Pearl Jam News: Mike McCready’s ‘Flight To Mars’ UFO tribute benefit band, movie soundtrack, Eddie Vedder charity track
Mike McCready's Flight to Mars, his tribute to UFO, is currently on a 7-date 10th Anniversary tour. In Flight to Mars, McCready channels his inner Michael Schenker while imparting his own sense of soul on the underated English group's classic tunes.
Proceeds from the tour benefit Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America's Camp Oasis for kids afflicted with the disease and Advocacy for Patients with Chronic Illness. Both are non-profit organizations which the guitarist has helped support for almost ten years. Flight To Mars plays tonight in Santa Ana, California at The Observatory.
Artist Direct talked to McCready about Flight To Mars, his passion for UFO, and the cause behind the band:
What was the initial impetus behind Flight to Mars?
MM: I was trying to figure out a fun way to raise more money for kids who have Crohn's Disease or Colitis. For me, fun entails getting together and playing with friends of mine in a cover band. That's came to mind. UFO is a band no one had really done which I knew about. Michael Schenker and that band were very important to me growing up as a guitar player. When we were kids, Stone Gossard and I were so into them we used to trade pictures of Michael Schenker [Laughs].
You're using music for a very positive goal. That's one of the best aspects of this.
MM: Right! If we can do something and be proactive and solution-oriented, that's what life is about. Instead of sitting around, you've got to get out there. I have a lot of energy, and I want to devote that to positive efforts. It helps me to come out and talk about Crohn's and Colitis, especially when I meet other people who have it.
When did you first discover UFO?
MM: That's a good question. I don't exactly remember. I had the record in my house in 1979. I don't remember how it got there though [Laughs]. I might've gotten it as a present or from a friend, but I remember having the Strangers in the Night live record after hearing it at a buddy's house. As a young guitar player, they were one of the bands that made me go, "Wow, what's this all about?" They had really great songs. I loved Phil Mogg's voice, and I loved Michael Schenker's guitar playing. I loved how the songs were structured. It was very exciting to hear that. Strangers in the Night is what we mostly cover.
Is it important for you to infuse your style into the covers? These definitely have your flare.
MM: It's mostly because I don't know how to play like Michael Schenker [Laughs]. He's so good it's hard for me to play him note for note. He's the kind of guitar player who can hit every single note. He probably practiced a whole bunch. I'm not a guy who's practiced a whole bunch. I've just played in bands since I was eleven-years-old. That was my upbringing. I practiced a bit but never my scales. My flare, as you say—which I appreciate—is me not knowing how to play as well as Michael Schenker [Laughs].
There's a blues element to your renditions of the UFO songs.
MM: That's how I play. The feel aspect of it is important to me. Michael Schenker had a feel aspect, but he was a German guitar player and he came from a different thought process—which is probably more of a classical background. Within that, he had a certain feeling. I can feel it when he's playing. I didn't come from that background though. I came from metal and blues and a mixture of those two things.
Read the rest of the interview with more on McCready talking about Micheal Schenker and the next Pearl Jam album: www.artistdirect.com
Flight To Mars tour dates:
May 14 - Santa Ana, CA - The Observatory
May 15 - San Diego, CA - The Casbah
May 16 - Las Vegas, NV - Hard Rock Cafe on the Strip
May 17 - West Hollywood, CA - The Troubadour
May 20 - San Francisco, CA - The Independent
May 22 - Portland, OR - Hawthorne Theater
May 23 - Seattle, WA - Showbox at the Market
McCready wrote the music for a new Matthew Lillard-directed movie called 'Fat Kid Rules the World.' You may remeber Lillard from his acting work in films like ‘Scream,’ ‘She’s All That,’ ‘Scooby Doo,’ and more recently the Oscar-nominated movie ‘The Descendants.’ This is his directorial debut and he told Spinner.com that it was a major coup to land Mike McCready for his musical contributions. “It’s one of the few times in my entire life where the agent has made a direct impact on my life,” says Lillard of the contact who put him in touch with the Pearl Jam guitarist. “She said, ‘Do you need music for your movie? What about Mike McCready from Pearl Jam?’ and I was like, ‘That would be heaven on earth.’”
