fredag 28 juni 2013

Tidigare opublicerad intervju med Stephen Pearcy i Ratt.

2006 gjorde jag en telefonintervju med Pearcy. Anledningen till den vet jag faktiskt inte. Jag hade länge hoppats på att en dag få ta ett snack med denne gamle hjälte, men hur det kom sig att det blev av har jag glömt. Det kan ha haft att göra med en planerad europaturné med hans soloband, men jag vet inte om den ens blev av.
Hur som helst, jag ringde upp Pearcy och möttes av en ganska pratglad gammal rocker, som föreföll att ha både en och två drinkar innanför västen, trots att klockan bara var runt lunch i Kalifornien. 
Att jag sedan inte skrev ut intervjun vet jag inte anledningen till. Det här var ju ändå ett snack jag sett fram emot. Kanske hade jag mycket annat att göra och glömde helt enkelt bort den?
När Pearcy nu författat sin självbiografi, "Sex, drugs and ratt & roll", tyckte jag att det kunde vara på sin plats att publicera intervjun, trots att den är något inaktuell.

When was the last time you played Europe? 

Stephen: I think the last time I was there was in ´91 with my band Ratt. I believe that was Robbin´s last tour there and before that it was with Ozzy.

Your album “Fueler” is out in the US, right? 

Stephen: Yeah, it´s out on Top Fuel Records and we refueled it with four new tunes and we´re good to go. I´m very happy with that record. It´s pretty cohesive and fast, colorful, exciting and dangerous.

Is it kinda like the stuff you´ve done before? 

Stephen: Well, you see, with my solo stuff… back in ´85 when I created Top Fuel Records, I knew I wanted to do my own thing. I wanted to record when I wanted and take as long as I want. I didn´t wanna get told who to write with and I wanted 100%. (laughs) The bottom line is that I started working with Viscous Delite, this other band, and I like the heavier stuff. A lot of people don´t know that Robbin and I were like the real true heavy metal guys, Maiden, Priest, Saxon and the heavier the better. When we would bring our ideas into Ratt, they would be real heavy songs. Like the EP! I wrote all those songs on the Ratt EP and those are from the Mickey Ratt days and those are all my compositions, so that´ll give you an idea. I like that heavy hard rock and totally support it and whenever me and Robbin would bring in songs, they would be fuckin´ ass kicking. It would be these heavy metal tunes and those guys would just round off the edges. (laughs) And then you´d have Ratt music. With my solo stuff I´m able to do whatever the fuck I want.

What is it you´ve got going with Top Fuel Entertainment? Is it just music? 

Stephen: Well, I did a little acting thing, but it´s mostly incorporating and marketing metal music. First it was racing, like drag racing, and I bought a few top fuel dragsters and I will again this year. We do songs for movies and stuff. I just did a song for NASCAR this year. A lot of people come to us and sometimes in the last minute; “We need a tune!” and I just go “Here we go! We´ve got that shit.”. I´m rerecording the Ratt catalog, like the “Ratt Attack” that was just released. I rerecorded it with George Lynch, Tracii Guns and my Rat Bastards. I really love that record! I´ve got like three Ratt albums rerecorded so far and they´re for commercial, media and entertainment. Different avenues besides just playing live.

Do you drag race yourself? 

Stephen: I don´t drive, I sponsor. We´re way into marketing and sponsoring and hooking up sponsors for these million dollar machines to go 340 mph in 4,4 seconds. It´s all fun. We´ve been establishing for years and that´s to bring the concert and the excitement to the track literally and opening up a whole new medium for drag racing and NASCAR. That medium is so fast, colorful and exciting and dangerous and that´s what
I´m all about. NASCAR and rock and roll seem to go together.

I just read that Gene Simmons is getting involved with Indy Car. 

Stephen: Oh God, KISS will get involved with anything! I see Gene at the fuckin´ bowling alley with our kids. He´s tip top and I´ve seen Paul there occasionally. We go to the same joint with our kids. But it´s a smart medium. The world champ in top fuel dragster, Tommy Schumacher, who´s a great friend of mine, they´re all rock fans. Zakk Wylde sponsors funny cars. These guys love rock and roll and they´re fans. Mötley Crüe sponsored a funny car for a race and Ratt did it for a race. I opened that door for rock and roll and drag racing back in 1986 with my funny cars.

You also had an acoustic album released? 

Stephen: Yeah, that was that Metal Mania acoustic thing part 2 and I did that with a shitload of guys, Dokken, Firehouse and so on. There´s tons of people on there and we went out and toured that and it was way different and I loved every minute of it. It was so different and it was stripped and it really gets in your face. There´s no fooling. When you throw down an acoustic and fuck up, you fuck up! People just didn´t know what to expect at first, but then they got it. We treated our acoustics like fuckin´ exgirlfriends or electric guitars.

What kinda stuff did you play? 

Stephen: I played the hits and then I threw down like Zeppelin. Even in Arcade we played different stuff. On this tour now, the Metal in America that I´m doing, we started with the Bastards of Metal and that got a little lifted from us, so I created MIA and I actually hired a couple of new guys. I´ve got a new rhythm section, Chuck Wright from Quiet Riot and Scott Coogan. The three or four rehearsals we´ve had has just been intense. We´ll be doing whatever it takes, man! I have a different approach. I go out there and it´s not like “Oh, I gotta do my moves and I gotta sing my song!”, it´s like “Fuck that!”. We´re going out to fuckin´ party and have a good time. I gotta get off. (laughs) I´ve been doing this long enough and if I don´t have a good time doing it, there´s no real reason for doing it. Then I´d rather just work with my label, which is inevitably going to start releasing more new things and bands. We go out there and we shake it up. We´ll play whatever. You wanna get rowdy? I´ll get rowdy! It´s a fuckin´ party! 100 people or 1000 people or 10.000 people, it´s always been the same to me. It´s a party and here I am!

You´re touring with Bang Tango and pretty Boy Floyd. 

Stephen: Yeah, it´s gotten a good response and they know me out there. Those Rat Bastards like to have a fuckin´good time. We´ll work the States and then we´ll head out for Europe.

I loved that LA scene back in the day. I was a teenager back then and I tried to do my hair like yours… 

Stephen: (laughs) I´ll tell you what. I´m doing a book and it´s been in the process for a couple of years. It´s called “Ratt tales”. I finally have closure on it and the best thing about it because we just finished the VH-1 “Ratt – Behind the music” and that´ll set up the book for me. It´s the rise and the fall of my band Ratt. You create something and you don´t know what goes down. We constantly had platinum albums and toured our asses off and played every fuckin´arena on the planet. That doesn´t happen too much. We´re very fortunate and the VH-1 thing will set up the book and there are a lot of things that are good, bad and ugly and I´m proud of all of it. You gotta experience it and I share that with the new bands that I deal with.

Are you writing it by yourself or is somebody helping out writing it? 

Stephen: I do. I finally found a writer to help me out and as we speak we´re actually getting ready to gear up when I get back, so we can get it out. It´ll be shock full of photos you´ve never seen with Billy Squier, Bruce Dickinson, Ozzy, Cheap Trick, everybody we´ve been in touch with. It´ll be a good read and it´s not your typical “Hey, fuck this, fuck that!”. I mean, I literally don´t remember two years out there, you know, because it´s groundhog day every day. You´ve gotta change it up and make it what it is and I think when things started going awry with the band, I moved on and some people stayed in the 80´s. (laughs) Now days it´s not the music business, it´s the entertainment business. You live and learn and you get ripped off. You learn your lessons. Me, I´m a road dog and we have a lot of friends. It´s a good read and it´s gonna be real interesting. It´s not your norm. I had to have closure on some Ratt stuff that happened last year. There is no bad talks. I proposed a tour with the original bass player and DeMartini shot if down and I guess they´re comfortable in their situation, but I´m talking big business. I was pretty much the director of my band and one of the main writers or co-writers and I just couldn´t deal with the “You gotta step back to move forward!”. They didn´t go for it and I move ahead. That´s all I do.

Have you stayed in touch with Juan (Coucier)? 

Stephen: I talk to Juan quite a bit. I hope to do some kind of album with him when I have time. We´ll call it PCP, Pearcy Croucier Project and fuck with everybody. People will go “What the fuck are these guys on?”. (laughs)

I recently read a book called “Metal, mayhem and madness”, where it´s mentioned that in the early days of Mötley Crüe, you tried out for them. True? 

