CONTENTS 04_Rick Springfield 05_Delta Deep 07_Dukes of the Orient 08_Shiraz Lane 10_Animal Drive 11 _ A m m u n i t i o n 12_Reviews 15_Revertigo 1 6 _ M i k e L e p o n d ’s S i l e n t A s s a s s i n s 17_Lione / Conti 23_CoreLeoni Melodic Rock Fanzine The official Frontiers Music s.r.l. magazine Year #14 - Nr. 1 / Issue #84
FM “Atomic Generation” (CD / Vinyl)
W.E.T. “Earthrage” (CD / Vinyl)
KIP WINGER “Solo Box Set Collection”
L.A. GUNS “Made in Milan” (CD+DVD / Blu Ray / Vinyl)
Editor-in-chief: Elio Bordi Concept, Graphics & Design: Elio Bordi Writers: Bruce E.J. Atkinson, Duncan Jamieson, Barry McMinn, Rob “Ezy” Bone, Primo Bonali, Fabiana Spinelli, Sven Jorgensen. Headquarters and general contacts: Frontiers Records - Via Gonzaga 18 80125, Napoli - Italy
Tel: +39.081.2399340/7753 Fax: +39.081.2399794 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.frontiers.it
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Editor and publisher: Frontiers Records s.r.l. Copyright©2018 Frontiers Records s.r.l. - All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. Printed in Italy.
DOKKEN “Return to the East Live 2016” (CD+DVD / Blu Ray / Vinyl / Boxset) STRYPER “God Damn Evil” (CD / Vinlyl)
JAMES CHRISTIAN “Craving” ISSA “Run with the Pack” PERFECT PLAN “All Rise”
BULLETBOYS “From Out of the Skies” (CD / Vinyl)
NO HOT ASHES “No Hot Ashes” (CD / Vinyl)
Duncan Jamieson: Duncan Jamieson: ‘The Snake King’ has a bluesier feel than we’re used to hearing from you. What took you in this direction? Rick Springfield: My first bands were white boy blues bands, we were into the Chicago blues and some of the earlier southern stuff. Then of course the Beatles came along and told us we could all write our own material. The blues was a new thing back then in Australia. The Stones were first when I was about 10 years old. As guitar players we all played that blues band stuff. That was what we did. So I’ve always been heavily interested in the blues. It’s the kind of thing you always play when you’re drunk at a party. So I decided I should do a solo blues record. A friend of mine in Australia has been successful recently making such an album. The music fitted what I wanted to write about; about the way we’re fucking up the world and each other. I didn’t want to write songs about missing my baby and my baby done me wrong. The music though is definitely 12 bar blues. It’s a discipline to write like that, writing a new song with three chords that have been played over and over by people and trying to find a way to make it my own. It’s my road band on the album. I definitely wanted to hear guitar solos and I wanted the room on songs to do that. DJ: An even bigger departure for you than the blues is the lyrical content which wrestles with faith. RS: I knew I wanted to write about these things. I got drunk one weekend on red wine and wrote the bulk of it with good friends. I’ve
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been thinking about these spiritual things for a long time. I was raised as a very orthodox Christian, then I was an atheist for a while. With all the evil you see in the world, I had to ask ‘Where’s God?’ If we’re destroying each other and being bad stewards to the planet then where is he? I’ve got a friend who’s very big on the idea that this is the end of time and Jesus will return. Why does it have to get dark before he returns? What I see in the world, made me really think, ’What God lets this happen?’ So the record is called the Snake King and this King is sometimes God, sometimes the Devil and sometimes me. It asks questions. I didn’t want it to be a preachy album. It shouldn’t be spelt out. Art has to be interpreted. People will think different things.Sometimes I’ve looked for help from above but I’m still searching. My mom died in December last year. She believed in her God. There were lots of things going on around her funeral. My mom’s death gave an alternative view to what I had at that point. She was present that day all round us in a way that suggested there was something more. He might not be this dude with a white beard. I’ve a friend whose kid died of cancer at 13 years old and Charles Manson lives to 83 years old. Why does this happen? In the past when I prayed I was asking for shit. I found meditation and being present as a way of finding my spirituality. DJ: As well as the existential theme, there’s the song ‘Suicide Manifesto’ which is an honest song about thinking about suicide. Does writing such a song relieve the
depression that you struggled with at times in your life? RS: That song is very dark and it came to me when I was at my darkest. Originally, the song was six minutes long but it was so dark I had to cut it down to two minutes. Writing that song actually made it worse. I understand where Robin Williams was coming from. I didn’t say ‘Why did he do that?’ It’s not just musicians, everyone suffers from depression. Because I’ve written about it people come up to me, fans who tell me their fight too. In some ways artists are luckier because they can put it into their work, into their music and make something constructive out of it. Depression changes but back in the day when I was starting out I was usually considered the moody one. Writing is a way out. It stops me curling up into a ball. It doesn’t get better but you manage it. There are good moments but something can happen in life or chemically that can bring it on.” DJ: You’ve mentioned that this album may bury the ‘teenybopper’ label once and for all. RS: As you get older, you stop thinking about your dick so much and start looking around at the world. I’ve never written down to my fans. Even in the days of ‘Jessie’s Girl’, that wasn’t a happy clappy view. It was about the guy who didn’t get the girl. One guy, a fan, has told me ‘I miss the pop songs like ‘Victoria’s Secret’ but I had to do this record. The lyrics for this record came spilling out as if they had been stuck in a bottleneck.
Bruce Atkinson: Let’s start with, why Phildid you decide to form this excellent ensemble of musicians? (I know, it sounds like a silly question, but I hope it opens up the conversation straight away to the wondrous world of the blues.) Formed in 2012, and releasing the self-titled debut in 2015… How did you get involved with Frontiers Music, what with the label rereleasing the first, and now the live cd/dvd? Phil Collen: It started with myself and Debbi sitting around the house singing Motown classics and my wife Helen suggested we tried some blues and gospel songs it took off from there and frontiers seemed excited by our approach which is really expressive hard rock soul and has a direct lineage to the blues. BA: Phil, you are surrounded by legendary musicians within “Delta Deep”…and they not only share your love for the deep blues, but also your natural skills in playing this soulful expression of music. Being primarily from the rockier side of the spectrum, do you approach the songs in any differing way? PC: I approach songwriting from an inspirational starting point, whatever style of music wether it's a lyric, melody, drum pattern or riff. So I never know what's going to hit me until I get that first clue and I never get writers block. BA: I have seen some live footage of the
group, and I must say that your guitar approach is so refreshing. Yes, it is pure blues — but with a Rock attack! Is this done unawares?Watching you on stage, and it doesn’t matter how intimate the room is, or how large… Each of you, (in the band), feel the music you are playing…and render those feelings straight to the audience… PC: I've always played that way as my introduction to the guitar was from blues inspired, electric rock players like Hendrix, Blackmore and Jimmy Page. I play like that in Def Leppard too but the context of the songs are different so you do t hear it as much. And we play or express ourselves the same if it's a tiny club or giant festival. BA: Debbi Blackwell-Cook, your lead vocalist-has a voice second to none, full of emotion and makes one a believer every time she steps up to the mic!...how did you meet her? PC: Debbi sung at my wedding that's when I first met her. BA: …and Forrest Robinson — just wow! Are they both American? Plus with Robert Deleo, him and Forrest just seem to be able to read each other’s mind…they are so tight! PC: All American except me. BA: You all exude the Blues, and as I hinted at prior, you put back just the right amount of Rock in every performance—and
not only live but with your self-titled studio album…how much of that album is original material and how much is Delta Deep’s versions of some classic gems? PC: It's about 75% original. BA: Now, the original release of the first album was in 2015, and the live footage we see on the “East Coast Live” CD/DVD is from 2016…please talk about that experience, as it was taken from your appearance on “Daryl’s House”… I know you are very busy, what with “Def Leppard” and the remaining members of the group are as well…but I need to ask, have you had the chance to record some more material…and if so, when can we expect the next “Delta Deep” album? PC: The Darryl’s house show was one of those magic nights so we used the whole show for the live album.We've already started recording the new Delta Deep album I'm loving the direction and the songwriting is a better on this one, now we know how we sound we can expand on everything even more. BA: Phil, thank-you for answering some of my questions, and bringing us back to our Blues roots! Would you leave our readers with some additional thoughts on the music that you so lovingly salute with “Delta Deep”? PC: The music I love can be from any genre but must have a creative, expressive soul to it.
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Barry McMinn: This album has been some ten years in the making, so what prompted you release it now? Erik Norlander: John Lennon famously said, “Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans.” When we formed ASIA Featuring John Payne in 2007, the intention was to write an album and play some tour dates. John and I began writing immediately, and we wrote more than 10 songs just in the initial sessions. “Strange Days” was one of those songs. But then we got busy with touring, and more dates than expected were offered to us. We made the first album track recordings in 2008 in spite of a busy year of live shows. Our guitarist, Guthrie Govan, left the band at the end of that year to form The Aristocrats, a top-shelf fusion trio. So in 2009, John and I did more writing sessions up at my studio in Northern California where we penned “Seasons Will Change” and “Amor Vincit Omnia” among others. As we were searching for a new guitarist, we conducted another round of recording sessions at Ocean Studio in Burbank, California. We started working with Bruce Bouillet in 2010, and we recorded tracks with him at John’s studio in Southern California. Then Bruce left the band, and we brought in Jeff Kollman and Moni Scaria as a dual guitar approach. Jeff and Moni tracked many of their parts in 2011-2012, and we recorded additional keyboards, bass and vocals during this time as well as drums for one more song, “Fourth of July.” We shot our first video for “Seasons Will Change” at the end of 2012 which included live footage from a concert in Mexicali, Mexico where we debuted the song on stage. We also shot some video footage that would eventually appear in the “Strange Days” video. Guthrie Govan came back to appear in the video alongside Moni and
Jeff, which was fantastic. But then John began focusing on a huge Las Vegas production called “Raiding the Rock Vault,” and that was very successful for him. This effectively put the band on hiatus for about 4 years, and during this time I worked on several other projects including albums with my prog band, Rocket Scientists, 2 solo albums and an album with my wife, Lana Lane. We finally reformed in 2017, and we spent the entire year finishing all the recordings we had started. In order to keep the sound cohesive and consistent, we re-recorded many keyboard and vocal parts. Moni and Jeff recorded some new guitar parts as well. So it has been a long and winding road, to tie back to the first Beatles reference! BM: Are the songs featured all the songs that were meant for Asia featuring John Payne, or did you write any songs pacifically for this release? EN: We simply changed the name of the band out of respect for the late great John Wetton and to keep clarity and avoid confusing with the Geoff Downes version of ASIA. So all of our songs were all written for this release. It’s only the band name that’s changed, nothing else. BM: Have the songs remained as they were first written and performed, or have they evolved for this album? EN: We did spend all of 2017 re-recordings some things and making revisions to keep the album consistent and focused. Although the recordings span a period of 10 years, I don’t think anyone would guess this by the sound of the album. To me it sounds like it was all done in one big session. BM: Although the songs on the album were originally penned as Asia songs, they stand
alone a Dukes of the Orient songs as well, was this the intentional? EN: They were originally penned as “John and Erik” songs, and that is what they will sound like no matter what you call the band! These songs combine John’s melodic AOR sensibility with my progressive rock aesthetic. As we’ve said a few times, it’s what you get when you match a Brit from London who loves American AOR with an American from California who grew up on British prog. BM: When you have songs written and ready for an album, but they don’t see the light of day, how frustrating is it for you as an artist, because of all the hard work you’ve put into these songs? EN: There were times during the hiatus that it was extremely frustrating, especially because the songs were so good. Nobody wanted to abandon them, but we are talking about a group of highly creative people here, and sometimes you just have to wait for the right moment when it all comes together. BM: This album has been ten years in the making, any ideas yet as to how long we’ll have to wait for the next Dukes of the Orient album? EN: Only Time Will Tell! BM: Finally will we see the band on tour in 2018? EN: We are planning some dates for the end of the year. This band is very much theater-oriented, so we want to make sure that when this music is performed on stage, that it’s in the right environment for the audience. So we’re being very selective about fielding show offers. But both John and I are excited about bring the music of the Dukes to the stage, and we look forward to delivering these great songs live!
