Awards, Awards, Awards!

When I received a Liebster Award a few weeks ago I though, “Cool. This is something nice and fun. But it probably won’t happen again.”

But then it did happen again. And again. And AGAIN!

It’s all because of this damn keepsmealive blog. Oh wait, one of the things you’re supposed to do to accept the award is thank the person who nominated you. Whoops! Pardon my sarcasm, a very heartfelt thanks guys. These will look great on my mantle between the barb of that stingray who got me and several of my daughters baby dolls.

So without further ado:

(OK, so they didn’t specifically nominate me for the Treasure Trove Award, but at the end of the post they nominate everyone so I’m going to claim one. I need all the self-esteem I can get at this moment.)


treasure trove awardWhat is the Treasure Trove Award?

I’ve created the Treasure Trove Award for bloggers who share treasures.  Treasures can take the form of:  art; community participation and support; creative writing; entertainment; friendship; health and fitness; humor; information; knowledge and insight; life lessons; music; photography; skills and instructions…anything that adds value and is a treasure in the blogosphere.

The Treasure Trove Award is for blogosphere treasures.

What are the rules for the Treasure Trove Award?

The rules are that there are no rules.

You can post the Treasure Trove Award image to your blog — or not.  

You can give the award to other bloggers — or not.


versatile blogger awardVersatile Blogger Award

As it usually goes with these things, there are rules/steps to follow (copied from the PR site):

  1. Thank the person who nominated you and pass it on.
  2. Share the award on your blog
  3. Share random facts about yourself
  4. Tag on 10 bloggers and tell them that they are nominated.

What is the Mystery Blogger Award, you ask?

The Mystery Blogger Award is an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts.  Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates.  They are one of the best out there and they deserve every recognition they get.  This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging and they do it with so much love and passion.

~ The award was created by Okoto Enigma.

mystery-bloggerThe Rules or Guidelines for the Mystery Blogger Award:

  • Display the award logo on your blog.
  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  • Mention the creator of the award and provide a link.
  • Tell your readers 3 things about yourself.
  • Answer 5 questions from the nominee.
  • Nominate 10 – 20 bloggers.
  • Notify your nominees by leaving a comment on their blog.
  • Ask your nominees 5 questions of your choice, including 1 weird or funny question.
  • Share the link to your best post. “Donald Trump Can Suck A Bag of Dicks

So I’m just going to combine the Versatile and Mystery awards into one and only do this once. That’s allowed right?

3 Things about Myself:

  1. I have visited all of the eastern seaboard states from New York south except Delaware and Georgia (and what’s the point of going to Delaware anyway).
  2. I’m the first person in my family to have graduated college (Associate’s Degree).
  3. Sometimes when people ask about my childhood I start reciting the lyrics to Reba McEntire’s “Fancy” just to mess with them.

The Questions I Was Asked:

  1. What’s your favourite album of all time? – Temple of the Dog
  2. Can you describe yourself in one word? No
  3. Can you name one food you could never give up? Pizza
  4. Why did you start blogging? – I couldn’t find a paying job as a writer so I started blogging to keep myself busy and hone my chops.
  5. Weird Question: What is your least favourite word? Exactly. I hate that word because my name is Zack and it sounds so much like my name that whenever I hear it I automatically think someone is trying to get my attention.

The Questions I’m Asking: 

  1. Do you have a pet?
  2. What’s the way you usually describe yourself?
  3. What’s your favorite time of year?
  4. Do you play an instrument?
  5. Weird Question: What’s the grossest food you’ve ever eaten?

The Nominees: (I’m going to try to look outside the box for this one so I’m not just passing stuff around to the same ten bloggers.)

Bitter Ben from Ben’s Bitter Blog


Hard Rock Daddy

Deep in the Music

GraceLess Land

The Hard Times

The Sonic Sensory

Every Number One

Punk Rock Reviews

The Shameful Sheep

The Valley Report


Alright, that wasn’t so bad. Three awards and I only had to answer 5 questions and spew some random facts. Thanks again guys!


