tisdagen den 31:e augusti 2010

Läsvärt om Soundgarden i senaste SPIN!

De gamla grungerockarna insåg ju för en tid sedan att det är tillsammans i Soundgarden de fungerar bäst. I SPIN kommer det fram att en är hemlös, en sover hela dagen, en är medlem i Pearl Jam och den fjärde är Chris Cornell.
Nu hoppas vi bara på ett Sveriegbesök, även om de var hiskeligt tråkiga sist jag såg dem på Hovet.
/Niclas

måndagen den 30:e augusti 2010

Färsk Q&A med Kerry King i SF Weekly!



En liten intervju som publicerades idag (30/8) i SF Weekly.
Kerry pratar bl a om The Big Four, mötet med Mustaine, religion, gitarrsolon och lite annat. Dessutom nämner han att inspelningen med Beastie Boys hände pga penagbrist, inget annat. Klart läsvärd.

Kerry King Q&A

/Niclas
Henry Rollins bloggar i LA Weekly!


(Bilden från SF Weekly)

Den alltid lika underhållande och insiktsfulle Rollins bloggar numera en gång i veckan i LA Weekly.
Första inlägget kom i fredags (27/8) och han berättar bl a om senaste framträdena i Europa och problematiken och hysterin kring tänkta moskébygget i närheten av Ground zero i New York.

Henrys blogg

/Niclas

måndagen den 16:e augusti 2010

Recension av Ozzfest i Kalifornien!



Första Ozzfest i Kalifornien sedan 2010, drog igång i lördags med bl a Ozzy, Mötley Crúe, Halford och Black Label Society.
Tidningarna LA Times, OCR och SBCS var överlag lyriska över tillställningen. Själv känner jag glädje över att låten "Killer of giants" luftades.

LA Times recension

Orange County Register recension

San Bernardino County Sun recension

/Niclas

lördagen den 14:e augusti 2010

Intervju med John Corabi!



John Corabi är aktuell för Stockholm Rock Out 10-11 september i huvudstaden, där han kommer att spela tillsammans med band som UDO, Great White, Keel och KIX.
Jag hade nöjet att få snacka med John när han var på väg till Atlanta för sista giget tillsammans med LA Guns och Faster Pussycat. Samtalet kom att handla om kommande plattan, boken, Crüe, LA och en hel del annat.

Hey John, how are you?


John Corabi: Alright Niclas. How are you?

I´m good! What´s going on in the world of John Corabi?

JC: Just driving around the lovely south of America and doing these shows with LA Guns and Faster Pussycat and it´s good. Life is good!

What about the new album? Is it coming out now?

JC: No, actually it´s funny, I´m having an issue with my label right now. I´m actually kind of backtracking and trying to start my own label and I´ve actually got another Universal company called Fontana Universal and they would actually help med distribute it and I just need to get things up and running, so it´s another glitch in the program, but it´s coming. I promise!

These songs then? I´ve read that you´ve been doing stuff in Nashville. Is anything of that on the album?

JC: Yeah, there´s gonna be a couple of new things. Basically the first thing I´m gonna do is start my own record label and I wanna go back and get all my old stuff, like The Scream, Union and repackage it and put it out there. I mean, people are writing to me every day going “I can´t find The Scream album! I can´t find the Union stuff!”, so I want to make that available. I want to license it on iTunes, so if people want it they can have it, you know what I mean? So I´m doing that and I´m trying to get back together while I´m working on some new material and recording some new material and hopefull I´ll have all of this up and running within the next few months.

Right! I´ve heard somewhere that you might be working with some Swedish guys? Any truth in that?

JC: Uuuhmm, I don´t know! Well, actually I did meet some guys… God, it was a couple of years ago at Sweden Rock Festival and they were some song writers and producers and they had talked to me about doing some writing and some recording with them and maybe try to co-producing some of the rock stuff or metal stuff that they were working with. Some of the newer bands they were working with and I said I´d love to, but to be honest with you, I haven´t heard much from them as of late. I don´t know if it´s something that´s just… at this point, a rumour or if there´s some actual fact to it. We´ll see!

Ok! Working in Nashville and I´ve read that you´ve been writing country music and stuff like that too…

JC: No, they´re not really, to be honest, country music here in America right now is so close to rock. They´re so closely linked. I mean, Robert Plant is doing that thing with Alison Krauss and Jon Bon Jovi did a song with the girl from Sugarland, so there´s this very cross, close pollinating thing going on with country and rock. I mean, hell, you could take a song like “Wanted dead or alive” with Bon Jovi and have somebody like Garth Brooks sing it. I just write the way I write and it just falls where it may. I don´t think about it.

Do you write for others or just yourself?

JC: Sure! I´ve actually… I just did a track for a Japanese artist, I had a track on Bruce Kulick´s solo record, a track on an album for Cinder Road. I´ve got some country stuff. You know, I wanna try and focus a little bit more on that. I´ve been kind of letting it… I really wanna try and focus on that because one of the things I´ve realized, living in Nashville, is that there´s a huge market for people that can write music. I never even contemplated doing that, so it´s pretty cool. I´m excited about it.

Cool! I´ve done a lot of interviews with musicians out of LA and they all say that Nashville is really happening and a lot of people, when it comes to song writers and musicians, move from LA to Nashville.

JC: It´s just not LA. There´s people from all over the world there. One of the guys that I just wrote a song with recently in Nashville is from South Africa. There´s a huge population of people from Australia there. Some of the best song writers from all over the world live in Nashville. Robert Plant lives there now, the Nelson brothers, all the guys in Cinderella, the guy from Winger, Mark Slaughter, John Waite. It rocks! It´s huge and it´s just a cool town. It´s not like LA. It´s smaller, but it´s like a small town vibe in a big city. I don´t know how to explain it. It´s just a very cool vibe!

I also read that you´ve done stuff for tv?

JC: I´m trying!

Do you get offers to do something or do you come up with stuff and send it out to networks?

JC: No, someone will call me and say “Hey, can you do this?” or “Can you write a song for this?” or whatever. It´s something that I really want to do. I have a very twisted way or viewpoint of what I think is cool and not cool. I don´t know. Most times I´m wrong, but I´m not gonna write a song for something, like a tv-show, that I wouldn´t really be into. Whatever! You know! I´m not gonna write something for Hannah Montana.

