Oct 21, 2014

Day of Doom 2014: Two Years in the Making

I still remember the very first time the organizer of Barcelona's Day of Doom Festival and I spoke.  I was at work on top of a ten foot ladder when I received the call.  I don't normally answer the phone at work unless it's one of a small handful of people trying to reach me. Talking on the phone is not what I get paid to do. Apparently talking on the phone and texting all day is what everyone under the age of 30 gets paid to do, but not me.  On this particular occasion I happened to notice the foreign country code on the phone screen, so I decided it could be interesting to take the call.  A very thick accent on the other end said "Hello!  I am calling from Barcelona, Spain".  Barcelona?  Cool city, but I didn't know anyone there.  I replied "I'm pretty sure you have the wrong number" and I thought that would be the end of things.  I was wrong.  The voice then asked "Is this Steve Shelton?".  Hold on a second, this had to be a prank.  I started looking around from atop the ladder to see who might be watching my reaction.  Within a few seconds I realized this was not a prank at all.  My friend, Braulio kept on working while I spent the next few minutes trying to process the idea that a very rich, booming voice was asking if Confessor would consider flying to Barcelona to play a festival. Scott already lived in China, and we may not even have been 'active' at the time, but hellz yeah, I'd ask the girls if they would be interested in playing one of my favorite places on earth!  When I tried to give The Voice my email address there was a problem with my accent.  It suddenly dawned on me that the mystery fan might speak Spanish, so much to his surprise and delight we finished the last several minutes of the conversation in Spanish. I remember him laughing and saying that I sounded like a bonafide Mexican.  I'll take that as a compliment any day, and it was an interesting way to end a very strange conversation that had begun ten feet in the air.

Oct 19, 2014

Barcelona: Inspiration Around Every Corner

After a week in one of the most amazing cities I have ever visited Monica and I are slowly settling into our comfortable life here at home.  Time will blur some of the details but the impact of our trip to Barcelona will stay with us forever.  We packed our days there with a number of things we were excited to see and experience, and we were worn out by the end of it all.  We would have gladly stayed for a few more days, but sadly the date on our return ticket did not magically change.  We spent our first day back at home laying around with our beloved Ripp and Bella while the two cats seemed just as unmoved by our return as one would expect.  To be sure, they were happy to have someone to annoy again though they are always too detached to exhibit any real emotion.  I have spent much of my time going over the 1,500 photos we took so that we might all eagerly relive the experience with our fellow travelers while we are still glowing from our adventure together.  Hopefully I will be able to begin breaking our trip down for all Pounderers next week before "normal life", or that which happens between adventures, digs its claws into us and time warps us right into the holidays.  This time of year always seems to speed up and life becomes a long series of commitments you barely have control of before year's end.  We will think back to our trip to Spain and remember what it was like to be surrounded by beauty, art and architecture, friends, churros and drinkable chocolate all within a few minutes' walk of the Mediterranean Sea.

Sep 24, 2014

Gearing Up for the Day of Doom Festival

In two short weeks Monica and I, along with most of the best friends I have had in the last several years, will be flying to Barcelona to kick as much of Spain's ass as we can in a total of about an hour and forty five minutes' worth of playing time. I can't tell you how excited I am personally, and as a member of two of underground metal's most esoteric bands to be part of this year's Day of Doom Festival.  We have a thousand things to do between now and then, and no doubt we will have a thousand things to do when we get to Barcelona, but this is one drummer who can't wait to take his seat onstage. This is a show that has been a very long time in the making, and it's really kind of a miracle that it's happening in the way that it is.  Confessor have been trying to make the trip possible since 2012 but the scheduling never worked out. Turns out that having a singer who lives in China makes it difficult to play live.  Who knew?  Now both Confessor and Loincloth are going to perform.  How freaking cool is that?!?!?!  What an unbelievable opportunity!

Confessor and Loincloth have both been doubling up our practice schedules for the last month to be in the best shape possible for Day of Doom. Metal fans will not know what hit them by the time we are done.  I'm almost salivating at the opportunity to knock people on their asses at the festival.  There are a handful of people who are flying to Barcelona specifically to see us, and I feel as though we owe it to them and to anyone who may have wondered over the years what it would be like to see us live to show them precisely why we do what we do.  The promoter has dreamt of being able to bring Confessor to Spain for years and I get pumped every time we speak on the phone.  Our conversations are about whatever thing we may be trying to organize at the moment, but once those things are settled the tone changes to that of a longtime fan and a truly humbled musician expressing how much they are looking forward to meeting, and to the festival itself. Matei Tibacu, who has been one of The Poundry's most reliable commenters, and is the guy who put together a three hour radio program about me back in 2012 is coming to Spain with his mother to see us.  It'll be neat to meet old friends for the first time.

