lördag 30 april 2011

AC/DC Oakland 1979!















Wolfgang´s Vault har lagt upp 8 liveklipp med AC/DC från Oakland´s Day on the Green 21 juli 1979. Mäktigt.

AC/DC här

/Niclas

fredag 29 april 2011

WTF?



















Tydligen blev en man i Australien ihjälslagen av sin rumskamrat 2009 för att han inte ville lyssna på Limp Bizkit. Det måste utan tvekan vara det jävligaste av all jävlighet.
Att någon överhuvudtaget lyssnar på detta band är och förblir en gåta. Jag hoppas på ett långt och plågsamt straff för den skyldige, dels för det uppenbara, men främst för att han lyssnar på Fred Durst.

Story på TMZ här

/Niclas

onsdag 27 april 2011

Hail Ace!



















Det gamla gitarrfyllot är ju numera nykter och fyller idag 60 bast. Såg honom live för något år sedan och det var tyvärr inte en av de bättre konserterna jag sett.

/Niclas

tisdag 26 april 2011

Skål herr Jordison!



















Trummisen i Slipknot fyller 36 idag.

/Niclas
Bra recap av Big 4 i Indio!



















LA Weekly skriver bra om Big 4 i lördags och bjuder på en del schyssta bilder. Även SF Weekly bjuder på bilder och Orange County Register har sjukt många bilder att delge och Rolling Stone recenserar och slänger ut bilder.

Big 4 här

Och här

Och här

Och här

/Niclas

måndag 25 april 2011

Idag höjer vi glasen för Fish!



















Den gamle Marillionsångaren fyller 53 idag. Tydligen ska ett nytt soloalbum vara på gång.

/Niclas
Dream Theater har lagt upp 20 minuters film om sökandet efter en ny trummis!















Intressant film om sökandet av en ersättare för mästerlige Mike Portnoy. Inkluderar intervjuer med medlemmarna där de bl a pratar om vad som hände och hur de skulle gå vidare.

Dream Theater här

/Niclas
Intervju med Nick och JD i Black Label Society!

























När BLS spelade i Stockholm för någon månad sedan fick jag tillfället att sitta ner med Nick och JD. Med under intervjun var även min dotter Moa, som för första gången fick träffa ett par rockstjärnor och hålla den minigitarr som Zakk gett till Darrens (Roadrunner Records) son.
Det blev ett avslappnat samtal med två trevliga musiker och vi pratade bl a om Zakks nykterhet, filmen "Rock star", nya trummisen Johnny Kelly, låtskrivande och musikerlivet i allmänhet.


A day like this, what´s going on? When did you arrive in Stockholm?

Nick: Doing laundry.

JD: Yeah, I wish I could do laundry, but apparently the machines take hours here so I´m out of it.

Does it get boring?

JD: Totally! You wait all day for an hour and a half.

Nick: It´s like someone said to me, “You get paid to play guitar.”. No, I get paid for the other 18 hours that day. But it doesn´t suck! I mean, we got to see the Eiffel tower together and we get to see things that people pay to go see or win game shows. But your away from home and you can´t get into your car and go to Wal Mart. (laughs) You just sit here stuck. It´s a lot of waiting.

JD: It´s hard to find good food sometimes or a shower, you know what I mean. Things you take for granted, but that´s cool.

How´s the tour been going so far?

Nick: Great!

And how´s Johnny been doing?

JD: Johnny´s doing great! He barely had any rehearsals with us. He had two soundchecks with me and Nick and that was it and we just fired up.

I´m not a musician and I´m always fascinated by that, because I would think that you´d need a week or so to learn the songs.

JD: Well, you should have at least a week, with the whole band. That would been great, but under these circumstances we didn´t have that luxury so it was just throw and go!

He knew the material?

JD: Yeah, he had it for a week or so before he got out and then he got to watch two shows and stuff, so at least he got some what.

Nick: And there was the live stuff too. I mean, if he just listened to the cd, we do it differently live.

But Will´s departure was already known, right?

JD: Yeah, we knew that he was gonna have to leave at some point and it´s unfortunate that it happened now. We didn´t expect it during the tour, but that´s all. Will´s awesome and he had to go back to Evanescence.

Johnny´s gonna do the rest of the tour. Is he gonna be a member of the band?

JD: That I dodn´t know! We have to figure that out after.

Nick: It´s like Spinal Tap, the drummer´s blowing up. (laughs)

JD: First you had the bass players. When I left the first time, it was a revolving door of bass players, so I came back and shut the door for a little while, til´I´m leaving. I´ll quit this fucking band… (laughs)

Nick: Thank god!

The latest album, how do you guys work when it comes to writing music?

JD: Zakk´s the writer! He has the riffs. He plays his riffs with the drummer and then we just get a good drum track and then we build it pretty much from there. It´s his riffs, his melodies and his lyrics.

Nick: It´s his vision!

JD: In the studio though, I did produce it and mix it, so I definitely got good takes out of him and things like that and helped with arrangements and stuff, but as far as the writing, it´s all his writing.

Was there any talk about using an outside producer?

JD: No, me and Zakk, that´s it! He brought me in and that´s about as outside as he wants to go. I mean, we use producers and what do they do? I´ll tell you what to do! I´ll tell you what sounds good and I know if you´re in key and tell you what note you´re hitting. I mean, some bands definitely need a producer, other bands who aren´t as experienced in song writing and arranging, they definitely need a producer. Or know how to get certain sounds. I´ve been doing this for a long time in the studio so it makes sense that he asked me to do it. That was cool. But listen to it! It´s a good sounding record and sonically it´s probably the best one! And we built the studio at his house so now we have access to it 24/7 whenever we need to do anything.

When it comes to a record like this, does Zakk come up with like 30 songs and you pick from those or…?

JD: This time we probably had about 16 songs and then we lost maybe 3. Everything was pretty jamming. In the past, when we did “Shot to hell”, we had probably like 20 and then widdled it down to whatever was on that album, like 12 or 13. We´ve done it a lot in the past, but this one was kind of pretty much… everything stuck.

For how long is this tour going on?

JD: We´re doing Europe until March 23 and the we go home for April and hit the States in May and then back over to Europe in June for some festivals and shows and then July off and August in South America and perhaps Asia and then September off I guess and then October, November back over here with Alter Bridge or something. We´re busy all year, so thank god! TBA, we´ll see what happens. (laughs) There´s a lot of talk about a lot of things and half the time they happen and half the time they don´t and something else does.

What do you do when you have time off and you´re back home? Do you get involved in the other projects you´ve got going?

JD: Without a doubt, yeah!

Nick: I teach sometimes. It was weird at first because I had people calling me from like Kentucky. I want to keep this a consisting thing and you can´t drive from Kentucky every week. If you do, it´s psycho. (laughs) I mean, thank you. Now I just do the Speed X thing and got some guys in Pittsburgh and we just jam.

How long have you been teaching?

Nick: Not long. Some of the kids just wanna learn songs and stuff. It´s pretty much they pay the money and sit there and ask me stuff. Tell them stories and take the money, so I felt like a thief. I don´t want to sit there and waste their dad´s gas money. There were kids that came down and wanted to play, which was great. But hey, back when I was a kid and I got to go to some band that I like and get a lesson, I´d do it. But I wanted to teach and make money. I felt bad. I didn´t want to take their money and tell stories. (laughs)

JD: I´ve been teaching for 20 something years. I do clinics and stuff. I´ve got a clinic tomorrow in Gothenburg and when we´re home I do my band Cycle of Pain and I´m gonna write some more songs when I get home. I´m gonna do a clinic run through the Midwest, I think. You have to do what you have to do! You gotta make a living and if we can teach or whatever you gotta do for an extra income and it´s a way to give back to the kids and inspire, so it´s all good, but we´re always busy. But it is nice to go home and just lay there for a couple of days. The first two days I don´t even go out. You´re jetlagged and it´s crazy, so I´m just in my house playing my Xbox and watching my TV, eating my food, getting into my car. But it´s awesome! We have a blast!

Nick: As we speak, me and my fiancée just got a town house and I wasn´t even home for the move, but… like JD said, we play Xbox and back in the bus, we´ve got everybody hooked on NHL and we have tournaments every night and when we get home we´re online with each other.

JD: The world stops. Here we´re crazy and there´s something to do every day. You gotta get up and go do a meet and greet, you gotta do interviews and you gotta do the show and then you go home and it stops. So you have to fill that time with your own band, clinics, teaching whatever.

Those clinics seem cool! I just read that Chris Adler from Lamb of God had 730 people in Utah and apparently it was just unbelievable.

JD: Lamb of God man! People love them, but it´s not my thing.

Do you practice guitar and stuff like that?

JD: Anything man! Drums, piano, guitar, vocals.

Nick: This dude went to Berkley! It´s awesome!

JD: School was great! It enabled me to just study music and have nothing to do but get better. Ear training and reading and writing music and once you learn how to read and write music and the music theory, then you can apply it to every instrument, which is awesome. So I play the piano, but I haven´t played for the last ten years, but I know the notes, the keys and the chords and the scales so I can play. With drums too, I know all the rhythms and I´ve played with the most amazing drummers in the world and I learned a lot from them and all these different Afro Cuban rhythms and jazz and reggae. There´s so much great music out there and as you keep learning you just keep getting better. It´s like a never ending video game, you know! But I´m good friends with all these cats and they´re cats! I´m honored to be in the room with them, like at NAMM.

As a musician and you´ve been doing it for so long, do you still learn new tricks?

