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The Devil You Know: Phil Lewis On Taking Risks With LA Guns Dynamic New Album!

The Devil You Know: Phil Lewis On Taking Risks With LA Guns Dynamic New Album!

L.A. GUNS are one of the great American hard rock bands of the last 30 years. Since the self-titled debut in 1988 to the widely praised 2017 comeback album “The Missing Peace,” the grizzled vets of the music industry carved out one of the most unique stories in the history of rock. From their humble beginnings to their legendary feuds to their triumphant reunion, one thing is for certain‚ Tracii Guns and Phil Lewis never stopped putting their heart and soul into their music. It’s that authenticity that garnered them legions of dedicated fans around the globe, which in turn fuels their creative fire. Hot on the heels of the success of the last record, they’re ready to unleash the next exciting chapter in the band’s rich history. “The Devil You Know,” releasing March 29th via Frontiers Music srl, thrusts the band forward into exciting new musical territory. An unrelenting thrill ride from start to finish, the album incorporates influences from Black Sabbath to Led Zeppelin to Kyuss to The Hellacopters, all while staying true to the unique rock sound that is L.A. Guns. With Phil’ Lewis’ stunning and unique vocals and Guns’ mind-bending guitar playing on full display, this album is proof that rock ‘n’ roll is alive and well in 2019!

Jason Price of Icon Vs. Icon recently caught up with Phil Lewis to discuss the making of the band’s dynamic new album. Along the way, Lewis offers up an inside look at his career, creative evolution and the origins of the band’s iconic logo.

Thanks for speaking with me today, Phil. I know you are busier than ever, so I appreciate your time and the hard work you all have been putting in on these recent albums!

That was very nice! Thank you very much and we appreciate your support.

I want to start at the very beginning. How did music take hold of you in your early life and what went into finding your creative voice?

The early days were fun. As you know, I’ve been doing this for a while now! [laughs] I started in London in the early ‘80s and I put various bands together and, quite by shock, ended up with a record deal, which made me a legit musician. By fate, luck and passion I am still managing to do it decades later. I consider it a blessing! I grew up in London in the ‘70s. I was a teenager, about 15 years old in 1976, when I could go and see bands like Queen and Deep Purple in pubs and small rooms, literally. I saw Black Sabbath at The Albert Hall. It was an absolutely magical time. I picked up an old acoustic guitar, learned some chords and then started signing over those chords. At that point, I started to learn covers. What I thought would be difficult came quite easily to me. Before I knew it, I was doing solo open mic nights, singing and helping out other bands. It evolved very naturally. I don’t have a musical background or a musical education of any kind at all, aside from a love of the craft. My first singing lessons were screaming along to “Stairway to Heaven” in my car, like most people! [laughs] It kind of went from there!

There were a lot of factors involved with creating the artist we see today. Which of those factors played the biggest role in your development?

You know, my days in GIRL were a blur. They were fun days; they were experimental days. We were listening to bands like Siouxsie and The Banshees and Japan. We also had the American influence, the Tom Petty factor, going into it. So, it was wonderful at that age to be given an opportunity to record a record. Ya know, we just made it up. We didn’t do any covers. Actually, that’s not true because we did a KISS cover. It was great fun! My first serious musical education was when I started working with Bernie Tormé after GIRL. Musically, he was leagues ahead of what we were doing. It was tremendous and he was a great musical mentor to me. I enjoyed working with him a lot and I learned a lot. To this day, that education of those early days with him carries through. The GIRL stuff was great, but it was all impromptu, you know. It happened, it sounded good. Bernie really knew what he was doing, and he knew how to get it. I learned a lot from him. I also learned a lot from Andy Johns, of course, who produced something like five of our records. I also learned a lot from Tracii Guns. He’s someone who is dedicated to it, regardless of whether he was going to live in a mansion or a shoebox. No matter what, our course was set, and it’s been very good to us. It’s our salvation, you know. I don’t know what would’ve happened if I hadn’t embraced music. I don’t know where I would have gone. It was a no-brainer for me, and it was obvious what I was going to do. It’s tricky explaining that to my career master at school — “Hey, I want to be a rockstar!” But I got it! In the end, I won. It only took me 40 years, but I won! [laughs]

You make it look easy!

Well, thank you. It’s a discipline. It’s like these people who work out on treadmills or lift enormous weights. They make it look easy too but there is a lot that goes in behind that appearance, believe me!

You’ve seen your fair share of ups and downs along the way. What inspires you as an artist these days?

I was in a lineup with the Steve Riley version of LA Guns and we were together for a long time. We did a few albums and I was quite happy but then things started slowing down. He didn’t want to record any new music and just wanted to go out on these Hair Metal package tours. I wasn’t quite ready for that. That is one step before retirement, as far as I’m concerned, so I gave him my notice that I was going to quit. I gave him a year, well, like eight months and I was even thinking about going back and playing acoustic or putting a three-piece band together. I just needed to get out. It was around that time that I ran into Tracii and the talk of a reunion came about. Once I heard his ideas, what he had lined up and what he wanted to do recording-wise, along with his enthusiasm, it was infectious! It was immediately infectious. It just reminds me so much of those early days when I first moved to LA back in 1988. I remember we were both sitting on a city bus on the way to the studio and writing lyrics to “Electric Gypsy.” It was fun then and it’s fun now. That’s what inspires me.

L.A. Guns in the wild.

From a business standpoint, what keeps a band like LA Guns moving forward in today’s climate?

Well, certainly not recorded music. We know that going in and if we break even, we’re lucky. Really lucky, you know. We are fortunate that we have a good live following. It’s taking a risk, but we think we’re going to do a lot better if we stick our necks out instead of just playing it safe or playing the old nuggets like “Sex Action,” “Ballad of Jayne” or “Never Enough.” We do that as well but we’re not going to get any new fans doing that. We’re not going to get any crossover or any new people by doing that. It seems to us, logically, that if we put out this intriguing new music, then it’s going to reflect in our attendance. Even if we don’t sell millions of copies of the records, the influence will get out and I think that’s where it’s going to show.

“The Missing Peace” kicked off a new era for LA Guns. Now, in March 2019, you will unleash “The Devil You Know.” What can you tell us about the headspace you were in with these records and the impact they had on you.

To be honest, my head is still spinning from it. I couldn’t believe how quickly we rallied together to start work on this second record. It’s the second record with this lineup and I believe it’s the 12th LA Guns record. It just goes to show the enthusiasm and energy that is happening for us at the moment. We’re on a roll and there is no doubt about it. It’s great to do new music and it’s also great to see that the reunion has been so appreciated. I wish we would have gotten together sooner but maybe we needed some time apart to grow up and do our own thing. It just feels right and we’re doing it all for the right reasons. We’re not doing a nostalgia tour. We didn’t get back together and put together a covers record or a greatest hits record with a new song at the end. This is legit. It’s a new, hungry band. The nucleus is the old band but it’s very much the same feeling I had when Tracii and I first partnered up back in the late ‘80s.

You mentioned taking risks with this new record – tell us about that aspect of it.

The record is classic, but it also has a new vibe. It’s new but not modern. We wouldn’t use an auto-tuner. We wouldn’t use drum loops. It’s very organic and stripped down. It’s what happens when you get four extremely dedicated musicians together and three of them are incredibly talented. It’s a stew! It cooks and it’s darn good eatin’! [laughs]

Well said! [laughs] Each album features its own share of challenges. What were the biggest obstacles you faced with “The Devil You Know?”

It’s always a little bit terrifying when all the tracks are recorded and it’s like, “Alright, Phil. You’re up!” It’s daunting because the tracks are so good and beautifully recorded. It was like, “Feets don’t fail me now!” [laughs] Like the last record, I flew to New York to record with Mitch Davis. We got down to a week’s worth of serious monastic, hyper-focused eight-hour days in the studio. There was no socializing, no drinking or partying. It was simply a week’s worth of intense recording. Sometimes I would be so scared that I’d throw up before I got on the subway to take the 16 stops into Manhattan from Long Island. I was scared because I didn’t want to fuck it up! I knew I was going to be singing stuff higher, louder and better than I had ever done. With that said, I know it was going to take a lot of work, so I was a little bit scared of it. By golly, about halfway through it, there was no greater feeling than when I nailed it. We wired the tracks back to Tracii and the guys and they said, “Yep, that’s it! That’s what we want.” It was the greatest feeling in the world. I’ve got to say, when it’s all done and it’s my job and I have to do a whole record’s worth of vocals in four days, it’s slightly terrifying! [laughs]

What can you tell us about the songwriting process for LA Guns these days?

It’s a group effort. Mitch Davis is involved as well in the writing. He’s a brilliant lyricist. Him and Tracii were working before the reunion. When I came back, he said, “Why don’t you and Mitch get together and see if it’s going to work in this environment.” I did and Mitch is amazing! He’s an incredible musician, great engineer and a very dedicated lyricist. It was really, really good being around somebody, like myself, who focuses so much on the vocals. The guys get into the studio and we put the tracks together. They go in and lay them down and, when they are done, they will do a rough mix to send out to New York and we do the vocals there. Then it’s all sent back to LA and Greg Worth mixes it. He’s the same guy who mixed “The Missing Peace.” So, it’s the same team as the last record and it seems to be working very well.

