Category: Rock

 

One of the things I have noticed while still interviewing artists during this Covid-19 lockdown is that they seem to have very wide reactions to the lockdown. Either they have found themselves to be in a very creative space or have found that creativity has completely dried up and they have concentrated on re-charging their batteries so they can hit the road running when the lockdown is finally over.

One of the bands that have been most creative during this time though have been Italian heavy metal band Secret Rule who fuelled by requests from fans have delivered an album of covers during the lockdown. With the band covering the likes of Ozzy Osbourne through to Placebo I decided to sit down and have a chat with front woman Angela Di Vincenzo.

“We just wanted to challenge ourselves,” says Di Vencenzo laughing when I ask her where the idea for Quarantine: The Other Side of Us came from. “Everything really started from requests. During the pandemic we thought about releasing something new and we thought about covering the Ozzy Osbourne song “Get Me Through.” That was a song that we had already played live three years ago when we were touring in the UK, so it was more or less ready.”

“After the release of that we thought about doing another cover,” she goes onto explain. “We thought about doing the Placebo song “Bitter End” which had already been on my mind for a long, long time. We had a very positive response to those with some of the comments on the music videos. Some people said it would be great if we recorded a whole album with cover songs so we decided to think about what songs could work for us and in only two weeks the album was ready.”

With such a wide variety of artists covered on the album I ask Di Vencenzo how the band decided on which tracks would be covered. “It was actually quite simple,” she says. “Everyone has a very different background so during the choosing stage we had a very long list of songs then we tried to keep those that we thought were morning interesting and ones that we could record in our style of course. In any case we would never have done cover songs similar to the originals, we hate that way of approaching songs. We think if a listener wants to listen to a cover song they will expect to listen to something different and new otherwise it is better to just listen to the original version.”

Of course the secret to creating a great cover song is to make it sound like it is your own so I asked Di Vencenzo how Secret Rule went about making sure that is what happened. “We started with the melodies,” she explains. “Then we worked on the arrangements without even considering the original songs – that was very important. In that way we were not influenced by the original songs, but at the same time the songs didn’t lose their essence.

“We set out to record the album in just two weeks,” she says laughing loudly. “We did that because we didn’t know when the quarantine would end. But it was very important for us to do it before the quarantine ended otherwise the title would not have made sense. No doubt the biggest challenge was to work on so many different songs that all required very different approaches. But working with Andy is always full of so many surprises because you will never know what he is going to create in a song.”

“For example it was crazy for me to sing an Eminem song,” she explains again laughing. “It was a real tongue-twister especially when it wasn’t in my native language. I remember when Andy sent through the arrangements I said ‘and who is going to sing this song?’ then with some help from some dirty words I succeeded in singing it. It was a great challenge for me that song.”

 

Quarantine: The Other Side Of Us is out now.

 

 

 

Last month, The Used called upon fans to submit videos of their frontline fighters as part of a very special project sharing “Every day you wake up and leave your loved ones to fight to keep us safe. We want to showcase them in our new music video.”

Today, the band has unveiled the music video for “The Lighthouse (feat. Mark Hoppus)” featuring Nurses, Doctors, First Responders, Gas Station Attendants, Grocery Store Clerks, Delivery People and other Essential Workers as well as members of The Used and Mark Hoppus at home with their families.

Fans can watch the heartwarming video today at https://smarturl.it/BeYourLighthouse. It is a beautiful tribute to the people that are tirelessly working to keep all of us safe through these unprecedented times. The video also showcases how truly diverse and dedicated The Used family is.

Speaking to the message behind the track, front man Bert McCracken shared the following message:
It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves.” – William Shakespeare

Doubt can be an avalanche. It can cascade out and infect everything it touches. Inspiration is also infectious. The original chorus lyric was “I can’t be your lighthouse”, until I was reminded by my 6 year old daughter that I can be and I am. It helps to remember that we all have the capability to inspire someone in our own way. Please enjoy our song The Lighthouse as much as we do. Love, Bert

“The Lighthouse (feat. Mark Hoppus)” comes from the band’s recently released eighth studio album Heartwork, which was released last month via Big Noise. Heartwork celebrated a strong first week, locking in #2 spots on both the Current Alternative and Record Label Independent Album charts, #3 on both Current Rock and Top Current Album charts as well as landing in the Billboard Top 200 at the #87 spot.