I´m wondering, you grew up in Philadelphia right?

JC: Yes!

Did you move straight to LA?

JC: I moved from Philadelphia in 1985 to LA. I lived in LA for about 20 years and then I moved to Nashville and I´ve been here for about four now.

Were you in a lot of bands in Philly?

JC: Just some typical club cover thing. Cutting my teeth playing the nightclubs. One of those types of bands… I don´t know how it is there (Sweden, but in New Jersey and Philadelphia, where I grew up, bands would go out and they would play in a club from Wednesday night to Saturday and play three or four 40 minutes sets. We would do the old stuff, like Van Halen, Zeppelin, Aerosmith, AC/DC, whatever was on the radio. So I did that. I only had one original band there and then we moved to Los Angeles with my first original band. Most people know that band by Angora. We did some recording, wrote some demos and tried to get a record deal in LA. But when we moved from Philadelphia, those guys became Angora.

So you played all the famous clubs in LA, like The Whisky A Go Go, Roxy and those places?

JC: Yeah! We played Gazzari´s, Troubadour, Madame Wong´s and all those places. I had that opportunity. It was great when I first moved to LA. It was killer!

How would you compare LA today to back in the 80´s?

JC: I don´t live there anymore, so I don´t know. It changed. It was so much more fun and it was just crazy. It was just a wild time. It was the late 80´s and Guns N´Roses was just getting signed. Poison, Hurricane all these bands and everybody was fighting for their inch of space and it was cool. It was a great time and I had a blast. All these girls walking around Sunset Boulevard and huge hairdos and very little clothing. Literally girls would walk around and walk into clubs with big hairdos, long jackets and lingerie. Wearing a pair of panties, you know what I mean. It was awesome! Now it´s a lot more subdued.

Is it more of a struggle these days when it comes to getting your record out and get across to people.

JC: If you just do it with the Internet, no! You can do it yourself. Like my son. He´s got a band and they recorded stuff right in the bedroom that´s amazing. Their stuff sounds as good as any other band I´ve heard on the radio and they recorded it in their bedroom. They put up a website, they got their name and they did everything in house, man. Done, ready to go! If you look at it that way, in some ways it´s easier because you can go out and promote yourself and on the other hand it is harder. The economy here in America has been real bad and it´s kind of affecting everybody all together. I´ve been touring this summer and nobody has spare money to go to concerts, so they´re being choosy about who they go see.

I guess it´s the same thing here, or was the same thing. Another thing. When you read around on the Internet and you talk to people, your album with Mötley Crüe always comes up as a favorite and it´s one of my favorite Crüe albums and a lot of people put it up there with the classic ones. It was too bad that it didn´t go further.

JC: Well, you know. Everything happens for a reason and noit everything happens the way it´s supposed to happen. Maybe I´m delusional, but I still feel that my best years are ahead of me. I don´t feel that I´ve musically have done the best music that I can do. We´ll see what happens. I can tell you right now that this tour is the first real tour I´ve done on my own as a solo artist and it´s been great. The response has been great. A lot of people are coming up “Dude, I´m so glad to see you doing this!”. I´m really looking forward to going over to Europe. I think, once people get wind of the fact, it´s gonna be really cool.

You´ve been here a lot, haven´t you?

JC: Well, I´ve been there with Ratt and Union and with ESP. It´s funny, with all those bands… well, with Union we did one Mötley song and one Screak song. In all fairness… Mötley never toured in Europe with me in the band and The Scream never toured there, so what I´m doing now is I´m doing songs from Union that are 10 or 12 years old and nobody´s played them in 10 or 12 years. If I come to Europe and play, I´m gonna be playing songs from Mötley and The Scream that nobody´s ever seen played. It´s never been performed live, so I just wanna get out there and I don´t wanna do a record and put it out there. I wanna do the homework first. I wanna get out there and tour. I wanna play a bunch of stuff from my back catalog and I wanna shake hands and kiss babies like a politician. And let people know that I´m alive. Let people know that I´m still out there, I´m still rocking and let them know that I do have a record coming out soon.

Excellent! Are you in touch with any of the Crüe guys these days?

JC: Yeah, yeah! I just spoke with Tommy when I was in LA and he invited me over to his house to hear his new record. I didn´t have the time though, which is the thing with both of us. We´re so busy.

They played here this past weekend.

JC: Mötley did?

Yeah, at the Sonisphere festival and it was just nuts. The rain was pouring down for like eight hours. 47000 people. It was cool!

JC: That´s crazy!

Did you audition for the Crüe or did they know about you before?

JC: Yeah, they had my Scream record. We talked and they said they loved the Scream record. Nikki had mentioned it and he just called me and asked me if I could come down and jam with them. I went down on a Monday and on Tuesday they told me I was in the band. It was very quick.

Cool! Do you remember what songs you played when you were jamming?

JC: We did “Dr. Feelgood”… it´s funny, we did “Jailhouse rock” and we did “Smokin´in the boys room”, “Helter skelter”… We just kind of jammed together. Jammed some blues and I played guitar and Mick and I traded off some solos and then we immediately started working on songs. The first two songs we worked on was “Hammered” and “Misunderstood”, so that worked out ok too.

Yeah, there´s some killer songs on that album! Well, what about this book of yours? I read somewhere that it was pretty much done?

JC: It was and then I got the first initial draft and I didn´t like it. I went back and… you know, again, maybe I over think everything, but my mark… maybe I set my bar or mark too high, but I wanna be like super proud of whatever it is I write, whether it´s music or a tv-show or whatever and the bottom line of it is that I have a bar now after reading “The dirt”, which I thought was a great book, my book can´t be any less than the dirt. I read my book and to be honest with you, I thought it sucked! The way it was written, I just thought it was fucking horrible! I scrapped it and I just started over. It is coming. I apologize to everybody who´s been waiting for all of this stuff. Just are with me, it´ll be worth it in the long run. I´m a little bit of a stickler for things.

As you said, if you do something you want to get it right.

JC: Yeah, if I wanna release something not as good as “The dirt”, I could release it right now, but ultimately I want a great book and I´m not gonna do it if it´s not done right.

