September 2012 - Issue 4
Our September edition features interviews with The Parlotones, Orange Goblin and Holly & the Woods. Our Retrospective feature takes a look at the amazing music and history of Judas Priest. We discuss cheesy 80s music videos and as always we have all the reviews, events and news you need to know about. Happy reading folks, and keep rocking!
IN THE NEWS 2 FEATURES Interview: The Parlotones Retrospective: Judas Priest 4 8 W ELCOME to the September edition of 8th Note Music Magazine. As always, the magazine is gaining momentum and our last edition saw fan mail rolling in. We have another exciting edition folks, and as always we are keeping it slick. This fourth edition of our magazine will feature, by popular demand, an interview with South Africa's own superstars The Parlotones. We also interview local rising star Melissa Conradie from Holly & The Woods and our Underground section sports an interview with inspiring British rockers Orange Goblin. This month's topic is dedicated to our most unforgettable (and unforgivable) 80s music videos, so if you are a fan of Devo, Duran Duran and Baltimora page ahead for our list of side-splitting music videos from yesteryear. This month our retrospective feature looks at the iridescent music of Judas Priest and the interesting history of this legendary band. Rudi talks us through a more organic piece of recording equipment and, as always, we have all the latest news, reviews and events that you need to know about. Thanks for your ongoing support, happy reading and keep rocking folks. Homegrown: Holly & The Woods 14 Topic: Meanwhile in the 80s 8th Notes from the Underground: Orange Goblin 20 18 Column Great Expectations 23 REVIEWS CDs 24 Rudi's Guide to a Better Recording 25 Ed. CALENDAR 12 Competition time! Write to us on firstname.lastname@example.org with your thoughts and comments to stand a chance to win one of this month's great CD giveaways, proudly sponsored by SuperCD. The titles include: VANFOKKINGTASTIES; Adam Lambert's Trespassing; Linkin Park's Living Things; Jack Parow's Eksie Ou, September cover-stars The Parlotones' Journey through the Shadows and Marilyn Manson's Born Villain. Features:Tristan Snijders Yoland� Erasmus Contributors:Rudi Massyn gideon ramabula Design & Layout:Reinhardt Massyn Editorial Assistants:Charmaine Palm Michelle Clacher PAGE1 F ANS of the Red Hot Chili Peppers can issue a massive sigh of relief, cancel the tickets they bought for Linkin Park (because there was nothing else happening) and go right ahead and spend that money on RHCP tickets instead. They will be rocking SA in 2013 for the very first time. The tour will kick off on the 2nd of February at the Soccer City Complex, JHB and then hit the Cape Town Stadium on the 5th of February. The band will be supported by local zef rappers Die Antwoord. B UDDING young superstar Ryan Liann's single `Never Meant to be Friends' hit the internet late in August. This track is off this artist's debut album Alone with You, which is set to hit the shelves in December this year. Says label manager at Stone Studios International, Reinhardt Massyn: ` We are incredibly happy with how popular and well-received this single has been � especially amongst younger audiences.' Watch this news page for more details in the coming months. T T HE book that has chins wagging will now get its own album. The upside is that lovers of music can squirm alongside lovers of literature, and if you are a fan of both, we are very sorry indeed. The Fifty Shades of Grey album contains 15 classical tracks referenced by the author in the Fifty Shades trilogy. Says author, EL James: "I am thrilled that the classical pieces that inspired me while I wrote the Fifty Shades trilogy are being brought together in one collection for all lovers of the books to enjoy." In a move as lewd as the book the album features blasphemies against everyone from Bach to Debussy and is set to be released on the 17th of September. Smite your friends by buying them this album for Christmas. SHWANE University of Technology in conjunction with SAMRO will be hosting a presentation by Rob Hooijer, director of African Affairs for CISAC and past CEO of SAMRO. The presentation is entitled `Aspects of the Music Industry' and will take place of the 4th of September from 13h00 to 13h40 in the Auditorium at TUT. Entrance is free to all interested parties. K MERICA's two-party election system has got bands battling in the truest sense of the word. What is a Republican gathering without 3 Doors Down revving up these square-collared conservatives? On the other hand, the Foo Fighters are set to play at the Democratic National Convention, to the delight of Democrats on the 5th of September. So if fans want to find out more about which way their favourite musicians are likely to vote, all they have to do is tune in to US Presidential Campaign drives to see who votes liberal and who votes conservative. PAGE2 A OREAN pop (K-Pop) anomaly PSY and his inexplicably well-received music video `Gangnam Style' has taken the world by storm. This gem has been viewed over 116 million times on YouTube. The video has gone absolutely viral with Western audiences lapping it up despite having little to no clue as to what PSY is singing about. Word around the K-Pop campfire is that this track could lead to collaboration between Bieber and PSY, which has the potential to finally turn music into the stuff of nightmares. `Oppan Gangnam Style'! F AMOUS songwriter Hal David, who wrote a string of hits including `Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head', `Walk On By' and numerous others passed away on the 1st of September following complications from a stroke. David was 91 years old. Along with Burt Bacharach this lyricist wrote classics for everyone from Frank Sinatra to The Beatles. J C AXTON East Rand division has their finger on the pulse of the local music scene once again. Their latest project, Sing4Looklocal enables teens to send in clips of their vocal stylistics with the aim of winning a single recorded by Stone Studios International. This hot new project will also see SSI artists performing to young audiences all over Johannesburg. OHN Lennon's assassin Mark David Chapman was denied parole for a seventh time last week. Sean Lennon describes the matter as `sensitive', and according to the press Sean and his mom Yoko Ono were reluctant to discuss the matter with the Associated Press. B RAND-new pop act BlackByrd are making waves with their hit single `All Of Me' immediately following their signing with EMI. BlackByrd is Tarryn Lamb, Samantha Heldsinger and Tamsyn Maker, and hails from Cape Town. Sing 4 Looklocal S ean and Yoko recently launched the group Artists Against Fracking, which is dedicated to opposing hydraulic fracturing in New York State. Celebs who have joined the cause include Mark Ruffalo, Paul McCartney, Lady Gaga and Alec Baldwin. M USIC fans have loads to look forward to this spring. September releases include Bob Dylan's Tempest, The Killers' Battle Born, Green Day's Uno!, Steve Harris's British Lion and Deadmau5 with his latest offering >album title goes here<. PAGE3 In between jetting across the world, promoting the band's brand new album and just being all-round nice guys, the boys from The Parlotones take some time to chat with the 8th Note crew. Earlier this year The Parlotones released their fourth studio album Journey Through The Shadows to positive critical reviews and praise from the band's ever-growing legion of fans and is likely to earn the band yet another SAMA nomination, at the very least. The album sounds like The Parlotones, but a more mature version of the band, showcasing several new influences. The South African quartet of Kahn Morbee (vocals, rhythm guitar), Glen Hodgson (bass, backing vocals), Paul Hodgson (lead guitar, keyboard) and Neil Pauw (drums) has never sounded better. The band is also constantly involved in charitable endeavours, highlighting the responsibility well-known artists and brands have to promote good causes. As such, 8th Note Music Magazine exploited the good nature of these fine young fellows to procure an interview with one of SA's biggest musical names. <T> How did everything get started for The Parlotones? F Tristan Snijders EW South African bands have ever managed to rival the marketing and publicity machine behind The Parlotones. Unlike most