What’s Best In Life: Schwarzenator At The Viper Room
World-renowned body building champion. Hollywood movie legend. California governor.
Arnold Schwarzenegger has accomplished quite a bit, but one thing he’s never done? …Started a metal band.
And he probably never will, which is fine, because the world has Schwarzenator.
Although not the first Arnold-inspired band, they are by far the most skilled, well-conceived, hilarious, and off-the-fucking-hook. Consisting of some of LA’s finest, vocalist JP Von Hitchburg (Within The Void/Venison), guitarists Shane Gibson (KORN/Jonathan Davis/Stork) and Jonathan Weed (Charlie Superfly), bassist Eloy Palacios (Stork/Venison), and drummer Thomas Lang (Rhythm magazine’s “Best Drummer in the World”), Schwarzenator played what I believe was their 3rd show tonight at LA’s Viper Room. The room was packed, with faces full of smiles, confused looks, some terror, and a general glaze of all-around amazement. Heavier than a fist full of ununoctium in the hands of Marty McFly
As if it weren’t enough that the music was heavier than a fist full of ununoctium in the hands of Marty McFly, the band came out each dressed as an Arnold character from varying films, replete with matching Arnold masks featuring ripped out jaws. This facilitated the copious amounts of hilariously bad Austrian-accented mid-song banter, the most common phrase of which was likely the classic Arnie “Shut uuuuuuup!”.
But as funny as those moments were, the band was sure make it a metal show, not a comedy act. Each song was based on and inspired by a different movie, and the set began with “End of Days”. Other notable songs included “Conan”, and the closer, “Total Recall”. The tunes regularly jumped between blast-beat intensity and what I think is the best thing metal can do: slow, ridiculously heavy half-time grooves. “Conan” wins the award for best half-time ass-beating… if more hyphens meant more rocking, that song would rock harder than this little article.
For evidence of the rocking, take a moment to watch the music video they made for “Conan”…
Be sure to also check out the videos from the show included below, as well as a small handful of photos I took by clicking here.
A recording from the band is forthcoming, but in the meantime, visit Schwarzenator on Myspace or Facebook, where I would imagine you’ll get first word on when their debut release will be finished. If you’re fortunate enough to live in Southern California, keep an eye out for shows in the near future. I’ll be there.
See you at the party, Richter!