#1056: This Fear Factory vocalist was in Nirvana’s ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ music video

Q #2,052: This Fear Factory vocalist was in Nirvana’s ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ music video.

A.

Fear Factory vocalist Burton C. Bell was a Nirvana fan in their pre-‘Nevermind’ days. The band released ‘Archetype’ in 2004, which features a cover of Nirvana’s ‘School,’ from their 1989 album ‘Bleach.’

Bell says that he saw the band many times on the ‘Bleach’ tour, and that he got an early listen to ‘Nevermind’ through a friend that performed on the album, a cellist performing on the track ‘Something in the Way.’ Then, after seeing Nirvana play at the Roxy, Bell got an aftershow flyer asking fans to attend the video shoot of ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit.’ Burton appears in the video, but even after some research and Wikipedia-digging I finally found the specific time (2:12-ish if you’re so inclined), but you have to slow down and pause like a teenager with a VHS tape to try and find him. I’m sure we can all take his word for his appearance.

Upon listening to ‘Nevermind,’ Bell said “I saw Nirvana once after that, and I knew it was gonna be the last time I saw them because ‘Smells’ was on the radio and they were blowing up.” I’m not sure if that means he saw the monster emerging that would inevitably have a hand in resculpting the rock and metal scene, or if it just meant he preferred the smaller intimate shows that he knew would no longer be happening.

Fear Factory’s latest release, ‘Genexus’ had a better first week than the band’s previous two albums, which are all a part of what is ultimately the third chapter of lineups in the band’s history. Burton is the only member to appear on all of the band’s releases, and even amidst the most recent three efforts, Burton and Dino are the core on them all.

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#1050: ‘Smoke on the Water’ appears on 1972’s ‘Machine Head’ by what band?

Q #2,046: ‘Smoke on the Water’ appears on 1972’s ‘Machine Head’ by what band?

A.

Deep Purple’s sixth studio album ‘Machine Head’ contains a modest seven songs, clocking in at under 38 minutes. Opening with ‘Highway Star,’ and closing with ‘Space Truckin,’ Deep Purple would have likely still managed to find success with this record, but side two’s opening track ‘Smoke on the Water’ was most certainly the catalyst for a respectable few million in sales.

The band endured mishaps, conflicts, and changes while attempting to record the album, and ultimately ended up using a mobile studio in an empty hotel in Switzerland. The members had to journey through rooms and balconies in order to be able to hear playback of the takes being recorded. They eventually gave up on listening back, and decided on keeping what felt the best after jamming the songs. Can you imagine a band today being told that not only do they have to record the songs in unison in one take, but that they also can’t listen back and have to make a judgment call on what to keep? This would be an excellent reality show for bands of all levels, and I’d be willing to bet most would pass at the opportunity for that sort of “exposure.”

The legendary Deep Purple guitarist Richie Blackmore used his classical guitar training and influence to help shape the sound of what would become modern hard rock and heavy metal. During his post – Deep Purple solo career he managed to piece together Rainbow with Ronnie James Dio. Not too bad.

Deep Purple Vocalists Ian Gillan, David Coverdale, and Joe Lynn Turner have all made their way around the industry outside of their tenures in Deep Purple, with Gillan going on to replace Ronnie James Dio in Black Sabbath. David Coverdale went on to Whitesnake, and would work with Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page, and Joe Lynn Turner would join Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force.

For an even more in depth game of “6-degrees of separation,” bassist Glenn Hughes has made exceptional rounds as well, recently playing with Black Country Communion which features Joe Bonamassa, Jason Bonham, and Derek Sherinian.

With 100 million in sales, and a seemingly endless web of legendary splinter acts, it is no wonder the band went into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2016.

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#1044: What current Anthrax singer had a role in 1988’s ‘Pledge Night?’

Q #2,040: What current Anthrax singer has a role in 1988’s ‘Pledge Night?’

A.

Current, and formerly former, Anthrax frontman Joey Belladonna makes his film debut in the 1990 indie horror release, ‘Pledge Night.’ Seen briefly in the trailer being submerged into a tub full of acid on a fraternity initiation prank gone awry, Joey’s character Sid is back for revenge in this campy endeavor.

‘Pledge Night’ was marketed as containing music by Anthrax, but it does not appear that any new music was created specifically for the movie. One can likely assume that there was some sort of deal made to package some Anthrax in alongside Belladonna’s agreement to appear. Despite his most excellent portrayal of “the hungry one” on Married With Children (Joey and the rest of the band would later make a television appearance on a 1992 episode of Married With Children entitled, ‘My Dinner With Anthrax’), Joey’s dismissal from the band in 1992 did not see him go onto Jon Bon Jovi levels of acting, as seen in ‘U-571.’

