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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How did music come into your life and take hold?

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

What went into finding your voice as a guitar player?

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

How did the ball get rolling with Jetboy?

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

Billy Rowe of Jetboy in the studio.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That’s impressive! You make sound easy!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For More Info Visit:

http://jetboyrocks.com/

facebook.com/jetboyrocks

instagram.com/jetboy_rocks

twitter.com/jetboyrocks

bandsintown.com/jetboy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For More Info Visit:

http://jetboyrocks.com/

facebook.com/jetboyrocks

instagram.com/jetboy_rocks

twitter.com/jetboyrocks

bandsintown.com/jetboy

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Monsters of Rock Cruise: Artist Lineup Announced For 2019 Voyage!

Monsters of Rock Cruise: Artist Lineup Announced For 2019 Voyage!

Details for the 9th annual MONSTERS OF ROCK CRUISE — the world’s largest, and premier hard rock/heavy metal music cruise on the seven seas — have been announced.

Departing out of Miami, Fl, this five-day/five-night full ship charter cruise — dubbed Band Overboard — will set sail February 24 – March 1, 2019 aboard Royal Caribbean’s Mariner of the Seas and visits two ports: Ocho Rios, Jamaica and the Private Isle of Labadee.

The public on-sale begins today (4/18) at 1:00pm EST, with cabins starting at $1,299 per person (double occupancy). Government fees, taxes, and gratuities are additional and mandatory for all passengers, regardless of age. For more info and booking, visit MonstersOfRockCruise.com and follow @monstersofrockcruise on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

The confirmed line-up for the 2019 MONSTERS OF ROCK CRUISE includes: Tesla, Tom Keifer, Extreme, Queensrÿche, Saxon, Skid Row, UDO, Kix, D*A*D, Danger Danger, Kings X, Pat Travers Band, Nelson, The Quireboys, Pink Cream 69, The Wildhearts, Rose Tattoo, Eclipse, SOTO, Killer Dwarfs, Brighton Rock, Vain, Mike Tramp, John Corabi, Bullet Boys, Black N Blue, Tora Tora, Tuff, Lies, Deceit & Treachery, Jetboy, Michael Grant and the Assassins, and Mitch Malloy, with more performances to be announced.

In addition, the cruise will feature Return of the Shredders, showcasing renowned guitarists Richie Kotzen, Gus G, Tony McAlpine, Joel Hoekstra and Neil Zaza.

Monsters of Rock Cruise 2019 from Fantoons Animation Studios on Vimeo.

Eddie Trunk (SiriusXM’s “Trunk Nation”) returns as the official cruise host, broadcasting “live” daily with artist interviews from the ship’s promenade. San Francisco radio host, Nikki Blakk and Luc Carl (SiriusXM’s “Hair Nation”) will moderate Q&A’s and many other specially designed events crafted for this unique hard rock, heavy metal voyage. Finally, stand-up comedians and “That Metal Show” Co-HostsDon Jamieson and Jim Florentine will provide comic relief with their irreverent brand of humor.

In addition to the band performances, the cruise will host interactive events between artists and cruisers, including: MOR Artist Photo Experiences, Artist/Cruiser Q&A sessions, Gong Show Karaoke, “So You Think You Can Shred” challenge, Bonzai Pipeline Surfing Competition, Cooking with Rock Stars hosted by Lisa Tirone of Chef it up!, Name That Monster Song, Celebrity Artist Beer Event,Themed Nights, Painting With Rock Stars, and Private Dinners With The Bands, with more to be announced.

Mariner of the Seas is unlike any ship experienced before on the MONSTERS OF ROCK CRUISE. The vessel will undergo a stem-to-stern 100-million-dollar makeover prior to MOR’s sailing, adding new dining and bar alternatives, plus an array of new features and attractions for the active crowd. Kick back at The Bamboo Room, a punched-up Polynesian watering hole that will whisk you away with its throwback vibe and kitschy cool cocktails. Bond over delicious Tuscan specialties at the super cool Jamie’s Italian by Jamie Oliver. Plus, it’s always Monster Game Time at Playmakers Bar and Arcade – where you can watch your favorite team or make your own legendary plays.

Spanning the length of Deck 5 and offering quick access to all performance venues, as well as a hot spot for cruisers to connect, the Royal Promenade on this Voyager Class ship, features restaurants, coffee bars and shopping. Other activities aboard the ship include: boogie boarding or surfing the waves at theFlowRider Surf Simulator, challenging yourself on the rock-climbing wall, soaking in one of the many hot tubs and pools, or pampering yourself in the world-class Vitality at Sea Spa.  New attractions to the ship include: Sky Pad (a brand new bungee trampoline experience that launches you sky high for gravity-defying fun combined with virtual reality headsets), The Perfect Storm (plunge down three stories of twisting, turning thrills on these dual high-speed race slides until you hit the bottom), Laser Tag (grab a blaster, choose a side and gear up for a stellar glow-in-the-dark time in this Bots versus Aliens battle for the last planet), and Escape Room (team up with fellow cruisers to find hidden clues and crack secret codes in your quest to rescue a time-traveling scientist in Escape Room: The Observatorium).

The exclusive island of Labadee is the ultimate private destination for MOR cruisers, offering adventure, exploration and relaxation amongst its many bars and pristine waters. Vacationers can amp up the adrenaline on the Dragon’s Tail Coaster, a thrilling 30-mile-per-hour ride with incredible views of the island. For more action, adventurous passengers may choose to strap on a helmet and harness and soar 500-feet down on the Dragon’s Breath Flight Line, the world’s longest zip line over water. In addition, there are plenty of exciting options to choose from, including wave jet rides, parasailing, snorkel safaris, kayak tours, and much more.

Situated on Jamaica’s North coast, Ocho Rios has something for all travelers. MOR cruisers won’t want to miss Dunn’s River Falls, one of the most incredible and natural wonders in the world and a shore excursion unlike any other. This series of lush, tropical waterfalls cascade over terraced natural stairs, as you take the picturesque hike all the way to the Caribbean Sea. Enjoy the journey, taking breaks to swim in the small lagoons and grottos as they ascend the vertical sections of the falls. Cruisers can wrap up with a hike and dip into the Caribbean Sea or enjoy a myriad of activities, such as windsurfing, kayaking, horseback riding, river raft rides or sightseeing.

The Monsters of Rock Cruise is the ultimate hard rock/heavy metal cruise, where music and cruising combine for the ultimate rock ‘n roll vacation. 

Click here to find official cruise merchandise.

About ON THE BLUE:
ON THE BLUE — promoter for the Monsters of Rock Cruise — is a leader in cruise charter innovation, having sailed over 120,000 passengers in that last 20 years. The principals of ON THE BLUE have deep roots in the music industry, having provided world-class cruise ship production management for celebrities and musical artists for over two decades. ON THE BLUE has run dozens of charter and large group programs for organizations, corporations, celebrities and artists throughout North America, and has played major roles in the development of ground-breaking theme cruise concepts. Past charters have included an array of Fortune 500 companies plus theme cruises featuring entertainers such as Dave Matthews, Kenny Chesney, Tim McGraw, Journey, Def Leppard, REO Speedwagon, Styx, Night Ranger, The Moody Blues, UFO, Queensryche, Tesla, Cinderella, Yes, Little River Band, UK, Steve Hackett, Carl Palmer, Greg Lake, O.A.R. and many others. For more information, visit OTBlue.com.

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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.”

cathouse-live-2015-1

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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M3 Rock Festival Returns To Rock Baltimore Once Again In 2010!

M3 Rock Festival Returns To Rock Baltimore Once Again In 2010!

The M3 Rock Festival made its triumphant return to Columbia, MD on June 19th and once again featured a great lineup of eighties rock bands. The skies were clear and the temperatures would climb into the nineties by mid-afternoon but the heat could not stop rock n’ roll! For many, the party started as soon as they touched down in the parking lot of Meriweather Post Pavilion. The parking area featured a killer atmosphere reminiscent of something out of the cult favorite rock documentary, ‘Heavy Metal Parking Lot’. A seasoned veteran of the rock n’ roll lifestyle, I have been to many of shows in my time. I can tell you that the atmosphere in the lots across this great land is not what it once was, however, that was not the case with M3. Just like last year, the parking lot was full of life and vast amounts of beer, loud music, classic rock tees and some of the most fantastic hairdos known to man. The impact that the M3 Rock Festival had on music fans in 2009 was evident by the stories being traded back and forth and the anticipation was clearly building even hours before the gates were to open. Shortly after arriving, the car in front of me had Warrant blaring out of a set of partially blown speakers and if I turned in the opposite direction, I could hear Motley Crue’s Dr. Feelgood belting out of a much higher quality sound system. It was like I had gotten transported back to 1989 and I was definitely enjoying it! Of course I had to join in the party, so I cracked a few ice cold Budweiser’s myself.

By 10:30 am there was a large line to enter the venue. Gates for the show opened at 11:00 am, the same time as last year’s event. The layout of the festival was exactly the same as it was in 2009 and proved very navigable. The main stage/pavilion was separated from the second stage and the “freaks” stage by a line of tents that were filled with businesses trying to sell their goods to whoever was interested. There was no lack of vendors selling cold drinks or something to eat, as there was a concession stand every ten feet. This would prove invaluable by mid-afternoon as the need to replenish fluids became a must for many battle worn fans. One noticeable omission from last year was that the Hammerjacks VIP area was not in use. The only reference to the once great rock club was a small booth that was selling shirts and stickers. I was really disappointed that they did away with that, as it added to the show’s nostalgia.

The festival did not open up with a notable band this year. Last year the audience was treated to Gilby Clarke and this year we got Dingleberry Dynasty. Needless to say, they were high on my priority list for the day. One of the returning bands from last years festival, Jetboy, would follow to jumpstart things the main stage. While I hadn’t been a huge fan of Jetboy in the past, they made me a fan of me this time around. They brought a high energy performance that turned a lot of heads. I definitely dig their song “Feel The Shake.” Speaking of which, give me a second to fire up iTunes and pick that one up! Jetboy was followed on the second stage by another band I was not all that familiar with by the name of Z02. While I didn’t catch all of their set, I did like what I heard and they were putting everything they had into it. Next up on the main stage was the forgettable Trixter, followed by the equally forgettable Black Mambooza on the second stage.

Phil Lewis of L.A. Guns

By 2:15 pm, myself and many of my rock n’ roll brethren were jonesing for a band to hit the stage that could quench our thirst for rock (and who managed to have more than one hit in their heyday). That thirst was quenched by none other than the epic L.A. Guns. The Phil Lewis fronted version of the band took to the main stage and did not disappoint. Stacey Blades and company ripped through their hits including “Sleazy Come,” “Over the Edge,” and “Rip and Tear.” The band sounded tight and were easily one of my favorite performances of the day. L.A. Guns are is one of the few bands of the hair metal era that still puts it on the line each and every night, playing each show as if it was the last time they would play to a capacity crowd. Next up on the second stage was Mass. I did not get to check out those guys, as I was preparing to shoot pictures of Kip Winger and company on the main stage. Speaking of Winger, his band took to the main stage at 3:30 pm and delivered an absolutely rocking performance. I could not believe what I was hearing. Winger sounded fantastic and treated the fans to a set that included “Seventeen” and “Headed for a Heartbreak.” I am still in amazement that Winger could deliver such a top notch outing. After wrapping that up, I took a trip to check out Bang Tango. This band has been growing on me the past couple of years and their funk driven rock was taken in by a surprising amount of festival goers. Frontman Joe Lesté proved that he still has vocal chops and that he loves his fans as he spent a lot of time wandering the crowd meeting and greeting the fans on the lawn. Next up was Kix to take the main stage at 4:40 pm, so I made my way through the still growing crowd to the pavilion.

Kix took to the main stage right on time and played to a full pavilion. If you grew up, lived in or experienced the late eighties rock scene in Baltimore, Maryland — Kix is in your blood. The love for these hometown hair metal heroes was evidenced by the plethora of vintage Kix tees in the crowd. Kix managed to turn the heads of many concertgoers who were just arriving during their white hot set. I had missed the band’s performance last year and was informed by a reader that by doing so I had missed one of the best performances that the inaugural M3 event had to offer. I wasn’t about to make the same mistake twice, so I hunkered down to soak in the set. I have to admit that I was very impressed and will likely jump at the opportunity to see them again in the future. Kix proved to be one of the more fun bands of the day, mostly due to their charismatic lead singer Steve Whiteman who seem to effortlessly energize the crowd. Highlights of their set included “Don’t Close Your Eyes,” “Cold Shower,” and “Girl Money.” After taking in the spectacle that was Kix, I wanted to head over to the second stage to check out what Guns ‘N Roses keyboardist Dizzy Reed had going on. Unfortunately I had to prepare to go photograph Vince Neil, so I never got a chance. That was the most disappointing part of my day. Well, if you don’t take heat stroke into consideration.

At 6:15 I found a spot directly in front of the stage to take pictures of Vince Neil. Jammed into a small area with a bunch of other photographers is bad enough when it is ninety degrees, but adding a thick layer of artificial fog takes it up a notch. I have never seen so much fog used on stage. I could barely see Vince and I was about three feet from him. I can only imagine what it looked like from the seats. After the customary three songs I got the hell out of there an enjoyed the rest of his set from the lawn. I am a huge fan of Motley Crue and was looking forward to this performance all day. Vince was absolutely amazing and sounded surprisingly good for someone who has delivered less than spectacular performances in the past. Vince’s set featured material from his covers album, ‘Tattoos and Tequila’ that is due in stores this week. The set also included a string of Crue hits including “Live Wire” and “Dr. Feelgood.” Towards the end of Vince’s set I decided to take a trip over to the second stage to check out Nelson.

Nelson Kicked Off 20th Anniversary Tour at the M3 Rock Festival

I have to admit that I was curious about what these two guys would bring to a festival that was full of testosterone driven bands. What I saw shocked me to my core, Nelson wasn’t that bad and they had Mark Slaughter on lead guitar. What was even more shocking was that the band had a large audience and most of them were guys. It was a strange site to behold. Matt and Gunnar Nelson were very gracious performers and sounded fantastic. Mark Slaughter, who has worked with Nelson before in Scrap Metal, is a fine addition to the band and shreds on guitar. Their energetic set included the hits “After the Rain” and “Love and Affection,” but also featured some of their unreleased new material. The twin brothers told the crowd that the material would be featured on their soon to be released album, ‘The Blonde Leading The Blonde’ on Frontier Records. But enough with Nelson, let’s get to the best performance of the night!

The biggest question in my mind going into Cinderella’s set was how Tom Keifer would sound considering he has had problems with his vocal chords in the past. Any doubt I had of Tom Keifer’s ability to front the band vanished when they hit the stage at 7:40 pm. Tom sounded amazing and although the band started off a bit on the sluggish side, they eventually got it together and the crowd ate it up. Their set featured their hits “Don’t Know What You Got (‘Till It’s Gone),” “Push, Push,” Nobody’s Fool,” and “Shake Me.” Cinderella was hands down the best performance of the day and I would highly recommend that you check them out if they are in your neck of the woods. After the spectacle that was Cinderella, I have to admit that I was winding down for the day — a better description may be that my body was shutting down due to heat exhaustion but I soldiered on. I had no interest in seeing Warrant without lead singer Jani Lane, so I skipped their performance in favor of some water. By now, the lawn had completely filled in with fans and everyone in attendance seemed to be looking forward to the upcoming Scorpions set despite a very long day in the heat.

'Tattoos & Tequila' M3 Rock Festival Style!

It was worth sticking it out as this we would all be treated to the last look at the band as they plan on calling it a career after their current world tour. Scorpions have never been a band that disappoints in a live setting and their appearance at the M3 Rock Festival would be no exception to that rule. The Scorpions took to the stage about thirty-five minutes late and it was noticeable almost immediately that lead singer Klaus Meine was under the weather. This became more widely known when Klaus took out a bit of frustration on some fans in the front row complaining that he wasn’t loud enough. At this point, the frustrated yet gracious frontman explained he had come down with the flu and that rather than disappoint the masses, the band would push on. The majority of fans that surrounded me let out a huge cheer as the legendary band continued. Even with his vocals not at 100%, Klaus Meine and company still managed to put together a set that would rival any of the bands that had performed earlier in the day. Highlights of their set included “Another Piece of Meat” with Vince Neil, “Wind of Change,” “Big City Nights,” and their encore “Rock You Like a Hurricane.”

Another very cool addition to this years M3 Rock Festival was that availability of a VIP ticket. This gave select concertgoers an opportunity to get special seating and to participate in special meet-and-greets with many of the bands. Obviously this was a great opportunity for fans, but what struck me was how excited the bands were to meet their adoring public. As photos were taken, autographs signed and stories exchanged, I could see this was truly a win-win for both artist and fan. In my opinion, it is providing the public with great experiences both on stage and off, and is one of the major factors that has helped M3 Rock Festival grow exponentially in 2010.

The fans are what is fueling the success of what is becoming one of the premiere concerts on the East Coast. The most noticeable change in the festival was that it was far more structured than last year’s event. Fans were able to check out more bands this year because the set times for the main stage and the second stage didn’t overlap as greatly as they had in 2009. The event organizers would be well served to continue with their current formula going forward. The majority of bands delivered phenomenal performances and I feel you would be hard pressed to find a concertgoer that didn’t feel like they got their fill of the bands they love. The M3 Rock Festival has once again brought awareness to a genre of music that doesn’t get the respect it deserves. Here’s hoping we get a third round of eighties excess and debauchery. Til’ then… Thank you and good night! — Steve Johnson

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