The heavy metal time machine will turn back to the 1980s and ʻ90s when Queensryche, Cinderella, Ratt, Kix, Warrant and Night Ranger are among the 19 bands to take over Merriweather Post Pavilion, playing full sets of their glam rock and heavy metal hits.
For the first time, M3 fans wonʼt have to choose between bands with overlapping set times, since each band will play one at a time. Also, the festival will take place on two separate stages, each simulcasting the other, giving fans the option to stay in one seat and watch
all the bands as they appear on both stages, or fans can move from stage to stage without missing a note.
In its fourth year, I.M.P. Presents M3 Rock Festival starts with The Official M3 Kix-Off Party Friday May 11th at 7pm. Acts playing Friday night include Night Ranger, Kix, Enuff ZʼNuff, In the Pink and Let There Be Rock. The fullblown 2012 M3 Rock Festival begins Saturday, May 12th at 11am and will include Queensryche, Cinderella, Ratt, Skid Row, Warrant, Quiet Riot, Dokken, Stryper, Loudness, Lynch Mob, XYZ, Bang Tango, Drumwars, and Street Light Circus.
Each year VIP and Pavilion seats sell out in minutes. VIP and discounted 2-Day Packages will go on sale Friday, Feb. 3 at 10am EST through Ticketfly. If there are any tickets remaining as of February 24th, they will go on sale as Single-Day tickets at 10 am EST. Tickets can also be purchased at the Merriweather and 9:30 Club Box Offices. For more information, visit http://www.ticketfly.com/ or http://www.m3rockfest.com
VIP ticket holders will have:
• Private VIP Entrance gate
• Official M3 2012 Festival T-shirt
• Official M3 2012 Concert Poster
• Access to floor and prime pavilion seating
• Access to M3 VIP Deck located backstage (includes access to VIP concessions and VIP restrooms)
• Access to Artist Meet-&-Greet Lounge.
For more M3 click here.
May 19, 2011
Away-Team writer: Marcy Royce
Pop Evil members: Tony Greve and Matt DiRito
I became a POP EVIL fan in August 2009 after catching their live show at Merriweather Post Pavilion when they were the support act for KIX and JUDAS PRIEST on the British Steel Tour. And I have been following them ever since. Their music is that good to me. I was excited to know that I would have the opportunity this night to interview two of the members of POP EVIL , Tony Greve, guitarist, and Matt DiRito, bassist. Both joined the band in 2007, just months apart.
Now, let me prefaced the following with this: I have NEVER, and mean NEVER, had so much fun doing an interview as I did with Tony and Matt. I’ve never laughed so much in between questions and I’ve never been sidetracked with so much fun. Read on to see what these guy had to tell me about POP EVIL , their new upcoming release; War Of Angels, their management team and being on the road.
And just for the record, 7.5 ounces will live on, forever. You would have had to been there to understand this. Too funny! Thanks guys.
This is Marcy Royce with away-team.com speaking today with Tony Greve and Matt DiRito from POP EVIL .
AWAY-TEAM: I’m really glad I had the opportunity to do this interview with you guys. I’m with away-team. com and I’ve been with them for over a year now.
TONY GREVE: It’s cool that this worked out and you could come in and chat and do this interview. It works out both ways, it’s good for us too.
AWAY-TEAM: How was the trip last night from Indiana?
MATT DIRITO: Yeah, it was easy. I slept the entire way. Not a big deal for me.
TONY GREVE: It was a pretty easy ride. It’s crazy though. We will pass out in one city and wake up another city.
AWAY-TEAM: (laughs) Good to have a dedicated bus driver.
TONY GREVE: Definitely!
MATT DIRITO: That’s why we have to take care of him and make sure he gets good sleep. I think he’s in his hotel room now sleeping.
TONY GREVE: That definitely helps out. He’s gotta be well rested, that’s for sure. He’s got everybody’s lives in his hands.
AWAY-TEAM: You guys just did Carolina Rebellion almost 2 weeks ago, and this weekend you are doing Rock On The Range. And next weekend you are going to Rocklahoma.
MATT DIRITO: Yeah. Lotsa rockin’!
TONY GREVE: Holy shit yeah!
AWAY-TEAM: How do you feel about all these being packed into one month?
TONY GREVE: It’s kinda cool, ya know. We’ve already had how many festivals we did. We did U Fest in Arizona, Carolina Rebellion, there’s been so many festivals going on. That’s the cool thing about summer, all the big outdoor festivals that they put on and we get to be a part of.
AWAY-TEAM: Do you like the outdoor festivals better than the other places you do in the winter when you are inside confined in a building?
MATT DIRITO: Yeah. I do. I look forward to it all year and we know that these things are booked so far out because so many bands are going to be there. It’s crazy. We’re looking forward to it all year and all of a sudden it’s here. We’re like, oh, that’s next weekend already. Shit man! And they are all right in a row, too. It goes by like a flash. But just last weekend we did 3 outdoor festivals in a row. Friday, Saturday, Sunday. Every single one of them were cold and rainy.
TONY GREVE: I’m talking pouring rain. It was raining sideways.
AWAY-TEAM: I saw that on POP EVIL’s Facebook Page. Day 2 of rain, cold.
TONY GREVE: It’s still raining. We can’t get away from it, dude!
MATT DIRITO: I know dude! It sucks.
AWAY-TEAM: You just can’t get away from it.
TONY GREVE: It’s following us.
AWAY-TEAM: We’ve been dealing with it since Sunday in this area. I don’t know how long you’ve been dealing with it? It’s been awful here.
MATT DIRITO: It started in Denver for us last Tuesday and hasn’t stopped.
TONY GREVE: Everywhere we go, all the outdoor shows are rain and cold.
AWAY-TEAM: How have the fans been with it all? Are they still packed in?
TONY GREVE: Yeah!
MATT DIRITO: What’s cool about it is, and I think it’s kinda fun is, that you get the really hardcore fans that come out.
TONY GREVE: They’ll be out there in the rain, soaking wet, and just rockin’. It’s awesome!
MATT DIRITO: Covered in mud, and shit. They’re just like…
TONY GREVE: Remember that one guy that stopped us and asked to get a picture with us. He was covered in mud. Dude, was he rolling around in it or what? (laughs). From head to toe he just looked like a mud monster.
MATT DIRITO: It looked like Woodstock.
TONY GREVE: Yeah, it did! (laughs).
AWAY-TEAM: Wonder if he just fell into it and he just said, eh, screw it I’m caked in mud. Who cares? I’ll just shower later. (laughs).
TONY GREVE: That’s cool to see the fans that are that hardcore and dedicated to just stick it out. You’re talking festivals that go from noon until ten o’clock at night or even midnight. And they’re out there the entire time.
AWAY-TEAM: For hours!
MATT DIRITO: Yeah. It’s kinda insane.
TONY GREVE: I like to call them rock and roll soldiers. Man, they’re definitely sticking it out.
AWAY-TEAM: Absolutely. For hours upon hours they muster through hot sun or cold rain. The fans are going to get the gamut with those festivals when it comes to the weather. You never know what you’re gonna have. You guys are protected on the stage, somewhat. Do you guys have side protection at all?
MATT DIRITO: Sometimes. It always seems if it’s raining it’s going to get everywhere.
TONY GREVE: Dude, the stage was soaked in Rockford, Illinois. I remember that. I walked offstage and my feet were soaked, soaked, soaked.
MATT DIRITO: Slipping and sliding.
TONY GREVE: Yeah.
MATT DIRITO: This was kinda cool. I was playing and my bass amp was vibrating on the stage around me. Puddles were vibrating. (demonstrates to my laughter). Like Jurassic Park. You could see the ripples in the water, you could see the ripples on the stage. It was sweet! YEAH! (shows rock horns).
AWAY-TEAM: The first time
I ever saw POP EVIL was at Merriweather Pavilion in August of 2009 when you guys were with Kix and Judas Priest.
TONY GREVE: In Baltimore?
AWAY-TEAM: Yeah, Baltimore kinda. It was Columbia, MD.
TONY GREVE: Is that when Kix played, that show?
TONY GREVE: Dude, that was one show wasn’t it?
MATT DIRITO: Yeah, that was the one.
TONY GREVE: (goes into singing the chorus from Don’t Close Your Eyes). Yeah.
AWAY-TEAM: Exactly! That’s when I saw you guys for the first time. I had never heard of POP EVIL before that.
TONY GREVE: Before that show?
AWAY-TEAM: Yeah. And I’ve been following you since.
TONY GREVE: Really?
AWAY-TEAM: I was really, really impressed with you guys that day.
TONY GREVE: That is SO awesome! Thank you. (gives me the high five).
MATT DIRITO: Yeah, that’s cool. That was almost 2 years ago.
TONY GREVE: Yeah, that’s crazy.
AWAY-TEAM: And honestly, I have seen you guys grow so much in that time. You’ve solidified things, you’ve really moved forward and I am SO EXCITED for War Of Angels.
MATT DIRITO: Can’t wait for you to hear it.
AWAY-TEAM: I’ve read somewhere online that the release date is in June, not sure how true that is. However, I’m more than ready. POP EVIL is having this big announcement on Sunday at Rock On The Range, just under 70 hours or so and I’m interviewing you a few days too early. Damn! I know you can’t tell me anything.
MATT DIRITO: I don’t even know anything for sure. There’s still a bunch of stuff that is going on pertaining to the release of War Of Angels.
TONY GREVE: We’re always trying to grow and push forward, ya know.
MATT DIRITO: Yeah. I think if we weren’t we’d be going down.
AWAY-TEAM: I can tell as a fan, you guys have definitely risen by leaps and bounds since the first time I saw you. I mean, you were good then in 2009, enough for me to take notice and for me to start following you. Getting Lipstick On The Mirror and really play it, dissect it in my iPod. I use it for my workout at the gym, too. Hero is one of my go-to tunes for my ab workout.
