Stone Temple Pilots

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Nothing in my entire career will ever parallel what you are about to read here.  This is an interview from my early days of music journalism when I wrote for the amazing EDGE Magazine and my friend/magazine editor Tom Taylor.  The date was March 13, 2003 and in true,  Throwback Thursday fashion, things were way better back then.  Dimebag was still alive, music was flourishing for Rock bands again and things just felt good in the Universe.  There’s really no way to intro this other than to say, this is, without question, the most insane, informative, hilarious and yet hauntingly sad interview (for reasons that are apparent by the changes we’ve seen over these past 11-years since it was written) interview I have EVER done in my life!  It is my favorite piece of any I’ve written.  I hope you’ll understand why and enjoy it as much as I did.  Here it is, in its entirety and as it appeared over two issues of EDGE Magazine:

“Honey, I Broke The F%$king Phone”

An Exclusive Interview With BLACK LABEL SOCIETY’s Zakk Wylde

BLS - Guitar pose

My first introduction to the amazing guitar skills and musical virtuosity that is Zakk Wylde came in 1988, as it did for most anyone who was a fan of Ozzy. The 18 year old wunderkind was touted as the new Randy Rhoads, and Ozzy was very vocal about his new discovery. I, along with a million watchful eyes and ears, took heed and grabbed my copy of Ozzy’s No Rest For The Wicked the minute it hit the stores that year. My first step before putting the cassette into my car stereo was to check out what this ‘kid’ looked like. I’m sure every Zakk fan remembers doing the same thing, and I’m sure they even remember the striking resemblance that he had to the late Randy Rhoads. But could he play? Oh sure, we all laugh at the question now, but back then, this was serious business. This kid was coming in to fill the shoes of two of the greatest guitar players the 80’s had ever seen: Randy Rhoads and Jake E. Lee! Well, our questions were answered in the first fifteen seconds of the lead-off track, “Miracle Man”. Yes, this kid could play… and he could also play every bit of the Rock-N-Roll lifestyle that was necessary to remain one of the Ozzy camp’s longest standing members, sans ol’ Ozzy himself. Many albums later, including a few solo projects like the underrated PRIDE & GLORY and BOOK OF SHADOWS, Zakk went headfirst into a solo career that, to this day, boasts the most rabid fan base spanning at least three generations! Ozzy himself is the only artist who can top Zakk’s popularity, and since Ozzy continues to welcome Zakk into the fold each year to play, record and just hang out with him, one can honestly say that this musical and personal friendship will certainly continue forever, placing both men in the history books as Rock Music’s Elite! On his own, Zakk Wylde is the fret-burning machine he’s always demonstrated with Ozzy, however, as a solo artist with his band BLACK LABEL SOCIETY, he is a voice to be heard, as well. Handling all the lead vocals, guitars and song writing, Zakk has created a new style that has been unsuccessfully copied, stolen and bastardized beyond recognition. Does he care? In his own words, “Fuck No!” Why should he? When you’ve cornered the market on individual style that is as true to you as the blood that runs through your veins, you don’t have to worry about the ‘next guy’. I remember in 1999 when Zakk released his first BLACK LABEL SOCIETY record called Sonic Brew. I was talking to a record producer and A&R guy in New Jersey who had just seen him introduce the band at a local club. Both made note of the fact that Zakk was THE ultimate definition of ‘Rock-N-Roll’, from his look, to his deadly attack on his trade. The conversation rolled around to the production on that particular album and I clearly remember them both saying that they “hadn’t heard a record produced that loud and balls-out” in their life. Pretty strong words, but ones with plenty of backing if one should need it. Just try and listen to those early singles like “Bored To Tears” on this classic piece of molten Metal without having to adjust your volume knob down! It’s so heavy it pushes against your damn sternum like a sheet metal hole punch. And who can forget the blast created inside your poor eye-sockets from last year’s 1919 Eternal album? I could go on and on praising this man, his band, and his work with projects like the 2001 major motion picture ROCKSTAR, which featured his work with the movie screen psuedo-band STEEL DRAGON, but why? He’s on the phone, right now, and it’s only 12:30 in the afternoon, so we’re bound to catch him after a good night’s sleep. What do you say we let Zakk tell us how it’s all done? Be prepared, however, because if you ever thought you had cornered the market on the most colorful ways to use the ‘F-Word’, if you’re a fan of FOO-FIGHTERS front man Dave Grohl, or if you’re against cruelty to nature that involves driving over a live Christmas tree in a rented 4×4 truck on the lawn of party pal, PANTERA guitarist Dimebag Darrell’s sprawling estate, you might want to take your Geritol and go back to bed! Here he is, ladies and the rest who call themselves men… the maniacal, string shredding monster we all love…

Mr. Zakk Wylde… Ozzfest 2005 [phone rings at 12:30 p.m., it’s SPITFIRE Records’ head of P/R, Anthony Syme]

TONY: “Hey Bamster, you ready, bro? I got Zakk on the conference line.”

B2: “Tony, I’ve been ready for this since we talked about it in November of last year. Put that maniac through, beyoootch! (laughs)”

TONY: “(laughs) O.k., hold on, I’m gonna put you on hold for a second and then I’ll be right back. It’ll be me you hear, then Zakk, hang tight. [30-second pause] O.k., Bam-Bam, here’s Zakk… enjoy!”

B2: “Thanks Tony, tell Jon in Publicity I said I owe him a couple shots of Jaeger when I’m in New York. Zakk, are you there, bro?”

ZAKK: “[through terrible reception] Yeah, buddy, I’m here. How are you?”

B2: “I’m doing great… You know, I’m having a hell of a time hearing you. It sounds like either our conference line is fucked up, or one of us has bad reception here.”

ZAKK: “Goddamnit! It’s probably this motherfucking phone, bro. This piece of shit fucking sucks. My wife just spent fucking over 200 bucks on this piece of fucking crap, and I still can’t make a goddamn phone call with any decent fucking reception. Look bro, you wanna call me back and see if that’s any better?”

B2: “Well, I can do that, or I can give you my 800 number and you can call me so you don’t have to feel all weird giving out your home phone number. It’s up to you. Let me give you my number…”

ZAKK: “O.k., hold on, let me get a fucking pen or something to write with. (To his wife) Honey, you gotta pen or something, this motherfucking phone is still fucking up and I’m gonna have to call EDGE Magazine back to do this fucking interview because of this fucking phone! Now, I can’t find anything to fucking write with, Bam. Here, let me give you my number and you call me right back.”

B2: “O.k., shoot.” [Writer’s Note: Now you didn’t really think I was going to publish this part, did you?] Alright Zakk, I’ll call you right back. Hang tight.” [I redial THE number and although the reception is somewhat better, we’re still pretty static-laden!]

B2: “Well, Zakk, this looks like it’s the best it’s gonna get, bro. Let’s do this thing! Seems someone like you shouldn’t have to be at the liberty of the phone company for decent service, bro. Let’s go bust some balls on the phone company, whatta ya say? (laughs)”

ZAKK: “No fuckin’ shit! I can’t believe we blew all this fucking money on these motherfucking phones and you can’t even talk on the motherfuckers. It sounds like horseshit! So, anyway, how are you doing, bro, you doing good?”

B2: “Doing great, Zakk. It’s been a long time, you know. The last time we spoke was back in ’99 when you were doing the P/R for Sonic Brew, right?”

ZAKK: “Oh, who fucking knows, man. I’m pumping out so many motherfucking albums, it’s nuts!”

B2: “(laughs) Well, it goes without saying that you’ve got a slew of fans in the Southeast and I’ve got the fortunate opportunity of having an online addition to the magazine which allows me to get the readers to post some questions that they want to ask you. So, with your permission, I’m going to throw a few of those in, and get you to attack those as well.”

ZAKK: “Oh, hell yeah, that’s cool! As long as it’s not like a bunch of POISON wannabes tryin’ to beat me down, cuz you know I only go with the originals on that shit! (laughs)”

B2: “So, I take it you’re not a fan of the 80’s Glam/Hair bands from back in the day?”

ZAKK: “Oh no, I love that shit. It is what it is. I just can’t stand someone who’s out there trying to be someone else. Those guys in POISON are great, man! They did their own thing and they did it better than anyone else. You can’t fault that. I’m really good friends with Brett and those guys. They had some good tunes. It’s just the fucking poser ass copycats that piss me off. You know what I mean? I can’t stand people who ask questions that are all about how to be just like someone else, cuz that’s bullshit. You can’t be POISON; they’ve already done it. You can’t be OZZY, for one because you’d need two livers (laughs), and for another because there’s only one OZZY. You know what I mean?”

B2: “(laughs) Absolutely! These questions that the readers have are all about gaining knowledge about you, not copying, so I think you’ll have fun with these.”

ZAKK: “Hell yeah, that rocks. Let’s do ‘em all!” [Zakk and I take a brief pause from the interview here to do some funny P/R sound-bytes to promote the interview for the EDGE Magazine Online Website. Needless to say, they are fucking poetry and will be worth every bit of your time to check out and even request copies. On one of these, I ask Zakk to say “Hey, this is Zakk Wylde from BLACK LABEL SOCIETY and I’ll take a couple of those Page 5 Girls with nothing on them… to go!” Here’s what he says about my request.]

ZAKK: “(laughs) Oh shit, I don’t know if my wife will like that one too much. (laughs)”

B2: “Fuck! I forgot. She’s standing right there in the same room, isn’t she?”

ZAKK: “(laughs) Yeah, I can see it now… She’ll look over at me and say, ‘What did you just fucking say?’ (laughs) Then she’ll kick my fucking ass! (laughs).”

B2: “Oh, dude, I’m not gonna get you busted out, bro. I’ll just start in with the interview to avoid massive pain and agony! (laughter all around) O.k., Zakk, here’s one from the readers: What do you mean when you refer to your style as ‘Chicken Pickin’?”

ZAKK: “Well, you can ask any guitar player and I think they’re familiar with it. It’s when you’re using your fingers and doing banjo rolls and that shit. You know, Steve Morse from the DIXIE DREGS [as well as KANSAS and late 90’s era DEEP PURPLE] does a lot of that, like the country guitar playing. I use it a bit, it’s pretty basic to do, but when you see someone do it who is really well-versed in the style, dude, it’s amazing to watch. Check out Morse, he’s the shit with that stuff, the old DIXIE DREGS stuff is the place to go for that shit. Killer!”