Sep 1, 2014

Meet Bellazebub!

I've threatened to post pictures of our newest family member for awhile now, and here they are.  Everyone, this is our sweet little Bella!  Okay Bella, look cute... good girl.  Wait!  Don't eat that!  BELLA!!!  We are still adjusting to life with our first countertop surfer.  Bella began to pull things off of our kitchen counters and chew them up after she had been here for several weeks.  We're learning.  The electric cattle prod seems to help.  Every time I leave something close enough to the edge that Bella can get to it Monica zaps me.  Yeeeoww!  I think she likes it a bit much.  The other night she tried to tell me that because I left a light on in the hallway Bella was probably going to keep her from doing my work laundry.  I still don't understand the connection.  Maybe I've been zapped a few too many times and It's beginning to affect my cognitive skills.

Aug 27, 2014

Fake Blood to the Right, Real Blood to the Left: Gwarbecue, 2014

Photo credit: Su Thongpan

I remember the first time I saw Gwar.  It was in a tiny club here in Raleigh called The Fallout Shelter where I used to go see Confessor back when I thought they could really use a drummer like me.  Lots of nights were blurs back then, but rubbing elbows with giant phalluses and blood covered men and women in their skivvies stood out as one of the highlights from that club.  Some of my first shows with Confessor were as an opening act for Gwar.  I don't remember how many, just that there were shows here and in Richmond. At the comedian Gallagher's shows back in the 80's people brought sheets of plastic to protect themselves from his "Sledge-o-Matic", a giant prop hammer with which he smashed watermelons while telling sixth grade level jokes.  At Gwar shows, a sheet of plastic would have been nice to keep from getting fake blood and copious amounts of fake ejaculate all over you.  I never saw them once they were a big deal, so I can only imagine what people had dripping off of them as they came out of their shows.  Sunn were able to combine some of the creepy side of horror movies with music that sounded like a horror soundtrack to create a punishingly loud aural and visual experience.  Gwar took schlock and schlong magic and combined it with a sort of puppet show horror, home movie sex-perience. Perhaps Loincloth have found their niche market, opening for various forms of horror experimentation bands.  Not the worst thing on earth.  Certainly interesting.

Aug 3, 2014

Loincloth Return for the Second "Beatdown Downtown" in Raleigh, Sat. Aug. 9

It's hard to believe that a year and a half has passed since our first show in Raleigh.  There are plenty of moments that I can remember as though the show just happened last weekend. There were lots of friends, old and new, who had kept up with Loincloth's long, erratic history and were determined to catch our first show in town.  Hell, who knew whether or not we'd ever play again?  Plenty of people probably never really believed we were a band until we finally stepped onto the stage, and who could blame them? Well, the time has come for us to do it again and King's will again be the scene of the crime as Loincloth take the stage next Saturday night to deliver our own brand of heavy, contorted metal to those who think they are big enough to take the punishment.  Many jaws were dropped by the end of our set last time and we intend to make no less of an impact this coming weekend.  We have new songs to pulverize you with, so make sure you have some muscle relaxers at the house because you may need them the next morning, and come on down to King's.  We will be joined by "Bandages" and "Enemy Waves" for this tag team ass stomping.  Go ahead and put on your big boy pants and leave the wimps on the front porch. They'd just slow you down anyway!  Oh, and say "Happy birthday" to my mom if you see her, and Monica too.  Mom's birthday is Saturday, and Monica's is Friday.  Once we have all recovered we'll find a nice place to have dinner and talk about how we're too old for all you whipper-snappers and your shennanigans.  We should be easy enough to spot.  We'll be the ones holding our necks and yelling for each other to repeat whatever we just said a little louder.  Oh, how we suffer for our art!

Jul 19, 2014

Am I Dreaming? The Skull Are Performing One of My All Time Favorite Albums in Barcelona!

If I had to name one band as being the most influential in my own creative journey, I could do it in about three seconds.  I could tell you exactly which album pointed me towards heavy music.  There were a few bands that caused me to turn down certain alleys when I was younger, but they really just kept me moving along a path. The Beatles made me love music, so there will always be an argument for them to wear the Crown in this discussion, and Rush, or more precisely Neil Peart was responsible for making me want to be a drummer.  But lots of people who like music piddle at drums, or guitar or saxamaphone ( calling Homer Simpson ) without ever being passionate about playing or creating music.  The band that hit me in such a way that I knew what I wanted to shoot for in my own music was Chicago's hidden treasure, Trouble. As luck would have it The Skull, which is comprised of Trouble's singer, bassist and original drummer, will be performing at the Day of Doom Festival the same night as Confessor.  Not only that, but they will be performing the record that made me love heavy music and all of it's dark promise... the legendary "Psalm 9"!  Will someone please pinch me?!?!?!