04 W h i t e s n a k e 06 S t r y p e r 07 D e L a C r u z 08 N . O . W. 09 A v a n t a s i a 10 L o r d i 12 R e v i e w s 14 C harming Grace + Laneslide 15 T h e N e w B l a c k 17 C o v e r e d C a l l 19 S e b a s t i a n B a c h 20 Pretty Maids 22 Heartbreak Radio + Snowfall Melodic Rock Fanzine
The official Frontiers Records magazine Year #9 - Nr. 2 / Issue #55 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©2013 Frontiers Records. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. Printed in Italy.
band. whitesnake album. made in japan Interview with. david coverdale interviewed by:. d.jamieson
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WHITESNAKE - Made in Japan DVD / BLU-RAY / 2CD+DVD (Frontiers Records) Originally recorded for Japanese TV this live CD and DVD but now on general release proves that even after 35 years the libidinous rock of David Coverdale’s Whitesnake is as lusty as ever. Do they rely on their back catalogue? No, while they include four big hitters from the ’87 album plus a few hoary old favourites from pre-’87 what makes this a worthwhile purchase is the heavy emphasis of tracks from the two most recent Whitesnake albums “Good To be Bad” and “Forevermore” which have been met so favourably by fans and critics alike. “Love Will Set You Free”, “Forevermore” and “Steal Your Heart” all benefit from the added oomph the live setting gives them. Doug Aldridge and Reb Beach’s guitars powerfully scythe through the material. Add a second disc of more intimate versions of tracks such as “One of These Days” and “Tell Me How” recorded at the soundcheck which make you feel your being allowed behind the wizard’s curtain plus stonking hard rock runthroughs of “Evil Ways” and “Lay Down Your Love” and you’ve got a package that should appeal to any Whitesnake fan. Duncan Jamieson (92/100)
Question: Considering it’s 35 years since you first tread the boards with Whitesnake, the new live album has Whitesnake sounding as vibrant & as virile as ever. What’s your secret? Answer: I do my best to keep everything I’m involved with interesting... fun... creative... If it isn’t rewarding on some level, it’s time to review why... & change it... I love the life I live... Q: Originally, this DVD/CD was record for Japanese TV. What’s the story behind its wider release? A: Originally, there were no plans for an in concert DVD when we were planning our projects for 2013... The deal with the Japanese TV company was for 3 songs for a special broadcast of a big indoor festival in Tokyo called Loudpark... When we started mixing the audio, we saw the incredible hidef quality of the show & thought... Mmm... this MUST be seen & hopefully, enjoyed by the rest of the world... The track “Forevermore” is worth the price of admission alone... Epic!! We are very proud of it & the follow up double CD we have planned for Summer... “Made In Britain” is the title of CD 1... & Whitesnake “The World Record” is the title of CD 2... We are just finishing mixing it & we’re taking a slightly different approach to the sound, to make it a little different to the “Made In Japan’ audio CD...Keeping it interesting, Boys & Girls. Both projects are a wonderful record & reminder of how much fun we had on the “Forevermore World Tour 2011”... Q: There’s some nice bonus material with you and Doug & Reb playing some outtakes. How easy do you find writing with Doug and how do you go about it? A: Doug & I have an enviable solid friendship & we’re our own ‘mutual admiration society’... We work together so well on so many levels...He’s totally committed to taking Whitesnake to the next level, as I am...To be honest, we couldn’t have planned for a better, more fruitful relationship. He’s an incredi-
bly gifted partner for me & hopefully, I am for him. A creative marriage made in heaven. Regarding the bonus outtakes CD, we are in the debt of our super out front sound mixer, Brad, who captured the sound checks in Japan without our knowledge... So, when we heard them...the fun on them. We thought it would be a treat for the fans to hear the Snakes “behind the scenes”... Q: Brian Tichy, who plays on the live album, has since left, swapping his drum-kit for a guitar in the Sass Jordan fronted S.U.N. It sounds rather good. Have you heard it and what do you think of it and Brian’s departure from Whitesnake? A: I haven’t heard it, no... But, I fully support Brian’s dreams. I’m living my dream & I hope I inspire my colleagues to do the same. I’ve known & admired Sass for years. They’ll make a grand team. I wish them every success. After Tichy it was a kind of, oh dear... Now what? Then, of course, Tommy Aldridge entered the equation & it was onwards & forwards, without missing a beat... Tommy & Whitesnake are going to fulfill our mutual destiny together... He’s the only musician ever to be invited back in the band... not once... not twice... THREE times!! Ha Ha!! Q: There’s been some concern for your voice in recent years, but the live album amply shows that those fears were overstated. How is your voice at the moment and how do you keep it such good nick for all that screaming? A: Everything is working very nicely, thank you... Don’t bother concerning yourself... I’m doing just fine, otherwise I wouldn’t be preparing to tour... Q: What’s better? Life in Whitesnake in 1987/88 or life in Whitesnake now? A: I don’t do comparisons... but, I have to say NOW is the absolute gold plated tits, thank you... I wouldn’t change my life for anyone else, or any other time... These are, to quote myself, the best years of my life...
Q: You’re touring this summer in a terrific package with Journey and Thunder. Healthy competition? A: Yes, most likely... Even good friends can be rivals for attention... Ha Ha!! Q: Last year we lost Jon Lord who you of course played with in Deep Purple as well as Whitesnake. What do you remember of the man? A: He was my dear, dear friend & I will miss him & his inestimable talents...his charm & sense of humour. Go to whitesnake.com & watch the video eulogy I did for him on WSTV... that expresses a lot of how I feel about him. A beautiful & gifted soul... The world is worse off without him, for sure. We’re planning our tribute to him on the forthcoming tour... It is unbelievable that half the ‘Slide It In’ band has passed away... Mel, Cozy & Jon... Incredibly sad... Q: You split your life now between Whitesnake and your life on Lake Tahoe. What happens on an average day in The Coverdale household? A: Follow me on Twitter, Mate... Very revealing stuff on a daily basis!! We’re a family... Very loving, very supportive... Very encouraging & inspirational for each other. You need to be very serious if you want me to leave my home for a tour or a project. Q: Once the tour’s over this summer, do you have any plans to go back into the studio? A: Yes, we have at least 3 years of projects in the pipeline...The Man Cave will be fully operational while we’re on tour as well...With today’s technology we are finding we can continue working creatively with our colleagues in the studio from our hotel rooms anywhere in the world. We have a LOT of surprises planned. I LOVE the creative process. I fully embrace the new digital approach way of working... We’re taking it as far as we can. Using it, rather than letting it use us. It’s a great time to be a creative, enthusiastic passionate artist; oh, & a member of Whitesnake... Not too shabby!!
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BAnd. stryper album. second coming Interview with. Michael Sweet interviewed by:. b. Atkinson Question: What kind of band were you setting out to be in 1983? Did you have a musical vision? Answer: I think we’ve established and proven what kind of band we set out to be – a band with a bold message that incorporates hope, faith and grace to the world through loud and proud music. Q: When the first album came out, did people understand Stryper? Did you understand yourself? A: I think we had some sceptics and always will have but for the most part we were able to break down bariers and walls and show people that metal isn’t only about angst or evil. We understood exactly what we were doing and what we were setting out to accomplish. Q: Someone arrives from another planet…he’s never heard of you…how would you explain your music to him? A: Musically – Queen meets Judas Priest meets Van Halen with a little Styx thrown in. Lyrically – it’s self explanatory and pretty black and white. Lyrics about faith, redemption, hope, love and salvation. Focus on:
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Q: Bands tend to say that the new album is always the best they’ve ever done. I think it’s a cliché but what do you honestly think about it? I read you said that the rerecorded songs are sounding awesome, better than the originals in many ways... A: I think bands say that because in most cases they really beleive it. Making each record is like painting a new piece of art. It’s unique and special and an incredibly exciting time. I hope and pray that each record we make surpasses the last and at least if you try to do just that, your succesful. Q: Is there anything you still feel you need to achieve either with or without Stryper or do you think this current level of happiness you have with the band fulfils you? A: I love writing, recording, performing music and I look forward to many more years of doing so. As long as I can breathe I hope to continue making music and I think the best is yet to come..... Q: Which young bands in your local scene would you recommend to us?
