Archive for the rock music interviews Category

BIG DAD RITCH of TEXAS HIPPIE COALITION – An Exclusive Interview With The Champion Of Red Dirt Metal

Posted in Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, heavy metal albums, interviews, metal music, Music, rock and roll, rock music, rock music interviews, rock music news, southern rock with tags , , , , , , on September 7, 2012 by Metal Odyssey

Big Dad Ritch is the lead singer and founding member of Texas Hippie Coalition, aka THC. Red Dirt Metal is what THC plays, with a reverent nod of influence to Country Music’s most famous outlaws to the late Dimebag, with Black Label Society and Lynyrd Skynyrd in between. Texas Hippie Coalition’s Southern Hard Rock ‘N Metal is as American as corn dogs washed down with (plenty of) Shiner Bock beer.

This badass band from Texas aren’t about kowtowing to the mainstream or the man sitting high-up inside some ivory tower. Hell no. This is Texas Hippie Coalition and they aren’t about being a band for the ages, they’re a band for the people, in my forthright opinion. With 2010’s Rollin’, their newly released Peacemaker (Carved Records), coupled with a notable live presence from clubs to festivals, Texas Hippie Coalition have earned a continuously growing fan base that knows real when they hear and see it.

They’re skilled musicians that are loud, proud, hard and heavy as hell with contagious American Southern pride. Texas Hippie Coalition are: bassist John Exall, guitarist Wes Wallace, drummer Timmy Braun and of course, Big Dad Ritch and his earth splitting vocals. Big Dad Ritch took the time recently to answer more than several questions that I tossed his way. As this being my second (appreciative) encounter with Big Dad Ritch, I can honestly say he is as genuine, kind, professional and badass as they come. Metal be thy name. There is and forever will be only one Big Dad Ritch. Here is what he had to say:

Stone: I know I absolutely love your new album Peacemaker. The fans and critics have spoken and this album is a winner! Can you put into words just how rewarding all of this widespread acceptance feels to you?

Big Dad Ritch: Feels like a backyard friends n family Bar-BQ, with all the fixuns n pecan pie.

Stone: What is the secret behind the muscularity that Peacemaker represents musically and lyrically?

Big Dad Ritch: Just being proud of being BADASS. If u were a rodeo stock bull would you want to be the ol’ piece of beef every sod buster rode for a short 8 seconds or the Horned Monster Bull that punished every belt buckle chasing cowboy for a long 2 second ride. Dare to be BADASS.

Stone: Your vocals are so powerful! Are there any steps you swear by in keeping your voice so healthy and strong?

Big Dad Ritch: Never drink or smoke… I’m lyin!

Stone: Yes, Big Dad Ritch, you’ve proven that you can sing a ballad! What’s the story behind the creation of “Think Of Me”?

Big Dad Ritch: I wrote that song on Valentines Day, like most Valentines Days I spent it with the love of my life – music. I think people will say a song like this is dated or that it shows a softer side. Yet, in my opinion, I believe to write a song like this in this day and age only shows that this band has balls, BIG BALLS.

Stone: What came easy and what was difficult about recording Peacemaker?

Big Dad Ritch: Music and words flow thru those that participated on this album, the task seemed so easy at times. Difficult part was deciding what 11 songs of the 14 to put on the album. My stance was like that of Sweden. I held the money while they argued.

Stone: THC will be opening for the legendary Lynyrd Skynyrd on select dates this September. Describe the thrill you are feeling about this and don’t hold back!

Big Dad Ritch: WhooHooo, yipp, yip, yippy, yeehaw!!! Hyeah! Raise Hell! Sorry, got a lil carried away there. See, couple years back I started tellin people THC would open for BLS (Black Label Society) very soon. At the time an untruth. People on fb started connecting dots comments like “I would pay to see that show”. Next thing I know, were on half a dozen BLS shows. So I started fibbin, again fibbin is almost a lie. Tellin everyone we were gonna open for Lynyrd Skynyrd, at the time not true. Yet here we are today talkin about the Skynyrd n THC show. So what I’m trying to tellya is I never lie, and soon we will be touring with Willie Nelson n Judas Priest… I’m lyin. This show with Shooter Jennings on the line up as well is proof there is a Southern Uprising!

Take a look and listen below to the Official Video for Turn It Up!

Stone: I look at the band photos, listen to the songs and watch the video footage of THC and the feeling of brotherhood hits me like a ton of beer kegs! How important is this brotherhood toward your band’s success?

Big Dad Ritch: Texas Hippie Coalition. Texas = Proud of where we come from, which everyone should be. Hippie = that’s the way my mom n dad raised me, TRIBAL. Coalition = Because we are more than just 4 men, we are many, we are chapters nationwide, we are chapters world-wide, we are fans around the globe, we are men that would be kings, we are twisted hippie chicks, we are FAMILY MEMBERS, we are all together under one flag that we wave HIGH n MIGHTY, we are COALITION.

Stone: Many bands pigeonhole themselves into one “select” genre. With THC, you guys can reach out to many Rock genres with your sound and style. Would I be wrong to call THC “the band for the people”?

Big Dad Ritch: The PEOPLE’S CHAMP, love it. Red Dirt Metal, Southern Fried Rock. It’s all good.

Stone: As THC creates their own hard-earned success, do you ever have time to take it all in?

Big Dad Ritch: Yes I do inhale. What was the question?

Stone: You tour the country and witness many things on the road. Is American pride still alive and well or is there a sense of division among us as a nation?

Big Dad Ritch: There is an immense amount of pride nation wide, but I do believe people are starting to place more faith in their neighbor than in their government. US definitely still applies in my eyes.

Stone: If Big Dad Ritch could sit by the river with a legend of Rock, either past or present, to share some booze, stories and barbecue with, who would it be and why?

Big Dad Ritch: Tuff one, I always aspire to be what I have grown to refer to as “1 man empire”. The likes of Johnny Cash, Waylon or Willie, or modern-day Rob Zombie, Zakk Wylde, or Vinnie Paul. To achieve things in and out of the world of music. Hoping in someway one day to grow up and be an OZZY. Sorry mom. So to pick from all of these would be hard. So I would say this I would pick “Dime Bag” just so I could tell him what he has meant to generations of fans and how much he has influenced me and many others. I would even drink one of those horrible black tooths.

THANK YOU, Big Dad Ritch for this interview! Thank you for creating such memorable Red Dirt Metal with your band! I am so happy for you and the band and wish only the very best for Texas Hippie Coalition both off and on stage.

Until the next time, your brother in Rock ‘N Metal –

Stone \m/\m/

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PEACEMAKER Available NOW! Get it at iTunes (with exclusive track WHISKEY): http://bit.ly/OYvn5O

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For more info on TEXAS HIPPIE COALITION, click on the links below!

http://www.thcoutlaw.com

http://www.twitter.com/thcofficial

http://www.youtube.com/thcofficial

LONG LIVE BIG DAD RITCH.

LONG LIVE RED DIRT METAL.

LONG LIVE TEXAS HIPPIE COALITION.

Stone.

MUNICIPAL WASTE – facebook Fan Interview Streaming Online!

Posted in Heavy Metal, heavy metal albums, metal music, Music, rock interviews, rock music, rock music interviews, rock music news, Thrash Metal, thrash metal bands with tags , , , , on August 31, 2012 by Metal Odyssey

Via the official Nuclear Blast Europe Facebook page, fans from all around the world had the chance to ask MUNICIPAL WASTE their questions – and when Philipp of Nuclear Blast met the band at the Summer Breeze Open-Air in Germany, he forwarded them to Ryan and Dave. This resulted in a great video interview that can be watched HERE.

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(Source: Nuclear Blast)

For more info on MUNICIPAL WASTE, click on the links below!

http://www.facethewaste.com

http://www.facebook.com/municipalwaste

http://www.youtube.com/municipalwaste

http://www.twitter.com/municipalwaste

LONG LIVE MUNICIPAL WASTE.

Stone.

MARTA GABRIEL of CRYSTAL VIPER – A Metal Odyssey Interview!

Posted in Heavy Metal, heavy metal albums, heavy metal news, metal music, Music, rock music, rock music interviews, rock music news, traditional heavy metal with tags , , , , , , on April 26, 2012 by Metal Odyssey

CRYSTAL VIPER – Recently, the forever Rockin’ HARD ROCK NIGHTS and Metal Odyssey teamed up for an exclusive interview with Marta Gabriel of Crystal Viper. Besides being the lead vocalist, Marta also is a guitarist, songwriter and lyricist for Crystal Viper, to name a few. Her knowledge of music and of course, Metal, is exemplary and radiates the skies from Crystal Viper’s recent release on AFM Records: Crimen Excepta.

Originating from the great country of Poland, Crystal Viper was founded in 2003 and plays Traditional Metal with potent relevance. After the success of 2010’s critically acclaimed Legends album (their first with AFM Records), Crystal Viper has become an international player in the world of Metal. Marta is surrounded by: Andy Wave (guitars), Tom Woryna (bass) and Golem (drums).

Marta talks about the band’s dynamic new album Crimen Excepta and songwriting to the worst moments her band has experienced on tour. Here is what Marta had to say:

Can you describe how the new album “Crimen Excepta” conceptually evolved?

Marta: “Before I started composing music, I wrote a story; a lyrical theme for the album. I was inspired by history, especially holy inquisition issues, and books such as “Malleus Maleficarum”, “The Name Of The Rose”, and others. After that I started composing the actual music, and that’s really why the whole album is so different in comparison to the previous ones we’ve put out; it’s darker, heavier; there’s more real feeling in the music. It all happened, because I had the whole story in front of my eyes whilst writing the actual songs; I was able to imagine situations described in the lyrics? I would say that this album is like a movie, but instead of pictures, it is told by music.”

What has been the turning point or momentum push thus far in the Metal career of Crystal Viper? Was it the (excellent) “Legends” album or something prior?

Marta: “Thank you first of all for the compliment; I’m glad you like “Legends”! I can say you’re right in some way, and that was a turning point, because “Legends” was our first album for AFM Records. It was a huge step for us, joining a bigger label.”

“Being part of good record company means better promotion for any band, which is very important, because, except for playing live, there are then so many more opportunities for new fans to discover your band. Joining AFM was, without doubt, a huge and important step, but I would say also, that every single live show, and every single album or single release is important too, as we truly enjoy what we do.”

I find “Ghosts Of Sherwood” to be an amazingly powerful song, both lyrically and musically. With “Ghosts Of Sherwood being the theme song for the 3D horror movie “Robin Hood”, how did this all come to pass?

Marta: “Well, we’d known the German company called Digidreams Studios, which is doing this movie, for quite a while; just through the scene and through video production. It turned out that Crystal Viper’s image and music for this record was going to fit perfectly to the atmosphere of the movie, so we started cooperating and it went from there.”

“I received the screenplay, wrote the song and the lyrics, and we were off. It’s worth mentioning that this song is quite different to the usual Crystal Viper stuff; it’s heavy but really melodic. I’m very, very glad that I composed a song for a movie; the film stars the great Tom Savini, and “Robin Hood: Ghosts Of Sherwood” (to give it it’s full title) will have its premiere during the Cannes movie festival, which is really a huge honour.”

What was the chemistry like between you and Andy writing the guitar parts for this new album? For that matter, the chemistry of the entire band while recording?

Marta: “Well, the chemistry was as good as always really; I wrote all the guitar parts and all the initial music, then we were all working on it, all together. I mean, the band, our producer, everyone gets involved.”

“We produced this album in a little bit of a different way though; everything was produced like in the ’80s; you know, Flying V guitars, tube amps, and real drums all the way, no copying or corrections? Everything you hear on the album was sung or played truly. I’m very proud of the final result, and I can’t wait to hear these songs on the vinyl release!”

“Crimen Excepta” shows an enormous musical strength through its balance. How difficult is it to not stray too far on either the heavy or the light side of the Metal sound?

Marta: “Again, thank you for the compliment. But we never plan or think like that really… To say, “All right; this needs to be heavier” or something like that would be fake in some way. A good song is a good song; everything is very natural and real. What you hear on the album comes out from our hearts and soul. We play the music that we love and I compose music I would like to listen to, all the time…… We don’t want to record the same album again and again; that’s why each Crystal Viper album is a little bit different. “Crimen Excepta” is definitely the heaviest and darkest, but they’re all very different.”

Which song on “Crimen Excepta” proved to be the largest challenge for you to sing? I feel “Medicus Animarum” is a shining moment (among many), but this song certainly must push the envelope for vocal execution?

Marta: “There are many songs that are less and many more difficult than that on this album, but before entering the studio, I had a lot of time to practice, for sure – we rehearsed everything a million times. We basically always do a strong pre-production before entering the studio, so we know what to expect; what sounds good and so on.”

“We don’t like to waste time in the studio. Everything that you hear on the album was sung; we didn’t use any tricks or corrections! It wouldn’t have made sense to do that, as later, I wouldn’t be able to sing moments like that live on stage.”

“There are many bands that sound totally different on the album to on stage, or bands who re-arrange the songs to make them easier to play or sing? Of course, if they are happy with doing something like that, then fine; but it’s not our way.”

Chris Moyen created an absolutely brilliant cover for “Crimen Excepta”. How important is it to convey the music of Crystal Viper through the album artwork?

Marta: “Very… Chris Moyen did a great cover for us again – but, he’d already painted cover artwork for our second single and 3rd album, and so, now with “Crimen Excepta”, he is like part of the family. Of course, it is very important to have the right album artwork, and I would say it’s important in the case of every single band and album? The front cover artwork is like the face of the album, telling you what you can expect, so it should be chosen or painted wisely. In the case of “Crimen Excepta”, everything is one, solid piece: album artwork, lyrics and music!”

What can you attribute to the strong success of Traditional Heavy Metal in Europe over the years? Besides a dedicated and large fan base, could it be the variety of Metal festivals and ease of touring within Europe?

Marta: “The strong success of Traditional Heavy Metal, you mean? I wouldn’t say so, as some Metal genres are surely more popular these days than it; but the truth is, Heavy Metal has been here for many, many years; trends come and go, but Traditional Metal stays. I think this genre simply deserves that respect – even bands, who play more modern genres of Metal, have their roots in Heavy Metal. Old-School Heavy Metal, as well as classic rock, is a base for all genres of heavy music.”

“There’s also lately a kind of New Wave Of Traditional Heavy Metal going around; young bands playing Old School Metal, and it’s really, really great.”

Okay, what is the worst thing that ever happened to Crystal Viper while out on tour?

Marta: “Well, there are many stories to tell, and every band has some stories to share, don’t they? The one that comes to my mind, right now, sounds quite funny now, but back then it wasn’t.”

“We were playing on a small open air festival (doesn’t matter in what country…); the stage had no roof, and it started to rain. We basically had a lot of special effects on stage (guitar peddles, that kind of thing…), and as the stage got wetter, there were sparks everywhere; the stage was soaked. My guitar amp suddenly exploded because it got all wet! The roadies brought another one on, but it also exploded! It was truly a weird show, but we did our best!”

“We also once played on an open air festival in winter; it was like -10 degrees, and the organizers “forgot” to put heaters on stage? And forgot to organize any dressing room for us, as well? Pretty interesting experience, I can tell you!”

If Crystal Viper could perform at a “Metal Dream Festival”, which other bands (past or present) would be on the bill?

Marta: “There are many great acts we would love to play with, but if I could choose, then the bill would be like this: King Diamond, Nifelheim, Hell, Immortal, Black Sabbath, Candlemass, Iron Maiden, Virgin Steele, Judas Priest, the list goes on!”

