We are gathered here today….
….where the only pulpit is opposite a stage and is occupied by lighting and sound guys.
The congregation is tattooed, shaven headed, leather clad and holding a beer not a bible.
There are two Preachers present with this particular travelling church.
The very Reverend Ms. Niva Chow and the very very Reverend Mr. Robert Michael Higgins.
For Higgins and Chow to be revered, is probably the least of what should happen, but it is a start.
Not too long ago this formidable pair were in a studio in Joshua Tree, California, USA, recording the now newly released (May 22nd 2012) Hawk vs. Pigeon. The band also worked on the record at their Phoebe Street Studio in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
This record must have been a pretty easy kill, the name of the cd certainly suggests as much? “Well, I am sure we will be asked about that a lot, but we pretty much already decided on the name of the cd before it was near completion. The fact that we saw just that, a Hawk vs. Pigeon on the last day of recording was a definite sign. We went into the studio with nothing and came out with some really great songs, we were truly blessed.” Tells Higgins. He added; “Had it not been for Brendan Canning, a founding member of Broken Social Scene, who helped me navigate through a difficult time, it would probably not have happened. At the time he was probably the only guy I would listen to and take guidance from.”
Canning, along with Patrick Pentland of Sloan and Dave Catching; Queens of the Stone Age, also make an appearance on the record. Not forgetting Care F and Tony Bleed of Die Mannequin, label/tour mates of Dearly Beloved, who give a punk poke to the track On Better Days.
Dearly Beloved has a new, fresh sound. Not comparable to any other thing, which these days is almost un-heard of. Both Higgins and Chow are lead vocalists and Higgins is at the fore on bass. Unfortunately the music they are producing is not considered mainstream by many music executives. The suits of the Music business like it to sound smooth and easy. Where is Val Doonican when you need him?
“It is too easy now to get someone into a studio and make them sound good, overproduce them and put them out on air. That is what has been happening since the decline of the big record companies in the late 90’s.’’ Higgins is well informed and stays abreast of changing situations in the fickle business of music. He is not afraid to share his truths, which is extremely unusual in such a seemingly cliquey business. One would worry that it is not good for the business of Dearly Beloved, but it is no deterrent for Higgins. “Eric Alper and EOne Music Canada are changing all that. They are putting real music out again. Rival Sons, Die Mannequin and The Cult are all with EOne. Of course we are still hearing new bands out there that sound just the same as someone else.
It is very difficult to disagree with that statement.
Not so un-original are Dearly Beloved. With a heavily bass lead sound and a mix of male vocal and a female vocal that could strip the wallpaper border off your grandma’s kitchen in one bar, it is hard to believe that this is the fourth piece of art for the ears from this band. Although through the past six years there have been several line –up adjustments, the backbone is not broken and the body just continues to grow stronger.
What is needed here is for Canadian broadcasters to grow some balls and play some new, more relevant music. Music with a message, something that is a little eclectic, alternative, rock based and thought provoking. We all know that Rush, Neil Young and The Tragically Hip are out there, but they could step graciously to one side and allow new noise to be heard.
“I said it before; now it is just too easy for radio stations to play the foot tapping, electrically processed stuff and feed it to the masses. Canadian broadcasters must play a certain amount of Canadian artists on air every hour but they choose dated artists or songs where there are no musicians only a backing track or auto tune.” Higgins is sticking by what he holds true.
It would be so easy to understand if Dearly Beloved and in fact many of the real musicians and rock bands out there were to just quit, give up.
“It’s really not that easy,” gives up the bands drummer Andrew McMullen. “I have to do this, it is just in me, I am just meant to be out there performing. When I am not on the road, or on the stage, it is like there is something missing.”
It is certainly a hard slog. The band endure the nightly lugging of equipment in and out of dark, dank clubs, up and down stairs, staying in often undesirable lodgings and playing salesman for their merchandise before and after a set. That coupled with daily drives of 15 hours on average, and a diet of, in the words of Higgins; “a lot of weed in the past five days,” that and snack food from gas stations, has got to be a strain on anyone’s resolve and yet it seems to fuel this band.
“It won’t be long before we are in the studio again and this time we will maybe produce 15 songs,” Higgins shares, as the band mascot, a two feet tall, dressed up mannequin of Lord of the Rings character Gollum, peers over his shoulder.
No doubt Chow, a seasoned singer previously with the band Sticky Rice, who also has a background in Media/TV production, will continue to log the travels and tribulations of this not well enough recognised, home grown, musical epiphany. It will be considered a great shame if there is no-one saving a few live shots of Chow on stage. She has an in your face energy so powerful it could be considered aggressive. The presence she gives is of someone more physically commanding in stature. Yet it is undoubtedly her voice and intellect which will raise her status as a star.
All future recordings will be well used in years to come when this band receive the recognition they have worked so damned hard to gain.
Rarely will the music world see such an honest, hardworking, un-beleaguering, hospitable, artistic, talented group of people dedicating themselves to providing music to those around them.
They should be revered at the highest level.
While you listen to this new record and await delivery of the next, purchase if you have not already previous releases and catch a live show if you are close to a location where the band is appearing in the near future.
You will quickly find yourself worshiping at the Church of The Dearly Beloved.
The only disappointment you will have is that the set is not long enough and merchandise is sold out……..
By Karen G 31 May 2012 16:59
Failure To Care Is Resulting In Success
When those that are bound to nurture fail to provide to the correct care, failure is usually the end result.
Care Failure, to be precise!
When you remove from a young person the one thing that they trust, their life’s blood, the only thing that they can trust, the thing they depend on, it is certain to end in a cluster fuck… or worse.
In this, the case of Care F, attaining success is an on-going path of learning to trust again, self-recognition and sometimes self-doubt. The seemingly childlike persona is mixed with a grown up knowledge far beyond her years. The lessening use of Failure as a last name is only a sign that there is an embryo of self-belief that is not sorrow and despair, but that good things are on the horizon. “When you hear something so often you start to believe it, right?” Care shares one of the reasons that she is distancing herself from any kind of failure.
Using her song writing skills as a form of self-therapy; “you have to write about what you know, right? That is what they tell you,” Care tells it straight and as it is, but there is a feeling when she converses that she wants you to give her your approval. That she is testing the water toe, by toe. A look in her eye that is asking,”I think I am right, but can you just give me the nod?”
If you are aware of the tumultuous past of this well-spoken, thoughtful, intelligent and accommodating young woman, then you would have good reason to understand this.
With a past including, at a young age, the near suicide of a young friend, musical seclusion, homelessness and heroin addiction, it is a huge fucking surprise that Care F is even still breathing. She is; between smokes! OK so she may be back living in her parents’ basement, but even that is a massive leap forward from injecting drugs with needles and a life on the street. It was certainly not a lack of hard work that resulted in moving back in with Mom. It would seem that recent manager was possibly tipping himself a little too much, a little too often and as a result drastic measures have ensued!
Of course you have to ask, does she ever think that if the music had not been used as the blame for the near death of her childhood friend and she had been allowed to continue listening to her own choices, that she would have experienced a different path on her way to huge success? The success of this woman is inevitable. Care F just was meant to be a star. “But I continued to listen to the music, even when I was not supposed to, I led a double life.” She shares, so it is possible that the path would have been the same! “Some things just happen anyway,” Care F appears quite complacent about this, but you can see in her eyes that she is possibly still asking herself, why did that happen, why would they take the one thing that I really needed? The downward glances and small sighs are a dead giveaway.
If you start to see any similarity to Courtney Love in this at all then prepare to stand corrected. Care F does not sound like, look like or act like the Hole front fuck up, nor does she have dreams of hooking up with a rich and more successful rock star in order that she further her own career. In fact, she and partner, band bassist Tony Bleed are and have been happy together for many years. She is her own woman and completely the opposite of the Love we all see in the music magazines and on music led tv. Care F is unselfish, willing to listen and compassionate.
It was written that while Avril Lavigne was being set up by music executives as an anti-Britney, Care was set up by former record company Warner music as the anti-Avril. “Hmmm, that’s interesting” exclaims Care when this is revealed. “I always wondered why she wouldn’t speak to me. You know, she tried to keep me away from her (now ex) husband Deryck, when we toured with Sum 41. They were a little weird!”