Liebster Award

Liebster AwardA few weeks ago I received a Liebster Award from the guys over at Stuff and That. I thought that was pretty awesome. I’ve never won a writing award before. Thanks a lot guys!

Then I realized that I actually had to do stuff to accept the award. I had to answer questions, come up with a few questions of my own and then send it on to eleven other people. At first I was a little disappointed, but I have to say it’s been pretty fun.

Plus it’s always nice to have an extra post to do.

The Rules:

1. Thank and link to the person who nominated you and answer the 11 questions they’ve written for you.

2. Nominate 11 different people and give them 11 questions to answer.

Here are my answers:

  1. Pitch Your Dream Movie. Actors, directors, plot, whatever. (special thanks to filmsCinefor coming up with that one) – I’d probably want to make my own movie. I’ve written one screenplay about a guy who thinks he might be a werewolf, but he’s not sure. It would be awesome if I could get David Fincher to direct.
  2. Most/Least Favourite Movie – Favorite is probably the Shawshank Redemption. Least favorite is Requiem for a Dream.
  3. Most/Least Favourite Game – Lately I’ve been getting really into Free Cell. My least favorite game is probably dating.
  4. Most/Least Favourite Band – It’s hard to pick a favorite because I like so many different things. Historically I’ve always said either Alice in Chains or Nine Inch Nails, but recently the Descendents are becoming my favorite.
  5. How, or why, did you get into blogging? And what are your favourite aspects of it? I couldn’t get a job as a writer anywhere else. I’ve always loved writing. I’d love to be a world famous novelist, but that’s about as realistic a goal as being a rock star. So, I blog. The best part is getting feedback from other writers and feeling like I’m part of a community.
  6. Last crime you committed? – Well, I do have driving privileges for work and to get groceries, etc. but I abuse the hell out of them. And since I wasn’t caught for the last major crime I committed I’ll just say driving without a license.
  7. Dream supergroup?

  1. Favourite book?Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
  2. Favourite hobbies beside blogging and doing what you blog about? – Reading. Watching Movies. Working Out.
  3.  Favourite thing about Stuff And That? (give us praise) – Very in depth reviews.
  4. Least favourite thing about Stuff And That? (tell us we’re crap) – Length. I’m a big fan of posts under 1000 words.

My Questions for you:

  1. Did you go to college? What was your major?
  2. Have you ever been arrested? For What?
  3. Favorite and Least Favorite Band?
  4. Biggest Celebrity Crush?
  5. What is the airborne velocity of an unladen swallow?
  6. When was the last time you went to the hospital? For what?
  7. Who’s your favorite superhero?
  8. What’s your day job?
  9. What’s your dream job?
  10. Where would you most like to visit?
  11. If you had the chance and the time machine, would you kill baby Hitler?
  12. What’s the first thing you would do if you became independently wealthy?

And the nominees are:

Mike Ladano





J. at Resurrection Songs

Heavy Metal OVERLOAD


Boppin’s Blog

Tangled Up In Music

Metal Odyssey

I hope you all have as much fun with this as I did. Thanks for writing great blogs and and giving me stuff to read everyday. I hope we keep this community going for at least another four years!


Interview RecorderThe Post Treatment Interview

Now that things have settled down in the Ockym’s Razyr camp and everything is getting back to normal, I thought it was time to sit down for a one-on-one chat with the man of the hour: bassist Matt Vance.

The Audible Stew: So the last time I saw you was as you were leaving the intervention. Did you head straight up to rehab from there?

Matt Vance: No. Actually, I left the intervention in a blind rage and went out and got drunk.

AS: Really? They just let you leave?

MV: No, I had to sneak out a window. But then I went to the bar and got hammered. Just falling down, pissing-on-myself drunk. Then I ran into a mailbox… or was it a telephone pole? I think I ran over a mailbox and then a telephone pole.

AS: Wow. So was that what convinced you to enter treatment?

MV: Actually it was the judge that convinced me to enter treatment. When your choice is a year in jail or two months in treatment it’s pretty much a no brainer. Plus, my dad had already paid for rehab.

AS: You were only sentenced to two months up there? But you stayed for about a year.

MV: Yeah, things were going pretty well. I took a long hard look at where my life was heading while I was down here and decided that it was really going nowhere. So I decided to stay up there and try to be useful for a while.

AS: So what was life like?

MV: It was pretty cool. You start out on lock down and not really able to go anywhere, but after the first two months when you go all the way through the program you’re allowed free rein. I managed to get a job and a…

AS: Wait. What? Did you just say you got a job?

MV: Yeah, man. I got a job and a…

AS: Where did you get a job? You haven’t worked in the entire time I’ve known you.

MV: I worked at a Wendy’s up there. I made my way up to assistant manager in only 6 months. Plus I had a…

AS: Hold on (pause). I’m just going to need a minute to let that sink in. OK. I’m back. Well, it sounds like you were doing pretty well up there. What made you move back?

MV: Things just started going south. My girlfriend broke up with me…

Vance's Alleged Girlfriend

Vance’s Alleged Girlfriend

AS: WHAT!? Holy crap! You had a girlfriend too?

MV: Yeah, that’s what I was trying to tell you. I had a girlfriend and a job. Things were going pretty well.

AS: What was wrong with her? Was she an amputee? No, that couldn’t be it. I’ve known plenty of attractive amputees…

MV: She was a recovering heroin addict.

AS: OK. Now it makes sense. I’m still not sure anyone else is going to believe this. Have you told any of the other guys?

MV: Yeah, they had a hard time believing it too. They weren’t as big of dicks as you though. I don’t see what the big deal is. I met this girl up there, I got a good job, I got sober.

AS: So how long have you been sober?

MV: Going on 13 months.

AS: Cool. Congratulations. It’s like a whole new you. Are you feeling good?

MV: Yeah, I talked to the guys about getting the band going again and I think I’m ready. I was in a pretty dark place before I came down here. Lindsay dumped me for some other guy. I was passed over for a promotion. It just seemed like the time was ripe for change.

AS: Well, we’ve covered a lot of ground in this interview Matt. It feels like I’m talking to a different person than I met all those years ago. I wish you luck in your future endeavors.

MV: Thanks man. I’m feeling strong and I’m confident I’m going to stay sober for a long time.


Top Posts of Ockym’s Razyr

Part 11 The Christmas Party

Part 3 The Road Trip

Part 2 The Jam Room

Part 10 The Other Interview

The Where’s My Shirt Tour

WHERE’S MY SHIRT 2013-2014


Iggy and the Stooges, Danzig and Rollins Band

Everyone knows that the reason Iggy Pop is always on tour is because he lost his shirt somewhere on the road during an early Stooges tour and hasn’t been able to find it since.

When we went out on that tour I literally had just the one shirt,” Pop recalls. “And when I lost it, that was it. I’ve been looking for that shirt for forty years.”

The difference with this tour and previous ones is that this time there’s no questioning his motivation. In fact, he’s even joined forced with everbare-chested singer Glenn Danzig as the opening act.

I love Glenn,” Pop said. “I’ve never heard his music or anything, but he has a really nice physique. I like a guy who isn’t afraid to let his chest out.”

Pop will be touring in support of Ready To Die,the fifth album from his group The Stooges. Henry Rollins will be the opening act.

We weren’t sure who to get to open for us. Obviously Glenn and I work well together since we never wear shirts, but we weren’t sure who else to get,” Pop said. “We thought of maybe Soundgarden, but Chris Cornell hasn’t been shirtless since Badmotorfinger. That was really the last good album they did. Miley Cyrus came up a few times, but she’s doing her own thing.”

