Tag: Alice in Chains
U.K. based hard rock band, Starseed, released their debut album, Peace Machine, today February 21, 2012. The band, who includes Russell Spence (Vocals, Guitars), Gerald Gill (Guitar, Vocals), Peter Wicker (Guitar), Murray McChlery (Bass, Vocals) and Andrew Spence (Drums, Vocals), produce some of the most satisfying melodic hard rock. Epic energy, powerful, and riff driven rock with electrifying stage shows, their music grasps many elements of the post-grunge scene drawing influences from early Pearl Jam and Alice In Chains to the power and torment of Soil. More recent comparisons include the tenacity and energy of Stone Sour and intense melody of Alter Bridge.
AOL Music is celebrating the release of the music with an exclusive full album stream HERE
Many members of the band were raised in Africa (South Africa and Zimbabwe) until re-locating to the U.K. where Starseed completed the current lineup and achieved success. Starseed has played major festivals alongside Rage Against The Machine, Rob Zombie, and Linkin Park. Most recently, they performed at the 2011 Download Festival. With these achievements, Starseed are also proud endorsees of PRS Guitars, Blackstar Amps, Tama Drums, Roland, Sabian Cymbals, Rotosound Strings, Protection Racket and TC Electronic. Their reception by fans and media in the US has been extremely positive and welcoming. Here’s what people are saying about Peace Machine:
“After waiting four years longer than our friends across the Atlantic, Starseed’s Peace Machine will finally be released in the U.S. this February. The five-piece starts off with a bang as “Shine” burns like a phoenix with scorching guitars and fiery harmonies that show off Russell Spence’s range. The suspense is built up through the booming kick drum and high-inducing chords at the beginning of ‘See Through Your Lies.’ Leading up to each verse, one can’t help but want to get up and just run as far and as fast as possible.” -The Aquarian
“For fans of Soundgarden & Alice In Chains, Peace Machine has plenty to savour” -Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden
Fans can buy the album featuring the singles “Shine” and “See Through Your Lies” at ITUNES or AMAZON.COM
For more Starseed visit the band’s official website here.
JANUS Returns With ‘Nox Aeris’ Album-Due Out March 27th–Tour With CHEVELLE and MIDDLE CLASS RUT Kicks Off February 24th
January 19, 2012 — JANUS—singer David Scotney, guitarist Mike Tyranski, bassist Alan Quitman and drummer Johnny Salazar—experienced great success with their 2009 debut album, RED RIGHT RETURN, but the band’s new album, NOX AERIS, reveals how far they’ve come.
That musical revelation is the self-produced NOX AERIS, which is due out March 27 on REALID Records (through Warner Music Group’s Independent Label Group). The first single, “Stains,” is already getting spins at WIIL (Chicago), KPNT (St. Louis), WBUZ (Nashville), WJJO (Madison), WWBN (Flint), KHTQ (Spokane), as well as SiriusXM’s “Octane” and “Hard Drive XL.” Early feedback includes Zigz at WBUZ (Nashville), who says, “If ‘Stains’ is a taste of things to come… then 2012 is going to be a great year for Janus. They’ve hit on a new level with ‘Stains’… this track is righteous.”
“Stains” explores what can happen when you don’t follow your heart, the marks left on your spirit when you become someone you’re not. “It embodies what I was trying to say on the record,” says singer David Scotney, “it’s a dark point of view, but represents a cathartic process of self-healing.”
In 2012 touring news, the band’s first round of tour dates will be with Chevelle and Middle Class Rut starting February 24 in Grand Rapids, MI. Additional dates will be announced in the coming weeks.
The record’s title, which is Latin for “night air,” comes from the 14th Century, a period where a third of the European population was killed off by the plague. Then, people believed going outdoors at night would cause them to succumb to the Black Death. While writing NOX AERIS, JANUS found this idea to be an apt metaphor for their own journey, preconceived notions of their own being flipped around as they became a bigger, more established band since the release of RED RIGHT RETURN. NOX AERIS reveals who JANUS is and what they’ve gone through.
RED RIGHT RETURN came out in September 2009 on REALID Records and spawned the Top 10 Active Rock hit, “Eyesore.” They spent months on the road touring with Chevelle, Sick Puppies, Sevendust, Pop Evil, Halestorm, Five Finger Death Punch, and Alice In Chains. JANUS also sold-out numerous headlining shows of their own, appeared on MTV’s “Headbangers Ball” and performed in the biggest rock festivals in the U.S., including Rock On The Range. Absolutepunk.net raved about the album: “There are a few bands, given the opportunity, could take the radio by storm. JANUS is a perfect example of this type of band. If they were given the chance, and played on some larger radio stations alongside all of our alternative ‘favorites’ (sound-alikes), they could earn themselves hordes of fans.” While Away-team.com hailed in a 9 out of 10 album review: “Brilliant on many levels and impeccably engineered and produced to perfection.”
Check out JANUS with Chevelle and Middle Class Rut at any of the following stops:
DATE CITY VENUE
Fri 2/24 Grand Rapids, MI Orbit Room
Sat 2/25 Fort Wayne, IN Piere’s
Sun 2/26 Niagara Falls, NY Rapids Theatre
Tue 2/28 Portland, ME State Theater
Wed 2/29 New York, NY Irving Plaza
Fri 3/2 Providence, RI Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel
Sat 3/3 Atlantic City, NJ House of Blues
Mon 3/5 Baltimore, MD Rams Head Live
Tue 3/6 Norfolk, VA The Norva
Thu 3/8 Knoxville, TN Valarium
Fri 3/9 Nashville, TN Marathon Music
Sat 3/10 Indianapolis, IN Egyptian Room at Old National Centre
Sun 3/11 Springfield, MO Gillioz Theatre
Tue 3/13 Wichita, KS Cotillion Ballroom
Wed 3/14 Omaha, NE Sokol Auditorium
Fri 3/16 Oklahoma City, OK Diamond Ballroom
For more JANUS visit the band’s official website here.
