NAMM 2018 – Mike Portnoy, Cristina Scabbia, Daeg Faerch, Jimmy Wooten

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The 2018 (The National Association of Music Merchants) Show at the Anaheim Convention Center has successfully been added to the history books, drawing in hundreds of thousands of musicians, celebrities and industry-driven attendees excited to check out state-of-the-art innovative products from wall to wall vendors that satisfied every consumer’s musical taste and needs. Companies such as Schecter Guitars, Hal Leonard, Yamaha, 108 Rock Star Guitars, SLT Strings, Rock n Roll Industries, Mack Kendrick Design, TASCAM and Ellefson Coffee Co held artist signings along with demonstrations of their current products. Additionally, featured a selection of courses as part of their U Sessions program highlighting the items not to be missed along with educational information about the industry in various facets such as lighting, audio science, networking events and more. Live music soared throughout the convention grounds and in the surrounding area from start to finish.

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Artists from all genres and walks of life can be spotted walking around from booth to booth between endorsements, media interviews and signings, and a few stopped to say a few words to Screamer Magazine.

The Ellefson Coffee Co booth, which was founded by Dave Ellefson of Megadeth and Metal Allegiance was a hot spot for those who wanted to sample his new coffee line. The booth created a comfortable atmosphere, so it was no wonder we ran into so many people there like members of Metal Allegiance, which amalgamates a community of metal artists that is considered to me more of a lifestyle than a genre when it comes to distinguishing who they are. Members Mark Menghi, , Alex Skolnik and Dave Ellefson have established a firm bond of brotherhood. The group incorporates an assortment of artists into their albums and performances such as (vocalist, Lacuna Coil), Mark Osegueda (vocals, Death Angel) and Chris Jericho

(vocals, Fozzy) to bring an elite and powerhouse sound to metal fans. Having just performed a show at the Anaheim House of Blues, Portnoy expresses what an experience it was. “It was awesome but I’m feeling it now.” When we asked him about the next step for his band Sons Of Apollo, Portnoy tells us “I am looking forward to getting started rehearsing for our tour which will last four years but I am just excited to get back into it.” With the new Metal Allegiance album coming out in June and the upcoming Sons of Apollo tour, Portnoy says he is touching every side of the coin and there is so much to look forward to.

Having appeared as a guest performer with Metal Allegiance, , vocalist from Italian Gothic Metal band Lacuna Coil was spotted with her co-singer Andrea Ferro. Scabbia had a few words for us between endorsements. “This is our first so we have been running around like chickens with our heads cut off. But it’s amazing! We have met a lot of people and endorsements and friends. We are a little tired but it’s better than walking around IKEA” Scabbia jokingly tells us.

Ellefson Coffee Co didn’t discriminate to having rock artists only and , who is most known for his role as the young Michael Myers in Rob Zombie’s Halloween was there promoting his new music and clothing line. While Faerch is a rap artist, he is still one we can consider to be a bit “metal” considering  his past working relationship with Zombie. Faerch explains he hasn’t stopped acting and has some upcoming films to look forward to but he had finally decided to do something with music. “I have a film on Amazon called Ditch Party that I was in and American Vandal on Netflix but I have always loved music. As a child I was playing piano, guitar, bass and drums and started producing my own music as well. Anything art related is always good in my eyes.” Wise beyond his years, Faerch credits life experience to being the inspiration for his lyrics. “Originally, I began writing as a sort of therapy and it went from there. People can check out my music on @greatdaeg on Instagram or on iTunes and will also find my clothing line called RapnDabs.”

Hanging out near the TASCAM booth and revving up for the release of their new single and video on February 23. 2018, (drums) from Miami based hard rock band Gears accompanied by fellow bandmates Trip Six (vocals) and Jack Andrad (guitar) got us up to date on the latest news since we last spoke with them at 2016. “Corey Lowery worked with us on our album again and we are about 70% finished with it and still in the process of picking and choosing the songs we want to include. It’s a bit more progressive than our past albums but while there will be some differences, we are keeping the same Gears sound, or at least trying to. Then, we will be doing a mini tour in the spring but we don’t have any set dates yet. Just a lot going on.”

There are endless possibilities to what you will discover at NAMM. With each year, advanced technology is introduced into the music world. New and old artists come together with fans and merchants to bridge the gap and celebrate music. We can only imagine how next year will be since NAMM continues to outdo itself.

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