Mike Tramp Comments On Band’s Withdrawal From POISON/RATT Tour
In response to the recent rumors surrounding WHITE LION and the POISON/RATT summer tour, WHITE LION frontman Mike Tramp has issued the following statement:
“On behalf of myself and WHITE LION, I would like to clear up the many misperceptions and rumors that have been created by Live Nation’s decision to withdraw WHITE LION as the opening act of the summer 2007 POISON tour. While we are limited in what we can say about the issue because of pending litigation, we can inform everyone that Live Nation’s decision was not based on any controversy over whether Mike Tramp has the legal right to perform as WHITE LION. Our information is that Live Nation’s decision was based upon a threatened lawsuit by former WHITE LION guitarist Vito Bratta. Even though Live Nation believed Vito’s lawsuit to be frivolous and had confirmed that Mike Tramp has the legal right to perform as WHITE LION, they did not want to spend ‘one dollar’ on litigation. Faced with the cancellation of a tour that was to begin within weeks, our attorneys went the extra mile to work out a deal with Vito Bratta to drop his threatened lawsuit but even with the threat of litigation eliminated, Live Nation continued on their ill-informed course of dropping WHITE LION from the POISON tour. Like myself, I know that there are many fans across the United States who are extremely disappointed by Live Nation’s decision and we intend to use all options to fight this arbitrary and misinformed decision. Hopefully, there will be a day when decisions about staging a rock n’ roll tour will be more about pleasing the fans and less about conservative and baseless corporate decisions. Unfortunately, as has been the case far too many times, instead of playing rock n’ roll as planned, we are going to end up in court.”
Despite the band’s removal from the POISON/RATT tour, WHITE LION will continue touring and fulfill their many headline shows in the U.S. that were scheduled between the POISON shows, including the Rocklahoma festival. Tramp has also confirmed to MelodicRock.com that the band has just finished recording its new studio album, to be released later this year. The CD will be mixed by Dennis Ward and will be titled “Return of the Pride”.
Said Mike: “WHITE LION just finished a killer show at Gods of Metal festival in Milan/Italy, and will appear on Sweden Rock June 8….It’s only just begun.”
VAINS OF JENNA will take over WHITE LION’s spot on the POISON/RATT summer tour.
A&E Gives Green Light To Third Season Of ‘Gene Simmons Family Jewels
According to Variety, the decision was an easy one: “Jewels” is A&E‘s second-highest-rated series ever in the 18-to-49 and 25-to-54 adult demographics, behind only “Dog the Bounty Hunter”. “Jewels” did even better in its second season than in its first, leaping by 15 percent in total viewers to a 1.5 million average and climbing by 11 percent in adults 18 to 49 and by 8 percent in adults 25 to 54.
A&E‘s relationship with Mr. Simmons started with a one-shot “Biography” hour of the rock legend and KISS bassist/vocalist. That “Biography” episode scored so well in the Nielsens that A&E negotiated with Mr. Simmons and “Jewels” executive producer Leslie Grief to create a 13-episode weekly half-hour series that would delve into the rock star’s life with his common-law partner, former Playboy Playmate Shannon Tweed, and their teenage son and daughter.
Ex-KISS Drummer PETER CRISS: ‘One For All’ Cover Artwork Revealed
“One for All” is scheduled for release on July 24 on Silvercat Records, distributed by Sony/RED. The CD will be distributed day-and-date to fans across the globe.
An autobiographical collection of songs that Criss produced and recorded over the course of two years, “One for All” also includes several cover tunes that reflect his outlook on life at this point in his long-standing career.
The lead vocalist and co-writer of what to this day remains KISS‘ biggest Billboard hit, “Beth”, which also went on to win a People’s Choice Award, Criss goes back to his songwriting roots with this new CD. Says Criss: “The most important thing is that my fans and other people will get a whole new outlook on me with this CD. I’m reinventing myself at my own pace, and for me, it’s now, more than ever, about being true.”
“One for All” is the first fully self-produced CD that Criss has recorded — in addition to arranging and writing the lyrics and melodies for most of the material on the CD.
Joined by longtime friends and acclaimed musicians — Grammy award-winning bandleader Paul Shaffer and bassist Will Lee, as well as guitarist Mike McLaughlin — “One for All” is a variously styled project, profoundly rich in ballads that touches on all aspects of Criss‘ life, and draws on his love of rock and R&B. The title track, recorded with the Church of Transfiguration Boys Choir, was written in the wake of 9/11 and sets the tone for the CD. Other songs include: “Doesn’t Get Better Than This”, “Last Night”, “Faces in the Crowd”, “Heart Behind the Hands”, “Send in The Clowns”, and even a tribute song to his longtime bandmate and friend Ace Frehley, titled “Space Ace”.
