Tag Archive | "Dokken"

THE END MACHINE: Jeff Pilson On Breathing Life Into A Rock ’n’ Roll Powerhouse!

THE END MACHINE: Jeff Pilson On Breathing Life Into A Rock ’n’ Roll Powerhouse!

Every so often the stars align, schedules open up and the universe kicks open a few doors to reveal a plethora of new opportunities. Such is the case with the newly forged rock ‘n’ roll supergroup, The End Machine. This exciting new endeavor features a who’s who of hard rock titans still at the top of their game. Harnessing the unbridled power of classic era Dokken members George Lynch (guitars), Jeff Pilson (bass), and Mick Brown (drums) as well as current Warrant vocalist Robert Mason, it’s a true passion project for everyone involved. The strength of the band lies within their unique chemistry and decades in the game as absolute masters of creating ear-catching, memorable, hard rock music.

When it comes to The End Machine, there are no rules, no boundaries, and no limitations. It’s not about ego or a payday. It’s about a group of seasoned pros who jumped at a chance to create beautiful music together once more. The band’s eponymous debut album, releasing March 22nd via Frontiers Records, sets the stage for what could be one of the most productive and creatively satisfying chapters of their collective careers. There is no question that this blistering new material stays true to their melodic roots and good old-fashioned guitar rock, yet it isn’t afraid to venture into uncharted territory. It’s this ambitious approach that made us fall in love with these artists back in the day, and serves as living-proof that rock ‘n’ roll is alive and well in 2019.

Jason Price of Icon Vs. Icon recently caught up with the project’s legendary bassist, Jeff Pilson, to get an inside look at his journey as an artist, artistic evolution, and breathing life into The End Machine!

You’ve made one hell of a career for yourself in music. How did the journey get started?

I was always into music because my mom was a singer in big bands in the 1930s. She sang to me as a little kid. Some of my fondest memories of my mother are about her singing. The Beatles on “Ed Sullivan” definitely hooked me. I was like, “Wow! That’s a good job.” [laughs] I think I just had a love of music after that and once I started playing, which was in sixth grade when I was 12 years old, it sped up and took off from there!

What went into finding your creative voice as a young artist?

As a player, I kind of dabbled around. The first guy that I really loved was Jack Bruce, although I wasn’t capable of playing a lot of what he did but it got me going! When I heard Chris Squire from YES, I was probably about 15 years old when I first heard that, it changed my life. Hearing Chris Squire, the first thing I heard was “Roundabout,” was game changer. A dear friend of mine played it for me and the minute I heard that I just jumped out of my seat and everything changed immediately! I knew that’s what I wanted to sound like, so I started listening to everything Chris did, and I knew every note of every YES album, up to a certain point. Then I started getting into the other prog guys like ELP, Genesis, Gentle Giant and all that stuff. That helped my playing so immensely because it was involved playing. I mean, you really had to learn how to play to do that. Those were the first things that really helped propel me and established my early voice on the instrument.

At what point did you know music was your calling?

By the time I was 15 years old, I knew that I was going to be a musician. I knew it and there was no question about it in my mind. That was my passion and I wasn’t going to give up until I could do it. I have been fortunate in a lot of ways, but I was also very, very determined very early on.

The legendary Jeff Pilson – Photo by Karsten Staiger

You’re one of the hardest working guys in the music business. Where does that work ethic come from?

Well, I’m a Mid-Western kid, so I think that work ethic is bred into all of us in the Midwest. I do have a good work ethic, I honestly do, but it’s generally around things I’m passionate about. When you’re passionate about something, it’s not strictly work. For me, being on the road, the work is the travel. The shows, the interviews and all the other stuff isn’t work, it’s something I love. The only real work is the travel. It’s been the same thing all along; the music has always been a joy and a passion. Of course, you’re going to have frustrating moments. For example, in the studio, sometimes you work much harder on something than you wish you had but that’s OK. Basically, it’s absolutely no problem to work when you love it!

When did you come into your own as a player?

By the time I was a late teenager, I felt pretty confident about what I was doing. It’s different than where I ended up professionally, but I really did follow that whole prog thing through very, very thoroughly! I was very into it and very familiar with that whole world. I was also in bands that were pretty solid progressive bands. I listen back now and some of the music sounds a little goofy but there were some amazing moments to what we were doing. I was lucky to play with some amazing musicians. There was a lot of great formation happening in my late teens that established me in many ways. Like I said, it changed over time but, I’ve always been a closet rocker! [laughs] Zeppelin and Deep Purple were huge bands for me as well. I always had the rocker thing back there and I was into that before I was even into the prog thing. I have gone down a long, long pathway but, to answer your question, I would say that my late teens I was pretty established as a player.

What are the biggest challenges you faced over the course of your career?

The biggest challenge nowadays is the fact that records don’t sell. These days, you record because you love it. That’s a bit of a challenge because it means that there aren’t the budgets that there once were and that can be a challenge. Fortunately, I have an amazing studio connected to my house and I have the ability and means to make great records. Frankly, an even bigger challenge is time. There is only so much time and because records don’t sell, I’m on the road a lot. Because I’m on the road a lot, I don’t have the time to do the things I want to do. I just try to do the best job that I can at making that time and carving that time out.

When it comes to the business side of the music industry, I’m sure you have seen it all. Were there lessons you learned early on that had a big impact?

Umm, no! [laughs] I will say that my lessons in the business came later. By the time I joined Dokken, that’s when I really started learning about the business. Before that, I was pretty green. Joining Dokken was a big, big part of learning about the music business. I was learning a lot throughout that whole period. Before that, I had a fairly naive view of the music industry.

We talked about what had a big impact on you as a young man. Where do you look for creative inspiration these days?

When you’re younger, with every release or record that comes out, you are waiting with bated breath. It’s a very exciting thing. I wish that were the case today because I loved that feeling. Unfortunately, it doesn’t quite feel the same anymore, but I still look for great new bands. Rivals Sons, for example, are great. When I find something I really like it’s fun. I try to listen to as much new music as I can, even a lot of the pop music that’s out there. Unfortunately, there is obviously a very formulaic thing that has happened with commercial recording now that really, really bothers me. I feel that it could be the downfall of the music industry, if they aren’t very, very careful. To answer your question, I find inspiration in anything that’s good. I will look around until I find something that is good, but I wish there was more of it!

We connected today to discuss your latest project — The End Machine. Tell us about how the ball got rolling?

Sure! It all got started because Frontiers Records hired George [Lynch] to be involved with a Jack Russell solo record; Jack Russell being the original singer of Great White. So, George called me. George and I will take any opportunity that we can to work together! It takes no effort at all to get us to work together! [laughs] He also happens to live not that far from me, which is cool. Anyway, George called and said, “Would you like to help me out on this thing?” I said, “Of course! I would love to!” We started working but, quickly into the process, the whole Jack Russell aspect fell away. I don’t even know why because I wasn’t involved in the business on that but whatever happened, happened. Then, Frontiers said, “Hey! Why don’t you see if Mick Brown wants to do something with you guys.” We said, “Great.” Then, Robert Mason’s name came up and we said, “Great!” Robert had been in the Lynch Mob with George years ago, so we both have known him for a long time. So, George had worked with him and I had just done a Warrant record a couple of years before and worked pretty closely with Robert. I knew how great he was and knew it was going to be great! The minute his name came up we knew we had the personnel solidly together. George and I wrote about four songs together in the initial batch. We sent them to Robert and then he came out. From there, him and I pounded out the lyrics and melodies. We knew right away that we had something really solid!