Guitarist Stacy intervenes to make a valid point. “Why would you just make a comparison with a woman? Care, if you were making a comparison to her, which is not really necessary, could be compared to anyone, that person need not be a female!”
What an excellent observation. “You know,” Care is quick to jump back in “if I was to be compared to anyone it would be Iggy Pop, you know when he was doing his thing, back in the day, with the Stooges. I really admire him.”
There has been career help along the way for Care F from the likes of Canadian superstars Rush and beyond fellow musicians, it would seem that people everywhere feel the need to nurture her. But of her talent as a singer/songwriter/musician at least, Care F has little need for nurture and has little or no doubt and nor should she. What she would argue is the title of rock/movie star and any hope of making it bigger.
With the release of a movie this month(May 2012) Hard Core Logo 2, where Die Mannequin star as themselves, Care F is a little disturbed by the “herself” she was asked to portray by Director Bruce McDonald, in this sequel to his cult movie Hard Core Logo. “We are playing ourselves and yet my character Care Failure is always so dark, gloomy, and you know hmmmm, depressive. In real life that is not me. OK, so there is an element of the real me, when I think about what has happened in my life where I have been sad and unhappy, on some days I’m still less happy, but that is not my real persona, the one portrayed in the movie.”
Care allows herself to take joy in the small things. She expresses a love for color and art “I love yellow and orange, but this blue is my new favorite color,” she offers a small pot of nail polish. During an impromptu photo session she requested pictures affront a huge sign with Asian style font. “I love the way it looks,” she enthuses. In interaction with fans Care is seen to give herself totally to each person that approaches. That takes dedication and it shows a true appreciation, but could it also be seen as a need for constant approval, another sign of her vulnerability, a need to do the right thing?
For one so young to have suffered sadness, cruelty and more recently theft, Care F’s resolve has been tested to the limit but has held well, her integrity is intact and as she continues to learn that often people think they are doing the right thing even when they are wrong. Sometimes they can be forgiven. Positivity and self-belief can take you further than you think and if at any point you are overwhelmed, take a break. Stand back and re-assess. That is often all it takes.
The new cd release Danceland, despite its ripping and raw guitar and hard sound also exposes the vulnerability of Care F through the expressision in her voice. Be sure however that you will give her your approval right after listening to the first track The Other Tiffany.
Your approval for Care F and the band, her band, Die Mannequin, will continue until the end of the cd at which point you will replay, hear something totally new and different and approve all over again!
This cd has nothing but music with feeling. Vocal that makes you hear truth.
This is music for life. This is music you need.
Care F. Approved!
By Karen G 24 May 2012
Real Punks Spit in Edmonton 16 May 2012
Real punks wear ripped tights, red lipstick and other bands shirts. Real punks writhe on filthy floors playing ripping guitar and real punks aggravate their band mates. Real punks drink beer, treat their instruments badly and they don’t brush their hair.
Die Mannequin are real punks.
Do not let this take away from the music.
Stars of the recently released cult Bruce McDonald movie Hard Core Logo 2 and musicians behind the soon to be released Danceland EP, Die Mannequin can put out live. FACT.
Singer Care F has an original, chilling, sharp and stunning vocal. To say that her audience is engaging would be the understatement of the Millennia. Ms F is in the crowd, on the tables and convulsing on the stage. Crotch shots at a Die Mannequin show would be easy, but that is not what this is about.
Care F could be likened to a professional fisherman, although she lacks a pair of waders and a floppy hat. Slowly and with patience, she hooks the audience, she reels them in, releases them, gives them some slack, room to breathe.
Before they know it the frenzied audience, starved of oxygen become Die Mannequin, on the stage, part of the show. They also leave as quickly as they came.
Ms F is the dominant female in this chamber of delights. There is not a single doubt about it. Everyone does as they are told and they do it NOW!
Bassist Tony Bleed, drummer Daz and guitarist Stacy are the undeniable subordinates. The backup band? Pussy whipped into shape at every possible opportunity. They are necessary to provide a decent amount of noise, but if she had to, Ms F really could pull this off on her own. She is a rock star, a movie star. She just is!
A nine year veteran of live shows, Care F has it down.
This show has it all; hard hitting, real lyrics, grinding music, spitting and a front woman who brings it all to life. No excuses.
Now gear up for the June 12 release of Danceland. Care insists!
New music from DM in 2014!
by Karen G 23 May 2012
Dearly Beloved LIVE in Edmonton @ Pawn Shop May 16 2012
If the most original thing you can do as the foremost performer/s in a band is jiggle your tits and use your family name to promote this non skill, while sucking in your belly and arse and emitting a semi shrill squeak, (in stereo) general opinion would probably be, you are not cut out to be on stage. You should concentrate on your cheer team and whiten your teeth again.
If you remind the audience of a band from 25 years ago each and every time you open your gob, you would be well advised to not give up your day job, presuming of course, that you are gainfully employed. The paying public already own The Sisters Of Mercy back catalogue and Andrew Eldritch does/did at least looks the part. Besides which, those old enough to remember probably couldn’t use a reminder. Those too young to realize you are not entirely original probably need to get a real music education.
If however, you can persuade your public that they believe what you are telling them and then, like a Hawk stalking a Pigeon, eyeball, chase and engage without them feeling a thing, you probably come closest to what should be considered a professional musician, a true performer, an artist.
In today’s fickle and seemingly lazy music world, during paltry excuses for live musical performances, more often than not the artists fail to use the stage in its entirety and do not deliver a sound uncharted by any other, a sound that promotes thought and feeling, offered to those willing to absorb, with a passion and aggression that can only come from the soul. This is of course no mean feat. It means actually putting in an effort. It is far easier to rely on digitally processed noise, while a few short skirted, nice titted birds with finely toned glutes wiggle around a bit affront the stage and you stand looking pretty, considering your next big purchase; Gucci or Prada. Porsche or Lamborghini?
It is pretty widely known, delivery of a child is difficult for the mother, but children are by biological design esthitically pleasing. They may vomit constantly and smell of shit, but they will be loved by all who glance upon them none the less.
When hours and hours of painful contractions have already occurred, giving birth, in front of a room full of strangers to your newborn, night after night has to be physically draining. Some would perhaps say it is a constant battle of nerves. How does your brain process what may come to pass in the forty minutes that you are crowning?
What could happen if the audience are not pleased by your production of new noise? Suppose they don’t like your words. Maybe this sound is still too new for people to really get it?
Perhaps a less professional, less confident, less musically accomplished outfit would be hard pressed to pull off such a delivery.
Not so the band; Dearly Beloved, who are currently on tour Canada wide with punk band Die Mannequin, to promote the new record Hawk vs Pigeon.
At first glance you would probably want to feed the guitarist, stretch the tambourinist and shave the bassist; probably just his face.
You can’t see the drummer, but that is OK, he is quite far back and his glasses have steamed up so he can’t see you either.
That triviality is forgotten as soon as the band is three chords in and doesn’t end until the set is at its completion. This band deliver; raw, real, rock music. No more, no less. What more could a modern day rock music fan want?
At the fore two vocalists, giving both a female and male perspective and a bassist that plays his instrument hard enough to make up for the sound of two tall bearded guys ripping into it. The noise produced is mesmerizing. Dearly Beloved is here with a sound that has real music standards, no use of computers, synth or voice changing wizardry. This is real music, for the real music fan. Live, Dearly Beloved has no flaws. Even if they dropped every second note and forgot the words, they perform with feelings and integrity. They are convincing. Is that not exactly what live music is?
It is said that great things come in small packages. So does TNT and the equally comparable Niva Chow. Commanding you give your attention with her undeniably sharp vocal and looking likely to face up and scream at you if you do not provide to her as she performs. Is Chow likely to go further and slap you across the face swiftly with her tambourine? Who can tell?
To the right of Chow as you look at the stage, is the formidable and slightly giddy Rob Higgins. Bearded, this Bassist is also well known as the band boss. He is the male vocal of the outfit. He may look a little hot, sweaty and tired. Well, that would be because he is. He is on the road driving long distances all day and sleeping in cheap hotels, or a minivan after each performance! Can he bring it despite this?
What a fucking stupid question.
