Thursday, October 31, 2013

Close Encounters in Cambridge

First of all, I have no bloody idea what the band that headlined the October 29 show upstairs at the Middle East in Cambridge, MA was actually called. The awesome promo poster for the tour (featured above) proclaimed “Nik Turner” with “Ex Hawkwind” underneath, while some outlets (including Turner’s own website) had the band listed as “Nik Turner’s Space Ritual.” However, those who went on the club’s website prior to the gig read the words “Nik Turner’s Hawkwind,” which were also the words written on the showtime notice inside the club. This moniker maelstrom – as well as the presence of Hawkwind CDs at the merch table – certainly didn’t help to clear up confusion over who officially owns the name “Hawkwind” in the states these days. (You can read more about that HERE). While this sort of stuff creates work for lawyers and gossip for passionate fans, all that really mattered on this busy Boston evening was that the great Nik Turner had arrived from the outermost reaches of the universe to blow minds with music.

Photo: Joel Gausten

Armed with a strong backing band that included frenetic UK Subs legend Nicky Garratt (who brought loads of onstage energy despite looking like he fell out of bed 30 seconds before the gig), Turner amazed with a selection of inspired recent material and Hawkwind mainstays. Current tunes like “Fallen Angel STS-51-L” off his new solo album Space Gypsy flowed effortlessly with classics like “Silver Machine” and an especially riveting rendition of “Sonic Attack.”

Photo: Joel Gausten

There are people who play music, and there are people who live to perform it. All it takes to immediately know the difference is to watch Nik Turner wail on his sax, fly high on his flute or approach the mic with otherworldly spoken word.

Photo: Joel Gausten

It was clear by Turner’s wide smiles between (and during) songs that the stage is still where he belongs after 40-plus years in the game. If there is a jaded molecule in Turner’s 73-year-old body, it certainly wasn’t revealed on this night. 

Following the show, Turner entered the crowd to converse with anyone who wanted a bit of his time. (“I’m here to serve you!” he joyously exclaimed from the stage). And considering that Turner and co. have been crashing at people’s houses during this current North American run, it is very possible that at least one audience member got far more than a post-show autograph and handshake out of the deal.

While Turner’s brand of punky psychedelia may not be everyone’s cup of mushroom tea, he remains the embodiment of communal, free-spirited ’60s hippie culture without an ounce of artifice or insincerity. It’s hard not to love him.

Photo: Joel Gausten

Nik Turner’s official website:


Sunday, October 27, 2013

Words for Lou Reed

Lou Reed was a special kind of man: The junkie who “made it”…The unlikeliest of all Rock ‘N’ Roll legends. His song with lyrics about “giving head” is accepted as “Classic Rock” by a society that shudders over the thought of a pretty blonde girl licking a sledgehammer in her music video. He was the subject of multiple print, TV and Internet articles by journalists who still sought his company despite the fact that he was a cantankerous cunt. His truest “Pop” moment with the Velvets, “Who Loves The Sun,” is driven by bitterness and despair. He joined forces with the biggest Metal band in the world and succeeded in alienating TWO distinct audiences along the way. (That’s a true gift.) He could barely hold a note, but created a bulletproof discography that will forever change – and perhaps even save – the lives of those who take the time to experience it.

Lou's greatest gift to the world was his ability to showcase its undeniable ugliness. In the process, he created a body of work that exposed a side of existence very rarely explored – let alone celebrated – in mainstream culture. He was everything that a typical "celebrity" isn't, which of course made him the coolest guy in the room. We lost one of the real ones today. And during those nights when I find myself drifting into my own darkness at 3am, I know whose voice will be coming from my speakers. As always.


Sunday, October 20, 2013

Jann Klose: Mosaic

If you haven’t heard of Jann Klose, you won’t be unfamiliar with him for long. 

The past 12 months have been a whirlwind of activity for Klose, a German singer/songwriter whose career got a major boost (and a tremendous amount of street cred) when he served as the voice of Tim Buckley in last year’s indie film, Greetings From Tim Buckley. In June, he issued his latest album, Mosaic, which just scored a place on the first-round ballot for the Grammy Awards in the categories of Best Pop Vocal Album and Album of the Year. Unlike some artists who find themselves Grammy contenders, Klose is worthy of such first-class praise.

