Just days after playing the Fox Theater with his old band Sleep, Matt Pike of High on Fire is entering treatment for alcohol rehabilitation, the band announced today. That means the Oakland metal band "will put its scheduled touring plans on hold indefinitely as Pike takes the necessary steps towards regaining his health" and thus will not be playing the Mayhem Festival at Shoreline Amphitheatre on July 1.
"High on Fire would like to thank everyone involved with the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival for the opportunity to be a part of this year's tour," said the band in a statement. "We regretfully will have to bow out as our friend and bandmate begins his recovery, but very much appreciate having been asked to be a part of this summer's festival run."
Pike has alluded to his problems with substance abuse before. In a 2007 interview with the Express, he said was exorcising some of his demons, including his "struggle with substance abuse," on the band's then-new album, Death Is This Communion. He also described himself as "a functional alcoholic," but said he was trying to get healthier by practicing meditation and yoga.
According to High on Fire's publicist, drummer Des Kensel relocated to New Orleans in March. Not sure what that means for the band, but let's hope they'll be healthy and back in action soon.
Sleep played at the Fox Theater on Tuesday night, along with Oxbow and Kowloon Walled City (in case you were wondering what that low-frequency drone emanating from downtown Oakland was). Here are some photos from the night, courtesy of Raymond Ahner.
This is weird. Metal Sucks is reporting that a Panama-based company called World Digital is suing 80 individuals for illegally downloading East Bay metalcore band All Shall Perish's last album, This Is Where It Ends, without the band's permission. "Not happy about this" was the Tweet sent out by the band this morning to a link to the story.
According to Metal Sucks, the band's label, Nuclear Blast, has no idea how World Digital, which describes itself as "The Worlds [sp] Largest Online Digital Download Store" (and which sells ASP ringtone downloads), obtained the rights to the band's album in the first place. "...[I]t now appears as if the label is either not willing or not able to stop the lawsuit from proceeding. And World Digital is proceeding with the case despite the band’s loud public objections."
"The identities of the 80 U.S. downloaders being sued will soon be turned over to World Digital, and notification emails will be sent out to each of them, according to a report this weekend from TorrentFreak."
Surely you're wondering what Oakland expat Kreayshawn is up to these days, lest she risk ceding the throne to a rival mistress of swag. If the emcee has her way, that won't happen any time soon. Kreayshawn has made a new song to supplant the "Gucci Gucci" anthem for which she is best known. This time, she's traded the Minnie Mouse ears for a vampy femme fatale outfit, designed to fit the dark palette of "Murder," her new collaboration with Georgia rapper 2 Chainz. Set in a dungeon with candelabras and taxidermied animals, it borrows a couple motifs from the opening credits of Dexter (including the trickle of blood from a shaving mishap), but ups the ante by having both rappers dine on giant platters of meat — apparently the spoils of a recent slaughter. We found it a little unsettling, though Kreayshawn's rap skills have clearly improved. You be the judge:
Look out. For the first year ever, the Express will co-present this year's Art & Soul Oakland with the City of Oakland. The two-day event, to be held Saturday and Sunday, August 4-5, 2012, at Frank Ogawa Plaza (14th and Broadway), will feature a more diverse music lineup, plus an art show (courtesy de Young Museum artist fellows and artist-in-residence alumni, and American Steel), film projections, "light-based art," food trucks, and kids' activities. Also exciting: extended hours on Saturday night till midnight. Free bike parking and easy access by public transit. More details to be announced. Stay tuned...
Saturday, August 4, 2012, 2 p.m. to midnight
Sunday, August 5, 2012, noon to 6 p.m.
Advance online: $10 adults; $5 seniors (65 and older) & youth (13-17); free for 12 & under.
At the Gate: $15 adults; $8 seniors & youth; free for 12 & under.
Outside Lands announced its 2012 lineup this morning, and, as expected, it's quite the eclectic mix: Metallica, Stevie Wonder, Neil Young, Jack White, Foo Fighters, Beck, Skrillex, Sigur Ros, Justice, Dispatch, the Kills, Regina Spektor, Passion Pit, Andrew Bird, and many more. There's also a healthy sprinkling of local talent (in addition to Metallica and Mr. Young), including Grandaddy(!), Two Gallants, Geographer, Wallpaper, and Thee Oh Sees. Also worth noting: Big Boi is giving it another try. Other highlights: Zola Jesus, Tame Impala, The Walkmen, Washed Out, and Explosions in the Sky. The festival happens August 10-12 in Golden Gate Park. See the full lineup here.
03/17/2012 Austin, TX, Club 1808
We started the last day of SXSW not having a show, we ended it playing a ferocious four song set with more intensity and anger than most bands can muster in their sad, sorry existence. Living like hell ass kings. Brothers doing it for themselves. Bringing the damage. These Things are FACTS.
03/16/2012 Austin, TX, Sidebar
My heart raced as I sprinted through the streets of Austin, TX. Dodging leisurely SXSWers, locals and cops alike, it was literally five minutes before we were supposed to play the label showcase this tour was built around. And we were not only late, but I had to park our tour van in the middle of one of the biggest parking boondoggles of the year. Fantastic! With this accomplished, I dashed through the doors of the Sidebar, and leaped on to the stage. My guitar was already set up and plugged in by my bandmate Evan. Magic time:“Hi We’re Victory and Associates from Oakland and San Francisco, California. This is our first song. It is literally about the idea of a good time and it’s called Plausibly Wild.”
Switch on, suckers.
03/15/2012 — Denton, TX, Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios
The romanticism of the open road loses its luster at times when you enter your tenth hour of consecutive driving. The gas stations and roadside convenience stores of one state melt away into the gas stations and roadside convenience stores of another in a soft tapestry of the rolling freeway. When I speak to non-rock people about the majesty of touring, it’s all the myth of nonstop groupie sex, and “Live At Budokan”-style stages. Nope, it’s truck stop food, open highway, paying entirely too much for gas, and generally going stir-crazy, just for that thirty minute or so period where you truly live.
03/14/2012 Warehouse 21, Santa Fe, NM
Arizona is one of the only states in the US that cannot abide Daylight Saving Time, clearly a tool of the socialist overlords. This, like many other elements of Arizona, is willfully ignorant and backwards-leaning at best, vaguely lunkheaded and fascist feeling at worst. It’s also rather harrowing when you suddenly realize, having left Arizona, “Oh this show starts at 7 p.m., not 9 p.m. like you originally thought, so yeah, we’re already late.” That said, we not only ruled the stage in Santa Fe, we truly lived like hell-ass kings. Rock was delivered; good times were had. There was loose affiliation with success.