This band is Rob Higgins. The sweat he produces during his live show should be collected and force fed intravenously to lesser musically inclined individuals to aid their performances. Higgins sweats 100% rock jizz right down, one would imagine to his socks, which most likely reek of seedy nightclub!
If that is not enough for you then the right side of your brain has possibly failed and you may require an instant lobotomy.
Dearly Beloved it would seem, have taken music back to its roots, using real musicians, real passion and real live performances and lots of weed, in the past few days.
by Karen G 22/5/2012
5/23 Lethbridge, AB – The Rhythm House
5/24 Regina, SK – The Exchange
5/25 Brandon, MB – North Hill Inn
5/30 Ottawa, ON – Zaphod’s
Not a national bank, but certainly rich in words…
Rocky Shades. Explosive…Literally
Born a little green, with quite an expansive blue period, Rocky Shades, formerly known as Mr Barclay, Wrathchild (UK) frontman, Blues Brothers performer and now at the helm of Wildside Riot, is back, glimmering in a full spectrum of color after the recent confirmation of his love for Swarovski crystal.
An essential part of the 80`s UK hair metal/glam/cock rock scene, Shades was born to be on stage and since a less glam stint as part of a “very lucrative, Blues Brothers tribute, that toured the world between 2006 and 2011 as a necessity, in a real world to work and support a real family” Shades has returned to real rock and is now back where he started, once again fronting a rock/glam/sleaze band.
Shades wrote the “intro blurb” on the new Wildside Riot record and is firmly back in the place of his birth right. Not with the band that Shades himself would describe as “the most dangerous band on the planet,” so called because of the use of huge outdoor pyro inside small hot sweaty rock venues, his former band Wrathchild, but at the helm with Wildside Riot, flanked by somewhat younger musicians in the form of Joss Riot and Gaz Wilde. Still performing old Wrathchild favorites like Trash Queen, Wildside Riot are also bringing fresh new material with a slightly older, fist pumping, foot stomping, glam edge. Still topless, but now letting off less dangerous pyro, Shades is still capable of commanding his crowd at live shows and making them respond exactly how he wants them to. True showmanship.
Shades himself is the first to admit that showmanship is exactly what it is. “this kind of thing never worked if you believed the hype. Look at some of the iconic characters of the generation. It is theatre. Wrathchild was working well way back then and we never believed that we were who the fans supposed we were, when we were on the stage. Unfortunately all the legal nonsense dragged us down. That won’t happen again, I have great lawyers!”
Shades very nearly gave up the glam to be the voice of Discharge. His saving grace? Spitting! “I couldn’t tolerate the punk fans bad gobbing habit.” He admits. Instead he chose to bleach and backcomb his hair and plaster on the war paint. Result? Well, women all over the UK loved it and it must be right for Shades. He came back and in the words of Britney…”Oops, he did it again”
Choosing a black and yellow colored theme for the new record, could perhaps cause a little confusion with 80’s Christian band Stryper….. or giant killer bees, but Shades wanted “a fresh coat of paint, something a little different to represent the new band,” so the wait begins to assess amounts of confusion among addled aging rockers, or forthcoming lawsuits by followers of a higher force.
He has already encountered more than his fair share of Lawyers for one lifetime, but so far Shades has managed to avoid “The hate possies; Angry Dads and Boyfriends.” But it would be nice to see a book from this self-described “godfather of glam,” so Mum may dissipate in the future. Shades, for now though is staying Mum about days gone by, but you must admit, it would be an extremely interesting read.
It is quite obvious to rock fans everywhere that a man who blows a hole in his arse with his own pyro and melts the leather pants he is wearings into his skin, for sure will have so much more to tell.
In this life there are, after all No Second Takes!
By Karen G 11/05/2012 9:10:01 PM
Chill Out With Your Dill Out
Hanging with King Belvedere
When Headbangerwoman spoke with King Belvedere frontman/singer Jeff McKenney and his rhythm keeping band mate Johnny Sexx; drummer, tea drinker and whipped cream connoisseur, it was obvious from the word go that what ensued would be less than boring.
To start with, it is a rarity in this the business of music, that the topics of our conversation are able to poke fun at themselves and each other when necessary and see it for what it is; a show, a performance. Nothing more nothing less. Conversation with McKenney and Sexx was good, plentiful and varied. However, it was cut short by McKinney’s need to visit the local Pubbery in order that he could ingest cold pre-piss colored liquids and stimulate his bowel with beef jerky!
Sexx confirmed that he was staying home to consume tea! How very rock n roll.
Having previously played shows with the likes of LA Guns, Bang Tango and Faster Pussycat, it is hardly a surprise that King Belvedere have a definite 80’s cock rock sound. With a first record that had an edgier, more punk feel, the sound has since been honed and tweaked, by the second release; My Kinda Rock and Roll, it had become a perfect mix of sleaze, punk and raw rock. If the noise is not convincing, then you only need to take a look at them. They certainly look the part. Class 101 in hair teasing and sock shoving has been taken….it was passed with flying colors.
That however, does not make them sound or look out dated. Not in the least. They look fresh and they have the most certain ability to dampen panties with the best of them.
Proven to be attention grabbing and well worth at least 40 minutes of any ones ear time, an affiliation with John Guarnieri, President of Fallen Blue, a charity organization for first responders, was formed after Guarnieri contacted Shockwave Magazine for contact details for the band. McKenney tells “after liking what he saw and heard, John quite urgently wanted to get in touch with us.” Were his panties damp? That information remains unspoken. Guarnieri became the Manager for King Belvedere shortly after contact between the two parties in early 2012.
Known for playing shows for charitable organisations, Livestrong to name just one, both Sexx and McKenney admit to “becoming emotional when they are asked to do charity work.” Sexx puts it like this; “there are literally thousands of other bands out there and people ask us. It is certainly humbling.” McKenney added. “It is fun to be able to give back.” He is well qualified to discuss charity on the highest level. He shared “I will always be a big supporter of the Red Cross. They were there for me after a house fire destroyed everything I owned. It was a very bad time and it definitely makes you re-evaluate what is important. Giving back is the least I can do.”
According to McKenney, his vocal career started when he would lip sync as a child with a tennis racket in front of a mirror in his bedroom. Not using a hairbrush obviously gave him an edge. If Sexx was doing similar to improve his percussive skills, one can only imagine the mess in the family kitchen after he finished beating every pot and pan available!
However, from these meagre beginnings comes progression. A press release that King Belvedere signed to Jam.Sync.Music was released on May 10th 2012.It is almost a given that meet and greet will continue be a huge part of what the band were, are and will become. Sexx will insist upon it. A big believer in keeping it real and involving the people that are essentially paying you to do what you do. Of course Sexx was bred into musicianship (Mom and Dad both musicians) and is a big music fan himself, so he just gets it.
We can expect to see a lot more of these self-confessed “Big clowns on a stage”. A third record is soon to be released following My Kinda Rock and Roll and will be, according to McKenney “full of melodies that make it work.”
Let’s just hope that Elvis is rocking n rolling in his hotel room in the sky!
Bring it boys….
By Karen G 11/05/2012 11:41:59 AM
Man accused of being an “Angry Midget” reveals his percussive genius
Headbangerwoman was lucky enough to recently attend a Godsmack show at Pearl Theater, in the Palms resort Las Vegas, USA.
Entry to the venue was smooth, merchandise purchase was easy and the drink line up was short. Suspicion at this point is on the increase.
The venue staff were friendly, seats were good, comfy, roomy, clean and there was even a drink holder in the right place!
Godsmack were late. No guest/support band on the roster and the singer was not in the mood for discussion on his arrival due to an “over indulgence of Tequila” pre-show.
Musically the band was tighter than a nuns rectum and the show was good. All the right songs were played and even after Tequila ingestion, Sully Erna; singer and his band never dropped a note.
The piece de resistance however came as Erna mounted a second drum kit for the drum solo, which obviously became a duel and beat it like it owed him money. Pure class. No fancy gimmicks, just pure percussive talent. It was a raw performance and Erna was and ripping it up.
Fantastic musicianship ensued at the hands of Shannon Larkin; drums and Erna, who was originally behind a kit before Godsmack made it big.
A good night out was had by all in a class resort and a beautiful part of the world. Entertaining and worth $60 of anyones hard earned cash, even if there was a pregnant pause.
