melodic rock fanzine #57
Embed Size (px)
DESCRIPTIONThis new issue includes reviews and interviews of Whitesnake, James Christian, King Kobra, Fergie Frederiksen, Find Me, Newman, Lawless, Oliva, Arc Angel, Pat Travers Band, Little River Band, Lingua Mortis Orchestra Feat. Rage... and more!
CONTENTS04 Whitesnake06 James Chr ist ian07 King Kobra08 Ferg ie Freder iksen09 Find Me10 Newman1 1 Lawless12 Reviews15 Ol iva17 Arc Angel19 Pat Travers Band20 Little River Band22 Lingua Mortis Orchestra Ft. Rage
Melodic Rock FanzineThe official Frontiers Records magazine
Year #9 - Nr. 4 / Issue #57
Editor-in-chief: Elio Bordi
Graphic & Design: Elio Bordi
Writers: Bruce E.J. Atkinson, Duncan Jamieson, BarryMcMinn, Vitale Nocerino, Rob “Ezy” Bone, Primo Bonali.
Headquarters and general contacts:Frontiers Records - Via Gonzaga 1880125, Napoli - ItalyTel: +39.081.2399340/7753Fax: +39.081.2399794E-mail: [email protected]: www.frontiers.itFacebook: facebook.com/frontiersrecordsofficialTwitter: twitter.com/frontiersrecEditor and publisher: Frontiers Records s.r.l.
Copyright©2013 Frontiers Records. All rightsreserved. Reproduction in whole or in part
without permission is prohibited.Printed in Italy.
Focus on: WHITESNAKE - Made in Britain / The World Record (Frontiers Records)
Here I go again. With “Made In Japan” still spinning in my CD player, along comes anotherWhitesnake live album. Like buses, none come along and then suddenly two at once. Fromthe same year 2011 as “Made In Japan”, with one disc recorded in the UK and the otherfrom gigs around the world it’s very similar to “ Made In Japan”, covering most of the sameclassics; “Here I Go Again”, “Fool for Your Lovin’” and “Still Of The Night” plus some newermaterial from the more recent “Good To Be Bad” and “Forevermore” records. There arethough a couple of different tracks. This one adds the sing along classic “Aint No Love InThe Heart Of The City” (RIP Bobby Bland), the Deep Purple classic “Soldier Of Fortune” getsa welcome inclusion and “The Deeper The Love” is also aired. It captures the modern dayWhitesnake juggernaut. It’s big, bombastic and goes for shock and awe. Despite the closeproximity to the release of “Made in Japan” it’s still an enjoyable ride, although some of thestrain on Coverdale’s voice is showing and the overlong solo spots need ditching to makeroom for some more classic Whitesnake tracks instead. Duncan Jamieson (90/100)
4 | MRF
band. WHITESNAKEalbum. made in britain...
Interview with. d. coverdaleinterviewed by:. duncan jamieson
Question: First “Made InJapan” and now “Made InBritain”. I know you ask thefans what they want. Werethese live recordingsreleased on their request?Answer: Well, our supporters arevery vocal in what they wantfrom us... They’re already post-ing on whitesnake.com,Facebook & twittering me thatthey would like a live record ofthis years setlist... Go figure...So, we have all those showsrecorded if we ever decide tomix them...Q: Our original plan for thisyear was just the “Made InBritain” plus “The WorldRecord” but, after we sawthe footage from the LoudPark show in Tokyo, we wereexcited, as was Frontiers, tohave a new DVD for thefans... & for us, to be hon-est...A: As this is the Year Of TheSnake, EMI wanted in on releas-ing the “Lil” Box ‘o’ Snakes” CDset, which is also doing remark-ably well... & to be honest, Idon’t think we’re finished yet...More to come, Boys & Girls... HaHa!!Q: Are there any more liverecordings in the vault fromthe past that might see thelight of day in the future?A: Yes... We found a hugeamount of material once westarted archiving some yearsago... Some very pleasant sur-prises which I’ll tell you aboutlater... But, I have no doubt ourhardcore fans will be very happywith...Q: You’ve done your fairshare of gigs over the yearsbut which gigs stand out assignificant in your career foryou?A: That’s a tough question forme to answer, to be honest... Somany over the years... Purpleshows, the shows with Mr Pagewere very memorable... & work-ing with the different chapters ofWhitesnake, including the cur-rent line-up, are always memo-rable in some way...You must remember, I’m not abig “nostalgia” guy where mywork is concerned... More sowith other artists I admire... Ilike creating new works, writingnew songs... I’ve just bought anew house specifically for ourprojects... We have acousticengineers in the place as I type,designing the studio, so, when Icome off the road at the end ofOctober, it’s going to be a case
of catching my breath then off towork!!Q: I caught your Wembleyshow on your recent tour.There was a lot of love in thebuilding. How have you foundthe tour so far?A: This tour has certainly provedone of the most memorable forme... The band has been incred-ibly consistent, we have Tommyback on thunderous, drivingdrums, & the audiences havebeen with us every step of theway... I am in awe of the factI’m still blessed with the supportwe have... Mind blowing... Sorewarding. Q: I imagine what goes onafter a show has changedthrough the years. How doyou unwind these days aftera gig?A: That’s never a problem for menowadays... It used to be pullingall nighters... ahh... “Youth”... But, now, a couple of goodglasses of wine... A hot bath &the rest... Ha Ha!!Q: You’ve said you’ve got atleast three years of projectson the go for after this tour.Can you shed any light onwhat those might be?A: Yes... A little... I bought back3 projects from EMI that previ-ous executives didn’t particularlysupport that I feel confident wecan remix & add all kinds ofsolid, interesting content...Video, live recordings, alternatemixes, etc... “Restless Heart”,“Into The Light”, which we founda wealth of unreleased, unfin-ished material, plus we docu-mented the whole project onvideo... An expanded “StarkersIn Tokyo”... Rehearsal footage &a recent interview with AdrianVandenberg & myself... Also, solid live recordings fromwhat I thought was “The LastHurrah” tour in 97...Doug Aldrich & I are working onarrangements for a really freshacoustic “Best Of” with somenew songs... I love working with Doug... It’srelatively effortless... A verygifted musician & producer...Michael McIntyre, our otherBrutal Brother is an essentialpart of the creative team... Partof the my future plans will be todo more intimate concerts, simi-lar to “Starkers” where I cantruly interact with the crowd...Smaller venues... Of course, ifwe can get promoters interest-ed... It will be a refreshingchange for me from doing my“Lord Of The Jungle”, chest beat-
ing rock shows that people knowme for... With our own studio ¤t technology, there isnothing we’ll be unable to do, tobe honest... Streaming “live”shows... Showing the band recording...I’m embracing new technology tothe max, as long as we canmaintain the artistic integrity Ifeel is necessary to our work...Make the digital domain work forus, rather than the other wayaround... I have always wantedto do a blues/soul album as atribute to the masters who soinfluenced me thru the years,but, in my own style, not simplyre-creating the originals...That’s a definite... Oh, & a killerrevamp of “My Generation” thatI’ve wanted to kick arse on fordecades!!The really wonderful thing is nowI don’t have to go knocking oncorporate doors to ask for theirblessing, as I had to do for mostof my career.It’s a new world & I am grabbingit by the short & curlies... Mypartners at Frontiers have beenfully supportive of my hopes,wishes, dreams & ambitions & Ihave no doubt we’ll have somewonderful, creative & successfuladventures together these nextyears.Q: Tommy Aldridge has leftand returned to Whitesnakethree times already. What ledyou to accepting his come-back is related to the urgentneed of a drummer inreplacement for Tichy, or ithas something to do withyour fans demand? A: No... It was time for us to ful-fill our musical destiny togeth-er... & we are!! The Universeworks in mysterious ways, some-times... & in this case it was theright thing for all of us... I don’tquestion it... I’m just riding theincredible wave we are experi-encing now... Loving it...Q: Doug Aldrich also has aparallel project calledBurning Rain, which hasrecently released a newalbum entitled “EpicObsession”. What´s youropinion regarding the possi-bility of the members ofWhitesnake of making acareer of their own? Haveyou listened to this material?A: I encourage my guys toexpress themselves outside ofWhitesnake... It is with myblessing...& I hope it does amaz-ing for Doug...He is a multi tal-ented man... Go for it, Doug!!!
