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Shred Guitar Maestro Marty Friedman Added To 2016 Axes & Anchors Cruise

Shred Guitar Maestro Marty Friedman Added To 2016 Axes & Anchors Cruise

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As the impressive lineup of performances and clinics continues to expand, Axes & Anchors music cruise brings another virtuoso on board its inaugural voyage. Shred guitar maestro Marty Friedman has been added to the list of confirmed performers. Marty will be performing two complete sets with his band and will delight attendees with an up-close and personal guitar clinic showcasing some of his legendary techniques. Since the release of his critically acclaimed album “Inferno” — which Guitar World readers voted the “Best Shred Album” of 2014 (Marty was voted “Best Shredder” as well) — he’s toured around the world and next month he will embark on his first American tour in 12 years, which includes his participation on Axes & Anchors in 2016. Now, Marty is ready and excited to take his talents to sea on his first-ever cruise appearance.   

“Axes & Anchors is not only the first cruise I`ve ever played on, but it`s the first cruise I`ve ever been on so I`m beyond excited to join in this awesome event!” exclaims Marty Friedman. “Not only am I going to play my ass off, but I`m planning to learn a TON from all the other super players on this trip. How many times do you get to surround yourself with this many amazing guys in one place?! I can`t wait!” 

Coming off of the recent announcement of the addition of Breaking Benjamin to headline the inaugural music cruise, as well as the addition of Demon Hunter, Axes & Anchors is the most diverse cruise hitting the sea in 2016. The five days and four nights cruise to Key West and Nassau, Bahamas leaves from Miami on February 20th and will take place on the Carnival Victory. Performances and clinics will be presented by Zakk Wylde, Yngwie Malmsteen, Michael Schenker, Motionless In White, Flyleaf, Thousand Foot Krutch, Alex Skolnick, Tony MacAlpine, Adelitas Way, Randy Rhoads Remembered, Tracii Guns, Rudy Sarzo, Gilby Clarke, Mike Orlando and A Beautiful Disaster, Dario Lorina, Aranda, Black Knight’s Castle featuring Joe Stump, Johnny Monaco, Pamela Moore, Falling Through April, Gabriel Ayala and Headstrum. Cabins can be reserved at www.AxesAndAnchors.com.

The cruise guarantees fans plenty of opportunities for meeting and hanging with their favorite bands on board, including free workshops on topics ranging from guitar and vocals to concert photography to stage clothing construction. 31 workshops are already confirmed and currently listed online with more to be added before Axes & Anchors sets sail in February. Passengers are encouraged to bring their guitars on board for workshops and jam sessions.

All reservations include 4-nights lodging and taxes, all meals, all concerts, all open workshops, a professional photo opportunity with every artist, and more.  Current promotions include a $150 per person rebate by paying in full, a special Marty Friedman code for paying passengers (enter reservation code MARTY16) for $100 savings on any booking (may be combined with the paid in full rebate) and the recently announced Stowaway Package, which allows 3rd and 4th passengers in a cabin who are under 21 to cruise for free when accompanied by two paying passengers as long as one is over 25 years old.

Website: www.AxesAndAnchors.com
Twitter: @Axescruise
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AxesCruise

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CATHOUSE LIVE: Epic Event To Feature Cinderella’s Tom Keifer, Sebastian Bach, Faster Pussycat, Stephen Pearcy And More!

CATHOUSE LIVE: Epic Event To Feature Cinderella’s Tom Keifer, Sebastian Bach, Faster Pussycat, Stephen Pearcy And More!

Riki Rachtman’s World Famous Cathouse will return to Southern California for one night of debauchery with Cathouse Live At Irvine MeadowsSaturday, August 15 at Irvine Meadows Amphitheater (recently known as Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre) in Irvine, CA. Riki Rachtman created the original rock dance club that dominated the Hollywood scene from 1986-1993. Now, along with Live Nation and Synergy Global Entertainment (SGE), he’s bringing Cathouse Live to a much larger audience with this decadent music and lifestyle festival.

The initial music lineup for Cathouse Live features some of the defining rock artists of the ‘80s and ‘90s, including an All-Star JamExtreme, Cinderella’s Tom Keifer, Sebastian Bach, Dokken, Faster Pussycat, Stephen Pearcy (the voice of RATT), Saigon Kick, Gilby ClarkeDangerous Toys, L.A. Guns, Junkyard, Trixter, Autograph, Black ‘N Blue, Tracii Guns, Enuff Z’ Nuff, BulletBoys, Bang Tango, Jetboy, Pretty Boy Floyd, Tuff and Little Caesar.

