melodic rock fanzine #40
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DESCRIPTIONThis new issue includes reviews and interviews of Kiske Somerville, Unruly Child, Issa, Circle Ii Circle, Asia, Athorn, White Widdow, Two Fires, Bangalore Choir... and more!
CONTENTS04 Kiske Somerville06 Strangeways07 Issa08 Frontiers Special CD Offers09 Circle II Circle10 Asia12 Reviews14 Athorn15 White Widdow19 Two Fires20 Unruly Child22 Bangalore Choir
Melodic Rock FanzineThe official Frontiers Records magazine
Year #6 - Nr. 5 / Issue #40
Editor-in-chief: Elio BordiGraphic & Design: Elio BordiWriters: Bruce E.J. Atkinson, Fulvio Bordi, DuncanJamieson, Barry McMinn, Vitale Nocerino, Rob “Ezy”Bone, Fabio Mainardi.Headquarters and general contacts:Frontiers Records - Via Gonzaga 1880125, Napoli - ItalyTel: +39.081.2399340/7753Fax: +39.081.2399794E-mail: [email protected]: www.frontiers.itMyspace: www.myspace.com/frontiersrecordsEditor and publisher: Frontiers RecordsUS Headquarters: usa.frontiers.itCopyright©2010 Frontiers Records. All rightsreserved. Reproduction in whole or in part
without permission is prohibited.Printed in Italy.
Focus on: KISKE SOMERVILLE - Kiske / Somerville (Frontiers Records)Michael Kiske (Place Vendome, ex-Helloween) and Amanda Somerville (Avantasia,Symphony X) combine forces to add their formidable vocal talents to a set of big, bom-bastic rock tunes courtesy of Primal Fear’s Matt Sinner and Magnus Karlsson. Kiske andSommerville’s sonorous voices work terrifically well together, trading verses seamlesslyand sharing choruses to powerful effect. Many of the tunes are top drawer melodic rockas you might expect from Sinner and Karlsson. It’s heavier than Kiske’s Place Vendomeproject, with a slight Epica feel in places due to Sommerville’s delivery such as on “Set AFire”. At its best on the melodious “If I Had A Wish”, the meaty riffed “Arise” and thegrandiose, almost Queen-like “End Of The Road” it demonstrates that duet albums don’tneed to be all about sappy ballads. This record is an original concept that they’ve pulledoff admirably. Duncan Jamieson (90/100)
Band: Kiske Somerville
Album: Kiske / Somerville
Interview with: Amanda Somerville
Interviewed by: Duncan Jamieson
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Question: How did this proj-ect take place? Did youalready know Michael beforethis album?Answer: I was contacted by MatSinner, who asked if I'd be inter-ested in taking part in a kind of"Dynamic Duo" album withMichael and I was very interest-ed in it. I'd worked with Michaelbefore on projects like Aina andAvantasia, but it was always kindof around 3 corners; neverdirectly. That's why it was sogreat to finally be able to worktogether more intensely and alsoface-to-face!Q: “Kiske - Somerville” has astellar line-up of musicians.My doodle of who workedwith whom and on what proj-ects ended up looking like adiagram for a microchip.Would you introduce yourcohorts, and tell us which ofthe gentlemen you have col-laborated with before?A: Certainly! Mat Sinner (Sinner,Primal Fear) was the creativemastermind behind the projectas the producer and principalsongwriter. I'd never workedwith him before, but it was real-ly a great experience becausehe's very competent as a musi-cian / producer / songwriter, buthe's also a very laid back, niceguy. After we did the recordings,it went so well that he asked ifI'd like to g on tour with himwith another project he wasoverseeing called Rock MeetsClassic, and that was also a lotof fun. Magnus Karlsson didsome great guitar work andsongwriting for the album, aswell. I'd never worked with himbefore this and haven't had thechance to meet him in personyet, but I'm sure I will. JimmyKresic co-wrote some songs andperformed keyboards and did anexcellent job. This guy is a freak,and I mean that very positively!!He was on the Rock MeetsClassic tour with Matt and meand totally blows me away as amusician and as a person. He'squite the character! MartinSchmidt is a great drummer andall-around good person. It was inhis studio that we recorded myvocals for the record and he didthe engineering. He was also onthe Rock Meets Classic tour andwe had a blast together. SanderGommans and I had workedtogether already back in hisAfter Forever days and he and Ialso did the HDK project togeth-er. We wrote 3 songs for thealbum and he also played someguitar parts on the project. He'salso quite a talented guy and hasbecome an even better musicianand songwriter since I first start-ed working with him back in2003.Q: How do you think the two
voice merge together?A: In my opinion, we're a goodmix. Although our styles and col-ors are very different, I thinkthey blend together well for anice end-result and I'm reallyhappy with how everythingturned out.Q: Was this your first timeworking with FrontiersRecords? Was it a good expe-rience? A: It wasn't really my first timebecause I'd helped OliverHartmann out with a few thingsfor his albums while he was stillsigned with Frontiers, though itwas my first time being reallyinvolved with them. And yes, it'sbeen a very good experience.Q: Is there a specific songwhich you think could be con-sidered the highlight of thealbum? Why?A: For me, a personal highlightwas being able to have 3 songson the album that I co-wrotewith Sander Gommans. I'm justas much a songwriter as I am asinger and it means a lot to meto have my own material be apart of a project that I'm soheavily involved in. I love all theother songs that are on thealbum, as well, but being able tosing my own creations, words,feelings, melodies - that's spe-cial.Q: Michael is known for hisvocal range, including theability to hit some impres-sively high notes and his fastvibrato. Which songs on thenew album best showcasethese particular talents? A: I don't know that one songparticularly showcases his tal-ents better than the othersbecause you can hear his trade-mark sound in every one.However at the end of "OneNight Burning," there's a highharmony in that little "This loveis kill ing me" part and he'ssinging that together with me.That's HIGH!Q: You and Michael met forthe first time while shootingthe videos for “Silence” and“If I Had A Wish”. How was itto finally meet him in person?A: If you've seen my video blog Idid for the video shoots, you cansee that I was very excited, ofcourse. And it's funny, becausethose videos I record are reallycandid. I'm just showing mycamera in people's faces at ran-dom intervals and so when yousee Michael's face when I explainthat it's the first time we've metface-to-face after workingtogether on earlier occasions, helooks a bit confused. That'sbecause he never realized that itwas me who sang the "SilverMaiden" demo for him, for exam-ple, or that I was also part ofAvantasia, so that was all news
to him! And it's great that I gotthat initial surprised reaction oncamera. :-)Q: How would you describethe general musical feeling ofthe album?A: It's very diverse and eclecticand that's right up my alley. Mystyle is very ranged and I don'tlike having all the same type ofsong on an album. Music shouldbe a journey and this album def-initely delivers that.Q: How easy/difficult is, froma singing point of view, shar-ing lead vocals with anothersinger?A: I'm at home behind a micro-phone, no matter what I'msinging or who I'm singing with,so doing this type of duet sort ofthing comes as natural as any-thing else to me. It's quite anhonor to be sharing the mic withMichael.Q: You recently had a fulltour with Epica stepping infor Simone, how did it go?A: I had a lot of fun and as far asI'm concerned, it went very well.The fans were gracious andencouraging and it wasn't any-thing that was completely for-eign to me, since I co-wrotetheir songs and sang most of thepilot vocals for the productions.Being that I've played a role inthe band from nearly the verybeginning, it was very natural.Q: You recently released also'Windows', you first soloalbum. What kind of reac-tions did it bring?A: Since it was released inde-pendently on a very small scale,there weren't any earthquakesgoing on, but I'm happy with theresponses I received from thepeople who've heard it and themedia that gave it attention. Iam extremely proud of thatalbum and so grateful for all ofthe amazing input by Sascha,Miro and everyone else involved.Q: What are your projects forthe next future?A: The Kiske - Somerville releaseis coming up early autumn and Ihave some live events planned,though I can't go into detailabout that just yet! Basically,I'm just going to keep on doingwhat I do, try to do it as much asI can and that makes me happy.:-) Q: Is a tour for “Kiske -Somerville” in the works?A: We would love to do one, butit certainly comes down to howwell the album does. So it's up tothe fans!!! Unfortunately, thepeople who would be doing workfor a tour like this, which wouldbe very expensive (as tours sim-ply are), need more securitythan just Michael's & my desireto want to perform the songslive.
