21 Guns’ 1992 album Salute has been reissued by Rock Candy Records. The album, featuring 24-bit remastering, a 4000 word essay about the making of the album, new interviews with the band, enhanced artwork and photos spread out over a 16 page full color booklet, is available for purchase at ww.rockcandyrecords.co.uk.
There’s no getting away from the fact that Thin Lizzy were one of the most influential rock bands of all time. Lead guitarist Scott Gorham was, of course, an essential part of that outfit, carving out a reputation on a string of spectacular albums with his spellbinding guitar playing. After the demise of Thin Lizzy, Scott cooled his engines and spent some time planning for the future, which eventually led to the formation of 21 Guns, a band fit for purpose, boasting both precision and power.
Joining Scott in this new recording venture was an all American line-up, consisting of co-writer, bassist and keyboard player Leif Johansen (Phenomena), drummer Mike Sturgis (Asia) and vocalist Thomas La Verdi, who had previously fronted cult AOR unit A440. Partnering with renowned producer and mixing engineer Chris Lord Alge (Meatloaf, Creed), 21 Guns recorded their album in Los Angeles and found the finished product receiving plaudits from virtually everyone who heard it.
Originally released in 1992, all would have been well and good if only the grunge revolution wasn’t in full swing. With their melodic and polished sheen 21 Guns were ostracized by some quarters the media for sounding dated and being part of a musical heritage that was now rapidly becoming passe. Of course, with the benefit of hindsight we can clearly see that ‘Salute’ was one of the finest rock albums of any era, allowing Scott Gorham to unleash stupendous guitar work and spectacularly crafted songs.
Steve Baltin ofRolling Stonespoke with rock icon Alice Cooper. Portions of the interview appear below.
RS: How is the covers record we spoke about in March going?
AC: We’re about halfway through the record. The tour is sort of in the way, but that’s okay, because we don’t need to put the record out until next year. I always tour June through December anyway, so we knew that was coming anyway, and this is one of those records we’re doing just for the fun of it, so if it comes out next year, no big deal. But the tour is interesting. I toured with Zombie the year before and with Iron Maiden and now with Manson. It’s sort of like Dracula meets the Werewolf meets Frankenstein.
RS: Have you had a chance to hang out more with Manson since we spoke?
AC: I saw him at the Revolver Golden Gods Awards and then I had him on my radio show, so yeah we’re feeling each other out. We have a lot in common, stuff that other people wouldn’t have in common in the fact that we both play characters. We both created a couple of monster characters and then what we kind of talked about on my radio show is how do you deal with that character against your real life? And sometimes that character being the fact that it’s so overpowering, does it ever take over? For me, I’ve had a lot more time to work with Alice, so I know when to be Alice and when not to be Alice. I just told him it’s very hard to maintain a character 24 hours a day and there may come a time when you have to divorce yourself from the character just so you’ll like the character.
RS:Did you give him advice on it then?
AC: He’s very smart, he’s got very good insight. We were talking about why we created the characters, what was the idea behind it. My idea was that rock needed a consummate villain and I would be more than happy to create that villain. I thought I had to be that character all the time and it nearly killed me. I’m trying to drink with Jim Morrison and Jimi Hendrix and those guys, and they’re professionals, and I’m like 18 years old, it nearly killed me. That’s when I realized I have to allow myself to be me and then I really appreciate playing the character of Alice. I don’t know how long you can maintain one character 24 hours a day without having some kind of a break.
RS: My guess is you probably would start to lose your identity.
AC: Yeah, but again, that’s just something you have to learn. I didn’t know my limitations until I got to the point where I got to a near-death experience and then I started going, “Wait, now I know where Alice ends and I begin.” It’s one of the only things I can give him advice on, cause we and Rob Zombie are three of the people that created characters we had to deal with, our bigger-than-life mythological character. And me being that character for 40 years gave me a little more insight into it. I might handle it differently than they do, but I can at least show them where the thin ice is.
RS: You know you’ve influenced these artists as well, so it’s interesting; you’re hearing your stuff interpreted through their eyes.
