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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chris Brooks of Like A Storm – Photo by Jason Axsom

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How have you evolved as an artist?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Reunited FLIPP Recruit Guitarist Drew Fortier As Second Guitarist

Reunited FLIPP Recruit Guitarist Drew Fortier As Second Guitarist

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

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

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

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

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

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

Future shows are currently in the works.

FLIPP frontman Brynn Arens

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

yles Kennedy and The Conspirators

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

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

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

SLASH FT. MYLES KENNEDY & THE CONSPIRATORS tour dates:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Track Listing:

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

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

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

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

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

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Monster Magnet Announces Dates For North American Tour

Monster Magnet Announces Dates For North American Tour

Monster Magnet

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

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

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

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

*Festival Appearance

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What can fans expect from the live show?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Chris Robinson Brotherhood Add September ’18 Tour Dates

Chris Robinson Brotherhood Add September ’18 Tour Dates

The Chris Robinson Brotherhood have announced ten shows in September 2018. They’re added to a summer tour that already includes 32 performances across the U.S. The ten additional September dates occur prmarily in the South, including The Joy Theater in New Orleans, White Oak Music Hall in Houston, and Scoot Inn in Austin, as well as, two West Coast dates at The Marquee Theatre in Tempe and House of Blues in AnaheimTickets go on-sale Friday, June 15 at 10am local. Exclusive Chris Robinson Brotherhood meet & greet and VIP packages are available.

September ’18 Shows Announced Today:

Sept. 6 – Pensacola, FL – Vinyl Music Hall
Sept. 7 – New Orleans, LA – Joy Theater
Sept. 8 – Birmingham, AL – Avondale Brewing Company
Sept. 9 – Oxford, MS – The Lyric
Sept. 13 – Jackson, MS – Duling Hall
Sept. 14 – Houston, TX – White Oak Music Hall
Sept. 15 – Austin, TX – Scoot Inn
Sept. 16 – Dallas, TX – Canton Hall
Sept. 18 – Tempe, AZ – The Marquee Theatre
Sept. 20 – Anaheim, CA – House of Blues

The CRB’s summer tour kicks off July 8 at High Sierra Music Festival in Quincy, CA and includes headline performances at venues including Fremont Theatre in San Luis Obispo, House of Blues in Cleveland and The Stone Pony in Asbury Park, as well as a festival stops at Ride Festival in Telluride and Peach Music Festival in Scranton. Prior to their U.S. summer tour, the band heads to Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain for an appearance at Azkena Rock Festival.

In other news, The CRB commence work on their next studio album at Brotherhood Arts Laboratory in Unicorn, CA this week. “Venus In Chrome” and “The Chaffeur’s Daughter”—recent staples of CRB live sets—are among songs expected to be recorded. A release date for the recording has yet to be determined.