As you said, you had ties with these guys for many years. What do they bring out in you creatively?

That’s a good question. There are some things about George that are so amazing. One of those things is his honesty. When he likes something, he will tell you. When he hates something, he will tell you. He’s just so authentically who he is at all times. I think working with him forces you to be in that zone of being very honest. It’s got to move us to be good. With Robert, the thing is, he has such a limitless voice. He can literally do anything. To have that is being an artist with the greatest easel and set of paints in the world, ya know? [laughs] He brought in some great ideas, both lyrically and melodically. His great ideas would make me think of things. It comes down to working off each other in a collaboration that happens in as organic a way as you could imagine. It was really fun and really productive.

As the project started to take shape, did you have a vision for what this might become?

The vision was as simple as: “Let’s make a great rock record. Let’s not be afraid. If we sound a little bit like Dokken in spots, fine. That’s part of our past and who we were. If we sound a little bit like Lynch Mob at certain points, no problem. That’s part of the past as well but let’s not be afraid to explore new areas.” I think we kind of achieved that. The sound is close enough to our past that, I think, people who have been fans of ours won’t be turned off by it but it’s also fresh enough and new enough that it’s real and inspired. That was really the only goal. We just wanted it to be great, something we could be proud of, something we loved and have it be a rock record we knew our fans would love.

Tell us about what goes into capturing your ideas when it comes to the early phases of songwriting these days.

I’m a guy who is always writing. I have a little recording app on my phone, so I’m ready when an idea hits me. I have a zillion ideas on my phone and even on my Kindle. I’ve been known to wake up in the middle of the night, grab my kindle and be whispering into it. Meanwhile, my wife is going, “Oh God, he’s at it again!” [laughs] Fortunately, when I’m on the road, I have a pretty cool mobile studio with me now. Technology these days allows you to have something pretty damn cool that is capable of traveling with ya, so I do that as well. I’m kind of set!

How has your songwriting process evolved through the years?

Well, I hope I’m getting better! [laughs] It’s kind of tricky because sometimes you have things, a project to write for, and other times you just write because you feel like writing. In those moments, when I have an idea for a song, sometimes I don’t know where to put it. Believe it or not, that is kind of a challenge because if you can’t envision where it’s going to go, it’s a little bit rudderless. I let myself do that because as a writer and an artist, I think it’s important to follow those things when they happen. You just never know where they might lead. I’ve had situations where something I thought was totally unrelated where something will come up in a situation where I’m working with other people and I will be able to use it there. I try to never turn off the spigot, if I can. I think I’ve gotten better over the years at really knowing how to focus in and finish. I also think I’ve gotten a lot better lyrically over the years. Again, it’s just a craft I’m always trying to improve.

What were the biggest challenges you faced with The End Machine? I imagine scheduling was your number one obstacle.

You’re right, scheduling is definitely the trickiest part. After that, to be perfectly honest, it kind of all fell into place. The time that we had, we knew it was limited, but we made the best of it. There was very little unused or unproductive time. Everybody is really focused and that’s what makes it a joy. Being in a situation where someone is not focused, and drifting is very tiring if you are focused. Everyone was extremely focused on this project. It was everything we wanted it to be. So, aside from the challenge of scheduling, there weren’t to many other challenges.

This project produced some great tracks. Which of the songs resonate with you the most?

Thank you. Yeah, there is the song “Burn The Truth,” which is one I think all the band members feel really strongly about as a song. I just love the song and I think it came out amazing lyrically, melodically, structurally and production-wise. It has a lot of elements that I think are just really fun and exciting. The recording came out amazing. There is also a song called “Sleeping Voices” that I’m very proud of. It’s pretty involved but it’s another one where it just happened. It just kind of fell together organically. When stuff like that happens, you really appreciate it. Like I said, it’s a fairly involved song and there is really some stuff to it. I’m really proud of it. I also love “Leap of Faith,” which is the opener to the record and it’s going to be the next video. I love that song as well because it’s just really, really cool. The whole record fits together very nicely and that is another thing I’m very proud of.

As you said, this is a project you are very passionate about, as are the other guys. Where do you see The End Machine headed in the future?

We have three shows coming up in April, which is very exciting. We have a show in Los Angeles on April 4, a show in Vegas on April 5 and a show in Tucson on April 7. Shows are tricky because you have to rehearse and since we’ve never played live we have to do all that. That’s a big commitment. However, we are doing that because we want to prove to people that this is more than some fly-by-night recording project. This is serious! I do have a long-term vision for this. I would love to do another record and I’d love to play more live shows, if we can. I’d love to approach this like a real band because, even though I have a very wonderful day job that I don’t plan on leaving anytime soon, I love to play music! So, any chance I can get to play more music I will take! So, there you go!

There are a lot of bands, who are your peers, making some of the best music of their careers these days. Do you think these releases are getting the attention they deserve?

Of course I’m going to say no to that! [laughs] How could I possibly think they get enough?! But, I’m also very understanding of the situation right now. I know what the music scene is like and what the landscape is, so I understand. Listen, I’m grateful. I think a label like Frontiers does a really great job and they do such a great job because they’re passionate about this music. Certainly, the things I do for Frontiers like The End Machine or the album I produced for Warrant or Last In Line, we’re all lucky to have someone like them to help push these things as far as they can be pushed in this day and age. There are dedicated journalists that really want to do the best by this music, so that is all great. I just think it’s a shame. I mean, I know there is an audience for this but unfortunately, it’s a little bit older audience, meaning that it’s not teenyboppers. I wish there was a way that this music could be on more platforms, like terrestrial radio for example. I tend to feel that there is a possibility that there is an audience that could be exposed to this that can’t get it because there is no mainstream media that covers it. So, yes, I wish there was more of that. Will there be? I doubt it. Maybe in the future and I will never give up hope. It’s people like yourself who help make that happen.

What’s the best way to support a band like The End Machine and keep the art moving forward?

Buy the physical CD, of course, or download it if you have to. Buying the product is a big part of it. The day that people stop buying CDs, which is perhaps not that far in the future, is the day that the music business is going to really suffer. If you want to really support these bands, you have to buy the CDs. You also have to go to the shows. Number one is to spread the word! That’s really a big, big part of it. Word of mouth, social media word of mouth, has become very important because that’s the means of communication that is most effective at this point. So, spread the word! Get out there on the different sites and talk about the music you love. That’s the best you can do at this point, but it starts with buying the CD.

What’s the best lesson we can take from your journey as an artist?

Do what you love! Stay passionate and love what you do. If you are passionate about what you do and work hard at it, the universe will take care of you. Do what you love, do it 150% and you’ll be fine!

Thanks so much for your time today, Jeff. You’re an inspiration. Keep the good stuff coming and we will be out here spreading the word!

My pleasure! Thank you! We have more stuff coming, so you’ll hear from me! We’ll definitely talk again! Thanks so much, Jason!

The End Machine’s self-titled debut album will be released on March 22 via Frontiers Music srl. Follow the latest adventures of the legendary Jeff Pilson via his official site at www.jeffpilson.com.

Catch The End Machine live on the band West Coast this April!

04/04: Los Angeles, CA @ Whisky A Go Go
04/05: Las Vegas, NV @ Vamp’d
04/07: Tucson, AZ @ Club XS

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The End: Machine, featuring George Lynch, Jeff Pilson, Mick Brown & Robert Mason, To Release Debut Album on March 22nd

The End: Machine, featuring George Lynch, Jeff Pilson, Mick Brown & Robert Mason, To Release Debut Album on March 22nd

Hard rock titans collide for The End: Machine, a brand-new project that features classic-era DOKKEN members George LynchJeff Pilson, and Mick Brown as well as current WARRANT singer Robert Mason. The band will be releasing their self-titled debut on March 22nd via Frontiers Music SRL.