As I sit here trying to preface one of the best interviews I have conducted in a while, I am met with an eerily familiar foe… writer’s block. Perhaps it is because there are no words to describe the remarkable success RAINS has achieved sans the help of a major label. Perhaps it is the fact that the stories behind the “Stories” are impactful beyond words. Or maybe it’s just that I’ve consumed one too many Captain and Cokes. Whatever the reason is, you’re probably asking yourself “What the fuck kind of title is that?”. Well sit back, pour your own damn cocktail, and relax as we delve into the mind of a remarkable talent who, next time we talk, will undoubtedly need no introduction. Join me as we talk with Jeff Rains about everything from panhandling-to-pirating music-to-you guessed it, eating shit. [EDITOR'S NOTE: Neither artist, nor author have ever taken part in eating shit. No shit was harmed during the making of this interview.]
AWAY-TEAM: First I’d like to congratulate you on the success of your album, which by the way is fantastic…
JEFF RAINS: Well thank you!
AWAY-TEAM: …also the current single “Look in My Eyes”. As we speak now, you’re on the current leg of the Share the Welt Tour with Five Finger Death Punch, All That Remains, and Hatebreed. How’s that been going thus far?
JEFF RAINS: It is phenomonal. Ya know, we were a little bit nervous about it because, you’ve heard our album, and all of the other bands on the tour are so much heavier than us. So we got offered the tour, and we had alot of reservations about it. We weren’t sure if we should take it or not, but we did alot of research and basically everybody that we talked to said ‘That’s the tour that you need to be on. That’s THE tour!’ So we ended up taking it, and it was a big risk, but we’ve been accepted and it’s going great. The bands are all phenomonal to us, the crew is great to us, and it’s just awesome.
AWAY-TEAM: Very cool! So when di you first decide that you wanted to write and record music for a living? And what was the driving force behind it?
JEFF RAINS: I was, I think 16 years old, I was brought up on the whole 70′s music scene. My dad was big into Led Zeppelin, CCR, all that stuff, so I grew up listening to that, and then I also grew up listening to alot of Country music. And first Woodstock ’94 happened, and my brother and I were not allowed to watch MTV but we had this little 10 inch TV in our bedroom, and when our parents would go to bed we’d turn it on and turn on MTV and they’d be showing clips from Woodstock, like Green Day and the mud fights and all that stuff. We were like “What in the hell is this?” It was amazing, we’d never seen anything like it. So then I started looking into it a little more, and I stumbled across, well I guess you wouldn’t say stumbled across because it was right in my face the whole time, but the whole Seattle, ya know Alice in Chains-Pearl Jam grunge scene. Right then it was like, it wasn’t even a choice, it was just ‘This is what I’m doing’ ya know. If you listen to the album, I’m just so influenced by that whole Seattle scene, and I still am. I mean, everyday before we go on stage, on the bus we’re listening to either Alice in Chains, or Soundgarden, or Pearl Jam. Then our intro to our show is “When the Levee Breaks” by Led Zeppelin, ya know, so all of those influences are still there and I really like that.
AWAY-TEAM: You mentioned earlier that you’re band is a little bit different sounding than the other bands on the tour. You’ve been compared alot to bands like Default, Nickelback, and I’ve even heard Staind. If you had to describe your sound to someone that has never heard your music before, what would be your answer?
JEFF RAINS: I’ve been asked this question alot, and the best answer I can come up with is I think it’s a modern day, 90′s Seattle grunge scene sound. The record’s called “Stories” and I really got sick of the cookie-cutter BS that was on the radio. Bands singing about drugs, and drinking, and whatever they sing about. I just wanted to do something real, and something honest, and tell some real stories. I think it’s paying off for us, and people are connecting with it. It’s really cool to see.
AWAY-TEAM: Now you mentioned the album is called “Stories”, the story telling aspect of your songwriting has more of a direct approach than the average artist, I know we touched on it a little bit earlier, but who are some of the artists that influenced that aspect?
JEFF RAINS: I think the story telling part comes from listening to Country music. I mean, I listened to alot of Garth Brooks, Brooks & Dunn and stuff like that. I don’t know, as I’ve said I’ve been obsessed with that whole Seattle scene, I don’t know if that had anything to do with the story telling or not, but I would attribute it mostly to listening to Country music. Because Country music, I don’t know what it is now because I don’t really listen to it anymore, but back then it was story telling. All these Country artists would tell these amazing stories during their songs and I thought that was so cool. So, yeah I think that’s where it mostly came from.
AWAY-TEAM: That’s actually one of the things that I love about your album.
JEFF RAINS: Right on. And I think that’s one of the things that people connect with the most, ya know. People are so used to the current music scene and where it’s at, and they’re just expecting these cookie cutter songs where ‘We’re up all night partying..’ Whatever. It is what it is. So I think when people hear us for the first time, they’re more taken aback than anything, like “Wow, this is actually real music for once. Real stories, about real people. This is cool!” I actually read a really cool article the other day, I don’t even know where I found it, I didn’t interview with them or anything, they just wrote it about us, and the subject said “RAINS-The Band That’s Bringing Back True Rock n’ Roll” I was like “Holy crap! That’s awesome!” That’s what I feel like I’m trying to do.
AWAY-TEAM: Being that the songs on the album are a collection of stories, what song on the album had the most profound meaning in your personal life?
JEFF RAINS: I think the song “Hurricane”. “Hurricane” was really cool, because I was in Austin, TX, before I was really pushing the music thing I was working for another company. And I was walking down the street, and some homeless guy came up to me and asked me for $3.96. I didn’t have any cash on me, and I said “I don’t have any cash on me.” and he was like “Yeah, I get that all the time. Whatever.” I said ‘Well, what do you need it for?” and he said “I need to buy a 40, and one cigarette.” I said “OK, thanks for being honest with me” and I sat down with him and I said “Can I hear your story? I don’t wanna impose or anything, but do you mind filling me in a little bit?” and he told me his whole story. As soon as he was doen, I went to the ATM, took out $20, handed it to him, and said “Buy whatever you gotta buy, but make sure you at least get some food too.” The song “Hurricane” is his whole story, and it’s a very sad song, but in that song I felt like I finally hit where I wanted to hit in the songwriting. I felt like that was where I finally told a story the way I wanted to tell a story. It was awesome, I was just in Austin like two days ago, and that’s all I kept thinking about the whole time. I was like “This is the place.” I actually stood right where I talked to the guy, it was really cool.