MRF | 5
Focus on: JAMES CHRISTIAN - Lay It All on Me (Front iers Records)
“Lay It All on Me” shows a side of James that we seldom see, when he is taking up theduties of lead vocals for House of Lords. Opening with the title cut, this collection ofmusical masterpieces displays an unselfish, romantic side of J.C. that perhaps hasn’tbeen heard since his first solo foray. As always, James Christian is a very generoussoul, and not keeping his Talent to himself. He has collaborated this record with suchlike minded musicians as Tommy Denander and Jimi Bell… Plus he has brought togeth-er some heavyweights, like, Jeff Kent on keyboards, David Sherman on drums, just toname a few. The romantic, richly textured themes work each and every time! “Lay ItAll on Me” is just such a fine effort that it plays faultless. James is also joined by hisvery talented wife; Robin Beck, contributing vocals throughout. A very hard workingsinger, James also produced this collection… And in the process, gave each and everymusician their own spotlight-just another sign of his generous heart! The productionis lush, and as mentioned-richly textured. Are you hungry for some un-selfish love?This is it! James Christian’s “Lay It All on Me”!! Bruce Atkinson (90/100)
6 | MRF
Question: I want to start offwith the title of your newrecord, “Lay It All On Me”… Thetitle track and other songsthroughout the album have acertain ‘if you have issues…Don’t despair, let me help’ atti-tude. Is this a fair observa-tion… And has this any thing todo with the health battle youhave recently found yourselfin?Answer: This album was a verypersonal one for me and “yes” lyri-cally there are times the CD movesin the direction of Hope. But not allsongs have that message. It is notalways the right thing to do. Musicshould be uplifting and well a lyrics.Q: This is now your third solorelease, and one that sits rightup there with “Meet The Man”and your beautiful “RudeAwakening”… And yes knowingyour involvement with HouseOf Lords-that aside for themoment… Why so long betweensolo excursions?A: Doing a solo CD can either be acurse or a blessing. If you go toofar from what the listener expects
then you risk criticism. But what Ibelieve is, if you do don’t expandyour mind and your writing, youwill just become stale and nottaken as a serious writer. Justdoing the same thing over and overwould never work for me. So whenI do a solo CD, I wanna make sureit is fresh. There is a differencebetween HOL and my solo cd’s butthe vocals will always be the com-mon thread.Q: The recording sessions arevery recent, late 2012 and earlythis year… So anything donedifferently this time around?A: No not really. I record in myhome studio which is becomingvery elaborate. Kind of like a dreamcome true for any musician to beable to create whenever you want.The house is always filled withmusic. If it is not me in the studio,then Robin or my daughter Olivia isin there. It is a great thing.Q: Now, having your ownrecording facility, you must feela bit more freedom in order toexpress yourself musically…A: Yes, Having the ability to recordwhenever I have an idea is just
great. The ideas never stop so nowI can take advantage of this is aproductive way.Q: In addition, you have co-written with some great Artists,on what numbers have youdone this and with whom?A: I have Jimi Bell and BJ on a fewsongs but I have also used JorgeSalan. He is a guitar player fromSpain who also tours with Jeff ScottSoto. He is a very talented player.Jeff Kent and Chris Pelcer are alsoco-writers with me.Q: What are some of the high-lights during the recording of“Lay It All On Me”, that come tomind and you wouldn’t mindsharing?A: A highlight for me was hearingthe title track “Lay It All On Me”when it was completed. This songhad such a strange birth. I heardalmost every part before I had it ontape. But when I heard it done. Iknew that was a special song. Andit deserved to be a title track. Themessage is just wonderful. I amreminded of why I love to write andcreate music Anytime I listen tosongs like this.
Artist. james Christianalbum. lay it all on meInterview with. james christianinterviewed by:. bruce atkinson
MRF | 7
Question: The new album hasbeen entitled “II” but is actual-ly the sixth album with the KingKobra title, so why go with twoinstead of six?Answer: Basically it is the secondalbum for Paul Shortino and secondfor Frontiers Records.Q: How long after the reunionalbum did you start work on thenew album?A: We started on it December 2011.Just having a meeting to talk aboutsongs... It was completed October2012.Q: The album is a great oldschool Hard Rock album, wasthis your intention from the off,to produce an album that waspure King Kobra and not beswayed towards the so calledtrendy?A: It’s hard to be swayed when thelabel wanted a 80s King Kobraalbum. Not a modern soundingalbum. We tried to make it betterthan the last album putting morecare into songwriting music, lyricsand sounds of the cd. I think we
accomplished that. But we all likethe direction of the cd. It gave usroom to do some cool playing.Q: Do you think today’s KingKobra fits with the music oftoday hard rock scene?A: I don't know of any hard rockscene of today. It’s all classic rock...Q: I have always been a big fanof Paul Shortino but how didDuke Fame become part of KingKobra?A: When me and Dave our guitaristwent to a Keel mix session my engi-neer friend Pat Regan suggestedmaybe King Kobra should do a cd.That being said my first singerchoice was Paul. I had worked withhim a thought he was awesome. SoI called him he said yes! Then Icalled the rest of the band andeveryone was in.Q: All the band members havebeen involved with the musicscene for some years now, sowhat keeps you motivated todoing this style of music whenit’s not seen as mainstream aswhen you all started out?
A: King Kobra music gives us a lotof room to play and have musicalfun. Basically that’s why we do it, tohave some fun musically. KingKobra is certainly not a huge moneymaker so it must be fun!!Q: Is it true that “Have a GoodTime” was written aboutVamp’d in Vegas?A: Yes I think Paul is a great lyricguy and just like the Ronnie JamesDio tribute track... Paul’s lyrics weregreat. He tells a great story aboutvamp'd I think the song is like Rod's“Hot Legs” but heavier. We lovedthat song so much we did the video.Q: Are you looking to take KingKobra on the road?A: We have to see how it goes. Ifwe get some promoter offers thatmake sense we will go. If not wewon't.Q: You did a version of “Do YouThink I’m Sexy” at the LasVegas Music awards, is this onegoing to be a regular in the KingKobra setlist?A: Who knows King Kobra doingsexy? Interesting!!
