Thursday, January 21, 2021



Tired of hearing, “Rock is dead bro”? Well, so are Ronin! These four guys from Long Island are eagerly anticipating the moment when they can shut those people up with the release of their 8-track debut album! Like so many others who pine for the sounds of bands like Metallica and Alice in Chains, Ronin crave the sensation and visceral experience that accompanies listening to just good old, hard-hitting, no-nonsense Rock and Roll! No need for pomp and circumstance! Throw out the smoke and mirrors! Ronin play what they want, how they want and without any unnecessary embellishment or apologies. 

In the grand scheme of things, that has always been the mission of the New York foursome that makes up Ronin. Chris Feldmann (Rhythm Guitar and Vocals), Jack Mauro (Lead Guitar), Andrew Vitale (Bass Guitar), and Justin Maas (Drums) all grew up in the 90’s and early 2000’s, a time where Rock music was everywhere! They’ve grown tired of the soft and weak, pop-infused rock that floods the airwaves, veiling itself under the guise of rock music. Ronin have made it their life goal to rock it back to the days when the genre charged ahead of the crowd with full throttle adrenaline. So, enough moping around, yearning for “what was.” It’s time to get your asses in gear and focus on “what will be.” The Rock Revolution has begun, and Ronin are sounding the charge! Ronin are here to throw down, have a good time, and rock – don’t you fucking forget it!



January 2021

Interviewed by: 
Laura Williams
Vinyl Lollipops

Lipshok is:
Scarlett Dark - Keyboards/Vocals
Massimiliano Maggiari - Guitar
Phil Jameson - Bass
Joe Londeree - Drums

What genre of music do you consider Lipshok to be?

Ha ha, sometimes tough to answer. We think of it as gothic hard rock with some symphonic metal.  It seems that different people hear different genres and influences. Maybe it’s just original? Unique? Different? I like all of those.

What's the ultimate direction for your band?

To keep playing and writing new songs and getting this stuff out there. I am compelled. I don’t have a choice. It’s true. I have to do this. (I have to do other things too like have a day job, but music is a lot more fun)

How would you describe your music making process? 

Well, I like this question. First of all, since I’m the primary song writer, I usually start with some keyboard stuff, chord progressions, fooling around shit, and then from there a vocal melody comes to me almost instantaneously.  I start messing with those 2 things, vocals and chord progressions. 

Then I force the bass player, (who happens to be my husband), to come out to the studio (in our garage) and play along just to see how it sounds with other instruments.  Of course, this can be a long boring process as we argue for the first ½ hour about how it should go and then he gives in as he realizes what I’m doing.  Once I have a working arrangement of the song, (i.e. verses, choruses, bridges, etc.) I start adding vocal melodies and lyrics. All of this can take 10 minutes to an hour depending on how much cooperation I get. Next we record it so we don’t forget it.

Lastly it gets sent to the drummer and guitarist. They work on their parts and when we get together next we put it together as a band. I’m always amazed at how the song expands once we get everyone in there and this little ditty that I wrote becomes a huge wave of sound! LOL.

Why call the band, “Lipshok?”

Ah, of course. Important question. A lip shock happens when you are singing and touch your lips to the mic and there is an electrical problem and you get shocked in the old mouth.  Let me tell you, it isn’t comfortable. It feels like a bunch of little needles poking your lips. The first lip shock was huge. A blue arc you could see. The guy said at the time, “Wow, I just shocked my lips!”   I said, “Oooo, you got a lip shock!”  Then we ran from there. Of course, we had to make it one word and change the spelling so it looked cooler. Of course, whenever this happened to me everyone laughed. So, I eventually went wireless to avoid the problem, lol.

What should fans expect to experience at a show?

An honest to God musical extravanganza!! Ha ha, actually a sincere effort to tell the stories people think about in musical form. Maybe share the emotion and thought patterns that are prevalent in society. Unusual and unique melodies that can haunt the back of your mind. Most importantly, have a good time!!! 

Typical question here.  Who has influenced you the most via music?

Wow! So many and at the same time so few. I have always loved super orchestrated music, that is keyboards with guitars with harmonized vocals like choirs. I mean, I go back to Elton John, Genesis, Pink Floyd, and now Within Temptation, Nightwish, Ghost, Lacuna Coil, and Evanescence.

I used to be an opera singer!!

How can fans and future fans locate, listen to and buy your music?

