fredagen den 29:e juni 2012

Oscar skriver bok om Hammerfall!













Från pressreleasen:

"Grundaren och gitarristen Oscar Dronjak har påbörjat arbetet med att författa biografin för Sveriges största Heavy Metalband, HammerFall. Verket publiceras hösten 2013, lagom till bandets 20-årsjubileum. - HammerFall har en väldigt händelserik historia, och det känns jättekul att få lov att sätta den på pränt, säger Oscar. Den 15-åriga berg-och-dalbana vi varit på sen skivdebuten 1997 kommer att bli spännande att återuppleva, och det känns självklart att göra det tillsammans med Kalla Kulor Förlag.
- Jag är otroligt lycklig och stolt över att få vara en del av detta, säger förlagschefen Hans-Olov Öberg. HammerFall tillhör de stora svenska rockbanden och har gjort sin grej med finess och konsekvens på ett sätt som förtjänar all respekt."

Så här sa Oscar när jag träffade honom på Metaltown:

Vad händer härnäst då?

Oscar: Vi ska faktiskt ta en paus på nästan två år eller ett och ett halvt i varje fall. Planen är den att det här året händer det inget mer efter augusti och sedan hela nästa år så ska vi inte göra någonting. Inga gig eller så och sedan är tanken att det ska komma en ny skiva 2014.
Jag ska skriva en bok om Hammerfall och det blev klart för några dagar sedan. Vi har pratat om det ett tag. Vi firar ju 15-årsjubiléum som skivartist i år och nästa år firar vi 20-årsjubiléum som existerande band, så det finns mycket att ta av. Vi har ju gjort en jävla massa grejer som kanske är kul för folk att läsa om. Jag tänkte att jag skulle författa det ur mina ögon, så ser jag på tiden med Hammerfall.

Tar du hjälp av någon annan?

Oscar: Självklart... men nej, inte så. Absolut inte. Jag skriver det själv. Det skulle aldrig falla mig in att ta hjälp av någon annan eller det skulle jag väl så klart, men jag vill inte. Jag tycker det är roligt att skriva och jag är ganska bra på det också, vad gäller att formulera mig och så. Sedan får man ju se hur det är att skriva en hel bok. Jag tror att om man tycker något är jättekul och man inte är helt ute och cyklar eller är uppe i molnen... för jag kommer ju få hjälp av förlaget så klart, då tror jag att om man brinner för något så tror jag att det funkar. Det var ju så vi startade Hammerfall. Det vara bara "Vi tror stenhårt på det här, skit i allt annat!" och så blev det något av det.

Är det bara tänkt för svenska marknaden?

Oscar: Den ska skrivas på svenska och det är grunden, men jag har pratat med fölaget och det är också medvetna om att vi har en väldigt bred fanbas i många länder, så en översättning till engelska viil de också men det kommer ju inte ske i första steget. Först vill de väl se hur det går, men jag tror att den borde översättas till tyska också för vi har en rätt stor marknad i Tyskland och vi har pratat om det, men det är bara löst snack än så länge.

Blir det berättat i kronologisk form eller?

Oscar: Ja, jag är en... jag tycker att det är väldigt viktigt. Jag gillar inte att hoppa fram och tillbaka och det går inte i en biografi som täcker 15 år. Det måste vara kronologi i det hela, så det kommer att bli en... "comprehensive study" brukar man ju säga på engelska. Jag gillar statistik också och håller koll på mycket sådant. Det ska vara rätt. Biografin på vår hemsida, om den finns kvar, har ju jag skrivit och den är ju på 10 kapitel eller så. Det är fakta och står det där så stämmer det och så är det tänkt att boken ska vara.

Hela intervjun kommer längre fram.


/Niclas
Marty Van Halen!


















Jag måste erkänna att jag alltid undrat över om det verkligen var Eddie Van Halen som spelar det där solot i "Tillbaka till framtiden", när Marty McFly leker rymdmänniska och slänger i en kassett i sin Walkman? Jag var 14 år gammal när jag såg filmen på bio i Helsingborg och även om jag då inte hade full koll på allt, så visste jag så mycket att det inte var ett solo från en sång med Van Halen.
Nu är det klarlagt. Det var tydligen Eddie.

Från TMZ.com

"Eddie Van Halen swears ... it was really him shredding guitar in that famous scene from "Back to the Future" -- when Marty McFly pops a cassette tape into his walkman ... and blows out his father's eardrums. Don't pretend like you forgot -- Marty puts on that radiation suit and wakes his dad up with a Van Halen cassette tape, saying, "Silence earthling." IT'S CLASSIC!!! Okay fine, here's the clip. In the movie, the tape says "Edward Van Halen" on it -- but there's been a lot of speculation over the years about what song it was ... and whether it was even Eddie playing the music ... but yesterday in L.A., the rock legend put the rumors to rest. Eddie insists it WAS really him on the tape -- but as for whether the guitar lick was part of a real song ... Eddie said it was him "just playing a bunch of noise." So there you have it. Still awesome."

Klipp med Eddie HÄR

/Niclas
Tengner läser.
























I väntan på Tengners bok om Yngwie kan man ju alltid läsa om hans första bok eller kanske till och med lyssna på Anders när han läser Tengners bok. I varje fall tre kapitel. De om KISS, Guns N´Roses och Deep Purple.

Finns att ladda ner HÄR

/Niclas

torsdagen den 28:e juni 2012

Intervju med Matt Heafy i Trivium!















Första intervjun på Metaltown efter min svettiga felkörning, blev Matt i Trivium som började med hälsningsfraser på ganska klockren svenska. Det blev ett samtal i gassande sol om bl a kommande plattan, mat, Anthony Bourdain och nya tider.

How much longer are you gonna keep touring for this album?

Matt Heafy: Man, we´ve been touring since a couple of months before “In waves” came out and we´ll be on tour till pretty much the end of December. That´s about a year and a half straight essentially for “In waves”, so this year is 10 or 11 months on the road out of 12, but we can see the results of our hard work. We got to the stage about 15 minutes before our set and the crowd was chanting for about 15 minutes. I remember the first time we played Sweden and no one had any idea of who we were and the next couple of times we played with Iron Maiden three night in a row and I remember the crowd just kinda staring at us going “Why are you playing?”. Now days we come out and it´s like our second home. I told the crowd today that this city specifically, Göteborg, has a very legendary name for any metal band outside of Sweden. Some of the greatest metal bands ever have come out of here, In Flames, At the Gates, and if you wanna count the country of Sweden there´s also Meshuggah, Mörk Gryning, Dissection and Dark Tarnquility. The list keeps going on. I was bred off of melodic death metal. Like I got to Metallica and Pantera first and then my obsession was melodic death metal and black metal was also an obsession. I found out that some killer black metal bands came from Sweden as well like Dissection and Dark Funeral and Mörk Gryning and it´s just such a cool place for a metal head to be. And Opeth is another band..

I love Opeth!

MH: Yeah, “Blackwater park” is probably one of my top 10 favorite records ever.

It´ll be interesting to see what they do with their next album. If they´re gonna stay “soft” or…

MH: I love the last album! “Blackwater park” is my favorite, but I love the last one!

Since you´ve toured for so long now, are you already planning new stuff, coming up with riffs for the next album?

MH: We have nine songs pretty much completely recorded as preproduction, recorded on our bass player´s laptop and it actually sounds better than our first record. Paolo´s really good at recording shit. It´s all programmed drums, but programmed in a way that Paolo programmed the bass part, like the underlying drum tracks and Nick would sit with him and rewrite them, but on the computer. We tracked guitars, we tracked bass and we´re gonna track vocals soon, we tracked solos and I´ve got an album title, album arts, song names. We´ve got about 15 songs and everything´s planned out. Video ideas, photo shoot ideas, everything. But we just can´t reveal anything.

Of course. All of this done on the road?

MH: Yes. On the road amidst everything.

I talk to a lot of bands and it´s really funny because a lot of people say that thay can´t really write when they´re on the road and they need their break in between tours.

MH: There´s only like an hour of work a day. We played for 45 minutes today, one interview and that´s an hour and that leaves all this other time where you can be constructive. Festival sites are different obviously, but when we do tours where we´re in cities, my main thing is to eat the food. My main thing is to go out and eat what the locals eat, see what the locals see and drink what the locals drink. I´ve got a food blog now. It´s kiichichaos.com. It´s broken up by the senses, touch, taste, see, smell, hear. Hear is a music blog where I just do random sounds or music, See is my photography and just random photos of stuff I see in the world, Taste is food and the other two are kinda difficult. Smell is pictures of my dog and Touch is just the social networking. There´s guest stars and such. Robb Flynn was in one, Dave Drainman was in one. I´ve got one with Jesse Leech coming out soon and Corey Taylor coming out soon. It´s just like “I love food, let´s go eat!”.

So it´s back to 2112 tonight then?

MH: Last night. I wish we could´ve gone today but we were there last night and had six too many pints of beer.

Is it good?

MH: Yeah, it´s fantastic!

Not just good because you´re friends with them?

MH: No. I´m really constructive and really picky with food. Not that I´m a food snob because I will take grandma food, street car cooking and alleyway cooking over something fancy. What´s awesome about 2112 is… what´s hard for me is naming what genre of restaurant it is since it´s in Sweden, but in America, if that place was American, it would be considered New American, which is one of my favorite genre of food in the US. What that is, is old traditional like European influence traditional in the States, but done with like a modern twist. Essentially I guess you could call it New Swedish. Maybe Swedish classical dishes but done in a modern way.

Seems like you have tons of energy. Where do you get that from?

MH: I have no idea. There are so many bands I wanna see today. I´m so excited. Hypocrisy is playing, which I´m stoked about. I don´t know. Today was just such a good show that I really fed off the crowd today and even though we´ve been out nonstop it´s like… when something like that happens and yesterday at night we had all of Trivium, most of In Flames, our entire crew and a bunch of kids that were coming to the show, all hanging out, so it was really fun.

Still, being on the road for such a long time, isn´t it hard finding constructive things to do, since you come into a new town, you wait, you play…?

MH: On a festival it´s a little bit more difficult than in a city. I guess three days ago, we were in Brno, Czech Republic for two days in a row so I got to eat and sightsee. Every single meal I had was amazing! I just asked locals where to eat, where to drink and go to all of their local sights and the next thing you know, the day is over. Same thing in Poznan, Poland. I love Poland! I love the food there, love the booze there and the people. Some good friends there got to take me to the best restaurants and then we came over here to Gothenburg. I try to make it every single day. Ideally every day, I´ll go out once or twice a day to eat and drink.

Are you a fan of Anthony Bourdain?

MH: Yes! He´s the reason why I do this. He is my Metallica of writing and food. Some day we will bring him on tour or to Florida, that´s my goal.

