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THE NEW NORMAL: Kane Roberts On Breathing Life Into His Incredible New Album!

THE NEW NORMAL: Kane Roberts On Breathing Life Into His Incredible New Album!

Legendary guitarist Kane Roberts’ is an unstoppable force in rock music.

Of the iconic images of the ‘80s in rock n roll, one that stood the test of time is Alice Cooper’s then-Rambo-looking guitar player shooting fires on the crowds from his M-80 shaped guitar. That guitar player was none other than Kane Roberts: an accomplished musician and singer, who went on to record four solo albums (including the “Phoenix Down” project released on the Frontiers label in the late ‘90s). Kane’s name and abilities came to prominence on Alice Cooper’s “Constrictor” album, which was followed by his self-titled debut solo album in 1987. More albums and tours with Alice followed, making Kane a well-known face in the business especially for his guitar skills, his body-builder image and iconic machine-gun guitar.

As a solo recording artist, he landed a few Top 40 hits and his varied musical background includes recording, writing and touring with artists such as Rod Stewart, Alice Cooper, Desmond Child, KISS, Diane Warren, Alice in Chains, Berlin, Guns N’ Roses and Garland Jeffries. He also wrote or recorded music for films like “Light Sleeper,” “Penelope Spheeris’ Decline of Western Civilization,” “Friday the 13th IV Jason Lives” and “John Carpenter’s Prince of Darkness.” In 1991, his second solo album, “Saints and Sinners” for Geffen Records included the Top 40 Billboard hit “Does Anybody Really Fall In Love Anymore,” originally written by Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora.

Kane is back with a new album and this time he made it special by involving amazing friends including Alice Cooper guesting on lead vocals in the main video/single “Beginning of the End” together with Alissa White-Gluz (of Arch Enemy). The song also features an appearance from Babymetal powerhouse drummer Aoyama Hideki. Kane also reunited his former Alice Cooper bandmates Kip Winger, Paul Taylor and Ken Mary on the album opener “Above and Beyond.” Other guest appearances include Nita Strauss (current Alice Cooper guitarist) appearing on lead guitar on “King of the World” and Lzzy Hale (of Halestorm) co-write on “The Lion’s Share.”

Three years in the making, “The New Normal” offers a unique artist ready to get back in the spotlight. Absolutely not to be missed, Kane melts the old and new in metal in an outstanding album. Enjoy it with open mind and get ready to be blown away! Jason Price of Icon Vs. Icon recently caught up with the legendary Kane Roberts to discuss his life in music, fueling his creative fire and breathing life into his epic new album, ‘The New Normal.’ 

You created a tremendous career in the music industry. How did music come into your life and begin to take hold?

For me, as a kid, I started finding music like Jimi Hendrix and Jimmy Page, anybody named Jimmy actually! [laughs] No, no, I’m kidding but it was Led Zeppelin and bands like that. I became instantly obsessed with the guitar. It was one of those things! My parents got me this big, heavy Kay guitar. People who play guitar know these things, but it weighed like 50 lbs. and I was trying to deal with it! [laughs] As time went on, it took over my life. I ended up getting into a regular college, but I ended up quitting and going to the New England Conservatory of Music. Shortly after that, I ended up moving from Boston to Manhattan and that’s where Alice Cooper and his organization heard my music. They came in and saw me play without telling me. I ended up going to their office in Manhattan and meeting Bob Ezrin, Shep Gordon and Alice. I got this real sense that I was standing in front of people that changed the culture of the world. They shocked the world with their music, imagery and the messages that they put out. I got a sense that I was standing in the presence of history-makers. To be honest, I don’t get nervous in situations like that and I was fully jazzed about it. One of the reasons that Alice and I still continue as friends today, this is true, is because during that meeting, literally within 10 to 15 minutes, he and I became best friends. We’ve talked about that before. It’s almost like we knew each other before. It’s one of the reasons why my career kept rolling along because I ended up being managed by Shep and all that stuff. That is the quick, “Reader’s Digest” version of how I got into music.

Kane Roberts is just getting warmed up!

What went into finding your creative voice as a player?

I think people are born attracted to different things. For example, I’ve always loved visuals and movies with soundtracks. I was always very aware of the music. When I heard some of these bands, I started visualizing myself playing or in the different situations the lyrics were singing about. It came to a point where it completely took over my life. One of the things that happened was that when I picked up my guitar, I started getting the gratification of, “For those 2 seconds I sounded a little bit like Jimmy Page” or whoever the guitar player was. That immediate gratification and sense of visualizing myself playing on a big stage became my food or nutrition. It was what I needed to get through the day! I was lucky. I speak to some people and I say, “What do you want to do with your life?” They say, “Jeez, I don’t really know.” I kinda knew at a very young age. I was 10 or 12 years old and I realized music felt so good to me. I became obsessed with listening to all types of music, which is something I still do today. I listen to the stuff from my past and my roots. I listen to jazz. I listen to a type of music from Japan called Enka, which is a type of traditional music. I also listen to a lot of the new metal that is out there; bands like Ghost, Volbeat and Lacuna Coil. I’m always absorbing stuff! As that happened, like I said, I went to a normal university, but I knew this wasn’t the right place for me. Ultimately, I ended up at a music school, which I think was the beginning of learning about all of the discipline it took and how you must focus your brain on stuff.

What lessons did you learn early on that impacted your career trajectory?