band. king kobraalbum. ii
Interview with. carmine appiceinterviewed by. barry mcminn
In 2011 we saw the long awaited self titled reunion album from Carmine Appice’s KingKobra, now in 2013 Appice returns along with Paul Shortino once again on vocals,Johnny Rod on bass and stalwarts Mick Sweda and David Michael Philips on guitars. Thisnew album simply entitled “II”, although this is the officially the bands sixth release, it’sthe second with this new line-up and is good old fashioned high octane rock n’ roll, withthe powerhouse rhythm section of Appice and Rod laying down the foundations for thetwin guitars of Phillips and Sweda, which in turn lay down the platform for the unmis-takable vocals of Mr Shortino to deliver only as only he can. I must admit in my eyes MrShortino can do no wrong and on this album he proves just that. Those raspy vocals justooze Rock n’ Roll, particularly on the likes of “Have a Good Time” “Hell on Wheels” and“Running Wild”. This is a band having a good time and show that you can’t keep an olddog down. If there is plenty of fire in the belly then you’re never too old to rock n’ rolland there is plenty of rock n’ roll venom left in the Kobra. Barry McMinn (95/100)
Focus on: KING KOBRA - II (Front iers Records)
Question: Let's focus a little bit onyour new effort. I believe thatthere are quite a few similaritiesbetween this album and your pre-vious works, yet I have to admitthat this time round you soundmore mature than ever. Do youagree?Answer: Mature... That's a scaryword. I was in good shape and myvoice was firing on all cylinders. Wedid eleven songs vocally in three days.We were on a roll. Why stop whenthings are working and we're havingfun. So long days and a lot of laughs.Maybe that's what your hearing is theconsistency and love of doing it. Couldthat be said to be Mature. Soundsmore like a couple kids in a candystore huh!Q: Did you have a specific musicaldirection you wanted to go in forthis album?A: I wanted this CD release to show aharder edge but still have some sub-tleness too. I think we did all I want-ed. The harder rock songs I could real-ly stick my teeth into and loved it. Aleis a great vocal producer as well aseverything else, so it was not a choreat all. A big plus I was in Italy. Man weate well!!Q: Artists tend to say that the new
album is always the best of theircareer... I know it's a sort ofcliché, but I think this is really oneof your best work to date. What doyou honestly think about it?A: I am proud of what we have.“Isolation” will never be beat but as faras a solo effort I have to go with thecliche'. I think it is the best I've done.“Happiness Is the Road” gave me agift I'll always cherish. Jim Peterik's“Follow Your Heart” and Ale's “HowMany Roads” has done the samething. I now love ballads...Q: Do you normally enjoy being inthe studio or do you like mostbeing on tour? Any funny/weirdmoments that you would like todescribe which were associatedwith the recordings of the newalbum?A: I love them both. Live shows aregreat. Both live and studio reallydepends on the production and who'splaying. The one thing is the imediategratification live. The studio can betedious but I've been blessed withsuch great vocal producers it has beena true pleasure. ie: Ricky Phillips,Pamela and Dugan McNiel, Jim Peterikand Larry Millas, Tommy Denanderand Alessandro Del Vecchio. A greatvocal producer captures the best of
any artist and makes the process funand enjoyable. Ale did that and more.Hell, he's italian. When Riccardo andAle were doing Back Grounds and Iwas helping produce them, there wassome funny stuff going on in the vocalbooth. No get your minds out of thegutter. Those two guys are closefriends and even though I couldn'tpick up every word, the faces andsounds that were created had me institches. Q: Can you give us a brief descrip-tion of the album? Both lyricallyand musically...A: Musically it comes from a harderedge than I've done in a while. That'swere I got my start singing in the DAY.Such great singers and kicking ass.Lyrically it give a synopsis of my bat-tles I go through during this time ofmy life. “Last Battle of My War” puts itin perspective as well as “Any GivenMoment”. You never know when life isgoing to bite you in the ass. You getrun over by a buss or get an illnessthat changes everything. You fight forall the right reasons. Be grateful forwhat you have and your loved ones.You never know what may happen.Repair your bridges, tell the one's youlove that you love them and fix any-thing you might regret.
Focus on: FERGIE FREDERIKSEN - Any Given Moment (Front iers Records)
This is his second solo album on Frontiers since his battle with cancer. Despite the tolltaken by the disease, his voice is still a thing of beauty, managing to hit notes above thetrees. His previous album “Happiness Is The Road” had Jim Peterik writing many of thesongs, and good though it was, this is better. This time out he’s enlisted the help ofAlessandro Del Vecchio who writes the material, plays keyboards and produces. “LastBattle Of My War” and “Let Go” have the sheen of his Isolation record with Toto, andindeed “Not Alone” from that album is re-recorded here as a duet with Norwegian divaIssa, who manages to sing even higher than Frederiksen. Elsewhere “Price For LovingYou”, “Time Will Change” and “How Many Roads” are as catchy as his work with Meccawhile the choruses throughout have the hummability of Le Roux. His recent illness addsa poignancy to the lyrics and the title track becomes the kind of life affirming anthemthat the best AOR is so good at doing. The fact that Frederiksen is still making music asgood as this is something that should be celebrated. Duncan Jamieson (95/100)
BAnd. fergie frederiksenalbum. any given momentInterview with. fergie frederikseninterviewed by:. duncan jamieson
8 | MRF
MRF | 9
In his relentless quest for the perfect Melodic Rock album, Frontiers Records PresidentSerafino Perugino, envisioned a trans-Atlantic alliance between the multi-talented musi-cian Daniel Flores and one of the most gifted vocalists that graced the AOR scene in thepast years, Robbie LaBlanc, the result of over two years work is the stunning debutalbum from Find Me. Along with LaBlanc and Flores we see Daniel Palmqvist on guitarand Johnny Trobro on bass, along with songwriting collaborations from the likes of SörenKronqvist and Allessandro Del Vecchio, the result is one of the best Melodic Rock albumsof recent times. There are some stunning pieces on the album, the likes of “AnotherWorld”, “Firefight”, “One Soul” and “Powerless” will just blow you away. To be honest sowill the rest of the album. The phrase “all killer no filler” comes to mind. I defy any truefan of Melodic Rock to find fault with this album. LaBlanc still has a great set of pipesand delivers in bucket loads and the backing band aren’t that shabby either. If you’relooking for the album of the year you’ve found it. Great stuff! Barry McMinn (99/100)
Focus on: FIND ME - Wings of Love (Front iers Records)
Question: So tell us how thewhole Find Me project came intobeing?Answer: The project was started bySerafino Perugino, the president andhead A&R of Frontiers. He has avery good ear for collaborations andevery year he comes up with con-stellations that really sound inter-esting. This year it was time forRobbie and me. The rest of the bandwas hand picked by me.Q: Did you have an agenda ofhow you wanted the music ofFind Me to sound and did thefinal album live up to all yourexpectations?A: For me the songs steer the wheelof how the album is going to sound.The label works mostly with thisstyle of music and we all wanted tostay true to the giants of AoR. Yeah,we are all really satisfied with theoutcome and there is not much Iwould change.Q: How long have you beenworking on the album?A: Re-arranging of the songs tookme about 1 week and then we start-ed to record everything. All done intwo weeks as I wanted that live feel-ing to be included. Robbie recordedhis vocals in the states and that tooka bit longer maybe a couple of
months as he was in between gigsand family matters.Q: What is it about theScandinavians that they keepproducing great bands and greatalbums all in the name ofMelodic Rock?A: Not sure, I’m not too fond of thescandirock bands here. Most ofthem are not bald enough to chal-lenge their listeners. As most ofFIND ME songs where written byEuropeans I knew that I had to workextra hard to create that Americansound come alive. As I producer Itend to lean towards the Americanbig sound with lots of bottom andclear lead voice so this mightanswer the question. Another takemight be that we still love the giantsof AoR here and you can still hearChicago or Journey on the majorradio stations. There is melodyeverywhere you go. Q: There have been numerousalbums from bands and projectsin this genre, do you think thereis an air of community about thisgenre that makes it stand outfrom the rest?A: Yeah, sure, this is an internation-al collaboration between American,Swedish, Italian, British, Norwegian,Finish musicians and me I’m from
Chile. So this will instantly stand outfrom the Scandi crowed dilemma weare in at the moment. That factalone makes sure this record willstand untouched until next. Youhave to understand the complexityof working with all these culturesand people. It’s a big machine andthere are lots of great minds. Q: What was it about Robbie LeBlanc vocals that made him theperfect choice for your vision forFind Me?A: His is the perfect mix of FreddyMercury, Joseph Williams and hashis own style and approach to AoRso this was just a natural choice forthe team involved.Q: Do you see Find Me as just aproject or with the right musi-cians would you like to takethese songs out on the road as aband? A: Everything is possible at themoment but the complexity geo-graphically makes this a bit hard totake on the road. First things first,lets see how the album is receivedby the community and then seewhat happens. But I’ll add that Ihave been producing record for acouple of years straight and missplaying live so I would certainly beup for it.
