melodic rock fanzine #58
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DESCRIPTIONThis new issue includes reviews and interviews of Def Leppard, Coney Hatch, Ted Nugent, Sideburn, Hartmann, Sabaton, Eden’s Curse, Impera, Reece, Harem Scarem, Sammy Hagar ... and more!
CONTENTS04 Def Leppard06 Coney Hatch07 Ted Nugent08 Sideburn09 Hartmann10 Sabaton1 1 Eden’s Curse12 Reviews14 Impera15 Reece19 Harem Scarem20 Sammy Hagar
Melodic Rock FanzineThe official Frontiers Records magazine
Year #9 - Nr. 5 / Issue #58
Editor-in-chief: Elio Bordi
Graphic & Design: Elio Bordi
Writers: Bruce E.J. Atkinson, Duncan Jamieson, BarryMcMinn, Vitale Nocerino, Rob “Ezy” Bone, Primo Bonali,Jeb Wright.
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.
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band. def leppardalbum. viva! hysteria
Interview with:. v. campbell interviewed by:. jeb wright of
Focus on: DEF LEPPARD - Viva! Hysteria (Frontiers Records)
What can one say about this new package from one of the world’s best straight upRock bands? Well, Viva! and get set to go into Hysteria! This double CD and DVDset is a huge thank-you to all of us that have supported Def Leppard over the pastthirty years! “Viva Hysteria!” does not disappoint! The performances are fromtheir 2013 tour, including a complete rendition of their landmark album “Hysteria”!An eleven night stand in Las Vegas, early 2013 saw the group perform “Hysteria”in its glory! You will also hear the group’s opening act, “Ded Flatbird”, man! Theylook related! Visually, the DVD is stunning, capturing the true essence of this highrocking group of energetic musicians! A very distinctive stage set was used fortheir Las Vegas stay, and it is all here! Relive this historical performance of DefLeppard; you will find out why they are still a top draw the world over. Def Leppard- Viva! Hysteria”: definitely on top of their game! Bruce Atkinson (98/100)
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Question: The last time wetalked you were preparing forthe Vegas run and now it iscoming out as a movie. Set themusic aside for a second, thevideo quality of this thing isawesome. Answer: It’s outrageous and it isamazing. It is HD and all of thatstuff. We actually saw it on a moviescreen and it was really amazing.It’s great. This is going to soundweird, because I am always onstage playing, but this looks asgood as I would imagine it to look.It is like coffee. You smell the freshground coffee and it smells sogood, but it never tastes quite asgood as it smells. With this, howev-er, it tastes as good as it smells.We are very happy with this. I amlooking out so I can never reallysee what it looks like.It really ishow I imagined it would look like tofans. It sounds odd, but that reallyis what my impression was when Ifirst saw it.Q: How cool is it that you wereable to have all of these peoplecome from all over to see you?A: I would talk to people and theywould tell me they came fromChile, or Singapore, or Japan, andall over the States, and England,and Europe; it really is crazy. Wedid these great opening sets wherewe played stuff from High ‘n’ Dry,On Through the Night andAdrenalize. We did songs that wehad not done for a long time, but assoon as we started Hysteria, andthe curtains dropped, it felt differ-ent. One really weird thing is thatwe would not run the songs fromHysteria in that sequence in a nor-mal show. To play “Pour SomeSugar on Me” that early in a setwould not normally work and wewould save it for later, but for this,it worked fantastic. It showed howrich and kind of expensive thealbum was. I don’t mean thatmoney-wise, because it cost a fuck-ing fortune to make, but the soundof it is rich and expensive in nature.The quality of the songs, and whatMutt did, really hit home when weplayed it in sequence. Some ofthose songs we had not played everbefore, or we had not played forover twenty years. They weresome of the harder ones to singand play because it had been solong. It was actually challenging toplay them. It was more fun to makethem like the album version andnot go off the beaten track; wetried to stick to the original ver-sions.Q: Hysteria had a lot of layer-ing; it must be hard to play live. A: We worked the arrangementsout and you have to give credit toour sound guy, Ronan McHugh,because he has been doing this forsomething like sixteen years… Hedoes our albums and he does ourlive shows. He knows what every-
one should sound like and he did awonderful job of mixing this. Itsounds perfect and not abrasive. Alot of rock guys mix stuff and itsounds harsh. I’ve been using thesame amplifier for about fifteenyears for live shows, a Marshall.Some of the guitars are the sameones. I actually used some of theguitars on this that I used in the80s. I am using this thing that is aFractal Axe - Fx guitar processor.Everything processes through thatand it does make it a little clearer.That is the only thing I did differ-ently on my part. All of this stuff,these patches and stuff, is updatedall of the time and Ronan McHughdid a great job getting it all doneright. It was down to the fact thatRonan is fucking great.Q: The fans get nostalgic whenthey go to see Def Leppard. Butthis go around, you must havegot nostalgic as musicians bydoing the entire album. A: Yes, it was very nostalgic. Itwas actually really strange. Weplay up to seven songs off ofHysteria on tour every year, butwhen you play it like this, insequence with gaps in between,there is an expectation, even forus, that is a little different than justthe rock and roll thing. There wassomething different playing it insequence. This album was so spe-cial, and it had such an impact andthat made it feel different. It wasn’tnecessarily nostalgia… It was justso rich and different. It was classy.It had a class to it and we respect-ed the album for what it was. It feltreally good to be such a part of aclassy entity. It was more like thatthan nostalgia, which I found to bereally interesting.Q: The footage that was on thescreens was really cool.A: The credit goes to Phamous MacMahon, who, when I joined theband, had already been the lightingguy for three years. He used to beour lighting guy and now he is ourstage and production manager. Heput all of this stuff together. Herented some stuff and he boughtsome stuff and he really made ithappen. Chris Keating, our videoguy, got a lot of the great footageas well. It turned out brilliant andwas really great. We just approvedit and said yes or no. We wanted itto be a certain way and he wouldbring it to us and show us thefootage and we would approve it.Phay and Chris had a lot to do withthat.Q: I love that you added thatfootage of Steve Clark during“Gods of War.” A: Me too. It really, really wasimportant that we did that. I reallywanted to do that as he was such ahuge part of Hysteria. It was greatto give him props. We had thatfootage already, so it was perfect tohave him open that song off.
Q: The Hysteria portion is greatand it is for your main-streamDef Leppard fan. For us rocknerds, the opening sets arepure heaven. I know in the pastthat not everyone in the band,like Joe, has been comfortableplaying some of the very earlysongs. Did you have to twisthis arm?A: For some reason, when we didthis thing, all of the rules changed,including people’s ideas aboutdoing songs. We wouldn’t havedone “Good Morning Freedom,” asit was a B side off of the firstalbum. Joe actually suggested wedo that. We did it in rehearsal andit sounded fucking great. It was thefirst song we did in Vegas. Again,it took on a totally different energy,as Viv and I were not on the origi-nal song, so it had a different ener-gy that it never had before. We did-n’t really stick to the original typeof thing. I was playing one thingand Viv was playing another and ithad a really cool energy to it almostlike a punk band. Viv and I didn’tplay on the songs for On Throughthe Night, when it was recorded, sowe gave the songs a different ener-gy. We were suggesting songs andwe would try them and we wouldsee what happened. One thing thatwas really interesting was thatwhen we got to rehearsal and Rick[Allen] said, “I just had a reallyweird thought. I went to play thissong and it didn’t really freak meout, but the last time I played thissong I had two arms. I couldn’tnaturally do it, so I had to thinkabout it and change it.” Somethingthat he had done thirty years ago,all of the sudden, he had to changeit on the fly. He needed a moment.It wasn’t an emotional thing, it wasjust like, ‘wow, this is really fuckingweird.’ He now had to approach itwith one arm and that was actuallya very big deal for Rick, as he hadto adapt the song. He had to put ina little more work than the rest ofus. From a physical point of view,we had to sing these songs, and weare known for these harmonies, buton the first album there were noharmonies. It was just so easy.Even the stuff on High ‘n’ Dry waseasy. When we started singing thesong on Hysteria we were like,“Fuck, this stuff is really hard tosing.” We had a different approachthan Rick on the early stuff. Hehad a completely differentapproach because he has only onearm now.Q: Wow, that didn’t even clickwith me. I never even thoughtabout that. A: Me too, we actually startedrehearsing and he started playing asong and we stopped and we werelike, “What’s the matter?” He said,“Fuck, do you realize the last time Iplayed this song I had two arms?”It was a big deal.
