MEATSHANK might be another new band to most of you but they sure deserves your attention so why not read the interview and then check them out for yourself. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

I guess I’m not alone in knowing very little about Meatshank. What’s your history guys?
Vince-Hi, I’m Vince. I play guitar and do vocals.
Murry-I’m Murry, I play bass and do backing vocals.
Shane-I’m Shane, I’m the drummer and RV driver.
Shane- I was in another band playing guitar. Then I got sick of looking for drummers so I decide I’ll do it, how hard can it be. So I began playing with one of our old guitarist friends.
Murry and Vince had played together in a couple bands, the most recent of which had broken up a few months before. When me and our old guitarist were looking for another guitarist and a bassist Vince and Murry were like, “We can do it. But you should get better.” This was in August of ’05. A year of belittling later and we started playing shows.
Vince-Since then we’ve played many shows around the country and self-released two albums.

I get a very “jazzy”, almost Atheist feeling about you guys just from looking at the promo shots. What kind of “image” do you want to be associated with?
Vince- I’m not entirely sure which promo shot you are referring to, but I think it’s the MEATSHANK+1 pic.
If so, that’s actually a parody of the South Park episode “Faith+1”.(bad ass episode)
Murry- We like to have fun here at MEATSHANK.
Shane- The only image we want to portray is that we’re just 3 guys who love playing metal. We’re not trying to push an agenda or be stuck on ourselves.

When it comes to inspiration, is there any single band/musician that has had a bigger impact on you guys?
Vince-no. No single musicians.
Murry- lots of bands have had an influence on the way we write.
Shane- just listen to our music, our influences are evident.
Murry- you know like, Slayer, Motorhead, Kreator.

When you do it yourself what is the hardest task? How much time do you have to spend on the band to get anything in return?
Shane- The hardest task would be getting exposure.
Vince- hmm, how much time? Enumerable hours….

Your web site isn’t the most elaborate. What do you think/feel about on-line promotion?
Vince- I love the idea of on-line promotion, being connected to possibly everyone in the world. The problem is it is even easier to be ignored because there are so many other things out there.
Murry- Word of mouth is still the best way to promote.
Shane- Its way easier to ignore an event invite than it is to ignore a friend who want to go to a metal show.
Murry- yep peer pressure is a bitch.

How hard is it to find your audience in this over-crowded world we call metal?
Shane- The audience is there. That evident by the Thousands of Metalheads at any Slayer or Megadeth show.
Vince- It all comes back to exposure.
Murry- The trick is getting those people to come to your show and tell their friends.

How important is the lyrical side of the band? Are the lyrics just a necessary evil or do you actually get something out of writing them?
Vince- Important, it’s not just jibberish. I pretty much write things that I think will be fun to yell at people.
But I never try to preach something profound. Maybe just tell a little story about something disturbing.
Shane-Honestly, Half the time I have no idea what he’s saying until I read the lyric book. I find out when the fans do.
Murry-…I get to yell “Die” sometimes.

What kind of rewards do you get from writing the best metal ever written? How do you know when you’ve written a good song?
Shane-So first, we’d like to thank you for acknowledging we write the best metal ever.
Vince-Um, I don’t think that’s what he means. But we’ll take it.
Murry-Yeah you will.
Vince-I think the real reward of writing the best metal is you never have a song you regret.
Murry-Nothing cheesy, nothing stupid.
Shane-To answer your other question. We know we’ve written a good song when WE like it.

Once you’ve released something what kind of control do you have over it and how it’s being perceived? How annoying is it when somebody doesn’t understand your vision?
Vince-There’s not very much left up to interpretation. So if we’ve done our part the message should be clear.
Shane-But we still can’t control people’s thoughts.
Murry-Not yet.

What future do you see for Meatshank?
Murry-Keep writing, recording, touring.
Vince-Building the MEATSHANK brand, ha.
Shane-By continueing to bring MEATSHANK to the masses. And if that doesn’t work…Back to the pile.


