torsdagen den 27:e mars 2014

Vad händer?

Det har varit lite stiltje de senaste veckorna. Jag lovar dock bättring. Det ligger en hel del intervjuer på hög och väntar på att bli transkriberade, bl a Zakk Wylde, Vinnie Paul, Sabaton, Anette Olzon, The Temperance Movement och en del annat.
Nästa vecka tänkte jag även lotta ut två exemplar av Patrik Wiréns mycket intressanta bok "Revolten, Rörelsen, Refused" plus några DVD, CD och vinyl av blandad karaktär. 
Sedan en tid tillbaka är jag numera redaktör på www.rocksverige.se och kommer göra en del intervjuer för den sidan också, samt att jag fortsätter göra en del saker för SRM. 

Later dudes and dudettes!

/Niclas
Killem all



Om det här bandet vet jag inte mer än att de kommer från Grand Funk Railroads hemstad Flint, Michigan. Rungande brutalt.

/Niclas

måndagen den 17:e mars 2014

Ny låt med Down.



Att Kirk Windstein hoppat av bandet märks det ingenting av. Svänger som aldrig förr. 

/Niclas

söndagen den 16:e mars 2014

En vanlig söndag.


























Efter trädgårdsarbete och luftgevärsskytte på tomten, passar jag på att titta på en gammal klassiker, "A week and a half in the life of... Metallica". Minnet sviker, men jag har för mig att den här VHS-booten inhandlades på en skivmässa i Ängelholm a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...
136 minuter bestående av liveklipp och tv-intervjuer från konserterna i Köpenhamn, Göteborg, Oslo och Stockholm december 1992. Jag såg dem i Göteborg och hade dessförinnan sett dem på Monsters of Rock på Gentoftestadion i Köpenhamn, dit jag även återvände ´93 för att se dem igen på den här evighetslånga turnén. 
Göteborg var magiskt på alla tänkbara sätt. Efter konserten hängde jag på stan med en jänkarpolare och framåt småtimmarna kunde vi gå in och sätta oss på stationen i väntan på tåg till studiestaden Växjö. Väl där inne blev jag uppraggad av en man i trenchcoat, som undrade om jag inte kunde följa med honom en stund. Jag avböjde snällt. 
Att det gått 22 år sedan konserten i Göteborg är rent skrämmande. I´m getting old...

/Niclas

torsdagen den 13:e mars 2014

Lyssna på ett kort utdrag från Paul Stanleys kommande bok. 



Snacket säger att hans bok är betydligt intressantare än de andra tre originalmedlemmarnas. Det återstår dock att se. Själv köper jag inte ljudböcker och tycker nog att hans röst är något monoton i den här sekvensen. Själva boken inhandlas dock självfallet. 

/Niclas
All info om Led Zeppelin I, II, III




















Track Listing 1. “Good Times Bad Times” 2. “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You” 3. “You Shook Me” 4. “Dazed And Confused” 5. “Your Time Is Gonna Come” 6. “Black Mountain Side” 7. “Communication Breakdown” 8. “I Can’t Quit You Baby” 9. “How Many More Times”

Companion Audio Disc -Live At The Olympia – Paris, France, October 10, 1969 1. “Good Times Bad Times/Communication Breakdown” 2. “I Can’t Quit You Baby” 3. “Heartbreaker” 4. “Dazed And Confused” 5. “White Summer/Black Mountain Side” 6. “You Shook Me” 7. “Moby Dick” 8. “How Many More Times”





















Track Listing 1. “Whole Lotta Love” 2. “What Is And What Should Never Be” 3. “The Lemon Song” 4. “Thank You” 5. “Heartbreaker” 6. “Living Loving Maid (She’s Just A Woman)” 7. “Ramble On” 8. “Moby Dick”

Companion Audio Disc 1. “Whole Lotta Love” 2. “What Is And What Should Never Be” 3. “Thank You” 4. “Heartbreaker” 5. “Living Loving Maid (She’s Just A Woman)” 6. “Ramble On” 7. “Moby Dick” 8. “La La” 9. “Bring It On Home”





















Track Listing 1. “Immigrant Song” 2. “Friends” 3. “Celebration Day” 4. “Since I’ve Been Loving You” 5. “Out On The Tiles” 6. “Gallows Pole” 7. “Tangerine” 8. “That’s The Way” 9. “Bron-Y-Aur Stomp” 10. “Hats Off To (Roy) Harper” 

Companion Audio Disc 1. “The Immigrant Song” 2. “Friends” 3. “Celebration Day” 4. “Since I’ve Been Loving You” 5. “Bathroom Sound” 6. “Gallows Pole” 7. “That’s The Way” 8. “Jennings Farm Blues” 9. “Keys To The Highway/Trouble In Mind”

Här är alla versioner som kommer vara tillgängliga den 2:e juni.

•Single CD – Remastered album packaged in a gatefold card wallet. 
•Deluxe Edition (2CD) – Remastered album, plus a second disc of unreleased companion audio. 
•Single LP – Remastered album on 180-gram vinyl, packaged in a sleeve that replicates the LP’s  first    pressing in exacting detail. (For example, III will feature the original wheel and die cut  holes.) 
•Deluxe Edition Vinyl – Remastered album and unreleased companion audio on 180-gram vinyl. 
•Digital Download – Remastered album and companion audio will both be available. 
•Super Deluxe Boxed Set – This collection includes: 
◦Remastered album on CD in vinyl replica sleeve. 
◦Companion audio on CD in card wallet. 
◦Remastered album on 180-gram vinyl in a sleeve replicating first pressing. 
◦Companion audio on 180-gram vinyl. 
◦High-def audio download card of all content at 96kHz/24 bit. (Live tracks are 48kHz/24 bit). 
◦Hard bound, 70+ page book filled with rare and previously unseen photos and memorabilia. 
◦High quality print of the original album cover, the first 30,000 of which will be individually numbered. 
◦Led Zeppelin will also include a replica of the band’s original Atlantic press kit. 

/Niclas

tisdagen den 11:e mars 2014

Filmen om KISS på G.


























Om det är den officiella postern låter jag vara osagt, men Parker själv la ut den idag.

/Niclas
Köp TOOLs hus!


















Metal Injection har lagt upp en dröse bilder på Maynard James Keenans hus som nu är till salu för ca. 3 miljoner dollar. Inredningen får en kanske att rygga tillbaka lite, men jäklar vilket hus och helsike vilket läge!

Fler bilder HÄR

/Niclas

lördagen den 8:e mars 2014

Ibland är Stanley Eisen lite smårolig. 


























"The necklace. The off the shoulder shirt. Too much wrong to list."

























"Hey! Let's put on mom's clothes and try to look tough!"

Bilder och ord från Stanleys Fb-sida. 

/Niclas
Intervju med Tuomas Holopainen i Nightwish.


























För tredje gången har jag intervjuat huvudmannen i finska Nightwish och troligtvis blev det här den längsta och intressantaste intervjun. Fokus låg på hans kommande soloalbum, "The life and times of Scrooge" som ser dagens ljus i april, men det blev även ett samtal om en del annat.
De återkommande problemen med bandets sångerskor, hans familj, fiaskot med filmen, kommande albumet med Nightwish och en hel del annat.

You´ve thought about this album for the last 14 years. What was it that finally made you release it? 

Tuomas: Approximately 14 years. Maybe three things. The first one being that the noise inside my head just got too loud and I needed to get it out finally. It´s been like an itch between my ears since 1999. The other thing was that I knew that with such a bizarre project, I better pay for it myself and I finally had some savings to pull it off. The third one was that I realized at the beginning of last year, that we were gonna have a break for about five months, so I thought that this was the time for it.

Since you´ve been thinking of it for such a long time, are the songs old ones or were they written just recently? 

Tuomas: I wrote all the songs in the last year and a half or so. Whenever I read a story I hear music, but the music I heard ten years ago, I couldn´t record. (laughs) It´s just a thing with me, that every time I read something highly inspirational or see a really nice picture or a nature photo, I start to hear music. It´s a weird thing.

So you didn´t write stuff down during these 14 years? 

Tuomas: No, I didn´t. The thing is that whenever I write something and it sounds good, I can´t wait to do something with it immediately. I´m too impatient.

What was it about this story that captivated you the first time around? What makes it different than any other cartoon? 


Tuomas: First of all, I just think it´s such a magnificent story. So well crafted, so beautiful, very multilayered and full of wit, full of historic facts and it´s funny as hell. All those things combined with a lot of childhood nostalgia. I grew up with Disney comics and Scrooge and Donald Duck were always my favorites and then in the beginning of the 90´s, came this guy named Don Rosa out of nowhere. I started reading his stories and I was completely blown away. I mean, Carl Barks is really good, but Don Rosa is in the next league, at least for me.

How does all this work? Rosa works for Disney, right? 

Tuomas: It´s a bit complicated because everybody knows that Rosa is not on very good terms with Disney and he actually told me in the very beginning of this, that maybe I wanted to do this album in a way that Disney doesn´t have any copyright over it? That was my intention from the beginning, that I wouldn´t use any copyright character names or chapter titles. You can by inspired by anything to make art in this world, as long as you don´t step on anybody´s toes. That´s what I did with this album and why it´s “Music inspired by the life and times of Scrooge” and not McDuck. Just to play it safe, even though I´ve heard that Disney is really pleased about the project. They gave it their blessings, but we don´t have any kind of contracts between us.

You never know about these big corporations? 

Tuomas: Exactly and that´s why I´m being super careful and taking Don´s advice. (laughs)

Whether this becomes a success or not, is this something you could see yourself do more of? 

Tuomas: Maybe I shouldn´t say this, but I really think this was a one timer. I don´t have any ambitions of going solo. The whole idea of a solo album feels a bit wrong and distant to me. People are already talking about this being the beginning of the end for Nightwish. When you think about the concept, it´s just impossible to do this with Nightwish. It wouldn´t be fair to the other band members first of all.

Did you ever bring up the idea with them? See if they wanted to work on it? 

Toumas: I never even considered it because I wanted the album to be pure orchestrated stuff, so there´s only so much to do for bass, drums and guitars. No point in it.

If it all takes off and does very well, would you still consider it a one off thing? 

Tuomas: Well, if anything sells or doesn´t sell, is no motivation at all. I did it just because I felt so much while reading the story and I wanted to give a little bit back to Don Rosa, for this wonderful story. If it sells a million copies, it really makes no difference. I´m really happy if it does, because that means people have found this wonderful story, but it´s gonna be all about Nightwish for the next few years.

Still, you´re a musician and you depend on selling albums and doing tours. You need the money to make your art. Isn´t it any motivation at all, at least to make ends meet? 


Tuomas: The way I see it, is that I have never thought about that and that has taken me this far. We have sold 8 million albums without ever thinking about that and I can honestly say that we don´t think about that stuff. We did the movie “Imaginaerum” which was a disastrously financial flop and nobody cares. We just wanted to do it and we knew it was gonna be a flop, but you just do things for the right reasons and it will pay off in the end.

Same thing happened with Metallica. I kinda figured you both would have a lot of fans checking it out, but apparently not?

Tuomas: Well, life would be a lot more boring if you always knew what would happen. I never expected a concept like Nightwish to get this far. On paper it shouldn´t work, but for some reason it does. It makes life that more interesting.


Still, having such a big project turn into a flop, does that in any way scare you of doing something similar in the future? 

Tuomas: I´m not that naïve that I would say that money doesn´t mean anything. Of course it does. We need the money to book a big orchestra in London to play on the albums and we have to pay the technicians and the management and the band and everything, but you just have to do what the moment tells you to do. At the moment we´re doing the next album, we have booked the studios and we already know what it´s gonna be like. There´s not gonna be a movie, but there will be a music video and that´s all we know at the moment.

Working on this solo album, was it in any way freer than working on a Nightwish album? 

Tuomas: It´s really hard to say. In one way it wasn´t, because I was bound to one theme and one story, but on the other hand it was basically all me so that had its advantages and disadvantages. Sometimes you want a second opinion and there were times where I kinda missed my band members a lot, but then again it´s all you and that also gives you a lot of freedom. I would say it was the best of both worlds.

Did you write the album in a chronological order? 

Tuomas: I knew that the songs would end up in a chronological order because it had to be. But I didn´t write them in that order. I remember doing the song “Glasgow 1877” first and that´s basically the opening track, but the second song I did was “The last sled” and that one is in the middle of the book.

Was it just these songs or were there others that could´ve been used on the album? 

Tuomas: It was just these songs and no bonus tracks or nothing. I think there was an additional riff in the song “Duel and cloudscapes” that I left out, but that was the only thing that didn´t make it onto the album. It almost always the same thing with Nightwish. I´m just really bad at doing extra stuff. You wouldn´t know how much trouble we´ve had with that. I understand the bonus track principle, but we almost never have those and then we have to come up with these absurd remixes and orchestral versions or whatever. It´s a fun challenge and I don´t mind it, but it always takes a lot of imagination.

Was there a thought of having people reading the book while listening to the album as a soundtrack? 

Tuomas: That would be the perfect combination, but I also think that the album will work even though you don´t know Don Rosa´s work or have the book in your hands. I have a whole bunch of movie soundtracks that I love to listen though even though I´ve never seen the films, so this is kinda a similar thing.

Do you have any favorite soundtrack composers? 

Tuomas: At the moment it´s James Newton Howard, who´s done movies like “The sixth sense”, “Blood diamond” and “Batman begins” together with Hans Zimmer, for example.

Could you see yourself do movie soundtracks in the future, like in the style of Trent Reznor in “The social network”? 

Tuomas: I would love to do that at some point, but at the moment I just enjoy band work. I really like spending time with the guys and the girl, touring the world and doing things together. Myabe in a few decades or so if something happens to Nightwish or if we decide to take a longer break. It is something that I would love to try to do, but I also have the impression that it´s not as easy as it sounds, because you really have to go by the terms of the film and the director. That´s what I´ve heard from composers, that you have to kill your darlings.

Have you played the album for the rest of the members? 

Tuomas: No, I haven´t actually. We just mastered it two weeks ago and I haven´t met them yet. They´ve heard the single of course, but not the rest of it. I´m gonna meet them all in a week and we´ll have a band meeting concerning the upcoming album and the sketches and everything, so maybe I´ll have a chance to play it for them then.

Is there any plan for a carton movie to go with the album? 

Tuomas: No. Again, it´s a matter of money and Disney rights. I haven´t even given it a thought.

Will there be any performances of the album in any way? 

Tuomas: I highly doubt it, I really do. But then again, nothing is impossible. Maybe after the Nightwish tour, I´ll do a few special shows in London with the orchestra and play the album form beginning to end. It would be lovely and I would love to do it, but again, it´s a matter of schedules and money and rehearsals and all that.

What´s it like working with an orchestra like that one? 

Tuomas: It´s beautiful! We have used the same people since the album “Once” (2004). Same orchestrator, same choir, same orchestra, same percussionists. I´ve actually seen a cello player headbang while we were recording one of our songs. It´s 52 people plus the three percussionists. It´s always a really smooth process. They are the best prima vista players in the world. It´s unbelievable! There are never any rehearsals and they never hear the songs beforehand. They just put on the headphones and then we go. An hour later we have a take.

What´s the plan for the next Nightwish album then? 

Tuomas: I have given myself some schedules and I should have all the songs ready by the beginning of May. I have nine songs now and Marko just visited me about a week ago and gave me a CD full of riffs. We´re almost there and we´re looking at 12 songs all together. We will all get together on July 1st in my hometown and we have rented this beautiful camp site for three months. It´s actually where we did the previous album, so it´s the same place for three months to rehearse, arrange, fish, water ski, record, get drunk and if everything goes as planned, the album should be ready by the turn of the year.

Does recording an album in the middle of summer, in any way affect the sound, compared to record it in winter time? 

Tuomas: It must have something to do with it. I don´t know about the recordings because you´re inside a room either way, but as a songwriter I can´t do anything in the summer or in the evenings. It´s funny, I almost always do all of my songwriting in the morning or in the afternoon, so when the clock strikes five or six, I´m done. (laughs) And the band is called Nightwish, go figure? (laughs) I´m a morning person and I love to get up early.

Those 12 songs you mentioned, how long does it usually take to turn them into finished songs? 

Tuomas: It´s really hard to measure it because the songs are in process in my head all the time. Some of these songs for the next album were already born two years ago. Let´s say it takes about half a year to a year of 24/7 songwriting for me personally to get everything done.

What does Floor Jansen bring to the album? 

Tuomas: She brings a lot of interpretations, some arrangements and positive energy for sure, but she´s not included in the songwriting process. She told me that the first time around, she has Revamp and Marko and I will do just fine for now.

What is it about Nightwish and female singers? Is it a chemistry thing? 

Tuomas: Yeah, something like that. I don´t wanna go too deep into it because it´s just a never ending story, a never ending carousel. Maybe there´s just a little bit of bad luck involved as well.

Could Nightwish ever have a male singer? 

Tuomas: No, I think it has to e a female singer. It´s such an essential part of the band and what the band is all about. It´s been there from the beginning and the moment I formed the band back in August 1996, I knew that it was gonna be a female singer. That´s never gonna change.

It´s almost 20 years ago. Been a fun ride, I guess? 

Tuomas: Yeah, lot´s of ups, lot´s of downs and everything in between. Sometimes it feels really weird, like “What the hell´s going on?”. I just finished reading Rex Brown´s (Pantera, Kill Devil Hill) book and other bands have similar problems. We´re minor league compared to some of them.

It really doesn´t come as a surprise when you´re in a band. You spend a lot of time together, compared to the time you spend with your co-workers on a regular job. 

