Black Label Society Live At The Wellmont Theater…Or Why Zakk Wylde Is An Icon, November 10th, 2021

I’ll make no bones about it: I idolize the shit out of Zakk Wylde. I’ve done so probably since I first got my hands on Ozzy’s 1995 album Ozzmosis. His guitar was LOUD. His speed picking style added muscularity to his playing. His vibrato was wide and unusually vocal. Those fucking pinch harmonics. Then there’s his songwriting. Zakk will never deny that he’s a disciple of Black Sabbath, and he’ll let it shine, but with his own, explosive twist.

Upon learning that Black Label Society were arriving in my neck of the woods I knew I’d be there. I hadn’t seen Zakk since I went to see Zakk Sabbath, his Black Sabbath tribute band at the Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, NJ. But this time he’d be not even twenty minutes away from me, AND he’s promoting Doom Crew, Inc., Black Label’s first album in over three years.

Considering he’s been calling his band and his LOYAL followers the Doom Crew, Inc. for YEARS, I’m very surprised he never gave that title to an earlier album. Either way, here’s my take on last night’s show, with featured openers Prong and Death Metal legends Obituary.

Prong

Before I continue I want to make clear that I didn’t take countless photos of every band. I took a necessary few and then I’d enjoy the show like a normal person pre-smart phones.

Having said that, I’d suspected Prong would be the first band. Therefore, I absolutely took my time getting to the show, making sure to eat while on the way. Upon my arrival to the Wellmont Theater, Prong were most likely halfway through with their set. That made me happy because ladies, Prong sucks. That “New York style” of playing nonchalant, almost Hardcore sounding music never appealed to me. I honestly found it annoying and self-righteous, and still do. The single most annoying thing about the band last night?

Any time Tommy Victor opened his mouth.

The irony of my being a native of New York City who hates that fucking accent. Any time he talked, any time he sang, the irritation grew stronger. And I could tell that a good chunk of last night’s audience had to have come from any of the five boroughs (mostly Staten Island and Brooklyn if I were to guess). I really got annoyed when he was introducing “Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck”, Prong’s signature song.

“Come on ev’rybody! SNAP YA FINGIZZZ!”, he yelled out while attempting to open up a pit in the general admission section. I had a really good view from my balcony seat and I really wish I was able to shoot him in the face. His accent was that fucking obnoxious!

Obituary

I have to admit, while I am clearly familiar with Obituary, I never really delved too much into their catalog. I do remember my college radio station receiving their 2005 comeback album, Frozen In Time, in which they managed to get Randy Burns out of retirement to produce it. I guess it matches the album title, huh? I did hear upon buying tickets to this show that the band were really kicking ass every night. Now I was actually looking forward to seeing this for myself and, thankfully, I was not disappointed.

I’d made two videos because I’d accidentally stop filming during their instrumental opener in which vocalist John Tardy has yet to come out. I then noticed that the bassist looked awful familiar to me. As I’d previously mentioned, I don’t follow them. Therefore, I’d zero clue that Terry Butler had apparently been the band’s bassist since 2010. For those of you who don’t know, Terry also played bass for Massacre and, subsequently, Death’s second and third albums, 1989’s Leprosy and 1990’s Spiritual Healing. He’d later backstab Chuck Schuldiner when he and the rest of Death toured Europe without Chuck’s permission or knowledge.

Obituary were filled with endless energy. John Tardy’s screech vocals were just as badass as they ever were. Their version of Death Metal is decidedly more on the Thrash side, not as technical as Death were. I wonder if that’s why I didn’t care too much for them. I never hated them.

They did surprise the shit out of me when the pulled out an absolutely badass cover of Celtic Frost’s classic “Circle Of Tyrants”. Overall I was very impressed.

Black Label Society

As Obituary were finishing, BLS’s crew raised a big curtain adorning the band’s logo…as in before Obituary even walked off stage. That was weird. Either way you knew that once the band got on stage the curtain would drop, blah blah, blah.

After a decent wait time, the lights finally dimmed, followed by an audio mashup of Ozzy’s “War Pigs” vocals over the music to Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love”. At the end the band hit a quick staccato ending that’d segue into the beginning pulses of “Bleed For Me”. It was once the song kicked into full gear that the big curtain finally dropped to show Zakk and his co-guitarist, Dario Lorina performing Zakk’s signature sideways headbang in unison.

The Setlist

  • Bleed For Me (1919 Eternal)
  • Demise Of Sanity (1919 Eternal)
  • Overlord (Order Of The Black)
  • Heart Of Darkness (Catacombs Of The Black Vatican)
  • A Love Unreal (Grimmest Hits)
  • The Blessed Hellride (The Blessed Hellride)
  • Spoke In The Wheel (Sonic Brew) *
  • In This River (Mafia) *
  • Trampled Down Below (Grimmest Hits)
  • Destruction Overdrive (The Blessed Hellride)
  • Set You Free (Doom Crew, Inc.)
  • Fire It Up (Mafia)
  • Suicide Messiah (Mafia)
  • Stillborn (The Blessed Hellride)

* For these tracks Zakk sat behind his electric piano while Dario handled the leads.

This was my seventh time seeing Black Label since Ozzfest 2004 and my eighth time seeing Zakk overall. And he never appears to lose energy, ESPECIALLY now that he’s been sober for twelve years. I first noticed his playing style change a lot upon seeing him in 2011, my first time seeing him in his sober state. He was also very willing to give Dario multiple chances throughout the night to show off his own abilities, something I noticed the first time I saw Dario with the band at the Rock Carnival in 2015. On the track “Set You Free” off the new record, Zakk actually TRADES SOLOS WITH DARIO. Zakk NEVER let Nick Catanese do that. In fact, Nick is NOWHERE to be found on any Black Label albums from their debut through the time he left in 2014.

He’s now a registered sex offender.

The biggest surprise to me came during “Fire It Up”. Before they ended the song, Zakk, in place of his usual solo spot (where he makes every guitarist in the audience want to quit), he traded solos with Dario for ten, maybe fifteen minutes. I’m not just talking lick after lick. The two even HARMONIZED together, while Zakk stood on top of his piano. They’d even harmonize during their signature live intro to “Stillborn”, the band’s show closer for the longest time.

At the end of the show, he stood up on the gig box in the middle of the stage, took off his Black Label vest, and held it up nice and high before walking off…because Zakk never plays encores.

Ever.

I genuinely don’t know of many musicians who can say with legitimacy or integrity that they’re able to get even better as live performers with age. Regardless of how long it had been since I last saw Zakk in any capacity, he’s ALWAYS stepping up his game. Black Label Society were absolutely flawless last night. Zakk himself was absolutely FLAWLESS and he, once again, demonstrated why he’s not only an excellent, yet criminally underrated, showman, but a fucking guitar GOD who will NEVER be matched.

He’s an entity unto himself. I’ve heard idiots bitch about his playing style or smirk and say that there are guitarists that are far better than him, that “he’s not that good”. I can’t help but laugh every time because being a great guitarist will always be more than just having technical skill. Being an expert in playing gay ass sweep arpeggios won’t ever make you a standout player in any genre, let alone Heavy Metal. It’s about finding the style that suits you and practicing that style so much that it becomes second nature.

Flawlessness.

It’s about finding a style that helps you to STAND THE FUCK OUT. That’s what Zakk did. When Ozzy bitched during the 1987 auditions that found Zakk replacing Jake E. Lee that “If I want Yngwie Malmsteen, I’ll just call him!”, Zakk got the hint real quick and found the one thing no one else was doing. Those other guys may be technically DAZLING. But do they stand out? Are they known to more than just the underground? Is their playing as memorable as it is heavy or technically brilliant?

Probably not.

That’s why Zakk Wylde literally is an icon.

My Take On Metallica’s Being A Band.

https://open.spotify.com/show/4Adxscmvu0LeAWt2xA734l

They’ve got to be kidding…right?

