Issue 8 - May 2013
Also Featuring Interviews With
Riot | Noise
Ross The Boss
PLUS New Device The Mustangs Salem Death Dealer Mordecai Airbourne Tank Nick Cohen Band Features News Gig Listings
THE GRAPEVINE - 6 For your latest news in the rock world!
“We like to do things a little different now and again” - Journey
FEATURES 04 Downloadable Content 20 Band Of The Month 24 Focus On Blues 28 18 & Life 32 Where Are They Now? 53 Underground Focus INTERVIEWS 12 Journey 16 RIOT | NOISE 36 Ross The Boss 40 Civil War 44 Salem CD/DVD REVIEWS 10 The Mustangs The Russ Tippins Electric Band 14 Heaven & Earth New Device 15 The Burning Crows 18 Defy All Reason 19 The Quill Texas 22 Powerworld MS MR 25 Larry Miller Paul Butler 26 Nick Cohen Poplar Jake 30 Motherload Airbourne 31 Red Lizzard Ape Machine 34 Big Wheel Stunt Show Death Dealer 35 Burning Rain 38 Jon Byrne Exit State 39 Tank Paramore 43 Mordecai Gundacker Project
“As a band, we don’t like being pigeonholed too much” - RIOT | NOISE
“I have a distinctive original style” - Ross The Boss
“I just didn’t want to see anyone” - Civil War
“I think we felt like we had been banging our heads against the wall“ - Salem
GIG LISTINGS - 52
Cover Photo Credit Travis Shinn 2
FROM THE EDITOR Hey Folks another month has flown by and here we are again editorial time. I have had my views on tribute bands changed in the past month. My usual thoughts are ARGHHHHH â€Ś.and then run â€Ś However I got to see the Ultimate Eagles in Liverpool earlier in the month and was amazed at how talented the band were, not just because of the involvement of Danny Vaughn, but because of the whole package put together so it has made me want to explore this more. So I am planning a group therapy special edition on Firebrand Rock Radio in support of the tribute band. If you would like to submit your band and bio for airplay on the show please do not hesitate to get in touch with me at email@example.com. Excuse this being a short editorial but off to see some faves of mine this next week, Whitesnake, Journey and Thunder and also the legendary frontman of Marillion yes off to meet up with Fish himself. Good times ahead I am sure. So for now as ever Peace and Respect
Editor In Chief Rick Palin Senior Media Consultant Rachel Whiston Reviews Editor Lee Walker Reviews team Graham Pritchard Jason M. Davies Jon Seymour Mel Delacroix Paul Nicholls Stoodge Mc Nulty Contributing Writers Chris Nelson Reg Richardson Tony Corner
Download Content Team Rick Palin Judith Fisher Content Download firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising Enquiries email@example.com Contact Telephone +44(0)1244 940961
This Months Downloadable Content! Red Lizzard They are a Portuguese Band that opened for Bon Jovi in Portugal on 2011 and were nominated in two categories, "Best Alternative / Pop Band" and "Best International Band" for the "The Upper State Independant Awards" (Site:http://usiawards.com/) in the United States which they ended up wining both. Website - http://www.redlizzard.com/
Starfire A ten-year member of ASCAP, Dairenn Lombard has been singing, playing guitar and piano for over 26 years and is the founder of Starfire, a Melodic Rock music project from Los Angeles, launched in 2005. Five years later, he teamed up with bassist Andrew James, who has gigged for over a decade on stages as big as The Rachel Ray Show, ABC's Good Morning America, and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and is a touring member of the band Karmin. Lombard also found Minnesotan Blake Paulson, Berklee College of Music alum with a BA in Professional Music and author of Hal Leonard’s “Drum Set Coordination.” Also in the lineup is Sacramento-native Greg Pajer, Musicians Institute alum with a degree in Commercial Music. Pajer has played on national commercials and television shows as well as toured with major label artists such as Mandi Perkins and Nina Bergman. Berklee College of Music alum, Neara Russell, is the latest addition to the band. Hailing from Wisconsin, Russell is a studio and touring keyboardist/vocalist who has toured with major label artists such as American Idol Season 10’s Haley Reinhart and Bridgit Mendler. Website - http://www.starfiremusic.com/
We would like to apologise for the mix up with the band description for Psycho Kiss Firebrands Band of the Month in last months edition. We apologise for any misunderstandings that this may have caused you. The text should have read: A fan favourite in the South Wales music scene, Psycho Kiss bring stories of real life experiences delivered with technical ability and genuine emotion. Psycho Kiss deliver catchy tunes and infectious hooks with humour and honesty within the classic rock mould. Helen’s powerful vocals and stage presence are supported by the proficiency of deadly duo Paul on guitar and Marv on bass, finished off by Penfold’s thundering drumming. Psycho Kiss have already proved to be a big hit with radio stations in the UK and internationally, and with their debut album ‘Monkeying Around’ already making a noise and a second album due out this summer they are ready to step up to the next level. Website - http://www.psychokiss.co.uk
Click Here to download this content To have your band featured in our monthly Downloadable Content please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with ‘DLC Request’ as the email title. 4
The Grapevine Stormbringer to release a new album ‘MMXIII’ Stormbringer, featuring current and ex-members of Viking Skull, Deadeye, Nekkrosis, Zoot Allures, Narkan and The Calling, will be releasing their debut album ‘MMXIII’ on the 15th July with the single ‘Grinder’ launching on the 20th May. Stormbringer was born out of the love of quality rock music; with solid, heavy beats, a flamboyant approach to writing harnessed with a melodic powerful vocal style rarely heard in the modern rock world. See their video ‘Grinder’ below!
The band will be touring extensively in support of the release with a number of shows already confirmed. Stormbringer is going from strength to strength, a definite must-see live show! https://www.facebook.com/Stormbringerrock
studio for most of 2012 working on their debut album, London Grammar dropped their first offering ‘Hey Now’ on their Soundcloud in December which has almost 370,000 plays to date. The song garnered up a huge word of mouth buzz online and strong support at radio with plays from the likes of Zane Lowe (Next Hype), Phil Taggart & Alice Levine (ROTW), Huw Stephens, Rob Da Bank, Giles Peterson and Annie Mac to name a few. The title track of their EP ‘Metal & Dust’ was released in February, receiving its first play on Radio 1 as ‘Hottest Record’ on Zane Lowe’s show, before being added to the Radio 1 In New Music We Trust List. ‘Wasting My Young Years’ is an emotional and passionate track featuring an intricate piano hook and haunting vocals that lead into a beautiful and powerful chorus backed by escalating drums and guitars. London Grammar recently performed their first London headline show at a sold out Electrowerkz and will be performing a second sold out headline show at London Islington Assembly Hall on 15th May. Watch the video for ‘Wasting My Young Years’
Joanne Shaw Taylor confirms November UK tour with special guest King King Following her acclaimed performance alongside Annie Lennox at the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee concert in June 2012, the release of her critically acclaimed third studio album Almost Always Never, and her recent sold out London Borderline concert, blues rock sensation Joanne Shaw Taylor is pleased to confirm four headline UK concerts in November including London’s o2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire on Thursday 28th November. Special guest is 'Best Band' & 'Best Album' 2012 in The British Blues Awards winner King King.
Robin Beck announces new album release ‘Underneath’
American rock singer Robin Beck will release her new album “Underneath” on HMMR Records through Cargo Records on August 12th in the UK and August 15th in the rest of Europe. Release dates for the U.S. to be announced. To read a track-by-track breakdown of the album and to hear audio samples visit Robinbeckrocks.com For her latest album, “Underneath” Beck took a chance and allowed some new writers to submit material. When she heard their work, she was blown New London Grammar Video Released! away. “It felt so right” she marvels, “I just had to have these songs for myself!” London Grammar will release their new single ‘Wasting My Young Years’ on 16th June, which So, in addition to Robin and her boys Denander and Christian writing team, she now has Glen follows their debut EP release ‘Metal & Dust’. London Grammar are Hannah Reid, Dot Major Burtnik, Barry Jay and Fiona. and Dan Rothman who formed the band while at university together. After being holed up in the
“Underneath” includes songs co-written by Germany’s Crush Boys (Daniel Volpe and Thomas Lipp, known for their work with Dutch teen idol Jeronimo and German girl group Monrose), Swedish Eurovision 2013 winners Linnea Deb and Joy Deb (Robin Stjernberg), Charlie Mason (Miley Cyrus), Mark Smith (Cinema Bizarre), Christian Rabb and Frida Molander (Nina Zilli) and more. Plus, with husband James Christian (lead singer of House of Lords) again producing the album (and dueting on “Burning Me Down” — and daughter Liv, herself a star in the making, on backing vocals — “It’s a family affair” says Beck. “We just happen to be a family whose foundation is solid rock!”
Joacim Sandin Leaves Bai Bang Swedish glamsters Bai Bang have announced that bass player Joacim Sandin has left the band due to a combination of ‘musically differences’ and the fact that he plays in 2 other bands at the same time. In a statement, the band has said, “it’s been like this now for one and a half years at least, and the feelings within the band were just not right…. Now though, there’s really good vibes again. Really good energy!! A very positive attitude!!! It feels like a complete band!" "Sikk Roxx is a wonderful injection! A nice funny guy that plays great bass and can sing the chorus’ brilliantly!! We found him very quickly! In fact, we knew him from before this occurred, so the choice was easy!!! The focus is definitely on the future now!” The band are gearing up for shows this Summer right now, including the famous US Rocklahoma Event later this month, so watch out for a real rock ‘n roll party!!
Faithsedge New Studio Report California based rockers Faithsedge are currently recording their new album “The Answer Of Insanity“. The new Faithsedge studio report takes you behind the scenes into the studio for the upcoming album slated for 2013. Go “Back to Fabrizio’s” via the real Marty Mcfly house circa 2013 to the next Faithsedge studio report. You can already check the new studio report with new music in the background below:
Kamakaze Test Pilots release Video For ’Dinosaur’ Kamakaze Test Pilots have just released a video for the track ‘Dinosaur’, taken from their self titled debut album. Directed by Matt Joiner at Spatial Awareness, you can check it out below
Lead guitarist Alex De Rosso (Dokken), Keysman Eric Ragno (Fergie Fredrickson) and singer Giancarlo Floridia take you behind the scenes for the new Faithsedge video at “OC Recording“. Also a trip to Nashville to drummer Tony Morra’s (Van Zant) studio “The Downtown Batterie” along withTim Gaines of Stryper’s B day party. The follow up album to the debut is tentativley called “The Answer Of Insanity” is a concept record based on stories from singer/songwriter Giancarlo Floridia’s life that lead up to the first album with an intresting twist at the end. It’s sure to be melodic, progressive and intense! After the critical acclaim of the Faithsedge debut the around the world the band has a new keyboard player Eric Ragno. Eric is internationally known for being on many melodic rock albums such as Fergie Fredrickson (Toto) and Trixter’s return album New Audio Machine and many more. Eric has also done many live gig’s from playing with legends like Graham Bonnet (Rainbow) to also playing with vocal icons of other genre’s like Dawn Robinson of En Vogue.
Having made a mark on the scene and receiving great reviews for their debut full-length released late 2012, this is the band’s first video from the album. Politically charged, and opening with part of a speech from Robert Mugabe (President of Zimbabwe, where half the band are from), the track tells a story of rising up against brutal dictatorship. “Dinosaurs, are they extinct? In the political sense, no. These ancient creatures still rule the world, sometimes to the detriment of their subjects. Out of touch, out of sync and out of line. Sometimes rocks and riots are the only things that make these fossils listen to their people.” – KTP
The Mustangs 9/10
Speed Of Love Record Label: Trapeze Records
Released: 8 April 2013
Highlight of the album: Yours Sincerely Website: http://www.themustangs.co.uk Reviewer: Jon Seymour
You may remember a few issues ago that we featured Adam Norsworthy in the magazine, and he was really excited about the new album. Well finally it’s landed here in Firebrandland, and on first impressions it’s really very good.
your beer, or other choice of beverage, because of the emotion that is put in to the slower tracks. This is another quality album from these guys, and I know that the blues purists will likely pour scorn upon it over and over again. If you’re not a fan of the blues, then I would suggest giving this album a go, as it shows just how exciting the blues can be when you open it up to interpretation. It’s an interesting album, and it held me captive from start to finish.
Their last album Shamen & The Monkey received some glowing press, so the pressure is really on with this one. What I like the most about this band, is that they are always looking for something new to bring to the table. They’re not content to follow convention, and throw the rulebook out of the window.
The blues is a lot more than three chords and twelve bars, and this album is proof of that fact. Every genre is This is predominantly a blues album, but there are hints open to whatever you take from it, and these guys take of country, jazz, funk, and various other genres. This the blues, and mix it up into something really different. I makes the band sound fresh and modern, as they always could easily listen to this album over and over again put their own unique spin on things. This album is filled without tiring of it, because it’s so varied. Of course the wall to wall with great songs. It changes pace on a whim, subsequent plays won’t ever be as surprising as the first, and one minute your boogieing along to something with but I’ll bet it takes most people more than one listen to an upbeat tempo, and the next you’re sat weeping into really appreciate everything it has to offer.
The Russ Tippins Electric Band 9/10
Combustion Record Label: Arty Music
Released: 6 May 2013
Highlight of the album: Too Cool To Sweat Website: www.russtippins.com Reviewer: Tony Corner
I’d heard a track by Russ Tippins a couple of years ago which I enjoyed but was absolutely blown away by this album when given it to review. To me it sums up everything I love about music, great playing, great songs, a unique voice, fantastic musicianship and a very varied album with so much that you can just keep going back to over and over again!
So, just in case any of you have missed it, this album has really gripped me. Every now and then an album comes along that stands out from the rest and one that you know will stay in your top choices for the rest of your life, for me this is definitely one of those and a really, really strong contender for my album of the year. It’s going to take something very special to knock this from the spot for me.
The songs themselves range from infectious, upbeat, groove laden blues rock with killer riffs, through lots of progression, a hint of jazz at times in some of the lead runs, some chilled and laid back blues, all performed with swing and Style with a capital S and this album has become a permanent feature in my car and 5 weeks after getting it I still play it every day!!
Ross Valory Of Interviewed By Jon Seymour So you’re heading over to the UK this month, and touring with Whitesnake and Thunder. Those bands are quite a bit different to Journey, so was there any reason for how the bill came together? Yes the other bands are quite different. Whitesnake is a very big bamd, and I must admit that I don’t know too much about Thunder, but they were put up as a very good band. The thing with Whitesnake and Journey though, even though the music is different, is that we’re both from the same era in the term of when we’ve been the most popular, that’s not to say we’re not popular now, as Journey has had a big resurgence lately. You could say though, that it’s a mixed chemistry for the UK tour, but then again it appears to be the right combination for the bill. Speaking of bills, that reminds me of Bill Graham, the famous promoter and entrepreneur of music in the US, and elsewhere. He was renowned for mixing it up, I mean really mixing it up on a bill. I remember going to see many years ago in San Francisco, the Young Rascals, and the opener was the Charles Lloyd Quintet, which was a progressive improvisational jazz band. That’s a much bigger spread than Journey, Whitesnake and Thunder, so be not afraid.
going to be fans of all of the different bands, but not many will be fans of all of them. Are you hoping that you might persuade some fans of the other bands that Journey are actually something they should be listening to as well? Well I think Whitesnake’s fans are going to enjoy Journey anyway. I’m in the dark about Thunder though, but I’m sure I’ll be pleasantly surprised, unless I do a little bit of homework on them first, who knows? It’s a great mix of music though, and we’re playing some of the bigger venues in the UK, so that’s also a good thing. We’re really excited by the tour though, so we’ll just have to come over and play, and we’ll see what happens.
So what have you been doing so far this year? Well back in February we did some make up dates from last Fall, which were five shows around the US, right after playing the Crossroads programme. It’s a series of performances on CMT, that’s Country Music Television, and we did some work with Rascal Flatts, and that was after we had closed the CMT awards last year. We’re hoping to do a bit more with them, and we’re headlining a few country music shows here in the US this summer. We’ve got shows here and there up until the end of the year, but our main culmination of work will end with the tour of the UK and Germany. We’ve just come back from playing Australia and That’s the thing with mixed bills though, as there are New Zealand for the first time, and Singapore. We
also went back to Japan, and succeeded in “putting it over the top” as they say. We sold out the Budokan and did a simulcast recorded video for Tsunami relief, and we’re very happy with what we’ve achieved this year. The remainder of the year after the tour will be pockets of shows around the US and Canada, as we had some offers we couldn’t refuse. They’re great shows and will give more credence to the band’s popularity. The world tour actually started in 2010, so we’re into our third year now, so the response has been really great.
certain limit to it. That reminds me though, of how different it is when we come to the UK and Europe. The fans are different. They know more of our material, you know, the spread. They’re familiar with the lyrics of the more obscure songs, so when we come over there we’ll be opening up the bag a little more, and we’ll even be playing some songs from Eclipse, which are a lot different to the usual stuff we’re known for. Of course there are certain songs that we’re going to have to play, we call those the “dirty dozen” but they’re the songs that most people who buy the tickets will want to hear.
So going back, you said that you’re doing some country shows, is that testament to Journey’s popularity across many genres? Yes I believe it is, particularly that appeal to the country market. There are so many songs in our repertoire, aside from our biggest hits, such as Wheel In The Sky, or Lights In The City, which are just as folkish or countryish as any other music is really, so there’s a cross over there. We being careful though, we’re not doing shows to a market where Journey is already strong. We’re experimenting with new ideas. The audience for these shows with Rascal Flatts are going to be country orientated. Yes there are probably going to be some Journey fans there, but it’s going to be mainly country music fans, that would not normally go out to a Journey show. How well it goes down remains to be seen.
You mentioned earlier about a resurgence recently, was that helped by the use of Don’t Stop Believing in the television program Glee? Yes of course, it’s a really well done program, and those people are fine performers. I don’t know who does it, but the arrangements are really good too. That’s helped put a big spike in the popularity of Journey. Did you know that the song is the most downloaded song in history? What a pleasant surprise, and it’s still surprising. It’s held the record for around two years now, and when you think about all of the songs in the world that could be the most downloaded songs ever, not many people would put ours at the top. We thought it might be popular enough to be one of the most downloaded songs sure, but not the most downloaded song ever. It’s still amazing to For a band that think of that. have been around There’s also a few for as long as you other reasons for guys have, it its spike though, We like to do things would just be so and one is a little different easy to play the because it’s sort same shows, and of become the now and again please the same theme song of fans, but you’re professional still finding ways athletic teams. It to challenge also got its first yourselves, and do major spike when something they used it in the different, so how series finale of did these ideas The Sopranos a come up? few years ago. It Well as a band, was further we’ve always had bolstered by the a great mix of long running Photo by Marty Moffat ability and writing performances of talent in us. We’ve put out music before where Rock Of Ages, and then of course the subsequent people have said “that’s not Journey” but it is. We film, in which we had two songs featured. All of that don’t want to over saturate our rock following. I think has helped us out a lot. The main reason it’s so it’s the beginning of a new adventure with country popular though, is simply because of the message music. The variety of music that we play is really that the song carries. It’s a universal idea that can wide, although we do have our own signature that be shared by everyone. we’re recognised for. We like to do things a little different now and again. You could say it’s kind of a chameleon thing, but you can’t be a chameleon and be recognised by name, face and music, so there’s a
Heaven & Earth 9/10
Dig Record Label: Quarto Valley Records
Released: 23 April 2013
Highlight of the album: Man and Machine Website: http://www.heavenandearthband.com/ Reviewer: Paul Nicholls
At present there is seemingly a glut of bands harking back to a classic era of rock music, utilising writing styles and performances that emulate artists of the past, some of which are almost too close for comfort. What does this release bring to the table to set it apart from those worthy yet somehow lacking offerings? With ‘Dig,’ ‘Heaven And Earth’ certainly tip the hat in the direction of Rainbow, Deep Purple, Glen Hughes, Bad Company et al, but importantly never let it become more than a tip of the hat.
whole being greater than the sum of its parts Bassist Chuck Wright and Richie Onori on Drums make a great tight powerhouse driving the songs along while Arlan Schierbaum’s keys play delightful games with Smith’s guitar melodies.
There is plenty of light and shade available on this release, the songs ‘No Money, No Love’ and ‘I Don’t Know What Love Is Anymore’ lean toward the darker emotions Stuart Smith was feeling during the writing process. Yet the final track on the album ‘Live As One’ is one very From the first track on the album ‘Victorious’ with its memorable and uplifting tune! One that really will be the tinges of Rainbow circa ‘Gates Of Babylon’ Stuart Smith’s ‘Marmite’ song here is going to be ‘A Day Like Today’ Guitar weaves melodies that at once inspire and totally different from anything else on ‘Dig’ this is almost a entertain, forming a perfect complement, Joe Retta puts Folk /Progressive tune that early Magnum might have in a sterling performance keeping up with the quality recorded. seemingly with ease. Would I recommend ‘Dig’? most certainly as I feel this This in many ways is the story of this album, unlike some album has staying power and a longevity that may be previous ‘Heaven And Earth’ releases which have been missing on some other current releases. Stuart Smith solo efforts, this is truly a band offering, the
New Device 10/10
Here We Stand Record Label: Southworld Recordings
Released: 6 May 2013
Highlight of the album: Feel The Wrath Website: http://www.newdevice.co.uk Reviewer: Jon Seymour
So if this were accurate, the band would be called ‘new’ New Device as the band have found themselves an identity since their tentative beginnings. This is album number two, and is far removed from their debut album. The band has come on in leaps and bounds, and they weren’t bad to begin with.
Musically the band sound a lot tighter than before and they have a crisper sound. The production on the album is great too, as it’s left the hard edge that the band have had since the beginning, whilst polishing the album up to give it a really full sound. Put your headphones on, and turn it up loud, and you’ll run out of space in your skull to accommodate it.
This is a huge slab of stadium rock, filled with tunes that’ll tear you a new asshole. There’s some real venom injected into them too, flipping the bird to the government, the system, and pretty much anyone else that’s pissed them off. This gives the songs a really dark energy, and some real purpose.
This then is an album of immense proportions, it’s hard, it’s heavy, and it’ll pummel you into submission at the first opportunity. New Device have managed to produce a masterpiece with this offering, and you really need to buy this, immediately if not sooner.
Now I really liked the first album, but this is in a different league. The songs are massive, and could fill the biggest arenas without any problems at all.
The Burning Crows 10/10
Behind The Veil Record Label: Self Release
Released: 17 June 2013
Highlight of the album: The Queen Website: http://www.theburningcrows.com/ Reviewer: Lee Walker
Possessing a sound and maturity far above their age The Burning Crows finally release their debut album ‘Behind The Veil’. Financed after a successful Pledge campaign this hotly tipped young band are making a big name for themselves and are being touted as the next big thing. From the opening track of this great debut album you find yourself surprised by the levels of musical excellence on display, possessing an out and out classic rock fuelled sound The Burning Crows press all the right buttons with their highly infectious mix of guitar laden classic rock tunes as they crank out
tune after tune of high octane pure rock bliss, mixing stunning guitar work with great classic vocals, producing a mix of cracking songs which are guaranteed to put them firmly on the map. With ‘Behind The Veil’ The Burning Crowes have released what I think will be the debut album of the year and I look forward to watching this band develop.