“Thanks for the interview!!”

Thank you Marta for giving your time!

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For more info on CRYSTAL VIPER, click on the links below:

http://www.crystalviper.com

https://www.facebook.com/crystalviperofficial

http://www.afm-records.de

LONG LIVE MARTA GABRIEL.

LONG LIVE CRYSTAL VIPER.

Stone.

SINISTER REALM – A Metal Odyssey Exclusive Interview!

Posted in classic metal, Heavy Metal, heavy metal news, metal music, metal odyssey, Music, rock music, rock music interviews, rock music news, traditional heavy metal, traditional metal with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 3, 2011 by Metal Odyssey

(All band photos and logo provided courtesy of John Gaffney/Sinister Realm)

SINISTER REALM – Traditional Heavy Metal, aka Classic Metal, reigns supreme in 2011. With hordes of legendary Traditional Metal bands leading the never-ending charge, to this very moment as you read this, there are a good many new, hungry and talented Metal bands out there that revere Metal’s history of tradition. Sinister Realm is one such Metal band. Led by founding member and bass guitarist John Gaffney, Sinister Realm is a band that I have admired and loudly recommended, since my first thorough listen of their second studio album The Crystal Eye (Shadow Kingdom Records) which was released this Summer.

Calling Allentown, Pennsylvania their Metal home, Sinister Realm is a band amassing a loyal following of Metal fans from Trexlertown, Pennsylvania to points worldwide. Sinister Realm has created some incredible Traditional Metal that MUST be heard to understand my Metal point. It’s not everyday that I bellow with such Metal pride about a rising Metal band such as Sinister Realm. Alex Kristoff (vocals), John Risko (guitar), John Kantner (guitar), Chris Metzger (drums) and John Gaffney’s bass illuminates my eardrums with their utmost Metal talent and respect for the Metal they play.

Traditional Metal goes much farther than “the look” of denim and leather. The sound, lyrics, vibes and attitude I hear on The Crystal Eye are all-encompassing of what Traditional Metal is all about in my Metal world. Overall, Sinister Realm represents where Metal was so many years ago and where it is today, in all of its powerful glory. Sinister Realm is the real Metal deal here, fellow Metalheads.

Taking a time out from playing live gigs amid a busy schedule, John Gaffney was courteous to answer ten questions for Metal Odyssey. Covering topics ranging from the new album to respecting the history of Metal, here is what John Gaffney had to say:

John Gaffney, bass guitarist, songwriter and founder of Sinister Realm.

Stone: Can you share the goals and mindset of the band as a whole, while recording “The Crystal Eye”?

John Gaffney: With the new album our goal was pretty simple, to take a step forward from our first album. I think my mindset when I started writing the music was to just make sure that every song was as good as I could make it. I wanted to make sure there was a good amount of variety also, some fast songs, some slow and mid tempos one. I know all the other guys really wanted to make this one a good follow-up to our debut record. The goals of our band in general are to always get better and keep pushing forward, to play and perform better, to get our music out to as many metal heads as possible and in general to just keep growing as a band.

Stone: How is the songwriting and lyrics shared among the band?

John Gaffney: All the music and lyrics are written by me but the other guys definitely add their personalities to the songs. I demo everything out in a very rough format with a drum machine and me singing and the other guys take that and add their own thing to it. When I write I really think about the guys and their personalities on their instruments and I write to their strengths so that the songs feel natural to them and not like I’m asking them to play or sing things that don’t fit who they are as musicians. Even though I write the music, the strength and identity of Sinister Realm is really in the collection of all the individual players, we work and sound really good together in my humble opinion.

Stone: Just how important is the history of Metal to Sinister Realm?

John Gaffney: Very important, especially the early years of metal, I’m very much a Heavy Metal scholar. I’m always reading about heavy metal and searching out old classic bands that I may not have heard of yet. I’m a very big fan of the “golden” years of classic metal as I like to call it, 1980 to about 1984. The albums that Priest, Maiden, Dio, Sabbath, Ozzy, Mercyful Fate and many others released during those years are some of my absolute favorite heavy metal albums of all time. With the band we really try to pay our respects to those great metal classics, when we perform or work on new music all those bands are in the back of our mind, they are our benchmarks if you will, we really want to do this music justice and we consider it a great honor to be called a traditional metal band.

Stone: How did Sinister Realm and Shadow Kingdom Records find each other?

John Gaffney: Well…a bit of history on the band I guess is in order here. I used to be in a band called Pale Divine, when I left the drummer Darin McCloskey called me and said he wanted to work on some of the ideas I had that were never used in Pale Divine.  As things progressed it started sounding really good and we decided to get a proper singer and record a demo, so into the picture came Alex. I played guitar and bass on the original demo, Darin played drums and Alex sang. Darin knew Tim from Shadow Kingdom Records and ran into him when Pale Divine was playing in Pittsburgh, he passed our demo on to him and he really liked it.  At the time the demo was really making the rounds on the internet and we got a few offers from other labels but we really liked where Shadow Kingdom was at the time and the other types of bands they had so we went with them.  After we got signed we added our current guitar player John Kantner and a lead player and quickly recorded our self titled full length. Right after that Darin had to leave for personal reasons and our original lead player was asked to leave so we brought Chris Metzger in on drums and John Risko on lead guitar. Lots of gigs followed and we’ve just released our second album “The Crystal Eye”.  That’s our history in a nutshell.

Stone: What venue that Sinister Realm has played to date exhibited the most rabid Metal fans?

John Gaffney: We played a Doom Metal festival in Wisconsin this Summer that was really cool, we have a lot of great local fans who really support us also so it’s hard to pick one venue, we have fun where ever we play.

Stone: What is the biggest hurdle that confronts a Metal band in 2011?

John Gaffney: Trying to stand out above the bottomless sea of bands that are out there right now. The Internet is a great thing because anybody can get a band together, put something out and promote it. The Internet is also a bad thing because anybody can get a band together, put something out and promote it..haha. It works both ways. There are just so many bands out there now and the playing field is so so crowded that it’s really difficult to get yourself to stand out of the pack. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication and sticking to and believing in what you’re doing. Selling CDs is very difficult nowadays because there is a lot of illegal downloading and not many people are even into buying CD’s anymore. I’m old-fashioned and still listen to vinyl, in fact I have a rather large Metal vinyl collection and consider that to be one of my hobbies.

Sinister Realm – The Crystal Eye (Shadow Kingdom Records/2011)

Stone: My favorite song on “The Crystal Eye” is the title track. That song just psyches me out blindly!  Which one is yours and why?

John Gaffney: I like “The Crystal Eye” also. I think I like it because it’s a great title track and has a really good “epic” feel to it. All the guys sound great on it, I especially like John Risko’s lead solo on that one, just super cool! I love the way that guy plays. It’s just a song that came together really nicely if you know what I mean. If I had to pick a close second I would say “Signal the Earth”. I like the feel and groove of the song and I was proud of my lyrics on that one, it’s about a guy sent on a mission in space, now’s he’s trapped in his space ship alone, seeing and hearing things and trying to signal the earth that he needs help. Plus there’s a bass solo in that song… ha ha.

Stone: Is there a “dream band” Sinister Realm wants to be contacted by to support on a major tour?

John Gaffney: Any of the big classic bands like Priest, Maiden, Sabbath would be a dream. I’m also a big fan of Candlemass so I would love to be able to play in Europe or Scandinavia with them.

Stone: How many guitars do you own and which one is your favorite?

John Gaffney: Bass is my main instrument but I do own an early 80s gibson flying V guitar and a Fender telecaster guitar. As for basses, I have three. A 1978 Fender jazz bass, a 1984 Fender precision and a Geddy Lee model Jazz bass. For Sinister Realm I use the Geddy Lee bass, it has a great aggressive grinding growling sound. I use an Ampeg Svt-Pro 2 and Ampeg 4-10 cabinet live for amplification.

Stone: The talents and musical skills of Sinister Realm are obviously heard by my ears on “The Crystal Eye”. What are the other intangibles required to create such a powerful album of Traditional Heavy Metal? What is Sinister Realms “Metal X-Factor”?

John Gaffney: There’s a lot of X factors, I really couldn’t pin it down to one thing. I tell the guys all the time that it’s the little things that make a great band. Playing in tune, having good equipment, having good players and a good singer. If I had to point to one thing though I would say at the end of the day it’s songs and how their delivered. The average listener is not a musician, they are just fans of the music, so the only thing that is really important to them is if they like the songs or not. There are plenty of bands through history who had great players that never went anywhere because their songs just weren’t that good. It’s why the Beatles have lasted forever, they had great songs! So for Sinister Realm I think the X-factor is a combination of everyone’s professionalism and individual personalities wrapped around the songs, that is our “X-Factor”.

* For more Metal info on SINISTER REALM, click on the links below:

SINISTER REALM – facebook

SINISTER REALM – myspace

LONG LIVE SINISTER REALM.

Stone.

Faithsedge – Giancarlo Floridia: A Metal Odyssey Interview!

Posted in classic rock, Hard Rock, hard rock vocalists, Heavy Metal, heavy metal albums, interviews, melodic metal, melodic rock, metal music, metal odyssey, Music, rock music, rock music interviews, rock music news with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on June 11, 2011 by Metal Odyssey

Giancarlo Floridia of Faithsedge – Back on April 19th, 2011, Giancarlo Floridia took one enormous plunge into the Hard Rock and Heavy Metal limelight with the release of his band’s debut and self-titled album via Scarlet Records. FAITHSEDGE is now a part of Rock history. Will Giancarlo Floridia and Faithsedge add more chapters to their own Rock history? I’m banking on it. This debut album from Faithsedge combines more delicious Melodic Hard Rock moments, within it’s quality songs, than I can actually count.

With a world-class band of musicians surrounding Giancarlo, Faithsedge are not just another supergroup. They are a band that has created what I consider to be one of the best albums of 2011, in Hard Rock and Heavy Metal combined. With the guidance and experience from the world respected producer and bass guitarist Fabrizio Grossi, the path to Heavy Rock success for Giancarlo has been paved. As a songwriter, lyricist, vocalist and guitarist for Faithsedge, Giancarlo has impressively paid his Rockin’ dues for any and all positive response thrown his way.

Giancarlo is both solidly confident and humble, two attributes necessary for a rising talent in the Rock Music world. Forget about any “newcomer” tag… Giancarlo for all Metal intents and purposes… Rocks. Throw in the obvious fact that Giancarlo is one grounded and a hell of a nice guy and the point is clear: I’m rooting for him each and every step of the Metal way. Recently, Giancarlo took the time to talk to Metal Odyssey about the debut Faithsedge album, it’s memorable songs, influences, life and Rock and Roll. Here is what Giancarlo had to say:

Stone: Giancarlo, how did Faithsedge all fall into place as a band?

Giancarlo: The way everything worked out was great. Being a fan of Fabrizio’s (Fabrizio Grossi) and then working with him was awesome. Alex (De Rosso) and Tony (Morra) the same thing, just great people and great musicians. I had a five song ep that I did with Juan Croucier (x – Ratt) and showed it to Fabrizio after leaving California for a little while and it was enough to get my foot in the door to work with him and then we took it from there. Fab (Fabrizio) got Alex and Tony involved and the rest is history! The chemistry just happened.

(Faithsedge debut/self-titled album cover – Scarlet Records)

Stone: Describe what it’s like to work with Fabrizio Grossi.

Giancarlo: Well he’s a hard worker but he still makes it fun. I mean you have to trust your producer (at least I do) and since I was already a fan of his work it was easy. Everything just kinda fell into place in terms of people involved, lyrics, song idea’s, parts etc.. We knew when something was off or if a chorus or a lyric needed to be better. Like for example, “Let It End This Way” was the last vocal to track and the lyrics I had before were good, only we both knew it didn’t fit the record. So, I went back and wrote it at home in like less than an hour with some different ideas I had. Since he wasn’t a jerk about things it was stress free getting eveything done. If something comes up I just let him know, he’s easy going and easy to work with and freakin talented as hell! I mean that sums the guy up! Just don’t piss him off! (Laughs).

Stone: (Laughs) Okay, I would never consider making Fabrizio mad at me! You’ve mentioned in the past, Joe Lynn Turner is an influence on you. Is it fair of me to have written you may very well be the next Joe Lynn Turner of Hard Rock?

Giancarlo: Wow! Ya know, it’s amazing to see people compare me to him or Geoff Tate or Tony Harnell or one of the top guys in the Hard Rock vocal scene. To be put in that league is um, an awesome thing. All I can really say is I want to be one of the new top Metal and Hard Rock singers and I work really really hard at it. I think with hard work and just doing the best I can as a writer and singer, while trying to progress and get better and better, people are getting the point of what I am going for and that makes me happy. At first I wasn’t sure if people were gonna let me into the scene, being somewhat of a newcomer, but they have and I’m thankful! So Thanks everyone and thank you Stone!

Stone: Gee Metal whiz, thank you Giancarlo! How excited are you by the positive response critics have given your debut album?

Giancarlo: It’s been great, there are a few haters but they dont talk smack on us as musicians or me as a singer, they mostly gripe about my lyrics or whatever! (Laughs). I’d rather write about stuff that is personal or real, rather than try to come up with some sort of stupid gimmick to my lyrics. I mean, if it doesn’t come from my heart whats the point? I know I’ll regret it later. Whats important is that people get something from it and I know they have from the emails and other things I’ve read. But as far as all the good reviews go, yeah, it’s been great. I am proud of everyone involved and to have great reviews is just a plus! So thanks for all the great reviews!

Stone: What guitarist or guitarists do you look upon for inspiration?

Giancarlo: Alex De Rosso cause I suck compared to him! (Laughs). Honestly, I am not much of a lead player and I am just more into riffs and the overall drive of a song or direction of a record. I like progressive stuff like old Queensryche and Dream Theater, Metal like Megadeth and Anthrax, and Arena Rock like 80’s KISSOzzy, Scorpions and Bon Jovi. I like 70’s rock too. So I guess it’s an overal mix of sounds that I like that makes Faithsedge. You can hear a mix of all of that on the cd, thats why you may have a tune thats more Metal and another more Arena Rock, so it depends on my mood or what I feel the album needs without going too far right or left of the overall sound.

Stone: As a songwriter and lyricist for your debut album, which two songs mean the most to you and why?

Giancarlo: If I had to pick two? “Somewhere In Your Heart” and “Faith-Anne”, maybe because they are both about my kids. “Somewhere In Your Heart” most likey because I was able to put almost like a “70’s kinda lyrics” into a somewhat Progressive Rock song and make it work with all the key changes. Plus, I like the postive feel to it. “Faith-Anne” because it almost didn’t make the record. I finished the chorus less than an hour of having to record it. I’ll never forget not being able to get the chorus right and sitting in the Valencia Town Center Mall parking lot and hearing it in my head the day I had to track it. I’ll never forget walking into the studio and telling Fabrizio I had finally got it! I mean, when you write a song to your daughter who you haven’t seen in a while and you know there is a chance she’s gonna hear it when she’s been held away from you, it had to be special. I feel I got that across in the song. Funny thing is, our relationship has been restored since the album has come out and the line I wanted her to hear “We had everyday, remember those days?”, well she did. I’m Proud to be a part of her life again.

Stone: Giancarlo, that is a song and story that goes straight to the heart. Awesome. How is the new material coming along for your second album?