B2: “O.k. here’s something I have always wanted to ask you since we spoke last. A few years ago, I was in a conversation with some friends of mine in the record industry and they both made mention about seeing you live when BLACK LABEL was first doing club shows, and each of them made reference to your whole Rock-N-Roll demeanor as being, ‘The Real Thing’. From the chain hanging around the waste, to the stance you have on-stage, right down to the way you step up to the mic to sing. It’s always done so hardcore Rock-N-Roll, that there’s no denying that Zakk Wylde is the epitome of the art!”

ZAKK: “I’ve been trying to convince my old lady of that for a while, but she ain’t fucking buying it. (laughs)”

B2: “(laughs) Well, the question that I wanted to put out there was, since people are so compelled to make these Top Ten and Top Twenty lists that refer to the ‘What To Do’ and ‘What Not To Do’ things in a category, I thought it would be cool to get the lowdown on ‘Zakk Wylde’s Top Five Things That Are Necessary To Be A Rocker’. Are you up for it?”

ZAKK: “Absolutely! Let’s see, first… Well, this one is obvious. First thing is Don’t Be An Asshole! Second is, Don’t Buy Your Own Shit! Third would have to be to Keep Playing Your Motherfuckin’ Ass Off! You gotta just keep practicing every motherfucking day. Fourth would be mandatory, Drink Lots Of Motherfuckin’ Beer! And….

B2: “You got one more, bro. Don’t give out on me now.”

ZAKK: “Shit, ummm… O.k., number five is Fuck The Living Crap Outta Your Old Lady! That should be number one, shouldn’t it? (laughs)”

B2: “(laughs) You almost said something in that stutter that got your ass in trouble didn’t you? (laughs)”

ZAKK: “(laughs) I only had one more to go, so I figured I better say something like that, so I didn’t leave anybody out. (laughs) That’s still a good one though, isn’t it, bro?”

B2: “Most definitely. Ass is always a good thing and making sure your lady thinks or knows it’s always hers that you’re banging is even better! (laughs)”

ZAKK: “(laughs) I hear ya, bro! I’m right there with ya, I read you loud and clear. (laughs) You’re gonna get me in trouble. (laughs) Next question…. (busts out laughing) I can’t hear you Bam-Bam, it must be this bad reception… (laughs)”

B2: “Oh, go ahead and blame the bad reception, bitch. Don’t start getting all pussy whipped on me! (laughs) O.k., we’ll move on. Let’s go the complete opposite and find out, ‘Zakk’s Top Five Things That Aren’t Rock-N-Roll’. And don’t just say ‘The opposite of everything I just said,’ that wouldn’t make good reading, bro. (laughs)”

ZAKK: “Umm, well, number one would have to be Not Being Yourself Or Doing Everything That Other People Tell You Is Cool. That pisses me off when I see people being like that. Number two is Being A Lazy-Ass Motherfucker. That’s not cool. Ummm, number three… When People Drink All Your Fuckin’ Beer And Don’t Pay For Any Of It. That’s bullshit. I hate that fucking shit!”

B2: “(laughs) But isn’t that like half your fucking friends, Zakk? (laughs)”

ZAKK: “(laughs) Hell yeah, (to his wife) He said my friends come over and drink all my beer and don’t pay for any of it. (laughs) Ain’t that the fuckin’ truth. Geez, I got tears coming out of my motherfuckin’ eyes over here.”

B2: “O.k., next…”

ZAKK: “Umm, If You Fuck Up One Of My Les Pauls.”

B2: “O.k., you’ve got one more.”

ZAKK: “Oh shit, I don’t know. Ummm, last one would be… If You Fuck Up Two Of My Les Pauls. (laughs) How’s that?”

B2: “Hey, I’m not gonna argue with you, bro. I’m afraid you’ll stick your woman on me and she’ll beat my ass like she does you! (laughs) Listen, since we’re in a shit-talking mood right now, let’s see how much I can drag out of you. I was a huge fan of Ozzy’s last album, Down To Earth, which you played on. You, however, have been quoted many times as not being a fan of this record, at all. Can we talk about that? Why were you so angry with this album?” BLS - Blessed

ZAKK: “Well, put it this way, Tim Palmer, the producer, did a great job. Sonically, I think the thing sounds great. The only thing that I made a big fucking stink about was that there were songs, umm, this whole thing got blown outta proportion. You know, I’m an Ozzy fan and I’m a SABBATH freak, and I love that shit. The music means something to me, you know what I mean? Obviously when I play this stuff, whether it’s with fucking Ozzy, or whatever., I’m not just showing up for a fucking paycheck. I never thought of myself as a side guy in any band I’ve ever played in. When I do a record with a band or my own stuff, it’s like, ‘Here’s Our New Shit’! I’ve always helped to write everything I’ve ever played on and put in my two-cents, so I always have come away feeling proud of what I have played. That wasn’t the case here. You always have this feeling that you wanna blow your fucking friends away when they hear your new fucking shit, and with this record… well, we had all these goddamn songs in a pile that we could have picked from, and here they are pushing these damn OFFSPRING songs on me and all this pussy crap that Dave Grohl wrote, and I mean it was all just God fucking awful, bad, terrible horseshit! I’m just speaking on behalf of the whole fucking Ozzy legion of fans here. That’s all I’m representing! I mean Sharon [Osbourne] wanted me to go down there and be a part of that process, and I’m like, ‘I don’t fucking want to go down there. I might get fucking scabies or something from these record company pricks,’ you know? You go down there with all these record company pukes and it’s like, ‘Why the fuck am I doing this?’ Half the time it’s like you’re talking to a brick fucking wall anyway. I don’t have time for that shit. I’m nothing but some stupid, douche bag, Mick, kraute, guitar player. They don’t give a fuck! But, you know what I mean? The whole thing was like, ‘Zakk, we really want your opinion on this thing.’ So, I’m like, ‘You really want my motherfucking opinion? You actually wanna know what the fuck I think?’ And they’re like, ‘Yes.’ So, I tell ‘em, ‘I’ll tell you right fuckin’ now that this shit you’re playing for me, if you expect me to play this shit onstage, you’re fucking nuts! We’ll get bottled to death, probably even fucking shot!’ I’m like, ‘Are you guys fucking high? Listen to this fucking shit! Anyone who likes Ozzy does not dig this fucking shit. They hate the fucking bands that the producers are blowing to write this shit, how can this make any sense to an Ozzy fan? This shit is like fucking kryptonite!’ Then the fucking assholes come back at me and say, ‘Hey, Zakk, you don’t have to be all like that!’ (laughs) What the fuck? They asked me my motherfucking opinion! Kiss my fucking ass, goddamnit! Don’t ask me if you don’t want to know what I think, Mr. Fucking Record Company Guy!! What the fuck do they want me to do, lie? Tell them I love this shit? I tell you what, I’m surprised that the Ozzy fans just didn’t fucking shoot us. It was that bad! They were all in my face saying, ‘You know we can’t be making PANTERA or SLAYER Records, Zakk.’ and I’m like, ‘Yeah, no fucking kidding, asshole, but we can do shit like ALICE IN CHAINS, STONE TEMPLE PILOTS, stuff like that,’ you know what I mean? I mean, that’s pretty heavy shit that can be commercial if it has to be, and they were like, ‘Uuuh, we don’t know. We’ll think about it.’ Yeah, right. Kiss my fucking ass you bunch of record company fucks!” [Writer’s Note: So, it wasn’t as hard as I thought to get Zakk to open up about this subject! But would he do the same for all the rumors about his hatred for Dave Grohl? Shit, are you kidding? This is Zakk Wylde we’re talking about here.]

B2: “So, Tim Palmer wasn’t the one you really had the beef with on that one, it was the songwriters, right?”

ZAKK: “No, I never had anything against Tim Palmer. He did a great job producing that record. It was the fucking songwriters. Hell, I mean they wouldn’t even put those fucking crap ass songs on their own shitty fucking records, so why should I think it’s a great idea to play them on one of Ozzy’s. Oh, go ahead and pawn your fucked up songs off on the Godfather Of Metal. Now, that makes perfect fucking sense, doesn’t it? Shit!”

B2: “Now, Dave Grohl is one of the names that stands out as having a hand in the songwriting for this record. What was the deal between you and him?”

ZAKK: “Oh shit, now that motherfucker, back in the day, was bagging on Heavy Metal kids when NIRVANA was going through their heyday and shit. I remember reading a thing and he was like, ‘Well, you know, our fucking fans aren’t like those stupid Heavy Metal kids!’ Now here I am saying to myself, ‘Hey, you asshole! That’s me you’re talking about!’ Ever since I read that, I’m like, ‘Fuck that motherfucker.’ And now that like NIRVANA and all that horseshit is fucking done, that pussy ass motherfucker wants to jump on the bandwagon with the whole ‘Heavy’ thing, and I’m like, ‘You know what? You can wear your fucking MOTORHEAD shirt all you want, cause that’s about the closest you’re gonna ever get to a fucking heavy riff ever, you fucking cunt!'”

B2: “Ummm, hey Zakk, how do you really feel about the whole Dave Grohl thing? (laughs from both ends of the phone)”

ZAKK: “Dude, I had to play that fucking piece of shit song he wrote in the studio. Man, I’m glad you asked me what the fuck I think about him. Nobody else has the balls to ask me that shit because they’re scared of what I’m gonna say. What I’m saying ain’t scary; it’s the fucking truth. If the truth fucking scares people, then fuck them. I didn’t get into this business to bottle my shit up and lie about somebody’s music and shit. I mean, you can listen to what you want to listen to, but if someone wants to know what I think, I’m gonna fucking tell them. Fuck that lying shit! That shit’s for pussies!”

B2: “I hear you, but his song didn’t actually make it onto the album, did it?”