Tuomas: Absolutely. One more thing, and Marko put it really well. We look like we´re a bunch of Neanderthals against ladies and I guess it´s what it must look like, that we´re a bunch of chauvinist pigs or whatever, but the fact is that the band is full of males who have had relationships with females – our girlfriends, wives, sisters, mothers - our whole lives. Full of love and no conflicts and that´s all I wanna say. (laughs)

12 years from now when you celebrate your 30th anniversary as a band, could you see all three singers on stage, doing something together? 

Tuomas: Why not. Holding grudges and living with hatred is never good for anybody, so I really hope it happens some day. These kinda things take time.

After the new Nightwish album is released, I guess there´s gonna be a full blown world tour? 

Tuomas: If everything goes as planned and it´s a big if, we start off in April 2015 and then we do the summer festivals and so on. I would say we´ll be touring till the end of 2016 for sure. About a year and a half.

You mentioned that you never thought Nightwish would get this far. What was it back then that made you think that? 

Tuomas: When we released the first album every single band member was studying something or working with something. I was supposed to become a biologist, Jukka a computer engineer etc. We were doing this gothic power metal with female operatic vocals and it had all the signs of disaster, but something happened and we realized that there was something going on. None of us really enjoyed studying what we were studying and I didn´t like the university life at all and after about four months, I moved back to my mom and my dad. I borrowed money from my dad to buy a keyboard, wrote the songs for “Oceanborn” (1998), released it and here we are, still on the same path.

Were you the rebellious one in the family? 

Tuomas: I´m eternally thankful for my parents, because it must´ve looked terrible. I was studying biology at the university and then I come back home and go “Can I live with you guys and also, can you lend me money so I can buy an instrument and play metal?”. They never said anything. They lent me the money and said “You´re more than welcome to stay.”. Talk about loving parents. But yeah, we´re quite a bunch. My sister is an urologist, my brother is a pathologist and I play metal. (laughs)

It´s gotta make for some interesting dinner conversations? 

Tuomas: Yeah, there are some interesting stories here and there. (laughs)

Did you ever pay back your parents? 

Tuomas: I did. It was 8800 Marks, about 1500 Euros.

Do they come to shows when you play in Finland? 

Tuomas: They do. They´re both retired and it´s really sweet that they´re taking full advantage of it. They´re travelling all the time and when we´re on tour, they schedule their trips so they get to see many of our shows. They´ve been to Los Angeles, San Diego, Las Vegas and all over Europe and Finland. It´s really sweet. My mom is always in a Nightwish t-shirt. If she goes shopping for groceries or to a baseball game, she´s always in a Nightwish t-shirt. She´s 73 and I even saw her in a Children of Bodom “Follow the reaper” t-shirt and I said “Do you know what that is?”. (laughs) She´s great.

/Niclas

torsdagen den 6:e mars 2014

Utlottning av bok!


























Becker och Lindeblad bjuder på en director´s cut av deras första bok. En pocketutgåva, som förutom ett intressant förord av dagsaktuelle Siewert Öholm, bjuder på intervju med Lips i Anvil och stories om filmerna de gjort om tidningen OKEJ och filmen The Ninja mission. 
Tre vinnare får varsin bok och allt ni behöver göra är att svara på följande:

Vad sa den gode Siewert att W.A. S. P. stod för, när han gav sig på Anders Tengner och hårdrocken i programmet Svar Direkt?

Rätt svar skickas till metalshrine@hotmail.com senast torsdag 13/3.

/Niclas
No rest for the wicked...
















Vem minns inte det numera kultförklarade inslaget från SVT´s Svar Direkt, där frikyrklige Siewert Öholm gick hårt åt Anders Tengner och hårdrocken?
Den gode Siewert, som för övrigt varit åtalad för otukt med barn, är nu igång igen. Tydligen ska han befinna sig på samma mässa som "djävulsrockaren" Bruce Dickinson och det har han givetvis lite att säga till om. 

Läs i Dagens Media HÄR

/Niclas

onsdagen den 5:e mars 2014

Tysksvenska The Oath förvaltar det gamla. 



Linnéa Olsson, som i vanliga fall bl a skriver i SvD och SRM, har hittat ner till Berlin och tillsammans med tyska Johanna Sadonis bildat The Oath. Det låter inte dumt alls. 
Debuten ser snart dagens ljus på Rise Above Records. 

/Niclas
Bathory på Record Store Day.





















En hel del trevliga släpp att se fram emot. Cherrybombed.com har satt ihop en lista.

Prong – Turnover b/w Revenge Best Served Cold. Pressed on green/white marble. (3000 copies) Soundgarden – Superunknown – The Singles (5×10 set) 
Machine Head - Killers & Kings (Demo) b/w Our Darkest Days (Ignite Cover ). Presented with four different sleeves (1000 copies each). 
Motörhead – What’s Words Worth, Live in 1978. Pressed on 180 gram red vinyl 
Motörhead – Motörhead. Douple LP pressed on 180 gram white vinyl 
Deep Purple – Shades of Purple 7″ (originally recorded in 1968) 
Testament - Live in London. Double LP pressed on 180g red vinyl 
Rainbow - Rockplast 1995–Black Masquerade. Triple record set pressed on 140g red vinyl 
Pantera -  Far Beyond Driven Double LP 
Mastodon - Live at Brixton Double LP + DVD 
Hawkwind – Church of Hawkwind (originally released in 1982). Double LP pressed on 180g clear vinyl 
Bathory - Bathory (1983) 
Bathory - Under the Sign of Black (1986) 
Bathory - Blood Fire Death – (1988) 
Bathory - Hammerheart (1990) 
Bathory - Twilight of the Gods (1991) *All on picture disc* 
Ghoul – Hang 10 (10″) – A six-song limited edition EP release from the Oakland thrashers.

/Niclas
Scott Kelly även med på kommande Mastodon. 



Metal Injection rapporterar om Kellys medverkan. Senast mästaren från Neurosis gästade lät det så här. Hur det blir på nya släppet från atlantabandet återstår att se. Jag förväntar mig dock inget annat än ett mästerverk. 


/Niclas
Ibland var det väldigt mycket bättre förr. 



Det är och förblir en gåta hur det kom sig att detta band inte blev minst lika stort som alla de andra 80-talsakterna? Tänk bara vilken man det krävs för att ställa sig på scen i illrosa byxdräkt.



/Niclas
Heavy Tiger bjuder på en kyss. 



Ny video från coolaste tjejerna i landet. Videon är för övrigt inspelad i en av tjejernas lägenhet. 

/Niclas
Från favorit till skämt...



Det finns inget mer att tillägga egentligen. Jag avgudade Queensryche från det att "The warning" såg dagens ljus fram till och med "Promised land", även om den sistnämnde inte riktigt nådde ända fram. 
Numera finns det två Queensryche, vilket i sig får fiktiva Spinal Tap att framstå som betydligt mer verklighetsförankrat, och Geoff Tate ska bjuda på en vaudevilleshow med musik från allehanda tider.
Att han dessutom klär ut sig i peruk gör det hela än mer underligt. "I guess we´re not in Kansas anymore?", som flickan sa.

/Niclas

fredagen den 28:e februari 2014

Två artiklar i nya SRM.


























I senaste numret av SRM har undertecknad, efter mycket svett och svärande, plitat ihop två artiklar. En om Sveriges senaste hopp på rockhimlen, Heavy Tiger, och ett om ett sedan länge bortglömt band, Sound Barrier. Det senare brukar räknas som det första svarta hårdrocksbandet i Los Angeles och existerade under några år på 80-talet. En dokumentär är planerad och har vi tur kommer deras tre skivor ut på nytt med bonusmaterial.



/Niclas
Intervju med Michael Starr och Lexxi Foxx i Steel Panther. 




















Något naivt tänkte jag att det här skulle bli som vilken intervju som helst. Frågor skulle ställas och svar skulle ges. Men nej, så blev det inte riktigt.
Steel Panther är i mångt och mycket ett Spinal Tap för 2000-talet med något grövre sexinslag. Dock saknas den där komiska charmen som Michael McKean, Christopher Guest och Harry Shearer besitter. Det är en viss skillnad på "Big bottom" och "Gang bang at the old folks home", om man säger så.
Dum som jag var tänkte jag att killarna i Steel Panther utanför strålkastarnas sken, skulle kunna svara normalt på mina frågor och lägga skådespelet åt sidan. Icke sa Nicke.
Intervjun blev minst sagt intressant och slutresultatet något luddigt. Bland allt trams, gavs det nog ett eller annat ärligt svar, men mest var det en komisk och inövad dialog som spelades upp.

When was the first time you realized you were onto something with the band? 

Lexxi Foxx: Let´s see. For me, it was when I was able to afford to get my own apartment. I still live with my mom though because I don´t like to live there all by myself. I like to go to my mom´s for cooking and do my laundry and shit. My stepdad is a fucking asshole though.