Yeah, because he just did a show with The Black Keyes.

MH: Yeah, I saw that and was a little bit jealous. (laughs) They´re way, way bigger than us. We´re trying man, we´re trying.

Cool! How was the tour with In Flames and … was that the one with Ghost?

MH: Yeah, in Europe. It was like In Flames, Trivium, Ghost, Incense and Rise to Remain. It was fantastic man! Dude, 8000 + people in Gothenburg. In Flames is such a band like, I wouldn´t be here if I didn´t get into them. I wouldn´t be here right now. I was able to watch from the soundboard and see that metal is alive and well and that 8000 people will show up for what I consider one of the best bands and who are our friends, it was good.

Did you get to see Ghost without the makeup? (laughs)

MH: I won´t reveal what they look like. (laughs) They´re well dressed, good looking men, in a totally platonic way. (laughs)

Next album then, when it comes to producing, same thing as the last one?

MH: We don´t exactly know. We´ve got the plan, but we can´t reveal. It´s also kinda far to tell, but it will be different again. The new stuff sounds amazing and I know every bands says that, but yeah, it´s really great. The fact that we´re all working on it so much already, we know that it´s something really special.

Do you ever write stuff that you feel is not Trivium material, but might fit for something else? Have you ever thought of doing something outside of Trivium just by yourself?

MH: I mean, that´s a little bit of what the blog is. I write about stuff and I write about food and photograph and also do sounds and stuff. The music that is on there… back when I was 16 I was in a tech death metal band called Capharnaum and I was also in Trivium and before that I was in a black metal band called Mindscar. At that time EMO started surfacing and I was like “I can do this with my fucking arms tied behind my back!”, so in an hour I wrote, recorded and played everything and made up a band name, this fake EMO band called Tomorrow is Monday and it´s on that site so it´s that kinda shit and I can take a piss at it. Musically the other stuff that I write that doesn´t work in Trivium, yeah I´ve got a bunch but I don´t know where it´s gonna go to. I don´t know.

Right. Do you ever get writer´s block?

MH: With Trivium, yeah yeah. Luckily we´re not on what needs to be considered writing time. We don´t have to write for the new record but since creativity is popping up anyway we figured we´d take advantage of it. Whenever we´re forced to write, I feel like “Yeah, I can´t write.”, but if I don´t have to write, then I´ll write good stuff.

Releasing a new album and the music industry being what it is, don´t you ever fell like starting up a label of your own?

MH: Our initial contract with Roadrunner is like one with a bunch of options so we´re still bound to them. We´ve always been partners with our label and they´ve always done a great job distributing us and spreading the word of our band. I don´t know where it´s gonna go. Every year that we release a new record, the music industry changes drastically. Every time we release a CD it seems like the CD buying is 30% less. We just had 40 of our friends fired from Roadrunner International and that was a huge drag. I don´t know what the result of it is. I´m sure it´s a domino effect of people not buying music, people not putting value in music anymore, but it´s hard to bring that up because people take a lot of offense of that, but it´s true. Because there is no value in music for some people and they feel like it should be a free commodity, bands are disappearing. People can´t argue that bands aren´t disappearing, that bands aren´t going away because they can´t afford to exist. That´s why we´re so fortunate that we can tour this much. Everything is disposable and instantly accessible and it´s sad that there isn´t value in going to the CD store and waiting for the CD to come out. It´s all about “I need this instantly and if I don´t get if for free, that band´s a dick!”. I don´t know when that sense of entitlement came around and I think it´s mainly due to the internet thing becoming such a huge thing. It´s unfortunate but you have to adapt with the times. I mean, there isn´t really a matter of changing it, but you have to adapt and make it work for you. We´ve learned that cool metal doesn´t sell records, but I think it´s because people weren´t really buying music when we started releasing records and I guess there are 100 times more metal bands than there were back when Testament and Megadeth were selling records. I don´t know, but I know that touring and merchandise is the way for us to be able to stay alive, even though people get cuts of that that we do. I don´t know if the kids know, but there are lots and lots of people getting cuts of every single thing that a band does. Their merchandising, their touring, their endorsements… people get cuts of all that.

I don´t think they see that. They only see all these rappers with the houses and the cars.

MH: Exactly! The kids go “So what´s it like being a millionaire?” and I´m like “Are you kidding me? I´m trying to make my fucking rent, kid!”. (laughs) But what I´ve learned too is that when touring in the US, there´s a huge chunk that doesn´t listen to the internet or that doesn´t download, but listens purely off the radio and still buys CD´s, so there are portions of the world that are not connected to the internet and that´s also weird. There´s no right way and there´s no formula, you just gotta adapt.

True. Ever thought of recording in Gothenburg? At IF studios?

MH: Hhmmm, man. You know, actually when we got signed to Lifeforce, one of the initial people that was presented to produce was Anders Fridén, but it ended not working out. We weren´t able to fund flying over here.

Alright. Well, thank you Matt!

MH: Thank you!

/Niclas
Rock Science ger ut nytt spel!



















Folket bakom det populära spelet Rock Science har slagit ihop sina påsar med självaste Marshall. Nu blir det "one louder" på riktigt.

"Rock Science gör Hyllningsspel till Marshall.
Rock Science, århundradets rockspel, slår sig ihop med Marshall Amps för att göra ett brädspel som hyllar dess historia och "50 years of loud". De senaste uppdateringarna om utvecklingen hittas på www.marshallgame.com
Var med i utvecklingen av Marshallspelet! På hemsidan samlar vi de bästa historierna, myterna, citaten och faktan. Marshallfans kan rösta på vad de vill se i spelet, och skicka in sina egna triviafrågor och få dem tryckta i spelet. För de som vill engagera sig mer finns även guider och tips på hur man skriver frågor.
Rock Science – århundradets rockspel Rock Science är ett nytt brädspel som släpptes i december 2011. Det är gjort av rockers, för rockers och handlar helt och hållet om rock- och metalkunskap. Målet var att göra alla rockers heta argumentationer om musik på puben till ett spel som levererar unik underhållning och håller länge.
Marshallspelet kommer att släppas under 2012."

/Niclas
PJ 20 på SVT!


















SVT kan man alltid lita på. Nu på lördag ser ni till att bänka er framför dumburken kl. 23:10 för då har statstelevisionen den goda smaken att visa den hyllade dokumentären signerad Cameron Crowe. Själv har jag inte sett den så det blir till att öppna upp en iskall Heineken och avnjuta dokumentären i stillhet.

/Niclas 

onsdagen den 27:e juni 2012

Klipp från dokumentären om Mudhoney.



Me like.

/Niclas
Rollins is at it again.



















Att mannen orkar! Rollins ger sig ut på en turné där han besöker huvudstaden i alla 50 stater. Först ut är Honolulu, Hawaii och sista stoppet blir Washington DC dagen innan valet.

Mer info HÄR

/Niclas

Intervju med Bill Kelliher i Mastodon!

















Sista dagen på Metaltown satte jag mig ner i cateringtältet sent på eftermiddagen med Bill för dagens sista intervju. Det blev bl a lite snack om nästa platta, turnerandet och kanske framtida samarbeten med svenska band och en eventuell livedvd från London.

Bill Kelliher: Is it typically rainy here in the summer?

Usually in the beginning of summer it can be really crappy weather. You never know. Swedish weather is pretty unpredictable sometimes.

BK: The rain sure makes the coffee taste better, I know that much. (laughs)

But isn´t Atlanta kinda like this or is it more that it´s really hot?

BK: Atlanta is really hot and humid in the summer. In the winter it´s really rainy and floodish. A lot of water. It´s brutally hot in the summer. You can´t be outside, but there are a lot of lakes and once you get out to a lake you´re fine. I live in the city and there´s pools and stuff, but you basically stay in your house with the AC on. It´s nice. I used to live in New York where it was like this all the time and in the winter it´s snowy.

How much more touring are you gonna do for this album? Are you kinda wrapping things up?

BK: Yeah, we´re kinda wrapping things up. To me it seems like it´s been kind of a fast year. The record came out in September last year and then we did a European tour, a US tour, an Australian tour… what else have we done? We´ve done two US tours. We´ve been touring a lot. I think we´ve been touring since September or October last year and we´ve pretty much only had a month off since then. We were home for Christmas for two weeks.

Are you gonna keep going until Christmas?

BK: We go home in two weeks and then we do two festivals in Canada at the end of July and then we Reading and Leeds and that´s all we´ve got planned. We might go to South America with Slayer, but we´re not sure yet. That´s really all we have planned right now. It´s pretty much winding down. We´ve toured a lot for the record so, you know… for me it´s about time to go home and get some rest and relaxation. Get back in touch with my family and start writing the new record and do it all over again next year I guess.

Does that ever get tiring and repetitive? You do an album then tour and then another album and so on.

BK: Yeah, but that´s the line of work I´m in. I can´t really bitch and complain about it. What else would I rather be doing? I don´t know! I play my guitar every day and I know how to do that. I can do that and I´ve been doing it for a long time and I enjoy doing that. It´s all in how you look at it. If you look at the big picture, there are people that don´t have jobs, there are people that hate their jobs and people that can´t work because they have bad health or what not, so we´re very lucky to be able to do what we´re doing. Do it for so long and still be relevant in this day and age of… just fucking everybody´s in a band! There´s bands everywhere all the time and we´ve created such a good fan base, you know, thank you to all our fans, that we´re able to keep on doing this. We´re able to play festivals and make enough money to let us fly overseas and be here on this lovely day in Gothenburg. (laughs)

Do you already have ideas and riffs for the next album?

BK: Yeah! For me, I´ve spent a lot of time this last year studying my Pro Tools rig and trying to learn how to record stuff. I have it on my laptop and I´ve had it for years and I´m finally really spending time every day on tour… when you´re on the road… for people that don´t tour and they´re just at home wondering what a typical day is like, it´s all about getting to the venue and you sit around for about 15 hours and then you play the gig and then you either go to bed or stay up and party and do it all over again every day, so there´s a lot of time to do nothing, to reflect, to write. For me, I´ve been trying to incorporate that in every day writing. Trying to write a riff a day, record it and that way when I get home, I won´t have to try it to work because I don´t have time when I´m home. When I´m at home I have two kids, two dogs, a wife, three cars, kids to make breakfast for, school to take them to, soccer practice, karate class and they like to go fishing. The kids come first so I can´t just sit in my room and play guitar. My wife would be like “What the hell are you doing? Put the guitar down!” and I´m like “Well, I´m having a creative moment.” And she´d go “Well, have your creative moment later!”. (laughs) When they go to bed, I have my little office set up and I´ll play a little bit at home but usually when I´m at home I don´t wanna… I don´t know. I wanna use my time as best I can. So to answer your question… I´ve had a lot of coffee today. (laughs) I´ve been writing a lot of stuff and if it doesn´t make it onto the record it´s ok. It´s just a riff and I´ll write something else. What we usually do in Mastodon is that all of us write independently and when it´s time to go “Hey, let´s get down to practice space! We need to write some new stuff. What have you got?”. Brent will come out “Well, I´ve got this riff.” And I´ll pull out some riffs. Sometimes it might be a riff that I wrote five years ago and it just didn´t make it on any record. For “The Hunter”, a lot of those riffs and some of those songs, I always had but they never made it on “Blood mountain” or “Crack the skye”. I´ll say “Hey, this riff fits there!” and there you go. For me it´s the more you write… you just keep writing and writing and then you remember where the thing is and you say “We´ll take this riff and put that in there and see if it´s time for that riff to come out of hiding and show itself.”.

