The other day I was in Seattle for a heavy metal festival that i was all excited about going. My friend Nate invited me over for 10 days to stay at his place in Seattle and seeing how chap the plane tickets were I said, to hell with it, and next I knew it I was on the plane to Seattle. We decided to go to one of the heavy metal festivals, pretty underground and with upcoming bands like The Skullcrushers, The Fisting Kings and a couple of others. Lots of moshing and drinking beer, that's how we dig it and that's how we like it.

Along come the man bun hairstyles and the hipster beards

So the point of this post is not to tell you how much of a good time I had at the the festival getting drunk off my ass and trying some of that weed they've got up there in Seattle (damn they got some good stuff). Nah, I'm here to tell you about this stupid new hairstyle trend called the man bun.

As you will know long hair in men is very common in the heavy metal scene. You will see dudes who grow their hair to their freaking ankles. It's all good. What you won't see or what you would not have sen until recently is guys with buns on their head to tie their long hair. So the man bun is a new mens hairstyle trend that was started by hipsters who grew tired of their undercut hairstyles and their slicked back hair, at least according to pundits. The next hairstyle idea that these idiots, I mean, hipsters had to keep their trendiness was to grow their hair long for a year and then put their hair in a bun on top of their heads. The trend is so widespread that we nowadays even have man bun hairstyle websites with man bun tutorials and telling you what hair products to use for the man bun hairstyle so come on, I dare you to look at that fucking list of hair products those guys recommend for their "pretty" man buns. Now, had the manbun trend stayed in the hipster scene, we'd all be happy, but it had to spread on to the heavy metal scene. Since most heavy metal guys have long hair away, the step to a man bun was as simply as buying a hair band and putting their hair into a man bun.

You know, those of us in the heavy metal scene have taking great pride in not succumbing to fashion trends and hairstyle trends. I'm talking on behalf of both guys and girls. Just like us heavy metal dudes hadn't jumped into the stupid hairstyle trend of the undercut hairstyle, our heavy metal girls had and have completely avoided all those attention whore hairstyles of the likes of Miley Cyrus, Rihanna and Madonna, or whoever the fuck is in the latest fashion news. It was either long hair for guys, preferably messy, and it was even longer hair for girls, perhaps with some razor haircut on the side of the head, similar to that Skrillex haircut, only that that Skrillex clown copied the hairstyle from the heavy metal scene in San Francisco back when the kid was playing electro pop shit with his band.

I have to say that seeing so many man bun hairstyles at a heavy metal gig was gross. I don't think that I can find any other word to describe how I felt when I saw dudes wearing Metallica t-shirts and a "cute" man bun with those chopsticks inside. Funnily enough, those dudes with the man buns were the ones who would not dare to enter the mosh pit, and it was just us, the long haired dudes who don't give a fuck, moshing like beasts. Good times. One thing that we should remember is that Seattle is a hipster city. I don't know how thy do it, they must add some kind of estrogen shit to their water. I didn't know this but Nate confirmed it and even warned me that we would be seeing dudes with man bun styles and handlebar mustaches at the festival. Lo and behold, we fucking did!


My take on this and from what I saw is that it's just the posers that have entered the heavy metal scene to make it trendy to be "alternative" and to listen to stuff that mere mortals can't stand. These guys ain't in for the music, they are there because it's trendy to listen to music that has yet to achieve mainstream coverage. The minute these pretty boys with manbuns get bored of dudes shouting on microphones while guitar riffs explode in the air, the same minute that they (hipsters) will be leaving to move on to the next jet-setting trend. Hipsters with their undercut hairstyles, mustache handlebars, khaki pants and man bun hairstyles so far have ruined alternative rock, drum and bass, dubstep and now they're on their way to ruin heavy metal. But the good thing is that the consensus back at that festival in Seattle was that hipsters with their long hair in man buns had no place in our scene, so I doubt these guys will last any longer to be able to ruin the scene like they've done with other music genres in the last 3 years.
Rant over.

As I missed the band "Dead and Gone" on their first shows in Europe, I recently got the chance to interview vocalist Tim Lambesis by email. Check what he's got to say about their new record, shows in Europe, their label and more stuff! Make sure to also read the rest of our metal and rock site :-)

Hey, how are you? What are doing at the moment?

I’m doing well. We’re recording right now so I’m a little overworked doing 10-11 hour days 7 days a week. Our engineer Steve and I are producing it.

You've been to Europe lately and played only three shows outside of Great Britain... Will you come back to do some more shows in the old world?

