Interview with Chris “Cornbread” Lombardo [The WATCHERS, ex- SPIRAL ARMS, ex- VICIOUS RUMORS, ex- WHITE WITCH CANYON] 07/19/2018

Interview with Chris “Cornbread” Lombardo [The WATCHERS, ex- SPIRAL ARMS, ex- VICIOUS RUMORS, ex- WHITE WITCH CANYON] 07/19/2018

Written by Marc C. Pietrek 2018

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DISCLAIMER: I DO NOT OWN, NOR DO I CLAIM TO OWN, ANY OF THE PHOTOGRAPHS AND/OR VIDEOS USED FOR THE PURPOSE OF THIS INTERVIEW/ ARTICLE.

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[Marc C. Pietrek filed the following report for VITRIOL, INC / A DARK UNITED FRONT (www.vitriolinc.com) on 09/19/2018 12:00 AM EST] Way back in what seems a hazy, crazy lifetime ago, living on my own for the first time in the east Bay Area city of Martinez, California), I met my fiend Amy, a loving, gorgeous, sarcastic, dark but light (at heart and now) married mother who can still throw up the horns with a pirate-like grin on her face and do it better and more convincing than most people half her age ha ha. Her long term boyfriend at the time was bassist/guitarist Chris “Cornbread” Lombardo, a well respected local metal musician from nearby Benicia. Constant years of relentless practicing both guitar and bass, gigging in bands as well as being directly involved in the retail music equipment field at that time were already giving him a platform to exhibit his talent to people well know within the Bay Area underground metal scene.  I knew that it would only be a matter of time that this dude would get his shot.

I first truly met him (aside from just a brief introduction at a bar when Amy was trying to set me up with a friend of hers) was an apartment party that my (more patient beyond belief) roommate and I were throwing at our first apartment. He was cool enough to bring his electric guitar with him and plug into my PEAVEY 5150 head and JACKSON 4 X 12 cabinet. In my room, surrounded by guitar nerds with more than their fair share of hops and cannabis flowing through them at that moment in time, this dude just riffed away like nobody’s business. Being the good guy that he is, he was was taking requests from everybody and did it with an approving grimace on his face. It was just obvious that with a guitar in hand, this musical soul was in his zone. A man totally in his element. A few weeks after that, he and Amy helped me get my barely legal “buck soaking wet” girl neighbor away from an asshole abusive boyfriend and to a safe location. The dude barely knew me and he volunteered to help no question. Mad, mad respect for the guy. Anyway, we were only a able to hang out together a handful of other times in the mid nineties and unfortunately lost contact with each other up until about a year ago through FACEBOOK. 

The last I had heard of him was that he had been the bassist for Bay Area metal heroes, VICIOUS RUMORS, back in the late 1990s, early 2000s. When I re-connected with him a a few years back, I was pleasantly surprised that “Conrbread” was still heavily involved in music, playing in another Northern California metal outfit, SPIRAL ARMS. At that time, they had just welcomed [ex-DEATH ANGEL, ex- The ORGANIZATION drummer] Andy Galeon to the fold. However, a short time later and for all intensive purposes, SPIRAL ARMS disbanded. Fortunately, “Cornbread” would be embarking on a new quest with a shared vision with SPRIRAL ARMS vocalist, Tim Narducci [ex-SYSTEMATIC]. Having already played with each other in SPIRAL ARMS and stoner metal side-project, WHITE WITCH CANYON, their personal and musical bond was already tighter then a boa’s grip during feed time. Tim (also an established record producer) approached “Cornbread” about collaborating in something that would draw its’ core inspiration from a classic lineup that were beyond instrumental in breathing life back into heavy metal’s lungs in the early eighties and more in particular, from its’ super nova guitarist. “Cornbread” accepted the offer he knew that he could not refuse.

This vision came into full focus when they recruited locals drummer Carter Kennedy [ORCHID] and blistering Randy Rhoads disciple, Jeremy Von Eppic [BLACK GATES, The VENTING MACHINE], thus forming The WATCHERS [ https://www.facebook.com/Bandofwatchers/ ]. Within a short two year period, the band has already released their ‘Sabbath Highway’ EP [2017 RIPPLE MUSIC] and their debut full-length offering to the masses, ‘Black Abyss’ [2018 RIPPLE MUSIC]. The band has created a very favorable buzz in the doom/stoner metal badlands and wastelands. You can have incredible musicians playing together and still have it not be worth a shit because the songs (“The songs, maaaan! The songs!”) aren’t there and IF there are some, there just ain’t enough of them to keep the fans interest from all-out flatlining. Pull the plug. NEXT!

No. From the up-tempo hard rock, modern day E-Z rider vibe of “Sabbath Highway” to the boot-to-head SOUNDGARDEN-meets-DOWN metallic grind of ‘Black Abyss’, this band has the songs to backup that buzz. So much that the legendary Max Norman decided that he wanted in on it and used his Gandalf-manning-the-dials skills to produce ‘Black Abyss’.  Add to that their already impressive live resume which included stops at prestigious gigs at SOUTH by SOUTHWEST in Austin, Texas and the MARYLAND DOOM FESTIVAL.

We sat down and “chewed the fat” via the phone on July 19, 2018. It was great catching up with ol’ “Cornbread”. We talked in-depth about his early guitar and bass influences such as Randy Rhoads and Geddy Lee, his decades-long steadfast fandom of Cliff Burton, getting high praise from SAVATAGE’s John Olivia at the BANG YOUR HEAD FESTIVAL while playing bass in VICIOUS RUMORS, gigging with [ZZ TOP tribute band] BEER DRINKERS and HELLRAISERS [https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=beer%20drinkers%20%26%20hell%20raisers] and (most importantly) all things The WATCHERS, amongst other things.

You want the “direct from Amsterdam blonde hash on top of the finest green Humboldt County, Californiahas to offer”- topper, do ya?…Well, DO YA?…YEAH??? Dropping this now: In-studio recording time is just around the corner. So, (double) brew up a pot of java, start a grindin’ and a rollin’ and enjoy the following conversation.

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01.) M.P.: What inspired you to peruse a career in music? Were there any particular bands/artists, albums or song in particular that that made it an easy decision for you?

C.B.: I grew up in a musical family. My dad played piano and sang professionally, you know bars, doing the lounge thing. He was pretty much doing it five, six day a week. I was in the school band when I was a kid. So, I was around music ever since I can remember. But as far as what bands really did it? “You wanted the best and you got it! The hottest band in the world, KISS!”. If you were alive during that period and it didn’t do something for you, then I don’t know what was wrong with you. It was just so awesome!