band.find mealbum. wings of love
Interview with.d. floresinterviewed by.b. mcminn
Another fine release from Steve Newman, “Siren” marks a push forward for thisextraordinary singer/musician. Dealing with tragedy throughout the last couple ofyears, this record is filled with up-beat messages and explores, for the most part, thefiner aspects of the human spirit. Again, self-produced, “Siren” is a showcase of thisman’s variety of talents. Mostly a “rocker”, there are some beautiful ballads andeverything has a high degree of melody. Some hard hitting, while others are simplybeautiful melodic passages coming from the heart. Steve has established himself hasone of the most tasteful Melodic Rock singers and song writers of our era, and “Siren”continues that level of success. As we move through this collection, we are touchedby Steve thoughtfulness as a songwriter, and as an arranger. The songs presentedhere are superbly arranged and moves the flow of the album quite exquisitely! As thenamesake of this Work suggests, this collection will draw you in, leaving you wantingto embrace that “Siren” from that so distance shore! Bruce Atkinson (90/100)
Focus on: NEWMAN - S iren (AOR Heaven)
Question: Let’s begin with a littlecatching up… You have madesome changes in the last twoyears…Answer: Yes, that’s correct, I’vegone through a studio relocation andupgrade which has kept me busy fora little while to say the least!! Q: So, obviously you are feelingrefreshed and by the sounds of“Siren”, shall we say a little revi-talized?A: Yes, most definitely, and thankyou for kind comment. I guess tak-ing a slightly longer break this timehas been a good thing, although Iwas still having ideas and recordingthem down to a Dictaphone. When itcame time to record I had around 20ideas that were ready to go!Q: Let’s talk about some of thecollaboration you have donewith this new album…whomhave you written with and haveyou done anything different inthe recording process?A: OK, I worked quite closely withPete Newdeck (Tainted Nation,Eden’s Curse) on the Paris albumearlier in the year. Pete and I have
been friends for the best part of 14years and have always wanted towork together. I had a couple ofmusical ideas that were missinglyrics and vocal melody so it seemednatural to send them over to Pete. Ireally loved what he sent back tome, those songs became “SomeKind Of Wonderful” and “Waiting forthe Day”. I have known NickWorkman (Vega, Kick) for aroundthe same length of time and we’vebecome really good friends.Whenever I get a chance to writewith Nick it’s always very creative.He is currently on a real songwritinghigh with Vega and we wrote “WhenIt Comes to Love” together.Q: Is it fair to say, that with thesongs in “Siren”, that you havetaken a little harder edge?A: Yes Bruce, I think you’re right,the last album “Under SouthernSkies” was a little bit more emotion-al for me, and tended to tread morefamiliar ground. I think “Siren” isprobably more of a follow up to “TheArt of Balance”. It certainly has aharder edge and a more “In yourface” production.
Q: Also, it seems that you haveopened up a bit, with some moremusical friends coming in to thesessions and rocking out withyou!A: I was listening through some ofthe songs, I always tend to leave thesolos until late in the recordingunless I have a very good idea ofwhere I want to take it. Robert Sall(Work Of Art, W.E.T.) and I first metat the Rosewood Festival in Greeceand we got on really well. I met himagain at Firefest last year and talkedabout working together. I had writ-ten “Feel Her Again” for the newalbum and thought the style lentitself to Robert’s playing. I wasblown away by what he came backwith, he is a true talent and a trulynice guy. Shaun Bessant from theNewman live band contributed a soloto “When It Comes to Love” which Ireally liked, Shaun is a very giftedguitar player and brings somethingfresh and exciting to that song. BothPete Newdeck and Nick Workmanalso supplied Backing Vocals to theirco-written songs which gave a greattexture to the overall sound.
band. newmanalbum. siren
Interview with. steve newmaninterviewed by:. B. Atkinson
10 | MRF
Founded by Demon members Neil Ogden and Paul Hume, along with Persian Risk’sHowie G and HeadrusH bassist Tabbie Williams, Lawless have set themselves a mis-sion to bring back straight shooting Heavy Metal and Hard Rock back to the masseswith their aptly titled debut “Rock Savage”. Taking their influences form the likes ofDio, Saxon, Queensryche, the Scorpions and their like, the band set out their stall earlyon in the album with the opener ‘Heavy Metal Heaven’, with its soaring guitars andpower driven rhythms all encased in a powerful vocal. This is old school but broughtkicking and screaming into the now. The album continues its powerful mix of guitarsand big rhythms with the likes of ‘Black Widow Ladies’, the storming “F.O.A.D” and theriff laden ‘Rock n’ Roll City’ all great rock anthems. This isn’t a band trying to reinventthe wheel, they are just putting some studs on the rims and taking you on rock n’ rollride of your life, to unleash your inner Rock Savage. Barry McMinn (85/100)
Question: What was it thatprompted you to form Lawless?Answer: Neil and myself (Paul) cur-rently play in the band Demon, wehave worked together for many yearsit was Neils idea that we form a newproject as well as Demon and I knowNeil is a fantastic songwriter so it did-n't take much persuading for me toknow that this would be a specialband.Q: Did you have vision from theband from the off, or did it justevolve into the powerhouse outfitthat it is?A: Neil and myself just love and writeclassic rock songs we are inspired bybands such as Y&T, Dio Scorpions,Sabbath etc.. So if you put all thesesbands together you kind of get oursound, so we didn't really evolve as aband its just naturally who we are.Q: After the formation of the bandhow long did it take to start layingdown the tracks for “RockSavage”?A: We wrote everything first anddemo'd it then began rehearsing the
band before recording and also forplaying live, the actual final recordingand mixing took about 6 months.Q: The album has some stunningslices of pure energy infused rocklike “Misery”, “Rock n’ Roll City”and “Metal Times” as just a few ofmy favourites, but are there anytracks on the album that you areparticulary proud of?A: I love the lyrics in metal time itsabout something that all metal headsincluding me probably went through,it’s about that first time you everheard rock music I can remember theband the place how old I was it’ssomething that changed my life andprobably happened to every metallover in the world I was young and stillat school but the image of that day Istill remember clearly I think there willbe many people with the same mem-ories.Q: Do you think the British/WorldMusic scene has seen enough toSimon Cowell and the like and weneed to bring Rock back kickingand screaming to the main-
stream?A: I think the whole rock scene hasstruggled for a few years the mainreason being that all the lovers of rockfrom the 70's and 80's all got marriedhad kids got a mortgage and went offthe radar, but now the kids have lefthome the mortgage is almost paid sothose lovers of rock want to live againand yes we've had enough of SimonCowell and all the false music I thinkrock music is now back on the up I seeit everyday and where ever I go.Q: All the band members havebeen involved in the rock scenefor sometime now, what piece ofadvice would you give to anyyoung band trying to make ittoday?A: The most important thing is learnyour trade don't try and cheat with allthe new recording methods learnyour art and hone your craft keep at itand don't give up you will get betterand you will grow ,always be willing totalk to people in the industry and takeadvice its a long way up but its a fan-tastic ride.
