Okay, let’s get this out of the way – 2020 sucked. Every day it’s been another barrage of bad news and misery, sucking any semblance of positivity from our souls. But, it’s not all been doom and gloom. Despite the music world changing immeasurably (with cancelled tours and postponed albums), rock and metal’s most important and exciting artists still had stories to tell. We’ve been back through the past 12 months of Kerrang! to find the features that mattered most to you this year – from world-exclusive interviews to in-depth retrospectives to heartfelt op-eds direct from the artists themselves.
Here is the Best Of 2020 on Kerrang!. Get stuck in!
Corey Taylor: “You can’t experience joy unless you know what real sadness feels like”
Think you know Corey Taylor? The Great Big Mouth’s debut solo album – “The missing piece of a puzzle” – is a celebration of life, and one that shows him in a whole new light…
An oral history of Black Sabbath: The album that started heavy metal
Fifty years ago, Black Sabbath shook the Earth to its core. Here, in the band’s own words, is the story of its origins, creation and legacy…
Zoltan Bathory: “When I say that nothing is impossible, I truly believe it”
Five Finger Death Punch leader Zoltan Bathory talks hard times, personal politics and defying expectation…
Billie Joe Armstrong: Life lessons in punk rock
Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong reflects on his almost-50-years on Earth and how he straddles his punk rock roots with global stardom.
The More Things Change: How Biffy Clyro found hope in chaos
Biffy Clyro’s A Celebration Of Endings was created under a cloud of personal turbulence, and will (finally) be released in a time of global disarray. So why are Britain’s biggest rock band full of hope? K! heads to their rural Scottish HQ in search of the positivity in change…
Zakk Wylde: “Ozzy said, ‘Look at this kid, he must really love Randy Rhoads…’ I shit my pants and he said, ‘Change your pants then we’ll play'”
Black Label and Ozzy man Zakk Wylde reflects on a life less ordinary, and why he owes so much of it to Mom and The Boss.
The life and legacy of Andrew Wood: The lost hero of grunge
30 years since his tragic passing, we remember the life and legacy of Mother Love Bone frontman Andrew Wood.
The secrets behind Deftones’ new album, Ohms: Inside the studio for the first time
We take a trip inside Deftones’ studio to get the exclusive lowdown on new album Ohms from Chino and Abe.
Family, fortitude and Grey Daze: The making of Chester Bennington
For the first time ever, family, friends and Grey Daze bandmates open up on a part of Chester Bennington’s journey never previously documented, sharing stories and photographs that offer the world an understanding of the boy who would become the man that touched millions of lives…
Obey Your Maestro: Metallica, Cliff Burton, and metal’s classical heart
Ahead of Metallica’s S&M2 album, Lars, Kirk and Robert dig deep into the influence of classical music on the world’s biggest metal band.
Open Your Mind: Oranssi Pazuzu are more than music, they are an atmosphere
Who, or rather, what are Oranssi Pazuzu? We delve deep into their murky psychedelic world…
Halestorm’s Lzzy Hale: “Someone might love me and another person might hate my guts, but all that matters is what I think of me”
Halestorm’s fearless leader Lzzy Hale on her musical upbringing, working with her brother, and dream collaborators.
How Ghostemane is changing the fabric of heavy music
Ghostemane’s pitch-black eighth album ANTI-ICON was a product of the most turbulent time in his life, yet he insists it is the ultimate cathartic realisation of his twisted vision. Kerrang! heads to Prague to find out why it’s taken an immersion in deepest darkness to rediscover the light…
“An exploration into human possibility”: Inside Enter Shikari’s most ambitious album yet
Enter Shikari frontman Rou Reynolds takes us deep into Nothing Is True & Everything Is Possible; the album that will define them for years to come.
Parkway Drive’s Winston McCall: “No-one opens doors for us, we kick them in!”
