04 R i c k S p r i n g f i e l d 06 A P e r f e c t D a y 07 O r d e n O g a n 08 L i o n v i l l e + S . L a r s s o n 09 Royal Hunt + AOR 10 L o v e r U n d e r C o v e r 11 S o l e i l M o o n 12 R e v i e w s 14 I s s a 17 G e n e T h e We r e w o l f 19 Tr a i l o f M u r d e r 20 J i m i J a m i s o n 22 Y & T Melodic Rock Fanzine
The official Frontiers Records magazine Year #8 - Nr. 6 / Issue #53 Editor-in-chief: Elio Bordi Graphic & Design: Elio Bordi Writers: Bruce E.J. Atkinson, Duncan Jamieson, Barry McMinn, Vitale Nocerino, Rob “Ezy” Bone, Gema Fernandez, Primo Bonali. Headquarters and general contacts: Frontiers Records - Via Gonzaga 18 80125, Napoli - Italy Tel: +39.081.2399340/7753 Fax: +39.081.2399794 E-mail: email@example.com Website: www.frontiers.it Facebook: facebook.com/frontiersrecordsofficial Twitter: twitter.com/frontiersrec Editor and publisher: Frontiers Records s.r.l. Copyright©2012 Frontiers Records. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. Printed in Italy.
artist. rick springfield album. songs for the end... Interview with. r.springfield interviewed by:. d.jamieson Focus on:
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RICK SPRINGFIELD - Songs For the End of the World (Frontiers Records)
If this is the end of the world then bring it on. Springfield returns with a feisty set of songs that have all his trademark hooks and angsty, thoughtful lyrics. The dark lyrics are nicely juxtaposed with music that’s gloriously upbeat. Driven by Matt Bissonette’s bass and Rodger Carter’s great drumming, such as on the bouncy opener “Wide Awake”, this song is a strong mission statement and when Springfield sings, “Feel free to be a kid again” you believe he could be Peter Pan as the energy courses through the track like a hyper-active teen. There’s his customary big production sound with a myriad of harmonies and hooks throughout and some delicious pop rock guitar riffs like the ones that herald in “Our Ship’s Sinking” and the terrific “Love Screws Me Up”. The self-loathing “I Hate Myself” is an infectious sing-a-long. For a genre that often suffers from cliché, Springfield’s lyrics are refreshingly honest and clever; at turns poetic, funny or just downright pop. It’s immediate yet rewards even more with repeated listens and the songs are consistently strong enough to make this close to a career best. Duncan Jamieson (96/100)
Question: The new record sounds terrific. Can you tell us about the recording process? Answer: We recorded the basic tracks at Henson's Studio in Hollywood to a Studer 24 track, transferred it to Pro Tools then took it to my studio The Black Lagoon and did all the overdubs and vocals in about 20 days then sent it to Chris Lord-Alge to mix (which he did in about a week) and we were done. It went pretty quickly because of all the demos we did plus the couple of days rehearsal. Q: The style of the cover artwork is as a kind of cybernetic soviet-like stuff. Why this choose? A: In the states we did four different covers, but the Red "Cold War" cover was my favorite and the original choice for the cover. I'm a big steam punk fan, I have these steam punk ray guns all over my studio, and I love them. I wanted it to be tongue in cheek since the album title is a bit heavy. Q: How important was having your road band play on the record? A: Well they're a great band and I couldn't think who would do a better job. Their input was invaluable too. Its my music but I listen to all ideas because these guys are all so good their ideas are usually great as well. They are all super accomplished musicians and because we've been playing together for so long, no session players could be tighter... Or funnier. We laughed so much during these sessions it was good for the music too. Q: Wide Awake is one of the most powerful and hardest song you played in your life. Heavy metal nostalgia? A: Thanks. Not consciously going heavy metal but it's meant to rock hard as a wake up call! All the songs are about relationships. Wide Awake is about being free of all the stuff that weighs me down. Basically, with all the crap going on in my life, it's a call for me to Wake Up and enjoy life. Q: You’ve got some big names in rock helping you out on this one such as John Waite, Richard Page and Tim Pierce. Can you tell me how you got them involved? A: They are friends and its always easier to have friends to work with than session players.
You don't have to be polite or beat around the bush and because these guys are so amazingly talented they bring so much to a session. Richard sang on all my early stuff before Mister Mr took off and John has been a touring friend for a while and was the musical guest on my first RS and friends cruise and Tim is a friggin’ genius who never comes up dry when you ask for ideas. His guitar sounds are among the best in the world. Q: It’s a rocking affair. Was this a deliberate decision before you made the record? A: Yes I wanted a more up tempo record than VIO. They're more fun to play live and I had an ear to doing them live as they were written so they definitely have that going for them. Q: This record is an instant classic and will sit comfortably amongst your back catalogue. How do you view the new record and what would you pick out as musical highs in your catalogue? A: I think its as good as anything I've ever recorded. As far as past stuff, I'm just too close to it all. I have songs that I am proud of and songs that I thought should have done better. They're kind of like your children, you live with them for so long... Except they don't take the car without asking. Q: Are we close the the end of the world that you are singing for? Or is the world already ended? A: I think we're getting close to crossing a line and won't be able to go back. The world is a living thing, and we're killing it. But there's also a tongue in cheek aspect to it. The tracks are all about relationships that are in the world we're living in now. The world needed a soundtrack for us to go out to! Q: Your lyrics are as interesting as the music. You’re very self critical and honest on songs like “Our Ship’s Sinking”, “Love Screws Me Up” and “Depravity”. Are you a better husband these days? A: I am I hope but I'm still struggling with being a better person. That's the big one. The trouble is there's nothing to write about when everything is going smoothly in my personal life. That's the bummer. Q: What’s your secret for staying 20 years younger
looking? A: Red wine. Actually I have to write a book on it one day soon. Its a lot of stuff. What you put in your body, what you put in your mind, how you deal with shit when it happens and what you do with what u are born with. I have also exercised continually and just gave up diary which has been an amazing addition with unexpected results. I tried to be vegan for a few months but I think I have the wrong body type and I lost 20 pounds... Too much weight for me to lose. So I had to adjust my intake a little. Its all about a life choice all that stuff. I could talk for hours on it. Actually in Cancun this November (it takes the place of the cruise) I will be doing a little lecture on all that stuff... And then going out for a drink. Hahahaha. Q: In the 80s when you took some time out from recording. Did you ever think you might not return to music? A: I considered that I might never go back but once I started writing again (Rock of Life) I knew I would continue. It was a very necessary break and I needed to do it for my head and to reset my focus and goals. Q: Your acting career is more precious to you now than it was in the 80s. Have you got any acting work coming up? A: Yes we have some stuff in the hopper and some things that have been offered but I want to do the right things and there is so much great writing now on TV that its very exciting all the possibilities. Q: You had an incredible artistic career. Is there anything you would like to change about you musical productions of the past? A: No. I've learned a lot from everything I've done. I'm a writer first, and you can't write without the good and the bad. I'm a firm believer in Ying/Yang and for every bad thing, good will come out of it. Q: What will it take to get you to come over to Europe? A: Dude. I so WANT to tour there again. Its actually a gamble for a promoter to book us there because I've been away so long and its kind of an unknown how it would go. The few things we've done recently have been pretty cool and I know it will happen eventually.
