By: Donnie Hardin
In 1986 my older brother Kenny had taken me to my first real concert at the age of nine to see Ozzy Osbourne at the old Cardinal Stadium. A young band of dirty haired, ripped jean wearing, greasy-haired thrashers called Metallica, unknown to me, opened the show. Cliff Burton would die in a tragic accident a couple of months later.
By the time 1993 rolled around I was a teenage headbanger, while proudly toting my beloved Walkman cassette player to school, getting geared up for the day with the sounds of Metallica, Slayer, Suicidal Tendencies, Anthrax, Megadeth, and a selective assortment of others, I was hungry for more.
There was nothing quite as awesome as brand new 10-pack of shiny, blank cassette tapes. When you ripped off the packaging they had a unique smell. Brand new plastic. Untouched. By the radio we would sit patiently waiting for that one song, but it would only be hard rock at best, like Guns-N-Roses, Skid Row, or Whitesnake. There were no metal tunes on rotation. (Not until Metallica released ‘One’ off ‘…And Justice For All’ in 1989. But never would you hear Slayer, Pantera, Testament, Sepultura, Suicidal Tendencies, Metal Church, or any of the heavier bands. You had to first read about new releases in Metal Edge or Hit Parader magazines, which were expensive, or be lucky enough to have an older brother who had friends with jobs and played in bands. But it was all spread about, for me anyway.
On August 8, 1993, that would ALL change when our local rock radio station, The Fox, had hired a disc jockey by the name of ‘BLACK FRANK’, and gave him a show originally called ‘The Metal Pit’, later renamed ‘The Attitude Network’, complete with eerie background sounds such as grinding metal, power saws, and spooky, cool noises behind this seriously incredible radio voice. This guy knew his shit too. he wasn’t playing songs off of a list passed down from some geek in a suit and tie somewhere high up the corporate food-chain at Clear Channel Productions.
It was Frank’s list, metal news, release dates, tour dates, and various metal happenings worldwide, scrawled out on a legal pad. I would sit in my bedroom with a fresh cassette tape every week waiting for midnight to strike because he would likely play something by a band I had never heard of, that I would love, like Machine Head, Biohazard, Skinlab, Corrosion of Conformity, Downset, Korn, Voivod, Fear Factory, on and on.
Frank Webb aka Black Frank (I wouldn’t know his real name for about twenty years later)… He had the perfect voice for any radio station covering any genre in the country, and we, the hard-edged thrashers, slammers, fist pumping armies of the 502, 270, and 812 area codes, we were the lucky ones because he was one of the biggest reasons, if not THE biggest reason amazing national acts started coming out of the woodwork to play Louisville Gardens, The Brewery Thunderdome, or The Palace Theater, shaking up our previously tame and humble river city, inspiring would be musicians as an unstoppable collective, eventually kicking ass with our own brand of metal, as the incredible local scene would take hold in the mid-to-late 1990’s, producing nationally relevant acts such as My Own Victim, Primer 55, and Flaw along with local titans Faceplant, Incursion, Shapeless Matrix, Luther, Factor 9, Engrind, and so many more. more, all of which FRANK WEBB promoted, pushed, pimped out, and believed in as much as anyone could have.
I have heard many of my peers talk about the old days, before we all had the luxury of Google, You Tube, when Black Frank could be counted on every single week to play some groundbreaking metal. Then when we started making the metal ourselves, he enabled us, whether you were Dimebag Darrell or unknown me, he would, and continues to carry on a great conversation with anyone whether they are a rock star or unsigned drummer of a garage band in the south end.
I ramble, but I ramble for a good reason.
Thank you FRANK WEBB for your service to this very fortunate metal music community. You may not have been born in Louisville, but you are LOUISVILLE’S BLACK FRANK.
It is about time that Frank Webb hits the airwaves again.
By: Donnie Hardin
To: Danny Wimmer Presents, (promoters of festivals such as Rock On The Range, Louder Than Life)
I have been a Deftones fan ever since I saw the Southern California band open for KISS all the way back in 1996. The concert was at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky, a noisy, cracker box-shaped basketball arena built for the college basketball dominant Kentucky Wildcats, which was opened in 1976. It is a dreadful venue to see any kind of concert. It was built so that its basketball crowds were especially loud. Therefore, has terrible acoustics for loud music. Anyway, that did not matter when the energetic, fresh groundbreaking act known as ‘Deftones’ took the stage amongst a sold-out crowd. As a musician and fan, that day kinda of changed my life.
