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Last weekend was an intense time for metal in the D.C. metro area, bookended by the death of Flattus Maximus, guitarist of Richmond-based thrash metal gods/Jim Henson-disciples G.W.A.R. and a triple threat appearance at the Fillmore by metal legends Death Angel, Testament and Anthrax. If that wasn’t enough for you, sandwich between those a rare performance by Sebastian Bach of once-mighty hair rockers, Skid Row, at Jaxx Nightclub and it’s apparent that something wicked this way really came. We’ll call it: the Bad, The Good and the Pretty Fucking Weird.

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Since it’s metal, we’ll start with the Bad:

Death of G.W.A.R. Guitarist Cory Smoot

BYT has a long history with G.W.A.R. We love them like brothers. Giant, cartoon brothers. In any family, though, brothers sometimes treat each other poorly. We’ve had it out with G.W.A.R over the years, namely after their management turned down our offer to take them to the Renaissance Festival in a fucking limo to go jousting and our subsequent email clash that resulted in tie-severing between the two parties.

Yet despite the chilly relations with G.W.A.R.’s management, we’ve never had anything but the nicest things to say about the actual band. They seem like some of the nicest dudes in, not just metal, but music in general. We still attend their shows and even had the opportunity to read them a bedtime story or two:

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So it was with heavy hearts we learned, on Friday Morning, that longtime G.W.A.R. guitarist Flattus Maximus (Cory Smoot) had passed away after a show in Minneapolis. While a death in the G.W.A.R. family might not seem to be the most tragic of moments to many, the heartfelt letter from Oderus Urungus (pictured above) to their fans was quite moving. It is certain to bring a few tears to even the most hardened headbanger’s eyes.

And just as G.W.A.R. has decided to soldier on through the rest of their tour, we too, had to stifle our sentience and carry on with our weekend of metal. Which leads us to Friday Night, aka The Pretty Fucking Weird:

Sebastian Bach at Jaxx Nightclub

‘Wouldn’t it be cool if we were on tour with Guns N Roses?’ asks Sebastian Bach to a crowd of probably just over a hundred people at Jaxx Nightclub, late Friday night. From the reaction of the crowd, one might surmise that, yes, indeed it would be pretty cool, or at least better than what’s currently happening. Here’s a guy who used to play to arenas of 25,000 people with Skid Row and is now just cracking a hundred.

We were going to send a cameraman to shoot the show, but to be honest, couldn’t find a volunteer. No worries, we’ll figure out a way to relive the magic. Have you seen the Wrestler? Use your imagination and whenever you see Mickey Rourke, replace him with Sebastian Bach. Instead of wrestling, imagine hair metal.

Bach, like Rourke’s character in the Wrestler, still mostly has his chops. His voice is still relatively amazing and he is an electrifying performer, it’s just kinda hard to watch the mighty, fallen.

(Ed. Note: Bach released a note on his Facebook page on Monday morning that he will, in fact, be touring with Guns N Roses this Winter)

The Good:

Anthrax/Testament/Death Angel at the Fillmore

We received the following email from BYT editor, Svetlana Legetic, a few weeks ago:

just checking- are you actually planning to review Anthrax/Testament on our expected schedule (which is a Monday or Tuesday publishing time) or am i going to request passes for this and then 3 weeks later still not have anything to show for it aside from photos of you and Rory in metal t-shirts at Fillmore posted on your facebook?

Which is probably a fair assessment of what we had planned, but like we said, this wasn’t just any weekend in metal.

For a hipster blog, BYT has a pretty epic history of worming our way into interviews with the best and brightest of heavy metal.  From Megadeth to Motorhead, from Slayer to GWAR, we’ve dropped in on the gods for intimate insight into which metal bands are the biggest pussies (hint: it’s Danzig) and who are the biggest badasses (hint: Lemmy loves Evanescance). We arranged to sit down, once again, with our friends in Anthrax. One of the seminal bands of our collective youths. Although this wasn’t our first time with the boys of Anthrax, we were determined to make it memorable. So we asked Rory Sheridan, of boy-band/DC heroes Warchild to sit in on the interview and ask some insider questions.