JD: Every day!

Nick: It´s been 15 years for me and Zakk and you´re like a Jedi with the master.What´s cool is that I´ve gotta step up my game all the time. He wants me to double this solo and double this solo and he´s like “This is it! Do it!” and I´m like “Can I have a night to go over it?”, but it´s cool because he has the confidence that I can do it.

JD: Yeah, Nick doubles a lot of his stuff! It sounds good!

Nick: But you definitely can´t slack! With Zakk, he´ll love you and you´ve been with him forever, but if you won´t pull your weight…

Is Zakk different now when the booze is gone and all that?

Nick: Absolutely!

JD: I mean, he´s still annoying, but he´s not drunk and annoying! (laughs) We knew him before Ozzy and the shenanigans that went on. He´s awesome! He´s always been an amazing musician. He picked it up late, but within three years he had the Ozzy gig. How about that! To play with Ozzy when you´re 18 or 19, that´s insane! And we´re big Randy Rhoads fans and I wear a Randy shirt every night because he´s the reason.

Alright! JD, you played with Lita Ford, opening up for Mötley Crüe, right?

JD: Yeah, back in 1990. “Dr. Feelgood”.

Was there any hard partying going on? They were sober back then.

JD: They were sober, so I got in all kinds of trouble! They hated me! (laughs) I was this young kid and full of life and they hated it. (laughs) But they were cool, Mötley was awesome, but everybody like their tour manager and everybody in my camp, it was just horrible. I hated it, man! But it was a great experience and I got to tour arenas and all that and get endorsements with Kramer and I got another Spector bass. It was a great experience!

Nick: You were endorsed by Kramer?

JD: Yeah, Spector. That was my first endorsement.

Nick: I love Kramer!

JD: Yeah, I love those basses. They sound slamming!

What about the movie “Rock star”? Would you consider do any more acting?

Nick: Absolutely! It was fun and it was something different and I got to see how movies are made.

What was Jennifer Aniston like?

Nick: Awesome! Everybody was! Mark was a gentleman and hung out with everybody. He called me over to his house one night and he was making steaks and I thought it was gonna be a get together, but it was just him and I. It was funny. He likes to study and me and Zakk and Jason Bonham, we were looking at the actors and they were looking at us and going “This is what you do?”. Like Jason Flemyng who was the singer for Steel Dragon, he was legitimately terrified whenever he went on stage in front of 16000 people and he was like “You do this every night?”. And then the time we had to film, you had to be in the chair at four o´clock in the morning to get make up and stuff, so the first night I stayed up and I walked in all bright eyes and they were like “Did you sleep?” and I went “Nah!” and Jennifer said “Well we´ll be losing him around 5.30!” and sure as shit. “Coffee on the set!”. Then they switch it on you and go “You have to be in the chair at five o´clock!” and then shoot all night, which is great, because that´s what we do.

JD: Yeah, that´s what we do! We´re nocturnal creatures. (laughs)

Nick: It was awesome! I thought I was just gonna do the soundtrack, because they said to Zakk that he got the part and then they said “Could you bring someone out who can be in the tribute band?”. So I went out and it was like “Wow I get to play with Zakk and Jason and do these songs!” and then I was out there for another four months and they put me up in an apartment, gave me a car and it was awesome! I mean, it´s not gonna be “Schindler´s list” or anything but it´s funny. It came out on September 8 and then September 11 happened, so nobody went out.

It´s a cool movie!

Nick: Dude, here´s a great story! Me and Zakk were flying home from Germany and it was the in flight movie, so it´s the first time we got to watch it together. We´re punching each other and laughing at the wigs we were wearing and everybody starts looking and going “Are these guys in the movie?” and this old lady comes back to us and goes “Excuse me son, is that you in the movie?” and she´s like “I liked it!” and I was like “I´m glad!”. It was a great experience!

Where was the live footage shot?

Nick: That was at Staples Center.

Was another band performing or…?

Nick: They had a couple of bands playing and then they would shoot the Steel Dragon thing and Zakk and Jason and Jeff Pilson were actually all plugged in so in between shoots Zakk would solo and try to keep the crowd going and entertained. It was great! We get to do so many things we dreamed about.

No, not many people get to travel the way you do.

JD: It´s awesome when we have days off and we get to see stuff, but on show days this is what we do. Unless we´re in the city. I don´t know where we are now, around the outskirts or something.

It´s real close. It´s just across the bridge here.

JD: We can´t walk! (laughs) We ain´t walking over and there´s snow out! Sun and blue skies!

Nick: It´s the first time we´ve seen the sun since February 9.

JD: Yeah, because we were in the UK for weeks and then France and Holland and Denmark there was no sun, so now there´s sun here and we´re very happy. (laughs)

What about Speed X and Cycle of Pain? More albums coming?

JD: I guess! For sure! I hope so, for both of us, man. We hope to do more records.

Nick: Cycle of Pain opened up for us.

JD: Yeah, we grew up together, me and my singer and my guitar player, so it´s pretty cool when we get to do it like this and open for BLS. It´s amazing! We opened up for Shinedown too in the States for a few weeks and that was really a great experience. I hope to get over here, man!

Nick: That´s the greatest thing with Zakk, that he´s supportive. It´s not like “No, you can´t do it!”.

So it´s not like James Hetfield with Jason Newsted?

JD: No! We played New Jersey and he was like “JD, are your band opening up?” and I was like “I don´t know! I hope so.”. He´s great like that.

Well, thank you guys!

JD: You got it my brother!

/Niclas

fredag 22 april 2011

Tommy Lee + Dennis Lyxzén = Sant



















Från Metal Sucks:


"I remember rushing home one day in 2000 with a copy of the self-titled debut of Text, a post-Refused project by three of its former members. Refused had imploded a couple years earlier (bummer), their singer Dennis Lyxzsén and his (International) Noise Conspiracy had released a snore album of middling hipster rock (more like [International] House of Pancakes), and holy shit I was desperate for more jamz a la Refused’s masterpiece The Shape Of Punk To Come (weren’t we all?). I was sweating as I loaded the CD.


Well, this story ends sadly cuz the Text album is egghead coffeehouse jive, not razor-sharp, secret-staircase art punk like Refused. Which is fine. Whatever. Since then, (I)NC mustered a few tasty jamz (like this), Text snuck out a mini-release, and Lyxzsén paired with ex-Refused drummer/Text nerd David Sandström in AC4. And now, following several unflattering covers of “New Noise,” rumors of a Refused reunion, and an anniversary reissue of Shape, it’s come to light that Lyxzsén’s voice will next be heard alongside the guy from Methods of Mayhem. Buzzkill! From Tommy Lee’s twitter:


Great Morning to all!! Bout to get f*ckin crazy in the studio with Bloody Beetroots and Dennis Lyxzén today..


and captioned on the Lyxzén photo above:


Dennis The Menacing scream-machine!! Look out man!


and sometime between those, Lyxzsén adds:


Tommy Lee on drums. Cornelius Rifo [of Bloody Beetroots] on guitar and organ. Me on bass and vocals. Fuckin unholy powertrio.


Um yeah what? Why? Who instigated this? For whose record? Is this armageddon?"

Metal Sucks här

/Niclas
Henry om lust!












Henry skriver alltid bra och träffsäkert. Denna vecka är temat lust inom musiken. Kul story om Little Richards första och andra tagning av "Tutti frutti".

Henry här

/Niclas
Sveriges nya hårdrockshopp!














Nu är jag ju inte på något vis objektiv då polaren är gitarrist i bandet, men håll utkik efter Slingblades kommande debut som just nu spelas in i Gröndal, Stockholm.
Igår hade jag nöjet att se dem live för första gången, på Marie Laveau, och det lät förbannt bra. Riffen satt som käftsmällar i ett härligt byaslagsmål och bådar verkligen gott inför deras första fullängdare.
På bandets MySpace finns för nuvarande två låtar att lyssna på, så styr kosan dit och lyssna! Alla fans av brittisk och tysk 80-talshårdrock bör falla som furor.

Slingblade här

/Niclas

torsdag 21 april 2011

Bokrecension

Mark Wilkinson

"Shadowplay" 2009

















Mark Wilkinson har främst gjort sig ett namn som mannen bakom Marillions omslag och sedan även Fish. Boken är en samling och genomgång av hans hela karriär och självfallet är alla illustrationer för Marillion representerade. Dock har Wilkinson även arbetat med andra storheter som exempelvis Judas Priest, Iron Maiden och The Darkness, även om de sistnämnda kanske inte riktigt kan kallas för en storhet.
Boken är snygg i storlek coffee table och sprängfylld med bilder. Att kunna studera bilderna som gjordes för Marillion i detalj är riktigt kul, men det roliga är att så här, uttagna lite ur sitt sammanhang med musiken, blir det lite hötorgskonst över det. Visst är de tilltalande på allehanda sätt, men det är samtidigt något med dem som gör att de känns lite B eller tacky, så att säga.
Tittar man dessutom på hans tidiga verk, av exempelvis diverse bokomslag, är det bilder så fruktansvärt fula och innehållslösa, att det blir svårt att kalla det för konst.
I boken berättar Wilkinson om alla skivomslag han gjort och arbetet kring dem och det finns även med tidiga skisser på exempelvis de bilder han gjorde för Marillion och Iron Maiden. Hans stil är genomgående likadan och han håller sig inom samma ramar hela tiden, oavsett vilket band han jobbat med.
Kontentan av boken är att det är främst bilderna för Marillion som är intressanta, allt annat blir sekundärt. En småkul bok, men inget att bli direkt upphetsad av.


