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And as the flames climbed high into the night To light the sacrificial rite I saw satan laughing with delight

The day the music died

dio Rock Bottom in Croydon was burned down; up North in Enfield, a Sony warehouse was cremated, lifting a cloud of smoke and sadness visible all over the city. The Sony building hosted as well a Pias distribution centre, storing material from about 150 indie labels waiting to be released. Congratulations kids. Surely these poor sods, often going bankrupt to get you some new tunes without Simon Cowell’s help, deserved to be punished. Of course they did. Inside Sonic Shocks you will find as much information as we can put together on how to help, including a list of the The reason why labels involved. Please BUY – you’re reading don’t downloot – their digital about them on releases, so they can get back the front page of on track and rebuild the stock a music newspa- lost in the fire. per is that this of sense as the initial protest by Cristina Massei was towards the local police. bunch of sad chavvy bastards As for you cunts who had this Early August 2011. ‘London What happens after, however, saw fit burning down music awesome revolutionary idea, loves a summer riot’, says is not a protest or even a riot: as well, which is obviously may you burn in hell with a a friend of mine. He’s not it’s the sad portrait of a gener- not as relevant in their use- selection of X-Factor contestwrong: as a peaceful pro- ation with no values or con- less lives as Nike’s and IPods ants singing in your ears for test in Tottenham turns into science, or indeed a basic IQ (what the fuck are they listen- the whole eternity, with your chaos, passers-by join the to evaluate the consequences ing to on their IPods by the trainers slowly melting all over your feet. You suck. way?). crowd at a distance to get a of their actions. glimpse of the action. A couple of police cars get burned, As the youth of today ‘pro- In the south of London, rewhich still makes some kind tests’ by looting chavvy train- cord store and rehearsal stuers and burning buildings, the Government stands by, waiting until we’re scared enough to give our blessings to a police state to restore order in the streets. But we’re not here to do politics, you all know what happened by now anyway and surely made up your own mind about the recent UK riots.

Report from HEVYFEST Interviews with DREAM THEATER, FOZZY, WHILE SHE SLEEPS, SEBASTIAN BACH, MR BIG, DIR EN GREY, GRAND MAGUS, GOLD KIDS, MICHAEL MONROE BAND Live reviews & photos from TED NUGENT, CARO EMERALD, RHCP, ADAM ANT, LETLIVE, GLASSJAW Jazz/Rockabilly special Burlesque Album reviews Band to watch: STEREO JUGGERNAUT


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can find out more and keep up to date with all their coming events through their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ rockagainstriots

[PIAS] & AIM Fund for Labels Labels and artists affected by the destruction of the Sony DADC warehouse are faced with incredible pressures on their businesses in respect to the remanufacture, re-supply and marketing required as a result of the fire. Whilst it is expected that insurance will cover the lost stock, the reality for many labels is that they will not be compensated or insured for an interruption of trade or the additional capital to reproduce the stock that they have lost and the promotion in which they have invested. [PIAS] have been working around the clock to ensure that the wheels of supply continue to turn as soon as possible. [PIAS] and AIM have been in dialogue with MCPS, PPL and other companies and organisations to discuss ways in which these additional and un-insured costs can be mitigated. Additional efforts from [PIAS] range from securing preferential rates with suppliers for effected labels; encouraging digital retail initiatives to drive and promote digital sales whilst physical stocks replenish; conducting negotiations to reduce fees that might be charged to labels in the normal course of business. In addition to the efforts to reduce actual costs through negotiation, and in response to the numerous offers of support, benefits, fundraising initiatives etc, [PIAS] have worked in conjunction with AIM (Association of Independent Music) to create a fund that companies

and organisers of initiatives can contribute too. Those who want to help can now do so safe in the knowledge that such monies will be distributed fairly amongst the most needy labels with the sanction of both [PIAS] and AIM. To contact [PIAS] and AIM in respect to this fund, email

labelsupportfund@musicindie.com AIM/PIAS EMERGENCY FUND BANK DETAILS: Account Number: 07699611 Sort Code – 18 00 02 Add any special references Swift code – coutgb22 Iban - GB91COUT 18000207699611 AIM Paypal link: www.musicindie.com/news/1132 Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ pages/Help-the-independentlabels-affected-by-the-fire-atPIAS/259255644102994 The ROCK AGAINST RIOTS CAMPAIGN has been organizing gigs in support of music related businesses like Rockbottom in Croydon. You

The next event will take place in Reading on September 23rd at The Face Bar, check out the Event Page for more details: www.facebook.com/event. php?eid=249371618417000 Here’s a list of the [PIAS] labels, please check out – and possibly buy - their digital releases: [PIAS] Recordings, 4AD, Absynthe Minded, Accidental, AEI Music, Air Recordings, ALC Music, Alsation, Ambush Reality, Ancient & Modern, Angular Recording Corporation, Arcady Records, Ark Recordings, Asthmatic Kitty Records,

Atlantic Jaxx Recordings, Bad Magic, Balling The Jack, Banquet Records, Battered Ornaments Records, Beggars Banquet, Best Before, Big Brother, Big Dada, Bird Records, Blackmaps, Bloody Chamber, Blowout Music, Blue Chopsticks, Border Community, Borstal Beats, Boysnoize Records, BPM, Brainfeeder, Brassland, Bright Star Recordings, Brille, Broken Sound Music, Bronzerat, Brothers and Sisters, Brownswood Recordings, Buzzin’ Fly, Cache Cache, Cadenza Records, Celluloid Records, Chalkmark / IE, Chemikal Underground Records, Cocoon, Control Tower, Counter Records, Dance To The Radio, Dead Oceans, Deceptive, Defenders, Ent UK, DESOLAT, Dessous, Different, Dirtee Stank, Divine Comedy Records, Domino Records, Double Six Records, Drag

September 2011

City, Dreambrother, Drive Thru Records, Drowned In Sound, Dummy Records, Duophonic, Eat Sleep Records, Fabric Worldwide, Fake Diamonds, FantasyTrashcan, Fatcat Records, Fence, Feraltone, Finders Keepers Records, Flock Music, Flying Circus, Freerange Records, Friends Vs Records, Full Pupp, Full Time Hobby, Gang Of Four Recordings, Geographic, Ghost Ship, Glaze Recordings, Groenland Records, GUnit, Hardly Art, Hassle Records, Helpless, Hem Hem Records, HFN Music, Immune, Independiente, Infant, Infectious, Jagjaguwar, Kartel, Kitchenware, Kitsune, KMS Records / Fabric, Laughing Stock, Lex Records, Lipservice, Little Sister Recordings, LO-MAX Records, Loose Music, Lovepump United, Low Life Records, Lucky Number Music, Lucky Seven Records, Mantra, Matador, Memphis Industries, Merok, Metric Music International, Metroline Limited, Model Citizen, Moikai, Motion Audio, My Major Company, Nation, Ninja Tune, No Quarter, NovaMute, Nusic Sounds, One Four Seven Records Ltd, One Little Indian, Organs, Outcaste, OVNI, P.I.L., Peartree, Records, PeMa, People In The Sky, People Tree, Pirates Blend Records Inc, Planet Function, Play It Again Sam, Playlouder, Poker Flat, Polyvinyl, Records, Poseidon Records, Post Present, Pschent, Raw Canvas, Red Cord Records, REK’D, Rekids, Rekords Rekords, Renaissance, Reveal Records, Riverman Records, Rock Action Records, Roots Records, Rough Trade Records, Rubyworks, Sea Note, Search and Destroy, Secretly Canadian, Setanta, Shape, SideOneDummy Records, Silva Screen, Slam Dunk Records, Smekkleysa, Soma, Sonic Cathedral, Soul Jazz Records, South Paw, Southern Fried Records, Stereo Bang Media, Stolen Recordings, Stranger Records, Streamline, Sub Pop, Suicide Squeeze, Sunday Best, Thrill Jockey, Tirk, Too Pure, Torque Records, Touch & Go Records, Transmission Recordings, Tri Tone, Trouble Records, True Panther, Try Harder, Turnstile, Twisted Nerve Recordings, Universal Sound, Victory Records, Wagram, Wall of Sound, Warp, Watergate, We Love You, Wiiija, Willkommen Records Ltd, Wonderfulsound, XL, Xtra Mile Recordings, Yaala Yaala, Young Turks.

  On August 11th, ex Warrant singer Jani Lane was found dead in a hotel room in LA, next to a bottle of vodka and some pills. We would like to share with you a note Sebastian Bach wrote in the aftermath... We’re sure he won’t mind. “People have been asking me about Jani Lane & I really don’t know what to say. Picturing him by himself in a Comfort Inn in Woodland Hills with a bottle of vodka & a bottle of pills is so typical of what a rock musicians life actually is. It is a life marked by extremes. Extreme attention from people you don’t know, while all the work & travel takes you away from those you actually do know. Playing to thousands of people & then going back to your hotel room & shutting the door.When the door shuts... the quiet is the exact opposite of the volume of the concert. The solitude of the empty hotel room becomes the diametric parallel of the adulation of strangers. For some, the bottle of vodka or whatever becomes a friend that is always there for you while others come & go.Yes I have felt these emotions myself. If you see me going head over heels over a girl, it’s because all I have ever wanted is to have a girl to love & share my life with, & for the one I love to be with me wherever I’m at, travel with me to distant locales & stay in nice kick ass hotel suites & have fun & sing & dance & see the world. But so far this is a fantasy. Just like Jani, I spend most of my time alone in a hotel room dreaming of a girl I love who is somewhere else. I bet Jani Lane felt exactly what I feel. How could he not? I remember decades ago being invited to Janis house for a barbeque, which we went to. But Jani didn’t show up. So I spent the afternoon with Janis dad cooking burgers & steaks & having a wonderful day with his family. My condolences to his family & especially Janis children who now only have memories of their dad to hold on to. That is truly heartbreaking. Let this be yet another lesson to tell someone some kind words sometimes... before it’s too late... while they are still alive. I can guarantee Jani Lane would not have anticipated everyone coming out of the woodwork extolling the life & times of Jani Lane. Which is why he probably died alone. In a hotel room.With his only real friend... that killed him in the end.


September 2011

Sonic Shocks

Review by Matthew Tilt

It’s made more annoying because the Organisation is not the aim tent is so small that of the game this weekend. you’re stuck behind The Red Bull and Jager- 50 people before meister stages are so close you can get close together that you can hear to the inside and all bands sound checking while you can see is some you try and enjoy the band overly enthusiastic you wanted to see; and the people diving off Front/Eetnies stage, is about the tent supports, the size of a decent four man something that tent (exaggeration, possibly) proves more enand yet contains some of tertaining than the the most popular bands of band. the weekend. All this after suffering the always reliable The first night ends M25 on the journey down, with a decent DJ set a punishment equivalent to by Daniel P. Carter, living next door the Celeb- who plays some farity Big Brother house. vourites from the bands playing over Luckily Departures quick- the weekend as well ly remind you why you’ve as the obligatory bothered to make the jour- metal and punk ney with a passionate per- classics that no self respectformance, and it’s great to ing DJ should leave home see so many people support without. Shame the counthem by screaming back the cil didn’t agree because they words and starting a few pits shut it down just as that oh so to start the weekend in style. recognisable roar of rain and Crossbreaker continue the thunder bursts through the trend, although in a much speakers and the circle pitters more straight forward way, get ready for Raining Blood. sending kids flying across the Word quickly spreads on the tent to their vicious sound- Saturday morning that Hang ing hardcore. It’s a big dif- the Bastard are not playing ference to Revoker, a thrash because the M25 has struck novelty at a hardcore festival, again, but better news follows who play a dull set to a hand- as Bastions will take their ful of kids. place so that HtB can play on the Sunday so the negativA few beers later and Don ity is lifted and people head Broco are hitting the Red back into the arena for anBull stage and their poppier other slice of hardcore. Our sound goes down well, creat- People versus Yours are the ing some serious party mosh. first band on and are good Vocalist Rob keeps the crowd enough as an opener, if nothgoing, inciting pits better ing else, and that’s more than than most hardcore vocalists you can say about Collapse and the crowd chew it up. It’s the Control who are intent on all the more disappointing punishing the people in atwhen you head back to the tendance. I don’t know what Front tent to find Lower than we did to them but considerAtlantis. It’s baffling why so ing they ended an already awmany have flooded to see ful set with a deathcore cover them as they push out some of Jessie J., it must have been of the most boring pop punk terrible. around, making it worse with a rancid Everlong cover. Bastions have the dubious

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don’t fix it” and send kids flying with their straight up hardcore. Fun for a bit, but it drags after a while. Things take a turn for the better when you hear the first notes of Make Do and Mend in the Macbeth tent. Playing to a packed room, possibly due to their discography release on Holy Roar, and sounding rawer than they do on record; it’s a cathartic, damn near perfect performance of unpretentious rock which everyone in the room relates to and appreciates.

vail who offer the most brutal set of the day. The pits cover the whole tent as fans go side to side with the intention of hitting some poor sod in the face, but that’s all in the background to the awesomely heavy set these Welsh boys play. Only kicking out the tracks from their full length, Sleep Paralysis, they prove why they’re one of the blackened stars of the U.K. scene.

