Tag 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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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 16: Mike Rubin’s “Live at Church” and the DM48!

by Connor J. Frontera

Reconnecting with his mentor, Frontera speaks with professional harmonica player Michael Rubin about his new Live Album “Live at Church;” an album packed with excellent musicianship and beautiful harmonies. Additionally, master harmonica player Rubin shows off the new DM48 Midi Harmonica Controller. More information about Rubin can be found at his website and YouTube channel.

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Harp House: Episode 15 – Custom Harmonicas/Midwest Harmonica Workshop

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by Connor Frontera

Connor recently started a thread on the Harmonica Gear Facebook page that turned into a great discussion, where many people weighed in the value of custom harmonicas.

Additionally, Harp House interviews Midwest Harmonica Workshop founder Sean Whalin O’Phelan to talk about the workshop and this year’s attendees.

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

Harp House Episode 13: Interview with Janalyn Miklas

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by Connor J. Frontera

In this episode, Connor interviews harmonica “Royalty” Janalyn Miklas to discuss women in the industry and the future of the instrument. Miklas also shares a few funny and personal moments about her most embarrassing performance.

Check out some of Susan Sauter’s work here.

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Harp House – Episode 12: SPAH is Around the Corner

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by Connor J. Frontera

SPAH is the biggest annual Harmonica Convention in North America. The convention may be in August, but it’s time to start planning NOW! Frontera breaks down everything you need to know about the 2017 convention. His conversation with SPAH’s President Michael D’Eath elaborates on the Organization’s goals.

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

Harp House: Episode 11 – RIP James Cotton, The History of the Harmonica

James Cotton

by Connor J. Frontera

We have recently lost a harmonica legend, James Cotton. In this episode, I discuss a little bit of his life and how he influenced thousands of harmonica players. Additionally, I explore the history of the harmonica according to the BBC documentary Tin Sandwich.

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

 

HarpHouse: Episode 10 – My Beginnings, Harmonica Happenings Magazine, and More

by Connor J. Frontera

This episode answers a question that has been floating around on Harp-L and takes a look at some of the Winter 2017 Harmonica Happenings articles.

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

Blood Feast Kills Again With “Future State of Wicked”

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After nearly 30 years, east coast thrash titans Blood Feast have returned to drink the blood of every corpse yet again with their new album The Future State of Wicked.

Kicking things off with a Sam Kinison-esque scream from vocalist Chris Natalini, the Jersey devils rip into “INRI,” delivering aural force trauma from the get-go.

The heavy riffing of CJ Scioscia and Adam Tranquilli continue to wreak havoc on the senses with “Off With Their Heads,” “Bretheren,” and “By the Slice.” “Bretheren” is especially diabolical, from its bouncy main riff to shifting time signatures on a dime akin to Canadian thrash legends Voivod in the Killing Technology era. “By the Slice” not only keeps tradition to the band’s roots sonically, but also lyrically as they revolve around the cannibalism themes of the Herschell Gordon Lewis classic from which their name is lifted.

As the visceral revival continues, we are treated to the album’s second course. This boasts longer and sludgier tracks with a sincere amount of heaviness from all fronts. “The Underling” is a six-and-a-half-minute opus about toxic relationships and what they can do to a person. This is one of Blood Feast’s more human tracks and makes for one of the more impressive numbers in their catalog as the emotion seamlessly transfers from recording to reality.

“Last Rites” and “Who Prays for the Devil” are mosh-fiendly tunes that zig and zag with creative riffs, zany vocal patterns, and wildly over the top rhythm and percussion work by Tom Lorenzo and Joe Moore. While the latter comes off as a standard pit-starter until the coda, “Last Rites” is a flurry of death/thrash excellence that brings you back to the gory glory days of metal. That said, “Who Prays”makes haste as it doesn’t feel like a six-minute song for a second.

For the main course before the chopping block, Blood Feast deliver healthy portions of old-school thrash with “Nein” and “The Burn” with some bleeding room in the form of “Remnants II.” “Nein” is a drum driven frenzy with Natalini’s striking shrieks powering the ruthless rhythms of Tranquilli and company.

“Remnants II” serves as a warning to the album’s final one-two punch, “The Burn,” which sees Natalini channel his inner Kinison one last time for five minutes of absolute chaos.

With its 10 tracks of destruction, Future State of Wicked is proof that after more than 30 years, Blood Feast continue to kill for pleasure with their brash and intense style of thrash born and bred for the underground. Putting passion first, the New Jersey quintet have crafted a solid album that hearkens back to the good old days of thrash while maintaining their place in the genre’s history.

HarpHouse – Episode 7: Establishing Yourself In A New City/Tongue Slaps

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Since HarpHouse has moved, this episode discusses the steps I am taking to establish myself as a player in a new location. As an added bonus, a tongue slap exercise is explained.

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