A: I don’t know about local bands but I love a lot of new music coming out from Bruno Mars to Black Country Communion. I love a good song, despite the genre. Q: What about your live activity? What do we have to expect from the Second Coming tour? Do you have any plans in that field? A: We love to tour and enjoy the one on one experience with our fans and friends around the globe. We’ve been touring since 1984 consistantly and we are always excited to get back out on the road. Again, as long as we can breathe and function, we’ll continue doing so. Q: Do you normally enjoy being in the studio or do you like most being on tour? Any funny/weird moments that you would like to describe which were associated with the recordings of Second Coming? A: The two are so completely different and unique. I enjoy the studio and the process yet I enjoy touring as well because of the interaction. Meeting people one on one is amazing and I always love to meet new people.
S T R Y P E R - Second Coming ( F r o n t i e r s R e c o r d s )
As the title suggests, this is a comeback of sorts. Stryper have re-worked and re-recorded fourteen cuts of their classic material and added two brand new creations on this release. “Second Coming” is not so much a greatest hits, but a re-visit to the old days. The group are exploring those familiar plateaus they once visited, and found those old gems slightly more polished! Once driven to write these inspiring numbers, now they are urged to put that wisened and mature sound to fortify these inspiring numbers. With a complete reuniting, Stryper are poised to bring forth more awe inspiring Rock with a message! Check out the two brand new compositions! “Second Coming” is a muscular delivery, a finely tuned production, and will be candy for the ears for old and new fans alike. The re-worked numbers show the group at their highest musical peak. The new songs reinforce this feeling. All music contained is immediate, full of razor sharp rhythms and so full and harmonious. “Second Coming” is a sonic delight, showing a stronger and more inspiring Stryper… Just when we needed them to shout out those messages once again! Bruce Atkinson (90/100)
band. de la cruz album. street level Interview with. casey jones interviewed by. p. bonali
Question: Hi guys! How are you? Hey, your debut album sounds very powerful and fresh, still melodic and infectious. What are your impressions and expectations about “Street Level”? Answer: Roxxi here! Yeah cheers!! I’m stoked! Our album just got released in Japan today! I’m a big fan of sushi, Mazda’s and Japanese beers so I’m pretty happy about this. Album-wise I feel that the album is a logical step from the EP, we didn’t want to stray too far from that sound. I don’t have any expectations about the album, maybe some apprehension haha, but seriously if it simply inspires people to feel rad or be reckless then I’m happy!! Q: I read about the band’s history with the two formative members getting in touch and then starting writing songs thru’ the net, until the singer made the final decision to move to Australia and put together a real band. You surely believe very much in Focus on:
this band, although the music business nowadays is probably at the lowest point ever. What are your hopes and dreams for the future? A: Yea I believe in the band, I wouldn’t be doing it other-wise. Not as much faith in the music industry, but I would like to see a bit more fun in rock music at least. What happened to the partying, girls, and cocaine and spa pools?? It’s all so dark and melancholy these days. I feel a change is in need. My hopes and dreams are obvious i think, i want to get as much as i can out of this rock and roll game. Although i feel blessed for all that i have achieved personally and with De La Cruz. Q: It looks like you've been strongly influenced by the '80s US Hard Rock (someone might call it “Hair Metal”). Some of your songs recalled me bands like Heavens Edge, Hurricane, Cold Sweat, Keel, Warrant & more… Which are your most important influences, musically talking? I
A: Yea we all have a shared love for the 80s decade of music. Our sound is the sum of all our influences, some more obvious than others. We all listen to different thing, Casey obviously is a Van Halen, Ratt, Winger and fusion kid, RJ loves all heavy metal, power metal, classic metal, I think he even eats aluminium. Lacey loves Crue and newer rock bands like Crashdiet and Dirty Penny etc. Grant is into classic rock and 70s stuff. Me, lately I’ve been listening to a lot of WASP, Kyuss and random metal bands, The Quill, yeah I love The Quill!! Great Swedish stoner-rock! Q: Where your monicker, De La Cruz, comes from? Any particular meaning behind it? A: The band name?? It just sounded cool, I wish I had a cooler story, I’ll try think of one for the next interview haha. Yea it just sounded like 80s California, like a sports car or something, a Pontiac De La Cruz?? Yea it means nothing, just felt right so we backed it!!
D E L A C R U Z - Street Level ( F r o n t i e r s R e c o r d s )
If someone would have submitted this promo asking me to guess the year of the release, I’d have surely answered: 1990. That was the year of Heaven’s Edge, Cold Sweat and Valentine debut-albums and when XYZ was ready to unleash their incredible “Hungry” CD. Of course I have named all of these bands for a reason: De La Cruz is playing basically the same style. Call it “Powerful Melodic Hard Rock”, call it “Hair Metal”… that’s a 12-songs full length debut-album covered with big Hard-Rock anthems, ripping guitars, screaming still melodic vocals and a superb production. The band comes from New Zealand and Australia but it looks like they have learned perfectly the “Sunset Strip-years” lesson. Starting with the killer title-track, a powerful tune created around the hi-octane vocals of singer Roxxi Catalano, and passing thru’ the mid-tempo (Dokken-style) “Girls Go Wild” and the Slaughter/Kix-influenced “Turn It Up”, everything here looks like a “déjà-vu”, still sounding so fresh, contagious and blistering. All in the name of Rock’n’Roll!!! Primo Bonali (90/100) MRF | 7
BAnd. N.O.W. album. Bohemian kingdom Interview with. Alec Mendonca interviewed by:. b. atkison Question: Alec, I know that your debut album was released in 2010, and on Escape Music, the label that is releasing this most magnificent second effort. It must be a very good feeling to have a label give you that much support, when we are talking about a three year gap between records… Answer: Well, Bruce, first of all thanks for your time dedicated to me and N.O.W. And yes, it’s a very good feeling indeed to have Escape backing me up! I also had the freedom I needed and craved so bad to develop this second installment. Khalil from Escape noticed the great potencial for a second album and had the vision to make it happen. BTW, thanks for the ‘’magnificent’’, Bruce. Q: “Bohemian Kingdom” is being regarded as a “darker” album from you, however I respectfully disagree. I find that the subject matter you are putting forth in song is a bit more serious, so it stands that the music will be more intense… Comments? A: Actually I had most of the compositions done when my friend passed away and I was preparing to make a very uplifting, happy album, but after this I just couldn’t write anything close to happy. ‘’Leon’s Going Soft’’ and ‘’No One Can Feel It’s Over’’ being two of the most blunt examples of that. So I think it’s indeed a more intense album and the lyrics are undoubtedly more proFocus on:
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found. The depth of my pen when writing the album is right on everyone’s face, sort of speak. Although some songs sound happy, my mind was set on a darker mode… Q: In taking about three years in delivering this record, is this normal for you, or were there outside factors regarding the length of time? A: Nowadays our regular jobs prevent us from working on a regular basis on what we love the most, I have a school and a family to take care of, so I had to postpone any early ventures into the realm of music. Still, it was good, because in the end, I had 3 years to meticulously do it. And I had promised myself that I wouldn’t release anything with that ‘’I miss something’’ feeling I hate so much. Something that didn’t happen with my first album... Q: You had an unbearable loss, when you lost a very close friend to cancer… And have included your feelings in song on this release… Are you able to talk about this? A: Yes, then, when everything happened, it was so quick, because Maria Clara was majoring in Medicine, she got a super grade at SAT and was admitted in the medicine University at her late 16, she was brainy. She always was a very bright and polite girl. I tought her English and she graduated in English at my school. I held her in my arms when she was a tiny little baby, I am friends with her father for more than
30 years now, so, If you have a similar situation in your own life, Bruce you know what I mean, when something like that happens, although the person knows you’re there for him, there’s no words to be said, because it was simply a tragedy. It happened in 2 weeks, between her being commited to the hospital, treatment and demise…. A true tragedy that even made me feel angry at whatever God we have up there! That’s when I had to exteriorize my feelings and you can hear all my pain through Philip on No One Can Feel It’s Over, he was really possessed when singing this song, I explained the situation to him, told him how difficult it was for me but also told him the need I had to transmit it. Since he also had lost someone due to cancer, he completely understood my situation and put all his heart on this as you can hear. Q: “Bohemian Kingdom” is full of intelligent messages, beautiful music and is so full of depth and emotion… That it belies this being your second effort! What are your hopes for this release? A: Well, thanks again for the compliment, Bruce. As I had said, it was really the album I always wanted to make. I have very high hopes for it, mainly because I have a little bit of Alan Parsons and Eric Wolfson in me, I don’t mind touring that much, I prefer arranging and composing, so that’s where I hope this album takes me, I’d love to make music to other people to sing.
