The Rockstar Energy Mayhem Fest differs vastly from Ozzfest, the decade-old, quintessential metal summer that it supplanted last year. On Mayhem, the bands don't perform until 2 PM -- as opposed to 10 AM -- so the 2-on-the-dot roar of Tennessee's Whitechapel was a perfect way to start the day. Not too early, and certainly not too late. However, the spirit of 'metal summer camp' that was inherent at Ozzfest certainly lives on. It has just been transferred from Ozzfest to Mayhem!
All That Remains singer Phil Labonte told Noisecreep that he relishes the tour, the lifestyle and the heat, saying, "I kinda like it. I lift every morning, even in Arizona, which was by far the hottest show of the tour. We have a tent and I lifted, and I liked the sweat. I love lifting on tour and bringing weights out here with me. It's easier for U.S. tours, since you don't want to ship 200 lb. weights overseas and put all that dead weight in a European tour bus where you have no room for them. But I have to say, I love this heat." It was surprising to hear, given that he lives in Massachusetts, known for its rather unforgiving winters.
Labonte also said, "This tour has been awesome. We're at a point in our career that has never been better and all that great stuff happening around the band has been reflected in the shows. The kids are singing along, so I can't complain."
Backstage, Cannibal Corpse vocalist George 'Corpsegrinder' Fisher was chatting with Killswitch Engage bassist Mike D'Antonio, saying that he digs the band's rendition of Dio's 'Holy Diver,' and that he is bummed the tour is nearing its completion, since the Mayhem crowd have been the biggest of Cannibal's storied, death-tastic career. If anyone out there fears that metal is following the economy into a recession, you thought wrong! Just look at Cannibal Corpse, raking in more fans than ever, two decades into their headbanging history!