STRYPER PICTURES FROM 7-29-11 JIM THORPE PA / PENNS PEAK
CHECK THEM OUT HERE
INTERVIEW W/ FORMER IRON MAIDEN SINGER BLAZE BAYLEY – U.S. TOUR, NEW WOLFSBANE, SOLO AND ACOUSTIC ALBUMS
RN: I see you are coming to the U.S.
Blaze Bayley: Yeah. I am really looking forward to that. I have been in contact with a promoter over there and he has managed to find us quite a few shows. I didn’t realize I had that many fans over there so I am really excited about it. . I have only done one U.S.A show since leaving Iron Maiden and that was a festival that I really enjoyed. I haven’t been able to get back there since then but he booked about twenty shows. The tour goes from the east to the west cost and I am really looking forward to meeting the fans.
RN: Can you tell us what the set list is going to be like?
Blaze Bayley: It’s a greatest hits tour really, some of my own songs and some things from the past as well.
RN: Tell us about your acoustic tour you have coming up in September.
Blaze Bayley: I am with Jase Edwards right now. We are in the studio right just taking a break. We are working on the new Wolfsbane album. We have a couple weeks in September where we are going to go out and do an acoustic tour. Blaze Bayley and Jase Edwards the incredible acoustic tour. We are just playing some of our favorite songs that we have written and also some of the songs that have influenced us over the years. We are going to see how it goes, if people like it we might do it again next year.
RN: You mentioned the new Wolfsbane CD. How is that coming along and is it different from past the Wolfsbane albums.
Blaze Bayley: I think it has moved on slightly. We have more control over it because we are producing it ourselves. Jase Edwards has his own recording studio so all the writing and recording has been done there. I think it has an identity that is our own. For me personally it’s the most Wolfsbane since we did “All Hell’s Breaking Loose Down at Little Kathy Wilson’s Place” it’s a mixture of ideas. It’s in the very early stages but we all have a great vibe about it. When these four people get together and make music this is what it sounds like and if you liked Wolfsbane from years ago you will have plenty to like on this album. And I hope the Blaze Bayley fans like the new Wolfsbane album as well.
RN: What is the status of your unplugged album?
Blaze Bayley: It’s a work in progress. It keeps changing and its something that I wanted to do for a very long time. Something that puts the voice out front. Something that is emotional and something that is simple. I am not giving up Heavy Metal. Heavy Metal is my life, it’s my in blood. But I feel that there is something I need to express. I want the fans to have an album where my voice is featured. Like I said the ideas are slowly forming. When I feel I’m ready ill go into the studio
RN: The acoustic shows you have coming up is that part of the process.
Blaze Bayley: Yeah, I did an acoustic show a few years ago and I really enjoyed it. And I wanted to start again so yeah its part of it. I need to get myself into that vibe. It’s an expressive thing. Right now I want to hear how my voice sounds with the guitar and seeing what it feels like. That is the first step before I think about recording and putting it together. I think it is going to be like most of the albums I do. It is going to be an experience from start to finish.
RN: What about touring with Wolfsbane?
Blaze Bayley: The Wolfsbane tour starts in November. It is just a few shows around the U.K. to start with. The album comes out in November as well. It should have worldwide distribution it will be on iTunes as well. And we will see where that leads. We have to see what offers come in. Doing the U.K. tour and having a new album coming out and people need to see that we are available to things as Wolfsbane. So we will see where that leads. We have to see if people like that album. I know some fans will say it’s the best album ever and I know others will say it’s the worst thing they ever heard.
RN: What’s going on with the next Blaze Bayley solo record?
Blaze Bayley: Yes that is in the works for 2013. I am going to try and make the ultimate Blaze Bayley full metal record. It’s a slow burner that is on the boil now. It’s like a great whisky, it gonna take a while to ferment and get the right flavor. I have done “The Man Who Would Not Die” and “Promise and Terror” and I am very proud of those records and I have to match those. When I come back with my next full metal album I have to do something as good and I hope to come back with something that is really significant. I don’t want to rush this one. The last few months have been tough and I am just getting back on my feet and getting back into my music again. I am getting my creativity back and my mental strength back together and I think by 2013 ill be ready to steam into and create on of the ultimate heavy metal records of the 21st century.
RN: Speaking of your mental strength, I heard you wanted to kill yourself and you went to see a Dr. Is that true?
Blaze Bayley: I had to go see a Dr. I have been on medication for depression for quit a few years. And my moods go up and down. A few years ago I discovered I was a depressed person. It’s not just moods it’s a real chemical imbalance in my brain. And sometimes its worse than others. I have lived with it for years. But to finally to be able to put a name on it and to find out about it then start dealing with it. Unfortunately you’re still a victim of it. Once you know the signs that trigger it you can try to avoid it. See what situations leads to stress and you try to avoid them. But sadly sometimes life is difficult and the path is not easy. The last few months building to the split of the band has been very difficult. Splitting with the Blaze Bayley band was just awful it was a dream that just died. I really believed that I could have my own full time band and make enough money to pay our rent and be able to live off our music and we just couldn’t. It was the end of a dream it was the end of something I worked for, for so long since I left Iron Maiden. It was very difficult to cope with that. I am very lucky to have been able to come back from that with the love and support of family and friends and of course the fans. Now I feel like there is a future worth living for. I have gone through some pretty desperate times over the past few months. I am still in therapy. And I’m still on medication but I am very positive about the future. I am taking it one day at a time. I am trying to have more good days than bad days. I am not special. Thousands of people have this problem and are on medication. And need therapy for suicidal thoughts. I am no different from them. I am just coping the best way I can the same as anybody else does. There is no shame in it. Not for me anyway. That’s why I’m open about it. Fans that I have met feel reassured that someone that is in the public eye is prepared to talk about it. I have always tried to be honest with my fans about the way I am and what I am going through in my life. This is the artist they supported, I am a man with the same problems that everyone else has. And I am just trying to get through it the same as everyone else.
RN: Considering everything you have been through, has your definition of success changed?
Blaze Bayley : Like Jack Black says “if you want to pay your rent with you rock” it’s difficult. If you want to play original material and you don’t want to work a day job or a second job besides that, it’s difficult. With the shape of the industry and the way it’s grown. It’s just very difficult to make that happen. I’m not a rock star. I’m a musician, I’m a singer and that’s all I ever wanted to be. I am lucky enough things are starting to go in the right direction for me after so many years. I don’t see any point in being artsy fartsy about it. Don’t tell people you work a day job or don’t tell people you don’t have a car or whatever. Well that’s not what it’s about. Anybody that’s into my music, enjoys my singing, my musical ideas, my arrangements, my performances, don’t really care that I drive an old car that I painted black myself. I don’t think they care about those things. I am not part of this whole rock star illusion with all of that going on. I’m a singer, and the fans I speak to when I get to meet them, I speak to them as that. I am the same as everybody else. I am just very lucky that I have had the support and help from a lot of wonderful people that have helped me carry on and continue living a life where I can pay my rent most weeks with my music. I am lucky and feel very fortunate I can do that. And that’s because I have the incredible support from my family and fans around the word and in the U.S.A.
The whole illusion of the music industry is to be successful you have to appear successful and then you need to decide what your definition of success is. Some people define success by having a big house, big car and a pair of big plastic breasts that come with a female attached. For me; simply put, being able to sing my own music and being able to sing songs that I love, working with people that I like, and being able to play small shows all over the world to people that understand my music. Paying my rent and keeping tires on my motorcycle. To me that’s success.
RN: Blaze thank you very much for your time. It was truly a pleasure.
Blaze Bayley: Anytime mate, see you in the states.
DANTE MARTINO: I really want to thank Blaze for taking the time to do this interview. Due to time zone issues sometimes it’s difficult to arrange a phone interview with someone on the other side of the pond. But we made it work.
TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT BLAZE’S PROJECTS, MUSIC AND TOURS CHECK OUT HIS OFFICIAL WEB SITE HERE.
INTERVIEW: BLACKMASS MAFIA – TALKS CD, TOURING AND DRUMMER SEARCH
This past weekend I had the opportunity to hang out with Blackmass Mafia at their studio hidden deep in the backwoods of up state Pennsylvania. Upon arriving I had no expectations other than a very raw demo that contained three songs I received about a month ago.
While hanging out, throwing back a few White Mountain Dew’s (which tastes like green Mountain Dew by the way) I asked if they made any progress with their CD and to my surprise they played what is pretty much the finished version of it. Although the band gave me a copy, I am not posting a CD review at this time because I want to wait to hear the final mix. What I will say after hearing the CD and watching these guys rehearse is that Blackmass Mafia have to be one of the most brutal bands that Pennsylvania has to offer.
Check out the interview below and be on the look out for the CD review.
Blackmass Mafia Is:
Mikke Nugent: Guitars/Vocals
Shawn Meister: Rhythm Guitar
Blackmass Mafia Interview
RN: Let’s talk about you debut CD?
Shawn Meister: “Vol. 1 War Machine” This is going to kick you right in the balls.
RN: How far along in the recording process are you?
Mikke Nugent: It’s just about done. Right now we are in the mastering stage.
RN: What is the projected street date?
Mikke Nugent: We are shooting for September, the first day the tour starts is when the album will be released.
RN: How did the recording process go? Did you all have a part in it?