Michael Starr: In the beginning we truly had no idea that this was gonna happen. Our plan was to be able to play fucking metal.

Lexxi Foxx: And get pussy!

Michael Starr: At the time Nirvana came out, our way of life had ended, but we never stopped doing it. When we started playing covers and getting paid for it, it was like “Wow, this is cool!”, but we never thought we´d put out records and go on world tours. For me, I would say it was when we got our first record deal. A major one. Still, we tour and go around the world, but when we come home we play weekly cover shows and just keep playing. We played for three years straight.

Lexxi Foxx: Yeah, this is the longest break we´ve taken from our regular job. We started on the Strip in ´99 and we´re getting a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame…

Michael Starr: Not yet! It´s not here.

Lexxi Foxx: But they don´t know that. I know we don´t have it with us, but it´s for the longest running show in Hollywood.

Any plans for a Steel Panther movie? 

Lexxi Foxx: Could be cool! I guess there are some camera crews talking about following us around now.

Michael Starr: We already made a movie.

Lexxi Foxx: We made a movie. See how that happens?

Michael Starr: It would be cool to make a documentary on the real lives of the guys in Steel Panther. On tour we have a lot of fun. Like last night, each guy fucked a different girl.

Lexxi Foxx: And we got hammered drunk.

Michael Starr: It was really fucking fun, dude! I think the world needs to see this, because kids today don´t know what rock and roll is.

Lexxi Foxx: Our tour bus is so bitchin´, we even let the crew fuck our bitches. Like last night, and this just shows how close we are, one girl, while she was sleeping, everybody on the bus got to put their penis in her and it was awesome. That´s how we like to do it on our bus, we share because we´re like one big happy family. But we don´t fuck each other because then we´re gonna have kids that come out slow.

Michael Starr: We´re a tribe and when tribes fuck each other, they have retarded tribes.

You can´t go Amish! 

Michael Starr: No, but we can go Mormon. The more kids we have, the more metal bands there´ll be.

The new album then, “All you can eat”? 

Michael Starr: The cover was inspired by Lexxi. We thought it would be really funny to do a cover that coincides with the name, “All you can eat”. All you can eat, insinuates a cheap diner and the picture insinuated quality and high class. You put those together and you´ve got Steel Panther.

Lexxi Foxx: I know that when Dicaprio did that painting, he wanted it to be this amazing thing. Look what we did to that fucking thing!

Michael Starr: With photoshop and new technology, you can make way better paintings now.


Lexxi Foxx: You see, he didn´t have what we have today, like computers.

Micahel Starr: We added the pizza in afterwards. There was only one on the table, so we added another one.

Lexxi Foxx. We added all kinds of stuff. What we didn´t do, because we´re smart, we know they could´ve added girls in there but we used trickery to tell the girls that we needed girls, because our computer didn´t work. We couldn´t put girls in there so we needed real girls. So we got the girls. Everything else is trickery. 

Dicaprio was an awesome painter by the way. 

Lexxi Foxx: Thank you!

You´ve got some interesting song titles. 

Michael Starr: Let´s take “Gang bang at the old folks home”! It´s a great, great song. I used to deliver pizzas and Satchel´s mom is actually a bit older. She´s in a retirement home.

Lexxi Foxx: She´s an old fucking bat! She can be a witch at times too. Not a nice lady at all.

Michael Starr: But he (Satchel) doesn´t know that I used to fuck her.

Lexxi Foxx: Satchel came out of her pussy, but Michael came in.

Michael Starr. Well, I was delivering pizzas there and she was angry because I hadn´t fucked her in a while, but we did a gang bang and it was killer.

How do you come up with those titles? 

Michael Starr: It´s easy. They´re all life experiences. It´s like right now. Let´s say we put a song on the record called “Doing an interview in Stockholm” and the interviewer said “Hey, where did you get the inspiration for that?” and I´d go “We did an interview in Stockholm.”. The best way is art imitating life, because that way it is more organic and it´s real and you know that organic stuff is better for you.

Lexxi Foxx: It´s not like with Radiohead where you can´t figure out what the fuck is going on. “I have no idea what the fuck this is! You´re so artsy fartsy with your stupid message. I´m not buying your damn shit because I don´t fucking understand it!”. We tell you! We want pussy and we want a fucking party! We like things that start with P.

How do you go about writing for an album? 

Michael Starr: I´ll tell you what I do to get ready for creating the record. I go to the beach and I fucking relax, hang out, get tanned, go get a protein shake, maybe go for a bike ride along Venice and then I´ll come back to the studio and see how many songs Satchel wrote.

Lexxi Foxx: Same for me. Mostly I´ll just tan, try to pick up chicks and run hurdles.

Michael Starr: It´s important that we do our job because if we go in there all tensed up, and we´ve done this before, and he´s like “Wake up! You gotta sing!” and I hadn´t been to Starbucks or had a cigarette and we tried to record it but it came out horrible. Next time he went to wake me up and I was at the beach. I came back, sang and it came out killer. That´s when we recorded “Fat girl” the very first time.

Lexxi Foxx: It helps the process out a lot if I just don´t say a fucking word. It´s always “No, no, no! Leave Lexxi, leave!”. It just takes a lot longer if I´m there. Too many cooks in the kitchen.

Michael Starr: The process is tedious, extremely boring, but once it´s done, then you know you´re getting laid.

Are your songs in anyway controversial in the US, with the Bible belt and all? 

Michael Starr: No. Nothing. We haven´t heard anything from any artist that we sing about or anything. I think people are intimidated by us. I think they´re afraid. It´s like when you see a super hot chick and you wanna fuck her, but you´re nervous to talk to her. You wanna say something, but this chick is so hot she probably won´t even look at you.

Lexxi Foxx: It´s like… we have a bad area in LA called Compton. You just don´t fuck with that area. If I gotta go to the other side of town, I go around Compton, I don´t go through it. I heard that it isn´t that bad anymore?

Lexxi: Well, if you look like me it is. I would get pounded in my ass. It´s like fucking jail. Not cool.

The UK tour you did with Def Leppard and Mötley Crüe, were you the only ones partying? 

Michael Starr: Are you kidding me? No! Vince Meal, that guy can eat a party, dude!

Lexxi Foxx: He doesn´t eat and throw up like I do. He keeps it in his belly.

Micahel Starr: Sakky Sixx is always at the catering eating, so we´d hang out and drink. The guy that drank the most was the guitar player from Def Leppard, Vivian Campbell. That guy can fucking drink!

Lexxi Foxx: Speaking of Vivian Campbell, he´s on the album on the song “Gang bang at the old folks home”. He´s so awesome!

Michael Starr: It´s a good thing that Rick (Allen) stopped drinking though. He was drinking at the beginning of the tour and he punched Lexxi. He thought he was a girl.

Was it a dream come true playing with those bands? 

Michael Starr: Fuck yeah it was! I would say that that tour was Steel Panther´s destiny because if you go back in time to 2009 and listen to our first single “Death to all but metal”, it simply states in there “Where´s Def Leppard, where´s Mötley Crüe?”. It was a dream come true and it was fun. When we open up for bands of that caliber and instead of saying “Who´s ready for Mötley Crüe and Def Leppard?”, we would say “Listen motherfuckers! You guys gotta make some noise because we´ve been hired to fucking get you riled up for these bands coming up!”.

Lexxi Foxx: You were bitchin´when you did that shit, dude! You´re so fucking good doing that.

Who´s the coolest rocker you´ve gotten up on stage to sing with you? 

Michael Starr: Mike Starr (died in 2011) from Alice in Chains. He got up and jammed with us a month before he died. I don´t know if you´re really into LA metal or Chicago metal, but Derek Frigo (died in 2004) from Enuff Z´Nuff got up on stage and jammed with us and died a week later.

Lexxi Foxx: That´s very true. Unfortunately for me, the singer from Danger Danger (Ted Poley) got up on stage, but he´s still alive. It always happens in threes. I was gonna ask Eddie Vedder to come up and jam with us. Get that back.

What was the coolest show you ever saw in LA in the 80´s? 

Michael Starr: My most favorite show was Van Halen “Fair warning” tour at the LA Sports Arena (Actually it was at the LA Forum, editor´s note), but I could be wrong. I was young and it went by so fast. I remember so clearly watching David Lee Roth and going “My god, this guy is amazing!”. At that point, to me, that was a life changing event.

Lexxi Foxx: Mine was The Bangles, because I would´ve fucked Susanna Hoff…

Micahel Starr: The Bangles? Lexxi Foxx: Yeah, I couldn´t keep my eyes off of her. That´s when I decided I wanted to be in a band, because I wanted to be able to fuck girls like that. Both concerts are why we are what we are today.

Is there a difference between the American audience and the Swedish audience? 

