Metal Montag: Architects and Stray From The Path

by Guest Blogger

More metal mayhem from Mike T West.

Oh me, oh my – it has been bloody ages since we had a Metal Montag! We thought it was about time we dusted off the air guitar and warmed-up our invisible oranges. What better opportunity to get back into the pit than with one of our favourite Britports Architects?

The Brighton quad returned earlier in the month with their huge sounding sixth album Lost Forever // Lost Together, which is excellent and also makes us feel dead old. SIXTH ALBUM?! Recorded in Sweden with producer Henrik Udd (who also helps Bring Me The Horizon sound just as crushing), LF//LT is the sound of what living on the south coast of England would do any sane person.

Check it out…

Joining Architects are the best rap metal band since Crazy Town, Stray From The Path, along with Aussie metalcore underagers Northlane and English hardcore mob, More Than Life. If you survive the above then you are clearly made of steel. Super steel.

Please note the event has moved from Lido to C-Club and starts when the pit boss says so.


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Metal Montag: The Safety Fire

by Guest Blogger

Mike T West catches up with London tech-metallers The Safety Fire ahead of their upcoming Berlin gig in support of Protest the Hero. Moustache chat: engage.


Now that all that yuletide-kindness-to-your-fellow-man nonsense is over for another 12 months it is time to sober up (or down) and shed those Christmas pounds with some good ol’ progressive metal from London. The very excellent The Safety Fire have begun the year trekking through Europe with the equally excellent Protest The Hero and TesseracT. We had a chat with guitarist and excellent chap, Derya “Dez” Nagle about their assured (and indeed excellent) new album, Mouth Of Swords.


Hello Dez! How are you?

I’m very well thank you. Enjoying a little break in between tours!

You’re beginning 2014 on tour with Protest The Hero AND TesseracT! How does this make you feel?

Extremely excited! We are good friends with both bands, and they are just awesome guys to hang out with. Add us in the mix and a splash of lime and it’s all going to be a lot of fun.

The line-up is unbearably excellent. Is there such a thing as too much prog-metal?

Thankfully, I don’t think you can overdose on prog-metal, so hopefully all should be well.

Have you been to Berlin before? And if so, then where do you like to go? And if not, why not?!

We have been twice as a band, and very much looking forward to our third excursion. We have friends in Berlin who take us out, so I wouldn’t be able to name any of the bars we have been to, but all I know is I very much like the food, coffee, drinks and general vibe of the city. Definitely one of our favourite places to tour.


Your moustache is epic. Do you think you would fit in amongst the more refined expatriates here?

Thank you kindly. When I come to Europe I always feel like less of an oddity. There aren’t many people in the UK rocking the ‘stache, although being half Turkish I do feel I am fulfilling a national stereotype.

Berlin crowds are renowned for their polite indifference at concerts, what cheesy crowd encouragement does The Safety Fire incorporate to combat this?

Offer them sex.

Your sophomore album, Mouth Of Swords, is bloody brilliant! Discuss.

Thank you. We enjoy it muchly, so are very happy to find others agree! What we did with [debut album] Grind The Ocean was to make people aware of the band, and what we were doing as a band, so MoS was an extremely important release for us. I think our sound has matured since our first album and extremely proud of what we are doing.

The blistering “Beware The Leopard (Jagwar)” features post-metal Jesus, Tommy Giles Rogers Jr., as a guest vocalist. How did this come about?

We toured with Between the Buried and Me last year in Europe and became good friends with the guys. We talked with Tommy about doing a guest vocal on stage with us during that tour, but it never came round, so I joked with him, “not to worry, we’ll get you on our next album”, which he agreed to. When I wrote that song the part felt like it suited him so sent it over and he was down. He is one of my favourite vocalists so it was a very surreal process.

One of the reasons why I left the UK is that the metal scene was shit! Why is it now only started being brilliant again?

I can’t really answer that, I suppose these things come in waves – almost reacting to the fact there is a gap that needs filling. I think the music scene in the UK in general is great at the moment with some incredibly interesting albums having been released in the last year.

And finally, what does 2014 hold for the band?

As much touring as possible. We are having a lot of fun playing this new material so want any given chance to do so. Especially if it’s on a boat! Which we are being given the chance to do in February with the Progressive Nation At Sea cruise.

Thank you very much for taking the time to answer these questions and good luck with the tour!

Thank you!