Whether you think Architects have matured or sold out it’s difficult to put up a fight for their latest album in comparison to their older By now it’s no surprise to an- material circa Hollow Crown yone that Trash Talk dropped or Ruin, however there’s no out, and it was probably doubting the excitement felt for the best due to the lack as they take to the main stage. of atmosphere and decent Sam, clearly having learned a honour of opening the main sound that the main stage thing or two during their exstage, which is cursed with a is been associated with, but tensive touring stint, is more sound that starts off bad and Feed the Rhino, one of the confident as ever, but his gets steadily worse over the two pronged replacement, singing voice just doesn’t jusweekend, but they overcome do their best with the poor tify it, especially when they this with a hard hitting set that is everything hardcore should be; emotive and passionate. Unfortunately this spark of originality and quality brings out every out of time, windmilling dickhead who two steps when there aren’t any two step beats. Gold Kids are on next attacking the crowd with energetic renditions of their tracks, but while the energy’s there they can’t quite match up to the recordings and the combination of shoddy sound and the first spots of rain drain some of the enjoyment out of the set. Of course it brightens up for November Coming Fire who show exactly why they’re so influence and respected in the scene. The crowd thickens out and people shout the words back as the band blast out songs old and new, but all of the highest quality. After this things quickly get boring with The Carrier who carry the ethos of “if it ain’t broke,

conditions. Lee controls the crowd and jumps across the stage like a mad man while the rest of the band cruise through their ever reliable set of vitriolic hardcore. Straight afterwards people are pushing and shoving into the Front tent (excellent planning once again) to catch a glimpse of Brutality Will Pre-

work a lot of newer material into the set. In fact it’s only Year in, Year Out which saves the new album and while the crowd helps them along with a wealth of support it’s hard not to yearn for the old days when this band were something genuinely exciting. No such worries with The Dillinger Escape Plan who


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Page 4 blast through the dodgy sound with their eccentric and energetic live show. You can’t help but be impressed when Greg climbs the lighting rig, staying not perfect the whole time, or when guitarists dive into the crowd while keeping up with the spazzy nature of the tracks. Newer tracks like Mona Lisa and Gold Teeth on a Bum sound awesome next to classics like Sugar Coated Sour, and when they pull out When Good Dogs do Bad Things you know tonight is a really special performances. Pits rage and crowd surfers keep security busy while Milk Lizard and Black Bubblegum fly at you faster than the fingers on the fretboard and when they kick into 43% Burnt well, in Greg’s own words, “shits going to get shitty”. It’s just a shame that after an amazing set the encore of Nirvana’s

September 2011

La Dispute or the latest al- tensely likable as a frontman, but the newer tracks bum. sound weak, as does Of course if you wanted to Matt’s voice, and while the see La Dispute you prob- crowd more than happily ably camped in the Front fill in for tracks like She tent because once again you Drove me to Daytime T.V. don’t stand a chance of get- and Streetcar, other songs ting near enough to see them, see this normally reliable but there’s always Defeater band fall flat. who start their set with the Second clash of the night acoustic I Don’t Mind, which and it’s a big one: The offers a refreshing change to Bronx, Your Demise or the blasts and beatdowns that Four Year Strong? Well have filled the weekend. Of considering Your Demise course they switch to their are in the small tent (again more typical sound after- I tip my hat to the organiwards but seeing the crowd sation) they’re out because sing every word to that one it’s already 50 deep outside gorgeous acoustic song is the tent, so it’s a move bemore uplifting and satisfy- tween Four Year Strong ing than anything We Are the and The Bronx, but The Ocean have to offer on the Bronx are so addictive live main stage. Their attempts at that once those first few post hardcore gets less origi- people dive off the supnal every time I see them ports and the band break and it’s a blessing when they out those note perfect renfinally leave to make way for ditions of mosh friendly

The band are full of humour, as always, and Matt is in the crowd as much as he is on stage. They end with the first song they ever wrote, Heart Attack American, and if that’s the first song they ever wrote is it any wonder they’re so good now? In comparison Four Year Strong are a huge disappointment, not to mention out of tune, and it more than stings when they’re allowed on for an encore after the Slayer/Dillinger fiascos of the last two days. Territorial Pissings is robbed of sound by an overzealous sound man, leaving Greg screaming the words into the faces of anyone close enough. Better late than never, Hang the Bastard open up proceedings on Sunday with the ultimate in riff worshipping hardcore, even throwing in old track Oblivion, which still holds the crown for their heaviest beatdown, to send people into a frenzy. It might not be good for the hangover, but those pits sure give you a work out as the circle pits rage. It’s not exactly the same for Touché Amore, but it’s a no less passionate performance as every note oozes emotion. No one writes tracks like these guys, and it’s no surprise when everyone knows every word, whether it be from ...to the Beat of a Dead Horse, their split with

Funeral for a Friend. It’s a vicious clash, and not the first one of the weekend, but Ceremony’s 80’s inspired hardcore loses to Funeral’s sing along set. On reflection seeing Ceremony’s vocalist verbally and physically attacking the security before almost igniting a full blown riot in the Macbeth tent would have been the better choice. Funeral succeed on the older tracks, and Matt Davies still has that sense of humour which makes him so in-

For a festival in its third year, Hevy isn’t without its tracks it’s hard to move away.

problems, in fact this review may have concentrated on them a wee too much, but with the sheer amount of quality bands that were on offer here this weekend it’s certainly a statement: hardcore might be trending at the moment, but when the fuss dies down to make way for nuwavecore, or megaLOLZcore or whatever is coming next there’ll still a wealth of bands who do this for real reasons. Bands who make this the only big hardcore festival U.K. has to offer.


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September 2011

by Alessandra Leoni Just before his very first gig in Rome as the new Dream Theater drummer, we had the chance to interview Mike Mangini. It turned out to be a very nice talk about the upcoming album, “A Dramatic Turn Of Events” and its writing process. Mike Mangini sounds definitely glad and delighted to be in the band and he respects the fans who miss Mike Portnoy ... Enjoy! Hello Mike, nice to talk to you! Nice to talk to you too! So, welcome to the Dream Theater family … Hey, but I guess you've been already told! (laughs) Yeah, but I want to hear that all the time. Well, let's talk about the new Dream Theater song: "On The Backs Of Angels". I must say that I was quite surprised, because in the last five years or more, Dream Theater had a much more bombastic sound and the band was influenced from many other genres. But this time, I listened to a progressive rock song: a very dynamic one and a very unpretentious one! And that's because there isn't a

drummer in the writing process. I have nothing to do with it. Clearly Mike has gone and what is more important, I have to let you know two things: firstly, as I said before, I have nothing to do with the recording process, because I was at home. I had a full time job at the Berklee College and I had to finish that.

Also, I had to prepare myself for this change: I had to prepare all the drums, all the equipment. I had just two months to prepare everything, I just didn't have the time write stuff. Moreover, I wanted the guys to have this opportunity, for the first time in their lives, to compose music with no drummer interfering with them. Let me give you an example: do you remember what John Myung said in the documentary? He said a very important thing: 'I feel like I am back home, when I was young'. Do you remember that? I do, as I have watched the documentary in its entirety. Very good. Think about that for a minute. In this new album, everyone is focusing on me, but I have nothing to do with that! It's more about going back to those roots … Going back to them and letting their hearts go, with no infiltration or drummer around. It's something special. If I were there, they would never let their hearts go, while composing. If you also think about the titles of the songs, or the title of the album itself, you can see that there are strong and powerful words, for example: "A Dramatic Turn Of Events", "This Is The Life",

work, we saw it on a big screen and my laptop is a 17" laptop; and when you saw that artwork on a big computer screen, it makes your stomach turn, because of the height: if you're afraid of heights, your stomach would actually turn. But if you see this tiny little cover on Facebook, you would miss all the feeling. But the title … "A Dramatic Turn Of Events" It's not just about one thing. It's not just about Mike Portnoy, he's just a little part of it. It's also about the dramatic change in the attitude of the band. Mike quit and they had to face a big deal, the whole audition process and for them, it was very difficult to play with anybody else. It was dramatic to write a different record, a record without a drummer. It never happened to them before. As for the album … I think fans are going to freak out, when they will have the chance to listen to the rest of the record, because it has everything you could imagine. There are parts where I am wild, other parts where I am very fast, and other parts where the band is very dynamic. There is so much in it, I can't even describe it, it's dramatic. And the album comes from that feeling. Does this makes any sense?

"Breaking All Illusions". They are definitely referring to what happened within the band in the last two years.

It definitely does! You know what? I have been listening to Dream Theater for almost ten years. Throughout the years, I kind of knew what I was going to listen to. But this time, when I think about "A Dramatic Turn Of Events" I don't know what to expect. Tell me, what should I expect from this record?

You're absolutely correct. That's because there are very powerful feelings. I have a recommendation for fans: that what I did too. When we saw the album art-

Let me tell you this: you should expect a collection of the best parts you have ever liked of Dream Theater. This record is made of powerful emotions, but

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also with a powerful sound. This album is a very coherent one, powerful in its dynamic. It has a special sound, it's music coming from the heart. I didn't even write the music, I just played drums. The first time I tried to do what John Petrucci suggested me, then I tried different things, but what I wanted to say is that this record is very close to its composers. Again, it's solid, connected, a very strong album. I would like to tell you this: as I watched the documentary, I could immediately see that you couldn't wait to play these songs with the guys and I somehow knew that you would have joined Dream Theater, then. Well, that's true. As a spectator, you could tell that by looking at my face. But there was also another aspect: that I was with professionals, people very dedicated to their crafts. I love this kind of people. What you could see in my face was respect, appreciation and passion. Is there any old Dream Theater song that you really like to play? To be honest, I can't tell you a specific song at the moment. I still have many songs to learn, I'm still in the process, I am digesting everything. I don't have a song now, I am sorry. (laughs) Well, I think it's a matter of time, one day you will have your favorite song! Or a couple of favorites! Yeah, at the moment I must say that I am very happy with the choice of the songs, you know? I think fans will be happy about the setlist. Would you like to tell me something about your drum kit you're going to have on stage? Let me just say that: I am trained

as an orchestral drummer, and also I can play jazz and rock. so, what happens is that I set up my drums for any kind of music, and I have four bass drums. Two of them are for heavy metal and then I have a huge bass drum, to have something close to Led Zeppelin sound; then I have a tiny little bass drum, that's for the dynamics in the music. My toms are set up differently than any other drummer in the world. They are set so I can follow exactly the guitar lines (starts imitating a guitar shredding) … I can follow it. And my cymbals are set up so I can play all the different sounds both with my left or right hand. I can play cymbals with my left hand in a song, and in another one I can play them with my right hand. I think that my drum set has less drums than Mike Portnoy, anyway, it's very similar. I'd love to ask you many more questions, but I'm afraid our time is over. Now, would you like to leave a message to your fans out there? I would like to thank all the people who appreciate my work with Dream Theater: I am the happiest person in the world in this band. Let me just say that: I do appreciate your work, as many others out there. Thank you and one more thing: all the fans that miss Mike, I understand them, Mike is a friend and they have the right to miss him. I understand that they might miss him, but I'm going to do my best in Dream Theater. Thank you for your support. Courtesy of SpazioRock www.spaziorock.it


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More A-Shows for the

September 2011

FOZZY Stable

our chat with drummer frank fontsere

by Becki Kremer

and, surprisingly not a lot about wrestling!

How on earth, you may casually ponder, would a blended concoction of anthemic, modern Heavy Metal and sweaty, mano a mano wrestling work? Let me answer that question with another question: how has it not worked up until now? Surely these two awesome aspects of life go hand in hand like bread and butter; yin and yang; madonna and botox. And Atlanta's own FOZZY are here to show us the way.

For people who have never heard of you, how would you ideally describe your sound?

We're a hard rock band I think, essentially. We have some heavier elements, we do some more of the fast, technical metal, but we also have a ballad on our record so we don't think in terms of a genre when we write music. We just try to write what appeals to us. We try to keep a variety on the record – we don't want A storm was a-brewin' in to make the kind of record 1999 when Fozzy (not to be where if you've heard the confused with a wacky Jim first song you've heard everyHenson creation) came to- thing. We want every song to gether, originally as a cover be a surprise. band. Since then they have managed to get the metal If you've got such a mishworld in a headlock, body mash of everything on your slammed their competition, album do you find that you and dropkicked their critics get a variety of fans showing in the face with their mus- up to your gigs? cular super legs of music. Excruciatingly bad wrestling Yeah, we get everything from lingo-puns aside, they've the heavy metal guys to the come a long way and on our hot chicks – which is good! recent catch up with drum- The more the merrier! mer Frank Fontsere we spoke about catering, the late Dio, Is it difficult to cater to that

kind of audience or do they cept it” - they just did what all get involved in the live they were passionate about doing and I've always loved show and love it? that, and that's what we try to I don't think we really think do. of it as catering to anybody – we really just cater to our- Have you had any really bad selves. I think if you're true to shows, or bad stories about yourself and you're passion- hecklers? ate about it the rest will follow from there. Whoever shows No, we've never had a bad up to see us, we're out to give show (laughs). Actually we them the best show we can. played one show a long time We have 60 year olds coming ago with a band called the to our shows; we have six year Murder Junkies which was olds coming to our shows, so GG Allin's backing band that we're just there to give them a continued on after he died, and we opened for them. good time. It wasn't great, their audiWhen you first started out ence didn't really take to us with the band did you have very well but that happens ideas of what you wanted to to everybody. I remember a go on and do or was it, “we long time ago when Anthrax just wanna start a band and opened for Ozzy Osbourne back in the 80s and they left be awesome”? the tour to go do their own It actually started as kind of a tour and Winger came on hobby 'cus Rich and I used to in their place but they were play with a band called Stuck still advertising Anthrax. I Mojo and became friends wouldn't have wanted to be with Chris as he was a fan of Winger back then! our band. He actually started out as a musician – he al- Today was actually meant to ways said when I grew up I be Dio's 69th birthday! How always wanted to be a rock do you feel about that – is it star or a wrestler, and he got a bittersweet kind of day? to do the wrestling part first! But we wanted to do just I'm ashamed to say that I a cover band, and play old didn't know that, but yeah Iron Maiden and Judas Priest it's bittersweet because that's just for fun and it all grew one of the things that I liked from there. We started get- about Dio – age didn't affect ting some attention from it him at all. He was just as reland people started to say you evant the day that he died, should write your own songs and he was such a great artist. and that's what we did. It re- I truly think he's not only one ally kind of happened by ac- of the greatest rock singers but one of the greatest singcident... ers that ever lived. It's too bad Has there been a good re- that he's gone 'cus I was reception from fans of the new ally looking forward to seeing album, [Chasing The Grail]? him live again. The last time I saw him was several years ago Absolutely, yeah. It's one of – on a three band bill, it was the things I'm most proud him, Deep Purple and The of as a player, and I just can't Scorpions and he blew both wait to do another one. I the other bands away comthink our writing process pletely. is pretty organic – you just write what occurs to you to If you had to sit down to write. I've always liked the dinner with three influenkind of bands who are fear- tial people, who would they less, bands like Queen who be? would write the hardest rock and then they'd write a song Oh wow, God that's such a like Crazy Little Thing Called hard one... I almost don't Love which almost sounded want to answer it as almost like an old Elvis song. They none of them are musicians never thought “Oh we can't (laughs). It's gunna make me do that 'cus the fans won't ac- sound like a nerd, but there's

a writer I really like and his name is P.J. O'Rourke – he's somebody I'd really like to meet and sit down with. And Michael Crichton is another one of my heroes, he was another writer but he also created the show E.R, he wrote Jurassic Park and all kinds of other novels. I was always really fascinated by the way he thinks about the world and reality. And I guess the third one would be Dio as I never got to meet him... I'd just love to pick his brain! Fozzy's latest album Chasing the Grail is out now, and if you managed to miss them so far check them out on their UK tour in November. Dates as follows: November 2011 2nd READING Sub 89 3rd SOUTHAMPTON Talking Heads 4th CARDIFF CF10 5th COVENTRY Kasbah 6th LEEDS The Well 7th NOTTINGHAM Rock City Basement 8th GLASGOW Cathouse 9th YORK Fibbers 10th WREXHAM Central Station 11th PLYMOUTH White Rabbit 12th HIGH WYCOMBE WAMA 13th BRIGHTON Concorde 2 All dates with support from JETTBLACK


September 2011

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Meet the WHILE SHE SLEEPS family office jobs? Nah, no office jobs! I worked for a skip/wasteland company but it wasn’t a nice place so I had to get out of there. How did you all meet then?

