Monday, May 25, 2015

"The Devil Down in Georgia" CDr now in the webstore

Macon Metal's compilation CDr "The Devil Down in Georgia Vol. 1" is now in the webstore!

The track list is as follows:

  1. Dok V—Through The Portal
  2. Drained—F.E.E.D. (Fear Everything Eternally Damned)
  3. Honor In Anarchy—Nice Tits, Bitch!
  4. Positive Control—F.S.T. (Friends Stay True)
  5. Mental Violence—Butt Spit/True Walk
  6. World Demise—Within
  7. Dragon Sleeper—Battle Jacket
  8. Grinchfinger—Morbid Intoxicator
  9. Sugar Virus—The Collector
  10. Dead Southern Bishop—Last Rites
  11. Dead Hand—Storm Of Demiurge
  12. Eidyia—No One Else
Copies are available for $3 ppd right here, as well as in limited occasional quantities at Fresh Produce Records in Macon.

Friday, March 20, 2015

"The Devil Down in Georgia" Compilation CD

Macon Metal is working on a compilation CD-R for Record Store Day in April, to be included with copies of the zine. The compilation is intended to be a celebration of the local heavy music scenes.

We are accepting tracks from any genre within our typical field (rock, punk, metal, hardcore, grunge, noise, etc.). The track does not have to be an exclusive one, and we hold no rights to tracks submitted. We reserve the right to turn down tracks from inclusion. We will not accept overly inappropriate material. ("Overly inappropriate" is, essentially, any song containing content that Neo-Nazis would approve of.) The maximum song length is roughly 10 minutes (though a few seconds over is fine).

The deadline for submission is April 5. If you want to contribute a track or would like to get more information on the compilation, email Wülf: wulf AT

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Bands to Watch: Pale Prophet; Positive Control

Pale Prophet

Athens act Pale Prophet put out a four-track demo back in 2012, and have since released a live cover of The Misfits' "Hybrid Moments."

Demo 2012 is a delightfully polished release, featuring some slower black metal stylings mixed with some sludgy guitar influences and hardcore-styled vocals. Despite how different the genres are, Pale Prophet manages to pull it off and leave you wanting for more.

It's been a little under a year since Pale Prophet have released any music or posted any updates, and I really hope that that simply means that they're hard at work on a new release, as it would be a great shame for their talent to disappear like that.

Facebook //  BandCamp

Positive Control

Columbus' latest hardcore/powerviolence group POSITIVE CONTROL is not an act to sleep on. They released their first EP titled SCUM LIFE this past January and it's well worth your time to pick it up.

Dirty, crunchy guitars and speedy bass over genuinely fun drumming and some fantastic hardcore screams. This short, 11-minute release is without a doubt some of the most entertaining hardcore I've heard lately. Definitely don't miss the track "Positive Control," which has one of the most entertaining intros ever.

POSITIVE CONTROL has not, to my knowledge, been around even a year yet, and with such a fun debut release I can't wait to see what else these guys will pull off.

"Bands to Watch" is a recurring section from the Macon Metal zine that highlights smaller, newer Georgia bands based on completely arbitrary factors as determined by the editors. The only requirement outside of these arbitrary factors is that the band has only one (1) multi-track release out, whether that release is a demo, EP, or full-length.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Men With Many Hats: Killer Robot Music

The DIY ethic has long been a major part of the punk and metal scenes. In genres that have so often been snubbed by the general public, it’s hard for that kind of ideology to not develop: in many cases, if the scene doesn’t produce something itself, it wouldn’t get produced at all.

Some musicians, though, take their craft to extremes, and not only record and produce their own music, but create the very label and distro through which that music is released. That’s no easy feat, though: we got in contact with some of the musicians behind our favorite local labels and distros to talk about what it’s like to run your own label.

Killer Robot Music is a small independent cassette label run by Machinist! drummer Jeremy McGuire. The label was officially started roughly two years ago, though McGuire said that he'd always liked the idea of helping bands put out music. In high school he'd helped pay for friends of his to record demos, but after acquiring some duplication equipment decided to start putting out cassettes for bands he liked or were friends with. Eventually this led to his having extra tapes to take with him while he toured, and this led to his picking up records and tapes to sell—which eventually led to the start of the distro.

After getting the equipment and some startup money, McGuire recalls that it "kind of just fell into place." Touring with Machinist! allowed him to meet and befriend many bands throughout the country, and he began asking to put their music out. "Luckily," he added, "they said yes."