The Safety Fire are playing our second home in Berlin, Magnet, on Wednesday January 8th and across Europe throughout February.

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Metal Montag: Pierce the Veil

by Guest Blogger

By Mike T West.

As 2013 draws to a close and the darker months approach, metal bands retreat from the blinding lights of summer package tours and cloak themselves in wintery pitch blackness. This Sunday the younger generation creeps into Neukölln for an evening of metal and fringes.


Joining metalcore legends Bring Me The Horizon on their latest European trek are pre-pubescent pit merchants Pierce the Veil.

Photo by Alie Krohn 

Consisting of bros (in the genetic sense) Vic and Mike Fuentes, plus Tony Perry and Jaime Preciado, these Californian lads have released three albums since their inception in 2007. Third LP Collide With The Sky was released last summer, became ridiculously massive everywhere ever and featured überlin’s Beard Of The Year™ Jason letlive. Butler on the face-melting jam “Tangled in the Great Escape”:

There are still tickets available for BMTH+PTV on the Internet and in those neat ticket vendors you see dotted around Berlin. The show is 8pm this Sunday 1st December at Huxleys Neue Welt, Hasenheide 107-113, 10967 Berlin.

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Win 2 tickets to the Vans Warped Tour!

by James Glazebrook

[EDIT: this competition is now closed. Click here to see if we're running any open competitions] 

By Mike T West.

Next week überlin shall continue its slow decline into being the grumpy old gits at the back of the venue during the very first Vans Warped Tour date in Berlin!

Scroll down to pick up a pair of free tickets, or keep it locked for our list of five bands you really need to see!

1. Parkway Drive

It’s a close call between these Aussie metalcore gods and the next band for the most bum wee expelled in anticipation. Parkway are celebrating ten years of colossal beatdowns and, um, surfing, so prepare yourself for what will probably be the biggest moshpit/brodown of all time.

2. Enter Shikari

Yes, Enter Shikari.


Probably the most sore thumb band of the day will inevitably be one of the most memorable. Simply put, there are not enough good rap rock bands on this planet and RDGLDGRN (Red Gold Green) are here to rectify that. And some guy called Dave Grohl (?) played drums on their debut album…

4. Crossfaith

Did we mention Enter Shikari? Because Crossfaith are like them, only from Japan. They have a song called “Jägerbomb”. Make of that what you will.

5. The Wonder Years

Last on our list is an actual pop-punk band playing a pop-punk festival called The Wonder Years. They’re big favourites of ours so we’re mega pumped to hear their refreshing brand of melodic rock songs about touring, girls and “keeping it real”. POP PUNK AIN’T DEAD!


Ready to join the kids in the pit? Just answer this question in the comments below:

Which band are you most looking forward to?

You have until 6pm on Sunday 3rd November. Good luck!

The Boring Bit (yawn, RULES):

1. You must be at least 18 years old to enter.
3. We will keep a record of each comment in a database and then a random number generator picks the winner.
4. Remember to include your full (real) name or we won’t be able to put you on the guestlist!
5. We will announced the winners via our Facebook page on Monday 4th November.

Vans Warped Tour Berlin 2013 is at Arena, Eichenstraße 4, 12435, Samstag 9th November from 1pm until bedtime.

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Win tickets to The Dillinger Escape Plan!!!

by James Glazebrook

[EDIT: this competition is now closed. Click here to see if we're running any open competitions]

When was the last time you saw a frontman risk concussion and third-degree tongue burns, while performing a DEPECHE MODE cover? Enter The Dillinger Escape Plan, probably the most ferocious live band in metal today:


Love the smell of lighter fluid in the moshpit? Just answer this question in the comments below:

What’s the most kick-ass live show you’ve ever seen?

You have until 6pm on Sunday 13th October. Good luck!

The Boring Bit (yawn, RULES):

1. You must be at least 18 years old to enter.
3. We will keep a record of each comment in a database and then a random number generator picks the winner.
4. Remember to include your full (real) name or we won’t be able to put you on the guestlist!
5. We will announced the winners via our Facebook page on Monday 14th October.

Full concert details on Songkick.

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Metal Montag: Funeral for a Friend

by Guest Blogger

By Mike T. West

Schieße mate! We’ve barely recovered from the ruination that was last month’s letlive. gig (black eye and severe neck trauma), and now the 40th largest minority in Berlin can rejoice as Welsh screamo legends Funeral For A Friend are back in town to remind us exactly how old we are.