The album arrived with the unbound spirit of the pair of platinum albums that first introduced The Used to the world, mixed with the dramatic air of their gold-certified third. The emotion, sincerity, and vulnerability found on The Used (2002) and In Love and Death (2004) is more urgent and insistent than ever on Heartwork, a diverse 16-song offering filled of self-examination, hyper-literate exploration, political pyromania, and keenly self-aware yet unrestrained whimsy.

Songs like recent singles “Blow Me”, “Paradise Lost, a poem by John Milton” and “Cathedral Bell” take their place alongside some of the best-known jams to emerge from the frenetic “screamo” world, anthems that conquered hearts and minds and Active Rock. “The Bird and the Worm,” “The Taste of Ink,” “All That I’ve Got,” “I Caught Fire,” and “Blood On My Hands” are beloved for their raw emotion, authentic defiance, and inviting empathy, all of which etched them into the spiritual DNA of a legion of likeminded listeners across the globe.

Twenty years ago, The Used was brought to life and has since released a collection of albums that shaped the space of the alternative rock scene. High energy live shows, gut wrenching relatable lyrics, and melodies that blended pop sensibility and hard rock was the perfect combination to make an everlasting impression on fans globally. Heartwork is exactly the album Used fans need right now.

Fans can stream Heartwork and purchase exclusive merch bundles today at https://theused.ffm.to/heartwork. The Used is Bert McCracken (Vocals), Jepha (Bass), Dan Whitesides (Drums) and Joey Bradford (Guitar). Heartwork is out now.

 

Rock legend Alice Cooper has released a new single “Don’t Give Up.”

Produced by Bob Ezrin using remote technology, “Don’t Give Up” is a spontaneous reaction to the challenges facing us all right now. Alice Cooper felt the need to talk directly to his fans from isolation in his home where he is working to finish his upcoming new album.

It is Alice’s shout-out to keep our heads high, stay strong and fight back together.

Says Alice Cooper:
Don’t Give Up’ is out today! It’s a song about what we’ve all been going through right now and about keeping our heads up and fighting back together.   And whatever you do – Don’t Give Up!”

Just two weeks ago, the rock icon invited fans to participate in the video that Cooper and his band members were filming separately during quarantine.  Over 20,000 have responded, holding up signs and messages of unity, using words from the lyrics.

 

 

Fearless Records will be hosting a one-time only, global event featuring the label roster. Fearless At Home will take place Sunday May 10 at 5am AEST via the label YouTube channel!

Today, Fearless has announced which artists will be participating, making Fearless At Home a “can’t miss” event. On deck are acoustic performances from As It IsGrayscaleIce Nine KillsLocketPlain White T’sSet It OffThe AlmostThe Plot In YouWage War + The Pretty Reckless.

Fans can also expect appearances by All That RemainsAugust Burns RedCapstanEat Your Heart Out (AUS), iDKHOW, I PrevailKill the LightsMovementsMy Kid BrotherOceans Ate AlaskaStarsetThe Word AliveUnderoathVarials, and Volumes.

This live-streamed, virtual event also functions like a “festival” to help raise funds for bands + crew.

Fearless will also releasing two event-branded merch items where all net proceeds will be donated to Crew Nation. Be sure and tune in to Fearless At Home on Sunday, May 10 or be felled by FOMO!

 

Deep Purple have released “Man Alive”, the second single from their highly anticipated studio album “Whoosh!”.

With “Man Alive”, Deep Purple delivers a perfect example for the versatility of their new album. The band explores their progressive-rock side while, once again, Ian Gillan shows his passion for storytelling.

