Thursday, November 17, 2011

Steve Bello

Steve Bello, famous for his instrumental guitar chops and several independent releases, sat down with us to discuss his latest, Go Berzerk.  What's unique about this video interview is that you can also get a glimpse of his playing in between his answers.  You'll see very quickly why he has garnered a lot of respect from the Metal community worldwide.

In our interview, he discusses what it's been like working as an independent musician, the success he has found with Go Berzerk, what it's like working with others in the music community, as well as DR and Ibanez, and more.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Edward Douglas of Midnight Syndicate

For our special Halloween interview, we caught up with Edward Douglas, half of the Goth/Horror Instrumental duo, Midnight Syndicate, whom we've featured a few times in the magazine in the past.  It's always great to reconnect with Ed and discuss not only what he's been up to but what his plans for the future are as well.  We sat down at NJ's Chiller Theater, a horror convention Ed attends every year to connect with fans and make new ones, and talked about everything from their latest CD, Carnival Arcane to their work in horror films and what's in store for 2012. 

Rob Acocella (DIGImmortal Photo) had a lot of fun editing this one, giving it an old movie reel treatment and adding in his own photo of a carnival scene (buy it here for yourself) to go along with the theme of the new album.

Watch the interview below and be sure to support independent music by finding Midnight Syndicate online at and on Facebook and Twitter.

Also, please support independent media like Paragon Music Magazine.  We are now offering banner and video ads, so please get in touch with us for more details if you are interested.  We are also accepting donations in order to finish our new website for and get all of our back issues up again, among other new features.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Myke Hideous of The Empire Hideous

As part of October Halloween-themed interview series, we sat down with Myke Hideous (The Empire Hideous, Spy Society 99, The Misfits) and discussed his latest, and final, release The Time Has Come.  Questions include why he is no longer going to release new material, what it's like working as an independent musician, Peter Steele's (Type O Negative) influence on the new record, what happened to the Goth music scene, and why he dislikes social media, among other things. 

Check out our review of The Time Has Come here.

Check out the interview here (or click the image below) and leave comments on the Youtube page or right here on our blog, and feel free to share with your friends.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Mitch and Kal of American Fangs

We met up with American Fangs last month out on Long Island at Vu Du Studios. The band came out here to cut some new tracks and invited us out to hang and take some photos. We did an interview with Mitch and Kal, and hopefully this will help you all get to know them better. They're really talented, hard working musicians, and genuinely nice people as well.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Vinnie Hornsby of Sevendust

Sevendust, who is currently touring on the Uproar Tour, recently hit NJ on a day off to play a headlining show at the Starland Ballroom. We chatted for a bit with Vinnie and discussed a few things like a new record, an acoustic tour, the rumors about them calling it quits soon, and other topics. Check out the video to see what he had to say.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Interview with Anterior

Contributing writer Bobby Weaver chats with Leon Kemp and Luke Davies of Anterior, discussing their latest release, what makes them tick and how they relate to one another, what it's like being on Metal Blade Records, their future plans, and more.

Bobby Weaver: Hey guys, thanks for taking time to talk with me! You have Echoes of the Fallen ready to drop.  What major differences, musically, can we expect from your 2007 release This Age of Silence?
Leon Kemp: Just a more mature sound, really. The new album is in a similar vein to This Age Of Silence. We've still kept all our tricks; just improved on them. We paid more attention to trying to write memorable songs that have hooks and that would make people want to listen to that song over and over. So, yeah, no dramatic change in style, just a much improved production, a greater maturity in songwriting, and a few more Thrash elements, I suppose.

BW: Anterior worked with producer Scott Atkins at Grindstone Studios. How was the relationship with Scott and how was the atmosphere at the studio during recording?
LK: We got on great with Scott right from the first day. He's such an easy guy to get on with and he shared our vision for what we were trying to create, so it was very easy to progress. There were a lot of ups and downs, like in any studio, really. There were times when everything was going great, then there were days when we were struggling to get things right or a section of a song just wasn't working and had to be re-written. Those were the tough days, and the morale monster paid many a visit to Grindstone Studios. But we pulled together and got through it all, all for the better of the record.
Luke Davies: Yeah, Scott can be quite the taskmaster when he wants to be, and you really need to have a guy like that with you when you’re making a record. He squeezes every last bit of effort out of everyone. Like Leon said, there were some times when you feel incredibly down because a certain section is just not going well, and it can be hard to motivate yourself because you’re completely broken. Scott has such a good ability to bring you through times like that, kicking and screaming if need be.

