You’ll especially need a guide once your face melts off. Just ask the bands.

Every year, hundreds of metal fiends and hardcore kids flock to New England Metal and Hardcore Festival at the Palladium in Worcester for three days of “dugga-dugga” karate-kid slam-dancing hardcore and headbanging metal mania! We here at the Dig have been talking to some of our favorite names in the line-up, making sure to leave no band unturned, in order to steer you, the headbanger, in the right direction.


Dillinger Escape Plan’s often-abrasive style isn’t the easiest listen, vocalist Greg Puciato admits.

But once you put in the time and “get it,” you’ll be handsomely rewarded with some of the most intricate, intense, and passionate metal on the scene.

“We push people away, as much as we pull them in,” Puciato told the Dig from his home in L.A.

“When we see people that like our music, we know they put in a little bit of effort. A lot of people say they didn’t get it at first, but saw how passionate people were who did get it, and now they’re one of those people.”

The band’s latest, One of Us Is the Killer, is another batch of eclectic post-hardcore mayhem that builds on the beautiful chaos of 2011’s Option Paralysis, shifting between brutal mathcore, lush hard rock, window-rattling metallic thunder and soaring atmospherics.

“We always just think no one cares about us and that no one’s going to care,” Puciato says. “We spent so much time in our formative years with everyone thinking we were noise. We believed in what we were doing but we never thought we’d be doing it in 2013.”

What other bands will you check out on NEMF?
Opeth. I’ve never them seen so I want to check them out. Also Anthrax and Suicidal Tendencies. I’ve actually never seen Anthrax before and when I was nine I was obsessed with all those thrash bands. And Suicidal Tendencies are still absolutely killing it. They still have the same energy he had back in 1992. They’re the real deal.

Survival tips?

Don’t get in a fight. That’s the thing that bothers me the most. [Metal] allows people to release violent aggressive energy, but sometimes people misplace it and direct it at other people.

Get as drunk as you want, get as fucked up as you want, mosh as hard as you want. Just don’t beat anyone up.


My phone is ringing on speakerphone on my desk. A New York-accented voice on the other end answers: “You a Red Sox fan?” The tone makes me feel like if I answer incorrectly, a fistful of metal will come through the receiver and crack my jaw. Luckily, I reply, “No, Pawtucket Paw Sox.” The voice on the other end laughs. It belongs to Charlie Benante, drummer of the legendary thrash metal band Anthrax.

Anthrax’s song “Got the Time” was played on Mars. How’d that happen?
That was none of our doing. Before the whole Mars Rover thing started, we just heard that one of our songs would be played up there. It’s pretty cool to hear that your music is being played for the universe. We’re trying to reach a different audience, yah know?

Is there anything you’d like to say to Anthrax fans you’re about to play for at Metalfest?
Thanks for sticking with us and being loyal for all these years. Without these people here and there—different cities, different states, ya know?—you’re nothing. We won’t be wearing any Yankees gear during the show.



Swedish gothic metal band Katatonia will be making their first foray to the Worcester metal fest and drummer Daniel Liljekvist says he’s eager to get out of their homeland and in front of frenzied U.S. fans.

“Playing a rock show in Sweden is so fucking lame,” Liljekvist told the Dig from Sweden recently. “They judge you so much. They come to the show just to hopefully see you fuck up. It’s just the Swedish mentality.”

“In the U.S., they’re pretty much loud throughout the song and they scream in between. The U.S. crowd is there to have a few beers and have a good time. I prefer the U.S. crowd.”

What do you love about NEMF?
The best thing, of course, is hanging with friends and getting free beer and watching amazing bands.

Any survival tips?
Wear earplugs. Drink water. I’ve been to a lot of festivals and the main target was to party. I missed out on so many bands.

Don’t drink beer all the time. Watch all the bands. And especially watch those bands that you’ve never heard of.


As one of the elder statesmen on NEMF, Tom Hunting, drummer of trailblazing, Bay Area thrash overlords Exodus, has a message for the younger bands on the bill: “Stay true to your craft”

“If you’re able to play music for a living, realize that it’s a gift,”

Hunting told the Dig from a tour stop in Dallas last week. “If you’re able to achieve success, they need to humble themselves. And help out other bands and keep it real.”

Exodus hails from the same influential scene as Metallica, Megadeth, Testament, Slayer and Possessed, and have thrashed and burned their way through a 30-plus year career that’s survived numerous lineup changes, the deaths of two members and endless changes to industry.

They’re currently writing their 10th studio album.

“It’s a gift to be able to go on the road and do what you love to do and travel the world,” Hunting says. “It’s been an amazing journey. I’ve been doing it a long time and I still love it.”

What other bands will you hang out to watch?
Hatebreed. We’re really good friends with them, so we’ll really be checking them out.

Any survival tips?
Stay hydrated. Bring some aspirin. If you see somebody fall down in the pit, pick them up and give them a hand.


FRI 4.19.13-SUN 4.21.13
261 MAIN ST.
ALL AGES/$35-$90