Archive for Rock

Rob Nowak (Drummer/Manager of Against The Grain) – Interview

Posted in Shattered Platter, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on 03/25/2013 by Shattered Platter


  1.  Tell me about yourselves, how did ATG come to fruition?  Who are you guys, what are you doing, why are you doing it and who is going to stop you?

The story of ATG coming together is actually pretty sweet.  I and Nick are child hood best friends and Chris (my brother) and Kyle are best friends from childhood.  Chris and I played in a band since he was 9, and I was 12, and after that fell apart about 6 years ago we had pretty much cashed in being in a band.  It been about 2 years since we rocked, and Nick started mentioning how he wanted to jam.  Well Nick got hit by a speeding car, and got hospitalized right in front of me.  After about 6 months of intense physical therapy he told me all he wanted was to jam.   Meanwhile that happened; I (Rob) just started working in the meat department at my job, and met Bryan, an avid music lover and jammer.  Bryan was obsessed with the blues and old rock, and I was into punk and speed rock like Zeke.  After talking about music, we decided to get together to jam.  Chris was upstairs with a broken couple fingers, heard the jam, and came downstairs.  Next thing you know, I got at nick and me Bryan, Chris, and nick started jamming.  Kyle joined the band later after Bryan revealed he could not tour.  Bryan still helps write and plays any close to home shows with us.

2.   You guys come from Detroit, MI; an area that has its fair share of killer bands come out of that scene in it’s past.  What kind of response have you been getting in the Detroit area and can you describe what is happening in that scene currently?

 Detroit has an incredible scene, you just have to work hard and flier/promote.  We were lucky enough to catch the attention of the bands we really admired like Hellmouth ( featuring  Jay of the Suicide Machines), The Meatmen, Easy Action, and a bunch of other great bands so we were able to be apart of a lot of great lineups and tours.  After a couple great starts of shows a lot of the venues in Detroit started to let us rock there and put on great shows.  The hometown support we get from friends, fans, promoters, the venues, and other bands is incredible and really helps us. That kind of support makes touring feel necessary.  Right now the scene is getting bigger and bigger, and because of that we’re able to bring bands like The Hookers through and show them great times.  Detroit truly is “Detroit Rock City”.

3.  In your relatively short time of existence, you’ve shared the stage with some serious players in heavy music (i.e. Valient Thorr, Holley 750, Zeke, and Jello Biafra to name a few).  What would be your pinnacle band to play with (besides Motorhead)?

 There are literally hundreds of bands we still want to rock with from stoner, to punk, to rock.  Dream tour to be a part of; Zeke, Red Fang, Valient Thorr, and Against the Grain.

4.  You guys have been around since 2009; Detroit was going through some heavy stuff around that time with the Recession and all.  Was that an element that played heavily in the topics of your guy’s first album release?

 I’d say it had way more of an effect on us with the feeling of needing to get out on the road.  Detroit can swallow you whole, and you can spend your whole life there trying to get respect or “make it”.  We knew that there was no way the rest of the world could be doing so bad, and used it as motivation to want to get out there.  Detroit is our home, and sometimes being parts of a recession like that can drive you get out there.

5.  Besides the new album, what can we expect from the ATG camp in the near future?  You guys got a huge domestic tour coming up.

 ATG is just getting started.  We’ve done 9 tours so far, and plan on touring as much as possible. At least 125 shows a year, and if things pick up hopefully a lot more.   We want to keep releasing records and bringing speed-rock to the forefront. Expect some sort of release every year (hopefully a ton of 7” and splits soon). Musically, it’s be safe to say we plan on covering a lot of grounds, but all within raw rock and roll grounds.  Punk, d-beat, speed-rock, stoner, rock and roll, all mixed in. We love all forms of heavy and raw music, and each release will continue to show that.  We like to throw a couple different elements into each record.  Our first record was a lot softer. In Motor City Speed Rock, we wanted to write a rip-your-fucking-head-off record.  Surrounded By Snakes is more rock and stoner orientated, but definitely still has some speed-rock fast as shit moments.  Basically, we’re here to stay and are going to keep on rocking as long as its fun to us.   