Cathouse Live will feature band performances on two stages, VIP Meet and Greets, a vendor village, a chopper motorcycle show, tattoo shops, go-go dancers, and more.

“I recently started a Cathouse Hollywood Facebook page and everyone was asking ‘Why don’t you do another Cathouse?’ I loved the idea and mentioned it on Twitter. So many bands told me that they wanted to be a part of it, that I knew that I had to bring it back on a much larger scale. It was too big for a club, so we decided to do a festival,” Rachtman explains. “The music scene isn’t what it was like back then–that type of decadence.We’re going to bring the debauchery of the Cathouse back to Southern California! SoCal needs this kind of rock festival so people will have the chance to go out, have fun and enjoy a great rock show in all its excess. Cathouse was a very successful weekly nightclub for six years, so we’re trying to pack all those years of Cathouse into one night for Cathouse Live. All I want is for those who go to have a good time and say, ‘That was the BEST ROCK FESTIVAL EVER.’”

Tickets for Cathouse Live At Irvine Meadows go on sale Friday, May 15 at 10:00 AM PT at www.CathouseLive.com and start at just $15 plus fees.

Aptly named NOTHIN’ BUT A GOOD TIMEYOUTH GONE WILDNOBODY RIDES FOR FREE, and RIKI’S BIG PACKAGE, the Cathouse is coming out of the gate with a handful of exclusive experiences and VIP opportunities to get a front row ticket, have a meet and greet and photo with the bands, be backstage in the dressing rooms, watch the show while standing on the main stage, and drink the night away in the Cathouse VIP lounge. All packages and experiences are available at www.CathouseLive.com while they last!

Stephen Pearcy of RATT recalls, “I remember the Cathouse very well…used to go there when off the road with the RATT tours in the ‘80s. Anything and everything went down there. Great jams, good stories in my book about that place. Everybody was somebody or thought they were, and trashed. You knew you had a good time there when you couldn’t remember what you did there the next day! Myself, Riki, Fred Coury, Tracii Guns, Taime and a couple others created a jam band called P.I.G. (Partners In Grime). We only did a few shows, got a bus, went out and had a great time. Places like the Cathouse will never happen again. Those were the dayz.”

The original Hollywood Cathouse was known for its edgy, underground, dirty rock ‘n’ roll vibe that was rooted in punk. It reeked of raunch and pure decadence. Patrons would freely indulge. The DJ played rock ‘n’ roll between unannounced performances from bands like Guns N’ Roses (Cathouseregulars who performed live at the club in 1986 just before their debut record was released), Sebastian Bach, Stephen Pearcy of RATT, L.A. Guns, Faster Pussycat, Junkyard, Jetboy, Bang Tango, Saigon Kick, Black ‘N Blue, Little Caesar, and many more. Guns N’ Roses’ video for “It’s So Easy” was shot at the Cathouse, Alice Cooper played one Halloween, and when Ice-T was banned from every Los Angeles club, Riki invited his band Body Count to play Cathouse. “It wouldn’t be uncommon to see Guns N’ Roses one week and Alice In Chains the next–so many bands played before they were huge. It was also the kind of place where you’d find Robert Downey Jr. rubbing elbows with Aerosmith’s Stephen Tyler,” says Rachtman.

Cathouse was the place to discover the best rock ‘n’ roll. Ask anyone who ever went to Cathouse…they’ll try to piece together what they remember about how legendary it was. With Cathouse Live At Irvine Meadows, the Cathouse is returning for those who lived the legend as it happened and those who are ready to experience this piece of rock ‘n’ roll history for the first time.

“Riki Rachtman is a great ambassador for a whole generation of hard rock,” says Live Nation Executive Vice President Rich Best. “We’re excited to partner with his iconic Cathouse brand to bring some of the biggest rock bands of the ‘80s and ‘90s together for this event. With over 20 bands that helped define an era with millions of records sold and dozens of hit songs, Cathouse Live at Irvine Meadows is a great value for fans.”

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Two lucky unsigned bands will have the chance to play at Cathouse Live at Irvine Meadows via the Cathouse Live Battle of the Bands, held Tuesday, July 14 at the infamous Whisky A Go-Go on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood, CA. The grand prize winner will open the main stage and the runner up–as chosen by celebrity rock judges–will open the second stage at Cathouse Live. Bands can apply for a chance to play the Cathouse Live Battle of the Bands by emailing mproductionsrocks@gmail.com between May 12 and July 1.

