Not only are metal fans picking up on the fast-rising Heaven Below, but now, one of music’s most recognizable and respected guitar brands, B.C.
Rich, is now on board as well. Guitarists Patrick Kennison and Jesse Billson are longtime admirers of the guitar brand that has gone
hand-in-hand with heavy metal for decades, and now, in addition to being endorsed by B.C. Rich, Heaven Below are showcased on their website.
Included on B.C. Rich’s Heaven Below “artist page” are photos, videos, and links to the group’s official website, as well as to their Twitter,
YouTube, Facebook, Myspace pages, plus an artist bio, and a link that takes you to the preferred B.C. Rich model that Kennison and Billson
champion, the Mockingbird Special.
“Our sound encompasses the best parts of our influences,” explains Kennison. “We love the vocal harmonies of classic bands like Alice in
Chains, or the angst of legends like Trent Reznor, but our riffs and song ideas tend to be spawn from guitar driven bands like Metallica, or even
Rage Against the Machine. Once we put the vocals on, we immediately feel that our music takes on it’s own sound.” And on their self-titled release,
Heaven Below (which also includes John Younger on bass and Chad Clark on drums) shows that despite being such a young band, they can easily keep
pace with the top dogs of the current rock scene – especially on such standout tracks as “When Daylight Dies,” which was produced by
Grammy-award winning/multi-platinum artist Ben Moody of Evanescence.
With touring plans to support their debut disc being firmed up, it won’t be long until you can catch the dynamic duo rocking their B.C. Rich
guitars on a stage near you!
Managing to combine the sounds of ‘80s era first-wave thrash and ‘90s era power metal, Albany, New York’s Addicted to Pain will appeal to a wide
variety of heavy metal connoisseurs. Comprised of Leo Curley (vocals, guitar), Bob Horvath (bass), and Gregory Nash (drums), it all started when
Bob and Leo met in a band called Eyesore (which included a pre-Shadows Fall Jason Bittner in its ranks), before finding the missing piece to the
puzzle with Gregory. But come 2010, the trio has unleashed their first-ever release – a self-titled four-song EP – which is available for
purchase via iTunes, as well the group’s official site and myspace page.
And to get that extra added crunch to their sound, the boys enlisted the aid of a gentleman that was there at the dawn of the thrash metal
movement, Alex Perialas. “Most amazing/draining recording experience ever,” recalls Curley. “We worked with Alex Perialas (Anthrax, S.O.D.,
Testament, Pro-Pain, etc.). He really pulled it out of us. It was like working in a piece of metal history – living in the band house and studio
where all that happened was humbling. We had a lot to live up to.”
And it turns out that the Perialas/Addicted to Pain union has certainly reaped metallic dividends, as evidenced from all four of the EP’s tracks.
But the group has specific favorites in mind. Curley – “For me it’s ‘Trust Me.’ This song was a skeleton when we brought it to Alex. He really had a
lot to do with the formation of this sweet little ditty. Many vocal rewrites. All the hard work gives me a real sense of pride on this one.”
Nash – “‘Here and Now,’ ‘cause it’s in 7.” Horvath – “‘Trust Me’ is brutal and ‘Abigail’ for its sound and its lyrical content.”
Addicted to Pain is also gearing up to tour the US in the fall. It won’t be long until headbangers coast to coast will get to experience this
fearsome threesome head-on. Or as Curley explains the group’s live show, “Blood, sweat, and tears all over the stage!”
08/15/2010 Bloodstock – Derbyshire, England
10/01/2010 The Pennant – Brooklawn, NJ
10/02/2010 Jaxx – Springfield, VA
10/03/2010 Crazy Donkey – Farmingdale, NY
10/10/2010 Holiday Nagoya – Nagoya, Japan
10/11/2010 Holiday Osaka – Osaka, Japan
AVALON IN STORES SEPTEMBER 14TH
FIRST SINGLE “SINNER’S PRAYER” AVAILABLE NOW
Sully Erna, best known as singer and main songwriter of acclaimed rock band Godsmack, is branching out from his rock roots this year with his debut solo album, Avalon, which is set for release on Universal Records September 14th, 2010. Already a proven commodity as the front man of one of today’s most successful and powerful rock bands, Erna is also a successful producer, multi-instrumentalist and soundtrack creator.
