Levi Vinci of Sour Diesel “My dog Rufus, never lets anything get him down”

Sacramento’s Sour Diesel combine elements of hard rock, metal, and hip hop to create a unique 7 string groove they call Pot Metal. Lead guitarist Levi Vinci took some time between shredding and bong rips to answer some of our questions.

How did you first get in to music? Who or what turned you onto rock/metal?

It was my mom, she would have Pantera or White Zombie playing in the car on the way to take me to Elementary Christian school, haha.

What got you started playing music and how old were you?

It was in 6th grade (12 years old) at my school they opened up some art classes and I chose guitar .

Have you always been creative?

Yeah In some way shape or another. Being ADHD makes you want to do a lot of stuff..at once.

How did Sour Diesel come about?

In 2006ish my friend (our drummer) decided we didn’t want to let our instruments go to no use . So we started at his jamming and have been there ever since. We also have another jam spot in Colusa/Williams, where the other half of the band lives.

How did you become a guitarist? Are you proficient in any other instruments?

After my mom took me too my first concert in like 95 (Red Hot Chili Peppers) I fell in love with that instrument ,even more so when I seen Pantera live.

Who are some of your influences? Which of your influences can we hear in your guitar playing and your music?

My influences range from a lot of different people/bands . A good friend of mind who is no longer here Mr. C . Taught me a lot about life at an early age and it has always stuck with me. I can play pool thanks to him. Dimebag would be a huge influence , dude was a shredder as well as a really nice and funny guy. Oh and my dog Rufus , he’s always happy. He never lets anything get him down. Oh and Bob Ross is cool also.

What was the local scene like in the beginning, was there a particular band you aspired to be like, favorite local bands back then, favorite local bands now?

When I first started out it was in the late 90’s with my punk band “Ginu Force” and that was hella kool to be playing shows with bands like Final Summation, Broken Society ,FYH ,Team Karate Warehouse and many more. Some of my Favorite local bands now are Horseneck , Kill The Precedent,Dog Party, Malcom Bliss , MC Rut. There’s a lot more I’m forgetting.

What makes a good Sour Diesel song?

I think it takes the whole band to be on that certain vibe and connect. Basically feel it and lock it in.

How soon can we expect some recorded music from Sour Diesel?

I’d say by April 20th

What was the first music you bought, and what have you bought more than once?

N2 Deep’s “Back to the Hotel ” single and Green Day’s “Dookie”

What would you say is your greatest musical achievement?

Being able to have this band stick together after 12 years.

Who have been some of your favorite bands you’ve hung out with and shared the stage with?

Twitch Angry. Green Jello/Jelly were pretty cool, I got to hang out with Mike from Suicidal Tendencies when I was 12 when they played Eldorado Saloon back in the day, hella chill ass dude. Alien Ant Farm may have been the biggest band besides HED PE that we have played with and both were cool times.

What can we expect from Sour Diesel in 2019

A lot more of kool lighting FX and lasers at our shows,if the venues allow them haha. We’re also writing some new songs as well as getting this 2nd album done. It should be pretty dope.

You’re on a desert island and only have three albums to listen to for the rest of your life, what are they and why?

Man that’s a hard question. I’m going to say off the bat, Pantera – Vulgar Display of Power , Faith No More- Angel Dust , Deftones -White Pony

Scott Vogel of Terror – “Victory Records was always cool to Terror. All the labels we have worked with have been.”

Scott Vogel (born April 5, 1973 in Buffalo, New York, United States) and currently living in Los Angeles, California, is the current vocalist and founding member of five-piece American hardcore band Terror, formerly of Buried Alive as well as the vocalist of hardcore / punk band World Be Free.

Terror have always been a name synonymous with hardcore. From their inception in 2002, the band have displayed a level of steadfast dedication unlike any other in the scene. Now with six studio albums, a series of live albums, splits, compilations and EP’s under their belts, the scene veterans are gearing up to release their latest full length ‘Total Retaliation’.

The new album which is penned for a September 28th release date features Fit For An Autopsy’s Will Putney (Thy Art Is Murder, Body Count, Knocked Loose) in the producers chair and is the band’s first new material since last years ‘The Walls Will Fall’ EP. Clocking in at just under 30 minutes, ‘Total Retaliation’ is a succinct yet intense message of resistance within a world that can inspire little else.