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Bruce Atkinson: May we begin with a little of your history…and the name of the band… Hannes Kett: It started as an idea Ana & I had back in 2009, but it became a reality during 2011 when we rocked our first gig. After a few years of playing at local youth centers and bars we found Joel Alex in 2014. He was a perfect fit to our little gang of monkeys. The Universe delivers to those who believe, and we are truly lucky to have found each other. We’ve gotten to see the world (2 European Tours + shows in Toronto & Japan), play at some big festivals in Finland & some huge festivals abroad (Wacken Open Air Festival). To us our name (Shiraz Lane) represents the journey of life, we are writing our story & leaving our legazy. Life is all about the journey, not the destination. I am intrigued by the idea of Reincarnation and try to live my life to the fullest. I choose my path and try to bring joy & harmony to this beautiful world around me. There will be ups & downs, but it is all meant to be. Might aswell enjoy some Shiraz red wine while we’re at it, right? BA: “For Crying Out Loud”, your debut, was released worldwide back in 2016—and not a small feat! Having your first album enjoying world wide availability must have been a thrill, and maybe adding a bit of pressure? HK: Of course, it was amazing to release our debut all around the world. We are taking it step by step so no need to stress about it, everything has to start somewhere. We did what we could in
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the time given to us and looking back at it, our debut could’ve been much worse but also better. It’s got some great songs on it but the overall production popped up some question-marks after it was released and our ear on that kind of stuff had developed. Joel Alex: And to answer the question – there's no pressure about spreading it worldwide 'cause that's what we aimed for and still do. Shiraz Lane is here to take over the whole planet one sold album at a time and a solid distribution sure helps. BA: Now, by the sounds of “Carnival Days”, you seem to have weathered the pressure! Such an energetic collection of material… HK: Thank you very much! We are extremely proud of our second baby. This time around we took all the time we needed and it sounds exactly how we wanted it to sound. like It’s HUGE with great songwriting and you can clearly hear that we’ve evolved as artists. JA: The only hint of pressure we have at the moment is to get it out. The proud dad feeling has wanted to share it around the world since the moment it came out of mastering. The waiting has been killing us. I'm sure the reception will be good so there's nothing to be afraid of. We are more than ready. BA: May we talk about your method of recording, and composing? Is there a main song writer, or do all contribute?
HK: The reason Shiraz Lane sounds unique is because everyone contributes in their own way and the mixture is something only the group of these 5 inviduals could have. It starts with an idea one of us has, then we jam around at our rehearsal space letting the music take over. Over time we’ve got a song in our hands which we rewrite until we feel it’s ready to be demoed. With “Carnival Days” we had 5 pre-production sessions in Stockholm. It was truly amazing to work with our producer & friend Per Aldeheim. JA: The composing and arranging stage of making music in our rehearsal place has a lot of room for all of us to bring in their own spices into the mix. Our musical chemistry is good and it's easy to bring the funky, heavy, soft and moody touches together while having a relaxed jam. The process with lyrics was also much more concentrated on this album. We all threw in our thoughts if the story or the idea felt inconcsistent and Hannes did a great job with Miki on finalizing them. BA: Being such a young group-please take no offence-you sound like veterans…what do you attribute to your musical maturity to? HK: It's all about living & learning. We’ve rocked over 200 shows, we rehearse a lot and seek inspiration from the world around us. We have a great team supporting us which includes our management, sound engineer, friends & family. Joel Alex: Our taste in songwriting is also pretty mature if that makes any sense.
Barry McMinn: The name of Animal Drive will be a new name to many, can you tell us a little history of the band? Dino Jelusic: The band was formed in the summer of 2012. It was my solo band at that time with Alen Luke, Damjan and Zvone behind instruments. Alen Luke will play with us on Frontiers Rock Festival, althought he’s not in the band anymore. By the end of 2014. Adrian came in the band, Keller came in 2015 and Rokindja in 2017. We decided to be Animal Drive in 2016. Right before we signed a record deal with Frontiers. BM: The bands debut album ‘Bite!’ is to be released on Frontiers Music s.r.l., how did you link up with the label? DJ: Jeff Scott Soto heard some of my stuff from the past and he liked it. Then he decided to send a few songs to the label and see what they think. The next day we got and email from the director of the label saying he LOVED it. Few months later we were signed. TBM: he band hail from Zagreb, what is the like being a band in Croatia is there a big rock scene there? DJ: It’s very small, and it’s getting smaller. It’s 8th world wonder that Croatian band got signed by a big label, but considering how many things I’ve done in the past, and get-
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ting in Trans-Siberian Orchestra, it’s real. There are a few local bands that sound great, but don’t get any attention from media, or wide audience, it’s a shame. BM: The debut album is well named ‘Bite!’ as the album definitely has some teeth. When did you start work on the album? DJ: Yeah, that’s why we decided to call it ‘’Bite!’’, as soon as it starts it bites your head. We did some demo version even before my first TSO tour in 2016. We were supposed to release an EP during my TSO tour. Back then we had ‘’Tower Of Lies’’, ‘’Fade Away’’, ‘’Deliver Me’’, ‘’Gates of Eden’’ and ‘’City Of Damned’’ as tracks for the EP. First three made it to the album, ‘’Gates of Eden’’ will probably make it on some we release later, and ‘City’’ will be maybe included in 20 years, as a demo that never made it ha, ha. BM: Can you tell us something about the lyrics, where does the inspiration behind the songs come from? DJ: Every song is different. ‘’Goddamn Marathon’’ is a song about me always doing all the work for the band (that’s how it was in the past), ‘’Tower Of Lies’’ is a song about betrayal, ‘’Hands Of Time’’ is a song about love that has to wait for the right time… But it all comes from the real stories,
except ‘’Devil’’ and ‘’Deliver ’’ those too are sci-fi. BM: With most debut albums bands want to deliver a message of intention, what is the message behind ‘Bite!’? DJ: Message is that you gotta have guts and you can’t play safe. That’s what we’ve been doing. Music scene in Croatia was getting worse, we were getting heavier, no matter what. I mean, it’s not about being heavy, it’s about being good, but we could’ve turned into a good pop-rock band and maybe make it on domestic market, but we wouldn’t make it where we go now. BM: The band are appearing at this year ’s Frontier Rock Festival at Live Club @ Trezzo sull'Adda Milan. What can the audience expect for a live Animal Drive Show? DJ: We will shoot our last music video from this album there, so we expect people to go nuts! We will choose what songs to play from the album, since we can’t play them all, but it’s gonna be monstrous. BM: Apart from the festival will the band be touring in 2018 to promote the new album? DJ: Very likely. We have some plans for Germany and UK as for now. We’ll see what will happen during the year.
Barry McMinn: The album is simply entitled ‘Ammunition’, why go for self-titled album name for the second release? Age Sten Nilsen: When Erik and I formed the band back in 2013 we were simply recording demos for what was to become Wig Wam's fifth album. And I wanted to present my songs in more finished versions than before.During the recordings the band broke up, and Erik and I figured what to do with these songs we had recorded, when Erik suggested we'd start a band together. I didn't want these songs to be solo songs really. We called the band "Åge Sten Nilsen's AMMUNITON", just to make it easier to get gigs and to be recognized you know. In 2016 it just felt right to remove my name from the band name, and while working on our second album it kind of felt like a fresh start for the band, as a band unit. So "AMMUNITION" felt like a good title. BM: The debut ‘Shanghaied’ received critical acclaim worldwide, were you surprised by the reaction? ASN: We knew we had a great album. So I guess we weren't THAT surprised ha ha But then again, these days you never know. You never know what mood the reviewer woke up with. An album review is extremely subjective, and sometimes even a reviewer might have something against you as a person as well. So you never know. But I'm happy both albums have been received extremely well. Maybe the reviewers don't hate me that much after all... BM: The new album is another great rock album that takes up where ‘Shanghaied’ left off, did you approach this album any differently than the debut?