MRF | 5
Album: Perfect World
Interview with: Ian J. Stewart
Interviewed by: Fulvio Bordi
Focus on: STRANGEWAYS - Perfect World (Front iers Records)Since the first time I’ve been noticing Strangeways were joining together in the original line-up andworking on songs for a new come back release, I couldn’t believe all was real and, at the same time,I really was unsure the band would still be able to release songs worth their classic all time past mas-terpieces such as “Walk In The Fire” and “Native Sons”. Anyway, since the first time I put the CD intothe reader, I’ve been throwing all my doubts out of the window! “Perfect World” is the best returnalbum the band could ever make. The title track displays a band still more grown up in songwriting,in melody and in performing technique along the years. Arrangements sound tasty and enriched withmultiple colors in harmonization , while the band performs with heart, skill and great energy. All theeleven compositions feature a perfect balance between high, intense Hard Rock moments and soft,melodic and ethereal atmospheres. Very difficult finding out the album’s best moments, becauseevery single composition glitters of its own light. A great coming back for one of my best Hard Rockbands ever. Fulvio Bordi (98/100)
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Question: As a long time fan ofyours, I confess I couldn’t believethe band was about to release anew album after all this time as Inoticed about it. Please, tell uswhere did it all start. Answer: It started when KieranDargan at Firefest contacted meabout playing the event this year,ini-tially I was not that keen but he wasvery persistent and eventually aftertalking to Terry and the rest of theguys we decided to get back togetherand maybe do an album as well.Q: Since the opener title track, lis-tened can surely find out all ofyou band’s members have beengrowing up as musicians sinceyour past classic releases. Songsfeature a new, more mature wayto treat arrangements, sounds,harmonies and melodies con-structions. What’s your point ofview? A: I think we've all matured musical-ly and it's 20 or so years on since werecorded Native and Walk so it's anatural progression I think. I know weall listen to loads of different styles ofmusic and I think that comes out in
the playing.Q: How did you work together asa band? Did you follow the samemethods you used to work withbefore disbanding years ago? A: We did the usual pre-production,Idid some demos of the songs andgave them to the guys,then we wentinto Chapel studios to record thedrum tracks then brought it back tomy own Red Dog studios for comple-tion. We tried to make the wholeprocess as much fun as possible. Itwas great to work with Terry again…What a voice!Q: Let’s focus now on sound pro-duction. Who did work on it andare you totally satisfied of thefinal result?A: I produced the album and mixed itwith my long time friend John Leewho also worked on past records, Idon't think as an artist you are evercompletely satisfied with what you dobut I'm still pleased with the finalresult, good songs and great feelfrom the playing, if we could of gotMike Shipley to mix that would ofbeen great but that kind of expensewasn't in the budget. Overall we're
pretty pleased with it though.Q: If I had to find out just a wordto describe “Perfect World”, Iwould choose “completeness”.The tracklist comes out as a greatbalanced combination of songsfeaturing huge energy, with otherones done with delicate andmelodic unique skill. A real worldwith multiple visions. What’s yourpoint of view?A: I think the album has some nicedynamic atmosphere's, some quiteintimate sections and some full blownrock out sections, I think a lot of mod-ern melodic rock kinda starts and fin-ishes on the same level which is finebut it's not what we're about. I likeusing the food analogy,some music isjust Mcdonalds (burgers) but I hopewe try to cover all the food groups inour music, a little bit of everything :)Q: Will the band tour around withlive dates? A: We are currently talking to agentsabout the possibilities and there is alot of interest, the band all want to doit so hopefully it will happen. We ofcourse are all looking forward to play-ing Firefest in October!!
MRF | 7
Album: Sing Of Angels
Interview with: Issa
Interviewed by: Bruce Atkinson
Question: I would like to begin witha brief history of your career sofar… I understand you have beensinging since you were seventeen?Answer: Let me start by saying hei andthanks for the interview. Well yeah Ihave been singing since I was 17 yearsold but I would say I started more pro-fessional at that age. I think you wouldhave had a big laugh if you saw me asa child cos I was the girl that madeshows and recorded on my tape sterioand also got money from my parents tobe still for a moment- and I always hadon my crown on my head and red lip-stick- haha well - I can’t sat the princessdream came true but regarding music itwent great. In my years with music Ihave done so much I don’t know whereto start - but I’ve done a lot of demosinging for song writers for labels likeUniversal and Warner and I’ve had thepleasure to meet amazing people andtravel with as well. I’ve also been solucky to travel and see all of Norwaywith coverbands - I truly believe that lifeis a school so I’m above grateful for thattime as it’s been the foundation for meas a performer. Also I’ve done a lot ofguest parts on records and backings forEurovision etc. Well I think I’ve coveredall I could do before I decided to focuson my own carrier as I think it’s impor-
tant to have some weight on your backbefore this. Q: Through the years, you have gar-nered praise from the music indus-try in both Norway, and Europe…So this must be a big jump, comingout as a solo Artist…A: Ahhh well I guess it is in many ways- I think the big difference now as a soloartist who is out there is that you haveto handle everything yourself - I meanif you are in a band you would betogether on everything from critics totour but as solo you have to deal with itall yourself. Well when that is said Ihave to praise all the people around me‘cos they have been as supportive as itgets - and I really appreciate that andall the good reviews doesn’t hurt either.Also to be able to take all the decisionson my own behalf is really grate - nofuzz. I think this was the perfect time forme to release my debut as I feel I havethe experience and weight for it now. Q: Let’s start to talk about your newrecord, “Sign Of Angels”… Pleasetake us through how this cameabout…A: Well it’s a funny story - I’ve beencontributing on a lot of albums inNorway and one day a friend that imrelated to with music called me and saidthat Frontiers was looking for a singer
on a duet with an artist - he asked - canI recommend you? Well of course I saidyes and I sent him some demos of meto pass on - Well I can start by sayingthat I probable live the singers dreamby this, but I can not even start tellinghow much work and foundation for thisI’ve done before it - You would notbelieve it - Well anyway from thisFrontiers contacted me and wanted tosee if we could cooperate and release arecord with me - So it went from thereI guess. I’m really grateful for all thetime and work they have put into meand well of course it’s gonna be a nextalbum from me - and I just hope I’mlucky enough to keep on working withFrontiers in years to come. Q: It seems that this Autumn andWinter will be very busy for you…Are you hoping to find some time tostart recording again, or is it tooearly to think of such things?A: Yes I am - I’m writing material thesedays and with the technology today it’spossible to fit recordings into any sched-ule. I also record a bit myself so it’s easyto try out material before you enter inthe studio. I never want to be an onerecord artist and I hope I can be aroundin music for many years to come.
“Sign Of Angels” is the debut of powerhouse vocalist Isabell Oversveen from Norway. Aptly titled,this debut unveils the voice of an angel! Issa’s vocal range is immense, and rich… Belying her youngage. Surrounded by veteran musicians and producer, Issa covers a number of song styles. Mosttracks are “radio friendly”, however this does not de-track from the enormous talent this gal has!Issa has a “smokey” edge to her voice, the timbre is so rich, yet she can soar to unbelievableheights in just the next breath! Twelve highly produced tracks make “Sign Of Angels” a veryrefreshing and commanding debut. Issa is also a songwriter, although she has enlisted some assis-tance for this record, her talents in creating interesting and textured musical journeys is very evi-dent here. One can tell that she enjoys singing, and is series about it… Surrounding herself withvast talent, but never surpassing her own… We should expect to hear much more from this won-derful find! “Sign Of Angels”… A rich, varied and adventuresome debut… Pick this one up and catcha rising star! Bruce Atkinson (90/100)
Focus on: ISSA - S ign Of Angels (Front iers Records)
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!!FRONTIERS RECORDS SUMMER 2010 SPECIAL OFFERS!!Buy 3 albums from this list and you will receive 1 more FREE EXTRA cd chosen by Frontiers!