CHRIS ROBINSON BROTHERHOOD – Complete Tour Dates

June 22 – Vitoria-Gasteiz, ES – Azkena Rock Festival
July 8 – Quincy, CA – High Sierra Music Festival
July 9 – Tustin, CA – Marty’s On Newport (Sold Out)
July 10 – Tustin, CA – Marty’s On Newport (Sold Out)
July 11 – Landers, CA – Landers Brewing Company
July 12 – San Luis Obispo, CA – Fremont Theatre
July 14 – Flagstaff, AZ – Orpheum Theatre
July 15 – Telluride, CO – Ride Festival
July 17 – Omaha, NE – The Waiting Room
July 18 – Green Bay, WI – Meyer Theatre
July 20 – Cleveland, OH – House of Blues
July 21 – Scranton, PA – Peach Music Festival
July 22 – Fairfield, CT – The Warehouse
July 24 – Providence, RI – Fete Music Hall
July 26 – Asbury Park, NJ – The Stone Pony
July 27 – Patchogue, NY – Stereo Garden
July 28 – Beverly, MA – Cabot Theatre
July 29 – Plymouth, NH – Flying Monkey
July 31 – Baltimore, MD – Ram’s Head Live
August 2 – Richmond, VA – The National
August 3 – Wilmington, NC – Greenfield Lake Amphitheater
August 4 – Maryville, TN – The Shed
August 5 – Cincinnati, OH – 20th Century Theatre
August 7 – Indianapolis, IN – Deluxe at Old National Center
August 9 – Milwaukee, WI – Turner Hall Ballroom
August 10 – Kalamazoo, MI – Bell’s Beer Garden
August 11 – Kitchener, Canada – Kitchener Blues Festival
August 18 – Big Sky, MT – Moonlight Music Festival
September 6 – Pensacola, FL – Vinyl Music Hall
September 7 – New Orleans, LA – Joy Theater
September 8 – Birmingham, AL – Avondale Brewing Company
September 9 – Oxford, MS – The Lyric
September 13 – Jackson, MS – Duling Hall
September 14 – Houston, TX – White Oak Music Hall
September 15 – Austin, TX – Scoot Inn
September 16 – Dallas, TX – Canton Hall
September 18 – Tempe, AZ – The Marquee
September 20 – Anaheim, CA – House of Blues
September 21-22 – Ferndale, CA – Freaks For The Festival
October 6 – Burlingham, NY – Catskills Wine & Food Festival

https://chrisrobinsonbrotherhood.com
http://calabromusicmedia.com

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Ghost Announces Dates For Massive North American Fall Tour

Ghost Announces Dates For Massive North American Fall Tour

Grammy® Award-winning band Ghost’s critically acclaimed fourth sacred psalm Prequelle has debuted at #3 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart, #2 Top Current Album, #1 Rock, and #2 Vinyl, with 65,653 albums sold.

Prequelle also debuted at #1 in Sweden, Norway, and Finland, #1 at Rock in the UK, and in the Top 10 overall in the UK, Germany (#2), France (#4), Australia, and Mexico. This follows over 25,000 album pre-orders (the highest in their career), over 5 Million pre-release streams of first single “Rats”, and the announcement of their first ever headline arena dates. “Rats” is currently #4 at Active Rock Radio, and was the #1 National Rock Song of the Week (Music Choice).

Additionally, Ghost today announced a massive North American fall tour including their previously announced headline arena dates at The Forum in Los Angeles, CA and Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY that will kick off on November 1 in Chicago, IL and wrap on December 15 in Brooklyn, NY. Pre-sale tickets for the tour will be available beginning June 12 at 10:00am local time and general tickets will be available to the public beginning June 15 at 10:00 am local time HERE. VIP packages will be available HERE. A complete list of upcoming live dates can be found below.

Released on June 1, Prequelle is available digitally and physically via Loma Vista Recordings now HERE. Limited edition merch bundles are available exclusively in the Ghost Shop HERE. Ghost is currently featured on five collectible covers of Revolver Magazine’s June/July issue, which is available now HERE. Read the story online HERE. On June 14, Ghost will join legendary metal band Candlemass to honor Metallica by performing one of their songs as members Lars Ulrich and Robert Trujillo are presented with the Polar Music Prize by the King of Sweden, Carl XVI Gustaf.

Ghost announced Prequelle (pronounced pr?-KWELL) alongside the album’s lead single “Rats” on April 13, 2018 and introduced fans to the band’s new singer Cardinal Copia. Watch his ascension to frontman in Prequelle Chapters 1-3 HERE. Last month, the band treated fans to an early listen of the album’s second song “Dance Macabre” with the first-ever Instagram Stories song premiere. With over 5 million streams in three weeks, the track is the band’s fastest streaming song to date. Lyrically, Prequelle delves into the plague, the apocalypse, and dark ages. The entire body of work is also a snapshot of the world in which we live in on a daily basis, brought to life through an emotive, enlightening, and riveting body of songs.

Prequelle follows Ghost’s third studio album, Meliora, and its accompanying EP Popestar, which elevated the Swedish rock band into the pantheon of the greatest rock bands on earth and resulted in a Grammy® Award for ‘Best Metal Performance’. Meliora debuted at No. 1 at Independent Retail, No. 2 at Rock, and in the Top 10 on Billboard’s Top 200 Albums Chart, selling over a quarter million copies globally. The band made their network television debut performing the album’s lead single “Cirice” on CBS’s The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Popestar debuted at the No. 1 position on Billboard’s Top Rock Albums and Hard Rock Albums chart and produced an Active Rock chart topper with “Square Hammer”.

Ghost Live Dates
June 15, 2018 – Brétigny-Sur-Orge, France – Download Paris
June 21, 2018 – Dessel, Belgium – Graspop
June 23, 2018 – Copenhagen, Denmark – Copenhall
July 12, 2018 – Viveiro, Spain – Resurrection Fest
July 14, 2018 – Eindhoven, Netherlands – Dynamo Metal Fest
July 19, 2018 – Oslo, Norway – Valle Hoven, supporting Guns N’ Roses
July 20, 2018 – Nordfjordeid, Norway – Malakoff Festival
August 03, 2018 – Wacken, Germany – Wacken Open Air
August 05, 2018 – Colmar, France – Foire Aux Vins
October 26, 2018 – Tulsa, OK – Cox Business Center Ballroom
October 27, 2018 – Kansas City, MO – Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland
October 29, 2018 – Louisville, KY – Palace Theatre
October 30, 2018 – Indianapolis, IN – The Murat Theatre
November 01, 2018 – Chicago, IL – Aragon Ballroom
November 02, 2018 – Peoria, IL – Peoria Civic Center – Theatre
November 03, 2018 – Madison, WI – The Sylvee
November 04, 2018 – Ames, IA – Stephens Auditorium
November 06, 2018 – Omaha, NE – Orpheum Theater
November 08, 2018 – Albuquerque, NM – Kiva Auditorium
November 09, 2018 – El Paso, TX – Abraham Chavez Theatre
November 10, 2018 – Phoenix, AZ – Comerica Theatre
November 12, 2018 – San Diego, CA – Spreckels Theatre
November 13, 2018 – Sacramento, CA – Sacramento Community Center Theater
November 15, 2018 – San Jose, CA – City National Civic Center
November 16, 2018 – Los Angeles, CA – The Forum
November 17, 2018 – Las Vegas, NV – The Joint
November 19, 2018 – Midland, TX – Wagner Noel Performing Arts Center
November 20, 2018 – Austin, TX – Bass Concert Hall
November 21, 2018 – New Orleans, LA – Orpheum Theatre
November 23, 2018 – Orlando, FL – Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts – Walt Disney Theater
November 24, 2018 – Miami Beach, FL – The Fillmore at Jackie Gleason Theater
November 25, 2018 – Clearwater, FL – Ruth Eckerd Hall
November 27, 2018 – North Charleston, SC – North Charleston Performing Arts Center
November 29, 2018 – Mobile, AL – Saenger Theatre
November 30, 2018 – Atlanta, GA – Roxy Theatre
December 01, 2018 – Jacksonville, FL – Florida Theatre
December 02, 2018 – Charlotte, NC – Ovens Auditorium
December 04, 2018 – Richmond, VA – Dominion Energy Center
December 05, 2018 – Wilkes-Barre, PA – F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts
December 07, 2018 – Laval, QC – Place Bell
December 08, 2018 – Toronto, ON – Sony Centre for the Performing Arts
December 10, 2018 – Baltimore, MD – The Hippodrome
December 11, 2018 – Upper Darby, PA – Tower Theater
December 13, 2018 – Albany, NY – Palace Theatre
December 14, 2018 – Boston, MA – Wang Theatre
December 15, 2018 – Brooklyn, NY – Barclays Center

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NOTHIN’ BUT A GOOD TIME: Rikki Rockett On His Past, Present & Future In Music!

NOTHIN’ BUT A GOOD TIME: Rikki Rockett On His Past, Present & Future In Music!

Rikki Rockett – Photo by Tammy Vega

Poison first exploded onto the scene in the early eighties and wasted no time making a name for themselves in Los Angeles’ highly competitive music scene. To this day, almost four decades after the formation of the band, their musical legacy remains ingrained in the fabric of the Sunset Strip’s most notorious era. They released seven studio albums, four live albums, five compilation albums, and have issued 28 singles to radio. They’ve charted 12 singles to the Top 40 of the Billboard “Hot 100,” including six Top 10 singles “Nothin’ But A Good Time,” “Talk Dirty To Me,” “Unskinny Bop” and “Something To Believe In,” as well as the #1 smash hit, “Every Rose Has Its Thorn.”

In the summer of 2018, Poison is taking the show on the road! Their highly-anticipated “Nothin’ But A Good Time Tour” will take the band on a trek across the United States with Cheap Trick and Pop Evil in support. Delivering a high energy rock show each every night, the members of Poison are living proof that some people play rock n’ roll, but others have it coursing through their veins! Such is the case with legendary drummer Rikki Rockett. Through the years, not only has he provided the crushing backbeat to the band’s biggest hits but also served as a driving force in propelling the band forward. Thankfully, he has no intentions of setting away from his kit anytime soon!

Jason Price of Icon Vs. Icon recently caught up with Rikki Rockett as the current tour rumbles it’s way across the country. In the interview, Rockett offers up an inside look at his career, the challenges of bringing the “Nothin’ But A Good Time Tour” to the masses and what the future holds for him in the world of music and beyond.

Your music has been a part of our lives for decades. How did music first come into your life?

I actually saw an old standards band play at a camp that I was at and I was blown away by the drums! Blown away! Later, my older sister started dating this guy and his father was the drummer in that band, oddly enough! [laughs] It was kind of crazy! My sister babysat for me one time, she’s nine years older than me, and I got in trouble. The thing was that she wanted me to get in trouble, so she could send me to my room and not have to deal with me for the rest of the night! [laughs] I couldn’t do anything right, but she felt a little bit bad and gave me a record player and a bunch of her Beatles records and said, “Listen to some music or something!” She stuck me in the bedroom and I started playing some music. Then I got out a book and some Lincoln Logs to use as sticks and I’m playing along to Ringo Starr. That was really the beginning for me, honestly! It sounds like something you’ve heard before in a movie but that it was really and truly the beginning!

When did you come into your own and decide this was something you had to pursue?

It just evolved over time. I always wanted to be in a band and I always saw myself as that guy. Pretty soon, by the time I was 15, I was playing basement kegger parties and stuff like that. Then we actually played our first outdoor gig. We played for the neighborhood! I was in a little band called the GTO’s and we played for the neighborhood, on top of the picnic table, dressed up in suits! [laughs] I just always wanted to perform and play! Finally, even though I did other things in life from selling suits to lifeguarding to cutting hair, I still always played, and it was always the central thing in my life. It still is!

Obviously, everything worked out and you made a career out of doing what you love. What is the key to longevity when it comes to a career in music as both a band and an individual?

I wish I really, truly new! This is one of those things you wish you could bottle! Let’s start with the band thing. I think you have to be a team player. A lot of the time the reason bands don’t last very long is because music is typically a lone sport, if you know what I mean. You grow up playing with yourself … let me rephrase that! [laughs] This is something you learn on your own and you develop a lot of this on your own. However, you don’t truly develop until you’re in a situation where you’re playing with other musicians. That’s when you’re really, truly making music in my opinion. By that time, sometimes people haven’t developed those skills to be a team player. You have to develop those skills as early as possible. It doesn’t mean that you have to go play sports to develop it; just start playing with other people early on. That’s what I did. I grew up with the kid who wanted to play bass and we always had a band for years and years. Unfortunately, we didn’t continue that later in life, but I think that’s a big part of it. As far as longevity on your own, part of it is supply and demand and all those sorts of things. It’s like David Lee Roth once said, “Here today, gone later today!” This is a very vicious business and that’s true now more than ever. I don’t think there’s a record company out there that helps develop a band these days. There’s not much of that anymore and it’s almost like a singles market like it was in the 1950s where you were only as hot as your last single. Lucky because we’ve carved out a career and we did a lot of hard work at the beginning by playing every nook and cranny of the country and other countries. We built a foundation and people know who we are. We wouldn’t have been able to do that same thing on social media because it’s just not the same as actually being there. It’s just not!

Poison – Photo by Mark Weiss

I’m sure Poison experienced trials and tribulations through the years. What are some lessons learned early on that impacted your career?

I think being honest with our fans was one of the most important things, literally. This kind of answers the last question a little bit too. Being an artist really is about coming from a personal place and in everything you do. It’s not about trying to second guess what the market wants and all that kind of stuff. That stuff is very fragile, and it doesn’t work in the long run. I think that’s why a lot of artists don’t last now. Someone will come out and they are the shit for a while and you can’t get away from it. Then, all of a sudden, a few years later you are like, “What happened to them?” I think a lot of that comes from people getting in their heads and saying, “Oh, I need you to do this for social media … ” or whatever. It’s stuff that they didn’t want to do. You can see that it’s frail; you can see right through it. You go, “that person isn’t doing what they set out to do in the first place.” All this is unspoken of course and, eventually, you just see it for what it is. We just always done what we’ve done. We didn’t care that there was grunge or hip hop. All that is fantastic, it’s great but this is what we do!

Poison has seen its fair share of ups and downs through the years. What were the biggest challenges?

There’s always something hot right now. It might be a band or a look. It might even be, “Fuck you, you’re old guys!” [laughs] You have that! The flip-side of that is we’ve stuck to our guns, we are of who we are and people love that. That’s one challenge. The other part is just trying to make it work with each other. A lot of people say, “You’re like brothers!” Well, when you have a brother and you are this age, you don’t want to live with him! [laughs] Do you want to live with your brother? I don’t! [laughs] It gets harder and harder and harder. Actually, the closer you are and the more that you know about each other, the more you pick on each other. All of those things are huge personal challenges! When you’re inside of it, as much of a payoff as there is to stay together, sometimes you don’t even care because you want to kick the other guys ass! [laughs] It really takes a lot of maturity, restraint and consideration. We’ve managed to do it and that says something else about us. I think that’s overlooked sometimes, which is that we have matured as human beings and because of that I think we should write more songs because there’s a whole lot more to tell. There are many more stories to tell! We’ve had an entire career of things that have come into our lives, so we have a lot of shit to talk about!

I know you get asked all the time about a new Poison record. What I haven’t seen much of is people asking what you envision a new album to be if and when the time comes. Have you given it much thought?

No. Well, I have as an individual but as a band we really haven’t. I think one thing that we can all agree on is that it would be a fun, kick ass rock ’n’ roll record because that is, at the end of the day, what we do. We’re not suddenly going to do the Pink Floyd thing and write “The Wall.” Maybe we should! Maybe we should go out with an opus at the end! I mean, we have to do a rock opera before we bow out, right?

Very true! It does seem like everything ends up on Broadway these days!

Oh yeah! I think it would be amazing! [laughs] I don’t know the next release would be an album. It might just be a few songs here and there. How do you package and album these days? It’s not the same as it used to be and you don’t do that anymore. You can for the sake of nostalgia but, at the end of the day, I don’t know if it really sells that way. Music these days is delivered electronically.

That’s a good point. It’s interesting because there are bands who were peers of Poison who still put out amazing music, but it doesn’t necessarily get the attention it deserves.

I agree. Look, not long ago they did a thing with younger adults and asked the question, “Would you rather give up Snapchat or iTunes?” Sixty-five percent said they’d rather give up their iTunes. So, what’s that tell you about music in general? That’s scary and people have trouble wrapping their head around that, but music isn’t as important in this culture as it once was in its own right. Meaning that it’s an ancillary product to video games, a TV show or something else. To guys like us, we can’t imagine that because music is everything to us. That is our life and who we are at the end of the day but a lot of people who might be 15 years old don’t see it that way. It’s not everybody, don’t get me wrong. There is some writing on the wall with some of these new acts coming out — they’re rock bands! That’s awesome and hopefully that trend will continue!

When you look back on Poison’s career are there clear milestones when it comes to the evolution of the band?

I think every record shows a bit of the evolution. Literally, you can see the evolution from “Look What The Cat Dragged In” to “Open Up and Say … Ahh” to “Flesh & Blood” to “Native Tongue.” You can see that evolution in big steps, which is really cool. You have to understand we put a couple of years between each record. We would make a record and that would take however many months and then we would go out and tour on it for a year-and-a-half. Then we would come back and write more and go back at it again! I think there are huge evolutions in that stuff and each serves as its own milestone.

2018 brings the 30th anniversary of “Open Up and Say …Ahh.”What springs to mind when you think back on that record?

That was a pivotal record for us because, in a way, it was our first real record. I’m not saying that “Look What The Cat Dragged In” wasn’t a real record but it almost felt like it was a glorified demo. There is something really cool and special about that because it’s immediate and raw. I think with our second record we were able to spend a little bit more time examining those songs, what we were going to play in them and all that sort of stuff. With “Look What The Cat Dragged In,” it was almost like “Ready, set, go! Dazzle me! Okay, that’s good enough! We’ve got to move on!” [laughs] That’s where that record was going!

Poison is out on the road for the “Nothin’ But A Good Time Tour.” As a fan, all we have to do is show up, sit back and enjoy the spectacle. What does it take to bring a tour like this to life?

There’s a lot involved, especially when you’re doing a tour like this one. You have to plan everything from your own gear all the way to what the lighting is going to be. Now, we have video screens and various things like that. Then you have to find the right sound people, the right tour personnel and the right people to represent you when you’re out there. So much goes into it! Even things like travel itineraries play a huge role. People think you just pack up and go to a city and say, “Hey, I’m here to play!” [laughs] It doesn’t work that way! You could show up and tried to book a particular city but there are going to be 20 other events going on there on that night and that’s bad business! No promoter wants to take a chance on that! A lot of people ask me, “Why aren’t you playing such and such city this tour?” Well, if we aren’t coming to a particular city, a lot of times there wasn’t an opportunity. That’s usually the reason. It’s not like we’re turning our nose to that particular city. It’s not that at all! We want to play every place we can. But sometimes the promoter will say, “Nope. We got the Celtics game that night!” Whatever it might be! It’s like, “OK, I’m not competing with that!” [laughs] A lot of times by the time there is an opportunity to play a particular city or venue, you are on the other side of the country. Logistically, you can’t make it back to do it, if you see what I mean. These are the logistics of touring and you’re only in certain areas of the country at certain periods of time. You have to try to play those places when you can, if I’m making sense.

As you said, music has always been a part of your life and you can’t imagine doing anything else. Where are you headed when it comes to the music you’re making outside of Poison?

Well, we just shot a video a week ago for the new Devil City Angels single called “Testify.” We filmed that in Nashville. Now, I’m just trying to arrange to get this thing edited because I just can’t do it on the road with my gear that I have out here. I mean, we’re talking 8K video, RED cameras and stuff like that! We’re going to do that, release that song and see where it takes us! We’re going to do our best and hopefully drum up enough interest that it makes sense to create more music with this band, which would be great because I really love this band!

Rikki Rockett on the road in 2018.

Speaking of editing video, I want to touch on something cool you’ve been up to lately — ROCKETT VLOG! How did it come about and, for those who don’t know, tell us a little bit about it!

I’m sort of toning it down so that it’s a little bit more motorcycle centric in the sense that most of the traveling or things that I do are centered around one of my bikes in some way. That’s sort of where I’m thinking this is going. I’ve been looking at who’s responding and what they been responding to. It’s so cool because you can do anything on the motorcycle, right? I can go to a concert, do an install or investigate a mystery on it! I could even travel and tour on it but, arguably that’s hard, but you can do it. I’m trying to bring that all together and show that lifestyle because being on a motorcycle is something I really love. I love the freedom! I originally started the Vlog to unite all of my passions. I’m passionate about all of these things and I want to talk about it and attract other people. That’s why I started it, honestly! It’s so cool that you can just start a channel, reach out to people and do the things that you’ve always wanted to do! That was something that wasn’t really possible years ago!

I love the recent episode where you went to Texarkana to visit the town that inspired the cult classic, “The Town That Dreaded Sundown.” It had a cool, creepy vibe and it was awesome to see a place like that through your eyes.

Thanks! God, it would be fun to do a whole tour like that. Every town has something! Every town has their little secret or something they’re not so proud of. That’s kind of a cool angle and something I’m sort of thinking about doing more of!

You have so many interests outside of music with drums, motorcycles and beyond. Thankfully you are in great health once again and excited to move forward. Where will you focus in the near future?

Absolutely! I miss building drums. I don’t know if I will go back to it, but I miss it. I really love cameras and motorcycles. Those two things really drive me, so I’m always looking for ways to incorporate them into something. Right now, the Rockett Vlog is the best way to do it, but I could really see a television show where I bring some of that stuff to a mass audience. I think that would be really cool!

That’s one of the things I love about what you’ve been doing lately. You are associated with Poison but it’s awesome you offer a look into your world.

Ya know, if I went out here and got hit by a car today, it would be “Rikki Rockett from Poison.” No matter how big my Vlog would get or anything else I would do, I would be known for that. That’s the cross I carry around and I don’t mean that in a negative way. I’m also the guy who survived cancer but hopefully that doesn’t become my whole mantra, if you know what I mean. I’m trying to put that behind me at this point. But I think if you dig deeper I’ve done a lot of interesting things in my life!

Rikki Rockett on Poison’s Nothin’ But A Good Time Tour in 2018.

What are your thoughts about telling your story in book form?

You know, I’m looking for the right situation. I’ve been asked a bunch of times to do a book and people have come to me but they don’t come to me with any real money, just an idea. Almost like they want me to pay them to write a book. I’m not going to give my story away for free and I don’t think I should. I did start to write a book and I have many chapters that I wrote. I’m from Central Pennsylvania, which is Amish Country. I don’t know if everybody would get the joke but I tell people that I left Pennsylvania at a young age and never came back, so it’s been like 32 years of Rumspringa! [laughs] I think I’m going to name the book that! No but I have a bunch of chapters and there are a lot of poignant moments. If I wrote my own book, that’s what would be like. I think it would be poignant moments — the things that changed me. It would be moments like “Holy shit! I can get an erection” all the way to “Holy Shit! ‘Every Rose Has Its Thorn’ is an elevator music now!” I think it would be moments like those in stories related to that. I don’t want to do a tell-all book and try to compete with “The Dirt” by Motley Crue or whatever. I can tell stories all day long about groupies and drugs but how would that be any different than anybody else’s book really?

Building on what you said, I think everybody can look to you as an inspiration. What’s the best lesson we can take from your journey so far?

It sounds so basic but it’s almost laughable but try to stay positive. There are plenty of negative things to drag us down in this life! Millions of things, every single day. If you focus on that, it will take you down. So, stay positive and look to the future.

That’s what I love about you, Rikki! That positivity is infectious! Thanks for your time today and I wish you continued success!

Thank you, Jason! Take care and I hope to talk to you soon! Bye now!

Keep up with all the latest news and dates from Poison at www.poisonofficial.com. Connect with Rikki Rockett on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube

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MOTÖRHEAD To Unleash Official RÖAD CREW Beer In The U.S. On June 23rd!

MOTÖRHEAD To Unleash Official RÖAD CREW Beer In The U.S. On June 23rd!

MOTÖRHEAD are excited to announce June 23, 2018 as the official U.S. launch date for their Röad Crew beer, brewed by Kalamazoo, MI’s Arcadia Brewing Company.

Music fans and beer lovers alike are invited to the official launch party, taking place at Arcadia’s Riverfront Brewery, Pub and Beer Garden, incorporating Lemmy’s Loungein Kalamazoo, MI. The party will begin at 3:00 PM and will include live music from the rock band Bonehawk, MÖTORHEAD tribute Band Kilmister, and Detroit metal band Anguish. In between bands, the Bangarang Circus group will entertain with burlesque, aerial and fire-breathing acts.

Please click this invite link to reserve your spot as space is limited: https://www.eventbrite.com/o/arcadia-brewing-company-8527351525

I’m very happy to say that Röad Crew beer is now out in the U.S.,” says MOTÖRHEADdrummer Mikkey Dee. “It’s been way too long, but now it has arrived. I encourage our North American friends to get out there and enjoy it right now!” 

Röad Crew is an American IPA and sits around 6.2% ABV. This is a crushable hop-forward India Pale Ale with attitude that showcases a floral and citrussy hop character with just the right amount of malt sweetness. Röad Crew beer is perfect for all rock, beer and hop heads and goes down especially well whilst listening to MOTÖRHEAD at a wonderfully obscene, lawn-killing volume. Röad Crew will be available in bottles, cans, keg and even cask.

Röad Crew will be available initially in the Great Lakes region of the U.S.. There will be further regional launches throughout the U.S. in the near future, with the goal of providing every rock and beer fan with the beer that’s “LÖUDER THAN EVERYTHING ELSE”.

For further information regarding Röad Crew coming to your favorite retail location, please check www.motorhead-beer.com for updates or the official MOTÖRHEAD Beer FacebookInstagram pages.

ABOUT MOTÖRHEAD:
An English rock band formed in June 1975 by bassist, singer, and songwriter Ian Fraser “Lemmy” Kilmister, MOTÖRHEAD quickly rose to great prominence in the British punk and heavy metal scenes. Although they changed their line-up several times, MOTÖRHEAD never compromised or changed their unique, raging sound, which saw the band and their music become a lifestyle for many people from all genres, whether rockers, punks or alternative.

As a power trio, they had particular success in the early 1980s with several successful singles in the UK Top 40. The albums OverkillBomberAce of Spades and particularly No Sleep ’till Hammersmith cemented MOTÖRHEAD‘s reputation as a top-tier rock band. The band is ranked number 26 on VH1’s 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock. As of 2018, their Grammy-winning sound has sold more than 17 million albums worldwide. Road dogs extraordinaire, for the last 20+ years of their career, MOTÖRHEAD were Kilmister, guitarist Phil Campbell, and drummer Mikkey Dee. In early 2015 they entered the studio to begin work on Bad Magic, which was released in late August 2015. It quickly became one of the band’s most successful albums, but sadly, Lemmy passed away on December 28, 2015. The band’s last record turned out to be a recording of two typically blistering sold-out shows from the Bad Magic tour, at Munich’s Zenith concert hall only a month prior to his passing.

MOTÖRHEAD released 22 studio albums, 13 live recordings, 12 compilation albums, and four EPs over a career spanning 40 years. The MOTÖRHEAD legacy (and lifestyle) lives strongly on through their music and loyal fans.

www.imotorhead.com

Facebook: @OfficialMotorhead
Twitter: @myMotorhead
Instagram: @officialmotorhead
YouTube: Motörhead Official
Facebook: @motorheadfanpage

@motorheadfanpage

ABOUT ARCADIA BREWING COMPANY:
For over 22 years, Arcadia has been committed to a British-inspired American-brewed stable of beers. Arcadia aspires to brew beers that achieve brilliance through balancing ingredients that satisfy the senses with complex flavors whilst providing pure refreshment that leaves you wanting more.

Established in 1996, Arcadia’s commitment to creating world-class beers has been recognized with medals from the World Beer Cup (Silver-Loch Down Scotch Ale), Great American Beer Festival (Gold-Barrel Aged Cereal Killer Barleywine, Silver-Cereal Killer Barleywine and Silver-Arcadia IPA).

www.arcadiaales.com

Twitter: @arcadiaales
Instagram: @arcadiaales
Untappd: @arcadiaales
 

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