Deftones have not let up and have built a stellar career as hard rock / metal icons. So now… it is 2015, and if you have not noticed, there has been a most definite resurgence of alternative metal bands, from a genre that dominated from 1997-2003, and which many people refer to as the ‘nu-metal era‘. It was 2014’s Korn that really sparked things, having co-headlined with metal hot-shots, Avenged Sevenfold on the Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival. Members of Avenged Sevenfold were the first to admit that following Korn was a “tough act” after the performances they belted out on that tour. Korn went on to play at 2014’s ‘Louder Than Life‘, as they were the band a good majority of attendees came to see. A major success. So keep it going.
Deftones are the same kind of band people want to see play a big festival. Their innovative sound, style, and years of hard work have constantly, and steadily, built one of the strongest fan bases in North America.
I am not alone in my feelings about the Deftones. Especially here in Louisville, where the band has played several times and has built a strong following.
Deftones are currently adding the finishing touches to a new album, which they expect to release sometime this fall. Through May and November they are slated to tour and play various summer / fall festivals internationally. They are the perfect festival headliner, and after hearing many fans suggest this very idea, I have taken it upon myself to write this little op-ed piece or whatever you want to call it.
For a brand new festival such as Louisville’s Louder Than Life, where in its first year, last year, brought such bands as Korn. Judas Priest, Hell Yeah, Mastodon, and Flaw to name a few, it is so very important that organizers keep the momentum going with appealing to the hard rock and alternative metal crowds.
Deftones are exactly the kind of band that the young festival needs which appeals to the modern rock crowd, as is the band Flaw, which just happens to be based out of Louisville and has resurfaced, and is preparing to take the nation by storm. Flaw, the former Universal Recording artists who released their 2001 debut album ‘Through The Eyes‘ and then their sophomore follow-up, ‘Endangered Species (2004), will be headlining the Reawakening Tour (May-June) and has released a brand-new upbeat, energetic track titled ‘Bleed Red‘ exclusively on Sirius satellite channel Octane.
Of course, at the time of writing this article, I have no idea what plans management for these fine acts have in mind at the time Louder Than Life 2015 will occur, in fact, I don’t even know what the dates are for this upcoming years event. I am just pleading with organizers to look into these two bands. If they have an opening in their schedule which makes them a possibility, go after them with all you have!
Interview conducted by: Donald R. Hardin
Beyond Threshold is a brilliant metal talent that induces chaos amongst its intense, appreciative audience at every live show. The band provides a unique blend of modern metal with a powerful brain rattling punch of classic thrash guitar styles melted down and reconstructed with a tastefully, crazed coordination of brutal adventure and metal originality.
Oh. man that is a tough question.. When I was a kid I loved cheesy shit like Vanilla Ice lol. The first metal band I heard that actually got me excited about music was Metallica. I got the ‘…And Justice For All’ cassette when I was nine-years-old or so, and I was like.. “What the fuck is this?!” I played that tape so much it fuckin broke! That pretty much opened the door for me!
Q) At what age did you finally get your own guitar? What kind was it? Describe the excitement, you just knew you were cut out to play guitar in a metal band didn’t you?
My dad is a musician so when I was fourteen he gave me his old busted 66′ Epiphone. The neck had been broken off and repaired so the strings were like an inch off the fretboard lol. I got a little amp at a pawn shop and would lock myself in my room for hours. I would play real quiet until 4 am and then go to school at 7 am. I was obsessed. Playing metal was what really inspired me. Although I love all kinds of music, I knew I was destined to be in a metal band!
Q) When did you first get together with other people and try to play live as a band? What was it like? Was it chaos? Was it frustrating or did you feel like a bunch of primal concrete sledged badasses?
