Live Nation Presents
Lamb of God, Anthrax, Testament, Napalm Death
16200 Idaho Center Blvd.
Nampa, ID, 83687
Doors 4:00 PM / Show 5:00 PM
This event is all ages
Watch & Listen
"We definitely made our own road
and there's not too many people driving
down our road. Nobody's doing it."
Coming from anyone else, this might sound like an idle boast. When guitarist Kerry King of Slayer says it; it's a simple statement of fact. Almost 20 years after Slayer first started blending the heavy riffs of metal with the anger and violence of punk, the next chapter in the Slayer story will be written with the release of GOD HATES US ALL. It's been three years since Slayer last released a record, 1998's DIABOLUS IN MUSICA, but it's not like the guys have been lounging around poolside, sipping mai-tais and waiting for the royalty checks to roll in. "We started working on this record after we got done with a long touring cycle, but prior to Ozzfest '99," says guitarist Jeff Hanneman. "And like every three or four months, something would come up to sidetrack us so we couldn't finish it. We'd have to take a break and learn stuff for Ozzfest and come back, work for a few months, go in and do a WCW song for a month ('Here Comes The Pain'), go out on the Tattoo the Earth tour, last summer. Then we'd work for a few more months until we were asked to do a song -- "Bloodline" for the 'Dracula 2000' soundtrack, and that was the last break. Then we got our shit together, went up to Vancouver and made a record."
Recorded at The Warehouse, a Vancouver studio owned by Bryan Adams, certain alterations had to be made in converting Slayer's new environs from a studio owned by a lightweight Canadian pop singer to something suitable for four men recording a 12-14-song album titled GOD HATES US ALL. Slight alterations, like a chalked-out crime-scene-style drawing of a body on the floor. Candles. Dimmed lights. Incense. Porn-covered walls. All the little amenities that make a house a home.
"We had two banner flags that were of middle fingers," says singer/bassist Tom Araya. "As you walked into the first door of the studio, there was a Misfits' skull that said, Eat a bag. The next door you opened, there was a white flag with a middle finger pointed up right in your face. You'd open the door to the mixing room, there's another middle finger. That was basically the attitude of Slayer in the studio. We had a red devil head on one of the speakers. We had a skull on another. That_s the kind of shit we put up. Spooky stuff that makes you feel at home."
Slayer picked Matt Hyde to produce GOD HATES US ALL, after his stellar work on "Bloodline" for the 'Dracula 2000' soundtrack. "He had a handle on every aspect of the recording. He likes the band, he likes the music," says King. "He knew what we were trying to achieve, rather than just us telling him. He knew what was going on. I tell people he's God, might as well bring in the cross and nail him up to it because he's the fucking best."
As intense a record as Slayer has recorded, God Hates Us All found King and Hanneman stripping the songwriting down to the essentials, trimming the fat and keeping the fury. "I didn't write the usual Dungeons and Dragons shit, looking in the synonym finder for words I have no idea what they mean anyway, " King says by way of explanation. "This is a lot more how I talk, a lot more street. A lot of the topics are things people can relate to and they_ll hear the street-style version, so I think they_ll get more out of it."
You'd have to be deaf, dumb or dead to miss the message of songs like "Threshold" or "Exile", which crackle with the unchecked wrath Slayer, fans have come to count on. "Threshold" is about reaching your limit in any given aspect, with a person in a situation where you're about to break. You're about to blow-up," says King. 'Exile' is pretty much about a person--everybody's got one--who is like the anti-them -- you just hate with every ounce of your fucking being. It_s called "Exile" because you want them away from you. You want to kill yourself so you don't have to deal with them anymore."
King and Hanneman toyed with new guitar tunings on the album, taking the plunge down to Drop B a couple times and hauling out a seven-string axe for the first time in Slayer history. "A lot of people you see in Guitar World say, "I'm not Steve Vai, I have no reason to play a seven-string," says King. "That's like telling a drummer to play a single kick drum, trying to tell him he doesn't need a double-bass kick. It doesn't make sense. Or they cop out saying, 'I'm not that good.' You don't have to be good to make up a seven-string riff."
Slayer records begin with the drums, and Paul Bostaph, timekeeper for half of Slayer's nearly 20 years as a band, says there's a simple rule he follows in setting the brutal pace. "Rick Rubin once said the perfect take is the one that felt like it was going to fall apart but never did. I thought that was one of the wisest things I've ever heard and I always try to go for that."