Earlier this year, FFAF released their crunchy sixth album, Conduit, on which they avoid stagnation while cocking an occasional glance back at their hardcore roots. Basically, riffs. RIFFS! Here they are rockin’ a song from said record in Berlin earlier in the year:

Did we mention riffs?

It’s also the tenth anniversary of their landmark debut, Casually Dressed And Deep In Conversation (CDADIC), AND next month their long out-of-print demo EP, Between Order And Model (BOAM) is being remastered and re-released. Here is a reminder of how cool people looked in 2002:

Main support comes courtesy of righteous Brighton punkers, Gnarwolves, who are bloody brilliant and super nice lads to boot. Lubricating the mosh are fellow metal Brits, POLAR. Capital letters. Full stop. Wicked.

FFAF will be playing songs from CDADIC, BOAM and more this Wednesday at Magnet Club, Falckensteinstraße 48, 10997 Berlin, starting at beer o’clock.


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Metal Montag: letlive.

by James Glazebrook

Live and letlive. by Mike T West.


Was it really earlier this year on a filthy, wind-swept evening that we waited outside a casino in Neukölln, drinking beer before seeing our favouritest rock band ever, Deftones?!

If you got there early enough then you may recall a man onstage throwing his shoe at the crowd before scaling the bar and stealing a beer. That was the singer of support band, L.A. post-everything rockers, letlive., who is both hot and rad. Don’t believe us? Release the GIFs!


Jason breaking the clock on your head.




Oh how we ♥ Jason Butler. Also see fit-as bassist Ryan Jay Johnson, channeling some post-hardcore Goslingness:

Anyhoo, they are back this weekend as part of a European headline tour in support of fantastic new album, The Blackest Beautiful. Imagine a tattooed Michael Jackson joining Refused instead of Cirque De Soleil.

letlive. are playing this Saturday 28th September at Crystal Club (the younger cousin of C-Club, which is the little brother of Columbiahalle – I smell a sitcom) Tickets are available wherever you can buy them.

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Metal Montag: War From A Harlots Mouth

by James Glazebrook

War From A Harlots Mouth
pitch themselves as “Extreme Math Metal Mayhem from Berlin, Germany”, which is a description that’s hard to argue with. Aside from The Ocean, they’re probably the best known Berlin metal band, having supported Lamb of God on their recent German dates. If you like your brutality technical and mathematically precise, this one’s for you.

War From A Harlots Mouth – Vertigo (Official Video) from ambitious.films on Vimeo.

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Metal Montag: Lamb of God

by Guest Blogger

By Mike T West.

Mein (Lamb of) Gott! This week we are dying both physically and musically as we spend the sabbath in the presence of Nintendocore leviathans HORSE The Band / northern UK mathcore heroes Rolo Tomassi, and also bear witness to dirty metal titans Lamb of God. Paint us excited.

This is all a walk in Gorlie park  for LoG frontman Randy Blythe, compared to the last 12 hellish months. Arrested in the Czech Republic for pushing a fan off stage and allegedly causing his subsequent death, Blythe spent five weeks in custody before finally being released and acquitted… with his band bankrupted by legal fees and forced to live under a bridge:

Sheesh! Now Lamb of God are back in Berlin for the first time in three years, in support of their seventh studio album, Resolution. Hopefully there will be time during the set for Mr. Blythe to give a reading from his forthcoming memoir - a literary circle pit if you will.

Joining them will be UK tech-metallers Sylosis, who hail from Berkshire – the “Hellmouth” of England – and hometown metalcore sprogs, War From A Harlots Mouth – you know, for the kids.

Lamb Of God are playing tomorrow night at C-Club Columbiadamm 9-11, 10965 Berlin. Tickets are still available so come along and please stop us from ordering Jäger, for the love of Korean Jesus!

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Exclusive interview: Erik from HORSE the Band’s epic rant about American idiots, Berlin and why he’s moving back here

by James Glazebrook

Horse the Band by Adam Frame licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Horse the Band by Adam Frame licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

HORSE the Band have been accurately described as ”The gratest unsuccessful band ever”, by an enthusiastic YouTube commenter with bad spelling. The Californian band welded metalcore to crunchy 8-bit electronics, inadvertently inventing the “Nintendocore” genre – a label they’ve spent over a decade trying to outrun. For their Earth Tour, they took a self-financed trip across 45 countries in four continents in just 90 days, and turned the epic endeavour into a 10 hour documentary, probably the greatest rock n’ roll film ever made. We caught up with keyboard player, and ex-Berliner, Erik just before the band’s return to the city – read below for a fascinating and funny rant about the state of the States, what’s to love/hate about Berlin, and why he’s moving back here…

This tour flyer is insane! Who created this beautiful piece of artwork and whose innermost fantasies does it represent: yours, singer Nathan’s (depicted as a Niacin pussy ghost) or the hot lady bear’s?

