Category Archives: photography

Weekend Warriors//Metal Interviews//An Evening With MORBID SAINT

Hello and welcome to Weekend Warriors! Music Maehem, also joined by All Kings Fall, was invited to the mighty Morbid Cave for an exclusive interview with Morbid Saint of Sheboygan, Wisconsin!  It was truly an unforgettable experience! Laughs, booze, memories and of course METAL!

Don’t forget to follow Morbid Saint in the links below!

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Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/morbidsaintofficial/

Official Site: http://www.morbidsaint.com/

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Morbid Saint is:

Cliff Wagner – Vocals
Jay Visser – Guitar
Russell Gesch – Guitar
Bob Zabel – Bass
DJ Bagemehl – Drums

Filmed by: Ian Gray and Emily Mae

Edited by: Emily Mae

Photos/Graphics by: Emily Mae

Interview by: Mitchel Fulcer

Live performance/tracks by Morbid Saint

 

 

On the Road// Route 20- Udo Dirkschneider/Elm Street/Wrath

On March 9th, I made my way with fellow Music Maehem contributors Mitchel Fulcer and Don Niesen down to Racine, Wisconsin, to see three amazing bands: Midwest local band Wrath, Australian band Elm Street and the legendary former Accept front man Udo Dirkschneider.

We arrived at the Route 20 just in time for sound check. We were greeted by Gary Golwitzer (front man of Wrath from Chicago, Illinois) as well as Scott Nyquist (guitarist of Wrath). After we said our hellos, we then made our way around the venue while they did as well, as the other members in Wrath finished up getting ready for the evening ahead.

We made our way to the back of the venue where we attempted an interview (over the very loud hums of the tour bus behind us). We all laughed and talked about what was all to come for the band in its near future. This was my first time seeing them since their sign onto Combat Records, so I was excited to hear all about that!

Soon, Wrath commanded the stage opening with “Conflict”, and everyone gathered with excited energy. They played several of their well-known tunes including “Test of Faith” and “Insane Society”, as well as an amazing cover of “Ace of Spades” in honor of Lemmy Killmister of Motorhead.

Wrath Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WRATH-284918710024/

After Wrath, coming all the way from Melbourne, Australia was the heavy metal band Elm Street! With brutal force and shredding leads, they really brought the room to life.

This was my first time seeing them live. I had heard a few of their songs before attending the show, such as “Elm Street Children”, however much of their material was new to me. They played an amazing cover of the Quiet Riot classic “Metal Health” and closed out their set with a heartfelt dedication to another fallen metal legend Ronnie James Dio.

Elm Street Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/metalelmstreet/

After they went on, the stage crew took a few minutes to gather and set everything for the arrival of Udo Dirkschneider. This is his last tour, signaling to me even more now than ever that it seems like we are closing in on an end of an era in metal. However, with the end of something comes the beginning of other amazing things, so this certainly is just only one chapter in that in which is the metal music scene.

After putting my camera back in the car, I made my way back inside and started to take the opportunity to take in the show as well as the venue. The Route 20 was a great place! They offered food prior to the show, which was indeed very good and welcomed after a long day of travel on my end. Over two hours of road time plus Milwaukee traffic, I was more than ready to eat. They had a balcony area with tables you could reserve for the show, as well as plenty of floor space while the show was going on, although with all of the people in attendance it certainly seemed to be a bit tight. However, when it comes to seeing a live show, the more intimate the environment, the better.


Mitchel and I headed towards the back of the venue where there sat a crescent-shaped fire ring where people gathered to share conversations about the show over cigarettes and drinks. We ended up spending quite a bit of time there participating in several conversations throughout the revolving door of metal fans. One was a close friend of Wrath’s, another was a metal fan from the 80’s (as I am sure many people there were) that we had actually met when we saw Anthrax prior at The Rave in Milwaukee, and members of Elm Street themselves also joined in, including Nick Ivkovic (bassist) and L.A hired gun, Luke Man. It was cool to get a chance to talk with them for a while about what was going on and to thank them for giving me the opportunity to take photos as well. They were all as kind as they are talented!

