Tag Archive | "rock band"

Foo Fighters To Debut Two New Tracks On “Greatest Hits” Collection

Foo Fighters To Debut Two New Tracks On “Greatest Hits” Collection

dave_grohlFoo Fighters have revealed the songs on their forthcoming singles collection ‘Greatest Hits’. The career spanning tracks will also be accompany by two new tracks,’Wheels’ and ‘Word Forward’, will be included on the album.

A deluxe edition of ‘Greatest Hits’ will be released that will come with a 28 page book of exclusive photograph’s plus a DVD including highlights of the bands shows at Wembley Stadium and Hyde Park in London.

‘Greatest Hits’ Tracklisiting:

‘All My Life’
‘Best Of You’
‘Everlong’
‘The Pretender’
‘My Hero’
‘Learn To Fly’
‘Times Like These’
‘Monkey Wrench’
‘Big Me’
‘Breakout’
‘Long Road To Ruin’
‘This is a Call’
‘Skin and Bones’
‘Wheels’
‘Word Forward’
‘Everlong’ (acoustic)

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Slash Issues Update On Upcoming Solo Record, Tour

Slash Issues Update On Upcoming Solo Record, Tour

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Legendary guitarist Slash has issued an update about his new solo album, the status of the ongoing Velvet Revolver singer search and his upcoming solo tour.

Here is what he had to say about the highly anticipated project:

I don’t know how I’m supposed to wait until next year to put out this record! It is so fucking cool & I am so anxious to get it out already. We start mixing soon and that will be that, ready to go. But, I have to wait, there’s no way around it, for all kinds of logistic reasons and that’s the reality.

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But, my VR band-mates and I had a meeting a couple of weeks ago and although the search for a singer will continue, I am going to tour on my solo record most likely through next summer starting in March or April. We (VR) will keep the word of mouth system going and listening to submissions from singers and checking out different singer’s sites etc, we know the right guy is out there somewhere. It’s possible somebody could turn up before I do my tour and we could start working on new material sooner than later, in a perfect world.

As far as my tour is concerned, I have already started to put together ideas for a kick-ass band and the plan is to perform some new stuff, Snakepit, VR and Guns stuff. The new album is really great and deserves that I should support it. Plus, I’m really looking forward to getting out there and doing some gigs, its been more than a year since I was on a proper tour and all these one off jams are basically just a tease.

So, there’s the update for now, I’m still tinkering away on the solo record but there really isn’t much left to do on it but mix it, which starts in September.


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Gilby Clarke: The Original Guitar Hero

Gilby Clarke: The Original Guitar Hero

Gilby Clarke: The Original Guitar Hero

Gilby Clarke: The Original Guitar Hero

In his youth, Gilby Clarke was not that different from you or me. He was a kid with a dream and a undying love for rock n’ roll. When Clarke was 17 years old, he decided to make that dream a reality. He left his home in Cleveland, Ohio with his sights set on California and never looked back. Almost three decades later, he has amassed quite a resume to say the least. He has played guitar alongside such musical legends as MC5, Nancy Sinatra, Heart and even a little band called Guns N’ Roses. Never content to be pigeon holed as a guitarist, Clarke has thrown his hat in the ring as producer for The Bronx, L.A. Guns, The Alarm and Alice Cooper. As if that weren’t enough to keep him busy, he has even produced his own critically acclaimed solo efforts. Not shabby for a mid-western kid with just a guitar and a dream. Jason Price of Live-Metal.Net recently got a chance to sit down with Gilby Clarke to discuss musical roots, his upcoming musical endeavors, his new role as a “Rock N’ Roll Fantasy Camp Counselor” and even a little Chinese Democracy.

Live-Metal.Net: How did music first come into your life?

Gilby Clarke: Well, when I was a teenager, music was always around. I saw a poster of Jimi Hendrix and that is what really got me going. I wanted to become a guitar player. I just started discovering music through that. I was listening to some early Jimi Hendrix and then I got into some current stuff which at the time was Led Zeppelin, KISS, Aerosmith and stuff like that from the mid-seventies that was popular at the time.

What drove you to make music your career?

I’ve got to tell you that I didn’t ever really make a decision, it just kinda happened. When I was in high school, I was playing in bands that were playing high school dances and things like that. I just always knew that I wanted to play guitar in a band, so when everybody else went on from high school to go to college or whatever, I just kept playing music. I went to Hollywood and got a gig with a band and it just kinda kept going. It was more determination than anything.

What has kept you inspired through the years?

Well, it’s tough! [laughs] I think that what is great about music is the variety, I like all kinds of music. I like hard rock, I don’t know that I can say that I like Top 40 rock, but I like classical music and I like blues. I seem to be able to find good about a lot of different types of music. If I hear a good song or a good band that definitely inspires me a little bit.

How do you think you have evolved as an artist since starting out?

I think as an artist, that my craft has evolved. I think I have become a better guitar player over the years. More than anything, I never accept my playing as being “finished.” I still see other guitar players and learn from them. I might see them do something and go “Wow! I’ve never tried that!” So as a musician, I feel like it’s a work in progress and that it is always evolving. I am always trying to learn something new, to get better or find a different style that you like. As far as music that I like, it really hasn’t changed too much. I really like the classic definition of rock n’ roll, something that is really loose and you hear the drum beat go with it.

You have put a lot of music over the years and even put out a retrospective album last year. Looking back on your career so far, did you think that you would be still going strong all these years later?

Well, I gotta tell ya, I never thought I wouldn’t be! [laughs] The thing about a music career is that it is all hills and valleys. You can’t be on top all of the time. You just have to find ways of making the downtime fun and that is what I do. I can’t sit around and wait for every arena tour to come around once every five to eight years or so. I try to find other things to do that I think are fun like taking up a residency at a club where I can just play music once a week to keep me fresh. So, yeah, I guess I did think I would be going strong. No one ever thinks that they are going to be on top forever but you just have to hang in.

Are you currently working on material for a new Gilby Clarke solo record?

I am always writing. I am always writing songs because I don’t really know what they are going to be for. Where the songs will be, I don’t know. Is it going to be a new band? Or will it be a solo record? Usually I don’t make a decision until I have a good records worth of tunes. If I have ten tunes that I am happy with, then I have to decide to either do a solo record or to seek out a band, so writing is always a process.

What is the typical songwriting process like for you?

For me it always starts on guitar when I am sitting around noodling, playing or if I am just at a sound check and I come up with something that I haven’t heard before, whether it is a riff or just a chord change that I haven’t tried before. It usually starts that way. Very rarely does it start lyrically. I think as I have gotten older it has been starting lyrically a little bit more, if I have different ideas that I want to write down, but usually it does start with guitar first.

Your recently produced an album with Crash Kelly, what was that experience like for you?