The cliché says that the Viking were all about mead and meat. Canadian NORDHEIM might be folk metal with a twist but they too still draw from the Viking imagery. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

What is it with Canadian bands and names in German? You guys are the second band I’ve come upon that have a German word as a band name?
-We saw that name somewhere and we thought it sounded cool. We actually didn’t know that it was in German

Does that ever give you any sort of problems when you are contacted by foreign fans? Any sort of misconceptions about what kind of a band you guys are?
-Not really, except the fact that 2 other bands in the world have the same name as us.

You guys seem to focus on the party side of the Germanic/Norse mythology. Loads of beers and mead but also trolls and other types living in the forest. What was it that made you go this way?
-Because we like to party. drink beer and have fun. We’re also geeks so it came by itself.

How serious are we supposed to take you guys? Is it more party than life or death about your music?
-Depends on the song. You can’t expect to have a life lesson or philosophic reasoning for a song called Beer, Metal, Trolls and VOMIT!! but some songs refer to real life thoughts

What is it about Germanic/Norse mythology that suits to be used in metal? Where the people back then metal in spirit?
-Because Vikings back then used to have protons and electrons in their body. And guess what? WE ALSO HAVE PROTONS AND ELECTRONS IN OUR BODY!!! We were destined to be together. This is our fate.

How much of a party is it when you guys play live? What can an unsuspecting audience expect?
-Beer (lots of it), headbanging (lots of it), moshpit (lots of it), body surfing (lots of it), sweaty guys (lots of it), jokes (lots of it), muscles (not that much of it) and a stuffed fish

What kind of metal scene are you guys a part of? How is the local scene in your town?
-Mostly humans…

You’ve released a couple of records already. Do you see an increase in the interest for each new one?
-Actually, the first release was a demo. We printed 150 copies and never printed other copies. So, yes we saw a good increase between the 2 releases.

What has been the greatest thing about being in a band so far? What is so great about being in a band?
-Signing boobs, drinking beers and booze, seeing fans going crazy, shows and D&D in the tour truck

What future plans do you guys have? Anything that you’d like to happen that hasn’t already happened?
Warraxe : Become a king by his own hands
Benfok : Become as strong as my daddy
Luk : Shake my nerves faster than possible
Thom : Become the greatest rabbit rider in the world
Fred : Bring world peace
Nordheim: Kick pagan asses, record our next album in October, play Diablo 3 and tour America and Europe (eventually)


PROJECT MARS seemed a promising prospect when I first came upon them. I had to interview them and my questions were answered by Jason Connolly. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

Does being Canadian bring with it a certain standard set by other hardrock/metal bands that you have to live up to?
Jason Connolly: Yes I find that all upcoming Canadian rock bands are faced with living up to the modesty and sheer talent created by bands like Rush, City In Color, Tragically Hip, Nickleback etc. These are big shoes to fill and make it hard to create a new sound and of course new standards for what is now such a narrow minded society, we hope that taking our hard rock/ metal rifts and powerful vocals will bring a new standard to music today which I find to be the fundamentals of Hard Rock.

When you go south of the border do people treat you differently because you are foreigners or are they oblivious to your origin?
Jason Connolly: If people are aware of our origin, which is something that most hard rock fans do not really care about, I think there is an unwritten respect for Canadian musicians seeing that there is way fewer opportunity compared to countries like USA or the U.K. This being said people always enjoy a good old Canadian band every once in a while.

Do you draw from a specific Canadian music tradition? Where do you find your main influences coming from?
Jason Connolly: I think that most of our material is based off of pure intuition and feel; we try not to let the corporate side of things get in the way of our writing process. I think our best material comes from good old party jams as we call them where the band just lets loose forgetting about direction all together concentrating on just having as much fun as possible. Our influences are very vast as every member has numerous individual musical influences, going from classic rock to the demented sounds of grind core we all try to take a little from every area to create what is known as Project Mars.

Your music seems best suited on stage in dark arenas. How much of a touring band can you be in this day and age when we hear alarming reports on how the music scene is dying?
Jason Connolly: I’m not too worried about it, Rock has stood the test of time and will continue to into centuries to come this is just the man’s way of keeping control over the public with club music so that they can use the power of sex to sell their corporate garbage. I think this is just a transition similar to the disco era back in the 70’s which died out after a while because it got boring to listen to cause it was the same song over and over again, which is exactly the way it’s going today cause really they are out of ideas because they are resorting to incorporating good old rock rifts such as smoke on the water, sad but true, sweet child of mine, these are all songs that stand the test of time and is the only way that type of music is still holding on. So basically I’m already starting to hear bands coming back to their roots with hard catchy rifts that just get your head banging and of course starting to bring back guitar solos which I think every good rock song to ever come out needs. So I hope that we can continue to help bring the legendary sound of rock back to society in a new but similar way.