For someone like me who doesn’t know you very well, While hiding from the usual explain your sound and rain at this year’s Sonisphere what you’re about. Festival, we had a chance to catch up with Aaran Mc- I think we’ve got quite a raw, kenzie (bassist) of While She powerful sound. We recordSleeps to ask a few questions... ed our album ourselves and it’s got a nice little drumbeat You played pretty early this element to it. We’re also very passionate- we write about morning- how did it go? things we’ve experienced. We It went really well actually. I don’t just want to be singing was expecting everyone to about a pile of shit. still be in bed but we’ve got a few dedicated fans. Although What kind of things do you we do prefer to call it a family write about? and not a fanbase. We write a lot about family by Rebecca Cocking

and friends and issues, what’s happened and all that kind of stuff. We’ve got a song about one of our granddads passing away. Do you feel that fans can relate to issues like that? I don’t really know to be honest- I’ve never asked! It seems to be going alright though. We never expected to get this far so everything’s a bonus and we literally have nothing else. What did you used to do before While She Sleeps? Any

know the guys in BMTH because we’ve got the Drop Dead [BMTH singer, Oliver Sykes’ clothing range] family thing going on. Can you tell us anything unlucky or embarrassing that’s happened to you while you’ve been on tour?

We grew up in school together and we always played in different bands so, that’s Well, our first ever tour, in pretty much it! 2008, we couldn’t play the first show because our van broke You’ve got a new album out, down so we spent about 3 ‘North Stands for Nothing’. days in a garage trying to get What’s the meaning behind it fixed. We had nothing else the title? to do for those first couple of days so we went to a French It’s got two different aspects bar, got hammered there, and to it. One side of it is that it while we were there, some doesn’t matter where you’re guys started on the doormen. from, like the North. If you We tried to get them off the come to our shows and join doormen but we ended up in and have fun then that’s in a fight and our drummer cool. The other side of it is we broke his hand so we just had won’t take shit from anyone- to cancel everything! That’s we’ll strive through. pretty much the unluckiest thing that’s ever happened to What have you got lined up us. for the future then? Ouch! That’s incredibly unWell, Hevy festival’s next, lucky! Well, on that note, then we’ve got Cellar Fest in we’ll leave you get on with Doncaster. We’ve also got 2 the rest of your festival AarIreland dates with Bring Me on! Thanks for your time the Horizon and then we go and enjoy the rest of your out to the States with Bring weekend. Me the Horizon, Parkway Drive and Architects. We’ve Check out While She Sleeps never been to the States be- live in the UK in October; fore so it should be good. dates and info on We’ve only recently got to wssofficial.com


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September 2011

SEBASTIAN BACH: It’s a lonely life on the road

Between Kicking and Screaming, the ex Skid Row pours his heart out to Denise August 3, 2011 - I was fortunate enough to be able to snag a phone interview with Sebastian Bach the day after he read my review (which just so happened to be the albums very first published review) of his new album ‘Kicking and Screaming’. So he actually knew who I was which was a first for me. So I call the number given to me thinking it was his management office and they would just connect me through to Sebastian. Nope, he answers himself. Here is what follows. Sebastian Bach (SB) – Hello Sonic Shocks (DB) – Hi this is Denise Britt with Sonic Shocks, may I speak with Sebastian please? SB - *laughs* Are YOU the one who wrote my new review? DB – Yep, do you like it? SB - It is awesome! I love it. DB – Well, that album kicked some serious ass! SB - *laughing* well, what did you expect? DB – I wasn’t expecting all of that! SB – That’s great. Your review was the first I had read on the album and I actually got a tear in my eye when I read “Two words for Sebastian. Thank you.” It was like wow, it just knocked me out when I read that. DB – Aw, that is so sweet. My first question to you was actually going to be…’How did you like my review of your album, but obviously you liked it so…. SB – I loved it. It was very, very nice. DB – What does this new record mean to you? SB – Well you know all I want to do is put more songs in your IPOD to go with the songs you already have in there like ‘Youth Gone Wild’, ‘Monkey Business’ and‘ 18 and Life’. I really feel like’ Kicking and Screaming’, the whole album is….if you liked ‘Slave to the Grind’ and ‘Angel Down’ and the Skid Row albums, you’re going to like this album. I’m not trying to reinvent the wheel or anything; I’m just trying to make another kick ass rock and roll record. I’m very, very happy with it. DB – I’m very happy with it too. I can’t wait for your fans to get their hands on this album; they are going to be blown away! The cover art kicks ass. What does it represent? What’s it all about? SB – Well I just got divorced after 18 years and a lot of the songs on the album are about breaking up and relationships and/or finding a new relationship. The Goddess

Kali (note by DB, I researched her and she is the goddess of death and destruction, also of time and change). She’s got 8 arms and she is dragging me into hell and cutting me with knives, and that’s kind of what the divorce feels like. *laughing* DB – Dang, that’s just a big ole bitch isn’t it? *laughing* SB – You know a lot of the songs in rock and roll were written about girls and relationships and a lot of the songs on this record have to do with breaking up or finding love and that is pretty much what the album cover is. DB – I have several favorites on the album. What is your favorite song on the album? SB – They are all so different, you know the thing about the Skid Row albums, you guys have been listening to those CD’s for 20 years, so when I make a new CD I’m going to try to make one that stands up 2o years from now. I’ve been working on this album for 2 years and I’ve heard it a million times. Every song is so different. I really love the song ‘My Own Worst Enemy’, it’s very fast and my voice is very clean and pure sounding and I really like that song. I love the ballad “I’m Alive”. I really like all of them or I wouldn’t have put them on the album. DB - So many of the songs I can relate to personally. Like I wrote in my review, I feel like I could have written ‘Dream Forever’ myself. What does that song mean to you personally? Were you writing it about a relationship or what? SB – Just thinking of the things I could have been before I close my eyes. Like when you get divorced and you have kids, the last thing you want to do is hurt you kids and put them through hard times and divorce is hard times you know. There are a lot of feelings I have. My parents got divorced when I was 10 years old and I swore to God that it would never happen to me and now it’s happening and that’s just life. You know my buddy, John Rich, the country artist told me…”Sebastian, never be afraid to write what you feel because there is always somebody that is going through the same thing with the same

feelings as you”. And it’s true. As you get older you find out that love is the most important thing. At least to me it is and that is what I was writing about on this record. DB – That is so true. So I saw you at Rocklahoma this year and was totally impressed by your guitarist, Nick Sterling. Where in the world did you find this kid? SB – This guy is a rock star and a totally talented musician. I saw him in a Guitar World magazine and then I went to his website and heard some riffs and I couldn’t believe what I was hearing so I went to his MySpace page and emailed him and asked him “Dude do you want to join my band and go on tour with Guns N Roses and travel all over the world? He was like….uh yeah. DB – Another thing I noticed at Rockalahoma is that you look amazing. You are not aging. What are you doing? Have you found the fountain of youth? What’s going on? SB – Ah, that is so nice. I go running everyday if I can. I eat a lot of salmon which I find keeps me really skinny. I drink red wine; I don’t drink beer or hard liquor anymore. Red wine only, I do drink a lot of it. *laughing* DB – That shit gives me a

headache. SB – Does it? The good red wine doesn’t give you a headache. DB – That must be it. Your voice to me is stronger now that when you were fronting Skid Row. How does that happen? What are you doing that is making you better now than you were when you were 20? SB – I do scales, Italian opera scales. It is a style of singing that goes back to the 1700’s. It keeps my voice ripping. It really makes it strong. DB – So, you have to work at the voice, it doesn’t just come out? SB – Yeah, yeah, people don’t understand that. When I have a gig I start 2 weeks before getting my voice ready. And the more you sing properly the stronger you voice gets. DB – Hmmm, maybe that is what’s wrong with my voice, I’ve been singing improperly. SB and DB *laughing, laughing* I have one Skid Row question for you. SB – OK DB – To be honest, you WERE Skid Row, no one else in the band existed for me. Now I see that ‘Skid Row’ is out and about again with a new singer. Does that

bother you? It bothers me as a fan and a music lover because to me, YOU were Skid Row. SB – It bothers me because they are wrecking the name. If they called themselves something different then we could save the name of Skid Row as something cool. But whatever, I can’t control it. DB – Ok I have got to ask this question for myself. Gilmore Girls. The band you were in on the TV show. Where in the hell did they come up with the band name Hep Alien? Did you have anything to do with that? SB – That was the producers. That is actually an anagram of the producer, Helen Pai’s name. Hep Alien. DB – Now that is funny. What was reality TV like? Did you enjoy it? SB – I have been on so many of them I can’t remember them all. No I don’t like them….they sucked. Some of them were better than others though. DB – Alright then, just don’t do “Bach of Love” or anything like that. *laughing* SB – Ha! You never know, you never know. DB – Did you enjoy doing Broadway? SB – I loved doing Jekyll and Hyde. That was my favorite one. Jesus Christ Superstar was harder, was not as fun. Who knows, maybe I will do another one in the future. DB – Well you are a very diverse and talented person. You know I could go on for hour’s bullshitting with you and asking questions but what would YOU like to say to your fans and/or critics out there? SB – I’d like to say if you are into my music get ready for September 27th because the CD comes out that day. We are also putting out a LP record, a vinyl record. Also in the deluxe package we are putting out an hour long DVD along with the CD called “As Long As I’ve Got the Music”. Which has live, professionally shot live concert footage from all over the world. DB –I’ve been watching all of this go crazy on the internet. I’m very excited for you. I think all of this is going viral! SB – Cool baby, thank you for the support and I will never forget that review. That was so very nice. DB – Thank you for your time Sebastian. SB – Great talking to you. DB – You too…bye bye! by Denise Britt


Sonic Shocks

September 2011

by Denise Britt Ok, let me just begin this with saying that Billy Sheehan is definitely the most humble, most appreciative musician that I have ever spoken with. This artist recognizes that without his fans that he would not be where he is today. What follows is my very impromptu conversation with one of the world’s top bassists. Billy Sheehan (B) – Hello Sonic Shocks (DB) – Hi Billy, Denise Britt with Sonic Shocks here, thank you for taking the time to talk to me today. B – You’re welcome. D – I came up with a list of questions and let me tell you that anything anyone would ever want to know about you has already been asked. Why are you still doing interviews? Seriously, I’m not going to sit here and ask you the same questions you have been asked a million times before! I mean, it’s pointless. B – What a breath of fresh air to journalism you are! D – Thank you for that! So, I thought, well I will ask him about Scientology and googled that. Yeah, well there was a ton on that already. SO…what DO I ask you Billy???? How about….how’s the tour going? B – The tour is going great! It has been great hanging together with the band. The audiences have been plentiful and wonderful. It is just really going great. I’m overwhelmed at all the positivity of all the descriptions about the tour so far. D – I see you are playing in your hometown, Buffalo, NY tonight. Being gone so long, does it even feel like home anymore? B – We haven’t played in Buffalo in any capacity for a long, long time. It is going to be pandemonium, but that’s ok, it will be a good kind of pandemonium! We are expecting everyone and their broth-

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ers and sisters tonight! One of the guys I used to play with in the band Talas will be opening up the show for us tonight. It’s going to be a good day! D ��� So Billy, the only wife I’ve seen that you have is your guitar. Do you have a wife? Kids? B – I have a beautiful wife I met in Italy. We have been together for about 5 years now. I’m very lucky to have an Italian wife! We do have a cat. D – I did see a picture of your big, black cat online. B – Yeah, that is our little Spooky. D – I have a cross eyed Siamese myself. Us cat people are a little different I think. B – I think we are. Ours thinks she is queen of the castle.

they get known? Is it all PR, luck? B – It is a tough business. To some degree you have got to be a self promoter. You have to treat it like a business without forgetting the music and that’s a tough thing to balance for some people. It is survival of the fittest out there. You have to let people know that you are out there. Everyone should take a little bit of solace in knowing that a lot of great bands went unsigned for a very long time. A lot of people were turned down over and over again. All the time spent is valuable. I look back now and see that all my time spent pounding away night after night was very valuable. I learned more then than any other time. Those struggles are adding up to something. Adding up

or become famous, it’s the wrong thing to do. Music is art, we want great art. For a long time we didn’t get great art. When music was a business before it was the “music industry” we had great art. Thankfully it is much less of an industry and more of a business again so we are getting great art again. We may not be in front of 20,000 people but the people there are our friends and they know us. It is an incredible thing. To me that is real success, success with meaning. D – That is what we like to hear! So, you are 57 now, does it feel any different being up there playing now then it did when you were 27? B – You know its funny; I pound harder now that I did back then. I spend more

D- Ok, going completely off track here, I think my cat see things that I can’t see. What do you think of that? B – Oh I completely believe it. I have a cat that passed away and I feel her on my bed sometimes at night. I recommend a book called “Cat Miracles”. It is a great book. D – I know you give the advice for beginning musicians…”get in a band”. Well I’ve seen a lot of fantastic, unsigned musicians that are in bands and they are still not getting noticed. How do

to the character and style that will be uniquely their own. It is a success in itself to be able to play an instrument and to play it with flair. D – I think that is one of the most important things that so many people don’t get…. success is measured within yourself. B – Absolutely. I know the way it is now if you want to get rich, get into software development or something, not music. There are a lot of other ways to make money. If you’re in music to get money

time practicing and playing now than I ever have. I have more time to commit to my art and music. I know some musicians have reached the plateau and they can rest comfortably with that but to me the plateau is just a better view of a higher mountain and that it is a better one to climb. I work hard still. When we play we do our absolute best and play hard for the folks that have plunked down their hard earned cash to come hear us play. They leave knowing they were su-

premely rocked! D – I feel that you are extremely grateful for your fans and that you acknowledge them and thank them often. That is very refreshing to see these days. B – You know some actors and musicians don’t always get that and it’s sad. It is an undeniable truth, everything I have comes from someone being kind enough to buy our music, t shirts, tickets and I appreciate it. I choose to do as much as I can for my fans. D – You are one of the top bassists in music history. How do you not let your ego just fill up and take over? B – I always look to the things I can’t do. Not the things I’ve done. I appreciate that but I can’t be defined by other people’s opinions of me. I can’t live by those. I have to stay true and do the best I can. I define myself by watching the face of the person in the crowd who I’m playing for. So when I hear things of that nature I am extremely humbled and appreciative but I don’t let it define me. D – What’s left on your “bucket list”? What do you want to do now? B – There are 2 continents that I’ve never played on, Antarctica and Africa. I want to do that. D – Billy you have been most kind putting up with my nonsense questions since all of the other questions had already been asked. B – I appreciate your approach to that! D – Is there anything you would like to tell your fans? B – I appreciate everyone out there. I try to answer every email I’m sent. I’m at 11,000 in the inbox right now so it may take awhile, but I will answer them. Just try to be patient! D – Have a fantastic show tonight in your hometown! B – Thank you and hopefully I will see you in Texas! D – I hope so, thank you so much. Bye Bye! B – Bye!


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September 2011

GRAND MAGUS Q&A with JB

Yeah! Who knows? After today, you’ve got a few more shows and festivals? Yeah, we’re doing a big festival in Germany and the last ever Hole In The Sky. We’re doing a few little shows this summer and then thinking about the new album

Our Dan Balchin catches up with JB from Grand Magus backstage at this year’s High Voltage Festival. Read the chat here and get ready for a new album in 2012!