Boasting a strong Pop voice reminiscent of Neil Finn’s best moments and Bono’s high-register singing circa The Joshua Tree, Klose has created an album that will easily appeal to fans of Duncan Sheik, Split Endz, Freedy Johnston and The Rembrandts. Highlights include the Crowded House-tinged opener “Make It Better,” the urgent “Know What’s Right” and the tender “Still.” Mosaic closes with a stirring cover of Tim Buckley’s “Song To The Siren.” Guests on the album include guitarist Florian Opahle (Ian Anderson/ Jethro Tull, Greg Lake) and oboist Megan Marolf (Phillip Glass, Roger Waters).

Solid throughout, Mosaic delivers 10 enjoyable Adult Contemporary tunes that will earn more than just a casual listen. Check out and give Jann a try before the rest of the world catches on.

Photo by Laura Keene (Courtesy of Leighton Media)


Sunday, October 13, 2013

Bostock Takes Boston

Ian Anderson (Courtesy of Leighton Media)

Some people are just meant for the stage. 

At 66, Ian Anderson has reached the point in his life and career when many “Classic Rock” artists find themselves running on auto pilot and playing through the hits (and going through the motions) to fill seats in a concert venue. Fortunately, Anderson has chosen to follow a less-traveled – and infinitely more intriguing – path for his current solo tour.

Backed by a five-piece band, Anderson took to the stage at the Wang Theater in Boston on October 12 not with a set of hits from Aqualung (save for the “Locomotive Breath” encore), but with the goal of presenting 1972’s Thick As A Brick and its 2012 follow-up, Thick As A Brick 2 – Whatever Happened to Gerald Bostock? in their entirety. Yes, Anderson decided to take two of most challenging albums in his discography (for musicians and listeners) on the road, along with a visual presentation more akin to a play than a stereotypically bombastic Rock show.

And it was magnificent.

For nearly three hours, fans were treated to the tale of Gerald Bostock, Anderson’s fictional child character in the first Thick As A Brick who returned 40 years later as the middle-aged subject of Thick As A Brick 2. Despite the obvious limitations of a six-piece band, many of Thick As A Brick’s musical innovations and idiosyncrasies still shone through. While Anderson was clearly the centerpiece of the evening’s festivities, credit must be given to his exceptional support players - especially 31-year-old actor/singer Ryan O’Donnell, who handled many of Thick As A Brick’s higher vocal spots with impressive accuracy and found time to change into plenty of costumes throughout the evening to flesh out the music’s subject matter. The evening’s many highlights included a “live” Skype jam with violinist Anna Phoebe (Trans-Siberian Orchestra/Roxy Music) and an amusing video interlude with Anderson as “Colonel Archibald ‘Tufty’ Parritt” giving a tour of his home for “St. Cleve TV.” (Fans of the Brick/Bostock saga will surely get the in-joke with that one.) The music? Pristine from beginning to end. Thick As A Brick and Thick As A Brick 2 are certainly not everyone’s cup of tea, but those who were willing to take in both albums back to back at the Wang walked away with a reminder that live Rock music can be thrilling and highbrow. 

Left to Right: David Goodier, Scott Hammond, Ryan O'Donnell, Ian Anderson, John O'Hara, Florian Opahle (Photo courtesy of Leighton Media)

Costume changes, flute solos, an appearance by an accordion, a crossword puzzle in the tour program (!!), skits showcasing the driest of British humor and even a humorous (and effective) PSA on prostate cancer. Not exactly things that instantly scream out “ROCK SHOW,” but all things that make Anderson’s stage show one of the most fascinatingly eccentric productions currently on the road – and certainly something far more Rock ‘N’ Roll in spirit than the tired, paint-by-numbers nostalgia trips offered by many of his peers.

Spot-on, Tufty!

For more on the Thick As A Brick 1 & 2 tour, read my in-depth interview with Ian Anderson HERE.


