A D VA N TA G E S T O RECORDING AT HOME
BOOK REVIEWS FILM REVIEWS MUSIC REVIEWS BUSINESS TIPS AND MORE!
• PLUS • Featured Artist
MEGAN BESMIRCHED Featured Author
Planning to Fail? Ah, another new year begins today and, with the start of our sixth year in business, I have really come to appreciate the value of planning. The idea that those who fail to plan actually plan to fail strikes me more and more each day. I started Target Audience Magazine in 2007 with the tongue-in-cheek title because I wanted to create one magazine where someone like me could find everything desired from entertainment and psychology to writing and publishing advice. I’ve come to understand that what artists really want and need is an outlet to help guide them in their careers:
Business Section....................3 Featured Author...................... Amy McCorkle.........................8
“We all want to make a sustainable living doing what we Film Reviews............................10 love. We musicians and writers who read album reviews or author features want to know why this person earned Featured Artist......................... a review or what the author is doing to further his or her Megan Besmirched................12 career.” How can I use the information in a magazine feature to help me sell more albums/books/paintings or get more clients for my photography/illustration/session work business? As of today, January 1, 2013, Target Audience Magazine has a more focused business plan: we plan to focus on becoming more of a trade magazine where all the features, interviews, reviews and columns will specifically focus on why the featured artist deserves recognition and what you can learn from this person. Our album reviews will hone in on what makes the music speak to the individual reviewer, and will often depend on personal experience with the work; the idea of influencing emotionally and using this element in any creative endeavor will not change: beauty lies in the eye of the beholder. But, as a magazine, Target Audience Magazine plans to help you, the independent artist, learn how to better market yourself and find the audience to pay for your talent. Poetry will fall more into a cycling column where each month we will feature an author whether a poet or a fiction writer. We want to do fewer book reviews by staff and open the section to authors who want to collaborate in an author exchange where each author reviews another’s writing. This act will help authors realize and understand not only what they enjoy in writing but what draws them in as readers. Ultimately, our hope is that the critique will inspire the author’s own work.
Similarly, we want to expand our art/writing section where fine artists and writers can influence each other by creating work inspired by each other’s work. See page 25 for more on this idea. Happy New Year! by Ellen Eldridge, Editor in cheif
Live show reviews..................18 Featured Review........................ Geoff Tate.............................2 0 Featured Interview.................. Geoff Tate..............................2 2
Target Audience Staff Ellen Eldridge Russell Eldridge Victor Schwartzman Ryan Meriwether Eliza Jones G.L. Giles
Editor-in-Chief Music Editor Poetry Editor Graphic Designer Copy Editor Book Editor
Want to contribute? email firstname.lastname@example.org
Contributing Writers and Artists Megan Besmirched David Feltman David Boyle Jenna Hughes Rena Short Brashear Cyan Jenkins Rich DeCicco Don de Leaumont Sue Dent Gia Lee Russell Eldridge Rose Riot Bobby Elkins
BUSINESS Information Highway Robbery – Would You Pay to Promote Via Facebook?
Just a few thoughts on Facebook from an indie author attempting to compete with large publishing houses that don’t have to worry about getting attention: First off, I only use Face-
that what will happen next is that the average user will be able to block promoted statuses…or block the feed which they can do already. Folks using Facebook for promotion should at least understand the nature of the site. In my opinion, just because Facebook book for promotion. It’s worked for me wonder- wants to encourage advertising, they will always fully in that I understand the makeup of users. provide ways for the 99% to not have to look at it. Your average user could care LESS about seeing I get way more attention from just putting ads or about folks “pimping” their wares so I don’t use Facebook “Pages” at all. I do not have the time up a review or two every now and then commenting on the publishing industry etc. than I do of day to watch those pages and my profile. saying: Buy my books pleeeeeeaaassseee!
The trick with advertising on Facebook is to make it appear that you aren’t there to advertise.
If I were asked to do an article on promoting via Facebook it would be on how to promote without looking like you’re promoting. That’s the Therefore, the recent trend to “promoting” key to success on these sites if you ask me.” a status for $7 seems like quite a waste of money (I’ve tried it twice now and that’s all for me.) 99.9% -By Sue Dent, author of “Forever Richard,” “Electric of Facebook’s users DO NOT WANT to see ads. Angel” and “Never Ceese” Facebook is very much aware of this; I suspect http://www.suedent.net/ 4
All About Business
Why you should record at home By Rich DeCicco of www.audiodojo.com
Open any website that sells recording equipment at random; the message is clear: “Buy this widget, and you’re one step closer to dealing the final blow to the major record labels. Tell the professional studios to go screw. You’ve got the secret key to that pro sound! This is the HOME AUDIO REVOLUTION!!!”
Not quite. But, it is true that there is more access to the means of production than ever before. You can get a decent hvome recording setup going with less than $1,000. Professional musicians and hobbyists alike should be taking full advantage of that fact. Beyond having a way to get your 2 a.m. ideas down, there are a few killer advantages that are unique to home recording. And virtually all of these advantages stem from one factor: NO TICKING CLOCK and No studio owner counting the hours (regardless of how productive they happen to be). Since we’re talking about time, let’s go through the advantages as they come up in the recording process:
1. Getting Sounds
I’ve heard it said that AC/DC producer Mutt Lange Spent two full days fine-tuning Angus Young’s guitar sound for “Back In Black.” Whether it’s true or not, this kind of thing is not uncommon. Many major label records are made utilizing months of recording time. Do you have the money to be in the studio for weeks on end, dicking around until you love what you hear? If you own the studio, then the answer is yes. Spend a month on your guitar sound if you want.
2. Executing Your Vision
I’ve spent a lot of time in studios with various projects over the years, both as a producer and as a performer. When you’re planning time in the studio, and you’ve only got so many hours, the best approach is 5
“Beyond having a way to get your 2 a.m. ideas down, there are a few killer advantages that are unique to home recording.” planning and preparation. If you go in super-rehearsed and with a clear plan, then you’ve got a good chance of capturing your vision. It tends to work out well. But, you know what really sucks? Weeks of preparation going down the tubes when you discover that your vision doesn’t translate from the real world to the recorded world. Coming to this conclusion in your own studio sucks quite a bit less. You can re-calibrate your plan to make it work, however long that might take.