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BAnd. a perfect day album. a perfect day Interview with. roberto tiranti interviewed by:. b. mc minn Question: How did A Perfect Day come about? Answer: In the very beginning Andrea wanted to write down a solo album. After some time he asked me to join in this new adventure ‘cause the material he wrote was closer to a real band than a tipical solo project. It was easy for me to take care about the melodies and lyrics, we know each other since 1997 and we both think about music in the same way. Q: The band are all Labyrinth members, so why develop another band? A: A.P.D. is just another way to express our vision of the rock music with a straight and direct sound, maybe easier than Labyrinth but not in a catchy or mainstream mood. Q: Can you tell us why the name A Perfect Day? A: Wheels of life are turning and we are almost forty (sad but true:)), A Perfect Day means another way to face our life, with a touch of irony even if sometimes it’s not easy to smile. I guess we are old enough to Focus on:
accept all the good and bad times we have day by day. Q: The album itself is great mix of Hard Rock and edgy guitars with a kick-ass rhythm section, was this sound you were setting out for from the beginning? A: Thanx a lot!!! What you hear is what we are! Nothing was planned, we followed our mood. We always wanted to write our music without clichés, using our heart at first... I know most of the times this is not the right method but is the only we know. Q: Where do you guys think this band sits in today’s Rock market? A: Good question! In hard times like these I really don’t know, only time will tell! But I’m sure that a good promotion on the web and on the road will give to A.P.D. the deserved attention. Q: Was there some time-pressure throughout the production regarding any deadlines? Or did you have all the time you needed to fully work out everything to produce the album you wanted?
A: Between January and March we ran so fast and we put a lot of efforts for the recording sessions and the final mix. Time is always not enough we all would like to have days made of 32 hours :) In the end I can say we are really happy about the sound, it was a good experience, we learnt a lot a now we know what is ok or what we have to improve for the next work! Q: The album really mixes things up from the heavier side right down to the more melodic, but is there one track that defines A Perfect Day for you? A: Any song inside this album has its own life but if I have to chose: Now and Forever, Slent Cry and Warm Embrace. Q: Do you see this a studio project or will you be taking the band out of the studio and onto the road? A: Of course we wanna play our music on a stage, no matter how big… We need to share it with everybody wants to listen it... Now and forever :) Thanx a lot to you and all your readers, hope to see ya on the road!
A P E R F E C T D A Y - A Perfect Day ( F r o n t i e r s R e c o r d s )
A Perfect Day is the brainchild of Italian Metallers Labyrinth co-founder Andrea Cantarelli (Anders Rain), who along with fellow Labyrinth members Roberto Tiranti (vocals and bass) and Alessandro Bissa (drums), set out forming a Modern Hard Rock band built on strong melodies and hard edged riffs and the resulting album is true to this belief. From the opener and title track “A Perfect Day”, the heavy tones hit hard and make the bands point. This is continued throughout the album with massive rockers like ‘Now and Forever’ and “Alone And Free”, although the guys also show us their melodic side with the stunning ‘Long Road To Ruin’ and the equally impressive ‘Warm Embrace’. This is definitely one of the surprise packages of the year so far. It’s American rock done with Italian passion and flair. I believe there is no such thing as perfection, but this is damn close. Barry McMinn (95/100) 6 | MRF
band. orden ogan album. To The End Interview with. Seeb interviewed by. f. mainardi
Question: I just listened to your third work “To The End” and it rocks really hard. Answer: Thanks a lot! The working process took much longer than expected, but now in the end we are 100% happy with the result. And the feedback we receive so far is amazing. Q: I couldn't but notice you included in the track list Angels War” and “Mystic Symphony”, why this decision? A: That’s true. Both tracks are very old, from the early days of ORDEN OGAN. At that time making music was only for joy, we didn’t have professional structures, aims or a record company. Both “Mystic Symphony” and “Angels War” date back from these “demo days” of the band, but we play them live ever since. And the fans kept asking us for the tracks of course. So when we started working on “To The End”, we decided to make them available on an official ORDEN OGAN album for the very first time. Q: Can you tell us more about the writing and recordings of “To The End”? A: Writing was not the problem this time at all. In fact, right after the release of “Easton Hope” in January 2010 I had 6 or 7 basic ideas for new songs. But then we got offers for some great tours like Grave Digger, Tiamat and Van Canto later, then the festivals… this pushed our schedule back a bit. In early 2012 we set the release of “To The End” for April, but
to be honest – the album was just not ready. It needed some more months to be completed and refined. I wrote 90% of the song all alone and did all the mixing. Q: You teamed up again with Andreas Marschall to do the covert art and also the comic book for the limited edition box set. What about this strong collaboration? A: The collaboration with Andreas started with the “Vale” album, our debut from 2008. We thought about a cover artwork that should suit the music well. Then our guitarist Tobi said: “hey, why don’t we ask Andreas Marschall”? Well, he said this just for fun, but I couldn’t get this thought out of my head. So I tried everything to get in touch with Andreas. It took some time because he isn’t really present on the scene anymore, but finally I got in contact with him. At first he said that he usually doesn’t do cover art anymore, but then he asked me to send him a CD. A few days after he called me, said that he likes our album a lot and would like to paint a cover artwork for us. It was a happy day for me and ORDEN OGAN! After this, we never lost contact. In fact, we became friends with Andreas and he asked me to compose the filmscore for his horror thriller “Masks”. This movie is very influenced by the 70’s Italo horror movies (Giallo’s “Suspiria” for example). The movie won many prices on film fests and it was a great experience for me
personally to compose the soundtrack. We will also film a third video clip for the “To The End” album soon, where we will team up with Andreas again. Q: Any news and behind the scene facts for the video for the track “The Things We Believe In”? A: Oh, this was really nice! We teamed up with director Rainer Fränzen, who did clips for a.o. Dimmu Borgir before. Rainer is a very enthusiastic guy with great knowledge and interest in role plays. He and his team gave 100% and I’m sure that “The Things We Believe In” became our best video clip so far. It’s great to see that the video is even shown at Burger King TV in Germany. Q: You are very successful live band, what your thoughts about the rock scene here in Europe so far? A: I think compared to other parts of the world, we have a very lively scene here in Europe. But on the other hand there are so many bands and they all want to tour. So it can become something like an “overkill”. I very much like the variety of the Rock/Metal scene. Q: Talking about touring, any plan for gigs in the coming months? We have a tour with Luca Turilli’s RHAPSODY in November/December and first festivals are booked for 2013 as well. We are also thinking about doing a headliner tour in the first half of the next year.