As musicians, we always think about the music industry. “Is it good? Is it as good as it used to be? Is it better?” My personal opinion is that none of that stuff matters. In many ways, the music industry is better for you today than it has ever been. Back in the day, once you got a record deal, you walked into this huge machine and you were taken out of a lot of the process. In some ways that’s good because you say, “Oh, they’re going to take care of this. They’re gonna take care of that. They’re gonna do all the promotional stuff and whatever.” Today, you have to do stuff yourself. You have to work YouTube and the social networks. The one rule I learned back in the day was that if you become great, the world will beat a path to your door. You have to believe that! You have to believe that there is some sort of a system that is in the universe that has some sort of sense, not of justice, but that if you are doing great things people will notice. Music is a very human activity and it involves other people. There was one point, when I was practicing, that I went up to this really remote location in Maine. All I did was practice. I was working at this ballroom and I just practiced all day and night, as a kid. I was 19 years old and that was all I did. When I came back and I walked back into the jet stream of my friends and everything, it was difficult for me because I had done such a solitary thing for so long. I learned that it involves other people. You always have to have the sense that if you are doing something great, that there is going to be somebody in the audience that will notice. I remember one of Motley Crue’s managers, Doug Thaler, came to see my band play. We had met very early on in my career. We had sold out a 200-seat club, which is pretty small. I said, “Jeez, I hope that someday we can sell out bigger venues.” He said, “If you can sell out a 200-seat place, you can sell out an arena. It’s just the matter of getting your music out there and getting the right opportunities.” That’s the part that’s a little difficult. How do you get face time with the people who are going to push you into the right zone? That means you just have to be obsessed and get out there and do everything you that you can. There is the 10,000-hour rule, where you hit 10,000 hours, you can pretty much do anything you want in terms of practicing.

You have an incredible work ethic and it’s served you well. Was that instilled in you or something you developed over time?

It might have been stuff that maybe my parents instilled in me; the idea that you have to work to get things. One thing that I have shared with Alice and something we have talked about is how people always talk about how bad it is to be obsessed with things. Well, I think it’s a good thing! What kind of balance are you looking for in your life? For example, you’re a writer. This is what you do for your creative push out there in the world. The times that you are obsessed with it and it’s all you can do, that’s when you get the system going of getting better, learning and evolving. I think that is what happened with me. Like I said, music became my drug so to speak. It became my recreation, my fun, my hobby, my work and my future. I was just lucky to start perceiving it that way somewhere in my teens and later teens especially. As soon as I ended up with Alice Cooper, got out on stage and was doing all that sort of stuff, that is when I began to learn about the real world. I was lucky to keep that sort of vertical curve going but I never felt like it was too much work. I never felt like, “Jeez, I need to take a break.” In another sense, I was one of those guys who never wanted the tour to end. Everybody else wanted to go home but I could’ve been out there nonstop for 10 years and it would have been great!

How have you evolved over the course of your career?

I started listening to other people and a lot of times I was copying what they were doing. I would write a song and it might be similar to a Van Halen song or whatever. You rely on your roots, whether it’s bands from the past, blues or whatever. That stuff will have its way with you but as time goes on you begin to change. One of the things that’s really critical when you’re writing, practicing or soloing, is knowing that Mr. Mediocre is sitting right next to you saying, “Just do this easy thing that you always do.” You have to push that guy away and that helps you get closer to the envelope you are trying to push. For example, when I was recording this new album, I decided not to take the easy road and not to do the expected thing. It wasn’t an effort to walk away from my roots but a matter of being really honest with stuff.

There is another thing that, I think, is a very strange phenomenon. Whatever it is you do creatively, if you say to yourself, “I’m going to stop … ” and you stop. Now, I didn’t do this, but let’s say I did. Let’s say I stopped, walked away from it and in 10 years I picked it up again. In that 10-year period, I still evolved as a musician because who you creatively absorbs the things you see during the day, the people that you meet, emotions that you feel and girls who you fall in love with or get your heart broken by. All of that stuff is absorbed along with the music that you hear. It changes you as an artist. If you start getting your chops back together, your technique and skill, you’re going to be a different musician. I think once you start pushing the creative boulder, at whatever age that is, it’s going to keep rolling to a certain degree. Maybe your skills won’t, if you walk away, but you will keep moving in some direction because it encompasses every aspect of your life. The thing is with me that I have evolved as an artist and writer.

I’m still writing a little bit, I was playing a lot of guitar and singing a bit, but I wasn’t doing anything in the public jet stream. When I sat down and started this record, I had changed! I had been listening to so many different things and the things that I gravitated towards were different and we were noticing that! This album actually took me three years. It’s because, after six months, I would listen back to what I was doing and say, “Jeez, ya know, I’m singing a lot better now. My instinct is to do this, but this other thing has emerged. Let’s re-record that vocal!” I was lucky to be in the studio where I had a chance to do that. I also had a record company that said it’s okay to take three years, which was pretty incredible! [laughs]

Kane Roberts’ ‘The New Normal’ is available now via Frontiers Records.

Tell us more about your vision for this album, “The New Normal,” as you entered into the creative process.