band. lawlessalbum. rock savage
Interview with. paul humeinterviewed by. barry mcminn
Focus on: LAWLESS - Rock Savage (Escape Music)
MRF | 11
12 | MRF
BRETT WALKER - Straight Jacket Vacation (AOR Heaven)Just when I was starting writing this review, with the sweet melodies of this album on the back-ground, I received the tragic news that the US singer, songwriter and musician Brett Walker passedaway in a car accident. After my immediate shock and my thoughts to his wife and his three chil-dren, I immediately realized how the life can be cruel and terrible, when the perspectives and theexpectations for Brett were instead high and full of joy and happiness. A new brilliant album “StraightJacket vacation”, to be released on August 30, some planned gigs (“Melodic Rock Fest 3” in Chicago,above all) and in a moment everything’s gone. Sad. Really sad, to say the less. His legacy - besideshis legendary career made of great collaborations (Michael Thompson Band, Alias, Jimi Jamison, JeffParis) and incredible solo-albums (“Nevertheless” is already considered among the best AOR albumsof all time) – are those 12 songs, an huge example of how an AOR-Melodic Rock album have to bewritten, played and vocally performed. Heart and passion. Class and musicianship. You’ll be missed,Brett. I’m sure you’ll make Heaven a still better place… Primo Bonali (92/100)
REVAMP - Wildcard (Nuclear Blast)No one could be accused of not trying hard enough on Revamp’s sophomore release as everyone gives110%. Floor Jansen’s gothic operatic voice is undeniably impressive. The guitars hammer hard as does therhythm section and over the top the keyboards swirl creatively. Sometimes the chugging, generic guitarsthat sit underneath Jansen’s vocals compete too much with her voice and reduce the effect that Jansen’svocals have. The album would benefit from more songs like “Distorted Lullabies” where Jansen’s fragilevocal is lightly accompanied by piano at the beginning before the momentum in the track builds with theguitars eventually thundering in. “'The Anatomy Of A Nervous Breakdown: On The Sideline” and “WildCard” have decent hooks and the use of gothic backing vocals on several tracks is interesting, but thosechants would benefit from being more varied. “The Anatomy Of A Nervous Breakdown: Neurasthenia” hasJansen dueting with gruffer male vocals that take the music into heavier territory as does the most diversetrack “Amendatory”. If you’re a fan of Jansen’s previous band After Forever or if you like bombastic sym-phonic metal then this is a sturdy, well sung example. Duncan Jamieson (82/100)
LISA PRICE - Priceless (Yesterrock)This is a real unearthed gem. Price, a Canadian, only got as far as releasing this “mini” 6track album in 1983 and it’s released here on CD for the first time. If you love femalefronted AOR, buy this on sight. Even restricted to only 6 tracks there’s much here to rec-ommend it. Sounding like a fruity cocktail of Patty Smyth, Quarterflash and Pat Benetar,Price has all the qualities to suggest she should’ve been a star. She’s aided by a who’swho of cult Canadian AOR players from the bands Wrabit, Zappacosta, Dalbello andSurrender. There’s Derry Grehan from Honeymoon Suite who wrote “Heartache” and alsoprovides guitars on the track meaning, unsurprisingly, it sounds like Honeymoon Suite. It’svery much a product of its time but the songs such as “Can’t Hold on Forever” and “EmptyHeart” have everything that was needed back in the 80s to be radio smashes but luck wasone ingredient that eluded Price. Duncan Jamieson (90/100)
MAT SINNER - Back to the Bullet (AFM Records)Originally released by BMG back in 1990 “Back To The Bullet” was Mat Sinner’s first solo outing, whoalong with Alex Beyrodt, Tom Naumann, Tommy Geiger and Tommy Resch, put out an all guns blaz-ing Hard Rock album that spawned two singles. This came line-up also went on to be the reformedSinner and released the album “No More Alibis”, but that’s another story. But it’s back to ‘Back to theBullet’ where all the tracks have been remastered by Primal Fear’s Achim Köhler and includes thebonus track “She’s Got The Look”, the video clips “Call My Name” and “Every Second Counts” andcomes with a completely redesigned cover and booklet layout. The album itself is great old schoolhard rock that defined the era and pre Grunge Rock and Metal, with great anthems like “EverySecond Counts” and “In The Name Of Rock n’ Roll”. There is also a superb cover of the Osmond’s“Crazy Horses” that just rock’s big style. These are just a few of the great rockers on great albumthat if you missed first time around are worth adding to your collection, if you like me have a softspot for some heads down headbanging tunes. Barry McMinnn (85/100)
SOIL - Whole (AFM Records)Call it Nu Metal, Alternative Metal, Modern Metal… call it what you want, still the question for me is ifthere’s enough melody in these kind of releases of if they’re just an absolute showing of hate and anger.SOiL’s sixth studio album, called “Whole”, brings on (to my aural pleasure) some more accessible vocalsand melodies (“Ugly” and “Way Gone” recalling late Metallica-sound), yet pushing hard the heavy sideof their style (“Loaded Gun”, “The Hate Song”, “Psycopath”). Some Grungy guitars (Alice In Chainsespecially comes to my mind), aggressive still not desperate vocals, a solid production and a nice vari-ety on the songwriting makes “Whole” an album worth to be listened, something that gives you an hi-dose of energy without leaving you with the sensation that the whole world hates you (a typical effectof many of the albums of the genre… hey, that’s just my personal opinion!). If you want to leave, foran hour, the typical sweet melodies of our beloved AOR movement, you could try Soil, and you’ll entera new, more cruel, still probably more up-to-date, perspective… Primo Bonali (80/100)
OLIVA - Raise the Curtain (AFM Records)“Raise The Curtain” begins with a magnificent overture that gives us a glimpse of whatis in store for us. And what is in store? An album’s worth of symphonic cutting edgeRock! Twelve tracks of razor-sharp, precisely arranged musical rivers that run deep andvaried. This album exudes a big production, especially if presented live! I can justimagine the spectacular stage presence Jon Olivia will create when he has the oppor-tunity to express this music from the stage boards. There is a lot going on here, butwe can experience everything thanks to the production and high degree of musician-ship that is consistently displayed within this musical opus. Jon is in fine voice as well,and we should be prepared to be enthralled as the stagehands prepare to “Raise theCurtain”!! Bruce Atkinson (92/100)
MRF | 13
LINGUA MORTIS Feat. RAGE - S/T (Nuclear Blast)What can one say? It is a Masterpiece… Epic in proportion… Diverse in musical passagesand Stunning in performance! After the past 3 successfull albums that Rage released withthe Lingua Mortis Ochestra (“XIII”, “Ghosts” and “Welcome to the Other Side”), here erare again! Lingua Mortis Orchestra is a Symphonic Metaler’s dream come true! Consistingof Vocalists Jeanette Marchewka and Dana Harnge, & of course Peavy Wagner. Filling outthe group is Victor Smolski & Andre Hilgers. A formidable grouping this release justkeeps getting more powerful track after track. The album, yes it is full of heavy, fast andmelodic music along with cutting to the bone lyrics… However there is also some verybeautiful passages displaying the group’s softer side as well. Lingua Mortis Orchestra isa name and group of masterful musicians to watch out for! Bruce Atkinson (95/100)
FARRADAY - Shade of Love (AOR Haven)Farraday is a new one-man-band melodic rock project created by greek composer, singer, guitarist &keyboard player Roy Da Vis, who, with the help of producer, drums and bass player StathisSpiliotopoulos, put together this nice debut called “Shade Of Love”, 10 songs of Classic US ‘80s MelodicRock. Opening track “One Way Ticket To Hollywood” could easily be an excerpt from BONFIRE“Fireworks” or “Point Blank” with the voice of singer Da Vis sounding so close to Claus Lessmann’ andthe infectious almost-Glam chorus giving you something to sing all day long, while “Rock U (The Oldfashion Way)” and the title-track show Farraday’s unconditional love for mighty Danger Danger (I total-ly agree, of course!!!). In some moments (“Can’t Get Enough”, “Breakin Down”) I could also comparethis album with late De La Cruz debut “Street Level”, also if with a slightly softer approach and with a(unfortunately) weaker production. All in all, some sweet melodies, soft keyboards, nice vocals and solidguitars make “Shade Of Love” an album definitely to check out. Primo Bonali (83/100)