3. Capturing the Magic
Another unpleasant, and far too common, occurrence in bigstudio situations: a band member (or even a whole band) not showing up with their A-game. It could be “red-light fever.” The very knowledge that someone is recording is enough to completely fry a musician’s brain. Couple that with the discomfort of not hearing yourself like you’re used to, and you may not end up with a recording that does your band justice. A familiar environment takes much of the venom out of RLF. Also, the “substance-curve” is bound to be at play when recording. If you have band member who likes to, um, partake during rehearsals, then partaking should happen on recording day. Of course, there’s the sweet-spot about an hour in where he’s a genius. Hopefully, you’re recording that guy and not the guy who, two hours hence, is passed out on the control room couch. Better record that guy at home. Next month: Why you shouldn’t record at home.
How I got into THAT band...! If you would like to share your story--the story of how you discovered that band or artist that influenced you, shaped you and possibly defined you during your formative years or after--we want to hear from you!!! E-mail 500 words to email@example.com detailing your story and you might be featured on the next How I got into THAT band...! How did I find the Grateful Dead? Or, how did the Grateful Dead find me?
by Don de Leaumont
My story isn’t unlike that of many other Deadhead’s story. The year was 1995; I was a young man of 21 years old and I was at a crossroads in my life. I had just quit playing the heavy metal music that I had been playing since the age of 12 and I found myself seeking something different. After some failed attempts to get into The Dead, a friend made me a mix tape and sad, “Don, these are the songs you must hear. Not that noisy, trippy stuff.” The first song on that tape was “Box of Rain” and as I sat on my bed I just smiled and felt like I had found something really special. When the song “Ripple” played, I found myself in tears after hearing the line “If I knew the way, I would take you home.” That was all it took to rope in this lost soul. To quote the song “That’s it for the Other One,” the bus came by, and I got on. From this point, I found myself not only connecting with the music but with the Grateful Dead’s subculture fan base as well. I felt like Christopher Columbus or Ponce de Leon as I felt like I had stumbled into a world that I never knew existed. It didn’t matter what your race, creed, or sexual preference was. Nobody was judged for their personal being. It was all about losing yourself (and at times finding yourself ) in the music and just being yourself. I found myself connecting with the songs and realized that I had found my tribe. The songs became the soundtrack to my new journey in life to find out just where it was that I belonged and what I was supposed to be.
The people became my new companions in this journey. When the Grateful Dead performed a three night run here in Atlanta in 1995, I had to work, and I remember saying, “They come here all the time. I’ll catch them next year.” That would never come to be because of Jerry Garcia’s untimely passing in August of 1995, just before my 22nd birthday. While I was saddened by the fact that I would never see the Grateful Dead, it just made the music that much more dear and important to me. It also taught me the lesson to never just bank on there being a tomorrow. There are so many magical moments and those Dead songs and they cover all the bases. “Loose Lucy” makes me want to grab my wife and dance in the living room. “Ripple” makes me stop and smell the roses. “Box of Rain” makes me cry and smile at the same time while thinking of my recently passed father while “Mr. Charlie” makes me want to get drunk and go raise hell in a bar. The man that I am today is because of the music of the Grateful Dead. It inspired me to change my way of thinking. It inspired me to pick up an acoustic guitar and become a folksinger. It also brought me and the love of my life together 15 years ago to trade tapes. The music of the Grateful Dead is the soundtrack of my life and will be so until the day I die. 7
Amy McCorkle Author:
Featured Author reviews by Bobby Elkins and Rena Short Brashear Amy McCorkle, who also writes under the name Kate Lynd, appeared as a featured literay guest at the 2012 Fandom Fest. She was born and raised in Louisville, KY. She has lived in New Mexico and Texas but she currently makes her home in Mount Washington. An award-winning blogger, she is also a successful author in both the sci-fi erotic romance genre with “No Ordinary Love,” for which she placed second in the 2011 Preditors & Editors Reader’s Choice Award for Best Romance Short Story.
If you wish to contact her personally you can find her at her website. She tries to respond to everyone personally.
Kate Lynd’s “Gladiator” Story Set in a Magical World Where Only the Strong Will Survive
She also wrote the dark romantic suspense tale “Another Way To Die,” for which she was a 2012 Moondance International Film Festival Semi-Finalist. She also has been contracted for “GLADIATOR”: a Mad Max meets Gladiator series set to be a trilogy. Her work is flavored by her childhood heroes, pop culture, music, and the cinema as well as the writers she still enjoys reading today. She can be contacted through her blog, her Twitter and her Facebook Page. 8
Review by Bobby Elkin A Gladiator story unlike any other where Kate Lynd takes us on a magical and sex-filled journey in a Post Apocalyptic World—where only the strong will survive! January 2013
Tristan, the main character of the story who is currently the Gladiator, must perform in many ways other than just in the ring. He is the son of an ex-truck driver who manages to become the main Gladiator for the Queen. Set in a world left ravaged by nuclear and financial ruin, he must come up with a new way to survive. In short, he becomes a fighter for something which he sometimes does not want to be a part of, but he surrenders only to his needs–and not his wants. There are many great characters, and the storyline will keep you eagerly turning page after page. Enabling you, the reader, to be a part of his magical, if not twisted, journey. That is, as long as he can provide the Queen with what she desires, he will continue to reign as THE GLADIATOR!
Featured Author: Amy McCorkle McCorkle’s descriptions of guns blazing and windows shattering capture attention immediately in her story, set in Kentucky, with all the undertones of the reality of seedy drug life. The description of Daniel Logan brings to mind (as McCorkle said) Daniel Craig, but with an edgier feel. His cold-hearted plays with Kingpin Jack Sands equal the tenderness he shows to Alimira. These two, regardless of their past, are destined for one another in the future. McCorkle could have used more detail in describing the scenery of the mountains coming through Cumberland Gap by mentioning one of the cities instead of just saying the character found a motel on I-65. However, as with all truly great stories, the twist in the middle blows the reader away, leaving a lust for more that grabs the reader like a drug. Delve into the history of Jack Sands: his psychotic behavior and his total lack of respect for any woman, including his own daughter. McCorkle shows just how far Jack is willing to go to get what he wants and how this one obsession could very well be his downfall.
Amy McCorkle delivers a hard-driven short story with the fury of an AK-47 in “Another Way To Die”
Review by Rena Short Brashear
Delve into the history of Jack Sands: his psychotic behavior and his total lack of respect for any woman, including his own daughter. McCorkle shows just how far Jack is willing to go to get what he wants and how this one obsession could very well be his downfall.
Almira’s journey from a drug-addicted pawn in her father’s Illegal Empire to cleaning up her act is a rocky road filled with crooks and turns. She is one tough broad who knows what she wants and how to get it. Does she get free of Jack? Will Daniel turn her in or love her? The reader will be left on the edge until the very last chapter. Taste the suspense, cut the friction with a knife and serve it up cold–just like the revenge Almira wants for her father, Jack Sands, in “Another Way To Die.”