M.P.: I’ve talked a few guys like Rob Urbinati of SACRIFICE and Joey Vera from ARMORED SAINT and FATE’S WARNING, and they said pretty much the same thing. That the roots can all be traced back to KISS.

C.B.: Absolutely, because I mean really, at that age, what bands are on your radar? They had the freakin’ dolls and the comic books and you name it, they had it going on.

M.P.: Yep! They even had THE ‘KISS MEETS the PHANTOM’ TV movie, which I’m sure that you’ve seen more one time. [laughs]

C.B.: I remember watching that on Chanel 7 at eight o’ clock! [laughs] KISS, [LED] ZEPPELIN for sure, too. My mom was the oldest in the family,  she had younger brothers and sisters. Her youngest brother was just a total rock-head. I’d go in his room when we’d be over at grandma’s house and just dig through his music and I’d be like, “Ooh! What’s this? ‘The Song Remains the Same’. Let’s check it out!”. Hearing “Rock and Roll” right out of the gate. And the live thing, too! Being that age, you’re not really aware of all that stuff and you’re like, “Wow! What exists out there?”. It was this huge, over-the-top thing and I remember going, “Yeah, this is what I want to do”.

M.P.: I take it that Ace [Frehley] was probably your favorite member of the band?

C.B.: You know, I gotta say it was Gene [Simmons], man. It’s not because I play bass or anything like that, but the whole demon thing. I was really into horror movies and stuff like that. He was that for me. That presence that he had. You know, the cool thing about KISS was that everybody was a star. Everybody sang. You knew everybody equally as well, you know what I mean? It wasn’t just like, “You know that one song? Um, I can’t remember his name”. No. You knew. So, it was kinda like, “Wow! That could be me!”. And as being a bass player, too, because in some bands, the bass player takes back seat. Look at Ian Hill from [JUDAS] PRIEST and how he kind of just kinda hung back by the drum riser. It was actually his band.[laughs] It just shows you that you could be a star and not be the guitar player.

M.P.: “This could be you!”.

C.B.: Right! For sure, man.

02.)  M.P.: Who are your bass and guitar influences? Who are your all-time favorite bassists and guitarists, metal or otherwise?

C.B.: Well at first I got to go and just give Randy Rhoads a whole bunch of props. I started on the guitar and it was classical. My parents, my mom really, was, “If you’re going to do it, you’re going to do it right”. So I had to take classical guitar lessons and it so happened that first OZZY record had come out. It was something that my ears hadn’t heard before, but was familiar. It was like. “Yes! This is what it supposed to sound like!”. It was just this over-the-top guitar player, man!  He just inspired me. And also what I guess his influence would have been was his practice etiquette, you know, because I had read about him. I remember I think maybe in ninth grade, high school, hearing that Randy Rhoads died. It was like. “Wow! That guitar player”. I didn’t know a whole bunch about him, but that’s kinda when it started. So you delve into it. Everywhere he went, he took a lesson. He was always practicing. So, that was like my guy. You do what your guy does. Lessons and practice and all that. As far as that influence goes, that was huge! I probably wouldn’t have dedicated myself as much if he wasn’t that figure there to influence me, so…..

M.P.: Right.

C.B.: But as far as bass, you know, that’s the other thing. Playing classical guitar, I was playing with my fingers. Hadn’t really picked up a pick yet. My parents got me an acoustic nylon. That’s what I had. So, I was ripping that thing up, but I didn’t have an electric guitar yet. I finally got one, but the picking was was kinda foreign to me. I was like, “Whoa!”, and it just kinda freaked me out. And then, low and behold, Geddy Lee, Steve Harris, Chris Squire. All these dudes who were amazing players, and also there wasn’t two of them in the band. That’s the other thing. When I started out, I had a buddy that I’d jam with and stuff, and we were always kinda fighting  over who was going to do solos, you know what I mean?

M.P.: Yeah.

C.B.: It was this competition thing and the bassist just kinda got to do his own gig and I really kind of dug that as well. “Hey, we couldn’t find a good bass player”. That really what it was. It was like. “Damn! Nobody plays the bass?”.  So I stepped up. Went down to the guitar store. Took my Les Paul and traded it in for a 1970 [FENDER] PRECISION bass.

M.:P.: Oh, sweet!

C.B.: …and yeah, that’s what did it.

M.P.: We’re you influence by players like Cliff Burton and Geezer Butler?

C.B.: Yeah, I mean there so many. I mean pretty much everybody that you listen to, you’re influenced by. As a musician, you’re more micro into it. You’re dissecting it. You hear all the little peaks and this and that. It’s not just in passing. That’s why it’s hard for me to hold a conversation and have music on in the background. All of my attention goes to it. I’m dissecting the whole thing. I’m in with the groove like, “Oh, yea!”. You get sucked in. You know, later on I got more into like Motown. Heavily actually. If you were to look at my iPhone, I got more of that than I do anything else. [laughs] James Jamerson. He was a huge influence. He was a guy in the sixties and seventies playing on most of the Motown music that you heard. We’re taking Otis Redding, James Brown. Everybody! So, the man. Rocco [full name Francis Rocco Prestia] from TOWER OF POWER, man! Loved his playing! Plus, you’re playing with (drummer) David Garibaldi, so I mean, how can you go wrong? [laughs]  he’s like the baddest drummer on planet Earth.

M.P.: What about guys like Jaco Pastorius and Stanley Clark [WEATHER REPORT]?

C.B.: Yeah, Jaco! I had his instructional video tape. Jaco was cool. I just wasn’t a huge WEATHER REPORT fan, per say. I wasn’t sittin’ around putting WEATHER REPORT albums on, but I was definitely putting on [RUSH] ‘Hemispheres’. You know, a lot of RUSH. IRON MAIDEN also, man. Steve Harris. Huge! So, there’s a lot.

03. ) M.P.: As I eluded to before, you play guitar as well as bass. I would imagine you are still pretty proficient at guitar as you were incredibly skilled at it back when I first met you in 1994 and guitar was your primary instrument. What was the reason for switching over to bass?

C.B.: Originally, ’cause like I said, I had already played the bass before. I had been in many, many bands Before I had even met you. And then I made the transition over to guitar again and I was kinda exploring that. But you know, in the end, I think I wanted the guitar to be, I don’t know, I’m selfish about it. I wanted it for myself. It is a part of me. It’s how I express myself. To have this outlet that is totally like pure and uncommercial if you will. I wanted to keep it special. So, that’s what I kinda do, man. I play guitar every day. I pick up the bass. Obviously, you know, we’re playing gigs all the time. But as far as just sittin’ around, jammin’ the bass, that’s kinda rare. Daily I play for hours on the guitar.