Are you doing it all by yourself or are you writing with someone?

JC: I´m actually having someone help me with it. What I´m doing is, I want to write my own chapters because at the end of the day no one´s gonna get my sense of humor better than me, or my sarcasm or any of that stuff. I´m like “Let me write it!” and I´ll send the chapters to my friend who´s helping me finish it and then he´ll fine tune everything and make it proper.

Was there any reason for writing the book now and not in another 5 or 10 years?

JC: It was just weird because I had gone through a couple o divorces, the stuff with the Mötley guys and all this shit and one of my managers actually sat and told med “Dude, you should write a book!”. I thought about it and… I´m not like a typical rock guy. My story doesn´t read like one of those “VH-1: Behind the scenes” thing, like musician is poor, gets together with three other poor musicians and they struggle and write songs, then they become huge and this massively famous band and then they do tons of drugs and the they argue with each other and then they fall apart and wither away and then they get back together again and conquer the earth. It´s not my story! Things are a bit more complicated. Initially everybody said “Oh, I hope this is a kiss and tell Mötley book!”. No, Mötley, as great as Mötley is, it´s only a small portion of my life and this is more about where I grew up, some of the things that happened when I was younger growing up in Philadelphia. It goes into detail about about where the song “Uncle Jack” came from and that person. Just crazy, crazy stuff in my life, but the whole time my music career was running parallel to all of this crazy shit that was going on in my life. I feel like, if anything, it´s just a book that is no punches, no bullshit, it´s not coloured. This isn´t about John Corabi sleeping with four models in Tokyo. I´m not sugarcoating anything. It´s just, here´s my life, here´s where I came from, here´s what I meant when I wrote this song and here´s what was happening in my life. It´s just really a very straight forward honest thing! But I think it kind of gives people a perspective on having perseverance of you wanna do and enjoy doing. Win, lose or draw whether you´re making money or you´re not making money. It´s just about perseverance and believing in yourself. It´s been a long time coming. I started it and each tour and each thing that I do is like another little story that´s interwoven into it. I´m just gonna keep writing and at some point we´ll sit down and edit it and figure it out. I´ll let my buddy sit down and edit it and figure out where the beginning is and where the end is. Make sure that it just reads right. It´s all good!

Do you have a title for it yet?

JC: Well, I was gonna call it “The dirt”, but that´s taken. (laughs). No, I don´t know. We´ll figure it out as we go. It will present itself.

I´m looking forward to and I´m gonna make sure I get a copy of it.

JC: Yeah, that´s another thing. A lot of people were like, “You know, we can print the book here in America!”, but I don´t want it just in America! I want people in Sweden be able to buy it, France and Russia or whatever! I´m not saying I have tons of fans everywhere, but I would like them to be able to get it in their own language. There´s just some details. Just get it done or “Take care of business!”, as Elvis would say.

Exactly! Do you remember the first time you heard yourself on the radio?

JC: Yeah, actually I was driving in my car in LA and I almost freaked out. It was weird. It´s pretty strange hearing yourself on the radio or seeing yourself on MTV. At one time I walked into a club when we were on tour and there was a cover band playing my song. “Wow, that´s crazy!”. It was pretty cool! I get it now too, like on YouTube there´s pictures of a band, actually in Finland, they´re recording an album and they sent me a YouTube video of them playing “Love (I don´t need it anymore)” from the Union record and I just thought it was really cool. They asked me if they could record it live and I was like “Yeah, sure!”.

So, this tour you´re doing now with LA Guns and Faster Pussycat, how long have you been out?

JC: Let me see, it started around the second week of July and it´s been going pretty good. In the beginning it was a little bit shaky, but I think it´s one of those things where I think once people catch on to it and go “Ah wait, they´re touring together? That´s cool!”. The attendance has been great. All the places we´ve played, everybody´s been happy, everybody´s been making money and all the club owners and theatre owners are all stoked. Hopefully we can bring the package overseas. I know we were supposed to do something in Korea together, but it got postponed till October. But we´re doing the Stockholm Rock Out.

Yeah, there´s a lot of cool bands on there. Keel, Kix, Great White… Just some cool bands!

JC: Where is it at? Is it outdoors or indoors?

I think it´s indoors and it´s pretty close to down town Stockholm.
About the tour, are you playing for another month or…? Is it all over the US?

JC: Yeah, we pretty much covered the entire US and actually tonight, is my last show with the guys. Then I head to Canada in about a week. I´m playing Atlanta tonight and then we´re gonna cut out of there and head back to my house in Nashville and I´m gonna sleep all day tomorrow and get reacquainted with my beautiful girlfriend. I´m very much looking forward to that.

Oh, so you´re playing tonight and you´ll be back in Nashville tomorrow? How far is that?

JC: Maybe 250 miles. It´s not far. We´ll finish tonight and I´ll be home in my bed at about 6 in the morning.

Alright! Well, it´s been an absolute pleasure talking to you John!

JC: I hope I´ll meet you there and we´ll have a Guiness together!

Yeah, most definitely! Thanks John! Have a great show tonight and best of luck with the album and the book!

JC: Thank you very much!

/Niclas

måndagen den 9:e augusti 2010

KISS = blåsjobb!



Att läsa gamla recensioner av numera klassiska album är många gånger oerhört roligt. Här är det skribenten Robert Christgau som tycker till om KISS 1975.

Kiss: Dressed to Kill [Casablanca, 1975]

I feel schizy about this record. It rocks with a brutal, uncompromising force that's very impressive--sort of a slicked-down, tightened-up, heavied-out MC5--and the songwriting is much improved from albums one and two. But the lyrics recall the liberal fantasy of rock concert as Nuremberg rally, equating sex with victimization in a display of male supremacism that glints with humor only at its cruelest--song titles like "Room Service" and "Ladies in Waiting." In this context, the band's refusal to bare the faces that lie beneath the clown makeup becomes ominous, which may be just what they intend, though for the worst of reasons. You know damn well that if they didn't have both eyes on maximum commerciality they'd call themselves Blow Job.

B

Fler recensioner av Robert C

/Niclas

söndagen den 8:e augusti 2010

The Cult på Gröna Lund!