We are looking at coming over in June with the release of the new CD. We would really like to play more countries and come back to play more places in Germany.

How went the whole tour?

I enjoyed the tour because I didn’t expect such a great response for our first overseas tour. The guys in Throwdown became good friends of our so we enjoyed hanging out with them as well.

Your album is now out for more than a year – are you still happy with what you created?

I like the songs but would like to mix it differently. I’m very happy with the outcome of “Frail Words Collapse“ but I’ve learned a lot since then. Our new record will be the right songs and the right recording.

I've read articles that categorized your music as everything from death metal to hardcore punk to Christian metal. Do you agree with any of those?

We don’t care about genres because good music is more important to us than classifications. If we had to classify our music I would say that the sound is more metal than anything else.

Are you happy with bands that preach on stage, regardless whether it is about politics, religion or being straight edge or about living vegan?

Most bands that preach come across unintelligent and without understanding, but I respect bands that sincerely want to present a new point of view. I want to help people change, but I understand that I also need to change. From a fans perspective, I think that one would be a fool if he or she changed religion, politics or lifestyle based on what a singer said in 30 seconds between songs.

How did you team up with Metal Blade after your split with American Tragedy? The songs for "Frail Words Collapse" were already written at this point I guess?!

Some of the songs were already written, but we only had a couple demos. We sent out our material to a number of labels and Metal Blade seemed to be the best fit. I still think that they were.

What were Brian's reactions like when you left Pluto?

He was very supportive. He actually gave us feedback on our press pack so that we could make it more professional. Our contract with Pluto was up, so there were no hard feelings.

Some time ago you said that the next album would be out somewhat around spring 2005... What will differ from "Frail Words Collapse" and when will it finally be released?

It looks like the release date will be early June. The songs feel more like songs this time around. There are actually better riffs as well, but they are arranged in such a way that makes them more memorable. We’ve grown as musicians so there are some more complexities too.

I guess you are now one of the big names in the so called metalcore genre... Are you happy to be labeled like this?

That is ok with us, but we also realize that "metalcore" is somewhat of a fad right now. We plan to outlive that. The music that we play is something that has more heart and musical integrity than something that is popular right now.

How did you personally started in music? Do any of you have any kinds of musical education?

I played bass in my first band but we soon realized that our singer was no good. I filled his shoes until we found someone better, but we never found anyone better. A few years later I started As I Lay Dying because I wanted to play music that I had written. I was tired of playing for other people who did not have the same work ethic.

If you have the opportunity to change something you did in your life or even make it un-happen, what would it be?

I wouldn't have learned the same life's lessons if I changed things, but it would have been easier if I was born knowing that love is not infatuation.

OK, that's all for now, any last words?

Look for the CD we are currently recording to be released in early June. Thank you!

I've been looking to write a full post about the band Jezebeldeva. Since I've covered other heavy metal and rock bands, I think it's important to also keep an eye on those bands that have been relevant in our scene. I'm researching the full details of Jezebeldeva to provide a decent article on them.

One thing though that I'd like to mention is how many of the metal bands as well as rock bands and goth bands are so short lived. I blame it all on money and how this industry is engined by money, even in the darker underground scenes. You either have to remain loyal to your fans as Jezebeldeva so awesomely did or you have to give up your fans and go after the money trail in the commercial scene. The problem with bands like Jezebeldeva is that money dries up sooner or later when you're sticking with your hardcore fan base. You can do like Slipknot and try to balance both your hardcore fans and the road to commercial success, but I think many hard metal-heads would agree with me that Slipknot pretty much screwed up this balance at some later point.

Anyway I'm just mentioning this as the dis-banding of a heavy metal band is something we've seen so many times. I personally do also understand that these things happen, but it's always a shame when you see great bands like Jezebeldeva go down.

I will update this article on more details as I continue my research on Jezebeldeva.

So here is a good compilation of some of my favorite hardcore bands. One of them is Beer Bong which, while now defunct, was one of my all time favorite bands. BeerBong was an Italian band and they really kicked off the hardcore and punk scene in Italy. I went to Rome and other cities in the mid-2000s and tasted their hardcore scene to the fullest, spending quite the time with the guys from Beer Bong. I was quite impressed with how the hardcore scene had picked up and Beer Bong has a lot to do with it.

I've decided to keep this page as a dedication to Beer Bong while I also review some of the other European hardcore bands from the mid to late 2000s. If you guys know of any other iconic hardcore bands in Europe from that era, then feel free to contact me to include them.

