Category Archives: Music

Why Nuclear Hatred Broke Up

Earlier this week, guitarist Robert Orr and myself decided to disband our crossover/thrash metal band Nuclear Hatred (formerly Zamboni) of seven years.

For six of those seven we were known as Zamboni, a punk/thrash powerhouse that never took itself too seriously. In that time we released a demo, two EP’s, a live album, and our one and only album. Those were good days. Thanks to the good people at the Meatlocker and some other local bands that we consider to be dear friends of ours, we built up a small scene in the New Jersey area, pulling together some great shows such as Midian’s one and only reunion show, a Cancerslug show that is now known as “The Jersey Massacre” on their YouTube page, and our five “Thrash Bash BBQ” events. If we needed help, another band was there to fill in on drums or help set up and promote a show. Everyone was going to everyone’s shows. Everyone was buying everyone’s merch. All the bands were looking out for each other. It was clear: We weren’t just making music, we were cultivating a community.

Fast forward to 2016. A week after we finally released our debut album (which was heavily promoted through Clawhammer PR and even got the attention of Zero Tolerance magazine and a few South American compilations), the suits came calling. The Frank J. Zamboni Corporation sent us a cease and desist letter telling us we couldn’t use the name Zamboni as it was copyright. While that is probably not true as Zamboni is a very common Italian last name (therefore impossible to copyright, and if it just so happened to be MY last name it would have made even less sense), we didn’t have the money to take them to court (In addition, we had copywritten our demo years back and if there actually WAS a copywright under that name, it would have gotten pinged back and we would have known to change the name on the spot). After pleading with law firms to find a loophole without changing our name and killing our long-overdue momentum, it seems that these ridiculous cases are simply done just to waste money and ruin a person financially at the company’s expense. We had no choice but to change the name in haste to Nuclear Hatred- the first song we ever wrote as Zamboni.

While we liked the name for a song and possibly album title, we hated it as a band name. We also hated the fact that we couldn’t really get booked anywhere unless we rented a place and booked the show ourselves (with one exception as a really wonderful human booking shows out of her parent’s Staten Island basement). Everyone was suddenly playing a very generic form of thrash or another genre and getting the booking we felt we deserved as we had accomplished much more than any of them.

And as for our so-called “community?” After all the help, support, and attempts to really create something over the years, not once did they offer us a slot on a show or ask what they could do to help us regain our lost momentum in our time of need. It was clear to us that there was no unity any longer. Everyone was only in it for themselves at this point and we were “just another band/occasional promoter.” The only times we would ever get any booking-related questions would be if we were booking a show and someone asked to be on it. When it came to even going to shows, there was no longer any excitement. You never felt like anyone in the venue cared nor that anyone playing was really going to make it – especially with the horrid shape that the music industry is in. People only showed up to shows for the headliner, and they “couldn’t afford” a local band’s t-shirt but just so happened to have the money for several overpriced drinks. The NY/NJ scene had died and anyone clinging to the idea that there still is one is a complete denier.

When it came to our writing, even the musical styles were changing, straying further away from crossover and thrash metal in our songwriting. The lyrical content for album two was to be much darker and revenge driven against the machine. We were simply too bitter and burnt out to really focus on our craft. Even routine practices were becoming a chore, happening less and less. We had plans to do some splits and EP’s, but they never materialized and we were given the runaround from people involved.

In January, we played our last show, although we didn’t know it yet (it also was the last SI basement show, oddly enough). Throughout the year we couldn’t squeeze out many practices due to scheduling and sometimes just not really having a drive anymore. Plus, we were listening to lots of other genres of metal and music altogether. I started a love affair with doom metal, gangster rap, and psychadelic rock. I also fell head-over-heels for stand-up comedy, voice acting, painting, podcasting, and the occasional game of Magic: The Gathering. Thrash in a dead scene that could care less about what I was doing seemed like a moot point.

After months of this, Orr and I sat down and had a phone call roughly a week ago. After about 30 seconds into the call, we both had the same idea: stop beating the dead horse and bury it. We both didn’t want to be there anymore. The music wasn’t fun, and the scene and our community were gone. Seven years was a good run, and we were too heartbroken over all of our hard work repeatedly being stabbed in the back to allow any of it to continue. Plus our lives were pulling us in different directions.

