Wednesday, October 31, 2012
It's Halloween so I suppose it's time for a treat! For Part 2 of our KISSIN' TIME - Canada's Tribute to KISS Interviews, we speak with long time Kiss family member Spiro Papadatos and Bob from the band Bobnoxious about the new tribute CD released today, October 31st, 2012. Thirteen Kiss classics from thirteen Canadian INDIE Artists with all proceeds going to SICKKIDS Foundation (Toronto's Sick Kids Hospital).
DBG: For those that might not know who Spiro Papadatos is, please take a moment to introduce yourself and inform us of your rather interesting affiliation with KISS.
SPIRO: Hi Wally, thanks for spreading the word about KISSIN’ TIME and supporting SickKids Foundation! I am a Canadian artist, graphic designer, musician and tour manager. I’m also one of the producers of KISSIN’ TIME. I've worked with KISS in many different roles since 1995. I started off as their merchandise manager and then became a part of their tour management team. In addition to designing numerous KISS merchandise items, I've also been involved in several other KISS projects over the years as a graphic designer, videographer and photographer. I even shot pyro on the last tour. Whatever needs to be done.
DBG: I guess we should start at the beginning, how did this whole idea for this KISSIN’TIME CD get started?
SPIRO: A few months ago, Gord Prior called and asked if I’d be interested in singing and playing bass on a song he was recording for a KISS tribute CD. Before saying yes, I asked him who was putting out the CD and where the money was going. He said Jason Jansekovich for Keep It Live came up with the idea to promote the Canadian independent music scene and to raise money for a local charity. I immediately thought it was a great idea and got involved more from a production standpoint. We all agreed as parents, that SickKids Foundation in Toronto would be an important charity to support.
DBG: Tell us a little about the SickKids Foundation and what lead to choosing this wonderful cause?
SPIRO: There are so many great charities that are worthy of our support but we felt that it was kind of a no-brainer that we should help a charity that provides the best health care for children. What is more important than our children?
DBG: How were the bands chosen for the project and can you tell us a little about them?
SPIRO: Jason reached out to a lot of the bands he works with and the response was overwhelmingly positive. Before we knew it, there was a long line of bands trying to get involved. We narrowed it down to 12 songs and added a bonus track at the last minute because there were so many great tracks to choose from. There are a lot of amazing bands on this CD and all of the bands are big KISS fans. That certainly wasn’t a prerequisite but it does help when you’re trying to recapture the spirit and attitude of a KISS song. The only criteria was that you had to be a Canadian Independent artist and you were responsible for paying for and contributing your own finished track to the project. None of the artists are being compensated for their work. Everybody did this strictly for charity and for the love of KISS. Everyone delivered their tracks on time and all of the recordings are top-notch. No filler.
DBG: Now I see that you, yourself have covered “Rock and Roll All Nite” and was wondering who played with you on the track?
SPIRO: It's actually just me and Steve Georgakopoulos playing on this track. I played bass and sang lead and background vocals and Steve played guitar. Aaron Murray, who also recorded and mixed the track, programmed the drums. We also invited a few friends to come in and sing background vocals to help recreate that iconic chorus.
DBG: I understand that this project has been approved by Kiss themselves and was curious to know if they have heard any of the tracks and what they thought?
SPIRO: Well, I'm not sure where this approval came from but they definitely are aware of the project. The band was kind enough to help us promote the CD by posting a press release and links to the KISSIN' TIME Facebook and Bandcamp pages on Kissonline.com. I know they've heard at least one track because I played my version of Rock And Roll All Nite for Gene and Paul when we were on tour in Europe a couple of months ago. They seemed genuinely impressed.
DBG: Beyond the actual CD itself, are there plans for any live shows? Personally I would love to see a big KISSIN’ Time benefit concert featuring some, if not all the bands. Maybe even an ALIVE reunion?
SPIRO: Not that I know of. Good idea though. The plan is to raise as much money for SickKids as possible.
Be sure to check out Spiro at www.spirographics.net
Order your KISSIN' TIME CANADA'S TRIBUTE TO KISS CD at: www.kissintime-canadastributetokiss.bandcamp.com
*Bob of Bobnoxious
Bob: We were asked if we would like to take part and of course we said yes, it's for a great cause and it's always fun recording a cover song of one of your favourite bands growing up
DBG: Who in the band is the biggest Kiss fan?
Bob: We are all big Kiss fans
DBG: How did you choose the song C'Mon and Love Me as your choice for the album?
Bob: C'mon and Love me is off of Dressed To Kill as everybody knows, and I have to say that is my favourite Kiss record, that being said I just picked one from there, there's a few we could've played.
DBG: If there is anything else you would like to add about the recording of your track, the CD in general or anything else please do
Bob: We are the only band on the cd to open for Kiss too, at Sarnia Bayfest, which was a blast. I have a great picture of Gene playing my Gibson Flying V, he came up behind me while I was changing strings and stated, "That's an old beauty, can I touch it?" I turned and looked at him and quickly he said, " I mean the guitar !" ...ya gotta love it.
Be sure to check out Bobnoxious at http://www.bobnoxiousrock.com/
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
PodKISSt's Ken Mills and Gary Shaller engage in a 2+ hour Destroyer: Resurrected roundtable discussion with Matt Porter (THE KISS ROOM), Julian Gill (KissFAQ), Brian Shaller (long time KISS Army member) and John Humphrey (drummer for the band Seether). And if that wasn't enough, Side 2 of the discussion includes an exclusive interview with Destroyer: Resurrected engineer Justin Cortleyou!
From the Quiet After The Storm Facebook page:
Monday, October 29, 2012
2012 has certainly a great year to be a Kiss fan. We got to see them on THE TOUR this past summer, we got the new MONSTER album on October 13th and now we can add one more cool project to the mix. KISSIN' TIME - Canada's Tribute to KISS is a new tribute CD about to be released on October 31st, 2012. As the official website states, it's 13 of Canada's best indie acts, 13 classic KISS songs, 1 CD with all proceeds (minus expenses) going to the SICKKIDS Foundation (Toronto's Sick Kids Hospital). From the tracks I have heard this is going to be a really cool CD and with proceeds going to such a great cause I think it would make a great gift for the Kiss fan in your life.