When you write, do you consciously think to come up with stuff that´s different from the previous album.. ?

BK: No…

Or it just comes and it´ll be what it is?

BK: Yeah, pretty much. A lot of times if I get someone else´s guitar or a new guitar in my hands, I just get this vibe and something will just come out of nowhere. I don´t really control it. I´ll just start strumming. You know, I kinda look at my fingers and I try to put them in different positions then I normally would. I don´t know why. I guess I´m trying to make new stuff up. Like “I always play in the same pattern. Let me try something different.”. Consciously, no. We don´t say it like “On the next record we have to take a 45 degree turn!”. We don´t really think like that. It´s just the way that it comes out I guess. For me when I´m writing, I do have a little meter in my head that´s saying like “You can write something better than that.” Or “You can write something cooler than that.”. When I write my music, I gotta take it to Brann and I gotta take it to Brent and Troy and I have to impress them. I´ve been trying to impress those guys. I´m not thinking “This is the next song. This is how it goes and the kids are gonna love it.”. It´s more like “Hey, what do you think of this riff?” and then, if it catches someone´s interest and they start chiming in and we make my riff kinda morph into something else like “Yeah, I like the idea you´ve got, but I don´t like the notes.”. Brann will say that to me sometimes, like “It doesn´t sound evil enough. Let´s add some minor chords in there or something.” And that´s kinda how the songs come together. There´s really no rhyme or reason. It´s like the riff fairy just kinda sprinkles riff dust on your fingers and you go “Ah cool, that sounds neat!”.

The stuff you did with Feist, will there be more stuff like that? Something that is quite different from what Mastodon is.

BK: I don´t know. I can´t really tell, because that just kinda happened. We played on the Jools Holland show and Feist was one of the guests. We ended up talking backstage and you know how many times we´ve said to other bands “Hey, we should do something together!”? We say it all the time but it never ever comes to fruition, but because Troy had said in the public eye… he said it on camera and in some other interview and they were like “Oh, so what are you gonna do?” and it was like “Fuck, now we have to do it.”. We were only home for like three days and “Now´s the only time you can do this Feist cover.”, so it was like “Alright.”. We learned it our way, went into the studio and recorded it like that. (snaps with fingers) It just happened to work. For the future, we´d love to work with other people if anybody wants to work with us. It´s so easy these days if you want someone to play a riff on something, you just send them a file. It´s all stuff that can be easily done.

Well, you toured with Opeth and it could be a cool thing to do with maybe Mikael in Opeth?

BK: Yeah, I talked to him about it the first few days because I had my Pro Tools with me. What I was kinda thinking was that I´d play a riff and then just kinda pass the computer and the guitar around and have people play different ideas, but man it´s a lot harder than I anticipated. Whenever I was writing I wanted it to sound really cool and it was like “Nah, that´s not good enough.” and I wanted it to be like “Here Mikael, play to that!” and he´d be like “I don´t like that, that´s weird.”. Even if it´s just for fun, I was gonna edit it and mix it all together and get a real drummer and stuff like that. I also talked to Björn Gelotte from In Flames about doing that. Some day it´ll happen. I just kinda planted the seed and maybe when I get home and I´m actually in one place for more than a day, I can say “Ok, cool. Here´s the riff. I´m happy with it.” mail it to Björn and mail it to Mikael and mail it to fucking Tito Jackson, I don´t care. Whoever wants to play on it. (laughs)

That would be something. Any plans for a DVD from this tour?

BK: We did a Live at Brixton Academy on the last tour when we came to Europe. We´ll probably do a rerelease of “The Hunter” album and include the DVD. It came out really, really well. We´ve cut some live stuff before, but it doesn´t always transfer, you know. It doesn´t always sound that great and maybe it wasn´t your best performance. Every night´s different, but the Live at Brixton Academy in London, I´ve seen some of the footage of it and they really outdid themselves as far as recording it visual and audio. It sounds really good and they mixed it really well, so I think we´ll put that out as a live DVD of “The Hunter” songs, but don´t hold me to that! I don´t know when or why it´s gonna happen. We did do it and some of it is streaming online. It would be time to do another DVD, kinda behind the scenes, but we´re getting old. It gets boring back there. Drinking coffee and doing interviews. (laughs)

Finally. As a guitar player, do you just play a certain brand of guitars? I interviewed Marty Friedman and he plays all kinds of guitars. Usually guitarists stick to Gibson or Fender or whatever.

BK: Well, for me I usually find… comfort wise like holding a guitar and what I´m used to, is Les Paul Custom. It´s pretty much my main guitar. People make guitars for me which is cool, but sometimes they don´t feel right or fit right, because it´s all about being comfortable. You don´t wanna play some crazy looking guitar that´ll stab you in the gut or something. Explorers I play a lot because I like the way they sit, the way they feel and they look cool. I´ve never really played Fenders. Me personally, I always find something good in a Gibson. I´ve got a couple of Yamahas that I play and that I like. There´s a company called First Act that´s made some guitars for us that I like. What else? Shit, that´s really about it. I´m just like a nerdy vintage guy. I really like old Gibsons. There´s something about them. I think it has a lot to do with the esthetics from that time period, like looking at Jimmy Page and Steve Jones from Sex Pistols, who´s a big influence on me. There´s something really sexy about a Les Paul. It´s like a woman and I´m very attracted to those guitars.

They do look good.

BK: Yeah, they´re curvy. I´m just a sucker for a Les Paul. Always have been. I always wanted one when I was a kid, but I could never afford one obviously since it was too expensive. Now I´ve got like 50 of them and I´m loving it. My wife doesn´t understand my love affair, but that´s ok.

Do you collect them?

BK: Yeah, for sure. I´m a big fan of the Silverburst. I really like all their colors. It´s kinda like women, “Yeah, I like all colors.”. Now it´s grown to where it is more of a collection and do have so many Les Pauls like “Well, this one doesn´t go on the road anymore! It´s too nice.”. I have like a ´79 Silverburst that´s in mint condition and I´m not gonna bring it out on the road anymore. It goes in the studio and I´ll play it on the records. It´s the perfect guitar. Someday it will probably be worth a lot of money. It is kind of a collectors thing because I do go on eBay and I´ll see guitars and go “Ah, I gotta have that!”. Do I need it? No. So that´s collecting, right?

Yeah. For sure.

BK: I wanna have it and I wanna own it. I wanna be able to show people and go “Look at this beautiful guitar and I own it!”. It´s like picking out a new dress. Like “How am I gonna look in this new dress tonight?”, except I don´t wear dresses anymore.

Cool. Thank you!

/Niclas
Bullet och ´77 ger sig ut på vägarna!




















I september och oktober rullar svenska Bullet ut på de europeiska vägarna tillsammans med spanska ´77, som idag är det närmsta du kan komma ett AC/DC med Bon Scott på sång.

/Niclas 

tisdagen den 26:e juni 2012

Intervju med Tony Sylvester i Turbonegro!















Tony Sylvester är kroppsligen ganska lik Hank von Helvete. Stor och lite rund både här och där, men rösten är inte densamma.
Det senaste kapitlet i boken om Turbonegro påminner lite om historien med Tim Ripper Owens och Judas Priest. Ett fan som får ta över mikrofonarbetet på riktigt och helt plötsligt bli ny frontman för ett etablerat band.
Jag fick möjlighet att ringa upp denne glade och pratglade britt nyligen och Tony bjöd bl a på en del outgivna sångtitlar, berättade om arbetet i Electric Lady Studios och avslöjade att han inför sin audition inte förberedde sig ett dugg och dessutom att självaste Benmont Tench från Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers lirar på en av låtarna.

Tony Sylvester: What´s going on?

Not much. I´m just having a glass of red wine and enjoying my summer vacation.

TS: Wohooo, I´m not quite there yet, unfortunately. I will be after we do this though.

Good for you. First off. How come you ended up being the new singer?

TS: Ask them! No, I´m joking. (laughs) I´ve been friends with them for a while, probably a decade or so and every time they kinda came into town we hung out together and stuff. Then I ended up doing the press in 2004 for “Party animals”. I was kinda unofficially helping them out in the UK, just with organizational stuff and then I ended up actually doing the press for them. We just stayed in touch ever since and then they heard me singing in a couple of older bands I was in and then I happened to be over there in Oslo for the first time in ages, just visiting with Tom. This was in May of last year and he said “Hey listen, I think we´re gonna kinda get back and play a couple of shows just for fun.”. We ran through a list of some people and then a few days later I´d gotten back to London and he called me and said “Why don´t you do it?” and I said “That´s preposterous!” and here we are. (laughs)

Cool! That first time you played together, that first audition, what songs did you go through?

TS: This is the thing and I´ll be honest with you and I haven´t said this in any interviews. I was totally under prepared because I was like “Oh, it´ll be fine.”. I´d been listening to the songs but I wasn´t prepared just because I´m kinda useless. (laughs) It got to the point when I was sitting in the hotel and they were meant to be picking me up at 2:30 and at 2:15 I was in the hotel lobby on the hotel computer printing out the lyrics. (laughs) And going “I can´t believe I´m blowing this so much.”. Actually even the band don´t know that, so I shouldn´t have told you. (laughs) Obviously I knew words in sense of that I´d sang along and I´d seen them live and listened to the records and things, but it´s still a very different thing to actually kinda being the main voice in something. I was really worried because Hank´s voice is a lot higher than mine and very different than mine, so I was like “I´m not sure this is gonna work.”. What I did was that I specifically sang songs that were nearer the lower end of his register. The first song I sang was “Billion dollar sadist” because I really like it and it´s also in my range, so I was like “Ah, I´ll get away with it.”. I did that and it sounded alright, but it´s not the most kinda banging of songs. It´s great but at the same time it was like “Yeah alright, we´ll play it for you.” And they weren´t really like “Ok, what else do you wanna do?”. At that point I had to go “Listen chaps, I´m not sure this is gonna work. I´ve been trying to sing along to this stuff but it´s not that easy for me.” And they said “No problem!” and they down tuned the guitars and by that point I was like “Oh well, this is gonna work then.”. Then it was just plain sailing and we went through “Do you dig destruction” and we did a lot of like “Apocalypse dudes” material and then it was just really easy and fun and it was really obvious that something good was happening. Then they said “Let´s do some covers!” so off the cuff we did “Jealous again” by Black Flag and “Search and destroy” by The Stooges just for fun. After four or five songs I was like “So, what´s the deal? What are you thinking?” and they were like “Oh, you´re in!” and I was like “Thanks for telling me.”. (laughs)

How long did it take from that to you guys actually sitting down and coming up with material for the new album?

