Friday, October 25, 2013

Q & A

It has been a busy couple of months. I have been neglecting my blogging duties, but I hope you will forgive me. I will try to get back into the swing of things soon.

In the meantime, here are two of my latest quickfire question and answer sessions. More to come!

And just in case you missed it...

Head on over to for the latest news and official Ashes of Ares gear.

Saturday, August 25, 2012


Yeah, I know I’m a little late gettin’ around to it, but I figure I’ll throw in my two and a half cents about “The Dark Knight Rises”.  First, I have to say that I went into the theater with the sense that I would not be disappointed with this final installment of the Nolan trilogy.  I just had a feeling that things from TDK that left me so depressed (for lack of a better word) would somehow be righted.  I was not wrong…for the most part.  I think that there were a lot of things that were right on the money here.  Though I might have gone another way in some aspects, I believe that there were a lot of visions in TDKR that we saw in “Batman Begins”.  I’m not sure if those bits were because of more writing contributions by David Goyer or if it was just a conscious decision from the whole creative team to give the movie that feeling.  Aside from the obvious connection to BB (I won’t spoil it for the two people who haven’t seen the flick) there was the same kind of energy that was not (in my opinion) present in TDK.  It’s kinda hard to talk about my favorite points of the movie without giving away plot.  The same goes for the parts that I wasn’t so jazzed about, but I can say that I think the movie was worth the admission price and I’ll be glad to add “The Dark Knight Rises” to my Bat-collection. 

That being said…I’m ready for the next vision of The Batman to fill us with delight.  I am almost positive that Nolan will still have his hands in the production or executive production of the next concept, but I hope that the next creative team gives us the Batman that gives as good as he gets.  I’m talking about the guy that can go head to head with a “Super” human and come away with his head up.  That’s the guy I wanna see next.  After all, next summer we get to “believe a man can fly” again.  We should be getting ready for a Batman that can help save a planet from other worldly foes.  That only seems fair.  If I wanna see a realistic super hero, I’ll watch a Norris movie ;-))

As far as “Man of Steel” goes, I like what I’ve seen so far.  I think that the Jor El and Jonathan Kent teasers were brilliant.  Was it me, or did anyone else get the same visual vibe from those trailers as from the first “Batman Begins” teaser?  Weird…yet hopeful!  Let’s all hope that we will see stuff that we have never seen but have always been waiting for.  Horns Up!


Wednesday, August 1, 2012


I decided to try my hand at a video blog to mix things up. I hope you guys like it. Please feel free to critique, but not to harshly ;)

Thursday, July 12, 2012


Greetings all! Just wanted to give you guys a little insight into what's been going on lately. Well, though we are still in the early stages of progress, we are really excited about what we are hearing thus far. We hope that you have patience with us as we continue with this creative process and search for a record label that will help us bring our music to you all in the best way. Thanks for all your support....more to come!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


My buddy, Thomas "Hellspawn" Mancini, posted the latest “Dark Knight Rises” trailer on my Facebook page yesterday, just after I viewed it on  He is obviously a more “efficient” geek than I am, however, I'd still like to add my three and a half cents to this preview.  First, as some of you may know, I was not a huge fan of “The Dark Knight” film.  I really wanted to love it, but after watching it once in the theater and once on DVD (yeah, I didn’t even spring for the Blu-ray) I remained really, for lack of a better term, confused.  I was a huge fan of “Batman Begins”, and thought it was a perfect blending of a “super-hyper” and “realistic” world.  It delivered the foundation for what I felt was the most original/dramatic/action-filled “Batman” franchise there had ever been.  The story was well written and very heartfelt in establishing the reason why Bruce Wayne “must” transform into the Batman.  So I really had high hopes for TDK.  Considering the circumstances that had occurred prior to the film’s release, most of us were eager to see just how well the “Joker” and “Two-Face” played into the story.  I, unfortunately, felt that I spent over two hours watching something that left me feeling a little hollow.  Not even that “good hollow” like at the end of “Empire Strikes Back”.  I guess what I assumed from the title “The Dark Knight”, that Batman was going to kick some serious butt, but…what I got was “Why so serious?”

Since I’ve already used my “Empire” reference…I’ll just keep rolling with that.  From what I’ve seen of “The Dark Knight Rises” advertising, I get the distinct impression that this is Batman’s “Return of the Jedi”.  (Fingers crossed… no Ewoks…or missile toting penguins)  The tag line “The Legend Ends” has been used in posters and billboards.  Some might make the assumption that because this is Nolan’s final “Batman” film that he will “end” his vision of the Batman.  I may have completely missed the bus, but I believe what is meant by this is that “The Legend” will give way to “The Hero” of Gotham City.  I am sure that Nolan will remain connected to the Batman franchise in some capacity.  After all, whether I liked TDK or not, it is still one of the highest grossing movies of all time. 

That being said, there is no doubt in my mind that “The Dark Knight Rises” will surpass its predecessor … in both bank, and in the hearts of fan-boys.  This new trailer looks outstanding, and as long as we are given the “superhero” that we expect “The Bat” to be, bat-fans will be triumphant.  We have already seen what kind of superhero magic that Marvel can bring to the big screen in the last several years.  It’s time that Warner/DC use this opportunity to their advantage.  I trust the Nolan and Goyer will not disappoint with this one, and I wait with great anticipation for “The Man of Steel”!


Friday, May 18, 2012


Last summer, I embarked upon my final series of live performances with Iced Earth.  During some down time at the ROCK AM Festival in Germany, I was approached by a young man baring gifts­.  His name is Alex Pineda, and he had traveled all the way from Bogota, Colombia to catch one of the last shows.  I was presented with a hand carved sculpture of a jaguar’s head which represents the Jaguar God in the indigenous culture of his homeland.  I was truly grateful and I don’t really know which of us was more excited about the meeting. I know that Alex had spent a lot of time and money to make the 6000 mile trip, and was a bit “sleep happy” when we met, but I was just so appreciative of his steadfastness and was overwhelmed by his loyalty to the band.  I know that there are fans that have gone to great lengths to see Iced Earth and this was but another stunning example of how blessed the band is…and I am.

Alex is the personification of driven, and the surrogate of the metal fraternity’s loyalty.  During his travels, he documented the journey for those of us who have ever dared to dream.  Alex’s dream was to go to Germany and hang out with his heavy metal brethren, a mission that was destined to succeed, but was wrought with its own specific challenges.  For these challenges to be overcome, he enlisted the aid of several friends from overseas; fellow metallers who were more than willing to help out their “brother from another mother”.  Is there any doubt that (metal) music is THE universal language?  I don’t think so, but you could ask a Martian the next time you see one!

Anyway…I suppose that there are at least two lessons in this story (if you find anymore, keep it to yourself).  First, never be afraid to act on your dreams (unless your dreams involve you wearing a meat shirt inside a lion’s cage).  Second, never ever take what you have for granted.  Thank you, Alex, for the reminder…and thank you all for listening!

Follow your dreams!!!