We found some fan art in our Facebook messages, which we check by reading the top three messages every two years or so, so it was quite serendipitous. We tried to contact the person who made it, but Facebook wanted us to pay a dollar. Then we remembered everyone steals our intellectual property and uses and distributes it, so we decided to do the same thing to our fans.

Another nice man “cleaned it up” in Photoshop and then I art directed it to the genius piece it is now. Our booking agent added the tour dates in Comic Sans, ’cause he thought it would be funny to “add to the joke”. Seems like a common theme, like everyone feels like they are inside the 10-year joke we have been crafting throughout our “career”, except, we never knew we were being funny.

For everyone who hasn’t yet had the pleasure/pain of experiencing a HORSE the Band show, what should they expect?

Probably something not as good as before. A let down.

And do you have any soothing words for anyone getting in the mood by watching the 10 hour Earth Tour documentary in one sitting?

I don’t know. I recently had surgery and decided to watch an entire season of some TV show while recovering. So I thought, if you are going to do that sort of thing, you may as well watch “the best TV show ever” in the true American spirit. So I did some research and decided I should watch The Wire. And it was really good. But it has a slow start. And it reminded me of Earth Tour, except, I think Earth Tour might be better. The characters are more real. Also, it is really weird that no one ever wants to watch a “10 hour movie” but will readily consume seasons of TV shows without seeing the contradiction there.

Is (Earth Tour director) Gary Lachance bringing a Decentralised Dance Party to Berlin any time soon? Or would Berliners not notice that anything different was happening?

I believe it is slated for the Global Party Pandemic of 2014. Which he plans to fund by releasing another movie called Another Night, Another Dream, which he pre-funded on Kickstarter.

How does it feel to be coming back to Berlin after a couple of years away? Have you missed our pale imitation of “summer”?

It feels really confusing. When I moved to Oakland, back to California, I felt like I had regressed big time, like… moving back into your parents house or something, except you couldn’t live in your cool room anymore (LA) and had to move into the crappy room (the Bay Area). I really hated everyone and everything and I completely hated what I was doing and that I had left “idyllic” Berlin to do it.

I wrote these notes in my phone about how loud people talked on BART [Bay Area public transport], how fucking PTSD out-of-touch mentally ill and entitled everyone was, how fat and/or dumpy they were, how people seemed to have no coping mechanisms for the most trivial things, just public freakouts and breakdowns that only people living in such comfort/ease/pointlessness could ever justify… everything from people’s tone of voice that is totally American, like how they talk super reassuredly when they have no idea about what they are talking about (which is pretty much always – good luck trying to pluck an American off the street who is actually informed about anything, factually and from multiple perspectives, and hasn’t just read one web article written by a 26 year old about it) to how shock and surprise are kinda like the fallback interaction in any conversation. Disbelief that something is a certain way or someone did a certain thing… “I seriously can’t believe…” “Isn’t that crazy?” etc. Really just talking according to a script and switching roles – almost like acting out your entire life according to the TV dialogues you learned when you were a kid. Or thinking your shit is totally groundbreaking – beer, coffee, sustainability, paleo, locavore, whatever.

It’s just a self-affirming circle jerk fuelled by mutual social fear, a total lack of self awareness, and craving for money/status. It all boils down to fear. Like the whole society is just scared of everything, or themselves I guess, but mainly abstracted things: perception of self, failure/success, others’ perception of their own awareness, knowing stuff, “authenticity”. It was horrible. Maybe in Germany it’s just that I can’t passively understand what people are talking about all the time without lots of concentration, and it’s all the same shit… but I really don’t think so.

But then after like 10 or so months I didn’t notice it as much anymore, and I started seeing things I really liked. Little aesthetics/ideas here and there that really are interesting… mainly in the depressed places. Stuff that takes a long time to find or “get”. Stuff that is a direct reaction to the overwhelming shittiness here, and that is awesome. Whether individual people or restaurants or regional parks. Anyway, I kinda understand now why everyone always hates LA when they visit. It’s still my favorite city in the world, but it takes years to crack. Most of what you love are these gems that stand in contrast to the rest.