AC: I think the difference is that my background is Yardbirds, the Who, Rolling Stones, West Side Story and Creature From The Black Lagoon, that’s my background. I come from that blues-rock and then I put my own twist on it and my own Twilight Zone twist on it, whereas these guys, Zombie and Marilyn, both come from a more industrial kind of music, much more from a techno background. When you saw Alice and Zombie, that was a very classic kind of show. Alice was pure hard rock, classic rock, lots of hits and then lots of Vaudevillian show biz, whereas Zombie was just all techno and in your face kind of theatrics. That was great. It was all video and this and that, and I sat there and watched his show and went, “This is great.” I love the way he used technology, whereas my show is much more handmade. So you get two entirely different kinds of monsters in that show. I have a feeling it’s going to be more like that with Manson also. I think Manson is also going to have more of a techno version, he is more of a techno monster than Alice, whereas Alice is more cerebral I think. These guys were influenced by Alice’s attitude and Alice’s persona whereas they weren’t as influenced by my music. Trent Reznor’s music probably influenced them more and I totally get that idea. When you see a Marilyn and a Zombie and an Alice – when you get in front of the audience, it’s in your face, it’s not shy: It’s attack the audience. Don’t just go out there and be this character, but attack the audience with that character, and that’s what I see in those guys. What I contributed to them is probably the attitude of take no-prisoners-showmanship.
Joe Satriani has been an unstoppable force on the music scene for over 27 years. Now, the guitar great announces his full U.S. tour and first ever cross-Canada tour, supporting his latest album Unstoppable Momentum. The tour is set to begin on August 29th in San Diego, CA before crisscrossing its way across the US, in addition to a trans-Canadian tour where Satriani will be hitting many Canadian cities for the very first time. The North American tour will end with a show on October 26th in Oakland, CA. Joining Satriani on the road are veteran band mate Mike Keneally (Frank Zappa, Steve Vai) on keyboards, along with an entirely new rhythm-section, featuring bassist Bryan Beller (Dethklok, Dweezil Zappa) and drummer Marco Minnemann (Adrian Belew, Steve Wilson).
Satriani is celebrating Unstoppable Momentum, his 14th studio album, which was released on May 7th, 2013. The album debuted at #42 giving Satriani his highest chart position in over 20 years. The World Tour launched on May 18th in Istanbul, Turkey and continues on through July 13th in Krasnodar, Russia.
For two decades, Satriani has traveled the world, playing to sold-out crowds as both a headliner and as founder of the all-star G3 guitar extravaganza. His studio and live recordings have sold more than 10 million copies worldwide to date and of his many solo albums, two have gone platinum and four others went gold, with 15 Grammy nominations between them. His side project, Chickenfoot, featuring former Van Halen front man Sammy Hagar, former bassist Michael Anthony, and Red Hot Chili Peppers’ drummer Chad Smith saw their debut album certified gold and their second studio album debuted at#9.
Joe Satriani’s Unstoppable Momentum Tour Itinerary (* featuring Steve Morse Band as support thru Portland, ME):
29 Balboa Theatre San Diego, CA *
30 Pearl Concert Theater at Palms Casino Resort Las Vegas, NV *
31 Orpheum Theatre Los Angeles, CA *
Photo credit: Daniel Robert Dinu/ConcertPhotography.ro
1 Talking Stick Resort Ballroom Scottsdale, AZ *
2 Kiva Auditorium Albuquerque, NM *
4 Historic Paramount Theatre Denver, CO *
5 Wagner Noel Performing Arts Center Midland, TX *
6 Verizon Theatre at Grand Prairie Grand Prairie, TX *
7 House of Blues Houston, TX *
8 Austin City Limits – Moody Theatre Austin, TX *
10 House of Blues New Orleans, LA *
11 Ruth Eckerd Hall Clearwater, FL *
12 Parker Playhouse Ft. Lauderdale, FL *
13 Hard Rock Live Orlando, FL *
14 Saenger Theatre Pensacola, FL *
15 Symphony Hall Atlanta, GA *
17 War Memorial Auditorium Nashville, TN *
18 Chicago Theatre Chicago, IL *
19 Lakewood Civic Auditorium Lakewood, OH *
20 Taft Theatre Cincinnati, OH *
21 Wings Stadium Kalamazoo, MI *
22 Macomb Music Theatre Mt. Clemens, MI
24 Carolina Theatre Durham, NC *
25 Warner Theatre Washington, DC *
26 Beacon Theatre New York, NY *
27 Orpheum Theatre Boston, MA*
28 Tower Theatre Upper Darby, PA *
29 Carnegie Music Hall of Homestead Munhall, PA *
1 Center for the Arts Buffalo, NY *
2 Palace Theatre Albany, NY *
3 State Theatre Portland, ME *
4 Casino New Brunswick New Brunswick, NB
5 Rebecca Cohn Auditorium Halifax, NS
7 Le Capitole De Quebec Quebec City, QC
8 National Arts Centre Southam Hall Ottawa, ON
9 St. Denis Theatre Montreal, QC
10 Centre in the Square Kitchener, ON
11 Massey Hall Toronto, ON
14 Burton Cummings Theatre Winnipeg, MB
15 TCU Place Saskatoon, SK
16 Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium Edmonton, AB
17 Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium Calgary, AB
19 Vogue Theatre Vancouver, BC
21 The Fox Theater Spokane, WA
22 Paramount Theatre Seattle, WA
23 Historic Elsinore Theatre Salem, OR
25 Vina Robles Amphitheatre Paso Robles, CA
26 Fox Theater Oakland, CA
Please go to satriani.com for individual markets on-sale and ticket information.