Film Reviews by David Feltman
Released Nov. 16th 2012
Released Nov. 9th 2012
“Spielberg gives us a portrait of a man constantly wrestling with himself, his family and his cabinet as much as any Democrat or Confederate.”
Based on Doris Kearns Goodwin’s “Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln,” Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln” picks up about three quarters into its source material. Rather than tracing the entire political careers of Lincoln and his cabinet, or even just Lincoln himself, the biopic chooses wisely to focus its attention almost entirely to the passing of the 13th Amendment. So rather than a sprawling story of the rise of the 16th president, we are treated to a tale of backroom politics where votes are traded for bribes and appointments when integrity isn’t enough. Aside from the president and a couple of ardent abolitionists, virtually everyone in the film is against passing the amendment. The stress on Daniel Day-Lewis’ Lincoln is constant as he presses through morally ambiguous spaces on the power of his convictions. Spielberg gives us a portrait of a man constantly wrestling with himself, his family and his cabinet as much as any Democrat or Confederate. “Lincoln” boasts an all-star cast including Sally Field, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, James Spader, Jackie Earle Haley and Tommy Lee Jones, and they all do a great job. But Day-Lewis as the gentle, soft-spoken and tortured president completely overshadows his fellow cast members in an Oscar-worthy performance. Only Tommy Lee Jones is able to hold his own against Day-Lewis’ overpowering presence, and only then because he’s given some of the best bits of dialogue. Quick, comic and cantankerous, Jones delivers lines like “Slavery is the only insult to natural law you fatuous nincompoop,” dry and matter-of-fact. The film occasionally hits saccharine and sentimental notes, but Spielberg does his best to keep the story free of whitewash, especially when it comes to racial attitudes. Spielberg manages to build suspense when the final votes are cast despite the fact that the outcome is known. But once the amendment is passed, the film rushes forward to Lincoln’s assassination, skipping entirely over the synchronized attempts against William Seward and Sir Not-Appearing-in-this-Film, Vice President Andrew Johnson, ending abruptly with little denouement. It’s a weak ending to an otherwise powerful film. “Lincoln” has a few shortcomings but the performances alone are worth the price of admission.
“The darkest and most nuanced entry in the series. But this new Oedipal/existential Bond still knows how to blow shit up.” After financial problems at MGM and a four-year hiatus, many feared that James Bond was at the end of his 50-year run. Luckily, Bond is (mostly) indestructible and audiences are getting another dose of Daniel Craig’s rough-hewn everyman version of the suave super spy.
“American Beauty” and “Revolutionary Road” director Sam Mendes is tapped to helm Bond’s return. The result is the darkest and most nuanced entry in the series. “Skyfall” reintroduces Bond as a broken man: tattered, alcoholic and chewing pain pills. Like Nolan’s Batman, Mendes’ Bond has sacrificed everything for God and country only to be left for dead and quickly forgotten. There are some undeniable post-911 undertones as the film explores the horrible tolls brought to bear on those who serve their country. And that alone would be enough to make this the deepest Bond movie ever made, but Mendes pushes the story even further. James Bond is in the midst of an existential crisis in “Skyfall,” both as a character and, on a meta-level, as a series. The question of Bond’s necessity in the point-and-click technological age is overtly and continually raised. As opposed to the amicable old codger of yesteryear, the new Q (Ben Whishaw) is a tech-savvy brat who brags that he’s able to more before breakfast than 007 ever could and declares that Bond exists only to pull an occasional trigger. After a series of disasters, M (Judi Dench) is put on trial to defend MI6s very existence. Phrases like “Old dog, new tricks,” and “Sometimes the old ways are the best,” are sprinkled throughout the dialogue like mantras, as if the characters need to reassure themselves as much as the filmmakers that the world still needs Bond. Javier Bardem becomes one of the most memorable Bond villains in recent memory as Silver. Part Sean Bean, part Donald Pleasence, Silver is Bizarro Bond. Once M’s favorite agent until she callously cast him out, Silver is a sociopath that feels fraternal toward Bond and is consumed with hatred for his former boss. The Oedipal conflict boils down to two brothers vying for the attentions of a severely neglectful mother. To add to this Freudian bonanza, Bardem as Silver toys with the underlying homoeroticism of the big gun/big dick action flicks, without falling into the “evil queen” cliché. It feels like an understatement to say that “Skyfall” takes Bond in new directions. Mendes pulls the veil away from the legend and shows us the vulnerable child that would be Bond while simultaneously exploring the man he could have easily become. This new Oedipal/existential Bond still knows how to blow shit up, however. There’s plenty of sex, japes and jaw-dropping chase sequences to satisfy longtime Bond fans. “Skyfall” proves there’s still life in the series and takes its place among the best Bond films.
Wreck-It Ralph Released Nov. 2nd 2012
“‘Wreck-It Ralph’ is a pop-culture coated smorgasbord of amiable entertainment.” With the exception of maybe Studio Ghibli, Pixar’s CG films have effectively replaced the Disney hand-drawn animation of yore. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing considering the downward spiral of the last few “Disney” movies against the steady high-quality output by Pixar. Inside of a year, audiences have been treated to the smart and witty feminism of “Brave” and now the gamer enamored “Wreck-It Ralph.” The titular “Ralph” (voiced by John C. Reilly) gets sick of being marginalized in his bad guy role and so leaves his video game in search of acceptance and fulfillment by playing hero in another game. Overall, it’s a fairly formulaic “hero’s journey” story arc. There’s nothing particularly innovative or interesting plot-wise aside from the setting. Once Ralph teams up with the secret “glitch” avatar Vanellope (Sarah Silverman), the dynamic of the film feels like Pixar repurposed and reskinned “Monsters Inc.” It’s a fascinating feat that the filmmakers were able to wangle so many diverse intellectual properties into a single film. From Nintendo’s Bowser, to Sega’s Sonic, to a whole cadre of Capcom characters, even the illustrious Konami code makes an appearance. But despite what the promotional materials might lead you to believe, these various characters are quick cameos in a story that focuses its energy on two or three fictional arcade games. “Wreck-It Ralph” may lack the ingenuity of “Brave,” but the filmmakers are well versed in telling this story. The characters are lovable, the jokes are coarse and funny and the story plucks the heartstrings at all of the right moments. It’s an enjoyable film, especially for kids. Fair warning to the prudish parents out there, there are some moments that might take you off-guard, like Kano from “Mortal Kombat” ripping out a zombie’s heart and Vanellope introducing the portmanteau “vurp” (vomit + burp) to your children’s lexicon. “Wreck-It Ralph” may be light on substance, but it is a popculture coated smorgasbord of amiable entertainment.
