As an introduction I figured I’d share a recent interview I did with About.com, conducted by Chad Bowar. Read on…
How and when did you first discover metal music?
High school, 1983. There was a kid in my classes by the name of Jim Watt who wore those cheesy black rock shirts with the long white sleeves – W.A.S.P., Mötley Crüe, Megadeth, Judas Priest, Metallica – every single day. Between the clothes and the long hair he was marked as an “undesirable” by the teachers and always ended up sitting at the front of the class so they could keep an eye on him, so he quite naturally became the center of attention for everyone. He was actually a very cool guy and quite happy to hang with shy and introverted geeks like myself and teach us a thing or two about music. A couple cassette tapes later and I was hooked for life. My parents weren’t exactly thrilled, but I think they were secretly glad my pocket money was being used for records and not drugs.
What was the first metal album you bought?
It was either Judas Priest’s Defenders Of The Faith or Ratt’s Out Of The Cellar. Definitely in 1984, and I’m pretty sure I bought them within a week of each other.
What was the last metal album you bought?
Faith No More’s Angel Dust. Bought it as a Christmas present to myself last year (2008) because I’ve only ever had it on cassette, and it’s currently at home in Toronto rotting in a box. Still love it, even if it isn’t their best. Still haven’t gotten through that cover of Lionel Richie’s “‘Easy,” though. Ick.
What was the first metal concert you attended?
Triumph at Maple Leaf Gardens in 1984 on the Thunder Seven tour.
What’s the best metal concert you’ve attended?
It’s impossible for me to choose just one, especially when I consider how many shows I’ve seen in the past 25 years. The fact I’ve been going to gigs for that amount of time is mind-boggling, to be honest. Dream Theater in 1993 at RPM in Toronto comes immediately to mind, the aforementioned Triumph show, Bruce Dickinson at Rock N’ Roll Heaven in Toronto on the Tattooed Millionaire tour, Kamelot/Leaves’ Eyes in Toronto at the Opera House, Jon Oliva’s Pain in 2007… it’s a long list…
What genres of metal are your most and least favorite?
Least favorite is the goth rock/sympho-goth metal scene. The vast majority of the latest crop of bands are completely lacking in originality; no substance of any kind, just relying on three chords, a 4/4 tempo, hair and make-up. I like classic Sisters Of Mercy, early Theatre Of Tragedy, the first HIM record, but after that… bah. I think the only band on the current scene to do anything even remotely interesting is Dir En Grey. The goth crowd latched onto the band’s Visual Kei latex-glam image years ago, but the music is as anti-formula as you can get, so I guess a lot of the fans are as bored of the goth paint-by-numbers approach as I am.
Most favourite? Hard to say. Things go in phases with me. I’m heavily into old school thrash like Death Angel, Annihilator and Destruction, but I’ll slap on Ratt, Dream Theater or Nevermore without a second thought. And there’s always the Priest/Maiden/ Dio staples. And newer, modern-edged stuff like The Agonist, Stone Sour, Bullet For My Valentine, and Scarlet Sins. I like a lot of different stuff, which is what keeps this job fresh and interesting for me.
Go to this location for the complete interview.