onsdag 29 juni 2011

Bokrecension

Stephen Davis

"LZ-75: The lost chronicles of Led Zeppelin´s 1975 American tour" 2010



















Stepen Davis är en mycket erkänd, men också väldigt kritiserad journalist och författare som tidigare bl a skrivit den enormt omdebatterade "Hammer of the gods" om just Led Zeppelin och för något år sedan gav han ut sin biografi av Guns N´Roses, "Watch you bleed", som fullständigt sågades av forne managern Alan Niven i tidningen Classic Rock. Han recension bestod mest av ett enda långt rabblande av alla de sidor som innehöll felaktigheter, vilket visade sig vara större delen av boken enligt Niven.
Davis senaste bok är en förträffligt trevlig redogörelse över Led Zeppelins USA-turné 75, en turné som författaren hängde med på under större delen av tiden, vilket gör att det mesta känns ganska trovärdigt.
Han fick flyga med legendariska "Starship", göra intervjuer med medlemmarna och se mängder med konserter under månaderna januari till mars 75 och mycket av detta skrev han ned i tre stora journalböcker som han sedan tappade bort efter att ha skrivit den artikel han var utsänd för att skriva.
2005 hittade han så dessa journaler igen och nu finns de ihopsatta till en mycket, mycket läsvärd bok om Led Zeppelin när de var på topp. Enligt författaren skulle de aldrig komma att vara så bra som de var detta år.
I boken bjuds det på mycket av spelet bakom bandet och konserterna. Exempelvis var det lite av en återkommande ceremoni att bandet försvann in i ett rum strax innan konserten och snortade lite kokain.
Bilden som målas upp av medlemmarna är också intressant. Page var ganska hårt tagen av sitt missbruk, medan Plant är den som framställ i mest positiv dager. Bonham var en underlig kille som blev komplett galen på fyllan och betedde sig som ett stort svin, medan Jones alltid var i skymundan och beskrivs som fruktansvärt tråkig.
Till alla historier finns det också mängder med fantastiska bilder. Bl a bjuds det på en bild av Plant ståendes på en balkong på beryktade Riot House med en gigantisk billboard för "Physical graffiti" i bakgrunden. Det var just i den stunden som han yttrade de numera legendariska orden "I´m a golden god!". Ord som långt, långt senare användes av sångaren i Stillwater i Cameron Crowes mästerliga "Almost famous". För övrigt är Crowe omnämnd vid några tillfällen i boken då han också följde turnén för Rolling Stone. Dessutom menade Davis att ynglingen Crowe alltid lyckades få fantatsiska oneliners ur rockstjärnorna.
"LZ-75" är en formidabel bok som gör att man vill lyssna på Led Zeppelin 24/7, vilket också innebär att man återigen inser vilket makalöst band det var.
Köp!

/Niclas

söndag 26 juni 2011

Foo Fighters dokumentär ikväll!



















Ibland visas det vettiga program på tv. Ikväll visar 6:an, av alla kanaler, den mycket sevärda och nyligen utgivna dokumentären "Back and forth".
Sätt väckarklockan på 23.00 och njut av världens mest sympatiska rockstjärna, Dave Grohl!

/Niclas

lördag 25 juni 2011

Intervju med Robb Reiner i Anvil!





















Verklighetens Spinal Tap har en ny platta ute, "Juggernaut of justice" och jag tog tillfället i akt och ringde upp Robb för några veckor sedan.
Han berättade bl a om nya plattan och att det finns planer på en andra film om bandet. Personligen har jag aldrig förstått mig på Anvil och tycker väl mest att den givna förklaringen till att de aldrig blev stora, är för att de inte var speciellt bra.


Robb: Hi Nick!

Hey Robb, how are you?

Robb: Good, brother! Talk loud, man! Make sure you talk loud!

I will! How´s Canada these days?

Robb: It´s fucking super hot here today, man!

Same as here then. First off, did you feel a lot of pressure recording this album, considering all the hype around the movie, that this is a make or break album?

Robb: Well, let´s be realistic! Of course we felt no pressure, because we had the material in hand all along and our mission was to make the most true to the classic form Anvil album we´ve ever made and we had to make sure that we stood up and that we were gonna be counted this time, musically. We were looking forward to the challenge more than the pressure, you know. We had no choice but to do it and I think that we´re definitely are gonna be counted this time.

These songs on the new album, how old are the oldest ones? When did you start writing for it?

Robb: We wrote the whole album in 2009. As the movie was getting huge… listen! The movie´s been seen by 88 million people now and sold 10 million DVD’s or whatever, so while all that shit was happening we had about… before we toured last year, we had about basically a year to write the album, so in 2009 we wrote the album and we recorded it last fall in Dave Grohl´s studio 606. Bob Marlette produced the record and he did a fantastic job and I couldn´t be more excited about the record! It´s got cutting edge material on it and it´s got really, really classic Anvils stuff on it and Lipp´s never sounded as good as he does on this record!

How come you ended up working with Bob Marlette? Was that something you chose or the record company?

Robb: No, no, no! Our manager. We knew that Chris Tsangarides could not take us to the next level and we´ve known that for quite a while. Chris is a great producer and he´s my friend and all that, but he´s not the man to take us to the next level and our manager suggested a few new people and we picked Bob out of the list. He was a great choice and he´s an amazing, amazing producer and he´s a songwriter and he really cares about making it right.

Did he help out writing songs and stuff like that?

Robb: No, he didn´t write the songs, he just adjusted a lot of stuff, like for example we have a song on the record called “Turn it up”. It was initially called “I´m going deaf” and he said to Lipps “Listen man! Shave 40 years off that song and call it Turn it up!”. See what I mean?

Yeah!

Robb: It was just stuff like that and plus with the vocals, he worked meticulously with Lipps to get him to sing at where he sounds the best. His vocals are not strained at all and it sounds amazing!

After this and everything that happened, did you feel that you got a lot more attention from different record companies and how come you ended up with Steamhammer?

Robb: Listen, we´re super famous now! Anvil has become worldwide super famous, not just famous but super famous. It´s unbelievable how famous we got! The story got told and the story needed to get told and by becoming the story, a lot of people didn´t realize a lot of the truths about Anvil and yeah, that brought a lot of people that are in the business to the band, to become modified rock stars. We have a great team around us now and we have the best management any rock band can have. We have a great rock and roll agent, we´ve got a record company and we´ve been touring nonstop for years now. Last year we played to a total of more than 400.000 people and it´s not stopping. The movie part will never stop. It will keep going forever!

Right! How come you ended up at Dave Grohl´s studio? Did he suggest it?

Robb: Yeah! Dave is a good friend of ours and Dave offered up his studio and he basically put it to us like “If you guys don´t record your album in my studio, I don´t wanna be your friend anymore!”. (laughs) We said “No problem, Dave! We´ll make the album there!”. (laughs)

Did you ever feel like… that with everything that happened with the movie, that why did it take a movie to put you on the next level?

Robb: You know what? Life is funny and that´s just how it works. I would have never thought in a million years, that it would take a movie to open the doors for us. Who would´ve thought? That was the beautiful part about it. The movie idea was the director Sacha´s (Gervasi) idea. He came up with the idea and we just went along with it. You know, we wanted to tell a story and the world needed to know the whole career of Anvil. Our music made a difference and it inspired a whole generation of music that everybody veered and nobody knew that. We had to get everything told, we had to tell the whole story. I´m glad it did it. But listen, without the music there would be no movie, so it´s the music that got the movie made and it´s a beautiful thing. The movie now, has inspired hundreds of other bands to make movies! Everybody´s making a fucking movie now! I mean, even Lemmy has a fucking movie! Everybody saw that and “Oh, my god, look at this! It´s the biggest thing ever! The biggest rock movie ever!”. Believe it or not, it´s true! I´m happy about it. How can I not be happy? It opened the doors for us and we walked in and we had to deliver the record of our career and we´re a great band anyway. People are discovering it when we play live!

This new record deal then? Have you signed a multi album deal or is it just album by album?

Robb: Well, this current contract is actually for two albums and our whole back catalog is gonna get re-released and another “Best of” record. All that is gonna come out over the next little while and of course we´re gonna make another studio album. We´re gonna keep rocking until we can´t! You´re wealthy as long as you´re healthy!

True! Who did the artwork for the album?

Robb: Our good buddy Schinsel (?) in Germany. A German guy, man! We came up with the idea and actually for this particular album, Lipps had the brainstorm for the idea of the actual concept and this guy in Germany has made our last four or five covers.

Could you ever make an album cover without an anvil on it?

Robb: No, I don´t think so! If we did that, everybody would… what would everybody say? We´ve got lots of ideas. The anvil must be there.

You did a Canadian tour not long ago, how was that?

Robb: That was incredible! We did 21 dates coast to coast here in Canada and it was a sellout tour in our own backyard. It was unbelievable! Even in Canada we are now famous! It was a historic tour!

Cool! How long will you be touring for this album? Do you have any idea?

Robb: I hope we tour for three years! I hope so. I don´t know. We just started now and I hope we can tour for a while.

Ok. I´ve been listening to the album and the title track has a bit of a Judas Priest feeling to it, at least to me.

Robb: Ok. Well, that´s cool! I think it sounds like classic Anvil, but Judas Priest, that´s good too!

Since you mentioned the back catalog and re-releasing it, are there gonne be bonus tracks, demos and stuff like that?

Robb: Yeah, there might be some weird unreleased stuff. I´m not sure yet, you know. We´re gonna repackage it and remaster everything and we might have like some obscure live recording. We´re not sure yet.

Any plans of doing a live DVD?

Robb: There´s been talk about it for years and if that happens it´s spontaneous and on the fly, but after the “Juggernaut of justice” winds down, there could be a chance that we might actually do an “Anvil 2”.

Interesting!

Robb: We wanna show the world all the success that Anvil´s had and it´ll be called “Anvil 2: The quest for world peace”, so there´s a whole lot of things that are gonna happen.

You guys are just exploding all over the place!

Robb: Yeah, listen man! It´s our time, you know! We´ve worked long and hard and it´s time for us to have more fun than we´ve already had.

Have you met a lot of other rock and rollers and rock stars that come up to you, that you didn´t know were fans or are fans all of a sudden?

Robb: Yeah, endless! Where do you want me to start? Jeff Beck, Ron Wood, Ian Anderson, Alice Cooper… I mean… you name it! Everybody! Chrissie Hynde… I can´t remember everybody. It seems like everybody in the rock music world, even Madonna. It just goes on and on.

Meeting all these people, a guy like you, do you ever get starstruck?

Robb: No, no, no not at all! Everybody´s just people and I really like when they´re cool. Most people have been actually cool people. The odd person ends up being a fucking jerk and disappoints you, but what can you do, right?

Touring for this album, will it be mainly a headline tour or will you do any opening shows for other bands?

Robb: yeah, we´re gonna do everything! We just actually did four shows with Alice Cooper actually and we´ve got one more in the summertime. It´s both. We´re doing our own Anvil shows, we´re doing festival shows and we´ll tour with other artists and be part of a package. The whole mandate is to put Anvil in front of as many people as possible. We love blowing people away and that´s what we do! Every show we walk away with victory. It´s great! There´s a lot of new fans. There´s thousands and thousands of young new fans and a lot of people want to see if “Hey, are these guys for real? Are these guys really, really good?” and they walk away blown away.

Are there any plans for a special live show?

Robb: Well, as soon as we should become a mega headliner, when that day arrives, we have a plan on building the mechanical 80 foot anvil! It should be the heaviest thing, sickest thing ever seen in rock and roll!

Alright! Thank you so much Robb!

Robb: Thanks for the support, man!

I hope you come back later on after Metal Town and play a couple of more shows in Sweden!

Robb: Listen, I love Sweden man and all of Scandinavia rocks and I hope so too. I think we´re doing a boat cruise in October in Stockholm. To do a small kind of headline tour, we just needs to get a promoter who wants to do it.

Absolutely! Thanks again and have a great one!

Robb: You too brother!

/Niclas
Lordi Vanilli!



Fel på så många olika sätt.

/Niclas

fredag 24 juni 2011

Veckans Henry!



















"When I think of Mick Jagger still singing that he can't get any satisfaction in over forty years of being in the Rolling Stones, I have to conclude that he's either lying or not all that bright."

Henry Rollins om rockens dinosaurier och det där med att ta semester.

Henry här

/Niclas

torsdag 23 juni 2011

Intervju med Billy Graziadei i Biohazard

´















Jag mötte upp Billy på hotell Birger Jarl inne i stan och fick börja med att lyssna på kommande plattan. Öl severades av Darren från Warner och jag slog mig ned vid ett fönsterbord och lyssnade samtidigt som jag drack god öl och tittade på folket som traskade förbi i ett regnigt Stockholm.
Nu är det ju lite svårt att bilda sig en uppfattning om en platta efter en lyssning, men nog lät det riktigt bra emellanåt. När sedan plattan var färdiglyssnad och vi småpratat lite om hur mycket Evan Seinfeld uppskattade porren i Prag, satte vi igång med intervjun som kom att bli ganska lång då Billy pratade non stop.
Samtalet kom bl a att handla om nya plattan, Evan, tidiga influenser, USA, Mellanöstern och Hammerfall.


Well, the obvious question first. Why did he leave?

Billy: I´m glad you asked that first.

(Laughs)

Billy: No, it´s important and we can get it out of the way and talk about the record. It dropped like a bomb shell. It kind of came up from left field. We finished tracking the record in late February and really didn´t have much contact with him that much. Everything was through management and I was working on the mix with Toby and some additional overdubs and different ideas and some piano and keyboard stuff. Then a couple of weeks ago he calls up and says “I can´t do it anymore!”. He´s got a bunch of personal stuff and it´s mostly secret. But it´s personal between… it´s what´s going on in his life, but he made a decision and we weren´t happy about it, but we made our decision to continue and keep going. It would be great if he was here and I know he´s proud of the record and as happy as it came out as we are. We were all there and made it together and focused equally on it, but rather to let it die out, we said “You know what? Fuck it! We´re all psyched and happy and even though things are different it doesn´t mean much has changed!”. The heart and soul of the band is still intact and we´re gonna continue!

It´s a solid sounding album!

Billy: Thank you!

How´s Scott working out?

Billy: He´s great! He was the guy after Bobby. It took us a long time to find him, but we knew him and he filled in for us at the last minute, but he stepped up and did it. It was a tough obstacle to overcome but we did it. We played Download, which was cool and the next day we played the Metal Hammer boat and that was a phenomenal show! All the kids were like “Wow!” and even the editors of the magazine were like… and they´ve been doing this for ten years and in the past three of four years with Anthrax and Hell Yeah and they were like “Nobody´s rocked the boat like you guys did!”. It was cool! What happens in the future when I go home, we´ll sort that out, but right now I´m just here to talk about the record. I´m glad you asked that question first!

As I understand it, Scott is not gonna be a permanent member and you´re gonna find someone else.

Billy: We don´t know what we´re gonna do right now! Yes, the answer was that Scott was just temporary, but who knows? He did a great job and the feedback from everybody was like “Wow!”. He looks a little like him and he sounds a little like him, but we´re not looking at this as a replacement, it´s more like a change. Something different, you know, but it´s still Biohazard. There´s opportunity to bring something new to the table and we´ll see. Right now it´s just playing and doing a lot of press. I haven´t had one second to have a crap by myself, let alone anything else. (laughs)

Writing for this album, since it´s been a while, did you use stuff that´s been around for a long time or did you just sit down recently and come up with all new stuff?

Billy: It´s all new! When we first got together… we pretty much kind of broke up in 2003 and then the record that we were working on at the time, didn´t really come out until 2005. Some people don´t even know about it. People I´ve talked to were like “Yeah, the last record, Kill and be killed!” and I´m like “No, there´s another record after that one, like three years later!”. When we first started writing the record, I didn´t think the band would last two weeks. It was great the first two hours together and the two days, and then two weeks passed and two months and I was like “Wow, its´working!” and I kept waiting for that explosion like it used to be, but a lot of things have changed. We were the same people as we were, but we didn´t care about the same issues. Things that were important to us when we were with Bobby, weren´t issues anymore and we kind of let go of a lot of things and we kind of found ourselves in the same place as when we first got together. That was a big breath of fresh air. We went into the studio and started working on new material. We were jamming on riffs that were like… I wouldn´t say rehashed, but typical Biohazard things and it was pretty easy to write at first. Then we found ourselves with eight, nine, ten songs or something like that. It was some music ideas, some lyric and vocal ideas and I was like “This is too easy! We´re gonna bang out a Biohazard record in two weeks? Is this really good?” and I was like “This is cool! That´s eeehhh and that´s eeehhhh! I don´t want it to be eeehhh! It´s gotta be Fucking yeah! I gotta be able to fucking sell this and I wanna be on stage and feel good about it. I don´t want it to be an excuse to go on tour!”, so we all talked about that and pretty much threw everything out and then we were like “You know, let´s just be fucking straight up and honest with each other!”. Like “Is this truly great? Does this make your dick hard?” and that was the approach we took. It took a lot longer and we said “We need somebody who´s not part of the band to help us keep focused!” and Keith our manager was in line with that and brought in Toby Wright and introduced us to him and there were a couple of ideas for producers, but we had never in the past let anybody in that circle. It was just us. We know Biohazard! We´re not gonna let some fucking stranger in our creative world! That was tough at first, but Toby fit right in and he was just a fly on the wall. His biggest input that which was most valuable, was saying stuff like “You´ve got better in you!” you know! “You really think that´s good? C´mon, gimme something else! Go back and work on it!” and we were jamming fucking loud. I always felt that our records didn´t have a live feeling and that was something like “the grass is always greener…” and when we´d finish a record, I´d go listen to the new Machine Head or the new Slayer or Metallica and go “Man, that sounds fucking amazing!” .