Q&A med Mark Wilkinson


First off, who´s Mark Wilkinson?


Mark: A man in a perpetual state of panic and bliss, who occasionally sends out postcards from the edge - just to see if they warp the fabric a little.


Was the book your own idea or were you approached about doing it?


Mark: I was approached - by Claus Brusen, an artist himself, and gallery owner - and just to show he can multi-task - a book publisher!


When did you start working on it?


Mark: May 2009.


Did you have to leave out a lot of your art work?


Mark: Mostly the crap, which would be a bigger book!


Tell us about the first time you came in contact with Marillion?


Mark: This has a whole chapter of its own in Shadowplay - but the short version is...I shared a house in South London in the 80's with some designers who were mostly working for agencies in Covent Garden, London. I was very close to giving up being an artist - looking at other options like teaching...when one of them came back one night after a session at a bar to say he'd overheard a conversation between the art director of a design group called 'Torchlight' and someone else. They were looking for artists to put forward for a cover art project, working for a new band signed to EMI Records. I looked 'Torchlight' up in the telephone directory, rang them, they said come along that day...and I got the job!


Usually, how long did it take to make an album cover like "Misplaced childhood" or "Script for a jester´s tear"?


Mark: Around 2 weeks.


Did the artwork go back and forth between you and the band until the final version was done?


Mark: No - it was left up to me - Script came back for some minor changes, mainly to do with legal issues with things like the name of the brewery on the ash tray, Fairy liquid bottle, the sheet music I painted had to be played to make sure I wasn't copying Chopin, permission had to be granted for the lyrics of Yesterday etc etc.


How much input did the band have on the artwork?


Mark: A lot on Script - mostly from Fish. Much less so on Misplaced - they left me to do that one after the initial briefing.


What can you tell us about working with Europe and their album "Prisoners in paradise"?


Mark: A simple telephone call from their manager - and that was it. I supplied some rough drawings and they approved more or less first attempt of the final artwork.


What was it like working with giants such as Iron Maiden and Judas Priest? Any memorable stories?


Mark: The first painting for Iron Maiden was briefed from the tour merchandise company Bravado for Monsters of Rock that year, I had provided the art for most of these festivals up to then. I can remember this one was unusual because Rod Smallwood - who oversees everything to do with Maiden artwork insisted on seeing it and I met him at Sanctuary offices with someone from Bravado. He approved with no problems and said that a lot of the artists he had used in the past (apart from Derek Riggs of course) had always got 'Eddie' wrong - doing his face too skull-like. He said he'd like to use me for future work at some point, but it was a few years later I had the call once again.
This was for "The Wicker Man" which at the time I was called in was the working title of their new album after Bruce had returned. There had been months of delays with the cover art because Derek had provided them with multiple ideas, none of which went down too well. There were disagreements and eventually, as I understand it, Derek walked away in a fit of pique vowing never to return. So I was brought in at the 11th hour and asked to turn it around in a week or so. Eventually, everything changed again and "Wicker Man" was the first single from the album, 'Brave New World' was the album title, they used the top half of one of Derek's paintings of Eddie in the smoke - done for one of his versions of "Wicker Man", and pulled in a 3D view of a futuristic London comped in below. After that - I was asked to do the second single off the album, "Out Of The Silent Planet".
When the idea was mooted for a celebratory box set for the 25th anniversary of the band, I worked on a series of ideas for that. Eventually, the image I had in mind for a large book of photographs of the band caught the eye of Steve Harris who asked if that could be developed somehow into the box itself. I did a lot of research into this and put forward the idea of actually printing on to a metal box and also embossing it to match the art. This was, at the time one of the most complex pieces of embossing work ever attempted on metal plate and took a long time to get right. But it came out brilliantly and went on to win an award. I also provided the art for the "Best Of The B'Sides" album that made up one of the set ot of double CDs inside the box. I also designed the pewter shot glass for the set. It was a limited edition release and sold out in record time, as does most things related to Iron Maiden these days.
Most of the art I've done for Judas Priest has gone through really smoothly, apart from "Demolition", ironically the simplest design I've ever done. This had a lot to do with the prevailing fashions at the time for more simplistic imagery for cover art, and to be honest I did struggle with that one. Perhaps I know the more complex, detailed area of fantasy art better, certainly when we returned to that world afterwards, the results I believe were far more effective. The metallic cyborg creatures of "Painkiller" and "Angel Of Retribution" took awhile to work out, but the band were never less than enthusiastic about their development, which played a big part in their success. I think if the band are willing to get involved in the decision making process at every level for album art, the better your chances are for getting a great result that pleases everyone.


Are you still working with Fish? Anything going on?


Mark: Yes - I believe there is going to be a new album this year, as with all of his projects he has a clearer idea of the album art at an early stage than he does necessarily for the songs! This was true right at the beginning when he was with Marillion and he used to call me months ahead of the writing. He has a very strong visual sense and he and I have been working together for so long now it is almost a sixth sense where he can describe a scene or situation and I can more or less see the same image in my head. We have been friends and colleagues now for almost 30 years, so I guess that's quite unusual in this business, but we have a lot of respect for each other and the creative process that drives an album and its attendant visual depiction.


Of all the album artwork you´ve done, which one has given you the most attention and why?


Mark: After The Wicker Man I had more hits on my website than ever before. Maiden are most probably the biggest rock band in the world now, and they were then, so I suppose that has to be the one. In terms of longevity though, "Script For A Jester's Tear" is the image I'm most associated with - that jester was so successful, right at the start of Marillion's career - and mine too...it is perhaps my signature image, though I believe he was better painted and imagined in a painting I did years later called 'The Fool', a private commission for a fan in new York.


What are you working on right now?


Mark: I have just completed the art for "Epitaph" - the Judas Priest farewell tour image and stage backdrop which will appear 50 foot wide at their shows. There is also more work for the tour: T-Shirt designs, etc


Will there be another book?


Mark: I don't think so, it took 35 years to put that one together in terms of work - I'm 60 next year, and I'm not getting any faster!


What´s your favorite album when it comes to Fish, Marillion, Maiden and Priest?


Mark: Fish - "13th Star", Marillion (by far) "Clutching At Straws", Maiden - not sure, I don't actually follow them at all believe it or not, I did like 'Brave New World' though. Judas Priest - would have to be "Painkiller" - I remember when that was released - it blew everyone away - and even the cynics who would normally hate anything metal were astonished by its energy.

/Niclas
The mighty VH!


















John Albert skriver oerhört bra om sina tidiga minnen av Van Halen. Vilda partyn, tjejer och hur VH var hans livs soundtrack i slutet av 70-talet och början av 80-talet.
Mycket läsvärt!

Van Halen här

/Niclas

tisdag 19 april 2011

Hail Beano!













Idag för 31 år sedan blev Brian Johnson medlem i AC/DC och hjälpte sedan bandet att snickra ihop kanske världens absolut bästa album, "Back in black". Få album har snurrat så mycket hemma hos mig som detta. Jag har nu lyssnat på det sedan året det kom ut och får fortfarande samma rysningar varje gång introt till "Hells bells" drar igång. Ren och skär magi.
Nuff said!

/Niclas

söndag 17 april 2011

Roberto Laghi om Metallica!















I senaste pappersversionen av tidningen Studio bjuds det på en lång artikel om Metallica och intervjuer med Flemming Rasmussen och Toby Wright. Online finns denna artikel ännu inte, men istället har man lagt upp en intervju med In Flames-producenten Roberto Laghi där han får kommentera kring produktionen av flertalet klassiska Metallicalåtar. Intressant läsning.

Laghi om Metallica här

/Niclas

lördag 16 april 2011

Hail music!














Jag hoppas att ni gjorde vad ni kunde för att stödja de lokala skivbutikerna idag. Själv vandrade jag runt lite i huvudstaden denna soliga dag och gav mitt stöd till The beat goes on, Recod Hunter och Atlas skivbörs. Bl a kom jag hem med Imperial State Electrics nya EP "In concert". Ett sjuhelsikes ös signerat Nicke Andersson.

/Niclas

fredag 15 april 2011

Foo Fighters på första plats!



















Borta är ju dagarna då plattor kunde sälja runt 800-900000 ex första veckan i USA. Dock är Foo Fighters på topp just nu och beräknas klocka in på 215-225000 ex första veckan i det stora landet i väster. Siffror som är väldigt bra för den skivtid vi lever i nu.
Hail Foo!

/Niclas

torsdag 14 april 2011

"Who put the bomp in the bomp bah bomp bah bomp bah?"

Gamle gode Henry funderar denna vecka över lite klassiska musikuttryck.


/Niclas

onsdag 13 april 2011

Anders Tengners kommande bok!















I maj kommer då äntligen svenske musikjournalistlegendaren Anders Tengners bok ut. Jag måste erkänna att jag sett fram emot denna bok under lång tid.
Tengner var på många olika sätt en väldigt stor del av mitt och andras tonåriga hårdrocksliv.

