THE Custom Lifestyle Magazine for Custom Vehicle and Music Enthusiasts
Cover Photo by Sherry Keith
Rock Calendar NAMM: Through the Eyes of Sherry Keith CV SouthWest - Thank you for our First Year! NAMM Coverage: Conference Information Equipment Review: Revolution Amps News You Can Use; Cars...Driving Snow & Ice Gear the Pros Use Guitarist: Our Very Own Cover Girl, Leona X Order in the Chaos; Brien DeChristopher’s Advice Las Vegas Nightlife; Kevin Lastovica News You Can Use; Motorcycles...Effective Motorcycle Security Tattoo Gallery...readers send in pics of favorite tattoos
CV Southwest Magazine
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Jamie Paulus Pure Sin Photography brings us more from NAMM: Queenryche and the Bonzo Bash. Come look through his lens at some of the biggest stars in music. Page 36
Sherry Keith Mystic Photography in Concert puts you front and center for some of the hottest acts in the business: Lizzy Borden, Great White, & Slaughter. Page 16
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It’s been a long road to this point, many solid gigs in solid bands, but when Carmine D’Amico called Erik Hatchett, the newest rising star in LA was born, and the world is a happier place. LA Story is a band on the rise, a group of men out to have fun on their journey of music, a single purpose in mind: to enjoy playing rock throughout the US and the World. It’s hard to pin these guys down, but CV SouthWest was fortunate enough to grab some quality time with enigmatic frontman and singer Erik Hatchett; walk with us through his words as we introduce you to the hottest ticket in the LA music scene… Come & meet LA Story...
<CV SW> Tell our readers who's in the band and their role Erik Hatchett- Vocals Carmine D‘Amico-Guitar Keith Horne-Guitar Thomas Rojo-Bass Andrew Melendez-Drums <CV SW> Who founded the band originally <Hatch> The band was formed by Carmine D‘Amico and myself. Carmine had a bunch of music he wrote and my phone rang, creating our song writing team. We have music on various TV shows such as Rob Dyrdeks Fantasy Factory and the Half Pint Brawlers created by the producers of Jack Ass. We then put the live band together because the songs were very catchy and fun! <CV SW> How did LA Story come about? <Hatch> The band came about without any effort because it was about fun and just pure enjoyment from playing loud and live. We live the LA Story so why not sing about it.
<CV SW> Tell us about the journey…the bands you‟ve played with in the past, and the desire to finally pull together your own group… <Hatch> We have all put in our time that is for sure. Paying your dues….DONE! I sang in and formed a band in San Diego called ―DAMA‖ then we changed the name to ―DiveBomber‖. We used to open for bands like Papa Roach, Alien Ant Farm, Danzig, Tesla, and Blue Oyster Cult once. Talk about a culture shock…HaHa! I left the group and moved to Los Angeles where I connected up with Carmine. Mr. D‘Amico has toured extensively and played in a local Las Vegas metal band ―Kreep‖ fronted by Brett Pirozzi and Ivan de Prume on drums. Thomas and Andrew, our rhythm section, is solid. Thomas is a producer and Andrew is an actor and crew hand for television and film. Keith is a master guitar builder and Freemason from Atlanta. He was in a really solid touring band called
―Rocket‘s to Ruin‖ in the ATL. Carmine, Keith and I were all in Blacklist Union for a small tour with myself on bass guitar. My bass career was 4 months long. I had NEVER touched a Bass prior to BLU but I was able to nail it! One writer said I was one of the most entertaining bass players she has ever covered. Give me a job and I‘ll do it, and do it 110%. We all got together in LA Story with myself on vocals and it was so fun and easy, no ego‘s, likedminded musicians, it‘s now a family. <CV SW> What are your immediate goals with the band, since it‟s so new? <Hatch> Our immediate goal is to tour and enjoy the road. I want to tour internationally and bring some kick ass rock and roll over seas. I have family in Hamburg, Germany and would love to play in their town. If we make some dough along the way even better, but our main goal is to bring some bodies together in a sweaty room to sing and puke!
<CV SW> Tell us about the name, where did it come from? <Hatch> Carmine had 2 names to use, ―Drag the Water‖ and ―The LA Story‖, we went with the latter and removed ―The‖ from the name. We all have an LA Story and we touch on a little bit of all of them. I have about two albums full of my LA Stories so keep yourself in the loop, it‘s a fun journey. <CV SW> How did you guys get into music, did you have any other interests growing up? <Hatch> I am a huge Snowboarder, Wakeboarder and Surfer, doing both at a very young age. My parents were very supportive even when I was a drummer in my youth! HaHa. My father was a country singer from AR so I guess music was in my blood. Carmine is a big Snowboarder as well. His favorite thing to do as a kid was run numbers and throw dice. When that was over at age 12 he started playing bass then guitar. Andrew got into acting and works in film and television production. He started playing drums as a kid and excelled really fast. Keith was really into curling and was trying for an Olympic dream but chose music instead. He is a master guitar builder and an allaround good guy. Thomas was always into music growing up and loves to skydive naked on the weekends! <CV SW> Tell us about THIS group - is this the original line up? <Hatch> This is pretty much the original line up with a few changes here and there. One guy moved back home and our
―video‖ bass player Johnny Five was too busy with his main group ―Still Standing‖, with his brother on bass. A super good band that is really talented. The band has never really played out so we are brand new and somewhat unknown. In a nutshell the lineup is original now. <CV SW> What is it about THIS 5 Piece that you think works so well? <Hatch> The main reason we work out so well is because it‘s all about having FUN and not being fake or a tough guy. There are zero egos in this band and we are very humble. I‘m just thankful to be a part of the music scene, be it big or small. <CV SW> Who are your musical influences? <Hatch> We are all pretty diverse in our influences. I love it all from Sinatra to Slayer! ―Fly Me to the Moon‖ and ―Raining Blood‖ are two of my favorite songs to date. We all love Tool and their musicianship as well as Iron Maiden, Sabbath, and Priest. You don't hear that in our music because we play a different
style but those are the bands that pushed us to perform original music. I also love the 90‘s stuff cuz that was the music being played in my formative years. The likes of Scott Weiland, Chris Cornell, and I love Mark Lanegan and Layne Staley. <CV SW> Do you guys have a favorite place to play from your shows so far? <Hatch> The bands favorites are simple! Boiler Room in Dallas, Claremont Lounge in Atlanta, Viper Room in Hollywood, our hometown, and The Abby in Chicago. These are a few of my favorite gigs (in a Mary Poppins voice). WAIT!!! I forgot the Double Down! Awesome show with ass juice to drink and vomit insurance if need be. Most of these shows were when Myself on Bass, Carmine on guitar, Keith on guitar in a band called ―Blacklist Union‖ a Tony West production. Really good times in a fun band. <CV SW> Wait, “Ass Juice?!” <Hatch> Ass Juice is basically a ―mat‖ shot. It‘s the spillage from previous drinks poured. Go get
ya some! <CV SW> I‟ll go with “hell no”… <Hatch> LOL
<Hatch> I would love to tour with ANYBODY! I just love the road and seeing the amazing country we live in. West to East coast, it‘s all very inspiring. If I had to name one act I would say ―Imagine Dragons‖. They are huge now and our music would be a good crowd warmer. I think it would make for a great night of music.
<CV SW> Have you had any particularly memorable shows to date? <Hatch> Not yet because we have yet to play live. This is the birth of a completely new band and we will not disappoint. <CV SW> If you had one Band <CV SW> Any other shows to open for during a show who you‟d like to mention, good OR would it be? <Hatch> Foo Fighters bad. <Hatch> The Claremont lounge, when we were in the other band, was very memorable. There were 200+ pound strippers, a 60 year old who looked like Magda from ―Something about Mary‖. No disrespect at all, in fact, I admire them for saying ―F‖ the norm we are hot and comfortable in our bodies. The lit matches on the female ―headlights‖, so to speak, were a real treat. One of the best shows of my life, a packed house due to an actual music scene there…very refreshing to see. <CV SW> If you could tour with one act, who would it be?