Focus on: CONEY HATCH - Four (Front iers Records)
It’s hard to believe that Toronto’s finest Hard Rock ambassadors Coney Hatch have onlyrelease three studio albums since their formation back in the late 80’s. But all that is about tobe set straight as Carl Dixon, Andy Curran, Steve Shelski and Dave Ketchum return with theaptly titled “Four”, the band’s first studio album for over two decades, nearer three, with theoriginal line-up the last time round was Outta Hand. It took a near fatal car accident to Dixonfor the band to re-ignite the spark that is Coney Hatch and with “Four”, the band have not onlyignited the spark, but have lit a furnace of Hard Rock. The album is as pure a Hard Rock albumyou’ll hear this year, which kicks off in fine style with the aptly titled “Blown Away”, which isexactly what you will be when you hear this and rest of the album. It doesn’t take long for youto be hooked as the album continues with great rocks songs like “Boys Club”, the groove filled“Down & Dirty” and “Connected”, and the harder edged “We Want More”. We get with the stun-ning “Keep Driving” and “Marseilles” and for the mellower moments its “Do It Again” and“Holding On”. All in all a great comeback from one of Canada’s legendary bands showing youcan’t keep an old dog down, so call the operator and ask for “Four”. Barry McMinn (90/100)
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Question: It’s been quite some-time since you guys got togetherfor a new studio album, whatinspired you to get back togetherin the first place? Is it true it tooka near death experience to getyou guys back together?Answer: Yes I think its fair to say CarlDixon’s car accident was the firstthing that had us all chatting again ona regular basis. We booked a show offin the distance as the carrot on a stickfor his recovery and the feedback wasso strong after that show it led to aone off show at Firefest in the UK.That show led to two record dealoffers… And here we are today…Destiny??Q: So when you got back togeth-er, did you feel that it was rightfrom the off, or did you havesome second thoughts about acome back?A: Certainly on the live end it wasalmost like we never stopped playing.It instantly was that sound of the 4 ofus together like a glove… Especiallywith Dave Ketchum back on drums,like your old favourite tennis shoes
back on your feet! As far as therecord, there was a lot of hesitation ifwe A) we had the songs to pull this offand B) if we could all commit the timeto do the record.Q: It’s hard to believe that it’sonly the bands fourth album, didyou ever think this day mightnever come? A: I will be 100% honest..NO never ina million years did I think we’d everrecord a 4th Hatch record… Guess thesaying “never say never” is true.Q: The album is pure old schoolHard Rock, were the songs writ-ten after you all got back togeth-er, or did you raid the vaults andrevisit some older material forthe album...A: We did raid the vaults to get theball rolling. Car had a pretty good col-lection of old un used stuff and thesong Connected is a result of that.The rest of the record is a collectionof things that Steve, Carl and myselfhad kicking around. We were email-ing ideas back & forth for a few weeksand started making an a list fromthere.
Q: The band have alreadyappeared live since the reunion,where there any nerves gettingback on stage after a long timeaway?A: Not for me but if I were to answerfor Steve… He’s still a ball of nerves...Were waiting for him to settle in!Q: What has been the reactionfrom the fans around thereunion? Are they embracing thenew material as well as the olderstuff?A: So far the early reaction has beenvery positive. At this stage weve onlylet the world hear the single and cer-tain journalists have reviwed the fullrecord with thumbs up! The reactionon the live front, especially Firefesthas been a little overwhelming.People saying they’ve been waitingalmost 30 years for the return of theband and comments like that. Wereally had no idea people even cared,I’m being 100% truthful. So doingthe record almost for vanity reasonsand pride and having people say allthese great things is very un expect-ed.
band. coney hatchalbum. four
Interview with. andy curraninterviewed by:. b.mcminn
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Question: You still bring 110% toyour shows. How do you maintainthe enthusiasm and the MotorCity Madman energy levels?Answer: I cleanse my soul each hunt-ing season between ferocious ultra hienergy tours by celebrating manyopposites from the musical jihad. Iremain very quiet and stealthy whenhunting for 6-8 months with my bowand arrow, often guiding and huntingwith fund raiser charity donators forchildren's and military charities. Allthat ultra peaceful quiet and spiritualcampfire time overcharges my batter-ies to maximize my cravings for theintense American R&B&R&R musicaladventure that I love and crave.Q: How does it feel to have DerekSt Holmes back in the band andwhy do you think he comple-ments you so well?A: It is wonderful as his very specialvoice and guitar playing are integralto the identity of those classic songs
he originally sang on. He has neversung or played guitar better and he isa real asset to my incredible music.We were both raised on the magicalmusic of our black heroes, so weshare a super bond to carry on thisphenomenal soulful music. He is myMotorCity SoulBrother BloodBrother.Q: You call Greg Smith and MickBrown the funk brothers in theDVD. The band really do kick outthe jams and you all look likeyou’re lovin’ every minute of it.A: Full time. I have always been sur-rounded by world class gifted virtu-osos that love the music like I do. Iam a very, very lucky man.Q: You’re well known for advocat-ing hunting and eating red meat.How’s your cholesterol?A: I don't over consume flesh, but thesacred flesh I kill myself and feed mysacred temple with is undeniably thehealthiest diet known to man. Mycholesterol is ok and my spirit inde-
fatigable, thank you.Q: Any chance of you coming overto Europe soon? If you do, willyou bring your guns with you?A: God I miss my EuroDogs bad! I'vetruly enjoyed sharing my amazingmusic with people around the worldand am rather miffed we haven'treturned in so long. And yes, therewill be firepower in all its gloriousforms, both musically and in thehardware department.Q: You’re politically active. You’venever run for government officebut it has been mentioned in thepast. What are the chances of yourunning for President in 2016?A: Very little chance, but good Lordcould I fix this ailing country fast. Inever say never, but we shall see.God knows America needs theNugent common sense, logic andimmediate return to a US Constitutionbased experiment in self-governmentASAP.
