When I heard my favorite radio DJ announce Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Farewell Tour my stomach sank. Yes things change, and I realize the band isn’t the same as it was when those first classic albums were recorded, but the band lived on. It sounds like I’ll have to come to grips that this may be it, and another chapter of American music history is coming to a close.
Official Announcement of theLast of the Street Survivors Farewell Tour
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – After a career that has spanned more than 40 years and includes a catalog of more than 60 albums, Southern Rock icons, Lynyrd Skynyrd, will embark on its final Last of the Street Survivors Farewell Tour presented by SiriusXM. The first leg of the career-concluding tour, produced by Live Nation, will kick off Friday, May 4 in West Palm Beach, FL at the Coral Sky Amphitheater and will wrap Saturday, September 1 in Atlanta, GA at the Cellairis Amphitheater at Lakewood. The tour will cross the country throughout the summer over Fridays and Saturdays to give fans one last memorable night of classic American Rock-and-Roll.
Skip past the tribute bands if you’re looking for the tour dates. The list below displays all shows with the band name in them.
For the second consecutive year the annual Rock USA festival in Oshkosh Wisconsin has catered to the Metal crowd almost exclusively, eschewing the classic rock, grunge and “hair metal” of some of its previous line ups.
Held at the 350-acre Ford Festival Field, Rock USA has a ticket to fit almost any rock fan’s budget. Ticket offerings range from V.I.P. reserved seating and parking with complimentary food a beverages or a “Pit Pass” that allows access to a general admission pit area at the foot of the stage to a more standard budget minded general admission ticket. The grounds also offer camping packages for those so inclined.
While sticking to the previous years focus on Metal, promoters did an admirable job of tightening up the down time between bands and lengthening set times as well as adding new food and beverage options over previous years.
It’s been nearly six months since The Pretty Reckless put out its third studio album, Who You Selling For, on October 21st, 2016. The band’s latest single, “Oh My God,” has been out for even longer (since September 9th, 2016), yet it is still burning up the top of the Billboard mainstream rock charts.
Since starting in 2009, The Pretty Reckless, which consists of Taylor Momsen on vocals and guitar, Jamie Perkins on drums, Mark Damon on bass, and Ben Phillips on backing vocals and guitar, have courted controversy. Momsen was previously a child actor who shed her Hollywood skin and stepped perfectly into the role of rock frontwoman.
The band’s other two albums, 2010’s Light Me Up and 2012’s Going to Hell, were huge hits as well.
Since the release of Who You Selling For, The Pretty Reckless have made music videos for singles “Take Me Down” and “Oh My God,” the former of which has nearly one million views on their official YouTube channel. The band also made a very popular lyric video for “Oh My God.”
The Pretty Reckless - Oh My God (Official Music Video) - YouTube
In support of their latest album, Momsen and crew hit the road in October 2016 on the Who You Selling For Tour. The mega-tour will include 86 shows. Six of those are in South America, 27 are in Europe, and 53 are in North America.
The tour wraps up on August 27th, where the band will play in Leeds, England at Bramham Park. This month, you can see The Pretty Reckless in Brazil, Argentina, Chile, and Mexico. They’ll circle back around for their second North American leg beginning April 25th in Boston, Massachusetts at the Paradise Rock Club.
By Jon Wiederhorn June 11, 2017 5:20 AM | Loudwire Atlantic Records
Many commercial metal bands that garnered mainstream attention in the ‘80s and ‘90s suddenly became tamer and more calculated. In addition to handlers and label executives who urged groups to tone down their sound to reach the next level of popularity (see Motley Crue, Ratt, Guns N’ Roses and Dokken for starters), musicians feeling the power of a good ballad naturally gravitated towards what was earning them hits and scoring them chicks. Perhaps sensing the dawn of a new era of music, Skid Row took the opposite route for their second album, Slave to the Grind , which came out on June 11, 1991.
The record was heavier and grittier than their 1989 self-titled debut, which included the hit singles “18 and Life,”“I Remember You” and “Youth Gone Wild.” It might have seemed like a bold, even foolhardy move since the debut disc catapulted Skid Row from the clubs to the sheds and arenas and eventually sold 5 million copies in the U.S. But the band didn’t care. They were tired of playing it safe and wanted to return to the spotlight with fast and furious songs like the punchy “ Monkey Business ” and “ Slave to the Grind ,” which featured a riff that bordered on speed metal. Besides, frontman Sebastian Bach had proven by that time that he wasn’t just another pretty face looking for a(nother) hit music video, and that his personality was as rooted in ‘70s punk as ‘80s metal.
No one questioned Bach’s reputation as a rock and roll bad boy. He had already demonstrated his impulsiveness and volatility at a show in Springfield, Mass., opening for Aerosmith when he picked up a bottle that had been thrown onstage and winged it back into the crowd, hitting a girl who had nothing to do with the incident. Pouring gasoline on the fire, Bach then dove into the audience and punched the dude who allegedly threw the bottle onstage. Then he fanned the flames of controversy when he was photographed wearing a shirt that read, “AIDS kills fags dead.” During an interview with MTV news anchor Kurt Loder, Bach insisted he had no intention of offending anyone, and learned a lesson in humility when he was told by a gay friend in New York how hurt he had been when he saw Bach wearing that article of clothing.