TONY GREVE: Nice!
TONY GREVE: I’m the kind of person that thinks like I’m never happy no matter what situation I’m in. Ever. It doesn’t matter. So unless something is constantly changing or growing or moving in one direction or another, either way, I just can’t be stagnate and still. Ya know? Some bands are just like okay with where they are at. We’ll never just be okay with where we’re at.
MATT DIRITO: It’s good to have that drive, ya know.
AWAY-TEAM: If you lose it, that drive, then things are going to change. And they are not going to change for the best either. You’ve gotta have that drive for the position you guys are in. I mean, you are really working your way up the ladder, you’ve got to keep putting your hook into things. Already I can see that.
AWAY-TEAM: I was on YouTube in the last week or so and I saw the teaser video for 10 tracks from the War Of Angels cd. I have watched that so many times. I’m trying to pick up the lyrics, pick up the riffs, pick up the hooks, pick up whatever is in there. I keep trying to really dig into it. I really want to get my hands on the cd so I can review it for www.away-team.com. I know the beginning of May you interviewed with a guy from another publication and I keep reviewing his interview. He already must have had War Of Angels and reviewed it. He was specifically talking about things in each track.
MATT DIRITO: We’d love to have you do a review of it.
TONY GREVE: Listen to the entire thing ahead of the release date and give us your feedback.
AWAY-TEAM: I can’t wait to hear more than what is on that video. I know that guy asked each one of you which song you like to play live the most from War Of Angels.
TONY GREVE: Yes, yes he did.
AWAY-TEAM: Both of you said Boss’s Daughter.
TONY GREVE: It’s like a rock and roll song, ya know. It’s all about rockin’. It’s all about the party. It’s all about the Boss’s Daughter. Who doesn’t want to bang the Boss’s Daughter, right?
MATT DIRITO: Like the chick yesterday. Right? (laughs).
MATT DIRITO: You just don’t want to trip over your own feet.
TONY GREVE: Yeah. And it’s just a heavy hitter. It’s a good rock and roll anthem. Cool thing about it, I got to cowrite it with Mick Mars. Mick and I wrote the music to it. Guitar parts, the riffs and stuff. I went and spent the day at his house, we sat down and played guitar all day. What we came up with was the music for the riffs. The meat and potatoes for Boss’s Daughter.
MATT DIRITO: We put the lyrics to it.
AWAY-TEAM: How did that opportunity come up with Mick Mars?
TONY GREVE: Well, at the time we both had the same publishing company.
MATT DIRITO: He owed me money so I was like, Mick you owe me money. So let’s just hash this out…
TONY GREVE: Let’s just do this and call it even. (laughs).
MATT DIRITO: That’s a joke. That’s really just a joke.
TONY GREVE: That publishing company is always looking to get people together to write and see who comes up with what. Our manager called me and said, guess what, guess who you get to work with? I said, I don’t know. Slash? He said no. But then he said Mick Mars. I said, that’s even way f’in cooler. He’s one of the most underrated guitar players, EVER!
MATT DIRITO: He really is. He’s a great player.
TONY GREVE: Being as f’in awesome as he is. He’s so good, it’s unreal.
AWAY-TEAM: So how long did you spend with him?
TONY GREVE: An entire day almost. Noon to midnight pretty much. He looks like he would be quiet and shy, and he’s none of that. He talks a lot and likes to tell stories. It was great, he was very talkative. You can tell he’s had his share of health stuff going on, but he was much better than I expected.
AWAY-TEAM: That’s really cool that he worked with you on Boss’s Daugther. And I really do like that track off War Of Angels. And it’s one of my favorites off the teaser video.
TONY GREVE: We had none of those riffs for Boss’s Daughter before we went in. We just sat down and we came up with all of it. It was way cool!
AWAY-TEAM: What other songs did he work with you on?
TONY GREVE: Just that one, that’s it.
AWAY-TEAM: Did you work with anyone else on any of the other songs?
TONY GREVE: I did not personally.
MATT DIRITO: Well, there is that song with Jack Blades.
TONY GREVE: Jack Blades, yeah. From Night Ranger. That was more Leigh and Jack working on that. There’s a song on the album, well, maybe it will come out on this version of it or it may be a special bonus track in the future. I’m not sure. But we did a song called The Good With The Bad with Jack Blades. And that was pretty cool and he’s very awesome, too.
AWAY-TEAM: I know the big thing right now is the upcoming release of War Of Angels. I’ve read another interview you had at the beginning of May and also listened to the radio studio stuff with Carson earlier today from 105.7, The X. And with War Of Angels, there are 10 songs on that teaser video. Is there going to actually be 12 songs total?
MATT DIRITO: We don’t know yet. That’s something we’ve got to work out.
AWAY-TEAM: I downloaded the song from POP EVIL‘S Facebook page, Save The World. And I like that too.