Upon hearing a week ago that Metallica were hosting their own Masterclass series titled Being A Band, I quickly saw just as many eyebrows raised throughout the internet. Nice to know I wasn’t the only one with a brain. Let’s be real: the idea of Metallica teaching ANYONE how to be a band is absolutely laughable. I could give two shits about their legacy, it’s absolutely moot to the purpose of this article.

I just wonder if anyone reading this has actually paid to watch that shit. I can only imagine they’d have no choice but to dwell on their dark past (OTHER than Cliff Burton’s gruesome death in 1986 and James Hetfield entering rehab in 2001) that NO ONE really brings up. So that begs the question: how much of their “advice” is based on the truth? How much more of it is based on a fabricated history? Fuck, Jason Newsted had recently alluded to the fact that there are a “lot of secrets” within Metallica.

That aside, I know better than to watch this shitshow. But I’m here today to bring you my own, homespun, brutally honest interpretation of Being A Band, all for free and all for your displeasure. Let’s go with number 1, shall we??

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  1. Labor For Far Longer Than Necessary Over Song Arrangements

That’s right. Go find a band that’s a major influence on you the way Saxon influenced Lars, watch them beat a song arrangement to death when it probably sounded good after just a few tries, assume that it’s the only way to write songs and prepare for a career chock full of infighting within your band. Do you happen to have a musician in your band that’s a songwriting genius that can just shit out song after song on his own while keeping shit basic? Does your band have the ability to make a QUALITY album in a relatively short amount of time?

Fuck that! Make sure that you ALWAYS have to have a say in EVERYTHING the band does. Make sure you oversee every minute detail of the simplest, four minute single. Makes sure your band practices that song over and over again to the point that, once you finally hit that record button, your deadline for the album is just around the corner. How the fuck could first take magic possibly mean shit when you can take years to write all of ten songs and totally piss of your loyal fan base, as they wait possibly close to a decade before you release that next album? Duh!

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2. Make Sure Your Producer Doubles As A Yoko

You’re inching closer and closer to success with each passing album. You’ve finally hit Platinum status in sales AND you’re even a home owner now. Imagine you and your band jamming away on a fast, probably badass new track as the big name producer your label brought in arrives and hears what you’re playing. His hello to the band is to tell you to stop and play it slower.

Absolutely listen to him and let him know right away that he has control over you and that your balls are safe…in his grip! It won’t seem like that at first, especially since your initial record under his supervision becomes your biggest selling album of ALL TIME, even if it unquestionably divides fans, and leaving some questioning your integrity. Keep that producer for the next several years, as he influences you to explore sonic territory that not only is unnecessary, but alienates whatever ever “back in the day” fans you have left.

Go ahead and let him be considered by the public to be your band’s fifth member (or sixth if your band’s a five piece already). Take him everywhere you go like the little lapdog he is, and he’ll know he doesn’t need to worry about the source of his next pay check. If you lose a band member, let him PLAY on your next album, thus giving him hope that he might even join your band that he helped to completely alter the course of. Let him dominate you like you’re his BDSM dungeon bitch so bad that the stench is strong for decades to…cum.

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3. Overuse Your Wah Wah Pedal To The Point Of Sexual Abuse

Are you the lead guitarist in your band? Did you idolize guitarists that made decent use of their wah pedals the way Kirk Hammett says Michael Schenker is one of the reasons he himself started relying on the wah pedal? Well what the fuck are you waiting for? Stomp that pedal and rock it back and forth uncontrollably and far more often than your idols ever did!

You can’t stand out if your wah pedal use has control and intentional limitations. You need to use your wah pedal on practically EVERY SINGLE SOLO YOU EVER PLAY. Your tone with the wah MUST be insufferable, and you have to sound like you have absolutely no right hand at all.

At all.

Ever.

Not even to jerk off.

4. Grant A Film Crew Unlimited Access To All Of Your Band’s Drama

Did you decide to have a little fun and let the whole world see your band in the middle of recording an album? Did shit not go as planned? Did a band member quit? Did someone go to rehab after years of unchecked abuse that’s still nothing compared to another ex member, whose trips to rehabs surpassed double digits long before your first go at sobriety? Is this person you?

Pay that film crew for the rights to that footage and continue to film away!

Expose your personal business to the entire world. Hire a “performance enhancement” coach known for working with NFL teams, because it doesn’t matter how many business deals you’ve gone through as a band – you can’t handle someone quitting. This coach CANNOT be a licensed psychologist or even a licensed psychotherapist. Treat him like your own, personal security blanket and keep him on your payroll for far longer than any other band in history. Much like your producer (see #2), make HIM so comfortable that he starts trying to write lyrics for your band in the middle of a recording session. The more leeches in your life the better, of course!

Speaking of band members leaving, I saved the most important bit of advice for last.

5. Drive Your Most Loyal Bandmate To Quit

This is the last thing I’ve ever wish on any band. But imagine you lost a band member in a horrific accident ala Cliff Burton. Instead of taking time off to grieve the loss of your comrade in arms, throw yourselves immediately into replacing him before you head overseas to tour. Find yourself your band’s biggest fan.

  • He worships the very bandmember he’s replacing
  • He knows your entire catalog inside and out
  • He’s willing to do anything you want because he doesn’t want to take this chance for granted
  • He’ll sign autographs backstage while your lazy ass is already back at the hotel getting shitfaced

Haze the shit out of him. You want to remind him that he didn’t just waltz into a happy situation; but because neither you or your band ever gave yourselves the time needed to grieve, you can just take out all of your anger on that loyal, new replacement. Prank him backstage, embarrass him onstage. Dictate what and how he plays when recording an album.

Completely shatter his spirit by being the one guy to still haze him even years after everybody else grows up and accepts reality. Condemn him during an interview with a national publication for daring to express his desires to record an album with a decidedly different sounding side band because you’re afraid to lose him, even if you’re still treating him the new kid years after his arrival into your life. And when he requests to hold a meeting with the band to further express his desires for a break because he physically ran himself to the ground for you and your band, show up drunk at 10 in the morning and tell him no, ultimately strengthening his resolve to tell you to he’s gone.

Follow these five easy steps and YOU just might be on your way to a highly successful career in music!

Don’t Be Like Your Parents, Asshole!

Are you on the cesspool that is social media? Are you somewhere between your thirties and at least close to 50? If you answered “yes” to either of these, are you posting gay ass memes like this on your Instagram or Facebook?

Or maybe this?

900+ Getting Old ideas in 2021 | getting old, bones funny, funny quotes

Or perhaps even this dumb shit?

If this is you (and it probably is) then congratulations on doing the one thing you weren’t supposed to do: you became your parents! And in doing so you have officially failed at life. It’s funny that I, of all people, am talking about living. I hate living. But you fucks are just pathetic.

What happened? Settled down with someone who never knew how to live in the first place and you simply assimilated to please him or her? Never lived a healthy lifestyle (more than likely!)? Hanging around the wrong morons (also a high probability)?

You are supposed to be BETTER than your parents. You’re not better than them if you go around bragging that you’re bald, fat, achy, or that your favorite shitty high school jam was on the oldies station. It’s not funny, it sure isn’t cute. It never was. I’ve fucked women older than you who STILL have the energy and drive (especially the sex drive!) people your age are supposed to have. My psychotic, openly depressed, nearly 72 year old mother has more drive than you and she broke her ankle last year. My 66 year old dad, who has sustained MULTIPLE Powerlifting and labor related injuries is STILL strong as a bull and STILL tries to have a life when he’s not working long ass shifts at a job he’d rather not be in.

So if they can still go out there and LIVE, then I fail to see what the fuck your deal is. Is your lower back hurting? Get off your ass. Literally. Stop sitting down. Your glutes are weak and they’re pulling on your lower back. So exercise and strengthen those areas. Fuck I’ll even help you a bit and give you a few options!

  • Back Extensions (my go-to for a long time. Add a mini resistance band to increase force production.)
  • Glute Bridges (elevate your feet as much as possible)
  • Reverse Hyperextension (my current go-to before I do ANYTHING else)
  • The McGill Big 3

In an unrelated note I highly recommend low back strengthening for you women with big titties. You’ve no idea how annoying you are when I hear you say “they’re hurting my back! I think I want to get a reduction!” Fuck that and you! Just get some muscle and let us enjoy those beautiful fun bags.