I didn’t want to do anything proactive. In other words, I didn’t want to say, “I want this record to appeal to this crowd. I want to make sure that I don’t sound like this anymore … .” or “I want to sound this way or that way.” I had to sit down and do things that I like. I was really fortunate to be working with my co-producer, Alex Track. He’s also a musician, so we would create something and then just go on instinct. Our first run at the songs were all just what we like, and it was that kind of a thing. Then, we would start to structure the songs and give more of a substantive feel and make the structure a little bit more interesting. We started thinking that each song could be like a script to a movie. We thought of the whole piece in a very cinematic sense, which is calling back on that visual sense that I have. We’re actually putting together a video for one of the songs, “Beginning of The End,” which features Alice Cooper and Alissa White-Gluz. I was actually able to get Alissa and Alice in the same location to shoot the video, which was a miracle unto itself! [laughs] My point is that we decided not to do a performance video. We wanted to make it a series of visuals that had a sort of obtuse narrative to it, where people can write their own script to it visually. It’s kinda the way we felt with the whole record. The messaging on the record is a little different than the normal thing of, “I met a girl and she broke my heart.” It’s not in that realm. It’s got more of a, for lack of a better word, modern approach to the way the world is. That’s why I called the album, “The New Normal.” On the cover, you see this girl with tattoos all over her and she’s wearing this insane mask and everything. If you saw that image 30 years ago, it would’ve completely shocked you! Today, you’re looking at it and going, “Ya know, I’ve seen that before.” So, there is the new normal, ya know?! [laughs]

I’m glad you mentioned the cinematic aspect of the album because having listened to it at length, that stood out to me.

I wanted the songs to almost sound conversational in the lyrics. “Beginning of the End,” once you get Alice Cooper into it, it turns into some really bizarre, crazy, horror movie, shock sorta thing because Alice is so dominant. However, a lot of the other songs are dealing with how we feel about life and those thoughts that are in our heads and spoken in a more current way, as opposed to what was being done before in rock. I’m not the only one doing it, I’m just saying that’s the approach that I took, so I’m glad you noticed!

As you mentioned, you have tremendously talented people involved on this album. What did they bring out in you creatively?

Take a guy like Kip Winger for example. He’s someone I knew from Alice’s band and, of course, we remained friends. He’s still prolific! He’s got his solo thing and still touring and recording with Winger. He also got the Grammy nomination for classical music. He’s someone who is really on fire still, when it comes to playing. The same thing is true with Ken Mary, who is playing with Flotsam & Jetsam now. That’s not an easy ride on the drums, ya know! [laughs] He’s killing it! I wanted people whose standard was so high that I had to step up and meet the standard. I knew I would get great stuff from them. If the foundation of what I am doing is on that high of a level, it’s only going to help me! I called up Nita Strauss. She was the first person I called because I wanted to go back and forth on a guitar solo. The song is called “King of The World.” When she plays that first riff, that’s some serious ball-clanging shredding going on there! I was amazed and I thought to myself, “I’ve got to get my fuckin’ act together!” It woke me up, ya know! She’s playing so good that I have to play good as well too because she’s such an amazing artist. So, I pulled in people who were doing something different. Alissa and Nita are both knocking down walls and shattering glass ceilings all over the place! With Alissa, Arch Enemy walks out on stage and it’s these big guys playing this massive metal and suddenly Alissa walks out there and owns the audience and owns the stage! It’s just an unexpected thing but it pushes us into thinking about the world a little differently. They’re both really dedicated, serious, professional artists. I really lucked out across the board!

Kane Roberts, Alice Cooper and Alissa White-Gluz.

Where do you see this project headed in the near future?

Right now, I’m into a video mindset, as opposed to touring. The touring thing requires an amount of response to the record, it’s that sort of a thing. It requires a certain way to view how many people I can reach. Right now, I want to do a series of three to five videos. That’s my first thing to make this thing a visual and audio project for people. We purposely recorded this stuff, so it had moments of cinematic atmosphere, like I said. I’m really going to concentrate on that to start and if it seems to be a viable enterprise or something I ought to do, I will go through the hard work of putting together a killer band and do some live shows as well.

Bringing “The New Normal” to life has been a big part of your life for the past three years. What was the biggest challenge along the way?

The biggest challenge was the unknown. I always relish that! There is a song called “Leave Me In The Dark” on this album and it’s about the things that we don’t know. I didn’t know what to expect in a lot of ways, but I was very hungry for it because from what we don’t know, from the dark, that’s where faith emerges. In other words, if it’s completely dark and you take a step, you’re thinking, “There’s gotta be floor there or something!” At least that’s your hope! So, you take the step! I’m not talking about this in a religious sense, although that works for some people. I’m talking about real self-discovery as you move forward in this world. At the end of the day, when I finished the record, I was really pleased with the whole process! You think about it and five days a week, five nights a week for three years and I put together this video with Alice and Alissa — I really got into it! It’s one of those things where I was spitting blood to get this stuff out there! [laughs] I hope everyone appreciates it but putting this stuff out into the public jet stream, like I said, there are going to be haters and lovers and everything in between but I look at it as being all good!

You invested a lot of time on this over the past three years. What is your focus now that you have those days and nights open! [laughs]

Ya know, I don’t know if I’m going to do another project. What I think is that if I can fill my days and nights with developing these videos and watching the response, that might influence what the creative process might be moving forward. I’m already mapping out the second video while we’re producing this one. I think that’s how this project will fill my days and nights over the next year or so!

Kane Roberts in the wild.

That’s awesome! We are just scratching the surface of your life in music. What is the biggest lesson we can take from your journey as an artist?

