411Mania.com posted their Top 10 Glam Rockers. I thought it was an interesting list, and thought I would share this with you.
TOP TEN GLAM ROCKERS.
Last week, I wrote about the influence that glam has had on music and where it all came from. You can check that out by clicking the link:
This week I want to get a bit more specific and a bit more personal. I’ve come to the conclusion that when I see a “Top Ten” list it’s usually what the writer thinks the reader wants to read. You get the basic and stereotypical picks OR you get the obscure picks so the writer can show how “cool” they are. What’s the fun in that? I’m going to have a few obvious picks, some personal picks, and some that I had to think about. I assure you a pretentious free Top Ten. Then again, this is the internet and maybe I’m being naïve.
There are a lot more then these ten glam rockers so sit back, read my picks, think of your own, and send them in….
10.) Little Richard
The 411: When many people think of “glam rockstars” they probably don’t think of my tenth favorite glam rocker of all time. Little Richard, in my opinion, is the grandfather of glam. His flamboyant and over the top image was the predecessor for what glam would later become in the early 70′s and even now.
9.) Dee Snider
The 411: Look at that picture. If that hair, make up, and wardrobe isn’t glam then I’m writing the wrong column this week. And to think, that picture is one of the more conservative of what I came across. With the whole “Parental Advisory” issues from years back, Snider proved he wasn’t just a “freak” with his intelligent view on music’s ever-sucking standards and practices. Unlike many stars of the 80′s, Dee Snider has evolved and is still putting out music and hosting a weekly radio show.
8.) Steven Tyler
The 411: Again, with one look at Steven Tyler you’d think he was either a glam rocker or just a weirdo. While both thoughts would be true, Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler has been a favorite of mine for years. Mainly because outside of the great music they’ve supplied us, Tyler has always been a top notch showman and pushes the style envelope a little farther every time I see him.
7.) Marc Bolen
The 411: I didn’t know much about T. Rex until a friend pushed him on me. It didn’t take much of a push because I instantly became a fan. Many consider Marc Bolen of T. Rex, the first to use the glam image in the early 70′s. His talent aside, the whole raunchiness, glam, and slight cheese of glam are credited to him and that’s enough for me to put him on this list.
6.) Nikki Sixx
The 411: One of the first concerts I went to growing up was Motley Crue. I remember little about the show except that Nikki Sixx rocked. He’s got a firm grip on the “sleaze glam” that was born on the Sunset Strip in the 80′s. The whole “sleaze glam” look has made a comeback with bands like Buckcherry, Avenged Sevenfold, and others adopting the style. The stories, the comeback, and just the overall image of Nikki could easily put him in the top running for being our generation’s Keith Richards (with Slash respectively).
5.) Marilyn Manson
The 411: After rising to fame with a commercialized gothic image, Marilyn Manson then took a page from David Bowie’s book. Manson created a glam persona in his character “Omega”. The whole rubber suit with breasts and ambiguous sexuality all mixed together with glam is what the final result was. For me, despite it being a blatant rip off of Ziggy Stardust, it was probably my second favorite Manson album released.
4.) David Lee Roth
The 411: For the past few years I’ve kept an ongoing joke moving forward with my love for D.L.R. I can careless about anything Van Halen put out without Roth. Without him behind the mic it lacks the enthusiasm and excitement he brought to the table. Growing up I was fond of him and I can still see why. Like a wise man once said, “It’s not if you win or lose, it’s how good you look while playing the game.”
The 411: Since Prince wasn’t a part of any glam specific genre like classic glam, glam metal, or even new wave he is often omitted from these discussions. Isn’t glam about being over the top, flashy, and having that confidence to just put it all out there? If you’re saying “yes” like I am, you’ll completely agree that Prince not only defines those items, but also makes them his bitch. His name was legally a SYMBOL for a few years. Even the symbol was glam!
2.) Freddie Mercury
The 411: Freddie Mercury and Queen managed to take glam rock to the arenas. Queen is often considered one of the best rock bands of all time and with good reason. You must give a good portion of that acclaim to their lead man Freddie Mercury. While others on the list are great glam icons, Mercury’s voice was glam in itself. His voice screams confidence and the larger than life persona that was the very theatrical Freddie Mercury.
1.) David Bowie
The 411: Often imitated, never ever ever duplicated. David Bowie’s picture should be next to the word “glam” in the dictionary. Bowie was already flamboyant and larger than life when he created the monster that was “Ziggy Stardust”. There are many who have come after Bowie that has tried to recreate his work, but it’s just not going to happen. David Bowie, while being one of the most influential rockers of all time, can put out an album tomorrow that will still be more cutting edge and original than thousands of bands half his age.
Judging from the quality and great sound of her Independent release, Her Majesty, Sophia Ramos’ long term success is only a short time away.
Her Majesty is a release full of big guitar riffs, and the amazing, powerful vocals of Sophia Ramos. The songs are written with passion and fire, and absolutely rock!
The first four songs on Her Majesty have found repeated plays on my play list.
Black Madonna has a very upbeat sound with a great story. What I Do Know has a guitar sound that brings the band Soundgarden to mind.
The guitar riff on Esperanza is crazy good. I love this track.
(You can listen to Black Madonna and Esperanza in the video below.)
Sophia’s voice soars to new levels on Kill Your Pain. This is another exceptional heavy track on Her Majesty.
Sophia shows off her tremendous voice on Deep in Your Bones. This is a low to mid tempo number that impresses me more with every listen.
Torn Down is one of my favorite songs on Her Majesty. The rhythm on this song will pull you in, and the guitar sound is very infectious. The range of Sophia Ramos’ voice really jumps out at me on this song.
Girlfriend’s Ghost is a kick ass song that is full of fire, and blood pumping rhythm. This song has a Garbage/ Gwen Stefani feel to it, but is much heavier than either of those.
The melody of Shining Still is very cool. It is great to hear Sophia’s voice hitting some higher notes on this song. This track has some electronic effects mixed with the music, that gives it a very cool sound.
Jon’s Song is a low to mid tempo number that could easily be played on mainstream rock radio. The guitars are toned down on this song, giving it a more modern feel.
Sophia pours her heart into Stay Here With You. I can hear her strong Joplin influence on this song.
Her Majesty is an outstanding rock CD! The production and extras on this disc, make you feel like you just picked up a big studio disc. Get on board and check out Sophia Ramos! Big things are certain to happen for her in the future! You can find out more information on Her Majesty at Sophia’s myspace page here, and here website Sophia Ramos.com! You can also listen to and purchase Her Majesty, at CDBaby.com here.
Rating: Out of 10
- Black Madonna
- What I Do Know
- Kill Your Pain
- Deep in my Bones
- Torn Down
- Girlfriend’s Ghost
- Shining Still
- Jon’s Song
- Stay Here With You
This band features the talent of Vinny Appice (Black Sabbath) on drums, Jimmy Bain (DIO) on bass, Chaz West (Bonham) on vocals and Brian Young (David Lee Roth) on guitars. This disc also features 4 tracks produced by former Dokken bass player Jeff Pilson.
Frozen Summer may be short (only 8 songs, 33 minutes), but it does not lack punch. This may be some of the heaviest music you have ever heard Carlos Cavazo perform on to date. This music is riff and bass heavy. The Black Sabbath influence is very easy to pick up on. Chaz West sings his ass off. I don’t remember him sounding this good with Bonham.
XM41, the Boneyard broke out Frozen Summer a few months ago. I heard this track once, and started looking for this disc. This is a heavy track and very killer stuff!
The band recently released a video for Give and Take Away. I like this track more and more with every listen. The Sabbath style heaviness shows itself well on this track.
Rain on My Parade is a low tempo number where Chaz West’s voice really shines. You have to crank this one up to fully appreciate it.
One Good Reason is one of those excellent metal tracks that ignites your soul and makes you want to throw your fists in the air, with your mano cornuta’s extended for the world to see.
Wasted Life has a little bit of blues fused into the music with Chaz West playing the harmonica. No, this doesn’t sound like a Dave Matthews song. This is some classic metal fused with a little bit of blues. The end result is another whiplash-creating, head-banging tune.
The rhythm section of Appice and Bain really shine on the song, Long Way Back From Hell. This is a mid tempo number that really sounds great.
Man oh mercy, the music on Left for Dead is so good, it is crazy. There are great vocals by Chaz West, and the whole band sounds amazing.
Bring the Hammer Down is the only song on Frozen Summer that I couldn’t really get into.
With Frozen Summer you get quality over quantity. I am a big Black Sabbath fan, and I loved hearing the Sabbath influence in these tunes. I can only hope that these guys get together and do a longer disc at some time in the future. 3 Legged Dogg’s debut totally rocks, and has only left me wanting more. For more info on 3 Legged Dogg, check out the band’s myspace page here.
Rating: Out of 10
1. Frozen Summer
2. Give and Take Away
3. Rain on My Parade
4. One Good Reason
5. Wasted Life
6. Long Way Back from Hell
7. Left for Dead
8. Bring the Hammer Down
3 Legged Dogg is:
Chaz West – Vocals
Vinny Appice – Drums
Jimmy Bain – Bass
Carlos Cavazo – Guitars
Happy Memorial Day to all of you Rock Soldiers out there!