I was able to speak with Jason Jansekovich (the Cd's co-producer), Barry Martin (Guitar Player for West Memphis Suicide) and Chuck Dailey (Bass Player of the Salads) to talk about their involvement and to learn more about the project.
DBG: Please take a moment and introduce yourself to the Decibel Geek readers.
DBG: I guess we should start at the beginning, how did this whole idea for this Kissin’ Time CD get started?
DBG: Tell us a little about the SICKKIDS Foundation and what lead to choosing this wonderful cause?
Jason: SickKids Foundation was chosen for a few reasons.. The main one was for the children of course, but also because we have had three relatives in the hospital for Sick Children with very serious conditions in just the past few years. Two of which still receive round the clock treatment in their home. There is so much that the foundation does, I suggest people go to the website and see for themselves what they do. http://www.sickkidsfoundation.com
DBG: How were the bands chosen for the project and can you tell us a little about them?
Jason: Most of the bands were bands that I have worked with over the years so it came easy. There are 13 bands featured on this project. I suggest people go to our facebook fan page https://www.facebook.com/KissinTimeCanadasTributeToKiss we have links to all 13 bands websites. There isn't a bad song on the cd every band did their "own" take on a Kiss song. I really hope people take the time to check out each bands website and familiarize themselves with the bands original music, these guys all deserve it.
DBG: Now I see that Spiro Papadatos has covered “Rock and Roll All Nite”and was wondering who played with him on the track?
Jason: Spiro's version of Rock & Roll All Night is amazing! As I said before we asked bands to do their own take on a KISS song, Well as most Kiss fans know Spiro was in Alive a Canadian Kiss Tribute band in the early 90's. Alive was probably one of the best KISS tribute bands going worldwide. So when I heard Spiro's version of the song I was floored! He did such an amazing job on the song it even has the 70's feel to the production. Anyway as for players on his song he had Dean Georgakopoulos (Alive), Shaun Sanders (Buffalo Brothers), Doug Weir (Syre) and Aaron Murray. Spiro has worked with KISS for many years now and is very good at what he does. Having him on the cd as well as design the cover artwork and co-produce this with myself and Gord Prior has been an amazing experience!
DBG: I understand that this project has been approved by Kiss themselves and was curious to know if they have heard the project themselves?
Jason: Its more that KISS are aware of everything KISS! lol Basically they have helped out by mentioning the cd on Kiss Online etc. I believe they have heard some of the tracks.
*Barry Martin and WEST MEMPHIS SUICIDE
DBG: How did West Memphis Suicide get involved in this great project?
Barry: Jason Jansekovich from "Keep it Live" contacted us about being on the album, and once we heard who else was going to be on it,and that it was going to help the Sick Kids Foundation,..we wanted to be on it for sure!!
DBG: Who would you say is the biggest Kiss fan in the group?
Barry: I think we all were at one point or another influenced by KISS to some degree, I mean i never dressed up as any member of Lynyrd Skynyrd as a kid! lol
DBG: How did you chose War Machine?
Barry: Our drummer Chris suggested it when the album came up. None of us were really that familiar with that song, so I guess that would make him the biggest KISS fan. Once we heard it (War Machine), and that it wasn't one of the standard songs a band might play, we knew it was the one we should cover!
Barry: We recorded the song at the SOUND DISTILLERY STUDIO in Kitchener Waterloo, Ontario Canada, with the help of Dave Houde and Will Muir. The drums sounded great the first time through, so we had a good vibe right outta the chute. Raposos' solo is killer so then we finished it off with the most ridiculous backing vocal session Ive ever seen, I just wish someone had filmed it.
So to ANY KISS fans out there, please grab a copy of this disc. Proceeds are going to help the sick kids foundation and you just might find a new band that mainstream media isn't shoving down yer throat!
Support the Indie bands of today, without them there won't be classic bands of tomorrow.
Be sure to check out WEST MEMPHIS SUICIDE at http://ca.myspace.com/westmemphissuicide
*Chuck Dailey of The Salads
Chuck: The honest truth? I was procrastinating on Facebook one afternoon and noticed a photo of our good friend Siegfried Meier recording a drum session at his studio Beach Road Studios. (We recorded all of our drums for our latest album "Music Every Day" with Sieggy. Siegs band Curtis is on the album and he also mastered the recording). The caption beneath the photo said something about recording a KISS song for an upcoming compilation record. I commented on the photo "Why didn't anybody ask The Salads to be on this compilation?". I immediately had a message in my inbox from Gord Prior welcoming us on to the album. When he told me what the plan was for the album I passed it to the band and there was zero hesitation. Recording an awesome tune by some of our childhood rock heroes and the proceeds going to Sick Kids Hospital. It was no brainer! Sign us up. We got right to it because we only had 2 weeks to put it together at that point.
DBG: So who would you say is the biggest Kiss fan in the group?
|The Salads circa 1989|
Chuck: We talked about a lot of songs. As D got to know KISS songs he was sending us a lot of old groovy songs like Strutter and Love Gun etc. Gord suggested doing an Ace tune so we even discussed Rock Soldiers (Dave auditioned for the video when he was 12 but didn't get the gig.. haha). I was rehearsing with I Mother Earth in Peterborough and had another email from the guys about what to do and had a funny thought and emailed it to the guys. "Why don't we do LICK IT UP? We can change the lyrics to SKANK IT UP! SKANK IT UP! Woooahh oah!" And the replies were giggles about it. We ended up keeping the lyrics in tact and did much more than make it a ska song. It's an everything song now... hahaha... Lick It Up was also one of my first introductions to KISS with Grant as a Kid. If you look at a picture of the drum room we rehearsed in you'll see a ton of posters from the albums promo with Vinnie Vincent on guitar. It's also one of the raddest rock riffs of all times. Just an A power chord on eighth notes. So basic, so perfect, so rock! It had to be done too as it was a huge moment for the band when we were kids and nobody had picked it. I remember watching the video on Toronto Rocks for the first time. Feet... feet... feet... wait for it... Oh my god! No makeup! Look at KISS!! It was a big rock moment when I was a wee lad.