N.O.W. - Bohemian Kingdom (Escape Music)
This is the musical dream of one very talented Bassist & Vocalist out of Brazil! Alec Mendonca is about to give all of us a lesson in what Progressive/Hard Rock is all about. “Bohemian Kingdom” is actually the second effort of Alec and “N.O.W.” The debut being 2010’s “Force Of Nature”, which received critical acclaim all over the globe. The second time around? Well, it should be the same! Perhaps a more mature sounding record, “Bohemian Kingdom” exudes a confidence in its performance. Alec has also re-vamped the group’s line-up with a new Lead Guitarist and Drummer. The group is tougher, and at times slick… Oh! so slick! Production of this second effort is also top drawer. More varied than the first, “Bohemian Kingdom” continues to strengthen the impact that Alec has. His Songwriting and knack for Arranging is fully felt here. For an emotive & heartfelt ride through some very tasteful Rock, grab this record and you won’t be disappointed. Bruce Atkinson (88/100)
BAnd. avantasia album. the mystery of time Interview with. tobias sammet interviewed by:. primo bonali Question: With this brand new album, “The Mystery Of Time”, you have added another incredible jewel to your discography! Epic, majestic, powerful and unique. How can you always stay on this high level of songwriting after so many albums and so many years ? Answer: I don't know, really. I guess the 'secret' of quality is that I do it because I feel it. It is inside of me. I do not look to the right, I do not look to the left, I do not think what could sell and what not, I do not please the record company and I do not even listen to the fans. I am just an honest music lover who wants to record the album that I love. Fulfill my own dreams! I guess if you work out of that motivation, you have the best chance to deliver quality because you are being honest. When I started Avantasia, everyone thought I was crazy. Nobody had done a Metal Opera before, there had been a handful of Rock Opera throughout the history of music, but everyone thought I was crazy to spend so much money on a production. The truth was, I wanted to fulfil my dream and I believed in it and just went my way. And I have never changed that work ethic... Q: You should really reveal your Focus on:
secret, at least to help many popular musicians and bands who have lost their “touch” in these last years… A: As I said, it is not a secret or at least an open secret. I guess integrity and honesty is the key. That's quite easy. I stay true to myself. I founded a traditional Heavy Metal band Edguy in 1992 when the press said that Metal was dead and one by one Metal bands changed to Grunge or industrial at the time. Then in 1999 I spent the budget equaling the price of a small house to record a Metal Opera when nobody was doing it. Again, I may sound cocky, but it is really easy: Don't listen to what anyone else says, just do what you feel in your heart. It may sound like a cliché, but being honest is really the key to everything in life I guess, maybe I am an old fashioned romantic... Q: How would you describe the sound of this CD compared to your previous ones? A: It sounds a bit more organic even. We have a real orchestra this time, a symphonic orchestra. We recorded the drums in an old cinema with a great sounding room so we have a real sounding drum. And I guess compared to the last three Avantasia albums, this
time we moved back to the classical concept of a Metal or Rock Opera. The album feels more like a full body experiences for all senses, it feels more like a fairytale you can delve into. Turn off the lights, put on the record and disappear into a different world for one hour. I really love Scarecrow, Wicked Symphony and Angel Of Babylon, but if I take a look at those albums, they feel more like a Tobias-and-friends-solo album. The Mystery Of Time feels like a true opera again, from start to finish, from coverartwork to booklet, from head to toe. Q: Does the final result reflect exactly what you had in mind before the recording of the album? A: I did not have something fixed in my mind before The journey was its reward. I just wanted to compose and produce this album and lose myself in the creative process. It was more of a therapy or - if you put it less dramatic - amusement. After a hard days work other men disappear in their garage and wash their car or work on little miniature plane models. I disappeared in my musical world and went nuts with a new Rock Opera. I didnÄt have a clear vision prior to producing the album, I just wanted to do something great and I believe I achieved that!
AVANTASIA - The Mystery Of Time (Nuclear Blast)
“The Mystery Of Time”, the sixth album marked AVANTASIA, representing a new chapter in this band’s history, as clearly stated by Tobias Sammet himself. This work is totally surrounded by magic and fantasy, and to give the album a proper sound, for the first time Sammet used a real symphony orchestra, the german Orchestra Babelsberg. The overall sound is dreamy, enchanting and bombastic; if I’d have to make some comparisons, I’d name like classic Rainbow and Deep Purple more than Rhapsody, Freedom Call or Edguy. And, in fact, to join Sammet on the first two tracks here comes former RAINBOW and DEEP PURPLE vocalist Joe Lynn Turner! But all the album is full of special guests going from Biff Byford of SAXON on the third track “Black Orchid”, to Michael Kiske, passing thru legendary vocalists such as PRETTY MAIDS Ronnie Atkins, MR. BIG Eric Martin and MAGNUM Bob Catley. Everything’s here is pompous, sweet and epic. And when you take a look to the cover (painted by legendary Rodney Matthews), you easily understand how this album has been created to give you something to dream about. Primo Bonali (90/100) MRF | 9
band. lordi album. To Beast Or Not ... Interview with. mr. lordi interviewed by:. d.jamieson Question: The new album To Beast or Not to Beast is out since March 1st. How would you sum up the idea of this record and how long did it take you to be satisfied with the material? A: We started working on the first demos 2 years ago and that was when Otus, our ex-drummer, was still alive. It’s always a long process and in the beginning we were thinking of writing a follow-up to Babez for Breakfast, which is our previous album and is very 80’s hair metal oriented – soft, melodic and party-themed. When Otus joined the band in the first place, his drumming was different and offered us new possibilities to do challenge ourselves and do something different, because we were not held back with Kita’s (ex-drummer) drumming anymore. I never thought that drummer’s role is so important in the band. So pretty much a year ago from now we were in the middle of recording the demos and that’s when Otus died. Everything fell apart and some of the band members decided to take a break, but some of us carried on working. We started with finding a new drummer and it was very difficult, because you have to find a person Focus on:
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that not only knows his KISS and Twisted Sisters stuff, but also can keep up with Otus’s drumming and is genuinely a good guy …or a girl, just like Mana. So we didn’t find anyone until July when I called up Mana through a mutual friend. Q: The first single from "To Beast or Not to Beast" is called “The Riff”. What is the song and its video about? A: We filmed a video clip for this song in Czech Republic. We filmed it in a supermarket with our chick playmate doing some shopping in not too much clothing. And of course there’s also going to be few zombies in there. And of course we just happen to be randomly playing there as well, haha! But in general, the lyrics for “The Riff” are very straight forward and there are no hidden messages, so there’s only two ways of making a video for a song like this – you either do it according to the lyrics, or you do it completely different and that’s what we’re doing for “The Riff”. The video has absolutely nothing to do with the lyrics. Q: What is the inspiration behind your masks and each character behind it? A: At the moment this is the sixth or seventh mask of Mr. Lordi, so the character
has developed itself and has lost a lot if its previous influences. But when it comes to Mana’s mask, it really took a lot of time to decide on what kind of character is he going to be, because you have to have the character within your personality. Mana is a very steady and calm, so he said he could not be able to pull off being a raging werewolf. So he’s Mana – an old Finnish mythological creature that I made up and there are three characters that influenced the creation of Mana’s character – Alice Cooper, Jabba the Hutt from Star Wars and Henry Kane – the tall, skinny and very creepy guy from Poltergeist. Amen (guitar) is a mummy and there are only a couple of things we change in his costume with every new album. We can either add some flesh and bandages or take some off. I don’t know how the fuck are we going come up with his next costume, to be honest. OX’s (bass) costume is pretty easy. He’s a hell bull – a zombie with horns. Hella is our new keyboard player and her costume was an easy one as well. I already had this idea for our new keyboard player to be a doll and months later we agreed on this burned-up Barbie image, so now she’s a Scarbie. (Laughs)
