Archive for the Sound Off Category

Good Nite, and Good Luck

Posted in Interviews, Sound Off with tags on 04/19/2022 by korzeck

As children, we fear things that go bump in the night. Could they be monsters? Evil spirits? The devil’s minions?

As we age, we realize that most of those frightening sounds probably emanated from our parents having sex in their bedroom — a terrifying thought in its own right.

One of the lousier aspects of growing older is the loss of imagination. Case in point: Analytical website Skynet & Ebert determined in 2015 that people stop exploring new music and bands as early as 33 years old. Bands are culpable of ripping off each other’s sound, lyrics or beats.

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Star Reborn: Nas and 20 Years of Illmatic

Posted in Interviews, Sound Off with tags on 03/19/2022 by korzeck

Best Albums Of 2020: Mors Principium Est, Eternal Champion, Spirit Adrift, Svalbard

Posted in Lists, Sound Off with tags , , , , , , , , , on 12/31/2020 by korzeck

1. Mors Principium EstSeven (AFM)
2. Eternal ChampionRavening Iron (No Remorse) Continue reading

Best Albums Of 2019: Tool, Idle Hands, Immortal Bird, Destrage, Enisum

Posted in Lists, Sound Off with tags , , , , , , , , , on 01/19/2020 by korzeck

1. ToolFear Inoculum (Volcano/RCA)
2. Idle Hands – Mana (Eisenwald Tonschmiede) Continue reading

Idle Hands: Psycho Las Vegas Preview

Posted in Sound Off with tags , , , , on 07/05/2019 by korzeck
Idle Hands

Founded in June 2017, Portland’s Idle Hands are one of the newest bands scheduled to perform at this year’s Psycho Las Vegas. But with an enviable amount of critical buzz in their sails and impressive billing on the August 15 pre-party lineup, their performance could be one of the most memorable Psycho debuts.

With their finger on the pulse of a sound that blends goth-rock and traditional heavy metal with post-punk, Idle Hands will give other pre-party performers — including DanavaASGYakuzaMotorbabeHowling GiantJohanna Sadonis and others — a run for their money.

They say idle hands are the devil’s workshop. However, the band led by vocalist/guitarist Gabriel Franco hardly rests on its laurels. After the June 2018 release of their Don’t Waste Your Time EP, Franco and his bandmates — guitarists Sebastian Silva and Cory Boyd, bassist/backing vocalist Brandon Hill and drummer/backing vocalist Colin Vranizan — spent eight months toiling away at their inaugural full-length. The hard work paid off: Mana, which dropped in May on Eisenwald, stands as one of the best albums of the year.

The Big Takeover recently caught up with Franco via email to chat about their much-anticipated performance, his plans to rely on a diet of milk and pasta for the show (?!), and what he plans to do with the band’s earnings in Vegas (take a wild guess …).

[Note: This interview took place before Megadeth canceled their headlining appearance at the festival and were replaced by Misfits.]

Why are Idle Hands particularly excited to play Psycho? From your point of view, what makes the festival special — both from a performance perspective and as a personal experience?

FRANCO: I’m going to ignore the fact that you’re assuming I’m excited to do anything. I have never been to Psycho Las Vegas, so I can’t answer the question properly. However, we are playing a pool party at the Mandalay Bay [Resort and] Casino to 1,500 drunk metal heads in Las Vegas. I think that says it. The drive from Oregon isn’t bad either.

This is your first time playing the festival. What are your expectations? Will this likely be your biggest crowd to date? Will you be nervous playing for devoted fans of good music — not to mention other musicians, some of whom you probably admire?

FRANCO: No expectations, and I don’t think we will be any more nervous than any other show. Who is there is up to them.

Have any members of Idle Hands gone as fans or played with other bands at Psycho? If so, what was that like?

FRANCO: No, unfortunately no one has.

Do you have any surprises planned for your Psycho set, whether they be songs you wouldn’t normally play, collaborations, etc.?

FRANCO: If I told you, it wouldn’t be a surprise.

You’re presumably playing outside, since you’re pegged for the pool party on Thursday, yeah? How do you do performing in temps over 100 degrees?

FRANCO: You’re correct. I’m going to load up on pasta right before the set, and keep some milk on stage to stay hydrated during the performance.

What other bands are you most excited to see perform at Psycho?

FRANCO: I think we have to pay if we want to see the rest of the festival, I’m not sure. It would be nice to see Megadeth again and also check out Opeth, but I think we will have to bail to play some shows out of state. Will probably be there Thursday and Friday, so will catch as many bands as we can.

