Wednesday, August 24, 2011
MICHAEL: Fey Hucker.......I'm at my Imac right now......Let's do this thing right now. I am ready, ask away.
1. So Michael, when did you meet Tracii & how did you become the first singer of LA GUNS?
MICHAEL: We were just kids....I auditioned with the song " Sweet Leaf " I cracked on the first " alright Now " and begged for another shot....LOL I hit the next round and I was in...
2. Were there a lot of line-up changes when you were with the band?
MICHAEL: No, we were tight at the get. We had ( Seriously ) the world's best Bass Player. Dani Tull. His Dad died when He was 16 years old, and He left. It crushed us.....For about 6 months. HE WAS Geezer. Dani Was God.
3. Did you do many live shows with them?
4. Who are your main influences, vocally?
MICHAEL: Ronnie James, Ian Gillian, Halford.
5. Was the early style of LA Guns much different than what people have come to know?
MICHAEL: Yeah. We at our inception,WE were Metal. They Became " Glam " after Me. Tracii was an altogether unique specimen though. We were lucky.
6. Now, you sang on the first EP, where was it recorded?
MICHAEL:At Westwind Studios. Agoura Hills. It was owned By Ronnie James Dio. Funny thing is, When we got the studio time, Robbie Gardner got to play a 12 inch snare drum which belonged to the Original drummer for Elvis.....That was VERY cool. Fucking thing was like firing a Cannon.......
7. That was on Raz Records. Who was Raz? Your manager, right?
Yes. Raz Cue made us. Without him, We were stuck in the rehearsal studio.
8. How many songs did you do during those sessions?
MICHAEL: Four. What REALLY sucked was we had ONLY 24 hours. I got the last 4. The music, was done in20-21 hours. I had 3-4 for the vocal tracks. It was rough, but, it was all we had.
9. Did you sing any songs that were later recorded by the band?
MICHAEL: Yes and No. They recorded more stuff with My Melodies and Harmonies after I was done with them, but with my blessing. The "Guns" Rocked.
10. I guess it's ironic that one of the songs you did was "Jailhouse Rock" since apparently you were locked up during part of the recording, huh?
MICHAEL: LOL Ummm Yeah. Actually it was Heartbreak Hotel. I was arrested for a bar fight, and spent a week in L.A. County Jail. To tell You the Jesus-Christ Truth........William Bailey was only in the group for 2 F'in weeks.I tried to give him Vocal lessons..... but . He sucked. Voted " Least likely to ever make it " He always was a pathetic Sub-human being. He lived at my Parent's house for over 6 months.....Sponging off us and doing Heroin. What a little Faggot. Come to find out, He was a Male-Faggot Prostitute at the time. L-O-S-E-R.. He sold His asshole to gay men for Money. But, He made 70 Mil.
11. I understand Axl Rose initially sang on that record, but you were brought back in to finish it. How did all that come about?
MICHAEL: Also..... Chuck said, Get your Real singer back. Bill Bailey sucks.....and he did.
12. I also worked with your producer, Chuck Rosa. How hard was that? I understand he was the reason Axl was kicked out & you were brought back in.
MICHAEL: Yeah. William Sucked. Chuck was o.k., but very inexperienced.
13. Were you friends with Axl?
MICHAEL: Fuck no. He was a real piece of work. Lived with Me at My Parent's house for approx. 7 months, But he was/is a parasite. A real sack of shit.
14. How long after the release did you leave the band & what were the reasons?
MICHAEL: Tracii tried to save me from getting arrested. I was drunk, wanting to drive.......He hid my keys. I was actually out of the group just after doing the E.P. Tracii Guns was a true brother. Gotta love him. Successor to Randy's throne.
15. So you were replaced by Paul Black, right? Did you know him?
MICHAEL: Yes, Nice enough guy. Sucked as a vocalist.
16. Did you have other bands after you left LA Guns?
MICHAEL: Ummm. Well, YEAH!!! 30. Abbatoir, Eden, Stoneheart, I jammed with the guitarist who replaced Yngwie in "Steeler" Kurt James. What an awesome guitarist. Best blues since S.R.V. Also a lush. The 80's were golden.
17. Were you still on speaking terms with any of the guys?
MICHAEL: Of course. Ole died 15 years ago. Ole Beich was an awesome bass player... a real thumper. Other than that, yeah Tracii is God, and I just found Robbie. He lives in the North end of San Fernando Valley, and has 3 beautiful baby girls. We don't talk often. The LOVE is there though.
18. What do you think of their material after your departure?
MICHAEL: Hated it at first. We WERE METAL. The 3-bar chord shit killed me. I thought Tracii was WAYYYYYYY too talented to do that shit. Looking back though, he went commercial to sell. God Bless Tracii. He saw what we couldn't.
19. I have a 2004 LA Guns re-issue CD with that EP on it. Do you still get royalties or were you even asked?
MICHAEL: No, I'm owed thousands. ( 1oo at the VERY least. ) I feel shorted, in a HUGE way, but, I love Tracii. So, F*@% it.
20. So what are your current/future musical plans? Do you have anything in the works?
MICHAEL: I play with the best. Maybe, I'll jam with Mr. Ulrich again.
21. Any last comments?
MICHAEL: Yeah. ALL of MY Love to the Most Beautiful Girl in the World....MS. Tracy Gravesen.....and a Shout out to My Boy Genius, Michael Jeffrey. ( all 6'-4" 200 Lb.s of Him....LOL ) Love You Son. God Bless the good. Instill Hope deep inside your hearts.....and pray. Long live the Guns.
Sunday, July 17, 2011
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Ok, so I'm exactly half-way done watching Europe live in 1986 on Netflix...
I like that band.
So check it out:
Nice camera work, decent mix. I like how Joey Tempest changes into the WHITE coat that's the exact negative (markings) of the black one he wore at the start of the show. Strong voice too, damn. Backing vocals were weak sounding though. That's to be expected, I guess... John Norum is still a great guitarist. Yes I said it... Great. The bassist? Whatever. The drummer... nice solo! (Except for the end where the keyboard player joined in). I WOULD ABSOLUTELY rock that keyboardist's perfectly layered & feathered do if I could get away with it. Hell yeah.
I just got to "Cherokee" and realized I'm watching Swedes bitching about "the white man" stealing America. Oh yeah? Well YOU ruined 80's Metal in Sweden FUCKERS! After The Final Fucking Countdown, every Swedish Hard Rock band decide to poodle out their hair and over saturate their fluffy Pop-Metal with even MORE Keyboards... apparently hoping to be the next Europe.
I'll watch the second half later. Just wanted to rant. :)
BTW: I still like the band.
Monday, June 28, 2010
So I just took a road trip to Bend Oregon to see the Big 4 "encore" since I fucking missed it here in Medford. 'Was it worth it?' That's what everyone asks.
I missed most of the Anthrax performance but caught it on youtube. SOOO glad Joey is back (don't get me started).
Megadeth: Musically sounded pretty good but WHAT THE FUCK was up with Dave's voice? I've never heard him sound so bad! Maybe he was sick or something. Holy shit it was terrible.
Slayer always sounds the same. It may as well have been "War Ensemble" for 45 minutes! Don't get me wrong, no disrespect... I just don't get what the big deal is.
Metallica... I was shocked at how good they sounded. I'm one of those "nothing after the Black album" kinda guys, and I barely care about the Black album. James sounds like his voice is in better shape than ever. Lars is always a little sloppy live so no surprise there. I don't think Rob Trujiullo is a perfect fit but played well and Kirk's lead's (for the most part) sound like the records. The all-star "Am I Evil" jam was cool, but apparently Joey wasn't too familiar with the song, haha! I'm sure he'll be hearing about that for awhile since I doubt very seriously I was the only one that noticed.