Will the Where’s My Shirt tour make it to your town? Look below for details…

Sat 12/14/13

Southbridge, MA Mill Street Brews


Fri 01/03/14

Norfolk, CT Infinity Hall


Sat 01/04/14

Fall River, MA Narrows Center For The Arts


Tue 01/07/14

New York, NY B.B. King Blues Club


Sat 01/11/14

Frisco, TX The Pub In Frisco


Sun 01/19/14

Middletown, NY Brian’s Backyard BBQ


Tue 01/21/14

New York, NY B.B. King Blues Club


Fri 02/14/14

Morehead City, NC Morehead Center For Performing Arts


Sat 02/15/14

Annapolis, MD Rams Head On Stage


Sun 02/16/14

Annapolis, MD Rams Head On Stage


Fri 02/21/14

Shirley, MA Bull Run Restaurant


Sat 03/08/14

South Orange, NJ South Orange Performing Arts Ctr.


Sun 03/09/14

Tarrytown, NY The Tarrytown Music Hall


Fri 04/04/14

Santa Cruz, CA Moe’s Alley


Sat 04/05/14

Jackson, CA Jackson Rancheria Casino & Hotel


Tue 05/20/14

Udine, Italy Teatro Nuovo


Wed 05/21/14

Milan, Italy Bloom Club


Thu 05/22/14

Istres, France L’Usine


Fri 05/23/14

Bourgoin Jallieu, France SMAC Les Abattoirs


Sat 05/24/14

Lievin, France Arc En Ciel



Anything That Can Go Wrong 10

I was at work today when I realized that I hadn’t posted a second entry this week. Lucky for you, dear reader, I already had this interview I conducted with former Ockym’s Razyr guitarist Paul Ode typed up. I just have to dust it off and give it a once over to make sure their aren’t’ two many typos.

The Other Interview


After last weeks interview with Adam Gillis where he told me about the changes occurring1416197-rq_2102e9_13 in Ockym’s Razyr the next logical step was a sit down chat with Paul Ode. So I caught up with Paul last weekend at his new girlfriend’s parents’ house. He was happy to see me and a tad disinclined toward answering my questions.


The Audible Stew: So how have you been?

Paul Ode: I’ve been doing good. How about yourself?

AS: I’m good. I heard there was a bit of a falling out between you and the guys in Ockym’s Razyr.

PO: Yeah, it was time for me to move on. I haven’t been feeling the vibe with those guys for a while now, so it felt like it was time to get out and focus on something else.

AS: Would that have anything to do with your banging a band mates girlfriend?

PO: That was something that happened after I split with the band. That had nothing to do with it.

AS: Really? Adam told me that you moved here (Nora Tomason’s house) right from the apartment.

PO: Yeah, well… I moved out of there and moved here. I made up my mind that I wanted out of that atmosphere and decided to move somewhere else. I made up my mind, then I changed. It’s not like we were screwing around behind his back. Nothing was set in stone before I moved here.

AS: SO you guys weren’t sleeping together before you moved here?
PO: Well, we did a couple of times, but nothing serious… It wasn’t like we were together or anything. We just screwed here and there.

AS: They were always up each others’ asses, how did you manage that?

PO: Well, occasionally we’d meet in the bathroom or after everyone passed out. It was just something that kind of happened. A few times.

AS: OK, OK. Enough with the soap opera stuff. I came to talk about the music. What’s in store for you in the future?

PO: Well, I got really sick of playing that math-metal shit that Ockym’s Razyr always wanted to do. It’s fun and technical and nice to be challenged and all that, but I just want to be doing something different.

AS: Something different? Like what?

PO: Well, I’m a big fan of radio-friendly hard rock so that’s what I’m going to try to play. I figure that’s a good idea because a lot of people like that type of music. That’s why it’s on the radio right?

