Archive for February, 2013
Machine Head's Rob Flynn posted in his online blog, "The General Journals: Diary Of A Frontman... And Other Ramblings - Life Affirming" about having to fire bassist Adam Duce recently. A sad time for Machine Head, and Flynn eloquently and emotionally conveys the feelings about it all:
"2-11-13. That is the date we fired [Machine Head bassist] Adam Duce. That is the day that I had to tell Adam that after 21 years of being in a band together, I just couldn't take it anymore.
"That is the day I said, 'My hope is that this can be amicable.'
"The words sounded like someone else had spoken them.
"It was like being outside of my body watching someone else deliver these painful words.
"But it was me saying it.
"And we all said it.
"We had our say sitting in our jam room in Oakland. Dave [McClain, drums] said it. Joseph (our manager) said it. Phil [Demmel, guitar] said it. We all said that we couldn't take being in a band with him anymore. That if this didn't happen, we were going to break up the band.
"It was hard. One of the hardest moments of my life.
"It was also a long time coming.
"We may have fired Adam on 2-11-13, but Adam quit MACHINE HEAD well over a decade ago. He just never bothered to tell anyone… but we all knew it.
"Contrary to popular belief, being in a band is tough. Really fucking tough. It's the toughest sonofabitch you'll ever come across in your life and it will beat the living shit out of you 80% of the time. Many times it feels like one big rollercoaster, the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. There are wins and losses seemingly every single day. Being in a band is one of life’s strangest gambles.
"But when you do win, when you win that 20%, well... it truly is salvation. It's what makes eating the other 80% of that shit sandwich bearable. It's where 'those' stories come from. It can be the best job you'll ever have and unquestionably one of the hardest you'll ever have. But until you've done it for 20+ years, you have no clue. Until you've held a band together for 20+ years, you really don't know jack shit about it.
"You think you do.
"A band is a dysfunctional family. A brotherhood, a family business, and a renaissance-era-court. You're roommates in studio-apartment-on-wheels for years at a time, 24 hours a day. Plus you're in the pressure cooker of the spotlight, every move analyzed, read into, or attacked. Everybody wants something from you, everybody wants to be your friend, everybody loves you, everybody can do so much better for you than the people you have now. Some people try and turn you against each other, and everyone wants to take credit for your success.
"Often time you're enemies. At odds and fighting about something, but 'pretending' everything is 'fine' onstage.
"But it isn't...
"You just wear a mask that looks like it's fine, and after 20 years, we know that mask so well, it slides on way too fuckin' easy.
"Adam hasn't been happy in this band for a long time. But how do you leave? To a guy like Adam, everything is either winning or losing. A stunning victory or the ultimate failure. There was no in between. And while that sounds great for a TV show or an interview soundbite, or even a John Wayne movie that wraps up in 90 minutes... life just isn't like that.
"And life certainly isn't like that for a band like MACHINE HEAD. A band who operate in the upper-middle-tier. For us, there are no stunning victories, only respectable wins. No ultimate failures, just better-luck-next-times. We carved a niche, we OWN that niche, but it's still just a niche. Nothing wrong with that.
"No matter how unhappy or fed up he got, quitting the band would be seen as 'losing' or a 'failure.' Truth be told, he was sick of it. Sick of touring, sick of recording, sick of practicing, sick of looking at album artwork, sick of being on a team but never getting the ball, sick of yearning for the honeymoon to resume when 20 years deep it never does. Sick of never quite hitting the big time, sick of carving the niche... sick of caring.
"I don't blame him. It's hard to keep the passion.
"But he just wouldn't quit.
"We wanted him to quit. We were hoping he would quit, 'Guys, my heart isn't in this anymore, it was a good run, later dayz.' We didn't want it to come to this...
"But he wouldn't.
"I didn't feel anything as I drove away from the jam room that night. When I awoke the next morning I didn't feel anything either. I wasn't 'numb,' I still 'felt,' was just kinda blank. But three days after the meeting, an argument broke out in the jam room about how conflicted I felt about it. Then I cried.
"I cried and cried.
"I've cried every day since. I've been an emotional wreck. I cried writing this. I was sick the day that we announced it (11 days and 2 General Journals after actually doing it), walking around about to vomit for hours.
"I met with him for a couple hours last Wednesday, met with him yesterday. It's civil.
"I don't know what else to say.
"I don't have some inspirational quote to end with here. I'm not gonna sit here and tell you everything is gonna be all right, or that's it gonna be the same. At this moment I can’t even bring myself to say that it's going to be better.
"Because it sucks.
"It fucking sucks.
"It sucks for everyone who tried to save this.
"It sucks more than you can imagine...
"It's a horrible relief."
There are few artists you can single-handedly point to as being a trailblazers of a specific musical style. But when it comes to American heavy metal, Dust is one such band. Comprised of singer/guitarist/songwriter Richie Wise, bassist Kenny Aaronson, and drummer Marc Bell (with Kenny Kerner supplying lyrics and sharing songwriting and production duties), the band issued a pair of cult classic albums – 1971′s self-titled debut and 1972′s Hard Attack – before splitting up. Both albums have been long out-of-print, but headbangers will now get a chance to discover the legend, as Sony/Legacy will be reissuing both albums on a remastered (from the original analog master tapes) single CD on April 16th, with a Record Store Day exclusive vinyl version released on April 20th.
“We were loud and fast, and it was just unreal,” recalls Wise. “Even when we played low, we were 20 times louder than everybody else. When we got our record deal, I got three Marshall stacks, Kenny Aaronson bought four Acoustic 360 watt amps, Marc bought this huge set of Ludwigs with a big 28-inch bass drum. On stage, it was just an amazing amount of exhale – not a whole lot of inhale.”
And while they may not have acquired fame with Dust, all four aforementioned contributors found success elsewhere – Bell as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame/Grammy Award-winning drummer for the Ramones (after changing his name to Marky Ramone), Aaronson as a bassist-for-hire with rock’s elite (Bob Dylan, Sammy Hagar, Joan Jett), and Kerner & Wise as a successful production duo (who produced Kiss’ first two classic albums).
As evidenced by such metallic rockers as From A Dry Camel, Suicide, and Stone Woman, the band had no problem matching the power and the fury of such peers as Black Sabbath.
“Musically, locally, we stuck out,” explains Bell. “We were teenagers, but we were pretty developed as musicians – concerning that genre. Nobody else in Brooklyn that I knew of could do what we could do as a threesome. And we had a style. Yeah, we could all play blues and rock, but we took it further. We took it to different time changes within the songs, and people weren’t doing that at that time.”
With modern day technology at their disposal, the newly remastered Dust release rocks harder than ever before – as the band worked directly with the original master tapes. “We tweaked it a bit,” points out Aaronson. “But didn’t want to stray too far from the original, because that’s what people who do know it are used to. If it was up to me, I was thinking, ‘I wish I could remix the whole record,’ but the remastering was nice.”
But it’s the quality of Dust’s music that has persevered all these years, and the proof is within the upcoming ‘Dust/Hard Attack’ reissue. “I think the music is relevant today,” says Kerner. “I think young kids who never heard it before will find new metal heroes, and people who grew up with Dust will rekindle their love for this music and this band!”
Stone Temple Pilots have announced that they have fired singer Scott Weiland. Weiland's former Velvet Revolver bandmate Slash was right, despite what Weiland claimed just yesterday. Weiland also issued his own response to the firing today.
The band posted the following short statement on their facebook page earlier today: "Stone Temple Pilots have announced they have officially terminated Scott Weiland".
Slash had mentioned in an interview a couple of months ago that Weiland had been fired by the band, but Weiland just told Rolling Stone yesterday (February 26th) that "STP has not broken up, I haven’t quit. I haven’t been fired. Slash doesn’t know anything about STP. We’re talking right now about when we want to tour next." He did state that the group has been going through a rocky period, adding: “There were some hurt egos. But that’s the way it is. No one has ever fired anybody in STP. We’re like a family. It’s also a partnership. I started the band. We’ve always kept things going. We’ve taken time off before. They’ve done their own projects and I fully support that. No one has been fired and I haven’t quit. That’s all hearsay." I guess Slash was right after all.
Weiland issued his own response earlier this afternoon: "I learned of my supposed ‘termination’ from Stone Temple Pilots this morning by reading about it in the press. Not sure how I can be ‘terminated’ from a band that I founded, fronted and co-wrote many of its biggest hits, but that’s something for the lawyers to figure out. In the meantime, I’m looking forward to seeing all of my fans on my solo tour which starts this Friday."
