Yesterday we took a break from bitching about missing Babymetal’s first U.S. show to tell you that at said show, one of the kawaii metal girls apparently got carted off in an ambulance. Well, today, a Babymetal fan named Benjamin Hill tweeted us a link to the following post on the group’s unofficial fan site. We’re not sure of the source, so for all we know it’s completely made up. But given that it doesn’t flat-out deny the ambulance rumors, and chalks the whole thing up to heat exhaustion (and it was indeed brutally hot here in Los Angeles on Sunday), it seems plausible.
For the record, the full post was slightly cut off. The end actually specifies that Babymetal will rock unsuspecting Gaga fans’ faces “off like a hurricane!” (You can read the full text of the post here.)
So for now, let’s assume the girls are all fine and ready to rock Phoenix tomorrow night. Where there will hopefully be better air-conditioning.
[Update: Today we received unconfirmed word that all three Babymetal girls are fine. If there are further developments in this story, we'll let you know.]
We woke up this morning more hungover than usual, because we spent last night trying to drink away the pain of missing a Babymetal show that was 10 fucking minutes from my house. It was the cute-metal trio’s first U.S. show and since some genius decided to book the most popular band on the Internet into a venue the size of my living room, it sold out in about three seconds. I’m sure we could have donated kidneys for tickets or something, but since Andy and I are both marginally employed at the moment, we decided to be responsible adults and sit this one out.
Well, it turns out that not only did we miss an absolute rager of a show, according to this review…we also missed some serious post-show drama. Although it hasn’t been confirmed by the band, several eyewitnesses saw an ambulance leaving right after the concert that was apparently carrying one of Babymetal’s two younger members, Moa and Yui. A detailed post on Reddit would seem to confirm that it was one of the girls. Hopefully it was just a little exhaustion or dehydration or headbanger’s whiplash and not something more serious.
Assuming all three Babymetallers are recuperated in time from last night’s show, they’re scheduled to continue their conquest of America with five dates
salvaging the career of opening for Lady Gaga. Which makes it almost worth paying good money to go see Lady Gaga. Almost.
The Gaga/Babymetal dates are below, but first watch this promotional tour video, which is pretty much the new gold standard against which all future promotional tour videos will be judged. By the way, kudos to Babymetal’s backing band
Babymetal at Lady Gaga’s artRAVE : the ARTPOP ball
7/30 Phoenix, AZ US Airways Arena
8/01 Las Vegas, NV MGM Grand Garden Arena
8/02 Stateline, NV Harveys Lake Tahoe
8/04 Salt Lake City, UT Energy Solutions Arena
8/06 Denver, CO Pepsi Center
France continues to be an unexpected wellspring of weird music, especially of the experimental metal variety. Today’s weirdness comes to us from a French reader named Arthur who sent us a long list of bands, including several we’d never heard before, like Empalot, a short-lived side project of French groove metal master Gojira. Empalot might best be described as Gojira meets Mr. Bungle, with maybe a dash of Primus and a smidgen of Sebkha-Chott. It’s heavy and funky and above all, silly.
Sadly, Empalot seems to have only existed for one album, Tous aux Cèpes, before disbanding in 2003 or 2004. Their live shows were apparently quite the spectacle, with the band wearing giant masks and helmets and songs interspersed with “mini-plays,” according to their Wikipedia page.
We really need to get out more. Apparently one of the most awesome cover bands of all time was based right here in Los Angeles up until 2007 and we missed them. I’m talking about Nudist fucking Priest.
So OK, this is one of your basic one-joke cover bands, but you gotta admit, it’s a pretty balls-out joke. Literally.
Here’s video from their farewell show. All I can say is, I really hope the drummer brought his own stool.
I’m not ashamed to admit that credit for introducing us to this band must go to the Comedy Central show @Midnight, which did a whole segment on weird cover bands a few nights back. They even included our pint-sized pals in The Mini Band, who we kinda hope never see this post. At least whoever shot that video of Nudist Priest’s farewell show was thoughtful enough to scramble the naughty bits.