I hope you all have a safe holiday!
Saturday Night, I decided to hit the Jani Lane concert in Middletown, Ohio. I nearly didn’t go to this show, as I didn’t want to go solo, and the thought of getting home at 3 A.M. wasn’t very appealing. I changed my mind at the last minute,as knew I would regret not going.
There were supposed to be 7 bands at this show (6 local bands, plus Jani Lane). By the time I got to Coconutz in Middletown, there were only two left to hit the stage, local band Nervous Wreck, and Jani Lane.
Nervous Wreck played a set with a bunch of 80′s hard rock classics from L.A. Guns, Motley Crue, RATT and Poison. They sounded pretty decent and were a nice warm up for Jani Lane.
Jani and his band mates took the stage a few minutes before midnight and started kicking ass immediately with the song Machine Gun. Like moths to a flame, the small crowd of 100 people or so gathered around the stage immediately. Jani Lane was in fine form all night, and his band quickly made you forget about who the members of Warrant are.
One of the amazing stories of the night, is 17 year old wunderkind, guitarist Dario Lorina. I don’t know where Jani found this kid, but let me be the first to tell you, that Dario will be a guitar superstar before it is all over.
This kid was playing some amazing guitar licks all night. I have seen my fair share of hard rock guitar players over the years, and haven’t seen many as talented as Dario Lorina.
After the show, Jani Lane, and his band came out to sign autographs and rub elbows with the crowd. Jani was extremely cool, as was his band members. I was able to get a picture with Jani Lane, and a an autograph by him and Dario Lorina on his CD, Back Down to One.
If you get the chance to catch Jani Lane live in 2007, by all means go! It is a great night of rock and roll!
Don’t miss it!
Jani has a few live dates posted on his site right now:
|Perfect Pitcher||Taylor, Michigan|
|The Boardwalk||Erie, Pennsylvania|
|RPM’s Rock Club||Bridgeville, Pennsylvania|
|Marina Civic Center||Panama City, Florida|
|Janus Landing||St. Petersburg, Florida|
Check out this video of Dario Lorina playing live! Amazing!!
About once a month or so, I watch the VH1 top 20 video countdown, so I can keep an eye on what is hot in the music mainstream.
Today, former American Idoler’s Chris Daughtry, Kelly Clarkson, and Carrie Underwood all had videos in the top 10, but the video I was most interested in seeing was the #1 video, Bon Jovi’s Make a Memory.
I would love to know what you all think about this song. I found to be rather boring. I hope this isn’t the best song Bon Jovi has to offer on their new CD, Lost Highway.
After a couple of discs in the metal band Sword, singer Rick Hughes formed a brand new band called Saints & Sinners. This self titled debut was a departure from the metal of Sword, and was a move into more of a 80′s glam, hard rock sound in the vein of Skid Row meets Tyketto.
Saints & Sinners features, Rick Hughes on vocals, Stephane Dufour on guitar, Martin Bolduc on bass , Jeff Salem on drums, and Jesse Bradman on keyboards.
Armed with a bunch of great songs that have the writing credits of Aldo Nova, Jon Bon Jovi, and Rachel Bolan from Skid Row, this disc was sure to be a huge hit. It was released just as grunge was taking off, and never got the push that it deserved. It is one of the better hard rock discs released during this time.
Walk That Walk
Wheels of Fire
This disc has become quite impossible to find. It occasionally shows up on EBay and Gemm Music.
If you are looking for a very good melodic metal disc, this is one that is worth searching for.
Fans of great 80′s hard rock bands, and hair metal are sure to love this. This is one of my favorite, hard rock gems in my music collection.
Rating: Out of 10
2. Rip It Up
3. Walk That Walk
4. Takin’ My Chances
5. Kiss the Bastards
6. Wheels of Fire
7. Lesson of Love
8. We Belong
10. Slippin’ into Darkness
Caution! The following CD has more glam, than even the glam mistress, Allyson is ready for. :)
Believe it or not, this is the fifth CD for glam rockers, Shameless. There are Eleven new tracks, produced and engineered by Keri Kelli and featuring Steve Summers (Pretty Boy Floyd) on vocals.
This disc has a ton of guest stars including, Stevie Rachelle (TUFF), Phil Lewis (LA Guns), Jani Lane (Warrant ) and John Corabi (Motley Crue / Union / ESP /RATT), and Eric Singer (KISS).
The opening track Crashdown, kind of reminds me of an Ugly Kid Joe song. Steve Summers vocals sounds a lot like Whitfield Crane’s on this song. It is a cool song to open this disc with.
She’s Watching You maintains that punk feel, but it is a fun little song that merits a few listens. This song features Jani Lane on back up vocals.
Better Off Without You features the vocals of Phil Lewis (L.A. Guns) and the Drums of Eric Singer (KISS). This is a very cool sounding track.
We Won’t Take It Anymore has a big guitar sound in the vein of CC Deville. Steve Summers almost sounds like Vince Neil on this track. This is one of my favorites on this disc.
No Regrets features the vocals of TUFF singer and Metal Sludge’s very own, Stevie Rachelle. His vocals on this one, are very growly on this one, and sounds more like Steve Summers than the person that used to sing for TUFF. Its a short little song with the great sounding guitars of B.C. and Michael Thomas.
Shameless slows it down for the song, Magical Misery. This is closest thing you will find to a power ballad in 2007. This is a great sounding track with Steve Summers on vocals.
Web Junkie is a fun song with great lyrics. Could they have been writing this song about me? :)
Complications features the vocals of John Corabi, and this track has more of a sleaze sound than glam. It is also the heaviest track on Famous 4 Madness. I love Corabi’s vocals, so I knew this track would not disappoint me, and it doesn’t. Great Stuff!
Stevie Rachelle is back singing Dirty Shirt. Stevie’s vocals sound like his old TUFF style for this song.
Party Tonight is very much in the vein of Poison. It is a very fun track to close out Famous 4 Madness.
Shameless is out to prove that glam is not dead. Famous 4 Madness is a disc full of 80′s style hard/glam rock that should not be missed. This disc is essential to all glam fans! You can pick it up at the following site. For more information on Shameless, please visit it Shameless Rock.
Rating: Out of 10
- Famous 4 Madness
- She’s Watchin’ U
- Better Off Without U
- We Won’t Take It Anymore
- No Regrets
- Magical Misery
- Web Junkie
- Dirty Shirt
- Party Tonight
The mighty Megadeth returns in 2007 with their eleventh studio album, United Abominations!
There has been plenty of hype about this disc over the last several months, so the major question is does it live up to the hype?
This first track assaults your ears and senses immediately and sets the stage for what is going to be an amazing listen. Sleepwalker takes Megadeth back to their thrash roots. This heavy track could have easily been on the Rust In Peace album. This is one of my early favorites! I love it!
Washington is Next gets better each time I hear it. This track is a heavy high speed number that the wimpy rock radio stations wont come close to touching. I have listened to this track several times, and I seem to like it more each time.
Man oh man, the guitars howl on Never Walk Alone…A Call To Arms. I love this song for the guitar work alone, but the song structure is very cool. This song is heavy, but has radio potential.
After my first listen, I did not care for United Abominations. Multiple listens later, the song has now grown on me, and I can see some radio potential with this song. It is good, but far from the best track on this disc.
I heard a rough demo of Gears of War a few months ago, and have been looking forward to this one. The polished track is nice and heavy, and features more stellar guitar work by Dave Mustaine and Glen Drover.
My least favorite track off of U.A. so far is Blessed are the Dead. It is the least memorable track after a couple of listens.
Play for Blood has an awesome groove and will have most ‘deth fans head banging for sure. GREAT Stuff!!
The track that is already getting plenty of radio airplay is the reworked version of À Tout La Monde that was originally on the 1994 disc, Youthanasia. This new version features the vocals of Dave Mustaine and Cristina Scabbia from Lacuna Coil. I like this version as well as the original, and the video for the song is kind of cool.
I am not crazy about Amerikhastan. I know Dave Mustaine is passionate about politics, but hearing him chant about it in a song, is not what I am looking for in a Megadeth song. Sorry Dave, but this song doesn’t work for me.
Your Dead is heavy, guitar-shredding, monster of a track. The best thing about this one is the guitar work.
Burnt Ice is an insane guitar noodling festival of Metal. I get tired just trying to play the air guitar along with this one. Crazy!
So the bottom line, does United Abominations live up to the hype, Yes and No. I guess it depends on what you are looking for in a Megadeth album. United Abominations is heavier that some of the bands’ more recent offerings, and less mainstream, that what a lot of the newer fans may be used to. For me, I enjoyed this disc, as it is heavier than the last few, and guitar work is superb. Is this the best Megadeth CD I have ever listened to? No it isnt. You don’t hear too many new metal discs sounding this good today. Long time Megadeth fans should certainly pick this up. Metal fans will love United Abominations.
Rating:Out of 10
2. Washington Is Next!
3. Never Walk Alone…A Call To Arms
4. United Abominations
5. Gears Of War
6. Blessed Are The Dead
7. Play For Blood
8. À Tout Le Monde (Set Me Free)
10. You’re Dead
11. Burnt Ice
Dave Mustaine – Vocals and Guitars
Glen Drover – Guitars
James Lomenzo – Bass
Shawn Drover – Drums
Out of all of the bands playin in the Rocklahoma Music Festival in 2007, W.A.S.P. is one of the few bands that has new music to play for the fans. (Warrant, Quiet Riot, and Bang Tango are the others.)
Dominator starts off with two great heavy tracks Mercy and Long, Long Way to Go. Blackie seems to sing in a little lower register on Mercy, and I like it a lot. This is a great new song.
The rhythm section takes over on Long, Long Way to Go. This fast and heavy drum beats of Mike Dupke really drives this track. Doug Blair cuts loose and provides some great solos, and Blackie sounds great as always!
Take Me Up is a varying tempo number that Blackie Lawless shines on. Great!!
The chugging guitars of Burning Man is very cool. Doug Blair’s outstanding guitar work makes this track shine. This is another excellent track on Dominator.
Heaven’s Hung in Black is a lengthy (over 7 minutes) powerful track that needs to be listened to multiple times to truly discover how great it is. It starts as a slow brooding number but breaks into something much heavier. Blackie’s voice is amazing and Doug Blair’s guitar noodling is superb.
Heaven’s Blessed cranks up the tempo once more, and is another great heavy tune on Dominator.
Teacher feels like a potential Rock Radio hit. I can see this one getting added to the playlists at some of the hard rock stations and XM radio’s Boneyard.
The revisit of Heaven’s Hung in Black (Reprise) was not really needed on this disc, and seems like a wasted track. If you need a shorter version of the song above, this one is the way to go, but you will miss out on Blair’s guitar work on the longer version.
Deal with the Devil is a heavy, upbeat rocker and a great album closer.
Dominator is another solid effort by W.A.S.P. and another great disc worth picking up in 2007. Currently, it seems the distribution of this disc has not brought into most U.S. retailers (unless you import it.)
Rocklahoma fans have some great new W.A.S.P. tunes to look forward to on the last night of the festival!
Rating: Out of 10
2. Long, Long Way to Go
3. Take Me Up
4. Burning Man
5. Heaven’s Hung in Black
6. Heaven’s Blessed
8. Heaven’s Hung in Black (Reprise)
9. Deal with the Devil
Blackie Lawless – vocals, rhythm guitar
Doug Blair – lead guitar
Mike Duda – bass
Mike Dupke – drums
Dangerous Toys is a band that I always thought would be a good poster child for sleaze rock. I have picked up all of their CD’s over the years and I have never been let down by any one of them. I always know that I will get a disc full of hard driving tunes with great vocals.
On Pissed, Jason McMaster delivers the goods once again, and Paul Lidel sounds like he has been playing in the band forever.
There is a lot to like on this disc, and it does not disappoint. The title track Pissed, is a great up tempo number that need to be cranked up to be appreciated.
Paintrain and The Law Is Mine continues the fun with two great in your face rockers back to back.
Promise The Moon is an excellent ballad and something that you wouldn’t expect to hear from the DT guys.
Strange is a heavy track full of sleaze and head banging goodness. Great Stuff! Loser has an AC/DC type of sound, and a great party rock feel to it.
Hard Luck Champion is one of my favorite tracks on this disc, and should be my theme song. :)
Screamin’ for More is an upbeat song that has a less heavier feel that the rest of the tracks on Pissed. There are more acoustic guitars on this song but it has a great sound.
Oh Well, So What! is one of those songs that you would love to crank up and play in your office when you are having a bad day. This is the closest thing to giving someone the bird in audible fashion.
Illustrated Man is a cool song that would make a good theme song for Miami Ink. It is a great way to close out Pissed.
Pissed is a great hard rock record all the way through. There are no filler tracks, and it is a fun party rock record that is a great listen. Sadly, Pissed was released right in the middle of the grunge movement, and got very little attention. It is one of those nice gems in my collection that I like to break out from time to time. You can still find this one online quite often for under $10.00. It is worth picking up!
3. The Law Is Mine
4. Promise The Moon
7. Hard Luck Champion
8. Screamin’ For More
9. Oh Well, So What!
10. Illustrated Man
- Jason McMaster – Vocals
- Mark Geary – Drums
- Scot Dalhover – Guitar
- Paul Lidel – Guitar & Vocals
- Mike Watson – Bass & Vocals
Starting later today, I will be posting the first music review for the new weekly feature at the Hard Rock Hideout, the Rocklahoma Reviews series. Each week, I will be feature a different artist that will be playing in the up coming Rocklahoma, Rock Fever music festival. The first review will feature none other than Poison, so stop back later this afternoon for a stroll down memory lane.
Starting Monday, I will be posting Chapter Four of the Fore & Aft Series. This week will focus on the music of guitarist Paul Lidel.
Later in the week, I hope to have some reviews up for some brand new music released in 2007, plus all of the latest Hard rock news as it breaks!
This self titled disc is the 2nd studio release by Big Cock. If you heard the first disc, Year of the Cock, you already probably familiar with this band’s 80′s Hard Rock Sound. The sound has not changed on Big Cock’s sophomore effort. They lyrics may be a little more explicit at times, and some of lyrics are dripping with sexual humor.
There are a few stand out tracks on this disc, including Real Man, Ride on Me, Real Hard, Get Me Up and the straight forward cover of the Tom Jones’ song, She’s A Lady.
Ride on Me
So Easy Bein’ Me has a punk feel to it, and reminds me of when Motley Crue covered Anarchy in the UK.
I could have lived without a couple of the songs, including the 50′s sounding Scottsdale Girls, and country flavored Let’s Make Love. Both of these tracks seem out of place here. The lyrics for Scottsdale Girls are kind of funny, but something about this song has a 50′s, Jimmy Buffett, Beach Boys, bubble gum type of feel about it.
I wonder if Robert Mason is about ready to bust a gut, while trying to keep a straight face singing Every Inch of My Love. The lyrics are pure cheese, but this is still a cool sounding track. This is the closest thing you will get to a power ballad from Big Cock.
Take Me and Booze My Baby are ok tracks, but are nothing special.
As a whole, I tend to like this Big Cock disc, a little more than the debut effort. Big Cock’s sound and delivery are constant on both discs, and are a solid listen. This disc still wont make Robert Mason a household name, but it sounds like he enjoys what he is doing, and that comes across in the music.
Neither one of the Big Cock discs will set your world on fire, but if you like bands with that great 80′s hard rock sound, and are a fan of bands like Lynch Mob, and AC/DC, you will probably want to both of them. If you pick one, I’d say this is the one to get.
- Second Coming
- Fucked Up
- Real Man
- Ride on Me
- Real Hard
- She’s A Lady
- So Easy Bein’ Me
- Every Inch of My Love
- Dirty Girl
- Scottsdale Girls
- Get Me Up
- Take Me
- Booze & My Baby
- Let’s Make Love
Regardless of the band he is singing for, one thing is always constant, his awesome vocals. The great fall out of 80′s hard rock probably prevented any chance of Robert Mason being a household name among music fans, and it is a true shame, because this is one talented hard rock singer.
Silent Witness is one of the lesser known bands that Robert has sung for, and this self titled CD was a great find for me on Ebay recently. Silent Witness features Robert Mason on vocals, John Bushnell on guitar, Hal B. Selzer on bass and Lance Hyland Stark on drums. This is a damn good melodic hard rock CD that very few people ever got to know.
John Bushnell has a guitar sound that reminds me more of Neal Schon than George Lynch. This disc is a little lighter than Lynch Mob, and kind of reminds me of Neal Schon’s former band, Hardline, and another band that I like, Cry Wolf.
I would give a track by track break down, but all of the tracks are worth listening to. This is an all killer, no filler disc that will appeal to the majority of the 80′s hard rock fans out there.
I could gripe over the fact that the music lacks originality, and yes, the song writing could be a little better. Quite frankly, I love to find CD’s like this one that still have that great 80′s hard rock sound. This is still a solid effort from Silent Witness, and is a disc that fits in well with a lot of those classic hard rock CD’s from the late 80′s and early 90′s.
You can still find this disc for reasonable prices on Ebay from time to time. I would recommend grabbing this lost classic, if you see it.
Rating:Out of 10
- Can’t Keep From Falling
- Living In A Lie
- Pouring Rain
- I’ll Wait
- Tell Me
- Take Me Back
- Don’t Let A Good Thing Slip Away
- Get Right Back Up
- Wrapped Around Your Finger
- Make This Night Last Forever
Silent Witness is:
Robert Mason – vocals
John Bushnell – guitar
Hal B. Selzer – bass
Lance Hyland Stark – drums
Butchering the Beatles has the biggest collection of 80′s Hard Rock Artists in one place since 1985′s Hear ‘n Aid.
Some of the songs work better than others, but what you basically get are some heavy versions of the Beatles‘ classic songs.
Some of the stand out tracks are Magical Mystery Tour, Day Tripper, I Feel Fine, Taxman and I Saw Her Standing There.
Usually, I hate discs with cover tunes, but I must admit that Butchering the Beatles is a guilty pleasure of mine. Each cut on this disc is a heaver version of the original classic, instead of faithful covers ala Shaw/Blades new disc, Influence. I get a charge out the the faster and harder versions of these tunes, and I bet this will appeal to a bunch of 80′s hard rock fans out there. This is way the cover tunes, SHOULD be done!
Check out the tracks below, and let me know what you think!
I Saw Here Standing There
Rating: Out of 10
1. “Hey Bulldog” – Alice Cooper, vocals; Steve Vai, guitars; Duff McKagen (Velvet Revolver / Guns N Roses), bass; Mikkey Dee (Motorhead), drums
2. “Back In The USSR” – Lemmy Kilmister (Motorhead), vocals/bass; John5 (Marilyn Manson / Rob Zombie), guitars; Eric Singer (Kiss / Alice Cooper), drums
3. “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” – Geoff Tate (Queensryche), vocals; Michael Wilton (Queensryche), guitar; Craig Goldy (Dio), guitar; Rudy Sarzo (Dio), bass; Simon Wright (Dio), drums; Scott Warren (Dio), keys
4. “Tomorrow Never Knows” – Billy Idol, vocals; Steve Stevens (Billy Idol), guitars; Blasko (Ozzy Osbourne), bass; Brian Tichy (Billy Idol), drums
5. “Magical Mystery Tour” – Jeff Scott Soto (Yngwie Malmsteen / Soul Sirkus), vocals; Yngwie Malmsteen (Rising Force / Alcatrazz), lead guitar; Bob Kulick, (Meat Loaf / Paul Stanley Band), rhythm guitar; Jeff Pilson (Dokken / Foreigner), bass; Frankie Banali (Wasp / Quiet Riot), drums
6. “Revolution” – Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top), vocals / guitar; Vivian Campbell (Def Leppard), guitar; Mike Porcaro (Toto), bass; Gregg Bisonnette (David Lee Roth / Ringo Starr Band), drums; Joseph Fazzio (Superjoint Ritual), drums
7. “Day Tripper” – Jack Blades (Night Ranger / Damn Yankees), vocals; Tommy Shaw (Styx / Damn Yankees), vocals; Doug Aldrich (Whitesnake / Dio), guitars; Marco Mendoza (Whitesnake / Thin Lizzy), bass; Virgil Donati (Steve Vai / Soul Sirkus / Planet X), drums
8. “I Feel Fine” – John Bush (Anthrax), vocals; Stephen Carpenter (Deftones), guitar; Mike Inez (Ozzy Osbourne / Alice In Chains), bass; John Tempesta (The Cult / Testament), drums
9. “Taxman” – Doug Pinnick (Kings X), vocals; Steve Lukather (Toto), guitar; Tony Levin (John Lennon / Peter Gabriel), bass; Steve Ferrone (Eric Clapton / Tom Petty), drums
10. “I Saw Her Standing There” – John Corabi (Motley Crue), vocals; Phil Campbell (Motorhead), guitar; C.C. Deville (Poison), guitar; Chris Chaney (Jane’s Addiction), bass; Kenny Aronoff (Smashing Pumpkins / Jon Bon Jovi), drums
11. “Hey Jude” – Tim “Ripper” Owens (Judas Priest / Iced Earth), vocals; George Lynch (Dokken / Lynch Mob), guitar; Bob Kulick (Meat Loaf / Paul Stanley Band), rhythm guitar; Tim Bogert (Vanilla Fudge / Beck / Bogert & Appice), bass; Chris Slade (AC/DC), drums
12. “Drive My Car” – Kip Winger (Winger), vocals; Bruce Kulick (Kiss / Grand Funk), guitar; Tony Franklin (The Firm / Whitesnake), bass; Aynsley Dunbar (Whitesnake / Journey), drums
Tarsha is new band led by former Adler’s Appetite singer Sheldon Tarsha.
Prophecies is a good dose of raw in your face Rock and Roll. Sheldon’s time in Guns and Roses must have influenced him well. I can hear some of the G N’R influence in his music, and this hard rock effort has a raw heavy sound that gets better with each listen. Sheldon Tarsha’s vocals are raw, throaty and very cool.
The first track Dirty, has had moderate success on internet radio. This is a heavy track that instantly contagious from the first listen.
Ten Stars Away goes in the complete opposite direction. It is an acoustic driven tune that is one my favorites on Prophecies.
I love the groove to My First Hit, however the chorus is a little too raw for me vocally. I still think this a descent song, and sounds good when played loud.
The guitar work on Skeletons is great. I’m not too sure about the mix of the harpsichord (at least I think that is what is) in the track. As a whole, it is a very cool sounding track.
Galilean Eyes slows the pace down just enough to keep Prophecies interesting. Something about this song and the following track, Let You Go has a Nine Inch Nails feel about it, at least to me.
Why Fight has a similar to sound to Dirty, and includes a guitar riff that sounds as if it was ripped from an 80′s hard rock track. It has a good beat, and I found myself headbanging to this one.
Cynical Christ has an infectious beat with a heavy guitar. This is one of those tracks that needs to grow on you. I could almost hear this track played in some alternative music clubs out there. It is one of those tracks that could go either way.
Apostle has some interesting lyrics, but is not one of my favorites on Prophecies.
Buried on the Inside on the other hand, is an upbeat rocker, with a drum beat that is contagious. This one sounds great loud.
I swear that I have heard the guitar riff on Modern-Era Exodus on the Batman Beyond animated series. It is an ok track, but not one of the best offerings on Prophecies.
Generation H  is one of the lesser heavy sounding tracks on Prophecies. I like the guitar sound on this track a lot. This is an upbeat track with a nice beat, and a solid way to close out this disc.
Prophecies is a pretty good modern rock album that crosses between hard rock and alternative metal. It may take a couple of listens, but it has a pretty cool sound that doesn’t really mimic the work of any current artists. You can hear more of Prophecies at Tarsha’s myspace page and at CDBaby.com.
Rating: out of 10
- Ten Stars Away
- My First Hit
- Galilean Eyes
- Let You Go
- Why Fight
- Cynical Christ
- Buried On The Inside
- Modern-Era Exodus
This disc features the vocal talents of Tony Martin, the expert bass playing of former Whitesnake bassist, Neil Murray, guitarist Rolf Munkes, and ex-Silent Force drummer, Andre Hilgers.
I have always thought that Tony was one of Black Sabbath’s most under rated singers, so I could not resist checking out Raven Ride. I am glad I did. This is a pretty good melodic metal offering by Empire.
The title track, Raven Ride is one of the better tracks on the disc. This song has a DIO feel about it. Killer vocals and music to match. Breathe is a heavy but cool track in the vein of Black Sabbath.
Carbon Based Lifeform is a throw away track to me. I didn’t care for this one very much. Satanic Curses on the other hand sounds like Dio era Black Sabbath. This is a very good track.
Al Sirat – The Bridge To Paradise is a great follow up to Satanic Curses, and also carries that heavy Sabbath feel to it. Neil Murray’s heavy bass compliments Rolf Munkes guitar greatly, and Tony Martin‘s vocals are excellent here.
What Would I Do? is a heavy low to mid tempo keyboard driven number with more great vocals by Martin. This song is slowly growing on me.
Changing World is great except for this electronic drum beat that goes on through half of the track. I could live without that extra beat. It reminds me of something that Genesis has done in some of their songs.
Tony Martin growls as well as sings on Maximum. I didn’t like this track at first, but once I got over the growling, I found this song kind of catchy.
I will let the track, I Can’t Trust Myself do the talking for itself. This could have been a hit off of this record. Give it a listen below, and see what you think.
I Can’t Trust Myself
The Devil Speaks, The Sinner Cries closes this disc with a very doomy Sabbath style track. Martin’s vocals are great, but this track is a little too slow for me.
Empire is a pretty good listen from beginning to end. Tony Martin’s vocals shine more often than not, as does the music. Fans of Tony Martin’s previous work with Black Sabbath, Tyr and Headless Cross, will love this disc.
Rating: Out of 10
- The Raven Ride
- Carbon Based Lifeform
- Satanic Curses
- Al Sirat – The Bridge To Paradise
- What Would I Do?
- Changing World
- I Can’t Trust Myself
- The Devil Speaks, The Sinner Cries
If you have been wondering whatever happened to Kix, look no further than the band Funny Money. Funny Money features former Kix members, Steve Whiteman on vocals, and Jimmy Chalfant on drums. The band has gone through some line up changes over the years, but Funny Money has formed a solid four piece lineup with former Centerfold bassist, Mark Schenker and Rob Galpin on lead guitar.
Stick It, is the third studio album by Funny Money, and may be the best one yet. Legendary producer Beau Hill, mixed this disc, and all of the songs flow well as a result of it. Stick It should give Kix fans everything they have been wanting. This is a very strong offering full of AC/DC style, blues infested hard rock.
