Castle’s Mat Davis Shares His 7 Most Memorable Concert Experiences Growing Up
"We wanted to have a live feel and an edginess to the album and I think we got that. It sounds bigger and hits harder. And I wanted the songs to be epic. There were elements of that on our debut but I deliberately set out to achieve that with most of these songs," says Castle guitarist Mat Davis and boy, did they achieve it!
"Voivod was my favorite band as a teenager and what was probably the first club gig I went to. I snuck into the club way early in the day and met [drummer] Away upstairs in this small room. He was a really nice guy but he was just sitting there staring at a wall, really quiet. I remember thinking that was pretty whack. They destroyed that night and I went batshit. I had the Killing Technology album cover painted on the back of my coat at that time."
Tool - Montreal 1992
"I was never a huge Tool fan, but they were relatively new then and the club was small and jam-packed. I don't think I've ever seen a band kill it as much as they did that night. I remember the club was upstairs and the floor was made of these old wooden slats and at one point everyone was jumping up and down in unison and the floor was literally dipping a good inch or so with every move. My friend was the promoter of the show and we rode back to his place with the band in the back of a pick-up, wasted."
Exodus / Forbidden - 1988 @ Blondie's, Detroit
"I saw a ton of shows in Detroit between 88-90, most of the thrash bands of the era. This one wasn't the best of those shows but it was great, and also notable for the Exodus drummer Tom Hunting playing one-handed the entire show because the other one was broken. That's metal."
Bad Brains – 1989 @ Polish Hall, London, Ontario
"I had never seen anything like the Bad Brains. H.R. was in the band and I remember just being so affected by these guys. They all walked into the hall right before they played and they were just bad ass. They had such a sound, so tight but loose at the same time."
Black Sabbath / Motorhead - 1995 @ Palonia Park, St. Catharine's Ontario
"I've seen Black Sabbath other times, (w/ Ozzy Osbourne in 1999 and w/ Ronnie James Dio in 2007) but this concert wasn't about Black Sabbath (who had Tony Martin singing) this was all about Motorhead. Strippers on stage, cops shutting down the show... all in a circus tent, in an abandoned field as the sun filtered through the impenetrable haze of hashish. Classic."
Metallica / Metal Church - 1986 @ Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto
"This probably would of been top of the list but Cliff Burton died a few weeks before the show happened and it was re-scheduled two months later. It did turn out to be one of Jason Newsted's first gigs with the band and was by far the best I saw them play, which was many over the next bunch of years (and not always good)."
Uli Jon Roth / Blind Illusion – 2009 @ Annie's Social Club, San Francisco
"It's hard to believe this bill even happened. It's outrageous that only a hand full of people were there. I saw Blind Illusion a bunch of times that year and even 20 years on and they were awesome. Marc Biederman [guitars/vocals] just has a different way of creating on the guitar. Uli was out of this world. It might have been the pot cookie but man; his guitar solo melted my brain into a big puddle on the floor."
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Castle's Blacklands is out now via Prosthetic Records and available at this link.