artist. ted nugentalbum. Ultralive Ballisticrock
Interview with. ted nugentinterviewed by. d .jamieson
Liberals, vegetarians and deer might not be pre-disposed to like Ted Nugent butwhen he plugs in his guitar and lets the music do the talking even Bambi wouldlove his Motor City, machine gun rock ‘n’ roll. Recorded at Penn’s Peak this CDand DVD serves up one meaty morsel after another. Nugent’s singing will neverwin him any plaudits but his old sparring partner Derek St Holmes is on hand tocarry a lot of the vocals and the blistering rhythm section of bassist Greg Smith(Rainbow) and Mick Brown (Dokken) on drums also help fill out the vocals. Theband shock and awe on “Stormtrooping”, “Just what the Doctor Ordered” isrelentless, “Dog Eat Dog” is a great band performance and on “Stranglehold” Tedimmodestly states “This is the number one guitar lick in the world”. He’s not farwrong. The jingoism isn’t for everyone but musically this has more fire powerthan Ted’s beloved NRA. Duncan Jamieson (92/100)
Focus on: TED NUGENT - Ultralive Ballisticrock (Front iers Records)
Question: I would like to begintalking about your new solo effort:“Temptation in the Garden of Eve”,a very interesting title! Is this aconcept album?Answer: No, it’s not a concept album,just a mood I felt while writing thesongs for this new album. Besides itbeing a good title, the story is a famil-iar one. Woman is lonely and fright-ened, man comes and saves her andhelps her to safety, and then they bothgive in to temptation and make love toeach other. It also has a similarity tothe biblical story of Adam and Eve inthe Garden of Eden, but I wrote mylyrics as a parody with a satiricalmeaning. When talking about tempta-tion, it’s all around us in life. Some ofthe other songs just happened to havesome temptations within their storytoo, so it tied in and worked as a prem-ise.Q: This time around, you haveworked with Paul Sabu. Is this thefirst time working with him?A: I’ve known Paul for many years. Heproduced the first Silent Rage album“Shattered Hearts” then he went on toproduce the second album “Don’tTouch Me There” for Silent Rage alongwith 3 of my solo albums. I think that
the answer to that is my best work hasbeen with Paul over the years. I havelearned and continue to learn fromhim. We work well together becauseour playing, singing, and writing stylesare similar. There also is a comfort inknowing that he knows me and myabilities, and because of that he has away of helping me deliver the best per-formances I can.Q: Now, I understand that Paulproduced this record, however,you also collaborated with him onsome of the songs, correct?A: Yes, the way it worked this albumwas I wrote the songs, and thenbrought them in for Paul to hear,sometimes they were very close andthey didn’t need much changes, butPaul is an amazing writer and he wouldhelp on a lyric here and there and addor change a chord progression thatwould lift the song in a new way. Insome ways it’s a great collaboration tohave a producer work on the songs tomake sure that they’re the best theycan be. The whole album fits togetherwell with the story lines in my lyrics aswell as the material coming acrosssolid and strong.Q: Who else do you have playingwith you?
A: I have three great musicians, PaulSabu producer, bass and backingvocals. Then there’s Eric Ragno on thekeyboards, and Pete Newdeck on thedrums and backing vocals. Eric cameon board with the project, and thenPete followed soon after. What morecould I ask for with these three guysjamming with me throughout theentire album as well as delivering theirstellar performances. It was a brilliantconnection!Q: May I ask, what do you feel isdifferent from “Temptation…”than say your last solo effort? Theapproach? Subject Matter?A: The way I look at it, I try to do myvery best when writing new materialbut you can’t control how strong asong or album will be when you’rewriting it, it just has a flow to it. I feltthat kind of flow writing my last soloalbum, but not everything is the samein one’s life at every moment. Everytime I write a new song it’s a newexperience due to a mood and an influ-ence. This time around I experimentedmore and it worked out well. I try towrite about life experiences aboutmyself and about people in general. Ithink people want to relate to lyricsand be entertained at the same time.
Focus on: JESSE DAMON - Temptat ion in the Garden of Eve (AOR Heaven)
From the opening cords of the title track we know that this man is serious! Jessehas laid out, for all to hear, eleven original musical trinkets. The front man for“Silent Rage”, Mr. Damon sings and plays his heart out… A little tougher and maybea little more passion exudes from this, his new solo effort. Partnered with PaulSabu, “Temptation in the Garden of Eve” showcases Jesse’s guitar playing to the“n’th” degree. His vocal delivery is also top notch! Enlisting the musical talents ofPete Newdeck of “Eden’s Curse” on drums and Eric Rango on Keyboards, plus thehighly sought- after Paul Sabu does triple duty by playing bass. The triple duty?Well, Paul has co-written the songs with Jesse, and produced this collection as well!The result is a highly energized slice of ear candy… Set for the mass of music loversaround the globe! Hard driving rockers that are tempered by some soaring yet mid-tempo musical excursions. “Temptation in the Garden of Eve” is most certainly abright light in the Melodic Hard Rock sky! Bruce Atkinson (90/100)
artist. jesse damonalbum. Temptation In...Interview with. j.damon
interviewed by:. b.atkinson
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Although this is a compilation of tracks from Oliver Hartmann and “Hartmann”, it should not bedismissed. While the Hard Rock world is waiting for the group’s sixth effort “The Best Is Yet ToCome” is a fantastic way to get to know the musical master that is “Hartmann”! This criticallyacclaimed Singer and Guitarist cut his teeth in the late nineties working with many of the finestmusicians. Not losing his initial vision, and while working on numerous other music projects, the“Hartmann” group recorded and toured tirelessly! Each time the group took to the road, the audi-ences increased, and more opportunities came their way. The group released five albums from2004 to just lately, each exploring a wider musical plateau than the one previous. It is this mate-rial that makes up this, a living, breathing document of the “Hartmann” sound experience. A stel-lar collection from this creative genius and hard working individual! Sixteen tracks of pure heart-felt Rock! Yes the rockers are here-front and centre, and so are the ballads and mid-tempo excur-sions that magnify the talent of Oliver and the collective talent of “Hartmann”! Don’t pass onthis… A top drawer release from one of Europe’s rising stars! Bruce Atkinson (91/100)
Focus on: HARTMANN - The Best Is Yet to Come (Avenue of A l l ies)
Question: It’s almost ten years sinceyour debut which the melodic rockcommunity, including myself,thought was terrific. What do youremember about releasing thatalbum and the response it received?Answer: Oh, yes, I can remember thatvery well. Started with the songwritingfor it in 2004 and the debut album wasreleased in 2005. I can say that “Out inthe cold” was definitely one of the mostimportant albums for the band’s carreer.Many people just knew me as the singerof AT VANCE and maybe expected a dif-ferent musical direction from this firstalbum. So we were really happy that itwas that successful and often reviewedas "album of the month". We re-releasedit already in 2009 on my own recordlabel SONIC 11 because it wasn't avail-able anymore during that time. For thisactual rerelease we added the originalJapanese bonus track to make it a littlemore interesting and special for the fans.Q: After 5 records how do you feelHartmann has changed since thedebut?A: I think many little things havechanged since our first album and every
album was one step forward for us.Regarding the music we changed somedetails here and there in the band’ssound and production and also variedand played a bit with different musicalstyles. Even if some songs are alreadyclose to pop, singer-songwriter or evenmetal, I think there’s always still the “redline” in our sound and style that makesit all typical Hartmann songs andalbums. For me personally our latestalbum “Balance” shows best the wholevariety and development of the band sofar.Q: There’s a cover of the John Milesclassic “Music” on the album. Whatlead to you recording this track?A: As I said this song has got somethingvery special that is hard to explain and itcan't be really compared to other songsI know. It's one of my favorite tracksthat I played as a cover version in manybands more than 15 years and while wewere arranging the songs for"Handmade" we had the idea to coverand record the track as an unpluggedversion. We still often play that song livewith HARTMANN as an electric versionbut it never made sense to me to put a
full version including orchestra on a stu-dio album. To me personally the originalis unbeatable and can't be turned intosomething better by just copying it.Playing it in a totally different arrange-ment just with acoustic guitars and threereally amazing backing singers which wehad for "Handmade" we thought it wouldbe a great opportunity to try it in a dif-ferent version.Q: What’s been the highlight for youin Hartmann?A: I think one of the highlights with thebest memories are the two tours withTOTO. The first one was in 2006 whilewe were still promoting our debutalbum. The second one happened lastsummer right after the tour with RMCwhere Steve Lukather was featured asguest. Getting to know him better duringthis tour was a great thing - not onlybecause he's an amazing musician butalso a very funny and kind guy. And wehad really relaxed situation afterwardsduring our support tour for TOTO. Wewere treated with lots of respect by thewhole band and crew so we didn't reallyfeel like a typical support band, I hopewe can do it again someday!