Check out a couple of tracks below:
About Women is a live video performance by Funny Money.
Slow to Blow is a great track that will give you an idea of what you will hear on Stick It.
If you like either of the tracks above, you need to pick this up. This is a disc that will appeal to 80′s Hard Rock fans, Kix fans, and probably quite a few AC/DC fans as well. It is solid all the way through, and well worth checking out.
Buy It! You will be glad you did!
Rating: Out of 10
- By The Balls
- Hot On Your Heels
- Big Bang Boom
- All Tied Up
- Fool’s Confession
- Slow To Blow
- Nowhere At All
- Play Me Like A Rhythm
- Thousand Thank Yous
- Weeds And Roses
- About Women
Funny Money is:
Steve Whiteman – Vocals
Jimmy Chalfant – Drums
Mark Schenker – Bass
Rob Galpin – Lead Guitar
White Tiger is the band that Mark started up after he left KISS. His band mates are one time Black Sabbath singer, David Donato, Mark’s brother Michael Norton on bass, and Brian James Fox on drums.
White Tiger has a heavier sound that falls somewhere between KISS and Black Sabbath.
Rock Warriors is a very cool track that was not mixed very well. Donato’s vocals get washed out by the guitars and bass on this track. The remixed version of Rock Warriors on this disc, takes care of this problem, and is a much better sounding version.
Love/Hate is an upbeat song with a great guitar sound. Bad Time Coming is a mide tempo song that has a heavy bass groove by Norton, and great vocals by David Donato. This is a good song, and could have been a potential hit for this band.
The production on Runaway sounds a little muddy to me, but the song is good, and its style kind of reminds me of Savatage. Mark St.John has some excellent soloing on this track.
Still Standing Strong is a very good heavy track. The mixing on this track was heavy on the guitars and bass, Donato’s vocals get a little washed out, but its still a good song.
Live to Rock is a catchy track with simple lyrics. Mark St. John has more excellent solos on this song. Very cool!
I love Mark St.John’s guitar sound on Northern Wind. It reminds me a great deal of John Sykes guitar work on the Whitesnake album. This is another cool song.
On Stand & Deliver, David Donato’s vocals stand tall, and Mark St.John plays great thoughout.
White Hot Desire is a good ass kicking track that reminds me some of RIOT.
You can still find White Tiger’s CD on the net in a few places. This CD does have its production issues, but itt is a solid listen, and worth picking up to discover the work of fallen rock warrior and guitar hero, Mark St. John.
Rest in Peace, Mark!
Rating: Out of 10
- Rock Warriors
- Love / Hate
- Bad Time Coming
- Still Standing Strong
- Live To Rock
- Northern Wind
- Stand And Deliver
- White Hot Desire
- Rock Warriors (Remix)*
Looking over the final lineup for the Free OZZFEST this year, makes me wonder, who from my generation is fired up about going to this concert.
The main stage is supposed to be Ozzy, Lamb of God, Lordi, and if rumor serves me correctly, Buckcherry.
To me, Lordi, and Buckcherry would be my only reason for hitting this show. Lordi is huge over in Finland, but the great unknown here (although they hit #37 on the Billboard Heatseeker chart in the U.S. this week.) Do a quick search for Lordi at the Hard Rock Hideout and check out the review for Arocalypse with all of the videos. They are kind of like GWar, minus the gore, and a hell of a lot more talent. The singer takes a little of getting used to, but the band is excellent.
This is where my rant begins:
Looking at the stage two lineup is a plethora of Death Metal Bands.
Hatebreed, Nick Oliveri and the Mondo Generator, Behemoth, Nile, Ankla, Circus Diablo, The Showdown, 3 Inches of Blood, Haath, In this Moment, and CHTHONIC.
After reading through this lineup, I must admit that I was not familar with any of the stage two bands. I started viewing their myspace pages, one by one, checking out the sound of each band, and quite frankly, I wonder if Ozzy and Sharon have lost their mind, or if these are the only bands that they could get to play for free.
With the exception of In the Moment, who has a very good female singer (Maria), (this band could easily be another Evanescense), however she struggles to get her voice heard over the band’s death metal screamer. This band was the almost highlight. I could not listen to the rest of them.
Maybe I missing the whole reason behind the OZZFEST. To me Ozzy grew in popularity from his days with Black Sabbath, and cemented it in the 80′s with his solo discs. I would think he would look for artists of this kind. There are hundreds of bands playing 80′s style hard rock everyday in the world, that would kill for the exposure in the U.S. I dig more and more of them up everyday and review their music here.
It makes me wonder if Ozzy has forgotten his roots. If this is the metal that appeals to today’s generation, the music has completely moved beyond me. I enjoy hard rock and heavy metal music, but the key to each band must have a singer who can sing well. Judging from most of the bands on the Ozzfest in 2007, their will be more screaming than singing.
Truly sad if you ask me. Good thing it is free. You will need to save your money for some earplugs and aspirin for the headache you will have afterwords, if you choose to attend.
Killing the Dragon is the 9th DIO studio disc, and the first to feature current Whitesnake guitarist Doug Aldrich. Craig Goldy was not available for Killing the Dragon as he just recently had gotten married and his wife had a newborn child. Goldy did leave his mark on a few tracks, and has writing credits on Throw away Children, Rock ‘N Roll, and Push.
Doug Aldrich, on the other hand ,had played in quite a few hard rock bands prior to DIO, including Lion, Bad Moon Rising, House of Lords and Hurricane. He was the perfect replacement for Goldy at the time, and his guitar work on Killing the Dragon is awesome.
Killing the Dragon stars this disc off with a high tempo rocker. Doug Aldrich establishes himself quickly by showing off his mad guitar skills. This track sounds like classic DIO to me.
The heaviness continues with Along Comes the Spider. There are plenty of chugging guitars on this track. Sure the title and chorus is kind of silly, but the music is great.
Scream is one of the better tracks on this disc. Its a pretty solid song with some excellent guitar noodling by Aldrich.
Better in the Dark is an excellent upbeat rocker with a cool guitar riff by Aldrich. Dio sounds great here but Aldrich steals the show with some killer guitar solos!
Rock ‘n Roll is one an extremely cool track on Killing the Dragon. This song has an very heavy bass riff. Dio’s voice sounds amazing here. As a whole, this is a very heavy track, and a cool one at that.
Push is probably my favorite track off of Killing the Dragon. Aldrich reminds me of Jake E. Lee on this track. Its a cool song with excellent vocals by Dio. This song may be a little less heavy than some of the other tracks here, but it works.
Guilty would have to be a close 2nd to Push as my favorite on this disc. This is another rocker that kicks ass. This track is also not quite as heavy as some of other tracks on Killing the Dragon.
The guitar work on Throw Away Children is absolutely superb. If it wasn’t for Aldrich’s playing, I would probably skip this track.
Before the Fall has a very Deep Purple sounding keyboard throughout the song, but the guitars are far heavier than any Deep Purple track. Once again, the guitar work is great, but I consider this an average DIO track. It is good, but not great.
The keyboards on Cold Feet give this song a less heavy feel to it. I like this song, but I don’t think I would have placed this as the last song on the disc.
Bottom line, If you want to hear an above average hard rock disc, with amazing vocals and stellar guitar work, you need to pick up Killing the Dragon. There are at least 4 songs on this disc that are mainstays on my play list today. DIO fans should not hesitate picking this up.
Rating: Out of 10
- Killing the Dragon
- Along Comes a Spider
- Better in the Dark
- Rock ‘n Roll
- Throw Away Children
- Before the Fall
- Cold Feet
Ronnie James Dio – vocals
Doug Aldrich – guitar
Jimmy Bain – bass, keyboards
Simon Wright – drums
Do you enjoy listening to Internet Hard Rock and Metal Radio Stations? Do you listen to radio programs like the Hairball John Radio show over internet radio? Your listening habits are being threatened right now, and you may not know it.
Stations like Stickman Radio have a huge metal library, and play deep tracks from bands that you will not hear on any other terrestrial, or satellite station any where.
On March 2, 2006, The CRB approved royalty rates that will bury any small webcaster, and create a heavy burden even for big broadcasters like Yahoo, AOL Music and Pandora. How high will these rates be? Around 100% of a small webcasters revenue, give or take a few points, in most cases.
What can you do?
Click on the banner above and visit Save Net Radio. Sign the petition and take the time to write a Congressional Representative to put a stop to the exorbitant royalty fees that will put awesome stations like Stickman Radio out of business.
This Week On The Hairball John Radio Show
This week, Hairball John and The Acid Chimp welcome to the show the “metal god” himself, Judas Priest vocalist Rob Halford. Rob speaks about the recent Judas Priest reunion tour, as well as being the opening act for Led Zeppelin’s last United States concert. Finally, Rob gives the Hairball Nation details about Judas Priest’s forth -coming concept album, “Nostradamus”.