Paranormal Activity 4 Released Oct. 19th 2012
“All of the “Paranormal Activity” hallmarks you’ve come to expect are here: demons, covens and cursed children.” Having made its name with slow burn suspense and indie simplicity, the “Paranormal Activity” franchise has long since found its core demographic. The budget and the special effects have only increased as the series has progressed, but the films haven’t dropped their “bump in the night” aesthetic to cater to fans of overproduced gore fests and horror remakes. With the kind of box office bank these films have made, they haven’t had to. Serving as the first true sequel in the series, the film jumps forward to show what happened after Katie and Hunter’s disappearance in the first two films. A pair of FaceTime addicted teenagers start playing junior detectives when a creepy little neighbor boy takes up residence in their backyard jungle gym. Hijinks ensues. One would think that after three found footage films documenting unseen forces moving furniture around, the formula would grow stale. And in all honesty, this fourth entry doesn’t hit the high water mark of its predecessors in terms of scares. What “Paranormal Activity 4” does do admirably, however, is sustain the eeriness of the series. All of the “Paranormal Activity” hallmarks you’ve come to expect are here: demons, covens and cursed children. The film feels syncopated as the shots waltz between cameras in 4/4 time. The score itself is nearly non-existent in its minimalism. A low rumble rides a slow crescendo to build suspense. That is all that’s ever offered, but its effectiveness is beyond dispute. Yet all of these tricks are old hat for these movies. The fourth film finds some fresh ground with some chilling uses of the X Box Kinect and a door alarm that sounds the phrase “Front door, open.” This, in conjunction with some clever nods to “The Shining,” manages to milk some more miles out of the formula. Missed opportunities with the story and a few minor set pieces that never pay off (why the filmmakers didn’t do something scary with that humidifier, I’ll never know) may leave fans of the series a little dissatisfied. But taken on its own merits, “Paranormal Activity 4” is a fun haunted house flick that delivers a few terrific edge-of-your-seat moments.
The Perfectly Piquant Art of Megan Besmirched
The Perfectly Piquant Art of Megan Besmirched
Megan Besmirched is not only an authority on the masters and their big-eyed art from the 1960s, but is also a stand-out painter, writer and jewelry designer in her own right. Interview by Gia Lee It’s awesome that you’re both a wonderful visual artist and a wordsmith. Where has your fine art been exhibited? Which publications have you written for? The first time I exhibited my work was at the Laguna Beach Art Museum in 2000. Since then I have been showing work across the country at galleries such as La Luz Gallery in Los Angeles and Roq La Rue in Seattle. I just had my first “virtual” art show, which was unusual and really
cool. It basically is a worldwide show that allows you to interact with fans. I have written mostly about what I like: pop-cult art, from articles about paint by numbers to interviews with contemporary big-eyed painters. A few of my favorite pieces have been included in Hi Fructose and Juxtapoz Magazine. I am currently working on a piece for Illustration Magazine about a Big-Eyed Master that I am very excited about. I got my start with writing by publishing my own zine, Besmirched, in the early 1990s. That was the most overwhelming project I think I’ve ever taken on and by far the most gratifying. I had no idea at the time where I was headed or the life-long connections that I would make. I have been researching the book “Big-Eyed Masters” for over a decade. The publisher for the book is Last Gasp. It is yet to be released but is in the works. 13
Please tell Target Audience Magazine readers a bit about the “Hello, Cutie!: Adventures in Cute Culture” book. “Hello Cutie” is a newly released publication by Pamela Kaffke about the pop culture of all things ‘cute’. The book features interviews with the woman who started the website Cute Overload in addition to Gina Garan, the brilliant photographer who has revived the vintage doll Blythe and the “Susie Sad Eyes” doll. It also has a wealth of insight about Japanese cute culture and big-eyed art, as well as an interesting ‘collectors’ perspective about dolls, toys and the like. There is also a tidbit regarding my work as a painter and Big-Eyed Art historian. You’re an authority on big-eyed masters, and your own artwork can be grouped in the big-eyed, lowbrow and pop surrealist categories. Which artists in these fields have inspired you the most? I am definitely a huge fan and collector of 1960s art by The Big-Eyed Masters. I am inspired by, first and foremost, the artist who goes by the moniker of GIG. He painted cats and dogs with enormous eyes. Brilliant and iconic! I love what they invoke and he is an amazing fine art painter who also had a successful commercial career. I am also influenced by Margaret Keane’s work; what she captured with her doe-eyed women is really inspiring. I also love the work of Igor Pantuhoff, who is known for his waifish women, and Eden for his series of harlequins. Several very different artists, working in very different styles, with very different imagery. Yet all in the same time frame and all with big sad eyes. I love your creations with the heavy black eyeliner! Would you say that black eyeliner is oftentimes one of your trademarks? Yes, absolutely. “Eyeliner is my armor” has always been my motto. I rarely leave the house without wearing black-black liquid eyeliner. Big, bold, cat eyes has always been how I have personally worn my make-up/war paint so maybe it is only natural that it is featured in the paintings I make. How did your Salty Dame Studios get its name? I suppose that is derived from the subject matter that I paint. Although typically the portraits I do are considered sweet, they have a salty side too. They like to imbibe in libations, smoke the occasional cig14
The Pefectly Piquant Art of Megan Besmirched arette, have tattoos, wear an eye patch — salty AND sweet. In addition to your wonderful paintings, you’re also a jewelry designer. When did you start designing jewelry? Where do you sell your pieces? I have the bad habit of making what I love. I am a collector of vintage jewelry and especially love 1960s and 1970s resin work. I started making my own jewelry, sculpting and then casting in resin, about five or so years ago. Huge chunky pieces combined with pink turquoise and antique brass findings. It was one-of-a-kind and expensive to work with, so it catered to a high end market. I loved working in these materials, but all the time invested was taking time away from my truest passion: painting. Recently, I have been enjoying marrying my art with vintage bead work and creating more wearable pieces. You don’t need to be shooting a music video to wear them, but you could. They are affordable and made in extremely limited editions. That is something that is important to me. No one likes to be at an event and see someone else wearing the same bling. It has been a blessing that I usually sell out by word of mouth, but I do list a few pieces on my Etsy store that can be accessed by my website. Has your chihuahua, Igor, ever influenced any of your work (either directly and/or indirectly)? Yes, my dog does influence my work. Those eyes!!! And I have a Boston Terrier, Walter, in my life now as well. Talk about Big-Eyed Masterpiece Theater! They are like real life toys with woeful expressions. “Please love me, please give me another treat, please put an adorable sweater on me… Oh, let me squeeze out these big ole Crocodile tears so you know how neglected I am.” Hahahaha! They are the most robust, well loved and spoiled dogs that you’ll ever meet. But they think they know how to work the system around here. They are good, really, REALLY good at it, and I
have great reference for my work. What’s in the pipeline for the rest of 2012? For 2013? As well as a winter line of new jewelry pieces, there are a few new prints to be released as well as a coffee table book that I will be included in called “Eight Arms of Inspiration.” I have an art show that I am over the moon about on December 8, 2012: “Big Eyes and Beehives.” It will be my first solo art show in Chicago. I am painting exactly as the title says, big-eyed girls with fantastic big hair. The guest of honor for this show will be Chicago legend and artist Margaret Vinci Heldt. She is the woman who created the beehive hair design in 1960. At 94 years young, she will be at the show to greet fans. This is such an honor for me. Being in this city for a mere two years I have found more reasons to be excited about art and life than I thought were possible. There is a charge in Chicago that I embrace and that stokes me. I don’t like to plan too far in advance, but I hope 2013 brings me the opportunity to continue the path I’m on. I am excited! To find this Salty Dame, look no further than her website, her Etsy shop, or her Facebook page.
