fredag 28 februari 2014

Två artiklar i nya SRM.


























I senaste numret av SRM har undertecknad, efter mycket svett och svärande, plitat ihop två artiklar. En om Sveriges senaste hopp på rockhimlen, Heavy Tiger, och ett om ett sedan länge bortglömt band, Sound Barrier. Det senare brukar räknas som det första svarta hårdrocksbandet i Los Angeles och existerade under några år på 80-talet. En dokumentär är planerad och har vi tur kommer deras tre skivor ut på nytt med bonusmaterial.



/Niclas
Intervju med Michael Starr och Lexxi Foxx i Steel Panther. 




















Något naivt tänkte jag att det här skulle bli som vilken intervju som helst. Frågor skulle ställas och svar skulle ges. Men nej, så blev det inte riktigt.
Steel Panther är i mångt och mycket ett Spinal Tap för 2000-talet med något grövre sexinslag. Dock saknas den där komiska charmen som Michael McKean, Christopher Guest och Harry Shearer besitter. Det är en viss skillnad på "Big bottom" och "Gang bang at the old folks home", om man säger så.
Dum som jag var tänkte jag att killarna i Steel Panther utanför strålkastarnas sken, skulle kunna svara normalt på mina frågor och lägga skådespelet åt sidan. Icke sa Nicke.
Intervjun blev minst sagt intressant och slutresultatet något luddigt. Bland allt trams, gavs det nog ett eller annat ärligt svar, men mest var det en komisk och inövad dialog som spelades upp.

When was the first time you realized you were onto something with the band? 

Lexxi Foxx: Let´s see. For me, it was when I was able to afford to get my own apartment. I still live with my mom though because I don´t like to live there all by myself. I like to go to my mom´s for cooking and do my laundry and shit. My stepdad is a fucking asshole though.

Michael Starr: In the beginning we truly had no idea that this was gonna happen. Our plan was to be able to play fucking metal.

Lexxi Foxx: And get pussy!

Michael Starr: At the time Nirvana came out, our way of life had ended, but we never stopped doing it. When we started playing covers and getting paid for it, it was like “Wow, this is cool!”, but we never thought we´d put out records and go on world tours. For me, I would say it was when we got our first record deal. A major one. Still, we tour and go around the world, but when we come home we play weekly cover shows and just keep playing. We played for three years straight.

Lexxi Foxx: Yeah, this is the longest break we´ve taken from our regular job. We started on the Strip in ´99 and we´re getting a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame…

Michael Starr: Not yet! It´s not here.

Lexxi Foxx: But they don´t know that. I know we don´t have it with us, but it´s for the longest running show in Hollywood.

Any plans for a Steel Panther movie? 

Lexxi Foxx: Could be cool! I guess there are some camera crews talking about following us around now.

Michael Starr: We already made a movie.

Lexxi Foxx: We made a movie. See how that happens?

Michael Starr: It would be cool to make a documentary on the real lives of the guys in Steel Panther. On tour we have a lot of fun. Like last night, each guy fucked a different girl.

Lexxi Foxx: And we got hammered drunk.

Michael Starr: It was really fucking fun, dude! I think the world needs to see this, because kids today don´t know what rock and roll is.

Lexxi Foxx: Our tour bus is so bitchin´, we even let the crew fuck our bitches. Like last night, and this just shows how close we are, one girl, while she was sleeping, everybody on the bus got to put their penis in her and it was awesome. That´s how we like to do it on our bus, we share because we´re like one big happy family. But we don´t fuck each other because then we´re gonna have kids that come out slow.

Michael Starr: We´re a tribe and when tribes fuck each other, they have retarded tribes.

You can´t go Amish! 

Michael Starr: No, but we can go Mormon. The more kids we have, the more metal bands there´ll be.

The new album then, “All you can eat”? 

Michael Starr: The cover was inspired by Lexxi. We thought it would be really funny to do a cover that coincides with the name, “All you can eat”. All you can eat, insinuates a cheap diner and the picture insinuated quality and high class. You put those together and you´ve got Steel Panther.

Lexxi Foxx: I know that when Dicaprio did that painting, he wanted it to be this amazing thing. Look what we did to that fucking thing!

Michael Starr: With photoshop and new technology, you can make way better paintings now.


Lexxi Foxx: You see, he didn´t have what we have today, like computers.

Micahel Starr: We added the pizza in afterwards. There was only one on the table, so we added another one.

Lexxi Foxx. We added all kinds of stuff. What we didn´t do, because we´re smart, we know they could´ve added girls in there but we used trickery to tell the girls that we needed girls, because our computer didn´t work. We couldn´t put girls in there so we needed real girls. So we got the girls. Everything else is trickery. 

Dicaprio was an awesome painter by the way. 

Lexxi Foxx: Thank you!

You´ve got some interesting song titles. 

Michael Starr: Let´s take “Gang bang at the old folks home”! It´s a great, great song. I used to deliver pizzas and Satchel´s mom is actually a bit older. She´s in a retirement home.

Lexxi Foxx: She´s an old fucking bat! She can be a witch at times too. Not a nice lady at all.

Michael Starr: But he (Satchel) doesn´t know that I used to fuck her.

Lexxi Foxx: Satchel came out of her pussy, but Michael came in.

Michael Starr. Well, I was delivering pizzas there and she was angry because I hadn´t fucked her in a while, but we did a gang bang and it was killer.

How do you come up with those titles? 

Michael Starr: It´s easy. They´re all life experiences. It´s like right now. Let´s say we put a song on the record called “Doing an interview in Stockholm” and the interviewer said “Hey, where did you get the inspiration for that?” and I´d go “We did an interview in Stockholm.”. The best way is art imitating life, because that way it is more organic and it´s real and you know that organic stuff is better for you.

Lexxi Foxx: It´s not like with Radiohead where you can´t figure out what the fuck is going on. “I have no idea what the fuck this is! You´re so artsy fartsy with your stupid message. I´m not buying your damn shit because I don´t fucking understand it!”. We tell you! We want pussy and we want a fucking party! We like things that start with P.

How do you go about writing for an album? 

Michael Starr: I´ll tell you what I do to get ready for creating the record. I go to the beach and I fucking relax, hang out, get tanned, go get a protein shake, maybe go for a bike ride along Venice and then I´ll come back to the studio and see how many songs Satchel wrote.

Lexxi Foxx: Same for me. Mostly I´ll just tan, try to pick up chicks and run hurdles.

Michael Starr: It´s important that we do our job because if we go in there all tensed up, and we´ve done this before, and he´s like “Wake up! You gotta sing!” and I hadn´t been to Starbucks or had a cigarette and we tried to record it but it came out horrible. Next time he went to wake me up and I was at the beach. I came back, sang and it came out killer. That´s when we recorded “Fat girl” the very first time.

Lexxi Foxx: It helps the process out a lot if I just don´t say a fucking word. It´s always “No, no, no! Leave Lexxi, leave!”. It just takes a lot longer if I´m there. Too many cooks in the kitchen.

Michael Starr: The process is tedious, extremely boring, but once it´s done, then you know you´re getting laid.

Are your songs in anyway controversial in the US, with the Bible belt and all? 

Michael Starr: No. Nothing. We haven´t heard anything from any artist that we sing about or anything. I think people are intimidated by us. I think they´re afraid. It´s like when you see a super hot chick and you wanna fuck her, but you´re nervous to talk to her. You wanna say something, but this chick is so hot she probably won´t even look at you.

Lexxi Foxx: It´s like… we have a bad area in LA called Compton. You just don´t fuck with that area. If I gotta go to the other side of town, I go around Compton, I don´t go through it. I heard that it isn´t that bad anymore?

Lexxi: Well, if you look like me it is. I would get pounded in my ass. It´s like fucking jail. Not cool.

The UK tour you did with Def Leppard and Mötley Crüe, were you the only ones partying? 

Michael Starr: Are you kidding me? No! Vince Meal, that guy can eat a party, dude!

Lexxi Foxx: He doesn´t eat and throw up like I do. He keeps it in his belly.

Micahel Starr: Sakky Sixx is always at the catering eating, so we´d hang out and drink. The guy that drank the most was the guitar player from Def Leppard, Vivian Campbell. That guy can fucking drink!

Lexxi Foxx: Speaking of Vivian Campbell, he´s on the album on the song “Gang bang at the old folks home”. He´s so awesome!

Michael Starr: It´s a good thing that Rick (Allen) stopped drinking though. He was drinking at the beginning of the tour and he punched Lexxi. He thought he was a girl.

Was it a dream come true playing with those bands? 

Michael Starr: Fuck yeah it was! I would say that that tour was Steel Panther´s destiny because if you go back in time to 2009 and listen to our first single “Death to all but metal”, it simply states in there “Where´s Def Leppard, where´s Mötley Crüe?”. It was a dream come true and it was fun. When we open up for bands of that caliber and instead of saying “Who´s ready for Mötley Crüe and Def Leppard?”, we would say “Listen motherfuckers! You guys gotta make some noise because we´ve been hired to fucking get you riled up for these bands coming up!”.

Lexxi Foxx: You were bitchin´when you did that shit, dude! You´re so fucking good doing that.

Who´s the coolest rocker you´ve gotten up on stage to sing with you? 

Michael Starr: Mike Starr (died in 2011) from Alice in Chains. He got up and jammed with us a month before he died. I don´t know if you´re really into LA metal or Chicago metal, but Derek Frigo (died in 2004) from Enuff Z´Nuff got up on stage and jammed with us and died a week later.

Lexxi Foxx: That´s very true. Unfortunately for me, the singer from Danger Danger (Ted Poley) got up on stage, but he´s still alive. It always happens in threes. I was gonna ask Eddie Vedder to come up and jam with us. Get that back.

What was the coolest show you ever saw in LA in the 80´s? 

Michael Starr: My most favorite show was Van Halen “Fair warning” tour at the LA Sports Arena (Actually it was at the LA Forum, editor´s note), but I could be wrong. I was young and it went by so fast. I remember so clearly watching David Lee Roth and going “My god, this guy is amazing!”. At that point, to me, that was a life changing event.

Lexxi Foxx: Mine was The Bangles, because I would´ve fucked Susanna Hoff…

Micahel Starr: The Bangles? Lexxi Foxx: Yeah, I couldn´t keep my eyes off of her. That´s when I decided I wanted to be in a band, because I wanted to be able to fuck girls like that. Both concerts are why we are what we are today.

Is there a difference between the American audience and the Swedish audience? 

Lexxi Foxx: The girls here are so bad ass! They´re beautiful and have real blonde hair. In LA, I don´t think there´s any real blonde hair there. Everybody has to bleach it like I do. All the girls out here have natural blue eyes, fair skin because the sun doesn´t fuck it up and they´re beautiful.

Michael Starr: I have to say that America is catching up to Steel Panther. Our shows in the Midwest, we´re doing like 3000 seaters now. The audience is getting younger because we´re getting more radio play and it´s changing.

Lexxi Foxx: I just wanna thank everybody that fucking lives in Europe and came to our concerts, because you guys are way ahead of us when it comes to what´s cool.

/Niclas

torsdag 27 februari 2014

Det var oskyldigare förr...
























/Niclas
Intervju med Nergal i Behemoth. 





















För en tid sedan hade jag nöjet att samtala med Polens största bibelförstörare, Nergal i Behemoth. En välartikulerad och bildad man, som inte bara gått igenom en utdragen rättegång, utan även en hemsk sjukdom.
Det är ytterst intressant hur denne ganska tunna man med högt hårfäste, kan förvandlas till den mörka och sataniska varelse han är på scen. Vi kom att prata om allt möjligt och Nergal framstår som en människa som mest blickar framåt och dessutom försöker dra lärdom av allt som händer i livet, bra som dåligt.

You were recently found not guilty in the Bible ripping incident. What went through your mind when you heard the verdict? 

Nergal: Well, I wasn´t sure so obviously I felt relieved, but somehow I had a gut feeling that the verdict was gonna go that way. It felt somehow like my intuition was telling me that I would win. I´m happy and relieved.

Six years is a long time battling obscurity and bullshit. And all the tax payers money spent on a thing like this? 

Nergal: Yeah, I guess… with all of this stuff I´ve pissed off so many people already.

Knowing what you´ve been through, would you do it again? 

Nergal: I would probably give you a different answer depending on my mood. It is what it is. I´m happy for everything that happened at any point in time. The fuck ups, the good stuff, the bad stuff, it´s part of my life. If it wasn´t me in Poland, it would be some other artist or someone else who would be prosecuted for similar actions. It´s a necessary step on the way to democracy and every country has to work that out at a certain stage. Sweden probably had stuff like this. I don´t know your history, but you´ve been through this and you worked it out. Like blasphemy, there´s no logic for it being part of your law. It brings nothing to the system, but in Poland you can be accused of blasphemy. It´s a very intelligent question, what is blasphemy? If there is a thing like blasphemy, we should find some kind of measurement for blasphemy and we´d probably need to find, like a thermometer. It´s completely surreal, this conversation, but it´s like someone would come up with the idea of accusing someone for bad taste. If it was up to me when it comes to bad taste, there would be a death penalty for most of the society, obviously. (laughs) But I know that it´s just surreal and we should really accept people for who they are. We don´t need to get into interactions with them if you don´t want to. I don´t go to church because I know I can easily get annoyed. Some of my adversaries decide to go to church, get offended, get annoyed and then go straight to court. Where´s the logic? It´s some kind of masochism. Either way, I don´t like it.

Did all of this that has happened, change your perspective on life? 

Nergal: For sure. It took me a few years until I realized it was a good lesson. It happened for a reason and I need to learn from it. When I was released from the hospital, I just wanted to live my life, which was ok, but the reflections and the conclusions came later and especially in this last year. 2013 has been essential and I´ve made some serious transgressions. It´s an ongoing process and it´s never too late to learn and to realize that there´s a lot of work to be done if you want to become a better person.

Let´s move on to something else. Your stage outfit, how do you go about creating that persona? 

Nergal: It just happens. I let my creative spirit free and let if drift and then I just follow it. I observe and follow it and let things happen and I materialize these visions. It´s a summary of all kinds of inspirations that come from all over the place. I just pick up pieces of the puzzle and put it together.

Do you feel there´s a transformation taking place? 

Nergal: Yes. Something happens. True. I start walking differently and I talk differently. My vocal tone changes and my moves change. Everything changes. It helps me transform into some kinda alter ego.

Do you feel there are things you can do in that character, that you can´t do when you´re just you? 

Nergal: Yes. If I would go now and perform in these clothes I have on now, it wouldn´t work. I would feel small. It´s like an armor and I feel way more powerful. All these pieces put together makes me feel special.

With the new album “The Satanist”, you entered the Billboard chart at no 34. 

Nergal: Yeah and the previous highest position was 56 or something, I believe, so we got higher up this time around. I actually did some research and I
think it´s unheard of. I think the title can actually shut some doors for us because it´s so radical and it´s really a “fuck off” title. It´s like “Fuck it! This is it!”. For me, there are so many layers of it. I guess that when common people hear it for the first time, the first thing they feel is fear. But the western media also somehow feel very attracted to it, which is weird.



It´s also weird climbing the charts in a country like the US, which is a very religious country. 

Nergal: They are as fanatical as they are liberal. Europe is way more conservative. The US is extreme in many ways.

You recently said that US death metal bands are boring and generic? 

Nergal: It´s not just the US. I really hope my friends in Nile don´t think that, because it´s not what I meant. The majority of death metal bands are boring to me. It´s how it is. This endless strive for perfection and processed recordings. They´re so perfect and professional to the point of throwing up. I´m not buying it. I´d rather go for something that is very organic and more human oriented and that has the human factor in it. 

What bands do you find exciting then? 

Nergal: The funny thing is that hardly any of the bands in the darkest niche of the genre offers the most sincere or genuine or best music. I would rather listen to Svartidaudi, Kriegsmachine or Oranssi Pazuzu than listening to the new Morbid Angel or Deicide. Their music doesn´t do it for me at all and that´s music I grew up with.

Could there ever be a Nergal solo album? 

Nergal: Yeah, I´m thinking about it. I´ve been thinking about it for years now. What I need now is to balance myself with something that´s gonna be exactly on the opposite side of Behemoth. You would never ever see me doing a black metal, death metal or metal project. I put all my energy into Behemoth, so to balance my life I´d really need to do a really stripped down and primal sound. What I´m thinking about is probably just one or two male vocals, some acoustic guitars and maybe a bass drum only.

Do you already have music like that lying around? 

Nergal: Yeah, I´ve been fucking around with stuff. I´ve done some demos, which I hardly ever play for anybody. It´s gonna be dark and sinister, but a bit different. Like 16 Horsepower and Wovenhand and that kinda stuff. 

What do you think of In Solitude who are playing with you on these dates? 

