Space Vacation vocalist Scott Shapiro grilled.

Deep within the dark heart of San Francisco, forged from molten steel with a nod to the galloping riffs of Iron Maiden, the speed of Motorhead and the stick-in-you-head choruses of “On Through The Night” era Def Leppard, Space Vacation was born!

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

Van Halen, Quiet Riot, Def Leppard and Twisted Sister were probably the first rock/metal bands I got into. MTV was a big part of that back then. The Friday Night Video Fights were worth staying up past my bedtime.

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

I bought my first guitar out of the Sears catalog with money I had saved when I was 11 years old. I wanted to be the next Eddie Van Halen. Unfortunately, I don’t have that kind of talent. Kiyo is the real guitar talent in the band, I just try to keep up. I have also played bass at various times, but my main instrument is my voice. I’ve been singing on stage since I was 3 years old and have sang pretty much every genre imaginable over the course of my life. I love metal but I was always drawn to the bands with singers who have real talent. Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and Queensryche really grabbed me. But I think the best rock/metal singer I’ve ever heard is Brad Delp from Boston. That guy’s voice was effortless and his range was limitless. I’ve never heard anyone who can do what he did on those early Boston records.

What was the San Francisco 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?

Come on! I’m not that old to have been here at the beginning of the San Francisco music scene! Obviously there is a long history with the Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane, Sly and the Family Stone, Santana, Journey, Huey Lewis and the News, Y&T then the thrash movement in the late 70s early 80’s with Metallica, Exodus, Death Angel, etc. When we first started playing here in 2007 we played with Walken and Hightower which was always rad. I wasn’t a big fan of the majority of the bands that were around at the time. It was like everyone wanted to sound like High On Fire. That stuff is pretty rad but it never really inspired me to want to chug a beer and scream at the top of my lungs. That’s one of the reasons we started SPACE VACATION. We wanted to hear more traditional, good times heavy metal and no one was really doing it. The scene has evolved since then and is pretty rad right now. A couple of my favorite bands in the area are Hell Fire and Glitter Wizard. I also just got turned on to Blackwulf, who are pretty rad as well.

Has there been times when drugs and alcohol were beneficial to the band?

Ha! What’s a party in space if there isn’t beer and drugs? Not one that I want to go to, that’s for sure! Our music is meant to be the sound track to your party.

How would you best describe your sound?

We sound like a space ship crashing into 1982.

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

The first record I ever bought was Kenny Rogers, believe it or not. Van Halen 1984 was probably the next. I’ve bought the first 6 Van Halen albums at least 3 times (tape, CD then vinyl). I’ve bought the first 4 Metallica albums multiple times due to the tape breaking for overuse. Same with Live After Death by Iron Maiden.

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

The biggest show we’ve ever played is either opening a sold out club show for Satan or opening for Orchid. We’ve also played with Cauldron and Thor which were super rad as well. As far as getting nervous, yes, I defiantly still get a little nervous before a gig.

Is commercial rock radio dead?

I’d take it a step further and say radio is dead. Why does rock radio play the same songs from the same bands that were active 40+ years ago? While those bands were and are great, radio was the place to discover new artists – now you have to dive into a K-hole on YouTube.

Favorite songs on the new album and why?

Hard to choose favorites on this record as I really like how the album turned out. If I were to pick a few I’d say the title track, “Black Divide,” is my favorite because it has a some dynamics to it with a really catchy chorus. Next I’d have to pick “Live By The Sword” because of all the twin guitar leads throughout the song. It’s a real ripper. Then I would have to go with “Reason or Rhyme” because I’ve always wanted to have a piano based song to work on because it opens up the music to much more complicated arrangements than we can do with our standard lineup of 2 guitars, bass and drums.

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Out of all your songs which one touches you the most when you perform it?

While our typical song topics include Satan, fighting, booz, motorcycles and getting awesome, I also tend to write about things that are going on in my life – so there are a few songs that I have a more personal connection to. The title track form our second record, “Heart Attack”, is about my Dad who had a major heart attack. Summer Knights is a letter to my daughter with ideas that I wanted to memorialize for her. On the current record, I wrote “See You Again” for my mom who passed in 2016.

Are there any political or social issues hidden in Space Vacation songs?

