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On The Road//Doomed and Stoned Fest 2018//Chicago

This time On The Road, we attended the first annual Doomed and Stoned Event in Chicago, IL, for three days of the very best in heavy metal! Featuring some of Chicagoland’s greatest bands, as well as other band features from across the country! This is a community-driven festival that aims to recognize local musicians, artisans, and merchants.

“In DOOM we trust. Praise the RIFF!”


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

Official site: http://www.chicagodoomedandstonedfestival.com/
I coincidentally arrived at Reggie’s at 4:20PM where I met with the crew out back to get everything settled in for the weekend. I was parked right under the train where there was a back alley covered in beautiful graffiti, and I could even see the Willis Tower (formerly known as the Sears Tower) in the distance. This was like a microcosm of everything you have ever heard or seen about Chicago. I then met with Lara, the promoter and the organizer of Doomed and Stoned Fest, who gave me my passes. She briefed me a bit on the event and where about everything was located.


Photo featuring: Lara McGlynn
Lara also mentioned that Shane, a Chicago promoter for Empire Productions, also helped her on the event. Doomed and Stoned Fest was birthed two years ago and existed as an annual event in Indianapolis, but was expanded to add the first Chicago event, making this experience a biannual rendezvous for metalheads everywhere. The event showcases 20 bands in three days as well as many artists, including Nick Gurly who designed the poster art for the even as well.

As I proceeded into the building, I could tell it was something made from what appeared to be a renovated old theater. I was able to meet with all of the employees at Reggie’s personally. They were all friendly, cooperative, and helpful. They really brought the show to life and made my experience at the event very enjoyable.
Day one of Doomed and Stoned Fest featured the following bands in this order starting at 7P.M
Pale Grey Lore

Shadow Witch


Black Road

Black Pyramid

Inter Arma

Pale Grey Lore showed up and immediately began to unload onto the stage having travelled all the way from Columbus, OH. They did their sound check and the festival began! Their performance was the perfect way to get the vibe of what Stoned and Doomed fest was going to be like. They were very engaging with the crowd and welcomed all the bands as they continued through their set list. After Pale Grey Lore was Shadow Witch, of Hudson Valley New York.
Prior to their performance, I was able to speak to the bass guitarist and vocalist Dave Pannullo. He told me all about how excited he was to be a part of the festival as we welcomed each other to the weekend ahead. Dave told me a bit about Shadow Witch stating that they were under the record label Salt Of The Earth; however, they are putting out a vinyl that was self -romoted under the label called Broomstick. He informed me about the albums of Shadow Witch including their first album Sunkiller, which came out in 2016, and their album, Disciples Of The Crow, which came out in 2017. Shadow Witch was inspired by bands such as Red Fang, Alice In Chains and Mastodon, and I could see that reflected in their performance.
While Shadow Witch was on stage, the venue really began to fill up. The other bands began to arrive and the festival started to kick into full swing. Next was Attalla, who had just pulled up and had to get right onto the stage. Codi laughed, “That’s how we like it. Just roll up, unpack and go straight from the highway!” Chicago appeared to really like Attalla and they made Wisconsin proud. They had a ton of energy in their performance and got the crowd super hyped. I was glad to see them once again for their performance is really strong. Being really familiar with our Wisconsin scene it was nice to see them bring our energy to the south as well.
I took a moment away from the stage to watch the merch table for Black Road’s lead vocalist Suzi Uzi while she recorded Attalla for a live stream on the internet. Suzi told me that Reggie’s was their home venue, and you could tell when they hit the stage that she truly felt in her comfort zone there.
Black Road hit hard and heavy representing the Chicago doom and stoner metal scene extremely well. They held everyone’s attention as they brought a stellar performance to Doomed and Stoned. At the end of the performance, Suzi humbly announced that their performance was dedicated to her father. All of us who know Suzi knew that he had recently passed away and it was very touching to see her love for him.
After Black Road was another dark,doomy band called Black Pyramid , who describe themselves as “Psychedelic War Metal”. They hail from western Massachusetts and made it very clear that they were NOT from Boston. I spoke with the two Andys: Andy B. and Andy K., who informed me that their latest album release was Black Pyramid II. The inspiration of Black Pyramid comes from many types of bands including 13th Floor Elevators, Neurosis, High On Fire, Black Sabbath, Black Flag and the occult in general.
The headliner, Inter Arma, was up next. Drummer T.J Childers told me that they were from Richmond, VA. They are with Relapse Records, releasing their most recent album Paradise Gallows which came out in 2016. Currently, Inter Arma is working on writing new music while touring. It was at this point that T.J asked me if I was a cop, which made me laugh because I realized I had forgotten to introduce myself. He described their sound as dirty, mystical, hillbilly metal, which I loved. He was a great guy with a lot of personality. He told me that their overall inspiration are acts like ZZ Top, Led Zepplin and classic rock over all. They owned the night, so it was no wonder they were the headlining act. This was a full force band that was definitely the stoner part of Doomed and Stoned Fest. To me, they were a band for big venues. They also have a European tour coming up!
Thus, the first day of Doomed and Stoned Fest was concluded. It was a great evening full of cool and dedicated fans, bands, and others who support the music scene. I was impressed with everything that had gone on so far, including the hard work that Lara had clearly put into putting everything together. The evening went without a hitch, and I couldn’t wait until day two.