Stephen: What happened was… this will be in the book and a lot of people don´t know this and I´m surprised they didn´t record it, because I record everything. I´m getting to release a record with Jake E Lee when he was in Mickey Ratt and I´ve been holding on to it for a real long time. The bass player from Rough Cutt is on there too. Jake was in Ratt the first year right after Mickey Ratt and you should hear him play “U got it”, Sweet cheater” and “You think you´re tough”. It kicks ass! But that whole thing is that at one time, Nikki, Tommy, Robbin and I… after Mickey Ratt fell apart and I was putting the new Ratt together and Robbin´s band fell apart so he pulled in and he started jamming with Mickey Ratt towards the end, together with Jake E Lee. I have photos of it and this is the stuff I´m talking about that is cool, having pictures of young Robbin with his Flying V just fuckin´straight up and you´ve got Jake E Lee on the other side just fuckin´ busting loose! After Jake pulled out, we actually rehearsed for two days at, not Ratt Mansion West, but this other cellar I had when I moved to LA. Nikki, me, Tommy and Robbin rehearsed for two days and nothing became of it, but it was almost, almost… (laughs) It would´ve been crazy! It wasn´t a Mötley and it wasn´t a Ratt, it was just us getting together going “Fuck it! Let´s do something, man!”. We were trolling the Strip back then for the drink and the girls and the food.

With the sun constantly shining in LA, it just seemed like an endless party in the 80´s. 

Stephen: Well, around ´89 it started getting a little silly because it just got over saturated and there was such excess in every element of the business, hence firing thousands of people and no labels anymore. Top Fuel Records I think, is in a very good independent state. Did you ever see that movie “The Doors”? Well, it was just like that. At any given night I´d see the drummer from the Letterman band and I´d be lifting this dude off the lawn at some party at 3 in the morning. It was some crazy shit that happened. You´d see four bands in one night, Mötley, Ratt, Quiet Riot and Great White and it was something that will never happen again. The streets were just full and they were alive and it was intense. Now it´s like lock down on Sunset Strip. The coppers come out and say “Get your asses out of here!”. (laughs) Not like before where we´d be pissing and fucking on lawns at 2.30 in the morning.

Is it harder getting your music across today? 

Stephen: I think it is. Nobody goes into the bowls anymore looking for talent, but I do. I´m about the best A&R guy you can have. There´s so much stuff out there that is really good, but these majors now, they´re such cookie cutters. I call it Malcolm in the middle rock. No disrespect, they film that across the street from my house, but seriously, it´s just bubblegum cotton candy fuckin´ crap! There´s no development and we even saw that in the last Ratt record. They didn´t want us to put out a video and then they wanted us to tour a record that didn´t go down. It´s totally different in that respect, but as all the majors are finding out, they didn´t really care about development and they still don´t. They pick something or they create something and I can do that. It´s just common sense and a good business etiquette.

Do you ever get nostalgic about the good old days? 

Stephen: Of course, man! The best days for me in the scene is the Mickey Ratt days, because I worked that band from ´76 to ´82. I moved to LA in 1980 and that´s what´s great about this “Behind the music”, because a lot of people don´t know too many things. Those were the best days because the whole band lived in a fuckin´cellar garage and we rehearsed. It was exciting, new and it was Hollywood. I was good friends with the Van Halens before they were signed. It was history and it´s totally irrelevant except for guys like me. We were fortunate enough to sell millions and millions of albums and the most important records to me, are my first gold and platinum records. The rest are just like “Thanks a lot!” and I´ll give them away. I never claimed to be a professional singer, I´m a professional screamer. I love development; I love writing and I´m getting ready to release a new solo record when I get back.

Has there ever been talk about remastering the Ratt catalog? 

Stephen: Oh shit, man! Atlantic Records… a lot of the labels aren´t into doing much, you know. They´re behind and they got caught up too late to the internet thing. My only alternative was to rerecord and that´s exactly what I´m doing now. That´s what I do because I know it´s not gonna get done. I have a good time doing it because it´s updated and it´s 20 years later. I´ve got better equipment in the studio and I´ve got players who can fuckin´play anything. There´s some very talented people out there.

Do you have any unreleased stuff from the years in Ratt? 

Stephen: Yeah, 100%! I´m getting ready to release “Before and laughter”, which is a compilation of stuff from the beginning of Mickey Ratt until now and it´s coming out now. The first one I did back in 2000, had a version of “Round and round” with a different bass player, Joey Chris, who co-wrote “Wanted man”. I don´t know who´s playing what because back then Fred Coury would show up in the studio and he´d lay down something. But there´s a version of “Round and round” without the pre chorus and different stuff. I wrote a lot of those songs way before “Out of the cellar”.

Speaking of “Out of the cellar”. How did you end up using Tawny Kitaen on the cover? 

Stephen: Actually she was on the EP too. That´s her legs on it. It was me, Neil Zlozower and Robbin and they brought in some rats and neil was like “1, 2, 3 throw them on her ass!”. Robbin´s on one side and I´m on the other and we threw them on her and she shit her pants and then we got our picture. For “Out of the cellar”, Robbin was still seeing her and I did a lot of art directing on those covers. I´ve got some other photos of covers for “Out of the cellar” and “Invasion of your privacy” that nobody´s ever seen before and those will be in the book too.

I remember looking at that girl on the cover for “Invasion of your privacy”. 

Stephen: Yeah, I tried to hit that and it didn´t go down well. She was a mess, but a nice girl. On some of those photos we couldn´t use, I had her posing all over and I had her tits out there, man. It was too much, but it was fun and all good. (laughs)

Sounds like you´ve had a good life so far? 

Stephen: Yeah and it ain´t over yet!

Do you have any idea when your book will be out? 

Stephen: We´re really hoping for later in the year. I like to wait till things happen. The minute you force things they really don´t come into play properly. I hooked up with a very good journalist and it´s gonna be very different. It´ll be a lot more intense. It´s about the three P´s; Pussy, Party and Paycheck! (laughs) And I enjoyed every minute of it.


"Sex, drugs and ratt & roll: My life in rock"

Stephen Pearcy med Sam Benjamin

Ratt var ett av mina favoritband från LA. De hade faktiskt ett eget sound och kändes på något sätt lite ruffigare än alla de andra banden. De hade förbannat läckra riff och snickrade ihop låtar som håller än idag, nästan 30 år efter storhetstiden i mitten av 80-talet.
För tre år sedan kom trummisen Bobby Blotzers bok, vilken var en bedrövlig läsning. Mest pga en usel korrekturläsning, som gjorde att den nästintill blev oläslig på sina ställen. Dessutom var det mest gnäll på allt och alla andra och var inte av någon större behållning.
Stephen Pearcys bok är betydligt bättre och mer underhållande, även om han följer den sedan många år gällande standardmallen, som kanske hade sitt riktiga genombrott i och med "The dirt".
Men till skillnad mot bandets trummis, gnäller inte Pearcy utan håller sig mer till att förtälja sin och bandet Ratts historia, sett genom sina ögon självklart. Det är mycket "trim", ett slangord för tjej, i boken och han brer på med sina bravader över att klara av tre till fyra tjejer per dag. 
En väldigt stor del av boken handlar om hans uppväxt och tiden i San Diego fram till flytten till LA och Hollywood. Därefter känns det som att han snabbt drar igenom Ratts storhetstid och han skriver egentligen ingenting om bandet efter att han lämnat det. Inte heller skriver han mycket om när han kom tillbaka i bandet och Robbie Crane och Carlos Cavazo, nämns i förbifarten eller inte alls. Nog hade han kunnat berätta mer om åren från genombrottet med "Out of the cellar" till "Dancing undercover". Tiden som får ses som bandets absoluta höjdpunkt.
Trots att boken är långt ifrån ett litterärt mästerverk, är den ändå förhållandevis underhållande och det ligger en avslappnad ton över själva berättelsen. Utan tvekan har Pearcy levt ett kul liv med både enorma toppar, men även en hel del dalar.
En tidigare opublicerad intervju med Pearcy från 2006, hittar du HÄR

Meet & greet med bacillskräck. 

Nu vet jag inte om 30 Seconds to Mars kan räknas som hårdrock, men det här ger ju en mindre trevlig signal till fansen. Tydligen bär medlemmarna i 30 Seconds to Mars, handskar under själva meet & greet.
Basisten i Five Finger Death Punch la upp bilden på Instagram och kommenterade. 

Köp Jon Bon Jovis penthouse för 42 miljoner dollar.