“Everything was happening so fast and was so crazy and out of control,” Bach told me in 2013. “We just wanted some kind of change. I like to sing, and I have the voice for it, but we wanted to do something that was a little more rugged. We saw what else was happening out there. I liked Pantera . I loved Cowboys From Hell , and that’s why we invited them to tour with us when they released Vulgar Display of Power , and that’s what made them big at the time. A month into the tour, it debuted at No. 44.”
As rugged as much of Slave to the Grind was, it still featured the ballads “ Quicksand Jesus ,”“ In a Darkened Room ” and “ Wasted Time .”
“I’ve always liked music that was diverse. And we wanted to take some chances maybe, but we weren’t stupid,” Bach said. “We weren’t about to turn our backs on everything that got us to where we were.”
Skid Row wrote most of Slave to the Grind in a New Jersey studio and then demoed the tracks with co-producer Michael Wagener, who had also recorded the band’s debut. One of the reasons the title track sounds so immediate is because it was tracked live in the rehearsal room before the band traveled to New River Studios in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to track the rest of the album.
“The song ‘Slave to the Grind’ was recorded and mixed in an hour, and that’s what you’re hearing on the record,” Wagener told The Decibel Geek Podcast. “It was not even remixed. Everything is live.”
Wagener suggested some minor adjustments to other songs, but for the most part Skid Row just re-recorded their demo tracks using a state-of-the-art studio and better equipment. Even though the process went smoothly and there were many evenings the band members couldn’t remember the next day, Bach was terribly moody in the beginning of the sessions.
“I’m a miserable, rotten f—er for a lot of the time when I’m making a record,” he told me. “Then, all of a sudden when we near the end and we’ve put all of this work into it, I start hearing what I want to hear come out of the speakers. Then I go from being the most miserable prick you’ve ever met into the happiest, most energetic dude around. I transform like the f–kin’ Hulk.”
If any of Skid Row’s fans were turned away by Bach’s antics or the heaviness on the record, it didn’t have a profound effect on the band. Slave to the Grind debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard album charts, making it the first metal album to top the charts in the SoundScan era. Skid Row supported the album with the aforementioned tour with Pantera and Soundgarden , and played European dates opening for Guns N’ Roses . To date, Slave to the Grind has sold over 2 million copies.
“I’m really proud of that record,” Bach said. “I think we could remaster it and do an amazing deluxe repackaging with lots of bonus material. But right now I seem to be the only one from the band that’s interested.”
Ex-PANTERA Bassist REX BROWN: 'I Wanted To Make The Best Rock 'N' Roll Record I Could Possibly Make'
June 10, 2017 0 Comments
Jason Price of Icon Vs. Icon recently conducted an interview with Rex Brown about the former PANTERA bassist's debut solo album, "Smoke On This" . An excerpt from the chat follows below.
Icon Vs. Icon : How did the ball get rolling on this record?
Rex : "It started off with me in the bus one day and me thinking, 'I've gotta quit doing this.' It was going nowhere quickly, the situation I was in. I'd just gotten to a complete burnout point. A lot of guys would take another three years and say, 'Oh, let's see if it works out.' Man, I knew something was up and that I needed to get off the road for a couple of years. I needed to go watch the grass grow and enjoy the simple things in life. I wanted to write some songs and I had a whole bunch that I wanted to investigate, for lack of a better word. I was going into Nashville for summer NAMM in 2015 and meeting up with friend of mine, Lance Harvill . He is also the co-writer of all these songs. He is a brilliant songwriter who never got his time in the spotlight, so to speak. He's an excellent guitar player and an even better songwriter. We just started throwing some ideas around. First off, I was going into Nashville thinking it's still a country hicksville and, lo and behold, I start running into all of these rock 'n' roll guys. It was everyone from Brad Whitford from AEROSMITH to the half of MÖTLEY CRÜE that lives there now. It's just a really cool vibe in Nashville because it's all about the jam. You go into L.A. and ask a guy to play on the record, and the first thing he asks is how much he's going to get paid and that's even before he ever plays a note. That's not rock 'n' roll to me, man! I put together a team and found a drummer, Chris Williams , through a photographer friend of mine. He's been playing on records for all kinds of cats since he was about 16 years old in Nashville. He turned me on to this producer. When I went to his studio, it reminded me of Willie 's [ Nelson ] place [ Pedernales Recording Studio ] down in Austin. Lance and I had both had the opportunity to go and make a record down there that never ended up seeing the light of day. It was for a movie and placements for film and stuff like that but never came out. We actually made a record with Terry Date . Lance has gone back to the Dime days, ya know, way back to the days of early PANTERA . Anyway, we started writing songs and they started getting really good. We narrowed it down from twenty-four songs down to thirteen and then we tracked eleven. I found my voice on this one track, 'Fault Line' , and the rest, as they say, is history. We started stumbling on to stuff that we didn't know we had in us, and I wanted to make the best rock 'n' roll record I could possibly make. I didn't want to make a metal record. I've done that so many times that I'm blue in the fucking face even talking about it! [ Laughs ] I wanted to make something that was true to me. I mean, you can take the boy from the farm as far as you can throw him, but I'm still going to have the metal influence; so you're gonna hear a little of swagger and, of course, some of that stuff is in there. It's just one of those things where I had to go back and find out why I was playing music in the first place and why I loved it. That meant going back to my roots. I was listening to different playlists and stuff like that. The '70s had some really great music which came out of it. Then you had the '80s where there was great music but it had image attached to it. Everybody got tired of the image. Everyone was dressed up with poofy hair and all that shit! Hell, we had to do it just to play a club. For me, it's all about the song. Without the song, you don't have anything. It came down to writing really good songs and then bastardizing the fuck out of it and turning them inside out! People ask me, 'Why didn't you do this ten years ago?' Well, maybe the time wasn't right ten years ago and maybe the time is right now. In this business, timing is everything. There aren't any good rock 'n' roll records out there, man. There's not. If there are, then show me the way and I'll listen to them. I'm not saying there aren't any and that mine is going to be the best of all of them, but I'm saying this is me and this is where I'm coming from musically. If you dig it, dig it. If you don't like it, then don't. I don't care either way."
