Metadox Brings Metal Back to the Bronx
By Jon Minners
Who said Metal was dead? While groups like Megadeth, Pantera, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and the Metallica of old have fizzled from existence, their memory remains and a new crop of Heavy Metal bands like Trivium and In Flames are leading the charge to bring back Metal to the masses. One band answering their call is a Bronx-based band called Metadox.
“Metal is alive and well; people are just not hearing it on the radio,” said Frank Tosi, the Gun Hill Road resident who plays lead guitarist for the band. “We are helping to restart the metal scene – we’re bringing it back in a new direction musically; combining the old style with something new.”
And it has gotten over big with various communities, including Throggs Neck where the band played regularly at Rumors on Bruckner Boulevard, before the popular bar closed for business. The band has also found a following in areas like Connecticut and Poughkeepsie, where they will play a show with the well-known Powerman5000 in March. Metadox has even played at the Hard Rock Café in Montreal. The group hopes to find their way overseas in Europe where Metal is still as popular as ever and a far cry from the Bronx streets where the band cultivated their style.
The band is made up of Tosi; Grand Concourse-bred lead vocalist Jon Rosado; Washington Heights’ own Al Chavez, who plays bass; Westchester resident and lead guitarist Lance Miller and Throggs Neck resident Frank Vaturina on drums. “We have been playing consistently together for a year and a half, but me, Jon and Al first got together at Mount Saint Michael,” said Tosi. “Now we are recording a CD, which we hope will come out this February. Things are really coming together. We are making a name for ourselves. There are a lot of people who like our sound.”
Metadox means to forcefully convey a thought, but the band is not completely hardcore. Rosado states that the music is not all about going out there and singing, “kill them” songs. “We have nice dynamics; some breakdowns; ballads,” he noted. “We are not all brash. We just want to bring energy to our performance. We want the crowd to get the energy and have fun. If it touches one person or 1,000 people; our job is done.”
Tosi adds, “There is a message in every song we write. It’s not where everything we say is liberal, liberal, liberal, but we are definitely trying to say something with every song we sing. There are some tracks that are depressing and some that are upbeat. There are some tracks that are angry, too – where we discuss just wanting to rip someone’s throat out. There is a meaning in every song we play.”
One of their songs; Song for You, Tosi states is about a girl he was seeing from St. Catharine’s High School who ended up killing herself. “I wrote that song for her,” he said.
And various labels like what they have to say. “When we went up to Canada, there were a couple managers from record companies that were looking at us,” said Tosi, to which Rosado lists, “Capital, Island, Interscope. It’s great to be looked at by major labels, but we are looking for someone that won’t make us change.”
Tosi has a firm disgust for the music played on the radio today. “There is no station out there playing our music,” he said, noting that college stations like WFUV at Fordham University, have been receptive to playing their music and several satellite radio stations have also promised airplay in the near future on their Heavy Metal stations. “Everything else is just commercial,” Tosi continues. “There are a lot of people into Metal, but no outlet for it. People are being force-fed this garbage that they are playing on the radio and I do not want to sign with anyone that would force us to change our image. I don’t want someone coming up to us and saying, ‘you guys are great. We want to sign you and we have this whole thing laid out for you. Sing like that.’ That’s not what we are looking to do.”
As Metadox looks over their options, including independent labels with major record distribution, they are trying other venues to get their music out there, including playing an acoustic set on Gary Axelbank’s BronxTalk show. “We are really big on going to Europe,” said Tosi. “We really hope to get there. The Metal scene is very competitive in Europe. There are festivals in every country with 200,000 people attending. Even South America is a good place for Metal. They treat Metal differently than they do here.”
That said, Metadox is still looking to push Metal music in America. Their first conquest, they hope to be the Bronx. “When we played at Rumors, the place was mobbed,” said Tosi. “We had to huddle together on stage to play, because there were so many people around us. It was great. We are also trying to set something up with the Throggs Neck First Lutheran Church for an upcoming date. They allow a lot of rock bands to perform. We are searching for any Bronx location that would like us to play. We want to take over the Bronx. People do appreciate Metal here and for those that want to hear good Metal music, we are Metadox.”