We typically try to keep that kind of stuff out of our songs because we want to be an escape for the everyday bullshit people have to put up with. “Save Your Breath” is probably an exception. It includes some social commentary on the current bullshit that is going on in Washington these days.

What was the process of putting the songs in order?

We wanted it to have a good flow – something you could just put on in your car without needed to skip songs. We wanted to take you on a ride with the various dynamics and tempos of the individual songs. Also, we need to make sure it was 22 min per side for vinyl so there were a few restrictions there with the song lengths.

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

We are (were?) Gibson Artists but after they let go of the artist rep we worked with, its been crickets over there. Kiyo was sponsored by Sfarzo strings but they haven’t done anything for the band. Gear-wise I would love to get an Ernie Ball sponsorship. I’d also love to get a tour sponsor to help us get to the next level touring-wise (are you reading this Budweiser?). Maybe a weed sponsorship?

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

I would love to tour with Judas Priest. My brother, who was a founding member of Space Vacation and played on the first 2 records, is friends with Richie Faulkner and he has some hilarious stories about the band. Love to hang out with those guys. We had a great time playing with Cauldron and could see us doing some shows together in the future. Dudes that I would want to interrogate is long. I’d probably start with Sharon Osbourne to ask why she is single handedly ruining Ozzy. That dude can still sing yet she pairs him with Gus G? That was one of the worst records I have ever heard. I’m sure Kiyo would love to share his road stories from when he toured with Gus. That guy is a clown. The he did the “Almost Sabbath” tour/record which she also fucked up by keeping Bill Ward out. WTF!!? Next I’d want to find out who really fucked up Van Halen. Was it Eddie or Dave? The people deserve to know!

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

At my funeral – “The Show Must Go On” by Queen. Cliché? Maybe, but fuck it it’s my funeral!

3 albums to take to the grave:

1. Number of the Beast – Iron Maiden
2. Hell Bent For Leather – Judas Priest
3. Boston – Boston

Final thoughts, shout outs, dirty jokes?

Metal is a community. Its one of the last inclusive groups out there where people from all walks of life can meet up bang their heads and agree (or argue about) their favorite bands. I’m friends with people all over the world because of metal. Thanks for taking the time to chat with me today. People like you help keep us all connected!

Drummer Kevin Amann of San Francisco’s Burn River Burn Interviewed

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

I got into music basically on my own. I just wanted to rock out from birth. I was playing drums with chopsticks on couch pillows as a toddler. In grade school grade – I got a snare drum for school band. In Jr high I got a drum kit and got in my first rock band – 30 years later – I still just hit the drums like a kid.

I’ve always loved darker music. My brother showed me Pink Floyd’s The Wall, when I was like 6 and I was hooked. When I started hearing darker themes with heavier guitars and speed, I was just magic to me. Friends turned me onto the greats. I remember my friend Matt Zane (of LA band, Society 1) showing me Mercyful Fate in Jr. High. That was a game changer. So I loved European Power metal from the start. I got into thrash and other subgenres mostly by listening to local (upstate NY) metal radio shows and the early days of MTV’s Headbanger’s Ball.

 

How did you become a (vocalist / drummer) and are you proficient in any other instruments?

I play all the regular rock instruments: drums, guitar, bass and sing and write songs as well. I’ve played all those instruments in various bands and had my own projects writing all the material as well – but I always come back to the drums. Absolutely love the challenge of playing in BURN RIVER BURN – slow churning grooves are extremely hard to play slow and consistent, but when it works – it is really something special.

 

What was the local scene in the Bay Area 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 moved the Bay Area from New York in 1996, The scene was not too dissimilar as it is now – but perhaps more venues for rock. But the bands still struggled with the high cost of living and low income of being a musician. Some of the bands I really liked in the bay area back then were – The Gun and Doll Show, Deadweight, and Sleepytime Gorilla Museum. Favorites nowadays are the guys we often play with like The Devil in California, The Road Vikings and Swamphammer.

Has there been times when drugs and alcohol were beneficial to the band?

That’s an awesome question – Yes! Beer and whisky are our unofficial 6th and 7th band members. Our music would totally suffer without them.

How would you best describe your sound?