I spent the rest of the evening with a few of my family members that came out to spend time with us and see the show (their very first metal show in fact!) and talked with Wrath and other concert goers while Udo sang many of his hit songs from his career. The venue would echo back lyrics to him including the hit we definitely remember from his days with Accept “Balls To The Wall”.

Concerts are always a good time, but I have to admit I was very much a fan of how personal this show really was. It’s not every concert these days that you get to spend real time getting to know the musicians face to face. I personally recommend that you take some time to catch a show at the Route 20 in Racine. I am sure you will enjoy yourself as much as I did.

So, as always, get out there and make some memories! The music scene needs fans like you to survive! Show your support!

To keep an eye on what is new at the Route 20 you can follow them on Facebook in the link below!

https://www.facebook.com/routetwenty/

Live footage and photos:

https://www.facebook.com/Emilymaehem25/

Emily Mae

Back Stage Pass//State of Euphoria- My First Professional Assignment//Emily Mae

Welcome to Back Stage Pass. This is where we get to meet the people who stand behind the musicians in the scene and help bring everything together. Photographers, booking agents,production companies, road crew, stage crew, artists and more! Stay tuned for more interviews about all of these amazing individuals.  This time we get to hear from our very own here at Music Maehem- Emily Mae.

I am a concert photographer. Basically what that entails is going where the musicians are and capturing them in the moment. I do all kinds of photography but realistically the only community that has ever shown me any kind of respect has been the music scene.

It all began because I decided to take my camera with me one night while I was selling merch for the local Wisconsin metal band All Kings Fall. All I did was plug “Camera settings for concert photography” into Google search and the rest is history. I can tell you that I did get decent photos that very first night; however, they really needed improvement and that is where I began to study techniques and so on to get to the level that I am today. There is a lot of trial and error as I progress through the career. There is so much I could still learn before I have to even upgrade my equipment and even more things I have to learn after that.

Concert photography is definitely not for those who are looking to get rich– at least, not in the traditional sense. I gain so much more through experience. Sometimes, shows that I photograph change my life forever and this last weekend was one of those times.

A while ago, I was tagged in a post by Overdrive Music Magazine by my husband. They were looking for contributors to their team. At first, I wasn’t sure I was actually good enough to apply at the professional level. Then, I had one of those “eh, fuck it moments. I submitted my resume and 5 of my best shots. Not too long after that, I was accepted and then I received my very first show assignment which was at The Rave/Eagle’s Ballroom in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

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I was hired to shoot Anthrax and Killswitch Engage for their Killthrax tour.

I already had a lot of anxiety about going to Milwaukee. I definitely hate the city and a lot of the time I end up having a panic attack at the thought of going. Before I left my house I actually gave myself a pep talk:

“You can do this. This is what you have been working for. This is what you were meant to do.”

I couldn’t even eat the entire day, which I’m sure didn’t exactly help my situation. I was very lucky to have the support of my husband, my father and my brother. Without them, I am sure I would have just hidden back in my room. This was my dream opportunity, and I wasn’t going to let it leave my grasp.

When I arrived at The Rave and finally got inside to the box office, they hadn’t received their list yet so I was already kind of in a panic. To me it seemed too good to be true so I had anxious thoughts like, “What if I didn’t actually get on the list?”

To my right, I noticed a girl looking on her phone who seemed to be a little anxious as well. She made a gesture for me to approach her so I did.

“Are you waiting for the list too?” she said. I felt a bit of panic wash away when she addressed me.

“Yeah,” I said. “This is my first time doing this kind of thing so I’m not sure how this all works.” I chuckled a bit, and told her, “My name is Emily by the way.”

“No way!” she exclaimed,” My name is Emily too and this is also my first time!” We were both blown away by this set of coincidences. After some small talk, we received our passes and went our separate ways.

