tisdag 31 januari 2012

Missa inte ikväll!



I sista delen av "Hitlåtens historia"  dissikerar man Journeys "Don´t stop believin´" och lite senare i samma kanal är det åter dags för ett nytt avsnitt av "Metal: Evolution". Mumma!
Av en facebookpolare i LA fick jag precis reda på att Van Halen har sitt releaseparty för nya plattan imorgon i gamla A&M området som numera är Jim "Mupparna" Hensons.

/Niclas

söndag 29 januari 2012

Intervju med Mike Mangini i Dream Theater!

















Någon timme innan giget på Hovet fick jag möjlighet att sitta ner en kort stund med Mike Mangini och prata om främst utbildning och livets skola, skulle det visa sig.
Egentligen kom intervjun inte att handla så mycket om Dream Theater utan istället blev det ett samtal om hans jobb som lärare, hur han utbildade sig själv och hur han kom att arbeta med Patriotmissilen. Trummisar är i vanliga fall måltavlor för allehanda skämt om deras intelligens, men Mangini är helt klart av en helt annan kaliber.


You´re from Newton, right? Outside Boston.

Mike Mangini: I was born in Newton, but I didn´t grow up there.

Ah ok, I´ve got a friend who lived in Newton actually. So, how old were you when you started playing drums? Was it pots and pans, and slamming around in the kitchen?

MM: Yeah, when I was two and a half and when I was four, I had my second drum set and I started performing when I was five. We had a lot of cousins in the family so there was usually one wedding a year and sometimes two every other year and my family would bring my drum set to the wedding and there weren´t 12 people there, there were 300-500 lunatics. That´s how I started performing and I cried all the time. I actually did not like it.

Who were your first kinda influences?

MM: Ringo Starr was first and then Danny Seraphine from Chicago and Bobby Colomby from Blood, Sweat & Tears and then some Motown stuff. See, my brother gave me all the music with the horns because he played saxophone and my sister gave me some Motown stuff, but my brother gave me the bulk of the material and they both liked the Beatles, so that was up until age nine and then my brother got me a Buddy Rich album at age nine. God, he made 25 cents an hour from working and saved money and bought me these records, you know what I mean? So when he handed me that Buddy Rich record, he just said two words, “Learn it!” and little did I know what was inside it. (laughs)

It´s funny because I´ve seen a few documentaries about metal and just recently “Metal Evolution” by Sam Dunn and people mention Buddy Rich as being a really good drummer and an influence in some ways.

MM: Well, he had the face. He was an aggressive man.

But listening to an album starting out, how do you know which drum to hit?

MM: I remember, before I got my first toy drum set at age three, when I set up the cans I also was looking at the back of the LP and I could see the shape of the drums and it made sense to me, the pitch going from left to right… by shape and still by shape is how I remember things.

What is it that attracted you to those drummers? Was it a special groove or them just being fast or what?

MM: I gotta tell you something, what a question to ask me, because it really is the core question that I don´t think is answerable. I have an answer for almost everything because I studied mechanics and usually I´d answer with within the mechanical side or the philosophy side, but when you ask “How did I know or what was it?”, I don´t know! I just knew a drummer was doing something that wasn´t… I just wanna say normal, but had a little something extra. Let me talk about this and maybe I´ll find an answer. It´s like a drummer that would combine some chops with the melody. You know what? It´s like the drum part was the only drum part for that song and I was never really into drummers where the drum part could go to a multitude of songs. It´s not that I don´t like a straight beat or a straight groove, it´s just that… we´re floating around on this big rock called earth and eventually the sun is gonna boil it one day and I´m gonna be dead, so I just don´t feel like doing that! I like to find a little something, just something that makes it so that drum part is for that one song. That´s all.

You´ve done a lot of teaching as well and you taught at college. Do you miss that? The interaction with the students?

MM: Well, you know something? I don´t teach for my job, I would teach for a side job. In other words, my teaching keeps me in touch. It keeps me thinking about how to answer questions and how to think about things. The students in my life, have been the ones that have kept me current. They´re the ones that´ll tell me “Listen to this record!” or “Listen to this guy!” or mention me to someone who otherwise would not know who I am. It´s nice and I sort of need them, rather than it being a one way street. The fact that they were so… and always have been, so kind to me in word and all that and they´ve always voted me really high up as far as like a teacher evaluation and I think that´s because they know that I put them first. But it´s also… it´s not a 100% that I care about you more than anything and I´m a great guy, it´s not that. It´s the little bit that I do care more about what they want than what I want, but it´s also that I have something to gain too. I have an interest and I have a lot to learn, so I love it and I´ll always do it. In fact, before I left while I was learning these songs and getting over a sever virus and illness that knocked me out for six weeks, I did teach a lesson over Skype and I´ll probably do that more now.

Can you hear right away when a kid is drumming, that he´s got something?

MM: Of course, however, I made a business and a really good one out of the guys that other teachers said “You don´t have it! You don´t have enough talent!” or “You don´t practice enough to study to me!”. You know what, send me those guys! Send me the ones that another teacher said “Kid, you don´t have it!”, because those are the ones that… I could always help them and those are the ones that would take a bullet for me, because I really believe in the method more than worrying so much about the talent level. I think it´s just an expectation thing. Yes of course you know when someone comes in and they immediately have either a little more skill than the next one or that little something special, the X factor or whatever that is? I think it´s really just that they recognize melody as a musician and have some facilities to make it concrete and mechanical, but to come up with a method that works for everybody, I think of that as the greatest achievement of my life more than winning auditions. To help somebody. The expectation thing I always keep a check on. Like I was always informed by friends before getting in a relationship to get married, the worst thing in the world is to have expectations on somebody. It´s just not smart and it´s not fair either, so perhaps some of us and I have, even as a teacher you have expectations and if you have no expectations and you don´t expect this particular person who doesn´t seem like they would be able to achieve… let´s say jazz drummer of the year. If we both know that they´re not gonna have that, you don´t expect it but they could be the right guy for their friend´s band and the best one.

Reading about you, you come across as a well educated man, but is it true that you did some computer programming for the Patriot missile system?

MM: Oh yeah! I worked for a number of years on the communication software and I didn´t even have a degree. I worked my way up to be a full staff engineer. I just started out with the documentation and I forgot how to turn the computer on (laughs) but we were programming on a binary level and I had to do punch cards and do octal math, stuff like that and trying to find the bugs in the program. I did what I was told to do, the other engineers did the thinking. As soon as I got promoted to a position where I had to do the real engineering, I almost had a nervous breakdown and I quit, really! I´ll never forget it. I sat in my office thinking “This is not where I´m supposed to be!”, but it was great that I finally had a job and I was able to save money and pay for things and live like a normal human being, rather than the musician that I really was, scraping for anything and always having to go back home and stay with my parents and never paying them a dime. Not like they could really afford that with their kids coming back home, but I had to a number of times. My dad was like “Look kid, you have great grades in school. I´ll get you a job as a software engineer.” and he did. Education wise, what I consider my greatest time was on the surface one of the worst times for me. It was between tour legs when I was with Steve Vai where I didn´t really do anything to get any work and not making enough money to survive. I should´ve gotten a job just to keep the money I had in the bank and maybe invest in a piece of property and just work anything to pay my food, but no. I made a big mistake there, in one way, but in another way I purchased a couple of thousand dollars worth of books over a couple of years. Just a rough figure, but some of the books are expensive and I started with physics because I came up with a lot of ideas as to how things are working and I´m intrigued by… when you know something before it happens. I was wondering, what is information made out of? Why can´t these scientists figure out what´s in between? How can they think that everything in this universe has a cause except the universe? I don´t agree with that and I think it´s insane that someone who´s brilliant would have, in my opinion, a lack of common sense and thinks it some accident. But those are strong words and hey, nobody knows here, but anyway, for me that´s my feeling and that´s what I thought and it doesn´t mean I´m right. So I read and then I realized that I needed some mathematics to understand it and my SAT scores in the US were very high in math, not in language. Living in LA, there were so many people that had mish mash religions. If I said “What are you? What do you subscribe to?” and they´d say “Well, I´m a little of this and a little of that.” And to get along with people rather than form an opinion and point out where I disagree with others, I decided to read books that would help me learn what they thought and it was the smartest thing I ever did because it allowed me to speak to somebody with respect, because I respected the fact that anybody tried to figure out anything and I realized with myself too that where ever you are in your life is where you are as long as you keep trying. That push with education keeps you humble, so I found that some of my best friends disagree with some of the most important things I believe and some of my best friends think things totally differently than me, you know. It´s really amazing to take a different attitude… like how can I even speak to this person if I don´t know what they think I think I do and the world is broken because of that. That´s what I consider my best education, is reading books even though I don´t remember everything and I don´t understand everything and I don´t know that I could take a test on much of this in school well, but I dug into areas of interest to me, that help me relate to people and enhance my own belief system which is basically… you know, I think I´m gonna answer to everything when I´m dead and it keeps it simple. Some of the people I have the greatest conversations with believe the opposite and you just leave it like that. That´s it, that´s how you live. However , it´s interesting because I saw many, many conversations unfold when someone had a strong philosophical or religious opinion and they weren´t nice to somebody else. What´s the point, seriously? You have to be smart enough that the way you come across to somebody translates before you process information. You can´t be pointing fingers at somebody. They don´t know any different and neither do I and I know that all of this started with the drums and teaching because when a student looks me in the face, someone paying me money and they look me in the eyes and say “I don´t know how to do this, help me!”, I looked at them often and it was like “I have to learn how to teach you!”. So I studied the mind and cognitive science and some things were way over my head, but that´s who I am.