Thursday, October 10, 2013

Zappa Lives in Londonderry

On September 28, five musicians hit the intimate stage at the Tupelo Music Hall in Londonderry, NH and offered selections from one of the greatest music catalogs of all time. The band was The GrandMothers of Invention; the songs were by the incomparable Frank Zappa.

With the 20th anniversary of Zappa’s death approaching, former Mothers of Invention members Napoleon Murphy Brock (who served a 10-year stint in the group beginning in 1974) and Don Preston (whose time with Frank goes all the way back to 1967’s Absolutely Free) are on a mission to bring genuine representations of Zappa material to today’s audiences. Billed as The GrandMothers of Invention, the duo (joined by guitarist “Mad” Max Kutner, bassist Dave Johnsen and drummer Christopher Garcia) keep up a rigorous touring schedule more intense than most outfits half (well, actually, make that one-third) their age. Presenting a show centered around Zappa’s 1975 album One Size Fits All (with some Roxy & Elsewhere and Burnt Weeny Sandwich gems added for extra awe), The GrandMothers showed the full room of amazed fans at the Tupelo what is possible when musicians of the highest-possible caliber come together to pay tribute to an unsurpassed visionary.

While it is understandably impossible to pick out highlights from a set this magical, I will submit that “Po-Jama People,” “San Ber’dino” and “Florentine Pogen” were slightly more transcendental than the rest. And there aren’t enough adjectives in the world to describe the playing of the immeasurably gifted Don Preston, who at 81 is still representing the Mothers with inspiring aplomb.

Don Preston 

Additionally, the performance brilliantly illustrated just how much of an impact Zappa’s music has truly had on subsequent generations of players. It was easy to hear shades of Fishbone, Bad Brains, Primus and countless other artists who have followed Zappa’s lead in taking music to new and exciting stratospheres. On this night, The GrandMothers effortlessly proved that Frank’s music was never confined to a particular time and place – it is truly timeless.

An engaging frontman, Brock made the show a lighthearted affair with silly moves and constant jokes. While The GrandMothers brought plenty of fun to the table, they absolutely meant business with every single note they produced onstage. It was truly remarkable how spot-on they were in re-creating One Size Fits All’s complex compositions. Absolutely stunning.

Napoleon Murphy Brock 

I could go on, but there are times when words fail and the heart takes over. Don’t read about this band – feel this band. Take the time to hunt down live clips of The GrandMothers Of Invention online and get a taste of what this group has to offer. If you’re impressed by what you see on your computer screen (how can you not be?), then go HERE and HERE to here on find out when they’re playing your area. The GrandMothers live to play these songs, and anyone who truly loves music needs to catch one of their shows as soon as possible. They are as real as it gets, folks.  

Joel Gausten with Don Preston (Photo: Chris Gillen)


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

For Facts Sake: Bob Daisley Reveals All

In a career that has spanned five decades, Australian bassist extraordinaire Bob Daisley has worked with some of the most legendary names in Hard Rock and Heavy Metal. Rainbow, Uriah Heep, Ozzy Osbourne, Black Sabbath, Gary Moore, The Hoochie Coochie Men and Chicken Shack are just some of the many artists who’ve benefited from Daisley’s playing and/or songwriting talents over the years. Now, Daisley shares his life story with fans via his recently published 325-page autobiography, For Facts Sake

Fueled by an extensive diary that Daisley has kept since 1976, the book presents some of the most in-depth stories about Metal’s greatest legends ever committed to paper. These remarkable tales are fleshed out by hundreds of rare photos and graphics from Daisley’s personal archives. Treasures displayed in the book include Daisley’s handwritten lyrics to the final verse of “Crazy Train” and never-before-seen shots of the late Randy Rhoads.

Even without these amazing images, For Facts Sake would still succeed in telling a compelling story of a man who has spent nearly his entire life in the music industry. After cutting his teeth in a succession of groups as a teen, Daisley got a first real taste of the Rock ‘n’ Roll life as a member of the Australian group Kahvas Jute, who released the album Wide Open in 1970. Daisley followed Kahvas Jute with stints in England in Stan Webb’s Chicken Shack and jugband-turned-rockers Mungo Jerry before joining forces with Hawkwind’s Huw Lloyd-Langton and Mott the Hoople’s Ariel Bender in the raucous Widowmaker, a combustible unit destined to implode after two albums. From there, he went to play with Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow. Unlike some musicians who’ve worked with the temperamental guitar god, Daisley got on well enough with Blackmore to offer some kind words about him in the book.

