Following is an excerpt from a very recent interview with Yers Trooly conducted by veteran and downright awesome author / musician Joel Gausten…
For more than two decades, Carl Begai has been a leading voice in Metal journalism. Whether he’s reporting on acts all over the world for BraveWords.com / Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles (BW&BK) or offering various musings on CarlBegai.com, he consistently provides an in-depth, unpretentious and often amusing take on the world of music. Now, he is preparing to steer his work in a GRIM new direction.
Boasting cover art by former BW&BK graphic artist Hugues Laflamme, GRIM – My Way To Hell is Begai’s first work of fiction and his first book since 2008’s Fire and Fame (with Bonfire’s Joerg Deisinger). He has been “dabbling” with GRIM since 2011, when he was inspired to start putting words together after watching The Devil’s Advocate with Al Pacino. In one pivotal scene, Pacino – in the role of The Devil – delivers a powerful speech on how God is “an absentee landlord” when it came to caring for humanity.
“That is my favorite Pacino moment,” Begai says. “That’s where the idea of the book came from.”
Fans of Begai’s work received their first tease of GRIM when he posted the book’s prologue on his website in 2012.
“The premise behind the book is that the world is such an ugly place and Hell is so busy that they decided to outsource in order to collect all the souls that need collecting. One specific guy more or less got sucked into doing the job, which goes against his own morals. He has real issues with that, and he has real issues with the idea of Heaven and Hell – plus the fact that people are looking for an easy way out by being willing to sacrifice their souls. It’s a first-person take on this seemingly ludicrous idea of God and the Devil, but it turns out that it actually does exist.” Continue Reading
Guns N’ Roses – better known by the old schooler such as myself as Axl & Roses these days – kicked off their residency at The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel, Las Vegas, NV on October 31st. Author, journalist, musician, internet radio host, long time BW&BK supporter and good friend Joel Gausten was in attendance and checked in with an exclusive review of the show. An excerpt is available below:
By Joel Gausten
“One-hundred minutes. That’s how long it took Axl Rose and his current incarnation of Guns N’ Roses to take the stage at the Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on October 31st AFTER the 9:00pm start time actually listed on the damn ticket. While a local opening band called 333 did their best to placate the crowd with their brand of Nickelback-lite alt metal (and came back and played an additional 20 minutes AFTER ‘Thank you, good night!’), the groans from within the crowd grew louder with each passing minute. Was that bastard going to screw his audience AGAIN, even on the first night of a lengthy residency in Vegas? Would the headlines about Axl’s erratic behavior once again take center stage over the guy’s unbelievable talents? Would this guy flat-out suck? Anyone who has witnessed the train wreck that occurred at the band’s recent Bridge School Benefit gig surely couldn’t know what in the world to expect as the lights finally dimmed on the Joint’s stage. Would this much-hyped string of shows be the final nail in the coffin for one of Rock’s most incendiary acts?” Continue Reading
By Carl Begai
Music journalists / writers are often pegged within the industry as frustrated musicians that didn’t have the chops or couldn’t take the heat. Not entirely accurate, but you need only to glance through a malicious self-serving review or half-hearted article to find the guilty-as-charged. Author / journalist Joel Gausten is far from being one of the disenchanted, boasting instead a successful catalogue of books and a long and colourful music career that shows signs of picking up even more steam. To date he has written books on Black Sabbath, Prong, Killing Joke, The Undead and The Misfits, and a tome on Satanism. His punk / metal credits include an extended stint with The Undead, The Misfits, Pigface, Electric Frankenstein, and a work-in-progress under the name Effectionhate. In all, an impressive little empire that shows every sign of continued growth, largely because the brain behind it is bolted in place and his vision is crystal clear.
“I’ve always been very, very interested in writing,” Gausten says, beginning a two part interview on his escapades. “It’s something I’ve always loved and it really started for me in grade school. As a young kid I has some speech problems, so I always found it more effective to write in terms of plain old communication. I guess it was about Grade 5 where I really started to discover music, and I was into what I guess you could call the popular hard rock music of the day. Gun N’ Roses was just starting to get noticed, stuff like that, so I actually published my own ‘zine (laughs). It didn’t really have anything in it; it was just regurgitating stuff from real magazines, and I sold it in my school through the student council and raised 13 bucks at a quarter each (laughs). That’s when I realized ‘Hmm, there might be something to this.’ That was my first big success.”
Once again, a big thanks to those of you stopping by to check out my playground. And to those of you posting comments, thanks for keeping it clean and being pretty damn articulate and intelligent when you set off on an overview, commentary or critique. I enjoy the feedback, positive and not, and it’s definitely of worth. Keep ’em coming.
Currently up and running elsewhere (because it’s no fun staying in only one spot), I recently posted the larger portion of my recent interview with THE ALMIGHTY frontman Ricky Warwick on the BW&BK site here. He was a cool interview as always, discussing the here-and-not status of The Almighty, the death of his other band CIRCUS DIABLO, and being a folk artist. The folk-oriented portion of the interview is still available via Suite101.
I also supplied Suite101 with a review of DANKO JONES’ kick-ass B-Sides compilation, released earlier this year. You can find it here.