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LIKE A STORM: Chris Brooks On The Band’s Epic Rise and Powerful New Album!

LIKE A STORM: Chris Brooks On The Band’s Epic Rise and Powerful New Album!

Formed by brothers Chris, Matt & Kent Brooks, and with the addition of Zach Wood on drums, Like A Storm has never been a band content to do anything less than shattering the mold. Known to be one of the hardest working, most original sounding bands in the business, Like A Storm has not only quickly established themselves as a force to be reckoned with, they are also the most successful New Zealand rock band in US radio history. The journey began with their debut album, ‘The End of The Beginning,’ which introduced the world to their brilliant vocals, gritty guitars and their infamous didgeridoo, setting the band apart from their peers and leading to their first US tour. Like A Storm continued to gain momentum with their sophomore release, ‘Awaken The Fire,’ which kicked the door wide open with four consecutive Top 40 Active Rock Chart singles, including “Love the Way You Hate Me”, “Wish You Hell”, “Become The Enemy”, and “Break Free”. Both of Like a Storm’s two studio albums debuted in the Billboard 200. As one of the most prolific young acts on the scene, their early success led to global tours with some of the biggest names in rock – including Alter Bridge, Slash, Korn, Shinedown, Three Days Grace and many others – as well as touring North America extensively as a headline act.

In the summer of 2018, Like A Storm will return with their most powerful and inspired album to date — ‘Catacombs.’ Released on June 22nd, 2018 via RED MUSIC, ‘Catacombs’ serves as an ambitious followup to their previous releases. To bring ‘Catacombs’ to life, the band had to step away from their aggressive touring schedule to write, record, and produce the new album. The album quickly began to take shape as they channeled their life experience into a style of music that is all their own. Recorded in Los Angeles, Toronto, and a Las Vegas studio that over-looked the Strip, the sessions resulted in eleven hypnotic, honest, and hard-hitting anthems that are undeniably powerful. In fact, it’s only a matter of time until they will be invading the airwaves and captivating listeners around the globe. These seasoned rock warriors are no strangers to life on the road. Armed with a brand-new album and a slew of already memorable hits, Like A Storm has their sights set on bringing their high-energy rock show to the masses and creating a lasting connection with their fans. You can catch them this summer in direct support of Godsmack and Shinedown on their co-headling tour.

Jason Price of Icon Vs. Icon recently caught up with Like A Storm frontman Chris Brooks to discuss the band’s already impressive history, their creative evolution, the making of ‘Catacombs’ and what they have in store for us in the year to come!

You’ve carved out an amazing career but I want to start by going back to the beginning. How did music first come into your life and what drove you to pursue it professionally?

Wow! As you know, the three of us are brothers, and music first came into our lives when we were about 6 or 7 years old. That’s when our parents got us started on piano lessons and that was the first time we started learning music. For me, I guess I have always just been fascinated with music. We grew up listening to a lot of Beatles and that kind of thing. I can remember when I was 5 or 6, going to Australia to visit my granddad. We walked past a CD stand and my parents were like, “You can pick out whatever you want.” I ended up buying this Alice Cooper CD. I had never heard it but the cover just spoke to me! [laughs] What he looked like was one of the most amazing things I had ever seen! [laughs] I started getting more and more into that. I switched from piano to guitar. I also got into bands like Nirvana, Green Day and Jimi Hendrix. I got captivated with that whole world! Once I started learning guitar, I started writing songs and singing in a band with friends to occupy the weekends. My brothers had a similar journey. So, we ended up, each of the three of us, ended up fronting our own bands and we would play weird parties, school halls and that kind of thing! We always knew that’s what we wanted to do with our lives. Kent and I started playing together because I was looking for a guitarist, someone to do backup vocals and someone to write with. I finally realized, “Why am I fighting this? Why am I looking at everyone else apart from my brothers who I already have a great musical connection with?” We would always just kind of jam. We had a drum kit in our house and both Matt and Kent started as drummers before moving to guitar. We always had a ton of instruments around and it was so easy for us to jam any song or even write a song on the spot. It was all because of that incredible connection. After Kent and I started playing together, we went through the same thing with Matt. He was singing in his own band and once again we asked, “Why are we fighting this thing that is so easy?” The connection was impossible to deny! The three of us started playing together and it was basically right after that when we moved up to Canada. That’s really when we started chasing this dream. We started at the absolute bottom! In Canada, no one knew who we were and we had no family or friends to help fill out a room starting out! We played some pretty empty gigs to begin with but the chemistry was there!

Chris Brooks of Like A Storm – Photo by Jason Axsom

I’ve seen Like A Storm play live on multiple occasions. As a frontman, you have remarkable energy and a great command of the crowd. When did you come into your own as a frontman? You make it look easy and I know it’s far from it!

Oh, thank you, man! I don’t know that I have still! Ya know what I mean? [laughs] It’s just one of those things that I love to do. For me, that expression of being on stage and having that connection with the crowd is a really, really magical thing! I think we’ve been lucky to have the support of the crowds that we’ve had and to have the support of the fans that we have. I think that all makes a huge difference. You don’t want to be out there doing the same show to people who don’t want to hear what you have to say. Our first tour in the U.S. was the ’09 Creed reunion tour. We kind of worried because that is the paradox of the opening band; you’re the only thing standing between the audience and this band that they can’t wait to see! It’s your set that’s preventing them from hearing the band they love! [laughs] For us and for me, personally as a frontman, you just have to have a good time with the audience and give the show everything you can and hopefully they connect with it.

There is no denying the fact you are driven in all aspects of your career. What lessons did you learn early on as a young band that carried forward with you as your reach has grown?