Godsmack will headline the Rockstar Energy Drink Uproar Festival in 2012.
Get a ticket!
By Karen G May 8th 2012
Choice Of Weapon.
A Vocal Cult.
On a scale of One to Rock Star, music fans would probably award Ian Astbury, singer of The Cult, The Doors and again since 2006, The Cult, at least an 8.5.
Astbury would probably disagree. An unassuming, gently spoken and seemingly very spiritual soul, he would be content with listeners for his current Choice Of Weapon, his voice, fronting The Cult once again for this new release, due on May 22nd 2012.
The Cult have held onto audio that is reminiscent of sounds gone by and it would be hard not to with such a strong vocal presence. But Choice Of Weapon is current and new and there is an additional, spiritual and sometimes frighteningly dark edge.
“Buddhism would suggest no separation and no duality.” Astbury advised when questioned about a crossover, a not too noticeable Doors influence on the songs Pale Horse and This Night In The City Forever.
“Being that intimate with Ray (Manzarek) and Robbie (Kreiger), in that environment for such a long time, I am sure was influential. I did 150 shows with those guys, we played LA Woman (by The Doors) in its entirety for many shows. It is probably engrained in my DNA. Ray and Robbie created a ritual space. If you know anything about Shamanism you will know that they use drums to create an environment where you fall out of cognition into a more essential place.”
As the Doors influence is not glaringly obvious to an ear that is not attentive, it is apparent if close attention is paid, would this perhaps suggest a spiritual connect to Jim Morrisson?
“There is probably not a spiritual connection on a personal level. Morrisson was an intuitive individual. Ray, Robbie and John (Densmore) created a ritual space. They were defining the moment. It was a defined and refined space. In our culture if the power goes out in the City, people lose their shit. Everything requires constant definition in Western society. Ritual space is not an everyday occurrence. There was a specific intention to the space, they pushed Morrisson into that place. At one point I was like, WOW, I’m feeling what was going through him (Morrisson). Like a lightning rod, it was very powerful.”
Something else that is not glaringly obvious until you play the record a few times is the fact that it is seamless. It starts and it ends and then comes the need, perhaps even urgency, to re-listen. It could be likened to a state of hypnosis. “Then we have done our job.” Astbury confirms on the groups latest body of work.
Along with the spiritual feel there is a definite air of darkness and death on Choice Of Weapon. It has to be questioned, was Astbury perhaps dealing with his own mortality or confronting a fear of death going into writing for this record?
“I was going through a very challenging period. I was confronting my Dark Knight of the Soul. I did feel out of sync with my environment and the times I was living in. I felt a disconnect. After visits to Nepal and India where they have very full spiritual lives and give little thought to material possessions, then back to living in New York City where there is a rampant materialism, I developed a desire to better understand the cycle of life and soul. During that time I was also going through a very difficult relationship break-up and then a very, very, close, dear friend took his own life. Death is the great mystery. But here I am! There is now an awareness that I have, guided by Buddhism. I do not label myself, as Buddhist or as anything else. There are so many schools and degrees. It is all philosophy. I look to Buddhism for text and teachers for wisdom, along with some Western influence in the form of Paganism and several indigenous teachings.”
The indigenous referral has been around since the first Cult record, Dreamtime in 1984. Does this mean that Astbury is aware of a personal spirit guide? “It is possible.” There is not an instant denial about this. “I have felt a hand, a presence of energy that has guided me. There is an intuition out of a cognitive place. Rationalization perhaps nullifies it. If I do have access then I perhaps choose not to discuss it.” Of course there is a little way to go to a full admission also!
It is obvious that Astburys spiritual leanings are totally essential to the voice that he has developed over the last three decades, both as a very successful singer and as a spokesman in life. In this progression and accompanying that vocal development much sadness, loss, and happiness have occurred. Continuing with the progression of life and learning, Astbury, along the path of life became and remains a very proud father and he airs a particularly protective voice when he speaks of any children, not just his own. Life>;;;;Death is the song for the younger generation finding a path for their own life and the older generation realizing what has gone before and the things that can no longer be changed. Eerily accurate as a reminder of what was and what could be. Lyrically spine chilling if correctly absorbed. This song alone stands as a reminder of how The Cult became popular and why they remain influential and of the moment.
Where then can Astbury next expect to lend his Choice Of Weapon, either silently in the wings or vocally on the main stage? The track Ghost on the Slash release of April 2010, which also featured former Guns N Roses guitarist Izzy Stradlin, was a commercial success with the obvious vocal presence of Astbury in the vocal lead and although best known as the voice of The Cult, it would be a certain shame for this poignant voice to not have input on an artistic level in additional outlets. Astbury answers with a revelation when this is suggested. “I would love to do Opera, although it is an extremely disciplined genre. I did a little previously but it is a definite lifestyle change. Perhaps a little too much discipline required. I previously did some recording with Trent Reznor (Oscar winner and Nine Inch Nails frontman) but that has not seen the light of day. I think I would like to be part of a collaboration, I like working as part of a team. Film would definitely be something I am interested in though more in a Directional or Production capacity. Not for recognition, but because it is something I enjoy doing. As for singing, I admire Lady Gaga as an artist. She is an incredible talent. Pink also. I would work with either!”
Supporters of Astbury should then be on the look-out for this spiritual and philosophical man to just pop up anywhere and perhaps everywhere. A talent in more than one field and a man whose current Choice Of Weapon, his voice, should be listened to very closely and considered in a Cult like seriousness.
The Cult, Choice Of Weapon is scheduled for release on May 22nd 2012
The Cult will make an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel live May 18th 2012
The Cult segment on That Metal Show airs May 12th 2012
The Cult Official
EOne Music Canada
by Karen G May 8th 2012
Falling Red. Upstanding Rockers!
Once upon a time, close to a northern gas station in Carlisle, Cumbria, England, there were four twenty something blokes about to put fuel in their van. They had almost completed the long journey from Aberdeen in Scotland after playing a show and were tired and needed to pee. As they hit a set of red lights the van chugged, spluttered and cut out. No petrol, no power. Three blokes jumped out, pulling an already broken and bungeed door away from the van in totality and started to push the vehicle, door in hand. As the lights turned to green and the van fired up on fumes and set off, three blokes and a door hit the deck. Recovering themselves as best they could, they stumbled toward the gas outlet, a touch winded, hair tousled, make-up intact, skinny jeans a little dusty and a door, although even worse for wear, re-attachable with a good few kicks and more bungees to hold it in place. There was a minor back injury resulting from this particular attempt at machismo, but fortunately this story is nowhere close to… The End, more a case of…. To be continued.
Meet Falling Red, upstanding rock band, falling over!
Since 2006, Falling Red, have in one form or another, been standing tall on the UK rock scene and have toured the arse out of the UK and parts of Europe. Singer/guitarist Rozey and Shane Kirk formed the band and initially used a different name, which is long forgotten. But after a serious meeting and some big decisions being made, Falling Red was born. A few line-up changes in and Falling Red has the current roster of Rozey; lead vocal/lead guitar, Dave Sanders; drums, Jade Starr; guitar and Dann Marx; bass. This is the result of founding member Kirk and band mate Matty Penn retiring late in 2011, to concentrate on personal projects. “We really couldn’t believe they were leaving, we were at a total loss when they told us, to be honest.” Drummer, Sanders pulls no punches about the situation. “We had a really great year, things were on the up, they were starting to happen and we are just left with me and Rozey. We put an ad in the newspaper and from all the way across the other side of the country in Newcastle, we got a reply. These two guys came over to Carlisle and we jammed. As luck would have it they fit musically right away and I think you will agree from the new pictures that the look is right too.”
The new line-up will be touring the UK extensively in 2012 and while they will still be supporting the Hasta La Victoria Siempre EP (Rocksector Records, UK) released in April 2011, they have written and already begun to incorporate new material into live sets. A second full length CD to follow on from debut album Shake The Faith (2010) is possible in 2013. “There are new, different elements to the current new songs, but we are still Falling Red.” Sanders is totally full of enthusiasm about everything to do with the band.
In order to incorporate the new line-up into live shows, a few low key gigs were played in January. Results are in and are good. The band is all fired up for more live shows in the coming months.
