Frontiers Records is pleased to announce the release of bluesy hard rockers Burning Rain’s third studio album, Epic Obsession, on May 17th in Europe and May 21st in North America.
Burning Rain was founded by current Whitesnake axeman Doug Aldrich together with singer Keith St. John (ex-Montrose). The line-up for the new album is rounded out by Sean McNabb on bass (ex-Quiet Riot, Dokken, House of Lords) and Mat Starr on drums (Ace Frehley). Epic Obsession comes after a long hiatus from the release of the band’s second album, Pleasure To Burn, in 2000.
Of Epic Obsession, Aldrich commented, “I think we have a good batch of songs that will stand up. It’s a melodic blues rock approach to the band’s sound. It’s really the only thing I have done outside of Whitenake in the last ten years.”
Frontiers Records will be also be releasing on the same date reissues of the long out-of-print first two albums from Burning Rain, the self-titled debut (released in 1999) and the aforementioned Pleasure To Burn. Both albums will be repackaged and remastered and will contain two added bonus tracks to each respective album.
Burning Rain’s previous efforts received great acclaim in Japan and the UK prior to Aldrich being tapped as guitarist for Whitesnake in 2002, with Melodicrock.com declaring on the Pleasure To Burn review: “Great quality song writing…fantastic production that rivals any others out there. For fans of classic blues influenced hard rock there will be few albums to rival this record…”
Epic Obsession tracklisting includes:
Sweet Little Baby Thing
Till You Die
Heaven Gets Me By
Pray Out Loud
Our Time Is Gonna Come
Too Hard To Break
My Lust Your Fate
Made For Your Heart
Ride The Monkey
Out In The Cold Again
When Can I Believe In Love
Heaven Gets Me By (acoustic)*
* Bonus tracks
Cameron Adams of Adelaide Now spoke with Guns N’ Roses frontman Axl Rose about Appetite For Destruction, new music, social media, the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame and his former bandmates. Portions of the interview appear below.
CA: A lot of fans were hoping for a 25th anniversary re-issue of Appetite [For Destruction] – was that ever on the cards?
AR: I wouldn’t mind re-mastering it sometime.
CA: Is there anything left in the vaults from the Appetite sessions that could see the light of day?
AR: Not that I’m aware of but it’s worth a look. There aren’t any new or different songs but maybe a couple versions of things that we felt didn’t quite make the grade, although most of that made it out as bootlegs back in the day.
CA: Can we expect new music from GN’R in 2013 by chance?
AR: I can give you a definite maybe.
CA: Your brilliant open letter declining your induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame predicted fallout from your decision – was there much of that?
AR: Surprisingly no, there wasn’t, and thank you.
CA: You don’t seem like someone who trawls Facebook or Twitter or You Tube. Do any of the fan or media comments filter through to you? What are your thoughts on social media?
AR:…Regarding social media, I really don’t understand what appears to be the general population’s lack of concern over privacy issues in publicizing their entire lives on the internet for others to see to such an extent… but hey it’s them, not me, so whatever.
However, when so many seem to be making similar choices regarding their privacy to where it seems to become the norm, and in turn businesses use someone’s lack of involvement with social media to marginalize or stereotype and stigmatize them, or use it as grounds not to hire someone, I feel it’s extremely unfair and seems a bit Orwellian.
CA: One interesting issue it raised was the question of the romantic idea of an original line-up reforming, no matter the reason behind them no longer working together. Billy Corgan has talked about a “porn fantasy” some fans have of the original Pumpkins line-up touring again, which he continually has to say will never happen – what are your thoughts on this?
AR: I understand the “romantic” thing, the desire, the fantasy. Personally I haven’t wanted other bands to reunite, or really enjoyed it when they have. For me generally something always seemed missing.
But Guns is my life, not someone else’s. For me there hasn’t been a way to make any type of reunion work regardless of money (either talk or legitimate) without jeopardizing what I feel is the well-being and best interests of nearly everyone I’m involved with in the GNR camp (including myself). People here have big investments of their lives in what we’re doing. We’ve worked hard for what we have here now and continue to do so. I know what I went through then. I know what I and all of us have gone through since. People enjoyed the product and the entertainment our lives gave them back in the day, but they weren’t the ones actually living those lives together. It’s not somewhere I’d go back to or would want to go again. Life’s too short.