The new one from Machine Head doesn´t sound that amazing though! The single “Locust”.

Billy: Really!

Yeah, kind of boring.

Billy: They always blew our records! (laughs) But the grass is always greener, like you know, you´re buddy´s girlfriend when you´re 19 is always hotter than your girlfriend. But the point was that with this record, we wanted to keep that live energy since our cd´s missed that, but for the first time I think that we hit it with the sound. I keep listening to other records and “Wow, that sounds good, too!” and I go back and listen to my record and it´s like “Wow, it kicks my ass!”. I crank it in my truck, “Fuck yeah!” and I put in my little head phones and it sounds great! Finally! It took us fucking long enough, but finally we got the sounds there! We had moments here and there which were cool, but I think we wanted to make a record that would last longer than the tour cycle. There´s a reason why we don´t play a lot of songs off certain records and there´s a reason why we play songs of of “State of the world address” more than any other album. Those songs were written while we were touring and we played those songs live before we went into the studio, just like this record.

Did you record it in your studio in New Jersey?

Billy. Yeah, but we moved to LA. I moved to LA and opened up another studio and then got robbed in New Jersey and then had three disasters in 2010 in LA, but survived. Two floods and a fire, so we changed the name to Firewater studios and we did it there.

Cool! What´s it like working in LA? Is it any different, getting a vibe in LA, to recording in New Jersey? Does that have any impact at all on the music?

Billy: We used to think that it would, but I think that we´re all products of our environment. It´s the nature nurture thing and that influence came from growing up in New York, so it doesn´t matter where we are. You could put us in Stockholm and we´d still sound like Biohazard. How I see things with my eyes are different than how you see with your eyes. How I experience issues in my life, I share my way. I can´t write about what you´ve been through, but if I happen to write about something I´ve been through, that you´ve been through, than you can relate to it. That´s what attracts me to other bands when I hear a good song and it deals with an issue that I can relate to, it becomes one of the bands that I put on top of my list. So it wasn´t any different. The hardest thing about being there, was flying guys out to LA. Evan was there, but the other guys, that was difficult.

I wrote down some of the lyrics: “They´re the problem, we´re the solution”, “Stand up and fight for what you believe”, “The world has become so negative”, “You´ve taken everything, but you can´t take who we are”, “It´s killing me”, “Decay”.

Billy: But it´s all different songs!

Yeah, I know!

Billy: That first set of lyrics,, “Stand up and fight” is from a song called “Countdown to doom”, but it´s going on right under our noses. Sweden hasn´t really had that many revolutions, but America has and there will be another one, but in the Middle East, people are uprising and I´m like “Fuck yeah! You go! Stand up for yourselves!”.

Yeah, about time!

Billy: Yeah, especially with the oppression that´s been going on there. It´s insane how much oppression there is in that part of the world. There it is! That´s pretty much what it´s all about, but the opening line of that I love and it´s inspired by a little from spending my time here. The opening line is “We speak a different language, but I know we feel the same”. I learned early on that we as New Yorkers weren´t the center of the universe and that someone in Stockholm can have the same issues that I have, in Brooklyn. What was fucked up in Stockholm, had similar fuck ups in New York and Berlin and Teheran. People all have struggles and there are a lot of similarities. It´s a small world and the Internet shows us that.

Definitely! Have you always been interested in politics and cultural things?

Billy: I don´t look at us as a political band other than a socially aware band. It´s kind of like… I think politics are headlines to what´s going on socially, that´s all it is! The subject that politicians grab onto to win office, the popular vote! Politicians are generally liars and artists can tell the truth and speak how it is, you know, through our eyes. That´s why I think that music and art… people assimilate themselves more with that than they do with politicians. Sheep tend to follow the politicians blindly and artists tend to stick the middle finger up at what´s going on. Like the things in Middle east, but unfortunately there´s a price to pay for that. Did I answer your question?

Yeah, kind of! (laughs) It´s so interesting with the US and how so much is about money in politics a lot more than it is here and the latest issue with Obama and his birth certificate and Donald Trump. It makes for a good comedy!

Billy: Yeah! And he´s (Trump) got a show called “Fired” (The apprentice) or whatever and he quit! “You´re not fired, you quit!”. What´s funny is the mockery of the American elections. I didn´t see it until… I was here because I dated a Swedish girl for a long time and spent a lot of time here, but it was here, watching the elections going on at home, that I saw the showbiz thing to it. With Bush and Clinton… who has the more balloons and Clinton playing the saxophone in Prague? That whole thing is showbiz, that´s what it is! But I have to say, I watched the elections and I voted for Obama before we left, because we were on tour during elections and we were in Paris and we went to a bar and partied there with everybody. They closed the bar down, but we kept some friends there and we hung out and partied pretty heavy, but watched Obama become president and get voted in, in Paris and it was awesome! It was great! The first time in my life that I ever voted for someone and was proud of my vote and felt like I made the right decision and that I wasn´t voting for the lesser two evils. And I felt like the rest of the world for the first time in a long time was like “Wow, America made a right decision!”.

And in a way a brave decision!

Billy: Yeah and a gutsy decision!

I read somewhere that this album is a tribute to Pete Steele. Any truth in that?

Billy: I hate that and I get that question all the time! Those things are in the liner notes and it´s a personal issue for us. Somebody in the band said something and now it seems like a selling point and I´m not gonna cash in on Pete´s name. He was a friend that we lost and that we looked up to and he was part of naming the band. He suggested the name to us. End of story! Every record we´ve made, we´ve lost friends and we dedicate all of our records to friends and family who´ve died. Bobby´s father died while we were making this record and it´s also dedicated to him. That´s it! I don´t want it as a selling point for the record.

Right! I interviewed him when he was here doing promo for their last record.

Billy: He was a great dude, right?

He came in with a Viking’s helmet on and a bottle of wine and he was a fun guy!

Billy: Yeah, I miss him, man!

Back in the day when you started out as a musician, what made you get into the heavier kind of music? Was there a certain album that got you into heavier stuff and not getting into playing, like Journey music?

Billy: I like Journey and they´re cool and as a musician I appreciate it more, but Journey didn´t grab me the way Killing Joke grabbed me or the way Minor Threat grabbed me or the way Agnostic Front or Iron Maiden grabbed me! It wasn´t until Biohazard that I got turned onto Judas Priest and Motlörhead. I don´t know what it is, but to me that´s the soundtrack to the revolution, not Journey! Journey wrote some great music and I probably kissed my first girl to a Journey song, but music inspires and provokes and changes and for me, that´s what good music is. Any music that doesn´t do that, should be playing right now (points to speakers in the hotel) and that´s cool too, because we all need to have something on in the elevator while you´re going up to the 13th floor.

Absolutely!

Billy: But what was the first? There´s too many to mention. The first band I was into was KISS. It was the costumes and all that shit and as a little kid I was like “Wow, this is cool!”. I had no idea what they were singing about, I had no idea about anything! It´s not until I got older and when I got older it was punk rock. It was a lot less talented but way more emotional and then I was like “There´s a message here! These people are singing about stuff they really believe in! They´re screaming and yelling!”. I was looking at their expressions, but it was all pictures back then, there wasn´t video back then and especially any tv-shows that played punk rock music. Some music is entertaining, some is about a show like KISS and some has imagery and stuff and there´s GG Allin, but then there´s music with a message and at that time it was all Minor Threat, the whole straight edge movement, PMA, that was really cool and touched me, bands like 7 Seconds. I think combining those things, I realized it should be entertaining, like the live show of Biohazard is fun and energetic and we fucking love it! We´re not Slipknot! Slipknot is like a modern day KISS. I get more KISS from Slipknot than something I got from Minor Threat, but that´s just me! I´m sure other people feel different. So I guess it was KISS and for now I´ll just say Minor Threat, Bad Brains and Dead Kennedys.

I always felt like in the 80´s when you guys started out, New York always felt more hardcore and in LA you had the more girly stuff with spandex and the makeup.

Billy: Twisted Sister!

Yeah, but in the 70´s you had New York Dolls and Wayne County and stuff like that. It always felt like it was a lot tougher in New York than in LA in those days.

Billy. It still is! I live in LA now, but New York is home! In New York you wake up and it´s cloudy, rainy, snowy, ice, more commonly that describes the weather than sunny and the attitude in New York is that if it´s way too sunny, you´re like “Hmmm, where´s the fucking cloud? Any minute now it´s gonna fucking rain!”. It´s more pessimistic, but I prefer that. In California you wake up and 99% of the time it´s not gonna rain and the sun is out and people are happier in that environment. I think that… we´re a product of our environment. I´ve never had a … knock on wood… I´ve never had a gun pointed at my face in LA, but I have in New York, a few times. I´ve never been mugged in New York either. I grew up in the streets in New York city and I know that shit happens in the streets in LA too. LA is a bad city too! Maybe LA does a better job of hiding the crap. In New York it´s like “Fuck that!. It´s right in the open. New York is more in your face! That reality has shown its face through the times, through the 70´s and 80´s and 90´s and you still have bands like Madball coming out. LA had Bad Religion and New York had Agnostic Front. It´s not just New York. You have Boston, DC and the east coast, but it´s funny that the west coast was more San Francisco, LA and maybe a part of Arizona. Not much from Florida even though some great bands came from Florida, but in the early… the seeds started to sprout there whether it was metal, punk rock or hardcore, those were the cities. I remember and I love so many bands from California, but my only taste from California was from magazines like Flipside and Maximum Rock n´roll. They´re not around anymore, now they´re collector´s editions, but that´s where we would hear about all these shows and then being in Biohazard and getting a chance to play some of these places and meet these bands, to meet Mike Ness or Bad Religion or Pennywise was like “Wow!”. We live in South Bay and Black Flag and some of the greatest bands that I love, came from that area and it´s fucking weird!

Alright, cool! Do you know about the Swedish band Hammerfall?

Billy: Of course!

And you know that they wanted to use the Biohazard symbol on their latest album?

Billy: They did?

Yeah, but they couldn´t because your management told them they couldn´t.

Billy: Really? We don´t own the symbol, but it is synonym with Biohazard. We had an issue with Chiamaira and they changed it a little bit after they had a conversation with us about it. We still haven´t seen them since then, but I have a big problem with them. It´s like “I wanna name my band Graziadei, but I´m gonna spell it a little different!”. It´s my name, it´s me! It´s not a stop sign, but it is public domains to a certain extent.

Do you own that symbol when it comes to music?

Billy: Yes!

You do, ok. I was talking to the guitar player in Hammerfall and they wanted to put it on the album and then they immediately heard from your management, that you guys owned it.

Billy: They saw that it´s a good symbol and so did Pete Steele too!

When are you guys coming back to Sweden then?

Billy: In the fall! The record comes out in September so we´re hoping to be here right away, before the weather gets bad, but I love Sweden in the winter too.

Great! You´ve got any other projects going on right now? I know you´ve been involve in tons of stuff.

Billy: Yeah, I did! I had tons of stuff, but because of that tons of stuff, it brought me back to the love I have for Biohazard and it helped me expand and grow as a musician and as a singer and it enabled me to help being one quarter bringing this album to where it is now. Do I have any intentions right now? No, I don´t! All I wanna do is Biohazard! I´m happy and I love where we are and I can´t wait to go home and work on another song and send it to Danny or Bobby and see what they think. We´re in a good place and we´ve made it through some crazy times. We have some great stories to tell and a lot of scars, but in the end that´s what you take with you to the grave.

What´s the title of the album?

Billy: We had a title. We had a few titles but we settled on a title and was like “Ok, that´s it!” and I was ready to tell everybody and at the last minute, at Download or Metal Hammer, something came up and we were like “Oh, that´s pretty cool!”, so we decided to hold off instead of spit out a title and have it changed next week. Within a week you´ll have the title and the artwork!

Is that a hard thing coming up with? Do you always go through bunch of titles and then change it?

Billy: No! I remember “State of the world address”, spit right out, “Urban discipline”, spit right out, “Mata Leao”, we went back and forth with different ideas and then I came up with an idea and I liked the fact that it was a different language and the whole idea was not telling anybody what it was about. Let it mean what you want it to mean, which was stupid because people are like “Just tell me! Please tell me what it means?”. “Kill or be killed” was supposed to be called “Never forgive, never forget” and it was all about what happened on September 11th in New York, our home. We were all there and those lyrics all came out the first two months after September 11th, but we realized it´s a marketing machine behind our records and the record label is gonna blow that up and capitalize on that horrible thing that was world changing for everyone. We changed it. We didn´t want to cash in on that horrific event, so we changed that title at the last minute. Horrific artwork and I hated it. That record was a different era for us. That was a hit record and by that I mean, we aimed, we wanted it to sound ill and aggressive like the subject matter that we were dealing with and we did. We didn´t want it to sound nice and pretty. It sounded like we were in a garage and recorded it.

Is it gonna be a full blown world tour?

Billy: Yeah!

Where are you gonna start it?

Billy: When I go home we sort out the situation with the band and then we start making those plans. It´s actually being put together right now and we have different options and ideas, but as soon as we´ve settled, we´ll have it planned out.

Do you remember the first time you went abroad playing? Was there a major difference between the US audience compared to like the European one?

Billy: Yeah and I´ll never forget it! First stop was Denmark, Copenhagen and then we came to Sweden and we had a conversation the first night in Copenhagen and I remember talking to this kid and he was like 15 and I had a jean jacket on with the American flag and the flag was upside down. I was proud of America, just not proud of the politics in America, but this kid knew more about America than I did and I was like “Holy shit!” and then it started to click and I slowly learned that we are told that we get a good education in America and then you find out you didn´t get a good education and then you school yourself. Americans are under false guise that we are free and under false guise that we are properly educated and we can barely speak English! Luckily, I learned another language, but America is a different world and now with the Internet everybody knows. It´s a great country and I´m proud of it, love it, but I see the faults more now, as everyone else does, than I did 20 years ago. I´m glad to say that we had some hand in that enlightenment.

Well, I love it! I´ve been there a couple of times and in 2008, my dad and my brothers and I did this road trip for five weeks and saw it all. Grand Canyon…

Billy: Isn´t that amazing?

It was just mind blowing! There are so many beautiful things and there´s a lot of ugly things, but I mean, it´s the same thing here in Sweden.

Billy: It´s very diverse and it´s like Europe. If you go through all of Europe from south of Italy to north of Sweden it´s a huge difference.

Absolutely! Thanks a lot!

Billy: Thank you!


/Niclas
Foo Fighters Stockholm!



Rysningar!

/Niclas
Konsertrecension

Foo Fighters

Stockholm Stadion, Stockholm



















Solen förgyller huvudstaden och Biffy Clyro håller som bäst på med ditt set när jag äntrar Stadion. Det låter inte dumt alls och det slår mig att jag faktiskt intervjuade en av medlemmarna förra året, men publicerade aldrig intervjun. Skotskan var inte att leka med.
Något senare går Band of Horses på och bjuder på en av de bästa spelningarna jag sett på länge. Sångaren Ben Bridwell sitter inne med en enastående röst som på något underligt sätt bara blir bättre och bättre under konsertens gång. Utan tvekan ett av de bästa banden på jorden just nu och Foos keyboradspelare Rami Jaffe kommer ut och hjälper till på två låtar, vilket ger extra krydda till framträdandet.
Dave och hans mannar sparkar loss klockan 21.00 med "Bridge burning", pressar plattan i mattan och ser aldrig tillbaka. Det bjuds på en fenomenal urladning under 2 timmar och 10 minuter och få människor i den utsålda Stadion kan ha gått hem besvikna.
"Rope", som är en personlig favorit från nya plattan, låter oerhört bra live och är så här långt i deras karriär, en av deras starkaste och mest intressanta låtar. Denna följs av en superb trippel bestående av "Pretender", "My hero" och "Learn to fly" och publiken är verkligen med på noterna denna sommarafton. Det sjungs allsång som får Skansens hålligång att framstå som en lekskola.
"Breakout" är riktigt tung och i "Cold day in the sun" får Taylor Hawkins lufta stämbanden. Precis innan presenteras bandet av Dave och Pat Smear får möjlighet att visa upp sin blågula Hagström till stort jubel.
"Monkey wrench" är för "the old Foo Fighters fans", som Grohl uttryckter det och Stadion kokar. Därefter blir det en ljuvlig "Let it die" .
"Young man blues" blir det röjigaste som presenteras under kvällen och det svänger hårdare än på ett dansbandsmaraton. Före "Best of you" drar Grohl av öppningsackordet och publiken evt inte till sig av glädje och Grohl ler och säger glatt "So you know that chord?". Utan tvekan är allsången i denna låt absolut kraftigast under kvällen och vill heller inte ta slut, till Grohls och bandets stora glädje.
Avslutningen med Queens "Tie your mother down" och "Everlong" känns helt rätt och jag lämnar Stadion tillsammans med 30000 andra lyckliga människor.
Foo Fighters har nått den absoluta toppen och det ska mycket till för att de ska bli nedknuffade därifrån.
Hail Dave!

Betyg: 5/5

Setlist:

Bridge burning
Rope
The pretender
My hero
Learn to fly
White limo
Alandria
Breakout
Cold day in the sun
Stacked actors
Long road to ruin
Stacked actors
Walk
Monkey wrench
Let it die
Generator
Times like these
Young man blues
All my life
Skin and bones
Best of you
Tie your mother down
Everlong

/Niclas

måndag 20 juni 2011

Konsertrecension

Cinderella

Klubben, Stockholm



















Att konserten flyttades från Arenan till den mindre Klubben var väl något som förvånade få, men frågan är om det inte var till det bättre ändå?
Kvart i tio på måndagskvällen äntrar bandet scenen och får ett fantastiskt välkomnande av stockholmspubliken. Faktum är att det nog är en av de absolut bästa publikresponser jag fått uppleva på spelstället och det höll sedan i sig konserten igenom.
Hur låter det då? Jo, faktiskt alldeles utmärkt. Tom Kiefers röst bär inga större spår av de problem han haft tidigare. Må så vara att rösten låter ansträngd från och till, men det har den alltid gjort. Bandet inleder med en stark knippe låtar. Öppningen med "Once around the ride" sitter i stort sett där den ska och i andra låten, "Shake me" går publiken fullkomligt loco och sjunger med i refrängen så starkt att man skulle kunna tro att man befann sig på ett betydligt större ställe än vi är på.
I "Heartbreak station" kommer Fred Coury fram och hjälper till med sången och jag inser åter igen vilken otrolig katalog Cinderella sitter inne med. Det svänger som bara den och bandet är riktigt tight. Visserligen har Kiefer lite problem med sin gitarr från och till, men på det stora hela flyter det på. 
Egentligen finns det inte mycket att klaga på denna kväll. Det enda som kan anmärkas på är väl att Kiefer rör sig som om han var 102 år gammal och dessvärre inte har mycket av en scenpersonlighet, vilket gör att det där riktiga röjet aldrig kommer igång.
"Don´t know what you got" är formidabel och Kiefer inleder på piano, annars är det den gamle KISS-keyboardisten Gary Corbett som står för klaviaturen under kvällen och det gör han bra, vilket främst kommer fram i det lilla jamet i slutet av "Second wind".
Avslutningen med "Long cold winter" och "Shelter me" är utsökt och gör att man bara vill höra mer, men se det blir det inget av. Bandet går av scenen efter en timme och en kvart och nog skulle de kunnat ha bjudit på några låtar till.
Hur som haver, Cinderella i Stockholm 2011 var ofantligt mycket bättre än vad jag väntat mig och för bandet måste det ha känts otroligt skönt med ett sådant bejublat välkomnande.

Setlist:

Once around the ride
Shake me
Heartbreak station
Somebody save me
Night songs
The more things change
Coming home
Second wind
Don´t know what you got
Nobody´s fool
Gypsy road
Long cold winter
Shelter me

Betyg 4/5

/Niclas 
Foo Fighters rider!



















Foo Fighters just nu väldigt omtalade 52 sidors rider är ännu ett bevis på att Grohl och company är ett av de mer humoristiska banden där ute i den stora världen.
The Smoking Gun har 10 sidor att beskåda.

Foo rider här

/Niclas
You gotta love it!



Guldklimpar som dessa filmsnuttar är alltid roliga att hitta. Oanvänt material från filmen KISS meets the phantom of the park".

/Niclas

söndag 19 juni 2011

Intervju med Corey Beaulieu i Trivium!

















Förra veckan tog jag mig in till hotell Birger Jarl för ett litet snack med gitarristen Corey i Trivium. Vi slog oss ned i ett litet konferensrum och snackade bl a om kommande plattan, gitarrhjältar, Sammy Hagars bok, nackdelar med internet och en del annat.


First of all, the title ”In waves”, what´s it all about? Any kind of tsunami thing going on there?

Corey: No, I guess “In waves” can mean a bunch of different things. Not just necessarily about an actual wave. It can be that things come in waves one after the other. I´m not really sure because Matt never… he´s doing this whole thing where he doesn´t want to explain the meaning of what anything means on the record, like the lyrics or the artwork or anything. He wants everyone to be able to get into the record and listen to the record and be able to form their own ideas and what the songs mean to them, instead of having someone else saying “This is what the song means!” and then not be able to make the song their own, the way it means to them. A lot of the stuff he just kind of wrote a lot and it flowed out and he didn´t really have a definite meaning of what it´s supposed to actually mean, because it just kind of came out. A lot of stuff was inspired by visual art and movies and stuff and not necessarily inspired by music. It could mean a lot of things and I just think that everything with the record, everyone will hopefully form their own… kind of what it means to them and make it more personal to them when they listen to it. I couldn´t even really tell you because Matt hasn´t even told me what most of the shit means, so I kind of have to do the same thing.

Is it always like that?

Corey: The last couple of albums it´s pretty self explanatory with a lot of the mythological stuff and on “Crusade” there were a lot of current events and news stories. This record and “Ascendancy” have like that kind of more thing were the lyrics are drawn from a more personal side and leaves it open to the listener to kind of attach themselves and have their own meaning to it instead of “Hey, this is what happened fucking two years ago in Chicago!” or something.

How do you guys work when you´re writing songs? Do you write on the road or just go “Well, it´s time to write an album, let´s lock ourselves in the basement and write!”?

Corey: We do a lot of writing on tour, so we´re always writing riff ideas in the dressing room and recording on our lap tops or like showing each other riffs in the dressing room and kind of bouncing ideas off each other. We like to do that so we have a lot of… so we can kind of start the basic song ideas. We may not have the whole record by the time we get done, but at least having like a good chunk of anywhere from like four to six songs. A good number of tunes that start early on and during the touring and on the bus, we´ll just listen to songs on the speakers and throughout the tours, modify the riffs or add stuff to them or add parts to the song. It kind of gives us a little extra head start with putting the songs together, so by the time we get off the tour and it´s time to go work on the record, we can go into the rehearsal space and everyone´s already familiar with a good chunk of songs and we can get right into putting the songs together and go through all that and fine tuning them and then things change when the whole band is playing together, with the songs and the way they feel and everything like that and then modify that and once you do that everyone brings in new song ideas and keep adding to the songs we have. We always like to have a good starting point going into it instead of “Ok, we´ve got write a record! We´ve got six months to put a record together!” and we´re starting from scratch. With this way we´ve already got a lot of the work started, so we have a lot more time to fine tune things and try out new ideas instead of trying to play catch up.

Do you go in with a whole bunch of songs and then pick from those or do you just write those songs that you need for the album?

Corey: We usually write way more than we need. Like for this album I think we almost had like 30 songs, but we cut them as we go, like we got a good chunk of like ten songs and then we bring new song ideas and the ten songs were really strong and we felt really strong about them. If someone in the band wasn´t feeling it or didn´t think it was up to par with the other songs, we kind of scrapped it and then once something would come along that we felt fit with the rest of the songs and could hold its own, then we´d keep it. We really pushed it and we didn´t want anything that we didn´t feel was good enough for the record. There´s a lot of stuff and we at least try everything. If we brought in a song idea, we at least would give it a shot and try to work it and after a while if it just wasn´t happening or wasn´t fitting the vibe that we were going for, we got rid of it. We kind of have a standard level of the type of songs we were looking for and how they fit with the other songs. They kind of weeded themselves out. We´d have something like “Wow, that´s a really cool tune!”, but it didn´t feel compared to the chunk of the stuff that we really liked for the record. Maybe if it was for a different album the song might have worked, but we wanted everything to be really cohesive, so we kind of weeded out the songs that didn´t work. We ended up writing a lot of stuff but we only recorded like 13.