Photo Credit - Marianne Harris
Scott Of Interviewed by Lee Walker Hi Scott, thanks for taking the time out for a quick interview. It’s ok mate,
ourselves would be a good one *laughter*. In the studio that we practice at we have even got a Room Of Doom they used to call it and we steer well clear of that, that causes big issues. But no I mean we are pretty good at booking our own gigs and we are pretty well organised so I wouldn’t sort of say... I suppose one big obstacle is getting on tours and things like that. It takes a lot of work to network and know the right people but we are pretty good at it to be honest.
How did the band start off? It was about, I reckon 2007. I was in bands before so I’ve been in a bands that did a week in France or something which was our highlight and wasn’t really a serious thing, so I was looking for a new band. I responded to an advert from Marty, Ash and Dan which I found on the internet and I went along and auditioned we jammed and then I joined obviously then Freddy joined a few months later, Sort of the same process and we have been together ever since. Why was ‘RIOT | NOISE’ chosen as the band name? *Laughter* that’s a very good question. We all put ideas together, we had a feeling that we wanted Riot in it and I think Ash was pretty set on that. So we had different combinations of words with Riot, what sounded best. It was a stupid system really we picked first, second and third choices and eventually came out with RIOT | NOISE How would you describe the band’s sound? I mean we, as a band, we don’t like being pigeonholed too much. We did the ‘Never Wrong’ video which was probably a couple of years ago now and I don’t know if you have seen it, but it had girls and that kinda thing in Photo Credit it and I think some people got the impression that we are kind of a, I don’t know, a Guns’n’Roses type band. But we have always thought we were a bit more modern, a bit punky and that, a bit more aggressive and I think that definitely on the new album you can hear that. As an up and coming band what is the biggest obstacle that you have come across and how do you overcome it? That’s a good question. Probably arguing amongst
Recently you have shared the stage with the likes of Duff Mckagan, Motorhead, and The Blackout and quite a few other bands. What has been your greatest achievement to date? I mean growing up I suppose Duff Mckagan was a hero of pretty much everyone in the band, so to be able to share a stage with him. We played with him once in Bristol a couple of years ago at the Academy, and while he was sound checking, there was only five or six of us in the room and we were just sort of “this is mental” and then a couple of years later we ended up touring with him, so you have got to say that that’s the highlight. We’ve done the tour, did a couple of other UK tours, played the NEC a couple of times. All big stuff that you wouldn’t imagine that you was going to do when you start out, so yeah, pretty proud of that. You are about to release your latest album ‘Stand For Something’ shortly and I have noticed that the reviews have started to come in for it. Have you been happy with the way it’s been received so far? Yes without doubt yes. I mean we have had everything has been pretty much positive so far and one big thing that I have noticed is that people who I suppose wouldn’t have listened to us before, who you think aren’t going be rock music fans take notice so that’s a big plus that basically means we are reaching a bigger audience.
- Marianne Harris
Yes definitely happy. Continuing about the album here. How did it come together? We recorded the EP a while ago and then we have always planned to do an album, so it’s been a little bit of a long time coming, but we have always been busy with tours and then getting offered gigs that you’re not expecting and you end up taking them and we were playing sort of the same set and then what we decided to do was, we got to a point where we have got to record an album - do we record the same set that we have been playing live or do we go ahead and take our time and write a new set, write new material? In the end it just made sense to write new stuff and hit people with that really. We felt that we have moved on as band and so it made sense to write new songs so that’s what we did.
Did you develop any favourite tracks from the album? Yes, as a band or just myself? (both) ok fair enough, fair enough. I mean I like track 4 (Broken Nails & Bloody Fingers) which has got a big sing-along chorus. Obviously ‘Guidance’ was the first song and everyone all knew that it was going to be a single as soon as we heard the finished version, just because, I suppose it’s similar to the old stuff in the sort of the attitude of it. It sounds a lot more modern, so that’s why we kinda chose that song as the first single, but then the album feels like its split into two sections, the really aggressive first half and the second half is a little bit more modern and bigger choruses. ‘This Sinking Ship,’ which is different from anything that we have done before, we all liked just because it was something I don’t think people are going to expect, people I’ve played it to have loved it, so I think that’s a favourite for everyone as a band.
How would you say that your sound has developed since starting off? The songs on this album compared to the old EP I think they are more modern, there’s more variety for definite. I mean on this one we have done a few things swapped arrangement wise which I don’t think we would have done before, which is definitely a plus there are some songs which have got bigger choruses and we are still aggressive, we are still a rock band, but we have sort of updated the sound which is what you have got to do really. You can’t stay still forever.
Obviously the album is about to come out shortly and I know that you have a few dates lined up between now and then but what have you got planned after that. Do you have any tour dates planned or any festival appearances lined up? Yes, we have got this month May with 4 or 5 gigs lined up and then I think the focus is going to be getting festivals booked, we are still looking at that at the moment. Getting the album out to as many people as we can, making people hear it. We are getting radio play of the single already, it’s been pretty heavily played so making sure that we keep pushing that and yes hopefully growing the fan base and keeping things moving forward.
Where did the name for the album come from? A bit like the band name really. We sat down and there were all different sorts of ideas going about and people had different views on what the name should be, what it should reflect, but we have always been a band that sort of, I suppose we are a bit of a unit a bit of a gang so something felt right really. We sat in the practice room and banded ideas about and that was the one that stuck.
Right final question are there any messages that you would like to pass on to your fans? Just, I suppose it sounds cheesy *Laughs* but I suppose just thanks for coming to the shows hope they like the album and basically thanks for the support there’s only one way we can play gigs and that is if people are coming to the gigs to watch us.
as a band, we don’t like being pigeonholed too much
Photo Credit - Marianne Harris
Defy All Reason 9/10
Every Second Counts EP Record Label: Self Released
Released: June 2013
Highlight of the album: Blame It On The Luck And Rock N Roll Website: http://www.defyallreason.co.uk Reviewer: Graham Pritchard
You could be forgiven for saying that you have never heard of Defy All Reason as they are only a small band from Wrexham, but a small band that is about to explode on the circuit and make a big noise.
The EP ‘Every Second Counts’ is a stomper for a first release and with tracks like ‘Blame It On The Luck And Rock n Roll’, ‘Shake It’, ‘Coming Home’ and ‘Behind Those Eyes’ are a true testament to how good these guys are, and having had the pleasure of seeing them live recently, I can tell you the twenty Put together back in late 2011 the four lads from minutes they played for was not long enough, but it Wrexham have been busy recording their first EP as was a taster that left me hungry for more of this well as doing the odd gig here and there and if you great band. took Blackstone Cherry, mixed them up with Nickleback and Buffalo Summer you would get Defy All Reason, a hard rocking southern style rock band with catchy tunes.
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The Quill 9/10
Tiger Blood Record Label: Metalville Records
Released: 3 June 2013
Highlight of the album: Greed Machine Website: http://www.thequill.se Reviewer: Jon Seymour
This is album number 7 from these Swedish ‘stoners’ and it’s very much business as usual. The album has a grungy, greasy, grimy kind of sound, and it packs a mighty punch. The songs themselves are quite catchy, with sing-a-long choruses, and infectious grooves. Oh yes, this is good stuff.
rock bands, that’s for certain. The album is full of energy, and it sets out with a sense of purpose. It grabs you by the scruff of the neck, shakes you violently, then ties you to a horse and drags you through the dirt.
This is a heavy slab of rock that you certainly Vocally, there’s a certain drawl to them, and they’re wouldn’t want to drop on your foot, its loud, its brash pretty powerful too. There’s a lot to like on this and most of all, really good. It will suck you in right album that’s for sure. Stoner rock hasn’t really stood from the start, and it’ll hold you hostage right until the test of time, and while it was popular some ten the end, where it might let you go, if you’re lucky. I years ago, these days it’s less so. The fact that don’t like comparing artists to others, but I found these guys have endured for this long is testament myself being reminded of Soundgarden while to the quality of music that they produce. It’s not listening to this album, but I don’t think it’s a direct something you can pigeonhole into any particular comparison, just more of a similar feel. It’s well genre, so Stoner Rock is used in the loosest sense worth checking it out though, that’s for sure. of the word. You can hear the blues influences in the music too, although its way heavier than many other bluesy
The Conversation Record Label: [PAIS] Recordings
Released: 20 May 2013
Highlight of the album: Detroit City Website: http://www.texas.uk.com/ Reviewer: Lee Walker
I have always had a bit of a soft spot for Texas since first coming across them many years ago thanks to the success of the ‘I Don’t Want A Lover’ single which received massive airplay and was regularly featured on compilation albums well into the 90s, so when I had the opportunity to review their latest release curiosity got the better of me. A lot of the previous Texas album releases always seemed to suffer from inconsistency, which unfortunately led to them not quite receiving the recognition that they deserved or reaching the heights that they should have done, but the release of ‘The Conversation’ album marks a return to form for the band and leads them from their self-imposed exile with what is easily there best release since
‘White On Blonde’ and possibly there strongest album to date. Containing all of the bands trade mark bluesy sounds that suit Sharleen Spiteri’s vocals oh so well, ‘The Conservation’ feels like the album that should have followed ‘White on Blonde’ and could easily spawn multiple singles such is the quality of the songs included on the album, and with tracks of the calibre of ‘Detroit City’ it is safe to say that you should expect a resurgence of interest in the band and for ‘The Conservation’ to be labelled as one of the top ‘come back’ albums of the year.
Firebrand Rock Radio’s
Interviewed by M G Jen What is the history of the band? Patrick - REDLIZZARD were born in December 2007 from a project I had with Elvis. At the time we were also working with Mauro in another project and the invitation for him to join us came naturally. Rick joined the band after: I had worked with him in several other projects, so both me and Elvis thought it would be the most natural choice for Rick to fill in the drummers place. In April 2008 we had some original songs already finished, so we went into studio and recorded our first demo. The result was five songs that we used to introduce the band to the public. During the following 2 years we played live in many clubs, bars and entered some competitions. In 2009, we won our first award in a band competition. During 2010, we made it to several music competitions finals and ended up winning most of them. REDLIZZARD began the year of 2011 participating in two more finals in band competitions; one of them was one of the most prestigious national competitions, XVI Corroios Music Festival. Despite being ranked #2, the band was praised by the organization in the Festival site: ‘REDLIZZARD managed a stunning display perfectly to tread the stages of great festivals in Portugal and the rest of the world’. Still in 2011, we had a lot more nominations and awards, the most important was the contest ‘Have a Nice Day on the Stage with Bon Jovi’. In result of that, REDLIZZARD were the opening act for the Bon Jovi Concert in Lisbon at July 31 2011 for 56,000 people. According to the local media, we were BIG,
with an excellent reception from the public. In August the band was invited to attend the program ‘Verão Total’ for a national television network, which gave them the opportunity to present their work to millions… It was our first television appearance. In the summer of 2011 we recorded our first EP - In Your Face, which was released on the 17th November. In November 2011, REDLIZZARD were nominated in two categories, ‘Best Alternative / Pop Band" and ‘Best International Band’ for the ‘The Upper State Independent Awards’ (Site: http:// usiawards.com/) in the United States which also ended up winning both. Since then we're touring in Portugal to promote our EP live in Portugal. And although we only play live in Portugal, we've had some great feedback from online radios all around the world a sking for our EP. Who are the band members and their role? REDLIZZARD are Mauro on Vocals, Elvis on Lead Guitar, Patrick on Rhythm Guitar, Roger on Bass and Rick on the Drums. What is the origin of the band name? Elvis - Hehehe… There are a lot of theory’s about that… But probably the one closer to the truth involves rival football teams… That’s all we can reveal ;) Who would you say are the band’s influences? Patrick - We all have different types of music and
different influences. Personally, my main influences are AC/DC, Def Leppard, Whitesnake, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple... Danko Jones... Velvet Revolver, but each band member is different. Elvis - When we write music we try not to be influenced by other bands in order to maintain an original sound but bands like AC/DC, Led Zeppelin and Whitesnake have inspired us. Mauro - My main influence is Dave Grohl (Nirvana, Foo Fighters, Queens of the Stone Age) and bands such as Bon Jovi, Aerosmith, U2 and Tori Amos. Many - Bands such as AC/DC, Def Leppard, Whitesnake, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple... Danko Jones... Velvet Revolver... And Other kind of things like David Bowie, U2 or Billy Idol... ROCK MUSIC!
believe, Rock Music. Mauro - We really are connected through music as we share the taste and the passion for rock. That fact alone is an immense strength; our friendship and the way we work together is also another key point. What are the current goals of the band? Patrick - At the moment REDLIZZARD are seeking for a good producer that believes in our music. We want to make the best Rock Album ever!