The opening track, He’s a Woman – She’s a Man is a high speed rocking affair. It is a track that demands several replays. Roland Grapow and Michael Weikath tear it up on the guitar on this song.
The version of Jethro Tull’s Locomotive Breath is far heavier than the original. Helloween has nearly turned this into a thrash song. Very cool!
One of the strangest groups for a metal band to cover would have to be Abba. The progressive metal elements that Helloween adds to the track, Lay All of Your Love on Me, makes this one of the coolest sounding covers in a long time.
He’s a Woman, She’s A Man
Lay All of Your Love on Me
The cover of Space Oddity remains pretty true to the original, and doesn’t really add anything new. It sounds ok, and I do like the original. It would have been cool to see Helloween do something different with it, but they didn’t.
It is interesting to hear Helloween’s version of Faith No More’s From Out of Nowhere. I thought it was strange that Helloween would cover a newer track like this, considering the age of the other songs on this record. Quite frankly, I like the Faith No More version of this song better.
The super fast bass licks on the Beatles, All My Loving turn this into an interesting sounding track. It is very short, and is over in the blink of an eye.
I am sure that you have heard Hocus Pocus a thousand times on mainstream rock radio. Helloween’s version is a little bit heavier than the original. I like this version a lot.
I have not heard the original version of Faith Healer, so I do not know how it compares to the original. It takes far too long for this song to get going, and it doesn’t hold my interest.
Juggernaut is much better than the track preceding. Once again, I am not familiar with Frank Marino’s music. If it sounds anywhere near as good as this Helloween cover, then I need to be finding some of his stuff.
Helloween’s cover of the Cream song White Room, has a much heavier edge than the original version. It is an above average remake of this song. This sound of this song reminds me a bunch of older Leatherwolf tunes. It has that same kind of feel.
The final two tracks, Mexican and Rat Bat Blue didn’t really do anything for me. They are just ok.
Much like the Overkill release, Helloween’s Metal Jukebox is a solid cover disc, but not exciting enough for most fans to pick up. This is a disc that will be essential to Helloween fans only.
Rating:Out of 10
1. He’s a Woman – She’s a Man (Scorpions)
2. Locomotive Breath (Jethro Tull)
3. Lay All of Your Love on Me (Abba)
4. Space Oddity (David Bowie)
5. From Out of Nowhere (Faith No More)
6. All My Loving (The Beatles)
7. Hocus Pocus (Focus)
8. Faith Healer (Alex Harvey)
9. Juggernaut (Frank Marino)
10. White Room (Cream)
11. Mexican (Babe Ruth)
12. Rat Bat Blue*(Deep Purple, Bonus Track)
Foreigner is eyeing “either the end of this year or early next year” to release a new album, according to group founder Mick Jones. And it’s likely to contain a mix of both brand new and familiar material.
Jones and the reconstituted band — which features Led Zeppelin progeny Jason Bonham on drums, former Dokken bassist Jeff Pilson and Kelly Hansen on vocals — were recently in an Atlanta studio recording new versions of some of its older material, including a “stripped down” take of the 1987 hit “Say You Will.” On top of that, Jones tells Billboard.com there are “about four or five (new) songs that we have pretty much ready to go,” though he’s not yet ready to reveal titles or final recording plans.
“During the fall we’ll take a couple months off to focus in on the writing and get some new product,” Jones says. “Gradually it’s been coming. It’s just been a question of feeling out where I want to go with the music. I want it to flow naturally. I don’t want to sort of do anything consciously to go in a certain direction. I want to be guided by my inner intuitions.”
Jones has other ideas for Foreigner as well. The group is considering filming a concert DVD this year, and he says there are plans to “do a specific concert playing the whole of the ‘4’ album in sequence, with a live audience. We wouldn’t play it exactly like the record, but we’d play it in the sequence and change the arrangements a little.”
There are, however, no plans to celebrate this year’s 30th anniversary of the release of Foreigner’s self-titled debut album, which sold more than four million copies and launched the hits “Feel Like the First Time” and “Cold as Ice.”
“Everybody’s conscious of” the anniversary, Jones says, “but I guess I just haven’t been dwelling on it much. I don’t think we’re even talking about it. These days, at a lot of the concerts, the front rows are tons of kids, like 18- to 25-year olds, maybe even younger, and they’re pretty much doing the same kinds of things that kids did 25, 30 years ago … a lot of underwear coming on stage!”