Nergal: Love them! I´m actually trying to get them on the Polish leg of the tour. They´re good dudes and very down to earth. I liked them before, but with their new record “Sister” they´re actually transgressing and doing something very, very special. One of the best of last year.

What got you into music? 

Nergal: Actually, at first I wasn´t really into music. I was into drawing and I was drawing for hours every day. I drew wars. My parents said half jokingly “Maybe you should go in that direction? The school of arts?”, but I chose music and I have never ever regretted it. Not a single day. It is what it is and it´s the best job ever. I love it! It keeps me inspired and I can inspire other people, which is very important.

Was there a particular band or album that then got you into music? 

Nergal: No, there were different stages of getting into it. It was a combination of things that made me go that way.

Growing up in Poland in the 80´s, was there an easy access to music or was it all via the black market? 

Nergal: Yeah, there was the black market and there was radio. Just imagine, Poland was under a communist regime. In control, but out of control in a sense with like publishing rights and such. National radio would play full albums, which is unheard of, and it didn´t cost them a single penny. That´s how guys like myself would get educated in heavy metal. I was really young and there was this radio show called “Music of the youth”, if you translate it, and they played heavy metal albums. They played Flotsam and Jetsam and said it was thrash metal. I wasn´t really catching on to it because it was too technical and aggressive. When I was a kid, Slayer was too much for me, but eventually I caught up with it and I got into the more extreme stuff.

Do you think Behemoth would´ve existed, had you not grown up in a Catholic family? 

Nergal: Well, I had a Catholic upbringing, I did. I was never asked if I wanted to be baptized. There are more atheists today and the atheistic approach is coming back, which is good. I don´t know. I don´t really like to think “What if?”. It is what it is and I am who I am. I don´t question things in this way, I accept it and embrace it and I like the place where I am now. If I didn´t, we´d have a more dramatic conversation. I´m really happy with my life. I´m actually happy that it started that way. I opened up my mind and started questioning things and contemplating and reflecting on things. I rejected religion and converted into something that is very much based on individual and independent philosophy.

I find the way you questioned religion interesting. I´m a teacher and work with kids from different cultures and countries and 99% of them are religious, be it mainly Muslims or Christians. They never choose, they´re born into it. 

Nergal: There must be a reason why we call them sheep in the Bible. They never question, they just follow. People need to be led and need to be controlled and even if they don´t, they still choose their ways so they feel safe. This way they get rid of the extra ballast, the extra responsibility and they can eat, drink, fuck, shit and die one day, which is ok. Either way, it´s their decisions. It´s all about balancing it and giving your life deeper thoughts and deciding and choosing for yourself. I don´t know if I was there from the start, maybe I wasn´t. Maybe there was something else that brought me to this place. I just started listening to heavy metal and it just opened up some cells, some impulses to rebel. I don´t know. I think heavy metal is a very healthy music style. First of all, the culture of heavy metal is so spread out from stupid, casual things to very important things that matters. Name any other culture that is spread out like that? There´s none! That makes it very inspiring and very stimulating. If I ever have kids, I will definitely try to play them heavy metal. If they dig it, that´ll be awesome.

What did your parents say when you decided on all of this? Were they supportive in anyway? 

Nergal: Yeah, totally. My father used to work in the shipyard and my first guitars came from some of his coworkers. I couldn´t afford getting one from the store. It was at the end of communism and the beginning of democracy. It took a few years until we reached the level we are at now and back then it was really hard to get hold of instruments and stuff. My parents would give me everything they could, but it wasn´t much. My dad used to cut out guitars in wood. They weren´t meant to be played on, but he would do everything he could to support his kid, which I´m very thankful for.

/Niclas

onsdag 26 februari 2014

Det går bra för SRF. 
















Saxat från pressutskick:

"Sweden Rock Festival i Blekinge står stark på den svenska festivalmarknaden. Omsättningen för Sweden Rock Festival AB uppgick verksamhetsåret 2013 till 90 miljoner kronor, vilket är den högsta omsättningen i festivalens historia och en ökning med 13,2 miljoner jämfört med föregående år. Intäkterna bestod till ungefär två tredjedelar av biljettintäkter, men även andra verksamhetsgrenar inom bolaget visar på stark tillväxt och cirka en tredjedel av omsättningen bestod av andra intäkter. Resultatet efter skatt uppgick till 16,2 miljoner, även det en ökning jämfört med 2012. 

Fakta, Sweden Rock Festival 2013: 
Antal dagsbesökare: 113 500 
Besökare i snitt per dag, huvuddagarna: 33 000 
Antal dagar: 4, varav en öppningsdag på halva området 
Antal band: 76 
Antal scener: 5 
Antal länder besökarna kom från: 52 
Antal festivaler sedan starten 1992: 22"

/Niclas

tisdag 25 februari 2014

Intervju med Jordan Rudess i Dream Theater.




















I lördags intog Drömteatern huvudstaden och bjöd på den bästa show jag hittills sett med bandet. Några timmar innan konserten snackade jag kort med keyboardisten Jordan Rudess. Strax innan intervjun mötte jag trummisen Mike Mangini i lobbyn. Han såg något vilsen ut, frågade om jag skulle intervjua honom och vandrade sedan vidare. Han såg ut att ha smalnat sedan sist jag mötte honom och dessutom var håret betydligt längre. Efter en stund insåg jag att han faktiskt var jäkligt lik Steve Perry.
Nåväl, Jordan var trevlig och vi pratade bl a om de gjort några nya upptäckter i låtskrivandet i samband med senaste albumet.

Did you make any new discoveries about songwriting on this latest album? 

Jordan Rudess: Well, we kinda discovered that it is possible to take the Dream Theater style and kinda bring it into more concise format and still have it feel like it´s us and that it really works. That was an experiment. In the history of the band, we´ve tried to bring certain songs a little bit more tight and on this album more so. So we can see that it works.

With a band like Dream Theater, is there ever a limit to how far you can stray from the sound you´re known for? Or do you always have to keep it within the Dream Theater boundaries, so to speak? 

Jordan Rudess: The stylistic window. First of all, Dream Theater is a fairly wide stylistic world and there are a lot of things that can be included, be it a little honky tonk thing or a slightly jazzy thing, so there are many possibilities. There are certain things that really don´t go or don´t fly inside the Dream Theater window. The best example of a band that completely does what you´re referring to, is Radiohead. They create these songs and then next thing they´re an electronic band doing weird stuff. Dream Theater does not work that way. We´ve worked very hard over the years in creating this window of parameters and it´s kinda a common ground for all of us as musicians to create this particular kind of music. An example is that many years ago, I remember I had just gotten an amazing percussion library of native instruments called Battery with great electronic drum sounds. I came into a Dream Theater writing session and we started off jamming and I was playing these really cool sounds and we had a great, great jam and it was really funny and we all ended up laughing at the end, which was really cool. I remember Mike Portnoy saying “That was amazing, but we could never do anything like that!”. It was just too different and too odd.

Could that ever limit you as a musician? 

Jordan Rudess: As a musician I have all kinds of projects I do on the side. I just finished and orchestral album and earlier I made a solo piano album that is really, really gentle. I do my electronic music and my solo piano music and when we come together as a band, I know it´s time for Dream Theater. But if we look at the bigger picture, on this latest album we have the “Illumination theory” and in the middle of that one it goes into this very lovely orchestral and sensitive thing, which is a new thing for Dream Theater. I wrote this music that I probably would never picture would go on a Dream Theater album. Things do change and we become more relaxed. Things are possible, but it´s an appreciation and respect for who we are.

You mentioned in an interview I read, that Mike Mangini brought mathematics into the band. Can you explain that? 

Jordan Rudess: Sure. I´m still learning about it myself. I always thought of strange rhythms as a bunch of 3´s and 2´s. Usually you can divide things in 2´s and 3´s and some kind of combination in the accents therein, but when I started working with Mike, he thinks in large numbers. He thinks in 19 against 5, so what I understood in working with him, is that he has a very unique mathematics brain. He´s like a genius when it comes to numbers relating to musical patterns. He was able to bring some of that into our war games. What´s cool is that he can introduce some kind of mathematical idea and then John and I can take it and use it and make notes and make music out of it. It´s a very interesting addition to the Dream Theater world. It´s fascinating and it´s really cool. We come up with some stuff that I would never come up with myself, because I don´t think like that.

How do you feel about the music business? Are you optimistic or pessimistic? 