Newest Records Drivin’ N’ Cryin’
Songs About Cars, Space The Ramones
Review by Jenna Hughes
After years of non-stop touring, Drivin’ N’ Cryin’ has finally made it back into the studio for the first time since 2009 to record several new EPs to be released over the course of a year. The first EP, Songs from the Laundromat, was released in June 2012. The second installment, Songs About Cars, Space and the Ramones, has just hit the shelves. Songs About Cars, Space and the Ramones is a high-energy ride that just makes you want to jump in the car and drive fast with the windows down. “Hot Wheels” kicks things off with a summery, laid-back vibe and sets the tone with fuzzy guitars reminiscent of 60s rock-n-roll. “Acceleration” gets the heart rate up with a thumping beat, driving guitars and a great breakdown. Lead singer Kevin Kinney channels Joey Ramone in “Johnny Rides Shotgun” and lives up to the challenge with a howling wail that barely transcends the driving riffs and thrashing drums provided by band mates Sadler Vaden and Dave Johnson. “Moonshot” is a great rock anthem, though it really seems like more of a throwback to the band’s earlier material than it does to punk legends. “Out Here in the Middle of Nowhere” nods back to The Ramones and The Kinks with a catchy hook and soaring guitars. The instrumental jam session “Space Eyes” closes out the EP with trippy guitars and psychedelic beats. Drivin’ N’ Cryin’ is a band that has been around for nearly thirty years but with this EP they seem to have renewed themselves with a fresh sound that’s worth repeated listens.
From The Vaults Vol.1
Review by David Feltman
Savannah’s sludge/crust/psych chimera, Kylesa, has been churning out Grade A metal for just over a decade. In that time, the band has managed to accumulate a cache of rarities and unreleased material, enough at least to put together a pretty bitching b-side collection with From the Vaults, Vol. 1. While similar collections often pad themselves with a plethora of alt-takes and demo tracks, From the Vaults scratches the filler in favor of fan service. Of the 12 tracks on the compilation, eight are previously unreleased or limited release songs and one, “End Truth,” is brand new. The three alt-take tracks, “111 Degree Heat Index,” “Between Silence and Sound II,” and “Bottom Line II” are all worth the revisit. And the muchsought Pink Floyd cover “Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun” finally sees the light of release. There’s plenty of great new material to revel in with little detritus. It’s often a good idea for newbies to shy away from these collections as an entry point, but From the Vaults, Vol. 1 is a perfect sampler for the uninitiated. Dissonance tinged symphonics built on a solid swamp rock base and cut with punk vocals. Everything you need to know about the Kylesa sound is on display. Regardless of whether you’ve followed the band since 2001 or have never heard of them before, happy is a fine addition to any metal head’s collection. You can find out more about Kylesa at their official website and on Facebook.
Review by David Feltman
Post-punk died out in the late 80s with the advent of grunge. Well, mostly died out. NYC’s Bush Tetras, though never as successful as Talking Heads or The Replacements, have managed to release albums sporadically throughout the years. Ever on the fringe of a fringe genre, little has changed with the bands sound over the years. There’s still a little funk tucked away in all of that post-punk/pre-grunge angst. Their newest album, Happy, makes the legacy of this obscure band indisputable. A glimmer of Karen O. and Yeah Yeah Yeahs tints the opening track, “Heart Attack.” The slow and languid spoken word style of “Slap” screams Sonic Youth. And it’s hard to tell if My Bloody Valentine may have influenced Bush Tetras or vice versa on the buzz-laden shoegaze of “Chinese Afro.” The ghost of Bush Tetras haunts such past and present bands retroactively on this album. The band may not have received the proper recognition at the time, but Happy offers enough hindsight to correct that error. Ghosts aside, Happy is a high energy, attitude drenched album filled to bursting with moody post-punk posturing. There are a handful of cool down tracks to give you a breather from all the rocking, although some tracks like “Ocean,” can only maintain the cool down mode for a couple of minutes before ramping back up into full blown rock. This album is every ounce a product of the late 80s/early 90s. The quiet, loud, quiet dynamics, tracks loaded with distortion and feedback, the loose and noodling song structures are all here. Happy is an album outside of time asking for another chance. It’s a chance that’s well deserved.
All That Remains
A War You Cannot Win
Review by Russell Eldridge
Songs like “You Can’t Feel My Shadow,” “Just Moments In Time” and “Down Through The Ages” are the most hardcore sounding. Still heavy, but a little lighter in sound are “Sing for Liberty” and “A Call to All Non Believers,” which is very reminiscent of Slipknot’s heavier tunes. The songs “Not Fading,” “A War You Cannot Win,” “Stand Up,” “Asking Too Much” have a more commercial sound similar to Bullet For My Valentine. “What If I Was Nothing” and the instrumental “Calculating Loneliness” are the calmest tracks on A War You Cannot Win. One album highlight is the solo on “Not Fading.” The other would be the well timed and brutal scream at 2:22 on “You Can’t Fill My Shadow.” The tone in the scream would suggest that it was by bassist Jeanne Sagan who is known to add a scream or two in songs. All That Remains covers many facets of metal music with A War You Cannot Win, which I am sure will upset more than a few, but should appease something in everyone with inspiring guitar work and compositions both aggressive and melodic. On October 30, All That Remains hit the road with Dethklok, Machine Head, and special guests, The Black Dahlia Murder, to serve as direct support to Dethklok (alternating with Machine Head). The tour kicked off in Norfolk, Va., and has made more than 30 stops throughout the United States and Canada before coming to an end in Atlanta, Ga.
Review by David Feltman
No, sorry, ISIS isn’t back from the dead. The post-metal pioneers broke up in 2010 after releasing Wavering Radiant and are showing no signs of a comeback. Temporal, thus, is not a new album, but a three-disc collection of unreleased rarities, b-sides and remixes. It’s not exactly the return fans would hope for, but it’s a nice parting gift. The first disc contains previously released songs in early or alternate forms. We’re treated to an instrumental version of “Ghost Key” and demo versions of “Carry” and “Wills Dissolve.” The tracks are largely culled from the band’s last three albums and lack any production polish. “False Light,” in particular, gets a brutal boost in the absence of a studio spit-shine. The one exception is the completely new release, “Grey Divide.” The track is a 16-minute monster that oscillates between thunderous trudging and delicate atmospherics. This is the biggest gem in the set. Overall, it’s nice to see some of these songs revisited in their infancy, but this is largely fare for super fans. Listening to muddy rough cuts won’t be fun for everybody. The second disc proves a little more interesting, starting out with covers of Godflesh’s “Streetcleaner” and Black Sabbath’s “Hand of Doom.” The covers compliment the band’s sound nicely and underscore the massive influence these bands had in the formation of ISIS’ sludge and drone sound. The rest of the album consists of tracks previously only available on rare singles and split-EPs. This is the real meat for completionist collectors. The tracks cover a large swath of the band’s existence, providing an anthropological view of its development. The DVD assembles five official music videos and, sadly, wasn’t available for review. If you’re a metal lover that’s never had the pleasure of hearing ISIS before, you may be better served starting with something like Oceanic. But for long time fans hungry for just one more taste, Temporal might be just the feast you’re looking for. Temporal dropped November 6 and can be ordered here. You can learn more about ISIS on Facebook.
Live Review: Concrete Blonde brings truth and boldness to Variety Playhouse
Review and photos by Rose Riot
Johnette asked for a little respect for the children of the Connecticut shooting, but her fan wouldn’t stop calling out; Johnette had her escorted from the building. It’s this truth and boldness fans hear in Concrete Blonde’s music. It’s real life and it’s relatable.
I started my journey with Concrete Blonde 22 shows on a tour to support two new singles: “Rosalie” and years ago. Little did this L.A. band know that they would “I Know the Ghost.” become my gospel and carry me through life’s many joys I briefed my husband for what he could expect and pains. The first time I saw them I was drawn to the dra- from the show; I told him he would see a performance with matic Jim Morrison like presence of the singer, Johnette power unlike any other, and there might be some politiNapolitano. I can remember being a “passive fan” the night cal or social commentary. I also mentioned that he would I went to see them in 1990 and left a true believer. I stood see a 50-something-year-old woman rock as hard as any in front of the stage singing every word to every song with young hardcore guy. I was right on all accounts. tears streaming down my checks. It was music I could un- The show opened with the video for “My Tornado at derstand and it understood me. I left that night thinking Rest,” a song off the band’s last album released in 2004, Momy love was special and unique but I’ve come to learn that jave. The band’s first song was a cover of Midnight Oil’s, I’m just like all the other Concrete Blonde fans; we all share “Beds Are Burning,” a song I disliked until I heard Concrete the same passion. Through the years I have proselytized Blonde spin it into gold for my ears. Concrete Blonde to many people and not a one of them As usual for a Concrete Blonde show, Johnette gave who has been to a live show has left anything other than a a harsh and stern warning to those who might have an inbeliever. clination to photograph the show particularly with flash. This was true on December 19 when I took my hus- I saw more than one person escorted from the show for band to see Concrete Blonde at The Variety Playhouse; the breaking this rule. Even with my press pass I was given very band was playing one of its nine scheduled strict instructions and direction for shooting 18 January 2013
Live Reviews the first two songs from the balcony, which I respectfully abided. My feeling is this: their show, their rules. It’s not a restaurant where the food is prepared to your specifications; you are there to enjoy the art of the artist on their terms. Now, I’ll hop off my soapbox…. The show paid homage to many artists with covers from Roxy Music, Leonard Cohen, The Talking Heads, The Rolling Stones and Amy Winehouse as well as the old cowboy song, “Ghost Riders in the Sky.” Between Concrete Blonde completely nailing the covers, they played songs from a 30-year span of their own albums. The show was a tapestry of slow, sweet songs like “Mexican Moon” mixed with hard and heavy songs like “Run Run Run,” all of which maintained very controlled percussion from Gabriel Ramirez, history making guitar from James Mankey and instrument-like vocals from Johnette. I don’t usually pay attention to how someone plays guitar, but it was hard not to notice Mankey dissect the instrument with his fingers. He has a sound that I would recognize in any musical setting. The vocals were especially goose bump inducing during an a cappella version of the edgy song “Tomorrow Wendy.” It’s hard to imagine how any human could have that kind of power from her voice. Johnette sings all the way from the tips of her toes and projects out into the sky above. Johnette did a few of her
signature Flamenco dance moves throughout the show and dropped more than a few “F” bombs (just another reason to love that woman). There was some social and political talk; she encouraged us to turn off our televisions in light of the recent Connecticut tragedy just as she had done after 9-11 (even more reason to love her). At one point in the show, Johnette called for a moment of silence as I know many performers are doing at shows currently to honor those poor souls that were taken from this world on December 14. A fan at the front of the stage took the silence as an opportunity to tell Johnette that she was hot. Johnette asked for a little respect for the children, but her fan wouldn’t stop and she was escorted from the building. It’s this truth and boldness that you can hear in Concrete Blonde’s music. It’s real life and it’s relatable. My hope for 2013, besides more folks heeding Johnette’s advice to turn off the TV, is that Concrete Blonde will go on another extended tour. If my wish comes true, you will find me at the show (aka the church of Concrete Blonde), singing every word to every song with tears streaming down my checks.
The show was a tapestry of slow, sweet songs like “Mexican Moon” mixed with hard and heavy songs like “Run Run Run.”
For now, I will settle for listening to their latest singles which can be heard and obtained by visiting their website.
first solo album, Geoff Tate (Sanctuary-2002), showcased his potential — and then surpassed it. As was evident in each song, he tinkered with years of experimentation and shared with his fans a combination of musical textures. He embarked on an extensive tour and played night after night for enraptured audiences, showing that he was more than merely a metal performer and proving unequivocally that his creations couldn’t be placed in any one category.