AWAY-TEAM: Wow. That is awesome! Many of the songs on the album seem to also be almost interconnected as part of a bigger story. Can you kinda briefly take us throught the album and give us sort of an abridged version of that story?
JEFF RAINS: Well, I’ve been married for almost 8 years, and during the writing for the album my wife and I seperated for a bit, and the majority of the songs on the album are about that. I think every song with the exception of “Hurricane” is a song directly from my own life. I mean, I wrote about what I was going through every day. Ya know, it’s great to be able to put yourself out there, and put your life out there, people respond to it. Luckily the response has been great, so. Yeah, if it seems like there is a story within the “Stories” record, that’s what it is. It’s the story of that time period in my life, and everything I was going through.
AWAY-TEAM: And you’re still married now?
JEFF RAINS: Oh yeah.
AWAY-TEAM: So how’s that work when she hears a song like “Hate”? (laughs)
JEFF RAINS: (laughs) That’s been a bit of a sore subject. She’s over it now, but when I first wrote it… yeah, didn’t go over too well. (laughs)
AWAY-TEAM: Well, I’m glad to hear everything worked out for ya.
JEFF RAINS: Yeah, everything worked out great. Like the song “Liar”, I don’t know how people interpret that song, but… that song is completely referring to myself. I just wasn’t doing the right thing in my marriage at the time. So alot of that stuff is completely personal reference. It’s basically me dogging myself the whole record. (laughs)
AWAY-TEAM: (laughs) Hey, that’s what makes it genuine.
JEFF RAINS: It worked, so. (laughs) It is what it is. It was definitely a sore subject for a while though. (both laugh)
AWAY-TEAM: The way this album was written reminds me alot of Sixx A.M.’s “The Heroin Diaries”, in the respect that it could easily be a sountrack to someone’s life. If you could write the soundtrack to the biography of any one musician’s life, who would it be?
JEFF RAINS: Oh man, that’s a tough question. Probably Layne Staley, or Scott Weiland, or Maynard from Tool. Or even Phil Collins, I don’t know, I have alot of artists that have influenced me alot, so that list could go on for days.
AWAY-TEAM: Your day job at one time was actually as a tattoo artist?
JEFF RAINS: Correct.
AWAY-TEAM: What’s the funniest, weirdest, or coolest tat you’ve ever done? Cuz I’ve seen some funny shit out there.
JEFF RAINS: I tattooed a piece of shit on someone once…
AWAY-TEAM: (Laughs hysterically)
JEFF RAINS: ..and here’s the fucked up part. I tattooed a piece of shit on them because they supposedly won a bet. The bet was if he ate shit, he got paid $100. So he ate the shit, got paid $100, and then came and spent the $100 on a tattoo of shit!
AWAY-TEAM: (laughing) What the fuck?
JEFF RAINS: (laughing) I’m not kidding. I’m not kidding you.
AWAY-TEAM: Oh my God!
JEFF RAINS: Yeah. And another weird one, this guy was… I’m not even worried about him reading this, I’m not gonna say his name, but if he ever learned what the internet was, he’d know it was him. But, every Friday the 13th, our tattoo studio was called Studio 13, so every Friday the 13th we would do $13 tattoos. We’d just have these sheets of little 2″x 2″ tattoos, nothing crazy, but one of the tattoos one day was, you know the “Calvin” cartoon pissing?
AWAY-TEAM: Yeah, yeah.
JEFF RAINS: So this guy had his ex-girlfriend’s name tattooed right behind his ear, so then on his neck he had me tattoo the “Calvin” cartoon pissing on his ex-girlfriend’s name.
JEFF RAINS: (laughing) And when I did it I said “Do you really want this on your neck forever?”, and he was that type of guy. He was like ”Hell yeah dude! This is gonna be fucking awesome!” I was like “Ok, whatever.” (laughs) But yeah, that’s why I stopped tattooing. I hated it. I hated that part of it, because people are, I don’t know how to put this diplomatically. Some people don’t follow your recommendations as a tattoo artist, and they’ll get the dumbest shit in the history of the world tattooed on them. And I just got so jaded, I was like “I didn’t sign up for this.” I signed up to make art, not a Calvin cartoon pissing on a girlfriend’s name, ya know?
AWAY-TEAM: (laughs) Your success, has been found thus far through the independent release of your album. There’s been a recent trend of bands trying to get out of their major label deals and back to basics. Does that sometimes deter you from seeking the support of a major label? Or do you kinda take the approach that it works for some and not for others?
JEFF RAINS: From day one, I have said that I wanna be independent. It’s gonna take a hell of alot for me to sign with a major label, or with any label. We’re on our own label, we handle everything ourselves, we have our own PR team, we have our own radio team, we have our own distribution, so. With the record industry the way it is right now, the only way you’re gonna make, and I don’t give a shit what any other band says “Yeah we wanna do it for the music” What the fuck ever, you wanna get paid! You start out wanting to do it for the music, but then when you’re $400,000 in debt, it’s like “OK, I kinda need to get paid at some point.” The only way to get paid these days, is to be independent, and be your own record label. So, I guess to answer your question, at no point in the immediate future or the far future will I be seeking out label support. And I’m very proud of that, and all of the bands we’re on tour with are on major labels and they’re just astounded that we’re doing this on our own.
AWAY-TEAM: That blows my mind too. The success that you guys have had being an independent band, it’s really kinda refreshing to see.
JEFF RAINS: Well I thank you for that. I’ll take that as a compliment. It’s refreshing to be in this position, to be honest with you, because we aren’t getting screwed out of evey penny we make. We make every penny we make, it goes straight to the band. So we’re able to be on a tour bus, we’re able to be on these big tours, we’re able to finance the things we’re able to finance because, believe it or not it takes a hell of alot of money to be in the music business. It’s not like, your playing some crappy bar and some A&R guy is gonna find you and sign you that night on a paper napkin. That’s not how it works. this business is so much about numbers now, and I’m just so happy to be where we are. Being independent and not having to depend on anyone else, and not have to pay everything we make to everybody else, ya know. It’s a really good feeling.
