Helstar's Larry Barragan shares his thoughts on 2016 with Scott Adams...
Good day to you Larry, and thanks for joining us in our end-of-year roundup! What was the best new album you heard in 2016? “Death Angel, The Evil Divide. That’s just a great album, beginning to end”.
And what about old stuff – did any reissues grab your attention this year? “Yeah, I liked the Dio reissue. A Decade of Dio, I think that came out this year? Right?”
It did indeed. And very good it was too! What was your non-musical highlight of the last twelve months?’ “Personally, iPhone 7!”
That’s an answer I wasn’t expecting! I don’t even know what version my iPhone is! What have you found particularly disappointing about the wider world in 2016? “That’s easy, the upcoming US election. It’s the first time I really don’t like either candidate. I have no idea what I’m going to do. I keep watching all of the debates and I just shake my head”.
I felt like that once, so I drew an extra box on the ballot paper marked ‘Metallica‘ and voted for them. It worked for me. Moving swiftly along, do you think the music scene – and our sort of music in particular – is in good shape at the minute? “Yeah, I do. I mean look at all the great albums that have come out this year and they’re all being followed up with great tour packages. I think so far this is a great year for metal”.
Did anything disappoint you musically in 2016? “I think Axl Rose singing for AC/DC. That just didn’t sit well with me”.
Which practitioners of your own musical role impressed you most this year? “So far, I love what I’ve heard of the new Testament album. I’m looking forward to that release”.
It’s brilliant – or so Sentinel Daily‘s Michael Stronge tells me. Best live act you’ve seen this year? “Grim Reaper! We opened for them earlier this year and they were really bad ass!”
What does the next twelve months hold in prospect for you? “We’re going to be touring a bit. Going to make it over to Europe for a good little run. I’m going to be producing the upcoming Suspended album. So, yeah it’s going to be busy for me”.
Which band, if any, do you think is primed to break out into the wider consciousness in 2017? “Damn, I’d have to say Vektor. Their new album is intense”.
We’ll give it a listen! We’re fast approaching the festive season – best night for a party – Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve? “New Year’s Eve! Man, that’s when you drink so much to erase the mistakes of the previous year. Put that shit behind you with a mind erasing hangover!”
Well that seems like a good holiday season modus operandi… Staying in the same sort of area – it’s only October so we’re not going to ask for a New Year’s Resolution – but what musical feat do you hope to attain next year? “You know, so far we’ve received a ton of great reviews for the album. But we’ve never been featured in any guitar player kind of magazine. I’d really like for us to be recognized for our playing in one of those publications”.
Maybe someone reading about this will be able to do something about that! Anything else you’d like to say to the readers of Sentinel Daily? “I can’t believe we’re already talking about the year’s end but hope that the upcoming new year brings much success and happiness to everyone”.