Alongside a new song from Halford, we’ll have fresh music from Swedish metallers and Hard Rock Hideout favorite, Dream Evil and a newly released demo of a classic Winger tune . We’ll also hear from Billy Rowe of Jetboy and Ronnie James Dio talks about the current crop of bands carrying on the torch of traditional metal.
Finally, Skid checks in from Florida where he recently caught Winger at the State Theatre in St. Petersburg.
This Week’s Show Details
This Week’s Guest(s)
* Rob Halford (Judas Priest / Halford)
This Week’s Featured Artists
* Dream Evil (New)
* Scorpions (Pole Position)
* Halford (New)
* Dokken (Bladder Ballad)
Don’t miss the show this week. You can catch it Daily. Check the link below for the schedule:
Another forgotten release from 1989 that gets little mention these days, is the debut by Lord Tracy, Deaf Gods of Babylon. After Terrence Lee Glaze’s departure from Pantera, he met up with three transplanted Memphians living in Texas, guitarist Jimmy Rusidoff (Southern Creed), bassist Kinley “Barney” Wolfe and drummer Chris Craig (both of Black Oak Arkansas and Texas band Lightning.)
I have been trying to track down a copy of this out of print disc for a while, and my persistence on EBay finally paid off. Amazingly, this disc is much better than I remembered it to be the first time around. There are several solid tracks and a couple of toungue in cheek ones, showing me that this band didn’t take themselves too seriously, and were having fun making this music.
Stand out tracks are the upbeat rockers ,Out With the Boys, East Coast Rose, She’s A Bitch, Watchadoin, In Your Eyes and a very good ballad Foolish Love. This a good pop metal/ hard rock disc that still sounds pretty damn good today. This is a disc worth seeking out if you are fan of good 80′s hard rock. You can catch a couple of the band’s tunes at their myspace page, or check out the lead track Out With The Boys below.
Out With the Boys
Rating: Out of 10
- Out With the Boys
- East Coast Rose
- Shes a Bitch
- Barney’s Wank
- Chosen Ones
- In Your Eyes
- Rats Motel
- Foolish Love
- She Man Blues
- King of the Nighttime Cowboys
- 3 H.C.
- Ivory Lover
Back in 1989 when Udo Dirkschneider was pursuing a solo career, the band Accept carried on without him, recording a new disc with the mostly unknown David Reece ( who would later form Bangalore Choir).
Most Accept fans will cuss and swear that this isn’t real Accept music. Personally, I think David Reece is a hell of a singer, and I got a lot of enjoyment out of this disc. His vocal style is about 70% Rob Halford and 30% Paul Stanley. Eat the Heat is more of a melodic effort than the Dirkschneider efforts, and sounds quite similar to the other hard rock and hair metal bands in the late 80′s and early 90′s.
This disc should have been much bigger than it was. Take a listen to Love Sensation and you will totally understand what I mean.
This disc rarely gets any mention today, and zero airplay from any of places that I listen to hard rock and metal. There are several stand out tracks on this disc including: X-T-C, Prisoner, Love Sensation, Hellhammer, and Break the Ice.
I think this disc will appeal to most fans of 80′s Hard Rock, Judas Priest fans, and Accept fans with an open mind. This disc is available in wide circulation still, including Amazon.com, and ITunes. Check it Out!
Rating: Out of 10
- Love Sensation
- Chain Reaction
- Generation Clash
- Turn the Wheel
- Stand 4 What U R
- Break the Ice
David Reece – Vocals
Wolf Hoffmann – Guitars
Jim Stacey – Guitars
Peter Baltes – Bass Guitar
Stefan Kaufmann – Drums
New Rockstar Supernova video
Check out the new video for Rockstar Supernova’s single Headspin below:
Jorn Lande’s thoughts about Masterplan with Mike DiMeo
Jorn Lande Interview from Metal Express Radio:
You just had two releases out on Frontiers at the same time. How did you end up compiling the songs for those albums?
My debut album Starfire was more like a demo release to me. It had some cover tunes and some Jorn originals. It had some really good songs, but the whole production of that album wasn’t the best. Also there was a big gap between the style of the covers and my own songs on that album. Nothing is wrong with that. It’s just that some of those songs didn’t come out the way they should have sounded. I felt that, for example, “Abyss of Evil” and “Gate of Tears” had the quality of a classic Hard Rock/Metal song. I personally think that they are really cool songs, but didn’t sound too good. And this album is out of print now and the discussion was to reissue the first two albums Starfire and Worldchanger and continue from there, but I wanted to improve some of the songs. I needed a second chance. There are so many people that enjoy my newer albums, but didn’t know what I did in the past. Now they’ll be able to see my earlier songs too. I wanted to give some of the songs a facelift to improve them and make some of them sound big and massive. You can’t compare of how these songs sounded back then and how they sound now. It sounds a whole lot better. I love these songs. It’s the same with “Something Real” that is the opening track of The Gathering. It sounded more progressive … again, I don’t like the word “progressive,” but everybody’s talking about that today. Artistic, experimental, those are better words to describe it. It was the same with “One Day We’ll Put Out The Sun,” and both these songs were on Out To Every Nation. I had the same feeling about two songs after we recorded. They were cool and experimental and still good, but something about these songs could have been simplified to make them more to the point and make them more solid Hard Rock songs. That’s the vision I had when I listened back to the recordings. Just make it a more straightforward song and don’t overdo it with all these little details. And that’s what I did with that song and I think that it’s really better and more interesting this way. I also think the verses on “Something Real” are much better because before there were a lot of details in the playing all over the place. It’s different on the new version because it’s more simple. I like to use the words “less is more.” And, of course, I always get the urge to improve some of the songs that didn’t come out the way I wanted.
Did you re-record every song on The Gathering?
Some songs were re-recorded while other songs were just remixed. Except for putting Mr.Lofstad (Jørn Viggo Lofstad) onto the songs that he was not involved with before. Now, they are together with my other guitarist Tore, but before they played on different records and they didn’t even know each other. (Laughs) Now I got both of them like a Dream Team. They are such great guitarists and together they create this massive, incredible sound. Loftsad is a more clean player, a perfectionist in a way, very structured as a player, and Tore is more a Rock ’n’ Roller, to the bones guitarist. (Laughs) More rough and brutal in his expression, but with a great attitude. Together they are just great and I wanted them to be together on some of these older songs. And, it was just a natural thing to do, because some of the songs were re-recorded and some of them were remixed. They were just opened up and they were ready to put these guitars on top of everything in the end. We also recorded “Gonna Find the Sun.” That is a song that I originally wrote together with Micky Moody of Whitesnake and we released that song at the end of nineties.
With The Snakes?
Yeah, yeah! When I had the idea for that song I was originally thinking about having a more powerful Heavy Metal-sounding edgy guitar rather than the more old-fashioned half-dry Rock sound (laughs) … which is great when Micky plays that. That’s his style and his trademark and I love it. It’s just that I had this idea of making that sound heavier, and I’ve been thinking about that for a while. I think that song is much stronger than it was before. Before it sounded more like a filler on that The Snakes album. Now it’s a strong standout song.
Speaking of The Snakes … how is your relationship with Bernie these days?
Oh, I haven’t spoken to him for many years now. I have nothing against Bernie today. We had our differences, but it’s not just me. It was more people in that band. We had disagreements about the progress of the band at the time when we worked together. It’s no big deal. Bernie, Micky, and Don (Don Airey), they all did this before. If you go back ten years in time, I was younger still had some things to do. If I was to continue in that band and really build my future there then I would expect some investment to be made, like getting the right stage performance, accepting to play as a support band for a bigger, established band in the USA. I mean we got that offer a couple of times with massive American bands. We should have gone out and done some touring in order to establish us as a new band or something that is delivering the old Whitesnake-ish quality again. The band was really great-sounding, but when Whitesnake already existed and for us to come out there and play to break the barrier and not just be a Whitesnake cover band, some changes had to be made and investment had to be made, and the whole band had to be willing to put some hard work into it … and this wasn’t really possible at the time. And that’s the difference with the older generations. The “been there done that” attitude. Me and the drummer were hungry in that band. We really wanted to move forward and make things happen. That’s why we continued with our own stuff and left the band.
Have you seen Whitesnake play live last year?
Yeah, I saw them at Sweden Rock, but it wasn’t last year. I played myself at Sweden Rock with Masterplan that year. It was right after they decided to come back. It was one of their first festivals. It’s always great to see a band that is part of Rock ’n’ Roll history and something that inspired me when I grew up. David Coverdale was obviously a strong influence on me. But he’s not the only one … Ronnie James Dio is a name to mention. Paul Rodgers from Free was also very important to me. I listen to many singers, but I think those Classic Hard Tock singers are the best. I was asked how I take being compared to these great singers, and I just consider it to be a big compliment. They are the best and you don’t have many of these qualities on earth (laughs). I was lucky to be influenced by the best when I grew up and thanks to my father, I guess, who brought all these great albums to the house in the seventies. Of course, I listen to many other bands and you can hear their influence on my albums. I listen to Kansas a lot and you can hear their influence even in my songwriting. If you listen to some Masterplan songs, such as “Falling Sparrow,” you can hear that. I’ve tried a lot of directions with my voice, but I always stayed true in a way to hard Rock and Metal.