THE END machine have premiered their first single, “Alive Today,” along with an accompanying music video via Ultimate Classic Rock.

Pre-order THE END machine’s self-titled album on CD/LP/Digital here:
http://radi.al/TheEndMachine

A limited amount of signed CDs & LPs, merch bundles, VIP Packages & more are available here:
http://pmusic.co/rw9vqM

Surely, some fans may be wondering to themselves, isn’t this just Dokken without Don Dokken? “Musically, of course there’s bound to be moments that will be reminiscent of Dokken. That’s only logical,” says bassist Jeff Pilson. “But, my guess is there will be less of that than people would expect. Some people who’ve heard it say they think it’s closer to Lynch Mob than Dokken, but really it is pretty much its own thing. We allowed ourselves to get a little deeper than either of those projects really have, while still staying extremely melodic and not being afraid of good old-fashioned guitar rock. Maybe Lynch Mob, a bit of Dokken, but then some 70’s guitar rock added in. George [Lynch] is playing fantastic on this…very inspired. Everyone is really, but George covers some new territory here and it’s very cool. Plus, the songs as compositions took on their own life, especially adding Robert [Mason] to the writing. That’s what I’m most proud of, is the way this stands on its own. It doesn’t step on our legacy together one bit, but it has it’s own personality and I think that’s important.”

“This is decidedly not me ‘stapled’ onto a DOKKEN record,” adds Mason. “I wouldn’t have been involved if that was the intent. Fans will hear bits of our styles in this collection of songs, and while reminiscent signatures are undeniable, THE END machine was purposely built to stand apart and on its own merit.”

Tracklisting:
1.Leap Of Faith
2. Hold Me Down
3. No Game
4. Bulletproof
5. Ride It
6. Burn the Truth
7. Hard Road
8. Alive Today
9. Line of Division
10. Sleeping Voices
11. Life Is Love Is Music

Catch THE END machine on tour on the U.S. West Coast this April. The itinerary is as follows:

4/04: Los Angeles, CA @ Whisky A Go Go
04/05: Las Vegas, NV @ Vamp’d
04/06: Tucson, AZ @ Club XS

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Legendary Rockers Dokken To Release “Return To The East Live 2016” April 20th via Frontiers Music Srl

Legendary Rockers Dokken To Release “Return To The East Live 2016” April 20th via Frontiers Music Srl

In 2016, the classic original line-up Dokken featuring: Don Dokken, George Lynch, Jeff Pilson, and Mick Brown reunited to play the world famous Loud Park Festival in Japan. Fortunately for fans outside of Japan, cameras were there to capture the performance and now Frontiers is set to issue “Return To The East Live 2016” on April 20th!  In addition to the Japanese performance, this set also features footage from the classic lineup’s only US show in Sioux Falls, SD at Badlands.

A trailer for the release can be viewed HERE.

Pre-order and stream singles from the album here: http://radi.al/ReturnToTheEastLive

Pledge Music/Frontiers US Store: http://pmusic.co/3EN6wP

Frontiers EU Store: http://radi.al/ReturnToTheEastLive

“Return to the East Live 2016” will be available in the following formats:
* CD/DVD* Blu-Ray

* Collector’s Box (CD/DVD + T-Shirt) [Comes with XL tee in the U.S., L tee in EU]* 2xLP Standard 180g Black Vinyl
* 2xLP Limited Edition 180g Green Vinyl (Exclusive to Frontiers’ U.S. Store – Limited to 150 WORLDWIDE)

* 2xLP Limited Edition 180g Red Vinyl (Exclusive to Frontiers’ EU Store – Limited to 150 WORLDWIDE)
* MP3 (audio only)

If the release wasn’t amazing enough, the package includes a brand-new studio track, “It’s Just Another Day” and two acoustic re-workings of classic tracks, from the original members!

“After 25 years, it was great to reunite with George and Jeff and Mick and do a couple shows for the fans. We hope you like this album and video. There’s a lot of great bonus footage of us having fun, so enjoy it,” says Don Dokken.

Bassist Jeff Pilson adds, “I’m so thrilled this piece of the Dokken story is hitting the streets! What a magical experience it has been and this CD/DVD captures a lot of that wonderful manic energy that has always made Dokken so vital! I remain extremely grateful to have been a part of such a vibrant voice in the world of heavy rock. Thanx to the fans and to George, Don and Mick for being the musicians, writers and friends that you are!”

TRACK LISTING:
CD
01.It’s Another Day (New Studio Track)
02.Kiss Of Death
03.The Hunter
04.Unchain The Night
05.When Heaven Comes Down
06.Breakin’ The Chains
07.Into The Fire
08.Dream Warriors
09.Tooth And Nail
10.Alone Again (Intro)
11.Alone Again
12.It’s Not Love
13.In My Dreams
14.Heaven Sent (Acoustic Studio Bonus Track)
15.Will The Sun Rise (Acoustic Studio Bonus Track)

DVD
01.Tooth And Nail
02.Unchain The Night
03.When Heaven Comes Down
04.Breakin’ The Chains
05.Into The Fire
06.Alone Again
07.It’s Not Love
08.Paris Is Burning
09.Kiss Of Death
10.The Hunter
11.Dream Warriors
12.In My Dreams
13.Behind the Scenes

LINEUP:
Don Dokken – Vocals
George Lynch – Guitars
Jeff Pilson – Bass
Mick Brown – Drums

More About Dokken
Dokken simply needs no introduction. The band cemented their status as one of the legendary hard rock/heavy metal archetypes of the ’80s rock scene with numerous successful albums and tours, evergreen songs and music videos and a lore that will live on forever.

For More Info Visit:
http://dokken.net/
https://www.facebook.com/DokkenOfficial/
https://twitter.com/dokken
https://www.instagram.com/dokken/

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Sweet & Lynch To Release ‘Unified’ On November 10th Via Frontiers Music Srl

Sweet & Lynch To Release ‘Unified’ On November 10th Via Frontiers Music Srl

Frontiers Music Srl is pleased to announce the release of the second album from SWEET & LYNCH, “Unified”.  The highly anticipated follow up to the band’s Billboard charting debut, “Only to Rise” will be available on November 10th.  Today, the first single,“Promised Land” from the album can be heard HERE.

Order the album here: http://radi.al/Unified or at the links below

Frontiers: http://www.frontiers.shop

Amazon: http://radi.al/UnifiedAmazon

iTunes: http://radi.al/UnifiediTunes

Google Play: http://radi.al/UnifiedGooglePlay

All digital pre-orders come with an instant download of  “Promised Land.”

Follow the band on Spotify: http://radi.al/UnifiedSpotify to be alerted when the album is released and to add “Promised Land” to your favorite playlists:

SWEET & LYNCH is centered around the talents of guitarist/vocalist Michael Sweet of heavy metal stalwarts STRYPER (ex-BOSTON) and iconic guitarist George Lynch (LYNCH MOB, KXM, ex-DOKKEN) along with bassist James Lomenzo (ex MEGADETH, WHITE LION, BLACK LABEL SOCIETY) and drummer Brian Tichy (The Dead Daisies, ex-WHITESNAKE).  In addition to his vocal and guitar work, Michael Sweet handled all of the production duties on “Unified”

“George and I couldn’t be more excited about this album! We’ve worked very hard to bring you the best of both worlds – a throw back of the chart topping Stryper/Dokken days yet with a modern production that fits right in with anything out there now in the rock world today. We couldn’t be more proud than to be working with Brian Tichy and James LoMenzo again as they are the best rhythm section you’ll ever hear. If you liked SWEET & LYNCH I, you’re going to love ‘Unified’,” says Michael Sweet of the new album.