After leaving my hotel room and picking up coffee and a crescent at Dunkin’ Donuts, I was off to get an early start to day two of the Doomed and Stoned Festival. I arrived at 2:30 PM, which was a bit before anything really began.

Day two acts of Doomed and Stoned Fest included:



Of Wolves










The Skull



When I returned to the venue, I met up with the members of the band Age Of Truth from Philadelphia. They are defined as garage-style stoner metal. I was unfortunately unable to attend for the third day of the event, which was the day they were to perform, but I did get to speak with them about their career, which lead to us being “event buddies” for the weekend. First I talked with their drummer, Scott Frassetto. I found out he was the newest member of the band and had only playing with them for seven months. Their latest LP is Threshold, which came out in 2017. Age Of Truth is in the process of a new album and he said that he feels this style is leaning more to a progressive style. Scott said they were invited by Lara to be a part of Doomed and Stoned Fest, and continued to tell me how the drive was smooth and they were planning on being there the entire weekend. I spent the majority of my time at the festival with the members of Age Of Truth thrashing to the other bands.

Thorr-Axe, from Bloomington, IN, kicked off day two and it was like the festival never stopped. As Of Wolves entered and it was as if they brought the pack with them and the whole venue was buzzing once again. Of Wolves guitarist and vocalist Steve took the time to speak with us. He told us about the album release for Evolved, and then on the fly decided to include us on an exclusive title announcement for their album release this September: Balance. A company they work with, Decibel, will be releasing a single and a video to go with this album. For Steve, the influence for Of Wolves is politically driven because he is angry and frustrated about having to raise his family in the world as is, and he said he finds it to be emotional therapy. They put on a great show and all of their fans filled the venue to the brim.

During the time that the band WAFT was up, I had left to take a break. I had just realized I hadn’t eaten all day and by this time it was 9PM. However, from what I had heard they really brought it, and kept they show rolling. To check them out, be sure to click the link we provided above.

The food at Reggie’s was spectacular, great service, great eats, and the atmosphere was amazing as well.

When I re-entered the venue, Brume from San Francisco, CA, had taken the stage. Jordan, the drummer, talked about how Rooster was their first L.P., and was engineered by Billy Anderson. He told me that Brume was heavily influenced by the bands Yob and High On Fire. They too talk up Doomed and Stoned Fest, talking about how good everyone was to them and so on. They were really full for a three-member band. The haunting quality of the female vocalist/bassist Susie stole the show. I have seen many female vocalists attempt to achieve this sound, but she really perfected the style. Her voice along with the rest of the talent of the band brought everything together so beautifully, it was a memorable moment for everyone at the festival.

Next was Huntsmen, one of Chicagoland’s very own. They released their last album in February of 2018, called American Scrap, under Prosthetic Records. They described their brand of doom as Americana metal, which is story telling. Bands that inspire them are Sleep and High On Fire.