We are all over the place now. We are on all the streaming services like: Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora, Amazon, etc.  We are signed with a European label “Sliptrick Records” for distribution in Europe, and are on CD Baby in the US.




Is there anything else you would like your fans to know?

Everyone should hang in there. 2020 was a rough year and hopefully 2021 will get better and we can all look forward to seeing and hearing live music again. Love what you do and do what you love. We are always going to be creating and writing and recording and performing as it is the way of things.

What's coming up next for Lipshok?

Well, we are just getting out the new music from “LIPSHOK: Shadows of a Dark Heart.”  There’s a lot of interesting stories on this album. For example, we did an animated video of the number 5 track “And So He’ll Fly” which is a song about Icarus and an updated version of the tragic story.

“Looking Glass” is about Alice in Wonderland and how everyone wants to be her and go there.

“Alive Once More” is about being a vampire and never really “living.”

“Answer the Call” which is somewhat political about the events and the problems of immigration.  (I don’t usually write about political stuff as I live in Fantasyland, but I couldn’t ignore this one)

“Revenge” about just that, getting revenge in a really bad way.

“Don’t Fear Defeat” is about going on despite being afraid to lose, etc.


Lipshok is represented by:

 Laura Williams
©️Vinyl Lollipops
All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021



It was sometime in the fall of 2019 that my friend and I decided to embark on a music journey. We wanted to make some music that was conceptually interesting and paid homage  to all of the influences that we had in our musical heroes. We embarked on our first record, a collection of EP’s that we had created that we decided to self title. It was an affirmation to everything that we were hoping it would be. It was raw, spontaneous , and honest. It was primitive and shamastic, and absolutely us. We decided to rip the fucking rear view mirro off our proverbial hot rod that we were cruising in and continue to pursue our sound. “Blues in solstice “ was created while we kept working past our first album.

It was literally a couple of months apart from the first batch of songs we created, and in some ways, it sounds like years were spaced in between the two. We picked up some momentum on this record thanks to Rob Hammer. He posted our first two albums to youtube and it was fucking inspiring. To think that we were lucky enough to have people listen and like our project was absolutely rewarding as fuck. We kept the momentum up with “frequency and vibration” , writing continuously since the first record. We wrote most of this record VIA EMAIL. We love to record, produce, and engineer music. Since we both have studios in our houses, we could work on music at our convenience, and move fast by just reacting off of each other's material.That’s ultimately what makes this band so great. The spontaneity that exists in the writing. We have so much music to share with you! We don't buy into the industries bullshit. We are not looking to get famous or fucking be Led Zeppelin or something.

We just love fucking music. We are metalheads, raised on the radio in the 90”s, grunge-aholics, and well versed in all things recording. We wanted to put together a band that was all of those things, and i honestly thing we succeeded with it. Check out all of our records at https://kosmonautofficial.bandcamp.com/. Most of the material is “ name your price”. This means if you are fucking poor like we are, you can download it for free. It is worth it. We love our music and want you to have it. Thank you so much for listening, and if you actually read all this shit, then god bless you, you are fucking one of us, the lovers of music. Hit us up and send us messages, we would love to hear from you! We are not the pretentious , stereo typical fucktards that play music. Give us links to records, songs, or even just say hello, we fucking love you, the listener, the people who get it. I hope you enjoy our music, we love you. 







1.Why Bass?

I play this instrument because the bass is the heart of the music so it creates a pulse of time and harmony 

2.Do you think it is unfair or just lack of knowledge bass gets so little credit?

I think the problem is caused by the fact that people focus on the superficiality of music. The bass instead is depth so it's for few connoisseurs.

3.What kind of bass do you use? Model , color , year , And why

I usually play my black ibanez k5. Ibanez bass has a very dry sound that's also suitable for metal but at the same time it's clean and harmonic.

4.Tell us about your amplification

My amp is a 4-way tube behringer with full bodied and expansive sounds

5. With all of that being said do you feel tone is an important thing for bass?

Everything is important with an instrument

6.Do you prefer 5 strings over 4 string?

I prefer the 5 string 

7.Who is your favorite bassist?

John Francis Anthony Pastorius

8. Who is your least favorite bassist?

Sid Vicious 

9.Why do you think women seem to be attracted to playing bass?

Because they are smarter than boss.

