Hello all, and welcome to The Monolith. I am the resident New Jersey author Snagon, and I fancy myself some music history.
I started my blogging for The Number Of The Blog in 2010 and currently write for heavymetal.about.com under my real name Tom Campagna. I have an affinity for many a different type of music whether it be The Kinks, Eyehategod, Jefferson Airplane, Anaal Nathrakh, Black Sabbath, or Acid Bath; if it is considered a classic you can rest assured that I have not only eaten it but thoroughly digested it and spread the knowledge across the internet or in my personal life.
I am a graduate of Seton Hall Prep in West Orange NJ – class of ’05 – and I went to college at Kean University in Union, NJ in 2011 with a B.S. in Math Education as well as an M.A. Curriculum and Instruction. I am a high school math teacher, and enjoy every minute of that, whether it be Pythagorean Theorem, The Quadratic Formula, or random musical topics that come up in class; it makes for an exciting time, day in and day out. I try, much like my father has done my whole life, to bestow some knowledge upon my students or friends on a daily basis as well; I learned at a young age that the roots and history of certain things should never go unnoticed. It’s no surprise my mission to inform the masses started at a much earlier age.
My significantly older brother always had great musical taste, and had several CDs lying around his CD player (remember those?) stereo through the ’90s. Those would include Metallica‘s first five albums, Alice In Chains‘ Dirt, Nirvana‘s Bleach and Nevermind, Porno for Pyros‘s self-titled and plenty of music from the Beastie Boys. Combine that with my father’s love of Motown and Eric Clapton, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, and more of a who’s who of classic rock (save for Springsteen, who sucks and will continue to do so for the rest of his career). With all of these myriad forces at play, I enjoyed music immensely. I also luckily had wits enough to avoid my mother’s pop musical tendencies, and gravitated towards rock music instead.
It was 2007 and I had just gotten through a bit of a rough patch so I needed to find an outlet for my anger. I came across this article and Guitar Hero, so naturally I wanted to hear this music I had gotten so used to ‘playing’. Finding Anthrax‘s Among The Living and Mastodon‘s Blood Mountain among other albums had me feeling like a musical Janus, looking both forwards and backwards. I continued to buy albums at a frantic pace and started going to concerts, and it was one Slayer concert in particular that gave me a taste of the culture. I had started to love the music, and it was knowing the components that made up the albums and the band’s members that I now sought out.
Writing my Throwback Thursday columns at TNOTB helped me to show people some information they may not know about some historically great rock and heavy metal albums that helped to fortify the foundations of some of the best music ever created. Whether it be shining a light on Twisted Sister‘s Stay Hungry for a Thanksgiving article or marking the bizarre death metal of Austria’s Pungent Stench and their Been Caught Buttering album; each of these experiences caught on with a different group and each comment meant that much more. I plan to either revisit some of those topics and some other new ones. Whatever you guys want me to research I will do my best to accommodate, so please let me know what I can do for YOU!
Other than my love of music, I am a devout NY sports fan, but other than one team I tend to suffer, those being the Mets, Giants, Islanders and Knicks. Much like a love for sludge metal, the payoff takes a while, but when it eventually gets here it will have been more than worth the wait.
I am a married man with a music teacher for a wife; one who has helped to expand my musical knowledge beyond the common fan, and helped to shed light on the intricacies of the music world.
All in all, having the family, profession, and the music to back me up makes me a genuinely unique person with a sense of humor and a heart of gold. I hope to be able to bring you all something from the past musically as well as shed light on the bright future that this great genres holds for all of us.
Favorite song of 2012 thus far: Pallbearer – “Foreigner”: