That time new Anthrax vocalist John Bush told me that he thought the band’s weakest link had always been its singer

By Steve Newton When I interviewed metal vocalist John Bush back in August of 1993 he was touring with Anthrax, who had released their first album with him, Sound of White Noise, three months earlier. The 30-year-old Bush, formerly of Armored Saint, had been brought in to replace the fired Joey Belladonna, who had sung … Continue reading That time new Anthrax vocalist John Bush told me that he thought the band’s weakest link had always been its singer

That time I photobombed Armored Saint backstage when they were opening for Metallica on the Ride the Lightning Tour

bev davies photo By Steve Newton Legendary Vancouver punk and metal photographer Bev Davies just sent me a photo from 1985 that I never knew existed. It's a backstage shot of American metal band Armored Saint getting all wild 'n' crazy, but if you look close you can see me in the background, chuckling at … Continue reading That time I photobombed Armored Saint backstage when they were opening for Metallica on the Ride the Lightning Tour

That time Jason Newsted told me that Black Sabbath were “the inventors” and they could do anything they want

By Steve Newton Jason Newsted is best known as the bassist who played with Metallica for 14 years, during the peak of their popularity, on discs like ...And Justice For All and The Black Album. I interviewed him back in July of 2013, when he was fronting his own group, Newsted, three weeks before it … Continue reading That time Jason Newsted told me that Black Sabbath were “the inventors” and they could do anything they want

That time Rob Halford called me up from the Defenders of the Faith tour and said that Judas Priest had been playing “lethal” shows

By Steve Newton I've interviewed Rob Halford five times between 1984 and 2015--four times when he was in Judas Priest and once when he was in the industrial-metal project Two. This was the first time, on May 14, 1984, four months after Priest had released its platinum Defenders of the Faith album (the one with … Continue reading That time Rob Halford called me up from the Defenders of the Faith tour and said that Judas Priest had been playing “lethal” shows

Mudvayne’s Chad Gray says that his fave metal act is Devin Townsend

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MARCH 2, 2006 By Steve Newton In the CD booklet for his band's latest release, Lost and Found, Mudvayne vocalist Chad Gray relays the usual thank-yous to family and friends, musical colleagues, and business associates. Then he adds: "To those who have tried to hurt us in our past, … Continue reading Mudvayne’s Chad Gray says that his fave metal act is Devin Townsend

That time Vinnie Paul told me about experiencing “the ultimate high” when Judas Priest fanatics Pantera jammed with Rob Halford

By Steve Newton Back on February 20, 1992, I did my one and only interview with Pantera drummer Vinnie Paul. That was five days before the Texas metal band released its most popular album, the double-platinum Vulgar Display of Power. At one point in the conversation I asked Vinnie about Rob Halford's professed love for … Continue reading That time Vinnie Paul told me about experiencing “the ultimate high” when Judas Priest fanatics Pantera jammed with Rob Halford

That time I asked David Ellefson if there was any competition between Megadeth and Metallica

By Steve Newton I interviewed Megadeth bassist David Ellefson back in November of 1992. when he was 27. That was four months after the band released its most popular album, Countdown to Extinction, the one with "Symphony of Destruction" on it. Man I love that tune. (As you may have heard, founding member Ellefson recently … Continue reading That time I asked David Ellefson if there was any competition between Megadeth and Metallica

That time Iron Maiden guitarist Dave Murray told me that growing up in poverty gave him an edge

By Steve Newton I've interviewed the members of Iron Maiden six times so far: the late Clive Burr once, Bruce Dickinson once, Steve Harris once, and Dave Murray three times. I'm cool with that. I always like chattin' with the guitarists best. This was my last interview with Murray, when the band was in the … Continue reading That time Iron Maiden guitarist Dave Murray told me that growing up in poverty gave him an edge

That time Fernando von Arb called and told me that Krokus was kicking Sammy Hagar’s ass on tour

By Steve Newton If you're old like me you may remember Swiss metal band Krokus for that early-'80s tune "Long Stick Goes Boom" and for the fact that they sounded a lot like AC/DC. I interviewed guitarist Fernando von Arb on November 12, 1984, three months after the release of the group's Vancouver-made, Bruce Fairbairn-produced … Continue reading That time Fernando von Arb called and told me that Krokus was kicking Sammy Hagar’s ass on tour

That time 21-year-old Exodus guitarist Gary Holt told me that he couldn’t say enough bad things about Mötley Crüe