local bands The Parlotones never sit on their laurels and as a result are as near to a household name as one can get. Founded in Johannesburg in 1998, The Parlotones has gone on to become South Africa's biggest rock band, not only in terms of exposure, but also record sales and, arguably, popularity. The band's unique mix of rock and Brit-pop influences has created something quite unlike any other band out there whilst maintaining an overwhelmingly South African feel. The band's bevy of local music awards and multi-platinum record sales attest to the fact that The Parlotones' music has an indelible resonance with South African audiences and critics alike. Not only has the band consistently wowed South African audiences and headlined sold-out mammoth shows across the country, the band has also made inroads in the international market, playing sold-out shows across smaller European venues and having toured the United States several times, to boot. Later this month the band is set to jet on back to Europe and its increase international exposure even further still. PAGE 4 Things really kicked off around 2005 when we signed with Sovereign Entertainment. We toured the country endlessly and slowly but surely built up a fanbase. <T> When did you guys feel like you finally made it in the music industry? There is never just `one moment' when you feel you've made it. No matter how far you come, there's always so much more to accomplish. A big step for us was when we finally got to quit our day jobs and do the band full-time. There's lot of cool moments, like seeing your album on the shelf, or touring overseas for the first time, but I still think haven't `made it' just yet. <T> Your fourth studio album Journey Through The Shadows came out earlier this year. How do you feel you've progressed since Stardust Galaxies? Were you happy with the end product? As a band we're very happy with our latest album. I feel we're always growing as a band and as musicians. The new album was a little experimental, there is quite a strong American influence, even a little bit of country, amongst other things. It's great to get see so many different cultures and places around the world, it's a real eye-opener. And it also brings home the fact that no matter where we go, South Africa is an amazing place and will always be our home. We listen to lots of different music, some new stuff, some old stuff, and draw inspiration from all of it. You can be inspired by The Beatles or Bruno Mars, you just need to keep an open mind. <T> Are you happy with how Journey Through The Shadows was received by the public and critics alike? I don't remember seeing any bad reviews, but generally we don't really pay too much attention to what critics say, they're not the ones buying the album. Our fans are enjoying the album, and already several of the new songs are favourites at shows. <T> The Parlotones has a very distinct sound, but always brings something new to the table with every new release. How do you keep up the inspiration? Is it a conscious decision to stick with the band's signature sound, or is it something that comes naturally after all these years? We don't really plan things that carefully, we just write songs that we enjoy and although we venture into slightly different musical territories now and then, we still have that signature sound that is a part of us now. <T> This year has been quite hectic for the band... your latest album is out and you've been touring extensively � both locally and overseas. What's it been like this year and when (if ever) are you guys going to take a bit of a breather? This year has been crazy, but it's good to be busy. We've been in America, UK and Europe as well as all over South Africa, and even a trip into Botswana. We normally get January off to relax and have a bit of a break. We love what we do, so it's not really a problem for us to be so busy all the time. We make music for a living, who could ask for more? <T> You've toured a lot on foreign soil and still have gigs across Europe and the UK coming up this year. What are your favourite things about touring abroad? Well the fact that we get to see the world and play music while we're there is an amazing privilege. It's great to get see so many different cultures and places around PAGE5 the world, it's a real eye-opener. And it also brings home the fact that no matter where we go, South Africa is an amazing place and will always be our home. <T> How has The Parlotones been received internationally? We've done very well internationally, which is a result of continual touring. There is an illusion that `overseas' is this magical place where bands just get famous overnight, but the truth is it takes a lot of hard work, and you need to keep going back. The hard work and constant touring eventually pays off when you see your audience grow every time you go back over. <T> Earlier this year you guys achieved a great milestone by climbing Mount Kilimanjaro for a good cause. What was the ascent like? Was it easier or more difficult than you had expected? It was definitely the most physically demanding challenge we've ever had. It was harder than we anticipated, but an awesome experience that we'll never forget. <T> In early August you guys performed your sold-out show This Is Our Story at Monte Casino's Teatro. What was the inspiration and concept behind it? The show is basically split between a live performance and a chat show. We try to tell the story of our journey so far, starting with the early days in the garage and working our way through the various highlights of our career so far. It's accompanied by video clips and photos, a real dose of nostalgia. We love what we do, so it's not really a problem for us to be so busy all the time. We make music for a living, who could ask for more? <T> In the limited amount of spare time you have, what do you guys do? We spend time with our friends and family, play a little golf, have a braai, that sort of thing. Basically, we just chill. <T> What's coming up for The Parlotones in the months that follow? We are planning on taking the This is Our Story show across the country, it did really well and we think fans would find it interesting and entertaining, just something a bit different to a regular gig. <T> Thanks so much for your time. Any final words for your fans? Thanks for all your support, we are nothing without you! PAGE6 Metal Gods T Tristan Snijders HERE are very few bands in history that deserve to be called musical pioneers. In the hard rock/ heavy metal genres but a few names stand out... Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Judas Priest and Venom all brought something entirely new to the rock table or approached rock in an undeniably fresh way. Judas Priest essentially brought the world heavy rock music with a sharp metallic edge, ear-piercingly high vocals and, perhaps most importantly, the dual-lead guitar attack that has since become a staple amongst technically proficient heavy and speed metal bands. The initial incarnation of Judas Priest, consisting of Al Atkins, Bruno Stapenhill, Ernie Chataway and John Partridge, came to be in 1969 but was to disband mere months later. In 1970, vocalist Al Atkins joined forces with Freight members K.K. Downing (guitar), Ian Hill (bass) and John Ellis (drums) and a new Judas Priest was born. Downing had essentially taken over leadership of the band, and pushed its sound further away from the band's initial blues foundation towards a hard rock route. During the 70s, Priest shuffled through a number of drummers and in 1973 Atkins also left the band following management and financial difficulties. Rob Halford joined Priest that same year after his sister, who was dating Ian Hill at the time, suggested him as PAGE8 a vocalist. In 1974, Priest was set to enter the studio to record their debut album, Rocka Rolla, but was advised by its label to add a fifth member to the band. Downing opted for another lead guitarist in Glenn Tipton and the guitar duo reworked the band's material before they hit the studio. Problems arose around the recording of the album as producer Rodger Bain ignored the band's vision and chopped and changed the record as he pleased. Rocka Rolla was by no means a ground-breaking, exceptional album but illustrated the basic sound that Priest would expand and improve upon. From here on in, Priest made sure to