Grammy Nominated rock act Godsmackhas had their share of surprises in their careers, but being accused of Satanism? Well that’s definitely a first! The St. Mary’s Parish (aka Westboro Baptist 2.0) led by Rev. Timothy Nelson [insert Father Nelson joke here] in Jackson County, MI has asked that Godsmack’s performance at the Jackson County Fair be cancelled citing that the band’s lyrics degrade women, children, and the weak, and wait for it… they promote Satanism!
Yeah, that’s right, the same band that has donated to Children’s Charities, and played for the troops that protect the very freedoms these morons use to spread their fear-mongering. I’ve personally seen the band nearly 30 times so I guess that makes me a regular Aleister Crowley! If these folks are so concerned about family values, where was the uproar when the famous homewrecker LeAnn Rimes took the stage at last year’s fair? It’s mind-blowing to see what lemmings people can become when their church leaders paint the picture of a fantasy world in which they think we live. Read for yourself and make your own judgement on their sanity…
JACKSON, MI – The metal band Godsmack promotes evil and Satan — that’s what the Rev. Timothy Nelson from St. Mary’s Parish and a group of residents believe.
The group was hoping the Jackson County fair board would cancel the Aug. 5 show at the 2013 Jackson County Fair, but fair organizers say that won’t be happening.
Denise Owens, the Jackson County Fairoperations director, said tickets are selling really fast and there is no chance it will be canceled.
Nelson distributed a flier to parishioners Sunday, July 21 urging them to contact the county fair board members to express their disgust with the band’s presence at the county fair. In that flier he states that the lyrics of the band are “evil, strewn with obscenities and violent.”
“If you look at the name Godsmack, what does that mean? Do you smack God?” Nelson said. “The name is irreverent and when you look at the lyrics it’s less than edifying.”
He also has issues with the band Pop Evilopening for Godsmack.
“It leaves the suggestion that evil is not that bad. Evil is very bad,”Nelson said.
Jackson resident Billie Buda attended the Tuesday, July 23 fair board meeting with her husband. About 35 to 40 residents who are against the band playing attended the meeting and about 15 spoke during public comment.
Buda has grandchildren who will be attending the fair — but not on the day Godsmack plays.
“I don’t want them to be at the fair when this concert is going on and they are not going to the concert, I know that,”Buda said.
Her oldest grandchild is 15.
“Their (fair board) mission statement says it is a family-oriented venue. This goes against their own mission statement,” she said. “There are a lot of bands that are good and some that are into witchcraft and the devil.”
Nelson tied the issue into his Sunday, July 21 sermon where he told parishioners they should be “prudent” about who they let in their home.
“You need to be hospitable and kind to people ,but you also have to be prudent about who you let into your home,”Nelson said. “ I just think that the Jackson community deserves better.”
He is hoping the fair board will reconsider the type of bands that play in the future at the county fair.
Owens said a county survey was conducted in the past five years and residents asked for bands other than the traditional classic rock bands that were popular 30 years ago.
“We had a lot of input on the different types of music they wanted to hear,” she said adding that ticket sales for Godsmack have been “really good.”
Nelson said he will pray for Godsmack, Pop Evil and the members of the county fair board.
“I’ll keep them in my prayers,” he said.
Here’s hoping Sully and the boys play the show of their lives and rain down a plague of rock ‘n roll locusts unto Nelson and his lemmings!
ROCK VEGAS powered by Rockstar Energy Drink–”Sin City’s Loudest Two-Day Rock Music Festival,” will take place Friday, September 28 and Saturday, September 29 at Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas.
The updated lineup for the two-day rock extravaganza includes Hellyeah (in place of Papa Roach, who is unable to perform due to lead singer Jacoby Shaddix’s recent vocal surgery), a solo performance by Corey Taylor, Fozzy (featuring WWE superstar Chris Jericho), and breaking band Mindset Evolution.
From now until September 16, 2012, enter for a chance to win a 4-day/3-night ROCK VEGAS VIP trip from the national radio show Sixx Sense With Nikki Sixx at www.sixxsense.com.
The current daily performance lineup for ROCK VEGAS powered by Rockstar Energy Drink is as follows:
Saturday, September 29 Rob Zombie, Marilyn Manson, Buckcherry, Corey Taylor, All That Remains, Art of Dying, New Medicine, Otherwise
In addition to main stage performances inside the Mandalay Bay Events Center, ROCK VEGAS powered by Rockstar Energy Drink will also include the Bud Light Festival Grounds with band performances on the Jägermeister Stage. This outdoor festival area and vendor village will feature band autograph signings, free samples from Rockstar Energy Drink, and more. The Bud Light Festival Grounds will open at 1pm on Friday and Saturday.
Tickets for ROCK VEGAS powered by Rockstar Energy Drink are affordably priced as low as $39 each, plus fees. VIP packages are also available for purchase. Discounted hotel rates at Mandalay Bay, Luxor, and Excalibur are exclusively available for ROCK VEGAS attendees. To buy tickets, make hotel reservations, and for all ROCK VEGAS info, visit www.RockVegasFest.com.