Really interesting and I totally understand. One final thing before I have to go. Since recording the album, have you guys recorded anything else?

MM: No, but we´re establishing what I describe as fun. I´m feeling more comfortable now that I´ve had a chance to perform the older tunes and I had a chance to let them write the record and let me wean into it without disturbing the core of Dream Theater, because John Petrucci and Jordan Rudess have always written on those two instruments and those are the notes that make the songs. Then Myung have contributed quite amazing things and LaBrie even too, which I´ve seen unfold. James sings melodies and I play an instrument as a drummer and I write, but I have no business walking around into this band doing anything different. It´s unfolding and it´s evolving such that when we… Jordan is not in this room with me right now, but if we warm up, that´s the seed of new material. Soundchecks with us smiling and I´m playing the most insane stuff I could ever play and they´re making music out of it, so it´s really going somewhere and who knows, maybe that´ll be what´s on the next record? You know what? If John Petrucci shows up with six demos and says “Man, I got inspired!”, I´m privileged to jump on and play his music, so who cares? It´s all gonna be fun Dream Theater stuff!

Excellent! Thank you so much Mike!

MM: Thank you!


/Niclas
Låtsnuttar från alla spår på nya Van Halen!



Jag tror att det är riktiga samples. Troligtvis tagna från iTunes Kanada, där de tydligen ligger ute.

/Niclas

lördag 28 januari 2012

Intervju med Jimmie Strimell i Dead by April/DeathDestruction!














Dead by April är aktuella med sitt deltagande i Melodifestivalen och är med i första omgången nu på lördag den 4:e februari.
Jag ringde upp sångaren Jimmie mitt i repandet för att bl a kolla läget inför nyss nämnda festival och även höra lite om hur det ligger till med gitarristsituationen.


Tjenare, det var Niclas!

Jimmie Strimell: Just det. Vi håller på att repa här så jag missade...

Ok. Är det med DeathDestruction eller Dead by April?

JS: Vi ska ha ett gig med DeathDestruction på lördag så jag repar med DD nu.

Var ska ni då lira?

JS: På Trädgårn som förband till Dark Tranquility.

Åh fan!

JS: Det är ju flera band. En sådan där liten minifestival kan man väl säga, så det är väl kul.

Om vi börjar med Dead by April, är det Melodifestivalen som är det närmsta?

JS: Ja, vi har i och för sig tre gig innan Melodifestivalen upp i Sälen och någon annan skidort däruppe som jag inte kommer ihåg. (skratt) Men ja, Melodifestivalen är väl nästa stora grej.

Hur leder det fram till att hoppa på Melodifestivalen? Det innebär väl en viss risk och även en stämpel också?

JS: Jo, vi har snackat mycket om det. Vi blev ju tillfrågade om att vara med redan förra året, men då tackade vi nej för vi kände att vi ville släppa en platta till så att det inte blir... ja som om det skulle gå åt helvete och man inte blir ett one hit wonder. Så som vi tänker är väl att vi har gjort så pass mycket lökiga grejer innan... vi har ju gjort NRJ in the Park och Sommarkrysset och sådant. Vårat krav var att det skulle vara en typisk Dead by April låt, så vi gör ju ingen låt som är typisk för Melodifestivalen. Det är ju mycket growl i låten och det är jävligt tung samtidigt som att den är poppig och melodiös. Det kommer ju bli en riktig DbA låt, så vi får väl se! Det är alltid mycket snack, både positivt och negativt när det gäller Dead by April och det är ju vi vana vid.

Är främsta anledningen att nå ut till många människor eller vad ser ni som den egentliga anledningen till att vara med?

JS: Största anledningen är ju egentligen... man har ju ändå följt Melodifestivalen sedan man var liten och alltid tyckt att det hade varit coolt att få vara med där, även om jag inte är något melodifestivalenfan. Jag lyssnar ju inte alls på den musiken, men sedan är det ju jävligt bra promotion också för bandet. Vi får ju spela för tre miljoner tittare eller vad det är och kan kanske vinna lite nya fans. Samtidigt kommer vi kanske att förlora några tuffa metalfans, men ja... vi gör det väl mest som en rolig grej att få uppleva det och samtidigt känns det kul att vi kommer vara de första någonsin som kör growl och lite hårdare musik i Melodifestivalen, så vi hoppas att folk tycker det är lika coolt som vi. (skratt)

Som du själv sa med motgångar och och så, det är ju lite jämförbart med Takida om man läser press och deras situation.

JS: Ska de också vara med, eller?

Nej, men jämför man Dead by April och Takida så är det ungefär samma sak. Älskat av många, men går absolut inte hem hos kritikerna.

JS: Ja ja, det är mycket... jag läser aldrig recensioner och jag läser inte ens kommentarerna på YouTube. Jag bryr mig faktiskt inte så jättemycket om vad folk tycker och tänker. Jag tycker ju bara att det är kul att se reaktionerna från de riktiga fansen som är på gigen när vi spelar. Jag vet faktiskt inte så mycket om vad folk tycker och tänker. Jag har ju hört att det är ett jävla bråk mellan folk på YouTube i alla fall. Vissa säger bögband och andra tycker vi är jättebra, men personligen lägger jag ingen energi på det eller bryr mig. Det är bara kul att få spela den musiken som vi själva tycker om.

Oavsett hur det går i Melodifestivalen, vad är planen för Dead by April sedan då?

JS: Vi har väl... jag tror att jag kan säga det i alla fall och jag vet inte om det är helt klart eller inte, men vi ska över till Texas för en sväng i mars och spela på någon festival där. Lite för att visa upp oss för skivbolagen där, som är intresserade och så.

Är det South X Southwest?

JS: Jo, precis! Vi skulle egentligen gjort den förra året men då krockade det med skivinspelningen, så jag tror att det är så att vi gör den i år i alla fall. Sedan har vi väl inte direkt bokat något, men det är ju alltid så att det är saker på gång och det blir en sväng till i England och förhoppningsvis lite till i Europa innan sommaren och sedan hoppas vi på att få göra lite festivaler i England och ute i Europa. Sedan har vi väl planerat att få till en liten europasväng igen till hösten, men det är inget som är klart ännu, utan bara tankar vi har.

Hur löser du sådant här med tanke på att du har DeathDestruction också och i april ska ni ju ute med In Flames på klubbturné? Funkar det med två band?

JS: Än så länge så går det för vi har ju samma bokare och samma management, så de försöker ju hela tiden styra upp det trolla till det så den ena kommer efter den andra, så att det inte krockar. Det kommer säkert att bli ett problem någon gång framöver, men det får man ju ta då och så får vi hoppas att det funkar så länge det går.

Ser du Dead by April som ditt huvudband?

JS: För mig är det... båda banden är ju egenligen lika mycket värda för mig. Det är bara det att Dead by April just nu är större och vi har väl mer på gång än vad vi har med DeathDestructionså Dead by April blir ju mitt huvudband just nu. Men de betyder lika mycket för mig båda två och jag hoppas att jag kommer att kunna köra båda banden, men vi får väl se.

Hur var turnén med Hammerfall då?

JS: Det var helt otroligt grymt faktiskt! Vi hade ju knappt släppt plattan. Vi fick reda på att den hade släppts i Frankrike och i Tyskland under tiden som vi var på turnén, men det var ju ingen som hade hört plattan och fansen till hammerfall har väl inte riktigt koll på oss heller, men vi blev jävligt bra bemötta av fansen. De tre första låtarna stog de väl bara och undrade vad vi var för något, men sedan framåt slutet på varje gig i stort sett, så var de jävligt på och hade armarna upp i luften och stog och skrek. Det kändes svinbra!

Vilka länder kände ni att ni gick hem bäst i`

JS: Jag får nog säga öststaterna, Spanien och Italien. Där kändes det riktigt bra. Sedan var det även vissa gig i Tyskland och Belgien som kändes bra med, men det var nog mest tryck, gap och skrik i publiken i öststaterna och Italien och Spanien. Det var grymt!

Blev det några härliga ”Spinal Tap moments”?

JS: Vad sa du?

Blev det några härliga ”Spinal Tap moments”?

JS: Vad menas med det?

Ja, det vill säga några pinsamheter?

JS: Nej, vi är väl rätt pinsamma hela tiden. (skratt) Vi hade väl mest skoj faktiskt.

Mycket party?

JS: Ja det blev väl det ändå. Vi delade ju buss med Vicous Rumors och de är ju ganska partyglada, så det var ganska mycket fest i turnébussen i alla fall så det var kul. Riktigt bra turné och alla kom överens svinbra, så det var jäkligt kul!

Det måste väl bli en hel del göteborgshumor på en sådan turné?

JS: Ja precis! Det var lite svårt... jag vet inte om det är typiskt göteborgare eller svenskar att man är lite så där skämtbögiga liksom, men det tyckte ju inte amerikanarna om i början? De är ju lite homofobiska, men de släppte till lite i slutet på turnén så det var ju jävligt kul. (Ngt av en freudiansk felsägning?)

Det kan jag ju förstå att jänkare har lite svårt med. In Flames då? Det är deras klubbturné va?

JS: Ja, fast jag vet inte om jag kan tycka att det är klubbar? De flesta gigen är ju ändå 1200-1800 personer. Det är väl något gig som är 800 personer, tror jag, men det känns jävligt gött att de frågade oss och att de ville ha med oss själva. Henke och Jonas är ju kompisar med dem, så de ringde ju upp oss själva och frågade om vi ville vara med.

Ja, först Hammerfall och nu In Flames, som lär dra fulla hus.

JS: Ja, de andra dudsen har ju spelat rätt länge inom musiken och känner ganska många andra band som de turnerat med förr, så man har ju lite gratis företräde där, eller vad man ska säga.

DeathDestruction då? Kommer det en ny platta i år?

JS: Vi har snackat väldigt mycket om det, men vi har inte bestämt något heller. Vi har haft lite möten med skivbolaget och så, men det är ingenting som är bestämt. Vi känner väl att vi vill turnera med den här plattan detta året ut och kanske att vi släpper en EP till med kanske två nya låtar, bara för att ge något nytt. Men jag tror vi behöver hela året på oss och spela med den här plattan. Vi jobbar ju på nytt material och vi har redan nu låtar, kanske åtta stycken klara så det känns jävligt bra.

Den här antimobbinglåten (Open your eyes) du var med på, vad hände med den sedan? Jag har inte läst något om den eller vad det blev av det hela.

JS: jag tror att det bara dog faktiskt. De hade en massa skivbolag och så som var intresserade för att det var en sådan cool grej, men det var något som hände där. De tappade intresset tror jag. Jag har inte full koll, men det var jävligt synd för det var en bra låt och en jävligt cool grej.

Ja, det var ju en bra tanke. Det kunde ju blivit något vettigt av det.

JS: Ja, det fanns ju planer på att göra en liten minisväng i Sverige, men det krockade hela tiden för alla som var med i projektet har ju turnerande band och det var alltid något band som var borta, så det gick aldrig att få med alla. Lite synd.

Vem har du influerats av när det kommer till sångare? Har du några barndomsidoler som påverkat mer än andra?

JS: Det är ju självklart Phil Anselmo och även Chuck Schuldiner från Death och sedan är det mycket Max Cavalera och sångaren i Machine Head. Och självklart sångaren i Meshuggah! Jag har ju tatuerat in deras logga i nacken till och med.

Spelar du något instrument själv?

JS: Jag gjorde det. Jag började som trummis och spelade trummor när jag var tonåring, men sedan har jag sysslat med growlet på heltid sedan jag var 17-18. Jag kan väl skriva lite och skriva idéer och så där, men min ”main thing” är growlet.

Sliter inte det jäkligt mycket på rösten?

JS: Jo eller nej... som du hör nu så har vi repat i en och en halv timme och jag kan fortfarande prata. Det är nog väldigt mycket teknik bakom det. Jag kommer ihåg min första turné som jag skulle på med Nightrage i USA, då hade jag inte repat på jättelänge och trodde aldrig att jag skulle klara av det för man var ju död efter två låtar, men efter den turnén körde jag på hela tiden och repade och turnerade ännu mer och hittade bara hur man skulle ta i och använda kroppen. Det är jävligt svårt.

Det känns som att man inte skulle kunna få fram ett ljud efter en konsert.

JS: Jag känner andra growlare som har problem med det och som blir utslitna, men det har alltid funkat för mig.

Tillbaka till Dead by April. Har ni en gitarrist nu eller hur är det?

JS: Ja, Pontus... vi hade precis ett möte... han hoppade ju av och det var mycket tjafs i bandet och vi kom inte överens med Johan, varken jag eller han. Pontus hoppade ju av mycket på grund av det och sedan försvann ju Johan och då fick han tillbaka intresset. Jag och Pontus har ju haft kontakt hela tiden och skrivit låtar ihop. Nu körde han hela sommaren och hösten och europaturnén vi gjorde nu och nu känner han att han verkligen vill komma tillbaka och vi känner att vi behöver honom. Det är så här det ska vara så vi hade ett möte om det precis och jag ska väl inte säga så mycket, men vi kommer väl gå ut med det, om han är med eller inte, innan melodifestivalen. (skratt)

Ok. Lycka till och så fär vi se vart det bär hän.

JS: Ja, tackar!

/Niclas
Oh Henry my Henry!



















I veckans krönika snackar Henry om att aldrig se tillbaka och förklarar varför han fortfarande trivs bäst ute på vägarna.
Glöm inte att köpa biljett till hans spoken word nästa vecka!

Henry här

/Niclas

torsdag 26 januari 2012

Konsertrecension












Dream Theater

Hovet, Stockholm 120125

Jag har sett bandet live vid några tillfällen och aldrig varit speciellt imponerad. Första gången jag såg dem live var på Cirkus ´98, har jag för mig, och det var något av det tråkigaste jag någonsin upplevt.
Nu åtskilliga år senare ser jag dem igen och får ta del av ett band som är betydligt mer triggade och på bettet än den där katastrofspelningen på Cirkus.
Inledningen med Hans Zimmers "Dream is collapsing" från filmen "Inception" är lysande och bygger verkligen upp stämningen på Hovet. Det är långt ifrån slutsålt, men jag måste säga att jag imponeras lite av att det kommit så mycket folk ändå.
Öppningen med nya "Bridges in the sky", som är förbannat tung i vissa delar, mycket tack vare ett stenhårt riffande från Petrucci och sedan efterföljande favoriten "6:00", är stundtals maginfik. Det är så här bandet ska presentera sig själva.
LaBries röst är helt ok och han besitter fortfarande rejäl styrka i piporna, men från och till verkar han spendera mer tid i sitt lilla tält bakom förstärkarna, än vad han gör på scen. Kanske drar han i sig syrgas, kanske snortar han koks, kanske äter han lite. Vem vet?
Manginis solo, som jag faktiskt såg fram emot, är tyvärr lite av en besvikelse. När jag intervjuade honom före giget visade han sig vara en otroligt partglad och trevlig prick, men trots sitt tekniska kunnande blir det aldrig intressant. Dock är hans trumset något av det största jag sett. Lite i storlek med en mindre sommarstuga.
Efter detta tröttnar jag något och lämnar en stund senare konserten. Jag tar en sista titt på scenen som på något vis ser ut lite som en billigare version av Rushs scenbygge, men det funkar överlag bra. Med små välplacerade kameror skapar de en bra dynamik på de tre dukarna och ljudet är det inget fel på, men det är inte överväldigande bra. Bitvis glimrar det till och återigen är det främst Petrucci som står för glimret, men Dream Theater är faktiskt inte allt för roliga att se live, hur duktiga musiker de än är.

Betyg 3/5

/Niclas

onsdag 25 januari 2012

Wazz up?

Ikväll blir det möte och intervju med Mike Mangini i Dream Theater. Blir säkert ett intressant och trevligt men mest intressant blir att se hur "fullt" Hovet blir. Har svårt att tro att bandet drar tillräckligt stor publik för att spela på Hovet.
Om en vecka eller två blir det en ny telefonare med Jeff Scott Soto och det blir väl främst ett samtal kring has kommande album "Damage control".
Igår skickade jag iväg frågor till Andy Parker i UFO och hoppas få svar inom en snar framtid.
Troligtvis lägger jag snart upp en intervju med Jimmie i Dead by April och jag siktar på att även plita ner mitt samtal med Josephine Forsman från Sahara Hotnights/Casablanca inom en vecka. En jäkligt cool tjej med skinn på näsan!
Nu på fredag tror jag att det blir en radiointervju med Ryan Roxie angående Casablancas kommande debutalbum, men det återstår att få bekräftat.