have a greater influence over its studio productions. In 1976 the band released their second album, Sad Wings of Destiny, which is perhaps Priest's most groundbreaking album. It featured a mix of heavy rock, progressive elements, Halford's soaring vocals and a truly dark, at times oppressive, atmosphere. Unfortunately Priest was still signed with the tiny independent label Gull and though the album was received well critically, it didn't make its way into the hands of as many fans as it should have. Sad Wings of Destiny did, however, grab the attention of Columbia Records and the band was promptly scooped up by the American powerhouse. Two critically acclaimed albums were to follow, namely 1977's Sin After Sin and 1978's Stained Class. The latter album featured a Spooky Tooth cover `Better By You, Better Than Me' which saw the band implicated in a 1985 suicide pact in the USA ... but more on that later. Killing Machine (entitled Hell Bent for Leather in the US), also released in 1978, proved to be one of the band's breakout albums and saw the band adopting its now-famous leather and studs attire, moving away from its earlier floriated hippie Nostradamus, Priest's only dress. Priest's musical style concept album to date, was Judas Priest is a band that also shifted towards a more released in 2008 and hit the will always be listened to; straightforward metallic US Billboard 200 chart in 11th approach, abandoning many simply because of the quality position � the band's highest charting ever in the States. of its progressive, ethereal of the band's songs and the tendencies. The band's first In 2010, Judas Priest world tour followed the release reverence others have for announced that their Epitaph and a live album, which also these Midlands rockers. World Tour, which started in contained studio overdubs, June 2011 and ended in May was recorded in Japan and 2012, would be the band's final released as Unleashed in the world tour. Before the start of the tour, founding member East, the first Platinum Judas Priest recording. K.K. Downing retired from the band and Priest replaced him with 31-year-old Richie Falkner. Although the band Priest's seminal metal album was released in 1980. has significantly reduced its activity, a new, and perhaps British Steel encapsulated the band's more strippedfinal, album is in the works. down approach yet the songs were catchy and rather radio friendly leading to a significant increase in exposure Judas Priest has had an indelible effect on the genres of through radio play. Songs like `Breaking the Law' and hard rock and particularly heavy metal. Halford and the `Living After Midnight' are familiar to even the youngest of band's adoption of the `studs and leather' look influenced rock fans today and the album was the band's first studio most metal bands that were to come, not knowing that its album to be certified platinum by the RIAA. Point of Entry origins lay in homosexual followed in 1981 but could not reach the firmamental macho S&M fashion. heights of British Steel and proved to be a dip in the The blazing twin-guitar band's form. In 1982, however, Priest was riding high approach and Halford's once again with the release of Screaming for Vengeance, shrieking vocals which rocketed up the charts and went twice Platinum. created an entirely fresh sound in the Defenders of the Faith, released in 1984, was the last world of rock Priest album of the 80s to follow the band's typical darker which resonated formula, also achieving double Platinum status in the with young US. Two somewhat more colourful albums followed in fans looking for 1986's Turbo, which also went Platinum, and 1988's Ram something with It Down, achieving Gold status, leaving fans wondering more power and what was to come for the band in the future. In 1989, attitude. drummer Scott Travis, who still drums for the band, joined the fray and Priest released its 12th studio album, Painkiller, in 1990. The album was an aural kick in the gut and blow upside the head, being Priest's heaviest and most technically impressive album to date. The album hit Gold status in the US and has become the band's most popular cult album, resonating particularly deeply with metalheads across the globe. Soon after the release and supporting tour of Painkiller, Rob Halford left the band owing to tensions within the band going on to start his own band, Fight, and recording material for his solo project Halford. Priest took a break following Halford's departure but hired vocalist Tim `Ripper' Owens in 1996. Jugulator was released in 1997 and Demolition in 2001. Both albums were poorly received by fans and critics alike because of Owens' vocals and ill-conceived song writing � Judas Priest was clearly a band in crisis. The cure was right around the corner: the return of metal god Rob Halford. Owens departed on good terms, joining American band Iced Earth, and the classic line-up was together again. In 2005 Priest released Angel of Retribution which debuted in 13th position on the US Billboard 200 chart, a truly remarkable achievement for a band that had fallen to pieces several years earlier. The band's latest album, Rob Halford popularised the heavy metal `studs and leather' look. PAGE9 British Steel popularised the heavy metal sound, showing that metal could be a radio-friendly genre, without losing its heavy, punchy core. Priest was one of the biggest bands of the 80s and drew the attention of those meddling, attention-seeking Washington housewives, spearheaded by Tipper Gore. Gore and her bored cronies established the Parents Music Resource Center (PMRC) in order to protect the supposedly brainless and impressionable youth of America by warning parents about the evils of rock and metal music. One of Priest's tracks `Eat Me Alive' made it onto the PMRC's `Filthy Fifteen' list � a list of songs that would supposedly lead your children into temptation by having underage sex, raping everyone they see, worshipping Satan and becoming drug addicts. The whole PMRC debacle culminated in the creation and application of `Parental Advisory' stickers, which had the opposite intended effect: a lot of kids would basically only buy albums with these stickers in order to `stick it' to their parents and the world at large. As mentioned earlier, Priest was implicated in a 1985 suicide pact in the US where two young idiots James Vance and Raymond Belknap tried to kill themselves with a shotgun after listening to `Better By You, Better Than Me' (a Spooky Tooth cover song), drinking beer and smoking pot. Only Belknap actually managed to end his life whilst Vance somehow failed (with a 12-gauge shotgun!) and ended up somewhat disfigured. It was preposterously alleged that the lyric `do it' triggered the shooting and that subliminal messaging was to blame... no mention of the alcohol or marijuana. Fortunately the judge was saner than the plaintiffs and the civil action against the band was dismissed. In a documentary on the case, Rob Halford stated that if the band was going to use subliminal messages it would simply be `Buy more of our records'. After all, killing off your fans isn't exactly the road to fame and fortune, now is it? Judas Priest is a band that will always be listened to; simply because of the quality of the band's songs and the reverence others have for these Midlands rockers. Priest has been heavily featured in modern media, particularly in video games, showing that interest in the band is most certainly not waning. It truly is a pity that Judas Priest is likely to close shop in the very near future. That said it is better to go out with a bang, on top of your game, than with a whimper and a fizzle. Knowing that the band's likely dissolution is around the corner also gives fans a chance to celebrate what Priest has done over all these years without getting all teary-eyed and depressed. Even though the gloves may be hung up soon, the Priest boys know full well that they can still rock out with the best of them and these sexagenarians prove that when it comes to real music, age isn't a factor. Our top three Judas Priest albums: 3. Sad Wings of Destiny, 1976. 2. British Steel, 1980. 1. Painkiller, 1990. 2 1 3 PAGE10 EVENT DETAILS ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE September 9th The Old Mutual Music in the Gardens Series: Walter Sisulu Botanical Garden. Die Heuwels Fantasties. R80. Tickets available at www.ticketbreak.co.za. Kids under 13 enter free. A Story of Blues. Old Mutual Old Mutual Theatre on the Square, Nelson Mandela Square in Johannesburg. No time given. R145. September 16th Ard Matthews Unplugged. The Venue at Melrose Arch. 16h00. R175. September 17th Nataniel � Seven Loud People. Atterbury Theatre, PTA. 20h00. R175 � R200. September 19th A Morning at The Musicals. Baxter Theatre in Cape Town. 10h30. R30. The Cape Philharmonic Orchestra. The Fugard Theatre Bioscope in Cape Town. 19h30. R80 � R100. September 11th Franklin Larey (Piano). Baxter Concert Hall in Cape Town. 20h15. R50. September 12th Jannie Moolman. Port Natal Skoolsaal in KZN. 18h00. R110. September 19th � 20th Gauteng Big Band Jazz Festival. St Mary's in Johannesburg. 19h30. R30. September 15th � 16th Johnny Clegg. Teatro at Montecasino. R237 � R390. September 16th Aida with English subtitles. The Fugard Theatre Bioscope in Cape Town. 14h00. R50 � R100. September 21st Chris Chameleon. Centurion Theatre in Pretoria. 20h00. R130. September 21st Finding Noah. Carousel's Cheyenne Saloon in Pretoria. 21h00. R50. Jesse Clegg. Tanz Caf� Fourways in Johannesburg. 21h00. R100. October 6th Heineken Symphonic Rocks. Big Top Arena at Carnival City. 20h00. R250. September 22nd Lokxion Lifestyle Battle of the DJs. Kayamandi Corridor in Stellenbosch. 19h00. R40 � R80. September 29th Heineken Symphonic Rocks. Grand Arena at Grand West. 20h00. R200 � R225. Mia Verdoorn `Carry me Home'. The Atterbury Theatre in Pretoria, Gauteng. 20h00. R110 � R130. October 21st Laurika Rauch. Aula Theatre in Pretoria. 15h00. R110 � R130. October 26th Jackson Five Tribute. Westgate Mall Shopping Centre in Cape Town. 20h15. R60. September 30th Jazz by the River Vereeniging. Dickinson Park, Vereeniging in Southern Gauteng. 11hoo. R200. October 28th The Cape Town Music Experience. Cape Town Ostrich Ranch in Cape Town. 10h00. R160 � R400. October 3rd Chris Chameleon and the Drakensberg Boys Choir. Sanlam Auditorium in Potchefstroom. 09h00. R100. October 29th Flight of Birds. Atterbury Theatre in Pretoria. 20h00. R120 � R180. October 4th Crimson Chrysalis Album Launch. Atterbury Theatre in Pretoria. 20h00. R110. November 4th Johnny Clegg. The Boardwalk Festive Lawn Area in the Eastern Cape. 16h30. R161. H Yoland� Erasmus OLLY & The Woods is one of those bands that serves as supporting evidence to the claim that South Africa can produce world-class talent. The original incarnation of this band formed in 2006 as a result of an advertisement that the vocalist (Mel Conradie) took out in the high hopes of finding a band. The band's name is a play on words designed to reflect a jaded view of manufactured entertainers. As such it is quite apt, as there is nothing about Holly & The Woods that is derivative of anything else we have seen. Mel Conradie from Holly & The Woods chats to 8th Note about their band, their brand and their new single `Surrender'... excellent vocals � in short it is a new take on an old genre that manages to sound rock without sounding dated. I was still reeling from the amazing music on Holly & The Woods' So I Rage album, when I stumbled across their latest single `Surrender' � no, really I've been reeling since 2008. That really was all it took to convince me that it was a good idea to chat with Mel Conradie again. The band recently re-grouped to create this new track, and with an album in the pipeline it seems as if this girlfronted rock band is still living large in the South African music scene. <Y> Tell me more about `Surrender' � the single a long time coming � what was your inspiration for this track? I went through a big break-up towards the end of 2010 when we first started working on `Surrender'. Very similar to the single `Not Like Me', instead of writing about Holly & The Woods is a five-piece band that hails from JHB � the band is Melissa Conradie (vocals); Craig Henning (rhythm guitar); Gary Ashford (bass); LeeJaime Havenga (drums) and Darren Drawbridge (lead guitar). These seasoned rockers boast a yard-long live performance record and a growing base of loyal followers. If you've never heard of them before you should be deeply ashamed. This is a band that will never stop being a favourite as it amalgamates the best rock sound with All Holly & The Woods Photos by : Joanne Olivier Photography PAGE14 how much I was hurting, I wanted to celebrate the beauty we have the 12 strongest songs ready to record, we'll of what we had. The keep writing. We've just song allows for anyone's finished our new single We'll never have that interpretation though, with Matthew Fink, who whether you are in love recorded and produced obvious commercial rock and wanting to celebrate our debut album. sound for South African that with the person radio, so if radio happens to you're with, or whether <Y> Tell me more play a single that's great, but you have embraced life about being Crime Line we don't write for radio, we and just loving every ambassadors... write the songs we love. moment of it. <Y> Word around the cyber campfire is that there is a new album in the works, tell me more about the upcoming album and its expected release date... Yeah, we eventually want to have the second album ready for release either late 2012 or early 2013. We're not rushing it, because we want to make sure we're writing the best possible songs for the album and until we know About four years ago our guitarist, Craig Henning, was hijacked in front of his house after returning from band practice with all his gear in his car. He lost everything and had to buy new gear and a car. Worst of all though, was that fear of having a gun pointed at you and wondering if this is how you're life is going to end. Two years ago a gunman came into my house, tied me up and robbed me at gunpoint. No-one should go through that and we had the amazing opportunity to be linked PAGE15 in with Crime Line and spread the word on how people can anonymously SMS tip-offs for any crime leads they have to help catch the criminals. We'll always be linked to Crime Line and help in any way we can to further the awareness on how people can safely tip-off crimes and help our fellow South Africans. No-one should live in fear. <Y>2010 was a busy year for you guys, apart from Thornfest and Splashy Fen, it was a also a year in which the band had to regroup. Tell me more about why you guys decided to part ways and what prompted you to give it another go... Being in Holly & The Woods and having a rock band is so much fun! Music should always be about that and when it starts losing its fun factor and starts feeling like work, something's wrong. We broke up in April 2010 after it started feeling like that, but it only took six months for three of us in the band to realise how much we missed and still wanted this band. So we regrouped and had to find two new members when the other guys had already joined new bands and projects. Music is in our blood and it's something we just can't walk away from. <Y> With the regroup in mind, who are the new members? Tell us more about them. Lee-Jaime Havenga joined us on drums and has recently received his degree in music from COPA, so now he's after his Masters. Darren Drawbridge joined us on lead guitar and used to play for Jo Day, so he's a rocker by heart! They are such great musicians and guys, and they bring a nice refreshed energy to the band, seeing that the original three of us have been in it for six years already. <Y> Apart from recording, what is on the cards for Holly & The Woods for the rest of the year? We just want to play as many gigs as we can and start getting out to the rest of the country more! It's been too long since we've been in the Cape for shows and we've still never done gigs in Durban, Bloem, Potch and so forth, so we've got quite a few places we need to get to. We didn't realise what a great KZN fanbase we had till we played Splashy Fen in 2010! We had a tent full of KZN fans so happy to finally see us live, so we need to get to them. <Y> Where can fans go to find out more about the band, upcoming shows and releases? PAGE16 We're really good with updating online, so join us on Facebook on http://www.facebook.com/ hollyandthewoodsband, follow us on Twitter @ hollythewoods and we have a mailing list on http://www. hollyandthewoods.com/. Also if you sign-up to the mailing list, you'll get "Surrender" as a free download. <Y> You