“I never had a problem with him,” he says. “He could be moody and difficult, but I put me head down and got on with the job. When I did that, he was fine. Ritchie and I also spent a lot of time together away from the band. If my wife was around and his girlfriend was around, we’d all go out to dinners together when I first joined the band in LA. It wasn’t just a job; there was a friendship there.

Following his exit from Rainbow, Daisley joined forces with Osbourne to create the band The Blizzard of Ozz with then-unknown guitar genius Randy Rhoads. After an arduous audition process, the trio settled on Uriah Heep drummer Lee Kerslake, who has remained Daisley’s close friend and frequent collaborator for more than three decades.

(Click on the player below to listen to Bob discuss Lee Kerslake's arrival in the Blizzard of Ozz.)

Before long, Daisley became Osbourne’s chief lyricist, crafting words to match the former Black Sabbath singer’s truly distinctive vocal presence.

“Ozzy’s not technically a great singer, but he’s got character in his voice and he doesn’t sound like anyone else,” Daisley says. “I always liked his approach because it was unpretentious. He wasn’t trying to impress you with his singing or be a rock star. He was just singing, and that’s one of the main ingredients of what makes him who he is.”

Press photo for the band The Blizzard of Ozz before Ozzy went "solo," 1980 (Photo courtesy of

The Osbourne/Rhoads/Daisley/Kerslake lineup created 1980’s Blizzard of Ozz and 1981’s Diary Of A Madman, easily two of the most cherished albums in Heavy Metal history.

“It’s amazing now that we can look back and know that those albums are iconic and people hold them in reverence,” reflects the bassist. “But for us then, it was just about putting the band together and playing some music.”

Unfortunately, those two albums have also come to symbolize Daisley’s discontent with Ozzy and his manager wife, Sharon. A good chunk of For Facts Sake involves Daisley’s continual efforts to get paid for the work he did for and with Ozzy, which often resulted in acrimonious spats with the singer and his spouse. In 2002, revised versions of both albums – featuring newly recorded bass and drums tracks by Ozzy’s then-current rhythm section – suddenly appeared in the marketplace, replacing the incomparable original incarnations on the shelves. Daisley maintains that the recordings were changed to prevent him (and Kerslake) from receiving proper royalties.

“The first time I heard the new recordings, I laughed and said, ‘This is a fucking joke!’” he recalls. “I didn’t realize at the time that the originals had been taken off the shelves and people didn’t have a choice.”

After years of on-again/off-again bust-ups and reconciliations, Daisley stopped working with the Osbournes for good by the mid 1990s. Considering his difficult history with the duo, it comes as little surprise that he has more than a few thoughts on the current controversy surrounding estranged Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward – particularly Ozzy’s questionable insistence that Ward was unable to fulfill his obligations to the band due to weight gain and overall bad health.

“I don’t think Bill’s been treated fairly at all, and I don’t think all the stuff they’ve been putting in the press is fair or true,” Daisley shares. “It’s obvious that it’s some kind of cover-up and excuse, isn’t it? Even people in forums have been making comments along the lines of, ‘Why don’t you tell the truth? You stiffed Bill on bad contracts. Stop making up bullshit about him.’”

Despite his troubled history with Ozzy and Sharon, Daisley makes it a point to end For Facts Sake on a positive note, delivering a personal message to the Ozzman: “We must fight all the hate.” Nearly 20 years after walking away from Ozzy’s business world, would Daisley ever consider working with the Prince of Darkness again?

“It’s silly to ever say never,” he replies. “I would say at this point it’s not likely. I don’t hate them...I would never say never. I enjoyed working with Ozzy, and I know for a fact that he enjoyed working with me, which is why we used to come up with good stuff. There was a real genuine camaraderie between us. It would be absolutely nice if we could put all that business stuff aside and just look at the friendship and the personal side of things and create again. I’d love that.