Jordan Rudess: I would say that I´m excited about it from one point of view, being someone who enjoys technology and appreciates all the different ways of discovering music and to get music out there and the fun things you can do within the social media aspect. That said, I can´t help but be really upset about the fact that it seems harder than ever for a young band to make it. maybe it´s because there´s just too much stuff and too many ways and people get lost and don´t know where to look for a band. It´s such a wash of stuff and you´re looking at this service and that sevice, Spotify and Bandcamp. And you hear about the kinda money some of these streaming services pay the musicians and it´s really, really concerning. I have Spotify and I listen to it and I think it´s really cool, but as an artist starting out, that´s really upsetting. The world, the industry has to rethink how that´s going. It´s not gonna allow creative musicians to survive. It´s easier to get the music out there, but how are you gonna make money off of it and how are you gonna get anywhere? Everybody I talk to is basically saying or agreeing that it´s just harder.

Since you joined Dream Theater, can you see that there´s been any changes for you guys? Are you touring more countries, hitting more cities? 

Jordan Rudess: I´ve been with the band for 15 years and we certainly did open up a bunch of markets since I joined the band. We opened up Australia and we really stated make South America work and we did more countries there, so we´ve definitely seen a lot of countries open up. Once they open up, they usually work for us and we have to continue doing it, so we´ve become even more international in that way and there are more places to support.

Could you as a band ever take a stand against a country, like Russia now and their anti gay laws? Say that you´re not gonna play there, since you´re playing Russia next week? 

Jordan Rudess: I guess it´s possible. We´re not known for being a political band. In general we stay somewhat clear of these kinda things. If it was really something we all cared about together, then sure. But in history, I haven´t seen a lot of that going on. “The band stands for this, so we´re not gonna do that!”.

A totally different question. I talked to Adrian Vandenberg recently and he talked about how he hurt his hand really bad back in the 80´s when he was doing these exercises to warm up his hands. He was supposed to shake his hands violently and ended up hurting a tendon. As a piano player, do you ever warm up your hands and are more cautious of what you do with your hands? 

Jordan Rudess: I´m very cautious about it and I´m definitely conscious that if I´m going out to play a concert, I need to be somewhat flexible and warm. I stretch and shake out my hands. Playing the guitar or the piano is kinda sport related and it can get very physical. Like on this tour, I started out practicing and expanding and contracting my hands at the piano and then I realized that I´m banging on the keys for almost 3 hours a night and the places of impact are starting to get a little sore. The last thing I wanna do is sit there and play more before the show. I´ve been doing other things like stretching and putting my hands in water and shake them out a bit, so when I walk on, I´m relaxed and that´s really important. You need to shake them out, but I wouldn´t recommend to violently shake your hands.

/Niclas
King Diamond till Gröna Lund!


























Av alla lätt surrealistiska bokningar till nöjesparken, är nog den falsettsjungade dansken mest surrealistisk.
Den 25 juli står han på scen. Vi ses i vimlet.

/Niclas

måndag 24 februari 2014

Superunknown deluxe.





















Soundgardens "Superunknown" fyller 20 år och firas på ett storartat sätt. Tänk om fler band kunde ge ut lika roliga släpp...
All info om vad som finns med på de fem discarna hittas HÄR
Lyssna på en demo av "The day I tried to live" nedan. 



/Niclas

söndag 23 februari 2014

Konsertrecension

Dream Theater

Annexet, Stockholm 140222



















Efter att ha sett jänkarna live vid flertalet tillfällen de senaste åren, steg jag in i Annexet utan några större förväntningar. Deras konserter har i mitt tycke varit lite "hit or miss". Att de dessutom spelar i 3 timmar gjorde att jag tvivlade något över kvällens begivenheter.
Men Dream Theater överraskade må jag säga. Visserligen fanns det tillfällen då jag kvävde en gäspning och försökte skaka liv i mina stela ben, men överlag bjöd dessa extremt skickliga musiker på en mycket nöjsam konsertupplevelse. 
De visade sin absoluta topp i "Enigma machine" från deras senaste och självbetitlade album. En höjdpunkt som verkligen fick fram deras genialitet och gav bevis på hur otroligt samspelta de är som en enhet. Mangini lyckades dessutom få ett trumsolo att framstå som relativt underhållande och han hade ett minspel, som fick både en och två i publiken att skratta till. Det är också intressant hur en så teknisk trummis kan se ut att spela så avslappnat som han gör. 
När de sedan följde upp detta mindre mästerverk med "The mirror/Lie" från 20-årsjubilaren "Awake", ja då kunde jag bara kapitulera inför deras storhet. LaBrie sjöng med en gudabenådad kraft i rösten och verkade göra det utan någon större ansträngning.
Förutom det fenomenala musicerandet var själva inramning även den väldigt smakfull och flöt ihop bra med låtmaterialet. Faktum är att de små filmerna som följde musiken på backdropen påminde om Rush scenshow vid flera tillfällen under kvällens gång. 
Jag vågar nog mig på att säga att Dream Theater anno 2014 står på en musikalisk topp. Det är ganska allena i sin genre vad gäller det tekniska kunnandet och där de tidigare delvis tråkat ut mig, lyckades de under större delen av kvällen engagera mig i deras framförande. Ett gigantiskt uppryck sedan första gången jag såg dem på turnén för "Falling into infinity". Då kändes konserten mest som ett enda långt onaniprojekt och var något av det mest fantasilösa jag skådat på en scen.
Gårdagens konsert på ett hyfsat knökfull Annexet visade ett band med en sjuhelsikes fingertoppskänsla och ett jäkla driv.

Betyg: 4/5

/Niclas

KISS är numera en såpopera. 


























Förvisso är det konstaterandet inte särskilt nytt, men med allt trams kring Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, passar det bättre än aldrig förr.
Ace Frehley och Peter Criss är två rejäla "has beens" hur mycket man än älskar originalsättningen. De har nu båda uttalat sig om galan och att det inte kommer bli en åteförening i smink på scen. Personligen förstod jag aldrig vitsen med det. 
Tommy Thayer och Eric Singer är de nuvarande melemmarna oavsett vad man tycker om det. De har tillsammans med herrarna Stanley och Simmons lyckats blåsa rejält liv i det gamla bandet och är utan tvekan betydligt mer kompetenta musiker och medarbatre än herrarna Frehley och Criss.
De senaste två albumen "Sonic boom" och "Monster" har visat ett band vars sound helt plötsligt låtit vitalare än på många, många år. Jag kan inte påstå att jag lyssnat alltför mycket på dessa album sedan de kom ut, men minns dem som bra. Skulle Frehley och Criss klarat av att prestera något liknande som Thayer och Singer? Ytterst tveksamt.
De hade varit kul om de alla gick upp på scen, bockade, bugade och tog emot applåderna med glada miner. Vad som nu kommer att hända är svårt att sia om och själv bryr jag mig nog inte så mycket längre. Alan G Parker, som just nu jobbar på dokumentärfilmen om KISS, uttalade sig på följande sätt idag:

"If, just say for instance, four mates had formed a plumbing business in the early Seventies, in the space of the next ten years two of the guys had done everything they could to make that business something special... While the other two had taken every drug and drank every bottle in front of them... Becoming incredibly unreliable for work and in some cases needing to be replaced on the job because they just weren't up to it... So in the end you fire them and replace them with guys who can and will do the job... Fast forward to another year, let's say 1995, following a meeting, a few talks and contracts as thick as your arm to state that all the previous problems will never happen again you re-hire the original two guys... Except in the next four/five years all the original problems happen again only this time around on a much bigger scale... It's obvious now that these guys need to go and go for good... They are finally replaced by two guys who never missed a days work, who helped re-build your business... And who care about it as much as you do... Now, fast forward fourteen years, somebody, somewhere is giving you an award, you are outstanding, the best plumbers on planet earth! Who do you think might deserve to go and pick it up?"

KISS själva krafsade också ihop ett litet pressmeddelande som svar på Frehley och Criss uttalanden om vad som ska ske eller inte ske när de blir invalda:

"ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME STATEMENT FROM KISS To All Our Fans In Regards To The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: 

Out of respect, Ace and Peter's recent statements demand a quick response to you, our fans. Our intention was to celebrate the entire history of KISS and give credit to all members including present long time present members Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer, and additionally Bruce Kulick and Eric Carr all who have made this band what it is, regardless of the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame's point of view. Although KISS has moved forward far longer without them, Ace and Peter are at the very foundation of what we have built and this would all be impossible had they not been a part of it in the beginning. It is over 13 years since the original lineup has played together in make-up and we believe the memory of those times would not be enhanced. Contrary to claims made through the media we have never refused to play with Ace and Peter. We have spent 40 years dedicated to building KISS without quitting or wavering as the band has moved forward with huge tours and platinum albums through different important lineups for forty years, to this day. KISS has always been a band unlike any other. That is why we started KISS. That is why we continue KISS. Being unlike other bands also means making choices and decisions unlike other bands. This is understandably an emotional situation where there is no way to please everyone. To bring this to a quick end, we have decided not to play in any line-up and we will focus our attention on celebrating our induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. We are excited and are looking forward to seeing you all on the KISS 40th Anniversary worldwide tour."