Born and raised in the suburbs of Boston Massachusetts, Erna has been a musician since the tender age of 3 and a half years old, where he began his journey as a drummer. With Godsmack, Erna has sold more than 15 million albums worldwide. He was awarded “Rock Artist of the Year” at the Billboard Music Awards, and has received four Grammy nominations. Godsmack’s self-titled 1998 debut went quadruple-platinum, while five of the band’s albums and EPs have achieved gold or platinum status in the U.S. and Canada. Godsmack’s latest single, “Cryin’ Like a Bitch,” recently positioned itself at #1 for 9 weeks straight, and is the group’s sixth #1 track to land on Active Rock radio charts, as well as the band’s 18th Top 10 single overall — more than any other band in Active Rock history.
Sully Erna’s latest masterpiece, Avalon, features an array of eclectic compositions unlike anything he has ever written in the past, an epic body of work that has taken him over 2 years to compose, record and finally release, utilizing the hypnotic sounds of tribal rhythms, melodic pianos and cellos, and haunting vocals. Avalon also features the accompanying vocals of Lisa Guyer, as well as the hand percussion of Niall Gregory from renowned band Dead Can Dance. The first single off the record, “Sinner’s Prayer,” showcase’s his evolution in music and firmly defines his unique, new sound.
GEORGE LYNCH – In 1983, Dokken released their first studio album, “Breaking The Chains”. The guitarist for Dokken was George Lynch. The legendary guitar status of George Lynch had just begun. Upon George Lynch departing Dokken, he founded his own Hard Rock band – Lynch Mob. The 1990 release of the critically acclaimed “Wicked Sensation” album gave Lynch Mob the launching pad to stardom. With that said, the life of a working musician and getting rich quick in the music business is easier said than done, as you will read in this candid interview Hard Rock Hideout had with George Lynch.
Every guitar player knows or should know who George Lynch is. While every fan of 1980’s Hard Rock and Heavy Metal knows him as “Mr. Scary” as well, a nickname taken from his guitar instrumental heard on the 1987 Dokken album “Back For The Attack”. A nickname and legendary status aside, George Lynch comes across as a musician that is as dedicated to the business side of music as he is to his ultra exemplary guitar playing. Much can be learned from a conversation with George Lynch, he has as the cliche’ goes… seen and heard it all.
George Lynch graciously devoted some time to Hard Rock Hideout recently, to discuss the current Lynch Mob tour, the business side of music, guitar influences, a Dokken concert experience in Belfast that turned into the bizarre and his admiration for his kids. George Lynch has proven to this writer, that there is so much more to him than his legendary guitar leads and jaw dropping solos. Here is what George had to say:
HRH: Lynch Mob is ready to embark on a Summer tour of the States, which city or venue are you looking forward to most?
George: We will be navigating the U.S. in a sprinter van, gorilla style. To be completely honest, I don’t pick apart the itinerary, we get there when we get there is the way I do things. Anytime we are at a place where the chemistry comes together it’s great. I take one bad and one good experience at a time. Theaters are the best to play in. Unlike a club or arena, a theater is designed to sound good. The House Of Blues is great, you can’t beat a wood stage and a great PA.
HRH: Does it feel like old times or the first time, reuniting with Oni Logan?
George: Well, we’ve been back together actually for two years. It’s not old times, yet we have the same chemistry and like the same music. It’s investing in the machine that sets the band for years. In the old days, when a band was set, we were a band of brothers, experiencing everything together through the ups and downs. Today, it is very hard to keep a band together at this level. Lynch Mob really has nothing to lose, I haven’t achieved so much success where I can afford the resources to have this band stay together. I’m in the middle, where there is enough resources to make an album and do some touring. I’ve just lost two members of this band, they are going to go where the money is.
HRH: Really? Two members have left?
George: My bass player, Michael Devin, has gone on to join Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience. My drummer, Brian Tichy, will be going to play for Whitesnake next year. A band like Metallica, they can afford to stay together!