Lexxi Foxx: The girls here are so bad ass! They´re beautiful and have real blonde hair. In LA, I don´t think there´s any real blonde hair there. Everybody has to bleach it like I do. All the girls out here have natural blue eyes, fair skin because the sun doesn´t fuck it up and they´re beautiful.

Michael Starr: I have to say that America is catching up to Steel Panther. Our shows in the Midwest, we´re doing like 3000 seaters now. The audience is getting younger because we´re getting more radio play and it´s changing.

Lexxi Foxx: I just wanna thank everybody that fucking lives in Europe and came to our concerts, because you guys are way ahead of us when it comes to what´s cool.

/Niclas

torsdagen den 27:e februari 2014

Det var oskyldigare förr...
























/Niclas
Intervju med Nergal i Behemoth. 





















För en tid sedan hade jag nöjet att samtala med Polens största bibelförstörare, Nergal i Behemoth. En välartikulerad och bildad man, som inte bara gått igenom en utdragen rättegång, utan även en hemsk sjukdom.
Det är ytterst intressant hur denne ganska tunna man med högt hårfäste, kan förvandlas till den mörka och sataniska varelse han är på scen. Vi kom att prata om allt möjligt och Nergal framstår som en människa som mest blickar framåt och dessutom försöker dra lärdom av allt som händer i livet, bra som dåligt.

You were recently found not guilty in the Bible ripping incident. What went through your mind when you heard the verdict? 

Nergal: Well, I wasn´t sure so obviously I felt relieved, but somehow I had a gut feeling that the verdict was gonna go that way. It felt somehow like my intuition was telling me that I would win. I´m happy and relieved.

Six years is a long time battling obscurity and bullshit. And all the tax payers money spent on a thing like this? 

Nergal: Yeah, I guess… with all of this stuff I´ve pissed off so many people already.

Knowing what you´ve been through, would you do it again? 

Nergal: I would probably give you a different answer depending on my mood. It is what it is. I´m happy for everything that happened at any point in time. The fuck ups, the good stuff, the bad stuff, it´s part of my life. If it wasn´t me in Poland, it would be some other artist or someone else who would be prosecuted for similar actions. It´s a necessary step on the way to democracy and every country has to work that out at a certain stage. Sweden probably had stuff like this. I don´t know your history, but you´ve been through this and you worked it out. Like blasphemy, there´s no logic for it being part of your law. It brings nothing to the system, but in Poland you can be accused of blasphemy. It´s a very intelligent question, what is blasphemy? If there is a thing like blasphemy, we should find some kind of measurement for blasphemy and we´d probably need to find, like a thermometer. It´s completely surreal, this conversation, but it´s like someone would come up with the idea of accusing someone for bad taste. If it was up to me when it comes to bad taste, there would be a death penalty for most of the society, obviously. (laughs) But I know that it´s just surreal and we should really accept people for who they are. We don´t need to get into interactions with them if you don´t want to. I don´t go to church because I know I can easily get annoyed. Some of my adversaries decide to go to church, get offended, get annoyed and then go straight to court. Where´s the logic? It´s some kind of masochism. Either way, I don´t like it.

Did all of this that has happened, change your perspective on life? 

Nergal: For sure. It took me a few years until I realized it was a good lesson. It happened for a reason and I need to learn from it. When I was released from the hospital, I just wanted to live my life, which was ok, but the reflections and the conclusions came later and especially in this last year. 2013 has been essential and I´ve made some serious transgressions. It´s an ongoing process and it´s never too late to learn and to realize that there´s a lot of work to be done if you want to become a better person.

Let´s move on to something else. Your stage outfit, how do you go about creating that persona? 

Nergal: It just happens. I let my creative spirit free and let if drift and then I just follow it. I observe and follow it and let things happen and I materialize these visions. It´s a summary of all kinds of inspirations that come from all over the place. I just pick up pieces of the puzzle and put it together.

Do you feel there´s a transformation taking place? 

Nergal: Yes. Something happens. True. I start walking differently and I talk differently. My vocal tone changes and my moves change. Everything changes. It helps me transform into some kinda alter ego.

Do you feel there are things you can do in that character, that you can´t do when you´re just you? 

Nergal: Yes. If I would go now and perform in these clothes I have on now, it wouldn´t work. I would feel small. It´s like an armor and I feel way more powerful. All these pieces put together makes me feel special.

With the new album “The Satanist”, you entered the Billboard chart at no 34. 

Nergal: Yeah and the previous highest position was 56 or something, I believe, so we got higher up this time around. I actually did some research and I
think it´s unheard of. I think the title can actually shut some doors for us because it´s so radical and it´s really a “fuck off” title. It´s like “Fuck it! This is it!”. For me, there are so many layers of it. I guess that when common people hear it for the first time, the first thing they feel is fear. But the western media also somehow feel very attracted to it, which is weird.



It´s also weird climbing the charts in a country like the US, which is a very religious country. 

Nergal: They are as fanatical as they are liberal. Europe is way more conservative. The US is extreme in many ways.

You recently said that US death metal bands are boring and generic? 

Nergal: It´s not just the US. I really hope my friends in Nile don´t think that, because it´s not what I meant. The majority of death metal bands are boring to me. It´s how it is. This endless strive for perfection and processed recordings. They´re so perfect and professional to the point of throwing up. I´m not buying it. I´d rather go for something that is very organic and more human oriented and that has the human factor in it. 

What bands do you find exciting then? 

Nergal: The funny thing is that hardly any of the bands in the darkest niche of the genre offers the most sincere or genuine or best music. I would rather listen to Svartidaudi, Kriegsmachine or Oranssi Pazuzu than listening to the new Morbid Angel or Deicide. Their music doesn´t do it for me at all and that´s music I grew up with.

Could there ever be a Nergal solo album? 

Nergal: Yeah, I´m thinking about it. I´ve been thinking about it for years now. What I need now is to balance myself with something that´s gonna be exactly on the opposite side of Behemoth. You would never ever see me doing a black metal, death metal or metal project. I put all my energy into Behemoth, so to balance my life I´d really need to do a really stripped down and primal sound. What I´m thinking about is probably just one or two male vocals, some acoustic guitars and maybe a bass drum only.

Do you already have music like that lying around? 

Nergal: Yeah, I´ve been fucking around with stuff. I´ve done some demos, which I hardly ever play for anybody. It´s gonna be dark and sinister, but a bit different. Like 16 Horsepower and Wovenhand and that kinda stuff. 

What do you think of In Solitude who are playing with you on these dates? 

Nergal: Love them! I´m actually trying to get them on the Polish leg of the tour. They´re good dudes and very down to earth. I liked them before, but with their new record “Sister” they´re actually transgressing and doing something very, very special. One of the best of last year.

What got you into music? 

Nergal: Actually, at first I wasn´t really into music. I was into drawing and I was drawing for hours every day. I drew wars. My parents said half jokingly “Maybe you should go in that direction? The school of arts?”, but I chose music and I have never ever regretted it. Not a single day. It is what it is and it´s the best job ever. I love it! It keeps me inspired and I can inspire other people, which is very important.

Was there a particular band or album that then got you into music? 

Nergal: No, there were different stages of getting into it. It was a combination of things that made me go that way.

Growing up in Poland in the 80´s, was there an easy access to music or was it all via the black market? 

Nergal: Yeah, there was the black market and there was radio. Just imagine, Poland was under a communist regime. In control, but out of control in a sense with like publishing rights and such. National radio would play full albums, which is unheard of, and it didn´t cost them a single penny. That´s how guys like myself would get educated in heavy metal. I was really young and there was this radio show called “Music of the youth”, if you translate it, and they played heavy metal albums. They played Flotsam and Jetsam and said it was thrash metal. I wasn´t really catching on to it because it was too technical and aggressive. When I was a kid, Slayer was too much for me, but eventually I caught up with it and I got into the more extreme stuff.

Do you think Behemoth would´ve existed, had you not grown up in a Catholic family? 

Nergal: Well, I had a Catholic upbringing, I did. I was never asked if I wanted to be baptized. There are more atheists today and the atheistic approach is coming back, which is good. I don´t know. I don´t really like to think “What if?”. It is what it is and I am who I am. I don´t question things in this way, I accept it and embrace it and I like the place where I am now. If I didn´t, we´d have a more dramatic conversation. I´m really happy with my life. I´m actually happy that it started that way. I opened up my mind and started questioning things and contemplating and reflecting on things. I rejected religion and converted into something that is very much based on individual and independent philosophy.

I find the way you questioned religion interesting. I´m a teacher and work with kids from different cultures and countries and 99% of them are religious, be it mainly Muslims or Christians. They never choose, they´re born into it. 