LORDi - To Beast Or Not to Beast (AFM Records)
The band you wouldn’t want to run into down a dark alley at night are back to their ghoulish tricks on their sixth album. By now you know the score; scuzzy metal riffs, gargling vocals topped off by choruses that are infuriatingly catchy. The Finnish Eurovision winners schlock rock is Alice Cooper for a new generation. Like Cooper, who in reality is more likely to be found on a golf course than sacrificing virgins, it’s an act. You suspend belief when you enter Lordi’s pantomime horror-fest. The terrace chant of “We’re not bad for the kids (we’re worse)” , the uber-hummable “I Love Ugly”, the devil bating “The Riff” and the insanely daft but glorious “(Fuck You Asshole) Sincerely With Love” are anthemic and more fun than you’ll want to admit. The last track isn’t a song at all but a drum solo from their previous drummer Otus who tragically died last year but finds it’s way onto the record as a tribute. On “I’m The Best” the band sing, “I’m the Best At What I Do” and they’re right. They’re the best at cartoonish metal with bubble-gum hooks. Having nightmares has never been such fun. Dunca Jamieson (86/100)
ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA - Zoom (Frontiers Records) It had been 15 years since ELO had recorded an album when the name was resurrected again for “Zoom” in 2001. It could be insinuated that it’s a really a Jeff Lynne record as only one other previous member of ELO Richard Tandy joins him and that’s only for one track but that would be unfair as many of the hallmarks of the ELO sound are stamped throughout the record. There are immediate radio friendly tracks like “Alright” and “Melting In The Sun”. “Just For Love” is where The Beatles’ Sgt Pepper left off and there’s knockabout fun with the rock ‘n’ roll of “Easy Money and jauntiness of “State Of Mind”. Diversity is the keyword as there’s a slight jazzy feel to “Stranger On A Quiet street” whereas “In My Own Time” sounds like an old soul number you could have imagined Ray Charles or Etta James making their own, and “It Really Doesn’t Matter” , “All She Wanted” and “Lonesome lullaby” rock In ELO’s polite way. A couple of bonus tracks, a McCartney-like lullaby “One Fine Day” and a live rendition of “Turn To Stone” from the CBS TV show made to promote the album add value. Duncan Jamieson (90/100)
ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA - Live (Frontiers Records) Better known for his studio wizardry than live performance this live album from the LA show filmed for CBS TV in 2001, previously unreleased on CD, shows that Jeff Lynne and ELO were no slouches live either. The reason this works so well, even without all the production the studio affords, is because the songs themselves are just so well written. Lynne is craftsman. Live he’s helped by strong band and backing singers and songs like “Evil Woman”, “Mr Blue Sky”, “Livin’ Thing” and “Don’t Bring Me Down” can’t fail to brighten your day. A lot is made of Lynne’s ability to arrange but his ability as a singer is often overlooked. Yes, he sounds a lot like McCartney at times but he also handles sentimental ballads and old rock ‘n’ roll songs with a panache all of his own. Two studio tracks “Out Of Luck” and “Cold Feet” are added as bonus material. Inexplicably, the tour that was to follow this show was cancelled in the States. It was the public’s loss as seeing ELO in full overblown flight should be on everyones bucket list. Duncan Jamieson (92/100)
JEFF LYNNE - Armchair Theatre (Frontiers Records) Lynne’s first solo album in 1990 came out at a time when he had recently helped Tom Petty and George Harrison polish their songs for chart success. His own record didn’t emulate those artists in terms of sales despite both Harrison and Petty giving a helping hand here but Lynne’s class as a songwriter, performer and arranger is clear. It’s an ideal record for sitting back, kicking off your shoes and letting its melodies wash over you. Several covers “Don’t Let Go”, “September Song” and “Stormy Weather” demonsrate his love of 50s music and having Del Shannon pop up on the Petty co-write “Blown Away” is another nod to his love of that period. His own songs are pop rock nuggets. Tracks like opener “Every Little Thing”, the AOR of “What Would It Take?” the gorgeous melt-in-the-mouth melody of “Lift Me Up” and the plaintive eco-friendly song “Save Me Now” demand more attention than radio originally gave them. Two previously unreleased tracks, the McCartney-esque ,“Borderline” and wistful “Forecast” are worthy additions to this classy re-issue. Duncan Jamieson (90/100) CHARMING GRACE - Charming Grace (Avenue of Allies) A recording project originated by Pierpaolo Monti with the express concept of writing in a classic “AOR” styling and developing unique vocal duets with Davide Barbier. A tall order and one that works!! “Charming Grace” is an assembling of some of the Europe’s top players and vocalists that put their heart and soul into this effort. From the opening track “Everytime You Touch My Heart” you are set upon an exquisite journey. You will find yourself floating on a sea of emotive, fulfilling musical currents that swell to greatness! The players? Their musicianship is outstanding. The Vocalists? Their deliveries will stir you, calm you and fill you with amazing harmonies! With musicians and singers of this caliber, the production must be top notch; and it is. Let’s hope that this is not the only effort from these grand musicians. “Charming Grace”… The magic created is simply beyond belief, unquestionably a charmed and graceful listening experience! Bruce Atkinson (91/100)
SNOWFALL - Cold Silence (Escape Music) Snowfall is the brainchild of former Winter Parade members PB Riise (bass) and Tore Mei (guitar), who along with Shy / Phenomena’s Lee Small (vocals) and Coldspell’s Perra Johnson (drums), are about to unleash their debut album “Cold Silence”. PB might be from one of coldest regions of Norway but this album is hotter than Vikings funeral, as the quartet delivers ten outstanding slabs of melodic Hard Rock, all mixed and mastered by Martin Kronlund. The album gets underway with ‘Don’t Drive Me Home Tonight’. From this rather auspicious opener the band set out their stall to impress and continue to do so throughout entirety of the album. With such great rockers like “House Of Prayer”, “Citadel Of Hope” and “Wolfs Lair” standing toe to toe with the best of them, but it’s the likes of “Vesper Bell”, the funk filled “Stampede” and “Oscillate” that really do it for me and show how versatile this band are and what a great vocal talent Small is. A great debut from a band with a big future so get ready to be snowballed over because Snowfall are going to be hitting 2013 harder than a Siberian winter. Barry McMinn (92/100) WILD ROSE - Dangerous (AOR Heaven) Over recent years when Greece is mentioned in the news it’s their economy that has taken centre stage, but now new headlines are about to be written as like fellow countrymen Outloud, Wild Rose are about to show the Greeks can produce some fine Melodic / AOR bands. The band formed by Andy Rock back in 2004, are back in 2013 with a stellar new line-up and exciting new frontman in David A Saylor and new album “Dangerous”. The album is straight up Melodic AOR of the highest calibre, with some of my personal highlights being the opener “Alone”, the excellent “Dream On”, the stunning ballad “Awake” and West Coast AOR infused “Tonight”. All songs that are sure to made waves among the melodic rock community as will the rest of the album. This release will surely propel the name of Wild Rose to the heights they deserve. So go one live a little dangerously and check these guys out, you won’t be disappointed. Barry McMinn (87/100) 12 | MRF