Mikke Nugent: I do guitars, vocals and keyboards, I produced the record. I engineered the recorded. Dan Fedele played drums on the record. He did an amazing job. We did 10 songs in 3 hours high as shit. And we are proud of that. We are poor so it was weed but high none the less.
RN: Tell me about some of the songs titles and some of the meaning behind them.
Mikke Nugent: “Never Say Goodbye” is about my old lady. It’s a track that you never expect a band like us to play. We have an orchestra playing on it and a choir. Then you have the heavy tunes like “Electric Mistress” it’s a 7 and a half minute tune and we don’t play 7 and a half minuet tunes. But that’s the life it took on. “Cleans The Sky” it’s an old school Pantera type groove.
RN: What about the song “War Machine”?
Mikke Nugent: What about it?
RN: What’s it about?
Mikke Nugent: “War Machine”. It’s not about the war or the government. It’s about how hateful the Philadelphia music scene is and how we go out there every fucking night and just crush. This whole album is a statement in it self. Telling certain people “fuck you”. This is us and if you don’t like it we don’t give a fuck.
Shawn Meister: It’s about being told for years by family member’s ex-wives ex-girl friends to give it up and get a real job and through the years we stuck with it. We continue to stick with it and we are going to continue to stick with it in till the day we die.
RN: How would you describe the sound of “Vol. 1 War Machine”?
Mikke Nugent: I feel that James Hetfield and Zakk Wylde are great in their own right for different things and I thought it would be very interesting to see if I could mesh these two guys together especially Black Label’s 1919 Eternal and Metallica’s …And Justice For All. It is what it is. My whole goal was to take the tight rhythms and chunk of Metallica and take the harmonic sequels and leads from Zakk and put them together and see what I could get.
RN: OK, from that response I take it that B.L.S. and Metallica are huge influences on you guys.
Best: Yeah man, Rex Brown, Metallica, Black Label Society and AC/DC
Mikke Nugent: I worshipped at the alter of Metallica for as long as I could remember. The first 2 albums I got were “No Rest For The Wicked” and “Ride The Lighting”. At that age most of the people I knew went back and got into AC/DC and Sabbath. I love those bands but I was more into Motorhead Tigers of Pan Tang, Diamond Head and Venom. I found a lot of different music and a lot of great players but at the end of the day it always came down to Zakk Wylde and James Hetfield.
RN: How about you Shawn?
Shawn Meister: I was about 6 or 7 years old and my mom took me to a Kiss concert. As I got older I got into Motley Crue, Britny Fox and Heaven’s Edge. And as soon as I heard Zakk Wylde on “No Rest For The Wicked” that changed my playing style 100%.
RN: When is your tour starting?
Shawn Meister: The tour starts September 1st. We are still booking dates. Keep checking our facebook page for updates. When the dates are confirmed we will make the announcement.
RN: The road can be brutal for a new band. Do you have any expectations?
Shawn Meister: The first time out it’s going to be rough. We are going out to get out name out there. But I have a strong feeling when we come back through and hit those same clubs there will be twice as many people but this time there will be a lot more love.
RN: What bands would you like to go out and play with?
Best: 98 Degrees and O Town (laughs)
Mikke Nugent: We really want to play with SPUR GANG. They are buddies of ours. Backwoods Payback another great band.
Shawn Meister: Bands that we see our selves playing with are bands that bust their balls and work hard.
RN: One last question. You guys are in need of a drummer correct?
Shawn Meister: Absolutely
RN: What kind of person/drummer are you looking for?
Shawn Meister: Someone who will bust their balls just as hard as we do every night and can keep up with us. Not just with the touring and all that comes with it but being able to play just like the album and can appreciate our style. Just someone who is just like us, huge fans of this band that we just happen to be apart of.
FOR MORE INFO AND MUSIC CHECK OUT THEIR FACEBOOK PAGE
Razer CD REVIEW & INTERVIEW W / Chris Catero
Dark Devotion Expanded Edition
Release Date – July 19th, 2011
Chris Powers – Lead Vocals
Chris Catero – Bass, Backing Vocals
Jeromy Graves – Guitar
Paul Sullivan – Guitar
Eric Bongiorno – Drums, Backing Vocals
All I can say is WOW. Razer mixes old school metal and the new rock vibe with ease. There is a ton if different musical influences running through this CD. With sixteen songs there is a lot to take in. With that being said I think sixteen songs might be too many to hold the attention of some younger fans. Old school rock and metal fans might be more prone to listen to the whole CD in its entirety and like it if not love it. The disc opens with the hard hitting single “Do You Want It” written by bassist Chris Catero and former Megadeth guitarist Marty Friedman. They also do a killer cover of Led Zeppelin’s “When The Levee Breaks”. Singer Chris Powers vocal range is amazing. He delivers a different vocal style on each song. The musicianship is spot on. If you didn’t catch Razer’s “Dark Devotion” the first time around the Expanded Edition is well worth picking up.