TS: Well, in those 3½ years Tom and Knut (Euroboy) had kept writing and there were some things that maybe had stuck around from previous records or just riffs that were stuck in their heads and when I got home, they sent me over a few things and on that was “You give me worms” which they had demoed up at some time. I was like “Let´s do this one!” because how great would it be to go out and play a show a month after I´ve joined the band and play a new song? That´s not what people would be expecting and they were “Totally, let´s do that.”. We did that and the reaction was so good at the Hamburg show. It was in front of 500-600 Turbojugend who had travelled and it was probably the most daunting thing ever and they love it. They loved that song specifically, so that really made us go “Ok, let´s write some more songs.”. There were a couple of other things on that demo like “Dude without a face” was on there in some form and “Mister sister” was on there in some form. Just riffs and kinda ideas, so that was kinda our basis or writing. But I think if it hadn´t gone down as well and actually been a bit more lukewarm, we wouldn´t have stopped because we were really enjoying it. We probably would´ve gone about it in a different way and maybe not forced it as much. We probably would´ve gone and played a few more shows and get some confidence under our belt, but because of the reaction we just went straight into it. We were writing in September and October and then in December we got together and rehearsed and basically wrote it in the studio in our rehearsal studio in Oslo, the Bunker. Then we went over to New York for January and recorded it in January. We went in there with 16 or 17 songs written and wrote one in the studio, “I got a knife”, and everything else was kinda ready to go and we banged it out in 13 days and then chose the 10 that we thought were the most interesting to hear, you know.

Alright. Did you write lyrics or anything like that?

TS: Yeah. Up until the previous record Tom and Knut wrote everything, but for this one it was kinda half and half. Half of the songs kinda came fully formed and then the other half we worked up all together really. The process in Oslo was really like going to the Bunker during the day and rehearsing and me sitting in a rocking chair while they kinda knocked out riffs and piped up now and then going “Nah, play more of this and play more of that!” and then getting back to the hotel room in the evening with Tom and getting drunk on a box of wine and then setting up the laptop in the corner with GarageBand and just basically running the rehearsals that we recorded on an iPhone through that and basically write lyrics and shout into my computer and record it in GarageBand. We had kinda like GarageBand demos… well, not demos but rehearsals, so the record kinda built up that way. And the poor people at the hotel. All they would´ve heard was disembodied shouts because I was listening to the music on headphones and just screaming at the screen. (laughs) That´s kinda how we did it.

Those songs not used for the album, any plans for those songs?

TS: Well, you know, some of them were great songs, but they just didn´t quite fit the mood of it because it is a kinda fast high hitting record and we kept back some of the things that are maybe a bit more… it´s just that the mood didn´t quite fit and then there are others that will end up out there in some form. There is one that I really wanna get worked out for the next record definitely. I´ve told no one else this but I´m gonna tell you, there´s a song called “Mr Fancy pants” (laughs), which is the only one I would´ve liked to have on the record but we decided in the end that it didn´t quite fit, but it´s a belter of a song so it´ll be on the next one for sure. There are things like “Hang on” and bits they´ve tried for other records that will probably resurface again. We´ll keep going at it. As soon as we´ve got this summer stuff out of the way and we´ve got the autumn kinda club tour out of the way, then I think we´re gonna start writing again because we´re really on a roll. Obviously not release it yet, but get writing on it.

What was it like recording at Electric Lady Studios in New York? That´s a classic place.

TS: Yeah, that´s obviously the fanciest place I´ve ever recorded in. It´s really nice. It´s like a really big room and a great control room and great equipment. I mean, it´s not like a residential studio with a pool table and jukebox and all those things you kinda think of when you think of those classic studios. It hasn´t really got that. It´s very much a working, functional studio and not really like one of those residential ones where people stay, you know. It was pretty much focus on the recording. I was there 12-13 hours every day and then going to sleep. The other guys were partying a little bit and doing their thing. The basic tracks were done really, really quickly. Two or three takes on everything and then with the vocals we took our time and tried them in different ways and different ideas so I was working every day, but it really paid off. It´s the first time I´ve ever made a record where I wouldn´t have done anything differently. I´m really happy with everything. It´s funny because loads of my friends in New York were like “Oh, can I drop by?” and I was like “Yeah, of course.” So they would turn up and go “Oh my god!” and I was like “Yeah, yeah, it´s my place of work. It´s like someone would turn up at your office and go “Oh my god, I´m so excited!”. It´s like “Shut up, we´re working!”. (laughs) Patti Smith was wondering around so I said hello to her and that was nice. She was in right after us and of course “Horses” was done there. But apparently it´s mainly used by hip hop guys and it´s not really that much of a rock studio anymore.

Who owns the studio these days?

TS: Some guy. (laughs) I´ve got no idea. Obviously we had our team in there with Gus Oberg, who´s worked with The Strokes and an amazing and quick engineer and then Matt Sweeney produced the record. He was absolute god send to have working on it. Really, really good. For me recording music has been a very alien experience and I come from bands that are rough and ready and that´s what it´s all about. Every record I´ve ever recorded always felt like a compromise and I´ve never really enjoyed the process and I´ve never really understood the process to a certain extent. It was really nice going with somebody and that was their home and that´s what they do, they record music and he really made it seem like it was the most natural thing in the world to be holed up somewhere for 15 hours with no sunlight going over things again and again to get them right. It´s a hard thing to do, so on one level it´s not a very enjoyable thing, but at the same time he really made it an enjoyable experience. People dropped by all the time. Andrew WK was in every day because he´s a friend of the band and he hooked us up with Matt because he´s real good friends with him. Benmont Tench from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers came into see us and he played on the record on “Mister sister” and Nate Newton from Converge came down from Boston to visit us and did some backing vocals on some tracks and we got to hang out with him for a couple of days as well. It was great fun.

How do you come up with a title like “Shake your shitmachine”? Kinda Spinal Tapisch in a way.

TS: (laughs) It´s Turbo isn´t it? It´s prime Turbo. It´s like “How can we say shake your ass or shake your moneymaker in our own perverse way?” and there it is, for everyone to hear.

“Sexual harassment” then? Were there other titles floating around before you settled on that one?

TS: No that was the first one. It appeared fairly early in the proceedings and then we toyed with a load of others but in our hearts we knew it was gonna end up being that. There are some other great titles but obviously again I can´t tell you. I´ll tell you one, “This is death punk”. (laughs) That was one of them. That was a contender and then there were a lot of other ones going the rounds.

Ok. Did you work for VICE Magazine?

TS: Andy Capper the editor, is like one of my oldest friends and I´ve written for them and I´ve done a load of photo shoots with them over the years for various different reasons. I seem to be the guy they´ve been able to rope in when he has a ridiculous idea and I´ll go “Ok, you can photograph me in my underwear.”. I´ve done quite a lot for them over the years.

Are you gonna keep doing stuff for them?

TS: Yeah, sure! I mean, at the moment I´m busy. I write for a few different people, but I´m actually… I shouldn´t say that because I´m really late with handing in my copies and their mad at me, so hopefully, yeah.

When did you get into music and start playing in bands? Did that start yearly on?

TS: No, I was a bit of a late starter. I was going to shows and really involved in the hardcore scene at age 14, which is kinda typical in hardcore. You get involved young, so I was kinda doing fanzines and everything else really, but the problem is, even though I came from London there wasn´t a really big hardcore scene and especially a straight edge hardcore scene. There was already a band or two and there wasn´t really enough people to get a third or a fourth one out. I was about 19 when I started a band called Fabric, which was like a post hardcore band and I did that until I was about 21 or 22 and then I did various things after that like the Dukes of nothing, which was like 10 years ago and that was for about four or five years with the guys who were in a band called Iron Monkey. I´ve been doing it on and off but I didn´t start as early as a lot of people.

With Turbonegro, where you into them from the get go?

TS: Form when I heard them, which was in ´97 or maybe ´98. I heard “Ass Cobra” and then from there really. I got to see them… they played once in the UK during that time and they completely blew me away. Then they were gone and they broke up. We started Turbojugend London kinda after they broke up and then I met the band in 2002.

Cool. Another thing I was thinking about. You´ve got a lot of tattoos and some really big ones. That tiger on your belly, a thing like that, is that something you think about for a long time or do you just wake up one day and go “I´m gonna get a big tiger´s head on my belly!”?

TS: No, it´s much more… I think once you get passed the stage where you´ve got a lot of tattoos, you just really kinda look at it as space to fill in a way. I guess I wanted a tiger´s head… another idea was a boar, but that didn´t stick. That´s kind of a Scandinavian thing. There were a lot of tattooists in Sweden and Denmark and to a lesser extent, Norway, in like the 1920´s through to the 1970´s and a tiger´s head appeared a lot there compared to other places, funnily enough. That was drawn up and tattooed by a guy called Steve Burns, who´s incredible. He´s an Englishman who now lives in Austin, Texas and has a shop called Rock of Ages. He drew it up on Christmas day during Christmas with his family and then we tattooed it on the next day, on Boxing day as we call it.

Nice. Touring wise then? I know you´re playing a bunch of shows in Europe and three dates in the US and a bunch in England. In Sweden so far it´s the Peace & Love Festival. Any plans for more shows in Sweden?

TS: Yeah, they´re all getting filled out now. This summer it´s the festivals and that little run in the US and then once we´re back from that in October through November, we´ll be doing club shows and do a Norwegian run and a Swedish run.

Great! Looking forward to it. Thank you so much Tony and the album kicks ass and good luck with everything!

TS: Alright man. Thanks very much! See you later!

/Niclas
Hårdrockens historia i augusti.




















Den 8:e augusti släpps Sam Dunns "Metal evolution" på svensk DVD och du kan förboka nu. CDON verkar vara billigast hittills.

Ginza HÄR

CDON HÄR

Discshop HÄR

/Niclas



måndagen den 25:e juni 2012

Nytt i brevlådan!














Vissa förlag är snabbare än en oljad blixt. Jag mailade och bad om ett recex i torsdags och idag damp då "Hammered" ner i lådan. Boken är skriven av Kirk Blows (underbart namn) som tidigare bl a jobbat som redaktör på Metal Hammer och här bjuder han på tidigare opublicerade intervjuer, möten och galenskaper med storheter som Ozzy Osbourne, Metallica, Pearl Jam, Guns N´Roses och Iron Maiden för att bara nämna några. Perfekt läsning i ett regnigt sommarsverige.
Recension kommer längre fram.