I was able to sit with the band Sixes, which is featured in the video below. This band is sludge-doom with very heavy bass. They kept the pace of the festival with a heavy performance.

Lastly, there was the headliner for night two– The Skull.

I was able to spend time with guitarist Rob Wrong, who is not only in The Skull but was also in a band called Witch Mountain. He told us how he spent a lot of time flying between gigs with the two bands. He said he’s been very busy, which we found as no surprise. You could tell Chicago was the hometown of The Skull because they were surrounded by fans from the moment of the arrival. You can tell they are very loyal to their fans. Below is some live footage of their amazing performance.

Unfortunately, I was unable to attend day three, but I really wish I could have stayed. I watched the live feed from home and it had continued to be a success. This festival was extremely successful. There were no hassles for the fans or the bands and everyone was extremely down to earth. It felt something similar to a family reunion, but one where you got along with everyone who was there.

I want to give a special thank you to Tim and Suzi for inviting us down to cover the Doomed and Stoned event, as well as give special thanks to bands Attalla and Black Road. Thank you as well to the band Shadow Witch for being the biggest contributor to our giveaway, but of course thank you to all the other bands who contributed as well. Thank you especially to Lara once again for working endlessly to put the festival together as well as all the others who worked over that weekend and beyond it as well.

***Don’t forget to enter our Doomed and Stoned Fest giveaway!! We have 13 package deals to win!! Like and share this article to enter!***

Don Niesen

Edited by- Cat Sullivan

Video/photo edits by- Emily Mae

On The Road//Metal For Muttz 2018

Metal 4 Muttz is a charity concert to help the Lincoln & Marathon County Humane Society. The hosts of this event was Shannon Barden of the band Syght Unscene and Brittnay Loka. Also in support was Hazardous Beauties Modeling. This year Metal For Muttz was held at The Cabaret Bar in Wausau,WI on April 21st. This event featured 10 bands including:

  • All Kings Fall
  • Downgrade
  • Syght Unscene
  • Un-Broken
  • Auf-ki
  • Infantivore
  • Our Last Vision
  • For Once
  • Constance
  • Artists Unknown
  • Suck Bucket
  • Zippnuttz
  • Masochistic Jag
  • Death The Kid

There were many people in attendance of this show. The venue was packed from wall to wall with supporters-band members and fans alike. There was quite the variety of metal acts, and even some punk bands in the mix that came together for the cause. Metal 4 Muttz also put together a raffle as well as food that was provided for those who were volunteering their time at the event. The weather that day was more than perfect for the event as well, it was the first nice day in what had seemed like an eternity. So, this was the perfect excuse to leave the house, not to mention the fact that it was for an amazing cause. We took the time to not only photograph and film the bands but also to interview with some of the people who helped this event be possible. Featured is Shannon Barden, Brittnay Loka, and Cat Taylor.


Stage 1:

Stage 2:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Metal4Muttz/


Hazardous Beauties Modeling: https://www.facebook.com/HazardousBeauties/

maehem photo thing.jpg

Photos: Emily Mae For complete gallery visit- https://www.facebook.com/Emilymaehem25/

Video: Cat Sullivan

Emily Mae and Cat Sullivan

Weekend Warriors//Metal Interviews//Toxic Ruin

Toxic Ruin is a four piece, original, thrash metal band from Sheboygan, WI. Their sound contains a healthy mixture of thrash, death, and traditional heavy metal. Subterranean Terror, debuted in August 2016. Since then, Toxic Ruin has been writing and recording their second full length album which they promise will be heavy hitter (and will be if it’s anything close to Subterranean Terror.) 


We have seen Toxic Ruin live on many occasion, including 2017 Savagafest most recently. This time we had to opportunity to talk some details of what is to come at Happy’s in Woodruff WI!

You can find Toxic Ruin on Facebook and Band Camp!