What are the long term goals for the band? Patrick - Being a great band, making good music and touring the world! Elvis - Kicking some ass with some great Rock N’ Roll riffs! How would you describe your sound to someone who Mauro - To rock the world! may have not heard your band before? Patrick - Basically REDLIZZARD sounds like Rock, Any upcoming gigs that you'd like to announce? you’ll feel the roots of it among strong guitar riffs, Patrick - We only play in Portugal, unfortunately. We striking rhythms and pleasant solos. There are strong don't have any invitations to play in another country and catchy chorus all the way through and a very as of yet. Here in Portugal we will play at Rock In Rio positive attitude. Sado Festival on the 9th June in Setubal and 13th Mauro - It's powerful and catchy. It's not only a rock June at Hard Club in Porto. sound; what we do is rock songs, and people can tell the difference! Our EP - In Your Face is available on ITunes (https://itunes.apple.com/pt/artist/redlizzard/ What would you say is your greatest strength as a id498197678) and Amazon band? (http://www.amazon.com/In-Your-Face/dp/ Elvis - Our common will to do what we love and B0074NBPF0)
Do you think your band has what it takes to be Firebrand Rock Radio’s
Prizes include interview both on air and in our Magazine, and much more. If you are interested, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and details! We only have six slots available, so get your entries in! Good luck! 21
Cybersteria Record Label: SPV/Steamhammer
Released: 24 May 2013
Highlight of the album: Slave To The Powerworld Website: http://www.powerworld.org/ Reviewer: Paul Nicholls
I first heard of this album from David Reece as he was originally due to handle the vocal duties on the release, however a very professional decision between Mr Reece and Ilker Ersin (Powerworld founder) saw Mr Reece departing and Michael Bormann stepping up to take over. What a job he has done here, fitting both the style and key of the albums songs and sounding as good as I’ve heard him in recent years not withstanding his current ‘Redrum’ release.
is essential listening if your tastes are broader than simply ‘pink and fluffy’ AOR as this album is most certainly ‘meat’ of the current release banquet. Don’t let the fact that there is a theme to this album put you off , should you wish to. each song is more than powerful enough to stand alone, not needing to lean on each other for support as some themed albums can do.
A release well worth acquiring as ‘Powerworld’ Musically, this album weaves intricate song continue to deliver in their own inimitable style and construction that never leaves your ears with they are continuing to develop. nothing to listen to, in fact this album will offer something new on each play for some considerable time such is the quality of the writing on offer. Loosely an update of Orwell’s 1984, using the power of the internet as is protagonist, Cybersteria
MS MR 9/10
Secondhand Rapture Record Label: Columbia Records
Released: 13 May 2013
Highlight of the album: Salty Sweet Website:
Reviewer: Lee Walker
Having stumbled upon the strangely named MS MR after having a video of them sent to me I was somewhat intrigued by what the album would sound like.
brings out the best of Lizzy’s hauntingly poignant vocal style while creating a perfect balance between the two sounds and allowing the songs dark, almost gothic themed, lyrics to shine though.
Being described as ‘Noir-pop’ this New York duo are Overall for a debut album ‘Secondhand Rapture’ creating quite a name for themselves and have ticks all the right boxes and seems set to propel MS recently featured on David Letterman. MR further into the public eye, but with as with a lot of similar artists you will either love or hate them. Comprising of a sound which seamlessly merges the Regardless of your views on them though I think its finer elements from the likes of Siouxsie and the fair to say that you will definitely be hearing a lot Banshees, Florence and the Machine and Sophie more from this band in years to come. Ellis Bextor, MS MR manage to create a sound which stands out from the crowd and separates them from the traditional female fronted artists that are constantly springing up, with their mix of keyboard led dark ambience style music which
1939 - 2013 Known to fans worldwide as the talented Keyboardist and founding member from Legendary band ‘The Doors’ Ray Manzarek ‘s death came as a shock. After battling for some time with bile duct cancer, his fight sadly came to an end on 20th May 2013 at a hospital in Rosenheim, Germany aged 74. Robbie Krieger says: ‘I was deeply saddened to hear about the passing of my friend and band mate. I’m glad to have played Doors songs with him for the last decade. Ray was a huge part of my life and I will always miss him.’ Throughout his life he had accomplished many things, as well as being an exceptional musician he was also a bestselling author with works such as ‘Light My Fire’, ‘The Poet In Exile‘ and ‘Snake Moon’ and even a Grammy nominated musician. Ray will be missed dearly by family, friends and fans alike.
Once again, it’s been a fairly quiet month so far. festivals in the UK, and is always worth taking the There are a few things of note, though. The main time to check it out. For full details go to http:// piece of news for this month is that the British Blues www.maryportblues.co.uk/ Awards list of nominees was released. I’ve spoken to people from both sides of the fence on this, as there are many fans that believe the selection process is less than satisfactory. Some say that there are glaring omissions and there are a large number of fans that don’t agree with several of the nominations. That said, there are many factors when deciding the nominees for the chosen categories, so it’s not for me to speculate. You can check all the latest by going to http://britishbluesawards.com Guitarist and singer Aynsley Lister will be releasing a new album very shortly, entitled Home it’s due to be released on Straight Talking records. British actor and comedian Hugh Laurie also released an album this month, on 6th May entitled ‘Didn’t It Rain’ which is a piano blues album, and well worth checking out.
Photo Credit Walter Goyen
The 14th annual Blues Week will be held at the University of Northampton from 28th July to 2nd August. This is an opportunity for budding musicians to learn about the blues, and pick up some great tips from existing blues musicians. For full details go to http://www.euroblues.co.uk/bluesweek2013.php Also in July is the 15th annual Maryport Blues Festival which will be held from 26th to 28th with a host of bands from all over. This is one of the major blues
Once again, if you have something you’d like featured in the blues section of the magazine, or have some news that you think we should let people know about, then please drop an email to email@example.com and we’ll do our best to put it in. Thanks for reading... 24
Larry Miller 9/10
Live & Outlawed Record Label: Big Guitar Records
Released: 6 June 2013
Highlight of the album: The Girl That Got Away Website: http://www.larrymiller.co.uk Reviewer: Jon Seymour
This is the long awaited live album from a singer/ guitarist who’s been on the blues circuit for quite some time. Now live albums are either really good, or really bad. Thankfully, the blues genre turns out some cracking live albums, and this is one of them. That’s hardly surprising though, as it’s built on some bloody good studio stuff. Good material is half the battle, right?
possible to take a great song, and elevate it further by injecting some improve here and there. Of course, it’s just as easy to kill a song stone dead by overdoing it, and there are some truly shocking live versions of songs, but again, not on this album.
It captures the live atmosphere really well, and if you put your headphones on, and close your eyes, you find yourself transported to the venue. That’s exactly Larry has some great influences, and you can hear what a live album should do. There’s a big debate as them in his music. It’s all original though, and his to whether live albums are actually necessary, but command of the guitar is sensational. Throw into the personally I happen to think they are. It captures a mix, one of the best blues voices this side of the moment in the artist’s history, and it also gives an Atlantic. Yep he’s a British blues maestro, and as insight into what to expect for the virgins out there. such should be treated as a national treasure. From This album is just filled with some incredible music, heartfelt ballads, to rocking the blues, this guy can so go out and get it. do it all, and do it well. What I admire most about a lot of blues artists, is that the live shows involve a lot of ad-libbing. It’s
Paul Butler 8/10
Days Will Come Record Label: Self Release
Released: 14 February 2013
Highlight of the album: Winters In Australia Website:
Reviewer: Jon Seymour
This is another one of those ‘not quite sure what to expect’ albums. The album opens up with a song that’s not unlike Randy Newman’s style. Personally, that’s not an instant turn off, and I was immediately intrigued to listen further, to see what surprises the album could throw at me. Well there are several actually, and none of them are nasty.
Honestly though, this guy is a really good singer/ song writer. I found the album to be very entertaining, and it drew me in slowly at first, but by the end I was completely immersed in his world. It’s quite a fun place to be at times too, and you can tell that he just loves to invite people in.
Musically, it doesn’t really follow a set formula, and There is a great mix of genres on the album, ranging twists this way and that as it wanders along at its from folk, to jazz, to blues, and even country, but the own pace. There’s nothing rushed about this album, music is of very high quality throughout. It’s quite and you should just put it on, and drift off to strange to listen to actually, as you never know somewhere the world doesn’t matter any more. what’s going to come next. Lyrically, the focus is planted firmly on telling the listener a tale or two.
Nick Cohen 9/10
Pages Record Label: Self Release
Highlight of the album: In The Gathering Mist Website: https://www.facebook.com/nickcohenkog Reviewer: Jon Seymour
This is one of those that landed in my lap quite by accident. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Nick Cohen, he plies his trade as a session musician, known primarily for playing bass. This album features a great many guest musicians, in fact far too many to list here. Suffice to say, this is an album of immense diversity. Its very blues tinged, but there’s a fair bit of jazz thrown into the mix, and also some funky grooves. There’s a lot more than that to this album too, but these are just the main points I picked up on. As there are many different musicians, the musical styles vary greatly. This makes the album move along in no particular direction. It’s like being on a large piece of driftwood, on a vast ocean, at the mercy of nothing but the currents. You can’t help but go with the flow either.
If you read through the who’s who of the people that Nick has worked with, it’s hardly surprising that so many people were willing to give him the time to record this album. I counted four guitarists, seven vocalists, four drummers, two keyboardists, two sax players, two trumpet players and a trombone player. That’s a vast array of contributors to the album, and because of it, there is no signature sound or theme. This then is a collection of great songs, of varying styles and sounds. It’s a bloody good album too, and musically refreshing. It bounces along from one song to the next seamlessly, so whoever decided on the running order is to be congratulated too. This is an album full of surprises, so strap your self in and go for a ride.
Poplar Jake 9/10
From The Delta To The Docks Record Label: Self Release
Released: 21 April 2013
Highlight of the album: When I Get To Drinkin’ Website: http://www.poplarjake.com Reviewer: Jon Seymour
The first offering from Poplar Jake was met with critical acclaim, and his blues style is pure Delta. Yes, this is pure blues. The music is extremely simple, mostly made up of just guitar and vocals, and the stripped back approach leaves nowhere to hide. Lately the blues is a much more bloated genre, with a lot of rock/jazz crossovers appearing here and there, so it’s always great for something to come along that sticks to the traditional ideals. The old adage of it being ‘woke up this morning and my woman was gone’ kind of songs couldn’t be further from the truth, as there’s not much of that at all here. What this album gives you, is some soulful vocals,
backed with great guitar work. There are no overblown guitar solos, no frills, and no gimmicks it’s just packed wall to wall with some damn good songs. Yes this is well worth checking out for sure. For the blues purists, this should be right up your street, as it is simply pure blues. Those of you that don’t like the blues that much are probably not going to be swayed by this album if I’m honest. That said, if you just appreciate great music played extremely well regardless of the genre, then you should definitely check this album out. The slide guitar alone is worthy of spending your money on. I don’t know what it is, but I just love a good bit of slide. Poplar Jake brings a modern feel to old ideas, and it works really well.
