torsdagen den 29:e november 2012

Mick Wall om nya skivor.



















Jag gillar verkligen Mick Wall. Rec av hans senaste tegelsten om AC/DC kommer inom en snar framtid.
Hans senaste inlägg på sin blogg handlar om köpet av nya skivor eller rättare sagt, bristen på köp av nya skivor.

"I was asked by Classic Rock recently to participate in their annual critics' poll and list my Top 10 albums/reissues/etc of the year. I had to politely pass. Not because I am above such things. I used to love putting these lists together, as do we all. But this year, seeing as I've been up to my eyes in the AC/DC book, I've had to temporarily withdraw from regularly reviewing stuff for the mag, and thus been even more out of the new releases loop than usual. I thought about it, though, just to be a team player. Which is when it hit me. What do the most recent albums by ZZ Top, Aerosmith, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Van Halen or Whoever have in common? Answer: nobody other than rock critics or those bands' most ardent fans have actually been bothered to listen to them. Nor do the rest of us really care. Sure, we read the promo drivel that precedes them, lap up the stories (again), but when it comes to actually shelling out some ridiculously antiquated price for them on CD (remember CD?), we yawn and turn the page to read about something else. And that's because that's where we are in 2012. The days of the rock gods handing down their latest platters like gold from the mountains are gone, brother. Even the Stones finally wised-up and realised it was pointless sticking out yet another half-asred 'new' album. Better to make available the one good track there would have been on it and simply overcharge for their shows. No one gives a shit about the so-called new stuff anyway. Not when we've already got the old. The days of gratefully sitting through - yawn - all 60 minutes of some godawful CD where only two, if that, of the tracks really kill, are over. Play us the hits, you tits, or we're gonna tune out. Our time is now more precious than yours and we're not bothered anymore about the rest of that bullshit. They blame the internet for 'declining album sales'. But it's the internet that has freed us, the sap listeners, the impulse buyers, from being snagged like fish on the worms they dangle before us. So, no, I don't actually have any favourite albums this year. Not from the so-called giants from the past anyway. Yet I love good music more than ever, which includes tracks from that cool BCC album, and one or two others of note. But don't even get me started on those overpriced live DVDs. What, when we've got Youtube??? Seriously?"

/Niclas

onsdagen den 28:e november 2012

En halvtimme med Jamey Jasta.














En lång dag avslutades med ett samtal på Warner HQ med Hatebreeds Jamey Jasta. En ytterst trevlig, pratglad och välartikulerad New Haven-grabb.
När han anlände till Arlanda idag knappade han in cityadressen i telefonen och fick svaret att det var 44 km till målet. Han blev lite lätt orolig över att behöva gå så långt.
Han förtäljde även att Kirk "Crowbar" Windstein just nu är upp över öronen förälskad och deklarerar detta högt och ljudligt på Facebook varav ett nytt album med überfantastiska Kingdom of Sorrow just därför kändes lite avlägset.
Intervjun kommer upp inom en vecka eller två.

/Niclas


lördagen den 24:e november 2012

Oh Henry my Henry!



















I veckans krönika har Henry bara ögon för New York, staden som aldrig sover.

"The city never sleeps, never dies and never quits. Most amazing city in the world, nowhere else comes close. For more than 30 years, I have left a lot of sweat and blood on stages all over this city. If I am lucky, I will return again and again."

Henry HÄR

/Niclas
Eric Carr R. I. P.



















Idag är det 21 år sedan Eric Carr lämnade jordelivet. Samma dag gick ju även den mästerlige Freddie Mercury ur tiden, vilket gjorde att Carrs bortgång fullkomligt försvann i nyhetsflödet.
The KISS Room har lagt upp en exklusiv intervju som aldrig tidigare hörts. Frank Hagan som startade fanzinet KISS Mask 1987, intervjuade Carr via telefon den 9:e november 1989.

Lyssna på Eric Carr HÄR

/Niclas


torsdagen den 22:e november 2012

Chuck Klosterman om "The Elder".



















Chuck Klosterman är oftast kul, så även i sin syn på albumet "The Elder.

"I know I saw KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park and an episode of 20/20 where KISS was prominently featured. I think it was mostly the 20/20 broadcast, to be honest, because I recall going to school the next day and "playing" KISS at recess. It was probably my idea. You had to have moon boots in order to play, which seems like the kind of weird playground bureaucracy I would have demanded as a second grader."

Jag kan varmt rekommendera hans böcker "Fargo rock city", "Killing yourself to live" och "Chuck Klosterman IV".

Läs Chucks syn på albumet HÄR

/Niclas
It´s a Zeppelin bonanza!















Idag låg den i brevlådan. 1 DVD och 2 CD. I´m a happy pappy.
För någon dag sedan damp även 11 CD-samlingen "Led Zeppelin outtakes" ner i lådan och just nu sitter jag i Rock and roll-rummet och lyssnar igenom tagningar av "No quarter". Magiskt.
Vill du läsa om 10 Zeppelinlegender klickar du på länken nedan.

Zeppelinlegender i Rolling Stone HÄR

/Niclas


tisdagen den 20:e november 2012

200 intervjuer.



















Ja här ligger de allihop. Steve Lukather blev intervjun som sprängde vallen. Jag har under åren tryckt ut varenda intervju jag publicerat på Metal Shrine och samlat rasket i dessa finfina kompendium.
En tanke jag haft sedan en tid tillbaka är att det ska resultera i någon form av bok. Om det blir verklighet eller inte har jag inte den blekaste aning om, men det hade varit kul. En titel finns faktiskt redan.
Under alla dessa år har jag ju gjort fler än dessa 200. Mängder har aldrig skrivits ut. Oftast pga ren lathet. Sedan har jag gjort åtskilliga radiointervjuer på Rocket.FM som bara svävat rakt ut i etern och aldrig förts ner på papper. Jag har med andra ord snackat en väldans massa under de senaste 10 åren.
Blir det 200 till? Kanske. Att få intervjua allsköns rockstjärnor, stora som små, är något av det roligaste jag gjort. Fantastiska möten och samtal som jag för alltid kommer att bära med mig.
När jag nu tittar igenom en del av häftena inser jag att en av de första intervjuerna jag gjorde var Bruce Dickinson och Janick Gers i februari 2002 på Strand Hotell i Stockholm. Lite nervös var jag allt och jag tyckte dessutom att Bruce var något dryg medan Janick var ytterst trevlig.
En ganska bra intervju att börja sin lilla hobbykarriär med.
Den intervjun flyger fortfarande omkring i cyberrymden och hittas HÄR

/Niclas


söndagen den 18:e november 2012

Nytt bootleg med KISS från Tarantura.



















Japanska Tarantura fortsätter att prångla ut vrålsnygga och intressanta bootlegs. Nytt på KISS-fronten är åter en inspelning från legendariska Mr Peach. Den här gången gäller det konserten på Budokan, Tokyo 19770404 och det handlar om två inspelningar av samma konsert. Tydligen hade Mr Peach med sig två olika bandspelare den här kvällen och det är dessa som utgör dessa 4 CD som endast släpps i 150 ex.
Om dessa inspelningar finns ute sedan innan är jag osäker på.
I denna sekund är "Köp nu priset" 315 dollar på eBay. Med andra ord som hittat.

"150 Copies Only Limited Numbered Edition KISS "SNAKE ATTACK BUDOKAN"-4 CD BOX w/ 8 pages booklet

TokyoMonday 4 April 1977 Budokan Dai Hall Tokyo, Japan
Mr. Peach brought 2 tape recorders to Budokan last night.
 A / Main Recording : Technics RS-686D B / Sub Recording : SONY TC-3000SD

Disc 1; (TCDKIS-3A, 3B-1) 01. Opening 02. Monitor Check 03. Introduction 04. Detroit Rock City 05. Take Me 06. Let Me Go, Rock 'N' Roll 07. Ladies Room 08. Firehouse 09. Makinユ Love 10. I Want You 11. Cold Gin 12. Guitar Solo 13. Do You Love Me 14. Nothin' To Lose

Disc 2; (TCDKIS-3A, 3B-2) 01. Bass Solo 02. God Of Thunder 03. Drum Solo 04. God Of Thunder 05. Rock And Roll All Nite 06. Shout It Out Loud (encore) 07. Beth (encore) 08. Black Diamond (encore) 09. Announcement"

/Niclas
Intervju med Steve Lukather!





