“I think it’s sort of incredible. It’s such a gift to look out and see that the songs have somehow survived and they’ve got almost kind of a rebirth here,” he continues.
Courtesy of Billboard Magazine
Poison Webcast Today!!
New Video by Operator!
Their debut CD, Soulcrusher, hits the stores on June 26th.
Check out the new video, for the track Soulcrusher! (Warning! There is explicit content in this video. It is not work safe!)
Overkill got into the heavy metal covers game, with their 1999 disc, Coverkill. I have heard this referred to many times, as Overkill’s Garage Days, as it was released the following year after Metallica’s cover disc.
This disc starts firing on all cylinders with a blistering live cut of the Motorhead song, Overkill.
Tyrant is a cool Judas Priest song, but I don’t think Bobby Ellsworth can quite live up to Rob Halford’s vocals. It is a solid version, but not essential.
My favorite cuts on this disc are the Kiss cover, Deuce, and the remake of Jethro Tull’s Hymn 43.
Coverkill is a decent release by Overkill, and probably the most mainstream recording offered by the band. Coverkill is a solid cover disc, but it probably one that only the diehard Overkill fans will find essential to their collection.
Rating:Out of 10
1. Overkill (Motorhead)
2. No Feelings (Sex Pistols)
3. Hymn 43 (Jethro Tull)
4. Changes (Black Sabbath)
5. Space Truckin’ (Deep Purple)
6. Deuce (KISS)
7. Never Say Die (Black Sabbath)
8. Death Tone (Manowar)
9. Cornucopia (Black Sabbath)
10. Tyrant (Judas Priest)
11. Ain’t Nothin’ to Do (Dead Boys)
12. I’m Against It (Ramones)
In 1998, Metallica released Garage, Inc., a two disc set of songs that were all cover tunes. The second disc were cover songs from their previous releases, and the first disc was all new covers by the band.
Out of all of the covers discs that have been released, this one is still amongst my favorites. Quite a few of the tracks in this set, I had no idea they were covers the first time I heard them.
I never listened to the Misfits, Budgie or Diamond Head, so the tracks Metallica covered by these groups were brand new songs to me. The Metallica versions of these songs were so good, that it did not matter to me once I knew they were covers.
One of my favorites has always been Metallica’s cover of Queen’s Stone Cold Crazy.
As far as cover discs go, this collection has the most bang for the buck for in 2007. This is probably the best collection of cover tunes by any hard rock band to date.
Die Die My Darling
Am I Evil?
Stone Cold Crazy
Turn the Page
Whiskey in the Jar
Rating: Out of 10
1. Free Speech For The Dumb – (originally recorded by Discharge)
2. It’s Electric – (originally recorded by Diamond Head)
3. Sabbra Cadabra – (originally recorded by Black Sabbath)
4. Turn The Page – (originally recorded by Bob Seger)
5. Die Die My Darling – (originally recorded by the Misfits)
6. Loverman – (originally recorded by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds)
7. Mercyful Fate – featuring Evil, Curse of the Pharaohs, Satan’s
8. Astronomy – (originally recorded by Blue Oyster Cult)
9. Whiskey In The Jar – (originally recorded by Thin Lizzy)
10. Tuesday’s Gone – (originally recorded by Lynyrd Skynyrd)
11. The More I See – (originally recorded by Discharge)
1. Helpless – (originally recorded by Diamond Head
2. The Small Hours – (originally recorded by Holocaust)
3. The Wait – (originally recorded by Killing Joke)
4. Last Caress/Green Hell – (originally recorded by The Misfits)
5. Am I Evil? – (originally recorded by Diamond Head)
6. Blitzkrieg – (originally recorded by Blitzkrieg)
7. Breadfan – (originally recorded by Budgie)
8. The Prince – (originally recorded by Diamond Head)
9. Stone Cold Crazy – (originally recorded by Queen)
10. So What – (originally recorded by the Anti-Nowhere League)
11. Killing Time – (originally recorded by Sweet Savage)
12. Overkill – (originally recorded by Motorhead)
13. Damage Case – (originally recorded by Motorhead)
14. Stone Dead Forever – (originally recorded by Motorhead)
15. Too Late Too Late – (originally recorded by Motorhead)
16. Crash Course in Brain Surgery (originally recorded by Budgie)
B-Side Ourselves is only a 5 song EP, so it can hardly be considered to be a full length release.
On this disc, you get 4 studio tracks, and one live cut.
The band sounds great, but as with most covers discs, you enjoyment from this release will depend on how much you like the original songs.
There is a solid but not stellar duet with Rob Halford on Delivering the Goods.
The cover of the Jimi Hendrix song Little Wing is a very decent rendition. I don’t think most people realize they released a video for this song.
B-Side Ourselves clocks in under 20 minutes. You can find this one for next to nothing on the web. Did this disc start the cover disc trend? I am not sure, but I am positive this offering by Skid Row led to more releases of the same nature.
Rating: Out of 10
1. Psycho Therapy (The Ramones)
2. C’Mon And Love Me (KISS)
3. Delivering the Goods [Live] (Judas Priest)
4. What You’re Doing (Rush)
5. Little Wing (Jimi Hendrix)
WHITE LION To Be Part Of POISON US Tour After All?
According to BW&BK sources, WHITE LION might be on POISON’s US tour this summer after all. An official press release confirming the tour line-up is expected Monday morning (June 4th) at 9am PST. As we reported yesterday (June 2nd), VAINS OF JENNA had been officially tapped as their replacement for the tour. Rumour has it that White Lion’s apparent removal from the bill was the direct result of a cease and desist order, issued by former guitarist Vito Bratta, in regard to the use of the White Lion name.
Ronnie James Dio sells house!
Ronnie James Dio has sold a three-bedroom, 1,981-square-foot house in Los Angeles’ Hollywood Hills for $1,110,000.
Buckcherry announced they are teaming up with Hinder and Papa Roach for the “Bad Boys of Rock” summer tour, starting July 13 in Lansing, Michigan at the Adado Riverfront Park (complete itinerary below). Having traversed the globe for the past year in support of their current release 15 (Eleven Seven Music/Atlantic Records), Buckcherry are ready to fill stadiums luring fans with smash hits “Crazy Bitch,” “Everything” and crowd favorite “Lit Up.” The tour was secured when Buckcherry were recently honored by Hinder and Papa Roach for their 200th show and one-year anniversary of “15” in April at Buzzfest in Houston, TX. “Guaranteed to be slammin’ — the rock tour of the summer!” said Josh Todd.
The track just passed 2200 spins at radio and is ranked #7 at active rock and #7 at mainstream and going to Top 40 now. “15” has remained in the Top 200 since its debut in April 2006
“Bad Boys of Rock” Itinerary
- July 13 Lansing, MI Adado Riverfront Park
- July 14 Chesaning, MI Chesaning Showboat Amphitheatre
- July 15 Evansville, IN Roberts Stadium
- July 17 Louisville, KY Louisville Gardens
- July 18 Indianapolis, IN The Lawn at White River State Park
- July 20 St. Paul, MN MYTH
- **July 21 Council Bluffs, IA WestFair Amphitheatre **(KIWR radio show)
- July 24 Denver, CO The Fillmore Auditorium
- July 26 Valley Center, KS Kansas Coliseum
- July 27 Maryland Heights, MO Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
- July 28 Dubuque, IA Dubuque County Fair
- July 31 Mesa, AZ Mesa Amphitheatre
- Aug 1 Costa Mesa, CA Pacific Amphitheatre
- Aug 3 Kelseyville, CA Konocti Harbor Resort & Spa – Field
- Aug 4 Las Vegas, NV The Pearl Theater at Palms Casino
- Aug 19 Lima, OH Allen County Fair
- Aug 21 Chicago, IL Northerly Island – Charter One Pavilion
- Aug 22 Burgettstown, PA Post Gazette Pavilion
- Aug 24 Cleveland, OH Time Warner Cable Amphitheater at Tower City
- Aug 25 Columbia, MD Merriweather Post Pavilion
- Aug 26 Essex Junction, VT Champlain Valley Exposition
- Aug 28 Boston, MA Bank of America Pavilion
- Aug 29 Allentown, PA The Great Allentown Fair
- Aug 30 Syracuse, NY New York State Fair Grandstand
- Sept 7 Clarkston, MI DTE Energy Music Theatre
- Sept 8 Allegan, MI Allegan County Fair
- Sept 9 Peoria, IL Peoria Civic Center Arena
- Sept 12 York, PA York Fair Grandstand
Hard Rock cover tunes have been a staple since the 1970’s. Just about every Hard Rock Band from Anthrax to Van Halen have recorded cover tunes on one (or more) of their discs. In the case of Motley Crue, and Quiet Riot, hits have been scored from cover songs.
Sometime in the 90’s it became common place for hard rock tribute albums to sprout up, and the in the late 90’s the trend of hard rock cover albums began. Love them or hate them, this is a trend that will likely continue.