Icon Vs. Icon : I'm sure finding your voice was a big part of bringing "Smoke On This" to life. What were some of the other challenges you faced along the way?
Rex : "The first thing was my passion for playing the guitar. I've been playing the guitar since I was nine years old but I've always been known as a bass player. At the same time, most bass players are guitar players. Typically, that's your first passion and then you get stuck with the bass. I gave half my life to doing that. Before I even started this process, I took my old, trusty '60s Telecaster and just went and played without any pedals or anything. I learned how to play guitar again. I was sitting with my little girl and she plays guitar. She was really getting into playing the folky stuff. I started her out with 'Tapestry' and stuff like that. I said, 'This is what you need to learn how to play before you learn to play your favorite PIERCE THE VEIL song or whatever you are listening to.' So, I made her listen to all the great songwriters that came out of Laurel Canyon. My rock 'n' roll lineage goes from… Well, ask me a tune and I can probably tell you what record it's off of. That's what rock 'n' roll is all about — getting the people out of there seats and making them have a good time. It's where I want to go musically. It's not reinventing the wheel but it's where I want to be musically these days. I just wanted to make a really diverse rock 'n' roll record that had really good songs on it. I think I've done it and I'm proud as fuck of it. I couldn't be happier."
HELMET To Release 25th-Anniversary Colored-Vinyl Edition Of Landmark LP 'Meantime'
June 9, 2017 0 Comments
In the heady musical atmosphere of the early 1990s, HELMET 's 1992 breakthrough album, "Meantime" , stood out for its uniquely dynamic approach. Often described as a thinking person's heavy metal band, the New York foursome merged the influence of leader Page Hamilton 's avant-garde background with a hard-rocking sensibility to create some of the era's most innovative and influential music. "Meantime" 's distinctive mix of inscrutable lyrics, bludgeoning guitar riffs and jarring stop-start rhythms scored with fans and earned respect from multiple generations of musicians.On June 23, 2017, UMe celebrates the 25th anniversary of "Meantime" 's original release with a special vinyl reissue of this modern classic. The anniversary edition will be available in a limited-edition colored vinyl pressing, as well as a standard black vinyl version.Having cut his teeth playing with avant-garde guitar icon Glenn Branca and indie stalwarts BAND OF SUSANS , Page Hamilton launched HELMET in 1989, and the band released its debut album, "Strap It On" , on the independent Amphetamine Reptile label the following year. HELMET soon became the subject of an unprecedented major-label bidding war, ultimately signing with Interscope and releasing "Meantime" in June 1992.Produced mainly by the band members, "Meantime" finds HELMET — the classically trained Hamilton on guitar and vocals plus guitarist Peter Mengede , bassist Henry Bogdan and drummer John Stanier — creating music that's fiercely aggressive yet hypnotically precise, with such tracks as "Unsung" , "Role Model" , "Give It" and the Steve Albini -produced "In The Meantime" showcasing Hamilton 's staccato riffs, jazz-influenced chords and ominous vocals. The New York Times called HELMET "a band that made important connections between indie-rock and metal."As Allmusic observed" "Arguably one of the most influential and overlooked rock records of the '90s, 'Meantime' threw the rule book out the window. Led by the classically trained Page Hamilton, HELMET 's bludgeoning riffs combined with their stop-go-stop-go minimalist attack changed the face of aggro-rock. Its importance cannot be overstated."
Although HELMET disbanded in 1997, Hamilton revived the band in 2004, and the group has continued to tour and record.Even while he band was absent from the spotlight, HELMET continued to exercise considerable influence on multiple generations of bands. Their songs have been covered by the likes of CHEVELLE , DEFTONES , FAITH NO MORE , PIG DESTROYER and SOULFLY , and the band inspired a 2016 HELMET tribute album titled "Meantime Redux" . HELMET has also been cited as a key influence on such bands as GODSMACK , KORN , MARILYN MANSON , MASTODON , PANTERA , QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE , SEPULTURA , SLIPKNOT , STAIND , SYSTEM OF A DOWN and TOOL . HELMET is currently on tour in support of its latest album, "Dead To The World" , released this past October on earMUSIC .