Nu är jag något sen på det, då den här lilla lägenheten dök upp på marknaden redan i mars. Kanske är den såld, kanske inte? 
Hur som haver, för summan som begärs ingår alla möbler samt ljudsystemet. Med andra ord ett kap. 5 sovrum, 5 badrum och en schysst utsikt över New York.
Bon köpte sitt lilla krypin för 24 miljoner dollar 2007.
Fler bilder HÄR
När du sedan köpt din nya lägenhet kan du slänga på en av bandets tidiga plattor på Bons stereo och minnas tiden då de faktiskt var bra.

There can be only one...

Diamond Dave Lee Roth på väg till scenen på den avslutande konserten i Osaka, Japan 26:e juni.
Fotot taget av Malcolm Van Halen och fler bilder hittar ni HÄR 


torsdag 27 juni 2013

Judas Priests "Epitaph" på bio!

Den 16:e november smäller det på Bio Rio i Stockholm .

"Den storslagna avslutningskonserten från Judas Priests sista världsturné "Epitaph" visas nu på bio Legenderna Judas Priest har påverkat generationer av heavy metal-musiker och fans. Nu firar de 40 år som skivartister med en biografupplevelse – konserten Epitaph. Detta är en unik chans att uppleva "ett av de viktigaste och mest inflytelserika metal-banden i rockhistorien" (tidningen Kerrang!), vid detta historiska gig. 

Konserten är inspelad i HD-kvalitet och 5.1 surroundljud och filmad på Hammersmith Apollo London i maj 2012. Vi får se 23 klassiska låtar från alla 14 Judas Priest-album – från 1974 till 2008. 
Bandets egen kommentar: "Epitaph-turnén fick sin spännande avslutning på klassiska Hammersmith Odeon (numera känd som the Apollo) i London. Vi vet att heavy metal-fans världen runt känner igen lokalen, och för oss som brittiskt band var det en självklar arena för att göra en filmad konsert i. Ett stort tack som alltid till vår alla er i vår metalfan-familj – så kör igång er headbanging ännu en gång, och vråla tillsammans – The Priest is back!" 
Judas Priest består i denna uppsättning av sångaren Rob Halford, gitarristerna Glenn Tipton och Richie Faulkner, basisten Ian Hill och trummisen Scott Travis."

Mustaine gillar Ellefsons bok. 

Mustaine som oftast ses som en grinig gubbe, gillar i alla fall Dave Ellefsons bok som han skrivit tillsammans med eminente Joel McIver. 
För övrigt hittar du min intervju från 2012 med Joel McIver HÄR
Joel berättade redan under intervjun att han skrev på Ellefsons bok och dessutom skriver han på en bok om ett mycket intressant band i den riktigt hårda skolan, men det är ännu ej officiellt. Och glöm inte att hans bok tillsammans med Max Cavalera också snart kommer se dagens ljus!

Intervju med CJ Pierce i Drowning Pool.

Drowning Pool är tillbaka med ännu en ny sångare. Enligt CJ så är Jasen Moreno den sångaren som skulle tagit över efter Dave Williams bortgång 2002.
Nu är femte albumet ute och titeln syftar på hur bandet, trots flertalet motgångar, fortfarande finns kvar och känner sig starkare än någonsin.
För en tid sedan ringde jag upp  gitarristen CJ för att snacka lite om nya albumet och hur det fungerar med nye sångaren.

There were no Scandinavian dates this time around? 

CJ: I know and I´m kinda upset about that. It was pretty much just the UK, France, Germany and Austria, so we have to come back. It´s been a long time, man! Way too long.

The title “Resilience”, is that something that reflects the band and the fact that you´re still out there touring and putting out albums? 

CJ: It´s exactly what it´s about, man. We were working on the title and we had a lot of ideas on the table as always, but just between us and the management, we were talking about what this band has been through. Obviously the death of our first singer and then singer switches and on a personal side of things we´ve all had a lot of things going on personally that would´ve destroyed most bands. At the end of the day, Mike, Stevie and myself love writing music, love recording, love performing and now with Jasen too being equally passionate, at the end of the day that´s all I ever wanted to do. That´s what we´re doing and we´re still here doing it and for some good graces we´re still on it.

When Jasen joined you, were songs already written or did you start fresh with him? 

CJ: With each record, ever since the inception of this band in ´96, it was just me, Mike and Stevie in a room writing songs and it´s been the same thing with all of our singers. We kinda start the first half of the writing process with a lot of raw ideas musically and lyrically and then we bring the singer in and have his interpretation as well. At the end of the day, it´s all four of us in a room putting in our two cents and that´s just what makes a Drowning Pool song a Drowning Pool song. Everything we sent to Jasen, he just made it that much better. It´s a collection of all of us and we kinda help each other and finishes each other´s sentences. You just wanna write a good solid song and get to the point where you express it the best way you can musically.

What was it that made you feel Jasen was the guy? 

CJ: We´ve known him forever. He came up on the Dallas music scene the same time we did. Back in the day he was in a band called Plastic Tongue and we did a lot of shows together. After we got signed, that band morphed into another band called Suicide Hook and we had them out on the road with us. Jasen was no stranger to us and we´ve known him for a long time and we know what kind of style of singing he has. After we parted ways with Ryan McCombs, there was definitely another thought of frustration we went through and I planned on taking the good of 2012 off to find that right guy. We had a lot of great auditions from a lot of great rock singers, some well known and some not so known, but Jasen wanted it. He came into the room and out of respect to the Drowning pool fans and the previous singers, he took the time to learn every song on every record. With the other singers, except for Dave, they just kinda learned the singles and then we played the new stuff. They didn´t really learn the whole catalog. We feel more like a band now and we can do anything, we can do any one of our songs at any show. On top of that, Jasen has his own unique sound and powerful voice that totally fits with our music. He has a wide vocal range, which to me kinda reflects Dave Williams on our first record. We felt we could play any kind of music, because Dave really had a wide range as well. We feel like we´re back on track, man! Jasen´s got a great personality and he´s a dedicated guy and passionate about rock music like Mike, Stevie and myself are.

Do you feel that Jasen should´ve been the guy after Dave? 

CJ: I feel like that now that we have this record done. It´s just the right place in the right time for everything. I think he would even say it. He had to do his own career and see some stuff. I look back now and I used to be pretty jaded and frustrated about all the shit we´ve been going through and not just what people know, there´s a lot of stuff that goes on on the inside too and that we had to overcome, but we had to go through that to get to this point. I couldn´t be happier or more proud of any work we´ve done. I really like this record and I hope all our fans get into it and so far, everybody´s really accepted Jasen. I feel like we´ve kinda taken up were we left off with Dave Williams.

During all these years after Dave´s passing, was Jasen ever considered? 

CJ: He wasn´t because the band he was playing in, my little brother plays in it and I didn´t wanna go steal somebody else´s singer. That was part of the reason why we didn´t jump on Jasen. They had a great band in Suicide Hook, so it was more of who was available. I´m really proud of the records we did with Jason Jones and Ryan McCombs. They had powerful voices and we had a lot of really good shows and wrote a lot of good songs. It was just that personality wise… I mean, the sound of the voice is like one tenth of the equation. With Jasen, again, it was the right place in the right time. We had no idea he was gonna audition for us. We had a lot of them come through and his just kinda slid across the desk and it was like “Wait, that´s Jasen!”. Like I said, he nailed it and worked very hard and he´s a totally dedicated guy and has nothing but respect for our fans. Definitely the right choice. This last year, I haven´t had this much fun in the last ten years.

Being in a band, even if it is your job, when I get a new co-worker I don´t spend time on a bus day after day and then up on stage, like you do. There has to be so much more with getting a new guy than him just being a great musician? 

CJ: Yeah, you gotta be friends with the family first and you gotta have a mutual respect. Again, talking about the last two singers, they had a great voice but we just never had that connection personally and things really go south fast when that happens. We tried to make things work, but if it doesn´t work you can´t force it. We already had that connection with Jasen since we´ve known him for years, which to me probably is the most important stuff. We all have mutual respect for each other and we all love our music and we all try to better ourselves. We come together ads a collective and it just shows with Jasen. We´ve written more songs this last year, than I think we´ve ever written in our entire career, just because we clicked with Jasen. We just keep writing songs together because it´s just working.

Going back a bit. I understand you started out in New Orleans? 

CJ: Yeah, Mike and myself we started rocking out together after high school in New Orleans. Mike was friends with Stevie because he moved to Dallas with his mother and that´s where he met Stevie and then he moved back to New Orleans. That´s how we had the Dallas – New Orleans connection. Stevie was trying to get a band going as well. He was playing with a band and their drummer flaked out so he called up Mike to fill in. Mike flew up to Dallas and rocked out with him. Then he came back to me and by that time in the early 90´s, Pantera was blowing up and the Dallas music scene was really happening. Mike said “If we really wanna make it, we gotta go to Dallas!”. Him and I packed up in ´96 and moved to Dallas, got together with Stevie and we eventually got Dave Williams. We toured for four years before we eventually got signed and that´s how we got started. It all blew up in 2001, but we started in ´96 as Drowning Pool. It´s been a while, man. (laughs)

Is Dallas still a good town for music? 