You mentioned about the two guitarists on The Gathering and there are also a lot of drummers taking part, but there’s no Hellhammer amongst them …
Hellhammer was very busy with his other bands and projects. Sometimes it is necessary to make some changes. We’re good friends. We don’t see each other too often, but he’s a good guy and a great drummer. You could also notice that the drummer from Out To Every Nation, Stian, only did a couple of songs on The Duke as my live drummer Willy “Wild” Bendiksen is more suitable for the Classic Hard Rock songs and the direction I’ve taken with The Duke. Personally, I feel that I have a strong line-up with these two guitarists and Willy on drums. I just feel that with The Duke I set the standard for how I should sound and how my concept should be. I think The Duke is one of the best albums I ever did. Might not be an experimental or a revolutionary album, but shows how strong the line-up is, how simple and straight-to-the-point the songwriting is. I think we had a solid hard-rocking album that really has everything and is easy to understand. I was always experimenting with musical landscapes to find my own way of doing this. I think I don’t have to do it anymore as I found my way of expressing as a singer and I think my Classic Hard Rock roots are my best performances. That’s when I’m sounding really good and that’s when I have good control. I can sing with power and still have intensity and feeling and heart and I can really be good live as well. Touring a lot over the last couple of years I performed a lot of songs where I had to change the singing style many times and people thought I was doing it great. They said I’m a versatile singer. Still, I don’t feel like doing that anymore. I prefer the regular Hard Rock type singing.
You seem to enjoy doing cover songs a lot …
Yeah, I have a lot of favorite songs that I would still like to do. I like to write my own stuff as well. Some of these cover songs are important to me because they influenced me as I grew up. Some of these songs I played many times live and I always felt that it would be great to release some of them. I think I could make it from Volume 1 to Volume 10 if I wanted to record all my favorites (laughs), which I actually have been thinking about! I’ve been thinking about how to do it without spending all my energy and all my time doing it, because I want to spend my time on writing my own stuff. I’m creative all the time, I have a lot of ideas that I have to write down and work on. Working on cover songs is good too, but doing it too much destroys the ability for being creative and I don’t want that to happen.
Is there any Norwegian band that you would cover?
If I would cover a Norwegian artist? That’s very difficult. There aren’t many Norwegian artists that I would like to cover. There was one band that my father used to play in. The band was based around a keyboardist that was from Hungary named Eddy Zoltán and the band’s name was EZ Group. They released a nice double album in the early seventies. It was really good quality with Norwegian lyrics and the songwriting was incredible. Some of these songs were on the charts in Norway at the time. My father who was the singer there left the music industry really early. He was about 27-28 when he decided to work more on a hobby basis. But, that album they did together had some really good songs to cover. Maybe it’s personal because it meant a lot to me as I’ve heard it as a kid. But, even today I hear how strong the melodies and the lyrics are on that album. It’s almost impossible to find that record today. You could say it’s kind of like in the family (laughs). Of course, there are many great Norwegian artists, but most of the ones I like are dead. They are lyricists and composers.
Edvard Grieg for one …
Yeah, yeah. Guys like him. There are so many great artists from the old days that wrote great songs with such powerful and touching lyrics and poems.
What is your favorite song from Unlocking the Past?
Not sure I can pick a favorite song. We played both “Perfect Strangers” and “Cold Sweat” live several times. “Cold Sweat” is a very simple Rock song that is fun to play live. Every time we play that on stage we feel very good and the band is kicking ass and really rocking. With that song you deliver something that is the essence of Rock ’n’ Roll. It might not be as interesting on the record as it is live. It’s just the magic that happens to the band and the crowd during that song live.
Does this cover album cover all the cover songs you did?
(laughs) There’s always some songs that never get released. For this album, I’ve taken some of the songs that have never been released before and some of the other songs, and remixed the way we did with The Gathering. I don’t think there are more secret songs. The thing with the unreleased songs is that for some reason I wasn’t satisfied with them or didn’t approve them before, that’s why they were never released. Many of the songs were considered as leftovers or potential bonus tracks for certain territories. But, then as years go by you listen to these songs again and say, “Oh that song is great, we never finished that, did we?” And, you suddenly start to discover that these songs are part of your history and they actually don’t sound that bad. The acceptance level changes as years go by as well, and you change as a person. Also, I think the perfectionist in me is different now. I listen more objectively and neutral these days. The most important thing is to give everything when you do it. These songs are basically songs from the treasure chest. It’s also something the record label suggested. They didn’t like the idea of a double CD box. The original idea was to do The Gathering as a double CD, including some of these cover songs. I think in the end it was a good thing to separate these covers from the Jorn originals and put them out as separate releases.
Mentioning the label, both albums are on Frontiers Records. Are you back with them or still with AFM?
Well, Frontiers released some of my earlier work and they also released Millenium and the Allen/Lande album The Battle. By the way, we just finished another album, me and Russell Allen. That is being mixed as we speak and hopefully the album will be out in the spring. The title for that record is Revenge. But, back to the labels … Frontiers always worked with me throughout the years and released some of my stuff and some of the bands I worked with. So, you can say that our relationship goes back many years now. So, the release of these albums doesn’t automatically mean a change of labels. I will probably work again with Frontiers in the future and they might release new Jorn material in the future, I don’t know.
So how about this new Jorn material? Is there anything in the works?
There’s nothing apart from the fact that I’m writing some songs. That’s the only thing I can tell about it now. I have most of the material written. Not completely finished, but it’s there. So, the new Jorn album should be done in the next year. As for the musical direction, it’ll be like The Duke or maybe even slightly darker. Some of the songs are almost 100% done and I’m very happy with them. So, I’ll definitely have a new album recorded in 2007.
For your European Tour this spring, what will the set list look like?o:p>
I think the main core will be Jorn songs. You’ll hear a couple of songs from The Duke and also from Worldchanger and Out To Every Nations, definitely. We will also throw in one Beyond Twilight song and also one Masterplan song. We already did “Soulburn” a couple of times live, which has slightly different arrangements compared to the original. It sounds cool. More massive with two guitar players and rougher since we haven’t used that much keyboards. People want to hear things. We talked about The Snakes before, and you always meet people out there who also remember that band. Maybe they came out and saw us live when we toured here or they have the album releases and they would like to hear some stuff, so maybe we’ll throw in a couple of covers as well. We might also do a Whitesnake medley.
What song would you play off the Millenium album? What is your favorite song you did with that band?
That would definitely be “Hourglass.” That’s my favorite song on that album. That’s the strongest and most powerful there. The other songs are great, but they are more average still. They have a strong AOR-ish touch, which is good, nothing wrong with that, but I just feel there are a lot more songs with that kind of songwriting rather than epic songs like “Hourglass.”
Will you also play at least one ARK song?
Oh yeah, I forgot about that. Not sure if we’ll do it, but we’ve already been doing “Noose” from Burn the Sun.
Do you think that album contains one of your best vocal performances?
Yeah, you’re probably right. At least experimental and diverse.
It’s a crazy album.
Yeah, thank you. I agree with you. It’s kind of like over the top or beyond (laughs). We pushed it far when we did that record in all aspects. Both personally when we wrote everything, how deep into we went into the music, and what we spent both time-wise and money-wise to complete that album.
Do you think you should get back together with Tore (Tore Østby) and finish the unreleased third album?
(laughs) Yeah, you never know what’s gonna happen. I don’t think I’ll return with ARK in a band setting. But, sometimes just to do a record to kind of complete something that was never fulfilled. It could be possible to do that. I’m open to do that, but I’m not sure I would go on tour with the band again. But, just to write and do the record together, that could be possible. That would be a cool thing. But, you’d have to talk to the other guys as well. It was always a democratic thing and everyone has to like it.
Did you consider going back to Masterplan now that Uli (Uli Kusch, drummer) left?
No, not really. We already had disagreements musically of how to approach the future and how to write the third album. We were good friends, it’s just that we couldn’t make a compromise on how to do this together. And I was focused on writing the song material in a different way than before. For the first two albums, we had the music composed first and sometimes Uli and Roland would write a lot of stuff and give me the music on tapes. Then I would hear all these musical compositions and I would start creating melodies and lyrics that would fit the music. But, I wanted to change that because I felt that this wasn’t really natural for me as a singer. Some great songs came out of it and great productions, but some of the songs were really natural for me. Of course, there were some songs where it blended really well and it became magical, but all in all it was important to me to get the music built up more around my vocals. Also, to sit down together with Roland and write good songs based on guitars and vocal melodies. To build everything from the opposite way and try to make more straightforward songs. I didn’t like the fact that we were to continue making intricate, symphonic, big arrangements all the time. I wanted just to have real Rock ’n’ Roll in the band. I’m open for everything, I’m not hard to work with, it’s just that I prefer the more “to the point” songs. I also noticed when we are on stage that we never had the chance to really play as a band. We couldn’t really play much around, because we had all these keyboard things going on, we had these samplers on that added to the music and all these things don’t appeal to me that much anymore. I want to just to go out on stage and have bass, drums, and guitars and have a really rocking show and play good songs with heart and feeling. I want to feel confident on stage and in control. I just felt lately that it became a struggle for me more than a good vibe. But, as I said, I’m not hard to deal with, I just wanted a compromise there. Of course, Masterplan will always be Masterplan and Uli would always play complex drums and Roland would always play his style.