Post-grunge, heavy rock with some country, blues,stoner and prog sprinkled in

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

I’m afraid it is, but it seems to be the reality of the industry these days. Bookers and venues want to minimize the risk financial risk of a band not bringing in people, so they ding them ahead of time by making them pay or work to sell tix. It’s a natural evolution that I don’t complain about too much. If your band gets to a certain level – you invest in yourself, you buck up for bigger shows or publicity – and you hope to get it back in exposure, and ticket and merch sales.

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

The very first thing I remember buying was the 45 single of Joan Jett “I love Rock n Roll” when I was like 7. Played that thing til the needle went to shit!

DIY forever or signing with a label at first opportunity?

Depends on the deal of course – we’re getting pretty savvy and doing some of what a traditional record label does, a la carte. But would still sign if it made sense. We have gotten some interest recently from a killer European label and we have started talks – so we’ll see.

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

We played the Whisky on tour a couple years ago – that was a frickin thrill. We’ve done 3 shows at SLIMS in SF and all of those were just awesome. We played the Bone Bash battle for the bands for 107.7 the Bone, a few years back at the Saddle Rack in Fremont – huge place – pretty packed. You should be seeing us a The Great American Music Hall in 2018! Still get a little anxiety right before the big shows, but that a good thing – let’s me know I’m still being challenged. The smaller shows – I don’t really get any butterflies anymore.

Is commercial rock radio dead?

It’s still breathing. Seems to me the terrestrial radio will live on for a while – people still love the serendipity of a DJ (even though it’s all predetermined playlists from the parent company) playing songs for them and flipping through the dial to hopefully catch a song you love. Hard to discover newer bands that way – but the internet will always rule for that.

Favorite songs on the new album and why?

Really like them all fairly equally – but if I had to choose – Into the Vein, Sworn to Silence and The Rift.

Out of all your songs which one touches you the most when you perform it?

Sworn to Silence is really heavy when the mood is right. Stand – off our first record is always a crusher live- we play is nice and slow and it is impactful.

Are there any political or social issues hidden in Burn River Burn songs?

Our band name refers to the Cuyahoga River in Ohio, catching on fire – which prompted the beginning of the environmental movement in America. So, the song “Burn River Burn” off our first album is an environmentalists anthem. “Stand” dabbles in religion, “Burning Bridges” touches on free speech. We do like to keep all our lyrical themes fairly subtle and open to interpretation.

What was the process of putting the songs in order.

It’s all about flow, we find it crucial to mix up the songs by tempo, fast, slow, mid – repeat – type of an order. Easier to digest songs near the beginning, more esoteric songs near the end. I think it’s a formula used by many rock/metal bands in their album orders.

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

We are endorsed by Epiphone. We were featured on their website a little while back – big honor. Would be open to any endorsements – I’m talking to you TAMA!

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

Collectively – we all dig Queens of the Stone Age, Tool, High on Fire, Clutch and many others of course. Personally, I’d like to sit down with Papa Emeritus of Ghost, that dude seems like quite a genius – I’d love to pick his brain.

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

I would actually like a song I wrote to be played at my funeral – one I wrote several year ago for my friend that passed away. It’s called “A Place that is Everywhere” it’s on my 2nd solo album called Standards. Can be heard on Bandcamp here if anyone is interested. As far as 3 favorite albums, how about:Rush – Moving Pictures, King Diamond – Them, and Bad Religion – The Process of Belief.

Final thoughts, shout outs, dirty jokes?
Thanks Capital Chaos TV – See ya live in Sactosoon! You can check us out and get to all our socials by way of burnriverburn.com.  How many singers does it take to screw in a light bulb? One, but he just holds the bulb and the world revolves around him.

New Video Of Anthrax Live In San Francisco

Anthrax perform “Evil Twin” & “March Of The SOD” @ The Fillmore in San Francisco, California April 23rd, 2017 streaming in the video below.

Celebrating its 35th anniversary, 2016 has been action-packed for Anthrax.  For All Kings debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Hard Rock Albums chart and #9 on the Billboard 200, the band’s second Top 10 chart entry.  Two striking music videos made with director Jack Bennett, one over-the-top grizzly, the other an innovative stop-motion piece, an appearance on “Late Night with Seth Meyers” that paired the band with the iconic Robert De Niro, and sharing stages with bands like Iron Maiden, Lamb of God, Avenged Sevenfold, and fellow Big Four members Slayer, were just a few of the highlights.