Side note: My buddy & I were the ONLY people in the theater since they didn't advertise the "encore" performance. Or maybe there are no other Metalheads in Bend (???).
To sum it up... not a total waste of time.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
So about ten days ago, we had THREE deaths in Metal that I know about:
Debbie Abono (Bay Area Thrash band manager)
Fast Joey Brighton (ex-Twisted Sister drummer)
and of course... RONNIE JAMES DIO.
I feel like I should say something about Dio, but I think everyone else beat me to it. I was always a big fan, and I still am. This probably hit me harder than any other death in Metal. He will be missed.
NOW... In good news:
SANCTUARY is back together & Joey has re-joined Anthrax (FINALLY!!!)...
New things I'm looking forward to purchasing SOON:
ENFORCER - DIAMONDS (These guys stayed at my place when I booked their show last year... cool guys & a great band)
TOKYO BLADE LIVE VIDEO & CD (even if it is the "American" version of the band... I've heard it on myspace and sounds great)
SENTINEL BEAST DEMOS CD (been waiting for this FOREVER)
Y&T FACEMELTER CD (My favorite band for a while back in the 80's has a new record!)
SERPENTS KNIGHT CD (pre-Sanctuary Warrel Dane band)
I think that's all I got for now...
More updates coming soon...ish!
Sunday, April 11, 2010
I'll use an old school term & call it all "Melodic Power Metal"
WHITE WIZZARD (Los Angeles)
HOLY GRAIL (Los Angeles)
SHADOWS SANCTUARY (New Hampshire)
EMISSARY (Medford, Oregon) *shameless plug*
All can be found easily on myspace or simply by searching the web. If you like European stuff like Maiden, Priest, and early Def Leppard, or the American sound of Fates Warning, Metallica, Riot, Lizzy Borden, Death Angel, Metal Church, or even hints of Dokken, Ratt & Skid Row PLEASE check out these bands! I've got a ton more comin' atcha!!!
Feel free to leave comments so I know SOMEONE is reading this thing :)
Friday, March 5, 2010
OK, so an update is long overdue. Since my last real entry where I mentioned Lizzy Borden, I've been on the radio & spoke extensively about my experience seeing my favorite band for the first time & hanging with the guys afterwords show (the pics are posted on Myspace). I understand another Lizzy tour is being planned so if all works out, I'll be able to do it all again before long!
Anyway, last night, I took part in a monumental Heavy Metal event in Medford Oregon, which is pretty much a speck on the map and happens to be where I live. We don't get shows of this caliber here... EVER. I usually travel several hours to Portland or the Bay Area for something like this:
EXODUS, TESTAMENT & MEGADETH @ The Medford Armory 3/3/10
It was a sold out show, so nearly THREE THOUSAND Rogue Valley headbangers got to witness all three bands perform exclusively early material!
First up, Exodus (now with original drummer Tom Hunting behind the kit again) slayed the crowd with tunes from their first 3 records, which in my opinion, is really some their best stuff. They surprisingly swapped the staple "Bonded By Blood" for "Toxic Waltz" (which they claim to no longer have interest in performing) so that was kinda cool, I guess. This was my third Exodus show & they are always a great live act.
Next was Testament & although there was no Alex Skolnick, Glenn Drover did a great job! To be perfectly honest, I was a bit surprised I enjoyed them so much. They played the whole first album "The Legacy" which is my favorite Testament album, plus it was my FIRST time seeing them live. Hearing those early numbers done in a live setting was quite exciting for me since I got to sing along with the whole set!
Last but certainly not least, The mega-band featuring both 'Mega-Daves' played "Rust In Peace" in it's entirety plus quite a few other crowd favorites (you know... the "hits"). Back in the late 90's, I was fortunate enough to see Megadeth on the "Cryptic Writings" & from everything I've seen & heard, they definitely know how to deliver the goods. All in all, a fantastic "throwback" show. No complaints.
See, here's the thing. I go WAY back with all these bands; I had all of their debut LPs immediately after they were first released, so this concert tapped into the archives of my youth quite a bit. For me, that was the closest thing to an 80's Metal show as possible... in 2010!
In addition to simply witnessing the aforementioned greatness, did I go back stage? Nah, I could've, but didn't bother... I got to be ON STAGE to help introduce Megadeth since I'm a radio personality & part of the 'on-air talent' referred to as THE EDGE MOB. "The Edge" is the big Metal radio show on KZZE, the big Rock station here in Southern Oregon & WE presented the show! Huge thanks go out to everyone who made it all possible!
Hopefully this means good things for Medford & we'll actually start getting more events like this coming to the Valley before long. Can't wait to find out who's next!
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
I'm out of previously written interviews & concert reviews I wanna post on my blog but I may dig into the old archives & post some "classic" album reviews...
Right now, I'm putting together a detailed blog entry about my road trip to see Lizzy Borden on Friday!
WHAT A BLAST!
UPDATES WITH PICTURES COMING SOON!!!
Medford, Oregon - 11/4/2000
Me with the members of Bubble (Left to right)
Share Pederson from Vixen, Bam from Dogs D'amour & The Wildhearts, Brent Muscat from Faster Pussycat & LA Guns, Jym Harris (me), and Dino Everett from Streetwalkin' Cheetahs
(Originally for BallBuster Music)
By Jym Harris
On November 4th, Medford, Oregon was honored to witness a performance by two great talents; Honey Tree Lane & Bubble (featuring ex-members of Faster Pussycat, LA Guns, Vixen, The Wildhearts, Dogs D'amour, and the Streetwalkin' Cheetahs). You can learn more about Honey Tree Lane @ http://www.mandell.net & Bubble @ http://www.planetbubble.com. First off, I want to mention that one of Honey Tree Lane's strengths is the impeccable vocal harmonies of sisters Amber & Amanda Mullins. Still, they insisted on starting this show with an instrumental. At first, it sounded almost like a warm up. Not a bad song, they just have much better material to open with. After 'Lust Song' from their "Family Album" CD, Amanda tells the crowd they are from "C.P." and jokingly flashes the *metal sign*. During 'Anxiety Attacks', guitarist Johnny Northcraft steals the spotlight with his fabulous stage presence. Reminds me a bit of his glory days in Emissary (haha). Then, we got to hear the album version of 'You Say' instead of their *punk* rendition. The piano parts sound great on guitar. Next up was 'Brainswells', a semi-instrumental. It features only a repeated disco-ish "ooh-ooh" vocal part. My current HTL favorite 'Holding On To Nothing', was the opener to a 3 song medley. Maybe if it were LAST in the medley, it would get a greater crowd reaction. This is a brilliantly written song, all the way down to the lead guitar impersonating the verse melody. Superb. Second in the medley was the hard rocker 'Disappointed', featuring a pleasing, grindier vocal part by Amanda. Everyone's energy increases before launching into one of their best riffs in 'Make Me Ill'. The wah-wah lead works perfectly with the rhythm. After 'Converted' (which sounds somewhat like 'Holding') they go directly into 'My Muse'. The slow intro part is astounding, and the groove later in the song is one of the highlights of the evening. At this point, there's a bit more movement by everyone. I thought Drummer Brian McMeen's right arm was gonna fall off, before hearing 'Daddy's coming'. The jazzy parts intertwined are good, but a little weird. I think the band themselves would agree. Then we heard the first of two fast punk-ish tunes 'Stupid People' with nice high end harmonies by Amber. The girls switch places before 'Politics' and Amanda plays bass. Non-stop harmonies through this one, and the mid-way halt (including the tambourine) was very precise. And what would an HTL show be without the funky little country finale from their first album "Good'n Spood'n", Amber's ode to their stomping grounds 'Central Point'? Easily the BEST Honey Tree Lane show I've seen.