The combination of Sweet’s powerful, high-octane vocals, Lynch’s immediately recognizable guitar work, and Lomenzo and Tichy’s propulsive rhythm section make for an amazing musical combination. The album gives both Sweet and Lynch the opportunity to operate outside of the boundaries of their most well known work and really stretch their wings. Pummeling, traditional heavy metal combines with hook-laden melodic rock and traditional hard rock for a recipe that will satisfy the hungriest of rock fans!

“Unified” is an absolute must hear for fans of all of Michael Sweet and George Lynch‘s previous work and of course for those who enjoyed the band’s excellent debut album!

Track Listing:

  1. Promised Land
  2. Walk
  3. Afterlife
  4. Make Your Mark
  5. Tried & True
  6. Unified
  7. Find Your Way
  8. Heart Of Fire
  9. Bridge Of Broken Lies
  10. Better Man
  11. Live To Die

SWEET & LYNCH Lineup:
Michael Sweet – Lead Vocals, Guitars
George Lynch – Lead Guitars
James Lomenzo – Bass Guitar
Brian Tichy – Drums

For More Info Visit:
http://www.sweetandlynch.com/
https://www.facebook.com/SweetLynch/
https://twitter.com/sweetandlynch

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You Can’t Stop Rock ‘n’ Roll: A First-Timer’s Look At The M3 Rock Festival

You Can’t Stop Rock ‘n’ Roll: A First-Timer’s Look At The M3 Rock Festival

It’s no secret that I’m the youngin’ here at Icon Vs. Icon. At 25 years old, I was a baby when grunge came onto the scene and I wasn’t even thought of when most of the bands that play Maryland’s annual M3 Rock Festival were kicking ass on their original run. I’m much more of a punk guy. Now don’t get me wrong, I can jam out to the occasional Poison or Motley Crue hit, and Dangerous Toys is one of my favorite bands, but I’d be lying if I said I was an expert when it came to the hair metal/80’s rock era. However, when Captain Jason Price contacted me and said he had a photo pass for the festival I just couldn’t pass it up. Spoiler alert: I saw a lot of folks living out their heyday, but I’ll be damned if they weren’t having one of the greatest times of their lives. I was too! Before I get into it I just wanted you all to know that my life changed on that day. On April 29th, 2017 I became a huge fan of 80’s metal and the bands that continue kicking ass today. Now, let’s get into it as I take you into the M3 Rock Festival, held on April 28th and 29th, 2017 at Merriweather Post Pavilion, through the eyes of a first-timer.

All good times start off with a fantastic breakfast. I’d feel terrible if I failed to mention that Jason and I began our day ingesting delicious pastries from our local “bed and breakfast” Turnbridge Point. Listen, if you ever find yourself on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, make it a priority to check this place out! The folks that run the place are incredibly polite and make some of the tastiest treats you can imagine. After digesting our phenomenal baked goods, we said our goodbyes to our significant others and were off into the land of hairspray and leather pants!

We pull into Lot 4 at the Merriweather Post Pavilion and I already feel a bit out of place. Mind you it was 90 degrees outside so I decided to wear a light, Hawaiian button down to counteract the temperature. Everyone else in the parking garage were not so thoughtful. The most notable of attendees had the largest lion’s mane Jason and I had ever seen. I mean this in the nicest way possible, I was honestly jealous of this guy. He looked as if he had just told Dorothy and Toto to piss off because he was on his way to see Ratt!

We make our way to the West Gate, check in and receive our media badges, and away we go. The merch booth was full of black t-shirts from musical acts that played both, the night prior and that night. Most of the shirts were rather similar: all black with the bands logo in big bold letters in the center. This definitely appealed to the audience as this merch booth had a growing line all day. Honestly, I was a bit disappointed as I’m used to festivals in which each band has their own booth, but it wasn’t that big of a deal. We had about an hour to kill before the first band took the stage so we decided to get the lay of the land, peeping out the entrances to both photo pits and seeing what sort of food we would be devouring as the day went on. Before you knew it, the first band took the stage.

The opening band, on the Forest Stage, was local cover band 1 Nite Stand. I know what you’re thinking, “local cover band”? These guys knew how to get the party started. They came out and opened with The Who’s “Baba O’Reilly”. The synth/keyboard opening was the perfect start to the day and the people began to flock to the stage. These guys know how to have fun and I would definitely like to see them perform these hits again, in the future.

It was now time to make our way over to the main Pavilion Stage to catch the first “Main Stage Act” Rhino Bucket! Make no mistake, I am 100% unfamiliar with these guys but I got to know them real quick. Led by vocalist Georg Dolivo, it wasn’t long to catch on to what these guys were all about. Coming up in the LA Rock scene, like GnR and Junkyard, Rhino Bucket pushes that dirty rock sound that separates them from the Glam/Hair Metal acts of the period. I would be hard pressed to say that these guys didn’t sound very similar to AC/DC. That’s not necessarily a bad thing though, who doesn’t love that sound?! It’s also important to note that Brian “Damage” Forsythe, of Kix fame, plays lead guitar. Just a bit of a fun fact. Rhino Bucket released their latest album “The Last Real Rock N Roll” this past April and are showing no sign of slowing down.

Set times alternated between stages which was both a blessing and a burden. Catching every set was doable but damn if it wasn’t a hassle going back and forth. That being said, it was a great work out on this 90 degree day. As we made our way back to the Forest Stage I saw about 50 or so people in Korupt shirts. Being another band I was unfamiliar with, I wasn’t sure what to expect as each member took the stage. Formed in 1982, Korupt is a Maryland “Metal Cover Band”. Now, in theory that sounds a bit lame but it was far from the truth. These guys know how to shred and own every song as if it’s being heard for the first time. There around the Maryland area all the time and are opening for Faster Pussycat on July 16th. Tickets are available now!

At this point Captain Jason and I decided to grab some food. After much debate we settled on some pit beef sandwiches. No lie, this was most definitely a highlight of the day. I don’t know what they put in these sandwiches but they were bangin’! Needless to say, we went back for another one later in the evening.

We missed a couple of sets but thankfully made it back to the Forest Stage for my favorite set of the day, Junkyard. As stated above, these guys came up in the 80’s LA rock scene with bands such as Guns N Roses and the formerly mentioned Rhino Bucket. As a matter of fact, Junkyard picked up in popularity after Axel Roses sported a shirt during a photo shoot. After further investigation, singer David Roach stated that he wasn’t even sure if Axel had heard the band, he just liked the shirt and decided to wear it. These guys were most definitely the stand out of the day. This is the only band of the day that I could see playing both M3 Rock Festival and Punk Rock Bowling. Their roots are definitely set in the LA punk scene rather than the Hair Metal scene of the era. These guys slayed. Their fast paced hard rock mixed with their DIY style attitudes definitely place them in my wheelhouse. Brian Baker from Bad Religion even joined the group for a live rendition of “Hollywood”. What a breathtaking performance! Junkyard just released their first studio album in 26 years, “High Water” in April. I picked it up as soon as their set ended and might I say…these guys KICK ASS!