FIRST COME - FIRST SERVED!Send your orders and / or Paypal payments to [email protected]
Handling and shipping costs:for 1 to 3 items - €5,60for 4 to 6 items - €8,50
Every shipment will contain max 6 items (plus 2 Frontiers presents)(ex: if you order 12 items we will ship 2 package of 6 items ordered)
AMBITION "Ambition" - €3.99BASSINVADERS "Hellbassbeaters" - €3.99BOB CATLEY "When empires burn" - €3.99BOB CATLEY "Spirit of man" -€3.99BRIAN HOWE "Circus bar" - €5,99CONSTANCIA "Lost and gone" - €5,99COSMO "Alien" - €3.99CRASH THE SYSTEM "The crowning" - €3.99CROWN OF THORNS "Faith" - €3.99ECLIPTICA "Impetus" - €3.99DAVID READMAN "David readman" - €5,99DOKKEN "Lightning strikes again (limited)" - €5,99EVIL MASQUERADE "Theatrical madness" - €3.99FREDERIKSEN-DENANDER "Baptism by fire" - €3.99GLENN HUGHES "Songs in the key of rock (digipak)" - €3.99GLENN HUGHES "Soulfully live … cd (ecolbook)" - €5,99GLENN HUGHES "First underground nuclear kitchen" - €3.99GLENN HUGHES "Soul mover" - €3.99GREAT WHITE "Back to the rhythm" - €5,99HAREM SCAREM "Hope" - €3.99HEADRUSH "Headrush" - €3.99HONEYMOON SUITE "Clifton hill" - €3.99HOWARD LEESE "Secret weapon" - €5,99INDIGO DYING "Indigo dying" - €3.99JADED HEART "Sinister mind" - €3.99JEFF SCOTT SOTO "Jss live at the gods 2002" - €3.99JEFF SCOTT SOTO "Essential ballads" - €3.99JOE LYNN TURNER "Live in germany" - €5,99JOHN WAITE "Downtown journey of a heart" - €3.99JOURNEY "Generations" (ecolbook) - €5,99KELLY KEAGY "I’m alive" - €3.99KHYMERA "The greatest wonder" - €5,99LANA LANE "Red planet boulevard" - €3.99LANA LANE "Storybook: tales from... DVD" - €3.99LAND OF TALES "Land of tales" - €3.99MICHAEL KISKE "Kiske" - €3.99MICHAEL THOMPSON BAND "How long" - €5,99MIND KEY "Pulse for a graveheart" - €5,99ON THE RISE "On the rise" - €3.99PATHOSRAY "Sunless skies" - €3.99PERFECT WORLD "Perfect world" - €3.99PINK CREAM 69 "In10sity" - €5,99PLACES OF POWER "Now is the hour" - €5,99PRIDE OF LIONS "Sound of home" - €3.99PRIDE OF LIONS "Black ribbons" - €3.99
PRIDE OF LIONS "Live in belgium" - €3.99PRIDE OF LIONS "The roaring of dreams" - €3.99PRIMAL FEAR "New religion (limited edition)" - €3.99RAMOS - HUGO "The dream" - €3.99REVOLUTION RENAISSANCE "New era (Tolkki/Kske /Sammet)" 3.99RING OF FIRE "Burning live in tokyo 2002" - €3.99ROBERT BERRY "The d iv id ing l ine" - €5,99ROYAL HUNT "2006 l ive CD" - €3.99SAINT DEAMON "Pandeamonium" - €3.99SEVENTH KEY "L ive in at lanta" - €3.99SILENT RAGE "Four let ter word" - €3.99SPIN GALLERY "Embrace" - €3.99STARBREAKER "Love’s dy ing wish" - €3.99STEVE LUKATHER "Ever changing t imes" - €6,99STREET LEGAL "Bi te the bul let" - €3.99STYX and CYO "One with everyth ing" - €3.99SURVIVOR "Reach" - €3.99TALL STORIES "Skyscraper" - €5,99TED POLEY "Smi le" - €3.99TERRA NOVA "Escape" - €3.99THE LOU GRAMM BAND "The lou gramm band" - €5,99THE MURDER OF MY SWEET "Divanity" - €3.99THE TROPHY "The g i f t o f l i fe" - €3.99THUNDER "I love you more than rock n roll" - €1.99THUNDER "Bang!" - €5,99THUNDER "Robert johnson’s tombstone" - €3.99THUNDER "The magnificent seventh" - €3.99TONY O'HORA "Escape into the sun" - €3.99TOTO "Bottom of your soul" - €1.99TOTO "Bottom of your soul - summer 2006 tour" - €1.99TRW "Rivers of paradise" - €3.99TWO OF A KIND "Two of a kind" - €3.99V.A. "Rock the bones - volume 4" - €3.99V.A. "Rock the bones - volume 5" - €3.99VICIOUS MARY "Vicious mary" - €3.99VISION DIVINE "9 degrees west of the moon" - €3.99WETTON/DOWNES "Heat of the moment ep" - €3.99WETTON/DOWNES "Icon acoustic tv broadcast" - €3.99WETTON/DOWNES "Icon acoustic tv broadcast dvd" - €3.99WETTON/DOWNES "Icon ii - rubicon" - €3.99WHITE LION "Bang your head festival 2005" - €5,99XCARNATION "Grounded" - €3.99ZILLION "Zillion" - €3.99ZION "Zion" - €3.99
MRF | 9
Q: ‘Consequence of Power’ isyour fifth and new album, whowas responsible for the song-writing?A: Mitch Stewart and I write themajority of the material. Mitch hasbeen the main driver of the process,especially over the last three albums.He writes riffs and sends me theresults via e-mail (MP3s). Then Iassist with the arrangements andwith writing all the lyrics and thevocal parts. So together we havecreated a pretty strong song writingteam, along with Andy (guitar) andJohnny (drums). These guys stillhave to write all their own parts sinceMitch and I come up w/ just the basisoutline. So every guy in the band isextremely important in the finalanalysis as far as song writing is con-cerned.Q: Songs like “Whispers in Vain”and “Redemption” sound verySavatage-like. Is this just coinci-dence, or are you thinking: ‘NowI’m going to write a Savatagesounding kind of song”.
A: Actually we didn’t make it a focusto write like Savatage on this record,but some things did sound verySavatage-esque in the final result.‘Redemption’ is really the only songthat stood out me to be in that vein,but I’ll have to check out ‘Whispers inVain’ again now that you said that…Q: Although there are some musi-cal similarities between Savatageand Circle II Circle, what are inyou opinion the biggest differ-ences?A: There are many differences, butprobably the most obvious is the factthat “Watching in Silence”, for exam-ple, has the most Savatage-likesounds because I wrote the albumwith Jon Oliva and Chris Caffery inone-on-one writing sessions witheach of them. So you’re naturallygoing to get more of a similar sounddue to the writers on the album allbeing previous Savatage members.As the years, albums, and overall his-tory has developed with CIIC, you getless and less Savatage influence. Thisis a typical natural progression you
see most bands that have membercoming from another prominentband. The writing for the past threealbums has been outside of theSavatage influence and in-house inthe current line-up so that has result-ed in us coming into our signaturesound in the past five years or so. Sowhat you have on C.O.P is the latestof a song writing process that hasbeen developed over that same timeframe and you can see the obviousdifferences. Yet we still strived tomaintain the recognizable CIIC soundthat we’ve had throughout ourcareer.Q: What is the Consequence ofPower?A: C.O.P. is really about the risk andrewards of having limitless resources,money, and power. There is alwaysthe lure of greed and the decisionmaking process to do the right thingsor to do the wrong things. There’salways a consequence waiting whenyou inherit lots of power. That’s mybasic take on the meaning behind thetitle.
