2011 has been a truly intense and progressive time for metal, punk and hard rock across the continuum. Let’s start being thankful early, and working on our New Year’s Eve hangover really early, by hearing from some of our favorite bands about what made 2011 FREAKIN’ RULE (or suck if you are Jason Christopher or Ari – with maybe the funniest quotes).
Bad Brains, Taproot, Star & Dagger (ex-White Zombie/Cycle Sluts From Hell), The Resurrection Sorrow, Stone Sour/Black President, MonstrO, Wisdom In Chains, Antidote 8, PUi, Nothing But Wolves, Demilitia (ex-Kittie), Tainted Entertainment, Birdhand, Destrophy, The Compulsions, Design The Skyline, Jungle Rot, Blackguard, Painmask, Three, Nightmares For A Week, Ross the Boss band/Ivory Night, Within The Ruins, The Empire Shall Fall (ex-Killswitch Engage) and Now There Is Only A Signal have all contributed.
To read their thoughts on 2011 click here.
Hi y’all. Singer/writer Morgan Y. Evans here. Putting this piece together was a lot of fun. I had a great, great year and interviewed many bands ranging all the way from Stryper to The Atlas Moth. I mean, wow. So many awesome albums also came out and my ears are still ringing from seeing Judas Priest last night at IZOD and tailgating my ass off blasting White Zombie in one of the most fan friendly parking lots of any major venue. Go Giants!! Man, you guys shoulda heard Black Label play “Stillborn” last night, phew.
Anyway, I wanted to thank MetalRiot.com and DyingScene.com for being such cool, vital news sites and for publishing a lot of my articles this year so I rounded up a ton of quotes from bands I have interviewed or shared the stage with or who I never had the pleasure of talking with before (Taproot!) and this is the result. I’ll share my own thoughts on the year after the quotes. Ok, let’s do this. The BelHaven and love doth flow!
Alex Dementia (The Resurrection Sorrow): “Dark. Heavy. Rock. Music is still strong and will never die.”
Jason Christopher (Stone Sour camp/Black President): The best thing about music in 2011 is that I can still buy real music from when I was a kid on iTunes. These shitty bands these days never will have the talent or the balls to make a record like “Reign In Blood” ever again.
Richie Wisdom (Wisdom In Chains): The best thing about music in 2011? Knowing that there are a lot of bands in the underground music scene that are awake, and with that the rebellion message comes with it.
Dava She Wolf (Star & Dagger): Coolest stuf in 2011: The Lemmy Movie, Sean Yseult’s new book “Im In The Band”. Also Mike Williams (Eyehategod)’s book “Cancer As A Social Activity”. NYC related: The new Panzie album, Grande’s reunion. Also… Percussionist Pedrito Martinez (Cuba). Last but not least our Star & Dagger vinyl release on Last Hurrah Records! 2012-very psyched to see the new Steve Blush film Lost Rockers.
Billy (Demilitia): Best part of music in 2011 was that with the help of download cards and sites like Bandcamp.com, bands are giving a lot of stuff away for free. It really helps getting your music into people’s ears, which is mostly what it’s all about for us.
Wayne (Tainted Entertainment): I would have to say 2011 was an amazing year for us here at Tainted Entertainment booking shows in The Hudson Valley,NY. The amount and quality of the local bands here in Eastern, NY has really flourished.It is always an honor for us to put our locals on with such big acts as Ronny Munroe, Warbringer, Lazarus A.D. and more, just to see them shine with the best of them.
Dave Daw (Antidote 8): In my opinion the new Sixx A.M. album “This Is Gonna Hurt” is simply THE album of the year.With Slash and Ozzy’s releases coming in a very close second and third.
Mason R. (Birdhand): One of my favorite things in music in 2011 is Red Fang’s video for “Wires”. That and getting to work with producer Cian Riordan at the famous Hollywood Studio, Barefoot, and touring with the legendary Bad Brains was fucking amazing.
Darryl Jenifer (Bad Brains!!!!) : 2011 was a blast! With the shredding of Hellfest with Bad Brains to rubbing the dub hipsters with Ms. (Lauryn) Hill at Rock The Bells L.A. show to producing the future of rock Birdhand. PMA everyday all day 1-DJ.
Ari (Destrophy): The new Lou Reed/Metallica album. NOT!
