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This new issue includes reviews and interviews of Tyketto, Pretty Maids, Furyon, Trixter, Phenomena, Kissin Dynamite, Departure, Bangalore Choir, Crazy Lixx, Jack Blades, Jeff Scott Soto, Epica... and more!


Page 1: Melodic Rock Fanzine Issue 49
Page 2: Melodic Rock Fanzine Issue 49
Page 3: Melodic Rock Fanzine Issue 49

CONTENTS04 Tyketto06 Pretty Maids07 Furyon08 Tr ixter09 Phenomena10 Kiss in ’ Dynamite12 Reviews14 Departure15 Bangalore Choir17 Crazy L ixx19 Jack B lades20 Jef f Scott Soto23 Epica

Melodic Rock FanzineThe official Frontiers Records magazine

Year #8 - Nr. 2 / Issue #49Editor-in-chief: Elio BordiGraphic & Design: Elio BordiWriters: Bruce E.J. Atkinson, Duncan Jamieson, BarryMcMinn, Vitale Nocerino, Rob “Ezy” Bone, Fabio Mainardi,Tommy Hash, Primo Bonali, Justine Bevan.Headquarters and general contacts:Frontiers Records - Via Gonzaga 1880125, Napoli - ItalyTel: +39.081.2399340/7753Fax: +39.081.2399794E-mail: [email protected]: www.frontiers.itFacebook: and publisher: Frontiers Records s.r.l.Copyright©2012 Frontiers Records. All rightsreserved. Reproduction in whole or in part

without permission is prohibited.Printed in Italy.

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Focus on: TYKETTO - Dig In Deep (Frontiers Records)It’s been eighteen years since Danny Vaughn, Brooke St James, Jimi Kennedy andMichael Clayton, got together for a new studio album, but it’s finally here, a newTyketto album that I’m sure will be a firm fan favourite. The band have stuck to thetried and tested Tyketto formula that brought us ‘Don’t Come Easy’ and ‘Strength InNumbers’, and to be honest, this is Tyketto by numbers, with Vaughn leading from thefront with St James not far behind. The album mixes the typical simpering ballads thathave become the bands trademark with some more up-tempo rockers to keep thosefans into the ‘Forever Young’ side of the band happy. Tracks of note ‘Love To Love’ and‘The Fight Left In Me’ being two of those more up-tempo rockers mentioned. The edgy‘Dig In Deep’ is one of my favourites off the album as this is one of those tracks thathas a bit more of a modern edge and really kicks some ass. Definitely a fan basedalbum and with many years between albums, I don’t think the band are really reinvent-ing themselves, just giving the fans what they’ve wanted for so many years, anotherslice of pure Melodic Rock under the Tyketto moniker. Barry McMinn (92/100)

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BAnd. tykettoalbum. dig in deep

Interview with. michael claytoninterviewed by:. barry mcminn

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Question: “Dig In Deep” seesthe band’s first studio worktogether for over eighteenyears, what was catalyst thatfinally got the band backtogether to write the newalbum?Answer: For me, it was hearingsome of Danny’s new ideas. I feltthey were the best he had writ-ten in years, and I really wantedto play on them. As a drummer,I am only inspired if I feel thepower of the lyrics and intensityof the music. Danny certainlydelivered on all levels. Oncesome song shells were assem-bled, we put together an experi-mental session in Feb of 2010 tosee if the “magic was still there.Within minutes of jamming insmall studio in Vegas, we kickedin gear as if no time had passed.All three of us instantly knew wewanted to do another albumtogether, and DIG IN DEEP wasoff and running.Q: With the band membersnow scattered to the fourwinds did you take fulladvantage of modern tech-nology to bring ideas andyourselves together for thisalbum?A: It was not only a welcomedformat, it became our lifeline. Asa band that had literally livedtogether for the writing andrecording of both DON’T COMEEASY and STRENGTH IN NUM-BERS, doing everything via emailwas both frustrating and excit-ing. Like any successful fran-chise, we learned to adapt andwork around our obstacles.Q: If it weren’t for this tech-nology, do you think thisalbum would have ever seenthe light of day?A: Never. From September toDecember, the four of us wereactually in the same room forabout 10 days. Technology madeDIG IN DEEP for sure!Q: Did you have a vision ofhow you wanted the album tosound from the beginning?A: The beauty of this record wasthat there was no predestinedpath. Our only goal was to makemusic we all would listen to if itweren’t us playing it. We knewout of the box that this recordwould take a while to grow onpeople, as we take it in manydifferent musical directions. As apersonal fan of “diverse” albumssuch as Led Zeppelin 3, The Riseand Fall Of Ziggy Stardust Andthe Spiders From Mars (Bowie)and The Game (Queen), I wel-comed this diversity. It chal-lenges the listener to take in dif-ferent styles, and gives therecord more lasting power. I like