Interview and review by David Boyle January 2013
FeatureD Artist: Geoff Tate
Kings & Thieves
With his recent release, Kings & Thieves and his extensive tour, Geoff Tate once again brings his mesmerizing voice and unpredictable show to a theatre near you. A decade has passed. Fortified by diligence and artistic progression, Tate has achieved yet another alternative sound — alternative for him, that is — and a welcome return to the hard rock kingdom. Geoff Tate presents Kings & Thieves (Inside Out Music-2012). Though, in my opinion, the opening track is not one of the more exciting songs on the album, “She Slipped Away” serves the purpose of getting the listener warmed up for the heavier numbers that come after it. I’m not entirely certain what’s missing from this particular tune but, in time, hardcore fans will formulate reasons of their own, as always. As is sometimes the case with Tate’s music, repeated plays will help the listener uncover the pleasures and intentions of a song that went unnoticed the first time. I have no doubt the virtues of “She Slipped Away” will soon be discovered and savored. Much like its attention-grabbing title, “Take a Bullet” begins with a crunchy rock sound, a tempo that die-hard fans have been eager to hear from their beloved vocal stalwart for some time now. I thoroughly enjoyed the urgency of this song, although at the end I would have preferred more lyrics instead of the repetition of the line “I’d take a bullet.” In spite of this quibble, the song is bound to get lots of airplay and become a crowd-pleaser on the current tour. Tate frequently incorporates various musical influences which bring about fresh, unpredictable sounds. Not all of his music is composed exclusively for the headbanging community. “In the Dirt” — a fine example — might encourage listeners to shake a bit; that’s right, folks, dare I say it? Dance! Too bad I lack coordination and rhythm myself, because this tune would draw anybody out of their chair and have them moving across the floor. I like music that takes me in unexpected directions, revealing layers which make it nearly impossible to classify. Not every song on a rock album has to be hard, heavy and fast to be dynamic and entertaining and few seem to realize the possibilities of such freedoms better than Tate himself. The lyrics on “In the Dirt” are a bit trite for my tastes, I’m sorry to admit, and a far cry from his capabilities as an eminent songwriter. Overall, though, the music satisfied my ear. Lyrically, “Say U Luv It” is not a memorable track. On the other hand, the music has a lot going for it and solid musicianship is present throughout. It seems to me that since Queensrÿche’s Cabaret Tour back in 2010 Tate has become increasingly confident in composing lyrics laced with sexuality, a choice one would have expected from an 80s hair band or a flavor-of-the-month boy band — not from one of rock’s most versatile lyricists. Regardless of what inspired Tate to dabble in such fare, he has always been renowned for his willingness to explore any subject unabashedly:
this particular selection is proof. Once I was able to ignore the flimsy lyrics and the title’s purposely trendy spelling, I found the music lively and imbued with intensity—just don’t look for anything imaginative in its verse. Bundling songs together, “The Way I Roll” and “Waiting” are pleasant and interesting. By contrast, however, they don’t have the sustained edge that the songs surrounding them have; both songs also lack an immediate hook. Listen for yourself and make your own determination to see if they grab you. The moody, quirky “Tomorrow” has touches of Tate’s distinctiveness; the song builds momentum stylistically and allows the vocalist to work at a level he’s quite comfortable at, illustrating that his prized vocal cords are still amply powerful. I would have been even more thrilled if the song had a few more verses — Tate could have worked in more of his magical sound. The song, as I hear it, tends toward a potentially dramatic finish but then suddenly plateaus without the big finale I was craving. “Tomorrow” is a compelling, heartfelt single nonetheless. Likely based on a treasured memory, “Evil” boasts opening and closing riffs reminiscent of Queensrÿche’s 1990 hit, “Last Time in Paris,”
which was featured on the “Adventures of Ford Fairlane” soundtrack and played regularly on the Building Empires Tour. The snappy title, vigorous melody and Tate’s sporadically raspy singing make “Evil” allaround fun. “Dark Money” is, in my opinion, Kings & Thieves’ hit single. Its radio-friendly groove encapsulates pure rock and roll. Tate’s vocal delivery is effectively prominent and dazzling. Though I perceive this track as radio station fodder, other selections on this album, if given somewhat frequent airtime, could easily gain this release some much-deserved recognition. “Dark Money” will whir in the listener’s head indefinitely. It’s got just the right vibe. “These Glory Days” brought me sensations of nostalgia. The infectious, funky beat, generally heavy and rock-like, is similar in tone to that of “Grain of Faith,” a fan favorite from Geoff’s first record. The message also calls to mind that earlier song. When it comes to creating rhythms which alter the perception of what rock is and what
it is not, Tate has met the challenge time and time again during his much-celebrated career. “Change” captures a chillingly emotional atmosphere. Theatrical elements are abundant from start to finish and the heightened shift in tempo about halfway in elevates the quality of the instrumentation. Even though Tate sounds strong and poised throughout, toward the closing moments, when the music seems to be persuading him to summon the best of his craft, I would have enjoyed hearing him stretch his range a bit more. Still, though, when I think about the live presentation of this particular track, amongst others, I can see the audience holding their lighters high, swaying back and forth and taking in the quality and showmanship that is Geoff Tate. On November 6, 2012, treat yourself to a copy of Kings & Thieves and bring in the splendor of autumn with the sounds and concepts of one of rock’s most esteemed artists.
