Tell me this isn’t the cutest thing you’ve ever seen…

Slipknot, Mushroomhead, Mudvayne, Motograter
Photo by: Noah “Shark” Robertson

The kids pictured above are paying homage to Slipknot, Mushroomhead, Mudvayne, and Motograter. Actually, one of the kids featured above is somewhat of a celebrity in the Mushroomhead world, and has performed with the band several times.

When the nu metal wave hit, I was caught in the undertow. I was crazy about bands like these. I can remember walking through the record store and seeing that original Slipknot album, with all the members on the front adorning these wicked masks… I immediately had to have it.

Slipknot

Same thing with Mushroomhead, I was perusing the local record shop and happened upon the XX album and couldn’t leave the store without it.

XX

When the ‘L.D. 50’ album from Mudvayne came out, and their music video for “Dig” dropped, it set the alternative metal world on FIRE!

I attended Ozzfest in 2003 when I was around 18 years old, and Motograter came out and DESTROYED the stage, adorning tribal war paint. It blew my mind. I immediately went out and bought the album, watched their music videos, collected magazines with them on the cover… The look of these bands really drew me in and I became obsessed…

I can remember making a website when I was about 19 years old (kind of embarrassing now); the website was dedicated to mapping out and finding members for, my own vision of a band with a similar look and sound. I called it Skarekrow, I laugh looking back on this now, but I was serious at the time! We were gonna be evil looking scarecrows with bales of hay and jack-o-lanterns on stage… or something like that. My vision was heavily inspired by Mushroomhead’s music video for “Sun Doesn’t Rise”. This project never reached fruition though…

Much later I was in a band called Srlsm (pronounced Surrealism), an experimental/progressive metal band and there was a show here and there where we tried to emulate these bands…

Around the this same time… I got a call to play in a band called PinHed.

Their drummer dropped off the tour, just 2 days before it was supposed to begin, and they needed somebody quick. The tour was a “masked metal” type of tour featuring Mushroomhead, Brujeria, and Pinhed.

I was elated, BUT… I had to do it WITHOUT one rehearsal with the band, and I would have to learn the songs by listening to the band’s album on a portable CD Player with headphones on the drive from Texas to California… I played the first show, of my first tour, at the House of Blues on Sunset Strip in Hollywood, playing on Mushroomhead’s drumset, staring through eye-holes…  at that time, it was the best moment I had ever experienced. (Although, nerve wracking and terrifying!)

What a trip! A little later in life, I helped start a band that would go on to sign a record deal and tour the world, called The Browning. We were sort of a very modern version of a nu metal band

Then came the day that I joined Motograter! It was a dream come true. To get the chance to join one of my favorite bands… and wear the paint… it was an awesome moment for me. Now, I get the chance to help keep alive one of the most awesome bands on the planet, in my opinion… Moto lives!

Bands like Slipknot, Mudvayne, Motograter, Mushroomhead, Gwar, Kiss, Crossbreed (I could go on and on with this list), have entertained and inspired countless numbers of people, from young to old; music fans and musicians alike. It’s been a surreal experience transitioning from a fan, to a musician, and now a teacher… passing my passions onto others…

Kaleb, my drum student, loves KISS
Kaleb, my drum student, loves KISS

Follow your heart. Chase your dreams. You can do anything you put your mind to.

– Noah “Shark” Robertson | www.sharkdrummer.us

www.retargotom.com

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