04 November 2016

On Going Home, And Banging Heads: My Trip Back to the Old Country, To See Slayer, Finally

I had never seen Slayer.

In nearly thirty-five years of metal fandom, and Christ, nearly thirty since I first heard South of Heaven, I was beginning to think I would slip gently into middle-aged metal-fandom without having heard the bombast of songs like “Angel of Death” at a volume designed to rip my scalp from my skull. You know, the way songs like that are meant to be heard. 

30 January 2014

Knock 'Em Dead, Kid - ANTIVENIN and the Crüe

Yesterday, Mötley Crüe held a press conference announcing their final tour in 2014 (for realsies this time), and the music-critic cynic in me nearly ruptured something internally, trying so hard not to give a shit.

But I can’t front.

You see, the whole reason there's even a hint of music-critic cynicism in there, is because of a maladjusted ten-year-old buried inside me who will forever rep the Crüe, or at least what their first two albums have come to mean to me over the years (alright, I’ll be honest, Theatre of Pain gets a pass too, but more on that in a bit). I can’t say I’m sad to see them finally put it to bed, but there’s a tiny light inside me that’s flickering out with their retirement, for sure.

12 June 2013


"But the Emperor is naked!" The boy said. 
~The Emperor’s New Clothes, Hans Christian Andersen, 1837

It wasn’t gonna be Volume 4. It wasn’t even gonna be side one of Never Say Die!  There was no way they could ever have a hope in hell of possibly getting it right – was there?
Surely not.

03 May 2013

In Memoriam: Jeff Hanneman, 1964-2013

I never saw Slayer.

With yesterday’s incredibly sad news of the passing of Jeff Hanneman, I never will, now. 

24 December 2012


Well, that time of year is upon us again. You know, when I magically remember I have a blog, and post my year-end ramblings on shit I listened to this past year. I wrestled with the idea of not bothering with a year-end best-of this year, but lucky for the lot of you, ego won out over ennui (it always does, doesn't it?). So without further ado…

29 December 2011


Without any further fanfare or ado, here, then, are ANTIVENIN’s TOP 11 ALBUMS OF 2011

18 May 2011


I wrote this piece for Vancouver's now-defunct Skinny magazine back in August 2010. Our fair city was about to receive a visit from legendary sleaze/rape rockers The Mentors, and it was one of my most anticipated shows of last year. So I was pretty excited when the Skinny's editor, Tanya, set me up to talk to the band in advance of the show. You can read the results below.

But of course, as a handful of dirtbags (myself included) waited slavishly for that night's show at the Brandiz Hotel, the show was sadly not to be. CBSA caught wind of the band's gig in Vancouver, and were allegedly waiting for the Mentors at the line as they made their approach. And as soon as the tour van (yeah, the one with the Mentors license plate and the 'Don't Laugh; Your Daughter May Be Inside!' decal on the back) hit the Peace Arch, the boys in blue denied them access, and sent the Mentors packing, back into the States (mistaking him for the 13-years-dead El Duce, an overzealously offended lady in blue also gave drummer/singer Marc Duce a black eye & a fat lip for his trouble). Needless to say, it's unlikely The Mentors will likely be attempting another border crossing anytime soon. If I ever want to see them, I guess it'll be me crossing a border.

Here, then, is my interview with the Kings of Sleaze, the Mentors.

28 December 2010

THE GREAT AND DREAD YEAR-END TOP-10 2010 (and more!)

I'm not the first to say it, and surely I won't be the last, but looking back, 2010 was a significant year for metal. There were several tragic losses this year (Ronnie James Dio, Peter Steele, Makh Daniels, to name a few) that weighed heavy on the metal community. There were also numerous triumphs, as it seemed like band after band put out their strongest material thus far in 2010. And while it was nigh-fucking-impossible for me to narrow down my favorites of the year to a paltry 'Top 10', I decided that these ten albums were the ones that I kept listening to over and over the most.

Here, then without further ado, are the Antivenin Top 10 of 2010:

21 December 2010

A nod to the oldschool - my first interview with Lemmy Kilmister

In honor of yesterday's announcement of Motörhead's return to Vancouver February 7th (with Clutch and Valient Thorr, no less - what a bill!), in support of The Wörld is Yours, I thought I'd recall and post this old chestnut from the first time I got the chance to sit down with His Lemness back in 2005 (the second time, in 2009? That's here). This was the only time I've ever come down with a serious case of starstruckedness and, haha, it shows in my delivery and ridiculously too-long introduction. This was not the first in-person interview I'd ever conducted, but it was the first one I'd conducted with someone of Lemmy's magnitude.

Originally published Summer 2005 in the very short-lived
North-Vancouver-based music magazine POINT, whose editor saw fit to bump this interview as a cover story in favor of one on Alexisonfire - is it any wonder the mag folded after three issues? Story (and scans) of the interview after the jump.

22 July 2010

Insert overused metal band name word here

Much in the spirit of Matt Groening's annual "Forbidden Words' list, or that METALSUCKS list, ANTIVENIN beseeches up and coming metal bands: No more band names containing the following words!