The Rockstar Energy Drink UPROAR Festival is now underway and is bringing a massive rock show to cities across the U.S. through September 30. Fans can experience the sights and sounds of the first weekend of UPROAR through the latest installment of UPROAR TVHERE.
The Rockstar Energy Drink Main Stage features performances from multiplatinum rock bands Shinedown, Godsmack, Staind, and Papa Roach, along with breaking band Adelitas Way. In addition, the Ernie Ball Stage and Jägermeister Stage in the festival area will include performances from multiplatinum headliner P.O.D., as well as up-and-coming artists Deuce, Fozzy, Redlight King, Mindset Evolution, In This Moment, Thousand Foot Krutch, Candlelight Red and a local Battle Of The Bands winner. Each day also features autograph signings with UPROAR bands.
Shinedown is lighting up the night sky with their amazing performances and spectacular production featuring pyro, video and dazzling lighting design. Shinedown’s not-to-be-missed shows feature hits including “Bully”–from their new record Amaryllis–as well as their rock radio classics “45” and “Devour.” Expect some surprises throughout the set as well.
In a recent interview with UPROAR’s Rick Florino, Brent Smith of Shinedown gave his thoughts on the Rockstar Energy Drink UPROAR Festival lineup, noting: “To be a part of a package that’s got 15 bands together and is a traveling festival is great. I’m going to do my best to get out and watch those bands.” He continued, “When you look at the amount of bands on the festival and what styles they bring, it’s actually a really eclectic tour. There are a lot of peaks and valleys. It’s a good roller coaster ride.”
Godsmack is blowing audiences away with their explosive live performances, packed with hits spanning the band’s 13 year legacy, including songs from their current Live & Inspired release. Godsmack’s Sully Erna explained, “It’s about delivering to the audience and playing the songs…you’ve got to play the hits.”
Fans can also look forward to once-in-a-lifetime special moments at UPROAR. At recent shows, these included:
–Maria Brink from In This Moment joining Shinedown’s Brent Smith at his autograph signing
–Rick DeJesus from Adelitas Way crowd surfing during the band’s main stage performance
–Shinedown, Godsmack, Staind, P.O.D. and all the bands signing autographs around the festival grounds
To purchase tickets and for all show details, including band autograph signing times, performance times, and all the latest information, go to www.RockstarUPROAR.com.
8/22/12 Tinley Park, IL First Midwest Bank Pavilion On Sale 6/15
8/24/12 Holmdel, NJ PNC Bank Arts Center On Sale 6/15
8/26/12 Mansfield, MA Comcast Center On Sale 6/15
8/28/12 Scranton, PA Toyota Pavilion On Sale 6/15
8/29/12 Darien Center, NY Darien Lake Peforming Arts Center On Sale 6/15
9/01/12 Saratoga, NY SPAC On Sale 6/15
9/02/12 Bristow, VA Jiffy Lube Live On Sale 6/15
9/05/12 Simpsonville, SC Charter Amphitheater at Heritage Park On Sale 6/15
9/07/12 Detroit, MI DTE Energy Music Centre On Sale 6/15
9/08/12 Noblesville, IN Klipsch Music Center On Sale 6/15
9/09/12 Cleveland, OH Blossom Music Center On Sale 6/15
9/11/12 Raleigh, NC Time Warner Cable Pavilion On Sale 6/15
9/12/12 Atlanta, GA Aaron’s Amphitheater at Lakewood On Sale 6/15
9/13/12 Tampa, FL 1-800-ASK-GARY Amphitheater On Sale 6/15
9/15/12 Woodlands, TX Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion On Sale 6/15
9/16/12 Dallas, TX Gexa Energy Pavilion On Sale 6/15
9/18/12 Denver, CO Comfort Dental Amphitheater On Sale 6/15
9/19/12 Salt Lake City, UT USANA Amphitheater On Sale 6/15
9/21/12 Post Falls, ID Greyhound Parks and Events Center On Sale 6/15
9/22/12 Seattle, WA White River Amphitheater On Sale 6/15
9/23/12 Ridgefield, WA Sleep Country Amphitheater On Sale 6/15
9/25/12 Boise, ID Idaho Center Amphitheater On Sale 6/15
9/29/12 Phoenix, AZ Ashley Furntirure Homestore Pavilion On Sale 7/13
9/30/12 Albuquerque, NM Journal Pavilion On Sale 6/15
Michigan rock band POP EVIL has announced their participation in the recently announced SHIPROCKED TOUR 2012. GODSMACK & KORN are slated to headline, along with FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH, P.O.D., SEVENDUST, IN THIS MOMENT plus many more supporting.
“We are very excited to be a part of this heavy weight line up of bands this year on Shiprocked. It’s going to be the Mother of all Cruises. Pop Evil is ready to set sail,” says frontman Leigh Kakaty.
SHIPROCKED sets sail November 27th through December 1st 2012, For full details and to purchase tickets, go to their official website HERE.