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Bruce Atkinson: what is different from these recordings and your initial effort? Stefano Lionetti: I think the new album is more mature and also more homogenous than the first one. I paid more attention to the details of the arrangements and I worked more on the instrumental parts. Also I played more guitar and keyboard parts this time. The musical direction of the new record is focusing more on the AOR side of Lionville. BA: Has your vision changed regarding the group? SL: At first I thought of Lionville as a project because of the guests and the geographical distance of all the musicians involved. Now I like to see Lionville more as a band even if the main singer, Lars Säfsund, lives in Sweden… BA: “Lionville” is a vehicle for great songwriting and songcrafting, is the current line-up that of the first? SL: Yes, as for the Italian musicians we have basically the same line-up that played on the first album. This time Bruce Gaitsch got even more involved in the recording sessions as he plays on seven songs of the album, so we consider him an integral part of the studio band, also because his playing adds a very special touch to the Lionville songs. Then we also have Robert Säll and Herman Furin, both of Work Of Art, as well as Peter Friestedt (Williams Friestedt), Sven Larsson (Street Talk) and Joe La Viola, who is a legend on saxophone in Italy. And we are very honored that Bill Champlin (formerly of Chicago) is singing lead and backing vocals on one song and his wife Tamara is singing additional backing vocals on the song. BA: Being that this is your second effort, are you planning to take this to the world’s stages? SL: This is a good question…After the exciting experience of Firefest I seriously intend to play more concerts with Lionville. This will be my next dream to be realized, we will see if the reactions to our second album will be positive and if this gives us the possibility to do more shows some time in 2013. LIONVILLE - II (Avenue of Allies) This is Stefano Lionetti’s second attempt with his beloved musical project “Lionville”. From the very first track “All We Need”, one can hear the love that is poured in to this set of gorgeous Melodic Rock! Stefano has again teamed with keyboardist extraordinaire, Alessandro Del Vecchio and the result? Music that soars... Up tempo and uplifting. Stefano has also invited other gifted musicians to “Lionville II”: Alessandro Mori on drums, Lead Vocalist Lars Safsund and more musical friends populate this Work. Most of the music has been affectionately composed by Stefano, while collaborating with Lyricists such as: Migael Persson, Robert Sall, Alessandro Del Vecchico and Pierpaolo Monti. A modern day ‘Toto’, “Lionville” is the epitome of orchestrated Melodic Rock. Each creation will lighten the spirit and heart, sending us on a diverse, beautiful and fluid musical journey. Tenderly put this disc on to your stereo, lie back and let these loving currents awash over you! Yes, it is that good! Bruce Atkinson (90/100)
Gema Fernandez: Why did you choose the same musichans that you “used” in Street Talk? Normally solo album is for exploring different contexts that you use to do. Sven Larsson: I have played with the drummer Christian Johansson and the bass player Björn Lodmark for many years and in many different situations. We haven´t done anything with that band for nearly seven years. It was very natural to have these two guys playing with me on this album. GF: How do you define Bad Mad Man music, there are many influences... SL: For me the music on this album is Melodic Rock with influences from different kinds of music. I have had many influences over the years and the songs reflect this. For example I have listened to and played a lot of Fusion and Progressive Rock so I guess it´s a lot of influences from those styles. GF: While you are listening the songs the record is catching consistency. Maybe the first couple of songs are little bit out from the rest… SL: The first songs are a little bit more regular Rock tunes. Later on it becomes more progressive and fusion-inspired. There’s also a lot more instrumental parts. One thing that I have seen as a red line through the album is the way I have used rhythm guitars. There´s a lot of fifth chords coloured with open strings and whammy bar. I used this style of playing in almost every song. GF: For me it was wise to use Hammond on some songs, the sound you get is inimitable and appreciated, I think that these kind of details are really important for you… SL: I have always loved the sound of a Hammond. And I am very used to have that sound around me. I have often played with organ players. The sounds are very important to me. I like to use different keyboard sounds and work with different guitars and amps. SVEN LARSSON - Bad Mad Man (Avenue Of Allies) These eleven songs are a journey into the past. There would be many adjectives to define the different styles we have in this album, but we can just say that is a classy rock album with progressive influences. This record is very elaborated and every single note on it is always in the right place and absolutely amazing. Sven has been “dressed” of some of good friends and members of Street Talk band such Goran Edman, Christian Johansson, Fredik Bergh among others. So take a cup of coffee, seat down and relax listening this masterpiece and all its elements like Hammond, sax, flute: this is the perfect combination to listen to during a rainy day. The perfect album for all the melodic rock lovers and for all the progressive rock supporters! Enjoy! Gema Fernandez (89/100)
Barry McMinn: 20 years is a great milestone, did you ever think the band would be still going after all these years? Andre Andersen: I could have never imagined it 20 years ago, but now I kind of getting used to this thought :-) BM: It was back in 2011 with ‘Show Me How To Live’ that we saw DC Cooper return to Royal Hunt, who approached who with regards to returning to the band? AA: It all started very prosaically without any “masterplan” in mind: DC and I started talking on Skype and such and after a few chats decided to “test the waters” – so to speak – and do a little tour, just to make sure if we could still recreate the vibe we used to have…and it worked out beautifully. So – obviously – the next step was to try and record an album and I´m happy to inform you that the whole process went down smooth and easy… and now we just finished our second tour. So who knows – we just might keep going with this line-up :-) BM: We are about to see the release of the 20th Anniversary-Special Edition "best of" CD/DVD, but who decided what tracks from the 11 albums to include? AA: Basically everybody did – we all have our favorites and our fans have them as well – it took time but I feel that we managed to complete the most “representable” side of RH on this one. BM: For anyone who hasn’t experienced the majesty of Royal Hunt, would you say this “best of” album is a good introduction to the band? AA: Absolutely. BM: The band recently performed live in the UK at this years Firefest festival, how did that go and what was the crowd’s reaction like? AA: I knew that RH was the heaviest band on the bill and maybe a little bit “too much” for the FireFest but, to my surprise, audience seemed to enjoy our set greatly and – according to the reaction of the fans and journalists alike – were much more familiar with our work than I previously thought. BM: Are you working on a new studio album, if so when can we expect its release? AA: We´re still in the process of planning our future activities, so no solid ideas on the release as of yet. BM: It’s been a while since we’ve seen an Andre Anderson solo album, have you thought about doing another solo project? AA: I might do it someday but definitively not this year. BM: With 20+ years under your belt where does Royal Hunt go from here? AA: As usual – trying to get better at what we do.