ZAKK: “No it didn’t get on the record, but still I had to play on that fucking piece of shit in the studio. And now that motherfucker is jumping on the wagon with all those people he was dissin’ before. When we play our heavy shit it’s like, ‘Dude, just fuck off, take your goddamn MOTORHEAD shirt and shove it up your fuckin’ ass and get the fuck outta here!’ You know, that’s like Kip Winger wearing a fucking SLAYER shirt! He’ll wear it just so he looks cool. I remember when we opened up for that fucking piece of shit band CRAZYTOWN, we went on before them at OZZFEST. We crucified them fuckers every night, and I remember the fucking singer getting bottled right there on stage after they’d go on right after we played. People didn’t want to hear that candy-ass bullshit! The singer is like, ‘Dude, can you hook us up with some fuckin’ merch? Man, we’re down wit the BLACK LABEL brothers!’ (laughs) I told Tim, our tour manager, ‘If that motherfucker wants any of our shit, tell him to go fucking buy it like everybody else. Fuck that little weasel and his piece of crap band!’ You know what I mean? He wants to wear our shit on stage in front of our audience so everybody will think they’re cool and not throw bottles and shit at them when they try to go on after us. (laughs) Like our fans are gonna go, ‘Wow, I guess they’re friends with the BLACK LABEL guys!’ Bullshit! Get the fuck outta here with that stupid shit! Damn pussies! (laughs)”

B2: “(laughs) You know, I don’t want to point the finger, and put the blame on Sharon with all of this, but I can name a bunch of bands that have no business being on OZZFEST, let alone headlining in front of BLACK LABEL SOCIETY, but who’s fault is that shit? I know it’s all about introducing new bands to the world, but I just feel that OZZFEST is not the place to do a lot of experimenting around like that. I have never personally attended an OZZFEST in my life, and I get labels throwing tickets at me left and right each year to do so, but I’ve got to tell you, if I ever did go, it would be late in the day, and only to see bands like you, MARILYN MANSON, OZZY and maybe this year, CRADLE OF FILTH. I’m not really down with any of the other bands on the bill.”

ZAKK: “I was just talking about this the other day with some guy that worked at one of the labels, he was talking about how fucking pathetic some of this shit is, and I’m like thinking to myself, you know this year, you’re gonna have some fucking new bands out there like that band SHADOW’S FALL. Those guys can fucking rip on some guitars and they’re like a bunch of fucking young kids. Man, obviously they listen to guys like Dime (PANTERA), and Randy Rhoads, you know what I mean? As far as I’m concerned, they’re playing their fucking instruments, and they’re good at it. You know what I mean? Let me tell you a funny fucking story. This will fucking kill you, Bam-Bam. I was doing an in-store at this record store the other day and (laughs) this manager of this store goes, ‘Hey, Zakk, I gotta story for you that’s the gayest of gay, man!’ This fucking label has just put out this Jimmi Hendrix anthology box set or some shit, and this record store manager is talking to the label rep and he overheard her talking to someone at the record store and she said, ‘Well, is Jimmy gonna be available to do interviews cause we really need to push this release?’ (laughs) Can you believe that shit? Is fucking Hendrix gonna be available to do interviews? (laughs for days) Oh shit, this is what we’re dealing with in the world right now, bro. This is why good Metal bands can’t get any fucking where because these are the stupid fucks the labels have working for them, promoting this shit. And here’s one better than that… One of those same guys in that record store said he called up one of the record companies to ask them for tickets to a fucking DEF LEPPARD performance. He needed press passes or some shit like that. Now, Bam, what is their fucking label, like Mercury or something like that?”

B2: “Yeah, but I believe Mercury is a division of Polygram, which was sold to Universal and Interscope Records, so I think it’s all under that Universal umbrella now.”

ZAKK: “Yeah, but it’s something that’s been around for fucking years, you see where I’m headed? We’re talking a major fucking label here, not like Joe Blow Fucking Records, a major label, who should fucking know better. So, this guys goes, ‘Can I get some press passes for the DEF LEPPARD show?’ And the chic goes, ‘Umm, what is the act again?’ And he says, ‘DEF LEPPARD, I need press passes and an after show interview pass.’ And the chic says, ‘Yeah, o.k., he’s a rapper, right? Let me transfer you to the Urban/Rap Department!’ She thinks the fucking guy’s name is DEF LEPPARD! (laughs) Oh, this shit is totally killing me! Ladies and Gentlemen, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, and Def Fuckin’ Leppard! (laughs) What the fuck? Flat out, the girl has no fucking clue who the fuck DEF LEPPARD is.”

B2: “That’s the sickest story I’ve ever heard, man! So much for those college interns that work at the labels for free, huh? Half of those kids weren’t even alive when these bands were hitting their stride.”

ZAKK: “Dude, that’s no fucking excuse. I wasn’t fucking alive, or else I was just being born. I was born in ’67, so when that first SABBATH album came out, I was like fucking two, so that’s no excuse, man. No excuse at all. I know every fucking thing about BLACK SABBATH!”

B2: “Yeah, I know what you’re saying. Speaking of SABBATH and OZZY, let’s shoot back to your younger days and what you were doing before you landed the gig with the Grandfather Of Metal back in ’87/’88. Who were you listening to and what were you doing before you got the gig with Ozzy?”

ZAKK: “Well, I was a hardcore fucking drug dealer at the time. (laughs) No, seriously though, I’m not a drughead, bro. All I do is drink beer and eat my wife’s ass, you know? (laughs) That ain’t too serious of a habit, is it? (laughs) Back at the time, I auditioned, just like everybody else and I got fucking lucky, man. That’s all!”

B2: “Oh, come on Zakk, it couldn’t have been that easy and just based on luck, bro.”

ZAKK: “Well, as far as what I was listening to, shit, you ask anybody my age and in my genre what they were listening to, and it’s all the same. I was hitting up the Randy Rhoads, SABBATH… Hell, I’ve got like an Ozzy/Randy Rhoads shrine in my room right now. You should see all the shit I’ve got. For me, that was the ultimate goal in life, and it still is, you know, to play with Ozzy. It’s like, without a doubt, the most Cinderella story you’ve ever heard. It’s like being a BEATLES fan and then being asked to go do John Lennon‘s parts with the original band. You know?”

B2: “I’m with you, bro. It’s like Eddie Van Halen coming in and saying, ‘Hey Bam, Alex quit. You wanna play with us!’ (laughs) I’m right there with you, but just not as talented to be able to say I did it. Now, how did you feel about the guitarist who’s place you actually took? I’m a huge Jake E. Lee fan and I don’t think that guy gets as much credit as he deserves.”

ZAKK: “Oh, shit, man. Jake is amazing!”

B2: “I agree, and I think most people credit you for sounding so much like Randy, but I honestly think you have more of Jake E.’s style coming out of you sans that little ‘pig squeal’ effect that you use so much that has become your trademark.”

ZAKK: “If you ask any guitar player, they’ll tell you the same thing, Jake is so underrated. I mean, Jake’s fucking awesome. Every time I hear Jake play, I can tell you that he’s the one jamming. At the end of the day that’s the true mark of anybody who’s fucking ripping – when you can tell who it is by their style. I mean Jake’s fucking got chops, he can play so fucking fast that it’ll make your head come off. He’s just got tons of blues in that style of his.” BLS group

B2: “I’m glad you mentioned that because, getting over to your new record, The Blessed Hellride, which will be out on Spitfire Records in mid-April, I’m hearing some very blues influenced stuff. I’ve only heard six songs off of the record, but the title track, I mean, would it be safe to say that it’s very blues influenced? It’s got you playing acoustic guitar all the way through, it’s mellow, it’s bluesy… What’s your feelings on this one?”

ZAKK: “Well, basically what we did when we got together for this one, is we just whipped out all the old POISON records and started listening to them and we said, ‘This is what we’re going for, baby, right here!'”

B2: “(laughs) Oh quit pulling my fucking leg here, Zakk. You’ve never owned a POISON record in your life.”

ZAKK: “No, just the early stuff before they sold out, bro.”

B2: “O.k., far be it for me to argue with Zakk Wylde, and I really am a huge fan of POISON and everything they did back in the day, but I gotta be honest with you, bro, they sold-out the second they stepped onto a stage back in the early 80’s! (laughs)”

ZAKK: “Hey, man, their shit was very ZEPPELIN orientated in the beginning, man! Hey, it’s all good, Bam-Bam, I’m just bustin’ your balls here. I mean, like I said before, I’m very good friends with those guys, I love em’ to death, man. I mean, they’ll flat out tell you that they suck as musicians, and that’s why they’re such cool fucking guys, cuz they’ll just take the piss out of any insult you throw at them, you know?”

B2: “(laughs) Absolutely. But, when you guys were sitting down to write this record, I mean, what was the logic behind it all. The songs I heard had many differences. I mean, ‘The Blessed Hellride’, I thought that would just be a barn stormer and yet, it’s an acoustic, ballad type thing, if you will.”

ZAKK: “Well, The Blessed Hellride, that’s just a fucking title, man. That’s just a goof. It’s like when you’re all hung over and you gotta get up in the morning, you know, ‘Get the fuck up man, shake it off. We gotta go make some damn music.’ That’s The Blessed Hellride. When you don’t feel like fucking moving, but you know you gotta get your ass outta bed and do your thing, that’s The Blessed Hellride. To us, it’s a daily grind. We gotta get up and get on The Blessed Hellride. That’s where that came from. It doesn’t matter whether you’re in a band or what. Me and you could be workin’ at a fucking gas station and you look at me and go, ‘Hey Zakk, where are we heading today?’ And I’m like, ‘Oh Bam, it’s back on the fucking Blessed Hellride.’ You know?”

B2: “Well, did you intentionally go in a different direction here because the last album was just so balls-out kick ass?”

ZAKK: “Well, let’s put it this way, I’d never go into the fucking studio and say, ‘Well, we gotta write a record like this and we gotta write a song for radio.’ I mean, who the fuck writes records like that?”

B2: “Well, for one, Ronnie James DIO told me he wrote a couple like that.”