Do you always start over from scratch or do you use ideas from the past?

Corey: I don´t anything that we wrote during the process for previous albums, ever made it to the next album. We usually start fresh, because after we do one record, it´s usually a couple of years later when we do the next one and then musically, we´re in like a totally different kind of zone and that explains why all our albums are so drastic from each other, but we´re always broadening our horizons with stuff. Usually when you go back and listen to old demos of songs that were there at the beginning and ended up being cut, you kind of like know why they didn´t get used, but some of the older stuff have some pretty cool riffs that I´m sure, if there was the right song wrapped around it, it would work. Usually we always try to move on to the next thing and write new type of stuff. Why use something that didn´t get used a couple of years ago when we could push ourselves to write something even cooler that we´re really stoked about. There are some little thing sometimes, like guitar melody bits or ideas that get worked into something else, but pretty much everything´s something new and it´s more fun that way.

With the Internet and all these kinds of channels, it´s pretty hard keeping an album secret these days. Sooner or later it will get leaked. How do you feel about that? I remember when I grew up, you waited for a record and you didn´t know anything about it until it was released on that day. These days there are no secrets anymore.

Corey: Yeah, it´s kind of a bummer, because it kind of makes the release date not so special. It´s like “Oh, that´s when I can buy it, but it doesn´t mean that´s when I can get it!”. We started working on the record in April last year and we didn´t start recording until January and we didn´t say shit about anything! We kept our cards close to our chests and didn´t say any of the song names, any of the titles and didn´t put out anything like studio wise while we were working, like videos that played any kind of music. We kept the mystery of the record and only leaked or put any information out the way we wanted. We didn´t let anything leak through someone else. Whatever was put out online so far has been to our own doing and the way we wanted to do it. These days you can´t go until the release date without telling anyone anything, so as long as you can do it the way you want to do it, then that´s kind of the best way to go about it. A lot of bands are like “Oh, we´re in the studio and just started recording drums and these are all the song titles!” and it´s like they don´t keep anything a mystery or do anything to make any kind of surprise. With a lot of bands it´s like “Oh, here´s our new album title!”. It´s a fucking post on Blabbermouth or “Here´s our album cover!” and it´s a post on Blabbermouth and it´s not really anything exciting about it. You´re not making it like a special thing with unveiling information. A lot of people are like “Oh, new song streaming on Blabbermouth!” or on a Facebook page. We made our fans work for it where they had to figure out a fucking HTML fucking code and not just giving it to them, but making them actually figuring it out on their own to get the song and made it more special. Nowadays everything is just handed to people and information is just at a keyboard. If you make somebody put some effort into it, it makes it a little bit more special when they get to hear it and it´s not just a freebie. Kind of makes it more exciting and I think with us not saying much throughout the process of recording it and kept as much information secret as possible, it made our fans seem to be a little bit more excited about it and people seem to be generally more stoked. Instead of throwing it all out there and not making it exciting… in terms of now and this point in time with how everything works with the Internet, I thought we did a pretty good job holding out on information and I think that also made it a lot more exciting.

These days and because of the Internet, there´s always three or four different versions of an album, like the deluxe version, the Japanese version, the European version and so on and you throw in a dvd of how the album was done. Will there be stuff like that?

Corey: Yeah! We have, when the record first comes out, the standard edition which has 11 songs, but we went all out on our special edition where it has 13 songs. Two bonus tracks and a making of documentary, which we filmed in a totally different way and we also have a live DVD that we recorded and that no one´s seen yet. It´s not live in front of a crowd. It´s kind of like an intimate rehearsal with a warehouse set up and lights and different cameras. We went in there and made like a mini live DVD. We´re playing four songs off the new album and four old songs. Shot in like an industrial type of warehouse setting and I actually saw it the other day in full and I was pretty impressed. A lot of people when they do live DVDs and record it, they go into the studio and re-amp the guitars or fix shit that the fucked up. We didn´t touch anything. We had it mixed, so it´s about as live as it gets. The guy that mixed it did a phenomenal job and I couldn´t believe that nothing was touched, because it just sounds so good and we actually played really, really well. There´s some minor screw ups here and there, but for being nothing touched it´s at live as it gets and it shows you that we can play live and play our instruments. We´re confident with how we play and perform. Even if we screw up… everyone screws up, but those other bands are just too afraid to show it. It sounds really good and it´s got a really good live feeling. A guy from our label watched it and said it was really cool and that it felt like being let in to like an intimate rehearsal type of thing. I think that´s a new thing that we try and incorporate instead of the same old “making of…”. An extra bonus thing because everyone asks us about “When are you guys gonna do a live DVD?” and we never really got that excited to wanna do one. At this pint everybody does one so we wanted to wait until the time was right and we felt that this was kind of like a way to bridge the gap where they wanna have something they can watch at home, but it´s in a different setting and it´s not like playing at the “fill in the blank” festival and we also picked the not most obvious tracks. We´re not even playing “Pull harder”, which everyone expects, so if you wanna see that you have to wait for the actual DVD and there´s no time frame for that.

Leaving in mistakes and stuff like that, makes it more honest and usually makes it a lot more interesting.

Corey: All the classic ones, like even live albums that people revere like…

Yeah, it´s like KISS´ “ALIVE” and ALIVE II” and I always thought the first one was a bit more honest in its recording but it´s not. It´s pretty touched up as well.

Corey: Yeah, it´s like you can listen to Iron Maiden´s “Live after death” and you can hear Bruce struggling to hit notes and they´re not fixing that up and even with the Metallica stuff, they don´t fucking touch up anything. It´s like if you wanna hear us recorded live, you´re gonna get live and it´s not gonna be all fucking fake and touched up and fixed in the studio. I just read that Sammy Hagar book and he´s talking about that live album they did where they went in and re-tracked everything and he had to go and re-track all the vocals and that´s not really a live album is it? It´s like a studio recording with live audience.

I haven´t read that one yet.

Corey: I read it… I bought it for the trip to Tokyo and I got so into that book that I read the whole thing from start to finish. It´s a really good book!

I guess he rips Eddie a new one?

Corey: He does a pretty good job on that, but he also compliments him and stuff so he´s not just bashing everybody, but he bashes when it´s due and he gives people the compliments and credits they deserve. It seems like a pretty honest thing. He comes from a pretty good spot where he´s not just hating on everybody. I love reading those rock books. It´s like the only books I read.

Yeah, me too! Working with a producer then. I talked to JD and Nick from Black Label Society and they said “We don´t need a producer! We know what we´re supposed to sound like, so we do it ourselves!” and then other bands go “Oh, we definitely need a producer to guide us!”. How do you feel about that? Could you work without one?

Corey: We were trying on this one, but I think the label sometimes just likes to have somebody to make sure everything is running properly and getting done. On some of the other records, like the previous one where you kind of needed someone to guide you and keep things running a certain way and tell you “Maybe you should try this part!”. We kind of had that on certain parts on other records, but on this one, when writing the record, we kind of knew exactly what we were wanting to do and what we wanted the songs to sound like, that by the time we got to the studio, I didn´t need anyone to tell me what to play for a guitar solo, I just played. Those guys are really good because we didn´t need them to hold our hands to put the songs together, we had that shit down, but they´re really good to have on the technical aspect of recording. We don´t really know how to run all the gear or how to make it work efficiently and use the stuff fast enough so you can keep the session going. Those guys are really good, because in our heads we knew how we wanted the record to sound and they have the skills and the experience to know how to take all the gear that we had at our disposal and get the sounds we were looking for and translate in on to the record, which is a big thing. An amp can sound really good in a room and some person might mike it up and it just sounds totally different. We learned a lot of stuff just by watching them and see the way they do it and the little tricks that they use to eliminate certain things or what not, so it was a learning experience on the technical aspect of how to get all that stuff to sound the way it did. They were able to get all of our ideas of how e were looking for the record to sound and actually making it happen, We did some pre-production and they had some minor comments about like “For this part, do little pause and then go into it!”. Just very small things and stuff like that. Song wise we pretty much had it locked down and they were just there to make it come to life with the recording side of everything and they did a phenomenal job on it!

When it comes to playing the guitar, do you have any personal guitar heroes? Stuff you listened to more when you were growing up and learning the guitar?