Barry McMinn: When you’re putting a new album together, do you write the songs for a particular artist or do the artists get to pick which songs they’d like to sing on? Frederic Slama: Usually I write the songs with an artist in mind, hoping that particular name would do me the honor to sing it! It's a long process of writing something that would perfectly fit a singer in particular! But usually all these famous musicians seem really happy with what I come up with, that's why they keep coming back! BM: How long did the album take to put together and how long after “The Colors of L.A” did you start working on “L.A Temptation”? FS: I started to work on "L.A Temptation" almost at the same time as "The Colors Of L.A" but with a different vision in mind for that new album. It can take years to finish an album like that with so many prestigious guests, so I have to record one song at a time with a clear vision of each project. And thanks to the invaluable help of friends like Tommy Denander, Paul Sabu, Alessandro Del Vecchio & many others I have completed the new album faster than I expected. I must add that all the people I contacted about this project was very enthusiastic and all these talented musicians went all the way to give me the best for this 11th AOR album !! BM: This album has a bit more edge to it than the previous albums, was this you intention from the off, to make this one a touch heavier, or did it just evolve that way? FS: It was my intention to evolve to a harder sound. I've always loves Westcoast music & Melodic Rock and most of my albums is a mix of these 2 styles. But for "L.A Temptation" I wanted to have a style closer to Journey, Survivor or Foreigner who've always been among my favorite bands. And with the great names involved like James Christian, Chris Ousey, Goran Edman, Philip Bardowell, Paul Sabu or Tommy Denander, it was easier to have a rockier sound than on all my previous cds. I'm sure the fans will like this style even better with very melodic songs and fabulous playing! BM: Where do you take your inspirations from when writing, is it a case of art reflecting life? FS: Every day when I see people and life around me, I find ideas and themes for new songs. Anyway i prefer to talk about positive things. There's already too many dark & negative stuff in this world. So I hope my music brings some joy and happiness to the fans and people who listen to it. The lyrics are very important for me and reflect the writer's way of life in a sense. Anyway for all those interested by the new AOR album "L.A Temptation", don't hesitate to visit my website and to say hello ! www.slama101.fr MRF |9
band. lover under cover album. Set the night on fire Interview with. Mikael C interviewed by:. p.bonali
Question: Your debut-album sounds very fresh and melodic; especially the vocal melodies are really infectious. How do you feel about it and about the album in general? Which are your most important influences, musically talking? Answer: Thanks a lot for your kind words. It´s very flattering to be mentioned along with such great bands. We are very pleased with the album. The sound is awesome thanks to Martin Kronlund who did a magnificent work with the production. The rhythm section is so tight and heavy. And on top of that we got some stunning guitarwork and Mikael Erlandsson that sings better than ever. We think it is a really good album and we hope that you guys agree with us. I have listened to a lot of great bands through the years. But if I have to mention the most important bands for me we have to go back in time. When i first started to listen to rock music back in the 70,s i listen to bands like Sweet, Slade and Nazareth. And of course Thin Lizzy and Whitesnake. They´re all fantastic rock bands that always put the melodies in focus of their Focus on:
songs. And of course Mike Slamers amazing band City Boy. There we are talking serious melodies. We want to do all that but with a heavier approach. Q: How does it happen that most of the BEST melodic Rock bands around are coming from Sweden, nowadays? Did they teach how to write great songs when you’re still ? A: I think it all started with the generation when we were kids. Most kids stated to play some kind of instrument in the first grade in school, and back in the early 70's all schools in Sweden had a very strong will to let as many kids as possible learn to play a instrument with a good will from the government. I started out with piano around 1972 and then changed to bass around 77-78 or so. That generation is now parents with good skills in music and of course they are great influences to their kids. So there is a lot of great amateur musicians in Sweden Who can make the step easier for their kids to became professional musicians. There is a lot of great young bands in Sweden in all genres today. Q: Your band’s name is very
appealing and nice. How have you chosen it? I also think that the album cover as well fits perfectly with the band’s monicker! A: The name actually comes from a song that me and Daniel Boscovic wrote for the first version of LUC back in the 90,s. The refrain in that song goes: When will he discover, that I’m your secret lover, your lover under cover… And we both thought that… Hell… That might be the name for the band… And so be it !!! The song exist just as a demo recording so far. But who knows? Maybe it will pop up to the surface someday. Q: How did you get in touch with Escape Music? A: Thanks to Martin Kronlund! He have worked as a professional producer for many years And knows who to talk to. And he said that Escape Music is the right label for this kind of music. Martin has worked With artists like: Steve Overland, Phenomena, Joe Lynn Turner, Paul Young (Mike And The Mechanics), Sad Cafe, David Reece, Alistair Gordon, Rob Morati (SAGA), Hammerfall, Brian Robertsson (Thin Lizzy), and that list goes on forever.
LOVER UNDER COVER - Set the Night on Fire (Escape Music)
Attracted by the cover-artwork and intrigued by the band name, I have to say that I’ve approached the album in a very positive way. And I was right! Lover Under Cover might be a new band, but it’s composed by well known musicians in the Melodic Rock scene: Mikael Erlandsson (Last Autumn’s Dream) on vocals & keyboards, Martin Kronlund (Gypsy Rose, Phenomena, Salute) on guitars, Perra Johnsson (Coldspell) on drums and Mikael Carlsson on bass & guitars, with special guest Ged Ryland (ex-Ten) on keyboards. Useless to say that the style that Lover Under Cover offer is a hi-quality Swedish Hard Rock/AOR, not far from what their own bands, especially Coldspell and Last Autumns Dream, are playing. What I like most on this album are the vocal melodies, really infectious and sweet, influenced by (or, at least, similar to) bands like Enuff’z’Nuff and Cheap Trick (not to mention The Beatles!); the thing is that Erlandsson’s vocals here really shine and bring the whole thing to the next level. You can still find a couple of weaker songs, but the overall impression on the album is very good, the production is polished & clear and the musicians’ performance is top-notch. Primo Bonali (85/100) 10 | MRF
Bruce Atkinson: I understand that you have worked with many Artists throughout your career, including Michael Thompson. Is “Soleil Moon” the vehicle that you can fully express your Artistic views? Larry King: 100%! Soleil Moon was designed to be the vehicle for me to put out the material that I held close to my heart. I do a lot of writing for others and every once in a while I write a song that I want to keep to myself. This project allows me to spread my wings and step out of the box. The collaborations that I’ve been able to put together to create this record have made the process a little left of center. It was a pleasure to not adhere to the typical pop formula. BA: “On The Way To Everything” is a very interesting title, do I detect a certain theme here? LK: I look at each song on this record as it’s own vignette. The stories that are being told take you on a life’s journey individually and it’s quite a roller coaster ride through the record. The main theme being that no matter what happens in life, you always have the ability to start over. Each path that an individual chooses to follow will provide him with new challenges, victories and disappointments. It’s what we choose to do with these adventures that create our individual character so no matter where you in life or what you have done in your past, at any point in time you can choose to be on your way to everything. BA: You have Michael himself on this record, plus others…such as Dave Hiltebrand…is this the ultimate group line-up? LK: As a producer, certain musicians shine in certain places and the musical landscape that I’ve been able to create based on the themes of each song I feel have been best displayed by this particular group of musicians. I’ve enjoyed working with them all and they’ve made me a better musician in the process. BA: I also understand that you produced this record, was this a daunting task, or were you able to keep an objective point of view? LK: This was definitely not a daunting task. Being at the helm of any project gives you the freedom to paint the picture 100 different ways. I collaborated a lot on this record because I felt that I needed to broaden my own musical horizons. BA: If you were to compare the North American scene to the European scene, what are some of the major differences? LK: This is a difficult question for me to answer because I’m new to the European scene. Although Soleil Moon was exposed in 2000 with the international release of Worlds Apart, our main focus has been North America. We are thrilled to be able to release the new Soleil Moon record through Frontiers and hope that by this time next year I’ll be able to give you a much more in depth response.