guys really are seasoned rockers, you have been playlisted on loads of major radio stations and you have performed to live audiences plenty of times, so there is no doubting your commitment. What does it take to stay fresh and energised and take on new projects? Wow, thanks! Yeah, we've been working really hard and we haven't even achieved a fraction of what we're looking to reach. That's what keeps us going, having so much we want to achieve. We'd love to be as well known as a Seether or an aKing in South Africa and make our mark as one of SA's top female-fronted rock bands. Most of all though, the music we get to make and writing new songs, and seeing fans' faces when we play those new songs, make it all so worthwhile! <Y> As a band, what have been your greatest stumbling blocks to date? Learning to be patient with success. We're seeing bands all over the places popping out of nowhere and becoming the new hot thing, while we're cruising along doing what we do. We'll never have that obvious commercial rock sound for South African radio, so if radio happens to play a single that's great, but we don't write for radio, we write the songs we love. Because of that, we're on our own journey with our music and where it will take us no-one knows, but we've learnt not to rush it. 8th Note takes a look at all our favourite cheesy music videos from the 80s. And, because we are dealing with the 80s, there is plenty of cheese to go `round... T Yoland� Erasmus #10 Cindy Lauper � `Girls Just Wanna Have Fun'. It is really hard not to like Cindy Lauper, especially if you have never seen or heard of Celebrity Apprentice before. Her range is incredible and her songs have consistently done well. But of course, this is the 80s and in 1983 this classic track and its accompanying music video hit the airwaves to set the world on fire with its unique brand of sitcom-inspired cheese. The highlights include Cindy's off-beat `dancing', her heavily made-up girlfriends and of course, dad in his wife-beater vest. Incredible. #9 Adam and the Ants � `Stand and Deliver'. Oef! The year is 1981 and on the screen Adam Ant is a `dandy highwayman'. Adam is captured but escapes the gallows with the help of his cohorts (the band). The music video opens with Adam Ant shouting `stand and deliver' and then promptly...dropping from a tree. I can see how the concept would have us believe he is leaping from that tree, but let's not fool ourselves. Adam is decadently attired and sports more lipstick and eyeliner than any respectable lady of the night would ever consider. Cheese indeed. #8 Dire Straits � `Money for Nothing'. This 1985 single is off these great British rockers' Brothers in Arms album. This legendary tune was the first to be aired on MTV Europe when the channel launched on the 1st of August 1987. I knew it wouldn't be long before we encountered headbands and EASE your hair, strap on your shoulder pads, grab hold of those turtle necks and liberally apply three shades of eye shadow because this month we commemorate music videos from the 80s! On the 1st of August 1981 MTV officially launched as the world's first 24-hour music television station in stereo. Their entrance was, by today's standards, fairly cheesy. It showed footage from the first space shuttle launch of Colombia followed by the words `ladies and gentlemen, rock and roll' spoken by John Lack. The MTV theme, a lovely riffy jingle, then played and the screen became usurped by the ever-changing bright colours of the logo on a flag. What was cutting-edge television in the 80s seems a little cheesy to me today, even though I am a child of the 80s. The lead anchor refers to the hosts of the numerous shows as `VJs'. Veejays! The video of this, what would have been `sensational', launch of an entirely new television franchise for the love of music is available to pundits, punters and lovers of cheese on YouTube. MTV was just the vehicle however, just the host to the actual music videos and if we thought that MTV gave us a dazzlingly fragrant display of cheese then wait till you browse through the wares. The music isn't bad at all, with the possible exception of Devo. We shouldn't judge these awesome old classics for sticking to the trends of the time. We can hardly hold the music accountable for the failings of 80s-era recording technology and the over-the-top culture of the time. Some of the songs still resonate with us to this very day, collectively forming a eulogy to bygone times that never fails to simmer up all those lovely reminiscent feelings. This era might have only spanned ten years, but an incredible number of really cheesy music videos were born in this time. We cannot list them all, but we can bring you a few choice cuts. Without further ado and for fear that our lovely collection of cheeses may melt and congeal, here are 8th Note's top cheesy music videos of the 80s: PAGE18 this video has delivered! Of course, this is a kick-ass old tune and even the music video formed part of the hallmark of my childhood in the 80s. Opening with the ever-familiar `I want my MTV' the video launches into the worst animation you are ever likely to see. It is akin to someone's Toy Story acid nightmare. #7 Devo �`Whip It'. This is the 1980 hit single by US new wavers Devo. Would that nobody ever has to suffer Devo-vision. I actually had to wiki this music video because the concept was entirely lost on me. Of course the wiki description has some highflung literary imaginings. Inspired, apparently, by Thomas Pynchon the description of this video features words strung into sentences that include `working class' and `overcome adversity'. To me, at first glance, the video features a bunch of nerds in lego-inspired headgear displaying exactly why the 80s wasn't a great time for women's rights. #6 Duran Duran � `Hungry Like The Wolf'. These British new wavers graced us with this song, off their second album Rio, in 1982. I notice that this song title doesn't refer to just any wolf, but `the' wolf. I often watch this video on YouTube when I need a laugh. It has to be one of my all-time favourite cheesy music videos of the 80s. Picture it: we are somewhere in the third world, jungle sort of stuff, subtle undertones of slavery, a vocalist who sings that he `smells like he sounds' and unexpected love on the jungle floor, with an `animalistic' woman in heavy layers of make-up. Sweat bands, white suits, beggars and snake charming � this music video really has something for everyone. #5 Thomas Dolby � `She Blinded Me With Science'. Another new wave act from Britain, I am starting to see a slight pattern here. This cube of cheese was released in 1982. Another day in the 80s and another white suit in a music video. Mr Dolby arrives at the Home for Deranged Scientists where `she blinded him with science' and at the end he rejects science and all things scientific. These commentaries are brought to you via silent movie style slides. Oh and also, he plays Miss Sakamoto like a violin/ cello. Yeah. This song plays on the old colloquialism `to blind with science', essentially confusing someone with jargon. Dolby directed this gem himself, in which he is featured trying to find help while all the while being seduced by the beautiful Miss Sakamoto. #4 A Flock of Seagulls � `I Ran (So Far Away)'. Aluminium foil and mirrors coupled with heavy make-up and a hairstyle that would shame a standard poodle. The most notable aspect of the video is the cameras, which you can see reflected in the mirrors, heavily covered in foil. This single and its quirky video was heavily air played on MTV during the summer of 1982. `I Ran (So Far Away)' is credited as A Flock of Seagulls' breakthrough tune. #3 Billy Idol `White Wedding Part 1'. This song featured on the 1982 album Billy Idol. A cursory glance at this music video explains why women went weak at the knees for Billy. In this video Billy sports an incredibly long scarf, a barbed wedding ring for his `bride' and of course `hitting the nail into the coffin' along with the beat. Apart from the make-up and the signature 80s hairstyles this music video manages to be cheesy but incredibly cool. #2 Falco � `Rock Me Amadeus'. This 1985 track is by Austrian pop star Falco. The music video is cheesy but in an altogether excellent sort of way. `Rock Me Amadeus' is one of my all-time favourite songs and I do not regret the music video either, even