M.P.: I remember asking to play “Over the Mountain” on your guitar and amp back at an apartment party in Martinez, and you just railed it off. I watched and said to myself, “Shit! This guy is every bit as good as people say he is”.

C.B.: Wow, man. Thanks!

04.) The first notable band that I know you to have been a member of was VICIOUS RUMORS, where you played bass. I know that you had been friends with that band for years before you actually became a member of the band. How did you end up with that gig?

C.B.:  Yeah! So “V.R.”. They had always kinda been in my global view. They were around ever since when I was first playing in bands. I first met Larry Howe. I was in high school and they were playing this CALISTOGA GRAPE JAMS out in Napa [California] in a grape vineyard. Bam! In the middle of it, they just cleared a spot out for it. There’s a stage and people and you’re like, “All right”. [laughs] “Why not?”. I remember sittin’ there and this kinda biker-looking dude sat down next to me and started talking to me and he asked, “Are you here to see the band?, and I said, “Yeah, VR.” He goes, “Yeah, I play in VICIOUS RUMORS”.  I was like, “Really? I thought you were the roadie”. [laughs] Back then there was a little poser thing going on.

M.P.: I remember it. [laughs]

C.B.: So yeah, I was expecting this cat with the painted finger nails and the big hair and all that. He had a HARLEY shirt on. He was definitely a cool cat man. That was my first interaction with those guys. I ended up working for the band. I used to live with [guitar/vocals] Geoff Thorpe and Larry. We were roommates. This was before I was in the band. I was just a huge, huge fan and they were awesome, man! ‘Digital Dictator’ [1987 SHRAPNEL RECORDS] to me was right up there with fricking ‘Ride the Lightning’. Mark McGee on guitar. Are you kidding me, man?! At that point, I didn’t think anybody could touch him. Getting to sit there and watch rehearsals of all that early stuff with [former vocalist] Carl [Albert; r.I.p.]. It was awesome! I had left living with Geoff to move in with my girlfriend at the time, who eventually turned out to be my wife. Geoff called me and said “[VICIOUS RUMORS guitarist] Steve Smythe said he saw you playing at SLIM’S [San Francisco] with [FORBIDDEN guitarist] Glen Avales in a band called BIZZARO. I was jammin’ with him at the time. Jeremy [Colson], whose the drummer for STEVE VAI. He also plays in BILLY IDOL He was playin’ drums. We just had a great show and I guess they were looking for a bass player and Steve goes, “Man, we should check out “Cornbread, dude!. You should have seen his band. They were killer!”. So, Geoff called me like the next day after that show and said, “Hey, man!”, and kinda felt me out. Like I said, I had been around that band, so I knew what I was getting into. I was like, “All right, This is a band that’s already kinda done its’ thing”. But Geoff and I were really close and I loved the music! To be able to jam it, that’s what I was thinking about. I was like:” Yeah, yeah. Let’s do this, man!”. I knew it wasn’t something that I was going to be doing long-term, but I knew I wanted to do a cycle. So, we did a record. Got to tour, oh man, um, everywhere. [laughs] We toured with SAVATAGE for three months over in Europe. BANG YOUR HEAD FESTIVAL. That was my first festival over there. [SAVATAGE vocalist] John Oliva, he told us, “Yeah, I was on the bus, and I all of a sudden, I hear this reaction from the first song you played”. He comes off of the bus and he sees all of the other bands that have come off of their busses, too, to see what the Hell was going on. Like, “Who the Hell is playing?!”. He said that they made their way up to the stage and yeah, it was us, gettin’ it on, man. My first tIme in Europe. Ira Black was playing guitar, Jeff, we had Ryan O’ Connor on vocals. We were all just excited to be there, man! We just killed it and after the show, I was back on the shuttle bus to go to the hotel and I hear John Olvia. I hear him outside, [yelling] “Where’s your bass player?”, and I’m like, “Oh, shit!”. He gets on the bus and goes, “Hey, dude! You’re a bad motherfucker!”. And I’m like, “What?! John Oliva?! Fuck! That’s awesome!”. So fucking stoked! He said, “You guys are going on tour with us!”, and I’m like, “OK!”. Sure enough, like a month later, he calls us. It was a great opportunity. Every show was sold-out. Playing pretty big venues. WARFIELD [San Francisco] type places. It was awesome. We got to do the main stage at WACKEN. That was amazing! It was filmed, too. It came out on the WACKEN dvd for 2002. Eventually, it is what it was.

M.P.:  It ran it’s course.

C.B.: Yeah. I was thinking, “Well that was cool, but”. [laughs] Maybe that’s it”. I mean I did it from 1999 ’til 2004. So five years. A lot of drama I’ll say [laughs], but a lot of fun, man! It was some of the best times. Just on the road, not knowing what was around the corner. It was definitely that! We were just riding on a shoestring, barely making it. [laughs]

M.P..: You probably look back at it as some of the best times of your life.

C.B.: Oh, Man! You know, it was stressful at times. Like I said, you’re in these weird situations. But then you survive it, obviously, and look back on it, and it becomes just a great story. I also never realized how big of a fan base they had overseas and to actually go over there and see it for myself, I was like, “Oh, shit!”. And they’re serious about it ,too, man! They knew their stuff and they grilled me a little bit. [laughs] to see if I was like on the up and up. I’m like, “I’m a fan, too, man! I’m telling you”. [laughs]

05.) Prior to forming The WATCHERS, you were in SPIRAL ARMS with your vocalist in The WATCHERS, Tim Narducci, [ex-SYSTEMATIC], guitarist Craig Lociero [ex-FORBIDDEN, ex-DEMONIC] and Drummer Andy Galeon [ex-DEATH ANGEL, ex- The ORGANIZATION]. Basically a northern California underground metal supergroup. If you don’t mind me asking, why did that band dissolve?

C.B.: [long pause] Wow! So that band. I was in that band for twelve years, OK? It was actually the longest run that I’ve ever had in a band. For a lot of us, that’s the longest we had been in a band. When I first got in the band, Eric Kretz from S.T.P was on drums. Two totally different things. [laughs] We definitely went through our changes. Eric left to go back to S.T.P obviously. Chris Kontos…

M.P.: From MACHINE HEAD and ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT!