/Niclas

måndag 23 januari 2012

Intervju med författaren/journalisten Joel McIver!





















Joel McIver är just nu aktuell med den mycket välskrivna biografin om Glenn Hughes. Helt klart en av de bästa biogafier jag läst på väldigt länge.
Sedan flera år tillbaka skriver Joel på heltid och har spottat ur sig mängder av riktigt bra biografier om exempelvis Black Sabbath, Slayer, Metallica och Randy Rhoads, för att nämna några.
Jag ringde upp Joel för en tid sedan för att kolla läget. Det blev ett mycket trevligt och roligt samtal om bl a Glenn Hughes, Metallica och Max Cavalera, där den sistnämndes biografi håller på att färdigställas och beräknas komma ut senare i år.


I´ve read quite a few of your books and enjoyed them all, especially the last one about Glenn Hughes.

Joel McIver: Thanks. It´s funny because I do a book or two every year, but this one has been in the background for five years, on and off. I´d do a book and then do some more and then another book, and it just kept ticking along like that, and to finally have the thing out, in two editions, is amazing. Finally! (laughs)

Just before I read Glenn, I read the Ace Frehley book and I´m a huge KISS fan, especially when it comes to the 70´s and I thought it could be a good and funny book, but it was a total bore! It´s an easy read, but it took me forever. I started reading other books in between.

JM: Oh no, that´s a real shame.

Yes, and your book, not to kiss ass or anything, but your book I read right through in 24 hours and loved it! These two books are so different even though they´ve led similar lives, but your book with the 70´s and Trapeze and Purple, kinda played like a movie in my head while reading it.

JM: It´s funny that you should say that, because we´ve been talking for ages, Glenn and I, how it would look as a film. I think maybe we had that in mind when I was writing it. Some of that is because he is always saying “Get a visual, get a picture of it!” and it is a very visual book as a result. But it´s interesting what you say about Frehley´s book, because there are a lot of rock biographies out at the moment, an awful lot, and I´m aware of that, so when I was working with Glenn my whole mission was not to make it a boring, generic book. I´ve read so many now, and some of them are good and some of them are just very predictable. Have you read Anthony Kiedis’s book?

Yeah!

JM: It sent me to sleep. I was really looking forward to reading it, and there was so much drugs and sex in it, you would think “How could this go wrong?” He didn´t put anything of himself in it. It´s the same with Eric Clapton´s book, which I expected to enjoy, but it was just a sequence of anecdotes, which was boring. On the other hand I enjoyed Slash´s book and Duff McKagan´s book: they´re a bit different because they put something of themselves in it. What I was trying to do with Glenn, was to really give a lot of himself to the reader. You´ve probably heard that I’m co-writing Max Cavalera’s autobiography, right?

Yes!

JM: It´s interesting with him. I don’t want to say that he´s a macho type of guy or anything like that, because he isn’t, but he´s not like Glenn. Glenn is like… everyone loves Glenn and he´s a really open kind of guy, and Max is a bit more of a man´s man, so I had to really work with Max to get him to give something of himself. I wanted him to reveal his feelings, in a way, because that´s something people respond to. Anyway, the short answer is that one of the reasons I think Glenn’s book worked out is because there´s a lot of him in it. He gives a lot and he makes himself very open, which is what I wanted. I´m really glad you enjoyed it.

Oh definitely! I loved it! As I understand it, you kinda pitched the idea to Glenn?

JM: I did, yeah. I knew he was thinking about it anyway. What happened was that I interviewed him for Bass Guitar Magazine about five years ago, and after the conversation I talked to his manager and said “Has Glenn ever thought about doing a book?”, because I wanted to move into co-writing musicians’ autobiographies at the time, and his manager said “As it happens, yes Glenn is thinking about it. Why? Are you interested?” and I said yes. So I sent Glenn a copy of my Metallica book which had just come out, and which was doing quite well, so he could get an idea of my writing, and he liked it and he and I had a laugh together. So yeah, it was my idea, but he had been thinking about it.

Doing a book like this and I read an interview with you today, you did a lot of interviews with him and there was a lot of hours to go through, was there a lot of stuff that you had to leave out of the book?

JM: Yeah, a lot! 60 hours, that´s enough to write a 400.000 word book. The publisher gave us a 100.000 word maximum, though, and as a result the book has a bit about Trapeze and tons about Purple, quite a lot from the 80´s and then really after he gets sober, not so much. Some of the reviews said they wished there could´ve been more of his solo years, and I wished there could´ve been too, but there just wasn´t space for it. But he´s young enough so he can do an updated version in ten years! (laughs) It´s not like he´s already 80 years old. I think the stuff that sums up his life best is in there. I must have a gigabyte of stuff left over.

About his memory and recollections, it´s pretty clear about the stuff he did even when he was doing tons of coke?

JM: Well, the reason that Glenn’s memory is so good is that he didn´t drink and he didn´t smoke weed. If you´re drunk all the time or stoned, it will affect your memory, but as bad as cocaine is for you, it´s not going to have that same effect on your memory.

You tend to think about yourself and you can hardly remember what you did three weeks ago, but I live an ordinary life and if you live the kinda life he´s lived, maybe it burns a memory in your brain?

JM: Yeah, probably. I don´t know about you, but I´ve had my share of booze and weed in my life and Glenn never did, so it´s all there. But I think there´s something to what you´re saying. If you live a very vivid lifestyle and you play in front of 60.000 people every night, you don´t forget that.

There was nothing about Kevin DuBrow, because I remember them as being very close up until his death?

JM: Yeah, they were buddies. I didn’t leave Kevin out for any particular reason. He had a lot of friends like Kevin who I didn´t mention, just because we ran out of space. He ended up putting all those guys in a very long acknowledgments section. We had a lot of leftover anecdotes about people, but it would´ve been a much bigger book.

I guess the same goes for Dave Holland and his escapades?

JM: Well, the thing with Dave Holland is that Glenn chose not to talk about him. What can you say, you know? I don´t blame him for avoiding that issue.

There is a book about a Swedish guy called Anders Tengner and he ran one of the biggest pop magazines here in the 80´s called OKEJ…

JM: I talked to someone from that mag when I did the Cliff Burton book…

Jörgen Holmstedt?

JM: Yes, that´s the guy.

Yeah, he worked for that magazine too! Tengner talks about Glenn in his book and how he worked with John Norum…

JM: With Glenn being impossible to work with at the time?

Yeah, when he was in Stockholm working with Norum, but what he mentions is that Glenn had this really bad habit of not just biting his finger nails but his fingers too and spitting out the skin flakes all over the place.

JM: Yes, Glenn talks a lot in the book about the crazy twitches he had when he was high: they were horrible and people used to freak out. He was very apologetic about John Norum in the book. They´ve made their amends. He was just being impossible at the time, just as he was with a whole row of people all through the 80´s. Glenn was really horribly embarrassed about all this, and now he’s got it off his chest in the book. You know the bit about Judas Priest and the time they kicked him out of their dressing room? He was really upset about that, but when I interviewed KK Downing for the book he said “No, no, Glenn is awesome and he´s a fantastic bloke and we forgot about it the next day”.

How did you go about picking photos for the book?

JM: Let me think. Glenn did quite a lot by himself. There´s a guy called Dr Drew Thompson, an Australian who looks after all of Deep Purple DVDs. Drew basically has an archive of stuff and he´s friends with Glenn, so he threw open the archive and said “Take what you want!” Then there´s a few photographers Glenn knows and they gave us some stuff. You saw the luxury Foruli edition as well as the Jawbone paperback, right?

Yeah!

JM: Well, that edition contains hundreds and hundreds of photos, and a lot of those went into that edition. There’s also a lot of Glenn´s personal memorabilia. I had two suitcases of his stuff here at my house for years: there was loads of stuff in there. I just recently returned them to his parents. The stuff in there was amazing, like the harmonica that he played in Trapeze and loads of crazy stuff we could never reveal to the public, like contracts from Trapeze and Purple, royalties statements, bank accounts… just amazing stuff. No way could we put those in the book. Basically we had this giant archive to choose from. It was pretty simple.

Cool! And you got Lars Ulrich to write the foreword. Are you on a friendly basis and you can just call him up and say “Hey, I need a foreword!”?