Jo jag vet, Steve Lukather är väl inte direkt förknippad med den hårdare musiken, men får man möjlighet att snacka med en legend så tackar man inte nej.
Jag kan inte påstå att jag har lyssnat mycket på Toto genom åren. Visst finns det låtar som faller i smaken och jag är personligen en liten sucker för det där slätstrukna och sockersöta soundet, men överlag har jag aldrig riktigt tagit bandet till mig.
Jag såg dem live i Göteborg i början av 90-talet och tyckte det var helt ok, men övernattningen i en iskall bil efteråt var betydligt mer minnesvärd.
Herr Lukather är aktuell med en ny soloplatta, "Transition" och jag måste erkänna att det inte låter dumt alls. Inte hårdrock på långa vägar, men det svänger rejält emellanåt.
Jag ringde upp Lukather i Tyskland och fick en trevlig pratstund om bl a nya plattan, livet som sessionmusiker, Janne Schaffer och Van Halen-bröderna.

Steve Lukather: How´s it going my man?

Good. How are you?

SL: I´m doing really well. It´s been a nice day. A long day, but a positive one. I´m happy about all that.

Are you in Berlin?

SL: I am in Berlin and I´m going off to Milan tomorrow morning.

You could do worse.

SL: You know what I mean? (laughs)

I´ve been listening to your album and I gotta say it´s a kickass album.

SL: Thank you very much! It means a lot. I mean, you guys are metal heads (laughs), but I love it all, man. I love all kinds of music and if you dig it that means a lot to me. I really do appreciate you having an open mind about what I´m trying to do here.

Definitely. Especially the first two songs, “Judgment day” and “Creep motel”. Great stuff. And the song “Once again” has a bit of a Bruce Hornsby feel to it.

SL: Well, it´s interesting that you´d say that. I can see that. I mean, I like harmony in my chords. There´s so much that´s just power chord 5ths an all that, which is great but it´s not my forte. I love a Marshall amp turned up to fucking eleven as much as anybody else, but I come from a different harmonics sense and I like to challenge myself but still trying to keep it rock a little bit. I still come from that world.

Are these all new songs?

SL: Yeah! Aside from the last song on the album (Smile) which is a song Charlie Chaplin wrote in 1935 or something, but the rest of it is all written for the record. I started last December and went “What are we gonna do today?” and the first song we wrote was “Judgment day” and that sort of set the pace for the whole record. I didn´t do demos. The demos are the record. We started out with these songs and we just started writing and then adding little overdubs and stuff and they took on a life of their own and then I started overdubbing real musicians on that. It was the opposite of what I normally do and it also worked out well for me and be able to take my time from the song writing process. I was kinda recording this album from September until last month when I turned in the final master version in between five different tours with five different artists. I´d go out and get inspired by what I was doing and writing lyrics on the road and working on stuff via the internet, so it was an interesting process but in the end I´m pretty pleased with how it all came out.

All the people playing on the album, how did you pick those guys? I guess you know them all?

SL: They´re all my friends and it was great because I was able to write songs and go “Hhmmm, who would be great to play on this?” and then I´d run into somebody somewhere, “I´m making a record, you wanna play on it?”. That´s how I got Chad (Smith) on the record and we hadn´t worked together before and he´s a bud and I love the way he plays. He´s the real deal. I ran into him and he said “What are you doing?” and I said “Well, I´m making a record.”. Chad went “Well, I wanna play on it.” and I go “Well, come down tomorrow night!” and he said “Ok!”. And he showed up and that´s what happened. A lot of the people are old friends and I was just thinking “Who would be great on this tune?”. People would just drop by. Phil Collen dropped by and he did background vocals on “Judgment day” and he sang on the last record. They´re just friends of mine and they just pop in. I mean, I pay people, but at the same time that wasn´t the primary motivation for guys who just wanna come in and jam with me. They were playing on tracks where the songs were almost done, so they could actually hear the song and play to the song so I was getting like first and second takes out of everybody. I was really looking to get their little stamp or style on this record as well.

There´s nine songs on the album. Were there a lot more recorded?

SL: No. Listen, I come from an era where records were no longer than 38 minutes. That´s a concentrated effort. I was going for quality and not quantity. Just because you can put 72 minutes worth of music on a CD, doesn´t mean you should. I didn´t want to put a bunch of crap on there just to fill up space and for some reason the last album I did had nine songs on it and that was received rather well and I was thinking laughingly in my head “Well, nine´s the magic number. I´m only gonna do nine.”. Not eleven, not ten, but nine. (laughs) It was kinda a running joke and it just sorta stuck. There´s still 50 minutes worth of music or so and that´s plenty of time for an attention span. Everybody has a short attention span these days. Everybody´s multitasking and stuff so if I can get anybody to listen, right on, I´m all for it.

That is true. What happens is that you put stuff on there that probably wouldn´t have made the cut if it was like back in the day.

SL: Right. You had to make choices. In other areas, the groove of having being able to have length on a record. I mean, I have people saying “Man, the good jam stuff´s at the in fade and in a few cases when I was just playing, I let it go out. Like the first couple of tunes have longer fades than I normally would have in the old school era, but I thought it was fun. People are going “No, don´t fade that shit out! Leave it on!” and I go “Really? It´s not too much?” and they go “No, it´s not too much.”. I didn´t really make a shred guitar record for the guitar players to go “Oh wow!”. There´s a lot of guys that do that a lot better than me. Millions of them as a matter of fact. I just went to my strongest point which is kinda when I broke myself back down and pulled myself out of the mud and became myself again. My strength lays in the melody and the way I play through whatever given chord changes I have. That´s what I did. I tried to make it interesting phrasing and interesting choice of note and not just blazing pentatonic scales, you know.

I was reading on your website about all the stuff you´ve done and all the musicians you´ve played with. What do you think it is that made you this incredible guitar player that ended up playing on thousands of records?

SL: You know man, I was just at the right place at the right time. That and my ability to morph into any situation. This year alone I started out doing this rock meets classic thing with an orchestra and Ian Gillan. A big orchestra and I came off that and worked on my record and then I went out with G3, Satriani and Vai and that was a whole other mindset and it was a lot of fun. Those guys are so fucking good it´s unbelievable. We had a big laugh and it was a great honor to be a part of that. I came home and worked on the record and then I go out with Ringo Starr all summer and that´s a complete other mindset and I played with Todd Rundgren and Greg Rollie and all these great players. I was taking all this input subconsciously or consciously and it was all inspiring me to work on the record. It wasn´t necessarily stylistically, but when you´re around great musicians you hear things and I take it all in. It´s really inspiring and these guys… being around the level of musicianship I´ve been around all year, helped the overall record, I think. I like to do different stuff. Right now we´re heading into the Toto 35th anniversary and they´re putting together this one degree of separation thing of all the records that all of us collectively have played on. Every major artist the last 50 years and it´s like 8000 records and you look at these little bubbles of every artists logo and what they all have in common is us. It´s really kinda scary to look at. I got it over the internet and I started laughing and I wrote back “Are you fucking kidding me? Is this for real?”. It´s not a puffed up discography. A lot of people lie about the things they´ve done. 10 turns into a 100 and turns into a 1000, you know. This is real and I´m looking at this collective discography of all the members of Toto. Guys who have been in the band and the guys that are currently in the band. You gel all that together and it´s a pretty staggering look. We´re not like any other band in that way and I have really enjoyed the diversity of my career. I love a great metal record, but I love a great jazz record or R&B record as well. I love a great pop song and whatever. I like all the classic rock stuff. I dig it all and why can´t you like it all?

Exactly. Of all the stuff you´ve done, are there one or two things that kinda stand out, that are more memorable than others?

SL: You know… you´re talking about a lot of different stuff. From a diverse stand point, getting to work with the people that inspired me to play in the first place, are three out of the four Beatles. That´s something I never thought attainable. Working on some of the biggest records of all time like “Thriller” and stuff like that. That´s gonna stand in the history books for a long time and then working with absolute legends like Miles Davis and all of the guitar players that I´ve had a chance to work with. I don´t wanna start just banging out names, but when I think about it every now and then when I´m asked, I kinda shake my head and go “Did I really do this or was this all just some sort of dream?”.

Did you turn down Miles Davis in order to do Toto?

SL: No, you´ve got the story sort of convoluted. Miles did call me on the phone asking me to join his band, but I was already in Toto. We had just finished the “Fahrenheit” record and Miles played on the record and then he heard the record and really dug what I was doing and he wanted me to leave the next day and come to New York and join his band and Toto was leaving the next day to go on a three month tour, so I couldn´t leave my guys and I would never do that. But I was very honored to be asked and I had to pass. I said “Call Robben Ford or Michael Landau!” and they called Robben, I think. And Joni Mitchell wanted me to go out on a tour for the “Wild things run fast” album and I couldn´t do that because of the Toto thing and Elton wanted me to join his band at one point when I was like 21 and we were doing “Hydra”. I stuck with the band. Jeff Porcaro was asked to join the Springsteen band and Dire Straits. We´ve all been asked to be lured away and we very respectfully and humbly said “Thank you so much, it´s a great honor but I can´t.”. I can´t do that to my guys. We´ve been in high school and the trenches together. There are things that would´ve been interesting and my life probably would´ve changed one way or the other, but my life changes being around these great artists. I´ll take it as at least I got to do that.