DBG: Anything else you would like to add about the project, now is the time!
Chuck: It's a really great album. Every song is killer. All the bands are awesome. We have a history of doing shows with almost every band on the album and the guys putting it together, Jason and Gord, are very solid dudes with the best intentions and love for music. It's super cool to be part of this project and Sick Kids is the one of the big reasons I keep my family close to Toronto. It is an incredible hospital and has provided incredible care to our children and folks in all of our families. We are very lucky to be close to such an incredible place and are very proud to be part of a fundraising project for the hospital.
Be sure to check out the Salads and stream the new album "Music Every Day" at www.thesalads.com
So if you want to "Rock n Roll All Nite" with Spiro, hear West Memphis Suicide destroy "War Machine" and hear a really cool, funked up version of "Lick it Up". Add to that 10 more killer Kiss tunes done in a way you have never heard before, head over to http://kissintime-canadastributetokiss.bandcamp.com/ to order your copy today.
Bruce Kulick doing Carnival Of Souls' 15th anniversary track-by-track commentary all this week on Kulick.net
Andrew Jacobs here,
2012 has been a banner year for KISS album release anniversaries and to celebrate two of them, Bruce Kulick has done track-by-track commentaries on Revenge for it's 20th anniversary and Crazy Nights for it's 25th anniversary. Well yesterday, October 28th, marked yet another KISS album release anniversary - the 15th anniversary of the release of Carnival Of Souls (KISSONLINE.com and KissFAQ.com are both in agreement on this date, by the way), so BK has decided to do yet another week long track-by-track commentary on it. And I, for one, am VERY grateful. Enjoy.
This week on The Decibel Geek Podcast the Year 2000 In Review (Part 1), Aaron and Chris mentioned Jeff Duncan and Armored Saint and they featured the track After Me, the Flood, from the 2000 album, Revelation. Jeff Duncan had joined Armored Saint as a second guitarist in 1989, shortly after the release of the live offering Saints Will Conquer. Jeff first appeared on the 1991 release Symbol of Salvation which received critical success and was dedicated to the memory of David Prichard, original guitarist who succumbed to leukemia prior to its recording. The record produced the hits Reign of Fire and Last Train Home. A year later the band appeared in a cameo in the movie Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth and also contributed a song to the movie’s soundtrack album. The band disbanded following this as vocalist John Bush, who ten years earlier had been offered the vocalist spot in new band Metallica, accepted the vocalist position in Anthrax. Bassist Joey Vera joined the progressive metal band Fate's Warning in 1996. He has appeared
on the Lizzy Borden records Master of Disguise from 1989, Deal with the Devil from 2000 and also put out a solo album entitled A Thousand Faces. In 2004 he joined John Bush in Anthrax on a temporary basis. During a break from Anthrax in 1999 Bush and Vera decide to resurrect Armored Saint. The entire line-up returned and the product was 2000’s release of Revelation. The following year they released Nod to the Old School which featured many demos and outtakes from the
Prichard years. With Bush and Vera again leaving Anthrax,
Armored Saint again reformed and recorded the 2010 album La Raza.
Prior to joining Armored Saint Jeff was a founding member of the
scene band Odin. I had never heard of
Odin until I signed on to cruise the high seas last year on the inaugural
Monsters of Rock Cruise. I was excited
about the cruise and seeing some bands that I’d been waiting all my life to see
(over dramatic? I don’t think so….lol),
so I tried to learn about the bands that I was unfamiliar with. Odin was one of these bands. I started by ordering the Best of Odin
from Perris Records without hearing a track and was pleasantly surprised. It quickly took over my MP3 player playlist
with songs like 12 O’clock High, Push and Don’t Take No for an
Answer. They quickly became one of
the bands that I was looking forward to seeing aboard the MSC Poesia Cruise
Ship. When the schedule was released for
the cruise and set times for all the bands I found Odin to be only making one appearance
in an afternoon slot at 2:30PM while we the ship was in the port of Nassau,
Bahamas. I arranged my schedule and made
sure to catch their performance. Sadly
(but great for me….lol), there were only a smattering of the 2500 cruisers in
attendance to watch Odin’s set
that day. They put on an excellent show running through a set list of all their hits like 12 O’clock High, Over Your Head, One Day to Live, Time & Time Again, She Was The One, Little Gypsy, Matter of Time, Solar Eye, Judgement Day, Don’t Take No For An Answer and Shinning Love and were available for autographs after the show. Randy O’s screeching vocals had not diminished at all over the years and they sounded tight and clear in the Pigalle Lounge that afternoon. Jeff Duncan handles guitar duties, while his brother Shawn Duncan on drums and Aaron Samson with the bass guitar. Check out their facebook page here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Odin/77888031676
Encouraged by my new found success with Odin’s recording, I searched out another “new to me” band that would be performing on the cruise in DC4. DC4 consists of all three of the
Duncan brothers Jeff,
Shawn and Matt. In this outfit Jeff
handles not only the guitar, but steps into the vocalists’ shoes as well while
Shawn sits behind the drum set, Matt plays bass guitar. The Duncan
family are joined by guitarist Rowan Robertson.
I purchased DC4’s 2007 CD Explode from a hated download site (I
prefer hardcopy material with liner notes and you never know if the band
actually sees the money from the sale) and gave it a listen. Excellent discovery again!! Their brand of pumping, driving, “megarock” soldiered
through tracks like Candy Caine, God Complex and Rock &
Roll Disease. Again, like Odin, they
only had one time slot on the ship (most bands were playing two sets) and I
made sure not to miss it at 2PM in the very “trippy” Zebra lounge during the
stop in the port of Key West Florida.