<Hatch> Our music is just very simple to understand and super fun. You can sing along after the first verse and chorus without the song becoming redundant or predictable. We definitely put on a show to enjoy.
<CV SW> What can fans expect to see at a show? <Hatch> You can expect some really good rock and roll with projections and a cool light show. We want to create a scene where you can meet new people and party to good rock. We have very melodic songs that will stick <CV SW> Just starting out, in your head. Songs like ―Grind what is your plan for social me- Her‖, ―Sunset Stripper‖, ―Eyes of dia, do you see it as a savvy pub- Silence‖, and ―I‘m Wrecked‖. licity tool or necessary evil? <CV SW> You‟ve done the vid<Hatch> You‘re a fool if you eo for “I‟m Wrecked”, it‟s gotdon't use social media in this day ten pretty solid press, tell us and age. Fortune 500 companies about the process to put it tohave social media departments gether - what is harder or easier now with 100+ employees workthan you expected? ing the social media markets. <Hatch> I am a certified NonWe do it all in this band. It‘s a Union Script Supervisor for the great way to get your music out New York Film Academy in Los and meet other musicians with Angeles so the video was gratis. the same drive and goals. I worked with the director Mike Bustillos on a previous film. Af<CV SW> What is it about your ter talking for a bit he asked if he music that you feel will appeal could shoot our video. We said to fans? ―uhhhh YES‖ and the rest in his-
tory. He is an amazing director, on the LA music scene? How look him up if you need a video can it be better? shot in LA. <Hatch> The LA music scene is a fickle mistress! It comes and <CV SW> Any thoughts on goes in waves but is pretty much what you could have done better kind of dormant right now. The after the fact? sunset strip music festival is very <Hatch> Maybe add topless cool and there are some really women because sex sells…just good bands out there but the club ask Robin Thicke. Seriously, I scene needs a kick in the pirate think the video is freaking awe- booty. Pay to play needs to some and tasteful with a great change and I would love to see narrative. the old style of record deals back in the game. Before it was a <CV SW> How does it feel, numbers game…when labels seeing yourself in a music vid- would help develop the group as eo…? opposed to finding turnkey bands <Hatch> Ha, that‘s a great ques- with albums already produced in tion because I hate seeing myself their bedroom. I guess those on camera. I pick myself apart, days died with the death of 2 inch all the bad and don't focus on the tape. Long live analog! I love good, which I need to change. that Dave Grohl records on 2‖ I‘m getting used to it. The other now. guy‘s in the band look awesome and should have no complaints. <CV SW> It‟s still VERY early, It‘s a solid video in my eyes. where do you see the band in 3-5 years? Idealistic and Realistic... <CV SW> Tell us your thoughts <Hatch> Idealistic…I see us
touring the world. Realistic…I see us touring the US. I hope we can grow in our music and as people through the experience of our music and where it takes us in the next 3-5 years. <CV SW> OK, it‟s early 2014 what can we expect from the band this year? <Hatch> We are going to pound the pavement and tour, tour, tour and tour some more. You have to get out there if you‘re a startup and work your way from the bottom to the top. No dream is too big, and no person is too small to reach those dreams! I really want to thank you for the support Chris! The band wishes you nothing but success and we will support you the whole way in any way we can. I love your magazine and the crew you have onboard, thanks for everything and continued success my man.
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LA Story...bringin it!
MORE Sights Around NAMM Through the Eyes of Sherry K
April 2013 - Outta the Black
June 2013 - SYSTEMEC May 2013 - Stoney Curtis
August 2013 - Dirty Pairadice July 2013 - London Mace
September 2013 - Blacklist Union
October 2013 - SICOCIS
December 2013 - Bella Electric Strings November 2013 - Franky Perez
January 2014 - T.O.D.
February 2014 - LONDON
Global Music Product Industry‟s Passion Reflected at 2014 NAMM Show The four-day annual event proves once again that the music community knows how to have a great time while still taking care of business.
Carlsbad, CA, January 27, 2014—The music product industry returns to businesses in every corner of the globe with a renewed confidence following the 2014 NAMM Show held in Anaheim, Calif., January 23-26. Promising signs of revitalization brought together more than 5,000 brands from around the world looking to reach the global buying audience found at the NAMM Show. Expanding product categories such as technology-driven music products and emerging brands pushed the show to its one of its largest and most diverse editions ever. ―As the global platform for the music products industry, the NAMM Show is an annual checkup for what is happening in the music marketplace worldwide,‖ said Joe Lamond, president and CEO of NAMM. ―A focus on doing business reflected confidence among buyers and manufacturers alike. Fortified with NAMM U education, networking and fun opportunities that only occur at the NAMM Show, NAMM Members expressed to me a renewed spirit for the year ahead. I believe that the stage is set for growth in 2014.‖
In total, 96,129 members of the music product industry registered for the 2014 NAMM Show. Exhibitors noted that crowds arrived eager for new products and ready to get down to business. "I don't know what's going on, but this year is phenomenal; we have been slammed! The buyers are buying!‖ said Ari Baron, vice president of marketing for Eastman Music Company. Dave Smith of his eponymous instrument brand also saw a lot of traffic, "NAMM is the only trade show we attend. This is it -- the hub of our outreach, our PR, our marketing. We meet with our current dealers, sign up new dealers, and show artists our new instruments so they can play them and hear how they perform. We've been incredibly busy the whole show!"
Emerging brands, growth in pro audio and the music technology category, and an increase in international exhibitors, converged for the second highest exhibiting company number ever. In total there were 1,533 exhibiting companies representing 5,010 Brands. Meeting those brands was a 2% increase in buyers over 2013. Buyers arrived in AnaRetailers large and small return to their busiheim focused on rebuilding inventory after a strong school music season, and on building up categories nesses with new product lines and categories that currently experiencing strong consumer demand. will hit shelves in a matter of months. ―I‘m most
focused on meeting up with major suppliers that I‘ve done business with or do business with and seeing what they‘ve got––new products in particular,‖ said Richard Ash, CEO of Sam Ash Music. ―We are also looking for new companies that come out of the woodwork and have a product that will break through to the marketplace. If you‘re a musician, it‘s the ultimate kid in a candy store thing.‖ up more than one-third of the total exhibiting companies. These companies come from 49 different In addition to products, retailers search for countries to unveil their brands‘ new products at valuable ideas gleaned from five full days of educa- the show. tional offerings. ―I come for inspiration and I always find it,‖ said Rob Kittle of Kittle‘s Music in About NAMM North Platte, NE. ―I find products I never knew The National Association of Music Merwere out there. The buying I do and the things I chants (NAMM) is the not-for-profit association see at the NAMM Show definitely influence my with a mission to strengthen the $17 billion music business for the year.‖ products industry and promote the pleasures and benefits of making music. NAMM's activities and New entrepreneurs and categories entering programs are designed to promote music making the music market brought 303 new exhibiting com- to people of all ages. NAMM is comprised of appanies to the show. NAMM Membership and in proximately 9,000 Member companies located in turn the NAMM Show is increasingly global, as more than 87 countries. For more information reflected in the 6% increase in international at- about NAMM or the proven benefits of making tendees. The global scope of the NAMM Show is music, interested parties can visit www.namm.org, most clear walking the show floor. This year 636 call 800.767.NAMM (6266) or follow the organiexhibitors from outside of the United States made zation on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
Gear Review: REVOLUTION Amps from CV WorldWide Equipment Consultant Jason Constantine
you six options to choose from. Each amp comes in a 100 watt or 20 watt configuration with all of the same features. Everything you see on the big 100 watt heads is available on the 20 watt models. This is a change for the amp industry, as we often see ―mini‖ or ―junior‖ versions of amps have the same voicings but not the same features. Revolution Amplification is stepping up the game offering the identical features in all of their amps.