Sean and Zander (3.17.13 – Echoplex)

Posted in Shattered Platter with tags , , , , , , , , on 03/19/2013 by Shattered Platter

With the vast amount of bands that play (of all genres) in Los Angeles, it can be overwhelming to try to find a new group to check out that derives itself from a certain genre your passionate about.

This is where Sean and Zander come into play for fans of punk rock.

To summarize their music best, Zander came up with this:

“‘We want to grow old with a little more grace. . . we’re trying to build a bridge for the people out of punk rock.”

I walked into the Echoplex, went to the merch booth to say what’s up to a friend of mine who  just wrapped up a tour with a great band from LA called The Wild Roses.  Chatted for  a bit, then watched the rest of the Roses set.

Sean and Zander started their set without any one even realizing it… a boss.


Their set list comprised of material from their debut album Walk Thee Invisible such as

– So Low She Rose


– Spiritual

– Song about Songs

– 2nd &Hill

During song changes, Sean would BS with the audience about random things/events and even throw out compliments to guys who were in better physical shape than he was.

Besides that, the chemistry between the two guys work really well on stage.

Keep it classy dudes.



Greg Millan (Battery Man for The Generators/It’s Casual) talks top 10!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on 01/02/2013 by Shattered Platter

Ok bro its tough to only have ten but here we go…..


1. Suicidal Tendencies……Suicidal Tendencies (Frontier)

This was my first peek at punk rock it changed my life!!!
Thanks to my older brother Art who was at The olympic Auditorium every other weekend in 83′. I was a lil too young to hit those early shows, but i got the music!!!


2. Little Richard…………….The Very Best of (?)

My favorite Vocalist of all time!!!!!
Not to mention Insane feel on the drums!! As well as being a MADMAN off stage, openly gay/Bi in the 50’s??? Wow that took balls!!!! Kudos to lil Richard!


3. The Who…………………..Live @ Leeds (MCA/Decca/Polydor)

A study in what playing LIVE is to me!!! When i play shows with
It’s Casual we actually have a Séance to channel Kieth Moon!!!!
And unlike houdini IT WORKS!!!!!


4. The Rolling Stones……..Exile on Main St. (Rolling Stones Records)

I can listen to this album for ever!!!!!!!


5. Missing Persons…………Spring Session M (Capitol)

I spent a couple years of my life learning this album “Note for note”
Yes i said it, “YEARS”!!!! LOL I was 15 but i did it!!!!
Still love it!


6. AC/DC……………………..Highway to Hell (Atlantic)

I have a Tattoo on my hand, It says WWBD.
What would Bon do?!!!!!!! THats how i live my life!!!!!
Malcome/Angus/phill/cliff =POWER!!!!!


7. Riot…………………………Fire Down Under (Elektra)

I was lucky enough to see the”Classic” RIOT line up at the troubadour. Me & My brother stole my pops truck to go to the see this show!!! He was awake when we got home. I had a prostitute with me. LOL!!! He hit me one time! Needless to say i never did that again!!


8. The Dwarves……………. Are Young and Good Looking (Epitaph)

Although my favorite Dwarves drummer Greg (Gregory Pecker) Seanz isn’t on this record it marked the transformation of this phenomenal band!!!! For sure one of my all time favorite live bands relentless!!!!!!!


9. Redd Kross……………….Nuerotica (Big Time Records)

In 1987 i thought playing the sunset strip was a great goal to have. So i started going to The Whiskey, Roxy etc….The first band i saw was REDD KROSS. I went home and realized the i sucked!!!! I practiced for another year or two before i played my first show, Via fake I.D.!!!!


10.Kiss…………………………ALIVE II (Casablanca)

Opening up Kiss ALIVE II Was CRAZY in 78′!!!!!! I was 9 years old
Between this album and Evel Knievel i knew i could do ANYTHING i wanted to do!!!!!!


Mike Weibe (River Boat Gamblers) talks best albums of choice.

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 12/07/2012 by Shattered Platter

Hey Matt

I have an old techniques turntable, but mostly I have just been listening through a room mates Crosley combo record player.


Lately (the last 2 weeks or so)I have been listening to 

– Danny Brown ‘xxx’ (the best MC around right now, dirty and clever.)


Holograms – S/T ( think they are Swedish, they are pretty great.)


Cloud Nothings – Attack on Memory (Track 3 and 4 are really really great….oh word!!)  