ASN: Yes it does!! And yes, when we started to write this album we kinda knew a hell lot more what AMMUNITON was all about, and which directions to take on. So I guess we slightly left the Wig Wam path to travel somewhere else. But still it resonates what Erik and I are all about; Big choruses and good melodies. Less glam rock and more classic rock if you will. BM: How long have you been working on the new album? ASN: We didn't have a record deal when we started to write this album, and no release date. So we decided to enjoy the writing and recording of it, with no time limitations. I guess I went up to Eriks to write the very first song in December 2015. then we continued in January 2016 straight after Victor had joined the band. BM: The first taste we got of the new album was with the Eurovision entry ‘Wrecking Crew’, was that song written purposely for Eurovision? ASN: No it wasn't. It was one of three songs I sent to a couple of collegues just to have some feedback. A couple of producers and a guy who used to run Kiss Army Norway, that I trusted. I happened that the Kiss Army guys had started to work for the Norwegian Eurovision Song contest. So I was taken by surprise when he called me up to invite us to the main final. "Wrecking Crew" was the kind of song they were looking for, and "Ammunition" was just the right unit they needed for their show. We knew we wouldn't have time to win, because we were all commited to other projects. But we thought, hey, it's a great promotion campaign for the upcoming release anyway, and we our kind of music isn't hip these days... When we made it to
the Gold Finale, we were actually starting to worry ha ha So you can say Number 2 was the perfect outcome. BM: The song writing between both of you seems to have that a certain magic, but what originally brought the two of you together? ASN: I was determined to get a producer for my Wig Wam demos, and had made an oppoointment with the swedish producer and guitarist Tommy Denander. When he couldn't make it because his daughter was ill, I suddenly found myself in Stockholm Sweden with nothing to do really. A friend of mine, Dag Finn from Sha-Boom, had an appointment with another producer, so I joined him.The producer was Erik Mårtensson, and I remember he was quite surprised when I showed up in his studio. It turned out he was a big Wig Wam fan, and showed me all his Wig Wam albums... We hit it off immediately and I instantly knew we had the right chemistry together. The exciting thing now is that the rest of the band is becoming part of the songwriting as well. A lot of creativity floating around these days, and already 6-7 songs ahead on our next album. BM: The supergroup moniker has be attached to the band because of the line-up. What do you think of this, or is it just like minded guys making good rock n roll? ASN: The supergroup thing is something the press like to throw around, you know. We are just 6 musicians that happens to like the same kind of music and enjoy eachothers company. Coming from profiled bands is something you can't avoid if you want to surround yourself with the best musicians around really.
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New releases available on www.frontiers.shop - The official Frontiers Music s.r.l. shop! CD :€ V Vin inyl: 13.99 yl ( €1 w 7.9 h fr o ntie ite): € 9 rs.s 20.9 hop 9
RICK SPRINGFIELD “The Snake King” (Frontiers Music s.r.l.)
This is an intriguing and unexpected album from Springfield. Blues is the palate he dips into most (although a couple of tracks are more rootsy than blues) but his sugar coated hooks are still everywhere. He and Tim Pierce sound like they’re having a blast on the likes of ‘Little Demon’ which has more than a touch of Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Oh Well’ about it. What will draw most attention though are the lyrics. This is a themed album that has him grappling with the big question of faith, as his seventh decade looms. It’s not a preachy record and asks more questions than it offers answers. The songs are sung from the perspective of the Devil on songs like ‘Jesus Was An Atheist’, ‘‘God Don’t Care' and ‘Santa Is An Anagram’ that will create much debate. There’s also Springfield’s Lothario side on ‘Little Demon’ and ‘Judas Tree’. Then there’s Springfield’s well documented fight with depression that surfaces on ‘Suicide Manifesto’ with its chilling lines such as “Nothing here worth living for”. There are terrific lines peppered throughout this album. Underneath his customary hummable hooks, Springfield proves himself to be one of rock’s best, underrated lyricists and artists. Duncan Jamieson (95/100)
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M.LEPOND’S SILENT ASSASSINS “Pawn and Prophecy” (Frontiers Music s.r.l.)
It’s pummeling power metal from the Symphony X bassist on his second outing with his side project Silent Assassins. This comes across as very much a group effort. Lead singer Alan Tecchio of Hades and Seven Witches has a gruff and manly approach tailored made for this kind of loincloth metal; singing like he’s lopping off heads with a broadsword at the same time. Aside from‘I Am The Bull’ where LePond’s bass takes centre stage, it’s the guitar attack of Lance Barnewold on some tracks and Rod Rivera on others who help defne the Silent Assassin sound of tough, fast, razor sharp riffs, excelling on the viking ‘Masters Of The Hall’ and the rampant ‘Hordes Of Fire’ .There’s no shortage of creativity on this record. There are elements of classical folk such on the whimsical ‘The Mulberry Tree’ and the 21 minute closing title track, which Le Pond’s Symphony X buddies Michael Romeo and Michael Pinella add their firepower to covers numerous genres; The song is based on Shakespeare’s Macbeth and is a mix of metal, theatre, bagpipes, mulitple singers and doo wop! If you’re looking for inventive power metal then this is for you. Duncan Jamieson (92/100)
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CORELEONI “The Greatest Hits Part 1” (Frontiers Music s.r.l.)
This is an interesting project that may get tongues wagging about the future of Gotthard. That band’s lead guitarist Leo Leoni has re-recorded a number of tracks primarily from their first four albums plus ‘Anytime, Anywhere’ from ‘Lip Service’ ; all songs that have dropped out of their live setlists in recent years. Taking the best of those early records makes for one all killer, no filler disc. There’s also one new song ‘Walk On Water’ that fits in stylistically with the rest. Leoni’s masterstroke is that he has Ronnie Romero(Lords Of Black, Rainbow) on vocals. He brings a tougher more metal sheen to the songs and the pair have great chemistry. He sounds closer to the late, great Steve Lee than current Gotthard singer Nic Maeder does.‘Firedance’, ‘Downtown’ , ‘Get It While You Can’ , ‘Here Comes The Heat’ and ‘Ride On’all sizzle with an electric energy. The production is solid and Leone you sense is loving cranking it up again. I love the Nic Maeder fronted Gotthard, but if you crave their early more straightforward,Whitesnake-like hard rock sound this is a nice reminder of what the band were capable of. Here’s hoping both bands can live in tandem. Duncan Jamieson (94/100)
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LABYRINTH “Return to Live” (Frontiers Music s.r.l.)