band. hartmannalbum. the best is yet to comeInterview with. oliver hartmann
interviewed by. b. atkinson
After being honored as Polish citizens, it was natural for SABATON to record their first officiallive document in the country that has supported the band like no other. So, during August2012, Sabaton went to Poland to headline the huge "Przystanek Woodstock Open Air Festival"in front of 600.000 (!!!) people. And here is now the final result, this brand new release fromthe swedish Power-metallers, called "Swedish Empire Live", available in any possible format:Blu Ray, DVD, Cd and also LP! And that's not all, as the release also features live footage ofthe band’s performances in Gothenburg, London and Oberhausen on their extensive "SwedishEmpire Tour" for a more than 4 hours of playing time. The performance of the band is veryimpressive, really powerful and tight, so if you're a Power Metal fan, you probably won't dareto miss this release. The Cd track-list contains 16 songs, spanning thru the whole Sabatoncareer, with songs like the opener “Ghost Division”, “Carolus Rex”, “Midway” and “Cliffs ofGallipolli” being probably the most significative. Primo Bonali (90/100)
Focus on: SABATON - Swedish Empire L ive (Nuclear Blast)
Question: Just like a timeline,how would you describe theway of Sabaton from 2011 to2013?Answer: So much have happened,in 2012 we did loose 4 band mem-bers and gained 3 new. This was ofcourse a major change in the bandeven if me and Joakim still remainsand with that the base of the band.Since 2011 I think we have donemaybe 250 shows or so in 50countries and we have releasedthe album Carolus Rex which atleast in Sweden was a major hitbeing in the charts almost 1 yearand selling platinum.Q: The idea to relase this set -How was it born? Does it comefrom Sabaton or Nuclear Blast?To realize this it's full of costs,technical equipment. All thingshave to organized…A: The idea is totally from ourside. We have a new band wewanted to show to the world. Andafter 13 years and 6 studioalbumswe felt that it was time to do a reallive DVD and so we did. We decid-ed when and where and how torecord this.Q: Why did you record, better:
publish, the "oberhausen" and"Gothenburg" (also "London")shows ?A: Since we wanted to showSabaton from different angles. Notonly a big show in a festival butalso the clubshows in differentcountries and one arenashowwhich was Gothenburg. Everynight is different and we reallywanted to show Sabaton on all lev-els. Not onyl the crazy 100-tou-sands people show.Q: The fans... You're travellingaround the world, visiting somany countries. Just let usknow the differences how thefans reacting, their mood, theircrazyness... Maybe there is aspecial story, just like aabsolutely crazy thing…A: Of course the people are differ-ent in every corner of the worldand we are yet to discover a lot ofthem since Sabaton mainlyfocused on Europe until now.Generally the southern Europe iswilder at shows. We played inCyprus a few times and once and Ithink they broke the crashbarriersbefore Joakim had introduced thefirst song Ghost Division. They
made 400 people sound like40.000. Q: Different stages. The differ-ence playing a small club, a"middle" venue or an open airjust like "Wacken" or so. Howdows it feel? Closer to the fans,far away; What do you prefer?A: Everything is fun. Its never upto the crowd to deliver the show.That is our job. Of course its amighty sight to see a field like inWacken full of metalheads but Iactually prefer when its inside,sweaty and 100% of the crowd isthere for Sabaton. The atmospherein clubs cannot be taken to thefestivals.Q: Plans for the future. Aroundten shows in 2013 are coming.That's it? After all the success -how will Sabaton continue?A: We are building lots of ideas.The future looks exciting and atthe moment we are already book-ing deep into 2015 with shows.The Swedish Empire Tour is almostat an end but Sabaton stands hun-gry and ready to strike on theworld with a new album beforenext summer so expect to be hithard once again.
band. sabatonalbum. swedish empire live
Interview with. joakim brodeninterviewed by:. p. bonali
10 | MRF
This is the fourth album for the multi-cultural melodic rock band. There have been some per-sonal upheavals in the band, most notably the departure of original singer Michael Eden and afurther false start with Marco Sandron (Pathosray/Fairyland). However, their new Serbian singerNikola Mimic comes from reasonable obscurity (the band Dreyelands) to show he has all thepower and melody necessary to take the band forward to the wider audience the banddeserves. The band’s trade mark mix of bombastic, memorable melodic rock and metal is herein abundance. “Evil & Divine”, “Unbreakable” and the epic ballad “Fallen From Grace” are mar-vellous melodic rock tunes. New keyboard player Steve Williams from Power Quest fits in seam-lessly and over 13 tracks you get everything from the stripped back AOR of “Rock Bottom” tothe full metal attack of “Devil In Disguise”. It’s got a heavily layered production with huge back-ing vocals and a whole host of hooks in each song to ensure this is a disc you’ll keep return-ing to (although a less compressed sound would have improved it further). “Symphony Of Sin”will prove to be one of this year’s melodic rock highlights. Duncan Jamieson (94/100)
Question: The new album soundsimmense. You must be happy withit.Answer: Wow! Thank you! Yes we areabsolutely delighted about it. There is areal buzz within the band, and I know itsounds so cliched to say it, but we firm-ly believe it's our best work to date anda rather "special" album. We are soexcited to see what everyone else thinksof it.Q: Nikola Mijic, the new singer doesa great job. He’s a good fit becausehe can cope with the melodic ele-ment that’s so key to Eden’s Cursesound but also handles the heaviermaterial well too. How did you findhim and can you tell us a bit abouthim?A: I agree. Nikola is such a versatilevocalist with so much soul, passion andall round ability, he can lietrally sing any-thing. As for finding him, well initially weheld some public online auditions, similarto what Dragonforce did, and eventhough the quality received was veryhigh indeed, we were looking for thatcertain "je ne sais quoi". I was research-ing on the internet through various
media streams and I happened to bebrowsing on the website of Lion Musicwho have some killer bands. I cameacross a Hungarian Prog band called"Dreyelands" and liked what I heardfrom their singer. I jumped to Facebookto see if he had a profile and low andbehold he did. I reached out to Nikolaand invited him to audition, which he did,and the rest they say is history. Q: Did you approach the writing andrecording differently on this album?A: Not really, it was pretty much as werecorded the previous three records. Wedid however consciously push ourselvesand each other harder on the songs.Thorsten, myself and Pete wouldn'taccept the first idea that came forward ifany one of us thought that the idea couldbe bettered. We went back to the draw-ing board multiple times on each of thesesongs and it really shows, I believe. Thisalso demonstrates how comfortable weare working with each other, because wewould not let personal gain get in theway of "the song". We would only say"done" when everyone was truly happywith every part, thus enabling us to writethe best batch of songs that we could.