Hade egentligen inga förväntningar alls inför britternas gig på Gröna Lund. Har bara sett bandet en gång tidigare, som förband till Metallica för 16-17 år sedan och av det minns jag inte mycket.
Vädrets makter var dock på The Cults sida denna vackra sommarkväll och i nöjesparken trängdes en stor publik framför scenen.
En stark öppning med "Lil´ Devil" föll alla i smaken, även om det tog flertalet låtar för publiken att komma till liv, vilket herr Astbury påpekade både en och två gånger under konsertens gång.
Det första som slog mig var att Astbury på långt håll såg ut som en rund Glenn Danzig medan Billy Duffy verkar vara i sitt livs form. Tunga riff, inget trams utan bara en fet spark i häcken med det ena rivjärnsriffet efter det andra.
Efter ett tag går det också upp för mig att The Cult har en sjuhelsikes samling riktigt löjligt tunga riff som sitter som en stänkare varenda gång. Så mycket att mitt intresse för bandet får sig en rejäl vitamininjektion.
Det är inget större fel på låtvalet denna kväll. Visst är Astburys röst inte alltid vad den borde vara, men det är svårt att stå still till "Spiritwalker", "Fire woman" eller avslutande "Love removal machine". Emellanåt är det rock and roll av allra bästa snitt och även nya "Every man and woman is a star" får en att nöjt stampa takten och salutera dessa gamla rockhjältar.

Betyg: 3/5

/Niclas

torsdagen den 5:e augusti 2010

Intervju med Trivett Wingo i The Sword!



Ännu en intervju som blivit liggande opublicerad. Senast Metallica var här, 2009, träffade jag trummisen Trivett i The Sword i deras loge i Globen. Det blev en trevlig pratstund om lite allt möjligt, bl a författaren Cormac McCarty, Guitar Hero och recensioner.
Nedan följer hela intervjun.

So, what is it like being in cold Sweden?

Trivett Wingo: Uuhm, what is it like? I don´t know. It´s actually been really gloomy as well. Kind of like what the Hebrew afterlife is supposed to be like in the Old Testament. A cold, grey place for our souls.

Did you guys come in to day?

TW: Yesterday! Came in yesterday and went to museums and saw the Vasa and it was very impressive. But we haven´t really explored the town too much.

I guess that´s the way it is. You come in, play your show and…

TW: And hang out in this room! Walking the room and then you leave, unfortunately.

You guys started out in 2003. What were you up to before The Sword? A lot of different bands?

TW: Yeah you know, JD, the principle song writer and singer, he and I had played together for years in Richmond, Virginia in a band called The Ultimate Dragons and then that band dissolved and most of those guys moved down to Texas and I kind of wandered the earth for a little while in both hemispheres and then I kind of haphazardly made my way down to Austin and we started playing together. JD was in a band called Those Peabodys and after The Sword started taking off a bit, he quit that band and the other two guys… Brian was in another metal band called The Pirates of Dark Water. They broke up and Kyle quit his other band he was in, so we were all playing in other bands except for myself really. I´d taken a break to kind of get lost somewhere and the sort of all the players we needed to put the band together were hushed from other groups and then kind of ultimately all those bands dissolved and The Sword went on to do the things we´ve done to this point.

Did JD come up with the name The Sword as well?

TW: He did, technically. Other people have come up with it before.

Yeah, because it´s such a cool name and I just thought that somebody must´ve thought about that before?

TW: It is a really cool name and yeah, there´s a band from Canada called Sword, but they had no objection to us being called The Sword and then there was a band in Richmond, Virginia called The Sword and they had started at the exact time we had, but we I guess kind of blew up or whatever and I think they thought we were gonna sue them, so they changed their name. We never threatened to do anything. They got weird and I tried to talk to the guy on the phone. I thought they were gonna sue us or something, so I tried to call the guy and say “Hey, are you ok with us using the same name?”, but then he he just wouldn’t return my phonecalls or whatever. I think he thought we were gonna do something horrible to them, or something. We´re not that predacious. But yeah, JD came up with the name and not only that but the general aesthetic of the band, sort of the philosophy. What it would be like visually, sonically and he still is sort of the final arbiter of all things The Sword.

A name like that, do you copyright it or what?

TW: No, what happens is when you go to release your first album, at least in the States, someone at the record label will go and check the copyrights and see if someone else has a claim to this and as it turns out, bands go and put out records and realize that somebody has already used that name. That´s why you see so many bands with “something” AD or “Something” UK. It´s because someone else already had their name. We went actually to release our record and there was a band from Seattle or Portland, I think, called The Sword´s Project and the claimed they were known as Swords and that we were infringing on their indierock territory. Anyway, that was all sorted out and I don´t think they exist anymore. But that´s sort of what happens. The record label will look and see what there is and sometimes sadly you discover that someone else has already used your band name.

The logo then, as that something you came up with or did you give that job to someone at the label?

TW: We really control everything and give directions to all of the artists we work with. The logo was something that JD and a friend of ours who does a lot of drawing, sort of collaborated on and created. We made that to look specifically like it does.

And the same goes for the album cover I guess? It´s kind of an “Excalibur” thing.

TW: Yeah, there was an artist whose work we had seen and really liked and we said “Hey, we want you to make an album cover that sort of includes these elements!” and that is what he came up with. It looks really killer, if I do say so myself. It´s a beautiful cd!

Is this released on vinyl as well?

TW: It is! It´s an embossed cover where the like the columns are raised and everything. I think that with the latest pressing they did not emboss the cover. It is a bit expensive, but yeah, it is available. It´s in its third pressing now, I think.

About the drumming? When did you pick up the drums?

TW: When I was 15! I guess I got a drum set when I was 15. I was always intensely interested in playing the drums since I was very young, but my parents were never receptive to that so there was never a way for me to actually play a drum set anywhere. But then after I nagged for about five or six years, I got a really crappy drum set and I played it constantly for months and months and they realized it was something I was seriously interested in. I don´t think they ever started liking it, but they were very tolerant or even supportive.

Were there any “legends” that kind of influenced you? Like Bonham?