Right. As I understand it, you don´t do that much session work these days and everything has changed in the record business, but was it like in the 70´s and the 80´s? Did you do session work every week?

SL: Man, I haven´t done sessions per se in 20 years. I might do a couple of records a year for a guest spot or a friend, but I don´t do sessions really. Back in the day it could be 20-25 sessions a week, every week, six days a week. Then I´d make my own records with Toto and go on the road and then come back and do that. It was amazing. I´m looking at these “year at a glance books” that I´ve had since 1977, because I´m writing a book. I´m writing a book on my life in the studios and I´m looking at them and going “How the fuck did I do this?”. I was young and had the energy. I could just keep pushing and keep going and it was truly amazing. It was some of the most fun times of my life because I was getting a chance to work with the level of musicians I was working with every day and the fantastic artist that I got to learn from and all the producers. It´s a lost art, man! It doesn´t exist anymore. People make records at home or they share files. It´s not the good old days of showing up and going “Who am I playing with today?”. This camaraderie that we had. I mean, I did so many records with Jeff Porcaro. We were constantly together and it´s some of the most fun times of my life. I look back at it with such reverence and humility. I´m just thankful for the experience and being able to do all this stuff. I was there for the last era of the session man.

Was most of this done mainly in LA?

SL: Yeah! 95 % of it. You might be asked to go to London or New York or something like that, but 95 % of the sessions I did were all in LA.

There must´ve been some crazy parties?

SL: (laughs) Well, I mean, it was all business. If we were all fucked up, we wouldn´t have been able to do all this stuff. There are all these myths of how much drugs everybody was doing. Look at the body of work and then ask yourself the question, “Could this guy have done all this if he was that fucked up?”. I´m not saying we were angels, because we weren´t, but there was a lot of concentration at a very high level. One cannot keep up when you´re completely fucked up out of your head. Yeah, there might have been some late night hanging afterwards and when you´re young, you don´t need that much sleep and there´s some stupid shit that I wish that I had never done in my life, but it was the era and it was everywhere and everybody was doing everything. The late 70´s and 80´s were the excessive eras, so yeah, there´s some shit I wish I´d never done and regrets I´ve had a few, but it was that era and a lot of shit got done and nobody was that high, otherwise nothing would have gotten done. It´s like the old “Oh man, you should´ve seen it. It was insane.”. The people that spread these rumors were not there. Like I said, I never said I was innocent, but if I was that fucked up, nothing would´ve gotten done.

Makes sense. Was it more fun back then compared to today?

SL: Well, it´s hard to have fun when you´re by yourself. Yes, it was a blast! You´d show up at a studio and there were three studios filled with all your favorite musicians and the hang was great, all the laughter. “My amp fucked up, can I borrow your shit?” or “Hey man, I can´t do this session. Can you do it for me?” or you´d be walking down the hall and someone would say “Come on in, I want you to do a solo on this track!” and you´d do it in two takes or whatever and you didn´t even have it booked for the day. Fun things were happening and all my favorite players became my friends. There was all this love and so much work that everybody was so busy. Now it´s like nothing. There´s hardly any work. If I had to sit around at home waiting for the phone to ring, as a session musician, I´d be really fucking nervous. It´s a drag because I think the music suffers from it. A machine will not react to what you play to it. That being said, there is still some great music being made now. It´s just a different world.

This book of yours then? When can we expect it?

SL: It´s gonna take me years. How do you condense 36 years and 1000 or records, or whatever the number is… it takes a long time to get through that and try to make some sort of sense of it all and that´s not even getting into the Toto story. That´s just my life in the studios and without the sex and the drugs and all the silliness. It´s a boring cliché story anyway. It makes you look like a cheap fuck and an idiot. I really wanna talk about the music and how some of these records were made and the process of it. Working with legendary people. Watching Elton John write a song and cutting it. I was on the inside watching all this happen and everybody has a different process. How much fun it was. Who was there and who really did what. Those are all the other rumors, who really played on this stuff and what part did they play? Instead of answering the questions I´m putting it in a book and I´ve got a lot of great photos and stuff like that.

Are you doing it all by yourself?

SL: No, I´m writing it with my friend Lonn Friend. We went to high school together. We´ve known each other since 10th grade in high school. He´s kinda helping me walk through it, so I can keep a sense of humor about it. It´s not just gonna be “When I was five I heard The Beatles and started playing guitar.”, because then you´re already falling asleep. I wanna have a sense of humor and maybe not go in chronological order. Tell the story and jump from here to there and keep it interesting to read for a non musician to read. I´ve read enough biographies to know what works and what doesn´t.

Lonn has written a fun book or two.

SL: Yeah! Like I said, growing up in LA, people would never think that me and him were friends but I knew him before he went to work for Larry Flynt. We were like 14 or 15 years old. I felt comfortable with somebody who really knows how to write and who also knows me and I can trust him. I can be brutally honest and he can go like “You really wanna put that in the book?”. (laughs) and I´d be like “You´re right, I don´t wanna put that in there. I´ve got kids.”. (laughs)

I gotta ask you something. A Swedish guitar player, Janne Schaffer, do you know of him?

SL: What was his name?

Janne Schaffer. The thing is that the song “Hold the line”… there was a very famous pop artist in Sweden who had a big hit with a song called “Satellit” and the riff in that song is quite similar to a riff in “Hold the line”.

SL: News to me. I´ve never heard of this guy. By the way, I didn´t write the song.

The story was that this Janne guy was over in LA and met you and some of the other Toto guys and he kinda borrowed that riff from you. He heard it in a demo version or something.

SL: He stole it from us? I was there when David wrote it. Actually, David´s take on it was “hot fun in the summertime with hard guitars”, so that´s how that got written. I don´t know who this guy is and I´ve never heard the record. You have to play it for me and I might laugh. People go for similar licks in songs and there are always a certain amount of chords and things that may have been an accident. Who knows? I didn´t write the songs so I can´t tell you what my inspiration for it was. All I know is that when David played it for us, we loved the song and we cut it right away. There´s a lot of people that say “Oh yeah, I was supposed to be in the band!” and I go “Really? Did you go to our high school?” and they´d go “No.”. “Well, then you weren´t gonna be in the band.”. (laughs) Some people say “Oh, I played on that record.” And I go “No, you didn´t! Don´t lie like that.”.

When was the first time you met Eddie Van Halen? Was that in the early 70´s?

SL: Me and Michael Landau, another great guitar player, we had a high school band and we were auditioning for Gazzaris which was on the Sunset Strip and Van Halen was the headline band. We got the gig until they found out we were under age. We were only 16 and you had to be 18 to play there. I had always been hearing about this guy Eddie Van Halen and we finally met right after the first Van Halen record and we did this big festival in LA and we said hi to each other and then one day he called me on the phone and said “Come over! I wanna hang.” And we got together and we´ve been really close friends ever since. I think the world of Ed. He was a game changer and he´s been a very good friend through some dark times. I´m so happy that he´s in great form and doing ok. I got a text from him a couple of weeks ago before I left. He´s one of the finest ever. What can I say, we´ve had a lot of laughs together. (laughs)

Have you guys ever thought of doing something real together, like an album?

SL: Yeah! We´ve done things together. He played on my Christmas album and I´ve sat in with Van Halen live and we´ve written some things together on my first solo album. We hang out and do stuff, but generally when we hang out we don´t talk about music. We´re just regular dudes like everybody else. I´d love to do something with Ed down the line, but he doesn´t really do much outside stuff. The band is everything for him. I´ve been trying to get Alex to do something, but he just won´t. “I love you Luke, but I only play with my brother.” And I´m like “C´mon Al, we´ve been buds for some 35 odd years!” and he goes “I love your shit but I just don´t think I´d be the right guy.”. He´s a great drummer and Al doesn´t get enough love. He´s part of that Van Halen sound too. He´s a power house and he´s also got a lot to do with the concept and the writing and the overview of the band. He´s a really smart guy too. He´s really intelligent and we have a lot of really deep conversations and he´s a really funny guy too. I gotta give him a call. I haven´t talked to him in like a year. Anyway, I love those guys. I´m a big fan and we´re also friends.

