Interview: Nikki Stringfield

Posted by on Nov 13, 2013 in Interview | 0 comments

Nikki Stringfield is a metal guitarist in the Los Angeles area, whose original band Before The Mourning is crushing eardrums statewide and beyond. I interview Nikki on this and her other gig as “Mega Murray” in the all-female tribute band The Iron Maidens, and more. I’ve heard that Nirvana was one of the bands that inspired you to pick up guitar. What did you love about them, and what other bands inspired you early on?

Nikki Stringfield: Nirvana, or Kurt Cobain I guess you could say, definitely inspired me to start learning guitar. I’m not sure why I fell in love with that band so much.. I guess the raw emotions just really struck me. I know it’s an odd band to inspire guitar playing since Kurt wasn’t exactly a shredder, but I picked up their tab book and learned every single song in it. After that I started listening to Avenged Sevenfold and they inspired me to start getting into more intricate soloing and structure, along with Pantera, Iron Maiden, Alice Cooper, Guns N Roses, Motley Crue, and other bands that I grew up with.

Nikki Stringfield Your singer in B4TM Adam grew up with parents who listened to country music, which made him go the “anything but country” route in terms of musical taste and writing. But you grew up with metal-loving parents, and you’ve stuck with metal. From your own experience, what do you think makes some people love their parents’ music and some hate it? …or is metal just objectively better than country?

Nikki Stringfield: Well, luckily I didn’t grow up listening to country like Adam did haha. I honestly can’t stand listening to it because it usually makes me depressed due the lyrical content, etc. Weird, I know, because I’m from Texas. When I was young I listened to what my parents did, and I had a great relationship with both of them. I think maybe that might have something to do with it. Some kids rebel against their parents and think its uncool to be like them or listen to the same things as them; when you’re forced to do something, you usually don’t want to do it. I was lucky that I could go to rock concerts with my mom, and I’m extremely lucky to have both of my parents traveling out to see my shows. But in the end, metal is just better than country! 😉
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Interview: Laura Christine of Warface and Meldrum

Posted by on Aug 2, 2013 in Interview | 0 comments

We don’t know if it is the sunny weather or something else, but California is the host to so many great female shredders. When we got a hold of Laura Christine who is located in San Diego, we wanted to use this opportunity to get to know her and her musical style better! Until we have a chance to meet her in person, here is a little bit of what she has to say. We sure hope to hear more from her:

Laura Christine How did you start playing music? Was guitar your first instrument?
Laura Christine: I started playing music in the 3rd grade, when I was required to play the recorder, of all things, for music class. That was my intro to reading and playing music. The following year, I went on to the flute in my elementary school band. When I turned 16, I discovered guitar and developed an immediate fascination. Coincidently, a guy at my high school was selling his acoustic guitar for 25 bucks which I bought with some X-mas cash. He threw in a Mel Bay Guitar Instruction Chord book free and I began teaching myself. I was hooked. For how long have you been listening to metal? What are your influences, both in terms of music and guitar style?
Laura Christine: I’ve been listening to metal for over 20 years. My early influences were bands like Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, Pantera, Morbid Angel, Cannibal Corpse, etc. My favorite style is technical metal and death metal. But I love a ton of different styles, everything from classical to blues.
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Interview: Merel Bechtold of Purest of Pain

Posted by on Oct 12, 2012 in Interview | 0 comments

Merel Bechtold is the lead guitar player and founder of Purest of Pain, a death metal band from Hilversum, Netherlands. Since the release of their 2011 EP, Revelations in Obscurity, Purest of Pain has played many high profile shows, festivals, and awards events in the Netherlands, and their bright future has more in store for them, including a headlining tour in France this October, 2012. We are stoked to interview Merel for! Purest of Pain has been together since 2008. How did it form?
Merel Bechtold: Well, I founded the band in 2008, but the real Purest of Pain in its current lineup was formed in August 2010. We have had a few lineup changes and got rid of the old songs. Purest of Pain was reborn. Purest of Pain has been nominated for and won awards in the Netherlands, including a nomination for Best Live Act Award by 3voor12, Gooise Goden, and Clash of the Titans 2nd place winner. Can you tell us about these experiences?
Merel Bechtold: Our first show with the ‘new’ Purest of Pain was at the Gooise Goden, a local band competition, in September 2010. We won out of 5 bands which was a great and very encouraging start for us. It was a sold out show in a pretty big venue! Then we participated in the Clash of the Titans during the winter of 2011. It was competition between 60 bands, none of which were metal bands. It were all great bands in this competition though. At the finale, sold out also, we ended second, because the other band made lovely indie rock which of course is ‘better’ than metal music, haha. Although we were a bit disappointed, we received great reactions. In May we struck again in our home town and won the ‘Grand Finale’ of Gooise Goden. In the period of autumn/winter 2010 and spring 2011 we have played many shows. Mostly with other small bands, but it was a good way to get some stage-experience. Then, in August, we played our first really big show with Unearth, Evergreen Terrace, Bane and Nasty. From that moment on it really started rolling. We played Occultfest with Onslaught (UK) and a support show for Torture Squad (BR). In December we got an e-mail that we were nominated for the 3VOOR12 Award ‘Best Live Act’. In the Netherlands that’s one of the biggest platforms for music journalism and criticism, so that is something we are very proud of.

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Our very first interview: Stephanie Pickard

Posted by on Jul 25, 2012 in Interview | 0 comments

We had the chance to have a chat with Stephanie Pickard. Being a guitar player, playing in a band, and teaching guitar as a profession, we think she would be a prefect candidate for our very first interview! You are a Musician’s Institute graduate. What was your major? Was it genre specific?
Stephanie Pickard: Yes, I went to MI and majored in guitar. The way they separate the programs there isn’t by genre, it’s by instrument so you do actually end up playing and learning a lot of different styles and techniques. The way that they gear it more towards your personal interests is with your private lesson instructor and you do also get to choose which live playing workshops you decide to participate in, which are anything from reggae to metal. How did you decide to study music?
Stephanie Honestly, there was nothing else I wanted to do. I was actually having a hard time towards the end of high school because I just wanted to start my life and focus on music. I was a hard worker but not one of those kids that school just came easy to and I was ready to focus on my passion. And I just couldn’t see myself doing anything else besides playing guitar. That being said though, just because you are passionate about it and you know what you want to do, it’s still not an easy path by any means.

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