With Chris Nelson 18 & Life is the brainchild of Firebrands Switchblade Serenade presented by me, Chris Nelson. Each month I will be bringing you an insight into what goes on in the personal lives of musicians and bands. It's 18 questions all about them, with final question telling you what they are up to at the moment and what their plans are for the next 6 months. So if you’re in a band and you want to take part, send your contact details to firstname.lastname@example.org This months features is Linkan Andersson from Sweden,Varberg (South of Gothenburg)Lead/Rhythm Guitarist/songwriter (Also Bassplayer and Producer for The Andersson Mills Project ) Currently recording a new album with new band called ACID FOR BLOOD with drummer of QUIET RIOT,W.A.S.P FRANKIE BANALI, singer, songwriter,guitarist and producer from Los Angeles, PAUL SABU. WHATS THE BEST BAND YOU’VE EVER SEEN LIVE? Kiss 2. ARE YOU AFRAID OF ANYTHING AND WHATS YOUR FEAR? Not a big fan of heights really
6. WHATS YOUR FAVOURITE TYPE OF FOOD/ DISH? Spanish Fidua and Empanada, Thai food, BBQ...Pizza…Too many to name. 7. IF YOU COULD GO BACK IN TIME TO A CERTAIN TIME AND PLACE IN HISTORY, WHERE WOULD YOU CHOSE, AND WHY? Well, the year I was born 1973 would be cool, to see all the great bands around that time like Kiss, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Alice Cooper, Bowie etc.
3. IF YOU COULD HOST A DINNER PARTY AND INVITE ANY TWO PEOPLE FROM HISTORY ALIVE OR DEAD WHO WOULD YOU CHOOSE? Paul Auster and John Lennon would be cool 4. WHATS YOUR FAVOURITE HORROR MOVIE? Halloween 5. WHO ARE YOUR HEROES, THE PEOPLE WHO INSPIRED YOU TO GET INTO MUSIC? Kiss got me into music, writing and performing at a very early stage in life.
8. WHAT WOULD YOU SAY YOUR CAREER HIGHS AND LOWS HAVE BEEN? The low must been playing in front of 3 people in the middle of nowhere outside Varberg, Sweden but in that moment I didn’t care much, I was just happy to have a gig
at the age of 10.The Highs been many if I count all the great artists I´ve Co-wrote and worked with, that’s what matters to me. The first song Tony Mills and I wrote together was for the Crank It Up album, it was magic.
16. WHAT WAS THE FIRST GIG YOU EVER WENT TO? Kiss 1983 in Gothenburg. 17. WHAT SPORT DO ENJOY PLAYING OR WATCHING THE MOST? Just love watch Football...quit myself at 16. still do the running though !!
Did my first session work when I was 19 with Anders Johansson (Yngwie Malmsteen), Mic Michaelli and Kee Marcello from Europe was cool too. The latest one Paul Sabu´s album ‘Bangkok Rules’ was great work with all of them as well.
18. WHAT ARE YOU UP TO AT THE MOMENT AND WHATS YOUR PLANS FOR THE NEXT 6 MONTHS? At this moment in time I am writing new songs for different projects, lets see if something new will come out of it, hopefully it will. cause it sounds killer. I will do some more session work too, also booked and signed contract doing about 60 dates of guitar teaching and clinics.
9. DO YOU BELIEVE IN GHOSTS OR UFO’S AND HAVE YOU HAD ANY EXPERIENCES YOU CAN SHARE WITH US? Yeah I believe in ghosts...no real experience of it but I believe in the soul. 10. YOUR CHILLING AT HOME AND PUT ON AN ALBUM BY AN ARTIST SOMEONE WOULD NOT ASSOCIATE YOU WITH, WHAT WOULD BE YOUR GUILTY PLEASURE? Not sure if people associate me with them or not, but I put on Interpol… they put me in a special mood that not many other bands can do. They are One of my favorite bands. 11. WHAT PISSES YOU OFF MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE IN THE WORLD? Dishonest people !! 12. FAVOURITE COMEDY TV SHOW OF ALL TIME? Fawlty Towers and Seinfeld. 13. WHAT IS THE ONE THING IN LIFE YOU SIMPLY CANNOT DO WITHOUT? Music !! 14. WHATS YOUR FAVOURITE ALCOHOLIC DRINK? I go for beer…Belhaven Black is awesome.
Don’t forget you can catch up with Chris Nelson every Sunday 12-2pm on Firebrand Rock Radio
15. WHATS YOUR FUNNIEST TOUR BUS STORY? Traveling home from England last year was totally Spinal Tap!!
Black And Blue Record Label: Fully Loaded
Released: 17 June 2013
Highlight of the album: Beg For It Website: http://www.motherloadrock.com Reviewer: Jon Seymour
This is the debut from this classic rock quartet, and it’s an absolute belter. It comes right at you, lips curled and teeth bared. This is real powerful rock music, with no subtlety at all, and no messing around. This is an album that just gets down to business, and you’re left in no doubt as to its intentions, and that’s primarily to make your eardrums bleed, and your head shake violently.
Musically, this is middle of the road stuff in terms of style, but brilliant in execution. The songs are well crafted, and you can hear the building blocks slotting in to place as you listen. What’s more is that it’s all done at a relentless pace. There’s no breathing room when listening to this and it’ll keep you coming back for more. It’s definitely addictive, and it’ll stir something inside of you for sure.
The music has a really thick sound, and it really benefits from being played loud. In fact I’d say you need to play it loud to get the best from it. The production is excellent, and everything fits together exactly as it should. Vocally it’s raw and powerful, and the singer has an incredible voice. It sounds like he’s been gargling with wet concrete and tarmac, and the end result is full of grit and gravel. In fact he reminds me a lot of Ricky Warwick at times, but a little higher on the vocal register.
This album is nothing new in terms of genre defining, as there’s a huge amount of music out there in this particular style, but there’s honestly not that much that’s as good. This really is an impressive debut, and if their live shows have as much energy as is conveyed through this album, then anyone that goes to see them is going to be well rewarded. Does the world need another classic rock band? My answer is, if they’re as good as Motherload a really big ‘Oh Hell yeah!’
Black Dog Barking Record Label: Roadrunner Records
Released: 20 May 2013
Highlight of the album: Live It Up Website: http://www.airbournerock.com/ Reviewer: Lee Walker
So Australia’s second largest musical export return with a third album, doing what they do best, playing good old fashioned rock’n’roll.
AC/DC sound-alikes they might be, their music might not be the most technical out there and they will never be fashionable, but what they lack for with that they more than make up for with their carefree Sticking to the tried and tested formulae that has rock’n’roll attitude and sounds and with summer taken them this far, Joel and the boys continue upon us it’s time to fire up the BBQ, crack open a where they left off in 2010 with another collection of cold one and play this album the way it should be balls out, guitar driven rock ‘n’ fkn roll. played - loud. Opening track ‘Ready To Rock’ leads the way in this latest instalment and comes bursting out of your speakers like a bullet from a gun, setting the scene for the rest of the album, with tracks such as ‘Animalize’, ‘Live It Up’, and the Killer Dwarfesque ‘Back In The Game’ continue to fly the flag high in the land where fast paced guitar work, macho lyrics and rock attitude are the order of business.
In Your Face Record Label: Self Release
Released: 17 November 2012
Highlight of the album: Push It Babe Website: http://www.redlizzard.com/ Reviewer: Jason M. Davies
Winners of May's ‘Band of the Month’ and hailing all the way from sunny Portugal are RedLizzard. Their EP In Your Face was released on the 17th of November last year and is pretty damn good. Although the members of the band are native Portuguese and speak the tongue fluently, the songs are sung in English and possess a kind of strength that is seldom heard in more well renowned bands. You can tell that RedLizzard play like they've got something to prove, with a yes we can attitude. RedLizzard are young and they are hungry!
Catchy chorus after chorus possess you with an urge to want to sing along and I predict this band to do well live as each song's chorus is easy to learn and so damn catchy you have to sing with the songs. Within the first couple of tracks, you should have a liking for RedLizzard and you can see how they earned that coveted ‘Band of the Month’ position. Each song has something special to it. Praise is all I have for RedLizzard on this one; this is a band well worth checking out.
Ok, what you can expect from RedLizzard: a classic rock sound brought into the 21st century by driving guitars, melodic vocals, thunderous percussion, a smooth, deep bass and synthesiser mimicking a wurlitzer that conjures sound-a-like images in my head of Deep Purple once-upon-a-time.
Ape Machine 8/10
Mangled By The Machine Record Label: Ripple Music
Released: 14 May 2013
Highlight of the album: Every Body Bleeds Website: http://www.apemachine.com/ Reviewer: Lee Walker
With a name like Ape Machine I was somewhat curious as to what they would sound like and if this was where Galen and co ended up.
Sabbath style vocals to effortlessly capture your attention and draw you into their progressive sounds as the album rapidly sucks you in.
Described as ‘blending equal parts Rock n’ Roll, Blues, Stoner Rock and Psychedelia, Ape Machine is out to melt faces and pound the apathy out of otherwise jaded listeners with a wall of heavy rock n’ roll tones unheard since the days of bell bottoms, long hair and blaring tube amplifiers’ which to be honest sums the album up perfectly.
Despite their strange name ‘Ape Machine’ have put out a very good album but as with all stoner/ progressive acts you will either love or hate their breed of music.
Coming across as a more upbeat version of Cathedral or early Black Sabbath, this Portland quartet waste no time in bashing out their unique blend of stoner rock, with deep throbbing bass lines powering the machine and being the main driving point to the band, while allowing Caleb Heinze’s early
where are they now? By Lee Walker
For this months ‘Where Are They Now?’ we have picked Jameson Raid. Described as being ‘cult heroes for the Midland rock circuit’ they are known as one of the many great NWOBHM bands that never quite fulfilled their potential. Taking their name from an incident in the Transvaal at the turn of 1895/96, the band originally date back to 1973, when bassist John Ace and guitarist Ian Smith, played together in a band called ‘Spectaté II’ while at school. The band soon went their separate ways. During this time Ace formed a covers outfit. When this split, Ace, together with the rhythm guitarist Stewart Harrod, persuaded Smith to return and added the drummer Phil Kimberley. Their first gig took place on 26 August 1975, under name ‘Notre Dame’. Roadie, Nick Freeman, was credited with recalling the events of the Transvaal from his school history books and proposing it to the band. With Hoi Polloi singer Terry Dark joining in December 1976, and Stewart leaving a few days later, Jameson Raid's most well-known line-up was complete. Jameson Raid released their first single, the ‘Seven Days Of Splendour’ EP in February 1979. Despite the musical press’s problems nailing down the bands sounds the EP was well received. In March 1980 the band, along with Magnum, played support to Def Leppard at the Birmingham Odeon on the latter's 'On Through the Night' tour. Later the same year EMI released the second of
of its 'Metal For Muthas' NWOBHM compilation albums. ‘Metal For Muthas II Cut Loud’, featured the Jameson Raid track ‘Hard Lines’. The band were credited as ‘The Raid’ on this release and were unhappy that EMI had remixed the song. Smith and Ace left the band the same year and they played their final gig with the band in Birmingham in July 1980. A second 7" EP, ‘End Of Part One’ was released at this time. Featuring four tracks (‘The Hypnotist’, ‘The Raid’, ‘Getting Hotter’ and ‘Straight From The Butchers’), the EP proved to be the band’s vinyl swansong.
