Waking Up Dead — Interviews From 2005 With SAIGON KICK Drummer Phil Varone And Emmy Award Winning Director Fabio Jafet

deadBack in 2005 former Saigon Kick / Skid Row drummer Phil Varone released a DVD entitled Waking Up Dead, which documents his rise to fame and eventual fall from grace due to substance abuse. Filmed by Emmy Award winning journalist and film maker Fabio Jafet over a four year period, it offers a brutal look at the realties of the music business, and I highly recommend it to anyone who’s ever had the whole fame and fortune dream (view a clip here). Thanks to Matt Kramer, the vocalist of Saigon Kick, I was able to set up interviews with both Varone and Jafet to discuss the project, and both pieces were published by BW&BK in 2005. I watched the movie again today and decided to resurrect the interviews now that I have this page to do my bidding.

The first interview features my discussion with Jafet. Remember, this is was back in 2005 so the timelines might be a tad off…

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THE NEW BLACK – How To Love Your Liver

The New Black 12.10.2008THE NEW BLACK – How To Love Your Liver
By Carl Begai

Guitarist Christof Leim was two for two in 2008, cranking out a new Sinner album (Crash & Burn) to rave reviews and launching new street level dirt metal outfit The New Black to equal amounts of high praise. A big change from his one album stint with The Traceelords (The Ali Of Rock – 2006), a band that couldn’t decide if it was metal, rock, or full-on sugar pop and eventually imploded. And while Sinner’s success was assured with Crash & Burn’s return to the band’s rock roots, The New Black was a gamble. Leim had no expectations going in save that the music would better reflect who he is as a musician, making the positive reactions to their demo material and resulting record deal with AFM Records that much sweeter.

“The New Black started before I joined Sinner, and it was one of the good things in life that got the ball rolling: binge drinking,” Leim reveals. “Fabs (Schwarz/guitars) and me attended the Earthshaker Festival in 2006, and we watched the show by a headliner that I won’t mention because they sucked (Lordi), then hit the caiparinha booth. I told him that I had a lot of heavy riffs sitting around that I couldn’t use in The Traceelords because they didn’t fit. Basically, they were a bunch Black Label Society-type riffs. Fabs and I got along great, so the only logical conclusion was that we should form a new band. We got shitfaced and the question came up; ‘So, when should we start this new band?’ Answer: ‘I don’t know, what time is it? 10:45pm? Okay, we’ll start it at 11:00pm…’ (laughs). Fabs is a real musician, not just a rocker, so I sent him three song ideas, and a couple weeks after the festival we were at a party and he pulled out a CD with three songs on it. From there things moved along really quickly.”
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BW&BK Interview With EDGUY Frontman Tobias Sammet Online

I recently spoke with EDGUY frontman Tobias Sammet about the band’s new album, Tinnitus Sanctus. A brief excerpt is available below:

edguy21Sammet: “I can’t speak for everybody in the band, but I got sick of that ‘high velocity at any price’ approach. If you really have to say something at that speed, like in ‘Speedhoven’ for example, then it’s fine because it’s supposed to be fast, but I really don’t want people telling me what to do. I’m not going to record a fast song just for the sake of recording a fast song. That doesn’t make sense, and to me the mid-paced songs give you many more opportunities to put energy, melody and atmosphere into them. The music breathes so much more, and that makes it much easier to give the song a heart and soul. There are so many power metal bands playing fast songs and one song sounds like the other, and quite often I get the impression that those songs are being created from a blueprint.”

Go to this location for the complete interview.