MATT DIRITO: There’s another one that you can download, too. It’s an acoustic version of Monster You Made.
TONY GREVE: Yeah, yeah. Have you heard that one yet?
AWAY-TEAM: POP EVIL played with Rev Theory at Ram’s Head Live in Baltimore in March of this year. And I was there covering them and I also photographed you guys as well.
TONY GREVE: Oh, awesome!
AWAY-TEAM: Your photos are on my Facebook page, my Flickr page as well as on the Away-Team page under the photos section. There is also a brief review of you guys in the show review for that night.
MATT DIRITO: Sweet!
AWAY-TEAM: And Tony, you have a lot of flying V’s.
TONY GREVE: Yeah, the Dean Guitars. I’m a Dean Guitar player. And I’m branded for life now. (shows me his Dean Guitar tattoo on his wrist). I love the way those guitars are shaped, they’re so awesome.
AWAY-TEAM: And Matt, you are on the Spector Bass website. A photo of you is there.
MATT DIRITO: I am on the Spector website.
AWAY-TEAM: Matt McCloskey of Rev Theory saw my photos from that show in Baltimore in March and contacted me about 2 particular photos that he liked. He wanted permission to send them to Spector. So one of those photos is just below yours on the left hand column.
MATT DIRITO: Oh. You shot that one? That’s awesome.
AWAY-TEAM: Yeah, thanks! Do you play Dean as well as Spector?
MATT DIRITO: Yeah, I do play Dean.
AWAY-TEAM: I noticed the head stock on the white one. Is there more than one?
MATT DIRITO: Yeah. Right now I use all Deans. I think I probably used a Spector about a year ago. It was just kind of a fill in bass here and there. But right now I only used Dean. But Spector still has me up on the website. I still talk to the guys over there. They are really cool at Spector.
AWAY-TEAM: Well, with you guys moving farther up the ladder as a band and becoming bigger and bigger, Spector wants you on that site. They want you to help promote Spector. So as long as you are okay with it, they are okay with it.
MATT DIRITO: Yeah. Anything that gets us out there, you know.
AWAY-TEAM: And Matt, you are a joy to photograph. Let me tell you.
MATT DIRITO: Oh, well, thank you!
AWAY-TEAM: It’s the hair, it’s the moves, it’s your stage presence, it’s…
TONY GREVE: He’s a joy to party with too. (winks).
AWAY-TEAM: (laughs). I wouldn’t mind doing that! (laughs).
TONY GREVE: Well, ALRIGHT!
MATT DIRITO: YEAH!
TONY GREVE: You just opened a whole new bag of worms! (gives me another high five).
Sidenote: Much laughter and off subject material happened here. Sorry. Just had to be there. I laughed so hard! Now back to the interview… (ha ha).
AWAY-TEAM: Who’s idea was it to market Last Man Standing to the NHL, the NFL, auto racing, the boxer, Mir? How did that all happen?
TONY GREVE: It was just kind of a no brainer, really, for us to pitch it to all of those guys.
MATT DIRITO: Good management.
TONY GREVE: Great management! You listen to that song and that song is a battle anthem. Going head to head, can ya handle it?
MATT DIRITO: We wanted to get it out as many ways as possible. It’s even on a video game now too. It’s on NX vs ATV, or something like that. It’s an off road racing game. Last Man Standing, YOW!
TONY GREVE: It’s a battle anthem song that gets you pumped up. Whether you’re playing sports or MMA fighting, it’s gonna get ya!
AWAY-TEAM: I heard that song on Nascar one day and thought, I know this song.
MATT DIRITO: That’s awesome! So cool!
TONY GREVE: It’s great management too. Those guys really push us and work hard at what they do and they really care about this band. And it shows.
MATT DIRITO: They’re really good looking too!
TONY GREVE: Best looking managers out there.
MATT DIRITO: George and George, man. G and G. Get between 2 slices of George bread, ahhhh.
TONY GREVE: Make a little George bread pie.
MATT DIRITO: Yeah!
AWAY-TEAM: How often do you guys see them?
TONY GREVE: They come out quite a bit. George Jr. was just out with us a couple days ago. Yeah, they’ll come fly out and stay a few days or a week or for however long.
MATT DIRITO: They’ll be at Rock On The Range for sure.
AWAY-TEAM: So they’re very supportive, they’re very interested in you and pushing you and taking you to new levels.
MATT DIRITO: Anytime, day or night, we can talk to them.
AWAY-TEAM: So you can call them at 2 in the morning and they’ll answer?
MATT DIRITO: Yeah, I can call them right now. We can drunk dial them later, ha ha!
TONY GREVE: Oh my gosh, YEAH!
AWAY-TEAM: (laughs hysterically). How often do you do that?
MATT DIRITO: Every once in a while. Maybe you don’t want to put that in the interview. Sorry George! (waving). He’ll just tell us to go focus on the next hit. And ask me when I’m gonna give him the next hit.
TONY GREVE: Please don’t show him this. (laughs).