“Who knows who’s going to die next,” he adds. “It could be him; it could be me. But before either of us goes, it would be nice to be able to round it off and say, ‘We did one more thing together before one of us dies.’”

Sadly, Daisley’s process in creating For Facts Sake coincided with the passing of many musicians from his past. In addition to saying goodbye to Widowmaker’s Huw Lloyd-Langton, Rainbow’s Ronnie James Dio and Deep Purple keyboard legend/ Hoochie Coochie Men contributor Jon Lord since starting work on the book in early 2009, Daisley faced the unexpected death of dear friend Gary Moore in February 2011.

“I respected him as a musician way above probably a lot of people I’ve worked with,” Daisley says. “Gary was definitely one of the best ever. He was such a brilliant and clever player, and really played with soul, feeling and emotion. I got on with him so well; we used to have such a good laugh. He had a great sense of humor; he and I had a similar kind of wit. Sometimes, it would go over people’s heads and we’d be the only ones getting the joke. We were very close like that. I enjoyed working with him musically, and I enjoyed his friendship.”

Not surprisingly, For Facts Sake is full of great stories involving Moore, including the time Daisley stepped in to play bass in an ad-hoc version of Thin Lizzy featuring Moore, Scott Gorham and Brian Downey at the Self Aid concert in 1986 shortly after the passing of Lizzy founder Phil Lynott.

(Click on the player below to listen to Bob discuss his friend, Phil Lynott.)

Left to right: Gary Ferguson, Neil Carter, Bob Daisley, Phil Lynott and Gary Moore - 1985 (Photo courtesy of

Away from music, For Facts Sake explores Daisley’s longtime struggles with Depersonalization, a psychological condition characterized by a feeling of detachment or estrangement from one’s self, resulting in the sufferer feeling like he or she is experiencing the world through a dream.

“When I was a kid and first hit with it, there wasn’t a term for that,” he recalls. “You could try to explain what it was to a doctor or a therapist or whoever it was you went to see, and they really didn’t have a clue what you were talking about. Not only did I not get answers, they didn’t understand the questions! It wasn’t until four or five years ago that I saw that film Numb and started reading some of the books about Depersonalization that I realized what it was.”

As chronicled in For Facts Sake, Daisley’s first bout with Depersonalization came at 16, during a particularly stressful period of time exacerbated by a back injury.

“That’s an age when it’s apparently common for people to get hit by it, possibly because of so many hormonal changes affecting you emotionally and mentally,” he explains. “Plus, I had the injury and all sorts of shit going on in my life that didn’t help, and I think they were all contributing factors. It is more common than people realize, and it’s certainly way more common than I realized at all at that age. I would imagine that a lot of people think they’re the only ones experiencing it when they first get hit with it, and it is a horrible feeling. People commit suicide because of it – and that’s not the way to go.”

For Daisley, the way to go in dealing with Depersonalization is to share his experiences with others. In addition to discussing the disorder at great length in For Facts Sake, he contributed a piece to Jeffrey Abugel’s book Stranger To My Self: Inside Depersonalization - The Hidden Epidemic. In his essay, Daisley details how his trials and tribulations with Depersonalization inspired the lyrics to the legendary Ozzy Osbourne track, “Diary Of A Madman.”

Nearly 50 years after his first encounter with the condition, Daisley continues to rise above it and enjoy a productive life. That said, what is the best advice he’d offer a young person experiencing it for the first time?

“Do as much research as you can, stay away from drugs and read the books about the condition,” he replies. “It does come in waves of strength. If you’re in a threatening, depressing or worrying situation, it tends to come on a little bit stronger. But it does ease off from time to time. I think it’s always at least slightly comforting to know that it’s not just you, and a problem shared is a problem halved.” (More information on depersonalization is available at

With For Facts Sake setting many records straight while entertaining fans in the process, Daisley finds himself truly proud – and a little amazed – to finally see his life and work represented in his own words. And what a journey it has been.

“Some days, I would be sitting there typing away and laughing out loud because it was just funny stuff,” he says. “Other days, I’d be typing and the tears would be streaming down my face because I’d be writing about a tragedy or the loss of someone. There were plenty of emotional roller coasters with it. But at the end of it, I kind of looked at it and thought, ‘Fucking hell, did all this happen to one person?’”