2011 saw less road time for this Sleaze, Punk n Roll outfit, but Sanders explained the reasoning for this when he spoke with Headabangerwoman recently. “Because we worked our arses off on the road in previous years, we were able to choose better gigs with bigger headliners. Hard Rock Hell saw us play with the likes of Michael Monroe and Black Stone Cherry. We have done two tours with Vains of Jenna (alas no more) and we opened for Sebastian Bach (Ex-Skid Row vocal), but it meant less time on the road. During 2009/10 we probably did 150 plus shows a year. We missed the being on the road in 2011 and this year we hope to get out there a bit more.”
Falling Red were scheduled to play with headliners, Bullets and Octane in 2012, but that concert series was cancelled. Sanders fills in the gaps about the cancellation. “Our Manager and publicist, Raz White (Raz White Entertainment) made certain we lost nothing from the cancellations and due to his perseverance and business savvy, Falling Red will now be headlining shows on that tour. People in the business were impressed by our performance at Hard Rock Hell and other shows last year. On the back of that we have also just played second stage at Hammerfest with Anthrax and Skindred. Bullets and Octane will play later in the year!”
North America has not yet seen Falling Red live, but the band are not going to jump the gun. “We may do a mini tour in Florida and there about later in 2012, just to test the water. We have contacts in the area. Also Raz is in contact with Stevie Rachelle (Tuff) out in the US, so we may look into a visit out there in the near future.”
Self-described as a Sleaze, Punk n Roll band, Sanders explained the evolution of dress and attitude on the live circuit. “We were playing with other bands and they all looked the same. It started out with a little bit of eyeliner, then the skinny jeans were in stores again, and the hair just happened. We wanted a ‘dangerous’ look. We did this way before Black Veiled Brides. Of course some bands still sport the 80’s look, but it wasn’t for us and this just kind of evolved. We do get some strange looks from bystanders when we emerge from the van after a night on the road having not washed and we have panda eyes and lipstick on. But that’s what we do and you better get used to it!”
Message received, loud and clear. Falling Red is here and they look and sound dangerous. Just who’s lipstick is it, remains a mystery!
by Karen G aka Headbangerwoman 10 April 201220:41:45
You will need more than Pressure and Time to Rival these Sons
These LA boys are already showing they have what it takes to compete with the heavy weights.
Having supported Judas Priest, who Singer Jay Buchanan describes as “Good, kind people” and Queensryche in the UK recently, they return to the land of the Metal Head, hoping to receive another warm welcome, (the Brits were gracious enough to accept the band on previous visits) when they support Black Stone Cherry early in 2012.
But, before they return to the UK and after a very short visit to Canada, Buchanan, Scott Holiday: guitar, Robin Everhart: bass/piano and drummer Michael Miley are returning to the studio. Arlan Shierbaum plays Wurlitzer and B3 on track 4 and track 10 of Pressure and Time. Their last visit was fifteen days writing and laying down tracks and six mixing. Nothing was pre written, or even discussed for the last record before they went in to the studio and that is the direction the band intends to take once again! “Maybe someday we will do it differently” Buchanan told Headbangerwoman, “but these bands that spend seven months in the studio and another three to mix, that’s just balls. When you do that the songs lose their charm and don’t forget we have to play them every night and for long periods of time. This works for us right now, so that is what we are going to continue to do. Scott and I already have lots of ideas that we are eager to share for the next record.”
Nashville will be the birthplace of the next Rival Grand Sons and if they turn out to be anything as genetically perfect as Burn Down Los Angeles and Save Me from the last litter, this band will not be far away from world domination by the end of 2012!
So, if studio time is in February does that mean a record really soon? “We would love for that to happen, but it will not be likely, you know with everything involved and we are still supporting Pressure and Time.” While we are on the subject of the CD It would be rude not to ask about vocal influence. He cd gives everything from Rod Stewart to David Coverdale, Chris Robinson to Robert Plant. “There are some influences that are not incidental, but Eric Burden, you know, from the Animals, is my biggest influence” Buchanan shares.
The totally different sounds are what keep the whole CD so interesting. No one song is the same as another. There is a little disco vibe to keep it boogy and enough rock to make you nod your head without leaving you with lasting damage. That said, most readers are beyond that already!
Along with essential screetching guitar (the ghost of Hendrix riding it’s wammy bar) It is noted that the clothing adorning these four also has earlier influences. “We didn’t ever make a conscious descision to dress in a particular way,” Buchanan defends his style choices “We buy clothes and we do get clothes given to us by designers, but you know, being on the road, by the time you are half way through a tour it’s a down to putting your hand into a case, grabbing an item of clothing and doing the sniff test. You wear whatever has the better smell!” At this point It is probably time to thank God and Anderson Cooper (two years ago it would have been Oprah) that this is a phone interview, while the band is pointed in the direction of Camden Market and Carnaby Street!
It cannot go un-noticed that the artwork on the record cover for Pressure and Time is outstanding. “YES!! It is Storm Thorgerson” enthuses Buchanan and rightly so, “who wouldn’t want to work with him. He has worked with Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin after all. He was a little hard to track down though, but with the help of our record label Earache records, based in Nottingham, we eventually found him in South Africa and he was more than happy to work with us.” Buchanan would not share with me the story behind the design, however. “For that you will have to read the book” he suggests. OK, but only if you send Headbangerwoman a signed copy!
With the 2012 concert calendar quickly filling up, Rival Sons could soon be seen performing on a stage near you.
Incidentally, for those of you who are also gamers and want to try before you buy, license has been granted to Rock Band and Guitar Hero and for the more aggressive in our audience could soon be coming to a fighting game near you!
But be warned, this is a grown up band, best placed in front of an audience who get it musically and have left puberty behind the bike sheds, youth clubs and bus shelters.
Tags: Rival Sons, EOne Music Canada, Earache Records
by Karen G aka Headbangerwoman
10 April 2012 20:05:03
Vices and Virtues determine the Art of Dying
Part One: The singer is on his way!
It is a bitterly cold minus forty Celsius, snowy day in Edmonton, Alberta, but Headbangerwoman is having a warm and friendly chat with Greg Bradley, Guitarist and founding member of Vancouver based rock outfit Art of Dying. Lead Vocalist Jonny Hetherington will be joining us at a later date to give me a deeper insight into the band.
Bradley is quick to point out that it is also snowing in Vancouver. Headbangerwoman is quick to bring him back to reality by suggesting it is probably plus six Celsius in Vancouver.
He concedes with a laugh…
Art of Dying formed in 2004.
Singer, Jonny Hetherington was singing on the streets of Vancouver. Bradley, taking a stroll with friends, heard Hetherington’s (louder than a regular person) voice and followed the sound. What he found was the six foot something Hetherington, singing for his supper. The two, who incidentally both hail from Alberta, Canada, have been together since that first meeting and are also partners in their own Record label Thorny Bleeder Records. Thorny Bleeder is the label that the first Art of Dying record, Art of Dying was represented by, also based in Vancouver. Brian Thompson, a very well known (and highly commended) voice in the Canadian music industry is also a partner.
The current Art of Dying line up (since 2008) consists of Jonny Hetherington: Lead Vocals and shirtless Dude, Greg Bradley: Guitar and Non-fiery Redhead, Tavis Stanley: Guitar and sleeping in, Cale Gontier: Bass and all around good looking bloke and Jeff Brown: Drums and Shotgun!
Art of Dying are very well known in North America for touring with Disturbed, and are signed to the Reprise Intoxication (Warner) recording label of Dan Donegan and David Draiman (members of the aforementioned, but currently on hiatus, loud and bloody good at what they do, band).
The band name comes from the longer statement “The Art of Dying is my life to live.”
This basically explained means that we are all dying and we should make the most of life on that journey to death.
This band is doing just that!
Currently on a break from an almost full year of touring, when asked about the transition from touring on a mobile man cave to the static living of house dwelling, Bradley described the road and home as “completely different entities altogether. The road is a bizarre reality. You sleep in a bunk every night and you are in close quarters with ten or so other guys. At home you have space, you get to sleep in your own bed and focus on totally different demands. I wouldn’t say I prefer either. I love being out on the road and playing shows, but I love coming home and spending time with my family. At home you are not playing shows. There are pros and cons to everything you do.”