though it was produced in the 80s. Inspired by the film Amadeus, the music video is about Mozart. It features characters in period dress from all cultures and draws a parallel between that time and the 80s. There are bikers and a crazy multi-coloured Mozart hairstyle. In a word, this video is epic. #1 Baltimora � `Tarzan Boy'. Ah the Italians! This chart-topping debut single was released in 1985 and was the first song on their debut album Living in the Background. Never mind the thick glam makeup and the ham acting, it is the charade-like mimicking of the Tarzan holler that clinched it for me. The background is a collage of animated design vomit, which is incredibly 80s. But don't be fooled, while this song is quintessentially 80s it is quite awesome. The music is catchy, the chorus is well planned and this is a song that will stick for many more years to come. PAGE19 No Damned Eulogy! H Tristan Snijders EAVY drinking is often seen as a vice and the cause of many ills in society, particularly in South Africa. Whilst the negative effects of alcohol and the abuse thereof have been widely studied, there hasn't been much research done into the positive effects of consuming vast amounts of booze (I'm not talking about a glass of wine a day to promote cardiac health), and I think this is a real pity. Don't get me wrong, alcohol abuse is a real problem amongst mere mortals, but without it and the uninhibiting effects of alcohol we wouldn't have Orange Goblin. Orange Goblin was borne forth from a collective alcoholic stupor, in the UK, in the mid-nineties under the name Our Haunted Kingdom. As the band took the left hand path (to the pub) and found its own style of audacious boozy metal, it was renamed Orange Goblin: a retro name to suit a retro sound. To date the band has released seven full-length albums the latest of which, A Eulogy for the Damned, saw the light earlier this year. PAGE20 Orange Goblin has never strayed far from its stoner rock origins, but has instead expanded upon and added a good few pints of maturity, not to mention big metal balls (which were never really lacking) to its sound. Orange Goblin has truly earned its reputation of being one of the UK's best acts and has played alongside some of the rock world's biggest names at almost all music festivals worth mentioning. The heavy rock quartet of Ben Ward (vocals), Martyn Millard (bass), Joe Hoare (guitars) and Chris Turner (drummer) has consistently blown away international audiences during and after shows, playing and partying hard in equal measure, and there is little sign of the band letting up. One thing is for certain... nobody is dragging Orange Goblin back into the underworld; in fact, the band is just getting better with time. As such, I decided to have a chat with vocalist Ben Ward about the past, present and future of Orange Goblin, and one or two things besides. <T> Tell me about the origins of Orange Goblin... It all started as we were all friends who were unemployed and shared a common love of heavy metal. Martyn and I had met through playing football together and the other guys all lived local or were friends of friends. We used to spend all our time together (Martyn, Joe, Pete, the guitarist who later left, and I) sitting around someone's house, drinking and listening to music, when one day we decided to give it a go ourselves. Joe and Pete could already play but Martyn and I had no experience at all. Martyn soon picked up the bass and we found a local drummer and it kind of took off from there. We did a few local shows and started to communicate with people in the underground and spread the word via flyering at shows etc. <T> Orange Goblin has been around for close to 20 years now, with the original line-up almost entirely intact. How have you guys managed to keep everything together for so long? takes my fancy really. I don't like to relay the themes directly and try to put my own slant on things which makes for an interesting outcome. Geezer Butler is a huge lyrical inspiration as he's always mixed various subjects that everyone finds interesting, whether it's sci-fi, the occult, war, comic book heroes or humanity in general. I've always tried to do the same and make a point of finding out what inspires the people I consider to be good lyricists and reading or watching the material that they like. There are many underrated lyricists out there in our scene, Neil Fallon, Dave Wyndorf, Lee Dorrian to name a few. I just like to try to avoid the really obvious as metal can be a bit clich�d. <T> You guys play balls-to-the-wall, straightforward metal and you've been labelled everything from stoner doom to hard rock. To someone who hasn't heard your music, how would you describe and label it, if you had to? I would say that we walk the line somewhere between classic hard rock and heavy metal. Within that you will find stoner, doom, NWOBHM, a bit of punk and thrash but mainly I think we are a heavy rock band. As I said before, we don't like to limit ourselves and we can have songs like `Save Me From Myself' which has a southern-rock feel to it, right next to songs like `The Fog' which is very doom and metal inspired. We've just always enjoyed doing what we do and never taken ourselves seriously. It means that when we get together to do stuff it's still as much fun now as it was when we first started. We're like a band of brothers and from the outset have decided that all publishing etc would People have said that Orange Goblin has evolved a be split equally lot over the years between us. This and while we may We don't set ourselves any means there are no have changed our disputes over who sound, I think that boundaries or any targets either, so earns most etc, our influences have everything that happens is a bonus which is what causes remained very friction in most bands similar throughout and keeps it fresh and exciting. As long I know. out whole career. Coup De Grace as this continues we'll keep making The reason we was supposed to music. We've had a great ride and far started the band be a shift towards in the first place punk but that punk exceeded our own expectations so the is because there influence had always fact that people seem to like what we wasn't a band doing been there. Listen to what Orange Goblin `Magic Carpet' off the do is great! does and I still feel first album! a bit like that today. I love making the music we do. We don't set ourselves any boundaries or any targets either, so everything that happens is a bonus and keeps it fresh and exciting. As long as this continues we'll keep making music. We've had a great ride and far exceeded our own expectations so the fact that people seem to like what we do is great! <T> You've written lyrics about all sorts of things from space/time travel and drug use to the human condition and society, and the list goes on. To boot, your lyrics have a witty, insightful edge to them. Where do you find your lyrical inspiration? Lyrically, I've always liked to expand on themes or ideas I may have taken from books, films, comics, whatever PAGE21 <T> A Eulogy for the Damned was released earlier this year. Were you happy with the final product you produced and what has the reception from fans been like? We are all absolutely delighted with how the album came out. Everything from the production, right through to the artwork was exactly how we all envisioned this album so to see it come to fruition (finally!) and then see it very well received by the both the fans and the critics, it makes us all very proud of what we've done. It also seems to going down very well live, so that's even more of a bonus! <T> Tell us a bit more about your latest album and the inspiration behind it... Well the last album was a bit of a concept album, based loosely around the Great Plague and the subsequent Great Fire of London in 1666. It proved to be quite taxing from a lyrical point of view to base a whole album on one theme so I definitely didn't want to do that again this time. From my point of view I just had fun with the lyrics. Musically I think it's just another evolutionary step for the band and a very natural progression. It mixes all of our previous influences which gives the album more depth and variation whilst maintaining a typical Orange Goblin feel. I have to say that all of the band definitely raised their game on this one, as writers and performers and I think