POP EVIL current tour dates: 7/25 Belton, TX Bell County Expo Center
7/26 El Paso, TX Speaking Rock Entertainment Center
7/27 San Antonio, TX Freeman Coliseum
7/28 Beaumont, TX Ford Pavilion
7/30 Nashville, TN Bridgestone Arena
7/31 Evansville, IN Ford Center
8/1 Cincinnati, OH PNC Pavilion at Riverbend Music
8/2 Lima, OH Harry’s Hideaway
8/3 Battle Creek, MI Kellogg Arena
8/4 Wausau, WI Wisonsin Valley Fair
8/5 Cleveland, OH Jacobs Pavillion at Nautica
8/7 Syracuse, NY SRC Aren and Events Center
8/8 Falls, NY Glens Falls Civic Center
8/10 Scarborough, ME Scarborough Downs
8/11 Lancaster, PA The Village Night Club
8/12 Poughkeepsie, NY The Chance
8/14 Pittsburgh, PA Stage AE
8/15 Hartford, CT Comcast Theater
8/17 Worcester, MA DCU Center
8/18 Newark, NJ Prudential Center
8/19 Philadelphia, PA Festival Pier at Penn’s Landing
8/21 Charlotte, NC Time Warner Cable Uptown
8/22 Knoxville, TN Knoxvillle Civic Coliseum
8/24 Oklahoma City, OK Zoo Amphitheatre
8/25 Rio Rancho, NM Santa Ana Star Center
8/26 Phoenix, AZ Comerica Theater
8/28 Los Angeles, CA Hollywood Palladium
8/30 Sacramento, CA Ace of Spades
9/20 Oklahoma City, OK State Fair of Oklahoma
w/ Black Label Society
10/18 Halifax, NS Halifax Forum
10/21 Niagara Falls, NY Rapids Theatre
10/23 Guelph, ON Guelph Concert Theatre
10/24 Toronto, ON Kool Haus
10/26 Thunder Bay, ON Community Auditorium
10/27 Winnipeg, MB Burton Cummings
10/28 Saskatoon, SK Odeon
10/30 Calgary, AB MacEwan Hall
10/31 Edmonton, AB Edmonton Event Centre
11/3 Cancouver, BC The Vogue Theatre
ShipRocked 2012 has partnered with Sixx Sense–the national radio show hosted by Nikki Sixx and Kerri Kasem–to give away a trip for two on this year’s ShipRocked cruise. From April 30 through May 16, 2012, Sixx Sense listeners can enter the ShipRocked giveaway online at: www.sixxsense.com/pages/contests/sixxshiprocked.
Now in its fourth year, ShipRocked–Fueled by Monster Energy–is the ultimate rock music cruise vacation. The 2012 cruise features Godsmack, Five Finger Death Punch, P.O.D., Sevendust, Filter, Fuel, Black Stone Cherry, Lit, Geoff Tate (Queensrÿche), Gilby Clarke (ex-Guns N’ Roses), In This Moment and more onboard from November 27 through December 1.
ShipRocked embarks from and returns to Fort Lauderdale, FL, providing guests with four days and nights of music and parties–along with a little relaxation–onboard the MSC Poesia. Ports of call this year include Key West, FL and Nassau, Bahamas (subject to change).
The Sixx Sense grand prize winner will receive:
• One Oceanview Stateroom for 2 people onboard ShipRocked 2012
• 4-Night Caribbean cruise vacation onboard the MSC Poesia, from Fort Lauderdale to Key West and Nassau
• 2 Round trip coach airfares to Ft. Lauderdale
• 1-Night standard hotel room in Ft. Lauderdale
• Free entry to all ShipRocked concerts, meet and greets, artist hosted events and other activities.
• Complimentary food and non-alcoholic beverages, including 24-7 room service
The third annual Rockstar Energy Drink UPROAR Festival returns this August and September for more than 30 shows throughout North America. The main stage features multiplatinum rock bands Shinedown, Godsmack, Staind and Papa Roach, along with breaking band Adelitas Way. In addition, the Ernie Ball Stage and Jägermeister Stage in the festival area will include performances from multiplatinum headliners P.O.D., as well as up-and-coming artists Deuce, Fozzy, Redlight King, Mindset Evolution (winner of the 2011 Best Buy Music Gear Battle Of The Bands Powered By Ernie Ball), In This Moment, Thousand Foot Krutch, Candlelight Red and a local battle of the bands winner.
“This is our first year on the UPROAR Festival, and we are honored to be sharing the stage with all the bands…Trust me this is one tour you do not want to miss,” says Brent Smith of Shinedown.
Godsmack’s Shannon Larkin proclaims, “Nothing makes us feel more at home than playing the best festival in the U.S. with the baddest-ass line-up of the year! You better hold on to your hats America, ’cause this fall we’re coming at you hard ‘n loud with the power hour Smackdown!”