Giancarlo: Great! I’m writing the music for the last song now. Eleven tracks I have along the same lines of Metal, Progressive and Melodic. I have the lyrics almost done for four songs. The titles are “Telling the Sky”, “Save the Promise”, Closer to the Truth” and my favorite song I’ve ever written that’s called “When I lost You”. I am gonna be touching more direct issues on the record like my history with my dad, abuse and dark subject matter with a positive outcome. It’s kinda like what I did with tunes like “Another Chance” and “World Keeps Falling Down” on the first record. I will also do some relationship stuff along with a new storyline song I am working on that I don’t have the title for yet, but I have the all the music done and it’s gona be really cool. Music wise though, I’m not going to change the style. People want good, hard, American Rock albums in the Melodic Rock and Metal community. If certain bands that can don’t wanna give it to ’em, it’s ok, I will! (Laughs). Anyways, I’m hoping I’ll have all the lyrics and hooks all done within a year, that way I don’t stress it and the lyrics come out equally as good, just as it did with the first album.

Faithsedge: From L to R: Tony Morra, Giancarlo Floridia, Fabrizio Grossi, Alex De Rosso.

Stone: In your opinion, has Melodic Hard Rock and Melodic Heavy Metal made a comeback these past few years in the U.S.?

Giancarlo: Well it’s awesome bands like KISSMaiden and Priest still doing it. I don’t see too many American new comers doing it, I mean a few are but most of them are from over sea’s or partner with musicians from other countries. Maybe it’s cause they really have a love for this kind of music and don’t care about what people think. Where as in the States you get more of “whats trendy today” is what’s hot! Llllllaaaaaaaaammmme!

Stone: I agree, very lame! On a scale of one through ten, how much of a perfectionist were you while creating the Faithsedge debut album?

Giancarlo: (Laughs) I abused myself, I was one hundred percent happy with every lyric and melody other than one song which I could have done better on the chorus, in my opinion it’s by far the most cliché chorus on the cd. However, I love the verses and the bridge before the solo. Oh well, I’ll make it up on the second album and no, I’m not saying what song it is! (Laughs). I know I’m just wrong huh?

Stone: You’re not wrong, it’s called keeping the fans in suspense! If Faithsedge could tour with two current bands of your choice tomorrow, what bands would they be?

Giancarlo: Anyband that kicks ass that would give us exposure in the market of Hard Rock and Metal. I would love to do some Europe gigs if I could too!

Stone: Great answer! How true is this statement: “music mirrors life”.

Giancarlo: Thanks, I am gonna steal that for the next cd! Just kidding. I mean, in my life music has been the thing that I’ve connected with so often, with many people, wether if thats someone I meet thats a fan or it’s a genre or a rare band that I like that not everyone knows about. It’s how I connect with people thats all I can really say! Did you come up with that saying?

Stone: Um, well, I probably did come up with that saying. I think. (Laughs). Has Giancarlo’s wish come true with your incredible debut album or is this just the beginning?

Giancarlo: It’s nice when I get magazines from Germany, Italy, France and the States and I see myself in them. I do hope it takes off more and more of course, to where it becomes huge and we can play out live a lot and I can make more of a career of it. And I do want to say this, it’s not over till you decide it’s over and listening to negative and destructive people is a big mistake! I don’t care how close they were to me or how they were supposed to be my family or whatever. For once in my life, other than my kids, I’ve found something where as I put in all my efforts that the result has shown. The proof is in the album and shows that the doubters were wrong. When you believe in yourself and work hard you can do great things. Thats not just in music thats just in any goal in life!

Stone: Well said Giancarlo, well said. I wish nothing but the very best of success for your band and career! You Rock my Metal brutha!

Giancarlo: No problem and thank you Stone!

* For more info on FAITHSEDGE, just click on the links below:

FAITHSEDGE – Official Website

FAITHSEDGE – facebook

LONG LIVE GIANCARLO FLORIDIA.

LONG LIVE FAITHSEDGE.

Stone.

TRILLION RED – A Metal Odyssey Interview

Posted in ambient music, Extreme Metal, Heavy Metal, metal music, metal odyssey, Music, progressive metal, progressive rock, rock music, rock music interviews, rock music news with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 15, 2011 by Metal Odyssey

TRILLION RED – It’s no secret that undergound music exists from the sprawling country sides of a Middle America to the back alleys, basements and lofts of rural cities worldwide. Underground Metal exists, has existed and shall never go extinct. Trillion Red is yet another example, as to why the underground scene is a music force that can never be underestimated. Trillion Red is a two-man band of (multi-instrumentalist & vocalist) Patrick Brown and Max Woodside on drums, evolving from San Francisco, California.

I have already labeled Trillion Red a Metal band, one that focuses on the ambient, progressive and extreme sides. The layers of instrumentation, diverse vocals and excellent musicianship has made me an admirer of the sound that Trillion Red has captured. The dark imagery that Trillion Red has me visualizing in my minds eye from their debut Two Tongues EP comes as an embraced bonus. Trillion Red is onto something and I’m on board for the ride.

Recently, Patrick and Max took the time to answer some questions that hopefully give their new fans an inside look into their music styles, tastes and influences. There is a complex process involved when a recording is being created, Patrick and Max touch on their thoughts and experiences of recording the Two Tongues EP as well. Here is what Patrick and Max had to say:

Stone: What’s the story behind the band being named “Trillion Red”?

Patrick: The usual. We go back and forth on what we like and dislike. There were a lot of disagreements and eventual realizations, that the last name we thought of was totally ridiculous or not as cool as we thought. This is one we just fell upon without any particular meaning or ideology and just instantly liked. It has a nice ring to it, sounds cool, isn’t affiliated with any particular genre, not cliché and symbolizes a mass scope of life, power, blood, and yes, death. To me it is more a visual existential feeling than an actual idea.

Max: Powerful name Trillion Red.  Vast numbers of intense Red. Besides, I felt close to all the great bands with color in their names. Evergrey, Black Sabbath, King Crimson, Pink Floyd, Shocking Blue, Frigid Pink, Cream, Savoy Brown, Deep Purple, Black Flag, Blue Oyster Cult, Yellowjackets, Maroon 5, Moody Blues, Whitesnake, etc..

Stone: If the opportunity ever came to pass, would you be interested in
creating a Horror movie soundtrack?

Patrick: Is our music that creepy? I never realized or even thought of our music as “dark” until I received feedback from listeners. The devil has got me all goosed up I suppose. But, to answer your question, yes, that would be a lot of fun.

Stone: What band or who is the musician you would say has had the most
influence on your music?


Patrick: Hmm….tough one.  I can be rather capricious with these kinds of questions. I tend to immensely like a certain genre or a few bands at one time, and after a while, my mood changes and I move on to something else.  So, depending on when you ask me, it would be a different musician. If had to pick a few musicians that have always been somewhere in my mind, it may be Allen Epley of Shiner and now, The Life and Times. He is a brilliant songwriter, guitarist and vocalist.  And Johan Edlund (vocalist/guitarist) of Tiamat (the old stuff mostly!)

Max: King Crimson, Rush, Dream Theater, Symphony X, Andromeda, Dark Moor, Chuck Brown, Terry Bozzio, Neil Peart, Mike Portnoy, Bill Bruford, Tommy Bolin, ELP, Yngwie Malmsteen. Mahavishnu Orchestra, Motorhead, Iron Maiden, Vandenplas, Therion, Nightwish, Chick Corea, Al De Meola, Billy Cobham, Jean-luc Ponty and Patrick Ohearn.

Stone: How did you decide on the style of Metal that you would create and
record?


Patrick: When writing the Two Tongues material (and new stuff coming), I didn’t even consciously consider it was “Metal”, so to speak. What you hear on this EP and will hear in the future are simply songs that I would want to hear myself. I never stopped to think, “geez, what kind of Metal do I want to sound like?”. It just never occurred to me.  This style of Metal I suppose is a conglomeration of everything I like and enjoy I suppose.  If it sounds like hip-hop (which it never ever will), then so be it.

Stone: Do you agree that music truly is a universal language?


Patrick:  Yeah. I’ve lived in China and Japan for many years, and have always found commonalties and camaraderie with others into the same music that don’t speak English. Although, to be fair, I do speak fluent Mandarin Chinese and some Japanese. Good times those were…

Max: The most universal language perhaps but certainly not the most objective art.

Stone: Somewhere, someone is listening to Trillion Red right now. Does this
thought put what you create as a musician into perspective?

Patrick:  I don’t think so.  When I write, it is a selfish act and process, it’s a place where there are no concern of others. It is a pleasant thought that somebody is listening to (and hopefully enjoying) my passion, but it doesn’t change anything other than me feeling more rewarded for my efforts, i.e., a happier guy.

Max: Cool thought. But only a thought. It’s nice that someone should listen to our music because the music is very good.  But, if nobody listened, we would still have fun making it.

Stone: What trials and how much fun was involved in writing and recording
your debut “two tongues ep”?


Patrick: The writing was a lot of fun. It always is. Max and I are not recording engineers or mixologists, and had no prior experience recording this EP.  So we had a steep learning curve with respect to creating a good sound and production (but it all turned out sounding excellent). So one can imagine there was a lot of wondering and worrying. I did all the sound engineering, recording and initially mixed the entire EP myself. I had a hard time getting the right sounding mix with all the instruments and layering.  I kept beating my head to the wall trying to get everything well represented in the mix. Eventually I came to realize that I didn’t carve out frequencies very well, and subsequently, the drums and vocals were buried. At that point, I renounced my mixing moniker and had a professional do it for us, under my direction though.  I had a blast during production though! That was my highlight. I really think the next go-around will be very enjoyable, because we know our true strengths and limits.

Max:  Profound fun with Patrick!  He lets me be creative and experiment. I think I understand the way he thinks now and he indeed has a great vision. Pat let’s me contribute, without being a petty tyrant as other bandleaders I’ve known were.

Stone: Will there be a full-length eventually from Trillion Red? Are you
approaching the writing and recording process any differently compared to
the first time around?

Patrick: Yes, we have 8 new songs we are preparing for a full-length album. Various parts of these new songs were written prior to and during the construction of the Two Tongue’s EP. We have put beats to 5 of them, and as soon as we do so with the last 3, we will start recording. I suspect we will release an album in very early 2012.

The writing on this record will have more ambient (or isn’t psychedelic the new cool trendy term to use?) breathing room.  Yet, it will still maintain a very dark and heavy pounding mood. Writing for me is very much like writing a story; there is a beginning, middle, and end.  I love songs that emotionally pull you up, take you down, or drag you across a droning path, only to pull you up, down, side ways and bleed the mind. That is what I am trying to do with this album, all of the above.

We will indeed be recording differently. There will be a lot more attention paid to sound engineering (like microphone placement on the drums) and engineering a much better bass guitar sound.  I will also be doing some different recording techniques on the guitar and unifying my vocal style a bit. We’ll see how it turns out!

Stone: Have any record labels shown interest in Trillion Red thus far? I feel
there should be strong interest from labels in what you have created with
the “two tongues ep”.


Patrick: None so far.  I just started sending our EP to labels. I originally wanted to be independent. Since we currently aren’t playing live, I didn’t see what a label really could do for us. But after learning a bit more about the way things work in the world of underground Metal and the strain promotion takes on “time” in my life, it made more since to have a label as a supporter. Therefore, we have just recently shifted gears towards finding a lablel.

10 – If you could seek out one “well known” guest musician for your next
album, who would that be and why?

Patrick: Possibly Kristoffer Rygg of Ulver.  The guy is an amazing vocalist. Truly inspiring and very original! His unique take on vocal presentation and a pull away from traditional choruses and melodies would run beautifully with some of my material I think.

Stone: As a multi-instrumentalist, how important is it to focus on song
structure and balance?


Patrick: Song Structure and balance is extremely important. A song doesn’t necessarily require original riffs, melodies or hooks, it is how it is presented, structured, and layered, that will ultimately make or break it.  One of my biggest pet peeves with Metal bands (or most bands) is that they don’t know when to shut up, there is so much riffing/vocal masturbation, that bands lose sight of what it means to simply put a good well-rounded song together. Many just concentrate on perceived cool ideas (mostly redundant) and try to glue shit on shit with unnecessary bridges and breaks. I would suspect producers have a lot to blame for this phenomenon too. Originality is great, but if you can’t put the pieces together correctly, it loses its appeal very quickly.

Slayer’s Reign in Blood is an exemplar of structure and balance.  The freaking album is what, something like 30 minutes? Each song is tight, powerful and doesn’t linger one bit. It has zero filler! Its’ balance and structure is perfect. I strive for that kind of bluntness. However, as I like to structure songs as emotional stories that walk you to the side, up, down, and more to the side, I can’t afford to be as cut and dry. I also totally love style structures like Burzum’s Filosofem, an ambient antithesis of Reign in Blood being long, winded, spacey, rich… a beautiful record!  I guess you could say I am now trying to structure and balance my songs like Reign in Blood and Filosofem – to the point, not too much fluff, but some good fluff for sure, and then get on with it!

Stone: Where can fans buy your music?

Patrick: You can buy the Two Tongues CD on our website: www.trillionred.com . It is $5, including postage in the USA. Buyers outside the US will be quoted pending country/location. MP3s can be purchased via Amazon, iTunes, and a lot of other places too.

We are planning on doing some t-shirts and possibly releasing Two Tongues on 10” vinyl soon. It all depends on how the label thing shakes out. Thanks for the interview. Good questions.

Stone: Thank you Patrick and Max!

* For more info on TRILLION RED, click on the links below:

TRILLION RED – Official Website

TRILLION RED – myspace music

* To read my review on two tongues ep, (posted on Metal Odyssey April 21, 2011), click on the big header link below:

TRILLION RED – two tongues ep: Take A Dark Descent Into An Ambient Metal Abyss

LONG LIVE TRILLION RED.

Stone.

HEMOPTYSIS – A Metal Odyssey Interview With Masaki Murashita

Posted in Extreme Metal, Heavy Metal, interviews, metal music, metal odyssey, Music, rock music, rock music interviews, rock music news, Thrash Metal with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 7, 2011 by Metal Odyssey

(Photo credit: Eyeful Images Photographic Arts)

HEMOPTYSISMasaki Murashita is the founder, lead singer and guitarist for Hemoptysis, a Thrash Metal band from Phoenix, Arizona. Masaki wears a lot of hats these days, while making certain the world is being properly introduced to Hemoptysis. The blending of Extreme Metal styles is what makes Hemoptysis stand-out from the Metal pack. With some Death Metal grooves and occasional shades of Blackened vocal tones from Masaki, these attributes just seem to make the Thrash he and his band have created all the more relevant and unique in 2011. The overriding “Old School” Thrash style and sound of Hemoptysis is the driving force behind the songs heard on their debut full-length – Misanthropic Slaughter.

The “do-it-yourself” work ethic of this band, led by Masaki, released their debut album independently on March 8th, 2011. Since then, the critical response from all over the globe has been nothing short of exhilarating for a band that has justifiably earned it. Masaki is young and driven, with a professional air about him that I cannot help admire. This is a musician in Metal that has a keen sense of awareness for the business side of the recording industry. At the end of the Metal day, it is Masaki’s musical proficiency that he combines with his band’s impressive Metal skills that has left me rather awestruck, ever since my first listen to Misanthropic Slaughter.

I recall wondering and writing, how long can Hemoptysis be left unsigned to a label? This band could not be overlooked for long, however. On March 8th, 2011, the very day that Misanthropic Slaughter was released, it was announced that Rock It Up/IceWarrior Records from Germany signed a licensing deal with Hemoptysis. Metal be thy name, I felt proud for Masaki and his band. It’s a deserved leap forward into eventual Metal stardom. Hemoptysis has Metal stock that is rising fast, so my best advice is to invest your Metal time and money wisely and pick up Misanthropic Slaughter… you surely want to be a part of Thrash Metal and Metal history in the making.