Från Norstedts:

"Som en av få i hela världen kom musikjournalisten Anders Tengner under tjugofem år världens största rockband in på livet.
Under åttiotalet var hårdrockarna kungar. Och mitt ibland dem fanns den unge musikjournalisten Anders Tengner. Från starten som storögt Kiss-fan och grundare av The Runaways svenska fanclub, till tiden som hårt arbetande redaktör på Okej och programledare för musikprogram på såväl SVT som ZTV.
I Access all areas berättar Tengner för första gången om sitt liv med hårdrockens storheter. Under tjugofem år flög han jorden runt och mötte hundratals rockband, många av dem privat. Hans intervju- och fotoarkiv är helt unikt i sitt slag, och här öppnar han för första gången dörrarna till en rockskatt som till stora delar är tidigare opublicerad. Vi möter giganter som Kiss, Metallica, Mötley Crüe, AC/DC, Guns N' Roses, Ozzy, Deep Purple, Bon Jovi, Scorpions, Whitesnake och Iron Maiden i personliga intervjuer som varvas med detaljerad historik. Banden som i dag - fortfarande - tillhör de största publikdragarna.
Tengner låter oss ta del av hårresande historier, spännande upplevelser och avslöjanden. Bildmaterialet, till stora delar aldrig tidigare offentliggjort, är omfattande.
Access All Areas står tryckt på de bästa backstagepassen, de som tar dig ända in i bandets egen loge. Det här är boken som tar dig ända dit - och ännu längre."

/Niclas

måndag 11 april 2011











Gamla dokument från FBI om KISS.


/Niclas
Senaste iOfferköpet!
















Under många år har jag sökt just det här bootleget, men alltid fått kasta in handduken då priset varit på tok för högt. Tack vare eminenta sidan iOffer.com kom jag över dessa 4 cd för en mkt billig peng.
92 låtar sammanlagt av ej utgivet material som sträcker sig från mitten av 70-talet fram till mitten av 90-talet.

All låtinfo här

/Niclas

söndag 10 april 2011

"Born again" omvärderas.



















I senaste "Justify your shitty taste" hos Decibel Magazine är det Black Sabbaths ofta hårt kritiserade "Born again" med Ian Gillan, som dissikeras och belyses med nytt ljus.
Själv minns jag bara att turnén gick i Spinal Taps anda då den stora Stonehengedekoren inte gick att få in i vissa arenor.
"Born again" har dessutom nyligen förevigats i deluxeversion.

Pånyttfödelse här

/Niclas

onsdag 6 april 2011

Warrior Soul i Sthlm imorgon!


















Imorgon torsdag lirar Kory och Warrior Soul på Marie Laveau i huvudstaden. Undertecknad leker DJ och hoppas på en trevlig kväll i rockens namn. Amen!

Marie Laveau här

/Niclas

tisdag 5 april 2011

Apropå Laynes dödsdag!



















Rolling Stone la idag upp sin coverstory om Layne och Alice in Chains från 1996. Mycket läsvärd artikel.

AIC i RS här

/Niclas
Nördigt om KISS!













Jag är ju ett stort gammalt KISS-fan och går alltid igång på saker om deras 70-talsperiod. Här en ganska ingående redogörelse för det scenbygge de använde under turnén för "Destroyer" 1976.

Destroyer här

/Niclas
Thayil lirar tung gura med A storm of light!



















Soundgardengitarristen lirar med tunga A storm of light och det låter helt ok. Lite som ett lättare och mindre komplext Tool, men med en liknande vemodighet.

Lyssna via länk här

/Niclas
Grungedöd!













Idag 1994 dog grungens överstepräst Kurt Cobain. Minns att jag låg på mitt studentrum i Bemidji, Minnesota och slötittade på tv när nyheten kom.
År 2002 samma dag gick den fantastiske Layne Staley bort, men han hittades inte förrän den 19:e, vilket gör det hela än mer tragiskt.

/Niclas
Scott Columbus död.
















Tydligen har föredetta trummisen i Manowar avlidit. Orsaken till hans död verkar ännu inte riktigt klargjord. Scott blev 54 år gammal.
Själv hade jag nöjet att intervjua honom och Eric Adams 2002 inför släppet av "Warriors of the world".
Nedan hittar ni intervjun som först publicerades på Metalshrine.se


"Manowar är ett band som jag aldrig egentligen brytt mig om. Jag minns uppslaget i tidningen OKEJ, när de signerade sitt skivkontrakt med blod och tyckte väl redan då att de verkade ta sig själva på lite för stort allvar. Det har nu gått 20 år sedan deras första platta, "Battle hymns", kom ut och egentligen har väl inte allt för mycket ändrats under dessa år. För en tid sedan fick jag erbjudande om att intervjua delar av Manowar och jag nappade. Det kunde ju vara lite kul att snacka med de här grabbarna och se vad de är för några typer. Så i början av april stegade jag in på ett hotell vid Mariatorget i Stockholm och fick en pratstund med Eric Adams och Scott Columbus. De visade sig vara oerhört trevliga och det är utan tvekan den mest underhållande intervju jag hittills gjort. Här är resultatet!"


What can you tell about the new album (Warriors of the world)? How is it different from the last one? It's been awhile. The last one came out in ´94, was it?


Eric Adams: ´96! So it's been six years since our last studioalbum and a lot of people ask, "What have you been doing? How come it's taken so long for you guys to come out with an album?" And some people think we've been sitting on our asses all this time, which is true bullshit. Because if you think about it, years ago, journalists asked us "You've got nine studioalbums out there, why don't you come out with a livealbum?" We'd never done that, so we said, "That's a good idea". So we came out with a livealbum, but we made it a double livealbum because we always take it a step further. Manowar does everything to the limit. So we came out with a double livealbum, which the record company totally freaked over. We said "fuck you, we gotta have it anyway". So we did it and the next thing I hear is "Well how come on your livealbum, you didn't play this song and you didn't play that song?" And we said "Well you're absolutely right". So we stayed out on the road and we toured the world three times and during that time we recorded all the older songs as well and we made a second double livealbum. So now there's four other albums out there, since our studioalbum. We also added dvd, which is "Hell on earth". Part one is done and out and "Hell on earth part two" is done and out. "Hell on earth part three" is done and is in the can. We also got a project that we did with a twelve-camera shoot in Brazil. The first live taped show with Manowar from beginning to end. Everything, you know! "Live in Brazil" and it's in 5.1 sound. So there's a lot of shit that we've been doing. And in the mean time we've built a new studio. We brought all or gear in, built a new studio, we rehearsed the new album and we recorded the new album. So I don't think that we've been sitting on our asses for six years.


Not at all! On your new album you have a couple of really different tracks. I've been listening to it all week. You've got this opera thing "Nessun Dorma" and you have "An American trilogy" and a song called "The March". An instrumental song. How did the "Nessun Dorma" thing come about? Is this stuff you wrote yourselves or is it reworked?


Eric: No, no, no! This is Puccini and it's a famous opera piece, a famous classical piece.


Shows how much I know about opera!


Eric: Well, you know that's ok, because one of the reasons we did it was to educate our fans. It's Pavarotti´s closing piece every time he plays and it's a well-known piece throughout the world. It's like the classic of all classical music. We did it as a special tribute to our Italian fans, live in Milan at the "Gods and metalfest" in ´99. And I'll never forget it. When I looked up to the audience and I just saw grown men cry and I saw cell phones in the air. Just thousands of cell phones and they called their families during this.


Scott Columbus: Those were recording Mp 3´s on their cell phones.


Eric: Yeah! 30 minutes after the broadcast it was on Napster. It was so impressive that we went in to the dressing room after and I'm soaking wet from the stage and Joey came up to me and said "Eric! We've got to let the world hear this. We worked hard on this, we should record it and let the world hear it!" And I said, "Man, I'm there! "Because it was really an up feeling and yeah let's do it! So that's how it all got started. And the whole band plays in it and the entire drums and everything. It takes Manowar in a class by itself. Some other metal bands are gonna say "Yeah, we don't wanna do that shit. That's bullshit!" When in the truth beknown, they can't do that shit. They just can't do it. So a lot of bands try to imitate this band, but nobody can do it.


Scott: How can dogs barking sing opera, I don't understand.


It's a good point! I must say that your voice is really good on that track and there's some heavy screaming going on at the end there.


Eric: Oh yeah! You caught that. That's cool. I decided to do a harmony scream on top of the scream that was already there.


The song "An American trilogy", is that something that came about after the September 11 events?


Scott: No, we actually had decided and had a lot of that recorded before the 9 11 events. We've been toying with the idea of doing that particular song for a good ten years or so. We've always been Elvis fans. He's just monumentally in rock and roll, this guy. He's been around forever. Elvis was the kind of guy who, when he was on stage he did whatever the fuck he wanted to and he broke all the rules. He was an innovator. We really admired him for that and we really dug him for that. He was just a great performer and he had some cute chicks from time to time. So he was the man. He always felt that this was one of his stronger pieces of music, his performance of this song and he liked it so much that it was actually his encore at one point, so we've been thinking about doing this song for quite a long time, as I said and we thought...when we did "Louder than hell", we were thinking about doing it then, but that song wouldn't have fit on that album properly. The way that album flowed front to back. But when we started writing this album and as the songs developed and you accumulate one, two, three, four songs and you're starting to get a snapshot of what the album's gonna sound like over all. So we said this is the perfect album for this track and then we developed the song and had it recorded and the rest is history.


The song "The March", an instrumental. It sounds just like something from a movie soundtrack. How did that one come about?


