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BRAND NEW ERA: Matthew Nelson On The Past, Present and Future of Nelson!

BRAND NEW ERA: Matthew Nelson On The Past, Present and Future of Nelson!

With almost 3 decades together as a musical duo, Gunnar and Matthew Nelson, have continued to not only defy the odds but also to expand their musical horizon. In 2018, they are are finally bringing the entire Nelson catalogue – representing every album released by Matthew and Gunnar Nelson in the course of their 28-year-career – to all digital retailers and streaming services including Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes, Amazon and Pandora, among others. The announcement follows the re-release of Nelson’s remastered 1990, multi-platinum debut album, ‘After the Rain,’ on 180g vinyl by Universal Music Enterprises. This treasure trove of music features collectors items such as ‘Imaginator,’ the prophetic 1996 release which was originally supposed to be the follow-up to ‘After the Rain;’ ‘Brother Harmony,’ the 1998 country album the brothers recorded in Nashville which is now a coveted collectible, and ‘Ricky Nelson Remembered,’ an album featuring studio recorded versions of Matthew and Gunnar performing their father’s biggest career hits, previously available only at Nelson concerts. While this epic release serves as an incredible opportunity to reflect on their own careers and family’s undeniable legacy, Matthew and Gunnar remained focused on the many productive years ahead of them.

Jason Price of Icon Vs. Icon recently sat down with Matthew Nelson to discuss bringing Nelson’s entire digital catalogue to the masses, the challenges they have faced as “analog men in a digital world,” and what the future holds for the duo.

You and your brother put in a lot of hard work through the years, which resulted in Nelson becoming one of the most successful sibling duos of all-time. What are your earliest memories of playing together?

Wow! Thank you for saying that. My musical memories go way back. We started in a hayloft in a barn outside of my parents’ house in Studio City, California, probably because it was a way for getting us away from the house! [laughs] Gunnar and I got our first instruments when we were pretty young. Gunnar was about 6 and I was 7. He got a drum set and I got a little bass. We wanted to be like our dad, of course. I think our parents, when we asked for instruments, thought it was a little hobby but we just didn’t stop. We taught ourselves to play to records and by watching people. By the time we were 12, we had our first recording session as a surprise birthday present from our dad. We thought we were going to get some fillings done and it turned out to be a recording studio. He produced the first song that I ever wrote, and it was pretty awesome! The whole family came over and some really cool chicks sang backup. I didn’t know until after they left that they were The Pointer Sisters! Then we started playing nightclubs around LA from the time we were 12 years old. We played a lot and it was kind of fun to grow up in that world of punk and new wave in Los Angeles, playing at clubs like Madam Wong’s West in Chinatown, Blue Lagoon Saloon, FM Station and things like that! We had a really good time growing up constantly playing music!

You are still out there doing it. What did you bring out in each other creatively?

It’s interesting you are saying that today. Gunnar and I are true brothers. We are very similar, but we have decided differences. There is obviously a little bit of a sweet and sour thing that happens. Gunnar tends to be a little bit more sour than I am, and he would probably say that. It’s the whole good twin, evil twin thing but I think that works! I don’t think there is anybody else in the world who has been through exactly what he has been through and vice versa as far as our career, the highs and lows. I can call him on his crap and vice versa. Today, we had a really, really deep philosophical and musical conversation having to do with everything from song selection to direction to marketing and all that kind of stuff. Frankly, I got more done in one hour long yelling in a “Settle down. Okay, now what are we going to do with this thing” session than I would in a year with another band. I’ve been in other bands, so I know! I think that’s what’s happened. I think we’ve streamlined the process and gotten very comfortable with knowing where our strengths and weaknesses are.

The career and body of work you built through the years is impressive. What are the keys to longevity in the music industry?

There is a good deal of luck that goes into it, but I think it really comes down to this — As long as you love what you are doing and truly know how fortunate you are to be able to do what you love, it’s going to be passionate. I’m not going to say it will be good! [laughs] We genuinely love making music. If you really love what you do, then it’s going to have a piece of you in it and it’s not just going to be some job you show up for and punch a clock. I think that’s what it is. If there is a secret to it, LOVE IT! If you don’t, then don’t do it anymore and make the change that will make you happy. It’s a ripple effect.

You just released a treasure trove of music with the digital release of your entire catalog. What made now the time for the release and what took so long?

[laughs] What took so long? Gunnar and I are analog men in a digital world! We’re kind of like a revolution of two guys and it was time to embrace the facts. I’m not going to say that music is devalued to the point of where it’s so instant that if people can’t get it they move on but there is that factor. You have a couple of generations of kids now that don’t even pay for music. As long as I’ve been doing this, I’ve realized that there’s a commerce element of making music for a living but there is also the fact that you just want your music to be heard and accessible. I found out that there was one of our albums, a country album, that we did a very short run of selling online for $1,100 per copy. I thought, “Well, we should probably make this accessible to people because after a certain amount of time, it just seems like we are the jerks behind it.” We are hearing back that people are very happy that they are going to be able to access some things that were previously too exclusive for people.

I’m sure it wasn’t as easy as flipping a switch to make the music accessible. What are some challenges you faced with bringing your catalog to the masses?

A lot of it really has to do with the technical stuff. From my point of view, I’m the product manager for Gunnar and my stuff. He took on certain roles, as did I. Things like packaging and distribution falls in my court, so I’m the guy who is inputting ISRC codes and things like that, which I had to learn about. For me, there was a little bit of a learning curve, when there is that do-it-yourself element. I’m not saying it was a do-it-yourself thing, we had a team, but in comparison to things like when we were signed in the early days to DGC, they had an entire building staffed with people that did this stuff. I would rather be a hands-on guy and kinda know where my bread is buttered, so I embraced it. With that said, it is tedious and difficult work, especially with the volume of work that we had dealing with things writers, if we did co-writes, and their publishing companies have changed over the course of the years. It was that type of stuff. It was really a labor of love! As I said, I’m really glad the job is done now and finally people can access it!

Is there an album that resonates with you more today than it did upon its release?

Good question on that one. There were a few. We’ve done a lot of different works since our debut with “After The Rain” came out. For me, “After The Rain” is going to have a longer lasting resonance, not only because it was our first big success, but also because we went back and finally found the analog two-track master tapes. They had been missing for almost 30 years, so I could go into the Capitol Tower and remaster the album. It started out as an issue on 180-gram vinyl on the Friday Music label, but it became bigger than that because I not only got a chance to finally EQ the record with 30 years more technology but bring it back to what it was when we were creating it. All of that missing bottom end, as a bass player I had always wondered, “Where did it go?” I heard it in the studio when we made the album but when the actual final product arrived way back when, it wasn’t as satisfying as I knew that it could be. Now, I’m actually really with that! As a matter of fact, the digital of the “After The Rain” album is the remaster and it’s much better, in my opinion, than the original master was.

I imagine looking back on your body of work gives you a unique perspective on your career and how far you have come. How have you evolved along the way?

So many ways! My brother and I have done many different styles of music. I think we’ve worked really hard at making sure we are proficient at different types of things. I always joke and say, “We might have cut our teeth in clubs in Los Angeles, but we really learned how to move an audience, right off the bat, in arenas and big theaters when Nelson broke. As seemingly quick as it shot up to success, the entire grunge and Seattle movement ended it immediately, so we had to reinvent ourselves. We spent a lot of time doing that with different forms of music, whether it be more Americana/Country leaning stuff or the live celebration of our dad’s legacy called “Ricky Nelson Remembered.” We’ve been playing that off and on between our gigs for years. I think what it did was bring us to our center, where we come from, but also really helped us expand our musical vocabulary. Gunnar, for instance, when we started playing guitar with Nelson, he was a great rhythm guitar player but now he is super proficient lead guitar player. Frankly, when you’re playing country-inspired James Burton type lyrics on a Telecaster, you can’t hide behind distortion. It’s naked and people can tell if you can’t throw down. As a singer, frontman and a bass player, I have come a long way. The thing that is great about music is that I still feel like I’m starting! I still have a wonderful love affair with something that I intend to do forever, until I can’t anymore!

In the press release about the digital releases, I noticed a promising quote from Gunnar. He said, “For the first time in a while, we’re talking about making a new Nelson album.” Where are you headed?

That’s another interesting question. Part of my discussion today with my brother was going through material. As you know, we’re songwriters before anything, and we were going through material today. We have an honest four or five albums worth of super-solid, single-level material. We were just kind of discussing the realities of being us in this world. We are very, very fortunate that people recognize us immediately. We have that kind of thing. When you hear “Nelson,” you might think of a lot of things. Most people think of long blonde hair and 1990! That was that time and we looked like hot Swedish chicks! So, we were kinda embedded in people’s minds that way. Our dad went through that too. It’s much the same way as when you say, Hanson, Rick Springfield, Tiffany or the other people who were iconic for the era. It’s kinda hard for people to get past that era, ya know? We are getting a lot of calls to go out and do nostalgia type tours now because we haven’t done those things. What Gunnar and I were just discussing was, “What do you do when you are fortunate enough to occupy that place in people’s minds? Do people really want to hear new music from an old group?” I have to be realistic about that. We were just discussing that. “Do we integrate the new songs with the older songs or do we separate them and call it another project, but everyone will know it’s The Nelson Twins with their new thing.” We were just discussing that. The long answer is that we absolutely have new material that we want to release. We just don’t know if we’re going to make a right turn doing it. That’s it! It’s more of me being realistic and honest with coming to terms with an old success. If we released something new that was incredible, would people give it an unbiased or unslanted listen?

nelson-2015-10

I can see where you are coming from. No matter what route, as a fan, it’s exciting to know you two are hard at work! You both built something unique over the years and people can look to you as an inspiration as there have been ups and downs along the way, yet you persevered. What’s the best lesson we can take from your journey?

Don’t lose your sense of humor. That’s the best advice that my dad ever gave me, and he didn’t give me a whole lot of advice. [laughs] He said, “Believe in what you’re doing and keep doing it.” So, integrity and persistence, even if you are writing pop songs and having fun doing that! Don’t lose your sense of humor because in this world, my dad was right, you’re gonna need it! In today’s music business or whatever is left of it, you have people who have number one records because they are YouTube stars, which is great, whatever. You also have a lot of things that come along with that territory. Internet trolls, for example. Everyone has a voice and all of that kind of stuff. Sometimes that’s not a great thing. Just laugh at it. Move forward. Move past it. You know, obviously, it separates the weak from the chaff. All I can say, looking back on this thing so many years later, is that I always knew I was going to do music first. That made it good for me. Gunnar and I were the same way. It wasn’t a matter of whether or not we would be successful, it’s when we got our shot. Frankly, it’s been a blessing and a curse coming from the legacy that we come from. There are expectations associated with that, but it also motivated us, and we are really proud of that. We are really proud of carrying on that tradition. Who knows, I have a 3-year-old little boy and maybe he will as well. He’s already playing drums, keeping time and singing, so probably! I just have to say that, in this world, one thing that hasn’t changed is that I would personally be a whole lot less happy if I didn’t have music around me all the time. Just keep music as your soundtrack and I think you’ll be groovin’!

Awesome! Thanks for your time today, Matthew. It’s been a pleasure following your career and experiencing the different styles you brought to the table! I wish you and Gunnar continued success.

Thank you, Jason! I really appreciate that! Have a great day and take care!

For all the latest news and information on Matthew and Gunnar Nelson, visit www.matthewandgunnarnelson.com.

Check out the complete list of available Nelson titles, with comments from Matthew and Gunnar:

Imaginator (1996): Originally intended as the follow-up to After the Rain, but turned down by DGC/Geffen, Nelson finally put out the prescient album as the first release on their own Stone Canyon Records label. An edgy, acerbic record which took aim at their unfair media treatment and the threat of the Internet in the days of dial-up, Matthew recalls, “It was not the fun, sunshine pop formula the label thought they were getting.” Adds Gunnar, “It was so cathartic and honest, it’s emotionally painful for me to listen to now. It brings me back to a time when I felt we were misunderstood by the industry.”

Because They Can (1995): After the rejection of Imaginator, Matthew and Gunnar went back into the studio with legendary producer and mentor John Boylan (Boston, Little River Band, Edie Brickell) for an album that epitomized the California country-rock sound, featuring contributions from Eagles’ Don Felder and Timothy B. Schmit, America’s Gerry Beckley and the Cars’ Elliot Easton. It also features the famed William Wegman cover photo of his Man Ray Weimaraner dogs with long, blonde hair, showing the Nelson brothers were in on the joke. “It was like a Crosby, Stills & Nash Laurel Canyon record when nobody was doing that,” says Matthew.

Silence is Broken (1997): Recorded for JVC Victor Japan, the album was intended to be a bridge between Imaginator and Life, according to Matthew.  “We were just learning how to record digitally,” he says of the record, produced in various studios in West L.A. and Valencia. “It really pushed the stylistic envelope in terms of its diversity.”

Brother Harmony (1998): After playing several acoustic shows in Nashville, Matthew and Gunnar signed to Warner-Reprise, and began recording songs for a new, never released album as the Nelsons with some of Nashville’s finest musicians.

Life (1999): Another JVC Victor Japan import, the album was recorded in a Nashville basement, but remains one of Gunnar’s favorites. “I have a particular affection for it,” he says. “We just wanted to make ear candy. It’s a real take-no-prisoners pop/rock album.” Matthew adds: “We recorded everyone in a room playing at the same time, which gave it some real energy.” Life features “Is That How It Is?” co-written with Russ Ballard.  “We went a little bit more Vox than Marshall,” laughs Matthew.

Like Father, Like Sons (2000): The brothers’ initial tribute to their father was recorded live at the Date Festival in Indio, California, site of the Coachella festival, with James Intveld on upright bass, Gunnar on stand-up drums and Matthew on acoustic guitar. The group delved into affectionate, authentic rockabilly takes on some of Ricky’s greatest hits, including “Garden Party,” “Milk Cow Blues,” “Travelin’ Man” and “Hello Mary Lou.”

Lightning Strikes Twice (2010):  After signing a new deal with Frontier Records, this was one of three separate releases to come out during the year. Nelson’s first album of new material in nearly 11 years, it featured guitarist Steve Lukather, and was recorded at Gunnar’s home Nashville studio and mixed in L.A. by top recording engineer Jay Ruston (Metallica, Anthrax).  “The label challenged us to make the follow-up to After the Rain, except with modern technology and their full support,” recalls Gunnar. “It represented a personal victory.” The album went on to become the most critically acclaimed album of their career behind, “After the Rain,” with a rare 7 of 7 diamond rating from Metal Hammer Magazine.

Before the Rain: The Demos 1986-1990 (2010): A collection of the recordings which led up to their debut, After the Rain, this album shows how Nelson’s songwriting evolved, representing the band’s attempt to convince DGC/Geffen A&R legend John David Kalodner they were ready to record. Explained Matthew, “It’s a great way for the fans to hear how the songs from that first album started and eventually came together.”

Perfect Storm – After the Rain World Tour 1991 (2010): Recorded during their whirlwind, 13-month-long tour, which ended with four shows in Japan, the album captures the band as it begins to feel its strength as a live attraction, thanks to the efforts of live engineer Toby Francis. “We were very loud, but he got it to sound clean,” says Matthew. “The band we had for that tour was just ridiculously talented.”

Peace Out (2015) Another favorite of Gunnar’s for its razor-sharp focus and stylistic consistency, the song “Back in the Day” describes Nelson’s populist, crowd-pleasing aim perfectly. “The radio was our saving grace/Our heroes showed the way/Back in the day.”

“Getting these records out has been extremely satisfying because, up until now, they haven’t been available,” says Gunnar. “For the first time in a while, we’re talking about making a new Nelson album.”

Until then, Nelson will continue to inspire their fans live, with a planned summer 2018 tour on the horizon.

“Up to this point, these songs are our legacy,” adds Matthew. “I’m just happy people can find and hear them now.”

These albums are now available via Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes, Amazon and More! 

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NELSON’s Entire Career-Spanning Catalogue Makes It’s Digital Debut!

NELSON’s Entire Career-Spanning Catalogue Makes It’s Digital Debut!

The entire Nelson catalogue – representing every album released by Matthew and Gunnar Nelson in the course of their 28-year-career – will, for the first time, be available at all digital retailers and streaming services on January 8, including Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes, Amazon and Pandora, among others, through their distribution partner, Redeye.  The announcement follows the re-release of Nelson’s remastered 1990, multi-platinum debut album, After the Rain, on 180g vinyl by Universal Music Enterprises.

The full digital roll-out will take place today, January 29, when such collector’s items as Imaginator, the prophetic 1996 release which were originally supposed to be the follow-up to After the RainBrother Harmony, the 1998 country album the brothers recorded in Nashville which is now a coveted collector’s item, and Ricky Nelson Remembered, an album featuring studio recorded versions of Matthew and Gunnar performing their father’s biggest career hits, previously available only at Nelson concerts, become available for streaming and download for the first time.

“Each of these songs is like one of our children,” says Gunnar about the process of going back and rehearing their work.

“You start reliving what it took to put all the pieces together,” adds Matthew. “It represents 25-plus years of work.  These songs are, quite literally, the soundtrack to our lives.”

Here’s the complete list of available titles, with comments from Matthew and Gunnar:

Imaginator (1996): Originally intended as the follow-up to After the Rain, but turned down by DGC/Geffen, Nelson finally put out the prescient album as the first release on their own Stone Canyon Records label. An edgy, acerbic record which took aim at their unfair media treatment and the threat of the Internet in the days of dial-up, Matthew recalls, “It was not the fun, sunshine pop formula the label thought they were getting.” Adds Gunnar, “It was so cathartic and honest, it’s emotionally painful for me to listen to now. It brings me back to a time when I felt we were misunderstood by the industry.”

Because They Can (1995): After the rejection of Imaginator, Matthew and Gunnar went back into the studio with legendary producer and mentor John Boylan (Boston, Little River Band, Edie Brickell) for an album that epitomized the California country-rock sound, featuring contributions from Eagles’ Don Felder and Timothy B. Schmit, America’s Gerry Beckley and the Cars’ Elliot Easton. It also features the famed William Wegman cover photo of his Man Ray Weimaraner dogs with long, blonde hair, showing the Nelson brothers were in on the joke. “It was like a Crosby, Stills & Nash Laurel Canyon record when nobody was doing that,” says Matthew.

Silence is Broken (1997): Recorded for JVC Victor Japan, the album was intended to be a bridge between Imaginator and Life, according to Matthew.  “We were just learning how to record digitally,” he says of the record, produced in various studios in West L.A. and Valencia. “It really pushed the stylistic envelope in terms of its diversity.”

Brother Harmony (1998): After playing several acoustic shows in Nashville, Matthew and Gunnar signed to Warner-Reprise, and began recording songs for a new, never released album as the Nelsons with some of Nashville’s finest musicians.

Life (1999): Another JVC Victor Japan import, the album was recorded in a Nashville basement, but remains one of Gunnar’s favorites. “I have a particular affection for it,” he says. “We just wanted to make ear candy. It’s a real take-no-prisoners pop/rock album.” Matthew adds: “We recorded everyone in a room playing at the same time, which gave it some real energy.” Life features “Is That How It Is?” co-written with Russ Ballard.  “We went a little bit more Vox than Marshall,” laughs Matthew.

Like Father, Like Sons (2000): The brothers’ initial tribute to their father was recorded live at the Date Festival in Indio, California, site of the Coachella festival, with James Intveld on upright bass, Gunnar on stand-up drums and Matthew on acoustic guitar. The group delved into affectionate, authentic rockabilly takes on some of Ricky’s greatest hits, including “Garden Party,” “Milk Cow Blues,” “Travelin’ Man” and “Hello Mary Lou.”

Lightning Strikes Twice (2010) After signing a new deal with Frontier Records, this was one of three separate releases to come out during the year. Nelson’s first album of new material in nearly 11 years, it featured guitarist Steve Lukather, and was recorded at Gunnar’s home Nashville studio and mixed in L.A. by top recording engineer Jay Ruston (Metallica, Anthrax).  “The label challenged us to make the follow-up to After the Rain, except with modern technology and their full support,” recalls Gunnar. “It represented a personal victory.” The album went on to become the most critically acclaimed album of their career behind, “After the Rain,” with a rare 7 of 7 diamond rating from Metal Hammer Magazine.

Before the Rain: The Demos 1986-1990 (2010): A collection of the recordings which led up to their debut, After the Rain, this album shows how Nelson’s songwriting evolved, representing the band’s attempt to convince DGC/Geffen A&R legend John David Kalodner they were ready to record. Explained Matthew, “It’s a great way for the fans to hear how the songs from that first album started and eventually came together.”

Perfect Storm – After the Rain World Tour 1991 (2010): Recorded during their whirlwind, 13-month-long tour, which ended with four shows in Japan, the album captures the band as it begins to feel its strength as a live attraction, thanks to the efforts of live engineer Toby Francis. “We were very loud, but he got it to sound clean,” says Matthew. “The band we had for that tour was just ridiculously talented.”

Peace Out (2015):  Another favorite of Gunnar’s for its razor-sharp focus and stylistic consistency, the song “Back in the Day” describes Nelson’s populist, crowd-pleasing aim perfectly. “The radio was our saving grace/Our heroes showed the way/Back in the day.”

“Getting these records out has been extremely satisfying because, up until now, they haven’t been available,” says Gunnar. “For the first time in a while, we’re talking about making a new Nelson album.”

Until then, Nelson will continue to inspire their fans live, with a planned summer 2018 tour on the horizon.

“Up to this point, these songs are our legacy,” adds Matthew. “I’m just happy people can find and hear them now.”

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Matthew and Gunnar Nelson Ring In The Holidays With “Christmas with the Nelsons”

Matthew and Gunnar Nelson Ring In The Holidays With “Christmas with the Nelsons”

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Matthew and Gunnar Nelson have achieved international success, with a double-Platinum album, multiple top 40 hits, including a No. 1 single, and sold-out concerts around the world on their list of accomplishments. Now, the duo are looking ahead to the next chapter, which begins with their first-ever holiday release, This Christmas. The album, currently available for pre-sale on iTunes and Amazon, will be available digitally starting on Nov. 20 and in stores on Dec. 4. More than just a collection of holiday songs, the album, which was produced by Matthew and Gunnar, affirms the power of their unique bond and family heritage.

“In addition to our original single ‘THIS CHRISTMAS’, we were able to rearrange Christmas classics that people the world over have loved like family members for generations,” said Matthew. “We’ve made them sound fresh and new while at the same time respecting their integrity and history. We’re absolutely thrilled with the results, and hope our listeners will be too,” added Gunnar.

christmas-nelson-2015-albumartThis Christmas Track Listing:
1. This Christmas (ft. Alyssa Bonagura)
2. Joy To The World
3. Santa Claus is Coming to Town (ft. Molly Cherryholmes)
4. Oh Come All Ye Faithful
5. Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree
6. Mele Kelikimaka (ft. Molly Cherryholmes)
7. Away In A Manger
8. Holly Jolly Christmas
9. Blue Christmas (ft. Molly Cherryholmes)
10. Jingle Bells
11. We Wish You A Merry Christmas (ft. Molly Cherryholmes)
12. White Christmas

An all-star support team added depth and dimension to the brothers’ fundamental tracks, with Nashville studio veteran Ed Seay mixing and a lineup of musicians that included fiddle virtuoso Molly Cherryholmes and Michael Bonagura from Baillie & the Boys. Michael’s daughter, singer/songwriter Alyssa Bonagura, plays a prominent vocal role on the title track, written by Matthew, Gunnar, Alyssa and Michael with an unusual narrative twist.

“It’s a challenge to write a Christmas song that’s not like something people have heard a million times before,” Gunnar admitted. “So we started talking about this concept of two best friends that realize, on the night of miracles, that actually they’re in love with each other and always have been. If miracles can happen on Christmas, maybe that’s the night people in love can risk telling each other.”

For all the wonders conjured throughout This Christmas — the rich harmonies and imaginative thematic development in “Joy to the World,” the fresh rhythmic perspective on “O Come All Ye Faithful,” the intimacy of “White Christmas” – the title track most vividly forecasts what lies ahead.

Impeccably written, with a cascading motif adding a special shimmer to the story, it suggests that the Nelson brothers are about to pass their most significant career milestone since their debut.

“I believe we’ve reclaimed the same excitement we had before we made our first album,” Matthew offered. “We were firing on all cylinders. We knew exactly what we wanted. We’re there again — two brothers with a vision and a sound that no one else has.”

“We’ve made a conscious decision to come from the heart,” Gunnar summed up. “It’s amazing what happens when you stop fighting the universe and start doing what you were born to do.”

For so many around the world, Christmas means rebirth. For Matthew and Gunnar Nelson, This Christmas heralds an adventure that’s only beginning.

Nelson Tour Dates:
Nov 20 The Coach House – San Juan Capistrano, CA
Nov 21 The Cave – Big Bear Lake, CA *
Nov 22 Saint Rocke – Hermosa Beach, CA *
Nov 27 South Point Hotel & Casino – Las Vegas, NV †
Nov 28 South Point Hotel & Casino – Las Vegas, NV †
Nov 29 South Point Hotel & Casino – Las Vegas, NV †
Dec 01 Green Valley Recreation Center – Green Valley, AZ *
Dec 02 Musical Instrument Museum – Phoenix, AZ *
Dec 04 McPherson Opera House – McPherson, KS *
Dec 05 McPherson Opera House – McPherson, KS *
Dec 06 Missouri Theater – St. Joseph, MO *
Dec 12 Williams Center for the Arts – Oelwein, IA *
Dec 13 Lucille Tack Center for the Arts – Spencer, WI *
Dec 14 Paramount Theatre – Saint Cloud, MN *
Dec 15 Paramount Theatre – Saint Cloud, MN *
Dec 16 Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts – Bloomington, IL *
Dec 17 Holly Springs Cultural Center – Holly Springs, NC *

* Christmas With The Nelsons
† Ricky Nelson Remembered

Social Media:
matthewandgunnarnelson.com
facebook.com/matthewandgunnarnelson
@MatthewandGun

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Nelson Release Video For “Back In The Day” In Support of ‘Peace Out’

Nelson Release Video For “Back In The Day” In Support of ‘Peace Out’

nelson-2015-1

Gunnar & Matthew Nelson, collectively known simply as Nelson, have released the second video from their acclaimed Peace Out album, entitled

“Back In The Day.”  An ode to the glory days of rock’n’roll from the late 50s through the 80s when the songs on the radio ruled a kingdom of music fans, the video features rare archival footage of their father Rick Nelson (one of America’s biggest pop stars of all time) as well as classic footage of the Nelson brothers “back in the day.”