/Niclas
Intervju med Robb Flynn i Machine Head!

















När Machine Head spelade på Gröna Lund nyligen fick jag möjlighet att sitta ner en kort stund med frontmannen och riffmeistern Robb Flynn.
För många år sedan var jag tvungen att ställa in en intervju med detta Oaklandskägg och har sedan dess hoppats på ett nytt tillfälle, så när planeterna ställde sig rätt var jag snabb som en liten kobra och högg till.
Robb visade sig vara på ett ypperligt humör, trots att han ställt in alla andra intervjuer den dagen förutom min och Rockklassikers.

Didn´t you have a bunch of guitars stolen a year or two years ago? Did those guitars ever show up again?

Robb Flynn: No, we never got anything back. The media really focused on the guitars, but they got us for like 30 grand worth of stuff. Video equipment, laptops, hard drives and jewelry and a bunch of guitars.

One of them was your son´s guitar, right?

RF: Yeah, five guitars. One of the guitars was a gift that I got from Dimebag and then another guitar was one that I wrote and recorded “Burn my eyes” with and it really sucks, you know.

Totally. How´s the tour been going so far? I saw you when you played here with BMTH and Devildriver. That was a killer show!

RF: Thanks man! That might have been probably the best headlining show we´ve had here.

Yeah, it was really good! A lot of moshpits and circlepits going on.

RF: Yeah, totally.

How long are you gonna go on with this one? Into 2013?

RF: Right now we´ve got till December, so it´s another six months of that and we´ve already been touring since July of last year so it´ll probably be a year and a half behind this record and I would like to… wrap it up. (laughs) “The Blackening” was supposed to wrap up a long time before that too and then Slipknot came and Metallica came and Metallica said “Hey, come out with us for eight months!” and we were like “Fuck!”. We´ll see. You never know what´s gonna happen, but I´d like to start… well, we´re already starting to put riffs together and starting to formulate ideas with where we´d like to go. Until we sit down and start jamming, you never know, but I´m definitely in the mindset and I´m ready to move on to the next moment.

Speaking of Metallica. I read that Hetfield had something like 400 riffs in iTunes or whatever it was. With the technology today and iPhones and stuff, is it easier since you can store it right away and record it right away when you come up with something, then it was like 10 years ago?

RF: Yeah… I´ve always had a tape recorder. (laughs) I mean, the technology´s improved but it´s basically the same. To be honest, I write a lot of stuff in my head, man. I write entire songs in my head. The song “Now I lay thee down”, Phil showed me the verse riff (sings it) and I drove home from practice and I wrote the rest of the song in my head. The drum beats, the bass line, the vocal melody all that and when I got home I just played it all to make sure I remembered it. (laughs) I´ve always been able to do that and I do it a lot. Probably half of the music that we have, I´ve just written like on the way to practice. Like I wrote the chorus to “Ten ton hammer”, drum beat, vocal line as I was pulling into practice. I was getting off at Jackson Street in Oakland and I was pulling up to the stop light and I came up with that melody and then I turned and by the time I got to the studio it was like “This is pretty cool. Let´s do this!”. (laughs) I think that it´s great. A lot of times I´ll write a riff and I´ll just hum it into my iPhone. I´ve got voicemail… I can´t even tell you how many voicemails and iPhone memos I´ve got of just me (sings) doing the drum beat, doing the riff. The thing is though for some reason, if I need to remember it I put it in my iPhone, but when I listen back to it it´s just ok. There´s probably been 1 out of 50 that I ended up doing something with, whereas the ones that are often spontaneous or the ones that I was completely able to do in my head are used.

I interviewed Phil last year and he mentioned a song or two that I believe you recorded but they didn´t end up on the album. Would you go back and use a song like that for the next album or are they forever lost in the vault?

RF: Eeehhhh… maybe a riff here and there. Generally, if it didn´t make it onto the record, we won´t revisit it for a while. Like the song “Days turn blue to gray” from “Through the ashes of empires” was from a riff that was around during “The more things change” writing session. And Dave actually unearthed a bunch of the old CD´s from the demos and played it for me one day and was like “Dude, this riff´s pretty cool!” and I was like “Ah, I know that riff.”, so we jammed it again and for whatever reason that five year space of time allowed us to see in a different light and make it into something cool.

Again, when it comes to writing music and a thing like, and I´ve asked a lot of people this, Metallica´s “Lulu” project, could you see yourself doing something like that. Not like “Lulu”, but something that is totally different from Machine Head? Do you write stuff that is not considered for Machine Head, thinking one day maybe…?

RF: Well, the “Lulu” thing sucks! It´s fucking horrible!

Did you tell them?

RF: They didn´t ask and if they would´ve asked, I would´ve told them how I felt. I´ve said it in public already so they know, because those dudes know what people are saying about Metallica. I didn´t even get it. If those guys need to do that stuff to get their ya yas out, that´s cool and I respect them, but eeehhh… was Lemmy not available? Was fucking Iggy Pop not available? (laughs) I think there are so many people that might´ve been a better choice. I don´t know the dude, but maybe he´s the most charismatic guy in the world, I don´t know. I fucking can´t stand Lou Reed. I don´t like his solo career and I don´t like Velvet Underground, so I don´t know much about it other than “Walk on the wild side”. Do I see myself… yeah, I mean we write plenty of songs that aren´t necessarily what Machine Head would be. I love The Cure so I write a bunch of mellow stuff that´s like super gothy and … gay. (laughs) But I think it´s cool. You jam for a while and you come up with all kinds of shit. The thing that´s great about Machine Head is that it´s a pretty wide canvas we get to paint on. We´re not afraid to try any idea, at least just to try it and see where it goes, because you never know where it´s gonna go, so we´re stupidly fearless in the sense that we´ll just try an idea and most of the time if that idea isn´t working within about a week or two we´re pretty good at figuring it out. In the past we may not have figured it out. Lord knows we´ve got a couple of stinkers in our catalog, but I think overall, if you look at… we´re seven albums deep and we have a huge career and we´ve managed to transcend and maintain a level and just slowly keep on growing. Never really even going down, which is amazing. I´m really proud of the fact that we´ve been able to kinda get a vision and keep it. We´ve never had a “Lulu” and we´ve never even had like a Blaze Bayley moment, you know what I mean? (laughs) Where it´s like “What is going on?”. We´ve always been able to do it and if you look at the breadth of our music overall, it´s pretty pioneering and pretty consistent and that´s what I´m very proud of. I mean there´s a core Machine Head sound, but we never want a record to sound like the previous record and I think maybe sometime we almost ran too far away from what we had just done. I think we we´re better at it now more than ever and just going “Yeah, let´s try this way and see what´s over here.”. It may be the total wrong way, but we gotta try it. I gotta see what´s over here and I gotta go this way just to see if it´s right, because you know what, it might be the best way we´ve ever gone. You never know until you try it. To me, writing music is a lot like… and this is gonna be a very bizarre analogy, but I like to run a lot, so often when I wake up super hung over it´s like “Ok, you got to enjoy yourself, now you gotta fucking sweat it all out to make the balance, right. So I´ll wake up hung over as shit in some fucking hotel or some fucking club or theater and I don´t have any idea of where I am and I´ll just go out and start running and it´s like you´re just lost for a while. You have no idea, everything´s new and you have no barings and eventually you go “Alright, am I gonna get back?” and then eventually you go “Ok, I know the way back. I know where I´m going.”. It´s like you gotta go and get lost for a second before you figure out where you´re going.

Makes total sense. A final thing. Do you think you´re gonna produce the next album yourself, as you did with “Unto the locust”?

RF: Yeah, “Unto the locust” wasn´t about production experience (laughs) it was the mixing. It was a tragedy with Colin Richardson´s ex wife passing away during the mixing of the record and none of the songs weren´t even finished and at that point we didn´t really have a choice. Some of the songs, like “Darkness within” was 90 tracks of music (laughs) and we couldn´t just give that to some dude and go “Here you go, figure it out!”. We did it and it was crazy, but failure wasn´t an option. It had to be done and it had to get done and by that point I know those songs so well and my engineer and I, he had been a part of it from day one from the first time we tracked any demos, so he knew it and it was the best choice. These guys love me producing it and they´ve already told me that I´m the only one they want to produce it and I´m happy about that. It´s cool. I don´t know if I enjoy it, but I´m good at it so I just kinda do it.

Cool. Looking forward to it.

RF: Alright man!

/Niclas
The me generation.

En artikel som inte specifikt har något med hårdrock att göra, men klart läsvärd om problemet med nedladdning.
Lägg 10 minuter på att läsa en välskriven text av David Lowery som bl a undervisar på University of Georgia.

Läs HÄR

/Niclas
Bokrecension

"Bringing metal to the children: The complete berzerker´s guide to world tour domination" 2012

Zakk Wylde med Eric Hendrikx






















Zakk Wylde är kul. Senast jag intervjuade honom drog han själv långt över den tilldelade tiden och fortsatte berätta den ena roliga historien efter den andre. Oftast inkluderade dessa historier människorna runt omkring honom och var av de grövre slaget, men ändå roliga.
När nu Zakk öveför allt sitt snack till en bok skulle man kunna tro att man skulle komma att bjudas på en total skrattfest, men så är inte fallet. Boken är en enda lång upprepning av pubertal humor som mest håller sig kring de nedre regionerna och uttryck som ”sucking cock”, ”ass gaping” och ”anal cavity” fullkomligen svämmar över på varje sida. Kul en gång, men mindre underhållande tionde gången. Och jag fascineras alltid av män som är uppslukade av bögskämt, som grovarbetare som till vardags är groteska homofober, men som på fyllan hela tiden ska torrhångla och brottas med polarna. Hhhmmm...
Boken ska ses som en självbiografi med invävda tips om hur du överlever som nyfödd rockstjärna. Saken är den att hade herr Wylde fokuserat på att bara berätta sin personliga historia om uppväxten och hur han kom att bli den han är, hade boken säkert varit betydligt mer givande. Nu blir det väldigt intetsägande som helhet med några få passager som verkligen berättar något och som samtidigt får en att dra lite på smilbanden. För i boken finns det faktiskt en del berättelser om hans tid med bl a Ozzy och BLS som är minnesvärda och kul, men när han för femtioelfte gången slänger ur sig hur han ”jackhammered my cock into submission” undrar man på vilken mental nivå skäggmannen ligger på? Hade en nybakad rockstjärna på 20 vårar skrivit en bok som denna hade det varit mer förståeligt, men likväl lika obegripligt. När man sitter inne med gåvan att berätta historier på ett underhållande sätt, som Zakk faktiskt gör, är det en otrolig besviklese att läsa en bok som denna. Med allt det han har varit med om och sett hade han kunnat välja ett betydligt mer seriöst sätt att ta sig an det skrivna ordet.