REX BROWN: 'There'll Never Be Another PANTERA Record'
Former PANTERA bassist Rex Brown recently spoke to Sticks For Stones about the more rock-inspired direction of his debut solo album, "Smoke On This" , which will be released on July 28 via Entertainment One ( eOne ). The disc will be the first time in Brown 's career in which he will serve as both lead vocalist and guitarist in a band.
"I get tired of genres and being in this genre or that genre," Brown said (hear audio below). "I don't even know how many genres there are of metal that I helped fucking start.
"I was always a rock and roll guy in PANTERA . I was always the [ LED ] ZEPPELIN freak. But we were so hellbent on waving the heavy metal flag, and we succeeded huge."
He continued: "People expect to hear a PANTERA [-style] song [from] me every time I fucking [release new music], and I got tired of that fucking… I got tired of doing that.
"No, there's not one track on here that sounds like fucking PANTERA — not one — and I made that intentional. I've already done that, man. Why go and beat a dead horse?
" PANTERA has been over for a long time. You know what I'm saying? Fifteen years. There'll never be another one. There'll never be another PANTERA record. So people are just gonna have to fucking lump it or leave it.
"But when Dime [ PANTERA guitarist 'Dimebag' Darrell Abbott ] died, that doesn't mean they buried me… they put a fucking nail in my coffin. You know what I'm saying? I've still have to get up and groove and move every day. And this is my interpretation of what I wanna do — a sonically infused fucking rock and roll record."
Rex worked on "Smoke On This" with his primary collaborator and old friend Lance Harvill , a Nashville-based guitarist and songwriter. " Lance was and is my main man on this," Brown said. "Everything we did was finely tuned, both musically and brotherly."
Drums were tracked by Christopher Williams , himself no stranger to diverse tastes, from funk music to punk. His talent has been utilized by country music star Lee Greenwood , the reconstituted BLACKFOOT and most recently, power metal legends ACCEPT . The album was produced by New Yorker-turned-Nashville-transplant Caleb Sherman , a multi-instrumentalist with work on records by LITTLE BIG TOWN and PORTER BLOCK , among others. " Caleb produced the project from a musician's standpoint," added Brown . "Not just a typical producer's standpoint, which was something I definitely needed. Between Caleb and Lance , we were a force to be reckoned with. They really pulled out the best in me." Peter Keyes , known for his work with LYNYRD SKYNYRD , can also be heard on a few tracks. All bass tracking came from Rex himself as well.
After leaving DOWN in 2011, Rex went on play with KILL DEVIL HILL , which has released two albums so far: "Kill Devil Hill" (2012) and "Revolution Rise" (2013).
Warbeast Films Final Music Video With 'Texas Chain Saw Massacre' Actor
It was a type of scary that led him to pay homage to some of Neal’s most memorable lines in Rigor Mortis’ song “Slow Death” and later to pen the song “Hitchhiker,” based on Neal’s character from the cult classic.
On this Saturday afternoon, filming on the side of a county road in Venus, Corbitt has ditched the Texas Chain Saw Massacre T-shirt for a black 1960s Batman and Robin T-shirt in honor of Batman actor Adam West, who died earlier in the morning at the age of 88. Corbitt found out about his childhood hero’s death shortly before meeting the rest of his band at the jam room in Arlington.
“It hit me like a ton of bricks,” says Corbitt, a known fan of the Dark Knight , his namesake. “He’s been a big part of my life. The first album I ever bought was the soundtrack from the [ Batman ] TV show.”
Standing next to the band’s white van, Corbitt looks like he’s been hit with a ton of bricks. He’s been battling esophageal cancer, which is linked to smoking and much more prevalent in men than women. The news came at a time when he’d been battling heart disease with a better diet, a change to his onstage routine and surgery.
“When we lost Mike Scaccia" — who died onstage at the Rail Club during Corbitt’s 50th birthday party — "the bright side of it is that we can say that he went out doing what he loved to do,” Corbitt told the Observer in early March before he learned of the cancer diagnosis. “But I don’t want to die singing onstage even though it will kill me — not in that way but hurt me really bad and be a devastating moment if I have to retire.
“I would rather not be the tough, cool guy saying I’m going to go out doing what I love to do,” he added. “I don’t know, I want to be around and watch my daughter grow up and get married. I want to see who wins the Super Bowl in 10 years.”
The esophageal cancer diagnosis in late May forced Corbitt to announce his retirement and the end of Warbeast in Facebook live video. He made his final appearance onstage at the Rail Club the weekend after his Facebook announcement. He’d planned to sit on a chair onstage and sing only one song, but he says the love he felt from fans and family at the Fort Worth club gave him the strength to sing three songs, including “Hitchhiker” in honor of Neal, who showed up to watch his final performance.
“I’d do anything for him,” Neal says. More than a few people ignored his thumb. Hannah Ridings
Only a couple of weeks have passed since Corbitt learned about the pecan-shaped tumor in his throat, and he says he feels as if he still hasn’t really had a chance to recover from his hospital stays. Somehow he’s managed to tap into an unknown source of energy this Saturday afternoon to direct his film legend, who re-creates horror movie magic on the side of this county road outside of Venus, about 32 miles southwest of Dallas.