The touring music and lifestyle festival continues to grow. Despite encountering hurricanes, floods and other inclement weather in 2011, the Rockstar Energy Drink UPROAR Festival packed houses, with over 324,800 in total attendance. UPROAR expands in 2012 by adding a third stage and more bands to the lineup.
To kick off the 2012 tour, the Rockstar Energy Drink UPROAR Festival will be giving away a trip for two to any show on the 2012 trek. The grand prize winner will receive roundtrip airfare for two from a U.S. city to the UPROAR show of their choice, hotel accommodations, airport transfers, $500 spending cash, and VIP treatment at the show. Go to http://bit.ly/uproarflyaway to enter for a chance to win.
Mayhem (noun A state of violent disorder or riotous confusion; havoc.)
The Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival hit Raleigh, North Carolina for the second straight year on August 3rd. This year’s event boasted a stronger main stage than last year with Disturbed and Godsmack co-headlining the biggest rock festival in the US. With the inclusion of Machine Head and Megadeth you couldn’t ask for a better main stage group of bands.
Where the ‘mayhem’ failed to really occur was the side stages. Last year it seemed that bands like Shadows Fall, In This Moment, Chimaira, 3 Inches of Blood, Atreyu and more really took hold of the early crowd and amped them up and primed them for the headliners, Rob Zombie and Korn. But this year, outside of Suicide Silence, which put on a blistering set, and really had the biggest pit and most crowd participation it seemed to me, nobody really whipped the crowd into a frenzy and kept them there. I will say that I did miss Red Fang, All Shall Perish, and Straight Line Stitch due to being in the press tent doing interviews (which you will read later here at away-team.com), so I can’t say how the crowd responded to them.
Mayhem (noun Infliction of violent injury on a person or thing; wanton destruction)
Raleigh, North Carolina is in the middle of one of the hottest summers on record. We are caught in an oppressive heat wave, and they day of Mayhem was no exception. 103 was the high temp of the day, and the side stages were actually in the gravel parking lot. With no shade, and no relief from the blistering sun and boiling temperature, it wasn’t the bands that we causing the mayhem on this day, it was Mother Nature, and boy was she pissed. The ridiculous heat and the unrelenting sun were causing many to fall out long before the main stage even opened. And once it did we found reprieve from the sun, but not the heat, and any breeze that may have acted as a cooling agent was blocked by the building itself which turned the pit and the front part of the audience into a pressure cooker. The temperature at the front of the pit was hotter than it was out in the parking lot under direct sunlight. Again, the heat may have been the biggest cause of mayhem all day.
As I have already said, I missed Red Fang, All Shall Perish, and Straight Line Stitch due to being in interviews so I can’t say anything about their sets other than I was really disappointed in missing SLS after having interviewed Alexis and Seth right before they were to go on stage. And In Flames did not perform because they had just dropped off the tour due to an illness in the family. So the following are my notes of the bands I did get to catch, and I am adding in my tweets as it is the best indicator of what I thought as it was happening (you can follow Away Team on twitter and read our live streams from the various shows we’re attending at www.twitter.com/awayteam ).
Kingdom Of Sorrow: Jamey Jasta & Kurt Windstein’s side project is pretty good. It more up tempo than Crowbar, and a little more straight forward metal than Hatebreed, but it just sounds like Hatebreed with a little more metal riffage to me. This isn’t a problem really, but if you are going to do a side project or different band, then the sound should really be different, otherwise, what is the point of having another band?
Suicide Silence: Had a huge pit. Probably had the greatest pit interaction of the crowd all day. I expected Unearth to take that title, but Suicide Silence took no prisoners and the crowd gave back everything they could under ridiculous conditions.
Unearth: Unearth performed four years ago in Raleigh at a small theater, and it was the bloodiest pit the venue ever had. There were more broken bones and noses during that show than at any other show in the history of the venue. And at the end of the night when it came time to mop the floor, the normal beer and sweat covering it was pink with all the blood that had been spilled. I really thought that given the conditions that day and the size of the crowd that it was going to be an insane pit. However the heat must have really gotten to them by the time Unearth took the stage, because while they were raucous they were no were close to the frenetic pit that was the previous Raleigh Unearth show. The band, sounded good, even though they weren’t on the Revolver stage (bigger PA, better sound), but they went balls out for 40 minutes and got the crowd jumping. Unearth always put on a spirited performance, and Raleigh’s Mayhem was no exception. I realize that these festivals are really the first time that most people have heard or seen these bands on the side stage, so it’s great for the 10 bands or so that share the stages to get that exposure. But I’d really rather have maybe 7 bands total, and let them all play longer. I’d really have liked to see Unearth have a few more songs to pummel the crowd with. Of course in that insane heat, we may have lost the bands as well as a portion of the crowd. So maybe considering the environment it was a good thing that all the bands played shorter sets.
Trivium: Another first for me was getting to see Trivium. However, as much as I tried, I just could not connect with their performance. I am sure it was me, it was late in the day, I was starving but didn’t want to leave the parking lot and miss the bands, so I waited it out for the transition from side stages to main house before I ate. The heat may have finally started to take its toll on me. But try as I might, I could not get into their set. It sounded great. The Revolver stage boasts itself as the loudest stage and it may well be, but even as loud and as good at it sounded, something for me was missing and Trivium’s set left me disappointed.