10. What bassist dead or alive would you like a private lesson with?

With Cliff Burton 

11. Bonus question

Bobby Doll , Nikki Sixx , Les Claypool , Billy Sheehan  which is more ridiculous and why

Bobby Dall because I don't like poison 


Friday, January 15, 2021



Lipshok – Review

These guys come from Lipshok | Hayward, CA | USA and released a new album, last year, called “Shadows Of A Dark Heart”, via Dist. Sliptrick Records. They play Gothic Rock and Symphonic Metal and their influences are Within Temptation and Evanescence. Scarlett Dark has beautiful skills, that will make you travel into another dimensions, when you hear her playing the keyboards. She even has a witchy voice. Mythical creatures will come to life, once they hear it. Scott Bullerwell plays fast and love how he does it, specially on “And So He’ll Fly”, the story of Icarus, that comes along with a video on Youtube.



I love the work Phil Jameson and Joe Londeree put on bass and drums.

The album was recorded, mixed, and mastered by Brad Barth at Audio Voyage Studios in Livermore, CA, USA.




Cult Of She is a hybrid band that will blow your fucking mind. Influences consisting of hard core punk, fuzz metal, grunge,stoner metal, and that dirty raw sound we “ live “ music addicts crave. Southern Doom is the latest offering from this band, and it flows like a keg after a mosh. 

Songs like “late bloomer” and “ cottonmouth “ smack you in the face with aggressive guitar playing, howling vocals, and a rhythm section that pounds like the drums of hell. Their use of tempo’s and dynamics affirm that this band is well rehearsed and well versed. “ Dent”, is one of my favorite tracks on this album, it has a killer blend of grunge, death, hate, and agonizing lyrics that everyone can relate to. This song is an example of this band demonstrating it’s range in all things metal. 

This album has a great guitar tone, fuzzy, and at times utilizes that crispy stack clean to build a hellashish chorus, like on the song “ widow” which howls like old school manson with the angry vocals Blythe. I love their use of pedals, pitch shifters, and all manners of kool little nuances that are webbed  on this album. I love the use of feedback and noise, because it sounds like I am standing in front of the band, the use of gang vocals even make it feel like a show. This is a hard thing to do, especially for aggressive bands, they do so effortlessly. 

A special shout out to the bassist and drummer for their monstrous and tight arrangements throughout the album! This is a must have and will fit perfect in your collection, next to the stooges, nirvana, agnostic front, black flag, the melvins, and chase it with some code orange.


Bryan Blake

Friday, January 8, 2021

The Mastermind with 2 names and 6 strings Christopher Carrion

1.Introduce yourself and your band and tell us why we should listen to you.

My name is Jesse Lacharite and “Christopher Carrion” is my solo music project.  The name comes from a character in Clive Barkers “Abarat” series of books who is the Lord of Midnight and manifests his darkest nightmares into real life.  After the demise of my previous band “Decillion” I thought that I would try my hand at the solo music thing.  I like to look at myself as the next evolution of bands like King Diamond, Opeth and Enslaved.  I write a lot of concept albums but I also dabble in releases that tackle serious social issues.  Most people are attracted to my music because I cover a lot a ground musically.  I'm mostly Metal with a penchant for hopping musical fences.  This keeps it interesting for me and for the listeners, at least that's what I hope.

2.What do you classify your sound as, Who do you tell people you sound like?

I'm a mixture of four bands.  Faith No More, Opeth, King Diamond and Enslaved.  The music is heavy and brutal but not to the point as to exclude more atmospheric moments.  I've always loved the contrast between heavier elements and more atmospheric tapestries.  What is heaviness without something to play off of?  I have one simple rule.  Nothing is off the table, if the music takes me somewhere than I just go with my gut and follow it.  This can throw people off when they first listen to the music.  One moment I'm writing a ballad then next I'm burying an axe into your face.  This provides the peaks and valleys musically speaking to keep the music interesting and moving forward.  I've heard so many times that I don't sound like anybody and yet sound very familiar.  That's the allure of what I do musically, I take chances.  Whether that works; well I can't say, but it certainly provides an alternative to a lot of the music being produced today.

3.With digital music in today's world would you vote to keep or eliminate physical media?

I would definitely be in the “keep” physical media camp.  Physical media is very important because it offers an opportunity to put out something that is unique.  There is another side to this question though.  I don't subscribe to the idea that you should just print off a bunch of CD's etcetera without their being some kind of intrinsic value attached to it.  It needs to be a limited run accompanied by something special and rare.  Nobody wants CD's anymore because of the advent of Smart Phones and other technologies.  The internet itself has rendered CD's a bit of a relic of the past, but there are still collectors out there that appreciate physical media, they just happen to be in the minority now.  My opinion is make something special and desirable that would justify the price and then just make enough of them to make them valuable and keep that value over time.  Just my two cents. 