/Niclas

onsdagen den 20:e juni 2012

Vad händer?

En av fördelarna med att vara lärare är ju onekligen sommarledigheten. Den började officiellt idag för undertecknad.
Jag sitter just nu med 11 utförda intervjuer som ska skrivas ut. Det lär ta tid, om man säger så.
Följande kommer att publiceras här under de kommande veckorna, hoppas jag.

Robb Flynn - Machine Head
Matt Heafy - Trivium
Charlie Benante - Anthrax
Joel Stroetzel - Killswitch Engage
Peter Tägtgren - Pain
Mark Morton - Lamb of God
Joe Duplantier - Gojira
Anders Schultz - Unleashed
Oscar Dronjak - Hammerfall
Bill Kelliher - Mastodon
Tony Sylvester - Turbonegro

Dessutom har jag en inbokad intervju med Katatonia nästa vecka. Det är nog snart dags att skaffa en sekreterare...

/Niclas

Nytt i brevlådan!















De här godbitarna hittades i lådan förra veckan. Två nya Taranturabootlegs från Japan 1977 respektive 1978. KISS i högform och finfina publikinspelningar av Mr Peach.
Dessutom kunde jag inte låta bli att inhandla booten med Mötley Crüe. Demos med Rock Candy, Sister och London. Dvs banden Neil och Sixx härjade i innan de möttes upp i Mötley Crüe.

/Niclas


måndagen den 18:e juni 2012

Metaltown 2012: En summering.



















Att köra bil i Göteborg är ungefär lika kul som att käka sand. Det är något som inte stämmer med den staden och dess skyltning. Hur jag än gör, kör jag alltid fel och givetvis så även denna gång. Efter att ha svurit å det grövsta och skrikit högt i bilen, anländer jag slutligen till festivalen cirka en timme efter planerad ankomst. Detta fick till följd att jag missade intervjuer med Dave McClain i Machine Head och Mikael Åkerfeldt i Opeth. Speciellt den sistnämnde såg jag verkligen fram emot, men förhoppningsvis kommer det fler möjligheter längre fram.
Ganska omgående blir det en intervju med Matt Heafy i Trivium. Han hälsar på svenska och berättar att bandet redan har 9 låtar mer eller mindre klara för nästa album. Därefter blir det mest snack om mat och det framkommer att vi delar en gemensam fascination över Anthony Bourdain.
Jag sneglar sedan en stund på Machine Head och visst låter det bra, men inget som står ut över det vanliga. Jag hinner även se lite på Opeth, men sedan blir det ny intervju och ett återseende med Mark Morton i Lamb of God, som tycker president Obama är en "pimp", i positiv bemärkelse.
Tillbaka ut i folkmassan slötittar jag på Within Temptation och inser än en gång att det är ett av de där banden jag aldrig förstått mig på, men sångerskan är helt ok att vila ögonen på.
Jag har inte besökt Metaltown sedan den plaskblöta debuten för många år sedan. Då regnade det kopiösa mängder och jag var fullkomligt genomsur från topp till tå, för inte hade man tänkt på att packa ner regnkläder inte. Den här gången hade min kära fru tänkt längre än jag och inhandlat ett stycke regnponcho på IKEA, som givetvis kom väl till användning redan under fredagen.
Lamb of God blev första bandet jag såg i stort sett hela giget med och jag måste säga att dessa Richmond, Virginiakillar tilltalar mig i all sin brutala enkelhet.
Utanför scenen är sångaren Randy Blythe en något flummig och långsam varelse, men på scen smäller det till och han spottar, fräser och rumlar runt som en annan 20-åring på uppåttjack. Helt klart överraskande bra.
Marilyn Manson då? Ja, vad ska man säga? Jag har aldrig tyckt om hans musik och kanske är jag helt enkelt för gammal, men herrejävlar i min låda så otroligt uselt framträdandet var. Hans slakt av Depeche Modes "Personal Jesus" borde ge honom ett långt fängelsestraff och hela spektaklet känns bara taffligt.
Kvällen avslutas givetvis med hemmasönerna In Flames och jag kan bara säga det igen, bandet är verkligen uppe och leker med de stora grabbarna. Utomordentligt snygg show med en inledning som kommer bli klassisk. Regnet pissar ner under hela giget, men publiken är med på noterna och bandet är stabilt. Kanske inte det bästa giget jag sett, men man slås av den professionalitet de numera besitter.

Dag två inleds med att jag släntrar in på pressområdet och tar mig en avslagen titt på Seventribe. Jag såg bandet vinna Released and unsigned förra året och tyckte de bjöd på en helt ok show, även om det mesta är en ren karbonkopia av Slipknot, minus maskerna. Dock visade de sig vara så fruktansvärt pubertala att jag inte riktigt ännu hämtat mig från den där urusla telefonintervjun de gav mig.
De hoppar, skriker och studsar genom sitt set och den lilla publik som samlats framför scen ser ut att gilla det. Själv gäspar jag och traskar vidare till bandområdet för att utföra ett gäng intervjuer.
Det där med rock and roll är inte vad det kanske en gång var. Stämningen är lugn och tillbakalutad och bandens olika medlemmar lummar runt och småsnackar över en kopp kaffe eller en banan. Mer hardcore än så blir det inte.
Scott Ian är kort. Väldigt kort. Han bär läsglasögon och försöker tyda meddelanden på sin iPhone. Troy Sanders i Mastodon röker en cigg och samtalar med någon från crewet. Leif Edling susar förbi och själv sätter jag mig ner med Joel från Killswitch Engage.
Jag ser några minuter av Candlemass och det låter ok.
Jag beger mig sedan åter igen tillbaka till logerna och avverkar i ganska rask takt intervjuer med en tystlåten Charlie Benante som berättar att "Worship music" egentligen skulle ha varit en dubbelcd om han fått bestämma, Oskar i Hammerfall säger att bandet tar mer än ett års break och att han under tiden ska skriva en bok om sitt eget band. Utgivning via Kalla kulor förlag, som numera verkar spotta ur sig rockbiografier. Dessförinnan har jag samtalat med Mattias Kling som avslöjar att han ligger nästan 300000 kr back efter boken om Europe och att alla andra bokprojekt lagts på is. Tydligen hade John Levén läst boken och bara anmärkt på att ett barndomsminne blivit fel. Får väl ses som ett gott betyg.
Anders i Unleashed berättar om vanligt knegarjobb och kommande festivalgig. Solen tittar fram och jag sätter mig mitt emot Joe Duplantier i Gojira och det blir en hel del snack om konst och en bok han just nu läser, men har svårt att komma ihåg titeln på.
Slutligen kommer då regnet och jag sätter mig i det stora cateringtältet och samspråkar med Peter Tägtgren och vi kommer fram till att det var ganska exakt ett år sedan vi pratades vid sist. Skratt och skämt om att han, i dessa tider av band som lanserar vin och öl, skulle ta och lansera olika dunkar med hembränt. Varför inte?
Sist av alla intervjuer på festivalen blir med Bill i Mastodon som inte gjort annat än pimplat kaffe under dagen. Han säger att inspelningen av Feists "A commotion" troligtvis inte blivit av om inte media fått nys om det i samband med giget på Jools Holland. Han berättar även att tankar om samarbete med Opeths Åkerfeldt funnits, men att det inte blivit av. Han pratar även om att han har kontakt med Björn Gelotte i In Flames.
Efter detta snyltar jag mat från bandens catering och hör hur återvändande Jesse i Killswitch Engage berättar om hur han egentligen inte signerat några nya kontrakt med bandet och skämtar om att han bara ska spela in en platta och sedan dra och casha in royalties, men skrattar till och säger snabbt "... but there are no royalties!".
Mätt och nöjd beger jag mig ut på festivalen igen och tittar på ett riktigt vitalt Anthrax och en mer än nöjd Joey Belladonna.
Mastodon levererar som alltid och Brann Dailor visar igen vilken styrka han har i rösten.
Sabaton drar, hemskt nog, störst publik under hela festivalen och folkets jubel vet inga gränser. Helt obegripligt för en gammal själ som undertecknad, men samtidigt kan jag förstå att de allsångsvänliga refrängerna om krig, lockar ut något primalt i folket.
Jag lämnar Sabaton och smiter bort till Dark Tranquility, som verkligen bjuder på bra musik. Grön laser smeker tältes väggar och Stanne och hans kumpaner låter bättre än på länge. Jag tror det är dags att ta upp bekantskapen igen.
Avslutet med Slayer är magnifikt. Gary Holt är precis vad bandet behöver och frågan är när han ska bli permanent medlem? Jag tror han är precis vad Slayer behöver. Han riffar tyngre än bly och skakar huvud som om han inte gjort annat i sitt liv.
Slayer är tighter than a snake´s ass och jag finner mig själv vissla på introt till "South of heaven" resten av natten.
Dock är det ytterst konstigt hur ett så tungt och aggressivt band, kan släppa ett så blaskigt och menlöst vin. I en paus tidigare under dagen hostade jag upp 60 ballesteros för ett glas och det är 60 pix jag inte får tillbaka, om man säger så.
Nu väntar utskrivandet av 9 intervjuer plus snacket med Robb Flynn från Gröna Lund.

/Niclas

fredagen den 8:e juni 2012

Nytt i brevlådan.



















Kalla kulor var snälla att skicka ett litet bokpaket med tre nyheter. Iommi på svenska och så även Alice Cooper. Boken om Esbjörn Svensson Trio får bli ett gästihopp på dagensbok.com
Dessutom bestämde jag mig idag för att styra skutan mot Göteborg nästa fredag för ett litet besök på Metaltown.

/Niclas

torsdagen den 7:e juni 2012

Intervju med Dee Snider från Twisted Sister.





















Jag har länge haft en önskan om att en gång få sitta ned med Dee Snider. När det stod klart att han skulle signera sin bok "Shut up and give me the mic" i Stockholm, drog jag iväg ett mail och vips så var intervjun bokad.
Efter att först ha anlänt till hotellet vid Stureplan på eftermiddagen, blev det klart efter ett samtal med Rick (Dees säkerhetskille) att intervjun fick skjutas upp till senare på kvällen. Hem igen för lite mat och sedan tillbaka för mötet med herr Snider.
Han visade sig vara väldigt pratglad, trots en lång dag och samtalet kom att innehålla många glada skratt från oss båda. Det blev ett långt samtal om bla  boken, Obama, Mark Twain, musikaler, Area 51 och äktenskap.

What was it that made you write the book and why now? Is it something you´ve been thinking of doing for a long time?