Fifth album for the band created by the popular ex SAVATAGE singer, Zak Stevens, and anoth-er release to really look forward to! Described as “a melodic Power Metal album for all the fansfrom the old SAVATAGE era to the CIRCLE II CIRCLE european fans and breaking new groundfor a new fan base in America”, this new effort is – on the opposite – strongly based on a “tra-ditional” Heavy/Power Metal sound that can easily recall bands like Riot, Seven Witches, Dio(R.I.P.) and similia. A really solid rhythm section, some great Metal guitar riffs and the usualawesome vocal-lines make this album an unmissable purchase for all who love this powerfulsound. Unfortunately the dramatic and epic “grandeur” of Savatage is left behind on thisWork, and only on a couple of tracks ( “Take back Yesterday” and especially the final “BloodOf An Angel”) Zak decides to look back to his glorious past and he gives us the best songs ofthe album, two songs that are worth the full price of the Cd and that well show the class, themelody and the superior songwriting of this band. Primo Bonali (88/100)
Focus on: CIRCLE II CIRCLE - Consequences Of Power (AFM Records)
Artist: Circle II Circle
Album: Consequences Of Power
Interview with: Zak Stevens
Interviewed by: Primo Bonali
Question: Time is galoppin likea mad horse. ASIA and the 30years of runnin… Did you everthink the band can last (andsuccesfully) all the years?Answer: We didn’t even lan pastthe first tour (in 2006), but it justkeeps on going. The band spirit isgood, and we will keep the momen-tum going as long as we feel wewant to. Desire is everything forus, and as long as we want to play,we will. This is our second albumsince our reunion, nobody couldhave predicted this, that we wouldbe setting out on our 5the worldtour, with two new albums.Q: Back then… you were mon-ickered as the ADULT OrientedRock… Was this some honourfor you in those times?A: We were AOR who crossed intoPOP, our first album was thebiggest seling POP album in theworld of 1982. AOR is not such abad label to take, but we have ourown niche, we’re not prog, not pop,but all of these things in measure.Q: Have you done a first bal-ance of this reunion? Was thefans reaction more or less
enthusiastic than you expect-ed?A: This is now year 5 of ourreunion. Fans reaction to showsand to our two new records (sofar) have been ecstatic. We couldnot have wished for a more loyaland caring audience.Q: What has been the high-light(s) and lowpint(s) of yourcareer?A: Highpoints would be for me thesingle "Burlesque" with Family,"Red" album with King Crimson,U.K.playing to over 100,000 peoplein Philadelphia in 1978,ASIA's firstalbum,Battle Lines (solo album in1995)being the main theme for aBritish feature film (Chasing theDeer).Lowpoints - any of the many timesI've felt betrayed.Q: Outside of business, what doyou enjoy doing in your freetime?A: Being with my son and family,walking in healthy places,visitingplaces I've never been before,andvisiting people and places that Iknow well. Eating good stuff, notsmoking, swimming in the sea
which is five minutes from myhome. Doing crosswords. WatchingMatch of the Day. Drinking goodcappucino with good friends. Youknow the drill. Q: How does it feel to be stillvery creative like this?A: We are older but also a lot moretolerant with each other. Peopleare allowed a bit more space, timeand more comfort zones. In ourthirties we were more brutal, therewas no give and take. I feel verycomfortable in the band now, I cansay whatever I want and when Ibring a tune in everyone will listento it. That is the good side of beingolder, the downside that you don’thave the full energy anymore sowe have to build that into the tour-ing. Fortunately and I’m touchingwood here, my voice have beenbehaving quite well on tour overthe last five year. No smoking anddrinking helped a lot there ofcourse. We don’t play more thanfor shows in a week and travelshorter distances in between. It’s alot easier but still rock ‘n roll atleast for the road crew it is, haha-ha.
Focus on: ASIA – Spir i t Of The Night | CD and DVD(Front iers Records)
Band: AsiaAlbum: Spirit Of The NightInterview with: John WettonInterviewed by: Barry McMinn
In 2006 we saw the reunion of one of Rocks iconic bands from the 80’s as John Wetton(bass and lead vocals) Steve Howe (guitars), Geoff Downes (keyboards) and Carl Palmer(drums) reunited after some twenty-three years after all four had last played together.This year the band gave us two albums to ponder upon, firstly the new studio release‘Omega’ which once again cemented the band as one of finest bands from that 80’s erawho can still produce great new material. The second of course being the live album thatcelebrates the band reunion ‘Spirit of the Night – Live in Cambridge 09’, this albumcomes both in CD and DVD format, so both ear and eye candy for the fans of the band.The band aren’t just musicians they are masters of their craft and this is brought outboth visually and musically as they delve into the past for great tracks like ‘Heat Of TheMoment’ and ‘Don’t Cry’, but also features tracks from ‘Phoenix’ and a rather fantasticversion of ‘Fanfare For The Common Man’, one of the most iconic instrumentals of alltime. In a nutshell this is a must buy for both fans of the band but also fans of greatProgressive Rock. Barry McMinn (89/100)10 | MRF
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ATHORN -Phobia (AFM Records)Heavier than the artists that are normally featured on these pages this new band from Hanover playwhat they themselves call “Symbiotic Metal”. It’s a faily accurate description as they take elementsof thrash, death metal, nu metal , prog metal and some melody and blend them altogether. Leadsinger Carston Frank was formally wth Human Fortress, and it’s his voice,singing cleanly and growl-ing, that will lead to comparisions with Nevermore. Despite the diverse influences they do channelall these genres successfully into their own sound. It’s a record that gets stronger as it goes on. Theslow brooding title track creates a compelling ambience. “At The End” and “A Matter Of Time”,and“The Ferryman” raise the tempo well, adding more melody than the earlier tracks. Best of all is thedynamic closer “Schizophrenia” which is heavier than an elephant falling on you from a great heightbut then reigns back on the power atmospherically in a similar way to Lanfear. Definitely an albumfor those who like their musc hard, heavy and varied. Duncan Jamieson (78/100)FERREIRA - Better Run!! (Escape Music)Now, this is serious!! Marco Ferreira is a force to be reckoned with… the next “six-string slinger”! A multi-tal-ented musician, Marco Ferreira has released a body of Work that has injected much needed energy in the worldof Progressive Hard Rock! “Better Run!!” is his latest effort and showcases his vocal abilities as well as his mas-tery of guitar. The album drives along touching a variety of sonic delights. A very atmospheric as well as ambi-tious set of rhythms, this release is a result of a rising star in the Hard Rock sky. Surrounding himself with threevery proficient musicians — Ferreira is a quartet that increasingly touches the stratosphere! All in all, a very seri-ous Work, and their label is also serious about the group. Escape Music is promoting this album aggressively,and the packaging is bold. Great liner notes and info on each member of the band. Marco has also producedthis album… showing us, his incredible talent and keen sense of dynamics… both sonically and in the arrange-ments. A fast-paced record, “Better Run!!”, pushes the listener relentlessly into a set of rich and complicatedrhythms. One can totally plunge themselves in this deep expression of music…feeling the power of each musi-cal statement. Ferreira: “Better Run!!”… Hard — Progressive Rock at its best. Bruce Atkinson (88/100)The Brian Setzer Orchestra - Don’t Mess With A Big Band (Surfdog)Setzer’s riotous brand of rock ‘n’ roll is as audacious as his pompadour hairstyle. The Americanfirst came to prominence in the early 80s when the rockabilly Stray Cats had big UK hits with“Rock This Town”, “Stray Cat Strut” “Runaway Boys”, which are all included here, and then hewent onto to win 3 Grammy Awards in the 90s with his big orchestra. Two of those awards werefor “Jump Jive And Wail” and “Sleepwalk” which both sparkle on this disc of 19 live tracks record-ed last year in Japan. The choice of Eddie Cochran and Carl Perkins covers tells you exactly wherehis sound comes from and his own compositions could equally have been penned in the 50s. Thebig brass band swings with a cool that brings a jazz sensibility and knowing humour to the musicand Setzer’s distinctive hollow bodied guitar chimes like a bell. Out of step with fashion, rock ‘n’roll is a dying art, so thank goodness for people like Setzer who keep its flame burning brightly.