I think it goes back a little bit to what I said before. If you find yourself thinking, “I don’t know what I want to do,” then you’ve got to check yourself. You have to think to yourself, “What is my real job in life?” I think the real job is to wake up happy every day. People would say to me, when I was a kid, “There are millions of guitar players out there. Why do you think you’re going to make any noise?” My answer was unclear. I would say, “I’m gonna do it. I’m not going to stop. No matter what I’m going to keep going.” I just knew I was going to do that. However, the real reason was that I wanted to be happy every day and that’s what made me happy! I was lucky enough to get that stuff on my fingers and in my hands, from listening and singing when I was very young. I said, “This is what I want to do.” As you know, Ernest Hemingway is this amazing author. Somebody said to him, “Why did you become a writer.” This was in the 1950s or something like that. He said, “So I could wake up at 4 p.m. every day.” In other words, “I wanted to do what I wanted to do!” That was it! I think that is something we have to take care of. I talk about obsession and balance. Part of that balance is having to walk out, make money, live and do all that stuff but if you have that one time during your day where you walk into your room and you’re doing the shit that makes you happy, then I think life is going to be good! Like I said, if it becomes something your obsessed with in that light, I think the world will beat a path to your door. I think that’s the sort of unknown, faith and dark that I operate in.

It’s cool to hear the excitement in your voice about this project and the creativity it will usher in. Just chatting with you briefly, it’s hard not to be inspired. Any chance you might do a book at some point to spread this energy further?

I think at some point I might write something. If I did, it would be a smaller book with illustrations. It would be more of an experience kind of book, as opposed to a straight read. There would be a lot of content, but the point would be, rather than expounding upon stuff for 300 pages, I would keep it really tight and make it about lessons in life. One of the things I’ve learned is to break up the pattern. That comes from lifting weights, where you don’t always do the same routine. If you go to work every day, take a different route one of those days. Do something different. All that stuff shakes us up and tips over the apple cart. I think it makes us something more as people!

That’s a great outlook! Thanks so much for your time today!

Thank you so much, Jason! I really appreciate the opportunity. I look forward to talking with you again soon. Have a great day!

Follow the continuing adventures of Kane Roberts through social media via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. ‘The New Normal’ is available through all music retailers now via Frontiers Records!

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RUN FOR YOUR LIFE: Rock Legend Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein Speaks!

RUN FOR YOUR LIFE: Rock Legend Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein Speaks!

Lodi, a small borough of Bergen County, New Jersey, is just over two square miles. There’s not much to suggest the small village would be the birthplace of a world famous, blood-soaked form of music known as horror punk. Legendary acts The Misfits, Samhain and Danzig have origins in Lodi, and something monstrous indeed lurks there. Enter Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein!

Doyle’s first band, the infamous Glenn Danzig-fronted Misfits, helped create the genre of speed/thrash metal with their last album, 1983’s “Earth AD/Wolf’s Blood.” The poster child and originator of the genre spent the past few years unleashing an evil noise on an unsuspecting world: Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein’s first release, “Abominator,” and its follow-up, “As We Die,” by his eponymous band, Doyle. Released on Doyle’s label, Monsterman Records, “Abominator” and “DOYLE II: As We Die” are sonically thick and lyrically evil slabs of metal that find Doyle expanding in a logical progression upon the genre of music he helped create. These albums are not some punk guitarist gone metal – it’s the roaring return of one of extreme metal’s original architects to his blood-splattered drawing board.

Coming from a legendary band of almost mythological proportions, and having first worked with one of the most talented and respected vocalists of the century, Doyle’s new project needed a singer with brass balls, cast-iron pipes, a suitably twisted mind, and his own vocal delivery style. Enter Alabama’s Alex Story of Cancerslug, a Southern fiend who’s sand-blasted scream opens the record. The evil doesn’t relent until the ending growl of “Hope Hell Is Warm,” the album’s defiant closer. The man can scream and sing, and employs both styles to great effect, switching seamlessly from raw-throated roars to rough-edged, yet melodic, clean vocals. Alex’s live performances are unforgettable, disturbing and strangely addictive – a perfect complement to the already mammoth stage presence of Doyle. The unmistakable sound of Doyle’s signature Annihilator guitar cuts through every tune like a sonic fingerprint. The Annihilator’s tone is sharp as a butcher’s knife in the wrong hands and just as nasty – fans of the Misfits will recognize it right away. These albums serve as an unrelenting ride into the darkest corners of your mind. Take heed! These mad men with a sinister sound are on the loose, roaming the streets and headed to a town near you!

Jason Price of Icon Vs. Icon recently caught up with legendary Misfits guitarist Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein as he crisscrosses the nation on his As We Die World Abomination Tour 2018. In the interview, Doyle offers an inside look at his life on and off-stage, the challenges he faced along the way and what lies in store for him in 2019.

Back in the day: Glenn Danzig and Doyle

The music you’ve been a part of creating played a big role in many people’s lives. How did music first come into your life?

My mom was a ‘50s kid. She had all the 45s like Dion and The Belmonts, Elvis, The Ronettes, ‘50s and ‘60s Motown, rock ‘n’ roll and all that shit. When we were kids, we listened to it. Then we started buying our own stuff like David Bowie, Alice Cooper, KISS, Aerosmith, Queen and all kinds of crazy shit. I just got deeper into it from there and have always been listening to music.