it more and more with each lis-ten.Q: Was it important to keepthe whole classic Tyketto feelto the album? A: In the sense that we wantedour fans to recognize us: Yes.Did we want to repeat ourselvesand make DON’T COME EASYpart two? No. We figured that ifit were the four of us playing onit, it would be Tyketto no matterwhat. There are certainly somesongs the old school fans willembrace as the “classic” sound,but if we didn’t grow andchange, there would be no pointin making a new album.Q: How long did the wholealbum take to put togetherand were there any obstaclesthat you had to overcome toproduce the album you want-ed as a band?A: Ha! You name it, it happened.Blizzards, blackouts, studioshutdowns, injuries, mixes,remixes, and three separatephoto shoots. This record is theclosest thing to us knowing whatchildbirth feels like, and DIG INDEEP weighed fifteen pounds ondelivery (and came out side-ways)! As the ends always justi-fy the means, it was all worth it.Our label was patient, and wastolerant in the odd approach wehad to take.Q: The band are returning toplay this years Firefest, willyou be promoting the newalbum or will it be a “best of”set at the show?A: We have already played outSOUND OFF and LOVE TO LOVEto great reviews, and will mostcertainly put in some new ones…But you will have to come toFirefest and find out what songswe choose!Q: There is a rumor of a tourto promote the album, isthere any truth in this and ifso are there any dates weshould leave our calendarsclear for?A: I am not at liberty to confirmor deny such allegations! J Staytuned for that, as we are dis-cussing options for 2012.Q: There have been manychanges in the whole MelodicRock genre over the years,bands have come and gone,but how do you see Tykettoand ‘Dig In Deep’ fitting backinto the scene after so manyyears away?A: For starters, we are one ofthe few bands left that actuallytry and work with the originallineup as much as we can. Thereis still a great kinship, love andrespect the four of us share.Also, we have always felt that

our only goal was to try andwrite great songs, and in thatsense, we don’t feel the scenewe were part of has ever goneaway. Be it Whitesnake’s “Here Igo again” in 1987 or Hinder’s“Lips of an Angel” in 2009, agreat melodic rock song will berecognized. If a band writesgreat songs, they will remain rel-evant; be it 1997 or 2037. Ithink we will retain our slot asone of “melodic rock’s” survivorspurely on the strength of oursongs.Q: Do you think that grungemovement has interruptedsomething that could hasbeen a better story? Lookingback, what do you thinkabout the earlyNineties?Danny Vaughn: I think I under-stand this question. It's wrong tosay that "grunge killed aor rock"or whatever you want to call it.Fashion and the music industrykilled it. It was too popular.Every time something is success-ful in music, the big companiesall feel that they have to sign100 more bands just like it.Nobody has any originalthoughts any more. So, not longafter Guns n Roses becamehuge, suddenly we were floodedwith bands from L.A. thatlooked, sounded and acted justlike them. And we got bored.That's why the audience turnedto grunge. They were tired of allthe thousands of bands coveredin hair spray and matchingleather studded outfits. Fashionhas no longevity. Real musicdoes.Q: Why did you choose such aname as Tyketto? What doesit means?DV: I'm amazed that there'sanyone that doesn't know theanswer. Brooke saw the wordspray painted on a wall inBrooklyn, like some kind of gangtag. It doesn't mean anything.We just like the sound of it.Q: Will there be a follow up to‘Dig In Deep’ in the not toodistant future, or are youwaiting to see how the albumand tour is received beforelooking into album numberfour?A: As we near the 25 year marktogether, we have learned to“NEVER SAY NEVER”!! The beau-ty of Tyketto 2012, is that weare all here voluntary. We allhave our personal lives and busi-nesses to tend to, and Tykettocomes back in when it feel rightto do so. Should we feel soinspired, there will most certain-ly be new Tyketto music on thehorizon.