Machine Head: Being from the Bay Area of California I am no stranger to Machine Head, however, in their 20 years of being together, I have never had the opportunity to see them. They were really the last big metal band out of San Francisco that I haven’t seen at some point. So I was really looking forward to their set, and I was not to be disappointed. Machine Head are a very underrated band, they have never really gotten their fair due here in the states, and I’ve never understood why. While the European press and fans have all embraced them wholeheartedly it seems to me the US press and fans continue to pass them by. They had what I consider to be the best album of 2007 (The Blackening) and live they simply laid the crowd to waste. Robb Flynn makes for an interesting frontman. Having never seen them, I had in my mind what they must be like live. And while the performance lived up to or surpassed my expectations, Robb himself changed my expectations of him. He seemed genuinely happy to be there, and while the music may be aggressive, dark and mean, he certainly did not come across that way when he spoke. He came across as sincere and really appreciative of the crowd and the opportunity to perform for them. A stark contrast to the music and vocals, he was almost cheery on stage, throwing a party instead of churning out riff after monster riff. And while the crowd seeped into the main stage area, the band cranked out one massive neck shredding song after another. By the end of their set, they had most of the sun weary crowd on their feet cheering for them.
Megadeth: After watching The Big 4 DVD from Sophia Bulgaria, and watching the show simulcast to theaters all over the world, I was hoping Dave Mustaine’s voice would be better than it was for that memorable show. When Dave goes for the high notes, his voice sounds like he is inhaling while trying to sing. Do it, right now, I’ll wait… It sounds like you’re singing in a vacuum. It sounds plain wrong. But over the years most vocalists can’t maintain the range they had when they were young. Dave unfortunately is one of those that can’t hit the notes he used to back in the day. And instead of dropping down a note or two to compensate, he still attempts to hit it, and misses. It isn’t screechy thankfully, but as I said it sounds like it he is singing while inhaling deeply. And it is very off putting. That aside, the man and the band put on a hell of a show. They are unbelievably tight. And the solos continue to shred and show up the younger bands out there today. From the father of speed metal to his newest guitarist Chris Broderick, they continue to show up and teach the younger bands out there how to properly shred. No real surprises from the set musically, a mix of the old and new, with a couple of songs from the upcoming release TH1RT3EN. A great set by a great band, so glad to see Dave Ellefson back in the fold and I think Megadeth may have the strongest guitarist next to Dave that they ever have in Chris Broderick. I look forward to seeing what new elements he brings to the Megadeth arsenal both in recordings and live.
Godsmack: Having seen Godsmack about 5 times in the past, and on consecutive nights no less, I think I’ve seen the best and worst that they can do. I will say that I like a lot of their songs, I think if you combine all the albums they have done and taken the best songs off them then you will have one kick ass album. Live though, I think the music and band are a little boring. I am sure I am going to get a ton of shit for saying this, and the leader of the shit brigade will be our very own Bam Bam who swears Shannon Larkin is an amazing drummer and the second coming (for clarification Shannon is a great drummer, I think his talents are lost on Godsmack however), and beats me up (verbally) whenever I say a bad word about them. Those of you following Away Team on twitter will remember I said that this show was more energetic than the ones I’d previously seen, and I was actually enjoying the set until ‘IT’ happened… I have for years railed against guitar solos and drum solos, by anyone. Even Eddie Van Halen. I know you can shred, I know you can play; I get it, that’s why I am at your show. Quit jacking off and play a song! The only thing worse than a guitar solo or drum solo by a headlining band (fine give your bandmates a break while you jack off on the crowd, I get why they do it, but really, if you can’t play a 90 minute set then get your lazy ass in shape!) is a solo by a support band. We have even less time to see you and you are going waste our time stroking yourself off in front of us? What could be worse than a guitar or drum solo by a supporting band? I’m so glad you asked, how about TWO DRUM SOLOS?!??!?! That’s right, in the middle of Godsmack’s set a second drum kit is wheeled out onto the stage and Sully and Shannon have a ‘drum off’. We get it, you used to be a drummer, but now you play guitar, and sing. So… play guitar and sing! Let your drummer drum. That’s his job. Otherwise put the guitar down and get behind the kit. This isn’t the Sully Erna show… This is Godsmack, so let Godsmack… ALL of Godsmack… play. If that weren’t enough they broke into songs snippets from AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, Metallica, and Black Sabbath. What’s worse than doing a medley of your own tunes? How about a medley of someone else’s tunes! Ok, so the ‘drum off’ finally ended. A couple more songs, and then an encore. And what do they do for an encore, let Sully yell at the crowd for 10 minutes to ‘get ready to get crazy’. Fuck you. Stand out in the heat with us all day and see how ‘crazy’ you get 8 hours into the show. And fuck your sing along too. I paid to see you sing. Not to hear 15,000 of my closest friends sing. So put the drums away, stow the sing along bullshit, and perform songs. Thank you… please drive thru.