Photo Credit: Emily Mae

-Mitchel Fulcer 

Weekend Warriors//Metal Interviews//Ultrea

Hello Music Maehem readers and subscribers! Today on Weekend Warriors we are featuring the band Ultrea from Madison, WI! Ultrea is a female fronted Hard Rock/Metal  band formed in March of 2012. They have been working very hard in the music scene performing LOUD, heartfelt, and high energy music in hope to encourage others to hope, dream, work hard, be the change. Anyone who loves and knows Ultrea has been inspired by them and their motto: ALWAYS PERSEVERE! So, whether this is the  first time you have heard of them, or if you are a hardcore Ultrealien you are certainly in for a treat! With that we introduce you to- ULTREA! 

Follow Ultrea in the links below and check them out at one of their shows!




-Cat Sullivan 

Featured  photo credit: Matt Teubert  

Weekend Warriors//Metal Interviews//Grave Remains

Hello Weekend Warriors! Coming at you from the Rhinelander in the Wisconsin Northwoods we have Grave Remains!! This heavy metal band was founded in June 2011 and is still out there kicking some serious ass!  We present to you …. GRAVE REMAINS!!!!



Photo Credit: Emily Mae

-Don Niesen

For more from Grave Remains check them out in the links below!



Weekend Warriors//Metal Interview//SEISMA

Part two of this Front Row feature, I sat down with SEISMA to learn more about one of my favorite local acts. What’s the story of SEISMA? Who are the people behind these monstrous 50 TON RIFFS? And the answer to the question everyone wants to know…WHAT IS UP WITH THE COLOR ORANGE?? Sit back, crank that groovy ‘Abominable’ tune, and find out the answers and more in this week’s interview.


Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQMyYJDVvWmSkrfz67kjEzQ

Victor Strut music video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CdLZ8MM3yf8

Bandcamp: https://seisma.bandcamp.com/

Don’t forget to tune in on facebook where we will be going live to announce the winner of our 500 like giveaway!

Cat Sullivan

Gear-view Mirror// All Kings Fall Drummer Jonathan “The Icelander” Nicewander


     Hello, local readers and gear enthusiasts. Mitchel Fulcer here to give you the lowdown on the local musicians near you. This week, as you may have read, I have decided to take a hard right turn and feature my first drummer in Gear-view Mirror. We will travel no further than my basement to get a very personal view of the Ragnarok owned by my personal friend and brother-in-arms Jonathan “The Icelander” Nicewander. This nine-piece beast has made its mark on the local scene over the past year with its amazing cymbal package and custom shells. I just couldn’t resist showing all of you.

     The first thing you notice about a kit like this, is the large Gibraltar rack. “I got so sick of carrying all of those damn cymbal stands,” Jonathan exclaimed to me. It can collapse into three sections for easier hauling and looks jaw-dropping on stage!


Getting his start as a drummer, Jonathan used some run down cymbals you would expect to come with a used kit before upgrading to Sabian AAX. “If you’re gonna get ’em, fuckin’ get ’em.” Today, Jonathan proudly rocks Meinl Classics for bright attack and brief resonance.

From behind the kit, mounted with Mapex Falcon boom arms, we have:

16″ China


14″ Medium Crash


10″ Splash


16″ Medium Crash


12″ Splash


18″ Medium Crash


8″  Medium Bell


10″ China Splash


22″ Medium Ride


18″ China


Obviously, the Ragnarok was not the first kit for the Icelander. He began using a standard five-piece Tama kit equipped with a hi-hat, crash, and a ride cymbal. “The definition of standard.” he says before snickering loudly. Then Jonathan explains how he traded in some of his father’s unused gear and saved up to invest in his second kit, a nine-piece Pearl Export Custom. That brings him to where he is today.

In keeping with the Mapex shells, Jonathan uses a Mapex Black Panther Brass Cat 14″/5.5″ snare drum.


With a finish of black pearl and blue spiral, the 100% birch shells give the Ragnarok attack and style. From left to right, they are:

8″/7″ mounted tom


10″/8″ mounted tom


12″/9″ mounted tom


13″/10″ mounted tom


14″/14″  floor tom


16″/16″ floor tom


The shells are skinned with Remo Pinstripe Ebony tom heads, an Emperor Coated snare head, and Powerstroke Pro kick heads.

