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Thrash-Death-Metal and the Caps


Courtesy of Express.


Full disclosure: I've been a bit out of the loop on the local thrash-death-metal band scene. Luckily, our corporate underlings cousins at Express and its snazzy-if-non-Metro-friendly Web site are well on the case, bringing to full and glorious light darkness the story of Darkest Hour (the popular D.C.-bred thrash-death-metal band), and "Let's Go Caps" (their popular playoff hockey anthem) and the possibility of using Horn Guy and Goat in future thrash-detal-metal anthems (no, really).

Blazing new ground here, I'm going to excerpt large portions of the interview, and even steal the Express artwork, under the theory that we're all being paid by the same corporate masters. But in the interest of cross-promotion, please go read the full thing, and also stick with the author, Christopher Porter, as he relates a harrowing tale of fan-on-fan burrito battles in the Verizon Center upper desk. Ok, here's the beginning of the Q&A between Porter and guitarist Mike Schleibaum:

EXPRESS: What prompted Darkest Hour to write a stadium anthem?

SCHLEIBAUM: Well, you know, actually there is this Pantera theme for the Dallas Stars that I stumbled upon. Super fans will find anything! And we would rock it all the time in the van on tour. We must have played that song for people all over the world!

One day we were like, "Man, we should record some jam for the Caps." We had some down time in between tours, and it was around when we were recording some B-sides for another record we were re-releasing. We had a couple of beers and were like, "F*** it, let's record that Caps theme."

So we set up a few mics in my friend's house and went to it. We recorded the whole thing for free on no budget. If you listen, the song is actually a spin-off of an older Darkest Hour song called "With 1,000 Words to Say but One." This is on purpose! It's in homage to Pantera who did that with their song "Cowboys From Hell" and their Dallas Stars theme.

It was something we did just for pure fun. I mean, when you play music -- especially death metal -- for a living, you start to take a lot way too seriously. This tune is pure fun. We recorded and produced it ourselves in one night after reminiscing about our love for hockey -- and don't forget, the beers helped. If you listen to the backup vocals you'll hear many of our friends that love hockey. Yeah, the crowd voices are actually a big group of all our D.C. friends. We just called 'em up and said, "Hey, you guys want some beers and to scream 'Let's Go Caps!' for a few hours?" It was a hell of a night!

EXPRESS: Did you consider having Caps superfans Horn Guy or Goat guest on the track? Maybe a future remix?

SCHLEIBAUM: No, but, dude, that's a killer idea. I love Horn Guy! One time we got close enough to him that I was going to ask for his autograph but chickened out! Man, I still regret that. Let that be a lesson: Get the autograph or you will regret it your whole life if you don't!

EXPRESS: What are your favorite songs to hear at Verizon Center?

SCHLEIBAUM: I love it when they play AC/DC, Guns n' Roses, Metallica -- you know, metal. I know that it's a family game and all, but, man, nothing goes better as the soundtrack to hockey than metal. Hockey and heavy metal, to me, are just like peanut butter and chocolate. I wouldn't love anything more then to see Ovechkin slam down a game-wining hat trick to the sound of "Damage Inc." by Metallica screaming over the PA. God, that's what heaven is like!

EXPRESS: What anthems should be playing at the arena?

SCHLEIBAUM: Well like I said before, Metallica's "Damage Inc." But I also think "Angel of Death" by Slayer or "Mouth for War" by Pantera would be good. It's really funny, but when I was a kid they used to play "Simply Irresistible" by Robert Palmer all the time. What's really funny is, I swear to God they still do. Now I love me some Palmer but, dude, let's get some sick jams going! You can't really intimidate the Philly Flyers with "Simply Irresistible." We need something like "War Ensemble" by Slayer.

Oh, and they need to start a head-bang cam! You know, where instead of finding people to smile or dance they find people in the audience who want to bang their head! That's what I think would fire up a metal-ass hockey crowd!

By Dan Steinberg  |  April 9, 2008; 10:31 AM ET
Categories:  Caps  
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