Jesse Capps of Rock Confidential spoke with Eddie about That Metal Show. Portions of the interview appear below.
RC: There are some new segments on this season of That Metal Show. A couple I know about are Metal Modem and Take It Or Leave It. What can you tell me about the new additions this season?
ET: Metal Modem is in six or seven of the eight new shows. It’s a segment we do at the very top of the show where we welcome in a guest by dropping a screen on the set and we talk to them over the internet via Skype. That came about because one of the biggest problems we have when booking the show is we do eight episodes in four days, two shows a day. In a week we’ve shot an entire season. If a band is on tour in that week we’re shooting we’re obviously not going to have them on. We decided to at least talk to them for a couple of minutes over the internet via Skype. Not only do we get to talk to guys in the studio or on the road, we’re also going to use that as a platform to introduce some newer bands and different genres of metal. That Metal Show is always going to be a classic-based show. We all like new music and we all like different stuff so we’ll have a platform for some of the “under the radar” bands or some of the bands that aren’t mainstream. You’ll see a mix of different people in that segment. Take It Or Leave It is more of a defined discussion piece at the top of the show. It’s a way to force us to make a decision of yes or no on a hot topic that’s floating around in the rock world. We have six packages for these eight shows called Origins. It’s us and different artists talking about how they first got into heavy metal. We have something called the TMS Book Club where we read from a rock book. Those are just a few of the new things coming up.
RC: The Guest Musician spot is always a highlight for me. I’m really anxious to see what Jake E. Lee has going on. He’s been under the radar for so long. It’s cool he came out of the shadows to be on ‘That Metal Show’ this season.
ET: Yeah, I personally worked really, really hard on that. We’ve had a segment for a long time called Whatever Happened To… and he was consistently the top one or two Whatever Happened To… names for a long time. I started a process trying to find him. A few years ago I knew I was getting close. He was living in Vegas. I reached him through a mutual friend, a guy named Rob Mancuso. He has a studio and restaurant in Vegas and told me he was working with Jake. I took a couple of trips out to Vegas and finally met him. He’s very press shy and hasn’t done anything in about 20 years. Rob told me he was going to pull Jake into the studio and start making music and I had been working this for about a year to get Jake to come on. You’ll see Jake E. Lee in three of the eight shows. Not only is he sitting down as a guest but we also have him playing in two episodes. It’s really exciting for us to be the first people to reintroduce him to the world.
RC:I see on your social media sites, Twitter especially, that you’re bombarded with questions like “Why don’t you ask so and so to be on the show?” or “Why haven’t you had so and so on?” – and it’s just not that easy. Who are some people you’ve asked over and over to be on the show that just haven’t been on for one reason or another?