Parkway Drive’s documentary Viva The Underdogs captures the band in all of their fiery, explosive glory, cementing their status as one of metal’s most cherished and successful live forces. Before they could ride this wave, however, frontman Winston McCall reflects on how it used to be wipeout after wipeout…
Evanescence: Why Amy Lee is done being silent
After staying quiet while the world around her falls into disarray, Evanescence’s Amy Lee has found her voice and she’s going to use it for good.
Metallica Vs Napster: The Lawsuit that redefined how we listen to music
At the turn of the millennium, Metallica took on file-sharing giant Napster and won. On the 20th anniversary of that landmark case in the music industry in the digital age, we retrospectively consider the arguments made, and how they’ve shaped our scene since…
How Machine Gun Kelly became the most important rock star on the planet
He’s the genre-blurring rap punk who wants to unite the world with music. Now, Machine Gun Kelly is bringing emotion and feeling to rock in a year when we need it most…
Ozzy Osbourne: Inside my year of hell
We visited Ozzy Osbourne at home in LA to hear about his rocky road here, and how music saved rock’s greatest star…
Oli Sykes: “I’ve realised that what Bring Me The Horizon do is special and we shouldn’t lose everything”
Bring Me The Horizon’s Oli Sykes on Parasite Eve, their Post Human project and how his opinion of the band has changed.
Farewell to Crobar: The beer-soaked jewel of London’s metal community
London’s infamous metal bar has closed its doors, leaving a gaping hole in the city’s metal community.
Trivium’s Matt Heafy: I don’t think of life like a musician, I think of it like an athlete
Trivium frontman Matt Heafy reflects on the band’s explosion and resulting backlash, and how that has shaped him today.
Boston Manor are the voice of a new generation
Is Boston Manor’s GLUE the most important record of the year? It finds singer Henry Cox looking inward to confront self-loathing, toxic masculinity and suicide. It’s a beacon of hope and reason in our uncertain times…
IDLES won the battle, now they’re ready for the war
IDLES’ fight for the hearts and minds of music fans came at a heavy personal cost. But now, regrouped and reenergised, the breakout stars of British punk are back to take on hate and division with love and peace. K! joins them in the barricades ahead of all-out assault…
Feeder’s Grant Nicholas: “I don’t think there are many songwriters like me”
Feeder frontman Grant Nicholas discusses his early life, Feeder’s rise to prominence and the loss of bandmate Jon Lee.
Code Orange are on a mission to change heavy music for good
In astonishing new album Underneath, Code Orange have set a new benchmark for their innovation, audacity and uncompromised ambition. In doing so, they might have not only made the album of the year, but one that will shape the course of heavy music. Journey down their nightmarish rabbit hole…
Tom G Warrior: “We played radical music that pushed everybody away and we loved that… fuck them all!”
Black metal visionary Tom G Warrior on his musical upbringing, his friendship with H.R. Giger and making crucifixes from dildos.
An open letter to Rishi Sunak, by Rou Reynolds
The UK music industry is in dire straits and needs saving. Here, Enter Shikari’s Rou Reynolds offers a plea to Chancellor Rishi Sunak.
Why All Time Low had to reset everything for Wake Up, Sunshine
The Last Young Renegade experience left All Time Low feeling unsure of their future. A break from the band offered its members renewed perspectives, but before they could move forward, they needed to reconnect with who they truly are.
Fear, fame and fandom: Meet the real Awsten Knight
Their rise to fame has been so explosive, it’s easy to think of Waterparks as an overnight success story. But the road has involved a decade of pursuing dreams, confronting fears and silencing inner doubts for Awsten Knight. He opens up like never before on his life’s journey…
Aimee Interrupter: “I’ve suffered… I’ve had to fight for survival… but it’s all been worth it”
Interrupters vocalist Aimee reflects on a journey of trauma, risk-taking and why she’ll always be a lifer.
Remembering Eddie Van Halen: The guitarist who changed everything
A tribute to Eddie Van Halen, the guitar hero who torched the musical rulebook and thrilled the world…
Puscifer: Can the world’s most mysterious band really save us all?