AWAY-TEAM: Speaking of the record industry, there’s been recent rumor of the demise of the CD. Do you think that’s a good thing for the industry? What are your thoughts on that?
JEFF RAINS: I’ll give you an example, last night we played a show, I think there was 5,000 people there. One guy came up to me and he said ”I’ve been listening to you guys for two years straight. I’ve been obsessed with you guys. I’m gonna be honest, I downloaded your CD off the internet.” But he had 5 copies of the CD in his hand that he had just bought from the merch table. My approach is, if people want free music, let ‘em have it. The whole goal is to spread the word right? So it they’re still coming out to concerts, and still paying for those concert tickets, and still buying our merch, what the hell do I care? It served it’s purpose, I mean the guy was standing there with 5 CD’s. So he downloaded one for free, great, he paid it back to us ten times over at that show last night. And that’s normally how it goes. Alot of bands aren’t like this, but I encourage people. If you can find my CD for free, download it. Don’t even call it stealing, call it my gift to you. I just want people to hear it, and hopefully they like it. It will pay off at the end of the day, whether the record labels say it will or not, I know personally that it will.
AWAY-TEAM: Well hey Jeff, thank you so much for your time. It’s been a great pleasure.
JEFF RAINS: Right on. Thank you man!
AWAY-TEAM: Best of luck in everything you do, and hopefully I’ll catch up with you next time you guys make your way through Florida.
JEFF RAINS: Definitely.
AWAY-TEAM: Alright man, we’ll talk soon.
JEFF RAINS: Alright, thanks alot man! Bye.
For more RAINS including, music, merch, and tour dates visit the bands official website here.
Special thanks to Jeff Rains for so graciously giving me his time, and also to Doug Weber at New Ocean Media for making it all happen.
After 2 years of extensive international touring, guitar virtuoso, singer/ songwriter Richie Kotzen is back to unleash his new album 24 HOURS, releasing November 11 on Headroom-Inc.
24 HOURS reflects the guitar style’s that has defined his career as a virtuoso, while taking it to another level of playing. “I feel like I have reached a new level of soloing on the opening track 24 HOURS,” explains Kotzen. “I stopped using a guitar pick on electric a few years ago and my playing has evolved in a different way. Some of the solo lines I play on the song 24 HOURS, and others as well, are lines I would have never been able to play with a guitar pick. So I would say the solo’s on this CD are at a different level than previous recordings.”
24 HOURS is an absorbing collective blend of Kotzen’s musical influences and diversity. 24 hours takes you on an inspired, musical journey as the opening track sets the tone that falls stylistically somewhere between early Van Halen and Sly and the Family Stone. Kotzen also brought in his talented daughter, August Kotzen and friend Jerry Cantrell of Alice in Chains, to complete the album. “My daughter, August is singing with me on a few songs and is playing electric piano on the song STOP ME,” states Kotzen. “My friend Jerry Cantrell is singing backgrounds on LOVE IS BLIND and does a very cool lead vocal ad-lib in the final chorus of the tune.”
24 HOURS is an album that has been in the works since Kotzen started playing guitar. The guitar virtuoso burst onto the heavy metal scene as a teenager with a lightning-fast guitar techniques. With his talents Kotzen has played with some of the best musicians; securing such major collaboration with the band Mr. Big and renowned jazz great Stanley Clarke as well as his own solo projects. “I have been lucky in the sense that I have been able to play with guys who I could learn from,” explains Kotzen. “The biggest musical lesson for me was playing in a band with Stanley Clarke and Lenny White. Obviously these guys are jazz musicians and I am not, but I learned so much from the time we recorded and toured together. My favorite rock bassist is Billy Sheehan and we were in Mr. Big together for 3 years which was awesome.”
24 HOURS was recorded and produced in Kotzen’s studio Headroom-Inc. 24 HOURS will be released on 11.11.11. Expect the first single, title track 24 HOURS to hit airwaves sometime soon.
For more RICHIE KOTZEN click here.
According to TMZ.com:
Mike Starr appeared on the third season of “Celebrity Rehab” back in 2009 — and was arrested last month for felony possession of a controlled substance. Salt Lake City cops say he had 6 Xanax pills and 6 Opana (painkiller) pills when he was busted.
Starr was 44 years old.
Mike‘s dad tells TMZ, “It’s a terrible shock and tragedy.”
UPDATE: Police tell us Starr‘s body was found in a Salt Lake City home today. Cops say they were called to the house at 1:42PM.
In the mid 1980s Jerry Cantrell began a band called Diamond Lie which included drummer Sean Kinney and Mike Starr on bass. Cantrell‘s roommate, singer Layne Staley, also agreed to join while having Cantrell join his funk project which ended shortly thereafter. Diamond Lie gained attention in the Seattle area and eventually took the name of Alice in Chains.
Have you ever been entranced by a band at first listen? Knowing that, even though you can’t pinpoint it, there’s something special about that band? Revelation Theory, as they were known then, first took our ears by storm back in 2005 with the hit single “Slowburn”. I remember being taken back by the soaring vocals of Rich Luzzi, backed by the harmonies of Matty McCloskey, and the heavy riffs of Julien Jorgensen, and having just that feeling. Turns out I have good instincts. Since then, they’ve added more fuel to that “Slowburn” with the addition of killer axe man Rikki Lixx, an abbreviated name, and a sophomore album that produced four hit singles. Six years later, as Rev Theory prepares to release their third major label effort entitled “Justice”, I had a chance to chat with guitarist Julien Jorgensen about everything from producers to presidents. Keep reading, but be careful… my theory is that this “Slowburn” is about to become an inferno!
AWAY-TEAM: First off I wanna congratulate you on the upcoming tour, and the release of your new album “Justice”, which hits stores Feb. 15th. It’s an amazing piece of work.
