Sterling Winfield on the Hellion Rocks!

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I have been doing a lot of thinking about the songs that have staying power. What makes them great? Why can certain songs be listened to over and over again, yet others drive you batshit. One of the things that has come to light in my thoughts is the alchemy between the musicians and the studio wizards. I have decided to seek out some of these wizards and try to get in their heads.

I now present to you the first of my conversations with said wizards, Mr. Sterling Winfield. If you have been living under a rock and do not recognize the name let me educate you. He has worked with: Pantera, Mercyful Fate, King Diamond, Nightranger, Pissing Razors, Hellyeah, and Damageplan to name a few.

Sterling also clues us in to a new band he is working with: A Rebel Few. Check them out at: http://www.arebelfew.com/

Grab yourself a cold one, put your headphones on, and check out our interesting chat with Sterling right here:

     It’s loud (and it sounds great), it’s dirty, it’s ROCK N’ ROLL!!!!!

the Hellion

DIMEBAG’s Grave Allegedly Vandalized By Up-And-Coming Metal Band

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According to a post on PANTERA‘s Facebook page, authorities have been notified after members of an up-and-coming metal band allegedly used an Instagram account to boast about defacing late PANTERA guitarist “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott‘s grave. The since-removed Instagram post (the Instagram account has been deleted as well) showed a photo of the grave with the following caption: “i HATE pantera…with a passion. and so does the rest of my band. so on tour going throug texas we paid douchebag darrell a visit, we spit on his grave, stole a pair of cowboy boots, and i wrote ‘FAG’ on his grave… i’m not a homophobe but i hope all panturrrra fans see this and shit themselves with anger….FUCK DIMEBAG, buncha racist hillbillies”

Unsurprisingly, many of the PANTERA fans have since caught wind of the posting and have since used the Internet to voice their displeasure over the grave defacement. The PANTERA camp has also commented the despicable actions of the individuals in question, writing on Facebook: “We are absolutely disgusted by this! We ask that all of you please show Dime and his grave the respect he deserves. This conduct will not be tolerated and the authorities have been notified.”

After it was reported a few years ago that Dimebag‘s grave at the Moore Memorial Gardens Cemetery in Arlington, Texas was vandalized, Dimebag‘s brother, former PANTERA and current HELLYEAH drummer Vinnie Paul Abbott, was asked by Artisan News if the person responsible for causing the damage had ever been apprehended. “Nah, nah” he replied. “But it’s just a real disrespectful thing. I don’t understand why somebody would wanna scratch their name in somebody’s tombstone or anything. But fans are rabid, man; they do unheard-of things. I just wish they would respect him and let him rest in peace and just leave it at that.”

“Dimebag” Darrell Abbott was co-founder and lead guitarist for PANTERA. When PANTERA broke up in 2003, Dimebag and his brother Vinnie Paul formed DAMAGEPLAN. On December 8, 2004, while performing with DAMAGEPLAN at the Alrosa Villa in Columbus, Ohio, Dimebag was shot and killed onstage by Nathan Gale. He was 38 years old.
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courtesy of Blabbermouth .net

complete and total disrespect…smh

-the Hellion

THE GROUND BENEATH -“SELF TITLED” CD REVIEW

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1. Choke
2. Say It
3. Signs
4. It’s You
5. Blame
6. The Passing
7. Lost In Me
8. Blind
9. Memphis
10. RLS
11. Back Door Alley Girl
12. Disappear
13. Mine
14. Flounder Piano
15. Burjay

The Ground Beneath is:
Steve Civerolo – Vocals/Electric & Acoustic six & Twelve string guitars, Brian Scott – Drums, Hunter McCoy – Bass guitar

Guest Musicians on “Self Titled”:
Brian Ostrom – Four string bass guitar on “Memphis”, Paul Civerolo – Guest lead electric six string guitar on “Lost In Me” (Paul appears courtesy of Howlin’ Dog Records), Laurie Selby – Cello on “It’s You”/”Blame”/”Not Me” (Laurie appears courtesy of the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra), Jonathan “Jonny Law” Jonah – Guest lead vocals on “Burjay” (Jonathan appears courtesy of Rancho Relaxo Records), Rick Fusco & Kenny Davis – gang vocals on “Mine”

     I have had this CD for a couple of weeks now. The official release is going to be on January 17th 2013 at the Launchpad in Albuquerque, NM.