NIVA – Magnitude (AOR Heaven)Third album for the Swedish singer Tony Niva (after the debut “No Capitulation” of 1994 and “Goldfrom the Future” of 2011, both - unfortunately for us - released only in Japan), and a very very goodone, to say the less. Tony Niva’s voice is great, pretty hi-pitched but always really melodic; think TonyHarnell (the 2nd song “Perfect Life” sounds like an unreleased excerpt from TNT “Intuition”) or TonyMills, and you have the picture. The band’s style is a typical Swedish melodic Hard Rock, a la Treat("My First And Only One”), Europe and TNT, very ‘80s oriented, with a crystal clear production and aperfect mixing; of course, are especially the vocals to shine through the 11 tracks of this great album.Along with the singer, the band NIVA is composed by Roger Ljunggren on guitars and Marcus Persson(on keys), who’ve written all of the songs together with Tony Niva; to complete the line-up Jan Stalon bass and Tomas Persic on drums. Another melodic treasure that magic Sweden (I love that coun-try!) brought to any fan of the genre. Recommended. Primo Bonali (88/100)
JEF SCOTT – Ten Stories (Yesterrock)No, Jeff Scott Sotto hasn’t shortened his name, this Jef Scott released a solo album backin 1986, and it’s finally getting a CD release. Originally from San Diego, Scott is on thelighter end of AOR. He was in Company of Strangers on which he co-wrote most of thetracks, and shared the vocals with James Reyne and Daryl Braithwaite and then his ownband The Men later in the 90s. He takes care of most of the instruments here. The pro-duction is of its time, bright keyboards and a hi-tech sound that is given some rock cloutthanks to some decent stinging guitar solos. Scott’s voice, which sounds a lot likeHoneymoon Suite’s Johnnie Dee, also makes the album a touch more rock than pop. “IWatch My City Sleep”, “Graceland” and “Mega-Millionaire” are the tracks that have thebest hooks and if the likes of Tom DeLuca, Taxxi or Mask Of Smiles era John Waite tickleyour fancy, this is a decent 80s obscurity. Duncan Jamieson (82/100)
PARIS – Only One Life (Avenue of Allies)Yes, they’re French. A duo, Frédéric Dechavanne and Sébastien Montet, they’ve been playing togeth-er since the 80s but it’s only now they’ve recorded this full album. It’s a mixture of newly written songsand a few that date back as far 20 years ago. Assisted by the very busy Alessandro Del Vecchio whoproduces, it features guests such as Steve Newman, Robert Säll and the rhythm section from Lionvilleand Hardline of Anna Portalupi and Alessandro Mori. With this line up you are assured of a lush, pro-fessional sound. It harks back to the 80s, and does have a Newman feel in places. Energetic keyboardsfrom Dechavanne and Montet’s guitar bounce along nicely and the huge hummable choruses are infec-tious. “Dancing on the Edge”, “South of Love”, the optimistic vibe of “America” and “Longer than I Careto Remember” are the pick of the bunch. While the vocals work well on the choruses, some of the vers-es don’t engage which detracts from the overall effect of the songs. Like Wild Rose earlier this year, it’s80s inspired AOR that doesn’t try to re-invent the wheel in any way and while you feel you might haveit all before that is part of it underlying charm. Duncan Jamieson (82/100)
HIBRIA – Silent Revenge (AFM Records)When I read that the new album, called “Silent Revenge”, of brazilian power metallersHibria has been inspired by the Argentine film “The Secret In Their Eyes” (probably thebest movie I’ve seen in the last years and one of my faves ever. I really recommend to any-one out there!!!), I was immediately curious to listen to how the band could have been ableto give an aural interpretation of these unique visual atmospheres. Unfortunately the finalresult has not been really up to my expectations. A classic Power-Heavy Metal album, wellplayed, with powerful guitars, really strong high-pitched vocals (courtesy of the talentedsinger Iuri Sanson) and a solid songwriting, but without any unique or particular points ofinterests that can bring this Cd in a higher position than many more of this genre. Thatsaid, if what you’re looking for is a good dose of Power Metal played with energy, musician-ship and hi-energy, “Silent Revenge” could easily make it for you. Primo Bonali (80/100)
Bruce Atkinson: “Raise the Curtain”is the first solo album in your career– can you let us know why now isthe right time to release a solorecord? Jon Oliva: The idea actually came to dothe solo record when guitarist MattLaPorte passed away. I have a friend ofmine, Dan Fasciano who you see on therecord, co-wrote a lot of the materialwith me, I was working with TSO (Trans-Siberian Orchestra) in the afternoons
and Dan and I would hang out in themornings and we just started writingmaterial. I had a few riffs of Criss’ leftthat I wanted to do something withand it wasn’t really planned that way.Losing Matt, I didn’t want to deal withthe whole band situation at that time –I needed something to keep me busy.It’s kind of like what happened whenCriss died and I did Handful of Rain, itwas kind of living the same movieagain. He had some great stuff, I hadsome great stuff, and if there was evera time to do a solo record, now wasthe time to do it. I’m in between whatI want to do about replacing Matt forsure, plus the music I had of Criss’swas the earliest stuff we ever wrote,and it was pre-heavy metal, so it did-n’t lend itself to a JOP thing. BA: It’s said that “Raise TheCurtain” includes the very lastideas that were left from yourbrother Criss. Please describe acouple of these tracks and whattype of emotions get stirred whenyou know such an amazing song-writer and performer like Crisswas taken from the world far too
early in life?JO: The first song on the album whereyou have material written by Criss is“Ten Years.” We were working on thisand the chorus part is Criss’. We tookDan’s song and the part from Criss andlobbed them in together. He was 16 or17 when he wrote that part. The onethat’s really cool to me from Criss is“Father Time.” That riff that starts thatsong is probably the second riff Criss
ever wrote in his life, he was 15 when hecame up with that. I took another oldAvatar song and worked his riff aroundthis, and wrote the rest around it. “TheWitch” is another one, that’s when Crissfirst bought a 12-string guitar, afterthree hours we got it in tune, he crankedup the amp and the first thing he playedwas like a Rush riff, and that’s the mainpart of that song. The riffing on here ispre-Sirens, the first group of songs thatwe were writing together. These are thelast ones I have of his on tape, and it’skind of weird how things end with theearliest material I have on tape. It showspeople where we started and what wewere doing before Savatage.BA: When you look back to Criss’sriffs/solos, is there any one in partic-ular that stands out especially? Or isthere maybe an underrated piece?JO: I think Criss’ greatest riff is in “Hall ofthe Mountain King”, the riff that comes inafter the opera part. That and “Power ofthe Night” are two of his best pieces.Criss was a great riff guy, he was moreof a riff guy than a pure songwriter. Hedidn’t really understand vocals, he wouldwrite a great part and then tell me I hadto come up with something that I couldsing to it. He would give me these cas-settes, and give me riffs from that- hewould have a half of a song, a choruspart… Paul or myself would finish it off. Ialso think on the Streets album the song“Can You Hear Me Now” was one of thesongs Criss wrote most of the music for.The weirdness of that, I played thedrums and bass on that and Criss did theguitars.
