What does it mean to be in a rock n roll band? Does it mean drugs , alcohol , girls , etc?
Yeah, it probably means that to a lot of rock n.. roll bands , and that’s fine. Is it not cool to be a sellout? , and what does selling out really mean? For us in Million Dollar Reload it has always been about being the best band we can be . Writing the best songs we can write and performing to 100% of our ability every night. We have always tried and wanted for our songs to reach as many people as possible , in as many places in the world. If this is selling out , then we are sellouts. Whats the fucking point of being in a rock n roll band if you don’t want people to hear your music and see you perform! All the vices that come along with it , e.g drugs, excess etc are for the fucking poseurs , bands who want the ideals of the 80s rock n roll lifestyle , without putting the work into their craft. But hey, if that’s what you want it to be …..more power to you. But when you pay a bit of cash in to see a rock n roll perform at a gig , you expect them at the very least to be able to perform adequately , and not be fucked up on what ever vice they are on that week ,to the point where their performance sucks!
You also need a little bit of luck along the way, right place right time, kind of luck to get any kind of break , to gain any measurable amount of success. Hard work , perseverance , and determination doesn’t always do it, but it doesn’t hurt! Million Dollar Reload had been toiling away for two years before we got any kind of ..break… This year , 2008, the pieces of the jigsaw started to fall into place . Firstly, back in January friends of ours in England made a few phone calls on our behalf to agents and managers to see if they could stir up any interest . Luckily, Factory Music agency were the first to bite. They showed real interest in us and talked a good game. A couple of us went over to Birmingham for a meeting with Factory Music , just to see what was on the table. They made an offer which included a publishing deal and tours. We politely rejected the publishing deal because we have always held the belief to own our own songs , but accepted other principles i.e tours. So, in May we started our first proper tour of the UK with Chicago band The Black Mollys. We played 10 shows on that tour including an appearance at the Clive Aid benefit in Birmingham , a gig for Clive Burr x-Iron Maiden drummer who now suffers from MS. On the bill was also Tygers of Pang Tang and Blaze Bailey. we played all over the UK .Our final show of the UK tour was at the Camden underworld in London, this was a great gig and only fuelled our appetite for touring .It also was the first time we had a record label executive come backstage for a ..chat… After a short break at home, we were off to the US for a 2 week tour in June with the Black Mollys. Life on a tour bus is great, we played to audiences in Chicago , Minnesota , Kansas City , Milwaulkee and Iowa . It felt like we had finally arrived, this is what we had always wanted to do …….tour. When we got home , we decided to change management and opted for CRM productions , a much more professional management without the dramas of a management who only wanted to use M$R for their own means. Lime records , who had been at the Camden gig, came knocking. They came over to Belfast for a meeting. In all my time in the music business, never had a label ever made the effort to come over to our turf for a meeting, so we took them seriously and didn’t just regard them as another label who talked the talk without walking the walk. After a few weeks of negotiations with lawyers etc we decided that Lime were offering a good deal and signed with them , but in reality we had already signed with them back in Belfast, after several beers we had persuaded them to sign up to a few of our…. suggestions on the back of a napkin in the Empire bar!…..very rock n.. roll!
Accordingly, our album was re-issued with new artwork on Oct 22nd with decent marketing .Its selling fine , but with the downturn in the economy and the way the music business is going now, we cant really expect to make vast amounts of money. Downloads and touring is where its at. We next toured with Terrorvision . We played to 6000+ people in 3 nghts in the Academys in the UK …..sweet! All this was underwritten by our label , so we know they are good to their word, as far as finances go. Throughout all of this we were writing away at new material, I think we have demoed up on 17+ songs .
That took us up to the end of November. With one big gig left overseas at Hard Rock Hell in Wales alongside Black Label Society, Thin Lizzy , The Wildhearts etc everything was going along swimmingly then…………….that ..rumour..!