Did you hook them up with Ross Hogarth for the latest album? I know you´ve worked with Ross before.

SL: No, I didn´t have anything to do with that one. Ross worked on my record and he recorded the drums and bass. Listen, we all live in Hollywood and we´ve all worked together before. I worked with Ross way back in the day. I forget what record it was, but everybody knows everybody else. Ross found his way there… I think through another producer they´re were gonna use, but they didn´t use the producer, they kept him. I forget what the story was but it´s not for me to gossip like that.

Final thing. I see that you´re playing in Stockholm in March. What can we expect?

SL: I am! Polka fusion music. (laughs) No, I´m gonna play my stuff. I´m gonna play some new stuff and stuff from all my records. I haven´t really put the show together yet. I´m still trying to figure out how I´m gonna play the record live, because I make this huge produced records and I gotta rethink how I´m gonna do it live. I´ve been picking out songs that I think are gonna work. I think I´m gonna wait and see when the record comes out and see what the reaction is and see what their favorite tracks are. I do like to listen to the people that like what I do. Those are your harshest critics. If a fan gives you critique it means something. If some guy who just hates me because it´s cool to hate me or whatever, I don´t listen to those people. I mean, what the fuck? “36 years later you´re gonna start telling me I suck?”. “Ok, you´re right, I suck. You´re much cooler than me.”. But people that buy your records and pay for the ticket, they deserve the attention and most of the time they have great ideas, so I listen to them. I can´t do all 200 songs that I´ve recorded, but if you get an overall consensus of what people like to hear and what would be different from the last time… I´ve really been working on my vocals a lot. I´ve got a new vocal coach and that´s always the hardest thing about playing live. Ask any band, any singer. There´s not that many guys that nail it 100 % every night. It´s a hard act and especially as you get older, but I´m really clean in my mind and body and I take really super good care of myself and with my vocal coach I´ve seen a really big improvement so I´m gonna stay on that road and I´m gonna give everybody the best of both worlds. It´s gonna be a rocking show. I´m not gonna be doing “Hold the line” and I´m not gonna be doing the jazz fusion set. C´mon out and see the diversity and dig some new stuff and some old favorites and I´ll be there.

Who are you bringing out on the road?

SL: My live band. They played on the album and co wrote and sang, so I´m gonna have my guys that I love and maybe a guest or two, you never know.

Cool. Looking forward to it. Thank you so much Steve!

SL: Thank you for the good vibe, man! Say hi to all the readers!

/Niclas

fredagen den 16:e november 2012

Ny film om Kurt Cobain!



















Saxat från Rolling Stone:

A new documentary on Kurt Cobain from filmmaker Brett Morgen is in the works and expected to be out in 2014, the New York Post reports. "Courtney [Love] is the one that brought me into this," Morgen told the paper, noting that he and Love had been talking about the project since 2007. "We’ve been trying to find the right time to put this film together and the time is now." Morgen added: "Kurt was not only an amazing songwriter and musician, he was an incredible artist and filmmaker. So we are going to do the movie sort of like a third-person autobiography – [as] if Kurt was around and making a film about his life." Morgen's latest effort is Crossfire Hurricane, a documentary on the Rolling Stones that airs tonight on HBO and uses old and never-before-seen footage to tell the band's story. "Nobody has put the story together as a narrative," Morgen told Rolling Stone in March. "We've been looking under every rock, going through their archives. It will be music never heard before, and I've conducted 50-plus hours of interviews so far. By the time we're done, they will be the most extensive group interviews they've ever done."

/Niclas

torsdagen den 15:e november 2012

Last days here.



And then there was darkness...

/Niclas

onsdagen den 14:e november 2012

KISS The Exhibition intar huvudstaden!


















Saxat från Extreme Food:

"Den 25 januari har vi invigning av vår nedervåning, som de första 5 veckorna kommer att innehålla Kiss The Exhibition, Nordens största utställning om bandet Kiss, som därmed gör sitt allra första besök i Stockholm! Det blir därtill ett fett vernissage med bjudöl, livemusik och DJ:s, och givetvis tar vi in Kiss alldeles egna hot sauce i sortimentet i samband med detta. Vi återkommer med mer information, men vill redan nu göra er uppmärksamma på att vi kommer sälja snygga, numrerade biljetter (med design av Robin Gnista Art & Design) i butiken med start snarast. Perfekt julklapp!"

Extreme Food håller till på Östgötagatan 66. Inträde är satt till 60 kr.

Extreme Food på Facebook HÄR

/Niclas
Trent + Josh har en låt ihop...



















Saxat från Rolling Stone:

"Trent Reznor will be lending a hand on the new Queens of the Stone Age album, he said yesterday during a Reddit Ask Me Anything session. The Nine Inch Nails frontman dropped the news while answering questions about his new band, How to Destroy Angels. When someone asked what else he's working on, Reznor replied, "A number of things. Tweaking some things for the HTDA full LP (coming in Spring), helping Josh out on a new QOTSA track, working with [NIN tour producer] Roy [Bennett], starting rehearsals for two bands." Last week, Queens of the Stone Age leader Josh Homme said that Dave Grohl will be playing drums on the band's next album, due sometime in 2013."

Ett samarbete som kan bli mycket intressant.

/Niclas
Queensryche? I think not.



Sedan urminnes tider har det stått klart att bandet inte gjort något vettigt sedan "Promised land". Ska vi vara riktigt hårda så är "Empire" den sista urfantastiska plattan de släppt.
Geoff Tate är sedan länge bortom all smak vad gäller musik och nu ska då det "nya" Queensryche revolutionera och slå på stora trumman om att " Nu jävlar ska ni få höra!", men inte lockar de här klippen.
Queensryche ist ja tot.

/Niclas
Bokrecension

"Makeup to breakup: My life in and out of KISS"

Peter Criss med Larry "Ratso" Sloman 2012



















Jag måste erkänna att jag egentligen inte förväntade mig så mycket av Criss bok. Frehleys dito var en besvikelse och Simmons kar jag inte läst, men jag tvivlar på att den på något sätt bidrar med några revolutionerande insikter i den värl som går under namnet KISS. Få människor har den otroliga kapaciteten att prata så mycket, men ändå inte säga någonting som just herr Simmons.
Nåväl, nu var det kattens bok vi skulle behandla i den här recensionen. Musikaliskt sätt har Criis inte gjort något vettigt sedan hans soloalbum 1978. En i mitt tycke bra skiva, även om den skiljer sig markant från det sound KISS hade vid den tidpunkten, men så är ju också Criss äldre an de andra medlemmarna och hade andra musikinfluenser. Mer Gene Krupa än Zeppelin, om man säger så.
Boken inleds med de tuffa livet i hans barndoms Brooklyn. Sadistiska katolkska nunnor, gatugäng och en dröm om att en dag spela i Madison Square Garden.
Med all säkerhet hade han det inte lätt och i boken nämner han flera gånger hur Simmons/Stanley hela tiden hade ett överläge tack vare sin respektive skolutbildning. De var allmänbildade och kom från andra familjeförhållanden. Criss framhäver sig gärna som en gatufighter, men ibland känns det som att storyn putsats till något under årens lopp och kanske är det bara ett sätt att ge sig själv lite mer street cred än hur det egentligen var.
De första åren i KISS fungerar bra, men han skriver också hur det från början var väldigt tydligt att Simmons/Stanley var de som styrde. Criss fick slåss för sina låtar och de flesta nekades. Detsamma gällde även för Ace.
När jag var ung och började lyssna på musik såg man alltid framför sig hur alla ens favoritband bodde tillsammans i ett stort hus, skrev låtar, festade och åkte sedan up på vägarna. Den stående en för alla, alla för en-mentaliteten. En tanke som givetvis försvann ju äldre man blev och slutligen insåg att det nog kan fungera så i början av ett bands historia, men sedan blir det ett arbete som alla andra, även om arbetet skiljer så markant på många plan. Just så här är det i Criss bok. Det börjar bra, men sedan kommer pengarna, egona växer och medlemmarnas respektive dåliga sidor förfular allt.
Jag har länge tyckt att den gamle katten mest framstår som en bitter föredetting, vilket även i mina ögon stämmer ibland, men samtidigt kan man förstå honom. han var en master of the universe när det begav sig, försvann ut i tomma intet efter avhoppet 1980 och sedan fick han möjlighet att casha in igen i samband med återföreningen ´96, men blev åter överkörd av Simmons/Stanley.
Det är ingen vacker bild han målar upp av de andra originalmedlemmarna. Stanley kalls för hon/han och har mängder med issues. Simmons är ett kontrollfreak som dessutom aldrig tvättar sig. Ace är mest full och får sig en rejäl känga eftersom han tydligen tjänade mer pengar än Criss de sista åren av återföreningen.
Visst får man som sagt en viss sympati för trummisen, men han framstår också många gånger som en idiot som behandlar människor ganska illa. Vid hans cancerbesked börjar han exempelvis klandra sin fru Gigi för cancern. Ett hemskt sjukdomsbesked, men han tar det lite för långt. Dock ska han ha en eloge för att genom hela boken villigt erkänner sina brister och fel. Han skriver vid flera tilfällen att han absolut inte varit någon ängel och det lyfter boken en del.
Intressantast är nog ändå hur jäkla bittert det varit, eller är, mellan de olika medlemmarna. Det låter från och till som en gigantisk sandlåda och nytt för mig är att Criss och Frehley ska ha erbjudits närapå 900.000 dollar för att inte spela på den genomusla "Psycho circus".
Han berättar också hur KISS med management lyckades begrava hans "första" soloplatta "Out of control" och även om den stora besvikelsen över att han senaste soloplatta "One for all" floppade totalt. För övrigt är omslaget till just detta album något av det fulaste som någonsin tryckts.  
Criss verkar ändå någorlunda lycklig idag och och han tjänade helt klart enorma summor pengar på återföreningen, även om det givetvis var en bråkdel av vad Simmons/Stanley gjorde.
Absolut minst intressant i boken är det avslutande kapitlet om hans gudstro. Det blir bara patetiskt och jag personligen, som avskyr allt med religion, begriper inte meningen med det. Han pratar med gud och jag kan omöjligen ta det på allvar.
Förutom detta är det faktiskt en ganska bra bok som ger ännu en liten pusselbit till det stora pusslet om KISS och dess historia som band.