Corey: I listened to tons of stuff, but playing guitar and the stuff that I would play in my room and playing along to the cd´s the most, was like Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, Iron Maiden and Iced earth. Those were like the big ones that I learned and played along to the cd´s and then there´s a lot of other stuff that I listened to, but those are the ones that I probably learned the most, of actually learning the songs than some of the other stuff. Yngwie I couldn´t really play, but it was inspiring to listen to because I couldn´t play that fast when I was younger. It was inspirational and like “Oh, I wanna be able to do that!”, but I just can´t. There´s a lot of stuff that I listened to, but learning those songs, like learning Maiden, Slayer, Megadeth and that really showed me and was kind of like the blueprint for how to play metal and how to write metal music. Once you learn it you can kind of take it and Frankenstein it and put your own twist on it. You gotta learn the tricks from somebody and then you gotta figure it out how to take it and make your own thing out of it.

Do you still practice guitar these days?

Corey: Yeah! Pretty much when I´m at home and I´m in front of my TV. I just play guitar when I watch TV. If I sit in a room by myself and just sit there and play guitar I usually kind of like “I play guitar all the time.”, so I do something different while I´m home. My amp´s next to my TV, so I just turn my amp on, pick up the guitar, sit on my couch and just watch TV-shows or movies or something and play guitar and it´s like you´re playing but you´re not full on thinking about it. It´s just like autopilot and usually when I do that, that´s when a guitar lick or a riff will come out and then you work on it. It´s more fun for me.

When are you guys coming back to Sweden?

Corey: In November! We´ve got a tour, but we can´t really announce who we´re playing with yet, because it´s one of those business things, but it´s November and it´s gonna be a really cool tour and I´m really excited.

I think I saw you guys on your first tour here!

Corey: Yeah, it might have been the "Road rage" tour. That was our first full European tour.

Is it gonna be just Stockholm or Gothenburg as well?

Corey: Yeah, I think Gothenburg too! It´s a pretty cool lineup and I think when it´s announced, everybody´s gonna be pretty stoked. It´s a good crop of bands, so I´m really looking forward to that. Once people hear who we´re playing with, they´re gonna be pretty stoked.

So you´ll be here in the winter time when it´s freezing!

Corey: That´s when we´re always over here! (laughs) Besides last year, I think I´ve spent the last four birthdays somewhere in Scandinavia. Either Sweden or Norway, so I´m sure my birthday will be… actually I know it will be here because my birthday is in November.

Alright! Thank you Corey!

Corey: Thank you! Awesome!

/Niclas
Åkerfeldt på P4 ikväll!



















Saxat från P4:

"I det första programmet i P4 Musiks sommarserie rotar Mikael Åkerfeldt fram det gamla tyska bandet Lucifer´s Friend, vars debutalbum från 1970 är just ett bortglömt mästerverk. Plattan kan lätt jämföras med vad storheter som Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin och Black Sabbath producerade samma år men har tyvärr fallit i glömska. Åkerfeldt passar också på att spela lite andra sköna vinylskivor från samma period för att ge den rätta stämningen."
Bara till att ratta in P4 ikväll kl. 23.05!

/Niclas

lördag 18 juni 2011

Intervju med Derrick Green i Sepultura!





















För en tid sedan ringde jag upp Derrick en route till Milwaukee för ett nytt gig på pågående USA-turnén.
Precis som sist jag pratade med honom, var han lika trevlig och tillmötesgående. Det blev ett samtal om bla nya plattan "Kairos", tornados, producenter och ett nytt projekt han jobbar med tillsammans med George Clinton och Cee-Lo.


Hey Derrick!

Derrick Green: Hi Niclas from Stockholm, this is Derrick!

How are you?

Derrick: Good!

How´s Milwaukee?

Derrick: Ah, we´re almost there. We´re not really there yet. We´ve stopped at some bus repair place.

Ok.

Derrick: Exciting! (laughs)

Very! First off, I gotta say that the title track sounds a lot like “Territory”. Do you agree?

Derrick: Really? I thought you were gonna say Led Zeppelin. (laughs)

There´s a certain riff in there that was kind of similar.

Derrick: (laughs) On the title track, yes! It has that element from “Chaos AD”, I think. Definitely that vibe.

Was that something you thought of and tried to make it sound like or did it just happen? It also says in the promo papers that it could be likened to “Chaos AD” and could be seen as the follow up to “Roots”.

Derrick: I think it kind of happened and we also talked about it. A mix of both, because there were certain elements like, “Ok, we´re gonna write an album about the history of Sepultura, ourselves, fights and struggles that we´ve had against whoever or whatever. The challenges that we´ve had”. With that we also wanted to write a lot of old elements that were there and made the characters of Sepultura, so as a fan before I got in the band, I kind of took that approach in speaking with Andreas or commuting with them or everybody, that “Look, on the past albums there are certain things I think we didn´t really hit on that much, that we can do on this album!”. There´s a lot more guitar strumming as far as like picking and a lot more guitar solos. Those are elements that I really like about Sepultura, before even being in the band, so I just think we skimmed a lot of stuff down on this one for a straight forward approach. We wanted to have more head banging back! Simple riffs, like where you just wanna bang your head, you know!

Even the artwork has a bit more classic heavy metal look to it, in a way.

Derrick: Definitely! I think it kind of happened, as far as hooking up with Nuclear Blast, the new label, they gave us some ideas. They were getting into the vibe as well, “Hey, since you´re going down that road writing the history of Sepultura, you should have like a classic metal style artwork!”. We agreed that definitely that would be cool to have that vibe and it happened in such a random way. The artist, Eric Sayers, we met him backstage at our show and it was really in that moment. It was not planned at all and he really got the idea quickly.

Has he done a lot of metal albums?

Derrick: No never! This is his first album. It´s like really over the top. He really wants to work with more artists, but he´s done professional jobs for like the videogame “Call of duty” and things like that and he´s really experienced with that. Once I saw his work and heard about him I was like “Man, this is the guy that´s gotta do it!”. A, he´s a huge fan and B, he knows what he´s doing as far as coming up with sick designs. We got really lucky!

What was it like working with Roy Z?

Derrick: It was awesome! Roy has been to Brazil many times working with different bands and he´s been longing to work with Sepultura for a long time, so this was his opportunity. He came in with a very cool attitude and he really understood exactly what we were going for. The fact that he´s experience working with other vocalists, like Rob Halford and Bruce Dickinson, he had a lot of cool ideas in the studio for me, that really helped me open up and try different ways and different sounds. It was awesome! He really made everyone feel comfortable and created a vibe where not everything has to be perfect, but just capture the energy that we do live. It was really cool and he was very easy to work with and it´s great because he can really understand the aspect of being on stage and performing live since he´s playing with Rob Halford.

Did he tell you any cool Halford stories?

Derrick: (laughs) Yeah, he had a few stories, but I can´t really say.

A band like Sepultura, do you always need a producer?

Derrick: Yeah! (laughs) I think that we do! I think it´s something that has always worked really well and I think there´s a reason why. We have a lot of ideas and it´s good to have somebody that´s not directly in the circle that you´re working with. We´re open to hear other people´s ideas and interpretations who know what they´re talking about. When you have a good producer who knows what he´s talking about, they´re gonna tell you the truth and sometimes you may not like it, but you need to hear it from an outside source. That´s something that works well with us and that we need and I know that I need it. I like to hear that outside voice and a producer´s tremendous in helping in so many ways. We´re just fortunate to have good ones. There might be people who´ve had horrible producers and they´re just tired of it and they feel that they can do it better. I´m sure there are bands that do that, but for us, a producer!

How much was recorded? Were there a lot of songs that didn´t make it?

Derrick: I think there´s maybe like one extra song. Everything pretty much made it. We had to cut out one. It worked pretty well. We knew that we didn´t want to make it too long because people tend to… you can only take so much and it just becomes boring after a while. We were just like “Ok, this is the number we´re working on and this is what we happen to have!”.

Are the two cover songs both gonna be bonus tracks?

Derrick: “Firestarter” will be a bonus track and the Ministry song (Just one fix) is gonna be on the actual album. It´s something we´ve never done before, but we´re like “You know what, this song came out good!”. The idea for it came in the studio and the vibe of it kind of fitted the album. It´s really driving and we made it like a Sepultura song. For us it felt that way. We kind of kidnapped the song and the idea. We have so much respect for the original song, but we wanted to make it our way and we liked it so much. It really fits in with the vibe of the songs on the album.

And coming from possibly the best Ministry album, “Psalm 69”.

Derrick: Yeah, definitely, hands down!