MRF | 17
Jeff Cannata along with Frontiers Records have decided to give raise to Arc Angelonce again! Arc Angel is, of course, the brain child of Jeff’s and has fluttered in thebackground since the 1980’s. Jeff went on to produce solo works throughout theyears and band projects, but 2012 saw him return to his first love-MelodicSymphonic Rock. “Harlequins of Light” harkens back to the first stirrings, strength-ened by the growing song writing talent of Mr. Cannata. Jeff has gathered some stel-lar musical friends on this journey, and the result is perfect! It is big sound!Everyone is playing on all twelve cylinders! Being a multi-instrumentalist himself,Jeff takes up the drums of course, but also displays his proficiency on the keyboards,bass, and even guitars on select creations! A varied collection of melodic passagesthat aptly deliver those thought provoking lyrics that Jeff is famous for… “Harlequinsof Light” is just the beginning for this Arc Angel!! Bruce Atkinson (91/100)
Focus on: ARC ANGEL - Har lequins of L ight (Frontiers Records)
Question: “Harlequins OfLight” is the name of yournew record, a very interestingname, is it related to you res-urrecting Arc Angel as a musi-cal entity?Answer: The “Harlequins of Light”are the entities that share theknowledge of the Universe andhopefully you listen, and makethe right choices. Q: As a multi-instrumentalist,which instrument do youfavour, the Drums?A: Although the drums were infact my first instrument, I amvery much drawn to keyboards,especially for writing, and thenguitar for the more powerfulstuff.Q: You have assembled manytalented people to be with youon this project… Have some ofthem played and recordedwith you before?A: Of course, master keyboardistJeff Batter will always be there tohelp out, as well as Jay Rowe onpiano. A mainstay on guitar willbe Jimi Bell, and from some ofthe earlier recordings, Jay JesseJohnson, Mark Proto, David Coeon guitars. This year I had thepleasure of bringing in some newand talented lead players. GaryMaus, Andy Abel and Tony Spada. Also helping out with keys andbackground vocals, Pete Hodson,
and not to forget an old friendfrom the original Arc Angelrecording, Scott Spray on bass.Q: In preparing this recentWork, have you brought anymaterial from the past for thisrelease?A: There are two tracks from pre-vious records. A new studiorecording of “ Fortune Teller” andthe ballad “Through The Night”.Q: what about your ispira-tions?A: From a melodic angle, I will sitfor a while with my synth , fool-ing with some chords and sounds,till something takes shape.Lyrically, once I have melodies,the words come that just seem tofit the notes.Q: As you have created andperformed through theyears… You have visited dif-fering musical plateaus fromwhat is called Pomp-Rock to amore Progressive vibe… Whatcan we expect from this neweffort?A: The material on the newrecord, “Harlequins of Light” stillhas the melodic rock sensibilities,and there will always be the pro-gressive elements that I havebeen brought up with.Q: Have any of your songsever been covered by otherartists and if so,which ones?A: Wanted: Dead or Alive
(ArcAngel CD) was covered by aCanadian band, April Wine.Q: Being that you have againsurrounded yourself with aband project, Arc Angel, maywe expect that this is thevehicle that you will travel onfor the future?A: For me, that’s the only waythis can be done. You need tobring in additional musicians fortheir expertise to raise the quali-ty of the music to the next level.I am very fortunate to havefriends, at that level…Q: If you could put together a'dream' line-up for a band,who would would you have init and why?A: Peter Gabriel: lead vocal, GregLake: bass / vocal, Robert Fripp:guitar, Keith Emerson: key-boards, Jeff Cannata, drums /vocal. Why? Why not !Q: Jeff, do you have any plansfor live performances?A: Maybe.Q: In closing, I would like toleave our readers with somefinal thoughts from you, soplease go ahead Jeff…A: While shooting the music videofor “Harlequins of Light” lastweek, it felt very natural andexhilarating to be back on a stageagain after all the years. Therewould certainly be enough mate-rial to choose from. We’ll see...
BAnd. Arc angelalbum. harlequins of lightInterview with. Jeff cannata
interviewed by:. b. atkinson
Question: Let’s start with younew album “Can Do”. What’syour opinion about it and how isthe feedback?Answer: You know, I knew when Istarted writing and recording thisalbum last year that that I was on aroll. It seemed like the songs werecoming easily, my voice was (andis) in great shape and just a wholebunch of the right things happened.We are getting the best reviews ofmy career on Can Do. Amazing!Q: Where does the inspirationcome from?A: The inspiration for the lyrics andthe performances came when I wasa long way from home for a longtime. Although we were in a verybeautiful place, there was a lot oflonging, and it shows up in thesongs, especially in the vocal per-formances. When I needed to drawsome emotion into something, Ijust thought about how badly Iwanted to get home. Everything fell
together in an organic fashion. Ifthere was something interesting, Ididn’t stop.Q: Do you compose songs byjamming on the guitar, or doyou play melodies in your headfirst?A: Sometimes the riffs come com-pletely packaged out of nowhere.They would come in expecting toplay one of my old songs. It’s pret-ty easy for somebody to learnsomebody else’s bass part and apeit back for me. It’s more importantfor me to see what people are likein a creative situation. I would justcome up with some riff totallyunexpectedly. Q: Do different guitars inspiredifferent riffs, songs and mood?A: Absolutely. I’ve got differentguitars at home, and they makeyou play in different ways. At thestudio, we had a lot of vintageFenders. One of them was a ’62Strat. I had no real notion of how
old the guitar was. I just liked it. Itfelt good, and I liked the sound.When it came to recording theactual songs, I played my PaulReed Smith Modern Eagle. I usedthat guitar for virtually everything.It’s beautiful. It’s my number oneand has been since I got it.Q: After all your success, whatkeeps the ideas still fresh andalive?A: I guess one thing that’s hap-pened to me, and time has takencare of that, is just the number ofhours that I’ve put into what I do.I’ve got such a vocabulary and sucha frame of reference. I’m able tohear stuff in my head and be work-ing on my music. I hear everything.I hear the drums, the bass, themixing, and the harmonies. It’swonderful, and it keeps gettingmore and more detailed. I can dothe work in my head while doingother things. Then I go to the stu-dio, and it’s fully formed.
