Youngstown’s Hard-rocking Mettal Maffia on the Rise



When the Youngstown metal group Mettal Maffia went on the road with Primer 55 a few years ago, singer FuBob was so desperate to have some merch to take with him that he sold his car to pay for the swag. “I had just paid it off too,” he says. “And I sold it for scrap metal price. We’ve all moved back in with our parents too, not because we’re bums but because we’ve sacrificed everything for the band.”

The sacrifice is showing signs of paying off. After a show on Sunday, Nov. 2, at the Foundry, the band will hit the road for a series of Midwest shows that will eventually take the group to Los Angeles for a showcase for label execs and festival promoters. It’s been a long haul for the group, which formed five years ago after FuBob and bassist Skrap left their previous band to form Mettal Maffia. “We were in a great band but didn’t have the right motivation and push so we made a collective decision to get out there and find the people who did,” says FuBob, who was born in Youngstown. 

Recorded with Don Debiase at Lava Studios, the band’s new album Wake the World on Ferocious Records shows off the group’s range. It defies genre and draws influence from hip-hop, dubs. “It was the best time,” FuBob says of the recording sessions. “It was perfect for what we were trying to do. [DeBiase] came in and we told him we weren’t scared of genre. We wanted to hear different ideas and felt like we had reached our peak so we wanted other people to influence us.”

“Everything has taken off since the album came out,” he continues. “I don’t know what the proper word is, but it’s shocking to say the least. People started taking it serious. We did real good on our marketing and dropped the remix of AWOL Nation’s [‘Sail’]. I hate admitting this but as soon as we took someone else’s music, people started paying attention to us.”

The “Sail” remix pairs parched vocals and raps with heavy guitars, making the mid-tempo ballad sound little like the original rendition.

“When we started off together, we would learn rap tunes to fine tune our skill," says FuBob. "When you go to a club and see a cover band, you hear songs that capture your attention. We heard that one and knew it was there for us. We just wanted to put the things in that nobody else hears.”

The band’s recently added Thomas Church from Mushroomhead as its new guitarist and has added Cleveland-based singer Neka Nostalgia and Youngstown-based singer Big Kage. The band anticipates hitting the road in the spring with the popular hip-hop duo Twiztid. 

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