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Let’s get into the CD itself. The Ground Beneath is one of those bands that just plain and simply gets it. Steve Beneath is one hard-working SOB, always at shows, doing radio guest spots, texting about upcoming shows, anything it takes.  That tenacity shows in the latest release from The Ground Beneath “Self Titled”. “Self Titled” is actually the name of the new CD, a little bit of humor from the band.

Let’s get the technical stuff out-of-the-way first. The CD is clean and I mean CLEAN, the production quality is top-notch. The mix is great and the sound is not muddied in any way. Kudos for the guys on their attention to detail. This CD is meant to be played LOUD and is sounds great at those ear bleeding volumes.

Now for the fun stuff! I have been listening to this CD pretty regularly and this just so happens to be my third rewrite of this review. I keep coming back to this CD and discovering more stuff that I like about it. I love it when a band makes music that is inspired by other artists and yet sounds new. Let me explain, I know Steve is inspired by bands like Zakk Wylde’s Black Label Society, Pantera, Down, Corrosion of Conformity, HELLYEAH, Strapping Young Lad, Deftones, U2, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Damageplan. You can hear elements from all of these bands in the music and yet it remains distinctly The Ground Beneath.

“Self Titled” is , dare I say, a groovy record. While the world must be obliged with the obligatory single, which is “Blind”, I think the CD needs to be taken as a whole. The flow of the songs is just that good. I actually forget this is a local band out of Albuquerque, New Mexico when I am listening to it. Which leads me to ask “Why isn’t stuff like this being played on national radio?”

Steve handles all of the writing of the lyrics and music which is a testament to his talent. The band as a whole plays the songs that Steve has envisioned with a fervor and passion that will quickly infect you. Steve’s vocal work and guitar skills are right on par with some of the music world best. Brian “Bearface” Scott goes from flat-out pound your skull in drumming to tribal like beats keeping the band anchored with a solid back beat. Hunter McCoy anchors the package together with some bass lines that will have your heart pounding trying to keep up.

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In conclusion “Self Titled” is a record chock full of solid Rock N’ Roll tunes, pinch harmonics, throbbing bass lines, pounding drums, melodic compositions, hypnotic vocals and yes even a cello. Solid 10 out of 10 in my book, definitely a necessity in everyone’s music collection.

it’s loud, it’s dirty, it’s THE GROUND BENEATH

– the Hellion

 

R.I.P. – REMEMBERING JOHN LENNON AND BROTHER DIME

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     John Winston Lennon October 9th 1940 – December 8th 1980

     John Lennon will always be a part of my life. As a small child I  loved his music, as a young man I learned to appreciate his style of writing, as an adult I learned to appreciate the man and his craft. Thank you John for sharing with us and giving up so much for the world. I will do my best to keep your music in the ears of those I can reach.

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Darrell Lance Abbott August 20th, 1966 – December 8th, 2004

     Dime gave me new hope in Rock N’ Roll. He cam and kicked our asses and made us feel good about it. The people who were fortunate to be close to him spoke of his kindness and willingness to give. His guitar playing was innovative and carried on (and, dare I say, improved  upon somewhat) the legacy of his mentors before him. His life was short but impacted the music world and he was taken from us doing what he loved. I will always miss you Dime.

     We remember John, Dime, and all of the fallen people who have given up their lives doing what they love or in protecting others. We humbly thank, and respect you all.

the Hellion

DIMEBAG – MY THOUGHTS

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I remember in 1983 a friend of mine told me about a band he had seen called Pantera. He said the guitarist “Diamond Darrell” was “out of this world”. I remembered the name but never heard anything more about the band at the time.

1990- I turned on the radio one day and heard a song that blasted through and hit me like a ton of bricks. “Cowboys From Hell” totally crushed me! I found out the name of the band was Pantera. Hmmm??? Could this be the same band I heard about several years ago? It was, and I understood what my friend had meant. “Diamond Darrell” and Pantera became one of my new favorite bands. I bought “Cowboys From Hell and played it over and over. Cherishing each brutal song as they burned into me.

1992 – “Vulgar Display Of Power” continued the onslaught, I was telling everyone and anyone about Pantera! The songs remained true to the name of the record and “Diamond Darrell” was burning up the strings.