“Matthew and I had an absolute blast making the video for Back In The Day. We’d always wondered what it would be like to play the entire ‘band’ in a video ever since we were kids and Paul McCartney did it with his band Wings,” says Gunnar, in reference to the 1980 MTV video for the McCartney hit, “Coming Up.”

Nelson - 'Peace Out'

Nelson – ‘Peace Out’

“As fantastic as it seems, it’s actually more true to life to the way we actually record our Nelson records (Matt and I play every instrument and sing every vocal on our records with very few notable exceptions). This is the kind of video where you’ll catch something new hidden every time you watch it. We’re very proud of the work itself- even more so of the statement the song makes… which is that everything newer isn’t necessarily better; especially on the radio.”

“On this song we sing about the fact that our music is so much more than merely the soundtrack to our lives; it is so often reduced to background noise- its the friend that’s never let us down. It’s the confidant that has always been there for us, and always will be. It shapes who we are and how we feel about ourselves and our lives. It deserves our acknowledgment, appreciation, and respect.

“To quote a lyric from the song: ‘The radio was our saving grace… Our heroes showed us the way- back in the day.’ ”

Released in May by Frontiers Music Srl., Peace Out marks a return to the well crafted pop songs that put the band at the top of the Billboard charts in the 1990s. From the anthemic “Invincible” to the rollicking “Rock Star,”  Peace Out is quintessential Nelson from start to finish.

The brothers have always had their work cut out for themselves, being the third generation in one of America’s most celebrated entertainment families, who came into US households every week from 1952 through 1966 on the ABC sitcom, The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet. Their grandfather, Ozzie Nelson, was a celebrated big band leader, whose orchestra featured their grandmother, Harriet; and their late father, Rick, was one of rock’n’roll’s earliest superstars, a member of The Rock N Roll Hall of Fame, and generally credited with creating the country-rock format. Ozzie, Rick, and the Nelson twins are the only family in the history of the world to have 3 generations of musicians that scored a #1 Billboard hit each on their own.

The Nelson twins burst onto the music scene with the Billboard #1 hit “(I Can’t Live Without Your) Love & Affection,” in 1990. They went on to release a half dozen rock albums selling nearly 7 million records, beginning with the multi-platinum After The Rain.

The brothers have grown from pop music idols to seasoned songwriters and performers. They have worked in a number of musical styles including pop, hard rock and even country.  Critics and fans alike agree:  Peace Out,  is unquestionably their most ambitious studio album to date. The album takes them to the musical home they have known the best: harmony-driven pop-rock whose melodies are as infectious as they are lasting.

ORDER NELSON’s PEACE, OUT
Amazon:  http://geni.us/PeaceOutAmazon

For all things NELSON, please visit: 
http://www.matthewandgunnarnelson.com

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PEACE OUT: Matthew Nelson On His Past, Present And Bright Future In Music

PEACE OUT: Matthew Nelson On His Past, Present And Bright Future In Music

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In their 25 years as a musical duo, Gunnar and Matthew Nelson, collectively known as Nelson, grew from pop music idols to seasoned songwriters and performers. Music and entertaining was in their blood. From the start the brothers had a challenging road to travel as the third generation in one of America’s most celebrated entertainment families, who came into U.S. households every week from 1952 to 1966 on the ABC sitcom, “The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet.” Their grandfather, Ozzie Nelson, was a celebrated big band leader, whose orchestra featured their grandmother, Harriet. Their late father, Ricky, was one of rock ’n’ roll’s earliest superstars, a member of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and generally credited with creating the country-rock format.

When the Nelson twins burst onto the music scene with the Billboard #1 hit “(I Can’t Live Without Your) Love & Affection” in 1990, they set a Guinness World Record by being the only family to have three generations of #1 hits on the charts! Nelson went on to release a half dozen rock albums selling nearly 7 million records, beginning with the multi-platinum “After The Rain.”

Now they return with “Peace Out,” their most ambitious studio album to date. This incredible collection of music marks a return to the well crafted pop songs that put the band at the top of the Billboard charts in the 1990s. From the anthemic “Invincible” to the rollicking “Back in the Day,” “Peace Out” is quintessential Nelson from start to finish. The album also marks a turning point from the brothers as it serves as their last rock driven album and they forge ahead into new musical territories.

Jason Price of Icon Vs. Icon recently sat down with Matthew Nelson to discuss his early memories of music, Nelson’s rise to fame, it’s impact on him as an artist, the creation of ‘Peace Out’ and what the future holds for the duo.

Music played a huge role in your life and your family’s history. Going back to your early years, what are some of your first memories of music?

Matthew and Gunnar Nelson

Matthew and Gunnar Nelson

The first memories of music for me are when my dad his band rehearsing down the hallway at the house in the Hollywood Hills. We had a little music room set up in the pool house. I didn’t know anything about music at that point but he always had people over. When he formed The Stone Canyon Band, he would always rehearse in there. I was super, super, super little watching people play live music. I think the first time I ever realized that what he did was special was at one of his concerts. We had gone on a vacation to Hawaii. I think I was around 2-and-a-half years old or 3. I remember we went to this room and there were a lot of people around in these tufted leather booths in a huge hotel ballroom. There was a big stage and I remember looking out and saying, “That looks like Papa!” Everyone was applauding and smiling and I realized it was Papa! [laughs] That kind of impressed on me how cool it was and I have wanted to do that ever since! I just wanted to join dad!

Was it tough for you early on to live in the shadow of your family’s name and come up as an artist?

