Marshall Of Rock

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Marshall of Rock Interview: Bassist/Producer/Engineer Billy Sherwood of Nektar talks new album, Yes connection and more

by on Sep.05, 2012, under CD/DVD RELEASES, INTERVIEWS, LINKS, ROCK NEWS, ROCK TOUR DATES, VIDEO

Marshall of Rock Interview: Bassist/Producer/Engineer Billy Sherwood of Nektar talks new album, Yes connection and more

I had the pleasure to talk to the multi-talent Billy Sherwood today and it was some great conversation. Billy is a man of incredible talent, with a true and passionate love of music. A master musician, award winning producer, mixer and engineer, Billy has worked with an A to Z list of legendary rock artists in every facet of the music business. I caught up with Billy while on his way to rehearsal with legendary art rock band Nektar, as the other guys were in his rear-view mirror as we spoke. We touched on Billy's involvement with Nektar and their only 2012 gig tomorrow night (Sept. 6) at The Coach House in San Juan Capistrano, California. We also talked about one of his other projects, The Prog Collective, his over 20 year involvement with the band Yes, his rock production work on many rock tribute albums, including a new one for Supertramp called 'Songs of the Century: An All-Star Tribute To Supertramp'. Billy also talked about his production/engineering work with a wide range of artists, inlcuding Paul Rodgers, Dangerous Toys, and Motorhead, sharing an interesting story about recording with Lemmy at the on-set of the Los Angeles riots that you've got to hear. Add to that his take on the current state of the music industry, what created his passion for music in general and what iconic entertainment figure was his Godfather, and it makes for some interesting music conversation. Check it out below:

Check out www.billysherwoodhq.com and www.circahq.com or visit his facebook page here for everything about Billy and his music

Special thanks to Deborah Brousseau of Spinner PR

Here's the official press release for Nektar with all the info and links on tomorrow night's show. Get tickets and check it out if you're in the area!:

Los Angeles, CA…On September 6th, legendary art rock outfit Nektar will be performing its only 2012 U.S. concert at the Coach House in San Juan Capistrano, CA.  Nektar’s renowned big sound and epic live performance in an intimate setting makes this a can’t-miss show.

Though comprised of four Englishmen, Nektar formed in Germany in 1969, and earned a cult following for its psychedelic, spacey approach.  In the mid-1970s, Nektar attracted attention and a growing fanbase in America with several concept albums and a uniquely visual live show.  The band continues to perform today to a fervent and developing audience, and remains an influence for “space rock” artists around the world.

Nektar is featured in the August 14 Cleopatra DVD release, SPACE ROCK INVASION, a live show taped in Los Angeles, and is releasing SPOONFUL OF TIME (September 11 via Cleopatra), an incredible collection of classic rock covers re-imagined with the help of members of Yes, King Crimson, Symphony X, Opeth, Marillion, Asia, The Moody Blues, Dream Theater, Tangerine Dream and more.

An added treat, multi-talented musician Billy Sherwood will be debuting as bass player with Nektar.  Sherwood has played in Yes (and several of its reconfigurations), Yoso, Toto, Circa, World Trade and others.  As a producer, mixer and engineer, he’s spearheaded THE PROG COLLECTIVE, and contributed to recordings by Yes, Motorhead, Paul Rodgers, Dangerous Toys and all-star tribute albums to artists such as Queen, AC/DC, and Stevie Ray Vaughan.  He will also be producing and playing bass on the new Nektar album of original songs, recording this fall.

The Coach House is located at 33157 Camino Capistrano in San Juan Capistrano, CA.  Tickets for Nektar are $15 and can be purchased in advance by calling 949.496.8930 or at http://www.ticketfly.com/purchase/event/147983.  Doors are at 6pm, show starts at 8pm with Sixstep.  This is an all-ages event.