It took only a night for Neal to learn his lines. He’s a professional and a veteran actor of thousands of characters he can channel in a blink of an eye. He channeled 26 of them in 1978’s “Battle of the Planets,” four more for The Lord of the Rings game and one for Oliver Stone’s 1991 conspiracy thriller film JFK .
Neal received a bronze star for valor in Vietnam in 1969 and was a theater major at the University of Texas in Austin in the early '70s when he landed the hitchhiker role in Texas Chain Saw Massacre . He says he accepted the role, in part, under the assumption that not many people would see the slasher flick. He and other actors didn’t tell anybody that they had starring roles. He says that at the time, they were serious thespians.
Texas Chain Saw Massacre , credited with establishing the slasher genre, was banned in several countries upon its release in the early '70s, including France, Ireland and West Germany. Neal says he went to watch the release at an Austin theater filled with local sororities. More than 40 years later, he still recalls a few of the women throwing their popcorn and drinks and rushing out of the theater screaming when he leaned forward and asked as his hitchhiker scene played on the big screen: “How do you like this movie?”
The hitchhiker role led Neal to the convention circuit where he’d sign posters and other memorabilia. He met his wife, Theresa, at a Hollywood collector show in the early '90s, and Corbitt and the Rigor Mortis gang at the Texas Frightmare Weekend horror convention in the early 2000s.
Corbitt and Neal ran into each other a few times at horror conventions over the years and developed a friendship. Corbitt invited Neal to set up a table at a Warbeast show at the Rail Club. He also told him about his idea for the “Hitchhiker” music video.
“It’s not going to involve chainsaws, but it might center around a bong,” Corbitt told the Observer in March. Neal falls into character as soon as Bruce Corbitt says "action." Hannah Ridings
Corbitt and the rest of Warbeast — guitarists Scott “The Son of Thor” Shelby and Drew Shoup; Ferchaud, Corbitt’s bassist and stepson; and drummer Joey “Blue” Gonzalez — filmed their live performances for the video at Gas Monkey Live in front of what appeared to be a sold-out crowd. They had planned to film their scenes with Neal at the Texas Chain Saw Massacre museum in Bastrop, but the owner wouldn’t approve their request to film.
Instead, they're roaming the back roads of Venus, hoping that local law enforcement ignores the metal head stereotype for a day. Shelby says it's similar to what he felt when they were filming the scene of the Rigor Mortis corpse mascot holding a large glass bong in front of a grave at a local cemetery in Arlington earlier that day.
“I was hoping nobody would show up and pay respects, especially when we were standing all over the graves [to film the scene],” he says...
Lzzy Hale and Halestorm have a message to send to girls, women and parents everywhere and have done it in the most moving way. The song and video is a reminder of the serious and life impacting issues that are unique to girls. It also refers to some challenges that everyone must deal with but are looked upon by society differently based on gender.
As a father of a thirteen year old daughter, and the video is a reminder to me to be more compassionate when the often unseen stress of growing up female manifests itself.
Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein has been a formidable presence in Punk Rock and Heavy Metal since first being asked to join the now legendary Misfits by his older brother, bassist Jerry Only and vocalist Glenn Danzig at the age of 16.
Fresh off a wildly successful reunion of that classic line up at last years annual Riot Fest, and back on the road with his eponymous band, Doyle readies the follow-up to his 2013 release Abominator, Doyle II: As We Die.
RockMusic.com’s Dave Burke had the chance sit down with the guitarist at a recent tour stop in Milwaukee WI.
Dave: Welcome back to Milwaukee. If I’m not mistaken this is your third show in Wisconsin this week.
Doyle: Thanks, Ya, that’s pretty ridiculous. The shows were good though, they really were, the kids liked it.
Dave: Starting with the recent Misfits events, you’d always expressed a desire for a reunion with Glenn (Danzig) and your brother (bassist Jerry Only). It took 33 years but it finally happened at Riot Fest in Denver and Chicago last year.
After so much anticipation what was the experience like for you?
Doyle: Frustrating (Laughs)
Dave: In what way was it frustrating?
Doyle: There was a lot of shit, but I can’t really talk about it.
Dave: It’s not unusual for brothers in bands to have tense relationships, The Kinks & Oasis, probably being the most famous.
Before the Riot Fest reunion it had been seventeen years since you’d played publicly with your brother, how has your relationship been since you left the band in 2000 and what was it like to be onstage with him again after so long?
Doyle: It felt normal, we have a good relationship.
Dave: With both you and the fans obviously interested, where do things stand now? Will the “classic line up” continue at some point?
Doyle: I hope so, but there’s no talks right now, so I don’t see any progress on that.
Dave: After the band reformed in the 1990’s with Michael Graves (vocals) and Dr. Chud (drums) the songwriting fell on you and Jerry. What was it like to have that responsibility for the first time and are there any songs that stand out in your mind from that period, either favorites or maybe the first things you brought to the band?
Doyle: Nothing stands out.
Dave: Many fans still hold that period and the two albums you made in high regard. Would there be any interest on your part to revisit that line up at any point?
Doyle: Maybe…(long pause), probably not. Put that as a no (laughs)
Dave: Since Abominator you’ve been working with Cancerslug’s Alex Story, how did you two get together?
Doyle: I put ads out in all of the papers where you’d look for a band, when there were papers, and he sent me a tryout cd, which was a pile of Cancerslug songs and they were all great.
