That time I asked Klaus Meine if the Scorpions were blowing Van Halen off the stage on the Monsters of Rock Tour

By Steve Newton Way back in July of 1988 I made the trek from Vancouver to see the Monsters of Rock Festival at the Seattle Kingdome. The lineup featured Van Halen, Scorpions, Metallica, Dokken, and Kingdom Come, and at the time--since David Lee Roth was no longer in VH--I was particularly psyched to see the … Continue reading That time I asked Klaus Meine if the Scorpions were blowing Van Halen off the stage on the Monsters of Rock Tour

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’

Van Halen and Scorpions battle it out for stadium-rock supremacy as the Monsters of Rock tour hits Seattle

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 5, 1988 By Steve Newton About 40,000 people paid $38.50 (Cdn) to see the marathon Monsters of Rock show at the Seattle Kingdome last Wednesday (July 27). My calculator blew up when I tried to figure out the night's take, but I do know that the Kingdome is … Continue reading Van Halen and Scorpions battle it out for stadium-rock supremacy as the Monsters of Rock tour hits Seattle

Album review: Megadeth, So Far, So Good…So What? (1988)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 20, 1988 By Steve Newton Another great album title from the young metal dudes that brought you Peace Sells...But Who's Buying? Led by former Metallica member Dave Mustaine, these Yankee headbangers sure do make a racket, from the opening instrumental "Into the Lungs of Hell" to the anti-censorship "Hook … Continue reading Album review: Megadeth, So Far, So Good…So What? (1988)

Album review: Echobrain, Echobrain (2002)

  ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 9, 2002 By Steve Newton You’ve gotta wonder why long-time Metallica bassist Jason Newsted threw in the towel with that enormously popular metal act last year. Perhaps it had something to do with his ex-bandmates’ intolerance of his side project with guitarist-vocalist Dylan Donkin and drummer Brian … Continue reading Album review: Echobrain, Echobrain (2002)

Album review: Metallica, Load (1996)

  ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 27, 1996 By Steve Newton Load is probably the most highly anticipated heavy-metal album ever. Not only is it Metallica’s first studio recording in five years, but it’s the follow-up to the breakthrough self-titled disc that brought metal to the mainstream via the resounding radio hit “Enter … Continue reading Album review: Metallica, Load (1996)

Newt’s Top 10 albums of 2016

By Steve Newton Please, God, don’t let any more of my rock heroes die this year. Jeff Beck Loud Hailer The world’s greatest living rock guitarist isn’t resting on his laurels at the age of 72. With Loud Hailer—another term for “megaphone”—Beck delivers a fresh-sounding blast of intense, politically minded rock. His fretwork has never … Continue reading Newt’s Top 10 albums of 2016

That time 23-year-old James Hetfield told me that Metallica’s new bassist was “fairly goofy”

By Steve Newton Back in 1986 I interviewed Metallica's James Hetfield in his messy Vancouver hotel room. The band had just hired Jason Newsted, who had beaten out a barrage of hopefuls for the prized role of bassist, taking over from the deceased Cliff Burton. At one point Hetfield explained how Metallica had found Newsted, how … Continue reading That time 23-year-old James Hetfield told me that Metallica’s new bassist was “fairly goofy”

That time I asked Metallica’s 23-year-old James Hetfield who his fave metal bands were

By Steve Newton Back in 1986 I met James Hetfield in his hotel room in Vancouver, and we talked for a bit about heavy metal, the death of Cliff Burton, new bassist Jason Newsted, and Metallica's latest album, Master of Puppets. I'm not sure which day in '86 the interview happened, but it was sometime … Continue reading That time I asked Metallica’s 23-year-old James Hetfield who his fave metal bands were

Lars Ulrich picks Metallica’s fave bands in 1985, gives personal shout-out to Deep Purple

By Steve Newton Ha! Here's a good one! Today I was digitizing my very first Metallica interview--which I did with Lars Ulrich back in March of '85. At one point during our 20-minute chat I asked the 21-year-old skinbasher what his group's favourite bands were--and was pleasantly surprised to hear that the list included Kate … Continue reading Lars Ulrich picks Metallica’s fave bands in 1985, gives personal shout-out to Deep Purple

Newt’s Top 10 albums of 1998

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 17, 1998 By Steve Newton Yee-hah! I managed to make it through yet another year without having to listen to anyone named DJ anything. The Tragically Hip Phantom Power  Ontario’s guitar-rock kings continue their winning ways with a potent batch of raggedy ruminations on everything Canadian, from Bobby … Continue reading Newt’s Top 10 albums of 1998

Rob Halford says that Priest, Maiden, AC/DC, KISS, Metallica, and Slayer have all stood the test of time

By Steve Newton Back in 2015 I interviewed Rob Halford in advance of Judas Priest's doubleheader at the Hard Rock Casino Vancouver. When I asked him if there were any newer metal bands that had blown him away lately the 64-year-old "metal god" went off on a bit of a tangent. "They're all over the place, … Continue reading Rob Halford says that Priest, Maiden, AC/DC, KISS, Metallica, and Slayer have all stood the test of time

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

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 4, 2003 By Steve Newton 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 … Continue reading Black Sabbath’s “Paranoid” chosen as the top heavy-metal song of all time

My first Metallica interview, back when they were too heavy for me

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MARCH 15, 1985 By Steve Newton Metallica are the type of band that puts the "heavy" in heavy metal. Actually, drummer Lars Ulrich--who called the Straight from L.A. last week--prefers to call his band's music "speed metal" or "thrash metal". Their sound crew are known as "The Sonic Decapitation … Continue reading My first Metallica interview, back when they were too heavy for me