22″/18″ Kick Drums.

“Two kick drums just looks fucking badass! Also, with two separate kick pedals, there is no kick back from the first beater to throw off the rhythm of the second, a problem you might notice with two beaters attacking the same head.” He considers two separate kick drums and his killer red wooden beaters to be the foundation of his style, which I certainly agree with.


Keeping it in the family, the Icelander uses Mapex Falcon kick pedals.


As well as a Mapex Falcon hi-hat stand.


Last but not least are his ProMark Select Balance Forward 5A drumsticks.


“In terms of the progression of my style and abilities, I wanted this to be my most advanced kit yet, so I got a totally sweet rack from my good friend Dave Miller of Toxic Ruin. This gave me the framework of the kit I was looking to build. As far as the shells, I wanted a birch set, and being heavily influenced by Chris Adler, Mapex stood out among the rest. I went their custom line, MyDenity.” To dampen the sustain of the birch shells, he uses the ebony heads.


As a member of All Kings Fall, I was able to see first hand how the Icelander researched and built his kit with such careful precision. Not only was it an impressive amount of dedication and patience, but as far as the band’s sound is concerned, I wouldn’t have it any other way!


Thank you, loyal audience, for sticking it out through my first drum article! Please leave me any constructive criticism, or send me a message on Facebook if you want to be featured here on Music Maehem.  As always, my friends, trash fast and head bang hard!!!

Mitchel Fulcer












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.


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.


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.


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!


To check out Overdrive Music Magazine follow the link below:


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


To visit my personal gallery please click the link below:



Gear-view Mirror//Evoked Rhythm Guitarist/Vocalist Jason Schumacher


Hello local readers! First of all, thank you so much for all the love and support on my “crash course” cruise through my first article. I honestly would never have guessed that you all would be so interested. That said, let’s get to it!



As you may have read in the conclusion of my last article, my second victim for Gear View Mirror was going to be Jason Schumacher [lead vocals, rhythm guitar] of Evoked. I decided to double up on this band because their stage sound is tight and full, but their gear couldn’t be more different.

With inspirations that range from Iron Maiden and Megadeth, to Bullet For My Valentine and H.I.M., Jason brings a broad frame of mind to the dynamic of Evoked.

Embraced ever so neatly in his hand made stage rack (equipped with badass Decepticon decals) is a semi-rare sight: a Rivera halfstack. Used by Mick Thomson of Slipknot, Rivera wasn’t entirely unknown to me, but I had never seen one live before. As Jason paused from hauling gear into their trailer he gave me a tour of his beastly rack (that even has a mount for his pedalboard–can’t say he hasn’t thought of everything!) I comment on the innovation and common interest in keeping everything mobile and accessible but all in one tight package. He quickly replies with “Yeah… my guys hate it hahaha!!”

Starting at the top with his interesting Rivera L09B 55 watt tube Amplifier, this gem has great tone and everything you need to get the job done. Using his FX loop for an additional bag of tricks, there was definitely an understanding as to why he chose this brand of amplifier.

rivera head

As if building your own rack isn’t cool enough, Jason’s matching Rivera speaker cabinet runs vintage Celestion speakers for that classic thrash tone, and an additional 300 watt subwoofer that he has powered separately. I personally thought that was an especially cool feature, considering he is a rhythm player, giving that extra low punch really lets the leads do their part without pulling away from the rhythm section.


rivera half stack

Running through the clean channel on the amplifier allows Jason to get the most accurate tone possible out of his Zoom G7.1 Effects console. “As a rhythm player I like to keep it straightforward with my setup. One board… one channel…that’s it,” he explains as he straps the single board to the back of his rack.


Jason’s axe of choice is the Schecter “Hellraiser V”. As expected, it rocks active 8581 EMG pickups and a Floyd Rose bridge.

schecter v

Last but not least, he has a mounted an Audio Technica microphone to capture the extra low end that the cabinet pushes through.