/Niclas  
Hela Sail away-showen från KISS Kruise II!



/Niclas

måndagen den 12:e november 2012

Extremt läckra foton från konserter i Houston!

Hittade en sida helt dedikerad till konserter i Houston. Just nu ligger det mest uppe bilder från 70-talet och tidigt 80-tal, men jävlar i min låda vilka foton!
Här finns så otroligt mycket att titta på och nästan varje foto ger en wow-känsla. Jag har bara gått igenom KISS, Van Halen och Grand Funk Railroad och höll då på att ramla av stolen.
Alla bilder bär en vattenstämpel och jag lägger inte upp någon här utan surfa in och njut av tider som en gång var!

RockinHouston HÄR

/Niclas
Joel McIver har intervjuat Jason Becker.



Författaren/journalisten Joel McIver har intervjuat Jason via e-mail. Det ska bli otroligt intressant att se filmen. Jag tror att den dyker upp på DVD i december, men är inte riktigt säker.
Jason lever med den ytterst grymma sjukdomen ALS och har så här långt levt med det i mer än 15 år, vilket är långt över prognosen han fick.

McIvers intervju HÄR

/Niclas

söndagen den 11:e november 2012

Intervju med Michael Sadler i Saga!





















Jag upptäckte Saga någon gång på 80-talet. Främst var det "Silent knight" som attraherade, men jag följde dem egentligen bara lite från sidan.
Under de senaste 10 åren har jag fått en personlig liten Saga-revival och lyssnat en hel del på både gammalt och nytt med bandet. Senaste "20/20" är inte alls dum och showen de bjöd på i Stockholm för någon vecka sedan, kommer utan tvekan att tillhöra favoriterna när årets konserter ska summeras.
Dagen innan giget i Stockholm fick jag möjlighet att snacka med en glad Michael Sadler. En sångare som fortfarande visade sig besitta en överjävligt stark röst.
Samtalet kom bl a att handla om tidiga videos, senaste plattan och ett framtida projekt med orkester.

How are you?

Michael Sadler: I´m doing fantastic!

How´s Gothenburg today?

MS: Rainy, grey but… (laughs) optimistically happy.

How´s the tour been going?

MS: Fantastic! It really has. I was expecting and hoping for the best and hoping for enthusiastic crowds but it´s just been outrageous. Last night in Copenhagen could´ve been the mid 80´s with the reaction we got. It was fantastic. Someone reminded me that it was 30 years ago we did the “In transit” album and part of it was recorded there. It was a great, great night but every night´s been really good. Everybody´s in a very good mood right now.

Good to hear. How´s Ian doing?

MS: He´s doing great. The first reaction from everybody was “It´s the alcohol blah blah…”. It had nothing to do with that. He´d been working really, really hard behind the scenes on the tour and before the tour started and the first week was just absolutely grueling. We did like 2000 km (?) in four or five days and it was just a pure fatigue thing and we were just fortunate to find someone to fill in for him for a few shows. There was never a fear that he would not complete the tour. He just needed to lay low for a couple of days. He´s done a couple of shows since being back and he´s playing like a mother… you know what. (laughs)

This Knut guy that filled in for him…?

MS: Knut yeah. I don´t know a lot about him. There were someone else lined up and then he couldn´t do it at the last minute and this was like a friend of a friend of a friend recommendation. He sat in the dressing room for about three hours with the gear back there. He learned everything and then walked straight out to the stage from the dressing room and did three shows with us. He did a fantastic job. I said to the fans that the thing happening with Ian was no big deal and he´s gonna be fine, but we had a choice. We could either cancel or continue and they were more than happy. They´d rather have 4/5 of the band than a cancelled show. He was great, absolutely great.

I´m not a musician myself and I´m always fascinated with people like that. He sat for three hours and then went out and played the show.

MS: I know. And it´s not like your standard AC/DC songs. There´s some pretty intricate stuff. The arrangements and the lines he had to learn. I´m really impressed with that. It was a lot of fun.

I´ve been listening to your latest album “20/20” for the last couple of days and it´s a really great sounding album.

MS: Thank you! The strange thing about that record was that, prior to me coming back they had actually written 99% of the record and had it already recorded. Rob (Moratti) was actually already working on the vocals when the decision was made for me to return. I was down in LA by myself and I was basically handed the finished record. It was almost like singing karaoke. The tracks were just sitting there. The only frustrating thing was that I had nothing to do with the music and I have always, since the beginning, had a very technical part of the music. From that point it was frustrating, but from a fresh ears kinda thing it was great because I was not used to the songs and I wasn´t burnt out on the songs and I could bring freshness to them. The guys heard nothing until it was completed so they were kinda sitting up in Canada going “Oh my god, I wonder what he´s gonna do?”. (laughs) It was really exciting to do it that way. They handed me the tracks and I listened to them and people asked me what I thought of the record and my first reaction was “vintage”. Not old fashioned in that sense, but vintage in the terms of that the key elements of the core sound were back but very modern sounding production wise. When I first heard it I was very, very pleased. I thought “Alright, we´re back on track.”. The next one we do and I´m sure there´s gonna be a next one because we had a nice meeting with the record company the other night and I will definitely be more hands on with the music this time around. Life is good.

I was actually thinking that it has that classic Saga sound to it. There´s one song that really stands out for me and that´s “Anywhere you wanna go”. That is such a great song.

MS: We start the show with it. I like that one, well, I like all of the songs. I´m really proud of this record and I´m really proud of the vocal work I did on it. That´s another thing, because I had the chance to do vocals for the first time without Jim Crichton. On every other Saga record Jim was behind the glass and we had a working relationship. Sometimes we wouldn´t have to say anything to each other, it was just that kinda thing. Suddenly I was working with a different engineer which brought in fresh ears, so I was trying all these different things to approach the way I sing. I was a little bit nervous what the guys would think obviously. (laughs) I didn´t send them anything and when they got it nothing could be changed because it had to be mixed, so it was like it or not.

These songs that ended up on the album, were those the only ones you sang on or were there others that didn´t end up on the album?

MS: No. I don´t know if they wrote any other musical numbers at all. Usually that is the process, where you get it down to the final 10 or 11 songs or whatever ends up on the record. There´s usually some debris, some tracks that never made it, but I´m not sure about that. That is what I was handed, those 10 tracks and that´s what I had to deal with. I wouldn´t be surprised if there´s a few things floating around that never made it.

Any plans for a DVD from this tour?

MS: There is actually. This came up even before the tour began and the record company approached us and said they would very much to do a Blu-ray in Munich, which is the last show. It´s perfect timing because the last show of the tour the set will be absolutely smoking at that time and it´s a bit of a home town for us in Germany anyway. We have a lot of history there, so yeah, there will be a DVD from this tour.

Doing a show like that, do you get more nervous knowing that it´s being filmed?