As he has to enjoy the music to want to put it out, most of the KRM discography is made up of bands McGuire has met and toured with. "I've had a few bands come to me," he said, "but usually they aren't my cup of tea so nothing really works out."

The physical medium of choice for KRM? Cassette tape.

Citing its low price and ease to work with, McGuire assured me that cassettes were definitely his favorite medium to work with. "I do everything myself," he said. "I make the master cassette, make the duplicates, print the inserts, and stuff the cases with everything, I do it this way to keep everything cheap for the bands." The problem is, of course, that cassettes don't sound quite as good as other formats. "But people know that going in," McGuire said, "so it's okay."

KRM primarily deals in small limited runs of tapes (two of their more recent releases, Mother's gone. and Without's Attic, were released in runs of 30 each), so KRM releases don't tend to wind up in record stores. "I found it easier to just work with the bands directly and also use my website to sell them," he said. "Stores don't make sense for my product."

Of course, there's the other problem with working in the music industry: "people don't want to pay for music, plain and simple." In order to keep people's interest, he says, it has to be made appealing in some other way. "Whether it's a collectible, sound quality, alternative artwork, limited edition items, or whatever," he said. "In that way cassettes are awesome because they're so different that people want them."

I asked McGuire what advice he'd give someone who'd like to start their own label or distro and he had this to offer:

"Do it. Have fun with it. Work with bands you like. Don't be stupid though."

Killer Robot Music is currently working on its first release on vinyl, a project McGuire has wanted to happen for awhile now. More details will be posted as they arrive.

Killer Robot Music can be found on the following sites:
"Men With Many Hats" is a series of articles highlighting local Georgia record labels run by local Georgia musicians.
Original article taken from MACON METAL February 2015.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Men With Many Hats: Acid Redux Productions

The DIY ethic has long been a major part of the punk and metal scenes. In genres that have so often been snubbed by the general public, it’s hard for that kind of ideology to not develop: in many cases, if the scene doesn’t produce something itself, it wouldn’t get produced at all.

Some musicians, though, take their craft to extremes, and not only record and produce their own music, but create the very label and distro through which that music is released. That’s no easy feat, though: we got in contact with some of the musicians behind our favorite local labels and distros to talk about what it’s like to run your own label.

Acid Redux Productions is a record label/distro out of Macon, run by George Williams of Grinchfinger and Scramble Guts. It got its start in 2009 as an outlet to release and distribute Grinchfinger music. The main focus, Williams said, was to have a name to put behind the music. "There were no other labels stepping up to help us manufacture or distribute our music," he added, "no one ever cared locally, and at the time we just needed some vehicle to get the first Grinchfinger CDr [Acid Satan] and a compilation tape [An International Tribute to Anal Cunt] into the right hands."
Grinchfinger—Acid Satan

While getting the two releases out, Williams wound up with a box full of surplus CDs, cassettes, and records from trading and decided to begin selling them online. Having purchased a lot of music from "bedroom distros," he’d already had a general idea of how it worked. His brother Carl Williams (also of Grinchfinger and Scramble Guts) stepped in to help, then, by further promoting the label and distro. Acid Redux Productions, by that point, was being run primarily through an email newsletter and lists on message boards, but soon was hosted on Storenvy instead for the simplicity of the cart function. The distro began getting more attention then, so ARP began wholesaling new items and trading overseas for hard-to-get items for American customers. Williams recalled that the first non-Grinchfinger release he helped to release and distribute was the Pizzahifive/Powercup split 10" in 2011—"we now have almost 30 releases under our belt," he says.

As for finding releases to back, Williams mentioned that he’s careful to work only with bands that "will help to further expose our label by having their name attached." He named some examples, namely the Jewman Pregnant cassette from 2014 and the more recent Deboned/Nekro Drunkz split cassette—"both of whom," he said, "are bands I know and feel good about putting our name behind."

Other times, friends of theirs contact them for help in co-releasing records with other labels. "When that process works smoothly, it's good for the labels because we each get a manageable number of copies without anyone having to kick down too much dough individually. It's good for the bands too, because they then have distros in different areas pushing their stuff," Williams said.