 

How did you first get in to music? Who turned you onto punk, metal and hardcore? What was the album you bought?

My brother was into punk and exposed me to all this crazy underground shit. A few of the first albums I owned where Social Distortion’s “ Mommy’s Little Monster “ and the Minor Threat Lp

How did you become a vocalist? Are you proficient in any instruments?

I at one point could kinda play the drums but that’s about it. I also got a bass years ago pretending I would learn and it just sat there. I guess seeing local bands in buffalo like Solid State and Zero Tolerance made me think I wanna do that and why can’t I. These dudes are just like me.

What was the local scene like in the beginning, was there a particular band or vocalist you aspired to be like? Was there a particular sound you were going for?

I used to worship Zero Tolerance and their frontman Mark. I mean I guess I still kinda do. Buffalo hardcore was so good when I got involved. So many great bands would come thru and the shows were always packed and real. I guess I was always drawn to the harder edge of hardcore with my bands but still always have loved softer stuff like Supertouch and Split Lip

What motivates you, to keep releasing new music in the age of sharing and stealing? Does it dampen your creativity at all knowing that all of your hard work will be just given away possibly weeks prior to its official release date?

Nah. That stuff doesn’t affect me at all. For me its more about the end result not the sale. When the music and words create an unstoppable energy and you wrap it up in cool artwork and photos. That’s the pay off. Not the 22 cents per unit each band member would maybe see one day.

Which of the past record labels, you’ve been on were the least shady and do record labels in general get a bad rap?

Victory Records was always cool to Terror. All the labels we have worked with have been. But keep in mind we aren’t the biggest band selling tons of records. I don’t know I can only speak for myself. Of course we always want more of a push and the label to work harder but on a fairness scale things have been solid

So, how was producing and putting this record together different than what you guys have previously done? Were any cover songs or bonus tracks recorded for special releases or for the Japanese market?

It’s was business as usual with making this record. But to be honest we had a lot of music written and working with Will Putney was easy and smooth. No bonus or cover songs. The record is complete and there will be no other versions!

What is the writing process like for you? How do you pick what you want to keep and release and what gets tossed aside? With practically every song on Total Retaliation being a hardcore slammer, how do you go about placing the songs in order one through thirteen? Have you ever written and recorded with a side A and side B in mind?

Nick and Jordan come up with tons of music and riffs and I kinda give feedback on which ones I’m feeling. Actually Chris wrote a few on this record too. After that we flush them all out and make them complete and last the words are laid over the music and we have a song. Its hard getting a track list in order. Different people have different ideas and sometimes you don’t wanna bend.

What keeps you passionate about Terror and hardcore after all these years?

I still love this community and this band. It’s that simple. I still believe and feel this shit

Top 5 albums or songs released in 2018 and/or of all time?

2018
Racquet Club – “Blood on the Moon”
Conway the Machine – “Goat”
Freedom – “Never Had a Choice”
Citizen – “As you Please”
Combust – demo

What does hardcore mean to you?

That’s not really something, I can sum up in a few sentences. This is my life and it helped mold my mind and kept me young at heart and fully free and against the grain in an ugly world.

Ozzie Darden of Children of the Reptile “Heavy Metal Is The Fucking Law”

Children of the Reptile from Wilmington, NC, are three bright youths and a grizzled veteran, who have formed an elite, team of reptilian metal maniacs in order to induce headbanging in no trifling amounts. Their lineup includes Ozzie Darden -vocals and guitar, Chris Millard on guitar and vocals, David “Pils” Hufham on bass and vocals and drummer Chase Kelly.

 

How did you first get in to music? Who turned you onto rock/metal?

Ozzie Darden – I grew up listening to the radio with my dad. The first time i heard “Iron Man” I knew I was a metalhead but before that I jammed frequently to a Boston cassette tape my dad handed down to me.

How did you become a musician and what instruments are you proficient in?

Started playing sax in middle school band, got a guitar for my 14th birthday. Started singing for a punk band when I was 16. I’m capable on drums and bass and semi capable on keyboard and mandolin.

What was the local scene in your area like in the beginning? Was there a particular band you aspired to be like, favorite local bands back then, favorite local bands now?

