I am really pleased and amazed about all the wonderful attention that the “FREAKSHOW” project has garnered in such a short period of time and at such an early stage.
Here are some facts as I know them to be. Markus has written some fantastic songs. I flew up to San Jose last week and slammed out serious rock drum tracks which I am very proud of. As I write this, Markus is in the studio continuing to work on the material. Cinderella’s mighty Jeff La Bar will be flying in the next few weeks to add his guitar virtuosity to these great songs.
Yesterday it was announced that Tony Franklin will be laying down the bass tracks for the FREAKSHOW recordings. Markus and I had discussed the bass player situation, and since I was available to record the drums right away, we did not seek, search or cattle call for bass players, but rather decided to get the best bass player to record the best bass tracks. I recommended Tony as he is not only the best, but also my favorite bass player. Markus wholeheartedly agreed as he is all too familiar with the gifted Mr. Franklin! Having said that, there are no mutual plans for Tony to continue beyond the recordings. Sometimes a simple mention here or there seems to create an artificial life of it’s own! The last thing anyone involved in FREAKSHOW wants is to disappoint the fans due to misconceptions.
Now then….. While Tony has agreed to record the FREAKSHOW bass tracks, there has not been any discussion of any participation on his part beyond the recordings. So I think that it is important for everyone to understand that we are trying to make the FREAKSHOW recordings the best that they can possibly be and as memorable as possible for those who might listen to it.
Beyond that, the future of FREAKSHOW is up to you, the listener and the fans!
I hope that you will enjoy FREAKSHOW to the fullest!
Frontiers Records is pleased to launch of one the hottest albums in a long time, ECLIPSE’s third studio release entitled “Are You Ready To Rock” on October 10th 2008.
Formed in Stockholm in 1999 by the amazingly talented singer Erik Mårtensson, Eclipse soon landed a deal with the English-based “Z” label, impressed with the material the band demoed. In order to produce what was to become the first Eclipse album “The Truth & a Little More”, Mårtensson completed the line-up with Magnus Henriksson on lead guitar and Anders Berlin on drums and keyboards.
Determined to have a better impact and marketing for their music, Erik and the guys signed in 2003 a recording deal with Frontiers Records who released the band’s following album “Second To None”, which soon became a fan’s favorite in the melodic rock audience.
Due to line-up changes again, Eclipse took a couple of years off and it wouldn’t be until early 2007 before Erik Mårtensson & Magnus Henriksson (the surviving members of the band) started writing for a new album. Their vision this time was to go for a more straightforward, classic and riff oriented Hard Rock style and welcomed in the lineup the new members Robert Bäck on drums and Johan Berlin on keyboards.
“On the new release we have moved a bit from the AOR-sound towards a little harder, rougher and straight Classic Hard Rock”, says Magnus Henriksson. “With a better sound, better songs and a more linear production, but still with the distinct ECLIPSE sound remaining intact with catchy melodies and big melodic choruses. We have worked on developing better and more intricate guitar-riffs and arrangements. We took off where we left with “Always Standing” from “Second to None”.
The resulting album “Are You Ready To Rock” is by far Eclipse best release ever and an absolute monster of an album which is guaranteed to please every Whitesnake, Europe and Talisman fan around ! “One could describe the ECLIPSE-sound as music with very strong melodies that could work in every arrangement, stripped down to acoustic versions” adds Erik Mårtensson, “but we have chosen to wear it with heavy clothes! In few words: Timeless melodies mixed with up-to-date production with heavy guitars and powerful vocals”.
Final tracklisting of “Are You Ready To Rock” includes:
They are ready… are you?
Patrons of Arlene’s Grocery, the Lower East Side nightclub, have long known Paul and David Zablidowsky and their good friend Joey Cassata as ZO2, a shaggy-haired, heavy-metal trio whose set usually precedes the Monday night karaoke party. They might also know that in 2004 the band realized a dream when it was tapped for a 40-date tour, opening for Kiss and Poison.
But even the most ardent ZO2 fans may not realize that to make ends meet — even after that big break with Kiss — the three musicians moonlighted on Saturday mornings as a sought-after children’s birthday party act called the Z Brothers. Had there been T-shirts for their dayside tour crisscrossing the metropolitan New York region, they would have listed dates playing for the children of Robert De Niro, Michael J. Fox, Chazz Palminteri and Al Roker, the “Today” weatherman.
With their Jekyll-and-Hyde repertory — Wiggles by day, Judas Priest by night — it was probably inevitable that television would come calling. And on Aug. 24 at 11:30 p.m., IFC will unveil “Z Rock,” a 10-part comedy series based heavily on the real-life adventures of ZO2 and the Z Brothers.
In the show the band members play fictionalized versions of themselves, exaggerating their actual experiences — including a pitched rivalry with other New York-based children’s musicians — pursuing the recording contract that long eluded them.
“Television is what radio used to be,” said David Zablidowsky, 26, who plays bass and who, like his older brother, Paul, is known professionally only by his first name and last initial. “If you’re anybody, you’re on television now. That really is the way to get your music out there.”