The Beer Bong band
Meeting up with the Beer Bong band

Track 16: My Shorts
From Album: Self Titled
Currently Licensed Under: Wynona
Country: Italy
Mini Bio: Take some Pulley, add a chunk of Belvedere and finish off with a pinch of Italian flavor. Blend it all up really really fast. There you go, one Beerbong to go!

Track 1: Ready… Set… No!!!
From Album: Album Minus Band
Currently Licensed Under: Currently unsigned! And probably always will!
Country: United States
Mini Bio: Hell yeah! This spontaneous side project from the Arrogant Sons Of Bitches surpasses any preconceptions you might have! It's bombastic, it's energetic, it's poppy, it's amazing and it's… totally D.I.Y. and free! Go download their two great albums at their website now!

Track 2: Sounds Of A Pityful End
From Album: Back To Convenience
Currently Licensed Under: Vitaminepillen & Engineer
Country: Austria
Mini Bio: This energetic four piece comes straight from the streets of Vienna, but from the sounds of their latest offering Back To Convenience, you'd swear these guys are from California. This is quality skate-punk Fat Wreck style. It's time Fat Mike takes note…

Track 3: A Big Disgrace
From Album: Skum Of The Land
Currently Licensed Under: Morphine Lane
Country: Sweden
Mini Bio: Skumdum is the typical band to be categorized under Euro-noise. Their brand of melodic punk rock bares American influences, but sounds honest and true at the same time. These guys are ready to conquer Europe, don't try to stop them on their way…

Track 4: Back Off
From Album: Back Off EP
Currently Licensed Under: Currently Unsigned!
Country: France
Mini Bio: Flying Donuts are a three-piece from the Epinal region in France, and bring a kind of punkrock that concentrates heavily on the ROCK side of things!! Be aware: flying is not a crime and donuts are good for you !!! For fans of Samiam, Hot Water Music and the likes.

Track 5: Rudie Rob (previously unreleased!)
From Album: From the upcoming album "Take Me"
Currently Licensed Under: Currently Unsigned!
Country: Belgium
Mini Bio: Smooth Lee are the Belgian rendition of The Mighty Mighty Bosstones. They've been making a name for themselves since 1999 and are hoping to finally force their breakthrough with their brand new album Take Me, which is their best by far.

Track 6: Back To Decadence (previously unreleased!)
From Album: From the upcoming album "Standards Down"
Currently Licensed Under: Bcore Disc
Country: Spain
Mini Bio: Starting out as your everyday so-cal melodic hardcore band, these Spanish guys have undergone quite the metamorphosis over the years, bearing their Jawbreaker/Husker Du influences all the more visible on their sleeves along the way. One of Europe's hidden gems.

Track 7: Another Guide (to comprehensive capitalism)
From Album: Silencing Civilization
Currently Licensed Under: Angry Youth
Country: the Netherlands
Mini Bio: Often hailed as the Dutch Propagandhi, Antillectual is here to rock your ass with their technical and energetic skate-punk and educate you with what they think is wrong with the world! Don't approach without an open mind and a safety helmet!

Track 8: Go!
From Album: Panda-Moanium
Currently Licensed Under: Don't Rush Me
Country: United Kingdom
Mini Bio: If you'd throw Frenzal Rhomb, Green Day and pretty much any Lookout pop-punk band in a blender and mix things up, you'd pretty much end up with England's goofiest trio Pickled Dick. Don't be caught of guard though, they might look silly but their songs blow any other pop-punk band out of the water!

Track 9: Faintly Fallen Ashes
From Album: Cocktails & Dreams
Currently Licensed Under: Fat Wreck Chords
Country: United States
Mini Bio: They're the fucking Lawrence Arms! Need I say more? They've earned great respect by releasing four full length albums and a collection of b-sides and splits on Asian Man and Fat Wreck and will return in 2006 with their fifth full length to date. In the meantime, rock out to their Christmas carol at!

Track 10: Mend The Pieces
From Album: Reality
Currently Licensed Under: Electric Chair Music
Country: Spain
Mini Bio: What is there to do on an isolated island like Mallorca? Right, you pick up an instrument and rock the socks off. It ain't an accident that No Children are one of the tightest European bands pulling off a mixture of post-hardcore and So-Cal melodic punk. They have already driven many teen punks to insanity. Are you next?