Yeah, very much so

Did you get any feedback on the night of those gigs, or on social networking sites afterwards? We’re not doing very much social networking at all (laughs), we play music! I don’t have a FaWelcome to Sonic Shocks cebook account, so I don’t know Thank You about the feedback. But, the response we have been getting is High Voltage, pleased to be great. So many people turning here? up. Great crowds. The thing is, Yeah, it looks like a really cool when we played with Motorfestival. Its really nice to be play- head, that is known for being a ing a festival in the middle of really tough crowd – bands have London. Its kind of unique been egged off stage before, but they were really great to us. Last time you spoke to Sonic Shocks you were on tour with Has all this started happening Arch Enemy since moving to Roadrunner? Yeah, that’s right Yeah, especially those kind of tours. Roadrunner have been We also talked about Roadrun- treating us well and they’ve givner Records, the fans and the en us freedom with our music. It new album. How do you think has opened up quite a few doors things have progressed in the for us. I guess you’re only ever last 7 months or so? as good as your music, whatever For us, since that time, we’ve label you are on and that’s what done quite a few things. We’ve matters. toured with Motorhead and Accept. We’ve played festivals this Thinking about this festival, summer and it really feels like would you have expected to see things are starting to pick up for Grand Magus playing here? us. I don’t know. It looks like a really good mix of rock bands, espeThe recent tour with Accept, cially on the stage we are playing was that a warm-up for your today. If we’re playing the same Summer Battles season? festival as Judas Priest, that’s alYes, kind of. We did some shows ways a good thing (laughs) in Scandinavia and Germany, but for us it was a pinnacle reach Are you altering your setlist toto play with Accept. It wasn’t re- day then? ally a warm-up. We had so much Yeah, we never play the same set fun with them and it was great twice. Maybe we do actually, I for us. don’t know! (laughs). There are always surprises on the set list Were they always a band you for me at least. It will be a mix aspired to play with? of the last three albums – a speDefinitely, Accept have been one cial festival set. We always try to of my favourite bands ever since get the best combinations, like I started listening to music. They when we play our indoor shows. were really great guys and that Sometimes you succeed and made it even better. sometimes you don’t (laughs). We like to mix it up. You needed to step-up for those shows then... Looking forward to it? Definitely, yes Yeah, definitely It gave you a new audience to ...and your second from the top play to and the chance for new this year, so how about headlinfans? ing next year?

by Matthew Tilt

Sonic Shocks: Congratulations on Ode to Youth. Your first album, The Sound of Breaking Up, received excellent reviews; did you feel And when can we expect that? any pressure approachThat will be available early next ing this one? year. Gold Kids: Not really You’ve started writing already? actually. We only do it Yeah, we’ve written 3 songs al- when we feel it so we ready. They are not fully re- don’t rush. We have no prescorded and finalised, but they sure from anyone. The first are down. This is top secret of course! Nobody has been enti- album was on Thirty Days tled to hear them yet, apart from of Night, who are really cool our manager. people, so there was no pressure. So you won’t be showcasing any of those 3 songs today Sonic Shocks: You’ve menNo (laughs) tioned before about the lack Will you be doing a pre-album of a scene in your hometown tour? Cagliari, so there was no Yeah, I’d like to do that. If we base for you to start off as a can find the time to organise it and do it. This time we have put band. much more work in before re- Gold Kids: Where we grew up cording the album. there was no proper hardcore or punk scene, so we started Is this different to how you this band to get away from approached your previous althis island. So it’s pretty hard! bums? Yeah, it’s always been like ‘SHIT, we’ve got to record an album’ Sonic Shocks: ...and was it and it is never quite finished. So, difficult finding the bands we end up spending more time to play with, because of than I would ideally like in the studio getting things finalised. most places having their This time we want to be as effi- own scene? cient as possible. Gold Kids: We actually felt pretty welcome. We never That’s the way you work best? felt like outsiders coming in Yeah, get it all done before and then go into the studio and lay it from some weird place. We’ve down. I want to spend more time played over Europe and the before so it’s really good. U.K. and we made it to Australia and Scandinavia; it’s Are you going to be using pretty cool and we’ve tried the same record producer and the same recording our best to play everywhere. space, or will you be one of We’ve never been to the U.S. those bands who jet off to a though; it’s too difficult, I hot country now you’re with don’t think it’ll ever happen. a label? I think Germany is one of the Err.. I don’t know. I think it’s safe to say for certain that we’ll use best. It’s always really, really the same producer as last time. good. He’s a great guy and he knows how we work. We’ll stay in the Sonic Shocks: We’ve mensame place to record, because we tioned the fact that you’re can’t afford to go anywhere else! constantly touring. Do you Sounds great. Thank you for find it difficult to keep the your time today and best of energy up? luck with the set! Gold Kids: We’re getting old Thanks man! actually! We’re in our thirties. We haven’t been touring a lot recently; we’ve played a few festivals but we had to write the new album so that

took a while. We toured a lot in 2008/2009 but no it’s a bit quieter. Sonic Shocks: You’ve just played the main stage at Hevy, with hundreds of people watching, does it still surprise you when the crowd really comes out and supports you? Gold Kids: Well you can’t expect anything because it’s always different, but I’m glad it went alright, yeah. But you never know. Sonic Shocks: The artwork for Ode to Youth was done by Francesco Lori and it looks amazing. Did you have any input with the design, or did he take his own ideas away from the album. Gold Kids: The artwork is really connected to the lyrics. The idea of youth, it’s actually the Governess of Youth and she’s been held down. It’s really important to the concept of the album. Sonic Shocks: And were the lyrics very personal on this record? Gold Kids: On The Sound of Breaking Up they were really personal, but on this one it wasn’t as much. I don’t really like to talk about them, or to explain what they’re all about, but yeah, they’re quite personal. For your info please point your mouse to www.gold-kids.com


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SUPERPOWERED SUPERBAND

Interview with Michael Monroe and new guitarist Dregen

by Cayleigh Shepherd

As Michael Monroe & co. return to merry England for a good old fashioned British rock festival, the line-up may have changed, but their style of rock n roll remains the same. Victoria Park, London. A beautiful Saturday afternoon in July. The Michael Monroe band have just jumped off the stage after opening High Voltage festival with a bang thanks to their energetic performance. Although their set lasts a mere 30 minutes, I feel exhausted just watching them. While the band is still relatively young, the members themselves are no spring chickens. However, like fine wine, they’ve got better with age. Putting musicians of the same ageand younger- to shame, as they fly from side to side, owning the stage. “We had a lot of people out there,” explains Monroe, who has joined us in the press area along with his new rhythm guitarist, Dregen (real name Andreas Tyrone Svensson) “they seemed to enjoy it, so for High Voltage it was a great way to start.” It’s the band’s first time at the festival, and, boy! Are they having fun. The duo seem just as excited about being on the bill as Sonic Shocks was when they were an-

nounced. “Who knows, maybe next year, if we’re invited back, we could play a bit later, and have more time to play!” Despite being the first act to play the main stage on Day 1, the band pulled out all the stops to give the same quality performance an audience would find at one of their headliner shows. Dregen, bouncing around like an energetic child, certainly seems to agree. “I think that if you’re a band that can get the crowd going at, what was it, 1.30pm? Then that’s good: Signs of a good rock n roll band.” Couldn’t agree more. And what better way to get a crowd going than for the former Hanoi Rocks frontman to go climbing – unharnessed – up the side of the main

stage. ‘No biggie’ you may say, as a certain Australian band also has a frontman famed for doing the same thing, but we will have to wait and see if Joel O’Keefe is still be able to do that at the age of 49, all the time keeping in time and tune with the rest of his band on the stage below. “It’s a great view from up there!” Monroe pipes. Dregen, also seemingly not that worried about his frontman’s safety, only encourages him. “I’m kinda jealous, actually! I’m down below, and I see him climbing, and I’m standing there thinking “oh, if there was a way for me to go climbing too…” Seems we should change the subject, and fast, as Michael starts planning on ways to get his guitarist to join him up above… Unveiled in early 2010, the original group featured the likes of Todd Youth, Jimmy Clarke, Sami Yaffa and Ginger. However, a few shows later, Youth and Clarke were replaced by Karl Rockfist and Steve Conte, completing the line-up we grew to know and love. The Michael Monroe band seems to be going from strength to strength. Their first album, Another Night In The Sun, was recorded live at the legendary Tavastia club in Helsinki, Finland. A successful string of festival dates that summer, and a fall/winter tour around the UK

supporting the legendary Motorhead, last year couldn’t have been any better. But it was 2011, and the release of their first studio album, everyone was waiting for. March rolled along, and finally: the album was released. Produced by the legendary Jack Douglas, famed for his work with the likes of Aerosmith and John Lennon, the pairing was a winning combination. The first single from the album, 78, was released early on, and a European tour followed. However, after an unbelievably good run, fate is a fickle friend, and on June 9th 2011, an announcement was made that shook the Michael Monroe army: Ginger would be leav-

ing the band. Some said they saw it coming, others it took completely surprised. While there was no denying it was strange for The Wildhearts front man to take a step back from the spotlight to play rhythm, his presence certainly didn’t go unnoticed. Rumours started flying around as to the reason for his departure; were The Wildhearts going to reunite or did the reasons lie closer to home in the Michael Monroe band camp? Monroe dismisses all of them. “With Ginger it was a mutual decision. He wanted to concentrate more on his solo career and have more time at home with his wife and kid. His kid is like 4 years old; you’re never gonna get those years back, ya know? So being in this band, as well as his other band, would take too much time away from home.” It also appears Ginger had a hand in choosing his successor… “We’re still gonna work together in the future, write songs and stuff as we’re very good friends, but we decided that until we could find a replacement, he’d stay with us, which, by the way, wasn’t an easy task! But [Dregen]’s the only guy I could think of; the only guy Ginger could think of, so we gave him call, thinking it was a bit of a long shot, but, god bless, we were lucky that he was willing and able to do it!” Ginger and Dregen are, of course, no strangers. Working together in the 90s as part of Supershit 666, the band never toured, but did release a self titled EP, frequently likened to the album Supershitty to the Max! by Dregen’s former band, The Hellacopters. So, did Dregen need time to think it over once he’d received the call? “It wasn’t that hard of a decision actually!” - Didn’t think so. There’s a 20-year age difference between the two joining us, and yet, you’d think they were brothers. Electric energy bounces between them, and you’re addicted to it the moment you step within close proximity of them. It was only a matter of time before they would join together to create great music. But with a captivating person like Ginger to take over from, surely Dregen was a bit nervous stepping into his shoes. “Well they’re very big boots to fill!” he jokes, “but, you know, I’ve got my own style; Ginger’s got his. It’s quite a relaxed style. The band has different personalities, and I love Ginger to death.” Michael agrees: “’Personalities’ is the key word. We had to find a personality that

would work within the band. We weren’t gonna settle for some session guy.” Dregen had been off touring for about 6 months before he got the call, so it was definitely a great opportunity at the right time. “Just when you thought he was out, we pulled him back in!!!!” With a writing credit on almost every song on the album, Ginger certainly left his mark on Sensory Overdrive, with both fan and critic commenting on how it was very reminiscent of Wildhearts music. So would the future Michael Monroe albums have a Dregen quality about them? “Well I don’t know The Wildhearts well enough to know, but I’ve heard Modern Day Miracle is a very Ginger-ish kind of riff.” Monroe admits. “Obviously there are influences from Ginger, and surely the Hanoi, Michael Monroe, The Dolls, Steve and Sami. Everyone’s influences show.” “There’s certainly gonna be 20% Dregen in the new album,” offers Dregen. “Of course, with the Hellacopters and Backyard Babies, I’m gonna bring back some DIRT into the music...” Monroe agrees wholeheartedly. “Absolutely. Say, compared to Ginger, Dregen’s got more of a punkier kind of attitude playing wise, whereas Ginger’s maybe a bit more cleaner, more, lets say… heavier stylings. That’s my assumption. So yeah sure you can hear some Wildhearts in the album, but you can also hear everyone else. I don’t think Ginger would write an album like that on his own, or with The Wildhearts. But I truly believe the next album will be just as good: great rock n roll straight from the heart.”

second single from the album, Superpowered Superfly. “Well we were thinking it too, but the record company were like ‘that’s the one to go with’.” Monroe explains. “I’m not gonna argue, it’s a great song, great smart lyrics, and kinda has a Cheap Trickish kinda sound. With the other songs we all came together and wrote collectively as a band, but with this one Ginger was just like “I’m just gonna put it on the table and see what happens” and this was the result. Ginger thought it was too pop-y and we were like “lets hear it, play it for us”, and he did and I was like ‘wait a minute! This sounds like Cheap Trick!” The single also marked a change for him as a musician. “With this song, I reached new areas singing wise. I’ve never sounded exactly like I do on that record, especially in that last section where I go up to sing “MAYBE THEY BLOCKED THE RECEIVERS!”

It’s great to hear Monroe’s having fun, and after witnessing their performance at the festival, Dregen has certainly brought a fun new edge to the band. With many groups returning to the studio after a busy summer touring, the Michael Monroe band are doing the exact opposite. They release Sensory Overdrive in the USA and Canada on August 23rd, and are embarking on a tour of said countries throughout September and October. So then they’ll head back into the studio? Or take a break after all their hard work? Think again. Michael Monroe jetting off to Japan again for V-Rock before flying back to the UK for yet another tour, this time co-headlining a package tour with Wednesday 13, culminating with a performance at everyone’s favourite Ginger took his final bow with winter festival: Hard Rock Hell. the band at Provinssirock festival in June, and the band played So, what’s left to say about the their first gig with the new line- new line-up? “It’s a bargain!” up days later when they support- Michael Monroe and Dregen ed the Foo Fighters in Helsinki. cry, “It’s fucking GREAT!” Now, they’re ready to release the


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there’s a possibility we may not be able to tour outside of Japan due to the nuclear problems. One thing is sure in that I do not want to regret what happens today so the best we can do is to focus on this moment.”

by Cristina Massei & Matt Dawson Over the past few months, Dir En Grey have been through a time of uncertainty; despite a queue of fans outside the London Koko venue from 1pm on the day of the show, there has been bigger things for the band to also think about. The Japanese earthquake tragedy that left residents unable to return to areas such as the ones close to the Fukushima nuclear power plant also caused recording of Dir En Grey’s latest album ‘Dum Spiro Spero’ to be interrupted . A few days before heading out to the London show, the band also released an open letter stating that “The safety regulations for safe level of radiation exposure keep getting increased higher and higher, yet the only official announcement is that “there is no effect on health.”