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'The Prog Collective' was mastered by Maor Appelbaum (Yngwie Malmsteen, Halford, Lita Ford, Adrenaline Mob, Armored Saint, Sepultura)

'The Prog Collective' Track list and players:

1. The Laws Of Nature: John Wetton Lead Vocals / Tony Levin Stick & Bass / Jerry Goodman Violins / Billy Sherwood Backing Vocals, Drums, Keyboards, Electric & Acoustic Guitars
2. Over Again: Richard Page Lead Vocals / Geoff Downes Keyboard Solos / Billy Sherwood Backing Vocals, Bass, Drums, Keyboards, Electric & Acoustic Guitars
3. The Technical Divide: Alan Parsons Lead Vocals / Chris Squire Bass / David Sancious KeyboardSolos / Gary Green Lead Guitar / Billy Sherwood Backing Vocals, Drums, Keyboards, Electric & Acoustic Guitars
4. Social Circles: Annie Haslam Lead Vocals / Peter Banks Lead Guitar / Billy Sherwood Backing Vocals, Bass, Drums, Keyboards, Electric and Acoustic Guitars
5. Buried Beneath: Billy Sherwood Lead & Backing Vocals, Bass, Drums & Acoustic Guitars / Larry Fast Keyboards / Steve Hillage Electric Guitars
6. Following The Signs: John Wesley Lead Vocals, Lead Guitar / Tony Kaye Hammond Organ & Keyboards / Billy Sherwood Backing Vocals, Bass, Drums, Electric & Acoustic Guitars
7. Check Point Karma: Colin Moulding Lead Vocals / Rick Wakeman Keyboard Solos / Billy Sherwood Backing Vocals, Bass, Drums, Keyboards, Electric & Acoustic Guitars

'Songs of the Century: An All Star Tribute to Supertramp' Track List:
1. Breakfast In America - John Wetton (Asia) & Larry Fast (Peter Gabriel)
2. Take The Long Way Home - John Wesley (Porcupine Tree)
3. The Logical Song - Mickey Thomas (Starship), Steve Morse (Deep Purple) & Tony Kaye (Yes)
4. Give A Little Bit - Richard Page (Mr. Mister) & Peter Banks (Yes)
5. It's Raining Again - Colin Moulding (XTC) & Geoff Downes (Yes/Asia)
6. Crime Of The Century - Billy Sherwood (Yes), Rick Wakeman (Yes) & Tony Levin (King Crimson)
7. Dreamer - Annie Haslam (Renaissance) & David Sancious (Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band)
8. Goodbye Stranger - Billy Sherwood (Yes), Gary Green (Gentle Giant) & Jordan Rudess (Dream Theater)
9. Rudy - Roye Albrighton (Nektar) & Steve Porcaro (Toto)
10. Bloody Well Right - Joe Lynn Turner (Rainbow) & Dave Kerzner
11. School - Rod Argent (The Zombies) & Robby Krieger (The Doors)

BONUS ORIGINAL TRACK
12. Let The World Revolve - Chris Squire (Yes) & Tony Kaye (Yes)

Here's the rendition of Give A Little Bit' from the album: http://soundcloud.com/brosseaupr/give-a-little-bit-songs-of-the/s-zmIbk

Here's a video documenting and celebrating Cleopatra Records 20th Anniversary, with plenty of commentary from Billy in his studio. For more info or to purchase any of their releases, check out Cleopatra Records at www.cleorecs.com

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Incredible Dream Theater online tribute for new single “On The Backs Of Angels”

by on Jul.11, 2011, under ROCK NEWS, VIDEO

Incredible Dream Theater online tribute for new single “On The Backs Of Angels”

"On The Backs Of Angels", the first single from Dream Theater's upcoming album "A Dramatic Turn Of Events", was released just two weeks ago, and already it's receiving tributes on the internet. Check out this amazing online performance!

The Brazilian outfit called VRA!, the brainchild of Thiago and Felipe Campos from the band Bad Salad, operate a video collective that also goes by the name Split-Screen Covers. They put together this amazing audio/video tribute!