But of course, we got hammered with Rory before the interview (as you do when you’re with Rory)…

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…and somehow forgot to hit record on our device during the interview! Plus, we were drunk, so we don’t remember exactly what was said. We’re going to try and piece together some of the interview through our hazy recollections, but this is by no means what was ‘exactly’ said…

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BYT: Worship Music [new Anthrax album] is awesome. It’s the shit, it’s a true return to Thrash. Did you purposely go for an ’88 Anthrax feel or did it just happen in the song writing process.

ANTHRAX: N/A (Too drunk to remember what he said)

BYT: How was the Big 4? I watched it from the live stream in a movie theatre. I didn’t know if I was supposed to go ape shit or chill movie theatre style. Do you like playing mega arena shows like that? Or do you prefer smaller venues like this?

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ANTHRAX: N/A (Too drunk to remember what he said)

BYT: Is it awesome having Joey back in the band? How is his voice still so fucking good?

ANTHRAX: [Something about it being great to have Joey back in the band. Again, we were pretty drunk at this point, especially Rory]. But this is a good time to explain why Joey is back. Apparently the guys in Anthrax kicked out the last singer, Dan Nelson, and now he’s suing them for libel or slander or some bullshit like that. You can read all about it in the New York Post. We’re pretty certain what Joey Belladonna has to say about the whole situation…

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BYT: How do you feel about the resurgance of metal with an acceptance in the hardcore/punk community?

ANTHRAX: N/A [fuck, this was a good question, but alas, too drunk to remember what he said]

BYT: You guys always had a different style then other thrash bands back in the day. While everyone was wearing black in California you guys were wearing what looked like jams. Where did that come from? Were you guys into skateboarding?

ANTHRAX: N/A [we were too drunk to remember what he was saying, but it was something about him not being in the band at that point]

BYT: Was there a hate backlash from that? You guys always seemed to be having fun when everyone was trying to be evil.

ANTHRAX: N/A [we were too drunk to remember what he was saying]

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BYT: What are you guys listening to on the bus these days?

ANTHRAX: [Okay, we do kinda remember this. He said something about being really into Pink Floyd lately and we got pretty excited because we’ve been really into Pink Floyd lately and we talked a while about Dark Side of the Moon and especially the Wall and whether or not Eric Clapton’s guitarplaying makes an appearance on the Wall. He seemed to think it didn’t, we seemed to think it did. So the takeaway here is that Pink Floyd is playing on the Anthrax bus a lot these days…]

BYT: Whats the worst thing happening in music right now. Feel free to talk shit on specific bands.

ANTHRAX: [He said something along the lines of: I don’t feel completely comfortable talking shit on specific bands, although there are a lot of shitty bands out there doing a lot of terrible things in music.]

BYT: Which brings me to my next question: why is Danzig so fat?

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ANTHRAX: I actually really like Danzig. He was a big influence on me. But yeah, he’s kind of fat. It’s weird how so many people hate him (and his bricks).

BYT: Do you ever get sick of wearing black?

ANTHRAX: No. Never.

BYT: Do you feel that Jersey Shore is an accurate representation of East Coast culture?

ANTHRAX: It’s funny that you ask that question, one of the guys on our tour looks and acts just like a member of Jersey Shore. And here he is!

(In walks tour manager who looks exactly like one of the castmates from Jersey Shore)

ANTHRAX: Where did you get those shoes?

BYT: Cole Haan.

ANTHRAX: I really like them.

BYT: Congratulation again. Worship Music is an awesome fucking record.

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Apparently at that point the interview was over. We made our way up to the bar to watch the rest of Death Angel’s set and await epic sets by both Testament and Anthrax. Luckily, Mike Danko was sober enough to be able to take advantage of his photopass and get some of the sickest show photos we’ve ever seen.

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R.I.P. Flattus Maximus (75,000,000BC – 2011AD)

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