JULIEN JORGENSEN: Thanks bro!
AWAY-TEAM: Your last album “Light It Up” was a tremendous success. This time around you’ve enlisted the services of super-producer Terry Date. Aside from his stellar resume, what made you pick a guy like Terry?
JULIEN JORGENSEN: Umm, I think it was just obviously, like you said, we’re such big fans of all the records he’s done, and the bands he’s worked with. And ya know, I talked to my A & R guy in Kansas City, we were playing Rockfest in 2008 I think it was, we were in the middle of the cycle for “Light It Up”, and… I’m sorry 2009, and he had said to me “Man, to capture the sound and energy of you guys live…”, which is what we wanted to do, “I think Terry Date would be perfect”. I looked at him and was like “Absolutely”. So he reached out to Terry, and Terry was interested, and we felt like it was just the right fit. Definitely the right guy for the music, and the record we were making.
AWAY-TEAM: Was there a certain quality that you feel like Terry was able to bring out in you this time around? I mean, what was the recording process like?
JULIEN JORGENSEN: Terry is great at capturing the true essence of the band. And ya know, he’s really great at capturing the character of a band. I think that’s why his records stand the test of time. Recording with him was awesome, he pushed us to… basically we recorded the bass and the drums live off the floor. The record was really raw, and it was a really good experience. We didn’t take any shortcuts, we really dug into the parts, and he was just a wealth of knowledge. So the whole process was awesome, from stories from what he had done before, to all the little tricks he had up his sleeve, the whole thing was just a treat man. It was a good time.
AWAY-TEAM: On first listen, the title track “Justice” gives you the impression that the song was written for a certain someone in Washington, D.C. The video for the song even further supports that belief. Is that a correct assumption to make?
JULIEN JORGENSEN: Well, I think ya know, we had written the song a while back with some good friends of ours… our intention was kind of a bit political, we were a little bit upset about what was going on in the country at the time. We’re really not a politically driven band, so we weren’t really going to use the song, and it sort of brought itself back into the fold when we were writing this record. We just felt it was indicative of a lot of things we were going through. Ya know, socially, stuff that we were pissed off about in our own industry. Just a little frustration going on in the music industry in general. So we felt like it was the perfect song, it says a lot about our fight, what we’ve been through the last eight years as a band. It also encompasses the full body of the record as a whole, so we felt like it was the right song to use as the title track.
AWAY-TEAM: The song “Hollow Man” features your bassist, Matt McCloskey singing leads. How did that come to be?
JULIEN JORGENSEN: It was just… Matt had actually written that song when we were on tour, probably a year and a half ago. It was just one of those that came out in the back of the bus, and literally made it all the way through. And I think it made it because it was just a real honest song, and Matty had sung it originally and just kinda did it on the record as well. It was from him, and from his soul it sounded great with him singing.
AWAY-TEAM: So was this just a one shot deal? Or is this maybe the start of an Alice in Chains type thing where, as Jerry Cantrell would put it, you have two lead singers?
JULIEN JORGENSEN: Well, I mean we’ve sort of felt that way for a long time, we just never had the right opportunity to showcase it. I think that this record we do alot of sort of, I mean obviously we’ve done alot of harmonies in the past, there’s alot of counter-melodies and counter-vocals in there. We just try to feature Matty as much as possible, and we feel like this song is definitely the stepping stone…
AWAY-TEAM: With the last album, the WWE took notice. They actually made “Light It Up” the theme song for Wrestlemania 24. Then you went on even further to work with them, giving them “Hell Yeah” and “Voices”, and you were even part of a WWE skit?
JULIEN JORGENSEN: Yeah, we did a couple of skits with them backstage. It was actually pretty funny, we’re big fans of Festus and Biscuits and Gravy…Jesse & Festus, they’re funny, they’re characters. So we actually got to do some skits with them backstage. It was fun.
AWAY-TEAM: Cool! Now “Enemy Within” seems like a song that’s tailor made for the WWE. What inspired that song? And are there any plans for the WWE to use any of the songs off of “Justice”?
JULIEN JORGENSEN: That song was written as a full collaboration with the whole band. I’m really proud of that song. It’s just a sort of “Take the world over” song, and “take a look at yourself in the mirror”, and all that type of thing. We felt like it was a bad-ass tune, I mean if you think it could be for the WWE that’s cool. We wrote it kind of for ourselves, and it’s fun to play live so we’re excited to put that one in the set for sure.
AWAY-TEAM: As we speak, you guys are on the road making the 20 hour drive up to Denver. You guys have toured relentlessly, and with a new album to kick off 2011, there appears to be no end in sight. When you’re out on the road like that, how do you escape and find solace, just to keep from going insane?
JULIEN JORGENSEN: Well this one’s a little.. we’re on a radio tour right now, we’re in a van and it’s really close quarters. We’re actually having a bit of fun with it, because we haven’t done something like this in a while. We’d been fortunate to have a bus during the last touring cycle; we’re all taking turns driving, and so we haven’t had much time away from each other in the last two weeks. When we are on the road in the bus each of us have things we do during the day to kind of… we have our own tour regiments, ya know, some of us like to go to the gym and at least get a shower, and other guys just chill in the back, play video games, and watch movies. Ya know, write songs, nap… some guys nap a lot, ya know what I mean? (laughs)
JULIEN JORGENSEN: Everyone’s got their own thing, and when it comes to like an hour and a half before gametime, before the show, we all start getting in the same mode. We have a pre-game warmup that we all rock out to, and we put a playlist together, and the cameraderie kicks in, and we take the stage together. So when it’s like an hour out, we’re ready to go.
AWAY-TEAM: What do you do to get amped up for a show like that? Is there a certain song or album you listen to?
JULIEN JORGNSEN: Yeah. We have a ton of go-to’s. I mean, on the last record, the last cycle we had “Whiskey in the Morning” by Buckcherry, some newer stuff from Filter, we had some Avenged Sevenfold, some Pantera on there. Followed by some Jäger and some Monster Energy Drinks. We have the Matty Mayhem special cocktail, which consists of Monster Energy Drink, and the Monster shots (The Hitmen), and Jäger. So we usually pound a few of those before we go out there.
