By Carl Begai
On June 2nd the lamest of lame-ass festival line-ups descended upon Nuremberg, Germany for the annual Rock im Park, guaranteed to impress only those tweens and under-35s that consider MTV and Glee quality programming. Several kilometers away in the city’s old town, veteran German rockers Sinner were down to the far more satisfying business of filming a video for the song ‘Back On Trail’, the first single from their forthcoming album One Bullet Left.
Following is a photo-documentary of the shoot, which took place at the – for lack of a better word – abandoned Volksbad (which must have been bloody impressive when it was fully operational). And if some of the mugs in the shots below look familiar, they should, as Sinner’s present line-up consists of guitarists Christof Leim (The New Black), Alex Scholpp (Tarja) and Alex Beyrodt (Primal Fear) – yep, three of ’em – drummer André Hilgers (Rage), and last but never least, bassist and namesake Mat Sinner….
Continue reading SINNER – Rocked And Loaded
By Carl Begai
For a band that was spawned during a metal festival drinking binge, The New Black have pounded out an impressive stretch of road. The January 2009 release of their self-titled debut album gave the band legs, enabling them to do the festival circuit and put together short but effective tours with bands in a similar small-time boat. Topping this off were select support shows with high profile acts such as cult-fave German countrymen J.B.O. and the larger-than-life AC/DC. On the eve of the release of The New Black’s second record, II: Better In Black, guitarist / co-founder Christof Leim – who pulls double duty as the guitarist for veteran rockers Sinner – looks back on the band’s achievements and freely admits he’s surprised at how things have played out. Not that he was placing bets on things going to hell before they could get to Round 2, but the logistics of keeping the band up and running are anything but simple.
“The surprise started before the first album was out. We never had auditions, we never worked out way through dozens of people to find the right line-up. Reactions to The New Black have been pretty good and we’ve worked a lot as a live band without rehearsing because it’s just not possible. Preparation for studio time was done on the fly, basically, so the surprise started early for me. It’s not a project anymore, it’s our main band.” Continue reading THE NEW BLACK – Building Happy Zombies
THE 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.”
Continue reading THE NEW BLACK – How To Love Your Liver