Frontiers Metal Fest, 30 October 2016. There was magic in the air for a long-awaited reunion: Labyrinth coming back on stage and performing one of their masterpiece, “Return To Heaven Denied”. Eighteen years after, a new line-up with Nik Mazzucconi, John Macaluso and Oleg Smirnoff near to Roberto, Andrea and Olaf, but same heart and intense emotions. You can really find every single glimpse of this in “Return To Live”, a new epic live experience in CD or DVDBlue Ray to relive that glory day. A flawless execution, blessed by an impressive excitement on stage and off-stage, with an adoring public ready to sing every single word. You can feel the driving force of “Thunder” and hear a thrilling version of “Falling Rain”, enjoying a perfect production with clean and crystalline sounds. Roberto Tiranti is an amazing landlord and everything seems to be in its place, nothing’s missing, even the instrumental “Feel”. “Return To Live” contains a plethora of emotions and suggestion, it’s a rush to everybody who was there but also to every fan all around the world: this is the must-have item of the year! Fabiana Spinelli (95/100)
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DUKES OF THE ORIENT “Dukes of the Orient” (Frontiers Music s.r.l.)
It’s been ten years in the making, but finally the songs originally written for an Asia featuring John Payne album, have been set in glorious silver for CD release this year. Following the death of original Asia vocalist John Wetton in early 2017, Payne and Norlander decided that these recordings should give birth to a new band, both out of respect for Wetton and also for clarity with the Downes led “Asia”. The resulting album is simply quite special, not only were the songs originally penned as Asia songs, but they also stand strong on their own merit. From the opener ‘Brothers in Arms’ the quality of songs is here for all to enjoy. This is just pure ear-candy with the likes of ‘Strange Days’, a song that is pure Asia, ‘Amor Vincit Omnia’ (Love Conquers All) a superb Prog Ballad, ‘Time Waits For No One’ and ‘A Sorrow’s Crown’ both pure classic Prog. The album closer ‘Give Another Reason’ is a splendid mix of straight up vocals and narrative moments that ebbs and flows. All in all a great album, a real must for the Prog Rock fans. It sure would have been a crime if these songs hadn’t seen the light of day. Barry McMinn (90/100)
CD fr o : € 1 3 . ntie 9 rs.s 9 hop
SHIRAZ LANE “Carnival Days” (Frontiers Music s.r.l.)
Opening up with a smokey bluesy title song, “Shiraz Lane” is clearly a group to watch out for! Their second effort, “Carnival Days” displays just how wide of a spectrum of talent these five have! “Carnival Days” explores musical plateaus that one would not think a melodic hard-rock group would explore…but these lads do, and with exciting results. With eleven rockers on this second effort, “Shiraz Lane” are poised to conquer the Continent and beyond! “Harder to Breathe” is the lead off single, and was released back in October. Just listen to “Tidal Wave”, “Shangri-La” or “War Of Mine”…all chart toppers in my mind! With their twin guitar attack, and their varied song writing skills, this five piece will surprise and astound music lovers the world over. Each of the members also show their inspirations and influences, stretching from the greats in Rock from the 1970’s and 1980’s. Great rockers, up tempo ballad like love songs, and some in yer face passages that will bounce in your mind for a long time! We should be hearing a lot of “Carnival Days” in the months to come…and rightfully so! “Shiraz Lane” are a shinning, rising star in the Rock world sky…get on board; it will be a grand ride! Bruce Atkinson (91/100)
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ANIMAL DRIVE “Bite!” (Frontiers Music s.r.l.)
Frontiers Music continue to increase the impressive roster with not just established bands, but they also continue to bring new talent to the forefront, and one band falling into the later is Croatia’s Animal Drive. The album hits hard and fast from the off with ‘Goddamn Marathon’, with frontman Dino Jelusic delivering a power filled vocal. The hard hitting rock continues with the massive ‘Tower Of Lies’ which is hard rock at its very best, followed by the superb ‘Had Enough’, before the tempo eases off with ‘Hands of Time’, with great soaring melodies and a powerhouse vocal to drive this one. The heavier side of the band is back with a vengeance with ‘Lights of the Damned’ and continues on with the massive almost progressive edge of ‘Time Machine’. The band show their diversity of sound, with the excellent ballad ‘Father’, before switching things round again with the fantastic ‘Fade Away’. Its back to the mellower side of things with the haunting ‘Carry On’, before the excellent ‘Devil Took My Beer Again’ rocks it up big style. Definitely one of the bands to look out for in 2018. Barry McMinn (94/100)
.99 9 14 : € 1.9 VD ): €2 op D P + h CD l (2L rs.s y ie Vin ront f
DELTA DEEP “East Coast Live” / “Delta Deep” (Frontiers Music s.r.l.)
In 2015, Mr. Collen found some soul mates that shared his love for this rich and emotional style of blues. The group, “Delta Deep” released their chart topping debut then, and now Frontiers Music is giving it and the group’s second effort new life! Re-issuing the debut, and presenting a deluxe live package “East Coast Live” will undoubtedly enter the charts one more time. The debut is full of moving, even spiritual hard blues with a rock-hard edge. Phil is joined by Robert DeLeo, (Stone Temple Pilots), on bass, blues master Forrest Robinson on drums, and the fantastical lead vocalist Debbie Blackwell-Cook. Together they have created-along with song writer Helen L. Collensome of the tastiest Delta Blues one has heard in many a year! “East Coast Live” CD/DVD package is a must have! All in all Delta Deep’s second effort continues with their blistering performances, and they add some very personal expressions to their music and stage performances. One cannot leave this musical journey without the feeling that you just met four of the most trusted musical friends you have! Bruce Atkinson (90/100) CD :€ V Vin inyl: 13.99 €1 yl ( g fro rey): 7.99 ntie € rs.s 20.99 hop
C CD D: € +T13 Vin Shirt: .99 fro yl: €1 €21.9 9 ntie 7 rs.s .99 hop
LIONE / CONTI “Lione / Conti” (Frontiers Music s.r.l.)