Then it was Bubble's turn. Lead vocalist Share Ross was my favorite member of Vixen (when her last name was still Pedersen). After blasting into 'Don't talk to Me' from their "How 'Bout This?" CD, they jump right into 'Slut Motorchopper' with a tricky 7/4 time signature in the chorus. Humorously, Share incorporates "Central Point" into the lyrics. After 'Kick' Walls', Guitarist Brent Muscat gets called a "Noisy bastard" due to his feedback. The song they're currently shooting a video for 'Independently Wasted' was before the first song I didn't recognize, with what Share called "a very naughty, naughty title", a super-catchy number entitled 'Naked'. Can't wait to hear that one on the new EP! Up next was 'Shake', and then came a rocked out version of 'Sparklestar', which is in the new Daryl Hannah/Jennifer Tilly movie "Dancing at the Blue Iguana". The Blue Iguana, we are told, is a strip joint where they get *very naked*. Another hard rocker was 'Black Hole'. It included all kinds of jumping and pushing at the end. I felt their "fucked up cover" of the Carpenters' 'Superstar' was much better than the Sonic Youth version. If anyone guessed what "lame ass, cheesy group" did it originally they got either a free CD, or a blow job from Brent. He quickly said 'no thank you' so I guess someone had to settle for a CD! When hinting that it started with a "C", drummer Bam guessed "Cunt?" but Amanda (HTL) got it. Brent got Karen Carpenter & Mama Cass confused, but when told she didn't choke on a sandwich, he called anorexia 'not eating ENOUGH sandwiches!'. Bam then suggested that if you're going to kill yourself by anorexia, to at least "write a good song first". Next was the high energy 'Torn To Pieces' (original?), with an incredibly fast melody. Bam wanted to play two more (instead of one) after "being in a fucking van all day" so they actually performed THREE more. '6000 Miles', where Brent showed off a bit, and Share lied down on stage during the bluesy 'Taxi Driver' that I think I remember by Hanoi Rocks. To finish off, Bam played with a towel over his head during 'Drug'. A big jump at the end, and Share handed her guitar to Amanda, bassist Dino Everett jumped off stage, and we were left with the words "You are my favorite fucking drug!!!". Outstanding show by both bands. Cheers to everyone who made it possible!
Monday, February 1, 2010
THIS IS A REVIEW I DID OF THE FIRST SHOW BY THE IRON MAIDENS!
(I was there at the beginning...)
The Iron Maidens @ Hougie Barmichael's 10/19/01
by Jym Harris
(Originally written for BallBuster Music in 2001)
Ladies & Gentleman, Earthdogs & Hellrats, please welcome... The all female tribute to, you guessed it, Iron Maiden! In all my years of doing show reviews I'm struggling to recall another moment when I felt the intensity of such a scorching performance. The vibrato soaked voice of Jenny Warren (ex-Wrathchild) captures every inflection with her 'Bruce Chickenson' character, while sometime shapeshifting into 'Paulina Di'anno' for some traditional stuff. Guitar duo JoJo Tarus & Sara Marsh (famed for their works in Phantom Blue & Bandit), cover the roles of 'Adrianne Smith, Davina Murray & Denice Stratton', with stylings of multiple Maiden fret shredders. The rhythm section of drummer Linda McDonald (also from Phantom Blue) aka Clivette Burr/Nicki McBrain, and bassist Steve Heiress (get it?) appropriately represented by New Eden's Melanie Sisineros, is incredibly accurate. Maidenheads from way back should recognize that the band wisely chose early material like Aces High, Two Minutes to Midnight, The Trooper, Flight Of Icarus, Number Of The Beast, Run To The Hills, Hallowed Be Thy Name, and from the first album, Iron Maiden! Hell, just the guest appearance of a seven foot tall Eddie makes this is something any rivethead should witness first hand. Visit them @ www.TheIronMaidens.com
Saturday, January 30, 2010
Review by Jym Harris
(This one originally written for BallBuster Music but never printed)
Let’s get this out of the way. I’ve followed the Donnas since ‘Get Skintight’ & I did some press for them during ‘the Donnas Turn 21' tour. It was six years ago when I saw the band and they had only released a handful of indie albums with a few soundtrack appearances. This time around, they came off as seasoned musicians, almost like a completely different band. After being on a major label, having a few radio singles & appearances on TV programs like SNL, Letterman & Leno, their chops have tightened up so much I almost wondered if they were playing to a backup tape, it was that good. A few songs in, it was apparent they were in fact playing live. It was a little awkward being in the front row with all the ‘new’ fans who only wanted to hear the singles though, which reminded me of seeing Metallica on the Black Album tour where the whole crowd sang along with Enter Sandman. I felt more deserving than the bandwagon jumpers since I owned all the early material.
Needless to say, the Donnas performance was top notch, as was the crowd interaction, but I’d like to focus on song choice. The show started appropriately with the new album’s title track which was followed by the new single as it appears on the record. Then came the title track to ‘Get Skintight’ which I personally would’ve swapped for “You Don’t Wanna Call”. My favorite new track “Like An Animal” came next just before the single “40 Boys In 40 Nights” from ‘Turn 21'. Then another new one called “What Do I Have to Do”, which is a strong track but could’ve been “Here For the party”. Other than that, the new song choices totally made sense. Of course they had to play “Who Invited You” since that was a ‘video’, and is still a great live number. “Girl Talk” is a new sing-along number which they did right before their last single “Fall Behind Me”. Not my favorite but I doubt “Revolver” would have gone over well in a live setting. The infectious “Wasted” from the new CD was next but then I couldn’t believe they performed “You Wanna Get Me High” instead of “Too Bad About Your Girl”. That was a video song too! At any rate “5 o’clock in the morning” came off well but then another confusing choice was “You Make Me Hot”. I guess they had to an ‘old’ tune so I guess this was a smart choice. Finally a very pleasant surprise... their cover off Ratt’s “Round And Round” sounded fantastic! As expected they closed with their big hit “Take It Off” and the crowd went nuts. Overall, I was incredibly happy with the show. I looks like instead of a team of suits making their decisions, the band themselves is now calling the shots. Good for them. Check out the Donnas live when they come to your town. You won’t be disappointed!
THE DONNA PERSONA
The Donnas Live 2/18/01
By Jym Harris
Lookout! Records must be proud. Since the mid-90's, this California based quartet (known to most as simply Donna A, C, F, & R) have been polishing their chops and are quickly becoming the greatest female band in Hard Rock history. Singer Brett Anderson, drummer Torry Castellano, bassist Maya Ford, and guitarist Allison Robertson are breathing new life into the 'Chick Rock' world with their blend of Ramones-like power pop and catchy 80's metal riffage, and I was lucky enough to witness it first hand. First up was Canada's TUULI; possibly best recognized from Comedy Central's 'Premium Blend'. Their (temp?) drummer was the only non-female musician all night. The pop/punk Canucks covered a Garbage song, and their original material sounded as clean as the studio versions! Impressive to say the least. Afterwards, the Donnas' labelmates BRATMOBILE belted out a grip of 'Riot Grrrl' anthems in the traditional style for which they are so well known. The lead vocals of Allison Wolffe were accompanied by lots of cheerleader antics and ass-shakin' body language. Interestingly enough, the keyboards offered a different tonality one wouldn't usually expect, and the band itself was much better than I had anticipated. Last but certainly not least, THE DONNAS took the stage and opened with the first two tracks from their most recent CD 'The Donnas Turn 21'. Instead of focusing on that & their previous (maybe even superior) effort 'Get Skintight', they surprisingly blasted through an hour of material from all four albums! Highlights from the new record included my fave post-21 number 'You've Got A Crush On Me' & the Priest classic 'Livin' After Midnight'. Admittedly, I was hoping to hear more 'Skintight' tunes like 'You Don't Wanna Call', 'Zero' and of course 'I Didn't Like You Anyway' so I could participate in the chanting of the 'b.o.r.i.n.g'! Then, my moment of Zen. The girls dedicated a song to yours truly, and I've got the video to prove it! Flawless playing and incredible energy made for an electrifying Rock & Roll show. If ya get the chance, make a point to check-check-check 'em out! Discography: Electrocutes - Steal Yer Lunch Money (Pre-Donnas), Self Titled, American Teenage Rock N Roll Machine, Get Skintight, The Donnas Turn 21.