While we plan on still being musical for the rest of our lives, we’re not sure where the roads will take us. Until then, thank you for being a part of this journey and I hope to see you in the coming years. Hopefully the scene will sort itself out and there will be a community once again, but for now, there is much work to be done.

 

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Dark Tranquillity at the Chance

After being a fan since high school, I was excited to finally get the opportunity to see Dark Tranquillity when they were announced for the Chance Theater.

As the days got closer it became more of a debate with money being short at times and car trouble (which turned out to be nothing) in the weeks leading up to it but luckily, everything turned out fine when it got close. After school I headed to the venue to finally catch the Swedish melodeath legends.

Striker

First main band on was the traditional metal throwback Striker. These guys will awfully generic and weren’t very good at all. They just felt like a weaker version of the bands they were paying tribute to and made me long-await Warbringer.

Warbringer

Second on were retro thrash titans Warbringer. I had not seen these guys since they opened for Iced Earth in 2012, so it was refreshing to see them once again. They didn’t play for long, but they made the most out of their minutes.

Dark Tranquillity 

At around 10:30 p.m. it was time for the headliners. While I honestly wasn’t a big fan of their latest album Atoma, I didn’t mind anything they played live from it due to their good performance. I was also glad I got to hear a good amount of classics such as “Wonders at Your Feet,” “Mundane and the Magic,” “Misery’s Crown,” and my favorite track, “Terminus.” Not a dull moment went by at that show and it was one of the best I’ve been to at that Chance in awhile.

 

 

 

 

 

Harp House Episode 21: SPAH and the Youth Presence

Frontera shares some of the huge successes of SPAH, mainly focusing on the youth presence and how it made the convention outstanding. This episode features interviews with Matt Henderson, Kersi Wisecarver, and David Berntson.

Donate to our Patreon: www.patreon.com/thebonesaw.

Harp House: Episode 19 – Sam Friedman: The Harmonica and Other Instruments

by Connor Frontera

An Injury forced Sam Friedman to explore other instruments, and he found his new love in the harmonica. In this episode, Friedman talks about his harmonica beginnings, and the two trade ideas about incorporating the harmonica and other instruments into your playing to create enjoyable music.

Donate to our Patreon: www.patreon.com/thebonesaw.

My Experience at MDF 2017 – Part 4: Sunday

by Anthony Carioscia

As always, Sunday was the last day of Maryland Deathfest like and the line up was killer. We walked down after getting food and I got there for the first band I wanted to see: Angelcorpse.

Angelcorpse

I had seen Angelcorpse last year at this fest and they were again heavy and intense. Vile and unrelenting with their aural assault, a great act to start the day.

Behexen 

I went to get some dinner and then came back for Finnish greats Behexen. I watched them from a high-up area with my friends Nick and Cheyenne. The atmosphere they invoked was like none other and were one of the bands that owned the day with their blistering intensity.

Oranzzi Pazuzu

Next up was experimental black metal group Oranzzi Pazuzu. The three of us watched them set up and we knew we were in for a different kind of band. We were all fans since around 2014 and what we got was a very good and jazz-like jam set, which really shook up the day in a good way.

P.L.F

I then went over to Soundstage to catch the Texas grind masters, P.L.F. They put on a great energetic punk show, making for a great warmup for the next act.

Iron Lung 

Next up were one of my favorite powerviolence bands, Iron Lung. They played a crushing set, although I didn’t see all of it because I wanted to catch some Akercocke at Rams Head.

Akercocke

Akercocke were one of the bands I wanted to see the most and when they started with my favorite song, “Horns of Baphomet,” I knew I was in for a great set. The sound was spot-on and the atmosphere was intense.

Terrorizer 

I caught a decent amount  of Terrorizer’s set, which was mostly their classic album World Downfall due to them not setting up on time. Their energy was unbeatable and they put on one of the best performances at the fest.

Candlemass

After Terrorizer I went to Ramshead for the rest of Candlemass’s set. Due to them also setting up late, they were playing “At the Gallows End,” my favorite song off of Nightfall, which they were doing in full.