Actually, last year I did four back to back records! I did a Crash Kelly record, I did a Silent Rage record, a band called Motochrist’s record and I just mixed The Alarm’s record. So I always producing. If I am not performing live then I am producing. A young band like Crash Kelly, at this point they are definitely seasoned musicians and they know how to play. It is more about getting to the arrangements or the songs. With Sean (Kelly), who is the lead singer and guitarist, it is more about making sure he is hearing back what he has.

Is there anyone else that you are currently working with that we should be on the lookout for?

Like I said, the Silent Rage record, which was a band from the mid to late eighties just put out a record. That record just came out, and I am really proud of the work with the band The Alarm. That record also just came out and I am finishing up their next record. It’s like that late seventies Clash, Sex Pistols rock n’ roll. It is some really good songwriting and it is a record that I would buy even if I had nothing to do with it.

Rock Star: Supernova reunited back in May of 2008 for a benefit. Is there any chance we might see you all back together again sometime soon?

It is kind of funny because we never officially pulled the plug on it. It was a project and Tommy (Lee) and I will always be friends. I just don’t think it is anyone’s priority at this point. I think we gave it our best shot and there were some things that were successful about it and some things that weren’t. I don’t think it will ever really go away but over time we may forget about it. At this point, you never really know what will come up.

Currently you are on tour as a counselor for the Rock N’ Roll Fantasy Camp, how did you become involved with the program?

Actually a bunch of my friends have always been a part of it. Teddy Andreadis who used to play keyboards for Guns N’ Roses, and Bruce Kulick have done it. Whenever they talk about it they always have great things to say about it and how it not only gives back to people who aren’t professional musicians and the way it gives back to the musicians themselves. They get a sense of accomplishment working with people. I went down to Los Angeles to audition and I had a great time! I thought that the people were really fun and I just really enjoyed the whole process.

gilbyclarke3Obviously this is a little different from a tour you would normally be involved with, how are you adjusting to life as a “camp counselor” this summer?

I actually just did my first one yesterday. It was a really good experience. You are working with people who have followed your career, they are excited to be in the room with you and you get to play some music together. So, yeah, I had a great experience.

I would imagine that having experience on the production side of things probably lends itself pretty well to this project by putting all your expertise to work in a classroom setting.

Yeah it definitely is a good experience for everyone involved.

gilbyclarke2What are you looking forward to the most about the Rock N’ Roll Fantasy Camp tour?

It is mostly about just talking to people. As a musician, you surround yourself with other musicians, so it is very easy to lose touch. What is really great about this is that you are one-on-one with people and get to hear what they are inspired by. I have never been one of those musicians that follows a trend. It always bothers me when I hear other artists saying “Do this for the fans. Give them what they want.” I just don’t think that is really an artist. Being an artist is creating something original and you get fans from that. So it is always nice to get a little feedback, some honest feedback. That is another thing that is really great about this.

Being in the music industry as long as you have, are there still surprises?

Yeah! [laughs] There are definitely still surprises out there. I mean, the people that survive are the people that adapt. You definitely have to learn to adapt because times are much different.

What do you consider the defining moment of your career so far?

I think that joining Guns N’ Roses was my defining moment. It was an extremely successful band at that time and I really believed in it. As a guitar player, it was exactly what I was looking for. It ending up not lasting as long as I would have hoped and I didn’t get to do any writing with the band. So it was definitely a defining moment but certainly not the final defining moment.

You have worked with a wealth of really terrific artists over the years and probably have a tale or two to tell. Will we ever get an autobiography out of you to share any of those stories?

Yeah, I think that I definitely have an opinion and a Guns N’ Roses opinion. I think that would make an interesting book, so it is something that I am definitely thinking about a lot more lately.

Are you still in touch with any of those guys from your days in Guns N’ Roses?

I think the only one that I currently talk to is Duff (McKagan). We live right down the street from each other and have kids that go to the same school. We hang out a little more than the other guys. The other guys like Matt and Slash, I don’t really see that much.

What is the best piece of advice you could give to those who are just starting out and considering making a career in the music industry?

Yeah, I think “originality” more than anything. Music is art and I think that has been getting lost over the past ten years. If you have something to contribute and something to say, I think that you can make a great career. I think that bands like the Sex Pistols are working bands. Everybody has something to say and you don’t have to be the best guitar player or the best drummer in the world to say something.

You have dabble in the world of reality TV before with Rockstar Supernova and you have been happily married for a long time now so we won’t be seeing Rock of Love: Gilby Clarke!

Yeah. [laughs]

I was just curious if you had been approached for any other reality projects… perhaps something based on your producing or home life. Would that be something you would be interested in?

Actually, my wife and I have been approached quite a few times about reality shows. It’s just not for us. We really don’t need to air our life on TV just to make a little money. We are in a bunch of current production things for television shows but it is not really about our lives. TV is a new avenue of marketing and you have to use it. If The Beatles would have had TV like this, they would have used it too. It is just like radio was, a new tool.

gilbyclarke4What does a lifelong guitar player like yourself think of the Guitar Hero and Rock Band video game craze we are currently having?

I haven’t played Rock Band yet but I have played Guitar Hero. I have a fourteen year old daughter that smokes me on it! [laughs] I think it is great. I think that it is great that it is turning a whole new generation on to some great music. My daughter came up to me and asked if I had a Rage Against The Machine record. I think it is really, really wonderful that these kids are getting to hear some classic songs that inspired a different generation.

Has the digital revolution of music (downloading, iPods, iTunes, etc.) been positive or negative for someone like yourself?

I view it in a positive way. My recording studio is all Pro Tools now and it has certainly made it a lot easier. I can’t say that it has made it more productive but it has made easier. I don’t think that we can judge it really, not quite yet, what it has done to music. I think it is still in the beginning stages right now. It’s going to be interesting to see how much it changes and more than anything, what kind of quality music that we are going to get from this new digital age. Right now, for me, the jury is still out on it.

Music runs in your family. What was it like when your daughter took the stage with you for the first time?

The first time that she performed with me was actually in London. We had such a great time! My wife was in tears watching it. I think it is fun when your children have the same dreams that you had. With my daughter, her being a girl, we don’t have as many things in common from a father/daughter relationship. So having music as something in common gives us a language of our own, that her and my wife don’t have. It is a really special relationship.

After this tour, what?s next for you?

Just getting back to some writing. I have been in the studio producing last year and then this summer, I have been doing a lot of performing. I think more than anything I just really need to get back to the studio, start writing and get some songs cataloged.

I have a habit of throwing this one in here. When do you think that Chinese Democracy will be released?

There was point there, I have to tell you, that I was absolutely sure it was coming out but at this point I have no idea. I am just like every other person and I am a fan of GNR’s music but I have no idea. I have heard a couple songs just like everybody else and I am just as curious as everybody else. I am really curious to see what kind of music you break up a really good band for.

Is there anything else you want to add?

I think that is about it. I think there is a really interesting vibe right now, we just have to be patient and hopefully we will get some good records out of it.

Thank you very much for your time Gilby!

Thanks man, I really appreciate it!

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Related Links:
www.gilbyclarke.com – The Official Site of Gilby Clarke
www.myspace.com/gilbyclarke – The Official Myspace Page of Gilby Clarke
The?Gilby Clarke Forum – The Official Gilby Clarke Forum
Here Today?Gone To Hell – An Unofficial Guns N’ Roses site
GNR Source – An Unofficial Guns N’ Roses site
Frankie B. – The Official Site of Frankie B. Premium Denim Jeans (Fashion by Daniella Clarke)
Redrum Recording – The Official Site of Gilby Clarke‘s Redrum Recording
Guns n’ Roses?Online
– The Official Site of Guns N’ Roses
Rock N’ Roll Fantasy Camp – The Official Site of Rock N’ Roll Fantasy Camp

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In Search of … Bumblefoot: An Interview with Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal

In Search of … Bumblefoot: An Interview with Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal

Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal of Guns N' Roses

Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal of Guns N' Roses

Who or what is a Bumblefoot, you ask? At first glance, your trusty dictionary will describe it as “Ulcerative Pododermatitis: an infection found on the feet of birds of prey and rodents.” Well class, throw those textbooks out the window because the Bumblefoot we will be discussing today is much more complex than that. Bumblefoot is none other than Ron Thal, an accomplished guitarist, solo artist, writer, producer, engineer, hot sauce connoisseur and guitarist for a little band called Guns N’ Roses. With a resume like this, one might wonder, “Is there anything this man can’t do?” Jason Price and Steve Johnson of Live-Metal.Net struck out on a mission to meet up with this man of mystery, find out what makes him tick and observe him in his natural habitat, New Jersey. The results of this grand experiment are below, as we go “In Search of … Bumblefoot.”

Live-Metal.Net: What inspired you to get into music and to go this route?

Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal: Oh man, this goes way back to when I was about 5 years old. All the older kids in my neighborhood were into KISS. Then I heard the KISS Alive album for the first time and it just blew my mind! I wanted to be a drummer and so did my brother. So we got into this contest where whoever had the faster drum roll got to be the drummer. Me being 5 and him being 8, he was a little bit faster, so he ended up being the drums. So I was like, “OK, I want to be a bass player because Gene Simmons is badass with the fire, the blood and the high shoes!” Bad shoes! [laughs] So, I went to a place to start taking bass lessons and at this point I was about 6. The bass was taller than I was and the strings were thicker than my fingers, so that wasn’t going to happen. So they lied to me at the music store and told me that by law you have to play acoustic guitar for two years before you can switch to bass. So I was like, “OK, if that is what I need to do I will do my time, man! I am gonna take it like a man, like a 6 year old man, and do it!” So I got into it and just stuck with it and forgot that I was supposed to switch to bass. Twenty years and I forgot! But I do play bass now too, but I play it like shit because I never did get those bass lessons when I was 6. So it all kinda worked out and I have gotten to do everything, although I am the world’s shittest drummer. So it is a good thing that I didn’t take the drum lessons!


How did you brother do with the drums?

He did well with it, but he is probably the world’s shittest guitar player!

For those not familiar with you or your music quite yet, how did the name Bumblefoot come about?

From her! [points to his wife Jen Thal aka Mrs. Foot] My wife was in veterinary school many, many years ago and she is a veterinarian now, she passed! Thanks to my help, of course! I was helping her study and one of the diseases was called Bumblefoot and I was like, “What the fuck is that? That is so stupid!” So I am reading about it and it said that turkeys get this disease and that one way to treat it is to rub hemorrhoid cream on their foot. I was thinking, “This is so idiotic! I am naming my band Bumblefoot!” It sorta became my nickname, which worked out to not being the best thing in the world. Especially following someone named “Buckethead” in a band. You get all the jokes like “Buckethead and now Bumblefoot? What’s next, Bumperdick?” Everyone has something to say, but whatever! At the time I guess I was more in a Monty Python state of mind where I thought being named after a giant fucked up foot might be funny and good for the rest of my life. So I wake up one morning and I am taking myself a little more serious or I should say that other people are taking me more seriously and the name is, I wouldn’t say a detriment, but it makes you scratch your head.

Is the name something you think that you will need to separate at some point or are you not taking it too seriously?

I think I should just see what happens. If I have legal troubles, I can always come up with a symbol and do that whole thing. “The Artist Formerly Known as Bumblefoot” and then people will be asking what the fuck is this symbol and what the fuck is a Bumblefoot, just to make it worse! But who knows, I may wake up one morning and decide that I am changing my name to Bumblefuck and just do that. I almost considered doing that by putting out a press release saying that I have changed my name to “Bumblef**k” and then from there I can just shorten it to “Fuck”!

Who and what were some of the influences that have helped shape you, the musician, that we know today?

Oh Jesus! Ummm … No, not Jesus, well maybe a little bit! Yeah, whatever! [laughs] Drinking hot sauce has been a major thing, whichI really need to stop doing! I have been drinking too much of it and it is way too hot! I got this stuff that is as hot as commercial grade pepper spray and can be used as a weapon. I put it on my food. You are supposed to put one drop in a four-quart vat of chili and I am using one drop on a forkful of chicken! It has reached the point now where I am basically taking a shot of hot sauce and putting a piece of chicken in my mouth! If I keep doing that, I am probably going to die! I will probably get up one day and shit out all my organs and they will all be liquified. So I need to quit that, but I definitely think that helped shaped what I am today. What else? My mom and dad, I got their genes so they are partly to blame. Oh wait, did you mean musically?

Guitar-wise, I was always into Hendrix and Eddie Van Halen really opened my mind up to a different way of looking at things. For the most part, I really played a lot like Angus [Young] when I was a kid and was totally into that vibe. When I heard Eddie Van Halen for the first time, I was like, “What? What the fuck is he doing?” and that kinda changed the road that I was on.

Who were some of the other guitarists that top your list as “the greats?”

Well definitely Eddie. Hendrix is there, for that feel and he had such a fucking vibe to him. It is so hard to say. Even Yngwie [Malmsteen] because, to me, I think of the ones that had such an impact on music or guitar players, or both. People started shredding because of him. He’s to blame for that because he inspired a lot of people that went on to take what he did and add it to their schooled, jazz approach that they had to things and suddenly you have all the shrapnel artist for next 10 years. So he has to be given a lot of credit for being a major inspiration for a lot of people. I could even throw in some people that you wouldn’t expect like Elliot Easton from The Cars because he was so fucking tasty in what he played. If you want to go down that road, you could even say Ace [Frehley]. You can sing his guitar parts more than you can even sing the vocal to a KISS song. You could go on forever, people were great for so many different reasons either by what they contributed or by how something hits you individually.

What is the biggest misconception about yourself?

I would say that one misconception is that everything I do is a big fucking joke, that I don’t take it seriously and all I want to do is make people laugh. Maybe I put out a song with a funny title, but the 11 other songs on the album touch on some serious personal shit. Maybe I talk about it in a light hearted way because I am not trying to drag anybody down, but it is still serious shit nonetheless. I think that and being called “Bumblefuck,” when you put those two elements together and I think that people may think I am not serious about music. So that is one misconception, but ya know, I am just being myself. I have an obnoxious sense of humor and sometimes it comes out in whatever I am doing. Sometimes I say the wrong thing at the wrong time because I know it’s the wrong thing at the wrong time and that is why I just fucking have to say it. So I do it. Maybe I am like that a little bit musically too.

What else? Hmmmm, that I am tall! I’m not and I am not afraid to admit that! [laughs]

It was recently revealed that your new album will be called Abnormal.

Yeah, because the world was really waiting to know! [laughs]

So what can you tell us about the album?

Well, back up one step to Normal. That was pretty autobiographical about what was going on. I guess in a sense, everything anyone writes is autobiographical whether it is about an event that happened in their life or about the way they perceive it. Usually an artist is trying to get you to see something through their eyes not that I am an artist, I’m a “Bumblefuck”! [laughs] Normal was trying to tell the story of where shit was at, where I was beaten, battered and bumblefucked! I went on some mind-altering medication before I put a bullet in my head and that got me through that. The side effect of that is that on those kind of meds, you can’t really get creative anymore. They block a lot of the bad shit you use to create. So it was a whole time period of weighing what was better: to be happy and silent, or a head case but be able to give something. So in the end, music always wins! Otherwise there would be no musicians. If you ask half of them they are like, “Why the hell am I doing this?” It’s because you have to. You have no choice in the matter. It was assigned to you and it is not your choice. You have to do it and if you try not to, you feel like your holding your breath. You have to breathe and you have to make the music.

So, with Abnormal, the meds wore off. I’m a fucking head case again! [laughs] Ask her! [motions to his wife] So same old shit, a lot of love songs. Sure! [laughs] From everyone that has heard it, they say it reminds them of the Sex Pistols but with this Queen musical thing that is going on. There are moments where there is a little bit of opera and I did have opera singers come in and sing on it. I think guitar-wise, my head was in a different place with this album. I wouldn’t even say that I cared more about everything. I think I cared less about everything and that allowed me to do something a little more natural because I wasn’t guided by the idea of “this is what people want to hear” and “this is what I should or shouldn’t be doing.” I was just like, “Fuck it!” I just have to do whatever. In the end, I think a lot more melodic shit came out. The crazy shit was crazier and the pretty shit was prettier because when you let go of something and let it run free, it’s like taking the intensity knob and turning it up a couple of notches! So I am pretty happy with this album. It’s in the same direction as Normal was as far as songs with noodley-noodley over it, but I feel like I have stepped it up in every way. The sound quality, I put so much more time into the tone of everything. It just hit me over the head one day that it doesn’t matter what you play if your final tone is not pleasing. So I really put extra into that. I don’t know if it helped, but I tried! [laughs]

So Abnormal, it’s not as freaky as the name. Well, it’s got it’s moments. You know how I had that song, “Guitars Suck”? Well, now I have a song called “Guitars Still Suck” and it’s a little crazier than the last one! It was actually inspired by my friend Guthrie Govan, who is a wonderful friend of mine and an old friend of mine going back 20 years, lives in England. I was a guest on one of his songs that had a kinda country vibe to it and I wanted to make a song that was an answer back to him.

So a battle of sorts?

In a sense or more like a reply. I would call it that because it’s not like a challenge or that kinda vibe. It’s almost like swapping porn! Here’s one and here’s one back to you!

Mrs. Foot: It’s like they are having a conversation with guitars. Sometimes it will go on for an hour. They will come up with the most ridiculous things.

RT: Yeah! There are times when Guthrie and I will jam for an hour and a half straight of going back and forth. As we are trading off, we might even throw in the theme to some cartoon and stuff like that. We always have a great time. I love the guy, he is wonderful!

When do you think you will be releasing Abnormal?

Well, I would like to get it out there as soon possible. It’s a plus and a minus that I am doing things all by myself. It’s a plus in the sense that I don’t have to organize and wait and work it out. I can just put it out as it comes out, which is also a minus because there is no big bang when it comes out. Suddenly it is just there, but I kinda like that. So I am just making it available as I can and hopefully people will discover it and they have the option of deciding whether they like it ot not when it is there.

You are also known for having quite a few signature guitars and you held a year-long contest accepting submissions for a new design. When can we look forward to that new design seeing the light of day?

Vigier is working on it as we speak. They’ve been sending me photos and schematics as it’s coming together, working out any modifications that might be needed. Workin’ out the kinks, making sure the hand can fit comfortably between the necks, making sure the weight is distributed properly, stuff like that. Kinks.

You just announced that you will be creating an “all-star band” for the 2008 Rock Against Diabetes charity concert. How did you get involved with the charity?

Darrin Buchanan, a wonderful guy, this is his baby. He is putting it together and he has been doing it for a couple of years. Diabetes has been kicking his butt a little bit, lost a few toes, lost a foot. So obviously he has personal passion about this, as any of us would. He is putting all together and he contacted me and asked if I wanted to play. I told him that I could play it, but I thought we should do something bigger than that. I don’t know who is going to be available and what the end result will be, but I am sure everyone would love to do it if they could. Time will tell and I hope that I live up to the expectations of what this could be.

A lot of people might have become familiar with you by way of Guns N’ Roses. How did your involvement with the band come about?

It was about four years ago that we started talking. Joe Satriani recommended me and then I got a funny email from Chris Pitman, the keyboard player, and we all just started talking. It took a minute for us to get it together but we started touring in 2006. We just started jammin’ and the next thing you know we are doing it in front of people, then we are doing it in all different places, then I am laying guitar tracks on the album and then here we are in New Jersey!

Did you know any of the others in the band before joining?

Pretty sure most of the guys had a previous relationship, except for me, haha. Tommy [Stinson] and Richard [Fortus] worked with Frank [Ferrer], things like that. Funny thing about Frank is that we had all these mutual friends, going back 20 years, but Frank and I had never met. Or maybe we did but just didn’t realize it. So relationships developed. Frank and I get together whenever we can.

How did you react to the news that Robin Finck was leaving Guns N’ Roses to rejoin Nine Inch Nails?

He’s playing the 27th of August up at The Meadowlands, which I will always call it. I don’t give a fuck if they are calling it Izod Theater or Continental or whatever they want to fucking call it. It’s the Meadowlands! Bring the name back, dammit! [laughs] That’s all I’m saying, haha.

Do you ever tire of being asked what is slowly turning into the Million Dollar Rock Journalism Question, “When is Chinese Democracy going to be released?”

How can you not ask that question? It’s like, “Doesn’t anyone notice that elephant in the room?!” We have new management and they are good guys, and it’s in negotiations.

It has to be exciting for you, since Chinese Democracy is becoming such a piece of rock history. Do you know what your contribution to the album is?

I played on every song. Yeah, it is exciting, but I can’t get that excited without thinking of the other guys. I am more excited for them because their journey with this is so much longer than mine. For me, it has been two years of seriously being active and there are guys who have been doing this for 10 years and I am just so fucking happy for them.

Ever had a Spinal Tap moment on stage?

When haven’t I? [laughs] On stage, off stage, that movie rings more true all the time. A great Spinal Tap moment was when we were playing in England two years ago. We’re doing “Rocket Queen” and as we are doing the intro we see a bunch of guys bringing out these little, foot-high platforms behind us. As they are bringing them out, we are looking at each other like, “What the hell is going on?” and we go into the song and they quickly take them away. We had no idea what that was about. We found out later that we were going to have a bunch of “little people” dancing on these platforms for an extended intro to “Rocket Queen,” but we were never told, so we had no clue. So we are arguing about the communication breakdown after the show, so I of course in the middle of it have one question to ask in a British accent, “Will we be doing ‘Rocket Queen’ tomorrow night? [instead of “Stonehenge”] And one of the guys says back [in an English voice], “No, we won’t be doing fucking ‘Rocket Queen’!” So that was a Spinal Tap moment. Little things like that can happen and when they do you just have to laugh. We try and make a rule of not mentioning anything from Spinal Tap before a show because it will jinx the show. It’s all in good fun.

What does a guitar virtuoso like yourself think of Guitar Hero? Is it fun or is it like when those little kids are watching Marty McFly play Wild Gunman in Back To The Future 2? “That’s like a baby’s toy!”

It’s a fun game. I like playin’ it. It’s like asking a race car driver how he feels about a racing game. They are two separate things, but it is a fun game. [laughs]

Being in the music industry as long as you have, are there still surprises?

The changes that happen in the industry now happen at an exponential rate, where the growth that would happen in 10 years now happens in a year. I guess technology is moving so fast, everything has to restructure to keep up with it. So there are always surprises but it boils down to it being the only form of legal slavery still allowed in America. I am not speaking on Guns behalf, I am speaking from my own personal experiences. I have had to remedy situations with baseball bats or hire hitmen to kill the owners of labels. [laughs]

How do you feel about the current state of rock music?

Well, with any kind of music, there are gonna be a million people that love it and 10 million people who hate it. It’s not for everybody. Whatever that is out now that you don’t like is not for you, it is for the people who do. That’s just how it is. My music is for the 10 people that like it, for everyone else, it’s not for them. So fuck ’em! [laughs]

 

Related Links:
www.bumblefoot.com – Official Site of Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal
www.myspace.com/bumblefoot – Official Myspace Page of Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal
Rock Against Diabetes – Live from Las Vegas on August 23, 2008
Rock Against Diabetes on Myspace – Befriend This Worthy Cause on Myspace
www.gunsnroses.com – Official Site of Guns N’ Roses
Here Today…Gone To Hell – An Unofficial Guns N’ Roses site
GNRSource.com – An Unofficial Guns N’ Roses site

Bumblefoot Fun Fact:
Ron Thal once played Guns N’ Roses covers in a band called Leonard Nimoy.

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‘Back 2 base X’ with (hed)p.e. – An Interview with M.C.U.D.

pic_hed(hed)p.e., who have flirted with mainstream success on more than one occasion in the past, have been powered by the underground scene for more than a decade. With a retooled lineup, the band has found new life on their new label and is back on the scene with a new album, Back 2 Base X. Jason Price of Live-Metal.Net recently caught up with frontman Jared Gomes (a.k.a. M.C.U.D.) on the Koast II Koast tour, supporting the Kottonmouth Kings. Jared discusses the band?s longevity and future, their new raw sound, the struggles with their former label and moving on to the much ?greener pastures? of Suburban Noize Records.

Live-Metal: (hed)p.e. formed back in 1994. The lineup has changed a bit in that time, but to what do you attribute the band?s longevity??

Jared Gomes: You know what it is, it is just because the band (hed)p.e. is more than who is in the band. It is a way or life and a frame of mind. Those of us who have stuck it out have stuck it out because the music means more to us. We aren?t into this for fame or nothing, it is just in our blood. The reason we stay around for one thing is because we never hit it big. We have been trudging along working as hard as we can and I think we have earned some respect for that.?

What is the biggest misconception about (hed)p.e.??

That we are a rap-rock band. [laughs] Or that people want to dismiss us as rap-rock band. It is hard because people wanna describe music with words and that in itself is a difficult task. I think that it is a misconception that we were part of some trend or whatever. We don?t look at ourselves like that. Bob Marley had 12 albums and Zeppelin. We just consider ourselves musicians, artists. We don’t consider ourselves ?rap-rockers? or whatever.?

In your opinion, what?s the biggest milestone for the band since you started out??

The biggest milestone of the band? Hummmm, interesting question. I don?t know if I am in a position to answer that question. I think that we are just continually creating milestones every time we get on stage. Every time we sell a T-shirt it’s another stone, ya know? Part of the trick of us staying in it is that we aren?t in it for short-term rewards or whatever. Playing big shows and opening up for bands or playing for big festivals or whatever?it is all great for us. So that is why we take it all in stride. Once you start creating milestones and then you are like, ?Oh man, why aren’t we doing that again?” So for us it is just a way of life thing, so I don?t really have one that sticks out. Maybe me buying a laptop and starting to do all producing myself. Maybe when I bought all the recording equipment and decided to do this all myself. It took the power out of the hands of the people with all the money. It took power out of money and just gave it back to our band in terms of creativity.?

Do you have a typical songwriting process for (hed)p.e.??

If it?s not me just picking up a guitar and recording a song and then showing it to the band, then my guitar player will record a song and send me tapes or email me a bunch of his tracks. Or my bass player will give me some tracks and I will pick through the one that really moves me or one were I feel like the lyrics are already written for this. So it is nothing that is written in stone. It could be words first or it could be music first.?

The latest album is Back 2 Base X. You recorded this album live as a band in the studio. How did you come to that decision??

I think that technology can be your best friend, but you can use it too much to your advantage. For us, we are a live band and we want capture that liveness like they used to do. You know, Ray Charles, Rick James, The Clash, the Sex Pistols. Some of those old-school bands that used to record all at once or just with a couple mics in the room. We wanted to get that raw feeling again, where some of the old (hed)p.e. albums, even the more popular ones were done with a lot of looping and stuff and computer tricks. We just wanted to get away from that.?

Can we expect this approach on future releases??

Definitely.?

What was the biggest challenge in making the record??

No challenges. Everything just went so smoothly on this record. [laughs] Everything just went so good on this record and it was a great experience.?

The new album, Back 2 Base X, is has a lot of messages and underlying themes. What was the inspiration for it??

A lot of artists just write about themselves and their lifestyle, which is cool because I do that a lot, too. On this album, though, it was more about writing about topics. I was really into the alternative media and reading about secret world governments, Freemasons, Kabbalah and Illuminati shit and putting that all into my rhymes and my music.?

Is there an overall message you?re trying to get across with your music??

Maybe the message is just that you can go check things out and be curious and that there are two sides to every story and more than what you may see on the news. Get online and check out other avenues of information besides the three networks and CNN or whatever.?

You have left your last label for greener pastures, so to speak.?

Yeah! [laughs]?

How has your experience with Suburban Noize been??

Suburban Noize is different because when you are at a record label, you have an outside manager that fights with your label to supposedly help you out in the end. At Suburban Noize, the management is the label. So it is kinda just a cool symbiotic thing where they just help each other out. It?s a family over there of normal guys who are sincerely concerned with their artists? careers, where at the other labels it is more just cutthroat and people are just trying to make that quick buck off of you.?

You released Back 2 Base X on 6.6.06, the same day your former label, Jive released The Best of (hed) Planet Earth.?

Huh! [laughs]?

Did you guys have any input whatsoever on that release??

Absolutely none.?

How do you feel about that??

It is absolutely infuriating. Well, I don?t want to say infuriating, but it just shows the level of how much they are like vampires. It?s just this whole business where it supposedly has to do with art but all these suits are trying to do at Jive is make a penny anywhere. I think it is so fucking lame when someone can just put out your music without even talking to you.?

I didn’t even know it had come out.?

Good! GOOD! There is no ?greatest hits? from (hed)! We never had a hit!?

You had ?Bartender? and a song on Madden.?

But ?Bartender? wasn?t a hit. It got played a lot because the record company paid a lot for it to get played through indie radio promo. If it was a hit, that album would have went gold and it didn?t, ya know what I mean? So they tried and they gave up. Ya know, whatever!?

You have already released a video for ?Get Ready.? Any plans to do another video at the moment??

Well, first we are gonna go to Europe. Then the management has a couple tracks in mind, like the track ?N.O.C.? (Novus Ordos Clitorus) as the second track and do a video for that.?

You are currently on the Koast II Koast Tour with The Kottonmouth Kings. How is the tour going so far??

This is the best tour that we have ever been on. It is just ridiculous. You know, Kottonmouth is like a phenomena. There is only a hand full of bands that can draw these types of numbers and sell these types of units without being on MTV and radio on the constant. It is a statement against the status quo. Being part of it is the greatest thing.?

So you enjoying being back out on the road??

Oh yeah, being back out on the road is great, period. But doing this tour with Suburban Noize family is just a dream come true.?

For those how haven?t seen (hed)p.e. live, how would you describe it??

I would say that we always satisfy if you are inclined to be into it. You can?t please everyone, some people are just not gonna like what you are doing. If you are inclined to be into live bands, we bring it at a high level. It?s intense and we are not faking it.?

When you?re out on tour with all these bands, do you get inspired by the other musicians??

Without a doubt. I am one of these people who is constantly soaking up whatever another artist is doing. Everybody from Big B to D-Loc or Richter (www.kottonmouthkings.com), any of those fools, anybody at anytime can just make me go, ?”Huhhhhhhhh?!? and get inspired.?

How do keep touring from becoming a grind??

I just think that touring is like sex. How do you keep sex from getting boring? It just doesn’t get boring?because your fucking! That is what music is. It doesn’t get boring. It is always inherently exciting and fun, as long as your head is in the right place. Which mine is because I have been doing it for such a long time. So a lot of the ego is just out the window.?

After this tour, what?s next for (hed)p.e.??

We’re going to Europe with OPM and then we are doing a tour with Slightly Stoopid and Pepper for J?germeister. We?ve got a lot of radio shows coming up, not a lot but a few and that is about it in the near future.?

You have contemplated some solo work in the past. Is that still in the cards??

No. Well, I would like to but I just have to find the time to do it. I would like to do more of the hip-hop thing, but I just need to get my discipline down and use my time more wisely then watching South Park for eight hours straight.?

In your opinion, has the digital revolution, i.e. downloading, iPods, file trading and web streaming, affected you??

Well, I think that it effects us more than bigger bands because we are poor, so every unit really counts. The bigger bands are already rich and making money from valid record sales.?

That?s all the questions I have for you. Is there anything else you want to add??

Just check us out on MySpace at myspace.com/hedpe or www.hedshop.com, www.suburbannoizerecords.com. Help us out. Buy a T-Shirt and buy the new album and just support underground music that is not so corporate and thanks!

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Forever Night Never Day: An Interview with 30 Seconds To Mars

Forever Night Never Day: An Interview with 30 Seconds To Mars

30_seconds_to_mars2130 Seconds To Mars debuted in 1998 and has been on the rise ever since. Fronted by actor/musician Jared Leto, the band has grown to headliner status on the strength of its second album, A Beautiful Lie. At the band’s stop at the Recher Theatre in Towson, Md., drummer Shannon Leto and guitarist Tomo Milicevic spoke to Jason Price of Live-Metal.net about the band’s evolution, the new album, the struggles of touring and more.

For people not familiar with the band, 30 Seconds to Mars, how did the band come about?

Shannon: It was my brother [Jared Leto] and I. We started it. We’ve been playing instruments all our lives. We were signed in 1998, so we have been doing it for quite some time professionally. Then Matt and Tomo came on board four or five years ago.

Where does the name 30 Seconds To Mars come from?

Shannon: It comes from this old book that my brother had found. It’s in this paragraph that explains the exponential growth of human technology and how it plays in our society and how everything is in a constant state of projection. It is more conceptual than anything. If that makes any sense [laughs].

In your opinion, what’s the biggest milestone for the band since you started out?

Shannon: I love playing music. I love that we are able to keep going and to be doing what we are doing after all of these years. A lot of our friends have been dropped from labels and like I said we were signed in 1998, so to be still signed and allowed to do what we have been doing for so long it’s a blessing.

Tomo: Honestly, since I have been in the band, Lollapolooza was a milestone because that is when I noticed a big change in the amount of people that knew about us. That was a tour that the label really didn’t think was important for us to do. We spent our own money to put us on that tour because we knew that it was important. It turned out that it was the smartest decision that we ever made because that put us into a different tier.

Shannon: And the video.

Tomo: Yeah. That trumps Lollapolooza now but I just know that Lollapolooza was a huge jump.

Shannon: That was the first one for ya, huh.

Tomo: Yeah. It was a huge jump but the new “Kill” video, definitely, is the thing that opened us up to a much larger audience.

There was a gap of a few years in between your latest album and A Beautiful Lie, how do you think your sound has changed in that time?

Shannon: Well, it is more to the point, more raw, more personable, more accessible in a way. Less heady, there are a lot less layers going on musically.

Tomo: The first record, those guys, really filled all the space with sound.

Shannon: The first record was my brother and I and it was about when we were kids, all the way up until that point. Experiences to musical experiences and it was all on that record. So there was a lot going on and a lot that we wanted to express in a short amount of time and that is what that record was.

Tomo: Whereas on this new record, it was all about the lyric and the vocal, just the song.

Shannon: Yeah.

Tomo: And how little could you do. Not even so much as “how little could you do” but really choosing everything carefully.

Shannon: Yeah, from the guitar playing, to the drumming, from the bass, everything is just simple, to the point.

Tomo: No egos. The whole record is about presenting this song in the best way possible.

How do you going about putting together a particular song?

Shannon: There isn’t really a particular way. It could come from a bass line, it could come from a guitar line, it could come from a thought in a head, it could come from a lyric, a drum beat.

Tomo: Every song happened in a completely different way. Some people use a formula. We don’t. It’s just however it happens and if it sounds good we do it and if it doesn’t then we don’t.

Shannon: Right.

You worked with Josh Abraham on this album, A Beautiful Lie. How did that come about?

Shannon: Josh Abraham is a friend. He is a peer. He worked with a couple bands that we liked. We liked the simplicity that he records albums. We liked his outlook on the whole recording process. He has a really direct approach to recording.

Tomo: He sets up a nice environment for the band. Josh Abraham is not the producer for bands that need help learning how to write songs. He doesn’t get very involved in a hands-on type of way. He is really good at setting up an environment for a band like us to do good work.

Shannon: Yeah.

Tomo: What he is really great at is stepping in at the right time and saying, “Yes, pursue this.”

Shannon: Like “Attack” and “The Kill,” for instance. We weren’t going to record those.

Tomo: Yeah, our two singles weren’t going to be on the record [laughs].

Shannon: He said, “You gotta do it, there’s some thing there.” So we did it and now you have heard them on the radio.

Seeing as the record was your sophomoric effort, did it feel like there was more pressure on you with this release?

Tomo: There is always pressure.

Shannon: When you grow and you take chances and risks, there are going to be pressures. We welcome those pressures but there wasn’t this huge “Oh, it’s your second album” thing.

Tomo: Yeah, because the first album wasn’t a huge mainstream success. The sophomoric slump usually applies to bands that sold millions or records with their debut. So for us, that was never a worry because the first record was what it was and it set a really nice foundation. All we had to do was just continue to do our thing.

Shannon: We just do what we do. Virgin has been really helpful in giving us the space and the time to allow us to express ourselves. So they have had our backs for quite sometime now.

You do a cover of a Bjork song, “Hunter.” How did that come about?

Shannon and Tomo: Yeah!

Tomo: Well, we all love Bjork, first of all. She is an amazing artist, but we used to play that song a long time ago live. Like when I first joined the band we started to cover it live. Then we didn’t play it for a long time. We all talked about it again when we were recording bonus tracks for the record. We were just like, “Hey man, let’s try and get this on tape and see what happens.” It turned out to be a really cool song for the record.

What was the biggest challenge in making the record?

Shannon: Ourselves.

Tomo: Getting over the obstacles within ourselves and allowing ourselves to change. Not being scared of changing. That is usually the biggest obstacle for everyone, being brave enough to change.

Shannon: That is THE obstacle. That is the biggest obstacle for anyone, anywhere. Someone is so used to what they are doing, what they are thinking, who they are hanging with, what they are doing in their life and to think about doing something different, 99.9 percent of people just don’t do that. It’s just the thought, like “Oh, I could do that. If I wanted to I could do that.” But they don’t. They are just thinking that they could. Because to actually pursue that goal and to change takes a lot of risk and a lot of balls.

Tomo: And especially in music, when you find a sound that works, you just want to stick with that and a lot of bands tend to put out the same thing over and over because it works. But really to have any type of long lasting career in music, you have to change because times change. You can’t do the same thing over and over again or you get lost.

Shannon: Luckily, that is how I have always liked to change. I don’t listen to just one type of music. I always listen to different types of music, ALWAYS! I could be listening to the heaviest of heavy metal and at the same time, I could be listening to some Sade record. Something totally opposite, like some old school Michael Jackson or some shit, just for the musicality of it. And that is how I have always been. So for us it is just a natural progression just to try different stuff. The ultimate in expression is just to change with the times.

Tomo: There is nothing more boring than to hear the same record, over and over again. I couldn’t even imagine being in a band like that. We love the songs from the first record but we always want to play the newer stuff. If you keep on making the same record over and over again, you are going to hate playing.

The video for “Attack” has a unique look to it and even some “hidden messages.” Who came up with the concept for that? 

Tomo: It was a combination of the director and Jared, I think the director had brought up the idea of scratching the negative to Jared and Jared and Matt [Watcher] went in there and did it. 

Any plans to do another video at the moment?

Shannon: Well, we just did the video for “Attack” and it is doing really well.

Tomo: We are talking about the next video already [whispers] but we can’t say anything just yet! [laughs]

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

Shannon: Whatever they want. It’s left up to their own interpretation, man. There is no spoon feeding going on here. It’s not a Norman Rockwell painting. It’s not something that we want to explain to people. We want people to leave and come away with their own idea of what they experienced.

Tomo: Exactly. We do what we do and we play music and Jared writes lyrics. They mean something to him and they mean something to me, but it is probably different. All of us have the same mind set in that we don’t want to know what the song is about because I want to know what the song means to me. And that is the same with those kids. It’s like, let them have their own interpretation of what that is and let them connect to it in their own way. Let them connect to the show in the way that they want to. That is a lot more interesting than knowing what the writer was writing about.

You guys have your own headlining tour now, “Forever Night Never Day.” What is like being a headliner and selling out almost all of your shows?

Tomo: It feels good for the first time to be able to present they show in the way that you want. It is still not even close to what we really see but it nice to be able to take that first step toward it. It’s cool, we eared it!

For those how haven’t seen 30 Seconds to Mars live, how would you describe it and your onstage presence?

Tomo: Chaos with grace. Violence with grace. [laughs]

What are some of your favorite songs to play live?

Shannon: I like to play some of the old stuff like “Buddha For Mary.” I like “Capricorn,” “The Kill” and all the new ones I love to play because it is so fresh.

Tomo: It is nice to play the new songs because they are so fresh. I have different favorites at different times. Like lately, I have really be liking playing “The Story.” I am mellow, so I just get dark.

Shannon: [laughs]

You?ve played some acoustic shows while promoting the album and tours. Would you ever think about doing an acoustic album or release of some sort?

Tomo: It’s funny you say that because there just might be something like that happening, you never know, you never know [smiles].

You guys have been on the road for a while now, and have added dates to your schedule. How is life on the road treating you?

Tomo: Life on the road is hard. But I love it, I think we all love it. You can’t do this without enjoying being on tour because it is very difficult. It is hard to be on tour, make no mistakes, there is not a lot of glamour in what we do.

Did you guys really know what you had signed up for when you decided to tour?

Tomo: I don’t think that you can every really know. You can have preconceived notions. Until you do it, I don’t know that you can have a real idea of what it’s like. You think it’s gonna be all cool and fun all the time but really it is a lot of work, all the time. You have to really love this to do this. That’s why a lot of bands fail. It tests your friendships with people and you ability to be with those same people in the hardest way but we all love it.

Any crazy stories from the road that you might want to share?

Shannon and Tomo: [both laugh]

Shannon: That we want to share? [laughs] No!

Tomo: We are a lot of fun, but we are also very focused on what we are doing. We have fun and we do a lot of crazy things.

Shannon: We work really hard and play really hard, so some of those things we get into behind the scenes will stay behind the scenes [laughs].

Tomo: Yeah!

Are you guys doing any writing on the road?

Shannon: We are always fiddle faddling around, but we are really focused on this album right now.

Tomo: Yeah, but we aren’t very focused right now on writing new stuff. The focus is definitely on Beautiful Lie.

You have played both large and small venues. Do you have a preference?

Tomo: Both have different advantages. The smaller venue is super intimate and it is a super high energy show because you are so close with the band. The big shows are really cool for us because our music is written with a huge venue in mind. We write our songs with the mind set of reaching a lot of people. So when we play huge venues we sound really good because we have subconsciously written shows to fill a large arena. I don’t like playing large arenas because I know we sound good, but I don’t want to play arenas unless we are the headliner and that fucker is sold out because it is so separate from everyone, you have to know that everyone is there to see you. I prefer the small club for that, for my selfish reasons.

You have quite a dedicated fan base, what can you tell us about “The Echelon”?

Tomo: Oh yeah! They are the greatest people in the world. They love us so much. They just want us to succeed and they do whatever they can to help that. Being a fan of a lot of different bands and being a hardcore fan of some bands, I have never seen anything like it. We definitely have a unique fan base, different from every other band out there. We also spend a lot of time with our fans. We give them a lot of our attention. I think that that drives them to want us to succeed even more. They do so much on their own, without us even asking them, just to spread the word. It is cool.

Where are some of your favorite places to play?

Tomo: Florida is amazing for us. Texas is amazing for us, but, I mean, a lot of people complain about L.A. and New York as being like “the jaded cities,” but we have amazing shows there. So I like playing those cities, too. Especially if it is a cool city with a lot of culture and you get to have a badass show. So I think we are really lucky because of our fanbase we get to have great shows wherever we play. It doesn’t really matter. But Texas and Florida are really amazing for us.

What was the first album that you bought?

Shannon: My first album that I remember buying was KISS’s Destroyer. KISS’s Destroyer, dude, with the burning city on the back.

Tomo: [laughs]

Shannon: It’s true though! I had such an imagination, I didn’t grow up with a TV or anything, so I just, an example! I would just stare at these four dudes dressed up with paint on them, just staring at the city and picture myself rolling around and I even tried explaining it at show-and-tell and people thought I was crazy!

Tomo: [laughs]

Shannon: Yeah dude, they were like, “Huh?” And I was like, “No! You don’t get it!” And they were like, “They’re evil though!” [laughs] So, yeah, that was the first album. Then I think it was Iron Maiden or something.

Tomo: The first record that I bought with my own money was Nirvana’s Nevermind. I remember buying it. It was a tape and I was so excited because I had saved my money, my six bucks or whatever it was and I bought it. I was in sixth grade and I listened to it until I wore out the tape literally. You couldn’t hear it. If I still had it, I would play it for you. It had no discernable sounds on it I played it so much. It was crazy. Before that, I listened to only classical music. I played violin ever since I was a little kid, so that was the first rock record that I really got into. Then after that it was Pantera and then it was all over! [laughs]

What about the last album you bought?

Shannon: Pantera. Cowboys from Hell.

Tomo: The most recent album that I bought with my own money was The Bled for the fourth time.

Shannon: Fourth Time! It’s weird, man. He keeps losing the CD.

Tomo: I love The Bled. Their new album, actually it’s not their new album, I guess it is pretty old now. I keep losing it and keep buying it because I love it so much. So those guys owe me a lunch or something! [laughs]

There are a lot of summer tours coming up. Are you gonna be involved with any of them?

Shannon: We are doing a little bit of Warped Tour.

Tomo: Yeah, a couple dates on Warped Tour. We are trying to get on more dates, but it is a little bit hard because we got into it late.

Shannon: Yeah. That’s the reason.

Tomo: There is no confirmed plans for any package tours for us. We are doing really good on our headlining stuff, so we might just continue to do that. Why open for somebody when you can have your own show?

Shannon: It’s true.

Tomo: But if something really good comes along will take it.

Are there any bands on those tours that you want to check out?

Tomo: I love Avenged Sevenfold. I love their whole thing. So many people don’t like them, but I think they are great. I think they are so funny man and they just go for it! Completely! They commit 100 percent to their whole schtick.

Shannon: I like the Dredge. They are pretty cool, too. I wouldn’t mind seeing The Bled, though.

Tomo: I saw The Bled, but the mix wasn’t good. You could tell that they were great but that the mix wasn’t good.

Shannon: Yeah?

Tomo: It bummed me out because I was really excited to see them, but the sound wasn’t good.

Shannon: That sucks man, when you see a band and the sound sucks.

Tomo: A great band can be ruined by a band mix.

Shannon: It really can. I have seen great bands and stood right by the soundboard and it’s been wrecked. I was so pissed off.

Do you keep a close eye on that for your shows?

Shannon: Yeah, and we have great sound. Our sound guy is great.

Tomo: We are very particular about the mix. Very particular.

Shannon: Yeah, VERY!

Tomo: We get very involved with all that to make sure that it is done right. Because you know, take TOOL for instance. What if you went to see TOOL live and they sounded like shit? They wouldn’t be who they are. That is one of the best sounding live bands in the world ever. Just imagine if they sounded like shit. They wouldn’t have a number one record, like, ever.

Shannon: Because they are such a live band.

Tomo: So we consider ourselves very much a live band so it is important to sound good.

Shannon: We never let go of the reigns. We are involved in every aspect of 30 Seconds to Mars, from our art direction to our fans to web sites to the lights in our show to the sound in our shows to the people we hire to every little thing. Because it’s our band and it makes sense that you have to be a part of everything. You can’t be like “Oh, well they will figure it out.” No! We want to do the graphics on our T-shirts, so we are gonna do the graphics on our T-shirts. It’s important.

Even through you album just recently came out, when can we look forward to hearing new music from the band?

Shannon: I don’t know.

Will there be as big of a gap as there was between you first two albums?

Shannon: Probably not as long as this time.

Tomo: But it is going to be a little while. This record is doing extremely well and is still growing all the time. We haven’t gone backwards at all yet. It keeps going up and up and up, so why stop? Let’s see how far we can take it.

When do you think Chinese Democracy will be released?

Shannon: You know, I have no information on that. Not sure!

Tomo: What is that?

The new Guns N’ Roses album that is has been over a decade in the making.

Tomo: Call it a career. [laughs]

I think that?s all the questions I have for you. Is there anything else you?d like to add?

Shannon: Yeah. People can check us out at our tour website http://www.forevernight-neverday.com and on Myspace, we are on there and http://www.thirtysecondstomars.com

Tomo: And thank you!!!

Shannon: Thank you guys for supporting us and showing up at our shows.

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