ZAKK: “Oh what fuckin’ ever! It’s like listening to ZEPPELIN or SABBATH. I dare you to tell me which one is the best because it just depends on what mood you’re in. They’re all fucking great! But let’s say I want to hear something other than that “Whole Lotta Love” style thing. Well, throw on Physical Graffiti and you’re covered, you know? It’s just the way the songs came out when they came out. That’s the mark of a true artist. I mean, when you go take a shit, you don’t fucking go, ‘Man, look at the size of that fucking thing, I can’t believe that thing didn’t break apart.’ (laughs all around) You don’t go in there and plan what your shit’s gonna look like when it comes out. (laughs) I mean, you go in there and you write riffs, and you’ve got no idea what they’re gonna sound like before you crank them out. You just do it. It’s just a concoction of what you listen to that makes it all happen. I can’t stand these fucking bands like N’SYNC or whatever the horseshit is everybody’s listening to, and these guys wear like a ZEPPELIN T-shirt, or a SABBATH T-shirt, and they’re like, ‘Hey, this is us, this is what we’re into.’ I’m like, ‘Are you for fuckin’ real? What the fuck are you talking about? You never heard a ZEPPELIN or SABBATH record in your life, you little cock sucker. Your music doesn’t even sound anything like that. If you’re really such a fucking fan, then why do you play that shit you’re playing?’ I don’t get it. It’s not even close. You wanna hear someone who’s being real? That would be like the guys in GUNS AND ROSES saying they dig THE STONES, early SEX PISTOLS, and fucking AEROSMITH! Well yeah, and it fucking sounds like it. That’s what I mean about being true to what you love. You don’t hear the guys in G’N’R saying, ‘Oh, let’s see, who’s our favorite band? Ummm, DEPECHE MODE!’ (laughs) You know what I mean? I mean listen to their shit. [Zakk imitates Axl’s classic banshee scream in ‘Welcome To The Jungle‘], Shananana-Knees-Knees! That’s powerful shit. They know where it’s all coming from too, and that’s cool. At least some pop bands like OASIS, when someone says, ‘Who’s your favorite band?’ they say, ‘The fucking BEATLES, and the reason our shit sounds like them is because we fucking love those guys.’ End of fucking story. I remember when KINGDOM COME came out, and people were like, ‘Oh, you like ZEPPELIN?’ and they were like, ‘Who’s that?’. Give me a fuckin’ break! I mean, if they had just said, ‘We’re ZEPPELIN freaks,’ it would have been cool. But they’re like, ‘Who The Fuck Are They?’ Get the fuck outta here! I’m not trying to say they were rip-offs. I mean that song sounded like it was influenced by ZEPPELIN, no doubt, but I’m not trying to say they were a total rip-off band. It’s just if they had said, ‘Yeah, we’re influenced by ZEPPELIN cause they’re one of the greatest fucking bands that ever lived,’ that would have been cool. But they just fucking lied. Big fucking deal. If you’re stealing from the best, so what! Who cares? But you can’t just act like you’ve never heard of these guys before. That’s horseshit, man!”

B2: “Oh man, I feel bad talking about this because I’m really good friends with their first drummer, James Kottak, who now plays for the SCORPIONS.”

ZAKK: “Oh, James is a cool motherfucker. I’m talking more about that fucking singer in all those interviews he did back in the day, acting like he’d never even heard of ZEPPELIN. You know, some shit about he was from Canada or something, dude. Give me a fucking break over here, you know?”

B2: “Now, I know most people try to keep your different entities separate when they talk about Zakk the solo artist and the band BLACK LABEL SOCIETY, but they are kind of one in the same because this is your solo project, but it is a very established band, as well.”

ZAKK: “Yeah, I don’t know why they do that fucking shit. Just to sell records, I guess. But BLACK LABEL SOCIETY is actually bigger than Zakk Wylde. It’s a fucking lifestyle that’s bigger than me or anybody in it.”

B2: “In keeping with that, who’s taking the Blessed Hellride with you this time around? Who are the musicians in the band at this point?”

ZAKK: “Well you got Nick Catanese, my evil fucking twin on guitar with me, then we got Craig Nunenmacher playing drums, and Mike Inez is gonna be playing bass with us.”

B2: “Oh wow!”

ZAKK: “Yeah, we got Skank Magnolia back in the fold with us (laughs). That guy is hysterical. He’s a sick ass bass player too. So, Mike’s gonna do the fucking thing with us, and we got the rest of the road crew, all the alcoholics and druggies are gonna be out doing this thing with us. Let the fucking comedy begin!”

B2: “I hear you! Let The Blessed Hellride begin! Now, here’s something that has had me curious ever since the movie Rockstar came out. You got the chance to play with some of the best players in the business, in my opinion, on this soundtrack. I am one of the hugest Jason Bonham fans, and I have always wondered why you and former DOKKEN bassist, Jeff Pilson haven’t put an album out together. That would fucking rule, man!”

ZAKK: “Oh shit, people always say that Jason gets so much credit because of who his dad is [Obligatory Writer’s Note: For those who may have been living under a rock for the past 20 years, we’re referring, of course, to the legendary ZEPPELIN drummer, John Bonham.], but let me tell you right now, that motherfucker’s timing is unreal. It’s gotta be a genetic thing going on there, but he is just incredible. It still sounds like Jason, but you hear a lot of his pops rolling around in there. He’s his own guy, but it’s pretty weird sometimes to be playing with him and it just feel like you’re playing with Bonzo, in the flesh.”

B2: “He’s so good, man. So, is there anything in the can or any plans that you, Jason, and Jeff would do anything like that, cuz that’s an album that I would line up and beat the shit out of somebody to get a hold of?”

ZAKK: “Well, right now, there’s no plans to do anything like that. You know, Jeff, he’s out doing his own thing, and Jason, he’s got that band. What’s it called? Ummm, HEALING SIXES, or something like that? He’s out bustin’ his balls doing that thing, and there’s talk that they’re gonna get the ZEPPELIN thing back together and he’s gonna be the one going out with them as the drummer, so he’s gonna be busy.”

B2: “Oh, are you serious? I read somewhere that Jason has said no one had ever contacted him on doing that. That was back in January of this year.”

ZAKK: “Yeah, I’ve read where it’s gonna be Jason and somebody even said it was gonna be Dave Fuckin’ Grohl doin’ that shit. If they’re gonna go back out and there’s no way to bring John Bonham back to life, then, I mean, who you gonna get?”

B2: “Oh, Jason, totally!”

ZAKK: “I mean, you gotta! It’s the only logical fucking choice, man!”

B2: “Well, judging on the Rock Star soundtrack, and the songs you guys all played together, I would really hope that the idea of you guys getting together and doing an album would be something that you think about. I know as cheesy as you might be thinking those songs were, and the fact that I know they were written by somebody else might have you down on them a bit, I think the three of you would put out one of the most killer albums to date in Rock-N-Roll!”

ZAKK: “Yeah, that was all 80’s period, goofy shit, but I had a great time playing with Jason and Jeff. I mean, Jeff is one hell of a fucking bass player. We were screwing around in the studio with all this fusion shit, and I was like, ‘Hey motherfucker, I never knew you could play like that!’ You know, you just listen to those DOKKEN records and it’s like, Bloomp, Bloomp, Bloomp. You know, shit like that. And Jeff’s got a killer fucking voice. Geez, he can sing, and he’s a sick ass bass player. He’s got it going on, man.”

B2: “Let’s talk about another friend of yours, your drinking buddy. (laughs) What’s up these days with Dime?”

ZAKK: “Oh God, man, I love Dime to death. It’s always fucking comedy whenever I hook up with him! (laughs)”

B2: “Yeah, comedy and destruction! (laughs) Let’s talk about the last time you two were together over this past Christmas. Is it true that you totally destroyed a rented truck by driving into trees in Dime’s front yard?”

ZAKK: “(laughs) I ended up actually paying for that thing, though. I hooked that driver up with a couple of my Les Pauls, my Zakk Wylde signature Les Pauls and some shit, and Dime paid him a bunch of money to cover all the damage, so it’s all good.”

B2: “But let’s talk about what happened.”

ZAKK: “Well, (laughs) rearview mirrors were hanging off this thing, the whole bottom of it was smashed to fuck. It was a fucking mess when I was done with that thing.”

B2: “Now, the way I heard it, you were running over a Christmas tree in Dime’s front yard.”

ZAKK: “Yeah, some shit like that. Dime was like, ‘Hey Zakk, Rita,’ that’s Dime’s old lady, Rita. So he’s like, ‘Yeah, Rita don’t like that fucking tree, why don’t you take it out.’ So, I’m like, ‘O.k., give me the keys,’ and I just start smashing into this fucking tree in his front yard. It was hilarious. I was running this motherfucking tree over, raising some hell, drinking some brew.”

B2: “Now, the way I heard it, you weren’t just drinking brew on this night, you were drinking one of Dime’s patented medicines called a Black Tooth Grin. What the hell is that?”

ZAKK: “Well, that’s Dime’s favorite. It’s Crown Royal and Coca-Cola, he calls it a Black Tooth Grin. I like mine mixed with Ginger Ale, and Dime calls that one the Zakk Tooth Grin. Either way, it’s good shit, and you drink a lot of it, you don’t get too blitzed, but you do some stupid shit like run over motherfucking trees in people’s yards and shit. Crown Royal, Ginger Ale and some ice; you’re ready to roll!”

B2: “Are you and Dime planning on doing anything together soon?”

ZAKK: “Well, I sang on some of Dime’s new shit. You know he’s got that new band called NEW FOUND POWER; it’s really great! People ask me, ‘Hey, what do they sound like?’ Well, Dime’s writing all the riffs and the music. What the fuck do you think it sounds like?”

B2: “Plus he’s got Vinnie playing drums, so that kind of makes it a no-brainer if you ask me. I mean, all you need it Phil back and you’ve got PANTERA!”

ZAKK: “Yeah, no shit. That’s what they sound like. It’s crushing, heavy shit. As far as I’m concerned, for that type of music, there is no comparison. They’re the best. I think it’s fucking awesome and I hope they do well with it. So, I sang backups on one song, and I played a solo on one of them. We had a fucking blast. You know what would be cool? To have SLAYER, NEW FOUND POWER, and BLACK LABEL SOCIETY all on tour together on the same bill. That would be the fucking shit, man!”

B2: “For some reason, I can actually see that happening. Now, you’re headed out to Las Vegas to do a one-off House Of Blues Show with Ozzy tomorrow night (Friday, March 14th), right? How did that come about?”

ZAKK: “Well, Ozzy just called me up, and he’s been dealing with poor Sharon being sick for the past nine months, and he was just like, ‘Hey Zakk, I wanna get out of the fucking house and go play some music.’ So, I’m like, ‘Whatever you want, buddy. Let’s go do it.’ So, we’re gonna go do that, and then I’ll be out touring with BLACK LABEL after that and all the way through the OZZFEST dates, where I’ll be playing with both bands again.”