Masaki Murashita is one cool Metal gentleman to speak with. I cannot resist supporting his Metal career and insanely impressive band known as Hemoptysis. Here is what Masaki had to say:

Stone: Just how did Hemoptysis evolve?

Masaki: Travis and I met through a mutual friend in April of 2007.  We started the band in June of 2007 when I found a larger practice space and another guitarist.  We got Sunao to play bass for us in early 2008.  Initially, I wasn’t the singer.  We had a different singer for a few months. After the original singer left, I took over on vocals.  We went through a few lead guitarists until we got Ryan Miller, who is also in a band called Excessive Bleeding.

Stone: How proud are you and the guys for getting signed to Rock It Up/IceWarrior Records?

Masaki: We all are very proud of it. We finally found a label that believes in us. They offered the most fair deal by far and it showed long term interest in our career. We are truly honored and we will continue working hard.

Stone: Metallica “Master Of Puppets” versus Slayer “Reign In Blood”. Which album is better and why? No, you can’t give a “tie” for an answer! (LOL)

Masaki: It’s a tough question since I grew up listening to both albums, but I’d say “Master of Puppets” because that record definitely inspired me to play Metal.

Stone: How have the live gigs been going for you? Tell us about your charity gigs too!

Masaki: It’s been really fun! The charity gig was especially awesome simply because the venue used to be a church and playing songs like “Who Needs A Shepherd?” was just priceless.

Stone: Can you update us on your family and friends well being in Japan?

Masaki: They are all doing well. Thank you! Japanese people are strong. Though it may take some time, they are working really hard to bring back their normal life.

Stone: What do you feel is lacking in today’s Heavy Metal climate when it comes to marketing and promotion?

Masaki: Team work. Everybody needs to work together to keep the scene. Bands can’t expect to get their name out and bring people to their shows without working hard. Same thing to fans. If you would like to see your favorite bands, you need to show them support by spreading the word and buying their merchandise and music. Promoters, venues, and labels also need to do their job and promote the shows to support the bands and the scene. Everybody is becoming greedy nowadays, but at the end of the day, we all need to survive and work together to sustain.

Stone: What inner and outside influence(s) did you and the band draw from, to write and record such a kick ass and Old School album of Metal?

Masaki: I have heavy influence from old school Thrash. Our drummer, Travis, and our lead guitarist, Ryan, are death metal guys. Our bassist, Sunao, listens to everything, including non-Metal stuff. We all have different backgrounds and that makes our music unique when everybody’s ideas blend together.

Stone: Tell the world… what veteran band do you feel Hemoptysis should open up for on a major tour and why?

Masaki: Megadeth, Carcass, Exodus, Testament to name a few. Those bands are just a few of the core influences of our sound and we think the people who are into those bands would like us.

Stone: Are you guys currently writing new Metal material for the next album?

Masaki: Yes. We are already working on the material for the next record.

Stone: With so much critical praise, from so many outlets, for “Misanthropic Slaughter”, are you shocked, knew it was coming or just humbled?

Masaki: We weren’t sure what was going to happen.  We knew we liked it but we weren’t 100% sure what people would think.  A lot of people liked our EP, “Who Needs A Shepherd?,” and gave it good reviews, so we were pretty sure people would like this better since the quality of the recording is so much better.  We also grew as musicians and switched to an even better lead guitarist, so we felt pretty confident about good reviews coming in.  We consider ourselves pretty humble, though.

Stone: What band that you’ve seen perform live left you awestruck?

Masaki: D.R.I. We opened for them last September and we were amazed how much their fans love them. The crowd was nuts! We’ve never seen that crazy of a pit and crowd at the venue in which we played. Much respect to them for being one of the most legendary “Do It Yourself (DIY)” bands.

Stone: Is there anything you’d like to say to your fans as we close out?

Masaki: If you like our music, please buy our music and support us. We would like to tour and play enough cities, both in the U.S. and abroad, only we cannot do this without our fans supporting us.

HEMOPTYSIS:

Masaki Murashita – vocals & guitar

Ryan Miller – lead guitar

Sunao Arai – bass

Travis Thune – drums

* For more info on HEMOPTYSIS, click on the links below:

HEMOPTYSIS – Official Website

HEMOPTYSIS – myspace music

HEMOPTYSIS – Facebook

HEMOPTYSIS – bandcamp page

Rock It Up / IceWarrior Records

* Metal Odyssey reminds those who want to help out our great friends in Japan, to click on the link below for assistance:

http://www.google.com/intl/en/crisisresponse/japanquake2011.html

LONG LIVE HEMOPTYSIS.

LONG LIVE MASAKI MURASHITA.

Stone.

Earth – A Metal Odyssey Interview With Adrienne Davies

Posted in avant-garde music, doom metal, drone metal, experimental music, experimental rock, interviews, metal odyssey, Music, rock music, rock music interviews, rock music news with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on March 12, 2011 by Metal Odyssey

ADRIENNE DAVIES OF EARTH – When a band can stop you in your tracks by making you slow down and think about their music, that respective band is standing out amongst the crowd. Step in… Earth. This is not a Doom Metal band that is going to thunder stump their songs through live sets, nor are they about churning out songs for wide-spread commercial consumption. Instead, Earth is a band that is representative of their music and shows respect for song, putting forth awareness to the brilliance of experimental, drone and Doom Rock. With an existence that encompasses over twenty years and six albums, founding member, songwriter and guitarist Dylan Carlson has crafted Earth into a non-conforming band of widely respected musicians.

One of these skilled musicians is Adrienne Davies, the drummer and percussionist that has been a focal point of Earth for ten years and counting. With the current release of their newest studio album, Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light I (Southern Lord Records) on February 22, 2011, Earth has only strengthened their respect among the Rock Music community for their unique style and sound. The repetitive beats and drone tempo, combined with the atmospheric tones of Earth can lead the listener to wherever place they can imagine or want to be. That’s what I embrace most strongly about the music of Earth… and this band takes you on a slow ride, cause sometimes I like to take it easy.

Adrienne Davies took the time recently to talk about Earth’s new album, how their songs come together, drumming, Earth’s diversity album to album, her fellow band members and even Slayer. Soft spoken, polite and as friendly as a favorite cousin, Adrienne was a true delight to interview. The love she has for music, Earth and Dylan Carlson flowed from her answers with ease… and Adrienne presented herself with a trueness that I can absolutely respect. Here is what Adrienne had to say:

Stone: Organic, atmospheric, experimental, drone and Doom Metal are styles used to describe the music of Earth. What is your interpretation of Earth’s sound?

Adrienne: It’s more intricate than it seems. Earth has been around for over twenty years, I’ve been in the band for ten years. You have to look at this band’s history, album to album. The first few were specifically Heavy Doom or had Metal bass lines to everything. “Hex” (from 2005) was a very strategic departure from heavy for heavy sakes. The trombone (played by Steve Moore) gave a western soundtrack feel of “Hex”. I’ve learned, melodies that are least contrived can be the most dark than most of them. Our new album is organic with an English Folk vibe to it. This album centers around drone and repetition, it has a soothing quality.

Stone: In your own view, who really are the “Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light”?

Adrienne: Dylan (Carlson) has credit to that title! Conceptually, this album title can represent crazy, old Medieval magic from years past. Musically, we’re simplifying and letting open spaces fill. We (Dylan and I) have no computers or cell phones, we’re stepping away from technology and going back to times when things were simpler. It’s like being the park in the middle of the city.

Stone: In the event Earth’s new album was to have been named after a country, which one would it be and why?

Adrienne: Album wise, “Hex” was very much Native American, with an Idaho, Montana and West Coast Indian vibe. I’m gonna take it literally and go with Old England, somewhere towards Wales, with grassy knolls and cottages. I like old throwback English Folk bands, the fairy tales and magic of all that.

Stone: You would certainly like living in Northern New England then. Vermont, New Hampshire, rural Massachusetts and Maine pretty much are this country’s representation of Old England.

Adrienne: You know, I never thought about that and you are right! New England can resemble Old England in ways.

Stone: Can you describe what it’s like during a brainstorm session with your band mates?

Adrienne: Generally, the last two albums, especially this one, we brainstormed. We come up with riffs and song structures. We want to leave some parts as improv. The drums and guitars are the anchor of our songs of where we want to go. We’ll pull in the cello, along with counter lead melody instruments that are essential to our lineup, the Wurlitzer, trombone and pedal steel.

Stone: How far has Earth come to creating their ultimate signature album with “Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light I”?

Adrienne: Well, let’s see, it’s never what you think it is. It’s in the ear of the beholder. We try to leave it up to other people to decide. What I’m comfy about with this new album, is it’s a new direction for us in many ways. The studio has always been about obsessive perfection and moments of release. This time we were carefree, very creative and able to improvise. Creating this new album was obstruction free and the best time ever for us in the studio. Our songs get a little slower live, so most of these songs represent what Earth is about live. We seemed to capture what we do with our live shows on this new album.

Stone: It’s interesting that your songs get played slower live.

Adrienne: Our songs change dramatically live!

Stone: Is the band collectively on the same page when it comes to other musical influences and musical interests?

Adrienne: When your stuck on tour with the same band and don’t kill each other, you have commonalities! We have a kaleidoscope to draw from with influences. Lori (Goldston) can play cello with an avant-garde and experimental style, making it sound like an electrical instrument, it’s like having a second guitar in the band. Karl (Blau) has a Rhythm and Blues feel with his bass. We take all these influences, put them together and hopefully get the result we are looking for.

Stone: How would you describe contemporary music to a visitor from another world?

Adrienne: (laughs) Contemporary good or bad music?

Stone: I’m glad you said that!

Adrienne: I’m not a fan of current contemporary music. VH1 and MTV are beyond un-listenable and it’s poisoning the ears of people who listen to this music. I would compare it to alphabet soup, with too many letters that are all broken.

Stone: If you could listen to just one Metal band while being stranded on an island, what band would it be?

Adrienne: Deep Purple is okay. If it’s only one Metal band, can I have all their albums?

Stone: Well, alright.

Adrienne: It would be Slayer! Slayer for certain. They are and always have been my Metal band! I like my share of Metal, it’s always in my heart.

Stone: When were you first exposed to playing drums or any instrument for that matter?

Adrienne: I came from a music oriented family. My mom had a band and came from a German family of musicians. I grew up the only girl with four brothers, one brother and three step-brothers. I first started playing drums in my fifth grade school band. At this same time of year, I was given a sixties Ludwig set of drums, a blue oyster color that was not in the best of shape. I fought my brothers off of it! I was happy that I didn’t play the flute, just because I’m a female. I did play guitar for awhile. I’ve become more serious in terms of drums, percussion and rhythm in the last eight years.

Stone: Well, you have certainly represented yourself quite well with drumming for Earth.

Adrienne: Thank you. To this day, there are not a lot of female drummers. Only recently there has been a burst  of females playing drums. There’s no real role models for female drummers to look up to and we don’t get the respect of our male peers in the drum world.

Stone: That’s a shame, really.

Adrienne: It’s a notion that the best drummers out there play two hundred beats per minute and twenty minute solo’s. It’s really the musicianship that’s essential to being a good drummer. On the other hand, with guitar and Metal, speed is equated to technical proficiency with artistry. It’s what I don’t play and knowing what not to fill a song with, having a less is always more approach for drums and percussion that represents my style. I like to make it dramatic, rather than pummel a song to death. I want to play the technical side of drums, while always serving the music.

Stone: What does the touring schedule look like for Earth in 2011?

Adrienne: We’re looking at six weeks in Europe, then having a month off. Then it’s off to Mexico City, we’ll then hit the U.S. West Coast, down to the Southeast and head up to the Northeast U.S. in the Fall and end of year. The dates and venues are to be determined. We’ll be playing clubs. Who can fill arena’s anymore?

Stone: It’s an entirely different climate now for bands to play arena’s.

Adrienne: It sure is. Even with Ireland’s bad economy, touring Ireland didn’t affect our ticket sales. The big bands are really hurting for record and concert sales.

Stone: Will there ever be a female President of the United States in your lifetime? If so, who would you want it to be?

Adrienne: I’m at a loss on that one, yikes! Can I nominate a non-politician?

Stone: Of course!

Adrienne: Chrissie Hynde.

Stone: Cool choice.

Adrienne: (laughs) Very darn close to Hillary Clinton huh? Not that she (Chrissie Hynde) would want this to happen. She comes from a working class background. She could stand up to the big boys. Chrissie would do a real good job in The White House.

Stone: What are the events that take place or need to happen, for npr (National Public Radio) to stream “Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light I” in it’s entirety for fans to hear free, like they did?

Adrienne: It’s almost a mystery to me! We’re incredibly grateful, npr goes back to “Hex”, they were really behind us with our music and pushing that album as well. It’s great, it’s awesome! I can’t comprehend how big it all really is. On “Bees” (The Bees Made Honey In The Lion’s Skull) we had a guest musician, a Jazz guitarist named Bill Frisell who had an audience bigger than we’re used to having. I think maybe through his connection npr picked us up. iTunes are going to be doing a sale two weeks before our new album is released, they’re putting it on their Rock page! We’re honored by that.

Stone: That is just fantastic and well deserved, with all of the attention your new album is receiving.

Adrienne: Thank you. There’s so many bands and so many choices out there. Many are here today and gone tomorrow. We’ve been lucky. I’ve known Dylan (Carlson) for half of my life, he’s got crazy bizarre talent! Dylan has been around and making music for over twenty years and I thank my lucky stars everyday that he’s my man.

* For more info on EARTH, just click the link below:

Thrones And Dominions.com – EARTH

LONG LIVE EARTH.

Stone.

ANA KEFR – A Metal Odyssey Interview!

Posted in Extreme Metal, Heavy Metal, interviews, metal music, metal odyssey, Music, progressive metal, rock music, rock music interviews, rock music news with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 18, 2011 by Metal Odyssey

Upon my first complete listen through of Ana Kefr’s The Burial Tree (II), I realized many things. Firstly, there can’t possibly be any ego’s happening within a band such as this? Musical parts cannot “connect together” in such an uncommon way of effectiveness for there to be any indecisiveness amongst Ana Kefr. Secondly, this bands music changes like the seasons throughout The Burial Tree (II), while never lessening their firm grip on an all-embracing Metal sound, while threading in an Extreme Metal style. Thirdly, it is not advisable to pigeonhole Ana Kefr into any one exclusive Metal genre. From Progressive instrumentation with woodwinds to Black and Death Metal vocals, Ana Kefr provides the listener with a vast landscape of Metal and musical styles.

Lastly, this is a smart band. Why? Ana Kefr obviously does not hang out with status quo and their philosophical lyrics are written to not just make you ponder, their lyrics make you think. Yes, there are many up and coming Metal bands of all genres being heard around the globe, only Ana Kefr isn’t cookie cutting their way to the top. When an interview opportunity with Ana Kefr arose for Stone, the obvious choice was to accept it.

Ana Kefr is a band that avoids what I find annoying in Progressive Metal. This band does not play with bothersome excessiveness, nor is there ever a chance they will ever cater to the plastic side of the music industry. Ana Kefr is a band that plays together and a band that does interviews together. Let me introduce you to their names, then indulge in what Ana Kefr had to say:

ANA KEFR:

Rhiis D. Lopez – lead vocals, keyboards & clarinet

Kyle Coughran – rhythm guitar & vocals

Brendan Moore – lead guitar, saxophone & vocals

Alphonso Jiminez – bass

Shane Dawson – drums & percussion

* Ana Kefr originate from Riverside, California. A May 3rd, 2011 release date is scheduled for The Burial Tree (II), on Ana Kefr’s own imprint label: Muse Sick.