Sidenote: I’ll stop at the boys request. However, they did share interesting tidbits.
AWAY-TEAM: Talking about how great G & G is, I know that you can’t say a lot about Universal but what can you tell me? How bad did they “f” you over? Because you’re going with a new label now for reasons.
TONY GREVE: I almost want to wait to answer that comment. Wait until everything is complete.
MATT DIRITO: Until we make the announcement. The new label is not going to “f” us over. We’re going to keep doing what we do not matter what.
TONY GREVE: That’s true.
MATT DIRITO: But I’m pissed that it ended up affecting the fans with the release date of the new album and everything. That’s what makes me mad. It’s everywhere we go, it’s every night, everyone’s asking us when the album is going to be released. And I have to say I’m sorry. They sometimes get mad at us.
TONY GREVE: They just don’t realize.
MATT DIRITO: I’m on their side, too. I’m angry that it’s not out.
TONY GREVE: We want it out, too.
AWAY-TEAM: From a marketing standpoint I think it’s helping you in a way for the fact that they know it’s not you, but yet you’re playing stuff from it live, it’s bringing the fans out more to your live shows than maybe they had been. I don’t know. It’s hard to tell with different fans and different reasons those fans may or may not have. I think it’s helping you. It’s building momentum, it’s really creating…
TONY GREVE: You think so?
AWAY-TEAM: Me, I’m salivating for it. I CAN NOT WAIT!
TONY GREVE: I think it is, as long as you don’t wait too long. There comes a point where you build the hype and momentum but if you don’t put something behind it, the momentum will die.
MATT DIRITO: You can’t have too much space in between.
TONY GREVE: It’s gotta come out.
AWAY-TEAM: It was supposed to be released in February, correct? And Last Man Standing was released as a single last fall.
TONY GREVE: Yeah.
AWAY-TEAM: So we are 3 months, almost 4 months past that original date. Sometime in June?
MATT DIRITO: Before the end of summer it will be out. Yeah.
AWAY-TEAM: I cannot wait.
TONY GREVE: Us either. We’re ready to get this thing out and be able to tour on it, and play on it. And have everyone know the songs and sing them back to us.
AWAY-TEAM: Since you are playing the songs now, what is the percentage of songs from Lipstick On The Mirror to War Of Angels is there?
MATT DIRITO: It’s 50-50 pretty much. As far as the set goes.
AWAY-TEAM: So it looks like you are doing 12 songs tonight for the set. That’s awesome.
TONY GREVE: It will be a good show.
MATT DIRITO: Yeah, I’m going to be exhausted. (laughs). It’s been awhile since we’ve done a set that long.
TONY GREVE: Yeah, we’ve been doing these tours with Drowning Pool, Papa Roach and we’re only used to doing 6 songs in the set during those tours.
MATT DIRITO: It’s no longer than 30 minutes for the set.
AWAY-TEAM: You just get warmed up… and you’re done.
TONY GREVE: Yeah pretty much.
AWAY-TEAM: You’re really into it, you’re hitting your groove. And you’re done!
TONY GREVE: This one is going to wipe us out tonight! (laughs).
MATT DIRITO: It’s kinda like when I have sex. You just get into it and, bam, it’s done. It’s over before you know it.
AWAY-TEAM: So the new label you guys are with, they are more inline with where you want to go as a band? With your goals?
TONY GREVE: There going to stand behind us.
MATT DIRITO: We think so. Their already doing good stuff for us. Just showing interest in how we present ourselves and stuff like that. It’s cool. The entire time we were with Universal I had no contact information for anybody even at the label. If I wanted to go talk to someone, like an AR rep or anyone who represents us from publishing to marketing, I didn’t know who to talk to.
AWAY-TEAM: Totally disconnected. Unreachable.
MATT DIRITO: I didn’t have any emails. Nothing from nobody. The only people’s names I know are the presidents of the label. They were the only ones we met really. Well, we kinda met everybody once but I wouldn’t have known who to talk to. These guys from the new label are already showing interest in being hands on with us. We’ll be able to tell you more in year or so.
AWAY-TEAM: After you’ve been through the honeymoon period with them. Everything gets worked out. You get used to them, they get used to you.
MATT DIRITO: Yeah. We never got a honeymoon period with Universal. They kinda f’d us in the ass and left us on the curb.
TONY GREVE: (laughs). That’s a great analogy! Awesome dude! That’s true though.
MATT DIRITO: There was no wining and dining, bro.
TONY GREVE: No phone call, no nothing.
MATT DIRITO: Not even a damn reach around.
TONY GREVE: They didn’t even have the common courtesy to give that guy a f’in reach around. (laughs).
MATT DIRITO: What the f*^#!
AWAY-TEAM: So how long have you been working with G & G then?
TONY GREVE: We met them before Universal.
AWAY-TEAM: So they’ve been with you through thick and thin.
MATT DIRITO: Yeah. All the success that we’ve had up to this point it due to George.
TONY GREVE: All credited to them. Universal never got us one radio ad. Never one radio play. Nothing. It’s been George, he’s done everything.