This week at the Hard Rock Hideout, I will be reviewing covers discs as well as posting some other subjects on the topic. Later in the week, I will post reviews for the covers discs by Poison and Tesla.
Stop back each day for the latest reviews and news!
In March of 2007, Warrant released a video companion to their 2006 CD, Born Again.
In case you didn’t know, Born Again is the first CD, featuring former Black ‘N Blue vocalist, Jamie St. James as the new singer of Warrant. The CD, Born Again is a very solid effort by Warrant, and returns them to the sound that made the band famous.
The video is unique in the fact that is has videos for every song off the CD, Born Again. I don’t recall another band doing this before.
The sound on the DVD is perfect, but the videos are a little repetitive and have somewhat amateurish video editing effects.
I did get quite a bit out of watching the behind the scene features on this disc. The band recorded a bunch of footage of the time when they were in the studio recording the tracks for this CD. I thought this part of the DVD was kind of interesting, but not everyone may share my opinion.
There are quite a few funny moments on the DVD. The guys seem to be having a lot of fun.
You can find this DVD for as little as $13.00 in some retailers. The reasonable cost may make this a DVD worth picking up.
Diehard Warrant fans will want to own this. Other fans may not find this disc as appealing. For the fans attending the Rocklahoma music festival that may not have experienced, Jamie St. James as Warrant’s new front man, this is the only way to do it.
Check out the videos below, for Bourbon County Line, and Devil’s Juice.
Bourbon County Line
Rating: Out of 10
Heaven And Hell Sets Date For Live CD/DVD
As tipped here this spring, Heaven And Hell’s March 30 concert at New York’s Radio City Music Hall is headed to DVD Aug. 28 via Rhino. The aptly named “Heaven And Hell Live From Radio City” marks former Black Sabbath cohorts Ronnie James Dio, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Vinny Appice’s first U.S. show in 15 years.
The project will be available as a two-CD set, a single-disc DVD and a deluxe three-disc edition with both the CDs and the DVD. The latter incarnation, which includes a tour program, a backstage laminate and photos, will only be available via Rhino’s Web site.
At Radio City, the group played fan favorites such as “Neon Knights, “The Mob Rules,” a 15-minute “Heaven and Hell” and two new songs, “The Devil Cried” and “Shadow of the Wind.”
“By calling it Heaven And Hell, you know exactly what you’re getting and it doesn’t interfere with anything,” Iommi told Billboard.com in March. “There’s no, ‘Is it really Black Sabbath?’ and all that rubbish. Of course, we have been out as Black Sabbath with this lineup, so we could do it. But I think it’s best to go as Heaven And Hell
The band is playing summer festivals internationally in the coming weeks, and will return to North America for more shows in early September.
Here is the track list for “Heaven And Hell Live From Radio City”:
“E5150/After All (The Dead)”
“The Mob Rules”
“Children of the Sea”
“The Sign of the Southern Cross”
“The Devil Cried”
“Falling Off the Edge of the World”
“Shadow of the Wind”
“Heaven and Hell”
“Lonely Is the Word”
Join POISON live on Tuesday, June 5 at 12:00 noon PST as they perform songs from their new album, “Poison’d”, as well as classic tunes. The band will also answer fan questions live on the air.
Submit your questions now by sending them to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Log onto PoisonWeb.com on the above-listed date and time to view the webcast live, hosted by Wicked Pictures’ Kirsten Price.
Featuring POISON’s original members, Bret Michaels (vocals), C.C. DeVille (guitar), Rikki Rockett (drums) and Bobby Dall (bass), “Poison’d” presents the band’s first new studio recordings since 2002’s “Hollyweird”. Produced by Don Was at Hensen Recording Studios in Hollywood, “Poison’d” packs 13 explosive tracks, including new recordings of DAVID BOWIE’s “Suffragette City”, THE CARS’ “You’re Just What I Needed”, THE ROMANTICS’ “What I Like About You”, SWEET’s “Little Willy”, THE MARSHALL TUCKER BAND’s “Can’t You See” and THE ROLLING STONES’ “Dead Flowers”. Some of POISON’s best previously recorded covers are also featured on “Poison’d”, including KISS’ “Rock and Roll All Nite”, GRAND FUNK RAILROAD’s “We’re An American Band” and LOGGINS AND MESSINA’s “Your Mama Don’t Dance”.
POISON will hit more than 50 U.S. cities this summer on their “Poison’d!” nationwide tour with RATT and special guest WHITE LION joining POISON for most of the dates.