Viewers inclined to watch the series with their young children, beware: IFC likes to refer to itself as “always uncut,” and “Z Rock” is no exception. It features plenty of topless groupies and simulated sexual acts, between, among others, the band members and some of the young mothers seen doing the hokeypokey at the daytime shows. Which raises a question: Just how true to life were some of those scenes?
“There were always hot moms,” Mr. Cassata, 30, the band’s drummer, said wistfully over a recent lunch of steamed broccoli and seared tuna, alongside his bandmates at a theater district restaurant.
Paulie Z, 28, interjected: “They were all wealthy, good-looking and in shape. I don’t speak for anyone in the band but myself, because I don’t know what skeletons are in their closets. But I definitely took advantage of some of the nannies.”
Like the dialogue in “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and “This Is Spinal Tap,” much of that in “Z Rock” is improvised, though with the players working off highly detailed outlines. For the three band members, who had never previously acted, the approach proved a blessing. Most of the situations in which their characters are placed by the show’s writers and producers — who include Mark Farrell, a former producer of “Curb” — are adapted from tales the band told in hours spent sitting around a table.
“They created a world that was familiar to the guys,” said Lynn Lendway, who manages the real-life ZO2 with her husband, Bob Held. “Then they said, ‘Speak the way you speak.’ ”
For a supporting cast the producers surrounded the musicians with stand-up comedians and improv players, including Lynne Koplitz (who plays the band’s dedicated if addled manager, Dina); Greg Giraldo (as a powerful record producer, who delivers an endlessly profane reprimand to Paulie Z after the band is late for his son’s birthday party); and Jay Oakerson (as a club manager who repeatedly propositions Paulie, who is straight).
Among the many musicians playing fictionalized versions of themselves in cameos are John Popper of Blues Traveler (who agrees to sign the Z Brothers, not ZO2, to a recording contract, but only after Dina sleeps with him); Dee Snider of Twisted Sister; and Chris Barron of the Spin Doctors. Joan Rivers plays Joan Rivers, but reimagined as Dina’s aunt.
Where fiction and reality diverge most sharply in the series, Mr. Cassata said, is in the TV band’s propensity for being “very self-sabotaging.”
“It seems on the show like we’re reckless, but we’re not in real life,” he said. “We never put the ZO2 career in jeopardy. That stuff is definitely artistic license.”
The show is but the latest milestone in the rocky seven-year history of ZO2.
The band’s roots are in the Borough Park neighborhood of Brooklyn, where the Zablidowsky brothers were raised by their mother, Doris, who worked in a hospital cafeteria, and their father, Marty, the manager of an electronics warehouse. Marty was also a guitarist who played in a rock trio, called Z, that included his brother.
“I honestly didn’t know any kids’ songs,” Paul said, “because we grew up listening to Black Sabbath.”
Among the brothers’ earliest memories were making cardboard cutouts of guitars and records. At some point in elementary school, their mother took the boys to a Sam Ash music store to buy their first guitars.
While in high school, the two brothers began writing their own music, which they infused with elements drawn from a variety of influences, including Def Leppard, Grand Funk Railroad, Soundgarden, Stone Temple Pilots, Guns N’ Roses and, more than anything, Kiss. The brothers’ first break came in 2001, when David answered an open call for a bass player in a blues act. While he didn’t win the job, he wound up getting much more: Mr. Held, the producer who conducted the audition, encouraged him to front his own band.
Eventually the brothers approached Mr. Cassata, whom Paul had played with in a cover band; in short order Mr. Held agreed to produce an album. It was called “Tuesdays and Thursdays,” and was financed entirely by the band’s earnings from its children’s-party business.
Mr. Held, who knew Paul Stanley of Kiss, eventually got the album to him; Kiss liked it so much that ZO2 was invited to tour with it in the summer of 2004.
The band drew standing ovations from Kiss’s audiences, but the months that followed served as a reality check. No one else in the music business came calling, so Mr. Cassata returned to his job as a medical-records assistant at a hospital, and Paul returned to the Children’s Museum of Manhattan, where he had first drawn notice as a performer for children, and to the birthday-party circuit. The following winter, David, who had found some success as a bass player, went on tour with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, a sprawling rock group known for, among other things, reworking holiday songs.
Still, it was the band’s birthday-party work that helped get it to the small screen. A parent in the audience at several parties in 2005 was Brian Stern, an agent in the television division at the William Morris Agency.
He later caught ZO2 in a show at the B. B. King Blues Club in Times Square; before long Mr. Held was pitching him versions of what would eventually become “Z Rock.” In approving the series, Debbie DeMontreux, a senior vice president of IFC, said she could relate to it, at least to the kid-musician part. (The mother of a preschooler, she has attended her share of birthday parties.)
With their series about to begin, and with a second album (“Ain’t It Beautiful”) out on Riker Hill, a label created by the band’s management, ZO2 is readying a fall tour of clubs and small theaters. But the band won’t be playing any furnished basements or living rooms.
“Fortunately, we don’t need to anymore,” Mr. Cassata said. “It was a means to an end.”