So lets talk about the sounds. Revolution amps offer 3 different voicings. The Rev, which is the classic British sound from the 80s with a bit of a hot-rodded kick. The Bully which is a ―Vulgar Display‖ of an amplifier based on the amps that really put Tony Krank on the international map, and the Phoenix which is based on Tony Krank‘s original design that got his name out to the masses. Each amp offers 20 or 100 watt configurations that offer 2 channels, mid boost, switchable tube driven I want to give you guys some insider infor- effects loop with send and return levels. Every amp mation on a new line of amps that will hit the mar- offers Ruby 12AX7 preamp tubes, and Sovtek 6L6 ket in the next 30 days. I had the privilege of play- output tubes which as anyone who has played any ing them at NAMM, and I was BLOWN AWAY. They are based on some of the same designs I have been playing for the last year, and they are designed and headed up by no other than the original team that headed up Krank Amplification. Their name? Revolution Amplification. Revolution Amplification is headed up by none other then Tony Krank, Patrick Flanigan, and Jeromy Graves. The same team that brought you the amps that made Tony Krank famous. hose of you that know me, know I have been a lover of the Peavey 5150 for the last UMPTEENTH number of years, I have had my phase with Marshall, Jet City and Mesa, but my 5150 was always my bestie. That is until I found the Krank NineTeen80. The NineTeen80 has been my go to amp for the last year, and unfortunately its not being made anymore as Krank Amplification is now out of business.
Revolution Amplification offers 3 new amps in a total of 2 different configurations each, giving
of Tonyâ€˜s former amps is the Tony Krank signature sound. Revolution Amplification has also launched a line of speaker cabinets available in 4x12, 2x12 and 4x10 configurations. I was able to team up one of the 4x10 cabinets with the Bully 20 watt head and it was vintage tone central at medium gain settings. The mids were full and lush with just the right amount of grit for notes to sustain for a few days. Plugging the Bully into a 2x12 cabinet offered up a bit more of a classic hard rock tone a la the finger tapping king of the late 70s and 80s. Each cabinet is loaded with Eminence Legend speakers, and let me tell you they are voiced perfectly for these amplifiers. Big open midrange without the typical honk of other speakers. Check out RevolutionAmps.com for more information and you can also find them on facebook at facebook.com/revolutionamplification.
Hand Crafted Wearable Art
Now, what might be the best tip for winter driving: sometimes it's best to stay home, or at least remain where you are until snow plows and sanding crews have done their work. If you crash on a snowy or icy road, you'll certainly be late â€” or worse. But since you can't always call in to work claiming a "snow day," it's better to learn how to correctly deal with driving in the snow. I've battled snow- and ice-covered highways in two-dozen states behind the wheel of both passenger vehicles and 18-wheelers. I've performed hundreds of tire tests on snow-covered roads, attended snow-driving schools and done precision (translation: "barely in control") driving in the snow for videos and still photos. From this experience, here are some snow driving tips the average driver can follow to reduce the chances of a crash.
Chevy Corvette - In the Snow
essarily have great snow traction: Some do, some don't. If you live where the roads are regularly covered with snow, use snow tires (sometimes called "winter tires" by tire makers). They have a "snowflake on the mountain" symbol on the sidewall, meaning they meet a tire-industry standard for snow traction. Make sure you can see. Replace windshield wiper blades. Clean the inside of your windows thoroughly. Apply a watershedding material (such as Rain-X) to the outside of all windows, including the mirrors. Make sure your windshield washer system works and is full of an anti-icing fluid. Drain older fluid by running the washers until new fluid appears: Switching fluid colors makes this easy. Run the air-conditioner. In order to remove condensation and frost from the interior of windows, engage your airconditioner and select the fresh air option: It's fine to set the temperature on "hot." Many cars automatically do this when you choose the defrost setting.
Check your lights. Use your headlights so that others will see you and, we hope, not pull out in front of you. Make sure your headlights and taillights are clear Almost all sports cars come with summer tires, but ultra-high performance all- of snow. If you have an older car with sand-pitted season tires provide marginally better grip in wintery conditions but sacrifice some headlights, get a new set of lenses. To prevent fuwet and dry performance. ture pitting, cover the new lens with a clear tape Get a grip. like that used to protect the leading edge of heliTo have adequate snow traction, a tire re- copter rotor blades and racecar wings. It's available quires at least 6/32-inch deep tread, according to from auto-racing supply sites. The Tire Rack (a CV WW Affiliate). (New passenger-car tires usually have 10/32-inch of tread.) Ul- Give yourself a brake. trahigh-performance "summer" tires have little or Learn how to get maximum efficiency from no grip in snow. Even "all-season" tires don't nec- your brakes before an emergency. It's easy to
properly use antilock brakes: Stomp, stay and steer. Stomp on the pedal as if you were trying to snap it off. Stay hard on the pedal. Steer around the obstacle. (A warning: A little bit of steering goes a very long way in an emergency. See Tip 8.) If you drive on icy roads or roads that are covered with snow, modify your ABS technique: After you "Stomp" and the ABS begins cycling — you will feel pulses in the pedal or hear the system working — ease up slightly on the pedal until the pulsing happens only once a second. For vehicles without ABS, you'll have to rely on the old-fashioned system: You. For non-ABS on a mixed-surface road, push the brake pedal hard until the wheels stop rolling, then immediately release the brake enough to allow the wheels to begin turning again. Repeat this sequence rapidly. This is not the same as "pumping the brake." Your goal is to have the tires producing maximum grip regardless of whether the surface is snow, ice or damp pavement. Use the tips in "How To Survive the Top 10 Driving Emergencies" to practice before the emergency.
Chevy Suburban - Going Sideways
When front tires of this vehicle lost grip, the driver made the common error of continuing to turn the steering wheel. The excessive steering didn't (and couldn't) help.
make things worse. If the icy conditions end and the front tires regain grip, your car will dart whichever way the wheels are pointed. That may be into oncoming traffic or a telephone pole. Something very similar happens if you steer too much while braking with ABS. Sadly, there are situations where nothing will prevent a crash, but turning the steering too much never helps.
Avoid rear-tire slides. First, choose a car with electronic stability Watch carefully for "black ice." control. Fortunately, ESC will be mandatory on all If the road looks slick, it probably is. This is 2012 models. Next, make sure your rear tires have especially true with one of winter's worst hazards: at least as much tread as your front tires. Finally, if "black ice." Also called "glare ice," this is nearly you buy winter tires, get four. transparent ice that often looks like a harmless puddle or is overlooked entirely. Test the traction Technology offers no miracles. All-wheel drive and electronic stability conwith a smooth brake application or slight turn of trol can get you into trouble by offering a false the wheel. sense of security. AWD can only help a vehicle acRemember the tough spots. celerate or keep moving: It can't help you go Race drivers must memorize the nuances of around a snow-covered turn, much less stop at an every track, so they can alter their path for chang- icy intersection. ESC can prevent a spinout, but it ing track conditions. You must remember where can't clear ice from the roads or give your tires icy roads tend to occur. Bridges and intersections more traction. Don't let these lull you into overestiare common places. Also: wherever water runs mating the available traction. across the road. I know people who lost control on Regardless of your driving skill or vehicle ice caused by homeowners draining above-ground pools and by an automatic lawn sprinkler that preparation, there are some winter conditions that sprayed water onto a street in freezing tempera- can't be conquered. But these tips may help prevent snowy and icy roads from ruining your day. tures. Too much steering is bad. If a slick section in a turn causes your front tires to lose grip, the common — but incorrect — reaction is to continue turning the steering wheel. That's like writing checks on an overdrawn account: It won't improve the situation and may
Leona X is a hard rocking singer and lead guitarist from the Pacific NW. With a dynamic stage presence, ripping guitar solos, and a powerful sound, she is what you get if you mix Joan Jett, Angus Young, and a little bit of Vegas. Her music is like a kiss of dynamite; jaw dropping, electrifying, and sexy, Leo will leave you wanting more! Try to turn away from her burning eyes, sparkling smile, and gorgeous looks...it's too late, you cannot resist her. So catch your breath and head to one of her shows; but get prepared for an experience you won’t ever forget!