Dee Snider: No, I wasn´t thinking about writing a book at all, but one of my friends, who´s now become one of my managers, said “Man, you´ve got great stories to tell. You should write a book!” and I said “Yeah, people keep saying that, but no one´s ever made me an offer.”. He goes “I´ll get you a book deal.” And so he got me a major offer from a major publisher in the States. They said “What do you wanna write about?” and I said “Well, I´d like to write about my rise and my fall.”. They said “Your rise and your fall?”. I said “Yeah, I wanna tell the story of deciding I wanna be a rock star, struggling being a rock star, achieving stardom and then losing everything.” And that´s the story I told, which is a different story than virtually anybody else has told. I wrote it by myself and I don´t know. I mean, I think there are enough books out there about sex, drugs and rock and roll and god knows what´s true and what´s not. I think it´s important to share the real story with people. Share your struggles, share your dreams, share your pain and share your failures. It´s important for heroes to be fallible and it´s not to be more heroic, it´s just to let people know, you know, that people fall down, people screw up and we all have dreams, it´s not easy and maybe it´s through your success and your failure everybody gets something out of it. They learn something, get an inspiration or maybe they go “Whoa, I´m not gonna do that! Man, he´s an idiot!” and that´s ok too. You know, I´ve got a brother who swears that watching me crash and burn, just sort of changed him as a person. He´s so cautious and he goes “I never wanna see that happen to me. You were just so cavalier and I couldn´t live with that kinda failure.”. Then I´ve done my job. (laughs)

Definitely. When you started writing, did you read other similar books to get a feel for it?

Dee: They sent me a few books and I go “What am I reading? Some ghost writer or co-writer´s formula?” and that´s what it is. Those books use all the same language and they all follow a pattern and a lot of books are written by the same guy. He just sort of has a template and he fills in the blanks.

(A waiter goes by with a cart and Dee leans into the mic) Dee: “That was a cart filled with cocaine. It was insane! A mountain of cocaine.”) I don´t wanna be influenced by what other people are doing, I´m just gonna write my story and I said “Well, how many words do you want?” and they said “70-75 000.”. I said “Ok!” and when I got to like a 120 000 and I was only halfway through, they started panicking and I said “Look, I gotta write my story. I´ve never written before. You like my writing, I don´t know what´s important and what´s me blowing smoke up my own ass, so within reason I won´t question what you edit out. You know, Stephen King is one of my favorite writers and “The stand” is like a 780 page book and I have the unedited version which is like 1300 pages. Somebody said “Whoa Stephen! There´s 500 pages that gotta come out of this thing.” and it´s still long. I just wrote and I was uninfluenced by other people’s style, other people’s storyline or whatever. I just told my story.

Did you have a set time every day where you sat down to write or did it just happen whenever?

Dee: No, I´ve been writing screen plays for a long time and I have done some things with that kind of regiment, because I needed to, but due to my workload I just sort of committed whatever time I could and I became a little obsessed with it. Once I got into it, I didn´t wanna stop, so I would go long stretches of time where every day, I´d spend hours of writing and writing, but never with like a certain clock or a specific time schedule.

This other book you wrote back in 1987, “Teenage survival guide”, what made you write that one in the first place?

Dee: That one was being approached to write a teenage survival guide by a major company. There was a book in the 50´s by Pat Boone called “Twixt twelve and twenty” that was a hit and they wanted to do an updated version with someone they thought could relate to the kids, so they approached me. That was written with a co-writer and I had a major problem with the co-writer because he kept changing my words and kept smart making smarter and I wanted it be like a big brother or a cool uncle was like sharing with you and I didn´t want it to be intellectualized like my book now. I had a falling out with Doubleday (Publisher) and I wouldn´t support the book. When the reviews came out, every review from Psychology Today to Rolling Stone, said it was the best book ever written about growing up and what I realized post me bailing on the book, was that every other book was written by doctors, ministers, parents, psychologists, psychiatrists, priests and teachers and there was no book like it, so even though it was maybe only 80% of what I wanted, it was still head and shoulders above everything else. That book went on to be, unbeknownst to me… they published a chapter at a time in the only Soviet teen magazine.

I read something about it being required reading in Russia?

Dee: Yes. I thought it was a joke at first, but then I eventually saw the magazine, when the wall came down, and then they asked us to make a hard copy and now it´s like required reading for every Russian school child, which is completely bizarre. Copies of the book goes from $100 - $300 online and the reviews… people are just dying for this book because it helped them trough their childhood, so there is some talk about reissuing it, updating it and things like that. We´ll see about that. I recently had to buy a copy, because I didn´t have one. A couple of hundred bucks to get my own fucking book! (laughs)

Amazing! I interviewed Jay Jay a few years ago and I´ve read recent interviews with you and you both keep saying that no one wants to hear a new Twisted Sister album, but have you heard Van Halen´s new one?

Dee: Yes.

They took a bunch of old demos and it sounds awesome. Classic Van Halen and couldn´t you do something like that with Twisted Sister and give it that classic 80´s sound? Not trying to be like 2012.

Dee: I don´t know what Van Halen sold record wise?

I think it´s around 400 000 copies in the US so far, which is pretty good these days.

Dee: Exactly. That´s Van Halen. They´re much bigger than Twisted Sister, so reduce that by the proper amount and you get down to 40 – 60 000 copies. Not that it´s all about money, but for me… I call it going back to the future. I expect the doctor, what´s his name “Great Scott, Marty! They put an 80´s album in the 2010´s. Let´s hope they don´t see each other, because it will break the space time continuum!” (All in the voice of Christopher Lloyd) I´m just so passionate about what I´m doing next that I just don´t feel motivated. Even if it was the biggest selling record in the world. Well, if it was gonna be the biggest selling record in the world, maybe. Fans don´t wanna hear a new record and then when you make an old sounding record they´re just like “Eh, it sounds like the old stuff.”. It´s not timely. You´re not gonna get radio airplay, you´re not gonna get tv or video airplay, there´s no stories to carry itself. You´ve got no outlet. I host an 80´s retro show and we never play new music. That´s not me. That´s the radio station and the producers. I say “Just give them a taste! Just play the first chorus!”. We talk about the new record, saying “Well Ratt´s back in the studio and they´ve got a new one called “Defecator” coming out. It´s a sphincter with some shit hanging out of the ass.”. No reflection on the writer and they say “Nobody wants to hear it.” and I´ve said it before, it´s the bathroom song. New material has always been the fucking bathroom song even going back to seeing Zeppelin do “Kashmir” before the album came out. “This one´s off the new record. It´s called Kashmir.”. (Dee stands up and walks away.) “You wanna beer?”. It´s fucking “Kashmir”! You wanna go “Where the fuck are you going? Sit your fucking fat as down!”. I just don´t see it happening.

But you did the Broadway thing? What was the thought and the plan behind that?

Dee: Sheer insanity. It´s one of those insane things. I got an idea and everybody said “You´re fucking nuts!” and I said “Maybe so, but I wanna do it id somebody is willing to put up a little money to have me do it.”. I had more fun doing it… again, something new, something challenging, something that allowed me to take chances and expand and you can´t really do that in Twisted Sister. People don´t wanna hear a more musical Twisted Sister, you know. They don´t wanna hear Queen vocals on a Twisted Sister record or orchestration and I wanna be able to challenge myself. Reviews of the record have been 99% positive and 1% I think haven´t even listened to it. People listening to it either love it or “I gotta admit, I like it. I´m surprised. I didn´t expect to like it.” and I didn´t expect everybody to like it. I didn´t know if anybody was gonna buy it or if they were gonna sell it or who would play it or what they´d do with it, but I wanted to do it. That was the challenge. It´s just a matter of what´s challenging. Now here´s an interesting thing. I´ve written a musical called “Twisted Christmas – The musical", based on known Twisted Sister songs… did I talk to you about this already?

No, but I´ve…

Dee: Heard rumors?

Yeah.

Dee: It´s based on known Twisted material, less known Twisted material, Christmas Twisted stuff and I have written about eight 80´s style Twisted Sister songs for the musical, with Eddie Ojeda, and it was just optioned by a Broadway producer and we´re moving onto the next step of developing the show. It´s a fictitious story about a heavy metal band who sells their soul to the devil to find fame and fortune, but find the magic of Christmas instead. So interestingly there are these songs… there´s different things being discussed at this moment about have to approach this. These songs have been written. Songs like “It must be snowing in hell” and the funny thing is that they´re all Satanic because for the story I need this band trying to be metal and they keep playing Christmas songs (laughs) and they can´t figure out what the fuck´s going on. At one point they come out looking like a Norwegian death metal band with “Burn in hell”, which turns into “I´ll be home for Christmas”. They have the white makeup on and they´re like “What the fuck is going on?”. They can´t figure it out. The guy that optioned it has done like 20 Broadway shows. Now he´s got “Memphis” and “Ghost”, so this is very real. But these songs are all “Death may be your Santa Claus”, “Hail Satan”, “It must be snowing in hell”, “WWOD” – What Would Ozzy Do , but mostly these songs are about Satan and I said “We should just record it.” and “Twisted Sister Satanic verses”. I mean, “Death may be your Santa Claus” is positively the most depressing, ugliest, heaviest… it´ll make you kill yourself. There are people I know who´d kill themselves listening to words about the most terrible Christmas ever and then of course it turns into “White Christmas”. (laughs) It makes the band nuts. As I said, I worked with Eddie Ojeda on these and I´m not sure when they will rear their ugly heads. I it will be when the play comes out or there´s talk about doing something before the play comes out. It´s the first writing I´ve done actually, musically, in a long time.

Really cool! Will you star in it?

Dee: I didn´t want to, but the producers think that it would be cool to have me in the role as the lead singer DeeDee. (laughs) We´ll see what happens with that, but it was just optioned recently.

I was kinda wondering and it hasn´t really anything to do with music, but I just celebrated 10 years this last Friday with my wife. You´ve been married for 31 years and you´ve been in the rock and roll business longer.

Dee: We´ve been together 36 years.

How do you do that? With all the temptations and the drugs and booze and rehab and you´re still there. One of few in the business I guess.