MTV Unplugged returns with the Police and Bon Jovi
EW YORK (Billboard) – MTV’s on-again, off-again “Unplugged” program will return in a big way this summer, with new episodes featuring the Police, Bon Jovi, Kenny Chesney, Mary J. Blige and John Mayer.
This time around, however, the show will be rolled out on a variety of related channels and platforms, including VH1, CMT and MTV.com.
Bon Jovi will usher in the 2007 edition of the series beginning June 22 on MTV. The next two evenings, VH1 and CMT will air a version of “Unplugged” specifically tailored to those channels’ audiences.
Bon Jovi is credited with inspiring the “Unplugged” format after its stripped-down performance on the 1989 MTV Video Music Awards. The group’s appearance coincides with its new country-tinged album, “Lost Highway,” due in stores June 19.
No information has yet been unveiled about the other tapings, although the Police will reportedly hold their “Unplugged” show in mid-July in Miami.
Kirk Hammett: New CD is the best we have done in 15 Years!
METALLICA’s KIRK HAMMETT: New CD Is ‘Best Album We’ve Done In Fifteen Years’
Austria’s Krone.at recently conducted an interview with METALLICA guitarist Kirk Hammett. A rough English-language translation of the interview (which was published in German on the Krone.at web site) follows:
Krone.at: We are looking forward to METALLICA‘s “Sick Of The Studio ’07” tour. Has the itching in your fingers started, yet?
Kirk Hammett: Oh yeah, summer time is always a good time to get out and do some shows. It’s the time of the festivals and the weater is nice and warm, everyone’s in a good mood. It’s really fun for us and really convenient to go out and do some shows in the summer. It isn’t so much that we’re sick of the studio as it is, we just wanna go out and play and have some fun. And not lose touch of what we are, being a live band. It seems we were in the studio for the last two years. Although we did play some shows last year, but it still seems like we’ve been in the studio forever.
Krone.at: So it’s kind of a withdrawal symptom…
Kirk Hammett: Yes, exactly. We need treatment!
Krone.at: I got the pleasure to see the show of yours on last year’s Novarock festival. The one were you had Lemmy Kilmister and that guy from ALICE IN CHAINS on stage…
Kirk Hammett: Yeah, I remember. That was fun…
Krone.at: You know, people still talk about that concert here. Was is that terrific from your point of view as well?
Kirk Hammett: Well, whenever we can get Lemmy on stage and play a couple of songs with him, that’s always a terrific thing. ‘Cause Lemmy, he’s the guy, one of the grandfathers of heavy metal.
Krone.at: Do you remember some other things about Austria or from that day?
Kirk Hammett: Let’s see. Well, we played a series of songs from the “Masters of Puppets” album, we played with Lemmy and then we left. (laugh) But Austria is just a beautiful place, Vienna’s a beautiful city with a lot of history and beautiful museums I must say. I always love coming here for sure…
Krone.at: I can hardly imagine you strolling through a Viennese museum…
Kirk Hammett: Yeah, I’ve been to a couple of them. I am the museum kind of guy, believe it or not!
Krone.at: Okay, got me convinced. Why “Sick Of The Studio” anyway? Would you say that you’re addicted to cheering crowds?
Kirk Hammett: Totally! If I played my guitar and I looked up, do I wanna see the other three guys of the band or do I wanna see 30,000 cheering people? (laugh) It depends on what mood I am in. If I am in the mood to do some creative things, write some songs, record an album, then I’d rather look into the rest of the band. But if I’m in the mood to just rock out and really have fun and play our best material, I’d rather look up and see a 30,000 fans out there.
Krone.at: You’re taking a lot of bands on you tour, most of them are American but all the concerts take place in Europe. So, is our continent a better place to rock your ass off?
Kirk Hammett: Absolutely! You know, Europe in general is a lot more appreciative of heavy metal than other regions. Heavy metal never really went away in Europe, it took kind’a step aside though. Whereas heavy metal in America was popular fifteen years ago, then it ran out of popularity and now it’s just popular again. I mean, you go where people appreciate your music. I don’t wanna say there isn’t anyone who doesn’t appreciate the music in the states — I’d just say that there are more people in Europa appreciating our music and heavy metal itself.
Krone.at: Is there a difference in the temper of the people as well?
Kirk Hammett: When we come over to Europe the audiences usually go nuts! (laughs) They are very passionate about our music. We can tell — it’s very obvious to us, when we play songs how the audience reacts to our music — the Europeans just go nuts! They are a lot more informed about the band, they know more about the band and its history. Also about the music and the lyrics. It’s more than just popularity, in Europe they really go out and try to get to know the band.