<CV NorthWest> You say “music touches me and lifts me up” - how did you get started in music? <Leona X> As far back as I can remember I have been touched by music. My very first exposure was at home with my mom. She would be cleaning house and listening to Tammy Wynette, Dolly Parton, Kenny Rogers, etc. She and I would sing along to it. Those are wonderful memories for me. That's also how I got hooked on Elvis Presley. Instead of being influenced by the typical stuff that most girls my age were into, I was rocking out to Elvis. <CVNW> You say “when I heard rock n roll music as a teen that was it for me” - what was the catalyst, who did you hear that gave you the fever? <Leo> It was AC/DC. I fell in love with Angus
Young‘s guitar tone, his technique, and his on stage charisma. He's so exciting to watch live! I just get all giddy when he does those crazy guitar solos, and I'm all smiles. It wasn't one of those little crushes, like, "Oh he's so cute". It was more like, "Damn!! He is bad ass!! I want to play like that too!" After I heard AC/DC, I was never the same again. <CVNW> Even then, you started playing guitar somewhat late, no, in your late teens? <Leo> I started when I was 16. My family was very poor, and couldn't afford to buy me a guitar or have lessons. So my first guitar was this really old, yucky acoustic that I bought at a yard sale down the street for $5.00. I started working at Wendy‘s so I could save up to buy a real one. It took about 6 months or so, and then I bought my first electric guitar, which was an Arbor, and a lit-
tle Crate practice amp. <CVNW> Did you have any other interests growing up? <Leo> Yes and no. I knew I wanted to entertain. Yes - when I was 5 years old I sang "I'm Gettin' Nothin' For Christmas" in the school play. I remember looking out at the audience and seeing my mother out there watching me, and feeling so confident and proud, and when the song was over I stood there, like I didn't want to walk off the stage, and my teacher was standing off on the side waving at me to exit the stage and come to her. I looked at her thinking "No, I don't want to, I want to perform some more." LOL When I was at home I would do all the typical stuff that everyone does when they have the itch to perform, like singing with a brush for a microphone, dancing around the house, and playing air guitar. So, in terms of other interests, I knew I just wanted to be on stage, no matter if it was singing, dancing, acting, or playing guitar. No - there has never been and still is nothing else I would rather do. Nothing that can ever replace or replicate the same feeling I get performing. Nothing else I want to do. <CVNW> Who are your guitar influences? <Leo> Angus Young, of course; also, Tony Iommi, Jerry Cantrell, and Slash. Angus is my guitar be able to run around and entertain at the same hero all the way! time. So I would practice that too. LOL I wanted <CVNW> If you could play a set with one band, to get to the point of being able to feel my way around the neck without having to look at it. tell us who you‟d choose <Leo> AC/DC!! <CVNW> Ok, I waded right into that answer. LOL Alright, let‟s talk about your musical journey… Killer Instinct - your first band, a heavy metal band - tell us about that. You play rhythm guitar there, but over time you developed the skill to play lead? <Leo> Yes. <CVNW> Was it just practice, or even more hunger for the limelight with those solos? <Leo> It was both. I never thought ―I'm just going to play rhythm.‖ I intended on being a bad ass lead guitarist just like Angus. So yes, I practiced every single day. Not just at actual technique, but also to
<CVNW> You then transition from Killer Instinct to Bootleg - how did you hook up with those girls? <Leo> Then I met Suzi, the singer of Bootleg. She knew me from around the scene, and wanted to put together another girl band. She said "Leo, you're going to play lead. You CAN do it!" So I went to work at learning the songs we were writing together, and wrote my first guitar solos. Since I had never taken lessons, and didn't know anything about scales or anything, I would think of a melody that went with the rhythm, and then try to duplicate it on the guitar. I had to find where it sounded right on the neck, you know, in key. To this day I only know one scale, and barely know how to use it. LOL I have learned to play without
knowing why I'm in the position I am in. I just know it's right if it sounds right and feels good. Because of that, I have a very keen ear. That's how it happened.
L.A. at the time. I moved to Vegas with the boyfriend I had at the time because that's where he was from and where his family lived. He later turned out to be my first husband and first divorce, but that's a whole other story!
<CVNW> You actually put out an EP with <CVNW> So there was nothing magical about them, yes? Vegas that whispered “I need to be there”? <Leo> Yes, 4 songs. <Leo> It didn't whisper to me. LOL It was just out <CVNW> Did you ever make it to an acceptable of necessity. I actually hated it at first because it place with your notoriety with Bootleg? was too HOT and I didn't have any friends or fam<Leo> Not really. I mean, we were well known in ily. But I grew to like it. L.A., but that's all. We were so young and inexperienced and didn't know how to really drive the <CVNW> Shortly after moving to Vegas, you formed Jaggedy Ann and things take off. You bus, so to speak. We were too busy partying. won the USA leg of a Battle of the Bands, and <CVNW> Were you seeing the success you ended up going to New Zealand to compete in the WORLD final! longed for at that point in your life? <Leo> YES!! <Leo> No. <CVNW> After Bootleg, you relocated to Vegas <CVNW> None other than Phil Rudd, drummer for AC/DC who was in the audience, offers to - why Vegas? <Leo> Because things weren't going very well in produce your first album Boiling Point - tell us how you were able to get hooked up with him to work on the record after he saw you play. <Leo> That is an amazing story, because as you know, I had always been a huge AC/DC fanatic. Never, in a million years, did I ever expect that to happen! Andrew Featherstone was the founder and organizer of the World Battle of the Bands, and of Intergalactic Records in New Zealand. How it started is that we wanted to play in L.A., but coming from there, I knew all about the "pay to play" thing going on and didn't want to do that. <CVNW> “Pay to Play” - what are your thoughts on that? <Leo> My opinion is I don't like it, but I can somewhat understand why the venues do it. What I mean is this; the reason venues do that is because they are a business and they want and need to make money. How they make money is by door and bar sales. If a band doesn't promote, network, and advertise the show, they won't draw people in. Then everyone loses money. The venue doesn't care how good a band is. Their concern is making money and not losing it, which is understandable. However, for a hard working band that promotes and networks like crazy to get people out to see them, does their advertising etc., it's not fair. Now on the other hand, it's also not right/fair for the
2nd place, but were the biggest winners of all because it was there that Phil Rudd saw us. Andrew decided he wanted to sign us to his label. He was already friends with Phil. That's why Phil was at the final, to see us, per Andrew‘s request. Knowing Andrew wanted to sign us, he told him that he wanted to produce the album. I'll never forget the first time we met Phil. In addition to his amazing house, out in the boonies in New Zealand, he also has a killer boat that he lives in sometimes when he wants to escape. That is where we met him the first time. Andrew told us he was taking us to meet him and I was out of my mind nervous and excited. I couldn't believe it. I kept asking, on the way there, "Is this real?" "Girls, we're going to meet and hang out with PHIL RUDD!" OMG!!!!!! I was a fumbling idiot at first, but once we got over the initial introduction, and went on the boat, we were drinking and partying with him like old friends. He made us feel totally comfortable and welcome. We drank Baileys, his favorite, and listened to the demo of our song "Kissing Dynamite" that we recorded really quick in Andrew‘s studio the day before, along with more great music we all loved, while he told us stories about being in AC/DC. It was unforgettable.