The venue was packed and only getting more so as the night progressed. I have been to The Rave many times, however this perspective of the venue was quite different. I made my way down to the pit and met the security guards. As a concert-goer, usually the security guys just felt something like policemen. But this time, I was working there. This time, they were technically my coworkers, and they were all very kind and respectful.

When they let me in I met up with three women, one of whom being the other Emily I had met earlier. I asked them all kinds of questions and they told me the basics. The main deal was we were only allowed to shoot for 3 songs and then we had to leave immediately and wait until the next band. I wasn’t surprised by this fact. As I mentioned earlier I have been learning this craft for some time. For bigger bands, that is the usual protocol.

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The first band on was Havok, and I just used it as an opportunity to get myself ready and figure out what the lighting was like and so on…but when Anthrax came to the stage, it was an entirely different experience.

I have been listening to Anthrax since I was 13 years old…and now here they were right in my face! I was taking pictures of them and it was wild. 

I could feel the excitement as well as the panic. I collected myself: I took a breath and raised my camera and prepared to shoot. I really got in the zone here so I could distract myself from getting star-struck. After the first song, I’m not afraid to say I nailed most of my shots. 

“Caught In A Mosh” began and I could not help myself. I was shouting the lyrics and Joey Belladonna pointed at me in approval. I got extra pumped and started singing it with the fans on the other side of the rail as well. I just took in the moment and came to the realization that– yes, this was real!

I regained focus and began to finish my shoot while the security guards protected myself and the other photographers from the crazy crowd surfers entering from the mosh pit. It was insanity. It definitely made the shoot much more challenging.

All of a sudden, the three songs rule made more sense to me on a few levels. I was legitimately in danger of being injured there! Though, for some reason I still felt very comfortable and very much in my element.

After I exited the pit, I was able to be reunited with my husband. We went to the merch area, got some water and took a break. There, we met with some old school metalheads and shared stories. We even ended up meeting the drummer Pete Webber who was kind enough to sign our tickets!

We enjoyed the rest of the Anthrax set, then up I went to take my photos of Killswitch Engage and the night concluded.

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I could go on and on about how amazing this night was, but instead I will end with this final thought:

The biggest thing that I gained from this whole life-changing experience is that I could now confirm that this is where I wanted to be.

I am certain I want to be a concert photographer more than I have ever wanted to do anything in my entire life!

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To check out Overdrive Music Magazine follow the link below:

https://overdrive-mag.com/

You can view the gallery I did for Overdrive Music Magazine here:

https://overdrive-mag.com/2018/02/05/killswitch-engage-supports-rave-eagles-club-milwaukee-wisconsin-usa/

To visit my personal gallery please click the link below:

https://www.facebook.com/Emilymaehem25/

 

Weekend Warriors // Metal Interviews // Mitchel Fulcer

Most people here in the Wisconsin metal scene know Mitchel as the Guitarist for the upcoming metal band All Kings Fall. Although, he has actually been in the music scene for quite some time. Anyone who has seen him play will tell you of his unique talents and shredding leads on the guitar as well as his insane amount of energy. He just comes to life on stage and is always up front giving his all for the other local acts as well. Some people have even referred to him as the “Ginge-nado” because of his long red hair and thrashing abilities. However, anyone who takes the time to get to know Mitchel will tell you he is one of the most humble individuals you will ever meet. Respectful and inspiring, I thought he would be a great example of the metal under ground scene. So I decided that he would be my first interview for my blog section Weekend Warriors.

First, tell me a bit about your background, let the people get to know you a bit.

Alright, well as a kid I was first inspired by the British Invasion type metal, like Iron Maiden.  I picked up the bass guitar, inspired by my brother, and began to play along to the tunes of Iron Maiden with my lame little karaoke box haha. I started getting  in the music scene with my dad in a cover band. After playing classic rock with my dad for 4 years I started to venture out on my own. At first with friends and also my brothers, but none of those things worked out and I went through 13 bands and projects until currently becoming a part of AKF.