THE NEW BLACK - III: Cut Loose (AFM Records) Coming hard on the heels of their second opus “II - Better In Black”, Germany’s The New Black return with their much anticipated third release “III – Cut Loose”. From the off this quintet unleash an all out attack on the senses with the Motorheadesque thumper “Innocence & Time”. This sets the bar for the rest of the album as Christof Leim and the rest of the guys make another bee line for the jugular with the impressive “Count Me In”, before bringing their melodic edgy side with the excellent “Muzzle and Blinkers”. Then it’s heads down, tub-thumping Metal once more with rockin’ anthem “Superhuman Mission”, before shifting up another gear with the title track “Cut Loose”. The album continues to impress with great track after great track, including the impressive modern rocker “Any Colour You Like (As Long As It’s Black)”, the funk soaked bluesy tones of “Burning D” and the dark majestic tones of “Sharkpool”, complete with Jaws inspired cello. So if you’re looking for a band that mixes the might of Motorhead with the hard edge of The Almighty sung by James Hetfield, then this is the band for you. Barry McMinn (84/100) LANESLIDE - Flying High (Avenue of Allies) Laneslide is being touted as a Melodic Rock collaboration that creates a high degree of excitement. “Flying High” does just that, but the Melodic Rock part is a tad more aggressive and sharper edged. A group of some of the best players assembled, around Italian songwriter / guitarist Bruno Kraeler “Laneslide” is a high flying musical force that boasts Vocalist extraordinaire, Frank Vestry. The group includes Keyboardist Alessandro Del Vecchio; Bassist John Billings; and Drummer Dominik Hulshorst. This core of musicians welcomes such great musical guests as Lino Gonzalez, and vocalists Erik Martensson & Michael Borman. The result? A sharpened, tough Melodic romp through the upper heights of rock! Ten up-tempo razor sharp tracks superbly performed and produced. The swirling keyboards and cutting guitar lefts up each and every number to the rarefied levels of the musical spectrum. “Flying High” should be high on your list of music to get “Laneslide” is a powerful entity, one that is pushing the envelope of Melodic Rock! Bruce Atkinson (88/100)
HEARTBREAK RADIO – On Air (AOR Heaven) This is the second record from this fine collaborative recording project. Bringing many musical brothers together, “Heartbreak Radio” will re-new your faith in all those melodic mid-tempo heart filled love songs we used to “die-for” in the 1970’s! The line-up is: Mats Johannson (ASIA, guitars), Berra Holmgren (ACE OF BASE, bass), Peter Strandberg (JEFF SCOTT SOTO, drums), Johan Axelsson (keys) and Wojtek Goral (Stevie Wonder, saxophone) plus the vocalists Jim Jidhed (ALIEN), Mikael Erlandsson (LAST AUTUMN’S DREAM), Pierre Weinsberg (ELEVENER, RADIOACTIVE), Henrik Baath (DARK WATER) and Martin Gabriel (solo). When you put this CD on, well you can picture yourself driving through downtown at sunset, with your first love squeezed beside you! A beautiful collection of some of the most summery musical gems you will hear. Constantly touching your heart strings, and bringing back those memories of, perhaps, a happier time! “On Air” may even bring a tear or two to your eye!! Bruce Atkinson (85/100)
AXE – Live 2012 (NEH Records) Here we are with the brand new AXE live album! They are back with Bob Harris on vocals, Bobby Barth on guitar - vocals, Alessandro Del Vecchio (Hardline, Edge Of Forever, Eden's Curse) on keyboards and a stellar rhythm section (Gerald Berger on bass and Alessandro Mori on drums). Axe performed at the Sweden Rock Festival in 2012 and were captured live for the first time ever by six HD video camera crews. Barth recruited longtime friend Mark Pinske (Frank Zappa) and Ben Watts to help with the video production and the result is a stunningly brilliant DVD and CD of that concert sure to please and amaze Axe fans of all ages. It is packaged in four panel eco-wallet and it features an amazing performace full of great tunes and amazing players. The tracklist if full of classics like “Magic in Your Eyes”, “Sting of the Rain” and “Back on the Streets” from the album “Five” or “Steal Another Fantasy”, “Jennifer” and “Rock N Roll Party in the Streets” from “Offering”. Vitale Nocerino (88/100)
DGM – Momentum (Scarlet Records) DGM, one of the best metal progressive band from Italy are back, finally, with their new studio album “Momentum”. The line-up is the same of the pewvious album “Frame” and it features 11songs. The style is the result of thir experience and maturity and it shows a perfect balance between energic and powerfull riffs and catchy melodies... A perfect mix of Symphony X (the riffs) and Dream Theater of the first 3 albums (for the melodies). The opnening track “Reason” is the first single and has Russell Allen as guest singer, so amazing the duets between him and Mark Basile. 2 different kind of voices but so close when they are together. Another guest on the album is Jorn Viggo Lofstad of Pagan’s Mind to contribute with a guitar solo on the song “Chaos”. “Momentum” was recorded, mixed and mastered by the band’s own guitarist and produced by Simone Mularoni at Domination Studios in San Marino, Italy. For sure thiis is a vital buy power metal and melodic metal lovers. Enjoy! Vitale Nocerino (89/100)
ONE AND ONLY – Shredding The Mindset There is no denying this lad has talent and that is spelled with a capital ‘T’. Craig Baceda’s first album is a solo effort and he means solo! Craig has written, performed all instruments, sang and produced this effort! “Shredding the Mindset” is mostly a progressive hard-rock album… With elements ranging from blues to some jazz passages sneaking through. His voice is strong-mature and rich. His playing, precise, and in whatever instrument he finds himself in. This is a “groove” record! Craig sets up a certain groove that runs throughout and then he reaches further out from that groove, exploring the musical spectrum within each and every composition. As one journeys’ with him, more emotion and soul can be heard and felt. I must admit, that at first listen this effort seemed overblown. However, the more one listens, the more you recognise the depth and the more you become a fan! Good on you Craig “Shredding the Mindset” does just that! Bruce Atkinson (90/100) MRF | 13
Bruce Atkinson: I understand the Charming Grace was started by Pierpaolo Monti of Shining Line, to what end was this project begun? Pierpaolo Monti: First of all thank you so much for this interview, it’s always a big pleasure to be featured on Melodic Rock Magazine… I always wait for the new issue to read on my smartphone checking it on the Frontiers Official App! Comin’ back to Charming Grace, yes I conceived the idea of the project some time ago, after a short collaboration I had with Dave Rox (of Wheels Of Fire fame) for a Shining Line’s demo. I asked him to sing the vocals parts for a new written song called “The Sound Of Your Heart” (which is now part of the Charming Grace album), and Dave did an AMAZING job kickin’ all asses with a superb performance. At that point I immediately asked him to start a closer collaboration together, and it became reality when I proposed him to do an AOR all star project with songs written by ourselves and where Dave should have been dueted with some of the most charismatic voices of the melodic rock scenes. Dave’s response was enthusiastic, and we immediately start to write the songs for the project involving my mate in Shining Line Amos Monti on bass. At that point Charming Grace was born. BA: How do you see Charming Grace establishing an identity and how do you hope the group will stand apart from others? PM: The identity of Charming Grace is simple: this is the first album ever in the melodic rock history fully composed of vocals duets… Something really new in the scene! So while in Wheels Of Fire Dave is the main performer of the album, and in Shining Line we had only two vocal duets, Charming Grace base its identity in a main frontman who duets with a different melodic rock established singer in each track of the album: I hope that fans will enjoy this unusual but cool choice! BA: Bringing vocalists together, as you do, is this their actual first time singing together with Davide? PM: Yes it was the first time for Dave to duet with the various stars of this album… he really enjoyed to do this, ‘cause working together with so great names offers you the chance to do your best for reaching the high level of them!I can say that Dave made a great impression together with the performances of the other singers, I consider him one of the raising voices of the “new” melodic rock scene! Check out for example the duet he did with the amazing James Christian in the new Wheels Of Fire’s album: they sound amazing together! BA: Do you accept songs from each Singer, or are most of the compositions written by Pierpaolo, and/or Davide? PM: I wrote together with Dave the most of the songs of this album. I love to create songs on purpose for a certain vocalist I had in mind as I did with Shining Line… or picking up the perfect vocalist who fits with the type of song I wrote before. Anyway I always enjoy to collaborate with someone else in the songwriting of new tunes, for example we had the help of our friend Carmine Martone who supplied a couple of great tunes playing also the guitar parts in them. The idea is having more collaborations in the songwriting of my future projects, this to offer a good variety of melodies and avoiding to “repeat ourselves” too much just like it happened in many melodic rock albums of the latest years. I think that fans deserve to be pleased with a good variety of songs and melodies for their passionate support!