venue to leave it all up to the band, and not do their share either. I've had that happen to me too. It has to be a 50/50 split of advertising duties, between the band and the venue, in order for it to be a successful event. <CVNW> An honest opinion, thank you. OK, back to the Battle of the Bands… <Leo> Well, we saw there was this contest and it was a chance to play there without having to sell tickets. So we entered it, not expecting to win or go anywhere with it. We just wanted to play in L.A. Well, turns out we won the first round, and had to go back for another, won that one, and then had to go back again, won again, and then kept winning every time until we won the U.S. Championship! That won us the chance to have an all-expense paid trip to New Zealand to compete against all the other countries. We scrambled to get all of our passports in order, immunizations, etc., and we were off! There, we competed and only came in
<CVNW> How did that process differ from recording the EP with Bootleg? <Leo> Well, there's hardly any comparison. First of all the recording with Bootleg was just a demo which was never really "produced", packaged or manufactured. But it was my very first recording, which was a necessary learning experience. The JA album was fully financed, produced, and had a lot of blood, sweat and tears put into making it. Also, there was more of me in it, they are my songs, and JA was my band, doing what I had envisioned. JA was the love of my life, as far as bands go, and we all had a lot at risk. We put our lives on hold for it and were traveling all over the world trying to make it happen. I had a much bigger emotional, mental, and financial investment in Jaggedy Ann than I did in Bootleg. <CVNW> What did you learn from working with someone like Phil Rudd? <Leo> A ton! Phil has a great sense of rhythm and timing, obviously, but one of the first things that became apparent to us was that we were playing
changes he made was the drumsâ€Śgo figure. LOL Our drummer, Holly is an amazing and very skilled drummer. Her style, and what she is actually capable of shows a little on the album, but only about half of it. The reason why is because Phil had her play so much less than what she would normally do. For example, on the song "Feeling Alright" (which, btw, happens to be Philâ€˜s favorite JA song) her original drum parts were much funkier and intricate, but he changed them to a totally stripped down, basic beat. He did that on a large portion of the songs. His reasoning, "less is more". It turned out to be a better song, but I commend Holly for being such a good sport.
the songs too fast. He made us slow a number of them down to groove more. Which brings me to the part where we talk about how funny he was too. While we were getting to know him, we started to see his personality emerge and he would say the funniest things. So, when we would play too fast he would say "Whoa Nelly!" Which, in and of itself isn't really that funny, unless you heard all of the other stuff that he would come up with. We started to keep a journal of some of his sayings. Anyway, one of the songs he made us slow "waaaaay down" was AC/DC's own "Sin City". I'll never forget the day we played it for him. We were so excited for him to hear it. We couldn't believe we were going to have the chance to play it for him and that he would also fill in and jam it with us on it. We just knew he was going to love it. Instead, he said "Whoa Nelly! Crap! That was plain crap! It's too damn fast and you've ruined it." We stood there, shocked and devastated. LOL But he was right. We slowed it down and it was so much better. He took that approach with "Shot of Gasoline" too. It was twice as fast before he changed it. Also, I learned to make the song intros shorter. He said, "Get to the point faster. You've got 30 seconds or less to reel them in". One of the biggest
<CVNW> How, in your opinion, did that record do? <Leo> Not as well as it could have done, to put it mildly. The reason I say that is because the label went bankrupt before the album was released, so it never got released and nothing was done about it, or the advertising for it or anything else that had to do with making a successful record. Nothing got done. It wasn't until Do It Records took over in 2011 that it even got officially released, and by then it was too late. We had lost momentum and the band had broken up. <CVNW> Did it meet your expectations? <Leo> Sad to say, but no. It was a huge disapointment because, it never got released and never sold. People aren't going to buy a record they don't know about. It didn't get played on the radio, wasn't available anywhere, and the band wasn't working anymore. <CVNW> Jaggedy Ann achieved a ton of success, played a bunch of shows across the world but band ultimately split up. What happened? <Leo> We never officially broke up, and it wasn't because we didn't like each other, or couldn't get along, or anything like that. After the label went bankrupt we went through many personal tragedies. Deaths in our families, births, car accidents, divorces, and everything we lost due to the record label closing down, all this left us no choice but to retreat into financial, emotional, mental, and physical recovery. We are still the best of friends and
would love to be able to play together again, but here. We dated long distance while I lived in Las life has led us on different paths. We still keep in Vegas, and then I had to make the decision to touch and are trying to plan a reunion show some move so I could be with him. time this year. <CVNW> Okay, let‟s talk a little about the boys <CVNW> And now, here we are to Leona X… in the band, your posse. Tell us who backs you on stage, let‟s introduce the rest of the band. was there a real void without Jaggedy Ann? <Leo> At first there was. Like I said, JA was the <Leo> Yes! Let's do that! love of my life, as far as bands go. I was so de- Henry Cheng - Rhythm Guitar Chris Ewers - Bass pressed for a long time. Simona Bressi - Drums <CVNW> Having been such a big part of your <CVNW> Was it hard to find the right memlife, was it hard to let go? <Leo> Yes, it was. I tried really hard to keep us bers? together, but it was just impossible after everyone <Leo> Yes, it's always hard to find the perfect members that have all the right skill, drive, and started having families. chemistry. <CVNW> How did you end up in Yakima from <CVNW> What did you see in them that really Vegas? indicated that they are the right fit? <Leo> Everyone asks me this. LOL <Leo> Well, Simona was the first one I found be<CVNW> We will jump on that bandwagon… cause she was filling in for JA during the end days when I was trying desperately to keep us together. why did you choose Yakima? <Leo> I moved here because I married someone I was blown away by her the first time I heard her play. I had to have her. No one else would do after that! Then I found Chris. He plays in an AC/DC tribute band too, so I knew he would be a perfect fit! Henry was the final piece. He came in with a tremendous amount of enthusiasm and I loved his attitude and talent! <CVNW> What about THIS lineup backing you do you think works so well? <Leo> Everyone is seasoned, very skilled and professional. Also everyone has the same love for playing and performing and has a very dynamic presence. I am lucky to have such amazing musicians in my band. <CVNW> Any thoughts about women in Metal? <Leo> There are so many greats in metal and rock now. Fortunately we had women like Joan Jett, Pat Benatar, Ann & Nancy Wilson, and Doro Pesch, just to name a few, to open the doors and break down the barriers for us. Now we have the amazing Lizzy Hale, who, btw, I am a HUGE fan of, to look up to and continue to pave the way for us upcoming female rock artists. I am so supportive and happy to see more and more women getting out there and making a statement.
<CVNW> Have you â€œcome a long way babyâ€?? <Leo> LOL Yes, I feel like it. I've been playing guitar for so long, it seems, and now it's a new beginning, like I've been reinvented now that I am singing too. I just wish I would have started much sooner. <CVNW> Do you see yourself as a trailblazer for Metal women in todayâ€&#x;s music, or carrying on a solid tradition already started by others? <Leo> A little of both. Like I said above, I am very grateful to the women who have pioneered before me, and definitely admire them, but I hope I can be a trailblazer too, that I can inspire other women to take a stand and get out there if this is what they truly want to do. One of the things I get harassed about sometimes is that I'm on the girly side. I don't have tattoos, body piercings, and I'm not into dressing all metal and punked out like most girls in rock do. I feel like a lot of them get so caught up in trying to prove they are as tough as the guys that they go overboard on trying to look mean. That's o.k., if that is who you are, what you want to do, and how you feel, but I don't think you should be ostracized and made to feel like you don't have a choice and only do it to fit in. I'm not afraid to be feminine. I am, after all, a woman. I'm not a man, so why should I dress like one? LOL I have a song that's called "Look Like an Angel, Play Like the Devil". It's about that very subject. Don't let looks deceive you! I like who I am, and I am proud to be a feminine woman who rocks. Also, one of the things that's very important to me is sending out a positive message to girls and women about having a positive and strong self esteem. You can be who you are, express yourself, rock out and be daring, but still hold true to your morals of being a good person, being kind to others, living healthy and staying away from drugs and alcohol. That probably doesn't sound cool, but later in life you will be so thankful you did. A strong body equals a strong mind, health, and happiness. <CVNW> As a lead guitarist, do you think women get the credit they deserve? <Leo> Unfortunately no. I think there are a lot of really great female singers and lead guitarists out there, but not many of them reach the star status and recognition that millions of male musicians
do. Also, I think that part of it is because the standards that women have to live up to are much higher than our male counterparts. This might start a controversy, but what I mean is this; there are so many, tons and tons of unattractive male rock stars. As long as they have the drive, talent, attitude, and great songs, it doesn't matter what they look like, and they can be pretty much any age, in fact many of them look like hell. But if you're a woman, not only do you have to be an amazing musician, and all of the above, but you don't have a chance if you don't look like Beyonce and are not in your 20's. We have to live up to incredibly unrealistic versions of absolute perfection that the media crams in our faces every single day. We are under so much pressure to be extremely hot, and super amazing at everything, along with having to be twice as ambitious and driven to be able to cope with it all. It's part of why Lizzy Hale is making it so big now. Yes, she is amazing, and a great singer and song writer, but there are tons of other amazing female rock singers who don't make
it because they're not as hot as she is. Sex sells, and that's how it will always be. Fortunately for me, I really like sex, and am not afraid to express my sexuality, but not all women feel that way.