ASIA - Resonance (Frontiers Records) It’s been a very productive few years for Asia since the reformation of the classic line-up. Three well received albums have seen the band enjoying a late creative purple patch. This live album, recorded last year in Switzerland. Eighteen tracks show off all the different elements that make Asia what they are. There’s the early pomp rock of “Only Time Will Tell”, the atmospheric prog of “Holy War”, the rock of “Go” and “Sole Survivor” plus the AOR classic “Heat Of The Moment”. There’s also fresher material from more recent albums like the uptempo “Finger On The Trigger” to offer something different from other Asia live discs. Other than an over heavy bass sound in places , the production is spot on, almost studio sounding, and there are great performances from the whole band. There’s more fire here from Howe in this live setting than he has shown in the studio recently. Downes crystal clear keyboard sound,Palmer’s sterling drumming (although do we need a drum solo in 2012?) ,Wetton’s distinctive voice and easy banter with the crowd all prove that Asia are a seasoned outfit who are still a class act. An easy buy for an Asia fan. Duncan Jamieson (85/100)
SOLEIL MOON - On the Way To Everything (Frontiers Records) This is a very special project. The Michael Thompson Band’s lead vocalist; Larry King has paired with keyboardist John Blasucci to give us thirteen very thoughtful, provocative rivers of word and music. John Blasucci himself, is also the keyboardist for Dennis DeYoung of Styx fame. The both of these Artists have created passionate music in “Soleil Moon”. “On The Way To Everything” is simply an all encompassing musical expression from warning us of our mistaken paths to the compassion of human love and respect. Embracing musical expressions from the world over and firmly setting them in to a broad Rock base... this album is always fresh! Larry’s vocal abilities are second to none, at times even angelic! His version of “Blackbird” brings new life to the song... and his Rock sense is so precise that he creates a “razors’ edge” to many of the music contained herein. Enlisting a variety of musical friends, including Michael Thompson himself, ‘Soleil Moon’ is a lasting and living testament of astonishing musical talents! “Worlds Apart”, the actual debut of “Soleil Moon”, (from 1999), is also present here. Taking on the form of two bonus tracks... Just another testament of how much Talent these maestros have! Bruce Atkinson (88/100)
Y&T - Live At the Mystic (Frontiers Records) An American Rock institution, “Y&T” celebrated their first studio album in over thirteen years, two years ago! “Facemelter” met with acclaim from fan and critic alike. That strength and energy shows through on this, a Live document captured exactly one year ago, last November! From the “Facemelter” tour, “Live From The Mystic” is a vibrant documentation of this group of veteran musicians. Despite the enormous loss of Bassist Phil Kennemoe, the group pulled strength and determination from within and decided to carry on with their musical mission. “Live From The Mystic” displays just why this group has been a major force for over thirty years! They play material from all facets of their storied career, including the latest Recorded Work, “Facemelter”. Every performance sounds as fresh and new as it was when we first experienced this Rock n’ Roll juggernaut! First Class band, First Class performances, “Live From the Mystic” is a “must have” for true blooded Rockers the world over. Bruce Atkinson (90/100) ROYAL HUNT - 20th Anniversary Special Edition (Frontiers Records) Royal Hunt was forged back in 1992 by keyboard maestro Andre Anderson, this Moscow native emigrated to Denmark to find suitable musicians to bring his new vision for keyboard oriented Metal. But it wasn’t until 1994 when D.C. Cooper took up the vacant mike spot left by Henrik Brockman, that Royal Hunt began to make waves in the metal world and the rest they say is history. To celebrate this milestone Frontiers have released a CD/DVD special edition package that not only cover the bands vast back catalogue, but also the DVD portion has the videos from the band over the years. The CD portion also has one new song ‘Save Me’ and 3 acoustic versions of the classics ‘Bodyguard’, ‘One by One’ and ‘Restless’. As you might expect from a “best of” album all your favourites are there ‘Clown In The Mirror’, ‘Far Away’, ‘Tearing Down The World’, ‘Message to God’ and so much more. This is must buy for fans of the band, as well as a great introduction to anyone unfamiliar with a band that defined a genre. Barry McMinn (90/100) AOR - L.A. Temptation (AOR Heaven) “L.A. Temptation” is the latest album from Frederic Slama and his AOR project and once again he has an array of stars of the Melodic and Hard Rock world both musically and vocally. The list reads like a who’s who and far too many to name, but I can tell you about the music. This album has a little harder edge to the previous albums, but don’t worry, Slama hasn’t gone all Thrash Metal. He’s taken a few more Hard Rock and Melodic Rock elements and mixed them with the traditional Westcoast AOR sound that we’ve become familiar with from the AOR albums and produced a gorgeous mix that will warm the hearts of fans of all three genres. Some primes examples have to be the riff laden “A Heartbeat Away” (feat James Christian), the moody “Silent Victory” (feat Paul Shortino), the rocking ‘Out On The Street’ (feat Paul Sabu) and “The Price To Pay” (feat Hank Erix & Göran Edman). Just a few of the twelve melodic monsters on what is another tremendous album from Slama. Barry McMinn (90/100)
HAMMERFALL - Gates of Dalhalla (Nuclear Blast) Hammerfall are back! And they are back with something very special. “Gates of Dalhalla” is not a live release, it is something all heavy metal and true metaheads should always have in their collections. This is the live recording of the 15-year anniversary show that took place on the 28th of July on the historic open-air stage Dalhalla, built in an old quarry near the small Swedish village Rättv. Amazing stage, extraordinary performances by all the band members and an incredible set list. It is so amazing to watch / listen to songs like “Heeding The Call”, “Riders Of The Storm”, “Crimson Thunder”, “Renegade”, “Let The Hammer Fall”, “Glory to The Brave” and all the most important and famous songs that made this band a calssic. 2 CDs and 1 DVD set, 26 songs and 2 hours and 15 minutes... this is all you need to spend your time headbanging all the time! Plus, on the DVD, as bonus, you can find the “Behind the Scenes”. “HAMMERFALL with extra everything, 100% live, 0% bullshit” (Oscar Dronjak). Vitale Nocerino (92/100)
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DANGER ZONE - Undying (Avenue of Allies) Danger Zone are one of the many bands who have that never say die quality that has become a trade mark in the world of Melodic and Hard Rock over the years. When the genre has never been seen a trendy or monetarily viable, it’s the likes of bands and fans like these who have faith in the music we love to keep the flag flying. The band of Giacomo Gigantelli (vocals), Roberto Priori (guitars), Roberto Galli (bass) and Paolo Palmieri (drums), got back together in 2010 to work on live shows and new material the result of their endeavours is the excellent new album “Undying”. The album ticks all the boxes for fans of the genre with great melody rich tunes wrapped around some great vocals, with my personal favourites being the title track and album opener “Undying”, the hard hitting “I To I”, the sublime ballads “Falling Up” and ‘The Dreaming’ and the all out rocker “Desire”, but this album has a whole lot more to give so check it out. Barry McmInn (86/100)
BLOODBOUND - In the Name of Metal (AFM Records) “Raise your fist in the name of Metal”, sing the Swedish metallers on the opening track of their new album, the fourth of their career. Nothing new here, right (btw, Doro just started her new album with the same lyrics!!!)? Power Metal played with energy, force and powerful vocals… but let’s be honest, how many times have we played an album like this before? Hundreds. Thousands. And especially one name comes to my mind after the first listen of the album: Hammerfall. Epic arrangements, anthemic (almost cheesy) vocal lines, stereotyped lyrics… yes, you’ll get all of this and even more here! Don’t take me wrong, I like this genre, the album is very well played and the vocals here are great (Patrik Johansson really knows how to sing a Metal song!); the thing is that Bloodbound follow carefully the style that bigger bands play since years. If you’re a Traditional & Power Metal fan, you should check it out, anyway. This is definitely METAL on METAL! Primo Bonali (78/100) SAPPHIRE EYES – OSapphire Eyes (Avenue of Allies) SAPPHIRE EYES is the new AOR band of songwriter and keyboard player Niclas Olsson, well known for his female fronted Melodic Rock band Alyson Avenue and lead singer Thomas Bursell. The songs are highly melodic with hooklines catchy as hell, the musicianship is of the highest order and the mix handled by Anders “Theo” Theander (Cloudscape, Urban Tale) finds the right balance between guitar power and keyboard heaven. The keyboard job is perfect and it emphastizes all the songs and the extraordinary voice of Thomas Bursell that contributes to the amazing final result such as “I Want You To See Me”, for exemple. This album is well done for the backing vocals work as well, they really give to the sound an incredible melodic touch; give a listen to “Only Feel Love” for exemple... Featuring Arabella Bitanc (Alyson Avenue). It is not possible to say which song is better than other... The level is really high here. A must buy! Gema Fernandez (90/100) DORO – Raise Your Feast (Nuclear Blast) Everybody knows DORO, right? And what everybody might expect from a DORO album, if not a full-force no-frills Heavy Metal Work? And when the opening-song is called “Raise Your Fist (in the air)”, an anthemic hymn a la “All We Are”, we should have no doubts about it! 