Nergal: There must be a reason why we call them sheep in the Bible. They never question, they just follow. People need to be led and need to be controlled and even if they don´t, they still choose their ways so they feel safe. This way they get rid of the extra ballast, the extra responsibility and they can eat, drink, fuck, shit and die one day, which is ok. Either way, it´s their decisions. It´s all about balancing it and giving your life deeper thoughts and deciding and choosing for yourself. I don´t know if I was there from the start, maybe I wasn´t. Maybe there was something else that brought me to this place. I just started listening to heavy metal and it just opened up some cells, some impulses to rebel. I don´t know. I think heavy metal is a very healthy music style. First of all, the culture of heavy metal is so spread out from stupid, casual things to very important things that matters. Name any other culture that is spread out like that? There´s none! That makes it very inspiring and very stimulating. If I ever have kids, I will definitely try to play them heavy metal. If they dig it, that´ll be awesome.

What did your parents say when you decided on all of this? Were they supportive in anyway? 

Nergal: Yeah, totally. My father used to work in the shipyard and my first guitars came from some of his coworkers. I couldn´t afford getting one from the store. It was at the end of communism and the beginning of democracy. It took a few years until we reached the level we are at now and back then it was really hard to get hold of instruments and stuff. My parents would give me everything they could, but it wasn´t much. My dad used to cut out guitars in wood. They weren´t meant to be played on, but he would do everything he could to support his kid, which I´m very thankful for.

/Niclas

onsdagen den 26:e februari 2014

Det går bra för SRF. 
















Saxat från pressutskick:

"Sweden Rock Festival i Blekinge står stark på den svenska festivalmarknaden. Omsättningen för Sweden Rock Festival AB uppgick verksamhetsåret 2013 till 90 miljoner kronor, vilket är den högsta omsättningen i festivalens historia och en ökning med 13,2 miljoner jämfört med föregående år. Intäkterna bestod till ungefär två tredjedelar av biljettintäkter, men även andra verksamhetsgrenar inom bolaget visar på stark tillväxt och cirka en tredjedel av omsättningen bestod av andra intäkter. Resultatet efter skatt uppgick till 16,2 miljoner, även det en ökning jämfört med 2012. 

Fakta, Sweden Rock Festival 2013: 
Antal dagsbesökare: 113 500 
Besökare i snitt per dag, huvuddagarna: 33 000 
Antal dagar: 4, varav en öppningsdag på halva området 
Antal band: 76 
Antal scener: 5 
Antal länder besökarna kom från: 52 
Antal festivaler sedan starten 1992: 22"

/Niclas

tisdagen den 25:e februari 2014

Intervju med Jordan Rudess i Dream Theater.




















I lördags intog Drömteatern huvudstaden och bjöd på den bästa show jag hittills sett med bandet. Några timmar innan konserten snackade jag kort med keyboardisten Jordan Rudess. Strax innan intervjun mötte jag trummisen Mike Mangini i lobbyn. Han såg något vilsen ut, frågade om jag skulle intervjua honom och vandrade sedan vidare. Han såg ut att ha smalnat sedan sist jag mötte honom och dessutom var håret betydligt längre. Efter en stund insåg jag att han faktiskt var jäkligt lik Steve Perry.
Nåväl, Jordan var trevlig och vi pratade bl a om de gjort några nya upptäckter i låtskrivandet i samband med senaste albumet.

Did you make any new discoveries about songwriting on this latest album? 

Jordan Rudess: Well, we kinda discovered that it is possible to take the Dream Theater style and kinda bring it into more concise format and still have it feel like it´s us and that it really works. That was an experiment. In the history of the band, we´ve tried to bring certain songs a little bit more tight and on this album more so. So we can see that it works.

With a band like Dream Theater, is there ever a limit to how far you can stray from the sound you´re known for? Or do you always have to keep it within the Dream Theater boundaries, so to speak? 

Jordan Rudess: The stylistic window. First of all, Dream Theater is a fairly wide stylistic world and there are a lot of things that can be included, be it a little honky tonk thing or a slightly jazzy thing, so there are many possibilities. There are certain things that really don´t go or don´t fly inside the Dream Theater window. The best example of a band that completely does what you´re referring to, is Radiohead. They create these songs and then next thing they´re an electronic band doing weird stuff. Dream Theater does not work that way. We´ve worked very hard over the years in creating this window of parameters and it´s kinda a common ground for all of us as musicians to create this particular kind of music. An example is that many years ago, I remember I had just gotten an amazing percussion library of native instruments called Battery with great electronic drum sounds. I came into a Dream Theater writing session and we started off jamming and I was playing these really cool sounds and we had a great, great jam and it was really funny and we all ended up laughing at the end, which was really cool. I remember Mike Portnoy saying “That was amazing, but we could never do anything like that!”. It was just too different and too odd.

Could that ever limit you as a musician? 

Jordan Rudess: As a musician I have all kinds of projects I do on the side. I just finished and orchestral album and earlier I made a solo piano album that is really, really gentle. I do my electronic music and my solo piano music and when we come together as a band, I know it´s time for Dream Theater. But if we look at the bigger picture, on this latest album we have the “Illumination theory” and in the middle of that one it goes into this very lovely orchestral and sensitive thing, which is a new thing for Dream Theater. I wrote this music that I probably would never picture would go on a Dream Theater album. Things do change and we become more relaxed. Things are possible, but it´s an appreciation and respect for who we are.

You mentioned in an interview I read, that Mike Mangini brought mathematics into the band. Can you explain that? 

Jordan Rudess: Sure. I´m still learning about it myself. I always thought of strange rhythms as a bunch of 3´s and 2´s. Usually you can divide things in 2´s and 3´s and some kind of combination in the accents therein, but when I started working with Mike, he thinks in large numbers. He thinks in 19 against 5, so what I understood in working with him, is that he has a very unique mathematics brain. He´s like a genius when it comes to numbers relating to musical patterns. He was able to bring some of that into our war games. What´s cool is that he can introduce some kind of mathematical idea and then John and I can take it and use it and make notes and make music out of it. It´s a very interesting addition to the Dream Theater world. It´s fascinating and it´s really cool. We come up with some stuff that I would never come up with myself, because I don´t think like that.

How do you feel about the music business? Are you optimistic or pessimistic? 

Jordan Rudess: I would say that I´m excited about it from one point of view, being someone who enjoys technology and appreciates all the different ways of discovering music and to get music out there and the fun things you can do within the social media aspect. That said, I can´t help but be really upset about the fact that it seems harder than ever for a young band to make it. maybe it´s because there´s just too much stuff and too many ways and people get lost and don´t know where to look for a band. It´s such a wash of stuff and you´re looking at this service and that sevice, Spotify and Bandcamp. And you hear about the kinda money some of these streaming services pay the musicians and it´s really, really concerning. I have Spotify and I listen to it and I think it´s really cool, but as an artist starting out, that´s really upsetting. The world, the industry has to rethink how that´s going. It´s not gonna allow creative musicians to survive. It´s easier to get the music out there, but how are you gonna make money off of it and how are you gonna get anywhere? Everybody I talk to is basically saying or agreeing that it´s just harder.

Since you joined Dream Theater, can you see that there´s been any changes for you guys? Are you touring more countries, hitting more cities? 

Jordan Rudess: I´ve been with the band for 15 years and we certainly did open up a bunch of markets since I joined the band. We opened up Australia and we really stated make South America work and we did more countries there, so we´ve definitely seen a lot of countries open up. Once they open up, they usually work for us and we have to continue doing it, so we´ve become even more international in that way and there are more places to support.

Could you as a band ever take a stand against a country, like Russia now and their anti gay laws? Say that you´re not gonna play there, since you´re playing Russia next week? 

Jordan Rudess: I guess it´s possible. We´re not known for being a political band. In general we stay somewhat clear of these kinda things. If it was really something we all cared about together, then sure. But in history, I haven´t seen a lot of that going on. “The band stands for this, so we´re not gonna do that!”.

A totally different question. I talked to Adrian Vandenberg recently and he talked about how he hurt his hand really bad back in the 80´s when he was doing these exercises to warm up his hands. He was supposed to shake his hands violently and ended up hurting a tendon. As a piano player, do you ever warm up your hands and are more cautious of what you do with your hands? 

Jordan Rudess: I´m very cautious about it and I´m definitely conscious that if I´m going out to play a concert, I need to be somewhat flexible and warm. I stretch and shake out my hands. Playing the guitar or the piano is kinda sport related and it can get very physical. Like on this tour, I started out practicing and expanding and contracting my hands at the piano and then I realized that I´m banging on the keys for almost 3 hours a night and the places of impact are starting to get a little sore. The last thing I wanna do is sit there and play more before the show. I´ve been doing other things like stretching and putting my hands in water and shake them out a bit, so when I walk on, I´m relaxed and that´s really important. You need to shake them out, but I wouldn´t recommend to violently shake your hands.

/Niclas
King Diamond till Gröna Lund!


























Av alla lätt surrealistiska bokningar till nöjesparken, är nog den falsettsjungade dansken mest surrealistisk.
Den 25 juli står han på scen. Vi ses i vimlet.

/Niclas

måndagen den 24:e februari 2014

Superunknown deluxe.





