[Editor’s Note: Since our time with Die the Japanese Government has elected their sixth Prime Minister in five years, as NaoDie explains that the earth- to Kan resigned along with quake led to more than just a his cabinet due to criticisms slight break in the recording towards his handling of the sessions: earthquake. His successor “The earthquake affected the Yoshihiko Noda is calling for band mentally and we start- the halted nuclear reactors to ed to ask ourselves ‘Should restart and disagrees with the we continue this or should we idea of a nuclear-free japan] quit doing music after this?’ After much thinking and dis- At the time of speaking to cussing we found out that cre- Die, London along ating music is the only thing with other areas of we can do, so the first prior- England had been ity was to complete the album affected by riots; because the fans were waiting given the different for it and through the album standards of culture we can give a light of hope to towards the youth the fans and maybe ourselves between Japan and too.” the UK, we asked Die what is their Many questions are also be- view on the latest ing asked in Japan to this day dramatic events. about the full extent of nu- “Maybe it is that clear damage versus what the the younger gengovernment (Kokkai or Diet) eration find it difis conveying towards the peo- ficult to take out ple: their frustration “Maybe someone here [Eng- and anger in daily land] knows what we cannot life so it is possible know, at this moment no one that they have takis sure what is happening in en the wrong way the future in Japan, maybe to release it, what

September 2011

I can say is that they should find out the right way to take out their frustration or express it differently.”

Of course Dir En Grey’s global fan base has experienced a large amount of growth in recent years; on the day of the Koko show fans were queuing ‘Dum Spiro Spero’ has a fit- from 1pm, a mere six hours ting tonem being darker than before the show was due to previous work by Dir En Grey begin. When asking Die how with a mixture of deathcore, he feels about having such doom and modern metal in- a global fan base, he replies fluences, but - as Die states with a sense of modesty: - it’s more spontaneous than “In 2005 we started touring outside of Japan and at that you think: “ In the beginning (January stage we didn’t know what to 2010) we didn’t have any par- expect, I think the internet ticular goal of how it would played a big role in that and sound, but after working on I’m happy and hope to come some songs and doing shows back more in the future.” in Japan we began to update how our older songs were for As the days go on, we - as a live situation. As we pro- the album title translates gressed we realised the tone ‘breathe in hope’ that the fufor the album was getting ture of Dir En Grey and Japan more dark and heavier with as a whole remains positive most of the songs being re- and the light of hope contincorded with 7-string guitars. ues to grow. We don’t see it as influenced by deathcore as we don’t want to be seen as just that.”


Sonic Shocks

September 2011

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Graveyard Johnnys, setting the tone for two days of cutting edge fun and frivolties up north. The morning after there will be an all day indoor market, which will be absolutely jam packed with all manner of alt and burlesque stalls from vintage to full on fetish. There will also be performances from a number of burlesque artists and in house DJ's courtesy of Burlesque bigwigs, Heresy and Heelz.

Burlesque!

Once you've suited and booted yourself avec 'I’m a burlesque dancer extraordinaire' The Ministry of Burlesque will be on hand with their expert dance tuiton skills, to famous Tivoli theatre, expect show you how the 'art of the decadence and just a touch of tease' can truly be achieved. camp coupled with delights Friday tickets £12.00+booking fee galore! viaThe Heresy & Heelz website. Performers include Chrys Saturday market tickets £5 Columbine. on the door. Tickets from £18.00 To book please call-01202 885566

Welcome to your one stop drop for all the news on the best burlesque nights, in the capital and beyond. I’m Sophia Disgrace; I’ve performed at numerous events in the U.K and abroad, from festivals to the most exclusive clubs. I tend perform in a neo burlesque style and often incorparate other elements such as fire play into my rou- Enchanted Burlesque tines. The HMV Institute, Birmingham Saturday 17th September 2011 Burlesque- or 'the art of tease’' From 7pm as it’s also known, first rose to prominence in the 1950s; in The latest project from James recent years it has enjoyed LaVey and Burlesque ensomething of a revival, with chantress Angel LaVey, this stars such as Dita Von Teese show features the dark vaudehelping to popularise the villian master himself, Mr scene once again. Joe Black, as well as performances from the wonderfully London - as ever - is at the talented Bitter Ruin and the fore front of this movement, enigmatic Mister Meredith. which is both alluring and in- Enchanted Burlesque notes spiring for men and women it inherent penchance for 'bealike. ing the only old fashioned theatre based burlesque show in Birmingham'(which only runs twice a year i might Here are my pick of all things add). Ohh - sounds tres magburlesque this month... nifique!

An Evening of Burlesque

The Tivoli Theatre, Wimbourne Saturday 10t September 2011 From 8.00pm This is a night which promises to combine burlesque, piano concertos, outstanding vocal performances and more. A highly anticipated event, 'An Evening of...' traces Burlesque's music hall routes to its present incarnation. Sumputous costumes, intricate choreographies and subtle humour are guaranteed! Held at the beautiful and in-

Tickets from-£10.00 in advance; 50% of all ticket sales will be going towards the UK Disaster Relief Charity to aid victims of the recent UK riots. To book please call- 0843 221 0100

Manchester Alternative & Burlesque Weekender Sound Control, Manchester Fri/Sat 9/10 September 2011 9pm-3pm Friday 12 midday- 6pm Saturday

This months velvet curtain reveals... Burlesque Spotlight! For a truly breath taking experience head to

FairyGothMother THE ONLY place for a showgirl to be seen when buying her corsets, Fairy Goth Mother are known for their quality garments and equisite corsetry designs. Based in Spitalfields, London, on the corner of Fashion Street, they also sell a wonderful array of lingerie, prom and evening dresses. Their signature is luxurious, yet wearable items, which are available for both the consumer and dance professional alike. Fairy Goth Mother 0207 377 0370

Kicking off in raucous style on Friday night, burlesque By Sophia Disgrace legend Kittie Klaw headlines Photo by Alias Photography alongside psychobilly band

By Cristina Massei My first Club Antichrist experience is a Vampires themed night, and it feels a bit like True Blood and Twilight got together at Club Coliseum: everything goes. From the glowing ones to the bad-ass scary types, from the dark and mysterious to those leaving very little to imagination, from colourful LaFayettes to naughty little fairies. The only ban tonight is on banality – translated as chavvy jeans and trainers’ outfits – and these days you can only be grateful. As we make our way in, there’s hot Thai food on offer, plenty of bars and vintage themed stalls. Club Coliseum is quite a labyrinth, and with the right dose of curiosity it quickly turns into a dark and naughty Wonderland for every Alice to get lost in at her own peril. In the Theatre of Sin, shows and music – mainly goth industrial – alternate, with the Satan’s Strip Show, fire eater Sophia Landi, fusion belly-dancer Leah Debrincat and much more entertaining the diverse crowd here tonight. We leave with Marilyn Manson cover of ‘Tainted Love’ in the background to check out the other zones, finally settling for the Hellfire Room, reign of post-punk and the darker edge of New Romantic, as the DJ spins some Joy Division and THE original Tainted Love. Between dancing and people-watching, my sweet tooth makes an appearance and I repeatedly assault a Japanese guy walking around with a box full of pick & mix sweets. There are as well a few green Antichrist wristband, and luckily I decide not to pick one… Back to this later. What strikes me about tonight’s crowd and entertainment is the diversity on offer: there’s more to Antichrist than some goth-industrial club. It’s like a weird enchanted place where all your darkest fantasies can be put out there in the open, with no one judging and no risk to get hurt – well, unless you enjoy it of course. Sure you can just go for the music and the shows and to get that over-the-top outfit out of the closet, but if you happen to discover a naughtier, even little twisted side of you – we all have one somewhere or True Blood wouldn’t have got to Series 4 - this is the time and the place to just let it out. As we later discover, the green wristbands are more like green lights for the other punters revealing you’re available and looking, so if you’re here on the search for your Eric Northman or fancy a bit of Jessica for the night, make sure you wear one. There’s a dark area with black sofas behind a dark curtain if you want to get cosy, and if you feel daring there’s also a Devil’s Playroom, where male and female dominatrix are ready to inflict pain and humiliation at your leisure, with a curious crowd watching on. If it’s not your thing, don’t be scared: you won’t bump into any of this unless you’re looking for it, and if you decide to enter nothing will happen to you that you won’t wilfully enjoy. But hey, you can still make it just a very original club night if that’s what you want! It’s called – I think – freedom of choice. Just don’t dare showing up in jeans and trainers…


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September 2011

Kitty Daisy & Lewis

SMOKING IN HEAVEN Sunday Best - 2011

By Cristina Massei It’s a sold out night at the plush Jazz Café in Camden. A heaving crowd defies recession and bad weather, eager to time travel back a few decades with curvaceous Dutch star Caro Emerald. There’s a very diverse audience welcoming Caro’s excellent backing band: young, old, jazz-y, swinging and rockabilly types, normal lads, middle aged couples and singles looking for a classy night of fun and good music. And, as the notes of ‘That Man’ hit the steaming room, none of them is afraid to shake their hips, while larger-thanlife Emerald takes stage. A tight knee-length black dress highlights her full figure, complimented with a confident bright smile to bring back healthy Fifties pin-ups images. Pretty soon Caro gets rid of the heels and, happy and barefooted, fills the stage and the whole venue with her presence and most of all her magnificent voice.

Oh Swinging London, did we miss you!

Occasionally Emerald’s retro style flirts with more modern R&B sounds, like in ‘Absolutely Me’, or more summery vibes our Lily Allen would kill for in ‘Riviera Life’, proving her 360 degrees versatility while effortlessly holding onto her own exquisite uniqueness. Her voice caresses your senses and, while your mind is hypnotized by the music, penetrates right inside your bones, carrying a warm feel-good mood that will easily get you addicted. From the vintage flavour of ‘Dr Wanna Do’ to the catchy modern pop riff of ‘A Night Like This’, there’s no time for drink refills in Caro Emerald’s set tonight, just like there’s no song you’ll be even tempted to skip on her 2010 debut album ‘Deleted Scenes From The Cutting Room Floor’. Do yourself – and your other half – a huge favour and get this record spinning.

Hard to believe, listening to tracks like ‘You’ll Soon Be Here’ or ‘Pan Man Boogie’, that Kitty, Daisy & Lewis are a genuine product of the UK capital, with their velvety foot-tapping mixture of soul, blues and rockabilly: sure New Orleans or Memphis come to mind first. However, maybe on the look for a less alcoholic way to warm up its soul and its nights, London seems to be leading the 50s/60s revolution these young siblings so well represent.

‘Smoking in Heaven’, already released in the UK, is now about to land in the States, where it’s Caro Emerald will be at Hyde Park ‘BBC Radio 2 Live’ on September 11th in excellent company with Imelda May, Lenny Krav- easy to predict it will be greetitz and many more. If you miss that, you’ll have to wait until December 13th to see the Dutch jazz queen at London’s Shepherd’s ed with enthusiasm. Talented multi-instrumentalists of an age Bush Empire – but I wouldn’t wait that long to get tickets if I were you. comprised between 18 and 22, Kitty Daisy and Lewis Durham fill ‘Smoking in Heaven’ with 13 gems, infused with the sunny sounds of 60s ska and the luscious warmth of 50s soul and blues.

If you like Caro Emerald...

by Cristina Massei

When a young and hopeful Amy Winehouse first appeared on the local music scene introducing herself as a jazz singer, she probably raised a few eyebrows in Camden, seen as a bit of an eccentric elitist with no chance of stardom; many probably advised her to change genre, or resign to sing for small middle aged crowds in tiny smoky venues. A lot has changed since, and maybe we owe a bit of that to Amy… or maybe it’s just the way things go: music, fashion, just cycles repeating themselves, with the strong ones emerging and staying and the weakest links ending up crashed under the wheel and quickly forgotten. But I’m digressing now.

At Sonic Shocks we don’t like labels and pigeonholes, and we feel that true artists should shine across a wide series of genres, finally creating their own unique style. You wouldn’t call Caro Emerald just ‘pop’, or ‘jazz’, or ‘swing’, or ‘rockabilly’ – the list continues – but will probably appeal to fans of all of these genres and more, as the assortment of outfits worn by her audience clearly show. If you recently came across Caro Emerald for the first time and you thought - just like me - ‘Why the hell did no one tell me about this?!’ there may be a few more artists you may be missing out on that you really need to check out. Here are a few albums we think you’re going to like, just to get you started…

Kitty is the youngest of and plays drums, harmonica, ukulele, banjo, trombone and guitar; Daisy is the eldest and plays drums, piano, accordion and xylophone; Lewis is the middle one and plays guitar, piano, banjo, lapsteel and drums. As for vocal duties, they’re shared between the Durhams, with diversely compelling results. Compare ‘Will I ever’ with ‘I’m Coming Home’ to see what I mean. While few long instrumental parts – like closing title-track ‘Smoking in Heaven’ – may sound like a slightly self indulgent skill display to some, the Durhams unquestionable talent manages to keep even the catchiest chorus fresh and never boring; Kitty Daisy & Lewis’ creative formula make this an album to equally appeal to pop, jazz, blues, soul, rockabilly and ska fans as much as the occasional listener. Get ‘Smoking in Heaven’ now, get your swinging shoes out and don’t miss Kitty Daisy & Lewis at Bestival on September 11th. You’ll Be Sorry if you do.


Sonic Shocks

September 2011

Devil Doll

QUEEN OF PAIN CD Baby - 2009

Paloma Faith

DO YOU WANT THE TRUTH OR SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL? Sony Music - 2009

Devil Doll raises the flag of jazz/rockabilly from its sultrier, darkly sexy side. Irresistible frontwoman Colleen Duffy emerged, flaunting her mermaid tail, from the LA scene back in 1995 and recorded ‘Queen of Pain’ in 2003, blending a 40s deep silky atmosphere with calypso vibes, marked by brief hints of honest punk and pop-catchy choruses.

Paloma Faith’s debut single ‘Stone Cold Sober’ was more on the pop side, revealing a voice as velvety but not as deep as a Caro Emerald or Imelda May for a melody not as retro. However, the album ‘Do You Want the Truth or Something Beautiful?’ then proceeds in a different direcGive me a Californian sum- tion, from the beautiful ‘Bromer, a flower for my hair and a long dress with a big ken Doll’ going back in time petticoat, then spin ‘You to the extent of 40s inspired Are The Best Thing And ‘Upside Down’. The Worst Thing’ in a warm serene night on the beach; Her sophisticated singing watch the party unfold while dancing barefoot in style, influenced by jazz and the sand. Back to the bar, soul, earned her comparisons men in pinstripe suits sip to the likes of Amy Winebourbon while a voluptu- house and Duffy. Her debut ous brunette sings ‘Heart album ‘Do You Want the Sized Crush’. Let that handsome, dark guy lead you to Truth or Something Beautithe dancefloor while ‘Walk ful?’ was released in 2009 and With Me’ fills the room. Let greatly acclaimed by public the passion take over with and critic alike. Her flaming ‘Bourbon In Your Eyes’ then red hair and Marlene Diboogie to ‘Liquor Store’ before driving home in a red etrich image didn’t take long to stick into people’s memory, vintage convertible. together with second sinOr, if you can’t afford flights gle ‘New York’, once again to California and a con- thought more for the 21st vertible and feel the world has run out of dark hand- century charts. some men who can lead on the dance floor, just stick Not as relevant for the genre ‘Queen of Pain’ on your as other artists here menturntable and close your tioned, but an easy gateway eyes. Bourbon is not strictly necessary, but will perfect- for the youngest and doubtful ly compliment your day- to progressively embrace the current jazz/soul/rockabilly dreaming experience. revival.