MS: I get nervous anyway and I´ve always said that if I don´t get nervous before a show then it´s just a job. If you´re not getting nerves then you´re just going through the motions. The mention of nervousness or anxiety knowing that there´s cameras, I just know that they´re there and I just make sure that they notice to stay out of my way basically. I know what you´re asking. It´s not a matter of thinking “I gotta be careful what I do because people are gonna watch this later.”. They´re gonna watch this right now if I do it anyway, so I just treat it like a show and all I think is about is that they´re gonna capture what we do that night. No anxiety. Believe me, I have anxiety enough and I don´t need any extra. (laughs)

Will it turn into a live album as well or is it just a Blu-ray?

MS: Well, if it turns out well enough it will be one of those double packages where you´ve got the DVD and then the audio part on CD. From the way we´re playing now, that´s definitely the plan. It´s a pretty strong set we´re playing and it´s a very eclectic mix. After 35 years and 20 albums there´s a lot of material tho choose from and what I´m trying to do with putting the set together… I mean, it´s only an hour and a half or an hour 45 minutes to fill in and it´s a new problem now. It´s not a matter of what are we going to play. In the beginning we only had eight songs because we only had one record, now it´s what don´t we play? I´m trying to represent so many albums as possible and bringing out a few surprises. There´s a couple of tracks that we haven´t played for a very long time and we´re bringing those back so it´s a great mix, I think. It´s the closest we can get to give you a good cross section of the last 30 or so years.

Great. Some old stuff. I always wondered about that insect that has appeared on so many albums? Where did it come from in the first place?

MS: (laughs) It´s actually known as GB, Golden Boy. That was a creation of the gentleman who came up with the artwork for the very first record. He was told about the Chapters idea and that it was a continuing story and he was kinda given a sketchy outline of what the sci-fi story was about and that´s the creature that he came up with and he kinda evolved through the years in terms of artwork. That´s pretty much the central character of the story, which will all one day be revealed in whatever form we finally decide on. I´d love to do a Chapters tour with all 16 Chapetrs with an orchestra. I think the easiest way to do that, my plan would be… if I can make this happen, you obviously can´t travel with an orchestra. The idea would be to line up an orchestra in each city. If it was Germany alone or say three in Scandinavia and seven in Germany, you take the major cities and it gets scored and you send the sheet music out to all the orchestras in each of those cities. It´s gonna look the same every night, you roll in, they´ve rehearsed and you just go for it and record every night as well with a lot of visuals and back screen projections and I think that would be the ideal way to finally make sense of the story and perhaps a book to go along with it that really, really spells it out. Then there´s also the video game. (laughs) It´ll be slightly educational of course. (laughs)

That would be cool!

MS: Yeah, it would actually.

Did you know that the song “Careful where you step” or the beginning of that song actually, was used as an intro for a Swedish TV-show (Dokument utifrån) for a long time during the 80´s?

MS: I did not know that.

It was a show with news documentaries and it was just the intro of the song.

MS: Really? It´s one of those songs that we almost wouldn´t be able to leave the building if we didn´t play it. At that very beginning of the song the reaction is immediate. Well, it´s good to know. Maybe if you find it you could pass along the information.

Absolutely. I think it was in the mid 80´s or something.

MS: When it was hot. (laughs)

Exactly. I found the video for the song. Sort of a live video. What do you remember from it? You were wearing leather pants and you had a big moustache.

MS: (laughs) We all have a past, sir. (laughs) I don´t remember much about it. Just that there were cameras rolling and you were obviously lip synching and you were trying to pretend you were performing the song. I know it was done on a sound stage and you make it look as convincing as possible. The idea of making videos when we were starting out was all brand new. I just remember thinking “Why are we doing this? Who´s gonna see this?” (laughs) and along came MTV.

Yeah, that must´ve been one of the first videos shown on MTV?

MS: Yeah, I know that we made “On the loose” right when MTV was starting out and it was very fortunate because the record was breaking at the same time and MTV was just starting out and because it was just starting out, not a lot of people were making videos so we went into seriously high rotation which obviously helped the profile of the band. They really, really helped in the beginning. You´ve got the combination of “Worlds apart” coming out, “On the loose” being on the charts in America and splattered all over the TV on MTV, so you probably saw the song twice an hour. It was a great tool and still is. Now it´s less about music, MTV in the States, but in its heyday it was great and so instrumental in launching the band.

Definitely. What are your thought on the music industry today, besides that no one´s selling albums anymore? You´ve been doing this for such a long time and Saga´s been around for such a long time.

MS: It´s different now than what I would´ve answered five years ago. Five years ago, if you would´ve asked me, I would´ve said that it´s in dire, dire straits. We´re all gonna see, like we did with vinyl, there will eventually be no CD´s and it´s just the way of the future. You just have to accept it for what it is. In terms of what is out there, five years ago I would´ve said that everything is programmed and not real, everything is packaged and a project and it´s not about the music anymore. What I have found in the last five years is something very encouraging. A lot of young bands are playing good, honest rock music like the Foo Fighters and it just feels in the air that there´s a return to… I used to drive my step daughter to school and I dropped her off and I´d see all these boys wearing Van Halen shirts and Led Zeppelin shirts and I was thinking “These little boys don´t wanna listen to Justin Bieber or Backstreet Boys.” And they´re rediscovering real musicians playing their instruments and they´re getting a vibe from it and there´s all these bands wanting to be like that. I don´t wanna say there´s an 80´s revival because that sounds so cliché, but there really seems to be a return to the honesty of making music. Unfortunately for them, like you say, you don´t sell records anymore per se, it will be downloads for them, so it really does come down to the live thing again. Live is the way to make your money and it´s funny because I was talking to an attorney friend of mine, a very good friend of the family, and he said it´s completely changed. You used to do a tour to support a record. Now you put out a record to support a tour, so you can call the tour something. Like Bon Jovi´s 2013 tour is called “Because we can”. (laughs) That´s what they named their tour. “We´re on the road because we can.”. (laughs) But it is encouraging from that point of view and I hear about these young bands all the time and I try to keep my ears to the ground. But as I said, had you asked me five years ago I would´ve said the music industry is pretty much dead in terms of what it used to be. It really seems to be turning around again and that´s a very good thing.

Absolutely. Are you involved in any other projects? Working on any other music?

MS: At the very moment, no. I filmed a live performance of my “Clear” album five years ago in Los Angeles that is ready to be released. Obviously I´m not gonna have it out at the same time as the Saga product. I´m planning on releasing that around Christmas or shortly thereafter. I did work with an orchestra, I worked with a big band and a pop band and all Saga material. When I was out of the band for those four years, there was a period there in the space of three or four weeks where I did three different genres of all Saga music. One set to classical, one to swing and one was a guitar player named Rudi Buttas, one of the guitar players from the very famous German pop band called Pur. I sang on his record actually and then he asked me if I wanted to do some shows. No keyboards! So you´ve got one version with actually no keyboards, just guitar players, one version with a full blown orchestra and you have to imagine, for example the chorus in “Wind him up” with 80 singers singing that with me. It was just astounding. Then it was a genuine swing band doing swing versions of five or six Saga tracks. I had a bit of an identity crisis going on after that. (laughs) But it was a lot of fun.

Nice! After this European tour, what´s happening? I know you´re doing a cruise.

MS: Yeah, that´s in March. We have a little break coming up around Christmas time and then we´ve got shows in Canada after that. We´re just gonna stay on the road as the shows come in. We´d like to try and get into Asia for the first time. We´ve never been to Japan strangely enough. Alos, our goal for next year is to reemerge in the American market. We just neglected it. I think people in the States thought we´d broken up a long time ago because we just haven´t gone there and it´s just really a matter of going in there and touring. It´s a big territory and you´ve got to put aside a good five or six months of just being there and just pounding it. A lot of bands are going out in these package deals like Kansas, Styx, Journey and that just seems to be the way to do it. If we can get on the right one, I think that´s one of the goals for next year as well. I nice thing about it and I put a lot of the credit to Facebook, the fact that there seems to be a renewed interest in the band and there´s an excitement about the band with the new drummer Mike Thorne and I´m back in the band and we have “20/20” which is getting great reactions from everyone. There just seems to be something very, very positive happening right now and we´d be foolish not to capitalize on the momentum.

Any chances of you guys playing Sweden Rock Festival?

MS: I don´t know. It has come up and I know they´d like to fill that bill fairly quickly and I´ve already seen ads for next year and I´d love to get into that show. It´s great exposure and our fellow countrymen Rush are gonna be on that bill as far as I know.

And Triumph played there not too long ago.

MS: That´s right. I´ll keep my fingers crossed.

Alright. Excellent talking to you Michael!

("Careful where you step" som intro till Dokument utifrån 1987.)

