stoner metal

There was a time when grunge was an indomitable empire. A musical transcendence that touched and shaped all corners of popular culture. For reason abound that empire crumbled quickly, vanishing within four years of its apex, the symbolic final nail coming in the form of Soundgarden’s dispersal following “Down On the Upside.” The Seattle scene fell silent and the embers went dead as they were either ignored, or worse mismanaged, by the bands that followed. Grunge went to seed, living on in memory and the shadow of Pearl Jam’s adaptive evolution into a popular, relevant rock band.

Some things don’t change. It remains difficult to discuss the long career of Monster Magnet without using the word ‘circuitous.’ Born into obscurity in the wilds of New Jersey, Dave Wyndorf’s band toiled for years, eventually landed a major radio hit with “Space Lord,” was on everyone’s lips for twelve minutes, then it faded just as fast as it had come. A period of infighting and lineup shuffling followed, but through it all the name Monster Magnet persisted.

It's been a long career with some personal twits and turns for Steve Janiak, lead singer and hype man for Indianapolis-based metal band Devil to Pay. Over the years, there have been lineup changes, legitimate health scares, and all the other common machinations that prey on bands the world over. Coming through all that stronger than ever, Devil to Pay returns with a fresh deal with Ripple Music and a punchy new album with a new outlook in "Fate Is Your Muse." Steve sat down with me to talk about his band, his life-changing episodes, medically induced comas and the Indianapolis Colts. Read on:

With “Earth Rocker” released to the world, it stood to reason that Clutch would blaze a trail across the United States bringing their blend of rock and roll and swamp blues to the masses nationwide. This tour was especially poignant given Clutch’s asserted desire to unequivocally return to their rock roots and re-establish themselves as the preeminent rock band in the U.S. With Neil Fallon’s admission that “Earth Rocker” and “Blast Tyrant” producer Machine was in attendance on this night, expectations were high. Along for this part of the ride were Orange Goblin and Lionize.

Crowned By Fire's "Prone to Destroy" is an album that makes connections with all the touchstones of basic, straight up heavy metal. No flowery dalliances, no tangential expositions, no long, emotive complexities. Just guitar, bass, drums and vocals, all locked together with a growling attitude and a blues-backed sensibility.