I think I was sixteen or so, I hooked up with some friends from school and we decided we were going to save the world with the power of rock lol. I thought we were pretty bad ass at the time, but in all honesty, we probably sucked pretty bad haha
Q) When and where was your very first live gig? What was the band called? How many people were there? What songs did you play? How did it go?
Q) In 2006 Beyond Threshold was born. How did you end up in the band? What was that very first band rehearsal like? I have read that you were the guy in the band influenced by “thrash“, would you say you are the one who brought the power of the metal riff to the band? How did the bands unique sounds evolve? What kind of sound did you guys really strive for at first?
Erik was more into the hardcore type of nu-metal bands, and I was more into thrash and groove. So we pretty much made a baby together called Beyond Threshold. We never really strived to get a certain sound, we just played what we loved and treated each song as its own entity altogether. That’s one thing I pride myself in… we can go from thrash rhythms to breakdowns, to acoustic, and back to groove, etc. It’s very hard to put us in one category. Even more so in the new album we are writing!
In Rockford, Illinois we have a very good music scene. It was definitely a joined forces kind of thing. We would always put on shows with ten or more bands and just blow the fucking roof off of everywhere we played. Of course, there was drama every now and then… but where isn’t there?
Q) You have played a lot of gigs and toured with some of the baddest metal and hard rock bands in the world, what are some of the most memorable moments for you personally?
To get to share the stage with legends like that is incredible, but I love the chaos! Seeing people get pushed into speaker stands, beer spilling all over the stage and people reaching to touch my guitar… nothing beats it for me.
Q) The band has steadily gained more and more recognition over the past couple of years and has some raging chaotic, passionate, and most notably, loyal fans. How does that make you feel when you are sharing the stage with those larger than life, kickass bands, yet the crowd lets you know you belong there as well?
It is honestly the greatest feeling in the world. We’ve been very fortunate to share the stage with some of the bands we’ve been fans of for years. Seeing the crowd lose their minds, winning them over, and having them accept us is an absolute honor.
Q) I know you guys have some great gigs lined up through May with powerhouse acts such as Soil, Hatebreed, Blackstone Cherry, (hed) PE and Powerman 5000. How fucking stoked are you guys about this spring and summer? Are there any shows lined up after your two Hatebreed gigs in May? What will the band be doing later in the summer?
We have some KILLER shows lining up at this very moment. Unfortunately we can’t announce them just yet. So keep checking back at our Facebook page or our website www.beyondthreshold.com for updates!
Q) I am sure you guys are constantly writing, when can we expect a new album from Beyond Threshold? Is there anything you can tell us that is generally unknown by your fans?
We’ve been writing and recording all winter. We still have some work to do, but we’re hoping to have a release date sometime during the last quarter of the year. Prepare yourselves!
Q) As of today, who are your biggest influences musically? Do you have any guilty pleasures that aren’t hard rock or metal that you enjoy listening to?
That’s funny you ask because you would never even know I was a metal head if you didn’t know of my band. I love reggae, jazz, blues, rap, pop, classical, etc etc etc. I love music so much that I can’t even comprehend how people can only stick to one genre. As far as my biggest influences these days, I always go back to the timeless music I’ve always loved, from Pantera, Megadeth, Black Sabbath to The Wailers, Jimi Hendrix, Miles Davis, Steve Vai, etc. Good music will never die
Q) What kind of gear do you use? If you could have any gear you wanted, what would be in your dream arsenal?
Exclusive Interview With Soil’s Tim King
By: Donald R. Hardin
Tim King is the epitome of a true hard-working veteran musician, having been in a pretty successful death metal band in Oppressor, throughout the 1990’s. The band toured with black metal vets Cradle Of Filth and death metal icons Cannibal Corpse, not a shabby resume’ for any working musician for a lifetime.
As a new decade approached, Tim and Adam Zadel (also of Soil) still members of Oppressor started a little side project, the name, SOiL. They would go on to become hard rock heavyweights for the entire next decade and a half, which brings us to 2015, and the band is showing no signs of letting up anytime soon.
In the interview below, you will read about Tim’s description of having their major label break-through album (Scars) released on September 11, 2001, and finding out about the attacks just as they exited their plane while on tour and fearing that the very airplane which they were on could be involved.