AS: What kind of bands do you mean by “radio-friendly hard rock?”81957-10.tif

PO: You know, the good stuff they play on the radio. Nickelback, Theory of a Deadman, Five Finger Death Punch.

AS: You want to sound like Nickelback?

PO: I like Nickelback. A lot of people like Nickelback.

AS: I’m not disputing that fact it’s just that… I’m not one of them and I don’t know anyone else who admits to liking them.

PO: They’re still really popular.

AS: So is Tom Cruise.

PO: Whatever man. People like to hear stuff like that.

AS: Yeah, my mom likes Nickelback.

PO: Are you gonna be a dick the whole interview?

AS: Sorry, sorry.  Anyway, I heard you’re part of the Murphy’s Law reunion.

PO: Oh yeah, I almost forgot. The bass player and drummer wanted to reform that band so they got a hold of one of my friends to be the singer and he suggested me as the guitarist.

AS: Wait… the bass player and the drummer?

PO: Yeah, they’re the only original members involved in the reunion.

AS: That doesn’t sound much like a reunion though. Shouldn’t you get the whole band back together? Or at least a singer or a guitarist?

PO: We have two original members.

Fleetwood Mac, the greatest soap opera of the seventies.

Fleetwood Mac, the greatest soap opera of the seventies.

AS: But you only have the rhythm section. It’s kind of like Fleetwood Mac.

PO: We’re nothing like Fleetwood Mac. How do you even come up with that?

AS: Well, the only original members still in Fleetwood Mac are the drummer and bassist.

PO: We’ll be more nu metal. Like Murphy’s Law was in the old days.

AS: Are you going to be playing the old tunes?

PO: We’re not sure yet, we may just write a completely new set and throw in some new covers.

AS: So… you’re going to play different songs with the same rhythm section and just cash in on the name recognition?

PO: No. It’s a REUNION. Put that in your blog.

AS: Alright man, I will. I just think it seems a little silly is all. What do the other guys from Murphy’s Law think about this.

PO: Who knows? One’s in Nebraska or Iowa or something and the other is playing in some other band. He’s too busy and doesn’t want to be involved.

AS: Well, best of luck. Tell Nora I said hi.

PO: Will do.

Anarchadia Interview

I didn’t always want to be a music blogger, you know. I had dreams of being a serious journalist and helping to promote understanding among different cultures. Unfortunately, life happens and through nobody’s fault but my own I’ve had to put my dreams on hold for a few years.

Thankfully, I came across a great band from Syria a few years ago. After I reviewed their album Let Us All Unite we exchanged a few cordial messages via Facebook and eventually I worked up the courage to ask for an interview. Obviously they said yes as I’m 401233_386796941346038_289801261_nwriting this.

So here’s my attempt at serious journalism. And as I assumed, metal bands from Syria are very similar to metal bands anywhere else.

In the words of the little tramp: “Let Us All Unite!”

The Audible Stew: I don’t often think of the Levant as a hotbed of heavy metal. How does one form a metal band in Syria?

Anarchadia: True, it’s not a hotbed for Heavy Metal, but in the last three to four years many bands have emerged from the Middle East, and believe me when I say it’s not that different from any other place two or three friends gather and decide to form a band. As for Anarchadia we used to live in the same neighborhood. We were friends from a long time ago and have the same passion about music, especially Metal and Rock music. The special thing about it that it’s not as easy as in the west; gear is so expensive here, most of it is manufactured in China also there is a lack of venues and sponsors that would support this kind of music. I’d say forming a band in the east is not that different from the west but definitely harder.

AS: Is English your first language? I expected you to speak Arabic or maybe French.

A: English is not our first language. We speak Arabic, our mother tongue, and English as a second language and some of us speak Spanish but no French.

AS: Are you guys Muslims?

A: Band members are five and come from different religious backgrounds like Christianity not only Islam. But none of us is religious, most of the band don’t believe in God in the first place and some have their own views about God.