CJ: It´s cool now. It´s coming back around. The whole scene there, they call it Deep Ellum, which is the strip with all the clubs. Back in the 90´s every club was packed and then a different scene kinda moved in, like a dance club thing. Then there was shooting and fighting and nobody really wanted to be down there and then in the last five years or so, they started building new apartments and people started moving down there again. All these new restaurants opened up and the clubs started opening again, so there´s a whole new scene down there. A lot of our friends actually own some of these clubs that we used to play in bands together. One of them being Trees, which a friend of ours, Clint, owns now and it´s awesome to see that it´s all coming back to life. I live right up the street from there and I go down there more now than I have in the last 10 years. It´s a good town!

Since you started out in ´96, there´s been so many changes in the music industry, compared to bands playing in the 70´s and 80´s. Is it just constantly about adapting to new stuff and new situations? 

CJ: It´s definitely constantly about adapting to new stuff. Just in the last 10 years there´s been stuff that´ll just make your head explode. Hence all the shots! (laughs) You drink your way through it. Cold beer and some shots. (laughs) Nah, we just roll with it, man. You learn adapting and something that you love and you´re passionate about, you gotta stick with it. I mean that for anybody and anything you do in life. If you really love it, you gotta learn to adapt. But yeah, we´ve been hit with some crazy stuff on all sides of the fence. Way more stuff than I ever thought would happen. I couldn´t make up any of this. At the end of the day, we´re tighter than we´ve ever been. I look back now and the last year with Jasen has been so great and I´m not so upset anymore about the things we had to go through to get here. Now it´s more like “If I hadn´t gone through that, I wouldn´t be here.”.

You learn from everything. 

CJ: Yeah, you can take a negative vibe and just throw your hands up and be hateful and jaded, but I just accept the changes and roll with it and we just have a positive outlook on it. Every time we get on stage and hit that first note and everybody screams, it´s freakin´ awesome! I wanna do it forever. Look at The Rolling Stones, they´re still doing it! They´re inspiring, man.

You´ve played for the American troops on different occasions, right? 

CJ: Not just the American troops. We´ve played coalition bases as well. We´ve played for pretty much everybody´s country´s troops. We´ve done a lot of stuff with the USO and we continue to do that. They never tell us where we´re going until the last second, but we´ve been to Iraq, Kuwait, South Korea and Japan. We´ve played all kind of bases and I´m glad we have a relationship with that. It´s something you don´t necessarily get paid to do, it´s something you do on your own. Some of these guys are stuck on a base for a year or two years and it´s awesome as an entertainer to just go there, throw on a show and give them like a mental break from being in a war zone. Those shows have been some of the best shows we´ve ever played.

Meeting these soldiers and playing in these countries must give you a different perspective on things? 

CJ: Yeah, I mean, from country to country and city to city, there are good things and bad things happening everywhere. We could get into politics and there´s things I agree with and that things I don´t. I don´t know what it is about music but it brings people together and puts everybody in a good mood. I´m glad I´m on this side of the fence of things, but I´m grateful for the experience and all of it has been a positive experience.

A lot of people know you from that first hit of yours, “Bodies”. Could you do a show without playing it? 

CJ: I wouldn´t say that. There was a show where we ran over time and they cut us off right before we played it. It was still a great show. I thought the crowd was gonna go nuts and tear the place apart. I said to the dude “Just give us three more minutes!”, but no. The crowd got pretty intense but then it calmed down. I love that song and I love playing it every night. I´d play it five times a day if you let me. It´s a great song and there´s a lot of stuff on the new record that reflect that style of music. There´s one song called “One finger and a fist” and it´s been the same reaction when we´ve played it and it´s fun to see people having the same reaction to the new material as they have to the old stuff. For whatever reason we still have our core sound and we´ve never lost that and that might be due to the fact that me, Mike and Stevie have written songs for 15 years.

How do you choose songs to play from the new album? 

CJ: Now with Jasen, we change it around from night to night. That´s the cool thing with having him in the band, that he knows the whole back catalog. We wanna play all the new stuff. You always have revolving songs in the set, so pretty much all the songs get played throughout the tour. There are no limits.

Film om Cozy Powell.

Filmen heter "Dance with the devil", men jag har inte lyckats hitta någon info om när den ska vara klar.

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Intervju med Lenny Wolf i Kingdom Come.

Lenny Wolf gjorde sig ett namn med Stone Fury. Visserligen inget stort band, men med det bandet blev han en del av LA-eran i början av 80-talet och gick sedan vidare med Kingdom Come, som blev desto större. 
Kingdom Come anklagades för att vara zeppelinkloner och detta ledde sedan till att bandet upplöstes. Genom åren har sedan bandet uppstått, men då har det främst varit Lenny Wolf som enda kvarvarande originalmedlem. 
Bandet är just nu aktuella med albumet "Outlier", en titel som Lenny själv fick ta till ordlistan för att förstå och albumet blandar nya, moderna tongångar med lite mer klassiska riff som känns igen från Kingdom Comes storhetstid i slutet av 80-talet. 
Lenny visade sig vara en smått hyper man, som efter min inledning på tyska, snabbt skojade om att vi inte skulle prata om kriget. 

Guten Abend! Wie gehts? 

Lenny: German! I can´t believe it! Vielen dank, tjabalala.

What about the title of the album, “Outlier”? 

Lenny: Well, I had to look it up myself because the title actually came from my brother´s girlfriend when we were sitting in the car on our way to Austria. It was six or seven hours of doing nothing and it was that time again when I was looking for a title. I had a couple of ideas that I felt very strongly about, but she basically just told me in a brief way. About an hour later I looked it up on Google and fell in love with it right away because when thinking about my childhood, I was an outlier, breaking out, and then now on the new record stylistically I´m breaking out again and combining traditional sounds with some new sounds. The title just over all made sense. I´m very happy with it.

There are some really modern sounds on it, especially in the song “Rough ride rallye”. There are also songs where you can hear the “classic” Kingdom Come sound. 

Lenny: You couldn´t have said it better. Perfect! That´s exactly what it is. I´m glad you realized it. That´s cool!

I read that you kind of needed to explore your own way of making music. 

Lenny: Well, ever since 1993 I started using new elements and that´s just a part of me.

How would you describe the new album and as I understand it, you did most of it yourself? 

Lenny: Yes. To make a long story really long. To describe it with one word, it´s great. I once again did it all on my own and actually more than ever this time. I not only recorded it by myself, but for the first time I also mastered it myself. The reason for it is that sometimes in your life you have phases and periods where you just have no idea of what you wanna do or where to go. For some strange reason, when I started about a year and a half ago, I had a very clear vision of where I wanted to go sound wise without even haven written any songs. Just attitude wise, I knew where I wanted to position myself. I had just bought a couple of new plug ins, which inspired the hell out of me when it came to atmospheric elements and stuff. Building a bridge between old and new was basically where I was at but I had a lot of positive writing energy, so I just did what I did. I just plugged in the chords and hoped to find a hotline to your almighty and hoping for something cool to come out of it.

I read somewhere that it took 18 months to put it together? 

Lenny. On and off. I´m not a workaholic. There´s a very famous saying from Bon Scott: “Doing nothing means a lot to me.”. It´s true! I need a lot of time and space to just sit and drink my coffee, hang out by myself or with good friends and just let the energy fly by. Finding new energy by just living my life and not doing anything in particular. That´s something I need a lot of. I don´t belong to the type of people who can sit in the studio 365 days. I would go bananas. Last summer I decided to become a captain again and spending a lot of time on the water. I was just a lazy shit but afterwards it enables you to reflect much better on what you´ve done. That´s just what it is. I didn´t work on it for a year and a half but I started it about a year and a half ago.

Did you ever feel during this time that it was just too much work? 