Q: Which songs are you particularlyproud of on the new record?A: I'm proud of every one of them, buttwo that spring to mind would be the titletrack "Symphony Of Sin" because it issuch an epic song and the marriage ofrock and symphonic music orchestra isalways something I wanted to try out ona new song. I also composed the orches-tral piece in it, so to hear that come backfrom a professional arranger and orches-tra was pretty special indeed. Also I lovethe track "Unbreakable" because writingit was very cathartic and uplifting. It'salso a bit different for us - it's verymelodic, almost like a pop song but witha hint of a Mr Big added for good meas-ure.Q: You’ve used Dennis Ward as theengineer again on “Symphony OfSin”. What is it you like about hiswork so much?A: He is cheap! Haha, I wish he was!Dennis has been with us since the begin-ning and he knows what works for ourmusic. Sonically his productions just kickyou hard in the face and that's what Ilove so much. I think he is the numberone guy out there for this type of music.
band. edens cursealbum. symphony of sin
Interview with. paul logueinterviewed by. d. jamieson
Focus on: EDEN’S CURSE - Symphony of S in (AFM Records)
MRF | 11
12 | MRF
REECE - Compromise (AOR Heaven)Ever since his return in 2008, David Reece has been involved with some great albums and artists from GypsyRose, Reece Kronlund, Bangalore Choir and most of all, with his debut solo album “Universal Language”. Nowin 2013 Reece returns with only his second solo release to date, “Compromise” and joining him on this releaseare the big name cast including bassist Ronnie Parkes, guitarist Jack Frost, keyboardist Paul Morris and spe-cial guests Christian Tolle and Andy Susemihl, for what is another great release. The album sees Reece tak-ing things along a harder path than previously heard and I think one that suits the whole solo album persona,where artists are allowed to push the envelope a little more. The hard rock hits you from the off with theopener barrage of “Disaster” and “End of It All”, with Reece’s unmistakable vocals laying down the law frombeginning to end. The hard rockers are split with some stunning ballads, the first of these being “SomeoneBeautiful” and “Everything to Everyone”. But it’s the ballsy rockers that really do it for me, with “Along For TheRide” and the almost Sabbathesque “Evil Never Dies” the pick of the bunch for me. The album may be called“Compromise”, but Reece never compromises one iota on this stunning album. Barry McMinn (95/100)
SIDEBURN - Electrify (AOR Heaven)Coming from Switzerland and playing a dirty, riffs-oriented and powerful Rock'n'Roll, the compar-ison between Sideburner and Krokus might be the most easy and immediate thing to do. After sixalbums (their debut "Sell Your Soul for Rock'n'Roll" is dated 1997) and some highlights in theircareer (Sideburn was recently chosen by Adidas to be the "band of the evening" during theAdidas-Rockstar event that took place on August 11th, 2012, at the Porsche Arena in Stuttgart,Germany), these swiss rockers are still playing what they believe in, and with the new "Electrify"they bring us another dose of that pure, bluesy & energetic Rock that we all love so much. Ac/Dc,Krokus, Junkyard, Dirty Looks, Circus Of Power, but also Lynyrd Skynyrd and Molly Hatchet... allof these awesome riff-makers bands have been obviously influences for Sideburn. The albumsounds fresh and punchy, and some credit must go to world famous producer Beau Hill for takingcare of the mix. It's a long way to the top, if you wanna rock'n'roll! Primo Bonali (83/100)
HARTMANN - Out in the Cold (Reissue) (Avenue of Allies)When this album was originally released in 2005 it caught many people by surprise. While musicfans were familiar with Oliver Hartmann as singer with At Vance, few were aware what a greatmelodic rock songwriterand performer he was. Up-tempo tracks like “Alive Again”, “Out In TheCold” and “How Long” combine what people loved about 80s rock bands but here he also addsjust enough of a contemporary edge in the production to make this revelent for today. There’s aterrific cover of Skunk Ananse’s “Brazen” which retains the emotional anguish of the original butreimagines it as a huge melodic rock song. His voice is strong and soulful and he has the abilityto emotional connect on the ballads such as “Can You Tell Me Where Love Has Gone?” as well kickup a storm on the rocking material. If you missed this disc first time round, make sure you pickup this re-release (which includes the acoustic ballad “Rescue In my Arms” as a bonus track) asit’s one of the noughties finest melodic rock albums. Duncan Jamieson (94/100)
COLDSPELL - Frozen Paradise (Escape Music)It’s album number 3 for the Swedish rockers and it’s pretty much business as usual. There are sharp, gla-cial riffs throughout from Michael Larsson combined with big melodic choruses. There’s still an undeniableWhitesnake 87 crunch, Dokken throb and bluesy Led Zep feel lurking under the surface but this albumhas the most metallic bite of their releases to date. The rhythm section keeps the ebb and flow of therecord interesting with plenty of tempo changes and on occasion there are some good melodic, keyboardhooks such as on the fine “Angel Of The World”. There’s a slightly folky feel to “Soldiers” which adds some-thing new while the metal of “Paradise” and Great White thump of “Dark Reflections” also standout.Although the different tempos, riffs and choruses work well, the verses are often too pedestrian. No faultof singer Niklas Swedentorp who has a good set of pipes but rather an area of the song writing that needsattention. That aside, this a solid melodic hard rock record and if you’re already a fan of the band thenColdspell’s charms show no signs of melting away just yet. Duncan Jamieson (86/100)
BILL LEVERTY - Drive (Leverty Music)Firehouse guitarist Bill Leverty delivers another solo outing while the rest of the world wait (im)patient-ly for Firehouse to record something new. This wasn't my ideal idea of new music from the talentedLeverty – an all-covers affair featuring classic rock tunes from the way back days of CreedenceClearwater Revival, Little Feat, The Ohio Players, Three Dog Night, Eric Clapton, Edgar Winter, TheGuess Who, Stevie Wonder, Steely Dan and Rare Earth. Bill's gruff voice suits the material here and Imust say I'm impressed in the methods he uses to rock up the material. There is definitely some fineshredding guitar moments here. And some fine tunes – but not all work for me and it will all dependon the taste of the listener to whether you like the whole album or only parts of. Personally I really likeFortunate Son, One, No Time and I Just Want To Celebrate (funky goodness). Somewhat of a mixedbag song wise, but really well produced, expertly played of course and fans of Bill should have no trou-ble appreciating the authenticity of the project. Andrew McNeice - Melodicrock.com (82/100)
UNTIL RAIN - Anthem To Creation (Escape Music)Until Rain is a Progressive Metal band coming from Thessaloniki, Greece, and formed back in2004. "Anthem To Creation" is their second album (after the debut, "The Reign Of Dreams", dated2009) and it delivers a pretty unique sound, where Progressive Melodic Metal (think Pagan's Mindand Shadow Gallery) is wisely combined to the more epic orchestral Power of Symphony X or TimeRequiem, with the inclusion of Greek folklore, in both lyrics and melodies, and someElectronic/Experimental music thrown into. Singer, Yannis Papadopoulos, has a pretty high-pitchedstill very melodic voice and sings with passion and attitude, while the whole band sounds tight andpowerful. 11 tracks enriched by a pretty heavy and modern, yet very clear production, a very longalbum that has to be played over and over, and obviously not the typical easy-listening Cd thatstays in your car cd-player for days. If you're looking for something creative, adventurous andsomehow beautifully intricate, Until Rain have something for you. Primo Bonali (83/100)
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THE THEANDER EXPRESSION - S/T (Avenue of Allies)Another Melodic / AOR artist is about to take the genre by storm and his name Andrée Theander.Joining Theander are fellow Swedes whose names some you might find familiar like vocalist GoranEdman and drummer Herman Furin, with newcomer Christian Hedgren sharing the vocals duties withEdman. On bass we have Linus Abrahamson and on keyboards Michael Ottoson. The album mixesthe best of old school AOR, the likes of Toto and Street Talk, with the more recent Lionville and WorkOf Art woven into the mix, that will warm even the hardest of diehard of AOR fans. You have to checkout the likes of “Sanguine”, the title track “Strange Nostalgia” and “Mr Know It All” to hear Theander’svast range. Other tracks of note have to be opener “Conception of Life” and the six minute AOR mas-terpiece and album closer “‘Champagne Wishes and Caviar Dream”. This is definitely Sweden show-ing us how Melodic Rock and AOR should be done, by revisiting the past and bringing it into the now.I can’t wait for album number two if this debut is anything to go by. Barry McMinn (90/100)