/Niclas

lördagen den 10:e november 2012

Mycket läsvärd intervju om "(Music from) The Elder"!



















Fantastiska www.kissfaq.com fortsätter prångla ut intressanta intervjuer och artiklar i specialprojektet NovElder.
Senaste intervjun med Rob Freeman, som jobbade med KISS i Ace in the hole-studion strax före inspelningen av "The Elder", är absolut mest intressant så här långt.
Läs och släng på plattan omedelbums!

Intervjun hittas HÄR

/Niclas

Intervju med Wolf Hoffman i Accept.

















Tyska Accept har fått en ganska stor revival i och med den nye sångaren Mark Tornillo och två hyllade album i form av "Blood of the nations" och "Stalingrad".
Jag satt ner med Wolf på Warner HQ och fick en trevlig pratstund med den gamle tysken som sedan många år bor i Nashville. När jag ställde första frågan om just valet av Nashville kände jag för en sekund att det här kunde gå åt helt fel håll, men allt styrde upp sig och det blev en hel del skratt.
Vi snackade bl a om hans karriär som fotograf, senaste plattan, låtskrivande och en kommande livedvd.

What was it that made you end up in Nashville? I´ve talked to a lot of musicians and that city is apparently a very happening place when it comes to music, and not just country music.

Wolf Hoffman: Yeah, you´re right. It´s all there. It just never ceases to amaze me why people are so fascinated with where I live. It´s got nothing to do with Accept really, yet everybody always wants to know. It seems to be a fascinating subject with people, which is cool. I don´t mind talking about it, but I always wonder what it´s got to do with anything? But hey, Nashville is a music city, man. When you live in the States and you wanna live anywhere where it´s about music, it could be New York or LA and both places I hate. I mean, I don´t hate them but I wouldn´t wanna live there and then there´s Nashville and that´s where I live. It was really almost by accident I ended up there. Like I said, it´s about music and everybody is in one way or the other connected to music and there are a gazillion amazing players, there are record companies, rehearsal facilities, trucking companies… all the ingredients that we all deal with all the time, so that´s why I´m there. None of these things never really matter to Accept because it´s not a metal town. Usually we start our tours there, but that´s all really. I don´t play in the local scene and I don´t mingle much with the local players. They do their thing and I do metal, so I just enjoy being there.

About your photography then? I was checking out some of the stuff on your site and there were some photos of an airport, I guess, and they kinda reminded me of Andreas Gursky.

WH: (laughs) Yeah, I know who he is.

Do you look at other photographers for influences?

WH: Occasionally yeah, but to tell you the truth, I´ve gravitated these last few years to corporate photography and advertisement stuff and those airport photos are more of a personal work that I put online because people always respond well to it and it shows my German side because they are very… I don´t know. I like architectural photography because it´s all about clean lines and that´s the perception a lot of Americans have of the clean Germans and the preciseness and whatever. I enjoy these photos and I actually enjoy Gurksy, but he´s an art photographer and I´m not. I would never dream to be anywhere close to what he´s doing. It´s been a great way to make a living and I would still be doing it if Accept hadn´t happened all of a sudden. I was not unhappy. I was totally happy doing photography, but man, when there´s a chance to do music again, I´ll drop anything and do that. I´ve never found the same satisfaction in taking pictures as I have in making music. It´s nice to have your pictures published and it´s nice to see them on billboards or book covers. Most of the time I don´t know what they do with them. I just deliver the files and they do whatever. It´s nice, but with music, this stuff lasts forever and making records that people still talk about 20 years later and to be in front of 2000 kids that sing your melodies, that´s a thrill you don´t get as a photographer, I have to say. That´s why I´m back here doing this. It´s amazing, huh? But I´ve been really fortunate to have two careers that are artistic and that essentially were hobbies and then turned into professional careers. First it was music and as we all know, it´s pretty damn hard to make a living from music, but it´s also quite difficult in photography and I´ve done it twice, so I´m very fortunate in that regard.

Very. A lot of people go to their jobs and they hate it for 30 years.

WH: Exactly and I´ve never had that. I´ve never hated my job yet. There are some good days and some not so good and that goes without saying. It´s not a permanent vacation. Living the dream is not always quite the dream, but still.

Bryan Adams is also a photographer.

WH: Yeah, I´ve seen his stuff and it´s pretty impressive. But I´ve never take the approach of selling me as the rock star that takes pictures. I´ve always tried to keep the two things separate. A lot of people that hire me have no idea that I´m in Accept and I like it that way.

Cool. Writing music, like for this album, I saw an interview where you said you don´t write on the road. I just thought with all the down time you have when you´re on tour… is there never a time when you sit down and strum on the guitar trying to come up with stuff?

WH: No. For me, I need to get deep into it. I don´t know. Maybe song writing is like a spiritual thing where you gotta immerse yourself into it? I need to know that I have an open calendar. Even when we´re in song writing and I know there´s an appointment at six, I hate to sit down at two o´clock and think that I only have four hours. What happens if I have the greatest idea of my life and I wanna finish it? I hate the thought of having something on my schedule that blocks it, you know. I need to have nothing else that day that I need to do. It´s weird. Another thing is that when you´re on the road you never have all your gear. I hate to do it on a little laptop with crappy guitar sound. I wanna have my shit and sit there with my stuff and get inspired.

Is it easier or more difficult writing songs these days?

WH: No, it never gets easier. I think most artists would say… especially if you´ve already done 15-20 records and that´s some 150 songs that you´ve already published, you always run the risk of repeating yourself. It´s a very fine line that you have to walk because you want it to sound like you, you want it to sound familiar but you don´t want it to sound like it´s a rip off of yourself, so that´s where the challenge is. It´s not so much writing something, that´s always easy, but that something better be as good as the things you´ve already done but not too much as something you´ve already done and that´s where the challenge is. Maybe that´s why bands and artists take longer and longer to come up with new studio albums. Maybe they feel at a certain point that they´ve done everything they can do and if it´s something you haven´t done already, maybe it´s so far away from what you´re known for and there might be nothing left for you to do. Right now we don´t have that problem, but it´s been going through my mind sometimes. You don´t wanna repeat yourself but you want it to be typical you.

Right. But there is a bit of a vintage thing going around like the latest Van Halen and KISS albums. Both of those albums having songs that sound like they did back in the day.

WH: Yeah! We wanted our stuff to sound like it was written in the 80´s and there was nothing wrong with that. It actually helped us to do it because we knew exactly what we wanted and this last album “Stalingrad” also had the advantage that we knew exactly what we wanted on this one. We´re totally happy with “Blood of the nations” and we were just like “Let´s make another record like it, if we can.”.

Both albums received a lot of praise all over the world and that´s gotta feel good since there has to have been some nervousness with a new singer and all that? You probably did exactly what the fans wanted.

WH: That was a huge relief of course. Once everybody was embracing those records, it was like “Wow, talk about dodging the bullet.”. Quite honestly we had no idea. We felt it was great. I´ve done that in the past when I thought something was really good and then everybody hates it for some reason or another. You never really know as an artist. You can´t. You never know what the fans think. They´ve got a mind of their own, so we were totally nervous by all this. Then when it came out and the way it was received and it was number one in the charts and still is in some of the readers polls in Rock Hard and Metal Hammer, it was totally satisfying to see that. We were totally nervous, of course. Or I wouldn´t say nervous, but we were fully aware of it because at the same time we said “Well, if this isn´t gonna work with Mark, we haven´t lost anything because what else is there for us to do?. We can either all go home and do nothing or we can do this.”. Udo wasn´t available so hell, what have we got to lose? It´s worth the effort and we felt it was the right guy at the right time.

Is it correct that Mark wrote the lyrics for the album?

WH: It is. In the past it was Gaby, my wife and manager, who wrote most of the lyrics back in the 80´s and she was great at it and she probably would´ve done it again, but we felt like “Here´s an American guy and it´s his native language so he doesn´t need Germans writing lyrics for him. Let him write his own lyrics damn it! Let him work for his money!” (laughs) I also thought that he would probably do a better job singing it if it was his own thoughts. Of course there was a certain amount of discussions about what he was writing down and what we wanted to hear, but in the end he really paid tribute to our tradition and I think he wrote the lyrics in a way they should be written for Accept. There were still some discrepancies where I thought “Well, I probably would´ve said that a bit different.”, but that´s fair. After all, he´s the singer so he might as well put his own words into the whole thing. Sometimes the way we write songs, Peter and I start the process and we sit together and jam on riffs, but it´s always about the song. It´s about the melody and very early on it´s about the chorus too. We always kinda know what we want the chorus to sound like and Peter usually puts down some scratch vocals without any words, he´s just sorta mumbo jumboing his way through it just to speed up the process. Mark is different. He can´t just fake it. He needs to think and think deep and it takes hours to write something down and then when we hear it for the first time, it might not be what we want so just to speed up the process, we let Peter mumbo jumbo something and it´s so ridiculous, but we treat it like an instrument and we judge it for the melody and the rhythm and when we´re happy with all that, then we´ll give it to Mark and he can really put his deep thoughts into all that stuff.