TW: Yeah! It´s extremely cliché, but I have to admit that John Bonham probably was the single greatest inspiration for me to start playing the drums. I was obsessed with Led Zeppelin from the time I was a little boy. I´ve always loved Led Zeppelin and I used to have a little tape case that held 12 tapes. I had all of the Led Zeppelin tapes in there and it was all I listened to for years really. I was obsessed, like very literally obsessed with Led Zeppelin and so before I even ever had a drum set I listened to the songs 1000´s of times and learned them in my head. When I finally did start playing I already had a very definite idea of 1000´s of things that I wanted to do and try.

Have you read the latest biography by Mick Wall, “When giants walked the earth”?

TW: No, I haven´t!

It´s really good! What was it like releasing your first album? Did it turn out they you wanted it to?

TW: It was pretty awesome! I personally had never… I had been in so many bands that had never really generated anything that I could be proud of, so when that first album came out and it was a real release, video on MTV and finally had press and all these things, it was very validating. I felt like I was actually legitimately a musician in some sense that I had not been before. That record was really a watershed for me personally in my life.

How long are you staying with the record company Kemado?

TW: We owe them another record, but no one knows what the future holds.

Then the giants step in and…

TW: Crush everything.

But this is an independent label right?

TW: Yeah!

Because I saw that a Swedish band are signed to them, Dungen.

TW: Dungen, yeah! That was one of their earlier releases.

Which is very different from the stuff you do.

TW: It´s very different yeah. Their whole roster is very eclectic to put it mildly.

I read that someone over at Allmusic.com called you “at the forefront of the retro metal movement”. What do you think of that?

TW: I don´t know! Retro seems to imply something anachronistic, somehow out of place in time and I really don´t see that as the case at all. I think it´s obvious that we´re influenced by a lot of heavier bands from the past. Everyone´s influenced by bands from the past, because that´s the only possibility in a universe where time goes forward. I think what we do is actually pretty inventive in a way that we combine elements in a novel fashion and I think some people are just too astute to appreciate the subtleties and complexities of the music. I don´t know! I don´t think of it as a retro thing. The albums are coming out now, it´s in the present, it´s new and it harkens to something that was maybe lost from the press and the public eye for a long time, but something that´s always been there and resonates with people very deeply now today. It´s current.

Are you all avid readers?

TW: JD and I are pretty avid readers. Books are like kryptonite to Brian and Kyle reads here and there. He likes to savor some of the finer works of literature. (laughs9. JD really… his literally tastes dictate the lyrical content for the band and my studies (laughs) if you will, is really for my personal enrichments, kind of apart from the band.

Have you read any good books lately?

TW: Yeah, I´ve read quite a few good books lately. I read several books by Cormac McCarthy. He wrote “No country for old men” and “The road”, but I read this one called “Blood Meridian”. It´s about these Apache scalp hunters down on the Texas – Mexico border, like in 1849, and it´s kind of about good and evil, the war and the devil. A lot of things, but it´s one of the most brilliantly, ingeniously crafted books I´ve ever read! Actually, I read it twice in a row. I read it and I was like “Shit, I have to read this again!” and I started back at the beginning. That´s probably the best book I´ve read in ages.

But that guy´s been around for a long time, hasn´t he? But it seems like he´s taken off now.

TW: Yeah it´s weird. He´s been around for a long time and I hadn´t really heard of him and it´s one of those things where they just started making movies out of his books.

Isn´t he the guy that doesn´t do interviews?

TW: I don´t know! I know that Thomas Pynchon doesn´t do interviews, but someone said “You should read The Road!” and I thought “Ok, I´ll read this.” And I didn´t think it was something I would like, but it was really amazing. Then I kind of went on a binge and started reading one after the other of his books and I´ve got a whole stack at my house that I haven´t read yet, so I can´t wait to get home so I can dig into those.

I gotta check that out! How did you guys end up on “Guitar Hero”?

TW: You know, it´s kind of random. They just approached us. I don´t have a name to put with anything. I don´t know whose flavor we happen to be, but it was just one of those random phone calls and then the new Metallica edition of “Guitar Hero”, that is of course Lars´ doing. But the first time around it was just random.

That´s got to be pretty cool? That´s got to be a great way to reach the masses, so to speak?

TW: Yeah! It sounds kind of cheesy, but it is a really good way to expose your band to a lot of people that otherwise wouldn´t hear it. They´re just trying to get to all the levels of this video game and they have to play your song, so yeah, it was actually really good for us.

You´ve been out with Metallica now for several times?

TW: We´ve been out with them since July of last year.

Did they pick you or is it a company thing?

TW: No, Lars… for what I understand, they are all fans of ours, but Lars is very outspoken and kind of an obsessed fan. He actually came out to see us one night at a club and introduced himself and told us that he loved our band and that Metallica would be taking us on tour. That was the first time we met him and we said “Ok, that´s interesting!”. We took that with a grain of salt, but he came out again and talking about it more elaborately, like “Here´s what I´m thinking! Metallica, The Sword, Machine Head!” and lo and behold it happened. We went to Eastern Europe with them and then we came back to the States and we just did three runs over there, western Canada, western United States and the north east and now we´re over here and this is the first of three more trips we´re doing and hopefully we´ll be able to do the whole world tour with them. We couldn´t really ask for anything. We´re really flattered and enamoured of Metallica, so it´s quite an honor.

It´s got to be an incredible opportunity for being such a new and young band as you are? Playing all over the world in front of gigantic crowds.

TW: Yeah, it is the most badass shit you can do! It´s unreal! We´re kind of blown away and just very happy to be here.

Do you ever get to meet the guys or is it total security?

TW: They´re pretty… they´re very accessable. They´re really nice, down to earth dudes and we see them and occasionally go out to dinner or chat. They´re all really cool. I really admire Metallica and especially Lars is very friendly and kind of wants to hang out a lot, which is totally weird but totally awesome too.

Next album then? Are you coming up with ideas or do you have songs already?

TW: We´re always kind of thinking about it and we´re always thinking about doing new stuff and we have a couple of songs written, but nowhere near enough material for an album. We´ve been on tour now almost without a break since “Gods of the earth” came out. It´s been about a year, so there hasn´t been any time to do any intensive song writing, but it´s something we´re definitely aware of and when we have the time we know we have to get on that. But when Metallica asks you to go on tour forever, you just say yes and pack your bags and go.