I also want to ask about the album art for “The Missing Peace” and “The Devil You Know.” I did some digging and couldn’t find much about the creation of the iconic LA Guns logo. What are you recollections of how that came about?

I remember it very vividly. I had joined the band and been in the band about six months. We were doing a photoshoot in downtown with our good friend, John Scarpati. We were saying that we wanted a logo and he said that he knew somebody. He said, “Just tell us want you want and he can do it.” We said, “Well, we want skulls. We want pistols. We want the Hollywood sign, of course. We want the whole LA/Hollywood backdrop.” He goes, “OK, I will tell my buddy, Tyler.” A couple of days later, it wasn’t long, he called us up. He said, “OK, I’ve got something to show you. I think you’re going to like it!” We went down to John’s studio and he ceremoniously unveiled it and we were all absolutely blown away! It was exactly, exactly what we had in mind! This artist, Tyler, had put all of our suggestions together and gave us exactly what we wanted. You know, I don’t even remember meeting him and we never saw him again after that! His work never showed up and we never saw anything else that he did. You can see on the original that it has Tyler on it. It’s an utter mystery. I remember the unveiling like yesterday and just how blown away we were! We were thrilled and he nailed it. Mysteriously, he disappeared back into the ether. Kahla (www.artbykahla.com) works in much the same way. We tell her what we want. We give her a shopping list of things. We had several album titles, so she had to work on some ideas that we ended up scraping but once we told her what we wanted, she did an absolutely fantastic job too. Hopefully, this one won’t disappear into the ether … since I’m married to her, you know! [laughs] I’ve been telling her just how well her work is being received and she’s very happy to hear that! She actually got a commission yesterday from someone who is doing a comic book. She’s a commercial artist, so she’s excited and they are actually negotiating doing something right now, so that worked out well!

Looking back on your career, how have you evolved as an artist?

Well, you know, it’s peaks and valleys, highs and lows. I knew it was going to be rough. When it’s great, it’s great and when it’s not it’s a fucking nightmare! [laughs] But, you weather it. I always thought of it as more of an adventure than a career. It’s great right now because people, like yourself, are loving the work we have done but it hasn’t always been that way. I’ve been slagged off horribly and, quite often, with good reason! You just have to have a thick skin or as Tom Petty calls it, “Rhino Skin.” That’s kind of my theme song, that and the “James Bond Theme.” Those are the two things that go through my head when I’m driving and thinking about my career! [laughs] I’ve had some absolutely fantastic times and, for somebody who isn’t musically trained, I’m very proud of the body of work I’ve put out.

Do you feel there are misconceptions about yourself?

No, not really. When I was growing up in the early metal scene, like I said, GIRL was listening to Japan and Siouxsie and The Banshees. So, I was a little misconceived in the early days as being a new-waver and not really a rocker but I sorted that perception in no time at all!

There are a lot of bands, peers of LA Guns, who are putting out great music right now. Speaking to LA Guns specifically, are releases like these getting the attention they deserve?

Yeah, I do! You should see my interview schedule! For example, I’ve been doing this since noon today and yesterday too! So, yeah, I think there is definitely some traction. This is great. I think “The Missing Peace” opened a lot of doors for us and people gave us a second chance when they heard that. We’re not fuckin’ around! You can hear that. We’re not trying to do a country song. We’re LA Guns! We’re not trying to do some type of crossover or some hideous cover of “Like A Virgin.” We’re doing what we’ve always done, doing what we do best and it’s going down like gangbusters. I don’t care what other bands are doing. Good luck to them, that’s great. I just care about this one and I’m really happy about the way things are going.

What’s the best way for us as fans to support the band and help keep the art moving forward?

Come to the shows, bring your friends, buy merch and spread the word! It’s really that simple!

Where do you see LA Guns and yourself headed in the future? Is there still uncharted territory you’ve yet to discover?

Yeah, I hope so. You know, rust never sleeps. I don’t want to stop or ever sit back and say, “Ah, that’s it. I’m done.” I don’t see there ever being an LA Guns farewell tour. The circus bands do that and it’s a gimmick. It’s a trick to get people to come out and see you. I don’t think anyone would legitimately buy that in our case because we’ve made it clear that we’re not going anywhere!

One last question before I let you go, Phil. What’s the best lesson we can take from your journey as an artist?

Oh, I don’t know. Be intrepid. Be brave. A ship is safe in the harbor but that’s not what ships were built for. Look, fortune favors the brave, so be brave. It’s difficult no matter what path you take, be it the life of a musician or an accountant. To be taken seriously, you have to have faith in yourself and accept that it’s going to be a bumpy road. You’re going to get your ass kicked a couple of times but it’s character building! If you stick with it long enough, you’ll succeed!

I followed LA Guns since I was a kid and it’s been quite a ride. Thanks for all the hard work you have put in. Any chance we might get an autobiography out of you and Tracii Guns at some point?

Yeah, of course. I hope so. We’ve got a good story. It’ll be like the Bible. There’s the Old Testament and The New Testament! [laughs]

Well, even if it sells a fraction of the copies that bestseller has, you’ll be in good shape!

That’s right! [laughs]

Thanks again for your time today. I can’t wait to see you out on the road! Take care, Phil.

I appreciate it, Jason! Take care.

L.A. GUNS will release ‘The Devil You Know’ on March 29th, 2019 via Frontiers Records. Visit the official website of the band at www.lagunsmusic.com for all the latest news and tour dates!

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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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BORN TO FLY: Billy Rowe On His Life In Music & The Making of Jetboy’s New Album!

BORN TO FLY: Billy Rowe On His Life In Music & The Making of Jetboy’s New Album!

Jetboy’s hard-rocking’ new album, ‘Born To Fly,’ is available now!

Founded in 1983 by guitarists Billy Rowe and Fernie Rod, Jetboy continues to crank out their brand of rock ‘n’ roll in the 21st century with the same passion! And rock ‘n roll is what you get on their undeniably powerful new album “Born To Fly,” a record put together by the band’s core of guitarists Billy Rowe, Fernie Rod and vocalist Mickey Finn, alongside former faster Pussycat bassist Eric Stacy and drummer Al Serrato – the first fully-fledged set of new material from Jetboy since 1990.

Best described as a blend of edgy rock ‘n’ roll with a traditional blues-based influence, their new album “Born To Fly” is the perfect vehicle to exploit the commanding style of the bands classic rock ‘n’ roll sound. “The musical inspiration for the ‘Born To Fly’ album came from a life-long list of influences from bands we all grew up on from the 1970s. Jetboy has always approached its writing with a simple stripped down, no nonsense rock n roll structure, starting with a great riff and a catchy hook. This album flowed so organically, everything felt like it was meant to be. We’ve also all really grown as musicians, which really helped capture what we feel is some of our best work to date,” said Rowe.

Of the album, vocalist Mickey Finn said, “The lyrics flowed amazingly fast, with most songs being written in one sitting. My feelings were to stay true to Jetboy’s roots and style, but to also incorporate where we are at today, pleasing old and new fans alike. My wife was the inspiration for ‘Every Time I Go’ and my firstborn son inspired ‘The Way You Move Me.’ Our life struggles as a band and lifelong friends inspired tracks like ‘Beating The Odds’ and ‘Born to Fly.’ ‘Inspiration from Desperation’ covers our political climate in America these days, ‘Brokenhearted Daydream’ reminds us that love is sometimes fickle and hearts get broken, but don’t let it destroy your heart, we have to learn to move on and allow love to come into our lives again. So, all in all, lots of inspiring messages on the record, as well as some good old rock n roll fun and ‘Party Time’ lyrics make it a well-rounded listen!”

“Born To Fly” is a rock-solid album by any measure, hinting back to the band’s ‘80s sound and 70s influences, while adding 30 years more experience to the grooves. Instantly captivating, the new album is proof positive that Jetboy is ready to fly again!

Icon Vs. Icon recently caught up with guitarist Billy Rowe to discuss his life in music, the challenges he’s faced along the way, his evolution as a player and the making of Jetboy’s long-awaited studio album, ‘Born to Fly.’

How did music come into your life and take hold?

Music came into my life at an early age. It was the ‘70s and the band that really opened the gateway for me was KISS with “KISS Alive.” Previous to that it was AM radio, Elton John and stuff like that, but KISS is really what opened the door for me in 1975. It wasn’t too long after that I picked up a guitar for a short while. However, it wasn’t an electric guitar so my interest kind of dwindled pretty quick. I was probably around 12 or 13 when I got my Memphis Jr. Copy and learned my riffs on that as best I could!

What went into finding your voice as a guitar player?