The reason for the almost full year of ‘Bus life’, was the release of the CD Vices and Virtues on March 22 2011.
Previous to 2011, the band members would use and drive themselves, in an RV whenever they were on the road. While they toured with (take a deep breath for this gob full) “The Rockstar Energy Drink Uproar Festival”, a large shiny bus was provided, but Bradley seemed unsure whether they would be treated to another such vehicle once the band hit the road again in 2012. “Busses are not cheap” he quipped.
Neither is Jack Daniels, \nd the question had to be asked about a recently viewed YouTube video, where Whiskey is being poured into the hands of the singer and then massaged into his hair!
Bradley laughed, as he explained “that was Cale (he is referring to the band’s Bassist, formerly with Canadian outfit Thornley) pouring Jack Daniels into the hands of Jonny. He does it every night, it’s his pre-show ritual”
Is this was possibly a waste of good alcohol?. “That and I don’t think I could stand up smelling JD in my hair every night. It works for him though,” he states with a chuckle. Again referring to Hetherington!
After spending a large period of time in Los Angeles and Chicago writing and recording at the tail end of 2010 and beginning of 2011, the Howard Benson produced record, Vices and Virtues was finally released to the Die Hards (as the Art of Dying fans have become affectionately known) and the work to promote began.
This is the second CD for the band, but the first on the Reprise Intoxication/Warner label.
Why have the songs Completely and I Will Be There been lyrically changed for production on Vices and Virtues? Both songs were also on the self- titled record.
“Some changes, though very minor, were needed on Vices and Virtues.” Bradley explained. “We were signed on the strength of these songs, the label really liked them, but at production if we thought changes were needed, we made those changes to improve songs for the record”
Vices and Virtues definately shows a grittier, heavier Art of Dying as a result of this.
In addition to the CD release, the song Get Thru This, penned by Hetherington in the Futon store in Vancouver where he worked, the day he found out his Father was sick with Cancer, was used by the WWE and also became part of the sound track on the Movie Transformers 3, Dark of the Moon.
Bradley explained “That is really good exposure for us. Facebook is kind of crazy for that too.” Art of Dying are currently close to 50,000 followers on the social network! “Our label and publishing company have pitched several more songs from the CD and there is current discussion over that, but I am not sure yet what shows and events they will be used on.”
Perhaps a move to the US was imminent? “We have talked about it” answered Bradley, “but we are all Canadian and we love Canada. Me, Jeff and Jonny all live in Vancouver and we spend so much time in the US on tour it is nice to come home to Canada”. He didn’t rule out a property purchase “somewhere in central US” in the future, but “retaining a home in Canada too.”
Bradley is the only member of the band that doesn’t sign his actual name when Autographing for Die Hards
He explained the reason for this. “When I started doing the autograph thing it just developed. Signing just my name didn’t represent the band, I wanted something more defined. I wanted to tie my name in with the band.”
To top his unique autographing style, he is the only red-haired member on the band. You have to wonder, does this make him more temperamental and fiery? “It’s the old cliche, ‘fiery redhead’, no, not really”, is the answer. “I’m actually the mellow one, the others are out of control.” he replied, with a hearty laugh, “I try to stay in control… I do have my moments!”
Bradley ewplained why the song Vices and Virtues didn’t make the cut onto the CD of the same name…
“Songs are being wood shedded for the next record, but it is unlikely that we will even start work on that before the end of this year. Vices and Virtues may or may not make it on to the next record, depending on the repertoire of material we have ready at that time. Most of 2012 will be spent supporting Vices and Virtues.”
Bradley also explained that discussions were not even happening at this point, when asked about further collaboration ideas for the next record. Adam Gontier, singer for Three Days Grace and incidental Cousin of Bass player Cale, was featured as a guest singer on the song Raining from the CD Vices and Virtues.
It is time for Headbangerwomans chitter chatter with Bradley to end, but before he goes off to pack his case for his next bus adventure with nine other fellas, we need to know what his Vices were. He laughed as he said “I’ve been trying to cut down my Vices all my life. Let’s just say my vices start with the bottle, I go too far in the moment and usually end up paying for it!”
Greg Bradley was courteous, friendly and well mannered during this interview, he didn’t go too far, no booze was harmed in the making of this article, but we still won’t be buying him a beer, just a precaution!
Die Trying was voted Tunelab Single of the year 2011
Die Trying was voted #16 for 2011 by Nikki Sixx (Motley Crue/ Sixx AM) on Sixx Sense
Art of Dying are currently on tour in the USA (April 10 2012)
New music by Art of Dying is coming in 2014
by Karen G aka Headbangerwoman 17th Jan 2012
Get a Slice of this Femme Fatale
When the question is; Who is Superman? The answer is obviously Clark Kent.
So, when the question is; Who is Superwoman? The answer must be Lorraine Lewis.
OK, so our Femme Fatale front woman cannot fly, but she looks good in underwear, beneath or over her clothes and her hair is a lot nicer than Kent’s! So what if her ability to fly failed. Lewis more than makes up for her lack of flight with her endless passion and enthusiasm. It is obvious that when this stuff was being added to DNA at conception, Lewis managed to get at least four times more than a regular Joe Blow. This gal could sell a totally mouldy loaf of bread to someone for $25 and still get a tip. She just oozes self-confidence and optimism. If you get close enough you can smell it. Of course Lewis also bagged a horny, sexy voice, a fabulous figure and great personality. Some people have all the luck, but some people also work their asses off to achieve and Lewis, however fortunate, is no shirker.
Fronting Femme Fatale, an otherwise all male band, with Rick Rael (Lewis’s brother) on bass, Bobby Murray; drums, Mazzi Rawd; guitar and Bill D’Angelo (deceased), took balls bigger than most of our readers will ever dream of having. Signed by MCA in 1987, the band had only one full CD release, aptly named Femme Fatale, from which came the singles, Waiting For The Big One and Falling In And Out Of Love. MTV loved the raunchy front woman and her hair band and Lewis was aired on full video rotation…. often! Frequently compared back in the day to the Vixen ladies, Lita Ford and Doro Pesch, Lewis could not only belt out a kick ass rock song, but she and her female peers were up against the best of the cock rockers and she could hold her own as one of the best in the business. Alas, the reign of Queen Lorraine was short lived at the helm of Femme Fatale, but Lewis was and still is a class act and for that very reason, she is still high on the list of people to contact when a female voice is needed for a singing project.
LA Guns have recently been in the studio and called Lewis to record with them on a song poised for a new release. When asked, Phil or Tracii? Lewis was quick and concise in her answer, “Team Phil (Lewis, no relation), every time. He is the voice of LA Guns, undeniably. Tracii (Guns) is great, but it is all about the voice in this game and you cannot deny that Phil just has it vocally. He was, is and always will be the voice of LA Guns.” Is it his quintessential Englishness perhaps? She went on to say, “music from that era, the mid to late 80’s is timeless, just like the look, the sound. Stacey (Blades) arrived at the studio in his big pink car one day, with a scarf around his head and one hanging from his waist. It definitely is in the genes, it never goes away. You gotta love it! ”
Blanca White also recently commissioned and utilized, among others such as Paul Shortino (Quiet Riot) and Jeff Paris (Cinderella) the unmistakable voice of Lewis on two songs for Resurgence Of Rock.
A projectspear headedand fundedby international lawyer Ken Savage and brothers Austin and Rick Schell. Music fans that had a determination to hear original old school rock and roll and who saw this two year project through to a sweet result. It would seem that Ms. Lewis’s voice is also standing the test of time, it is easily recognizable and it still able to make hot blooded men…. and women everywhere, stand to attention!
Lewis has of course has had her own music projects through the years and one of those, LA Nookie has featured such talent as Alex Kane (Marky Ramone) Lisa Leveridge (Courtney Love) Share Ross (Vixen) and there are possible plans for more from the outfit, with a possible appearance on drums from Roxy Pettrucci (Vixen). “What I would really like to see is for Roxy and the rest of Vixen to play together again, but it won’t happen. Jan Kuehnemund just won’t hear of it. I guess she is happy with doing her thing, but it’s a real Fucking tragedy.” The passion and love for her peers is just about brimming over when she talks about this. “I say what I think, always have. What is past is done, get over it. You know, people want to see these bands and you won’t get over shit that happened years and years ago, it’s so f*!king crazy!” Music really is the first love of her life and Lewis becomes animated and a touch crazy sounding when she talks about it, whether it is her project or another close to her heart, her allegiance lies deep.