JM: Ha ha, no! But Lars and I have spoken a bunch of times over the years. I went through Q Prime, like everyone does. I e-mailed them and said “Would Lars like to do the foreword?” and Lars immediately said yes. We had a quick phone call and that was that. It was cool. Kirk Hammett did the foreword for my Cliff Burton book, so their managers obviously know I´m not evil, you know. (laughs) Have you interviewed Metallica?

(laughs) No! The closest I´ve come to Metallica was when the Big 4 played in Gothenburg last summer and I interviewed Frank Bello from Anthrax and while I was waiting, James Hetfield stood like 3 metres away from me. That´s the closest I´ve gotten.

JM: You should´ve said hello. I´ve been in that situation. I´ve interviewed them all for magazines and books a bunch of times now, but the first time I met them personally was when I had an interview with Robert Trujillo, right after he joined the band nine years ago. I was interviewing him backstage and all of them walked in and started eating their dinner at the same table I was sitting at. They all started talking, and I was asking Rob questions about the bass and Hetfield was shouting jokes at him and Kirk was laughing: it turned into a really nice chat. I left them to it, though: when you´re there as a journalist you need to be professional, so I thought to myself, “I should go. They´re having their private time”.

Looking back, which was the first book you wrote?

JM: It was a little encyclopaedia called “Extreme Metal”. I´m not going to say that it sucks, but it´s of much lower quality than any book I would write now. You write your first book and you look back a few years later, and you think “Why did I make that terrible, stupid joke?” or “I should´ve planned this better!” It was fun to do, though, and it was the first book of its kind.

What would you say are the most important things you´ve learned since writing that book?

JM: You have to plan well. You need to know what you´re going to write and you need some structure, which I didn´t really establish that well for that first one. Time management is crucial, especially when you´re on a deadline. When you do a book and they say “OK, give it to us in a year” that´s actually harder than if they say “Give us a much smaller thing in a week!”, because you think “Oh, I´ve got a whole year to do this, there’s no hurry”, and you can imagine what happens. You also need to have something to say that is relevant. Nowadays, what are the reasons for people buying books? You can go to Wikipedia and read 50 interviews on the web. You have to think, “What can people get from this book that they can´t get anywhere else?” It´s a huge compliment when people pay like 30 Euros for a book. They do that for you and they´re investing their time in you as well, so you really need to deliver something good, and to me that means new information, a new perspective and a professional job, all those things.

What about the Max Cavalera book then? I just thought that he´s a young guy. Did you pitch the idea to him too?

JM: Well, he’s relatively young, but he´s been through a lot. I pitched the idea to Gloria Cavalera and she said yes. It’s a whole different approach to Glenn’s book. You think about the classic rock and the funky soul that Glenn does, and then the kind of thrash/death metal that Sepultura did and the stuff Soulfly is doing now, it´s a complete change, but it’s what I´m really, really into. I´ve always been a thrash metal and death metal guy, so I remember when Gloria got in touch and she said “Right, let’s get started,” I went “Fuck yes! Max Cavalera! What a huge honor!” Then we did the interviews, so right now the interviews are all done and I´m writing the book. My American agent´s looking for a deal. All those things will come together and Soulfly´s got an album out now, and it´s all good. Like I said before, Glenn and Max are very different. Glenn will walk up to you and give you a giant hug even if you´ve never met him, whereas Max is more of a man´s man.

The Brazilian style, I guess?

JM: Well, he´s been through a lot of trauma in his life. His dad dying when he was young, his stepson dying and then the whole Sepultura split. There´s also major, major revelations about his private life as well: crazy stuff that he´s never really talked about before. It´s really amazing, and the most metal story ever. Those early days when Sepultura used to get on stage in Sao Paulo and Rio, and just play in a little club at the most incredible speed, and as heavy as possible, and they were all only 15! Amazing times… so that´s a really cool book. There´s a great story in the book about how he vomited on Eddie Vedder. This is way back in the mid 90s, when Pearl Jam were massive: for some reason there was some party going on and Max was sitting next to Eddie Vedder, but he was so drunk that when he turned around to talk to Eddie, he vomited right on his lap, all over him. Eddie Vedder jumps up and goes to get cleaned up and when he comes back, Max asks him for his autograph! (laughs) Having puked on the guy. The book is full of stories like that.

Are you looking at a 2012 release?

JM: Yeah, I would think so. There´s loads of other books going on too. A well-known bass player´s autobiography, the official book of a major death metal band, and I´m doing a photo book with Glen Matlock from the Sex Pistols, so there´s loads of different shit going on. There´s also an amazing guitar company who have asked me to do their official book. It´s all good and it´s all exciting and far, far better than any real job you could mention.

How did you start out from the beginning? What was the first interview you did?

JM: Oh, did you ever hear of a dance band called Faithless?

Yeah!

JM: You ever heard of a pop singer called Dido?

Sure!

JM: Well, her brother is in Faithless and he was the guy I spoke to. This was in 1996, and how metal is this, it was for Cosmopolitan! (laughs) That was my first bit of freelance writing. I was a teacher for a few years and one of my students was an editor at Cosmopolitan, which is how I began writing for them. Then I was on the staff of Record Collector mag for six years, and after that I just kept writing books and contributing to magazines. Keep going and don’t stop and in the end you’ll make it into a career. My Metallica book was a bestseller in 2004, which was the real breakthrough for me. I quit my job and have worked from home ever since then, which has been great for many reasons, most important of which was that I’ve been around while my kids were little, unlike almost any other father that I know.

What would you say have been one of your most memorable or fun interviews you´ve done?

JM: There´s loads. Lemmy for starters. The first time I interviewed him, he had a rockabilly side project going, and he invited me up to his hotel room to hear the demos: we went up and sat there and drank Jack Daniels. It was weird being in his hotel room: there were clothes everywhere and his personal possessions that he brings on tour. Lemmy is always good value. Dave Mustaine is always a great interviewee too. He´s funny and he really, really makes me laugh.

I read a funny one with Katie Price!

JM: Yeah, that was just really weird. I don´t do much celebrity stuff and it was just out of curiosity. Is she well known in Sweden?

Not really, but I think people know of her when they see her picture.

JM: She´s so popular here and the opportunity came to interview her, so I took it. You might have seen that I played her a Slayer song. I didn´t particularly want to upset her, but she was so confident in her little world, so I blasted Slayer at her and watched her reaction. She was so out of her comfort zone: it was great. There´s a guy called Sir Patrick Moore, an astronomer. He´s legendary over here and he hosts the longest running TV show in the world, a program called “The Sky At Night”. I interviewed him a couple of years ago and went to his house and had a cup of tea and it was amazing. Who else… Gene Simmons makes me laugh. He´s so evil and he´s always doing this macho thing. I remember he spent ages telling me “Oh, it´s not natural to get married!” and at the end of the interview I said “OK, I’ve got to go and make my wife some breakfast now”. The only interviewee I´ve ever had problems with is Jon Bon Jovi. He hates doing interviews. It´s not like he´s an asshole or anything. He just didn´t have anything to say and to be honest with you, I didn´t really have any questions to ask him. I mean, what do you ask Jon Bon Jovi? “What´s it like being you?”

True! Well, I think I´m done!

JM: Thanks, I appreciate it Niclas!

/Niclas

söndag 15 januari 2012

Intervju med Brann Dailor i Mastodon!

















Någon timme innan Mastodon körde över publiken i Annexet, fick jag möjlighet att sitta ner med trummisen Brann för ett kort snack. Strax innan intervjun hängde Bill Kiehler i korridoren och jag fick då lära mig att Brann uttalas som elektronikmärket Braun. You live and you learn.
Samtalsämnena kretsade bl a kring kontakten med hemmet, turnélivet och den kommande splitsjuan med Feist inför Record Store Day.

So, how was Finland?

Brann Dailor: It was cold! (laughs) No, it was good. It was really good!

You had your 12 year anniversary yesterday. Any celebrations happening?

BD: Yeah, I celebrated by myself in my hotel room. (laughs)I just took the night off. Actually my wife is really sick. She got really sick a couple of days ago and she has doctor´s orders that she can´t leave the house for a week, so I did the right thing and didn´t go out. I stayed at the hotel and had Skype on and just kinda hung out with her via Skype for the day.

I hope it´s nothing serious?

BD: It´s not. She´s got some medication and she´ll feel better in about a week so she´ll be alright. I just think that she was hoping for, while I was gone for this month, to sort of dig in and do some other stuff and I´m not there and she has to be in the house for the next week, so…

It´s gotta be a hassle when you´re on the road like this?