Yes and no. I think I would be really arrogant and off-base by saying that it didn’t bring with it certain assets. My grandmother Harriet always used to say, “Your name might get you through the door but it’s going to be your talent that keeps you there.” What she didn’t tell me about was when you come from someone as famous as our Pop or grandparents, they reality of it is people treat you like you don’t need the break. That is number one. Number two is people expect you to be better than someone of your age and experience. There are just those expectations. People just don’t feel like you need the break. Gunnar and I started playing clubs in Los Angeles when we were 12 years old. We started really young and had been playing music for years before that. That is all we really wanted to do. It is an interesting challenge coming from any family who has had success in a prior generation. Let’s say you come from a family of athletes like my Uncle Mark (Harmon). His dad won the Heisman Trophy at Michigan in 1940. When he was coming up playing football, everyone would ask, “Are you going to be like your dad?” He would up being first string quarterback at UCLA and he was a fine quarterback for a number of years. However, he also determined that he would do his own thing and went into acting because it was what he wanted to do. Now he is the star of “NCIS” and has been doing it for years! I think having that background of knowing that it is possible to achieve the highest of goals if you set your mind to it and work at it is very important. No one is ever going to hand it to you. That has been my reality. No one hands you anything. You just have to go and make it happen for yourself. Hopefully, if you satisfy your integrity in what you want to do, along the way you will find some people out there who enjoy what you do and you can make a nice living at it.

It’s hard to believe it has been 25 years since you made a big splash with your debut album, “After The Rain.” How did that success impact you and what lessons did you learn along the way?

Nelson's 'After The Rain'

Nelson’s ‘After The Rain’

I honestly think there is a book in there somewhere because it is not something you can prepare for. Even though I came from the legacy I came from, I thought I was prepared for that type of success because like Gunnar and I used to say, “It’s not a matter of if but of when.” You have to have that in your mind otherwise you will never succeed. We always joke and say, “It’s the world’s longest overnight success.” Our success came after years of playing clubs, writing songs, making demos, seeking a deal and having it almost fail. There were so many high and lows with it that when it finally worked it turned the world upside down. I always tell people that, when I lived in the valley, I used to go to get my socks and underwear at the Sherman Oaks Galleria. I remember I went with my brother and it was smooth sailing. Two weeks later, we did a short stint on MTV as guest hosts when our first video debuted and exploded. We find ourselves at the same mall for an autograph signing that the record company set up at the local record store and the cops had to come to close the mall down! They shut the entire mall down because all three levels were zoo’d with very anxious and excited young girls. All I remember thinking was, “This is amazing but two weeks ago nobody gave a crap. Wow!” It was literally like it exploded. My dad’s career kind of did the same thing. Even though he was successful and famous on television, he was always a famous guy, when he sang on the television show for the first time people realized he was really good and there was something there. That took his career to a whole new level. I think that is a family karma.

Nelson: Celebrating 25 Years

Nelson: Celebrating 25 Years

What I learned from that is that you go along for the ride and soak it up but my brother and I worked really hard before that happened and during that whole run of exhaustive record promotion. They don’t tell you that when you have a number one record every radio station in the country wants you at the same time and it is really hard. We wore ourselves out! We went on a world tour and when we came back music had changed with Nirvana breaking on our label. As fast is it came, it went away. I was prepared for that but it was shocking to get nothing but support from the people closest to you and then no one will answer your calls. What it did was really teach me balance. I think that is where I am at 25 years later. We started our own record company called Stone Canyon so we could release our own records when we want to. We license albums to other labels instead of doing deals with them. I think that works. I think we learned one thing that is truly important, which is your ability as an artist and as a man to have the freedom of choice and to be able to do what you want to do when you want to do it. It is worth everything and I think that is what this country is based on and as an artist I have lived it. I am happy to say that now we really do enjoy that type of freedom. I think it makes us much more fulfilled in certain respects than being along for the ride that someone else is dictating.

That brings us to the latest chapter in your story. Nelson released a new album, “Peace Out,” which makes the end of an era in a way. What can you tell us about the album and where you are as a band?

Nelson - 'Peace Out'

Nelson – ‘Peace Out’

I always say that when you are a performer and are lucky to have a lot of songs that people know and hits, you have a certain amount of time to put on a show. If you are opening for somebody, you might get 20 to 30 minutes or maybe 60 minutes if you are doing a double bill. If you are headlining you get 90 minutes. Gunnar and I already have 13 albums to our credit. That is a lot of music! Once you get by the songs from the first album that everybody wants to hear, you are halfway done. We enjoy recording and being in the studio putting together music but we only have a certain amount of time on this planet. I think, with Nelson, we have said some really nice things and have kind of been there and done that. If we play concerts, we definitely have more than enough material to really rock a house with that sound. It’s interesting, I see some artists who go out there and have had long runs. I am not saying it is guaranteed but when any legacy artist says, “OK, here’s something brand new!” That is when you go out to get the T-shirt. As an artist, you hope they are paying attention. If you write something really excellent, it might break through and be as impressive as some big monster hit from the past but generally that isn’t the case. You have to keep growing and Gunnar and I thought the way we could grow the best way was to do something completely different. That is what we plan on doing. This album was more of a surprise to me than anybody. Gunnar had pretty much finished it when he brought it to me. I would say it was about 80% complete when he brought it in and said, “Hey, I’ve got another album finished.” I said, “I thought we weren’t going to do another one.” He said, “I thought we would just sign off with this one before we do other things.” As you said, it is the 25th anniversary of our debut. I had actually been working with Universal Music Group on a re-issue of “After The Rain” with some extra bonus cuts and a remaster, which I think it deserves. So we are actually going to have the first album and the last album come out this year!

