Kurt Orzeck is a nationally recognized senior editor, writer and Web content specialist whose 3,000-plus writing credits include The Big Takeover, RollingStone.com, New York Magazine, Reuters, Alternative Press, FLOOD, Filter, Thrasher, Royal Flush, Soma, Venice, Rockpile, Drowned in Sound and many more outlets.
With minimal purple and pink hues lighting the stage, the camp fire-esque performance was all about the music (well, and Beam’s award-worthy beard) and the gentle sparks that crackle and pop between mutually admiring musicians.
As the festival gets under way, we bring you the most authoritative “must-see” list, based on what 59 participating Psycho artists told us in interviews we published leading up to “America’s rock ‘n’ roll bacchanal.”
“Psycho has the biggest number of killer bands on a festival bill,” Pepper Keenan of Thursday pre-party headliners Corrosion of Conformity tells the Big Takeover, in our final preview piece leading up to “America’s rock ‘n’ roll bacchanal.”
In the iconic singer’s second-ever interview about his decidedly un-metal project, which debuts Friday at the festival, Anselmo reveals that the last time he was this nervous was when he first played with Pantera 35 years ago.
It was a shame Earle wasn’t able to sell out the Egyptian, especially after Garth Brooks drew a record-breaking 86,000 attendees a month prior at the nearby Albertsons Stadium. But for those in attendance, who value authentic country music, Earle’s performance will be as memorable as his career — and his mentor Guy Clark’s.
The psych-rockers have played more Psycho fests than any other band. Frontman Jason Simon reminisces about his days touring with future Psycho creator Evan Hagen and how Dead Meadow are keeping their performances fresh 20 years into their career.
Ahead of the festival’s Thursday start, we check in with Fu Manchu, Candy and Have a Nice Life, whose member Tim Macuga says, “The whole weekend is an embarrassment of riches.”
Two members of the L.A. metal quintet confessed that playing the festival is a dream come true for the young band, that they plan to play all-new songs and they hope to inspire a mosh pit in the pool.
“Art’s supposed to take your breath away for a second and make you feel something you haven’t felt in a long time,” frontwoman Mlny Parsonz says. That’s exactly what she plans to bring to the festival next week.
Tiger, drummer for the German psych/stoner throwback trio, is champing at the bit to visit Vegas for the first time, debut new material at next week’s Psycho festival and play a “destroyer” show there.
The frontman exclusively reveals to the Big Takeover details about the psych-rock band’s new album, recalls a zany Vegas story and shares his feelings about playing the festival for a second time.
Frontman Alex Maas shares about what the psych-rock masters from Austin have in store for their festival set, his penchant for poker and how tough it is as a festival organizer to please everyone who attends.
The crossover-thrash band’s frontman, Riley Gale, shares the most outrageous Vegas stories we’ve heard yet in the lead-up to the massively anticipated festival happening from August 16 to 18.
The Big Takeover has interviewed more than 50 of the roughly 70 bands playing at next month’s Psycho Las Vegas festival. But only one of them (so far) has attested to witnessing concertgoers overtly having full-on sex during one of their concerts. That lucky (?) band is L.A. Witch.
Lead guitarist Justin Anthony Maranga explains why it took so long for the band to play Psycho last year — and how the festival kicked the hard-rock quintet back into gear.
We connect via Skype with longtime 1349 guitarist Idar “Archaon” Burheim, who granted us his first extensive interview about the black-metal band’s new record, single and performance at the upcoming music festival.
We catch up with the grindcore band’s frontman, who is stoked to see his pals in Ilsa and Devil Master — and attempt to follow the Misfits after their headlining gig they’ll play at the festival earlier the same night.
The frontman of the spaghetti Western-obsessed band gifts us with the zaniest Vegas story we’ve published so far, and more outrageous anecdotes ahead of Spindrift’s performance at the festival next month.
The reunited doom band’s drummer reveals what Warhorse have in store for Psycho, why they’re feeling no pressure about their much-anticipated performance, and the bevy of bands he’s amped to see perform in Vegas.
Obsessed frontman Wino previews his band’s first performance at the festival and chats about their “long struggle,” new bassist — and King Solomon enslaving demons to build a castle.
We touch base with Kelly Finnigan to talk about his funk-soul band’s excitement to play at a heavy-rock festival, his plan to “kiss some hands and shake some babies,” and whether the psychedelic-music fan has actually had experience with psychedelics.
We catch up with frontman and guitarist Ben Bloom to ask how on earth an eight-piece funk/soul/R&B/Afrobeat band from Seattle made it onto the bill for this year’s hottest heavy-rock festival in the U.S.
Teddi Tarnoff, frontwoman for the electro-pop indie-rock band, tells us how special it is to be the only hometown act playing at the Vegas gala — and to be making the first major festival appearance of their career.