BD: Yeah, it´s really kinda selfish of me to even wanna have the normal life back home if I plan on being gone the whole time, but I can´t help it. I just wanna be loved like every other human being in the world! (laughs). So I ask a lot of her and we ask a lot of our significant others to hold down the fort and hang out and wait for this promise of, “Well, it´ll be over sometime and we can hang out and my main focus will be you!”. I think that´s what they´re hanging out for, but who knows if that will ever even happen?

Got any kids?

BD: No, we got a dog and a cat!

That´ll keep you busy!

BD: Yeah, sure!

Since it was the 12 year anniversary of when you got together as a band for the first time, what do you remember from that day?

BD: When we actually got together and started making some noise the four of us, I remember being pretty excited. We started learning each other’s songs and stuff like that and I was really excited to have… for Bill and myself, to have found Troy and Brent, so it came together like this weird package deal almost. There wasn´t really any question about it. It was really sort of like “Ok, yeah cool! This is our band! What are we gonna call our band? Mastodon! Ok, cool, done!”, you know what I mean? It came together so fast and I moved to Atlanta on January 1 in 2000 and not even two weeks later, boom, I met these guys and we were off and running! We had a bunch of songs to kinda learn and work through, but we started booking a tour immediately and figuring out when we could go into the studio and record. It was really weird. I remember Bill and myself especially, being super motivated to wanna get back to touring because we´d just kinda been doing that for the last two years with Today is the day, so we knew that we could at least get to that level, back to that spot and use whatever contacts we had to do so. Relapse Records and things of that nature, so we told Relapse “Hey, we´re gonna go start something new!” and we stayed at Matt Jacobsen´s house on the way down to Atlanta, so there you have it! We were excited to meet each other and all of our personalities and senses of humor clicked right off, so it was very easy.

Were there other names than Mastodon floating around?

BD: Nah, that was the only one! That´s what you do when you… especially when you move to a new city you put an ad in the paper and put up notices “Hey, drummer and guitar player looking for a band!”. We didn´t have to do anything of that, it just kinda worked out.

Right. Well, you´ve got a new album out and back on tour again, how do you pick songs to play live from the latest album? Do you go through them all and rehearse them all or just pick two and those are the ones you´ll do for the tour?

BD: For this tour we picked like nine or ten songs off the new record that we do, so we just picked those and learned them and there you go! (laughs) There´s like 24 songs on the set list, so it´s a lot of songs.

I saw some pictures of you being in the studio recording with acoustics and I gather it´s for the Record Store Day thing with Feist? Was that the only song you did?

BD: (laughs) No, we did another song.

Cool! And that´s gonna be a split 7” where they do a Mastodon song and you do one of hers, right? Which one is it?

BD: “A commotion”! Have you heard it?

I think so. The only stuff I´ve heard is the latest album “Metals”.

BD: It´s off of that! We made it super heavy and it sounds really cool.

You met at some TV show, right?

BD: Yeah, Jools Holland! We did that with them and I don´t know, right after we got off stage we went backstage and and we were in the hallway with her and she was talking to Brent. They were involved in a conversation and were just like “Yeah, let´s do that! We should do it for Record Store Day!”. Something out of leftfield and something we´d like to be involved with more of. It´s fun for us. I mean, most times we end up doing covers of bands that are already sort of heavy or that is already in that vein, like The Melvins, Thin Lizzy, Metallica, you know what I mean? What are you gonna do to those songs to make them your own? It´s kinda difficult and especially with stuff like Metallica or The Melvins where we´re so kinda familiar and in love with the versions that Metallica and The Melvins and Thin Lizzy have created, you wanna make it sound like theirs because that´s what you´re so used to hearing. You don´t really wanna mess with it. With Feist it´s something that we could really play with and do something different with.

Could you see yourselves do more of that kinda stuff?

BD: If there´s time, you know. Sure. We´d like to, but Mastodon is all encompassing enough as it is, for me anyway. When I get home I just wanna dig in and be home. I don´t wanna go and record in LA. We´re not home for that long. Even this time when we got home after the Alice in Chains/Deftones tour in the States, we were like “Yeah, we´re taking a big long break!” and then a month later we were writing again and almost to go back into the studio and it was like “Oh no, it´s happening! I can´t stop it!”. Then here we were in the studio and here we were for summer festivals and then the record was finished and it was time to go back out on tour again. But, if there´s a time to do it, I guess it´s now!

Yeah! I did a phoner with Troy last year and we talked about since you´re all in Atlanta, you should do something with Elton John!

BD: Oh god, it would be great! Would be awesome! (sings Goodbye yellow brick road)

Do a Mastodon version of an Elton John song or something.

BD: Yeah!

Back to being on tour, do you all have like a set schedule for the day for getting through the days? I gather it gets pretty boring going to a new town, sleep, do interviews, soundcheck, play the show, go back on the bus and so on. I guess you never really get to go into town?

BD: Nah, it´s freezing out! You know, I´m always up for something spontaneous and today I went to the hockey game and I got to see that. That was fun! It´s different from hockey games in the US, everyone singing and stuff. We have an organ at the hockey games in the US (makes sound of an organ) and over here they´re like la la la la… So I´m always up for something like that happening. Anything to distract from the mundane everyday life… pick a wall and stare at it. Obviously summer time is a little bit better for that. It´s easier to go out and get lost because you don´t know where the hell you are in the first place, but if I´m gonna go walk outside now it´s pretty cold and even if I get all buttoned up, I´d probably walk for like five minutes and then go “Hhmmm, fuck this!” (laughs) “I´ll go back and sit backstage!”. I call my lady up and just talk to her and get face time on my phone or Skype. I pretty much have to do that every day and set that time aside. I start warming up in about 10 minutes and then it´s an hour till stage, so I get in there and start warming up, but really… I´m starting to get used to the time difference a little bit. Hopefully tonight I´ll fall asleep a little earlier. Last night I really tried but I was up till five in the morning just laying there in bed.

Finally, what are you doing after Europe and Australia? Are you going back to the States for more shows?

BD: I think we´re doing China and then we´re going back to the States for more touring. The States in April.

Cool! Been to China before?

BD: No, should be cool! The Great wall, terra cotta soldiers, forbidden city!

Is it just one show?

BD: Three shows!

I´ve talked to people who´ve played there and they had to hand in the set list and the lyrics. Same for you?

BD: Yeah, I think so! I mean, we don´t have any political lyrics and I doubt they´ll understand what the hell we´re talking about. Most people who live in the US and most English speaking people have no idea what we´re talking about, so it´ll be fine. (laughs) “Curl the burl”, yeah that´s cool whatever fuck that is?”

True! (laughs) Thanks so much!

/Niclas
Konsertrecension

Mastodon
Red Fang

Annexet, Stockholm 120114



Tidigare under kvällen intervjuar jag åter Brann Dailor och avhandlar snabbt lite skilda ämnen. Hinner även snacka en del med fotograflegenden Micke Johansson. Mycket trevligt.
Red Fang har jag enbart hört några få låtar med tidigare, men jag måste säga att de imponerar med sitt sound, som ligger inom samma sfär som Mastodons.
"Number 13" sitter som ett smäck och publiken uppskattar också dessa delvis skäggiga herrar från Portland.
När huvudbandet går på har Annexet fyllts på något, men det är inte fullt. Jag trodde nog att med de framgångar bandet haft de senaste åren, så skulle huvudstadsfolket strömma till en masse men det hade nog gått in några hundar till.
Sist jag såg bandet, på Unholy alliance, tyckte jag att de var lite smått otighta och framförallt funkade inte sången. Brent Hinds hade ingen kraft i rösten och sjöng hyfsat falskt vid flera tillfällen. Men denna kylslagna kväll i Stockholm faller det mesta på plats. En riktigt stark setlist på hela 23 låtar, varav hela 9 från senaste "The Hunter".
Stark öppning med "Dry bone valley" och sedan rullar det på utan mellansnack och paus. Bandet går fram som en ångvält och det är först när sista låten "Creature lives", med Red Fang på körsång, och Steely Dans "Babylon sisters" spelas över PA´t, som man kan slappna av och tänka efter.
Mastodon gör verkligen en kanonspelning, men jag saknar exempelvis "Oblivion" från mästerliga "Crack the skye", som bara representeras av titelspåret denna kväll. Brent, Troy och Brann gör alla en stark sånginsats och backar upp varandra på ett bra sätt som ger den där lilla extra styrkan i varje låt.
De senaste låtarna fungerar ypperligt live och bandet bjuder på en tämligen enkel, men mycket effektfull ljusshow som ramar in tillställningen på ett mycket bra sätt.
Bandet är nu klara för Sweden Rock och tydligen ska de även turnera i USA tillsammans med Opeth.