Back to Main Stage for some Danger Danger! Again, I’m the youngster on the scene, unfamiliar with 80% of these bands. That may be a good thing though. I’m learning about all of these kickass bands for the first time, and that’s also the case for the Queens natives. The band kicked off in 1987 and despite multiple lineup changes, and legal issues, they’re back and going strong today. Lead vocalist Ted Poley knows how to have a fantastic time on stage. His constant audience interaction throughout each song really makes the crowd part of the show. From “Rock America” to “Naughty Naughty” these guys definitely know how to have a good time, and make sure everyone around them are having fun as well.

It was starting to get hot guys…really hot. We needed a break from the crowd so we decided to walk around the festival grounds and check out a few of the merch tents. We popped on by the HammerJacks tent, yes the legendary Baltimore venue is coming back! Being the “hipsters” that we are, Jason and I grabbed a couple of shirts just to show that we were there for the venue’s return! Jokes aside, I’m absolutely stoked for the re-opening. I didn’t get to experience the original location firsthand but I’ve heard plenty of phenomenal stories. Can’t wait to experience these things myself. After leaving the HammerJacks tent I began to notice the lack of vendors/merch tents in the area. I’m so used to each band having their own tents, ready to shill any amount of merch they possibly can. Sadly that wasn’t the case here. I was ready to spend some money dammit! Back to the tunes.

Next up, on the Main Stage, Jack Russell’s Great White! Great White was one of those bands that everyone has told me I would dig but I never got around to listening. You can bet your ass I’m listening now. Leading up to the festival I made sure to check out a few old Great White tunes as well as a bit of Russell’s solo work. Now listen, this guy’s voice hasn’t changed a bit in terms of listening to the through the computer…I never expected Jack to sound that good in person. Holy hell was I wrong. This man hasn’t missed a beat. He hit every single note necessary to take you back to the days of the original Great White. While it is understandable that their set mostly consisted of Great White hits, I would’ve loved to hear a few more of Jack Russell’s Great White songs. Regardless, Jack Russell has attacked his demons and has them in a chokehold. I can’t wait for them to make their way back to the east coast so I can experience those sweet sultry vocals again!

We began to make our way back to the Forest Stage for one of Jason’s choices Bang Tango. No surprise here, another band I am completely unfamiliar with. I’ll be damned if I didn’t get familiar real quick. Joe Lesté, the last original member, was king of the world as he entered the stage on the shoulders of either a security member…or training pro wrestler. They kicked off the set with “Don’t Count Me Out”, a track off of their final OG lineup album “Love After Death”. Throughout the show I could honestly see that this band never reached its full potential. Lesté is a star in terms of a frontman, it’s criminal that these guys never got the love they deserve. There’s a documentary entitled “Attack of Life: The Bang Tango Movie” that tackles this very topic. Fun fact, the filmmaker behind this documentary is now the band’s rhythm guitarist. Their last album, “Pistol Whipped In The Bible Belt” was released in 2011.

Alright guys, we’re down to the bands I’ve heard a lot about! I know, it’s been a long ride. This is in no way a shot at the bands mentioned prior, I’m just a young guy. The bands above all killed, but now we’ve reached a few I’m familiar with. We make our way back to the Main Stage for Warrant. With the departure and eventual death of former lead singer Jani Lane, this incarnation of Warrant receives a decent amount of “hate” from fans. This is a hatred I can understand by people who grew up with a different band. That being said, Robert Mason and the rest of the crew rocked the house! They played a plethora of hits, spanning the band’s lengthy career. I can honestly say their new stuff holds up just as well as “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” or even “Cherry Pie”. Their newest single, “Louder, Harder, Faster” is just as the title describes and I can only assume the upcoming album will be just the same. The new Warrant album, “Louder, Harder, Faster” will be released on May 12th.

Next up we had Vixen on the Forest Stage, finally a few females in leather to balance out the crowd. We had heard about Lita Ford making the introductions for each band but had yet to catch them in the act. Thankfully that all changed as she introduced us to four badass chicks who know how to rock! These gorgeous ladies came out and brought the house down. Kicking off their set with “Streets in Paradise”, Janet Gartner shows that she still has it…as a matter of fact, she never lost it! Also noteworthy is newcomer Britt Lightning, shredding through each track as if she’s been there since day one. These girls put on a spectacular show and closed out the set with “Edge of a Broken Heart”, even being joined by a few members of one of Friday’s bands, Faster Pussycat.

It was starting to get late and this young “old man” was getting sleepy…but we still had three performances left dammit! Back over at the Main Stage we were introduced to Cinderella front man, Tom Keifer. While not my favorite set of the night, it was definitely the coolest. Keifer just has this aura about him that screams “check this out”! He went through a multitude of Cinderella hits, ramping up the performance as he went on. Along with hits from the lead singer’s band, he also covered David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” and The Beatles “With a Little Help from My Friends”. Once he reached the Beatles cover, Jason and I had already made our way back to the Forest Stage but I’ll be damned if Keifer didn’t have everyone at that stage singing along as well. There’s just something about that man that makes you want to listen and be involved. It is incredible that even after intense vocal surgery this man can still perform the way he does. When Tom Keifer is in town, you make sure you’re there!

As I stated, Jason and I were back at the Forest Stage as Keifer’s set began to wind down. We were well prepared for the Forest Stage headliner, and one of my personal favorites, Dokken! Most of you know that I cover most of the horror stuff here at IconVsIcon, so I’ll have you know that “Dream Warriors” is my jam. When Don Dokken took the stage you knew you were in for a treat. I won’t lie and say that he sounds exactly as he did on past recordings, however, he’s adjusted the vocals of each song to match how he can sing now. It works perfectly. I respect any artist who can adjust their music to where they are in life, and still knock it out of the park. Dokken did just that. During this set we were also given another spectacular performance by Jack Russell as he joined Dokken during their song “Alone Again”. Am I the only one that wants a Russell/Dokken collaboration album that consists of Don and Jack sharing vocals? Just me? Well that’s too bad, because these guys killed it together!

Alright ladies and gentlemen, the main event of the evening. Back on over to the Main Stage everyone was getting set for RATT. Might I say that they pulled out all of the stops. Confetti and fog machines had us a little confused in the photo pit but damn did it assist in a great show. I know that former drummer Bobby Blotzer had his own version of RATT appear at M3 in previous years, but this was the real deal. There’s only one Stephen Pearcy. The guys started off the set with “Wanted Man” and, of course, ended with “Round and Round”. While few stated that Pearcy seemed a bit off throughout the set I feel as though he was just taking it all in. He had the crowd in the palm of his hand and was ready to go all night. This was a great finish to cap off a spectacular day.

So that was that; a first timer’s look at the M3 Rock Festival. No doubt that I had a fantastic time and hope to return next year. Speaking of next year, it’s going to be the tenth festival this company has put on and they promised a few special surprises. I’m personally hoping for a Twisted Sister reunion and Quiet Riot (I know their current lineup is a bit wonky). I would also love for Dangerous Toys to be back on the festival next year as they played Friday night and I was unable to attend. The fanbase for this hard rock/hair metal genre is remarkable and dedicated. I would expect nothing less from the amazing people I had the pleasure of interacting with at M3. Hope to see you all again next year. KEEP ROCKING!

For all the latest info on the big event, visit the official website at www.m3rockfest.com.

About The Writer: 
Dylan Lyles – Staff Writer
The Phenomenal Dylan Lyles is an obsessive fan of cinema, pro wrestling, horror, vinyl, and comic books. Bursting from the womb in 1992, Dylan’s surrounded himself with all things geek culture. Earliest memories include Wrestlemania 11, ‘The Death of Superman,’ and Jason popping out of the water. You may see him sharing his opinion on just about everything on the internet or maybe even working the MonsterMania Con on the east coast. You love him and he loves you!
Twitter: @thedylanlyles

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M3 Rock Festival To Rock Baltimore (And Surrounding Areas!) On April 28th and 29th!