By Steve Newton Way back on July 24 of 1985 I interviewed the guitarists from three fast-rising (but still kinda underground) thrash metal bands: Gary Holt of Exodus, Kurdt Vanderhoof of Metal Church, and John Ricci of Exciter. All three groups were headed to Vancouver for a three-night "Metal Massacre" at the New York Theatre, … Continue reading That time 21-year-old Exodus guitarist Gary Holt told me that he couldn’t say enough bad things about Mötley Crüe

That time I asked Guns N’ Roses keyboardist Dizzy Reed if Metallica ever blew his band off the stage

By Steve Newton I interviewed Guns N' Roses keyboardist Dizzy Reed on August 5, 1992, while his band was in the midst of a coheadlining stadium tour with Metallica. The tour was scheduled to hit Vancouver's BC Place Stadium on August 17--with openers Faith No More--but three days after this chat James Hetfield got badly … Continue reading That time I asked Guns N’ Roses keyboardist Dizzy Reed if Metallica ever blew his band off the stage

That time Scott Ian told me that, if there’d been a Big Five Tour, Exodus could have joined Anthrax, Metallica, Slayer, and Megadeth

By Steve Newton Back in September of 2012 I interviewed Scott Ian. He's the fourth Anthrax member I've chatted with, having hooked up with Joey Belladonna in '91, John Bush in '93, and Frank Bello in 2005. That band likes to talk. Anyway, two years before my chat with Ian, Anthrax had hooked up with … Continue reading That time Scott Ian told me that, if there’d been a Big Five Tour, Exodus could have joined Anthrax, Metallica, Slayer, and Megadeth

That time Ratt’s Robbin Crosby told me that Jethro Tull winning the metal Grammy in ’89 was “bullshit’

By Steve Newton Few award presentations in the history of rock music have caused as much controversy as the one that took place at the Grammys back on February 6, 1989. That was when Jethro Tull's Crest of a Knave album won the Grammy for Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance, shockingly beating out the odds-on favourite, … Continue reading That time Ratt’s Robbin Crosby told me that Jethro Tull winning the metal Grammy in ’89 was “bullshit’

That time Megadeth’s Marty Friedman told me that distortion was the common thread on the Clash of the Titans Tour

By Steve Newton Megadeth has featured a fair whack of wicked guitarists over the years. Alongside mainstay Dave Mustaine, the band has boasted such primo players as Chris Poland, Jeff Young, Marty Friedman, Al Pitrelli, Glen Drover, and Chris Broderick. When I did my first Megadeth interview, back in May of 1991, Friedman was the … Continue reading That time Megadeth’s Marty Friedman told me that distortion was the common thread on the Clash of the Titans Tour

Devin Townsend on hating guitar, loving Noisescapes, and doing the Steve Vai project “because it was there”

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 1993  By Steve Newton Things have a comical way of working out for some folks in the wacky world of rock ’n’ roll. In the case of 21-year-old Devin Townsend—who came out of nowhere (well, Vancouver, actually) to claim the prestigious lead vocalist spot in Yankee guitar god … Continue reading Devin Townsend on hating guitar, loving Noisescapes, and doing the Steve Vai project “because it was there”

That time Mick Mars told me that I might have to listen harder to hear the sex and violence on Mötley Crüe’s new Theatre of Pain

By Steve Newton Back in November of 1985 I interviewed Mötley Crüe's Mick Mars at a Vancouver hotel before the band performed on its Theatre of Pain tour. If anybody can remember that far back they may recall that that was the same month that the RIAA (Record Industry Association of America) agreed to put … Continue reading That time Mick Mars told me that I might have to listen harder to hear the sex and violence on Mötley Crüe’s new Theatre of Pain

Joey Belladonna talks rap/metal crossover while Anthrax and Public Enemy bring the noise on tour

By Steve Newton Back in the eighties there was a thing called "The Big Four" which meant the top four American thrash-metal bands, including Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax, and Slayer. I never interviewed anybody in Slayer, but I have interviewed two members of Metallica (James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich), three members of Megadeth (Dave Mustaine, Marty … Continue reading Joey Belladonna talks rap/metal crossover while Anthrax and Public Enemy bring the noise on tour

That time Lars Ulrich told me how Cliff Burton came up with the title for Metallica’s Kill ‘Em All

By Steve Newton Way the funk back in March of 1985 I did my first interview with Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich. At the time Ulrich was only 21, and his band was touring behind its second album, Ride the Lightning. At one point in the conversation I asked him why the group went with such … Continue reading That time Lars Ulrich told me how Cliff Burton came up with the title for Metallica’s Kill ‘Em All