Pantera: Power Groove Desperadoes!!!...

Being in a professional rock band is very hard work.  It involves sacrifice, countless hours in the studio and on the road, personal and collective evolution and the constant temptations that come with being a rock star.  Once a person decides to dedicate his life, time and energy to this profession, they do so knowing that their may be great rewards for their efforts, but there also may be failures and even tragedies along the way.  One band that knows these facts all too well is Arlington, Texas based ‘power’ groove rockers Pantera. Formed in 1981 by brothers Vinnie and Darrell, Pantera was a glam metal outfit originally known as Pantera’s Metal Magic.  The band consisted of Vinnie Paul Abbott (drums), “Diamond” Darrell Abbott (guitar), Terry Glaze (guitar), Tommy Bradford (bass) and Donnie Hart (vocals).  In 1982, the band shortened their name to Pantera, Hart left band for ethical reasons, moving Glaze to vocals and making Darrell the lone axe-man.  Later in the same year Bradford also decided to leave and the band recruited Rex Brown for bass duties.  In 1983 Pantera released their independent debut Metal Magic.  The album was more akin to KISS and Van Halen, rather than the groove and trash influences the band would implement on later major-label releases.  The band would continue to release three more independent glam metal releases: Projects in the Jungle (1984), I Am the Night (1985) and Power Metal (1988). Before the release of Power Metal, Pantera decided that vocalist Glaze, who had by then changed his name to Terrance Lee, did not fit the new direction they wanted to take creatively.  Being heavily influenced by the trash metal releases of 1986 and 1987 by bands such as Metallica and...

Rage Against the Machine: Rap Metal in the Name Of…...

Since the earliest beginnings of rock-n-roll, American music has been an avenue and conduit for artists to get their personal, spiritual and political views heard by the masses.  By the 1960’s this was such a prevalent them in music pop culture that the term “protest music” had been coined.   As record sales, royalties and commercial greed began to dominate and shape the mainstream music in the 1980’s and 1990’s it seemed as if the honored practice of utilizing one’s music to get important social messages heard had fell, if not completely fallen.  For one such this was never the case.  For one such band their political messages and activisms was the fuel that burned their influential, if all too brief, career bright.  That such band was Rage Against the Machine. In 1991, guitarist Tom Morello (guitar) left his band, Lock Up, looking to start another band.  During a visit to a local Los Angeles club he heard a MC/vocalist by the name of Zack de la Rocha freestyle rapper.  Being impressed, Morello asked de la Rocha to join the group that he was forming.  Morello then recruited drummer Brad Wilk.  Morello knew of Wilk because he a previously auditioned to drum for Lock Up.  When de la Rocha convinced childhood friend Tim Commerford to play bass for the band, Rage Against the Machine was officially born. After cutting a twelve song demo tape Rage Against the Machine was coveted by several major record labels.  The band decided to sign with Epic Records, of which Morello said, “Epic agreed to everything we asked, and they’ve followed through…. We never saw a[n] [ideological] conflict as long as we maintained creative control.” Rage Against the Machine released their self-titled debut album on November 3, 1992. ...

KISS: Controversial Rock Icons!!!...

One of the great things about being a rock musician or a fan of rock-n-roll music is that the live shows are unparalleled in comparison to other genres.  The energy, volume and aggression can leave those in attendance and on stage equally drained emotionally and physically, yet yearning for more.  Many rock bands, especially metal bands, have striven to provide larger than life live shows that will their audiences breathless, spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on elaborate costumes, stage set-ups, even pyrotechnical fire.  One band that many consider to be the fore fathers of the truly over the top stage performance is KISS. KISS can trace their beginnings to a New York based rock group from the late 1960’s to early 1970’s called Wicked Lester.  Needless to say, Wicked Lester was not a very successful group.  But the band did have members Gene Simmons (vocals/bass) and Paul Stanley (vocals/rhythm guitar).  Simmons and Stanley quit Wicked Lester in 1972 and set out to form a new group.  They two bandmates came across an ad in the East Coast’s version of the then San Francisco based regional publication Rolling Stone.  The ad was placed by veteran New York City drummer Peter Criss, who had previously played for the bands Lips and Chelsea.  The three musicians formed a newer, harder version of Wicked Lester.  They also began to experiment with makeup and outfits, being inspired by the theatricality of acts such as Alice Cooper and the New York Dolls.  After trying to land a record deal, the group added lead guitarist Ace Frehley in early January 1973.  A few weeks after the addition of Frehley, the band dropped the Wicked Lester moniker and changed their name to KISS. As is well...