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Focus on: PRETTY MAIDS - It Comes Alive (Front iers Records)At Z7 Pretty Maids recorded their show and now that very show is released for the bandsfirst live DVD/CD combo. The album captures the band at their live best, highlighting notonly the then new album, but also the bands superb back catalogue, with tracks from theclassic albums ‘Anything Worth Doing…’ ‘Jump The Gun’, ‘Red Hot And Heavy’ and morerecently ‘Carpe Diem’. If you like it hard and with more melody than you can shake a stickat you’re going to love this. My personal highlights have to be the stunning‘Pandemonium’, the fantastic dark rocker ‘Scream’, the epic ‘Walk Away’, the old schoolblitz rock of ‘Rock The House’, and the monstrous ‘Rock Hard And Heavy’. As live record-ings go it’s not a polished sound, but that’s what live albums should be. They should cap-ture the spirit of the night and this definitely does just that. This is 21 blistering HardRock anthems that will blow you away, and as it comes with the DVD and CD, as well asbonus interviews and backstage footage. What better way for the band to celebrate 30years at the top of their game and still going strong. Barry Mc Minn (92/100)

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Question: Why has it taken solong for the band to capture aPretty Maids live show in all itsglory?Answer: Well, people have beenasking us to do a Video/DVD forages, but for some reason we neverreally got it done, obviously:) Nowafter the success of“Pandemonium” we finally felt thatthe time was right! First of allbecause the chemistry and overallfeeling has been really good duringthe last years, we’re really havingfun playing live again, having a hellof a party together doing what weenjoy the most! And finally thisgives us a chance to show fans andsupporters in areas we’ve neverplayed or haven’t played for yearsan opportunity to see what theband is all about. At last this is alsosome kind of 30th anniversary trib-ute to all our die hard supporterswho’s been supporting us truly andfaithfully through all those years!Q: When putting a set togetherfor something like this, was it

hard to pick tracks from thebands vast back catalogue? A: Well, you know it’s allways diffi-cult to pick a set really. And themore albums you do the harder itgets! But this set is pretty muchbased on the songs that we playedon the “Pandemonium tour” a mixof old stuff and songs from the lastalbum!Q: Were there any tracks youwished you’d played but neverdid?A: Well, yeah there are song fromthe past that I would have loved toplay which we never did! But pick-ing a set is a democratic process inthis band and if someone don’t feelcomfortable wit any particular songfor some reason, we don’t play it!However we allways try to make acombination of what we would liketo play and what our fans wouldexpect us to play. Some songs areobvious.Q: Did you record any othershows and what was it aboutthe Z7 show in particular that

made that one special?A: No, we didn’t record any othershows. Just one shot in the barrel,you know! We played Z7 numeroustimes during the past 20 years andit was always a great gig! And goodstage facilities! And that’s basicallywhy.Q: Over the years there havebeen many live albums thathave been a little polished, howimportant was it to not onlyrecord a good show, but also tocapture that special live feel?A: Well, I personally hate when it’sall too polished and overdubbed.It’s a LIVE! album and it’s okay ifit’s not perfect the way I see it! Butif there are any major mistakes andfeeds that fuck up the sound, avocal or a guitar that’s completelyout of tune, for instant! In this casewe were lucky. I guess we did real-ly good on that night and actuallymanaged to capture the right livespirit, we didn’t change much buthad to do a few repairs though, forthe sake of the overall sound.

BAnd. Pretty maidsalbum. it comes aliveInterview with. Ronnie Atkinsinterviewed by:.barry mcminn

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Focus on: FURYON - Gravi tas (Front iers Records)

At last they got it! I mean the album recorded, “Gravitas”. Furyon deserved it, period.Matt Mitchell vocals, Chris Green guitars, Pat Heath guitars, Alex "Nickel" Bowen bass,Lee Farmery drums have the chops, have the musicianship, they have it all. Put in amixer Iron Maiden, Alice In Chains and Alter Bridge, shake them add some spicy tastecall a producer named Rick Beato (Shinedown, Fozzy) and you'll get the bombasticFuryon sound. It's quite difficult to choose a best of among the 10 tracks from “Gravitas”being all of them really 10 rock weapons. Furyon guitars are stunning and the dynam-ics among them are epic. A separate mention goes to the lead singer Matt Mitchell, anoutstanding singer with a huge vocal versatility capable to keep the high notes but alsoto be melodic and heavy at once. “Gravitas” need soon a follow up because this bandhave so much more still to give to all the Hard Rock lovers out there. This album shouldbe in all serious music collections, a must. Fabio Mainardi (93/100)MRF | 7