Recently a reader named StArSeEd (obviously a big fan of tUnE-yArDs) bombarded our Submit a Band page with about a zillion bands of varying levels of weirdness. And while we wish we cover them all, StarSeed (sorry, I’m not putting all those goddamned caps in your name twice), for today, you’ll have to settle for us sharing Cookie Mongoloid with our readers.
Cookie Mongoloid is (or possibly was—they seem to have been inactive since about 2010) a Bay Area bunch of freaks who took the popular description of death metal growls as “Cookie Monster vocals” to its logical conclusion: They got Cookie Monster himself to be their lead singer. Actually, I suspect it’s not Cookie himself but probably his alcoholic brother, Mookie Conster. But since we haven’t had the pleasure of seeing them live for ourselves, it’s hard to say for sure. They call their music “Sesame speed metal” but I think “Muppet goregrind” is catchier, though perhaps less accurate.
Anyway, here’s a video of them performing (what else?) “C Is for Cookie,” complete with flames, motorcycles and a cookie cannon. Looks like fun! If anyone knows whether or not these guys are still together, let us know.
Gnome-hating Finns and Weird Band Poll runners-up Tonttu wrote to us this morning and shared a link to an amazing, computerized cover of Iron Maiden’s “Can I Play With Madness,” created back in 1999 by a Swedish teenager named Anton Gustafsson, who called himself Anton Maiden.
Sadly, for Anton, the answer to the question “Can I Play With Madness” was apparently “Yes”: He committed suicide at the age of 23. But he left behind a huge and awesome collection of MIDI/chiptune Iron Maiden covers that continue to piss off purists and inspire nerdy headbangers to this day. If programmed synths can shred, then Anton Maiden’s are the shredmasters against which all others must be judged.
You can check out more of Anton’s stuff on his website (which is in Swedish, but you’ll figure it out).
Many readers, most recently a fellow named Timmey, have tried to turn us on to the German band Knorkator over the years. They’re a satirical rock band and, unfortunately, a lot of their humor gets lost in translation. But their industrial/Neue Deutsche Härte parody “Buchstabe” works in any language, I think, and is a fun way to start the work week. It’s like Yo Gabba Gabba! meets Rammstein.
Listen, we do OK in the readership department, but Christ knows, we’re no Metal Injection. We probably don’t even have as many readers as Hell Furnace. So when we hit up Mayhem‘s label, Season of Mist, to see if we could interview the band around the release of their latest album, Esoteric Warfare, we weren’t really expecting a response. But dip us in honey and feed us to the bees, cuz the Season of Mist folks not only wrote us back but hooked us up with Teloch, the band’s still-sorta-new guitarist. We’re not worthy!
Teloch answered all our questions via email, which is admittedly lamer than phone or Skype or in-person…but, it does give us the opportunity to tell you this: Teloch uses emoticons. He gave us the fucking winky sign at the end of this thing! And he didn’t even put devil horns on it! This changes my entire impression of black metal forever.
Anyway, we got the interview back a few days ago but decided to wait until Friday the 13th to post it, on account of it being the day of ultimate evil and all. Teloch answered all our questions except one that was specifically about Euronymous, which is fair enough, I guess. Nobody likes to talk about the dead guy they replaced.
Oh, did I mention that Esoteric Warfare is out now? Yep, it finally dropped on June 10th here in the States and everywhere else on June 6th. If your life seemed a little more miserable than usual this week, it’s probably because there was just a little more darkness in the world. You can stream the full album exclusively on Terrorizer…another site that probably gets more traffic than ours. Bastards.
Weirdest Band: You’ve worked with drummer Hellhammer for many years on other projects before you joined Mayhem. How did the two of you first meet?
Teloch: We first met when we where doing a warm-up gig for Mayhem with Nidingr [Teloch's previous band]. But it wasn’t until later we started hanging out.