Eric: Well, the original name of that was "Wagners March" and everyone knows that we're really influenced by Wagner´s music. That triumphant, powerful sound. So Joey wrote that piece and the very first time I heard it, I sat down at Hell, which is our recording studio...I sat down there and I'm listening to it and you could hear the violins going up and down and it reminded me of Wagner and I said to him: "This is Wagner all the way, man! This is fantastic!" He said: "I'm glad you think that! Here's the name!" And he showed me... "Wagner´s March" Ha, ha, ha! And I said: "Shit, there you go!" I don't know why it got changed to just "The March, but the original name was "Wagner´s March and it's a great piece.


So when are you coming back to Sweden to tour? I guess you're gonna tour after this promotional tour?


Eric: We're touring now! We're playing in America now and we had to leave the tour to come over and do this and then we go right back home and we have one day off at home and then we go right back out on the tour again.


Scott: We have a month of dates all through out the U.S. and then after that we come back to Europe. We have festivals lined up and some shows in the Czech Republic and Hungary as well and that's right around the end of May and early June. Check the website as the dates become confirmed.


Eric: Yeah, go to Manowar.com and the tour dates will be on there.


But you're definitely gonna come to Sweden?


E: There's talk about a festival date in Sweden, but nothing's confirmed yet. I´d be lying to you if I said, yeah definitely. But nothing's confirmed for the festival date, but if that doesn't happen we're still planning on coming back here in the fall. We're doing a tour in September, October and November in the area and we're gonna tour entire Europe and Sweden is a definite hit because eh...You know what's funny? The last time we played the Swedish rock festival we weren't headlining. We were supporting and the next day we got the papers and there's a big picture of me in the paper there and a big story about the Swedish rock festival. All about Manowar and how we blew everybody away blah, blah, blah.It was like...what a great article and then the fans started writing in to the website. You know...how you guys gotta get back to Sweden and the promoter ended up calling us and reminded us of what happened at the Swedish rock festival and eh...


Scott: That's how we put together the Monsters of Millennium tour. It was developed from that, from that festival we played and all the buzz came out and we were able to get the others with the promoter and we booked the shows. Got the package together and it turned out to be very successful.


Eric: So this is a major hit for us now so...every time we play, "We'll be back" and there's some fine ladies in this country of yours.


Yeah, everybody says that!


Eric: Ohh, they're gorgeous!


So what was it like to be touring with Dio and Motörhead? I mean they've been around for a while as well, just like you guys. You've been around for more than 20 years now!


Eric: They're good friends of ours. I mean, we run into Motörhead all the time. Festival dates, we call each other, we're on tour and they happen to be touring and they have a day off. "What are you doing Eric? Can you make it to our show?" So, we know ém really well. We get along great with those guys and Ronnie´s a personal friend of ours. We grew up in the same area, we grew up when we were teenagers. We had a really good time with Ronnie on the Scandinavian tour.


Scott: It was a blast!


Eric: Yeah, and all kinds of pictures too! He's the one guy in the industry that's actually shorter than I am. Ha, ha, ha! There's a picture he took where he stood on a chair with our security guy. The security guy is like seven feet. So Ronnie stood on a chair next to him, put his arm around him and he still wasn't as tall. Oh God, it was fucking hilarious! Yeah, Ronnie´s a great guy. We get along great with each other. Somebody asked earlier: "Wouldn't it be nice if the two of us sang together?". I´d love to do it. I don't know if he'd be ever up for it, but I´d love to do it. It would be great!


I read as well that...Is there a book coming out about Manowar and four dvd´s coming out. Is that live dvd´s or is it gonna be historic?


Eric: There's both! There's live dvd´s and historic dvd´s. The book is coming out. It's being written now...


Is that gonna be a tell all kind of thing like Mötley Crüe´s "The Dirt"?


Eric: It's gonna be...I haven't read it yet, what's done yet but all the babes...it's an unleashed version of our life on the road and what's happened in the early years and we're still together so it's gonna be like a part one.


Scott: It'll be entertaining if nothing else!


Eric: Ha, to say the least!


Who's writing it?


Scott: Vinnie Ciccolinie (reservation för stavning) but we have a collaboration of people working on this together.


Do you know when this stuff is coming out?


Eric: As soon as it's done. I don't know. We've been busy.


Scott: It's funny cause on this press tour, one of the top three questions...inevitably comes: "Well it's been since 1996 since you guys put out a studio record and it's now 2002!" And then we go on and answer that question and by the time we're finished answering that question, I think they're sorry they ever asked.


You had your own and still have your own record label, Magic Circle. Are you putting out stuff?


Eric: Yeah, we're signing bands now and we give em the opportunity to be creative and do what they wanna do, because that's something that the record companies always try to limit...try to limit what you can do and they always tell you what you should do or how you should sound and that's something we have struggled with...with record labels and that's why we've been with so many. So we decided to come out with our own label so people could be creative in their own right. Without any bullshit and Bludgeon is the first release. A band from Chicago. That's released now on Magic Circle Records or very soon.


Scott: I think it came out the week that we left.


Eric: It had a five star review in one magazine so it's being accepted really well and Rhino, our old drummer, He's got a project that's coming out on Magic Circle Records and Dave Schenkel, our old guitar player, is working on a project now so we've got a line-up of a lot of different bands out there and we're looking for talent all the time.


And you're in total control of that of that label?


Eric: Absolutely! Total control of everything we do.


Scott: Anybody who's out there and who's loud and creative, unique and talented, send your stuff into the website and we'll give it a listen.


How do you feel about the new kind of metal scene? Especially in the US, where you have all this nu-metal with Slipknot, Limp Bizkit and they're mixing it with rap and stuff. How do you feel about that? Is that innovative or...?


Eric: No, I think it's gonna be like grunge. It came and went and I think this is gonna come and go as well. Look at our career. We play true metal, you know. No bullshit! Our stage set is 60 feet by 40 feet and a wall of speakers. That's our stage set. We don't put on a mask or anything at all. All though, I gotta be honest. Some of the things that Slipknot does for example is pretty good. Everyone's got their own talent, their own crowd and their own thing and it's all good. It's all good at the end of the day. But we've been around 20 years and we're gonna be around for a while longer. I think these bands that come out, they're in and they're out and they're on to another project.


Scott: It's cool that metal's kind of, or music is now getting heavy again. Over all it's heavy again and that's very good.


Yeah, cause there was a couple of years when nothing was happening and nobody listened to hard rock.


Scott: Jesus! In the late 90´s it seemed like the year of the tit. Every song you heard on the radio was a girl singing, but now it's becoming heavy again and which is good.


I think it's the same thing in Sweden now. There's like a bunch of bands coming out, real heavy metal bands that are influenced by more classic heavy metal like NWOBHM and a lot of bands are influenced by the whole German scene, like Helloween, Gamma Ray, Accept and all that stuff. It's cool that it's coming back and people are getting into it again and coming to the shows.


Eric: That's important! Because that's how we're supported, when fans come to the shows. We've got the strongest fans in the world and we know it. We treat our fans like they're true brothers and sisters. I leave my family to go on the road to be with my family and that's just what it is. I don't know what other band in the world allows their fans to come right up on stage and play with you on stage. Get up there and strap on a guitar and play, you know! What other band stays after the show is over and signs autographs if we can. The only time when we can't sign autographs is when we've got a 10 hour trip and we gotta make it to the next show, so the other fans can see us. We really believe in our fans and we really listen to our fans.


I think that's what all the fans want and they really look up to artists that do that, and take their time even though it's tiring. But still, that's what matters to a lot of people and that's the reason why they keep on buying the records and stuff like that.


Eric: Without the fans you're nobody. People have to realize that. Just believe in yourself and do what you have to do and the fans will come.


Scott: Speaking of Sweden. Whatever happened to that band Drain STH?


Good question! The last thing I heard was that the singer was dating Toni Iommi.


Eric: Maybe that's how he lost his fingers.


Probably! (Eric skrattar så mycket att han får lägga sig ner) That's probably the end of the story. I haven't got a clue. They put out two or three albums and they were on the Ozzfest and they were getting a lot of good reviews and stuff like that and then they just kind of disappeared.


Eric: Hot looking babes!


Scott: Heavy songs too! But wait a minute, weren't you supposed to be interviewing us and not the other way around.


Yes, that's true! How do you feel about the whole internet thing? You were talking earlier about when you did your classic piece, the opera piece, people were holding up their phones and two hours later it's on Napster.


Scott: I think it should be like in some of these countries where if you get caught raping someone you get your cock cut off and if you get caught stealing something they cut your fucking hand off. I think that when people start downloading mp3´s they should chop their fucking ears off. Stealing is stealing! Look, I'm a techno junkie like anybody else. I love the latest technology. Mp3 is a great technology. You can put a lot of music in a small amount of space and these players have no moving parts. The concept is great, but the bottom line is; stealing is stealing. Record companies and bands can't survive. But there is a positive side to this. Let's say there is a young band that cannot get a record deal or whatever and they want to get their music out to different people, then it's great if they can give their mp3´s away. That's like free exposure you know, but for bands that are making a living off this...it sucks.


But it seems to be like the music industry is divided. A lot of bands are totally for it and a lot of others are totally against it.


Eric: Here's what I'm totally for! I like the idea of fans being able to hear the songs before they come out. I like the idea of that, but not the whole song. Like when Napster had their thing going on...I don't know if Napster´s still around, I have trouble keeping up with things. Let's not include that, there's a ton of them out there that are thieves and my idea is to play them 20 seconds of each song and then stop it. Then you get an idea, "do I like that album or is it bullshit?" Give then 20 seconds of each song. "Holy shit that's fucking great. I gotta go out and get it!" That makes sense. Your album gets out on the internet, where people are down loading it before it's even released. It's ridiculous!