Red Fang: 3/5

Mastodon: 4/5

/Niclas

lördag 14 januari 2012

Vinnare av Mastodonbiljett!














Självfallet heter bandets senaste album "The Hunter".
Lyckliga vinnare av varsin biljett, efter att 6-åriga dottern fått lotta, blev Mats Welin och
Oskar Gröning Wallner.
Grattis!

/Niclas

fredag 13 januari 2012

Oh dear Henry!



















Den här veckan berättar Henry en fantastiskt kul historia från "the good old days".
Glöm inte att köpa biljett till hans Spoken word i februari!

Henry HÄR

/Niclas
Intervju med Bobby Hambel i Biohazard!





















Tidigare i veckan blev jag uppringd av Bobby i nu albumaktuella Biohazard. Med en New York-dialekt tjockare än råolja berättade han om vad som händer med bandet just nu, vem den nye medlemmen är, hur arbetet gick med nya plattan, minnen från 80-talets New York och han ger även en känga åt dagens teknologi.


Bobby Hambel: Hello Niclas!

Hey Bobby, how are you?

BH: Good bro, how ya doing?

I´m good. Where are you calling from, New York?

BH: I´m in Jersey right now.

How´s the weather?

BH: Freezin´! Fuckin´cold!

Same as here then.

BH: Where are you at?

I´m in Stockholm.

BH: Oh shit, awesome!

I actually talked to Billy in early June last year. I was kinda wondering, I listened to the album back then and it´s not coming out until now, is it the same version of the album now? Was it all done back then or has anything been added?

BH: I believe it´s the same record, yeah! Added to it? I´m not sure I understand what that would be? I know that in June… we had to push the release back for whatever reasons. Far from perfect and far from easy to deal with sometimes. Sometimes things like that happen, but yeah, it´s the same record. We´re looking forward to releasing extra bonus type material to go along with the music and the world tour. There will be extra material available for download or to purchase on a disc coming out really soon. We´re trying to get some stuff out there. Live recordings and extra material, like songs that didn´t go on the record but we still have them written. We wrote a lot of material for this album and you can´t fit all of it on one record, so we had to narrow it down to the songs that kinda float the best with each other and all the stuff that was left over, you add the stuff that we´re still working on now, because we´re still writing and recording, we should have a lot of stuff to release. There´s a lot of stuff coming out with Biohazard.

Yeah, that was kinda why I was wondering, since I figured that the album was done back then in June and then the release date was pushed back and I just got a feeling that maybe you worked on it more, but I guess it was other circumstances that made you push it back then?

BH: Yeah, other circumstances. (laughs) Which is unfortunate, but everything happens for a reason. I think it´s great that we´re starting our tour at the same time as the record´s coming out. It´s a great way to start off a new year and everything just feels very positive right now.

Have you found a new guy? Is that all set?

BH: Yeah, we´re good! What we decided to do was basically not to over complicate things and panic, because we had a lot of… as you can imagine, outside influence as far as people that mean well, like people close around us or in our immediate contact, that would reach out and offer help. Everybody had a new suggestion. It was like a cold remedy. Everybody had their own little homemade recipe for how we should continue as a band and we needed to look at each other and just keep it really simple. “Who is the most natural person to step in?” and that was Scott Roberts, and I´ll tell you why! Scott was the most natural guy because one, we´ve known the guy forever and we´ve toured with him forever and he actually joined Biohazard playing guitar when I wasn´t in the band and he was also in a band with Danny called Bloodclot and Scott knows all the material and the way it worked out is that when we put the original band back together for the reunion and I returned, Scott stepped right up and offered to come out on the road and tech and help us and that was just such a great thing. That´s what friends do, you know. There were no issues with me returning to the band and him stepping aside and offering to tech. It´s the real deal, he´s like family with us! And it was great because here we have a tech who knows the material back and forth and then some things came up where a couple of us couldn´t make the show or we couldn´t make it to a gig, Scott would jump right in and help us and save the show. Scott actually had to do that a couple of times and there´s no awkwardness jamming with him. He has our groove and he knows our feel, he´s part of Biohazard in a big way. He´s already part of the crew and the immediate family so it was the most natural thing and we´re lucky enough to have a guy like that in our corner, who has our backs.

I read that back in August you announced that you were auditioning people. Did you go through the auditions?

BH: Yeah! We went through a couple of things. You see, that´s what I´m talking about. Let´s go back to what I was talking about with outside influences that mean well and try to help us, Biohazard was all of a sudden getting steered into different directions. People were saying “Ok, now you should just change the entire thing and add a front man to the band and another bass player!” and sure “Why the hell not? Let´s get fucking congas and a fucking keyboard player and get some back up chicks to sing?” and I´m like “Wait a minute! We just made this record and we didn´t have any of that shit on this record, so why bother putting that kinda live band together anyway?”, first of all. Second of all, if we were gonna do something like that we really needed to give it a lot more time and energy, than we were able to do, so we definitely checked out some singers and we entertained the idea and I still think it could be a really cool thing to have five guys on stage instead of four. Who knows? We might still do something like that in the future, but right now, for all reasons just to keep this thing rolling, the one that made the most sense and the one we could definitely feel the most at ease about and definitely bank on and feel confident, was asking Scott to step in. He´s one of us and he knows all the material and he can hold it down. For the next album, if we wanna write music that has extra this or extra that and different instruments, I´m all about it. We´re all about it and we´re not into holding ourselves back and we love to experiment and find new sounds and new music. We´re not gonna limit ourselves, but this record was done as a four piece and I think we´re gonna go out and tour for this record. But then you have people who go “You need to go out and find somebody that looks and sounds exactly like Evan!” and then others that go “You need to find somebody that doesn´t sound and look like Evan!” or “You need to find two singers and a DJ!”. How about that! It was a little fuckin´crazy, but everything seems to be working out for the best. And I appreciate you asking.

Cool! Back in June when I asked Billy for the title he said that you had one and were about to tell people, but then you guys played Download or whatever and you decided to change it. Was that when you changed it into “Reborn in defiance”?

BH: Eeehhh, I can´t even say… “Reborn in defiance” was kinda always a suggested title. That idea came a little bit earlier. It was around before it got chosen. There were definitely a few working titles. We had a lot of titles kicking around while the record was still taking shape. That´s what happens when you´re forced into having more time than you thought you were gonna have. All of a sudden you´ve got time to change things in your mind and go back and revaluate things, you know. I think “Reborn in defiance” really sums up and is completely explanatory in a lot of different ways and a lot of different angles. “Reborn in defiance” into so many different parts of this, whether it´s musical or music business wise, band structure, just a life´s journey and the struggles we´ve had to overcome to get to this point as a band all these years later. There´s so much of it that just applies.

Have you guys been in touch with Evan since he left?

BH: Well, it´s a little awkward… we´re not really speaking with him like every day. We´re well aware of how he´s doing and he´s doing ok. He´s doing his other thing and we wish him well, you know. He´s got another band he´s jamming with and he seems to be excited about it. When you get to be in the position that we´re in and I hate to say our age, but we´ve been around for a while and we´ve been through this whole thing and one thing I knew, coming back into the band and I had my own reasons why, but I always knew this is a blessing and a lot of people don´t get a second chance to do something. Finish something they started or change something wrong that´s been done or go back and fix mistakes. We´re very fortunate that we were able to and it´s because of the fans we´ve played to all over the world. That´s we´re the demand for us to get back together really came from. We owe it to them! I always knew there are no guarantees in life so the fact that we got together in the same room and actually jumping on a plane together or a tour bus and getting on stage and touring the world for almost two years was… wow! It was an amazing thing that nobody thought would ever happen and the fact that the four of us actually managed to keep it together long enough to do an album together, was another thing that was more than we could ever hope for. The fact that it didn´t stay together the way people would´ve liked it to, is no surprise. When I say no surprise, I´m saying that there´s nothing guaranteed in life. The fact that we got the original band together, a full world tour and a new album speaks volumes and I´m very proud of it and we´re all proud of it. The fact that one of us had to go his separate way, that´s life, man! We wish nothing bad on Evan. We´re just gonna keep playing and he´s got his own life and he´s got things going on and we hope he´s alright and we hope he finds what he´s looking for.

You mentioned earlier that you´re still writing and coming up with ideas. I guess it´s not gonna take that long for the next album to come out? And being on Nuclear Blast, what kinda deal is that? One album or more?