Los Angeles Times writer Kastle Waserman described Cathouse in her August 23, 2001 feature, noting: “On any given night, high-heeled, platinum blonds vied for attention on the dance floor. Aspiring rock musicians with impossibly teased hair crowded the bar and offered their standard pickup line: ‘Come see my band play.’ In VIP corners, rock notables mixed easily with Hollywood scenesters…Within weeks of its opening in the late 1980s, the Cathouse became ‘world-famous,’ L.A.’s place to be for rock ‘n’ roll kicks. A six-year run saw it evolve from a lightning-strike success into a legendary landmark…”

Don’t miss this rare opportunity to re-live the Cathouse experience August 15, 2015 at Cathouse Live At Irvine Meadows.

Website: www.CathouseLive.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/CathouseLive  

Twitter: @cathouselive; https://twitter.com/cathouselive  

Instagram: @cathouselive; https://instagram.com/cathouselive/

You Tube: www.youtube.com/channel/UC170SrQWJyjnyImo8cwyMeQ

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Review:  “Off The Boulevard” – A Behind-The-Scenes Look At The Entertainment Industry

Review: “Off The Boulevard” – A Behind-The-Scenes Look At The Entertainment Industry

The documentary “Off The Boulevard” gives a behind-the-scenes look of the entertainment industry. Seven independent artists share their struggles, failures and accomplishments while dedicating themselves to the pursuit of their artistic dreams.

Musicians Keith Jackson and Nick Nicholson, filmmakers Troy Duffy and Jeff Santo, actors David Della Rocco and Sanel Budimlic, and stand-up comedian Bob Rubin share their journeys while struggling and persevering on the path of independence. The documentary also includes insights from industry stars, including Peter Fonda (“Easy Rider” and “Ulee’s Gold”), Joe Mantegna (“Criminal Minds”), Gilby Clarke (Guns ‘N’ Roses), Sonny Barger (Hell’s Angels), Dan Haggerty (“Grizzly Adams”), and Eddie Vedder (Pearl Jam).

Let’s get the nit-picky technical out of the way — which, overall, consisted of a few minor problems. The film was clumsy in parts, especially when the camera lens peered through a car windshield and, in another part, an airplane window. I was trying to listen to the narrator but couldn’t help but notice a bird pooped on the windshield. A few times the camera was out of focus, sometimes it was not centered. There were a couple instances with audio problems but, as Tripper said in “Meatballs,” it just doesn’t matter!

I soon forgot about these technicalities because it’s not about cinemotography, it’s about the meat of the film — the story. It took me a little ways (about 20 minutes or so) to become fully on board but when I did, I was rockin’ and rollin’ and felt a part of the conversation. It’s like meeting someone new — give the person a chance before passing judgement because if they turn out to be cool — or even awesome — it was worth the time.

That’s what happened with “Off The Boulevard.” I kept watching and soon became engrossed with these men, from the well-known Duffy of “Boondock Saints” fame to the lesser known Budimlic of “Jake’s Corner,” who although not mainstream yet has a powerful and moving story to share, a story he shares with modesty (hint hint … nudge nudge … Budimlic and Santo are working on “Made in Bosna.” Google it.).

I love the laid-back aspect of “Off The Boulevard” because these men share personal and difficult aspects of their lives — from Budimlic fleeing the Bosnian/Serbian war and living in a refugee camp for 7 months before coming to the U.S. to Duffy fighting to get paid for the first “Boondock Saints” (which grossed $150 million). I felt like I was sitting in the room while they discussed their hopes, dreams and failures.

I became engrossed. How could I not?

This movie has heart: from Budimlic first learning to act when soldiers frequented his home during the Bosnian/Serbian war to loot, forcing him to act like this was fine so he could stay alive — “We don’t need this anymore! Go right ahead!” — to a peek at Santo’s documentary “This Old Cub” where his father, famed baseball great Ron Santo, silently puts on his prosthetic legs after losing the limbs to diabetes (I did not just tear up, I cried).

This movie has humor: how could it not with in-your-face Bob “The Rube” Rubin, who’s philosophy is if you don’t get my jokes then go f- yourself?

This movie has anger: Duffy fighting tooth-and-nail to get his cult classic “Boondock Saints” filmed only to later fight even harder to get payment for himself, his producers and the principal cast. Duffy also fought — and stills continues to fight — against the stereotypes about his character expressed in the documentary “Overnight,” which left viewers with the image of Duffy as extremely arrogant and prone to explosive outbursts.