I really didn’t find it until Jetboy started playing. For me, that was my first really serious band. Before that, I was just playing covers, Aerosmith, KISS, Cheap Trick, Iron Maiden and Judas Priest riffs. It wasn’t until Jetboy and before we started doing records that I found my role in the band, which was rhythm and slide guitar. Really, a lot of it was Malcolm Young. He was someone who honed his craft like nobody else and I did my best to do the same with his influences. He was definitely a big influence for the part I play in Jetboy.

How did the ball get rolling with Jetboy?

It started with Fernie Rod and me. We met in 1983 and were into the same bands that I just mentioned, along with a lot of the newer stuff that was coming along like Motley Crue, Lords of the New Church, Kix and stuff like that. Then Fernie and I discovered Hanoi Rocks and that really turned everything to another level for us. We wanted to form a band, so we hung out constantly in the clubs. Slowly, we built the band that became known as Jetboy. That was probably within a year. Then I knew Ron Tostenson, who was our original drummer, and Fern knew Todd [Crew], who has unfortunately passed away. Todd knew Mickie from the early club scenes in the Bay Area. That’s how it all got started for us.

Billy Rowe of Jetboy in the studio.

What stands out about those early shows you played as a band?

After the first couple shows we were doing, there was definitely a little scene that started for us instantly. We were already into the music scene in San Francisco with all the clubs like The Stone, The Mabuhay, the On Broadway. We knew a bunch of friends and people in the scene. Fern used to roadie for this band called Head On, which was an amazing local band at the time, but they had broken up by the time we started playing. Early on, for those early shows, we were super glam, more punk and just didn’t give a shit about anything! We would pack these well-known clubs, which are legendary now! The Mabuhay is like the San Francisco CBGB’s. Within a year, we all realized, “Wow! A lot of people were coming to see us!” At the same time, I don’t think we thought too much about it because it was just what we were into. We had the drive to be a band like so many other people and bands of our time, so it wasn’t out of the ordinary. I don’t think it was until we moved and started playing in Los Angeles with bands like Guns N’ Roses, Faster Pussycat and LA Guns, that we really came into our own. That’s when labels and management started sniffing around. That’s when your mind-frame shifts a little bit and you realize, “Oh, this is serious! We will get a record deal and record a record!” That was all that we wanted to do. Beyond that, we didn’t really think of anything like tours, having an album on the charts and other stuff like that.

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

There were a lot of lessons learned! I guess you can start with the cliché of sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll. There were a lot of drugs back then and a lot of drinking. A good handful of the bands that would salute that as the way to be are now living this completely sober life now. If anything, that could be the hot topic thing that people say these days or the typical thing, but it’s kind of the truth. You really can’t continue on in music or in life when you’re being held down by stuff like that. I think that is a big thing that helped the band continue on and be where we are at today.

With that said, what are the keys to longevity when it comes to a life in music?

At the end of the day, it’s being a fan of what you do and the bands you grew up on. We are all still hardcore fans of those now classic bands. We love them just as much as we did as kids. We love playing and writing music and we wish we could do it as more of a full-time thing but there is also the reality of where we’re at in life. I think that is what kept us going — we’re still a bunch of fans playing rock ‘n’ roll!

Jetboy is about to release a brand-new album called “Born To Fly.” What brought you back together for a new record?

Well, we were really brought back together for this record. The band got back together around 2006 but we really weren’t that active. There were a few shows a year and we started doing some festivals. We did an EP in 2010. There were no expectations. We were just doing it because we loved doing it and believed that something was around the corner or down the line. We got an offer from Frontiers to do a record, which was completely out of the blue. We all spoke and said, “Yeah, let’s do it!” It started with that. There was really no hesitation but then it sunk in like, “Oh my god! We have to write songs!” So, we were scrambling for a minute! [laughs] Once that happened, things started shifting and we started writing songs. Going into the process, our whole thing was, “We’re just going to write a rock ‘n’ roll, Jetboy record. That’s what we do. That’s what we’re know for and we don’t need to reinvent or prove anything. All we have to do is do what we do best.” That’s what we did! We’ve all grown as musicians and writers, so a lot of that came into play but for the most part we kept it simple. It all came together very easily, and the outcome is this new album, “Born To Fly.”

Tell us about the writing process for the album. From what I read, you’ve done quite a bit of writing on your own.

Yeah, I got really into the recording with Logic Pro. I was just sitting at home, writing riffs and creating songs, whether they just end up on a hard drive or are used for something like the new Jetboy record. I think we all got into this stuff on our own levels. The only way the writing really changed for us as a band is that we all no longer live in the same town. Two of us, myself and Fernie, were in San Francisco. The drummer we have been playing with was in Las Vegas and Mickie lives in Hawaii. The only way we could do this record was by recording ideas, getting it to Mick, having him send them back, getting together and demoing them to get them in order. So, in a way, the writing process has kind of stayed the same, but it’s shifted in a big way. In the past, we did demo stuff, but we went in the studio and somebody engineered it, we spent money and all that stuff. Now, I can do all that stuff, so I can take the riffs, build the drum beat and the whole bit. Then I can send it to Mick so he can write the lyrics and we can get the song ironed out. He can realistically send us vocals from Hawaii, and I can drop them in. That’s kind of how we did it! That was a different process, but it was fun and very easy. We basically demoed this whole record pretty close to how you hear it, minus a couple little things here and there. I can say nearly everything, down to the shaker and down to the backing vocals, is how you hear it. We had a female vocalist sing on two songs and she came in and did it on the demos. Overall, there was no struggle throughout the entire process. I also look at it as, “Well, it’s been 28 years since we wrote a record, so I guess we have 28 years of stuff in it. It better be somewhat easy and smooth!” [laughs]

That’s impressive! You make sound easy!

Yeah! [laughs] At the same time, it was easy! That was the funny thing about it. It was a lot of hard work but when it’s fun it’s not so much work!

Had Jetboy come close to recording an album at any other point during that 28 years since the last album?

Nah, not really. Not like this. We never got an offer to do anything like this. We did it on our own with the EP but that was only three songs and three old songs that were live. We hadn’t had anything like the pressure of “OK, you’re signing this deal with Frontiers and you’re expected to deliver a record by this date.” That was good to have. I think it was a big help in pulling everything together because we had a deadline and the pressure of the label.” With that said, there was no pressure creatively. They just said, “Deliver us a great Jetboy record.” So, it was easy, and we did it!

Is there a part of the album making process you have fallen in love with over the years?

There is a little bit of everything. I love coming up with riffs, as Fern does as well. Turning them into songs, putting all the parts together and building them out is super fun for me! I love seeing where things are going to go in that creative tunnel of not knowing what’s at the end of it is really exciting. When you do come out the end of the tunnel and have a finished song, it’s like, “Wow! This is great!” But there are times where it’s like, “This sucks! Let’s go to the next one!” [laughs] For this record, all of the songs that we wrote and demoed made the record. I think we demoed 13 or 14. There were one or two that didn’t make it because we ran out of time. We felt that the 12 that we did have were strong enough and felt good as a record!

You worked with the core members of Jetboy, Mickie and Fernie, for decades. What do they bring out in your creatively?

I can’t pinpoint it. It’s just an energy when we all play together or sit down and write. We kind of know what each person is going to do in a lot of ways, so it’s this autopilot thing after all these years. By that I mean, we lived together for years, toured for years on a bus and the whole bit. We know every move of each other! It’s a total energy thing! When Fern sits down, sometimes he will be playing riffs and I will hear something. I will spin around and say, “What was that?” He’ll go, “What?!” And I’ll say, “What you did just before that!” He’ll do the same thing with me! It’s like things are floating around in the room while you are playing and, sometimes, he will catch it rather than me and vice versa. It’s a chemistry thing. Mick’s always been the one to sit down and we deliver him a riff, an idea or a completely structured song and he would write to it. Then, boom, within hours he’d have something done.

As you mentioned, you write music in your spare time. Any chance that will see the light of day? Maybe a solo album?

I don’t know, maybe someday. I don’t know if I have the confidence in myself to do it. I don’t know if that is the right wording. It would be fun. I do have a bunch of songs I’ve done on my own for my own release to get it out of me and knowing that I can do it. I don’t know maybe someday but right now the focus, music-wise, is Jetboy and this record. We all feel really good about it.

As you should! It’s a solid album and you guys haven’t missed a step. Are there songs you are anxious to play live?

Honestly, all of them! We’ve all said that simultaneously, “Man, I just want to play the whole new record!” We’ve played a handful of shows already and there are three or four songs that we’ve played like “Born To Fly,” “Leading Me On” and a few others that are on the record. At soundcheck during the shows over the holidays with Junkyard, we were riffing some of the other ones. It was like, “Wow! This is great. I can’t wait to do these live!” It’s a little bit of everything! The ballad on the album, “The Way That You Move Me,” is a little more acoustic. That might be a challenge and it might sit on the back burner for a little bit but the rest of them are straightforward rock songs that we can bring to the live setting very easily.

It’s still early in 2019 but I imagine Jetboy will hit the road later this year in support of the album.