The Puppini Sisters

BETCHA BOTTOM DOLLAR Decca - 2006

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Imelda May

MAYHEM Decca - 2010

Possibly the biggest current exponent of London’s jazz/ rockabilly revival, Imelda May has the voice, the image and the songs to mesh the 50s with our days to create something as vintage as exquisitely contemporary. Try – if you can – to stand still when ‘Mayhem’ hits It doesn’t get much more vin- your speakers: no wonder both tage than this: ‘retro swing Jeff Beck and Jools Holland are punk’ would probably be hard-die fans – to the point of the best way to describe the asking her to perform at their ‘Sisters’ flirty Forties sound, shows. coupled with a colourful pinup image to match. ‘Boogie Mayhem is her second full Woogie Bugle Boy’, their first length, a ripened follow-up to single released in 2004, is a debut album ‘Love Tattoo’, insweet cover of a song from heriting the rock’n’roll vibe but The Andrews Sisters, who in- using the versatility of Imelda’s spired the band’s name – al- rich voice to express slightly though the Puppini’s are not different angles of it. Occasionally steering towards some at all related. kind of pop country (‘Eternity’, ‘Betcha Bottom Dollar’ is ‘Proud and humble’), going mainly a cover album, but the deeper into jazz (‘All For You’, swing take on classics such ‘Inside Out’) or borrowing atas ‘Wuthering Heights’ (Kate mospheres from Tarantino’ Bush), ‘I Will Survive’ (Glo- movies (‘Psycho’), ‘Mayhem’ ria Gaynor), ‘Heart of Glass’ never fails to entertain and in(Blondie) or ‘Panic’ (Morris- trigue the listener. Even when sey) are absolutely unique. covering the very song everyBut you don’t need to listen one already covered, ‘Tainted that far to fall in love with The Love’, Imelda manages to crePuppini Sisters: come song ate something unique, holdn.2, you’ll be dancing the ing on to the sensuality of the Charleston to ‘Mr Sandman’ original giving it a completely with your girlfriends while new swing. getting your make up on and sipping a Martini ready for a And in the middle of all this, she places a gem every Lonnight of fun. doner should fall in love with A must for every burlesque ‘Kentish Town Waltz’ and gets lover and smooth seductor us all to lose control on the out there, ‘Betcha Bottom dance floor with rnr anthem Dollar’ deserve a spot in every ‘Sneaky Freak’. collection aiming to embrace music in all its expressions. May surely loves rock’n’roll and A new album called ‘Holly- is not afraid to show it. If you wood’ is allegedly being re- share her love, don’t try to released in autumn: can’t wait. sist: get your blues suede shoes on and join the Mayhem. London based female trio The Puppini Sisters did pretty well in the US with their debut ‘Betcha Bottom Dollar’, and it’s now time their talent gets finally rewarded back home.

...and finally meet

The Queen of Rockabilly

WANDA JACKSON

Wanda reached success and earned the title of Queen – or First Lady – of Rockabily in the early 60s. Successively, as Rockabilly started to go out of fashion, she embraced country completely and enjoyed a prolific career up to our days. With the resurgence of the genre, Wanda reconnected with her origins playing several rockabilly festivals around the world and even recording new material. In 2003, Jackson released her first studio album since the 1980s, Heart Trouble, with guest appearances from Elvis Costello, The Cramps and Rosie Flores. In 2005, singer Amy LaVere portrayed a young Jackson in the Johnny Cash biopic ‘Walk The Line, In 2010, Jackson appeared on BBC’s Hootenanny, where she covered Amy Winehouse ‘You Know I’m No Good’ with Jools Holland. In January this year, Wanda Jackson released new album ‘The Party Ain’t Over’, recorded with Jack white and featuring a cover of Bob Dylan ‘Thunder on The Mountain’. We suggest you get yourself ‘There’s a Party Goin’ On’ to see how it’s really done, possibly in vinyl – the original was released in 1959 but Capitol pressed some more just recently. From there, depending on the level of enthusiasm, you can explore the greatest hits around or the whole discography or just jump straight to ‘The Party Ain’t Over’ and keep an eye for a show near you… We’ll be there.




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Sonic Shocks

LIVE!

and Hey Baby. This man is quite awesome himself. Let me tell y’all, hearing Stranglehold live and loud with Backstage Liv sweat dripping down your e - San Anton io, Texas neck in the hot, Texas night August 28, 2 is the absolute bomb. It was 011 an eargasm to be quiet honest. Ted played every favorite. He didn’t stop. The guitar solos were abundant. Of course the shooting of the flaming arrow across the stage into the middle of an X on the back of a beautiful, white guitar was cool too. But the really cool part was the way he ended the show. Every member of the band grabbed their guns and the The stage is set up with his American Flag and stuck her guitar collection placed on right into the middle of the either sides of the drum kit. stage. Old glory blowing in Guns adorn the stage as well the breeze, the four walked as Ted’s hunting bow. He ex- off stage. Perfect. plained that he had his gun permits with him and pro- If The Nuge ever comes anytor City Madman himself, one. Seriously. He should ceeded to hold up the double where remotely close to you, Uncle Ted Nugent! have a banner flying behind middle fingers for all to see. go see him. It is more than a him with “BAMF” on it. This Admit it, you have to admire concert; it is a lesson in American pride. God Bless Ted NuThe whole time I was watch- man is 63 years old. No, that that. gent and God Bless the USA. ing him I had four words is not a typo. Six three. He keep running through my is the most passionate per- Joining Ted was Derek St. mind. Bad ass mother fuck- former I’ve seen to date. The Holmes. Just to name a few, Rock On ~ er. Sometimes that is the only man loves his country and Derek was the voice of Stran- Denise Britt way to really describe some- his state. He loves his guitars glehold, Cat Scratch Fever (words and images)

Ted Nugent

This is a summer of record breaking heat for San Antonio, Texas. The temperature is 104 degrees at 10pm. The air was thick and heavy and the rock and roll was hard. Who is crazy enough to play for one hour and 45 minutes in this hellish heat? The MoWords by Dan Balchin Photo Mark Allan London KOKO provided an intimate setting where competition winners and individuals who have been lucky enough to secure tickets have come together under one roof to celebrate the work of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. The moment this event was announced, it was hotly tipped to be one of the finest events in the music calendar. From die hard fans to purveyors of iconic artists, there is no denying that for the audience in this room, there is no place they'd rather be. Pre-Peppers, Zane Lowe encouraged every ounce of energy out of the fans with a 40 minute mash and mix up of carefully chosen tracks. The man has perfected his craft and delivers the goods; albeit whilst showcasing some inspiring dance moves.

September 2011

As the lights faded, silhouettes of 4 bodies took their position on the small Koko stage and the audience erupted with anticipation and excitement. From the opening rumblings of Flea's bass line and the clean sweeps from Klinghoffer, it was evident that this was going to be a night to remember. WIth Kiedis donning a baseball cap and his new hairstyle, he still carried that same exuberance and youthful charm as if starting out his career.

towards the stage with overwhelming joy. What I found perhaps most moving was seeing Keidis and other band members interact with who I assumed to be their children / relatives at the side of the stage. At one stage there was an extended break between two tracks as Keidis picked up one young child and held them in his arms, whispering into their ear before placing them down on the stage (where they continued to dance the night away).

The set tonight featured a range of hits from across their extensive catalogue of With an encore of 'Give It work. From the much loved Away', it was the perfect end 'Californication' to 'The Ad- to a unforgettable night. ventures Of Rain Dance Maggie' and numerous hits in between. Crowd pleasers such as 'By The Way' had the audience gripping hold of every word Keidis threw at them and they returned his poetic lines

and guns. Most of all he loves rock n roll! He is a wise ass. He talks 10 kinds of shit. He doesn’t give a rat’s ass who he offends and people LOVE it! He wanted us to know that he plays on an American guitar, not a Jap, French or Mexican guitar and if that offended you, then... to quote Uncle Ted, “fuck you”. He ripped Obama and gave major props to Texas Governor Rick Perry (who announced his candidacy for president a couple of weeks ago. He talked about how he is ready for dove hunting this week. He is a man’s man. I love him.

RS E P P E P I T CHIL ber 2011

O n - 2nd Septem REDokH o, Londo K


Sonic Shocks

September 2011

Page 17 ‘Kings of the Wild Frontier’, ‘Stand and Deliver’, ‘Goody Two Shoes’ or ‘Vive Le Rock’. Mesmerizing performance, with weird mixed age mosh pits spontaneously combusting at the back of the swanky new Chelsea venue. Under The Bridge is a welcome new addition to London’s live music scene – sure money better spent from Abramovich than that Shevchenko turkey – and Georgina Baillie’s Poussez Posse offer a spicy warm up that doesn’t go unnoticed; good luck to them and well done to our G girl for showing there’s more to her than Sachsgate.

Words and images by Cristina Massei Ah, Prince Charming… You don’t get called that for nothing. And we all know that fairytale characters never age, so we shouldn’t be surprised for what unfolds in front of our very eyes tonight. Yet we can’t help being in awe when Adam Ant takes stage, oozing confidence and

Letlive/ The Hiding Place

Stoke Sugarmill - 31st August 2011 by Matt Dawson

ple’s radar here in Stoke.

Tonight’s proceedings get off to a good start with local band The Hiding Place bringing their Alexisonfire inspired melodies to the stage, Dominic Webber’s voice showing hints of Dallas Green and Simon Neill from Biffy Clyro, the latter becoming clear during the band’s final song of the night.

Letlive then arrive to ‘Le Prologue’, allowing the intensity to rise until Jason Butler comes onto stage and shows exactly why he is one of the most charismatic frontmen out there today; throughout the course of their set he crowd surfs a multiple number of times, jumps off the more narrow balcony at the venue and proclaims his love for the British people and how they have embraced Letlive, while the rest of the band shows just as much ferocity.

A cover of He Is Legend was a surprise, and although some of the crowd looked like they had no idea who He Is Legend were, showed that The Hiding Place are a band that should be on more peo- With songs as catchy as ‘Ca-

sino Columbus’, ‘The sick, sick 6.8 Billion’ and the emotional ‘Muther’ it’s not hard to see why letlive shows have been called ‘intense’: the crowd go as far as to invade the stage during ‘Casino Columbus’, with Jason alluding to Download Festival by making it clear that ‘despite what you may think, security are our friends tonight’. As the lights come on the crowd feel hungry for more, and if Letlive return to Stoke they’ll be waiting.

But let’s go back to Prince Charming. There’s another gig booked at Troxy in November, get your ticket now, you know you want to. And a timeless Captain Sparrow’ most of all, there’s a brand type of charm. new album being released in January: start saving now inForget the aged nutcase pic- stead of getting that U2 boxtured by tabloids and enjoy set with free Bono sunglassone of the best shows of 2011. es… Well, that’s what Adam said – and for that I love him Professional, energetic, spar- even a bit more. kling, colourful, all seasoned with an irresistible, no-holds- Nevermind the Queen… barred sense of humour: a God Save the Prince! night you will remember for a long time, just like no one will ever forget ‘Antmusic’,


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September 2011

GLASSJAW - ROLO TOMASSI Stoke Sugarmill - 26th August 2011

Review by Matt Dawson Photos Tish Scripps As part of two warm up shows before performing at Reading and Leeds, people as far as London come down to catch one of the biggest bands of post-hardcore play the Sugarmill, but proceedings begin with a band that have made quite a name for themselves in recent years: Rolo Tomassi. Kicking off with ‘I Love Turbulence’, you begin to enter by Cristina Massei Let’s not always blame the internet: it supplied tools for the underground scene that were unthinkable not long ago. Unfortunately, as good as the tools can be there’s always a restricted minority who knows how to use them; good and deserving acts die in oblivion, strangled between Simon Cowell’s prefabricated one hit wonders and the multitude of DIY MySpace ‘musicians’ with hearing problems, over saturating the web and people’s patience . Every now and then, however, one comes out who combines an amount of talent with the necessary hard work and a pinch of cleverness, to emerge with a smile from the ocean of mediocrity surrounding them: say hello to Fearless Vampire Killers. I confess I wasn’t majorly impressed with the CD, but there was something mysteriously good in there, something that I felt was struggling a bit to come out; and it all came out impetuously on the Barfly’s stage. The first thing that caught my attention was the army of fans proud-

a world of many twists and turns: one moment there’s a sense of calm - such as the build up to ‘Kasia’ and ‘Titanomachia’ - as James Spence’s keyboards takes you into a near trancelike state; then Eva’s powerful screams along with the guitars of Joe Nicholson suddenly snap you out of it, and the next thoughts are to either dance or move your head frantically as much as you can. Even after a slightly shaky ly wearing all of the band’s merch, from t-shirt to hoodies and tote bags. In addition to that, every- Camden one was wearing a white mask, as prescribed by the creative headliners to add a spooky note to a video being filmed tonight.

start due to - Eva admits - not touring for a while, it doesn’t taint the experience; in fact it makes you warm to how good she is as a vocalist even more.

he lets out his intensity with ‘You think You’re (John Fucking Lennon)’, as the crowd emphatically sing along to every word.

The consistency of the band Hopefully Rolo come back to never fails as classics such as Stoke sooner rather than an- ‘Ape Dos Mil’, ‘mu Empire’ other four years! and ‘Siberian Kiss’ all get a chance to shine; even jokes Glassjaw walk onto the stage are made about Jesus playing as the crowd hits fever pitch, Reading and Leeds over the with a weird moment of Dar- weekend, though to the sold ryl finishing off a mobile out crowd they feel that their phone conversation before Jesus is there in the room

LERS

KIL FEARLESS VAMPIRE Barfly, London - 17th

When FVK hit the stage, was like being on a trip and finding yourself right in the middle of some mad Japanese cartoon, with an army of colourful kids bouncing and giggling in the front rows and a gradually more mature audience occupying the back of the venue, equally appreciative of the band’s antics and sounds. With more than 100 tickets sold on pre-sale alone - at their first London headlining date - and a full audience avidly watching them, Fearless Vampire Killers proved tonight that people not only still go to gigs, but are willing to invest whatever bit of cash they can to support the music they like. With the majority of small gigs nowadays turning into intimate jams for the bar staff, successful events like this helps

restore hope in the future of independent music and scream ‘Watch this band’ more than any expensive PR campaign.

August 2011

with them, right up to the final chords of the last song. However - while the consistency is there - something feels off, leading to the non hardcore die-hard in the crowd feeling slightly unfulfilled as the energy seems to sap around the middle; maybe it’s due to the majority of material being from the EP’s rather than a greatest hits set, but out of the two bands on this night Rolo showed more of why they’re on the rise.