WB: What was your first-ever show with Mayhem like? Where did you play?
T: It was strange, we played here in Norway at a place called Jessheim, where Mayhem had played a gig maaaany years ago. Of course since it was my first gig with them there was some nerves involved, as it always is performing the first gig with a new band.
WB: Were those early Mayhem records an influence on your band, Nidingr?
T: Haven’t really thought about it before but I’m pretty sure it was one of the influences, together with the rest of the Norwegian Black Metal bands, but we have never tried to sound like Mayhem, that’s for sure.
WB: How does Esoteric Warfare compare to the rest of the Mayhem catalog?
T: It’s hard for me to say, ’cause the only Mayhem albums I have listened to top to bottom is Mysteriis and Ordo, the other albums went completely under the radar for me. Also I have only listened to the songs they wanted me to play live.
WB: What guitars and other gear (pedals, effects, etc.) did you use during the recording of Esoteric Warfare?
WB: The first song released, “Psywar,” talks about how modern society brainwashes people into submission. Is that what the title of the album is referring to: that our governments have declared war on people’s ability to think for themselves?
T: In a way, it’s more like there is this constant secret war in the world all the time. Also it’s about mind control and military control, secret societies.
WB: What do you think about the black metal scene these days? Are there any bands doing work you admire?
T: I have no idea, I don’t follow the scene at all and have no idea what’s going on. I would say there is probably nothing worth following, since most albums released is shit.
WB: What do you think about bands like Deafheaven and Amesoeurs that use elements of black metal but mix with them different styles like shoegaze and punk? Do you appreciate bands that like to experiment with black metal, or are you more of a purist?
T: Don’t know the bands you mentioning and have no idea what shoegaze is, but sounds like a fucking mongoloid looking at his shoe for no reason. People can do what the fuck they want, I really don’t care as long as I don’t have to listen to it, really. To me, when you say experiment and black metal together in a sentence, it’s no longer black metal. To me black metal has strict rules and codes to follow for it being black metal, but that’s also the reason why I quit playing/listening to black metal years ago, not that fond of rules, especially when it comes to music, it constricts you. But that’s just my opinion, and it’s not important.
WB: Mayhem’s early history has been sensationalized in the press. Do you find that some of the band’s fans are more into the mythology surrounding Mayhem than the actual music?
T: Yup, and looks like it’s going to be like that forever. A solution would probably be if the other members stopped talking about the old days and start focusing on what’s in front of them. ;)
So there’s this guy from Chicago named Rob Scallon who does YouTube videos of himself jamming on guitar, banjo, cello, bass, ukulele and seemingly every other instrument in existence. He’s done a whole series of clips called “Metal on instruments that aren’t metal” and they’re all pretty great, but this video of him doing Slayer’s “Raining Blood” is the one that got our attention. It’s like Deliverance meets Headbangers Ball. And just when you think it can’t get any more awesome, he throws in a guy playing the spoons.
To watch Rob shred on other metal classics, including System of a Down’s “Chop Suey” and Slayer’s “Spill the Blood,” hit up his YouTube channel.
Our new favorite weird artiste from France (and if you read this blog on the regular, you know there’s some stiff competition) is a one-man black metal act called Fadades. Fadades seems to exist in some crazy-town sweet spot midway between the conspiracy-theorist bedroom metal of Skull and Bones and the lo-fi black metal piss-take of Impaled Northern Moonforest. It’s a place with no drums but plenty of Edward Scissorhands costume accessories. And green screens. Lots of green screens.
Speculation runs rampant over whether this guy is serious or just punking the black metal community. Since his only official online presence is a YouTube channel and a MySpace page in French (which we’re pretty sure is indecipherable even to French people), it’s hard to say. But in the end, who cares? No matter what his intentions are, the results are amazing.
Many thanks to reader Lou for introducing us to this guy, after a day when we could use a good laugh.