Above all, “Off the Boulevard” is about dedication to achieving your dreams, which all these men share, especially Nicholson, a country singer and military veteran who perseveres through bad gigs and managers until, finally, his sweet tunes hit the right ears and his hit-song is played on the radio! Yes, money would be nice. Fame? Of course! But with true artists, it’s about a dream they are drawn to with a mystical urgency. These men don’t sing, write, act or direct simply because they want to, they do it because they have to.

The film is like Dr. Seuss’s “The Places You’ll Go” for adult independent artists, which is ironic because Santo teaches at a film school. Save yourself a class fee and check this movie out for well-knowns and not-so-well-knowns sharing the reality behind the curtain of Hollywood — red carpets, paparazzi, corporate, oh my!

This reality is also conveyed through honest words-of-wisdom delivered by men who have been there, are still there, and know. Jackson (“The Glass Heroes”) sharing, “I don’t want anyone to tell me what’s good or bad, I’m gonna figure that out on my own.” Della Rocco (“The Boondock Saints”) commenting, “There’s only a few of us that can live this life.” Duffy remembering, “Sometimes you (Santo) and I will be sitting there crying into our beers, looking at each other, and then we’ll both start fucking laughing because it’s ridiculous. Kids don’t know how bad this can get.”

If you’re a dreamer — isn’t everyone, more or less? — if you’re an aspiring filmmaker, actor or musician, or if you’re like me and simply enjoy an inside look at the human spirit and seeing celebrities unveiled as everyday human beings, watch this film.

“Every artist must take a risk. With that risk everything becomes uncertain, the destiny you hope for, the destination you move towards, all is uncertain. When you are in these waters of uncertainty, the rules for every artist is to hold tight to one living thing and one living thing only: Your Dream. It’s that life that survives.”

“Off the Boulevard” is directed by Jeff Santo and written by Santo and Christie Collins. For details, check out www.santofilms.com. — Kate Vendetta

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‘Off The Boulevard’ Documentary Takes Viewers On An Inspiring Journey

Troy Duffy (Creator of The Boondock Saints franchise) announced today the pre-sale availability for the launch of a documentary feature film, “Off The Boulevard,”  he executive produced in partnership with Santo Films.

“It’s an interesting and educational behind-the-scenes look at the struggles fellow independent artists go through in pursuit of their dreams,” says Executive Producer Troy Duffy. “It gives us an inside look at the tough lives of some up-and-coming independent artists.  As we watch them fight their way through the industries of music and film, we glean words of wisdom from successful veterans of the entertainment business.”

Off The Boulevard is a story of art and heart and the dedication it takes to achieve your dreams. It is an entertaining and informative documentary feature film about seven artists: two musicians (Nick Nicholson, Keith Jackson), two filmmakers (Troy Duffy, Jeff Santo), two actors (David Della Rocco, Sanel Budimlic), and one comedian (Bob Rubin), whose friendships are created through struggle and perseverance.

The film features industry insights from well-knowns such as: Peter Fonda (Easy Rider)Joe Mantegna (Criminal Minds)Gilby Clarke (Guns N’ Roses)Sonny Barger (Hell’s Angels)Dan Haggerty (Grizzly Adams), and Eddie Vedder (Pearl Jam).

“Off The Boulevards follows seven artists on different paths but with the same goal- to fulfill their dreams,“ says Jeff Santo, Director.  “This film transcends the world of entertainment and my hope is it will inspire all who strive to pave their own road.”

Ain’t It Cool News claims it’s “Phenomenal in every sense of the word. 4 stars.” Detroit Metro Times writes it’s “Essential viewing for anyone getting ready to go up against a giant.”

Available now for pre-order exclusively at: www.santofilms.com and www.BoondockSaints.com  at an introductory rate of $14.99.    (Autographed copies available for an additional fee.) (Pre-orders at this introductory rate are available through Sept. 7th)  DVD begins shipping Sept. 7th, 2011.

Viewers can look forward to several intriguing bonus clips featuring highlights from the film such as celebrity interviews and Troy Duffy rehearsing with Boondock Saints II cast members.

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M3 Rock Festival Brings Rock Of The 80s Back To Baltimore!

