Hellbound Staff Interrogations #18: Jay H. Gorania

What can be said about Jay H. Gorania? Well, the word character immediately comes to mind, as Mr. Gorania certainly is one of those. I met Jay when he found me online on the dreaded Facebook and asked to be friends. I didn’t know what I was getting myself into, as this is one high energy dude, but he’s also damn funny, very generous to those around him and always a delight to talk to. If you don’t know him yet, you should.

-Sean Palmerston

Name and Location:
Jay H. Gorania, Midland, Texas (Though born and raised in Regina, Saskatchewan!).

How did you start writing for Hellbound?
Through the wonders of the social networking beast Facebook, I befriended Sean Palmerston since we both wrote for Metal Maniacs and Unrestrained! magazines. Following the unfortunate demise of the aforementioned institutions of heavy metal journalism, Sean was telling me about the website he was putting together. Knowing who some of the writers were going to be, I couldn’t help but ask Sean if I could be involved. It’s absolutely an honor and a privilege to be writing for Hellbound alongside some of metal journalism’s greatest talents.

What’s your favorite piece published during Hellbound’s two years?
Justin M. Norton’s Q&A pieces are compelling and thought-provoking. His Burzum interview was exceptional.

And Kevin Stewart-Panko’s resurrected Rimshots, which originally appeared in the last-page column in every issue of Unrestrained!, are a personal favorite because of the nostalgia I have for that late great magazine; and because the brief reviews in Rimshot are loaded with Kevin’s characteristically witty, sarcastic and over-the-top jabs. He’s an asshole in the most entertaining way imaginable, and I love him for it.

As far as my own work goes, the eulogies I blogged about Peter Steele and Ronnie James Dio come to mind because they were opportunities to pay tribute to artists whose music has been unspeakably profound in my life. My tour diaries also stand out because they document the tours of some bands I regard to be among the most important in extreme music; also, they document some of the greatest moments of my life.

What are some of your best concert memories?
This is beyond difficult to narrow down. Seeing Ozzfest ’97 was incredible for me. Almost every band on the bill was one of my favorite acts at that time. The same year I saw Type O Negative in a more intimate, smaller bar setting. Seeing Pantera in Lubbock, Texas was incredible as far as energy and performance, and their set was jaw dropping as well as that of headliners Black Sabbath in Dallas. Every Napalm Death performance I’ve seen has been stunning, but they took their game to the next level at Maryland Deathfest 2009, as did Brutal Truth and Bolt Thrower.

Oh! Ministry at Hellfest ’08 in France was mind-boggling on its own, but the visual aesthetics, including a WWF/WWE-like cage wrapped around the stage, and a massive projection screen casting powerful images, made it unforgettable.

Black metal, death metal or grind?
If I must choose, I’ll go with grind, though I love black metal, death metal, doom metal and much more.

Person you’d like to interview but it hasn’t happened…
I would love to interview the members of Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden and Judas Priest.

The most underrated metal album is:
Everything by Acid Bath and Burnt by the Sun, groups that disbanded far too prematurely. They did receive recognition, but they never realized their potential for mass appeal.

Also, Anthrax’s Persistence of Time should be regarded as one of the greatest albums in thrash history.

You are suspended in limbo for eternity and can only listen to five metal albums on repeat. What are they?
It’s unfair to ask this. I feel guilty for not including so many other great albums. But, let me take a crack at this…

Black Sabbath, Black Sabbath
Iron Maiden, Powerslave
Pantera, Vulgar Display of Power
Napalm Death, Time Waits for No Slave
Type O Negative, October Rust

Sean is the founder/publisher of Hellbound.ca; he has also written about metal for Exclaim!, Metal Maniacs, Roadburn, Unrestrained! and Vice.