Dave: What was it about Alex that stood out?
Doyle: The songwriting, the singing, the riffs it was all just great.
Dave: Cancerslug is extremely prolific, I think they released three albums…
Doyle: Last week (laughs)
With there being so much material, would you be open to, or have you talked about adding any of those songs to your set?
Doyle: If I can learn them (laughs). He (Alex) showed me one thing and it was so complicated, plus he tunes his guitar really strange so I don’t know.
Dave: You tend to downplay your guitar knowledge, yet you’ve been building your own for most of your career. So how did you initially figure that out with no previous experience?
Doyle: In guitar making I have more knowledge then the factory does. It’s just a mathematical equation, like building a table. If you were going to build that table (points to the table next to me) what would you do if you wanted to make that exact table?
Dave: Take it apart & measure it I guess.
Mine has a longer scale length, but I took my Paul Stanley* and laid it down on the ground and the picture I had drawn lined right up to it and was right to scale. It’s just math
*In his early days with The Misfits Doyle played an Ibanez Iceman which KISS front man Paul Stanley helped make famous in the late 1970’s and was the basis for his signature model the PS-10.
Dave: Are you still playing the same one(s) that you initially built or have you periodically had to make new ones over the years?
Doyle: Yeah, I have all the same ones, I just keep gluing them back together (laughs)
Dave: Oktober Guitars were building them for you for a brief time what happen there?
Doyle: They were doing it, but it just wasn’t a good marriage . They weren’t happy, we weren’t happy so we just went our own way.
Dave: What is it that companies that try to mass produce them just can’t seem to get right?
Doyle: I’ve got to be able to play it, ya know? I don’t like giving people a shitty product. All our shirts use the best ink, you can’t even feel it. I don’t want to sell products to people that are garbage and that just fall apart.
Dave: Your new album As We Die is set for release on May 5th.
Doyle: That’s what they say (laughs)
Dave: Is there something that hasn’t been announced that would push the album back?
Doyle: It may not, so we’ll see. (laughs)
Dave: At the time of Abominators release you’d talked about having what would become “As We Die” recorded as well.
Doyle: Ya, we recorded them both together, all at once & just re-tracked the drums & vocals.
Dave: Occasionally bands seem to second guess themselves when they have material setting in the can for an extended period. With several years between these two releases how did you feel digging back into that material?
Doyle: If you second guess it, it’s wrong, ya know? Say you have a double chorus at the end and you start to second guess, “should that be one”? Then it was wrong, it should be one. That’s what I think.
Dave: Being that Abominator and As We Die were recorded essentially at the same time what can fans expect from the new album?
Doyle: I think they’re the same, but Alex seems to think that it’s different. It’s all the same to me.
Dave: What is it that he thinks is different between the two releases?
Doyle: I Don’t know, he just goes crazy, I don’t know what he’s talking about (laughs).
Dave: You’ve recently signed with Dave Ellefson’s (bassist of Megadeth) EMP Label Group.
Doyle: Ya, the record is still going to come out on Monster Man (Doyle’s own label), and hopefully we can sign some other bands to Monster Man. That’s the plan any way, but I’m not sure how it’s all going to work yet.
Hopefully we’ll get better distribution and promotion and money. Instead of me having to pay for everything, which sucks.
Dave: With the tour starting before the albums release, what if anything from As We Die can fans expect to hear?
Doyle: Right now we’re just playing “Run For Your Life” , but you can pre-order the album through EMP (www.empmerch.com). I’d like to add more as we go. I’m still not sure when it comes out, we’re still mastering it.
Dave: Are you the type of person that can go back and listen to your older material, or does it bother you hearing things from the past that maybe you’d change now?
Doyle: Well some of it does, there’s some stuff that I don’t even recognize, like the Michael Graves era. Like if that shit comes on I’m like “ what is this? I’ve never heard that song before in my life”.
It’s like I don’t even recognize those songs, but this new stuff is so good because I don’t write the words, I don’t write the vocal melodies. I just give him (Alex) the music and when I get it back it’s like a song I’ve never heard in my life, like it’s not even me playing it, so I can listen to it.
Dave: Can you describe how you and Alex write together?
Doyle: I write all the music and give him the arrangement written down so he doesn’t have to figure it all out and just tell him to do whatever the fuck he wants with it.
Dave: I’ve read that there are some guest appearances from members of both Arch Enemy and Lamb of God on the record. Can you talk a little about that?
Doyle: Alissa (White-Gluz – Vocals) and Michael (Amott, – Guitar) of Arch Enemy came about because I was trying to write a solo for the song that they’re both on called “Kiss Me As We Die”. I was trying to write it inspired by the way he plays because I really like his style.
While I was doing that I had one note, just the first note and I couldn’t really grasp ahold of what the fuck he does, you know what I mean? It’s very epic the way he writes solos.
I was trying to write it like that and as I’m doing it & having a really fucking hard time, he texts me and says “hey save me a spot on your album for a solo”, so I was like “ok, I got one for you” (laughs). So I sent it right to him and he knocked it out in two days and it was perfect.
I told him “don’t go really fast and don’t go past the 12th fret, because I have to play it” (laughs). He went past the 12th fret though, which in turn helped me learn how to play up there because I had to figure out what he did.