Stone: Which took longer to write, the lyrics or the music for “The Burial Tree (II)”?

Rhiis: The Burial Tree’s writing and rehearsals began around the beginning of November 2009, shortly after the departure of our former lead guitarist and drummer. Kyle and I basically laid to rest about 13 songs that had been written then, what we had originally thought was going to be the material for Volume 2. Instead of holding onto these songs, we basically started from scratch. “In the House of Distorted Mirrors” was the first song we wrote when the band had been stripped down to just the two of us, “Ash-Shahid,” “Paedophilanthrope” and “Monody” were written around then, but they were a bit different – the material we write tends to undergo multiple revisions. The only song that is on The Burial Tree that was an idea already written is “Thaumatrope,” but that song also underwent some changes when we secured new musicians who were able to do more with their instruments. When Brendan, Alphonso and Shane became a part of the band, we brought the material we’d written to them and they added their own touch to the songs, and then as a full writing team we cranked out the rest of the material over the span of about one year. It probably would have taken a shorter amount of time, but Kyle and I had to first catch up the new guys on how to perform our older material before we could focus on writing for a new album. Once they were caught up, we also needed to get back into a routine of playing shows, and that also takes time, energy and resources away from concentrating on writing an album of new material. The last song written was “Bathos and the Iconoclast,” which was completed probably a month or two before we entered the studio. I have a feeling the writing process will move faster next time, mostly because everyone is caught up now and we’ve gotten used to the way we all operate.

ANA KEFR – The Burial Tree (II) album cover, which was created by the Dutch artist Bianca Van Der Werf and is aptly titled: The Watcher.

Rhiis: Lyrically, it all began with a ton of notes, and it remained as pages and pages of notes and ideas until about 2 months before we entered the studio. I wanted the music to be complete before I invested time and thought into what the vocals would do, so I just kept organizing and adding to this pile of notes. I went through a lot of ideas, many of which never made it onto the album, the whole writing process took probably 6 months. I knew that I wanted this album to be ridiculously layered with ideas and meaning, so that you could keep going back and re-discovering new things if you really paid attention. I’m really happy with the album, I feel like all the hard work put into every note and word has really paid off.

Stone: When you sit down to write the skeleton of a song, which instrument is it initially played on?

Kyle: Well, there are many ways we go about writing a song. I usually start by using the instrument of the mind to create an idea or feeling in particular, then from there I transfer it to my guitar. There have been many incidents where this process accrued on The Burial Tree. I also just like sitting down with another band member to create a song, either way it never falls short of Ana Kefr.

Stone: Which is that “one song” on “The Burial Tree (II)” that you feel the strongest emotional attachment to?

Alphonso: If I had to pick one song, it would have to be “In the House of Distorted Mirrors.” It was the first challenging song I had to go through. I remember going home and being worried about my skills. I had just joined the band and I didn’t want to make them feel like they made a wrong choice. So I had to practice more than usual. After having that song on lock…I knew it was going to get a little easier. I was wrong.

Stone: What non-Metal music influences and/or inspirations do you have to share? Be it bands, musicians, albums or songs? What band or musician is your greatest Metal influence?

Shane: Well, I have many influences. but if I had to pick one it would be Mike Portnoy. His drumming style is what got me into metal. Without his style of playing, I dont know what kind of music I would be playing.

Shane: The main musical influence that is not metal would be Frank Zappa. In my opinion he is one of the greatest musicians ever. “Joe’s Garage” and “Apostrophe” are two of my favorite albums of all time, along with “Dark side of the Moon” by Pink Floyd and “Colors” by Between the Buried and Me. But if you asked me to refer one artist for you to check out, it would be Zappa. Anything from his work is a musical adventure.

Stone: Woodwinds add another element of sound to “The Burial Tree (II)”, which only enhances an already progressive style your band exhibits. Are there other non-conventional Metal Music instruments you are considering to use, on future Ana Kefr albums?

Brendan: I was thinking about adding a slide whistle, kazoo, and a triangle in the next album. Actually that’s not true, I’ll probably stick to what I know how to play since triangle and kazoo lessons are so expensive. However I’m sure there will be some other obscure instrumentation on the next album, as well as a little more saxophone and clarinet than what’s on The Burial Tree (II). But, for now, I am simply focused on promoting this album in the meantime. When it comes to writing, the guitar parts and arrangements will be in place before anything else is brought into the mix.

Stone: If you could travel through time, what band or musician would you go to see performing live and why?

Kyle: I would travel back in time and examine the work and performance of Johann Sebastian Bach because of the wonderful music he has created. He is one of my big I’s.

Stone: What does the future hold for Ana Kefr touring?

Alphonso: We can not wait to get out there and tour for months, but we must start slow and build our tour in time. We will do the weekend shows, move up to a small northern California week tour, then travel a little farther from home. We will do our best to get out as much as we can. If we do this right, we could land a spot on a bigger tour.

Stone: How do you take care of your voice? Do you have any superstitions when it comes to vocal preparation?

Rhiis: I actually don’t take care of my voice by doing anything out of the ordinary. I’ve been making weird noises since I was a little kid, so I think my throat is used to the abuse. If I do get hoarse, I’ll stop talking for a day to let my vocal chords heal, but I usually don’t have any problems. I’ve had some ginger root, coffee and tea in the vocal booth when I’m screaming my brains out, but nothing seems to make a difference. I don’t have any superstitions regarding vocal preparation, but screaming along to Bloodbath on the way to a show or the studio seems to get me warmed up.

Stone: With so much chaos happening in the world around us, what would a soundtrack for mankind sound like in 2011, as performed by Ana Kefr?

Brendan: Honestly, that’s what I believe The Burial Tree sounds like. People often ask me to describe our sound, in which case I will reply with “if a brutal metal band wrote an epic movie soundtrack to humanity as we know it.” Our album encompasses our world and humanity as a whole in terms of the absolute feeling you get. It is organized chaos that stretches from the darkest tragedy and aggression to some of the most beautiful moments you can imagine; I feel it is similar to real life. Mankind is capable of absolute evil but also absolute good and plenty of gray. It is not often that there is a sharp contrast between the two. Tragic events, as well as noble ones, often contain a series of scenarios that lead to them. But that is not always the case. Sometimes it can take an unexpected turn for the best or for the worst. The music of The Burial Tree is similar in terms of how it leads into some of these starkly different moments. Often there is a flow from our heaviest and darkest moments that build into a beautiful moment. But just when you think you have it figured out, you are hit with the unexpected. The album (much like real life) can seem very chaotic and unpredictable yet, when it is all said and done, you are left reflecting on what you just experienced. It’s hard to imagine anything else that makes as much sense.

Stone: Thank you Ana Kefr for sharing your thoughts and insights collectively, as a band.

To read my complete album review of Ana Kefr’s The Burial Tree (II), (posted on February 9, 2011), just click the large header link below:

ANA KEFR – “The Burial Tree (II)” Progressively Extreme and Resists Metal Boundaries

LONG LIVE ANA KEFR.

Stone.

KEV MOORE “Blue Odyssey” – CD Is Out Now!

Posted in metal odyssey, Music, rock 'n' roll, rock and roll, rock music, rock music interviews, rock music news with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 19, 2010 by Metal Odyssey

KEV MOORE – Vocalist and bass guitarist for BC Sweet, Kev Moore has released yet more new solo material! Blue Odyssey is Kev’s new album and it is available now, by visiting: Miki’s Mart.com

I received my copy of Blue Odyssey in the mail yesterday… and it could not have come at a better time for me. Kev Moore has written a fabulous album of feel-good songs, good ol’ Rock ‘N’ Roll that has perked me up when I truly needed a positive boost this past week.

Blue Odyssey is Kev Moore’s personal interpretation through song, about his lifelong dream to take a trip through the music heartland of America, starting in Nashville, Tennessee. In January and February of 2010, Kev along with his partner Miki, took this dream trip and it is all captured on eighteen songs. Eighteen songs! I shall give Blue Odyssey it’s proper review in the very near future, right here on Metal Odyssey, after I digest it into my senses several more times!

I just want the world to know, that mulit-instrumentalist and Rock ‘N’ Roll extraordinaire Kev Moore has Blue Odyssey out and available to enjoy! Check out some of the links below, to learn more about Kev Moore, his music and art. The large header is the interview Kev did for Metal Odyssey back on August 5, 2010… it’s well worth checking out in case you missed it!

Kev Moore – myspace music

KEV MOORE: THE MUSIC BOX

Miki’s Mart.com

KEV MOORE – A METAL ODYSSEY INTERVIEW!

Long Live Kev Moore and Thank You, Kev.

Stone.

SAMOTH of The Wretched End – A Metal Odyssey Interview!

Posted in Black Metal, extreme metal music, extreme music, Heavy Metal, heavy metal bands, metal music, metal odyssey, Music, rock music, rock music interviews, rock music news with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 16, 2010 by Metal Odyssey

The Wretched End, above, from left to right: Nils Fjellström (drums), Cosmo (guitar, bass, vocals) and Samoth (guitar).

SAMOTH – When Metal legends come to mind, they are usually of the household variety. The mainstream variety. There are those Metal legends that don’t come pre-packaged and red carpet ready… they are of the underground variety. SAMOTH is a Metal legend of the underground Metal community. As a Black Metal influence, Samoth carved out his very own piece of Rock Music history, with his pioneering Extreme Black Metal band he founded with Ihsahn and Mortis back in 1991 which the world will forever know as – Emperor.

Being a founding member of an internationally acclaimed Extreme Black Metal Band the likes of Emperor, all those years ago as a teenager, was a building block towards Metal immortality. Samoth later co-founded the Blackened Death Metal band – Zyklon, which after thirteen years of Metal existence they disbanded in 2010. His musical affiliation and membership with many other Black and Extreme Metal bands are many, including SCUM and Satyricon.

Samoth reflects on his days with Emperor, touches on balancing a career and family, speaks about his influences, horror movies, his very own Nocturnal Art Productions and of course his newest Metal project, The Wretched End and their new Death/Thrash studio album of Extreme Metal intensity – “Ominous”. While I spoke to Samoth, I realized very quickly there are many sides to this legend of Metal. Samoth is all about Metal, through a do it yourself attitude, coupled with a business savvy awareness that has made him a success for twenty years and counting. Samoth is a multi-instrumentalist, a songwriter and a self-made record label owner, who speaks more fluent than most college professors that stood before me lecturing.

Every answer from this enormous figure of Metal History made legitimate sense to me… there was never a dry tone nor a sense of arrogance or self righteousness about Samoth. A man such as Samoth, has been to the top of the mountain (and actually lives on a mountain too) and considers The Wretched End a new beginning for him. I walked away from my interview with Samoth with reaffirming Metal respect. Here is what Samoth had to say:

Stone: What’s the story behind The Wretched End coming together?

SAMOTH: After the decision to split up Zyklon, I decided on forming a new band with Cosmo. We both worked together with Scum (Deathpunk Band). Cosmo also did live bass for Zyklon on tour as well. We live close by to each other, so we talked about doing this project together. In 2008 and 2009 we wrote all the material for the “Ominous” album and recorded in the Summer of 2009. Nils Fjellström (drums) joined on with us in the Summer of 2009.

Stone: Ominous has become for me, one of the high points in Metal for 2010. Are you pleased with all of the initial positive response?

SAMOTH: Yeah we are! I’ve just been doing a lot of press as of late for it. The people and fans really seem to like it. I’m pretty pleased with the album. We knew we made a great album.

Stone: How did the lyrics to Human Corporation evolve?

SAMOTH: The lyrics are about how everything is very monetary in our society, especially in the Western World. It’s about how free we are, yet in reality we are influenced in our everyday life… we’re told how to act, what to eat, what to look like, what to buy and what to wear. It’s all the horror of human corporation. Human Corporation is about how man is being removed from nature.

Stone: Will The Wretched End be touring North America in the near future? Any tour plans?

SAMOTH: Unfortunately, no. The Wretched End is a studio project. Still, we’ll see what happens for the future. I want to go ahead with another album. I’m already in pre-production for the next album. I’m happy with the working relationship of this band. I’m more active with the song writing process now. There are those long periods on the road, where I miss making music. I’d do writing on the road and try to motivate myself on the road, still, it started to feel too long, these periods between making music. I started to think about making a new band and The Wretched End came together. The Wretched End is a new beginning for me, even though the band name says otherwise.

Stone: You mention urban decay and factories as influences on your myspace. Can you elaborate further?

SAMOTH: It’s more like a nature influence. I live up on a mountain, in a beautiful setting. Urban decay is atmosphere of the world crumbling, being ruined by man’s hand. It’s all the self destruction of mankind.

Stone: Is the combination of Death, Thrash and Black Metal the ultimate Metal sound for you to capture?

SAMOTH: I guess it is. For the past twenty years it’s what I’ve been doing. Death, Thrash and Black Metal, compared to Zyklon, these are obvious similarities with the music. This is the music I’m most comfortable with. This is the music I’m influenced with and the foundation of my being a musician. It’s more interesting to me. I do draw more influences into my music, I like to become experimental at times. If it fits, I use it.

Stone: I see you list Tangerine Dream under your music influences, right in the midst of Slayer and Iron Maiden!

SAMOTH: Yeah, I listen to them. I do like ambient and electronic music. I find it to be inspiring. I prefer to listen to this music on a personally inspiring level.

Stone: Did you ever have a mentor?

SAMOTH: Not completely, no. I’ve always like to walk my own way and push myself to succeed. An artist inspiring me as I was growing up, that all took place.

Stone: Who inspired you?

SAMOTH: The classics are what inspired me. I liked KISS, W.A.S.P. and Judas Priest. My mom hated Blackie Lawless and that made me love him all the more!

Stone: Did you ever share the stage with W.A.S.P.?

SAMOTH: We played with W.A.S.P. in Finland, back in 2007. W.A.S.P. was larger than life when I was young, only when I got older, it’s not like that anymore. I like keeping my art dark, with death. It doesn’t mean my everyday life isn’t as dark.

Metal Odyssey Note: Emperor and W.A.S.P. shared the stage at the Tuska Open Air Metal Festival in Finland, on June 30, 2007. This Metal festival took place in Kaisaniemi Park, in the middle of Helsinki, Finland. Tuska Open Air Metal Festival has been an annual event, since 1998.

Stone: How was your Nocturnal Art Productions conceived?

SAMOTH: I started Nocturnal Art Productions back in ’93. I decided to start an underground record label, with no experience. A seven inch (vinyl) Emperor was the initial start. There was a lot of limited edition stuff. As I became more serious about it, I put more money into it, began to sign bands and created distribution. I did mail order for a period of time, still I needed a proper network. It takes up a lot of time and it took balance with being in a band. My main priority then was always the bands and Emperor. Through my relationship with Candlelight Records, Nocturnal became an imprint label with them, run by me through their network. This equals freedom for me. I always like to keep the Nocturnal name going, it makes a lot of sense for me as an artist.

Stone: It sounds so easy, the way you tell the story, only it must have been a great deal of work.

SAMOTH: I started from scratch, with a do it yourself attitude. I’ve always had a business sense and liked both sides of the music spectrum. This has helped me as an artist, to create contacts.

Stone: Who is the one musician Samoth wants to create music with still?

