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Shout! Factory To Give ‘Stigmata’ Blu-ray Debut On May 19th!

Shout! Factory To Give ‘Stigmata’ Blu-ray Debut On May 19th!

'Stigmata'

‘Stigmata’

A lost soul has just received the wounds of Christ… and a shocking message that will alter history. Featuring  performances from  Patricia Arquette (TV’s Medium, Boyhood) and Gabriel Byrne (The Usual Suspects) with  a cutting -edge score by Billy Corgan of The Smashing Pumpkins and Elia Cmiral, the visceral thriller Stigmata will make its blu-ray debut May 19th, 2015 courtesy of Scream Factory.  Stigmata comes loaded with bonus features, including the featurettes Incredible But True – Stigmata: Marked For Life and Divine Rights: The Story Of Stigmata, which have been previously unavailable in the US; as well as audio commentary with director Rupert Wainwright, deleted scenes  and more! Fans can pre-order their copy now by visiting ShoutFactory.com

Frankie Paige (Arquette) has absolutely no faith in God. All of that changes when she suddenly begins to suffer the stigmata — the living wounds of the crucified Christ. Frankie’s miraculous bleeding comes to the attention of the Vatican’s top investigator, Father Kiernan (Byrne). But when Cardinal Houseman (Jonathan Pryce, Brazil, Ronin), discovers that Frankie is actually channeling an extraordinary and provocative message that could destroy the Church, he’s convinced that she —  and the force possessing her —  must be forever silenced. Determined to stop this deadly conspiracy, Kiernan risks his faith and his life to save her and the message that will change the destiny of mankind forever. Also starring Portia de Rossi (TV’s Arrested Development), Nia Long (Big Momma’s House) and Rade Sherbedgia (Taken 2, X-Men: First Class), Stigmata is a riveting supernatural thriller that’ll leave you breathless.

Stigmata Special Features:

  • Audio commentary with director Rupert Wainwright
  • Incredible But True – Stigmata: Marked For Life (45 Min.)
  • Divine Rights: The Story Of Stigmata (26 Min.)
  • Music Video – “Identify” by Natalie Imbruglia
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Alternate Ending
  • Theatrical Trailer

Shout! Factory will continue to present the on-going SCREAM FACTORY™ home entertainment series in 2015 with specific release dates, extras and key art.  Meanwhile, fans  are encouraged to visit Shout! Factory’s website (www.ShoutFactory.com)  follow them on Facebook (www.facebook.com/ScreamFactoryDVD) andTwitter (@Scream_Factory) or to view exclusive video content on YouTube(http://www.youtube.com/user/ScreamFactoryTV/Home).

 

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Our Breakthrough Artists of 2008!

Our Breakthrough Artists of 2008!

As 2008 comes to a close, our staff takes a look back to present you with what they feel are the breakthrough artists of the past year!

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Steve Johnson’s Pick: There were a lot of bands that emerged in 2008 who absolutely rocked and are worthy of being named breakthrough artist, but there is one that stands out in my mind as something special. Cockpit is an all female band that reigns from the same streets that gave us Motley Crue and Guns N’ Roses. These women are heavily influenced by 80’s glam metal and their debut EP Mission to Rock shows it. The EP is full of energy and features fantastic riffing and solos that would make any arena rock fan long for a return to the glory days of spandex and big hair. Do yourself a favor and run out to your local record store or visit iTunes and pick up Mission to Rock, I don’t think you will be disappointed.

up-bronxJason Price’s Pick: The Bronx hail from Southern California and began playing punk rock in 2002. With many years behind them, they have definitely dug in and are looking to make their mark in 2009. The band has done stints on this year’s Warped Tour and has also toured alongside Every Time I Die. The band released THE BRONX in November of 2008 on the it’s own White Drugs label, with help of New York independent label Original Signal Recordings. What do they bring to the table? Simply put, The Bronx bring powerful, blood, sweat and tears style punk for the 21st Century and infuse it into their own brand of hard rock. Their music and lyrics sound fresh and look to break up the monotony of today’s endless sea of cookie cutter radio rock. Look for The Bronx to take rock by storm in the coming year!

cwsi5z6sz8edvvwqidsatdgc_500Jen X’s Pick: Santogold (aka Santi White) released her first solo project in 2008, former singer of the punk-rock band Stiffed Santogold broke out in 2007 with singles contracted from Martin Heath of Lizard King Records. Her style is reminiscent of catchy new-wave 80’s punk with a pop flair that is refreshing from the current surge of sugary sweet pop rock that has been hitting the airwaves. The year has found Santogold touring in support of Coldplay, Jay-Z, Kanye West, The Streets and the Beastie Boys, as well as headlining her own tour. She has written a song for Ashlee Simpson, and recorded with The Strokes’ Julian Casablancas and N.E.R.D.’s Pharrell Williams, and has already announced upcoming projects with the Beastie Boys as well as David Byrne. I wouldn’t be shocked if the future not only held music notoriety for Santogold but if we end up seeing her on the big screen as well, as she exudes a certain charm and charisma that could hold up to the critics.

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Our Best Interviews of 2008!

Our Best Interviews of 2008!

The Staff of Icon Versus Icon put their heads together to bring you their takes on the Best Interviews of 2008. Read on to find out what they thought went above and beyond!

Best Interviews of 2008


Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal of Guns N' Roses

Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal of Guns N' Roses

Steve Johnson’s Pick: Of all of the interviews in 2008, one stands out as the best from a personal standpoint. Our interview with Ron ?Bumblefoot? Thal, guitar virtuoso and current member of Guns N’ Roses is my best of 2008. Conducted at the May Chiller Theatre Convention in Parsippany, NJ, we got the inside scoop on Bumblefoot’s new album Abnormal and a few pieces of information on the then unreleased Chinese Democracy. Bumblefoot spoke of his beginnings as a guitar player and his dedication to helping find a cure for diabetes through his involvement in Rock Against Diabetes. While some serious topics were covered, the interview remained light hearted and even included a reference to Back to the Future 2. Bumblefoot proved to be a humble and extremely generous man, who gave us free autographed albums to give away on the site. If only we had noticed he was wearing that Dr. Pepper shirt during the interview.

Jason Price’s Pick: We have done many great interviews over the years but Live-Metal.Net’s staff definitely raised the bar once again this year. Two interviews that stand out in my mind are Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal of Guns N’ Roses and Marty Casey of L.A. Guns. We met up with both as there were just about to mark career milestones. Ron Thal shed some light on who he was and what a great experience he had in becoming part of the phenomenon that is Gun N’ Roses. Marty Casey talked to us right as he parted ways with his original band Lovehammers and took over as frontman of L.A. Guns. Both of these guys were great, told us a lot and definitely have bright careers ahead of them.

Jen X’s Pick: Out of all of the interviews we have done this year there is one that stands out in my mind: the write up about Metal Mike Chlasciak. Simply put- I had no clue who Metal Mike even was, but after reading such a intelligent, funny and honest interview I wanted to know more about the man and his music. That is what a stellar interview should do for the reader and that is why it gets my vote as Best Interview of the Year.

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Pick of The Week: ‘Hitman – My Real Life in the Cartoon World of Wrestling’

Pick of The Week: ‘Hitman – My Real Life in the Cartoon World of Wrestling’

Hitman:?My Real Life in the Cartoon World of Wrestling

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Hitman: My Real Life in the Cartoon World of Wrestling

Hitman: My Real Life in the Cartoon World of Wrestling

Bret Hart’s account of his professional wrestling career is almost literally blow-by-blow, with detailed descriptions of the choreography of many of his most prominent matches in the former World Wrestling Foundation and the now-defunct World Championship Wrestling. (And, yes, he freely admits that the outcomes are determined in advance, while the wrestlers work out the actual moves for themselves.) To hear him tell it, everybody hailed him as the best damn worker in the business, a storyteller with the comparative artistry of a De Niro. But the manipulative schemes of WWF head Vince McMahon (and several of his colleagues) kept Hart from reaching his full potential as a champion until injuries sidelined him for good.

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The memoir goes deep into Hart’s family history?his father was one of the pioneers of the Canadian pro wrestling circuit, and his brothers and brothers-in-law followed him into the business. Wrestling fans will eat up all the backstage drama, but even those who don’t care for the shows should be impressed by Hart’s meticulous eye for telling detail?the bittersweet story that results is simultaneously a celebration and an expos?.

Visit the Official Bret Hart Site:
www.brethart.com

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Lita Ford: The Next Chapter In Her Rockin’ History

Lita Ford: The Next Chapter In Her Rockin’ History

Lita Ford: Returns To RockIt was the mid-70’s when Lita Ford, alongside her bandmates in The Runaways, exploded onto the scene. In the 80’s, Lita Ford went solo and rose to superstardom as one of the premiere rock acts of that decade. As the music industry began to change, Ford left the stage to take on her biggest challenge to yet raising a family. Today, three decades after setting out on her musical journey, Lita Ford stands ready to return to the limelight and once again take the industry by storm. Jason Price of Live-Metal.Net recently had the opportunity to ask Lita about her past, her upcoming album and what we can expect from her highly anticipated return to the realm of rock n’ roll.

How did music first come into your life?

My cousin took me to a concert when I was 13 years old and it changed my life. I wanted to become the person on the stage. I wanted to create the energy that I felt that night. It was a life changing experience.

What drove you to make music your career?

It was a gift from God. It came naturally.

What has kept you inspired through the years?

My kids. Watching them try to learn how to play the guitar or drums or perform on stage. It’s been a lot of fun.

You rose to superstardom and then decided to step out of the spotlight. Was there any particular reason you decided to take a break?

The music industry had changed so drastically that there really wasn’t a place for me at the time. I had just gotten married  almost 15 years ago! Also, I was pretty tired of all the ASSHOLES in the industry. It was time for a break and time to start a family.

The obvious question fans would want to know is what have you been up to these past few years?

When we had our boys, all I wanted to do was be a great mother and raise them the best I could. Family is the most important thing to us everything else is secondary.

Was there any specific event that made decide now was the time for you to make your return to the scene?

Not really. A few nudging phone calls from an inspiring friend and an itch that wouldn’t go away.

Was there ever any doubt in your mind that you would one day return?

I always hoped I would, wasn’t too sure though because I wasn’t going to leave my family at home and the kids were too young to travel with us. Now they’re older and they like to ROCK!

You got a band together and played some shows earlier this year… What was it like to be back in the spotlight in front of the fans at Rocklahoma?

The welcome back was HUGE! It was overwhelming! Hats off to all the fans that stuck through the storms there. It was pretty fierce but they stayed and rocked out with us!

You recently announced that you will be working on a new album for a 2009 release, what can you tell us about the project?

Heavier than ever, nastier than ever, more sexual than ever. Very personal lyrics  yeah me and Jim are freaks! There will be no denying that when everyone hears the new songs!

Would the new material be “Classic Lita” or more of a departure? Sonically, what can we expect?

Raunchy filth with a touch of class and a whole lotta ass!

Do you have a typically writing process that you use when you start working on new music?

Every song is different. Jim (Gillette) and I wrote the new songs with Greg Hampton. Greg just wrote and co produced the new Alice Cooper album. Lyrically, Jim and I would go back and forth comparing notes from the night before:

Lita – Did I really say that???

Jim – Uh yes you did Honey!

Lita – I told you to stick your *$&@^#* in my  *#^%*#?

Jim – Uh yes you did!

Lita – Ok, go with it!

We’re having two versions of the album, a PG and a XXX.

How did you go about selecting the musicians you will be taking into the studio with you?

We had auditions in NY. This is my best band ever!

Stet Howland: Drums

Michael T Ross: Keys

JC: Bass

I handle all the guitars.

Is there a tentative title or release date for the album at the moment?

Title, yes but it’s a secret! Release date? Sometime around the summer. Can’t wait!

Is it safe to say that we will see you hit the road in support of the album when it is released?

Yes – we plan on playing at least 75 shows in 2009!

What do you hope that people come away with after listening to your music or seeing your live performance?

Listening to my music, I guess high on the list would be that chicks can rock a guitar! Also with these songs I tried to show that you can be a mom, have a family, make dinner and still be a FREAK with your man when the kids go to sleep! Just because we’re getting older and have real lives doesn’t mean we have to get boring! Actually we’re getting freakier and freakier! When you hear the songs you’ll know what I’m talking about! The live show is all about forgetting everything and having fun. I want the audience to forget all their problems and responsibilities for an hour and just rock. Feel that intense energy that I did when I was 13. Hopefully I can cause the same kind of impact that my first concert had on me!

You recently worked with Dee Snider for a duet on “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” and shot a video for that song. What was that experience like for you?

Twisted Sister = Awesome! It was great working with them! Dee is a great talent and a great friend of our family. He’s also one of the people that helped pull me out of hiding. We’re very excited to see the Christmas video as they’re working on it right now. It was a lot of fun.

Is their something that jumps out at you in your mind as the defining moment of your career?

A tidal wave coming at me and it’s happening right now! Actually I do kind of have something. Sometimes when I’m walking through an airport or having a bite to eat at a restaurant someone will come up to me and tell me how they started playing guitar because of me. Or a girl will start crying and tell me that my music really helped her through some rough times. I’m so glad to know that I’ve touched so many people’s lives. It’s a wonderful feeling to know you’ve helped people. People that you don’t even know. I love that.

In regards to your career, is there anything you would do again differently if you had the chance?

I think I did pretty good. No, I wouldn’t change anything.

You recently performed at the ‘Rock For The Cure’ charity event for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. How did you first get involved with this great cause and what was that performance like for you?

My mother passed away in 1990 from breast cancer. I feel like I have an obligation to do something, anything I can to help find a cure. The show was magic. There were 2 little girls there that brought in over $2000!!! They were incredible, they had a lemonade stand and a garage sale! Incredible young ladies!

I think many fans definitely would like to know if the door is still open for a Runaways reunion. Is that something that we may see materialize at some point?

Sorry but uh, No!

You were asked to be a part of VH1’s Surreal Life in 2007. Any specific reason why you turned it down?

It was bad timing.

Ever had a “Spinal Tap Moment” on stage?

My old drummer Randy Castillo stood up during a drum solo and put his foot up on his floor tom to change the pitch and his parachute pants ripped completely open exposing all his manhood to the audience. He didn’t even care he just kept right on drummin’. I covered my eyes and laughed.

Seeing that you were hugely successful in an era where rock was a largely male dominated field, do feel that it is any easier for women in rock these days?

It’s still a male dominated field but some of us women know how to play some of the men! HA HA and I’m not talking sexual this time!

Do you think music today, and rock n’ roll in particular, has lost it’s flair from the past?

It’s changed it’s different but not lost.

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

The Rockers from yesterday are leading the path for the next generation of Rockers! I love it!

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?

Cut one leg off and enter an ass kicking contest, it would be easier! Just kidding. Follow your dreams! I did and it’s been an incredible journey.

Is there anything else you want to add or let your fans know?

I wouldn’t be a legend if not for the support of my fans. Thanks for making my life. God bless all of you.


Related Links:

www.myspace.com/litaford – Official Myspace Page of Lita Ford

www.bcrfcure.org – The Breast Cancer Research Foundation
www.komen.org – Susan G. Komen For The Cure

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Metallica – ‘Death Magnetic’ – CD Review

Metallica – ‘Death Magnetic’ – CD Review

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Metallica - Death Magnetic

Metallica - Death Magnetic

By STEVE JOHNSON

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Metallica has been labeled many things, from America’s great heavy metal band, to whiny rock stars who fought against illegal downloading of their music through Napster.?No matter how you feel about Metallica, there is no denying that the band remains an influential and relevant force in modern metal and hard rock. ?

After a five year hiatus, Metallica is back with their ninth studio album and their best work since 1988’s …And Justice For All.?Death Magnetic, a heavily promoted album since May on Mission: Metallica, is the product of a band in dire need of reconnecting to a fan base that has felt let down by many of the band’s past efforts.?Fans are rabid for the glory days and their heroes’ thrash metal roots.?Death Magnetic is the album these fans have been waiting for and represents an end to Metallica’s attempt to reinvent itself. ?

Bob Rock, who produced Metallica’s last five albums, is gone and has been replaced by Rick Rubin.?Rubin’s presence and his history with producing thrash metal records is a much needed change for Metallica.?He pushes the band away from their recent foray into hard rock and back to their thrash metal roots.?Another example of progression that we see with the band is that for the first time in their history, every member has had input into each song.?Even new bassist Robert Trujillo has input into the album, which is a huge step for a band that has been seemingly anti-bassist for the past 20 years.

Death Magnetic is pure Metallica.?Musically, this album takes on the personality of a caged beast released for the first time, tearing and ripping at anything that moves.?Quite simply, the album rocks.?All of the old aggression remains and the band is tight.?Songs such as ?All Nightmare Long? and ?My Apocalypse? exhibit the band’s ability to still hammer out good thrash metal, while ?The Unforgiven III? and ?Cyanide? give us the feel of ’90s-era Metallica.?Though we are given a few tracks that sound more like Load/Reload-era Metallica, the majority of the album is fast and reminiscent of their earlier work. ?

One marked improvement over St. Anger is the sound of the drums.?Ulrich’s drums sound more like the booming drums of Metallica and not St. Anger’s annoying ?tin can? sound.?On Death Magnetic, it is also clear Kirk Hammett fought hard for the return of guitar solos and broke through the brick wall that is Ulrich and James Hetfield.?Hammett tears through the album at a frantic pace, delivering searing riffs and solos.?Trujillo appears on his first album with the band but unfortunately falls victim to Metallica’s tradition of downplaying the bass track.?While the music is the strength of this album, Hetfield remains a great frontman who growls and howls his way through each track.? All of the tracks featured on the album are over five minutes long and epic in scope. Death Magnetic even features an instrumental track, which has been missing from a Metallica album since …And Justice For All.? ?The Unforgiven III? is the only song that doesn’t fit in with the feel of the album and could have been left out.? ? ?

Metallica may never give us another album on par with Master of Puppets, but Death Magnetic is a step in the right direction for an iconic band that has long been marred by mediocrity.?It is easily one of the best metal albums of the year, so run out and pick it up or legally download it.?Highlights are ?That Was Just Your Life,? ?Broken, Beat, and Scarred,? ?All Nightmare Long? and ?My Apocalypse.?

THE VERDICT: 5/5

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Fashion Bomb: A Brand New Era

Fashion Bomb: A Brand New Era

fashionbomb5Hailing from the underground in Chicago, Fashion Bomb is one of the Mid-West’s best kept secrets, but not for much longer. The band is breathing new life into the metal scene and stands ready to take the nation by storm. Blending the dark visual aesthetics reminiscent of early Marilyn Manson with a healthy dose of Blade Runner, the band brings it’s sense of showmanship to life by backing it with a powerful musical prowess. Jason Price of Live-Metal.Net recently caught up with Fashion Bomb as they prepare to launch a global, no holds barred assault on the music scene. Val (vocals, programming) and Acid (guitar, backing vocals, programming, drums) were eager to discuss Fashion Bomb’s history, their recent signing to Full Effect Records, their powerful live performances, working with Fear Factory’s Raymond Herrera on their next album and what the future holds for this band on the rise.

Live-Metal.net: What inspired you to get into music and to go this route?

Acid: I have always been surrounded by music. Growing up, there was a lot of loud rock music going on in the house. So for me, it has always sorta been there and it is a natural thing and then as far as getting my hands on instruments, it clicked for me.

Val: Similarly to Acid, I always had creative family members and it has always been natural. It was something that I really started to gravitate towards. I really discovered music in late high school and going to college.

For those not familiar with Fashion Bomb, how did the project originally come about and how did you two meet up?

Val: Well, we had been playing out with some former members of the band and doing shows and Acid had been a part of the scene. Acid was a musician that we met in some common circles and when it came to to look for a new member, some new talent and infuse the band with the proper energy, he was a natural kind of progression. When you have like minded individuals that perform at a certain level, they tend to gravitate towards each other and that is what happened. We clicked right away.

Fashion Bomb launched “Era 2.0” earlier this year. How have those lineup changes effected you?

Val: Only for the better. As with any project, you really look to gather like minded people and those that have a common outlook on where the band should go and who you have chemistry. Basically, Era 2.0 is a phrase we came up with to show or demonstrate that this new incarnation of the band is something that we want to launch and showcase as the next step in the evolutionary process of the band, and that it is better than ever. Just like any type of computer system, you upgrade to a new version, you work out all the bugs, you maybe put a few new features into it and that is the sentiment that we wanted to invoke with that tag line.

You are also using the slogan, “Dead Techology”. Can you explain that concept to us a little bit?”

Val: It is really about going back to practices that may have been neglected in the past with things like attention to live performance, attention to all aspects of the music and being able to create music that is still tight and well performed and not overproduced. You can do a whole bunch of magic in the studio and make bad musicians sound good but we are thinking “How awesome would it be if we had great musicians that sounded amazing in the studio due to performance and not just editing?” That is where we are going with that.

Acid: I think it has a lot to do with “vibe” too. A lot of something that you used to see on older records is that they would have an overall vibe or feeling that you couldn’t really fake. I think if you reference that with things today that are more produced and that it squeezes a lot of the life out of it. I think that the feeling of those earlier albums is something that we are trying to bring back.

For people who haven?t had a chance to hear the band yet or to see you perform live, what does Fashion Bomb bring to the table?

Val: The trend for a long time has been “Tee Shirt and Jeans Metal”. The live performance would rarely sound like what the recording was just because of all those studio tricks that we eluded to before. We have had many reviews and many fans that have told us that we are better live than on our recording. They love your recording and they say “Wow, everything we expected from the CD is there live.” Plus, you get the visual show. We are exceptionally image conscious as far as what we are presenting. As far as the mood, that can be achieved with visuals on the stage. That is why you go to see a live performance, right? So many bands these days, it is almost you could just put on their CD. Why do that? You want to be able to incorporate visuals and share the energy with an audience. We accomplish that with our general love of doing it and performance on stage that we share with the audience. That is what we bring to the table.

Acid: Energy is a good word. There is a lot of energy that goes into it. I don’t feel like I have done my job personally unless I feel like I am getting ready to pass out at the end of a set. It is so hot up there and I am thrashing around like crazy, you connect with the audience and that energy goes back and forth.

You mentioned that image is very important to the band. Do you feel that there are any misconceptions about the band?

Val: I don’t know if there are some many misconceptions out there so much as they might feel that industrial music has to be repetitive, boring or something that you might see troubled people listening to at a dance club. Pioneers in industrial music have really influenced a great many genres. I mean, look at Al Jourgensen, how many people have cited him as an influence. That is as big of a compliment as you can get if you are taking an experience with the music or a style from another artist and making it your own and evolving it. I think the biggest misconception might be that industrial metal might be boring or simple. We are a metal band with industrial flavoring. When people see us, any misconception that they might have had will be alleviated. [laughs] We deliver exactly what we say, a kick ass show with great visuals. We are going to be spot on during live performances and hopefully it sounds even better than what you’re listening to on the CD. We are going to deliver the highest level of performance with the audience in mind.

Acid: Something that people say a lot about bands that have a high visual aspect is that the are using the image thing as a crutch. That is definitely not the case here. It is the music first and the image is just the icing on the cake.

Fashion Bomb has recently signed with Full Effect Records and will be re-releasing Devils to Some, Angels to Others, in September of 2008. How has you experience with the label been so far?

Val: Outstanding! They are a like-minded label. In the past, we have worked with some other labels including really large labels. We are really happy to be with Full Effect because the label really has a mindset that harkens back to the old days of Wax Trax and being a Chicago band that is something that is deeply ingrained as a part of our history. Wax Trax was really artists running labels to help other artists and building a community of mutual assistance and support. Really when you are going into a meeting with the label, you know that they are artists and not just some guy in a suit who just has a balance sheet out. While certainly that is a big part of this business these days, when you are primarily looking at it as art rather than business, you are ultimately going to have more success as an artist and make more of a connection with your audience. So that is why we are really pleased with the label right now. It doesn’t hurt that they have major distribution and a good business plan as well! [laughs]

The re-release will feature a remix of ?Low? by DJ Asrock. How did that collaboration come about?

Val: DJ Asrock, one of the principals of the label, has a band called Final Cut. You may know “Take Me Away,” it was a huge club single in the 90’s. He has a lot of experience remixing. He has worked with all the great remixers: Ministry, Thrill Kill Kult and all those guys. So he decided that would throw a DJ Asrock mix together as a little bonus on the album for the re-release.

Are you currently working on a followup to Angels To Some, Devils To Others?

Acid: Definitely! We are spending the bulk of our time right now, while everything is gearing up for the re-release, working on that. We have been holed up in the studio just writing and writing and writing and banging out some new stuff.

What is the songwriting process like for you?

Acid: It comes together a lot of different ways. Different people work different ways and we are all pretty versatile. We may all come up with and idea or two and bring it to the rest of the band and see what happens or people can come in with almost full songs and they may be re-interpreted or improved upon. Sometimes things just come together just by jamming. It is one of the nice things about this lineup, we can just sit down with the instruments and if we play for long enough something really cool will come out.

Val: Absolutely, it is really a collaborative process. We all have such diverse influences that it is very rare if we get to a point where we get stuck on a certain part of a song. There is such a deep well of creativity to draw from Acid, Trace or myself that if we get to a spot were we are stuck we can dig deep and find something that is going to be really different and still totally cool for the song.

Acid: I think that where a lot of writers get hung up is that you write to a certain point, and to use Val’s analogy “the well runs dry.” In our situation there is always somebody there to pick up the fumble immediately, so switching analogies, the run down the field never gets interrupted. There is always somebody there with the next idea that you didn’t have.

Who and what were some of your influences that have helped shaped you as an artist?

Val: That could be a lengthy answer. [laughs] I have always been a big classical guy. I am a huge opera buff but more applicable to the music that we are doing now, Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson, White Zombie, Fear Factory. All of those guys were big influences.

Acid: For me, definitely all of the above. I have always been into Machine Head, especially their first record Burn My Eyes. I think that record is fantastic. I really dug that guitar and drum style. There is just a whole pile of artists after that. It’s a little lighter but I love Muse. They have a weirdness to them that I think is really cool. We try to incorporate a little bit of them.

Val: We can’t get away without paying homage to Tool.

Acid: Absolutely.

When can we look forward to hearing some touring plans from you? Is that in the cards right now?

Val: It is. The focus is going to be on the new album. We are going to be heading out to Los Angeles in the next couple months and we will be delivering a new album to our label by the end of the year. We are going to be working with Raymond Herrera of Fear Factory out there to produce the new album. We are definitely going to be out there working hard on that. That is pretty much going to be our short term goal but after the new year we will definitely be touring around to a city near you. The tour should be fairly extensive.

It sounds like you are going to have a busy year!

Val: Definitely.

Acid: That’s the way we like it!

What is the best piece of advice you have been given since embarking on your career as a musician?

Acid: The best piece of advice that I have heard is always the same one. Whenever you hear from somebody that has been successful, they seem to all share a common theme. I most recently heard Raymond (Herrera) say it, you have to go out there and embrace and say “I am doing this one way or another and nothing is going to stop me.”

Val: There are always nay-sayers out there who will say “Oh your doing music? Well, the music market is pretty bad right now and the environment in the industry isn’t conducive to getting anything done.” Well, why don’t you go be an accountant! [laughs] If this is what you are meant to do, then just go do it. It is also important to surround yourself with people who want to be successful. If you have a bunch of guys who want to be Weekend Warriors, and we have had that with some past band members, it can drag you down. If you are really dedicated to getting this thing done, then you can really tell. You want to be surrounded in that positive energy because that is really what is going to carry you through.

Acid: It definitely starts with that attitude, you have to be willing to put as much work in as you absolutely can to get to where you want to go.

Val: It seems to be working for us!

Acid: Definitely!

That?s all the questions I have for you. Is there anything else you want to add?

Val: I would just say for those who haven’t checked us out yet, please do. We are confident that you won’t be disappointed and we are looking forward to coming to a town near you. We really, really look forward to being out there in a wider circle so that we can share the experience and journey that we are taking with everyone. We are very appreciative of all the fans that support us as well. Without the fans and the audience, the show is really diminished because it is about the shared experience.

Acid: We have had a lot of support from a lot of really amazing kids and without that this would pretty much be impossible.

Val: Exactly! Every fan who has handed out a flyer or has been on Myspace and said “Hey check out this band!”, not only are they a part of the music community and the experience, they are really encouraging creativity and the advancement of new music, rather than just the same old thing everyday. It is really cool how you can work together to create that community.

Thanks for your time guys and best of luck with everything you have going on.

Val and Acid: Thank You!

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Related Links:
www.fashionbomb.net – The Official Site of Fashion Bomb
www.myspace.com/xfashionxbombx – The Official Myspace Page of Fashion Bomb
www.myspace.com/adrianvalerie – The Official Myspace Page of Val
www.myspace.com/acidbomb – The Official Myspace Page of Acid
www.fulleffectrecords.com – The Official Site of Full Effect Records
www.myspace.com/fulleffectrecords – The Official Myspace Page of Full Effect Records

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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

Posted in Celebrity Interviews, Featured Stories, MusicComments (0)

Alice Cooper – ‘Along Came A Spider’ –  CD Review

Alice Cooper – ‘Along Came A Spider’ – CD Review

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Alice Cooper - Along Came A Spider

Alice Cooper - Along Came A Spider

By STEVE JOHNSON

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Alice Cooper is a living legend of rock who’s career has spanned an amazing five decades.?His career has managed to shape modern heavy metal and introduce shock rock into the mainstream.?Most modern metal bands owe a huge thanks to Alice for helping usher in metal’s relevance in the music industry.?Alice has released 25 studio albums as part of a band and as a solo artist, with Billion Dollar Babies being the pinnacle of those recordings.?While Alice has not been able to top the success of Billion Dollar Babies, he has continued to turn out albums that have been both entertaining and diverse in style.

Alice’s long-delayed Along Came?a Spider is an album that weaves an intricate story throughout each of its tracks.?It revolves around a serial killer named Spider and his lust for hunting down victims.?Alice takes on the persona of the killer and delivers a haunting and at times sinister portrait of a man driven by a lust for taking lives.?The darker tone of the album is a welcome return to Alice’s roots and is reminiscent of his earlier works, such as Welcome to My Nightmare.

Along Came a Spider features a great lineup of musicians, most of which will be touring in support of the album with Alice.?Keri Kelly, Jason Hook and producer Danny Saber supply the guitars and do a fantastic job.?Chuck Garric returns as bassist on his third album with Alice, while drums are handled by Eric Singer of KISS fame.?Alice’s vocals and storytelling take center stage, but there is no denying the talent of these musicians and what they have brought to the album. ?

Along Came?a Spider also features two guests who need no introduction and stand as icons in the world of metal and hard rock.? ?Vengeance Is Mine,? one of the best tracks, features Slash, who delivers a blistering performance?on lead guitar.?Ozzy Osbourne also appears as co-writer of ?Wake the Dead? and as the harmonica player on the track.??Wake the Dead? is not the strongest song on the album, but it is interesting to hear the result of two powerhouses of rock getting together creatively.

Although tracks such as ?Vengeance Is Mine,? ?(In Touch wth) Your Feminine Side? and ?Catch Me If You Can? are rockers, it is the ballad ?Killed by Love? that is the album’s finest moment.? Not your typical ballad, ?Killed by Love? is a beautifully haunting and dark love song that only Alice Cooper can deliver.?His vocals are exceptional and represent some of his best work in years.

Along Came?a Spider is a good album that delivers a great story and is highly recommended for any hardcore Alice Cooper fan out there.? New listeners of Alice’s work may want to check out a few of his earlier albums before giving this one a listen.

THE VERDICT: 4.5/5

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Motley Crue – ‘Saints of Los Angeles’ – CD Review

Motley Crue – ‘Saints of Los Angeles’ – CD Review

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Motley Cure - Saints of Los Angeles

Motley Cure - Saints of Los Angeles

By STEVE JOHNSON

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With their first studio album since 2000, Motley Crue is back with a vengeance.?Saints of Los Angeles, the first album featuring all of the original members of the Crue since 1997’s Generation Swine, is a sonic journey into the inner workings of a band who has lived life to excess. Originally titled The Dirt, Saints of Los Angeles is a collection of songs loosely based on many of the outrageous stories found in their book of the same name. ?

This album screams of punk rock and glam metal influence, while adding a few modern touches to round out an excellent outing from the Crue.?Songs such as ?Down at the Whiskey? and ?This Ain’t a Love Song? remind us of the heyday of the Crue in the ’80s, while ?Mutherfucker of the Year? and ?The Animal In Me? represent more of a modern feel that may appeal to a younger generation of Crue fans. The title track of the album certainly will not disappoint longtime fans and?may single handedly be responsible for breathing new life into the Crue’s career. The song’s?release and success on Rock Band?exposes a new generation of fans to the band’s catalog of classics and positions them as a?relevant musical force for years to come.?

Despite many instances at recent live shows where Vince’s vocals have been less than spectacular, they are dead on throughout the album.?Nikki Sixx remains a top-notch songwriter and has collaborated with a variety of people on this album, including the album’s producer, Sixx: A.M. vocalist James Michael. Tommy and Mick also have songwriting credits on several of the album’s tracks. Mick, the most elusive and silent member of the band, remains a top notch guitar player who lays down some killer riffs in this outing. Tommy has finally returned to the band and has brought his booming rhythm section along with him.

Given the Crue’s history of internal and external conflict, this album could be their last for a while. Any fan of hard rock should pick up this album. Although Dr. Feelgood still remains the Crue’s definitive masterpiece, Saints of Los Angeles nips at it’s leather studded heels. Highlights include ?Face Down in the Dirt,? ?The Animal in Me,? and ?This Ain’t a Love Song.? ?

THE VERDICT: 5/5

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