Feb. 26th, 2005 @ Northern Lights - Albany, NY

Ed Roy of Influenza (whom we call MedusED due to his dreadlocks), his friend T.J. , and I drove to Clfton Park, NY on the outskirts of Albany to see Otep, American Head Charge, Candiria, Bloodsimple, and Last Call at Northern Lights. We got food at Wendy's and hit he road.
The drive up was so fun.We got a little lost a few times and MedusED kept saying, "We're fine. This all looks familiar." It was so funny. NONE of it was familiar. (Isn't short term memory loss a bitch? wink... LOL.)
We stopped and asked directions at least four times.I kept busting MedusED's balls about how "familiar" everything looked. After several turn-a-rounds due to missed roads, we got to Clifton Park, on the outskirts of Albany, NY. Even after all our attempts at getting lost, we still got to the club right on time.

When we got inside, the bands were doing sound checks. I found Otep's tour manager and introduced myself. He had a blank look on his face and informed me that he had not recieved anything about me doing an interview. This happens a good bit. Luckily, he had a laptop and there was a wireless connection at the club. We went online and I showed him the emails from the PR people that said I was all set.

He was really cool and accomodated us with tickets and a photo pass. He also informed us that Otep was very sick with the flu and would not be able to do the interview. I suggested doing the interview with Bassist eVil J, but that was declined because "Otep is the voice of the band" and if she couldn't do the interview, no one else could either. The tour manager then gave me Otep's email. He told me to email her the interview and she would do it that way. I said ok. We made the best of the situation and went to hang out and watch the show. ( I sent them to her and I will post them when I get them.)
We were hanging out in the club and met Otep Bassist Evil J at the bar. He saw us standing there and came over to say hello. We talked for a few minutes about the tour and politics, had a few laughs at George W's expense, and took a few photos. He was a really nice guy... oh, uh... I mean He was EVIL! Yes, EVIL...that is what I said: EVIL!
About twenty minutes later, the bouncers began letting in the ever-growing crowd that was thronged outside the door. MedusED, TJ, and I found a cool place to meet up at later and we took off to the front to watch the first band.

Check Them Out:


Last Call, was from Troy, NY. They played heavy, fast NY/HC. It was great and the crowd got into it. At some points, they are blazingly fast, but it breaks down into a heavy groove for a minute before blasting you in the face again. (Think early NY/HC with a little Cro-Mag's influence.) It will remind you of a time when Metal & Hardcore were first coming together. I really liked the tunes Ghost in the Mirror and Mud in Yer' Eye. Frontman Ralph Renna has a good sense of humor and chatted up the audience between songs like they were old friends. I got a few pics of him. He and I spoke after the set and asked me to send him copies of my photos. I agreed to send them. We spoke for a little while longer and got along well. He was pretty cool.
Later, I was walking toward the stage when Ralph walked by me carrying a tub of T- Shirts. He told me to reach in the pocket of his hoodie, and I did. Stuck in the pocket was a copy of their cd called The After Hours. He told me to take it and check it out. I thanked him and he went to finish loading gear. I checked it out. It's brutal.

Bloodsimple frontman Tim Williams and guitarist Mike Kennedy, spawned this new band from the ashes of their acclaimed metal-core outfit Vision Of Disorder. The rest of the band consists of guitarist Nick Rowe, drummer Chris Hamilton, formerly of Downset and Medication, bassist Kyle Sanders, whose previous credits include the industrial-metal trailblazers Skrew, as well as a more recent tenure with Medication.The songs were full of energy, and the musicians have the ability to captivate an audience. The music ranges from sheer aggression and amplified rage, to subtle soundscapes that really make the listener pay attention. The crowd really got into the band and the pit was SICK!.
After their set, I went over to the band's merchandise booth and spoke with the guys. They were very polite as they signed autographs for fans. I got a photo and went to watch the next band.

Check Them Out:

Check Them Out:


Candiria were up next. Formed in Brooklyn, NY, the band's unique sound combines elements of grindcore, funk, hip hop and jazz. The band is touring in support of their latest album What Doesn't Kill You... which chronicles the band's near-fatal van crash, hence the album cover and liner notes. Candiria don't embrace the old, dull formula of the "metalcore" genre. They infuse their blistering riffs with snatches of hip-hop, jazz, dub, and melodic singing. Carley Coma's vocal approach varies from rap to hardcore shouts and growls. The more aggressive tracks are compelling maelstroms of dissonant riffs, rhythmic changes, and bits of psychedelic electronics. The crowd ate it up and the mosh pit was in full swing. It was a full-on SlamFest!
After their set, the band went to the merchandise table to sign autographs. They were really friendly and took the time to talk to their fans. I spoke with them and got a quick photo with Carley Coma and then went to see the next band.

American Head Charge is from Minneapolis, Minnesota. The band plays a manic, driving barrage of avaunt industrial metal and nightmare grindcore that alternates between pummeling ferocity and passages of all-out grandeur. They are touring in support of their latest release The Feeding.
But what sets American Head Charge apart is their ability to transform their rage into dark and twisted vibes and melodies. Vocalist Martin Cock spits his lyrics with frightful conviction over the sonic tsunami created by the band.
The combination works for the band's ever-growing legion of fans. The mob in front of the stage showed their appreciation by slamming and crowd surfing like maniacs.
Before the show, I bumped into American Head Charge drummer Chris Emery. I had just walked into the club, and he walked up to us and introduced himself. We talked for a while and took a quick picture. Otep was next...

Check Them Out:


California band Otep have been taking the Metal world by storm. Their story is like a movie script based on every musician's wet dream.
Based on only their live performance, Sharon Osbourne personally offered Otep a slot on OzzFest 2001. And, on top of that, they got signed to Capitol Records without even having a demo.
They are currently touring in support of their second full-length album: HOUSE OF SECRETS. The songs on the album are rife with political commentary. The video for the song "Warhead" is one of the most viciously scathing commentaries I have ever seen on the Bush-Cheney administration.
Soon the intro music started and the crowd started to get nuts, but then Evil J came from the back and told the sound guy to stop the music.
About five minutes later, the music began again and Otep, both the band and the singer Otep Shamaya, took the stage. It was hard to believe she was sick. She jumped and ran around the stage doing her thing as if nothing was wrong. She sounded great. Her vocals were terrific.
It is easy to see why Otep gets so much respect from the Metal community. She can growl and scream with the best of them.
There have been some line-up changes for the band since the release of their first album SEVAS TRA. Bassist Evil J, and the new members, guitarist Scotty CH and drummer Doug Pellerin were right on the money as they slammed through songs from the new album well as a few from their first album and their EP: JIHAD.
As the band shifted from dark, moody passages filled with spoken word poetry to brutally heavy parts, Otep hopped around the stage with the infamous pig head and gas mask.
I was right down in the photo pit for the first few songs and got great pics.

After the show, we waited for the "Meet & Greet" to get a few items signed. It was then that you could tell that Otep was sick. She seemed really run down and you could tell she would rather have been wrapped up in warm blanket, in a bed, on the bus. We thanked her for the great show and wished her well, telling her that we hoped she would beat the flu. We got our autographs and a few quick photos and we were off.
We stopped to get directions to the NYS Thruway at a nearby gas station and I went in to get them. I was writing them down and MedusED asked why. I told him that in the dark, nothing would look "familiar" to him and we all had a good laugh. The ride home was fun.

Coming Soon