Weiland will kick off his tour performing STP songs from the band's first two albums 'Core' and 'Purple' on Friday (Mar. 1) in Flint, Michigan. We'll have to see what the response and attendance is at these shows. It seems to me Weiland does a great job of alienating and pissing off any former and current band members, sometimes multiple times. Good luck Scott, maybe not the most wonderful time of this year so far.
Rock journalist Mitch Lafon is assembling an all-star lineup of great rock musicians for an 'A World With Heroes' KISS tribute album, marking the 40th anniversary of KISS. Pledges can be made now through www.pledgemusic.com/projects/kiss40thtribute and will be used to make this amazing tribute come to life and to benefit The Vaudreuil-Soulanges Palliative Cancer Care hospice (Lafon's father-in-law passed away there peacefully on January 4th, 2013).
Don Dokken and Accept's Mark Tornillo are the latest artists to sign up for the KISS tribute album 'A World With Heroes'. Dokken will be covering the '70s KISS classic "Cold Gin" while Tornillo will venture into KISS' heavier '90s sound with his cover of "Spit" from the 'Revenge' album.
Other songs and artists confirmed for 'A World With Heroes' includes Kill Devil Hill's Rex Brown and Mark Zavon doing "Larger Than Life" from 'Alive II', former L.A. Guns' frontman Chris Van Dahl doing "Hard Luck Woman", Canadian metal icons Slaves On Dope performing "New York Groove", Guns N' Roses' Bumblefoot singing "Detroit Rock City", Firehouse's Bill Leverty with special guest appearance by The Killer Dwarfs' Russ Dwarf will handle "Deuce", Great White's Terry Ilous will cover the power ballad "Forever", Doro Pesch offers a special 2013 version of "Only You", Dery Grehen and Honeymoon Suite cover the mid-'80s ballad "Reason To Live", Black Sheep's Willie Basse will performed "I Love It Loud", and one-time Gene Simmons Records' signee Ron Keel will belt out "Rock N Roll Hell".
Other tracks include "Unholy" featuring Russ Dwarf and Sean Kelly (Nelly Furtado's Band & Helix), Jeff Paris' rendition of "Shout Mercy", Phil Naro covering "Psycho Circus" and L.A. Guns frontman Phil Lewis performing "Master & Slave". Little Caesar's Ron Young will also contribute a vocal on a song to be chosen soon.
All basic tracks will be recorded by Eric Brittingham (bass – Cinderella), Jeff LaBar (guitars – Cinderella) and Troy Lucketta (drums – Tesla). Other artists contributing to the CD include Doug Aldrich (Whitesnake) and Phil Naro (ex-Talas & Peter Criss).
Skid Row new E.P. ‘United World Rebellion – Chapter One’ to be released on April 16th by Megaforce Records
Skid Row have signed with Megaforce Records. The band’s new E.P., 'United World Rebellion – Chapter One', will be released in North America on April 16th, with an international release date to be announced shortly. Skid Row guitarist Dave “Snake” Sabo said, “We’ve known the Megaforce family and their various incarnations since 1982. Their history and legacy speaks for itself. We always thought that at some point we would work together and this turned out to be the perfect time and vehicle for us to finally do it. They have a sincere belief in what we’re doing and what our vision is which is really rare today. Needless to say, this is a very exciting time for us!”
United World Rebellion – Chapter One is the first of three E.P.'s that will be made available over the next 12-18 months.
Bassist Rachel Bolan explains, “We wanted to do something different. Living in an age of information overload, it seemed like the perfect time to try something new. We came up with the idea to release three consecutive EPs over the course of the next year or so. This way we have new music out there on a consistent basis. And who better to do that with than Megaforce? They practically invented the EP! United World Rebellion – Chapter One ROCKS!”
To coincide with the release, the band (Sabo, Bolan, vocalist Johnny Solinger, guitarist Scotti Hill and drummer Rob Hammersmith) will embark on a world tour beginning April 4th in Ipswitch, England. This will carry them through the UK along with stops in the Czech Republic, Sweden, Mexico and Korea just to name a few. In the coming months this will be followed by a full-on North American tour.
Get more info on Skid Row and hear a sample of the new track 'Kings Of Demolition' at skidrow.com