Does sleeping in a awkward position hurt you like in a meme I posted above? Simple solution: stop sleeping like that and learn how to properly sleep! What a concept! There is a right way and a wrong way to sleep. Referring again to the lower back: when you sleep on your back, for example, your lumbar spine is not resting on the mattress, especially if you have a big ass like I, because it’s being put into a state of involuntary flexion. Therefore, you’re spending up to eight hours adding stress to an already stressed out lower back. For the last several years I’ve been placing pillows underneath my knees when I sleep and now I feel no pain because the lumbar spine is able to relax.

Knees hurt? Unless you’ve sustained a major injury, that too can be fixed. The book Becoming A Supple Leopard offers COUNTLESS ways to fix painful knees, one of which I put to great use in late 2019. Getting fat? Developing the dad bod? Stop eating like shit and get off your ass! I have two cousins in law who were fat probably long before I ever knew them. Upon seeing them both for the first time in twelve years at my brother’s funeral in 2019 it was obvious that they were looking worse. Why? Because they don’t care. So when they go next I’m not even going to question what happened?

This may seem ignorant, one track minded and chauvinistic. It’s not. If this triggers you or pisses you off it simply tells me you’re the loser I’m targeting. All you need to do is eat right, learn how to exercise, learn how to get strong, and learn how to THINK FOR YOUR FUCKING SELVES. As negative as I usually am, guess what – there’s still hope. Guys, eat healthy, eat less, get rid of the gay ass dad bod and try to at least squat your bodyweight. Ladies and especially you moms, I’m sure getting rid of that pooch may be difficult. I’m not here for that. But you can also eat healthy, eat less, lift weights and for fucks sake get rid of that fucking retarded mom/Karen haircut and revive the sexiness I know is in you. Yes, long hair is not only youthful, it’s sexy as can be.

You still have time. Knock it off with the stupid age memes and learn how to be BETTER than your parents. Get into shape because they couldn’t or wouldn’t, and don’t just wait until you’re divorced and too scared to be alone either. It’s over for your parents (well, most of them anyway), it doesn’t have to be for you. Unless you want it to.

The Songwriting Genius Of A Guitar God: In Memory Of Eddie Van Halen

I don’t know what to say that hasn’t already been said about Eddie Van Halen since the word got out that we lost him just a little over two months ago. I refuse to discuss his popularizing the two handed tapping technique that everyone and their mother learns eventually. I won’t discuss his invention of the super strat via his Frankenstein guitar, or his “brown” sound. So what can I discuss that most people probably won’t discuss?

Let’s talk about Ed’s creativity as a songwriter. Why? Listen to his riffs alone on those first six records. He’s not just banging out power chords like most guitarists do. He never relied on a co-guitarist. In fact he was never formally trained on his instrument. Yet he was still an even better songwriter than he was a guitarist.

Read that last line again.

Ed said in the past that if he ever took lessons he didn’t think he’d be able to play like he did. I can relate to that. I did take lessons for four years. But both of my teachers, the first teacher being the uncomfortably talented Ron Thal and the next teacher being Christian Corrao, one of the most incredible jazz guitarists I’ve ever heard, taught me both directly and indirectly to think outside the box. Nothing has to be played the way you’re told to play it. Just play what you hear in your head and how you feel and you’ll be surprised with what comes out. I attribute that to why some of my future bandmates either couldn’t understand what I was playing or they just didn’t have the mental capacity to try and learn what I was doing.

There’s no doubt that Ed wasn’t the music world’s first ever self taught guitarist. But as with every other aspect of his career, there was something different about the way he played. Thanks largely to his musical upbringing and his later experiences in cover bands, there’s no question that there was plenty of music in his head. But how the fuck do you convey such concepts when you’re self taught?

That’s why he used all six strings on the guitar, as opposed to just hitting three note power chords, as mentioned before. He needed a way to sound as big as he could without relying on a second guitarist. That’s why he wasn’t afraid to use alternate tunings. He was inventive enough that he even incorporated his popularized tapping technique into his songs. I’m not just referring to his solos, I’m referring to the way he’d TAP OUT the fucking harmonics of chords, which took an already pretty chord pattern and made it breath taking. Speaking of tapping for effect, according to Ed himself, the harmonic tapping section of “Dance The Night Away” was designed to emulate a horn section in a pop song, the inspiration being his days playing Top 40 covers.

Fair Warning, my undisputed favorite of the first six Van Halen records, is considered their darkest album. Ed himself had stated that some of his angriest playing is on that record – which is probably why I love it! Tracks like “Unchained” and especially “Mean Street” are probably the most Metal sounding songs the band ever records. Then there were tracks such as “Push Comes To Shove”. The track itself wasn’t angry, but Ed’s solo certainly was. Close your eyes and you could actually FEEL the emotion.

There can be a lot of benefits of being self taught depending on the musician in question. Some people are geniuses and others should just cave in and take lessons. Or give up. For Ed, it allowed for a creativity not seen in Rock guitarists before. Why? Because he didn’t uphold to any written barriers. He didn’t follow structures that were repeated over and over again. He made his own. “Hot For Teacher” is the best example of this. The whole band changes time signatures midway through Ed’s solo for 4/4 to 5/4 and then back again. Not only was it an ingenius way for Ed to have the song fit his solo as opposed to having the solo fit the song, but that little nuance alone displayed his incredible sense of dynamics.

There was no way I wasn’t going have you watch the video!

This to me is the true legacy of Eddie Van Halen. His legacy to me is more than just “Eruption”, or a homemade freakshow guitar and bastardized backline or the showmanship of David Lee Roth. His legacy is that he didn’t follow musical constructs. He bent them to his will and made them his own. He’s probably one of the most copied guitarist ever to the point that I don’t blame him for turning his back to the crowd while he was soloing during the band’s early days. He didn’t want anyone to copy his technique – imagine that!

There was no one like Eddie Van Halen before he came along and there will never be anyone like him again. Let’s not misunderstand, there are so amazing guitarists out there right now, but they’ll NEVER have the appeal that Ed or his band had to the public at large. Primarily in that unlike Ed, none of his worshippers ever got girls because they were too busy jerking off to guitar lessons.

Read that again.

Let the article and Ed’s songwriting be a lesson to all you bedroom guitarists out there. I’m glad you know every mode and scale there is to know. But if any of you ever want to be remembered for anything, learn how to write a song.

Rest In Peace To The Undisputed KING Of Guitar

Eddie Van Halen

January 26th, 1955 – October 6th, 2020

My First Metal Gig – Vanguard live at Dock Street Bar And Grill, Staten Island, NY February 4th 2005

As I might’ve alluded to in a previous article or two, I joined my first Metal band as a guitarist in 2004.  Previously I’d been a drummer.  But it wasn’t until close to year’s end that we rounded up our line up with a rhythm section, having auditioned these two buffoons in Phrygian Studios in Staten Island.  As far as I know it’s still around…although that might change depending on when this pandemic ends.  THAT was an audition!  A completely inexperienced drummer with no technique, a bassist that knew literally nothing about the bass and WREAKED OF SHIT ALL THE FUCKING TIME, and Chad, my co-guitarist who seemingly forgot how to play anything that day or just didn’t have a care in the world.  More on the that later!

Fast forward to early 2005.  Joe Ryder, our original bassist, while a really nice, quiet guy, was replaced with John Vaynburg, a far more talented bassist – one of only two bassists I ever played with that could nail “The Trooper”, my all time favorite Maiden tune, to the T!  Unfortunately he turned out to be a bit of a princess.  But hey at least he didn’t WREAK OF SHIT ALL THE FUCKING TIME!  Chris, our drummer, slowly began to hold quite an influence on Chad and Idrees’s decision making, thanks to his far more arrogant personality.  And I’d every once and a while be lectured – even by the very drummer who I taught to FINALLY develop independent control of his hands and feet! – in regards to my guitar playing being nowhere near as fluid or as glorious as Chad’s.  Oh sure, Chad certainly did have technique.  But I had tons more feel and attitude.  More on that later.