During breaks from recording, Slayer hits the town, patronizing local bars like the Shark Club and the Cobalt Club and watching nearly every hockey game the hometown Vancouver Canucks played. Singer Tom Araya spent his off-hours reading true crime novels with cheery titles along the lines of "Happy Like Murderers'" to help him inhabit the minds of murderous priests ("God Send Death") and a fallen angel pushing drugs ("Cast Down"). "I use those books to spark my imagination, to go into the role playing that I need in order to sound convincing. I need to sing and make it sound like I'm actually going to do these things I'm saying. They help out a lot with the screaming."
Let other bands break-up, try to "find their sound" or record albums with symphonies. In the fickle, ever-changing world of music, Slayer remains a sure thing. "I think I'm a fan first and foremost," says King. "The difference between me and the people watching our show is that I learned how to play guitar. For some reason, I know how to make up riffs for Slayer and I get the opportunity to do that, so I'm like the superfan. It's what I'm into. If I was going to start a new band today, I'd want it to be just like this one."
Lamb of God
There are metal bands and then there is Lamb of God.
A new breed of modern American metal was erected in the 2000s, with Lamb of God serving as an architect, designing the blueprint that would become the standard by which bands that came after them would be judged. So often, the European metal scene has set the tone and established the creative high watermark of the global metal scene, providing the template that their American brethren would follow. Then Lamb of God came along and all bets were off.
It was Lamb of God who rewrote the rules, devised a new playbook and raised the standard. The genre was forever and irrefutably changed by what the band has done.
By the mid-00s, there was a full metal Renaissance, if you will, in America, with the genre enjoying several years of renewed success and critical respect. Lamb of God worked to establish themselves without question as the scene's alpha males, dominating at every turn, leaving a parade of other acts to merely feast on their leftovers and scraps. Mind you, this was not a scene, style or era populated by middling acts. The era was filled quality bands and still, it was Lamb of God who defined the time period and that quickly ascended as the game changers and torch bearers. No. Questions. Asked.
Turns out, they've merely nicked the surface of what they can do and plan on accomplishing.
In 2012, Lamb of God remain the pre-eminent metal band and not by default, either. The scene is still healthy, even if some of the peers who stood shoulder-to-shoulder with them during that period of growth have fallen by the wayside. Lamb of God still reign atop of the genre thanks to their consistent ability to feed fans with only the best extreme metal there is. Their seventh album Resolution finds the band firing on all cylinders and doing things their way. As if we'd expect anything less from this Virginia wrecking crew.
With a rich history including three Grammy nominations, an invitation to tour with Metallica (which they did in 2008 through 2010 on the World Magnetic trek); multiple debuts in the Top 10 on the Billboard Top 200 (2009's Wrath debuted at No. 2 while 2006's Sacrament debuted at No. 8); multiple Platinum-selling DVDs (Killadelphia and Walk With Me in Hell); an arena tour with Slipknot (which took place in 2005); the main stage of OZZfest (2006) and wearing the fact that they were banned in Los Angeles (the Forum had a problem with their name and booted them off the bill of two shows, one with Slipknot and one with Metallica) as a badge of honor, there's no question that Lamb of God rule the metal roost. Everyone else is left to watch and marvel, and choke on their dust. However, they're not resting on past successes or what they've done. For Lamb of God, what happened in 2002 happened in 2002. It's about the right now and what's next: Resolution.
With Resolution, Lamb of God emerged from their haven in the South as powerful, as hungry and as extreme as ever. While most bands are running on fumes or coasting and sputtering to album No. 7, Lamb of God are reinvigorated. They still have something to say and more to prove…to themselves and no one else. This sonic terror squad has come along way from playing squats in basements as Burn the Priest with one constant element: the instinct to make legit, honest music their way, which is just what they've done with Resolution.
"The first and foremost thing that you have to realize about LOG is that we do exactly what we want, when we want, and how we want to," declares vocalist Randy Blythe. "We always have and we always will. That's why each record is a snapshot in time. We never consciously sit down and say 'We're going to keep it heavy. We're going to keep it metal.' We just do that because that's what we want to do. If we felt like putting out a polka record tomorrow, we would. We're trying to make 'smart' heavy music."