ET: I’m very active on my website and Twitter for sure. I like engaging with people on Twitter. It’s very convenient and quick and simple for me. That’s why I’ve embraced it. I guess it doesn’t surprise me because everyone doesn’t need to know how the music industry works, but at the same token I’ll get tweets like “Have you ever thought about having Eddie Van Halen on the show?” That flips my mind! Do you really think we do a show like this and have not tried to get Eddie Van Halen? That’s head-scratching when that happens. It’s either requests like that or super obscure bands that the network is not going to sign off on. I have to say “We do the best we can. I hope you like our show. Here’s the guests.” To answer your question, big names like Eddie Van Halen and David Lee Roth have been asked every single season. Guys like that are weird about press. All you’ve gotta know is Van Halen turned down Rolling Stone and David Letterman when their last record came out. I didn’t really expect ‘em to come running to That Metal Show on VH1 Classic! Nikki Sixx is another. We’ve had Tommy Lee on, we did a special with Vince Neil. We’ve asked Mick Mars. We would have Nikki in a second. I have asked Nikki every season. I’ve been on his radio show talking to him about it. I’ve talked to Nikki privately about it. When he’s ready to do it he’ll do it. People have to want to do the show. You can’t just go get James Hetfield if James Hetfield doesn’t want to do the show. When it comes to Metallica we’ve had Lars on twice and Kirk Hammett on once. I’ve talked to James and he’s a huge fan of the show but he is not a very “press warm” guy. He’s not a jerk about it. There are just some guys that aren’t into it. To think we don’t ask these guys is incredible. We’re fighting to get them on just as much as the fans want them on. The other scenario is people will ask for guests that have been on already. With over 100 episodes maybe they just missed the show. With the big artists it comes down to two things: Are the available when we shoot and do they want to come on? If the answer to both of those questions is ‘yes,’ you can rest assured they’ve been asked every single time. If there’s a big artist you haven’t seen on the show, tell them. Hit them up on social media. If the artists know their fans want to see them on the show they may step up on their own.
Bill Bodkin of Pop Break interviewed our very own Eddie Trunk.Portions of the interview appear below.
Pop-Break: That Metal Show is airing its 12th Season on Saturday June 1st … did you ever have any inkling that this show would be as popular and run as long as it has?
Eddie Trunk: Most people don’t know that I was a host on vh1 Classic from 2002 to 2006. Even during those years when I was VJ-ing, hosting and interviewing I was always pushing to do my own show; where I could say what I want and have my buddies on and play the music I like.
I was just happy we got to the pilot stage. And I remember shooting that pilot, which we shot in New York and it ended up airing as the first episode, none of us had any idea if we’d be doing another show or even if that show would even see the light of day. As soon as that show aired and the response we got — we started rolling with more episodes. It’s just been a great ride and it keeps on going. I never envisioned that this would become, basically, the flagship show for the channel. Also, one of the things that really surprises me about the show to this day is, internationally, how big the show has gotten. Outside of America this show is seen in South America, Australia and Mexico and they’ve given it an incredible response. They’re a few season behind actually, but they’re really into it too. For me, it was something I fought really hard for to get on the air and once it did … to see how it’s done is phenomenal.
PB: You’re still a fan but you are metal royalty, someone we all look to as the definitive voice for the genre that we love. Yet, were there moments on the show, when a guest had the proverbial palms sweating?
ET: I’m always the fan but the advantage I have is that I’ve been doing this for three decades and on the TV show there’s rarely ever going to be a guest that I haven’t interviewed, in many case numerous times and in some cases I’ve become friends with the guys. I always keep it in check, even if I’m geeking out inside, I keep it in a professional context. Of course there’s times where it’s “How the heck is this happening?”
I remember one example, last August, we shot two shows on my birthday. They were taped in L.A. and one was with Sammy Hagar and Michael Anthony, so we had half a version of Van Halen there. And Sammy’s just one of my favorite people as is Michael, great people. The other show was a full hour with Steve Harris (Iron Maiden). During one of the shows Steven Adler (formerly of Guns N’ Roses) jumped out of a birthday cake and I thought, ‘What the hell is going here?’
When you’ve got icons, guys I grew up with like [Tony] Iommi sitting there or Joe Perry sitting there or Michael Schencker, being a huge UFO fan when he played on the show. It’s those moments where you’re like, ‘Wow this is just crazy.’ There’s going to be a time when I’m out of this business and I gonna put these DVDs on and I’m going to wonder, how the hell all of this happened. Now I’m just moving forward and staying in the moment and trying to build it the best I can with what I have to work with. At the same token when my kids get older maybe I can show them the DVDs and tell them to take a look at the guys I got to sit there and hang out with.
