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 the Crue’s Theatre of Pain

By Steve Newton Back in November of 1985 I interviewed Motley Crue'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 the Crue’s 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

That time Dave Mustaine called out trendy jackasses while Megadeth toured behind Cyptic Writings

By Steve Newton When it comes to the so-called "Big Four" of American heavy-metal acts--Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, and Anthrax--I tend to pick Metallica as my fave. But I do like a few Megadeth tunes as well, "Symphony of Destruction" being particularly hard to beat. I've interviewed band leader Dave Mustaine three times, the first being … Continue reading That time Dave Mustaine called out trendy jackasses while Megadeth toured behind Cyptic Writings

That time 21-year-old Lars Ulrich woke up early to call and tell me how Metallica’s new Ride the Lightning album was doin’

By Steve Newton I've interviewed Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich four times because, hey, I like Metallica. This is the first time, way the funk back in March of 1985, when the band was still touring behind its second album, Ride the Lightning. Lars called me up from L.A. and filled me in on how the … Continue reading That time 21-year-old Lars Ulrich woke up early to call and tell me how Metallica’s new Ride the Lightning album was doin’

That time Vinnie Paul told me that the guy on the cover of Pantera’s new album got paid $300 for getting punched in the face

By Steve Newton I interviewed Pantera cofounder and drummer Vinnie Paul on February 20, 1992, five days before the release of the band's sixth album, Vulgar Display of Power. The followup to its breakthrough Cowboys from Hell LP, VDOP featured a cover photo of some guy getting punched in the head, so when Vinnie called me … Continue reading That time Vinnie Paul told me that the guy on the cover of Pantera’s new album got paid $300 for getting punched in the face

That time I asked Iron Maiden’s Steve Harris if he had to practice a lot to keep his bass licks up

By Steve Newton I've been fortunate enough to have interviewed Iron Maiden members six times between 1982 and 2012, but the only time I chatted with bass god Steve Harris was in May of 1988, when the band was touring behind its Seventh Son of a Seventh Son LP. That disc featured the wicked singles "Can … Continue reading That time I asked Iron Maiden’s Steve Harris if he had to practice a lot to keep his bass licks up

That time I told Rob Halford that “Freewheel Burning” was my fave tune on Judas Priest’s new album

By Steve Newton I've interviewed Rob Halford five times over the years, the first being way the funk back in 1984, when Judas Priest was headed to Vancouver on the Defenders of the Faith tour. At one point in the conversation I asked Rob which tune on the new album was his personal favourite, and … Continue reading That time I told Rob Halford that “Freewheel Burning” was my fave tune on Judas Priest’s new album

Annihilator’s Jeff Waters wants to see Van Halen, Kiss, Slayer, and Ozzy (with Randy Rhoads) in a club tonight

By Steve Newton Had a nice chat with Annihilator's Jeff Waters a couple days ago, in advance of his show at the Rickshaw Theatre in Vancouver on June 15. It had been a while. The last time I interviewed him was back in 1990, when his then-Vancouver-based band had just released its second (and most … Continue reading Annihilator’s Jeff Waters wants to see Van Halen, Kiss, Slayer, and Ozzy (with Randy Rhoads) in a club tonight

Blitzspeer’s Phil Caivano says the New York metal scene kicks L.A.’s poser ass

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 11, 1991 By Steve Newton In the rock journalism biz, it’s sometimes fun to get your interviewee a little riled. Like when Blitzspeer vocalist Phil Caivano calls from New York and has to respond to the sly query about whether the metal scene in the Big Apple is … Continue reading Blitzspeer’s Phil Caivano says the New York metal scene kicks L.A.’s poser ass

Oderus Urungus threatens to cancel GWAR’s Vancouver show just because I called

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MARCH 14, 1991 By Steve Newton Sugar and spice and everything nice—that’s definitely not what a concert by Gwar is made of. Simulated decapitation and dismemberment, phony entrails all over the place, fake blood dousing the crowd, and a numbing type of thrash metal that incorporates lyrics even more … Continue reading Oderus Urungus threatens to cancel GWAR’s Vancouver show just because I called