Track 11: Wastin' All My Time
From Album: Waiting For Something
Currently Licensed Under: Wynona
Country: Italy
Mini Bio: Vanilla Sky are Europe's mainland leading pop punk band. Combine the sounds of Midtown, Yellowcard and the Ataris and you'll pretty much end up with these Italians right here. Saccharine sweet pop punk songs for fans of the genre, it's nothing more but certainly nothing less.

Track 12: Older Than Punk
From Album: It's Time For
Currently Licensed Under: Asian Man
Country: Switzerland
Mini Bio: Whoever said the Swiss don't know how to rock, will be proven wrong by the Peacocks. Their goal is not to be the best or most innovative band, they're simply out to please their crowd with their music and do a great job with their brand of rockabilly punk!

Track 13: Sucker
From Album: The Last Ones
Currently Licensed Under: Rude Recorz
Country: Italy
Mini Bio: These four Italians have been compared to their American counterparts in the Offspring more than once, but with their fourth full length the band shows that they're much more than another Offspring. Now that they've found their groove, it's time to rock every town in Europe. Be prepared!

Track 14: Sacta
From Album: Miseria Espectacular
Currently Licensed Under: Currently Unsigned!
Country: France
Mini Bio: This batch of French ska-core punks managed to blow the entire staff of their socks with what themselves tagged as a "meager gig". That information alone proves that it's about time that you stop reading and start listening now! Ska-P who?

Track 15: Strike Me Deeply
From Album: The Special Referendum
Currently Licensed Under: Wynona
Country: Austria
Mini Bio: Fans of Thrice and Strung Out should be drooling over this. Ephen Rian is Austria's best kept secret that is bound to get the recognition they deserve soon enough. Combine technical proficiency with metallic riffs and emo-core styling and you might very well end up with these guys!

Track 17: Friday Night Anthem (previously unreleased!)
From Album: From the upcoming album "Endless Journey"
Currently Licensed Under: Indelirium Records
Country: Slovenia
Mini Bio: Punk rock in Slovenia? Damn yeah! You'd better believe it, because Multiball will hit your town soon. Often described as a Slovenian No Use For A Name, Multiball have finally been able to break from their town and will invade Europe before you know it!

Track 18: Set It Straight
From Album: Split with Old Fashion Heroes
Currently Licensed Under: Currently unsigned!
Country: Belgium
Mini Bio: Without a doubt the least known band, but definitely not the least impressive band on here. These Belgian punks started out in 2002 and are now ready for their very first official release. Intense, aggressive and energetic; those are the trademarks of the band. This is the way gritty punk rock should sound.

Track 19: Deadbeat
From Album: You Shot Me
Currently Licensed Under: Skanky 'Lil
Country: the Netherlands
Mini Bio: Hailing originally from Liverpool, England, Mark Foggo escaped to the European mainland and the Netherlands in detail after some problems with the English law. He's been writing skanking songs for over 25 years now and his new effort, backup up by his Skasters, You Shot Me will make you beg for more again. Put on your dancing shoes! It's time to skank again!

Track 20: Gimme Some Light
From Album: Volume & Density
Currently Licensed Under: Asian Man
Country: United States
Mini Bio: Formed out of the ashes of the Smoking Popes, Duvall are here to carry the torch of deep emotional rock music. Fronted by the amazing voice of Josh Caterer and his newfound Christian beliefs, Duvall is rocking steadier than ever. Approach with an open mind an listen for yourself!

Track 21: Best Befriend
From Album: Die Trying
Currently Licensed Under: Stitched Up
Country: United Kingdom
Mini Bio: Warning! If you want to keep your street cred, check out UK's pop-punk act The Fatal Mistake right now. They've recently inked a deal with a subsidiary of the Australian SonyBMG. If you're looking for fine mid-tempo pop-punk that's about to explode: look no further.

Track 22: Coincidence
From Album: Deerfoot Trail
Currently Licensed Under: Funtime Records
Country: Belgium
Mini Bio: Having started as a skapunk band way in the day, Five Days Off quickly made a name for themselves touring around the globe with Belvedere, Skin Of Tears and Against Time. With nothing left to prove and their 3rd full length (mixed by Bill Stevenson and produced by Japer of Undeclinable Ambuscade) just a formality away, the band finally finds their own path for more of that melodic punkrock goodness.

Track 23: Will We Be The Only Ones Left Just Because We Saw It Coming? No
From Album: The Feeling Something's Wrong
Currently Licensed Under: Deck Cheese
Country: United Kingdom
Mini Bio: Brighton Skatepunks Phinius Gage have been described as "The missing link between So-Cal and the punk rebellion of the 70s" or "Flying the flag for UK punk rock", and we couldn't have said it any better. A relentless touring schedule is bound to make these guys a householdname in Europe.