Around this time, we had a few originals, written mainly by Chad.  I’d brought some stuff to the table but I’d leave the band almost right after they’d started using my shit.  But it was evident that Chad’s music was more in favor because it was more in the Power Metal vein that Chad and Chris were very much into.  Power Metal: GAY.  Idrees’s gay ass cheesy lyrics didn’t help either!  It was hilarious that this is what seemed to be agreed upon when you consider that we were five guys between the ages of 17 and 20 (I was the oldest and the only one in college) that all had individual subgenre favorites.

Idrees, who my own father referred to as “that black kid who thinks he’s white”, was stuck somewhere between 1983 and 1990, and Slayer was his religion, like to the point that it was pathetic.  His “singing”, if you can call it that, was more akin to if Luther Vandross joined Judas Preist.  I still roast him to this day over it.  Chad, while a major Iron Maiden fanatic, also was enamored in all things Steve Vai.  Chris essentially followed Chad’s path, only he became a Power Metal fanatic (although he’d see the light months later).  John’s tastes were closer to mine.  He was very much a Death Metal fan, like I.  He also was a Black Metal fan.  Then there was me, and if you’ve been reading this blog for the last five years then you already know I only listen to the good shit.  And it reflected in my playing, especially my lead playing, sloppy as it might’ve been at the time.  I wanted to be the bastard child of Mustaine in his prime and Zakk Wylde.  While Chad played prissy lead fills, I was the guy that just ripped on his Body Art Series B.C. Rich Bich.

The Ballad Of Dock St Bar And Grill

As the title of this rant should suggest, this gig was on Staten Island.  I might as well admit that I’m actually from Staten Island.  Trust me, I’m not proud of it.  Where to begin?  Well, for the sake of this article anyway, the music scene, at least at this time, could only be described in one word: LAME.  Due to the Island’s isolation from the other four boroughs in New York City, along with some fucking morons blindly wearing that isolation with pride, there was nothing really exciting to talk about.  There’s a reason why Chris would eventually look outside the island for people to play with.

The local Metal scene had very few decent bands.  Dethroned, Enthralled and especially Into The Dementia come to mind (not the biggest Prog Metal fan but fuck me could Anthony sing!).  Whiny Pop Punk was very popular.  Rap was and will forever be a big deal on Staten Island, primarily because Wu Tang are from there.  And by the way, if you’re reading this, are a grown adult around my age living in Staten Island, and still refer to it as “Shaolin”, you should probably be shot in the throat.  Five times.  But the tried and true money maker, as I’d later discover?  Cover bands.  So in a nutshell, Staten Island was, and probably still is boring.

By the way, just so we’re clear: Fuck the Wu Tang Clan and anybody that looks like them.

Dock St had been around for decades.  I’d actually played there numerous times during my senior year of high school in 2001 and 2002 with my previous band.  Aside from Cock St, there hadn’t been many venues for bands to play in that I knew of, especially in the case of bands where only one of us was BARELY under 21.  Fuck, Dock St alone had gone through countless management changes both before I ever even played there and especially long after I’d stopped going there.  I hated it.  It was small, I didn’t like that the booker, who I’d known for a few years, was a grown man befriending the kids, and it was just boring to me.  If you’re a grown man hanging out with teenagers, you’re creepy.

Gig Night

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Inside the shithole that was Dock St.  In the middle, starting from the left: Chris Dickinson (yeah, that Chris Dickinson), Chad Cresante, John Vaynburg.  Bottom: Idrees Williams

Unlike most of the bandmates I’ve played with over the years, I never got nervous or anxious before a gig.  This was no different.  But I was very tired, and very annoyed when Chris called me while I was home napping before the show, wanting to know where I was.  When I told him I was home resting before the gig because you know, I had work early in the morning and then class afterwards, he had the nerve to tell me to get down there as soon as possible as if it was his band.  Of course I ignored him and did my own thing.  I heard the anxiety in his voice.  This was his first band and hey, I was 16 when I did my first shows.  But a word of advice to you anxious musicians out there: there’s NO NEED TO PANIC BEFORE A FUCKING GIG.  JUST GET THE SAND OUT OF YOUR PUSSIES AND YOU’LL BE JUST FINE.

My mom, of all people, came to the gig.  I warned her not to, for she was going to see a side of me she’d wish she never saw.  The band were going to see a side of me they didn’t think they’d see either.  More on that later.  I do remember seeing some teenager with a water bottle.  He asked me if a wanted a swig before going onstage, revealing that the water was actually whiskey.  How could I say no?  I walked up on stage decked out in all black.  I had on a Death t-shirt that I actually still have, black jeans, black boots, a biker watch and a chain around my neck, ready to show these idiots who the real star was…after someone told me he wanted to have sex with my guitar.

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We opened up with a song called “Death Knell” (and here we go with the gay ass song titles!), after Idrees refused to introduce the band  because we needed “to sound like we’ve been around for five years”.  He actually said that.  To this day he claims he meant that as a joke; but he seemed way too serious for that to be a joke.  As soon as the tempo picked up I spread my legs as far apart as they would go and began banging my head as aggressively as I could without my glasses falling off.  I spat into the audience, my eyes popped out of my head as I was ripping through solos.

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Then I opened up my mouth.  There were a lot more people at the show then I imagined there would be.  Very few of them were there for me but the crowd were so into it that a former friend of mine decided to guard my mom, who according to him claimed she was going to beat up the first person who bumped into her.  Well, she didn’t stay around much longer.  After the second or third song, I took the mic from Idrees, looked toward Chad’s emo looking friends and yelled out “…and remember kids, emo is for pussies!”.

We went on to play a few more cheesy titled original tracks along with covers of “Aces High” (where I played the part of Adrian Smith) and “Peace Sells…But Who’s Buying” (where I played the part of Dave, of course!).  Chad was probably the one guy who had no life to him during this show…or any of the shows we played together.  Looking at some of the pictures that were taken he appeared to just have some arrogant smirk on his face, as if he was already bored because even his own music wasn’t challenging enough for him.  It was the same smirk he had the afternoon we auditioned Chris and Joe Ryder just three months earlier.  Kids, when you don’t know how to just have fun at your FIRST GIG, you’ll never have fun.

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Doing my best Adrian Smith impression, playing his solo in “Aces High”.

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Final song of the night, “Fear Is Eternal”.  See what I mean about these gay song titles??

As I walked off the stage, the first thing I noticed was my mom was gone and I right away assumed it was because I singled out the emo kids the way I did.  I did stay for the last band, Whole In One.  They were a Pop Punk band, however I was friends with Ralph, their drummer.  I’m almost positive I left after them and joined the band for food afterwards at Mike’s Place in New Dorp Lane.

I arrived home late that night to a call on my cell phone as I was walking upstairs.  It was these two possibly drunk whores prank calling me.  Upon asking them how they got my number and who they were they were rambling a lot, prompting me to hang up.  They called back, asking me why I hung up, prompting me to threaten their lives.  They then left a hilarious voicemail claiming I never had sex, which was pretty funny since I lost my virginity at 18; and that I apparently suck because I like Iron Maiden.  That was a actually an amusing little chuckle to end my night.

The Day After

While eating oatmeal before I left for work early the next morning, mom slowly walked into the kitchen to finally give me a piece of her “mind”, as it were.  She was so pitiful, reflecting back in such dramatic fashion, on her view of me after seeing and hearing me in front of a live mic.  She confirmed, like the drama queen she always was and still is, that she did in fact walk right out the moment she heard me call out those kids.  “You were better in Fallout”, she angrily told me before walking back into her bedroom.  Fallout was my high school band, in which I played drums.  Therefore I’ve no doubt that her last remark to me was her way of telling me things were better when I couldn’t get to a mic so easily.  She’d never see me play live again.