I had seen them in 2014 and they were one of the best at the set’s at that fest. Here was no different. After they finished, the Nightfall set they played the two classics, ¨Mirror Mirror¨ and ¨Solitude¨ – a perfect way to end the night and the fest.

Harp House – Episode 18: The Short Guide to Purchasing Harmonicas at SPAH (and Everywhere Else)

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by Connor Frontera

With SPAH just around the corner, Connor breaks down the most common types of harmonicas and gives his tops picks from what’s available on the market today. Links to several of the models mentioned will be listed below!

Hohner Crossover: us.playhohner.com/instruments/harm…-band-crossover/

Hohner Rocket: us.playhohner.com/instruments/harm…ries/the-rocket/

Seydel 1847: www.seydel1847.de/epages/Seydel184…bProducts/16201C

Suzuki Manji: www.suzukimusic.com/harmonicas/m20/

Hohner Chromonica 270 / 280: us.playhohner.com/instruments/harm…uper-chromonica/

Seydel Saxony: www.seydel1847.de/epages/Seydel184…bProducts/52480C

Hohner Chord 48: us.playhohner.com/instruments/harm…hestra/chord-48/

Easttop Pocket Chord: www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R…top+chord&_sacat=0

Suzuki Chord: www.suzukimusic.com/harmonicas/sch24-48/

Hohner Bass 58: us.playhohner.com/instruments/harm…/hohner-bass-58/

Donate to our Patreon: www.patreon.com/thebonesaw

Harp House Episode 17: Top 10 Issues Harmonica Players Face: A Response to Ronnie Shellist’s Video!

by Connor Frontera

Ronnie Shellist recently posted a video to his YouTube Channel (above) discussing the top 10 issues harmonica players face and how to solve them. Connor goes through all 10 issues Shellist highlights and adds some of his own thoughts to offer as much positive advice he could.

Donate to our Patreon: www.patreon.com/thebonesaw.

Iron Maiden, Ghost at the Prudential Center

When the Iron Maiden tickets at the Prudential Center went on sale, I was given a pre-sale code from a friend. I instantly bought one as ‘Maiden is one of my all-time favorite bands.

The day came and I went with Birdman of Roargh to Newark, NJ to see these amazing Brits play with none other than Ghost opening (this would be my third time seeing Ghost and my second time seeing ‘Maiden, Birdman’s first time for each band). We got inside then met up with two of Birdman’s Jersey area friends. At around 7:45 the show started.

Ghost

Ghost seems to get mixed reactions in the metal world and I’m one who has been a decent-sized fan since I first heard their demo. I had caught them once at MDF 2011 and then again three years later at The Chance. Both times they put on a great show and this time wasn’t any different. They played a set of great tracks including “Year Zero,” “Cirice,” “Ritual,” and “Monstrance Clock.”

Iron Maiden 

I had not seen Iron Maiden since 2012 at Jones Beach with Alice Cooper and I was overdue for another.

The band played a set that was mostly for their latest album,The Book of Souls – which is great. In addition to the new tunes, they also played many classics such as “The Trooper(which sounded beyond amazing),” “Wrathchild, “Iron Maiden,” and “Children of the Damned.”

They encored with “The Number of the Beast,” “Blood Brothers,” and “Wasted Years.” Their sound was phenomenal, proving that they’ll never lose their touch. After the show, Birdman and I got the hell out of Newark and were glad we got to go to this amazing show.

 

My Experience at Maryland DeathFest 2017: Part 2 – Friday

After Thursday’s events, Matt and I woke up the next morning, which I felt had one of the most interesting line ups.

We hung around the hotel until around 2 p.m. and walked down to the venue. Outside I met up with Jason and Nicole, then went into Rams Head to catch Skeletal Remains.

Skeletal Remains

Out of all these newer old-school death metal throwbacks, Skeletal Remains is one of my favorites. Their sound is blatantly old-school Florida death metal-inspired while still maintaining their own memorable riffs and songs. They sounded great live and made for an awesome warm up act.

Organ Dealer 

After getting great food at Chicken Rico and hanging out with Nick and Cheyenne, we walked in to see Organ Dealer. I remember when Organ Dealer were just some local level band who would play shows with BillXNye. It was nuts to see them play to a larger crowd and as expected, they delivered.