We’ve always had a strong hard rock/metal/punk scene in Wilmington. Sometimes it’s more active than others. We didn’t really aspire to be anybody in particular, we always wanted to do our own thing. ASG, Weedeater, and Thunderlip were big local favorites then. Our favorite fellow local band right now is Mortal Man, who we’d recommend to any fan of heavy music.

What does heavy metal or hard rock mean to you?

Imagination, fun, adventure!

How would you best describe your sound?

Forward looking traditional heavy metal. Our foundation is, and always will be, in Iron Maiden, Metallica, Manilla Road, Black Sabbath, bands of that nature. But we’re very inspired by more modern and proggy bands like Death and Mastodon. We want every riff to catch your ear but we want to move songs in a lot of different directions too. We love the New Wave of Traditional Heavy Metal but we don’t just want to play metal like they played in the early 80’s. A lot of great metal has happened since then and it’s in our approach.

Is doing pre-sales the same thing as pay to play?

If you have to meet a certain number of sales or pay out of pocket, then yes, absolutely. Nothing wrong with doing a little legwork beforehand though, so long as the promoter is working too.

What was the first music you bought and what have you bought more than once?

First thing i ever bought was Kris Kross’s debut album on cassette, haha. RIP Chris Kelly. Most of my favorite records I probably have bought on both CD and vinyl at some point, or rebought worn out or scratched up CDs. So, a lot of Maiden, Sabbath, Blind Guardian, Rush, Metallica, Mastodon in various formats.

DIY forever or signing with a label at first opportunity?

I think we’d sign under the right circumstances. It’s nice keeping all the money we make right now, but we’re not ideologically committed to DIY. We try to do whatever makes the most fiscal sense for us, haha. It’s never come up, really.

What is the biggest show you have played so far and do you still get nervous before a gig?

We opened up for D.R.I. recently and their bassist, Harald Oimoen gave us high praise. That meant a lot to us because he co-wrote “Murder in the Front Row.” He was around San Francisco during the heyday of the thrash metal scene there. I wouldn’t say we get nervous before playing, except in the sense that we’re all anxious to get on the stage and play. We always feel like we’re gonna kill it and we can’t wait to get up there and do it, haha.

Is commercial rock radio dead?

Yeah. The Telecommunications Act of 1996 killed it.

Favorite songs on the new finished album and why?

Halls of the Skeleton Lord. It’s a riffy weird progressive type song with a big finish. One of my proudest moments.

Are there any political or social issues hidden in your band songs?

Not really, most of the lyrics are just fantasy and sci fi stories. Some are based off of other works, most are stories I come up with myself. “Maneater Mildred” is a little bit of a feminist song, I guess.

What was the process of putting the songs in order?

I sort of like to construct set/album orders like a batting order in baseball. Speedsters up front, heavy hitters in track 3 and 4. Once track 4 hits the grand slam and we’ve got the audience by the balls, give em some of the weirder stuff. Always close with the most “epic” song.

What endorsements do you have and what endorsements do you still want?

No endorsements, haha. We’ll take some though. Chris and I work for Mojotone and use some of their pickups, I guess that’s close enough.

Bands you would love to tour with and musician or artist you would like to meet and interrogate?

Visigoth is currently taking our world by storm, we’d love to tour with them cuz we’d match up real well. As for who I’d like to meet, gotta go with Rob Halford. Follow him on Facebook if you don’t already, he seems like the coolest dude ever. (On top of being one of the most legendary singers ever)

Do you still buy cd’s or mostly use streaming sites? Which sites do you use? What do you like about them?

I buy CD’s or vinyl at shows, I love physical media. I hate using spotify and youtube because of ads, but Bandcamp rules. I buy so much music on there. As a musician, we get a better cut from bandcamp than everything else and it’s much more transparent about the cut they do take. It’s so much better than every other platform for consumers and artists alike. BUY MUSIC ON BANDCAMP!

Top 5 albums or songs released this year so far?

Little early for me to give that good of an answer to this, but I’ll give it a shot! I’ll stick to metal, too.

  1. Visigoth – Conqueror’s Oath
  2. Judas Priest – Firepower

  3. Summoning – With Doom We Come

  4. Knightmare- Walk Through the Fire

  5. Between the Buried & Me – Automata I

Top 5 books and movies released this year so far?