C.B.: Absolutely! He jammed with us for many years. Great guy! Great drummer! That was, you know, at that point, I don’t know. You called it a supergroup or something, but I was looking at it and I’m like. “Ok”. I knew Tim because I had played with him when I was playing with Glen. SYSTEMATIC had played some shows with them before the big deal had happened and I was well aware of everything that went down with METALLICA and SYSTEMATIC and that whole thing. More specifically, Lars [Ulrich] and his label. And Eric Kretz. You know what I mean? Craig from FORBIDDEN. And I’m just looking at these guys and I was like, “Wow!”. I was in awe. To get to play of these people was kind really cool to me! I’m like, “Yeah! Right on!”. But you know, everybody’s got their quirkiness and all that shit. The hardest thing is you have to find a chemistry that works correctly. You know, we did it for twelve years. We went through some band member changes. But in the end, it became not as fun as I think it should be in band unfortunately. And we put a lot of work into it and it could actually been on [laughs] shorter freedom by not even happening. I don’t know if you knew this, but WHITE WITCH CANYON was a band that Tim and I were also in. Tim had put together kInda a stoner rock thing with the guitarist from GREENHOUSE EFFECT. One of the members of SPIRAL ARMS had to go on tour all of a sudden with this other band kind in the middle of everything. [laughs] We’re like. “Ok. Whatever. We’ve just been working at this thing for six years”. So, we just went ahead and did this. And, man! We just had a great tour. We toured the United States. Pretty much booking it ourselves as punk rock as you could do it. Just had a great time! I was like, “That was easy, man! This is what it’s supposed to be like!”. Not pulling teeth. If I want to do that, I would have become an orthodontist. [laughs] So in the end, it just wan’t fun. Tim’s like, “Hey, man! I want to do a new project. I want to do something that is like something that inspired us to do music in the first place. That’s the music I want to play”. And I’m like, “OK. Alright. I’m with ya”. He goes, “Those first two OZZY records, dude. That’s what did it!”, and I’m like, “What?!”. He goes, “I know this guy, Jeremy [Von Epp]. He’s a guitar player. Unbelievable, man! You gotta check him out”, and I’m like, “OK! I like how you’re talking!”. So, that’s how it kinda started, which was an idea of kinda what we wanted to do, just not haphazardly going about it. Not to try to reproduce, because that’s definitely not it, but that was the same dynamic. Just super hot, on fire guitar player. Just honest rock, hard rock riffs with all the energy and all that you’d want from a good song and Tim on top of it, man. We got Carter on the drums from ORCHID. He’s a great, great drummer, man! And yeah, it just all came together and shit, that first EP that The WATCHERS did [‘Sabbath Highway; 2017 RIPPLE MUSIC], we jammed for maybe four rehearsals and then we kept that EP.

M.P.: Wow! You were able to go ahead and get that EP done after only doing four rehearsals?

C.B.:  Absolutely, man!  We came in and it was like Jeremy [slight pause]…You know, that’s what’s cool about it, too. It’s perfect. Tim, he’s just a songwriting machine. Jeremy, songwriting machine. So, it’s perfect. He brings these riffs in. Tim’s got these vocal ideas. They combine those. We get in the room. We ALL dissect it and make this thing and it’s a really easy process. It’s not just, you know …[slight pause] I go back to SPRIAL ARMS, which is kinda how we learned that this process works, but it doesn’t, which was everybody throwing in their idea and it all had to have equal time, So, it’s almost like drawing a picture where start and then it’s like, “OK”, and you hand it to somebody else and they start and by the time it gets back to you, you’re like, “What the Hell’s that?!”. [laughs]

M.P.: Did it it almost get to the point to where, in a joking matter, you were think to yourself. “Wow! It’s only a matter of time before we get lawyers involved in this?”.

M.P.: [laughs] Well no, it wasn’t like that, but it was just not a good way to create. You’re really shooting in the dark expecting that to work out for you. I mean possibly, if you’re LED ZEPPELIN. If it just so happens that chemistry is such that, you know, whatever you touch is gold and there it is, right? That’s what you’re looking for, but in the end, yeah, in the end to write a song like that, it’s better to kinda have a singularity. Actually have somebody that has a vision of it and then build on that and [slight pause]…that’s what kinda happens in The WATCHERS, right? I mean the riff comes in. Tim and Jeremy get together. They have this, you know, foundation that by the time we get to it, it’s like, “OK!”. We’re not perverting the process like, “Hey! Check this out! I got this thing!”, that totally doesn’t fit but it’s like. “Uh..OK, dude. Yeah”, and takes it on a totally different path. Yeah, I like songs that actually have {slight pause] their simple, to the point, get in get out, and do their thing. And it’s hard when you have twelve guys trying to put their opinion on so yeah [slight pause]…definitely dig the process that we have going on right now with The WATCHERS and we’re already working on our next record.

M.P.: That’s awesome, man!

C.B.: [laughs] We kinda want to go off the old-school way of doing thing. Trying to do a release a year kinda thing. Just do more select gigs rather than going out there and beating yourself up in a van for months on end. It’s like, “Hey! Let’s build a catalog”. And RIPPLE MUSIC too, man. They’ve been super cool! I gotta say really, really happy to have hooked up with those guys. Everybody at that label just rocks!

06. ) M.P.: So as far as the formation of The WATCHERS, you guys already had a shared vision. It wasn’t a “Let’s jam together and see what comes from it” situation? 

C.B.: Yeah, really I would say that it was Tim’s original vision. I mean we had talked about it, but he kinda had the pieces to put together, so he’s like, “Hey! This cat, Jeremy” [slight pause]…Tim’s a producer, so all day he sits and records. He does a lot of local bands. ZED, that’s a Tim Narducci band. He produces those guys.  There’s too many too name almost. TOY CALLED GOD. There’s been a lot of people that Tim’s recorded Bay Aea-wise. So Tim just said, “Yeah, I got this guitar player. I mean he’s a Randy Rhoads, man. I’m telling you, he’s got this crucial thing!”. I’m like, “OK! I’m on board!”. And then he mentioned Carter from ORCHID, who I knew of from when we were in SPIRAL ARMS together. We toured with SCORPION CHILD and ORCHID was touring with those guys before we actually jumped on. So we heard all about him. So, it was exciting, man! We’re like, “Let’s do this! And like I said, about four rehearsals, we’re like, “Let’s do an EP”.

M.P.: That’s fucking awesome, man! Well, I have to ask you was this. Was Jeremy still in BLACK GATES at that time, or had that already run it’s course when Paul Bostaph rejoined SLAYER?

C.B.: You know, I’m not quite sure on that. From my understanding of it, I think it was just kind of an ongoing, you know [slight pause]…and this is something that kind of pissed me off with the SPIRAL ARMS situation because I had never thought a band has to officially breakup so to speak, right? Like it can exist but not be active. And we were to the point where we kinda didn’t even want to be in the room as some of these guys [laughs]. So we went our separate ways, but we felt [slight pause]… we have an album in the can, done. It was recorded at Eric Kretz’s [STONE TEMPLE PILOTS] studio down in L.A that he produced. It got so sour that we didn’t even want to do that. But fuck it, man. Let’s just do something new. And we’re actually really happy. Love the direction. Love the productivity of the band. We’re getting a lot done in a short period of time. It’s been two years since we started and we got two records out.