Track List Is As Follows:
Do You Want It
What I Say
Right Kind Of Evil
Fall From Grace
Falling In Line
Save The World
Cut And Paste
When The Levee Breaks
Every 1s A Winner
Frozen – Live From The Living Room
INTERVIEW W/ Chris Catero
RN: Tell us about the re-release Dark Devotion.
Chris Catero: This is an expanded edition of the album that came out last year. The reason is, it was released in a very limited manner. What happen was through the year, God Bless Jose Mangin at Octane. He is a big fan of the band and he picked up on it. Jose is one of those guys in rock radio that gets to be a rebel. He plays what he wants to play. He really helped the band out. He played a couple songs and what ended up happening along the way we picked up new management and we started to get a lot of things in place for the band businesses wise. Management suggested that we put out an expanded edition and add a few more songs.
RN: I heard your song “Do You Want It” on Octane. I really dug it.
Chris Catero: The song “Do You Want It” is a song that Marty Friedman (ex- Megadeth) and I wrote together. We went in and did a few covers songs pretty much the way Marty and I would do them. And we had an acoustic version of “Do You Want It” and I said why don’t we try a full version of it. And after that I sent it to Jose just to see what he thought of it. And before I knew it he was already spike rotating our songs and I asked about “Do You Want It” and he told me he was putting it in rotation and within a few weeks it made their Big ‘Uns Countdown. That was when I thought “Ok I think we have something here.”
RN: When does the CD come out?
Chris Catero: The CD comes out July 19TH and the single “Do You Want It” should hit main stream radio around the same time.
RN: I was looking for tour dates and I couldn’t find any. What’s going on with that?
Chris Catero: Well we have a few one offs coming up. We are trying to get everything squared away all at the same time. Our booking agent wanted it to coincide stuff with the release of our single.
RN: What do you do when you’re not working with Razer?
Chris Catero: I play Bass in Marty Friedman’s solo band and I run Krank Amps.
RN: How is it touring with Marty Friedman? He is a big celebrity over in Japan.
Chris Catero: Sometimes it’s crazy because he actually is a true blue celebrity over there. Over and above anything you do with rock music. He is all over T.V. It was kind of weird, we did a DVD there a few years back and walking down the street he had little old ladies coming up to him. These are not the typical people that would know who he is. I asked him, “How does she know you”? He said, “I was booked on a cooking show that’s how she knows me”. It’s pretty crazy.
RN: You have a lot on your plate. You play in two bands and you run Krank Amps. How do you manage your time?
Chris Catero: I have to run the entire company right now because we are going through some restructuring but when it’s all done I’ll be handling artist relations, marketing and product development.
RN: I have to ask, do you sponsor yourself?
Chris Catero: Of course, most of the equipment we use I had a hand in the development. So it’s definitely a labor of love when it comes to that stuff.
RN: Is there anything you want to say to your fans that have heard the single on Octane or to the people that are reading about you for the first time?
Chris Catero: I would like to say I hope you enjoy the single and if you like it check out the rest of the album. I think people will be pleasantly surprised that there are 15 other killer songs on the album that you will dig.
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EMPHATIC – DAMAGE
RELEASE DATE 7-12-11
Producer: Howard Benson
OMAHA Nebraska’s Emphatic will release their Debut album Damage through Atlantic Records July 12th. At times Damage sounds Nickelback-esque with a much heavier edge. Most of the lyrical content is about sex, partying and having a good time. The CD for the most part is up beat with the exception of a few ballads. I think “Put Down The Drink” has to be the best ballad on the disc and one of the best ballads I have heard in a while. The CD if full of killer melodies and great guitar riffs. But I think vocalist Patrick Wilson makes this CD what it is.
Disc standouts: have to be the ballad “Put Down The Drink” and “Get Paid” it’s a song we all can relate to and just rocks. Everything is spot on with this song from the Lyrics to melody to the Guitar Solo. By far the best song on the CD. I love this song.
Patrick Wilson: vocals
Justin McCain: lead guitar
Lance Dowdle: guitar
Alan Larson: Bass
Dylan Wood: Drums
Jeff Fenn: Keys/Samples
EMPHATIC – DAMAGE / CD Track Listing:
Put Down The Drink
A Place To Fall
Don’t Forget About Me
FOR MORE INFO CHECK OUT :
To Pre Order Damage : http://emphaticrock.com/damage/
To check out the video for “Bounce” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wy5QpU_aS8c
Emphatic Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/#!/emphaticrock