Tag Archive | "paul reed smith"

On the Courage Video Shoot with Orianthi and Lacey from Flyleaf

On the Courage Video Shoot with Orianthi and Lacey from Flyleaf

Take a look at the making of “Courage,” the new video from Orianthi and Flyleaf’s Lacey Mosley.  “The idea for the music video was to really bring the lyrics to life by interspersing my and Lacey’s performance with images that we think project courage,” said Orianthi.

The singer also let fans in on a secret – she’s not a very good driver.  “We had lots of different scenes; the first one was set in an RV, driving around… thank god [Lacey] was driving, otherwise we’d probably end up in the closest tree!”  Luckily for Orianthi she has her guitar to fall back on – “I love her playing guitar – I’ve never seen a girl play like her, she’s really strong and powerful,” Lacey shared.

“Courage” can be found on Orianthi’s album Believe (II).  Visit Orianthi.com for additional information.

Visit Orianthi.com and follow her on Twitter for the latest updates.

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Orianthi Unleashes Video For “Courage” Featuring Lacey Mosley of Flyeaf

Orianthi Unleashes Video For “Courage” Featuring Lacey Mosley of Flyeaf

Australian singer/songwriter Orianthi has released a new music video for the song “Courage,” from her recent release Believe (II). “Courage is one of my favorite songs to sing live… It’s very spiritual and it takes you to a colorful place,” she says of the track, which showcases the rocker’s softer side and features friend Lacey of the band Flyleaf. “I had a great time making the video with Lacey. I love the setting and the colors that were used in this clip – very earthy and exactly the way I envisioned the video for this tune to be.”

Believe (II) also features Orianthi’s hits “According to You” and “Shut Up and Kiss Me,” and is available in store and on iTunes.

Visit Orianthi.com and follow her on Twitter for the latest updates.

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Orianthi Announces Summer Tour Dates with Adam Lambert

Orianthi Announces Summer Tour Dates with Adam Lambert

Fresh from recent performances on American Idol – one with her hit single “According to You” and most recently on Idol Gives Back, where she delivered a killer guitar solo during Mary J Blige’s rendition of “Stairway To Heaven” – Orianthi is now setting her sites on the road as she joins Adam Lambert on tour this summer.  See below for an initial list of Adam Lambert tour dates featuring Orianthi.  More dates to be added soon! Visit www.orianthi.com for further details and updates.

Orianthi’s newest single “Shut Up & Kiss Me” is available now for download on iTunes, along with her smash debut album Believe.

June 4th – Wilkes-Barre, PA – The FM Kirby Center for the Arts
June 5th – Sayerville, NJ – Starland Ballroom
June 6th – Wappinger Falls, NY – Dutchess Stadium
June 10th – Council Bluffs, IA – Harrah’s Ballroom
June 11th – Mahnomen, MN – Shooting Star Casino
June 12th – Prior Lake, MN – Mystic Lake Casino Hotel
June 14th – Columbus , OH – LC Pavillion
June 15th – Milwaukee, WI – Riverside Theater
June 17th – Hammond, IN – The Venue at Horseshoe Casino
June 18th – Royal Oak, MI – Royal Oak Theater
June 19th – West Toronto, ON – Molson Amphitheatre
June 22nd – New York, NY – Nokia Theatre
June 24th – Mashantucket, CT – MGM Grand Theater at Foxwoods
June 26th – Atlantic City,  NJ – Borgata 
July 28th – Costa Mesa, CA – Orange County  Fair– Pacific Amphitheatre
August 13th – Bethlehem, PA – Artsquest


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Guitar Goddess Orianthi Talks About Her Debut Album, Michael Jackson & More!

Guitar Goddess Orianthi Talks About Her Debut Album, Michael Jackson & More!

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At 24 years old, Orianthi has already experienced what most aspiring musicians may spend a lifetime trying to obtain. She has opened for Steve Vai, played with Carlos Santana, jammed with Prince and blew away the audience with her performance alongside Carrie Underwood at the Grammys. Most recently, this astounding guitar virtuoso was hand-picked to by the late King of Pop (Michael Jackson) to serve as the guitarist on his tour farewell tour and is featured prominently in the This Is It documentary which has thrilled countless fans worldwide. Armed with her guitar, some kick-ass guitar riffs and an adventurous spirit, this rising star has her sights set on becoming a full blown pop sensation! Jason Price of Icon Vs. Icon recently caught up with Orianthi to talk about her blossoming career, working alongside rock royalty, her debut album, “Believe,” and what the future holds for her.

orianthi-3How did music first come into your life?

When I was six, I picked up the guitar for the first time. My Dad had guitars all around the house. He is a guitarist and I would see him in great bands. He had records by Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Carlos Santana, Elvis Presley and Eric Clapton. I would listen to those. When I was ten, I studied classical and then when I was eleven, I saw Carlos Santana perform in Adelaide, Australia. That is when I went to my Dad and said “I don’t want to play classical anymore, I want to play electric guitar!” I begged him for an electric and I got a second hand Paul Reed Smith and I never put it down! I wanted to learn as many Carlos Santana songs and solos as I could. I just love it!

What has kept you inspired throughout the years as an artist?

Just listening to different records and guitarists. I think that you can never stop learning from guitarists like Carlos Santana and Steve Vai. They are just amazing. They are my two idols and it is awesome to have their support and encouragement. I got to jam with Carlos when I was eighteen and that was a dream come true! When I was fifteen I got to open for Steve Vai in Adelaide, Australia and he kept in contact with me and we wrote a song for the record, Believe, which is called “Highly Strung”. It was a real honor to work with him.

You mentioned your debut album ‘Believe’. What can you tell us about the album for those who might not be familiar with it yet?

I set out to create a really commercial record, a pop-rock record that has lots of guitar solos that has sort of an “eighties now” vibe to it. I think that it is an empowering record. It’s not negative lyrically and I hope to inspire a lot more people to pick up the guitar, especially girls. I want them to keep at it and never give up because there aren’t too many female guitar players out there, so if I could inspire more, that would be awesome!

What can you tell us about the writing process for that record?

Well, when I first moved over from Adele to LA, I started writing. I went over and wrote in Nashville and in LA. I worked with some great songwriters . I love the whole process, ya know, of going into a room and sitting around to come up with something that you never thought you would have at the end of the day. I always come up with guitar riffs or sometimes I am humming melodies of chords and stuff, writing lyrics with different people, it just turns out differently each time. It’s not like when you go into a room and write a song by yourself. It may turn out completely the way you want it but when you have other people come in, they have other ideas that they bring to the table that you would never think of. I like that process! I think that it is really cool!

orianthi-believe-240x240What was the biggest challenge in making the record?

Trying to make sure that all of the songs where really strong, chorus wise. I wanted to make a record that people could put into their car and not want to change. I worked with producer Howard Benson, who is an incredible producer, we very much focused on the choruses and not putting too much guitar playing into it. We wanted just enough so that it was still really guitar based, but not too much so that someone who is not a guitarist who is listening to it gets put off by it. So, I guess the challenge was balancing those elements. I am really proud of the record and hopefully it connects with a lot of people.

You are plugged into the different social networks like Myspace, Facebook and Twitter. How have your fans been responding to the album?

They are really liking it! I am getting some very nice emails and support. It has been really good. They are waiting for us to get out and tour. I can’t wait to do that with the new stuff! We have been rehearsing as a band and playing the new stuff, so there will be more guitar solos live and we are looking at where to extend them. We have been having a lot of fun with it and the support has been great!

Are there are any concrete tour plans in the future or are you still working on that?

We are still waiting to hear who we are going to be touring with. At the moment, we are on this crazy radio/press tour, traveling around, meeting different people throughout the country and seeing more of America. It’s very cool!

Hopefully you like what you have seen so far!

Oh yeah, definitely!

Many people got their initial exposure to you and your guitar skills through Michael Jackson’s ‘This Is It’. How did you get that gig?

orianthi-4I actually got the gig through Myspace. I got an email from Mike Beardon. He saw me jamming at the Grammy Awards with Carrie Underwood. He reached out to me through Myspace and I didn’t think that it was for real. He told me to learn “Beat It”, “Dirty Diana” and “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin'”. I learned the tracks and I was super nervous but I went in and played for Mike Beardon and Michael Jackson came in one night and I played “Beat It” with a cranked up guitar solo. MJ was looking right at me and I was very nervous. I have never been that nervous in my life! He hired us all that night. It seemed like a dream! It was awesome playing for him.

I am sure that you have seen the film by now, right?

Yeah, I have seen it twice.

Did it capture that moment in time accurately, as far as your experience goes?

Oh yeah, totally! There were cameras around all the time and for me I almost became unaware of them being there because you are so focused on your part, what you are doing and trying to make Michael happy with what you were doing. I don’t think that you are going to see a “more real” movie. It is a documentary that invites you into our world for three months. I think that Kenny (Ortega) did an awesome job of putting it together, it really makes you feel like you were there. The first time I saw it was very emotional and I didn’t know how I was going to sit through it. The second time, it was a look back at incredible memories of working with a musical icon that I looked up to immensely.

What is your fondest memory from working alongside The King of Pop?

Ya know, he just wanted the best out of all of us. He was a perfectionist but he was very kind with it. I remember one time, just after I had auditioned for him, I was walking down the corridor of where were were rehearsing. Michael was coming down with his bodyguard and there was nobody else around. I was wearing a hat and I didn’t have my hair down like when he had seen me before in the audition, so I didn’t know if he would recognize me. I thought I might just run away into a room or something but then I decided to just be normal and say hello to him! He was really nice and grabbed my hand and said hello and “God bless you. I will see you soon!” He was just really a kind person and didn’t seem to have an ego. That made me smile for the rest of the day!

You have worked with such musical icons as Carlos Santana, Steve Vai and Michael Jackson, of course. I was curious to know who else you might like to collaborate with in the future?

I would love to do a some with B.B. King or Eric Clapton. That would be awesome! Prince! That would be really cool! I got to jam with Prince but we never recorded anything but that would be terrific. Also, Keith Urban. I am a big country fan.

orianthi-5What do you hope that people come away with after listening to your music or seeing your live performance?

As a band, we just love playing. We want to keep that child-like spirit up and inspire to pick up the guitar and have fun. Hopefully, when people see us live they think we are a very powerful band. We work really hard to make sure all of the parts compliment each other, so hopefully people will get inspired and pick up the guitar when they get home, that would be awesome!

How did you first get involved with Paul Reed Smith and what has that experience been like for you?

It’s been great! I love his guitars! Like I said, after seeing Santana I begged for a guitar and it had to be a Paul Reed Smith. So I got a second hand Custom 24. When I was fourteen, I actually made a demo and sent it out to Paul and he wrote back to me. He really liked it. Then when I was eighteen, I got to jam with Carlos in Australia and he took that DVD of us jamming to Paul. Paul invited me over to the NAMM show and I came over to play in the booth. I think it was in 2005, I was with Carlos there and his son was in the audience. He knew my A&R guy and he asked for my MP3s and forwarded it on to Ron Fair, who I auditioned for and that is how I got my record deal. That is kinda how it happened. Paul has been super-supportive and there is some exciting news coming up in January! I’m not going to say what, but I am really excited! It is really exciting to be working with him. He is a great guy, really supportive and I just really love his guitars. I think that he is the best guitar maker in the world!

You have worked with so many icons from the industry in your career. What is the best piece of advice someone has given you along the way?

I got a lot of advice from Steve Vai and Carlos Santana. Just play from your heart, play what you feel. that is what I learned from them. Also, never stop learning. I think it is very important to keep on evolving as a player and to learn from other people. Every one I play with, be it a drummer, bass player or a guitar player, everyone approaches it differently. We all come from a different musical world and I think it is really important to learn as much as a you can from each other. When I sit back and I am eighty-five, I want to still be able to move forward as a player and not just be stuck in one place, if you know what I mean. So yeah, it is very important to never stop learning.

orianthi-2Have you had a ‘Spinal Tap Moment’ on stage where something totally unexpected has happened to you?

Yeah! I used to play in a cover band from when I was about fifteen until I was about twenty in Adelaide. We used to play two or three nights a week, Top 40 stuff. We played a wedding one time out in the country. This one guy was really drunk and poured his beer into the fold-back and the wedges, the power went out and he fell. During his fall he hit the mic which bruised my lip and he fell into the bass drum! [laughs] That was very… dramatic! [laughs] It is kinda funny looking back on it but it wasn’t funny at the time. But yeah, I try not to trip over chords, especially when I am wearing high heels. It was a challenge running up in wedges for the ‘This Is It’ show. I was thinking the whole time that I was going to land on my butt! [laughs] As a guitar player, I don’t know if we have the best sense of direction but trying to find the stage with the band is sometimes a challenge! Definitely Spinal Tap! [laughs]

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

Yeah! Thank you so much for your support! I really appreciate it. I read all of the emails, I can’t reply to all of them but I love reading them and I try to reply to as many as I can! Thank you, everyone!

2009 has been quite a big year for you and I am sure 2010 will be even bigger. All the best to you!

Thank you!

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Get all the latest information on Orianthi at her official website, www.orianthi.com. You can also connect with her on Myspace or Twitter! Be sure to check out her debut album, Believe, on iTunes!

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Alex Grossi Talks Adler’s Appetite & Paul Reed Smith Road Show

Alex Grossi Talks Adler’s Appetite & Paul Reed Smith Road Show

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Hailing from a musical family in Connecticut, Alex Grossi picked up a guitar at the age of thirteen and never looked back. Almost two decades later, all of his hard work and determination have paid off in spades. At 32 years old, the rock guitarist has accomplished more in his career than many guitarists will accomplish in a lifetime. His musical prowess launched him into the limelight, and along the way he would take the stage with some of the hard rock genre’s biggest names and his boyhood idols. Grossi has kept his musical momentum building through the years by working with Quiet Riot’s Kevin DuBrow, Guns N’ Roses’ Dizzy Reed and most recently, served as a driving force in Adler’s Appetite as he travels the land alongside legendary Guns N’ Roses drummer Steven Adler. Alex Grossi shows no signs of slowing down as he makes his mark on the music scene. Jason Price of Icon Vs. Icon recently had a chance to sit down with Alex Grossi to discuss his current tour with Adler’s Appetite, his upcoming summer trek with the Paul Reed Smith Road Show and all of his upcoming projects.

How did music first come into your life?

I was born into a musical family. My dad was a musician for the Hartford Symphony Orchestra where he was a conductor and my mom owns a dance studio in Connecticut, which is still open for business. It is called the Grossi Dance Academy. Through those things, I was kinda born into it and I started out playing french horn when I was in second grade. It started from there and then I started seeing Motley Crue videos and that seemed like a lot more fun than playing in the Symphony, so I got a guitar and here we are! [laughs]

alexgrossi4What drove you to make music your career?

My Mom dances for a living. She is 60 years old and in better shape than anyone in the band! It keeps her young and she really loves dancing. A wise man once said that “If you love what you do, then you never have to go to work.” I really love playing guitar and I really don’t like going to work. [laughs] I figured that if I could find a way to make a living doing it, move to the right city, meet the right people and be a pro about it, then it would happen. There is a lot of risk involved and there are a lot of people who want to do it professionally. I just thought, “How cool would it be to get paid for doing something that you love?” Thankfully, I have been able to do something that I love as a career!

You mentioned Motley Crue. Who were some of the influences that have helped shape you, the musician, that we know today?

Growing up, it was Guns N’ Roses. ‘Appetite for Destruction’ was my first record. I am a big fan of KISS, Aerosmith and all the bands of that genre. I never really got into the whole guitar virtuoso, shredder thing. I liked bands that had attitude, image and were a little bit dangerous. I also liked the fact that a lot of bands had their own sound. For example, Slash (of Guns N’ Roses). You can hear a solo on a Guns N’ Roses song or him guesting somebody else’s song and you can tell that it is him. Anyone like that has been a big influence on me. I have literally gotten a chance to play with a lot of the guys that I grew up listening to so far in my short professional career. Well, actually I guess it is not so short as I am 32 now, I am starting to get up there! [laughs] It has really been great!

I know you have done some songwriting in the past. Is there a typical songwriting process that you employ or does it vary depending on who you are working with?

Ya know, it is really contingent on what type of band that you are in. If you are hired just to come in and play lead guitar or chord guitar or whatever. In that case you just come in, they hand you the song and you just play over it. For example, I just recently worked on Dizzy Reed’s (Guns N’ Roses) solo album. I went in there and he pretty much had all of the guitar parts mapped out and I would just put my own sorta thing on it, contributing a little bit here and there. With a band like Beautiful Creatures, where I came in as the guitar player, replacing DJ Ashba the main songwriter, I literally had to write from scratch with four other guys, what became ‘Deuce,’ our second record. It really depends on the situation, Adler’s Appetite is planning on going into the studio in late July and we have already started working on some stuff. Chip Z’Nuff, Steven Adler, Michael Thomas and myself will get in a room and just start banging out ideas and roll tape. Hopefully by the end of the year, you will have a new record from us.

Great news! For those how might not know, how did you get involved with Steven Adler and Adler’s Appetite?

I have been working with Steven on and off for about five years now. I initially got contacted by Kevin DuBrow of Quiet Riot, to do some solo show before Quiet Riot reformed in 2004, that turned into the ‘Bad Boys of Metal’ tour. It was a summer package that featured Joe Lesté of Bang Tango, Jani Lane of Warrant, Steven Adler of Guns N’ Roses and Kevin DuBrow, with me playing guitar for all four bands. I was literally on stage for four hours a night. During that time, Steven and I became really good friends and after the tour we kept in touch. I did some solo shows with him and after his stint on ‘Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew’, he decided to reform the band and called me. The rest is history!

alexgrossi1Adler’s Appetite parted ways with one singer and now you have brought Rick Stitch in to handle the vocals. What does Rick bring to the table?

It is really, really difficult when you are trying to emulate something that people are so familiar with. ‘Appetite for Destruction’ sold well over 30 million copies worldwide and people know every note from that album. We just played over in Argentina. They don’t speak English but they can even sing the guitar solos! So, we needed someone who can be true to the music but we also don’t want to be a tribute band. The drummer in this band, Steven, wrote a fifth of the music playing on that album. When we made the singer change, a lot of people would contact me or Steven through Myspace. They were wearing the bandanna and one even went so far as to have the fake Axl Rose tattoos put on. That wasn’t what we wanted. We wanted a guy who can hit the notes and do the stuff but at the same time is not a clone. We’re not Steel Dragon, ya know! [laughs] Rick has been great. It is nice to have a guy who is on the same page off stage as he is on stage. What people don’t realize about a touring band that works as hard as we do is that you have to live with these people twenty four hours a day. You may have two straight days off in the middle of God knows where or Iowa and you have to be friends. Certain people get along, certain people don’t but that is the nature of the beast. Instead of being married to one person, try being married to five or six! That’s basically what it is like.

This summer you will be taking part in the Paul Reed Smith Road Show, how did you first join up with Paul Reed Smith and what has that experience been like for you?

I got my first Paul Reed Smith when I was fifteen years old. I started playing when I was thirteen and I progressed pretty quickly to the point where I got a job at a music store that sold Paul Reed Smith, and as soon as I had fifteen hundred dollars in my pocket, I bought one! I have been playing them since then. When I was nineteen years old, I joined a band called Angry Sal while I was attending Berklee College of Music in Boston. We got a record deal and the first thing that I though was “Well shit, I want to get an endorsement.” So, I wrote a letter to Paul Reed Smith and said “Can I play your guitar exclusively?” and they invited me out to the factory. I went down there and I have been with them ever since. Every band that I have been in, they have always hooked me up with the right guitar for it and Paul has been great. The thing about Paul is that he is probably the only guitar manufacturer that puts out a really good product that you can get anywhere, that is consistent. I could have all my gear stolen, walk into a Guitar Center wherever I may be in the world and have it sound like the one that I have been playing on stage. I really mean that. As a company, they have always taken care of me at the NAMM shows. They are not like Gibson or Fender that are these huge corporate conglomerations, they are still very much a family run business. I am really looking forward to doing the clinics with him. I believe that it is July 14th in Manchester, Connecticut at their Guitar Center location. It’s funny because Paul will be taking about all these different types of exotic woods and my job is to show up and tell stories about playing with all of these crazy rock stars! It should be really cool! I am really happy to have been with them through the years and I really don’t ever see myself playing another guitar.

You mentioned recording guitars for Dizzy Reed’s solo debut and I know Del James is serving as producer on that release. What can you tell us about this project and any idea on when it may hit stores?

alexgrossi2 I have no idea about it’s release date. I know that they are mixing it right now. Once ‘Chinese Democracy’ came out, I am sure it took a little bit of a back burner. Working with Del was great. For a guy who doesn’t really play an instrument he has a really great ear. He will walk into the room and say “No, no! Do it more like…” and then throw out some crazy analogy that ends up making perfect sense at the end of the day! It was really great working with those guys. As a Guns N’ Roses fan, and I am sure not too many people will be a fan of me saying this, but it is cool to work on every end of the spectrum. By that I mean, I am working with a guy who was there at the very beginning, Steven Adler, all the way up to the guys who are in the band now. Whether that ties the two things together, I can tell you 100% that it does not, but it is really cool to hear the stories and the history of the band. If you think about it, as far as I am concerned, they are the band of my generation. You had The Who, Led Zeppelin and The Beatles for previous generations. As far as rock bands and anyone that is in their early thirties to forties, our band is Guns N’ Roses or Nirvana but definitely one of the two.

You have worked with so many icons from the industry in your career. What is the best piece of advice someone has given you along the way?

The best piece of advice was given to me by Kevin DuBrow, and it was to always go out and play your show as if it were your last. He didn’t say it in exactly in those words but I have seen Kevin play in front of forty thousand people and I have seen him play in front of forty people. He would go out there because he genuinely enjoyed doing it. The day it stops being fun for you is the same day that it stops being fun for the audience. When you are up there, no matter how big the crowd is, no matter how good the sound is, no matter how bad the sound is, if you are having fun it is infectious. It goes back to the audience and right back to you and everyone has a good time. People pay their hard earned money to get in to see you. I won’t mention any names but there are guys in that particular genre that just show up and are only doing it for a paycheck, not because they love playing. You can tell when people care and when they don’t. That was the thing about Kevin, he always cared. I will never forget that. Even right up until our last show. It was November 4th, 2007 at a small club and he still played it as if he would have been playing Madison Square Garden. He still brought it every night! A lot of guys from that genre don’t do that anymore.

alexgrossi3Have you had a ‘Spinal Tap Moment’ on stage?

[laughs] This entire tour has been a ‘Spinal Tap Moment’! [laughs] The most recent one was about a week and a half ago. We played a show called ‘Cornstock’. It was held in a huge corn field. Big, big show! Tons of people, great show! However, when we got there the promoter came onto the bus and said “Fellas we have a little bit of a problem here. See that there inflatable beer can?” because it was sponsored by Budweiser and they had one of those giant fifty foot beer cans. They had to tear down the entire stage and move it around this beer can. All I could think about was Stonehenge! It was what Stonehenge should have been if it were a can of beer! We had to wait four hours in the sun due to a giant inflatable beer can, so that was very Spinal Tap. Whoever wrote that movie must have been in a band or followed a band around because they were dead on. They actually predicted the future in a lot of ways. They always say watch ‘Spinal Tap’ and then go on tour for ten years and then watch it again, you will be laughing so hard your ribs hurt! [laughs]

What should we be on the lookout for from you in the coming months?

Definitely the new Adler’s Appetite record! Right now, I have a song out in the new Sandra Bullock movie ‘The Proposal’, so if you feel like hearing a song by Beautiful Creatures in a Walt Disney picture, a family movie, that was written by a very un-family band, check that out! [laughs] It is pretty cool! Also look out for possibly some more Paul Reed Smith Road Show dates and a ton more of Adler’s Appetite dates, that’s for sure!

We will be on the lookout for you!

Thanks!

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Want more of Alex Grossi and Adler’s Appetite?

Check out all the latest happenings with Alex Grossi by visiting his official site at www.alexgrossi.com or on Myspace at www.myspace.com/alexgrossi.

Check out the official Myspace page for Adler’s Appetite at www.myspace.com/stevenadlersite.

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