Discography Seven Days Of Splendour - EP – 1979 End Of Part One - EP – 1980 Just As The Dust Had Settled – Album – 2010 Just As The Dust Had Settled Limited Edition Vinyl LP – 2010 Jameson Raid Live At The O2 Academy Limited Edition Vinyl LP – 2011 The Beginning Of Part II Limited Edition Vinyl LP 2012
For more information on the band check out: http://www.jamesonraid.eu/ Kimberley and Dark soldiered on, recruiting guitarist https://www.facebook.com/ Mike Darby and bassist Peter Green. In 1981 Darby groups/283053111786126/ and was replaced by James Barrett, who in turn http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jameson_Raid gave way to Steve Makin in 1982. Later that year both Kimberley and Dark left the band which effectively marked the end of it. In 1983, Green and Makin drafted in drummer Roger Simms, and with Makin handling both guitar and vocal duties, they tried to resurrect the band as ‘The Raid’, but with no great success nor longevity. Makin went on to front several other bands before being invited to appear on the solo album by Cozy Powell titled ‘The Drums Are Back’. He later joined Slade in 1993. The classic line-up of Terry Dark, Ian Smith, John Ace and Phil Kimberley re-united in 2010, and their back catalogue album ‘Just As The Dust Had Settled’ was released by Shadow Kingdom Records later the same year. In February 2011 John Ace left the band. They played the Download festival in June 2011 with a stand in bass player before Peter Green, the bass player from 1980 to 1983, rejoined in June 2011. By 2012 first Ian Smith and then Phil Kimberley had followed John Ace and returned to their day jobs. They were replaced by ‘Kalli’ Kaldschmidt and Andreas ‘Neudi’ Neuderth. Currently the new lineup of Jameson Raid are busy recording a brand new album provisionally titled ‘Raiders of the Lost Art’.
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Big Wheel Stunt Show 8/10
Wonderful LIfe Record Label: Independant
Released: 24 March 2013
Highlight of the album: Jake’s Black Rainbow (of Unicorn Death) Website: http://www.bigwheelstuntshow.com/ Reviewer: Lee Walker
Big Wheel Stunt Show is a small vehicle with a loud engine. By paring it down to rock and roll’s bare essentials, guitarist Evan Nagle, bassist Jake Melius and drummer Justin Gimse have proved that it’s not the size of your band that counts — it’s what you do with it. Opening track ‘Wonderful Life’ pretty much wakes you up and sets the scene for this strange mix of styles that experimental progressive threesome ‘Big Wheel Stunt Show’ have put together with with what could loosely be called there concept album approach, with there electric mix of sixties inspired
rockabilly music, rapidly interchanging between the rockier Nashville Pussy style tracks and the slower sixties Led Zeppelin style progressive tracks, and back again in the blink of an eye. The songs themselves are fairly impressive but as with all releases of this progressive/experimental nature you will either love of hate it but one thing is certain you will never forget it.
Death Dealer 9/10
War Master Record Label: Steel Cartel Records
Released: 14 June 2013
Highlight of the album: Death Dealer Website:
Reviewer: Graham Pritchard
Newly formed USA based multi nation power metal band Death Dealer are pretty dam amazing to say the least and that should come as no surprise considering they are made up of the following people. Rhino, Ross The Boss, Sean Peck, Stu Marshall and Mike Davis, and with their debut album due out they have a lot to shout about with screaming vocals, rip roaring guitars and a drum beat to make your head explode creating a mixture of power and thrash metal in very much the same vein as Manowar.
This ten track CD is everything you could hope for and expect from a line up with such a talented and experienced pedigree as this. Of course if you don’t like power metal or even Manowar then this won’t be for you, but for those that do every track is a full on fist pumping head banging explosion of metal that makes up a killer debut and you can guarantee that live they are going to rip you a new one.
From track one, right through to track ten you get an onslaught of music that starts but never really stops and with Peck on vocal duties Death Dealer have a power house for a front man that can scream and sing with the best of them.
Burning Rain 8/10
Burning Rain (Self Titled)
Pleasure To Burn
Epic Obsession Record Label: Frontiers Records
Released: 17 May 2013
Highlight of the album: Burning Rain - Making My Heart Beat Pleasure To Burn - Fireball Epic Obsession - Ride The Monkey Website: http://www.burningrain.net/ Reviewer: Lee Walker
You would be forgiven for not knowing who ‘Burning Rain’ is. Formed in 1998 by guitarist extraordinaire Doug Aldrich. Aldrich formed Burning Rain after meeting singer Keith St John through mutual friends and the two set off to compose a debut album to remember! Burning Rain ‘Burning Rain’ was originally released 1999. The album was rounded out by Ian Mayo on Bass and Alex Macarovich on Drums. Despite its limited worldwide release the album put the band on the map with their mix of classic hard rock ballads and contained the hits ‘Smooth Locomotion’, ‘Making My Heart Beat’ and ‘Cherry Grove’ and was known as much for the great vocal performance of Keith St John and for showing the world the stunning guitar work of Aldrich.
unfortunately never happened as Doug was working full time with David on tours and various projects so there was no real time for a new Burning Rain record until now. Epic Obsession The 17th of May finally marks the release of the long planned elusive third ‘Burning Rain’ album titled ‘Epic Obsession’. Featuring a lineup of Aldrich and St John alongside Sean McNabb (Dokken, Quiet Riot) on Bass and backing vocals as well as Matt Starr from Ace Frehley band on drums. Containing a slightly heavier and grittier sound ‘Burning Rain’ continue where they left off in 2000, with the stunning guitar work of Aldrich and the powerful vocals of St John providing the vehicle to drive this powerhouse of a band forward, with a mixture of out and out rock tracks with the occasional Whitesnakeesque ballad thrown in.
This re-released version contains two bonus tracks –acoustic versions of ‘Smooth Locomotion’ and ‘Can’t Turn Your Back on Love’
Also included in this release are bonus acoustic tracks ‘Heaven Gets Me By’ and a stunning cover of Led Zeppelin’s ‘Kashmir’.
Pleasure To Burn In 2000 the band released the follow up album ‘Pleasure To Burn’. Sticking to the same lineup ‘Pleasure To Burn’ displayed a lot more maturity from the band as they capitalised on their earlier success, and was a faster, leaner, rockier affair and contained the stunning classic ‘Fireball’.
Where the album fails slightly is with its balance/ structure in my opinion, with the conflicting styles of some of the songs often clashing by having to go from a full on rock song to a ballad and then back to a rock song, but that fault aside the release of this album marks the return of ‘Burning Rain’ and will hopefully get the attention that this great band has long lacked.
This re-released version again contains two bonus tracks this time a previously unreleased demo ‘Live For That Rush’ and an acoustic version of ‘Cherie Don’t Break My Heart’. Aldrich left the band in 2001 to join the ‘Dio’ band, before joining up with a reformed Whitesnake in 2003 at the personal request of David Coverdale. Then in 2004 Aldrich signed ‘Burning Rain’ to a recording contract with Frontiers Records to release a third album, with the intention of working on the album when Whitesnake was on hiatus, which
Interviewed by Lee Walker Hi Ross, thank you for taking the time out for an interview.
After leaving Manowar you were involved in quite a few musical projects. What was your favourite one to be involved with? If you don’t mind me saying you are primarily known Manitoba's Wild Kingdom was an amazing record for your work with Manowar. When did you originally and band, Spinatras also excellent. become interested in becoming a musician and how did you end up being part of them? Well I started playing guitar at 13 but before that I Thanks to your appearance at Bloodstock in 2010 played piano and violin. As your ‘Ross The Boss’ band far as Manowar goes I became a lot more widely was playing with this band known across the UK called Shaking Street and metal scene. How did you we were opening for Black become a part of the Sabbath in the UK. Ronnie festival lineup and was the Dio introduced me to Joey experience what you DeMaio who was on their thought it would be? crew and we preceded to First The Bloodstock fest is invent Manowar. the best mid-sized fest on the planet. Great people fantastic stage. What was it like being a Actually the promoters part of Manowar during asked me to appear and it the 80’s? was fantastic For the first 6 records the band did we were a real band. We were a Sticking to your ‘Ross The devastating live act it was Boss’ band, how do you a great period. deal with the issues created by you being based in the US and the other With the Dictators having band members mainly punk sounds, was it being based in Germany? difficult changing your style Yes well having everyone in of play to suit the ‘classic’ another country is Manowar sound that was difficult but the internet created? makes it easier. I am myself in every band I have ever been in. I have a distinctive original style. Now you are currently involved with a new project ‘Death Dealer’. How did you come to be involved with this new band? I believe around 1988 you left Manowar. Why did Ah yes DeathDealer!! about a year ago Sean Peck you decide to leave the band? and Stu Marshall asked me to play on some tracks, I Yes it was 1988 right when Kings of Metal was listened and they were fantastic. They asked me to released Joey thought it was the perfect time to ask be in the band. When I found out Rhino and Mike me to leave the band. Davis was in the band I jumped at the opportunity.
How was the name of the band decided? DeathDealer was Sean's idea , I love it !! When you read through who is in the band and who they have played with it reads like a who's who of the metal world. Do you think that this combined history places the band under extra pressure to be successful? Actually there is less pressure cause we know what's gonna happen when the metal legions see us. The debut Death Dealer album, â€˜War Masterâ€™ is due out soon through Steel Cartel Records. How would you describe the album? I would say Warmaster is a master work. And also one of, if not loudest CD I've ever heard. Do you have any favourite tracks on the album? Warmaster, Children of the Grave, Hammerdown. When the album is released are there plans to tour or any festival appearances lined up? Can we expect to see Death Dealer in the UK? We hope to play everywhere there are heavy metal fans (which is everywhere). Are there any messages that you would like to pass on to your fans? Sure , When you see that DeathDealer is playing anywhere near you, make it your business to see us!!
Jon Byrne 8/10
Built By Angels Record Label: Splitting The Atom
Released: 26 June 2013
Highlight of the album: The Bitch & Her Greed Website: http://www.jonbyrne.co.uk Reviewer: Jon Seymour
Well first up, this is a strange one. Not the usual review fodder that may find its way into the pages of Firebrand Magazine, but never let it be said that we’re not afraid to broaden our horizons occasionally.
album managed to exorcise a few demons, and has left Jon a much happier man. He’s still very much a cynic though, or at least that’s the impression I get. What this album is though, is another glimpse into the psyche of a very good musician. Every one of these songs has a story to tell, and listening to it, is akin to listening to the great story tellers from years gone by. The music doesn’t need to be elaborate, as the lyrics add enough complexity on their own, and they will keep you hooked from start to finish.
So what exactly is it all about then? Well it’s primarily a folk album if I’m being totally honest, but folk is still rock, well sort of, isn’t it? This is obviously a laid back affair, with mostly acoustic guitar and harmonica and some percussion etc. It’s very simple, in fact almost as simple as music can be.
So yes, this isn’t heavy or hard rock by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s a great little album, and well worth a listen, if only to provide you with something a little off the wall to get your ears around.
Lyrically though, it’s quite dark in places, but injected with some great tongue in cheek humour. This guy has an acid wit, and it’s something that will either connect with you or it won’t. It’s not entirely as dark as his first album though, as it would seem that
Exit State 8/10
Lets See It All Record Label: Rocksector Records
Released: 24 June 2013
Highlight of the album: Elastic Website: www.exitstate.com Reviewer: Stoodge Mc Nulty
They say that you have your whole life to write and record your first album, and so with it being three years since the bands debut that would only suggest that the guys in Exit State must have been writing air pounding rock anthems in their sleep.
transit you cannot help but close your eyes and picture yourself inside a jam packed arena throwing your arms into the air.