SAMOTH: That’s a tough one. You know who intrigues me is Devin Townsend. He has done some interesting stuff. He is a guy I would use for a producer. That’s the one for me to choose, Devin Townsend.

Metal Odyssey Note: Devin Townsend is both a musician and record producer, widely respected amongst Extreme Metal and Metal fans, musicians and the industry. Devin is the founder, vocalist and guitarist for Strapping Young Lad, which disbanded in 2007. Devin is carrying on his incredible career as a successful solo artist and producer.

Stone: What is your favorite Horror movie?

SAMOTH : I hardly watch them anymore, I hardly have anytime to watch them. When I used to watch Horror movies, it was the Omen trilogy. These movies inspired me. The soundtrack, the music itself is what really inspired me. I did enjoy Hellraiser, it was very dark. The first Evil Dead is a classic. On Blu-ray, these movies are not the same though. Watching the first Evil Dead on a beat up VHS, with the screen flickering, you can’t beat that.

Stone: You’re old school Samoth!

SAMOTH: I’m caught up in the digital chaos at my office though! Atmosphere is key to Horror movies. If there is no atmosphere, there is nothing. Today’s Horror movies are all caught up in special effects, there’s no atmosphere.

Stone: You have been a key member and a huge part of many bands over your career. Which band would you say was your proudest experience?

SAMOTH: Most definitely Emperor. We formed Emperor as teens. We had such an energy and were dedicated to the lifestyle of Black Metal. We all put everything into that band and built it into an international Extreme Metal influence. Emperor emotionally is my proudest experience right into my older life, it has led me to the musician I am today. It’s been twenty years already, since Emperor formed, holy crap! Before you know it, your an old geezer! I’m only thirty six years old and I’m talking like I’m ancient.

Stone: Well, the life of a Rock musician will probably have that affect on you, it must be grueling, with the lifestyle of touring and meeting your own recording deadlines.

SAMOTH: It’s because I started in my mid teens and had success in an early part of my life. Emperor did a fair share of touring and Zyklon toured much more. I like my home life, I’m a man at home. I strive for balance, between being a musician and my family.

Stone: If Metal took over the world, would you want to be it’s leader?

SAMOTH: If Metal took over the world, I like that. Sounds really stressful! It would be way too much stress. I have way too much stress on my plate already!

The Wretched EndOminous, was released on October 25, 2010, on Candlelight Records.

* For more info on The Wretched End and SAMOTH, click below:

The Wretched End – myspace music

SAMOTH – Official Myspace Music

LONG LIVE SAMOTH AND HIS METAL.

Thank you, Samoth.

Stone.

Greg Hampton Of The New Czars – A Metal Odyssey Interview And Overview!

Posted in Guitar, guitarists, Hard Rock, hard rock music, Heavy Metal, heavy metal music, metal odyssey, Music, progressive rock, rock and roll, rock music, rock music interviews, rock music news with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 9, 2010 by Metal Odyssey

GREG HAMPTON – What makes “the complete package” when it comes to being a musician? Everyone and their second cousin’s extended family would have a different answer for that. My answer is to look at Greg Hampton, the founder, lead vocalist, songwriter and guitarist for The New Czars. Trust me, I’ve probably left out many more Rockin’ hats that Greg wears in directing The New Czars to their Hard Rock heights… he is all about “hands on” with an old school work ethic, approach and mindset.

To incorporate relevance into a modern Hard Rock sound, while weaving a bit of experimentation into his music, Greg Hampton has seemed to tap into a realm of Heavy Music that has for too long been “the best kept secret” in the Rock Music world. Where the likes of King Crimson, RUSHNine Inch Nails and Tool (to name a few) have led the way and reaped the rewards for exemplary dives into Progressive, Industrial, Alternative and Experimental Heaviness, there are those “other” musicians and bands that have followed with the same attention to detail towards the Avant-garde. Greg Hampton and his band, The New Czars, are carrying that exploratory tradition onward, to shatter the normalcy that seems to blanket the Rock Music that has invaded our mainstream and subconscious.

The New Czars debut album, Doomsday Revolution, (Samson Records), was released on September 14, 2010… to an enthusiastic response amongst critics from the mainstream to the underground. I certainly applauded the diverse approach to what Greg Hampton set out to accomplish on Doomsday Revolution, the combination of music influences from Industrial to Funk are evident and transforms into what I would convey as… Hard Rock Cool and Hard Rock new… 2010 style.

Doomsday Revolution is sold just about anywhere… from itunes to Amazon. After The New Czars introduced the world to Doomsday Revolution, Greg Hampton wasn’t about to sit idle… it’s just not his style or character. I even question if Greg could spell the word idle… he’s that loyal and enthusiastic about the music he loves. Greg was soon busy on compiling and writing songs for the forthcoming EP from The New Czars, titled: Mining The Ruins. This EP is scheduled for a November 30, 2010 release.

On September 22, 2010, I received a very special surprise in my email inbox… an mp3 sent by Greg Hampton, it was his cover song of the ultra classic – Hey Joe. Now, you can either “cover” a song or you can cover a song while adding that “extra special” Rock ‘N’ Roll dust to it. Greg Hampton obviously had a jar full of special Rock ‘N’ Roll dust, just waiting for his cover of Hey Joe. I can remember vividly, the first time I listened to this mp3, on my computer that night. Honestly, I was stunned. Greg’s vocals were unreal… no, his guitar licks were unreal… no, it was both.

Greg was never trying to sound like or remotely copy the late and legendary Jimi Hendrix… Greg was only paying tribute to a Rock Star who started it all for the Hard Rock and arguably, the Heavy Metal movement, as we all know and love it today. As Greg expressed to me, “I have been a lifelong fan of Jimi Hendrix. With the fortieth anniversary of Jimi Hendrix’s passing approaching, I’ve been listening to a lot of his music. I wanted to do something to commemorate Jimi Hendrix on this important anniversary, through song. This cover of Hey Joe I’ve been working on for quite some time and I am very proud of it. I hope the fans will appreciate this cover of Hey Joe and like it as much as I do.”

Greg decided to give the “world premiere” of his cover of Hey Joe to Metal Odyssey… and on September 26, 2010, this amazing song was available for the world to hear. Metal Odyssey will forever cherish this moment… I can’t state just how honored I felt to have Greg put his cover of Hey Joe in my hands first. (Metal ostrich bumps moment, whoa). Greg played all instruments on Hey Joe, with the exception of drums. Chris Collier, (The New Czars alumni and multi-instrumentalist), was the drummer.

For those of you who may have missed out on hearing this ultra-terrific cover of Hey Joe, please feel free to click on the very large header below. I have a suspicion you might dig it:

World EXCLUSIVE Premiere – The Jimi Hendrix Experience “HEY JOE” Is Covered By THE NEW CZARS! LISTEN HERE FIRST!

Another exciting and historic Rock Music project that Greg Hampton has been working on, is his upcoming Tommy Bolin “Tribute” album he’s co-producing with Warren Haynes, along with associate producer/mixer Fabrizio Grossi. Once again, it is the genuine excitement and infectious urgency, in the voice of Greg, that let’s me know just how much he loves Rock ‘N’ Roll… and his allegiance to the late and great Tommy Bolin. If you’re to measure a man’s character, based on the number of his friends, well, the list below tells all about Greg Hampton.

Here is a rundown, of the beyond fabulous Rock musicians that have already completed sessions or are committed to this Tommy Bolin “Tribute” album: Steve Lukather, Warren Haynes, Brad Whitford, Nels Cline, Glenn Hughes, Oz Noy, John Scofield, Prairie Prince, Slash, Billy Gibbons, Ben Harper, Tom Morello, Derek Trucks, Steve Morse, John Scofield and Omar Rodriguez-Lopez. I do apologize, if I missed any names here… this is as up to the minute as I have available.

By now, you should agree that Greg Hampton is a veteran of the Rock Music industry. Working alongside the likes of Alice Cooper, he wrote songs and played lead guitar for 2008’s Along Came A Spider. To say that Greg Hampton holds the deepest respect and admiration for the legendary Alice Cooper is factual. Just the tone in Greg’s voice alone, when he speaks of Alice Cooper, tells the whole story. Greg speaks of not just writing songs for Alice Cooper. As I’ve interpreted it, from our conversations, he speaks of creating works of art for him. One listen to Along Came A Spider and you probably will agree. I know I sure do.

In October of 2009, Lita Ford returned, only this time there was some wickedness involved… Lita’s Wicked Wonderland album that is. Lita Ford had not released a studio album since 1995’s Black, regardless if you loved or hated Wicked Wonderland, the real Queen of American Hard Rock and Heavy Metal was back. Greg Hampton co-produced, mixed and played a variety of instruments for Wicked Wonderland.

As Greg has reflected on his working on the Wicked Wonderland album, he has done so with the upmost pride in it’s music that he helped create. Certainly, there have been some critics that have put down this album since it’s release, thus pushing Greg Hampton’s buttons. It is understandable, this album Greg Hampton worked tirelessly on, any album that has his signature on it he rightfully should defend. I’ve told Greg, it’s all a matter of personal interpretation, that music is art and open to critiques. I just hope Greg can forgive me, for my not liking Wicked Wonderland.

In 2007, Greg Hampton put together an “All-Star” band if you will, of musicians who seem to carry the same open mindedness to music exploration as he. Enter… Science Faxtion. Greg Hampton provides guitar and vocals, with Buckethead, Brian “Brain” Mantia, Tobe “Tobotius” Donohue and of course, Bootsy Collins. In October of 2008, they released Living On Another Frequency.

Of course, there are many other projects (both past and present) that Greg Hampton has been involved with as both a musician and producer. I’ve attempted to cover some of Greg’s works above, to give you a better insight and understanding of this tremendously skilled musician. In the past couple of months, I am very appreciative to have spoken with Greg Hampton, on many occasions. Greg’s candor and friendly approach to conversation does not get taken for granted by me… I’ve really enjoyed and appreciated speaking to him. Here is what Greg had to say, with some questions I asked of him:

Stone: Doomsday Revolution, your debut album with The New Czars, describe how excited and proud you are of this album… as you rightfully should be.

Greg: Very pleased! I went in with no set of rules. Be it good, bad or indifferent, people can perceive this album the way they want. I’m happy with it. I do hope people dig it still! Going in there were no pre-conceptions or guidelines. I’ve already had a little criticism about this album having uninspired lyrics.

Stone: What? Uninspired lyrics? Are you kidding me?

Greg: You know what, I have to please me first. At the end of the day, I’ve learned not to get too caught up in the reviews. I used to want to search out the guy and kick his ass but I’ve matured and I’m not like that anymore.

Stone: Is there a significant meaning in your band being named The New Czars?

Greg: No, not really. I was stuck in traffic, on Sunset Boulevard, on a Friday night and this band name just popped into my head! This album is a changing of the guard, musically, I guess. It has Metal and Progressive elements… and we’re all pretty good players doing it!

Stone: The more I listen to your vocals, which I admire, the more I hear some Ian Gillan influence. Am I off track, right on or kind of close in my opinion?

Greg: I’m more influenced by Glenn Hughes. Glenn is a great friend of mine. He came in to sing on a Tommy Bolin tribute album we’re doing. I’ve known Glenn for years. I had Trapeze albums when I was like, twelve or fifteen years old! One of my most favorite Glenn Hughes album is “Soul Mover”, Dave Navarro and Chad Smith played on it. It’s too bad more people don’t know about this record, it’s probably over their heads or something.

Stone: What is your idea or prediction of a Doomsday Revolution?

Greg: Well, I mean, the irony is my birthday is on December twenty first, it lands on the end of the world. As I blow out the candles, we’ll wait and see if we all implode! (laughs)

Stone: (laughs)

Greg: There’s a lot of conceptual things coming out. I’ve been researching and reading about more things, all of the elements I take in have opened my mind. “Doomsday Revolution” is no conceptual album though.

Stone: What motivated you to write “Why Do U Have 2 Lie”?

Greg: My good friend Billy Bob Thornton, he made a movie called “Daddy and Them”. It was an autobiographical situation about his life, a story that Billy told me about, it was about recollections of Billy’s life. That’s all I have to say about it really, I can’t elaborate any further.

Stone: “Brush With The Devil” takes me on an old school ride which I don’t mind taking. Was there an old school intent here, on your part?

Greg: I don’t know, in the early ’80’s, it was Pop stuff for me. My influence lies in the ’70’s, with the Beatles, Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin and Aerosmith. This song has an interesting meter and chord progression, I had to deliberate as how to sing it, with the melody over it and the chorus over it. It was a challenge.

Stone: “Time Stops” has many cool elements going on and is my favorite song on Doomsday Revolution. Which song is your personal favorite?

Greg: I like so many of them, “Crotch Critters”, “Don’t Watch Me”, “Time Stops” and “Why Do U Have 2 Lie”. The bridge on this song I could never get a handle on. I had the basic chords down. Paul came in and seemed to gel it all together. The initial verse came together on the piano, then I worked with the electric sitar for the basic elemental music. It’s hard to know! I wrote 25 songs, recorded nine or ten instrumentals, with another two or three vocal songs and two instrumentals on the digital bundle. Plus there are remixes on the digital bundle too. There are so many songs I like.

Stone: It’s understandable, Greg.

Greg: I can’t approach my music like when I write for Alice Cooper or Lita Ford, it just doesn’t make sense. They are different types of music. The instrumental things I really enjoy, it brings me thinking about Rush, I’m a big fan of Rush. I love the counter melodies Rush played. You know, I listen to the songs and re-learn my vocal bits. It’s a challenge singing on some of these songs! It’s the heat of the moment on recording them. I really do like neurodelica, it’s a crimsonesque (King Crimson like) instrumental. It’s not even on the record, it’s on the digital bundle.

Stone: Between Paul (Ill), David (Moreno) and yourself, there is a cornucopia of music styles you all are very well versed at playing. Can “Doomsday Revolution” be considered the consensus favorite style of music you guys really want to play?

Greg: There are so many different and eclectic musical variables in this new album. There are influences from Nine Inch Nails, the Beatles, some Jeff Beck fusion, Rush, King Crimson, Reggae and Funk. The song “Doomsday Revolution” has a funky Rock thing going on. I’m into too many types of music to be narrowing it down to what I play. When I’m driving the car, it could be Jimi Hendrix and Rammstein that I’m listening to! “Time Stops” has a Steely Dan-ish vibe happening with the verses and sitar parts. After “Time Stops” the songs get a little heavier though.

Stone: Having been influenced by King Crimson, describe how you felt having Adrian Belew contribute to “Doomsday Revolution”?

Greg: I always wanted to work with Adrian. Yet, I’m a huge fan of Rush too! I always liked Adrian’s solo stuff, I dug it all my life. I’ve always had a Beatles influence too. It’s more of a broad based influence with Adrian, he is a multi-instrumentalist like me. Adrian and King Crimson have held a depth of broad based musicianship over the years and that’s incredible. Adrian made me feel good that he compared our stuff to Nine Inch Nails and heavier King Crimson. Adrian is a great human being and an amazing singer too.

Stone: Being a multi-music talent, what is your favorite instrument to play and why?

Greg: Probably guitar. Right now, there are four sitting around me. It’s an immediate thing, I turn on my little amp on my desk and start writing and jamming.

Metal Odyssey Note: (Greg now picks up one of his guitars and breaks out into the opening riff from Alice Cooper’s – “Vengeance Is Mine”… and it kicks ass too).