What friends of yours are also playing at the festival? (Perhaps Soft Kill, since they’re from PDX too?) Who are you planning or hoping to hang with in your downtime?

FRANCO: I don’t know Soft Kill personally, but they are a great band. When I’m at a festival, I generally just wander around in a banana shirt with shades and a refreshing drink, I try not to get too hyped on hypotheticals, probably make dumb jokes with my band dudes and gamble all our earnings away.

Tell me something that happened to you in Vegas that was supposed to stay in Vegas.

FRANCO: It literally must stay in Vegas, so I can’t.

What can fans and newcomers expect from your performance(s) at the festival?

FRANCO: Going to play all the songs we can as tight as humanly possible, and do our best to stay authentic and real. Drinks to follow.

For previous installments of the Big Takeover’s Psycho Las Vegas preview series, check out our interviews with:

• Colin H. Van Eeckhout, vocalist for Belgian post-metal purveyors Amenra
• Jason Shi and Scott Key, singer/guitarist and drummer, respectively, for melodic hard-rock masters ASG
• Stephen McBean, singer/guitarist of long-running psychedelic-rock project Black Mountain
• Greg Meleney, vocalist/guitarist for Portland psych-rock mainstays Danava
• George Clarke, vocalist for shoegaze/black-metal powerhouses Deafheaven
• Victor Vicart of Scottish progressive-metal quintet Dvne
• Zack Simmons, drummer of blackened death-metal demigods Goatwhore
• Emil Amos, drummer of experimental post-rock band Grails
• Julien Chanut, guitarist of French sludge-doom band Hangman’s Chair
• Tony Campos, guitarist and founder of thrash revivalists Hell Fire
• Nashville cosmic-riff connoisseurs Howling Giant
• Joshy, drummer for crusty death/doom-metal outfit Ilsa
• Johanna Sadonis, vocalist for “heavy magic rock” band Lucifer
• Stuart Braithwaite, founding guitarist/vocalist for beloved post-rock legends Mogwai
• Thomas Eriksen, centrifugal force behind true Norwegian black-metallers Mork
• All-female Motörhead tribute band Motorbabe
• Tobias Grave, frontman of shimmering post-rock trio Soft Kill
• Derrick Vella, guitarist of death-metal arsonists Tomb Mold
• Niklas Källgren, guitarist of Swedish fuzz fanatics Truckfighters
• Los Angeles Satanic doo-wop duo Twin Temple
• Sean Killian, vocalist for cult-favorite Bay Area thrash band Vio-lence
• Bruce Lamont, frontman of experimental heavy-jazz project Yakuza and Led Zeppelin tribute band Led Zeppelin 2
• Aaron Rieseberg, bassist of Oregon doom-metal dealers Yob

Also, don’t miss our special feature in which Deafheaven’s Clarke and Mogwai’s Braithwaite discuss their mutual affection for each other’s bands, whether Deafheaven should play their Mogwai cover at Psycho Las Vegas — and the possibility of a collaboration between the two projects.

Best Albums Of 2018: Agrimonia, UADA, At The Gates, Harakiri for the Sky, Immortal

Posted in Lists, Sound Off with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 01/02/2019 by korzeck


Agrimonia - Awaken

Agrimonia’s Awaken

1. AgrimoniaAwaken (Southern Lord)
2. UADACult of a Dying Sun (Eisenwald Tonschmiede) Continue reading

Cover Story: Thirty Seconds To Mars

Posted in Features, Interviews, Sound Off with tags , on 06/11/2018 by korzeck

Jared Leto cover story

I recently interviewed Jared Leto about his rock band Thirty Seconds to Mars for the April cover of Music Connection. Check out the full article here.

Best Albums Of 2017: War On Drugs, Queens Of The Stone Age

Posted in Lists, Sound Off with tags , , , , , , , , , on 06/10/2018 by korzeck

War on Drugs album cover A Deeper Understanding

1. War on DrugsA Deeper Understanding (Atlantic)
2. Queens of the Stone AgeVillains (Matador) Continue reading

Best Albums Of 2016: Cobalt, Ancst, Black Fast

Posted in Album Reviews, Lists, Reviews, Sound Off with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 12/20/2016 by korzeck


1. CobaltSlow Forever (Profound Lore)
2. AncstMoloch (Halo of Flies) Continue reading

Best Albums Of 2015: Tribulation, High On Fire

Posted in Album Reviews, Lists, Reviews, Sound Off on 12/16/2015 by korzeck

Tribulation album cover

1. TribulationChildren of the Night (Century Media)
2. High on FireLuminiferous (E1) Continue reading