'Zetro' Souza

FIB Music: It must have been amazing to see all those bands from San Francisco, including your own, go from local acts to national acts.

Steve: Oh man, Metallica. I remember when Cliff (Burton) used to drive this little old, green Volkswagen, beat up Bug....that was Cliff's car....and even then, we looked at those guys like they were gods....and they didn't have any money. I remember going to the Metallica house in San Pablo, where Lars (Ulrich) and James (Hetfield) lived and they would just have these outrageous, killer parties after gigs. They were just guys in the scene. They were at every show. You'd see all the Exodus guys, all the Legacy and Testament guys, all the Death Angel guys, all the Possessed guys, the Forbidden guys, the Vio-lence guys......uh, Mordred, you can just keep going and going. At one point you would think that there were more of those guys in the crowd, than there was actually crowd.

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Biography
Thomas Gabriel Fisher
"Tom G Warrior"
Celtic Frost, Hellhammer, Triptykon

Thomas Gabriel Fischer, known fondly in the metal community as "Tom G Warrior", is an influential Swiss singer, guitarist, songwriter and author. Known mainly for his role as the singer, guitarist and principal songwriter for Celtic Frost, and Hellhammer before that; Fischer also performed on an early demo from Coroner, and released four albums with Apollyon Sun and Tryptikon, bands he formed later in his career. Over the years, Fischer has also appeared on albums from numerous metal acts, including the 2004 Probot project released by Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters and Nirvana.



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Biography
Chuck Schuldiner
The Father of Death Metal

Chuck Schuldiner was the frontman, lead guitarist and principal songwriter for Death, a band considered one of the originators of the death metal sound. His influence on death metal was substantial, earning him the nickname "Father of Death Metal". Following his death in December 2001, Kerrang! Magazine wrote of this : "Chuck Schuldiner was one of the most significant figures in the history of metal." Schuldiner wrote nearly every song on seven albums with Death between 1987 and 1998 before turning his attention to Control Denied, a progressive heavy metal band he started. He also played guitar on the 1994 Voodoocult album Jesus Killing Machine, which also featured legendary Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo.

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Band Biography
Possessed

The original lineup of Possessed consisted of guitarist Mike Torrao, bassist Geoff Andrews, drummer Mike Sus and frontman Barry Fisk. While this lineup did write a handful of songs while they were together, the first version of the band would not be around long as Fisk committed suicide before the band could record; and Andrews, who had also been a part of a 1982 demo from the band Exodus, decided to leave, as well. Torrao and Sus recruited guitarist Brian Montana, and lured bassist/singer Jeff Becerra from another Bay Area garage band called Blizzard, and the second version of Possessed was born. Becerra's guttural vocal style helped to define not only the band's sound, but also the death metal genre itself.

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Interview
Great White Vocalist Jack Russell Part II

FIB Music: Here's something I never understood. In an era when record labels usually gave you three albums to succeed, why did Great white lose their record deal, with EMI, after the first self-titled album (1984)?

Jack: Gary Gersh was the one that signed us. Now Gary Gersh had eyes on the presidency. He had signed the hottest new band....then the label dumped and he used it as an opportunity to say, hey look, this president is no good, we just signed the hottest band and he couldn't even get a single to hit. Consequently, he got his job. We were just cannon fodder. We were just a tool for his vision of greatness.....and Gary, if you read this, screw you.

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Interview
Grim Reaper Vocalist Steve Grimmett

FIBMUSIC:   Do you remember what the budget was for the Grim Reaper album, "See You in Hell"?

Steve:  I don't, because from the day we signed our deal, we were being ripped off. I have no idea what the album cost. The whole thing was recorded in four days. We were well rehearsed. It was pretty much recorded live with a few overdubs, then the vocals were redone and that was it. It was a pretty easy thing to do, but there was no real budget. Really, we didn't have a real budget until we did the third and final album with RCA, "Rock You to Hell". We had originally recorded that one with Ebony Records but the recording was so bad that RCA refused to release it. Then we got into the legal battle with Ebony Records and eventually signed over to RCA. That was when we recorded with Max Norman and that album cost well over $50,000, which wasn't really a huge amount in the 80's, but it was more than we had ever spent.

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Interview
Accept Guitarist Wolf Hoffmann

DT:   Do you have Udo Dirkschneider's (original Accept vocalist) blessing?

Wolf:  (Laughs) No, I'm sure we won't get a blessing from Udo. But I wish him all the luck. He's had a solo career for a long time now. It's too bad that he didn't want to be a part of this, but it was his decision. We finally had to move on and we are very happy we found Mark.

DT:   Andy Sneap (Megadeth, Soulfly, Cradle of Filth & guitarist in Sabbat) is quite the accomplished producer these days. What was it like working with him?

Wolf:  Oh man, it was a dream come true. It's funny because we have met all these people lately, by pure luck and it's just another example of that....

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Interview
Malice Vocalist James Neal

FIB MUSIC:   How about the European tour with death metal legends Slayer? Any cool stories from your first tour across the pond?

James:  Yeah, Amsterdam was a blast! They had these chocolate balls called "Space Balls" that you could munch on while drinking. Two nights later we played a show and I must have been still feeling them, because doing the show was like being on the moon. Scotland and Germany were great too, because I remember the fans really being excited to see us. London was a good show as well. There is a pretty wild story about when we played in West Berlin. We took the autobahn to Berlin overnight. At some point in the early morning I woke up because there was a major discussion going on. Turns out that whoever was driving at the time missed the exit to West Berlin. So, we had to take the exit to East Berlin to the Wall, which was still up at that time. It was like a scene out of Hogan's Heroes.

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Interview
LAAZ ROCKIT Vocalist Michael Coons

FIB MUSIC:   In '84 the band's debut, "City's Gonna Burn" was released. What do you remember about your time in the studio?

Michael:  We came to L.A. to do the record, so that was our first experience on "The Strip". Only Willy was legal drinking age, so we wore him out always getting booze for us. Funny thing, we were in the same studio as REO Speedwagon and Marvin Gaye at the time. I remember meeting Marvin Gaye shortly before his father killed him. It was so tragic. Everything was new and exciting, and our introduction to the er,.."ladies" of L.A. was more than a little enlightening. This was the original "Cougarville", lemme tell you. We even went to a party at Burt Bacharach's mansion where our manager jumped off the roof into the pool in full leathers. Good times!

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SEAN COOK said this was all improvised. He is really funny. Now I know you are thinking that I have a crush on him or that we had something going on, but no. Ours is a relationship based purely on respect and admiration. Amazing, but true. Well, I must go....I will be viewing Marin Real Estate this week and need to get packing. More



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