By - Susan Dusse
Portland’s metal community is one of the best, tightest, brotherhoods (and sisterhoods) there is. We in Portland hear this consistently from touring bands that experience Portland. We know it instinctively, but to see it unfold in such a vivid way is awe inspiring. Through the thousands of shares on social media by Portland’s metal community, KATU and KOIN news stations were alerted to this situation and ran a brief news story…and as luck would have it, a member of Metallica was watching.
Blistered Earth, A Metallica Tribute Band, from Spokane, Washington, played Portland’s newest music venue, Rock Hard PDX, on Saturday, April 22, 2017. According to those in attendance, and confirmed by Blistered Earth’s drummer Shawn Murphy, the show was fantastic. After the night came to an end, the band settled into the Chestnut Tree Inn on their way back home. With a successful show, and rest on their mind, the band retreated to their rooms. Upon waking, they made the discovery that no band wants to experience: Their trailer and all of their gear was stolen.
I had the chance to talk with Blistered Earth Drummer, Shawn Murphy, and here is what he had to say: “I want to make sure and clarify that there is no confusion out there with people thinking this is club related. There seemed to be a little confusion out there at the start with people thinking it was stolen from Rock Hard PDX. It absolutely was not. Those guys are really cool and it’s a cool place.”
I asked Shawn about how they discovered the theft and how the hotel has responded. “We got up in the morning and it was gone! They took the hitch right off the truck. The hotel was nice about it. Their maintenance/surveillance guy was really cool. He went through all of the surveillance video with us.”
While the gear has not been recovered, the trailer has. “The trailer was actually recovered not long after we found out the stuff was gone. Someone called the cops and reported the trailer had been dumped about 25 miles east of town. Obviously, it was empty. They (the thieves) took it to Rooster Rock State Park. Apparently, they came off the ramp going East, went around, went down there, drilled the lock out, did their deal, went back up to the on-ramp going back to Portland, and right there at the on-ramp, they dumped the trailer.”
Per the band’s Facebook page, some of the equipment was insured. “To clarify on the insurance part, only some of us are insured. We don’t really know how it is going to shake out. It is not going to be fully covered, and some not at all. There is not a lot of sentimental value in a lot of the gear. Some can be replaced straight across. However, the Gibson Explorer that our singer plays and my drum set were probably the biggest thing that got stolen. My drum set is really hard to find. It’s a really old kit and its very specific to that era of the band. It’s funny because I wanted that kit since I was like 12 years old; I’m 42 now. I’ve only had it for like five years. You can never find it in a full set, you always have to buy it in pieces because it’s rare. It’s been discontinued since 1991 or 1992.”
So, here is where the story takes a turn for the better. Metallica, the real Metallica, is replacing Blistered Earth’s gear. I asked Shawn how the metal community, through social media, assisted in this happening. “Really no one was saying too much about it until Tuesday evening when I posted something on my Facebook page. I was just thinking that if I had a picture of my drums up there, it would get it into people’s minds, especially drummers who would recognize the rarity, and may help in finding them. Then from there, it just really just started to snowball. I was like ‘Oh wow! People are really getting the word out on this. This is cool!’ I think we have probably had 1,500 shares on that post. I didn’t think it would get to this point though. It’s funny, because I’ve had people message me or comment on my post saying, ‘Portland should have treated you better,’ and I’m like, ‘It’s quite the opposite actually. As far as I’m concerned, I think this actually shows how awesome the people of Portland are. It’s only two assholes that stole our stuff.’”
I asked Shawn how the band learned about Metallica’s very generous offer. “From what I understand, it was actually from KATU news. That was how it got communicated to those guys (Metallica). I got a call from a lady from Metallica HQ who said she was trying to contact me to verify who I was. Then from there they got me in touch with Metallica’s manager who asked me to send him a gear list. And so, I did, and it just kind of went from there.”
Regarding how Shawn feels about Metallica’s generosity. “It’s pretty awesome that they would do that. I guess it was actually James that saw the story on the website for KATU. I don’t how familiar you are with Metallica, or how closely you have followed their career, but it is fairly well documented that they had all of their gear stolen way back in the day, back when they didn’t have money to replace their gear. So, they have a first hand knowledge of how shitty this feels. But, again, I never thought it would come to this!”