'Elastic' which is my personal favorite takes a more desert rock approach and with the powerful riffing, This is the bands third full length release and is their bass brooding and subtlety rugged vocals on this second on the stellar independent Manchester track it would suit well on a Fu Manchu or an Audrey based label Rocksector Records and if I was to Horne album. simply use just one word to put across my opinion on this record it would be that it is 'rocking'. It is evident throughout the album that influences come from widespread and Exit State really make it As early as the opening track, the catchy as hell work and gel fantastically without sounding like a single 'Pull The Thread' you get the feeling that these poor rip off or copy cat band. gentlemen are going to have a huge future in this profession. 'The Pain I Demand' is the longest track The World needs releases like this just to prove to on the album and is sure to be a fan favorite live. the few pessimists that music is indeed still alive and Rolling in at 5:34 this song best demonstrates just well and is certainly not going anywhere just yet. how talented this band are and how strong Roy Bright’s voice is, and whilst the whole album is in
Breath Of The Pit Record Label: 4Worlds Media
Released: 3 June 2013
Highlight of the album: T34 Website: http://www.tankfilthhounds.net/ Reviewer: Lee Walker
Having listened to a lot of ‘chatter’ about the accompanying press release. Does it? Truthfully I forthcoming Algy Ward version of Tank’s new album, don’t know. The album itself was put together, and I jumped at the chance when offered to review it. produced by Algy himself which is a huge positive and hopefully indicates an improvement in his health. Now when I say the Algy Ward version of Tank I Musically the album ticks all the boxes for a Tank mean just that, and for those out of the loop, two release with the raw, pulverising energy of the Tank factions of this nwobhm band have continued to exist destroying everything in its path with its mix of since 2009 when Tank decided to tour minus Algy, a aggressive riffs and pounding drum beats that you situation which prompted a lot of strong words would associate with this vintage beast which is between both parties and has divided the Tank continuing to maraud and blast its way into the 21st faithful since then. Century. Algy himself was quoted as saying that the album ‘will blow your face off in true filth hounds tradition,’ in the
Paramore (Self Titled) Record Label: Fueled By Ramen
Released: 5 April 2013
Highlight of the album: Anklebiters Website: http://www.paramore.net Reviewer: Jon Seymour
So this is album number four from this pop/rock trio, and it’s been receiving some mixed reactions. It’s quite a bit different to their previous stuff actually. It’s still got the catchy choruses, and the instantly accessible songs. Like them or hate them, there’s no denying their popularity, and that popularity crosses generations. They’ve got a certain formula that’s appealing to a great many people. Of course the purists of the rock world will treat them with much the same disdain as Nickelback but in my view there’s always a place for radio friendly rock music, and that’s exactly what this is.
Is it a good album? Yes it is. Is it as good as their previous offerings? The jury is still out on that one to be honest. On the surface it’s a very strong album, but as it’s a bit different to previous albums, it’s really hard to make a comparison. It will still get your foot tapping, and you’re head bobbing while you’re listening, and in that respect, you can consider it very much a case of mission accomplished.
It’s quirky for sure, but it’s still unmistakably Paramore, just a little more grown up than they used to be. Maybe that’s why some of the younger audience have expressed some concern over it. The thing is though, it will still sell millions, they’ll still pack out stadiums and arenas, because that’s what they The songs are short, punchy, and they’ll stick in your do, and they do it well. head, sometimes annoyingly so. That’s part of the appeal though isn’t it? You’ll still be hearing this album long after its stopped playing. It’s a little drearier than their older stuff and a little darker too, but I think that comes from maturity. They’ve been doing this for a long time, so evolution is inevitable.
Dan Myhrer Of Interviewed by Jon Seymour for the music now, instead of for who we are. Perhaps people were kind of surprised by us, as in Sabaton, it was always Joakim that did all of the writing, so we were always in the background and maybe people just didn’t expect us to be able to write any music at all, but we’re really pleased with what we’ve done.
There was obviously a lot of media coverage after the very public splitting from Sabaton, so what’s the story behind the new band? The whole thing started quite early, in fact only a few days after we left the band. We got together and started talking about maybe starting a covers band, just so we could keep playing, as a hobby maybe, as it’s really quite hard just to quit the music business. We even thought about maybe starting a Sabaton tribute band at one point. Then we got to hear that Nils was interested in joining us, so we arranged a meeting and started talking. We also had our old roadie Stefan that had offered to play bass, so we were sitting there with a complete band again. After that, things started moving really quickly. We started writing our own material, and we got offers from a couple of record labels, even before they’d heard any of our music. I think they were more interested in our names, than they were in our music. We already had a lot of publicity from the split, so anything we did was going to be picked up by the media pretty quickly. We’re very pleased now though, as the music we’ve put out on the EP, and the singles has been really well received, so people are starting to like us
I’ve seen a few reviews of the album myself, and there are always going to be comparisons to your old band, and some people say that “it’s just Sabaton with a different singer.” Is it hard to get out of the shadow of Sabaton? Yes it’s really hard. For instance, when people hear I Will Rule The Universe for the first time, they’re going to think of The Art Of War as it’s maybe a similar melody. But the rest of the music we’ve tried a little to get away from the typical Sabaton sound. We’d been playing with them a long time before we left though, and that was all we knew how to do. Suddenly we have our own band, but it was hard not to sound like our old band. We could have tried not to sound like them, but the music wouldn’t have been so good. People also would have had some expectations of what we might sound like, and maybe if we put out something that was completely different, it would have done more harm than good to us. We wanted to give people something they could recognise, and a flash back to the roots of where we came from. Sabaton had been in our blood for such a long time, so detoxing from that is going to take a long time.
So you’ve just released the single St Patrick’s Day from the forthcoming album The Killer Angels, when is the album due for release? The pre-orders will be shipped on the 23rd May, but the album is officially released on 11th of June I think, so a couple of weeks to go yet. We’ve seen a few reviews already, and mostly they’ve been pretty good, which is encouraging.
I just didn’t want to see anyone
So are there any plans to go out on tour later in the year? We have no dates booked in the UK at the moment, but we’re looking to maybe get out somewhere towards the end of this year, or maybe even early next year, but it depends a little on how the record sales do, and whether the booking agents are willing to take us on. We’ve had some interesting offers for the summer, but we had to decline a lot of them due to family situations. Oskar and Rikard just became fathers, also Stefan has just become a father, and in a few more weeks, Daniel the drummer is due to become a father, so we had to take these things into consideration when booking gigs. We’ve actually only got five gigs booked so far, but we’ve been working hard on the album, and before that, we were working constantly for almost six years with the old band, touring, recording albums and doing rehearsals and things, so this is a well needed break. Me for example, I haven’t had a real holiday since 2004. We’ve always been booked up in the summer doing festivals, so this is the kind of break we actually need, for personal recreation and things. We will have to get used to working again slowly, and we want to be taking care of our families at the same time. So was it being out on the road that was the hardest thing to deal with as a hard working touring band? Actually no, it was the time spent at home was the hardest. When you come back from a long tour, and you only have a couple of weeks before you go out again, you just want to sit and relax, but you get people calling you up and wanting you to have dinner because you haven’t seen them in a while. It does sound strange saying that when I got back home, I didn’t even want to go out and see my friends, because I was just so tired of people in general, so I just wanted to be alone. It’s hard for people to understand unless they’ve been through it. I know it just sounds really horrible to say that I didn’t want to see my friends, but I just didn’t want to see anyone. This time we want to do it a little differently. Yes we will still go out and tour, but we don’t want to tour so hard, so we can still spend time with our friends and families without wanting to just be left alone. So have you any tracks on the album that you’re particularly proud of? To be honest, once we’d finished recording it, I was really tired of the whole shit, and I didn’t want to listen to it, if you know what I mean? After listening to it over time though, the whole album grew on me, and it’s hard to pick a particular favourite. I must say songs like King Of The Sun, Brother Judas, First To Fight, and also St Patrick’s Day we the songs I really started to enjoy. I will Rule The Universe also turned out much better than I thought it would. I really kind of like them all.
A lot of the lyrics seem to have a historical theme to them, how did those come about? Well when we started the band, we wanted to get away from writing about war, as that was very much what we did before. Then Nils joined the band, and he is very interested in history and stuff like that, and seeing as he writes all of the lyrics, he gets to decide what it’s all about. One of my favourite songs lyrically is actually Lucifer’s Court which is about an old SS soldier in Germany that was active before the Second World War, and he was actually a treasure hunter. He was sent out, I think by Himmler, to look for the Holy Grail, and the Lost Ark, and as far as I know, the Indiana Jones movie was loosely based around this character, and he wrote a book called Lucifer’s Court, which was about his treasure hunting. I didn’t know any of this, so I found it really interesting, and then you read more about it and come to Indiana Jones, and it gets even more fun. I learned a lot of things writing this new album, and stories that no one has ever heard about. When you go a little deeper into history, there is a lot there that you don’t know, as little bits often get lost in the main story, and they’re not written in the main history books. Did you guys find it hard to write the music to start with, as Joakim had been the only songwriter in Sabaton? No not really. I started playing some riffs on a guitar, as I put the guitar away for some time, so it was good to get that out again. We’d never really tried it though, but we all had some good ideas to pay with. Rikard, Daniel, Oskar and I have known each other for eight years now, and we all listen to music when we’re at home. So when we got together we all sat down and each started making suggestions like borrowing something from a totally unrelated genre like prog rock or something. I could write a whole song as an instrumental, and Oskar would have some very good ideas of how to change it around and make it sound completely different. We learned a lot about each other when we started writing together. With Sabaton it was like “here’s a new song, play it like this and it will be fine” but with the new band we’d all have ideas, and everybody was involved. We found it much better that way. What about when you’re not playing or writing? Apart from spending time with your family, is there anything that you really enjoy doing when you have some time off? I like to just go out and hang around a lot. I don’t have a lot of extensive hobbies, and I’m not one of these people that like to go travelling a lot, as I did that for many years as my job. I just like to take things easy, so I guess the most exciting thing I do is go fishing. I like the peace and quiet.
Undaunted Record Label: Self Release
Released: 31 May 2013
Highlight of the album: Lifeline Website: http://www.mordecaiuk.co.uk/ Reviewer: Lee Walker
South London based rockers Mordecai have been bringing their own breed of noise to the scene for a while now and have managed to rack up performances at the likes of Hammerfest, Bloodstock, the Bull Dog Bash and are returning later this year to Download for the second year running this time grace the Redbull Stage.
band are known for. Throughout the album the band do what they do best by playing their unique style of heavily American influenced rock music which when coupled with the dark, almost Pearl Jamesque vocals of Dan Hicks manage to create a refreshing mix and manage to make this band stand out from the crowd.
After releasing a few well received E.P’s Mordecai have finally took the plunge and recorded their long awaited debut album, travelling all the way to the good old U S of A to do so and to try and capture more of the American hard rock sound that the
For a debut album the result is impressive, and will hopefully spur the band on to bigger and better things.
Gundacker Project 9/10
Plug Me In Record Label: Independent Label
Released: 20 March 2013
Highlight of the album: Your Love Lights Up The Sky Website: http://gundackerproject.com/ Reviewer: Paul Nicholls
It’s becoming harder and harder for a debut band to raise the attention needed to be heard in a increasingly busy scene. It seems you either have to arrive with a hell of a splash with a ‘Name’ vocalist or have the kind of ‘Street Team’ that some Sunday morning door knockers have access to.
sections (yes I do …don’t you ?)… got to be a good thing! It’s not all bomb blast either as ‘That Look in Your Eye’ shows more outwardly melodic side. Overall the sound and feel of the album is very much goodtime rock n roll without dipping its toes into the sweet n sickly ... A melodic album for grown ups.