MRF | 19
Canadian rocker Pat Traver’s honest brand of rock catapulted him to fame in the late 70sand early 80s but the fluffier MTV age wasn’t a good match for Traver’s heads down, sweatand toil approach and he’s been up and down since mixing rock albums with morestraight-ahead bluesy records. His latest offering is great old school rock album and apotent return to form. There are a clutch of fine bluesy rock numbers like the ZZ Top style“Stand Up”, “Armed and Dangerous”, the humorous “Waiting on the End of Time” and thefull tilt of “Red Neck Boogie”. However, the deftly played which has a great floaty guitarsolo shows Travers can do finesse as well as supplying serious elbow grease. The cover ofThe Eurythmics “Here Comes the Rain” doesn’t entirely convince but the uptempo “LongTime Gone” and wistful “Wanted” are nostalgic lyrically, harping back to the good old dayswhen Travers’ star shone brightly. Times may have moved on but for any Hammerheads(the name given to Travers’ fans) and anyone who is a fan of well-rounded sweaty rockmusic then Travers shows his star is twinkling again. Duncan Jamieson (92/100)
Focus on: PAT TRAVERS BAND - Can Do (Frontiers Records)
band. pat travers bandalbum. can do
nterview with:. pat traversinterviewed by:. d. jamieson
Focus on: LITTLE RIVER BAND - Cuts Lihe a Diamond (Frontiers Records)
band. little river bandalbum. cuts like a diamondInterview with:. mark lyman
interviewed by:. b. mcminn
Formed in Melbourne back in 1975, the Little River Band the band set out not only con-quering their native Australia, but also the US, selling more than 25 million records, 13US top 40 hits and numerous awards in Australia. Although the band have gone throughmany line-up changes since their humble beginnings, one thing has remained the same,the high quality of the bands music. This new opus sees lead singer and bassist WayneNelson joined by Richard Herring, Greg Hind, Stephen Housden, Chris Marion and newestmember Ryan Ricks. Again Little River Band deliver some classic AOR with this new opusand shows that after some 38 years, they still produce some of the finest West CoastAOR around. The album is a great summertime album. This is a top down sitting by thebeach opus, with great soulful rich melodies that will simply sweep you away on a glo-rious magic carpet ride, with Nelson leading the way with those soulful vocals. Songs ofnote have to be “Where Do I Run”, the title track “Cuts Like a Diamond” and the stun-ning “Who Speaks For Me”. This album is sure to be lost on the youth but us old timerscan appreciate the album for the pure AOR gold that it is. Barry McMinn (90/100)
20 | MRF
MRF | 21
Question: How long have youbeen working on the newalbum?Answer: A little over a year. Westarted writing and listening tosongs for the new CD in early2012. Because we included thelabel in our song selectionprocess, it took a little bitlonger to choose those finaltitles. And our tour schedulemade it difficult to find blocks oftime to record once we had thesongs chosen. Q: Is there any one song on‘Cuts Like A Diamond’ thatyou feel particularly con-nected to?A: There are many… All of themin fact. Being the senior memberof the band AND the lead singer,it was imperative to me thatevery song be one that I couldsing with conviction…and thatthey all reflect a grown-up per-spective that fits a band in its38th year. But if I have tochoose songs for a special con-nection, I would choose two…“The Lost and The Lonely”, and“Who Speaks For Me”. The firstis about the choice to stand upand put your life on the line forwhat you believe is right in theworld. The second is aboutdomestic abuse seen throughthe eyes of a young child, and itspeaks to that horror. Both situ-ations need heroes.Q: Your sound, image andlyrics have a strong identityto them. Is this somethingyou've strived to achieve orsomething more organic?A: We strive to achieve all ofthat. LRB has always had a verysolid reputation for placing pow-erful vocal harmonies front andcenter in our sound. It’s a hall-mark for our live show too…thevocals are big. And whether thelyrics came from within the bandor from an outside writer, wetake the storylines seriously.Again, after 38 years, we aresincere with what we write andsing about.Q: Where do you take ispira-tions?A: For lyrics and stories…life.That's what means the most tous and our audience. That'swhat's real. For sounds…like Isaid earlier, there's a lot of peo-ple out there experimentingwith some very bizarre sounds.That doesn't necessarily makefor good quality… Weird doesn'talways mean good. LRB's musichas never been built from an
experimental sound up. We tryto create a full soundscape, firstwith big drum sounds, then withgood solid rhythm sectionsounds. Once we feel goodabout that foundation, we startsneaking in the tasty little "earworms" that you'll find scatteredthroughout the CD. Some areinstrumental…some are vocal.Q: When people are younger,they imagine what their lifeis going to be like in thefuture. How did your expec-tations for life differ fromthe reality of right now?A: In terms of career, I didn’texpect bands and musicians tocarry on as we have. There wasa time when rock bands ledpretty self-destructive lives. Sojust surviving was a roll of thedice. But not many of us feltthat we would be relevant to anaudience after the age of30…and then 40… And then 50…No way. I’m 63 and still feel 29from the neck up. Our audienceis made up of people who sur-vived with us, but also passedon the genre of melodic rock totheir kids. Their ears are set forthat sound, and we still deliverit with energy and enthusiasm.Q: What is the best adviceyou could give to any bud-ding musician who wants toprogress in this dog-eat-dogbusiness?A: Practice your craft, writeyour own music, and read thefine print. You never know whenor how all of that will come backto repay you for your efforts. Ifa door opens, you need to beready for what is expected ofyou when you step through.Q: The whole AOR scene hasseen a revival over recentyears, what is it about thisstyle of music that motivatesyou to continue when it’snow seen as an undergroundscene and not mainstream?A: Without being too specific,mainstream doesn’t mean good.It just means lots of people arebuying it. And the audience thatstil l appreciates our musicwants to hear it like they usedto hear it…LIVE. I’m not sureyou could look at pictures of ourfans and call them under-ground… Not like I rememberthe term being used, anyway.Regardless of the label, melodicrock is still popular to a widerange of ages and lifestyles.Why wouldn’t we want to contin-ue doing what we love to do
when it makes so many peoplehappy??Q: Would you say for themost part that people aredriven by different motiva-tions for buying music andgoing to shows then whenyou first started out?A: No I really wouldn’t. Liveshows can be for date night,reliving memories, quietmoments at home, partymoments in the street…all of theabove. I think people are moti-vated by the same desires asalways. Music energizes, it con-nects audiences, it triggersemotions…its fun when it’sgood. And whether paying for aCD or a download, or going to alive show…hooking into yourfavorite music moves you.Q: These songs will be killerout on the road, how manydo you plan to perform in thelive environment? A: Yes they will. And we have towalk a fine line between pre-senting the hits and focusing onthe new CD. As it grows in pop-ularity, we’ll be able to blend inmore new songs. But we’ve seenother bands with new materialdo 5 new ones in a row, orignore their hits altogether.We’re of the mind that the hitsand the new songs have to beseen as a continuum. The mem-ories and the history attached tothe hits have to be respected.The vast majority of ticket buy-ers will be there to hear theirold favorites… And hopefullyappreciate some new songsthrown in because they’restrong and fit the continuum.Q: The band have appearedwith some of the biggestnames in the business, fromthe Eagles to the DoobieBrothers, is there one bandthat you could dream ofsharing a stage with?A: Let me put it this way… Weall have bucket lists. I thinkanyone would be proud to saythey shared stages with TheEagles, Heart, The Doobies,Cheap Trick, Fleetwood Mac,Earth Wind and Fire, Chicago,America, Firefall, Kool and theGang, Foreigner, Jimmy Buffett,Lover Boy, CSN, AWB, Survivor,ELO, Average White Band, BillyJoel, Poco, BTO, Player, TheGuess Who, Boz... And more.But still on that list… Sting,Elton, McCartney, Annie Lennox,Stevie, Toto, Maroon 5… Andmore.
Bruce Atkinson: This project is huge! A massiveundertaking… How did it all begin?Victor Smolski: A couple of years ago we decided toseparate Rage and Lingua Mortis Orchestra. Aprox.end of last year I started to compose the material.Three months of recording process in studio were qui-ete stressfull for me, but otherwise I had a lot of funto produce this concept album. In year 2000, when wewere searching material for my solo album “TheHeretic”, we checked a lot of archives in America,Germany and Russia. This was very interesting for us,so Peavy kept looking for more and found the story weuse now for LMO.BA: Now, what is the overall vision you have forLingua Mortis Orchestra?VS: LMO is a new band and we plan to continue infuture. I was really motivated to do something speciallike a Metal Opera. I want to have all different coloursof singers and try to find new way of arrangements forthe band and orchestra. Two songs I composedtogether with Peavy. The rest I composed by myself.BAIn regards to this new Masterwork, what is
the concept of the new album?
VS: It´s a concept album that plays in the late 16thcentury in the German town of Gelnhausen. It dealswith the circumstances that lead to the conviction andthe murder of the priests widow Elisabeth Strupp as awitch.BA: With a project as massive as this, were thereany major challenges to the actual recording?VS: It´s always stressfull to have many people in stu-dio and for this CD I need more than 100 musicians.Organisation between three different countries, fourstudios and many different characters cost a lot ofnerves. But many years of experience in orchestrarecording and producing CDs help me a lot. I foundreally perfect combination between classical and metalmusician. And all of them did perfect job.BA: Who co-produced this musical statementwith you?VS: Since more than 10 years Co-producer is CharlieBauerfeind.BA: What plans to you have for the future?VS: I hope I have time this year to finish my soloalbum, but we start already to think about the 30thanniversary of Rage next year. So, I don´t know whenit will be finished.BA: Thank-you for this chat, and congratulationson such a masterful epic of musical moments!As is my tradition, in interviews, I like to leaveour readers with some closing thoughts fromyou… so please go ahead...VS: Thank you very much to all who support us, weappreciate this and give our best!
22 | MRF