Classic rock , or more to the point rock journalist Geoff Barton (who never has been our greatest champion) published an article on their website citing that I was about to join Velvet Revolver ! We had been aware of this rumour for a while , through different associates in the US , but didn’t think that anyone would actually go as far as publishing it. I responded to the ..rumour in Classic rock and Geoff Barton printed it , so you can read my response if you like. Suffice to say , I wont be leaving M$R anytime soon. But hey, any publicity is good publicity. The only downside to the rumour was, the label and our manager wouldn’t allow me to do any press interviews at Hard Rock Hell , they didn’t want the press speculating any further on the VR situation , so if I didn’t speak to the press nothing could be misconstrued. Which sucked big time, the ego in me wanted to talk to the press !, but hey , it is what it is. We also have nomiated for a couple of a awards , which is cool. Its been a good year.
Million Dollar Reload have big plans for 2009. Tours in the US and Europe have already been penned. And with a release date for our album through Koch Records in the US penned for the spring , ..luck.. just could be on our side for next year.? We..ll see.
We made a lot of new friends this year both here in the UK and in the US, who outside of music, will always remain friends.
Thanks to all who have supported us in 08 , coming to shows buying albums t-shirts etc its all greatly appreciated. To all the haters ……..go fuck yourselves!!!
As good as 2007 was for new releases, 2008 blew it away. At the beginning of the year, I don’t think anyone expected to have new releases by AC/DC, Metallica and Guns N’ Roses all in the same year.
This year Rocknrollcoastie joined the HRH team and I asked him to submit his picks for 2008 as well. This way you get a double dose of the The 15 Albums from Hard Rock Hideout.
The following are Rob Rockitt’s Top Picks for 2008!
15. Guns N’ Roses – Chinese Democracy
What’s this? Have I lost my mind? When Chinese Democracy came out, I expected Hell to Freeze over. Much like many of you, I didn’t expect this album to ever see the light of day, much less in 2008. I didn’t give this album the best review when it was released. After the first couple of listens, I didn’t like it very much. Lets face it, this more like the Axl Rose Project than a true Guns N’ Roses CD. There is no Slash, no Izzy, No Duff. The album has very few sounds that resemble the old band that once cranked out some awesome hard rock.
I didn’t give up on this album and kept it in my playlist. After a couple of weeks of repeat plays, I have warmed up to this disc. Sure it doesn’t sound like the old band, but there is some pretty good music to be found if you give this the proper chance.
14. Thunder – Bang!
When Rocknrollcoastie reviewed this CD earlier this year, I previewed all of the clips, then quickly purchased the CD. I have liked Thunder since their Backstreet Symphony CD, and this disc is on par with that one in my opinion. It is a great sounding bluesy hard rock disc Buy it!
13. Jaded Sun – Gypsy Trip
Ireland’s latest rock act delivers the goods with their excellent debut CD, Gypsy Trip. I have been playing this CD a lot as of late. I think you will be hearing a lot more about these guys in 2009.
12. Black Tide – Light From Above
Somebody must have forgotten to give the young men in Black Tide a calendar. These guys rock like is 1988. You have to love it when a new band can reproduce that classic 80’s metal sound. Light From Above is a great debut for these Florida rockers.
11. Shinedown – The Sound of Madness
I have never been a huge Shinedown fan, but this CD changed my mind. “The Sound of Madness” is the first Shinedown CD that I could listen to all the way through without wanting to skip a track or two. I like all of the songs on this disc. This is a very solid record, and one of 2008’s nice surprises.
10. JORN – Lonely Are the Brave
Jorn Lande has been bringing us great new hard rock every year for several years now. Whether it is a solo CD, or another project he is working on, you can always expect Jorn Lande to be fairly consistent. Lonely Are The Brave is a little darker than most JORN CD’s but is a very good disc. Take one listen to the songs “Night City”, “Shadow People” or the very Black Sabbath with Dio like tune, “Soul of the Wind”, and you are bound to love this disc.