Later that night, I picked up Idrees to go hang out at Chris’s house.  Chris’s attention, for the most part was aimed directly at me.  Why?  Remember when I said I was going to show a side of me the band never saw before?  Well, he sure as fuck didn’t know what to make of my performance even 24 hours later.  When I asked him what the big deal was he commented that he’d seen me with my feet planted together at virtually every band rehearsal leading up to the gig, seemingly having no life in me.  I tricked them all to the point where Chris got a tad giddy as he told Idrees and I “you both are like my fuckin’ Thrash Metal icons man!”.  Mission complete.

Inside the house was the guy that recorded our show to watch.  And apparently he was emo, because he immediately pleaded with me to not do what I did on the mic ever again because I sounded like an asshole.  I think he later on went home and cried as he fingered his pussy while blasting his favorite Bright Eyes album.  Mission accomplished!

Dear Shit Stain

Dear Shit Stain,

Let’s be clear, I’ll only be referring to you as Shit Stain for the entirety of this open letter
that maybe you’ll read, maybe you won’t.  Because that’s what you are: a massive shit stain on life.  And speaking of life, I’m honestly STILL trying to wrap my head around the fact that you’re still alive twelve years after the whole world discovered that you’re nothing more than a piece of shit, and that’s all you’ll EVER be.   Why hasn’t anyone tried to do to you what you did to those fucking dogs since then??

“I guess $100 million is too much money, eh?”  Those are the words my then lead singer muttered in my car while on the way to band practice just one night after the news broke that your dumb ass was arrested for running Bad Newz Kennels, a dogfighting ring in Virginia which was most likely funded by that 6 Year $100 million NFL salary of yours.  Ever so slowly did the horrid details of what you and your ghetto trash friends pulled while in business come to light.  Here are a few details for those who might somehow be clueless:

  • You and your buddies hung three dogs in April 2007, after they under performed in a “rolling session”, which determines the dogs’ readiness to fight.
  • You, according to the U.S. Department Of Agriculture, placed family pet dogs into your ring with trained pitbulls, who obviously “caused major injuries” to them.
  • You electrocuted injured dogs who lost their fights
  • There were times were neither you or you’re piece of shit buddies wouldn’t feed your dogs in order to make them “more hungry for the other dog”.
  • Aside from hanging whichever dogs lost their fights, you also would drown, strangle, shoot, or even SLAM THEM REPEATEDLY UNTIL THEY DIED.

That’s all I’ll mention, as listing all that made me want to break my new laptop, since I can’t be there to break your skull.  So it astonishes me that, after your absolutely bullshit apology, you were even brought back to the NFL after you did what you did.  I can’t believe any team would be so willing to take you on.  In fact, it’s one of the reasons why I can never truly respect the Philadelphia Eagles ever again.  Oh sure, they DESTROYED the New England Patriots two Superbowls ago (by which point of course you were long gone, thankfully); but you see Shit Stain, I’m a man of principles.  And as far as I’m concerned, any team that was willing to take you on regardless of your abilities, has zero standards in my book.

So when I found out a few weeks ago the you of all people were appointed to be the Honorary Team Captain in this coming year’s Pro Bowl, I had to laugh.  I laughed even harder when I read Roger Goodell’s bullshit defense of you.  Because let’s face it Shit Stain, and I know I’m not the only one who believes this to be fact: you’re not sorry, nor were you ever sorry for what you did.  Like most jackass politicians who say they’re sorry for cheating on their wives because once they’re in office those said wives won’t fuck them anymore, you’re only sorry because, thanks to your moron cousin’s drug bust, you were caught.  And ruined.  But hey, if pretending to actually give a shit when you involve yourself with animal rights causes in good for business, then I guess Goodell will happily bite, even when deep down he’s knows involving your dumb ass in anything is just wrong.  And if you ever read this Roger, you’re a spineless, dickless little cunt, willing to give up ANY integrity you might’ve had, and all for the sake of ratings.

So while most of us don’t want to even hear your name anymore, let alone watch you on TV in a month (although I know I WON’T be watching), I know what I’d like to see.  Do you want to be in our good graces for real, Shit Stain?  Why don’t you allow us, the fans, the opportunity to electrocute you, whip you, rip your lips off, slam your ass down to the ground multiple times until your bones break, and shoot you when it’s all over – you know, like you and your shithead friends did years ago – live on NBC?  That to me, would bring in some incredible, record breaking ratings.  That dumb fuck Goodell would jizz all over himself once the numbers came in!  But that’ll sadly never happen, because you’re a gutless, dickless fucking coward.

I’m surprised your wife will even fuck you with that microscopic dick of yours.  I refuse to believe you can get hard enough, to penetrate her, to get even the smallest amount of sperm into her so you could even have kids.  So, if I were you, I’d get a DNA test done on your kids because I have a feeling they might be anyone else’s but yours.  Did you understand that?  Was that broken down for you in English that you could understand, you Virginia trash cocksucker?  All of us with a brain hate you and want you to die in a manner that outdoes even the ways you torture those dogs.

So I hope I clarified for you, you worthless fuck, what it’d take for you to get any kind of real respect ever again.  And by the way, if you were to agree to do any thing like that I’d actually donate money to any animal rights charity of your choice.  And I might have to chip in for your funeral too!  Because most of us would be excited to do nothing more than to take a baseball bat and cave your skull in to the point that your brains splattered farther than a fucking grenade blowing up in the middle of a jello factory.  So fuck you, fuck your family, fuck anyone that had anything to do with you, and fuck anybody that looks like you!

My Sources:

https://www.espn.com/nfl/news/story?id=3718304

https://www.foxnews.com/story/gruesome-details-in-indictment-naming-nfl-quarterback-michael-vick-in-dogfighting-case

https://www.cnn.com/2019/12/12/us/michael-vick-pro-bowl-roger-goodell-spt-trnd/index.html

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Random Thoughts

All Hail The Race Card!

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I’m so disinterested in the things rich celebrities say or do that I had no clue who the fuck Lisa Marie Falcone, with her surgically implanted cheeks…or her piano playing pig, even was until last week.  I also learned that her style of entitlement and ignorance apparently isn’t just for white people anymore either.  Long story boring, her billionaire dipshit husband, Phil Falcone is facing a lawsuit for unpaid wages by former employee, chef Brian Villanueva.

But wait!  Here’s the fun part.  According to Villanueva, here’s what Lisa Maria Falcone had to say about his girlfriend, also a chef, during a dinner party which included Lisa’s supposed best friend Alicia Keys and her husband Swizz Beatz: “Your girlfriend speaks very well. She seems educated. I would describe her as a chocolate-covered marshmallow”.  When asked what the fuck that meant, an arrogant Falcone told Villanueva: “Alicia (Keys) doesn’t speak that way. She didn’t have an education and was just discovered by (record producer) Clive Davis when she was 15 years old. Swizz (Beatz) definitely doesn’t speak that way either.”

Oh, did you think we were finished?  When Falcone finally took notice that her chef just…maybe…was a tad offended, she continued by asking Villanueva: “Do you use the word ‘n—a’ at home with your girlfriend?  I’m Puerto Rican and grew up in Spanish Harlem so I can speak like that.  You’re not ethnic like black people and Puerto Rican people. You’re only a minority.  Talk to my black friends. They will tell you that I am not racist.”

So many things I can say here and so little time.

The Race Card.  Such a classic way to justify ignorance, especially with celebrities and rich folk.  Former Alabama Governor George Wallace, who once claimed: “In the name of the greatest people that have ever trod this earth, I draw the line in the dust and toss the gauntlet before the feet of tyranny, and I say segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.”, had the nerve decades later to say in a 2000 documentary on his life that he wasn’t racist and tried to justify it by bring out an elderly black man and saying this man was his best friend.

No, dickhead.  No.

Knowing, or being close friends with one or two people who happen to be of a different ethnicity to you can never justify calling out his/her race in any way.  My oldest friend of thirty years, and literally THE best friend I ever had, is black.  But I also know that if I were to go off on some crazy racist tirade and justify it by saying that my oldest friend is black, he still wouldn’t think twice of putting the kibosh on what we have.  Because he’s not stupid.  And in that same side of things, Lisa Marie Falcone, you ignorant, spoiled cunt, being a Puerto Rican from Spanish Harlem doesn’t justify you singling out anyone – especially when there’s so much money to be taken from you when you – and especially your tax dodging husband – keep fucking up.  Go you!  Jackass!