M.P.: I really think you guys went about it the right way by getting the EP out first. I think that’s just the proper way for a new band to get their name out there. It’s like, “Here’s a little sample size and we’re going to put out more, but here’ just a sample size. What do you think?”.

C.B.: Exactly! We don’t want to make it a long [slight pause]…Like I said, twelve years and what was it? Four records? Four records in twelve years. Not productive, OK? So, yeah [laughs], we were anxious to get something and it was sounding so good right out the gate, too. I mean just [slight pause]…That song, “Sabbath Highway”. That song was the first song I think we all kind of put together. Jeremy had that riff and I started grinding that [imitates bass-line] and the drums and it just all came together, man. And nothing really changed after that.I mean, what you hear is what you get. It’s like when we get in the room and play, that’s what happens. There’s not a lot of thought.

M.P.:  It’s just instinct.

C.B.: Yeah, yeah, yeah! It’s a cool thing, man. Super excited about it!

M.P.: Bad ass!

07.) M.P.: I hear a lot of different influences in the bands’ sound. Everything from BLACK SABBATH, JUDAS PRIEST and IRON MAIDEN to SOUNDGARDEN and ALICE IN CHAINS to DOWN and CORROSION of CONFORMITY. Which bands would you say (collectively) are The WATCHERS primary influences?

C.B.: Like I say again, those first OZZY records. Jeremy’s a huge Randy Rhoads fan, as am I, as is Tim. We’re already all on board with that. And like I said, the starting of this band there was the mention of ‘Diary Of A Madman’, ‘Blizzard of Ozz’. Those two records. Whatever that was, let’s not try to duplicate, but that’s kind of the direction. Ripping guitar solos! Crank those things up! Just guitar hero rock that wasn’t really around anymore. And that’s kinda what we want to do. And it’s funny because we’ve been lumped into this stoner rock/doom scene thing, which is cool because I really dig that stuff! It’s go hella vibe and just “cool”, but I wouldn’t say that’s what we do. I would definitely say that’s definitely not what we do. Not that it’s a bad thing [laughs]. It’s what happens. But I think we’re in good company. I like the down and dirtiness of it Being associated with those kind of bands, it’s all good, man.

08.) M.P.: Who are the primary songwriters within the band? Does anybody else besides Tim contribute lyrics?

C.B.: No, if Tim’s singing it, he’s writing it, man. That’s how that is. Tim writes a lot with the guitar and Jeremy’s just a riff machine. So, what happens is they come in with ideas. Some of it is pre-done like little demos. “Here’s some ideas I got”, which some of them there’s like two songs in one song and one we use the verse in one song. And that’s when we get in the room and start dissecting it. I’d say that’s my forte. Like once we get to that point and I’m like, “We should do this three times and a little break right here”, and just start to put it all together. It seems that we have a great little chemistry going that’s easy, where we can produce quickly, you know?[laughs]

M.P.: Yeah, it creates no anxiety.

C.B.: Well, yeah, and it doesn’t take forever, man. I mean we’re not getting any younger, you know?

M.P.: [laughs] I know what you mean! I am only two year behind you.

C.B.: Yeah! So it’s like, “Hey, man! Let’s do this! No time better than the present!”.

M.P.: Yeah, now as opposed to later. [laughs]

C.B.: Exactly. That’s what SPIRAL ARMS kinda was. It was this dreaded feeling[slight pause]…I remember Tim would call me and he’s all, “Hey [long pause]…yeah”…

M.P.: “Is there anyway we can get out of this tonight [laughs]?”.

C.B.: Yeah. [Tim Narducci] “You want to do rehearsal?” . [C.B.] “Ughh! Do we have to?”. If you’re not excited about it, then why do it…. But I’m really excited now!

M.P.: You’re like, “I think I can use the excuse tonight that I am helping a buddy move tonight so I can get out of rehearsal”. [laughs]

C.B.: “Hey, I got a roast in the oven, man”.

M.P.: Totally! [laughs]

09.) M.P.: What is the story behind getting Max Norman (who produced OZZY OSBOURNE, ARMORED SAINT, SAVATAGE, LOUDNESS and DEATH ANGEL in the 80s and early 90s and just recently engineered the latest album from Jake E. Lee’s RED DRAGON CARTEL) to produce The WATCHERS debut album, ‘Black Abyss’? Was he requested by the band personally to produce the album? If so, was him producing the first two OZZY albums with Randy Rhoads on guitar one of the main reasons for that?

C.B.: Uh, yes. [laughs] So here’s what happened: Tim, in his Facebook feed of all places, there’s Max Norman putting up a little blurb about something he was working on. He’s like, “Man!”. So It got him thinking from the start of this whole thing with the two records that we had talked about. So he calls me up and goes, “Hey, Man! I just saw this post by Max Norman and I just reached out to him, so what do you think?”. I’m like, “Fuck, dude! What do you think that I think?! [laughs] That’d be awesome!”. So basically, he said to send him some songs, so he sent him some songs to go and check out and he was like, “Wow! Great guitar payer! I’d love to work with you guys”. It just came about like things I guess come about in the cosmos. Like, “Damn! Perfect timing”. Tim reached out to our manager in L.A and said, “Hey, reach out to Max and see if he’s willing to work with us”. So, we were really excited about that AND to hear it come back, ’cause we had already tracked the thing. Done. We knew what we had laid down, BUT we didn’t know what somebody like Max could bring to the table. We just didn’t know and it’s funny how a different ear on things….[slight pause] You know, you push one thing rather than another. What used to be a very tucked in the background part becomes the main part and then things change and you’re like,  “Whoh!”, and then it’s awesome! So yeah, really happy and stoked about the work Max did on it. Great guy. The guy’s a gem, man.

M.P.: That’s awesome man!, When I talked to Joey Vera Vera about him (https://youtu.be/cjSzZGcDH8g), he said that on the second album [‘Delirious Nomad’; 1985 CHRYSALIS RECORDS], they really fought to get the producer they wanted to produce it. So, they decided to get Max Norman. I asked him if one of the reasons they chose Max was because he produced the first two OZZY albums and he had that a good part of it was to just hear stories about that time. [lauhgs]

C.B.: Right! That was it. And of course with the latest technologies and what not, Max obviously being on the east-coast, I think he lives in Manhattan, that we’re able to just send him files and he sends them back asking  “What do you think of this?” But what a great guy! And yeah, he was very generous with the stories. You know, we were definitely FANS! We weren’t shy about it, you know? [chuckles]

M.P.: [laughs] That’s totally fucking awesome!