“We are all pretty overwhelmed by how helpful everyone is. Everybody was cool to us while we were in Portland. You usually do find out how cool people are when things go wrong, not right. I’ve never actually heard of anything like this happening before. So, it is pretty cool. Like I said on my Facebook post, this wouldn’t have happened at all if the people didn’t step up and get this out there like they did; particularly the people of Portland. I’m generally someone who doesn’t like (social media). Usually I’m like, ‘Is there anything good about social media?’ And then something like this happens, and I guess there is something good every once in a while. I’d like to make a point to say thanks to everyone for getting behind us so much that it got this much attention and got to this point. It just wouldn’t have happened without that. We definitely will be back."
So, a very bad situation has been met with the shiny saviors that are Metallica. Not only is it incredibly cool, but it gives us another reason (as if we needed one) to love James, Lars, Kirk, and Robert.
If you have any information about the missing equipment, please contact Blistered Earth on their Facebook page or the Portland Police.
Photos of the stolen gear are shown below.
LA based Alternative Metal Band Raven Black has released the Official Music Video for their single "Twinkle Twinkle Little Scars" off of their debut EP Seven Sins, out NOW via WURMgroup. Directed Josh Apple and filmed by Andrew Spirk of Monoblocstudios.com "Twinkle Twinkle Little Scars" originally premiered on Revolver Magazine.
1. twinkle twinkle little scars
2. still healing
6. seven sins
raven black – a visciously sweet metal medley of feminine and masculine power harnessed through a tiny half human | half doll surrounded by her misfits, tossed into a theatrical debauchery of creepy fun and that’s just the beginning.” There is a story here, but you have to take the journey to the 13th hour where these 4 live.a cunning hybrid femme fatale with playful mischievy, backed up by her twisted gentlemen. Raven black cranks out innocent melody that quickly evolves into wicked cursed screams. You know, blistering and burning your skin with chills and dropping jaws at the powerful vocals coming out of such a tiny stature. Evoked by the ripping guitars and ambient tones of the doctor, low end bass of stiches and thumping double kicks from the demon, muppet, this unique dark carnival of metal taunts your hunger for a new sound.
Their debut EP Seven Sins was recorded in the Wilderness, with Grammy Nominated Producer Ulrich Wild of WurmGroup. The seven song release has garnered loads of buzz and fans demanding more. Taken to the road again after a debut tour with Mushroomhead in October 2016, they will be playing Rock Fest 2017 in Austin, TX March 15-18th and then landing internationally to their adoring fans at the Foco Festival in Mexico with CrazyTown April 2017. It’s been too long since their last visit at Hell & Heaven Festival last July 2016.
GHOST BATH Undrapes "Seraphic" Video; Starmourner Full-Length Out TODAY Via Nuclear Blast + Headlining Tour Underway
"Starmourner is an album that must be listened to to be believed. Stunning and emotionally resonating at every junction it pushes GHOST BATH to the upper echelons of the new wave of blackgaze and atmospheric black metal." - Alt Dialogue
Today marks the official release of Starmourner, the anticipated new studio offering from atmospheric black metallers GHOST BATH. In celebration of its release, today the band undrapes their compelling new, Jesse Lynch (Dead In The Winter, Underling, Mithya)-produced visual accompaniment to "Seraphic."
Starmourner orders on CD, vinyl, and more are currently available HERE. Digital orders can be placed via iTunes HERE, Amazon HERE, or GooglePlay HERE.
Out now on Nuclear Blast Entertainment, the twelve-track Starmourner was recorded, mixed, mastered, and produced by Josh Schroeder (Battlecross, Still Remains), and features cover artwork Luciana Nedelea (Enbilulugugal, Foehammer).
GHOST BATH is currently scouring the lands on a North American Spring headlining tour with support provided by Astronoid. See remaining dates below. The band's latest trek follows their recent tour with Amigo The Devil.
GHOST BATH w/ Astronoid [remaining dates]:
4/21/2017 Complex - Los Angeles, CA
4/22/2017 Soda Bar - San Diego, CA
4/23/2017 Yucca Tap Room - Tempe, AZ
4/25/2017 Marquis - Theater Denver, CO
4/26/2017 Riot Room - Kansas City, MO
Since their inception, GHOST BATH has played atmospheric black metal focused on depression, tragedy, purgatory, and earthly wonders. Starmourner - the second record of a trilogy - takes these concepts to a higher level. It explores joy instead of sorrow, paradise instead of purgatory, and the cosmos instead of earth. Most importantly however, it explores ecstasy - instead of tragedy - as its basic human emotion. With over seventy-two minutes of heavy, melodic, and dramatic black metal, it is GHOST BATH's most ambitious undertaking yet.