Of ‘Kings & Thieves’: An Interview with Geoff Tate With his forthcoming release, Kings & Thieves, and an extensive fall tour, Geoff Tate is once again bringing his mesmerizing voice and unpredictable show to a theatre near you. Aspiring singers dream of coming out from behind an undulating curtain and walking onto a big stage as fans go berserk in anticipation. Arriving at center stage, the performer gazes out at the myriad of heads bathed in the unique darkness of extinguished houselights. Standing under the shafts of swirling stage beams, the super-charged vocalist raises the microphone to his mouth. It’s showtime! Concertgoers stand breathless, awe-stricken, as the frontman utters the first line of the opening number. When the king is on his mark, the audience becomes worked up into a frenzy that lasts for hours. The emotional exchange between performer and audience is surreal, dynamic and too intoxicatingly complex to be captured with words. All that matters is that fan and artist have shared a timeless connection. At concert’s end, fans disperse, taking with them the ceaseless pulse of the mighty amplifiers and a life-long memory. Good concerts give us something to rave about now and again; great concerts become indelibly engraved in our hearts and minds. Music loyalists take pride in recalling the highlights of the rock shows they’ve attended and are always more than eager to discuss such 22
experiences anytime, anywhere, and with anyone. The ear-thrilling guitar-riffs, the pounding of the drums, the thumping of the bass, the action on stage, the collective energy of the massive, sweaty crowd, the bittersweet final encore — these details remind the concertgoer of money well spent and an evening fully lived. One aspect of the show, however, is always conveyed with the utmost pleasure: the poise of the lead vocalist — the man who strides confidently from one side of the stage to the other and seduces the crowd, drawing them into the momentum of the musical extravaganza, a feat which requires inestimable talent and indefinable
FeatureD Artist: Geoff Tate charms. Among the many outstanding frontmen in the music business today, few have the charisma, the prowess and the complete command of the stage that Seattle’s Geoff Tate has displayed for over three decades. The former songwriter/vocalist of Queensrÿche garned widespread acclaim with his eponymous solo debut, Geoff Tate (Sanctuary Records-2002) and was supported by a successful tour. Renowned for his willingness to explore different musical perspectives and challenge the conventions of rock singing, Tate’s first solo album showcased his revered style, his unique delivery and his ever-present range. Fan favorites “Grain of Faith,” “Passenger” and “Over Me” proved that Geoff Tate could offer his audience a fresh, dynamic sound — a sound entirely different from current standards. The album also gave Tate the opportunity to tap into his various influences, fusing together elements of rock, pop, rhythm & blues, jazz and more.
people wanted to hear live. I have very fond memories of playing Rage for Order in its entirety last year and also Operation: Mindcrime in its entirety at the end of our Thirty Year Anniversary Tour in December of 2011. In fact, the entire Anniversary Tour set list was comprised of songs from ALL our albums.
Over the years, you’ve repeatedly said that you no longer feel inspired to sing selections from the earliest Queensrÿche albums, especially the most obscure tracks which have not been played on recent tours. Even if you had the inspiration to sing such Queensryche classics now — “Deliverance, “Child of Fire,” “Blinded” and “Roads to Madness,” to cite some examples — would you be able to sing them up to the level you once did, or would those notes and style of singing put too much strain on your voice?
Thank you. I have enjoyed a glass of wine during the show for my entire career.
Wow! This misconception is puzzling to me. If one starts at the beginning, my life and my interests can be traced through my music. I do admit, some of those early songs from the EP and the Warning album hold different meaning for me now, much like the “Dungeons and Dragons” of early adolescence now hold a different meaning for most adults. There are several gems on those early records that I still feel strongly about and, as most people who have attended a Queensrÿche show lately, we as a band picked every song on the set list to reflect our individual favorites and our audience’s favorites. In fact, over the years, we have conducted polls of our fans to get an accurate idea of what
Singing a catalogue such as yours is grueling. Every time you step on stage, the audience expects so much of you — sometimes too much, perhaps. Given the every day demands of life on the road, how do you keep your voice in optimum health? I practice and try very hard to keep a positive mental attitude. Congratulations on the success of your wine, Insania! I’ve noticed that you sometimes drink it during shows. How has the wine affected your performances?
I’ve seen you perform dozens of times, and have always wondered how you come up with a set list. Provided you’re the headliner, which you usually are, how do you decide which songs to present to the audience? Sorry, I believe I answered this question above. Like millions of other listeners, I’m a huge fan of Operation Mindcrime 1 & 2. I saw Queensrÿche perform those albums in their entirety back in 2005. The experience was a dazzling exhibition in musical theatre and an unforgettable show from start to finish. You seemed quite comfortable in your role as singer/actor; I got the impression that you would thrive on a Broadway stage, if you chose to take that path. Do you have any plans to become a vocalist on Broadway? Could you see yourself serving your craft in that capacity? Perhaps. At the moment I am very happy with my direction. 23
You’ve dabbled in the art of acting, starring in a cou- How did you conceive of the name Kings & Thieves? ple of dark films. How did your preparation for acting differ from what you do prior to singing in front of a Originally it was a working title for one of the tracks on the live audience? new album. I quite liked the phrase and when I saw the beautiful finished artwork that Anthony Clarkson created, I They are two very different disciplines. I found that acting thought the title fit perfectly. was a process of becoming someone else and music is about discovering who you are. What concepts or themes are you trying to show with the cover art for Kings & Thieves? Given the vast amount of talent you’ve come across in your long career, are there any musicians you would I simply wanted to exhibit a more stylized version of my famlike to collaborate with in the future? ily crest with my symbol placed on it. The cover art, as well as the music, represent who I am. There are many musicians that I respect and would love to work with. I would love to work with Brian May and Roger How do the themes on your new/solo release differ Taylor from Queen; I am a HUGE fan of their music. John5 from your work with Queensrÿche? How does the and I have talked recently about collaborating, as well as process feel for you as a songwriter? the drummer extraordinaire Thomas Lang. The creative relationship is very special; some people you just click with. How the themes differ is a judgment call and best left for Once you get something rolling and it has time to develop, the audience to decide for themselves. I believe people exyou protect it and guard it with everything you have. It’s perience art in their own way and I would never presume fragile and delicate and, like a whisper, it can be lost in the that my, or anyone’s, opinion mattered regarding differdin of pedestrian noise. I think that creative relationships ences. Making Kings and Thieves was one of the most enalso have a shelf life, so to speak; people ultimately are on joyable experiences I have had working on a record. I really their own individual paths through life. You come together was able for the first time in years to work at my own pace, briefly for a reason or purpose and then you move off, dust- which shows how quickly the album came together and is ed with memories of the beautiful moments. now ready to be released in just over one year after the last Queensrÿche album. It was also invigorating to work with You have sung the national anthem on many occa- positive, happy people who were enthusiastic about creatsions. That’s a tough song to perform live, even for a ing music. seasoned professional who’s confident and comfortable in his abilities. Does that gig come with extreme pressure? Have you ever been nervous about singing the anthem, knowing the public has very high expectations? I love singing the national anthem. It’s a very inspiring lyric and the melody is engrained in our collective conscious. It always gives me goose bumps when I perform it. It’s really not that difficult to sing. What is difficult is the environment in which one is performing. It’s typically not set up properly for the singer. In the past, the equipment was antiquated and underpowered. Now many stadiums have in-ear monitoring set up so the singer doesn’t have to suffer with a 2 to 4 second delay bouncing back at you and throwing you off. How extensively will you tour in support of Kings & Thieves? My tour begins in October and runs through December. 24
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