Metallica must kick ass at Super Bowl 50

By Steve Newton Okay, by now we should all be over the disappointment (yeah, right) of the Seahawks handing the Super Bowl over to the "Boston" Patriots at the last minute and proving once and for all that Nirvana is not in the same league as Aerosmith. Now it's time to ponder which musical act would … Continue reading Metallica must kick ass at Super Bowl 50

Bob Rock says Metallica “never have and never will sell out”

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 25, 2002 By Steve Newton What could possibly cause any sane person to willingly abandon the balmy paradise of Hawaii for the frigid climes of Vancouver in January? Well, if you’re record producer Bob Rock, your last name is reason enough. Good old riff-riddled rock is what draws … Continue reading Bob Rock says Metallica “never have and never will sell out”

Badass Warren Haynes nails it for C.O.C. on America’s Volume Dealer

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, FEB. 1, 2001 By Steve Newton One of the coolest things about being a rock writer is getting turned on to new bands—even if they’re old. Corrosion of Conformity has been making a serious racket since 1982, but it’s still new to me; for some strange reason its latest … Continue reading Badass Warren Haynes nails it for C.O.C. on America’s Volume Dealer

Tal Bachman follows his famous father up the charts with “She’s So High”

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 29, 1999 Like many Canadian music fans whose rock mentality was shaped in the ’70s, I have distinct recollections of Bachman Turner Overdrive’s heyday, when the rollicking strains of “Let It Ride” and “You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet” ruled the airwaves. There’s one particularly vivid memory of riding … Continue reading Tal Bachman follows his famous father up the charts with “She’s So High”

Lars Ulrich cuddles firstborn, doubts fatherhood will make Metallica wimp out

  ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 27, 1998 By Steve Newton If there’s one thing you can bet on about a Metallica concert, it’s that Lars Ulrich will not pussyfoot around behind his drum kit. The diminutive Dane always plays like a man possessed, fiercely punishing the skins while his face contorts in … Continue reading Lars Ulrich cuddles firstborn, doubts fatherhood will make Metallica wimp out

Creed’s Mark Tremonti says My Own Prison is about trying to find hope

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 9, 1998 By Steve Newton When Creed guitarist Mark Tremonti called from Toronto on Canada Day, his band was 90 minutes away from taking the stage at Edgefest, the touring rock show that visits UBC’s Thunderbird Stadium on Saturday (July 11). The fast-rising Florida quartet is on a … Continue reading Creed’s Mark Tremonti says My Own Prison is about trying to find hope

Metallica are masters of metal wherever they may roam, including Vancouver

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 22, 1994 By Steve Newton What better way to get primed for a Metallica gig than to take a four-hour cruise around the harbour with a smokin' blues-rock band and 75 beer-crazed party animals? None, thought I, so I hopped on board the Boomtown at noon on Sunday (July 17) and … Continue reading Metallica are masters of metal wherever they may roam, including Vancouver

Molson Canadian screws the Newt over with a Blind Date from hell

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 4, 1997 I was really expecting something special from the latest entry in Molson Breweries’ series of exclusive promotional concerts, in which contest winners get to see a big-name rock band play a club, unaware of which group they’ll see until the show starts. Vancouver’s first Blind Date, … Continue reading Molson Canadian screws the Newt over with a Blind Date from hell

That time my buddy Stick ticked off Lars Ulrich in Vancouver by asking him to jam

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 22, 1997 By Steve Newton Back when the Starfish Room was still a headbanger’s haven known as Club Soda, a rock-crazed pal of mine named Stick bumped into Lars Ulrich there. The Metallica drummer was hangin’ out with his entourage after one of the band’s intense Vancouver gigs … Continue reading That time my buddy Stick ticked off Lars Ulrich in Vancouver by asking him to jam

Metallica’s young guns of sonic mayhem slay Vancouver on the …And Justice for All Tour

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 9, 1989 By Steve Newton The Pacific Coliseum may as well have been a Roman coliseum last Wednesday (May 31), because things got about as uncivilized as they've ever been in the home of the Canucks. Not since the Broad Street Bullies took their orange jerseys into the … Continue reading Metallica’s young guns of sonic mayhem slay Vancouver on the …And Justice for All Tour

Lars Ulrich denies that Grammy “loser” Metallica is mellowing out with …And Justice For All

By Steve Newton On May 31, 1989, Metallica played Vancouver's Pacific Coliseum on a bill with the Cult. This was just three months after the band had its expected Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance stolen away by Jethro Tull--whose Crest of a Knave album somehow beat out Metallica's mighty ...And Justice for All--and metal … Continue reading Lars Ulrich denies that Grammy “loser” Metallica is mellowing out with …And Justice For All

Anthrax singer John Bush looks back on Armored Saint with no regrets

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 2, 1993 By Steve Newton The metal world got quite a shock when it was announced last year that original Anthrax vocalist Joey Belladonna was leaving the band after 11 successful years. It got even more of a jolt when former Armored Saint vocalist John Bush jumped in … Continue reading Anthrax singer John Bush looks back on Armored Saint with no regrets

Megadeth’s Dave Ellefson believes metal is a powerful force in the ’90s

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 26, 1992 By Steve Newton More than any other metal tune in 1992, Megadeth’s “Symphony of Destruction” was the one that made this jaded, riff-ravaged semi-headbanger sit up and take notice. Driven by a brutally direct, ’70s-style guitar riff, the sharp-edged cut was a welcome respite from the … Continue reading Megadeth’s Dave Ellefson believes metal is a powerful force in the ’90s