Disturbed: Having seen Disturbed three or four times the past 2 years I went into this show expecting this to be the last time I saw Disturbed live (not because of their just announced indefinite hiatus, but because of David’s trouble singing as of late). The more time goes on the worse David sounds live. Unless you catch the band within the first two or three weeks of a tour starting (with a ton of downtime before the tour), you get a screechy David Draiman. And it seems to get worse as time goes on. However, I was pleasantly surprised Wednesday night when Disturbed came out and David sound the strongest I’d heard him sound the last 7 or 8 shows I’d seen. The band as always is very tight, and while I felt a little melancholy that this would in fact be the last Disturbed show for some time, I was happy that for me at least they went out on a high note and David sounded so good. My only complaint, ok two… is that #1 we got 65 minutes of a headlining set, and #2 we got the same set we’ve gotten for the last three tour cycles. I understand you are still touring in support of Asylum, but that doesn’t mean that for two years straight you give the fans the same show without changing it up. You have 5 great albums and a lot of material to choose from, yet it seems the last 4 shows I’ve seen are the exact same shows front to back. It isn’t like there is a ton of pyro they have to contend with, or special lighting, it’s just plain laziness it seems. If you are hitting the same market 4 times in 2 years, why not give them a new show at least 50% of the time?
All in all it was a great day for music, but was it Mayhem inducing? Did it stand up to last year’s Mayhem Fest? You’ll have to be the judge of that yourself. It had its highs and lows, as did last years, but all in all a good time was certainly had by myself and those around me.
Of the many bands I’ve followed over the last two decades, only a handful have had a strong staying power in my musical library…one such band is Atlanta based powerhouse Sevendust. When I first saw Sevendust, back on a cold winter night twelve years ago at the Webster Theater in Hartford, CT, I knew they were going somewhere. Never did I dream that I would be seeing them grace the stage at Woodstock ’99, let alone have the chance to interview the backbone of the band, iconic drumming idol Morgan Rose. While Woodstock was 1999′s biggest concert event… flash forward to 2010, the year in which I finally got to chat with rock’s biggest drummer on a stop of rock’s biggest tour… the Carnival of Madness. Eight albums, one rockstar wife, and one Playmate of the Month wife later, there were many questions to be answered. How does one get the answers to twelve years worth of questions into twelve minutes worth of conversation? Sit back, crack open a cold one, and find out.
AWAY-TEAM: Well Morgan, congratulations on the tour, and the album Cold Day Memory, which I think is destined to become a classic in the Sevendust catalog.
MORGAN ROSE: I appreciate it man.
AWAY-TEAM: I’m really impressed with it. Now, with Cold Day Memory you kinda seem to have gotten back to the core Sevendust sound. Do you attribute that to the chemistry of having a guy like Clint Lowery back in the fold?
MORGAN ROSE: Oh yeah, 100 percent. Ya know, we did three records without him, and we missed him. You know that’s like bringing in that fifth element, ya know. I mean, the sound of our band was always the heavy riffs, the melodic choruses, and the three different voices. Really, to be honest, the last time we really had a decent amount of power on a record was Animosity, because we were dictated to during Seasons alot, so it still sounded like us, but we were told what to do. So we had to kinda groove our direction that way, and we like that record, but Animosity was really the last time that all five of us had the power to be able to do exactly what we wanted, so this was the first time since then, and I think that it showed for sure.
MORGAN ROSE: For sure. Ya know, being a fan first and foremost, you can really see that you guys are clicking on all cylinders again.
MORGAN ROSE: Yeah, definitely. We’re excited. We’re really happy to get him back, and get our little family back together, and get in the studio. Because, you know, we did a lot of touring before we were able to get in there with him, so…it was nice to get back in the studio.
AWAY-TEAM: Now, that album was actually released on your own label 7 Bros. How did 7 Bros. come about? Was it kinda the product of “We’ve been fucked over by TVT, we’ve been fucked over by Winedark, we KNOW we’re not gonna fuck ourselves over”? I mean, how did that come around?
MORGAN ROSE: Uh… Yeah, it was kind of a partnership thing we did through Warner Music, ya know for the first time we were gonna get the real distribution through WEA. We were gonna have the machine through Warner to borrow people to work for us, and help us out. So, even though it’s our own label, and considered an indie, we’ve got the resources all around us, and you add our management In De Goot into the fold, all of a sudden… you’ve got a massive machine at radio with In De Goot; you know Bill McGathy has the been the godfather of radio for a very long time. The combination put us in a position where we felt we had enough behind us to be able to pull this off on our own.
AWAY-TEAM: You’re widely considered to be one of the best drummers of all-time…
MORGAN ROSE: (laughs)
AWAY-TEAM: truthfully, you see it everywhere, it is what it is, right?
MORGAN ROSE: That’s crazy. I’m totally flattered that people think that.