Records and tapes, as it turns out, remain some of ARP’s most popular formats. "Carl and I were insatiable vinyl and tape collectors before we started ARP, so we prefer to deal in those," Williams remarked. While CDs sound better and have more space, they’re boring. "They make me think of the shitty Kmart music aisle of my childhood," he joked, "like I'm about to listen to a Kid Rock album or something." Of course, the problem with the two is the lack of local interest in the bands they back, "especially not on vinyl or cassette."

"I haven't yet determined how to force the local yokels to kneel at the altar of grind or think tapes are cool, so I guess those are the biggest obstacles."

Distribution of those releases is even harder. Citing a shrinking demand for extreme and avant garde music, Williams said, "We sit on piles of good, heavy records and just scratch our heads trying to figure out how to get them into the hands of consumers." He went on to mention that many music retailers won’t cooperate well with independent music, often offering instead store credit or consignment sales. "A few adventurous stores like Fresh Produce in Macon have been good sports about carrying our stuff," he added. “That said, because of a lack of local scene and the decline of mom-and-pop record shops, we are almost entirely reliant on mailorder." However, ARP also trades and wholesales their releases, and have their work in distros "on most continents."

Being in Grinchfinger has helped further Acid Redux Productions as well: "It's given us frequent opportunities to meet other bands and label owners, which makes it simple to acquire and distribute things." Most people, Williams went on to say, who knew of one also knew of the other, enabling "a great deal of cross-promotion" between the band and the label. "I wish I had more money to invest into both," he admitted.

I asked him what advice he might give to someone who wanted to start their own distro, and Williams had this to say:

"I'd tell anyone that wanted to start their own distro to scrap all of their expectations of fame or fortune, and bands have the extra burden of having to float two very expensive hobbies. If your experience is anything like mine, you will have paid for your first release, be sitting on 100+ copies of a 7 inch from some unknown band, and not know how you are ever going to get rid of them. It will take you three years to sell all of them, but you will have learned how to get busy and creatively promote a fucking record in the process. The greatest rewards are exposure to new music, getting to know people in your musical niche, and, if you're lucky, receiving good feedback about a record you've put out."

Grinchfinger is currently set to drop a new split record with Violent Gorge (Canada) in the spring.

Acid Redux Productions and Grinchfinger can be found on the following sites:
"Men With Many Hats" is a series of articles highlighting local Georgia record labels run by local Georgia musicians.
Original article taken from MACON METAL February 2015.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Men With Many Hats: Divine Mother Recordings

The DIY ethic has long been a major part of the punk and metal scenes. In genres that have so often been snubbed by the general public, it’s hard for that kind of ideology to not develop: in many cases, if the scene doesn’t produce something itself, it wouldn’t get produced at all.

Some musicians, though, take their craft to extremes, and not only record and produce their own music, but create the very label and distro through which that music is released. That’s no easy feat, though: we got in contact with some of the musicians behind our favorite local labels and distros to talk about what it’s like to run your own label.

Divine Mother Recordings is an Eastman-based label run by Clifton Carr (currently of Dead Hand). It was formed in 2011, with a first release of the discography of former Macon band Shikami, Invincible Under the Sun, which he’d been sitting on for a few years since the band’s split. “We recorded it and then split up about a month later,” he said, “and only one or two people outside of the band had heard it. Same thing with [Don’t Open The Door]. We kinda fizzled out to everyone having hectic work schedules and didn't break up, we just didn't have time to do it anymore.”

Shikami—Invincible Under the SunWith the two albums recorded and yet unreleased, Carr said he started thinking about forming a “label” (air quotes included) to get the music he’d had a hand in all in one place--preferably somewhere accessible. He contacted the rest of the former Shikami band for permission and then moved forward. “I planned on [the Shikami CD] and a comp of local bands to spread the word and that was it,” Carr mentioned. “I'm really surprised it has gone past that.”

He’d gone into the label with little prior experience. Having been in multiple bands, he already knew where to get CDs printed and how to package them. The business side, on the other hand, was more of a challenge. “All trial and error. It still is. With every release I learn new things.”

An underground label had been considering Shikami around the time the band split up, but as they were unable to tour in support of the EP, the label passed on them. Carr admitted that, while he’d picked up on some things from that experience, he was “young and depressed” about the end of Shikami, and “let a lot of stuff slip through the cracks.” More of his experience was gained, rather, with Monster Party, which did get signed--but not with a deal that turned out well. “We were naive,” he said. The label wound up doing little more than putting the band’s music on iTunes, which they received no royalties from, and distributed the band’s album, which the band paid for. “I don't know what a contract that takes care of a band actually contains,” Carr admitted. “I don't do contracts anyway. Its all a handshake and an agreement between whoever I'm working with and I.” As it turns out, if he loves the music, that’s all that’s needed. “All I want to do is help bands that I love get their shit out there so they can be heard,” he said. “Bands don't need a label to make it. At all. Not in this age of instant information. All that is needed is a strong will and hard work.”

