Welcome to The Rocks Off 200, our portrait gallery of the most compelling profiles and personalities in the far-flung Houston music community -- a lot more than just musicians, but of course they're in there too. See previous entries in the Rocks Off 100 at this link.
Who? Danny Carroll is the brutal death growl that anchors the music of the Nephilim Terror. Taking one listen to his vocals, you'd probably never guess it, but Carroll got his start in his church's children's choir. He joined choir in middle school too, but at age 14 decided to switch to something a little bit heavier.
"At that point I rounded up different friends who I knew were into the same styles of music as me and we started playing covers of our favorite bands at the time: Trivium, Avenged Sevenfold, Bullet for My Valentine, etc." he explains. From that was formed his first band: Unchaste Entities. "That is when music began to consume me and became my reason to live."
The Nephilim Terror formed in 2009 and have been playing and recording off and on since, along the way sharing stages with bands like Suicide Silence, Dying Fetus, Despised Icon, and Carcass. You know, the kinds of bands that scare your mom.
Home Base: "I generally write most of my lyrics in my own room when I am alone," Carroll tells me of his Lovecraftian process. "Most ideas that I keep seem to come to me when I wake up in the middle of the night."
For band rehearsals, the Nephilim Terror practices downtown at Francisco Practice Studios off McKinney St., where they share the space with other Houston metal bands Gods of Death Screw and Bloodline 713.
"Our room is like our second home," Carroll says. "When we aren't practicing, we hang out there and relax together. It's a nice place to drink a beer and listen to your favorite bands as loud as you want without having to worry about a noise complaint."
His favorite venue is Numbers. "They had great sound, a nice-sized stage, and great people working there," he says. "Every Thursday night they would put on free metal shows and we would always being playing. It seemed for a while it was the only venue we played at."
Why Do You Stay In Houston? Carroll says he loves everything about Houston but the weather. "If there is ever a reason I leave, it will be because of the humidity." Undaunted, however, he continues to attempt to grow the music scene as part of a group called Texas Death Screw.
"We are the fourth-largest city in America, yet our music scene is pretty damn small and unsupported it seems," he says. "TXDS is a group of fellow Houston musicians, bands, and friends who are all sticking together with the sole purpose of trying to make Houston's music scene explode."
Story continues on the next page.Good War Story:
"The worst gig I ever had was when I was in my old band Malicide," Carroll says. "Long story short, our lead guitarist bailed on the show and we had to play as a three-piece. Everyone was in a horrible mood on stage and you could tell by the way we were playing. There was no energy behind the music at all and everything just sounded really thin."
"After we got done playing I was too pissed off to even stay and finish the show," he continues. "I got in my car and drove straight home and spent the rest of my day pissed off. That was the last show that band ever played."
Music Scene Pet Peeve: Carroll hates phony promoters he says expect the bands to do the legwork.
"They don't really do anything to promote the shows they have booked," he sighs. "They just make an event page on Facebook and act like their job is done. The sad part is at the end of the day, the musicians doing all the hard work rarely see a dime for their efforts while the 'promoter' takes all the money made at the show for him."
Best Show Ever: The 2009 Helloween Headbanger's Ball in Victoria, Texas:
"I had no idea what to expect from doing an out of town show," says Carroll. "I figured nobody would be there to see us and was kind of assuming the worst of everything but I was completely wrong."
"The venue was packed full of kids ready to go crazy for some metal," he adds. "That crowd had no idea who we were yet they treated us like we were any national touring band. To this day that is one of the happiest moments of my life. It is days like that, which make me remember why I do this."
Five Desert Island Discs:
- Opeth, Blackwater Park
- At the Drive-In, Relationship of Command
- Cynic, Focus
- At the Gates, Slaughter of the Soul
- The Doors, The Doors
First Song You Fell In Love With: At the Drive-In, "One Armed Scissor." "The first time I heard that song, it blew my mind," he says. "That song really is what pushed me to want to become a front man for an aggressive band."
See the rest of the Rocks Off 200, and the Rocks Off 100's 2013 alumni, on the next page.