For information on how to order For Facts Sake, please visit Bob Daisley’s official website at or email


Back from Space: Nik Turner Lands in America

“We’re having a jam and it’s really lovely weather!” says the warm, friendly voice of Nik Turner over the phone from the UK. The “jam” that Turner is referring to this evening involves Terry Ollis, Mick Slattery and Thomas Crimble – all former members of legendary Space Rock pioneers Hawkwind, and all guys who’ve made music with Turner at one time or another for decades. Together, these gents make up part of Space Ritual, just one of Turner’s numerous groups and projects. In addition to Space Ritual, there’s Nik Turner’s Fantastic Allstars, Outriders of Apocalypse, Project 9 and probably a few others by the time this article goes online. There’s also a film biography on Turner in the works (set for a 2015 release), as well as appearances on the Fusion Syndicate album project (with former Yes members Billy Sherwood and Rick Wakeman, among others) and William Shatner’s latest release, Ponder The Mystery. Quite an impressive schedule for a 73-year-old man who put out his first album with Hawkwind in 1970.
With the October 9 launch of an extensive US solo tour, Turner will be bringing his new album Space Gypsy to stateside fans who have appreciated every twist and turn of his esoteric career.

“I find the American audiences very nice,” he says. “I like them; they’re very friendly, and I’m very friendly with them. They enjoy themselves and we have very good communication together.”

Easily one of the year’s most adventurous and exciting releases, Space Gypsy boasts guest appearances from former Hawkwind keyboardist Simon House, Gong guitarist Steve Hillage, The UK Subs’ Nicky Garratt, Jurgen Engler of Die Krupps and Jeff Piccinini of Chelsea. The album’s many highlights include “Fallen Angel STS-51-L” and “Time Crypt” (see videos below). Space Gypsy is another career milestone from someone who, oddly enough, never really cared that much about having a career in the first place.

“I never thought about it, really,” Turner admits. “I always thought, ‘Oh, I’m really happy to be in a band and that people like what I do.’ It really has been gratifying, and I have a great respect for the audience. I just try to learn about music all the time. I never had any aspirations towards being successful at all. When [Hawkwind’s 1972 hit] ‘Silver Machine’ was successful, I thought, ‘Wonderful!’ (laughs) It was nothing I anticipated; I just thought it was nice being in a band playing music.”

Unfortunately, playing music often means dealing with business. At the time of this writing, Turner was involved in a trademark dispute with Hawkwind founder Dave Brock over the rights to the band’s name in the US. According to an October 4 press release by the current Hawkwind, the band decided to put their own US tour on ice. The announcement included the following statement: Dave was taken ill a couple of weeks ago. Doctors have confirmed that his condition is stress related, aggravated by the trademark dispute in the United States which could result in years of litigation.” (A feature on Brock and his version of Hawkwind was in the works for this website at the time of the tour cancellation, and has been postponed until Brock’s re-scheduled jaunt hits America early next year.) With Turner’s show still on the road, this impartial writer asked him to elaborate on his position in the feud.

“Dave trademarked the name of ‘Hawkwind’ without, in my opinion, the permission of the people who actually own the name, which is all the people on the first recording contract, which was jointly and severally signed as Hawkwind,” he offers. “Then, my record company decided to trademark the name of ‘Hawkwind’ in America.

“I don’t like being involved in this sort of thing,” he adds. “It’s all sort of political. I’d just rather play music to people and make them happy and raise their spirits, raise their consciousness [and] raise their level of fun. People have a really good time because I have a really good time. I think that’s what it’s about, really. Exchanging energy, communication and entertaining each other.”

Above all, Turner stresses his desire to see all parties get along and get on with what’s important – music.

“I don’t have any enmity towards them; I wish them great success,” he says. “I would like to play with them, if they would invite me to play with them or if Dave Brock would come down and play at my gig. It would be very good. I very much want to proffer the olive branch of peace.”

Despite the headaches of working in the music industry, Turner still approaches his creative endeavors with enthusiasm and the desire to provide something truly special to listeners and audiences.