WRVTH Release “Cease To Exist” Video

Atmospheric tech death collective WRVTH today issues the confounding video accompaniment to the track “Cease To Exist” via Decibel Magazine. The tune comes by way of the band’s self-titled full-length release via Unique Leader Records.
Elaborates bassist Taylor Preston of the fiery clip, “We decided to work with Cory Davis of Yellowbox Films again for ‘Cease To Exist,’ as we loved the work he did for our music video ‘Malaise.’
This song is the closing track to our self-titled release and it is fitting as it is also our closer for the year, musically speaking. As far as the creation goes, we wrote every part of the music to fit the lyrics. We put all our heads together to form something that we all felt was as fitting as it was meaningful. Even though the song has a seemingly straightforward interpretation, this song means something very different for every person in the band. We didn’t write the song with a mindset of writing something relatable, in fact the events that inspired the song are all very specific and personal to each of us. We gave Cory the lyrics and artistic freedom to form a visual representation of the emotions in this song based on his own interpretation and the feelings the song may incite.”

Duran Duran, Radiohead, Lionel Richie And Others Announced For Outside Lands 2016

Music, Food, Wine, Beer, Art, Comedy & living a full San Francisco experience!

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The Outside Lands Music & Arts Festival takes place in August with dozens of bands and attractions. From singer-songwriters to DJs, jazz acts and cutting edge rock bands, all major music movements are celebrated alongside a host of local musicians, food vendors and visual artists representing San Francisco’s vibrant cultural community.

This green-conscious event directly benefits the San Francisco Recreation & Park Department with a special annual donation. The Outside Lands Music & Arts Festival is becoming one of the ultimate summer destinations for live music, food and wine fans, and the fact that it will take place in the great city of San Francisco ensures an unparalleled entertainment experience. Come on out and join in the fun!

Music, Food, Wine, Beer, Art, Comedy & living a full San Francisco experience!

Bootie SF Meets The Iron Serbian

Bootie is the first club night in the United States dedicated solely to mashups and bootlegs, and is now the biggest all-mashup party in the world, with regular parties in several cities.

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Fun @ Bootie @ DNA Lounge – San Francisco – California 07/04/15 on http://www.capitalchaostv.com/

Bootie is the first club night in the United States dedicated solely to mashups and bootlegs, and is now the biggest all-mashup party in the world, with regular parties in several cities.The original party began at the Cherry Bar (now Codeword) in San Francisco in August 2003, and moved to DNA Lounge in March 2006,where it now occurs every Saturday, and is simulcast into the virtual venue The Level in Second Life. For over a year, it was the only club of its kind in America, and its creators, DJs Adrian & the Mysterious D (aka A Plus D), along with former resident DJ Party Ben, were instrumental in helping to popularize mashup culture on the West Coast. The club has showcased mashup DJs from around the world, including DJ Earworm, DJ Lobsterdust, DJs from Mars,ShyBoy, Go Home Productions, Evolution Control Committee, and dj BC, as well as featuring a live house band, Smash-Up Derby, known as “the world’s first mashup rock band.

New Capital Chaos TV Video Interview With Tribulation In San Francisco, California

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Todd Owens chats with Jakob Ljungberg, Jonathan Hultén and Johannes Andersson of Tribulation 02/08/15 @ The Fillmore – San Francisco, California

Swedish metal band, TRIBULATION, and Century Media Records are proud to announce a worldwide deal to spread the band’s upcoming aural horrors. The band is in the studio right now to record its third album which is expected to be released in April 2015 after wrapping up a US tour with genre titans BEHEMOTH and CANNIBAL CORPSE.

 

The band comments: “We are very pleased to announce that we have signed a worldwide deal with Century Media Records. Our journey has been slow but steady, but it is now time for us to stretch our black wings further throughout the world and we are sure that Century Media Records is the label that can help us do that.

 

Die Todten reiten schnell…* In early December we will once again enter the studio, this time to record our third album. We have covered ourselves in the darkness of the divine and the ghastly and have emerged with something that we truly believe in. Though it is an album that is in every inch TRIBULATION, expect nothing and let the music take you to the unexpected. It is a journey in its own right, for us to travel with the music that we make and at each turn it takes we are closing in on a goal that is hopefully forever out of our reach. Thus, we now prepare to die to let a new shape of the vampyre return in 2015.”