Krone.at: Can you tell me some things about the new album you’re working on?
Kirk Hammett: I think it’s the best album we’ve put out in, say, fifteen years.
Krone.at: Oh, but that rules out quite a lot of work you’ve done in the past!
Kirk Hammett: Yeah, it’s our eleventh studio album, but it feels like our sixth. It’s just a really spectacular range of songs. This time we’re not afraid to refer to our past music in order to create future music. People will see that we’ve kind of embraced our old vocabulary again and are using that vocabulary to express new things. I’m super excited to make this album, finish it and release it — ’cause then we can go out and play it to the people. We might have stretched our cores a little too much in the last fifteen years, but we’ve always came back to what we originally are and have been. I think with this album we’re definitely going a little more back into our roots.
Krone.at: Does this mean, you’re heading from “St. Anger” as a start further into, let’s say, the raw meat!?
Kirk Hammett: Yeah, it’s super raw! There are some songs on that album that are so fast, that James and I kinda look at each other and go, “Ouch! Our wrist are gonna fall off.” There are a lot of really, really fast songs, a whole lot of really heavy stuff. We changed our approach to writing the songs, all of us were working on the material this time. We also changed our tuning. With “St. Anger” we had the guitars really low. This time, we tuned the guitars back up to what they originally were for the first five albums. Because we’ve done that, James‘ voice sounds more like it did in the ’80s than it did in the ’90s. There’s a lot of changes that we’ve made, but I believe that they are all for the better.
Krone.at: Was there a need to go back to the roots and avoid melodies and slow stuff because of the rise of bands like 30 SECONDS TO MARS, for example, or some other emo, nu metal, whatever you may call it band?
Kirk Hammett: Yeah, you know. I don’t really understand what emo, the description means…
Krone.at: Well, me neither…
Kirk Hammett: Yeah, every time when I ask my friends about those things, they give me answer that simply doesn’t explain anything. (laugh) I’ll tell you, there are some melodic songs that we’ve written, that do have a lot of melody. I myself would like to see this songs go on the album. But wheter they do or not remains to be seen. We do have a lot of songs, but only nine or ten will make it on the actual album. But there definitely are some songs that are in some ways slower and melodic — but they do get heavy at some point during the song.
Krone.at: Your music often deals with anger, rage and feelings — regarding the emotional side, it probably does more often than a classic opera. Do you think, especially yours, is a good way to express rage, deal with anger and just lose it?
Kirk Hammett: Yeah, right. I totally agree. I know that when I am just really mad, really pissed of and I wanna take it out on something, I know that playing this music just makes me feel so much better, because I can just listen to music and scream and yell an thrash around — and afterwards I feel much better. I feel much better than going to Wal-Mart, picking up a gun and going to a high school shooting thirdy people. You know what I mean? The thereapeutic side of music is so tremendous and valuable, because it keeps people from doing drastic things and drawing measures. You know, if all people would go to a heavy metal concert from time to time, there would be a lot off less crime in the world. People will always have to get rid of their anger, and there will always be heavy metal living with them.
Krone.at: We’re looking forward to you eleventh studio album, like you said. METALLICA turns 26 this year; what is it that still drives you to take on the challenge of pushing the limits, your career and the heavy metal genre itself? What’s the competition?
Kirk Hammett: I think the comepetition is trying to compete with what you’ve done in the past. Competing with yourself. We’ve been doing this for so long, like you said, twenty-five, twenty-six years — I lost count. But I can’t fix a toilet, Lars can’t fix a vehicle — James probably can. (laugh) We make music and we wanna make the best music out there. We wanna make music that holds on his own and is creativly stimulating. To me that’s the challenge, coming up with something new and creative. Creating great music and then go out there and have fun with. To me, that’s the real competition to see if we can do it better than we did last time. In the past, I’ll be the first one to admit, we haven’t done a few times not as good as we used to. At least, we hadn’t done it as good as the previous time. But the fact that we still wanna do it is really important. We still wanna be able to go on tour and make albums and just do the best that we possibly can.
Krone.at: But from this point of view, it’s a neverending story, isn’t it? Can you imagine, just imagine, putting an end to it at some time in the future?