M3 Rock Festival To Rock Baltimore (And Surrounding Areas!) On April 28th and 29th!

For the past 8 years, some of the biggest names in hard rock, glam and heavy metal have gathered at Merriweather Post Pavilion for one of the most satisfying weekends of music around. This year is no exception as the M3 Rock Festival returns to rock Baltimore (and surrounding areas!) for it’s 9th year on April 28th and 29th, 2017! This year’s lineup features a who’s who of the most notable names from one rock’s most storied eras and is not to be missed.

The lineups from M3 Rock Festival’s past have been legendary and this year is no exception. The festival organizers have once again ensured there will be many notable highlights for metal-hungry rockers. Faster Pussycat, Winger, Dangerous Toys, Station and Baton Rouge will kick of the festivities on Friday and the show will be closed out by Baltimore’s legendary, KIX. Saturday’s lineup is equally as stacked with performances by Vain, Rhino Bucket, Junkyard, Bang Tango, Danger Danger, Autograph, Jack Russell’s Great White, Warrant, Dokken, Tom Keifer’s Cinderella. The recently reunited RATT, featuring vocalist Stephen Pearcy, guitarist Warren DeMartini and bassist Juan Croucier, will be closing out the show on Saturday evening.

One of the best festivals on the East Coast, M3 Rock Festival is a celebration of the music created during the heyday of The Sunset Strip. It’s attended by people who lived the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle, those who missed out and an entirely new generation of classic rock fans anxious to see their favorites take the stage. While many artists featured at the M3 Rock Festival rose to fame decades ago, it’s important to remember the overwhelming majority of artists on this bill are active bands who not only continue to rock audiences around the globe and create new music for legions of devoted fans. There is no doubt you will hear the songs that provided the soundtrack to your youth but you might also walk away with some killer new tunes to add to your playlist! Either way, 2017’s M3 Rock Festival is going to rock you to your core.

For all the latest info on the big event, visit the official website at www.m3rockfest.com. Check out a complete list of set times below!

 

 

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SCATTERBRAIN: Ray Luzier On The Making of KXM’s Dynamic Sophomore Album!

SCATTERBRAIN: Ray Luzier On The Making of KXM’s Dynamic Sophomore Album!

Ray Luzier – Photo by Fadewood Studios

Building upon the success of their 2014 self-titled debut, KXM returns with their sophomore album “Scatterbrain.” The new album is scheduled for release on March 17 via Rat Pak Records. KXM is comprised of dUg Pinnick of King’s X on vocals/bass, George Lynch of Lynch Mob/Dokken on guitars and Ray Luzier of Korn on drums. Scatterbrain features 13 new tracks and was recorded at the Steakhouse studio in North Hollywood, California. The album was produced by Chris “The Wizard” Collier (Flotsam & Jetsam/Prong/Last In Line) who also produced the band’s 2014 debut.

From the infectious riff of the album opener “Scatterbrain” to the outro of “Angel,” KXM created something special and musically diverse. Songs like “Breakout,” “Calypso” and “True Deceivers” are sonically different from each other, taking the listener on a musical journey. Scatterbrain is thematically a darker record than the debut. The album builds upon the developed KXM rock sound but, this time, includes different dynamics drawing inspiration from prog, ska, punk and metal. Through it all, it remains KXM.

Jason Price of Icon Vs. Icon recently caught up with Ray Luzier to discuss the making KXM’s dynamic new album, ‘Scatterbrain,’ there creative process and the lessons learned along the way!

In the past, we discussed your musical influences. Going a step further, we were curious to know how your journey in music began.

Cool! It’s weird because I grew up on a giant farm outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It was 188 acres to be exact. It was pretty secluded from everything. My uncle was a big rock fan and he would listen to Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, KISS, Rush, Yes and all kinds of other bands. At the same time, my sister was five years older than me and she would play everything from Sabbath to Ted Nugent. I don’t know what drew me to it but I just loved music. My parents were always playing Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry and The Beatles. I think being around music all the time had a big effect on me. No one in my family is in music, so it was kind of weird how I just started tapping on stuff. They bought me my first drum kit when I was 6 years old and I destroyed it! [laughs] It was this really bad paper kit from K-Mart or something! Six months later, they bought me a junior pro-kit and I just never stopped. I was self-taught. I would just put on KISS or AC/DC records, whatever I had, and just drum along. I had no idea what I was doing but I knew I loved what was going on! When I got to high school, I started doing all the concert, symphonic and marching band stuff. That was when I first learned what a quarter note was and how to read music a little bit. I got into some rock bands in high school and tried to do the original band thing in Pittsburgh a little bit but I was kind of too young. My guitar player talked us into moving to Los Angeles when we graduated. When I was 18, two months after I graduated, I packed up the church van that I bought and drove 2,600 miles to LA! We attended Musicians Institutes, which was a percussion and guitar institute. We went there for a year and he didn’t really care for LA, so he moved back. I wanted to stick around because I knew LA was a giant opportunity! I did everything from teaching drum lessons to playing in a couple of original bands; I did anything I could to make a living by playing!

What kept you going during those lean years in Los Angeles?

It was nuts! I was so naive and I didn’t know anything. [laughs] I didn’t even really go to downtown Pittsburgh when I was growing up, aside from going to concerts like Motley Crue, KISS or whatever. When I moved to LA, all of a sudden, I lived in an apartment with neighbors above, below and on both sides of me. LA’s its own animal as it is, so it took me years to get inside there. I didn’t know where to go or who to meet! Nothing! I would just practice six hours a day! What I didn’t know was that I should have been networking by going out to clubs more and meeting people. I just thought, “I’m going to lock myself up in a room and practice so much that no one can turn me down!” Little did I know that it wasn’t necessarily the right thing to have in my head. [Laughs] I’m glad I practiced so much because you are never where you want to be and always want to be better. I worked at a fan club and stuffed envelopes and filled T-shirt orders. I did anything I could in the music industry because I didn’t want to bus tables or work at a coffee shop. I wanted to do something in the entertainment business, so I worked a fan club for Cypress Hill, House of Pain, Richie Sambora, Slaughter and all the bands back then. It was really interesting. I worked for five bucks an hour but I got free concert tickets! From there, all my original bands would get signed and get dropped, get signed and get dropped. Finally, that led me to the Jake E. Lee gig from Ozzy Osbourne and that was my first official tour. It was the first time I was on a tour bus, playing and actually making a couple of dollars from playing drums. From there on out, I just went for it. I joined David Lee Roth, not long after that, and toured with him for eight years. Then I did Army of Anyone with Robert and Dean De Leo from Stone Temple Pilots and Richard Patrick from Filter. I’m really proud of that record we did. That led me to Korn; Korn’s manager was also Army of Anyone’s manager. Now, this is the 10th year I am in Korn!

KXM at Steakhouse Studios in North Hollywood.

Those are big milestones, as is the sophomore record you are putting out for KXM. I loved the first record and was excited to see you back for another round. Going back to the beginning, how did you cross paths with George Lynch and dUg Pinnick?