However, there is another route … Take a leaf from Gundacker Project’s book and release a cd of 11 dynamite songs, and make one of Led by Dave Gundacker, who I’m sorry to say, until them a storming cover of ‘Don’t Ever Wanna Lose this point I had not come across the band are very Ya’. polished and accomplished players who come together here to fulfill Mr Gundacker’s dream of From the moment ‘Plug Me In’ , the title and having this album done and out there ... Well done ! opening track hit’s your speakers you are in for an It deserves to be heard! aural ride you wont want to end. Mixing classic sounding arena rock with a modern flair and some Timothy J Bednarz as a vocalist is up there with the great song writing, a welcome addition to the well known names of the genre and I’m certain this rotation on my show…. band has a long future ahead of them ... On the strength of this release ... They’ve earnt it. There are tracks here that I’m sure are going to become firm favorites, as already I’m becoming word perfect on the singalong and air guitar
Paul Macnamara of
Interviewed By Lee Walker Hi Paul, thank you for taking the time out for an interview.
Simon Saxby took over from Tog as singer, then Mark Allison joined as the other lead guitarist. Paul Conyers left after recording the “Reach To Salem have been around in one form or another Eternity”/”Cold As Steel” single in 1982. He had an since the early 1980s, for the people out there just important job and decided to follow that profession discovering the band as a result of this interview how and to let someone take the Salem drums. did it all start off? So we were joined by Paul Mendham ...and we are still the same line-up now! Hi Lee. Thanks to you too \m/ In the end, we had recorded three demos and Salem was formed in Hull in the single – and gigged late 1979 by two around the north of members of Ethel The Frog England. – Paul “Tog” Tognola (lead vocal and guitar) and Paul How did you pick ‘Salem’ as Conyers (drums) - after they the name for the band? had split up. Tog knew Ade The band was called Salem Jenkinson (bass) - as he when I joined - so I guess was going out with Ade’s Tog and Paul must have sister - and Ade knew me chosen it. I think that it (Paul Macnamara, lead was a link to the idea of the guitar) from the bands he witches of Salem and had seen me play in at Salem’s Lot – and all that school. heavy metal supernatural When we started, Tog stuff! was probably the main source for the early Salem Do you think the ‘Ethel The music. Whilst he had been Frog’ connection helped in Ethel The Frog (reading the band in the early days? between the lines), he had Yes – it probably did give not been given much us some gravitas and chance to be fully involved in meant that we were the ETF song writing. In starting a few steps up the Salem he wrote “Coming “ladder” rather than at the For You” and “Make The very bottom. Grade”, as well as adding Ade and I were only the lyric/melody to many relatively recently out of my riffs such as “Cold As school, so we obviously had Steel”, “Fighting For The the benefit of the Cause” and “The Keeper.” experience from Tog and However, I think that Paul – in terms of the Salem music was recording, gigging, maybe heavier than Tog equipment, and all the other organisational aspects. really liked– and so he moved (1981) to The Crack who were played a lighter rock. Tog went on to run a great local venue, The Welly.
I think we felt like we had been banging our heads against the wall
The band seemed to disintegrate and go their separate ways quite early on (I think your Wikipedia entry has 1983 listed). What were the reasons behind this? It’s difficult really to remember – it was 30 years ago! We had been gigging hard, writing good music, spending all our money on more gear and recording demos, etc, for over three years by then. We were really pleased with our third demo from September Sound in Huddersfield – so we sent it off to all the right record companies, and the local newspaper and all the right music papers and magazines – remember this was years before we had email and the internet, and so magazines and newspapers (as well as gigging of course) were the key to spreading the word. However, we got no response from the music papers and mags – and even the local paper (who you would have thought would have been supportive) was pretty negative. And whilst we did get to meet up with a number of record companies – we kept getting the same line, “it’s really good, but not what we’re looking for at the moment”; some said we were too heavy – and others picked up on things like the cool chords in “The Other Side of Hell” and dismissed us as too jazzy! I think we felt like we had been banging our heads against the wall for too long, and basically felt that Salem had run its course. So we decided to split and do other things – and played our last gig almost 30 years ago on 31 May 1983.
Simon went on to record with guys like Martin Smith from ELO and Rick Dufay of Aerosmith. He’s got a photo somewhere of him with these guys and Brian Johnson (ACDC) in a pub in London – just hanging out and having a good time. Since then he’s played in several other bands including a Led Zep tribute band, and still plays in a band called Masam – as well as Salem of course! – and he teaches guitar too. Paul too has always continued to play in bands – he’s supported the likes of WASP and Michael Schenker – and played at Download as well. He has played in Innersylum for several years – a great band. Ade moved towards recording and now has his own studio – where Salem has been recording all our new music. Mark moved away from music for a while. He actually got seriously into fitness, martial arts and into bodybuilding where he won several national competitions. I have also continued to play the guitar, write and record new music. I have played in various bands – from jazz-rock to function bands. I’m currently in a local rock covers trio called GPS (great fun) – and I also teach guitar. About 2009 High Roller Records/Pure Steel released the ‘In the Beginning’ compilation album. How did the release come about? To cut a long story short, at my brother’s suggestion, I uploaded some 1980s Salem music to MySpace and people started listening! We were then approached by the German company High Roller Records - and as they only did vinyl records, they helped us get Pure Steel involved for the CDs. The result was the “In The Beginning...” double album – a compilation of all our 1980s recordings.
Were you surprised by the reception that it received? We were very pleased by the reception! We were obviously really pleased to have an album of our music – especially after all these years. The album and CD soon sold out – and it has opened up many new avenues to us! High Roller made a great improvement to the sound too – you have to remember that the album is a compilation of demos that were recorded and mastered in very limited studio-time - and what you hear has only been taken from a TDK SA C90 copy of the masters, not the original ¼" reel-to-reel During the bands hiatus, you were all involved in master tapes (these are long lost). Also, most tracks different projects. What would you say that your were recorded on first take, with vocals and guitar highlights of that period in your history would be? solos added, so these tracks are much more After Salem, Ade, Simon and Paul (Mendham) went representative of a live performance than any on to play in various bands together including attempt at a highly-polished studio album. Mayfair who recorded an album for a French record Incidentally, we made our first two recordings company although it never got released. at the Fairview Studios in Willerby, Hull - the first
demo in 1981 and the Reach To Eternity/Cold As Steel single in '82. Many excellent artists recorded at Fairview Studios, not least Hull's own legendary guitarist Mick Ronson, and other rock and metal bands such as: Uriah Heep, Def Leppard, Witchfynde, Gaskin, Tokyo Blade, Geddes Axe, Saracen. A local music historian has already worked with the owner to release a collection of music recorded by local artists from the 1960s and early '70s called Frontroom Masters. They are currently working an album to cover local bands who recorded at Fairview between 1973 and 1990. We are delighted that they have approached us to include some our music on this compilation, which should be ready for release in November (a very busy month for us!). You can read more about Fairview on www.fairviewrecording.co.uk - and on Wikipedia where the Salem single is cited as notable Fairview recording which is awesome when you consider all the brilliant bands who have recorded there!
When we re-formed nearly four years ago, we felt that – although there was interest in Europe there was not much interest in UK for real heavy rock music. As you say, there really seems to be a real resurgence – which can only be a good thing! You, like a lot of the nwobhm bands, seem to have a larger following in Europe than you do in the UK. Why do you think that this is? Carrying on from above, yes that did seem to be the case – the first interest in Salem was from Italy, Germany, Greece, and so on. But again, there seems to be a growing interest in UK now – especially with other bands reforming and more successful “old school” events, like BROFEST, British Steel, and our mini-fest with Jaguar, Dealer and Dream Overkill in Bristol in November.
Since then you seem to have got caught up in the ‘Second Wave’ resurgence that is going on. Were you surprised to find that the nwobhm style bands were making a comeback? Surprised? No, I suppose not really – if we were doing it again, why not others? Maybe it’s an age thing – instead of going out and buying a Harley Davidson, people are “getting the band together again.” Ha ha!! For us it has been getting that first spark of luck – that we never seemed to get in the 80s – and things have just snowballed. I imagine it’s the same for others! Was it difficult to arrange the reunion of the band? Well, it did take me a while to track everyone down! We had gone off in different directions, and we probably hadn’t all been together for about 25 years – and we had not kept in touch as other things have taken over our lives. But, some guys had profiles on the Internet, and I had some old home addresses and other links – and so I managed to catch up with all of them. Of course, all were delighted at the idea of a Salem album – and we have all been completely behind the reunion.
I did hear that you are currently working on a follow up album. Can you tell the Firebrand readers a little about the album? That’s absolutely right – and we’re really looking forward to its completion and release. We are currently recording more new songs for an album to released later in the year – we are already in discussion with a particular record company about its release. There will be about 12 tracks – some from our 2011/12 “New Tricks” and recent the “X Rated” EPs, plus a load more great new songs. ... and we have loads more music “in the How do you think the music scene now compares to wings”. As we all contribute to the music how it was back when the band first started off? composition have lots more songs for another album There are many differences – mainly for the better. – and another! The Internet has made communication, the sharing We each have had a variety of musical I of material and ideas, and promotion so much easier nfluences – through our different interests, styles – and whilst it has probably made competition and experiences – so, it was (and still is) a melting greater, and there is a bit of a friendly competition pot of ideas. This may have caused some friction at between the NWOBHM bands, most bands times when we were young – but now we welcome understand that we all benefit from supporting and that variety in sound writing styles as we believe that promoting each other. it gives a healthier and richer dynamic to our sound.
We are also already working on the album artwork too. The original Salem logo and “demonic image” were created for us in the 1980s by a friend – Martin Parker – who now has a successful photography and graphic design business - http:// martinparkerphotography.co.uk. We used the original for our single, posters and T-shirt in the 80s, and for the “In The Beginning ...” album. Martin actually updated the demon in 1983 but we never got to use it then. So, we have taken the new(er) image for the new EPs and T-shirts. We are delighted that we’re working with Martin again on the album design.
School Heavy Metal Night" with: Jaguar, Salem, Dealer, Dream Overkill - 18 January 2014 - Salem – Bombenhagel Festival, Milan, Italy (tbc) Salem and several others (tbc) - 19 April 2014 - Very 'Eavy Festival – Netherlands with: Avenger, Alpha Tiger, Picture, Killer, Lord Votlure, Salem, Witch Cross, Jurrasic Park, Dressed to Kill Hope to see you all there! \m/
Are there any messages that you would like to pass on to your fans? Just a massive thanks to all friends and family and Do you have any tours or festival appearances lined all you supporters around the world! up? We have been posting photos of friends and Sure! Last year, things really started to take off for fans wearing their Salem T-shirts from around the us – with gigs and festivals in UK, Italy, Germany and world – and this includes pics of the Salem T-shirts Belgium ... and BROFEST this year, of course!! It being worn on stage by cool guys as far away as in was great playing at all these events – always Malaysia and Australia - see www.facebook.com/ getting a superb reception. SalemBand And looking ahead, we already have bookings Keep sending your photos – and thanks for in UK, Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and Italy - for your continued messages and interest. 2013 and into 2014, including: ... and thanks for keeping us high in the - 26 October - Salem with Morpheus Rising ReverbNation rankings – we reached #2 in the UK The Fruit, Hull metal charts and got into the top 50 on the global - 08 November 08 - Salem with Ear Danger rankings. (NL) and Steelbringer (G) - Arnhem, Netherlands Hope you like the new album – and hope to - 09 November 09 - Salem and Ear Danger see you soon!! (NL) - Uelsen, Germany \m/ - 10 November 10 - Salem – Negasonic, Paul Belgium - 23 November - The Fleece, Bristol, UK - "Old
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Published on May 24, 2013
Issue 8 of Firebrand Magazine is out now featuring interviews with the likes of Journey, Riot|Noise, Ross The Boss, Civial War and reviews f...