Lillard added that his agent made the phone call and much to his surprise he was dining with and pitching his film to McCready four days later. “It was one of the best collaborative relationships I’ve ever had,” said Lillard. McCready earned a 2004 Golden Globe Award nomination for ‘Man of the Hour,’ for Pearl Jam's contribution to the film ‘Big Fish.’ McCready also served as one of the musicians helping score last year’s comedy, ‘Horrible Bosses.’ He’s also worked as a guest composer for episodes of the TV series’ 'Hawaii Five-0' and 'Fringe.'
‘Fat Kid Rules the World’ deals with an overweight and depressed teen whose life is saved when a former classmate and a local guitar legend convince him to form a band. The film has been making the festival circuit rounds and won the South By Southwest Audience Award for Narrative Feature Spotlight back in March. The movie closed the TIFF Nextwave Festival this past Sunday (May 13) and Lillard is currently seeking distribution opportunities.
Eddie Vedder is giving us a taste of the single he created for model Christy Turlington Burns’ compilation album, 'Every Mother Counts Vol. 2.' The album is the second installment of Burns’ charity album series and features the Pearl Jam frontman’s new track, “Skipping.”
"Eddie was amazing to accept this project while in the midst of so much," Burns tells Rolling Stone. "I spoke to him and exchanged several emails about his contribution. 'Skipping' is such a sweet song and I just love that his daughter Olivia has a little cameo at the start. He once wrote me saying that his girls would be proud one day that their dad contributed to such a meaningful project."
The album also includes previously unreleased tracks by Beck, Coldplay, Bono and The Edge, Alanis Morissette, and Dave Matthews Band, plus more.Every Mother Counts Vol. 2 is available now at participating Starbucks through May 29.
Michael Schenker's concert tonight (May 13) at the O13 in Tilburg, Holland will be filmed for a future DVD release.
Schenker's current tour marks the first time his band features two ex-Scorpions members: Herman Rarebell (drums) and Francis Buchholz (bass). The band performs UFO’s 'Rock Bottom' and 'Doctor Doctor', MSG’s 'Armed and Ready' and 'Into The Arena', Scorpions classics 'Another Piece Of Meat', 'Lovedrive', 'Coast To Coast', 'Holiday', 'Blackout' and 'Rock You Like A Hurricane', on the current tour plus new songs from the recently released 'Temple of Rock' album 'Miss Claustrophobia' and 'Before the Devil Knows You're Dead'.
Schenker's touring line-up also features singer Doogie White (Yngwie Malmsteen, Rainbow, Cornerstone, Tank) and guitarist/keyboardist Wayne Findlay.
Watch entire new episode of ‘That Metal Show’ featuring Metallica’s Lars Ulrich and Machine Head’s Robb Flynn
VH1's 'That Metal Show' kicked off their 10th season this past Saturday night (Mar. 31) with guests Lars Ulrich of Metallica and Robb Flynn of Machine Head. Check out the entire program below.