Loving the music, though, is a hard requirement. “If I don't love the music or believe in it,” Carr adds, “I won't waste my time or yours.” With emails coming in all the time from bands looking to release their music, Carr makes good on that promise. While he does listen to each band he’s sent, he no longer has the time to send out rejections to every single one, either. Though, with the music being his central requirement he adds that “one email isn't going to convince me.”

The only exception to that thus far was Mississippi crust punk act Quiet Hands, a band Carr discovered through email. “They blew me away,” he said, “and I made my mind up after listening to 2 songs of theirs that I wanted to work with them.” As Carr’s then-current project Grievances was looking for someone to record a split album with, “it just all worked out.”

Carr added then that he has, on occasion, enjoyed a band and wanted to release their music, but things fell through for a variety of reasons. “Schedules, money and stuff like that,” he listed. “Mainly money.” Wrist surgery in April of 2014 brought things to a standstill for a time as he paid off the medical bills. Once he was done, he was able to put more money back into the record label. “Vinyl is so expensive that you really don't make any money back,” he said. “You're lucky just to break even. So it takes a while to build the budget back up between releases.” He has, though, made several mental notes of bands who’ve emailed him that he would like to work with at some point, listing the bands Crawl, Canopy, Bloodmoon, Close the Hatch, and Drones for Queens.

Despite the financial and logistic difficulties of pressing releases to vinyl, it’s still his favorite medium to work with. "It's an experience to put an album on and listen to it while reading the lyrics and everything else," he mused. "The flipping of the record. The taking the record out of the sleeve, it's more involved than scrolling through an iPod playlist. I think it forces the band to make their album better since its harder to skip tracks with vinyl. Tapes too. I'm glad to see those mediums gaining popularity again."

He clarified that he had nothing against CDs either, of course, as long as it isn't "a sharpie scribbled CDR." Bands, he said, should "[take] pride in [CDs] and make it look as good as it sounds." He isn't sold on digital-only releases in the slightest, however, saying he'd "take a physical album over downloads any day."

For awhile, he said, CDs weren't going anywhere and records weren't being bought. But now vinyl is making a comeback.

It isn't the easiest format to work with, he admits. Besides the obvious matter of expense, it also crops up sequencing and mastering problems and takes an estimated two to three months to get the actual records. And the difficulties don't stop there—once the records are in hand, they still have to be distributed.

"That is part of it that I am still learning how to do," Carr admits. While he's had little difficulty getting distribution deals in Europe and Australia, the United States is another story. He's got his fingers crossed that some of the U.S. distro deals in progress work out.

He has managed to get DMR releases in a few stateside record stores, though—Fresh Produce Records in Macon and Criminal Records in Atlanta, to name a couple. Most of his business, though, is done through mail order. "It's basically [all] been word of mouth up to this point," Carr said, "and it has done OK."

Social media, though, isn't his strong point. "If it wasn't for the label I wouldn't be on Facebook. A big challenge for me is to keep the Instagram and Facebook pages active." He added that, with so many bands and labels out there, it's getting harder and harder to stick out without a large marketing budget.

As for actually running the label, it's something of a juggling act—working eighty hours a week, having a child, and also being in an active recording/touring band. "I wouldn't trade anything for it though," he added. "I think I've finally figured out how to balance it all."

When asked what advice he'd give a band who wanted to start their own label, Carr had this to say:

"Go for it! But don't do it unless you really love the music you want to support. If all you wanna do is make money then go sell plasma or something else instead."

Dead Hand is currently finishing up the last part of recording for their first full-length album set to drop in February. They also have a short tour with Machinist! lined up for the month, and another tour in April.

Divine Mother Recordings can be found on the following sites:
"Men With Many Hats" is a series of articles highlighting local Georgia record labels run by local Georgia musicians.
Original article taken from MACON METAL February 2015.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Interview: Mosura

Mosura is a death metal band from Atlanta, Georgia who crashed into the scene in 2013 and haven’t let up yet. With their debut album’s release on the horizon, we got in contact with the band to ask them about the band and album, The Eighth Plague.