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Bruce Atkinson: First, the name: Laneslide, an interesting one… Is there a meaning behind the name? Bruno Kraler: Thank you Bruce for giving us the opportunity to talk a little bit about our project, this is very appreciated. LANESLIDE is a stylistic deviation from the words LANE SLIDE which is an inflatable slide. This fits the feel that we want to give to our listeners. Our slogan is: “get on the Rock & Roll Lane Slide and have some fun" BA: As the group is a huge collaborative project, it must be difficult getting all together, what with all of your other musical activities… Frank Vestry: FTP is a beautiful thing. Ahah! Everybody does their part within their own time frame without being rushed and we are all in constant communication with each other so it works very well. BA: Does Laneslide give you what we would call a blank canvass, so you can paint anything you want and not be restricted…in other words, are you all more free to express your musical whims? FV: Yes, without a doubt. This is a fantastic group of people to work with and there hasn’t been this much freedom since Woodstock. Seriously though every idea is taken into consideration and as a singer you can’t really ask for more than that. I am given that rope and it’s not a problem to even suggest a change in the arrangement of the songs or the harmony structures. BA: With this much talent all together, is it hard to be heard? Do some take a “back seat” to the proceedings or do you try and display everyone’s area of expertise? FV: I think in any working situation there are some people that take a leadership role and that’s important to the success of any company or business. With that being said every person involved in this band has their say and gets to be heard. It would be foolish to not hear the ideas/opinions of others when working with such talented and experienced individuals. BA: What can we look forward to, in the future, regarding Laneslide? BK: Another album and a lot of passion for sure and friendships that will last a lifetime. Other than that who knows what the future holds? BA: Any Live performances being planned? BK: There are currently no live shows planned, but there’s certainly the possibility of that happening in the future. We would love to do it and are open minded to opportunities if the right situations are presented to us.
Barry McMinn: “III – Cut Loose” is the bands third album, which some say is the hardest album, but what lessons did you take from the previous two albums and put into practice with “Cut Loose”? Christof Leim: I think in most cases it´s a natural process, that a band developes, consolidates or refines its own style over several years, depending on how often they play together. In our case it obviously has something to do with the creative phase Fabs were in, when he recorded the demo tracks. After the last two albums we know what´s practicable for all of us. I also think that Fabs meanwhile knows my sense for vocal lines, wich is important for the whole tonal atmosphere of a song. I remember almost the whole preproduction, including the vocal lines, where already fixed in my head when I first heard them. BMM: Again the album is no nonsense
Rock n’ Roll but what input did Jacob Hansen have on the final product and would you work with him again? CL: Even though I never really thought about the mix in the run-up to the final production, Jacob knocked me off with his tight and ass kicking sound. I sure knew a few Volbeat songs but i guess Jacob served the icing on the cake, as if he knew exactly what The New Black tries to convey. Depending on the songwriting for No.4, Jacob would be a serious option i guess. BMM: The album itself has some quite meaty balls to the wall anthems, but are there any songs you’re particulary proud of and can’t wait to play live? CL: Yes, all of them. We already rehearsed the complete album. And I can´t wait to get on stage with it. We even get rid of our beloved Unknown Stuntman Intro, wich pushed us since the beginning, before every show. Of course, you never know how the audience accepts our new stuff in a live situation, but I´m pretty confident that there are a lot of sweeping pieces on the list. BMM: Personally I think the bands sound comes somewhere between The Almighty and Motorhead, but where do you see yourselves musical-
ly? CL: The good thing is, we don´t compare our sound or songs to any other band. The funny thing is, that the media still tries to do that. When we released our first album, i thought ok, that´s part of the game. People need an indication. I hope with this album, we can cosolidate our independence. Even if we wanted to copy one particular style or band, we couldn´t let a song sound like something. Our straight excuse are the different characters in the band. Wich means, everyone of us has different influences. I, for example, grew up with Guns`n`Roses and Pearl Jam but also had my Pantera Records in the stand, while Fabs was probably banging to "Cotton Eye Joe", haha. I remember the comparisons of my voice to singers I´ve never heard of. But maybe it´s just a curse for german bands beside Rammstein, to must be abled to stand up to international comparison. BMM: With this new album under your belt what does 2013 have in store for the band? Are there any tours planned, either as a stand-alone act, or as part of a larger package? CL: We´re on tour in april. It´s the Rock´n´Roll Overdose Tour with Supercharger, Psychopunch, 77 and our Buddies from Motorjesus, wich actually is a larger package. This will be the first time we perform our new stuff beside the Release Show on march 15th in Düsseldorf. So we have the time to figure out how the album is liked and then we´ll see what happens in the remaining eight month. I go for world domination in December.
BAnd. covered call album. impact Interview with. joel carlsson interviewed by:. primo bonali Question: Which are your sensations about “Impact”? Are you fully satisfied and what are your expectations about it? Answer: This is our second album and we very happy to finally get it out. We have put huge efforts on song writing, sound and production on Impact and we all are very satisfied with the result. Our expectations and hopes are of cause that our fans like what we have done. Q: “Impact” features the incredible talent of Goran Edman on vocals. How did you get in touch with him? And how was this co-operation? Did he also contribute on the songwriting? A: Göran is a fantastic singer, through our new bass player Andy Loos (Glory, Lion’s Share) we asked Göran if he wanted to join the band. Thomas Vikström how sang on the first album Money never sleeps is a great singer but also a busy man. We wanted to make changes to the second album with bigger sound and better production, and we Focus on:
think that Göran did a fantastic job with putting his own stamp on the songs too. Ronny (drummer) and I do all the song writing and it also was important for us that all the other guys did there things to the album in the studio. Q: I could describe your sound as a “Classic Melodic Rock AOR” but with a clear Swedish touch, something pretty close to new bands like Work Of Art and H.E.A.T. Do you agree? Which have been your most important influences, musically talking? A: Well, I think you have right about the AOR with the Swedish touch, but I don’t think that we so close to those bands. Same category but many of the AOR band today tend to be shaped in the same form. We wanted to stick out with a fat sound and a twist of the AOR genre with wide influences like everything from Motown to heavy metal. Q: Which are the themes you're dealing with, lyrically talking, in this album? A: Actually when we are writing
C O V E R E D C A L L - I m p a c t (AOR Heaven)
lyrics we don’t think and write in themes. It tender to be love lyrics and stuff around that for some reason. Q: Lars Chriss of Lion’s Share mixed the album and did a great work. How was working with him? A: It’s been easy to work with Lars. He is very professional and knows what he’s doing. We recorded everything and produced it ourselves then we send it to Lars without telling him so much and let him make his own picture of the songs. We didn’t need to make big changes because he was close to how we were thinking around the sound. We are very satisfied with his job! Q: Are you planning some live-shows? A: Not many official plans at the moment. We will play at H.E.A.T Festival in Ludwigsburg later on this year. Q: That's it. Thanx a lot for your time. Any last words? A: Hope you guys like the new album and we look forward to see you live during the year!