I’ve only seen one movie this year and all the books I’m reading are not from the present year. BUT, the one new movie I’ve seen was ANNIHILATION, and it was a fan-fucking-tastic piece of sci-fi filmmaking. Go see it while in theaters, it’s worth it. I’ll go with you! Just fucking see it!

Song to be played at your funeral and 3 albums to take to your grave?

Feels like Nazareth’s “Hair of the Dog” is the obvious answer here. As far as 3 albums to go to the grave with: Iron Maiden – Powerslave. Rush – Farewell to Kings. Thin Lizzy – Jailbreak.

Final thoughts, words of wisdom and shout outs?

Heavy Metal Is The Fucking Law. Shout out to all my homie’s who come see us at the local dives, and the bands we toil in obscurity with all the godamn time. Big shout out to mom and dad for buying me guitar shit as a kid. Louder shout out to my wife Molly for always making me look forward to coming back home.

 

WVM “I won’t give in to what society says I should be, I will fight tooth and nail.”

WVM is an American musician and visual artist located in Los Angeles, California. His early demos were released under a number of different monikers and licensed to TV shows and video games such as UFC 3, Syfy’s “Being Human,” Teen Nick’s “Degrassi,” CBS’s “Criminal Minds Trailer” and “Hostages”, as well as many other TV shows and video games. Most recently the song “Empire” was licensed to an episode of CW’s The 100.

After experimenting with a number of different genres in the past WVM finds his home in a brand of electronic music that blends melodic elements with a darker edge. Continue reading “WVM “I won’t give in to what society says I should be, I will fight tooth and nail.””

Night Club To Join A Perfect Circle For Fall U.S. Tour

2018 is proving to be the break out year for LA based Electronic Duo NIGHT CLUB! Following their extremely successful US and European tour run with COMBICHRIST and WEDNESDAY 13, as well as the critical success of their sophomore album, Scary World, NIGHT CLUB will be joining legendary super group A PERFECT CIRCLE on their Fall 2018 tour with TRICKY!

Continue reading “Night Club To Join A Perfect Circle For Fall U.S. Tour”

Exiled From Grace – “A show of strength in belief in oneself and one’s own individuality.”

Exiled From Grace are a hot, young new metal band from Sacramento, California! Their debut EP “Tragedy” is out now on iTunes, Spotify, and other digital music platforms! The band members include John Timmons (Vocals), Gerard Aguilar III (Bass), Molly Wallace (Drums), Dru Wallace (Guitar) Alex Lovato (Guitar).

How did you first get into music? Who or what turned you onto metal?

John Timmons: My dad listened to a lot of classic rock like Bruce Springsteen and the Eagles, so he would pretty much be playing one of their cassettes every time I was in his truck with them so that was sort of when the seeds were planted I guess. But it wasn’t til around middle school that I started getting into heavier music, and from that it just snowballed into metal, then Deathcore, then wanting to play and perform.

Gerard Aguilar III: I joined the school marching band in 7th grade and soon discovered bands like Black Veil Brides and Asking Alexandria.

Molly Wallace: Playing Rock Band was what originally got me into music when I was younger and going to Warped Tour is what really got me into metal.

What got you started playing music and how old were you?

John: I was 11 or 12 when I bought my first bass because the only kids I knew in a band in my town needed a bassist.

Dru Wallace: When I was 7, I used to play Guitar Hero 3 and I loved the songs on there so I started learning them on real guitar.

Alex Lovato: I saw the movie School of Rock and got a guitar the Christmas I turned 8. After that I started playing live with my dad and grandfather.

How did you become a vocalist? Are you proficient in any other instruments? Have you always been creative?

John: One of the early projects I was in had a vocalist who wanted to play bass so he asked me to hop on vocals instead. I would also say Marilyn Manson had a big influence on my desire to be a frontman. I am differing levels of proficient in just about every instrument present in this band, mainly so that I can contribute in some way to the writing process rather than just lyrics. No, I would say that I’ve grown exponentially as a musician just in the last two and a half years that I’ve been playing with G. He’s helped me grow into a much better and more capable player all around.

 

How did Exiled From Grace come about? Where did you develop the name? Where is it derived from?