Stryper was also slated to play at the same time as DC4 on another
stage, but due to a snowstorm back home, they were delayed and late catching up
and boarding the ship. Due to this
Styper reschedule, many people chose to take advantage of the port of Key
a few CD’s to select audience members. In a brief conversation with bassist Matt Duncan after the set, he told me that they were shocked at the reaction and certainly didn’t expect this kind of crowd to catch their set. I was hoping to purchase their Electric Ministry CD or even the Explode hard copy and obtain an autograph, but they didn’t have any left for sale. They gained a new audience that day and I have seen some fellow cruisers showing their support of DC4 on the facebook page at: http://www.facebook.com/DC4HardRock?fref=ts I hope this band continues to create and release new music and they have been an excellent discovery and addition to my library.
Chris and Aaron also mentioned Dio’s 2000 CD, Magica and featured the track Fever Dreams, which is a re-recording originally found on Dream Evil from 1987. The guys mentioned that Magica marked the return of guitarist Craig Goldy to Dio’s line up. During Craig Goldy’s hiatus from Dio, the aforementioned Rowan Robertson from DC4 was chosen to join the band from over 5000 guitarists when he was just 18 years old! Rowan’s only release with Dio was 1990’s Lock up the Wolves as after this record Ronnie Jamed Dio reunited with Black Sabbath, resulting in 1992's Dehumanizer. Although he was working with Ronnie on a follow-up album to Lock Up The Wolves, Rowan has said that he does not feel comfortable releasing any of these rehearsal recordings to the public without the permission of Ronnie James Dio himself.
I hope that you'll look into some great rock from an excellent guitarist, Jeff Duncan.
Sunday, October 28, 2012
An Appropriate Time of Year to Smash Pumpkins
The Smashing Pumpkins just happen to be one of those bands that fell through the concert cracks for me and I missed seeing them live in their 1990’s heyday. So when I heard that they were going to roll into the Air Canada Centre in
thought how fitting to rectify the situation a few days before Halloween.
The start time on the ticket read 8PM, but having been “caught with my pants down” on a couple of instances recently, I thought it wise to arrive early. Ahhh, at least I’m learning from my mistakes as sure enough the opening act took the stage at 7:45PM. What is it with Ticketmaster and these concert start times? I always seem to remember concerts starting late, not early!!
In any case, Morning Parade hailing from merry old
England entertained us in their first foray into
Canada. They played their first two songs Close to
Your Heart and Carousel and then as an intro to the third number,
the singer announced “for those of you that know us, we may seem a bit light
tonight thanks to your border patrol”!
Their ambient lighting blue, pink, red and yellow continued throughout Us
& Ourselves. The singer
introduced the next song as Half Litre Bottle from the debut CD out in
stores now and then added as an almost after thought; “the CD has all five
members on it”. The crowd was a little sparse at first, but was beginning to fill in a bit now as Morning Parade's harmonic
vocals took us through the next song entitled Headlights. As they finished up with Under the Stars,
my concert going partner pointed out that they sounded like Our Lady Peace (a
Canadian band from the 90’s), but to me they were more like Oasis. While Morning Parade soldiered through their
set being short two members and they tried their best to interact with the
audience, doing a decent job of warming us up, no songs particularly caught my
With what seemed like at least half of the auditorium still empty, we decided to stretch our legs and wander around. The lines at the merchandise booths were not the usual push/shove or strain to see type of experience and not many of the crowd were going away with new swag. Seeing two lovely looking people appearing a bit lonely behind the beer kiosk we decided we’d better go and brighten their day. Of course the beer is way over priced, but what do you expect at a big venue concert designed to assist you in parting with your hard earned cash in as many ways as possible? In chatting with the beer vendor, we asked if they get a lot of “chirping” about the beverage prices. Oh yes, she said, she often gets blamed like she’s the owner of the A.C.C. and personally sets the pricing scheme. She gets verbally abused and sworn at all the time! But apparently it’s not so bad at a show like this (a comment which I was a bit startled at), but it’s way worse at a show like Neil Young or Eric Clapton as it brings out the older folks who are used to drinking in their garage all the time. She cuts more people off at those shows than something like this. Unable to resist temptation, I asked her if since she was the owner and in charge of all pricing for the A.C.C. could she get me a deal on T-shirts? Hopefully I brightened her day with a little chuckle.
Having caught wind of The Smashing Pumpkins setlist plan prior to this evening, I wisely kept that to myself. I knew that my concert partner would not approve and I feared that we were in for a bit of a sleeper. I was not wrong! Billy Corgan’s plan was to play the entire
Oceania CD as an opening to their show. Pumpkins came on at 8:45PM and hit like a
sonic assault, but subsequently lost the crowd shortly afterwards. They displayed a good light show and had a
huge sphere or orb as a backdrop. By the
third song I realised that my fears had come true and it would be the Oceania CD in it’s entirety to open the Smashing
Pumpkins show. There was no talking
between songs or intros of any kind. To
be honest, every song sounded exactly the same and it was hard to tell where one
ended and another began. The overall
sound in the stadium was good, with the bass reverberating mildly off the cavernous
ceiling. There was a constant visual on
the big sphere (later I learned that this was directed by Sean Evans who had previously worked
with Roger Waters). Perhaps they are
relying on the visual sphere to entertain the audience, which was not going
over well as the crowd seemed rather lacklustre about the performance so far and
all remained in their seats, some visibly yawning and we were only around half
way through Oceania. I understand
playing a whole album in concert (Queensryche’s Operation Mindcrime or
Judas Priest’s British Steel are two that come to mind that I've seen),
but make it a classic album, not something that’s only been out for three or four
months and no-one knows.