And at the same time I feel like... ´cause I buy tons of records, that's what I spend my money on. And I've never gotten into the mp3 thing cause I want the real actual record. I want the real thing.


Eric: Yeah! The mp3 thing is cool because you can take all of Manowar´s albums and put them on one mp3. So once you own the album it's a different story. Throw ém on your mp3 and go out and jog or something and do what you gotta do. At least knowing your supporting the band that you believe in. It's a different story if you're just out there stealing it.


How do you think Manowar has changed? You've been around now for 20 years. How do you think you've changed besides being older and wiser?


Eric: And distinguished! Ha, ha, ha!!!


And distinguished, exactly!


Scott: Who the fuck´s wiser? Ha, ha,ha!!!


Eric: I've changed my approach for picking up chicks. Ha, ha, ha!


Yeah, you learn along the way!


Eric: Ha, ha, ha! Yeah, I don't play the game anymore. I just grab their hair and walk off.


Scott: Me Tarzan, you Jane!


Eric: I think we've learned...I think we've grown in our ability to write music and we've learned that less is always more on an album and keep more of it for a live performance and less of it when you record. Because it just makes it sound bigger when...you know with the chorus. I think we've learned not to let the cameras go flashing at every 5 minutes without okeying the picture. There's a few things we've learned down the road. Just from being on the road. It kills me...the lines" No, this picture is just for me!" Ha, ha!


Scott: It reminds me of...you remember ever having a Christmas dinner when grandma comes by and you've got a mouth full of turkey and no, no don't take the picture. Bam, flash!


Eric: Yeah, so we're pretty careful of what gets out and what we allow to get out there.


So, you're more in control now?


Eric: We're in control of everything we do. We count on our people, our managers, agents, record company people to take care of this for us, so we can concentrate more on just the creativity. And we've found out that that doesn't work, because it doesn't get taken care of or it gets taken care of good enough. And we've always stressed that if it has Manowar´s name on it, it can't just be good enough. It's gotta be the very fucking best quality that we can come up with and anything we do, in the t-shirts we sell, it's the very best quality shirts you can buy. In the pictures that go out there, they're the very best quality. We really are concerned about quality in the sound we have, in the live performance right down to our speakers and the wires that we use on stage. It's a crystal clear powerful loud fucking sound. But you don't get that if you buy cheap shit. We really pride ourselves in coming out with the very best quality. The fans get value for dollar at the end of the day and that's who were thinking of.


Because you always read about the record industry being full of bad people and you read about every single band when they're starting out, how they're getting screwed by lawyers etc. It seems like a really dirty business.


Eric: It's extremely dirty. You gotta be a businessman, a musician, an accountant. You gotta wear a lot of hats in this business. You really do. You know, every hand you shake...you're shaking the right hand and the left hand is in your back pocket. So you gotta be careful. We've learned not to sign anything without taking the paper home and reading it. There's just a ton of things we've learned and by starting our own record label we hope we can avoid that.


Scott: Here's another thought: "The do´s and don'ts in the music industry by Manowar!" It'll be a multi volume set.


Yeah, makes sense! What kind of music do you listen to these days? Are you influenced by anything or...? Do you mostly listen to old stuff, like 70´s stuff or do you listen to a lot of new music?


Eric: I don't have a lot of time to listen to music. I listen to classical music a lot, because it influences me. I listen to ideas that Manowar has that we haven't developed fully yet. I listen to Scott´s personal stuff that he has written, I listen to his stuff. I just listen to a lot of...whatever sounds good I have with me on the road. It's not just metal. It's mostly metal, but it's not just metal.


Scott: Same thing. I listen to everything. Ethnic music, cultural...you know...whatever country we're in to some of that music. Classical music obviously, soundtracks are very interesting, classic rock/metal. Stuff that was our influences years ago. Everything, even some pop music. Because you know why? A good song is a good song whatever genre of music it is. A great song is a great song.


Eric: And you also listen to the engineering of the song. How it was recorded. You go: "Listen to that effect, that's kind of cool how they did that." That kind of thing, you know. So you kind of go to school on a lot of the things you listen to.


What about the new album, you did everything by yourself right?


Eric: We do everything by ourselves.


Scott: But this was the first time we did have an "real engineer", who was by our side every step of the way. It was a great experience and I think we learned what to do and not to do.


Eric: Scott and Joey engineered this whole album. I was busy. My mom was sick during this album, so I was busy most of the time and quite frankly I don't have the patience to deal with listening to the song for the hundred and fiftieth time. I really can't do that. I just can't fucking do that. Scott and Joey have the ears for that and they spent every day listening to the songs and engineering the songs. I just had my cell phone with me, in case I had to be there. Which worked out great. I hope the next time they still have the same patience. Ha, ha, ha!!!


Scott: This is one job you go home from at the end of the day and you don't turn on your radio in your car. 12 hours is enough.


Where do you guys live in the US?


Eric: New York!


Were you there when the September 11 attacks happened?


Eric: We were in New York State at the time, but not on Manhattan. I was driving on the road, listening to the radio and all of the sudden they break in and say a plane just hit WTC. And I was like: "How the fuck can that happen?" Really, how can an accident like that happen? Jesus Christ, you see the building and you know. I thought maybe a mechanical failure and they lost steering control and I'm thinking all this stuff and 10 minutes later another plane hit and I knew we were at war. I know something happened and we're at war. It's fucked up! And then 20 minutes later you hear there's a plane crash in Pennsylvania and you're thinking; holy fuck, here we go...


Scott: And then the Pentagon...


Eric: Then the Pentagon and it was like Jesus Christ...


Scott: Then you started looking out your own window. It's so surrealistic, it's like you're in the middle of a movie.


Eric: And you hear a plane going and you're looking up like...where is this plane heading to. And it was the most eerie thing in the world, I remember when they stopped flights in America right after that and...


Scott: Especially for me, because I live 5 minutes from the airport up in New York. And every fucking morning (härmar ett plan) and for two or three days, nothing. It was really quiet.


Eric: I mean you saw no jets in the sky ever and when they did let the planes fly again, you were like watching them; Where is this fucker going?


And then you had that other crash, a plane went down in Rockaway Beach.


Eric: Immediately you thought; those pricks are at it again...I think it woke up not only America but the whole world and I don't think the world is gonna take that kind of shit. That's just the way it goes. I don't know who these fucks think they are, but it ain't gonna fucking change how we live. It's not gonna change anything. It's just gonna wake up a sleeping giant like they said in WWII. It's the same thing. They just started this whole ball of wax and it's not just the United States that's involved. It's everybody that's involved and I think it united the whole world against these pricks. It's a good thing.


I wish you all the best with the new album and your tour and I hope to see you guys back in Sweden rocking and rolling!


Eric: We'll be back in the fall, so ladies I expect you to be there.


Thanks a lot!


Eric: / Scott: Thank you! Great interview!


/Niclas

måndag 4 april 2011

Intervju med Davy Vain!
















För en tid sedan hade jag det stora nöjet att ringa upp den extremt pratglade Davy Vain. Hans gamla band är back in business och spelar i Sverige nästa vecka.
Klockan var efter midnatt i San Francisco, men Davy pratade på om Christina Aguilera, Death Angel, första banden och gigen, Kirk Hammet, Don Was, galna upptåg med The Vue och mycket mer.

Hey, this is Niclas from Sweden!

Davy Vain: Hey, how ya´doing?

I´m good! How are you?

DV: Not too bad, man!

What time is it over there?

DV: Uuuhhh, it´s about 1 am.

Oh man!

DV: Yeah, I´m a little tired, but it´s not bad. I just got back from the studio. I did some vocals and stuff.

Right to it! This Swedsih tour, how did that come about?

DV: Well, we´ve been touring the last two years and last time we played, the closest we got was Copenhagen and we wanted to do some shows in Sweden, but it didn´t just come together with the money and you know, whatever, and all that kind of stuff that I don´t really deal with. I usually don´t do any of that, but the people that booked the tours for us were coming all the way from the States and they guys we´ve been working with the last couple of years put us in places that make sure that we´re gonna get there ok and it´s all gonna be good. I´m really jacked because I´ve wanted to play there a lot. Actually, I had a friend who lived in Malmö and after the last tour I went and hung out there for a couple of days.

Well, you´re gonna like Stockholm! It´s a great city and I´m looking forward to catching you live here.