Here's the guests and premiere dates for the rest of season 10:
Alice Cooper, Jack Russell (Great White), Brian Tichy (Whitesnake, Ozzy Osbourne, S.U.N.) (guest drummer)
Slash (Velvet Revolver, Guns N' Roses), George Lynch (Dokken, Lynch Mob, T&N), Jeff Pilson (Dokken, T&N, Foreigner), Mick Brown (Dokken, T&N), Brian Tichy (Whitesnake, Ozzy Osbourne, S.U.N.) (guest drummer)
Adrian Smith (Iron Maiden, Primal Rock Rebellion), Michael Schenker (MSG, UFO, Scorpions) (guest guitarist)
Michael Schenker (MSG, UFO, Scorpions), Mike McCready (Pearl Jam), Frank Hannon (Tesla) (guest guitarist)
Billy Duffy & Ian Astbury (The Cult), Doro Pesch, Frank Hannon (Tesla) (guest guitarist)
Vinnie Paul Abbott (Pantera, Hellyeah, Damageplan), Tommy Shaw & James Young (Styx), Steve Stevens (Billy Idol, Vince Neil) (guest guitarist)
Two episodes that were originally shot for Season 10 that will now air as part of Season 11 this summer. Those episode guests are:
Bobby Blotzer (Ratt), Steve Riley & Phil Lewis (L.A. Guns), Steve Stevens (Billy Idol, Vince Neil) (guest guitarist)
David Draiman (Disturbed), Russell Allen & Mike Orlando (Adrenaline Mob), Mike Portnoy (Adrenaline Mob, Dream Theater) (guest drummer)
That Metal Show
The new UFO album 'Seven Deadly' will be released in Europe this Tuesday, February 27, but not until March in the U.S. You can listen to the album in its entirety at the link below. Longtime band fanatic Eddie Trunk has posted a preview of it on his website. Trunk is joining UFO this weekend on 'Monsters Of Rock Cruise - The Voyage' along with Telsa, Cinderella, Night Ranger, UFO, Kix, Stryper, Firehouse, Y&T, Lynch Mob, Helix, Eric Martin (Mr.Big), Keel, Black n Blue, Faster Pussycat, John Corabi, Bang Tango, Rhino Bucket, XYZ, Odin and more. The band will start a tour of the UK, Ireland and Europe on Mar. 15 in Cambridge.
Listen to the album here.
Here's an official press release from the band:
Nothing would be easier for British rock legend UFO than to rest on their laurels. The band could easily release the occasional best-of album to earn a few additional royalties and otherwise content themselves with looking back at their exceptionally glorious past. And it certainly wouldn’t be a problem for UFO to sell out tours on the strength of their legendary name with a great hoopla and low artistic values. But idleness or indeed a musical standstill have always been out of the question for Phil Mogg, Paul Raymond, Andy Parker, and Vinnie Moore. These in equal measures experienced and ambitious musicians are interested in the present, their love of creativity and the active continuation of their celebrated band history. And now we can look forward to Seven Deadly, the band’s latest studio album which combines present and future with UFO’s greatest fortes. Mogg, Raymond, Parker and Moore are set to release twelve brand-new songs on Steamhammer/SPV in Germany on 24 February 2012 (Europe: 27 February, USA/Canada: March 2012), featuring – without going into great detail at this point – some of the strongest compositions this band has ever recorded.
What is this bold thesis based on – in view of the countless classics the band has produced throughout its history? Not only on the fact that UFO have that perfect mix of talent, charisma and experience, but also on each individual band member, who currently all seem to be bursting with a zest for action and a wealth of ideas. Seven Deadly is an atmospherically dense fabric consisting of classy guitars, tight rock grooves and vocals which are unique to UFO. So it’s no wonder that sound engineer Tommy Newton, in whose Area 51 studio in Celle, Germany, the new tracks were recorded, commented: “I’ve never heard a better Phil Mogg!”
The UFO frontman’s thoroughly impressive vocal performance goes hand in hand with the awesome compositions on Seven Deadly. The classic rock of ‘Burn Your House
Down’ features all the important UFO strengths, ‘Mojotown’ sees the musicians sound tougher than ever, and last but not least ‘Year Of The Gun’ features a pointed reference to UFO’s early days. ‘Angelstation’ sees the band prove how classic rock music is complemented perfectly with epic elements, while ‘Fight Night’ is an excellent track to be performed in a live context. There’s no need to draw attention to the technical skills of original UFO members Paul Raymond and Andy Parker, their music sounding inspired and faultless at the same time. Having said that, Vinnie Moore’s exceptional guitar style deserves to be explicitly mentioned. The American musician not only lends the songs expression and power with his haunting licks and dynamic riffs, but also contributes solos on Seven Deadly which can only be described as absolute world class. Anybody still doubting my words should get ready to be absolutely convinced when the album arrives in January.