“Music is a very harmonizing thing,” he says. “I think it’s a gift to be able to play if people like it, and I’d like to share the gift. I like to try to make my music and my gigs healing experiences. Making people feel good and getting them dancing is a healing, cathartic thing, and I think that’s what motivates me.”

For tour dates and other information, please visit


Sunday, October 6, 2013

Dave Ingram Takes Us Down Among the Dead Men

For nearly 25 years, Dave Ingram has stood as one of the definitive vocalists in Death Metal. Best known for his eight-year stint as frontman for Birmingham legends Benediction (replacing Napalm Death-bound singer Mark “Barney” Greenway in ’90) as well as his performance on Bolt Thrower’s 2001 album Honor-Valour-Pride, Ingram has spent recent times exploring the world of Internet radio with “Metal Breakfast Radio” (with co-host Donovan Spenceley) and the Swing/Big Band-oriented “Lambert’s Basement.” Now, he is ready for a new chapter in his musical life as frontman for Down Among The Dead Men.

A collaboration between Ingram and Rogga Johansson (Paganizer/ Fondlecorpse/ Ribspreader/ Humanity Delete/ The Grotesquery), Down Among The Dead Men are about to deliver one of the year’s most brutal albums with the November 22 release of their self-titled CD on Germany’s Cyclone Empire. From the Crust-Punk rage of “A Handful of Dust” and blast beat battering of “Bones of Contention” to the midtempo tantrum of “Venus Mantrap,” there is not a single note on this album that doesn’t go for the throat. It’s even more intense than Anselmo’s new record. Just think about that for a minute.

Like many of today’s musical outfits, Down Among The Dead Men was born out of social media.

“Rogga first wrote to me on Facebook asking if I would like to perform on a track for one of his personal projects he was doing,” Ingram recalls. “Being the curious type that I am, I went and looked him up online and found he owned a resumé of absolute immense proportions. I’d heard of - and was a fan of - many of the bands/projects he had been involved in, so I heartily agreed with working with him. As I was putting the lyrics together for this one song, I began to mull over the idea of doing a project together, so I wrote and asked if he was interested. As he’s a fan of my work in both Benediction and Bolt Thrower, he thought it an opportunity that wasn’t to be missed. We brainstormed via email for a couple of weeks, and Down Among The Dead Men was born.”

Augmented by Johansson’s Paganizer/ Ribspreader bandmate Dennis Blomberg, Down Among The Dead Men completed the album with help from session drummer Erik R. Bevenrud, whose ferocious playing fuels the album’s 13 tracks.

“I didn’t actually hear Erik’s drums until the album was finished, unless you want to include the click track under the rough mixes so I could write the lyrics to the songs,” Ingram says. “In truth, I was very surprised at how close to my description of ‘Power Punk drums’ he got; in fact, he bloody nailed it! The drums were the only thing I had concerns over, since I wasn’t able to be there during the recording. Once I put the album on,  I had any fears dissolve away swiftly. Erik, under Rogga’s supervision, did a sterling job!”

With Johansson and Blomberg recording in Sweden and sharing guitar and bass duties, Ingram recorded his vocals in Denmark. Despite the band members working separately, the album came together easier than Ingram had originally anticipated.

“I think that the short time span in which the album was written, recorded, mixed and ready to go was incredible,” he says. “The day I received the tracks was the day that Donovan and I were moving our studio. Therefore, I had nowhere to record the vocals until we were moved in. It was actually beneficial, as I managed to make a vocal booth for recording out of all the moving boxes when we arrived at the new premises. The phrase ‘needs must when the Devil drives’ was used that day, and a most satisfying one it was, too!

“I can truthfully say that the entire project has been a lot of excellent ideas by band members, artists and studio/mastering folk that were executed swiftly so as not to let them sit around and go stale, or let someone else move on them before us,” he continues. “Additionally, if you’d have told me eight months ago that I’d write and record an entire album and have new material waiting in the wings less than two months before the debut was out, then I’d have called you nuts - or that you were very, very enthusiastic.” 

From the second Down Among The Dead Men begins to assault your eardrums, it is obvious that Punk played a crucial role in the development of the band’s sound, making for a listening experience that is as much Discharge as it is Deicide.