CA: You are about the only original GN’R member not to have written down your memories – did you read any of them or were you consulted about them writing about events that involved you?
AR: I read Slash’s to have an idea what I might be facing then, but haven’t read anyone else’s. And no I haven’t been consulted about anything with anyone.
CA: There are plenty of interesting anecdotes in those books, but what were your memories of Paul Stanley auditioning to produce Appetite?
AR: Paul was unfortunately being led on and used (by, and according to, Slash) at the time (as was I) for fun, with no real intention of working with him, so Steven could meet him.
CA: The books do cover you being late on stage, with your former bandmates being unsure what the delay was. Any hints?
AR: Ok this is a multiple choice answer.
Answer #1: Do we really have to go there?
Answer #2: No comment
Answer #3: In answering I would like to say that I have no intention or desire to take “shots” at either the old band or anyone from any of our lineups. That said, to answer some questions factually and honestly it may appear that way to some. Unfortunately, in my opinion, that’s just the nature of the beast.
I could choose to say nothing or no comment but I feel 1.) These particular questions in this interview don’t exactly deserve that response and 2.) I have a right to have my side, perspective and what I not only believe, but know to be the truth regarding several issues with old Guns and our time together out there.
The Illusions’ lineups comments that I’ve read in media or Slash’s book were, in my opinion, predominantly public gamesmanship, strategy and politics on their part. Pretending to be unaware or innocent to the public has been a common deceptive tactic often used in regard to what was happening with the band and our relationship with each other. As I’ve said before, I shouldn’t have been on tour when we started in ’91.
That had a lot to do with Alan Niven, our then manager, and Slash. In my opinion Alan wanted money and Slash wanted the touring to get the better of me given my circumstances at the time. My safety and well-being were not their concern.
After the first few months things got a little better and primarily for not wanting the crew to be injured for not having enough rest but the damage, especially with media, had been done. Those who wanted to throw stones have had ammo they’ve used for years whether it’s real, hyped, a non-issue, reasons beyond our control, justifiable reasons such as injuries or technical difficulties or just life, doesn’t seem, and hasn’t seemed, to make a difference. (And all of these issues have been addressed previously elsewhere.)
Another issue has been that each time I have agreed to a tour, I’ve also had agreements on our show times and start times. Often in dealing with former managers and agents, these weren’t reality. It’s not something said or explained, it’s a show day thing they do for their own reasons which we’ll get into a bit similarly with your next question.
And often tours or dates are booked without my having formally given my consent or having authorized them. That’s pretty much how this business works.
All of that said I’m not a “punctual” type of person, never have been. I apologize to anyone I’ve inconvenienced or put out in any way. And for those who’ve felt they’ve lost money with any cancellations in the past perhaps you’ll find some comfort in that I’m sure I’ve lost tens of thousands, if not millions, more – especially in the long run. In general I usually don’t really go by or live my life by a clock and outside of touring I don’t really ask anyone else to. It’s not out of lack of respect for anyone or intentional.
I can say I haven’t been late because I was watching a sporting event or something equally as ridiculous. The reasons have all been in one way or another show-related or having to do with those involved with the show in some fashion. It’s just my reality and I try and work on it. It’s been getting better with our tours, especially over the last three years.
In the last three years we’ve done three Asian runs including Taiwan, Jakarta and a hugely successful record breaking, sold out India run, three European runs including four sold out nights at London’s 02 Arena, five shows in Russia, headlined several sold-out festivals such as Reading and Leeds, Rock In Rio, two record breaking, sold out South American tours, an Australian tour (this will be our 2nd), a sold out tour in Central America, a Canadian tour, a sold out US arena tour, a sold out US club tour (that included The Ritz/Webster Hall in NY, The Electric Company in Philadelphia, The Fillmore in Detroit and The Palladium in Los Angeles), New Year’s and a sold out month residency at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas, Puerto Rico, the Middle East, Neil Young’s Bridge School Benefit, NY Fashion week gigs w/Varvatos, The Rose Bar and the Hiro Ballroom and a few one off club and private party shows such as at L’Arc in Paris, The Zep in Tokyo and recently for Tommy Hilfiger at LA’s The Soho House.