B2: “Now, do you feel comfortable talking about how Sharon is doing right now? I keep seeing you pop up on a few episodes of THE OSBOURNES, and I know you’re a friend of the family, not just Ozzy, so how the hell is she doing now?”

ZAKK: “Sharon’s doing really well now, which I think is just fucking awesome. Sharon’s like my fucking mother, but there was a time there when me and Ozzy would talk like twice a day and he’d be telling me, ‘Zakk, I just wake up every day and I don’t know if she’s going to be laying there dead beside me, or what.’ I mean, this is like the most financially and physically successful he’s ever been in his whole career, and he’s been the most miserable I’ve ever seen him the whole time I’ve known him. It’s fucking tragic, man. But she’s doing really well, and me and Ozzy are gonna be out there playing. We’ll have a couple of drinks together and it’ll be good for him. He can still fucking throw down, man. He told me on the last OZZFEST we did, because he was so upset about everything that was going on with Sharon, that he didn’t remember any of it. Not one fucking bit of it. We’d go onstage, totally sober, we’d come off and he’d just get ripped and sit there on the bus. He didn’t remember the whole fucking tour! It was sad.”

B2: “Now I was reading all over the place that he was sober all the way on that last tour.”

ZAKK: “Oh, Bam-Bam, give me a fucking break. Now, I know him really well, and the whole time I’ve been friends with him, I have never, ever seen him go onstage with anything in him. He’s totally sober onstage, always! But man, if he gets off the stage and wants to get a bomb on, you better run for the fucking hills! It’s on, man! Ozzy has no takers when it comes to grabbing that crown, let me tell you. Now, he doesn’t get fucked up every day like he used to, but he can still throw down from time to time. I swear I’ve never seen anybody who can do it like him. He just totally gets obliterated, and then he’s up at the crack of dawn the next day like nothing happened. (in his best British by way of Jersey accent) ‘Hallo guys, what do you feel like doing today?’ (laughs) The fucking guy kills me!” BLS - Drum-Guitar

B2: “Well, let’s finish it all up with a quote from Zakk. This is your chance to sign off with all the EDGE Readers and say what you want to and get it all out there in the open. Go for it, Zakk!”

ZAKK: “I wanna tell everybody that it’s more fucking alcohol fueled motherfucking brutality, just chock full of fucking alcohol, violence, rottweillers, ravens, chains, skulls and all that other horseshit. It’s a ton of fucking Marshalls and fucking Les Pauls. So, you know, it’s another chock full serving of a keg of BLACK LABEL! (laughs)”

B2: “What a note to end on. Zakk, thanks for all your time. You’re a fucking hero of mine and a million other fans out there, and I’ll support you through whatever you decide to do in your career, bro!”

ZAKK: “Thank you, brother, it’s been fun. You take care, buddy!”

And as I hung the phone up, I sat for at least ten minutes feeling as if I’d just drank heavily from that keg Zakk was referring to. It was 1:40 p.m., almost an hour and a half from the time we began. Zakk could obviously clock out and scream, “Beer thirty! Hand me a Black Label!” Me, I had to stagger around for the next four hours acting as if anything my day put in front of me was even half as important as what I had just witnessed. One thing that did keep me laughing until the 5:30 whistle came rumbling in, was the vision of Zakk trying to make a call on one of those new phones. I imagined the banter that would obviously be exchanged if that call was to his long-time friend and band mate, Ozzy Osbourne. It would be a record setting day for the most uses of the ‘F-Word’ the world could imagine. My thanks to Zakk for more of his time than what I was originally allotted for this interview. You are a most generous host, my friend! Also, thanks to Jon Paris from Spitfire Records for the major hook-up on this one. Buckle up for The Blessed Hellride. It’s a lot faster than you think!

WhiteNoiseOwl-EP Album CoverWHITE NOISE OWL

 

Until We Meet Again-EP

 

Away Team Music

 

Rating: 10 out of 10

 

Rarely does a supergroup team with a super-producer and have it result in a finished product that lives up to expectations, but rarely does not equal never… When I first got word last year that former Columbia Recording artist Chris Shy (Aurora Sky/Fear The Clown) would be teaming with Lo-Pro/Ultraspank frontman Pete Murray, I was cautiously optimistic, as we’ve seen these things crash and burn before with even the greatest of musicians.  But there was something different about this pairing, having known Shy‘s penchant for hearing things that take most others a second listen to grasp I was confident that Murray would be the man to take this thing to the next level.  Little did I know that the two would be adding the talents of bassist John Fahnestock (Snot/Amen) and drummer extraordinaire Will Hunt (Evanescence/Device) to the fold, and converging on the famed EastWest Studios to add the final piece of the puzzle in GRAMMY-Winning super-producer Ben Grosse (just about every great artist under the sun); the spawn of this musical marriage becoming White Noise Owl

Bandmembers often say that their band is their family, now I ask you to picture never meeting your family until you were about to be introduced, as a whole, to a worldwide audience.  Sound crazy?  Well as crazy as it sounds, all of this mastery was created by a group of guys who, for the most part, had never even met until they were in the studio!  We always hear of “the band that never was”, in a sense, White Noise Owl is really “the band that never wasn’t”!

Needless to say, I had been eagerly awaiting the final product, and it was well worth the wait!  From the opening chords of “Feed”, we can begin to see what this band is about, a perfect conjugation of early Filter-meets-STP.  Thought we had that already?  Think again!  This would be what we’d get if Army of Anyone had a “do over”.  Murray‘s vocals, combined with an ingenious riff that would make the DeLeo brothers quiver are all you need to beg for them to “Feed” you more! An appetite that is further prompted with the second track “Bomber”, another rocker that displays the mighty talents of these four, all the while wondering if Ben Grosse is having flashbacks to his “Title of Record” sessions. 

Enter “End Over End” and “Are You Breathing”, the final tracks off the EP and one is left with two questions, How the fuck did I not realize what a great set of pipes Pete Murray has until now? And when does the full length album come out?!

As I said before, rare does not equal never; rare is reserved for things like perfect scores on album reviews, happy neighbors of Justin Bieber, and Blue Moons, and it’s only appropriate this Blue Moon has an owl sitting under it, a White Noise Owl!  Mark your calendars for March 11, 2014, the Day of the Owl.

For more info on White Noise Owl visit the band’s Official Website.

 

CHEVELLE

2013-09-21

96 K-ROCK Rockwave Festival

JetBlue Park

Ft. Myers, FL

Photos By: Jay Rybak

FILTER

2013-09-21

96 K-ROCK Rockwave Festival

JetBlue Park

Ft. Myers, FL

Photos By:  Jay Rybak

Rockwave Festival Poster 2013

The first annual 96 K-ROCK presents Rockwave Festival–to be held Saturday, September 21 at JetBlue Park in Fort Myers, Florida–is offering a special Revolver 4 Pack” ticket package. A limited number of Revolver 4 Pack” packages are now available for $135. EachRevolver 4 Pack” includes 4 general admission tickets to Rockwave, along with a single one-year subscription to Revolver Magazine. Visit www.rockwavefest.com for more info, or click here to purchase tickets.

96 K-ROCK presents Rockwave will feature seminal alternative rock bands Jane’s Addiction and Stone Temple Pilots with Chester Bennington, along with performances from newly announced addition Chevelle, as well as Filter, Anberlin, and Beware Of Darkness performing on the Monster Main Stage.

The festival is also offering a special discounted ticket pre-sale from July 16-18 at www.rockwavefest.com. During the pre-sale, a limited number of discounted general admission tickets will be available for purchase for the following prices (plus fees):

Tuesday, July 16: $19.50
Wednesday, July 17: $24.99
Thursday, July 18: $34.99

Regularly priced general admission and VIP tickets go on sale Friday, July 19 at 10:00 AM Eastern Time at www.rockwavefest.com, Ticketmaster.com, and at all Ticketmaster outlets.  Beginning July 19, General Admission tickets will be $45.00 (plus fees) and VIP tickets will be $89.50 (plus fees). Doors open at 1:00 PM.

VIP tickets include: a VIP entrance to venue; access to VIP lounge area featuring dedicated bar, beverage and food service; viewing of main stage (seated and standing areas); seated area with shade for dining and private restroom facilities; and a VIP guest laminate.

For all things Rockwave, visit www.rockwavefest.com.

 

Rockwave Festival Logo 2013July 8, 2013–The first annual 96 K-ROCK presents Rockwave Festival will be held Saturday, September 21 at JetBlue Park in Fort Myers, Florida.

Rockwave will feature seminal alternative rock bands Jane’s Addiction and Stone Temple Pilots with Chester Bennington, along with performances from Filter, Anberlin, Beware Of Darkness, and an opening band TBA performing on the Monster Main Stage.

A special discounted ticket pre-sale for Rockwave Festival will take place from July 16-18 at www.rockwavefest.com. During the pre-sale, a limited number of discounted general admission tickets will be available for purchase for the following prices (plus fees):

Tuesday, July 16: $19.50Rockwave Festival Poster 2013
Wednesday, July 17: $24.99
Thursday, July 18: $34.99

“I’m super excited to help launch the new 96 K-ROCK radio station in Ft. Myers, with Jane’s Addiction and Stone Temple Pilots, Filter, Anberlin and one of my new favorite acts Beware Of Darkness,” says festival creator/producer Danny Wimmer of Danny Wimmer Presents. “What a great party it’s going to be to close out the summer.”

Regularly priced general admission and VIP tickets go on sale Friday, July 19 at 10:00 AM Eastern Time at www.rockwavefest.com, Ticketmaster.com and at all Ticketmaster outlets. Beginning July 19, General Admission tickets will be $45.00 (plus fees) and VIP tickets will be $89.50 (plus fees). Doors open at 1:00 PM.

VIP tickets include: a VIP entrance to venue; access to VIP lounge area featuring dedicated bar, beverage and food service; viewing of main stage (seated and standing areas); seated area with shade for dining and private restroom facilities; and a VIP guest laminate.

96 K-ROCK presents Rockwave Festival is produced by Danny Wimmer Presents and AEG Live, part of the team that produces the massively successful Rock On The Range, Carolina Rebellion, Welcome To Rockville, and Fort Myers’ own Fort Rock festival. 96 K-ROCK presents Rockwave Festival is fueled by Monster Energy.