that you can hear a band that have been playing and writing together now for 17 years. Everybody contributed to this one in equal measure which is what makes it so well balanced and rounded as a complete album. <T> You have played a hell of a lot of live shows all over the place. What have been some of the best live moments for you? Over the course of 17 years there have been many, many great moments obviously but a few moments do stick in the memory. We've been very fortunate to be invited top some of the best festivals in the world and have appeared at the likes of Download, Sonisphere, Hellfest, Sweden Rock, Roadburn, Emissions From The Monolith, Bloodstock, Dynamo and many more. As I said we have far exceeded our own expectations! The first US tour was great and we've got to play so many legendary PAGE22 venues like CBGB's, The Troubadour, Emo's and many more. Also, the first time we went to Japan in 1999 was amazing. It was an insight as to what it must've been like to be in The Beatles for 5 days, the fans there are so fanatical and welcoming, I'd love to go back! <T> You come across as a hard-partying bunch of guys. Is it still all about sex, drugs and rock & roll, or have you chilled out a bit over the years? Any crazy tales of excess you care to share? Obviously we are all getting on a bit now and are a little more responsible as we've all become dads and have to think about our health a little more, but I'd like to think that we can still party with the best of them. There was a time about 10 or 12 years ago when everyone was out of control and it got a bit silly, I suppose we're lucky that we're all still here and are reasonably healthy! We could probably write a book on the tales of excess that went on and maybe we will one day but it's going to mean dredging the depths of our memories as all the best nights tend to occur when inebriated and they're hard to remember. There are plenty of scars that tell a few stories though, let's put it that way! <T> What do you do in your spare time when not at work or working on Orange Goblin? I'm just a regular guy really. I like to spend time with my family, especially going to the park or the cinema with my son. I like to read books and comics, watch horror movies, and follow my football team as often as I can. I'm a fan of wine, beer and cider so like to search for new ones all the time. Obviously I listen to a lot of music too but I find that I don't go out to many live shows these days. When you are around loud, live music a lot of the time it's nice to get away from it for a bit! I must be getting old! <T> Thanks so much for your time, Ben! Any final words or thoughts? Thanks to all the OG fans for the continued support and we hope to see you somewhere on the road in 2013, if not before! Keep spreading the word and we'll keep rocking! Cheers! them. Every second Tom with a permanently out-of-tune hand-me-down guitar and vocal cords is bound to think, `If those untalented guys can become famous, I MUST have a chance!' It is true that there are unaccomplished musicians and mediocre vocalists at the top of the industry heap but that usually comes down to having that elusive `x factor', experience from a young age or knowing people who are willing to take a risk and make something out you. Unfortunately that's as likely to happen as winning a genuine lottery twice in a row. The second and third problems tie in with each other. Many aspiring amateur musicians have a great support machine behind them in the form of family and friends. While it is natural to want to support your children and friends in endeavours they feel passionate about, it is important to not support them without reasonable justification outside your relationship with them. If your child or best buddy loves doodling and wants to become a professional comic book artist, but has the artistic skills of a particularly incapable five-year-old, is it not your responsibility as an influential person in their life to suggest they perhaps look at pursuing another field where they may at least have some innate ability? Parents often feel that simply because they birthed a child it has to be brilliant for some or other reason, or that they can live it up vicariously through their children, and friends feel a sense of personal pride in being able to say, `I know that guy... we're best friends!'. Such mislaid support is generally given for selfish reasons and is not in the best interest of those supported. To top it off, many musicians are simply deluded as to how good they are and, according to them, everyone in the music industry is full of it and can't see talent when it's staring them in the face. Tying in with the previous point, if their sycophantic family and friends all tell them they're absolutely sensational they're bound to believe it at some point. That's why if you're unlucky enough to have seen any of these singing talent competitions, you'll find deluded singers who are absolutely shocked that someone doesn't want to lick their boots in admiration and tells them exactly how terrible they truly are. If you think you're so damned great, stick a video or sound clip of yourself on the internet. Yes, you'll still find the odd boot-licking supplicant but people, behind a veil of anonymity, will overwhelmingly be rather honest and call you on your delusional bullshit. All this said, there are absolutely brilliant musical artists spread throughout the underground and are quite content to stay there. They work hard at their day jobs to be able to support themselves and their families and make music for the love of the matter. Making music for the love of it is what it should all be about... fame and success are the amazing perks that a fortunate few have been lucky enough to achieve, not something anyone is entitled to. Unfortunately this is a topic that could probably cover the expanse of the entire magazine. The simple point is, make music because you love it, don't become a musician because you want to become rich and famous. It just doesn't work that way, sucker. T HE world we live in is a harsh place. While most of us don't have to don animal skins and become familiar the intricacies of handling a spear or bow to catch our next meal, today's world of global consumerism and big business is nonetheless a ruthless environment. Insight, natural ability, experience and being personable are highly appreciated traits in the professional world and no-one would expect to become a professor of astrophysics without the necessary knowledge, experience and qualifications... right? G r e at Expectations Why then do (ostensible) musicians think the music world should be any different? The music industry is another ruthless modern beast, chewing up and spitting out hopeful musicians left, right and centre, yet droves of talentless wannabes and their overly supportive parents feel they are entitled to be given some sort of big break. When we live in a world where we strive to break the mould of cronyism and replace it with the lofty ideals of meritocracy, occurrences such as this are somewhat mind boggling. This sense of entitlement and the belief that anyone can make it and become a superstar are the results of various factors. First off, the modern era has seen some of the worst musicians become overnight sensations, particularly with the influence the internet, social media platforms and YouTube have had, and the fact that anyone in the world is now afforded the chance to put their prodigious talents on display for all to see. These days everyone can vomit in unison to viral hits such as Rebecca Black's `Friday' and do the horse dance along with breakout K-Pop star PSY's `Gangnam Style' (the big difference between the two is that PSY is actually a Berklee graduate and knows what he's doing). However, before the internet explosion we had `artists' like Vanilla Ice and Milli Vanilli � neither of which had more than 15 minutes of fame (or so their finances would indicate). The world of popular music has always been laced by performers lacking talent but with an effective concept and competent songwriters behind PAGE23 NIMAL Collective is a strange beast, playing something along the lines of experimental, psychedelic pop-rock music. The band's latest release, Centipede Hz, builds on the band's unique style, keeping it both fresh yet hearkening back to the band's earlier days. A ANIMAL COLLECTIVE CENTIPEDE Hz Reviewed by : Gideon Ramabula Score : 6/10 but what he plays works.The bass guitar is audible and often meanders away from the rhythm guitar, which is always a plus, and the drums round off the rhythm section in a blasting manner typical to thrash, yet the drummer is consistently mixing it up and throwing in some fills for good measure. The vocals are a definite highlight for me. The vocalist/s abandoned the usual hoarse thrash bark in favour of a raspy, and sometimes deep, growl closer to something you'd expect from a death metal band. At the end of the day, if you happen to like your metal thrashing, with a pinch of death metal, you could do a lot worse than giving Exile a try. I've listened to so many of these young thrash metal bands trying to revive the genre and, to be honest, Suspended Society... is really a cut above the rest. Exile is holding the banner of thrash metal high, so get this album, throw out and burn those latest Metallica, Slayer and Megadeth releases and prepare your neck for total headbanging punishment! RUSH CLOCKWORK ANGELS Reviewed by : Tristan Snijders Score : 9/10 Depending on your view of the band, that's either a good or a bad thing. Those who have never appreciated the band's eclectic, left-of-field approach to pop are unlikely to enjoy Centipede Hz. Old fans of the band will undoubtedly enjoy the latest effort and it doesn't stray far from the band's usual formula (or what to some may seem like a lack thereof) but Centipede Hz provides a very dense listen and is not as easily accessible as the band's 2009 zenith Merriweather Post Pavilion. For those who haven't heard the band, its music is not particularly easy to describe. Animal Collective sounds like the bastard love-child of Black Dice, Krautrock, The Beatles, Naked City, boy-band pop and random electronica and avant-garde projects... it's rather strange but, to me, the pop feel always shines through � and that's my problem. The band has always sounded like it's trying to be `out there' whilst essentially creating pop music and Centipede Hz is no different. While the band has always latched on to some great hooks and ideas it has more often than not failed to deliver on creating songs that are good in their entirety. Fans will most certainly dispute this, but I just prefer my experimental music with a bit more substance and complexity and less contrivance. That said, Centipede Hz isn't a bad album and if you love pop music, sequencers and something a bit whacky, check it out. EXILE SUSPENDED SOCIETY... MUTILATED VARIETY Reviewed by : Tristan Snijders Score : 8/10 R USH has been around for more than 40 years and is typically one of those bands you either love or absolutely abhor. The band's career has had its ups and downs as Geddy Lee & Co. have occasionally succumbed to following contemporary trends. Clockwork Angels, a concept album, is the Canadian progressive-rock masters' 19th studio album and the concept is to be novelised and released by author Kevin J. Anderson later this year. I've never been a diehard Rush fan but have enjoyed some of the bands' past works. I found 2007's Snakes & Arrows to be a rather tedious affair so I was sceptical about giving their latest album a listen. Much to my relief, my reluctance was unfounded and what Rush has delivered is perhaps the band's best album in 30 years. Everything you would expect from Rush is here: virtuosic musicianship, complex time signatures and structures and Lee's high-pitched vocals. Lee's vocals are arguably the main reason many people can't get into Rush and his vocals have always had a bit of a whiny, nasal leaning. I'm glad to say that they have improved with age and he has finally lost that grating teenage squeak that would sometimes make an unwelcome appearance. There's not much to say about the musicianship � everything is simply top notch � and the production on Clockwork Angels is stellar. The main difference is that the band has somehow managed to pen an entire album of excellent compositions that never bore or lose the plot. Rush has also somehow gotten heavier over the years and here it is for the better. Anyone who likes rock music, or appreciates good musicianship and structural complexity in their music, should definitely check this album out. On Clockwork Angels, Rush rocks harder than ever. T HRASH metal has never been one of the subtler genres of music, and Exile's first full-length album, Suspended Society... Mutilated Variety, is no exception. The trio from Jordan have all been active in bands prior to forming Exile and it shows � the quality of the song writing and musicianship on display here is far above average. Suspended Society... is not far from your typical `modern revival of thrash metal' album, but unlike so many newer thrash bands, Exile manages to hold your attention for the duration of the album. Thankfully these guys can play their instruments and tend to mix up their tempos and riffing patterns far more than your average thrash metal band and have definite death metal influences flowing through their veins. The guitarist is quite capable and shows his chops throughout the album, playing a few solos and treating us to some perfectly suited lead work throughout � he's no Alex Skolnick, PAGE24 Rudi's guide to a better recording S INCE the start of f my monthly thl f feature t on studio t di equipment and everything you need to get the best out of your recordings, I've solely focused on good quality stuff that is definitely going to improve your sound when recording, along with the recording process itself. This month I've decided to scrap that idea and look at the most important asset any producer or engineer can have: a good ear. You can acquire the most expensive high-end equipment and software on the market, but a lot of your effort and money may be wasted without being able to hear the difference between certain frequencies and have a natural or well-trained ear that can pick up errors or problem frequencies in your recordings. The importance of having, or finding an engineer with, a near-mythical `golden ear' is not one that can be overstated. We now move onto a bit of a science/biology lesson. Sound is nothing more than energy waves. The strength (i.e. the loudness) of these waves is measured in decibels. The slower and essentially `further apart' these sound waves move, the deeper the sound and the faster and `closer together' the waves move, the higher the pitch. The movement of these waves is known as frequency (i.e. how frequently they move) and we measure that in hertz. frequencies across the spectrum, which is why audio compression is often used. The big thing is that too many engineers and guys recording at home rely so heavily on their PC monitors and graphic equalisers that they forget to truly listen to the recording. A problem that is just as common is an overreliance on presets, which is a bit of a cop out considering there is no perfect preset for what you specifically want to do. Your ear can judge what sounds good better than any software out there, so learn to use it! It is unfortunately not the sort of thing you can just do on your first effort � it takes patience and practice. One of the best ways to improve your recording, mixing and mastering skills is to actively listen to other recordings. What I mean by active listening is that you should listen intently; trying to separate the instruments, EQ, effects and everything you can hear. It takes a lot of time and hard listening but the experience you will gain is invaluable. There are also various ear training programmes and some work better than others. My advice is, just get stuck in: get listening, get thinking, start recording and learn to trust the most advanced technology available to you � your ear! Your ear can judge what sounds good better than any software out there, so learn to use it! The waves travel into the ear canal, then to the eardrum, which vibrates, sending these vibrations to your inner ear, and eventually make their way to the acoustic nerve which finally fires off charges to your brain which translates these vibrations into our perception of sound. This whole process is a testament to just how amazing hearing is. The human ear can typically hear frequencies between 20 Hz and 20 000 Hz but not with equal sensitivity to PAGE25 & 084 630 8839 VDOHV#EXWWHU�\DSSDUHOFRP