And it might be that way with the US at large too. Once you fall in a European mindset, where things are way, way better on a macro level, you come to the States and you are just fucking horrified. Maybe you like the SF Bay Bridge because at least it’s something to look at, but the country as a whole is full of undereducated, entitled people ignoring the people who are worse off than them, no matter how far up or down the ladder you go. And yet they’re only concerned with outwardly taking the moral high ground. But, then there’s a reaction to that. Ideas… humor… places… Things that you find that are more satisfying somehow cause “at least someone gets it” and you can get behind that, which is more fulfilling than the monotony of “everything is so awesome”.

So, long story short,

I am looking forward to coming back to Berlin because I can take the train anywhere as late as I want and everything is free and there’s a cool bar on every corner and people are skinnier and girls are hotter and I can fly to another country every weekend and the food isn’t genetically modified and even if German guys are impossible to have fun with at least they “know things”.

But… I feel like it’s another … ill-timed move. Oakland is really interesting right at this very second. And I’m exhausted from moving so much and I wanted to be here a little longer. And there is something just entitled/weird about being an expat in general. I remember in the end I was getting happy I was leaving… just on the walk from work to my apartment the parade of party/fashion tourists whose quality was tangibly lowering by the day for the past year was making me sad. I am scared of Redwood Bar and its ilk. I haven’t been yet though. But it seems sad.

What was it like living in Berlin versus living in SoCal? Pick a favourite. (Yes, really.)

In LA you’re like an autonomous agent making your way through a mass that, once you have explored enough to grasp the size of the city, puts things into this perspective that makes your life seem enchanting and charming by virtue of its nothingness. Also, there is this drone (like a real noise) that is always there in the background. In comparison to what is going on at any time, whatever you’re doing seems so “bird’s eye” rather than “first person shooter”. Like no one cares what you’re doing, so that makes it more secret and ultimately feel more “authentic” or whatever it is everyone wants now. Your memories aren’t shared by any other people except the people you were there with at that time. If you meet someone else from LA, you don’t have that shared list of usual suspects. That “Do you go to ___? I love that place.” conversation.

In Berlin it seems more straightforward. You are in a fun city with many known centers where things happen and you can party a lot – but, generally, people don’t have awesome backyards. And it is hard to stay outside for a long time for half the year. And you don’t generally go somewhere only once and expect to possibly never see it again the rest of the time you live in the city, which happens a lot in LA. Also,

everyone in Berlin loves to talk about how they live in Berlin and what it’s like, and everyone agrees about that. It seems like a unjustifiably large portion of their identity. And people in LA generally don’t seem that into that identification as much.

Apart from beer cheaper than water, and endless parties, what do you miss most about Berlin?

I think the U-Bahn and bringing your dog everywhere. And the big sidewalks. And these certain kinds of makeshift bars that just don’t exist out here. Actually, I think I miss Bohnengold the most. And schwarma, good schwarma.

Did Berlin influence your music? What does minimal nintendocore (sorry!) sound like?

I don’t know cause we haven’t written any since I lived there. I definitely “got” minimal electronic music for the first time at some point when I was there. But I think it needs context to be really compelling. Here I am way more interested in Baltimore Club or the American version of super repetitive, DIY music, but… that’s cause I live in Oakland and it somehow makes more sense right now because it’s immediate. It fills that gap. Something about the glory of the American decline, the same reason all the 80s inner city movies were amazing (Terminator, Flashdance, Robocop).

There, in Berlin, it will become interesting again, because it kind of represents the spirit of what’s interesting about the place. But it would be interesting to see what would find its way into anything new by us, I guess. I don’t think I would incorporate electronic stuff because too much of it is about sound design and beats, which I have no patience for… I like writing melody more than beats or picking sounds and tweaking them.

Did you ever think about busking?

It was actually my plan when I moved there. I was gonna do Game Boy drums and lug my keyboard into the tunnel at Stadtmitte and play our songs and dance all crazy. Haha. But then I got a job.

Any closing words of wisdom for our readers, from someone who’s lived in Berlin and survived to tell the tale?

No :)

HORSE the Band and Rolo Tomassi kick the tushie out of Magnet on Sunday 11th August. Buy tickets here.  

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