Greg: “Vengeance Is Mine”… I wrote this song for Alice Cooper’s Along “Came A Spider” album. I never played that riff in my life, then one morning, with no coffee and barely awake, that riff just popped in my head as I was halfway down the stairs. This riff was of the instant gratification variety, I had three cups of coffee and finished the whole thing! All the main music was written and done before I recorded with Alice Cooper for “Along Came A Spider”. Most of the guitar parts I never changed a note. That album is all basically from the original first take. Don’t screw with it if it’s already good, why reinvent it?

Stone: That makes sense to me.

Greg: When Alice asked me what I had for “Along Came A Spider”, I had “Vengeance Is Mine” first. Eric Singer came over to my house and I played it for him, he said, “that’s the song man”! Eric played the drum fills, we did two takes on drums and then Eric walked out the door to tour Australia with KISS. Things went so well with it because I’ve known Eric since ’88, so I can communicate with him. I spent fifteen or sixteen hours of tracking this entire song, (“Vengeance Is Mine”), Alice’s vocals, mixing and everything else.

Stone: Wow, Greg. Most people would never know just how much time is spent in making a song, let alone an entire album.

Greg: I know.

Stone: What was it like to record with Alice Cooper on “Along Came A Spider”?

Greg: I’ve been a huge fan of his since I was a kid. Alice is the greatest guy and his stories are great! After so many years and probably thirty albums or so, there are so many stories. It was a gratifying and defining sort of experience for me. I wanted to deliver and I did. Rick Derringer and Pat Travers were big influences on me, so working with these guys over the years along with Alice… it’s check it off my bucket list so to speak! Alice would produce me! Danny Saber, Alice and I wrote all the songs for “Along Came A Spider”. Alice is a true professional and a legend. His memory retention of what he just sang is astounding! He’s a brilliant guy and a wonderful human being.

Stone: Does Alice Cooper belong in The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame?

Greg: That’s a criminal thing, really. There wouldn’t be a lot of these people in the industry without Alice Cooper. It’s just stupid and ridiculous that he’s not in there. Obviously, somebody in that committee over there has it out for him. It’s embarrassing to all of us in this business and it’s pathetic. You would think that someone on that committee would have the balls to do the right thing. It’s such a political mess going on with that place.

* For more info on The New Czars, just click on the link below:

THE NEW CZARS – myspace music

The New Czars

From left to right: Paul Ill (bass), Greg Hampton (guitar), David “Chilli” Moreno (drums)

LONG LIVE GREG HAMPTON & THE NEW CZARS.

Thank You, Greg.

Stone.

KEV MOORE – A METAL ODYSSEY INTERVIEW!

Posted in classic rock music, Hard Rock, hard rock bands, hard rock music, Heavy Metal, heavy metal music, metal odyssey, Music, punk rock music, rock 'n' roll, rock and roll, rock music, rock music interviews, rock music news with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 5, 2010 by Metal Odyssey

(Photo courtesy of Kev Moore archives)

The roots of Rock ‘N’ Roll. That’s what has shaped and molded the Rock, Hard Rock and Heavy Metal we all listen to today, including their respective sub-genres. Here at Metal Odyssey, I always try to acknowledge the bands and musicians who have been a part of Rock ‘N’ Roll’s evolution. Many bands and musicians that have carved out their own place in Rock ‘N’ Roll history may not be cracking the Billboard charts or walking the Hollywood red carpets. Still, these bands and musicians hold the same weight of importance for me, especially when their contributions to the history of Rock ‘N’ Roll are of quality, sincerity and time tested credibility. These are the bands and musicians who don’t create music because they feel they have to, they create based on their genuine love they have for Rock ‘N’ Roll. Step right up… Kev Moore.

From Punk Rock to Pub Rock with Rock, Hard Rock and Heavy Metal in between, Kev Moore has played it and lived it. Kev Moore is currently recording his new album, Blue Odyssey and was very considerate to take the time to answer questions for Metal Odyssey. Kev talks about his upcoming album, where his Rock ‘N’ Roll career started, being a one time member of The Gonads, his biggest Rock influence and of course… being the current vocalist and bass guitarist for the legendary BC Sweet. There is also Kev’s membership with Christie and his past membership with Graham Olivers Saxon and so much more… I’ll just let Kev tell you all about it in his words!

* Definitely check out the links at the end of this interview… so you can learn more about the terrific bands that Kev Moore has been a part of throughout his Rock ‘N’ Roll life.

Stone: Kev, you are currently in the studio recording a new album called “Blue Odyssey”, can you elaborate and give fans a sneak peak at what to expect?

Kev: Well, at the beginning of the year, I took a 2 month tour around the major music cities of the American South, Nashville, Memphis, Helena, Clarksdale, New Orleans, Austin, etc, and the album is basically a ‘road diary’ – that is to say, each song charts my journey and experiences and changes musical style accordingly, so it’s a fairly eclectic mix!  I’ve been lucky enough to have contributions from some American blues musicians, plus a legendary DJ, “Sunshine” Sonny Payne from King Biscuit Time. I don’t claim that it’s bona fide blues, but rather, the result of how my music has been influenced by being immersed in that environment. It’s nearing completion, and should be out in a couple of months. For now, you can hear a small taster by clicking here: Kevin Andrew Moore – myspace music

Stone: Is Tubeless Hearts where it all began for Kev Moore?

Kev: Tubeless Hearts is the band where I began seriously gigging around the UK (having spent two years in a touring band in Scandinavia) – but the two bands from my teens, Midnight Express ( a new wave pub band) and Crosstown Traffic (complicated rock band!)  were where I first started developing my songwriting and stage craft.  In fact, Stef Cybichowski, the drummer from Crosstown Traffic, has put down some drums for my new album, over 30 years after we last worked together! Tubeless Hearts however, became a mainstay for me, the nucleus stayed together many years and we recorded a single (in 1982) and an album (1994) that have become highly collectible. The album, “Three”, featured Graham Oliver from Saxon, and was retro-reviewed in the 100th issue of Powerplay magazine, as it’s begun to command silly money on the internet nowadays! Being in Tubeless Hearts proved to be a springboard to many other areas of my career.

Stone: As noted in your introduction, you have been a part of many bands during, your music career, as well, being a solo artist. What is Kev Moore’s most proud music achievement thus far?

Kev: It’s difficult to pick one. From a live perspective, I would probably have to say playing at Moscow Dynamo stadium with Christie on our tour of Russia. It was an amazing gig, and we were so well looked after, being granted admittance to Lenin’s tomb in Red Square – quite something!
Recording wise, I was always very proud of the Tubeless Hearts album, and whilst it didn’t pull up any trees on release, history seems to have been kind to it. Though I have to say, my first solo album, which I made available as a free download, was a big achievement for me, writing, playing and producing everything on it.

(Photo courtesy of Kev Moore archives)

Stone: Being the lead vocalist and bassist of BC Sweet, are there moments when you stop to reflect on the significant Rock roots of this band?

Kev: Very much so. In fact, the roots and history of this band are so strong, and feekings have run high over the years, mostly before my time with the band. Andy Scott runs his version of The Sweet, as does Steve Priest, who recently came out of retirement in L.A. As you know, this band was started by the late Brian Connolly who I had done some shows with as a part of Christie, and met him several times. After Brian died, the band decided to continue with various line up changes and evolved and continued with the blessing of former members into what you see today. For my part, I feel privileged to be able to play such a great canon of pop rock material, and I like to think we pay homage to the hard rock side of the Sweet. We feature some of the rockier stuff such as “Turn it Down” and one of the great ‘b’ sides “Burn on the Flame”.  From my perspective as a bassist, I’m very lucky indeed to be part of a rhythm section with Pete Phipps (Glitterband, Eurthymics, Mike Rutherford, XTC) I like to think we stay true to the rock roots – even the bubblegum songs are played a little more forcefully, shall we say!

Stone: Do you regularly stay in touch with Graham Oliver and/or Steve Dawson?

Kev: Graham and I have always stayed in touch and often discuss working together again, but it’s always a case of trying to find time that suits us both, which is easier said than done, particularly with me living in Spain! I regard him as one of my closest friends, a great guitarist and a real gentleman. Steve’s also a great bloke, but I haven’t seen him in a while.

Metal Odyssey Note: Graham Oliver and Steve Dawson are founding/former members of Saxon, a pioneering band of the NWOBHM.

(Photo courtesy of Kev Moore archives)

(Pictured above: Graham Oliver/left, Kev Moore/right)

Stone: Which Saxon song was your favorite to perform live?

Kev: There are two that spring to mind. Firstly, “Dallas 1pm”. I’ve actually been to the spot where JFK was assassinated, and I think the song is so theatrical, you don’t need a video, it tells the story beautifully, as all the best songs do. The second is “Strong Arm of the Law” – another story in a song, but what I love about it is the sheer unstoppable boogie of it, it’s real fun to hammer that one out live!

Metal Odyssey Note: Currently known as Oliver/Dawson Saxon, Kev Moore was lead vocalist and played bass on the first tour with Son Of A Bitch… which later was renamed – Oliver/Dawson Saxon, after Steve Dawson joined up with Graham Oliver. Kev Moore was lead vocalist while on tour as a member of the first incarnation of Oliver/Dawson Saxon, while Steve Dawson played bass. Kev Moore never recorded for either Son Of A Bitch or Oliver/Dawson Saxon. However, Kev Moore did sing and play bass on Graham Oliver’s solo album – “End of an Era”.

Stone: What is your current and/or future status as a member of Christie?

Kev: I’m a fully paid up member of Christie – though we took something of a sabbatical from around 2004-2008. In 2009 we took things up a gear to coincide with Jeff releasing a double CD “Floored Masters” and did a Summer European tour, which was a blast, resurrecting a few Christie songs that had never been played live before. This year, we have a couple of shows in Germany, and I’ve invited Jeff to come over to work on some material in my studio.

Stone: How did you get introduced to The Gonads, resulting in your being a past member of their band?

Kev: The Gonads is a long story. I formed a duo back in the 90’s with a guitarist called Dave Sargent for a covers album project that someone had put the money up for. I approached “Gang of Four ” producer Bob Miller (he’d done some work with us on one of the Tubeless Hearts album tracks) and he suggested a guy called Clyde Ward who had a studio down in Southampton. Well, the sessions with Clyde were great, we became great friends, which we still are to this day. Clyde became very succesful working with European dance acts such as U96,  and also as a co-writer and producer for Right Said Fred, but in his heart he’s a rocker, sharing a love of Philo and Thin Lizzy with me!  He’s also a close friend of Garry Bushell, and they had developed a side project resurrecting The Gonads for a one off single. It created such a stir in the U.S. that Dave and I were recruited into a newly-reformed Gonads, and we toured the East and West coasts of America in 1998, eventually releasing three albums, the last of which I filmed a couple of videos for which ended up on Garry’s dvd. Once again commitments have prevented me from doing anything since then, though when I spoke to Garry a few months ago, he said how he’d love to do something with Clyde and I again some day. One of the highlights of my time with The Gonads was playing the legendary (and now sadly gone) CBGB’s in New York.

Stone: Your 2009 single “Derby Pride” is a fine Rockin’ salute to the Derby County Football Club! Will a series of songs for the Derby Football Club materialize to CD?

Kev: Following Derby Pride, I did in fact record an entire album in homage to my team!  It’s done very well, mainly because Derby County have a huge and loyal fanbase. I sell it from my website mooremusic.biz and the club shop at Derby’s stadium, Pride park, also stock it.

Stone: Another single from 2009, “The Co-Op Cow” is a Pub Rocker that tells of a love that seemed to go astray. Is this song based on a real experience?

Kev: The Co-op Cow is also featured on the Derby album, this is because it refers to many landmarks around the Derby area, the Co-op cow of the title being the chief among them. It is a huge red neon cow, which advertises Co-op milk, and has many times been threatened with destruction, but I believe is now the subject of a preservation order. As a child, my abiding memory is of coming back into Derby on a cold night either by train or bus, and seeing the red neon glow in the night sky, and knowing you were nearly home. The story of lost love….not based on actual events, but it’s so generic, it could be any of us, couldn’t it? I was never stood up beneath the cow, but I’ve certainly been stood up!

(Photo courtesy of Kev Moore archives)

(Pictured above: Kev Moore live with Christie, Jeff Christie in center)

Stone: “The Turre Stomp” is a song that fuses together a mix of sounds, from Rock and Funk vibes with Middle Eastern strings, making for quite the fun listen. What influences tapped you on the shoulder for this song?

Kev: The Turre stomp is a song I’ve had kicking around for a while, and infact will be the last track on my Blue Odyssey album, completing the circle of the journey, if you will. Turre is the village in Southern Spain where I live. For those who don’t know, this area is the only classified ‘desert’ in Europe, and although irrigation and climate change over the last 25 years have changed it a lot, when I go up on the roof in midsummer, it really has that feel to it. It’s the area where Clint Eastwood made his famous western trilogy, and at the other end of our village, Indiana Jones was dragged down the ravine underneath the Nazi truck. I wanted to create a song that captured the heat, the dryness, and to some extent, the mystery. I tried a lot of sounds before I settled on the sitar, but once I had, it came together nicely.

Stone: What is the one thing you wish you could change about the Rock Music industry?

Kev: I think a lot of things need changing! But if I were to pick one……There’s been such a seismic shift in the way the industry works now, but I mourn the passing of the days when bands were signed with the understanding that they could be developed over a period of time. Let me take as an example Budgie, a great welsh power trio who were a big influence on me becoming a pro musician, and who I had the pleasure to meet a few years back. They were signed to A&M. They released a string of albums, probably 7 in as many years, touring regularly, never had a hit single!  Can you imagine a label sticking behind a band like that nowadays? It’s no surprise acts like Yes, Jethro Tull, Genesis, Fleetwood Mac etc, continue to sell, they were designed, and encouraged, for longevity.  Now, you’re lucky to even get your album out if a lead-in single flops. I know of artists who have to sit and watch their tapes gather dust on shelves, never to see a release. I’d like to see a return to The Music business instead of The music Business, if you know what I mean!

Stone: Who or what band has been the greatest influence on Kev Moore’s music career?

Kev: I think I’d have to say Trapeze. I’m not sure it necessarily comes out in my music, but from the moment I heard that band I thought “this is absolute perfection – funk and rock beautifully combined, wonderful understated incisive guitar, and that voice!”  I’ve met Glenn Hughes on several occasions and told him he was the single biggest influence on my becoming a professional musician. I kind of “back-dated” to Trapeze via Deep Purple. I was around 15, I’d been playing the drums for about 7 years, and then I bought “Burn”.  I just homed in on Glenn’s vocals and bass playing. I just remember thinking “that is what I want to do”.

Stone: Does Kev Moore make music or does music make Kev Moore?

Kev: It’s a vicious circle, Stone! I think it’s something like an energy exchange. Perhaps, at one time, I’d have been tempted to say the former, but having had a longer than usual period away from the stage, I’d have to say that on balance, it is music that defines me. Simply, I’ve never really known, nor wanted to do, anything else.

(Photo courtesy of Kev Moore archives)

(Pictured above: Graham Oliver/left, Kev Moore/right)

* For more info on Kev Moore, just click here: mooremusic.biz

* Listen to Kev Moor’s music, browse around and purchase the digital downloads of “Derby Pride”, “The Co-op Cow” and “The Turre Stomp” by clicking here: KEV MOORE: THE MUSIC BOX

* For more info on Oliver/Dawson Saxon, just click the link below:

OLIVER/DAWSON SAXON – myspace music

* For more info on The Gonads… click here: THE GONADS

* For more info on Jeff Christie and his band Christie, click on the link below:

JEFF CHRISTIE – Official Website

LONG LIVE KEV MOORE & HIS ROCK ‘N’ ROLL!