Article Courtesy of the New York Times
As reported by Billboard.com, lawyers for the Black Crowes have served copyright infringement notices to Gretchen Wilson, TNT, Sony BMG and publishing company J Money Music over the band’s 1991 hit “Jealous Again.”
The Crowes claim Wilson exploited the track for her own song, “Work Hard, Play Harder,” which TNT in turn then used in ads for its show “Saving Grace.”
“Work Hard, Play Harder” is slated to appear on Wilson’s next studio album, due before the end of the year.
“We find the musical verses of Wilson’s song to be such an obvious example of copyright infringement that I expect all parties to reach a relatively quick resolution to avoid litigation,” Crowes manager Pete Angelus says in a statement.
A spokesperson for Wilson had no comment on the development.
You can watch a copy of the TNT promo below.
What do you think? Is this a rip off of the Black Crowes song, Jealous Again?
Here is the Black Crowes video for Jealous Again. Personally, I am not hearing much similarity.
Scorpions are hard to catch. No, we’re not talking about the scary little creature with the venomous tail, but the Rock and Roll band from Germany. We’ve been trying to have the band return for a visit to ROCKLINE since last year when they released “Humanity: Hour 1”. The problem is Scorpions are the literal definition of a working band. They’re always on the road and quite often that road is overseas. In fact, we are able to have them finally join us again only two days before they begin the tiniest of US tours, seven dates on the West Coast and in the Midwest. We are catching them a few days after playing in Finland and just before this mini-tour of selected American cities. Always fan-aware and interactive, the band is allowing US fans to vote on the set list for this tour at their official website the-Scorpions.com That kind of approachability coupled with the fact that they are one of the greatest live bands in Rock history has helped keep the odyssey alive since the 1970’s. With a huge catalog of sixteen studio albums of all new material from 1972 forward, Scorpions have a gigantic list of songs from which one can choose. There are certain songs that will always be a part of a set by Scorpions. Can you imagine seeing them perform live and not hearing “Like a Hurricane”? It’s just not going to happen. But you can have a say in choosing some of the other songs that aren’t always included in their live set whether your taste runs to “Lovedrive” or Lovin’ You Sunday Morning”.
In addition to the classic repertoire the band boasts, there is their outstanding album of entirely new songs. “Humanity: Hour 1”, the excellent new CD was co-produced by songwriter/producer Desmond Child and songwriter/producer James Michael, noted for his work with Motley Crue and now the front man for the Nikki Sixx side project Sixx AM. The result is classic Scorpions, biting social commentary and hook laden songs that rock but are smooth as silk as well. As radio tends to be somewhat conservative these days, ROCKLINE serves a valuable purpose as we love to jump into an album and go deeper than a song or two and provide a taste of what an album is really all about. The old Album Oriented Rock format survives. And there’s no disappointment with “Humanity”. Fresh and vital, the songs have that patented Scorpions sound. If you haven’t had a chance to hear “Humanity”, we will be more than happy to provide the opportunity for you. Plus, we’ll open up the phone lines and let you connect with Germany’s best export and get the inside story as they continue their extensive world tour.
It has been awhile. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to catch Scorpions on our next ROCKLINE! Tonight from 8:30 – 10:30 P.M. Check this link for your local station’s schedule.
Powertrip is latest heavy act that is wiping away my aversion towards female fronted rock acts.
Singer Vikkis Johansson has a sound and style that is more reminiscent of 60’s and 70’s rock. While it is probably unfair to compare her a great singer like Janis Joplin, she can certainly hold her own. She does get a little pitchy at times, but I think that adds more character to the music.
A lot of bands coming out of Sweden as of late seem to fall into the glam metal category. Powertrip sounds nothing like the majority of the bands coming from Sweden as of late. If anything, they probably have more in common with Soundgarden, than they do Crashdiet. Their bass-laden music is heavy, and unpretentious. Cold Black Lie shows the raw potential that this band has.
Some of my favorite cuts on this disc are Abused, Emptiness, and Cold Black Lie.
Since the release of Cold Black Lie, the band has changed their name to Scars of Paradise, to better reflect their music. You can still find the band at their Powertrip myspace page at this link. Check them out!
You can purchase Cold Black Lie, through CDUniverse.com.
1. My Statement
2. Still Here
3. Cold Black Lie
7. Out of Control
10. Claiming Insanity
Vikkis Johansson – Vocals
Peter Uvén – Bass
Per Eriksson – Guitar
Erik Palmqvist – Drums
Trivium are to release the first track from their forthcoming ‘Shogun’ album this Thursday.
The track ‘Kirisute Gomen’ will be available from Roadrunnerrecords.com on Thursday.
Shogun 将軍 is in stores September 30.
Trivium will hit the UK this October along with Slayer, Mastodon and Amon Amarth as part of the Unholy Alliance tour.
Dates for the UK Unholy Alliance are:
October 27th – Manchester Arena
October 28th – Birmingham NEC
October 30th and 31st – London Hammersmith Apollo
November 2nd – Cardiff CIA
November 3rd – Glasgow SECC