Q&A Interview with Slayer drum tech Norm Costa

It's been a while since I've done a Road Crew Books Q&A interview so I thought I'd start it up again with one of the best. Slayer drum tech, Norm Costa, is one of the best drum techs out there today. Not only is he one of my oldest friends but he's one of the funniest guys I've ever known. How long have you worked in the music business and how did you get started? I've been working in the music business for 22 years. I started as a stagehand in Phoenix, AZ, absorbing as much info as Read more [...]

Ode To The Road Crew, a poem by Alex Skolnick

Alex Skolnick, the lead guitarist of Testament, and author of his new memoir, Geek To Guitar Hero, is a great writer. That is why I asked him to write the foreword to my book. I've always been a big fan of his work. This is a bit of roadie poetry that he wrote some time ago that I never read until now, but I think it's really good. Ode To The Road Crew Tattooed, trash talking techs Gritty warriors with hearts of gold Forsaking a life of normalcy For the grind of the open road Black clad Read more [...]

Get a Photo Taken in Jeff Hanneman’s Coffin

I’m sitting in a hotel lobby in Munich, Germany right now, and I’ve been dwelling on one of the most disturbing moments that I’ve ever experienced. This past Saturday night, Testament played a show at Copenhell, the heavy metal festival in Copenhagen, Denmark. Our truck showed up late after a 22.5-hour drive from Vienna, so it was a stressful day to start with. Testament’s road manager and sound engineer, Rick Diesing—my oldest and dearest road crew friend in the business since 1985—came Read more [...]

Jeff Hanneman JH13 Iron Cross tattoo

Last night I was sitting in a restaurant with my old friend, Sonny Satterfield, the long-time lighting designer for Pantera. Like Jason Cain and me, Sonny was also Slayer’s lighting designer for many years, and he loved Jeff Hanneman. As we sat and talked about many good times with Jeff, Sonny said, “Workman, we need to get a Jeff Hanneman tattoo.” “That’s the best idea I’ve heard in a long time,” I replied. So we began to brainstorm the tattoo design and came up with the Jeff Hanneman Read more [...]

Q&A Interview with Slayer guitar tech Johnny Araya

Our next Road Crew Books Q&A interview is with Slayer guitar tech, Johnny Araya. I've done more tours with Johnny than I'll ever be able to remember. He's one of the best techs out there, and one of the finest people I've ever known. Your brother, Tom Araya, is the singer/bassist for the legendary thrash metal band Slayer, and you’ve worked as Tom’s guitar tech for most of his career. Did you start your career with Slayer and were you there from the band’s inception? Yes, I started Read more [...]

Q&A Interview with Megadeth guitar tech Willie Gee

Willie Gee has been Dave Mustaine's guitar tech for years. I've worked with him on numerous Megadeth and Testament tours, and he's one of the best. Willie Gee says what he means and means what he says. Brace yourself. How did you get your start as a guitar tech, and how long have you been doing the job? I used to mess around with my own guitars – changing pickups and whatnot, and pester guys doing repairs locally….read the guitar magazine columns and all that. When I was playing in local Read more [...]

Q&A interview with tour accountant Bob Davis from Bobnet

Bob Davis is a successful music tour accountant and a former tour manager. He's also the owner of Bobnet, a popular (and free) band road crew job listing service. He's worked on the road for 25 years. Bob has won Tour Accountant of the Year at the Tour Link Top Dog Awards numerous times. Bob and I have worked together on tours in the past, and he's one of the best. A lot can be learned from him. And like myself, Bob tells it like it is--the only way to tell it. How long have you worked on Read more [...]

Q&A interview with Megadeth audio engineer Doug Short

I have worked with Doug Short on many tours, including Megadeth and Testament. He's an audio engineer (FOH and monitors) and has also worked as tour manager and production manager. He's one of the best, and much can be learned from him. How did you get your start as an audio engineer, and how long have you been doing the job on the road? I was a drummer in the glam days of Hollywood hair bands. The band I was playing for was recording a record that would never be heard. It was my first Read more [...]

Q&A interview with Iron Maiden audio engineer Martin Walker

From 2008 to 2011, my long-time client, the legendary thrash metal band, Testament, toured extensively around the world on their The Formation of Damnation record. We had the pleasure of doing many big tours, but some of the most memorable ones were with the Metal Gods, Judas Priest. The band members of Judas Priest, their production manager/FOH engineer, Martin Walker, and their tour manager, Jim Silvia, not only took the best care of us possible, but they treated us like family. I will never Read more [...]