Do you think they’ll succeed with the new singer and drummer?
I think they have a good band now. Mike DiMeo is a really good singer and Mike Terrana is a great drummer. We all go through different line-ups in our bands, it’s just about how interesting you can make it for the market. I’ve heard a couple of tracks from the forthcoming album and they were good songs. It’s difficult to say. I wish them all the best and I hope everyone gets what they deserve and enjoys success. I really hope that they’ll succeed with the new line-up and I’m sure they will, because they already have a good tour with Saxon coming up. It’s a long tour. During this one tour, they will probably play more than I would play in two years. (Laughs)
DORO schedules dates in the United States
Legendary German metal queen DORO has updated her tour itinerary for her upcoming North American and European tour in June-August. Her schedule is now shaping up as follows:
Jun. 04 – Allentown, PA – Crocodile Rock
Jun. 05 – New York, NY – BB King’s
Jun. 06 – Hartford, CT – Webster Theater
Jun. 08 – Poughkeepsie, NY – The Loft
Jun. 09 – Bedford, NH – Mark’s Rock Club
Jun. 10 – West Springfield, VA – Jaxx
Jun. 12 – Montreal, QUE – Fou Founes Elecriques
Jun. 13 – Toronto, ONT – Funhouse
Jun. 14 – Cleveland, OH – Peabody’s
Jun. 15 – Chicago, IL – Pearl Room
Jun. 16 – St.Paul, MN – Station 4
Jun. 17 – Topeka, KS – Static Bar
Jun. 18 – Denver, CO – Larmier Lounge
Jun. 20 – Los Angeles, CA – Whiskey A Go Go
Jun. 21 – Phoenix, AZ – The Clubhouse
Jun. 22 – Alburquerque, NM – TBA
Jun. 23 – San Antonio, TX – Sanctuary
Jun. 24 – Houston, TX – Meridian Red Room
New L.A. Guns Single
The L.A. GUNS version featuring Tracii Guns on guitar, Jeremy Guns on bass, Chad Stewart on drums and Paul Black on vocals has posted its brand new single, “I Do”, at its MySpace page. Also available is a live version of “I Do”, taken from the “The Riff Hits The Fan” CD. Both songs are available for download for 99 cents each at this location.
Paul Black co-wrote L.A. GUNS’ fan favorites and Nickey Alexander played all drum tracks on the band’s classic self-titled debut album for Polygram Records. The group released a CD, titled “The Black List”, last year, which is a collection of previously unreleased recordings of L.A. GUNS standards from 1986 and 1987, and is currently recording new material for release later in 2007.
I hesitated picking up the new Skid Row disc, Revolutions Per Minute, as I heard some awful things about it. I listened to the song, Shut Up Baby I Love You from the Classic Rock Magazine Sampler CD and I was surprised that it reminded me of Slave to the Grind era Skid Row.
I tend to be a little more open minded than the average music consumer, so I decided to give this CD a try. I like the first disc, Thickskin with Texas native, Johnny Solinger on vocals, so I figured why not.
If you go into this disc expecting to hear tracks like Youth Gone Wild, or 18 and Life, you will greatly be disappointed. This disc is more of a punk flavored disc than anything remotely similar to Sebastian Bach era Skid Row.
I am including a track by track run down so you can get a better feel for the CD.
Disease is a heavy track that could have easily been a left over from Slave to the Grind. This is a solid track and a crank worthy one at that.
Another Dick In the System is a pretty good rocker. I like this track a lot. You can’t deny the catchiness of this track. This is actually better than the first track.
Pulling My Heart Out From Under Me starts moving in the punk direction. It is a mid tempo number, but its not bad.
When God Can’t Wait is the first track that made me say,”what the fuck?” This sounds like a part punk, part country, part Irish Beer swaying kind of song. This song is just bad.
Thank God Shut Up Baby I Love You was the next track after that last filler crap song. This is one of the better tracks on this disc, and reminds me the most of older Skid Row material.
Strength is a cover of an Alarm track. This is a pretty good song. I do not remember the Alarm version of this song, so I can’t tell if this is faithful to the original track or not. This is one of the better tracks on this disc.
White Trash is in the punk vein. I’m not crazy about the music style, but I like the lyrics of this song.
You Lie is a country rock toungue in cheek sort of track. It is hard to take this track seriously, but I bet they have fun playing this live. (I am wondering if this song is about Baz.) This is one of my least favorite tracks on this disc.
Nothing is a pretty good upbeat rocker. I have listened to this track a few times, and it is growing on me more.
Love is Dead is just ok to me. It isn’t bad, but I couldn’t get into it.
Let it Ride is a punk flavored rock track. I couldn’t really get into this song at all. It was just noise to me. I thought this was a poor way to close this disc out.
If you compare this to Skid Row’s early work, you are probably going to hate this disc. If you can honestly listen without comparing the two, you might get something out of this CD. For me personally, I like Thickskin better than this disc. I don’t like the punk elements, and hope this was temporary insanity for the band. I consider them a hard rock band, not a punk band. At first listen, I did not like this disc at all. I decided to spin it a few more times before reviewing, and listening it at higher volumes. It honestly sounds like quite a few of these songs will translate well live. It just isn’t what Skid Row fans will be expecting. You can hear some of Skid Row’s songs at their myspace page.
Rating: Out of 10
- Another Dick in the System
- Pulling My Heart Out from Under Me
- When God Can Wait
- Shut Up Baby I Love You
- White Trash
- You Lie
- Love is Dead
- Let it Ride
Skid Row is:
Johnny Solinger – lead vocals
Scotti Hill – lead guitar
Dave “The Snake” Sabo – rhythm guitar, backing vocals
Rachel Bolan – bass guitar, backing vocals
Dave Gara – drums
Saliva is back with their 5th release, Blood Stained Love Story. Saliva has upgraded their sound for this record. This disc has more of a main stream sound than the nu-metal songs of their past. I decided to give this disc a look due to Saliva’s excellent debut at 19th on the Billboard charts. I have liked some of their songs in the past, and “Ladies and Gentleman” is a song that you can not ignore.
I am betting that you will hear quite a few cuts off of this “Blood Stained Love Story” on mainstream rock radio. This reminds me a lot of Stone Temple Pilot at times, but then at times ventures into something completely different.
I tend to lean towards the harder edged tracks like “Ladies and Gentleman”, “King of the Stereo”,”Twister” and “Black Sheep”. The Nickelback like “Starting Over” is also pretty good.
I found the slower tracks some boring, and I didn’t think there was enough to help Saliva stand out from the countless other sound-a-like acts on the radio.
This disc probably will not set fans of big hair hard rock on fire, but if you enjoy some of the groups enjoying main stream rock radio success today like Hinder, Nickelback and Daughtry, you will want to check this disc out. Is this Saliva’s best CD? No, not by a long shot, but those with an open mind will find some tunes to enjoy.
You can listen to some of the bands new tracks here!
- Ladies and Gentleman
- Broken Sunday
- Never Gonna Change
- King of the Stereo
- One More Chance
- Going Under
- Black Sheep
- Starting Over
- Here With You
- Is It You (Bonus Track)
- Write Your Name (Bonus Track)
Josey Scott – Vocals
Wayne Swinny – Guitars
Jon Montoya – Guitars
Dave Novotny – Bass
Paul Crosby – Drums
If you want to hear a band that knows how to do 80′s Style Hard Rock right, you need to give Crash Diet’s, Rest In Sleaze a listen. Crashdiet has a sound that is similar to Shotgun Messiah in their prime, and maybe a little bit of Zan Clan. This disc is full of fist-pumping, kick ass rock and roll.
Crashdiet has 4 hit singles in Sweden from this disc, Riot In Everyone, Knokk ‘Em Down, Breakin the Chainz, and It’s a Miracle. This another example of excellent music being released over seas that never gets any attention in the United States!
Sadly, In January 2006, vocalist Dave Lepard committed suicide after being in a deep depression, so will never know how far this band could have gone with this lineup. Judging from this debut effort, they could have been huge globably.
The tunes here speak for themselves. It is great stuff that no hard rock or sleaze metal fan should be without!
You can still pick this up reasonably from CD Inzane. Buy It! You wont be disappointed.
Knokk ‘Em Down
Riot in Everyone
Queen Obscene (69 Shots) – LIVE
Breakin the Chainz
Needle in Your Eye – LIVE
It’s A Miracle
Back on Trakk
Rating:Out of 10
- Knokk ‘Em Down
- Riot In Everyone
- Queen Obscene (69 Shots)
- Breakin’ The Chainz
- Needle in Your Eye
- Out of Line
- It’s A Miracle
- Straight Out of Hell
- Back On Trakk