With Split-Screen Covers, VRA! (Thiago and Felipe) collaborate with other musicians online to create dramatic and innovative cover tune clips. Their version of On The Backs Of Angels features the keyboard talents of Junghwan Kim from South Korea  and the drumming of Paco Barillà from Italy. Bad Salad's Denis Oliveria handles lead vocals.

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The video has just been posted and there's nothing but positive comments. Dream Theater keyboardist Jordan Rudess said this to say about the video: "Guys - This is awesome. It sounds great! _ GOOD JOB!!!!!"


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Rock Picks of the Week: Queensryche, Dream Theater, 3 Doors Down, The Pretty Reckless, Reeve Carney f/Bono & The Edge

by on Jun.29, 2011, under ROCK NEWS, ROCK PICKS, VIDEO

Rock Picks of the Week: Queensryche, Dream Theater, 3 Doors Down, The Pretty Reckless, Reeve Carney f/Bono & The Edge

Up first is the new single from Queensryche, "Get Started." It's another great track from the Seattle rock legends and comes from their new album "Dedicated To Chaos", which was released on June 28th.Queensryche are celebrating their 30th anniversary as a band this year, and plan on playing wherever they can on tour in support of this new album.

The band will rock El Paso, Texas at the Downtown Street Festvial on July 2nd, before heading over to the UK to open for Judas Priest on the Epitaph tour through most of July. Then they are back for the kick off of the U.S. tour on July 29th at Irving Plaza in New York City. Queensryche will be featured guests on the nationally syndicated radio show ROCKLINE with host Bob Coburn on Wednesday, June 29th 2011 at 8:30pm PT / 11:30pm ET. Fans are encouraged to call to speak with Queensryche toll free at 1-800-344-ROCK (7625). For a station near you and for information regarding how to log onto the Internet for the broadcast go to www.RocklineRadio.com


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Here's vocalist Geoff Tate talking about the challenge of getting started on a new record and how the writing process has been completely different on this album as compared to previous releases. He also talks about playing shows in the Middle East for our troops, his wine label and more.

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Dream Theater returns with their first single "On The Backs of Angels" with new drummer Mike Mangini. Their highly anticipated new album, "A Dramatic Turn of Events" will be out September 13th. It's another epic track from the band, and seemingly Mangini is filling Mike Portnoy's shows admirably. I had questioned the decision not to bring Portnoy back into the fold after he left to tour with Avenged Sevenfold, but at this point it could be the best thing for both parties.

"I'm incredibly psyched with the way this album came out and can't wait to share it with everybody," guitarist John Petrucci, who also serves as the album's producer, said. "We are currently in the mix stage with the great Andy Wallace and it's all sounding amazing!"

"We have poured our hearts and minds into the creation of this album," keyboardist Jordan Rudess continues. "All the life changing events that surrounded us before, as well as during the whole process, fueled our desire to dig deep within ourselves and create the best music we possibly could."

Vocalist James LaBrie adds, "In the grand scheme of Dream Theater's career, the last several months have been such an incredibly positive, fulfilling and rewarding experience. The new songs and sound has never been so spirited or rejuvenating. I cannot wait for every one of our fans to sink their audio senses into this batch of tunes."

Dream Theater kick off a European tour on July 4th in Italy, followed by stops in Switzerland, Germany, France, Netherlands, Russia, Ukraine, Spain, Portugal, Tel Aviv, Austria, the U.K., Poland, Czech Republic, Belgium, Greece and Hungary.

Album track listing:
1. On The Backs Of Angels
2. Build Me Up, Break Me Down
3. Lost Not Forgotten
4. This Is The Life
5. The Shaman’s Trance
6. Outcry
7. Far From Heaven
8. Breaking All Illusions
9. Beneath The Surface


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3 Doors Down new album "Time Of My Life" will be released July 19th. It's the fifth studio album from the Escatawpa, Mississippi rockers. You can order "Time Of My Life" via iTunes Pre Sale now!