Yeah, that’s the plan. We definitely want to support this record in any way that we can because it’s what we want to do. Obviously, there is realistic stuff with where we are in our lives right now personally but we’ve all agreed we are going to do everything we can to support this record and give it the shot it’s due!

For those who may not know, what do you have cooking when it comes to videos?

We did a video for “Born To Fly,” which is out there now. That was the first song we released from the album. We did this cool animated video for “Beating The Odds” and released it in October or November. We have a third video that will launch the night before the album release, on January 25, “Brokenhearted Daydream.”

Frontiers Records, the label releasing this new album, has put out amazing releases over the past few years.

Yeah, Frontiers, I think it’s great what they’re doing. I think a lot of bands that are on the label wind up doing some of their best work because they probably have complete creative freedom to do what they want. Overall, I think it’s great to see this music and genre have a leg to stand on. It’s pretty strong and the impact of so many of those bands have had is big!

What is the best way for fans of the band to support you and put some money in your pocket?

Picking up the new record is definitely a big step and merch is king for all bands at all levels! Merch is what keeps most artists alive. We’re printing up some new merch now and really trying to up the merch store as everything rolls out with the new record. We’re hoping to wrangle in the fanbase we have and gain some more along the way. We always want to have something new to offer to fans old and new.

That’s really cool to hear. There is inevitably going to be people who discover the band through “Born To Fly.” What are some tracks from the band’s past they should immediately seek out?

“Feel The Shake” was the debut title-track off the first record and is still, to this day, the one everybody knows the most. Then there is “Heavy Chevy” off the second record, “Damned Nation.” Those are two really good representations of what the band was about and is about. The second record was something we were really proud of when we did it and, to this day, we still feel it stands up to the test of time. There are a lot of songs on that from “Bullfrog Pond” to “Trouble Comes” to “Stomp It (Down To The Bricks)” that are worth checking out. There are songs on the EP that we did that we feel really good about like “Going Down Above The Clouds” and “Dog’s Gotta Roam.” Those songs right there, if you hear them and it strikes a nerve with you, I think you’d probably want to dive in deeper to see what else you could find.

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

I don’t think a lesson from me is probably the best thing! [laughs] In a lot of ways the lessons I’ve learned from myself is really what has gotten me to the places I’ve gone and taught me the dos and don’ts! Sometimes those lessons need to be learned! As long as you love doing it and you’re still getting something out of it, keep going. That’s the main thing. Don’t try to force it. If you’re forcing it, you’re in it for the wrong reasons or not in the right place for it. It’s really just wanting to do it. You still have to get the feeling that you had when you first started; the feeling of why you first started being in a band. There are always going to be ups and downs, arguments and disagreements but that happens in home life too!

Thanks for your time today, Billy! “Born To Fly” is an album to be proud of so I look forward to helping spread the word!

Very cool! Thanks, Jason! I really appreciate it! Glad you dig it!

Jetboy’s ‘Born To Fly’ is available now via Frontiers Records! Visit the band’s official website at www.jetboyrocks.com.

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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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JETBOY Release Video For “Beating the Odds” Off Upcoming Album “Born To Fly’

JETBOY Release Video For “Beating the Odds” Off Upcoming Album “Born To Fly’

JETBOY will unleash their long awaited new album “Born To Fly” on January 25, 2019 via Frontiers Music Srl.  This will be their first new studio album in nearly 30 years. Today, the band is pleased to release the second single and debut the video for “Beating The Odds.”  Watch the video HERE

Pre-order “Born To Fly” on CD/LP/Digital and stream the singles here: http://radi.al/JetboyBornToFly

Of the new single, guitarist Billy Rowe says, “‘Beating The Odds’ features a spoken word piece by the late, great Lemmy Kilmister. In 1990, Lemmy became friendly with us and jumped on stage at the Cathouse for our second album release party to cover a rocked up version of Jerry Lee Lewis’ ‘Great Balls Of Fire’. A year or so later, Lemmy ended up helping out with some backing vocals on a demo, along with a spoken word piece titled ‘The Reading’, which was written by Lemmy & Mickey [Finn, vocals]. In the breakdown of this new single, we edited a portion of the reading as we felt it was such a perfect fit for the track. The video was also inspired by Lemmy, with an animated story of a war pilot in a dog fight and beating the odds to survive.”

Founded in 1983 by guitarists Billy Rowe and Fernie Rod, JETBOY continues to crank out their brand of rock n’ roll in the 21st century with the same passion that has existed from the beginning.  And rock ‘n roll is what you’ll get on their upcoming new album “Born To Fly”.

This new album – put together by the band’s core of guitarists Billy Rowe, Fernie Rod and vocalist Mickey Finn, alongside former faster Pussycat bassist Eric Stacy and drummer Al Serrato – is the first fully-fledged set of new material from JETBOY since 1990.

 “Born To Fly” is a fine rock record by any measure, hinting back to the band’s ’80s sound and 70’s influences, while adding 30 years more experience to the grooves. JETBOY is ready to fly again.

“Born To Fly” Tracklisting:
1. Beating The Odds
2. Born To Fly
3. Old Dog, New Tricks
4. The Way That You Move Me
5. Brokenhearted Daydream
6. Inspiration From Desperation
7. All Over Again
8. She
9. A Little Bit Easy
10. Every Time I Go
11. Smoky Ebony
12. Party Time!

JETBOY Lineup:
Mickey Finn – Lead Vocals + Harmonica
Fernie Rod – Rhythm + Lead Guitar + Vocals
Billy Rowe – Rhythm + Slide Guitar + Vocals
Eric Stacy – Bass
Al Serrato – Drums

For More Info Visit:






+December 31, 2018 – Bottom Of The Hill – San Francisco, CA
+January 26, 2019 – The Viper Room – Los Angeles, CA
+February 24th – March 1st 2019 – Monsters Of Rock Cruise

Watch the video for the title track from the album HERE.

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JETBOY To Release ‘Born To Fly’ On January 25th, 2019 Via Frontiers Music Srl

JETBOY To Release ‘Born To Fly’ On January 25th, 2019 Via Frontiers Music Srl

Founded in 1983 by guitarists Billy Rowe and Fernie Rod, JETBOY continues to crank out their brand of rock n’ roll in the 21st century with the same passion that has existed from the beginning.

And rock ‘n roll is what you’ll get on their upcoming new album “Born To Fly”, which is set for release January 25, 2019 via Frontiers Music Srl.  Beginning today, you can watch the video for the album’s title track below!

Pre-order “Born To Fly” on CD/LP/Digital and stream the single here: http://radi.al/JetboyBornToFly

On the song and video for the title track, Mickey Finn says, “‘Born to Fly’ is just about the feeling of being meant to do something great, and fighting and working to make it happen, never giving up, or giving in and sticking to your guns to do it on your own terms. Remember sometimes greatness comes in small accomplishments. If it feels great to you, then it is great!! We shot the video on two rooftop locations in the southside of downtown Los Angeles, on one long day and night in July 2018.”

This new album – put together by the band’s core of guitarists Billy Rowe, Fernie Rod and vocalist Mickey Finn, alongside former faster Pussycat bassist Eric Stacy and drummer Al Serrato – is the first fully-fledged set of new material from JETBOY since 1990. “The band wasn’t working on any new material when Frontiers approached us. Mickey and I had written one or two songs a few years back, but that’s about it. For myself, I’ve been very into writing music and got very into recording, so I had a good amount of complete musical songs that I always felt could end up as new JETBOY material, and some of it did. But, the majority of the songs on this album were written within a couple of months after we got the offer from Frontiers,” says guitarist Billy Rowe of the writing process for “Born To Fly”.

Rowe continues, “Writing and recording this album came so naturally, there was no struggle at all. We feel it happened at the right time and was meant to be. The spirit of the band has been at an all time high ever since we started this new album. We shared ideas via email and then demoed every song before enteringthe studio. Once we started tracking this album we all felt something special was going on.”

Best described as a blend of edgy rock and roll with a traditional blues based influence, their new album “Born To Fly” is the perfect vehicle to exploit the commanding style of the bands classic rock ‘n roll sound. “The musical inspiration for the “Born To Fly” album came from a life long list of influences from bands we all grew up on from the 1970’s. JETBOY has always approached it’s writing with a simple stripped down, no nonsense rock n roll structure, starting with a great riff and a catchy hook. This album flowed so organically, everything felt like it was meant to be. We’ve also all really grown as musicians, which really helped capture what we feel is some of our best work to date,” states Rowe.

Vocalist Mickey Finn says the “lyrics flowed amazingly fast, with most songs being written in one sitting. My feelings were to stay true to JETBOY’S roots and style, but to also incorporate where we are at today, pleasing old and new fans alike. My wife was the inspiration for “Every Time I Go” and my firstborn son inspired “The Way You Move Me”. Our life struggles as a band and lifelong friends inspired tracks like “Beating The Odds” and “Born to Fly”. “Inspiration from Desperation” covers our political climate in America these days, “Brokenhearted Daydream” reminds us that love is sometimes fickle and hearts get broken, but don’t let it destroy your heart, we have to learn to move on and allow love to come into our lives again. So, all in all, lots of inspiring messages on the record, as well as some good old rock ‘n roll fun and “Party Time” lyrics make it a well rounded listen!