PURE AMERICAN METAL TOUR
Lamb Of God/Chimaira/18 Visions/Atreyu
by Jym Harris
So it's Cinco De Mayo in Portland, Oregon.
The show is being held at a club called 'Nocturnal' with a capacity of around 300...and the place is PACKED. Beyond the heavily stocked merchandise tables (I mean these guys REALLY know how to merch!) the first band ATREYU comes out looking & sounding very much like every other screamo band, with the exception of a little fancier guitar work. The vocals were split between two guys (gee, that's new) with the drummer handling the melodic parts. I didn't think much of the 'frontman'. I was waiting for them to break into 'box full of sharp objects' but it never happened.
Up next was 18 VISIONS. Somewhat in the Taproot vein, they had great tempo changes and the vocal harmonies really stood out. I love the melodic singing, but I wish I had heard more of it. These guys were like an accomplished version of the first band.
So on to band number three. Lo & behold, the show goes uphill from here! CHIMAIRA hit the stage with fantastic Metal energy. Come to think of it, not only the first loonghairs of the night, but the first band that sounded remotely Metal to me at all. They used keyboards tastefully, had an incredibly impressive drummer, a bassist with a WASP shirt and KISS tattoo, tight guitars, and a singer void of almost any melodic aspects whatsoever. So far, he was winning best screamer of the evening. So far.
Ok, main attraction time. LAMB OF GOD...LAMB OF GOD...chanted the roomfull of anxious headbangers. No disappointments here. By this time I was used to the Deathy Black Metal type voices I'd been hearing all night. I was expecting an Iced Earth feel from these guys but reminded me more of the stylings of Carcass or possibly Meshuggah. There were a few Pantera-esque moments too, especially when they would break into REAL LEAD GUITAR!!! Yes, I'm talking shredding solos. I would say LAMB OF GOD was not only the best band in this showcase but maybe the most original band of their genre. I picked up a copy of their first CD 'Burn The Priest' which thrashes along far above many of it's peers.
Go ahead and check this show out if it comes to your town. It's worth the fifteen bucks.
Originally posted at BallBusterMusic.com in 2003 ~ Jym Harris
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Irvine Meadows 9/10/00
By Jym Harris
Well, even with the crazy LA freeways, our accidental trip through Compton at 11PM, and basically being lost for far too long, I must say this show was worth the 30 hour road trip. Saturday was spent on Huntington Beach (where do these women come from???), cruising down Sunset, and hanging with Brent Muscat (LA Guns, Faster Pussycat, Bubble) ‘til 4AM. On Sunday, my pre-show conversation with Halford’s Metal Mike went great (see interviews). Thanks to the folks in catering for the hospitality!
Before sundown, Halford hit the stage with a blistering rendition of the title track to his new album ‘Resurrection’. Since we were in the photo pit, the view was amazing. You can just imagine the veins in Rob’s head during the high notes! Other highlights from the new record included tunes like ‘Cyberworld’ and the new single ‘Nightfall’. Too bad Bruce didn’t come out and do ‘The One You Love To Hate’! I have much more appreciation for Fight after seeing ‘Nailed To The Gun’ & ‘Into The Pit’ played first hand. The rest of the performance was spent in the glory days of Priest with classics like ‘Tyrant’, ‘Stained Class’, ‘Electric Eye’, and the obligatory ‘Breakin’ The Law’.
Patrick Lachman’s wife escorted us backstage (thanks Suzette!) but since Maiden never showed up to the Meet & Greet, we got the audio version of Queensryche’s set. Glad to know they dropped the Pink Floyd-ish ‘Silent Lucidity’, as I’ve seen them twice before, and with all due respect, it’s a bit of a yawner live. After opening with ‘Revolution Calling’, I was happy to hear classics like ‘The Lady Wore Black’ & ‘Queen Of The Ryche’. Still not hitting that high note in ‘Take Hold Of The Flame’ eh Geoff?
Then the show REALLY went into full force. Bruce & the boys are back with a vengeance! Of course, ‘Wicker Man’ was the opener. What happened to the lyrics ‘your time will come’? The coolest part of the single aren’t even on the album! Still, I couldn’t complain. Aside from the new songs, their traditional material included ‘Wrathchild’, ‘2 Minutes to Midnight’, ‘The Trooper’, ‘Number Of The Beast’, ‘Hallowed Be Thy Name’, ‘Sanctuary’ &‘Iron Maiden’. I could’ve lived without the two Blaze Bayley tunes (although Dickinson sounds great doing them), and I would’ve swapped ‘The Evil That Men Do’ & ‘Fear Of The Dark’ for ‘Run To The Hills’ & ‘Wasted Years’. I don’t recall hearing ANYTHING from ‘Somewhere In Time’ (???) which was puzzling. Janick Gers (does this guy ever stop moving?) fought Eddie with his guitar, Bruce impersonated Indiana Jones, and inside the BIG Eddie, they burned the Maidens. The backdrops, the pyros...Everything was astonishing. Every note, musically & vocally were perfect. Thanks to everyone who made it possible!
(Originally from BallBuster Music, I took the picture too) ~ Jymbo
Saturday, January 23, 2010
Hey Headbangers!!! I recently caught up with Barry Fischel, original guitarist for SENTINEL BEAST who (if you didn't already know) has a great new band called FISCHEL'S BEAST that is certainly worth checking out!
Interview by Jym Harris
Jym Harris: Hi Barry, thanks for talking with us. Most people would know you from the band Sentinel Beast of which you were a founding member. Was that the first band for all of the original members?
Barry Fischel: No, not at all. When the original line-up of Sentinel Beast first came together everyone in the band was in their late teens / early 20’s, so we had all been playing in various other cover and original bands, but nobody in the group had done anything that was ’released’. Greg Williams was in a band called Redrum before Sentinel Beast and a couple of the songs that he had written for them (’Tonite’) did find their way into the Sentinel Beast repertiore and even ended up on the ’Kill The Witch’ demo.
JH: As a guitarist and a songwriter both, who are your main influences?
BF: I was first influenced by the music my sister used to listen to in the late 70’s; groups like Led Zeppelin, The Eagles, Foreigner and songwriters such as Cat Stevens and even John Denver. As the 80’s rolled around and I became a teenager myself I started to discover metal and was into bands such as Iron Maiden, Slayer, Metallica, Merciful Fate and Megadeth. Looking back now it’s quite cool that as a member of Sentinel Beast that I got to share the stage with some of these acts. As the times progressed I never found myself really into some of the newer types of metal such as ’screamo’ or the ’cookie monster’ bands. I try to check out new material when ever I can to see what’s going on. One of new bands I really like are Suicide Silence. I‘ve also discovered some new cool Bay Area Thrash from some of the ’Thrash Clash’ CD’s I’ve gotten from Stromspell Records.