M3 Rock Festival Brings Rock Of The 80s Back To Baltimore!

m3festival

M3 Rock Festival

M3 Rock Festival
May 30, 2009
Merriweather Post Pavilion
Columbia, MD

By Steve Johnson 

The M3 Rock Festival invaded Columbia, Maryland on May 30, 2009 and brought with it some of the greatest bands from the mid to late 80’s. Merriweather proved to be a good choice of venue for the show, as it provided ample amounts of shade on a sunny and warm day. While the performances themselves are of utmost importance, there is something to be said about the atmosphere in the parking lot prior to the gates opening. The parking lot at Merriweather was full of people tailgating and listening to their favorite tunes from bands performing at the show. I have not seen that many IROC-Z28 Camaros, Mustangs or vintage concert t-shirts in one place since the late 80’s. Luckily the parking lot police seemed to be turning a blind eye toward their policy of no drinking in the lots, as everyone seemed to be downing a cold one or two.

janilane

Jani Lane

Gates for the show opened at 11:00 am and many of the revelers in the parking lot quickly made their way inside. The layout of the festival was rather impressive considering Merriweather isn’t the largest outdoor venue I have been to. The main stage/pavilion area was separated from the second stage by a long line of tents filled with various giveaways and other businesses advertising their products. There were also ample concessions, at rather reasonable prices. One fantastic addition to the festival was a VIP bar area appropriately labeled Hammerjack’s. If you are not familiar with the area, Hammerjack’s was an extremely popular concert venue in downtown Baltimore in the 80’s and 90’s that attracted many of the biggest names in rock. This was a nice touch that added to the nostalgia of the entire event.

The festival’s opener was none other than former Guns N’ Roses guitarist Gilby Clarke. While his set was short, Clarke showed off the skills that landed him with a job in one of the greatest bands in rock history. Much of Clarke’s set included solo material, but he did throw in some Guns ‘N Roses for good measure. Highlights of Clarke’s set included “Tijuana Jail,” “Cure Me or Kill Me,” and “Knocking on Heaven’s Door.” Next to take the main stage was Y&T. Y&T managed to play many of the hits from their 35 year career in their allotted thirty five minute set. The band sounded good and fired off fantastic versions of “Dirty Girl,” “Mean Streak,” and “Summertime Girls.”

Slaughter took the main stage after Y&T and delivered a blistering performance. The band sounded great and Mark Slaughter proved he still has the ability hit his signature high notes. Slaughter’s set consisted of a lot of their older material, with some of their newer stuff mixed in. They ended with two of their greatest hits, “Fly to the Angels” and “Up All Night.” After Slaughter left the main stage, fans were greeted with a spectacular set by Jani Lane of Warrant. He opened up with “Down Boys” and, as expected, performed all of Warrant’s hits and sounded good while doing it. Jani looked better than he has in years and didn’t miss a step as he took command of the main stage for a blistering performance. The Jani Lane of old was back that day. Here’s hoping he has continued success in the future.

Steel Panther's Satchel Slips Us Some Tongue

Steel Panther's Satchel Slips Us Some Tongue

The onslaught of classic 80’s metal bands continued with a stellar performance by Dokken. While I was only able to catch a few songs by the band, I enjoyed what I heard and the crowd responded well. Normally I would have checked out all of Dokken’s set, but I had to make my way over to the second stage to check out the band everyone had been talking about, Steel Panther. I had heard a lot about the band and had seen them featured on television and in many YouTube videos of them performing with celebrities in L.A. I went into their set not expecting much, but came out a huge fan. Steel Panther may be a parody of glam metal, but those guys can play and delivered what may have been the most entertaining set of the day. The band performed a few songs, including “Fat Girl,” and “Death To All But Metal.” The rest of their set was filled with comedy gold by way of interaction with each other on stage and with the crowd. The band even slowed it down with their latest single “Community Property” and a massive guitar solo which served as a tribute to the rockers that came before them. Steel Panther are a visual spectacle for sure but do not think for a second that these rockers don’t have the musical chops to stack up to the talent on the rest of the bill. They provided not just a show but an experience, The result of the all too short set was evident as fans went wild and wondering why these guys weren’t on the main stage. Ladies, lock up your daughters! Steel Panther is on the prowl!

As Kix rocked the main stage, I kept my post at the second stage to check out the legendary L.A. Guns. There are currently two versions of L.A. Guns touring the country. This L.A. Guns features Phil Lewis on vocals and Stacey Blades on guitar. While some people in the crowd may have been disappointed that this version of Guns doesn’t feature Tracii Guns, Stacey held his own and the band blasted through many of their greatest hits, including “Sleazy Come” and “Rip and Tear.” Up next on the main stage was Extreme and by this time fans continued to file into the venue to and search out a good spot to see their heavy metal favorites. Gary Cherone and the boys of Extreme sounded good and remain some of the best musicians from their era. The crowd’s enthusiasm continued to grow with each passing moment and each jam they belted out. Extreme’s last song of the night “Hole Hearted,” was fantastic and was the proper choice to end with. If you haven’t had the chance to check out Extreme live, you shouldn’t delay, as they definitely pack a punch and leave you hungry for more.