SINNER - Touch of Sin 2 (AFM Records)Primal Fear’s hard working Bassist; Mat Sinner has dove into his archives-pulling out some absolutegems from his other group: “Sinner”! Mat set out to re-work selections from “Sinner’s” earlier and rarealbums, including 1985’s “Touch of Sin”. Not only has Mat re-recorded this extraordinary material fromhis past, he has included three brand new numbers! “Blood on the Sand”, “Heat of the City”, and “Don’tBelieve a Word” are glimpses into “Sinner’s future. Re-working his earlier recordings, Mat went onestep further and has successfully assembled some very special guests on this project. DavidReadmann of “Voodoo Circle” & “Pink Cream 69”, and Erik Martensson of “W.E.T.” amongst others.“Sinner” sound like they are back! The vigor comes forth brilliantly on the new material and the olderexpressions. “Don’t Believe a Word” is a romping rocker and “Blood on the Sand” has the same intensevibe as anything from “Mask of Sanity”! All in all, “Touch of Sin 2” is a very solid-if not historical- doc-ument of one of the finest Hard Rock groups on the scene today. Bruce Atkinson (91/100)
ASHES OF ARES – S/T (Nuclear Blast)Matt Barlow had put three albums under his belt with Florida Metallers Iced Earth before parting wayswith the Tampa band after their Horror Show opus, only to rejoin in 2007, only to depart once morein 2011. Now in 2013 Barlow is back and joining him on this new Metal venture is fellow Iced EartherFreddie Vidales, who handles both guitars and bass on the album and Nevermore’s Van Williams ondrums. The album is full on, heads down metal, that kicks off with the might “The Messenger”, whereBarlow unleashes that tremendous vocal, while Vidales lays down the big bass lines and streamingguitars, all backed by the thunderous rhythms of Williams. The mighty driven metal that propels thisalbum continues with monstrous elements like “Moving The Chains”, the dark tones of ‘Punishment’and even the gentle tones of the semi acoustic ‘This Is My Hell’, being just some of the tracks thatreally make this an album worthy of the musicians behind it. Definitely a band on the rise, some mayeven say a phoenix rising out of the ashes, the Ashes of Ares. Barry McMinn (90/100)
BLUES PILLS – Devil Man (Nuclear Blast)On this 4 track EP Blues Pills most active ingredient is the big booming voice of Swedish singer ElinLarsson. She commands your attention from the beginning on “Devil Man” coming across like theoffspring of Janis Joplin and Robert Plant. The ballad “The River” is how Adele would sound if shefronted a psychedelic blues band. Americans Cory Berry and Zach Anderson who were in the bluesygarage band Radio Moscow create a big, bassy ,retro, stoner groove that sounds like the music iscoming up through your floorboards. On the Cream influenced “Time Is Now” the band rumbles solow it could cause an earthquake and on the slow hypnotic blues of “Dig In” you sense the bandcould stretch this out to a lengthy jam live . 18 year-old Frenchman Dorian Sorriaux peels of somedelightful old school solos, aping early Fleetwood Mac on the floaty outro of “Devil Man” and else-where the solos have plenty of character, bending notes for feel rather than playing fast and flashy.It bodes well for their first full album currently in the works. Duncan Jamieson (84/100)
SPARKLANDS – Tomocyclus (Avenue of Allies)SPARKLANDS is a new project-band put together by two brothers coming from the Netherlands,Thomas Riekerk (lead vocals) and Robert Riekerk (guitars and keyboards), with one mission: playwhat they love most, AOR music. With influences - as the band itself states - spanning from BadEnglish and Giant to Toto and Foreigner, "Tomocyclus" sounds extremely melodic and probably lighterthan the last AOR albums you might have listened to, yet very enjoyable and touching. Some songshere might sound a little bit too much Pop (the Riekerk's have been part, over the years, of many dif-ferent Pop bands and international artists, getting success with a couple of hits) and the keyboardsand synthesizers are often prominent and more upfront than guitars, so that the album will appealespecially to lighter AOR (a la Boulevard, Saga, Mr. Mister) fans. According to the bio, the bandworked hard on getting a "retro" sound, by using a lot of vintage gear, to lay down the classic '80sAOR sound, which resulted in an overall warm sound, although the production, unfortunately, is notup to the high standard of (past and also new) albums in this genre. Primo Bonali (78/100)
WOLFPAKK – Cry Wolf (AFM Records)“Cry Wolf” is the much anticipated follow up the self titled debut release from Mark Sweeney andMichael Voss’s Wolfpakk. Again the pair have selected some of the Metal and Hard Rock world’s finestmusicians and vocalist to feature on this album: the likes of A. Somerville, T. Mills, R. Scheepers andD. White leading the vocal charge and K. Marcello, M. Meyer, D. Airey and H. Rarebell. If you lovedthe debut then you’re going to be blown away by the follow up, which gets underway in emphaticstyle with “Moonlight”, a storming opener with Scheepers unleashing those mighty pipes, this is fol-lowed by Johnny Gioeli laying downing the vocals on this melodic metaller. There is enough melodyrich metal to keep you headbanging for days with Voss and Sweeney to take up mike for the single“Dark Revelation”, a no holds barred raise your fist in the air metalheads delight, even the wonder-ful mellower moment “Cold Winter” with Somerville at the helm will get to even the hardest metalheart. The Pakk is definitely back and they mean business. Barry McMinn (92/100)
band. imperaalbum. pieces of eden
interview with:. jk imperainterviewed by:. b. mcminn
Question: With the debut album“Legacy Of Life” hitting all theright notes with fans and mediaalike, did you feel any pressurewhen working on the secondalbum “Pieces Of Eden” to liveup to such a great debut?Answer: I was extremely proud of“Legacy Of Life” so I absolutely feltthat we had to make the next oneeven better, not just for the fansbut for ourselves too and I think theresult speaks for it self. In my opin-ion “pieces Of Eden” is a big step upfrom “Legacy Of Life”. The songsare better, the sound is better andit´s overall a big step up.Q: Again we see the same line-up as the debut, how importantwas it for you to have the sameguys to work with on the secondalbum?A: We are a band so the lineup willalways be the same on everyImpera album and you can´t ask forbetter guys to work with. I´veknown them all for over 30 yearsand in my book they are some of
the best musicians out there and Ifeel very privileged to have them inmy band also the chemistry in theband is magical, it feels like wehave been in this band forever.Q: It’s been little over a yearsince the release of the debut,how long after the release of“Legacy Of Life” did you startworking on the follow up?A: It´s actually less than a year.“Legacy” was released in October2013 and Tommy and I went backin the studio in December to workon the music and within a week wehad all the music done so it wentextremely fast. Tommy is amazingwhen it comes to write songs, hehas a lot of ideas and he works fastand if I have an idea he understandexactly what I´m looking for in theend. We think alike when it comesto songwriting and we will actuallystart writing for the next one nextmonth.Q: Not many bands are formedby the drummer, I can onlythink of one Carmine Appice,
why do you think drummers aregenerally seen as rebels and notleaders?A: I really don´t know, I can onlyspeak from my perspective andI´ve always been the guy thatwants to take control, it´s been likethat in every band I´ve beeninvolved with, I guess I´m that kindof guy just like Carmine, we arepretty special haha. I´ve metCarmine a couple of times and he isa great guy / drummer.Q: Will Impera be taking to theroad again in the not too distantfuture?A: Absolutely, we are currentlyworking with a booking agencywho´s main goal is to book us at asmany festivals as possible for nextsummer and there are plans to visitJapan in the near future. We wantto tour as much as possible but wealways have in mind that the otherguys are involved in other bands /projects so it´s a lot of planninginvolved when we are making plansfor are forth coming shows.
