Each Wednesday, Rocks Off arbitrarily appoints one lucky local performer or group "Artist of the Week," bestowing upon them all the fame and grandeur such a lofty title implies. Know a band or artist that isn't awful? Email their particulars to email@example.com.
We headed out to the Pitt, Pasadena's finest (and only) all-ages metal house recently, totally expecting to unleash a storm of snarky quips aimed at the baby-metallers. Somewhat to our dismay, though, the one full show we got to take in - we did not account for the midnight curfew, and showed up around 10:45 p.m. - was bereft of newbie lameness. Pasadena natives Lamb to the Slaughter owned.
Despite all the band members being between 16 and 17 years of age, they pumped through a solid set of brash and distorted guitars, clannish drums and grainy vocals with a seasoned fluidity and obvious passion. It does our heart good to see local musicians so eager to put on a good show, so we made certain to get with the guys afterwards.
They proved just as eager to answer questions as they did to perform, so after the jump, read the profanity-laden interview with Lamb to the Slaughter's - seriously, this is how he introduced himself to us - Angel of Death. He chopped it up about which concert venue is the easiest for an underage kid to get drunk, what the metal equivalent to a girl throwing her underwear on stage is, and how non-Pasadena metalheads are wack.
Rocks Off: So tell us how a group of 16- and 17 year-olds come together to form a metal group. Shouldn't you all be playing Guitar Hero or chewing bubble gum or something?
Angel of Death: Fuck no. Me and Corpse McKool have been, like, best friends for years, and Trey and Johnny have been best friends forever. Me and Corpse were in a band called ODDIZ and that went to shit! Johnny and Trey were in a band called Necro Expo and they kicked Johnny out.
He contacted me at school because he heard we were looking for members, and so we tried him out and fuckin' loved his ass. Trey came with him and decided we were cool too, so they ditched the practically dead Necro Expo and came to us.
We still needed a drummer so I said "fuck it, I'll play the drums." I literally started writing songs with absolutely no drum experience what-so-ever. I just fell in love with it so I said "fuck it, I'll stay on drums instead of getting a new drummer."
Mind you, were all in, like, the beginning of 10th grade when this was going on and most of the other kids were playing Guitar Hero and chewing bubble gum, but we didn't give a fuck. We didn't have much friends back then.
Now we have more than we can even keep track of. We jammed in my house and wrote a set and played our first show within a month and took the fuck off from there.
RO: Something we've always wondered was, where does the inspiration come from when you write a vicious metal song? Is it because living in Pasadena is horrible?
AD: Well, no. Honestly, I love "The Dena." I can't imagine living anywhere else. It's a shithole at times but its still home. We are the P.M.H. (Pasadena Metal Heads), and were fucking proud 'cause there's no one fucking harder than the P.M.H. and no one can touch us.
Our inspiration just comes from the music we listen to and our imagination. What we try to do when we sit down and start writing is say, "We need to make this as heavy as possible, but it still needs to groove." That's Lamb to the Slaughter's take on it.
We're not about the speed and how brutally heavy you can get. I've seen people dance to some of our riffs. It's gotta flow together and be not so metal at times, but that's just stepping out of our box. When we do that to write a song it juts works. We are each different in our own way that's what makes Lamb to the Slaughter, Lamb to the Slaughter.
RO: And how does one learn that he can be a metal singer? That's not really an art that lends itself to practicality, you know, like freestyle rapping or singing at church.
AD: Trey has told me the story before but I doubt I can give it justice. As I remember it, it was that he joined Necro Expo because Johnny joined and they were all little kids and he didn't really play an instrument. They decided he could scream and at first he said he was horrible at it but after years of practice he got really good.
[Keep in mind,] Necro Expo was together for like six years or something. We've been together for a year and a half and he's only 16, so he was 10 or 11 [then]. They might as well have still been in diapers when they started.
HP: Seriously, with regards to music venues, where's the easiest place for underage kids to score some alcohol?
AoD: Well, it's super hard to drink [at the Pitt]. Priest keeps that shit on lock and he'll kick your ass right outta there if you're drunk. So if you drink at the Pitt you go somewhere else and come back. But it's so close to home, [so] we usually just wait till afterwards and have an afterparty.
Most everyone comes with us so no drinking at the Pitt, for us at least. I dunno about everyone else.
RO: Nice duck. When we saw you all playing at The Pitt, a nice little mosh pit broke out. Do you all notice when that happens during a show? And if so, does it make you all feel good? Is it the metal equivalent of a girl throwing her underwear on stage at a Prince concert? Don't you think that's a crappy trade-off?
AD: HELL YA WE NOTICE IT! It makes us feel like we are some mutha fucking hardasses that we play some brutal music to keep those people beating the shit outta [each] other. And they're our friends just 'cause our music inspires them to do it.
We make sure and tell our fans how much we appreciate that shit. Our most amazing stage performances [are] always when there's brutal mosh pits. I think it is the metal equivelent to a girl throwing her panties at Prince and I think it's a hell of a trade-off.
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I'd rather have a mosh then some girl I'm never gonna meet and definitly not gonna, or probably not [even] wanna, fuck's undies up there chillin' next to me while I play. I dunno where that's been!!. But I love Prince. I grew up to Prince.
HP: Really? That's unexpected. When, where, and for how much can people see you all live next?
AD: You can see us next at the Texas Metal Massacre at The Pitt on January 29. I think it's 8 bucks. - Shea Serrano