THE ROCKS OFF 200
Tommy Grindle, Guitarist of Square and Compass The Bailout Bureau's Mysterious "Bob Bovary" DJ Twinkle-Toes, Won a "Dick-Measuring Vinyl Orgy" With Two iPods Beanz N Kornbread, Gmail-Loving Production Duo You(genious), Party Crasher Turned Musical Auteur Daniel Alexander, Klein's Backyard MC
THE ROCKS OFF 100 2013 ALUMNI
Crystal Toliver, Source of That Yello Echo You Hear Mr. Castillo, Song-Sniping DJ DJ Big Reeks, The Chief Waxaholic Melane Gutierrez, The Coffin Queen Folk Descendent Kevin Taylor Kendrick Eloy Contreras, Deathrazor's Sharp Thrash Vocals Robert McCarthy, Guitarist From Beyond Justice Tirapelli-Jamail, The Manichean's "Quiet One" Charlie Horshack, LP4's Guitar Warrior Kathryn Hallberg, Little Girl Gone Tessa Kole, PuraPharm's Voice and Vice Richard Griesser, Vintage Camera Hound With Enviable Archive Downfall 2012, Sci-Fi Metal Storytellers Kevin Choate, Drum Like You're Screaming DJ Rockwell, Booth Pimp and Party-Rocker Ash Kay, the Freakouts' Punk Vocal Head-Butt Pat Kelly, The Godfather of the Suffers Michelle Miears of BLSHS, Siren In the Machine DJ Remix, Genre-Hopping Mix Maniac Kahna, Brutal Nation's Metal Booking Queen DJ Ill Set, Enemy of Wack Tracks Shane Tuttle, Updog Owner and Album-Cover Designer Electric Attitude, Renegades of Funk Sama'an Ashrawi, Trill Gladiator Recon Naissance, A Rap While Matt's Guitar Gently Weeps DJ Klinch Asks, "Can You Dig It?" Jose "Chapy" Luna, Percussionist Con Corazón Love Dominique, Wicked Heart R&B Chanteuse Chris Gerhardt, Mastermind of Giant Battle Monster The Jobe Wilson Band, the Boys From Chambers County Kimberly M'Carver, Missouri City's Nightingale DJ Panchitron, Stirring the Cumbia/Moombahton Melting Pot D.R.I's Kurt Brecht, Thrash Zone Supervisor Sloan Robley, The Last Houstonian Banshee Jack Saunders, Dealer of Grit & Jangle Richard Ramirez, Noise God and Black Leather Jesus Mike Meegz, Scoremore's Houston Lieutenant Jacqui Sutton, Houston's "Jazzgrass Lady" Robin Kirby, Silk and Sandpaper Songwriter Billy Dorsey, Grammy-Winning MARATHON Runner David DeLaGarza, Don of Tejano Stars La Mafia Jason Puffer, Your Psychedelic Sex Panther Tobin Harvell, Fitzgerald's Unflappable Floor Manager Walter Suhr, the Straw That Stirs Mango Punch! Tony Garza, La Orquesta Salmerum Founder OG Ron C, Chopstar King of the Purple Dome Football, etc., Giving Emo Back Its Good Name Angela Jae, Renaissance Artist Shellee Coley, Voice of the Northern Woods Blaggards, Houston's St. Paddy's Day House Band DJ Meshak, Hongree Records' Sound Selecter K-Rino, South Park Coalition's Southside Maven DJ Candlestick, One Niceguy and a Very Busy DJ Danielle Renee, Only Beast's Destroyer of Walls Felipe Galvan of Los Skarnales Kristine Mills, Houston's Brassiest Voice Brian Davis, Punk Drummer, Horror Composer Elroy Boogie, Top-Notch Turntablist Sean Ozz, Wizard of The Abyss Alyssa Rubich, Angel of Instability Alphonso "Fonz" Lovelace, Righteous Drummer Frank Zweback, Funkmaster General OG Bobby Trill, Bombon Beatmaker Beau Beasley, Organist for the End of Time Rapid Ric, Mixtape Mechanic Dwight Taylor Lee, the Wandering Bufalero Coline Creuzot, Soulful Pop/R&B Singer Cristina Acuna, Cactus Music's Twitter Fingers Clint Broussard, Blues In Hi-Fi Man Now Back On FM Nortnii Rose, Houston Ska's Greatest Hope Ramblin' Chase Hamblin, the Man Who Will Be Paid Chris Alonzo, Bringing Night Flight to Facebook
ROCKS OFF'S GREATEST HITS
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