AWAY-TEAM: (laughs) Sounds like you’d have to pound them! Holy Shit!
JULIEN JORGENSEN: (laughing) It’s a good time brother, it’s a good time. Well back in the day we used to drink Jäger and Monster out of a bowl. Cuz we didn’t have cups, ya know we drank them out of those cereal bowls.
AWAY-TEAM: (laughing) Lap it up!
JULIEN JORGENSEN: (laughs) We’ve graduated to shot cups that Jäger gave us.
AWAY-TEAM: (laughs) Despite the tremendous success of “Light It Up”, ya know, aside from the wrestling fans and the true rock fans, to the casual fan Rev Theory is still a bit of an unknown for some reason which is a sin. Is that a role you’re comfortable with? Or crave? Ya know, cuz some bands don’t want the spotlight if it means sacrificing who they are. Or is that something you’d like to change?
JULIEN JORGENSEN: I mean, we wanna get our music out there to as many people as we can. Ya know I think that the last record was a great stepping stone for us. I think it got our music out to alot of people, and I think that we’ll be able to kinda build on the success of that, and I think this record is that record to do it. I think it’s a defining record for our band, and we’re really proud of the whole record. We’re really excited to present this, I think that if we can get it to the people’s ears, they really gonna dig it. It’s not that we love the spotlight, but we’d definitely love to grow the band, and grow the listenership because we feel like we have a really great record.
AWAY-TEAM: I agree. I think after this one you’ll be drinking outta pint glasses. (laughs)
JULIEN JORGENSEN: (laughs) That is awesome. I hope so brother, I hope so.
AWAY-TEAM: Well hey man, thanks for your time. It’s been a great pleasure. Best of luck with the new album and the tour, I know you’re gonna do great. Look forward to seeing you when you make your way through Florida, and we’ll do this again.
JULIEN JORGENSEN: Yeah man. Stay in touch. Come out to a show.
AWAY-TEAM: For sure. Thanks again Julien, talk to you soon.
JULIEN JORGENSEN: Be good. Thanks Jason. Bye.
Rev Theory’s latest album “Justice” hits stores February 15th, and the Monster Energy Outbreak Tour featuring Rev Theory, Pop Evil, Hail the Villain, and The Black Cloud Collective kicks off February 16th in Phoenix. For more info on Rev Theory including tour dates, and to find out where to purchase music and merchandise visit http://www.revtheory.com/
THE AUTUMN OFFERING vocalist Matt McChesney has issued the following update:
“Due to (guitarist) Tommy (Church) leaving the band, as well as a million other things, we have decided to take a long break. Possibly just end it, depending on what happens.
We haven’t been dropped by our label or anything, we are just burnt out. There is no reason to go on and on with bullshit, we are all friends. All you guys know we love you.
Personally, I wish everyone well, in whatever they choose to do. As for myself, I have a new band with Jesse Nunn. We will enter the studio next month with producer Logan Mader to start our new record. It’s not going to be a metal band, as I am personally done with metal for awhile. I’m disgusted with the state of it, and I dont want to be a part of it.
I’ve always been a well rounded musician, and the early 90′s movement of bands such as SOUNDGARDEN and ALICE IN CHAINS have always held a special place in my heart. I’ve always wanted to front a rock band, and I’m exited to start.
There’s been quite a bit invested into this project by some powerful people, so the pressure is on. We plan to deliver.
I’m sure whatever (drummer) Brian (Sculley) and Tom decided to do, it will be rad. They are great musicians. Matt Johnson has become quite the engineer, I’m sure he will leave his mark.
Take care everyone, it’s been a blast.”
For more (or less) of THE AUTUMN OFFERING click here.
From ALICE IN CHAINS‘ Facebook Page:
“The Seattle BLACKDIAMONDSKYE date on this Friday, October 8, will play host to a very special Alice in Chains 3D concert filming.
If you would like to be immortalized as a part of BDS and Alice in Chains history for this groundbreaking event, hurry and buy one of the remaining tickets for this show at the attached link!”
ALICE IN CHAINS is currently on tour with MASTODON and DEFTONES on the BlackDiamondSkye tour:
4 – Denver, CO – Red Rocks
7 – Vancouver, BC – GM Place
8 – Seattle, WA – Key Arena
9 – Portland, OR – Memorial Coliseum
11 – San Jose, CA – SJSU Events Center
12 – Los Angeles, CA – Gibson Amphitheatre
15 – San Diego, CA – Viejas Arena
16 – Las Vegas, NV – The Joint
For more ALICE IN CHAINS click here.
ALICE IN CHAINS have debuted the video for new hit single ‘Lesson Learned‘ on Yahoo! Music. Conceived and directed by Paul Matthaeus, known for his groundbreaking main titles on the award-winning HBO series Six Feet Under and True Blood, and produced with Bobby Hougham and Sevrin Daniels of Blank Design, the video is comprised of over 6,000 still pictures stitched together to create a visually stunning stop-frame animated clip.
Using physical lacerations as a metaphor for lessons learned, the video sees a young man and woman plummet through a derelict industrial building. Tattered clothes dissolve off, revealing wounds that symbolize emotional learning. The video was shot entirely as a stop–frame animation, but with live actors on set.
ALICE IN CHAINS is currently headlining the Blackdiamondskye North American tour with the DEFTONES and MASTODON.
The Blackdiamondskye dates:
22 – Boston, MA – Agannis Arena
24 – New York, NY – Madison Square Garden
25 – Camden, NJ – Susquehanna Theatre
26 – Fairfax, VA – Patriot Center
28 – Atlanta, GA – Lakewood Amphitheatre
1 – St. Louis, MO – Scottrade Arena
2 – Kansas City, MO – Sandstone Amphitheatre
4 – Denver, CO – Red Rocks
7 – Vancouver, BC – GM Place
8 – Seattle, WA – Key Arena
9 – Portland, OR – Memorial Coliseum
11 – San Jose, CA – SJSU Events Center
12 – Los Angeles, CA – Gibson Amphitheatre
15 – San Diego, CA – Viejas Arena
16 – Las Vegas, NV – The Joint
For more ALICE IN CHAINS click here.