Eventually you went from music fan to musician. What made you pick up the guitar?

My brother bought me a guitar for my eighth grade graduation. Glenn Danzig showed me two bar chords and Jerry showed me the two notes on the low strings. That’s pretty much all I still know!

You mentioned your brother, Jerry Only. Was it always brotherly love or more of a sibling rivalry?

Back then it was more of a brotherly love thing, but now it’s not. Now there’s issues for some reason.

You started playing professional at 16 years old. When did you come into your own as a performer?

I don’t know, man. I guess pretty much from the beginning.

Fair enough. I know you don’t want to focus too much on your past with The Misfits. However, I want to ask about the staying power of the band’s music. What is it about the band’s music that continues to resonate generation to generation?

Great songs, great singer, great imagery and great performances. That’s what a band is. It’s not about arpeggios, G-clefs and sweeps or sitting in your room being a technical guitar nerd. It’s about great songs! That’s what I tell everybody who asks me if I have any advice for bands starting out — “Yeah, learn how to write and arrange great songs. Get a great fuckin’ singer, a great look, perform great and have a great fuckin’ name!”

They call it the music business for a reason. What are some lessons you learned early on that impacted your career?

Trust no one!

So true, man! So true! You launched your own label, Monsterman Records, a few years back. What inspired that move?

I record the albums myself with all of the equipment I had bought and now I’m sponsored by those companies because I told them I used them and now they give me the stuff for free. Tascam, for example, is pretty awesome. I record them at home instead of paying the money, which is like $1,000 per hour, for a studio. Doing it this way, it’s only like $50 electric each month at your house! [laughs] Ya know, what are ya going to do? We figured if we put it out ourselves, we could keep all the money. We might take this third one to a label, maybe Nuclear Blast or Century Media. We’ll see who wants it!

A lot of times people end up with an album in their hands and don’t put much thought or value on how it got there. What does it take a project like yours to stay on the rails and move forward in this day and age?

The industry has changed as to how everyone has a computer in their hand and they want instant gratification. These people have grown up illegally downloading music and it’s totally destroying the whole business for the musicians. Ya know, it takes a lot to write a song. These people want more songs, but they are not paying for them, so how do we pay for them? I had one guy complain to me because I wouldn’t take a picture with him outside in the middle of winter after I had just got off stage from a show. I had no shirt on and was trying to get to the bus. Somehow, I’m a scumbag because he paid $20 for my record. I said, “Do you know how much my copy of that record cost me? I still haven’t made any money on it. Go fuck yourself!” I mean, I’m supposed to get sick, so I can’t perform for the next group of people? If I take a picture, 10 more people will walk up and want a fucking picture. Use your fucking head, ya know. That’s why we do meet-and-greets because everyone is illegally downloading music. Then they complain about the meet-and-greet. People these days want everything for fucking free. They don’t understand the cost to the artist. It’s like Spotify jerkin’ us off for fractions of a penny per play! Go fuck yourself, man! If you can’t give us a dollar per fucking song, then you shouldn’t have it. They should police the internet so that if you illegally download a song, it’s a $10,000 fine. I mean, if you had a motorcycle factory and I came in and took one, what would that be? It would be a crime. This is our fucking product. I had someone say the other day, “Why don’t you pay back the fans a little bit and post pictures of the band? The fans are what made you.” I’m like, “No. Wrong. My art and what I did is what made the fans.”

With that said, what is the best way for us as fans to support you and keep this project moving forward?

Stop illegally downloading everybody’s music. Pay for it. I pay for everything. All of my friends’ records, I buy. You don’t think I can get a pile of Arch Enemy records for free? [laughs] I go to the store and I buy it! I mean fuck! If you want more, pay for it!

How do the meet-and-greets factor in?

The meet-and-greets feed us on the road. It gives us enough money to feed everybody on the bus. Everybody who comes to the show, especially in The States, and they film it … people just sit in their house because they are too lazy to come out and they would rather just look at it on their phone, so nobody comes to the show. That’s why when we did those Misfits shows, there were no phones allowed. It was great because if everybody was filming it, nobody would go to those shows. Know what I mean?

Alex Story and Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein

You are currently out on the road on the As We Die World Abomination Tour. Having seen you play live in the past, I know you guys bring it every night. Alex Story is a tremendous front man. How did the two of you initially cross paths?

I just put ads out. My friend Blasko did the same for me. He didn’t tell me he was doing it, he just did it. He sent me the CD that he thought was the best, which was Alex. It’s funny because the one that I thought was the best was Alex’s too! [laughs] Then I called him up. His CD was the only one where I sat there and listened to the whole thing. Usually, I would listen to it until the singer starts and then throw it in the garbage. There were a few famous people who sent shit and their shit went right in the garbage. It’s not that they sucked, it just wasn’t what I was looking for. I listened to the whole thing and every song was great. His voice is just great, and I could listen to it all day! He is a master writer. I just write musical compositions, arrange them and send them to him. I’ll write gyp sheet like, “This is the intro, don’t sing. This is the riff, don’t sing. This is the verse … This, that, whatever.” At the end I write, “Just do whatever you want!” If he wants to sing on the riff, he can sing on the riff. From there, he comes up with all the words and melodies. It comes back to me and I’m like, “Wow! This is fuckin’ great!”

What were the biggest challenges bringing your last two albums to the masses?