Do you think it will be like the stuff on your latest album or will you take it further?

TW: It´ll go further! We always have our eyes set on something transcendent. We want to go beyond where we´ve already been. I think the second album is a lot different than the first album and hopefully the third album will be the best of the three. Yeah, I´m really looking forward to making that third record some day!

Finally, as a band, do you care about reviews? Do you read reviews? Concert reviews, record reviews and stuff like that?

TW: You know, I used to read more of them. It´s funny, even the ones that are positive often are so inaccurate and the ones that are negative seem so confused, you know. Reviews are just… I do not know what the word is… it´s just some wind blowing. It´s no big deal! I used to be interested in press. Now I kind of accept it as a part of the job. I tend to read interviews. Sometimes to kind of see how they turn out. Certain writers are interesting to me, but interviews are really of no concern. It´s part of the regiment. You know, everyone´s got an opinion, so you can´t be bothered with the negative stuff and you can´t really rest on the laurels of the positive stuff. It´s all kind of worthless really. At least there´s a little tiny picture of your record in there. That´s the best part of the review. (laughs)

Right! Well, thanks a lot!

TW: No problem, man!

/Niclas

måndagen den 2:e augusti 2010

Intervju med Ron Keel!



För en tid sedan hade jag nöjet att ringa upp Ron Keel. Bandet är ju aktuellt för den nya festivalen Stockholm Rock Out i början av september och vi pratade om bl a nya plattan, hans namn, Gene Simmons, kommande dvd, kommande bok mm.
Släng nu på "The right to rock" och dröm er tillbaka till tiden då man kunde bära spandex och ändå vara tuffast i världen.

Intervjun:

When we started out with our website back in 2001, which was called Metal Shrine, the first interview we did, or actually, we sent you questions in an e-mail. But you were the first one and we were so damn proud that we got you to do that, so I wanna thank you for that! It got us all started.

Ron Keel: Of course. Man, I´d like to read that today and see how much have changed. (laughs) That´s cool! I´m glad I could help with that and I´m glad to be talking to you today.

Thank you!

RK: Almost ten years later, it´s cool man!

Well, getting started here, what was it like getting the band back together again? Did it work out smoothly or were there any rough edges? What was it like?

RK: You know, the hardest part was making that commitment, because we were not going to do it unless we could really focus our energy and do it right. And once we decided to do that, then it was smooth and natural. The very first rehearsal, the very first song of the first rehearsal, it was just like old times. It was like 20 years just melted away and it was fun. The whole thing has just been way more rewarding and gratifying than I ever thought it could be. In terms of how much fun we´ve had working together, rehearsing, recording, writing songs, it was really smooth and natural. Way more that I expected and I think that´s the reason why the shows took on so well. We´ve got good shows, we´ve got a good, strong, new album, “The streets of rock and roll” and new songs and new music and I think that´s because of the people, the guys in the band and because of the energy between each other. We´ve been through a lot together and we´ve stayed friends and we´ve always gotten along and that´s a big benefit.

Was there any special thing or moment that made you decide “Well hell, let´s give it a try!”?

RK: The deciding factor was really the fact that we have someone on our team, a booking agent. His name is Sullivan Bigg and we wanted to do it and the guys in the band always wanted to do it, but it takes more than just the five guys in the band, it takes a team of people around you, that believe in you, that will help you achieve your goals and Sullivan Bigg is a representative of people like Great White, KIX and some of the other bands from our genre and our era. He´s a big KEEL fan and he assured us that “Guys, if you do this, I can get you the shows! I can make sure that you have the opportunity to get back on stage where you belong, on the big stages on some of these festivals!”, and that was really the deciding factor. We wanted to do it, but we didn´t want to play in small clubs or bars. We wanted to get back on the big stage, where this band and the music belongs. And Sullivan Bigg assured us that he can make that happen and he did. He got us great shows last year, Rocklahoma, the South Texas Festival, the Mid West Rockfest and now he has booked our first show of 2010 at the Stockhol Rock Out. So he´s made it happen for us and that was really the deciding factor. The guys in the band kind of always wanted to do it, but we wanted to make sure we could do it right and he certainly helped us to accomplish that goal.

Are you the main song writer in the band?

RK: On this album it´s been a team effort. More collaboration than we ever did in the past. I wrote all the lyrics on this new album, but we all contributed musically in different ways. Marc and Brian both wrote great music on this record and we co-wrote a lot of stuff on this album. I haven´t really counted who´s the main song writer on this album. I wrote maybe half the music, but it really is a team effort and that´s been one of the great pleasures of making this new album, is collaborating with the guys. Marc flew out to my house in Las Vegas. We wrote two songs the first day, the ballad “Does anybody belive” and “Hold steady”. In the first day we started we wrote those two songs. Bryan Jay and I wrote, before we even did the reunion, we wrote “ Looking for a good time” and “Hit the ground running”. We were doing those songs for the Tv and Film Library and realized these have all the characteristics and elements of KEEL music. The big shouting choruses, the driving and thunderous drums and bass, screaming guitars going back and forth. It sounded like KEEL music and once we did that, Bryan put the music together for “Come hell or high water” and “The devil may care”. He sent me the music, I wrote the lyrics for those two and all of a sudden we had four songs that we felt could make a strong foundation for a new album, so that´s kind of how the wheels got turning to decide to make a new record. When we put the band back together we did not plan to make new music. We didn´t plan to create songs or write or record. We simply wanted to do some shows and celebrate 25 years of the band. The new music kind of happened like sex, you know, you´re with somebody and it starts happening and that´s really how it happened. We didn´t intend it and part of the charm and the magic of the new album is that we never intended to do this. It just happened on its own.

Did you have any thoughts of making it sound like classic KEEL, which I think it does, or were your thoughts of making it more like music is today? Was it just like “Let´s go for classic KEEL music!”?

RK: The cool thing man, was that we didn´t think of it at all! We didn´t talk about it, we didn´t have a band meeting where we discussed “Let´s go in this direction or let´s be this and do that!”. We just started spitting out songs. We didn´t even think about it. Not one discussion did we have about direction. We just wrote the songs, we listened to them and said “Yeah, I like that!”, “Ok, next!”. It was very natural, an easy process and it was all impulse, it all came from the heart and the soul and really didn´t have a whole lot of thought or discussion behind it at all.