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3 Doors Down have started their own foundation: The Better Life Foundation. The mission of The Better Life Foundation is to make a positive change in the lives of children in need of food, shelter and medical assistance, and to enhance the lives of children and young adults with special needs. The Better Life Foundation will work to raise money each year that will be distributed to organizations and hospitals that we believe will help us fulfill our mission so these children are offered a better life in which they can develop their potential, achieve their goals, and, become caring and responsible adults. Check it out here: the betterlifefoundation.org
"Changing the World, One Life at a Time"

Rock Band 3 will offer a 3 pack of songs from 3 Doors Down celebrating the platinum selling band’s recent worldwide
tour and the new album. Songs in the 3 Doors Down Pack 01 include hits from the bands career with “Here Without You” & “When I’m Gone” from the bands second album as well as “When You’re Young” from their new album.


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3 Doors Down have released a 3 webisode promo clips for the new album. They include some insight on the recording process and how it was different than previous sessions, what it was like in the studio while writing and preparing the songs for "Time Of My Life", and he brief history of the band.


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Up next is New York's The Pretty Reckless, featuring vocalist Taylor Momsen, the American actress, musician and model who portrays the character of Jenny Humphrey on the CW television series "Gossip Girl" and portrayed the role of Cindy Lou Who in "How the Grinch Stole Christmas." She actually auditioned for the title role in Hannah Montana, and was in the top three, but the role was instead awarded to Miley Cyrus.

Originally released overseas in 2010, the bands album "Light Me Up" was delayed, not being released until February 2011 in the U.S. The single "Make Me Wanna Die" was #1 on the UK Rock Chart for six weeks, and is moving up the charts here. Taylor writes all the songs, sings and plays simple guitar on the album. She is obviously very well trained in the performing arts, and I like he vocal style. We'll have to see how fall she can take the band worldwide, or even if it will be a main focus of her career.

The Pretty Reckless are:
Taylor Momsen (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), Ben Phillips (lead guitar, backing vocals), Mark Damon (bass) and Jamie Perkins (drums).


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"Rise Above 1" by Reeve Carney feat. Bono & The Edge is from the Broadway show "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark".
Bono and The Edge wrote the music for the much lampooned musical, which has certainly had it's share of set backs. From serious injuries of cast memories, to a complete reboot of the entire production.

Reeve Carney sounds just like Bono, which I assume was a prerequisite for the role, since the thought process was those songs needed a similar tone, and Bono wasn't going to be flying around in Spiderman tights. There is one song on the official broadway soundtrack just featuring Bono and The Edge called "Picture This", which is quite good as well.


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Dream Theater announce awesome new drummer

by on Apr.30, 2011, under ROCK NEWS

Dream Theater announce awesome new drummer

Progressive metal giants Dream Theater have recruited Mike Mangini, 48-year-old session artist who has played for Annihilator, Extreme, James Labrie and Steve Vai as the replacement for the recently departed Mike Portnoy.

Guitarist John Petrucci writes on his official forum, "Well, it's been a very exciting day for all of us in Dream Theater and we are happy to finally share the news that Mike Mangini is our new drummer! He is not only a beast of a player but an incredible person as well who truly and fully understands and values everything that we strive to be as a band. Thank you for being so patient and incredibly supportive to us throughout the years and especially over the last several months. Thank you for your faith in us and your immediate and practically across-the-board acceptance of Mike Mangini as our new drummer. Thank you for the positive words about the documentary (three-part web series documenting Dream Theater's drummer search, which featured all the drummers audtions who tried out. You can find it on roadrunnerrecords.com) and all of your passion and dedication.

"The movie is our gift and our invitation into something that would traditionally be very private and I appreciate everyone's sensitivity towards that. There's a lot of work to be done, so back to the studio. John Myung finished tracking bass today and Jordan (Rudess, keyboards) is recording as I type. Things are real busy around here. Can't wait for everyone to hear the new music and to begin playing live with Mike!"

