Magazine Issue 2 â€˘ November 2012
BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION
Black country communion release the triumphant Afterglow. . . but is it their swan song?
doris Brendel Not Utopia
We interview the Silver Dressed Lady
A YEAR IN THE LIFE OF CORNERSTONE
HRH AOR Festival announces full line up
OTHER reviews & INTERVIEWS
PERSIAN RISK | TRAIL OF MURDER | ELECTRIC RIVER | Machina Oli Brown - Here I Am | Absolva | THE OTHR SIDE OF THE POND... and more....
Cover Story 12 Black Country Communion Afterglow... is it their swan song?
Features 14 Ida Elena
We interview the Silver Dressed Lady
20 Hangfire 26 Doris Brendal
30 Daylight Robbery 32 A Year in The Life of Cornerstone
CD REviews 6 Broken Romeo 9 Machina 10 Absolva 11 Trail of Murder 16 The Mustangs 17 Oli Brown 24 Persian Risk 25 Electric River
OP/ED 34 The Biz - with Graham Greene
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FROM THE EDITOR Hey folks, Doc here – and welcome to my editorial section of the magazine. I was mercilessly whipped into doing this by Donna, so here we go. First of all, I would like to say a big thank you for the initial response to the first issue. Your comments were amazing, so a big thank you to all the people who read the magazine and I hope you continue to do so in the future as the magazine finds its place, grows and learns. Let me explain a bit about where we are heading with the magazine. Initially we thought about bringing both print and digital versions to the market. However, because Firebrand is a global institution (a bit different from the one I escaped from) we decided to remain digital only. After all, it’s great if you’re one of our American readers but can only buy the mag in a UK store. So we have a more global reach and hopefully will be able to report on all the information every one of our readers from all over the world want to see.
Editor in Chief Rick Palin Senior Media Consultant Donna Greene
This month also comes with our new “cover CD”. The virtual CD will be a feature of every new issue of the magazine moving forward and will feature the newest happening bands out there, so make sure to check them out.
Reviews Editor Lee Walker
To register for the free monthly download content be sure to send us an email to email@example.com or fill in the form on the firebrand facebook wall.
Reviews Team Mel Delacroix Jon Seymour Rachel Whiston
On another happy note as well, the station has grown with six, YES six new DJ’s joining us this month insuring we have the best team to keep your ears all warm and fluffy with listening pleasure, so please keep your ears open for the following new shows: Switchblade Serenade, Live and Loud, Heelz of Steel, Pigtails and Army Boots, Jon’s Midweek Jams, Hardrock Asylum, The Tavern, Hair Metal Mansion. That should keep you in tunes for the foreseeable... Also a very Big congratulations to our own Mick Staley, Kim (KC) Fitton and The Metal Goddess Jen who have been with Firebrand officially for a year now... you guys are awesome and thanks for all the support. Hope you enjoy this month’s edition folks. Peace and Respect, Doc.
Contributing Writers Jen Vogel Graham Greene Download Content Team Rick Palin Judith Fisher Content Download firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising Enquiries email@example.com Contact Telephone +44 (0)1244 940961
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THE GRAPEVINe Whitesnake & Journey to tour the UK in 2013 The two biggest names in Hair metal have joined forces for a rocking tour of the UK. Kicking off in Glasgow on May the 18th, Journey and Whitesnake will play a series of arena gigs across the UK, but what is surprising is that their support band is none other than the mighty Thunder, who have reformed for yet another farewell tour on this event. May 18 - Glasgow SECC May 20 - Motorpoint Arena Sheffield May 22 - Metro Radio Arena Newcastle May 23 - Manchester Arena May 25 - Capital FM Arena Nottingham May 26 - Motorpoint Arena Cardiff May 28 - LG Arena Birmingham May 29 - Wembley Arena London Tickets go on sale for all the dates listed above on Friday 9th November through Live Nation and Ticket Master.
Lucks Lane release their debut album “A New Someone” The six piece band from the UK Lucks Lane proudly unveils their debut album “A New Someone” this month. The band, comprising members Steve Skinner, Steve Potter, Peter Moore, Brian Tanti , Simon Render and led by the powerful vocals of Steve Cairney have produced an amazing work of art that must be heard... although it must get confusing with so many Steve’s in one room ! Check out a New Someone at www.luckslane.com
Your Advert Could Be Here To Find Out More, Ring Firebrand Sales on +44(0) 1244 940961 Or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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THE GRAPEVINE The Room open fire on the world The Debut album by The Room, “Open Fire” is set to be released on December 11th and will deliver a slice of melodic rock with prog influences. Hailing from the south east of England the 5 piece will deliver a superb album bought to you courtesy of US label, Melodic Revolution Records. To find out more about the band and download the promotion single “A Casual Believer” visit www.theroom.eu
Resonance Project release Rise and Fall EP
HRH AOR Festival announces full line up
Husband and Wife dynamic duo Graham and Donna Greene have released an EP for their band Resonance Project. The 3 track EP entitled “Rise and Fall” is a pure slice of heaven for all rock fans. With its incredible guitar work and soaring vocals, this really is a treat for the senses. As a digital only release it can be purchased from the store at Firebrand Rock Radio (www.firebrandrockradio.com), CD Baby and iTunes. For more information on Resonance Project please visit www.grahamgreene.com.au
Heavens Basement at Camden Barfly Heavens Basement, currently on tour with Seether throughout November and December, have decided to end the year with a bang on December 18th. The boys will be doing a special gig at the Barfly in Camden London. The guys are hosting this event at £5.00 per ticket and even throwing in a free drink, on the band. It has been a big couple of months for this excellent band with their first single “Fire, Fire” having been released on November 5th.
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Broken Romeo The Other Side of The Pond
interview metal goddess jen
As a DJ, one of the things that I love about what I do is finding indie bands (or do they find me? Both!), and one of the best things about that is finding that sort of “diamond in the rough” - a band that just blows you out of the water. For me, one of those bands is Broken Romeo. Out of Tucson, Arizona, Broken Romeo is a kickass, genuine, alternative rock band, and some of the greatest guys I’ve ever had the pleasure of talking to. When I asked lead singer James Turpin for an interview for Firebrand Magazine, I was elated for him to say yes! How/when did the band come to form, and how long have you been together as a band? Steve and I are brothers. We met Ari because we all worked together at the Wherehouse Records back in the 90’s. It was a cool place to work because a lot of musicians worked there. We used to go see everyone’s band play. I was a big U2 fan, and Ari had played bass in a U2 cover band so we hit it off! Ari and I had recruited a good friend of mine from High School to play drums, but I didn’t play guitar at the time so we needed a guitar player. I had asked my brother to play with us but he didn’t want to have anything to do with his little brother’s band. He wanted to do his own thing but I was persistent and he finally gave in. We played many shows together and recorded a few albums. The band broke up after our drummer got a job in California and Ari took a job in Tucson. Steve and I kept writing songs together. The band re-emerged in 2001 with both Steve and I with a new drummer and bass player. Together we recorded and released the Temptation album (2002) which featured many of the songs we had written together in the late 90’s. In 2006, we parted ways with our bass player. Ironically it was then that Ari rejoined the band. In 2010, we parted ways with our drummer and Matt Ringnell joined the band. In 2011, we recorded the new full length album “Desperation Daze”.
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We really are very lucky to have some loyal fans, and also fans that happen to be DJ’s as well... Has it gotten easier doing shows and making albums now than it was in the beginning? It’s gotten easier playing shows from a playing perspective as we have become better musicians and better performers. We also feel much more comfortable being on stage as we used to be. We believe in being well rehearsed and well prepared. That makes it easier to deal with any issues which usually surface such as bad sound, equipment problems, last minute time slot/set length changes, etc. From a practical standpoint, shows have gotten much more difficult. It’s rare that we even get a sound check at gigs anymore-usually just a quick line check. Nowadays, gigs feature 5 or more bands with little time to setup and break down in between sets. By the time you set up, play and break down you feel like you have run a race, and with us all having day jobs and families it makes it that much harder. Don’t get me wrong; we love playing live but it does get hard sometimes. We would prefer to play less shows, but better quality shows so that when we do play live it makes it special, for us and for the audience. Doesn’t always work out that way, but that is the goal.