The Politics Of Hypocrisy

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“I always believed that leadership involves listening and reading and respecting diverse viewpoints and acknowledging when you didn’t get them right. Over time, I’ve come to understand something that I long struggled to admit to myself: I got something important wrong. I got something important really wrong.

I didn’t understand that back then the full impact that stops were having on the black and Latino communities. I was totally focused on saving lives. But, as we know, good intentions aren’t good enough.
Now, hindsight is 20/20. But, as crime continued to come down as we reduced stops, and as it continued to come down during the next administration, to its credit, I now see that we could and should have acted sooner, and acted faster, to cut the stops. I wish we had and I’m sorry that we didn’t. But I can’t change history. However, today, I want you to know that I realize back then I was wrong and I’m sorry.”
These were former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s words regarding the Stop And Frisk policy just a few days ago.
I’m not one to ever discuss politics on this blog, or ever, really.  And I won’t even get into it now.  But let’s talk about why he’s even apologizing.  Does he truly mean it?  Let’s see…now’s the time to get on the band wagon with every other Democrat hoping to be the next year’s Presidential front runner so….I’m going to go with hell fuck no!  For those of you not in the know, Bloomberg, a life long Democrat switch sides just so he could run for office.
On the outside his views could switch at the drop of a hat.  But on the inside it was different.  As a native New Yorker, and a city worker, I won’t hesitate to say he spent way too much time micro managing the city as if it was his famous corporation.  Also, I directly blame him for the gentrification of the city post 9/11, causing rent to increase across the board, ultimately marking the beginning of the gradual demise of most mom and pop businesses in the city, and also forcing tenants out of their homes and on to the streets.
So with that in mind, is he really sorry that his take on crime and punishment might just be what caused the rift between minority groups and the NYPD, a rift that’s just as strong today as it was when Stop And Frisk was in effect?  Or is the businessman in him just looking to get that much coveted minority vote?  Me?  I’d say some snakes just never change their stripes.  Politics.  The fun just never stops.
My Makeshift Email To My Hypothetical Employees
To anyone who might be new to this site, I work full time in education.  Quite a trip.  For every few students that will work their hardest and always make you smile, there’ll always be that one psycho trying to stab you with a pencil.  Or worse!
So, I receive e-mails from my school’s Assistant Principal every Sunday morning.  Here’s an example of her introductory paragraph:
“Happy Sunday all.  I hope that you are enjoying your weekend.  I had to go out of town this weekend so as I am in the passenger side of the car, riding, I am thinking about what happened this week at work, the mounds of paperwork that need to be done, and what I need to get for Thanksgiving and suddenly, I just look out the window.  We are driving over a bridge and I am just staring out the window intently.  My husband looks over at me and says, “I know that look, you have an idea”.  And I say, “this bridge has me thinking of P.S. ##(don’t think for a second I was going to let you fuckers know where I work!)”.  Have you looked at the characteristics of a bridge.  They have barriers on both sides for your protection.  It serves as a means to get to the other side.”…and so on and so forth, blah blah blah…
I like my Assistant Principal a lot.  I really do.  But let’s face it, this shit is as phony as it gets.  I totally understand what she’s trying to achieve with this dribble.  But does she really expect us to believe she was looking at a bridge, or watching some TV show, or playing some sport and was suddenly inspired to find a correlation between that and the school?  Fuck no!
But it led me think about what I’d do if I was in her position and wanted to stay close with my hypothetical staff.  Would I write a weekly blog like this?  And if I did, what the fuck would I do to at least try to keep it real?  I wonder…
Good Morning!  I hope everyone did something this weekend to improve their overall mental and emotional health in order to begin yet another productive, fulfilling week here.  Let’s be real, that could be a lot of things.  And so long as I don’t see it, I could give two fucks what you do.  Do you drink a fifth of vodka on a Friday night and pick a fight with a random stranger?  Pick up a few hookers to relieve some…tension?  Attend some “parties”?  Perhaps you punch a few walls in your garage?  Who cares?  If it makes you feel fresh and recharged by the time you come back here on Monday morning, as the famous, decades old Nike slogan says – just do it! 
So, my own weekend wasn’t so exciting.  Ran out of beer and was too lazy (and exhausted from dealing with all of your students since no one seems to be able to handle them!) to go out and get more, wasn’t able to hit that 400lb squat in the gym and BOTH my fuck buddies were sick.  What the fuck are the chances of THAT happening?  So, with nowhere else to turn to, I broke out the laptop and watched an old clip from the favorites section of my YouPorn account!  In a clip entitled “Man, His Wife, And The Babysitter”, the wife walks in on his husband….well…getting sucked off by the babysitter.  Well, duh! 
Long story boring, the wife decides to take control of the situation by forcing the now guilt stricken babysitter to continue sucking her husband off, ultimately taking turns fucking this guy that, in any REAL situation would never be this lucky.  And of course, wifey, the betrayal still fresh in her mind, waits until he’s good and spent before declaring “I want a divorce!”, as she storms out of her soon to be ex’s office.  
This whole situation got me to thinking of our school, its trials and tribulations, its many ups and downs (no not THOSE ups and downs!),who’s backstabbing and betraying who, and feelings among each other as a staff and as a family.  You don’t need to be told that we won’t always agree with each other’s ideas and approaches on helping our students succeed.  In fact, I’m almost positive some of you ICT teachers in particular are ready to just KILL each other after ten months of conflicting personalities, approaches, intrusions such as teacher assistants and cluster teachers changing preps on you.  But if three people can have super hot sex in the most awkward of times, with the older wife showing the younger, greener babysitter how it’s done, then I fail to see how we as a staff cannot get through the most awkward of moments by simply taking the raw emotion out of a situation.
For ten months out of the year we need to set an example to these impressionable, young scholars.  What example do you think we set if we fight in front of them?  What sense of authority or even stability are we providing if, for 6 and a half measly hours per day, we can’t keep it together?  Of course, this is not to say break out into having sex if you have to show your co-teacher “how it’s done”…but if you do just make sure it’s in a closet somewhere and take pictures!  😉  It’s time for me to go clean myself off.  But I’ll leave you with this before I go: just ride it out until June and on that last day, in the same way that pissed off wife declared she wanted a divorce, you can tell you co-teacher to go fuck him/herself and ride off into the sunset until September…only to begin the whole process all over again.  See you all tomorrow!
Respectfully Yours,
Your Angry Metalhead Principal
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Lift With Hatred: The Workout – Part 2

In part 1 I discussed our training “philosophy” along with my warmup routine.  So here’s what you’ve all waited for!  I decided to provide not one, but TWO templates for you to choose from.  These are full body routines, because the body needs as much volume as possible, especially when you’re just starting.  Constant stimulation is also CRUCIAL for rapid growth.

The basis for both of these templates are made up of the Squat, Bench Press, Deadlift and Overhead Press.  All classic beginner routines are comprised of these moves because they’re compound lifts, meaning they work more than “just” one body part.  But make no mistake, I’m not here to explain the kinesiology of every lift.  You can go on plenty of sites for that shit.  Remember, make sure you warm up before doing ANYTHING else and, if you have a mini resistance band, take that with you.  So, with that being said, and because I wanted to make a Metal themed routine for building a strength foundation, here’s Template A and B of Lift With Hatred: The Sabbath Years.

Template A 

Back Extensions – 3 x 10 or 3 x 20 (with resistance band)

Squat – 4 x 4-6 or 1 x 20 depending on your goals (preceded by resistance band shoulder  warmup)

Bench Press – 4 x 4-6 (preceded by resistance band shoulder warmup and/or set of chin ups to failure)

Chinups – 4 x failure (you can also superset these with the Bench Press to save time)

Overhead Press – 4 x 4 – 6

Deadlift – 1 x 5

Template B 

This is an alternating A-B-A/B-A-B style routine.

