If you read Jonathan Horsley's interview with Ben Ward last week, you'd have learned that the dudes in Orange Goblin recently quit their jobs in order to commit full-time to the band. You'd have also read that the UK quartet was about to embark on a massive North American tour that starts tomorrow in New Orleans and will crisscross the continent into November. Given the extensive amount of traveling to be done (we hope he can find a TV for this weekend's Breaking Bad finale), Ward was kind enough to tell us about some of the records that will soundtrack his band's epic road trip. As he explains, "We spend a hell of a lot of time sitting in a van when we tour and there are times when you can’t sleep, you don’t want to talk to anyone and if you’re in Utah or most parts of Canada, there isn’t a great deal to see either! So, you need your iPod and some decent headphones as a form of escape. Personally, I also need the following albums." You can listen to his picks here. Be sure to pick up a copy of last year's A Eulogy for the Damned--the record responsible for these recent happenings--here while tickets for the group's tour can be had here.
Slade--Whatever Happened To Slade (1977) Not the most obvious choice of all Slade’s albums. I’m a massive fan of pretty much everything they did, but 1977’s Whatever Happened To Slade is arguably Slade’s heaviest album. It’s a bit of an underrated classic I think and got a little forgotten in the UK as the glam rock scene came to an end and the punk scene took off. There isn’t a bad song on it and when I put this on loud and close my eyes, it makes me think I’m back home cranking it on my stereo. My favorite track would probably be "When Fantasy Calls", which I would love to cover some day. There is also a song on it which Noddy Holder wrote specifically about touring the US called "Gypsy Roadhog", which is also a cracking tune.
Goblin--The Fantastic Voyage Of Goblin (2007) This is a compilation album of the best of the '70s and '80s Italian prog rock band that was responsible for a lot of the soundtracks to Dario Argento’s horror movies. They are actually back together at the moment and will play Phil Anselmo’s Housecore Horror Film Fest in October. I have all the soundtrack albums but prefer this compilation as it condenses all the best stuff on to one album, which is great for touring! This provides something different for me--it’s very sinister and macabre and just listening to the songs make me want to watch classic films like Suspiria, Profondo Rosso (Deep Red), Dawn of the Dead and Tenebrae. I was fortunate to see them live in London a few years ago and they were amazing, all those great soundtracks played out to a backdrop of the original movies. Claudio Simonetti is a genius! We actually use the Suspiria theme as our intro music each night so you may recognize it!
Johnny Cash--American IV: The Man Comes Around (2002) People always expect us to be listening to loads of metal and doom on the road, but it’s actually the opposite. When we’re playing live every night, I want to listen to something relaxing during the day. I’m a massive Johnny Cash fan and would be happy listening to any of his records, but this is the one that I keep coming back to. Probably the best known of his American albums due to the success of the "Hurt" video, I think this album is the sound of Johnny bidding us all a farewell. There is so much raw emotion on this album that it’s hard not to get goosebumps every time I listen to it. Each track seems to be an ode to his wife June, who died shortly after the album was released. The production is simple but effective, Rick Rubin knowing exactly the power that Johnny Cash can convey with just his voice and a guitar and I think this album will go down as a classic.
AC/DC--High Voltage (1976) This is a great album to put on to start getting yourself fired up before a show. This album, along with Powerage, is the ultimate party starter for me. It’s classic rock and blues based but it also has a real snotty punk attitude that seems to suggest that Bon and the boys are about to kick your head in! There are so many anthems on this album and the lyrics that Bon wrote all that time ago still ring true today, especially on "It’s A Long Way To The Top (If You Wanna Rock 'n' Roll)" and "Rock 'n' Roll Singer". You can't help but laugh at some of his lyrics either--"The Jack" and "Can I Sit Next To You Girl" are comedy gold. The man was a genius and his like are greatly missed these days.
Captain Beyond--Captain Beyond (1972) Captain Beyond’s self-titled debut album could be the best debut album ever made. It starts off great and just continues to get better as it goes on. So many classic songs that have inspired not only Orange Goblin but a whole crop of bands of today from Down through to Scorpion Child! "Mesmerization Eclipse", "Dancing Madly Backwards", "Raging River of Fear", "I Can’t Feel Nothin’", etc., etc., the list goes on--every song is amazing! It’s a total "driving" record as well, perfect for travelling through the sun drenched desert of Arizona or Southern California and definitely an album I can’t do without when on tour. I was gutted when Rhino and Lee Dorman died in the past few years as Captain Beyond was one band I was hoping to see reform with the original lineup. I heard Bobby Caldwell has plans to do something but I don’t think Rod Evans will be involved so it’s not really Captain Beyond for me!