10.) M.P.: Did Max Norman help bring out a lot of the 80s metal and hard rock influence or did that just come naturally from within the band?

C.B.: No, that was kind of what we were shooting for. I mean like I said, the whole purpose was, “Hey! Let’s try to reproduce that reason why we do this in the first place, man! That was it! That was the goal. And yeah, to have Max Norman work on it, you couldn’t get more poetic if you wanted to. I mean, who else would you have gotten?

M.P.: Yeah! The only other producer I can think of would be [former IRON MAIDEN, BLACK SABBATH and DEEP PURPLE producer] Martin Birch. That’s about it.

C.B.: Exactly! Right! From that time period, of course, that would have been ridiculous! Maybe next record. Who knows?

11.) M.P.: Was the album recorded old-school or new-school using software like Pro Tools?

C.B.: We didn’t use tape. It was definitely laid down Pro Tools-style. Yep. Send files over. He’d mess with his. I don’t think was working with Pro Tools. I think he was working with something else. I don’t really get into the whole recording part of it. Too many wires. I’ll play the bass. [laughs]

12.) M.P.: When it comes to writing the guitar parts, being that you are as experienced as you are as a guitarist, do you ever aid in the process or is that strictly Jeremy’s domain?

C.B.: Oh, man! Jeremy’s got that thing covered! Yeah. He’s also a guitar teacher a GUITAR SHOWCASE. He’s really a ridiculous player, man. He’s one of those just few really talented, comes naturally. He’s definitely go it. We’ve sat down and jammed before. He knows that I can play guitar. [laughs] I wouldn’t want to go up against Jeremy in the ol’ ‘Crossroads’ scenario. [laughs]

13.) M.P.: If the band ever decided to “widen” its’ sound by adding a second guitar player, would you ever consider switching over to guitar? 

C.B.:  NO. I play the bass. I play guitar, too. So like I said, I kind of kinda keep that for myself. I just have a different relationship that I do with the bass. The bass is more like my tool, my ROCK tool. My guitar is like the conduit to my soul if you will. It’s definitely more personal. I just kinda like to keep it that way. I don’t know. I just never had the urge to commercialize it. It just means too much to me, you know what I mean? It sounds weird. That’s just how I view it.

M.P.: No, it makes perfect sense.

C.B.: I think Tim’s been talking about playing guitar on this next album actually. He just went out and got himself a Flying V, so we’ll see what happens, man. He can never really make up his mind. [laughs]

14.) M.P.: The WATCHERS played the MARYLAND DOOM FESTIVAL in The U.S. in 2017 which also featured The SKULL and WO FAT and then played DESERTFEST in the U.K. earlier this year which also featured HIGH ON FIRE. Just out of my own curiosity, since I have interviewed Eric Wagner from The SKULL ( https://youtu.be/9tkTZRKLf8w), Kent Stump from WO FAT ( https://youtu.be/dRC2AqSvh-Q) and Matt Pike from HIGH ON FIRE(http://vitriolinc.com/interview-with-matt-pike-high-on-fire-sleep-04-14-2018/), did you get a chance to catch any of those bands at those shows and if so, can you offer any thoughts?

C.B.: So yeah. The SKULL. I missed them. [laughs]. We were at the MARYLAND DOOM FEST. They were the headlining band I think the night we played. I think we played a few bands before them. There’s a local cat. I forget the guy’s name. I think it’s something like “Weezel”, or something like that. But anyway, I ended up drinking beer with that guy. [laughs] We smoked some of this just ridiculous Maryland green that, yeah, I needed to sit down. It definitely took me down. I was really looking forward to seeing The SKULL, but then I was like, “You know what, guys, um, I think I’m going to just hang out in the van and try to my talk myself down off the ceiling”, you know what I mean? [laughs]

M.P.: Yeah. [laughs]

C.B.: But WO FAT. We played with those guys in London.

M.P.: Nice!

C.B.: No. No. No. Where in the Hell were we? We were at SOUTH BY SOUTHWEST in Texas. Great guys, man! Love, love the guy’s in WO FAT! All three of those guys are just really cool. Love the band. Love that big blown-out vibe.

M.P.: Hell Yeah!

C.B.: We were trying to go see HIGH ON FIRE. It’s funny, We thought we were in the right venue, This was in London, and there were no signs around. They called it The BLACK CAT. You got to the front of this place and it’s like a brick building with a number on it, and you’re like, “Is this it?”. You see all the people going inside, so you’re like, “This must be it”.  So, we go in and we’re standing there waiting and then I see them unveil he backdrop and no, it wasn’t HIGH ON FIRE at all. [laughs] Oh man, I can’t even think of who it was at the time. I want to say CANNIBAL CORPSE, but no, it wasn’t them. It was some English band, hard-core from Birmingham [UK]. Songs are really short…[slight pause] I’ll think of them. But no, it wasn’t HIGH ON FIRE. It was like, “Aww. Man!!”, but it was cool. It was a good trip, actually.

15.) M.P.: Have The WATCHERS been approached about possibly playing Wakken OPEN AIR, BLOODSTOCK or HELLFEST in the future? 

C.B.: No, but we’d love to do those. So, Thomas and Sherrie from WAKKEN, if you’re listening out there, “Hey!! Have us out!!”. [laughs]

M.P.: Definitely!! Being that The WATCHERS are one of the main bands on a fast track coming up through the doom/stoner metal scene, I would have thought that WAKKEN, BLOODSTOCK and HELLFEST would have reached out to you guys by now.

C.B.: We’ve actually talked to some festivals. We’re just trying to make all the right moves. Right now, we’re mainly just concerned about getting this other record out. Although we’re not doing shows, looks like we’re doing a show in Vegas at VAMPED with that metal band, KING. Great band. We’re going to go out there and support those guys. That’s coming up here pretty soon, I think in August. Also, we’re talking like by October maybe in the studio recording the new record. We want to get it done by the end of the year.

M.P.: Bad-ass!

C.B.: Yeah.

16.) Are there any upcoming tours for The WATCHERS are scheduled for, either as headliner or opener? If so , can you elaborate on them? 

C.B.: No. Like I said, we’re only doing one-offs, things that pop up. Like that SAXON show  [at the CORNERSTONE in Berkeley, CA on 04/18/2018]. It was like, “Hey! You wanna open for SAXON?”, and we’re like, “Hell yeah we’d like to open for SAXON! What are you talkin’ about?!” [laughs].

M.P.: Exactly!