Dee Snider on stage in 2009

Dee Snider on stage in 2009

At this point in the day, many people had gathered to the main stage/pavilion area to witness the two headlining bands of the show, Ratt and Twisted Sister. Ratt took the stage around 8:00 pm and performed an hour long set that featured all of their hits. Highlights included “Lay It Down,” “You’re In Love,” “Back For More,” “Round and Round,” and “Nobody Rides For Free.” Vocally, Stephen Pearcy sounded great and Warren DeMartini absolutely shredded on the guitar. Ratt had one of the better performances of the day and pumped the crowd up for the last band of the evening. Twisted Sister blasted onto the stage around 9:30 and initially had some sound problems. Everything was quickly corrected and the band delivered a blistering set of their classics. Dee Snider is a great front man and proved it on stage at M3. He ran around fists pumping and banging his head. The rest of the band delivered a great performance and sounded just as tight as they did twenty five years ago when they gave us Stay Hungry. Highlights of their performance included “Under the Blade,” “We’re Not Gonna To Take It,” “Burn in Hell,” “The Price,” and “I Wanna Rock.”

The M3 Festival was a great time and provided fans of classic 80’s metal a cheaper and much closer alternative to Rocklahoma and Rock Gone Wild. The bands were all fantastic and all of the concertgoers seemed to be having a great time. The M3 Festival has breathed new life into a scene that has long been forgotten in an area where it was once king. Here’s hoping it is back for more next year!

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Gilby Clarke: The Original Guitar Hero

Gilby Clarke: The Original Guitar Hero

Gilby Clarke: The Original Guitar Hero

Gilby Clarke: The Original Guitar Hero

In his youth, Gilby Clarke was not that different from you or me. He was a kid with a dream and a undying love for rock n’ roll. When Clarke was 17 years old, he decided to make that dream a reality. He left his home in Cleveland, Ohio with his sights set on California and never looked back. Almost three decades later, he has amassed quite a resume to say the least. He has played guitar alongside such musical legends as MC5, Nancy Sinatra, Heart and even a little band called Guns N’ Roses. Never content to be pigeon holed as a guitarist, Clarke has thrown his hat in the ring as producer for The Bronx, L.A. Guns, The Alarm and Alice Cooper. As if that weren’t enough to keep him busy, he has even produced his own critically acclaimed solo efforts. Not shabby for a mid-western kid with just a guitar and a dream. Jason Price of Live-Metal.Net recently got a chance to sit down with Gilby Clarke to discuss musical roots, his upcoming musical endeavors, his new role as a “Rock N’ Roll Fantasy Camp Counselor” and even a little Chinese Democracy.

Live-Metal.Net: How did music first come into your life?

Gilby Clarke: Well, when I was a teenager, music was always around. I saw a poster of Jimi Hendrix and that is what really got me going. I wanted to become a guitar player. I just started discovering music through that. I was listening to some early Jimi Hendrix and then I got into some current stuff which at the time was Led Zeppelin, KISS, Aerosmith and stuff like that from the mid-seventies that was popular at the time.

What drove you to make music your career?

I’ve got to tell you that I didn’t ever really make a decision, it just kinda happened. When I was in high school, I was playing in bands that were playing high school dances and things like that. I just always knew that I wanted to play guitar in a band, so when everybody else went on from high school to go to college or whatever, I just kept playing music. I went to Hollywood and got a gig with a band and it just kinda kept going. It was more determination than anything.

What has kept you inspired through the years?

Well, it’s tough! [laughs] I think that what is great about music is the variety, I like all kinds of music. I like hard rock, I don’t know that I can say that I like Top 40 rock, but I like classical music and I like blues. I seem to be able to find good about a lot of different types of music. If I hear a good song or a good band that definitely inspires me a little bit.

How do you think you have evolved as an artist since starting out?

I think as an artist, that my craft has evolved. I think I have become a better guitar player over the years. More than anything, I never accept my playing as being “finished.” I still see other guitar players and learn from them. I might see them do something and go “Wow! I’ve never tried that!” So as a musician, I feel like it’s a work in progress and that it is always evolving. I am always trying to learn something new, to get better or find a different style that you like. As far as music that I like, it really hasn’t changed too much. I really like the classic definition of rock n’ roll, something that is really loose and you hear the drum beat go with it.

You have put a lot of music over the years and even put out a retrospective album last year. Looking back on your career so far, did you think that you would be still going strong all these years later?