AS: What’s it like playing metal in a Muslim country? Are you regarded as Satan worshipers like the metal heads in Christian countries are?

A: Yeah, mostly the stereotype is that we are satanic. Unfortunately, because of this so many metal heads faced prison. As for Anarchadia, yeah we faced a lot of problems because of this thing.

AS: Are there a lot of metal bands in Syria/Middle East? Who are some of your favorites?

A: Because of the reasons mentioned above there are not many bands in the ME but the last four years marked a new era for metal here and I think that social media has a major role in spreading and encouraging young people to form bands and release their material over these networks. I recommend that you check for everything Arabic Metal Music. My favorite is Rivergate from Algeria and there is a new interesting Syrian project which is under construction called New Noise Order and I think they might have a bright future.

AS: I made the comment that you guys don’t have a “dominant Middle Eastern sound,” but then I realized that I don’t even know how to describe a Middle Eastern sound. What is a Middle Eastern sound?

A: I might not be able to answer you technically what the difference between middle eastern and western melody is, but the middle east has more than 10,000 years of age, which means there is an unimaginable variety of backgrounds and cultures in one country, like Syria, so folk music is somehow dominant here, but in the age of globalization pop music is taking over which uses a fusion between folk music and western music, I would recommend none because if I were a true American, I wouldn’t recommend something like [Miley] Cyrus or Rihanna to an eastern person, at the same time you can find many respected fusion projects that might be interesting musically like Dhafer El Yousseff, Fayrouz, Ziad El Rahbani, Nassir Shamma….

AS: Over here, we have Christian rock bands that sing songs about Jesus, God etc. Do you guys have Muslim rock bands over there?

A: I think there are some in Egypt and some in the Arabic Gulf but I can’t name it as a genre because they are few, and I have some reservations against such a name but I prefer to keep them to myself for now.

AS: You’re a very politically minded band. What books or ideas have helped shape your political views?

A: The situation in Syria demanded a political theme for the album ‘Let Us All Unite’, and yeah we have our own political ideas but I can’t say that we have a specific source for it, but reading history has mainly formed what we are now especially Arabic, American and European History. When it comes to modern history I read the works of the Egyptian writer Mhd. Hasanain Haikal and others, also I can’t ignore the influence of blogs and the internet which has provided us with great insight into what’s going on with the world around us. However we are not planning on featuring a political theme into the lyrics for the next album.

Chaplin3AS: Where did the speech from “Let Us All Unite” Come from?

A: The Speech in “Let Us All Unite” is from the movie The Great Dictator By Charlie Chaplin.

AS: Would you care to share your thoughts on Assad? Or the rebels?

A: As Anarchadia, we think that the Syrian people are surrounded with bad choices, the government, the opposition, the rebels, thinkers and “thankfully” we have Jihadists now. And we should not blame one side; we prefer to blame everybody in Syria for what is happening. What we know now is that a lot of people are sick of what is going on and want peace to come back regardless of who is victorious.

AS: What would you like to see happen politically in the future of Syria?

A: To be realistic we would like to see a sectarian government running things through a democratic selection. But our ultimate dream, not only for Syria but also on a global scale, is that we would like to see people running their lives perfectly based on logic, without governments telling them how they should live their personal lives, since we are against any form of authority, but it is a dream and all we can do now is to promote it through our songs.

AS: It doesn’t look like America will be bombing you guys any time soon, would you support outside intervention in the conflict?

A: Of course not, US, Britain and France should quit bossing people around, end of discussion. France killed more than 1 million Algerians when Algeria was under the French occupation, the US wages war twice every 15 years and the British Empire, the empire on which the sun never sets, killed people more than anyone and we believe that any intervention would make things worse. What should happen is that sides have to drop their guns and start negotiations immediately. We promoted Say No To War and will promote that until the day we die. And this whole threat of bombing Syria was just a bubble to make sure that Assad would drop his Chemical Weapons but if we take a look to the last two years, 99% of people in Syria died because of guns not Chemical Weapons, so it was just a strategic move, and yeah Assad and Russia provided the carrot and the west is enjoying it now and will enjoy it for the next three years of nothing but more problems, more troubles and more nonsense negotiations just like what is happening right now.