C.B.: My first concert, man! My first concert first concert was FASTWAY, SAXON and IRON MAIDEN at the COW PALACE [Daily City, near San Francisco].

M.P.: Yep! 1983.

C.B.: Man, what a great show!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

17.) M.P.: You also play bass in the ZZ TOP tribute band, BEER DRINKERS and HELLRAISERS. How did that come about? Just out of curiosity, are you familiar with the THIN LIZZY tribute band, The LOW-RIDERS, out of Ireland?

C.B.: Um, I am not familiar with the The LOWRIDERS, but I’m sure they’re cool.

M.P.: They’re fucking bad-ass, man!

C.B.: [laughs]

M.P.: I mean I’m not really too big on cover bands most of the time, but this band HAS IT DOWN! The LOWRIDERS!

C.B.: That’s great! Yeah, the ZZ TOP thing. I got a phone call from this cat. Guitar player. He’s like, “Hey, man! You still got that beard? I’m like, “Um, yeah”. He had a friend who I guess was having a birthday or something and he’s a huge ZZ TOP fan and he wanted to do a little ZZ TOP set and just put it together for this dude’s birthday. I’m like, “Yeah! That’d be fun, man!”. And it’s something that I had thought about anyway. It really just took off from there, big time! To me, ZZ TOP is the definition of cool. They do it their way. The only way it’s ever been done, you know what I mean? They’re the “original” original and I just love ’em to death. man! And I also go back to Cliff Burton. I don’t know if you remember this interview, it was on “Cliff ‘em All, but they were talking about what bands they listened to and I think Mustaine started poppin’ off…

M.P.: Like ANGELWITCH.

C.B.: Yeah, and you look at the look on Burton’s face. It’s priceless! He’s disgusted, man. He’s like, “Dude! [LYNYRD] SKYNYRD!”. He starts naming them off. “ZZ TOP!” You know, “Master of Sparks”. “Master of Puppets”. That’s not coincidence, man. There’s a reason for that.[laughs]

M.P.: Exactly! And by the way, Cliff will always be the coolest member of that band. I think that there’s still a lot of people out there into extreme metal that just don’t have a real idea of how much of an impact that he and guys like Chuck Shuldiner [DEATH] had on that genre of music that they love.

C.B.: Right. Just a genuine, straight-up dude, man. If you want a model to model yourself after, model yourself after Cliff Burton, man, ’cause that’s one cool fuckin’ motherfucker right there!

M.P.: Exactly! Pure. Nothing fake about him. Just pure.

C.B.: That was it! Right! You could see it with the records that came out after he was gone.

M.P.: Totally!

C.B.: Disorientation and just trying to figure themselves out. And the whole ‘…And Justice for All’ thing. I haven’t heard a lot of people mention it like this, but my take on that whole record, is that they couldn’t let somebody play on the next record. Period. I think that at the the end of the day, that is the reason for “no bass” on that record. Remember, this is the first studio release after  Cliff’s death. What better tribute than to not have any bass on that record whatsoever, man? It’s like the chair. The empty chair on the stage.

M.P.: It’s kinda like the missing man formation.

C.B.: Exactly, dude! Exactly! And I look at it that way. That’s what happened with that record. That’s why I was always OK with it. I was like, “You know what? That’s cool!” I’m willing to bend my ear to listen to this thing. [laughs] But I remember when I first got it, I was messin’ around with the back of my stereo, seeing if one of the wires was loose or something. Like, “What’s going on?!”. But that record works, and I like to think that’s the reason that they did that. And if it is, they never said it and I think that’s even cooler.

M.P.: That’s an interesting take that I never even though of, so I’m glad that I asked you that question.

C.B.: Yeah, man. Love that band! Love METALLICA!

M.P.: Still to this day?

C.B.: Yeah. I mean I’m not buying their records or anything I checked out ‘Death Magnetic’ and was like, “OK. Sounds like you guys are getting back”. I think that Rick Rubin got them in the right direction., maybe a little too much. I hear that’s what he does. It’s like, “Listen to your old stuff and do that!”. But that’s kinda the advice that I would have given them, you know What I mean? After the whole Bob Rock thing.

M.P.: Fiasco?

C.B.: I mean I think they just got caught up in it a little bit. I think if they would have just dipped their toe into the Bob Rock pond, it would have been better for them, Maybe. I mean they sold millions of records, but I think that they would have sold millions of records anyway, and ‘…And Just for All’ proves that. You can have a fucked-up sounding record and still have it be a complete blockbusting hit.

M.P.: Do you think that they could have become as successful as they are if they continued using Flemming Rasmussen as producer?

C.B.: I don’t know if going back to Flemming would have been the way to go, but to have just continued on that path of discovery, because to me, every METALLICA record is different. You got ‘Kill ‘Em All’ to ‘Ride the Lightning’. There’s just a huge difference in production and the way that they were approached. An then if you didn’t think that it could get any bigger than ‘Ride the Lightning’ and then you hear MOP, and you’re like, “Oh, shit!”. You don’t know what to do, man! [laughs]

M.P.: Out of all of the classic albums from that band, which is your favorite?

C.B.: [long pause] Hmmm. You know I gotta say ‘ Ride the Lightning’.

M.P.: Mine too, man! Mine too!

C.B.: There’s just something about it, man! It just the way it’s recorded and the guitar tones. It’s just really cool. I know Mustaine’s all over it as far as writing. You know him and I had a little run-in, but whatever, man. [laughs] But yeah, It’s just a cool record, man. Front to back. It just brings back a lot of memories, too. I remember listening to that record and growing up with it. Yeah, ‘Ride the Lightning’. I’m sticking to it! That’s my answer!

18.) M.P.: Being that you have been a musician for decades and also worked at GUITAR CENTER as a sales-person, you would have an educated opinion on this subject. Do you feel that there will ever be a need for music chains like Guitar Center again like there was in the 80s, 90s and 2000s, or do you feel that they are going the way of the dinosaur and will become obsolete in the near future? 