Soundgardens "Superunknown" fyller 20 år och firas på ett storartat sätt. Tänk om fler band kunde ge ut lika roliga släpp...
All info om vad som finns med på de fem discarna hittas HÄR
Lyssna på en demo av "The day I tried to live" nedan. 



/Niclas

söndagen den 23:e februari 2014

Konsertrecension

Dream Theater

Annexet, Stockholm 140222



















Efter att ha sett jänkarna live vid flertalet tillfällen de senaste åren, steg jag in i Annexet utan några större förväntningar. Deras konserter har i mitt tycke varit lite "hit or miss". Att de dessutom spelar i 3 timmar gjorde att jag tvivlade något över kvällens begivenheter.
Men Dream Theater överraskade må jag säga. Visserligen fanns det tillfällen då jag kvävde en gäspning och försökte skaka liv i mina stela ben, men överlag bjöd dessa extremt skickliga musiker på en mycket nöjsam konsertupplevelse. 
De visade sin absoluta topp i "Enigma machine" från deras senaste och självbetitlade album. En höjdpunkt som verkligen fick fram deras genialitet och gav bevis på hur otroligt samspelta de är som en enhet. Mangini lyckades dessutom få ett trumsolo att framstå som relativt underhållande och han hade ett minspel, som fick både en och två i publiken att skratta till. Det är också intressant hur en så teknisk trummis kan se ut att spela så avslappnat som han gör. 
När de sedan följde upp detta mindre mästerverk med "The mirror/Lie" från 20-årsjubilaren "Awake", ja då kunde jag bara kapitulera inför deras storhet. LaBrie sjöng med en gudabenådad kraft i rösten och verkade göra det utan någon större ansträngning.
Förutom det fenomenala musicerandet var själva inramning även den väldigt smakfull och flöt ihop bra med låtmaterialet. Faktum är att de små filmerna som följde musiken på backdropen påminde om Rush scenshow vid flera tillfällen under kvällens gång. 
Jag vågar nog mig på att säga att Dream Theater anno 2014 står på en musikalisk topp. Det är ganska allena i sin genre vad gäller det tekniska kunnandet och där de tidigare delvis tråkat ut mig, lyckades de under större delen av kvällen engagera mig i deras framförande. Ett gigantiskt uppryck sedan första gången jag såg dem på turnén för "Falling into infinity". Då kändes konserten mest som ett enda långt onaniprojekt och var något av det mest fantasilösa jag skådat på en scen.
Gårdagens konsert på ett hyfsat knökfull Annexet visade ett band med en sjuhelsikes fingertoppskänsla och ett jäkla driv.

Betyg: 4/5

/Niclas

KISS är numera en såpopera. 


























Förvisso är det konstaterandet inte särskilt nytt, men med allt trams kring Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, passar det bättre än aldrig förr.
Ace Frehley och Peter Criss är två rejäla "has beens" hur mycket man än älskar originalsättningen. De har nu båda uttalat sig om galan och att det inte kommer bli en åteförening i smink på scen. Personligen förstod jag aldrig vitsen med det. 
Tommy Thayer och Eric Singer är de nuvarande melemmarna oavsett vad man tycker om det. De har tillsammans med herrarna Stanley och Simmons lyckats blåsa rejält liv i det gamla bandet och är utan tvekan betydligt mer kompetenta musiker och medarbatre än herrarna Frehley och Criss.
De senaste två albumen "Sonic boom" och "Monster" har visat ett band vars sound helt plötsligt låtit vitalare än på många, många år. Jag kan inte påstå att jag lyssnat alltför mycket på dessa album sedan de kom ut, men minns dem som bra. Skulle Frehley och Criss klarat av att prestera något liknande som Thayer och Singer? Ytterst tveksamt.
De hade varit kul om de alla gick upp på scen, bockade, bugade och tog emot applåderna med glada miner. Vad som nu kommer att hända är svårt att sia om och själv bryr jag mig nog inte så mycket längre. Alan G Parker, som just nu jobbar på dokumentärfilmen om KISS, uttalade sig på följande sätt idag:

"If, just say for instance, four mates had formed a plumbing business in the early Seventies, in the space of the next ten years two of the guys had done everything they could to make that business something special... While the other two had taken every drug and drank every bottle in front of them... Becoming incredibly unreliable for work and in some cases needing to be replaced on the job because they just weren't up to it... So in the end you fire them and replace them with guys who can and will do the job... Fast forward to another year, let's say 1995, following a meeting, a few talks and contracts as thick as your arm to state that all the previous problems will never happen again you re-hire the original two guys... Except in the next four/five years all the original problems happen again only this time around on a much bigger scale... It's obvious now that these guys need to go and go for good... They are finally replaced by two guys who never missed a days work, who helped re-build your business... And who care about it as much as you do... Now, fast forward fourteen years, somebody, somewhere is giving you an award, you are outstanding, the best plumbers on planet earth! Who do you think might deserve to go and pick it up?"

KISS själva krafsade också ihop ett litet pressmeddelande som svar på Frehley och Criss uttalanden om vad som ska ske eller inte ske när de blir invalda:

"ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME STATEMENT FROM KISS To All Our Fans In Regards To The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: 

Out of respect, Ace and Peter's recent statements demand a quick response to you, our fans. Our intention was to celebrate the entire history of KISS and give credit to all members including present long time present members Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer, and additionally Bruce Kulick and Eric Carr all who have made this band what it is, regardless of the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame's point of view. Although KISS has moved forward far longer without them, Ace and Peter are at the very foundation of what we have built and this would all be impossible had they not been a part of it in the beginning. It is over 13 years since the original lineup has played together in make-up and we believe the memory of those times would not be enhanced. Contrary to claims made through the media we have never refused to play with Ace and Peter. We have spent 40 years dedicated to building KISS without quitting or wavering as the band has moved forward with huge tours and platinum albums through different important lineups for forty years, to this day. KISS has always been a band unlike any other. That is why we started KISS. That is why we continue KISS. Being unlike other bands also means making choices and decisions unlike other bands. This is understandably an emotional situation where there is no way to please everyone. To bring this to a quick end, we have decided not to play in any line-up and we will focus our attention on celebrating our induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. We are excited and are looking forward to seeing you all on the KISS 40th Anniversary worldwide tour."

/Niclas

fredagen den 21:e februari 2014

Intervju med Copenhells grundare Jeppe Nissen.


























Jag blev nyligen kontaktad av den danska festivalen Copenhell och de undrade om jag skulle kunna hjälpa till att "spread the word", så att säga. Självfallet förstår jag att jag troligtvis bara var del av ett massutskick, men de var väldigt på och ville samarbeta.
Sagt och gjort. Jag tänkte att en intervju med någon i toppen av festivalkedjan kunde vara kul och när de omgående satte mig i kontakt med grundaren Jeppe, kändes det extra kul. Vi kom överens om att jag skulle maila över ett gäng frågor, vilket jag gjorde omedelbums. Problemet med Q&A´s via mail är att det kan bli vad som helst. Ena gången kan du få tillbaka 5 ord och nästa gång en mindre uppsats. Tack och lov bestämde sig Jeppe för att göra det senare.
Här har ni nu lite svar från Jeppe angående Danmarks största metalfestival.

Vem är Jeppe Nissen? 

Jeppe. Jag är 39 år gammal, bokare, grundare av och festivalboss för Copenhell, samt promotor för Live Nation Danmark de senaste 10 åren. Jag har tidigare arbetat på ett mindre spelställe i Roskilde samt bokat artister till Roskildefestivalen. Älskar metal, kött, öl, tecknade serier och metal.

Hur började Copenhell? 

Jeppe: Vi startade Copenhell 2010 efter att ha haft idén i ett par år. Vi tyckte att det fattades en festival i Danmark med fokus på den hårda musiken. Dae har alltid funnits många bra festivaler i Danmark, men aldrig en stor festival bara för hårdrock och metal. Alla länder omkring oss har ju stora och bra festivaler, så därför tyckte vi att Danmark också skulle ha en. Där var helt klart ett stort svart hål vad gäller det.

Vad är din roll på festivalen? 

Jeppe: Jag är festivalledare för Copenhell, men bokar även alla band och tar hand om all kommunikation, samt håller på med all artwork och grafiska uttryck. Det är något jag tycker är väldigt viktigt, så det lägger jag mycket tid på.

Hur ser arbetsåret ut från det att festivalen slutar fram till kommande festival året efter? 

Jeppe: Det är mycket av en ständigt pågående process, men den stora arbetsbiten sker från jul fram till själva festivalen. Jag tänker redan nu på 2015, men oftast så är det ganska lugnt direkt efter festivalens slut och vi ”sover”. En tung, gotisk sömn. Sedan startar vi upp så smått när det nya året tar vid och då ägnar vi en hel del tid åt att utvärdera vad som fungerat och vad som var dåligt. Därefter kör vi igång och arbetar framåt. Jag skickar ut bud på de stora namnen redan i augusti/september, ”so there is no rest for the wicked.”. Sedan handlar det mycket om att få alla detaljer på plats inför nästa år – antal band, antal scener, vilken mat vi ska ha, vilka sponsorer, hur mycket eld, vilket biljettpris och hur mycket öl? – well, det ger sig självt. Helt galet mycket öl!