HRH Note: James LoMenzo (formerly with Megadeth, David Lee Roth) has joined Lynch Mob as their new bass guitarist for the American and European 2010 tour.
HRH: “Smoke And Mirrors” really resonates Hard Rock glory, with plenty of Hard Rock relevance. Is it difficult to side step the heavy sound of the 80’s?
George: It’s not like you intentionally side step, you evolve and change over time. You can’t be what you were twenty or twenty-five years ago. AC/DC doesn’t change and it works for them. I enjoy change and an adventure, I like to be challenged. There are times it can get a little bit treacherous based on the component of business we’re in and the sound and style doesn’t adhere to it consistently. You can lose your audience with a drastic change and it’s not always a luxury to change . Jack White with White Stripes, he can change from album to album and still sell a ton of records. (Lynch Mob) “Smoke This” was a change for me, (released in 1999), it was a Rap record. The fans and critics hated it. I listened to it recently and I’m like, damn I love this!
HRH: “Time Keepers” is my favorite song on “Smoke And Mirrors”, your guitar solo is so intense.
George: It’s my favorite too!
HRH: That’s cool!
HRH: What is your secret to a memorable guitar solo?
George: There are different kinds of solo’s. In the Dokken era, there was always a story within a song, a beginning, end and body to it. This could leave a solo very constrained. I like the band of gypsy’s style of solo, where you forget about yourself and the surroundings and I find it all comes together. I like when a solo is not premeditated, when it’s random and not structured. Then there is a formulated solo done in the studio, it’s put together piece by piece. Then you can selectively fix the solo. A random solo is like streamed consciousness, that is what happened with that solo on “Time Keepers”.
HRH: How difficult is it to balance both the melodic and heavy side of guitar playing?
George: It is a balancing act. Rhythm wise, I enjoy listening to Lamb Of God, the impact and sheer weight of that tone I love. The super Metal tone is so much fun. When I do that I give up something, I’ve never found a middle ground. I did the down tuning thing and with solo’s I struggled, both tone wise and tuning wise. Songs I wrote in the past were built on configuration, Dokken and Lynch Mob are not down tuning stuff.
HRH: Crossing Rock genres, who is the young guitarist today, that impresses George Lynch?
George: There are so many in recent years. I like listening to the Neo-Classic European shred guys! Alexi Laiho from Children Of Bodom, Jeff Loomis from Nevermore and Mikael Åkerfeldt from Opeth. In Country Music it’s Brad Paisley. Derek Trucks is an incredible slide guitarist. I listen to many players.
HRH: Who are the guitarists that influenced you?
George: Jimi Hendrix and Jeff Beck are two primary early influences. I lived with their records and played them through, non stop. Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page round out the big four for me.
HRH: Doesn’t get any better than those four. Are there any other influences throughout the years?
George: Johnny Winter, Leslie West, Michael Schenker, Yngwie Malmsteen and Eddie Van Halen. Jan Akkerman of Focus and Blues-Rock guitarist Peter Green. All the blues guys. In my fantasy world I would be a guitar player for Emerson, Lake and Palmer.
HRH: Your rightfully looked upon as a guitar legend in the Rock Music world. How underrated is Oni Logan as a lead vocalist?
George: Oni is one of those singers that will stand the test of time. There will come a day when he will be looked upon as an iconic Rock vocalist. Oni is Blues based like Ian Gillan, Glenn Hughes, David Coverdale and Paul Rodgers. He’s right there. He is a great songwriter. Oni is very conscientious live now, he has had great performances on the road. He has changed his behavior and is very careful about how he presents and takes care of himself. Time is on his side
HRH: What is your favorite song to cover?
George: There are quite a few. I released my “Furious George” album of all covers back in 2004. Deep Purple’s “Stormbringer” is fun to cover. Any Montrose and Led Zeppelin. Any Jimi Hendrix as well. A great jam song is Motorhead’s “Ace Of Spades”, it’s just a fun song to play.
HRH: What’s the greatest advice ever given by George Lynch about playing guitar?
George: Good question. In a nutshell, be yourself, it is so important. I see a lot of guitar players that are amazing technically, only nothing sounds like them. When I see a guitarist that is just like Eddie Van Halen or Stevie Ray Vaughn, I have to stop and say we already have an Eddie! We had Stevie! I’m so bad at mimicking other people that it comes out my own way, through my own sound.
HRH: What is the funniest or craziest thing that you have ever witnessed while on tour?
George: Well, let’s see, there are a few that come to mind. Dokken was on tour in Belfast and the IRA problems were happening, it was like a war zone. We were playing in a theater with Accept, while the context of a civil war was happening. People were openly using drugs and having sex in the audience. Hundreds of people were spitting on us and my neck was dripping with saliva. Jeff Pilson (bass guitarist) actually had spit land in his mouth. Our tour bus was fire bombed at this same show.
HRH: My God, George, that’s terrible.
George: Well, we asked the fans what went wrong.
HRH: What fans? The ones who were spitting on you?
George: No, the ones who were hanging around after the show that we could approach outside. They said that showed they really liked you and you wouldn’t want to know what happens if they didn’t like you!
HRH: Talk about a backwards society.
George: The people were victims of their environment.
HRH: Is a live Lynch Mob album out of the question for the future?
George: It hasn’t been discussed. Historically, they say at the end of the life cycle of a band is a live record. A live record is expected to rehash the older stuff. It just shows there is less fuel for the fire and your running out of ideas. It’s the bottom of the bell curve, the swan song of a band. Lynch Mob has to achieve success first, before a future live record happens.
HRH: Looking back on your career, who is the one person that you entrust the most?
George: All the components of the music business I’m so preoccupied with, creating opportunities for our music to be heard someday. I’m a salesman more than a guitar player! Over the course of my day it’s all business and most things don’t even pan out.
HRH: Your just a gentleman who loves and lives for his music.
George: Well, the business end and politics of the music business is very challenging. When people ask me to contribute to a record there is a lot of business management involved, I just can’t walk in and play a solo, it’s more complicated than people know. There are a number of things involved on the business end that have costs, a studio, equipment, maintaining a rig and people that work for you. I design guitars, pickups and amps, so ninety percent of the weight in the music business is office work and using the phones. It’s about keeping it all together and having all the elements in place. I hope this hasn’t made you depressed.
HRH: No George, it hasn’t made me depressed. You are just telling it like it is and being real. You are talking about the reality side of being a musician and running the business end of it. Fans need to know this side of it.
George: With Lynch Mob, we will be doing eleven thousand miles in a van for this tour, with a skeleton crew. We will be sharing equipment and rooms. I’m a working musician and not a rich man. Just because my picture is in a book doesn’t mean I’m wealthy. Yet once we get on stage for that one hour, it’s all worth it. On stage is the payoff, playing for the fans, compared to how little financially you get out of it.
HRH: What long lasting memory will you always have of Ronnie James Dio?
George: I had an Elf record as a kid! I was on board early on in the Rainbow years too. Listening to Ronnie James Dio on the “Heaven And Hell” record, what a massive sounding album! Ronnie was a multi-dimensional singer. We did a couple of Dio tours with Dokken as well. I remember Ronnie James Dio as being a caring, compassionate and kind human being. After so many years in this business, the character of people means more than anything else. It’s character that Ronnie James Dio possessed.
George: I have six kids and five grand kids.
HRH: George, that’s excellent!
George: Why, do you think that’s a great achievement?
HRH: Of course it is George. Having a family like that is something special, family is so important.
George: Songs are like your children, it’s just trying to get them to be songs that are special. Making songs is like having sex, that’s the easy part. There is a lot of work in trying to make a song standout. I teach to my kids a good work ethic and character. I teach them to treat people kind. I have wonderful human beings for kids and I am very proud of them.
You have to love Classic Rock Magazine. Not only did this month’s issue (in the U.S.) come with a copy of Joe Elliott’s Down ‘N Outz CD (Joe Elliott with the Quireboys doing Mott the Hoople Covers), on the back cover, there is a three song EP from the UK Metal Band Furyon. We often find bands like this before Classic Rock, but they totally scooped us on Furyon. After hearing the three songs on this EP, I was hooked. A few clicks later, I stumbled on their video for “Disappear Again”, one of the songs on the EP. Check it out below!