AS: How did you manage to get Jon Shaffer of Iced Earth on your album?

A: It was done via Internet. Metal East Records managed to get in touch with Jon, and since Jon is a great man he agreed immediately after we sent him our songs and the demo to the song “True World Order.” We recorded everything and sent it over Email, then Jon recorded his lines when he was in Uruguay, then we mastered the song in Syria.

AS: I hear a little bit of Chimaira and Lamb of God in your music. Are you guys fans of some of the newer bands coming out of America?

A: Yeah sure, we are also fans of The Faceless, Animals As Leaders, Periphery and the list goes on.

AS: After my review of your album, I saw a huge spike in views from Syria, Lebanon, UAE and southeast Europe. Are you guys petty big in those countries?

A: We wouldn’t say big, but basically our fan base is in Syria, USA and Egypt based on the data we have on Facebook.


Much thanks to Anarchadia for this interview and best of luck! Hope to hear more music from you guys soon.

Anything That Can Go Wrong 9

The Interview (Part 1)1416197-rq_2102e9_13

It’s been a while since I’ve checked in on my friends in Ockym’s Razyr. So, I thought it would be a great time to sit down and catch up with them. I stopped by front man Adam Gillis’s apartment and let the tape recorder run.

I’m not sure if things are looking up for them now… or if they’re still heading down. I’ll let you decide.

The Audible Stew: So what’s been happening since the last time I saw you guys?

Adam Gillis: I’m not sure where to start. How long has it been?

AS: Well, let me see. Josh had just moved in with you and Paul and you were trying to get Harry caught up on the songs.

AG: Oh. Wow. You have been away for a while. Paul is no longer with the band.

AS: Really? When did that happen?

AG: It’s been about a month, I guess. We just came home from work one day and he was gone. All of his stuff was out of the apartment. His TV, his Shoes, his guitars, everything. He just got it into his mind that he was leaving and he didn’t say anything to me or Josh. He just took off. Didn’t even have the balls to say anything to our faces. Just sneaked out like the snake in the grass motherfucker he turned out to be.

AS: Why do you call him that?

AG: Oh yeah. I guess if you weren’t here for that you don’t know about him and Nora.

AS: What about them?

AG: They were fucking behind my back.

AS: What? No shit?

AG: No shit. After he moved out I didn’t hear from Nora for a few hours. No calls, no texts, nothing. Which is strange. We usually are texting each other all the time. So I went over to her house and who do I see there? Paul. He’d already moved in with her. It turned into a pretty ugly scene with some pretty mean words going back and forth, but we took off before any punches were thrown or the cops showed up. I still want to pound his face in though. I’m just hoping I come across him in a dark alley sometime.

AS: I don’t know man. He’s a pretty big guy.

AG: The harder they fall man.

AS: So anyway. What happened with Ockym’s Razyr after that.

AG: Well, we’ve been on hiatus for a few weeks since that happened. I was feeling pretty bummed. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to continue making music anymore after that. I mean, when one of your best friends… someone you love like a brother does something like that. It sort of makes it hard to want to keep going. I was in a really dark place for a while.

AS: That’s understandable. What made you change your mind?

AG: Well, Hal and Josh were real adamant on not stopping. They really helped to keep the idea of not breaking up away and pushed me to keep going. Tiffany was really great too.

AS: Tiffany?

AG: Yeah, she’s my new girl. She really helped me to forget about Nora and put some of that anger behind me. Plus there’s the fans. The still really want to see me holding a mic.

AS: How many fans do you guys have?