Lenny: Absolutely! Honestly, I think that in the near future, nothing´s set in stone yet, but I came to a point where I felt I would enjoy just being part of a gang or a project. Just worrying about the microphone being plugged in and that´s basically it. Maybe come up with some lyrics and just working with a great band and a great producer. The key issues are finding the right producer, somebody I can trust, which is the downside of Kingdom Come because I only worked with two guys who I enjoyed working with very much, Bob Rock and Andy Johns. Andy did the first Stone Fury record, which I´m not too crazy about but I liked the guy a lot. Should I find the right guy to work with, I would love to just lean back and letting him do the job, instead of having to sit behind a console all day and having to worry about every part; how to record it, how to mix it, how to play it, how to master it. I would like to just step back and be part of a gang again, but it all depends on if I´ll be able to find the right situation for me. We´ll see! Life is an adventure, as I keep saying, and full of surprises and no one knows what might happen tomorrow. We´ll see what the almighty has planned.

Are you gonna be touring for this album? 

Lenny: Yeah! We all like to play live. The thing is that I don´t play any dive anymore just for the hell of things. Maybe that´s one aspect where I realize I´m getting older. I just don´t care about camping outside some dive and playing in bad circumstances on a bad system in the middle of a pizzeria. Kingdom Come isn´t exactly a party band. If we were like “let´s all get wasted, tralala, tralali”, that would be a different thing. We do have a few fun rock songs, but in general I think Kingdom Come has much more emotional depth that needs to be transcended right. We´ve done a couple of tours where we basically just played everywhere just to play and there are two things we realized; it shouldn´t become a pain for the band and it doesn´t really get you anywhere. It´s not like the 60´s and the 70´s where you could play yourself to the top, because people were just going out saying “Let´s see who´s playing tonight!”. Nowadays people just go very specifically for a particular band. I know that Kingdom Come is not a huge band. Who am I to fool people? Things have to fall into the right place and if the situation is right, we´re gonna hit the road again.

The competition these days must be huge, since the situation is what it is and every single band is out there playing? 

Lenny: Absolutely! These days every other youngster is a musician recording something at home and putting it up on You Tube. There´s a certain overload going on right now and people don´t know where to spend their money first. There´s also a lot of good stuff out there. I don´t care if there´s 10.000 people or a 1000 people, but in some joints there might even be less and then it becomes a financial problem, because strangely enough the crew wants to be fed. I thought they´d just be happy being part of it, but no, they wanna get paid! (laughs) Like I said, if it´s doable, I´ll do it and if not, I´ll have some more coffee, sit on my boat and look stupid.

If you look back on all the albums you´ve done, is there one album that kinda stands out for you? One you like more than others? 

Lenny. For the latest four or five months I think “Outlier” is my favorite, but as people know, from a creative point of view things change rapidly so maybe a year from now I´ll go “What the fuck did I do?”. That´s a cross we all have to carry basically. In general, there´s no particular record I like more than anything else. Luckily I´ve got songs for every kind of mood. One of my favorite songs is “Twilight cruiser”. I can be on the autobahn at 2 am and just put it on repeat and listen to it 10 times. That puts me in a different atmosphere and I love that song. On the other hand I really dig “When colors break the grey"” on the new record. It starts out like a darkish soundtrack or whatever and it takes you somewhere and still rocks the hell out of it. Then of course we´ve got the unplugged stuff. On all the records I´ve done, there´s stuff to choose from for that particular vibe.

Looking back a bit. The first time I heard of you was on a Swedish radio show called Rockbox when they played “Break down the walls” with Stone Fury. 

Lenny: Ah, I thought you´d say “Like a virgin”! (laughs)

I love that album and I also remember my dad buying the first Kingdom Come album when it came out and I played it all the time. When you were recording that first Kingdom Come album, did you have a feeling that it might be something or did that come as a surprise? 

Lenny: It came as a big surprise. One thing I´ve learned for sure is that everything we know is that we know nothing at all and especially when it comes to the record industry. Bands that made it big were always rejected first whether it was The Beatles or Guns N´Roses. Then all of a sudden a song made it through all the doors and blew up and nobody knew why. Then of course, the industry jumps on it and tries to sign bands that sound like that, but the record companies never set trends, they just follow them trying to make some cash out of it. If it comes to pop music, it´s a different story because there are very particular formats. I will never understand how people can buy certain types of music. Listening to country depresses the hell out of me! Rock music is like the cornerstone of things, the real thing and you can´t really fake it. Some energy has to happen. The only thing I do remember from that album and recording, just like with “Outlier”, is that we had a fantastic time. I think that the circumstances, under which you record an album, do have some impact on the outcome. The most important factor of it all is timing. If the people are ready for that type of sound you can get lucky. But on the other hand, selling a billion is not the only way I would describe success. For me being able to do what I wanna do, when I wanna do it and how I wanna do it, that makes me happy. Of course it would be great to sell enough records so I know I can pay the band great salaries while we tour for the next two years, but that´s like the cherry on the cake. In general I´m happy with the way things are right now. But it´s all about the money these days. Certain rock bands are so huge and I don´t wanna name names because badmouthing is not my cup of tea, but they´ve turned into corporations and are more concerned of making the next 10 million bucks, instead of worrying about making a great record. But it is what it is, I guess.

Have you stayed in touch with Bob Rock? 

Lenny: Not really. Bob had some hearing problems after Metallica and he also left Metallica because of all the psychiatrist bullshit going on. Bob is a working guy and I´m sure he didn´t dig all that. We´ve kind of lost touch but I still love him dearly because he did magic and I will never forget that. I actually started talking to Derek Schulman, who was the only record company guy back in the 80´who signed us after all the other companies passed on my new project, which I
didn´t know would be called Kingdom Come. Derek, formerly a singer himself with Gentle Giant, he was the only guy that said “I wanna sign you, but you have to find a band and there´s this guy named Bob Rock that I want you to meet.”. He and I have been talking lately and I actually also talked to James, Johnny and Danny a little bit, all from the original gang. I don´t wanna stir up any rumors, but we´re talking. After all, we did spend some fantastic, unique and great times together. It would be nice to see all those guys again before we all resolve into dust. (laughs)

That would be really cool. Do you remember any fun stories from that huge Monsters of Rock tour you did with Van Halen and Metallica? 

Lenny: It´s one of these questions I really hate because I don´t know what to say. (laughs) There are things we did that I could never ever talk about, because they would put me in jail, so I´m not gonna mention those. All I can truly tell you, besides having to deal with the Zeppelin issue which also in the end made us break up, is that if my career would be over tomorrow, all I can say to the almighty is; Thank you for letting me experience this. I was able to see the planet from a very comfortable and wonderful point of view, so who am I to complain? As I was saying, we had a fantastic time. It was unbelievable, funny, disgusting and we did great things.

Are you involved in anything else right now or working with other musicians? 

Lenny: No! Right now I´m just looking forward to putting on my captain´s hat and letting things happen. Something will come around the corner and I will hop on which ever train and do the next project.

Intervju med Vidar Landa i Kvelertak. 

Norska Kvelertak hyllas världen över och i mitt tycke förtjänar de varenda positivt ord som går att finna. Ett ytterst intressant band, som går från klarhet till klarhet och just nu är aktuella med album nummer två, "Meir".
När bandet anlände till Rom hade jag nöjet att få ringa upp Vidar för ett litet samtal. han berättade då bl a att man på "Meir" frångått texterna om nordisk mytologi som genomsyrade debutalbumet. Främst för att inte måla in sig i ett hörn och istället kunna bredda lyriken något.

Hur kom det sig att ni hamnade i Salem, Massachusetts till att börja med? 

Vidar: Det var på grund av producenten. Alla i bandet gillade honom och vi skickade ett meddelande via myspace faktiskt och frågade om han ville vara med i produktionen på något sätt. Vi skickade våra demos till honom och han älskade dem och svarade inom några timmar att vi skulle komma över till Salem och jobba med honom. Hur länge var ni där den här gången? Ni spelade ju även in första albumet där. Vidar: Ja det gjorde vi. Vi var där i ungefär fem veckor och det var samma procedur som första gången.

Hade ni alla sånger klara innan ni gick in i studion? 

Vidar: Den här gången hade vi demos av varje låt, så det mesta var i stort sett klart innan vi gick in. Vi spenderade den mesta tiden med att arbeta med ljud och bara göra klart saker.

Av de demos ni hade gjort, fanns det låtar där som inte kom med på albumet? 

Vidar: Nej, vi hade bara 11 låtar och det var de som kom med på albumet. (skrattar)

Vilka är de huvudsakliga låtskrivarna i bandet? 

Vidar: Det är BJ, vår gitarrist.

Hur går det oftast till när låtar skrivs? 

Vidar: Oftast är det en idé eller en hel låt i demoform.

Blev albumet så som ni tänkte er eller ändrades det under själva inspelningens gång? 