The Biters ‘It’s All Chewed Up, OK (We toured with these fellas!)


Freshkills ‘Raise Up The Sheets‘ – (My SXSW “discovery”)


Bass Drum of Death “GB City”


Astronautalis “This Is Our Science”


Treasure Fleet “Cocamotion”


Toys that Kill “Fambly 42”


Heavy Times “Jacker”



Geza X (Producer, Engineer, Icon of the Los Angeles Punk Rock scene) Interview

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 11/13/2012 by Shattered Platter



You have been involved in one of the most prolific music scenes in the Western World.  You have recorded and produced some of the most iconic Punk Rock/Rock n’ Roll songs in history and have gone on to have a well respected engineering career (hey, you did Meredith Brooks!).  If you had to choose a sentence to reflect back upon all of this, how would you describe all that you have witnessed, been through and heard?

 I am astounded that one of the most prolific music scenes in history was blackballed by the music industry and, like delta blues, very few of those bands or songs survived.


How exactly did you find your self in the middle of all of this and did you ever expect the LA scene to blow up like it did?

Well it was kind of by design. I came back to LA in 1975 all depressed at the state of the music scene. You see, I like loud music and weird music too. And the 60’s was over. So I tried starting a band with Charlotte Caffey (Go-Go’s), Joe Nanini (Wall Of Voodoo) and Tito Larriva (Plugz). This was about a year before punk broke. Shit, it turned out we couldn’t even find a place to play, all there were on the street were these singer-songwriter ‘showcases’ meaning free gigs where you couldn’t turn an amp past 1. So we got kicked out and got unplugged a lot. We circulated around the general neighborhood of Hollywood Boulevard and kept looking for the loudest music we could find. NADA. Well, one day Joe came home all excited and played us the Ramones and shortly after that one of us found the Sex Pistols. After that it was ON. Yes, I expected LA to blow up way further than it did, it was an incredibly creative scene and there were many talented bands. But the record companies ignored all this, right under their noses. I was a little older and realized that WE had to record it ourselves and that was why people like me started DIY recording.


Each single that you have produced seems to have a unique texture added into the mix?  How do you approach and gauge what would be the most ideal sound for a band to be captured during a session?

I come from the old Robert Fripp King Crimson school of recording—push it into the RED. Back when people recorded on tape, this was an art of its own. You could decide how hot (loud) to record on tape and it would make the sound rubberier, like a basketball hitting the pavement. There were about 5 or 6 different ways of overloading it and each had a sound. So, since I was working with small home tape machines sometimes or very few channels—8 or 16—I had to do whatever I could to impart balls to these ferocious bands. You can’t just put up a mike, it would sound like its in a trash can and some of my recordings do sound pretty bad in retrospect. But I always tried to hide some production tricks in there to fatten them up. We actually QUADRUPLED Jello’s vocal on the chorus of ‘Holiday In Cambodia’ but it doesn’t sound that way, just terrifying and loud and manic and hilarious.


What do you like the most about doing what you do and how do you still keep yourself in the production game these days?

I like being the first person to hear an amazing song recorded. I don’t know why but that’s always been the motivation. It sure isn’t MONEY, if I add up all the hours I’ve worked with unknown bands and average them out, it’s like 15 cents an hour I actually did the math once. As far as working, I’ve always been there for the underground art scene and so It’s always been there for me. I still work cheap if I like the band, and now I do videos too, same Indie philosophy.  I’ve built my new studio, CityLab in downtown LA, on mostly donations and volunteer work. I actually BEGGED for drywall on Facebook and got all sorts of friendly help. So its part trade and part cash and part me hustlin’ same as always.


Can you tell me a little bit about your activism regarding The Vortex and what the goals are of the organization are about and how people can get involved?

Yeah, thanks for bringing that up. I am a volunteer at a community center in Downtown LA, that’s where the new studio is going to open Jan 1. They offer event space to community groups or activist groups for next to nothing. I’m setting up the new studio so I can record and film events that happen there and sponsor meaningful art projects through my nonprofit foundation called Hyperactivists™. The best way for people to help out is to donate money or do volunteer work. They can do so by contacting me on Facebook, Just look up Geza X Gedeon and send a message. I also have an open community page as Geza X.