Design The Skyline: The best things in music during the year of 2011 would defiantly have to be the new age music has come to with a lot of things going digital. It’s really exciting to be a part of a new era that no other generation has experienced.
Dave Matrise (Jungle Rot): The best thing about music in 2011 was touring. Getting to see all the fans and friends we have made over are years still coming out to support Jrot. Also, being able to smoke and try many killer types of bud around the world.
Rob Carlyle (The Compulsions): I’ve spent most of this year finishing up the newly released Compulsions LP “Beat The Devil” so obviously, that’s my favorite thing in music this year. As far as mainstream music is concerned, Adele and Bruno Mars have been consistently amazing. I saw the Jim Jones Revue perform in Brooklyn and they were great. And some local artists who blew me away were The Juggs, The Liza Colby Sound and Carleigh Jade. And I’ve heard bits and pieces of Tom Waits’ new album which of course was pure genius. I gotta buy that.
Jesse Van Note (Nothing But Wolves): “The Scene” has been nothing but good to us this year! Everyone has been very receptive to what we are trying to do. People being into live music has finally returned!!!
Justine Ethier (Blackguard): My most favorite highlight of 2011 would be that cruise, 70, 000 tons of booze… Metal, I mean! That was a blast! spent the rest of the year trying to remember people that came to me at shows saying: ”Hello !! We met on the boat!”.
Michael DeWolf (Taproot): The best thing about music in 2011 is that it still exists! Keep the Sabbath dream alive \,,/”-Michael DeWolf (Taproot/Guitar)
Phil Lipscomb (Taproot): The best thing about 2011 would be staying in shape on tour: kettlebells, boxing, and drunken wrestling. Three ways to get out of shape on tour: late night gas station stops, sleeping all day after being up all night, and recovering from drunken wrestling.”
Best Sincere You Tube Hard Rock Comment:
“I got into a accident in 2003 and suffered a C4-C6 spinal cord injury. I would fade in and out of coma. My mom brought this CD to the hospital and knew that “Poem” was my favorite song and as she put it on, my heart rate went up, faded out of a coma and stayed awake. When I workout, I put this song on repeat. I will walk again.
Thank you Taproot for the wonderful music. You saved me. Music is a beautiful thing. <3Joewee13 1 month ago 177″
Jay Avery (Painmask): How bout when metal gods Manowar caused a blackout in Ohio during sound check. Emergency generators (and the power of metal) allow the show to go on. Cleveland however had to wait 24hrs for the power grid to be repaired.
Kyle Sanders (MonstrO): 2011 was a great year for music and 2012 will be even better. Touring with bands like Kyuss Lives , The Sword , Black Tusk , and THOU have proven rock n roll is alive and kickin ass. MonstrO is glad to be in full swing and ready to continue touring the earth with amazing bands and passionate fans!
Tim Goergen (Within The Ruins): The best thing that happened to us in 2011 was being a part of this year’s Summer Slaughter tour. It was an amazing and eye opening experience for all of us being able to tour with bands that we love and look up to.
Terry Roadcase (Blackguard): I think the best thing in music in 2011 is the development of Overseas Asian markets such as Indonesia, China, etc. Never before did metal show went there and there is a big promising future there!
Paul Zinay (Blackguard): The best thing about 2011 was finally getting our second shot at a tour with Kamelot this past August. Plans almost got stalled when hurricane (pain in the ass) Irene touched down right in the tours path. The worst of it was in Springfield, West Virginia. We loaded in the venue amidst torrential winds and rain and expected the worst for the next few days seeing as we were practically high five-ing the damn thing all the way up the interstate. Luckily Irene lost power but continued to be a pain in the ass.
Patrick Fuchs (Ross The Boss Band/Ivory Night): Hey Morgan! It is my pleasure being part of metalriot.com! The best thing about this year in Metal? Wow, that is a tough question. I have to sort my memories, which concert really was in 2011? My most fun Ross-memory is the show at the legendary Master Of Rock festival in the Czech Republic. It was one of the best festivals I have ever been to and the audience was so amazing! It didn’t make a difference whether we played “old” songs or songs from the two RTB albums, the audience sang like one huge choir of maniacs! And they brought flags to honor the late Scott Columbus, which really was very special. A great, great day! My best Ivory Night moments have been the shows with Australia’s cult band Pegazus this month and the writing sessions for the follow-up of our “The Healing” album. It has been the first time for us writing with a new line-up and it has brought a new approach, a bit more of a traditional direction again. It feels very good!
