What up people! I got another really fucking long article for y'all. This is kind of a history on Brocas Helm, a band that I consider to be among the greatest ever. After the Impaled article, I had no idea what I wanted to write about next. Then the Brocas Helm show got announced and I realized that the band is like a total fricken mystery, and that it could be fun to hunt these dudes down.
I first hit up Justin Weis, the mastering engineer for Black Death and Defender of the Crown, for the band's contact info. He directed me to our pal Mike Scalzi from Slough Feg. Unfortunately, Mike couldn't find a number for his friend in the band, guitarist/vocalist Bob Wright. So I remembered this article that Mike wrote for Invisible Oranges that said that Bob is an electrician, so I did some googling and found a random number online. I call it on a Saturday morning, and within one ring I hear on the other line this monolithic and commanding voice- "This is Bob Wright." I'm basically freaking the fuck out, and I introduce myself/explain the article/babble incessantly and somehow we schedule an interview and I get his email address. We eventually do chat on the phone and what follows is the most amazing interview I've ever done. Bob tells me so many cool Brocas Helm facts, stories and details that I just totally nerd out. He also starts grilling me, asking me what I want do with my life- best part of the interview:
Bob: So what do you want to be, a writer or an engineer?
Me: An engineer, but I like writing for fun.
Bob: Well, why didn't you go to college?
Me: I do go to college, I go to UCLA.
Bob: UCLA huh...? (Long pause) I bet the girls there are really hot, eh?!
I totally lose it and crack up like no tomorrow- that's something that happened so many times throughout the 70 minute long interview. Next was the rest of the guys. A few days later I found former guitarist John Grey on Facebook, added him and sent a message explaining myself and the article, and we did a phone interview right on the spot. John turned out to be a massive help for the article, he gave me lots of really cool info, access to old photos, and even got me in touch with the other former guitarist, Tom "T-Bone" Behney. John got really into the article, and was the only one to look over his transcript when I sent it and offer corrections. Super nice guy, and just a really cool dude in general.
Next was former guitarist T-Bone. I called him and left a voicemail on a random weeknight one day. Dude calls me on a Saturday morning while I'm asleep, I wake up, find my entire right arm asleep and I flop around like a beached whale to my phone to talk to him. My roommate got a kick out of watching me derp around haha. T-Bone was another source of good info, and turns out he really went out of his way to encourage his kids to get into music when he settled down. He even told me a really sweet story of how he played Limelight by Rush with his son on drums for a middle school talent show. Really pleasant guy to talk to.
Next was the show itself. The universe decided to say "FUCK YOU ONIONER" and gave me the shittiest possible week of school leading up the night I flew home for the show. Ended up pulling two all nighters in like 4 days or something like that, just because of homework overload. It was all worth it though, just so I could attend the show. I already recounted how that day ended up being one of the best and most awesome days in my entire life in my gig report, so you can read it there. In short though, Brocas Helm gave an unforgettable live show, and meeting Bob Wright was an experience I will always cherish. I have never met a man that loves life, the people who are good to him and the good things that come with it all more than Bob Wright- an amazing human being by any standard.
I interviewed drummer Jack and bassist Jim at the show, both were really chill and laidback to talk to. At the show, Jim gave me a CD with dozens of really cool photos of the band, some of which were over thirty years old. Most of the photos used in the article were Jim's. I did manage to hit up Brian Lew, the original Bay Area thrash historian and he found one old photo that I could use. My friend, ace photographer Ray Ahner, also took some choice shots at the show itself that I ended up using.
Once I transcribed all the interviews, I got cracking on the article itself. It ended up being less "journalistic" and more casual, just because there was less investigation to be done so to speak. These guys generally haven't had as much drama as Impaled had, so I injected more of my own opinions and such to make the article more interesting. After writing it was editing and re-writing like mad, then doing the layout. Anyway, hope you guys enjoy it! I have no clue what I'll write next, but I'm sure it'll be fun.