But music is not all that superwoman is passionate about and Lewis wants to share the newest of her passions with anyone who will listen. “Two and a half years in planning, development and sales.” Lewis exhales. “I can finally announce the arrival of Ex-Wives Rock,which is a working title only at present, co-produced by myself and my best friend Lisa Brucker, with Tricon Films and Television, for the Slice Network in Canada. This is a reality show, starring Bobbie Brown (Jani Lane, deceased, former singer with Warrant ), Sharise Neil (Vince Neil, Motley Crue), Athena Lee (sister of Tommy Lee and ex-wife of The Scorpions, James Kottak) and Susan Blue Dixon (Jerry Dixon, Warrant).
Lewis revealed that “It was a big adjustment, being behind the camera. I love having my picture taken, I love being out there in front of people, in front of the camera, but as soon as I realised that I could show up to work in my Vans (tennis shoes) with my hair up in a pony-tail, that I was given a certain freedom and it was the cast that were in hair and make-up for hours. I liked that, it was a refreshing change. (She laughs out loud) The freedom didn’t stop anyone knowing who was in charge though.” In front of, or behind the camera, Lewis remains at the helm, always the star!
When you take a look at the previously mentioned cast, you will realise they, like Lewis, are really not in need of too much hair and make-up attention and Lewis’s maternal instinct, total adoration and enthusiasm for her girls animates her, when she explains her choice of ex-wives. “These girls owned the strip (Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, LA) back in the day. They had the look, the guys, oh, they just had it. So, having known each other for years and with each one having been married to and divorced from prominent rockers of the day, it was just a natural group to get together. You know, separately they are all mostly cool and collected, but throw these four girls together and things just get out of hand. It is pretty crazy.” When Lewis shared this with Headbangerwoman, she was waiting for a couple of shows to be released from post production. She had not seen anything totally finished, but the anticipation in her was un-believably evident. “This show is just going to make such great viewing. It has taken so much time and work, from everyone involved. I really was not aware of just how much time it would take, I was not really ready for it. I had actually got another project in the pipeline, then this project took over. It was so worth it.”
Sadly, Jani Lane, ex-husband of Bobbie Brown passed away while filming of Ex-Wives Rock was taking place. Lewis was unable to discuss this with Headbangerwoman. But it is possible that the show may have its very own Sex, Drugs and Rock n Roll, who dunnit, play out in front of millions of viewers? You will have to wait and watch to find out!
RIP Jani Lane(February 1, 1964 – August 11, 2011)
Not able to leave the music behind in totality while becoming involved in TV, Lewis, along with Lee and her son Miles Kottak, himself a drummer with LA outfit, Bad Suns, also put together a possible theme song for the show.
Ready for release in Canada in May 2012, viewers can expect to see a plethora of meltdowns, mystique and mayhem with added bitching, bums, boobs and Botox. But with a further three projects in the offing we can expect to see more Lewis produced TV in the not so distant future, so what about a visit from Femme Fatale? Is there time? “I just got my contract back from MCA (heartily laughing) my writing has not got much better and I am working on getting the masters from our recordings too. You know, we made a second record that was never released, so it would be great to release that. I would really like to update the sound to make it relevant to now, on the first record too. I don’t mean completely change the sound, but just use some of the technology we have available now to bring it into the present. Of course, 2013 sees the 25th anniversary of Femme, so we are already talking shows and line ups in anticipation of some live dates. It may happen sooner, but with my already crazy, busy schedule, it may have to wait just that little while longer and a 25th Anniversary would be a great time for things to happen with Femme.”
Maybe not so Superwoman, but she is still THE Femme Fatale!
Ex-Wives of Rock has just been granted a Season 3!!
TRICON Ex-Wives Rock
Resurgence of Rock
By Karen G 10 April 2012 6:37:43 PM
I Want It All………Before The Curtain
If you believe in the luck of the Irish, then you will almost certainly agree that Adam Haggarty, singer, guitarist and primary writer with Peterborough, Ontario band, Before The Curtain, has probably got a gaggle of Leprechauns hidden in his pants and his GPS has given him the location for the pot of gold at the bottom of the rainbow!
Haggarty has made a pretty unrealistic leap from obscurity, working in a recording studio for other people to make an extra buck, to crooning and shaking it for the masses, as the front man in Sludge Factory Recordsinaugural band!
Along with his brother Brett; drums, Tom Gardner; bass and backing vocals, Alan Riches; guitar and Jeffrey Danger; keys, synth, guitar and backing vocals, he is pre-loaded into the slingshot that is a CD release just waiting for Adam Gontier (Three Days Grace and Sludge Factory)Records) to let go, careening him and his band mates into the unsuspecting public of Ontario and beyond!
Before The Curtains first single I want it all, already available on iTunes, is dark, hard and gritty. “It really is the explanation behind the band, we want to do it all before the end, the final curtain.” Haggarty told listeners on a local Peterborough radio station The Wolf, recently.
Don’t expect too much more of the same sound on the full cd.
“A lot of the songs on the cd have baritone guitars, tuned down low. I love the big guitar sound, but I also love pop melody, I’m influenced by The Beatles, Def Leppard and a lot of 80’s music,” explains Haggarty when asked. “So much so, that while we were doing the tracking for the record I had pictures of John (Lennon) and Paul (McCartney), Lou Gramm, Brad Delp, Joe Elliott and even Jon Bon Jovi on the walls. We still have heavy, edgy music with a melody, but we want to give a positive message to listeners, so we tried not to make our songs too dark.” The main body of the CD will appeal to the masses on a greater level because of the positivity and pop melody inclusion and Haggarty expressed slight reservations on the choice of the first single because of this. “Sometimes I will hear a single and when I listen to the rest of the cd, it’s like WOW, there is some great stuff on here, and I can’t believe they released that one first.” True, these things factor into whether a listener will purchase, or not, but…. It is a pretty safe bet is it not, to assume that Gontier, a seasoned performer and a wealth of knowledge in the music business, both in Canada and further afield knows his rock n roll shit and would be unlikely to fluff it as far as a first release is concerned. Yes, is the answer? Gontier flew Haggarty out to Minnesota while Three Days Grace was on tour with Nickleback.To do that on the strength of a gut feeling, after hearing a demo that Haggarty had shared with bassist Gardner, a long- time friend and bassist in the first band of Gontier, must speak for itself.
Haggarty had already written many more songs in his free time while he was working in the studio in Kelowna, BC and before long a band was formed and a record was emerging. Gontier co-produced the record with Darren Grahn (who also mixed a couple of songs) and has had a hand in co-writing some of the material, but for the most part it is all Haggarty. Along with a friend, he had also recorded the music on the demo. The rest of the band just had to learn it! With only the artwork to complete, a full record, as yet un-named, should be on its way to your local music outlet (and iTunes) in late spring or early summer 2012.
When asked about the influence of Gontier on the band Haggarty was extremely generous. “I was honoured, scared and shocked when Tommy (Gardner) first texted me to tell me the Adam (Gontier) really liked my demo. I have a lot of respect for him; he is a huge name in rock and a great mentor to have. When I was in the studio with him, he knew exactly what buttons to push and when, to get the best from me vocally. I have already learned a lot from him and there is a lot more to learn.”
Haggerty shares that; “through these lessons learned comes the reinforcement that if you have a dream and you want it, go and do it, be positive and listen to the message of hope through the music!”
Alternatively take a lesson or two from the residents of The Emerald Isle. Drink green beer, celebrate St Patrick’s Day and grab yourself a four leafed clover or three.…
It would seem that Haggarty already has the upper hand; the conclusion of this article has proven that in his possession he has at least five Leprechauns and two boxes of Lucky Charms!
9 April 2012 4:26:56 PM
By Karen G aka Headbangerwoman
Greater Than Giants……….
Bigger than Busted?
Hiatus is a dirty word and in the case of our local boys, Greater Than Giants, it almost translated to done and dusted. Fortunately for those of you with a Punk Pop craving and a need for an edgy, yet melodic drum sound, Greater Than Giants survived a hiatus and came back larger than life!