/Niclas

fredag 21 februari 2014

Intervju med Copenhells grundare Jeppe Nissen.


























Jag blev nyligen kontaktad av den danska festivalen Copenhell och de undrade om jag skulle kunna hjälpa till att "spread the word", så att säga. Självfallet förstår jag att jag troligtvis bara var del av ett massutskick, men de var väldigt på och ville samarbeta.
Sagt och gjort. Jag tänkte att en intervju med någon i toppen av festivalkedjan kunde vara kul och när de omgående satte mig i kontakt med grundaren Jeppe, kändes det extra kul. Vi kom överens om att jag skulle maila över ett gäng frågor, vilket jag gjorde omedelbums. Problemet med Q&A´s via mail är att det kan bli vad som helst. Ena gången kan du få tillbaka 5 ord och nästa gång en mindre uppsats. Tack och lov bestämde sig Jeppe för att göra det senare.
Här har ni nu lite svar från Jeppe angående Danmarks största metalfestival.

Vem är Jeppe Nissen? 

Jeppe. Jag är 39 år gammal, bokare, grundare av och festivalboss för Copenhell, samt promotor för Live Nation Danmark de senaste 10 åren. Jag har tidigare arbetat på ett mindre spelställe i Roskilde samt bokat artister till Roskildefestivalen. Älskar metal, kött, öl, tecknade serier och metal.

Hur började Copenhell? 

Jeppe: Vi startade Copenhell 2010 efter att ha haft idén i ett par år. Vi tyckte att det fattades en festival i Danmark med fokus på den hårda musiken. Dae har alltid funnits många bra festivaler i Danmark, men aldrig en stor festival bara för hårdrock och metal. Alla länder omkring oss har ju stora och bra festivaler, så därför tyckte vi att Danmark också skulle ha en. Där var helt klart ett stort svart hål vad gäller det.

Vad är din roll på festivalen? 

Jeppe: Jag är festivalledare för Copenhell, men bokar även alla band och tar hand om all kommunikation, samt håller på med all artwork och grafiska uttryck. Det är något jag tycker är väldigt viktigt, så det lägger jag mycket tid på.

Hur ser arbetsåret ut från det att festivalen slutar fram till kommande festival året efter? 

Jeppe: Det är mycket av en ständigt pågående process, men den stora arbetsbiten sker från jul fram till själva festivalen. Jag tänker redan nu på 2015, men oftast så är det ganska lugnt direkt efter festivalens slut och vi ”sover”. En tung, gotisk sömn. Sedan startar vi upp så smått när det nya året tar vid och då ägnar vi en hel del tid åt att utvärdera vad som fungerat och vad som var dåligt. Därefter kör vi igång och arbetar framåt. Jag skickar ut bud på de stora namnen redan i augusti/september, ”so there is no rest for the wicked.”. Sedan handlar det mycket om att få alla detaljer på plats inför nästa år – antal band, antal scener, vilken mat vi ska ha, vilka sponsorer, hur mycket eld, vilket biljettpris och hur mycket öl? – well, det ger sig självt. Helt galet mycket öl!

Ni siktar på att bli en av Nordeuropas ledande festivaler. Har ni nått ert mål? 

Jeppe: Nej, det har vi inte ännu och jag tror också att det kommer ta lite längre tid. Vi firar 5-årsjubileum i år och vi tycker själva att vi efterhand har blivit mycket bättre på att anordna Copenhell, men det finns fortfarande saker vi kan bli bättre på. Men publiken gillar att komma till Copenhell och det är det som betyder mest. Jag tror att vi har kommit en lång bit på vägen. Vi har skapat en festival som tar genren och vår publik seriöst till 100%, men som även har glimten i ögat och vi gör riktigt mycket för vår publik. Vi är helt klart på rätt väg.

Hur kom festivalen att placeras där den nu ligger? 

Jeppe: Vi hade flera olika idéer över lokaliseringen, men efter att vi varit ute och sett Refshaleöen var vi övertygade. Det är det perfekta området för en metalfestival. Området ligger bara 15 min från Centralstationen (och bara 8 min från Christiania) och är ett gammalt nedlagt skeppsvarv. Historien i sig är ganska otrolig då det byggts jättestora skepp i stål och metall och människor har arbetat med tunga verktyg och gnistor och eld har sprutat omkring dem. Dessutom har de druckit mängder med öl samtidigt. Sammanhanget är perfekt. Områdets historia är ganska speciell, samtidigt som det är ett bra område att vistas på. Det är rått, hårt, extremt och hela platsen vilar på betong, så det blir ingen lervälling om det regnar och vi kan spela hur sinnessjukt högt vi vill!

Hur stor publik drog förra årets festival och vad var din personliga höjdpunkt? 

Jeppe: Det var lite över 10.000 männsikor förra året och det var väldigt bra. Det var en superbra festival med mycket hög stämning. Musikaliskt var det väldigt stort då King Diamond gick på scen – på hemmaplan i Danmark efter att ha varit borta i 9 år och efter en svår sjukdom. Return of the king. Och Danzig, Alice in Chains och Parkway Drive levererade också. Annars är en av höjdpunkterna alltid stämningen därute. Folk är så glada och festliga och det är en fullkomligt unik stämning. Alla som har varit på Copenhell, även de som inte är inne på metal, är vilt överraskade över den glädje och kärlek som finns mellan människorna. Det är ett sällskap och en skitkul fest.

På vilka punkter skiljer sig årets festival från 2013? 

Jeppe: Som sagt, vi lägger mycket tid på att utvärdera och förbättra oss. Vi gör en stor publikundersökning under varje festival, som vi sedan använder i vårt kommande arbete. Vi lyssnar på vad vår publik har att säga och ser om vi kan göra saker och ting bättre. Generellt sett är det en ännu bättre festival, men det är också en större festival i och med att vi lyckats boka ett toppnamn till 2014 i form av Iron Maiden. Dessutom utvidgar vi festivalen till tre hela dagar och kommer ha flest antal band till dags dato. Det blir fullt blås i år!

Hur stor grupp jobbar med festivalen på heltid och vilka är arbetsuppgifterna? 

Jeppe: Vi är tre i Copenhells styrelse, där jag själv ingår, och så finns det en produktionsansvarig och en sponsoransvarig. Det är de tre benen på festivalen. Sponsordelen, som ser efter de ekonomiska avtalen, den produktionsanvarige, som styr hela platsen, alla crew och scenerna och sedan är det jag, som står för allt innehåll på festivalen, band, marknadsföring och kommunikation. Vi arbetar alla på Live Nation och har parallellet med det arbetet en massa andra uppgifter att ta hand om. Vi har även fyra till fem praktikanter varje år, som är till jättestor hjälp och så har vi en sekretariatsledare som styr upp hela skiten. Vi har ungefär 800 genialiska frivilliga på Copenhell varje år och även en massa avlönad personal i form av crew och säkerhet, så det är en stor operation.

Inspireras ni mycket av andra festivaler i arbetet med förbättringar? 

Jeppe: Ja, det gör vi. Varje år åker vi runt på en massa andra festivaler och ser hur de gör saker och ting. Wacken, Hellfest, Inferno, men också en massa andra festivaler som inte har metal. Idéerna kan komma från många olika håll, men mest av allt försöker vi komma på saker själva. Det är bra att inspireras, men inte så coolt att kopiera. Vi lägger mycket tid på att komma på nya idéer för underhållning, installationer och inrättningar. Vi har fixat ett ”Smadreland”, ett område dit publiken kan gå in och slå sönder bilar, tvättmaskiner och annat kul. Och ett annat ställe där man kan kasta yxa. Det är kul.

Hur är tanken bakom festivalens årliga maskot? 

Jeppe: Hela grundtanken med att ha en maskot som byts varje år, är något som jag arbetat mycket med. Jag älskar artwork och har suttit i timmar med LP-omslag och CD-omslag och lyssnat på musiken och jag tycker det de passar ihop så mycket. Idag är det ju mycket downloads och streaming och omslaget är 1x1 cm på din datorskärm, men det är ju inte kul för någon. Det är bara skit. Jag vill därför hylla det grafiska och de människor som gör så fantastiska saker, genom att låta en ny konstnär som arbetat med metal eller liknande, göra vår maskot varje år. Och vi trycker upp det på billboards och posters så hårdrockskonsten visas i större storlek och kommer folket till godo.Det är bra med riktigt artwork i gatubilden. Årets maskot har gjorts av tyske Florian Bertmer, som tidigare har jobbat med band som Converge, Napalm Death, Pig Destroyer och The Dillinger Escape Plan. Han är lite mer modern i sitt uttryck än de tidigare (Derek Riggs, Ed Repka, Joe Patagno) och det tycker jag vi behövde i år. Han har utgått från våra scener Hades, Helvetet och Pandemonium och skapat ”King Belial – Ruler of 80 legions in Pandemonium”. Jag tycker verkligen att den blev bra. Den ser tillförlitlig och vänlig ut, men är... Satan.

Beskriv känslan när det blev klart att Iron Maiden spelar på årets festival? 

Jeppe: För helvete, det var ju superkul! Och det firades med en Trooper-öl. Det var en lång förhandling och en lång process innan allt kom på plats, så det gjorde också att det var extra fantastiskt när det väl var i hamn. Iron Maiden för fan! Det kommer bli så stort och det är ju också extra härligt att vi kan presentera ett så stort och legendarsikt namn efter endast fem år. En relativt liten festival tillsammans med 40 andra metalband – det blir en mycket stor junikväll på dansk mark...

Har du några personliga drömbokningar för framtida festivaler? 

Jeppe: Ja, självklart. Det finns många band i många olika genrer som jag gärna ser på Copenhell. Det första budet jag alltid lägger är på Bolt Thrower. De är så jäkla bra! Det har inte hänt ännu, men förhoppningsvis någon gång. Annars är ju stora akter som Black Sabbath, System Of A Down, Slipknot och Tool alltid på önskelistan, men vi har förhoppningsvis många år framför oss och en möjlighet att få igenom det. Jag hoppas också att det under de kommande åren kommer fram några nya spännande band, som kan headlina och verkligen krossa stället. Jag hoppas verkligen det finns några drömbokningar därute som jag ännu inte vet om.

Vilka är dina fem höjdpunkter från första festivalen 2010? 

Jeppe: 1. Att publiken tog emot festivalen så bra som de gjorde. 2. Behemoth – de gav en otrolig konsert där allt nådde ett högre tillstånd. Publik, band,vädret och stämningen. 3. Joe Petagno (Motörhead) trodde på konceptet och gjorde den första maskoten. 4. Deftones levererade också över förväntan – efter att ha varit ”nere” en del år, var det tillbaka på Copenhell med full styrka. Och dessutom gick Chino upp på scen med en Copenhell-hoodie. 5. Vi gjorde fanimej det!

Vad har varit jobbigast i arbetet med festivalen så här långt? 

Jeppe: Det är ett enormt uppdrag att anordna en festival, så det blir många sena kvällar och svåra val. Hade man haft mer tid hade det säkert varit lättare, men det är ju som det är. Copenhell vann ett pris 2011 för det bästa arrangemanget och det delades ut av den största danska tidningen. Vi kom före Cykel-VM, någon teater och andra arrangemang. Det var verkligen stort, för det är många som menar att det vi gör inte är kultur. Men det är det ju. Det är lika mycket kultur som teater, film, opera, konst eller vad som nu finns därute. Om inte mer. En sådan händelse eller bra feedback från publiken kan få en att glömma allt det svåra. Det eller att boka Iron Maiden.

/Niclas

onsdag 19 februari 2014

Corrosion of Conformity till Debaser Strand.













Den 29 mars äntrar de scenen. Gratis inträde innan 21.00. Därefter 120 kr. 

/Niclas
Alice in Chains repar inför Soundwave...





















Bara hits. Kan bli hur bra som helst.

/Niclas
Ghost vann en Grammis.





















Kanske inte helt oväntat, men jag hade personligen sett att In Solitude blivit nominerade och vunnit. Deras makalösa "Horses in the ground" från albumet "Sister", har en avslutande riffminut som slog allt förra året. 
För övrigt var de nominerade i kategorin Hårdrock/Metall inte mycket att hurra över: Crashdiet, Nicke Borg, Watain och The Kristet Utseende. 
Hur i hela helvetet kan Nicke Borg vara nominerad i den här kategorin? Och vad fan gör The Kristet Utseende där? There´s something rotten in the state of Denmark...

/Niclas
AC/DC är på gång...




















Paul "Pab" Boothroyd, AC/DC:s "front-of-house" ljudtekniker sedan Ballbreakerturnén, la idag ut den här bilden med meddelandet: "Time to Dust the Old girl down..." 
Jag måste nog erkänna att jag är lite förväntansfull inför ett nytt släpp från gubbarna. "Black ice" är inte alls så pjåkig.
Bild och citat lånat via AC/DCMachine.com

/Niclas
Omslaget till Stanleys självbiografi.















Tydligen kommer omslaget att ha den här lilla effekten, om det nu är sant? Det gör väl en annars ganska tråkig bild något roligare.Boken släpps den 22 april. 

/Niclas

tisdag 18 februari 2014

New Jersey och Seattle möttes i Melbourne över en kopp AC/DC. 



Bossen fortsätter frälsa folket down under och under helgen slog han ihop sina påsar med Eddie Vedder och gav ännu en rungande version av "Highway to hell".

/Niclas
Farbror Niclas har gjort en videointervju!



Jag gjorde en intervju med Nergal för en tid sedan. Nu ligger den uppe på sidan Access: Rock och får jag säga det själv är den inte helt usel, förutom att undertecknad ser ut som en säck potatis.
Vill du kolla in andra videointervjuer med rockstjärnor susar du snabbt över till sidan och tittar tills ögonen blöder.

Access: Rock HÄR 

/Niclas

fredag 14 februari 2014

Nu kan du köpa Iommis lilla hus.



















Har du 32 miljoner kronor som bara ligger och skräpar, kan det vara läge att slå till på ett finfint litet hus i Lapworth. 

MER INFO HÄR

/Niclas
Det går inte bra för rockblaskorna...


























Siffrorna dalar på samma sätt som för all annan pappersmedia. 

Saxat från louderthanwar.com

Classic Rock sold 54,109 print editions, down 4.6% on 2012. It was some way ahead of its rock rival, Kerrang! on 35,127 (down 8.9% year on year) and another Team Rock title, Metal Hammer, on 26,273, which was down 12.5%.

/Niclas

måndag 10 februari 2014

Cliff.

Idag har vi givetvis skänkt the late great Cliff Burton en extra tanke. Han skulle ha blivit 52 år gammal.








































/Niclas
Manowarutlottningen klar!

Rätt svar är givetvis att "All men play on 10".

Vinnare blev David Austin i Varberg och Daniel Sigsfors i Mölndal. Västkusten rules, verkar det som.

Fler utlottningar de närmsta veckorna. 

/Niclas
Intervju med Adrian Vandenberg.





















Adrian Vandenberg har precis som nyligen återuppväckte Jake E Lee, stått sidan om scenen under många år. Under alla åre han var borta från musiken hade han bl a nöjet att se sin dotter växa upp, vilket han ansåg vara viktigare än allt annat i livet.
Med sitt nya band Moonkings är han nu tillbaka och omger sig med yngre holländska förmågor, där sångaren Jan Hoving bär en del vokala likheter med hans forne arbetsgivare David Coverdale. Adrian gav ett mycket sympatiskt intryck och berättade om sin handskada, turnén med Steve Vai och att det inte är helt omöjligt att han kommer slå Jake E Lee en signal och snacka minnen.

You´ve been away from the music biz for quite some time now? 

Adrian: When I stopped playing with Whitesnake back in ´99 after 13 years, I really missed my painting so I just thought I´d pick it up again for 2 or 3 years and then get back to the rock business again. Then I had a daughter with my then girlfriend, we split up 3 years later, and I realized that if I would go back out on the road I would be one of those dad´s who wouldn´t see his daughter grow up and she wouldn´t know who I am. I thought that was more important than anything else and decided to lay low a little longer and spend time with my daughter. It then lasted longer than I thought it would, since she´s 14 now. I was also waiting for the voice in the back of my head, since I always want to stay close to my heart and my instincts and the voice wasn´t screaming loud enough, but it started screaming really loud about 2 years ago and it was about fucking time! What sped it up was that my local soccer team became national champions 3 years ago and I was asked to write an anthem for them. I did that and started looking for a singer and I didn´t wanna fly back and forth to the US and England and I hadn´t kept up with was what going on in Holland since ´86, but all of a sudden I remembered a review of a Whitesnake show when I joined them on stage 3 or 4 years ago in Holland. It mentioned that the support act had an amazing singer and that he would fit for Whitesnake. I found him and he´s a farmer and has a huge farm close to my hometown. When I found him he thought it was a joke, so it took quite a while for him to react. We hooked up for just one song but it went so well and I got really inspired. A similar thing happened with the bass player. I was in the jury of some local talent contests about 10 years ago and in two different contests he won. He had a great rock attitude. I ran into him 2 years ago and said “If you´re only half as good as you were 10 years ago…” and that was it. It´s a pretty unusual story because everybody expected me to work with well known guys, but I find that a bit boring and usually they break up after 1 or 2 albums, so it has more a of a project feel to it. Moonkings I really want to keep together as a band and I look at it as a band and not just a one off thing. I thought it would be much cooler to surprise people with a couple of unknown guys.

How long have the songs on the album been around? 

Adrian: It´s all new stuff. I wrote it all in the last year. I do have a lot of ideas, but I always get the most excited when it´s fresh and it pops up in my head.

What made you choose “Sailing ships” for David Coverdale to sing and where there other songs you thought of? 

Adrian: Yes, there were, but “Sailing ships” was always very important to me and as you know I wasn´t able to play on the “Slip of the tongue” album because of my hand injury and it was very frustrating. The song was always very close to my heart and I thought it would be really great to do aversion that was more what I had in mind when I wrote the music for it. A bit more melancholic and reflective and I also thought it would be really cool to put real violins on it and keep it a bit understated. Normally I would´ve done the big end as on the “Slip of the tongue” album, but I just felt it didn´t make sense to do a similar thing. I think it worked out really nice and it´s the last song on the album, like an encore. It feels like I´m looking back over my shoulder to the Whitesnake days with all the great memories. David was on the road when we did it and we would have considered getting together and write a new song, but at the same time when I told him about this idea, he was really excited too. He´s been pushing me over the last 10 years. We are in touch regularly and he´s always going “Come on Adrian, you lazy Dutchman!”. When I told him about a year and a half ago, that I was working on a new album, he said “Great and it would be an honor for me if I could sing a song on it!”. When I told him about “Sailing ships” he thought it was a great idea and he had the same feelings about it and that it deserved another version. When he came back from South America he only had 2 days at home because he had to get knee surgery don’t to his knees, so I recorded everything in the studio in Holland and then I sent the file to David and he put his emotional, soulful vocals on it and I´m extremely happy with it. It´s one of the great things with modern technology.

Were there songs that ended up as leftovers that could be used for another album further on? 

Adrian: Not real songs. There are 13 songs on the album and almost 65 minutes of music. It´s almost 10 minutes longer than most albums, but I just couldn´t decide which song to leave off. In Japan they always want a bonus track and when the record company asked what song I wanted to leave off the album I couldn´t decide and just said “Fuck it! Put them all on there!”. I´m already working on lots of ideas and in my head I´m writing all the time and I´ve done it since I was 6 or 7. I get ideas all day long. Sometimes it´s tiring and I wake up in the middle of the night. Over the years I´ve developed confidence that it will either stay in my head if it was a good idea or if I don´t get up, I´ll have other ideas. It´s a blessing and a curse at the same time, but I really love writing. I love writing and painting and cooking too. Cooking is like painting with flavors. To me it´s all the same. You´re basically trying to inspire your senses.

How about a Vandenberg cook book then? 

Adrian: Yeah, I should think about it. Then again, I would have to give away all my secret recipes. (laughs) Then I couldn´t surprise or impress girls anymore.

Are you gonna be touring with the band? 

Adrian: Yeah, we´re starting a tour in about 3 weeks and we haven´t even started rehearsals yet. It´s a European tour and we´re starting it with 3 shows in Holland and then we do Spain and Germany, France, England, Belgium and more countries are being added. I´d really like to play Scandinavia.

Any plans on opening up for a bigger band and do more of a world tour? 

Adrian: If we get a chance we really will. Right now we´re doing a lot of medium sized to bigger clubs, which I really like because I haven´t done that since the Vandenberg days. There´s a lot of requests coming in and we have to figure out how to put it together.

You´ve got your birthday coming up (January 31). How do you feel about getting old? 

Adrian: Well, it may sound stupid but I don´t really realize it and I don´t feel it either. I´m in really good shape and it´s just when I see the number that I go “Oh shit!”. I don´t realize it at all. I´m so far away from the connection between the number and how I feel. I do exactly the same things like I did when I was 17 and I´m just as excited about it. I just hope I can do this for another 20 years at least.

Are you gonna play Whitesnake and Vandenberg stuff live as well? 

Adrian: Yeah, we have to since we only have one album. I wanna doa couple of Whitesnake and Vandenberg songs and I wanna do unexpected covers of artists, so it´s gonna be a lot of fun.

You were born in and grew up in the Hague. What was it like back then? Was there a lot of music around? 

Adrian: When I was 5 we moved from the Hague to Rotterdam and when I was 12 I started playing in local bands with guys that were a lot older. Then when I was 14, we move to where I live now. When I grew up in Rotterdam there was definitely a rock scene around. The town where I live now, there was a band playing at the first school party I was at and they played “Fire and water” by Free. I asked a guy in one of the older classes who I know was into music and asked him “What´s that song?”. He told me it was Free and then everything just changed. Up till that point I was mainly listening to Hendrix and Eric Clapton and Free was doable. Hendrix was so far out from the regular world.

You played in a band called Teaser. That´s a pretty common band name. Jake E Lee also played in a band with that name and then you had Tommy Bolin´s Teaser. 

Adrian: Yeah, I put a band together when I was 21 and I thought it was a great name and I was also a Tommy Bolin fan and because of that name I went with Teaser. The funny thing is that Jake E Lee and myself we have a lot in common. Vandenberg supported Ozzy in the States and we got on really well. I did and interview with a Japanese magazine a couple of days ago and the interviewer mentioned that I had a lot of similarities with Jake. I looked up an interview with him and it´s so ridiculously similar, the long time we both have been away and our attitude towards rock and the business. It was almost like reading an interview with myself, apart from that I got my band together in a completely different way. I was thinking about getting in touch with him and talk to him, since it´s been such a long time. It would be fun to catch up.

When you toured with Whitesnake for the “1987” album, you must´ve been on top of the world? There must´ve been girls lining up everywhere? 

Adrian: Yeah, it was ok. (laughs) About 60 % girls every night which is not bad. (laughs) It was really amazing and it lasted for a couple of years until 90 or 91. It was great, but at the same time I was a very down to earth Dutch guy. Scandinavians have a similar attitude and we don´t get caught up too easily in the Hollywood lifestyle. I didn´t get caught up at all because as soon as I had 5 or 6 days off, I always flew home because I wanted to keep my feet on the ground. I´ve always been realistic with the whole thing, even back with Vandenberg because it could all be over by tomorrow and I´ll just go back to my painting. Back in those days with Whitesnake, I´d get up in the morning and pinch my arm and go “Wow, not bad for a Dutch guy!” so I enjoyed every bit of it and I still do because I know I experienced something very few Europeans do. It gives you a sense of responsibility too because there are so many incredible musicians and guitar players that don´t get a chance and I think you should handle something like that with responsibility and not fuck it up. Just enjoy the ride.

Were there times when you felt it was just all moving too fast? 

Adrian: Nah, not really. With Vandenberg we were already on our way and supporting guys like Ozzy and stuff, so I got a taste of what it could be like and when I joined David we didn´t really have a band together, it was just him and me. Nobody could predict that the “1987” album would become that big. When I played on “Here I go again” and rearranged it, I just thought “This is gonna be cool!”. David was at his peak and his singing was unbelievable. Every night he sounded just like on the album. It was really exciting and then when Rudy (Sarzo) and Tommy GAldridge) got involved, it was really cool. When Vandenberg supported Ozzy, Tommy was in the band and when Vandenberg started headlining in the States, Quiet Riot was supporting us. I knew those guys and it was really exciting and there was a great camaraderie in the band and we just had a blast, as you can imagine.

What was it like playing with Steve Vai later on? 

Adrian: We got along really well and it was really interesting. Probably because our styles are so different. I´m not a competitive guy and Steve probably is, but he didn´t feel that with me. I don´t care. When Steve demanded a lot of attention, I just stepped back because I do what I do and I have a tendency to under play instead of over play in a case like that. I like to play the right note on the right spot. At the same time it´s a great learning experience because with a guy like Steve, it´s great to do a tour with a player like him. We got on great. It was just really strange when I wasn´t able to perform on the album (Slip of the tongue) and then hear his view on it and his playing. He had a such a different approach it was almost like an out of body experience when I heard the tracks for the first time. In my mind I had them a certain way and a much rawer approach and at the same time it was the 80´s and production was more smooth and ironed out and full of reverb.

As I understand it, you injured your wrist while playing the piano? 

Adrian: I´ve always played piano, but what happened during the recording was that I practiced a lot in the mornings to stay in shape and then I worked on the arrangements in the afternoon as much as I could. I picked up this book that had these exercises that showed you how to keep your hands subtle if you´re a piano player. I did a few of those and one of them was to shake your wrists pretty violently and I just felt like “man, it´s probably the way to go, since it´s in the book.”, but it taught me to not believe anything I read. (laughs) I really over stressed my tendons and I didn´t realize it then. After a while my hand felt a little strange and from one day to another it felt like someone was holding my wrist when I was playing. It took about 6 months to get rid of it and was right on time for the tour.

As a musician it has to be really scary? Are you constantly “looking out” for your hands? 

Adrian: I was at the time and then I realized later that it´s not the right thing to do. It was almost like I was keeping them in a box. You have to keep your muscles in shape too and at that time we had assistants for everything. They picked up your luggage and took it to your room, so I wasn´t really carrying anything around. After a certain period of time I felt like “Fuck that!” and I wanted to do everything. You need to use your muscles, but you always need to be a bit careful. Just like a singer´s taking care of the throat. I´m more easy with it now. These days I just work in the garden and lug around tree trunks.

Your art then? Did you have any formal training? Art school? 

Adrian: I went to art university before Vandenberg. I did about 6 years at an art university and then I taught artistry for about a year right after my studies, but I realized it was not for me. It was a too regular life, but there were a lot of pretty girls in the class room and I was only 2 years older so it was pretty nice. (laughs)

Did you paint or draw while you were on those big tours with Whitesnake? 

Adrian: I tried it a bit and brought some paper with me and stuck it to the walls in the hotel room and started sketching, which is actually what happened when I took up painting again in ´94. My art evolved and I wasn´t realizing it. I painted very realistically. I compare it to when in the Vandenberg days, it was like writing a song, a composition, and later on it was more like a spontaneous guitar solo you do live.

One thing I´ve always wondered about Holland is that just like Scandinavians you´re pretty good at English, but there aren´t that many Dutch metal bands around. I guess Within Temptation is the biggest one now. Why do you think that is? You´re smack in the middle of Europe and have all the influences from the US and Britain. 

Adrian: One of the problems is that Holland isn´t really a rock country. When a big band plays here it´s usually only one show. It also has to do with the country being very small of course. The other thing is that radio over here is really terrible. A couple of days ago I was in London doing interviews and I talked to all these rock stations and they´re hugely popular and we don´t have that kinda scene in Holland. The fans are there, but it doesn´t get promoted. It´s not fair because there are so many people that love it. By the way, I really hope I can come to Scandinavia soon. I haven´t played there as much as I would´ve liked. Hopefully we can make up for that.

/Niclas

lördag 8 februari 2014

Springsteen öppnar med "Highway to hell" i Perth!



Bruce Springsteen spelar just nu i Australien och idag öppnade han giget i Perth med en cover på AC/DCs "Highway to hell" och han gjorde det riktigt bra. Att publiken gick helt loco går inte att ta miste på. 

/NIclas
Konsertrecension

Dead Lord
Imperial State Electric

Kägelbanan, Stockholm 140207




















Det höll på att gå åt skogen. Efter att ha intagit en trevlig måltid på hipstermatsalen Harvest på Söders höjder, erbjuder jag mig att betala för polarens mat då han köpt biljetterna till kvällens evenemang. Döm om min förvåning då det visade sig att han inte alls köpt biljett till undertecknad. Kommunikationen över Facebook hade tydligen inte varit så tydlig, som jag trott. I rask takt begav vi oss mot Mosebacke i hopp om att få tag på en biljett. Väl framme var kön kort och tur nog fanns det biljetter kvar, trots att konserten tydligen annonserats som utsåld. 
Sist jag besökte Kägelbanan var troligtvis för The Sounds första gig i huvudstaden för många år sedan, vilket jag minns som en trevlig tillställning. Ikväll var det dock mer fart på scen och runt halv tio tågade Dead Lord ut på scengolvet. 
Bandet har hypats både här och där och trots mitt stora musikintresse hade jag inte hört en ton från dessa herrar förrän de drog av den första låten. Att påstå att bandet bär drag av Thin Lizzy, faller nog inom kategorin årets understatement. Det lät bra, men den där riktiga nerven saknades. Singeln "Hammer to the heart" är härligt liten sak och en vit Flying V som samsas med en vit Gibson SG är en ren fröjd för ögat.
När sedan ISE slår an sina högoktaniga riff, blir klasskillnaden extremt tydlig. ISE har mer nerv i en låt än vad många band lyckas krama ur sig under en hel karriär. Nicke Andersson är utan tvekan den person i Sverige som förvaltar rock and roll allra bäst. Han lånar kors och tvärs, men gör det snyggt. När de bjuder på introt till KISS "Black diamond" innan de smäller igång "I´ll let you down" från debuten, känns det bara självklart. Det är snyggt, så förbannat snyggt. 
Kvällen igenom öses det på med så många överjävliga rifforgier att det nästan blir svårt att ta in allt. Både gitarristen Egge och basisten de Borst får ge utlopp för sina vokala ambitioner och gör det bra. Framförallt den senare som bjuder kokande Kägelbanan på en riktigt sprudlande "Reptile brain".
Det bjuds på nytt material i form av "Turn it up", som verkade vara alldeles färsk. Även den suveräna "Get off the boo hoo train" tror jag är ny. 
Kägelbanan var alltså fullsatt denna regniga och kyliga kväll, men inomhus fullkomligt badade publiken i svett och tung tryckande värme. Publiken tjöt av glädje och det syntes att bandet verkligen trivdes på scen, vilket fick dem att bara fortsätta köra över alla glada som infunnit sig. 
Var det här årets konsert? Tja, kanske. Jag har svårt att se att något annat band ska få mig att hytta med näven så mycket som jag gjorde den här kvällen. 
Allt kan summeras av följande ord. Nicke is king. All hail the king!

Betyg: 5/5

/Niclas 

torsdag 6 februari 2014

Entombed invalda i Swedish Music HoF.








































Entombed som givit undertecknad en av de bästa och mäktigaste musikupplevelserna någonsin med uppförandet av "Unreal estate" på Operan, blev idag invalda i Swedish Music Hall of Fame. 
Tillsammans med bl a Eva Dahlgren, Latin Kings och Roxette känns Entombed som en katt bland hermelinerna och är utan tvekan det tyngsta och brutalaste inslaget i gänget. 
Bilden ovan lånade jag från Per Sinding Larsen och visar LG och Alex i samma rum. De forna kamraterna som nyligen slogs om rätten till namnet Entombed. 

/Niclas

måndag 3 februari 2014

Volvo goes death metal.

Vad gör man inte för att få lite mer cred av hipsterkidsen...
Hur som haver är det här betydligt roligare än reklamen som för tillfället rullar med Zlatan. Något mer livlöst står knappast att finna.
På bilden nedan har man låtit konstnären Mark Riddick (Dying Fetus, The Black Dhalia Murder) teckna sin bild av Volvos senaste kärra. 































Via Metal Injection via Metal Sucks.

/Niclas
Jag. Vill. Se. Nu.


























Om den här konstellationen drar genom Europa och får för sig att besöka Sverige, kommer jag kanske överväga att det kanske kan finnas en gud. 
Chansen att få uppleva det här känns dock som ganska liten. Mastodon spelar på Sthlm Fields i slutet av maj, vilket är trevligt, men det hade varit kanon om de masat sig hit senare under året med åtminstone fransoserna i släptåg. Den som ber får se...

/Niclas