John: I joined a project G was already apart of and we found that we clicked personally and musically, so after not long we had split with the other members and formed EFG out of that. As for the name, we were sitting in my garage spit-balling names and it was between that or an homage to an As I Lay Dying record. It really is meant to represent people who feel outcasted from society’s typical outlets of happiness and finding the courage to create their own happiness outside of society’s norms. And then subsequently, wearing that “mark” as a show of strength in belief in oneself and one’s own individuality.

What is the plan for recording new music, where, when and with who will be recording you? Will there be bonus tracks, cover songs, vinyl and cassette?

John: We’re currently finishing up the writing/demoing of our full-length with Randy Saelee, the guy who did our EP. We will be recording the official tracks with him and another engineer based out of the Bay Area. As for the rest, you’ll have to find out when we unveil the record!

Who are your original influences and who are your current inspirations and admiration’s local and or national?

Dru: Sworn In.

What makes a good Exiled From Grace song?

John: Heaviness, grooves, and aggression. Everything else is sort of whatever we’re feeling in the moment of writing it or the feel of the song based on the lyrics I have written.

Molly: Anything you can break a limb in the mosh pit to.

What kind of references or influences do you take from other mediums? Is there any particular book, or other artists that you are inspired by?

G: I watch Lords of Dogtown often and it always makes me right tuff riffs.

John: I read a lot of classic/modern literature and I often get ideas based off some of the themes or phrases prevalent in the novels.

How much time do you spend on social media a day? Which do you hate the most but can’t live without? Which do you like and why?

Alex: Don’t ask me that question.

John: More then I care to admit because I’m constantly on there promoting us. And I hate all of them.

Top 5 albums or songs released in the last 12 months?

John:

The Agony Cycle EP – Betrayer
Eternal Nightmare – Chelsea Grin
Deathwish – Within Destruction
Come Hell – Dead Crown
World Demise – Falsifier

You’re on a desert island and only have three albums to listen to for the rest of your life, what are they and why?

John: Antichrist Superstar by Manson (best album of all time in my opinion)
Spite’s Self-Titled
Women and Children Last by Muderdolls

What does metal mean to you?

John: To me, it basically just means a community of people who all enjoy really heavy and aggressive music because they’ve all been at a point in their lives in which the music has helped them pull themselves out of whatever problem they were dealing with, and because of that there is this culture of respect around each other, like we all know we’ve all gone through similar shit and there’s a sort of familial connection that comes with that.

What does the rest of 2018 have in store for Exiled From Grace?

John: We have a show on September 15th with Alestorm and then one on the 10th of November with Goatwhore and The Casualties. And besides that, we’ll be continuing to finish up our record which should be released sometime next year.

Massacre of Terror Universal “Punk rock, mixed with metal, mixed with fuck you.”

In the video below Zoran Theodorovic chats with Dave Chavarri aka. Massacre of Terror Universal at Ace Of Spades on Summer Slaughter 2018

Terror Universal’s masked marauders – who are also current and former members of hard rock and metal royalty such as Machine Head, Ill Niño, Soulfly, and Upon A Burning Body – began stalking the senses in 2014, releasing the Reign of Terror EP a year later and eventually sharing the stage alongside heavy hitters including Korn, Asking Alexandria, HELLYEAH, Papa Roach, Fear Factory, Incite, and more around the globe.

On what he gets from Terror Universal that he does not get from Ill Nino…

Its a totally different vibe, with Ill Nino its more of an ethnic vibe, with you know Latino influences. With Terror Universal its more of a brutal vibe, more of an attitude, that punk rock, mixed with metal, mixed with fuck you. I wanted to do something with Terror Univesal that i havent done before in my carreer and Massacre is a cool escape of being whoever the fuck you want to be.
On unreleased early Ill Nino material…
There is a couple of things that we didn’t release, prior to actually signing to Roadrunner, that we might be putting out on a ep or something else. We don’t necessarily wanna milk the band,and just throw shit out there just to make money, believe me we’re not that type of band. We want to put something that we’re proud of at the end of the day. We’ve talked about doing a live dvd, Ill Nino is a very live band. Right now I don’t have any plans for Ill Nino for the end of this year or beginning of the next, I’m just worrying about Terror Universal right now. This is my main priority, my main situation.