Do you ever write songs thinking “This one will be great for radio.”?

WH: Not anymore so much. In the 80´s we did. Everybody was chasing that dream of having the big smash success. There are always examples of all these other bands that had these massive radio hits, but we never did. The closest we ever came was probably with “Balls to the wall” because that one ended up on MTV and stuff. Now days we don´t think in those terms anymore, which is good. It´s actually kinda a relief. You put that aside. “We don´t need a ballad.”. (laughs) We don´t need the radio hits so thank god that´s out of the way, so we just concentrate on metal. I mean, we always like a catchy tune because I think it´s become a trademark over the years. I always want people to be able to sing along and memorize it. If it just goes by you, in my mind it´s gone. Other bands don´t have memorable melodies and they´re doing just fine. For our stuff, a great Accept tune for instance like “Pandemic” turned out to be a great live song because people get into it right away or like “Stalingrad”. You hear it once and get into it right away.

I guess there´s always stuff that never makes the album. When you´re writing for a new album, do you ever go back to the “riff bank”?

WH: we do. We have a “riff bank” and a lot of the time it´s kinda a graveyard of riffs. It´s funny, there are certain riffs we keep pulling out again and again and they never turn into a song. Rarely there´s a part that we actually end up using. For some reason you always think these parts are great and you go back to them, but by that time we have 10 new songs for each one of those cool parts. Occasionally we have a snippet here and there.

I talked to Robb Flynn and he does the same kinda thing and there was one song he talked about where they had a riff and it didn´t work out and then several years later he pulled out that riff again and then it worked and he used it in a song. Can that happen?

WH: Actually it did happen on this record. We had this riff for “Shadow soldiers” and I remember it was written for the previous record. I played it to the guys and no one was responding that much to it then and this time it was like “Oh, cool!”. It always depends. It´s a combination of things. It´s the music and it´s the timing. If we would´ve released “Blood of the nations” 15 years ago, in the 90´s or whatever, people would probably have hated it, but now the time was right for this. Nobody really knows. My point is, a lot of things have to gel together and it´s a matter of timing.

Absolutely. Did you know about TT Quick back in the 80´s?

WH: I heard that there was a singer who was reminiscent of Udo and I always heard about TT Quick, so I was aware of it but I´ve never really been familiar with them.

I remember back in the day when there was a Swedish radio show called “Rockbox” and he played their cover of Dave Clark Fives “Glad all over”. I liked that one but not the rest of the album.

WH: I thought they had some potential but their song writing wasn´t all that great. Maybe that´s where they lacked a little bit. They didn´t have that one song that you need.

Are you involved in any other projects, solo stuff or otherwise?

WH: Yeah! I made a record over 10 years ago called “Classical” and I´m working on a follow up album for that one. I always felt that all my rock and metal stuff ends up in Accept and I don´t really need a side project. I´m not a frustrated song writer that needs to vent his ideas, but what I love to do and have already done once, is an instrumental record. That´s really what I´d like to do. It´s a very unique challenge. It´s one thing to have song writing with vocals and lyrics. It´s actually a lot easier than instrumentals. For instrumentals you´ve got just your guitar. You don´t have the vocals to keep your attention and song writing is also very repetitive. You´ve got your first verse, chorus, second verse, chorus so you only need like two parts and you´re already three minutes into the song. Whereas in an instrumental, after 30 seconds it can be awfully boring if you don´t come up with something that is interesting so it´s a very unique challenge.

Are you a one guitar kinda guy or can you play a Jackson, a Fender or a Gibson?

WH: Yeah, pretty much. I like different guitars and that´s what I do in the studio too. I don´t like using just one sound all the way from start to finish. I try layering stuff with different sounds and guitars. I think that´s a spice, an audio spice. I mean, if you cook a dish you don´t just wanna put salt in there.

True. I also heard that you´ve recorded stuff live. Is that for a possible live dvd?

WH: It´s in the works, man! A lot of fans are asking for it and they feel that Accept is so strong now and they´ve seen us live. They think “They´re on fire! Where can I get proper recorded dvd from?”. We´ve already recorded some shows and it´s actually quite challenging. Everybody´s doing these live dvd´s at festivals because that´s the easiest thing because the cameras are already there, but I´m not sure what we end up doing. I think it´s almost a discrepancy because at the live show you really have to focus on the audience at that moment and you´ve got to play the greatest hits and maybe two or three songs from the new one, where on a dvd I always wanna see more obscure songs that might not work so well at the concert while you´re there. I´m always thinking “Wouldn´t it be better if we had a sort of a special occasion where we recorded some stuff that we don´t normally play live? I´m not sure. I haven´t debated that all the way through to the end, but I always think “If we just record a show, maybe that´s not enough? Maybe we should have a special event where we just set aside for filming and look at it that way.

That would be cool. Fans love that kinda stuff.

WH: Yeah, I´m thinking, but we definitely recorded some stuff and we will come out with something, like a dvd, for sure.

For how long are you gonna keep on touring for this one?

WH: Another five weeks or so and then we´re back home and we´ll take a break. We´ve actually been on the road for 10 weeks already. It´s quite a long stretch, man, for us old guys. (laughs) It doesn´t get easier, I´ll tell you that.

That I understand.

WH: I mean, as much fun as it is… being on a tour bus and getting sick all the time. The coughing and the sneezing, that stuff doesn´t get easier. But still, I´m enjoying the hell out of it.

Any plans for next year?

WH: Yeah, definitely. We´re gonna play all of next year through. Festivals mostly and then it´s time to work on new material again. Probably sometime in the middle of next year or whenever we have some time off, like a month off or so, we´ll start the song writing process again.

So a new album towards the end of next year?

WH: That´s too soon. We´ve already done two back to back and people were surprised that we came out with the second one so soon and to tell you a little secret, we put ourselves under stress with this one. We came off the road last August and committed to a new release in May or April, I think. That meant it had to be finished in January, mixed and delivered because they always need it two months in advance which meant that song writing started in August right away after the tour and man, it was tough.

Is it a good thing to work under pressure?

WH: It is, but this time we overdid it a little bit. I would´ve loved to have the luxury of taking a break for two weeks and then doing another round. But we couldn´t stop and we couldn´t afford a break and even Andy Sneap, it was rough for him too. Sometimes it´s nice to step away for a week or two, but this was every day. We really put on the pressure on this one. Luckily it worked. A little pressure is good. If you have no pressure and it´s like “Oh, take your time!”, we´ve done that one time with “Eat the heat”, the infamous “Eat the heat” album and that was a bad. That doesn´t work. We worked on that damn record for almost a year and in the end you don´t know what is good or bad, you just totally lose it.

And Andy Sneap has really made a name for himself. He´s everywhere.

WH: You know, it was so bizarre when we regrouped and announced to the world “Hey, we´re making a new record with Mark Tornillo!” because we didn´t have a song, no nothing. We just announced it and then we get this phone call from a guy called Andy Sneap, which I had never heard of because I wasn´t in the music business. I was a civilian at that point. “Andy who?”. I looked him up and he´d done Megadeth a bunch of other stuff so he must be somebody. We invited him over and met this totally nice guy who grew up listening to Accept and also a world class producer and I had no idea how well known he was. To this day I´m still… because he´s just Andy, you know. Everybody knows Andy, wherever I go. I´m almost more of a fan of him. We really work well together.

So you´ll probably work with him again for the next album?

WH: Oh yeah! I think so and I don´t think he has a choice. (laughs) I think the reason that we work so well together is… I mean, we´re totally old school. We recorded our first albums on tape and even our song writing is totally old school and we sometimes sit down with the acoustic guitars and it´s about the song. We´re not people who just pile on riffs and sorta stick it all together. It´s about the song. Andy is kinda the younger generation kid, the ProTools generation, which is not quite fair because he also recorded a lot of stuff on tape before. Anyhow, he´s more of a younger kid and for some reason that combination works perfectly. He´s giving us that modern, snappy sound and we do the old school song writing and somehow it works really well. And he´s a guitar player and a really cool guy. If only he wasn´t a vegetarian. I give him a lot of shit about that. (laughs)

Right on. Thank you!

/Niclas