In praise of the unreal Allan Holdsworth

By Steve Newton A few days ago I posted my 1986 interview with Allan Holdsworth on the Facebook group The unReal Allan Holdsworth. With over 16,000 members, the page offers "everything pertaining to his music, his history, his friends and the influence he's had on the music scene and on guitarists." One of the comments on … Continue reading In praise of the unreal Allan Holdsworth

Riff Kills Man proves that Martin Popoff knows his shit when it comes to metal

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MARCH 17, 1994 By Steve Newton Heavy-metal and hard-rock fans are a fanatical bunch. They thrive on raunchy guitar solos, thundering drums, and howling vocals. They live for feedback. They despise earplugs. And when it comes to their favourite kind of music, they always know who rules. So does … Continue reading Riff Kills Man proves that Martin Popoff knows his shit when it comes to metal

That time Ronnie Montrose told me that singer-songwriters with a real passion are hard to find

By Steve Newton Today the world's top hard-rock/heavy-metal expert, Canada's own Martin Popoff, sent me an autographed copy of his new book, Rock the Nation: Montrose, Gamma and Ronnie Redefined. That got me thinking that maybe I should post another audio excerpt from my one and only interview with Ronnie Montrose, which occured in 1994 when he … Continue reading That time Ronnie Montrose told me that singer-songwriters with a real passion are hard to find

Black Sabbath’s “Paranoid” chosen as the top heavy-metal song of all time

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 4, 2003 Toronto-based music writer Martin Popoff is Canada’s top expert on heavy metal. Senior editor of metal mag Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles and author of The Collector’s Guide to Heavy Metal, the Trail, B.C.–raised Popoff certainly knows his stuff when it comes to raunchy rock. The … Continue reading Black Sabbath’s “Paranoid” chosen as the top heavy-metal song of all time

Vancouver metal band Empyria gets raves in Europe and Japan

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MARCH 2, 2000 It’s dark and dingy in the downstairs “rock room” of Ken Firomski’s Queensborough home, but he doesn’t mind. Firomski’s a heavy-metal bassist, and those guys aren’t always drawn to the sunny side of life. The walls and ceiling are plastered with posters of HM gods like … Continue reading Vancouver metal band Empyria gets raves in Europe and Japan

The volume knob on the Heavy Metal Box goes past 11

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, DEC. 5, 2007 By Steve Newton This is one of the coolest-looking box sets ever. It's designed to resemble the head of a Marshall amp, and even features a volume knob that goes all the way to 11. How appropriate that Spinal Tap's "Big Bottom" is featured among the four-disc package's … Continue reading The volume knob on the Heavy Metal Box goes past 11