JetBlue Park is the spring training home of the Boston Red Sox and is located at 11500 Fenway South Drive in Fort Myers, Florida. It’s also the home to the Fort Rock music festival, which debuted April 14, 2013.

For more info visit the Rockwave Festival’s Official Website.

Eagle Rock Entertainment, the world’s leader in visual music, will run a huge sale from August 29 – September 11 on hundreds of its long-form concert videos by such artists as The Rolling Stones, ZZ Top, Peter Gabriel, Black Crowes, Marilyn Manson, Jeff Beck, Stone Temple Pilots, Counting Crows, Duran Duran, Eminem, Yes, Alice Cooper, Run DMC, Queen, Staind and many more.

Eagle has been known for years for its “Live At Montreux” and “Classic Albums” series but that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Visual Music. From its jazz and blues to Classic Rock and heavy metal, Eagle has provided visual (and aural) thrills for generations. The list of artists that have performed on these dvds represents an incredible array of talent, literally a who’s who of the entertainment industry. These concerts being available for the first time at such a low price is a tremendous opportunity for consumers.

Fans can purchase these videos HERE.

Eagle Rock Entertainment is the largest producer and distributor of music programming for DVD, Blu-Ray, TV, Audio and Digital Media in the world. Eagle works directly alongside talent to produce top quality, High Definition and 3D programs, both concerts and documentaries, including The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, The Who, Queen, The Doors, Jeff Beck, U2, Peter Gabriel, Paul McCartney and Ozzy Osbourne. Eagle is a Grammy Award winning company and has received over 30 multi-platinum, over 50 platinum and over 90 gold discs, worldwide. Eagle Rock Entertainment has offices in London, New York, Toronto, Paris and Hamburg.




STONE TEMPLE PILOTS

Alive In The Windy City

DVD

Eagle Vision Entertainment

1 out of 10






I have never been a big Stone Temple Pilots Fan. Their first album that came out, Core, had couple of good songs on it but after that they turned into a pop rock act it seemed to me.

Imagine my shock when I received a DVD in the mail of a 2010 concert of theirs. Who knew they were still around?

The press release states that Alive In The Windy City is the first official authorized by the band for commercial video release. So I don’t know if a previous label screwed them over and released a concert video in the past, or if this just happens to be the first time anyone wanted a live DVD from STP.

Judging by the quality of Scott Weiland’s singing I’m assuming that whoever thought this endeavor was a good idea, has since rethought the idea, and is now rethinking their career path and choices.

The show kicks off with Vasoline. It is the first song of the show. The show opens and Vasoline is playing. Is that clear to you? We are on the first song of the set and Scott‘s voice is crap. Almost painful. The band is fine, and if I cared about their music I might have enjoyed their playing more. But alas, I don’t, and couldn’t.

Just watching Scott Weiland strut around the stage like a chicken annoyed the shit out of me.

All of the big STPhits’ are here. Vasoline, Wicked Garden, Big Empty, Sour Girl, Creep, Plush, Interstate Love Song, Sex Type Thing… you get the idea. Sour Girl was atrocious. It just sounded like a train wreck to me. And every song starts off with the drummer counting out the song, a shot from behind him as he is doing it. It’s fucking annoying. Creep should never be performed live. It sounds like a dirge that should only be played during failed abortions. Absolutely no life in the song, the band, or the crowd.

Speaking of the crowd, the mix on the crowd noise has got to be canned. It can’t be from the crowd in that venue for that show. The venue is too small to have a crowd noise sounding like 15,000 people yelling at once. The artwork exclaims the show is sold out. Hell the Riviera Theater only holds 2,500 people. It had better be sold out if you are going to film it. And there’s no way that 2,500 people sound like 15,000.

So, the show lasts 92 minutes. I lasted 15 minutes. There were interviews at the end too, but I’d rather slam my dick on broken glass than listen to Scott Weiland talk about… well… anything.

I gave the DVD a 1 out of 10 because it was at least mixed well. I mean imagine trying to make a turd sound good. How do you do that? Well whoever mixed this DVD did just that. Maybe they should have gotten more than 1 for that magic trick; however I don’t know the dude’s name and don’t want to give the band too much credit here.

Enjoy at your risk, or don’t. You’ll thank me later.








The first annual Monster Energy Aftershock Festival, presented by California’s Rock Station – 98 Rock, is set for Sunday, September 23 at Discovery Park in downtown Sacramento, CA. The initial lineup for the full-day rock festival includes Stone Temple Pilots, Deftones, Bush, Chevelle, Hollywood Undead, Theory of a Deadman, Oleander, Escape the Fate, Otherwise, Gemini Syndrome and more.

Tickets go on sale Friday, June 22 at 10:00 AM PT at www.AftershockConcert.com, www.Ticketmaster.com and at all Ticketmaster outlets.

General admission tickets for Monster Energy Aftershock Festival are available for as low as $49.50 plus fees and VIP tickets can be purchased for $99.50 plus fees. VIP tickets include: VIP entrance to venue; access to VIP lounge area featuring dedicated bar, beverage and food service; viewing of main stage (seated and standing areas); seated area with shade for dining and private restroom facilities; and a VIP guest laminate. Please visit www.AftershockConcert.com for more information.

Eagle Rock Entertainment is proud to announce the June 26 release of Alive In The Windy City, the first-ever Stone Temple Pilots concert to be authorized by the band for commercial video release.

Filmed in state-of-the-art high-definition, recorded in DTS-HD Master Audio and LPCM Stereo, Stone Temple Pilots performed a high-octane show at the sold-out Riviera Theatre in Chicago, IL. This March 2010 concert blended new songs from their self-titled sixth album with classic hits from the inception of their career. Vocalist Scott Weiland, bassist Robert DeLeo, guitarist Dean DeLeo and drummer Eric Kretz erupted with a stop-on-a-dime tight, blistering set that included “Interstate Love Song” “Plush” “Vasoline” “Creep” “Sex Type Thing” and “Big Empty.” The 18-song show is complemented with bonus exclusive band member interviews — Total running time is 92 minutes.

Stone Temple Pilots were conceived in 1992 San Diego, successfully melding alternative rock, hard rock, melodic pop, and garage rock into a swirl of post-punk attitude with a hint of glam. Their first two albums—Core and Purple—immediately established them as one of the more adventurous of the American guitar bands. The raw, sonic energy of their songs and live shows propelled two decades worth of success. Amidst numerous break-ups and the four musicians coming and going in different bands, STP has never had a personnel change. Alive In The Windy City documents the strength and live prowess of this 20-year heavy-hitting rock collective.

TRACK LISTING:
1) Vasoline
2) Crackerman
3) Wicked Garden
4) Hollywood Bitch
5) Between The Lines
6) Hickory Dichotomy
7) Big Empty
8) Sour Girl
9) Creep
10) Plush
11) Interstate Love Song
12) Bagman
13) Huckleberry Crumble
14) Sex Type Thing
15) Dead And Bloated
16) Lounge Fly
17) Piece Of Pie
18) Trippin’ On A Hole In A Paper Heart

TOUR DATES:
8/18/12 – Pontiac, MI – Pontiac Silverdome
8/22/12 – Bethel, NY – Bethel Woods Center For The Arts
8/24/12 – Atlantic City, NJ – Revel Resorts/Ovation Hall
8/25/12 – Mashantucket, CT – MGM Grand Theatre at Foxwoods
8/27/12 & 8/29/12 – Huntington, NY – The Paramount
8/31/12 – Gilford, NH – Meadowbrook U.S. Cellular Pavilion
9/1/12 – Hershey, PA – Hershey Stadium
9/4/12 – Chicago, IL – Riviera Theatre
9/6/12 – Thunder Bay, ONT – Thunder Bay Community Auditorium
9/7/12 – St. Paul, MN – Myth
9/9/12 – Winnipeg, MB – Winnipeg Convention Center
9/11/12 – Calgary, AB – Big 4 Building
9/12/12 – Edmonton, AB – Shaw Convention Centre
9/20/12 – Las Vegas, NV – The Pearl at The Palms
9/22/12 – Irvine, CA – Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
9/23/12 – Sacramento, CA – Discovery Park









One year, one major label debut album, countless festival dates, one cutting edge video, and three hit singles that are taking America by storm…  what have YOU done this year?  The aforementioned is just the status quo for Cale Gontier and the boys from Art of Dying.  The Canadian quintet first infiltrated our borders and burst onto the scene in early 2011, and has played the part of Rock n’ Roll’s Pied Piper leaving a trail of followers all across the States.  Recently, this lemming had the chance to catch up with bassist Cale Gontier to get the forecast for this musical monsoon.  So sit back, relax, and grab a cold one as we touch on everything from AOD-to-ESP-to- another Canadian weather phenomenon that involves Leafs that blow year round.

AWAY-TEAM:  Congratulations on the tremendous success of Vices and Virtues.  It’s definitely well-deserved…

CALE GONTIER:  Thank you so much man, appreciate that!

AWAY-TEAM:  Now, it’s well documented that the band takes it’s name from part of an even longer phrase, ‘The art of dying is my life to live…’, but where did that phrase actually originate?

CALE GONTIER:  Ya know man, I think that whole phrase just kinda, it’s kinda how we roll as a band.  It’s just about enjoying your time, and making the best of your time realizing that you’re not gonna be around forever, and just having fun.  Day to day having fun, and doing what you wanna be doing, and that’s what we do as a band.  I think that’s how we all came together, and it’s just sort of our motto.

AWAY-TEAM:  The current single, ‘Sorry’, your third off the album, has probably the coolest, most well done lyric video I’ve seen in a long time.  Where did the idea come from for such an artistic lyric video?