Oklahoma City’s AURORA SKY have finished recording tracks for a new EP at the famed The Mix Room Studios in Burbank, CA with Grammy-Award nominated producer Ben Grosse (SEVENDUST, FUEL, ALTER BRIDGE).
Along with core band members Andrew West (vocals, guitar; ex-FEAR THE CLOWN), Chris Shy (guitar; ex-Fear The Clown), and Arjavh Aleson (keyboards/programming), the session featured guest appearances from bassist Corey Lowery (DARK NEW DAY, STEREOMUD), drummer Glen Sobel (SIXX A.M., IMPELLITTERI, BEAUTIFUL CREATURES), and programming wiz Justin Walden (KORN, GODSMACK, SEVENDUST).
Final mastering duties are being handled by the Ted Jensen (ALICE IN CHAINS, SHINEDOWN, PAPA ROACH).
The band’s new single, ‘Just Like You‘, is scheduled for commercial Active Rock radio adds on August 24th.
For more AURORA SKY click here.
“AC/DC have reigned over rock’n'roll for almost four decades. Their signature power chord rock was the sonic standard bearer of the genre they pioneered, summarised in Rolling Stone‘s declaration that they are ‘one of the top hard rock bands in history’. The group has transcended their Australian roots to become a global phenomenon. Their albums consistently go platinum and they have earned their reputation as one of the best bands on the planet. The band’s live arsenal includes ‘It’s a Long Way to the Top (If you Want to Rock’n'Roll)’, ‘Highway to Hell’ and ‘You Shook Me All Night Long’ (which Billboard called ‘the greatest one-night-stand anthem in rock history’) and their influence is felt today as strongly as ever. Their most recent release Black Ice sold more than 1.5 million copies in its first week in 2008, making history by debuting at No 1 on album charts in 29 countries simultaneously. The record would go on to sell seven milion copies worldwide, spending serveral weeks in the top of the Billboard Top 200. As late as 2009 they were still getting the honours – winning the Best Hard Rock Performance Grammy over the likes of Alice in Chains, Linkin Park, Nickelback and Metallica. Featuring exclusive interviews with producers, engineers, as well as extensive, sourced commentary from band members on the making of such classics as ‘Highway to Hell’ and ‘Back in Black’, AC/DC: In the Studio is the definitive account of the making of the greatest hard rock anthems of all time.”
Making its first U.S. concert appearance in four years — and playing its only U.S. show in 2010 — GUNS N’ ROSES has been officially recruited with DAUGHTRY to join the inaugural Rock ‘N Rev Festival and cement its assault on the legendary Sturgis Rally‘s 70th-anniversary celebration in Sturgis, South Dakota, at the newly constructed Rock N’ Rev Amphitheater at Monkey Rock USA.
GUNS N’ ROSES will headline the fifth and final night of the festival, as it moves to the Brand New Rock ‘N Rev Amphitheater at Monkey Rock USA in Sturgis, adjacent to its original location. L.A.’s notorious rock ‘n’ roll bad boys have combined forces with HDlogix and DC3 Global for this rare and very special appearance on home soil to bring the “full-out rock ‘n’ roll spectacle” (Spin) of their 2010 “Chinese Democracy World Tour” to Sturgis and finish off the hijacking of the world’s biggest, baddest biker event, Monday, August 9 through Friday, August 13, 2010.
GUNS N’ ROSES‘ final night performance, immediately following previously announced August 13 headliner ALICE IN CHAINS, is the ultimate climax to five full nights of undeniable rock ‘n’ roll bedlam, and now gives the Rock ‘N Rev Festival six of the most explosive, multi-platinum American Active Rock Bands of 2010. DAUGHTRY, supporting its second consecutive #1 album, will join 3 DOORS DOWN, HINDER and others on Aug. 12, the fourth night of the Rock N’ Rev Festival.
“We are truly blessed to be able to announce the addition of GUNS N’ ROSES at this historic moment in the band’s history, along with DAUGHTRY, just as we relocate the Rock ‘N Rev Festival to our own amphitheater at Monkey Rock USA,” said DC3‘s co-founder, Daniel E. Catullo III. “Monkey Rock’s vision to create a nationally recognized brand among the world’s top motorcycle rallies is a perfect fit for us, and we couldn’t be more excited to welcome them as our partners.”
Tickets for the Rock ‘N Rev Festival are $45 per day, general admission ($150 for a five-day pass), and on sale now through Ticketmaster.com and rocknrevfestival.com and at all Ticketmaster locations, or by calling Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000. Tickets also will be available in person beginning August 5, 2010 on location at the festival’s on-site box office.
For more information on exclusive VIP packages ($150 for a single day, $300 for all five days or $1,000 five-day platinum packages), including backstage access to a VIP area to special, air-conditioned tents with private bars, motorcycle parking, luxury bathroom facilities and more, go to rocknrevfestival.com.
Rock ‘N Rev Festival lineup:
Monday, August 9
THREE DAYS GRACE
Hosted By Jim Rose and Performances by Jim Rose and The Jim Rose Circus
Tuesday, August 10
Wednesday, August 11
STONE TEMPLE PILOTS
EAGLES OF DEATH METAL
CAGE THE ELEPHANT
Hosted By Jim Rose and Performances by Jim Rose and The Jim Rose Circus
Thursday, August 12
3 DOORS DOWN
Hosted By Jim Rose and Performances by Jim Rose and The Jim Rose Circus
Friday, August 13
GUNS N’ ROSES
ALICE IN CHAINS
CHARM CITY DEVILS
Hosted By Jim Rose and Performances by Jim Rose and The Jim Rose Circus
For more info go here.
An as of yet untitled project featuring Matt Bachand and Jon Donais on guitars (Shadows Fall), Derek Kerswill on drums (Unearth/Seemless), and Jeff Fultz on bass (Seemless), has begun to take shape. The band has recorded a five song demo thus far, and are actively seeking a vocalist.