As for guitar players, there are always MANY influences. Being influenced doesn’t necessarily mean I want to play like any of them but you try to take elements of things you like, add a bit of ’yourself’ to try to come up with your own sound. A few guitar greats that would make my influences list are; Jimmy Page, Ritchie Blackmore, Joe Walsh, Gary Holt, Paul Gilbert, Yngwie Malmsteen, Dave Murray, Adrian Smith and the ’king of them all to me’ is Uli Roth.
And I don’t know how it fits in to the answer of this question, but I also really like the rapper Nas!
JH: I still have cassettes of some of the early demos ("Kill The Witch" being one of my favorites). I first heard Sentinel Beast on KYDS 91.5 FM in Sacramento when Mike Parisi from Redrum had a radio show. Did you guys know that band pretty well? I'm sure you did plenty of shows together!
BF: I really like the "Kill The Witch" demo a lot too, ’Full Treatment’ being one of my favorite songs. However, I must admit - that I am not on that demo! I had left Sentinel Beast shortly after the forming of the band to attend G.I.T (Guitar Institute of Technology) and was replaced by Greg Williams and Jerry Frazier. Within four months of the line-up change, they recorded the demo. It was actually that demo that did spark my desire to LEAVE G.I.T before completing my studies to rejoin the group.
-- We became aware of Redrum because Greg Williams came to us after leaving Redrum (on good terms). I’m not 100% sure but I believe that Greg actually left before Mike Parisi was in the band. We were both Sacramento based bands and were playing similar music so yes, we ended up playing lots of shows together.
-- Actually, there was a show ’way back in the day’ that Scott Awes and I were doing before Sentinel Beast formed. It was as a ‘keg party’ during our high school years. Our singer couldn’t make it and we were approached by a guy at the party named Carlos who said he could sing. The show went very well. Scott and I went on to form Sentinel Beast and Carlos Yniguez went on to become the lead singer of Redrum, so I guess the answer is YES we did know them very well. I saw Carlos this past summer on a visit home. He still looks like Carlos but his white hair, which is now much shorter makes him look a bit more ’distinguished’! I guess that look works well since he’s now a high school principal. There are pics of him on the Fischel’s Beast myspace site for anyone that wants to see a heavy metal principal looks like.
JH: Who else do you remember gigging with back then? Are there any fond memories you'd like to share?
BF: There were some bands that I think may sound a little familiar to some readers; Megadeth, Exodus, Slayer, Omen, Merciful Fate (with King Diamond), Exciter and Motorhead.
-- One of the ‘fond memories’ was a show we did in L.A where the bill featured Sentinel Beast, Megadeth, Slayer and Exodus. Man, I’d say we should look into an ’Anniversary Show’ with that line-up and add Fischel’s Beast to it! By the time we had done this show we had already played with Exodus a number of times and had become good friends with them. While I have fond memories of the show, I think I have fonder memories of the ’hang’ afterwards. Sentinel Beast and Exodus were staying at the same hotel. Somewhere in the course of the night it had become a ’stereotypical rock party’; 50-60 people all crammed into a hotel suite. There were musicians, roadies, groupies, strangers and random other people. We had a great time hanging, drinking beer, jamming (even some on nylon guitars!) and doing crystal meth (hey, it was the 80‘s and it was California).
JH: Did you guys make a conscious effort to play Speed Metal/Thrash or were you just a Heavy Metal band whose sound evolved?
BF: If you listen to the "Kill The Witch" demo (which I think you’re familiar with) you’ll notice that there’s really not any thrash or speed metal on there at all. It was good old fashioned Heavy Metal (but still catchy).
-- Around that era there were demos that started circulating around that featured Metallica (still with Dave Mustaine). Most of the music on there featured the faster tempos and rhythms that started to influence the sound of other groups. There were some European groups like Sodom and Destruction that were also heading this direction. Détente was also up and coming and were doing this style of music and they had a female singer, which Debbie Gunn found very intriguing. Debbie Gunn and Mike Spencer were living together at the time so Mike became exposed to this music as well. Mike was originally influenced by bands such as Judas Priest and Iron Maiden, and then started getting into this ’new style and sound’. He then blended these influences his writing did progress into a more speed / thrash sound.
JH: There were a few line-up changes in Sentinel Beast, including a time when you left and then came back, please clarify!
BF: I did mention earlier that soon after the band was formed that I left to attend G.I.T. Greg Williams and Jerry Frazier were brought in as guitar players and the ’Kill The Witch’ demo (3 songs only) was recorded. After 6 months at G.I.T, I returned home for a visit while on break from school. I went to visit the band and check out a rehearsal and was quite impressed with what I heard. They also gave me a copy of the demo which I was also very impressed. A couple of days later I get a call from Scott and he tells me that after I left the rehearsal Jerry Frazier announced that he was leaving the band. Scott asks me if I would be interested in coming back but I told him that I can’t because I was returning to G.I.T to complete my studies. On the trip back to school (an 8 hour drive) I listened to the ’Kill The Witch’ demo again and again and again an again, only stopping long enough to rewind the tape after each play. About three hours into the drive I had made a decision. I ’did’ return to G.I.T but it wasn’t to complete my studies. I collected my guitars, my Marshall (which I bought with my student loan money - then lived on Cream of Wheat and granola), my clothes and I returned to Sacramento to rejoin the band. To ‘summarize’ the rest of the line up changes… Greg Williams leaves the band just before the Metal Massacre VII album was released. Greg had actually already played on the recording that was supposed to be used for the album but Mike Spencer felt that Greg shouldn’t be on the album if he was leaving the group, so Mark Koyasako joined us and re-recorded Greg’s guitar parts (adding his own solos) and that‘s what was released.
The next line-up change comes when Mike Spencer leaves to join Flotsam & Jetsam. He is joining them to replace Jason Newstead who was leaving to join Metallica. Bassist Manny Bravo is brought in to replace Mike Spencer. I’m the next one to leave (again), this time to follow a ’spiritual calling’ and I replace myself with a local guitar player named J.J (I can’t recall his last name). The next and final line-up change comes when Debbie Gunn leaves to join Znowhite.
JH: How did the Metal Blade deal come about? You guys were on a Metal Massacre compilation, right?
BF: I forgot exactly how the 'contact' came about, but it was Mike Spencer who originally got us involved with Metal Blade. We had sent two different demos to them and Brian Slagel liked and wanted to use the song for 'Fight For Your Life' for one of the compilations. No one in the band liked this choice. We all wanted him to use something heavier. So, we recorded two of the newest songs we were working on that we felt strongest about, 'Sentinel Beast' and 'Dogs Of War'. Brian heard those and said that he would use 'Sentinel Beast' on Metal Massacre VII. But the story doesn't end there. Right after we get the news, Greg Williams announces that he is leaving the band. Mike Spencer did not want to put the version of the song with Greg Williams on it on the compilation since Greg was leaving the group. So, he had new guitarist Mark Koyasako go into the studio and rerecord the guitar parts and that's the version that made it to the Metal Massacre VII album. I've said more than one that I think the version that we did with Greg Williams was the best version of that song. Fortunately, Stormspell Records is releasing a CD that contains all of Sentinel Beast's demo recordings and that version of the song will be on it.
-- A few months after the release of Metal Massacre VII, we were doing a show at The Oasis in Scarmento, CA. Vonni of Redrum came to the gig with his 'friend' Kerry King of Slayer. The next morning Kerry King calls Brian Slagel from Vonni's kitchen (actually it was Vonni's MOM's kitchen since Vonni was still in High School) and tells Brian Slagel... 'you have to sign these guys!'