After exploring the boundaries of time and space with the video for “Throw My Bones”, the first single of “Whoosh!”, Deep Purple step into the next chapter on their way to the release of the new album and again keep their fingers on the pulse time. The new video is both, a declaration of love to Mother Earth as well as a concerned look into the future.

Deep Purple’s brand-new studio album “Whoosh!” follows their worldwide chart-topping albums “inFinite” (2017) and “NOW What?!” (2013). For the third time, Deep Purple joins forces with producer Bob Ezrin, and together they created the most versatile album in their collaboration, “stretching out in all directions” without any limitation, letting their creativity go.

Deep Purple is putting the Deep back into Purple” was the half-joking motto in the studio after the first songs made it clear that Ezrin and Purple were on a path to creating an album pushing the boundaries of time, while voicing their resentment about the current situation of the world and addressing all generations.

Whoosh is an onomatopoeic word that, when viewed through one end of a radio-telescope, describes the transient nature of humanity on Earth; and, through the other end from a closer perspective, illustrates the career of Deep Purple.” – Ian Gillan

“Whoosh!” will be available as Limited CD+DVD Mediabook (incl. the 1h feature “Roger Glover and Bob Ezrin in conversation” and, for the first time, the full live performance at Hellfest 2017 as video), 2LP+DVD EditionLimited Box Set and Digital on August 7 on earMUSIC.

 

When it comes to achievements there is very little that Canadian hard rock band The Wild! haven’t achieved. From playing at festivals such as Wacken Open Air and Sweden Rock through to touring alongside Godsmack, Steel Panther, Rose Tattoo and Airbourne the band have done it all.

At the same time they have also been recording some of the most infectious and catchy hard rock tunes that you are ever likely to hear. Now they are back with a brand new album called Still Believe In Rock & Roll and I recently had the pleasure of being able to catch up with frontman Dylan Villain to chat all about it.

“With this record I think a lot of what people are hearing opposed to the other ones is the attention to detail when it comes to the lyrics and melodies,” Dylan says as we begin to talk about the album in depth. “I really put a lot of pressure on myself, I really did feel a lot of pressure from all the people around me – from the team, from the fans – but also from myself to make a record that was better than good.”

“The last album we toured with for three years and it took us all over the world,” he says continuing. “We were incredibly thankful for that but as a result of that because of the momentum and gaining that fan base internationally I think created a lot of pressure to make something that was not only better than the last album but something that was great as a whole. We wanted something that would stand the test of time and get into people’s ears and would really make an impact.”

Setting themselves such a task gave The Wild! the opportunity to go out and try to do things a little differently. “We really didn’t leave any stone unturned,” explains Dylan. “We really explored ideas, lyrics and melodies – things like that. That did result in a lot of stress and almost obsession in making something great. I had very little sleep, I think I was getting about three hours sleep a night for about three months, but I just wanted it to be great, man, and I wanted to give everybody something great and I wanted to give ourselves a real shake at making an impact with something great. Like I was saying a lot of people just write some songs, throw them together and say ‘well there is your record, let’s head out on the road that will be good enough.’ But for us that wasn’t going to be the case because I really wanted to make something that was a cut above and I think we really did ourselves that justice and have put out a great record.”

Aside from the pressure that Dylan put on himself and the band to really go above and beyond with this album he also admits that with fans right across the world now the band also felt pressure to get something out there for them. “I think that was all part of the part and parcel of the final product,” he says as we talk about the pressure from fans. “I like to pay attention to what is working with our songs especially when it comes to our live show and things like that. I think the result of that is you pay attention to what is working, gaining fans and gaining momentum you are going to end up feeling that pressure from fans and your fan base. You know in a way you are winning these people over and once you’ve got them you’ve got them but if you don’t deliver you are really letting them down.”