9. Metallica – Death Magnetic
This album has divided fans with its sound, but I thought this was a pretty good disc from Metallica. Sure, this disc doesn’t live up to their classic thrash metal from the 80’s, but at least they gave it their best shot. They should take notes from Testament next time around.
8. Testament – The Formation of Damnation
In my opinion, Testament one upped Metallica for best Thrash album of 2008. Heavy and killer! No thrash metal fan should be without this.
7. Motley Crue – Saints of Los Angeles
With S.O.L.A. Motley Crue turned in their best album since Dr. Feelgood. This one is still in heavy rotation in my play list today.
6. Disturbed – Indestructible
From the opening air raid sirens of Indestructible, you can almost tell immediately that you are about to take in one excellent album. In my opinion, this is Disturbed’s best work ever. The songs on this disc have an excellent heavy groove, that will satisfy the majority of headbangers out there. There are a ton of awesome guitar licks on this disc by Disturbed axeman Dan Donegan. Disturbed even got nominated for a Grammy for their song, “Inside The Fire”. Don’t miss this!
5. Alice Cooper – Along Came A Spider
Alice Cooper is an artist that has always been hit or miss with me. When I first read about the new concept album, “Along Came A Spider”, I rolled my eyes and dismissed this disc as another Alice Cooper album that would not deliver. Boy was I wrong! “Along Came A Spider” is one of the better Alice Cooper releases. The story behind this disc is creepy and cool. Slash plays on a track, and this is probably the only place you will hear Ozzy Osbourne playing a harmonica. Cool stuff!
4. Black Stone Cherry – Folklore and Superstition
Black Stone Cherry has been one of my favorite newer hard rock acts, since 2006 or so. Folklore and Superstition wasn’t quite as heavy as their debut, but is still as solid as ever. “Blind Man”, “Soulcreek”, “Please Come In” and “The Bitter End” are as good as it comes.
3. Whitesnake – Good To Be Bad
David Coverdale nearly pulled an Axl Rose, by making us wait so long for this new disc. While Good To Be Bad isn’t as good as ’84’s “Slide It In”, or the fabled self titled album from 1987, it is a return to the sound that Whitesnake fans love, and easily one of the top discs of 2008. Doug Aldrich could be the best guitarist to take the stage with Coverdale since John Sykes. Don’t believe me? Give this one another listen!
2. AC/DC – Black Ice
I am sure a lot of folks will disagree with me, but I think “Black Ice” is the best new AC/DC CD since “The Razor’s Edge”. Some of the songs on this disc may go down as AC/DC classics.
1. Tesla – Forever More
Tesla is a band that rarely disappoints me. If you have ever seen my Last FM playlist, you know I play the hell out of this band. Tesla’s 2004 CD “Into The Now” was probably my least favorite out of all of Tesla’s releases. With that being said, it made Tesla’s CD Forever More sound that much better. I like every song on this disc, and I never grow tired of listening to it. This is easily one of the best discs that the band has releases to date. For my ears, it was the highlight of 2008!
RocknRoll Coastie’s Top 15 of 2008!
Man! What an amazing year both musically and personally. With releases from bands like Motley Crue, White Lion, Dokken, Alice Cooper, & Whitesnake, just to name a few, it felt more like 1988 than 2008. So much great music came out this year and it showed me more than any other year that hard rock is very much alive and well.
Personally it was a great year because I happened to not only stumble across HardRockHideout, which I happen to think is the best hard rock site on the internet. I harassed Rob Rockitt a few times and of all things he invited me to jump on this train that HardRockHideout has become and come along for the journey. Damn what a wild ride it has been so far not only have I made a good friend, I have been introduced to so much new music it is not even funny and let’s face it, it isn’t everyday a person pisses off a whole country but somehow I managed to do just that by giving a Hungarian band a bad review. As wild and crazy as it has been this year I have the feeling it is only going to get better.