“Born To Fly” is a fine rock record by any measure, hinting back to the band’s ’80s sound and 70’s influences, while adding 30 years more experience to the grooves. JETBOY is ready to fly again.

“Born To Fly” Tracklisting:
1. Beating The Odds
2. Born To Fly
3. Old Dog, New Tricks
4. The Way That You Move Me
5. Brokenhearted Daydream
6. Inspiration From Desperation
7. All Over Again
8. She
9. A Little Bit Easy
10. Every Time I Go
11. Smoky Ebony
12. Party Time!

JETBOY Lineup:
Mickey Finn – Lead Vocals + Harmonica
Fernie Rod – Rhythm + Lead Guitar + Vocals
Billy Rowe – Rhythm + Slide Guitar + Vocals
Eric Stacy – Bass
Al Serrato – Drums

For More Info Visit:






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LIGHT IN THE DARK: Doug Aldrich On His Epic Career, Revolution Saints and More!

LIGHT IN THE DARK: Doug Aldrich On His Epic Career, Revolution Saints and More!

Revolution Saints – Photo by Johnny Pixel

Through the years, Doug Aldrich has established himself as one of the most ferocious guitar players in rock. With career highlights ranging from working with and playing alongside rock icons like Ronnie James Dio and David Coverdale to rocking audiences around the globe with The Dead Daises, his resume is as eclectic as the music he plays. One of his most exciting musical collaborations in the past few years has been Revolution Saints. The band was born from the vision of Frontiers’ President, Serafino Perugino, who for years had hoped to work on a project highlighting Deen Castronovo’s amazing vocal abilities. Having previously worked with all three artists on different projects on Frontiers, having Castronovo (ex-Journey, Bad English), Jack Blades (Night Ranger, Damn Yankees) and Aldrich on board together was a dream come true for Perugino. The band exploded onto the scene in 2015 with their powerful debut album. It didn’t take long for music fans to take notice and start clamoring for more. 

With their self-titled debut album already under their belt, Revolution Saints entered the studio to record the new album more familiar with one another and a clear understanding of where they wanted this to go. Once again, the band teamed up with producer/songwriter Alessandro Del Vecchio (Hardline, JORN), who was also behind the boards for the band’s debut album. ‘Light In The Dark,’ due out on October 13th via Frontiers Records, builds off the classic melodic rock style of the debut, however, it also shows the band isn’t afraid to venture into uncharted territory. Inspiring, uplifting, emotionally powerful, and thoughtful, this album WILL be the soundtrack to many a moment in your life. 

Jason Price of Icon Vs. Icon recently caught up with guitarist Doug Aldrich to discuss his journey as an artist, the keys to successful collaboration, the making of Revolution Saints’ ‘Light In The Dark’ and more!

When did music come into your life and begin to take hold?

It was early on. I loved the music on the radio when I was a kid and around 9 or 10 years old, I started really getting into that. It was pop music and whatever else my mom decided to have on in the car. Eventually, one summer when I was around 11 years old, all of my friends went away on summer vacation and I was stuck with nothing to do. My little sister had a classical guitar and a book of chords. I picked it up and really loved it! I was just getting through chords and playing through songs. I was just plunking around. I was always trying to earn a little money by doing yard work and trying to earn an allowance. Eventually, I had saved up a little bit of money. I asked my mom and dad if I could get a Sears & Roebuck guitar. It was basically a copy of Jimmy Page’s Les Paul. By that point, I had heard of Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, and Jimi Hendrix and stuff like that was on the radio. They got me that guitar and a little amp. It was very archaic! It had the kind of frets that cut your fingers and a bolt on neck, but I liked it, it made sound and it was cool! [laughs] I started taking some lessons around 11 years old, so it was then when I really started to get into electric guitar.

What went into finding your creative voice as you moved forward?

My older sister had a boyfriend who was into Southern rock and he was always talking about Duane Allman and Dickey Betts, not so much the Skynyrd guys which I found later, but The Allman Brothers, The Charlie Daniels Band, and The Eagles. Those were all big with him – guys like Don Felder and Bernie Leadon. He had a Goldtop Les Paul, a real one. I was probably 13 or 14 at the time when I saved up a little more money and convinced him to sell that guitar to me. My parents owned me a little extra money and I ended up getting it for $300 bucks. It was a ’73 Goldtop. I had never seen a Goldtop before and I though a Goldtop was what I had, which was a Sunburst. Like I said, I had a copy of Jimmy Page’s and I thought that was what they called a Goldtop because it had the big, gold center in it. I remember looking at the headstock and it was a Gibson. I was like, “Cool, it’s a real Les Paul!” I said, “Wow! What color is that?” He said, “Oh, it’s a Goldtop. You still want it?” I said, “Yeah, yeah! I want it!” To jump to the end part of that story, Goldtop’s are my favorite color of Les Paul’s. It’s my absolute favorite! As far as early influences go, Hendrix’s “Purple Haze” was a cool song on the radio at the time, along with “Smoke On The Water.” That was the first rock riff I learned but I learned it in the wrong key. It was the wrong positioning but it was the right kind of sound! [laughs] I couldn’t really play anything from Zeppelin until later but I really loved listening to it. Led Zeppelin “II” was the first Zeppelin record that I got, a bit later. Every time I would see a guitar player at a school dance, I would just be fascinated with the sounds that were coming out of that thing, so I kept practicing. People would show me a lick here, a riff there or how to do a bar chord. It was groundbreaking! [laughs] If you learned a bar chord, oh my gosh! Now, you had unlocked the secret and now you could play anything in any key! Every day there were things like that. Someone would say, “Hey, have you ever heard a wah wah?” I be like, “No. What is it?” They’d say, “Check this out!” I would see it and was like, “Woooow!” Every day was about discovery and it’s still like that! It really is, man.

At what point did you decide to start pursuing your passion for music professionally?

I never actually decided. I still haven’t decided whether I’m going to do it for real or not! [laughs] I just keep my head down and I’m always trying to get my sound better and write a better song. Honestly, to answer your question more properly, I was in school and loved guitar so much that it was the one thing that my parents had leverage over. If I did something wrong or wasn’t doing well in school, they could say, “We are going to take away your guitar.” They never actually did it until one time when I got in trouble when they found a marijuana pipe in my jean jacket. I was in high school and I was probably around 15 years old. They took my guitar and stuck it in the trunk of my Dad’s car so that I couldn’t get it. I just stopped talking. I quit responding. I wasn’t responding to or acknowledging anybody until I got my guitar back. They were really worried about me! They were like, “Can you please tell us what’s going on? We’re really concerned.” I was like, “You just can’t take my guitar away. You can punish me however you want to, but you can’t take my guitar away.” They never did again! They wanted me to go to a boarding school in 10th grade, which was a good idea because it was supposed to make me focus on school and sports and get really into it. However, I took my guitar with me and that’s all I did was play guitar. The school said, “We really like Doug. He’s a good kid but his grades are awful.” So, I went back to regular high school. My senior year, I had gotten a car. I would take my car to school, walk in the front door and walk out the back. We would go over to my friend’s house and we would jam all day long! I did that all through the end of high school. It wasn’t long before I moved to California and decided I wanted to be in a band. I didn’t think about the money part of it. I didn’t think about anything other than just wanting to play. Little by little, I realized I needed to make some money because my parents weren’t going to give me money to just be on my own. I’m skipping some chapters but I eventually got a job teaching guitar. Not only did that help me financially but it helped me with my playing because I had to learn theory to prepare for various kids who were more advanced than me. One thing lead to another, and finally I was in a recording band and that had lead me to talking to you all these years later! [laughs] I’ve never really thought about when I decided to do it. It’s something that never really occurred to me.

Doug Aldrich relentlessly rocks the crowd.

Through the years, you have taken advantage of some amazing opportunities that have come your way. You’ve worked with scores of incredible musicians. Who are the people who have had the biggest impact on your creatively?

In terms of live performance, playing with Dio was a big step for me. I had already played live at that point and people knew my playing a little bit but he brought the best out of me. By watching him, I learned to be confident on stage and not let little things distract you. I learned to get into the music and to play it like I really meant it — play it hard, loud and own it! It’s the same thing with David Coverdale. He’s also that kind of a singer. He commands the stage. Dio and Coverdale command large audiences like it’s nothing! It’s amazing; the things that they say to the audience to make them respond and the way they sing. In terms of songwriting, I would say I learned the most from David because I’ve have written the most with him directly, just him and I, together with acoustic guitars. I was a fan of his from Deep Purple when I was a kid and I loved Whitesnake. I got into the “Slide It In” record first, found the older records a little later and then the ’87 record came out and blew everybody away! Getting that call from David to do a two-month tour and having it turn into 11 1/2 years, where him and I co-wrote 30 songs together, was an amazing experience and gave me a lot of hours to learn, which is great!