Getting this album done, were you shopping it around to different record labels and how come you ended up on Frontiers?

RK: Once we made the decision to record a new album, that´s when we started looking for a home for it. We would have recorded it on our own if we had to, but of course we wanted them to work with us. You know, we´re not a record company, we´re a rock and roll band nad we didn´t want that responsibility. These guys are experts. Frontiers knows what they´re doing. Of course there´s a very short list of record companies in this genre of commercial hard rock, that really can get the job done. It´s not like there are 100 labels out there like Frontiers. There are maybe a handful. Start at the top and we went with Frontiers and told them we wanted to do this and they got behind it emmediately and gave us the opportunity and the budget to do it right. They believed in what we had going. We sent them a few of the demos, we had done some home demo recordings because they wanted to know in what direction we were going in and what kind of style it was and make sure it was classic KEEL. So we sent them a few of the home demos and we got the deal on the spot. They couldn´have turned out to be a better situation for us. Obviously they know what they´re doing with this style of music, with bands like Winger and Whitesnake. They do everything first rate and they do everything right and they gave us the freedom and the budget to make the album that we wanted to do make and we couldn´t have done it without them. We´re very fortunate and it ended up in a great situation.

Is it a one record deal or do you take it year by year? Did you sign on for several albums?

RK: We have some options. Obviously, if this one is successful there will be some demands dor another record down the road, either from the label or the fans. We´re not thinking about that right now. We just want to enjoy 2010, enjoy the success and the response that “Streets of rock and roll” has enjoyed from the fans and the media and everyone else. Just kind of taking it one day at a time and one song at a time. If there´s a demand for another album, maybe next year, we´ll address that when it comes.

Did you produce it yourselves or did you have an outside producer for it?

RK: No, this record was produced by Pat Regan, who´s worked with Deep Purple, KISS and so on, a long list of incredible sounding music that Pat has produced. He´s the guy that we wanted for this project. I´ve been wanting to work with Pat for 20 years now because everything he does sounds great. It literally sounds incredible! He produced a couple of Marc´s Medicine Wheel albums and had worked with Marc before. I first heard some of Pat´s work in the late 80´s when he was producing Black N´Blue. The best that they ever sounded and I always wanted to work with him and luckily we were able to get him And Frontiers were able to pay him (laughs) and he did a great job. The combination of Pat Regan producing the album and the guys in KEEL, we´re still old school man! We learned from guys like Gene Simmons, who produced us in the 80´s. This is how we work and we didn´t want to change that approach, so Pat took that modern recording technology and the ability to make it sound great and combine that with our old school philosophy of work hard, bust your ass and the lead singer´s gotta leave a lot of sweat and spit on the floor. That´s the way it is for me. I don´t know any other way. I don´t like a lot of technology, like photoshop where you can take a photograph and change it. You can even take somebody´s clothes off and put different clothes on or a different head on a different body. They have the same kind of stuff in the studio, where you can really alter and enhance what the musicians do. I think one of the charming things about “Streets of rock and rock and roll” is that is sounds like a real, natural album. It sounds like a bunch of really excited guys playing rock and roll music together. You have to be able to play it in a stereo and listen to this record and the new Judas Priest and the new Scorpions or whatever. It´s gotta sound good like those other records, but it also gotta feel right and it´s gotta sound natural.

Makes sense. When you started the band KEEL, did you come up with the logo for KEEL or was that somebody else?

RK: I came up with the original logo that´s on the “Lay down the law” album, because I came from a band called Steeler and we just kind of took the EEL from Steeler and put a K in front of it, so we could have some continiuity. When we got signed and went to A&M Records in 1985 and we´re doing the “The right to rock” album, I went to the art director at the label and I said “You do whatever you want, just don´t change the logo! Don´t fuck with my logo! It´s really cool and I want to keep it the way it is!”. Of course I come back two weeks later and I see the cover for “The right to rock” and I say “Ok, that´s cool!”. It´s just a beautiful piece of artwork . The guy who did it has done some other album covers and some artwork for film and tv stuff, like Batman and other stuff. He designed that logo so I can´t take credit for that. With the new album we wanted to keep the continuity of “The right to rock”, 25 years later, so I wanted that logo with the sword and the Flying V guitar and the name of the band and kind of age it. Make it look like it´s been through hell, but it´s carved in stone and it´s built to last. It´s got some cracks and some rust and it´s damaged, but it´s still standing strong. That´s kind of the message behind the new album, with the logo being reincarnated in stone.

Right! I was kind of wondering about your name KEEL? What´s the history behind it?

RK: Dude, I don´t really know!

Is it an American name?

RK: The family legends… there´s not much documentation because my family was very poor. My father didn´t even know how old he was. My father was born in a little cabin in the woods. He never had a birth certificate and he never had a passport, so I don´t have a whole lot of lineage. I don´t have a whole generations of culture. I don´t know where I came from, man. All I know is that I´m here right now and I´m ready to enjoy this life. All I have are stories and legends that are passed down from my father and my father drank a lot too. (laughs). I love the guy! My father can tell some really tall tales, so I don´t know. I have no idea where I´m from. I don´t know if I´m Irish, German… I know I´m half Irish because my mother did have some documentation, but I don´t know. I´m just a rock and roll outlaw and that´s how I live my life!

That´s good enough! When you decided to form the band KEEL, using your name, was that the initial thought or did you have other names before that, that you thought of?

RK: That was a business decision. I was in the band Steeler for three years and Steeler was a great band. We were very close to getting a big deal and of course everybody knows that Yngwie Malmsteen was in the band, but Yngwie left and it created an aura of instability, even though we kept the band going for a year after he left, it was not the same and that instability kept me from getting a record deal and I wanted to build something that even if somebody quit or got fired, I could still survive. It´s very strange that it turned out that KEEL was such a band. KEEl has nothing to do with my name, that was a business decision at the time. I had no idea that it would really turn into a band that had that chemistry, that camaraderie and friendship and all that. It was not intended to be that way. It was intended to be my project and a bunch of other guys with me. It wasn´t that way even in the start. That was a business decision and I never wanted to call it KEEL, but I thought that was my best shot at getting a record deal and succeeding. Within nine months of making that decision and calling my band KEEL, we had released to albums, “Lay down the law” and “The right to rock”, we were signed to a major label, we were being produced by Gene Simmons and we were on tour all over the country. It was the right decision for me, but I had no idea that it would turn out to be the way it did.