PB: What’s your #1 thing in metal you’re completely stoked for this summer?
ET: I think the GiganTOUR line-up this year looks really promising. One thing I look forward to doing every year and it just happened was ROCKlahoma in Oklahoma which I’ve hosted every year since it started in 2007. That was great, I got to see Alice in Chains for the first time with the new singer. I host a cruise every year called Monsters of Rock which is a lot fun. So those things become benchmarks of my year that are always fun.
In terms of actual music, the one thing I’m looking forward to is from a band I had a hand in putting together is The Winery Dogs and their album comes out in July. The band is Richie Kotzen, Billy Sheehan and Mike Portnoy. I’m the one who suggested that Kotzen join the band when their guitarist dropped out. Right now it’s my favorite album of the year. I’ve been a huge fan of Richie’s for the better part of ten years and no one in this country has any idea what this guy is all about as far as his ability as a singer and a player. He’s one of my favorite singers. So I think this, after so many years, will put him on the map a bit in his home country. He’s one of the most talented guys I’ve ever come across.
Former Judas Priest guitarist KK Downing has unveiled plans to re-establish the Midlands as the center of the heavy metal universe by becoming a promoter.
The acclaimed axeman has kicked off his new career with the launch of The Future of Heavy Metal, a venture which he hopes will help young hard rock bands follow in the footsteps of legends like Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and Judas Priest.
The initiative, a new business venture in partnership with experienced promoter Dave Coleman, aims to offer a live music platform to showcase the heavy metal stars of tomorrow.
With Midland gigs in Birmingham and Wolverhampton already under their belt Mr. Downing and Mr. Coleman now plan to roll the idea out further afield with tours around the country.
The first crop of bands being showcased include Midland acts Hostile, Under Blackened Skies and Fury, along with French band Moray Firth.
Mr. Downing said becoming involved with the local rock scene, which included writing a song for Wednesbury outfit Hostile, brought a realization of just how difficult it is for raw talent to progress.
“This is a new venture for us, but we hope to roll it out around the UK, I felt that I wanted to give something back and this seems like an ideal way,” he said.
“I think the way the industry is now it is exceptionally tough for young bands as there is no one around any more who is willing to back and support them. In the past when you had some interest from managers or record companies you could get advances. Record companies would give an advance to buy instruments or make a record. That’s not happening any more. It’s going from bad to worse too and bands are actually being asked to pay to buy onto a tour which goes against the grain. Young bands can’t afford that. Some would be prepared to play for no fee and are willing to sleep in the van as we did in the old days..But to find the money to pay as a guest is not do-able unless they have got rich parents.”
Mr Downing, who owns the championship golf course Astbury Hall near Bridgnorth, said the idea of a mini-tour with a selection of bands seemed like the ideal way to help younger bands get exposure and playing experience.
Reflecting on his own experiences he said Judas Priest stepped up to a different level after securing a tour with Budgie.
“We did 50-odd concerts and the experience of playing five or six times a week was invaluable,” he said. “Bands today are never going to get their act together until they get out there playing with other bands and getting some touring experience. That’s where you find out your weaknesses as you are being put out there with major acts. We would tour with Kiss, Alice Cooper, Led Zeppelin and AC/DC. You get out there and see the audience reaction. If you are not getting it you have to ask yourself what have these guys got that you haven’t and you learn so much from people who have honed their skills to perfection – it rubs off on you..This is what these guys need – it will help give them confidence and that is what The Future of Metal is aiming to do.”
With Birmingham and the Black Country universally acknowledged as the home of heavy metal, Mr. Downing believes the talent is still there to put the region back on the musical map.
“We had Judas Priest, Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath and before that other acts like The Move and the Moody Blues,” he added.
“There was a lot of talent from the Midlands but it’s been a long time since anyone new has come through to make an impact nationally or internationally. On my travels all over the world wherever I have been, Japan the US or wherever, the home of metal has always been Birmingham and the Black Country and I would like to see it continue. I’d like to think there is a future of heavy metal and that this area is going to be at the forefront, leading and paving the way for others.”