In a concerted effort to make things up to our fans, friends and associates we’ve gone back to various cities where things have in the past gotten… ahem… “complicated” such as Vancouver, Montreal, Atlanta (twice), Indianapolis, Philadelphia and Dublin and had extremely successful shows without incident.
We’ve been fortunate to be able to play everything from the smallest clubs to giant stadiums and huge outdoor audiences for a total of 185 shows in 48 countries, in 147 cities with approximately over 500 hours of stage time with an average full show time around three plus hours, performed for over 2,000,000 fans with our current lineup of DJ Ashba, Ron Bumblefoot Thal and Richard Fortus on guitars, Tommy Stinson on bass, Frank Ferrer on Drums and Dizzy Reed and Chris Pitman on keyboards, worked with over 200 bands and artists from Motorhead to Black Label Society, shared bills with Elton John, Aerosmith, Rhianna, Queens Of The Stone Age and Metallica with minimal promotion, minimal to zero label support, minimal nonsense and often with serious management challenges.
And in our defense addressing the nonsense, the relatively small majority of which percentage wise being in general what we feel are at least somewhat reasonable or justifiable such as technical difficulties, crowd control issues, health or injuries, managerial/agent nonsense or simply beyond our control and often as the case may be more hype than reality which again (and definitely not taken for granted) with all things considered, eventually has seemed to work out fairly well.
Read Axl’s etire interview with the Adelaide Now by clicking here.
William Clark of Music Enthusiast Magazine spoke with Queensryche guitarist Michael Wilton about their new album, why Geoff Tate is no longer a member of the band and the other version of Queensryche featuring their former singer on vocals.
William: Looking out over all of the albums released so far under the Queensryche name, which do you feel was “The Last Great Queensryche Album” and why?
Michael: Well, if you’re looking at “record sales,” I think Empire was our biggest selling album. So, if you’re looking at it as sales, than that’s sort of the epitomy of where Queensryche collided with popular opinion, rather than being a speciality band. We were lucky to collide with MTV at the time where MTV was playing videos, we toured with some great bands like Metallica and Iron Maiden, Def Leppard, Bon Jovi, and that really sparked the whole sales figures, it was great for the record company, and everything was really cooking back in the early 90’s.
William: There have been some details about Geoff Tate writing all of the material for the band’s past couple of records. What was the last Queensryche album you had a strong part in creating?
Michael: Well, we had an album called Tribe, and that was back when we were co-managed, when his wife started managing the band. I think that was the last album where it was a good creative output for everybody, and consequently we managed to get Chris DeGarmo back into the fold and bring some of his songs onto the table, and we got that going. So I think that album, even though it was kind of a quiet album I think that one has some special songs on there for different reasons.
William: Was there a certain event that made you and the rest of the band finally decide to kick Geoff out of Queensryche?
Michael: Yeah, I mean basically if you look at any business, it’s built upon the strength of it’s infrastructure. Viewing this as a business end and a creativity entity, we just weren’t clicking on all cylinders. You have basically situations that grow over time where decisions are being made, and people don’t quite agree with the philosophy. In a nutshell, we were creatively going different ways. And as a business, questioning some of the business decisions. I think those were kind of going in an opposite way of what others perceive. Just trying to keep a thread into your past and keep that fanbase. Trying to keep your albums on their coffee tables and not take such outlandish risks. Any business would question that.
William: What is it like, working with [singer] Todd [La Torre] as compared to working with Geoff?
Michael: Well, obviously you have a renewed energy. The chemistry within the band is renewed, and it’s got a different dynamic now. Basically we want to rock, we like the hard rock element, we like a bit of the progressive element, we want to collaborate with our fanbase and really make this a situation where we listen to the audience and hear what they want, and we build upon that. Queensryche has always been a touring act, that’s what we did in the early days. We were a guitar duo band and toured the world, and worked our asses off to get the respect of the audience. And I think that we’ve come full circle and we’re at that point again. For the following years we’re going to work our asses off and get the respect of the audiences again, and just really show this new energy and this new chemistry with Todd La Torre as our new frontman. And you know what, it’s just a lot of fun again. In the past, it was just becoming “This is a job. This is just a business, this is a job”, and there was no fun in it. It’s come back to how we started out in the beginning, a bunch of guys having fun, working hard and doing what they love.
William: I think that’s great. What are your thoughts about that other band named Queensryche going around, with Geoff on vocals?
Michael: You know, I try not to step on that subject too much. Obviously I’m aware of it, but I really do not pay too much attention to it. So I can’t really say, other than I’m really stoked on what we’re doing. I think what we’re doing is rebuilding the brand, rebuilding the business and just surrounding ourselves with fluent people who are willing to push us in a positive direction. In our previous situation, everything was being done by a family, basically, and it was kind of a one-trick-pony situation. Now, it’s like you’ve got to use your contacts and your friends in the business to push your business, and to help you generate positive growth. That’s kind of what I’m consumed with at the moment, and that other stuff is being taken care of on a legal aspect, and we’re all good with that. We’re really concentrating on rebuilding the business, rebuilding the brand and showing the fans who have been waiting so long to see a good hard rock show that we’ve got it.
William: How will the new Queensryche album compare to such recent outings as American Soldier and Dedicated To Chaos?
Michael: I think it’s going to be it’s own animal, I don’t think it’s going to be anything like those. As far as the last album, I don’t even know what guitar parts of mine were used. You know, American Soldier had some good elements, some great moments, but I think first and foremost there’s got to be a thread to your lineagy, to your past albums. And I think that is what we’re trying to capture, I think. We’re doing the inevitable, 180-degree flip flop, you know? We want to recapture elements of our past, but yet show progress in our writing ability. We’re progressive people, so in that aspect you know you’re going to get a little of the past albums, and by past albums I mean the first five. And then a lot of new creative energies, so I think it’s going to be quite a contrast to the last few you just spoke about.
On March 26th Lynch Mob will release an EP entitled Unplugged, featuring rare acoustic versions of Wicked Sensation, River Of Love, Where Do You Sleep At Night, All I Want and a bonus fifteen minute interview track. Pre-orders of the Limited Print Collectors Edition EP are now being taken at the Rat Pak Records website at www.ratpakrecordsamerica.com/lynchmob.
Lynch Mob Unplugged was recorded at historic Sugar Hill Studios in downtown Houston, Texas during the filming of Slow Drag, the video from the band’s highly successful Rat Pak Records release Sound Mountain Sessions.
Lynch Mob Unplugged features George Lynch (guitars), Oni Logan (vocals), Robbie Crane (bass), Brian Tichy (guitars) and Tyson Sheth (percussion).
On August 7th, 2012 Lynch Mob released Sound Mountain Sessions through Rat Pak Records, a powerful EP that introduced you to the next chapter/best chapter yet, of these legendary rockers. Featured tracks on Sound Mountain Sessions included Slow Drag, World Of Chance, City Of Freedom, and Sucka.
Watch the videos for an unplugged version of River of Love and for the song Slow Drag below.
For Wolfgang Van Halen, being part of Mark Tremonti’s band — which the Creed/Alter Bridge guitarist says is now a full-time job — makes a statement that’s just as important as his position playing bass in the “family business.”
“There’s definitely a lot of hate out there that I try not to acknowledge,” the 21-year-old Van Halen, who’s been part of Van Halen since its 2007 reunion, tells Billboard. “It’s definitely intimidating as a 16-year-old to have the world hating on you and saying you’re only in (Van Halen) because it’s your dad’s band and all of that. But I just kind of do my thing. I know what I can do, and when people tell me I can’t and I know that I am doing it, whether it’s in Van Halen or with Mark, it almost makes me feel better.”