BH: Well, I hope so! I think Nuclear Blast is awesome and they´ve been excellent to work with. It´s something to be said for a label like Nuclear Blast to take notice and believing in a band like Biohazard, because what they did is kinda “in defiance” of their world and the industry. Biohazard has never been like a top forty fucking top rock fucking one hit wonder type thing where people look at us as dollar signs! People get it and believe in us out of respect for what we do, which is better for us because we get to work with people who´s the real deal, you know what I mean? I wouldn´t know how to act in the area of the music business where everything is bubble gum façade, one hit wonder, flavor or the week type of trend, because you can´t trust anybody around you because they´re only paying you because you´re popular at the moment and that could disappear tomorrow and as soon as you´re not making them any money, they fucking leave you in the dirt! What we do in heavy metal is more of like… the label understands the band. They´re behind it and they understand what it´s about and they believe in the band. For Nuclear Blast to believe in us and what we have to offer the world, was great and they stepped up and we give them a lot of respect for that!

Touring wise then? You´re playing a couple of shows in the US soon, right?

BH: Yeah, we´ve got some shows coming up in the US and Europe and then we´re going to Australia.

You´re not playing Sweden though!

BH: I´m not sure right now. I have to go look at the tour dates. I have so many tour dates that just came in. I´m really embarrassed I don´t know that. I don´t think there´s a Swedish show, no.

Any plans for coming here during festival season?

BH: Totally! We´ve been talking about it and the festivals. Biohazard loves the festivals. I´ll never forget when we were young and first went over to Europe. You´re talking ´89 or ´90 and when we first saw the European festivals like in Holland and the outdoor atmosphere of the festivals, was so special to us. We really don´t have that in America, you know. We never had anything that cool. (laughs). We always loved them since day one, so any chance we get for festivals, anybody´s that booking us or anybody that knows us, they all know that we love festivals and we jump at the chance to play them, so… I can´t remember the last… I definitely know we played a Swedish festival with Motörhead back in ´95 when I was with Biohazard in the early days. I´m not sure where it was… I forget… Fagersta… I know we played in Fagersta with the original Cro Mags and The Exploited and GWAR. That was like in 1990.

Awesome! You should play this festival in Gothenburg called Metaltown! They´ve got Slayer, Machine Head, Anthrax and you would fit right in there!

BH: You think so?

Yeah!

BH: That´s cool! Yeah, I´d love to!

Finally, what were you up to right before you joined Biohazard? Were you in a lot of bands before Biohazard?

BH: Biohazard was my first band that ever did a record! I was 19 years old when I first got together with the guys and started the band together. Before that I was in another band in Brooklyn called Rattlehead and we were making demos and stuff, but we never got the chance to make a record. We were just jamming together. Biohazard was the first thing that turned out to be serious and we´re real lucky because the way we put the band together, we were under some great mentors and we had a great home town club called “L´ Amour and there were some really ass kicking bands around at that time and great musicians. They allowed us to believe in ourselves like “Hey, you could really make this a real band!”. The timing for Biohazard was the reason that did it. It became my life right away and then I left, you know.

How would you compare the New York/Brooklyn/New Jersey scene back then to today? Are there still a lot of bands happening and stuff similar to Biohazard and what you´re doing?

BH: Well, as far as music goes, the east coast has always had its own kinda edge and its own type of sound or flavor, whatever you wanna call it! Just like in Europe, you have different type of metal bands that come from Germany and from Sweden. In America we have the west coast bands, the Bay Area metal bands and they definitely had their own style. They were the pioneers. The east coast always had its own thing too. It just formed into what it is with different elements, that´s all. As far as the scene goes, it´s very different now compared to when we were younger. How the clubs are, how the shows are, how the crowd is. It´s a little different. We still love to play in our home town area. It´s still great and we love it, but everything has changed since when we started. The whole world has changed, you know. When we started out dude, you were a band and you had to make a demo tape, a cassette tape, man and you had to print up all these posters and we´d get like a hundred posters or a thousand posters and then get giant buckets of glue and paint brushes and we´d drive around in New York City at 2 o´clock in the morning looking out for the cops, because what we were doing was illegal and we would just put up Biohazard posters all over the city to promote. And stand outside in front of clubs and hand out flyers. There was no fucking myspace, no internet, no cd´s! We had to trade demo tapes and we had to do real hands on street level promotion of our band. Now it´s a totally different world! Now you don´t even have to leave your house! We put up like 50 posters down one block and freezing with the glue all over us and one guy on the street corner watching out for the cops and then we´d drive around and hit the next block and then come back and look at our posters and there was another band there posting over our new posters! It was a territorial thing and then you´d have a fight with the band that posted over your posters and it was like crazy fucking shit that used to happen! That´s where we came from.

Sounds like it was a bit more exciting, a bit more alive in a way.

BH: It was more alive because the underground was really underground, you know what I mean? And there wasn´t access to the things that were underground unless you went and became a part of the underground. You had to go to the dirty clubs, be in a dirty band and see a dirty show. You couldn´t just click on a mouse! It was completely different, so you had to be a part of it and when you´re a part of something that´s underground that the rest of society doesn´t really get, that´s when it´s more special to you. That´s when you´re more loyal to it! That´s when you embrace it more and you´re like “Yeah, I own this shit! This is me and who I am!” and you proudly wear that t-shirt of the band you support and there was more like a camaraderie between the people who shared the common interest in the scene. It was a bit more chaotic and a bit more violent, but it had its own way of living and breathing, so I really prefer the old days better but here we are in a new world and we´re still playing. It´s interesting!

Absolutely! Dylan was right, the times they are a ´changing!

BH: Yeah, well some of this shit I don´t know about! (laughs) All this technology can´t be that great, you know. One day we will all wake up and it was just a fad and technology´s over and we´ll go back to everything being analog and dial up phones and fucking land lines. That would be awesome! (laughs)

Yeah, we´ll see what the future holds! I hope you get to Sweden soon!

BH: When we play, you gotta come up and hang out and introduce yourself, man!

I will! Excellent talking to you Bobby and have a great day in New Jersey!

BH: Yeah, tell all people to look out for all new Biohazard material on the horizon! Alright bro, thank you!

/Niclas
Skintrade tillbaka igen!
















Gamla 90-talsbandet Skintrade återförenas. Debutplattan fullkomligen spelades sönder när den kom ut och låten "One by one" kom med på otaliga blandband.
Pluggade i Växjö på 90-talet och minns att jag såg dem "live" fast de körde playback, när jag satt i publiken på något musikprogram som spelades in där.
Några år senare dök herr Alfonzetti upp som musiklärare p skolan där jag jobbar. Blev någon månad efter det inbjuden på releasefest på O-Baren för hans dåvarande projekt Boxer. Riktigt usel Tomas Ledin pop.
Det återstår att se vad "nya" Skintrade kan bjuda på.

/Niclas 

torsdag 12 januari 2012

2 biljetter lottas ut till Mastodon!



















Vill du gå på Mastodon nu på lördag i Stockholm? Gratis dessutom.
Svara på en enkel fråga och vinn en biljett!

Vad heter bandets senaste album?

Maila till metalshrine@hotmail.com och ange svar plus namn innan fredag kl.23.00!

Biljetten hämtas ut på plats.

Stort tack till Darren Edwards!







/Niclas

onsdag 11 januari 2012

Råttor, råttor, råttor...














Då jag varit en sucker för RATT sedan "Out of the cellar" kom ut, har jag länge väntat på att detta dysfunktionella band ska ge ut det här.


Stephen Pearcy: "I want to present the first live DVD history compilation from the band Ratt. I have so many formats of video from day one, Europe, Japan, shows with Ozzy. Forget the stuff on YouTube. I have the shit with real cameras that never saw the light of day. I told the guys I have this stuff and will be putting it out. Of course we’ll work on it together but we’ll be releasing a live compilation from the history of Ratt. It will have everybody’s blessing. Even Juan’s. He used to film all the time back in the day. Maybe he has something. We’ll make sure it doesn’t interfere with the new record. People have been asking for something like this. Timing is everything."

Hela intervjun HÄR

/Niclas
Den som väntar på något gott...
















Med tanke på hur överjävligt bra "Black gives way to blue" är så är AIC´s kommande album något jag verkligen ser fram emot.

AIC i Rolling Stone HÄR

/Niclas

tisdag 10 januari 2012

Destroyer deluxe i februari!


















Universal har satt den 27:e februari som releasedag för deluxeutgåvan. Dock finns det ännu ej någon info om innehållet. Bob Ezrin har jobbat på den igen, så det borde kunna bli bra.

/Niclas
Nya VH är gamla VH!





Jag gillar nya singeln "Tattoo" även om den kanske inte riktigt är den rökaren jag hoppades på. Fans har redan påvisat likheten med den här gamla dängan som aldrig såg dagens ljus. Spelades live både 77 och 78.
Nu undrar man hur många demos som det byggts vidare på? "A different kind of truth" kan onekligen bli ytterst intressant.

/Niclas