Vidar: Alla låtar blev som vi tänkt oss, men när allt sedan var klart och jag lyssnade på det, lät det mer som ett rockalbum, speciellt om man jämför med första albumet. Soundet är mer öppet och dynamiskt och det låter större.

Hur såg en dag ut i studion? Jobbade ni nio till fem? 

Vidar: Vi gick ofta in i studion runt elva eller tolv på dagen och allt som oftast var vi klara omkring åtta på kvällen. Det var ganska långa dagar.

Jag läste i en annan intervju att ni inte var så imponerade av staden Salem, trots dess historia med häxeri och annat. 

Vidar: Nej, det var ganska fjantigt. Salem är känt för häxrättegångarna, men nu är det mer som en tramsig stad för tonårigt Halloweenfirande och är inte speciellt inspirerande på så sätt. Det är dock en vacker stad, väldigt liten och det finns en hel del galna människor där. Kanske saknas det ett mentalsjukhus för det är en väldans massa konstiga människor som går omkring på gatorna. Det är inte inspirerande, men ganska kul.

Damien Echols, från de så kallade West Memphis 3, bor i Salem. 

Vidar. Gör han? Det visste jag inte.

Nästa gång ni är där borde ni söka upp honom och skriva en låt tillsammans. 

Vidar: Ja, bra idé.

Ni sjunger på norska. Tror du att det på något vis kan bli ett hinder längre fram? 

Vidar: Jag vet inte. Det har inte varit ett hinder så här långt. Det är svårt att säga och vi tänker faktiskt inte så mycket på det. Så här långt har det bara varit en fördel för oss och det gör att vi står ut lite från andra band. Speciellt alla andra icke engelskspråkiga band, som sjunger om samma gamla klichéer på dålig engelska. Jag vet inte. Vi är inte ett speciellt ambitiöst band och vi har i stort sett uppnått allt vi ville göra och allt som händer från och med nu är mest en bonus.

Sjunger publiken med på norska när ni exempelvis turnerar i USA? 

Vidar: Ja, det gör de faktiskt över hela världen. Till och med när vi spelar nya låtar som ingen hört ännu. De sjunger till och med till själva riffen. När vi spelar exempelvis ”Blodtörst” sjunger de med till riffen och vi brukar sluta spela, vilket är jäkligt coolt. De har ingen aning om vad de sjunger utan de diggar bara.

Vad var det som fick in er på den norska mytologin, som ni sjöng om på första albumet? 

Vidar: På nya albumet har vi inget sådant med, men på första handlade texterna mycket om mytologi. Främst för att det bidrar till bra texter, speciellt när det gäller hårdrock. Jag menar, vikingar är jävligt tuffa! På senaste albumet handlade det mer om att Erlend (sång) inte ville måla in sig i ett hörn och vara tvungen att sjunga om nordiska gudar för evigt. På senaste albumet handlar texterna om allt möjligt och har egentligen ingenting att göra med Loke eller något liknande.

Man var ju nästan lite rädd för att ni skulle bli ett nytt Manowar och bara sjunga om vikingar och svärd. Vidar: 

Jo, det kan man bara göra för en kort stund. (skrattar)

Har er hemstad och platserna omkring på något vis inspirerat er musik? 

Vidar: Jag vet inte. Kanske i några av låtarna på första albumet där man kan höra lite folkmusiktoner. Det brukade finnas en ganska bra hardcorescen i vår hemstad och vi inspirerades en hel del live av att gå och se alla dessa galna hardcoreband, som bjöd på galna liveshower. Det var det som fick oss att vilja spela från början och bli ett galet liveband, så det var ganska inspirerande. Förutom det så var det nog inte speciellt.

På tal om galna liveband, så finns det ju ett ganska kul klipp på er från Indonesien, när ni tar med er hela showen ut på gatan. 

Vidar: Ja, det var I Singapore. Det blev en riktigt bra show. Vi kom direkt från Australien och vi stannade i Singapore på hemvägen. Någon bokade en konsert och vi åkte dit tidigt på dagen och stället var i stort sett bara en lång hall med en bar. Det fanns ingen riktig scen utan vår trummis och alla vi andra stod direkt på golvet upp mot väggen. Baren var fullsatt, kanske 80-100 personer, och det gick från att vara en sådan där show man tror ska bli en ren katastrof, till att bli ett av de coolaste gigen vi gjort. Vi gick ut på gatan i sista låten och alla följde med efter. Vi stoppade trafiken och folk blev som tokiga.

Har ni filmat några konserter för en framtida livedvd? 

Vidar: Just den grejen filmade vi inte själva, men på den här turnén har vi haft med oss två kamerakillar på tre konserter och vi filmade även konserten vi gjorde på The Electric Ballroom i London. Vi har inga planer på en livedvd just nu, men vi försöker filma så mycket vi kan när vi ligger ute på vägarna. Ibland har vi professionellt folk med oss och ibland filmar vi oss själva. Vi har definitivt en massa bra material för ett framtida släpp.

Inga planer på ett livealbum eller kommer det kanske i samband med en livedvd? 

Vidar: Jag vet inte riktigt om det är aktuellt. Blir det något så blir det en livedvd. Vi har bara två album ute, så jag vet inte. Vi kan göra det senare.

Vad kan du berätta om det fantastiska omslaget? 

Vidar: Åter igen är det John Baizley, sångaren i Baroness. Han gjorde omslaget till första albumet och ville även göra detta. Vi skickade lite anteckningar till honom om vad låtarna handlade om och så hade han total frihet att göra vad han ville. Det blev väldigt bra. Hans teckningar är helt fantastiska och han är en väldigt cool kille.

Ni kan ju säja det som tryck för inramning! 

Vidar: Jag tror han gör det och jag tror vi ska få några också, men jag är inte riktigt säker. Det är många som hela tiden frågar efter det.

Hur ser turnén ut nu? 

Vidar. Vi spelar på en del festivaler i sommar och sedan åker vi till Japan och Australien i september och oktober och sedan gör vi om allt igen. (skrattar)

Då är ni upptagna resten av detta året och även in på nästa år? 

Vidar: Ja, så blir det.

Ni spelade med Foo Fighters vid något tillfälle och mötte Dave Grohl. Är han så trevlig som alla säger? 

Vidar: Jo, han var supertrevlig, även om det bara handlade om ett möte på tio minuter. Han framstår verkligen som den kille alla framställer honom som. Å andra sidan kan jag inte riktigt säga det efter bara tio minuter, men han var cool med oss. Vi var det enda norska bandet han kände till så han bjöd in oss som förband till dem.

När ni turnera just nu, kör ni headline då? 

Vidar: Ja, här i Europa och Skandinavien och i USA. I USA har vi med oss Black Tusk och Cancer Bats.

Hur väljer ni ut vilka låtar ni ska spela från senaste plattan? 

Vidar: Tja, vi plockar ut våra favoriter och de låtar som passar i setlistan tillsammans med de gamla. Kanske ändrar vi runt lite efter hand, men vi försöker bara hitta de låtar som passar in bäst för att göra det så dynamiskt bra som möjligt.

Intervju med Joel O´Keffee i Airbourne.

Bröderna O´Keffee i Airbourne, dagsaktuella med gig på Bråvalla, besökte för en tid sedan Stockholm för att promota nya albumet "Black dog barking".
Jag fick en liten pratstund med Joel, som visade sig vara en ganska urtypisk australiensare. Glad, trevlig och kul med glimten i ögat. Förutom giget på Bråvalla idag, berättade han att de även kommer tillbaka senare i höst.

Kände ni någon press inför den här tredje plattan? 

Joel: Nej, inte mer än den press vi själva lägger på oss. Vi lägger nog mer press på oss själva än någon utomstående. Plattan skulle vara oklanderlig, definitiv och i klass med de stora albumen. När började ni skriva nya låtar? Joel: För 10 minuter sedan. (skrattar) Vi skriver alltid när vi turnerar och ibland kommer man på en refräng och plockar fram ett riff från långt tillbaka. Vi arbetar med olika saker och samlar ihop bandet. Vi har en massa riff och får igång dem och lägger till en refräng och spelar in det. Sedan kör vi runt med låtarna i bilen och får idéer från allt som flyger förbi bilen. Det hjälper mycket och är lättare än att bara sitta i ett rum. Eller så är man bara full ute på stan och kommer på något, ”Fan, det där är en bra titel!”. (skrattar) Det här albumet har genomgått mycket arbete i varenda liten sekund. Vi hade nio låtar, men kände att något saknades. ”Live it up” skulle troligtvis öppna albumet, men sedan spelade Ryan ”Ready to rock”. Vi hade haft den låten i flera år med annan text och sedan tog vi delar av en låt med titeln ”Rock and roll”. Det lyfte låten till en annan nivå och sedan blev den första låten på plattan och på vinylutgåvan börjar sida B med ”Live it up”.