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Okay, of course the classic question, your inspirations and influences. You talked a little bit about your family and Iron Maiden is there anything else you would like to add?

Yeah, well my influences kind of vary between each era of my life. While I write music, I continue to find new people to influence my style. I’m known mainly for metal, but I do learn and like all kinds of music. Most of all I continue to be influenced by talented local musicians as well as watching documentaries. As long as they haven’t been spoon fed their career, really, I can find inspiration in really any musician. I’m inspired by strong opinions because popular or not, there’s always a story to tell.

I know this is a little broad, but what is music to you?

Uhhhh….everything?? Haha. Everything people love can be united through music, I mean sound is literally  how everything is held together. I mean it is a pretty loaded question, but I can mostly say it has given everything I have in my life. Without it I would probably just have died another druggie statistic.

What is it like to be a musician today? In your experience.

Honestly the community as a whole is a lot more welcoming than one would expect. However, it is very frustrating because I feel like with so much going on through social media you gotta trek through a lot of mud to really stand out. Especially in small town Wisconsin or really small town anywhere. I mean if I were in Seattle or something it’d be a lot easier to come across someone with a studio or someone who knows someone and etc of a larger label. In a small town everyone who is in music almost has to work twice as hard and travel twice as far, especially when you are in a metal band it’s more of a challenge to find your fan base. I mean plus the typical shit of where ever you are from probably doesn’t like you haha.

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How has taking the, what some people consider to be, a risk, to become a professional musician, affected your day to day life or relationships?

As a musician, sometimes I feel like the, for lack of a better term, “common people”  tend to put you on a pedestal at times. Its pretty much 50/50. Either you are “untouchable” because they feel you are doing something they can’t do, but the other half sees you as dumb or naïve or that you think you are so “special” that you don’t have to work a job like everyone else or whatever and often times treat you with spite. A lot of the time as well, friends and family who are not musicians tend to not understand that in order to be a professional musician you are busy and may not have the time you once had for them which also tends to create a lot of friction. They really push you away because of the lack of available time and they start hating you. You get to meet some of the most amazing people in the world and even though you hardly see them, they mean more to you than anyone else you ever even saw in your everydays like high school. There does tend to be a struggle with all of the feed back, especially when it is positive. You don’t want to come off as arrogant. However it is a really great feeling to be welcomed at a “higher status” at a show. You’re no longer the bystander, so you are not held to those standards. You get a taste of what its like to be like on the “red carpet” or whatever. I never had any recognition in my youth so it’s hard not to let it get to you.  At the same time though, you gain a lot of responsibly to others. You are held accountable for every word that comes out of your mouth, so being careless with your words will not only hurt the individual but yourself as well. It’s really all about respect man. We all share a common goal, so there are no enemies only brotherhood and that’s how it should be. Always show your support, even to people you don’t know. Its really not hard to just be cool haha.

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Anything you would like to say about these past couple of years with All Kings Fall?

When I think about my years with AKF, I really got to experience what I thought I wanted. Like, as a kid, I always knew I wanted it, but you really don’t know if you can until you actually are doing it you know? Like, the big picture shit. This past year, I really feel like I can. It just really solidified it for me. It showed me that it is possible and hanging with people who are motivated like Jon and Ian (my band mates) really helps pave the way and keep you focused. I feel like after all those years I have really proved my worth and showed what I can bring to the music community. It’s a surreal feeling to finally have something worthy.

What are some really basic short/ long term goals?

  • First of all, get out our second album, Grip Control.
  • Go on first tour
  • possibly find a manager or at least an agency
  • Then the big stuff, over seas stadiums.. you know dream shit

Are you thinking about a record lable?

Well, yeah and no. There is all the pressure of them investing in you and if you don’t perform like they see fit you get in some serious debt. But, if you are independent you have to work harder, but you may find someone interested enough in you rather than you just being interested in them.

Any final advice for future musicians out there?

Again, just be cool.  Support your local scene! Even if you are not playing a show, go catch a show! The best thing you can do to keep music alive is to just be there. Show your love!