Everyone has great expectations for this ambitious project born of two outstanding artists like Fabio Lione (Rhapsody, Angra, Eternal Idol) and Alessandro Conti (Trick or Treat, L. Turilli’s Rhapsody), orchestrated by amazing songwriter and producer Simone Mularoni (DGM). Yes, we can easily say that “Lione Conti” absolutely fulfil our expectations, with a bunch of top-notch songs gifted by power and majesty. To draw a comparison, you can think about the mighty project Allen/Lande, but don’t be misled by that analogy: Lione/Conti’s concept has the same feelings and magnitude, but it just lives on its own. Mularoni has written music of great character that deserves an high level of attention, pushing Lione and Conti’s potential to the top. Lione wrap himself in an unexpected sensuality and surprising warmth, as much as Conti does with his killer vocals. Songs like “Misbeliever” and “Destruction Show” are full of depth and drama, but there’s also a catchy mood in songs like “Ascension” or the sweet “Somebody Else”. Might as well give yourself some elegance with a nuanced album, heavy and powerful, more than anyone expects: it’s not every day you get to watch a lion and a black swan dancing together. Fabiana Spinelli (92/100)
AMMUNITION “Ammunition” (Frontiers Music s.r.l.)
The band founded by former Wig Wam frontman Age Sten Nilsen and multi-talented Erik Martensson of Eclipse, W.E.T., Nordic Union. The band that really set tongues wagging with this release and now in 2018 they return with their much anticipated follow up, simply entitled ‘Ammunition’. Joining the pair on the album once again are the talented quartet of Victor Cito Borge, Jon Pettersen, Lasse Finbrathen and Magnus Ulfstedt, and together they produced another great trailblazing slice of melody filled rock n’ roll. From the opener ‘Time’, the album kicks into top gear and never takes the foot off the pedal, right down to the closer ‘Klondike’. From the upbeat rhythms of ‘Freedom Finder’ that has that Billy Squier ‘The Stroke’ feel about it, before the no-nonsense rocker ‘Virtual Reality Boy’ and the groove filled ‘Gung Ho (I Told You So)’. This album takes no prisoners. Take the stunning ballad ‘Eye for an Eye’, where Nilsen shows that soulful side of his vocals that fans of Wig Wam know so well. Even the Eurovision entry ‘Wrecking Crew’ is just pure infectious rock n’ roll fun. This isn’t a nostalgia trip, this is just great rock n’ roll and is what the Scandinavian quarter do best. If you’re looking for gold then Ammunition have a 24 carat album on their hands. Barry McMinn (98/100)
C Sig D: € ned 13 Vin CD: .99 fro yl: €1 €18.99 ntie 7 rs.s .99 hop
REVERTIGO “ReVertigo” (Frontiers Music s.r.l.)
Revertigo is a brand new band formed by Mats Leven and Anders Wikström. Sometimes this kind of projects are made by musicians with lack of inspiration where they have nothing to do with their bands but now we have to say that it’s not true on this occasion, since the very first song all the fans of bands like Treat and Eclipse can find something to be happy. Vocal hooks and melodies are top notch, seems that the duo worked really hard to create something which is not new but it’s incredible amazing and inspiring at the same time. You cannot survive to a song like ‘The Curse’ for which they recorded their first video, songs like ‘False Flag’, ‘Sailing Stones’ just to name a few, the songs are well packaged and balanced between amazing melodies and straight ahead - up tempos. It’s surprising how Wikström/Leven create a sound which is old and fresh at the same time, a sound full of surprises every single times you listen to. Have a look on ‘Gate Of The Gods’ and it’s eighties sound of the keyboards, really amazing but it doesn’t sound old but fresh. ‘Revertigo’ will surprise and delight you, highly recommended to all the melodic rock fans/lovers and to whom like catchy vocal hooks.. Sven Jorgnsen (90/100) CD + Blu DVD: Vin Ray: €14.9 yl ( 9 € fro 2LP): 17.99 ntie € rs.s 21.99 hop
UNRULY CHILD “Unhinged - Live From Milan” (Frontiers Music s.r.l.)
“Let’s Talk About Love”: this is not just one of the twelve amazing songs of “Unhinged Live from Milan”, it’s the best explanation about the great feeling between Unruly Child and their audience during the show at Frontiers Rock Festival 2017. A stirring but nicely understated tribute there, with pure magic sparkling from a visibly moved Marcie Free to her fans, woving them all night long. The original members finally reunited for a special set, “Unruly Child” album played in its entirety, with the exception of “Criminal” replaced by “Forever”, a classic song from the masterpiece album “Waiting for the Sun”. The band is in great shape, with a whole universe entangling from Bruce Gowdy guitar and Guy Allison keyboards, but all eyes are on Marcie, classy and graceful landlady committed to impress everyone with her killer vocals, as in powerful “On The Rise”. “Unhinged Live from Milan” is a high-quality product strictly speaking, but it’s also a magic well from which tap into the huge amount of emotions of that night. Fabiana Spinelli (91/100)
Sven Jorgensen: One of the most obvious questions but I think necessary: how did it came out the idea to work on this record together? Where did you found out the time to do it? How much time did you take to work on the album as a whole (writing and recording sessions.) Anders Wikstrom: Over the years, we talked about it and, in 2016 we found the necessary time to start working on the Revertigo album for real. We already had 3 songs demoed (Joan of Arc, Break Away & Symphony of Fallen Angels) which just needs some minor tweaks to fit in with the rest of the 11 songs we wrote and recorded over a 12 month period. Mats Leven: Yea, it had been 25 years since we’d released anything together-was about time! SJ: Everything has been written / played / recorded / mixed by you (exept for the drum parts played by Thomas Broman)...no issues to work with a real producer who could help you to create a more enthusiastic sound as it is this debut album? AW: The album was of course played and produced by the two of us, with the drums being played by Thomas Broman and we also hired a great producer friend of ours in Peter Mansson to oversee the drum recordings and is also responsible for mixing the album. I (Anders) have worked as a record producer on a daily basis since I started, So the combined experience and vision in producing between all of us is sufficient to make our own album the way we want it. If we need an outside producer in the future we´re the first to call someone in. ML: We’ve both produced our own work and other artists through the years, I personally don’t think we’d have the time to argue with a third party ha ha…this had to be done pretty quickly to fit all our other work.