Workout A

Back Extensions – 3×10 or 3×20

Squat – 3 x 15

Bench Press – 3 x 15

Deadlift – 3 x 15

Workout B

Back Extensions – 3 x 10 or 3 x 20

Dumbbell Lunge – 3 x 15

Overhead Press – 3 x 15

Bent Over Row – 3 x 15

Explanation

This is as basic and primitive as it gets, much like the first few Black Sabbath records (especially Master Of Reality!).  They’re equally as brutal as they are simple as time progresses.   Same shit with these exercises.  It’s going to be beyond GED simple at first.  But the workouts will become difficult as the intensity increases.  It’s just up to you to figure out if you can handle it after a while.

Sets And Reps

This shit varies depending on the template.  For Template A I wanted you to be able to get in more sets for the sake of more stimulation.  In most proven strength routines, more than three sets are usually prescribed.  More sets equals more volume, which makes for more stimulation throughout the body.  Just because some doctor prescribed three sets per exercise back in the 30’s doesn’t mean you have to just perform three sets.  Also, I suggested a set 20 for the Squat as an option for you younger kids reading this.  I took the idea from Stuart McRobert’s book Brawn.  Stuart speaks about the classic 20 Rep Squat routine which is beyond simple, yet beyond BRUTAL on your legs.  But your legs will be huge.  Trust me.

Template B offers a more size oriented approach, bringing in dumbbells for one exercise, which will absolutely force more muscle fibers to be used to stimulate more growth.  That’s also why the reps are increased here.  It’s for this reason that this template offers more of a variety.  In fact, the alternating days gives you a chance to use an extra day to recover from the power moves while focusing on more size oriented moves, and vice versa.  I wrote a modified version of this template for my first client and he was a believer in full body training after a few weeks.

Duration

Template A is a three month cycle that’s to be trained three times a week, like most strength routines.  Both of these routines call for a linear progression, meaning the weights will be increased every week.  So make sure to increase the poundage accordingly.  I’d say increase the lower body poundages by 10lbs for the Squat and 10 – 20lbs for the Deadlift.  Increase the upper body poundages by 5lbs or even 2.5lbs.

For Template B, the recommended poundage increases are the same.  But the difference here is this is just Phase One of what will be four phases.  Which each phase comes a decrease in the amount of reps per set and, by Phase Four, the sets will increase to order to bring up the volume.  If you like this let me know and I’ll write up the other three phases.

Training Tips

Back Extensions

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Look at the ass on him!

You might notice that I started every routine with this.  Many of you might ask “…but Angry Metalhead, why can’t I do this as an accessory move like everyone else??”  Simple, because we’re not training to be like everyone else you asshole!  Not only that, but because, as I learned from reading up on Reg Park, training the lower back while it’s fresh loosens and strengthens it.  Everyone forgets that training the lower back is as much of Core training as training your abs is.

And as I found out, a strong lower back makes for a much stronger Squat and Deadlift.  But hey what the fuck do I know, I just know I once was able to deadlift 380lbs without a belt for a reason.  After you get used to the exercise, you can add a mini resistance band to add tension.  After that you can also add weight.  Or, if you’re pressed for time you can simply just use the mini band and add ten extra reps per set.

One more thing.  Guys, make sure you adjust yourself before you perform this move.  Take it from me, there’s no feeling more annoying than that of crushing your own balls because you didn’t fix yourself up on the station.  Your woman or man or whatever needs you to have healthy nuts guys!

Hip Drive! 

Did you really thing that Squats and Deadlift just required strong legs?  Fuck no, it’s all about that Hip Drive, as Mark Rippetoe says.  All Hip Hinge moves, like the Squat , Deadlift, Back Extensions, etc., require the hips to start AND finish the move.  Strong hips make for big numbers.  Strong hips also carry over into other aspects of life too.  Guys, you want to be absolute fuck machine with your wife/girlfriend/baby mamma/one night stand?  Use those hips.  Ladies, wanna be a fuck machine and show your husband/boyfriend/baby daddy/one night stand that you can keep up with the thrusting?  Use your hips!

Grip Strength

I saved the best for last because I wanted to send a clear message to all of you reading this.  I spoke on two separate occasions about grip strength, and the importance of not wearing gloves while performing any exercise or program.  Fuck, I even provided a real life depiction of what you look like when you wear gloves in my last article!  Gloves do provide protection…but it’s still lamer than wearing a rubber.  At least with a rubber you’re trying to avoiding something that might not be wanted right now!

So, to further add to my argument as to why you should NEVER wear gloves to the gym, ladies and germs, meet Sparkles!

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Sparkles is a cross dressing manicurist who underwent TWO gender reassignments (he’s very confused).  He’s great at bedazzling your nails.  His ass looks nice in round in a dress.  As you can see in the last picture, he’ll also hold your newborn, mixed race baby!  Wanna know what Sparkles can’t do?  He can’t deadlift worth a shit.  Why?  It ain’t from the lack of testosterone in his body – it’s because he wears gloves to the gym.

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If you want to see how Sparkles fares trying to pull a measly 145lbs, click on the video above!

This is my vision of you, yes YOU.  When I see you wearing gloves I see Sparkles.  I see a guy with absolutely no desire whatsoever to be stronger than he or even she knows.  I see someone with no desire to to be anything other than average, I could give two shits about how much muscle you have.  I didn’t pull more than double my bodyweight because I wore gloves.  Don’t be average.  Don’t be Sparkles.

Post workout stretching in the next installment.

Lift With Hatred Part 1:

https://metalheadconfessions.com/2019/07/30/lift-with-hatred-the-workout-part-1/

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Lift With Hatred: The Workout – Part 1

I’ve been talking about this for a year.  My own training template for beginning lifters, an easy, basic, bullshit free style, thoughtfully put together through many sources plus my experience both as a personal trainer as well as someone who once struggled to the point that all seemed hopeless.  Training, regardless of your goals, is much more of a cerebral game than most newbies would realize.

You have to learn the art of Autoregulation, listening to your body to realize what kind of stimuli it will and won’t respond to in terms of exercises and reps and sets and all that bullshit.  Speaking of bullshit, be ready to have have all sorts of advice thrown your way by both the ones who actually look like they lift and especially the ones who look more like they just took some program off Bodybuilding.com without doing any real research and just began “working out” a few weeks ago.  They’re hilarious!  But more important than either of those, is the development of your mental toughness.

The lifts you’ll be performing will be simple, but brutal after a while.  You’ll be repeating a lot of these almost every workout and you’ll get bored.  You can either just give up because you can’t take the repetition, or you can suck it up, follow the program to the T and reap the rewards later.  Yeah, I’m an angry asshole – and lack of patience usually comes with being angry!  But I at least understand that Rome wasn’t built in a day either.  But hey, what the fuck do I know?  I only Deadlift more than double my bodyweight.

Training Philosophy

Why do we Lift With Hatred?  What’s your daily life like?  Kids?  Nagging wife/girlfriend/baby mama?  Nagging husband/boyfriend/baby daddy?  Feeling disrespected by your boss?  Colleagues?  Random pieces of shit on the streets who need to be put in their place?  They all have one thing in common: it all can get to your head.

Lift With Hatred isn’t “just” some fucking saying I came up with to look awesome.  It’s cerebral.  It’s emotion.  It’s taking all the negativity that you endure throughout your day, and channeling it into something badass, like hitting a squat PR with everything you have.  Let’s face it, I’d love to beat the shit out of one or two of my “colleagues” at work…as well as several “family” members; but I also know that I’m not in the mood to go to jail right now.

Lift With Hatred is a way of life.  So how exactly do we Lift With Hatred?  You look deep into your mind; think about one person who always does you wrong, or your significant other who cheated on you, or that random shithead on the streets you said the wrong thing.  Take those feelings of wanting to beat them to the point of near death (the movie Bugsy comes to mind!), and take it out on those weights.  Why?  Because a powerful physique is far more beneficial than a rap sheet!

