HEADLINES

Armazilla

armSpewing forth from the piney woods of ole “Hate City” aka Atlanta, Georgia.

Armazilla has been delivering heavy rock music, with ear-splitting, brain-crushing riffs since 2003.

Formed by ex ZZ Top roadie, Randall Baird, in the winter of 2002, Armazilla started out as nothing more than three guys who share a common love of heavy music. “We wanted to make the same kind of music that we collectively were inspired and motivated by growing up ”explains Randall (bass/vocals). “Classic punk, British heavy metal and 70′s “dinosaur” rock play a large role in our sound and all have influenced us both musically and in attitude.”

Consisting of  Bassist Randall Baird,  Guitarist Ron Cook and Drummer Brian Malone, the band built their own rehearsal studio in an old Atlanta warehouse and started incessantly writing songs and rehearsing. “Soon after we began playing shows in the Atlanta area, opening for many of the touring bands within the growing underground heavy rock circuit, honing our sound along the way”, says Randall.

A two song demo was quickly recorded in the fall of 2003.”There were no 7-figure recording budgets, no 6-figure entertainment bills, no 96 trach digital studio facilities…etc…etc. Just three guys who love music, adopting the do-it-yourself attitude and values of the punk movement that had so dominated at grass roots levels throughout the late 70′s and early 80′s.”

Armazilla released “Texasweed” in November 2008 on Death Truck Records. Texasweed is a monster platter; chock full of super-sonic brain waddin’ speed-weed rock. The only way they know how to do it.

According to their Myspace page, the band is inspired by whiskey, weed, classic punk rock, NWOBHM, good old Bay Area Thrash (god bless it!), the streets, hardship and living in poverty and they sound like A soundtrack for juvenile delinquency and vandalism.

Drawing heavy influence from the days when guitar-driven bands ruled the earth, Armazilla plugs in, smokes up, and has a hard on for amplification. The Armazilla EP s/t, released in 2005, introduced people to a sound as dirty and smogged out as the city it was created in. The band has toured the southeast relentlessly and will continue to play anywhere that has a wall socket.

I had a chance to catch up with Randy and ask him some questions about the Band.

TST: Can you tell me how the band came together and how long have you been together?

Randy: I spent many years playing around the local scene in various bands. Around 2002, I kind of wanted to just form a project where I could lay back without any pretensions and just crank up and jam.

Originally we were a four piece. I was jamming with a rhythm guitarist from Kentucky, Radu Jenkins. We “sort of” drunkenly booked a Halloween show at the old 9 Lives Saloon. Only problem was we didn’t have a lead guitarist OR a drummer!!! I literally spent a week running around town trying to recruit people to play this show and finally was able to land guitarist Channing Givens and drummer Brian Malone (from the band Loggerhead) into learning a six song set and doing the show.

Honestly ,we rehearsed twice and went down to the club, set up all our double stacks, rolled our volume levels all the way to the right, and just went for it. The show was surprisingly well received and we were asked that night to play again the following month .I sort of just continued to book shows from that point on…hah!! So Channing and Brian became unsuspecting permanent members.

We went through a couple of line-up changes over the years. Radu moved back to KY, Channing headed for Pennsylvania, so Brian and I recruited two new guitarists in Ron Cook (from Gonzales) and Stephen Carrington (from Plaster), this was around 2005.With this line-up we released our now out of print “Dirt Track Demo” and started playing anywhere and everywhere around the southeast. Stephen left the band, after much discussion. We decided that the chemistry between Ron, Brian and myself was damn strong so we’ve just remained a three piece ever since.

TST: I read on one of your bio’s that you where a roadie for ZZ Top? When were you a roadie and what did you do?

Randy: I worked for a lighting and rigging company and when the ZZ/Skynyrd tour set sail around 2001 or so. I was sent out basically to babysit a pile of chain hoist motors for the GA,SC,NC dates. I pretty much sat on my ass, drank beer, and watched killer shows for a couple of weeks. Best job ever!!

TST: Describe your sound for the people who haven’t heard you.

Randy: We’re all three influenced by all the stuff we’ve grown up with all our lives. Classic punk rock, Bay Area Thrash, early grunge, slow and low doom ,the New Wave of British Heavy Metal is a HUGE influence. We take all that stuff and sort of roll it up, deep fry it and serve it up with no sides.

TST: You just got back from the Stoner Hands of Doom Fest. How did that go and did any bands on the bill blow you away?

Randy: Ah man it was fantastic. Huge family reunion among many of our road buddies. Really well put together and the vibe was incredible!! Tenth annual SHOD!!
Honestly speaking, every single band on the bill brought it hard. I’m a fan of it all!! I urge people to scope out the SHOD fest online and dig on the bands that have appeared on the bill, past and present, you won’t be disappointed.

TST: I covered Devilneck Metalfest and there was a great vibe and camaraderie among the bands. How does that compare to the Atlanta metal scene.

Randy:You are absolutely right dude. We all are one big family that takes care of each other. My favorite bands on earth are the ones that have been cropping up lately right here at home. Everyone’s really coming up with some Heavy, creeping up on you sounds. You got to love it when the woofers literally push you back against the wall. That’s how it’s supposed to be. Love the support the fans have been showing for the genre, it’s truly what keeps us doing it.

TST: “Texasweed” has been out a year now how has the response been to it outside Atlanta?

Randy: Doing pretty well from what I can tell. We’ve pushed quite a few copies out on tour this year. The fine folks at Stonnerock.com have been helping us distribute it as well as Death Trunk Records over in Holland. Slow build…

TST: What is next For Armazilla?

Randy: We’re gonna jam over at Atlanta’s favorite strip joint, Clermont Lounge on October 22nd.After that we’ve made plans to enter the studio over the holidays to begin recording our second full length “Terlingua”. We are very excited to get to work on this next album. This one’s gonna be doomy-er, punky-er, thrashy-er and prettier than our last effort. Might even stick out a quick vinyl only release of a couple of songs we’ve had growing mold…we’ll see. Stay tuned….

Check out their Myspace for band updates and tour dates:
http://www.myspace.com/armazilla

S.E. The Metal Meltdown

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