I was such a huge fan and had such a great admiration for their musicianship. To find out they were also great people was a huge bonus! There is nothing worse than looking up to someone, only to meet them and being let down. I waited in line for Dokken tickets at Pittsburgh Civic Arena when I was 15 years old, so just meeting George was a huge thing! He asked me to do a couple of ESP clinics back in the day. I was an instructor at PIT for almost a decade, around all the tours. I did a couple of clinics with him and then he asked me to do a DVD with him. We just kind of stayed in touch from there. We always said we would like to do a band someday but it was really hard because we were both so busy. The same thing goes for dUg; I’m a huge King’s X fan! I would fly to other states and drive to San Diego to LA, Phoenix or anywhere I could to see them! It’s such a great thing for the soul for me as a die-hard King’s X fan! Low and behold, I get to know dUg because I showed up at so many shows, he would say, “Hey man, I just saw you not too long ago!” I would say, “Yeah, I know! I’m here again!” [laughs] We exchanged numbers and the next thing you know I’m putting his name on the guest list for David Lee Roth shows every time I would go to Texas. I told him, “Before I die, I just want to play tambourine on one of your records! That’s my dream!” Low and behold, we had a birthday party for my son’s first birthday and I invited a bunch of people over. dUg, George and myself ended up in my little studio at the end of the night. George was looking through all of my guitars and looked at us and said, “Man, this would be a good lineup for a band. We should do a record someday.” I said, “Yeah, right, that’ll happen!” [laughs] He’s just so busy and Korn is out of their mind busy but amazingly we made it happen! George was really persistent about getting together. The great thing about KXM is that it doesn’t take a lot of time out of our schedules. We have this formula where we just do one song a day and that’s it. That way no one can come in with any preconceived notions or riffs or grooves. We just meet up at the studio at noon and go! By 5 or 6 o’clock, we are arranging the songs and by 6 or 7 o’clock, I’m tracking drums. Then George does his rhythm guitars and the next day we move on. dUg did all his vocal overdubs and his bass but, for the most part, everything was done on the spot. That’s saying a lot because most musicians write a song, live with it for a couple of months and change this or that along the way. With this band, there is none of that. We just go for it! There is a beauty about not overthinking it and the spontaneity.

“Scatterbrain” has a darker tone than the first release from KXM. Is that by design or did it come about organically?

It just kind of happened. We didn’t know what we were going for on the first record or for the second one for that matter. We really don’t know what we are going to end up with. When you have that up-in-the-air style to it, anything goes! Sometimes, just because you respect each other’s musicianship, it doesn’t mean that you are going to sound good and mesh together. In this case it did and actually worked better than we thought. When the first record was so well-received, we said, “OK, let’s do another one!” There wasn’t anything like us having a meeting and saying, “Let’s get darker with this one.” It just came out that way. George was really experimental with his chords and was doing some really cool, jazzy, darker stuff using whammy pedals. dUg had his new signature head, which is an amazing bass tone that he has with it. We really just went for stuff this time recording. “Scatterbrain,” the title track, happened because I wanted something a little more up-tempo. We had been writing a lot of mid-tempo stuff and George had this whammy pedal out, which you hear on the intro. That song was crazy to try and arrange and solidify. The video for the song came out really cool too! Definitely check out the YouTube channel. We have three videos you can watch right now on there and I’m really proud of the way they came out.

When it comes to what you brought to the album, where did you look for inspiration?

Ya know, George and dUg really inspired me. When we get together, like I said, there are no rules. I mean, I love Korn and it’s my baby and it’s 100% of my time but we always have a producer. There is always someone saying, “Hey, let’s not do that. Let’s try this … ” That is cool because you do need outside ears on occasion because you can get lost in your music. You need that outside person to say, “You’re not thinking of it this way.” That way you can say, “I didn’t think of it that way but you’re right.” With KXM there are absolutely no rules and dUg and George inspire me because of that. I’m not going to tell dUg what to play on bass, he’s not going to tell George what to play on guitar and he’s not going to tell me what to play. All of the parts just kind of fit together and that’s inspiring in itself. We have so many miles on us and so much experience from touring and all the records we have done combined that it is just fun! Especially when I am traveling the planet with Korn so much. I love those guys to death, I love everything we do and I never get sick of playing the songs but it is so cool when you get into a room like that with such different personalities as dUg and George! They are such different people and that’s a good thing! It’s definitely inspiring in itself!

They say you take something away from every project. Was that the case with “Scatterbrain?”

Yeah, definitely! Like you said, everything is an experience! Whether it’s a new mic’ing technique or whatever, there is so much involved with making a record. That’s what kind of bums me out about today’s generation who doesn’t buy music. I’m not going to do the old guy preachy thing about “go buy a record!” But, kids really don’t get how much goes into just mic’ing a drum set from the types of microphones you’re going to use or acoustics of the room or just getting dialed in for one instrument, let alone all the guitar tones that George and dUg go through. Then you’re talking about writing process, arranging all this stuff and then when it’s all down and arranged, it has to be mixed properly! There are so many processes and steps, so I’m always learning something about the recording process and I have been on about 70 or 80 records at this point! That’s really cool and I love learning that kind of stuff! As far as it goes musically, when you step outside of the box and there are no boundaries, rules or producer telling you no, I think it makes me more mature as an artist to think up a song as a whole. Back in the day, when you’re first starting out, you just want to show everyone how cool a drummer you are. As you mature, in your late 20s or early 30s, you’re like, “OK. This is more about the songs.” I always try to get younger musicians to think about it as a whole. I mean, if you are talented, your talent is going to shine somewhere and someone is going to see it. That’s one of the main things I have learned over the years; playing for the song and trying to make the best song you can.

That’s a great segue to my next question. As an artist, is there any musical ground you are anxious to cover or other artists you would love to work with?

Yeah. I had this side band called Hideous Sun Demons and we actually had one record out on Magna Carta records. It was very experimental. For example, there is a Latin song on there, jazz fusion and metal. It’s all instrumental and without vocals. I love that kind of stuff! I would love to do another one of those records, just to branch out. We got pretty experimental on the “Scatterbrain” record and we are doing some proggy stuff, some ska, straight ahead rock and odd timed stuff. There is all that on there but I always tell people I want to get into a room with Dave Grohl, Trent Reznor and Billy Sheehan. [laughs] It would be a little whacky and out there but that’s kinda what KXM is with George Lynch, dUg Pinnick and myself being from such different worlds. I would love to get experimental someday with people I really respect, like Dave Grohl, Trent Reznor and Billy Sheehan. I’ve played on Billy’s last two solo records. It’s really fun to see what you come up with. Sometimes, it’s not good. I mean, just because you are somewhat talented, it doesn’t mean you’re going to write a good song! [laughs]

You mentioned the videos KXM has put out. I enjoyed them but it makes me what to see you guys play together live. Is that something that might be in the cards this time around?

That’s the golden question with a lot of people! [laughs] It’s completely my fault. I say that because my band is so busy and I have dedicated everything to Korn. I actually love the band so much that I told them to get a drummer to tour and they said, “No way!” [laughs] I respect that! Ultimately, I wouldn’t want them to do that but I just love the band so much, I want to see it succeed more and I don’t want to hold them back. However, if you add a different flavor to the mix, it’s going to sound different, even though it’s just drums. We need a good frame of a month-and-a-half to two months to really rehearse and do it right because we’re not going to go out there and half-ass it. We’ve had so many offers from cruise ships to other big name people who really liked the record, who I won’t even mention because it could still happen some day. Hopefully, they will like this new one too! [laughs] It’s definitely something I want to do someday. If worst comes to worst, I want to go out for a couple of weeks and then film a DVD after we have those few weeks under our belt. That way, at least the fans could have something to watch in the form of a really great live recording. Who knows! Korn isn’t a band to take a break! We just had two months off but that was the holidays and we are about to get out there and hit it hard again! I’m not saying it’s not going to happen because it very well could!