Max Motherfucker (Vox of Christmas and Prez of Turbojugend Hotweiler) reveals his punk rock delights!!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on 11/08/2012 by Shattered Platter

Ahoy there!




Again…this is for J.O.H.N.N.Y. (Johnny Thunders Tribute 10″)





Turbonegro – Sexual Harassment


Smoke Blow – German Angst


Poison Idea – Feel the Darkness


Aaron Turner (Isis/Old Man Gloom/Mamifer/Hydrahead Records founder) interview

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 09/28/2012 by Shattered Platter

Aaron Turner took some time to speak with me.  Interview is below, enjoy.


Besides the fact that you’ve managed to keep Hydra Head’s doors open for 20 years, is there anything else notable you wish to comment on regarding a project/activity that has had your direct involvement in which you’re proud of?

The word “proud” or “pride” can have strange connotations, but I will say that I feel extremely lucky to have been involved with just about all the the musical endeavors I have been in the last 20 years – both as a musician and as a facilitator of other people’s work. Almost all the great experiences of my late teenage years, college years and “adult” life have come through playing music or working with other musicians in some capacity. Most of my close friendships, and even my marriage came from this as well. I feel glad to know that some of the art and music I’ve made or helped others get out into the world has had meaning and provided inspiration to others. That is the highest goal I could’ve possibly hoped to achieve through doing what I do.

Your vinyl packaging is perhaps some of the best I’ve ever seen and it’s obvious that a lot care, thought and creativity go into its presentation.   Are you the sole brains behind the packaging concept alone or do you get input from your staff as well on what they believe would be a cool design/illustration/schematic?

 I started the label as a one person operation and the idea of producing quality packaging was part of the original ideology. I’ve definitely consulted others over the years in terms of how to approach the design and packaging for our releases – both staff and the bands /artists whom I was working for, and there have been many instances where other designers and artists created the sleeves for our releases. That said, it has been my persistent belief that music of substance deserves packaging that reflects that substance and helps to enrich the experience of the album overall.

Being the graphic artist for most of your catalog’s material, has their ever been anyone you would like to collaborate with for a design idea?

 There’s been a whole lot of people I would’ve loved to have worked with on designs and artwork, but for the most part I’ve gotten the most satisfaction out of creating album art by myself from the ground up. That has changed some in recent years in my partnership with Faith Coloccia. Working with her and having the chance to use some of her art and photos as well as having critical discussions about what I’m doing has strengthened the results of my efforts and been really enjoyable as well.

What band is the most challenging (idea wise) on HH to create a design for?

There’s nothing that immediately comes to mind, but without naming names, there have been a few instances where bands have adamant about using art or concepts that I had a really hard time accepting. I’ve always striven for a certain level of quality with our visual aesthetics, and there have been times where what a band wanted seemed to fall short of that goal. Ultimately though, I never want to stand in the way of anyone’s creative vision, and though I may have made suggestions about what to do from time to time I always left the final decision up to the artists. I’d be lying if I didn’t admit there are a few records in our discography where in retrospect I wished I had been a little more totalitarian about the design though…

What sparked the idea of opening up Vacation Vinyl?  Will you be playing a more active role in the stores operations along with Pete and crew?

Vacation was born out of a lifelong desire to be an owner of a record store. I’m not sure if this was the motivation for all involved, but being that record stores were the source of many life changing documents for me I always loved the idea of being involved in one. My role in Vacation is minimal however and it’s really the people that are there day to day that make it the awesome place it is. If I still lived in LA I might be a more active participant, but as it is I’m content to watch it evolve from afar.

For all of those out there that aspire to operate their own label (regardless of what they want to put out), what words could you share through your experience with HH and also on the state of the industry today?

 Start small, move slowly, work with friends you can trust and most importantly do it because you love it. Those that are thinking of getting started now had better reconcile themselves with the fact that there is no substantial money to be made from doing this – it has to be done out of a devotion to music and fostering the work of artists whose work you respect. Having some kind of business sense would be helpful too – we’ve suffered greatly from a lack in that area. That doesn’t mean you need to be cutthroat by any means – it just means you need to know how to budget whatever funds you have, something we learned far too late. First and foremost though, heart and a healthy respect for other people’s humanity are the most important tools for running a label. At the end of the day dollars only mean so much – people and what they do is of far greater significance.

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