MATT DIRITO: After all this time, people at Universal didn’t even know we were signed to their label. So the people that were supposed to be working us to the radio didn’t even know we were signed to the label.
AWAY-TEAM: That’s messed up. So it’s very good that the band has moved on to a different, and better, label. It sounds like they are going to take you where you need to go just from what they’ve already started to show to you guys. Along with G & G. And are the new label and G & G married together to making POP EVIL what it needs to be in the future?
TONY GREVE: G & G are in the thick of it.
MATT DIRITO: They’re in the trenches taking grenades right now.
TONY GREVE: Yeah, they are.
AWAY-TEAM: As a fan, I really want to see you guys rise to the level of Motley Crue, Poison, Guns & Roses. I really want to see POP EVIL do arenas. On your own, headling. Not opening for anyone.
TONY GREVE: We’re trying.
MATT DIRITO: That would be bad ass!
TONY GREVE: Maybe some day. Right? We’ll just keep pushing this f’in train forward.
AWAY-TEAM: So, the order of the tracks from War Of Angels, do they have a progression of a story or are you trying to say something with the way they flow?
MATT DIRITO: We tried to set it up that way. I think the goal was to really do sort of a theme album. And I think we are close to it. That’s just my opinion. So when I think of theme albums I think of Pink Floyd, The Wall.
TONY GREVE: Or Dark Side Of The Moon.
MATT DIRITO: It literally tells a story, from start to finish. It’s like you can see a movie happening in your head. I don’t think ours is that crystal clear but it really does show a lot of what we’ve been through in the past few years as far as the transition from doing this part time, having day jobs, to where we are at now. Getting used to touring and being on the road. And how people respond to you and react to you. Dealing with management and other bands, just everything that comes along with it. So I really do think it tells the story of all that and we did try to put it in order that way. It is interrupted in a few spots with a song that might be about getting a broken heart, somewhere in the middle of that. Sorta like you wouldn’t really know how it relates to us unless you sat down with us and went through it song by song, I guess.
AWAY-TEAM: Which one is the broken heart song? I don’t want to guess and be wrong.
MATT DIRITO: You can guess. That’s actually what’s cool about it. A lot of these songs can be taken in so many different ways. Like our next single, Monster You Made, to us, and to me personally, is a song about how our skin has become thick by being on the road, working with the record labels, and how the industry is. And about how it’s a horrible time to try and be breaking into this industry. It’s kinda changed us. I think people always change. If you’re not changing you’re not growing and becoming better. If you’re just staying the same, it’s just not good.
AWAY-TEAM: Did POP EVIL pull for these songs on War Of Angels, any influences
you may have from bands of the 80’s? It seems to me like a lot of flavor there from 80’s bands.
TONY GREVE: One of the coolest things is that, for me, music that has influenced me from the 80’s have been Slash, and many of those guitar players. I’m really not influenced by anything modern so the way I play would naturally come off that way. Slash and Dimebag…
MATT DIRITO: YEAH! Tony and I kinda grew up on that music. We grew up on Queen.
TONY GREVE: Yeah, Queen, Zak Wilde, Randy Rhoads and others. That stuff just has rock and roll heart and soul.
MATT DIRITO: Tony and I are the youngest guys in the band but we’re probably the most 80’s influenced.
TONY GREVE: Kinda funny how that works out. We are pretty much the same age.
MATT DIRITO: We’re twins, separated by 3 minutes or so.
TONY GREVE: Yeah. Three minutes apart.
AWAY-TEAM: (laughs). So, ha ha, if you are ‘twins’, how much do you find yourselves being alike and thinking alike?
TONY GREVE: I just look at him and I already know what he’s thinking.
AWAY-TEAM: You’ve been together that long that you can do it?
TONY GREVE: I can just tell by his face and be like… Yeah, me too!
MATT DIRITO: Oh yeah!
TONY GREVE: We don’t even have to discuss what it is. I just say, yeah, I feel the same way.
MATT DIRITO: It’s true, that actually does happen. It really is true.
AWAY-TEAM: Is there anything else you guys want to tell the fans, tell me. Anything else you want to be know about this tour and War Of Angels?
TONY GREVE: Yeah. We want to thank the fans for everything, ya know. We really appreciate everything they’ve done and been through with us and for supporting us. We always, always want to thank the fans. Without them there is no band, no show. None of this even matters without them. We wouldn’t even be having this interview right now.
AWAY-TEAM: You are so right.
TONY GREVE: So thank them, God bless them for everything. For this opportunity to do this. To be able to write and perform this music that we love so much. And sharing it with all of them means everything to us.
AWAY-TEAM: With War Of Angels, I really think POP EVIL is going to hit gold with this. It is so awesome from what I’ve heard so far.
TONY GREVE: I just want to move the fans. From in here (clutching chest). Ya know.
AWAY-TEAM: Like you said, it talks to everyone differently. Everyone has a different situation. But yet everyone can relate to the songs in their own special way. One song, different meanings to everyone.