Duncan Jamieson (80/100)SALUTE - Heart Of The Machine (Escape Music)Mikael Erlandsson is one of the best singer/songwriters in Sweden today with a successful careeras a solo artist, especially in Europe and Japan. He has such a distinctive husky voice and manywill recognise as the lead vocalist and keyboards player for “Last Autumns Dream”. With trackslike “Higher” boasting an amazing guitar solo and “The Long Haul” Salute are onto a clear win-ner, the balance is just perfect. The stand out ballad “Feed Your Hunger” is stunning, Mikael’shaunting vocals are in a class of their own here. Salute excel in catchy choruses and effortlessmelodies, the songs just seem to flow as if it is no boundaries for them; a true sign of profession-alism! “Your Servant Tonight ” is a song that could gain commercial success as it is just so wellcrafted with that endearing guitar chord infused into the chorus. Mikael is so good at bringing outthe best in a song…”Tearing Me Down” is proof of that. The whole CD just smacks of class rockand is possibly the finest recording you will hear this year. Vitale Nocerino (90/100)ELVENKING - Red Silent Tides (AFM Records)I never liked very much the label “Folk - Power Metal” that have been always associated with this ital-ian band, so I admit I never approached the previous albums of Elvenking in the right way. And, judg-ing from the beauty of this work, how I’ve been wrong! “Red Silent Tides”, their brand new album, infact, is a great example of Melodic Metal played with variety, class and an unique style, produced in analmost perfect way by our dear Dennis Ward (of Pink Cream 69 fame). And on top of it, the beautifulvocals of singer Damnagoras, that mark a sort of trademark on the sound of Elvenking. Jumping fromthe traditional Power Metal (“Dawnmelting”, the single “The Cabal”, “Runereader”) to a more melodicapproach (“The Last Hour”, “Silence De Mort”), the music here is always fresh and you hardly could findany boring moment. And it’s very nice and not so usual to listen to a great violin-solo in the middle ofa Metal song (forget Blackmore’s Night! We’re talking about Heavy Metal here!), so… thumbs up for thisgreat band! Primo Bonali (88/100)STEVE LUKATHER - All’s Well That Ends Well (Mascot Records)Steve Lukather marks his new solo step with this surprising “All’s Well That Ends Well”, a release in pure clas-sic eighties Toto style! Steve, introducing this new album, talks about a result done of deep hard work, takingcare of every aspect in music, a real journey. Well, better words couldn’t be done to describe it. The first track“Darkness In My World”, anticipates in some ways this journey with its emotional and melodic growth alongseven minutes, with great sounds, superb guitar solo and a very inspired voice. The following “On My WayHome” and “Can’t Look Back” carry on this intense emotional ride, and the dramatic ballad “Don’t Say It’s Over”slows down the tension just for a while. “Flash In The Pan” is a funk up-tempo, with a great guitar riffing anda super melodic rock chorus with an endearing arpeggio arrangement. “You’ll Remember” is a superb song withperfect melodic hooks and bluesy flavor; “Brodie’s” comes as a handbook soul composition with an awesomeguitar solo; “Tumescent” closes the album with its hard and syncopated riffs, fusion, progressive moments andvery high technique level performance. Perfect job Steve! Fulvio Bordi (90/100)
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TOM GALLEY (creator of Phenomena) - Blind Faith (Escape Music)The brains behind the Phenomena projects returns with his latest offering of epic AOR/melodic rock. AsTom Galley's past releases set the course for arena rock to flex it's musical might beyond the simpleheavy pop song, having in the past utilized musicians and vocalist such as Glenn Hughes, Max Bacon,Scott Gorham, John Wetton, Brian May, & Tony Martin to name a few for his projects - with Blind Faith,the conceptual approach is still in full form and current AOR scene stalwarts are within the album to deliv-er the melodic rock goods. Reminiscent of Richie Zito's Avalon, Deacon Street, & Voices of Rock projectsas well as combining the heaviness of Pink Cream 69, some of the epical overtones of Brazen Abbot, andthe pop mastery of Street Talk. It's a concept album where you don't get too lost into the music (not beingharshly novel-like many big prog-rock projects), each individual song stands out on it's own; however,there is more to Blind Faith than just simply a collection of songs, so those who want to delve into themore intelligent & intricate side will have food for fodder. Tommy Hash - www.ytsejam.com (89/100)STAHLMANN - Stahlmann (AFM Records)The industrial metal might of Germany has been dominated by one name and that name is Rammstein,but a new breed of German Industrialist is taking the scene by storm and leading the way are Stahlmann(Steel Man), who donned with silver painted faces as part of their Steel Man personas are about tounleash their debut album simply entitled Stahlmann. The band is big on the dramatics not just with thepainted faces but also musically as the debut depicts. Huge pounding drums beats engulfed in massiveelectro keyboards and programming with frontman Mart leading the way with a typical angst filledGerman vocal, while Alex and Tobi push the guitar to its limits in true Industrial Metal style, but the heartof the bands sound comes from the punishing rhythm section of Fire-Abend on bass and O-Lee on drumswho are the undoubted titans of the band. With massive Metal tracks like ‘Hass Mich Leib Mich’, the heav-ily gothic ‘Teufel’ and ‘Marschierin’ interwoven with the almost poppy ‘Auf Ewig’ and dance groove metalof ‘Kaltes Herz’ and the mood ridden ‘Mein Flehen’. This is a very listenable album, even if I don’t under-stand a single word of the German lyrics this one easily spans the multicultural language barrier as themusic and rhythms make all the statements required. Barry McMinn (80/100)JAMES LABRIE – Static Impulse (InsideOut Music)Over five years after the melodically induced Elements of Persuasion hit the racks, and introducing us to axe-man Marco Sfolgli at the same time, Static Impulse takes LaBrie into a totally different direction, reflecting theharder edge that has been given to his other band of note, and then some.The one thing that stands out on thisrecord is the use of guttural vocals from drummer Peter Wildoer (also w/Darkane) - not used in the sense ofconsistency where you are turned off, per say, but used in a sense where you might scratch your head a fewtimes. Along with LaBrie for this album is keyboardist/co-writer Matt Guillory, axeman Marco Sfogli, and bassistRay Riendeau to create the metal monstrosity that sits along the lines of recent Dream Theater, Jaded Heart, &a less extreme Soilwork. Static Impulse offers up a mass of metal from the DT frontman, it's something of aindividual musical statement, not straying too far out of the prog-metal aura, while not going too far into differ-ent tangents while pondering into different (heavy minded) musical territories; it's an album that encompassesthe musical mindset of James LaBrie at a personal level. Tommy Hash - www.ytsejam.com (91/100)STRATOSPHERE – Fire Flight (Escape Music)Make way for a new Scandinavian Band! Enter Stratosphere, a tight knit Quintet that mixes symphonicprogressive and melodic rock in a manner that will leave you speechless. The band is the brainchild of key-board virtuoso Jeppe Lund, himself a huge fan of symphonic rock and he has dreamed of making a recordsuch as “Fire Flight”. With Goran Edman on lead vocals; his clean, yet powerful voice is one of a kind. Goranblends perfectly in a loud music setting and excels on the neo-classical twist. Both his lead and backingvocal qualities are state of art. They seem to capture the elements of symphonic progressive rock and mixthem with melodic overtones with a sprinkle of originality just for good measure. Opener “RussianSummer” is a huge song with soaring melodies, whilst “The Battle Within” echoes the halcyon days ofRainbow.The Haunting song “Shining Star” is a pleasure to listen to and gives a chance for Goran to showoff his vocal prowess to maximum effect. The ballad “Princess of the night” is a beautifully executed piece;in fact the whole album is just a complete pleasure to listen to. Vitale Nocerino (85/100)HEART – Red Velvet Car (Legacy)As far as other critics go, it looks like I'm on my own here, as I've read a lot of positive com-ments. I didn't like the last album for the same reasons. I just think that modern day Heart is allabout the Wilson Sisters' desire to feel authentic, but left behind are all commercial attributesthat brought the band a lot of fans from Heart (1985) through to Desire Walks On (1995).Choruses are not a focus here. Big hooks aren't either. That's not to say that Ann can't be melod-ic – she is as always, an outstanding emotive vocalist. The album is largely acoustic drivensinger/songwriter material with the exception of the Zeppelinesque riffing of WTF, Wheels andDeath Valley plus the back end of Red Velvet Car. I'm finding that I just don't like the all-to-briefchoruses and while the vocals are always sensual, electric and supremely delivered, I find thechoruses here just plain annoying. The tracks I am attracted to are the more rocking WTF, butalso the raw emotional Hey You and the Nancy Wilson sung Sand. But the majority of tracks leaveme cold in the long run. The production is great, the vocals are unquestionably good, but the endresult isn't appealing enough for me. Andrew McNeice - www.melodicrock.com (68/100)ALTER BRIDGE – III (Roadrunner Records)Here we are with the so long awaited third Alter Bridge’s studio release. The band, along theyears releasing two albums and making live shows all over the world, has been gaining so muchwell deserved credit, respect and admiration for their music, featuring a perfect combination ofmelody, power, straight guitar riffs and pure wild energy. “III” comes out on the scene featuringstill more power, passion and highly inspired melodic paths. The band really beats down hardmore than ever and choruses really print their melody in mind since the first shot! Sound produc-tion is superb, with a really heavy approach and a bit darker atmosphere than the past. All theband’s performance comes out great from the speakers, rhythm section really kicks butts, whileguitars cut with their raw sounds and riffing. Special mentioning for Myles Kennedy’s performance,in great shape, deeply inspired and perfectly fusing together with all the rest of the band in anunique musical monolith! Surely one of the 2010 hi-lights! Fulvio Bordi (85/100)
Duncan Jamieson: Can you please present theband to our readers?Athorn: We formed the band in autumn2008 after wedid some jam sessions together. Before we startedATHORN we knew each other for many years. Some ofthe guys already played together in different bands likeCRIPPER and ZELYON or met up on concerts and festi-vals. The characteristic of ATHORN is that each mem-ber has different musical influences, so we can put ourown expectation of modern powerful metal into reality.Stefan likes classic rock and melodic metal. Soren, theguy behind the battery, is our progressive and alterna-tive maniac. Carsten prefers Swedish melodic death,Tobias gets a smile when he listens to bands likeDEATH or CYNIC thus death metal and Thomas' influ-ences are bands like BLACK SABBATH with DIO,ACCEPT and heavy/doom metal. If we have to explainthe sound of ATHORN we would say: Imagine a brew ofthe best various styles of metal. If you are thinkingnow that mixing many different styles of music couldbe a problem in the song writing process, we want tosay: "maybe, but not for us, harhar!" Of course whenyou combine our different musical preferences there issometimes friction. But on the other hand, we needthese situations to get the most out of it. Every song isthe result of five different musicians! That's the secretbehind the sound of ATHORN.DJ: What about the album “Phobia”?A: Well, Phobia is - after our EP "Livable Hatred" from2009 - the first statement of the band and we are verysatisfied with the result! The song writing and produc-tion definitely represents the level of ATHORN at thispoint of time but there is also a lot of potential for thefuture. Of course it would be great to reach as manypeople as possible, who like our music in the same wayas we do, but it's very difficult to find a place betweenall the other bands in the metal scene, or even prevailagainst some of them. On the other hand the mostimportant thing for us is simply playing the music welove to play! It would be great to do some festivals ormaybe a smaller tour in Europe next year, or some coolsupport gigs... we'll see.DJ: What is the story about the deal with theamazing label AFM Records?A: Last year we released our EP "Livable Hatred" to beaimed at getting attention in the metal scene. Afterthat, we've got contact to Sandra Eichner ofRosenheim Rocks. Sandra was very impressed of oursound and she provides us her support. Sandra hasmany good contacts in the music business and theresult was the contract with AFM. Of course it's anadvantage. A label like AFM has a lot of possibilities toforce the way of ATHORN. The album will be releasedon the basic music market worldwide. This opens manydoors to play in front of larger audiences and reach alot of metal fans.14 | MRF
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Question: So here we are with yourfirst album! What are your feelingsabout and what are your expecta-tions?Answer: Hi There! We're very excited tohave our debut album finished andreleased, hopefully people will enjoy ourmusic, that's all we can really hope toexpect, anything beyond that will begreat.Q: Can you tell us about yourrecordings process? Do you writetogether or some of you bring to thegroup the basic lines and then yourehearse them in studio?A: Myself (Jules - Vocals), Enzo(Guitar), Xavier (Keyboards) and Trent(Bass) write together as a team, almostevery song will start out from one ortwo of us having an idea or melody linethat we will then work on together, fromthere we will rehearse them in the stu-dio until we are happy with how thesong is sounding, Then we will lay themdown into a demo for us to fine tunethem. We did this for all the songs onthe album, making sure that when werecorded the earlier demos that anychanges we wanted to make to themwe had already in place before webegan the recording process for thealbum. When we recorded the album
tracks, we layed down Drums andGuitars at Toyland studios in our home-town of Melbourne, then recorded allbass, keyboards and vocals also inMelbourne. After finishing all the record-ed parts, we sent all the tracks over toJM Studios in Sweden to be mixed andmastered by Martin Kronlund (GypsyRose, Joe Lynn Turner, Overland,Salute, Bangaloire Choir). We then cor-rosponded with Martin over e-mail tofine tune the mix with him to give us thetype of sound we were after. We're veryhappy with the finished album.Q: Are you happy with the songsthat wind up on the album? Whichone do you thing best sum up whatWhite Widdow is all about?A: Yes for sure, of course sometimes it'shard to choose what songs will be leftoff the album, because you becomeattached to the songs you write andalways want to see them make therecord. But i think we have a good bal-ance of both faster rockers and moremelodic songs, with a couple of slowermid paced songs to smooth it out. If ihad to choose one song to representWhite Widdow and sum up what we areall about, it would probably be "TokyoRain", the album opener, mainlybecause it has a good mix of riffing gui-
tars and a wall of keyboards with a biganthemic chorus. Q: You are all from Australia whereyou toured heavily in the past year,the album has been mixed andmastered in Sweden and you areout with a German label, a globalproject indeed! Where do you seeyour band in a, let’s say, 5 yearstime frame?A: Yes we like to perform live and tourin Australia whenever we can, being ona European label we'd love to get overto Europe for a tour. I'd like to seeWhite Widdow in 5 years with 3 albumsreleased and have toured Europe &Japan, hopefully more than once!Q: It’s not a mystery you have beeninfluenced by the Melodic Rock andAOR of the 80’s, tell us who areyour heroes and who are the onesyou feel more influenced by.A: Myself and the guys all grew up lis-tening to Bon Jovi, Dokken,Whitesnake, Def Leppard, Survivor etc,but i think for us as a specific influenceon our sound it is bands like WhiteSister who are one of my heroes forsure, as well as Aviator, Treat andGiuffria. All bands that blended big gui-tars with big keyboards, which is thesound we are really aiming for.