Every Anthrax album released with Joey Belladonna handling vocal duties has had a higher chart position than the previous, with this year’s ‘For All Kings’ reaching the #9 spot. By these projections, it may be a safe bet to put some money down now for an Anthrax #5 album on the next go around.

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#1036: This soundtrack goes with what horror movie?

Q #2,032: This soundtrack is from what 1998 horror movie?

A.

The soundtrack belongs to Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider, from the 1998 film, ‘Strangeland.’

Written by Snider, the film’s main villain (Captain Howdy, portrayed by Snider) uses the Internet as a means to lure his victims to his home for a party. Once they show up Captain Howdy inflicts torture through body modifications, including – but not limited to – stitching a mouth shut. This particular image – spoiler alert – is the main cover art for the film. As more of a humorous twist, and I suppose to further separate himself from other films of similar interest, ‘A Nightmare on Elm St’s’ own Freddy Krueger, Robert Englund, portrays an activist set out against Snider’s Howdy. The film grossed three quarters of its budget at the box office, and received almost entirely poor reviews.

Musically you get a veritable “Hall of Fame of MTV” in the late 1990s, with Megadeth, Anthrax, and Pantera supplying the old school, with a few unknown (at the time) up and comers like Sevendust, Coal Chamber, Marilyn Manson, and System Of A Down to help round things out. If anything, the film provides a soundtrack that is a greater time capsule to the era than perhaps the movie itself.

While the main character’s overall image and look (a tattooed, body-modded metalhead) might still provide some scares for small town folk across the country, the Internet isn’t as scary as it once was. Now, the real horror is small town folk gathering and gabbing on the Internet. Wow, we’ve come full circle!

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#1032: Do you recognize this album art?

Q #2,028: This is an album by what band?

Trick or Treat

A.

‘Trick or Treat’ is both the soundtrack to the 1986 film of the same name, as well as being the fourth studio album by the band Fastway. Formed upon his departure from the band Motorhead, “Fast” Eddie Clarke originally planned to team up with bassist Pete Way, who was also departing from his band UFO. After some nomenclature play, Fastway rounded out its lineup with vocalist Dave King, and former Humble Pie drummer Jerry Shirley.

The film ‘Trick or Treat’ features a great look into the heavy metal scene of the era, loaded with posters, LP’s, stickers, and magazines. Anthrax, Megadeth, Iron Maiden, Lizzy Borden, Savatage, and Judas Priest (who even gets a verbal shout out during a scene) are all represented in some form throughout the movie. As far as the plot goes, it’s sort of a heavy metal ‘Carrie,’ with some evil spirit summoning record spins.

Fictional frontman Sammi Curr is the protagonist’s heroic metal maestro, who most certainly bears a strong resemblance to WASP mainman Blackie Lawless who was was intially considered for the role. Other legendary rockers of note that appear in the film are KISS bassist Gene Simmons, as well as Ozzy Osbourne. Simmons and Osbourne appear on the cover a DVD re-release of the film, which from a marketing standpoint is a super strong move, but grossly misleading. The two make what are essentially cameo appearances, they don’t appear in a scene together, and they combine for less than five and a half minutes of screentime. Appearing as a radio DJ to help get the plot moving, Simmons embodies his hero Wolfman Jack, and Osbourne gets to portray a televangelist who is against all of the evils of rock ‘n roll. Ironically, despite other cast members appearing on huge prime time television series like ‘Melrose Place,’ and ‘Family Ties,’ the rock duo help to provide some of the least cringe worthy scenes in the movie.

While being very 80’s and maintaining a good balance of cheese and awesomeness, ‘Trick or Treat’ is always an entertaining watch. It serves as quite the time capsule of rock history, before the Internet would change the industry forever. Picked on for being a “metalhead,” the main character Eddie retreats and embraces the music of those that speak to him the most, and even writes fan mail to Sammi Curr during the film. The film depicts the culture that surrounded the genre at the time, when “heavy metal” didn’t quite discriminate and was a far broader and more all encompassing term. There’s a line in there about “false metal,” but it IS coming from a murderous evil spirit described by Gene Simmons’ character as flawed for believing his own hype. Perhaps there is some greater irony there coming from the likes of a member of KISS, but even Simmons had to endure some peaks and valleys during his career.

Records, Hit Parader magazine, a walkman, cassettes, posters, and impressive home stereo systems are all marvelously on display during this metal themed Halloween cult classic. It made me long for the days where the people giving the “metalheads” shit, were those that were a part of another social group altogether, as opposed to the sort of self-proclaimed purist bullying we now see within the online culture which is arguably bereft of any culture at all.

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