JH: Tell us about the re-issue of "Depths Of Death". There was one on Old Metal Records, but I understand there will be another on Shadow Kingdom Records with more tracks & perhaps an entire CD made up of demos. Please explain!
BF: I'm guessing you got some of your information from the Sentinel Beast NYC site that we had set up as we were starting the Fischel's Beast project. That site needs some updating and it's on our 'TO DO' list. In the meantime let's try to clear things up. Old Metal Records did release 'Depths Of Death' on CD and included two extra songs 'Tonite' and 'Full Treatment'. We were told by King Fowley that he had Brian Slagel's approval to release this. Shadow Kingdom had approached us and said they wanted to do an 'OFFICIAL' CD release of the album, but they were unable to get the rights from Brian Slagel.
-- Since the release of the Fischel's Beast 'Commencement' CD, Iordan has become very active in trying to help us get as much of the Sentinel Beast material out as possible. So, as I mentioned earlier, in spring of 2010 he will be releasing 'Up From The Ashes' a CD that will contain ALL of the studio demo recordings that Sentinel Beast recorded. He's also going to be releasing the debut EP of Debbie Gunn's NEW LINE-UP of Sentinel Beast. She will be doing 'her own' version of 'Forbidden Territories' and 'The Phoenix' which musically is the same as the version we recorded, but with her own lyrics and vocal melody.
JH: So, the second Sentinel Beast album never came out back then. What happened and why did the band break up?
BF: I think the band 'started' to break up when Greg Williams left. We were writing material and we were preparing to do a second album, but little by little things were falling apart. Mike Spencer was the next one to leave, when he departed to join Flotsam & Jetsam. Mike had always been an integral part of our sound and writing style, and as we got further along in our sucess, I feel he bacame a bit controlling. So, I actually felt a bit of freedom when he left, in that everyone else in the group was now able to express their ideas. We did continue to write, and I feel some of the material was quite good, which is why even 20+ years later I felt the need to FINALLY record it. We've been getting lots of postive feedback on the CD, so I take that as an affirmation of my thinking that people would like the music.
JH: After that, did you do any other projects before forming Fischel's Beast?
BF: When I left Sentinel Beast I took an 8 year hiatus from playing music. I didn't even own a guitar during this time. I travelled around quite a bit, had some interesting adventures, and I suppose I was searching for myself. I ended up in NYC and the itch to play music had hit me again. I didn't even have a guitar at the time, so a boss I was working for loaned me the money to buy a guitar. It was my first of two Schecters, a guitar I still have and play to this day.
-- Once I started playing again, I spent lots of time just practicing on my own before I felt I was good enough to play with others. Once I was ready, I decided that I would form a blues band. I found a bassist thru an ad in NY's Village Voice newspaper. The bassist in that band was Eric Mauriello, who has played with me since then, in various other projects and is the bassist in Fischel's Beast. We put a full band together doing blues covers from artists like Steveie Ray Vaughn, Eric Clapton and Johnny Winter. I always did my best to play those solos note for note. An interesting thing we'll mention is that the singer of that band was Albert Howe, brother of Shrapnell Records shred guitarist Greg Howe. This next bit has been told many times, and is a 'classic' in the history of Fischel's Beast. One day, as I was getting ready for our blues rehearsal I was listening to an old cassette of a Sentinel Beast reahearsal that was sent to me by an old friend. Eric arrived and asked what it was. When I told him what it was he said... 'man if you can play like that, why are we playing the blues?' That set the heavy metal wheels in motion and we haven't looked back. Actually, as I write this I just stumbled accross a cassette tape of one of our blues gigs!
JH: So when you reformed, did you deliberately get a male singer to change up the vocals?
BF: Since we were recording material that would have been Sentinel Beast material, and we had rehearsal versions of Debbie singing most of the songs, we originally did want a female singer. We were looking for a girl that had the power, emotion and edge that Debbie Gunn had. We did find a lot of really good singers but none of them had all that we were looking for. At that point we also started thinking PAST our initial task of recording the vintage Sentinel Beast material and realised that when we started working on 'new original' material that a male vocalist would fit our needs better, so we began our quest for that. We tried many screamers and cookie monsters but that was definitely not what we were looking for. We found Anthony Cross on in internet musician referral site. When he came over to audition he heard one of the girls we had been trying to work with and was really impressed with her. He came in and asked why were auditioning him. We explained that we wanted a male singer and convinced him to stay and sing. He did, and as they say, the rest is heavy metal history.
JH: Was there any other band names you considered other than Fischel's Beast? Weren't you going to call it Sentinel Beast New York?
BF: We had set up a myspace page called Sentinel Beast NYC that was done more to commemorate the 'history' of the band as I formed the new project. Around the same time I was forming my project, Debbie Gunn was putting her new line-up of Sentinel Beast together and she wanted to use the name, so she had actually started to call my page the page of the FALSE BEAST. I even considered using that as a name for a brief moment. It was actually Mike Spencer, who was trying to make peace amongst us that sugegsted the name Fischel's Beast. He pointed out that using 'Beast' would ring a note of familiarity to the Sentinel Beast fans, and he also pointed out that there were seven letters in Sentinel and seven letters in Fischel's. I'm not sure why, but for some reason that seemed cool and seemed to make sense to me. Debbie and I came to the agreement that she could use the Sentinel Beast name and I could use her lyrics and melodies on a few of the songs I was going to be recording.
JH: How did you hook up with Stormspell Records?
BF: We had originally self-released the CD. We were looking for a label that could help us, and were in talks with a couple of small labels when we found Iordan and Stormspell. He convinced us that we should be working with him, and he was right. I really respect the hard work and dedication he seems to give to all of the releases he puts out. He seems to really have a passion for the music, and I feel that's part of what makes him often go that extra mile. The self-released version of the 'Commencement' CD had a 4 page booklet. When Iordan released it on Stormspell he had custom art work done for us, and did a full color 12 page booklet.
JH: Since the Fischel's Beast EP "Commencement" is made up of old Sentinel Beast songs, will you be recording or playing any more of them live?
BF: We of course plan to play the material from 'Commencement' live and who knows, we might do a cover version of a classic tune like 'Sentinel Beast', but we don't plan to record any of the other 'Sentinel Beast' material. Actually, Micheal Spencer had sent me an email recently asking me if I'd be interested in recording a couple of tunes he had written 'back in the day', so there may be some more 'unreleased Sentinel Beast-like material' in our future after all.
JH: What about further plans? Can we expect a video release, a tour or any festival dates?
BF: Hopefully, yes, yes, and yes are the answers to those questions. We have talked about doing a video and are making some plans to get one done soon. Now that we have added a second guitarist to the group (after searching around quite a bit) we are ready for live shows as well. We are networking, sending out packages (one to you!), contacting promoters and agents, doing interviews and anything else we can do to help get the word out and generate interest in the band. Any help you and / or your readers can offer is greatly appreciated. The music scene has changed quite a bit, especially in the genre of heavy metal, and many bands are now left to handle a lot of the 'business' part of the music business themselves. We're also excited to be working on NEW, ALL ORIGINAL material and hope to have a full length CD released by the end of the year.
JH: Well, thanks for catching us up! Hope everything goes well with Fischel's Beast! Any last comments?
BF: We must thank YOU for giving us the opportunity to get the word out. As I mentioned the music scene has changed quite a bit, and you have to really work hard to get the word out these days, so we are thankful to people like you that give us the chance to do so.
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
From left to right: Share, Bam, Brent, Me (Jym Harris) & Dino
An Interview with Bam from Bubble (1999)
JYM HARRIS: A lot of people are wondering, where did the band name come from?