13 songs on the album, Teutonic Metal at its best, featuring a duet with long-time friend Motörhead’s Lemmy on the epic & emotional track “It Still Hurts”. More traditional Metal Rock songs here are “Coldhearted Lover” and “Rock Till Death”, while “Engel” is a German song led by heavenly keyboards and by Doro’s unique and emotional vocal performance. A particular mention goes also to the final track “Hero”, dedicated to the legendary Ronnie James Dio, with its magical and touching atmosphere. All in all, “Raise Your Fist” is another glorious chapter in the never ending Doro’s career and an album that will make any Doro and Warlock fans fully satisfied. Long Live Metal! Primo Bonali (86/100) F.E.A.S.T. – Strong, Wild And Free (Avenue of Allies) This is the second album for Italian rockers F.E.A.S.T. It ‘s a terrific hair metal mix of Lynch Mob, Badlands, Tora Tora and Burning Rain. Fabri Kiareli’s delicious riffs and lipsmacking solos are from the same school as Eddie Van Halen and George Lynch with flashy technical wizardry and shownmanship. There are a number of big chest beating anthems like “Pleasure And Pain”, the throatily riffed “Hard Rockin’ Man”and the Ratt sounding “How Long”. While the guitars sate your appetite , Kiareli’s vocals add extra sauce to the music and are at times remincent of Oni Logan. The best tracks are stacked at the beginning with more ballads towards the end and a cover of Stevie Wonder’s “Dancing To The Rhtymn” which has an upfront keyboard sound that seems out of place here. Overall though, if you’re a fan of 80s hair metal then you’ll want to gorge yourself on this tasty platter. Duncan Jamieson (90/100)
WHEELS OF FIRE – Up For Anything (Avenue of Allies) 100% Hard rock, fresh guitars riffs and catchy melodies are the 3 elements that make this album one of the highlights of the year. The compositions impressively show the progression of the band, since the first album, into a contemporary Rock act incorporating modern elements into their sound while staying true to their musical roots of the Melodic Rock sound of the 80s. WHEELS OF FIRE stand for instantly memorable vocal lines and choruses with carefully arranged harmonies, hook laden powerful guitar riffs and solos combined with well balanced keyboards and piano entries, big sounding drums and solid bass tracks. There are some exceptional collaborations by wellknown musichans like James Christian (House of Lords), Robin Beck, Michele Luppi (ex Vision Divine singer, Killing Touch, Los Angeles) and Rob Marcello (Danger Danger). It is clear from the first song how this album will be: “in you face” and powerful! This release is just what an hard rock album should be! Gema Fernandez (89/100) MRF | 13
Question: This is your third solo album and again a great album, so how did this album come together? Answer: Serafino and the Frontiers guys organized everything with the new album, they chose the songs and the producer. Q: With “Can’t Stop” we see you putting your own spin on some hidden AOR gems, but how did you pick which songs to include on the album? A: Serafino at Frontiers picked the songs and I loved them all instantly. Q: When you cover someone else’s song, how important is it to make them fresh and to put your own stamp on them? A: It’s very important for me to put my own stamp on each song, but still sticking to the melody and idea of the song. Q: How did you find working with Alessandro Delvecchio on the album? A: Working with Alessandro has been a pleasure, with this particular set of songs he has managed to keep the songs true to their original sound but update each one with a fresh feel. We had to raise the keys of the songs as well, he also brought in his Italian team of musicians who performed brilliantly on this album. Q: With three albums under your belt now, do you think the Melodic Rock crowd has taken you under its wing in this mainly male orientated world? A: From the response I get at gigs and on my artist. issa facebook it’s just overwhelming, wonderful mesalbum. can’t stop sages of support and inspiration. The advantage Interview with. issa interviewed by:. b. mcminn of being a girl in this scene is that you do standout as it is mainly male vocalists in these kind of bands, so that’s a cool thing. Q: Your second album ‘The Storm’ saw you spread your wings with a few songs of your own, will we be getting an album of original songs in the not to distant future? A: I really hope so, I have enjoyed doing this album but writing and performing original songs will always be the most important thing to me. Q: Your vocal style has been compared to the likes of Ann Wilson and Robin Beck, how do you feel about been identified alongside such big names in the world of Melodic and Hard Rock? A: Well it’s an honour to be identified with these girls as they are some of my vocal heroes and if I have half the career they had I will be very proud. Q: Can you please talk about your image and clothes for this album? A: When we took the photos I think we just had a focus on creating something that’s me. I normally wear natural make up so it reflects me in a way I guess. We had such a fun time shooting the pictures as well as the video- it was all done on the same day and im so proud and happy about the result. Q: With the New Year just around the corner what does 2013 have in store for ISSA? A: Plans are already in progress for a tour and festivals, and I am hoping to start on my 4th album with original material, so fingers crossed and 2013 could be a very exciting year for me. Focus on:
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I S S A - Can’t Stop (Frontiers Records) “Can’t Stop” is the latest offering from Norwegian songstress Issa (Isabell Oversveen) and like her debut release “Sign of Angels”, Issa has put her own spin on some great Melodic Rock songs from the likes of Mark Free, Aviator, 21 Guns, Atlantic, Regatta, Worrall, Blvd, TowerCity and others. Issa delivers near perfect rock vocals once more and deserves to be ranked among the greats in the genre like the Wilson sisters and Robin Brock, but along with great vocals come a great band and joining Issa on this journey are Alessandro Del Vecchio (keyboards), Mario Percudani (guitars), Anna Portlupppi (bass) and Alessandro Mori (drums). Issa has one of those vocals that can carry the listener on a magic carpet ride of pure melodic bliss and great songs like “Just A Wish”, “Wherever You Run” and “Stranded”, but this girl can also rock it out and some great examples are “Can’t Stop”, ‘Heat of the Night’ and “These Eyes” all beautifully arranged by Del Vecchio. If there was ever any doubt of the talent of Miss Oversveen, then this album will certainly halt this. Great stuff. Barry McMinn (96/100)
BAnd. gene the werewolf album. rock n roll animal Interview with. drew donegan interviewed by:. D. jamieson
Question: This a great rock ‘n’ roll record. What’s Gene The Werewolf’s mission statement? Answer: Thanks! Gene's mission is simple: to go back to a time when music was still 'allowed' to be fun! Not to say that there's not a reason or market for serious, thought provoking music, but we wanted to take a different route with this project. We threw away the rule book so to speak! Q: How did you come up with unusual name? A: The band name kind of came from an inside joke among our group of friends. Somehow a few years ago, when Jon grew out his beard and had really long hair, he developed the nickname “Gene The Werewolf” since he so closely resembled a rugged werewolf. So, it became the obvious choice for us when we decided to take on start working on a project that was going be this crazy and fun! The name had to fit, right?! Q: Although you’re obviously influenced by some of the classic rock bands of the 70s and 80s, no-one’s doing this music quite in the way you are at the moment. Did you set out to go against the musical trends of today? A: We set out to just do whatever the Focus on:
hell we wanted, really! Like I said before, we have NO rules when writing songs, so that's how a song like “Wicked Love” has a drum solo, tempo change, and a 1 minute long guitar solo wrapped up in a 5 minute song. We know that songs with drum solos in them don't get played on the radio these days, but we really don't give a damn! Q: It rocks hard but you’ve also got a great ear for a hummable pop melody. How do you write your songs? A: Jon (aka Gene) usually comes up with the basic structure of all our songs. Interestingly enough, he hums or sings the melody into his cell phone and records all his ideas for later use. Thereafter he usually demos said ideas and sends them to the rest of the band. From there, we each add our two cents and personal flavor. It's kind of a unorthodox way of writing but gone are the days of us sitting around together and writing. Technology has made it much easier for us! Q: There are some great AC/DC style rockers like “I Only Wanna Rock ‘ N’ Roll” and “Rock ‘N’ Roll Animal” and the Kiss like “Superhero” but there’s also something like “Give It Up” which
sounds like a disco-rock track. Which artists have inspired you musically? A: Even though we all have very eclectic music tastes currently (from punk to hip hop and everything in between), we channeled the music we grew up on for this band. So you're going to hear the KISS, AC/DC, and even MICHAEL JACKSON influences. They were all really important to us while growing up! Q: There’s a very joyous “Life’s one big party” vibe to the record. You’re not one for depressing lyrics. A: Not at all. I think the music industry as a whole has given the general public enough of that already! We didn't want you to forget that music can still be crazy, fun, and maybe even a little silly every once in awhile! Q: Being signed to Frontiers finds you sharing a roster with some of the biggest names in rock. How do you think being on this label with help Gene The Wolf’s cause? A: We are completely elated to be sharing a label with so many of rock n' rolls house hold names! It's a true honor! Hopefully Frontiers gives Gene a platform to serve Europe with a healthy helping of bad ass rock n' roll!
G E N E T H E W E R E W O L F - R o c k N R o l l A n i m a l (Frontiers Records) This is good time, hard rocking party music. Taking their name from their hirsute lead singer and guitarist Jon Belan’s alter ego, the Pittsburgh band’s influences are pretty apparent. The first single “I Only Wanna Rock ‘n’ Roll” and the title track have the Bon Scott swagger of early AC/DC while “Superman” has the pout and booty wiggle of Kiss’s Paul Stanley with a touch of Black Oak Arkansas thrown in. Gene doesn’t just howl, he can really sing. Rocky, yet soulful he reminds me at times of Nev MacDonald of Skin. Their party anthems froth and fizz like a vigorously shaken can of beer. While the ‘wolf have the claws and phat riffs, they also have a great ear for a pop rock melody and the songs are sing-a-long from start to finish. It’s an accomplished disc. As well as the aforementioned songs, the power pop of “Heart Of Steel”, the hyper catchy “Ruffneck Woman”, the glam Reckless Love energy of “Firecracker” and the upbeat disco meets heavy rock of “Give It Up” make this album a hard rocking, bubble-gum joy that’s guaranteed to have you howling at the moon. Duncan Jamieson (94/100)
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band. trail of murder album. shades of art Interview with:. pelle Akerlind interviewed by:. p. bonali Question: Hello guys! “Shades Of Art” is your debut - album as Trail Of Murder, even if you already played in other more known bands (Tad Morose, Bloodbound). What do you think Trail Of Murder are bringing and adding to the current musical scene? Answer: It's hard to tell. What we do isn't anything new, except maybe the combination of styles. There's something in there for everyone. Some metal, some catchy melodies, some heavy riffs... It's all been done before, only we do it better... Q: It looks like in the last few years Sweden has become the country for Power and traditional Metal… Is there something in the water or what, eh eh eh??? Seriously, what do you think is the reason behind this great Power Metal wave coming from Sweden? A: It must be all the aggression Focus on:
coming from the lousy climate... I don't know really. We get that question a lot. Especially us bands from Bollnäs. We have a population of less than 30.000 people and there are several bands that had a least some success on the metal scene. My guess is that it's the same thing as in the world of sports. If someone is successful in an area others feel that "if they can do it, so can we". It's an inspiration to see that it's possible to make it. Q: Which are your most important influences, musically talking? And which your favourite bands? A: That's another hard question to answer about your own music. We didn't have a plan to sound a certain way or write music for a certain genre. We just wrote songs we liked ourselves. I think that's the only way to write music that feels genuine. If you plan your song writing to much you will limit yourself. I think what makes us special is
that we like a lot of the same artist but we also like very different kind of music. We all bring our personal stuff to the table. People have said to us that they have heard influences of WASP, Queensryche and Savatage and I can't argue with them. Q: Which are the themes you're dealing with, lyrically talking, in your album? A: Urban always write songs with so many levels that I'm not too sure to be honest. I know that the song “Shades of Art” is him reflecting on his life with ups and downs. Q: Any plans for live-shows? A: We are currently looking into that. It sound really great when we are rehearsing and we are extremely eager to do live shows. It will be awesome! Q: That's it! Thanx a lot for your time. Any last words? A: Make sure to check out our debut album and keep your eyes open for future shows! I can promise you that you won't be disappointed! Cheeeerz!
T R A I L O F M U R D E R - Shades Of Art (Metal Heaven)
Formed by ex-Tad Morose and Pyramaze vocalist Urban Breed together with former band-mate Daniel Olsson on guitar plus Morgana LeFay drummer Pelle Akerlind, Trial Of Murder play a traditional and melodic Metal, that, without putting any new ingredient on the table, it’s always very enjoyable and a pleasure to listen to. 12 tracks full of great and powerful guitar parts, loud vocals and a tight rhythm section... that’s what Melodic Metal is all about! The vocal lines might recall somehow Jorn Lande, with a large use of vibrato and powerful harmonies, and the overall sound is not far from the style of Tad Morose and Morgana Lefay, also if with a more melodic approach (a thing I always like!). Plus, here and there I can also listen to some traces of Savatage and Queensryche-“Empire” era. Well done, guys! A pleasant surprise. Primo Bonali (86/100) MRF | 19
artist. jimi jamison album. never too late Interview with:. jimi jamison interviewed by:. B.atkinson
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J I M I J A M I S O N - Never Too Late (Frontiers Records)
From one of Rockdom’s hardest working Singer / Songwriters’, “Never Too Late” is the latest from Jimi Jamison! Just last year, Jimi rejoined Survivor, but found time to compose another fine solo effort. Re-energised, Mr. Jamison has partnered with the multi-talented Songwriter Erik Martensson, whom is no stranger to European Music-lovers. Together, these two musicians give us a musical set that puts the Energy Needle way past 10! Now, can Jimi deliver! The title track “Never Too Late” is just one small example of how much energy this seasoned singer can produce! Wrap this up with ten more creations and you have a masterful musical journey that will continually soar! Seems Jimi has strapped on the Rock and is taking no prisoners. “Never Too Late” is a very ‘meaty’ collection. Tracks that show the toughness of this fluid Vocalist. Perhaps more so than previous Works. “Never Too Late” could very well be Jimi’s finest effort to date… Don’t hesitate to pick this one up, you will not be disappointed!! Bruce Atkinson (95/100)
Question: Since our last conversation, during the release of “Crossroads Moments”, you have toured across Europe and in the course of this time met Erik Martensson… At this juncture did you think that you and Erik would produce something as special as “Never Too Late”? Answer: Hi Bruce, Thank you… This is a pleasure to be able to talk to friends and fans and give them some incite about the cd. I was familiar with Erik's work from his other projects so I knew that he was going to come up with a great format for me to add my part to. He really put his heart and soul into this very special album and I can't thank him enough for never cutting corners and truly working as if every note might be his last. Thank you Erik. Q: I realize that 2011 was spent in creating this record, let’s go through some of the creative process. Did you approach this project any differently than others? A: Yes, actually I was on tour so much in 2011 that I relied heavily on Serafino to choose the songs… Which was really no worry for me as both ours tastes are pretty much always spot on. I have a great respect for this man and his love and knowledge of great music. Also, its the first time I've been in the studio alone to produce my own vocals on a cd that is about be released world wide so I worked extra hard to make them as good as they could possibly be. Q: On the cover artwork, there is New York at the and of a desert, the Mount Rushmore and the American eagle. What is its meaning? A:The US has been through alot in the past few years. The images on the cd represent events in our history that we will never forget. New York of course represents the tragic attack on 9-11 which took the lives of so many innocent people and the heroes who bravely gave their own lives to save others. Mount Rushmore reminds us of the great leaders who set the standards on which this country was built and the Eagle stands as a symbol of the pride of this great country. Q: You also have assembled a great line-up of musical friends, please talk about everyone else’s contributions… A: I owe a debt of graditude to the wonderful talents and heart given
in every track to each of the members of this fantastic team who made this album something we can all be proud of. Erik Martensson - what can I say… His talent is something that only God can bestow - producer, mixer, lead and rhythm guitars, bass, keyboards, backing vocals and for making the magic happen Miqael Persson - whose lyrics touched my heart and visually paint a picture that we see in each song. Magnus Ulfstedt - My friend, bandmate and the most incredible drummer I ever performed with Jonas Oijvall - unbelievable job on Hammond B-3, piano and analog synth. Magnus Henriksson Absolutely amazing leads on "Heaven Call Your Name" and "Street Survivor" And… For the first time, I am so proud to introduce my daughter, singer / songwriter Lacy Jamison - who sang harmony and backing vocals with me on "Heaven Call Your Name" and inspired me to vocally perform beyond normal emotions on this special song. I am very thankful. Q: Magnus Henriksson has guested on this album as well, with “Street Survivor” and “Heaven Call Your Name”… Did you write specifically for his guitar stylings? A: Eric and Miqael wrote these two songs and I'm sure Magnus was in their minds as they were writing. Great honor to have Magnus on the album. Q: Some are saying that “Never Too Late” contains some of the hardest / heaviest music from you in a long while… Do you agree? A: I agree and I love it ! There is something inside us all that just wants to ROCK! Always has been for me. There is nothing like going to a concert and feeling that excitement and power. Q: Of course, I must ask the obvious questions, are you preparing to tour this album… If so, where and when? A: Yes, I'm not sure about when and haven't worked out the details but I really want to play this record live. Q: Would your touring band be those we hear on “Never Too Late”? A: That would be amazing... if they are available. Plus adding a couple of killer players I'm thinking of. Q: You have a long standing working relationship with Frontiers… Why, in your opinion, and with everything out
there that is available to the up and coming musician is Frontiers so successful in reaching the music loving public, where others don’t seem to be? A: I can't speak for Frontiers but I can give my opinion as I see it. To me, Frontiers is about giving the fans as much great music as possible. They know how to relate to artists in plain language and they are willing to take a chance on new groups where others are only thinking of making a new young artist big and making as much money off them as possible and giving the unsuspecting new artist as little as possible. Frontiers really does go beyond the call of duty and works with groups on a personal level as well as a business level. Also: There are a lot of formerly successful bands out there … great bands with great new songs who somehow are ignored by radio and big labels in the rising noise of internet music. Thankfully Frontiers realizes that a ton of fans still want to hear these groups and their new music as well as their hits and, as I see it, come to the rescue of many of these groups. Don't know exactly how they are able to do this but hey... They are doing it … and growing, and that helps us all. Q: “Never Too Late” will undoubtedly open up new vistas, will you concentrate more on North America or do you see Europe and Asia being the more receptive? A: If we can get this record in the ear of the public, I think it could be successful anywhere. US, Europe, Asia etc... I'm proud of this cd and I enjoy listening to it as does everyone I have heard from who has listened to it so far. So, it doesn't really matter where we start. Q: Have you heard the new Pride Of Lions album “Immortal”? If yes, what do you think about it? A: Yes I have and it is wonderful as usual. Q: Thanks so much for taking the time to chat, and as is my tradition… I like to leave the last words to my guests… so please feel free to leave us with some final thoughts… A: To all fans/friends everywhere. Thank you for reading this interview and hopefully for listening to my new cd. In fact… Listen to every cd you can. Don't miss out on great music no matter whose music it is. Thanks you all!
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Bruce Atkinson: Can you tell us how the idea of this live album came out? John Nymann: I´m not gonna say we really planned it, but every time we come off this two month tour here in the fall, the band is really tight and solid and we play this final show at Mystic Theater and we do it every year and it´s always a great show and we´re well rehearsed by then, so we went “Why don´t we shoot a video or let´s just document it and do something?” and since we were doing that, Tom Size brought all his recording equipment to link up with the DVD, but the problem with this place is that it´s got a terrible lighting truss and it just doesn´t look good enough for a DVD, so after we saw the footage we went “Naahhh, it´s no good.”. But we started listening back to the tracks and we go “Fuck, it´s pretty hot!”, so we thought “Let´s just release this thing.” and we didn´t think much of it. It was just gonna be a underground thing, but Frontiers said “We want that record!”, so it counts as another part of our contract so we gave it to them. It made a pretty big splash so that´s good. It´s the perfect record if you´re a Y&T fan because it´s our whole show and it covers all the bases. There´s a lot of good stuff on there. But we´re definitely full of ideas and ready to go and keep playing. BA: Are you already working on a brand new studio album? JN: Absolutely, yeah. “Facemelter”, it was a surprise how good that turned out considering we had no ideas going into the studio. I mean, I had a few and Phil had a few, but it wasn´t like… we were under contract and Jill said to us “You have to have this record done in three months!” and so we just started and then boom after a couple of weeks, the ideas started to flow and we had more than enough. BA: Do you think it will be worked in the same way? I mean, was it a good move doing it in rush? When do you think the new album will be ready? JN: I´m gonna say it was in a way because other wise it´s so easy to go “Well, maybe we should redo it?”. We got to a point where we didn´t have time and “Those tracks are good enough.” And they turned out to be fine. Who knows? I can´t say for sure, but it´s like when you´re cooking. You don´t wanna over season it and all of a sudden you´re ruining it. They only thing I´d say about that record is we didn´t wanna have it over produced like in the 80´s. We wanted it to be more pure and keep it more organic. Some people were like “Why don´t you put more jizz on it?” and we were like “Why, let´s keep it raw.”. Straight ahead tones and not a bunch of echo and stuff on the vocals. I can´t say for sure when we´re gonna go back in there and do it, but within the next couple of years I´m sure. We have to do something.