My last question for you is about playing live with Korn. As you said, you are a fan of the band and dedicated yourself to it. Is there anything you haven’t played from their huge back-catalog of music you would like to take on in the future?

That’s the thing, man! When you have 140 or 150 songs to choose from, it’s really hard for us to make a set list! [laughs] We are always trying to get new songs in the setlist but you have to play the bigger hits. The problem is that it isn’t like Korn only has one or two hits! They have a ton! You always want to appeal to the die-hards who are old school because if you play something really weird, they go nuts! Some of these Korn fans are beyond dedicated! There is one fan in particular who will be attending her 48th Korn show! [laughs] I mean, if Bonham came back from the dead, I don’t think I would see Zeppelin more than 10 times! [laughs] That’s nuts to me! So, you want to give the die hard fans something different things. There is a song that we started playing called “Dirty” that is really cool with a slow groove. We almost did that but we ended up pulling it out. I kept joking about doing “Word Up,” which is the Cameo song we covered. We actually did it on the last tour and I think we are doing to do it in Europe this time. It started as kind of a joke because I love the funkiness of the song but then we started doing it again! They are definitely not afraid to pull out something! I’m a little bummed that we don’t do anything off of “Korn III” anymore. That was my first studio record with them and I really like the song “Oildale (Leave Me Alone)” and I would love to pull that one back out!

Awesome, Ray! Thanks again for your time today and we can’t wait to catch up with you on the road very soon!

Cool. Thank you, Jason! I appreciate it!

Follow the continuing adventures of Ray Luzier through social media via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. KXM’s ‘Scatterbrain’ is available now from www.ratpakrecords.com

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KXM Release Video for “Breakout” from the Upcoming Album ‘Scatterbrain’

KXM Release Video for “Breakout” from the Upcoming Album ‘Scatterbrain’

Coming on the heels of the video for the debut single “Scatterbrain,” KXM has released a video for another song from the upcoming sophomore album.

The video for “Breakout” premiered on the band’s Facebook page and can be seen here:https://youtu.be/E7NEoECwbeI. The video, directed by previous KXM director Jamie Brown, is a barrage of visuals of the band that captures the high-energy feel of the song. The song comes from the album Scatterbrain that is scheduled for worldwide release on March 17th via Rat Pak Records. Fans who pre-order the album digitally via iTunes (http://smarturl.it/kxmsbitunes) will receive both “Breakout” and the first single “Scatterbrain” as an instant download. The album is also available via Amazon (http://smarturl.it/kxmsbamazon).

Scatterbrain is currently available for pre-order via the Rat Pak Records website in various bundles including signed CD’s and t-shirts. All fans who pre-order the album through the Rat Pak website will be entered to win a one-of-a-kind custom guitar as well as other prizes. The pre-order is available at RatPakRecords.com/KXM. The video for the debut single “Scatterbrain” can be seen here: https://youtu.be/UvTnzne69Ts and has become a fan favorite since it was released. KXM is comprised of dUg Pinnick of King’s X on vocals/bass, George Lynch of Lynch Mob/Dokken on guitars and Ray Luzier, of Korn on drums. Scatterbrain features 13 brand new tracks and was recorded at the Steakhouse studio in North Hollywood California. The album was produced by Chris “The Wizard” Collier (Flotsam & Jetsam/Prong/Last In Line) who also produced the band’s 2014 debut.

KXM formed in early 2013 when dUg, George and Ray spoke about trying to jam together. At the time it wasn’t clear what would come from those jams. The only thing that was clear was that these 3 musicians, at the top of their game, wanted to play together. The self-titled debut, KXM, was released on March 11, 2014 and debuted at #31 on the Billboard 200. The band takes its name from the combination of the member’s other projects: K from Korn, X from King’s X and M from Lynch Mob. In a world that constantly searches for new and unique music, KXM delivers all the power and punch that one would expect from these high level players.

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KXM Return With Sophomore Album ‘Scatterbrain’ In March of 2017

KXM Return With Sophomore Album ‘Scatterbrain’ In March of 2017

Building upon the success of their 2014 self-titled debut, KXM returns with their sophomore album Scatterbrain. The new album is scheduled for release on March 17th via Rat Pak Records. Scatterbrain is currently available for pre-order via the Rat Pak Records website in various bundles including signed CD’s and t-shirts. All fans who pre-order the album through the Rat Pak website will be entered to win a one-of-a-kind custom guitar as well as other prizes. The pre-order is available at RatPakRecords.com/KXM.  KXM is comprised of dUg Pinnick of King’s X on vocals/bass, George Lynch of Lynch Mob/Dokken on guitars and Ray Luzier, of Korn on drums. Scatterbrain features 13 brand new tracks and was recorded at the Steakhouse studio in North Hollywood California. The album was produced by Chris “The Wizard” Collier (Flotsam & Jetsam/Prong/Last In Line) who also produced the band’s 2014 debut.

From the infectious riff of the album opener “Scatterbrain” to the outro of “Angel,” KXM have created something truly special and musically diverse. Songs like “Breakout,” “Calypso,” and “True Deceivers” are sonically different from each other taking the listener on a musical journey. Scatterbrain is thematically a darker record than the debut. The album builds upon the developed KXM rock sound but this time includes some different dynamics drawing inspiration from prog, ska, punk and metal. Through it all, it remains undeniably KXM.

Recorded over the span of 10 days, every song on Scatterbrain was the result of a musical jam from all three members playing together in the same room. Ray Luzier explains on the process, “We wanted to use the same formula as the 1stKXM record: book studio time, come in fresh every day with a new idea & run with it and not over think anything.” George Lynch described the sessions as Record-topia: “we showed up in the studio, camped out with a bunch of gear and let the tape roll! Just like the first album, no pre-production, no rehearsal, no pre-written songs.” dUg Pinnick adds: “The vibe was like a bunch of old friends having fun creating music like the previous record, nothing but fun!”

The track listing for Scatterbrain is:

  1. Scatterbrain
  2. Breakout
  3. Big Sky Country
  4. Calypso
  5. Not a Single Word
  6. Obsession
  7. Noises In The Sky
  8. Panic Attack
  9. It’s Never Enough
  10. True Deceivers
  11. Stand
  12. Together
  13. Angel

KXM formed in early 2013 when dUg, George and Ray spoke about trying to jam together. At the time it wasn’t clear what would come from those jams. The only thing that was clear was that these 3 musicians, at the top of their game, wanted to play together. The self-titled debut, KXM, was released on March 11, 2014 and debuted at #31 on the Billboard 200. The band takes its name from the combination of the member’s other projects: K from Korn, X from King’s X and M from Lynch Mob. In a world that constantly searches for new and unique music, KXM delivers all the power and punch that one would expect from these high level players.

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M3 Rock Festival: Official 2017 Artist Lineup Announced!

M3 Rock Festival: Official 2017 Artist Lineup Announced!

m3-rock-festival-2017

Glam & heavy metal returns to Merriweather for the 9th year of the M3 Rock Festival. The lineup for this year’s event, which takes place on April 28th and 29th, 2017, has officially been announced and features RATT, Cinderella’s Tom Keifer, Dokken, Loverboy, Jack Russell’s Great White, Faster Pussycat, Danger Danger, Junkyard, Rhinobucket, Loudness, Autograph, Bang Tango, Winger, Dangerous Toys, Lita Ford and more!

One of the best festivals on the East Coast, M3 Rock Festival is a celebration of the days of decadence an glamour and is attended by people who lived it and their children who remember hearing about this cultural movement.

For all the latest info on the big event, visit the official website at www.m3rockfest.com.

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