När ni väl arbetar med ett album, sätter ni er då ned och funderar på i vilken riktning låtarna ska gå eller vilket sound ni siktar på? 

Joel: Vi visste inte hur plattan skulle bli, utan vi tog det låt för låt. Vi började med en låt och det var allt. Vi hade alla idéer och inga titlar ändrades från våra demos. Ryan sa bara ”Det här är första låten. Nu fokuserar vi på den och skiter i allt annat!!”. Vi gjorde klart den och sedan spelade vi in den och så gjorde vi hela vägen till låt nummer nio. Låt tio var nog svårast. ”Vad fan gör vi nu? Vi behöver något långsammare och med groove. Vi sparkar alla i arslet!” och det blev ”Hungry”, vilken inte ändrades alls från demon. Brian (producenten) drog vi in i vår värld ungefär som vår Bob Rock. Han är i samma skola som Bruce Fairbairn och Bob Rock och kommer också från Kanada, där alla bra producenter verkar komma ifrån. Ska vi göra en ny platta arbetar vi säkert med Brian igen. Han är verkligen en del av familjen Airbourne nu. Men som sagt, vi tog det låt för låt och varje låt var tvungen att förtjäna sin plats på plattan. Vi vill att folk ska slänga på ”Black dog barking” när de festar och dricker öl och de ska inte behöva tänka på att byta låt. Det ultimata ”Let´s get pissed”-albumet. (skrattar)

Varför är det just en svart skällande hund? Är det något australienskt? 

Joel: ”Black dog barking” är mytologi. Det finns ett uttryck som säger att ”Churchill had a black dog on his shoulder” och en svart hund är något som kommer i dina drömmar och ibland ser man den när man är trött. För oss är det mer att vi som band, är den svarta hunden i rock and roll. Det är en ganska tung text i låten och när folk läser texten så förstår de att Airbourne menar allvar. På ett bra sätt dock, ett roligt sätt.

Staden Warrnambool, som ni kommer ifrån, är det en liten stad? 

Joel: Ja, en ganska liten stad med runt 30.000 invånare. En feststad vid kusten.

Finns det något från hemstaden som på något vis påverkat Airbourne som band? 

Joel: Jag antar att det är att alltid vara ärlig och aldrig låta saker stiga dig åt huvudet. Blir du stöddig i Warrnambool får du fan i mig stryk. (skrattar) I de flesta fall så är det inga konstigheter med de större banden. Vi har exempelvis mött Rolling Stones och Motörhead och de var hur schyssta som helst, även om de är stora stjärnor.

Ni började ju på ett hotell. Vad minns du från den tiden? Fanns det någon plan? 

Joel: Vi försökte alltid att ge järnet och köra över folk och verkligen vara det bästa bandet vid varje gig. Sikta högt och det har vi fortsatt med. Vi har gjort det framför bara två människor i publiken, så…

Bor ni kvar där? 

Joel: Just nu bor vi i Melbourne, men vem vet var vi är om några år. Vi flyttar runt en del.

Ni har ju öppnat för en del coola band och du nämnde Rolling Stones. Vilket har varit det coolaste giget så här långt? 

Joel: Iron Maiden i England är min favorit. Jag har alltid älskat Maiden och att få möjligheten att spela för deras publik var helt surrealistiskt. Backstage var det fantastisk catering och man satt där och läste tidningen. (skrattar) Jag älskade det!

Flera av era låtar har ju varit med i filmer och datorspel. Godkänner ni som band sådant eller? 

Joel: Jo, de kommer till oss. Vårt förlag hänger ju ihop EA Games, så det hjälper ju en del. Vi skulle vilja få in våra låtar i lite mer actionfilmer. De senaste var björnen Yogi och serien ”Bachelorette”. (skrattar) Inte riktigt min grej. Jag hade mer tänkt mig ”The Expandables” eller ”Die hard 5”, men det kommer nog en dag.

Jag antar att det är ett bra sätt att nå ut med sin musik, men skulle ni ställa upp på vad som helst? 

Joel: Om det är ett ok spel så ställer vi upp. Vi försöker hålla koll på en del grejer. Till exempel är det en berg och dalband i USA som ska använda ”Live it up”. Vi tänkte en del på det för vi ville inte göra något löjligt, men sedan sa vi bara ”Va fan, vår låt på en berg och dalbana är ju klockrent!”. Som sagt, vi försöker hålla ett öga på saker och ting så det inte blir för tramsigt.

Ger det några pengar? 

Joel: Vem vet? Alla våra pengar går tillbaka till showen. Vi turnerar som om det vore 80-talet och det finns inte riktigt pengar i det, så allt går ständigt tillbaka till showen. Vi behöver större crew eller vad det nu är och så blir det dyrare, men så länge vi kan fortsätta spela så är det vårt leverne. Det är det vi gör och vi kan inte jobba med något annat för vi är aldrig hemma.

Vad är planen för resten av året? 

Joel: Vi gör festivalerna i sommar och sedan antagligen tillbaka till Nordamerika för att sedan komma till Europa i november och december igen. Vi vill också spela i Sydamerika och Ryssland och sprida musiken. Kanske till och med Indien till slut, för jag vet att Maiden gjort bra ifrån sig där och även Malaysia.

Lyckas ni se något annat än själva spelstället när ni ligger ute på vägarna? 

Joel: Egentligen inte, men det är ju gratis. Eller rättare sagt, vi betalar för det, men vi låtsas att det är gratis. (skrattar) Det är vad det är. Jag älskar att bara göra själva konserten och sedan bara ta det lugnt i en solstol bredvid bussen. Dra igång lite grillning. Säkerhetsfolket är väl inte så glada över det, men va fan! (skrattar)Jag borde nog egentligen ta med mig en kamera och gå ut lite i omgivningarna, men för mig är det som en campingsemester. Man hör Judas Priest eka från stora scenen och tar en öl. Det är helt jävla underbart! Det är så man ska leva!

Det låter betydligt roligare än mitt liv. 

Joel: (skrattar) Jo. Vi kommer tillbaka hit i november, glöm inte det!


onsdag 19 juni 2013

Lynch regisserar Reznor.

David Lynch regisserar senaste videon från Nine Inch Nails, "Came back haunted", uppger Grungereport. De har tidigare samarbetet på soundtracket till filmen "Lost highway".

Hårdrock från Linköping, kan det vara något att lyssna på?

Jo, men det tycker jag. Nu är jag ganska sen på det, gammal som jag är, men det här bandet har absolut framtiden för sig. Slank inom Sound Pollution idag för lite reafluktande. Ur högtalarna strömmade Nocturnals relativt färska debut.
Sångaren påminner lite om Ozzy och gitarristen bär spår av en ung Ritchie Blackmore.

Facebook HÄR

Nytt med Valient Thorr.

Jag har skrivit om bandet förr, exempelvis HÄR och nu är de på gång med ett nytt album, "Our own masters".
Videon är regisserad av Greg Oliver, som tidigare bland annat jobbat med filmen om Lemmy. Hur som haver, låten svänger och videon ger lite vibbar av filmerna "Office space" och "I huvudet på John Malkovich".

Van Halen i Japan.

Van Halen har nu drait igång sin japanturné och på första stoppet i Nagoya (18/6), klockade showen in på 2 timmar och 20 minuter.


1. Unchained
2. Runnin’ With The Devil
3. She’s The Woman
4. Romeo Delight
5. Tattoo
6. Everybody Wants Some
7. Somebody Get Me A Doctor
8. China Town
9. Jamie’s Cryin’
10. Hear About It Later
11. Pretty Woman
12. Drum Solo
13. You Really Got Me
14. The Trouble With Never
15. Dance The Night Away
16. I’ll Wait
17. And The Cradle Will Rock…
18. Hot For Teacher
19. Women In Love…
20. Atomic Punk
21. Mean Street
22. Beautiful Girls
 * Dave’s Short Film “Tokyo Story”
23. Ice Cream Man
24. Panama
25. Guitar Solo
26. Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love
27. Jump


tisdag 18 juni 2013

Intervju med Jeremy Widerman i Monster Truck.