Well, I gotta tell ya, I never thought I wouldn’t be! [laughs] The thing about a music career is that it is all hills and valleys. You can’t be on top all of the time. You just have to find ways of making the downtime fun and that is what I do. I can’t sit around and wait for every arena tour to come around once every five to eight years or so. I try to find other things to do that I think are fun like taking up a residency at a club where I can just play music once a week to keep me fresh. So, yeah, I guess I did think I would be going strong. No one ever thinks that they are going to be on top forever but you just have to hang in.

Are you currently working on material for a new Gilby Clarke solo record?

I am always writing. I am always writing songs because I don’t really know what they are going to be for. Where the songs will be, I don’t know. Is it going to be a new band? Or will it be a solo record? Usually I don’t make a decision until I have a good records worth of tunes. If I have ten tunes that I am happy with, then I have to decide to either do a solo record or to seek out a band, so writing is always a process.

What is the typical songwriting process like for you?

For me it always starts on guitar when I am sitting around noodling, playing or if I am just at a sound check and I come up with something that I haven’t heard before, whether it is a riff or just a chord change that I haven’t tried before. It usually starts that way. Very rarely does it start lyrically. I think as I have gotten older it has been starting lyrically a little bit more, if I have different ideas that I want to write down, but usually it does start with guitar first.

Your recently produced an album with Crash Kelly, what was that experience like for you?

Actually, last year I did four back to back records! I did a Crash Kelly record, I did a Silent Rage record, a band called Motochrist’s record and I just mixed The Alarm’s record. So I always producing. If I am not performing live then I am producing. A young band like Crash Kelly, at this point they are definitely seasoned musicians and they know how to play. It is more about getting to the arrangements or the songs. With Sean (Kelly), who is the lead singer and guitarist, it is more about making sure he is hearing back what he has.

Is there anyone else that you are currently working with that we should be on the lookout for?

Like I said, the Silent Rage record, which was a band from the mid to late eighties just put out a record. That record just came out, and I am really proud of the work with the band The Alarm. That record also just came out and I am finishing up their next record. It’s like that late seventies Clash, Sex Pistols rock n’ roll. It is some really good songwriting and it is a record that I would buy even if I had nothing to do with it.

Rock Star: Supernova reunited back in May of 2008 for a benefit. Is there any chance we might see you all back together again sometime soon?

It is kind of funny because we never officially pulled the plug on it. It was a project and Tommy (Lee) and I will always be friends. I just don’t think it is anyone’s priority at this point. I think we gave it our best shot and there were some things that were successful about it and some things that weren’t. I don’t think it will ever really go away but over time we may forget about it. At this point, you never really know what will come up.

Currently you are on tour as a counselor for the Rock N’ Roll Fantasy Camp, how did you become involved with the program?

Actually a bunch of my friends have always been a part of it. Teddy Andreadis who used to play keyboards for Guns N’ Roses, and Bruce Kulick have done it. Whenever they talk about it they always have great things to say about it and how it not only gives back to people who aren’t professional musicians and the way it gives back to the musicians themselves. They get a sense of accomplishment working with people. I went down to Los Angeles to audition and I had a great time! I thought that the people were really fun and I just really enjoyed the whole process.

gilbyclarke3Obviously this is a little different from a tour you would normally be involved with, how are you adjusting to life as a “camp counselor” this summer?

I actually just did my first one yesterday. It was a really good experience. You are working with people who have followed your career, they are excited to be in the room with you and you get to play some music together. So, yeah, I had a great experience.

I would imagine that having experience on the production side of things probably lends itself pretty well to this project by putting all your expertise to work in a classroom setting.

Yeah it definitely is a good experience for everyone involved.

gilbyclarke2What are you looking forward to the most about the Rock N’ Roll Fantasy Camp tour?

It is mostly about just talking to people. As a musician, you surround yourself with other musicians, so it is very easy to lose touch. What is really great about this is that you are one-on-one with people and get to hear what they are inspired by. I have never been one of those musicians that follows a trend. It always bothers me when I hear other artists saying “Do this for the fans. Give them what they want.” I just don’t think that is really an artist. Being an artist is creating something original and you get fans from that. So it is always nice to get a little feedback, some honest feedback. That is another thing that is really great about this.

Being in the music industry as long as you have, are there still surprises?

Yeah! [laughs] There are definitely still surprises out there. I mean, the people that survive are the people that adapt. You definitely have to learn to adapt because times are much different.

What do you consider the defining moment of your career so far?

I think that joining Guns N’ Roses was my defining moment. It was an extremely successful band at that time and I really believed in it. As a guitar player, it was exactly what I was looking for. It ending up not lasting as long as I would have hoped and I didn’t get to do any writing with the band. So it was definitely a defining moment but certainly not the final defining moment.