BW: On This Age of Silence, you had Tim Hamill produce, record, and mix, as well as yourselves.  Was it different working with a new producer, and did you have as much input as you did previously?
LK: When we recorded This Age of Silence, we basically just went into the studio and tracked the songs exactly as the demos were. This time around, Scott brought a hell of a lot of stuff to the songs himself. We re-wrote riffs, doubled choruses, changed drum patterns, changed lyrics, vocal patterns. You name it, Scott had a hand in it. And it was really good for Anterior to have that 6th member for the duration of the album and I think we all learnt quite a bit while recording this album. The decision still lies with the band, but you really need to try and be open-minded when you're working with someone like Scott who has tons of experience in Metal. He'd throw his opinion into the pile and we'd usually work on it and come out with something that we were all much happier with than before and he definitely helped us squeeze that extra 5% out of every song. I really look forward to working with him again.
LD: I think we were a lot more willing to have someone actually have a hand in the record this time around. We were quite protective last time, but when you look at Scott's discography, it's easy to allow yourself to let his ideas and opinions have a more major effect in how your song is shaped. I firmly believe that this record wouldn't have been as good if we had gone to anyone else.

BW: When you attended Sonisphere Festival, wereyou excited about that?  What bands were you looking forward to seeing yourselves?
LK: Sonisphere was actually in July in the UK, and it was awesome. We had a lot of fans coming to check us out, even though we were up against Limp Bizkit, and it was a great show. There were a lot of great bands playing. It was difficult to try and catch everybody you wanted to see, especially with all the press and drinking to be done. But I managed to catch Metallica, Arch Enemy, In Flames, and Sylosis; pretty much the main ones I wanted to see.
LD: I was really looking forward to seeing the recently re-formed One Minute Silence but they pulled out of the festival last minute. Devastating.

BW: I love the sound that you achieved on This Age of Silence.  In fact, I am breaking windows in my house to it right now! What are the key elements of achieving the “Anterior” sound?
LK: The guitars probably play a big part in our signature sound. So all the solos and melodies are key. Plus, it's still gotta be heavy, so you need a big drum sound and some big-ass bass. And it wouldn't sound like Anterior without Luke, so then some well-written vocal patterns, and you've got a great Anterior song. If only it was as simple as that, hey Luke?
LD: Yeah, I fucking wish! ::laughs:: There have been so many times where we've had a breakdown or argued whilst trying to make a song work, although the Anterior sound has never been contrived; it's just been whatever sounded the best when we were writing and arranging the songs. I guess it's just down to the people who are involved in the making of the album that give it that stamp of individuality.

BW: For our readers out there that are just becoming aware of Anterior, what would you say your songs convey lyrically?
LD: There are a lot of different themes and critiques in the new record; a real wide range of topics crop up. We delved into inward reflection a little on this record. I'm always thinking, in years to come, what am I going to be feeling when I look back on my life? Will I feel that I've done everything that I wanted to do? Been as good a person as I could have been? That's why we used the Santa Muerte figure on the artwork. We liked the way that some Mexican cultures use it as a reminder of their own mortality. I think that's quite a good way to live your life: aware that your time on the planet is short, so be the best you can be and also be the nicest you can be. But there are a few criticisms raised, without trying to be a contrarian. For example, the song “The Evangelist” is a response to the Televangelists and general petty conmen and women who peddle their “hope and salvation” for a price. Those people make me sick, and it's such a joke that they are still doing this shit; it's a disgrace to humanity.