BTW my worst Metal moment has been K.K. Downing leaving Judas Priest. He has always been the nicest member of the band, the guy who would hang out with everyone. Losing him is really insane. Thanks a lot for asking, Morgan! I always remember your town Kingston,NY not only for having failed to eat the biggest burger in my life, but also for a surprisingly great club show (on 9/11/2010).
Nick (The Empire Shall Fall): 2011 was a great year for me and the rest of The Empire Shall Fall.We were able to raise enough money from sales of “Awaken” to build our own studio. Well, it’s not by any means “done” but, it has gotten to the point where we were able to do all the tracking for “Solar Plexus” on our own. We are getting great sounds and couldn’t be happier to have complete control over this project. It’s great to be able to work at our own pace in the comfort of our own studio.
Lionel J. (Now There Is Only A Signal/Slugworth): 2011 saw a handful of truly great releases (Brutal Truth – “Endtime”, Indian – “Guiltless”, Howl “Full of Hell”, Hate Eternal – “Phoenix Among the Ashes” and Bloodiest – “Descent” come to mind immediately). Most of these left me inspired for the first time in nearly half of a decade. Then Carnifex put out another record and reminded me how BAD “BAD” can be…
Billy Riker (Three): I am psyched to be back on the road and have a new album in 2011! And I can’t stop listening to Opeth’s “Heritage”! Thanks Morgan!
Billiard James (Nightmares For A Week): Our favorite things were being part of the FEST 10 and getting the chance to play with the Smoking Popes. Though 2011 was a great year, we are really looking forward to 2012!
Prince Nazimcan Shuva (PUi) Simple; Going from playing shows from 100 people to 1000 people. Only in a year.
Morgan Y. Evans (Antidote 8/article author):
As for me…I am super glad for the USX and Conny Ochs records that helped me chill out so much this year ( and Evile which helped me not chill and break stuff). The “dirty unorganized hippies” (ie: school teachers, lawyers, moms, college students) of Occupy Wall Street tore to shreds the FOX News bullshit and the misuse of Ayn Rand by “Conservatives” (If you are so economically “just” and patriotic then PAY YOUR FAIR SHARE OF TAXES 1%. It’s not about “hating” rich people but equal tax percentages).
My band Antidote 8 got to share the stage with MonstrO, THOU And Black Tusk (and I finally met fellow metal scribe Grim Kim, what up!!). Also while I am sad my Great Dane puppy is deaf it is cool because he never barks when other dogs are barking and doesn’t get scared when I blast Dinosaur Jr. Big ups to Metal Blade for the Hammers Of Misfortune reissues (simply wow) and to The Smashing Pumpkins for epic reissues plus awesome new material (if you hate Billy C. you are dumb and don’t know a true songwriter when you hear one). Axl Rose doing proper interviews again (I loved “Chinese Democracy” and don’t give a fuck)! Congrats to my friend Nate Kelley (ex-Shabutie/Coheed/PPSP drummer) for getting hitched to the love of his life!
Lastly, it meant the world to have my band (I know, double plug) Antidote 8 release our debut EP “True Form” and have Rebecca from my fave Utah doom band SubRosa (Profound Lore/I Hate) guest on our song “Settle Down”. In fact, this whole article is dedicated to Rebecca cuz she rules and is a genius. I also got to interview Tony Martin who deserves way more props from the whole world AND guess what…Sabbath is back (Ozzy version, not Tony but any Sabbath rules). Oh yeah, and did I mention The Haunted made “Unseen” this year!? Yeah!
Ok, that’s all folks! Thanks to ALL the bands who sent answers on time. Cheers! PMA! Stay balls deep in the dead in 2012. Props to Keith LOA for being him/herself and the awesomest singer! Lastly, Big ups to Jesus, Kali, Metal Riot and Dying Scene!
BAND PICS TOP TO BOTTOM: Bad Brains, Antidote 8, Star & Dagger, Birdhand, The Compulsions, Taproot, MonstrO, Blackguard, Now There Is Only A Signal, PUi, SubRosa limited Vinyl LP.