Have you ever met Al Jourgensen?

Derrick: Very briefly.

He always seemed like a crazy dude!

Derrick: Very crazy! (laughs) He´s very nice, but I´ve only met him a few times and he´s extremely nice.

Why the song “Firestarter”? Gene Simmons did a really lousy version of that one! And why not “Smack my bitch up”?

Derrick: Well, we thought about “Smack my bitch up”, but it doesn´t really fit the mold of Sepultura. (laughs) “Firestarter” has such great energy with the build up and then the break down and it´s a song we can really relate to much more than the other songs and we´re big fans of The Prodigy and we thought it would be cool to cover something that wasn´t that obvious and Prodigy I think are fucking heavy! We wanted to do our own version of that and in our way and it´s a cool challenge.

The title “Kairos”, I read an interview where you described the meaning of it and it´s about time and in between time. Is that stuff you know of or did you just find the word and then looked it up?

Derrick: (laughs) Yeah, I don´t think most people are… I mean, many Greek people don´t realize that id means weather in Greek, but there´s also another meaning to it. It´s something that Andreas came to me and was like “I´ve been reading about kairos!”. We read a lot of different books and this came up and I was like “What´s that?” and then I started doing research and the idea for this came out from that, from reading. We read all the time, so it´s just random things, but this really caught me because I was trying to get my head wrapped around it and I´d never thought about like time in between time. The more I read about it, the more I started to understand. You know these moments when you´re not really timing out everything. I thought it was pretty interesting, you know that moment when things do happen and things happen like that all the time.

Are you reading any good books right now?

Derrick: No, unfortunately not! (laughs) I´ve been here in the US and the tour is just like show after show with no days off, so I´ve been like really resting. I think once we get to Europe I have time to get some books before we go over there.

You should read the new Neil Strauss one, it´s pretty funny!

Derrick: Oh really?

“Everyone loves you when you´re dead”!

Derrick; I gotta write this down. (laughs)

There´s a hilarious Paris Hilton story in there. It´s a good one. How come you ended up on Nuclear Blast and is it a multi album deal?

Derrick: Well, with SPV, our previous label, they were having some internal issues. Not the greatest times for record labels or businesses in general with the economy, so we wanted to move away and get somebody that was stronger and has everything together really. Nuclear Blast really understood the predicament that we were in and they understood where we need to go and they believe in us, that we´re capable of producing more albums, better albums. That was like an incentive to us, “Man, they want to take on the challenge. Finally somebody´s that´s on the same level as we are!”. It was a good match and we got really lucky to be able to work with them. This album will definitely have the option of doing another album. It´s really a good time for us!

Back to the album, there are four songs that are just numbers, 2011, 1433, 5772 and 4648. What´s the story there?

Derrick: Those are calendar years. 2011 is the number we use and in other cultures there´s different numbers for what year it is. We´re just showing that the representation of time is something that we´re making up. It´s something that we´ve made up and those numbers there are just like sounds that we´ve recorded from when we´ve been on tour. Certain moments, certain places that were just background noise and it kind of fits into that mold of… time is really irrelevant and what´s really important are those sparks, those moments that happens sporadically or just happens because of a feeling or a vibe.

How´s the tour been going so far? You´re gonna be out for quite a while now?

Derrick: It´s been really good! We´re playing a few new songs even before the album is out and “Kairos” gets the most insane reaction from people. People are extremely attentive and are really paying attention and the reaction at the end is always above and beyond. The shows have been pretty good in the US and I say that because we haven´t been here in five years, so it´s been interesting to see the changes that have gone on in the scene in the middle of the US to the border cities. It´s been ups and downs, like on a Monday night in Texas, it´s not gonna be the greatest number of people, but the people that are there are really into it. I´m looking forward to coming back again once the album is out and doing a more structured tour. It´s exciting to be back and we really miss touring in the US, but we´re gonna be going nonstop like you said.

On this tour, have you been anywhere near the tornados and all that crazy stuff that has happened?

Derrick: Yes! Actually right after it happened we had to drive through that area from Georgia to Texas, so we got to see a lot of Alabama and Missouri that were just like devastated. It was really intense seeing all these trees and houses just leveled. It was unbelievable!

Yeah, I´ve seen footage and pictures and it´s just like a nuclear bomb exploded.

Derrick: Yeah, it´s like somebody took their hand and just swiped it across the land. It´s not good and everything´s out of order. There´s been more tornados this year than in the history and just like this earthquake in Japan, it´s like it set the earth off its axle!

You came out of Cleveland, how often do you go back there?

Derrick: Never really! We were just there like four days ago, but I haven´t lived in Cleveland since 1992 and I don´t have any family that lives there anymore, so I don´t go back that often. The last time I was there was maybe five years ago and even in the US, I haven´t been here in five years.

Well, does Cleveland still rock?

Derrick: Cleveland was rocking the last show that we played, but the other times that we´ve played there it really sucked! I was made fun of from my other band mates, like “Man, we thought Cleveland was gonna be the heart and soul of this tour!”. (laughs) But on this tour it was absolutely amazing! Andreas was saying that it was better than from when he played there back in the 90´s.

Finally, would you do another Volkswagen commercial if the opportunity came up? Do you all drive Volkswagens?

Derrick: Yeah! But I don´t even have a car! I haven´t driven in like 15 years since I´ve lived in cities where I didn´t need a car, like Amsterdam, New York and Sao Paolo. I usually take taxis and I hate to drive! I´ve already done another commercial, where I´m singing again, because I do sing. (laughs) It´s for Blackberry and I did it with George Clinton, the godfather of funk! It´s a song that got licensed and maybe a week ago they picked it up, it´s like Blackberry Urban, if you look it up on YouTube. It´s pretty cool and it was fun to do. Really funky and extremely different from Sepultura. It´s a project that I´m working on and the song got picked out. It´s the complete opposite of like metal. The concept is very futuristic and about digital and sex in the future and the age that we live in and there´s special guests like George Clinton and Cee-Lo sings on a song. We´re doing a song together and I´m doing falsetto and crazy harmonies. I wanted to do something so extreme that people would never ever believe it! I think I achieved that, but it´s done well and taken very seriously. It was a lot of fun because we were laughing a lot during some songs and I´ve never done anything like that and it´s going really well writing the songs. I think it´s gonna be such a crazy reaction, whether bad or good and I´m looking forward to it! (laughs)

Sounds awesome! Is that an album coming out this year?

Derrick: Yeah, we´re gonna try and release it in August and I think people will be excited about it. I think it´s done well and I´m singing my ass off on this. (laughs) Like really doing crazy, crazy stuff and not holding back.

How did you hook up with a guy like Cee-Lo?

Derrick: The thing is that the guy that I´m working with, Sam, he´s a producer and a songwriter and he´s friends with all these known people, so he was able to get in touch with them and he´s been able to do that in the past with other artists like Kanye West and M.I.A.. Different artist that he wanted to have on the album to mix it up. On this I´m primarily singing and these guys are doing like the choruses and stuff like that. He was just able to get all these people.

Cool! What are you gonna do if this just explodes and becomes a big thing? You´re gonna leave Sepultura and go for the funk instead?

Derrick: (laughs) God, I don´t know! Maybe we´ll go on tour together! (laughs) We´ll see what happens. I enjoy doing both and they´re so radically different and that´s what makes it so cool! I don´t like to be stuck in one thing.

I´m looking forward to this! Cool stuff!

Derrick: Alright! (laughs) If anything, I´m sure I´ll make people laugh or smile or dance and those are all good things!

Yeah, it can´t be bad if you´ve got George Clinton and Cee-Lo in there!

Derrick: Yeah, I know! That´s what I´m saying. It´s awesome!

Well, thank you so much Derrick and I wish you all the best with the show tonight and I hope to see you in Sweden soon! I know you´re playing Norway, but no dates in Sweden yet?

Derrick: No dates yet, but I know that there has to be because we´re playing Finland also. Thanks man!

Thank you!

/Niclas

fredag 17 juni 2011

Hail Denner!



John Denner föddes utan höger hand, men med hjälp av en egentillverkad protes lirar han gura som gör en gråtfärdig. Kaxigt!

/Niclas

onsdag 15 juni 2011

Mötley Crüe och Cee-Lo!



Hollywood Bowl igår. "Don´t go away mad" ihopslicad med "Fuck you".

/Niclas
Är du på husjakt?



















Flea i RHCP säljer sin lilla lya i Malibu och den kostar ynka 4,7 miljoner dollar. Kanske dags att slå till?

Fler bilder här

/Niclas