C.B.: So, GUITAR CENTER [chuckles] sucked my soul! I was sales manager for GUITAR CENTER. I was actually involved in some of the strategic planning for what they were about to do, which was to get way too big. But at the time, we had only like twelve stores and the goal was to get to fifty. They have like two hundred and fifty now. GUITAR CENTER is a destination retailer. You made a trip of it. You were like. “Yeah! This Saturday, we’re going to GUITAR CENTER and we’re going to check out some amps. Yeah!”. You’re stoked. Cool! People are willing to go there. It’s almost like an amusement park. So you really didn’t need one on every corner, just as long as there was one within driving range that somebody’s willing to make a little hike to check out some guitars. But, I don’t even think they thought about the Internet and what was going to do.. And now you got, I don’t know what the percentage is, people buying shit online and through MUSIAN’S FRIEND and SWEETWATER. That pie all of a sudden got small and you’re stuck with two hundred and fifty stores? It’s like you guys really weren’t thinking ahead, man. You could’ve just upped your inventory or maybe even bought a bigger property so the thing was like frickin’ DISNEYLAND, but still not have so many of them. Then if stuff died down, then yeah, tame it down a little bit. I hear they’re going bankrupt. I know that BAIN CAPITAL bought ’em out a while back. Some craziness. When I was working with them, it was still privately owned. Ray Schir was the owner. Marty Albertson  and all other those guys in upper management. You know, the same dudes who started the company. And then once they split, I think they went public and those guys just became like gazillionaires . It’s like, “Shit! I’m outta here”. [laughs] They lost what they were all about. You can’t get that big and not foresee the things coming up. You know, is guitar going to be that big? I know people are doing it, but is it going to be what it was eighties? I don’t think so, man.

M.P.: Yeah, not even close.

C.B.: And who knows after this generation dies off is the next thing, IF there is a thing then. It might be Armageddon and we may be going back to spears and tribal craziness. But yeah, we grew up in a great era, man, as far as the music.

M.P.: Oh, Yeah! And not only the music, but the scenes that were associated with it and just the industry in general.

C.B.: Right.

19.) M.P.: What is your rig rundown for The WATCHERS, both in the studio and live?

C.B.: Ah! Well it just depends with the studio thing. You know, we may try a modeling program where you have got access to all these different amps. I swear to God! I got these SVT amps that we had mic’d up with the BAD ASS mic and the whole thing and you couldn’t tell the difference between the model and the actual amp. So I was like, “Shit! Why am I going to lug all this crap down here and go through this process when all I have to do is plug into this thing that sounds exactly the same? Let’s try that!”.

M.P.: Was it the KEMPER modeler?

C.B.: You know, I’m not sure which program. It’s over at Tim’s studio. SONIC ROOM STUDIOS. That’s Tim’s spot. What I’m playing is ORANGE right now. I got an Artist deal with them. I dig it! The problems that I was having with the SVT stuff is that it’s great when you’re standing in front of it by yourself jammin’ the bass. Nothing sounds better. But when the band comes in and the bass disappears a little bit and you’re like, “I’m not really cutting”. It’s like there’s too many frequencies happening to contend with. And ORANGE amps are these really focused, kind of mid-range, honkey seventies John Paul Jones thing. And you really can’t duplicate anything other than that with those amps. It’s exactly what I was looking for, because I do play with my fingers, and you know that “clickety clank clank” thing with the bass we all love when we go to an IRON MAIDEN concert.

M.P.: Absolutely!

C.B.: Right! I was trying to get rid of that, man. I just wanted the tone and not the finger noise and I can’t even make finger noise on the ORANGE. It’s all tone. It just comes out frickin’ tone! Nice round, killer, delicious, just awesome tone! So I’m pretty stoked on ’em. I got two of the 200Bs, the MK IIIs. Those bass heads are two hundred watts, all tube, ninety lbs. I go one clean and I go one dirty and I mix that through four cabinets. Sometimes it just depends where you are playing if you can bring all that crap out. [laughs] Normally I just plug straight into the amp, man. I’ve always been that way. I don’t like pedals. If I want to get more dirt out of the amp, I’ll get the amp dirty. The less crap between me and the amp, the better. But that’s always been me. Maybe I’m just lazy. That may be it! The thought of stringing out all of those pedals over the floor. “Oh, my God! Hey! Does anybody got a nine-volt?”.

M.P.: It get’s old after a while, man.

C.B.: That’s what I’m saying! That might be more of what has to do with it. ‘[laughs] I’ve been happy with the tone I’m getting. The no non-sense route. I remember all of the bass players back in the day, I just saw the that cord run right up to the amp and plugged right in. I was like, “Ok. There it is. That’s all you need to do. Ready to go”.

M.P.: Yeah, AC/DC mad a career out of doing that.

C.B.: Yeah, and then there’s the 440 tuning thang. You get into all these dropped- Ds and seven string guitar stuff. You’re getting into the unnatural territory of where the instrument didn’t ever intend to be. You listen to all those classic rock records and you wonder why they sound so damn good. Well yeah, because they’re doing it the right way. They’re actually playing the guitar IN TUNE! They’re not trying to make it all sloppy. To me, it was apparent.

20.) M.P.: Chris “Cornbread” Lombardo of The WATCHERS is a heavy metal festival promoter for one day and one day only. You have to choose one death metal band, one thrash metal band, one black metal band, one doom metal band, one classic metal band and one cross-over band. You may pick any era/lineup of those bands and you must choose the order the billing. You can even include The WATCHERS if you’d like. Go!

C.B.: Yeah, We’re not going to be playin’ this one man. I could use the day off. [laughs].

M.P.: I gotcha. [laughs]

C.B.: Let’s see. So we’re going to start the show with ELECTRIC WIZARD. Moving over to the cross-over section, I would like to introduce The CRO-MAGS to ya. Then my good bud, and this may be the reason why I threw it on there, as far as your death metal goes, I think it’s fair to say one of the pioneers, Jeff Becerra and POSSESSED. Then we go to thrash metal and also my good buddy, not from this continent but my homeland, Germany, where I was born, Schmir and DESTRUCTION. And then the classic metal, closing the show, I gotta go with IRON MAIDEN, man. When you think about it, they’re probably the biggest metal band out there. You could probably go into the jungle somewhere on the other side of the planet and see some kid with an IRON MAIDEN shirt on. They are world-wide. It’s not like a PANTERA thing, like just an American phenomenon, where it wasn’t so much of an overseas thing for them. IRON MAIDEN rules the world! [laughs].

M.P.: Thanks for taking the time to do this interview with me for VITRIOL, INC / A DARK UNITED FRONT. It really means a lot to me, bro!

C.B.: Absolutely! It’s all good, Marc.

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Be sure to visit the band’s official FACEBOOK page and check out the assorted videos listed directly below. Cheers, ya rivet-heads!!

 

 

Author: Marc Pietrek

I grew up in northern California during the 1980s and have been an AVID heavy metal fan since 1982. Having experienced the Bay Area thrash metal scene first hand, thrash metal will always be at my core, However, I am also a huge fan of death metal, doom metal, traditional heavy metal, stoner rock/metal and old-school black metal. If it concerns any of those sub-genres, (to borrow a quote from Christopher Walken in 'THE KING OF NEW YORK') "I want in on it!!". Cheers, ya rivet-heads!!

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