BW: Anterior was formed back in 2003 by a group of friends. Did you think that you would achieve international recognition? Also, how has the ride been since the early days in the garage?
LK: I always believed that if I worked hard enough, we could "make it." I think everyone else had a belief about themselves too. It was pretty evident from early on that we had something special going on. I think a lot of our success has to be attributed to the amount of time we spent rehearsing. We pretty much rehearsed five days a week, just jamming on covers and writing our own songs. We loved it so much that we couldn't get enough of it. We also stuck to our guns, too. We never wrote music for what was the trend at the time. We always just played whatever we wanted to play, and I think we really stood out as a band because of that. So far, the ride has been long and tough; lots of line-up changes, a few van fires, broken bones and alcohol-fuelled madness, but we're on the up now and things are only getting better.

BW: What were your early influences, and what new bands are you listening to at the moment?
LK: We were all pretty similar in our early influences. Metallica played a huge part, especially for me. Iron Maiden are probably another major and noticeable influence if you listen to Anterior. There were heavier influences, too, like In Flames, Children of Bodom, Arch Enemy. I think these are the main ones that you can hear in Anterior, that really have shaped our sound. I'm actually really into Journey at the moment, great band. Sylosis are a pretty cool new band.
LD: Yeah, we are all Metallica fans. We used to cover “Creeping Death” back in the day, what a song!

BW: Do you guys play pranks on each other while touring, and if so, will you share a few of the “good ones”?
LK: Yeah, you gotta, really. The hot sauce prank has been coming out quite a lot recently. Dave’s Insanity Ghost sauce, it's pretty devastating. I remember Luke ending up with some in his eye last time around. Probably not so funny for you, Luke?
LD: That shit really stings, it's brutal. We're always taking the piss out of each other. It's more verbal than anything else. I remember Steve getting some of that hot sauce in his eye at some point, too. I thought he was going to have a heart attack. ::laughs::

BW: Brian Slagel has always been known for his support of Underground/Indy Metal. What is it like working with Metal Blade Records?
LK: They're cool, very supportive of us. We've had some rough times between our two album releases and they've always stood by us and for that I've got a lot of respect for them.
LD: Yeah, they don't put any pressure on us, they just let us do our own thing. It was quite intimidating signing with Metal Blade at the beginning, with all those top bands to compete with, like Unearth, The Black Dahlia Murder and As I Lay Dying, but they’re really supportive of us, even though we're not as big as their top runners.

BW: Thanks again for taking the time out of your schedule to talk with us. Is there anything else that you would like to add as far as personal appearances, autograph signings, etc.?
LK: Just make sure you guys check out Echoes of the Fallen, out in September in the U.S. And hopefully catch you guys soon.
LD: Yeah, pick the album up, it's going to scull fuck you. Hope to get over to the States in the new year. Much love!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Joey Belladonna and Rob Caggiano of Anthrax

Late last week we met up with Joey and Rob from the legendary Thrash Metal band Anthrax. We spent some time talking about the band, the new album Worship Music which is now available today, and of course the Big Four show in New York City.

View full screen in HD for the best quality:

We'll be giving away autographed prints, stay tuned to our Facebook Page for details on how to win!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Get to Know: Sóley

A short and sweet introduction to this multi-instrumentalist from Iceland.  Watch for her new album, due out in October 2011, and support Indie artists and the unique sounds they offer. 

Lisa Selvaggio: Your music is classified as Indie, and certainly has a sound all its own. How would you describe it to our readers?
Sóley: I would say piano and piano and piano, with voices and weird percussion from my kitchen.

LS: From where do you draw your musical inspiration?
S: Many things inspire me, I think. Other artists, poems, and daily life, I guess. But when I make music, I try to go somewhere that is not daily life, though, to try to make my own world and soundscape.

LS: And what about lyrically?
S: For lyrics also, I try to think of something unreal. Dreams, laughing houses, and surreal world are what I try to put in my songs. Many of them are love songs but in a different way.

LS: What are the best ways, as an indie artist, to get your music out there?
S: Be active on the internet. I think that’s the way to try to communicate with people. Be nice with people that like what you do!

LS: Your debut album, We Sink, is due out October 4, 2011, and you’ll also be touring throughout Europe in the Fall. Any plans for coming to the U.S.?
S: Nothing planned that I know of, but I deeply hope that I can come to the U.S. soon!