1994 – Pantera continued to evolve as did “Diamond Darrell”. I do not know the circumstances but he had morphed into “Dimebag Darrell” with the release of “Far Beyond Driven”. The aggression continued and the guitar work became even more amazing (yes it did!) I was sure that Pantera was going to change the face of Rock N’ Roll and I championed their cause.

1996 – “The Great Southern Trendkill” gave me my favorite Pantera song to date. “Floods” (in my opinon) was Dimebag’s best work EVER! If there are any doubts check it out here and get back to me and we can discuss it:

2000 – “Reinventing the Steel” gave me more ammunition to carry on the fight! This band was going straight into the halls of Metal Icons from my past. I knew that I would forever sing the praises of Dimebag’s playing. And then…..Pantera was no more. I was crushed.

 

2003-  Damageplan! Well alright! Dime was back! My guitar hero was back! I eagerly listened to this album and was happy! “Reborn” (featuring Zakk Wylde!!!) was never a truer song!

 

2004-  December 9th – I was at work, it was early in the morning. I  had stepped outside to receive some materials when I received a text message from my then fourteen year old son. “Dad, did Dimebag get killed?” WHAT?!?!?! I had heard nothing at this point. I made some phone calls and it was true. I was horrified at the thought. Another of my favorite musicians had been taken from us. When I heard the details of his murder I was sickened. WHY?!?! I will ALWAYS wonder why?

 

2012- I still listen and try to turn people on the music Dime created and left for us. He remains now and forever one of my favorite guitarists. Thank you Dime for the music and for giving all you had.

 

Dime and his brother Vinnie did a cover of one of my favorite Ace Frehley songs “Fractured Mirror”. You can just feel the emotion in this fitting tribute to one of Dimebag’s heroes.

the Hellion

P.S. this post is dedicated to a young music lover who has parents who care enough to share the healing power of music with him – “Matt The Cat” this is for you!

 

Dream band lineups

 

One of the questions I see the most is “What would your dream band lineup alive or dead be?” I have pondered this question many times and I come up with different answers each time. So I decided to  write about it and come up with three bands. One with band members who are no longer with us, one with all living band members, and comprised with both. I will try to give reasons why and even try to give my fantasy bands an appropriate name.

From the other side,

SOPHISTICATED HOOLIGANS:

Bon Scott, AC/DC (deceased 19 February 1980) – vocals

Dimebag Darrell, Pantera/Damageplan/Rebel Meets Rebel  (deceased December 8, 2004) – guitars

Randy Castillo, Lita Ford/Ozzy/Motley Crue  (deceased  March 26, 2002) – drums

John Entwistle, The Who (deceased  27 June 2002) – bass

I can only imagine what a jam session with these guys would sound like. I hope that they are hanging out on the other side. I think the combination of these “gentlemen” would make for a unique sound. I chose the name “Sophisticated Hooligans” for them because the oxymoron just suits the attitude I imagine they would have.

Still with us,

COSMIC DESTRUCTION:

Sebastian Bach, Skid Row/Solo – vocals

Zakk Wylde, Ozzy/Pride & Glory/Black Label Society – guitars

Justin Manning, Crowned By Fire – guitars

Geezer Butler, Black Sabbath – bass

Mike Portnoy, Dream Theater/Adrenaline Mob/Flying colors – drums

I shudder to think of the destructive power this band would have, hence the name “Cosmic Destruction”. There would have to be a warning label on the CDs and at the live performances. All of these players have that explosive power that would give this band the ability to crush your chest and have you thank them for it.

 

Some still with us and some not

RETROGRADE:

Paul Rodgers, Free/Bad Company – vocals

Randy Rhoads, Quiet Riot/Ozzy (deceased  March 19, 1982) – guitars

Flea, Red Hot Chili Peppers – bass

John Bonham. Led Zeppelin (deceased  25 September 1980) – drums

The mixture of Paul Rodgers beautiful voice combined with Randy Rhoads melodic playing style would compliment each other so well. Combine that with Flea holding down the bottom end and John Bonham keeping the beat and WOW! I know this lineup seems kind of weird but I think it could work. As for calling the band “Retrograde”, I think it just sounds cool.

 

There you have it those are just my thoughts, please share yours!!!

the Hellion