TONY GREVE: Yeah, exactly. That’s what is so cool about it.
MATT DIRITO: It’s like my favorite albums that I listen to. If they get too specific on something it’s like you can’t always relate to it. But the songs that really hit home are the ones that are open to where you can apply it to your own life. They may have not be written like that but it’s how they are used. It’s how the meanings are taken from it.
AWAY-TEAM: Tony, you started Purple, right?
TONY GREVE: Yeah. It started with a friend of mine. We both got matching flower tattoos on our shoulders that are purple so I started writing it about that. Then Leigh took it to a whole new level with a new mindset, new mindframe.
AWAY-TEAM: And all of you contribute to every song?
MATT DIRITO: Not all the time. Sometimes it might be more Tony, sometimes more me.
TONY GREVE: It’s always different.
AWAY-TEAM: But everyone is comfortable where everyone else is with sharing of things.
MATT DIRITO: Yeah, we work on it.
TONY GREVE: It has to come to an agreement at the end of it.
MATT DIRITO: We all just want to have the best songs for our band and to move it forward with that. So it’s not really an issue.
AWAY-TEAM: Well guys. I think that is about it. I want to thank you for your time tonight. Away-Team is grateful for this opportunity to speak with you both. And I look forward to see you again soon in the near future.
TONY GREVE: Yeah, Marcy, it’s been fun. A blast!
MATT DIRITO: Sure. We’re glad you were here.
Check out all that is going on with POP EVIL at their site: http://www.popevil.com
Also check these sites:
And for really cool stuff: www.evil-nation.com
YouTube videos you should check out:
For War Of Angels Last Man Standing: http://youtu.be/4YB6H5q_gyU
Teaser Video for War Of Angels: http://youtu.be/2Ptq4jMH5OM
For Lipstick On The Mirror 100 in a 55: http://youtu.be/DcfmwfY2GOE
Take it from me, you MUST go see these guys if you haven’t already. If you have seen them, you MUST see them again. They just keep getting better and better. And on June 28 be sure to get your own copy of War Of Angels through your favorite retailer or on Amazon or iTunes. This new album will kick your ass!
Special thanks to Tony Greve and Matt DiRito for taking the time to speak with me, and to George Cappellini at G & G Entertainment and Chris Iteen, Tour Manager, for helping to make it happen. It was a great pleasure and a thrill to do this interview.
To get everyone pumped up for the upcoming M3 Festival on May 13 and May 14, 2011… Here again are my photos from the 2010 M3 Festival. Enjoy!
For all the information about the 2011 M3 Festival, click this link:
Just a few weeks away is the event that Maryland rockers are waiting for! Hell, all the surrounding states are hungry, too, for their 80′s hair band gods to descend on Merriweather Post Pavillion in Columbia, Maryland. Get ready for Friday, May 13 and Saturday, May 14.
Click this link to get all the news and happenings. AND GET YOUR TICKETS NOW if you haven’t already. Very soon Merriweather will be releasing the show times of each band.
Kix, LA Guns, Warrant and Jetboy
Whitesnake, Tesla, Sebastian Bach, Lita Ford, Mr. Big, Slaugther, Great White, Danger Danger, Firehouse, Big Noize, Black and Blue, Hurtsmile, Faster Pussycat and Pretty Boy Floyd
All this happens on two stages.
If you love all things 80′s, YOU MUST BE THERE. This is the third year. So successful were the first two years that in 2011 they made the festival a 2 day event.
The 2011 edition of the M3 Rock Festival is schedule for May 13th – 14th at the Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland.
Saturday, May 14th – WHITESNAKE, TESLA, SEBASTIAN BACH, LITA FORD, MR. BIG, SLAUGHTER, GREAT WHITE, DANGER DANGER, FIREHOUSE, BIG NOIZE, BLACK ‘N BLUE, HURTSMILE, FASTER PUSSYCAT, PRETTY BOY FLOYD.
For more M3 information click here.
Merriweather Post Pavilion - Columbia, MD.
Photos by Marcy Royce.
The word HOT was used extensively on this day. Not once, not twice, but all day long seemingly every 10 minutes. Everyone in attendance from patrons to crew to band members to fellow photographers/press… we were all melting. However, when it comes to rock and roll, we diehard fans will muster through just about anything.
This was the second year for the M3 Rock Festival. The inaugural year was so successful how could this event not happen again? This year the set times for each of the two stages, pavilion and festival, had very little overlap and made all the patrons much happier. This one day festival had a solid lineup of killer bands and artists. A recipe for success. And the attendance was most likely doubled from last year. The talk around the grounds that somewhere around 13,000 – 15,000 came throught the gates. WOW!
I was a busy girl making my way between the stages. Slower than usual due to the oppressive heat. I went through at least 5 bottles of water, as everyone needed to stay hydrated.
JETBOY was the first band for me on the pavilion stage. Glad to see them again this year. I enjoyed their set both years.