Promotion. I would say maybe 5% of Misfits fans even know I have a band. I don’t have the money to advertise as much as a major label would but even the major labels don’t do that much anymore. They make product and distribute it. If you are lucky, they will give you money for a tour but that really doesn’t happen anymore.

You have two albums out now that are pretty fresh. Are you currently working on new material?

Any time I’m not doing a show, I’m playing guitar and trying to write something. What’s the sense of me playing the songs off the other records? Nothing, ya know what I mean? We’ve got at least 10 solid musical compositions and three songs that are finished. We might start doing singles. Maybe do a single a month until we get about 10 and then drop two or three more and then have a whole album and put it out. Maybe make vinyl 7″ inchers with artwork and different colors. Shit like that, ya know?

Yeah, that sounds great. It’s refreshing to see someone who’s been at it as long as you have keeping things fresh. Once you get into your loop on social media, you keep things really entertaining. Kudos to you on that.

Oh cool, thanks! I try to make it funny, ya know. I want to laugh. I also like pissing people off by posting vegan things without saying anything and watching them go fucking mental! [laughs]

Tell us about you becoming vegan and the impact it’s had on you.

Alissa White-Gluz. I was dating her, and it was early in our relationship when we were in New York City scrambling around to get her back to a plane. She had to go somewhere, it was freezing out and we were starving. She said to me, “If we can’t find me something to eat, we can at least find you something to eat.” I said, “Fuck that! I will never eat something in front of you that wigs you out.” I never did! Every time we went to a restaurant, it was always a vegan restaurant and I didn’t know what anything was! I would read it and be like, “I don’t even know what the fuck I’m reading!” She would order something and every time I would take a bite, I would slowly look up at her and go, “Holy shit! This is so good!” So, I got hooked on it with the food. Then she explained to me the agricultural debacle we are dealing with and how it impacts the environment, the cancer and all the other shit that eating meat is doing to this world. We are using all the food to feed these things and they are shitting all over the place … It’s a total fuck show, man! She showed me some films on how the animals are treated. To me, being vegan is a no-brainer. If you are enlightened on what the fuck is actually happening, it makes so much sense. It’s always the guilty people who feel guilty and say, “Oh, don’t tell me what to do.” You don’t even put a caption on the picture and they say, “Don’t tell me what to do … ” or they are so brilliant and they write, “Bacon, mmmmm.” I love blocking people, man. I think my last post like that lost me 500 followers. [laughs] I have to sit there and block them but at least they’re gone! [laughs]

You put out a vegan hot sauce called Made In Hell. Knowing I would be talking with you, I picked up a bottle. This stuff is killer. We incorporated it into our entry for our annual Chili Cook Off. We won!

How good is that fuckin’ sauce, man? That’s great! [laughs] I had wanted to do that for a long time. I wanted to do it with this one guy, but he would never send the recipe to the guy who wanted to fund it. Months went by and months went by and, finally, the guy was like, “I found another person.” I said, “Alright, I’m sick of people in my life not doing what they say they’re going to do and waiting for them.” So, I went with this guy. He came down and had a couple samples for me. I said, “OK, I want to add this, this and this into this. Send me that and let’s try it.” That’s what we’re using right now!

That’s cool. This sauce is what put us over the edge. It’s got great heat and flavor.

Yeah, I love it, man. I give cases of it to my girlfriend’s mom because she cooks like crazy and she loves it. It’s a win-win! [laughs]

Your Abominator guitar became iconic over the years. Tell us about the original design and are there plans to bring replicas to the market?

You know when your mom covers your school books in a paper bag when you are a kid? Well, I had one of those and I drew this guitar on there. I was leaving high school and I remember looking at it and thinking, “I’m going to save this. This is fuckin’ cool.” So, I saved it and eventually I started fuckin’ around making guitars with one of my friends at my machine shop. I was playing a Paul Stanley Iceman at the time. I laid the Paul Stanley on the ground and held the picture up to eyeball it and it was to scale. It was perfect! I was like, “Holy shit! I drew this thing freehand at about 4″ long and it’s exactly how it’s supposed to be.” I made it and everything about it is great. It looks like you can’t sit down and play it but, in reality, it’s the most comfortable guitar you will ever sit down and play with. It just fits perfect. I have a company making one right now — a pretty big, major company. I’m going to text them on Monday after the holiday to see where the fuck we are with that prototype!

You are driven when it comes to your endeavors. Was that attribute something you developed over the years or something instilled in you at an early age?

Well, growing up, I started working at my dad’s shop when I was about 6 years old. He was a working machine! He makes me look like a fuckin’ pussy! [laughs] Work, work, work, work, work all the time. It’s all about hard work and that’s where I learned that from.

What lesson can we take from your journey as an artist?

God, I don’t know. I guess … Just dare to be great, man. I’m a perfectionist, ya know. When I’m doing something, I have to make it perfect. For example, when I’m mixing a record, I will mix it for a year! [laughs] That’s what happened with the last one. I just kept mixing and thinking, “This is not it. This is not it.” I think it comes down to giving it all you’ve got, all the time. Right now, we just landed at the next venue. I’m going to do my sit-ups. I’m going to go in there and work out. Then I’m going to do soundcheck, put the clown suit on and fuck these people up! I mean, my day is planned out to the second. It’s go, go, go, go! You can’t just sit around and do nothing and expect something great to happen.