“Ultimately I just wrote what I think is just an honest record,” he says happily. “I just went straight ahead and I did a truthful record full of conviction because all this stuff I sing and talk about is all true, I’ve lived it and it is all real to us as people and the guys that we are in this world. We are not creating trends or writing songs that are the flavour of the week we just do this because this is who we are and we are lucky enough to have enough people that believe in us to give us a job. Yes there will be pressure and you can do either of two things. You can buckle and let that fear take you or you can push straight ahead and let it take you as far as you can go.”

 

Still Believe In Rock & Roll is out now.

 

 

 

When it comes to music Brian Tichy has drummed for Ozzy Osbourne, Slash, Whitesnake, Billy Idol, Foreigner and The Dead Daisies just to name a few. Now he has teamed up with Pete Shoulder from The Union and Winterville to form a new rock band called Silverthorne.

With Silverthorne now releasing their debut EP – titled Tear The Sky Wide Open – I decided to sit down and have a chat with Tichy about the band in general and what fans can expect to hear on their debut EP.

“It actually all came about back when I was touring with Whitesnake,” says Tichy when we first begin to talk about how Silverthorne came about. “It was 2011 and we were touring in the UK and we had this opening band called The Union. I went and saw them open up and I noted that the lead singer was killer. They had this great singer and I met him and he was a really nice guy. We didn’t keep in touch or anything and that was that. Then flash forward a few years later and I had this new project going with the brothers from Stone Temple Pilots. We hadn’t recorded anything but we had a bunch of music and some great ideas but we needed to find a singer for this thing. Then they heard about Pete Shoulder and they sent me little snippets of him singing and they were like ‘I think we have found our guy, this guy is great.’ Then we realised that I knew him and then we just all got together and made a record.”

“Now we’ve made the record and we are already thinking about the next step,” continues Tichy. “We are already looking to move forward and now Stone Temple Pilots have their brand new lead singer so they had to make a decision, whether to go ahead with STP or us and they made their decision and I am okay with that because they have a great career and if they keep that band going then all power to them. So we were put on indefinite hiatus and that could have gone on for years so I asked Pete to come out to LA and do some recording because he was a great musician, great lyricist and great guy all round. We have very similar interests with what we like in music and stuff and with what we wanted from an original band.”

It turned out that Pete Shoulder’s trip out to Los Angeles really kicked off the start of Silverthorne. “We wrote a lot of stuff then,” says Tichy. “We had a bunch of fun and recorded a lot of stuff and then 2018 went by and then we signed up with Golden Robot in 2019 then we had everything done by the end of spring and the first single came out in the summer and now the EP is out and we are ready to go.”

Signing with Golden Robot was also a big step for the band, and it is one that is not lost on Brian Tichy. “When we signed with Golden Robot it was just Pete and I doing all the writing,” he says. “But then we were able to bring in Daniel Spree on bass and we all loved what he loved in music and loved his style and that was it… it was all pretty simple and now here we are.”

With so much of making Silverthorne work resting on finding the right lead singer I ask Tichy what it was about Pete Shoulder that made him so sure that he was the right pick for the band. “Oh man I don’t know how to describe it,” he says. “You just listen to his voice and you know. Some people just seem to have that quality that you gravitate towards and I just saw that he had qualities of some of my favourite singers – some of the best singers in rock n roll. I’m talking about everybody from Paul Rogers, Coverdale, Chris Cornell right through to Jeff Buckley. I heard all of them in his voice and I think it is so rare to find somebody like that – especially when it is somebody that is not completely busy doing their own thing. I could see how amazingly talented he was and it was just such a rare thing to find. That is the biggest battle when you are starting a new band – finding the right singer. It is one thing if he is a great singer but he may be hard to get along with or he may have an attitude or a drug problem. But with Pete it was none of the above he was a straightforward guy who loves music and loves being creative and he just happens to have a bad ass voice.”

 

Tear The Sky Wide Open is out now.

 

 

Fearless Records will be hosting a one-time only, global event featuring most Fearless artists, and even a new artist signing announcement!

