Posts Tagged ‘metal’

Episode 86

This week’s episode features a chat / interview Damo did at this year’s Punk Rock Bowling festival in Las Vegas with none other than guitarist Stephen Egerton (Descendents / ALL / Flag), with a special guest appearance by bassist Karl Alvarez (Descendents / ALL). This is one great interview and covers a whole variety of topics from the guitar styles of Greg Ginn to 80s hair metal to a very interesting story about our very own AC/DC. This is a definite must hear for any fans of the Descendents or for anyone who just enjoys punk rock in general. I am very pleased to have been given this opportunity and I thank you all for the support you have shown the show so far. Don’t forget you can subscribe to the show on the left or you can listen right now by clicking on THIS LINK. (more…)


Back in 1990, myself and 2 friends, Ben and Darren, were at my house one Friday night eating pizza, talkin’ shit, listening to records, etc. and we were in the kitchen and suddenly noticed there was a spider crawling on the kitchen lightshade. I searched everywhere for some insect spray but we were all out. We did have Exit Mould though so we used that. We sprayed the spider over and over. We didn’t have anything to put it in so we used a biscuit jar and the spider fell into that and we took it outside and either let it go or stomped on it. I can’t remember. Either way, we were laughing hysterically and decided to start a band that night. My drums were usually set-up in the loungeroom for rehearsals anyway so Darren got his guitar, Ben grabbed some paper and a pen and we started writing songs. Within minutes (yeah, seriously, minutes!) we had tons of songs written. We decided to actually do something with this and began rehearsing regularly. Before long we were playing live gigs at backyard parties and venues. It was on and happening.

Soon after we entered the recording studios to lay down tracks for our first demo tape, “Alligators Are Scary”. This demo tape featured 17 tracks of metal punk hardcore rock with no bass guitar; just vocals, guitar and drums. It’s not a bad effort and cost us all up about $150 for the whole day. Recording this demo, half way through the drum levels being set-up, a priest barged into the studio demanding that we stop immediately. He advised us he was trying to conduct a service at the church next door and the drums were going through the airconditioning vents and into the church. We decided to name this priest Father Dowling and wrote a song about this incident right there on the spot. The engineer seemed amazed at how quickly we could put a song together and told us this story about a guy outside a pub during the Grand Prix who repeatedly told people about the $1 beers that the pub was selling at the time. This story made us laugh and an extra song, aptly titled “$1 beers!” was added to the demo. Hey, we moved fast!

“Alligators Are Scary” also included the infamous song, “Heaps Of Giveaways” which was a tribute to the local radio 5MMM (Now 3D Radio) heavy metal show host, Lewi Young, whose catch phrase on air was, funnily enough, ‘heaps of giveaways’. This song got the band much notoriety and the song became one of the most played songs on the radio at the time. This was the first time I had ever gotten into my car, turned on the radio and heard a song by my own band being played on the radio. Was a pretty good feeling for a 17 year old kid.

After the demo was recorded, we took advantage of our school’s media studies equipment and decided to make a music video for one of the songs on the demo titled “Musashi (Strongest Man in the Universe)”. I still remember how this song came about. The 3 of us were watching the olympics on TV one weekend and the weightlifting came on. This guy came up to the weights to begin his lift. Behind him, a huge banner saying Musashi. He picked up the weights, got them about 10cms off the canvas, dropped them and stormed off. We started laughing, Ben put pen to paper and the songs was born. This here is the video to Musashi, filmed at Salisbury East High School which is where the 3 of us attended our studies.

One night we were out riding our BMX bikes across the road in the carpark of the local radio station and we were on a BMX Bandits trip. We had been watching the movie and, like everything else we found amusing, another song was born. We filmed a bunch of us doing some hardcore BMX stunts and the results of both the song and video can be found here in our tune, “BMX Bandits”.