Ni siktar på att bli en av Nordeuropas ledande festivaler. Har ni nått ert mål? 

Jeppe: Nej, det har vi inte ännu och jag tror också att det kommer ta lite längre tid. Vi firar 5-årsjubileum i år och vi tycker själva att vi efterhand har blivit mycket bättre på att anordna Copenhell, men det finns fortfarande saker vi kan bli bättre på. Men publiken gillar att komma till Copenhell och det är det som betyder mest. Jag tror att vi har kommit en lång bit på vägen. Vi har skapat en festival som tar genren och vår publik seriöst till 100%, men som även har glimten i ögat och vi gör riktigt mycket för vår publik. Vi är helt klart på rätt väg.

Hur kom festivalen att placeras där den nu ligger? 

Jeppe: Vi hade flera olika idéer över lokaliseringen, men efter att vi varit ute och sett Refshaleöen var vi övertygade. Det är det perfekta området för en metalfestival. Området ligger bara 15 min från Centralstationen (och bara 8 min från Christiania) och är ett gammalt nedlagt skeppsvarv. Historien i sig är ganska otrolig då det byggts jättestora skepp i stål och metall och människor har arbetat med tunga verktyg och gnistor och eld har sprutat omkring dem. Dessutom har de druckit mängder med öl samtidigt. Sammanhanget är perfekt. Områdets historia är ganska speciell, samtidigt som det är ett bra område att vistas på. Det är rått, hårt, extremt och hela platsen vilar på betong, så det blir ingen lervälling om det regnar och vi kan spela hur sinnessjukt högt vi vill!

Hur stor publik drog förra årets festival och vad var din personliga höjdpunkt? 

Jeppe: Det var lite över 10.000 männsikor förra året och det var väldigt bra. Det var en superbra festival med mycket hög stämning. Musikaliskt var det väldigt stort då King Diamond gick på scen – på hemmaplan i Danmark efter att ha varit borta i 9 år och efter en svår sjukdom. Return of the king. Och Danzig, Alice in Chains och Parkway Drive levererade också. Annars är en av höjdpunkterna alltid stämningen därute. Folk är så glada och festliga och det är en fullkomligt unik stämning. Alla som har varit på Copenhell, även de som inte är inne på metal, är vilt överraskade över den glädje och kärlek som finns mellan människorna. Det är ett sällskap och en skitkul fest.

På vilka punkter skiljer sig årets festival från 2013? 

Jeppe: Som sagt, vi lägger mycket tid på att utvärdera och förbättra oss. Vi gör en stor publikundersökning under varje festival, som vi sedan använder i vårt kommande arbete. Vi lyssnar på vad vår publik har att säga och ser om vi kan göra saker och ting bättre. Generellt sett är det en ännu bättre festival, men det är också en större festival i och med att vi lyckats boka ett toppnamn till 2014 i form av Iron Maiden. Dessutom utvidgar vi festivalen till tre hela dagar och kommer ha flest antal band till dags dato. Det blir fullt blås i år!

Hur stor grupp jobbar med festivalen på heltid och vilka är arbetsuppgifterna? 

Jeppe: Vi är tre i Copenhells styrelse, där jag själv ingår, och så finns det en produktionsansvarig och en sponsoransvarig. Det är de tre benen på festivalen. Sponsordelen, som ser efter de ekonomiska avtalen, den produktionsanvarige, som styr hela platsen, alla crew och scenerna och sedan är det jag, som står för allt innehåll på festivalen, band, marknadsföring och kommunikation. Vi arbetar alla på Live Nation och har parallellet med det arbetet en massa andra uppgifter att ta hand om. Vi har även fyra till fem praktikanter varje år, som är till jättestor hjälp och så har vi en sekretariatsledare som styr upp hela skiten. Vi har ungefär 800 genialiska frivilliga på Copenhell varje år och även en massa avlönad personal i form av crew och säkerhet, så det är en stor operation.

Inspireras ni mycket av andra festivaler i arbetet med förbättringar? 

Jeppe: Ja, det gör vi. Varje år åker vi runt på en massa andra festivaler och ser hur de gör saker och ting. Wacken, Hellfest, Inferno, men också en massa andra festivaler som inte har metal. Idéerna kan komma från många olika håll, men mest av allt försöker vi komma på saker själva. Det är bra att inspireras, men inte så coolt att kopiera. Vi lägger mycket tid på att komma på nya idéer för underhållning, installationer och inrättningar. Vi har fixat ett ”Smadreland”, ett område dit publiken kan gå in och slå sönder bilar, tvättmaskiner och annat kul. Och ett annat ställe där man kan kasta yxa. Det är kul.

Hur är tanken bakom festivalens årliga maskot? 

Jeppe: Hela grundtanken med att ha en maskot som byts varje år, är något som jag arbetat mycket med. Jag älskar artwork och har suttit i timmar med LP-omslag och CD-omslag och lyssnat på musiken och jag tycker det de passar ihop så mycket. Idag är det ju mycket downloads och streaming och omslaget är 1x1 cm på din datorskärm, men det är ju inte kul för någon. Det är bara skit. Jag vill därför hylla det grafiska och de människor som gör så fantastiska saker, genom att låta en ny konstnär som arbetat med metal eller liknande, göra vår maskot varje år. Och vi trycker upp det på billboards och posters så hårdrockskonsten visas i större storlek och kommer folket till godo.Det är bra med riktigt artwork i gatubilden. Årets maskot har gjorts av tyske Florian Bertmer, som tidigare har jobbat med band som Converge, Napalm Death, Pig Destroyer och The Dillinger Escape Plan. Han är lite mer modern i sitt uttryck än de tidigare (Derek Riggs, Ed Repka, Joe Patagno) och det tycker jag vi behövde i år. Han har utgått från våra scener Hades, Helvetet och Pandemonium och skapat ”King Belial – Ruler of 80 legions in Pandemonium”. Jag tycker verkligen att den blev bra. Den ser tillförlitlig och vänlig ut, men är... Satan.

Beskriv känslan när det blev klart att Iron Maiden spelar på årets festival? 

Jeppe: För helvete, det var ju superkul! Och det firades med en Trooper-öl. Det var en lång förhandling och en lång process innan allt kom på plats, så det gjorde också att det var extra fantastiskt när det väl var i hamn. Iron Maiden för fan! Det kommer bli så stort och det är ju också extra härligt att vi kan presentera ett så stort och legendarsikt namn efter endast fem år. En relativt liten festival tillsammans med 40 andra metalband – det blir en mycket stor junikväll på dansk mark...

Har du några personliga drömbokningar för framtida festivaler? 

Jeppe: Ja, självklart. Det finns många band i många olika genrer som jag gärna ser på Copenhell. Det första budet jag alltid lägger är på Bolt Thrower. De är så jäkla bra! Det har inte hänt ännu, men förhoppningsvis någon gång. Annars är ju stora akter som Black Sabbath, System Of A Down, Slipknot och Tool alltid på önskelistan, men vi har förhoppningsvis många år framför oss och en möjlighet att få igenom det. Jag hoppas också att det under de kommande åren kommer fram några nya spännande band, som kan headlina och verkligen krossa stället. Jag hoppas verkligen det finns några drömbokningar därute som jag ännu inte vet om.

Vilka är dina fem höjdpunkter från första festivalen 2010? 

Jeppe: 1. Att publiken tog emot festivalen så bra som de gjorde. 2. Behemoth – de gav en otrolig konsert där allt nådde ett högre tillstånd. Publik, band,vädret och stämningen. 3. Joe Petagno (Motörhead) trodde på konceptet och gjorde den första maskoten. 4. Deftones levererade också över förväntan – efter att ha varit ”nere” en del år, var det tillbaka på Copenhell med full styrka. Och dessutom gick Chino upp på scen med en Copenhell-hoodie. 5. Vi gjorde fanimej det!

Vad har varit jobbigast i arbetet med festivalen så här långt? 

Jeppe: Det är ett enormt uppdrag att anordna en festival, så det blir många sena kvällar och svåra val. Hade man haft mer tid hade det säkert varit lättare, men det är ju som det är. Copenhell vann ett pris 2011 för det bästa arrangemanget och det delades ut av den största danska tidningen. Vi kom före Cykel-VM, någon teater och andra arrangemang. Det var verkligen stort, för det är många som menar att det vi gör inte är kultur. Men det är det ju. Det är lika mycket kultur som teater, film, opera, konst eller vad som nu finns därute. Om inte mer. En sådan händelse eller bra feedback från publiken kan få en att glömma allt det svåra. Det eller att boka Iron Maiden.

/Niclas