When you name Sweden, you immediately think about sexy girls, snow and… great Melodic Rock! And you can’t be wrong; Covered Call is another clear example. Having a debut album (“Money Never Sleeps” of 2009) under their belt, the band is now at its comeback and what a return! First of all, the big news is that they recruited the mighty singer Goran Edman to complete the line-up; obviously, Edman’s vocals bring the Covered Call-songwriting to “the next level”, to the “major league” of the Melodic Rock/AOR, along with bands like country-mates H.E.A.T. and Work Of Art. Another great addition to the album is the perfect production, with the recordings that took place in “Studio Fredman” and the mixing that has been handled by Lars Chriss of Lion’s Share at “LS Studio”. 11 songs of classic Melodic Rock that might sound a little bit derivative and not so original, but, hey, who cares! If you want to spend 45 minutes listening to heavenly melodies, big choruses and dreaming arrangements, go and buy it. That’s one of these albums that make you feel better in a very short time… Primo Bonali (88/100)
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artist. sebastian bach album. abachalypse now nterview with:. s. bach interviewed by:. b. mcminn Question: What is your favorite moment on ABachalypse Now? Answer: My favorite moments on ABocalypse Now are in the Graspop show. Probably American metalhead. where I am forced to stand in one place and sing. I find when I put all my energy into the singing, it's very powerful. Q: Besides the great rocking songs you have also written and performed some of the best ballads ever. Besides I Remember You and Wasted Time I absolutely love songs like By Your Side and I`m Alive. Much more than the usual radio-ballads, they go straight to the heart. In what kind of situations are you able to write such beautiful melodies and lyrics? A: Actually “Im Alive” is written by Nick Sterling Probably my favorite ballad that I've done is Wishin'. which is the last song on “Kicking and Screaming”. I've always loved to sing ballads and I will continue to sing ballads. Q: I was very impressed with your Kicking & Screaming album. Besides the great music, I really love the coverartwork. It gave me a feeling comparaFocus on:
ble to the Destroyer Artwork from Kiss. How important is the whole packaging and presentation of your music to you? A: The packaging is very important to me. The photos on “ABachalypse Now” were taken by Kat Benzova at the Hellfest show in France. I love the pictures and they really capture the feeling of being at the concert. Q: I guess it would be really easy to gain huge success by touring the world with a reunited Skid Row and play all the classic songs. But instead you`re still creating new music (and I appreciate that a lot). What keeps you going? A: What would make me stop? Q: During your time singing the title role in Jekyll & Hyde you have worked with David Hasselhoff. What was it like helping him to sing your parts and working with him? A: I didn't work with the Hoff, I showed him the track of the show. How he had to change into different clothes during different parts of the show. He seemed like a nice guy, but I feel that I was a more convincing Mr. Hyde then the Hoff was Q: What’s the most important thing you learned from the ten
years you spent with Skid Row? A: Um, I don’t have an answer for you. I don’t think I was so much into learning at that point. We were a bunch of crazy dudes having a great time. You’re asking me to think about 1986 and 1996, so I don’t have a good answer. I can’t think of something that I learned back then. One thing I learned recently is that when you shave your armpits, don’t put on deodorant right away. That stings. I learned that the hard way. Q: Who’s your favorite new rock band? A: Yeah, I like Black Veil Brides. I think they’re amazing. I just played with Five Finger Death Punch and they are insanely cool and heavy. I like Hatebreed. I love the new Van Halen CD. “A Different Kind of Truth” is an incredible CD that sounds like it could have come out between “Van Halen II” and “Women and Children First”. I go running to that, and that one song “She’s the Woman” is so cool to me that I just laugh. I am running and just fucking laughing. When I was in South America, Gene Simmons played me one new song from the new Kiss album and just blew me away.
S E B A S T I A N B A C H - ABachalypse Now (Frontiers Records)
He came out of Canada like a bolt out of the blue joining New Jersey rockers Skid Row after a stint with Madam X, Sebastian Bach rapidly became the voice of 80’s Metal with their self-titled debut album reaching number six in the US charts with such classic cuts like “18 and Life”, “Youth Gone Wild” and “Remember You”. Their second album “Slave To The Grind” reached number 1 in the US which included the hits “Slave To The Grind” and “Monkey Business”. All these songs are big part of Bach solo set list and this double CD/DVD package reflects the legendary lives shows the larger than life frontman excels at. It’s not one, not two, but three different live shows, this is Bach at his very best. It’s high energy rock n’ roll featuring the 2012 shows at Hellfest (France), Nokia (Los Angeles), as well as never-before-seen footage from GrasPop Festival (Belgium), plus the bonus videos of “Kicking & Screaming”, “TunnelVision” and “I'm Alive”. All in all a must for all Skid Row and Bach fans in particular. After nearly 30 years he shows he still has the pipes and can still deliver the goods on stage. Definitely the last of the hardmen of rock n’ roll. Barry McMinn (91/100)
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band. pretty maids album. motherland Interview with:. ronnie atkins interviewed by:. B. mcminn Focus on:
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P R E T T Y M A I D S - Motherland (Frontiers Records)
One of the albums of 2010 for me had to the Danish rockers Pretty Maids album “Pandemonium”, the band then showed in 2012 that even after 30 years they can still deliver in the live arena with their anniversary release “It Comes Alive (Maid in Switzerland)”. Now in 2013 the Danes return with another stunning release ‘Motherland’. This new album takes up where “Pandemonium” left off with a great mix of heavy, yet very melodic Metal, that has become the Danes trademark since their formation back in 1982. The album hits hard from the off with storming “Mother Of All Lies”, with frontman Atkins still showing what a great vocal force he is. The album impresses throughout with varying range of songs that will just blow you away from the all out metallers of “The Iceman’ and “Motherland”, to the more mellow moments of “Sad To See You Suffer” and the stunning “Bullet For You”. This album has it all and so much more a truly wondrous release. Barry McMinn (98/100)
Question: With such an acclaimed album as “Pandemonium”, was there any pressure when putting together “Motherland” to match and even surpass “Pandemonium”? Answer: Sure there was a lot of pressure !!! But we already knew there would be since the day we finished the last mix on the “Pandemonium” album. I already knew back then that we had done a really good album. And since the media and the fans since shared our opinion, we knew it would be a tough one to match ! But what ever we’ve tried that before and all you can do is just do your best and that’s what we just did !!! I think “Motherland” is a good and worthy follow up though it’s a little different than “Pandemonium”! And then again! There’s definitely a red line between the two of them. Q: What is the concept of “Motherland” as an album title and how does that relate in a lyrical sense to the songs? A: There’s no concept as such ! We just were in need for a great album title and someone came up with “Motherland”. We all thought it was a cool title so that was it ! Lirically it’s really just about patriotism in the sense of protecting / defending the good values of our country such as the freedom of speech, without being too political. Q: Walk us through the recording process for this album, you've got band members scattered here and there - were you able to undertake the bulk of recording together in the studio? Over what period of time did you record the album? A: We started off the recording of the album in mid Aug as a unit (doing basic tracks) and then started recording seperately after that !!! That was mainly because of our touring schedule !!! So at the end of the day it all became a little stressed since we normally just focus at one thing at a time. But that was the situation. Q: You worked again with producer Jacob Hansen, what things do you feel you changed from a production point of view on Motherland compared to Pandemonium? A: Nothing really, there’s still a