Focus on: IMPERA - Pieces of Eden (Escape Music)
“Pieces of Eden” is the next chapter in the Impera story taking up where their debut“Legacy Of Life” left off and once again we see founder JK Impera being joined by MattiAlfonzetti on vocals, Tommy Denander on guitars and completing the line-up MatsVassfjord on bass. The album itself continues the Hard Rock path of the debut withAlfonzetti at his very best. Denander is a flamboyant six sting maestro and needs nohype, this guy knows his way around a fret board. Impera himself and Vassfjord are thesolid foundation for the bands hard rocking sound. The album opens up with the mon-ster “Beast Within”, instantly you’re hooked to the big rhythms and tasty licks. This isHard Rock as it was meant to be. Things continue down a similar path with the likes of“These Chains”, the stomping “This is War” and “Smalltown Blues”. The guys even givea nod to their hero’s KISS with a cover of Paul Stanley’s “Goodbye”. This is Hard Rockat its modern best. Impera are a tight unit that is equal to the sum of its parts.Definitely one album to get you rocking. Barry McMinn (92/100)
14 | MRF
Barry McMinn: Hi David, con-gratulations on another superbalbum in “Compromise”. Wheredoes the album title comefrom?David Reece: The title comes fromthe day-to-day struggles that we allface. No matter who you are orwhat you do we all have to dealwith those things that just don’t goour way. Sometimes life seems tobe an uphill battle and sometimesyou have to compromise just toovercome. I’ve dealt with that somuch in my life I felt it was time toaddress it.BMM: This is only your secondsolo album, but you’ve neverstop working, how did you findtime to fit this album in with
the B a n g a l o r eChoir andTango Downalbums?DR: WithTango Downwe don’t doany majortouring, wemostly do one–off shows,festivals andsuch. Theguys inB a n g a l o r eChoir rightnow are busydoing their
own personal things and livingthere lives so at the momentalthough I am keeping busy thereis still enough time to do what Ineed to do and being an artist Ineed that extra bit of self-expres-sion that I can only get on a soloalbum.BMM: This album is a mixedbag, do you feel you’re able topush the envelope more withsolo albums than with the moreband orientated albums?DR: Absoloutley! With a band youare a member, it is a team effort,and the outcome is exactly that.With my own solo record I am increative control of the songs andevery aspect of the recording. I feelit is much more of an embodiment
of who I am as a person and artist.That is why there is such diversityon my solo albums. You don’trecord an album in a day, at least agood one anyway haha. Life is likea roller coaster with ups and downsand that is what I feel I haveachieved with “Compromise” it’s aRock and Roll Rollercoaster thatreflects my life from fun and crazytimes to sad and angry times. Thisrecord runs the full course and it issomething that wouldn’t happen if Iwasn’t in creative control and I amvery proud of the outcome.BMM: The album features somegreat moments from the excel-lent “Someone Beautiful” to theheavier “All Road Lead to War”,what do you prefer, the full onheads down rockers or the gen-tler ballads?DR: Really I am a blues singer atheart. I need a song to move me.Sometimes it takes a hold of me itreally doesn’t matter if it is heavymetal, a ballad, or a melodic rock-er. It’s all about the emotion thesong evokes in me. I can do themall pretty well I think haha. That iswhat I love about “Compromise” Ican relate to every track and gaveit my all. I hope people enjoy it asmuch as I enjoyed making it.BMM: Will there be anotherBangalore Choir album in thenot too distant future?DR: There is nothing planned at themoment but anything is possible.
Question: Why do you feel theneed to re-record your historicalMood Swings album? Were thereanything that not satisfy you inthe original version?Answer: It was the 20th anniversaryof the Mood Swings record and wethought: a) it would be a good way tocommemorate it and give somethingcool to the fans and b) so we couldhave ownership of the masters.Q: There are three unreleasedsongs: “World Gone To Pieces”,“Anarchy” and “Brighter Day”.Are they old songs not includedin the 1993 release? Or are theytotally new?A: They are brand new songs.Q: What the new songs lyricstalks about?A: In a nutshell, the lyrics arefocused on the state of things in theworld and trying to look beyond thenegative and improve things for thefuture.Q: Is this release a kind of testfor a possible future reunion?have you any regrets for your
2008’s split?A: I wouldn't say it's a test. We aredoing the re-record and the tour andthen we will see what happens. Wehave nothing planned beyond that atthe moment. If the response to theCD is good and folks are happy tohave us back, who knows. We mightconsider doing another album. Wehave no regrets as far as the split.We all still work together on otherprojects and are constantly in con-tact. It was definitely time to giveHarem Scarem a rest.Q: What are the Mood Swingssongs that you enriched andmodified more in this new ver-sion?A: I think the songs that are the mostdifferent from the original version areJust Like I Planned, Jealousy andMandy. We wanted to keep true tothe originals for the most part.Changing things just for the sake ofchanging them didn't seem like theright thing to do.Q: You also turned the cover art-work background colour from
dark to white. Why?A: We wanted to keep the same basicconcept and style but alter it enoughto make it obviously different fromthe first. We are totally thrilled withthe artwork from Andre, I personallythink it's far better then the firstpackage. He put so much time andthought into it. I was totally blownaway. Q: What other album you desireto re-record again? What do youchange you can turn back intime?A: I don't think we'll ever re-recordan entire album again. Maybe justour favourite songs or ones that wefeel we could do a better version oftoday.Q: What can Harem Scarem addto their story? Has the best yet tocome? A: Well, at the moment we can addthis album and tour to the list. Afterthat who knows. As I said there areno plans to write and record a newalbum but you never know what canhappen.
