Former Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora won’t rule out a return to the band in the future – but he says he has something to prove first.
He’s gearing up for the release of his album with girlfriend Orianthi under their RSO banner, which he hopes will demonstrate that there’s more to both artists than the public currently believe.
Sambora tells News.com.au, “There’s not a lot of male/female duos going on in the world right now – especially two guitar players like us two. First of all the world doesn’t know how good Ori sings and writes. The world knows how amazing a guitarist she is, but she’s more amazing than people think.
“Then on the other hand you’ve got me. I’m just Jon Bon Jovi’s sideman for most people. That’s what they know me as…Together, I think we’ve reached something that is a new sound.”
…Sambora left Bon Jovi under a cloud in 2013, to be replaced by Phil X – but he says it’s all water under the bridge now. “We just talked a week ago. Everything is cool,” he reports. “They’re on a different trajectory, I’m on a different path. Plus I wanted to go out and sing.”
When asked about a reunion he replies, “Never say never. There’s no malice. You spend 30-something years in a band, that’s a long time. Not a lot of bands had that kind of longevity. We weren’t a band who took any breaks.
The Rolling Stones or U2 will take three years off so they have a life – we didn’t really do that ever. The 30 years we put in probably felt like 50 years.”
Guitarist Ritchie Blackmore was interviewed by Dutch radio station, Radio Veronica, back in July 2016.
Blackmore was asked what he thinks about his former band, Deep Purple, still touring and making albums, more than twenty years after he left the group.
He replied, “I don’t really have much say in it. I left them twenty years ago. But I think, personally, they’re milking it a bit too much. And I hear that from a lot of people — that they just keep going. If I was them, I would give it a five-year rest or something. Some of them are not very happy at home, so they like to be on the road. For me, they’re doing their thing, which is… What I told them at the time when I left, I said, ‘Just get another guitar player. It’s no big deal.’ So they do their thing.”
He continued, “I think they kind of work too hard. And I blame their agent. I know their agent, and I think he’s a bit of a whip. They’ll work in North India, then be in Australia, then South America, and, of course, now it’s showing — a couple of them are starting to become very sick. Ian [Gillan], the singer, he gets sick very often, so I really think they should take a rest, but that’s up to them.”
Blackmore added, “I remember [late keyboardist] Jon Lord saying, when he was in the band, ‘I don’t know if this band will ever know when to stop.’ I thought that was quite funny.”
Leonard Haze, original drummer for legendary Bay Area rock band Y&T, passed away Sunday evening, September 11th, 2016, at his home in Hayward. He was 61 years old.
Haze had been battling chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) for several years, making breathing difficult. Even so, he had fought to keep playing drums, performing regularly with his band, HazeXperience, and joining Y&T on-stage at the Fillmore in San Francisco in both 2015 and 2016. HazeXperience was scheduled to open for Y&T at the Mystic Theatre in Petaluma November 18th and 19th, and had been in the midst of recording an EP of new material.
“Leonard was not only a bandmate, but a close friend, sharing not just a passion for music, but also our appreciation for fast cars and cool RC planes,” said HazeXperience guitarist Jim Bradley. “Leonard was taken from us way too soon.”
“Leonard was a good friend, a great drummer, and a true ambassador for the world of rock ‘n’ roll,” said Jeffrey Winslow, lead singer for HazeXperience. “I’m shocked that he’s gone, but thankful I got to know him while he was here.”
Haze was a founding member and one of the principal songwriters for the Bay Area hard rock band Yesterday & Today, later known as Y&T. He co-wrote some of their biggest hits, including Hurricane, Black Tiger, Mean Streak, Rescue Me, Dirty Girl, Forever, and MTV staple Summertime Girls.
It was Haze’s bass drum prowess that made his powerful drumming style legendary and, thanks to it, Y&T quickly developed the reputation as a must-see live band and musical powerhouse, headlining shows with opening acts such as Van Halen, Mötley Crüe, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and many others. Y&T’s hard-driving style helped them land worldwide tours alongside such acts as AC/DC, Aerosmith, Ozzy Osbourne, and Rush, which resulted in the development of a strong following throughout Europe.
In the early Nineties, Haze played drums on Deep Purple vocalist Ian Gillan’s solo album, Toolbox. Gillan subsequently asked him to join the band, and Haze was part of one of the first rock bands ever to not only perform, but tour, behind the “Iron Curtain,” traversing the Soviet Union during the cold war. After that tour, Haze became a permanent member of the Ian Gillan Band, continuing with a two-year world tour and performing in 71 countries.
In 2002, Haze reunited with Y&T and went back on tour with them throughout the United States until they parted ways in 2006.
Haze’s final performance took place August 20th with HazeXperience at the Quarter Note in Sunnyvale.
Ruben Mosqueda of Metal Titans spoke with Geoff Tate about his band Operation: Mindcrime’s second album, Resurrection, due September 23rd. Portions of the interview appear below.
MetalTitans: You have a new album ‘Resurrection’ which is the second installment of the trilogy. ‘The Key’ left ended with a cliffhanger.
Geoff Tate: Yeah, it continues the storyline on this record you see the lead character regrouping and gathering all his energy after being left for dead. He’s at a crossroads where he can either give in to the people who took advantage of him or get back on his horse and ride. That’s essentially what Resurrection is about. It’s an interesting record as there are a number of musical variances. There a number of musical trips on this one which I found challenging.
MetalTitans: I know this is jumping ahead but what’s the status of the third album? When we last spoke the plan was to issue that one next fall.
Geoff Tate: Yeah, that’s got a ways till it’s release but that just needs to mixed then mastered.
MetalTitans: Geoff is time the enemy in the sense; if you come up with another idea that you think will fit within the storyline? Has that taken place?
Geoff Tate: [Laughs] Well, if I came up with another idea I would simply start on another record.
MetalTitans: Wait, so you’re telling me you already have ‘songs’ that are ready for a standalone record?
Geoff Tate: [Laughs] Ruben, I’m constantly working on a record! [laughs] If you can believe this I have a record that I started, actually there are two other records that I will release in the next 5 years. I haven’t decided if those records will be solo albums or if they will be Operation: Mindcrime albums…it’s the Geoff Tate ‘five year plan!’ [laughs]
MetalTitans: You ever listen to your own music?
Geoff Tate: As far as recreational purposes? No, I don’t listen to my own music. It’s what I do. I have music in my head all the time. That also applies to music in general; the only time that I listen to music is when I’m travelling. When I was riding out to Sturgis, I listened to some music. I took a bunch of my favorite albums, which I hadn’t heard in over 20 years. I added them to my playlist and just hit go.
MetalTitans: So let’s say you’re driving in your car listening to the radio either satellite or terrestrial and one of your songs comes on. What do you do?
Geoff Tate: I listen to it of course! [laughs] I don’t listen to music that I have recorded. I only listen to music that I’m in the process of recording; once it’s completed I hardly listen to it at all. If a song comes on the radio I will listen to it because I’m hearing it with fresh ears. It’s fun to do that.
Guns N’ Roses’ Not In This Lifetime tour has grossed $116.8 million over it’s nine-week run across North America.
According to Billboard, Hot Tour figures show that the tour also attracted more than one million fans over the course of their 25 performances throughout the summer.
The trio’s first shows together since 1993 came in April when they played The Troubadour in Los Angeles. They followed that with two nights at the T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, with ticket sales totalling $6.2m based on 28,849 sales.
However, it was in New York where Guns N’ Roses had the top box office tallies, with sales hitting the $11.6m mark at MetLife Statium from the 1000,177 fans who attended two shows.
Hot Tours Top 10 grossing North American summer tours:
1. Guns N’ Roses – $116,835,698
2. Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band – $33,632,390
3. Barbra Streisand – $26,638,090
4. Celine Dion – $24,689,892
5. Kenny Chesney – $17,926,699
6. Billy Joel – $8,871,419
7. Metallica – $5,158,790
8. Juan Gabriel – $3,482,694
9. Keith Urban – $2,770,077
10. Dave Matthews Band – $1,467,185
additional source: Classic Rock Magazine through teamrock.com
Platinum-selling Maryland hard rock icons, Kix will release, Can’t Stop The Show: The Return Of Kix, a two-disc DVD/CD set, October 21st, 2016 on Loud & Proud Records. The 71-minute film is an in-depth look into Kix’s decision to record their first new album, 2014’s Rock Your Face Off, in almost 20 years. Watch the trailer below.
The DVD also features the making of the album from bassist Mark Schenker’s studio, interviews with the band as well as notable rock artists such as Nuno Bettencourt of Extreme, Lzzy Hale of Halestorm, Jeff LaBar of Cinderella, Share Ross of Vixen, Shannon Larkin of Godsmack, and more, key music industry veterans such as radio personality Eddie Trunk, Don Jamieson of That Metal Show on VH1 Classic as well as Luc Carl and Keith Roth of Sirius/XM. It also includes a rare appearance by producer Taylor Rhodes (Aerosmith, Ozzy Osbourne, Kix’s Hot Wire).
The CD, Can’t Stop The Show (live), offers never-before-released live Kix tracks recorded over the last three years. A bonus Kix logo sticker is inside the first manufacturing run, a special treat for fans around the world, and each band member offers his own special contribution to the package’s booklet including vocalist Steve Whiteman’s rigorous exercise routine, cartoons by guitarist Brian “Damage” Forsythe, an essay by bassist Mark Schenker, a gear rundown by guitarist Ronnie “10/10” Younkins and a favorite recipe from drummer Jimmy Chalfant, aka “Chef Chocolate.”
“Kix is proud of the band’s legacy, but equally proud of our new chapter,” says Schenker. “We had an opportunity to work with some great film makers, so we just let the cameras roll everywhere, and had so much fun putting the project together. There was a true outpouring of love and admiration from our fans and our peers after the release of Rock Your Face Off and luckily, we had documented the recording sessions on film. Now we are excited to share the process of making the new album with our loyal fans. Kix thanks everyone involved and hopes everyone loves it as much as we loved making it!”
In 2014, Kix released their seventh full-length album, Rock Your Face Off (Loud & Proud Records) their first studio effort since 1995’s Show Business. The album debuted at #1 on Amazon’s “Hard Rock and Metal “chart, in the Top 50 on Billboard’s “Top 200 Albums” chart, #5 on the “Independent Albums “chart, #11 on the “Top Internet “chart, #17 on the “Top Rock Albums” chart, #27 on the “Indy/Small Chain Core Stores” chart and #33 on the “Physical” chart. It also garnered rave reviews from publications such as Stereogum who said, “Kix have made an album with all the spirit and joy and craftsmanship that they always brought, an album with a hooks-per-minute ratio enough to grab you even if you never heard of them before reading this review. The band plays with a sense of rhythmic push-pull that reminds you that people used to dance to this stuff, and that they still could, if they were so inclined…Its mere existence is an inspirational thing, and it’s a reminder that sometimes exploring new musical space isn’t the most important thing. Sometimes, songs are the most important thing.”
Kix will be performing select shows for the rest of the year, including a home town release event show in Baltimore, MD at Rams Head Live on September 24th, see tour dates below. Pre-order Can’t Stop The Show: The Return Of Kix through Amazon.
Kix tour dates:
9/10 Grand Rocktember IV Music Festival Hinckley, MN
9/15 OC Bikefesy W/ Styx, Slaughter,… Ocean City, MD
9/17 Hair Nation Festival W/ Vince Neil, Bret Michaels. Irvine, CA
9/24 Ramshead Live Baltimore, MD
10/1 Monsters of Rock Cruise Los Angeles, CA
10/14 Tally Ho Theatre Leesburg, VA
10/15 Tally Ho Theatre Leesburg, VA
11/12 Harrah’S Resort W/ Skid Row Atlantic City, NJ