You have accomplished a lot over the course of your career in an industry which is constantly changing and evolving. What are the keys to longevity in today’s music business and the secret to your success?

You said, “… in today’s music business…” and that is a key issue because it is very different than it used to be. There aren’t as many clubs these days. If you are in a young band, like I was in the mid-80s in Los Angeles, you could actually make a little bit of money playing in your home town, every week or every couple of weeks. There were a lot of bands doing it. As you would get a following, record companies had money and would grab the bands that they liked. That was one way you could get signed, have a little bit of income and hopefully your record would break. A great example of that was Guns ‘N Roses. Their record broke and it was massive. It wasn’t long before they were opening for the Rolling Stones, headlining and then they broke up! Whatever! But they did really, really well. Now, it’s different. Now, you have the opportunity to record an album in one day and have it reach 1 million people that evening! That’s pretty awesome! We didn’t have that capability before and through that you can get paid. As far as success in the music industry, it’s not so much about many as it is about personal growth, playing with people you like and respect and who like you.

There are two things — the first key is to keep writing songs. You have to keep experimenting, trying to find your own sound and allowing yourself to be influenced by people without copying it. You want to try to make it widespread so you can grab a little influence from this guy and a little something from that guy and it will kind of meld itself into your own style. Writing songs is key. I started a little bit late. I would say that the best songwriters have been doing it since they started the instrument. Of course, you have to play well, that’s a no brainer. The second thing is that you have to be a good person. You need to have confidence, but you can’t be cocky and you have to be aggressive but you have to be patient. It’s a balance! You need to be a cool person to hang with socially. You are going to meet a lot of people, so you have to be a good hang. I found myself working with people, like we were just talking about with Dio, who were very intense. He really wore his heart on his sleeve. You had no problem knowing where you stood with Ronnie because he didn’t bullshit you! He would tell you straight up what he thought and he did that with everybody. It was good because there was no question of where you stood. Working with David was a little different because he was more quiet. He didn’t like confrontation or ever want to have any negative conversation at all. You never really knew what he wanted, so you had to be patient in that situation and let it reveal itself. Eventually, what he is looking for or if there is something bothering him, he will eventually talk to you about it. It might not even be about music, it might be about something personal that is bothering him. You have to be a good hang! It’s important, especially when you are on a tour bus or traveling with people in a Sprinter van, that you get along.

I haven’t had the opportunity to tour with Revolution Saints but we have spent enough time together where we really like each other, we like playing together, and we have a great sound together. We are all different personalities but we have spent enough time together to know each other’s personalities. With that said, I know what would make Deen [Castronovo] comfortable is for me to be calm. Deen is a high-energy guy! He’s similar to Steven Tyler or Tommy Lee where he has a lot of energy. He will throw an idea out there like, “Should we do this? What do you think?” I’ll calmly say, “Okay, let’s think about it. Let’s talk about it.” We’ll calmly talk about it and that’s what calms him down. Jack [Blades] is like the general and he’s been around the block more times than most people! He’s a great voice of reason but sometimes you have to take that youthful energy that Deen has and give it to Jack and say, “Okay, let’s just have fun and kick ass!” For example, we did a show in Italy in April. It was our first show. We were recording the “Light In The Dark” record and we took three days out to rehearse and do this one festival in Italy. It was truly shifting gears in the middle of the creative process to go into the performance process. It was a little nerve-racking but we said, “Let’s just have fun with it! Let’s get our feet on the edge of the stage and do what we do!” I’ve gotta say, most of the time it takes a band a good month before the band starts really gelling, at least in my experience, but we did pretty well for our first gig! There weren’t any major catastrophes or anything! It had a good vibe and overall it was a success, I think. It’s the same thing playing with The Dead Daisies. Playing and traveling with those guys is great. They’re my bros and I’ve known all those guys for years and we’ve played in various bands together. When they were looking for a guitar player, of course, there is a million different people they can call but they called me because we’re friends. Back to Revolution Saints, that’s why Deen called me in the first place. Initially, 3 or 4 years ago, it was his solo record that he was doing. The guy at the record company said, “Who do you want to play with?” He said, “I’d like to have Doug on guitar and Jack on bass because we are friends.” I toured a lot with Journey as part of Whitesnake, so Deen and I became friends on the road. Aside from having respect for each other musically, we got along well just hanging out. One day he had a tattoo party in his room. We all went over there and got tattoos. It was cool, ya know! It was a good hang and that’s important! It’s important for younger guys to be to be encouraging, to be aggressive but patient and to be confident but not cocky.

Revolution Saints – Photo by Johnny Pixel

Let’s talk about the new album from Revolution Saints, “Light In The Dark.” What got the ball rolling this time around and what was different this time around?

I’ll start with the last part first. It was different this time around because since it was a band project now from the get-go, that we would all write. I brought in 5 or 6 ideas. Alessandro [Del Vecchio] had 4 or 5 ideas. Richard Page from Mister, Mister wrote a really awesome ballad. There were a lot more songwriters involved this time around, especially us! Deen co-wrote a bunch of the lyrics and melodies. It’s funny, the song “Freedom,” came about in a unique way. We had been talking about putting songs together and Deen sent me a tape. It was an MP3 of him playing guitar for 30 minutes. It was just jamming without stopping. He would go from one thing to another without stopping, just jamming! He had spent a lot of time at home and, as you know, he had gone through a difficult period personally. He came through it with flying colors! He had some difficulties in his relationship but now him and his fiancé are back together and stronger than ever. Everything is good! So, he has been just riffing at home, having fun, not touring, taking care of himself and getting healthy. He sent me this thing and I was like, “Deen, there are like nine songs in there!” [laughs] I said, “I’m going to take this one riff and develop it a little bit.” That’s how “Freedom” came about. There was another song, “The Storm Inside,” where I listened to what he had done and it inspired me to come up with a chord progression. That inspired the song and he wrote the lyrics and melodies on it. All of that was different than our first time around and a great experience.

The timing came from the record company saying, “Hey, maybe we will think about doing another Revolution Saints album. What do you guys think?” That was conversation that went on for about a year because Deen was getting healthy and Jack is always touring and busy with Night Ranger. I had been working with The Dead Daisies. It was so hard for us to find time together off the first record. We got some really good offers for tours but schedule-wise we just couldn’t get it together. I said, “I’m into it but let’s see if we can all get together.” We all agreed to do it in April. We said, “We’ll do this and then we’ll do the festival for Frontiers. It’s just one show. We’ll go over there together and track it together.” We all blocked out that 2 or 3-week period during which we fine-tuned the songs, cut the basics and did the show. I didn’t know what the exact release date was at that point. I was on the road and had done basic guitars but still needed to fine tune them, when the record company called and said, “Look, Doug, we need this stuff yesterday!” I was like, “Nobody told me!” [laughs] I didn’t know what the schedule was and I had no idea! They said, “We need those guitar parts, man! You’ve gotta finish up!” I was all over the world with this stuff. I would be on the bullet train in Japan, on the tour bus at the end of the night, trying to figure out how I wanted the guitar parts to go. I would basically record direct guitars and re-amp it at home so that I had the same amp set up as I did in Italy. FInally, I got it done and it comes out on October 13th!

Was there anything you wanted to try on this album that you might not have been able to in the past?

The previous thing, like I said, was a project from the start and original was intended to be Deen’s solo record. The songs were written for Deen in a very Journey-esque way. My goal at that point was to try and put my stamp on those guitar parts and kind of rewrite them. I basically hit every song fresh and took the basic idea of the song and put my stamp on it as much as I could without rewriting the song. With “Light In The Dark,” I really wanted to have that same kind of sound but the songs needed to be written. The first record had been pretty successful so I wanted to make sure that we not only had a strong record but to also have some twists and turns. I was thinking, “What should we do? We need some songs that sound like Revolution Saints like “Light In The Dark” or “Ride On” but we also needed some different stuff like “Freedom,” “Storm Inside” or stuff that goes a little deeper. We had some great songs like “In The Name of The Father,” which was a great song on the first record. There were a few ballads that were really cool like “You’re Not Alone.” For the new record, we got this ballad from Richard Page and it was a slam dunk! It was just one of those songs, you know? It’s beautiful. “I Wouldn’t Change A Thing” is the name of it. It was pretty cool. It’s a keyboard song and, of course, I could play on acoustic guitar but I was happier to go, “Let the keyboards breathe. Let it be keyboards and the band comes in…” I started to realize the song had potential for a huge melody on the solo section and that became my focus. Guys like Neal Schon, David Gilmour, and Brian May have written these solos that people can remember forever. They have so much feel, attitude and melody. That was what my goal with that one was. Overall, I just wanted the record to be a little deeper and that was my focus this time around.

You’re a guy who always has a ton of irons in the fire. Where do you see yourself headed musically in the future?