BAM: Bubble was the name of the secretary of a famous British comedy series. (Ab Fab) We only had two days to figure out a name. We'd just written five songs and then suddenly got the offer of a gig so we took it and went out as a two-piece..."BUBBLE-the 2nd Worst Band In the World!"
JYM HARRIS: I understand You & Share cooperate on the song writing. How does that work?
BAM: It works really well!!??? We'd written most of those songs before Brent n Eric joined the band. We had a pretty good idea of the production value of the record. However, on the new EP, Miss Hellaneous, Brent and Dino have already contributed towards the songwriting. And will probably continue to do so on the new album, "Rockets & Volcanoes" due out next spring/summer.
JYM HARRIS: I know you all were in other famous bands. How did Bubble come together?
BAM: It kind of all started in 1991 when Share and I met after the Dogs and Vixen had broken up. We were at loose ends so we started a cover band called "Stinky Fingers". We started jamming every friday night at the Coconut Teaser (Hollywood) as the house band. Playing with special guests each week...I guess that's where our musical respect for each other started. I went back to England to join the Wildhearts and on my return a few years later, Share and I got together and started writing tunes. After we started Bubble, we went through the normal number of member changes before finding Brent Muscat. We didn't really care what band he'd played in before....what really mattered was that he fit Bubble right. And Dino was the same!
JYM HARRIS: As I understand, Eric Stacy played on the CD but has since been replaced by Dino Everett. What's happened there?
BAM: It was just personal differences..... ha ha ha!
JYM HARRIS: Any of you keep in contact with your old band mates? Any good or bad relationships worth speaking of?
BAM: Well, obviously, I still talk to Jo n Tyla and even though Steve isn't in the Dogs now, I'm still good friends with him. As for Vixen, Share still chats with all of them. And we all see Taime Down in Hollywood on a regular basis! Oh, yeah, of course, we still talk to Ginger (Wildhearts) too! He's a dad now ya know. --
JYM HARRIS: What's up with the Dogs reunion?
BAM: We recorded the album at BUBBLE-land. Produced it ourselves. So far, it's only had an official release in Japan but it will be released in Europe in March and we're still workin on a deal for the states. Touring is planned but nothing is confirmed.
JYM HARRIS: Is there a chance for any other reunions? (Faster Pussycat, Vixen, etc.)
BAM: As far as I know, there is nothing in the works. Although, I've heard a rumor that Vixen is going to regroup in some shape or form?
JYM HARRIS: I heard that one of your songs will be in a movie soon. Please explain!
BAM: Yeah. We were really surprised and happy to discover that our song, Sparklestar had been chosen for a scene in "Dancing At the Blue Iguana". A movie featuring Daryl Hannah and Jennifer Tilly. Can't wait to see it and hear it at the big theater!!!! Very thrilling!
JYM HARRIS: What's the story behind your cover of 'Superstar' by the Carpenters?
BAM: There's no story really? We just wanted to do something a bit obscure. We like the juxtaposition between the lyrics and our delivery and a smoochy ole Carpenters song seemed like a good bet. Having said that, I just found that Sonic Youth had already covered it. But, hey, what are ya gonna do? It's a great live number! Alright?
JYM HARRIS: Give us some details about the new EP coming out?
BAM: Well, it's called, "miss hellaneous" and it's a 5-song limited edition hand-numbered cd. We've only pressed 1000 and that's it. The songs are: Black Hole, (demo for new album), Naked, (also a demo), Angels Love a Cowboy, Wild Horses, (stones), and Eye-the remix pseudo techno version.
JYM HARRIS: So, what are the future plans for Bubble and/or related projects?
BAM: We're starting production on our new album presently. Hoping to return to England, Europe and Japan later this year. And, of course, we hope to tour the states in 2001!!!
JYM HARRIS: Any last comments?
BAM: I gotta go get a pint at my local pub now. ciao!
(Originally posted at BallBusterMusic.com in May of 2000)
By Jym Harris
BALLBUSTER: The new album Deal With The Devil is out on Metal Blade. How did You get hooked back up with them, and Did you ever consider signing to another label?
LIZZY: metal blade kept asking me to all through the 90’s but I had to wait until I was ready to put up one hundred percent, so it took until the middle of 98’ before I felt I could do this whole thing again. I never considered another label we never shopped to anywhere else.
BB: Todd MacFarlane did the cover art and the multimedia portion of the Album. How did that come about?
LIZZY:my producer Elliot Solomon asked me what I was going to do for the cover I told him I wanted this guy Todd mcfarlane to do it. It just so happened that Elliot also works for a movie co. and Todd was working on a film with Jodie foster that his co. was releasing so I told him to ask Todd if he would do it, he said yes. I had 4 or 5 meetings with him and sent him pictures and this was his interpretation of lizzy’s deal with the devil.
BB: Will there be any singles or videos released from the new CD?
LIZZY: I don’t think that metalblade releases singles anymore do to the lack of metal radio but we do hope to shoot a couple of videos for the record.
BB: What exactly are the 2 cover songs on the album?
LIZZY: this ain’t the summer of love by blue oyster cult and generation landslide by Alice cooper.
BB: With all the great photos on the Metal Blade site, why aren’t there Any in the booklet?
LIZZY:we had to race just to get the record out before the end of the year so we really had very little time to get everything together, so instead of just throwing any old pictures in there we decided to go with no shots.
BB: Will the import versions of the CD differ from the U.S. pressing (Bonus tracks, etc.)?
LIZZY:I think for Japan they will add the song (we’ll burn the sky) it’s an old scorpions song that we did at the beginning of this record.
BB: Most of the songs sound very traditional. Over what time period was The material written?
LIZZY:well most of it was written the few months leading up to the recording but there we’re two songs that I wrote in the 80’s (lovin’ you is murder) and (we only come out at night.) I wrote (There will be blood tonight) during pre-production for this record so it’s the freshest blood.
BB: Did you ever consider audition for another band (like Priest or Maiden) when they were looking for replacement Singers?
LIZZY:well Judas priest is my favorite metal band but those shoes are a little too big to fill. But at that time if they would have asked me I might have given it a try.
BB: When I interviewed you several months ago, you said you planned on A World tour. I know you've done some Festivals overseas, but what's on the itinerary now?
LIZZY: we’re planning on a full European tour and we are working on booking the states right now, we hope to announce dates soon.
BB: Currently, what songs would a Lizzy Borden live set consist of?
LIZZY:we are working on the new show right now, it’s going to be based on the deal with the devil theme but we are going to incorporate songs from each and all of the lizzy Borden records, as we’ll as four or five songs from the new one.
BB: Anything you'd like to add?
LIZZY:this is just the beginning for us. We are releasing the entire back catalog and there will be new lizzy records and tours to come. We have just begun!
By Jym Harris
Here is my second installment in the Lizzy Borden trilogy; an interview with Bassist Marten Andersson who is also in the band Legacy...
Introducing LEGACY Marten Andersson recently completed a new album entitled "Deal With The Devil" with the world renowned Recording Artist "LIZZY BORDEN". Lizzy Borden previewed their new world wide tour in Germany with exceptional response at "The Wacken Festival", which held 35 thousand screaming fans.
Legacy also features guitarist and Roadrunner recording artist Jonas Hansson (Alcatraz, Silver Mountain and the Jonas Hansson Band).Added to Legacy's strong mix are special guest appearances by Joy Basu and Sammy J. Watson. Guitarist Joy Basu has recorded and/or performed with Jennifer Lopez, Jessica Simpson, CoCo Lee, members of Dio, Dweezil Zappa and Billy Idol. Drummer Sammy J. Watson is a highly recommended session drummer with past performances/recordings with"Ricky Lee Jones" and with members from the band "The Wallflowers" among others.