<CVNW> Do you have any particularly memorable performances? <Leo> There are quite a few, and for different reasons, but if I had to pick one it would be the Pulp Summer Slam in the Philippines.
<CVNW> (I'd say that it's an incredible time for women lead guitarists who can play, but I'm just asking your perspective) <Leo> Yes, on the other hand, it is a great time to be a woman in the rock industry because of the strong women who have opened the doors for us, and it is becoming way more acceptable than ever.
<CVNW> “Pulp Summer Slam”? In the PHILLIPINES? <Leo> That was with Jaggedy Ann, as part of the first world tour, and was set up by Andrew Featherstone. We were used as the official poster band for the event. They used our image for all the advertising, back stage passes, promotional posters, <CVNW> Julia Pope at EchoEyes gave your etc. We were the USA Guest Band. There were teaser EP a solid review, and compared you (also over 30,000 rock fans, and was a gigantic event. said that you are constantly compared) to Joan, Lita, Vixen, and Pat…that's pretty heavy compa- <CVNW> Why was it memorable? ny to be mentioned with, how does that make <Leo> Because we played in front of over 30,000 you feel? people and they were going insane! The interesting <Leo> Like I said, I have so much admiration and thing about it is that it was the poorest place we respect for those women, so it really means a lot to had played at on the tour, yet had the most fans in me. They are the ones that made me feel like it's attendance. possible and inspired me to go after my dream. I am very, very, honored to be compared in any <CVNW> Do you have a favorite venue to play? small way to them. <Leo> Right now it's Louie G's in Fife, Washington because they have the best stage, sound, lights, <CVNW> You've said that being on stage is like etc. and it's all ages, so everyone can go. a drug that gets me high like becoming a shooting star - are you ever nervous when you perform? <Leo> Absolutely! It depends on circumstances. Sometimes I'm more nervous than other times and what happens is I have to pee over and over again before I go on. LOL <CVNW> Is it that intoxicating? <Leo> YES!! I know it sounds crazy, but it's the time that I feel the most confident, powerful, and secure about myself, and it's like I have no control over what I say and do. <CVNW> Do you ever get so lost in the show that when the last song is done, you‟re like whoa, are we through? <Leo> Yes, I turn into someone else. It's quite funny, and interesting because in real life I have been told that my personality is way too sweet to believe that I could come across like that crazy woman on stage, and then before I know it, it's over, and I've worked myself into such a frenzy that it's hard to stop sometimes. LOL
<CVNW> OKAY, let‟s touch on SEMA - how in the heck did that come about? <Leo> That is really not such a mystery. I have a few really awesome agents in Las Vegas, and one of them lined me up with it. <CVNW> Was it weird being plugged into a Kia
Soul automobile? <Leo> I was a little worried about it, not knowing what to expect, and thinking it wasn't going to sound that great, but after I plugged in and started playing I was blown away at how much like a Marshall it sounded. The sound was FAT!! And I loved it!
<CVNW> One more auto-centric question: in several pictures, I see the number “11” on your guitar – what is the significance of that? <Leo> This is the number of Jaggedy Ann‘s race car driver, Dustin Ash. We endorsed each other. Dustin had a huge picture of us painted on the hood of his car, so every time he raced we were with him! LOL And he would bring the car to our local shows and park out front so fans could see it. In return we would make appearances at his races and stand with the car and sign autographs and take photos with his fans.
<CVNW> Your sound has been described as what you get if you mix Joan Jett, Angus Young, and a little bit of Vegas - does that seem about right to you? <Leo> I would say that sounds about right. LOL Obviously, I love Angus Young and he is who influenced me, so that definitely shows, and I think the Joan Jett thing is because I have a lower range than a lot of female singers. <CVNW> Playing guitar, singing, playing LEAD, dancing & jumping around stage (all in stilettos, by the way) - how are you able to manage all of it? <Leo> Practice, practice, and more practice! Playing guitar is easy for me now, since I've been doing it for so long, but I am new at singing, so it is challenging for me. I have to practice every day. I also exercise at least 3 - 4 days per week. It takes a lot of stamina to do all that. Your heart and diaphragm have to be strong and you have to be in shape, so I stick to a very disciplined, healthy clean living life style. Exercise, eating healthy, plenty of water, sleep, vitamins, and no drugs. <CVNW> That‟s quite a bit of multitasking! <Leo> It's the only way to go! <CVNW> The Kickstarter campaign…how much were you looking to raise? <Leo> $10,000 <CVNW> It was ultimately not successful, any thoughts as to why? I ask because a ton of artists are using Kickstarter to help fund recording, do you think there might have been an oversaturation there? <Leo> I'm not sure why, but I do agree that there is an over saturation. It seemed like when I was doing it, there were at least 5 other bands from my area doing one also. People get numb to things when they are bombarded with so many people asking for money, especially when the economy isn't doing so great. <CVNW> I heard rumors of a Jaggedy Ann documentary tell us about that. <Leo> Yes, it's going to be very interesting. We have so many funny and crazy stories to tell about recording with Phil Rudd, living in his studio for 3 months, being on tour, and all the people we met
from so many different cultural backgrounds and countries. Also, the whole heartbreaking story of how much we had at risk and lost due to the record label closing down, our family deaths, births, car accidents, divorces, affairs, drama, etc. Plus some really great music! <CVNW> Do you have any thoughts on the Seattle music scene? <Leo> Hmm, not sure how to put this. LOL I think that Seattle is culturally rich, in that there is a lot of musical history that was made here in the grunge era. With bands like Nirvana, Sound Garden etc., it changed the rock industry. But let's face it, I'm from the L.A./Las Vegas scene and I'm everything the grunge bands were against, so I'm not sure what they think of it, although I have been pretty lucky with the reception I've been getting so far. I don't think they are hating me, but I think they're not sure what to think. LOL <CVNW> Any ideas on how, if possible, it could get better? <Leo> Just to try to be more open minded and not stuck in the 90's? <CVNW> Social Media…necessary evil or savvy marketing tool? <Leo> Both. <CVNW> Okay, it‟s the first quarter of 2014, tell us what‟s in store for Leona X, what can we expect from you in the coming months? <Leo> Loads of exciting stuff! More recording, touring, and more craziness!!!! Are you Ready For This?!