Alissa, I had just wanted her to do one part on the song and she ended up spending three or four hours on it and ended up putting a bunch of really good stuff in.
With Randy (Blythe – Vocals: Lamb Of God), I just called him up and said “hey you want to sing a song on here? I’ll send you a couple of songs and just pick one out”. He ended up picking the one Alex wanted him to do and it turned out really cool.
Dave: So both Randy and Alex share vocals on that track?
Dave: In that vein, who are some other artist that you’d like to work with? Either guesting on their album or them on yours?
Doyle: That’s a tough one ….
Robin (Doyle’s tour manager): Paul Stanley
Robin: PAUL STANLEY
Doyle: (big laugh) Ahhhh, that would be to sassy, I think the world would explode!
There’s a lot of people but I don’t want to name them because then it won’t happen.
Dave: You recently finished your first tour of Europe how did that go?
Doyle: Great! Very receptive.
Dave: Do you find it different touring overseas as compared to the US & if so, how?
Doyle: I think there are more fans there, more actual music fans.
Everything from the promoters to the food to the hospitality, they seem more into it.
Dave: You’re almost as well-known for your physique as your music. How do you stay in shape on tour?
Doyle: (affecting announcer’s voice) We’re sponsored by Powerblock Dumbells. They give us benches and stands and dumbbells. The dumbbells are adjustable so there about the size of a pair of shoes, but they go from I think 2.5 to 90 lbs. They’re the last thing on & first thing off the bus everyday and I can just work out in the club.
Dave: In addition to the new album you also have a movie coming out called Deathward 13
Doyle: That’s what I hear.
Dave: What’s the status of that?
Doyle: I don’t know, I don’t even have a script yet, but I’ve signed the contract.
Dave: How did you get involved with that project?
Doyle: My manager did it. I was doing the record and this (tour) and he came to me with it.
Dave: Since the early days of your career you’ve been associated with horror imagery. What horror movie made the biggest impact on you when you were younger & do you consider yourself a movie buff at all?
Doyle: King Kong, starring Fay Wray and her delicate satin draped frame (laughs)
Everybody likes movies, but no I don’t go crazy out of my way to watch them.
Dave: Having been in the business for a long time you have a multi generational appeal. As far as the live shows, do you see a consistent demographic from city to city or does it change nightly.
Doyle: The demographic is from 5-60, so it’s pretty good. You see older people come and little kids come and they’re just going crazy,
The kids are all excited to meet you, until they meet you then they’re like “agghhhh” (feigns terror).
There was one time when I was on tour with Danzig and one of their friends had this little cute fat girl that was maybe 6 years old who wanted to meet me really bad, she had the doll of me and everything.
So they bring her in and I don’t have any of this shit on (gestures to his signature monster man make up) and her dad says, “there he is, go talk to him”, but she was just hanging on his leg and wouldn’t come over.
So later I get dressed and he asks if I can come out and meet her, and I’m like “ya, sure”. So I come out in all this and she comes running up like “ahhh”, she was scared of me when I was normal. (laughs)
Alissa was also on that tour and the little girl came up to her because she has blue hair and was like “are you a princess?” She was so cute.
Dave: You’re very active on social media, particularly Instagram. What are some of the pluses & minuses of being so accessible to your fans?
Doyle: The pluses are just being able to tell everyone when I’m on tour and what I’m doing. The minuses are that it just takes so long, you get stuck doing it. Before you know it you’re like what the fuck, what am I doing?
Dave: With that level of accessibility do you have any problems with over eager fans?
Doyle: If anyone gives me shit I’ll just erase them, but I don’t really have to because everybody else tears them a new asshole before I get to it. Somebody said something today and by the time I even had a chance to look it was gone.
Dave: In addition to the direct access, thanks to the internet there are so many more media outlets than in the past. Does having to do so much press get tiring or is it something you like to break the monotony of touring.
Doyle: Ya I like it, as long as the questions don’t suck. If they suck then they want me to, you know, “tell us about this or that”. Ask me a fucking question, I’m not going to sit there and bullshit.
Sometimes they ask you three questions that suck and are like “well what do you want to talk about?” Get off my bus, that’s what I want to talk about (laughs). Do your fucking homework.
I tell ya, yesterday I was supposed to do “phoners” (phone interviews) and I call the number for the other people to get on the line and the first two people don’t answer and I’m listening to this asshole music for twenty or thirty minutes.
Then finally on the last one two people get on at the same time and are like “who’s going to get off”? So I say “who’s late”? This British lady says “I am”, so I’m like get the fuck off the phone, you’ve gotta call back. Turns out she was from Metal Hammer and I’m like “oh my god” (laughs).
Dave: I’d like to wrap up with just a couple of simple “fun” questions.
Dave: Do you remember what the first album that you bought with your own money was?
Doyle: I don’t, I really don’t. That was a long time ago.
Dave: What was your first concert?
Doyle: Queen & Thin Lizzy at Madison Square Garden.
Dave: On stage you usually are chewing gum & blowing huge bubbles. What’s your go to gum?
Doyle: (picking up a pack of sugar-free Extra Classic Bubble sitting in the bunk next to him) Extra.
Dave: How many pieces for those big bubbles?