As already mentioned, UFO continue to be a live force to be reckoned with. Their UK tour has been scheduled for mid-March 2012 before the band go on to tour the rest of Europe. A little note in passing: at the time of Seven Deadly’s release, UFO will be performing at the Monsters Of Rock Cruise – The Voyage: there could hardly be a more fitting setting for this exciting new album!
Holy Shat! The greatness of Shatner shines through in the new video from the ex-Captain Kirk. Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" gets the distinctive sing-speaking treatment in this awesome version. The song comes off of William Shatner's new space themed covers album, "Seeking Major Tom." The 20-track album also includes Shatner's classic "Rocket Man," as well as Black Sabbath's "Iron Man," David Bowie's "Space Oddity," and more, with guests ranging from Ritchie Blackmore, Ian Paice, Micheal Schenker, Zakk Wylde and Mike Inez to Sheryl Crow, Peter Frampton, Johnny Winter, Carmine Appice, Dave Davies, Wayne Kramer and John Wetton.
Two teens are stargazing in a field when something appears in the sky. It's the mouth and face of none other than William Shatner.
"Holy--" the girl says. "Shatner." finishes the boy.
Constellations appear and accompany Shatner with the song, gliding across the screen. The lyrics appear in block letters below his face, keeping the stars and galaxys company, while helping fill the screen.
The kids eventually get a copy of the new CD as it hits the earth in a giant fireball. Holy Shatner!
Former Ozzy Osbourne and Black Label Society guitarist Zakk Wylde guests on the cover of Black Sabbath's "Iron Man". Check it out if you haven't heard this one yet:
1. Major Tom (feat. The Strokes' Nick Valensi and Zakk Wylde on guitar and and Mike Inez (Alice In Chains) on bass)
2. Space Oddity (David Bowie) feat. Ritchie Blackmore (ex-Deep Purple) on guitar and Alan Parsons on keyboards)
3. In a Little While (U2) (feat. Manuel Göttsching from Ash Ra Tempel on guitar)
4. Space Cowboy (Steve Miller) (feat. Brad Paisley on guitar and vocals)
5. Space Truckin' (Deep Purple) (feat. Deep Purple drummer Ian Paice and Johnny Winter on guitar)
6. Rocket Man (Elton John) (feat. Steve Hillage (ex-Gong member) on guitar)
7. She Blinded Me With Science (Thomas Dolby) (feat. Bootsy Collins on bass and Patrick Moraz (ex-Yes and Moody Blues) on keyboards/synth)
8. Walking on the Moon (The Police) (feat. Toots (Toots & the Maytals) on vocals)
9. Spirit in the Sky (Norman Greenbaum) (feat. Peter Frampton on guitar)
10. Bohemian Rhapsody (Queen) (feat. John Wetton (Asia) on bass and vocals)
11. Silver Machine (Hawkwind) (feat .Wayne Kramer (MC5) on guitar and Carmine Appice (Vanilla Fudge/Rod Stewart/King Kobra/Blue Murder) on drums)
12. Mrs. Major Tom (feat. Sheryl Crow)
13. Empty Glass (The Tea Party) (feat. Michael Schenker (UFO/Scorpions/MSG) on guitar)
14. Lost in the Stars (Frank Sinatra version) (feat. Ernie Watts on saxophone)
15. Learning to Fly (Pink Floyd) (feat. Edgar Froese (Tangerine Dream) on guitar and keyboards)
16. Mr. Spaceman (The Byrds) (feat. Dave Davies (The Kinks) on guitar)
17. Twilight Zone (Golden Earring) (feat. Warren Haynes (Gov't Mule/Allman Brothers) on guitar)
19. Iron Man (Black Sabbath) (feat. Zakk Wylde on guitar and vocals)
20. Planet Earth (Duran Duran) (feat. Steve Howe (Yes) on guitar)
Here's Sheryl Crow on "Mrs. Major Tom":
Here's two "Making of Seeking Major Tom" videos: