Philip H. Anselmo will take to the road for his first-ever solo tour, Technicians of Distortion, which will kick off July 31st in Tulsa, OK. On this tour, Anselmo will be joined by his back up band The Illegals – guitarist Marzi Montazeri, bassist Steve Taylor, and Jose Manual Gonzalez on drums. Tickets go on sale this Thursday, May 23rd. Log onto www.thehousecorerecords.com for ticketing information.
Technicians of Distortion is in support of Anselmo’s upcoming solo release, Walk Through Exits Only, due out July 16th (Housecore Records/Megaforce) and will take the group to a total of sixteen important markets over a three-week period. Warbeast, who are signed to Anselmo’s Housecore Record label and just released their new album Destroy (produced by Anselmo), along with industrial doom and drone metal one-man band Author and Punisher, will provide support on all dates.
“It is an incredible pleasure to do my first solo tour with my brothers in Warbeast and to introduce the mighty Author and Punisher to the Exrteme Music audience properly,” said Anselmo. “This is a killer program of insane variety, so come out and support the gigs!!!!”
Fans can expect a hard-core, stripped-down production that is focused on a set list that will include all songs on Walk Through Exits Only as well as lots of extras.
With one additional date to be announced, the confirmed itinerary for the Technicians of Distortion tour is as follows:
31 Cain’s Ballroom, Tulsa, OK
2 Wooly’s, Des Moines, IA
3 First Avenue, Minneapolis, MN
4 House of Blues, Chicago, IL
6 House of Blues, Cleveland, OH
7 The Intersection, Grand Rapids, MI
9 Royal Oak Music Theatre, Royal Oak, MI
10 Danforth Music Hall, Toronto, ONT Canada
11 Heavy MTL Festival, Montreal, QC Canada
13 The Palladium, Worcester, MA
14 Upstate Concert Hall, Clifton Park, NY
16 Best Buy Theatre, New York, NY
17 Union Transfer, Philadelphia, PA
18 The Fillmore, Silver Spring, MD
20 The Masquerade – Heaven Stage, Atlanta, GA
Greg Prato of Brave Words spoke with Cinderella frontman To Keifer. Portions of the interview appear below.
BraveWords: Let’s start by talking about the new album, The Way Life Goes.
Tom Keifer: “It came about over quite a few years. I first started thinking about recording a solo record in the mid ’90s, when Cinderella had parted ways with our record company, Mercury. I think we all know that the music scene was changing at that time, and we didn’t really have an outlet for our music. So I started writing for a solo record at that point, and I was working with people in Nashville. I eventually moved to Nashville, and found that to be a very inspiring town. But for one reason or another, the idea of actually getting into the studio and recording the record kept getting put on the back burner. And back burner, back burner, back burner – until about 2003, is when I started actually recording the tracks for the record. I decided to produce the record independently of a label, because it was on the heels of a record deal that had gone bad with Cinderella. That deal actually got pretty ugly and we ended up in courts, and we were on “re-record restrictions” as a band, so we couldn’t record together as a band. That’s when I started recording my record. As I said, it was independent of a label, because I didn’t want to fucking deal with a label after all that shit – either did anyone else in the band. Everyone else was kind of doing independent projects too at that point. We really were not in the mood for lawyers or labels or contracts or any of that shit. So that’s when the actual production of the record began. And most of the writing had taken place prior to that. So I had tons of songs I had written between ’95 and when I started recording. So I picked a bunch of songs I thought made a balanced record, and started recording. It was a double-edged sword or a catch-22 not having a label involved, because the good news is you don’t have someone telling you when it’s finished…and the bad news is you don’t have someone telling you when it’s finished. [Laughs] So that’s whey it took nearly ten years to produce the record. But in a way, that’s OK, because the way I look at it was no release date, no deadlines, no budget restrictions – it doesn’t really matter when the record comes out. My attitude was, ‘Unless it’s really great and I really love the record and I’m proud of it, I don’t want to release it anyway.’ So we kept pushing it around and working on it over the years off and on – taking breaks from it. Until it got to the point where I really thought it was what I was hearing in my head and something I wanted to release.”
BraveWords: What are some of your favorite songs on the album?
Tom Keifer: “I really like the single that we have out now, Solid Ground. It’s just a good, straight-ahead hard driving tune, and lyrically, I like the message of it – to me, that song is about that old saying, about life not being a destination but more of a journey. And that’s what the song’s about to me – what I’ve learned over the years is life is something that keeps changing and keeps throwing curveballs at you. It’s more something that you never sit back and say, ‘Hey, I’ve arrived now.’ Life is something that you need to keep up with, or it’s going to eat you alive. That’s kind of cool about life, is that it keeps you on your toes. I also like ‘A Different Light’. It has probably the most different feel or vibe to it than anything on the record for me, and that’s the one that probably stretches the furthest in terms of the production and the sound. Just the style of the song is not as much coming from the blues.”
BraveWords: I remember once reading an interview with you, where you said that Aerosmith’s Toys in the Attic and Rocks were your two favorite albums. What was it about those albums that are so special to you?
Tom Keifer: “Oh man, those records were so great…I don’t even know where to start. The production of them was just so raw and the songwriting was very unique. The guitar riffs, if you think of a song like Walk This Way, how unique that drum pattern and the guitar riffs and vocals and everything about it – when you listen to Toys in the Attic or Rocks today, they sound as hip and new today as they did then. It’s just very inventive rock albums to me.”
BraveWords: I notice that there’s never been a Behind The Music episode on Cinderella. Has the band ever been contacted to do one?
Tom Keifer: “I guess we would. I don’t remember if we were contacted or not. I’m not one that’s quick to jump at those kinds of shows, because a lot of it is just a bunch of dirty laundry, and we’ve never been a band that’s been really known for airing that. We always just wanted to let the music be the forefront, and whatever we do behind the scenes is our business.”
BraveWords: Lastly, will there ever be a fifth studio album from Cinderella?
Tom Keifer: “Well, we’ll see. The record deal that I described to you that had gone south on us, that tends to leave you a little bit gun shy, because it’s twice now that we’ve been burnt – Mercury dropped us in the mid ’90s after making I don’t know how much fucking money for them, just to get booted out the door. And then the deal that came after that, that went south and ended up in the courts. It’s not for a lack of desire on our part. We’re just waiting for the right situation with a label that’s serious about wanting to produce a quality record, and giving it a real shot. So we would certainly love to, and it would just have to be the right place at the right time.”
Greg Prato of Songfacts spoke with Accept’s former frontman Udo Dirkschneider about his solo band’s forthcoming new album, Steelhammer, the eight UDO albums that were reissued as expanded editions in 2013 and Ronnie James Dio. Portions of the interview appear below.
Songfacts: How did the idea come up to reissue the eight albums of the UDO band?
Udo Dirkschneider: The idea is that you didn’t get all the albums of UDO for a long time in the US, so now we had the possibility to bring out the whole back catalogue. And now AFM Germany has opened up a office here over at the US and found a distribution label, stuff like that. For us, it was also important that we can make a tour, then people can buy the whole back catalog.
Songfacts: What can fans expect from these reissues, as far as if there are going to be bonus tracks and things like that?
Udo: Yeah. Of course, the record company was asking if we had something left, like live songs, unreleased songs, to remix songs. So we gave them everything what we had.
Songfacts: How has your songwriting changed over the years when you compare songwriting for Accept and writing for the UDO band?
Udo: With Accept it was more teamwork. We had two periods of UDO. In the first place, I was writing the songs together with two guitar players, Mathias Dieth and Andy Susemihl. And now, with UDO for the second time, I wrote most of the songs – 90% – together with Stefan Kaufmann.
Songfacts: Who are some of your favorite songwriters?
Udo: For me Ronnie James Dio was a big thing.
Songfacts: How did his music affect you and also his singing?
Udo: For me, he was one of the greatest singers in the metal scene. I was in a way a good friend with Ronnie. When we met each other, especially at a festival, we always had a long talk about music and stuff like that. So it was very similar in thinking of this kind of music.
Songfacts: What are the future plans for UDO and are you working on a new album with the band?
Udo: Yeah. The new album is done, called Steelhammer. It’s coming out at the end of May. And at the moment all we’re doing is the short US tour after a long time, and see what’s going on for UDO. So far everything looks very good. They’re talking about how we have to come back next year for a longer tour. Then maybe when we are finished with the US tour, we’ll go back to Europe. Then we start the whole tour doing festivals, and then in the middle of September we start the European tour – we start in Russia, and then you can say nearly everywhere in Europe. We have to go to South America, and then hopefully we come back next year, then, for another long tour of the US.
The Todd La Torre fronted version of Quuensryche is streaming a new song called Where Dreams Go To Die from their self titled album due June 25th via Century Media Records. Listen to Where Dreams Go To Die below.
The track listing for Queensrÿche is:
2. Where Dreams Go To Die
4. In This Light
7. Midnight Lullaby
8. A World Without
9. Don’t Look Back
11. Open Road
The Winery Dogs (@TheWineryDogs), the power trio featuring rock veterans Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater, Avenged Sevenfold), Billy Sheehan (Mr. Big) and Richie Kotzen (Mr. Big, Poison), have signed with Loud & Proud Records.
The Winery Dogs’ self-titled debut album will be released in North America on July 23rd. The Winery Dogs was self-produced and mixed by Jay Ruston (Anthrax, Stone Sour, Steel Panther). It features a classic rock/power trio sound which seamlessly melds the immense talents of the three veteran rockers.
The band has already released two videos from the new album, Elevate and Desire, the latter of which recently premiered on Ulitmateclassicrock.com. Both videos can now be seen on their official YouTube page.
Of The Winery Dogs’ signing, Mike Portnoy commented, “I am so excited about The Winery Dogs and am proud and honored to be working with two of the greatest musicians on the planet! Richie Kotzen is such an unbelievable talent, as a vocalist, guitarist and songwriter. I think The Winery Dogs will finally get him the attention and recognition that he so richly deserves. And what can be said of Billy Sheehan that hasn’t been said already? He is one the true pioneers of the instrument and a legend. I am looking forward to working with the great staff of Loud & Proud Records, some of whom I worked very closely with during their time at Roadrunner and my time with Dream Theater. I look forward to continuing that relationship with The Winery Dogs!”
Loud & Proud Owner & President Tom Lipsky added, “The debut by The Winery Dogs absolutely rocks and we are very excited that Loud & Proud is their label partner. This body of work showcases not only their renowned skills as musicians and vocalists, but also the depth of their talent as songwriters. Billy, Mike and Richie delivered some of the best performances of their illustrious careers and I am confident this album will be recognized as one of the truly great rock albums of the year.”
Touted as one of the best guitar players in the world, Richie Kotzen also possesses a voice on par with some of the greatest rock/soul singers and is highly regarded as a gifted songwriter. With guitar styles ranging from rock, blues, jazz and fusion to pop and soul, Kotzen has built a remarkably diverse 20-year career as a guitarist, singer and songwriter. A prolific songwriter, Richie has written several songs that have gone on to become hit singles around the world and he continues to appear in countless books, magazines and websites, being acknowledged as one of the top guitarists in the world.
Mike Portnoy is one of the founding members of Dream Theater, with whom he played drums for 25 years, selling more than 10 million copies worldwide. Portnoy’s long list of awards include 26 Modern Drummer magazine Reader’s Poll Awards, including Hall of Fame Inductee in 2004, MVP of the Year in 2010, Best Progressive Rock Drummer (for the magazine’s record of 12 years in a row), Best Clinician (twice), Best Educational Video/DVD and Best Recorded Performance of the Year (seven times) while in Dream Theater and Avenged Sevenfold. He also holds the distinction being the second youngest drummer ever inducted into the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame (at age 37) and is currently the youngest in the magazine’s Hall of Fame. DRUM! Magazine named him Drummer Of The Year for the last two years in a row (2011 & 2012), and he won the Revolver Golden Gods Award for Drummer Of The Year in 2011.
As a founding member of Mr. Big, Billy Sheehan forged his place in hard rock history. Mr. Big’s trademark virtuosic musicianship with stellar vocal harmonies and earned them numerous hit songs, including the ubiquitous “To Be With You,” which was a Billboard Hot 100 #1 single in 15 countries, propelling the band to major international success and record sales in the multi-millions. Sheehan was voted the Best Rock Bass Player 5 times in Guitar Player magazine’s Readers Poll, earning him a spot in their Gallery of Greats along with Jimi Hendrix, Paul McCartney, Geddy Lee, Eddie Van Halen and more, and he has won several Reader’s polls around the world. He won the prestigious Player magazine (Japan’s #1 Music mag) Reader’s Poll for Best Bass Player an unprecedented 14 consecutive times and Burrn! magazine’s (Japan’s #1 heavy metal mag) Readers’ Poll five times. His hands and signature are preserved in cement on the Rockwalk at Guitar Center in Hollywood, CA.
Stay tuned for U.S. tour news, which will be announced in the coming weeks.