AG: We’re almost to 2000 on our Facebook page. And we’re number 12 on Reverbnation.

AS: Overall for the area?

AG: No, just for metal.

AS: Well, that’s still pretty good.

AG: Yeah, I think once we get out there and start playing again things will fall into place and start picking up again. It sucks to have to have had to take a break, but what are you gonna do?

AS: Any word on what Paul is up to?

AG: Yeah, I guess he’s part of the Murphy’s Law reunion.

AS: Murphy’s Law? Weren’t they pretty big about a decade ago.

AG: Yeah. Now they’re getting back together and he’s gonna be the guitarist. I don’t even know what the hell Murphy’s Law means.

45730-Keanu-whoa-rmnZAS: Really? It’s the idea that anything that can eventually will go wrong. You named your last album after it.

AG: I thought that was Occam’s Razor.

AS: No, that’s the idea that the simplest solution is usually the correct one.

AG: Are you sure?

AS: Yes.

AG: Oh. Well I guess we’ve got a title for the next album then. Cheers!


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Jonathan Hape “PLACES”

Jonathan Hape “PLACES”371590607-1

(October 2012)

I became aware of Columbus’ Jonathan Hape at Goggles Optional IV when I saw that odd superimposed face pop up on the screen to advertise his show on March 9th. It held my interest for a few minutes, but not long enough for me to give it much thought. Then a few weeks ago he invited me out to review the show and advertised his music as “live looping, ambient sounds, and dark pop sounds.” That was enough to send me to his bandcamp site and explore a little more.

While many bands shy away from labels or have trouble categorizing themselves, Hape’s description summarizes his sound better than I could. Odd, semi-industrial noises mix with drum machine rhythms in the background to provide a foundation for the Bauhaus-esq guitar and ambient David Bowie type vocals. All of this mixes together to form a delightful experimental indie pop sound. While I don’t usually consider myself a fan of any type of music that could be described as “indie,” Hape has enough brooding darkness to bring out the Cure fan in me.

While it can get a little repetitious, the song “Height Hit Heads” features great middle eight back beats that keep the sound fresh. “Buttons” is a song that could have been written in the early sixties and comes to life with Hape’s electronic arrangement. “Beyond! Henceforth!” is an interestingly noisy video-game-rock style interlude that has me bouncing in my chair. My favorite track, “In Different Shapes,” starts out with the best bass line of the album that leads the song to a great prog rock melody.

Though his profile on bandcamp lists seven solo releases there is no sense that he’s rushed the output or hurried his songwriting to get product out. The songs are well crafted and seem to be more focused on quality than quantity. I would love to hear more from him but my internet connection is being really slow and I’m going to have to wait a few days to try and listen to his new album “Spinner.”

While I will probably always prefer a live band to an electronic one, I think Jonathan Hape is at the forefront of what can be done by one man and his computer.

301201_10151131577706248_1024955256_nHere’s a short email interview with Jonathan:

Almost Famous: Do you have a live backing band?

Jonathan Hape: I have another project called Room & Board which is totally different material. Check it out here: [] or [] 

I play strictly solo when I play my solo material, though I have had backing bands in the past and have  been joined by a lot of talented friends.

AF: How do you perform?

JH: I generally use live loops of drums, guitar, octave bass, and vocals. Some shows are more eerie; some are more fun. It all depends on the environment I play in.


AF:What can we expect from a live Jonathan Hape show?

JH: You can expect a handful of songs from albums I’ve been making over the past decade, though mostly PLACES and an unreleased album called Color Wounds. I generally have some moments of chaos and wall of sound; walls which I hide behind for a little while.


AF: Were you in other bands before you went solo?

JH: Room & Board is the most recent, though I have been doing solo material for a long time. I also played in the bands Marksjet, Blood on my Neck, Dearhead, and The Forgotten Sons.

Best of luck to Jonathan as he continues his tour and music career.

To visit his facebook page click [here]