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HALFWAY THERE: Mark Slaughter On Breathing Life Into His Captivating Solo Album!

HALFWAY THERE: Mark Slaughter On Breathing Life Into His Captivating Solo Album!

Known for his soaring rock vocals, Mark Slaughter has spent the better part of his life creating good ol’ fashioned rock ‘n’ roll. With a plethora of hits under his belt from one of rock’s most memorable decades, he could easy spend his days underneath the glow on the stage lights continuing to thrill audiences around the globe with the songs he made famous. Let’s face it, its a good gig if you can get it but it takes a lot of blood, sweat and tears to get there. With that said, Mark Slaughter is not the type of artist content in resting on his laurels. In fact, he will be the first to tell you he won’t be fading off into the sunset anytime soon.

In early 2017, Mark Slaughter announced that he would release his sophomore solo album, “Halfway There,” via EMP Label Group, the U.S. based label of Megadeth bassist David Ellefson, in May of 2017. Produced and co-mixed by Slaughter with John Cranfield (AFI, Andy Grammer), with art by famed horror/album artist “Mister” Sam Shearon (Rob Zombie, Iron Maiden, KISS, Clive Barker) “Halfway There” is a stunning return to form for Slaughter. The album channels the familiar hard rock sensibility of classic-era Slaughter releases like “Stick it to Ya” and “The Wild Life” on “Hey You” and emotionally-charged title track “Halfway There,” with a mature, progressive, metal-bent, evidenced on cuts like “Devoted,” “Conspiracy” and “Reckless.” The record serves as an unrelenting showcase of Slaughter’s seemingly never-ending vocal abilities, but a glowing testament to his perpetually underserved prowess as a songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, handling all production, engineering, songwriting, arrangements, guitar, and the bulk of the album’s instrumentation himself.

Jason Price of Icon Vs. Icon recently caught up with Mark Slaughter to discuss his journey as an artist, the challenges her faced along the way and bringing his vision for his sophomore solo album, “Halfway There,” to life.

Let’s start at your formative years. What went into finding your creative voice early on?

Growing up I was influenced by The Beatles. As I went into the ‘70s, I was listening to everything from Boston to Led Zeppelin to Peter Frampton. Everything that was hot back then is still cool today! Obviously, KISS had a big impact on all the kids of that time, along with Black Sabbath. Those type of bands are what influenced me greatly how I came up. I became a guitar teacher out of high school and then one day I got a call to put my guitar down and be a singer. That was where Vinnie Vincent’s invasion came in. That is kind of how it all happened and I keep going in that same direction. When I left Vinnie Vincent, we started the band Slaughter. Chrysalis picked up my option from Vinnie’s original deal and here we are this many years later, still out there playing those same songs and having a good ol’ time with it!

When you look back on those early years, a lot changed along the way.

Ya know, it was very different in the way that there was radio. Radio had a lot more impact on people. The computer age, so to speak, changed a lot of things. Originally, radio was your main way of finding music and your introduction to so many new things. Record stores were the introduction to what was cool and what just came out. A lot of that has changed. Record stores, for the most part, are gone and radio has lost its impact. People have more options with streaming and having the things they know they like on their iPods as opposed to being introduced to something that just came out. It’s the same thing with this new record I just completed. Getting the word out there is difficult. You just have to put it out there and see what happens. There is really no red button like there used to be back in the day where you could push it and educate people on new music. That’s all gone.

Where do you look for inspiration?

I will literally have music wake me up in the middle of the night. I make music because I love it. Inspiration really comes down to good songs and songs that have some type of emotional attachment to something that has happened either in my life or something that I know someone else has gone through in their life and can connect to. Songwriters are storytellers, so I find myself doing exactly that. Musically, as you grow, if you work at it, which I certainly do, I have gotten better with age because I’m trying to become a better musician, songwriter, producer and engineer. I’m really proud of this new album, “Halfway There,” because I think it has a lot of heart to it.

Tell us about the headspace you were in when you started to bring this record to life.

I did a solo record, “Reflections In A Rear View Mirror,” prior to this new album. I think it was one of those things where my band was out playing with Vince Neil and while they were doing that, I was at home writing and producing. It was just a natural progression of things and I felt the stuff I was writing was pretty good. I was writing for television and film and I started thinking about doing a new album and seeing how it would go. That is kind of how it went with this album but the difference is that I am doing it on Dave Ellefson’s label. It was a chance to do something with someone I have known for a very long time, along with working with a label with real distribution. It was just the next step up and it’s important to get the music out there and tell the stories. Again, music is kind of the reflection of where we all are in life. I think music is the soundtrack of your life and hopefully I have hit a few chords with people and it helps them reflect into where this thing is coming from.

As you mentioned, the new album is titled “Halfway There.” What can you tell us about it and what it means to you?

The song itself, “Halfway There,” the whole principal of it is that when it comes to your life, sometimes you are halfway there from nowhere. The song starts off when I was young and it was a really simple time and then, basically, as life goes on and you start losing your parents and so forth … it’s about the whole dance of life and where things go. The next verse talks about when a child is born and then your child goes away for college. It’s about all of those things. The ending of the song, the singer/myself, is talking about when you are gone and you have passed away and I’m with my mother, so to speak. It’s then talking to the child saying, “You’re halfway there.” Life is very short and I think that is the whole message of “Halfway There.” Life is short and you have to really enjoy it and you have to take it all in while you can!

Tell us about your songwriting process.

Sometimes there would be a guitar riff that would set me off in a direction and the song would write itself. Other times it would start from a lyrical idea. I used to, back in the Slaughter days, the music came first. We would put the track down and I would see if I could put the bouncing ball to it and find the melody that worked with the song. Today, I approach songs from all sides. I think the most important part of it is keeping the believability and honesty in the music all the way across the board. On my solo records, I’m playing guitar and bass, orchestrating arrangements and engineering. I’m doing it all myself here and that’s certainly a lot different than when you are in a band and you decide to go in and make a record. Overall, the process takes a little longer but the labor of love is something you are really close to. When you do a record with a band, you kind of look at it as your child but as a solo artist when you do it, it becomes even more personal because it’s just you and that child.

Building on that, what was the biggest challenge you faced with bringing “Halfway There” to life?

As you know, vinyl is very hot right now. People are rediscovering long playing records. The most challenging thing for me is … usually I go on and on and on and get this ear candy and do all these different things. To put it in the sweet spot between the 18 and 22 minutes per side, that you can actually get away with, forced me to write songs in a certain way. With all that in mind, I would think, “OK, this song is not going to fit on this side of the record.” I really made it as a record as it played down. That is a totally different thought process than when you just record. Even back in the day, Vinnie Vincent was an album but Slaughter’s first record wasn’t even on vinyl. It strictly went to compact disc and cassette right out of the boot. At that point in time, they were phasing out vinyl completely because CD was hotter and louder than everything else. Now, vinyl is 25% of the marketplace! This is one of those things where I really wanted to get the artwork right and along with the EMP label, we have some artwork that really represents the record well. It’s set up as a vinyl record. That was very different for me and probably the biggest challenge because there were a few songs where I said, “That’s not going to work on the record.” I would just pull the plug and put them off to the side. I have other songs that aren’t on this record because they didn’t fit it and the timeframe.

I want to ask about the artwork for “Halfway There.” How did you cross paths with artist “Mister” Sam Shearon and what did he bring to the table?

Thom Hazaert from the EMP Label Group had worked with him in the past. He is a very well-known artist and he is phenomenal at what he does. A friend of mine came up with the original concept and I told Thom about the concept and the artist went forward. He did it in a very photo-realistic way as opposed to a paste-art style that many designers come up with. It’s a really striking image and I’m really proud of how it represents the record. I think it illustrates the in-between zone we are all trying to find where we are at our best. That’s pretty much what it is!

Getting back to the songs on this record, which came easier and which were harder to nail down?

Honestly, I can’t say that any of them were painstaking to nail down. The songs came very easily to me. The challenge came from getting the quality of the recording to the way I hear it in my head. That is what took more time than the actual songwriting process. A lot of these songs were written in about an eight-hour period. In fact, some of the original recordings are off the demo. Demos are basically now masters in the beginning because you are putting down a good quality performance right from the beginning and it’s not like you have to go redo it. As I’m singing things off the vocal sheet, that is pretty much what the vocal is. I didn’t sit around thinking, “OK, I’m going to re-sing that or redo this.” I really just kept it on a very down to the roots basis of doing it. As far as the songs coming easier or harder, they all came pretty easy. They tracked really well and it came down to getting the order of the song and the idea of what the album represents. That was the key point.

When you look back on your career, how have you evolved as an artist? Are there clear milestones?

I think that some of the chordal arrangements serve as milestones. Again, as you get older, you get a little more complex. I really don’t think about them. I just kind of put the music down. I look where I have been and say, “That’s a good place and this is a good place as well.” I don’t overthink it. Art is never finished, it’s abandoned. That’s the hardest part of all this stuff! You have to call it a day at some point and then move on to the next song or project.

Where are you headed musically?

Musically, I think I will continue to write, play and grow as a musician. That’s what we do. I have obviously done the nostalgic stuff with Slaughter and we still go out and play the old songs people know and love. On my own, I still like to make music and to be an artist that is a current artist as well. I think that is really where I’m at with all of this.

Many young artists can look to your career in music as an inspiration. What is the best lesson we can take from your journey?

I think it comes down to keeping the believability in your writing, along with the honesty of who you are. At one point, Michael Jackson’s manager lived out here in Nashville and I got to know him and talked to him quite a bit. He told me, “Ya know what, man? You know what your problem is?” I said, “No, what’s my problem?” He said, “You’re too accessible.” After all the years he did Michael Jackson, he really had Michael stay away from people and made it so when he was around people he was a star. I never want to be that person. I just want to be the guy next door who loves to play music. I’m telling the blue-collar story. That’s just who I am and what I do. I think that is really where music is for me and how I look at my persona. I’m just a regular guy who loves to make music. Hopefully, my music and my songs impact the same way they have impacted me.

Speaking of your songs, you are known for a ton of memorable tunes. Which songs in your catalog would you like to be remembered for? Which songs should people just discovering your work hear to get an overview of you as an artist?

As an artist, your art starts in your early years. The songs that have stuck out, I can tell you by royalty statements what people are into! On the Spotify side of things, we are getting about 8 million plays a year on “Fly To The Angels” alone. I would say that is certainly a song that has somehow resonated with a lot of people and somehow found its way into a lot of people’s lives. That is one I would pass on just because I know the numbers don’t lie. With the new music, I would say to check out the new album. It’s a really good, old school rock record with a lot of heart in it. There are a lot of influences from the things that moved me as a young kid and made me the musician I am. Those influences came in and weaved in and out of my life. You might hear that and go, “Wow, that’s really like that and that is really like that … ” But to a young kid, they probably haven’t heard some of that. So, go find it and figure out where those influences came from because we are all connected and you can certainly hear that musically!

The album drops in May and I’m sure you have a busy summer ahead. What does your schedule look like at this point?

I’m playing with Slaughter live and we are doing a lot of fly-in dates. There will also be a few Mark Slaughter dates that will lean toward this new music that I’m doing. For the most part, I’m not running too far from where I came from. I like to play the new music and I like to keep that challenge of pushing myself as an artist, so that’s what I’m gravitating toward. You can find all the dates at www.slaughterusa.com and www.markslaughter.com.

Before I let you go, I have one last question. I know you lend your voice to some great charities. What can we help shine a light on?

There are a couple charities I support. One is St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, which is a really, really great charity. I have gone to the hospital many times. That is a charity where 86 cents of every dollar goes to the charity and doesn’t get stuck in administrative costs, which is something I really appreciate. I also support The Red Circle Foundation which helps out some of our vets and 100% of the money goes right to helping those people. Both of those charities are amazing, so definitely check them out and, if you can, donate for sure!

Thanks for your time today, Mark! It was a pleasure!

Thank you, Jason! I appreciate your time.

Mark Slaughter’s ‘Halfway There,’ which is now available for pre-order, will hit stores on May 26, 2017 via the EMP Label Group. For all the latest info on Mark Slaughter, visit www.markslaughter.com. Follow his continuing adventures on social media via Facebook,Twitter and Instagram.

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Mark Slaughter To Release ‘Halfway There’ Solo LP On May 26th

Mark Slaughter To Release ‘Halfway There’ Solo LP On May 26th

Legendary Hard Rock vocalist Mark Slaughter has announced the upcoming release of his sophomore solo release HALFWAY THERE, being released in MAY Worldwide via EMP LABEL GROUP, the US based label of Megadeth bassist David EllefsonHALFWAY THERE, the follow up to 2015’s independently released REFLECTIONS IN A REAR VIEW MIRROR, is a stunning return to form for Slaughter, channeling the familiar Hard Rock sensibility of classic-era SLAUGHTER releases like Stick it to Ya and The Wild Life on “Hey You” and emotionally-charged title track “Halfway There”, with a mature, progressive, Metal bent, evidenced on cuts like “Devoted”, “Conspiracy”, and “Reckless”.

Produced and co-mixed by Slaughter with John Cranfield (AFI, Andy Grammer), with art by famed horror/album artist “Mister” Sam Shearon (Rob Zombie, Iron Maiden, KISS, Clive Barker) HALFWAY THERE is slated to be released May 26th in North America by EMP LABEL GROUP/AMPED, and EMP/SPV in Europe, and May 10th in Japan via EMP LABEL GROUP/UNIVERSAL.

Mark will tour Japan in May with Slaughter, supporting RATT, in conjunction with the Japanese release of the LP, with shows in Nagoya, Osaka, and a performance at the Tokyo Metal Summit, May 14th with Ratt, Sebastian Bach, E’nuff Z’nuff, and more.

Not only is HALFWAY THERE a blistering showcase of Slaughter’s seemingly never-ending vocal abilities, but a glowing testament to his perpetually underserved prowess as a songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, handling all production, engineering, songwriting, arrangements, guitar, and the bulk of the album’s instrumentation himself.

Slaughter says, “My first solo record (Reflections in a Rear View Mirror) was kinda getting back on the horse, so to speak. I mean doing everything and recording… I’m taking on a lot more tasks as an engineer/producer/ writer on all this… because I’m doing everything. Ultimately at the end of the day, anybody who is a SLAUGHTER fan, will certainly understand that I am a large part of the Slaughter sound and vibe, so obviously if you like that, it’s in there. It’s just that I take a lot more liberties on the solo side that I probably wouldn’t do when it’s a group effort.”

He adds, “The record is basically.. I spend a lot of time writing songs and things just grow out of me.. Ill be woken up in the middle of the night from nowhere and the song’s just in my head and I just exorcize the demons and there you have it. I guess what it is is, an artist makes art. And I’ve really come to the fact that since we haven’t made a Slaughter record in so long, it’s one of those things that I still have to make the art. That’s what I do. That’s what I love to do, and that’s what I’ll continue to do.”

EMP A&R director Thom Hazaert chimes in, “It’s been such an incredible honor to put this record together with Mark, who truly, in my humble opinion, is one of the greatest Hard Rock singers and songwriters of our generation, and, what a lot of people don’t realize, just a phenomenal player as well. We spent almost a year going back and forth about the idea of putting the record out together, obviously Mark and David (Ellefson) have a great longstanding friendship, so it really was an amazing fit.

From the first time I heard the working demos of these songs, I knew Mark was working on something very, very special. Growing up (and still) a huge Slaughter fan, I think these songs are going to not only resonate with the people who already love Mark and what he does, but carve a niche far beyond.“

Ellefson adds, “I have been friends with Mark for over 30 years, since he was in Vinnie Vincent Invasion, and there’s a lot of shared history. So when we started talking about the idea of putting this record out, yes, it was a great and natural fit. Mark is such a tremendous talent and songwriter, and the scope of that is truly evident on Halfway There. We’re extremely proud, and excited, to have been able to partner with him on it, and can’t wait for the World to hear it.”

For More Information Please Visit:
Mark Slaughter Facebook
Mark Slaughter Website
EMP Label Group
EMP Facebook

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THAT METAL SHOW: Andy Biersack, Taime Downe & Mark Slaughter Guest On This Week’s Show!

THAT METAL SHOW: Andy Biersack, Taime Downe & Mark Slaughter Guest On This Week’s Show!

that-metal-show-taime-slaughter-bbv

Episode 11 of season 14 of VH1 Classic’s centerpiece in original programming “That Metal Show” is the second-to-last new episode of the current season. Returning to the show this week is Faster Pussycat’s Taime Downe and making their TMS debuts are Black Veil Brides’ Andy Biersack and Slaughter’s Mark Slaughter. The guests sit down together with hosts Eddie Trunk, Don Jamieson, and Jim Florentine in a roundtable type setting; something the show has done a couple of times this season and has found to generate great conversations. Taime discusses his time in Faster Pussycat, working on a new album, and getting Eddie drunk on the recent Monsters Of Rock cruise. Andy talks about his love for “That Metal Show”, their recent appearance opening for Ozzy at Monsters Of Rock in Brazil, and unveils the new artwork and release date of their first-ever live DVD. Mark talks about being a member of the Vinnie Vincent Invasion and of course his band, Slaughter, as well as the release of his first solo album. Mark actually gives the entire audience a download card of the new release.  The all-new episode of “That Metal Show” airs this Saturday at 9:00PM ET/PT, repeating at 11:00PM ET/PT on VH1 Classic.

The episode also features the debut of Mike Orlando from Adrenaline Mob as the guest musician. Mike has appeared as a guest in the past but this is the first time he has played on the show. Mike talks about being on tour with Adrenaline Mob, the recent passing of drummer AJ Pero, the latest benefit show for AJ’s family, and a completed album he has in the can with AJ on drums.

Taime, Andy, and Mark “Put It On The Table” and realize when asked what the first song they ever learned was they all have a serious Kiss connection and appreciation. Eddie struggles through “Stump The Trunk” this week marking the return of Ms. Box Of Junk Jen after he went three for three last week. This week’s “Take It Or Leave It” centers on the recent trend of band’s airing their grievances in public evidenced by the recent statements from Ozzy Osbourne and Bill Ward of Black Sabbath. They all agree that social media, and the ease for artists to share their sides of the story, is best for the fans.

Checking in via “Metal Modem” this week is founding Judas Priest member, KK Downing. KK fills the panel in on what he’s been doing since leaving Priest, talks about some upcoming projects, and unveils his new cologne line, “Metal for Men”. This week’s “Throwdown” pits the legendary Judas Priest releasesBritish Steel against Screaming For Vengeance. When the panel deadlocks, they reach out to KK on the modem to give the definitive answer. No one argues with one of the creators of both albums when KK makes his pick.

“That After Show” this week talks about everyone’s pre-show rituals and warm-ups as Mike Orlando joins the panel. They reminisce about the most hammered they have ever been while performing and Andy recounts the time he broke his ribs during a promo performance in Los Angeles. Fans can watch all previous episodes and other exclusive bonus clips at ThatMetalShow.VH1.com and on the new VH1 app as well as the new “That After Show” segment.

Season 14 has showcased some of the biggest names in music. This season featured Rush’s Geddy Lee, Metallica’s Kirk Hammett, Frank Bello/Charlie Benante/Scott Ian of Anthrax, John 5, Chris Jericho, Kerry King of Slayer, Dave Lombardo formerly of Slayer and now with Philm, Zakk Wylde, Michael Schenker, punk rock legend Marky Ramone, rap icon Darryl McDaniels of Run DMC, Gary Holt of Slayer/Exodus, Taylor Momsen of The Pretty Reckless, Max Cavalera, Ace Frehley and Mark Farner. Next weeks’ final episode of Season 14 welcomes Joe Elliott of Def Leppard, Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth of Overkill, Frankie Banali of Quiet Riot, and Billy Sheehan from The Winery Dogs/Mr. Big as the guest musician.

Known for having the best musicians in music perform each week, Season 14 was no exception showcasing the talents of Alex Skolnick of Testament, John 5 of Rob Zombie/John 5 Trio, Joel Hoekstra of Whitesnake, Frank Hannon of Tesla, the berserker Zakk Wylde of Black Label Society, double-neck shred-master Michael Angelo Batio, Rich Ward of Fozzy, Damon Johnson of Thin Lizzy/Black Star Riders, Nita Strauss from Alice Cooper, and Mike Orlando of Adrenaline Mob.

“That Metal Show” first premiered on VH1 Classic in November 2008 and since has become the only place for all things hard rock and heavy metal on cable television.  The show has been visited by some of the biggest names in the genres including members of Black Sabbath, Van Halen, Metallica, Aerosmith, Pantera, Kiss, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Pearl Jam, Guns N’ Roses, Queensrÿche, Heart, and many more.

“That Metal Show” is a production of VH1 Classic. Lee Rolontz, Jeff Baumgardner, and Keshia Williams serve as executive producers for VH1.

VH1 Classic brings you the best metal, rock, soul and pop from the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s. The channel features the gods of rock – from Black Sabbath, Metallica, and Iron Maiden to Stone Temple Pilots, Pearl Jam, and Dire Straits – in marquee concerts and music specials, and of course, tons of classic music videos. Recent big events include “National Metal Day” (11.11) and “Metal Evolution”, an 11-part documentary series on the history of metal.  When it comes down to it – all music should go to 11.

VH1 Classic
http://vh1classic.com

That Metal Show
http://thatmetalshow.vh1.com

That Metal Show Facebook page
https://www.facebook.com/thatmetalshow

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Nelson Announces U.S. Release Date for New Album ‘Lightning Strikes Twice’

Nelson Announces U.S. Release Date for New Album ‘Lightning Strikes Twice’

Multi-platinum recording artists NELSON led by twin lead front men Matthew & Gunnar Nelson announced the U.S. release date of their new original album Lightning Strikes Twice, a seamless sequel to After the Rain their classic multi-platinum debut album as they celebrate the 20th Anniversary milestone of the phenomenal record and its #1 Billboard hit “(Can’t Live Without Your) Love and Affection”. EMI / Frontiers Records USA / Stone Canyon Records will release the new NELSON album sequelLightning Strikes Twice in the U.S. on February 15, 2011.

To coincide with the new release and 20th Anniversary of After the Rain, EMI / Frontiers Records USA / Stone Canyon Records will also release twin (2) NELSON catalog albums:  Before the Rain the demo collection of songs that secured their recording deal with Geffen Records in 1990 and Perfect Storm – After the Rain World Tour 1991 live concert album. The North American release of the twin rare NELSON albums on February 15, 2011, will be a complement to the release of NELSON’s brand new original album sequel Lightning Strikes Twice.

“LIGHTNING STRIKES TWICE is the creative masterpiece NELSON has waited over 20 years to unveil,” enthuses Gunnar Nelson.  “It’s given us the opportunity to resolve some unfinished business musically and artistically. American fans have waited long enough.  We’re thrilled the U.S. release is finally here.”

“The forecast for 2011 is incredible with releasing three NELSON albums,” adds Matthew Nelson.  “We are thrilled to be releasing our new original NELSON album LIGHTNING STRIKES TWICE in the United States.  Plus, NELSON fans should enjoy the journey through the time capsule provided by these rare collectible albums – BEFORE THE RAIN and PERFECT STORM.”

Lightning Strikes Twice was recently released in Europe and the U.K. to overwhelming critical praise.  Frank Thiessies of Metal Hammer Germany writes, “The two blonds have done the almost impossible: a comeback sequel as strong as Meatloaf’s BAT OUT OF HELL II. This sequel alone has more hits than Bon Jovi’s made in 18 years over 6 discs.”

Britain’s well-known music critic Alison Joy, who originally dubbed NELSON “the Timotei Twins” in Kerrang! in the U.K. back in 1990, writes in CLASSIC ROCK / AOR Legends magazine that Lightning Strikes Twice is “absolutely and unexpectedly awesome!”

“NELSON’s return has been hailed by the Melodic Rock press as one of the highlights of the year,” affirms Serafino Perugino, President & C.E.O. of Frontiers Records. “These results, along with the intrinsic quality of the album, make Frontiers extremely proud of this artistic cooperation. We look forward to more albums together with NELSON”.

After the Rain was the debut multi-platinum album by NELSON in the early 1990s. They zoomed to number one with their hit song,  “(Can’t Live Without Your) Love and Affection,” which made history landing America’s iconic Nelson family (bandleader Ozzie Nelson, rock legend Rick Nelson, and twins Matthew & Gunnar) into the Guinness Book of World Records as the ONLY family in Entertainment with three (3) successive generations of #1 hitmakers.

NELSON’s After the Rain record and tour became a phenomenon just prior to the rise of grunge.  The last major success of the good time rock’n’roll era, NELSON has had (1) Number One, (4) Top Ten, and (5) Top 40 Billboard Hot 100 hit singles, plus (5) #1 MTV videos and has sold over 6.5 million albums worldwide!

Nelson has always been synonymous with entertainment in America. Matthew and Gunnar follow Ozzie Nelson’s vision of embracing connecting with people and audiences through all forms of media. They have been doing television-hosting work for VH1 and E!

Plus, Gunnar co-hosted LIFETIME Radio’s nationally syndicated morning show.

NELSON has been headlining at major rock festivals around the globe celebrating the 20th anniversary of After the Rain.  Touring in China, the U.K. where NELSON headlined the Firefest Rock Festival in 2010, and of course the U.S. where they have also toured extensively with Peter Frampton and Styx. A NELSON world tour in 2011 will soon be announced.

Lightning Strikes Twice tracklisting includes:

Call Me; Day By Day; Ready, Willing and Able; How Can I Miss You?; You’re All I Need Tonight; To Get Back To You; When You’re Gone; Take Me There; Come; In It For The Money; Change a Thing; Kickin’ My Heart Around.

The first single from the album released “You’re All I Need Tonight” andCall Me” are available to listen online exclusively with full in streaming on Frontiers Web radio. www.frontiers.it/webradio

NELSON filmed their first music video in over 15 years for the single “You’re All I Need Tonight”, which can be viewed on YouTubehttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=19N6YoIx7OI&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Musicians on Lightning Strikes Twice include:

Gunnar Nelson: Lead Vocals, Guitars

Matthew Nelson: Lead Vocals, Bass

With Special Guest Appearances by:

Gary Corbett: piano, keyboards

Brian Burwell: drums

David Morgan: piano, background vocals

Steve Lukather: guitar on “To Get Back To You”

The new NELSON CD album sequel Lightning Strikes Twice will be available for purchase in the U.S. on February 15, 2011 on iTunes, Amazon.com and through retail stores nationwide.

Twin catalog NELSON CD collectible albums Before the Rain and Perfect Storm will also be available for purchase in the U.S. on February 15, 2011 on iTunes, Amazon.com and through retail stores nationwide.

Weblinks: www.nelsonkicksass.com / www.myspace.com/OfficialNelson / www.Facebook.com/NelsonRockBand / www.frontiers.it /www.myspace.com/frontiersrecords

NELSON Billboard Hot 100 hit singles include:  “(Can’t Live Without Your) Love and Affection”, “After the Rain”, “More Than Ever”, “Only Time Will Tell” and “(You Got Me) All Shook Up”.

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Nelson Set To Release Epic New Album On 20th Anniversary

Nelson Set To Release Epic New Album On 20th Anniversary

Frontiers Records and NELSON led by twin lead front men Matthew & Gunnar Nelson announced the release date of their new album “Lightning Strikes Twice” a seamless sequel to multi-platinum debut album “After the Rain” on the 20thanniversary of their history making turn at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with “(Can’t Live Without Your) Love and Affection” (September 29, 1990) which landed them in the Guinness Book of World Records.  The new NELSON follow up album “Lightning Strikes Twice” will be released in Europe on November 5th with U.S. and Asia release to follow.

“’Lightning Strikes Twice’ has allowed us creatively, artistically and musically to resolve some unfinished business,” explains Gunnar. “We’ve had a blast going into the studio writing and performing some of our best songs. Plus, being back on the road with NELSON is living the dream all over again.  New fans are discovering our music and original fans have shown incredible support all over the world. It ROCKS!”

Matthew adds, “Who could believe we would be doing a NELSON sequel to ‘After the Rain’ twenty years later?  Gunnar and I feel it’s our best work to date and should live up to its name ‘Lightning Strikes Twice’.  We believe NELSON fans will agree with that forecast and hope they feel it’s been worth the long wait.”

After the Rain” was the debut multi-platinum album by NELSON in the early 1990s. They zoomed to number one with their hit song,  “(Can’t Live Without Your) Love and Affection,” which made history landing America’s iconic Nelson family (bandleader Ozzie Nelson, rock legend Rick Nelson, and twins Matthew & Gunnar) into the Guinness Book of World Records as the ONLY family in Entertainment with three (3) successive generations of #1 hitmakers.

NELSON’s “After the Rain” record and tour became a phenomenon just prior to the rise of grunge.  The last major success of the good time rock’n’roll era, NELSON has had (1) Number One, (4) Top Ten, and (5) Top 40 Billboard Hot 100 hit singles, plus (5) #1 MTV videos and has sold over 6.5 million albums worldwide!

Nelson has always been synonymous with entertainment in America. Matthew and Gunnar follow Ozzie Nelson’s vision of embracing connecting with people and audiences through all forms of media. They have been doing television-hosting work for VH1 and E!  Gunnar is also a standout reality TV star with VH1’s “Celebrity Fit Club”. Plus, Gunnar co-hosted LIFETIME Radio’s nationally syndicated morning show.

NELSON has been headlining at major rock festivals around the globe celebrating the 20th anniversary of “After the Rain”.  Touring in China, the U.K. and of course the U.S. where they have also toured extensively with Peter Frampton and Styx. In October 2010 the band will head to the UK to headline day 2 of the Firefest festival appearing with Frontiers label mates Jimi Jamison, Lynch Mob, Strangeways, Pretty Maids amongst others. A world tour at the beginning of 2011 will follow.

“Lightning Strikes Twice” tracklisting includes:

Call Me; Day By Day; Ready, Willing and Able; How Can I Miss You?; You’re All I Need Tonight; To Get Back To You; When You’re Gone; Take Me There; Come; In It For The Money; Change a Thing; Kickin’ My Heart Around.

The first single to be released “You’re All I Need Tonight” and “Call Me” are available to listen online exclusively with full in streaming on Frontiers Web radio.

Tune in at: www.frontiers.it/webradio

Musicians on “Lightning Strikes Twice” include:

Gunnar Nelson: Lead Vocals, Guitars

Matthew Nelson: Lead Vocals, Bass

With Special Guest Appearances by:

Gary Corbett: piano, keyboards

Brian Burwell: drums

David Morgan: piano, background vocals

Steve Lukather: guitar on “To Get Back To You”

Weblinks: www.nelsonkicksass.comwww.myspace.com/OfficialNelsonwww.Facebook.com/NelsonRockBandwww.frontiers.it /www.myspace.com/frontiersrecords

NELSON Billboard Hot 100 hit singles include:  “(Can’t Live Without Your) Love and Affection”, “After the Rain”, “More Than Ever”, “Only Time Will Tell” and “(You Got Me) All Shook Up”.

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

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

m3festival

M3 Rock Festival

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

By Steve Johnson 

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

janilane

Jani Lane

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

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

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

Steel Panther's Satchel Slips Us Some Tongue

Steel Panther's Satchel Slips Us Some Tongue

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

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

Dee Snider on stage in 2009

Dee Snider on stage in 2009

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

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

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No Rust On This Scrap Metal: An Interview with Mark Slaughter

scrapmetalWhat do you get when you put together a group of multi-platinum frontmen from the ’80s and ’90s that collectively sold 50 million records worldwide and have more hits than you can count? The answer is “Scrap Metal!” This powerhouse project is made up of such familiar faces and voices as Gunnar and Matthew Nelson (Nelson), Mark Slaughter (Slaughter), Kelly Keagy (Night Ranger) and Eric Martin (Mr. Big). Jason Price of Live-Metal.Net recently caught up with Mark Slaughter, one of the bands founding members, to discuss the project’s origin and its promising future, as well as what is on the horizon for Mark’s original band, Slaughter.

Live-Metal: How did the Scrap Metal project come about?

Mark Slaughter: Well, I did a benefit along with Gunnar Nelson and Kelly Keagy for the Nashville Songwriters Association International (www.nashvillesongwriters.com) out here in Nashville. What they do is basically make sure that songwriters get their share of the royalties and et cetera. We went out and played and had some great guests, as well. We got a really, really incredible reaction out of it. I think it was a little better then we thought it would be. Subsequently, Gunnar turned to me during the show and said “Hey, we should call this Scrap Metal!” and that is where it all started.

How did you get hooked up with the Nelsons originally?

Gunnar lives out here in Nashville. I met Gunnar and Matthew when I was in the Vinnie Vincent Invasion, years ago, even before they even had their project done. So we have been running into each other for years.

What can we look forward to when Scrap Metal takes the stage?

Well, it will definitely be the hits. There is definitely a point where if there are ever artists around from other bands, they usually they come up and we will end up playing the hits with them. You never know who you are going to see at the show. It’s a lot of fun.

What members comprise the core of Scrap Metal right now?


It is Gunnar, Matthew, Kelly Keagy, Eric Martin and myself, all lead singers.

Scrap Metal is unique in that way. How big of an adjustment is it to have a group composed of all frontmen?

I think that everyone gets a chance to jump in and play their instruments. I used to be a guitar teacher years ago, so I get a chance to really play guitar instead of just being a frontman, so it is a lot of fun for me, too!

You mentioned that members of other bands may join you. Is there anyone that we can look forward to seeing with Scrap Metal soon?

Well, let’s put it this way, we have had Artimus Pyle from Lynyrd Skynyrd. We have had Jim Peterik from Survivor. He wrote the song for “Hold on Loosely” for .38 Special. Mark Farner from Grand Funk Railroad is going to come out and do a few shows with us. It is an environment of just great artists. So we have that and a lot of the metal guys who are waiting in the wings that we will pull in as well.

Did you know everyone in the band before it formed, Eric Martin for example?

Not really. I had met Eric a couple of times at different shows, but I definitely didn’t know him as well as I do now.

In working with these artists, has anyone surprised you?

I think that it is really cool on how it all works. As far as surprising me, I think that everybody plays a lot better than one would perceive, even that I would perceive. It is really cool when you are playing with a group of guys that really do this.

Can we look for a national tour anytime in the near future?

Well, we have a lot of shows that are coming up. Our agent is actually looking to find what is out there and what we can do in the following and we will just see where it maps out. Obviously I am still doing Slaughter as well, so I will still being doing shows for that, as well. I will be jumping back and forth between the two. We are all still doing our prospective bands, but that would certainly be a blast to do.

Have you been working on any original material for Scrap Metal?

Yeah, we have been writing some stuff. We might be making a record for Japan. It looks like we are going there. We will go over and do some shows in Japan, and we are just looking to get out, play some hits, have some fun and make some smiles!

With a wave of pop culture nostalgia and reality TV around every corner (Rock of Love, for example), has anyone ever approached you or the band about doing a reality show?

Yeah, it has been discussed in several channels, and there is a couple of places we are looking to possibly do something, but nothing is engraved in stone yet. But yes, we are looking to do that.

I saw on your web site (www.markslaughter.net) that you have been working on a score to a film entitled Thunder Over Reno. How did you get involved with that project?

Actually, the director contacted me, and it is something that I truly love doing, film and television. I do a lot of voiceover work, as well.

As you mentioned Slaughter is alive and well, what is happening in regards to Slaughter?

We have written some songs, as well. Obviously, we are still out there doing shows. I just back from doing three shows with Slaughter along with Vince Neil. Dana (Strum) has been playing with Vince Neil, as well. So we are just out there making music and tearing it up! It’s been great.

Slaughter has had a much longer life span than a lot of bands of that era who were your peers. What do you attribute the band’s longevity to?

Well, I think that there is no substance abuse problems. There is not an ego problem. I think that everybody understands that we make music, just like Scrap Metal. There are no egos here. Maybe one of the reasons is that Slaughter is the only band from our genre that wrote and produced our own music. So, I think that there is a confidence there that always to really feel what we are doing.

Are you working on any material for a future release?

Yeah, we have about three or four songs written already. We are just looking to see what makes sense for Slaughter. I don’t really have an outlet or a label that really makes sense to me right now. We’ve got several songs, and we have been trying them out live and they have gone over really well. I don’t really have the answer as to where we are going to be or what label it will be, but we are looking at that.

In closing, is there anything you’d like to say to all of the Mark Slaughter and Scrap Metal fans out there?

I’d just like to say thanks for all the years. It has been 17 for Slaughter, and since the Vinnie Vincent days, it has been 21, so there you have it. I have been very blessed that I have been able to do this and want to thank everybody for giving me the opportunity to do so!

Thanks for your time, Mark!

Thank you!

 

Related links:
www.myspace.com/scrapmetalband
www.markslaughter.net
www.slaughterweb.com
www.thenelsonbrothers.com
www.thunderoverreno.com

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