I understand that Project Mars went through a bit of a rough patch even before you really got off ground. How tough is it to come back again after a blow like that?
Jason Connolly: I think that every band has their rough times and I think it was in the best interest of the band to explore other opportunities to broaden our horizons musically and socially. The band has had nothing but success since 2010 with the new line up and we will continue to pursue our career in music till we can’t physically or mentally do it anymore. This debut album which has not even hit the market yet is just the beginning for Project Mars. It was hard to come back but anything is possible if you put the time and effort into it.

When you know that your album will be released in September how do you make the best of the time until that happens?
Jason Connolly: We’ll we just go out and play as much as we can and have fun with it and keep people wanting more hoping that when the album finally comes out they will all rush to get it lol. That being said we look forward to going on tour this summer and anticipate great success.

When something is described as alt rock that to me signals more of a promotion ploy than saying anything substantial about the actual sound of the band. What kind of sound would you say the Project mars have?
Jason Connolly: We like to leave that up to the listener’s point of view, we have been described as hard rock, metal, grunge, rock, alt rock, but in my personal point of view I don’t care how people see us as long as they like what they hear that’s all that matters. As well I would say we are all of the above mashed into one.

Is alt rock a fancier way of saying that you are grunge?
Jason Connolly: I guess so in a way but I think that it really means that your sound is of the rock origin but your just are unsure what to actually call yourself. So really I don’t know what to call our style but I know it’s not alt rock that was just something someone said one day and it stuck but I thing grunge was in its own area and I think that alt is more or less hard rock but that s just my point of view.

What does the success of a band like Nickelback mean to the interest of fellow Canadian bands? Does it bring with an increase in people’s desire to check out you too because of the fact that you too are Canadian?
Jason Connolly: I think it brings a certain interest to all up and coming Canadian bands to an extent this could be a bad thing and a good thing seeing that Nickelback has a 50/50 fan base 50% love them and think they are the best thing to happen to music and 50% which I see as all the musicians that hate them because of their success are as a rock band. I don’t think that their success will bring any more attention to us as a Canadian band because we have a slightly heavier sound and we seem to have respect from fans and fellow musicians for now lol.

I’ve tried figuring out what the band name stand for but I’ve come up empty handed. What’s behind the band name?
Jason Connolly: Well that’s a funny story before settling on Project Mars, we had a few other names such as 3 feet from mars (drummer), sound addiction, but we did not get good response to them so whenever we got our masters from our first demo the engineer did not know the name we were under so he wrote the mars project on the master copy so we just turned it around and liked the ring so we kept it. In 2010 when we formed as a band with the new line up we gave it new meaning, going more towards the top secret way like a secret Gov. Project. Seeing how we mainly write about our political views, war, and personal matters we figure its sounds pretty catchy and has more meaning.

Facebook –!/pages/Project-Mars/142515249149563
Twitter –!/ProjectMars1
Single – Don’t Hold Back – (please embed on website if you can)
Hey (Live)


Want to discover new acts? Why not start with SEVEN ENDS? Read the interview and check them out afterwards. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

I might be totally wrong but I don’t think I’ve heard one single Dutch metal band that sucks too badly. Why is it that Dutch bands often are of so high quality?
-Wow….that’s a good question. There are certainly some real good Dutch bands, but I can’t tell you why. Just hope we’ll be one of them too.

It seems that today it is not enough to just get signed, you got to have something more to offer than the music alone. What is it that will set Seven Ends apart from all the other death/thrash metal bands?
-It’s certainly true that your “business” side of the band should be in order. But you need to give people a reason to buy the album and come to another live show. We give our all at every gig we do, big or small.