Less then an year after their digital only EP released in 2009, the Australian band WhiteWiddow, lead by the charismatic brothers Millis, front man Jules and Xavier on the key-boards along with bassist Trent Wilson, the talented guitar virtuoso Enzo Almanzi and JimNaish on drums, is now in full force to give us a good and fresh Melodic Rock. Mixed andMastered by Martin Kronlund (Overland, Joe Lynn Turner, Hammerfall, Bangalore Choir) atJM Studios in Sweden, White Widdow is an athemic and energetic album where all tracksare filled by big guitars and catchy choruses. It’s not a mystery this group is heavily influ-enced by the masters of the 80’s Arena style Melodic Rock, but despite some odd clichésthey succeed to give their music a unique sound and clear vision to their project. GuitaristEnzo Almanzi and keyboardist Xavier Millis (a two time ARIA, Australian Record IndustryAward nominee) unquestioningly take the lion share for their music style. It’s clear that theirsolid live performances established themselves as great performers and the careful work ofmixing and mastering run by Martin Kronlund (Overland, Joe Lynn Turner, Hammerfall,Bangalore Choir) made the difference. All in all a well rounded and roaring rock album anda serious “opera prima” for this young gang. Fabio “Deuce” Mainardi (88/100)
Focus on: WHITE WIDDOW - White Widdow (Aor Heaven)
Band: White WiddowAlbum: White WiddowInterview with: Jules MillisInterviewed by: Fabio Mainardi
Focus on: TWO FIRES - Burning Bright (Frontiers Records)Maybe this is the best surprise of the year until now in Melodic Rock scene! “BurningBright” gives us back Two Fires with a new renewed line-up and a new passionate fireburning along all the tracklist. The band, headed by classic Melodic Rock vocal talentKevin Chalfant, comes back in line carrying on the path started by The Storm band inthe nineties and followed up with the Two Fires’ previous studio releases, but now witha new solid, compact guitar approach, a still more epic flavor and, more than all, a newawesome melodic inspiration. Since the opener “ Is It Any Wonder”, passing through“Lost In The Song”, the kicking title track recalling Journey’s “Raised On Radio” era, “Stillin Love”, “Rentless”, Two Fires put listener under siege, not leaving him alone since thelast closing track. “Some Things Are Better Left Unsaid” is an astonishing song writtenby Kevin Chalfant with Neal Schon and Gregg Rolie; while “Shattered Without You”comes out with a superb combination between Journey and Bon Jovi. No doubt, pearl ofthe month! Fulvio Bordi (90/100)
Band: Two FiresAlbum: Burning BrightInterview with: Kevin ChalfantInterviewed by: Fulvio Bordi
Question: Hi Kevin! All of mycompliments for this brand newexciting chapter in Two Firessaga. So many years have beenpassing by after the publicationof “Ignition”. What did you doalong these years?Answer: Thank you for the warmregards concerning the new record-ings. I have stayed very busy pro-ducing music. I built a studio andhave been building it up gradually. Ialways seem to be recording some-one and helping with arrangementsand song construction. Along with allof that, the band has continued toperform. I have several ventureswith many artists. One is Voices ofRock Radio with singers WallyPalmar, Derek St. Holmes, JimiJamison and John Cafferty.Q: Which was the spark leadingyou to build back the band andrise up a new studio effort?A: I collaborated this idea once againwith Serafino Perugino fromFrontiers Records.Q: Let’s talk about the music. Ithink the album’s title is the bestone to represent what the CDfeatures. The music, in fact,comes out of the speakers with
some kind of double connectedpersonality: it looks like burningwith a solid rockin’ guitar workand a boiling rhythm section,while melodies and keyboardsjust shine bright. What is yourimpression about it?A: How can I top that… I agreewhole heartedly. Thank you.Q: Melodies and atmosphereslook like still more epic than thepast. What’s your point of view? A: That was the theme actually. Wewanted the music to stick and bemore timeless. I hope we have madethat impression.Q: In your opinion, how “BurningBright” sounds and looks likedifferent than Two Fires’ previ-ous releases?A: My live band played a lot more ofthe music this time around. Theband is gelling nicely and I wanted tobring that to the record. I did invitesome talented guests to be apart ofthe tracks, but mainly the live band.I believe that makes a big difference.Q: Let’s focus for a while on yourvocal performance. Your voicesounds perfect, in great shape!How did you feel along therecording sessions?
A: Thank you again. I actually had arough time through this process.This year has proven to challengemy health. In January of this year, Isang sick and caused some tempo-rary damage to my voice. In takingsome of the medication, I actuallyburned my voice with acid reflux.What that means is, while I wassleeping, acid from my stomachcame up my throat and burned myleft vocal chord. I had to singthrough this time, but it seemed totake forever. I am completely healednow, but it sure scared me like itwould never be normal again. I cau-tion singers who take Prednisone forlung issues or bronchitis, be sureyou raise the head of your bed toallow you head to be higher thanyour stomach when you lay down.Prednisone is an effective drug tohelp one symptom, but if you are notcareful, it can create new one.Q: Any tour dates planned tosupport the album?A: Yes, I have been in contact with acouple of Euro promoters as well asa new agent here in the states. Wewill be busy with the many projectswe work around. Two Fires is in timefor 2011.
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Band: Unruly Child
Album: Worlds Collide
Interview with: Bruce Gowdy
Interviewed by: Fulvio Bordi
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Focus on: UNRULY CHILD - Worlds Col l ide (Front iers Records)After about eighteen years, Unruly Child’s first classic line-up joins back togethergiving life to their fourth studio chapter. So here they are, Marcie Free on vocals,Guy Allison on keys, Bruce Gowdy on guitars, Larry Antonino and Jay Schellen asrhythm section bringing us back the original, pure Unruly Child’s trademark, a realdream come true for any band’s long date fan and Melodic Rock lover. “WorldsCollide” is not just some kind of past glory revival, but a real follow-up of the leg-endary debut album, released in 1992. Each song glitters as a potential melodicmasterpiece born by a so inspired songwriting and dressed in classic Unruly Childsound, but at the same time enriched with today’s contemporary elements every-where around. Any listener won’t believe his own ear since the opener “Show MeMoney”, the real “On The Rise” successor. It is some kind of starting declaration ofwar introducing a tracklist of twelve new UC classics. Also, astonishing perform-ance from Marcie Free! Melodic Rock welcomes back one of its huge protagonists.Emotional! Fulvio Bordi (96/100)
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Question: After about sixteenyears, the Unruly Child’s origi-nal line-up is back on track withthe new so long awaited“Worlds Collide”. This is a realdream coming true for any longtime band and Marcie Free’sadmirer. Where did the idea forit start? And did the band jointogether easily?Answer: Frontiers always kept intouch with me over the past, andalways hinted a reunion, and aftertalking to Marcie (2009) they havebeen contacting her also, but thistime seemed different, I reallyhaven’t spoken to Guy since the lastUC III record, been 5 years or so, Ithought what the fuck. I called Guyfirst then I called Marcie, not tohave an answer right away, but feelout if we all could talk and befriends, and to my amazement wehad some incredible laughs, like wedid on the first record, and then Iasked Marcie if she would be inter-ested, doing a record. That was thehardest part getting Marcie, Guy & Ito commit, then Frontiers pushedwhich we had no problem theywanted Jay& Larry, so I put in thosecalls, both we extremely into it. Q: “Worlds Collide” is a real newgem shining in Melodic Rockscene. How did you put togetherall the material for the newcompositions? Do they all comefrom the same writing sessions,or each one comes from differ-ent moments?A: The writing was over a 3 to 4month period. Guy & I would just sitdown, I always have ideas, but wejust write what we feel at thatmoment, like The Very First Time.Wasn’t sure if Guy would like it, butwe worked for hours, and few ses-sions, and then said wow. We knewMarcie would sound great on it.Frontiers wanted the 1992 UCsound, of course it’s going to have16 years of other musical influ-ence’s, and then you put Marcie intothe mix of writing and you get songslike, Show Me The Money, You Don’tUnderstand, When Worlds Collide,the three of us really have a goodwriting connection, always have.Q: …And what about the bandworking together? I mean, oneof the very first things coming inmind listening to “WorldsCollide” is the unmistakableband’s trademark incrediblykept after all this time. Did youfollow the same way youworked on the debut album?A: We all, Jay, Larry, Guy, Marcie &I all feel lucky that this was meantto be, that’s why it has it’s UCsound, this is, the original band.And yes we followed how we did the