AWAY-TEAM: The most amazing thing to me, is that it’s hard enough to play at the level that you do, but to sing at the same time? That just blows my mind. I mean guys like you, and Phil Collins always amazed me because he had such a great voice, but could play the shit out of the drums at the same time. I’ve always wondered, how do you manage to keep your voice holding one note, and your hands and feet holding another?
MORGAN ROSE: I don’t know. I mean it all really started years ago… I’d be writing parts for other people to do and practice, I’d come up with these parts for other people to sing, and they’d be like “Well why don’t you just sing it?” And I’m like “I don’t wanna be hindered with a microphone back here”, of course the stupid headset came into play, and that was like, that’ll be so you don’t have to move a mic around. As embarassing as that thing might be, I was glad when Tommy Lee wore it, because it opened the door so I would feel a little less embarassed. Ya know, it is what it is. It was one of those things where I developed some ideas, doing something in a certain voice, and everyone just told me they wanted me to do it. In one way, I wish I never would’ve brought it up, in another way it helped define our sound a bit having that extra voice.
AWAY-TEAM: You say, in one way you wish you never did it. Is it because it’s just kind of a burden as your trying to play?
MORGAN ROSE: Uh… it’s not hard to do, I think it’s probably more that I’m just completely combustive back there. Ya know I’d like to just lose my mind, and I do the best that I can, but ya know that things in my way and…I mean I’ve gotta do all kinds of prep work to make sure that thing doesn’t fly off. So I use a mic that’s not really a state of the art microphone, just because it’s the only one that’ll stay on my head the way that I play. So I’ve got a mic that’s not really the highest quality, just because I wanna make sure I can play the way that I want to play. But at the same time, that voice lends itself to distortion, so if the mic breaks up a little bit it kinda adds to the sound live.
AWAY-TEAM:Does having Clint back in the fold lift some of that vocal burden from you?
MORGAN ROSE: Uh, yeah, ya know the harmony stuff was always left up to him. When he was gone Vinny and John took over that area. So it’s not so much of a change as far as how much I’m doing, but on this record, ya know Clint has quite a heavy voice of his own, so he took a little bit of the grunt, or some of that work from me, so I don’t have to worry about doing as much. So yeah, it’s helped out in lightening the workload on me a little bit.
AWAY-TEAM: You guys have been out touring and playing for a long time. I remember the first time I saw you guys, back in ’98, at a little club called the Webster Theater in Hartford, you were there with Godsmack, Kid Rock, and I think One Minute Silence, and Second Coming. You’ve come a long way from that thus far, in fact I even saw you guys play at Woodstock ’99. So what’s been the absolute highlight of your career so far?
MORGAN ROSE: I mean, ya know when we went over and played for the troops, that was a big highlight for us. We played for some big crowds, and we played for some small ones, but overall to think that we’re just “five little rednecks from Georgia” that twelve years later, actually twelve years signed, but fifteen years later these kids that grew up playing a little bar in Atlanta called The Rec Room in front of fifty to a hundred people are now being invited to go and play for the men and women who protect our country, and to be personally invited to do that was just an honor. Not a lot of people get to do things like that, so we felt very blessed, and it made us feel amazing inside. We’ve had so many opportunities to do, ya know, Woodstock and some of the tours that we’ve done, they’ve been great, they’ve been highlights, but to do something like that. It just sets itself apart.
AWAY-TEAM: It’s good to see people giving back to those guys.
MORGAN ROSE: Oh Yeah!
AWAY-TEAM: You mentioned Tommy Lee earlier, Tommy has a tremendous amount of respect for you. You actually got to fill in for him a few times, how was that experience? I mean it’s fucking Motley Crue, was it intimidating? Was it exciting? How’d that all pan out?
MORGAN ROSE: It was terrifying, because I got the call to do that just a few hours before I actually hit the stage. I mean, I got the call and in two hours I was at the airport getting on a plane that I barely made, to Cincinnati, to get to the venue, and in another two hours I was on stage. And I didn’t know how to play any of the songs, I mean it was nerve-wracking to say the least. But he’s one of my best friends, and I love him dearly, and for him to call me and have me fill in for him in a pinch was definitely an honor. And to be able to, I can put that in my memory bank, and in my book of accomplishments. I mean Nikki Sixx actually put out a press release, that said “As of now Motley Crue’s a five man band”, and I was like “WOW” that was cool.
AWAY-TEAM: You’ve had some dark times in the past few years. You admittedly were not in it mentally, but you’ve pulled through and seem to have a renewed vigor. You’ve just put out one of your best albums to date, where’s Morgan Rose at now? And what’s the plan after Sevendust?