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That is awesome! What can you tell us about your songwriting process and how it changed through the years for both Nelson and your other outlets?

Gunnar wrote most of the songs on this particular album alone. We collaborated on three of the songs at the end. I do a lot of songwriting and I have side projects and write for other people. I think it has really grown through the years. It is like flexing a muscle and a matter of going to the gym every day and doing it. I wish I wrote more but I feel, lately, that my songs have gotten better. I think Gunnar’s songs have to. Hopefully, that is what happens as you get older! Speaking for myself, I have written songs in a bunch of different genres ranging from heavy metal to EDM. I prefer living somewhere in between there. I will always have pop sensibilities and I like to tell stories but I am always a sucker for a great melody. I think anybody would be lying if they said they didn’t wish they were Paul McCartney. I do!

I imagine you learn a little bit with each new record you put out. Does that hold true with this album?

Yeah, I think so. Gunnar and I are brothers and even though we have some clear similarities, we are very different men. I think that is what makes it work. I had certain disagreements with certain directions he took on in this album and vice versa. I think the compromise ended up to be something really great. I know that my specialty is really in the polish and mastering. We had to get the right guy. A lot of people right now are just using their computers and plugins and saying, “It’s good enough.” I’m old school and I think there are people who are better at that then we are. You have to know when to bring in the right people. I think that happened with this record. I say this a lot, and I am fine with it, I think a lot of this has more to do with Gunnar musically than it has to do with me.

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The music industry changed drastically from the time Nelson debuted and now. What excites you about music today and what are the obstacles you face as an artist today?

I don’t think there is an industry. I think the record business is done to be honest. I hate to say it but it is true. The reality of it is that songs and albums have become more of a commercial for the live show than anything. Fortunately, for Gunnar and myself, we are live performers. Be it two guys with acoustic guitars or a big arena rock setting, that’s what we do. We are show people and we come from a legacy of people who have done that. I grew up recording things on analog recording tape and cutting tape with a razor blade, doing it really old school. You really had to commit and make choices because you had 24 tracks, if you were lucky. Now, you have unlimited tracks, you can fix it in the mix, you don’t have to make decisions and can cut it together frame by frame or word by word. A lot has changed and I am really fortunate in the sense that I had to learn to do things the hard way.

Matthew and Gunnar Nelson

Matthew and Gunnar Nelson

Now, I will be honest with you, things are a lot easier. I’d be a fool to say it wasn’t easier to make a record these days. It is! Before, an album used to cost $250,000 to make. A video cost a quarter of a million dollars. Now, you can shoot it on an iPhone. One thing that won’t change is that it is all about having a great song. You have quicker and broader reach than you used to have. At one point we had 90,000 active members in a fan club. I remember it cost $35,000 every time we sent a letter to our fans. Now, you press send on your phone and everybody gets it! That is a good thing! Contrarily, just because you can make a record doesn’t necessarily mean you should make a record. There is a glut of stuff out there. I have noticed kids today, my stepson for example, are actually going back to older music because it seems to have been made with more care. Those are his words. People actually cared about the music more and it wasn’t just a loop they yelled at you on. It was a real song. You talk to other kids and ask, “What’s your favorite band?” They say, “I don’t know. I just kinda listen to whatever is there.” I remember, growing up, we all had our favorite bands. We would be excited waiting for an album to come out and for a band to come to town. Today it’s a whole different thing. I think that having access, as quick and broad as we do, is a blessing and a curse. It is a blessing that we can get to everybody but it is a curse because there is so much more to filter through.

I think the future is finding a balance between all of that and staying on top of the new technologies from a recording and distribution standpoint. I am a real advocate for legacy music because I really feel that people, especially kids, need to know where all this stuff came from and how it started. I am fortunate to have my dad’s whole thing to go back on for my son to look at. I went to The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and they have a display with Beyonce in it. No discredit to Beyonce because she’s amazing. I said, “Is she in the Rock Hall?” They said, “No but we have to get kids to care.” I am looking around and seeing all the forefathers of this amazing art form and thinking “Wow. It is really disappointing that kids don’t care anymore.” They are just feed a whole bunch of stuff. Hopefully, the good stuff will always rise to the top and people will care about this stuff and have reverence for it because it deserves it.

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What can you tell us about where you are headed in the future musically? Is there anything you can tell us there?

Yeah! It’s not a government secret! [laughs] Gunnar and I, if we continue to make music together, we begin and end with two brothers singing with acoustic guitars. That is really our strength. The genesis of Nelson was not unlike the band Heart, get songs, acoustics and singing family harmonies. With us, we are going to be doing the same thing just in a meliora. I think it is going to have more of an Americana touch to it. We have done the arena rock thing and clearly we have a history as rock and rollers but we did that on our own terms as well. It was the antithesis of your blues oriented rock bands like Guns ‘N Roses type of thing. When everybody was black leather, we were color! I think with two brothers singing, the two main instruments being acoustic guitars and building around that is really what we are going for. I think it is something along the lines of, if you can imagine, The Everly’s making records today using today’s technologies, song structure and undeniable sibling harmony and great songs. That is what we plan on doing!

That is awesome to hear, Matthew. As a fan, I can’t wait to see where the next leg of your journey takes you! Keep up the great work!

Thank you! I will and we will be talking again, I assure you! Thank you very much!

‘Peace Out’ is available now! For all the latest news and information on Matthew and Gunnar Nelson, visit www.matthewandgunnarnelson.com.

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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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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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