What can we expect to see from Doyle in 2019?

We’re working on festivals from Europe, some of the bigger ones. Hopefully, we get some of those. We’re also looking into Japan and South America. Hopefully, with Japan, that would include Australia and all of those areas. We would love to do that, plus Latin America and Mexico. We’re also trying to get our singer pardoned so he can go to Canada because those shows are off the hook as well. I think we are done with the United States for a while. This tour was almost too many venues and we’ve cut a lot of them out as we go because we don’t even fit on the fucking stage. We want to play better venues or open for somebody huge, ya know what I mean. We will probably start on DOYLE III as well. We will probably start on that and I’m thinking we will drop a couple of singles. I don’t know, we will see!

That’s great to hear! Thanks for your time today, Doyle. I’m looking forward to everything you have coming our way and we will be out here spreading the word!

Thank you, man. Bye-bye.

For all the latest news, tour dates and merch, visit Doyle’s official website at www.officialdoyle.com. Follow the continuing adventures of Doyle on social media via FacebookInstagram, Twitter and YouTube

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Kane Roberts To Release “The New Normal” In January 2019 Via Frontiers Music Srl

Kane Roberts To Release “The New Normal” In January 2019 Via Frontiers Music Srl

Kane Roberts is back with a new solo album, “The New Normal“, which will be released on January 25, 2019. Today, the first taste of music has been released from the album in the form of the track, “Forever Out Of Place“. The song can be heard HERE.

Pre-order “The New Normal” on CD/LP/Digital and stream the single here:http://radi.al/TheNewNormal

“‘Forever Out of Place’ is one of the “lighter” tracks on the album, although it still kicks pretty hard with a killer chorus,” explains Roberts. “The lyrics are about not feeling at home anywhere, having zero sense of belonging, and the sooner you stop searching for those things, the sooner you realize where you belong. There is a bit of style cross section in terms of the material, but keep in mind that they all include my past, present, and what I hope to be my future, however short or long that might be.”

Kane has involved some really amazing friends in the making of “The New Normal, including Alice Cooper, Alissa White-Gluz of Arch Enemy, Nita Strauss, Babymetal drummer Aoyama Hideki, Kip Winger, Paul Taylor, and Ken Mary. Three years in the making, “The New Normal” melds the old and new in metal for a truly outstanding album. Kane comments on how the collaborations came to be:

“I noticed artists that were busting down doors and at the same time kickstarting new ways of thinking about life and creativity. I knew I wanted to try to work with some of them. Nita Strauss is a killer guitarist. She really tore it up on the song “King Of The World”. Her work on it woke me the f*** up and forced me to explore new guitar techniques to compliment her insane skills!

Alice Cooper….no one individual has scorched the earth like my former boss. I started getting into recording “Beginning Of The End” and realized I needed Alice to sing a duet with me. Not just a line, not just an intro, but sing throughout the song. I took the shot that he might be available at some point to get involved  and when I called, he said “I’m in Hollywood. I’ll be right over.” Full on stroke of luck.

My approach to much of the album was cinematic in the hope that sounds and lyrics would create imagery and emotion beyond what I had done before.Keeping with that idea, I had Alissa White-Gluz (Arch Enemy) fall from the sky like some pissed off dark angel in the middle of the song with Alice and I and burn the place down. Her attitude and singing prowess is stunning and I was so jazzed when she agreed to participate.

I was obsessed with getting drum monster Aoyama Hideki from Baby Metal. After he heard the song, he immediately came on board and played with controlled fury like only he can….AMAZING!

I also was also able to work with Brent Smith (Shinedown) and Lzzy Hale (Halestorm) on songwriting and they were of course a blessing to the entire process.

Upon hearing a few of the early recordings, Michael Alago (the A&R guy that discovered Metallica and White Zombie, to name just a few) offered to executive produce the project for me and got a lot of things done for that otherwise would have been impossible for me to accomplish.

Last, but certainly not least, no one plays bass like Kip Winger or sings quite the way he can. Didn’t think twice about asking him to join up and he delivered, like always.”

“My music has evolved over the years, even though I was out of the spotlight. Stepping into this new project, there are new styles and sounds evident, but I haven’t made some false effort to distance myself from the past. People will notice a blend of influences from classic rock and metal to the hot bands that are emerging more recently,” says Roberts.

He continues, “Zeppelin to Volbeat to Arch Enemy…they’re all bringing crushing energy to rock/metal while creating truly awesome music. I was lucky to have found Frontiers because they allowed me three years to make this album and sort through my truest feelings and vocal/guitar skills to create something meaningful to me. There is a real concern for preserving the creative process at Frontiers and to my way of thinking there’s no better place for me right now”

Of the many iconic images of ’80s rock ‘n roll, one that has certainly stood the test of time is Alice Cooper’s then “Rambo-looking” guitar player shooting fire from his M-80 shaped guitar. That guitar player is none other than Kane Roberts, an accomplished musician and singer who, after leaving Cooper’s band, went on to record a total of four solo albums (including the “Phoenix Down” project released by Frontiers Records in the late ’90s).

Kane‘s name and musical abilities first came to prominence on Alice Cooper’s “Constrictor” and “Raise Your Fist And Yell” albums. The tours and popular videos for each made Kane a well-known face in the scene, especially for his outstanding guitar skills, but also for his body-builder image and his iconic machine-gun guitar.