Gear the Pros Use! CV NorthWest Cover Girl: Leona X
In her own words… “When I heard AC/DC for the first time, I fell in love with Angus Young’s massive, biting, guitar tone. He's the one who made me want to play. At first I did everything I could to emulate his sound, and did a pretty good job. Over the years I have grown into myself more and have my own thing going on now, but still love that straight ahead Gibson/Marshall sound, and always will. My set up is very simple, no effects, except my crybaby wah. Not only do I love the sound, but I don't want to fuss with any pedals. I don't like being tied to one spot on stage. I might be somewhere else on stage doing a guitar solo, and I don't want to have to step on a pedal to turn it on and then have to run back to it to turn it off, and vice versa. Too much of a pain. ”
GUITARS I only use Gibson, period. A burgundy 1965 Gibson Les Paul SG is my precious baby. Still has the original pickups and hardware, but is missing the Bigsby tail piece, as it was taken off of the guitar before I bought it. It has the sweetest super slim neck, which is great for my little fingers, but it's pretty worn and needs a fret job real bad, so I don't take it to shows anymore, for fear of something bad happening to it. Black Gibson SG Standard. Wider neck than what I like but it's great for putting rhythm tracks down because it has a real fat meaty tone. Skyburst Blue Gibson SG Goddess. This one was given to me by Gibson, and is the one I was featured on as the Goddess Poster Girl. It has the same super slim neck that I love about my 1965, and it screams! I wrote a song about it, which is on my new EP called "Love at First Feel".
GUITAR EFFECTS The only effect I use is my Dunlop Classic Crybaby Wah Pedal. Other than that I don't use any other effects. I prefer a straight up Gibson and Marshall tone. Well, and I have a BOSS Tuner.
AMPS Marshall all the way baby! Marshall JCM 2000 Dual Super Lead full stack. It has a classic gain channel and an ultra gain channel, but I only use the ultra gain, with the settings right in the middle all the way across, except I keep the reverb down to about a 2 and turn the gain up to 8. I like a real fat, biting, crunchy rock tone. I never change it, as I have no reason to, since I don't do any ballads or anything that requires a cleaner tone, at least not at this time. Maybe later? Who knows, but right now, all I wanna do is ROCK!
STRINGS I use Ernie Ball Super Slinkys custom gauge, (9's) nickel wound. I like this gauge because they're super flexible for playing lead, but not too flimsy either.
GUITAR STRAPS I just started using Bitch Straps, after I was introduced to them at NAMM 2014. I have to admit I was attracted to them because of the name at first. I went to the booth to see them and after trying one of them, I had to have one. They are the best I've ever used. They are comfortable, stylish, and have a special feature that allows you to easily adjust while wearing it, no other straps that I know of do that.
PICKS I love the Jim Dunlop nylon 73 mm, with the textured grip. They're easy to hang on to so I'm less likely to drop them.
CABLES Tsunami Cables 30 foot, 2 of them, one from amp to effects and the other to my wireless. They're designed to eliminate the need for having two sets of audio cables (an industry standard). Using a cable for studio recording and another for the road. Designed to handle both the road and the studio.
WIRELESS GUITAR SYTEM Shure SLX4. Can't live without it! I am very active on stage and can't be tied to leash. In fact, I can't be tied to anything except, maybe a bed post. :P
MICROPHONE The good ol’ standard, Shure Beta 58, for now, until I save up enough to get what I really want, the Shure PGXD14/PG30 Digital Wireless System with PG30 headset mic! I move around so much on stage that it would really help to be able to be free from the microphone stand as well. Final thoughts… So yeah, I stick to that old saying of “less is more” pretty much with everything, song writing and playing included. I'm not a speedy player, and I don't play a lot of notes. I'd rather hang on to one note, bend it over and over again with all my heart, than to try to fit as many notes as I possibly can into a guitar solo. Besides that, listeners remember simple catchy stuff that sticks in their heads easy, something they can walk away humming. Now that I am singing it has added more gear to my list, so that is something I am adjusting to. Not used to being stuck at a microphone, but it 's fun too, in a different way. :D Leona X
Order in the Chaos Helpful Guitar Tip #13 - The Importance of Being an Expressive Lead Player. Learning the right notes to play over a given chord structure is not enough! I can recall sitting there, on my bed with my old Strat. I was learning a simple Major Scale at the time... you know the one...C Major... yeah, the one with no sharps or flats. Well, I was running the scale, doing the 3-note arpeggios in all 7 modes, fretting the chords in all modes, and then started getting down to it. After a few moments I started holding the notes a little longer. Then bending (to pitch and in key) some of the notes. Even pinching the notes and hearing how they related to the chords in the key of C Major. When it hit me... "I know these scales, why the "F" am I not learning to be more expressive with the notes?" Granted, this realization came to me when I was about 15, but none the less, it is an epiiphany something they can wrap their heads around, then MANY guitarists never become enlightened to. play some intense bits." Of course, when I say "expressive", I am not That friend is Kirk McKim guitarist for The referring to waving your fingers over the fretboard Pat Travers Band. One of the most expressive playlike a Yngwie Wizard... or jumping up and down ers I've had the great fortune to share the stage like Pete Townsend. I'm talking more along the with. You see, that old man "got it"... and so does lines of David Gilmour. "What? You're DAFT, Kirk. man. Gilmour usually just stands there!"... yes, Quite often, when I go out to a club and lisyou're absolutely right. However, I'm not talking about stage antics, I'm talking about making your ten to another band play, I listen for quite a few things: the front man (can he own the stage, the notes SING, aren't I? audience, and SELL the band successfully?), the You betcha! drummer (is he in time, in the pocket, and groovThere are a number of pro players out there ing with his bassist?), the bassist (is he jiving with who understand this... which is why they are now the drummer? is he laying a solid enough founda"pros", but the vast majority of players do not tion to support the guitarist?)...and then, you grasp this fundamental truth that if you play with- guessed it...I check out the guitarist. Nine times out emotion, you might as well not play at all. In- out of ten, if I can play better than him, it doesn't terestingly enough, AS I WAS TYPING THIS really matter. But if he can sync with his band and BLOG, a friend of mine shared this nice morsel of play with EXPRESSION, then I'll listen to what a related incident with what I'm saying here... he's got to say. I don't care how simple it is, or how "Had an old dude yell at me on stage before complex...it doesn't matter. What matters is that he a lead break â€—make it count sonâ€˜! LoL ... I think takes the 30 or so seconds to tell me who he is. To making it sing is important, draw folks in with tell EVERYONE IN THE JOINT who he is. And,
in failing that, he's failed himself.
Guess what? I bet you felt something, didn't you? Right in your loins! That's called a Vibrato on You have an instrument with six (or more) strings, and 21 to 24 frets... that makes up an aver- a Pinched Harmonic, with a Release Bend. Sounds age of about 150+ notes. Well, golly, that sure is a technical, but it isn't. But it IS stylistic, isn't it? bunch of notes...bet you didn't know that if your Incorporate tricks like this one into your guitar is set up proper and you have a halfway de- playing, you'll be surprised how many people will cent amp, you can get more than DOUBLE those notice you at your shows as they become more notes out of your guitar...possibly even triple. comfortable to you...let them make you a more exHow!? pressive player. Harmonics, Pinch Harmonics, Bends, etc. Got any tricks you'd like to share? I'd like to Learn them... they really can be your best friends. hear them. They can make a blah phrase sound KILLER! Don't just run scales, they bore people's ears. Brien DeChristopher Especially if you hit a wrong note out of key with Blogger/Musician the chord... ouch! Harmonics: Lightly touching a string at a http://www.blogster.com/briendechristopher/ certain point on the neck while simultaneously plucking the note with your pick hand. Pinch Harmonics: Fret a note while simultaneously plucking the note with your pick hand. But, roll your thumb toward the edge of the pick so the meat of your thumb strikes the string along with the pick. This creates a "squeel" of the note, often a few octaves higher in pitch. Bends: Fretting a note and while holding it out, bend it sharp (practice bending to pitch), or, alternately, if you have a "whammy bar", bend the note down flat with the bar. But stay in pitch if you can. Reverse Bend: Just before you pick a note, fret it, and bend it sharp... strike the note with your picking hand, and slowly release the bend to come down in pitch. Vibrato: Continually bending a fretted note (+) and (-) for any extended amount of time. Let me give you a quick trick I like to use utilizing ALL FIVE tricks above AT THE SAME TIME!!!... Try using the edge of your thumb on your picking hand to "pinch" the note you are playing, and bend that note up one whole step, while you are holding that note lightly TAP your index finger of your picking hand at a fret on that same string you are playing 7 frets higher on the neck. Now, lightly bend it (+) and (-) slowly for a few beats... and if you have a whammy bar, SINK IT!