Audio tech mic

Thanks again for checking out this weeks article of “Gear view mirror”. Get your local scoop on the gear musicians near you!  Next week I will be pilfering through the vigorous gauntlet of gear owned by my personal friend and brother in arms: Gary Vandenberg.

Stay tuned for a special sneak peek at a really cool drummer with a really nice rack.

Thrash fast and headbang hard!

Mitchel Fulcer 

Photo credit

reference photos: 






Concert photos: Emily Maehem Photography 

Gear-view Mirror//Evoked Lead Guitarist Dan Finnegan


Hello local reader! Mitchel Fulcer here and thanks for checking out my first article of “Gear View Mirror”. The intention here is simple. I am going to do my best to get backstage and get the lowdown on all the gear used by our local musicians.


January 27th 2018 “All Kings Fall” played a birthday show celebrating the love, support and birth of our friends Steven “Redbeard” Vertz, and Jason Mansavage. They hand picked two bands to entertain the evening and headlining the night was the all mighty “Evoked”! These local legends have been tearing up the scene for years and have a sweet stage setup that has always caught my eye. So I decided to spend time with Dan Finnigan [lead guitar] and Jason Schumacher [rhythm guitar and vocals] after their set to get the lowdown on their on stage gear so we can all get a closer look at who these dudes are and where their minds are looking to go.


First I pulled Dan aside and I knew I was in for a treat! If you have seen Evoked before you may have seen as many as three separate stage setups. Just like myself, as well as every other guitarist out there, there is an ever growing hunger to find your musical niche and identity in the music community. That being said, Dan’s setup is not your typical thrash setup. First of all he uses an Orange 55 watt amp head which I must admit caught my eye right out of the gate. “A Lot of people give me shit for using Orange to play thrash metal, but this first gen. Amp has the tone of the vintage 800 that so many thrash players chase.” Dan eagerly explains “I use a 50 watt head because you’ll never need any more than that! If your sound guy is worth his salt you don’t need crazy stage sound. Having 100+ watts is like having a Ferrari and never driving over 60 mph. Just a waste.”


Underneath his Orange head is an Orange 4/12 cabinet with vintage 30’s speakers for that classic british warmth. Don’t let that fool you though this puppy sounds well managed for thrash and kranks!!!


I continued to be impressed as we moved from the halfstack to the gorgeous LTD Alexi Laiho signature V’s. Full force with amazing tone of the single seymour duncan pickup, a body caressing cutaway and of course floyd rose bridge and whammy bar.

From the guitar he’s running into his wireless receiver mounted straight to his pedalboard. Followed by a TC Electronics Polytune tuner.

wirelessply tuner

A personal favorite of mine: the Dimebag Darrell signature “Crybaby From Hell” wah pedal. By far the most versatile wah pedal I have come across.

cfh wah

The modern staple Ibanez Tube Screamer overdrive distortion pedal. Asking for details, he informs “I use no extra gain or distortion. Just simply boost my existing tone.”

tube screamer

His collection of MXR modular/time based effects was a sight to behold. Running this all right out front rather than through his effects loop,Dan focuses heavily on how his chain is set. (as all guitarists should be).

Beginning the MXR chain is his Carbon Copy analog Delay. Running a long time length and low level on the pedal allows for a more full sound. It also has a crazy dial ability that lets you make crazy dystopian, Sci-Fi like sounds for those that like to get weird.

mxr carbon copy delay

Next in line is another thrash staple : the phase 90 used by 1000’s of thrash bands around the globe it was no surprise to see it made its way to Dans board.

phase 90

An MXR BLS Zakk Wylde Chorus pedal. (Definitely wanna try one out now!)

bls chorus

Topping the chain off with an MXR Noise Gate. A must have for any live player. Suppressing extra unwanted noise and feedback to riff transitions and muting on a dime.

mxr noise gate

All in all I think Mr. Dan Finnigan has discovered an amazing modern thrash twist on a vintage outlook, impressing myself and so many others in the scene.

Tune in for the next article to get an up close look at the unique and partially hand crafted gear of the rhythm guitarist and lead vocalist of Evoked Jason Schumacher.

Thrash fast and headbang hard!!