by (@JordanRuntagh)

‘Rock Icons’ Sam Dunn Recalls The Struggle To Book Nikki Sixx

Last night Rock Icons delivered an incredibly candid portrait of Nikki Sixx but series director Sam Dunn is here to tell us that it wasn’t as carefree and easy as it looks. Dunn admits that Sixx was potentially the busiest guest in the shows history, juggling two bands, an international tour, a radio show, and movies.

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Ignored: Has Heavy Metal Been Exiled From Popular Culture?

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-By Doc Coyle

Few things feel worse than being marginalized, made to seem as if you don’t matter. Irrelevance. This is often how I feel as a modern fan of heavy music as reflected through mainstream culture. I recently stumbled upon Rolling Stone’s “Best Albums of the 2000’s” list. I was in disbelief that only 2 Hard Rock albums, System of a Down’s Toxicity and Queens of the Stone Age’s Rated R, were on the list. There were zero Metal albums.

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by (@BHSmithNYC)

Life-Coaches, Kitty Cats And The 10 Softest Moments In Heavy Metal History

Heavy metal is about power. Sometimes heavy metal is about conflict. Often it is about anger, though other times it is about joy. The kind of joy one feels when they watch a bully get beaten up or the underdog team whip the pants off the favorites. It is hard stuff. Heavy metal is not about nice things. It is not about wholesome things (though it can be about values like strength, loyalty and perseverance). Heavy metal is not about kitty cats. Or is it…? Read more…

by (@BHSmithNYC)

A History Of The Umlaut In Popular Music (You Know, Those Two Little Dots Above A Letter That All The Metal Bands Use)

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We often ponder the origins of famous band names, whether they be boy bands, metal bands or even just really offensive ones. It’s less often that we ponder the diacritical marks some bands use to make their monikers extra special. What’s a diacritical mark you ask? They’re the little doodads you often see above words in other languages that connote how it should be pronounced. The coolest of all diacritical marks is obviously the “umlaut,” which you see used by many heavy metal bands, such as Motörhead and Mötley Crüe. We started wondering, when did bands first start adding it to their logos and what does it mean anyway?  Read more…

by (@BHSmithNYC)

Rock N’ Roll Outlaws And Iron Horses: 15 Badass Photos Of Rockers On Motorcycles

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Here it is Wednesday morning and you’re no doubt suffering PTSD from another nail-biting and horrifically violent episode of everybody’s favorite biker drama, Sons Of Anarchy. But way before SAMCRO brought 1%er culture into people’s living rooms, rock n’ rollers were scaring norms and singing tomes to badasses and their two-wheeled death machines. From Steppenwolf‘s ode to getting out on that highway, “Born To Be Wild,” to Motörhead‘s Hell’s Angels tribute “Iron Horse/Born to Lose,” outlaw rockers have always had a great affinity for outlaw bikers and some of them have been known to mount a steel horse from time to time as well.  Read more…

by (@shakeyourbeauty)

Pretty Boys? Rock Stars in Truly Insane Makeup

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With schlock rock pioneers, Kiss, going on a forty-city tour this summer (a grueling schedule for aging Baby Boomers; hope they’re bringing Ben-Gay) — we realized that the band was celebrating a huge milestone in 2014. Forty years of wearing truly psychotic makeup. Sure, they weren’t the first to do it – - that title goes to that weasly-genius Alice Cooper — but the fact that they were four big, brawny New York dudes made up to look like clown demons was super-memorable. And they took it so seriously! Each member was painted in the style of a different character: Starchild (Paul Stanley), The Demon (Gene Simmons), Space Ace (Ace Frehley) and Catman (Peter Criss). Totally bonkers, but seventh grade boys adored their freaky looks. Next up? A slew of bands hit stages looking like ghouls crossed with drag queens.

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My Dad Is Cooler Than Yours: 10 Unlikely But Awesome Heavy Metal Fathers

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Father’s Day. A time to celebrate the man who drove you to little league, taught you about life, cheered you up when you were feeling down. But what if your dad was on the road 80% of your young life, snorting lines of ants and partying with groupies and throwing TVs out of hotel windows? Well that doesn’t make him a bad person, or a bad father – does it? Sure, “normal” dads may have had more quantity time with their kids, but a lot of heavy metal dads had just as strong a bond with their young ‘uns (albeit in a different way) and made sure to give them everything they need to grow into decent, responsible adults. We think. And though the offspring of heavy metal legends might not be thanking their dads with a Hallmark card and a polo shirt for his big day, there’s no reason they shouldn’t celebrate them and show them how much they mean. From Ozzy to Lemmy to Tom Araya and Eddie Van Halen, these guys have all found the rock star/doting father balance. Here’s 10 Unlikely, but no less great, Metal Dads – just in time for Father’s Day.

by (@BHSmithNYC)

First Blood: 20 Classic Debut Albums In Heavy Metal And Hard Rock History

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Where would we be without the number one? One is the beginning and the final destination, the ultimate, the pinnacle and the symbol for wholeness and unity. It’s no wonder then that we pay so much attention in music to an artist’s first album. It is the start of their career, their introduction to the world, and where first impressions are made. Read more…