Next was ZO2 on the festival stage. Good crowd in attendance and Paulie Z was belting out lyrics as usual. These guys are tight and always a pleasure to see. Hugs were exchanged later in the day. Always friendly!
Back to the pavilion stage for TRIXTER. Even hotter in the photo/press pit now. No air was moving. Never caught these guys live before. They did well and the crowd was very receptive to them. I saw quite a few people singing along.
Next on the pavilion stage was Phil Lewis’ version of L.A. GUNS. I saw them recently, April to be exact, at the Brunswick Fire Hall in Brunswick, MD. So I knew what to expect. Kenny Kweens is always where I take my stand. So I couldn’t quite get the photos I really wanted of Stacey Blades. But they performed all the hits that I expected including Ballad of Jayne, Sex Action and Never Enough. The crowd was digging ‘em.
Next on the pavilion stage was WINGER. Another band I haven’t caught live before. I like these guys and they didn’t disappoint me. Performing solid hits as well as some new material. Nice extra! Songs included were Headed for a Heartbreak, Can’t Get Enough and Down Incognito.
Now back to the festival stage to see BANG TANGO. These guys have passed through the nearby area many times and the timing has never been right for me. This day was my day! Nice size crowd for them, bigger than I expected. I didn’t get to stay as long in the photo/press pit as I would have liked. Kix was due on soon and I wanted to claim a good spot.
Sooooooo… I headed to the pavilion stage again. KIX was NEXT!!! Anyone who knows me doesn’t even have to question that they are my number 2 top band (of course Def Leppard is number one, right Jane and Darlene!). Every single time the intro song starts I get goosebumps. Even in the blazing 90 degree heat of the day, it happens again! Performing all the favorite hits was the perfect satisfaction for the fans, and me too! Songs including Hotwire, Girl Money, Don’t Close Your Eyes, Cold Blood and the customary closer of Yeah Yeah Yeah.
Steve Whiteman, of course, is comical. From the little diddy about his daughter before Sex, to the shower caps he and Mark Schenker wore for Cold Shower since the umbrella seemed to hava a snafu. The crowd roared. Every single seat was filled and the lawn was packed. When you are this close to Baltimore and the hometown boys perform, it’s gonna be packed. Well done, my boys, WELL DONE!!!
VINCE NEIL was next on the pavilion stage. And I was too tired to be in the photo/press pit. I listened and watched from the Hammerjacks booth with some old friends and some new friends. And I’ll have to admit, I wasn’t impressed. I don’t think when Vince left the stage for a 10 minute break that the fans appreciated that. And then his voice was not what it should be. Some liked Vince, some didn’t like Vince. Ah well, such is life.
Trekked off to the festival stage once more after my momentum returned. This time for NELSON. Another band I didn’t get to see before. They performed the expected Love And Affection and After The Rain and Mark Slaugher was on guitar, nice! It was a solid performance
Back to the pavilion stage, this time it was for the mighty CINDERELLA. I was eagerly anticipating seeing Tom Keifer, to hear his voice live. I’ve watched YouTube videos since his return and heard reviews from others how well he has been doing. Seeing him for myself, I would have to agree. He was awesome! I was hard pressed to say they stole the show from KIX, but I think both bands were neck and neck for me. They performed the solid standards fans expect including Push, Push, Shake Me, Night Songs, Coming Home and Nobody’s Fool. The pavilion was packed once more. Myself and everyone around me liked what they heard.
By this point I wanted to see Warrant, the closer of the festival stage. But alas, it was not to be. I wanted to position myself for The Scorpions. So I did!
The SCORPIONS started a tad late, 35 minutes. But I didn’t care. I was so eager to see them, especially James Kottak. Most of my friends know I have a things for drummers and I couldn’t wait to see James perform his drum solo. But I digress, so back to the beginning of the set. I was positioned in front of Rudolf Schenker. Holy cow does that guy have energy just oozing out of him. I was taking it all in with every note. Thanks Rudolf!!! They started with Sting In The Tail from the new cd. Next was Make It Real. And the final song for me to see up close and personal was one of my favs, Bad Boys Running Wild. I was insane with my shutter finger. 209 photos in just 10-12 minutes. Poor Klaus was suffering through with the flu. How amazing! He did quite well. He deserves a huge award for that one, man! I stood in the pavilion and enjoyed the rest of the show, horns up most of the time. (As my husband always cringes when I do that… he’s reserved when it comes to that stuff). I was so entralled with James’ solo. He is every bit what I expected and more. I do hope to someday meet him. He is a very talented drummer. Familar songs such as Wind Of Change, Tease Me Please Me, Big City Nights, Blackout, and The Zoo were in the set. Many of the ones I love. The one and only encore was Rock You Like A Hurricane and it was a perfect ending to a great set.
The day ended as perfectly as I had hoped. Successful and satisfied with over 900 photos on my 5 memory cards. The only question I had was: “Where is the nearest shower?”
Looking forward to M3 Rock Festival, 2011 version.