first record, but Guy, Marcie & Istart with good songs some don’tmake it. On this record we didn’thave as much time as we did on thefirst record, that record took 2 yearsto come up with, and now we all livefurther away, than we did backwhen. So time was of the essence,we did the writing, performing all in6 1/2 months not bad.Q: What is like having MarcieFree as band mate after all thistime?A: I just picked up Marcie at the air-port, were doing a video on VeryFirst Time, we shot it yesterday,and Marcie & I had breakfast and Itook her back to the airport today,were great friends and were bothexcited about this record, we thinkit came out great, very happy. Weall have a great sense of humorthat’s why were Unruly, it fits. Timeis a great healer.Q: Please, tell us about yourfeelings just after the recordingsessions took to a definitiveend.A: All of us were saying is that it,but there’s more work to do. Marcie,Guy & I, Jay & Larry will be doinginterviews to let our fans know werestill here and kicking some ass, Ithink this record has some fire to it,it doesn’t sound stale. We all stillhave a lot of passion, you can hearit in Marcie’s vocals, one of the bestever, in Jay’s playing, Guy & Larry.Were waiting to see how our videocomes out, hope it’s good.Q: Why did you entitle thealbum “Worlds Collide”? Isthere a particular meaning con-nected to your come back?A: Actually Marcie came up with andsong idea called When WorldsCollide, she sent it to me and Guy &I finished it. I thought what a greattitle, great imagery. We put theUnruly sound to it.Q: How do us fans have to con-sider this brand new release: asa new natural chapter afterUCIII, or a new starting pointfor the band?A: I like the way you asked thisquestion, I do think, we have chap-ters in our lives, and this is a newbright chapter, were all museoids.Which means, we’re music freaks,and are glad to have each otherknowing we can trust each other’splaying or singing, knowing we allwant this to be the best it can be.The past is the past, we still havethe first record to reflect to, andnow there’s a bright future.Q: In your opinion, which arethe main differences between“Worlds Collide” and the classicUC debut released in 1992? Inmy opinion songs keep the
band’s original sound, but at thesame time there are new actualsound inserts all around; whilethe songwriting displays a newrenewed verve. What’s yourpoint of view?A: I totally agree we have arenewed verve, Guy & I love a vaststyles of music, and we includesome new stuff on this record,knowing Frontiers wanted the UCfirst record style, it wouldn’t work ifwe came out with a totally differentstyle, our fans wouldn’t embrace it,but with this group we have a style& sound the UC sound. And were allyoung at heart. (When We WereYoung)Q: Where did you take ispirationfor the album's lyrics?A: If we say were going to make arecord we just get into that mode,we don’t have or ever have thetime, like we did on the first record,we wrote for 2 years on the firstrecord, and on this record, we hadabout 3 to 4 months. We writeabout what were feeling or whatgoing on around us, or just write agood pop song.Q: I think songs such as “ReadMy Mind” (just to find outone…) make anyone understandclass can’t be bought everydayat the supermarket . Please, tellus how did this song come out.A: Again, I wasn’t sue if Guy wouldlike the idea, I told him that I likesingers that spit out fast words, likewe did in the verse’s, then he cameup with the melody & verse lyrics,and then I said the music has a lit-tle, Is It Over, vibe, so he came upwith the chorus lyric, and again wewere pleasantly surprised how itcame out, then we wanted to be alittle different, we thought Guyshould shine on some specialmoments on this, like the intropiano and fading into the ending,back to Guy. It has a 70’s progres-sive vibe.Q: Do you listen to music fromother artists, nowadays? If so,who?A: I like Train, BT, Nickelback, any-thing that Mutt Lange does, I stilllove good production, I’ve currentlylistened to composers for filmbecause that’s where I’ve beenworking, but I love anything good.Q: What about concerts? Willthe band support this releasetouring around?A: We’ve been asked this a lot, it’ssimple, we would love to tour, weneed to have a couple weeks to amonths of dates to play to makefinical sense, unless someone wantsto pay a lot of money for 1 or 2shows, if the record does well ifthink we’ll get that opportunity.
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Question: Hi guys ! Congratulations for this new greatpounding album! Can you tell ussomething about the making it.Answer: Thank you! Andy Susemihland I started last year, with thethought in mind we have to obviouslymaintain some of the old sound, butwe have all grown musically and Ithink that shows on the new album.A: Before we go on to some otherthings, you released your veryfirst solo album last year entitled"Universal Language". I reallyhave been enjoying it a lot! Tellme about that, the recordingprocess for it and how it's beenrecieved so far.A: : I've always wanted to do a solorecord my whole career and the timewas right to do it. I live in Germanynow and when I arrived in 2008, I wasat my favorite pub when AndySusemihl walked in and we startedtalking about working together. I'veknown Andy since my days withAccept and his with U.D.O. andalways admired his talent so we start-ed to write songs and soon I realisedhow seriously talented he is. Duringthe recording process I asked him toproduce me because I could feel heunderstood where I was coming from,we wrote 15 tracks and all in all it tookabout 2 months to complete ,that saidthe response was and is very good atthe moment.Q: Did you already have some
demos to work on or you startedwriting and rehearsing once youjoined back together? A: After Georg Siegl agreed to releasean new BANGALORE CHOIR recordwe sat down and started writing in2009 always 'ON TARGET' in ourminds, this record was and is so pop-ular to this day. I also reached out toTommy Denander, Christian Tolle andMartin Kronlund as you can see on theofficial 'CADENCE' album. Q: Did any of you take the lead onthe production stool or decisionscame out of you all?A: Andy and I are the main songwrit-ers I decided since Andy did such agreat job on my solo album 'UniversalLanguage' I knew he was the rightman to produce the BANGALORECHOIR album.Q: Your latest work is dated backin 1992, what has been the trig-ger that made you decide for acome back?A: My fans! They asked for a BANGA-LORE CHOIR album over the last fewyears and I feel the time is right foranother release it has always been mydream.Q: During these years rock musichad big turn arounds, what havebeen your experiences so far andwhat you bring with you to bepart of your new album? A: As I have noticed the rebirth ofhard rock over the last couple years isnot so one sided anymore the Hair
Metal is back the old 70th Metal styleis back and I think that's great!!! Ouralbum fits into the a couple genresperfectly.Q: What about your thoughts onthe current rock music scene, andwhat about internet and file shar-ing?A: Rock music is my passion it's in myhead 24/7 and it always will be andI'm glad it's still alive, but the rockscene will not survive if people contin-ue file sharing and do illegal down-loading for free, actually its a slap inyour face if you see your just finishedalbum (not even released yet!) onpirate sides with original title and anadvice of getting the promo cd readyto download. Don't get me wrong,internet is great to communicate withyour fans, friends and musician bud-dies don't want to miss it at all !!!Q: Is this a one shot project or areyou going to record new musicsoon after your forthcoming Eurotour?A: Actually we are writing on a newalbum right now.Q: Bangalore Choir is scheduled toperform at the Firefest festival inthe UK in October. Are you plan-ning on doing any other showsbesides that at some point?A: Yes, were touring Europe in earlyOctober and will do Firefest October30th 2010 and then in November wewill play all of Scandinavia for four orfive shows.
Almost twenty years after 'On Target' dated way back in 1992 David Reece is back againwith his Bangalore Choir. Reformed the killer partnership with guitarist Curt Mitchell andbassist Danny Greenberg plus the addition of guitarist Andy Susemihl (U.D.O.) and drum-mer Hans in't Zandt, Bangalore Choir are ready to conquer the throne of the Melodic Rockscene. Although David is one of the most underrated singer in the latest years, gone thedebut with Accept and then the short run with Bangalore and the recent solo album, herewe are with a great rocking album with a take no prisoner attitude. You will be shockedby the power of David’s voice and his vocal abilities through out all the 11 tracks, start-ing from the opener ‘Wahzoo City” until “Surrender of your Love”, well supported by theblistering guitar riffs and catchy melodies by the talented duo Mitchell- Susemihl. We arein front of solid musicians grown up in the 80’s sound and this album is full of referencesto that gold period, but with a cool modern breeze all wrapped around. Listening toCadence you can’t help but hoping for new music from Bangalore Choir because theyknow to rock and they rock hard. Bangalore Choir will go on tour soon in Europe, Asia andUS will follow after, so don’t miss them in action. Fabio “Deuce” Mainardi (90/100)
Band: Bangalore ChoirAlbum: CadenceInterview with: David ReeceInterviewed by:Fabio Mainardi
Focus on: BANGALORE Choir - Cadence (Front iers Records)