Your single “One In A Million” off of your 2011 album “Desperation Daze” is now in rotation on a Phoenix FM station, plus you have several internet radio DJs and stations playing BR faithfully (Firebrand Rock Radio included). How does it feel hearing your music over radio and internet? Thanks so much for playing us so much! It’s a great feeling. That is the ultimate goal after all-to get your music heard. It feels great to see people requesting your music, and for DJ’s to be playing it so much. We really are very lucky to have some loyal fans, and also fans that happen to be DJ’s as well! Looking back on 2012 so far, what would you say have been some of BR’s greatest accomplishments? Did you accomplish the goals you set out for 2012? It’s been a good year. After we finished making Desperation Daze we had to scramble a little bit trying to play the songs live. We had spent much of 2011 writing and recording that we got out of the whole “live” band habit. Those first few shows supporting the record were a little rough because we were still working through the new songs, and how we were going to play them live. We
started booking a bunch of shows and the more we played, the better the songs got. Ultimately, the goals for 2012 were to get the songs where they needed to be for the live shows, and to promote the album and get the music it heard. So in that sense I think it has been a relatively successful year. What are the goals for BR for 2013? We are focusing on new music again. We are limiting the number of shows we are doing and focusing on writing songs for a new album, which we hope to record some time in 2013. We were very happy with Desperation Daze. It exceeded our expectations. The goal now is to make an even better record…or at least that is our challenge. Time will tell… For more information on Broken Romeo, head on over to their website: www.brokenromeo.com (check out their store!); visit their Facebook page: www.facebook.com/ BrokenRomeoAZ and follow them on Twitter at: www.twitter.com/BrokenRomeo. You can also purchase their CDs on www.CDbaby.com, www.amazon.com, and on iTunes.
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To Live And Die In The Garden Of Eden review Lee havegotone
n between tours with Evanescence, guitarist John LeCompt ran into Phil Taylor of Future Leaders of The World, on the Little Rock scene. The two had instant rapport, and agreed to start writing songs together. Despite their differing musical origins, there was a mutual respect, and recognition of synergy. It quickly became apparent that a new creative era for each of them was imminent. The band takes its name from the Latin phrase, “Deus ex Machina,” which translates, “God out of the machine.” The term refers to a plot device in which divine intervention is necessary to resolve a seemingly hopeless situation, at the last possible moment saving the day before imminent disaster. Debut albums are one of the most important releases for bands to get right as the success or failure of it often determines what happens to the band which puts a fair bit of pressure on its members. When the band in question have connections to well established, successful bands that pressure is increased significantly. Now while the name Machina might not ring a bell, I can pretty much guar-
antee that you would have heard of Evanescence or Future Leaders of The World, both of which have connections to this new band through guitarist John LeCompt and drummer Rocky Gray of Evanescence fame, and vocalist Phil Taylor from Future Leaders of The World. Opening track ‘Crown’ sets the ball rolling for this blinding debut album, successfully capturing the spellbinding lyrical writing associated with Evanescence and merging it with the politically charged, emotional driven anger from Future Leaders of The World, creating a sound similar to early Pearl Jam and bringing the feelings created by the pioneering early grunge pioneers forward to the present day.
s the album progresses you get to witness this new project taking shape as you are swallowed up by the stunning technical guitar work, the crisp punching drum beats and the angst ridden vocals, all seamlessly merging together to produce what is easily THE alternative album of the year, leaving you with little doubt that ‘To Live And Die In The Garden Of Eden’ will do for Machina what ‘Ten’ did for Pearl Jam.
Track Listing: 1. Crown; 2. For Fame; 3. This Goodbye; 4. Trust; 5. Tranquillity; 6. Marie; 7. Precious; 8. Belladonna; 9. Curse; 10. The Verdict; 11. Same Song; Members Phil Taylor - Vocals: John LeCompt – Guitars; Thad Ables – Bass; Rocky Gray – Drums; Additional Information: Facebook: www.facebook.com/Machinarock Website: www.machinarock.com Record Label: Rogue Records America Release Date: 25/9/12 (US)
Highlight of the album: ‘Tranquillity’ Rating: 9/10 Firebrand Magazine • We’re Gonna Rock Your World • 9
Flames of Justice
review lee walker
YOUR cd reviews
Formed in May 2012 from the ashes of Fury UK, who sadly went into hibernation after it’s bassist Luke Appleton left them to join US heavy weight act Iced Earth. From the opening guitar riffs on ‘Flames Of Justice’, you can tell that Absolva mean business, with the constant stream of touring really paying dividends for them, as they serve up this stunning debut album. As the album explodes around you, you get to witness the power of the guitars unleashed, as the twin guitar attack unleashes wave upon wave of power infused metal riffs spiralling your way, backed up by precision drumming and overlaid with full on American metal style vocals, paving the way for what is easily one of the albums of the year. Highlight of the album: ‘Empires’ Rating: 8/10
track listing 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11.
Flames Of Justice Hundred Years Code Red It Is What It Is Breathe State Of Grace From Beyond The Light Free Love To Hate Only When It’s Over Empires
Members Tom Atkinson: Lead Guitar & Backing Vocals Chris Appleton: Lead Guitar & Lead Vocals Martin Mcnee: Drums Dan Bate: Bass Guitar & Backing Vocals Additional Information: Facebook: www.facebook.com/absolva Website: www.mwaweb.com/absolva_home.htm Record Label: Rocksector Records Release Date: 5/11/12
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Trail of Murder
Shades Of Art review rachel whiston The members of Trail Of Murder might be from a small town in Sweden, but there is nothing small about this new album, which is being released on 29th October . Originally formed by ex-Tad Morose members Urban Breed and Daniel Olsson along with ex-Morgana Lefay member Pelle Åkerlind , and Hasse Eismar and Johan Bergquist who joined them later, this band you can hear from the offset have clicked to produce some must hear songs.
The title track ‘Shades of Art’ kicks in at full speed, starting off what continues to be a full on power metal packed album. ‘Carnivore’ continues the rampage before ‘Lady Don’t Answer’ shows you the true skills of the members. With spellbinding guitar and bass work, gruff vocals and strong drum rhythms shown off perfectly in this song. ‘Mab’ carries on the assault, with it’s galloping beat before ‘I Know Shadows’ and ‘Your Silence’ slow the pace down, but don’t be fooled as these are certainly not ballads, then once again the album speeds the pace back up reverting back to the power metal these guys do so well. ‘Child of Darkest Night’ and ‘Some Stand Alone’ are another two blinding tracks once again showing off the abilities of this 5 piece Swedish Storm, before ‘My Heart Still Cries’ leading the album out perfectly. ‘Shades of Art’ is nothing short of amazing. Powerful vocals, amazing guitar work, crunching bass and technical drumming, this album is really one worth adding to your CD collection. Highlight: Lady Don’t Answer, Child Of Darkest Night Rating: 9/10
Members Urban breed: Vocals Daniel Olsson: Guitars, backing vocals Pelle Åkerlind: Drums, backing vocals Hasse Eismar: Guitars, backing vocals Johan Bergquist: Bass, backing vocals Additional Information: Facebook: www.facebook.com/TrailOfMvrder Website: www.trailofmurder.com
track listing 1. Shades of Art 2. Carnivore 3. Lady Don’t Answer 4. Mab 5. I Know Shadows 6. Your Silence 7. Higher 8. The Song You Never Sang 9. Nightmares I Stole 10. Child Of Darkest Night 11. Some Stand Alone 12. My Heart Still Cries
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Black Country Communion afterglow review by jon seymour
... so album number three from the Anglo-American “supergroup” has been highly anticipated the world over. This has been rumoured to be the last album they’ll record, but it would seem that Glenn Hughes has other ideas, and has since rubbished such claims. They haven’t been without controversy though, due to the one off gig that was called off, not even a week after it was announced. Let’s not get embroiled in such politics, and concentrate on what’s most important here, the music. From the moment BCC burst onto the scene with their first album, the whole of the rock world has lapped up what they’ve put out. I will admit that BCC 2 didn’t quite have the magic of the first album. It had all of the elements, but lost some of the essence. It’s still a great album, just not quite as great as the first one, but of course, that’s just my opinion, and what do I know, right? That said, it was a natural progression from the first album, and hinted at the direction in which the band was going. On then to Afterglow. Busy schedules for all of the musicians included can always lead to problems when they get together to record. This has oddly never been the case for BCC. They gel together so well that they could easily have been doing it for twenty years or more. You can feel the chemistry between them in the music. It makes for some
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Black country communion release the triumphant Afterglow. . . but is it their swan song?
electrifying moments throughout the album. Also a problem that doesn’t seem to plague them, for such prominent musicians, is the clash of egos that so often happens. It’s undoubtedly the case that the band contains 4 of the finest musicians in the world, yet none of them ever have to fight for centre stage. Each musician is given the spotlight, where they come forward and do their thing before slipping into the foray and letting another have a turn. They do this with alarming ease too. Nothing is ever forced, it just seems so natural. Glenn has always been “the voice of rock” and he’s lost none of that, ever. Joe’s vocals have also come a long way in the last few years, particularly on his solo albums, and there’s no point even mentioning his guitar playing. He is, in my opinion, one of the finest guitar players to have ever graced our planet, end of, and on everything he plays he just sounds amazing. Derek also, is an amazing musician, although he’ll always be the last to admit it. He’s one of the shyest, humblest musicians I’ve come across, despite his amazing talent, but then that’s what makes him great, as in his own mind, he’ll never be good enough, and always strives for that little bit more. Jason of course, had some big shoes to fill, and rather than living in the shadow of his father, he’s developed his own style, and his own identity, although the obvious natural talent had to have come from somewhere.