Ladies and Gents, bassist Tim King of SOiL…
Q) Describe the first time you actually got together with other people and decided you were going to start a band. How chaotic was it when it became time to attempt jamming? Did you guys think you had it from the start or was there a bit of frustration involved? Describe the overall feeling of starting a band, what was the name of the band?
My first official band was called Live Wire. I was sixteen-years- old and there was a drummer, guitarist, and singer but no bass player. So I was like “I’ll get a bass”. Lol. We sucked super bad!
Q) When and where was your very first gig. What songs did you guys play? How did it go?
The first gig of my life was at a party in someone’s basement. We had 3 bands set up there and we just each played songs back and forth. It was pretty fun actually.
Q) In 1991 you started a death metal band with SOil guitarist Adam Zadel called Oppressor, which came out of the gate very seriously as a force to be reckoned with, recording a couple of demos, an EP, and eventually releasing three studio albums under two different labels, and a live album. Describe the Oppressor era, the joy of recording, playing shows, etc. What was your most memorable moment(s) in Oppressor?
It was pretty amazing. It was our first test of being in a real band. We went on to tour Europe with Cradle Of Filth and did numerous USA tours with Cannibal Corpse and Malevolent Creation. It was my first time singing and playing bass. It was a blast. Had a lot of fun in that band.
Q) If I am correct, while still working as Oppressor, you and Adam started SOiL as an alternative rock project in 1997 with vocalist Ryan McCombs, whom you discovered on a compilation cd. The 90’s proved to be extremely influential all the way around, what bands would you say inspired you and Adam to start something different? Was the intention to start a side-project or were you just as serious going into SOiL as you were about Oppressor? Or was Oppressor still your baby? If so, when and how did that change?
We got kind of sick of the whole “how true and brutal are you?” type stuff and black metal was on the rise. So we decided to get back to our roots and form a band in the vein of Black Sabbath, Ozzy, Corrosion Of Conformity, and Metallica. Soil was born as a side project that just kept getting bigger and bigger.
Q) SOiL went on to release a couple of EP’s and the debut album Throttle Junkies via MIA Records. MIA would go on to disband, and you guys released a song called ‘Halo‘ which was getting a lot of radio air play, which in turn led to the interest of several major labels. What was this bidding was amongst labels like for you and the band? Certainly, it was very exciting and most likely a bit grueling due to the anticipation. What was it like when you finally signed to J Records.
It was pretty amazing to see a song of ours just explode and have all these major labels fighting over us. Probably the best time musically of my life. The sky was the limit back then and money was flowing. It was really an exciting time that I’ll always hold dear to me.
Q) The bands major label debut, Scars, was released September 11, 2001. Obviously you were touring at this point I assume. For obvious reasons, this had to be a very odd, memorable day in your life, filled with a roller-coaster of emotions. What was going through your mind the night of September 11, 2001? Where were you? What was the bands general mood?
We were actually on a plane coming back from a sold out record release show the night before in Orlando, Florida. We touched down to everyone freaking out and thinking our plane was in the attacks. It was a horrible time for our album to come out and it messed up promotions in a lot of ways.
Q) Ryan McCombs left the band in 2004 and returned in 2011. What was the mood when he decided to leave the band in 04′? Was the band shocked? And ultimately, what was the vibe upon his return in 2011?
It was a tough time. And even tougher to go on with a new singer. Him coming back was the best thing that could have happened and it’s been fantastic ever since. It feels like “Soil” again.
Q) You are endorsed by Spector, and have your own signature models, the Legend 4X Classic, and the Forte 4X, what is it like to be endorsed by such a highly regarded producer of quality basses?
They are amazing and my rep PJ Rubal is amazing. I love those basses. They are a true bass company. Not a guitar company making basses as an afterthought.
Q) Tell us a bit about upcoming tours and when we may see the next Soil album. I suspect there is lots of material already, if you want to get into that at all.
We are going back to Europe with Coal Chamber in May and then back to Australia. No plans on a new album quite yet. WHOLE is still fairly new and we are going to work it for a bit longer.
Thank you so much for your time Tim, go out there and kick some ass.
Cheers! Thank you!
By: Frank Webb
#1 – The Night We Stole KORN