Track 24: System's After You
From Album: Noise Pollution
Currently Licensed Under: Currently unsigned!
Country: France
Mini Bio: You really can't go wrong with this band. They've been writing, playing and recording awesome melodic punk rock songs for years now. With two excellent full length albums produced by Ryan Greene under their belts, these guys really belong to Europe's best!

Track 25: Mr. Bobby (live) (previously unreleased!
From Album: Previously unreleased!
Currently Licensed Under: 4Tune
Country: the Netherlands / United States
Mini Bio: After the departure of two original members, Boston's finest Jaya The Cat decided to settle in Holland and play their reggae-punk shows with guest members from the Dutch rock scene. They're rocking harder than ever as you can hear on this live cover of Manu Chao. Prepare to be rocked by their blend of ska, rock, punk, reggae and dub on their new album slated for 2006!

"Metal with a mind" is the phrase that has been used to describe the music of Queensrÿche. Whether you are a fan of the '80s (its self-titled EP, "Operation: Mindcrime") the '90s ("Empire," "Hear in the Now Frontier") or the new millennium ("Q2K," "Tribe") its music continues to grow and change with each phase of the band members' lives.

The band has been criticized for these changes, yet if you look closely, you will realize the changes are a natural progression. It takes courage to go against the norm and express one's personal truth. Many of us respect this about Queensrÿche, including the industry people that support the group today.
Sadly, a large portion of the music industry has limited vision; all they see are dollar signs that come from the musical flavor of the moment. Some businessmen forget that it is bands like Queensrÿche that have afforded them this opportunity. To these people I say, "Wake up! Give your support to the truly gifted artists of the musical world!"

Queensrÿche—which has been nominated for several Grammy Awards in the past—has proven that it has staying power, regardless of the obstacles it has faced: a shift in musical trends, label changes, different lineups. Through it all, its music has continued to challenge our minds, touch our hearts and elevate us from moments of deep despair to euphoria.

After witnessing half a dozen or more performances through the years, Queensrÿche continues to bring a new twist to each tour, proving it is an act worth seeing time and time again. Known for his presence and vocal acrobatics, Geoff Tate commands the stage with an elegance and class that is unparalleled. Without a doubt Tate has one of the most recognized and phenomenal voices to grace the airwaves. Scott Rockenfield is a drummer's drummer, an innovator in the field in more ways than one: His brand of decorative percussion wraps attest to this, as well as his Grammy nominations as a solo artist. Eddie Jackson, the lord of the low end, is a brilliant bassist. He holds the course steady with finesse and style and keeps up with Rockenfield—a feat in itself. He is always in the groove and quite simply the best, period. Michael Wilton's gifts have shown so bright that he consistently proves his guitar god status. His intensity, coupled with his skillful playing, will undoubtedly place him alongside other guitar legends past and present.

The fans are thrilled that Chris DeGarmo is back, however limited his presence may be. The talent this man possesses could humble any artist. His style is very intricate and complicated, yet the listener is engulfed in the passion that flows from this enormously accomplished musician.

I would be remiss not to mention two very talented men who have shared the stage with Queensrÿche. Producer extraordinaire and longtime friend of the band, Kelly Gray made his mark just after the departure of DeGarmo, and Mike Stone now handles the road after Gray left the act. Stone is a welcome addition, bringing a versatility (slide guitar) and a genuine warmth that leaves you in awe since his skills and passion hold their own within this legendary band.

Tate has said, very eloquently, "Over the last 20-plus years, our music has afforded us the privilege to travel the world and make and meet so many friends. However, on this tour (Tribe), we are deeply saddened to see the troubled times and so many of our friends who are suffering and out of work. In troubled times it is music that soothes the soul and helps lift us up and motivates us to make the best of the situation. If only for a moment, come with us on this musical journey through time and raise your voices in song and set your spirit free!"
No truer words were ever spoken. As my heart pounded with every beat, my eyes filled with tears; I stood there knowing that my 20-plus-year dream to stand before Queensrÿche with camera in hand and photograph the band I respect and admire most paled in comparison to this moment as I looked into the crowd, then back to the band, and realized how privileged I was to share this moment that transcends pain and sorrow to absolute bliss of being lost in the music of Queensrÿche.
These men and their music make this world a better place to be, and I for one am eternally grateful.