Mojo Uk - 85 2000
THE GRATEFUL DEAF
Interview taken by Various Experts
"Marshalls changed rock'n'roll as much as any band." - Lemmy.
Truer words have never been spoken. In 1962, when Kensington drum teacher Jim Marshall began selling 4x12 speaker cabinets from his retail music shop, the history of noise was changed for ever. By 1964 The Who were extremely vocal converts to the Marshall religion and, following the arrival of the 100 Watt amp and the Marshall stack (two 4x12 speakers on top of each other), other artists such as Cream and The Jimi Hendrix Experience began to define performance as much in terms of loudness as anything else. Suddenly, the size of a band's rig was as much an issue as its ensemble playing. But which rock band was the loudest of all time? The poorest stoner rock bands of 2000 are as loud in decibels as most late '60s acid rockers. MC Hammer caused more local noise ordinances to be passed than MC5 ever did. Also, the perception of volume is necessarily subjective - dependent on each listener’s unique 'earprint’, noise-encounter history and state of inebriation. Still, while volume is definitely in the ear of the beholder, in every rock era there have been certain bands - from rebellious savant-morons to sonic thrill-seekers - who earned reputations by being significantly louder than their peers. Those bands (excluding C/DC, who feature elsewhere in the magazine) have been chosen by MOJO, in reverse order, as the Loudest Bands Of All Time.
The Conanist American metal band claimed the title of World’s Loudest Band when a 1994 show in Hanover hit 129.5 decibels.
Ten tons of amplifiers at the Hanover concert.
WHY SO DAMN LOUD?
Joey DeMaio (bassist): "Some assholes tried to break our record. Frankly, it can't be done. The power will kill you. The Guinness Book Of Records wouldn't list it because they thought it would be dangerous, encouraging people to break it. We are the Kings Of Heavy! That means we make thunder inside a room."
DeMaio: "One girl said to me, 'The reason there's so many girls at a Manowar concert, more than any other heavy metal band in the world, is because the vibration of the bass travels through the floor, up their toes, up their ankles, up their legs and hits their fucking clit and they're just cumming through the whole concert!'"
Helena Solodor (audiologist): "As you're approaching 140 decibels, that’s the threshold of pain. With noise levels in excess of 140, 150 decibels, things can rupture. Your ear drums can burst. You could have all kinds of bodily functions go... It would not be pleasurable!"
Eric Adams (vocals) "l don't wear ear plugs in both ears, 'cos if I did I couldn't hear any high-end, which I need as a vocalist." Hearing of the band is reportedly still OK.
MOJO LOUDOMETER RATING:
6.5 (penalised 3.5 points for pondering)