Tremonti, meanwhile, says that Van Halen was actually his first choice to play on his solo album, All I Was, and be part of his band, but the most recent Van Halen tour got in the way. “He’s an amazing musician,” Tremonti says. “He doesn’t have that Van Halen gig just because his last name is Van Halen. He’s an amazing bass player. He’s also an amazing drummer and guitar player — he’s definitely got a lot of his dad’s genes in him. And he’s got a real sharp mind when it comes to memorizing and learning.”
Besides playing in the Tremonti band, Van Halen is also actively engaged in planning for the group’s next album. “We’ve actually written a handful of songs on this tour alone,” Van Halen reports. “During sound check we’ll jam some stuff out. Van Halen is definitely the priority, but whenever Van Halen isn’t doing anything, I treat this as another band I’m legitimately in. I’m really excited to be on the next record and have some sort of influence on the writing.”
As for Van Halen, the band, Wolfgang man is gearing up for the group’s upcoming shows at the Stone Music Festival in Australia on April 20th and in Japan during June. He’s also still “really proud” of the group’s 2012 album, A Different Kind of Truth, and that he was instrumental in finding older demos that “kinda put dad, Al and Dave into the mindspace of when they wrote, like, Runnin’ With the Devil and Dance the Night Away and stuff like that.”
And, he says, there’s more where that came from. “Oh yeah, there’s plenty of other ideas laying around, and some new stuff that we’ve been working on, too,” Van Halen says. “You never know what’ll happen.”
His musical ambitions may not be limited to just the groups he’s part of, either. In addition to bass, Van Halen plays drums (his first instrument), guitar, keyboards and sings. He says that he “definitely would like to be a drummer in a band at some point,” but his assorted talents indicate that he could be his own band, if he wants to take that route.
“I’ve always loved the whole Dave Grohl story of how he started Foo Fighters and just did a whole demo album by himself before he put a group together. I’d love to do that,” Van Halen says. “I feel like it’s just kind of open-ended. It’s all the same to me. It’s just doing what I love. As long as I’m playing music and having a good time, that’s all I really need.”
The Hawaii state Senate passed the so-called Steven Tyler Act on March 5th, a bill that seeks to protect celebrities from overeager paparazzi by creating a civil violation if people take unwanted photos or videos of others in their private moments.
The Aerosmith frontman from Massachusetts asked Sen. Kalani English to sponsor the legislation after unwanted photos were taken of him and his girlfriend last December and published in a national magazine, causing family drama.
Tyler owns a multimillion dollar home in Maui, which is part of English’s district. English said the proposal could help increase celebrity tourism in Hawaii.
Twenty-three of the state’s 25 Senate members voted in favor of the bill, which now goes to the House for consideration.
Sen. Sam Slom, the body’s only Republican, opposed the measure.
“We have been the butt of many editorials and jokes across the country for this proposed legislation,” he said.
Slom said senators had fun with the bill, but Hawaii has adequate laws protecting privacy and this proposal is an attack on First Amendment rights.
“My final remarks to Steven Tyler as he sang so eloquently are, ‘Dream on, dream on,'” Slom joked.
Sen. Les Ihara also voted against the measure.
Besides Tyler, other celebrities have supported the bill, including Britney Spears, Mick Fleetwood and the Osbourne family.
They say intrusive paparazzi make it difficult to enjoy simple activities with family and friends.
But national media organizations worry about the proposal’s impact on freedom of the press. The National Press Photographers Association and the Society of Professional Journalists were some of several national media organizations that submitted testimony opposing the bill.
The Senate Judiciary Committee responded to criticism of the measure’s vague language by replacing the original version with the text of an existing California anti-paparazzi statute.
But longtime media lawyer Jeff Portnoy said the bill is still problematic.
“It’s better, but it doesn’t change its fatal flaws,” he said. The measure’s language is still ambiguous and it is unnecessary, given Hawaii’s existing laws, Portnoy said.
“Our only chance to get some sanity into this is in the House,” he said.