Like I said, I’m always searching for my sound. I’ve been writing with some friends, just to do some experimenting. I love pedals and I love experimenting with all of those. If you look on YouTube, a buddy of mine named Pete Thorn has a YouTube channel where he shows different pedals every day! It’s so cool and you think, “Wow! I want one of those!” I was looking for a delay, so I called him up. I said, “Pete, which delay should I get?” He said, “Dude, there are so many! You have to try them all!” I was like, “Ahhck!” [laughs] So, I was doing this writing session and I brought a little pedal board up with me. It basically got down to the point where I said, “I can get so many sounds out of this particular guitar and amp without any pedals.” I have to say, I’ve really been digging that, man! Your guitar sound gets to the amp so much more purely than going through 5, 6 or 7 pedals! I’m basically in a mode where I’m rethinking my whole thing right now. I’m rethinking everything from songwriting to playing. Of course, I’m going to work on The Dead Daisies new record next month and I have some stuff together already for that but I want to see how I can improve on that project. I really respect people like Joe Bonamassa who is always pushing the envelope with what he is doing. He’s always creating new sounds for himself in his own way, working with different people, keeping his chops up and he is always on the road. I’m on the road a lot but I can’t really be on the road anymore than I am because I have little kids and a family, which I get homesick for. I would just like to keep writing and have bands like Revolution Saints. It would mean a lot to me if we could do some live shows. My goal, right now, is for The Dead Daisies to make the best record they’ve ever made. I’ve got a third band, which I’m involved in at the moment. It’s called Burning Rain, which is a pet project I’ve had with a great singer named Keith St. John. That is more of a guitar oriented, 80s, Whitesnake-y, bluesy kind of thing, so it is really different than The Dead Daisies or Revolution Saints. Revolution Saints is melodic rock and Dead Daisies is more straight up, kick-ass rock ‘n’ roll! Burning Rain is something more bluesy and in between all of that. I really enjoy doing it all right now because for so many years I was 1000% dedicated to Whitesnake and only focused on that. I’m really digging having different flavors of the pie right now! [laughs] I see myself learning is basically what I wanted to say. I’m just trying to continue to learn and get better!

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

I think one of the best lessons is not to get frustrated if it doesn’t come to you right away. I’m definitely a late bloomer. I’m not an Yngwie Malmsteen or a Reb Beach. Reb Beach is just one of these guys who just picks up his guitar and does his thing and that’s it! I really have to work at it. If I don’t play guitar everyday, my chops go, man! I really have to work hard. Sometimes you get lucky and something will happen fast but if it doesn’t, don’t give up. Do it because you love it and not because you feel like you have to, you want to make money or feel pressure because you think your girlfriend’s going to like you better if you’re in a band or something! [laughs] You just have to do it because you like it and keep working hard at it. It will pay off eventually. Like I said, I’m a perfect example of a late bloomer. I didn’t get into Dio until my late 30s and now I’m in my 50s. However, I still feel like I’m in my 30s, just starting off and still trying to figure it all out! So, the best advice I can give someone after looking at my career is to don’t stop and keep going! Even if you have a day job, don’t stop playing. I have a lot of buddies who are great musicians who have day gigs and they have the opportunity to play on the weekends at the local bar playing covers and putting their own spin on it. I also have friends who don’t play out but write songs and place those songs in movies and TV shows. They make pretty good money doing it. The sky’s the limit. Just keep going!

Awesome! I appreciate your time today, Doug. I can’t wait to see where the next leg of the journey takes you!

Thanks, Jason! I really appreciate it! Take care and we’ll talk again soon!

Revolution Saints’ highly anticipated new album, ‘Light In The Dark,’ will be released on October 13th, 2017 on Frontiers Music Srl. Connect with the band on social media via Facebook at www.facebook.com/RevolutionSaints.

Pre-order the album now:
• Frontiers: http://www.frontiers.shop
• Amazon: http://radi.al/LightInTheDarkAmazon
• iTunes: http://radi.al/LightInTheDarkiTunes
• Google Play: http://radi.al/LightInTheDarkGooglePl

For all the latest on Doug Alrich, visit his official website at www.dougaldrich.com. Connect with him on social media via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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L.A. Guns Release New Single “Christine” From Upcoming Album ‘The Missing Peace’

L.A. Guns Release New Single “Christine” From Upcoming Album ‘The Missing Peace’

Tracii Guns and Phil Lewis are back together as L.A. Guns with their first studio album in 15 years! “The Missing Peace” is set for release on October 13th via Frontiers Music Srl.Today the band released their new single “Christine,” which Tracii describes to Billboard Magazine as “The Perfect L.A. Guns style ballad.”  Check out the song HERE.

Listen to the track “Sticky Fingers” HERE.

Watch the video for the first single from the album “Speed”. HERE.

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

Frontiers: http://www.frontiers.shop
Amazon: http://radi.al/MissingPeaceAmazon
iTunes: http://radi.al/MissingPeaceiTunes
Google Play: http://radi.al/MissingPeaceGooglePlay

Digital pre-orders come with an instant download of “Speed” “Sticky Fingers” and “Christine.”

Follow the band on Spotify: http://radi.al/MissingPeaceSpotify to be alerted when new singles from the album are released and to add “Speed,” “Sticky Fingers” and “Christine” to your favorite playlists.

As the revival of the classic ’80s hard rock and heavy metal scene continues unabated here in the 21st century, one reunion has been at the top of the wishlists of many a fan for a long time: the songwriting combination of Tracii Guns and Philip Lewis under the L.A. Guns banner. What once seemed like a distant memory with no hope of returning has now come around and fans are about to be rewarded for keeping their fingers crossed and their hopes up.

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Revolution Saints To Release ‘Light In The Dark’ On October 18th!

Revolution Saints To Release ‘Light In The Dark’ On October 18th!

After the 2015 release of the self-titled debut album by REVOLUTION SAINTS–Deen Castronovo (ex-Journey, Bad English), Doug Aldrich (The Dead Daisies, ex-Whitesnake, DIO), Jack Blades (Night Ranger, Damn Yankees)—rock fans around the world rejoiced at the inspired musical offering. Those fans will, once again, have cause for celebration as REVOLUTION SAINTS will be releasing their second album later this year. Today, the band has released a video for the title track to the new album, which can be seen below!

LIGHT IN THE DARK is due out October 13th on Frontiers Music Srl. The album will be available on CD, CD/DVD Deluxe Edition (includes live bonus tracks on the CD and on the DVD, footage from the band’s first-ever live performance captured at Frontiers Rock Festival in Milan this past April, a “Making Of” mini-documentary, and music videos for “Light In The Dark” and “I Wouldn’t Change A Thing”), Vinyl, and as a special Limited Edition Box Set (includes the Deluxe Edition CD/DVD, 180g Vinyl, T-shirt (size L), poster, lithograph and sticker). Pre-orders for all formats can be made at the following locations:

You can also listen to Revolution Saints’ newest music on Spotify here: http://radi.al/LightInTheDarkSpotify

For LIGHT IN THE DARK, REVOLUTION SAINTS once again teamed up with producer/songwriter Alessandro Del Vecchio (Hardline, JORN), who was also behind the boards for the band’s debut album. Most of LIGHT IN THE DARK was recorded at Del Vecchio’s studios in Somma Lombardo, Italy, with additional recording taking place at Blades’ studio in Washington, Aldrich’s CasaDala studio in Los Angeles, and other countries all over the world while Aldrich was on tour with The Dead Daisies.

“This is a fun band!” exclaims bassist Jack Blades. “I think the fans are going to pick up on the excitement and the sheer musical enjoyment we are having. It was great going to Italy to get the album started and film the videos, and the music speaks for itself.”

“’Light In The Dark’ is such a great song,” continues singer/drummer Deen Castronovo. “It was the first one we recorded. We ran through it a few times and nailed it in the first couple takes. We’re so excited for everyone to hear this record. We’re very happy with what we came up with and can’t wait to bring it to everyone live.”

As guitarist Doug Aldrich proclaims, “I’m very excited about REVOLUTION SAINTS’ second record! First I want to say that it’s because of huge support from the fans that RS2 happened. Thank you. If you liked #1, I think you’ll love this one even more. It’s stronger, and a bit heavier in some spots. We tried a few new things and we can’t wait for our fans to hear it! There’s a very good chance we’ll finally get to play live and we’re currently exploring the possibilities of a tour. For now, get ready, because the album kicks ass and it’s comin’ at you real soon!”

REVOLUTION SAINTS was born from the vision of Frontiers’ President, Serafino Perugino, who for years had hoped to work on a project highlighting Deen Castronovo’s amazing vocal abilities. Having previously worked with all three artists on different projects on Frontiers, having Castronovo, Blades and Aldrich on board together was a dream come true for Perugino.

This time, with one album already under their belt, REVOLUTION SAINTS entered the studio to record the new album more familiar with one another and a clear understanding of where they wanted this to go. As with the first album, Castronovo’s superb vocal talents are in the spotlight on this release and deservedly so. Pretty impressive for a man who is most widely known for his incredible drumming talents. Jack Blades really needs no introduction at this point, but for those who have been living under a rock, his bass and vocal talents are well documented over the years through his work with Night Ranger, Damn Yankees, Shaw/Blades, and more. And, of course, a major feature is the fiery and intense playing from former Whitesnake and DIO guitarist Doug Aldrich, whose blistering guitar fretwork is on full display here.