The jovial legend shares amusing anecdotes about his ex-wife, almost getting hit with flying objects while opening for Guns N’ Roses in late 2017, his upcoming appearances on “Late Night with Seth Meyers” and having “lots of problems that involve repetitive damaging behaviors.”
Frontman Jeff Walker, one of the best-humored musicians we’ve interviewed for our Psycho Las Vegas preview series, speaks about how Carcass are leaving their Spinal Tap stage props at home and much more.
To give you a taste of the panoply of musical strains in store for the long festival weekend, we’ve assembled video playlists for each day of the festival (including the pre-party).
The multi-hyphenate musician opened up about his lack of familiarity with the festival and whether he thinks he’ll fit in. He also recounted an outrageous story involving the Flaming Lips, grandparents and an alien blow jobs.
Frontman Todd Fink shares his gratitude for the Faint to be included on such an unlikely festival lineup and also reveals that the band will heavily mine its recently released Egowerk (Saddle Creek) during their performance.
We caught up with bassist Jay Bentley during a tour stop in Denver to pick his brain about the festival, why it’s a “no-brainer” for the punk-rock legends to play it, and find out how his dirty pajamas got into an exhibit at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
We catch up with the Cincinnati rock band’s lead singer, who gushes about the band’s long history with the festival, explains what sets it apart from the rest — and embarrassingly reveals how she blew a chance to hang with Alice Cooper.
Opeth’s frontman candidly talks with us about the Swedish progressive-metal’s festival-closing appearance the festival, his disdain for Offspring and Nickelback, and why he still gets stage jitters 30 years after forming his band.
Frontman Kevin Starrs, a.k.a. Uncle Acid, reveals the acts he’s most eager to see at next month’s heavy-rock festival — and also tells us about the “hammer attack” his band has in store for it.
The blackened-doom trio’s frontman tells us what makes Psycho distinct, why you probably won’t be seeing him in the pool — and, with some coaxing, what stands as his best Vegas memory (so far).
With classic metal vinyl at her fingertips and Judas Priest in her heart, Kim Galdámez will keep concertgoers alert by spinning throughout the festival, which is five short weeks away.
Lead guitarist Darkest Prince sheds light — or darkness — on the punk-minded black-metal band’s performance at the festival, and allows us bow down to our new Master.
Jean-Paul Gaster, drummer for “America’s quintessential rock and roll band,” took some time before heading out on tour to praise Wino from the Obsessed, spill secrets about how Clutch determine their set lists, and divulge why he’s especially excited to see Carcass at Psycho.
Vocalist/guitarist Gabriel Franco discusses the goth-rock/post-punk band’s much-anticipated performance at the festival, his plans to rely on a diet of milk and pasta for the show (?!), and what he plans to do with the band’s earnings in Vegas (take a wild guess …).
We chat up the “heavy magic rock” band’s vocalist, Johanna Sadonis, about chilling with the frontwoman of influential and like-minded band Coven, and how to beat the Vegas heat in the middle of the summer.
“Vio-lence has not played a large festival like the Psycho festival, so for us to reunite as longtime friends and musicians and be given this opportunity is verification that we did the right thing by reuniting,” vocalist Sean Killian told the Big Takeover.
We chat with the crusty death/doom-metal outfit’s drummer about playing in Vegas for the first time, which other bands he’s eager to see perform, and bringing blasphemy to the already-depraved Sin City.
We talk with singer/guitarist Stephen McBean about his psychedelic band’s new album, Destroyer; playing the kids’ slot machine in casinos; his favorite memories of past Psycho festivals; and more.
We chatted with all three members of the Motorhead tribute band about what made Lemmy great, whether go-go dancers will join them onstage and what other bands they’ll be worshipping at the festival.
We caught up with the psych-rock band’s vocalist/guitarist, Greg Meleney, to discuss why he refuses to watch YouTube clips of Danava’s first Psycho show, why he loves playing in the heat and why bands shouldn’t use set lists when they perform in concert.
The frontmen for the bands, Stuart Braithwaite and George Clarke, talk about what they’d most like to hear each other play at the festival, their favorite songs by their respective bands — and the possibility of a collaboration between Mogwai and Deafheaven.
We recently caught up with George Clarke about why his blackgaze band wasn’t an obvious pick for the predominantly metal festival; the wild success of their recently released B-side, “Black Brick” — and his new hairstyle.
We talk with the beloved post-rock band’s founding guitarist/vocalist, Stuart Braithwaite revealed part of the reason why Mogwai went vegan and how he’d like their spectacle at the festival to measure up to a Britney Spears show.
The Satanic doo-wop duo from L.A. talk about what they have in store for their Sunday show at the festival and their “connection” to none other than Sammy Davis Jr.
The prog-metal quintet’s frontman spills about what made their first U.S. show “overwhelmingly good,” expanding from a quartet to a five-piece and which bands they’re stoked to see at the festival.