Drummer, Tim Wilson explained recently, “We had been jamming together since 2008 and then our guitarist quit for medical school. We would find a replacement who was great as a person, but did not fit musically, then we would find a great musical dude who was not so great as a person. We even found a few who were just not great in either capacity!” He laughs, but it is half hearted. “It just was not working out. It was great that Matt (Baron, the original guitarist) was going to school, but it was a difficult time for us. We had independently released a record While We’re Young in 2010 and it was starting to take us places, it seemed like it could be the end. We decide to take a break.”
In January 2011, five months into the hiatus Tim found his inner gung ho and gathered the remaining band members back together. They all agreed that this was still worth a serious shot and that none of them really wanted to spend the rest of their lives doing “serious jobs,” so they tirelessly auditioned for a guitarist and in March 2011, found perfect fit dude in Wayne McClellan.
Currently Greater Than Giants is Tim Wilson; drums, Wayne McClellan; guitar, Tyler Cerda; vocals and Ryan Brodziak; bass and TJ Day; guitar.
Listing New Found Glory, The Fullblast, Starting Line, Bouncing Souls, Strike Anywhere and Deaner as influences and ripping out a sound similar to early Blink 182 and Busted, these up and coming punksters are worth $10 of any ones hard earned dollars in cover and an hour of your time on any given evening.
March 14th 2012 will see these boys play Pawnshop on Whyte Avenue, in their home town of Edmonton, before setting off on the road once again in a lovingly used (full of crap) 15 seat mini-van, to do a mini tour with Acres Of Lions, whilst eating more value meals, chuggging 40’s and peeing into bottles, on their way to the Canadian Music Festival in Toronto, Ontario (March 17-25).
On return to Edmonton life continues at break neck speed and the band will put the finishing touches to an EP, aptly named Never Growing Up, for release (tentative) by the end of April. A second EP, as yet un-named, is scheduled for release in Fall 2012. “We are kind of following the minimalist mode of marketing and promotions, in that we never release a full record, only singles. We want to give our followers a little more but not too much, so that they are left wanting a little more. It seems to work for others” shared Wilson, hopeful that advice offered by someone with a little more business experience, will work for his project too.
What also seems to work to the advantage of others is social media. A forum to which this talented group of musicians are no strangers. With almost 2,000 followers on Facebook to date, word is getting out and hard work is paying off, but we all know it is good to share. Look up Greater Than Giants, purchase their wares and share them with your friends, neighbours and your hair stylist.
Greater Than Giants are alas, no more. They said goodbye in early 2014!
By Karen G aka Headbangerwoman March 2012
Playing Wild In The Street
There are places in New York City that you would not want to be. Dark alleys, small side roads and dirt tracks that all have a dodgy reputation, they are not well lit and could be home to trash bags full of, well who knows. But we reckon you would be OK hanging around this Wildstreet. They are fairly reputable, well lit and full of entertainment, if not slightly trashy in appearance.
When Headbangerwoman caught up with them, Wildstreet were literally hanging out on the streets in the back of a van, after just completing a twenty hour drive through the night and across a vast expanse of the USA to get home to New York. A mini tour; six live shows in ten days, had preceded the arduous drive and Ali Hassan; bass and Eric Jayk; lead vocal were obviously flagging. Brian Beck; drums and guitarists; Ian MacPherson and Aaron Joos were presumed sleeping at this time!
“We have been working as we travelled, in addition to playing live, writing and demo-ing, that kind of thing.” Hassan, who apparently never stops working, told Screamer. “I will be doing some more of the same as soon as I get home.” “On top of that we have more live shows already scheduled for this year, 2012.” A phased sounding Jayk added. “2012 will be our fifth Rocklahoma appearance, where in previous years, we have shared a stage with the likes of ZZ Top, Godsmack and Buckcherry and we will be playing shows in and around the mid-West and Texas close to that show. We are lending our support to A.J. Pero (Twisted Sister) at ‘Fallen Blue’, a benefit for fallen officers of the US Police Force and their families too. That is coming up in Baltimore, Maryland on May 9th 2012.”
Wildstreet describe the music they play as Universal. “We have several generations attending our shows. We make music for all ages.” Urges Jayk. With a look very similar to that of 1988 hair metal bands, some would be not altogether encouraged by that statement and Jayk is insistent that his look came a good time prior to an introduction to Hanoi Rocks frontman and solo artist Michael Monroe. “I am honoured to think that people compare me, Michael is a great artist, but my look is just a personal evolution.” Jayks demeanour is lifted mometarily from his apparent exhaustion. Wildstreet do play fist pumping, rocking tunes. They have the theatrical element and the look is interesting and eye catching. There is not so much in the way of aggression and blasphemy. Why then do they remain un-signed?
“We are waiting for the right offer from the right label. When it comes along we will consider it. Until then we remain independent.” Jayk is adamant in his stance on this.
Un-deterred by the independent status, tracks from Wildstreet II: …Faster….Louder, a follow up to The Retrospect Records EP Wildstreet, released in 2009, have received airplay on TBS, E!, MTV and a personal appearance on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon is in the bag.
There is a real possibility of a full length cd close to Fall 2012 and more live shows to be announced for the year very soon. This, providing Hassan does not take a third job selling hot dogs on the street corners of NYC.
Drummer Brian Beck parted company, on good terms with Wildstreet only a few days after this interview and while they have a temporary replacement, the band is presently auditioning for a permanent drummer. firstname.lastname@example.org
By Karen G aka Headbangerwoman 9 April 2012 16:19:29
SLAM CARTEL are being Fruity!
Terence Warville tells it….
Accomplished musicians all and used to a life on the road, Slam Cartel is relatively new and not so widely known. Can you give a little background on how the current group was born and where you are heading?
The current Slam Cartel, Giles Van Lane: vocal, Adam Lee and Tom Hendriksen: guitar, Marc Neudeck: bass, Steve Campkin: drums and myself on guitar, was born from an idea of an ideal, we pretty much have that now. We get on with each other and what we do, the band line up has taken a few tweaks to get where we are, but it seems we have found the right chemistry to produce the show we enjoy to play. We are all different people that like different things, playing live is our common ground, it works!
We have all been in other bands before Slam Cartel and all have stories to tell, but great memories of this band are being made now. Great memories include releasing our first single Wishing Eye and getting it played on radio, then the release of our album Handful of Dreams, which was critically acclaimed. It’s amazing that we are being picked up on peoples radar, there’s the Sonisphere shows, the second single, so many things are creating memories at the moment it’s incredible.
Do you find that London, in fact the UK as a whole restricts you as a national/international group? History and experience dictates that a US band will play the UK, but not so much in the reverse!
Yes, yes and yes!! It is, for some reason hard to break as a rock band in the UK, there doesn’t seem to be the support from record companies despite there being an absolutely huge rock following here. It seems that there is no risk factor if they put their money on some fabricated shit, anyway, despite this we like what we do and carry on.
Twitter was the medium where Headbangerwoman discovered Slam Cartel . Where else can we find the band?
Your music is edgy and hard, but not too fast. Metallica broke through into the mainstream with the Black album, which had a similar feel. Do you feel that you have a select fan base, or that you are suitable listening for the masses?
Well we look at the demographic of our fan base and they seem to cross the board from 6yrs old to 72yrs old. People like to pigeon hole bands, but we seem to be liked by a vast amount of people with differences of music taste and opinion. We are not trying to copy or sway to please, we do what we do and just hope someone out there enjoys it. We don’t try and be the crowd we are playing to.
The Album is available on many digital platforms and the hard copy can be purchased at Amazon.com
Nah! We have Bobb the pineapple that travels with us and gets photographed everywhere we go. It is a real pineapple…don’t ask!
Do you feel that as older musicians you have a clearer idea on marketing, brand and world domination?
Not sure if we have a better idea but we like what we are doing at the moment, it’s what we do. As for age? It’s what we are, that, we have no choice over, nor do we or care about it.
How many days a week do you go to the local greasy spoon? Bacon or Sausage? Tea or Coffee?
Tea in a cup with a saucer and bacon sandwiches with HP brown sauce!! Very English I know!