DV: Yeah, and it´s right around my birthday, April 14, so it´s gonna be fun. I´m looking forward to seeing Stockholm. We had a Swedish guitar player on our last tour and he was telling us that “You gotta see Stockholm!”. I called him when I was in Malmö and he said “That´s not Sweden!”. (laughs) He was like “What are you doing there? Get the hell out of there!”. (laughs)

True. Not that far away from where I´m from actually. If we go back in time. How did you end up with Kirk Hammet producing your demo back in the day

DV: Oh yeah, man that was a long time ago. Well, the manager I was working with at the time… when I first started I was a singer and then I kind of switched to guitar for a couple of years and jamming with some people on guitar and thought that was kind of interesting for a while, but I always had the hankering of getting back into singing and song writing, but I just thought I wanted to get a little more experience because I was young and hadn´t played a lot. My first band was basically just a bunch of kids and we played with this older guitar player who was totally stoned out on drugs and had all these songs and couldn´t find anybody to play with and he found these three kids, like me, I was a singer and my buddies were a bass player and a drummer, so he finally had a band and we kept showing up and we were totally enthusiastic like “Wow, we´re in a band!” (laughs) and he was like “Alright, we gotta get really high before we play!”. It was a great experience for me as my first musical experience because he´d write all these songs and he would go to me and I´d go “What do you want me to do?” and he said “Just make shit up!” and I said “Ok!”. He didn´t want to play any covers. Usually when you´re young, you play a bunch of covers and it sometimes really shapes your style. You get a bunch of guys that all want to be one band and you can tell later, even when they get fine, they sound like the band they wanted to be like. So I always made stuff up and he encouraged me. One thing that was funny… one day I came to practice and he was working on some love song and he was sucking on this gigantic joint and he goes “I´m writing this really bad ass love song and your voice is gonna sound great on it!” and I was like “Cool man, maybe I should write the lyrics?” and he looks at me and goes “Have you had a chick take your heart and rip it out of your chest and stomp all over it and you´re up crying all night like a little fucking baby for a week?” and I was sort of young and tried to sound macho “That sounds lame man!” (laughs), but he´s serious and looks at me totally serious and takes a huge puff on the joint and goes “You can´t write no fucking love song!” and I thought of those words the first time I got my heart broken and I remembered him. (laughs). But anyway, it was a gas and my first couple of performances as a singer felt right and it didn´t work out with these guys because we were so young and I wanted revenge on my buddies and I was running around at home singing and going “I´m gonna show them!” and I practiced guitar because it seemed like an easier way to get practice and more people were looking for guitar players and I didn´t want to join somebody else´s band. I just thought “I just wanna play some guitar and get on the stage a little bit more!”. So I did that for a bit and then I was working on these songs, because I´ve always written songs and I never gave them to the guys that I was playing with, so my friend who´s been my manager for all this time, she was friends with Kirk Hammet and knew some people who were in the business, so I did this recording and she goes “Oh, this sounds really cool! You don´t sound like anybody!” and “That´s really hard to do and your voice is really unusual.”, so she played it for him and he´s like “Wow, I really dig this!” and he goes “I´m getting into producing and I want to do some songs with him.”. So I got a drummer and we got this older bass player guy that was like a pro musician at the time and the drummer that I was jamming with with this other band, who I was playing guitar with and… that´s how we got kicked out of that band by the way. We showed up for practice and went “Hey, we can´t make it next week because we´re gonna do this thing!” and they were like “If you guys aren´t here, then you´re kicked out!” and I was like “Ok, fuck it! See ya!”. The studio was way out in the middle of nowhere, like in wine country right, and the guy that owned it was completely out of his mind and completely high on coke and he had this metal grid, like at the turn of the century and there was a way that you could sneak into the studio, so he had it electrified and would always hit it with poles and sparks would fly and he goes “Man, if anyone touches this, they´ll fucking die!” and I was like “Man, this is a fucking crazy scene!”. So we got a little make shift band together and we had like three songs. I remember one of them was called “Out for number one” and it had a really big chorus, so we thought “Let´s get everybody we know in a band come in!”. I remember one day at the studio, every musician we knew were out there, like 30 people going “Out for number one” and we´re all stoned. That´s how we did it and one thing I remember is Kirk Hammet saying “Your voice kind of reminds me of a guitar when you bend it, like a whammy bar, you know!” and I go “Oh, cool man!”, but he wasn´t really that interested in producing after that. I got one of my first tapes there and had a really cool picture on the cover, probably a better picture on the cover than the content, to be honest with you. (laughs) The cover was like… people were going “I gotta check this out!”. But I was in a couple of other bands and I could see the experience of like “Hey, it´s really hard to deal with all these different people and all their different ideas and everybody´s trying to get this one painting across and god, it´s just gonna be impossible to make it. What if we got any kind of success, then there´s really gonna be friction!”. I had all these ideas I wanted to do and I wanted to be really over the top at that time and they were trying to hold me back “Dude, that´s too crazy!” and I was like, I wanna shock people and shit! So I thought “Ok, this is what I gotta do!” and I didn´t want a band because they would do so much coke they didn´t know what the fuck was going on. They would play like two songs and then stop and get really high. They really sucked from doing all that coke and I had all these ideas for a band and I wrote all these rules down and called them “The rules of rock” and stuff that I just don´t want to have and I kept making these notes, like if I was going to a gig to see this band that was supposed to be this hot band and they´re like just hanging out at the bar and talking to chicks and I´d go “Where´s the band?” and someone would go “They´re over there!”, “Well, aren´t they gonna play soon?” and I just thought it was fucking lame. I said “Well, I went to see Aerosmith last week and I didn´t see them doing that!”. They would go “It´s only a club!”. “Well, you can´t think that it´s only a club, it´s a fucking concert!”. So I wrote that down for my “Rules of rock” and I said “Ok, when I get a band, my own band, no one´s gonna have to compromise because I´m not gonna let anybody in the band that doesn´t totally agree with everything I wanna do. We´ll all have the same goal.”. So that´s how it got started. After I did that thing with Kirk Hammet, then I slowly found all the guys in Vain and we were all kind of from the same home town. Get the coolest guys that were great players too. Like my first guitar player, I remember he worked at some record store and I walked into the store to talk to him and I see this really hot chick and there was a section which was like the country section and I was like “Why do they have a country section? Do hot chicks dig country music or something?” and then I realized the only reason they´re in there is to get a better view of him and get eye contact with him and he was just there relaxing doing nothing so I thought “Ok, this guy could be good!”.

Have you met Kirk Hammet lately?

DV: I haven´t seen him in a while, but I´ve seen him many times since then. The funny thing was that when they were doing the “Black album”, they were recording that at One on One studios in LA and it was just a weird coincidence that we were doing our second album “All those strangers” and we were mixing it and were there at the same time. I just saw him and it was like “Hey, what are you doing man?” and they were just running around. It was the biggest studio and they were totally preoccupied in their own fucking world so I didn´t really get a chance to go “Dude, isn´t this crazy? I´m here now and you just knew me like some kid and now I´m doing a major record at the place you´re recording?”. But we didn´t even get to that, because what they were doing at the time, which was really funny, I think it was the bass player at the time and he had this hat and it was really stupid looking, so what they did was that they took the hat and they took pictures with it. Everybody they knew wearing the hat and of course everybody looked stupid and they did this giant photo collage and they were gonna put it on an amp, so when he came back in for the next day, he would just see like 30 people with his hat and they´re all making dumb faces and shit, so that´s what they were doing. But they just looked like they´d been locked away for months recording and I think that was the first time they did a record like that, where it was like everything perfect and Bob Rock and so on. But he lives around the area and I would see him at other gigs. But I kind of know Lars a liitle bit better than those guys. I don´t really hang out with him, but I bump into him all the time around where I live. I just saw him twice in the last month at some pizza place and another time I was just sitting out drinking coffee and it was like “Hey, what are you doing?” and it wasn´t even about music or something. We were just trying to blend into the real world. When I was living in Germany last year, or in 2009, they were playing there and I got hold of him and got into the show and stuff. Once in a while I see Hetfield.

I´m reading about you and the stuff you´ve done and the music is just so diverse. You produced Death Angel and then you worked with Christina Aguilera and the song “Beautiful” and you worked with Vue, which is a really cool band. I do some dj´ing at a radio station here and when Vue came out we played them all the time.

DV: Which album? Do you remember?

Well, there was an EP and then the first album.