Ozzy Osbourne: Godfather of Heavy Metal...

  When you think of heavy metal one name will usually come to mind rather quickly.  Ozzy Osbourne.  And when it comes to names, Ozzy Osbourne may be associated with more heavy weights than any other man in metal.  Tony Iommi.  Randy Rhodes.  Geezer Butler.  Jake E. Lee.  Bill Ward.  Zakk Wylde.  He’s married to the reigning first lady of metal, Sharon Osbourne.  His family is heavy metal royalty in and of itself.  His namesake is the most recognizable tour in metal history.  He has sold over one hundred million records world wide.  The title of “Godfather of Heavy Metal suits him well, don’t you think? As most know, Osbourne began his music career in Aston, England along with bandmates Geezer Butler (bass), Bill Ward (drums) and Tony Iommi (guitar).  In 1968 they were originally known as Earth and played heavy blues music.  Due to a scheduling conflict with a band of the same name they changed their name to Black Sabbath.  They got darker and heavier, even drawing form the occult and personal supernatural experiences. Black Sabbath would forge on to become metal pioneers, selling millions of records worldwide and going down in history as arguably the best heavy metal band of all time.  They placed number one atop MTV’s Top Ten Heavy Metal Bands and two on VH1’s 100 Greatest Artist of Hard Rock.  Their wrote heavy metal classic hits like “War Pigs”, Sabbath Bloody Sabbath”, “Sweat Leaf” and “Iron Man”, the latter of which was ranked number one by VH1 on its 40 Greatest Metal Songs countdown.  Black Sabbath’s early releases are considered to be breakthrough albums in the realm of heavy metal. And Sabbath also had a taste for the debauchery of rock-n-roll.  Every member...

Linkin Park: Progressors of Nu Metal...

You have sold millions of records worldwide, including a Diamond album certified by the RIAA.  You have successfully taken to new heights a mixture of some of the most popular genres during your time.  You have collaborated with some of the hottest and most recognizable names in other genres.  You earned a nice collection of awards, including a couple of Grammys.  You were the first rock band to achieve one billion hits on Youtube.  You’re LinkinPark. Three Agoura High School friends, Mike Shinoda (vocals, guitar, keyboard), Rob Bourdon  (drums), and Brad Delson (lead guitar), began recording music shortly after graduation in Shinoda’s bedroom studio.   Joe Hahn (turntables, samples, programming, keyboards), Dave “Phoenix” Farrell (bass, backing vocals), and Mark Wakefield (vocals) rounded out the group.  The originally were called Xero, and then changed that to Hybrid Theory, eventually settling on LinkinPark.  It was supposed to be Lincoln Park, the namesake of a Santa Monica park, but they wisely changed it to Linkin in order to obtain the internet domain linkinpark.com.  They recorded their four track demo, yet failed to get a record deal.  Soon after the failed demo, Farrell and Wakefield left the band for different reasons.  With the departure of Phoenix, the band went through two replacements for bass duties; Kyle Christener in 1999, then Scott Koziol from 2000-2001.  Farrell would eventually rejoin the group after Koziol’s tenure.  With the departure of Wakefield, the band recruited Chester Bennington off of a recommendation form Zomba MusicVP Jeff Blue.  Blue would also be instrumental in obtaining LinkinPark their first record deal when he became VP of Warner Bros. Records. With five years of material and growth, LinkinPark released their major-label debut, Hybrid Theory, to a massive success.  The debut sold just...