Bathory--Under The Sign Of The Black Mark (1987) Lastly, an album that I’ve loved since I very first heard it. It was actually the first Bathory album I owned so it’s always been special to me. I love the raw production and the sense of evil in every song. Strangely, I also find that there is a calming, hypnotic feel to the album, same as with Mayhem’s De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas and Darkthrone's Transilvanian Hunger. About 15 years ago, I was a huge fan of black metal and I still have a lot of love for the early pioneers. I think Quorthon played a massive role in defining the way black metal should sound, particularly on songs like "Woman of Dark Desires" and "Equimanthorn". This album is a must have for metal fans of any genre.
*Photo by Ester Segarra
**Orange Goblin tour dates (tickets here):
09/27/2013 One Eyed Jacks – New Orleans, LA 09/28/2013 Red 7 – Austin, TX 09/29/2013 Fitzgerald’s – Houston, TX 09/30/2013 Club Dada – Dallas, TX 10/01/2013 Sister Bar – Albuquerque, NM 10/02/2013 Yucca Tap Room – Tempe, AZ 10/04/2013 The Catalyst – Santa Cruz, CA 10/05/2013 The Satellite – Los Angeles, CA 10/06/2013 Soda Bar – San Diego, CA 10/08/2013 The Observatory – Santa Ana, CA 10/09/2013 Oakland Opera House – Oakland, CA 10/10/2013 Oak Street Speakeasy – Eugene, OR 10/11/2013 Fall Into Darkness Festival – Portland, OR 10/12/2013 The Highline – Seattle, WA 10/13/2013 Rickshaw Theater – Vancouver, BC 10/15/2013 The Palomino – Calgary, AB 10/17/2013 The Pawn Shop – Edmonton, AB 10/18/2013 Amigos – Saskatoon, SK 10/19/2013 Windsor Hotel – Winnipeg, MB 10/20/2013 The Aquarium – Fargo, ND 10/21/2013 Triple Rock – Minneapolis, MN 10/22/2013 Reggie’s – Chicago, IL 10/23/2013 Pyramid Scheme – Grand Rapids, MI 10/24/2013 Now That’s Class – Cleveland, OH 10/25/2013 Rockstar Arena – Dayton, OH 10/26/2013 Rex Theater – Pittsburgh, PA 10/27/2013 London Music Hall – London, ON 10/28/2013 The Opera House – Toronto, ON 10/29/2013 Mavericks – Ottawa, ON 10/30/2013 Foufounes Electriques – Montrea, QC 11/01/2013 Empire – Springfield, VA 11/02/2013 Saint Vitus – Brooklyn, NY 11/03/2013 The Note – West Chester, PA 11/05/2013 Strange Matter – Richmond, VA 11/06/2013 Tremont Music Hall – Charlotte, NC 11/07/2013 Broadway’s – Asheville, NC 11/08/2013 The Earl – Atlanta, GA 11/09/2013 Exit/In – Nashville, TN
***Order A Eulogy For The Damned and A Eulogy For The Fans/Orange Goblin Live 2012 DVD here.
****We update one Spotify playlist for each new Decibrity entry, so feel free to subscribe to that here.
Past entries include:
God Is An Astronaut Primitive Man Gorguts Exhumed Ulcerate Pelican Scale The Summit Mikael Stanne (Dark Tranquillity) (Part 1) (Part 2) Mouth Of The Architect Howl Kings Destroy Zozobra Call of the Void Saint Vitus Bar Coliseum Woe Anciients Soilwork (Dirk Verbeuren) (Björn Strid) Intronaut BATILLUS Inter Arma Helen Money Misery Index Ancient VVisdom Holy Grail Rotten Sound Ancestors (Part 1) (Part 2) Kowloon Walled City (Part 1) (Part 2) Aaron Stainthorpe (My Dying Bride) (Part 1) (Part 2) Early Graves All That Remains Bison B.C. A Life Once Lost Fight Amp Witchcraft (Ola Henriksson) (Magnus Pelander) Vision of Disorder Grave Anders Nyström (Katatonia) (Part 1) (Part 2) "Best of" Rush (Part 1) (Part 2) Dawnbringer Ufomammut Shadows Fall Horseback Greg Mackintosh (Paradise Lost) (Part 1) (Part 2) Torche "Best of" Meshuggah Astra Pallbearer Barren Earth Shane Embury (Napalm Death) (Part 1) (Part 2)