When you play the kind of metal that you guys play is it important to have something to say with the lyrics? How hard is it to write lyrics that work with the music?
-Our vocalist Jan writes all the lyrics. He uses actualities, or things that bother him about politics or religions. So for that matter, there is always something happening in the world to write about. He also writes about, like one of our favorite bands Hatesphere states, blood beer and satan.

I find it intriguing to get to know how a band finds its sound, what it is that makes you sound the way you do. Is there one single influence that has been more important than other?
-The sound we have is not created, but more like developed over the years. You get ideas from music you listen, but it will always sound like yourself…don’t know why exactly. It’s all in the details I guess.

As a way of getting a picture of what a band sounds like different references are used. What has been some of the most off the wall references you’ve seen to your music?
-We hear a lot of Slayer references made about our music. Not a bad thing for sure if you ask me, but there are a lot more bands we get inspiration from, even more than Slayer. Also Legion of the Damned is mentioned often. Maybe because we’re on the same label, or that we’re from the same area, I don’t know. I think we sound more different than we hear. But they kick ass, so we don’t mind about the comparison.

I can sometime feel that I discover things too late, when it’s almost over. How frustrating is it that the record industry has changed so much as it has now that you have a record deal?
-It’s all about the sales. If your first album doesn’t sell, about a million other bands are waiting to take your place. So let’s hope we will sell enough to stick around for a while!

How do you go about to maximize the potential of a record deal in this day and age?
-We grasp every opportunity to let everyone hear about us, like this interview. Our label Massacre Records put out a lot of effort to put us on the map. We’re currently struggling to get on stage more, so we’re talking to some bookers. We hope to see some results of that soon. And probably there will be recordings for a video happening soon.

When I grew up all we had in terms of TV/videos was MTV?s Headbangers Ball. Now days there are more forums on the net to get your music played. How important is a video today in order to get noticed?
-I think it’s pretty important, another way to get noticed. Maybe people are more eager to watch a video than just listen to a song.

How do you build a following today when people are almost glued to their computers? How important is playing live today?
-Internet is a good way to get noticed. But still I believe that playing live is what it’s all about. Everyone still wants to go out a drink beer with some friends.

What would you like the future to hold for Seven Ends?
-We like to stick around to do some wild shows/tours and make more music. It’s all about a good time. Cheers!


SKARLETT RIOT are the new breed of UK hardrock/metal acts ready to take on the World. Be awestruck or be square. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

I gotta admit that you guys are a blank slate for me. What stone have you crawled out from under?
-We come straight out of the underground scene of the UK basically working our asses off to put on an intense live show and create the best music we possibly can!

Is there any greater significance to the band name Skarlett Riot? Is a Skarlett Riot less violent than an ordinary riot?
-Haha! We wanted to portray both the female and male elements in the band as well as the music we were playing, aggressive but at the same time with catchy melody so that’s how we managed to come up with the name.

Looking at your photos you seem quite young. Do you ever feel that the fate of a whole nation’s metal scene weighs heavy on your shoulders?
-We try not to label ourselves in a particular scene or sub genre as such because that tends to limit the boundaries, we like to put bits of everything into our music. Of course we fit into certain categories as any other band does, but there’s still a little something of all our influences in there, which makes it accessible for people of all musical tastes. I suppose we’re just trying to inject our own thing into the whole rock scene and bring something fresh to the table!

What kind of undergrowth is there in the UK metal scene? Any bands that can match the European ones or are you guys looking more towards the US scene?
-There are a lot of great bands in the UK metal/rock scene but to be honest we look more towards the US scene rather than the UK and European scene a lot of the time. US bands tend to have that right balance between the melodies and the aggression which is more our thing.

Do you have any sort of game plan in order to bring the name of the band to everybody’s attention? Do you intend to start slowly by winning over the British Isles first and then head elsewhere?
-Throughout 2012 we will be hitting the UK with a full tour in the summer along with shows all over the place. Really for us this year is just one massive tour of the UK! We have just been confirmed for a festival in Belgium in 2013 which we’re majorly looking forward to and another couple of other shows are in the works for hitting Europe as well for 2013.

When you formed did you have an already stated sound planned out or has it grown with time?
-I think like all bands we had an idea of the sound we wanted to create, but I think our sound has grown with us as we’ve developed as a band and as we’ve gone through more and more together.