Back in the day, do you remember the first real gig as KEEL? Was that in LA?

RK: Oh, I remember it very well! It was April 27th 1984 at Perkins Palace in Pasadena. Sold out, 1700 people and we tore it up. (laughs)

Do you know if it was recorded? Audio or video?

RK: We have a video of it, yeah!

Cool! That´s music history!

RK: Yeah, it is! It was a great night. It was supposed to be a Steeler gig. It was originally posted as a Steeler show and I made the decision to move on from Steeler and form KEEL and decided to make that our debut show and we really literally had three to four weeks to put the band together, rehearse and get ready for that first gig and we tore it up, man! A lot of excitement, a lot of fire and two weeks after that we did our first Hollywood gig at The Roxy. All of this is pretty well documented. We´ve saved all the flyers and magazine ads and stuff. There´s videotape of these shows as well so we have a pretty good grasp of our history and those are some very special and magical times for us and I´ll never forget those days.

You should put something together for a dvd?

RK: At some point we would like to do a dvd for our 25th anniversary and kind of document what we´ve done the last year with the big shows, the photo sessions and the recording sessions and the rehearsals and the live footage from back in the day. Hopefully get clips from our broadcast videos, “The right to rock, “Because the night”, Somebody´s waiting” and kind of put it all together in one package. That´s a goal and a dream of mine. We´ve been so busy man! Once we got done with the album, I went on a tour of the UK with Y&T. We did England, Scotland, Wales and I got back in time for the holidays and then the album came out. I´ve spent the last six weeks really doing a lot of interviews and work on the Internet promoting the album, so there hasn´t been a whole lot of time to think about projects or anything else. Maybe we can have something out this year.

Looking forward to it. Have you ever thought of writing a book?

RK: I am writing a book! It would be done by now if I had the time to finish it. I do enjoy working on it and I´ve been working on it for quite some time. My autobiography, the story of all the adventures and travels of my life and my career and I think that so far it´s really good! I think it´s entertaining, I think it´s fun and it´s supposed to be. I hope to have it out this year but I haven´t had a lot of time to work on it. I work on it a little bit every day and I´m kind of enjoying the process of creating and writing it. Maybe I don´t even want it to be done, I´m still enjoying the ride. I´d like to get it out there this year if possible and hopefully the fans will enjoy it. It´s called “Even KEEL: Life on the streets of rock and roll”. So far it´s really good. I´m enjoying the writing and I think the fans will enjoy it, my friends and people that don´t even know me. The intention is that if you don´t even know who Ron Keel is, you´ll still enjoy reading the story. I´ll keep you posted!

I´m looking forward to that a lot! If you ever got the chance to work with Gene Simmons again, would you do it?

RK: Absolutely! In a heartbeat!

Have you stayed in touch in any way?

RK: Yes! I saw him on a recent trip to Vegas. We got to sit backstage for a few minutes, about 20 minutes and talked about old times. We have nothing but love for Gene. He certainly taught me and taught the band a lot back in the day. He was extremely helpful in building our career when we first started out and his presence was felt in the studio for this most recent album. We felt his presence in the studio. I´m still using lessons that he taught me years ago. How to make a great record. His spirit and his presence is definitely felt on “Streets of rock and roll”.

Finally, you´re coming to Sweden for Stockholm Rock Out. What can the Swedes expect from KEEL?

RK: We´re gonna be extremely excited and fired up. It´s gonna kick start into high gear. It´s our first show in Europe in 24 years and the first time ever that we´re gonna be playing some of the new songs. There´s a lot to look forward to and we´re really excited about it. Of course you´re gonna hear all the songs that you want to hear, “The right to rock”, “Because the night”, “Somebody´s waiting”, “Rock and roll outlaw”, you´re not gonna have a KEEL show without playing those shows. That´s what it´s all about! Maybe two or three songs off the new album will inject a lot of energy into the show. A KEEL show is a good time, that´s the adjective. We want you to have fun. We´re there to celebrate our friendship, our music and this genre and this culture with our fans. A lot of energy, a lot of sweat and a lot of good music! We´re really excited to come to Sweden and we really want to thank everybody at Stockholm Rock Out for bringing us over there for our first European show.

It´s been a pleasure talking to you Ron and I wish you all the best and it´s gonna be a blast catching you live in Stockholm.

RK: That´s awesome! Thank you for all that and I look forward to seeing you there!

I´ll be there!

/Niclas
"If heavy metal bands ruled the world we'd be a lot better off."



Bruce Dickinson är i mitt tycke en ganska dryg typ, men ibland kan han slänga ur sig en del roliga saker, som nu senast på Sonisphere i Knebworth.

Läs NME här

/Niclas
Bröderna Robinson fightas fortfarande!



Jag såg Black Crowes live på första europaturnén 1990 och har varit ett fan sedan dess. Under alla dessa år har bröderna Robinson varit de amerikanska versionen av bröderna Gallagher, dock inte lika öppet inför media.
Nu släpper de en samlingsskiva med akustiska tolkningar av sina största låtar och NY Post fick ett litet snack med sångaren Chris om "brotherly love", ny turné och minnen.

Black Crowes här

/Niclas

söndagen den 1:e augusti 2010

Duff om rasism i sin senaste krönika!



Den gamle Gunsbasisten har sedan en tid tillbaka en veckokrönika i Seattle Weekly. Oftast väldigt intressanta berättelser om tankar och händelser i hans liv. Nu senast om bl a rasism, KKK och "One in a million".

Läs här

/Niclas

RATM sparkar rumpa i Kalifornien!




Zach de la Rocha är som alla vet, förbannad på både det ena och det andra. Givetvis med all rätt.
RATM spelade nyligen sin första headline show i södra Kalifornien sedan turnén för "The battle of Los Angeles". Kan vi hoppas på ett gig i Svedala inom en snar framtid?
Recension och bilder från Palladium i LA via länken!

RATM

/Niclas