Joey Belladonna - vocals
Charlie Benante – drums
Frank Bello – bass
Rob Caggiano – guitars
Scott Ian – guitars
TV has soap operas, literature has Shakespeare, and metal – well, metal has Anthrax, that fire-breathing, thrash-spitting, multi-headed beast of a band that – 30 years since the day Scott Ian and then-bassist Danny Lilker searched a biology textbook for the disease that would become their moniker – smiles back at you with a monstrous, upturned middle finger and refuses to fucking die. But then, if you have an inkling about heavy metal, you'll have heard of their meteoric rise in the 80s alongside the likes of Slayer, Megadeth, and a little band that once crashed on Anthrax's studio floor known as Metallica. You'll know all about their game-changing, crossover hit with Public Enemy on Bring The Noise in 1991. You'll have listened to generations of bands that owe everything to their signature stomp and crushing riffs. And in more recent times, you'll have witnessed an almost irrational will to survive in defiance of monumental odds. And that, true believers, is the story of one of the most doggedly heroic bands in metaldom on the cusp of their greatest release to date. The road has not been easy.
Rewind to 2005. Hot on the heels of 2003's rapturously received We've Come For You All, a unanimously praised, end-to-end scorcher spearheaded by vocalist John Bush, Anthrax shocked the metal world with the announcement that singer Joey Belladonna would be re-joining the band for a classic, 80s-era reunion that would sweep them around the world on a wave of head-banging nostalgia, but more importantly, reconnecting the band as friends and as the brutal thrash machine that gave the world Among The Living.
Once that tour finished, Anthrax returned to discover that John Bush had moved on, and they would need to recruit yet another singer for the recording of their follow-up to WCFYA, the album that would become Worship Music, their tenth studio album. The band worked with one singer for a period of time, but in 2009, they were still without the right vocalist.
"There was no way I was going to let anything derail my life's work," says Scott Ian. "We've been through more drama than most bands experience in a lifetime. Granted, we didn't have to deal with somebody dying or some tragic situation but at the same time we really did face an uncertain future. For lack of a better way to explain it, I am a tenacious prick, and if I want something to happen I will make it so. It's always been like that. It touches on the 30th anniversary. I think back to July 18, 1981. Danny Lilker and I were friends and I always said to him, 'when White Heat [Lilker's band at the time] break up, we're forming Anthrax,' and he was like, 'we're not breaking up.' I've always been like that, and with such an amazing record to put out, there's no way I was going to let anything screw that up."
Refusing to accept their predicament, the remaining members rallied themselves in a spine-tingling gesture of conviction and self-belief for what would become the single greatest metal event of the 21st century, the first-ever performance of The Big 4. According to Charlie Benante, getting the band's proverbial excrement together for that gig was just the motivation that Anthrax needed to spit out the blood and get back on their feet.
"The genesis of this whole Big 4 idea – and you could say the idea of getting Joey back in the band full time - was at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame," Benante continues. "It was me, Lars, and Scott talking at the bar, bullshitting, and Lars just blurted it out. It was such a surreal moment, we weren't sure if he was taking the piss out of us and all of a sudden it just happened. It made us really say 'we need to step this up and get this thing going.' It was because of that that we were pushed into this direction. Metallica gave us the kick in the ass that we needed."
"Joey was the band's vocalist from '85 to '92, the time period when 'The Big Four' started," added Scott, "so we felt he had to be the guy to represent us on these Big Four shows, and he had to be the guy on the new record."
Rob Caggiano picks up the story – "So Charlie called Joey, they started talking and Joey expressed an interest. Then we all met with him in New York and while the vibe was really good, none of us really knew what to expect. Then we did the first Big 4 show with Joey, I think that's when we all knew that this was right. The vibe was amazing, he sounds better than he's ever sounded, including the reunion tour."
Reuniting with Joey Belladonna for a whirlwind, globe-stomping tour that would see Anthrax playing shoulder to shoulder with Slayer, Megadeth and old pals Metallica, the explosive success of The Big 4 would suddenly beg the question of what would happen next, and more to the point: who would sing on Worship Music, and how would Anthrax approach the follow-up to We've Come For You All? It wasn't easy, but – from the ferocious attack of "Earth on Hell" to the red-blooded might of "Fight'em 'Til You Can't," the results have been nothing less than horn-conjuring.
"The majority of this record was about 55% done before we even had a singer in mind," explains Charlie. "It was me, Scott and Frankie in our rehearsal room, the same way we wrote Spreading the Disease - with no singer in mind. But I'll never forget the day I first heard Joey singing, I got goosebumps, I got excited - all I could think of in my mind was 'how will he sing this song' and it was just amazing to me. Every time I heard the next song I would be like, 'this rules.'"
