Words by Andrew Crawford
Photos by Brendan Rohan
Featuring the original, face-melting, ear- exploding, heavy metal band: SEPHIROT !!!!!
Special appearances by super-shredder Austin Smith, mega-mogul movie producer Jake “Minibike” Price and supermodels Lisa Sheldon and Macy Price.
AUTHOR’S NOTE: Please blast metal at full volume while reading this, and put on sunglasses.
Summer, it rhymes with drummer, hummer, you get the point, and even though it means time away from the snow for most of us, it doesn’t mean the excitement and maximum kick-ass has to stop. There was something in the air this summer that promised it was going to be a special one, and when Austin and Minibike called and said they wanted to come visit me in Montana this summer for some relaxation and rehab from the snow, I knew that something big was in the works!
Little did I know however, that right in my hometown of Kalispell, there was one of the most talented, genuine, down to earth, maximum shreddage metal bands brewing and ready to explode, named SEPHIROT! They would soon be blowing peoples minds and melting their faces. I was introduced to them at a local show, and as soon as the Marshall Stacks started shaking and bursting at the seams with exploding riffs, I knew that they would go all the way. I was magnetized into the tractor beam of blistering sound, that had influences of Iron Maiden, Helloween, Man 0 War, and when I heard the original songs they wrote and were singing about hot rods and brothers of metal, I was addicted like it was the 80’s on the sunset strip. It was such a refreshment to hear great metal, and the kind that made you want to pump your fists and scream at the top of your lungs. I instantly knew that Austin and Minibike had to hear them, and somehow incorperate them and share them with the snowboard community for everybody to hear and get inspired from.
The answer was simple: throw the biggest heavy metal house bash this valley has ever seen on the 4th of July. We would have Austin and Lisa fly in from their busy jet-setting lives traveling the world kickin’ ass and looking hot, and have Jake and Macy Price blast in from Oregon. Professional photographer Brendan Rohan committed without hesitation to document and shoot the madness. With “hell-yeas” all around, we decided to have the famous international snowboard filmer, producer, editior, kick ass shredder Jake Price film a music video for SEPHIROT, to send off to the masses for a blitzkriege of bidding wars from record labels and songs for shredders to use for future video parts. The stage was set, the energy was growing, and it was time to kick the tires and light the fires, metal was in the air!
Austin, Minibike, Lisa, and Macy showed up on July 3rd, wide eyed and excited to be in Montana. Out of all the things that snowboarding has given me over the years, the friendships and life-long bonds I’ve made have made me the happiest. They have stood the test of time, and when you can re-connect, it is so badass.
After retiring from Pro-Snowboarding this winter, I am so excited to be back in school for Aerospace Engineering, and even though I don’t get to shred as much and see all of my friends, when we do get to powerbond it is so fun. After many heartfelt hugs and a tearful hello, we all had a feast around the wild west bar in the kitchen of Wild Child Ranch, where we all reminisced and caught up on what everybody was up too. Then SEPHIROT showed up for sound check in my shop, and I was so happy to introduce my new found friends and brothers of true metal, SEPHIROT, to some of snowboarding’s elite. Everybody instantly hit it off, and we proceeded to brainstorm over cold ones, on how tomorrows metal bash would be one for the record books. Minibike scoped the scene, found his angles, and instantly started getting ideas for the music video. With Minibike doing Volcoms shred video this year, it seemed natural to shoot for Volcoms record label for first dibs, as shredders usually have a great ear for good metal. The incredibly talented and famous graphic artist, Heath Fugate, who’s done designs for kick ass rock bands and companies like Nitro, put out a flyer for the bash that would make any metal band jealous. With skulls, swords, and flying v guitars melted into one kick ass flyer, the town was painted black and looked like it got hit with a rock poster tornado. And with a map on the back, the masses of rockers could find the gig like E.T. with a trail of reeses pieces.
July 4th, Independence Day, the day Montana shook with the sound of metal, of techtonic plate shifting magnitude.
After we all piled into the bitchin’ camaro for a neckbreaking ride down to the river, we all went for a summertime swim in bikinis and board shorts to kick off the party. I was able to show the guests the X-1 mad-max boat that I’m building, half airplane-half boat, and the test launch facility that I use, the river behind my house, for the louder than hell Frankenstein creation of a boat. Minibike drove the boat, and the rest of us went deaf and just laughed.
The hour of metal power was approaching, and with help from the most amazing family a guy could ask for, we set up the party for the guests to arrive. With Billabong supplying the sun umbrellas and cozies, and with the kegs of beer and hot dogs starting to arrive, the electricity was building! Literally, after a near fatal lightning strike the rattled the front yard and thunder that blew our eardrums, we knew the metal gods had arrived and were tail gaiting in the skies. As the sun broke, people started parking on the road like Field of Dreams, walking through the wheat field towards the house, and we all knew that the time had come. SEPHIROT took the stage, and without hesitation or warning, they proceeded to blow peoples minds and eardrums with raw, original, jaw-dropping metal.
As the band members, Doug, Eric, JJ, and Jeremy, fired an onslaught of metal down the 200-plus throats, you could see people looking around at each other in amazement and wonderment at what they were seeing. With Eric’s dueling drumming and lead vocals, and Doug’s face melting lead guitar solos, JJ and Worm completed the army of sound that made the hills of the valley echo with metal! As Minibike filmed the music video, and as Brendan captured the moments with his incredible eye, I stood back and smiled at the power of friendship and the brotherhood of snowboarding and metal that all seemed to be fusing together. After a mind blowing set that seemed to make time stand still, and an encore that shook our foundations, the massive crowd just seemed to stand around smiling, in a daze, wondering what just hit them over the head and made their faces melt.
We all stared complaining of “bangover”, from banging our heads so bad, and the boys of SEPHIROT just smiled at the metal carnage they had just unleashed. As the sun went down, and people disappeared into the wheat field, there was a feeling of fantasy in the air, wondering if what had just happened was real. When the dust settled the next day and the earth seemed to stop shaking, we all said our good-byes and gave the nod of approval for one of the funnest summers and times of our lives.
The music video will be launched soon, so keep your eyes peeled and if you want to contact the band for all your video-part song needs or metal fix, hit them up at myspace.com/sephirotmetal, and if you want to see all the pics of the party, you can say hi to me at myspace.com/2fast4lov, or see brendans pics at stumptownphoto.com.