Sonic Shocks

September 2011

Alex Skolnick Trio VERITAS

Palmetto Records - Out Now

By Matt Dawson The majority will know Alex Skolnick for being a member of the thrash metal band Testament, but some may not know that one of his other musical passions is jazz. The Alex Skolnick Trio was formed during Alex’s time studying his BFA in Jazz after seeing a performance of Miles Davis and his electric band; of course there will be some going ‘Alex Skolnick is doing that?’ and recoil in horror, but credit has to be given to him for showing the commitment and the desire to fulfil one of his dreams and not wanting to just do thrash all of the time. The main criticism with Veritas is that, while the musicianship is consistent and manages to stay true towards idols such as Miles, there is a very limited space for crossover potential with those that enjoy the guitar work of Alex’s in Testament. Sure there are flashes of groove in songs such as ‘Alone In Brooklyn’, along with elements of progressive jazz on ‘Song Of The Open Road’ and ‘The River Lethe’, but having to do a cover of ‘Fade To Black’ in order to try and gain the metal audience and a club remix of another track seems too forced. ‘Veritas’ is an album that will appeal to fans of jazz music or the hardcore followers of Alex Skolnick, but for the more inclined towards Alex’s metal work let’s not forget that new Testament is due in 2012.

Alice Cooper WELCOME 2 MY NIGHTMARE Spinefarm Records - Sept 12

by Cristina Massei Oh yes, let’s all learn from uncle Alice how we can all live together in peace – including Ke$ha and the Stones – and make a better world, or at least, a damn kickass record! And I’m not one to use exclamation points in reviews.

Classic American hard rock follows with ‘Runaway Train’, then maybe the most surprising track in ‘Last Man on Earth’, some sort of cabaret oldie Alice pulls damn well with his smokiest voice and Piggy D’s help – yep, the one in Rob Zombie’s band. And then you get the man himself, Rob Zombie, helping out too, hand in hand with Kip Winger. On the same song. Which ends with a toilet request. It’s all good.

Rolling Stones’ homage ‘Bite Your Face Off ’ is an excellent, catchy choice for a lead single, although only a small indication of this album’s brilliance. And now smile, as ’Disco Bloodbath Boogie FeThe follow-up to 70s master- ver’ is like Electric-Six-meetpiece ‘Welcome To My Night- Bloodhound-Gang-onlymare’ is once again recorded better when it comes to camp with Bob Ezrin and lists first disco sense of humour… This class input from the likes of has to be a hit if there’s any original Alice Cooper mem- justice left in music business; bers Denis Dunaway, Mi- not to mention the irresistible chael Bruce and Neal Smith 50s rock’n’roll perfection of reunited on 3 tracks; global ‘Ghouls Gone Wild’, my first pop superstar Ke$ha, who af- favourite out of ‘Welcome To fectionately calls Alice “dad”; My Nightmare 2’. First, yes, legendary Alice and Lou because you’ll see they’ll just Reed guitarist Steve Hunter, keep changing. also on the first Nightmare album and currently touring We have the ballad of course, sweet ‘Something to Rememwith Alice. ber Me By’, so obvious to be 35 years later, Alice’s Night- surprising when placed in mare is more theatrical than between rock and the hard ever, dark and vivid like place belonging to Ke$ha… fresh blood, intense and sur- Alice dares inviting chart pop real, with a brush of perfectly to the party and brilliantly get dosed sense of humour. Like away with it. You can claim a spooky adult version of Al- integrity and pretend to skip ice in Wonderland, it contin- it, but you know you will lisuously evolves and surprises ten to it over and over when with musical and emotional all your old school mates twists that make this record have left the building. one of a kind. Another shout out to the I’m not one to review an al- Stones with superb ‘Gotta Get bum track by track either, but Outta Here’ and finally it’s you have to make room for a time to wake up, as the Nightfew rare exceptions, and this mare peaks in the apocalyptic is most certainly one, because opening of ‘The Underture’ I couldn’t choose if I wanted to slow down into awareness, followed by the dramatic feelto. ing of instability in the un‘I Am Made of You’ is a prel- certain limbo between dream ude to madness, smoothly and reality. Lying under the leading you straight into duvet, you close your eyes the sleazier, more aggres- to enjoy the Nightmare a bit sive ‘Caffeine’, where Buck- longer, rolling it back and recherry’s Keith Nelson takes watching like the most real of care of the shredding. But all movies. it’s ‘The Nightmare Returns’ that opens the R.E.M. phase Press play again and close of fear and insanity, with its your eyes. Alice’s Nightmare haunting, spooky melody. is back and you’re about to join in.

Page 19

Callous AGAINST FOUNDATIONS

By Matthew Tilt While, for the life of me, I can’t understand why I would be sent a download that was missing the opening track, I can’t imagine it would make much difference to this. The press release mentioned Architects and Escape the Fate but in all honesty there isn’t a single moment in this E.P. that doesn’t remind you of another band; not one riff that you can’t place somewhere in the back of your mind.

Dir En Grey DUM SPIRO SPERO

Okami/The End Records - out now

by Matt Dawson Dir En Grey can be quite complex: starting as a visual kei band with a more pop based nature, they quickly embraced elements of metal with their global breakthrough Uroboros and have become progressively darker in tone with this release.

After everything Japan has gone through over the past year and with many in the country feeling the truth is not being told - see our interview - a feeling of darkBringing together the almost ness surrounds the album, from thrash guitar lines of Bullet ‘Different Sense’ influenced by for my Valentine and those death metal to the sludge metal massive sing along choruses of near 10 minute ‘DIABOLOS’. that are just so early noughties metalcore. Sure it’s done with There is a quick change of pace enough talent, but it brings near the end, with ‘VANITAS’ with it that painful nostalgia being the closest we get to a balof “what was I thinking?”, lad, providing a time to reflect and “I used to listen to this?” before normality - or at the very that every music fan has felt least what that is for this record at some point or another. To returns with a vengeance. put it another way this is what MySpace became big for; giv- Kyo’s voice is intriguing and uning a podium to every metal- settling, as he charms you with core band who’d put together his clean vocals and suddenly a few weak breakdowns and begins to shriek and growl bescreams, made sure their fore turning on the charm again; puddle deep, cleanly sung with the clean vocals being prelyrics were pitch perfect and dominant, Kyo seems to have tried to run before they could been influenced by Mike Patton walk. just a little bit. In fact, just when I thought it couldn’t get worse the final track Slings and Arrows came on, with the obligatory slowed down end passage with lyrics taken from a 13 year olds diary or an early, angst ridden Papa Roach track, and just confirmed everything I had already thought. This is a release for the people who thought Architects matured instead of just getting shit. People who are happy that metalcore has made enough of a comeback for Rise to Remain to get main support slots and it’s a release from a band who don’t so much wear their influences on their sleeves, but who take them, chew them up, spit and hope the result sticks.

Die. Kaoru and bassist Toshiya, manage to switch between deathcore and melodic without the changes feeling abrupt, even more so when you hear Toshiya’s use of the slap bass technique, and with Shinya make the rhythm section stand side by side with Kyo. While previous Dir En Grey work had left me a little perplexed. with Dum Spiro Spero the confusion is starting to clear, as the band manage to find a way to show the experimentation and yet make it more accessible. Dum Spiro Spero could be the album that finally helps many understand Dir En Grey.


Sonic Shocks

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Dream Theater A DRAMATIC TURN OF EVENTS

End Reign END REIGN

Evile FIVE SERPENT’S TEETH

September 2011

Exit International BLACK JUNK

Lechery IN FIRE

Roadrunner Records - Sept 12

Fist in the Air, Hemlock 13, Holy Roar, Witch Hunter Records - Out Now

by Matt Dawson

by Matthew Tilt

by Matt Dawson

by Cristina Massei

by Matt Dawson

Dream Theater have been through a few twists and turns over the past year: Mike Portnoy asking for a break and leaving supposedly when the rest of the group disagreed, the helping out Avenged Sevenfold only to be asked to leave to leave, according to M. Shadows, over his handling of the DT situation. Mike then asks to rejoin only to be turned down and Dream Theater get a new drummer after a round of auditions.

Hardcore is oversaturated. Too many bands and not enough ways to stand out but still, only now and again, you end up with something that blows you away. Starting off slowly, with a big, chunky guitar sound before flying headfirst into some of the most vitriolic hardcore so far this year End Reign are taking no prisoners.

When a number of places proclaim your band as the leaders of the new era of thrash, as Evile have discovered in recent years, there’s a lot of pressure to keep topping previous work.

Take off the guitar and stick another bass in – yes, you’ve got that right, no guitar and double bass: can you really do that? What kind of monster can possibly come out of it? Your answer next month, thanks to daring Welsh outfit Exit International. Fancy a preview? Get on YouTube now for a taste of irresistible anthem ‘Bowie’s Ghost’: my verdict is FUCK YEAH. There’s music without guitar, and man, can it grab your guts and twist them!

A sign of a good metal record is that self-awareness of how sometimes it just needs to be slightly ridiculous and fun, rather than being 100 percent serious on how metal rules my life and so forth; ‘In Fire’ is a prime example, right next to ‘Absolute Power’.

Fans split into Team Portnoy and Team DT up to this point, the first record with Mike Mangini and the pressure to prove that after all is said and done DT are still one of the most relevant prog bands around

Horror and Abyss follow a similar path. Straight forward brutality with bile filled vocals, drumming that will have people flailing and kicking out at the person next to them rather than two stepping. The guitars aren’t overly technical, but not too simple either, riffing fast enough to keep up with the constantly changing beat, clean little fills and squealing guitar lines pushing through the beefy production to add depth to the tracks and gives the whole E.P. a metallic edge.

From the start with ‘On The Open Backs Of Angels’, the saying ‘the more things change, the more they stay the same’ comes to mind, and isn’t necessarily a bad thing. There are more keyboard touches than usual, and even some electronic elements kick in during following track ‘Build Me Up, Break Me Down’. It’s not until third track To Pray For that you hear anything close Other tracks to take note are ‘Far to a breakdown and when it From Heaven’, the shortest song drops it’s as brutal as everything since 1997’s ‘Train Of Thought’s else here and by the time those ‘Vacant’ at 3:56, and not surpris- clean, angsty notes open the final ingly the ballad of the record, track Dream Eater you’re glad of and the track written by John the rest. Trudging slowly over its Myung ‘Breaking All Illusions’, four minutes, Dream Eater is a that manages to cram as many song that builds and falls on the progressive influences as it can guitars before breaking into a into its 12 plus minutes, think more mid paced middle section more 70’s Genesis mixed with Yes and Focus during the middle with screamed backing vocals and a beat that finally gives into section. a more typical hardcore style but ‘Can Mangini live up to his pre- that’s still more nasty than most. decessor?’ - I hear you ask. The answer is yes, there are moments An absolute monster of an E.P. where he reminds you of Portnoy that should please anyone who but for the most part manages to likes their music to punch them put his own take, which is surely in the face, spit on them and going to expand more as his time kick them while they’re down. with Dream Theater continues. If they can pull this off live than get down and see them because Dream Theater manage to prove the doubters wrong and, while things will get crazy. Make sure this isn’t the best jumping on you pick this up while you’re point for new fans, ‘A Dramatic there as well. Turn Of Events’ manages to come out of all the madness leading up to it pretty much safe and sound.

Earache Records - Sept 26

Undergroove Records - Sept 19

If ‘Enter The Grave’ and ‘Infected Nation’ were indicators that Evile were a musical force to be reckoned with, then ‘Five Serpent’s Teeth’ is the one that even those who were unsure have to stand up and finally take notice. Relentless, pounding, incendiary, ‘Black Junk’ is a breath For those that felt disillu- of fresh air in the ‘be there, sioned by the thrash god- done that’ contemporary fathers such as Metallica scene. It’s like early Offspring doing side projects with getting very angry and a bit Lou Reed, making ‘Mas- weird, fiercely holding the ter Of Puppets’ a distant punk flag high while toying memory all too forgotten mischievously with metal and by Hetfield and company, post-hardcore. Wild, odd, hearing the combination pleasantly violent, yet emblaof vocals and solos by Ol zoned with some unforgetand Matt Drake will re- table hooks – try ‘Bad Ass’ to store your faith. see what I mean - ‘Black Junk’ is bound to catapult Exit Standing on their own International into a pretty terms with songs such as high league, right next to… ‘Cult’, ‘In Dreams Of Ter- no one, really. Even in 2011 ror’ and the moving tribute originality CAN be achieved to their late bassist Mike without recurring to experiAlexander with ‘In Memo- mental, elitist nonsense. rian’, Evile prove that their status as leaders of the new Let ‘Black Junk’ strike you thrash scene is more than with all the force of these 13 justified. shots of adrenaline; let the power of its double bass take To paraphrase the title of your hips for a ride; let your the album closer: Long live instincts take over and now the new Thrash! scream. Disturbingly addictive, dangerously liberating, the only way is up for Exit International.

Metal Heaven - Out Now

Lechery is the brainchild of Martin Bengtsson, who you may know from his time with Arch Enemy. In this project, however, influences such as Priest and Manowar come to mind, with songs about the Devil- ‘Burning Anger’- discovering metal itself with ‘Heart Of A Metal Virgin’ and of course raising his horns with the closer ‘We All Gonna Rock You Tonight’. From the screams of Martin right down to the dual guitar work he does with Fredrik Nordstrandth and the drums of Kristian Svensson - bringing to mind Scott Travis of Judas Priest in parts - ‘In Fire’ is just a metal record, plain and simple, hell if you can’t crack a smile at seeing a song title called ‘Heart Of A Metal Virgin’ is really time to lighten up a little…


Sonic Shocks

September 2011

Lenny Kravitz The Midnight Lycan Party The Jimi Hendrix Experience WINTERLAND BLACK & WHITE AMERICA THE VOODOO CREEPSHOW

Roadrunner Records - Out Now

Self-released

Sony Music - Sept 12

Page 21

Opeth HERITAGE

Roadrunner Records - Sept 18

Amebix SONIC MASS

Easy Action - Sept 23

by Cristina Massei

by Dan Balchin

by Matt Dawson

by John Morgan

Long awaited new Lenny Kravitz album ‘Black and White America’ is finally out: you may find yourself surprised, maybe uncertain at a first spin, but surely you won’t be disappointed.

There have been a number of releases to celebrate the work of Jimi Hendrix in recent times, reminding us of what it meant to truly be a worldwide icon and idol. ‘Winterland’ is released a few days shy of the 41st Anniversary of Jimi’s passing. With recordings taken from six 1968 shows, over the course of three days, you will not find any finer live material from ‘The Experience.

If there’s one band that has grown from strength to strength since their debut, with their use of diversity and stance to never become stagnant, it’s Opeth.

Mahatma Gandhi once said, "patience is the chief virtue of those who have faith": if that's the case, then the faithful are about to be rewarded.

by Matthew Tilt It’s taken me a long time to review this one. Fears and worries clouded my judgement as I pondered the all too short amount of time between the sublime An Invitation to... and this new E.P., The Voodoo Creepshow. Surely a matter of months isn’t enough time to come up with another batch of decent tracks, and as the title track blared from my speakers it seemed like my fears were justified. It’s not that it isn’t a bad song, but it doesn’t grab you as quickly as their older material and takes a few listens to really sink in whereas the other two tracks, Black Promise and High Horse, are catchy and more akin with the last E.P.

