Online Alias (if applicable): Dagg
Position at Black Wind: Reviewer, Assistant Webmaster, Thorn in Dan’s side
Hometown: Brighton, MI, United States
What You Do In Real Life: Study to be a History Teacher
Preferred Styles of Metal: Power, progressive (All kinds), stoner/doom/classic
Least Favorite Styles of Metal: Raw black metal, -core, thrash
Favorite Non-Metal Music: Progressive rock, funk rock, classic rock
How You Got Into Metal: Had a friend that got into Stratovarius in a big way, and made me listen to a few songs. I liked it, and it snowballed from there.
First Metal Album: Is it bad that I don’t actually remember? The first metal songs I heard were Dragonforce’s “Fury of the Storm” and Stratovarius’ “The Abyss of Your Eyes” and “Find Your Own Voice”. My friend put all of the Stratovarius albums on my computer at once, and the first album I purchased was probably some Dream Theater album, because that’s what stores had.
Favorite albums – 5/5 on Black Wind scale:
Blind Guardian – Nightfall In Middle Earth
Kyuss- Welcome to Sky Valley
Black Sabbath- Sabotage
Porcupine Tree- Fear of a Blank Planet
Bigelf- Cheat the Gallows
Favorite Metal Artists: Stratovarius, Porcupine Tree (When they’re metal), Thunderstone, Blind Guardian, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Rhapsody of Fire, Angra, Kyuss, Orange Goblin, Theocracy, Helloween, Haken, Beardfish (who are as of recent metal), Bigelf (of dubious metal qualifications, but they seem to think they are), Leprous, Truckfighters, Keldian,
Most Overrated Metal Artist(s): HammerFall, Kiske-era Helloween
What metal means to you: I don’t have a compelling answer for this, I feel like it’s just a genre, really. A genre I really enjoy though.
Why You Enjoy Reviewing: For the most part, I enjoy the effect it has on me. It keeps me on top of the genre, forces me to understand why I do and don’t like what I listen to, and it’s satisfying to discover something awesome that not a lot of people know about, or to see that people actually care what I think about the latest big releases.
Best Personal Encounter With A Metal Musician: I actually have met several of my favorite musicians, including Damon Fox and Ace Mark of Bigelf, Steven Wilson, Stratovarius in their post-Tolkki lineup (But still with Jorg Michael), Matt Smith of Theocracy, Kyuss without Josh Homme, all of Orange Goblin… But the most interesting metal musician I’ve ever met, (and subsequently kept in contact with) has been Jens Johansson of Stratovarius. It’s funny how differently musicians react to fans, from awkward to aloof, but Jens was completely natural and surprisingly candid. I later did an over-the-phone interview with Jens, which I wish I could have posted to Black Wind, because I’m sure he gave great answers. However, the call quality was beyond awful and I couldn’t understand a word he said. I still did the interview, hoping that my recording device might have got enough that I could decipher it, but it was no good. He could have been talking about absolutely anything and I’d have no idea.
Favorite Literature: I started off a fantasy nerd, and I suppose for fiction, that’s still what I’m most likely to read, but a lot of my reading is more academic nowadays.
Favorite Film/Television Series: My favorite TV series of all time was LOST, and I loved the ending. As for movies, I think The Departed is probably the best movie I’ve ever seen, and I’ve come into a recent appreciation for Don Hertzfeldt’s short films. I am also completely sucked in by Wilfred and Brooklyn Nine NIne
Favorite Cuisine: I do not eat. I subsist on prog.
Favorite Beer or beverage: I don’t know as much as Dan in terms of beer (which could be attributed to his head start by a few years), but I’ll drink anything from Short’s Brewery, which if you don’t live in Michigan, well, I’m sorry. I also had a chance to drink a pint of bourbon barrel aged Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout and WOW
Song that you would have played at your funeral: Good heavens. You know, if it were up to me, I’d probably pick something that I would find funny, but that everyone else who is actually mourning my death would find a bit tasteless. I think my family should just be under orders to make a pun about the cause of death.
Message to Black Wind Readers: We’ve all got our tastes, but it’s the contradictions that define us. A good friend of mine, and fellow writer Graham Henry, has what Dan and I refer to as one of the most predictable tastes in metal. However, but his favorite album ever, Queensryche’s Operation Mindcrime, is a complete betrayal of that consistency. We’ve all got those things that we inexplicably love in certain contexts, that we typically hate, or those things that most people like and that we absolutely love. All of these generally reflect how we cover our material. Black Wind aims to be a resource for you to know way more than you already do about melodic metal, and anything else we choose to cover, but we’re just a bunch of fans giving our opinion (albeit critical). That’s not to devalue the reviews, because we take them seriously, but if you really want to get the most out of this site, pay attention to who writes what, and what they say. It won’t take long before you get an idea what each of our tastes are, and even our contradictions. Better yet, chat us up about metal, head over to the forums, or hunt us down on facebook.