red thread as far as I’m concerned ! It was a pleasure working with him again I gotta say ! If there’s any difference I guess it’s more in the material in general, which I find a bit more Moody / melancholic and even melodic than on “Pandemonium”. Q: I've picked out three songs for you to provide your thoughts / comments on: A: - To Fool A Nation. One of the first songs to be written for the album, a song that when it was written we all thought would turn out really good. We changed bit and pieces though during the procces ! Lirically it’s about the ongoing threats / human time bombs that walk among us whether they’re right wing radicals or extreme islamists !!! - Sad To See You Suffer: Actually the very first song being worked on for this album, partly a left over idea from the time around “Pandemonium”. It’s a pop song to be honest and through the process we were in doubt if it was a song to use for a Pretty maids album. Gotta say I believed in the song from day one. It was just a matter of production really ! Lirically: It’s pretty personal !!! Obviously about dealing with depressions and the dark side of the mind ! And how vulnerable and helpless we all are when something like that hit us or our close family. - I See Ghosts: On of these midtempo rockers, pretty simple but nevertheless a good rocker ! I like the verses the best though. Well i guess the title says it all !!! Q: The band recently celebrated its 30th anniversary, did you ever think you’d still be going after all these years? A: Well I guess if you asked me 25 or 30 years ago the answer would most likely have been No ! And in reality it’s actually quite hard to understand that so many years has passed !!! It all still pretty much feels like it was yesterday. Q: Your first DVD “It Comes Alive (Maid in Switzerland)” was part of the 30th anniversary celebrations, but why did it take so long for you guys to release a live DVD? A: We had plans about it some 10 or 15 years ago, but for some reason it never really materialized. But after the success of
“Pandemonium” and the new found spirit in the band it was kind of obvious and the right timing to finally do it on our 30th Anniversary. Q: You once again have gone to Jacob Hansen to produce the album, was this a no brainer after he did such a sterling job on “Pandemonium”? A: Yes indeed !! We didn’t consider anyone else really !!! And he did a good job once again. Q: Focusing on Denmark, how have you noticed rock fans in your home country and their level of interest and recognition towards Pretty Maids, over the bands existence? Is Denmark for example, where you would consider to be your biggest fanbase? A: These days we have a good solid following in Denmark and not more than that !!! But because of our more melodic side and some of the radio hits we had in the past, we’re still able to play big festivals here in Denmark !!! But in Denmark heavy metal has always been and still is some kind of a cult thing ! Our biggest fanbase must be Germany and the rest of Europe !! Japan as well ! But we’d like to got a lot of places to expand that fanbase. Q: There were rumours that “Motherland” would be the last studio album from the band, is there any truth in that? A: We always sort of focus on one project at a time !!! And who knows tomorrow ? But NO !!! I don’t see any stop signs at all ! And I don’t have a clue where these rumours originates from. Q: The band have been around now for 30 years but would you ever think of starting a band today given today’s musical climate? A: I very much doubt that I would, seriously !!! Q: What does 2013 have in store for the band and tour or festival dates we should keep and eye out for? A: First of all we’ll start doing festivals during the summer, then followed by an extensive tour in the late summer / fall. Basically go out there and tour as much as possible !!! Also we might record some new material during this year ! I’m positive in any sense.
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Bruce Atkinson: Let us begin with the obvious question: a project like this, so huge in scope, it must have had some very daunting obstacles to overcome? Claes Andreasson: Well, my plan was to release a new HR album every 7-8 year with the next one due to 2020 and the reason is that i write a lot of different music so i thought that was suitable ,however making this album was a pure joy so i hope that we will release a new album already next year! We also changed 2 things from the debut album: On the debut we had great musicians such as Mikkey Dee, Tommy Denander, Magnus Rosen (Hammerfall) and so on but this time we wanted more of a band feel and these guys on the new album is amazing. And the other thing was that some songs on the debut was harder rock which were songs that we initially wrote for Last Autumns Dream and then there were some songs in the west coast/Aor style like the ones on "On air". We said early that we would like to do an album in the same west coast style and i was a little bit worried that the fans and reviews would point that out but i have to say that everyone seem to really like it! BA: The core of the group is a five piece, however you have brought in so many musical friends, tell us about this experience… It must have been a beautiful experience to share all this musical talent with so many! CA: Yes, it´s a blessing that you have such good artists and musicians to fulfill our vision and pick the right vocalist for each song is a dream. Me and Mikael Erlandsson and Pierre Wensberg has been friends for 25 years so they ill always appear and i hope that Jim Jidhed will be back for the next album as well. Then we have some plans on some more vocalists for the next album. BA: “On Air” has a specific theme, let’s talk about that... CA: Yeah, we wanted each song to be a reminder of some of our inspirations during the golden age between 1977-1984. So for example "Angelina" is inspired by Toto´s Isolation album, "Turn on love" by Bill Champlin / Kenny Loggins, "You are love" by Pages", I Will Love You" by Journey" and "Keep Kicking It Back Again" by Bill Labounty / Michael McDonald. “On Air” is such a great collection of songs, is this project a result of “not being able” to express yourselves completely with your other musical projects? CA: Yeah, that´s why it was so much fun making the album this way. Because ,you know i´ve been writing and producing LAD for 11 albums now and i love that musical style but that´s also the reason i wanted to do something else with HR. BA: Have you ever thought of taking “Heartbreak Radio” out on the road, or are your other band commitments such that this would be impossible? CA: No, as a matter of fact we are talking about doing some shows after the next album. 22 | MRF
Barry McMinn: So how did Snowfall come into being? P.B. Riise: The band I used to be in, Winter Parade, released their 2nd album back in 2008. It took so long to write and record, for all sorts of reasons, that, paradoxically, it became way too rushed, to the degree that it had a huge impact on the end result, both soundwise and in terms of songwriting. The album could’ve been magnificent, given the proper treatment, but the way things evolved, it was apparent that it wouldn’t become the kind of CD we had wanted it to be. Therefore, I promised myself to make another album, but this time I wouldn’t be restricted by the same things as before. I wrote a couple of songs and played them for Dice, the guitarist in Winter Parade. He was positive, but after a while, I realized that in order to change things, I had to make changes in all departments, so I turned elsewhere to recruit band members. Luckily, I got in touch with Tore, the guitarist, through Bjorn Westum, the vocalist from Winter Parade. I knew Tore from back in the 80s as well, but then only as a musical “rival”. The three of us sat down to stake out a course, as we wanted to have a functional band that could go out and play live. After all, that’s what music is all about, if you ask me. The name “Snowfall” didn’t come about until recently. We had a name, but Escape Music suggested that we change it for “Snowfall” – and we all loved that name, so that’s how it came to be. BMM: As well as Lee you also have Coldspell’s Perra Johnson guesting on drums, will he becoming a permanent feature in the band? P.B: Perra did a fabulous job on the album. If he’s available, I wouldn’t mind having him cementing the groove for us. I hope we can get this show on the road, and if we do, I’ll have a chat with him first. If he’s busy with Coldspell, we have a more than capable replacement in Terry, the Winter Parade drummer. He was supposed to play on the album, but had to opt out due to turbulence in his personal life. I think he’s been able to sort out the situation now, so I wouldn’t mind playing with any of those two! BMM: Do you think that having such a wealth of diverse talent in the band has helped you to produce such a great debut album? P.B.R: Well, there are two talents in the band, and I spend my time fusing their inputs together, hopefully bringing the music to a higher level in the process. I have loads of ideas, but they’d be worth nothing without Tore and Lee refining and honing them. I’m like a bullet, but a bullet is useless with a gun, and they are indeed ’44 Magnums. BMM: Finally do you see this as a studio project or will you be taking Snowfall on the road in 2013? We would all love to perfom these songs live – they deserve to be played, and we’ll do what we can to make that happen. Being a band means a lot to me – the word “project” leaves a bad taste in my mouth. The CD wasn’t the result of any one person, it was a collective effort, and I’d like to show the rock community what this collective is capable of on a stage. Promoters, you’re hereby warned!