The usual outrage has flared up amongst the alternative scene today as more punk stylings have found their way into the mainstream. It’s not even a specific person doing it, but a shop. An evil capitalist shop. Raziq Rauf thinks the punks should actually pipe down. It’s just a jacket, after all…
There’s been vague uproar in punk circles today and, as ever, their ire is directed at The Man. Firstly, Urban Outfitters have the temerity to sell a punk-oriented leather jacket. Sure. Secondly, and conversely, the last bastion of quality journalism, Buzzfeed have published a riveting list of pictures explaining why “punk is dead”. Sure.
If you’re a resident of the UK (and statistically, you probably are), you won’t have been able to escape the furore surrounding the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee this weekend. Whether or not you’re hoisting a beer in recognition of the extra Bank Holiday this has given us, or whether you’re sulkily avoiding anywhere and everywhere that’s smothered itself in celebratory bunting, you can’t avoid it. And because of this week’s Sunday Slaylist, you can’t avoid it on Thrash Hits either.
When looking at their credentials, Man Raze sound like what could be a ‘mini supergroup’. The band are Phil Collen (vocals/guitar) who currently plays guitar in legendary rock outfit Def Leppard, Paul Cook (drums) who is founder member and former drummer of the Sex Pistols and finally Simon Laffy (bass) who has been a long time friend of Collen and a member of Collen’s pre-Def Leppard band Girl.
Reformed Carcass have been re-releasing their back catalogue and playing every metal festival around this year. Bob Mulhouse meets Michael Amott – the man responsible for practically the whole of modern extreme metal.
“It’s been a lot of fun,” says Michael Amott, guitarist with Carcass (temporarily) and Arch Enemy (permanently). “We had our first show the other night – and there were some fuckups, but it was basically fine. “Y’know, my motto has always been ‘Loud, wrong and confident’. There were some little things where your brain goes, ‘Hmm, what’s next?’, but you throw a few shapes and you’re OK!”
Carcass, for those who’ve been hibernating for the last two decades, are responsible for a hell of a lot. Starting life in parallel with Napalm Death, whose early grindcore sound evolved out of the underground punk scene in the early ’80s, the band recorded two albums of grind for the Earache label before Amott joined them in 1990.
Mike, a British-born Swede who had got to know the band through the tape-trading scene, was a perfect recruit for them, already playing in a death metal band, Carnage, which he’d formed on the back of his love of punk and extreme metal.
Watch the video to ‘Heartwork’ by Carcass
“I started with Kiss, then moved towards the Sex Pistols and Discharge,” he recalls. “I loved anything with shouting and lots of aggression. As a young kid I was into the speed of it, so when Metallica came along it just clicked for me: they had the aggression and speed of hardcore punk with the tightness, heaviness and guitar tone of metal. Then I was into Slayer – and from then on, it was all about trying to find the next, most evil band, which took me into the death metal scene.”
“It was great,” he adds, “because we were all 16 or 17 and finding out about Morbid Angel and Obituary when they were just doing demos. Death’s first album came out then, too, and there was all the German stuff – Kreator and Destruction – which I loved and which also fed into the death metal movement. It was crude, not as well played as the American stuff, and therefore it was much more harsh and violent, which I loved. I thought ‘Fuck yeah, this is it!’”
However, Amott was also a huge fan of hard-rock guitarists such as Michael Schenker and John Norum of Europe – and brought a newfound melodic awareness to the band. The first Carcass album on which he appeared was Necroticism: Descanting The Insalubrious (1991), which featured a prototype of what we now recognise as melodic death metal.
Watch the video to ‘Incarnated Solvent Abuse’ by Carcass
Fans were split between shock at the departure of the old, grindcore style and elation at this new, technical sound – but almost two decades later, Necroticism is almost universally recognised as a classic.
After another album, the superb Heartwork (1993), Amott departed to Arch Enemy, where he remains today. Carcass themselves split three years later, but demand always remained strong for a reunion – and with the international melodic death metal scene now a commercial reality, there’s been no better time to do it than now.
“I don’t hold myself responsible for anything!” laughs Amott modestly – but we know better. Carcass changed everything, if you were a death metal fan – see them while you can. The reunion won’t last forever.
It came to our attention that American goalkeepers in the English Premiership are occasionally fans of heavy metal. Joe Shooman dives into the unknown with the most unpredictable bunch of sportsmen available.
It’s fairly common knowledge that Stuart ‘Psycho’ Pearce is bang up for a bit of punk, and when the Pistols played at Finsbury Park in ’96 he got onstage with em for a bit of a mosh. ‘Cause he’s a top geezer, innit.
He was also spotted (by me) at a Stiff Little Fingers gig in Liverpool a few years later. He’s not as tall as you think, but he does look rock hard and I certainly wouldn’t f**k with him.
Most of the top footballists of our revered Premiership think a good night out is a bottle of Grey Goose followed by a rendition of ‘Soulja Boi’ and puking over some pneumatic tart they’ve picked up then calling it foreplay.
However, it’s refreshing to note that there is a phenomenon extant in the UK which we at Thrash Hits .com will call American Goalies Who Like S**t Metal. Because they do. Well. At least two of them anyway.
Take Reading FC’s Marcus Hahnemann for example. Not only does he share a surname with Jeff of Slayer, he’s also got quite a pre-match ritual.
Watch the video to ‘Sober’ by Tool
“I’ll be listening to Slipknot or Tool,” he told an interviewer. “Something really hard and in your face to get you pumped up.” He’ll also drink four cans of Red Bull. Just what you need before facing Kevin Davies and his ilk.
Similarly, Fulham FC’s Kasey Keller is mad for the more aggressive side of rawk. He used to play for Borussia Monchengladbach, which is also a damn good name for a metal band if you ask us.
“When I want to have the weight room to myself,” said Keller to USA Today, “I put in some music and then slowly I do. Slipknot or Soulfly will do the job pretty well. You can always put in some death metal like Satyricon or Opeth, that will get them going.”
We’re gonna take some footballs to Download Festival next year and see if it works in reverse so that we can clear a decent area for a picnic during Slayer’s set. Which is probably stupid.
Watch Kasey Keller at his best
Tim Howard (pictured up top, throwing the horns, probably), meanwhile, the Tourettes-suffering minder of Everton’s onion bag, is well into God’s Greatest Hits (his fave song is Psalm 118:24) so doubtless disapproves. Or listens to Stryper.
Brad Friedel was last seen online updating his blog which is quite frankly of dubious provenance, unless the Blackburn goalie really does like making lists of Chuck Norris-esque facts like “[I] once breast-fed a flamingo back to health” or claiming to have eaten homeless people and impregnate most of North West England. Including the blokes. It’s pretty damned rock ‘n’ roll whichever way you look at it.
Whether this love of noise is down to the fact that these guys are trying to prove themselves manly in the face of the US perception of footy (soccer, indeed) being a girl’s sport is up for discussion, of course, but it’s still better than yer usual twat-faced footballer in a top-end Porsche with Phil Collins blasting out the sunroof.