As Maynard James Keenan and Carina Round unveil Puscifer’s complex new album, the message is simple: “Be better people…”
“We shouldn’t accept this bullsh*t thinking we are getting justice… we need to take to the streets”: Jason Aalon Butler on George Floyd and Black Lives Matter
FEVER 333 frontman Jason Aalon Butler shares his views on the recent protests and action following the death of George Floyd.
Neck Deep’s Dani Washington: “Racism doesn’t belong in alternative music – it’s f*cking dead and gone”
Neck Deep drummer Dani Washington and friend Alex Aiyeniwon on racism in the rock scene and beyond.
Skindred’s Benji Webbe: “If there’s no change after all this, then it’s been another death for nothing”
Skindred frontman Benji Webbe reflects on his life growing up as a black man in Wales, and how he uses music to share a message of unity and positivity
Loathe’s Kadeem France: “It’s important for me to let black fans know they’re welcome… A show is a safe space where everyone is equal”
Oceans Of Slumber’s Cammie Gilbert: “I feel like my history is broken, I feel like America is broken”
Oceans Of Slumber vocalist Cammie Gilbert shares her thoughts on American history, her own heritage and where we go next.
Why Green Day tore up their own rulebook with Father Of All…
Father Of All… might be Green Day’s biggest ever left-turn. And it might just have reinvigorated one of punk rock’s greatest bands right when they personally needed it, too. This is the story of how Billie Joe, Mike and Tré learned to let it all hang loose…
The story of nu-metal in 14 songs
From great beginnings to glorious success, your 14-point map of how nu-metal changed the world…
Vile Creature: “The most metal thing that you can do is care about other people”
Meet Vile Creature, the doom duo striving for change with their cathartic tales of sexuality and gender politics.
Lamb Of God: Rage, sobriety and the end of the f*cking world
After a five-year wait, Lamb Of God are returning with some of the leanest, meanest material they’ve ever put their name to. It’s a period that had a transformative effect on frontman Randy Blythe, too. He opens the book on his charges’ latest chapter…
Bush’s Gavin Rossdale: “When you’re really successful you get headbutted often, and we got hit a lot! But I’m half-Scottish, I can take it”
Bush frontman Gavin Rossdale reflects on a life in rock: from run-ins with the press to overnight superstardom.
The secret history of Linkin Park’s Hybrid Theory: In their own words
This month, Linkin Park’s Hybrid Theory celebrates its 20th anniversary, and with it, the start of musical revolution that can still be felt today. Here, Mike Shinoda, Brad Delson and Joe Hahn share the stories and secrets behind their groundbreaking debut album…
Why Neck Deep have swapped pop-punk for their own universe
First, Neck Deep conquered the pop-punk world. Now, they’re creating their own. Here, Kerrang! navigates four months in ‘Sonderland’ for the birth of ambitious new album All Distortions Are Intentional…
How black metal infected Japan
The curious tale of Sigh and how black metal first dug its bloody claws into Japan.
PVRIS: How Lynn Gunn found the confidence to go it alone
After years of public pretending, Lynn Gunn has finally found the confidence to step out as the sole creative force behind PVRIS. With that revelation comes new album Use Me, her most singular vision yet. But, she reveals, the battles with the same dark forces continue in order to bring light to others…
Hope Springs Eternal: Touché Amoré’s search for a light at the end of the tunnel
Jeremy Bolm has always invited listeners to share in the darkest experiences of his life. Where the communal catharsis of 2016’s incredible grief-chronicle Stage Four left him stretched and spent, however, fifth album Lament sees Touché Amoré re-engaging with the little things and unlocking the power in keeping on keeping on…
Chuck D: “Changing society with culture is a big task, especially if culture is leaning in a different way”
An audience with Public Enemy’s Chuck D, discussing his new album, American politics, growing up, and why we’ll never hear the best Prophets Of Rage song…
Laura Jane Grace: “You’ve gotta live with bad choices, you’ve gotta live with broken relationships, it’s all a part of you”
We sit down with Laura Jane Grace to discuss her new album Stay Alive, sobriety, coronavirus and the U.S. election.