The band members also had this to say about hiring Mike:

Jordan Rudess (keyboards): "The thing that stands about Mike Mangini is that he [plays] with such intensity and direction and power, and that was very engaging. It was hard to totally decide; you can't just say, 'OK, it's him and write off some other guy, because they're both incredible."

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John Petrucci (guitar): "We unknowingly used a method that we use when we write music, which is, 'Just hear out my side.' During that discussion, we kind of came to some conclusions, we hashed things out, and at the end of the discussion, it was clear. We made a decision."

John Myung (bass): "A lot of it was just how felt with each particular drummer. It turned out that we were kind of all on the same page as to who we needed to carry on. I think it was meant to be."

Mangini spoke about his addition to Dream Theater, "The day that I got the phone call to be in Dream Theater, it took my brain a minute to assemble what was going on, and when it sank in, the feeling was just of tremendous relief. It means so much to me, I almost felt like crying a couple of times. (Laughs) I didn't know what to do. What it means to me to be part of not only such a legendary band, but this band, is a sense of fulfillment and purpose. I feel like a puzzle piece, and with Mike [Portnoy] in particular, I feel really honored to carry on the torch for him; I'm carrying on his spirit."

Mangini is notorious for his technical prowess and holds three out of four World's Fastest Drummer titles. These include the Fastest Matched grip at 1,247 strokes in 60 seconds; Fastest Hands, which he earned by executing 1,203 single-stroke notes in 60 seconds without drumsticks mallets etc.; Fastest Traditional Grip which he earned by executing 1,126 strokes in 60 seconds; and Fastest Single Stroke Foot record, playing 13,222 hits in 15 minutes and 5,222 hits in five minutes.

In 2005, Mike accepted a full-time teaching position at the Berklee College of Music in Boston and today he is a prominent faculty member in the school's percussion department.

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More rockers send out their thoughts and prayers to the Japanese people: Joe Satriani, Michael Schenker, Extreme; Iron Maiden to sell T-shirts from cancelled Japan tour dates for charity; Dream Theater keyboardist releases beautiful musical tribute

by on Mar.18, 2011, under LINKS, ROCK NEWS, VIDEO

More rockers send out their thoughts and prayers to the Japanese people: Joe Satriani, Michael Schenker, Extreme; Iron Maiden to sell T-shirts from cancelled Japan tour dates for charity; Dream Theater keyboardist releases beautiful musical tribute

More from the rock community have expressed their thoughts and condolences to the Japanese people:

Joe Satriani: "You can help Japan deal with earthquake/tsunami by donating through The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)."

Michael Schenker: "My heart goes out to everyone effected by the tragedy in Japan. As someone with an incredible fondness for the people of Japan, who have been some of my biggest supporters, I wish everyone the best in getting through these trying times. God be with all of you."

Extreme released this statement: "We are painfully shocked and devastated from the earthquake/tsunami disaster that has rocked your beautiful and precious country. The images we are seeing are heartbreaking. We hope that each and every one of you are OK and that your friends and loved ones are safe.

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"Extreme has always considered Japan our home away from home and we will remain united in support during this difficult tragedy."

Iron Maiden Manager, Rod Smallwood, has issued the following update: "Following the cancellation of both Maiden Tokyo shows due to recent events in Japan, we will be donating the proceeds from sales of the Japanese event shirt available from the Official Iron Maiden Shop (ie. the shirt without tour dates on) to a charity assisting victims of the earthquake. Feedback from our Fanclub Forum suggests our fans fully support this proposal. We plan to do likewise with the stock of event shirts currently in Tokyo, which were due to be sold onsite at the Tokyo venue (ie. the shirt with tour dates on). Details will follow as soon as possible as to where these will be available from, once we have worked out shipping, etc.

The charity we shall be coordinating sales of both events shirts through is the Japanese Red Cross. This is their website for anyone who may want to make a donation. Shirts are now available at this location."

Dream Theater keyboardist Jordan Rudess has posted a "musical message" to his friends in Japan. This is really beautiful.


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