So there we are, four astounding musicians get together for a third time to record an album, and I can honestly say, this one has captured the ‘spark’ that I feel was missing from number two. What’s more, each musician sounds a lot more comfortable playing. There are a lot more moments when Derek is allowed to shine, and shine he does. I feel that his personal stamp was lacking in the first couple of albums, but on this one, he takes centre stage a lot more often, and it’s extremely welcome, but that again is my opinion. If Afterglow is to be their last album, then it’s a stunning swan song, as I feel it’s the one that’s captured the pure essence of the band at its best. This of course, would also be a huge shame, as with Afterglow I feel that the band has finally hit their stride, and it’s the benchmark that all other albums are going to be measured by. Personally I think it blows BCC 2 out of the water, and fires more than a warning shot across the bow of their debut. If you’re a fan of BCC then you’re going to absolutely love this album. If you’re not that impressed with the first couple of albums, then this is the one that should sway you. This is rock music as it should be played, with heart and soul. It’s got a physical presence that others only strive for, and the only thing I’m left wondering, is how in Hell are they going to top this one?
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ida elena Ida, Its a pleasure to be chatting to you once again... So tell me how does your day start? Hello, Rick ! The pleasure is mine! Well, I usually get up very early in the morning and I open the window to admire the wonderful wood that is in front of my house... It’s like living in a fairytale! Then I start playing my guitar or my keyboard and see if I can compose something I like and finally I have breakfast with my dog and my kittens :-) How did you get involved with music? I wanted to Be an actress ! I studied for 8 years: drama, theater and musical. When I started studying Musical techniques, I realized I loved to sing! I even had an audition with Anna Strasberg when I was 19: I sang and acted a song from "The little mermaid". She told me "You have got the whole package: Now it is time to move forward and do it!" I still remember everything she told me... Your known for working with Morning Star, A tribute to Blackmore's Night, what first attracted you to Blackmore's music? I have to admit I feel in love with a BN's song "olde village lanterne" because a friend of mine let me listen to it. I knew that song only but I started feeling a great inspiration because of it. I had a MySpace profile then and I decided to write "Blackmore's Night" in the section "similar artists". Marco Carpita ( Morning Star guitarist) was looking for another singer for his band and he noticed my MySpace profile. He tried to reach me to ask me if I was interested in the project and I was. That's What I call Destiny :-) I heard you got accolades from the man himself Ritchie Blackmore? We met the whole band more than once, Especially Earl Grey of Chimay (BN bassist), who is a very nice guy and with whom I talk and have fun if we meet around, just like the last time we met because we were playing in the Same venue (in Rottenburg, I was There with Cantus Lunaris). It is always great to have fun together! Your voice is exquisite to listen to and can keep me captivated all day, Especially since the release of The Ballad Of The Silver Dressed Lady, such a beautifully crafted song. Can you tell me where the idea for the song came from? Well, as I told You , I live in front of a wood and, especially at twilight, there is a mystical atmosphere all around... I just imagined the song and in a while it was there, written on the paper.
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We interviewed the Silver Dressed Lady
You’re lucky in the people you work with - for example, Albert Dannenman and Marco Capita, such talented musicians in their own rights. How did this collaboration come about? It is because of Marco Carpita that I was brave and decided to Leave for Germany to see a Blackmore’s Night concert and finally meet Albert Dannenmann to ask him if he wanted to be involved in the project. He was so nice and lovely since the very first time and, not only he accepted, but now he is working with me and Marco on my whole solo album "Dark and Light"!
The Ballad of the Silver Dressed Lady and also the cover of the Evanescence track My Immortal are again superb tracks. How do you chose what songs you have covered? I am glad you like them both. I decided to cover "My immortal" by Evanescence because Amy Lee is a true inspiration for me: she is talented, she is a great musician and songwriter and I love her style. I wanted to be close to her but with my own style and personality.
The Future is looking very bright for you. What can we expect from Ida Elena in the coming year? I dont know what to expect because life is so unpredictable. Last year I had no idea all of this was about to happen! But I hope I will be able to do and to say with my music what I feel deep inside of me and that, even only a few people can share my thoughts. That's what I wish for myself .
If you had the option to work with anyone in the music industry, who would it be and why ? A duet with Enya or Amy Lee, or a trio with them, would be a blast! A featuring with Nightwish would be cool as well :-) And finally, what would you like to say to the readers? Stay tuned, you guys because a lot of good and unexpected things are coming!! Firebrand Magazine • We’re Gonna Rock Your World • 15
Shaman And The Monkey
more cd reviews
review jon seymour Formed in May 2012 from the ashes of Fury, these guys have been around for some time, and have so far managed to elude me by keeping below my musical radar. That of course has now changed, and I’m really glad that it has. They’re a UK based blues band playing straight up, no nonsense blues. Shaman And The Monkey is a colossal album. It’s got some big hitting tunes on it too. From the slow burning pure blues tracks to rockabilly style, and good old fashioned rock n roll, this album just exudes quality musicianship. Also of course, there aren’t many bands around that put as much focus on the harmonica as this band does. I love a bit of that. The album grooves along, and will undoubtedly make you want to shake your tail feather. The vocals too, sound as though they’ve been drenched in whiskey. Not with a huge amount of gravel, but with enough roughness to leave them sounding a little jagged around the edges. This adds to the overall sound of the album though, and gives it a dirty feel. I really like this album, because of its simple approach. Nothing is over complicated, and there are no extended twiddly blues solos, it just gets right up in your face, and doesn’t mess about. It’s equally at home being played quietly to sooth your troubles away, but crank it up to eleven, and you will pick up some damn good bass lines, and it has the ability to really rock out. This is a seriously good blues album, and one I wish I’d listened to a lot sooner, but I can’t do anything about that now. I can however enjoy it for a long time to come, and enjoy it I will.
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HERE I AM review jon seymour I first heard of Oli a few years ago, when he played on a tour with Joanne Shaw Taylor and Virgil And The Accelerators called The New Generation Blues Tour back when I started doing radio. In fact, one of my very first radio shows was a special dedicated to that very tour. Back then Oli Brown had just released Open Road which literally took the blues world by storm. The young lad from Norwich possessed a soulful voice, and a talent for extracting some beautiful music from a guitar.
Fast forward four years or so, and I finally got around to listening to Oli’s new album, Here I Am. I bought the last two albums, but this one managed to elude me for some unknown reason. This is undoubtedly his best album to date, and Oli has really matured, both as a musician and a song writer, although he was no slouch before. This album just seems to be a lot more proficient, both in terms of songs and vocals. Oli’s vocals have gotten progressively better with each album, and his tireless approach to honing his guitar skills really comes through too. The songs are very well crafted, with some of the most beautiful blues solos you’re ever likely to hear coming from this side of the Atlantic. Also, most importantly, he is, along with several other young and gifted musicians, one of the new generation of British Blues artists, and they are flying the Union Flag proudly. To put it quite simply, this is a stunning blues album, full of just great tunes, be it slow burning pure blues, to some blues funk, and lots of stuff in between. The vocals are soulful, and you can feel the pain when he’s singing about the heartache and sorrow associated with living life. It’s also very hard to believe that Oli is a little over twenty years old, as his music shows a maturity way beyond his years. He improves with each new release, and he’s already able to stand up against the big blues artists around right now and hold his own. If this is the future of British Blues music, then the future is very bright indeed.
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hangfire Thank you for talking the time out to discuss all things HangFire related for the Firebrand Magazine readers. For the people out there just discovering HangFire as a result of the interview, how did the band originally form? MB: Over to Max or Lizzie for that one. LE: Max and myself played together in bands during the late 80’s early 90’s. After going our separate ways, we met up in 2007 and discussed the possibility of forming a new band. Later on in the year HangFire was born What are people’s reactions like when they find out that your guitarist (Lizzy Evans) is actually blind? MB: They say ‘Oh that’s why he didn’t know where he was putting his hand’ BG: It’s usually that of complete surprise. Especially if they find out after hearing or seeing him play. Even I forget sometimes. His talent still blows me away. Lizzy, if you don’t mind me asking, how do you overcome the obstacle’s that this creates? LE: I try not to let my sight loss get in the way too much, in some cases it helps not to see the audience as this can sometimes make you more nervous, my advice to other musicans (close your eye whilst playing) it works for me! MB: We’ve got to nail one shoe to the stage so he can’t wander off. Max - How did you become a part of HangFire? MB: Max knocked on my door one day and asked me if I’d be ok to help them out as they were without a drummer and wanted to push on. I was aware of Aaron passing away, he was the original drummer and Lizzie’s brother, I was still with Tigertailz at the time but that wasn’t a problem, as we all socialise in the same circle of friends and acquaintances. . I said yep no probs and I’d be happy to help as much as I can. Obviously you are very well known for your time with Glam rock icons Tigertailz, how did you come to part company with them and is it something you regret? MB: The only regret is that the band never fulfilled it’s promise or it’s potential. We had a great album in Bezerk 2.0 and the release was muted and it came out with a whimper instead of a bang that it should have had. If we’d had someone like Tess back then, I’m sure it would have
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been a different story. Unfortunately the small minded agendas of certain people got in the way of the bigger picture. Bands and people change, it’s just the way of things. When the band reformed in 2006, we had some great offers for some great festivals, straight out of the box. Pepsi asked me what I wanted from joining the band and I just wanted to do some good gigs, as it turns out we did some fantastic gigs and it was a very special time. I got to appear on bills with my heroes - KISS, Motley Crue, Velvet Revolver, Journey, Whitesnake - in fact, you name a band and we were on the same bill. Just awesome times and I was lucky enough to get to know the ultimate in Glam Rock Royalty in Pepsi Tate. However all good things come to an end and when Pepsi passed away, the dynamics changed and interest was diminishing so the management and the band were looking at ways to regain the interest. Not being able to have the original line-up together, getting Ace back made sense. It was always a real struggle to maintain interest when Kim was in the band so without him, it’s going to be a lot of hard work, but a good band will always achieve some level of success. I’m sure now with Jules the band will have the right priorities and be thankful for the fans that they have. I really wish them the best , though the whole genre struggles and it floats along on the coat Tailz of past success that unlike their contemporaries they have failed to emulate or exceed after reforming. Though as for my part, I’m grateful for the opportunities it offered. Do you still keep in contact with any of the Tigertailz members? MB: Yes I’m in touch with Ace a lot and he’s stayed at my house. We’re good friends and I’ve also helped him out with gear. Jay, I spoke to recently and to be honest I’ve never had a cross word with Jay, he’s always been pretty straight with me. The band situation can be difficult and sometimes you need to put your personal feelings aside. Everyone wants to manoeuvre their bands to the best position possible and sometimes that means making difficult and even irrational decisions for the good of the whole. I believe we may be doing some shows with them around the end of the year. Do you think that this current Tigertailz line-up will stabilise or follow the recent trend of changing members? MB: I don’t think even Jay would be able to answer that. For my part, I feel the longer the band stays together and
INTERVIEW brings awareness of pancreatic cancer and the charity formed by Pepsi’s wife Shan Cothi Amserjustintime, it can only be a good and positive thing. I saw the Tailz at their recent warm up gig and it took me back to watching them at their Lazers show in Newport, just before Bezerk came out. Must have been late 1989. Jules does a great job on the vocals and the other two new guys seem pretty solid. When a band is gaining ground people are happy, when it stops gaining success then band members can blame each other or make rash decisions. Ultimately it’s down to the material you release. If the songs are good then the band will move forward and stay together. If you can’t come up with good songs then there’s only so much mileage in rehashing material that’s over twenty years old. I think really they need to please themselves first and hope that people are still interested and like I said, I really wish them all the best.
things so they don’t clash and that everyone is aware when I can do things or when I’m committed elsewhere. With DTK, Gary (Gene) runs that really well and books everything a year in advance so I know exactly what’s going on. Some additional things come up through the year but usually these can be accommodated easily enough. With Verden, he tends to be very selective about what he does so we don’t do that many shows. Tess looks after Soft Ground’s PR and website and manages Hang Fire so it all ties up pretty nicely and we all know where we are!!
As well as playing drums for Hangfire you also perform drum duties for the Kiss tribute band ‘Dressed To Kill’ and
How did you become involved with the ‘Soft Ground’ project? MB: Tessa had known Pete ‘Overend’ Watts (Mott The Hoople bass player) for many, many years, even before she knew of his connection with Mott The Hoople and Hanoi Rocks and other stuff he was involved in musically. She had lost touch with him over the last few years so she was delighted when Mott announced the reunion shows in 2009 doing a sell out five nights at Hammersmith Apollo.
recently ‘Soft Ground’ (Verden Allen of Mott The Hoople’s new project) when you add this to your duties with HangFire it must get pretty hectic at times. How do you manage to juggle your time between all of the bands? MB: I keep a tight diary! Tessa is fantastic at organising
If you remind me sometime I can tell you a funny story regarding a very famous band flying over from the U.S.A. Especially to see one of the shows. Anyway, Tessa went to all the shows and met up with Pete again and I attended some of the shows and met Verden and of course the rest
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hangfire of Mott The Hoople. Just after this we went to see Verden playing in Cheltenham in Soft Ground and the band obviously needed a better drummer so I spoke to Verden about it, he came to see Hang Fire play and asked me if I would be interested and from there we’ve had some great experiences, one of which is being guests on the ‘whispering’ Bob Harris show on BBC Radio 2 and playing Cambridge Rock Fest, so it’s been great. Is there any news of a new album from Soft Ground or UK tour perhaps with HangFire supporting? MB: Soft Ground have just finished a new album ‘Love You and Leave You’ that will come out worldwide early next year so i’m sure there will be some shows to promote that album. With regards to Hang Fire supporting Soft Ground, in my mind it’s a bit ‘apples and oranges’ it’s still fruit but totally different. It’s a different audience. Earlier this year you released your debut album ‘Shoot The Crow’, where did the name come from? MB: Like ‘Hang Fire’ the term ‘Shoot the crow’ is a phrase often said by Lizzie and Max, like Cockney rhyming slang, they say often, ‘I’ve got to shoot the crow’ meaning. I’ve got to go. LE: It’s one of Max’s many sayings and a darkened reference to suicide. What are your favourite songs on the album? MB: Oh I have a soft spot for them all. I really love the way the CD kicks in with the drum fill for ‘Adrenalise’ and the song itself is pretty powerful whilst remaining melodic. ‘For Crying out loud’ is a great stomping song, so is ‘Bodies’, ‘Faith in me’ just builds into a real groover. ‘Fire in the hole’ I love for the atmosphere it creates and the sing along live at the end and ‘Dead man walking’ is of course a very meaningful song for the whole band. BG: Faith In Me and Fire In The Hole. Mostly because they are the most enjoyable for me to play Bass in. I really get in to them live are look forward to them at every gig. LE: Fire In The Hole Back when you recorded the album, did you think that some of the songs from it would prove to be as popular as they have become? MB: When we were knocking the songs into shape I quickly understood that Max and Lizzie have a great understanding of song structure and melody. You could tell to a degree we were creating some great material. One of HangFire’s 22 • Firebrand Magazine • We’re Gonna Rock Your World
strengths is in it’s melodic backing harmonies that Lizzie comes up with that really lift the grinding metal guitar riffs he’s created. Again with the new material, it’s surpassing my expectations and Max and Lizzie are once again writing some really inspiring songs. BG: It was always the hope for me but I think over the years I lost a lot of faith in what people choose to listen to. I mean, look at the popularity of X Factor etc, it beggars belief that people choose to spend their Saturday evenings watching that tripe when they could go out and watch a LIVE ORIGINAL band. Combine that with the ever growing popularity of Tribute bands and it’s really difficult to get people to listen to new music from a new band. So the fact we see new faces at each gig that are singing along to our songs, the album sales, youtube views and online streams, it has really restored my faith and for that I would like to thank them from the bottom of my heart. Our fans are awesome! LE: Not in a MILLION years!! How do you think the album compares to your ‘Confessions’ EP? MB: I think it shows how the band is maturing and progressing as song writers and performers. The new album will also demonstrate that again from ‘Shoot The Crow’. LE: Confessions was never meant to be a public release it started off as demos, hence the loose feel and production, but after much consideration we thought the songs deserved to be heard. Now you recently won what has been quoted as being ‘one of the hardest fought contests to date’ to win a record contract with Ripple Music. When you entered the contest did you think you would end up winning it? MB: Ha, yes it’s all down to Tessa and her tireless campaigning! She really has done a fantastic job of inspiring people to get behind the band and it’s paid off tremendously. I’ll give you an example, we were up in the North of Scotland in a very plush country hotel and we had both forgotten our phone chargers so we had no power to check on the progress of one part of the competition and it ended that night. She persuaded the hotel reception to let her use their computer so she could check TBfm and see what was happening. She stayed on the reception pc until midnight, and got all the other guests to vote for us! It was an incredible atmosphere getting all those complete strangers to vote us! Of course we really wanted to win it as Ripple music have achieved great things for Trucker
Diablo and we believe we can achieve great things with Ripple. We had some other offers but it turned out this was a great opportunity and will help build HangFire’s profile even further. BG: I thought we had a real good chance but I really was not prepared for the support we had from our fans. They went way above and beyond all my expectations. We had to offer support and counselling to many of them afterwards and one even claims to have developed O.C.D as a result of spreading the word about HangFire and securing us votes. LE: No For the people out there who are not aware of the competition what was the eventual prize? MB: The prize was a worldwide contract with Ripple Music who are based in California. We are very excited to be associated with Ripple Music and hopefully creating great things for HangFire in 2013. What has been the reaction like to you winning it? MB: It’s been awesome. Wherever I go I get people congratulating me on winning the deal and asking when the new album will be available. We feel incredibly humbled at the support we’ve been given. BG: Many weeks later and I’m still being greeted with congratulations from people and as a result I have got to meet and speak to many new fans. I like that. LE: We were ecstatic, and everyone else has been too!!!
many great venues are no more. BG: Any band that is out there playing original songs. Switch off the television and go explore your local music venue. Stop paying stupid amounts of money to watch Tribute bands (Sorry Matty) and go and find new music (often for free). You wouldn’t buy an oil painting that was painted by numbers so why do it with Music? LE: Led Zeppelin Are there any messages that you would like to pass on to your fans? MB: I see everyone as a friend rather than ‘a fan’. I’d like to thank all my friends for the fantastic support they have offered myself and HangFire. Please visit our official website and ‘LIKE’ our facebook page if you haven’t already. I can speak for Lizzie, Max and Bobby when I tell you we are so very much looking forward to getting around the country to see you all, so come out and say to us! xx BG: A massive, MASSIVE thanks to each and everyone of them for all the support they give us. If it wasn’t for them then I’d have no reason to get on stage and perform. I promise them that we will be rewarding them with a superb second album. It’s still in the making right now but the songs we have so far are in my opinion even better than those on Shoot The Crow. I’m already excited to hear people’s reaction to it. LE: Thanks for the support in 2012 we are currently working on a new album and we hope it is received as well as Shoot the Crow. Keep Rockin’ RABBLE ON!
What do HangFire have planned for the rest of 2012? MB: We still have work to do in promoting the ‘Shoot the crow’ CD and we have several shows planned up to Hard Rock Hell in December. We will be around the country gigging with Uli Jon Roth and Tigertailz as well as some gigs with our friends Rockit Fuel. Please check out our gig listing on www.hangfire-rocks.co.uk. Are there any up and coming bands out there you would recommend keeping an eye on right now? MB: Oh definitely! I just mentioned Rockit Fuel featuring Lance of Wrathchild, great grooving classic rock, check them out. Peepshow from Scotland are great, as for bigger bands breaking through, Bonafide are pretty awesome, and a band I can’t stop listening to at the moment is Halestorm, truly magnificent. We do try and get out and support all our friends that play in bands, but it’s not easy when we play nearly every weekend ourselves! It’s so important to support live music, if we don’t it will be gone, already sadly, Firebrand Magazine • We’re Gonna Rock Your World • 23
Once A King
more cd reviews
review lee walker
‘ Once Upon A King’ is quite an apt title for this long lost band, having released the immortal hit ballad ‘Jane’ back in 1986 then promptly splintered, eventually going there separate ways. Now, some twenty odd years later Persian Risk returns to the scene with frontman Carl Sentence leading the charge, waking this sleeping giant from its long slumber. Whilst Carl might be the only member left from
track listing 01. Asylum 02. Riding High* 03. Killer 04. Once A King 05. Soul Deceiver 06. Battle Cry 07. Spirit In My Dreams 08. Ride the Storm 09. Fist of Fury 10. Women and Rock* 11. Wasteland * ‘Riding High’ and ‘Women and Rock’ are re-recordings of earlier Persian Risk songs.
Members Carl Sentance – Vocals/Guitars/Bass Don Airey – Keyboards; Chris Childs/Alex Meadows – Bass Tim Brown – Drums Danny Wilson/Howie G – Guitars
those early years he has been busy perfecting his art through his work with stints in bands like the Geezer Butler Band, Krokus and Don Airey and Friends to name but a few. As the opening track ‘Asylum’ kicks in you are instantly transported back in time to the NWOBHM era of rock, where screaming guitar solos, punching drum beats and classic vocals collide, producing a sound which screams classic drive-time rock. As ‘Once A King’ progresses you get to witness Persian Risk in full flight, with ‘Soul Deceiver’, and ‘Battle Cry’ standing out a mile as the highlight tracks on the album, recapturing that long lost magic that this band was once known for. Previously released tracks ‘Riding High’ and ‘Women and Rock��� are also included with this release, giving them a new lease of life, successfully capturing the high octane, guitar driven classic rock sound that epitomised the early 1980s. Despite the songs being originally released over twenty years ago they fit in seamlessly, still sounding as fresh now as in did back in the day. ‘Spirit In My Dreams’ lets the album down slightly ~ the song itself is not bad, it is just unfortunately too reminiscent of ‘Neon Nights’ by Black Sabbath for my comfort. ‘Wasteland’ finishes the album off in fine form and leaves you in no doubt that Persian Risk are back and that the second wave is continuing.
With new releases from the likes of Gaskin, the Tygers of Pan Tang and Demon and now Persian Risk already out this year it Additional Information: Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/Persian- goes to show that the new wave is still alive and kicking and is as relevant now as it was back in the day. Risk/291892036435 Highlight of the album: ‘Empires’ Website: www.carlsentance.com/bio/risk.htm Rating: 8/10 Record Label: Self Released Release Date: August 2012 24 • Firebrand Magazine • We’re Gonna Rock Your World
iN yOUR nAME ep review jon seymour Electric River have been around for a while on the live scene, with a few self funded releases under their belt. This one, however, is their first for a ‘proper’ record label. What we have here are five songs that show various sides to the band. This EP includes one of my favourite ER songs too, namely Happy. Being a huge song, and well known by their loyal fans, it would be almost rude not to include it here.
Electric River are what can only be described as a “party rock band” because their music is just so lively. I would defy ANYONE not to be moved in some way or other by their music. It’s infectious, contagious and contains some MONSTER choruses. You’ll be singing along to this EP long before you even realise what’s going on. I’ve seen these guys live, and I can honestly say that they are one of the most energetic bands I’ve ever witnessed. This energy also comes across on this EP. You can feel the intensity of it as it bounces around the room in waves of noise. It contains massive anthems, a nice acoustic track, and a couple of other bits in between. It shows a diversity to the band, and also what great songwriters they are. If you’ve not heard of these guys, then this EP is well worth checking out, especially if you’re into the 80’s stuff like Psychedelic Furs, Echo & The Bunnymen and that kind of ilk. To see what these guys can really do though, you need to get yourself along to one of their shows, because I can guarantee you that as a live band, there aren’t many around that can touch them for energy, and likeability. Anyone that goes to see these guys is going to walk away with ringing in their ears, and a HUGE grin on their face, because quite simply, the music makes you feel great.
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Doris Brendel 1
Doris welcome to Firebrand Magazine, Its a real pleasure to have you here, so what goes through the mind of Doris Brendel first thing in the morning? Cigarette and cup of tea initially. Then a plan of how much I’m going to do and achieve that day! It rarely quite works out that way, though. During a writing phase, late at night and first thing in the morning is a good time for ideas. You have just released your 7th Album “Not Utopia” which I have to say is a great listen. How did the album come to pass, what influences you in your style of writing as it is quite an eclectic mix? Influences: My parents were/are classical musicians and I was brought up on a diet of Beethoven and opera, learning Vivaldi on the violin in my home town of Vienna. It wasn’t until I was about 10 years old that I came across the Beatles, which changed my outlook on music. Once I came to England I discovered much more, but have always been drawn to eclectic and very individualistic artists like Pink Floyd, Zeppelin, Free, Radiohead, Muse. I started solo with acoustic guitar, and then was signed to Sony in 1990 with my first band ‘The Violet Hour’ which even then was hard to define and have continued in that vein. I hate the thought of restricting myself to a specified pigeon-hole, though we’ve tried to create one by calling my music progressive pop! Having been stuck in a publishing deal for many years thereafter which effectively stopped me from using my own music, I was forced to branch out into session work, show bands and anything that kept me singing and playing professionally. I even did a few dance records for Virgin and London under pseudonyms. Thus it wasn’t until 2005 that I embarked on another song writing project which was done in between punishing tour schedules. In 2009 we decided to take a year off which gave me the perfect opportunity to embark upon a proper album project. Lee Dunham, with whom I have now worked with for 12 years, spent the year travelling the world, so I used a producer I had already done some recording with, Dave Beeson, and we released a
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fairly live album ‘The Last Adventure’ in 2010. I was delighted when Lee agreed to produce the next album ‘Not Utopia’ on his return - apart from being a great producer and musician, he also has a great sense of humour and imagination. We are already planning the next album together. When we talked initially it surprised me greatly to find out you had been in the industry for twenty years. How have you seen the industry change in that time and is it for the better? It’s crazy to think that I went I first started touring with ‘the Violet Hour’ supporting Marillion, Nils Lofgren and more, no-one had a mobile phone. Sadly this means there is very little footage of our live shows. Downloads and the internet were still years away. Bands could still survive on selling CDs. Things have certainly changed. On the surface it is better - more people have easy and affordable access to music; unsigned bands have a platform on which to promote themselves; the idea of ‘territories’ has become largely irrelevant. Any band can digitally release their music online for very little money and can post footage of gigs on YouTube.
Then there’s the downside. The market has become so oversaturated with music with no quality monitoring that the listening public aren’t very interested anymore and largely stick to the ‘hyped’ commercial artists once more. CD sales are at an all time low and download revenues are so small that they don’t add up to the costs needed for bands and artists to pay for good quality recordings, let alone any marketing budgets in order to get noticed. Consequently the major record companies are still pulling the strings, being the only ones who have the inflated budget required for the blanket marketing and advertising needed for anyone to hear an artist’s music in the first place. It has also put additional pressure on bands who now have to act as manager, accountant, PR company and administrators as there is no longer the revenue to pay for the help that one used to
INTERVIEW be able to expect. Artists often just want to be creative and it’s sad to think how much talent is inevitably being overlooked. Doris Brendel as a band entity... what can audiences expect from a live show? The original line up is very different from the ‘bread & butter’ show band which keeps us fed and watered. Last year we played a few festivals with a full band line-up, but this year we decided to do something very different and to rework much of the repertoire acoustically. Many of the songs lend themselves remarkably well to this treatment as they are very lyric orientated such as ‘Ebay’, the ‘Fat’ song, ‘Get A Life’ and more. I also enjoy having my vocals so exposed rather than battling against the band (though that’s fun too). Line-up has varied depending on who is available (the problem with working with pro musos) with a minimum of a 3-piece (myself - vocals, guitar, piano, flageolet, mandolin; Lee on guitar & vocals; and a double-bass player) which is sometimes joined by drums - the forthcoming show at the Joiners, Southampton 9th Nov will be with that line up. But we’ve also been joined with Cello and violin… and bottles (which I have to learn now!). I’ve also been known to play violin & saxophone live, though not this year.
Rocket Music Library went live at the end of last year and has been growing ever since. Such independent music libraries have been growing in popularity over the last few years, have become more competitive and take away much of the complications for clients to buy music for online, promos and videos, TV and film. I found that there are a few very good libraries and many bad-mediocre ones. Ours is not royalty free as I think that cheats musicians should a programme be very successful but makes very little difference if it isn’t. The main aim for the library is for ease of use and quality for the user and maximum revenue for the composer. We have a very generous scheme whereby the artists retain 80% of royalties and 75% of license sales making it one of the best on the market. Artists also have an opt-out scheme and are therefore not tied into lengthy contacts. We currently have around 4000 tracks on the site, both instrumental and vocal, and covering all music and film genres. The site is: www.skyrocketrecords. co.uk So please support musicians and visit the site!
You mentioned to me about a music library project you have which is a fantastic idea... care to tell us more about it? I’d love to! Unsurprisingly I know many musicians and writers and we have all found ourselves in the same predicament - ie having a hard time surviving, partly because of the growing download culture but also due to the recession. One of the areas where there is still some money to be made is in synchronisation, so I decided, in a moment of madness, to set up an online music library for multi-media in order to give writers an additional outlet for their tracks. After many months of research, finding suitable music and programming, the Sky-
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Doris Brendel 7
“Not Utopia” is a fantastic album. What are your hopes and aspirations for this release ? Firstly I’m delighted you like it. It never ceases to be a compliment. As for aspirations, that’s simple: I would like more people to hear it. Not everyone will like what I do, but if they don’t listen to it they won’t know either way. I’m hoping that ‘Ebay’ in particular will get more radio play when it gets promoted in January, but every bit of exposure helps. We have already had over 30 album reviews and remarkably all of them have been glowing which is rarely the case, especially with an album that is so hard to categorise. Ultimately I would like more people to turn up at gigs - I have a faithful fanbase but they are very spread out over Europe so a more localised fanbase would be nice. “Ebay” is being released as a video soon, can you tell us a little about this track please? The video for ‘Ebay’ is our third. We started with 2 versions for the song ‘Going Out’ and which was directed by Neil Winnington. This is definitely the most commercial of the bunch. Then Lee and I decided to try our hand at directing & producing our own video to the song ‘She Just Won’t Eat’. The song is about an Anorexic who is portrayed by a rake (yes an actual rake… with a wig) and who is a member of the ‘Fat’ family who like to overeat. ‘Ebay’ was directed by Crowman Productions who is part of the Bournemouth artists circle. I got involved when I did some vocals for free for a friend’s album who is part of that scene and was offered a free video which is totally amazing though not for the fainthearted! Lee and I play small cameo roles in a very disturbing scenario. I recommend listening to the song first, then watching the video afterwards as it completely changes the whole complexion of the song. It’ll be released on Youtube in December. There is a link to all videos on my website:
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www.dorisbrendel.com/videos Finally Doris, it has been a pleasure talking to you. Is there anything you would like to say to the readers/ fans? Thank you for reading this article! If anyone wishes to be updated on gigs, promotions and even a sneak preview of the new video then please join our mailing list here www.dorisbrendel.com/contact You’ll find Facebook and other details on the same page and it’s always a pleasure to hear from music lovers and musicians alike. The music library also has a mailing list which gives access to regular discounts, offers and news. To join click here: www.skyrocketrecords.co.uk/contact Finally I’d like to wish all aspiring and existing musicians and writers good luck and a great deal of perseverance! Life is what we make it.
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daylight robBery interview by lee walker Hi Tony, thank you for talking the time out for a quick interview. I believe that Daylight Robbery originally began back in the late 80’s.How did you originally start off? Lol! the distant past! Yes the original band did start in 1988 but we were very young then - just teenagers that wanted to be rock-stars! It wasn’t until I met Mark through a mutual friend and he joined around ‘91 that the band really started to take shape. We had a lot of similar influences, we hit it off straight away as both friends and songwriters. We did OK, but as we were so young and very inexperienced as far as the industry went - we became a bit disillusioned and drifted into other things. Mark and I always stayed in touch though and we often talked about putting the band together again and here we are today…. synchronicity I guess. Things seem to happen when the time is right. What bands/artists influenced the band’s sounds? T - In the early days it was Dokken, Van Halen, Motley Crue, Queensryche, Whitesnake, Bon Jovi…….you name it - if it was good then we would be listening. There was so much to choose from musically back then and it was all new ! It was like a feast of talent- a great time to be alive. These days it’s much more eclectic.... Mark loves his Dream Theater and instrumental guitar stuff, Col likes all the classic rock stuff, Ben has a really wide musical palette, as do I. However, I’ve been purchasing some old 80’s rock classics over the last few weeks...... Judas Priest Painkiller hasn’t been out
of the cd player in my car! That lad Halford has a great pair of bagpipes don’t he! I believe that the band “disbanded” in the early 90’s. What caused that to happen? T – I really cannot remember what pressed the button on the end but I guess it was mainly the frustration knowing in your heart and mind what you want a band to sound like and finding it hard to reach that goal so you think maybe changing people around is the solution……only then realising you have changed the chemistry and at that point you end up starring into the abyss with no way back! Is it something you regret happening? T – No I don’t think so. I tend to believe everything happens for a reason and is meant to be. The things that don’t make sense to you when you are growing up all seem to fall into place on reflection - so it was part of the journey to now I guess When you try and fight against the tide things generally end up worse. So, I guess it’s better to go with the flow. The current lineup came together around 2011. What caused you to get the band back together? T - Mark recorded some of the old tracks at his studio and asked me if I wanted to put some vocals down. He came to my house to listen and we both looked at each other and it was just painfully obvious that we had to do this properly - it really was just too good to ignore. Suddenly we were back to having the enthusiasm of two teenagers getting their first band off the ground!
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How did you select the new lineup? T - Well, I stayed in music in the intervening years and Mark took a hiatus and started playing again about 9 years ago doing session work - we looked at the contacts we both had contacts in our respective circle of musicians and pretty much hand-picked Colin and Ben. These guys are key to Daylight Robbery’s sound and their input into the songs Mark and I write is invaluable. Have you noticed many differences in the music scene now compared top how it was when the band originally started off? Yes, it’s all got so angry – Where’s the melody? It is very different now - it seems that the whole mechanism for driving, promoting and selling music has changed to an almost unrecognisable degree. Bands exclusively releasing music online, albums given free when you buy a magazine, and albums being free when you buy a ticket to see the band live........I think playing live is the key in a world where record sales are no longer the be all and end all and the record companies at least seem to have less power. So if you can cut it live then you stay in the game. If you can make that connection with your audience live then that is now the way your fans can support your music. You released your debut album ‘Cross Your Heart’ in January this year. How did the album come together? T - We just wanted to make the best album we could. An album that captured how we sound live. We’ve been labelled rightly or wrongly as a heavy AOR band, which is fine - however this
genre can sound a bit over-produced........ so we consciously tried to keep it sounding as near to our live sound in a recorded environment that we could. What are your favourite tracks on it? T - I like the whole album. When you put so much effort in you have to at least be happy with it before it’s released. However, there are standout tracks for me - the title track ‘Cross Your Heart’ has had serious airplay worldwide so I suppose you could call it the 1st single
stands it’s received massive airplay all over the world, been featured in rock press all over the world and opened doors for us that otherwise would have been very difficult to get a foot into. We believed in our music and it’s always nice when you find out that rock fans all over the world do as well. Since you got back together you have released the album, as well as supported the legendary Uriah Heep and you are now about to support
sounding and we cannot wait to get them out there…album 2 is going to be really HOT! Are there any up and coming bands out there you would recommend keeping an eye on right now? T - I’ve heard that Daylight Robbery are excellent! (Laughs). Actually we did a gig in Birmingham last week and there were two other bands on with us that I thought were superb. King Lizard from London are similar in approach, attitude and sound to early Motley Crue - excellent band with a great frontman. There was also a band from Birmingham called ‘Our Dystopia’ who have a kind of nu-metal sound with a great female vocalist. All the other gigs we’ve done recently have been as special guest to bigger bands so we’ve not really heard or seen anyone in that context but its seems the rock scene is still as creative as it’s ever been. Are there any messages that you would like to pass on to your fans? T - Just that it’s incredibly humbling knowing that guys are parting with their hard earned cash to grab a CD or come out to see us and we are eternally grateful......It’s not easy out there at the moment. The guys who link with us on Facebook know how we feel about them - they make it all worthwhile. Thanks for your time today Lee - really enjoyed it mate.
of the album. ‘ While You Were Sleeping’, ‘Crossing the Great Divide’....I’ll just list all of them! R E U N I T E gets a positive message across - so yes lots of flavours and I like it all really (laughs). Has the album been as successful as you had hoped it would be? T - When we released the album, we had no preconceptions as to what it was going to do. It was just something that we felt we had make happen. As it
Wolfsbane on a UK tour. Things seem to be going places for you. What do you have planned to do next? Are there any festival appearances in the pipeline? T - We’re looking at numerous festivals next year. We’ll also be doing occasional gigs to use as a test bed for the music on the new album which we’ve started writing. We can’t get into the studio quick enough to get the follow-up to ‘Cross your Heart’ finished - we’re incredibly pleased at how the new songs are
www.daylight-robbery.co.uk Facebook - Daylight Robbery
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CORNERSTONE® ... with Rick 1
Welcome Patricia and Michael. It’s been a great year for Cornerstone since Somewhere in America was launched - were you anticipating the kind of success the album has received?
Michael: Hello Rick, great talking to you! Yes, I have to say, 2012 was our most successful year so far: we did a great tour through UK in April, we’ve participated at the famous Pop Overthrow Festival in Liverpool in May (…where a certain radio-presenter, unfortunately his name escapes me, should have an appearance…:-D), and did festivals all over Austria and Germany. Our song “Right Or Wrong” received an award for the “Best Ballad 2011” by a British mag…. Of course, the album didn’t chart, but I hope the next album will do, I’m sure.
Tell us a bit about the band and how the whole Cornerstone project came together?
Michael: The band was founded back in 1998 by Steve and me, but in the beginning it was more a kind of fun…we did some cover tunes of REM, Cure and Soul Asylum and did 3, 4 gigs per year in front of friends. In 2007 this whole train started rollin’, because we were signed by American label ATOM Records, since then everything went straight uwards: 2008 we did our first UK-Tour, 2009 we’ve visited the states for a three week trip, and in 2011 “Somewhere in America” saw the light of the day. Patricia joined the band in 2009, and I have to say, from this moment on everything went into a more professional direction. We are very bread and butter. Patricia: I joined the band in September 2009. The story behind is, that I moved to Vienna to join the University. After some time ago, I started to realize that something was missing in my live and that was making music. So, one day I was sitting in front of my computer surfing the internet. Because of a lucky coincidence I found an announcement, which said that “Cornerstone is looking for a female singer”. After a call and an audition, I got the part. This was the best thing that could ever happen to me.
How does the band write - is it contributions from all members or anyone in particular?
Patricia: Michael and Steve write the songs together with the acoustic guitar at home. In my opinion, concerning lyrics and melody, they are the perfect creative team and do a great job. After they provide the basis for a song, we all come together in the rehearsal room and complete the arrangements concerning the harmony of voices, drums, etc. Michael: Altough Steve always wants to include the other members during the songwriting process, the most efficient way is and always was, when Steve and me sat down with our Acoustics, and work everything out, lyricwise and chordwise, the old-fashioned way. (*laughing*)
You were over in England on tour earlier this year and in particular I remember you played the Cavern in Liverpool. What was it like to play such a legendary venue.
Patricia: It was awesome, maybe the best experience I’ve ever had with the band. Being in Liverpool was like a short adventure. Not only that we performed in the same club as the famous and legendary Beatles did, but it was also a huge honour to be part of the Pop Overthrow Festival and to get the possibility to play three gigs in a row on
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INTERVIEW one day! People were dancing and singing on the streets, music came from everywhere. Beatles- Fan stores on every corner and we right in the middle. As we went on the stage, I felt like being on holy floor. I can’t wait to go there again!
What has been the highlight of the year for the band up to now?
Patricia: There have been a lot of highlights so far! One of them I already mentioned before, Liverpool. Also people’s reactions to our songs during the concerts have always been positive. We brought home a lot of fans and almost every host asked us, if we could play at their venue again. Nothing makes me more satisfied than that, it’s maybe the biggest compliment you can get.
I understand you’re currently working on the follow up to “Somewhere” - care to tell us more about it?
Michael: Yes, we are working on new tunes, but so far there are just some rough ideas flying around… although we have finished a few songs, we’ll record the album in fall of 2013. Working title is “Reflections”, but this is no more than a working title and is probably going to change. We are really looking forward to the new album, which will go a step more into the AOR-direction.
If you had the chance to put the band on stage with one of you’re heroes, who would it be?
Patricia: I know that I make myself unpopular in the band by saying this, but one of my idols is Beyoncé (Ex-singer of the girl group “Destinys Child”). For me, it would be a dream came true to be on the same stage as her. Michael: Freddie Mercury would have been great, but this isn’t possible anymore, unfortunately! But I guess, REM would be quite interesting. It would be a pleasure, to meet my idol Mike Mills personally. Not very Heavy Metal, I’m afraid… (*laughing*)
Michael, it’s been a great pleasure to chat to you as always. Is there anything you would like to say to the fans?
Patricia: I speak for the band and say: Thanks for having us!! It was a lot of fun answering those questions!! Greets to all fans and readers! Hope that you’ll enjoy our album “Somewhere in America”. Check out our homepage (www.cornerstone.co.at) and facebook/myspace page, where you can find us under “cornerstoneaustria”. Cheers!! Michael: …and check out our album “Somewhere in America”, which is available at amazon.co.uk, iTunes, HMV, etc. We’re a poor band, I need to buy new shoes! (*laughing*)
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with graham greene More than SG’s and Wobble Boards Music from the Big Red Rock
or a lot of people living outside of Australia, the mention of Australian music usually means one of a few things – for baby boomers, there’s a good chance that their first thought will be of AC/DC, the rock band that took the world by storm and never let go. For older music listeners (in particular in the UK), they may remember Rolf Harris, with his wobble board and novelty songs such as “Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport” and “Two Little Boys”, or Folk/Pop group The Seekers, with their lush close-harmony vocals surrounding the beautiful voice of Judith Durham. But there’s more. Much more.
tity, these influences were melded together as part of the emerging Australian sound. At this point, American influences were also being felt as the United States, drawn out of it’s pre-war isolationism, added it’s own, smaller wave of immigrants to the mix, bringing blues and jazz to a new audience. Adding to this influence was the relatively new advent of television, which meant that these musical forms were being seen and heard by an ever-increasing part of the world’s population. All of these influences were drawn upon as Australians worked out what they liked to play and listen to.
Prior to colonisation, Australia had a 40,000 – 60,000+ year history of indigenous music which produced the iconic Didgeridoo, as well as featuring Tapping Sticks and, of course, the human voice. Having no written language, Aboriginal culture and legend was passed down through the generations by way of stories and song. Thus, music was of vital importance to the first Australians as a way of preserving and passing on their culture and heritage.
These days, Australia is as much a cultural melting pot as ever, and has produced a great many artists that have achieved success at home and abroad. Acts such as AC/DC, INXS and Men At Work became known around the world, but there is a much deeper history of Aussie rock and roll. From the outset, when rock music first swept the globe, Australians have been rocking, and I will endeavour to outline how we did it.
With the first colonies came waves of British and (later) European settlers, who brought with them their own unique musical instruments and influences. From this melange of styles came the Bush Ballads, based on the Anglo-Celtic traditions of the settlers and convicts that came (voluntarily or otherwise) to the Great South Land. The best known of these songs is Waltzing Matilda, which over the years has become Australia’s adopted unofficial national anthem – which is interesting, considering that the song (words by Banjo Patterson) is about a sheep thief who drowns himself to avoid capture by troopers.
In the mid-1950’s, American rock and roll spread across the world. Sydney-based independent record label Festival Records was the first to get on the bandwagon in Australia, releasing Bill Haley & His Comets’ “Rock Around the Clock” in 1956. It became the biggest-selling Australian single ever released up to that time. American-born promoter Lee Gordon was the first to bring US acts to Australia, staging big tours with the likes of Bo Diddley, Gene Vincent and Jerry Lee Lewis playing to rapt audiences around the country. Before too long, Australia had its own ‘bad boy’ of rock’n’roll in Johnny O’Keefe, who became Australia’s first rock star imitating Americans such as Elvis and Little Richard. This was the first wave of Australian rock, and lasted to the early 60’s, when a more clean-cut style of band started to dominate the airwaves. Although the more family-friendly acts were on the radio, there were still guitaroriented rock bands playing the live scene, many influenced
With the post World War II waves of European immigrants came more and more colours to the Australian cultural spectrum. German, Italian, Greek and Scandinavian music influenced what we sang, played and listened to, and as Australians began to establish their own national iden-
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by instrumental surf-rock bands like The Shadows and Dick Dale. One of the most prominent home grown bands of this era was The Atlantics, who scored a worldwide hit with their classic, ‘Bombora’. In 1964, following the phenomenon of The Beatles, another wave of Australian rock bands hit the scene, again borrowing from the style of overseas hits and developing from there. A lot of bands that had been playing the instrumental surf music recruited singers and took off in the new direction of ‘beat’ music, a la the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. Some of the most popular acts around this period were Billy Thorpe & the Aztecs, Ray Brown & The Whispers, The Easybeats, The Bee Gees and The Masters Apprentices. Another solo star rose in the form of Normie Rowe, and acts such as Max Merritt and The Meteors, Dinah Lee and The La De Das made their way across the Tasman Sea from New Zealand to try their luck on Australian shores. Also at this time, many Australian bands and singers tried to further their careers by moving overseas, mainly to England, then seen as the place to be. Few bands were successful in their ventures, and only The Seekers and The Bee Gees (who were born and raised in the UK anyway) enjoyed long-term success. Other acts that made the trip were The Easybeats (the first rock band to crack the UK market), The Twilights and the La De Das. In the 1970’s, a lot of the 60’s stars had faded, and Australian music underwent many changes. This period saw the emergence of what was to be known as the ‘Pub Rock’ scene, which spawned acts who would go on to great things in the late 70’s and early 80’s. Bands such as Cold Chisel, Midnight Oil, Skyhooks and The Angels went on to dominate Aussie airwaves for the best part of a generation. It is also around this time that Australian media got into the game, with magazines, radio programs, TV shows and record labels dedicated to rock and pop music springing up to cater to the needs of an ever-increasing listening public. Australia was beginning to forge a real identity as a rock and roll nation. In these seminal years, there were many acts that helped create that identity. These acts included Air Supply, Dragon, Kevin Borich Express, Jon English, Little
River Band, John Farnham, Sherbet, Hush, Ted Mulry Gang, Brian Cadd, and many, many more. The 80’s and 90’s saw Australia start to break free from overseas influences and stand on its own, without “needing America and the UK to tell us what was good” (Nick Cave). Many rock bands appeared in this period, including Men At Work, Divinyls and the Hoodoo Gurus who all went on to great success internationally. Other bands such as Hunters & Collectors and The Bad Seeds achieved a great deal of success locally, with some small amount of overseas recognition. Today, we see more Aussie bands than ever making a mark on the music scene, both at home and overseas. For the rockers, there are bands like Voyager, Chaos Divine, Karnivool, Jet, Eskimo Joe, Ragdoll and many more that are proudly flying the flag for Aussie rock. Bands such as Airbourne are playing the festival circuit in the US and Europe to huge crowds, and AC/ DC still rule the stadiums when many artists of a similar vintage have long ago hung up their guns. We suffer the same mediainflicted blight of so-called TV ‘talent shows’ (Idol, X Factor, et al) down here, but there are still enough ‘real’ acts out there to warrant a long and satisfying browse through the Australian lexicon of rock. There are many names that have been omitted from this yarn due to time and space constraints, but I hope that I have described to some extent just how far Australia has come as a musical nation. Whatever your taste in music, be it Classical, Jazz, Blues, Pop or Metal, there is a huge range of very real talent coming from these sunburnt shores. If we weren’t so far away, you would all hear much more from us. As prolific as the Aussie scene is, it is still at the other end of the world from Hollywood, New York and London, and not all of us can afford the trip to the Northern Hemisphere. That being said, there is always the magic of the internet. When you have a minute or ten to spare, try googling some of the names in this article, or maybe have a search on YouTube. I guarantee that you will find something to make you smile and tap your foot - or bang your head! Graham Greene Firebrand Magazine • We’re Gonna Rock Your World • 35