“The world is dying and no-one cares”: Inside Architects’ epic new album
In a world-exclusive, Architects reveal all about new album For Those That Wish To Exist, and why – after saving themselves – it’s now time to save the world…
Jaz Coleman: “We’ve been adapted from an already evolving primate, another race of sentient beings”
An mind-bending discussion with Killing Joke’s mainman Jaz Coleman, from the rock revolution to the hybridisation of the human race
How Jason Aalon Butler became rock’s voice for the voiceless
FEVER 333 frontman Jason Aalon Butler has been fighting on the frontlines his entire life, and the world is finally waking up to what he has to say…
Geezer Butler’s lost decade: “I nearly died”
The Black Sabbath legend on surviving the’90s, his solo career and, er, Cardi B’s WAP…
The inside story of Roadrunner United: “The super-est of all supergroups”
Joey Jordison, Robb Flynn, Matt Heafy and Dino Cazares explain how 2005’s unprecedented The All-Star Sessions was born.
I love you System Of A Down, but please don’t make another album
System Of A Down still can’t all get board to make a new album, and that’s just fine. In fact, we shouldn’t expect new music from any band if the drive isn’t there – it will only do more harm than good…
“We’re trying to raise the bar”: How Killer Be Killed made one of 2020’s best metal albums
Scott Ian interviews Mike Patton about Mr. Bungle and the power of thrash metal
Thou and Emma Ruth Rundle: Existential dread, community and what it means to be heavy
New Era, New Fire: Inside the rebirth of Black Veil Brides
There was a time, not so long ago, when Andy Biersack was sure that Black Veil Brides were over. But then everything changed. What comes next is set to be the band’s most ambitious, daring venture yet…
Butch Vig: “I looked at bands like The Beatles and Led Zeppelin as these untouchable rock gods… But when punk came out, I thought, ‘I could do that’”
Is it hardcore? Is it metal? This is the new wave of violence
There’s a new brand of heaviness happening in the United States, taking elements of hardcore, metal, thrash, grind and more to the extreme. But what is it all about?
Sick Of It All’s Lou Koller: “It’s about being respectful to everybody. Treat everybody cool. That’s the key to everything”
Sick Of It All vocalist Lou Koller on the inclusivity of hardcore, the new generation of bands and his surprising career in fashion.
Being Billy: Inside the mind of Smashing Pumpkins’ misunderstood genius
Who is the real Billy Corgan? After decades of baiting journalists and fans alike, we find The Smashing Pumpkins’ leader in a contemplative mood, looking back on his artistic legacy and what’s to come…
Generation X: Inside grandson’s fight for a new alternative
grandson’s blending of rock and hip-hop has won him admiration from the likes of Mike Shinoda and comparisons with twenty one pilots and Rage Against The Machine. Now, after a year in which the world has stared into the abyss, he explains why on debut album Death Of An Optimist, the only way out is through…
Is pop-punk really dead?
The Network takeover! “We’ve always been the best at everything we do, even though we’re not very good at anything”
In a world exclusive, first interview, rock’s weirdest band commandeer Kerrang! to spread their gospel and spill the beans on the Earth being flat, giving Piers Morgan rabies, and those scurrilous Green Day rumours.
“It’s difficult for me to filter what I write about”: Inside Svalbard’s “painfully honest” new album
Svalbard vocalist Serena Cherry guides us through new album When I Die, Will I Get Better?, from her struggles with depression to how women are represented in the media – including the music press.
Loathe: Face to face with the unstoppable future of British metal
Loathe’s stunning I Let It In And It Took Everything album was supposed to kickstart the year in which they took over the world. 2020 had other plans, though. At the end of a turbulent 12 months, Britain’s most exciting breakthrough band reflect on their journey – and how not even a global pandemic is going to stand in their way…
John Feldmann: “We would steal everything from our friends’ parents’ room and trade it for cocaine”
Goldfinger frontman and legendary producer John Feldmann reflects on his induction to punk, his drunken introduction to The Used and the untimely end to a pet goldfish…
The 50 greatest albums of 2020
Posted on December 23rd 2020, 9:20a.m.