As you can guess from the retro flavoured video for lead single ‘Stand’, Kravitz takes a journey back in time, but rather than stopping in one place he explores the lands of old Motown, black America, smokey New Orleans alleys and the funkiest James Brown. The sound is rich, stimulating, and gradually addictive; it flaws seamlessly from sexually charged ‘Come On Get It’ to the subtler 80s synths of ‘In The Black’, it caresses you with the smooth, languid ‘Liquid Jesus’ then shakes you with ‘Rock Star Black Promise is essentially the only reason you need for City Life’. buying this E.P., as it stands Not sure about the rap ex- out as the best track these periment ‘Boongie Drop’ guys have ever written. Emwith Jay Z, which breaks the bracing a more accessible atmosphere a bit; as far as col- style without completely shunning the harsher aspects laborations go, the one with of their sound, it’s a song that Drake in ‘Sunflower’ seems to will stubbornly lodge itself fit the bill much better. Then in your brain for days while again, when you can take a you try to mimic Paul and page from Chris Isaak’s book Lee’s excellent vocals. It sets (‘Can’t Be Without You’), pull you up for High Horse where a top James Brown number they flip it completely and (‘Life Ain’t Ever Been Bet- blast out a more hardcore inter Than This’) and do a little fluenced track that seems like Barry White (‘Looking Back a continuation of the hidden On Love’) all with excellent song on their last release. results, you surely earned the The biggest problem with right to have a little rap with The Voodoo Creepshow is Jay Z on your own record. that consists of only three songs which means that, ‘Black and White America’ is while two show these guys at a definite grower, one to make the very top of their game, it your spine tingle more with also makes their rare miss, in each play and definitely one the shape of the average title of the few albums out there track, all the more noticelikely to hold your attention able which puts this band in a from beginning to end. Krav- Catch 22, as they change and itz is not only riding the retro evolve too quickly to risk sitwave, he’s reshaping it to his ting on tracks and waiting for bigger releases. In the words own image. Welcome back. of a great man “two out of three ain’t bad”

A pleasure to hear unique and early covers, such as ‘Sunshine of My Love’ performed with delicate precision and the chosen lead song for this release, ‘Like A Rolling Stone’ originally by Bob Dylan. Both these versions showcase the feeling and raw emotion of Hendrix on stage and combined with the classics of ‘Purple Haze’ and ‘Hey Joe’, you can only listen in awe to a true legend at work. My personal favourite is the gentle rendition of ‘Little Wing’ and it is nothing short of a master class. It has been a long time since we have had a hero of Jimi’s calibre and I’d like to think any budding stars of the future would be inspired by Winterland and aspire to something of equal worth. We live in hope of course. Don’t look upon this release as another cash in opportunity, but rather as a refreshing insight into unheard releases. Long live Jimi.

From their 1995 debut ‘Orchid’ there has always been an underlying love for progressive rock; 2000’s ‘Blackwater Park’ being produced by Steven Wilson was a sign, along with 2005’s ‘Ghost Reveries’ and 2008’s ‘Watershed’, that the prog influence was starting to creep up behind the death and doom influences, waiting for its chance to fully shine.

Amebix are to release their first full album of new material since '87, and it's a cracker. The nucleus of the band has always been brothers Rob and Stig, but the addition of drummer/producer Ray Mayorga has proved to be a Opeth know however that, in order not to alienate fans who masterstroke, giving the band appreciate the heavier side more, the sound that these songs the transition must be smooth; deserve. the opening title track begins the process well by keeping the melancholy tones, performed by Jokaim Svalberg (now keyboardist for Opeth), while showing a slight nudge towards jazz taking us to ‘The Devil’s Orchard’.

Cited by some as one of the most influential bands of the crust punk scene of the Mid Eighties, the polished sound of the new material may not This track is the nearest you’ll appeal to the die hards, but get to past Opeth; Mikael’s riffs, along with the fills of Martin if there's any justice in this Axenrot giving a slight edge to- business then this album wards the heavier side, allow the shouldn't just open doors: it process to be complete. should smash them down. From here the immersion begins with ‘Nepathne’ a jazz fusion jam intro mixed with a dash of King Crimson - think Red era - as Akerfeldt and Frederik Akersson build on Per Wilburg’s keyboard work.

Sonic Mass is fused together with a wide range of sound; huge discordant riffs and busy tribal drums flow from track to track effortlessly, ‘Famine’ may perplex some at with Rob's vocals ranging first with its near tribal percus- from pure anger to almost sion provided by Alex Acuna stadium rock singalong an(formerly of The Weather Report) along with Björn J:son themic chant. The album has Lindh’s flute accompaniment, its instant songs such as latest leading to the best moments as single "Knights of the Black well during ‘Folklore’, but for fans of Deep Purple’s ‘Storm- Sun", but it's hidden gems bringer’ days this will feel right like "The One" and the superb at home. two-part title track that really The biggest change is that for the set the tone of the album. second time in Opeth history the first being 2003’s Damnation - no harsh vocals are done by Akerfeldt: a wise decision, as death growls would seem too abrupt, and also shows the risk that he is willing to take in vocal range and it pays off in dividends. With ‘Heritage’ Opeth explore a whole new realm, opening the door for a new legion of fans to discover their magic.

A truly great piece of music, you NEED to hear this.


Sonic Shocks

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Pentagram Retox WHEN THE SCREAMS UGLY ANIMALS COME (DVD) Ipecac/Three One G - Out Now

Ramfam/Metal Blade - Out Now

by Matt Dawson On May 30th 2010 Pentagram did one of the biggest, if not THE biggest show of their 40 year career so far when they played at Maryland Deathfest and, given the twists and turns that have been part of the band, this show was always going to be special. Now, over a year later, we get to see the performance in which Pentagram prove why they are one of the doom bands to be reckoned with, their influence spreading as far to Jack White and Alison Mosshart in their Dead Weather project covering Forever My Queen. Bobby Liebling grips the crowd with his intense look and seems to have the time of his life, with moments such as playing air guitar with Victor Griffin; incidentally this would be Liebling and Griffin’s first show together in many years and Liebling is quoted on the interview - that is also on this disc - as saying that Griffin saved his life many times and is as close to a brother as he could have. If there is one criticism of this DVD it is the sound mix pretty much focuses on the guitar, meaning that Bobby’s vocals are very quiet and, while this can be seen to some as more authentic, it stops you embracing the songs more by knowing what story Bobby is saying in the lyrics. This show signified the next chapter in Pentagram and, with Bobby’s candid words during the interview reflecting a man that has finally made his choice to end the self destruction and find peace with himself, indicates that Pentagram would only be growing stronger. With more shows coming in 2011 - including their first ever UK show - everything is finally falling into place.

Serpentine LIVING & DYING IN HIGH DEFINITION

AOR/Metal Heaven - Out now

September 2011

White Widdow SERENADE

Slabdragger REGRESS

AOR/Metal Heaven - Sept 20

Holy Roar Records - Out Now

By Matthew Tilt

by Denise Britt

by Matt Dawson

by Matthew Tilt

It should have come as no surprise considering the industrious nature of its members but Retox seemed to explode out of nowhere. I heard of them when a venue in the sleepiest of my surrounding area posted they were playing, “members of Some Girls and The Locust” were the only buzz words I needed to ensure I made that gig. The free E.P., which dropped at the same time, assaulted you in the same surprising way and, in-keeping with the way this band seems to work, news of a full length came out the blue.

This is melodic rock at its finest. I am immediately reminded of older Journey. Something about Tony’s voice reminds me of Steve Perry at times. Maybe it’s just me. I like it though.

Australia isn’t the first place you’d think of when the genre of AOR is talked about,.bands such as Journey, Asia and Toto come to mind, along with the new generation arriving such as Houston.

It’s good to see Holy Roar spreading their wings a bit. Slabdragger’s album might not sit as comfortably on the roster as others, and it may take more listens to truly sink in, but what we have here is a fairly decent doom album, and one that stands away from the pack.

White Widdow plan to change that however with Serenade, as they know exactly how to play the AOR rulebook to a tee: Mention lost loves (in the first person obviously), if the song isn’t about love make it about having a good time, one song being Reckless Nights, add guitar solos and of course the keyboard is a must!

Now I should make it clear before I get into this; I’m not a doom fan. Very few bands in that genre have ever excited me because I like to see a band do more than drag out one riff for an album but after the massive opening track of pure, sludgy doom, we quickly get to the bones of the album.

This album takes me back to a simpler time in life. A time of cruising the silver Trans Am with the T Tops off. You just don’t hear voices like Tony’s everyday. Such range, power and clarity. Of course taking over as TNT’s lead vocal was not an easy task. I think he fit The first thing that strikes the part perfectly. you, as they always have, are Justin Pearson’s high pitched shouts of those bitter, satirical The album starts out with lyrics he is known for, they ‘Deep Down’ (there’s a price dominate the record, filled for love). Truer words were with the energy and cha- never spoken/sung. The vorisma while fast blasts work cals on this song are much to their way under rapid guitar my liking. This is the song riffs that create an instantly that sounds Journey-like to danceable, catchy record. me. ‘Philadelphia’ brings a It also becomes how much little harder rock. I am nowork, if possibly not time, ticing right away that Gareth went into this record as it im- David Noon plays a huge role proves leaps and bounds over in this album via keyboards. their self titled E.P., of which only Piss Elegant survives, They play a very prominent and allows that catchiness to part on this album. They shine through, while still de- give the whole record an 80’s livering the grind and techni- feel. ‘Where Do We Go From cality, which is a rarity within Here’ is my favorite track. a scene that can still push the More of those haunting, “I can play faster than you” piercing, beautiful vocals that mentality. I’ve come to love. Nice guiMix the above with some tar solo in this song as well. hardcore breakdowns and ‘Heartbreak Town’ starts more than a few spazzy gui- off with the keyboards then tar lines and Ugly Animals is blasts into full blown rock n born, an album that shows, more than ever, how tal- roll delight. The album ends ented the people who make with a song called ‘Forgotten up this grind supergroup are Heroes’, another showcasing and cements another clas- of perfect harmonies between sic into their collective back the singers and a hellacious catalogue. Pick this up quick guitar solo to boot! before they set up another group, or another album, do another tour or whatever they If you love harmonies, keydecide to do next because no boards and listening to a doubt it’ll be at their own, im- voice that can give you chills, pressively speedy, pace. pick up this album.

Jules Millis’ voice does have a hint of Lou Gramm and Steve Perry about it; it doesn’t go into ‘tribute singer’ territory, while his brother Xavier is the perfect fit to provide the keyboards. In fact, White Widdow is a band to listen to when music filled with anger just won’t cut it. Get ready to take a trip back to the glory years of AOR as White Widdow become one of your guides to the rebirth.

Tracks like Erroneous Maximus and Splice the Mainbrace mix in moments of Hang the Bastard style hardcore with some serious groovy riffs and off kilter drumming. The vocals hang in the background throughout and at first it felt under produced, but when you realise that this album is just about those dark, heavy guitar lines it all comes together. Finally doom makes sense. Nothing matters but the guitar. There are moments when it sounds like Tony Iommi playing in a swamp, solos squealing out of the mud, constantly lurking forward, pushing the rest of the band towards some horrible end. Doom should live up to its name. It shouldn’t be guys in suits singing about long lost loves, or 18th century poets. It should be down and dirty riffing, and by pushing other elements to the back Slabdragger have made a fucking good record. Not that it’s perfect by any means. Certain songs are dragged on further than is necessary, and the four minute Regression feels pointless as it consists of one long sample with some feedback, which only serves to distract from the rest of the album.


Sonic Shocks

September 2011

by Cristina Massei After watching the video for ‘Defeated By The Sea’ way too many times and challenging the riot curfew to catch Tish’s last gig with Stereo Juggernaut, it was time to catch up with Ben Main on the band’s future projects. As the Juggernauts are not your regular band, we didn’t get a regular interview: we met Ben at his house/studio for a sneak peek on things to come. We got to hear some as well, and if we ever had any doubt Stereo Juggernaut were a band to watch, we sure don’t now!

of the London’ live scene today. ‘We didn’t want to label ourselves as a full on metal band’ says Ben, ‘Everyone in the band has different influences but we all like the same sort of stuff. Reuben basically is a metal drummer, I’m more a rock-bluesy guitarist, when I started learning was all blues, rock’n’roll and I always liked a lot of the punk stuff, like the Wildhearts’.

We listen to a very old track with way too much screaming; things have changed since in the SJ world. ‘It wasn’t really us; I think melody is very important. With my previous band, I always tried to put elements of the dance music Defeated By The Sea’ will that I liked, but we were nevbe released as a single this er playing live, we were not month, in digital format only really about that. When that for the moment; another sin- band split up and we came to gle is planned for early 2011. do Stereo Juggernaut, I deThe Juggernauts are getting cided we needed a keyboard together material for a full player, and started incorpoalbum, but they want to do rating even more electronic things right and give their stuff in there. It’s got to the music all the quality it de- stage now where people have serves, so don’t expect that heard that format, guitar bass anytime soon – although an and drums, that sonic kind EP may work as appetizer. of spectrum, that’s been done Old pals of Ben’s from the for so long. People are always Hard Dance scene have also gonna love that, but I think been offering to do remixes incorporating electronics of some of their songs, and and stuff like that, if it’s done the frontman is always open right the sonic spectrum of it to new takes on his tunes; we all is completely on another got to hear some, and you will level’ - Ben continues enthutoo in the next edition of the siastically – ‘ I started putting ‘Crush on Hardcore’ compila- a lot of sequences and stuff to tion. the point we now have to take our laptops to the gigs and do But after all the news, we got it that way. If you make the into talking about how the synth part this big and it’s not band found the characteris- there when you play live it’s tic sound making them one not gonna be the same. The of the up & coming realities first tune of that kind, I think

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Reuben was away when I’d done it and I was a bit cheeky and put it online without telling anyone. I think I was kind of proud of it and wanted to put it up there just to see people reaction. They really liked the tune and so did Reuben, but he was like ‘How are we gonna do this live’…’ – Thank God, that’s now sorted… We keep listening to some new material and old and new versions of old tunes. ‘We’re not revolutionary, we’re not the first people to ever do this, it’s been done in the Eighties. I still listen to a lot of hard dance and trance and breaks, still really like that music, and what I love about it the most is the production, it sounds so crisp, so that’s going to be a big part of the sound’. And it’s a sound that surely got heavier, but without renouncing at all to melody. Stereo Juggernaut are obviously growing up and widening their spectrum with har-

mony, passion and maturity. tion with the curiosity and When I say this is a band to enthusiasm I so rarely feel watch, I mean it: personally, nowadays. I’ll be watching their evolu-



SONIC SHOCKS September