Kirk Hammett: Well, that’s a good question and I don’t know if I can answer that!? THE ROLLING STONES — Keith Richards is sixty years old and is still doing it, and I can tell that he loves doing it. Mick Jagger, Ron Wood — those guys are still having a lot of fund. As long as they can do it — they are pushing the age-limit to do this sort of things. If Keith Richards is sixty years old and still doing it — why can’t I just do when I am sixty years old? It might be kind of funny playing “Seek and Destroy” when you’re sixty. But if people still wanna see us playing “Seek and Destroy” when we’re sixty years old — I’ll do it in a heartbeat!
Krone.at: When was the last day you can think of, when you didn’t touch any guitar?
Kirk Hammett: Mmh… probably last week. And the reason for that was, my baby-son. I was doing baby stuff all day…
Krone.at: At least it’s a good excuse…
Kirk Hammett: Yeah! (laugh) I still try to play as much guitar as I possibly as much as I can. Now that we’re in the studio, I try even harder.
Krone.at: I was standing right in the middle of the crowd during that concert of yours last year on Novarock festival. What I noticed was, that people began to ball up their fist, as soon as you conquered the stage. Before, with all the other acts, people just did this yeah-thing with the two fingers stretched away. Do you have an explanation for this?
Kirk Hammett: They believe in us. That’s the only explanation I can give. They believe in the power of the music, in the fact that we can deliver it. They believe in what he have to say musically and lyrically. I think that’s it. Either that, or they were really mad at us. (laugh) No, I’m joking. They really believe in us and what we have to say. And that’s good, because we’re working really hard and it’s good, seeing other people recognizing what we believe in and at the same time taking on this believe. It’s like the most beautiful and — not only is it beautiful, it has such integritiy. It’s a great and powerful thing. I feel very fortunate to be in a space were complete strangers show you their belief in what you’re doing.
Krone.at: Heavy metal associated or combined with a distinctive style of clothing, of behaviour and appearance. You know, the leather trousers, the band-t-shirts, and so on; what do you think is most fascinating about the genre, the music and the people in heavy metal?
Kirk Hammett: Again, people believe in it. It’s because people are outcasts. There are lot of outcasts, a lot of disaffected people, a lot of people who don’t really fit in for whatever reason or another. You know, becoming a part of a movement or a musical movement like heavy metal gives people who never really fitted in a tense to fit in. Heavy metal provides a look, an attitude, a way of thinking and a way of drinking (laughs) for people who don’t fit into the normal patterns of life. That’s why heavy metal attracts so many different kinds of people. That’s why I think heavy metal is truly understood all over the world. Unlike Latin music, for example, which can hardly be understood if you don’t belong to that culture or at least know it very well. Heavy metal is not attached to any sort of ethnic idea or some sort of tradition; although it is a tradition in itself, but it’s not traditional. You can come from anywhere, Africa, Australia or Argentina and hear heavy metal and unterstand it. Again, that’s the most powerful thing about heavy metal. It’s just an incredible thing for me to watch, to go travel the world and see all these different kinds of people, rushing into one kind of music and one kind of attitude. It’s amazing. Heavy metal is a very human type of music. Human! I just love it!
Krone.at: Since we talked about looks and feel… Last question: How long are you having that haircut of yours? Fifteen years, twenty years?
Kirk Hammett: Are you saying, when am I gonna cut it? No, you mean, if I wanna maintain this look, is that what you’re saying?
Krone.at: Yeah, basically…
Kirk Hammett: Well, I’m wearing long hair since the first day I can think of. No, I’m not gonna cut it! But it starts to fall out…
Krone.at: So, with sixty, you’re gonna play bald — but loud…
Kirk Hammett: Yes, (laugh) bald and loud, loud and bald….
Krone.at: Thank you for the interview, Kirk.
Kirk Hammett: Yeah, see you in Austria!
The band BB Steal (Beg Borrow Steal) features Craig CSongrady on Vocals, Kevin Pratt on Guitar, James Young on Drums and Warren Masson on Bass Guitar.
This CD by is a disc that is becoming increasingly harder to find and has been selling for as much as $30.00 on Ebay as of late.
Would I consider this disc essential? That depends on your love for the band Def Leppard. If you like that band, then you will love BB Steal.
On The Edge has quite a few decent tracks, including Big Love, Suffer In Silence, Live It Up, and Love Me and Leave Me.
Live It Up
Love Me and Leave Me
On The Edge may not offer you anything that sounds completely original, but it an above average sounding melodic rock disc, and certainly one worth seeking out.
Rating: Out of 10
- On The Edge (Lizzy Town)
- Big Love
- Ride On
- Suffer In Silence
- Live It Up
- Shot Full Of Love
- Precious Love
- (Don’t You) Love Me And Leave Me
- Heartbeat Away
- Troubled Child