The Do’s and Don’ts Of What You’ll Need

I delved into this a little bit in an article called Lift With Hatred: Stupid Shit In The Gym.  But here’s is small, ridiculously simple list of what you’ll need to start off – and it’s not much – along with what you definitely won’t need.

Need

Shoes With A Flat Sole

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This is often recommended by a lot of reputable coaches and for good reason.  In as  simple of an explanation as possible, you want to always be able to “split the ground”, or push down against the floor, when performing any compound move.  You can’t do that if your shoes don’t allow you feet to be completely on the floor.  So most sneakers are out of the question.  A flat sole usually provides a bit more traction and allows you to use your posterior chain more, which is crucial for most strength based routines.  If you’ve been squatting for a while in sneakers, I guarantee you’ll quickly find out how strong your squat really is once you switch over.  I switched over in 2010 and I couldn’t believe how weak I really was (see the Chuck Taylors above!)!  There’s also the possibility of tipping over during a heavy squat or deadlift.  So you can take my word for it or not.  Up to you.  Just don’t tell me I didn’t warn you.  Recommendations include but are not limited to: Converse Chuck Taylor hi tops, Otomix or Adidas Wrestling Shoes.  Don’t worry about getting Adidas Powerlifts, Do-Wins, or anything with a heel until it’s absolutely necessary.

Mini Resistance Bands

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Resistance bands in short are fucking amazing.  These bands were popularized by those sadistic lunatics over at Westside Barbell long ago, and now everyone and their mother uses them.  Why?  Constant tension.  Advanced and elite level lifters use them at multiple sizes to add weighted tension to lighter percentages of their maxes, because more tension will force you to work faster.  Remember, speed is one of the two components of power.  But you’ll be using these as a quick warm up for your rear delts before every workout because they’re not only conveniently small enough to carry, but because not every gym has a dowel rod available for a move like Shoulder Dislocations.  So for that reason, just order a mini band.

Foam Roller

I first read about foam rollers more than a decade ago in a Men’s Health workout guide that’s I’m pretty sure I still have somewhere; but I’m pretty sure it was Muscle And Fitness that called it “The Poor Man’s Massage”.  And it is.  It’s also a great way to open up the muscles at the beginning of your warm-up.  Does your job require you to sit all day long?  You’re hips, lats, pectorals and front delts are probably tighter than your fifteen year old sister, and you’ll know where those tender spots are when you find it.  You’ll be yelling “hurts so good!” like the closet submissive that you are in no time!

See the source image

Lacrosse Ball

Use a Lacrosse ball to massage areas that you might not be able to successfully hit with a foam roller, such as you piriformis and especially your feet.

Don’t Need 

Any Kind Of Lifting Belt

Go ahead and tell me I don’t know what I’m talking about.  Done?  Feel better?  Great – now go suck me!  Now that that’s out of the way…you’re reading this correctly.  If you’re just starting ANY routine, you do NOT need a belt of any kind.  The purpose of a belt is to provide you with  something to push your abs into, allowing the abs to achieve an even harder contraction.  But unless you’re squatting or deadlifting more than you weigh, focus on developing your “natural belt”, aka your abs.  At one point you’ll need one, but for this beginner’s routine I wouldn’t worry about it.

Almost Every Supplement Out There

Here’s another thing that’ll have people telling me I know nothing.  They can still go suck me.  Not including protein powder, there’s no need to spend your money on any kind of preworkout, creatine monohydrate, or fat burners.  I’m not saying they don’t have they’re place; but if you’re new to training and are thin, you need to eat as if you’re one of the fat slobs slowly marching toward death’s door in Supersize Me, clearly rendering fat burners useless here ((although they don’t really do much at all!).  In terms of preworkout, there’s no real need for that much caffeine if you’re just starting with an empty bar.  Creatine Monohydrate is arguably the single safest supplement out there, especially in it’s powdered form (which is cheaper yet way more effective than it’s pill form).  It retains water in the muscles.  Sodium does the same shit.  But if you want to use Creatine, I’d recommend at least seeing what kind of muscular foundation you can build without it on your own first.  Otherwise, you could just take a tablespoon of sea salt and mix that in a gallon of water.

Gloves

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An actual depiction of what you look like when you wear gloves to the gym.

Gloves: GAY.  I definitely when on a tirade regarding gloves in the article I mentioned above.  But to be short: DO NOT WEAR FUCKING GLOVES.  Unless you have nerve damage you don’t need them.  Gloves provide a layer between your hands and the bar.  Sounds like protection, and it is.  But your grip strength won’t develop and it needs to in order for this or any REAL program to work.  One of my clients recently bitched when he realized he was developing calluses on his hands, saying when he touched his wife he wanted smooth hands for her.  Yeah?  You know what your wife would appreciate more?  Man hands!  So do yourself a favor and ditch the gloves.  Actually no…BURN THEM.  Or go get a sex change and start calling yourself Sparkles while singing along to this:

The Warm-Up

Here’s a simple warm-up that should take a least ten minutes once you get the hang of everything.  For this you’ll need your foam roller and your mini resistance band.  Some of the moves you’ll see here I’ve taken from either books I’ve read over the years or things I’ve learned recently.  Some of this is taken from the DeFranco Agile 8 (I’ll leave a link below).

  1. Start off by foam rolling your entire body.  As I mentioned earlier, some of you might have jobs that require sitting all day.  So some of the key joints and limbs here might be real tight.  That’s why it’s important to hit EVERYTHING, not just your shoulders, legs and hips.  Foam roll your piriformis (or use a lacrosse ball), your pecs, even your biceps (they’re connected to your shoulders after all).
  2. Dynamic Warm-up.   Remember when your elementary school gym teacher made you do shit like jumping jacks and jogging in place before actually doing anything?  Well they were on to something.  Dynamic movements help loosen your muscles, as well as increase your heart rate.  Never EVER perform static stretches before working out.  Stretching a cold muscle could possibly lead to an injury.  This warm-up includes body only movements along with resistance band movements for the rear delts:

Body Only

Side Planks: 20 – 30 seconds per side

Leg Swings: 10 – 15 swings per leg (make sure you feel the stretch in both your quads and your hamstrings depending on the direction)

Groiners: ten reps altogether.

With A Mini Resistance Band 

Band Pull Aparts: 8 – 12 reps above the nipple line, followed by 8 – 12 reps below the nipple line (where you’d position the bar for the Bench Press); Banded Shoulder Dislocations: 8 – 12 reps; Band Face Pull With External Rotation: 8 – 12 reps.  When I  say external rotation, I simply mean that instead of finishing the movement with your fists facing in front of you and over your head, they instead will be facing you as if you’re flexing your biceps, or jerking off two dicks in a bukkake video, or whatever floats your boat.

I’d actually hold off on the resistance band portion of the warm-up until you’re ready to perform any upper body movements.  In Part 2 of the workout I’ll be presenting to separate templates for two relatively different goals.  But both workouts will be starting with a posterior chain exercise to isolate the lower back and there’s no point, really, in warming up the shoulders to work on your lower back.  But that’s just my two sense.  Stay tuned for part 2.  Feel free to message me with any questions, complaints, death threats, sacrifices, etc.

Buy Shit:

Mini Resistance Bands:

Westside Barbell Mini Band

Foam Rollers:

https://www.amazon.com/TriggerPoint-Roller-Instructional-Original-13-inch/dp/B008YPZQCU

Cheap Yet Highly Effective Weight Lifting Shoes:

https://www.amazon.com/Converse-Mens-Chuck-Taylor-Women/dp/B000OLVPBI/ref=sr_1_4?crid=2Q3JPVWFSXZ7Z&keywords=chuck+taylors&qid=1564284391&s=sporting-goods&sprefix=chuck+%2Csporting%2C136&sr=1-4

My Tirade On Gym Fads:

https://metalheadconfessions.com/2018/09/25/lift-with-hatred-stupid-shit-in-the-gym/

Sources:

https://www.t-nation.com/training/defranco-agile-8

How to Deadlift with Proper Form: The Definitive Guide

https://www.healthline.com/health/fitness-exercise/lacrosse-ball-massage#9