The band played a new years eve show in 1991 at the Tivoli Hotel and after the show was over, we were told that we weren’t going to be paid because we didn’t have a bass player therefore we were not a serious band. True story. We seemed stumped by this and after being paid $20 because we demanded something, we decided we should get a bass player. We recruited my brother, Jut, and went back into the studio to record another demo titled “Maurice’s Steak & Waffle”. This demo had a total of 12 tracks and had a much heavier sound. Songs ranging from topics to do with TAB (the drink – just one calorie), flatulence, DRI fans in Portugal who listen to the trash, and a re-recorded version of Heaps Of Giveaways, the demo was not as well received but still deemed a classic by the 10 people who heard it. “Maurice’s Steak & Waffle” also included covers of a Coca-Cola advert, the Zit Remedy, and Nena’s “99 Luft Balloons”. Sounds ridiculous? It was. Someday both of these demos may re-surface for your listening pleasure. One video from “Maurice’s Steak & Waffle” was made for the song Heller.

A 3rd and final demo, a cabaret demo of 3 songs was recorded and never officially released. This featured songs about Manna (a person who went into the jungle and never came out) and other such ridiculous soul-soothers. This also started the end of an era and Spiders In The Biscuit Jar soon disbanded. Sad but true.

The band:
Ben Reichman – Vocals, Piano
Darren Borrowdale – Guitar
Damo – Drums, Backing Vocals
Jut – Bass

Alligators Are Scary (1992)
Maurcie’s Steak & Waffle (1993)
The Cabaret Demo (1993)

Both Alligators Are Scary and Maurice’s Steak & Waffle can be downloaded for free from the band’s bandcamp page.

It took them a long time to come to Australia but they finally made it. Was it worth the wait? Hell yes! What a night! I have dug Overkill for many years now (what metal fan hasn’t?) and I knew this was going to be a good show. The HiFi Bar was packed solid which was good to see. Overkill shirts were everywhere. Denim vests covered in patches were everywhere (I am guilty of this also). It was like 1986 all over again. Let’s get down to it.

Australia’s very own thrash band, Mortal Sin, played through a huge back catalogue of tunes for around an hour. Playing old classics and new thrashers. The first time I saw Mortal Sin was supporting Metallica at the Thebarton Theatre in Adelaide in 1989. It was pretty chaotic. My second gig (the first was AC/DC in ’88) and what could be more thrash than seeing Mortal Sin and Metallica in 1989? Mortal Sin did a good job, even if I think some of the new guitar solos were a bit stock, they still gave the fans a good time. The crowd were happy. But this was only just the beginning.

Overkill came on at 10:30 and they killed it. There’s no other way to describe just how good this band was. They were 1 guitarist down on this tour but they didn’t let that stop them being the masters of thrash metal that they are. They know they were important and they should be damn proud that they still are. Bobby Blitz is easily one of the greatest frontmen in Metal. Period! He’s up there with the best of them. Bursting full of high energy, you can tell he has an honest love for what he does. His connection to the audience was honourable. No rockstar bullshit. Just a dude who gives 110% to his role. I’ve seen a lot of metal bands over the years but I’ll say it again, this guy, hands down, is one of the best frontmen I have ever seen.

They covered their entire career which if you are unaware, has clocked up around 15 studio albums and then some. Quite impressive and a feat they are no doubt proud of. With his long time co-songwriter and bassist, D.D.Verni, they have the style and genre perfected. Why were they not part of this “Big 4” thing? Don’t get me wrong, I love those bands included in the “Big 4” but surely Overkill would give them all a run for their money. Anyway, the set included so many classics and newie’s like Rotten To The Core, Hello From The Gutter, Coma, Thanx For Nothin’, Wrecking Crew, In Union We Stand, Old School, Ironbound, Elimination, plus blistering covers of The Subhumans classic Fuck You! and Motorhead’s Overkill combined together. It was simply incredible. What a band! They played a set that clocked in at just under 2 hours. Well worth it! Hell yes, thanks for coming. I’d do this again, without fail.

Here’s a video I shot of the band performing Hello From The Gutter. Enjoy!