You have worked with a wealth of really terrific artists over the years and probably have a tale or two to tell. Will we ever get an autobiography out of you to share any of those stories?

Yeah, I think that I definitely have an opinion and a Guns N’ Roses opinion. I think that would make an interesting book, so it is something that I am definitely thinking about a lot more lately.

Are you still in touch with any of those guys from your days in Guns N’ Roses?

I think the only one that I currently talk to is Duff (McKagan). We live right down the street from each other and have kids that go to the same school. We hang out a little more than the other guys. The other guys like Matt and Slash, I don’t really see that much.

What is the best piece of advice you could give to those who are just starting out and considering making a career in the music industry?

Yeah, I think “originality” more than anything. Music is art and I think that has been getting lost over the past ten years. If you have something to contribute and something to say, I think that you can make a great career. I think that bands like the Sex Pistols are working bands. Everybody has something to say and you don’t have to be the best guitar player or the best drummer in the world to say something.

You have dabble in the world of reality TV before with Rockstar Supernova and you have been happily married for a long time now so we won’t be seeing Rock of Love: Gilby Clarke!

Yeah. [laughs]

I was just curious if you had been approached for any other reality projects… perhaps something based on your producing or home life. Would that be something you would be interested in?

Actually, my wife and I have been approached quite a few times about reality shows. It’s just not for us. We really don’t need to air our life on TV just to make a little money. We are in a bunch of current production things for television shows but it is not really about our lives. TV is a new avenue of marketing and you have to use it. If The Beatles would have had TV like this, they would have used it too. It is just like radio was, a new tool.

gilbyclarke4What does a lifelong guitar player like yourself think of the Guitar Hero and Rock Band video game craze we are currently having?

I haven’t played Rock Band yet but I have played Guitar Hero. I have a fourteen year old daughter that smokes me on it! [laughs] I think it is great. I think that it is great that it is turning a whole new generation on to some great music. My daughter came up to me and asked if I had a Rage Against The Machine record. I think it is really, really wonderful that these kids are getting to hear some classic songs that inspired a different generation.

Has the digital revolution of music (downloading, iPods, iTunes, etc.) been positive or negative for someone like yourself?

I view it in a positive way. My recording studio is all Pro Tools now and it has certainly made it a lot easier. I can’t say that it has made it more productive but it has made easier. I don’t think that we can judge it really, not quite yet, what it has done to music. I think it is still in the beginning stages right now. It’s going to be interesting to see how much it changes and more than anything, what kind of quality music that we are going to get from this new digital age. Right now, for me, the jury is still out on it.

Music runs in your family. What was it like when your daughter took the stage with you for the first time?

The first time that she performed with me was actually in London. We had such a great time! My wife was in tears watching it. I think it is fun when your children have the same dreams that you had. With my daughter, her being a girl, we don’t have as many things in common from a father/daughter relationship. So having music as something in common gives us a language of our own, that her and my wife don’t have. It is a really special relationship.

After this tour, what?s next for you?

Just getting back to some writing. I have been in the studio producing last year and then this summer, I have been doing a lot of performing. I think more than anything I just really need to get back to the studio, start writing and get some songs cataloged.

I have a habit of throwing this one in here. When do you think that Chinese Democracy will be released?

There was point there, I have to tell you, that I was absolutely sure it was coming out but at this point I have no idea. I am just like every other person and I am a fan of GNR’s music but I have no idea. I have heard a couple songs just like everybody else and I am just as curious as everybody else. I am really curious to see what kind of music you break up a really good band for.

Is there anything else you want to add?

I think that is about it. I think there is a really interesting vibe right now, we just have to be patient and hopefully we will get some good records out of it.

Thank you very much for your time Gilby!

Thanks man, I really appreciate it!

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Related Links:
www.gilbyclarke.com – The Official Site of Gilby Clarke
www.myspace.com/gilbyclarke – The Official Myspace Page of Gilby Clarke
The?Gilby Clarke Forum – The Official Gilby Clarke Forum
Here Today?Gone To Hell – An Unofficial Guns N’ Roses site
GNR Source – An Unofficial Guns N’ Roses site
Frankie B. – The Official Site of Frankie B. Premium Denim Jeans (Fashion by Daniella Clarke)
Redrum Recording – The Official Site of Gilby Clarke‘s Redrum Recording
Guns n’ Roses?Online
– The Official Site of Guns N’ Roses
Rock N’ Roll Fantasy Camp – The Official Site of Rock N’ Roll Fantasy Camp

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