House of Blues Anaheim, CA House of Blues hosted Queensryche to a sold out crowd. Special guest John Corabi opened the night performing acoustic versions of his greatest hits from his time with Motley Crue, The Scream, and Union. Todd La Torre, new lead singer of Queensryche, came out solid singing to â€œQueen of the Rycheâ€?. Not holding back at all. Hitting all the high notes Geoff Tate can no longer get up to. He brings an entire new aura to Queensryche. Something that has been missing from Queensryche for a while. The 3 original members Michael, Eddie, and Scott played as if they were the same young men of early Queensryche; Parker brings a fresh new sound and Todd hits it hard with his amazing voice. Todd has the variation in his vocals that creates a perfect harmony to the old songs and an incredible new sound to the latest
Queensryche songs. As the new front man for Queensryche he certainly holds his own, making it his own. Not following in the old shoes of yesterday but creating his own way making Queensryche a master in the world of rock. Michael Wilton still has his amazing way working his guitar, creating the sounds that echo through our ears and tantalize our senses. His solos were mesmerizing. The audience cheered him on, wanting more. Even though they played a full set it seemed to go by rather quick. Maybe because it was such an anticipated show with many wanting to see what Todd was going to bring to Queensryche. We will be looking forward to more from Queensryche as they certainly have many more years of great music to come. Kathleen Clarkson
The music scene in Sin City has been a little quiet in the short month of February but the local boys and girls aren‘t showing any signs of cabin fever just yet. Jay Cee and the new lineup from ‗Bluff Control‘, took the revamped show out to the infamous Back Stop in Boulder City for back-to-back nights of rockin‘ classics and didn‘t disappoint. Be sure to go check out this new lineup in March at the Tuscany and Club Fortune Casino. ‗Smashing Alice‘ (pictured, upper right) took to the newest club on the east side of Vegas, BB‘s Clubhouse. Formerly a country club, BB‘s has the potential to be a player on the east side, if it‘s done right. The S.A. boys gave their sound system a run for it‘s money in front of a solid crowd. Time will tell if this club does things right. Vegas favorites ‗Blackbox 13‘ took the Vamp‘d stage on a rare Thursday night, opening for the legendary George Lynch and the ‗Lynch Mob‘. It seems ‗Yellow Brick Road‘ has found their way back to Boulder Station, where they use to rock to a full house each and every weekend. They are back there Fridays at 10pm, as well as Thursdays on Fremont Street and Saturdays at Texas Station. Local favorite Bud Mickle, who has seems to play in every single bar in Las Vegas, keeps the songs coming and entertained the crowd at Cheer‘s Bar for a few sets of Classics. Bud also has the crowd singing along regularly at the oldest bar in Nevada, down in Goodsprings, the Pioneer Saloon as well as Tommy Rocker‘s Southside Grill. The boys from Systemec will have the spotlights on them at Vamp‘d on the 28th, opening up for one of the most successful bands from Las Vegas, Adelita‘s Way. This will no doubt be a SoldOut show. Some big shows happening in the coming months, stay tuned… KL
Ernie and the „SICOCIS‟ boys took to the LVCS stage with a house full of bands and rocked it down. SICOSIS also released their latest single, Symphonic Metal; info can be found on their Facebook page.
The ‗Hit-N-Run All Stars‘ dusted things off and put on a hell of a weekend run at Hennessey‘s down on Fremont Street. Renee and the boys brought the place alive showed the tourists on Fremont Street how we do things here in Vegas.
Vegas Legend Stoney Curtis celebrated his Birthday with a rockin‘ performance by ‗Lust of KISS‘ at Vamp‘d with special guests ‗CYANIDE‘ (inset). Every musician in Vegas that wasn‘t playing was in the house for this show.
On the whole, motorcycle owners put more love and care into their machines than do owners of cars or trucks. That "love and care" directly translates into hundreds of dollars spent on customizations and maintenance. Sadly, between 30,000 to 50,000 bikes are stolen each year in the United States alone (based on theft rates from 2000 through 2005). And to think, many of these thefts could have been prevented with a little common sense and security. Common Sense This should go without saying, but don't leave the keys in the ignition or the motor running when you're not on the bike! Never leave your bike in a dimly lit, hard to see location. Put the bike in your locked garage when you are at home.
have to mount the bike to a sturdy pole or clamp mounted in concrete. If the bike isn't mounted to a stationary object, a thief could just pack up your bike in a truck and drive away. Electronic Alarms Most modern bikes (larger than a scooter) have some form of factory immobilization that prevents casual theft, but such immobilizers alone won't stop a determined thief. It's therefore best to consider an electronic security system, often called an "alarm." A good alarm system does more than just make noise, it has circuitry that prevents false triggers, adds secondary points of immobilization, and sounds a loud siren only when a threat against your bike is real. Some have digital tilt sensors, shock sensors and other sensors that trip the system into action. One excellent electronic alarm from Japan is the CYCLONE 866F: www.kiramek.com. The Japanese manufacturer of Cyclone also offers a 1-way paging system that instantly alerts you when a threat occurs. The system is also claimed to be very low-power, eliminating worry of your battery being drained.
Two-way Paging Alarms Over the last 3 years, some electronic alarms have begun to include 2-way pagers. These systems allow you to both control the alarm and receive notification of threats. Unfortunately, battery life for many of these two-way pagers is limited to about 1 month, and the pagers themselves can be easily broken by a simple fall from your pants pocket. Two-way systems also may drain a bike's battery Locks and Chains quickly unless you ride it daily. Even so, for some One item every bike owner should purchase people the convenience aspect may outweigh the is a thick U-lock or chain that can be easily spotted negatives for some bike owners. by anyone, day or night. This is a must- have, unless its so big that it's impossible to tote around Tracking Systems with you. Simply wrapping your chain through a As of 2005, some companies have come out wheel and your bike frame is not enough -- you with GPS tracking systems for bikes that allow a
stolen bike to be traced. While tracking systems do have merits over other types of security, there are three important downsides that must be considered: (1) battery drain on the bike, (2) service area (tracking) coverage, and (3) monthly cost.
bad taste in the mouth of the average bike owner. Think about how much you already pay per month (phone bill, mobile phone, internet, etc.) and you can see why tacking on another subscription is cost prohibitive. LoJack is one tracking system manufacturer who does not charge any monthly fees, but their least expensive bike system runs $595 and traceability is limited to the coverage area of wireless towers installed by LoJack and some police stations. Once your LoJack "protected" vehicle exits the coverage area, its off the map and not traceable. Of course, LoJack will refund the price of the product, but that refund doesn't replace your bike. Nor does that refund cover any special installation fees you might have paid or any insurance deductible you might have.
Conclusion Use a layered approach to security. Common sense dictates that you put your bike in a location that is not an obvious target for thieves. You'll then need a chain or U-lock to prevent casual theft. And lastly, even if your bike has a factory immobiMost tracking systems require you to pay lizer, the addition of an electronic alarm or tracknot only for the product itself but also each and ing system will act as a significant deterrent to every month to keep the "service contract" alive. theft. By James Wages (reprinted from WhyBike.com) The long term cost of tracking systems may leave a