LS: Our final question always gives our interviewee a chance to say anything that hasn’t already been mentioned…
S: Hmm... Well, I want to thank everyone that supports what I do. I hope I´ll be able to play in America soon, and I like Whole Foods! ::laughs::

For more on Sóley and to check out her music, visit:

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Interview with Drive A

Lisa Selvaggio: Your latest release, The World in Shambles, was recorded completely live, which, I must say, is pretty ballsy of you guys.  I admire the fact that you wanted to capture those imperfections and give a taste of what your live performances are like, especially since most of the music out there is so overly engineered and polished.  How have the listeners responded to this type of recording?  Do they appreciate it for what it is, or have you received any complaints?

Bruno Mascolo: Our fans received it really well. I think it’s a lot to do with how we built our fan base.  For the first two years of our band, there was really no other promotion going on besides us touring our asses off, so when our fans heard our new record, our fans saw it as, “oh this is the band I originally fell in love with.”  We wanted to make a Garage Rock/Punk-ish record.  We committed ourselves to that, not over-thinking much; just going off vibes and energy.  

LS: The other aspect about your band that I like is the fact that you’re trying to encourage people to live outside the confines of society and follow their dreams.  Do you feel that your fans are picking up on the message, or are they mostly just enjoying the high-energy catharsis that comes with your music?  

BM: Our hardcore fans have been making changes to their lives, changing jobs, going to school.  That’s definitely the coolest thing to hear about, but I’m completely okay with people just enjoying our music. I can’t really say I take every lyric that I’ve ever heard from another band that seriously or to heart, but sometimes it strikes a chord in someone and can be a turning point, and it’s a beautiful thing.  

LS: In your own lives, how have you broken away from the life that’s “safe” and found the courage to take risks? 

BM: I found it through passion for music. I just felt so strongly that I had to play music with my life that I had no other option without going insane.  

LS: So if you could change anything about what’s going on in our world today, what do you think the one most important thing to change would be?  

BM: I know I’m going to say the wrong thing here, but I would change everyone’s thoughts to only allow positive thoughts.  I think that should solve the war and shit, right? ::laughs::

LS: The song "Revolt!" is about the differences you’ve noted in the lifestyles of Europeans versus Americans.  In your experience, particularly in the music scenes of these countries, where do you prefer performing live (i.e. where do you receive a better response from the crowd, where do you feel more support, etc.)? 

BM: We haven’t played enough shows in Europe to really tell.  I think the music scene is a lot more open-minded. They accept bands that are trying to do their own thing, whereas America pretty much allows bands to be alike and still grow.  

LS: What kind of an impact has social media had on you as a band trying to expose your music?  It used to be that you’d rely on a website and publicist, but nowadays you can use social media to promote yourself at no cost.  How effective is it, really? 

BM: I think its been really great for our band.  The way you build a fan base is one-on-one contact nowadays until you can reach an audience that pretty much demands the airwaves. It’s a great way to build a community around music.   

LS: Okay, and finally, this is your chance to mention anything that we haven’t discussed already.  Plug away.

BM: We just filmed an amazing video for our new single “The World In Shambles,” where we did a spoof on Jersey Shore, Glee, and Twilight.  It will be out soon, so be ready. Check us out on,,,

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Interview with Mathias Nygard of Turisas

Back in March of this year Turisas was on tour with Cradle of Filth. We met up with vocalist Mathias before their show in NJ for a quick interview about the tour and their latest album "Stand Up & Fight."

It took us a while to get this interview up as we have been changing a few things around behind the scenes, but we hope it was worth the wait for everyone. If you want to see a full gallery of high-res photos from the NJ show, you can view them HERE

Monday, April 4, 2011

Interview with Swashbuckle

We recently conducted a video interview with NJ-based Pirate Thrash Metal band Swashbuckle. We included a bunch of outtakes because it was just too damn funny not to!

Watch the tiny version of the video below, or visit the video directly on YouTube Here

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Megadeth Bassist David Ellefson

We got the chance to meet up with David Ellefson in New York City before his Hartke clinic at Sam Ash. We sat down with David to talk a little about Hartke Amps and the clinic tour he was doing with Frank Bello of Anthrax.

Megadeth is currently in the studio working on their next album, which is the first full length album recorded with original bassist David Ellefson back in the band. It will be a follow up to 2009's Endgame which featured new guitarist Chris Broderick.