SJ: I appreciated a lot the central part of ‘Gate Of The Gods’, this synth part very 80’s sounding…amazing. How did it came out the idea? Don’t you think that it could be too old style for a melodic rock fan? AW: As big fans of alternative British rock in the 70:s and early 80:s this synth part do has a reminiscence to bands like Ultravox and other bands who dared to mix synths and Guitars in an uncommon fashion. David Bowie is also a big common hero for both of us. ML: Yea, we love bands like Ultravox and the chorus was actually inspired by them. SJ: On this album we can find a beautiful song called ‘False Flag’: what were you referring too? Is there any kind of message behind? ML: Sure, messages on most of the songs! I’ll let the lyrics speak, I’m not much for explaining them to people. How did help you all the work during the years with such bands like Treat, Therion, Malmsteen creating the melodies / vocal hooks which are the base for these eleven songs? AW: Personally, I have been writing melodic songs since the early 80:s so I guess it´s in my system, I also love great crafted songs and structures which can vary from Abba to Black Sabbath and i´m also a big fan of British Pop from the 60:s Not only The Beatles, of course but also big singer/songwriter artists like Engelbert Humperdinck to name a few. It’s my upbringing and inspirations etc that create the ideas, not the particular bands you mentioned. SJ: I really appreciate the album, more than I should expect...do you think that we have to consider Revertigo only as a project or as a real band? AW: We do see a continuity to the band Revertigo, that means it´s not a one off project.
It would be great to see it evolve into something even more challenging musically, which I think both of us is daring enough to go. It should always be about the fun of creating great songs together and breaking boundaries to take Revertigo further on the road, That´s really the answer to why we´re doing this at all. ML: We’re both enjoying this a lot, there’s more to come! SJ: Anders, you have worked with very talented singers like Mats himself and Erik Grönwall to name a few: how was the most difficult part / most satisfying part of working with such good singers? AW: I´ve had the fortune of working with, in my book some of the best Rocksingers around, of course Mats, (and many more) as well as a lot of male/female popsingers from all over the world. The difficulties for the most part is based on ego, but with neither of the rock guys it´s been the case, as we normally find common ground pretty quickly, Mats is a little different as he is more an all-round musician than people might know, and plays several instruments really well, that makes his contribution to whatever song being written more hands on, so to speak. Myself ,for instance is always singing my own demos good enough to be judged upon, so I guess that diminish a lot of frustration in presenting song ideas to each other. In our case it´s a pretty smooth ride, and we usually agree where other bands fight tooth and nail over song issues. SJ: Mats, after the departure from the Malmsteen’s band, did you ever lived a ‘state of disillusion’ from the music biz? How were your sensation at that point of your career? ML: On the contrary, the Malmsteen gig opened doors for me and made me a 100% musician that could survive on music only.
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Duncan Jamieson:Although your name is above the band’s name , it’s very much a band effort that helps create your sound. Tell me about how you picked the others. Mike Lepond:I wanted the band to have a personal feeling. I didn’t want to send the tracks to someone in another country and have them email it back. I needed to be in the studio with everyone if possible. I found the best local talent I could find in the area where I lived. The most important part is they are my friends, and they all wanted to do their best work for me. DJ: How is being in Silent Assassins different from being in Symphony X and Do you approach the writing and production differently to the way you do it with Symphony X? ML: Symphony X is a very popular band, so we have the money to get our albums mixed and mastered by the best in the world. Silent Assassins can’t do that, so I must get all the production done on a much smaller budget. But in the end, both bands approach writing the same way. Every song is written the best it can possibly be and therefore both bands release quality albums. DJ: You’re a busy man with two bands and guesting on others. How do you find the time to write for Silent Assassins? ML: Because I don’t have a steady 9 to 5 job, I have plenty of time to write songs during the day. Usually I will practice any music I’m learning
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when I wake up in the morning. After a brief rest and some breakfast, I begin working on writing tunes but only if I’m inspired. I do about one new project a month. I have probably played on more albums than any other metal bass player. DJ: Silent Assassins is an unusual name for a band that are so loud! Where did it come from? ML: I was in a band around 1990 and my singer at the time had mentioned the name from a book he was reading. It stayed with me all these years and I thought it was perfect for my project. Many of the musicians who have played on my two releases are not known so in fact, they are “Silent”. They are amazing players that kill so they are also my “Assassins”. DJ: It sounds like you’re having a great time. It’s very eclectic! Was that intentional? ML: Classic heavy metal has always been my first love, so to release an album in this style is like a dream come true and it shows in the music. My goal with the project is to bring back metal the way I remember it when I was in high school. When the guitar riff was the big hook, and the music was not watered down by keyboards. Straight ahead and in your face. DJ: How did you go about creating the epic 21 minute ‘Macbeth’ track? ML: I always thought this was the darkest play Shakespeare ever wrote and it would sound great as a metal epic. I had this idea for about 15
years. Originally, I wanted Symphony X to do it, but it just never happened. It took me 2 years to write this song and the biggest challenge was how to keep the listener’s interest for all that time. When It was finally recorded, I was very proud. DJ: How do you feel this record compares to the debut Silent Assassins’ album? ML: I think both albums are very similar. They are true, classic heavy metal at their core. If I had to really think about it, I would say Pawn and Prophecy is a little more experimental. Track 7 is a folk song in the style of Blackmore’s Night, very bold for a metal record. Of course, track 8 is the twenty one minute monster where there are many styles attempted including blues and doo wop. DJ: Michael Romeo and Michael Pinella form Symphony X guest, what do they think of what you’re doing with this project? ML: Honestly, they both love it. Michael Pinnella is actually an amazing singer and he helps me with all the vocal harmonies. Michael Romeo engineers, plays some guitar, keyboards, and programs the drums. I couldn’t do it without him. DJ: Will we get the chance to see you take this band on the road to support this record? ML: My biggest regret is that I didn’t play live with my first album. This time around I plan on changing that. I am working with Symphony X’s manager to look for touring opportunities all over the world. Maybe some festivals or playing with some other cool metal bands.
Fabiana Spinelli: Hi Alessandro and welcome to Melodic Rock Fanzine! Lione/Conti project is out and everyone has great expectations for this amazing opera. Can you please tell us when and how did it started? Alessandro Conti: Hi! One year ago, more or less, Simone Mularoni called me talking about this project… at the time Fabio was still in Rhapsody of Fire and he also was interested in this idea... so we decided to record this album with both singers of “Rhapsody universe”! FS: It seems that Mularoni tried to push your talent and abilities over the top. How did you approached to the material, to perform it in a such deep and dramatic way? AC: It's true, Mularoni knows our voices perfectly, for example he recorded all five albums of Trick or Treat and he recorded and mixed Fabio few time in these last years... So, he composed songs that perfectly fit with our voices and I can also say that when I record with him behind the console, everything seems easier, even when the parts are almost impossible to sing! (laughing, ndF) FS: A lot of people are drawing a comparison with Allen/Lande’ well-known saga.