MORGAN ROSE: I’m in a great place right now. I’ve got a great girlfriend that…I think that, short of doing this for a living and some of the damage that it does to you out here, ya know it is sort of a fantasy world, I mean everything that we do out here is so far from reality sometimes, that you get home and you gotta learn how to be a human being again. And we spend so much time on the road, that sometimes your decision making on the people that you’re with can be a little clouded. I’ve got two great kids, out of the people that I’ve made the decision to be with prior to my current girlfriend… and there was a lot of quick decisions that were made without really knowing each other well enough. And then with those situations, I’ve lived and learned and we’re taking it at the right pace I think. I’ve got a great girl, and I’ve got great kids, and I get along with both the exes just fine, so… I’m in a much better place now than I’ve been in, god ya know, maybe ever.
AWAY-TEAM: That’s about all that you can ask for, to get along with the exes. (laughs)
MORGAN ROSE: Yeah. And as far as after Sevendust, I don’t know. It occupies so much of your time, ya know Clint works endlessly on trying to create music for this band, or for somebody else or, that’s his outlet to be able to stay consistently working on music. You know he’s gonna have a baby soon, and that’ll probably slow him down, and he knows it. It’s something that I think about, but I’m still thinking that we got this thing on the track right now for a while to come, ya know, our bodies are not breaking down as quick as I thought they would. Ya know, fifteen years of playing together, and thirteen years on the road, you’d figure that the bodies would break down quicker than they have, and “knock on wood” we’re doing pretty good.
AWAY-TEAM: So, no plans on being a pro craps player? Because I hear you guys are getting a bit of practice.
MORGAN ROSE: (laughs) Oh we’re doing… we play cee-lo back there.
AWAY-TEAM:Lewis (Cosby of the band 10 years) was telling me that. (laughs)
MORGAN ROSE: Oh yeah man. That’s our little getaway. I mean, after doing this for so long, it’s like you’ll find anything to spice up the situation, and that’s fun and you might walk away with a few bucks as well.
>AWAY-TEAM:You have a clothing company called Alien Freak Wear. How did that get started? And I understand a portion of the proceeds go to charity?
MORGAN ROSE: Yeah. And that thing totally got started, actually the brains behind the whole thing was my first wife (former Coal Chamber bassist Rayna Foss). I was doing a signing one day, and I signed that little alien face, and I started signing that on all my autographs because people wanted me to do it, and it sort of became my logo. She said you should put it on a t-shirt and sell it, and I was like “I don’t know who would buy it”. She told me “You’d be surprised, you’ve got a pretty loyal group of people that follow your band and it wouldn’t be that tough, and we could do something for the kids, and for charity…” I though it couldn’t hurt, and we’ll do it just to see what happens, and it did really well. And then I went through a divorce, and we shut it down. Then I got re-married (to former PlaymateTeri Harrison), she said “You should do that again”, and I did it again, and I got a divorce, and I shut it down…and then ya know, it started up again, and it’s doing real well now.
AWAY-TEAM: Is there any particular charity that goes to? Or is it just kinda spread out?
MORGAN ROSE: Uh, well we’ve changed it a few times. Give a little bit out here, a little bit out there. The Children’s Shelter of Atlanta, is one of the ones that we like dealing with alot.
AWAY-TEAM: In a movie about your life, who plays you?
MORGAN ROSE: Probably uh, Screech. (laughs) No…
MORGAN ROSE: God, I don’t know. Probably Screech! (laughs) That’s probably closer to how things have been going, I think I made out better, hopefully, than Screech, but early on I think I was probably Screech.
AWAY-TEAM: Being the second band out on this tour, and coming out so early, as opposed to what you’re used to in being a headliner, how does that change your daily routine? And is it a welcome change?
MORGAN ROSE: Yeah, I mean it’s cool, it’s a short set. We’re in and out, so we usually don’t stay up until four or five anymore, because when you finish a show at midnight it takes a while to wind down. Here, we’re off by seven, and ready to go to bed by midnight. So a little more rest, and we love all the guys out on the tour, so we have a good time with ‘em, so it’s really easy actually.
AWAY-TEAM: So with a short set like that, how do you choose a set list? And aside from the new stuff, is there an old Sevendust staple that must be played every night?
MORGAN ROSE: Uh, yeah, “Face to Face” gets played every night no matter what. That’s the one song that never leaves. But like “Black” is in and out, “Denial” is in and out, “Praise” is in there every night too.
AWAY-TEAM: I think my all time favorite is “Wired”
MORGAN ROSE: Yeah, we haven’t played that one in a while!
AWAY-TEAM: I know! So aside from the travel, and missing your family and girlfriend, what’s the hardest part of being on the road?
MORGAN ROSE: Eating. Eating the right stuff!
AWAY-TEAM: I hear that. (laughs) Ten words or less, describe the Carnival of Madness.
MORGAN ROSE: A lot of dice, a lot of drinking, a lot of sleep!
AWAY-TEAM: (laughs) Well hey Morgan, thanks for your time, it’s been an honor.
MORGAN ROSE: Thank you, I really appreciate it.
AWAY-TEAM: Hopefully we’ll talk again soon in the near future.
MORGAN ROSE: Sounds good, man. Talk to you soon.
You can catch Sevendust on this fall’s Hard Drive Live Tour with special guests 10 Years and Since October