CALE GONTIER: Yeah, that lyric video has taken off.  It’s almost gone viral online, it’s getting tons of hits on YouTube and stuff.  Usually all the videos that we’ve done in the past, the band’s been involved in, and the lyric videos have been fairly simple, but with this one we decided to go down a bit of a different road.  We got a couple of actors from L.A., who did a great job, and the people at Warner Brothers had alot of input on it, and it turned out really cool.  It tells the story of the song within that three minute lyric video, and it was just really well done, and I think that alot of people can really relate to that song in one way or another.  Just needing to apologize for something, whatever that may be, it doesn’t necessarily have to be the relationship like it is in the video.  But yeah, we actually just recorded an acoustic version of the song in Chicago with Dan Donegan from Disturbed, who produced it.  We’re doing this really cool thing on Facebook where, Jonny our singer started this thing after that lyric video, the last scene in the video is where the girl holds up a piece of paper that says “Sorry” on it, she’s apologizing to the dude, so we’re doing this cool online thing where all of our fans and followers online have been changing their profile pictures to a picture of them saying “Sorry” in one way or another.  Most of the time it’s them holding up a piece of paper that says “Sorry”, or they’ve written it on their arm, or gotten creative with it, and that’s kinda taken off online as well.  So what we’re gonna do is choose the coolest pictures, and they’re actually gonna be in the new video for the acoustic version of the song.  We’re actually in the process of doing that right now, and I’m looking forward to seeing how that turns out as well.

AWAY-TEAM:  Yeah, I noticed that myself.  That was actually gonna be my next question.  But getting back to the lyric video, I wanted to ask, being that music videos are now mostly relegated to the web, do you think videos such as the one you’ve just put out are the wave of the future?

CALE GONTIER:  Yeah, I kinda think so man.  We were just experimenting a little bit, but I think with alot of the Fuse, MTV, and MuchMusic it seems like videos are getting less and less air time.  For that same reason, people are spending less and less money on them, and I think Facebook and YouTube is where it’s at right now.  That’s where it’s gonna get seen, so if you can do something that is creative, and that is cool, and is different, and spread the word online, kinda like what happened with that lyric video, I think that’s the new way to go.  It’s not like we spent a ton of money on  it or anything, it’s just it was something cool and creative, and people were digging it, and they can be a part of it with these profile pictures and all that, so it does seem to me that that’s happening more and more for sure.

AWAY-TEAM:  When you joined the band, you had been playing with Thornley at the time, how did you end up in Art of Dying? And more importantly, I’m gonna make an assumption here, how did a Leafs fan end up in a band with a bunch of Canuck fans? (laughs)

CALE GONTIER:  (laughs) That’s a great assumption! (laughs) You know what man, we are all hockey fans by the way, but I don’t wanna talk about the Leafs too much, they let me down this year!  But as far as how we all came together, I guess the conduit was our drummer Jeffy Brown, he is from Guelph, Ontario, and he used to play in a band with my older brother in Guelph.  He ended up moving to Vancouver, and he hooked up with Jonny and Greg, and they started playing together.  Me and Tavis were living in Toronto, playing in a bunch of different bands, we were playing with Thornley/Big Wreck for like five years… and even how that came about, my cousin Adam sings in Three Days Grace, and on their first album I was on the road with Three Days as a guitar tech, even though I had no idea what I was doing, I was just helping out and having fun with Adam, and I went to high school with all the other guys too.  So I was out with them, and Thornley opened for Three Days, after a little while I befriended Tavis and Ian (Thornley).  A year later when that tour was done, Ian was looking for a bass player, and Adam suggested that he give me a call.  He did, and I started playing with them, and that’s how I got super tight with those guys.  We played for five years, and me and Tavis are best buddies.  Then the original Art of Dying, with Jeffy playing drums, came to Toronto to play Canadian Music Week, which is kind of like Canada’s SXSW, and I put the guys up at my place for like 7 or 10 days.  They just crashed on couches and floors at my place, and we just really hit it off as friends.  Everyone was super cool, and we had a good time as friends first, we’d just go out and have some drinks and have a good time, and the idea of Tavis and I going out on a little Canadian tour they had booked came up one night, and we thought maybe it was crazy enough that we could pull this off.  So Tavis and I cancelled a few things, the first time we ever played together was during a sound check at the first show at the University of Calgary, for like eight people! (laughs)

AWAY-TEAM:  (laughs)

CALE GONTIER:  But, once we started playing together on that little Canadian run, we were already good friends, and musically we just really connected.  One of our things, Tavis and I sang our asses off in Thornley for a bunch of years, and we just love singing harmonies, so we just jumped in singing three-parts on all of the Art of Dying songs.  Then we started writing new songs, and we just felt that we had something special all of a sudden.  That’s so hard to come by, and that’s the most important thing, in my opinion, being in a band, you gotta live with these people ten months a year when you’re touring.  When you get something special like that, you really better lock it in, so that’s what we did.  Everybody dropped everything basically, and we decided to solidify Art of Dying.  That was about five years ago, and it didn’t take long after that.  We started to get on some better tours, Disturbed took us out a couple times, and at that time we didn’t even realize that Dan and David from Disturbed even had a record label.  We just thought they were buddies, and digging our music, but they were watching from the front of the house every night, at our sound checks every day, and in hindsight the couple of tours that we did with Disturbed were actually showcases for their label, Intoxication.  Then they flew us down to Chicago, and said they wanted to sign us.  We were super stoked, and everything’s been moving pretty fast, and going great since then.

AWAY-TEAM:  I gotta tell you man, you’re pretty good, this is the second “next question” that you already answered for me! (laughs)

CALE GONTIER:  (laughs) I keep doing that, shit! (laughs)

AWAY-TEAM:  (laughs) No that’s good, you’re making my job easier! (laughs)   You mentioned writing new songs, I understand that the writing sessions for this record involved getting together in some weird locations.  Tell me about some of those locations, and what place was the most inspirational, or productive?

CALE GONTIER:  Well, because we live on different sides of the country, when we’re not on the road we’re not all together as a band.  Jeffy, Jonny, and Greg all live in Vancouver, I live in Toronto, 3,000 miles away, and Tavis just kinda floats around wherever, he’s a gypsy when we’re not touring. (laughs)  So when we do an intentional writing trip, we  always try to go somewhere cool, somewhere inspirational, like you said.  But we’ve done a few different ones, like we met up at our buddy’s house in the interior British Columbia.  This kinda small ski town, just outside Colona, and we just set up shop there for a few weeks.  Set up our gear in the basement, it was just a good vibe, we were barbecuing for ourselves every night.  Most of our songs come from just sitting around with an acoustic, just bouncing ideas off each other.  When we do get together for a little writing trip like that, we’ve all been writing on our own, so we just bounce ideas off each other; and they get better and better, once everyone puts their own twist on it.  Jonny‘s just sick, and comes up with good melodies, and stuff like that.  So that was a good one, when we went to Colona for a few weeks, got alot of good stuff done there.  Another one, we went to Chicago, which Chicago is like our second home now with our connection with Disturbed, and we ended up doing half of Vices and Virtues there.  Dan Donegan produced, and we went to a studio called Groovemaster, Johnny K’s studio in Chicago, that’s just a super cool old building that Al Capone used to own, and just good things always seem to come when we put ourselves in a situation like that, ya know.

AWAY-TEAM:  You mentioned Dan producing, what’s he like in the studio?  Is he more of a demanding hands-on type?  Or is he more of a “Do what you do, and we’ll tweak it later” type?

CALE GONTIER:  Danny is really more of a hands-on guy.  He’s obviously a super talented musician, and he’s got great input.  He’s not always diving in, or getting in there too much, he’ll sit back… but he’s not shy, and usually when he does jump in and say something he’s got a great idea, ya know what I mean.  He’s great, and a super hard worker, we’ll start at 10 a.m. and we’ll go ’til midnight, so we’re not messing around.  We’ll get alot of work done, and he spends 3 hours a day on his hands and knees dialing knobs on the guitar heads to get these sick tones, and he’s got a bunch of cool little tricks.  I think he really respects us, and likes our songwriting, and likes our band, which is probably why they signed us in the first place, so.  He doesn’t dive in too much, he sits back and lets us do our own thing, but when he does get in there he’s got some really sick ideas.

AWAY-TEAM:  You guys have been touring your asses off, as a matter of fact, you just mentioned Chicago, you just played there last night…

CALE GONTIER:  Yeah, it was great! We opened for Shinedown at the House of Blues, and it was off the hook.  It was a good show.

AWAY-TEAM:  When can we expect to see you back in the studio recording the next studio album?

CALE GONTIER:  That’s a good question man.  We are ready to go, whenever the time is right.  We’re writing on the road, and we’re always writing when we’re at home, so we feel like we’re ready to go whenever the time is right.  But at the same time, we didn’t wanna rush into anything.  We’re super excited about Vices and Virtues, and we’re really proud of that record.  We have been touring it hard, we’re on our third single now, but “Sorry” is doing really well at the moment.  It’s in the Top 20, and still picking up steam, so we’ll see how far we can take that.  Then I’m pretty sure we’ll get to another single after that, so I think there’s alot of different factors involved.  We’ve got a bunch of different tours lined up, we finish this little run at Rocklahoma on the 27th, and then we go home for a few weeks, then we’re coming back out at the end of June.  We’re gonna be going pretty hard again, as of then, so.  Ya know, we wanna be on the road supporting Vices and Virtues as long as we can.  So we’ll see what happens.  My best guess is that we’ll tour Vices and Virtues until December-ish, and then we’ll take a look at it then.  Maybe even get out early next year on Vices and Virtues, and then think about the studio, or maybe once we take a break at the end of this year, maybe that will be the time.  I think we’ll just have to see what’s going on with the singles, and what kind of tours we’ve got lined up, and all that.  We are ready to go, and I’m pretty sure the second album is gonna be a step up from the last one.

AWAY-TEAM:  Speaking of touring, and the next single, alot of bands have that, for lack of a better word, that “B-Side” that they’ll break out.  A song that might not have been released as a single, but the crowd goes nuts for it.  What’s your “B-Side”?  And does crowd response ever factor into the selection of a new single?