When Rob asked me if I wanted to put together my top 15 albums I thought there is no way because there has been so much great music come out in the past year. Then I was faced with do I go with the popular choices loved by the masses or do I stick to my guns and go with the bands and albums that I loved? I decided to go with the bands and albums that I loved this year, I guess I should warn everyone not to expect a lot of big name bands on my list. NOBODY forced me to choose these albums, I chose them of my own free will so love’em or hate’em here they are:
15. The Wildhearts – Stop Us If You’ve Heard This One Before Vol 1
Yeah I know it is a covers album which has almost become a cliche in itself. But this isn’t your everyday run of the mill covers album with songs from Warren Zevon to the Toadies to Fugazi it is a pretty eclectic choice of songs here. To be honest the Wildhearts are probably one of the few bands that could get me to listen to the 90’s alternative music on here.
14. Theory of a Deadman – Scars & Souvenirs
I pretty much spent most of the summer cranking the third release from this Canadian band. Finally out of the shadow of Nickelback the guys really stepped out on their own with Bad Girlfriend, I Hate My Life, & Little Smirk just to name a few.
13. From The Inside – Visions
The second release from Danny Vaughn’s Journey inspired project. Tons of great music here including Light Years, Making Waves, Listen To Your Heart, and 21st Century.
12. Big Cock – Motherload
Taking sexual innuedos to a new level Robert Mason and the guys 3rd release simply rocks. I wish these guys would take themselves seriously and go on tour I could guarantee they would be one of the best shows out there. If you haven’t heard Breaking My Balls, Bump and Grind, or M.I.L.F. you are missing out.
11. Hinder – Take It To The Limit
I can see most people rolling their eyes at this pick and to be honest when I heard Hinder had a new album coming out I wasn’t expecting much. But the guys put out an album filled with good time party anthems and let’s be honest it is going to be bands like Hinder, Buckcherry, and Nickelback that are going to keep straight up rock in the limelight in the 21st century. Besides what man can resist a video filled with hot Playboy cybergirls??
10. Talon – Fallen Angels
This California band came out of nowhere and completely blew me away. Melodic rock at it’s finest, Chandler Mogel is a monster singer with a great voice and Jim Kee is a phenomenal guitarist. Burn, Baby Jane, What About Me, and Always Be My Baby are all great songs.
9. 7th Heaven – U.S.A-U.K.
This is another band that came from out of nowhere and blew me away. From what I understand these Chicago natives have been around for a while but replaced their former singer with Kevin Semple before recording this album and he is an awesome singer. If you are a fan of “Hysteria” era Def Leppard you have to get this album you would be hard pressed to tell the bands apart if you didn’t know the songs.
8. Marcello/Vestry – Self Titled
Another slab of melodic rock, this time it comes from Danger Danger axeman Rob Marcello and vocalist Frank Vestry, with a little help from Danger Danger’s Bruno Ravel who played bass and produced the record. Great catchy sing along songs like Fireworks, All I Wanna Do Is U, and Gone fill this record. It is exactly what you would expect from members of Danger Danger and I for one am not complaining at all.
7. House of Lords – Come To My Kingdom
After the fiasco that was the Power & the Myth, James Christian started pretty much from scratch with House of Lords and released World Upside Down in 06. In ’08 the band came back even stronger with Come To My Kingdom dare I say the best HoL album to date. James’ voice still sounds great and Jimi Bell, B.J. Zampa, and Matt McKenna have made the band even stronger. I don’t think there is a weak song on this album.
5. Extreme – Saudades de Rock –
One of the first albums I reviewed for HRH. 13 years is a long time to wait between albums but honestly I think it was a good thing for the guys in Extreme. They came back stronger than ever with some strong kick ass songs and the addition of Kevin Figueiredo was an awesome decision. I liked this album when it was released but the more I listened to it the more I loved it.