DV: Yeah, there was a lot of Sub Pop records. As a producer, that was like my band. We started from the total scratch. I remember the first time that I worked with them and their drummer… they ended up getting another one, but I remember walking up to him and going “Hey, did you ever think about getting like a metronome?” and he goes “you know what? I have really thought about it!” and he was totally serious and I´m listening to the guy and “Are you fucking out of your mind? You´re the fucking drummer! You´re playing the fucking tracks like where on a fucking rollercoaster!” and even the guys in the band thought it was funny. They were the coolest band with the coolest vibe and attitude and we were really close and we made a lot of really cool records together. First we did all the Sub Pop ones and then when they got with RCA, they could´ve tried and pushed me aside like “Oh, we want the biggest producer!” and the record company was really nervous about me first doing it because they thought I was some crazy rock guy. They were like “We´ve got this crazy band and this other crazy rock guy and they´re just gonna be going fucking nuts all the time!”. I don´t know how the band existed, but they love each other so much. Half the band was complete fucking drug addicts and the other half were complete vegans. They didn´t even drink or eat a fucking burger and the other guys would just like kill a fucking cat, roast it and milk its liver for heroine. But they were just together and it worked. It was really strange. (laughs) But that whole RCA thing was just completely the wrong thing and they would even call me and go “Hey, you really need to write more commercial stuff and we´ve heard some of your stuff and since you´re in there, you should use your friendship and kind of convince them to write a song with them and you could make more money!” and I would tell the guys because the record company of course thought I would agree and say “That´s a good idea!”, but they didn´t realize that I totally respected these guys as artists and there was no way I was gonna fuck them over, you know. Don Was actually produced that EP with me and he was a huge producer at the time and when we got him, he ended up being just crazier than all of us. How he did it was he goes “How about I produce two songs and you engineer them for me and then you produce two songs?”. So we shared it and did it like that, so I was engineer and co-producer on a couple so we kind of worked together on it. It was crazy because me and Rex, the singer, would go “Hey, let´s see if Don will do just whatever we want?”. One day we get to work and he´s firing up the stuff and drinking coffee and I go “Hey Don, you know what?”, and we´re totally behind schedule and everything, “It just doesn´t feel right today.” And he goes “Oh, really?” and I go “Yeah, you know what we´re thinking about doing? Just try and get us much money as we can and get some really fucking good pot or coke or something and get a bunch of hookers or go to a strip club where chicks will suck your cock in the back room. You know, just getting away from the fucking music.” And he goes like “Well alright, do you guys need some money?”. (laughs) And we were just laughing and then going “Well, we changed our mind, let´s record!”. And Don goes “Sure, but it was a good idea!”. Then they were gonna record the full length album after we did the EP at the Chalice studios. We saw some pictures and it was this big open beautiful studio, but it didn´t really have a lot of vibe, but Rex goes “I´m gonna see if Don will go for this!”. Don goes “That studio where you wanna record is really beautiful and I love that fascility!” but Rex goes “Yeah, but it´s kind of boring and I don´t know if I wanna be in there making a whole fucking record! I´m from the city and shit! Do you know what I think it needs? I think it needs fire! Is there anywhere we´re we could have a lot of fire going on? So when I walk in I wanna see flames and shit!” and Don is like “Of course! We´ll call some people and get some fire all over the place!”. (laughs) It was great! Of course we did get behind schedule and Don had to go back to LA and work on Hootie and the Blowfish´s album. So he´s down there doing that, but we still need to do some shit, so me and Rex go down to LA to finish vocals. We go down there and Don goes “Hey, listen! This is what we´re gonna do man. Since the budget is completely gone, we´ll just use Hootie and the Blowfish´s fucking studio time, so you guys just come in at like 12. We´ll probably wrap it up at midnight or 1 pm.”. He´s been there the whole fucking day and we´re like hanging in the lounge drinking coffee and shit and all of the sudden the Hootie guys would come out “Hey, what´s up man?” and “Oh, so you´re friends with Don, cool, right on man!” and as soon as they split we´d go in there, set the mikes up and there´s an engineer in there who´s been there the whole day “Man, I can keep going man!” and he´s trying to make a name for himself. So we did a bunch of tracks until we burned out at 3 am and then we split, “See you tomorrow at 12!”. We did this for a few days and eventually Hootie would go “Hey, you guys again! What´s up?” and we´d go “Ah, we´re just hanging with Don.”. “Yeah, he´s been looking a little tired. I think you guys have been keeping him up.” And we would go “man, this place is great! We´d love to record here some time.” And as soon as they walked out the door it was “Yeah, like in 15 seconds!”. (laughs). So that was a really cool experience making that EP, but when we went on to make the full album, Don couldn´t do it because they didn´t want to pay him some crazy rate and at that time Don didn´t want to lower his rate. But I loved those guys. I actually just used Jeremy and Rex from The Vue on this track… have you ever heard this band called Little Fish?

I´ve heard of them, yeah!

DV: Yeah, kind of a garage band. The singer, I produced him for this indie movie, so Rex is playing guitar and Jeremy is on bass and the drummer from Vain is on the drums and then this chick came out from London and she´s like a rocky Patti Smith version, so it´s really cool. It turned out that she didn´t know I was getting these musicians. I just told her I´d track the song and she works with Linda Perry too, so it was kind of a connection with my manager and Linda Perry´s manager. Then when she showed up and found out about the guys she went “I´m a fan of The Vue. I´ve been to their shows.”. It was really cool.

As an engineer and working on that Christina Aguilera track, what is it an engineer does? Is it fixing the sound or what?

DV: Well, if you´re producing something, you´re like the director of the movie. Some producers also engineer. Engineering is like the technical… getting the tones and the sounds and the microphones and setting stuff up and stuff like that. How that all came about is… Linda Perry, as you know, wrote that song and before Linda started doing the song writing thing, she was just trying to get her career going and I had my studio that I have now and she didn´t have her own place yet. She came up there and did some demos for her new record and one of them was “Beautiful” and that´s actually really her own song. Her original version is really cool, so she sang on that and then she did a couple of other songs and then she also recorded “Get the party started” (Pink) and then when she moved back to LA with this demo, some friends of her was hanging out with Pink and she found out that Pink was like a gigantic fan of hers. Pink said “You girls should come over and party!” and she asks “What have you been working on?” and Linda played her that song and when Pink heard “Get the party started” she said “I really wanna do that song!” and Linda said “Sure, but I´ll produce it!”. Then that got going and it was a smash and the Christina wanted to see what songs Linda had and she heard “Beautiful” and goes “Wow, I really wanna do that!”, so then Linda called me and went “Hey, you wanna work on this with me?” and I knew Christina because my manager had managed her and I hung out with her a lot when she first started. We hung out and partied when she was really young, before “Genie in the bottle” even and we had dinner, so she knew who was and Linda didn´t know her and she liked my engineering, so we were all friends. First we sat around and drank wine for 45 minutes and just kind of chatted and stuff, so it was cool even though I was engineering. Linda and I did it together and I got to comment on stuff. The vocal take that was used, Christina didn´t like. Me and Linda really had to push on her. The one that she wanted to have was like way more busy and that was one of the first takes she did and she just kind of had Linda´s guide vocals in her mind and it was more the melody than the song, but then when she really got warmed up it was (sings really high) and we were all like “No, no, no!” and it was actually a big hassle in the studio and it looked like she was just gonna storm out of there and when she split we thought like “She doesn´t even wanna do it now maybe!” and Linda was all like “It doesn´t matter if she doesn´t wanna do it! We´ll get that Canadian bitch in here tomorrow!” and I was like “Who?” and Linda goes “You know, the Canadian one. This is a hit!”. I said “Celine Dion?” and she goes “Yeah!”. It was funny too, because she was late so many times for the sessions. She kept being late and we had everything prepared and I even hired… Do you know who Eric Martin from Mr Big is?

Oh yeah! I interviewed him for an hour about a month ago.

DV: Yeah, I actually worked with him too on a track that he did at my studio and we´ve known each other forever. Well, I was looking for a string section for the Christina session, so a buddy of mine who played with Alice Cooper and Winger, Paul Taylor, I called him and he said “Hey, these guys are really good!” so I call them and say “I´m doing this session with Christina Aguilera and she sounds great and she´s got a great voice.” And they go “We´re way up north at a place and doing this commercial with this guy Eric Martin for Japan.” And I go “That´s where I´m at right now! It´s right next door to me.” And it was just a weird coincidence, so I just said “See you guys at the session!” and every time I bump into those guys the go “Dude, thanks for that gig!”, so that´s kind of what being an engineer is. It´s funny because the way we originally recorded it, it sounded a lot more like a cool Beatles track, but then they kind of mixed a little of it out. We usd vintage mikes and vintage gear and old pianos and weird fucking compressors that only studio geeks like me and Linda care about. It cost 20 grand and are just the best ones and we tried to make it more of a work of art and not just your typical pop music. I also mix and mixing is the final process and taking all the tracks and making the final edit of everything and I´ve gotten to do some pretty big people lately like Neal Schon and Sammy Hagar for a track and that was really cool and I actually just recorded Neal Schon about a year and a half ago. A track I did for this movie with Linda Perry on vocals and the Vain guitar player on rhythm and Vain´s drummer and Steppenwolf´s old bass player who´s in his 60´s now. Neal Schon doing solos and Linda Perry singing on “Ain´t talking about love” and I´m doing backgrounds. Her voice is just bad ass! Really cool! On my last couple of records I pretty much did everything and right now I´m in the studio all by myself, doing vocals and checking out different amps and once in a while I get a little lonely, but I can experiment a little bit more.

Cool! I guess you saw Christina at the Super Bowl?

DV: Oh yeah! (laughs) That was too bad and I felt bad for her. You know where she lives? She actually lives at Ozzy´s house now.

Yeah, I read about that!

DV: The one that was on “The Osbournes”. My manager was there and she said that every door knob on the house has a cross and she´s just left them all. (laughs) She used to be so hot though! I haven´t seen her in a long time, but if you saw her in person she was fucking sexy, real naughty, you know!

What about a new Vain album then? Are you guys working on something?

DV: Yeah, we´re working on it right now and hopefully we´ll have some there at the shows. To let everybody that comes to see us have the first ones, since we´re more of an indie band now. It´s really coming out good. I´m trying to experiment. I´ve mixed the last couple of records and now I´m just like “Fuck it!”, I´ll record it, write it, produce it and I´m kind of experimenting with having different people mix it and see if I really dig it and as soon as we get that sorted out, then they can be mixing the tracks that are done, because I´m still doing vocals and we´re still doing guitars and my guitar player lives in Nashville so that makes it a little tough, but it´s coming out really ripping1 It´s pretty rocking and I´m pretty happy!

Nice! Would you ever produce something like Death Angel again? The more aggressive music?

DV: Yeah definitely! I´ve done stuff that no one´s heard of, just as a job. That´s what I do, I mean, I don´t have a real job, so when I´m not doing Vain, that´s what I do. I´ve done bands that are heavy and I´m still really good at getting heavy guitars and cranking the shit up. Mark from Death Angel lives right around the corner from me so I bump into him all the time, but we´ve really never joined forces because there was kind of a falling out with them and their original manager, so things were kind of weird for a while and they´ve gone their own path. But I´ve always thought that “Oh man, that would be fun if we all got together again to produce something!”, but it never ended up being that way. I´m not against it, but I´ve never had anybody really ask me, you know. It was a cool record and it was real music.

Alright! Well, I´m really looking forward to seeing you guys here in Sweden! Excellent talking to you!

DV: You too, man!

/Niclas