Dee: You know, actually I have a list and I´ve been studying the subject and there´s a long list of entertainers with long marriages and there´s a commonality. One of the commonalities in this long list, which includes Bono, Bon Jovi, Brad Whitford, Dennis Dunaway from Alice Cooper, Alice Cooper himself, but I´ve noticed in the entertainment industry that… Paul Newman with Joanne, Mel Brooks who was with Anne Bancroft, Kevin Bacon… 99% don´t live in Las Vegas, Miami or LA. Well, that might have something to do with it. (laughs) Dee: They live with a degree of normalcy and they remove themselves from temptations. That is the key. Not drinking… Look, I´m a dude. We´re all dogs and we all want to. It´s a matter of are we domesticated enough to not? By not drinking and not doing drugs, your resistance isn´t weakened by not accepting the invitation to the grotto at the Playboy mansion. You have a better chance of not fucking up. It´s boring, but I´ve opted to say “Ok, I´m not going to that party. I´m not gonna get high, because if I do, I´m gonna fuck everything in the room and that´s the end of my life.”. It´s the end of my life, of my family, my relationship, the money I´ve earned, everything gone. So, I will tell you, young master, the longer you go without the easier it gets. The less of a reality it becomes. You still see them and you still go “Damn!”. There was one at the book signing today and I turned around and said “In another life. I´m not doing it, but in another life.”. It does get easier. On a marriage level, my wife says the key for her is she is my wife and my mistress and she acts like it. 36 years in she takes care of herself and surprises me all the time. As a matter of fact she surprised me on my cell phone earlier today. “Oh Jesus, this is awesome!”. The toughest picture I´ve ever deleted. Can´t take a chance of that being discovered or hacked. (laughs) On your end, just say yes. It´s not masochistic, it´s not sexist. Women internalize, we externalize. We process and then we pronounce, they say it and wanna hear it.

I read that your mother was a teacher. True?

Dee: No, Sunday school teacher.

As a teacher myself I wonder, do you remember when you were in school, was that like one teacher that stood out and that encouraged you?

Dee: (Leans into the mic and whispers) He hasn´t read the book yet. It´s ok. There´s a whole focus on a teacher, Mrs. Cirillo. When I was in 6th grade I auditioned for a solo in the choir and everybody was in the choir in 6th grade and Mrs. Cirillo stopped the audition and went “Oh my god! This kid sings like a bird.” And I remember going “What? I can sing?” and from that point on she championed me to the point when I went into junior High school and they told me there were no room in the choir and it´s elective, she literally went down to the principal´s office and demanded that I´d be put in the choir. And I talk about these moments where your life can change either way called the butterfly effect. I ran into her and said “Well, I´m not in the choir this year.” And she went “What?” and I was in the choir the next day. I thanked her in the book and I don´t know where she is or if she´s alive or whatever, but that was profound.

Good old Tipper Gore then? When you walked into those hearings, knowing what you were gonna say and they were thinking “This stupid rock guy.”. That must´ve been such an incredible feeling to just level them and show them that “Yeah, I read books. I´m not stupid.”. And especially the whole thing with “Under the blade” and what they thought it was about.

Dee: Oh yeah. She said “Under the blade” was about sadomasochism and bondage and the song was about a throat operation, so I took the opportunity because I was speaking about how lyrics are meant to be open to interpretation. Tipper Gore was imagining sadomasochism and bondage and I said “I can´t help she has a dirty mind.”. Man, you should´ve seen Al Gore´s face when I said that. His eyes were like glowing out of his head and she just walked into that one. Yeah, she´s a dirty girl.

When was the last time you met her?

Dee: I never met her. We never even met that day either. Life is tough and no one is in the position to throw stones at anybody else because, you know, you´re just opening yourself up for criticism. Here we are… that was 25 years ago, or 27 years ago and now the Gores are divorced and some of the Gores children have been arrested for possession and my kids are clean and sober and upstanding citizens and it´s like… just because I´m married now, doesn´t mean I´ll be married five years from now. It´s a process and it´s tough but at the same time, I didn´t throw any fucking stones at your house! If you´re gonna be a self righteous, pompous piece of shit asshole, then you deserve to be left. Ha haha ha! One more. Ha!

That was so funny. It´s a bit different here and there were discussions and things going on, especially when WASP came out and all that, but nothing really happened. Stuff like that is way bigger in the US. I´m thinking about the US election, which I always find very interesting and I got really scared when a guy like Santorum pops up. He hates gay people and all kinds of stuff, which makes me think that if you´re that homophobic, you´re probably a flaming homosexual deep inside.

Dee: Oh yeah.

I get the feeling that you´re interested in politics and are you gonna go with Obama again?

Dee: Yeah, but I might… I found out that I´m a Mugwump. I didn´t know what I was and then I read Mark Twain´s autobiography and back in… I forgot which election it was but maybe 1913 or whatever, him and a bunch of hardcore republicans crossed party lines and voted against the republican candidate because he wasn´t the right guy and they called themselves the Mugwumps. It is believed that they were responsible for Grover Cleveland being elected, the democratic candidate. Basically their principle was… up until then, once you had party affiliation, that´s who you voted for. Party line. But the Mugwumps said “Were gonna vote for the right person based on his qualifications, not on the party.”. I´ve voted all over the place and trying to make the best decision given the information that´s available to me. I´m not saying it´s the right one, but I think that´s the best anybody can do, is try to make a rational decision based on the information they have. The information I have is based on history. Reagan, who is considered by Americans to be a great president, which I don´t think he is, was responsible for one of the biggest economic crisis we´ve had, with his trickledown economics. That landed flat on George Bush Sr, who I didn´t like. He scared me because he was the head of CIA and that´s a problem. I´m uncomfortable with black ops. But he set into place programs to fix the economy. It wasn´t fast enough for the American people and they voted him out and voted in Bill Clinton, who I voted for and i was for. I watched Bill Clinton receive the benefits of the plans that Bush Sr put into place and now Bill Clinton is regarded as one of the great presidents and yet some of the changes he made on Wall Street, were responsible for the crisis that happened during Jr´s. Then Jr dumped in on Obama and Obama has had four years and is trying to straighten it out and it´s just not fast enough for people and I go “Here we go again!”. We´re gonna elect somebody else who´s gonna inherit Obama and they´re gonna say “Oh, it´s the greatest thing since…”. Just let the guy finish up. It´s eight years and we´re seeing little signs. We´re definitely in a bad place and it goes throughout Europe, well not you guys, but it´s still a volatile situation but there are signs of recovery. It takes more than two years to get it done. We´re living in a society where people are so… immediate gratification. Everything´s gotta be immediately. I want it now, I want it now! Sometimes you can´t have it. Sometimes, if you want it to be good shit, you have to wait for the wine to sit for a couple of years and then drink it.

Speaking of Mark Twain, I was actually in Hannibal, MO in 2008, where his house is.

Dee: You mean where he grew up?

Yeah.

Dee: You were there?

Yes. Me and my dad and my three brothers made this five week road trip in the US and we stopped in Hannibal, which was quite the depressing place.

Dee: I´m a big Mark Twain fan. He´s an inspiration as a writer and then, someone you wouldn´t know, Jean Shepherd, who´s style I´ve co-opt. He´s bad.

And speaking of Stephen King. Have you read his book about the assassination of Kennedy in ´63?

Dee: No. He did?

Yeah and a big one.

Dee: I´ve read everything by Stephen King up till a few years ago and then I kinda slowed down on him. He said he was gonna stop after the accident. (laughs) I don´t know if it´s not as good as it once was or whatever, but there are so many other things I´m reading, like Mark Twain. I just finished reading a book called “Area 51” (Annie Jacobsen). Fucking brilliant, man! After 40 years they released top secret documents to the public and the purpose for it was that nobody gives a shit, but this woman went and researched and now the people who worked there can talk and everything is explained. Quite simply, Roswell, which started the modern UFO craze, it is documented. The flying saucer was Russian and the US government could not admit that a Russian made vehicle, designed to freak out Americans, got as far as fucking Nevada, undetected, so the covered it up. The theory is that people will believe the easiest thing to believe rather than the hardest thing. It´s easier to believe it´s a UFO, because it was a UFO shape. The Russians acquired two German scientists after the split of Germany. One was the designer of the flying wing and they built and designed a flying saucer and the reason they went with the flying saucer was… do you know “The War of the worlds”? Yeah, sure. Dee: The radio thing with Orson Welles. Even Nazi Germany saw that and thought “America´s feaked.” And the Russians figured “Let´s build a flying saucer and fly it in there.”. America couldn´t admit that they´d actually been infiltrated and covered it up. The UFO thing, CIA, NSA, they just fed into it and were like “Awesome!” because everybody´s thinking of flying UFO´s. Then Area 51 was building illegal spy planes in the 50´s and they flew 2,5 times faster than Mach 1 and they were designed to be invisible and they were running all the test flights, 1000 of test flights. They were so futuristic. The UFO department investigated every claim to make sure nobody knew what the truth was. The government just did some crazy shit and they let the people do their own cover ups. Great fucking book! And the nuclear tests they were doing. Just irresponsible.

Yeah, they had soldiers walking into that stuff right after they blew it up.

Dee. Yeah. They set off a nuclear bomb in the upper atmosphere and there was a large amount of scientists that believe it would set the air on fire and they did it anyway. Crazy shit! That´s what was happening 40 years ago. What´s going on fucking now?

Right. One final thing. What´s left to do? You´ve done rock and roll, the book, the movies, the TV-shows, the Broadway show… is there anything left you wanna do?

Dee: I do the voice on a new Disney cartoon. It premiers on Thursday and it´s called “Motorcity” and I´m the voice of the Duke of Detroit. Mark Hamill is the bad guy.

Luke Skywalker?

Dee: Yeah! He´s a big voice over guy. He´s done Batman cartoons and he´s the Joker on the really cool Batman. He´s like a top voice over guy and they brought me in to do this villain, Duke of Detroit, and I am now THE villain and Duke of Detroit is like James Brown meets David Lee Roth meets Kid Rock and he´s like a total rock star and just pretty psycho. I´m doing that now and I´m in a sitcom called “Holliston”. A small sitcom, like six or seven episodes and we just got picked up for another ten. I play Lance Rocket. A 50 something cable station manager who plays in a Van Halen tribute band called Diver Down. I walk around wearing spandex, leather and makeup all the time at work and nobody reacts. There´s this one scene where we have like an office meeting and I´ve got a woman´s top on and then I stand up and I´m wearing sequin hot pants, pink fishnet stockings and cowboy boots and I grab my feather boa and I throw it around my neck and the guys are like… no reaction. (laughs) So the answer is, what more is there? I just got my musical optioned and I really… wanna retire. (laughs) My wife keeps saying “Yeah, yeah!”. I´d just like to not do so much and I´d like to do things more selectively, because I really seem to be like a mental patient. All my kids are in… my oldest kid, Jesse, is an aspiring singer and comic book writer and he does voice over as well. My daughter is in a post hardcore band called They All Float and I´ve been picking up a lot of black metal for her here in Scandinavia. One son is a director and he directed my video for “Mack the knife” and my eldest son is a writer and an actor and he´s the one in that video jerking off. The one masturbating, that´s my other son. I´ve got a production company and I´d really like to just support them. Not financially, but help them and get more involved in that. Be a producer for their projects and helping them reach their goals.

Cool! Thank you so much Dee!

Dee: Thank you! Great talking to you.

/Niclas