4.What is the reason you decided to be a musician and has that reason paid off?

I've always been a musician, I was born a musician.  There have been so many times that I just wanted to quit, but couldn't.  I was like an addict looking for his next fix. There's no money in music anymore, we've devalued the trade to point where you basically have to be a masochist to continue making it, but on the other hand when you are so tied to the art it becomes impossible to just quit cold turkey.  For many years I thought that it was playing shows and grinding it out that was what made it worthwhile but in the end it was the creative process that began to reveal itself as the primary driver of continued interest.  The way things are now, I just make music and am happy with the thought that I'm adding to the creative realm.  I don't need millions of dollars or thousands of fans, I just want to make music and put it out there.  Money, fame and notoriety are byproducts of success, but true success and fulfillment come from staying true to your dreams.  It may sound hokey, but I'm beyond materialism and all that other nonsense, I make music, that's all I care about anymore.  If I die a pauper in total obscurity, I'm just glad I had the opportunity to do it in the first place.

5.How do you feel about females in metal getting special attention? Do you feel it is fair?

It was to be expected really.  Metal was so dominated by men that there was bound to be a tipping point when the scale finally shifted in favour of the opposite sex.  My only issue is that a lot of attention is showered upon the women and little concerning the band which in a lot cases is made up primarily of men.  I'm old, so in the old days it was about bands, where each member was essential to the overall sound.  We've kind of thrown that aesthetic out the window in favour of a single point of focus, which incidentally happens to be a pretty front-woman or what have you.  If Metal is succeeding and thriving and one of the main drivers of that success is women being thrown into the mix then I can see no reason to really complain.  On the other hand if we start to adopt ideas that are prevalent in the Pop market by sole focusing on someones looks or gender we turn the thing into a gimmick and that is to be wholeheartedly rejected.  Women have always had a place in metal and a lot of new bands with women among their ranks are making incredible headway which is a good thing, I just think we need to revert back to revering the groups instead of singling out one particular member.

6.In the world climate with hatred being at an all time high and metal being an “ angry” music

Do you think your music contributes to anger and hatred?


Metal is the musical equivalent to hatred and anger just like Pop is the musical equivalent to happiness and love (for the most part, I'm generalizing here).  Metal has always been the home of outcasts and misfits.  There is a certain amount of negative energy inherent in that moniker.  Not all people are happy go lucky types, some thrive in a more caustic environments.  You need only look at the charts around the time of the rise of Black Sabbath and others of the same ilk to see the contrast.  Metal as a music form also serves a secondary purpose.  What do you listen to when you're feeling angry and disgruntled.  What is the easiest way to purge that negativity from your being?  Listening to Metal of course.  I would say that it is only in recent years that you are seeing this transformation from hostility to more moderate temperaments.  Most of the kids these days have had a pretty extensive catalogue of extreme music to draw from so they don't always feel angry and disenfranchised as we did in the old days.  Old School Metalheads were often singled out for ridicule and bullying in High School because we we're different.  In today's society there is a plurality of individuals and those old norms have been to a large extent erased.  When everything is said and done Metal will always be the home of people who thrive on negativity and adversity even if they don't feel that way personally. 


7.Are you opposed to religious beliefs or politics being used in music?


Not at all, there has to be some kind of wellspring of inspiration to make music authentic.  A lot of times that is derived from your internal politics or religious beliefs.  Some of my favourite bands of all time had that as a central theme running through their musical catalogues.  Venom and Bathory instantly spring to mind from a religious perspective.  Early Megadeth and Metallica would be a good example of the political.  Since the dawn of time, music has been a tool to disseminate ideas and convey discontent concerning various political issues.  This is built into the fabric of the art.  My only hope is that the time tested attributes of Metal will continue and flower to even greater heights.  I love talking about esoteric mysticism and occult rituals as much as the next Metal band but there has to be a point when you talk about something real and tangible.  Music is the single best weapon we have against the establishment, whether that be religious or political, do we really want to lose that?  I'm thinking not...


8.We have dive into some pretty deep issues here do you think your music sends a message and if so what is it?


I make a point to make whole albums of material that attack injustices and the cognitive dissonance of our evolving societies.  In the era of CV-19 that has become more