Med ett bandnamn som direkt för tankarna till stora bilar i hockeyarenor, kan det vara svårt att hitta ut till de större massorna, vilket bandet fått erfara.
Jag ringde upp en pratglad Jeremy, som för tillfället befann sig i Nashville på en ledig dag med planerad dagsresa mot Baton Rouge för ännu ett gig. Bandet smider just nu järnet efter att ha vunnit en JUNO award för årets genombrott, i hemlandet Kanada.
Vi fann en gemensam kärlek till ett av världens mest bortglömda band, Grand Funk Railroad och Jeremy lovade att så snart som möjligt styra turnébussen mot Europa.

How´s life on the road? Is it constant fun?

Jeremy: No, but it´s consistently fun. You´re gonna have days that are not fun, but lucky to us it doesn´t happen too often. The most important thing is to get into the groove of things. The first couple of days are a little unsettling and it´s kinda being stripped from the comfort of the womb, being in your apartment and doing what you want when you wanna do it and all of a sudden you´re thrown into a van and it´s nonstop driving all day and then show, hotel, traffic, show, hotel, traffic. It´s kinda about getting into that groove of handling the nonstop nature of it all. It takes a couple of days and I´m usually a cranky bitch for the first three or four shows, but once you settle into the groove of things, it´s a lot easier to take it and you have a lot more fun.

How long are you staying out for this run?

Jeremy: We´ve got about another week and a half to go, another five or six shows and then we go to New York for a couple of showcases and meeting with people who are working on the American side of things, because we haven´t really met our whole team yet. Then we´re gonna drive home and later fly out to do some showcases in LA . It´s basically just shows all summer. The train keeps on a´rollin.

Is there anything planned for Europe or Scandinavia?

Jeremy: We keep getting asked for it, but we don´t have a firm or tangible answer right now. All we can say is that it´s definitely on the to do list. I think right now, we´re focusing on getting the record out and see where it gains attraction. We´re really happy with the album and we really feel that we did the right thing with the record, so it´s really just about getting it out there and seeing who digs it and then going there. More to come on that.

Well, you recently got a full page in Sweden Rock magazine.

Jeremy: That´s great! I just feel that we got the right people working on everything right now. It all starts with our label at home and people that are directly connected to us and I think if they do a great job finding people to work the secondary and third markets it´s all good. It´s been real fun for us.

Tell me about the album “Curiosity”!

Jeremy: It´s our first full length and it was kind of a struggle to get it to where it is now. We recorded last year in LA at what used to be Sound City, which is kind of a hyped up spot now with the Dave Grohl documentary. We were in that room and did a very live and very gritty sounding version of what you hear now. It just didn´t sound right and we actually had to can the whole thing and start over. That was a real tough thing to deal with because we had kinda thought of it as finished and done and then we just realized that it wasn´t good enough and wasn´t really up to our standards. We had to make a big decision and we chucked it in the trash and started over. We were able to make it right and we really worked our asses off and did every single thing that we could to make it what it was and I feel that we accomplished with what we were trying to do. We´re really happy with it.

When you scrapped the first version, did you then write new stuff or did you just work with the stuff you´d already recorded?

Jeremy: I think we kept more than half of the songs from that first session. A couple of the songs that were on that session, were older songs and I think we almost kinda murdered them with doing it so poorly in LA and it kinda forced us to actually get rid of those songs and write new ones. It kinda helped provoke everybody to get more excited. I think it´s easier to get excited about new songs and especially if you´re really happy with them, so we took a lot of the best stuff we had, we scrapped a lot of the older songs and then we wrote brand new ones for the second session. The producer we had was really gung ho on coming into the jam space and we really spent a lot of time working on all those new songs and doing all the preproduction to get it together.

How important is the producer and the studio? Is it really important?

Jeremy: Yes! I think one of the huge factors that wasn´t working for us in the LA recordings, was that they guy who was running the studio and was kinda the helm behind that production, really didn´t drive well with us. He´s great at what he does, but it just boiled down to that what he does doesn´t really work for us. With Eric Ratz (Billy Talent, Cancer Bats), we used him on the “Brown EP” and “Curiosity”, he ended up being kinda like a brother and a sixth member of the band. He´s such a fun guy and such an enthusiastic guy and he just really brought this new level of energy into the room and everybody was just having a fun time. We´ve actually stayed so close to him that we brought him to the JUNO awards here in Canada and paid for him since he had a little bit of money trouble and couldn´t get down there. We´ve kept him close and he´s such a good friend.

Could you see that the JUNO award you received brought more attention to the band?

Jeremy: Definitely. I think having a band named Monster Truck is kinda a double edged sword. For people that know the band and are familiar with the band and have been around from the beginning, it works great because I think the band name really reflects the kinda music that we play. For people who are less interested in the rock genre and for people who kinda stay on the outside of things, when they hear of a band named Monster Truck, I think there´s a tendency of people thinking it´s not all the way legit or a serious band and just kinda a funny name. With the JUNO award it kinda brought a little bit of legitimacy within the mainstream media in Canada. There was this feeling that we weren´t a legit band or for real, but I think that´s gone now. At least in Canada, it´s synonymous with being a serious rock and roll band and it´s great timing now with the record coming out and that´s the kinda coverage we need to get with an album release. You wanna get into the mainstream music for a little bit and some of the media outlets. It´s been great all around.

What´s the scene like in Hamilton? Is it a happening scene for metal bands?

Jeremy: You kinda have a one dimensional view of it, since being so close to it and living right in the middle of it. From an outside perspective, I think a lot of people think it´s a happening scene because we have a couple of established bands from that city. Maybe it´s more than you´d expect from a town like that. As far as I´m concerned and maybe it´s just my jaded perspective from what I wanna see, but I don´t feel like there is. I kinda feel that there could be more and I think the band itself was kinda created out of the fact that I wasn´t getting what I wanted out of the music scene. I was going to our clubs and venues and not seeing what I wanted. You can´t just rely on your own city to produce music that you wanna hear sometimes, that´s a little crazy. Just in general, I wasn´t seeing what I wanted and that was really how the band succeeded.

What kinda stuff were you all listening to growing up? Was it a lot of 70´s rock and stuff like that?

Jeremy: Yeah, definitely. The very seed of our band was created out of 1969 to 1971 Grand Funk Railroad. They´re so under appreciated. I love Led Zeppelin and AC/DC and Black Sabbath, but somehow in the last 40 years people have somehow forgotten about that era of Grand Funk Railroad. They were absolutely fucking dominating arena rock in America. I figure it´s because they had a such fallout from their manager (Terry Knight). Their manager stole like a billion dollars off of them. They had to completely restart the band and when they did that, they lost something. I don´t know what happened. It wasn´t bad, but it wasn´t my kinda thing anymore. Me and Jon (Harvey – vocals and bass) were both raised on that. My dad was a huge Grand Funk Railroad fan and so was his dad. We just had all those records and the live album, if you listen to it, you can just literally hear the fucking energy exploding in that live show. Then you have “Closer to home”, which is probably the best sounding studio album and we were just like “How come no one´s paying attention to this? How come none of our friends are listening to this?”. The idea of that live show and the riffs that are kinda simple in nature but catchy and then these really powerful fucking vocals around it, if that´s not a winning combination, I don´t know what the fuck is? We definitely took elements from Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin and I love grunge and a lot of punk rock music, so we just wanted to combine it all and not be a fucking classic rock revival or trying to revive rock and roll. We just wanted to take those things and make them new again.

I´m so happy to hear about your love for Grand Funk Railroad.

Jeremy: Well, you just take those little nuggets and you keep them for yourself for now and just wait for the renaissance.

I hope you make it over here soon.

Jeremy: I think it´s almost inevitable. The next plan will be to get the hell off of this continent and conquer it all.

John Norum svarar på Sabatons platinaförsäljning.

Eftersom det påstods att inget annat svenskt hårdrocksband innan Sabaton, sålt platina i Sverige tidigare, svarade Norum med följande på Facebook:

"So! A Swedish band called Sabaton has gone platinum in Sweden selling 40.000 units, nice one lads! However, the media statement suggesting they are the first Swedish hard rock band ever to do so, is a little ill-advised! Or, could it be we were "punk'd" back in the 80's when presented with platinum discs for "The Final Countdown"?
No wait! Ashton Kutcher wasn't even born back then!
Ah, the 80's! The days when stonewashed denim was cool, and Platinum" meant 100,000...!"

There´s something rotten in the state of Sweden...

För mig är det fortfarande obegripligt att Sabaton har blivit så stora som de är. Senast jag såg bandet var på Bandit Awards och då sjöng de på svenska. Det var så horribelt uselt att jag kände för att bombhota Annexet bara för att få stopp på spektaklet.
Nu har de sålt 40 000 ex av senaste alstret.