Doyle: As many as I can fit in my mouth. Depends on how big the show is.(laughs)
Dave: Thanks for you time.
Doyle: No problem
Doyle will be back on tour across the US throughout the month of June. Head over to his official site and follow him on Instagram to keep up on the latest news.
Catchy, crude, and most definitely not safe for work, it’s what you’ve come to expect from Steel Panther and with their 4th studio release Lower The Bar the LA quartet delivers another 40 minutes of loving tribute to and complete mockery of, all that was 80’s Hair Metal.
Charging out of the gate with a guttural “UH!” (something sorely missing in rock n roll lyrics these days), vocalist Michael Starr belts out his best David Lee Roth-esque scream, as the none to subtle Goin’ In The Back Door finds the band in familiar territory, a land filled with big riffs, face melting solos from resident six string hero Satchel, and lyrics raunchy enough to make you question what you just heard. Hot on the heels of that blistering ode to the “Hershey highway” the up tempo Anything Goes and the slinky cowbell filled chorus of lead single Poontang Boomerang, which had it’s world premiere on www.pornhub.com, naturally , will undoubtedly also be stuck in your brain after only a few listens.
Lower The Bar eases back on the gas just enough to let you catch your breath with a slight reworking of the acoustic ballad That’s When You Came In (and Blew Me) first heard on last years Live From Lexxi’s Mom’s Garage and the biggest musical departure yet from the bands signature Sunset Strip approach, Now The Fun Starts, a psychedelic tinged mid tempo groover. Psychedelic Steel Panther you say? Have no fear, things shift right back into high gear with future Steel Panther standards Pussy Ain’t Free and Walk Of Shame before delivering the money shot with a straight ahead cover of the Cheap Trick classic She’s Tight featuring guest vocalist Robin Zander.
Steel Panther can definitely be polarizing and depending on your tolerance for sophomoric and politically incorrect humor, the band may never be able to win you over no matter how catchy the hooks are or how good the musicianship, but with Lower The Bar Lexxi Foxx (bass), Michael Starr (vocals), Satchel (guitar) and Stix Zadinia (drums) are sure to keep their fans in stitches and head banging with another non stop stream of raucous glam metal and power ballads.
Don’t just take my word for it, check out the videos below.
Last night (3-18-17) KISS bassist Gene Simmons played the first of five scheduled 2017 solo gigs at Cleveland’s Agora Ballroom. The five shows are a part of the Wizard World Comic Cons to be held in Cleveland (3-18), St. Louis (April 8-9), Philadelphia (June 2-3), Chicago (August 26-27) and Austin (November 17-18).
Simmons and his band played a loose 17 song set of KISS standards, and deep cuts including the rarely if ever performed “Almost Human”, “Got Love For Sale” (Love Gun – 1977) and “Charisma” (Dynasty -1979) as well as a pair from his 1978 self titled solo release.
Prior to launching into an impromptu version “Johnny B Goode” in honor of Rock N Roll icon Chuck Berry, who had passed away earlier in the day at the age of 90, Simmons noted “It’s a very sad day today,” “One of the founding fathers of rock and roll has passed on. If it wasn’t for Chuck Berry, there wouldn’t have been rock and roll.”
Backing the tongue wagging bassist for these shows are drummer Jarred Pope (Thee Rock n’ Roll Residency), guitarist/bassist Jeremy Asbrock (The Shazam, John Corabi, Thee Rock n’ Roll Residency),guitarist Phil Shouse (Rodney Atkins, John Corabi, Thee Rock n’ Roll Residency), and guitarist Ryan (Hair Of The Dog, Thee Rock n’ Roll Residency).
Gene Simmons at The Agora Theater and Ballroom – Cleveland OH 3-18-17 – Setlist
“Nothin’ to Lose”
“Calling Dr. Love”
“I Love it Loud”
“Got Love for Sale”
“See You Tonite”
“Johnny B. Goode”
“Let Me Go, Rock and Roll”
“Rock and Roll All Nite”
The importance of Chuck Berry’s music can not be overstated, with his blend of swing, gospel, country and blues he almost single-handedly invented rock n’ roll and his signature guitar style would go on to be the template for generations of countless rock guitarist. Berry was idolized by The Rolling Stones’ Keith Richards and John Lennon once said “If you tried to give rock and roll another name, you might call it ‘Chuck Berry.'”
In addition to his groundbreaking guitar work Berry’s lyrics of an idealized American dream featuring “Coolerators” filled with TV Dinners and Ginger Ale and “Coffee Colored Cadillacs” would define rock n’ roll subject matter for decades to come.
It’s safe to say iconic songs like Johnny B. Goode, Roll Over Beethoven, Sweet Little Sixteen, No Particular Place To Go and Maybellene became standards of the genre and the gateway for countless garage bands
According to the Facebook page of the St. Charles County Police, Berry’s body was discovered unresponsive at a residence outside of St Louis at about 1:40p.m. ET and was pronounced dead at 2:26p.m. ET.
In October of 2016 Berry announced that he would be releasing his first album in 38 years in 2017, dedicating it to his wife of 68 years Themetta Berry.
R.I.P. Chuck Berry
Chuck Berry - Maybellene - YouTube
Chuck Berry - No Particular Place to Go. - YouTube