Ballbuster:: So I understand you're in both Lizzy Borden and Legacy. Is there any conflict between bands? How does it all work out with touring etc.?
Marten: It actually works out perfect. In Lizzy Borden, we rehearse very intensely before we record or we go out on tour. In my off time I write and record songs on my own. We are getting ready to go on the road with Lizzy, in the States and Europe, so I don't expect a Legacy tour anytime soon. We are currently shopping Legacy, for a deal in the States, plus Jonas Hansson is busy doing a reunion album with his old band Silver Mountain. So the scheduling is working out great!!
Ballbuster:: Was there any problem with the name, since Testament used to be called Legacy?
Marten: We registered a bunch of trademark names with the organization that deal with trademarks and patents. Legacy was one of the names that was available. There were other things called Legacy: Vacuum cleaners, Rental Agencies and what have you, Legacy was available as far as a hardrock/heavy metal name.
Ballbuster:: When did you form Legacy? Have there been any line-up changes?
Marten: For the first set up of Legacy, I actually had 2 guitar players, it was Joy Basu (Joy has recorded and/or performed with Jennifer Lopez, Jessica Simpson, CoCo Lee, members of Dio, Dweezil Zappa and Billy Idol) and Jonas Hansson. Joy just did not have the time to commit to it, he ended up coming in and doing a guest appearance on the CD and did a great job. As far as when.. Well, I have always have been writing songs and playing around with the idea of a solo project on the side. In 97-98 I finally just picked a bunch of songs sent them to a label in Japan, got a deal. The CD ended up doing good over there, that's the way it has been going. I am taking over a country at the time!!
Ballbuster:: I've interviewed Lizzy twice now, and hung out with him at the Maiden/Queensryche/Halford show. How is he to work with?
Marten: Lizzy (and the rest of the guys) are great to work with! Lizzy is very passionate when it comes to the band. He is breathing metal 24/7, which is awesome. We all give a 100%, which you have to do, to be doing this 365 days a year.
Ballbuster:: I'm curious, does anyone call Lizzy by his real name or do you guys really address him as Lizzy?
Marten: HA HA!!!! people call him Lizzy, I call him LB.
Ballbuster:: What's the deal with OUI? You review pornos?
Marten: Hell yeah!!! That was awesome. The Editor of the Magazine is a friend of the band. She contacted me and said they are combining "Rock and Metal" to OUI's format and wanted to know if we were interested reviewing porn movies for a column. (Huum "porn and rock" together imagine that). Wouldn't you love to review porn movies for a living? Did not take long (to say yes). Basically they are going to have rock stars review porn movies in every issue, Lizzy and I were the first to do the honors!!
Ballbuster:: Any porn stars you like or dislike enough to mention?
Marten: We love all pornstars!!!!! We don't dislike any of them (so far). We have worked with quit a few of them, for example Lizzy cut up jasmine St. Clair at a live show a few years ago. She's a good sport and a friend/fan of the band.
Ballbuster:: With Legacy, the focus seems to be primarily on you. Are you the main song writer?
Marten: That's correct. I start out by writing music, then I work with the singer, in which we finish up the lyrics and the arrangements together. I like the idea of having the singer involved with lyrics and arrangements. They tend to take the song more personal, sing better and take more ownership that way.
Ballbuster:: Now that both bands have new CDs out, are there any future plans we don't know about?
Marten: I am playing around with the idea of writing a follow up to my first book, "Make Label Contact". It is a reference book about the music industry and it was successful but I have not decided to go forward with that idea as of yet.
Ballbuster:: Any last comments?
Marten: Look for a Lizzy Borden show coming to your town!!
(Originally from Ballbuster Music in 1999) ~ Jymbo
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
So about a decade ago, I did THREE interviews with members of LIZZY BORDEN. In a few weeks, I'll be going to see them live in concert for the FIRST TIME!!!
Here are the interviews:
#1 with Lizzy (singer)
#2 with Marten (bassist)
#3 with Lizzy (again)
Enjoy! ~ Jymbo
(Originally published at BallBusterMusic.com in 1999)
Preface: I've always considered Lizzy Borden to be one of my favoritel bands of all time. I even considered getting a tattoo of the band logo once. He and the band are a paradigm for everything that was great about Heavy Metal in the 80's. Check out their web site at http://www.lizzyborden.com for details about the new album 'Deal With The Devil'. Hope you enjoy the interview! ~ Jym Harris
By Jym Harris
JYM HARRIS: First off I want to say I'm easily one of your biggest fans. I Still remember hearing "Give 'Em The Axe" for the first time, and being blown away by your voice. Did you take any formal training or was there Someone you tried to pattern yourself after?
LIZZY: I took a couple of breathing lessons. It helps me to last on tour.
JYM HARRIS: Where did the whole "Hello Suckers" thing come from? It's sort of your trademark.
LIZZY: P.t. Barnum "never give a sucker an even break".
JYM HARRIS: The last thing we heard from Lizzy Borden, was "Master Of Disguise". Was that something that started out as a solo project, or is that just what it turned into?
LIZZY: The plan was to record like they did in the 70's by using a lot of different musician's on the record. It was a lot of fun for me and every one who played on it. It's the way I like to work now..
JYM HARRIS: Didn't you have a band called Diamond Dogs after that? I never heard any recordings. Whatever happened?
LIZZY: Diamond Dogs was my glitter rock band, I will be releasing some of that stuff later on after the new Lizzy Borden record.
JYM HARRIS: Were you using the name Lizzy Borden then?
LIZZY: Just lizzy, and we only played in Hollywood; it was and still is fun.
JYM HARRIS: You're doing a new album on Metal Blade. What should we expect? Are you still playing traditional Heavy Metal or more of a 90's kind of thing?
LIZZY: The new CD is called "Deal with the Devil" I think it's a cross between visual lies and master of disguise with a little love you to pieces thrown in.
JYM HARRIS: What about a tour to support the record? I know you're doing the Wacken Open Air Festival in Germany. I hope you don't have any problems With the axe this time!
LIZZY: We plan on a world tour!!!!!!! places we have never played it's gonna be a great show, I'm already working on it. Yeah I have to find another way of getting my (axe) over there.
JYM HARRIS: Do you know if the Wacken show will be televised or available on video? I know lots of Americans who would kill to see that show!
LIZZY: We are working on that to. I think they shot a few songs at the bang your head festival we did in June, but I haven't seen anything yet.
JYM HARRIS: Is there going to be any Lizzy Borden merchandise available soon?
LIZZY: Yes, yes and yes we are starting with old shirts that we found in our storage left over from each tour. All the artwork has been destroyed and once these go it will be the last ever from those tours; they will be available on our web site very soon as well as new Deal with the Devil shirts.
JYM HARRIS: What do think of the resurgence of Metal in the states? I'm sure we're all glad to see it coming back around!
LIZZY: I'm very happy about live metal music coming back. In L.A. I think it was the worst music drought we've had since disco killed off rock in the 70's.
JYM HARRIS: Have you heard the October 31 cover of 'Give 'Em The Axe'? I don't think it stands up to the original, but I'm glad to see someone showing their influence.
LIZZY: No I haven't, I have heard of some bands around the country playing some of our songs. Very cool.
JYM HARRIS: Any last comments?
LIZZY: Yeah, I can't wait to get this record out and to get the machine back on the road, we are primed and ready and I think it will be better then ever. It's me against the world and it's time to take it back!!!!!!!!!!