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Well, there you have it everyone, Mitchel Fulcer of All Kings Fall!

You can find his band All Kings Fall on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/allkingsfall/

This was my first Weekend Warriors segment. I hope you enjoyed it! All the photographs are  my person photos! Check out my gallery on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/Emilymaehem25/

 

 

 

 

 

Vulgar Display of Wisconsin “Remembering Dimebag”

In Columbus, OH December 8, 2004, the metal community lost a true legend unexpectedly. “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott and three other people during a Damageplan concert were shot and killed by a young obsessed fan. The metal community was turned completely upside-down and all were devastated by this unfortunate and tragic act. 13 years later, we all are still paying tribute to Dimebag here in the Wisconsin  local scene.

The show was hosted by Shane Keddell, the well respected Promoter and sound technician at Grave Marker Music. Located at the Xtra920, a venue in Appleton WI, metal heads from all over the area braved the snow storm to gather together in honor of their fallen hero. There was even a raffle held to win either a Dean guitar (the brand in which Dimebag supported) and tickets to the up coming event Savagefest.  I set up the Merch table for All Kings Fall right next to the opening band Squid Hammer Metal, a Wisconsin metal band based out of Watertown, WI. They always have an impressive table. Lots of cool tees and other things all guarded by a dead squid in a jar, which is pretty metal.

As soon as the doors opened everyone shuffled in eagerly from the cold to get ready to rock out. Sound check was over and Squid Hammer Metal stepped up to the stage.

Along with their originals, Squid Hammer Metal played a few Pantera cover songs in honor of Dime. They then held up their drinks for a toast and introduced All Kings Fall to play next. Ian Gray ( bassist of AKF) shared a story about when he heard the unfortunate news about the tragedy of Dimebag.  ” I remember in 2004 I was at a Cradle of Filth and Type O Negative concert at the Rave in Milwaukee. There was this woman out side shouting hysterically ‘Dime’s been shot! Dime’s been shot!’ ” He took a breath and continued “Everyone thought it was a joke of some kind..but sure enough when I got home the next day it was all over the news and I was shocked” I could tell he was reflecting on those feelings again and everyone was with him in that moment, remembering how they felt at the time.

After All Kings Fall there was a KISS Tribute band by the name of Paul and The Destroyers. To me, this was a great tribute to Dime. His favorite band was KISS when he was growing up. So much so in face that he had requested in his will that he be buried in a “KISS Kasket”. It was sent to the Dimebag by Gene Simmons himself. (He was buried with the Bumblebee’ guitar from Eddie Van Halen as well if you didn’t know that) It was a really special thing to be able to get a taste of what Dimebag loved and was inspired by and we all sang and danced along with the classic tunes.  They were really fun and full of energy and enthusiasm. There was fog and lasers as well. I definitely felt like I had been transported to the 80’s for a short while.

The end of the night was one of the most beautiful parts of the show, its called the Vulgar Display of Wisconsin. Several bands from the scene all had picked one song that Dimebag had played during his career to share with everyone. We all gathered around with our Pantera tees and red dyed beards to say our farewell. The first band was Evoked and they started it of with “Domination” after that they were followed by Shane’s band Headstone. They played a very passionate tribute with “This Love”. Then it was Shield the Survivors and they changed it up by being the only band to pay tribute with a cover from Dime’s band Damageplan. All Kings Fall followed with a cover of “Mouth for War” and finally the night ended with the band LEAD.

Its really quite amazing to me that everyone still has the respect to honor Dimebag Darrell. The fact that one man was so inspiring to so many people..is really unbelievable. He was so young and made such a large impact on the world. His fans, his friends, his family, and many people who worked right beside him all miss him dearly. People die, but legends live forever.

“Music drives you, it wakes you up, it gets you pumping and, at the end of the day, the correct tune will chill you down”

“Metal is what I am into. Shit that moves you. Shit that has heart and soul”

Dimebag Darrel (August 20, 1966 to December 8th 2004)