"The process leading up to it was painful but I think being in Anthrax is painful," says bassist Frank Bello with a laugh. "I think everything happens for a reason and to listen to this record now, this is the reason it had to happen that way, and I am loving Joey's voice. I'm listening and I'm thinking 'you know I can't tell you when he sang better.' I'm not gonna kiss his ass that much but I really think the guy just doesn't age. He weirds me out because he just goes out there and sings like a bird, amazingly, with power. He came into a hard situation. He really rose to it. When Joey came in it was like the icing on the cake for me. "
Joey agrees: "It's not easy to throw someone in there and try to wash away what you've done and how you've done it," says Joey. "I feel honored, but I also feel like I've done a lot to be there, I wasn't just saying 'oh I've got a chance again.' I just thought I'd be who I was without being like 'can I be like someone else?' I just went in and sang with the best intentions. I just did whatever came from my heart to the best of my abilities, and it worked."
And that is an understatement. Co-produced by Rob Caggiano and Jay Ruston (both Grammy-nominated producers), the album takes its name from one of Charlie's late-night bouts of insomnia where, while flipping through TV channels he stumbled upon a religious-themed infomercial entitled "Worship Music." A fitting sentiment for an undeniable masterwork of skewering melodies powered by herculean riffage and a tunefulness that bespeaks Anthrax's utter supremacy as songwriters. From the haunting, ethereal tones of "Worship" – an atmospheric piece composed by Charlie himself – to the punch-in-the-face assault of opening track "Earth On Hell," the results are positively badass. But that isn't to say Worship Music is without its deeper subtexts.
"The song "In the End" has a melancholy feel to it," says Charlie. "It has nothing to do with the band, but two people who had a lot to do with our band, Dimebag and Ronnie James Dio. They were both heroes and huge influences on us. Darrell played on the last three Anthrax records, a sixth member if you will, and Ronnie was always a champion for us, taking us on tour, just being so amazing to us always. It had to be made, and it was very cathartic."
"It's just an epic piece of music," adds Scott. "Of course in the back of my mind I was thinking, 'if somehow I could get this in the lyrics without it being completely cornball, that song would just lend itself to expressing the feelings and emotions about how we felt about what those guys meant to us -- Did we ever tell you how much we loved you tearing my head off tearing my face off ripping my heart out." I meant that in a good way. The first time I ever heard Ronnie James Dio, my world was fucked forever."
Of course, Worship Music also features a far more obvious musical tribute about Anthrax's greatest inspiration, Judas Priest, mysteriously entitled... "Judas Priest."
"We wrote it right at the time the announcement came that they were retiring," says Scott. "I just got so bummed out about it, almost the same way I felt with Ronnie dying or Darrell getting killed, it was a similar emotion, like: 'is this what it's like now, I'm just going to see my heroes go?' It kind of depressed me. The thought of a world without Judas Priest is just weird, so I remember talking to Charlie and we agreed we should just write a song called 'Judas Priest.' It was such an overtly, metal song, and that in of itself is the tribute."
Alongside the colossal crescendo of "Crawl" and the irresistible catchiness of "The Devil You Know," Worship Music is a record of mass destruction to be released upon the world, and to the delight of fans everywhere it already began when, in July, the Anthrax.com was updated with new artwork by universally acclaimed comic artist Alex Ross and an offering of "Fight'em 'Til You Can't" as a free download that swept across the internet like a thrash metal hurricane.
"Basically, we made our fans wait so long so it was like 'why make our fans pay for it?" says Charlie. "They've waited so long, so here's a gift.'"
"'Fight'em 'Til You Can't' is about humans fighting the Cylons," adds Scott, referring to the title's relationship to a famous line in the recently re-imagined space epic "Battlestar Galactica." "My take is more Zombie-oriented than Cylon oriented, but I think you could absolutely read it as Anthrax fighting until we can't. I'm sure that was in the back of my mind. As much as I like the idea of it just being a fun-filled Zombie killing romp, that emotional thread pretty much runs through everything I'm doing lyrically, you can't keep me down, I'm gonna do what I'm gonna do."
Given that this year Anthrax celebrates its 30th anniversary of fighting the good fight, Scott's sentiment is a poignant one. So how does it feel to be releasing a new record over three decades since you began?
"It freaks me out actually, that that much time has gone by," says Charlie. "In my mind I still feel like the same person from back then, but if we were to do this ten years ago, I would be more concerned about staying relevant and this time I could care less about staying relevant. It's about doing what I think our fans enjoy.
"I truly can't put it into any kind of context because we're just so busy, you know? We're sitting here with this setup of a record in the middle of playing shows with so much going on, so I guess I could say nothing is changed, things are exactly the same as when we're working toward the next thing and that's maybe somehow some way we've always been able to move forward, always looking forward and never stopping - it's never been that way with Anthrax, even just this constant struggle to find band members who would commit to rehearsing for four nights a week and having to fire them, it was constantly moving forward until we recorded Fistful of Metal, well we've gotta go on tour and sell t-shirts, and we've gotta get rid of Neil Turbin, and then we found Joey... In 2011 my day is still filled with what's happening with Anthrax, and I love this new record and how it represents our whole career in Anthrax. I can't wait for people to hear it."
Over the past 30 years, Anthrax has achieved sales in excess of 10-million. The band has also received multiple Gold and Platinum albums, multiple Grammy nominations, and a host of other accolades from the media, industry and fans.
Whether evoking images of a barren post-apocalyptic landscape or extolling the virtues of the nature's ultimate might, thunderous prophecy shrouded in monolithic, overwhelming musical power has always been Testament's domain. With Dark Roots Of Earth, (their 10th album, released on July 31st in North America through Nuclear Blast Records) the Bay Area quintet have delivered their most mature, complete and intense collection in 25 years together, nine mind-bending, pit-stirring classics that will instantly crush your skull while also serving a delicious amount of depth and nuance to devour.
"It's partially fantasy-based, partially based on the prophecies of the Mayan calendar, partially based on the whole prophecy of the 'end-of-the-world'" says guitarist/founder-member Eric Peterson, "but nature always ends up taking charge in the aftermath, we always end up back with nature being in charge."
"Our world is changing," furthers vocalist Chuck Billy, "it has changed over the last 10 years, the environment, the seasons, and it (makes you wonder) if there 'might' be something to those prophecies."
"It's hard not to see what the media's feeding us," adds Peterson, " 'The End of The World' is like a big billboard, an advertisement, and I think a lot of people believe in it."
It took a trip to the British countryside for Peterson to start connecting the dots between the initial creative embers explained above and the collection of riffs Testament had conceived for Dark Roots of Earth. Like heroes such as Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin, who often wandered off to rural outposts for inspiration, much of the album's heart and soul was conceived in darkest, rural Derbyshire with producer Andy Sneap at his Backstage Studios.
"Andy's a guitarist himself (Sneap is in Sabbat), comes from our background and understands what we're trying to do," explains Eric, "so I asked him if I could go spend a week visiting to pull ideas together. Going there's a whole other world. It used to be dairy farm, there's lambs, cows, goats, ghosts, noises, (some) really spooky stuff in the old section where you can hear people walking up the stairs and doors slamming, it's all pretty inspirational. You wake up after surviving the
Formed in Birmingham, UK in 1982, by Nik Bullen. Napalm Death were originally one of the bands that defined the UK hardcore thrash/punk sound of the mid-late 1980s, along with bands such as Extreme Noise Terror, Doom and Sore Throat. The band has gone through countless line-ups and many former members have gone on to become significant figures in a variety of musical scenes.
Although their debut album "Scum" featured members Justin Broadrick (who was also a member of Fall Of Because, the band that later became Godflesh, at the time) and Nik Bullen (later part of Scorn), the first stable line up consisted of Lee Dorrian (vocals), Bill Steer (guitar), Mick Harris (drums) and Shane Embury (bass).
By late 1989, Lee Dorrian, whose vocals epitomised the early Napalm Death sound, had left to form another band (doom metal band Cathedral) and focus on his label Rise Above. Bill Steer also left to concentrate on his other band, Carcass. Dorrian was replaced by former death metal band Benediction's vocalist Barney Greenway, and an American guitarist, Jesse Pintado, was recruited from fellow Earache label-mates Terrorizer. A short time later Mitch Harris from Las Vegas' grindcore outfit Righteous Pigs joined as second guitarist.
Mick Harris left the band in 1991 and has since been involved in a plethora of solo and joint projects/collaborations as Scorn, Lull, Quoit etc. He was replaced by Danny Herrera, an old friend of Jesse's from Los Angeles. This line-up lasted until 2004, when Jesse Pintado left the band. Currently the band consists of Barney Greenway, Mitch Harris, Shane Embury and Danny Herrera.