On the cover of the new Burning Brides? album is a photo of a hanging.
The man with his neck in the noose is none other than Dimitri Coats, lead guitarist and vocalist for the cosmic, riff-heavy hard-rock trio from Los Angeles.
Now, before parents saddle up their high horses for a ride and start accusing the Brides of promoting suicide solutions to their young, impressionable, and probably neglected, children, hear this: Coats doesn?t have a death wish.
?It?s really about celebrating, not the death of myself or anything, [but] actually celebrating survival and life,? explains Coats. ?The last song on the record is hopeful, ?And I?m free.? It?s about celebrating the death of rock ?n? roll, or the death of my rock ?n? roll, you know??
Or, perhaps it?s about killing and burying the Brides? nightmarish past in a makeshift grave in the woods. It?s a history fraught with drug abuse, major-label hell and relationship problems that threatened to doom the band. But that?s all over now, and with Hang Love, Coats, his wife Melanie and new drummer, Pete Beeman, have their sights set on conquering the world of rock ?n? roll.
?This is one of the greatest rock albums of the year,? an enthused Coats exclaims. ?I don?t know if anybody?s going to even f**king realize that, but we know that … and I think the people that really f**king care are going to realize that, and so, let?s just celebrate it together. I mean, where are the Guns N? Roses of today? Where is the Cheap Trick of today? Where are the Ramones of today??
They aren?t in the Top 40, that?s for sure, and ? … so [we?re] trying to be that band. That?s what Burning Brides is trying to do. We?re trying to f**king be rock ?n? roll superstar heroes in a world that overlooks the graveyard of rock music.?
As soon as Coats is done stating his case, he starts to laugh.
?It?s okay dude. I just pull ?em out of my ass … as I stand here overlooking my life-sized Star Wars stormtrooper … ?
Disarmingly funny, Coats has plenty of things to get off his chest ? mostly about the new record, which Coats says is the band?s heaviest LP yet.
Single-minded in its determination to crush everything in its path, Hang Love is a screaming, stained-glass bird of prey breathing fiery, psychedelic metal and scary punk with thick, crunchy riffs (see ?Ring Around The Rosary?), monolithic rhythms and space-rock atmospheres.
Swinging between the stoner-metal destruction of ?San Diego,? the Cult-like, goth trippiness of ?She Comes To Me,? the bluesy, four-on-the-floor drive of ?Poor House? and the starry-eyed, Smashing Pumpkins-style power surges of ?Unglued,? Hang Love is an emotionally turbulent powder keg. It runs on raw feelings and old pain.
?You know, there?s a lot of blood in those tracks, a lot of love,? says Coats, ?and it?s sort of a personal dialogue and diary that I was having with myself [about] what we were going through at the time.?
The ?we? Coats refers to is he and bassist Melanie Coats. Now married, it wasn?t so long ago that the two, who met while at Juilliard art school, were fighting drug problems and themselves so much that they didn?t seem to have any future as a couple or a band.
?I mean, Melanie and I almost didn?t survive our years of drug abuse and just … what we were doing to ourselves was not healthy,? he laughs. ?So this story is really about examining that, and it?s a confession, it?s about survival and making it out the other side stronger than we were before, learning from our mistakes, and also embracing the fact that we?re the underdog and always have been, even though we?ve been thrown certain bones and have been afforded certain opportunit