5. Tesla – Forever More
Four years between new albums also did Tesla a world of good. Forever More is head and shoulders above 04’s Into The Now and like Extreme the addition of guitarist Dave Rude did wonders for the band. I Wanna Live, Just In Case, All of Me, and Pvt Ledbetter are just a few of the stand out tracks on Forever More.
4. There is no number 4 because of a tie for third.
3. The Quireboys – Homewreckers & Heartbreakers (Tie)
One of my all time favorite bands returned in ’08 with a new album their first in 4 years and all I can say is Wow! Homewreckers & Heartbreakers is the best Quireboys album since A Bit of What You Fancy. Bluesy Faces inspired rock at it very best, Spike has never sounded better than he does on this album. Mona Lisa Smiled, I Love This Dirty Town, Louder, and One For The Road are a few of the highlights on this album. In case you didn’t know Spike also released a great solo album titled So Called Friends around the same time definitely worth checking out.
3. Badmouth – S/T (Tie)
If I had a song of the year hands down it would be Rivethead by these Swedish ass kickers. Just that one song makes Badmouth’s debut worth the money but on top of Rivethead this album is filled with straight up rock n roll anthems like Pedal to the Metal, Kick It Up, and Cocaine Girl. Throw in a couple of songs like Last Train and Take Your Toothbrush With You that remind me of one of my favorite bands Backyard Babies you have a can’t miss album.
2. Backyard Babies – S/T
This album was my choice for my number 1 for the longest time but it was dethroned when the band at number 1 now released their new album. But this album from Sweden’s finest has everything a great rock record should great sing a long in your face songs, great solos, a hell of a lot of attitude. Degenerated, Come Undone, Nomadic, Abandon, and Back on the Juice are just a few of the ass kickings you have in store when listening to this album.
1. D-A-D (Disneyland After Dark) – Monster Philosophy
Is it just me or did Scandinavian bands kick a lot of rock n roll ass this year? Another of my all time favorite bands and I know there may be only one person in the states that agrees with me here but hands down Monster Philosophy is the best album of the year. 22 years and 10 studio albums and still most rock fans in America have no clue who D-A-D are. In one word LEGENDS, this album is filled not only with great songs but great vocals from Jesper Binzer and the sounds Jacob “Cobber” Binzer gets from his guitar are unbelievable. I can’t forget Stig Pedersn on bass or drums by Laust Sonne. While there are albums that may have three great songs and the rest of the album are good songs, on Monster Philosophy there are 13 great songs and each one sounds completely different from the others. Maybe some person at an American record company will pull their head out of the sand and sign D-A-D and get their albums released and re-released here in the states but if they don’t I will keep paying the import price because every one of their albums are worth the money.
I hope you enjoyed our top picks for 2008. If you would like to see what other hard rock and metal writers have picked as their top albums of 2008, check out the following links below:
Heavy Metal Addiction — http://hardrockheavymetal.wordpress.com/
Heavy Metal Time Machine — http://metalmark.blogspot.com/
Bring Back Glam — http://bringbackglam.squarespace.com/
Rock And Roll and Meandering Nonsense — http://rnrnonsense.toomanyvoices.com/
All Metal Resource — http://allmetalresource.com/
Imagine Echoes — http://www.imagineechoes.com/
Metal Excess — http://metalexcess.wordpress.com/
The Ripple Effect — http://www.ripplemusic.blogspot.com/
Rock Of Ages — http://rockofages.wordpress.com/
Layla’s Classic Rock — http://laylasclassicrock.blogspot.com/
Hair Metal Mansion — http://hairbangersradio.ning.com/
The Metal Minute — http://rayvanhornjr.blogspot.com/
Yep, that is right, Airbourne has three videos in the Top 10. Their final video, “Diamond In the Rough” came from this first time I caught the band at the Club A1A in Lexington, Kentucky. “Diamond in the Rough” has been watched 13,931 times in 2008, and is the third and final Airbourne video in the Top 10 Live Videos this year.