Mosura got its start in March of 2013 with founding members vocalist Jimmy Mendoza and guitarist Tyler Blalock. The band got its name after the pair’s very first jam session, as they tried to come up with a comparison to their sound. Mendoza commented that “it sounded like a monster,” to which Blalock replied “Mothra.” They decided that the name fit—“music fierce enough to compare to a Godzilla movie monster,” Mendoza mentioned—and it stuck. (The name had to be changed to Mosura later--“after having already printed merch and buying a huge banner,” Mendoza added.)

Original "Mothra" banner

That summer the pair brought on bassist Jonathan Benitez, and in fall of the same year the band was rounded out with drummer Austin Massingill. Of the four members, only Mendoza and Massingill had had former musical experience—Mendoza as a solo act with his younger brother on drums, and Massingill with The Capulets, Autris, and Sirius.

Mosura’s first single “Shepherd of the Black” was released on the group’s BandCamp page in November 2014, after the band had been at work writing for nearly a year. They recalled that after writing two or three songs they “got used to the whole evil moth kind of thing” and were able to pick up the pace. When asked for inspiration on songwriting, Mendoza commented that his religious mother told him about the Biblical plagues of Egypt, which he thought was “kind of metal.” (“Granted,” he laughed, “now we’re talking about a swarm of moths and not locusts.”) Mendoza’s interest in murderers and dream interpretation also provided more material.

“It’s usually just the conversion of feelings into sound,” he said. “For example, one of our songs titled ‘Limb Splitter’ is quite an angry song. Gets you pumped up and ready to say, fight. The lyrics are told in the point of view as an enraged killer who splits the limbs of his enemies.” He went on to mention a second song “Night Stalker,” which was originally about the infamous killer Jack the Ripper. It was eventually changed, as Mendoza “felt it didn't fit the style of the song… [it’s] about a dream I had; I tried to interpret it as well as I could into lyrics. You'd have to listen to it see. Just the motivation of emotion, and the pure and strong desire to be as metal as it can.”

Their upcoming album The Eighth Plague will be their first, and the band couldn’t be more excited about it. “It’s brutal, it’s heavy, it’s loud,” they said. “Raw, in-your-face dirty.” I asked if they had favorite tracks from the album, but they had a hard time narrowing it down. Blalock was unable to pick, as he loved all of them. Benitez deliberated for a moment before deciding that his top two were “Surgical Manifesto” and “Limb Splitter.” Massingill mentioned the title track “The Eighth Plague” as well as “Final Solution.” Mendoza said that his favorite was “Shepherd of the Black,” adding that “[it] has an evil sound that keeps me drawn.”
Mosura CDs with varying artwork

Mosura announced on their Facebook page recently that The Eighth Plague would be released with several different versions, each with its own exclusive artwork. The reasoning behind this was “a little interesting,” in the band’s own words. The album had, originally, been planned to have only five tracks, and so Mendoza had come up with the artwork for the album and the CD. Shortly thereafter, a few more songs were written, and “it’d be a shame” not to include them, so the covers had to be reprinted. Time had passed, however, and Mendoza had since created new, better artwork, so the artwork was changed. This happened several times with the addition of more and more songs, and eventually the band stopped printing variants. “Eventually we're going to mass produce the albums with one single album cover and design on the disk,” he said. “I’m sure the people that get the album will choose the one with their favorite art cover on it [anyway].”

A release date for The Eighth Plague hasn’t quite been decided yet, though they assured us that they’re hoping to release it sometime in the spring. They also hope to take pre-orders for the album, though they admit they aren’t entirely sure how they’ll handle it yet. “I suppose we'll create a link online,” Mendoza said. “Then again, there isn’t a problem with [people] calling me [or] one of my guys up to ask [to] hold onto an album for them. [Especially] when there are 5 of each design.”

Mosura assured us that they also hoped to tour in support of the album, starting with a release show in which they have merchandise available. “Now that it’s out there,” they added, “we are talking with another band named Edge Of The Earth. Our drummer [Massingill] performed a show with them and it was killer. So we want to keep that momentum going between us.”

When asked for any concluding remarks, Mosura answered:

“Thank you so much for having this interview. We're happy to have some people look into our stuff! Check out our album. It will destroy you.”

Mosura can be found on the following sites:
Original article taken from MACON METAL February 2015.