“I’ve been wanting to do a Metal and Punk crossover for a very long time,” Ingram explains. “The raw energy of Punk, along with its simplistic riffing style, fits harmoniously together with the crisp crunch of Death Metal, especially if there’s a Scandinavian edge to that Metal, too! It seems hard to swallow, but Down Among The Dead Men have captured the sound I had in my mind for the project perfectly. I know the band will evolve, as we’re writing new material already, but we’ll also keep to the same style as well. I’ve already got a piece of music I’m currently working on, while Rogga has already written and sent me some more tracks to write lyrics for. Being this productive in such a short time is gobsmackingly brilliant for me. Geronimo, I say!”

Dead Among The Dead Men is also a bit of a family affair, as Ingram’s 10-year-old son Oliver sings on the band’s eponymous song.

“We had fun recording it - and guzzling several cartons of chocolate milk in the process, which helps give a great ‘gurgle’ to any Death Metal vocalist!” offers Oliver’s dad. “He knows all about the noisy music his dad is involved with. My wife Trille and I recently gave him his first iPhone, and he asked to have Honor-Valour-Pride loaded onto it. He really likes the mid-paced Metal of that one. Additionally, his wacky father is on it. He often tells me he’s been showing his school buddies - and his teachers - videos of my performances from my previous bands on YouTube. I've bought him a guitar and a bass to see what interests him musically, though I have told him, ‘No drums!’ I’ve explained to him my take on a drummer’s philosophy: Spend thousands on a nice, shiny new kit, then proceed to smash it up with two pieces of wood. I’ve never quite been able to comprehend that!”

10-year-old Oliver delivers the chocolate milk Death growl

Down Among The Dead Men is wrapped in striking artwork by Turkka G. Rantanan, who offers imagery akin to a mashup of Crass and Cannibal Corpse.

“We told him the idea behind the name of the band – in a nutshell, it’s closely related to archaeology – and that we wanted the cover to have a similar feel to it as the old Discharge album covers, yet with a modern twist,” offers Ingram. “This also included the liner notes and layout in the booklet, too. He came up trumps and did not disappoint us!”

Anyone who listens to Ingram on “Metal Breakfast Radio” and  “Lambert’s Basement” is surely aware of the man’s love of/obsession with Doctor Who. Unsurprisingly, this devotion to the series had a considerable impact on Down Among The Dead Men

“The album is out the day before the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary; I am over the bloody moon!” says the Doctor disciple. “Cyclone Empire made it that particular date for the release since I’m such a massive fan.”

It gets even better.

“An acquaintance of mine who is a composer for the show heard a Dead Among The Dead Men track and described it as ‘a wall of energy,’ which was a compliment indeed!”
The band hopes to be performing live dates by the Spring, while Ingram has high hopes for their future. 

“We really do want to make this band ‘real’ as opposed to so many ‘Internet projects,’ and our close proximity to each other means we’re eventually going to achieve that,” he says. “For now, were a three piece; when we begin plans to play live, well find a drummer and bass player to fill the ranks. Rogga knows a lot of musicians!

Decades after Ingram first growled on Benediction’s The Grand Leveller, he is still delivering some of the most incendiary sounds in Death Metal. In his mind, what had enabled Death Metal scene to survive - and thrive - for as long as it has?

“Its sheer bloody-mindedness and its bullish sense of survival is the first thing that springs to mind!” he replies. “Obviously, this includes the fact that it’s a vent or an outlet of expression for a lot of folk – not just the musicians, but those listening to it. I use it to decompress often. Metal of all types has always had a dark shadow following it, and I think those often obsidian aesthetics are of interest to a good many people. There’s a lot of prejudice against it, often directed at its use of said dark subjects. But really, who wants to listen to songs about eating your greens or doing the best you can at school? We know these are sensible things to do, so leave us to get on with singing about the bleaker and blacker things in life. Its fictional and its fun.”

More information on Down Among The Dead Men is available at

Dave Ingram is also featured in the book From Satan To Sabbath: The METAL Interviews 2000-2009 by Joel Gausten, available HERE.