“We are looking for one crazy bastard with the energy, the drive, and the determination to take this thing to the next level,” says Matt Bachand. Jon Donais adds, “The vocalist we seek should be influenced by a variety of melodically based bands anywhere from Alice In Chains, Shinedown, and Aerosmith, to Skid Row and Pantera.” You must be serious about the position, and must be able to tour extensively. Demo submissions are currently being accepted. Submissions should include a bio and list of past experience, photo, audio and/or video performance, and any other information you would like the band to know.
Interested singers should send demo submissions and contact info to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Emerald City Musician’s Network and Darrow Music Productions present this year’s Layne Staley Tribute And Benefit Concert — to benefit the Layne Staley Memorial Fund and honoring musician Layne Staley‘s life and music — on Saturday, August 21, 2010, 7:30 p.m. at Showbox at the Market located at 1426 1st Ave., Seattle, Washington.
This year’s benefit concert will feature the reunion of ’90s grunge band MY SISTER’S MACHINE. The Seattle rockers first appeared in the early ’90s, riding the wave of grunge into the mainstream. Vocalist Nick Pollock played guitar in ALICE IN CHAINS in the ’80s with Staley and remained a close friend. MY SISTER’S MACHINE will perform with its original lineup: Nick Pollock – vocals/guitar, Owen Wright – guitar, Chris Ivanovich - bass, and Chris Gohde – drums.
Nick says of Layne, “He and I grew up together musically, and as best friends as teenagers. I had some of the best times of my life with Layne and miss him very much. It’s a privilege to honor his memory and life with MY SISTER’S MACHINE having the opportunity to do this show!”
Shawn Smith is a Seattle-based songwriter, vocalist/solo artist and musician in several bands (BRAD, SATCHEL, PIGEONHED, ALL HAIL THE CROWN). Smith recently showed his versatility during an evening with “Brad & Best Friends” at the Showbox Market in Seattle. That lineup featured the bands BRAD, SATCHEL, the reunion of PIGEONHED, Stone Gossard‘s HANK KHOIR and the surviving members of MALFUNKSHUN and MOTHER LOVE BONE.
“Part of the excitement of Shawn Smith, is you never know which of his incarnations will perform or who will be gracing the stage with him,” states tribute producer Jamie Richards. Upon being invited to perform, Smith stated ‘”Whatever I do, it will be of the highest order.”
Another featured local band this year is VILLAINS OF YESTERDAY, a group of musicians from Seattle’s Industrial District. Band members include Terry Houser - vocals, Carl Klein – guitars, Shawn Zellar – drums, and Sean Gephardt – bass.
“Music is the one constant in our lives, so we are thrilled to be part of this great music community event,” the group says in a statement. “Everyone in the band has a lot of great musical and personal memories of Layne, and his music still inspires us. We want to help keep the Northwest music scene vibrant.”
Also taking the stage this year is GUNN & THE DAMAGE DONE. Band members include: Tommy (the Gunn) McMullin – lead vocals, Cody Black – drums/percussion, Joe (Dredd) Lockett – bass/backing vocals, Mike Schuppe – lead guitar, Charlie (Chachi) Beck – guitar/backing vocals.
“I would like to say how happy the band and I are to be a part of this show. Being asked to perform is a way to honor an old friend that I still miss,” says McMullin.
The event will also feature many special touches that uniquely honor Layne and his fans, including participation on stage by Layne’s mother, Nancy McCallum.
“The way the music community and fans from all over the world come together to honor Layne is what sets this event apart. It’s a very emotional experience that binds those in attendance together in a very tangible way,” explains tribute producer Suzanne Darrow.
Proceeds will benefit the Layne Staley Memorial Fund, which is held at Therapeutic Health Services (THS). THS is a nationally recognized non-profit organization offering a wide range of holistic treatment options and services for families affected by alcohol/substance abuse and mental illness.
Advance tickets are $18.00 plus applicable service charges at all Ticketmaster outlets, online at www.ticketmaster.com, or charge by phone (800) 745-3000. Tickets are also available at the Showbox Market box office during business hours, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The box office is cash only, and there is a $2.00 service charge per ticket. Tickets will be sold at the door day-of-show, if still available, for $20.00.
For more information check out the Showbox website here.
The inaugural Rock ‘N Rev Festival scheduled for Aug. 9-13 as part of the Sturgis Rally just got a little louder with the addition of Alice In Chains to the sonic onslaught.
Sure, Rock ‘N Rev already features plenty of bands guaranteed to rock the heavens over the little South Dakota town known for the world’s largest motorcycle event, now celebrating its 75th year. Stone Temple Pilots, Creed, Godsmack, 3 Doors Down, Hinder, Three Days Grace, Theory Of A Deadman and Wolfmother are just some of the bands signed on for five spine-tingling nights at the Glencoe Camp Resort. It all adds up to 30 bands playing for one of the most hard-rocking audiences ever assembled. Talk about a tough crowd to please.
But then, the folks behind Rock ‘N Rev know their audience. Presented by DC3 Global and hosted by Jim Rose and The Jim Rose Circus, Rock ‘N Rev promises spectacular fireworks displays every night, making the festival the loudest and baddest event of the summer. Promising to appeal to the “leather and chrome sensibilities” in everyone, Rock ‘N Rev also features plenty of great food, gear and clothing as well as the world’s top tattoo artists. This is one festival you’ll remember well into next year when it’s time to Rock ‘N Rev once more.
Here is the current line up:
Monday, Aug. 9: Godsmack, Three Days Grace, Hellyeah, Pop Evil, Darling Stilletos
Tuesday, Aug. 10: Creed, Skillet, Theft
Wednesday, Aug. 11: Stone Temple Pilots, Wolfmother, Eagles Of Death Metal, Cage The Elephant, Swayback
Thursday, Aug. 11: 3 Doors Down, Hinder, Sweet Cyanide
Friday, Aug. 12: Alice In Chains, Charm City Devils, Rev Theory
Fore more information visit the official website here.