Stone.

DERAILED – A METAL ODYSSEY INTERVIEW!

Posted in Hard Rock, hard rock bands, hard rock music, Heavy Metal, heavy metal bands, heavy metal music, heavy metal news, metal odyssey, Music, rock music, rock music interviews, rock music news with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 4, 2010 by Metal Odyssey

DERAILED: Call ’em Old School. Call ’em Traditional Heavy Metal. I just call DERAILED damn good at delivering the Hard Rock and Metal goods. What makes DERAILED so retro-pleasin’ is their blending of Hard Rock and Metal and they do it with plenty of relevance and melodic might. If a NASA satellite ever picks up a thunderous sound coming out of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, it is more than likely DERAILED playing a live set.

With their debut CD Judgement Day already released locally and to the music media, DERAILED is setting their sights on unleashing their brand of Metal onto the worldwide stage on September 6th, 2010. Good Metal Music gets heard. Great Metal Music gets heard and then screamed about amongst the Heavy Music community. I’m screaming here about DERAILED and their debut album Judgement Day.

DERAILED is led by guitarist and founding member Dean Boland. Dean also acts as songwriter, lyricist and producer for DERAILED. With years of Metal experience under his belt, Dean Boland has put together a band that exhibits an all encompassing talent and passion for the Hard & Heavy Rockin’ music they play. With vocalist Johnie Sin, drummer Terry Cornelson and bassist Steve LeGault, the Metal foundation of DERAILED is built, loaded and ready to succeed, with Dean leading the way.

Dean Boland took some time recently, to answer some questions for Metal Odyssey, here is what he had to say:

Stone: Just how did this talented group of musicians get together to form Derailed?

Dean: Derailed was originally formed in 2008. Terry, aka “Big T” was my drummer in my solo project BOLAND PLAN in 2006, so it just felt natural to keep playing together in the new “heavier” project DERAILED. We actually met at a Black Label Society concert and hit it off right away. Steve joined about half way through 2008, and we’ve known each other since the 80’s, you could say that he is one of the most sought out bass players in the city and has played in numerous “A” room cover bands including “The Guy Jones Band”, a local Alice Cooper tribute band and “Original Sin”, an Ozzy tribute. Johnie came along in 2009, when I decided to give up the lead vocal position & just concentrate on guitars. Johnie is the lead singer for the local Iron Maiden tribute band “Edward The Great” here in Calgary and when I went to check him out at a show, you could say he had the goods to take DERAILED to the next level, something I couldn’t quite do. So after auditioning him in my studio on a few songs, we decided to make a go of it. Unfortunately, all the songs were already written when Johnie came along, so he hasn’t quite put his stamp on the band as of yet, but the future looks very bright & he brings lots of excitement to the table.

Stone: On “Judgement Day”, a nod to Hard Rock and Melodic Metal is ever present. What was the process or mindset in choosing the music style of Derailed?

Dean: I’ve always been a big fan of metal/melodic metal since as long as I can remember. It just felt natural to start playing heavier and more aggressive. When I played in RANDOM DAMAGE (Mascot Records), our debut self titled CD was really heavy, you could probably classify it as Thrash Metal, Ray Hartmann formerly of ANNIHILATOR was the drummer, and that was a big part of our sound. BOLAND PLAN was more of an experiment for me as a lead vocalist, more of a hard rock/alternative sound, maybe in the vain of The Foo Fighters, STP style. I think my Metal roots took me back to where I began and really loved to play guitar. I missed playing solos and having intricate drum fills, etc… having that aggressive tone. So for me, I think I’ve come full circle, and have started to write some killer shit now!

Stone: Dean, you have been involved with many other bands and projects over the years. How valuable is it to have experience in today’s music industry?

Dean: Absolutely invaluable! I’ve really been able to hone my writing and producing skills because of all the projects I’ve been involved in. I never did do the “cover band” thing, maybe for the first year I was learning…. That’s a funny story, I played in a band called AGGRESSOR , and our set list consisted of 12 Metallica songs (first 3 albums), 12 Iron Maiden songs (first 3 albums), 3 to 4 Judas Priest, Anthrax, and Megadeth songs. Talk about being thrown into the “Metal Fire”!! Nevertheless, it really developed my chops for playing metal and loving it every minute. After that band, I formed my first original Metal band called DOOMSAYER and left the “cover planet” forever!

Stone: How much fun “and” hard work was it, bringing this Derailed debut album to reality?

Dean: Writing and recording is always fun and exciting. It’s very rewarding watching a song take form from where it started from. Yes, it is a lot of hard work… but at the end of the rainbow, it’s all worth it. Creating is what I do best and what I love to do. For me, the most important aspect of the music is will people believe it? Is it real? Is it honest? So I just write what naturally comes out and go from there.

Stone: Will Derailed be touring the United States later in 2010?

Dean: Probably not, but would love to. We are currently looking for management to help out in that area. Touring is high on our priority list, but it has to make sense financially. As long as the CD gets good reviews, I think touring will fall into place naturally, and what better place to start than P.A.!! Maybe you could put something together for us?

Stone: I’ve never dabbled in concert promotion before… now you have given me something to ponder!

Stone: Are you interested in having Derailed play a future festival in the States?

Dean: Festivals would be awesome! I look forward to playing a large venue, as do the other guys. Do you have one in mind??

Stone: I can see Derailed fitting in quite well with the likes of an M3 Rock Festival or Rocklahoma. Actually, you guys could play any Hard Rock or Heavy Metal Festival with the sound, style and attitude your packing!

Stone: Derailed certainly exhibits an Old School sound and feel in their songs. What band or bands are the core of your heavy music influence?

Dean: I think a lot of our metal influence come from bands like Megadeth, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Kings X, Metallica(old), Rush, Black Sabbath and Black Label Society.

Stone: As a lyricist, where do you draw the most inspiration from?

Dean: I draw most of my inspiration from real life situations, whether it’s war, or peace for that matter. Reality sometimes sucks, so it’s easy to draw topics from real events. I try and look at the positive outcome a negative situation can have. That being said, I’m considering doing a concept theme for the next CD, so a fictional story isn’t out of the question.

Stone: I really appreciate your cover of “I Want To Change The World” on “Judgement Day”. How did you decide to cover this classic song?

Dean: That’s a song that’s always stuck with me, right from the first time I ever heard it. I always talked about covering it on an album, so when the chance finally came, it was great! I’m really happy the way it turned out, Johnie really delivered on it!

Stone: Johnie certainly did!

Stone: “Shine” is my favorite song on “Judgement Day”, can you give some details as to how this song evolved?

Dean: I originally wrote that song for Random Damage some years back, so I’ve been carrying it around for a while. It’s about personal gratification, achieving your goal in your life quest, so to speak. For me, playing on stage in front of people who adore what you do, there is no better feeling in the world, you yearn to SHINE…

Stone: I liken “Judgement Day” to be a throw-back album, where each song matters. Is this statement accurate?

Dean: Yes, I think so. I think melody & heaviness is a very powerful combination, and if done properly can be very memorable. I believe each song has it’s own identity…. At least I hope they do!

Stone: Dean, you have worn many hats in the music industry over the years, which hat is your favorite?

Dean: The hat I’m wearing now seems very comfortable! It feels good to be writing songs that people appreciate, but most of all, that I’m digging! I’m really looking forward to the next CD, you never know what hat I’ll have on.

Stone: If Derailed could hook up with any band in the land to tour with, what band would that be?

Dean: Very good question… I think the rest of the band might have an answer all their own. For me, it would have to be Dream Theatre. Petrucci is just so good. Iron Maiden would be stellar as well!

Stone: Fantastic choices, Dean. I can easily envision DERAILED touring with those two legendary bands!

* To read the Metal Odyssey review for DERAILED – Judgement Day, just click on the link below:

DERAILED “JUDGEMENT DAY” – AN OLD SCHOOL WRECKING BALL OF METAL & HARD ROCK!

* For more info on DERAILED, just click here: DERAILED – Official Website

* And you can also click here: DERAILED – myspace music

LONG LIVE DERAILED!

Stone.

MORPHINE KILLER – A Metal Odyssey Interview!

Posted in extreme metal music, gothic metal music, hard rock bands, hard rock music, Heavy Metal, heavy metal albums, heavy metal bands, heavy metal music, heavy metal news, interviews, metal music, metal odyssey, Music, rock music, rock music interviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 16, 2010 by Metal Odyssey

MORPHINE KILLER Belle Roka is a singer and plays keyboards. Eski, he too is a singer and also plays bass, guitar and drums. These two talents combined have created what I consider to be one dynamic Metal Band… Morphine Killer. If diversity is the key to success, Morphine Killer is on the fast track. From Extreme Metal to Rock, this Stanton, California Metal Band is making some serious Heavy Music, so good in fact they caught my Metal attention with ease. Add in the pluses of contagious enthusiasm for music, a deep respect for Classic Rock and the roots of Rock ‘N’ Roll, Belle and Eski have the discipline, skills and foresight to make Morphine Killer soar.

With their 2009 EP releases of Unapologetic and Nightmares, a brand new single Throw It All Away released in March of 2010 and a new album to be released towards the end of this year, Morphine Killer is steadily building a credible catalog of Heavy Music. I caught up to Eski and Belle recently, as they took the time out of their hectic schedule to chat to Metal Odyssey. Here is what they had to say:

Metal Odyssey: Where and how did Belle and Eski cross musical paths?

Belle: We met through mutual friends. It was right away, that we began talking about music, Eski said he could record me and I said great!

Eski: Both of our musical projects were coming to an end, so it just made sense and felt right that we should make music together.

Metal Odyssey Note: Eski’s two previous bands were Reckoning Day and Honor The Fallen. Belle’s previous music project was Xob.

Metal Odyssey: Your band name Morphine Killer just screams Metal, how did this name come about?

Eski: Originally, when there was no name for our band, I was looking at song titles, like Nightmare and In Silent Agony. Then we went with Morphine Killer. In Silent Agony was just too depressing!

Metal Odyssey: Is your new single “Throw It All Away”, which Rocks the hell out me by the way, a prelude to an upcoming album or EP?

Eski: We’re finishing up on a full length album now, with a release date towards the end of the year. There will be ten or eleven new songs on this album and Throw It All Away is included on it. We never considered putting any of the songs from our two EP’s on this upcoming album, it just would not sit right with us.

Metal Odyssey: Yeah, I’ve seen so many bands over the years do just that, put a previously released EP on a future album. It’s like paying for the songs twice if your a fan.

Eski: I agree.

Metal Odyssey: Does Eski and Bell agree to disagree?

Belle: We don’t always agree, most of the time it all gels together and in the name of music it’s totally worth it.

Eski: We have a song that is slower than anything that we have ever done, more of a ballad, that’s on our upcoming album. The slow ones, those are the songs you really have to work on.

Belle: To the benefit of the song, we work things out.

Metal Odyssey: Morphine Killer has fused together, rather seamlessly, two separate worlds of vocals. The dark and extreme can really coexist with soothing harmony, can’t it?

Belle: Yeah!

Eski: Definitely.

Belle: We have been exposed to an underground L.A. Metal scene that has beautiful sounds of screaming and harmony together.

Eski: Out in Europe, I like looking at what Epica and After Forever have done with vocals.

Belle: We really love bringing something different to music. We wouldn’t be pushing the boundaries of music if we both sounded the same.

Metal Odyssey: “Clutching Defeat” from the “Nightmares” EP seems to be the heaviest and angriest Morphine Killer song. Where did you draw the extreme inspirtation for this intensely great Metal song?

Eski: “Clutching Defeat” has an Old School, Thrash vibe, with a Metallica like riff. It’s a song I took on all myself. It’s a song about knowing you get defeated all the time and you are always being close to winning, then something takes it away.

Metal Odyssey: How supportive has Final Breath Records been to Morphine Killer?

Eski: That’s our company!

Metal Odyssey: Hey, great for you guys! That’s very cool.

Eski: We started this label to back our own stuff.

Belle: It’s being entrepreneurs and we really enjoy knowing we can do this.

Eski: To be taken seriously as musicians, we have to do this and have control of our music.

Metal Odyssey: A rising band like Morphine Killer can utilize a vast array of internet platforms to gain exposure. Does utilizing the internet for promotion take away some of the stress of needing to get your name and music out to the world?

Eski: Sometimes, only there are a lot of other people using the same platforms as us. Interviews and reviews do help of course!

Belle: There is always going to be equal stress, we still have to be going to places for promoting ourselves. The internet is a fantastic gateway of course, the best gateway right now is selling on itunes. It’s the way of the future and we use the technology to our most advantage. Eski is in charge of our marketing and promotion, he’s our publicist as well. Eski is the one behind our website and Myspace Music Page. The amount of exposure Morphine Killer has generated in just two years, is remarkable.

Metal Odyssey: No one can say the two of you are lazy, that’s for sure! I give both of you enormous credit for taking charge and making it happen.

Eski and Belle: Thanks!

Metal Odyssey: “She’s Slipping Away” just resonates with emotion in both Belle’s vocals and the lyrics. Is this song about a personal experience?

Belle: Yes it is. This is a song I wrote about my Mom. She passed away a couple of years ago from cancer. It was a terrible experience, to watch someone I love so much suffer and die this way.

Metal Odyssey: I’m very sorry to hear that Belle. I’m sorry for your loss.

Belle: I wanted to really put my emotions in song for others to hear it, so people could relate. Instead of sitting around at home and doing nothing about what I was feeling and going through, I wrote this song, both the music and lyrics. I do want people to take away whatever inspiration they want from this song, fans don’t have to relate it to my personal loss.

Metal Odyssey: Eski, you and Belle are without question, multi-talented musically, the “Nightmares” and “Unapologetic” EP’s prove this. With that said, would you ever consider adding musicians to Morphine Killer?

Eski: I would like to. It would be a different vibe, as opposed to playing instruments back to you vs. a live environment.

Metal Odyssey: Eski, what is your favorite instrument to play?

Eski: I’m trying to make the bass more fun. I’m more inclined to play the bass live.

Metal Odyssey: You have posted many of your music influences on the Morphine Killer Myspace Music Page. Which band or what musician is your most personal influence?

Eski: Metallica! I especially like “Master Of Puppets”, it’s just awesome! Avenged Sevenfold as well.

Belle: I like Classic Rock. Heart and more recently, Gwen Stefani. Vocally, it’s Ann Wilson and Gwen Stefani, I love those two women! I was raised on Classic Rock because of my parents. Classic Rock was imbedded in our minds, it was the music our parents played in the car and at home.

Eski: As a kid growing up, I knew about bands like Boston and Deep Purple before I knew of Metal!

Metal Odyssey: What band or bands are you aspiring to tour with down the Metal road?

Belle: Good question!

Eski: Metallica, someday!

Metal Odyssey: Hey, there’s nothing wrong with aiming high!

Belle: Avenged Sevenfold is what Eski always says as well. Nine Inch Nails would be great!

Eski: Deathklok, just because of the way their assembled. I really admire what Brendon Small has accomplished with Deathklok, just the way he built that band.

Metal Odyssey: Where will Morphine Killer be in ten years?

Eski: Hopefully on the radio!

Belle: Oh yeah!

Metal Odyssey: Well, something tells me you will be. Especially with the talent and attitude you both have.

Stone.

* You can check out more Morphine Killer by clicking onto their official website and Myspace Music Page links below!

MORPHINE KILLER – Official Website

MORPHINE KILLER – Myspace music

LONG LIVE MORPHINE KILLER!

Stone.

 

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