Morbid Saint 

After Organ Dealer I headed back to Rams Head for to watch thrash legends Morbid Saint.  I had been a fan of these guys since tenth grade, so I was glad to finally see them.  They sounded great and the track “Assassin” was phenomenal live.

Sargiest

After Morbid Saint was one of the bands I was most stoked for and one of my favorite black metal bands, Sargiest. Like most black metal bands, they had an occult setup on their stage and it looked great. The venue’s sound was perfect for the guitarists signature riffs and atmosphere.

Gost

Gost were one of the bands I was most excited for as well and also the band I was most curious about since I never saw a synthwave act live. Gost had one of the most violent pits I have seen at this fest as well as plenty of people dancing awkwardly. The set was mostly instrumental and their stage presence fit the atmosphere of their set well.

Stormtroopers of Beer

After Gost I headed to sound stage to catch SOB (a Stormtroopers of Death cover band consisting of S.OD. member Dan Lilker and General Surgery’s Jocke, Kenneth and Adde). As much as I love S.O.D’s debut, I wasn’t in a rush to catch this version of the band as it lacked iconic vocalist Billy Milano. I got there and caught the last 15 or so minutes of their set – including my favorite S.O.D track, “Pussywhipped.”

Noothgrush

At MDF 2014 I skipped Noothgrush’s set due to a conflict with Unleashed, so I was glad I got another chance to see them. They played an awesome, slow and heavy set, and best of all, bashed Visas during their banter.

Vader

I headed back to Rams Head to catch one of the bands I was dying to see, Vader. These Polish legends were one of my first-ever death metal bands so I knew I needed to see them. The band played their first album The Ultimate Incantation in its entirety. The tracks all sounded great and the band had one brutal pit. It felt so great to hear a band you grew up with kill it live.

Autopsy 

The last band of Friday was Autopsy,  the band I wanted to see most of all. Jason and I sat at the highest part of Rams Head as we needed to see every second of this set. They took forever to set up (leaving us in suspense), but once they started it was magic. “Fleshcrawl,” “Torn From the Womb,” “Voices” and all kinds of awesome tracks were played. This was the perfect way to end the night and Autopsy remained one of the best of the fest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Experience at Maryland DeathFest 2017: Part 1 – Thursday

When Memorial Day Weekend reared its ugly head, it was time for yet another Maryland DeathFest (MDF).

While this year the Edison Lot was sadly gone, it still had a very good line up and the convenience of the two remaining venues being right next to each other. The day came and I got on a bus to New York City, met up with my friend Matt and we then both left to Baltimore. When we got to our hotel we dropped off our luggage, then headed to the venue. On the way to the fest we met up with some cool people, including this girl who came all the way from Chile. When I got there some sludge band called North was playing.

North

I had never heard of these guys until I got in the venue and from watching them, I was kind of glad I hadn’t. This band played boring cut and paste sludge – not the best way to start the fest.

SubRosa 

Next up were SubRosa, who I was excited to see. I always loved their sludge meets violin sound.  Their set wiped the bland taste North left out of my mouth. SubRosa had great atmosphere and really took advantage of the Ram’s Head stage’s awesome sound.

Conan 

I had seen Conan play two years ago on the same day and stage and it was pretty damn good.  Like before, they were great, heavy and crushing live.

Acid King

The stoner legends Acid King were up next and while they aren’t my favorite in that subgenre, there was no denying they put on an awesome performance.

Cryptopsy 

After Acid King finished up I ran over to Soundstage, where Decrepit Birth was finishing up their set. After watching them do an awesome cover of Death’s “Crystal Mountain,” Cryptopsy got on stage. Here I ran into my friends Nick and Cheyenne as we were ready to watch them play all of their 1996 album None So Vile.

They started their set with three really bad, newer songs which caused Nick and Chey to leave. Once they left the band started playing None So Vile in order. This improved the set greatly even if the Matt McGachy was no Lord Worm. The pit was also as insane as it was fun to watch that carnage unfold. After Cryptopsy the two of us headed back to the hotel to get ready for day two.