CALE GONTIER:  Yeah, absolutely man.  I guess for us, right now, a song that is on Vices and Virtues and hasn’t been released as a single, but people really seem to be stoked about, and always ask for is “Best I Can”.  Which is kinda one of the mellower tracks on the record, but it’s a really special song for us.  To be honest, it’s one of my favorites on the record, and alot of people seem to be into that song.  It’s tough when we’re out on all these opening festivals, you only usually get like 30-35 minute sets, 40 if we’re lucky, so we gotta be really selective.  Often we’ll only get to play six songs, so we can’t sneak in a song like that.  People are hitting us up on Facebook the next day, saying “Great set, but I really wanted to hear ‘Best I Can'”  It is, I guess a bit of a ballad, for lack of a better word.  But people really seem to dig that song.  I don’t know if it’s because they can relate to it, it seems to be a special song for alot of people.  We’ve actually had some really cool moments with it live.  Like, we were playing on the Uproar Festival last summer, and one of our more special moments was when there was a huge mosh pit in the middle from the song before, and we kicked into “Best I Can”, and at the back of this mosh pit all of these shirtless dudes fucking picked up this dude in a wheelchair and passed him 80 feet through the crowd, up and over the barricade where the security grabbed him.  That was while we were playing “Best I Can”, that’s the first time I’ve ever seen anything like that, I was blown away!  That was a pretty special moment.

AWAY-TEAM:  Man, I’ve got goosebumps! That’s awesome!

CALE GONTIER:  Yeah exactly! That was crazy.

AWAY-TEAM:  Now, you mentioned this earlier, but you actually have two major label recording artists in your family, which is a bit of a rare feat, especially when it’s not a sibling, or someone in the same band.  Who inspired yourself and Adam to become musicians?  Do you come from a musical family?

CALE GONTIER:  Yup.  Absolutely man.  I think our biggest influence would be my older brother, Josh, he’s 3 1/2 years older than me.  He taught me and Adam, both to play guitar when we were twelve or thirteen.  Josh is a monster guitar player, and he’s a great singer.  Everybody in our family is quite musical, ya know.  Josh plays music for a living, he’s not signed to a major, but he plays five nights a week in clubs around our hometown of Peterborough, which is just outside of Toronto.  My mom sings and plays guitar.  Adam’s mom is like a lounge piano player/jazz player, she plays for a living.  Their brother, my Uncle Tom is a monster musician, as well.  So we definitely come from a  musical family.  But Josh taught us to play and it just kinda snowballed from there.  Once we were old enough, we moved from Peterborough, up to Toronto.  I was crashing on Adam’s couch, and we were hosting open stages and stuff like that, playing acoustic, and singing harmonies for $40 and free drinks, and just having fun with it.  That kinda spawned the Three Days Grace thing, and I touched on that story a little bit before.  Adam and I are super tight, we’re pretty much brothers, our moms are sisters, and our dads are brothers, and we’re two months apart in age.  Ya know, we’ve just grown up together, and he’s my best friend, we talk every day.  It is pretty special, it’s pretty cool to look at now, I just wish we could tour together more. (laughs) To be honest.  We did that Uproar Festival last summer, like I said, and Three Days was direct support for Avenged Sevenfold, we were on the second stage in the afternoon, but it was cool to be on a big two month run like that.  Every morning I’d walk up to the main stage area and have coffees with Adam on his bus, and every afternoon he’d come out on our stage during our set and sing “Raining” with us…

AWAY-TEAM:  God damn!  Three times! (laughs) That’s the third one Cale! (laughs)

CALE GONTIER:  That’s the third time? (laughs) I’m sorry man, I’m stealing your thunder! (laughs)

AWAY-TEAM:  (laughs) No man, like I said, you’re making my job easier! (laughs)

CALE GONTIER:  (laughs) No but, that was super special for me.  To be able to do that every day, and have Adam up with us every night.  Yeah it’s awesome man, really cool.

AWAY-TEAM:  That is cool.  We recently lost MCA of the Beastie Boys who, alot of people look at him as an MC but he was actually under-appreciated as a bass player.  Name the top three bass players that you appreciate for having an impact on the way you play.

CALE GONTIER:  I think probably my biggest influence is Mr. (Robert) DeLeo from Stone Temple Pilots.  I think he’s a monster bass player, and he’s also a great guitar player, and he writes alot of their songs acoustically, which I try to do.  I play alot of guitar, and I’m always writing on the acoustic as well.  But I think his bass lines are the tastiest, they’re not too much, they’re just perfect.  I don’t know what it is, but he seems to have a knack for putting the perfect bass line in there, ya know.  So he’d definitely be my number one.  John Paul Jones, of course, he blows my mind.  If I could ever get to a level like that, I’d be surprised. (laughs)

AWAY-TEAM:  (laughs)

CALE GONTIER:  He’s a monster.  Besides that man, I think just a couple of my friends.  I think Brad Walsh from Three Days, he plays Ernie Ball Manta just like me, he plays it down just like me, nothing too flashy, but tasty little pieces here and there.  Just a good solid player.  One of my other best friends, Tommy Gardner, he plays in a band called Before The Curtain, from my hometown of Peterborough, and actually Adam just signed them to his record label called Sludge Factory Records.  But those two dudes are a couple of my oldest and best friends, and they’re super solid bass players, so I definitely put them on that list.

AWAY-TEAM:  At Coachella this year they brought back another deceased artist, in Tupac, as a hologram.  There’s been rumblings of perhaps bringing back Freddie Mercury to play with Queen; which Roger Taylor, the drummer, said he’d have no part of.  What are your thoughts on that concept?  Is it good or bad for the industry?

CALE GONTIER:  Wow, umm, it’s a pretty crazy idea.  A hologram of somebody that’s passed away? I don’t know.  I don’t know if I really feel it man.  I think that it’s definitely gonna be like actually seeing them perform live, it’ll be a different experience.  I haven’t thought about it too much, but I think my initial reaction is that I’d rather see them just leave it be, and not mess with a great thing, ya know?

AWAY-TEAM:  Right.  My thought is that it might water down the concert experience.  They might come around and say, Art of Dying is playing in San Francisco, but if you wanna see them in Chicago here’s your hologram, ya know.  I don’t know…

CALE GONTIER:  (laughs) Yeah.  It’s a strange idea.  But yeah, my initial reaction, I don’t really like it.  I like the idea of an old school rock show.  When the band comes to your town, get your ticket, if you wanna get up to the front get in line early and work your way to the front.   I think there’s something special about that whole concept.

AWAY-TEAM:  Absolutely!  Okay, last but not least, we touched on this a bit, but being from Peterborough you’re probably just as big a hockey fan as I am, so who’s winning the Cup?

CALE GONTIER:  Ooh, tough one!  It’s been a crazy year in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, that’s for sure.  I think right now, I’m putting my money on L.A.  I’m not specifically a Kings fan or whatever, but I think once they knocked off the CanucksJonathan Quick is a guy that could stand on his head and get them there, it just seems to me they’re playing real well, and with alot of confidence.  I think they’re gonna be tough to beat now.

AWAY-TEAM:  That’s where I’m at.  I’m a Pens fan myself, and was a little disappointed, but I have a good buddy who’s a huge Rangers fan, and he already beat me with his damn Giants in the Super Bowl, so I don’t wanna see that happen twice.

CALE GONTIER:  (laughs)

AWAY-TEAM:  Plus Jonathan Quick went to UMass, and I’m from that area, so.

CALE GONTIER:  Yeah, it was pretty crazy to see L.A. knock off the Canucks in the first round like that.  It was a bit of a disappointment for all the Vancouver fans on the bus here. (laughs)

AWAY-TEAM:  (laughs)  Yeah, that must have been a quiet ride! (laughs)

CALE GONTIER:  (laughs) Win the President’s Trophy, and get knocked out in the first round, that’s kind of a tough pill to swallow.  But maybe since L.A. knocked them out, maybe that’s why I keep pulling for them.  (laughs)  It feels a little better! (laughs)

AWAY-TEAM:  (laughs)  Well at least there wasn’t any riots this year! (laughs)

CALE GONTIER:  (laughs) Yeah exactly, right?  Thank God.  That was pretty silly that whole thing.

AWAY-TEAM:  Yeah it was.  Well, hey man, thank you so much for your time.  Best of luck in everything you do, and I look forward to catching up with you when you get back here to Florida.

CALE GONTIER:  I hope so man.  My pleasure.  Thank you so much for doing this.

AWAY-TEAM:  The pleasure is all mine.  Appreciate it.

CALE GONTIER:  Alright Jay, take care man.

AWAY-TEAM:  You too. Bye.

For more Art of Dying, including tour dates and to purchase merchandise visit the band’s official website here.

Special thanks go out to Cale Gontier for so graciously giving me his time, and to Andrew Steinthal and TJ Tauriello at Warner Bros. Records for making it all happen.

All photos courtesy of Travis Shinn.

Stone Temple Pilots-S/T

Atlantic Records

Rating: 10 out of 10

 

 

Upon the release of “Core” in 1992, I, like most of the rest of the world, instantly was a Stone Temple Pilots fan; needless to say, I was quite disappointed when the quartet broke up in 2003 (or as guitarist Dean DeLeo once put it “took a respite”). I was elated to see them back together and touring in 2009, and hungry for a new album to sink my teeth into. After nine years, and a couple of stints in rehab, the newly reunited STP is back in a big way. The new self-titled offering from the quartet is easily the best since 1996’s “Tiny Music…”, and quite possibly their best effort to date.

The album gets things going with “Between the Lines”, an ode to Scott Weiland’s ex-wife, and it’s just a warm-up for what is about to be unleashed unto your eardrums. This album is full of classic rock influence from some of the greatest of all-time. This stylistic influence rears it’s head early on, in Track #3 “Huckleberry Crumble”, a song that easily could’ve been a long lost “B-side” from Aerosmith’s “Toys in the Attic”. The artistic influence continues to shine in “Dare if you Dare”, which mixes a Beatles type sound with the Mott the Hoople classic “All the Young Dudes”. Perhaps the most commonly recurring influence on the album, however, is David Bowie (who wrote “All the Young Dudes”). We hear this first on the psuedo-British “Cinnamon”, which sounds like it’s being done by an Oasis/Bowie supergroup. But the flashback hits it’s climax with the Bowie inspired “First Kiss on Mars”; when I first heard this track I had to check the liner notes, because I swore David Bowie was making a guest appearance.

Despite all of the classic rock influences, STP still manage to give us a couple of killer classic STP songs, in “Fast as I Can” , “Bagman”, and “Hazy Daze”, which are all undoubtedly inspired by Weiland’s battle with addiction. This album is a must have, and I expect to see you all lining up at your local record store (for your sake) when the album is released this Tuesday (May 25th). They could throw ten more shitty songs on this album, and it would still be worth every penny. Very highly recommended. One of this years best.