Something I’ve always wondered about is how you know what sound is the right sound for you? How do you know when you’ve hit it right?
-In my opinion you have you own influences, and with 4 of us having all totally different thoughts on a song it creates something unique. If it feels right when you get up on the stage and the crowd are shouting the words back at you then you’ve got some idea of if you’ve hit it right. Music is all about emotion and if it moves the person listening then I think that’s when you know you’re doing something right.

Are lyrics important to you? What kind of topics do you write about?
-Lyrics for our songs tend to come from past experiences we’ve been through on a personal level/as a band, and from events happening around the world. A lot of the lyrics for our songs are written so that people can relate to them with their own experiences, but there are also some of the songs that are just written to get the adrenalin pumping. Again as I mentioned above music is all about emotion and to different people it will connect with them in different ways.

How much time do you spend on coming up with song titles? Are they important to you?
-We tend to write the songs first and the title tends to be taken from a memorable part in the song.

What future plans do you have for the band now that there’s a record coming out?
-As we said above this year is basically one giant tour of the UK. We’re constantly out playing shows all over and have a full length tour in August promoting the release of the new EP ‘Villain’ which is now available to buy directly through us and through Itunes.


U.N.S.I.N. from Greece is one of these new cool bands that seem to emerge from under any given stone. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

When you pick a name for your band that has such a specific meaning what idea was there behind that decision?
-One of the hardest tasks, at the beginning of every and any band, is to find a name. One that will signify something from each band members’ character and how it all blends in one band: U.N.S.I.N. We wanted a name that was one word, short, simple and easy to remember. At first it was “Unsin”, but its definition didn’t settle with us so it was changed to be written as an acronym. U.N.S.I.N stands for United Nation Substance Identification Number; a four digit code system which identifies hazardous substances.

What kind of musical boundaries have you set out to explore? What have your exploration lead to?
-We each have different musical backgrounds and influences. Now with the newest members of U.N.S.I.N, Marios Adrioli (drummer) and Chrisanthi (lead singer), they bring their musical flavor in as well. This way we learn more about each other through music. Songs that were written in the past may lead to the opposite direction of what it was first thought out to be because of these diverse influences. It’s an incredible process to be a part of. So far our “explorations” have led to Nu Metal. Where it may lead later, we don’t know. But we aren’t afraid to take it a step further…

When you decided to name your EP “0154” what was it that you wanted to say with it?
-Well let’s start off by saying, for those who don’t know, that 0154, in the U.N.S.I.N code refers to a Picric acid also known as TNR and is similar to that of TNT. It’s highly explosive and, well, keeping that in mind that’s what we set out to exhibit with the EP. Dynamic, explosive rhythm section with driving, aggressive guitars and melodic yet harsh vocal lines. The song “Acid” really helped in gluing the pieces together. In general, the name of the band, the title of the album and the first single mixed well to form a theme. It was a success because when you connect the dots and see the greater picture it all makes sense. The 4 songs relate to the 4 digit code. Put them all together and…BOOM!

I guess that being from Greece brings with it certain expectation on the sound of your music. What has the responses been so far that you are not the typical Greek extreme metal band that the world is used to?
-When writing songs, rehearsing them and recording them we do not have in mind that we are Greek. We are musicians and music is universal. We relate to all people globally in all its glory and all its shame…In the upcoming album, the lyrics tap into personal relations and social. Getting the best possible result is important to us. So far we’ve had great feedback and we are ready to turn it up a notch.

When you try to transcend genre boundaries how conscious are you of these when you write the music? What will work and what won’t work?
-All of us write music. What works, is what expresses us clearly and what doesn’t…we work on it. We leave nothing aside just because it “doesn’t work”. In the composing process if something doesn’t click we’ll talk about it and see every angle and every possible solution to fix what could be wrong. We aren’t in the mind set of “If it works, it works and if it doesn’t, bye-bye”.

When you do a video today what kind of intentions are the behind such a decision? How do you go about doing it so that it looks the best it could?
It’s a lot harder than “Lights! Camera! Action!”. There’s the director, the funding, the approval to use the on-location set, camera’s, lights, make-up, wardrobe, clothes stylist, hairstylist, gathering man power, fixing the set, changing set, timing and scheduling….the list goes on and on! Everything from pre-production to post production with ALL the hours spent is just exhausting. But at the end of the day the satisfaction and memories remain.