What are the differences and the similarities between these concepts? AC: The concept behind the idea is similiar, two metal singers in a duet album... also the front cover could remind Allen/Lande albums, but honestly the differences are more than the similarities! I think that our album is more power-prog oriented, you can hear many influences and probably you can find the tipical cacthy-hard rock atmosphere of Allen/Lande just in one or two songs of our album. FS: “Lione/Conti” is a powerful and epic album, but it seems to be far from, for example, Rhapsody’s music and atmosphere. I think the result for your fans will be totally unexpected in a positive way, do you think so? AC: Sure, Simone composed all the songs and he did a great job, but before we started, me and Fabio asked him to compose something in his style, far enough from what we've done before with Rhapsody. In the end, I can say that the sound is exactly what we wanted and as you can hear, I often used my voice in a very different way than in the past. FS: Songs like “Misbeliever” and “Ascension” are heavy and weighty but with a catchy and hard rock soul: can you
state that there was a good chemistry between you, Fabio and Simone? AC: Absolutely! I can say that we are friends and it's always a big pleasure when I can share a stage with our bands. So, we had lot ot fun also during the production and record sessions, this helps to make everything really simple… and probably this is also reflected on the final result. FS: Are we going to see you on stage with Fabio, maybe for some special event? AC: That's what I hope, actually it's not easy to menage it 'cause we're all pretty busy, but we'll see in the next future... and of course it depends from the feedback of fans and promoters. But I think we can build a great show! FS: Last but not least, can you tell us something more about this awesome artwork and you character as a black swan? AC: Ahah thank you, Stan Decker has done a great job, as always! I had the idea and I sent him a sketch representing the concept that remind our experiences with Rhapsody bands. It's a sort of easter egg for our fans: the lion in fire of course is the “avatar” of Fabio and “Il cigno nero” it’s my favourite song from Luca Turilli’s Rhapsody album “Prometheus”, our 2015 recording.
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RICK SPRINGFIELD “The Snake King” Limited White 180g gatefold LP €20.99 Only on frontiers.shop!
REVERTIGO “Revertigo” Limited Signed Edition (signed by Mats Leven & Anders Wikstrom) €18.99 Only on frontiers.shop!
FM “Atomic Generation” Limited Gold 180g gatefold LP €21.99 Only on frontiers.shop!
MIKE LEPOND’s SILENT ASSASSINGS “Pawn and Prophecy” Limited White 180g gatefold LP €20.99 Only on frontiers.shop!
BULLETBOYS “From Out of the Skies” Limited Silver 180g gatefold LP €20.99 Only on frontiers.shop! CORELEONI “The Greatest Hits Part 1” Limited Gold 180g gatefold LP €20.99 Only on frontiers.shop!
LIONE / CONTI “Lione / Conti” CD + T-Shirt Bundle €20.99 Only on frontiers.shop! AMMUNITION “Ammunition” Limited Grey 180g gatefold LP €20.99 Only on frontiers.shop!
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Duncan Jamieson: You’ve really captured that early Gotthard sound. It sounds great. Leo Leoni: Thanks for the kind words! I appreciate them. DJ: How did this project come about and why did you decide to re-record those early Gotthard tracks? LL: In Gotthard we’ve changed a little bit, the direction of the band recently but also when Steve (Lee, deceased Gotthard singer)was with us. Some of these early songs we don’t play them anymore. I wanted to hear and play them again. I was going to do this back in 2010; putting out a solo album. It was about to happen when Steve went to the US and never came back...There was no opportunity to finish this back then after that because we had to think about what to do with Gotthard. Also, many Gotthard fans who came to us after ‘Homerun’ or ‘Human Zoo’ for example might never have heard these songs. DJ: How did you hook up with the much in demand Ronnie Romero? LL: It was very simple. I met Ronnie when Gotthard were doing the ‘Bang’ tour and he was supporting with his Lords Of Black band in Spain. When we heard him do the soundcheck. He had this voice that was like Ronnie James Dio doing ‘Neon Nights’ and I thought I’d found someone who could do the older Gotthard material. I asked him if he would be interested and he said he was. This was all before he got the Rainbow job. When I heard Ritchie Blackmore had this great Spanish singer for his band. I knew that person had to be
Ronnie. DJ: How did Nic Maeder, the present Gotthard singer, react to you doing this? LL: There was no problem there. He’s a fantastic singer and not a replica of Steve. He knew I’d been talking about doing this earlier heavier material for years and was totally fine about it. DJ:What’s the longer term plan with CoreLeoni? LL: It’s a side project and for the moment it’s just the beginning. We’ve got some shows in February. There’s space for everybody; Gotthard and CoreLeoni. I’m still in Gotthard! There are no hassles or issues. The friendships are still there! DJ: When Steve tragically passed away did you consider ending Gotthard? LL: We though if we can find someone who fits we can continue but only if it felt right. We didn’t want a Steve copy. We searched for a long time and were close to thinking it might not happen. Then we found Nic. It takes time to build something and working with Nic has been good. I think if Ronnie (Romero) had been available back then, he might not have been the choice as he was more similar to Steve. DJ: How has work with Nic and Steve differed? LL: Human beings are different. Nic is more into the modern sound I would say. With Steve, he and I were in syncwith the music because we had the same influences. Nic’s very talented. We’ve changed the key on the keyboards because Steve sang higher and Nic sings lower.
DJ: How did you choose which songs to include from those early albums? LL: I picked the songs I liked to play but also a song like ‘Tell No Lies’ I felt it never went the right way first time round so I changed it a little. Hopefully, you hear a modern touch to those songs now. The song ‘Anytime, Anywhere’ was a later song I’d written mostly myself and I always really liked it. DJ:As well as re-recording some of the early Gotthard material there’s also one new song ‘Walk On Water’. Tell me about that song and do you have plans to write more for CoreLeoni? LL: This was a song I started with Steve that has a slight political message but people in the band weren’t so into it. Then I played it to Ronnie and he really liked it and he believed in the song so we decided to do it for the record. I’m a person who takes things step by step. We’re good, we get along. Something is going to happen. DJ: What have you got planned for the foreseeable future Leo? LL: A lot of things! We’ll do those CoreLeoni shows in February. With Gotthard, we’re doing the ‘Defrosted’ tour in March. That is going to be acoustic shows in Germany and Switzerland. We’ll record a live album of that. Then we’re going to do some Gotthard shows with the Rock Symphonic Orchestra in Switzerland, Austria and Poland. I’m excited. There is lots of emotions in the material and as a musician it’s fantastic to play such a variety of music!
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