GHOST BATH refers to the act of committing suicide by submerging in a body of water. GHOST BATH writes and creates under the assumption that music is an extension of one's own soul. They journey through the sorrow and sadness that all lives experience, but leave a glimmer of hope. They portray both deep anguish and angelic soundscapes that are sure to leave an impression on the listener. The band started in October of 2013 with the release of their self-titled EP on Solitude Productions. This was followed by their debut album titled, Funeral, which was released on Pest Productions in June of 2014. The band's sophomore album, Moonlover, was released in April of 2015 through Northern Silence Productions. A reissue was released by Nuclear Blast Entertainment in June of 2016.
"Starmourner's rapturous nature shines through guitar lines that reach for the heavens and lift songs beyond the constraints of the genre. It's in these small moments that GHOST BATH truly excel..." - Team Rock
"...dramatic, awe-inspiring journey." - Punktastic
"...an enticing and rewarding listen... any blackgaze fan worth their salt should do themselves a favor and at least give Starmourner a once-over. If their trajectory thus far is any indication, GHOST BATH is definitely a band to keep an eye on from here on out." - Heavy Blog Is Heavy
"... it's a record that can't help but to capture your imagination and which sees the band moving closer to their place in the heavy metal pantheon...They have created something triumphant here that is multilayered and immense, waiting to see if they can hone that down into something even more pure is going to be quite the adventure." - Two Guys Metal Reviews
"The entire spectrum of our emotional existence is presented in a way that balances the positive and negative with skilled aplomb." - Metal Nexus
"GHOST BATH has made their signature sound flourish on this new release, digging deeper into rough and restless emotions. They upheave the heart and are unapologetic for their mournful, yet slightly hopeful sound. The constant, unwavering, tormented high-pitched moans bellow and the guitars slam away with the determination of a hungry animal. The overall hauntingly harsh yet somber and graceful sound is entertaining. Starmourner will have you thinking and feeling. It's well worth a listen." - Metal Assault
"Starmourneris an album of jarring contrast. Of exuberant, melodious passages. Of affirmative, progressive music led by glassy guitar lines. Of positive atmospheres imbibed. And of harsh, aural snaps of reality, piercing the tranquillity and pulling you back, never allowing you to be fully comfortable. It's an uncompromising artistic statement..." - Ghost Cult
Fallacy: A noun: a mistaken belief, especially one based on unsound argument.
“Each and every one of us can say we’ve been a fallacy. Haven’t we?” A profound theme that runs through this very smart single.
With rhythmically stressed syllables that flow quite well, “Fallacy” is a really great song. Not typically what I listen to, and I’m not sure it can actually be categorized, I found myself listening to it over and over and over. It’s well recorded, well composed, and well performed. Seattle’s Gumshen is a unique band, and good enough to experience significant success.
“Ship shape, the trap is laid…understate the space between us,” one of many great and catchy lines throughout this song …although I’m not 100% sure what it means.
Had I not read on the band’s official site regarding what “Fallacy was about: “… The song was written about the arrival of death and the feeling fear and disappointment that one may not have become what they’d hope they would have. That we lie to ourselves that we are worth a damn and the cold truth reveals that lie. The song was composed entirely by Ron Hippe and what he is trying to express in this music is to communicate a strong and real emotion of regret, defeat, and reflection,” I would have had no idea that the song was so deep. I would have thought it was just catchy, and the video would not have helped me figure out the intended meaning, as it is a bit corny. I also found the juxtaposition between the happiness of the drummer, and the clumsy seriousness (in a David Byrne style) of the singer, to be a bit uncomfortable. But then again, I also don’t like the color Orange…a color which runs through each member at some point.
The band categorizes themselves as synth-pop, electro-pop, prog-rock, nu disco, and future funk. I found categorizing “Fallacy” to be tough. It’s ambient. It’s rock. It’s alternative. It’s synth-rock. It’s current pop. But done in a way that is unique, which is nearly impossible in today’s world. I guess they are sort of Talking heads meets Ziggy Stardust, meets Morphine, meets Empire of the Sun meets MGMT.
Even though “Fallacy” is self-recorded, mixed, and 90% self-produced, the quality of the recording is outstanding. Maybe it’s that last 10% that was mixed by Michael Moscozzi in Seattle that makes it so good, or maybe Gumshen is really just that great. I vote for the latter.
Ron Hippe (Vocals/Keys/Guitars)
Jan Ciganik (Guitars)
Chip Reno (Keys/Bass)
Dennis McCoy (Drums) – guest drummer Greg Gilmore is on the recording of “Fallacy”
You can check out more at: https://www.facebook.com/gumshen or http://www.gumshen.com