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“Mood Swings” has been one of my fave albums in the early ‘90s (it was originally releasedin 1993) and definitely the one I ppreciated the most in the whole Harem Scarem discog-raphy. The band, during the 20+ years long career, had most of their albums released witha great mix and production, always updating their sound and with a clever use of the newtechnologies. So, it’s not a surprise now to listen to these new, slightly more modern, ver-sions of classic hits like “No Justice”, “Saviors Never Cry”, “Stranger Than Love” and“Sentimental Blvd” with a clear and crisp production (and I’m not describing the sound ofHarem Scarem, as I’m sure any of you, MRF readers, know and appreciate the canadianrockers). The band also decided to include three brand new songs (“World Gone ToPieces”, “Anarchy” and “Brighter Day”), written with the same feeling and style of the orig-inal “Mood Swings”, and, although I listen to some modern influences here and there, thefantastic melodies! The excellent guitar playing and the joyful energy are always there.Can’t wait to see them live at “Firefest UK”! Primo Bonali (90/100)
Focus on: HAREM SCAREM - Mood Swings II (Frontiers Records)
band. harem scaremalbum. mood swings ii
interview with:. p. lesperanceinterviewed by:. p. bonali
20 | MRF
band. sammy hagaralbum. s.hagar and friends
Interview with. sammy hagarinterviewed by:. d. jamieson
Focus on: SAMMY HAGAR - Sammy Hagar & Friends (Frontiers Records)
Celebrating 40 years in rock music seems as good a time as any to record an albumwith your friends, especially when your friends are some of rocks biggest hitters suchas ex-band mates Michael Anthony, Denny Carmassi, Bill Church, and Neal Schon, pluspeople like Nancy Wilson and Taj Mahal. There’s a mix of new songs and a few covers(the most suprising choice being a version of Depeche Mode’s “Personal Jesus”). Likehis “Livin’ It Up” solo disc from 2006 it has that laid back vibe with your toes in thesand, sipping a tequila (Sammy has his own lucrative brand). There’s piano and accor-dion on “Margaritaville”, a ukulele on “All We Need Is An Island” and female backingvocals elsewhere to make this different than his usual hard rockin’ approach. That’s notto say he doesn’t rock out in places such as on “Knockdown Dragout” with Kid Rock and“Going Down” with Neal Schon (captured in 1 take). It’s not Chickenfoot or Van Halenbut if you want a warm sounding record from one of rock’s best voices, having a blastwith his famous mates then this is for you. Duncan Jamieson (90/100)
MRF | 21
Question: Can you please talk
about this new great record
“Sammy Hagar & Friends?
Answer: This record is really a
celebration of my whole career
and bringing it to where I am
now, but not losing touch with
where I started with Montrose –
like the song, “Not Going Down” –
it’s so Montrose with Denny
(Carmassi) and Bill (Church), and
“Bad On Fords And Chevrolets”
with Ronnie Dunn – it’s got the “I
Can’t Drive 55” feeling all over
again. At this stage in my life, it
feels a little weird for me to even
make my own album. With all my
buddies in Chickenfoot, it’s a lot
easier because we all do our own
thing and it comes together. But
for me to do a solo album felt
almost a little weird. But before
long, I got carried away, the way
I do, and before I knew it, I had a
record I love. This album is every-
thing I am now, and everything
I’ve been since I got in this busi-
ness, all sewn up into one album.
And that makes me feel proud
Q: Is it more interesting to
you to re-inventing an old
song or to create a new song
A: It’s really a combination, you
know - Being able to do all those
songs that are a little bit of the
past with some of those guys, but
in the present and combining it
with brand new things like “All We
Need Is An Island” with Nancy
Wilson and the lifestyle stuff I’ve
been doing is great. Things like
I’ve been doing with the Wabos
and the Cabo Wabo where it all
started; it’s all part of the
Q: Your Personal Jesus ver-
sion is so hard and psychedel-
ic. Did you planned the direc-
tion to follow? Or was it a
A: I was with Chad Smith, Michael
Anthony and Neal Schon in the
Studio and I had just heard
Depeche Mode’s version on the
radio while driving through San
Francisco. I loved the song
because I thought it was very cool
an electronic band like that
played such a heavy blues
groove. Chad reminded me
Johnny Cash had done a version,
and so I said, let’s blow this thing
up and do our hard rock version.
Q: How did you choose the
songs to put on the album?
How are they related to your
feelings of today?
A: When I got into the studio with
the guys I started to pull in to
play on this record – Michael
Anthony, Neal Schon, Chad
Smith… Once we all got together
and started recording this music,
it really took on a special life of
its own. I was inspired enough by
these guys, that I just kept on
wanting to write new songs and I
got other people to write some
songs for me and that was great.
It just became one big “this is
what it is in a nutshell” – the new
songs are, they’re so that.
Q: What about the cover songs
on the album?
A: This is red-blooded American
music, that’s what it is. It’s where
rock, soul, country and blues all
meet. We can all learn from the
blues. Robert Johnson didn’t
struggle with recording, he didn’t
need fifty takes. Back in the day,
they just did it, and put their
heart and soul into the music they
made. And that’s what I try to do.
Q: You played in several dif-
ferent projects but it seems
that you never changed band.
Your songs are always
“Sammy Hagar’s songs” and
often was the band (Van
Halen, Chickenfoot) to become
“like you”. Did you never feel
“smaller than the band” in
A: I’ve worked with some of the
best musicians in the business
throughout my career and I’m still
with them today – heck most of
them are on this record!
Q: You call this project
“Sammy Hagar & Friends”. But
who has been your real
friends in show business
along your life?
A: There are so many, I don’t
even know where to start, but a
lot of them are on this record. You
go back to the Montrose guys,
where it all started, and Michael
Anthony – we had a great run
with Van Halen. Toby Keith and I
always have a blast down at the
Cabo Wabo and Nancy Wilson and
I go way, way back together.
Everyone on it is a real friend. It’s
awesome. I feel really, really
good about this CD.
Q: Would you like more to be
remembered as a great singer
or a special guitar virtuoso?
A: I think fans know me as a lead
singer/frontman and songwriter.
Q: Is it true that you are
preparing a new version of
HSAS? Could you give us any
A: A couple of the guys from
HSAS – Michael Anthony and Neal
Schon – along with Chad Smith
were in the studio with me laying
down a few tracks, so we started
joking we were the new HSAS,
but my new album, “Sammy
Hagar and Friends” has them and
a whole crew of great friends and
artists – all of them bringing
something really unique and
that’s what makes this record so
Q: Two years ago you released
the book Red: My Uncensored
Life In Rock. Is it possible to
be really “uncensored” and
true in a autobiography? In
particular when you hang out
today with the same people of
30 or 40 years ago...
A: A lot of my friends and family
have been with me the whole way
and that’s a great thing. I’ve
always just been me, they’ve
always just been them; so even if
I’m putting it on paper it doesn’t
matter – they were there for most
of it anyway. I’ve had a great
time throughout my career – and
maybe at times been a little mis-
understood, so I guess I just
wanted to set the record straight.
And with the way I grew up – talk
a little bit about how hardships
aren’t anything if you’re happy.
Q: What is the secret of your
A: There's no real secret - I orig-
inally created it for me and my
friends to drink at Cabo Wabo so
we just made the very best / pre-
mium stuff that we wanted to
drink. It's authentic - all part of
my lifestyle. I’ve been living it for
a long time and I’m not going to
stop, I’ll tell you that much. Now,
I’m really excited about my rum -
Sammy’s Beach Bar Rum. It’s just
the best silver rum - it’s made
with the best sugar cane you can
get and that’s in Hawaii. The soil
is so pure, you get the most
amazing flavors. And that’s what
makes it special – it captures the
“Spirit of Aloha,” which is my