As a solo recording artist, he landed some Top 40 hits and his varied musical background includes recording, writing and touring with artists such as Rod Stewart, Desmond Child, KISS, Diane Warren, Alice in Chains, Berlin, Guns N’ Roses, Garland Jeffries, and more. He’s also written or recorded music for films like Light Sleeper, Penelope Spheeris’ Decline of Western Civilization, Friday the 13th IV: Jason Lives, John Carpenter’s Prince of Darkness, and more. In 1991, his second solo album for Geffen Records, “Saints and Sinners” was released and included the Top 40 Billboard hit “Does Anybody Really Fall In Love Anymore?”, originally written by Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora.

Tracklisting:
1. King Of The World (Feat. Nita Strauss)
2. Wonderful
3. Beginning Of The End (Feat. Alice Cooper, Alissa White-Gluz, Aoyama Hideki, Kip Winger)
4. Who We Are (Feat Katt Franich)
5.Forever Out Of Place (Feat. Kip Winger)
6. Leave This World Behind
7. The Lion’s Share (Feat. Kip Winger)
8. Leave Me In The Dark
9. Above And Beyond (Feat. Kip Winger)
10. Wrong

Follow Kane Online:
http://www.kaneroberts.com/
https://www.facebook.com/KaneRobertsFBPage/
https://twitter.com/Kane_Roberts
https://instagram.com/kanerobertsx

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Metal Allegiance Release Video For “Dying Song” Featuring The Legendary Philip H. Anselmo

Metal Allegiance Release Video For “Dying Song” Featuring The Legendary Philip H. Anselmo

Metal Allegiance

Metal Allegiance

Metal Allegiance have released their first official music video for the single “Dying Song” from their upcoming self-titled album. The video premiered on RollingStone.com and can be seen below. The concept video was directed by Vicente Cordero of Industrialism Films. “Dying Song” features Philip H. Anselmo on vocals, Alex Skolnick on guitars, Mark Menghi on bass and Mike Portnoy on drums.

“It’s always my pleasure to jam with such esteemed musicians and brothers, and my contribution to this project is further proof of that fact. Hail to all Heavy Metalers the world over!” states vocalist Phil Anselmo.

The debut album will be available worldwide on Spetember 18th via Nuclear Blast Entertainment. Full Metal Rock recently declared in an album review: “It is one of the must-have albums for the year.” Fans who pre-order the album digitally via iTunes at http://nblast.de/MetalAllegianceIT will receive instant downloads of “Dying Song” and the recently released track, “Can’t Kill The Devil.” The self-titled album contains appearances by Philip H. Anselmo, Charlie Benante, Chuck Billy, D. Randall Blythe, Rex Brown, Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal, Phil Demmel, David Ellefson, Alissa White-Gluz, Matthew K. Heafy, Gary Holt, Jamey Jasta, Chris Jericho, Andreas Kisser, Misha Mansoor, Mark Osegueda, Tim “Ripper” Owens, dUg Pinnick, Mike Portnoy, Troy Sanders, Cristina Scabbia, Alex Skolnick, Steve “Zetro” Souza and Ben Weinman. The standard edition CD of Metal Allegiance will feature the 9 original songs. A digipak edition will be available that features an all-star tribute to Ronnie James Dio with a cover of his classic song “We Rock” as well as a 45 minute behind-the-scenes documentary on the making of the album. A double vinyl version will also be available that will feature all 10 songs. Physical CD bundles are available via the Nuclear Blast store at http://nblast.de/MetalAllegianceNB.

Metal Allegiance recently announced that they will be having a record release concert on September 17th in New York City at the Best Buy Theater. The show, presented by D’Addario, will feature the following confirmed participants: Frank Bello (Anthrax), Charlie Benante (Anthrax), Chuck Billy (Testament), David Ellefson (Metal Allegiance/Megadeth), Alissa White-Gluz (Arch Enemy), Gary Holt (Slayer/Exodus), Scott Ian (Anthrax), Mark Menghi (Metal Allegiance), Mark Osegueda (Death Angel), Mike Portnoy (Metal Allegiance/The Winery Dogs), Troy Sanders (Mastodon), Alex Skolnick (Metal Allegiance/Testament) along with a few special guests.  Space Born Killers have been tapped to open the show. Tickets for the show are $25.00 and can be purchased via Axs.com at http://tinyurl.com/MABBTTIX.

Metal Allegiance will be airing weekly webisodes every Wednesday up until the album’s release date.  The webisodes offer fans an inside look at the creation of Metal Allegiance and the unique collaboration by hard rock and heavy metal’s most notable performers. Seven webisodes have been released in total and can be seen at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCt-YVDXx-aEqwiPHkopZABg. This week’s episode offers a behind the scenes look at “Wait Until Tomorrow.”

Stemming from an initial idea in 2011, Metal Allegiance was born as a way to unite a collection of hard rock and heavy metal’s most notable musicians in a setting born under one ideal- a love of music and performing. In 2015, that ideal still holds true and has become the foundation for everything Metal Allegiance; furthered with the release of the upcoming debut album. While the lineup may change, the passion, the energy and the emotion all remain the same. Metal Allegiance is more than just a record or a concert, it’s an experience and a lifestyle.

Website: www.metalallegiance.com
Facebook: facebook.com/metalallegiancetour
Instagram: instagram.com/metalallegiance
Twitter: twitter.com/metalallegiance

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