LIGHT IN THE DARK builds off the classic melodic rock style of the debut, but fans should prepare for a somehow even more inspired set and a few (pleasant) surprises. Inspiring, uplifting, emotionally powerful, and thoughtful, this album WILL be the soundtrack to many a moment in your life.

The music media had a lot of praise for the band’s self-titled debut album:

“The 2015 eponymous debut album from rock supergroup Revolution Saints showcases the outfit’s swaggering, guitar-based sound..Together, these titans of rock have crafted a soaring, lick-ripping album of classic ’70s- and ’80s-influenced hard rock.” — AllMusic

“REVOLUTION SAINTS is what you should expect: sharply played, always harmonious retro hard rock…a classy, melodious and sentimental walk back to when commercial hard rock was king. An album like this in 1986 would’ve been an automatic chart burner and cheers to Blades, Castronovo and Aldrich for treating this moment like an automatic chart burner is imperative to their inner fabrics.” – Blabbermouth

“…a remarkable album full of winners.” – Rockrevoltmagazine

“The bottom line here is that Revolution Saints are a damn good band…This is just good music, well written, well sung and well played. Nice job guys!” – Classicrockrevisited

“These are uplifting, joyful songs and there is no brooding melancholy here. They are inspiring, positive and full of sunshine. Everyone involved is musically perfect and flawless…A fine addition to any music collection, Revolution Saints is well worth the investment.” – CrypticRock

“Revolution Saints are being dubbed ‘the musicianship to die for’ and one of the most interesting collaborations in the recent history of rock. Guessing by their first effort, there’s neither a pomposity nor an exaggeration to such statements. Revolution Saints is, to put it simply, an instant melodic rock classic standing up to reputation of all parts involved…what is perhaps the album’s strongest point is the material itself, 12 songs distinguished not only by the extraordinary performance, but also by the high quality songwriting. Intertwining soaring power ballads with fiery guitar-laden tunes, all of them embroidered with perfectly crafted melodies, Revolution Saints is not only a must for all Night Ranger/Journey/Whitesnake fans. It actually goes far beyond the musicians’ collective resumes with its catchy-yet-tasteful melodies and classic hard rock flavors.” — Hardrockhaven

To all of the loyal REVOLUTION SAINTS fans, prepare to have your patience rewarded beyond your wildest dreams with this album! Understand this clearly, REVOLUTION SAINTS is HERE TO STAY.

Here’s the complete track listing for LIGHT IN THE DARK:

1. Light In The Dark
2. Freedom
3. Ride On
4. I Wouldn’t Change A Thing
5. Don’s Surrender
6. Take You Down
7. The Storm Inside
8. Can’t Run Away From Love
9. Running On The Edge
10. Another Chance
11. Falling Apart
12. Back On My Trail (live, bonus track on deluxe edition only)
13. Turn Back Time (live, bonus track on deluxe edition only)
14. Here Forever (live, bonus track on deluxe edition only)
15. Locked Out Of Paradise (live, bonus track on deluxe edition only)

Bonus DVD contents:

–REVOLUTION SAINTS live at Frontiers Rock Festival (“Back On My Trail,” “Turn Back Time,” “Here Forever,” “Locked Out Of Paradise”)
–Making of LIGHT IN THE DARK (documentary)
–“Light In The Dark” (song video)
–“I Wouldn’t Change A Thing” (song video)

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L.A. Guns To Unleash “The Missing Peace” On October 13th Via Frontiers Music Srl

L.A. Guns To Unleash “The Missing Peace” On October 13th Via Frontiers Music Srl

As the revival of the classic ’80s hard rock and heavy metal scene continues unabated here in the 21st century, one reunion has been at the top of the wishlists of many a fan for a long time: the songwriting combination of Tracii Guns and Philip Lewis under the L.A. Guns banner. What once seemed like a distant memory with no hope of returning has now come around and fans are about to be rewarded for keeping their fingers crossed and their hopes up.

That’s right Tracii Guns and Phil Lewis are back together as L.A. Guns!Their new album “The Missing Peace” is set for release on October 13th via Frontiers Music Srl.  Today, the first video for the album’s debut single has been released.  Watch the video for “Speed”. which Tracii Guns describes as “A response to the extremely fast paced “I WANT IT NOW!” world we are living in,” HERE.  Hard rock aficionados should keep their ears opened for a nod to the great Deep Purple’s legendary track “Highway Star” in one of the verses.

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

Frontiers: http://www.frontiers.shop
Amazon: http://radi.al/MissingPeaceAmazon
iTunes: http://radi.al/MissingPeaceiTunes
Google Play: http://radi.al/MissingPeaceGooglePlay

Digital pre-orders come with an instant download of “Speed”.

Follow the band on Spotify to be alerted when new singles from the album are released and to add “Speed” to your favorite playlists: http://radi.al/MissingPeaceSpotify

‘The Missing Peace’ is truly an album by definition. It’s a collection of music that I have been working on for about 12 years with various styles of rock music. From blues to classical influences, these are all hard-hitting songs. I am very proud of all of the contributions to this album by other members and writers. L.A. Guns fans are in for a treat,” says Tracii Guns.

L.A. Guns never looked like the pretty poster boys that so many of their peers did, but more the band that you would be terrified to bump into an alley as they would likely be carrying switchblades and ready for a fight. But despite having many a song to back up that image, they could also write powerful ballads (see the smash hit, “The Ballad Of Jayne” for Exhibit A of this argument) that showed there was some serious songwriting chops in the band. Said chops are fully on display on “The Missing Peace”, arguably one of the most vital and exciting releases in the band’s storied catalog.

The story of how we got from the band’s powerful early years to here has already been well documented, so no need to rehash it. What’s important to know and understand is that the driving force of all those classic L.A. Gunssongs, Tracii and Phil, are back and in a BIG way. Feeling inspired and excited like they did when they first started out, but with many years of wisdom and experience under their belts, “The Missing Peace” will surely please fans of the band’s classic albums (the self-titled debut, “Cocked And Loaded”, and “Hollywood Vampires”) as well as their widely heralded “comeback” albums (“Man In The Moon” and “Waking The Dead”). In fact, this album feels like the next logical step after the critically heralded “Waking The Dead” album and shows a band invigorated and ready to bash you over the head, as well as “wow” you with some epic, slower songs, proving you don’t always needs a semi-truck to run people over.

“The Missing Peace” Track Listing:
1. It’s All The Same To Me
2. Speed
3. A Drop Of Bleach
4. Sticky Fingers
5. Christine
6. Baby Gotta Fever
7. Kill It Or Die
8. Don’t Bring A Knife To A Gunfight
9. The Flood’s The Fault Of The Rain
10. The Devil Made Me Do It
11. The Missing Peace
12. Gave It All Away

Phil Lewis – Vocals
Tracii Guns – Guitars
Johnny Martin – Bass
Michael Grant – Guitar
Shane Fitzgibbon – Drums

7/21: Los Angeles, CA @ The Whisky
7/23: Colorado Springs, CO @ The Black Sheep
7/25: Joliet, IL @ The Forge
7/27: Hartford, CT @ Webster Hall
7/28: Worcester, MA @ The Palladium (Upstairs)
7/29: Garwood, NJ @ Crossroads
8/1: Buffalo, NY @ Buffalo Iron Works
8/2: New York, NY @ Gramercy Theatre
8/4: Cincinnati, OH @ Bogart’s W/Jack Russell’s Great White and Junkyard
8/5: Warrendale, PA @ Jergel’s
8/6: Battle Creek, MI @ The Music Factory
8/8: Waterloo, IA @ Spicoli’s
8/9: Sioux Falls, SD @ Bigs Bar
8/11: Three Forks, MT @ Rockin The Rivers Music Festival
9/1: Litchfield, MN @ Meeker County Fair
9/2: Sioux City, IA @ Anthem @ Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
9/23: Lawnton, OK @ Comanche Nation Fair
9/30: Macul, Santiago, Chile @ Santiago Rock Festival
10/6: Salt Lake City, UT @ Liquid Joe’s
10/7: Denver, CO @ Herman’s Hideaway
10/14: Sacramento, CA @ Holy Diver
10/27: Knoxville, TN @ The Open Chord
10/29: Pekin, IL @ Rock N Skull @ Avantis Dome
12/14: Houston, TX @ Proof Bar
12/31: Los Angeles, CA @ The Whisky W/Faster Pussycat

1/27: Anaheim, CA @ The Parish @ HOB Anaheim (Namm Event)
2/10: San Juan, Puerto Rico, @ Shannan’s W/Loudness
2/11-2/16: Miami, FL @ Monsters of Rock Cruise
2/16: Jacksonville, FL @ 80’s In the Park @ Lexington Hotel
2/17: Ft. Lauderdale, FL @ Culture Room

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