Around song seven (hard to tell as they all sound the same) Billy finally addressed the crowd to proclaim that they were doing the whole
album as his intro to the title track.
The crowd around us had basically all left, and now we were surrounded by
empty seats that were once filled at the start of Smashing Pumpkins' set. What an audience killer! Be very warned away from this tour unless you
are quite familiar with the new Oceania
release. Maybe it’s in Pumpkins' contract to
help boost concession sales by driving the crowd from the auditorium in an
effort for them to stay awake? Titling the tour Oceania should mean that they are
supporting the disc and playing songs from it interspersed with the classics
and hits that made them famous. Just
because it’s got the album title doesn't mean that they should play the full album, just like a band that calls it “The Farewell Tour”, but then just goes out on tour again next year.
Finally the crowd shot up out of their seats eager at a tune they recognised in The Smashing Pumpkin’s rendition of David Bowie’s A Space Oddity, at which they did an excellent job. As my concert partner pointed out, there was no longer anything on the big sphere now other than coloured flood lights. The big budget video images are all finished? The crowd remained standing as next up was X.Y.U., a little known song from the double CD Mellon Collie & Infinite Sadness. Then things really heated up with Disarm. The whole crowd was on their feet now; this is what we paid $70 a ticket for. If I wanted to preview the new CD I’d buy it on I-tunes or order from Amazon, lord knows that the local record store won’t have it and it takes longer to order and more expensive than doing it through Amazon too! The audience looked mostly rejuvenated by now, singing along to Tonight, Tonight and then Bullet With Butterfly Wings cemented that home as now every single person was up on their feet and into the show. And then just as Billy started win over the audience he killed it with what had to be a seven minute (seemed like anyway) talk, including useless banter with the bass player. He made the obligatory comments about Toronto's hockey team (as if it matters this year with the strike!) and after a few minutes he responded to an obvious heckler down in front with "what's that, you want me to play some music?". Well it seems that the dissension and frustration with The Smashing Pumpkins set was even reaching the crowd at the very front of the stage. The female bass player chattered on something about wrestling, followed by Billy's comments on the Toronto Blue Jays baseball team!! The crowd around us was not only growing frustrated and restless, but they seem downright pissed-off and began chanting things like "music" or "play a song". Billy still continued to chatter on at us, now saying something about "some people didn't think that the band could continue in this form and that they were wrong". Newsflash Billy, hope you don't think you're actually winning over any fans here, you're actually driving them away! Certainly you're not a stand-up comedian, so get on with the music. Finally the band broke out into a tune, albeit the not well known, more recent track of A Song For A Son. There doesn't even appear to be any heads bobbing in the crowd down on the floor let alone anything else, until they get into Today and get the crowd rose to their feet standing and singing again. Stand Inside Your Love and Muzzle closed out the regular set. After a quick break they came back out at 11PM and treated the crowd to a three-punch encore of Ava Adore, Cherub Rock and Zero. They played well, sounded great and Billy's voice sounded exactly like it did almost twenty years ago. However, while the crowd loved the encore performance, into it the whole way, I think that most, along with myself feel that it was too much too late by this point to save the evening from an utter bore and pure frustration. I understand that as they get older and progress musically that they want to get more intricate with their compositions, but maybe Billy has forgotten about the songs that made them who they are and that's what the crowd expects to hear, with some newer stuff mixed in. Had they done that, with their catalogue of music to chose from this would have surely been an excellent show, but as it was I want a refund!
Andrew Jacobs here,
I'll start this post off by saying that I obtained the original release date of October 28, 1977 (a.k.a. 35 years ago today) for the Sex Pistols' Never Mind The Bollocks Here's The Sex Pistols album from their official website (http://www.sexpistolsofficial.com/). Needless to say, I really and truly hope that I got the date right this time.
On to the post...
I'll never, ever forget the very first time that I heard the song "Anarchy In The U.K." by the Sex Pistols at a friend's house sometime in 1985 when I was 15 years old.
Mostly because it scared the living shit out of me.
Although I was already familiar with punk music at that point, I still was not prepared for Johnny Rotten's bloodcurdling vocals and Steve Jones' unbelievably loud & aggressive guitar. In fact, it wasn't until a year later (during the summer of 1986) that I would actually become a Pistols fan.
But when I became a Pistols fan, I REALLY became a Pistols fan.
The Pistols became the very first band that I fell head over heels in love with. I would go on to purchase and re-purchase Never Mind The Bollocks more times BY FAR than any other album (in part because it's been reissued more times than any of my other favorite albums). I collected everything Pistols and Pistols-related that I could get my hands on. In terms that y'all can understand, they were my KISS a good 7 years before KISS became my KISS. Or something.
On August 25, 1996, I celebrated my 10th anniversary as a Pistols fan by going to see them play a concert (with their original bassist Glen Matlock) at the Hollywood Palladium on their Filthy Lucre reunion tour that year. Needless to say, I loved every single second of it and it definitely ranks as one of my top 10 favorite concerts of all time.
Speaking of Glen Matlock, I was extremely glad to see on the Pistols' official website that Sid Vicious is NOT credited as the bassist on Never Mind The Bollocks. Besides the simple fact that he didn't play bass on the album (most likely because he was too doped up to play on it), I absolutely detest him and everything that he stands for.
Friday, October 26, 2012
Sometimes as a fan, you tend to forget that the people you idolize are human too. In tenth grade, I wanted to play the drums. I signed up for beginning band class, and my parents bought me a set of drumsticks, a practice pad, and a book for beginning drummers. In all, they spent maybe $50. I had big dreams of moving to L.A. and becoming a drummer in a band much like my idols. I, at that time, had a thing for Audie Desbrow, Tommy Lee and Tico Torres. They were cute, yes, but to me some very talented drummers. I knew this was my destiny.
FAST FORWARD.The drummer thing never took off. i was not blessed with the gift of rhythm and coordination. I also got a D in the class, but I was, however, very good in explaining current events and music. So I took up writing instead. Recently, I sat down to do a phone interview with Great White's own thunder god Audie Desbrow. We left no stones unturned, we were kind with our words, and yes, we even shared the toys...lol. No, really, we chatted about the past, present and future of Great White.
Audie Desbrow: Well, creating new music helps keep it fresh. We have a new record out now, and the fans are really taking to the album. Terry has just been a blessing. He brings a lot of energy to the stage and to the band also.
DBG: Well, with Terry Ilous as the groups lead singer, what has he brought to the band to keep this momentum going?
AD: Terry is a monster on stage. His energy is contagious. He has a great energy and his vibe is awesome. He has great creativity, in the studio and on stage. The fans are loving it and Terry is too.
AD: Our first album was more metal. As time went on, we were more to our roots, our blues rock roots. When we did 'Sail Away', we used and experimented and used different instruments. I toned my drumming down. We tried to stay true to the sound. As far as what we do now, we just try to keep it modern and stick to our roots.
DBG: You have a new singer, Terry Ilous and a new album called Elation. How have the fans taken to Terry being in front and not Jack Russell?
AD: Well, we just got back from Europe. The fans were awesome and Europe was too!! We were gone for a month. We went to Germany, Spain, France and Amsterdam. It was awesome because terry was talking to the crowds in Spanish in Spain, he's speaking French to the crowds in France. It was just great, the whole experience as just great.
DBG: Jack Russell, was the original lead singer, and recently he parted ways with the group. Is there a chance that maybe you and Jack maybe able to do a reunion tour?
AD: I don't see that happening. Jack is trying to sue us for the name. Over time things change, people change, you grow older. It was a risky move yes, because Jack was the up front guy; people knew Jack Russell with Great White. It was a risky move, but it paid out in the end though.
AD: This album was an entire band effort. It was nice to do it like that. We demoed like 24 songs, and we recorded 12. When we went into the studio, we would start writing and we would get into a zone and we would just write like crazy. It was awesome to have that vibe. We recorded this album in 38 days.
DBG: 'Feeling So Much Better" is peaking on the classic rock charts. Tell me how this time is different from say 20 plus years ago when say 'Lady RedLight' was on the charts.
AD: When 'Lady RedLight" was out, it was about the party, there was a certain look and style. At that time, it was about having fun. The music then was about partying, having fun and just living life. Now-a-days, the music is more negative, its angry and it reflects whats going on in the world today. I haven't listened to the radio in a long time. I have my iPod shuffle with over 1,000 plus songs and I listen to that. I like Godsmack, Three Days Grace too. I still enjoy our music and the music groups that were out at that time. Generations change, fans change. Our fans are older and wiser. They have kids now, and some of those kids are listening to us now.
DBG: What new songs would you say the fans are getting excited for?
AD: We try to make sure we play our old songs along with our new catalog. We don't want to bombard the audience with all old material. So we mix the new album in with our old material. 'Lowdown' is the next single to come out, so we're playing that now during our live shows.
DBG: The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominations were revealed earlier this month. For the first time, the academy is letting the fans vote. Who would you like to see inducted in the Hall?
DBG:With that being said. Do you feel that Great White will be able to eventually get a nod into the Hall, or do you feel like the Station Fire tragedy will keep the band out?
AD: There are people that will always be angry at us for what happened. It was a tragic night for all involved. We haven't played in Rhode Island since that night, and Jack hasn't gone back since that night. The only other original member there was Mark (Kendal). It really would be great if we could go there. I hear fans say we should come there and play. The fans really want us to come back. I hope in time we can go to Rhode Island, honor those that perished and be able to heal not just us, but heal everyone that was affected by that horrible night.
DBG: Thirty years is a long time. You've undergone a lot of changes, some for good, a few for bad. What do you see happening for the next 30 years?
AD: I would love to see us still together in 30 years. But we'll probably be in a old folks home, (lol). But if our health is still good, then we will probably still be playing together. We have learned to accept each others faults, and we've been together for a long time.
It really was a great honor to interview a great musician that I am not only a fan of, but I respect musically. I hope you all enjoyed my interview, and stay tuned for the concert review.
In my defense this time though, KISSOnline appears to have made the same mistake.
- Andrew Jacobs
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Aaron and Chris were guests on the most recent episode of The PWA Show. You can check it out here.
Aaron was interviewed by Cassius Morris this week for his That Reporter Kid Speaks podcast. You'll hear about how the Decibel Geek podcast became what it is today. Check it out here.
This Week's Show:
When we first mulled over the idea of doing a Year in Review show about the Year 2000, we thought what most people our age thought; "Was there enough good music released that year for a full episode. Well, today we can proudly tell you that YES, there was a lot of good music released that year. Of course, most of the stuff that us Decibel Geeks dig the most was sorely lacking in exposure due to the rise of boy bands, pop divas, and nu-metal ruling the popular music charts.
We dug deep into our archives, as well as many other nooks and crannies, to bring you some true diamonds in the rough. We are pretty confident that you'll definitely get turned on to some great new tunes/bands this week with Part 1 of our 2000 Year in Review.
Chris spins an uptempo rocker from the Rollins Band that includes his then-new backing back and it's a barn burner for sure. Heading into March, we spin choices from Pantera, Enuff Z'nuff, Armored Saint, and Dio; all amazing bands that were overshadowed in the public view by NSYNC as they were busy selling 2.4 million copies of their new album in one week. Something ain't right when that happens....
April of 2000 brought us KISS announcing their Farwell Tour. What's that? They're still around 12 years later? Hmm, well we discuss what circumstances could have caused that while also discussing Ted Nugent ruffling some feathers from the stage during that same tour as he was the opening act. Ted, in the words of Aerosmith, please let the music do the talking. But, we digress.
Also in April, Lars Ulrich became rock music's public enemy number one as he and his mates in Metallica filed suit against peer-to-peer service Napster and fired the opening salvo of a copyright-based civil war that is still raging today.
We spin a track by the relatively unknown Samantha 7, who has a well known singer who had too many irons in the fire in 2000 and forced the S7 side project back on the shelf. You'll get a taste of what might have been this week.
In May of 2000 Britney Spears was raking in dough and album sales through her style-over-substance based second LP, Oops!...I Did It Again as it sold 1.3 million copies in its debut week and 20 million over its lifetime. We lament the general public's poor taste by spinning tracks by Dynamite Hack, Orange Goblin, Bad Religion, and King's X; giving you a healthy dose of true musical substance to chew on.
After the break we segue from May to June with a track that truly marked the return of a legend as Iron Maiden roared back with the return of Bruce Dickinson and Adrian Smith with Brave New World. While there was definite excitement among hardcore Iron Maiden fans, the album failed to reach the numbers of previous Dickinson-sung releases.
June included a controversial release from Queens of the Stone Age and we spin a track that could double for a junkie's shopping list and includes backing vocals from a certain Metal God. Speaking of Metal Gods, Alice Cooper released Brutal Planet; an album that quite clearly was a stab at capitalizing on the nu-metal movement of the era with hit and miss results.
Closing out Part 1 of this 2000 Year in Review is a track by NY hardcore band Madball and one of the heaviest Poison tracks you'll ever hear from their Power to the People release.
Lots of music crammed into this one. Hope you dig it! If you do......
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Queens of the Stone Age
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Tuesday, October 23, 2012
When Something Stands For Nothing!
The Headstones are one of my all time favourite bands, Canadian as well. I discovered them from a compilation cassette that was circulated around my friend’s campus at
in Toronto back
in the early 90’s. The cassette
contained the song Heart of Darkness and we played it over and over
again, loving the dark energy of the track.
It had even come with a window sticker of the Headstones logo that over
the next several years spent time in many an automobile window of mine and
might even still be around here somewhere.
The band consisted of Hugh Dillon on vocals, guitarist Trent Carr,
bassist Tim White and drummer Mark Gibson and was one of the most commercially
successful Canadian bands of the 90’s.
Finally the Picture of Health album was released and we all purchased it. What an amazing, solid rock record. With a high energy, the whole thing kicks ass and leaves you wondering just what happened, but then you play it again and all is well. When Something Stands for Nothing hit the radio airwaves and was often heard on local stations Q107 and 97.7HTZ FM. Tweeter and the Monkey Man took the Travelling Wilbury’s song and made it a balls out rocker that became huge in concert. This 1993 disc still sounds just as fresh today as it did almost twenty years ago.
We became groupies, seeing a Headstones show whenever we could. I can’t tell you how many times we saw them or even where and the ticket stubs are almost all gone, lost in the drunken stupor and excitement of the evening I imagine. I know that we saw them open for the awesome band The Four Horsemen on Sept 17, 1994, that stub seems to have survived the great ticket stub massacre. I also remember that we saw them at The World Nightclub in
Mississauga one night around this time,
probably before The Four Horsemen show.
We’d been given free tickets to the show and five or six of us
attended. There were only about fifteen
people in the club, extremely disappointing to see the lack of support for this
great new home-grown band. I can only
assume that it was due to poor promotion as it was presented by 102.1CFNY, the
new rock/alternative station in Toronto. Hugh Dillon even commented on this by saying
something to the effect of “it’s nice to be presented by a radio station that
won’t even play our f**king music”. We
did not let this poor attendance stop our enjoyment of their show. We loaded up on beers and when they came on
stage we presented ourselves front and centre, singing, cheering and creating
our own little mosh pit, we had all the space in the world down there that
night. During Tweeter and the Monkey
Man, Hugh held down the microphone to our little group as we
sang/shouted/screamed out the chorus to the whole song and he even passed my
buddy his harmonica! Hugh pointed to us
and personally thanked us for coming out and that we were real Headstones fans
and to stick around after the show. He
came out after with shirts for us all that had the big “H” logo on the front and
the question “Where’s the fuckin’ money you owe me?” on the back. We had some beers with Hugh and were all on
an incredible high that night.
Two years later, the follow-up album was out and our excitement was immeasurable! For Teeth & Tissue drummer Mark Gibson had departed and Dale Harrison had stepped in behind the kit. While Teeth & Tissue has its rocking moments and tracks that easily surpass some of those on Picture of Health, the song writing shows a bit more maturity and diversity than its predecessor. Tracks such as the two openers Hindsight and Unsound are pure scorchers, but the album seems to lose momentum for me after that, although still a fine recording and treasured in my extensive collection.
By this time we had also caught wind of the movie Dance Me Outside, directed by Canadian Icon Bruce Macdonald and featuring none other than Hugh Dillon in his first acting role. Also we continued our groupie habits, taking in as many Headstones shows as humanly possible, sometimes getting in for the admission of food bank donations, a very cool way to help those in need. For sure one of those shows was at RPM Nightclub on August 2nd, 1995 and while I don’t remember specifically, I’m sure that the Headstones stage behaviour and high energy that we had all come to expect was out in full force as usual. Hugh was known for his stage antics by this time, something that we had witnessed in its development and loved every minute of it. He always wore a black knit sweater on stage that became more and more spotted with holes from age or perhaps cigarette burns. In these days smoking was still allowed at venues and Hugh always had a smoke going, often bumming from the audience during shows and then throwing the lit stub into the crowd. He also regularly bummed Budweiser beers from the crowd during performances and it was not unusual to find everyone in the first few rows of the general admission venues drinking Budweiser, ready to pass it up to Hugh when he was ready for a new beer. In later performances, this practice seemed to have disappeared and I can only assume that he had grown understandably weary of consuming half drank beers from audience members. Hugh was also known to spit on the crowd during the set.
Having to wait three years for new material from the
Kingston originating quartet was not problem at all as the guys delivered their finest creation to
date in the Smile & Wave CD.
The track Cubically Contained was played on radio prior to the CD
release and while it was a slower tempo track was incredibly well written and
an enjoyable song. Once I got hold of
the album I was blown away. Every song
is amazing opening up with the blistering
and followed by the radio hit Smile and Wave. Other standout tunes include Pretty Little
Death Song, Picture Frame of Rage and Supersmart. Reno
Vocalist Hugh Dillon also appeared in his second Bruce Macdonald feature film in 1996. This time starring as Joe Dick, lead singer for punk band Hard Core Logo in the movie of the same title. The film won several awards and is regarded as one of the best Canadian made films of all time, drawing the attention of Quentin Tarantino, who purchased the
rights. It also spawned two soundtracks,
A Tribute to Hard Core Logo in 1996 and Hard Core Logo in
1998. The first was comprised of
Canadian and international bands, including The Headstones, recording covers of
the film’s songs while the second was a more conventional soundtrack featuring
music composed by Hugh Dillon. The
Headstones were also nominated for Juno Awards in 1996 for Best Group and Best
Rock Album. During the live shows around
this time we were occasionally treated to a different track from The
Headstones, another cover tune, this time in the form of ABBA’s S.O.S. I never thought that I would crave hearing an
ABBA song, but the guys made this cut rock!
Unfortunately it was not often played and never showed up on a
recording. By some oddity of fate on
February 4th, 2000 The Headstones ended up playing a small bar/club
in my hometown of Newmarket, about 45 minutes
north of Toronto. No band ever played in Newmarket, this was electric and I seized the
opportunity to get some of my friends out and introduced to the energy that is The Headstones live set. The guys did not let me down
that night and they gained some new fans, one of whom would accompany me years
later to see them again. Even though I
quit smoking three years ago, the Headstones "H" logo Zippo lighter that I purchased at
that show still sits on display on my mantle and the “H” logo keychain still
holds my keys together.
Nickels For Your Nightmares was released in 2000, spawning two radio hits in Settle and Blonde & Blue, both cracking the top ten on Canada’s Rock Charts. I remember before the CD was released, I think, 97.7HTZ FM was playing it in a radio preview track by track and they had to time it perfectly to slot track #10 to be aired after midnight. The song is a total in your face rocker and I’ve had the desire on a few occasions to play it for someone as a good description of my feeling towards them. #$%! You is full of piss and vinegar and sounds great in a live setting.
2001 saw the release of The Greatest Fits a collection of popular tracks as well as two new scorchers leading off the parade in Blowtorch and Come On. The latter was featured in the video game Triple Play 2002 and also as the theme song to the Canadian version of the sketch comedy show Comedy Inc.
Unfortunately I started to lose touch with my Headstones groupies, the band and with music in general around this time as “life got in the way” so to speak. I mean, I still saw the guys and we talked regularly, but the availability to hit all or even any of the shows had begun to wane a few years earlier. As a result, the 2002 output of The Oracle of Hi-Fi went largely unnoticed amongst our group, so much so that when I found it in a bargain bin a few years later I was shocked of its existence. Only upon spinning the disc did I realise that the second track Reframed (Every Single Failure) was something I had heard on the radio.
The Headstones went their separate ways in 2003. Hugh Dillon formed the Hugh Dillon Redemption Choir drawing on influences of country, pop, punk and new wave music. The first CD The High Co$t of Low Living was released in 2005 and was a radical step away from The Headstones. Hugh also released a solo effort, Works Well with Others, in 2009 that I’ve not been able to find easily. Dillon concentrated on acting and appeared in the critically acclaimed series
and presently Flashpoint. Flashpoint is the first Canadian
television show since 1994’s Due South to air on network primetime
simultaneously in Durham
County Canada and
The band reformed in 2011 and I had the pleasure of catching the show on December 23rd, 2011 accompanied by my friend that I had introduced to The Headstones back in 2000 at that little bar in
Newmarket. The crowd was electric and there was a lot of
buzz and excitement about the re-united Headstones as we entered The Sound
Academy in Toronto. After purchasing some ice cold adult
beverages, we hit the merch booth to acquire some Headstones wear in the form
of a t-shirt each and pushed our way towards the stage waiting for the opening
band. Spitfist, a local and now
unfortunately defunct, all female punk band blistered through a hot opening set
and they displayed a great stage presence.
The crowd tightened up as the guys came out and they hadn’t lost a step
at all musically. Their energy was even
higher now and they had clearly missed this.
Gone was Hugh’s black sweater, his cigarettes, his beers, his spitting
on the crowd and even his black spikey hair and I didn’t even notice that these
former staples were not present until I thought about it afterwards. They rocked the crowd through a setlist
encompassing all their albums and played for what seemed like an eternity as
they blew through track after track.
Setlist: Tweeter & The Monkey Man, Pinned You Down, Binthiswayforyears
(a new track even), Settle, Where Does It Go?, When Something
Stands For Nothing, Cut Me Up, Cut, Mystery To Me, Losing
Control, Cubically Contained, Blonde & Blue, Fuck You,
Smile & Wave, Unsound, Oh My God (with Sympathy For
The Devil medley), Encore: Heart
Of Darkness, Take It, Three Angels, S.O.S., Cemetery.
Recently posted on their website, www.headstonesband.com, “You have waited a long time for this. We are done making you wait. Headstones are making a new record. No bullshit. We’re cutting out the middleman, and giving you back the band.” That’s awesome news for a diehard Headstones fan such as myself. They have teamed up with a site called Pledgemusic, where you can pledge to the band to help them with recording costs and receive merchandise for your contribution, digital downloads and behind the scenes videos of the band in the studio plus more. Check it out at http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/headstones. It took a mere 48 hours for the band to reach their goal, but the exclusive merchandise for pledgers is still available while quantities last. You can also listen to the full track Binthiswayforyears at their website. I, for one, am anxiously awaiting the new album, check out some of their music and I know you will be too!