When you look for a label to collaborate with what is the most important factor for you to work with them?
-Being on the look-out for labels, we want a good distribution for our album, financial support for touring and video clip. Also, have a good publicist for PR purpose and such.

How hard is it today to do things on your own? If you invest time and money in releasing a record on your own do you get back that which you invested?
-Recording an album, alone, is really difficult. Chances are, when you are a self-financed group, that you will not get back the money that was invested. The rise of a band doesn’t only require an album. It requires rehearsal, live concerts, merchandise…As far as time, you can never get back but why would you if the outcome is so rewarding? When you have a label to back you up and publicity then yes you have a chance to get back what you once invested. After our release of our full length album we will be able to answer this clearer.

What has been the greatest reward so far being a member of U.N.S.I.N.?
-We all communicate real well and so even more so through the music. When our new material is heard and response so far have been so great and flattering, that is our reward. That means, for us, that the job we set out to do has been done right.

What grand plans for the band does the future hold?
-Right now we are concentrating on the completion of this long awaited album. Our one year absence and the line-up changes have brought us back but we are hanging in there ready to make our mark again. We’re planning to play at some festivals this summer, here in Greece. This will be a very productive and full summer for U.N.S.I.N.

CARMEN GRAY “Gates Of Lonliness”

“Gates of Lonliness”
(Gray Records)
OK, so we have another Finnish chart breaker to contend with. There seem to an endless stream of these kinds of Finnish bands that we rarely get to hear of outside of Finland. Maybe it is just me that don’t know where to stick my ear. Having already released an album that I missed out on I have no idea what this band is all about. And my first impression is that this is like Aerosmith or Cinderella or any other American band from 1976-86. Not your typical big hair, big choruses kind of band then. Add bands like Tyketto, Posion and and any other assorted band that let go of the hairspray and went for the music alone and you pretty much get the picture Carmen Gray paints. A nice break from all the high pitched, ball busting 80s glam thing that seem to be happening again. Anders Ekdahl


(Liljegren Records / Doolittle Group)
I’m all for a heavy metal resurgence. I try to keep up with all new bands that keep popping up and now time has come to Charlie Shred. This is being described as power heavy metal. I really do hope so. I want this to shred like a knife in hot butter. And it did start promising. There is a certain Swedish feel to it. I came to think Treat or early Europe when I heard this the first time. Bands that at their peak was great. This is pretty close to that high level at full speed. I like that there is an epic touch to the metal. I like that there are guitar solos. I pretty much like the full package. Another fine example of Swedish heavy metal. Anders Ekdahl


“Dawn Of Fury”
(To React Records)
I am glad that I don’t have chronic hate. Do you know how time consuming that would be? But all jokes aside, this is a totally new band to me and as I’m a huge sucker for new bands I really want to check this one out. So, please Windows media player start the record. With a name like Chronic Hate this could only start one way; full on blast. And while it does blast I wouldn’t mind if it had blown my socks off a bit more. As it is now they are just half way off. This is to my ears a cross between death and thrash while not making it totally deathrash. Kinda like if you crossed Slayer with Cannibal Corpse and the Cannibal part takes up more space. Throw in some really cool thrash solos and you get a full picture of what this is like. Chronic Hate did not disappoint. Anders Ekdahl

ESCARNIUM “Excruciating Existence”

“Excruciating Existence”
(Hellthrasher Records)
I know very little about the present Brazilian death metal scene. I seem to be stuck in the 80s deathrash of South America. So it is nice when a newer band from that continent arrives in my mail box. That means that I could get some new favourites that aren’t 30 years old. Escarnium are death metal the way Incantation or Immolation are death metal. This is murky, rotten and darn heavy stuff. I feel in love with Incantation from the moment I heard their “Onwards…” album. I get the same kind of feeling from this. This is death metal that takes no prisoners, that only leaves dead bodies in its wake. This is the stuff nightmares are made of. If Incantation or Immolation scares you, you better stay away from this too because this is nightmare inducing and so bloody great that I gotta spin this one back to back a few times before bed. Anders Ekdahl