There are a few real key lessons that we’ve learned. One has been that you really have to forge your own path. I remember when we first moved to Canada, where we had a lot of success early on. A lot of people would tell us, “Yeah, I’m going to record your album …” or “I’m going to record your single. We’ll do it in a month.” Then, a month would go by and we would reach out and say, “Hey, man! Are we still going to make that album?” They would say, “Yeah, yeah. We’ll do it in a month. It’s going to be amazing!” From that we learned that you have to push on and you can’t wait for other people to be in charge of your destiny, so to speak. We learned that very early on! We also learned that you have to play the music you are passionate about. When we first moved down and started playing, we had a lot of advice from people. Literally verbatim, we met with people who said, “Go and listen to active rock. Listen to the bands that have the top five songs and write like them.” To us, we thought that was the craziest thing we had ever heard because we didn’t even grow up on the same side of the world that all these bands did. How would we and why would we go through all that trouble and deny everything that was unique about us, just to sound like the worst version of these bands? Those things were so absurd that it really gave us the chance to look at it and go say, “We don’t want to try and do that. We want to embrace everything that is different about ourselves.” It was one of those things where you start out and people say, “I don’t know quite what to do with you guys because you don’t really sound like anyone else.” Then, once you start having some sort of success, it’s such a great thing. They say, “Oh, man! It’s amazing that you guys don’t sound like anyone else!” It’s that sort of irony! You really just have to follow your vision. That’s what we believe anyway.

Like A Storm is about to release an exciting new record. Tell us about your headspace going into the creative process for “Catacombs.”

That’s a great question. We had just come off a couple of years of touring all over the world. When we did “Awaken The Fire” we had really only toured the U.S. and I think we had one song on the radio and that kind of thing. Going into “Awaken The Fire,” we really wanted to build on that. Throughout the process of that album, I think we had four songs in a row on the top 40 of Active Rock radio and we toured all over the world. It gave us a real sense of conviction and belief when it came to follow our own musical journey. We wanted to continue to push ourselves to make our own sort of music and not try to switch on to what might be popular or what people want to hear. We just wanted to continue to push what made us unique. We brought a lot of that touring energy into this record. We knew we wanted to make a record that would be so much fun to play live every single night. That, for us, meant pushing the musicality of it. We wanted to make a heavier record. We have such a wide range of music but nothing beats the connection you get when you play that heavy music live. Our heaviest songs from the last record would always be the most fun to play live, so we wanted to carry that forward. Lyrically, it just sort of worked out that after touring for two years, all the noise, excitement and distractions of touring came to a stop. It’s at that point where you are left to face yourself. You are left with these things that you haven’t had to think about for two years, so a lot of it just wrote itself from that point and that moment where you are forced to confront yourself. From a lyrical standpoint, the concept of it was very quick in terms of the writing process.

Tell us about your songwriting process for Like A Storm. Has it changed through the years?

Yeah. It all stems from us being the frontmen in our own bands; all three of us write and demo. They can be complete songs, a guitar riff, a drum beat, vocal idea or lyric. It can be anything! All three of us will write and record demos and, from that point, we will get together and collaborate back and forth to see what we are really vibing on. Sometimes it can be the three of us in a room writing something, someone coming in with what is basically a finished song or someone might start a song and send it to the other two guys and one of them takes it even further before sending it back. It’s a very collaborative process and it can happen over two different countries. That’s what’s kinda fun about it! Through the use of modern technology, you can do a lot of it without actually being in the same room. That allows each of us to find whatever might produce the best results. It’s about finding the best environment for us to be creative and then working to that.

What are the biggest challenges and lessons learned from bringing “Catacombs” to life?

One of the biggest challenges was that we ended up producing the record ourselves again. We did that on “Awaken The Fire” and we were really happy with the way it turned out. This time around, we started entertaining the idea of working with other people because producing an album is just a hell of a lot of work, ya know? Especially when, as a band, you are the songwriters and musicians as well. It’s like, if it doesn’t reach your vision, there is no one else to blame but yourself! You are responsible every step of the way for getting it to the point where you can achieve that vision. From that point of view, the last couple of months we were sleeping only a couple of hours a night at most. That’s when you’re pushing yourself the most lyrically, as a writer and producer, to get it where you feel it needs to be. That was the biggest challenge. In the early stages of the record, the challenge was finding the time to really immerse ourselves in the album. We had decided it was time for us to make “Catacombs” but we were still getting offered so many tours around the world. That was six months after we supposedly were taking a break to make the album! We had toured just as much as we ever had! That was the first challenge — how do you balance riding the wave you are on with starting the next one? It took discipline to say, “We have to stop touring now. We have to take almost a year off from touring to fully focus on the record.” That was a challenge too!

How have you evolved as an artist?

That’s an interesting question. Ya know, I’ve never thought about it. The interesting thing is, as you progress on through these things, it’s almost difficult to look backwards. You get so caught up in looking forward and moving toward the next album or tour that you don’t often sit back and reflect on what you’ve achieved. I think, for us, it’s a confidence in the music we want to make. It’s a freedom and a confidence to follow that freedom. I think that has been the main difference. When you start out and somebody tells you that you should sound like those other five bands and you are wondering, “Is this really what I have to do to be a touring rock band?” Whereas now, that is such an absurd statement. We have confidence in the idea that the best music we can create is music that is true to who we are.

What does the future hold for Like A Storm both short and long term?

The next thing we have coming up is our summer tour with Godsmack and Shinedown, which is an absolutely insane way to start off this touring cycle! We have this amphitheater tour that goes out this summer and it’s sure to be amazing. Then we will have some headline stuff coming in before we head to Europe. We are trying to balance the U.S. and Europe touring for the rest of the year. Eventually, we’d love to get back down to New Zealand and Australia and tour this album there!

I can’t wait to see you perform the new material from “Catacombs.” I’m sure we will cross paths again soon but until then I wish you continued success! Thanks so much for your time today!

Awesome! Great questions, man! Thank you very much for that! Take care!

For all the latest news and tour dates for Like A Storm, visit their official site at www.likeastorm.com. Connect with the band on social media via Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

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Classic Rock Legends Foreigner Announce Massive Reunion Concert

Classic Rock Legends Foreigner Announce Massive Reunion Concert

Foreigner is ready to rock audiences in 2018!

“I Want To Know What Love Is.” “Cold As Ice.” “Hot Blooded.” “Juke Box Hero.” FOREIGNER, the band behind these classic and iconic songs, recently kicked off their 29-city “Juke Box Heroes“ tour as they rock  across the US with one of the hottest Live Nation tours of the summer. Last night in Syracuse, New York, history was made after FOREIGNER  – Mick Jones (lead guitar), Kelly Hansen (lead vocals), Tom Gimbel (rhythm guitar, sax, vocals), Jeff Pilson (bass, vocals), Michael Bluestein (keyboards), Bruce Watson (guitar) and Chris Frazier (drums) – played the latest stop on their “Juke Box Heroes” tour.

Here, founding member Mick Jones and Kelly Hansen shared a historic announcement – FOREIGNER’s first-ever ticketed reunion concert featuring all original members will take place on August 4, 2018 at The Sturgis Buffalo Chip in Sturgis, South Dakota. Here, Lou Gramm, Dennis Elliott, Al Greenwood, Ian McDonald and Rick Wills will join Mick Jones and FOREIGNER to rock through some of the best-selling songs from the band’s 10 multi-platinum albums and 40 years of enduring top ten hits. While FOREIGNER’s original members have joined the band for surprise appearances in the past, never before have they announced a ticketed reunion where fans can join in for the ultimate soundtrack of summer. For tickets to FOREIGNER’s performance on Chip’s Wolfman Jack Stage as part of the 9-day annual event known as “The Largest Music Festival in Motorcycling,”® please visit www.buffalochip.com.

Says Mick Jones, “It’s been incredible to have Lou, Dennis, Al, Ian and Rick join us for some surprise appearances throughout the past few years. It always brings back special memories. But now, for the first time, we are letting our fans know we’ll be making history together at The Buffalo Chip on August 4th with a FOREIGNER reunion concert, and we hope they’ll come on down to Sturgis and join us!”

This announcement comes on the heels of the 40th Anniversary of FOREIGNER’s best-selling album, Double Vision, and the band is working on a very special release to celebrate the momentous occasion.

FOREIGNER is also charting new territory on the album charts, as their latest album, Foreigner with the 21st Century Symphony Orchestra & Chorus has topped the Billboard Classical Album Chart for multiple weeks, and continues to sell out tour dates across the world. This album has also inspired a new 60-minute concert special airing on PBS TV stations across the country in June and July; FOREIGNER LIVE AT THE SYMPHONY. Please check local PBS listings for air dates in your city.

To check out FOREIGNER joined by WHITESNAKE and JASON BONHAM’S LED ZEPPELIN EVENING for the 2018 “Juke Box Heroes Tour” in other cities this summer, please visit LiveNation.com.

And… a new merch alert! Sony Music’s innovative merchandising company The Thread Shop has partnered with Foreigner to launch a new line of band merchandise which will be sold at the group’s current US tour date. Additionally, The Thread Shop worked hand-in-hand with Foreigner to relaunch the band’s online store. This new line of merchandise will be available at Foreigner tour stops across the US, as well as online. From classic logo zip hoodies and Juke Box Hero iPhone cases to Head Games and Double Vision raglan t-shirts, Foreigner’s hits have been memorialized in this fresh new line of gear. Click https://store.foreigneronline.com/store/to purchase!

Since the 1977 release of their first hit “Feels Like The First Time” and their self-titled debut album on Atlantic Records, FOREIGNER has been universally hailed as one of the world’s most popular rock acts with 10 multi-platinum albums, 16 Top 30 hits, and worldwide album sales exceeding 80 million.  Responsible for some of rock and roll’s most enduring anthems including “Juke Box Hero,” “Cold as Ice,” “Feels Like The First Time,” “Urgent,” “Head Games,” “Say You Will,” “Dirty White Boy,” “Long, Long Way From Home,” and the worldwide #1 hit, “I Want To Know What Love Is,” FOREIGNER continues to rock the charts more than forty years into the game.  Business Insider recently named FOREIGNER one of the “Top 50 Best Selling Artists of All Time.”

The Sturgis Buffalo Chip® is the Largest Music Festival in Motorcycling®. It is the world’s first and leading entertainment destination for the motorcycle enthusiast and South Dakota Excellence in Tourism Innovation award winner. Since 1981, the venue’s high-profile, nine-day festival, known as The Best Party Anywhere®, remains one of the world’s most televised and longest running independent music festivals. Located three miles east of Sturgis, SD on 600 creek-fed acres, it offers six stages of entertainment, a swimming hole, bars, mouth-watering food, showers, cabins, RVs, camping and more to visitors traveling from all corners of the world. The Chip’s concerts and races are free with camping. The 2018 Motorcycles as Art exhibit, “Passion Built – Garage to Gallery” curated by Michael Lichter, numerous bike and stunt shows and all shopping, live music and events at the CrossRoads are free and open to the public. More details are available at www.BuffaloChip.com.

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New Poster and Trailer For ‘The Public Image Is Rotten’ Documentary Revealed

New Poster and Trailer For ‘The Public Image Is Rotten’ Documentary Revealed

In celebration of Public Image Ltd.’s (PiL) 40th Anniversary, Abramorama and Verisimilitude have released the first official trailer and poster of the new music documentary The Public Image Is Rotten.  The career-spanning documentary, tells the story of music icon John Lydon and his pioneering group PiL with a level of depth and intimacy never before seen.  Following a sold-out screening at Camden London’s Odeon Cinema, the film will be released in multiple theaters across the United Kingdom and select European cities throughout the summer, followed by a North American theatrical tour in the fall kicking off at New York City’s downtown Metrograph.

Directed by Tabbert Fiiller, The Public Image Is Rotten features in-depth interviews with John Lydon, former and current bandmates as well as Flea (Red Hot Chili Peppers), Ad-Rock (Beastie Boys) and Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth) among others, and the film is loaded with electrifying archival performance and interview footage.

Abramorama’s Chief Operating Officer Karol Martesko-Fenster and West Coast Head of Acquisitions & Business Development Evan Saxon added, “We are thrilled to be working with Verisimilitude’s Tyler Brodie and Hunter Gray, alongside John Lydon and longtime PiL manager John Rambo Stevens on the global release.  John Lydon forever changed the face of music and pop culture in many of the same ways Elvis did.  The timing of this is perfect as PiL is touring the world and giving fans an amazing live show like never before.  We will leverage the theatrical campaign to work closely with the fantastic team at Universal Music to drive awareness for their comprehensive box set also titled The Public Image Is Rotten.”

Music Icon and PiL founder, John Lydon shared, Truth In Shape and Size, No Lies!

After the breakup of the Sex Pistols, John Lydon (John Rotten), formed Public Image Ltd. his groundbreaking band which has lived on nearly 15 times as long as his first one. A creative originator, Lydon has kept the band alive ever since, through personnel and stylistic changes, fighting to constantly reinvent new ways of approaching music, while adhering to radical ideals of artistic integrity. John Lydon has not only redefined music, but also the true meaning of originality.  With his trademark acerbic wit and unpredictable candor, Lydon offers a behind-the-scenes look at one of music’s most influential and controversial careers.

Widely regarded as one of the most innovative and influential bands of all time, PiL’s music and vision earned them 5 UK Top 20 singles and 5 UK Top 20 albums. With a shifting line-up and unique sound, John Lydon guided the band from their debut album ‘First Issue’ in 1978 through to 1992’s ‘That What Is Not’. After a 17-year hiatus, Lydon reactivated PiL in 2009 by taking them back on the road worldwide.  In 2015 the band released their 10th studio album ‘What The World Needs Now’ which followed the huge critical success of 2012’s ‘This is PiL’, the band’s first album in 17 years. ‘What The World Needs Now’ peaked at number 29 in the official UK album charts and picked up fantastic acclaim from both press and public. (The album also peaked at number 3 in the official UK indie charts and number 4 in the official UK vinyl charts). ‘What The World Needs Now…’ was self-funded by PiL and released on their own label ‘PiL Official’ via Cargo UK Distribution.

John Lydon and his PiL bandmates Lu Edmonds, Scott Firth and Bruce Smith, are currently in the midst of a 36-date tour of UK/Europe and Japan. They are the longest stable line-up in the band’s history.


 3rd.    June          Camden                       Odeon Camden
17th  June          Edinburgh                     Cameo Picturehouse
27th  June           Exeter                          Exeter Picturehouse
4th    July            Hackney, London          Hackney Picturehouse
4th    July            Southampton               Harbour Lights Picturehouse
4th    July            Stratford                      Stratford Picturehouse
6th    July            Liverpool                      Picturehouse @ Fact
9th    July            Liverpool                      Picturehouse @ Fact
27th  June          Norwich                        Picturehouse Cinema City
19th  July            Camden                       Odeon Camden
19th  July            Manchester                  Odeon Manchester Great Northern
19th  July            Blackpool                      Odeon Blackpool
19th  July            Kingston                       Odeon Kingston
19th  July            Southend                     Odeon Southend
19th  July            Glasgow                       Odeon Glasgow Quay
19th  July            Oxford                         Odeon Oxford
9th   Aug.           Birmingham                  Electric Cinema

14th Sept.           New York City               The Metrograph

For more information and additional screening engagements being set in Poland, Italy, Spain, Portugal, France, Australia and across Latin America please visit

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Reunited FLIPP Recruit Guitarist Drew Fortier As Second Guitarist

Reunited FLIPP Recruit Guitarist Drew Fortier As Second Guitarist

FLIPP frontman Brynn Arens and new FLIPP guitarist Drew Fortier. (Photo credit: Tharasa DiMeo)

The reunited U.S. rock group FLIPP have recruited musician/filmmaker/actor Drew Fortier (ZEN FROM MARS, BANG TANGO, CHUCK MOSLEY) as their second guitarist.

Says FLIPP in a statement: “We are so very happy to have Drew Fortier as a member of the band. We can’t wait for future shows and we’re going to have fun trying to find the right stage name for him. For the moment, we’re calling him “Drew Badly”; because he’s not a bad guitar player… he’s just drawn that way.”

Fortier added: “I am so excited to become a member of such a legendary and criminally underrated band. I have been a big fan of theirs since I was a kid, and with all the fun and zany theatrics, it’s like performing with my favorite cartoon comic book superheroes! It so much fun!”

Fortier made his live debut with the band at the annual Barn Party in Stillwater, Minnesota this past weekend.

The rest of the lineup includes: singer/guitarist Brynn Arens, bassist Cherry Forever, and drummer Kilo Bale; all of whom are founding members of FLIPP.

Future shows are currently in the works.

FLIPP frontman Brynn Arens

FLIPP is a Minneapolis-based rock band formed in 1994,known for their penchant for elaborate stunts and theatricsincluding, but not limited to: dropping hundreds of pounds of cereal onto rock festival audiences, initiating mass scale feather pillow fights with crowds, and surprise pop up shows on the back of flatbed trucks in the middle of busy downtown metropolitan areas; the band is also remembered for itscartoonish stage costumes, clown make-up, and bizarre onstage behavior; culminating in a style of music which has been described as CHEAP TRICK meets THE SEX PISTOLS.

The band experienced success in the 90’s with the almost accidental popularity of their homemade music video for their sludgy cover of THE WHO’s MY GENERATION; which received regular airplay on MTV’s 120 Minutes and proceeded to secure the band a record deal and subsequent support slots fora wide range of artists such as WHITE ZOMBIE, CHEAP TRICK, BUSH, OASIS, EVANESCENCE, GREEN DAY, and EVERCLEAR, to name a few.
While under management by Bill Aucoin (KISS, BILLY IDOL), the band were close to a radio hit with their single “Freak”, from their Art Alexakis (EVERCLEAR) co-produced album “Volume”; the song landed at #38 on Billboard, as well as #1 in 8 different cities. In an unsuspected turn, their record label at the time, Artemis Records, had been in litigation and went under before a final push for the singlewas to be had, which resulted in the eventual dissolution of the band.
FLIPP have since been reunited and reactivated as of 2016.

The band’s newest member, Drew Fortier, is a musician, songwriter, filmmaker, and actor best known as guitarist for BANG TANGO, the late Chuck Mosley (FAITH NO MORE), and ZEN FROM MARS; which he cofounded, and also includes members Stephen Shareaux (KIK TRACEE), Chip Z’Nuff (ENUFF Z’NUFF), Mike Heller (FEAR FACTORY,MALIGNANCY, RAVEN), Brynn Arens (FLIPP), and Kate Catalina (SPARKLE PARTY). Fortier has also directed and edited the documentaries “Attack of Life: The Bang Tango Movie” as well as the upcoming “Thanks. And Sorry: The Chuck Mosley Movie”. He will also be making his acting debut in the upcoming Comedy Horror film “Her Name Was Christa”.

FLIPP front man Brynn Arens and guitarist Drew Fortier are also both in ZEN FROM MARS, for which their debut album, “The Ultra Head Frequency”, is currently being mixed and mastered by Richard Easterling (AMERICAN HEADCHARGE, MUSE) for a fall 2018 release.

Follow FLIPP on their official Facebook page: Facebook.com/flippofficial

Check out the official Facebook page for Rocksteady Records at www.facebook.com/RocksteadyrecordsMN/

Check out FLIPP’S music video for their single “Clone Me” from their 2002 release “Volume” below:

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LIVING THE DREAM: Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators To Return With New Album

LIVING THE DREAM: Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators To Return With New Album

yles Kennedy and The Conspirators

SLASH FT. MYLES KENNEDY & THE CONSPIRATORS have announced today, June 18 they’ll release their new album titled LIVING THE DREAM on September 21 via SLASH’s own label Snakepit Records in partnership with Roadrunner Records. LIVING THE DREAM is SLASH’s fourth solo album, and third with his band featuring MYLES KENNEDY (Vocals), BRENT FITZ (Drums), TODD KERNS (Bass & Vocals) and FRANK SIDORIS (Guitar & Vocals). A pre-order for the new album will begin on Wednesday, July 25.

For LIVING THE DREAM, SLASH and his band re-teamed with producer Michael “Elvis” Baskette (Alter Bridge, Iggy Pop, Incubus); the group are currently putting the finishing touches on the powerful12 song collection. The band’s previous albums World On Fire and Apocalyptic Love, debuted in the Top Ten on 12 charts globally, spawned three #1 hit singles at U.S. Rock Radio and earned worldwide praise garnering SLASH some of the best critical acclaim of his career. World On Fire was tagged by Guitar World as “another bold and unapologetically riffy statement” and “a varied, immersive and incredibly hard rocking effort” (December 2014). Rolling Stone described Apocalyptic Love–the band’s debut album–as “filled with head bangers and plenty of fancy fretwork” and Revolver declared it “a collection of lean, high-octane rock-and-roll tunes built to be blasted out of open-top sports cars, or more suitably, open-air stadiums” (May 2012).

The group have announced they’ll kick off a U.S. headlining tour beginning September 13 in Los Angeles. Citi is the official credit card of the “Living The Dream” tour, as such Citi cardmembers will have access to presale tickets beginning Tuesday, June 19 at 10am local time through Thursday, June 21 at 10pm. For complete details, visit: citiprivatepass.com. SLASH fanclub presales will begin June 19 at 10:00am local time, with general onsales starting Friday, June 22 at 10:00am. Each ticket purchased online to a headlining show will include a digital copy of LIVING THE DREAM (out 9/21/18); all tickets are available at: http://www.slashonline.com. The full itinerary (see below), encompasses three festival appearances: Sunday, September 16 at KAABOO Festival, Friday, September 28 at Louder Than Life Festival and Sunday, October 14 at Aftershock Festival.


Sept. 13 – Los Angeles, Calif. @ Whisky A Go Go
Sept. 15 – Phoenix, Ariz. @ The Van Buren
Sept. 16 – Del Mar, Calif. @ Kaaboo Del Mar
Sept. 18 – Salt Lake City, Calif. @ The Depot
Sept. 19 – Denver, Colo. @ Fillmore
Sept. 21 – Tulsa, Okla. @ Paradise Cove Margaritaville
Sept. 22 – Thackerville, Okla. @ Winstar
Sept. 24 – Austin, Texas @ Stubbs
Sept. 26 – Houston, Texas @ House of Blues
Sept. 28 – Louisville, Ky. @ Louder Than Life
Sept. 29 – New Buffalo, Mich. @ Four Winds Casino Resort
Oct. 01 – Montclair, N.J. @ Wellmont Theatre
Oct. 02 – Silver Spring, Md. @ Fillmore
Oct. 04 – Rama, Canada @ Casino Rama
Oct. 05 – New York, N.Y. @ Pier 17 at South Street Seaport
Oct. 06 – Uncasville, Conn. @ Mohegan Sun
Oct. 09 – Huntington, N.Y. @ Paramount
Oct. 10 – Philadelphia, Penn. @ Electric Factory
Oct. 11 – Boston, Mass. @ House Of Blues
Oct. 14 – Sacramento, Calif. @ Aftershock

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City of The Weak Unveil Video For “Not This Time” From Upcoming Album, ‘Pulling Teeth’

City of The Weak Unveil Video For “Not This Time” From Upcoming Album, ‘Pulling Teeth’

City Of The Weak has just released the new video for “Not This Time.  The video can be viewed below! “Not This Time” is the first single off their upcoming full length release Pulling Teeth to be released on June 22nd.

Hailing from Minneapolis, MN, City Of The Weak haven’t slowed down since forming in 2012.  The band has toured the United States relentlessly and are on track to play their 400th show in 2018.  After being featured on EMG TV, spending 13 weeks on the Loudwire countdown, and receiving over 1.3 million views on their first six music videos, City of the Weak have proven to be one of the hardest working bands in America.

City of the Weak captures a modern rock ‘n roll sound that is so perfectly defined, combining catchy pop melodies with aggressive guitar riffs and moving bass lines to create a genre of their own.  They are best known for their intensity and passion on stage, as well as their fearless personalities off the stage.

Track Listing:

  1. Like I Do
  2. Trust Nobody
  3. Glad You Could Make It 
  4. Not This Time
  5. Censor This
  6. Ungrateful
  7. Drag Us Under
  8. Drop the Anchor
  9. Suffer Like Me
  10. Pulling Teeth

The album was produced by Craig Owens being engineered, mixed and mastered by Jordan Disorbo.

Preorders bundles are now available at:   https://www.cityoftheweakofficial.com/shop/.

Digital preorder through iTunes include gratis track:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/pulling-teeth/1384570930

For more  information, check out the band’s online locations:
Facebook: www.facebook.com/cityoftheweak
Instagram: www.instagram.com/cityoftheweak
Twitter: www.twitter.com/CityoftheWeak
Official: www.cityoftheweak.com
YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/CityoftheWeak/videos
Vevo: www.youtube.com/channel/UCNrMt6Doky0GKt5yn3t0erg/videos

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Indie Rockers The Dose Release Video For “Vervain” From Forthcoming Debut Album

Indie Rockers The Dose Release Video For “Vervain” From Forthcoming Debut Album

Indie rock band THE DOSE have released “Vervain,” the first track and video off their full-length debut album, which is set for release later this year.

Watch the electrifying Jake Stark-directed video below or click HERE to stream/download the audio.

Praised by Guitar World for its “Nineties-inspired firepower,” “Vervain” was produced by Keith Nelson (Buckcherry) and mixed by Joe Barresi (Tool, Queens of the Stone Age, Soundgarden) and is the band’s first new music since the release of their blistering 2016 self-titled debut EP.

The Los Angeles-based duo (comprised of vocalist/guitarist Indio Downey and drummer/bassist Ralph Alexander) have spent the past couple of years gigging up and down the west coast, sharpening a monolithic sound inspired by the likes of Led Zeppelin, Nirvana and The Sword. The latter is no easy feat for a two-man band.

The Dose was originally a trio, but the bass player didn’t show one night, forcing Downey and Alexander to take the stage alone. They killed, the bassist was axed, and they grew stronger as players.

“We went to Atlanta and practiced for a month before we found a way to make it work,” recalls Alexander, who plays bass synth pedals with his foot while drumming. “We want to be the biggest-sounding two-piece we can be.”

Asked to describe the band’s sound, Downey says, “We write love songs and stories about staying positive that are largely influenced by the bands we love.”

This fall they’ll join some of the biggest names in rock, including Nine Inch Nails, Deftones, Alice In Chains and System Of A Down, at the Louder Than Life and Aftershock festivals.

Los Angeles fans can catch them at The Hi-Hat on July 26.


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Monster Magnet Announces Dates For North American Tour

Monster Magnet Announces Dates For North American Tour

Monster Magnet

March of 2018 saw the release of the latest MONSTER MAGNET masterpiece “Mindfucker” (Order and Stream The Album) on Napalm Records.  Following three exclusive Northeastern US shows, the band headed across the pond for a European headline tour.  Now they are ready to return to North America for a full headline tour this Fall.

The band will hit the road in North America on September 28th in Toronto, ON.  The tour will run through October 28th in Boston, MA.  Support on the tour will come from Electric Citizen and Dark Sky Choir. A complete list of dates can be found below.

A message from MM frontman Dave Wyndorf:
“Can’t wait to hit North America with the MINDFUCKER tour!   Warning: This is REAL ROCK music, made loud to be played loud!  A Monster Magnet show is a face melting celebration of electric madness made all the better and fueled to peak intensity by the attendance of excitable human beings.  Hope you’re part of that equation!  See you soon!

Monster Magnet On Tour:
9/28: Toronto, ON @ Lee’s Palace
9/29: Pontiac, MI @ The Emerald Theatre
9/30: Louisville, KY @ Louder Than Life Festival*
10/2: Chicago, IL @ Bottom Lounge
10/3: Minneapolis, MN @ Cabooze
10/5: Denver, CO @ The Bluebird Theater
10/6: Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge
10/8: Portland, OR @ Hawthorne Theater
10/9: Vancouver, BC @ Commodore Ballroom
10/10: Seattle, WA @ El Corazon
10/12: San Francisco, CA @ Thee Parkside
10/13: Sacramento, CA @ Aftershock Festival*
10/15: Santa Ana, CA @ The Observatory
10/16: San Diego, CA @ Brick By Brick
10/17: Phoenix, AZ @ Rebel Lounge
10/19: San Antonio, TX @ Paper Tiger
10/20: Dallas, TX @ Canton Hall
10/21: Houston, TX @ White Oak (Upstairs)
10/23: Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade
10/24: Nashville, TN @ Basement East
10/26: Baltimore, MD @ Baltimore Soundstage
10/27: New York, NY @ Gramercy Theater
10/28: Boston, MA @ The Sinclair

*Festival Appearance

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Lauryn Hill Announces Special Guests For ‘The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill World Tour 2018’

Lauryn Hill Announces Special Guests For ‘The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill World Tour 2018’

Multiple GRAMMY® Award winner Ms. Lauryn Hill has announced special guests joining the North American leg of her highly-anticipated The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill World Tour 2018.  Produced by Live Nation, and kicking off July 5, the outing will feature varied support on each date. The full list of artists performing at various dates of the tour include NAS, M.I.A., Dave Chappelle, Santigold, A$AP Rocky, SZA, Big Boi, De La Soul, Busta Rhymes, Dave East, Jo Mersa Marley, Talib Kweli, Bambaata Marley, Shabazz Palaces, Patoranking, Tierra Whack, Protoje, Kelela, Victory, Raury, Iman Omari and more. The full routing with support details can be found below.

Ms. Lauryn Hill has also revealed she will be adding a Los Angeles date at the Hollywood Bowl on September 18th featuring comedic powerhouse Dave Chappelle where De La Soul will also lend support.

Citi® is the official presale credit card of The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill World Tour 2018. As such, Citi cardmembers will have access to purchase presale tickets for the Los Angeles show on Tuesday, June 19th  at 10am local time until Thursday, June 21st at 10pm local time through Citi’s Private Pass® program. For complete pre-sale details visit https://www.citiprivatepass.com/. Tickets for the Hollywood Bowl show go on sale to the general public starting at 10am local time. Tickets and VIP experiences for all other dates are currently on sale at MsLaurynHill.com.

Ms. Hill uses her platform to raise money and awareness for frontline charity initiatives through touring.  A portion of the ticket sales go towards the MLH Foundation, which directly contributes support for education, health, agriculture, technology, and community based businesses and development initiatives throughout the Diaspora. Your contribution will be put to use through donations made from ticket sales to support community building worldwide. See the full list of charities below.

Exclusive VIP experiences will be available for all tour dates. VIP experiences include a meet and greet with Ms. Hill, complete with photo opp and autograph signing, as well as a package where fans will have an opportunity to watch a portion of the show from on stage. VIP experiences can be purchased as an upgrade when buying tickets. Limited edition specialty merch items, designed by Ms. Hill, will also be available at all

shows and online. For more details on VIP experiences, please visit www.MsHillVIPs.com andwww.MsLaurynHill.com.

Multi-platinum artist Ms. Lauryn Hill rose to prominence with The Fugees and took the world by storm two decades ago as a solo artist with The Miseducation of Ms. Lauryn Hill. Singles including “Doo Wop (That Thing)” and “Everything Is Everything” catapulted her to superstardom, ultimately lauding her with ten GRAMMY® nominations and five GRAMMY® Award wins.


Thu Jul 05 Virginia Beach, VA Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheater A$AP Rocky, Jo Mersa Marley
Sun Jul 08 Bristow, VA Jiffy Lube Live A$AP Rocky, Jo Mersa Marley
Wed Jul 11 Boston, MA Blue Hills Bank Pavilion M.I.A., Busta Rhymes, Jo Mersa Marley
Fri Jul 13 Philadelphia, PA Festival Pier at Penn’s Landing M.I.A., Busta Rhymes, Tierra Whack, Jo Mersa Marley
Sun Jul 15 Wantagh, NY Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater M.I.A., Busta Rhymes,       Jo Mersa Marley
Wed Jul 18 Toronto, ON Budweiser Stage Santigold, Busta Rhymes, Dave East,Tierra Whack
Fri Jul 20 Detroit, MI Michigan Lottery Amphitheatre at Freedom Hill Santigold, Busta Rhymes, Dave East, Bambaata Marley
Wed Jul 25 Charlotte, NC Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheatre Big Boi, Bambaata Marley, Raury
Thu Jul 26 Raleigh, NC Red Hat Amphitheater Big Boi, Bambaata Marley, Raury
Sun Jul 29 St. Petersburg, FL Al Lang Stadium Big Boi, Dave East, Bambaata Marley
Tue Jul 31 Miami, FL Bayfront Park Amphitheater Big Boi, De La Soul, Dave East, Bambaata Marley
Thu Aug 02 Jacksonville, FL Daily’s Place Big Boi, Dave East, Bambaata Marley
Fri Aug 03 Atlanta, GA STATE BANK AMPHITHEATRE AT CHASTAIN PARK Big Boi, De La Soul, Victory
Sun Aug 05 Nashville, TN Nashville Municipal Auditorium Big Boi, Dave East, Victory
Wed Aug 08 Holmdel, NJ PNC Bank Arts Center Nas, Santigold, Victory
Fri Sep 07 Las Vegas, NV The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel Las Vegas Nas, Protoje, Iman Omari
Sun Sep 09 San Diego, CA Cal Coast Credit Union Open Air Theatre at SDSU Kelela, Protoje, Iman Omari
Wed Sep 12 Portland, OR Veterans Memorial Coliseum Nas, Santigold, Iman Omari
Fri Sep 14 Vancouver, BC Deer Lake Park Santigold, De La Soul, Iman Omari
Sat Sep 15 Seattle, WA ShoWare Center Santigold, De La Soul, Shabazz Palaces
Tue Sept 18 Los Angeles, CA Hollywood Bowl Dave Chappelle, De La Soul
Thu Sep 20 Mountain View, CA Shoreline Amphitheatre SZA, De La Soul, Shabazz Palaces
Sat Sep 22 Phoenix, AZ Comerica Theatre Santigold, Mr. Eazi, Tierra Whack
Mon Sep 24 Albuquerque, NM Isleta Amphitheater Nas, Talib Kwell, Tierra Whack
Wed Sep 26 Denver, CO Red Rocks Amphitheatre Santigold, Talib Kwell, Shabazz Palaces
Sat Sep 29 Sugar Land, TX Smart Financial Centre at Sugar Land Patoranking, Shabazz Palaces
Sun Sep 30 Dallas, TX The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory Patoranking, Shabazz Palaces
Wed Oct 03 New Orleans, LA UNO Lakefront Arena Nas, Patoranking, Shabazz Palaces
Fri Oct 05 St Louis, MO Chaifetz Arena Nas, Patoranking, Shabazz Palaces


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MIXED REALITY: Gin Blossoms’ Jesse Valenzuela On Life, Career and New Music!

MIXED REALITY: Gin Blossoms’ Jesse Valenzuela On Life, Career and New Music!

For many music fans, Gin Blossoms need little introduction. The journey began with their formation in 1987 in the Arizona city of Tempe; guitarists Jesse Valenzuela and bassist Bill Leen were founding members. After some lineup changes, the group coalesced around Valenzuela, Leen, Robin Wilson (vocals and guitar), drummer Phillip Rhoades and guitarist Doug Hopkins. Gin Blossoms’ exploded onto many people’s radar with their blockbuster 1992 album “New Miserable Experience,” which spawned four Top 40 hit singles, and established the Arizona quintet as one of the top rock groups of that decade. 

While more than 25 years passed since the release of “New Miserable Experience,” Gin Blossoms haven’t missed a beat. In 2017, Gin Blossoms began their first new album in almost eight years. Longtime producer and friend of the band John Hampton passed away in 2014, so at first the group considered self-producing. But at one of their shows, they met Don Dixon, producer of the Smithereens’ first two albums and a legend in power pop circles. The group booked time in Mitch Easter’s Fidelitorium Studio in Kernersville, N.C., working with Dixon as well as Easter, veteran of R.E.M. sessions. Now Gin Blossoms had a producer and engineer who helped define ’80s jangling power pop, a style that exerted a major influence on the band’s own musical approach. The results were undeniable as the Gin Blossoms are back in 2018 with their best set of songs in years on “Mixed Reality.” Releasing June 15, 2018 via Cleopatra Records, the powerful new album demonstrates the timeless appeal of Gin Blossoms’ music endured.

“Mixed Reality” shares the same timeless feel as “New Miserable Experience.” It’s packed with 15 songs, with Wilson, Leen, Johnson and Valenzuela contributing material. And once again, the mix of songwriters results in something that has that unmistakable Gin Blossoms sound. Built around the proven strategy of using the band’s deep songwriting bench, and packed with memorable songs that connect with listeners while transcending a specific time period, “Mixed Reality” may turn out to be as timeless as Gin Blossoms’ major label debut.

Jason Price of Icon Vs. Icon recently caught up with guitarist Jesse Valenzuela to discuss his life in music, Gin Blossoms’ new album, “Mixed Reality,” and what he has in store for music fans in the year to come.

Let’s go back to the beginning. How did music first come into your life?

I’ve always been a fan of music. I’ve gotten older now and my mother’s started handing over lots of photographs from my childhood. It seems that I always had a guitar in my hand as a kid. I do remember just wanting a guitar really badly and it was all I thought about at that age. I was playing in bars by the time I was 15. As square as it may sound, I learned that it all requires some responsibility! [laughs] By that I mean, you can’t get drunk at the shows, you have to pace yourself, stay focused and do your best job. I don’t know, I just always wanted to play music. I’ve been doing it for so long now, I’m 56 years old, so I have been playing for my livelihood forever! I never really had a job and I didn’t go to college, so it’s been my only career. With that said, I really respect it and I feel really prideful about it. At the same time, I do wonder, “What would have happened if I did go to college? What if I had choices!” [laughs] To be a guitar player/artist was all I could think of early on.

What are the keys to longevity to a career in music?

Luck is a key component. I’ve been a very lucky person for my entire life. I think my willingness and being around like-minded individuals.

The Gin Blossoms have a brand-new album, “Mixed Reality,” releasing on June 15th. What made now the time to get together for a new record?

Fortunately, and unfortunately, we are always together because we play a lot. [laughs] It is something that just sort of happened. These things take on a life of their own. A few songs are created and all of a sudden you get the feeling that you should make a record. The record is like two years now, for us, but it’s time to let it finally see the light of day! I’m used to making records at home and not having to travel. To have to travel to make a record seems kind of old fashioned to me and is something I haven’t done in a long time. Honestly, it felt like we were back in the ‘90s and we had to go to some studio! It was kind of exciting in that regard.

There are 15 tracks on “Mixed Reality.” Was there anything that didn’t make the record?

I think that everything made the cut. I think the idea of this record was that everyone got to record the songs that they wanted, so there wasn’t a cut process for the record.

Gin Blossoms are currently out on tour. How has your approach to touring changed through the years?

Ya know, we’re in a bus right now on tour, which has its own set of challenges! [laughs] I was in Long Island on Sunday and I flew home for the day and now I’m going to fly back to Ohio tonight for the show. Ya know, it’s nice to get away from it all every once in a while. We are grown men and we’ve been together for a long, long time, so it’s nice for us to get away from each other on occasion. It’s nice to get home for a day and get that sense of renewal. We spend a lot of time doing the same thing, so you have to find a balance. I think that has been a key to my life. If I can find a balance, then I can play a great show, get home and then pursue songwriting or just be around my family.

What can fans expect from the live show?

There are definitely a lot of hits that have to be respected and played, so that is going to happen. I think, sometimes, we play too many new songs but it seems to be working, so I’m not going to argue with it!

How have you evolved as a player and songwriter through the years?

Through the activity of writing everyday and playing guitar, you get better at certain things. You realize what’s important in your playing and songwriting, if you get lucky. Then, you hone in on that! Honestly, the biggest realization I’ve had his the importance of family. I’m just getting to the point in my life where I want to be around my family and find that balance of work and life, as I mentioned.

I know you do a lot of writing for film and television. How does that process differ from writing with a band?

A lot of times you are writing to screen, so you’re writing to pictures. Someone will send you something and they want you to interpret it. A lot of times, you go with your gut and whatever your initial feeling is and write something in that regard. There are other times when it pays to be able to arch and write against the picture and see if that fits. Those are generally things people try to do immediately. There are other techniques but those are principally the two big ones.

As you said, you lived your entire life in the music industry. What are the pros and cons of being a working artist in this day and age?

I don’t know any cons. I can only speak to my experience. For me, I just stay at it every day. As I said, I’m a pretty lucky guy and very fortunate to have a nice career. I still like to play music!

You still have many miles ahead in your career. Where are you headed?

I’m very excited about the new Gin Blossoms record, obviously. I don’t want to sound immodest or ungracious but I am also making a new record. I have a lot of it done and I’m working with some really exciting people. I’ve worked with Judy Collins. Ya know, the business has changed so much, I’ve been thinking about releasing a song a month, on CD maybe or whatever it might be, to give people a chance to check it out! We will see what happens. I recently worked with an artist named Rhett Miller from the Old 97’s. We wrote a really beautiful song and I recorded that. There are a series of songs I’m going to release and, I think, in 2019 I will be playing some acoustic shows, along with the shows with the Gin Blossoms.

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

Hmmmm. Well, maybe to be patient. [laughs] I don’t know if that applies solely to the music business as much as it does to life. I see that now because I’m older. I think I was a relatively patient person when I was younger. At the risk of sounding like a father, which I am and my son just graduated from high school, I really think that there are no shortcuts. I think you have to do your best everyday and the rest will come!

Thanks for your time today, Jesse! I’m happy to help spread the word on this great new album!

I’m glad to hear that! Thank you very much! I sure appreciate your time!

For all the latest news and tour dates for Gin Blossoms, visit their official website at www.ginblossoms.net. Connect with the on social media via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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