Fearless at Home will take place Saturday May 9th at 3pm ET/12pm PT (Sunday May 10 5am AEST) via the label’s YouTube channel. The website Fearlessathome.com is now live as well with more information!

Expect everything from live acoustic sets to fun, at-home segments. You will see our bands like you NEVER have before. This live-streamed, virtual event also functions like a “festival” to help raise funds for bands + crew.

Fearless will also be releasing two event-branded merch items where all net proceeds will be donated to Crew Nation.

Details about which bands will be taking part in Fearless at Home will be revealed shortly. So stayed tuned and set a calendar reminder in your phone for May 10th 5am AEST!

 

Guitarist Gus G (born Konstantinos Karamitroudis) has made a name for himself as a guitarist playing with some of the greats in the industry including Ozzy Osbourne, Kamelot and Arch Enemy. Outside of that though he has been the guitarist for his own band – Firewind – for twenty-two years. Now after a dramatic line-up change the band are back with a brand new album – titled Firewind – so we thought it was time to sit down and have a chat with Gus G himself.

When we talk to Gus he has been in lockdown for a over a month and he says he has been using the time to write but also refresh. “I wrote some stuff,” he says. “But I haven’t been writing religiously every day. Lately I have been caught up with a lot of press over the past two weeks, maybe even three weeks. So yeah a lot of press and a lot of time on the phone. Then all these live streams came up and all these people started asking about live streams. It’s okay but I can’t imagine spending my life doing live streams.”

That leads me to ask how the lockdown has affected their brand new album being released. “You are right about that a lot of artists have been scared about that,” he says when I mention that some artists have decided to hold off releasing albums while their fans are in lockdown. “I did ask AFM Records about this and they thought we should continue. My idea was maybe that we should wait a little bit but they said let’s continue.”

“For me though the big problem is not about us putting out an album and then not being able to tour,” he explains. “For me the big issue is are people who want them able to go out and get physical copies of the album. I mean can you ship stuff overseas at the moment? Can you ship records to Australia? Can you ship records to America? So yeah that has been my main question, or even in Europe, will shops be open? But they are confident that it is going to work out by mid-May. So I really just play ball with them.”

The virus aside though I started to talk to Gus about the things that were inspiring him when he first started to put this album together. “I literally just started writing,” he says. “Like normal I just started to write. I have this folder where I just stockpile riffs and I’ll go through that and find things that are just a few months old and then I just re-work them. That is how I have been writing the last few years.”

“I just started working on the material and I thought that there was some pretty cool stuff on there,” he goes onto explain. “I knew it was a little bit different to the last album, there was some hard rock stuff there and there was some classic metal stuff and the traditional power metal stuff but there were all these other elements there as well. I wasn’t sceptical but I knew that with material this diverse that we would need to have really good vocals that would tie it all together so we could have a cohesive album.”

That leads me to ask about Gus bringing in new members to Firewind – largely brand new vocalist Herbie Langhans. “It was stressful,” says Gus when he starts to recount how the changes came about. “I did not think it was going to happen in the middle of production. We had already recorded the music and then we went on tour with Queensryche in Europe and I realised in the middle of all that that there was something wrong. I realised that things were not going to work out and when I came back from the tour I had to make some big decisions.”

“First of all our keyboard player was not up to touring anymore,” he continues. “So I said maybe he should stay home more and he said he wanted to start his own studio and stuff. That gave me a chance to really re-imagine the band and this was the chance to do what I saw. With our singer he had some health issues and he was not sure about future touring, of course that was totally opposite to the plans I had for the band. And I get that, that is life but I had to continue.”

That shifts our conversation around to Herbie Langhans. “Herbie I didn’t know before,” admits Gus. “So he is the new guy and we are kind of finding out about each other as we go along. The first thing we had to work out was if there was a work chemistry between us and whether he could commit to the recording the tour plans. Basically we went from there because you won’t really know someone until you go on a tour bus together or fly around the world for eighteen months together, then you know what kind of person they are like.”

 

Firewind is out through AFM Records on May 15th.