Question: Would you like tointroduce yourself and talkabout Furyon?Answer: We are a British band andare based out of Brighton in TheSouth of England. Furyon hasbeen alive for nearly 7 years nowand we are proud to have come tothis point. Alongside myself isGuitarists Chris Green and PatHeath. Nickel Bowen on bass andLee Farmery on the drums. Welike to play Rock n F'in Roll.Q: What your thoughts aboutthe current music industry andwhat are your exceptions nowthat “Gravitas” has been pub-lished and soon distributed allover the word?A: I wont lie about it, I do wish itwas It was 20 years or so agoright now as the industry seemeda little more simple back then. Butthere are pros and cons to theindustry now. Recently I was atBlack Stone Cherry concert andsinger Chris asks the crowd“Who's got the new album?”Everybody claps and chants

“Yeah!!” Then Chris asks “Whobought it and who got it free?”and nearly half the audiencechanted “Yeah!!” What I'm sayinghere is that it's extremely easythese days to get whatever youwant “music wise” for nothing.Now... The singer also went on tosay... “It's cool, as long as you'rehere watching the shows and buy-ing the t-shirts.” Now I agree withthat %100. We are hoping that“Gravitas” will sell well with rheright promo pushing. I mean it's avery good sounding album and weare proud of it!Q: Can you tell us which areyour main influences and yourmasters to follow, if any?A: Speaking for the whole band Iwould say a mixture of thesebands and there members - IronMaiden, Alice in Chains, DefLeppard, Free, Soundgarden,Dream Theater, Megadeth, AlterBridge, Bon Jovi, Mastodon, Tool,Rush. A pretty mix don't youthink?Q: How you succeeded to cap-

ture and canalize your liveenergy in the studio record-ings?A: We are experienced in record-ing and most of us had experi-enced recording albums and theprocess it takes before. The workload is normaly high and 12 hourdays in the studio can wear somepeople down. But... We love it! Ilove recording, and getting thatenergy across is part of it. Ialmost feel for a singer you haveto be a bit of an actor in the stu-dio to create that energy.Everyone has there different waysof going about it. I like to be full ofenergy for it!Q: What's next for Furyon?A: We are writing album 2 rightnow. Rehearsing the band andpushing the live thing. We arewith a new tour agent “FactoryMusic”, and with the success of“Gravitas” we hope to head outand play to all the new and oldFuryon fans. The band is in a pos-itive place right now and firing onall cylinders.

BAnd. furyonalbum. gravitas

Interview with. Matt Mitchellinterviewed by:. fabio mainardi

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Question: I realise that youhave been back together since2007... Fill us in on the last fouryears. After all this time, it isquite the feat to have all of theoriginal guys back in the fold...Are you feeling that same vibe?A: We are all very happy to be backtogether rockin' and rollin’. Whenwe got back together our attitudewas “let's see what happens” eachyear we would do more and moreshows and I finally said to the boysit's time to make a new cd. So inlate 2010 we started getting thematerial together.Q: Now, let’s turn our attentionto the new release... ”NewAudio Machine” sounds great,walk us through the writing andrecording process. Who did youget to produce the album?A: I produced the cd along withsome help from my band, PJ , wasvery involved in building up thebass and drums. Pete deliveredsome amazing vocals. I alsobrought in Chuck Alkazian to helpmixing along with Pete Evick. It's

always an awesome feeling whenyou have friends that are super tal-ented to help take a record the nextlevel. The songs we pulled togetherin a number of ways. Some likeDRAG ME DOWN which I co wrote wGlen Burtnik is a song from 1993.GET ON IT is brand new written aswere about to finish the cd. There'sa track called PHYSICAL ATTRAC-TION which was a leftover from thefirst cd. We wrote back in 1987, agood song then and we pumped itup into a monster song now.A: Let’s talk more about theSpecial Guests you have invitedto be a part of this. What, if any,challenges did you put beforeyou in relation to the newrecord?A: No challenges... Our goal alwaysis to make the best music we canand use the best songs. One exam-ple is WALK WITH A STRANGERwritten by Rachel Bolan and Dave“The Snake” Sabo of SKID ROW.They gave us that song back in1988. I didnt write it but whocares... It's a great song. I also co-

wrote the first single, “TATTOOS &MISERY” with Xandy Barry, whohas written with The BackstreetBoys and Miley Cyrus. Q: Did you have a specific “feel”that you wanted to achieve?A: All we wanted to do was make agreat rock record and thats whatwe did. The production is big andthick!Q: “New Audio Machine” comesacross very strong, and every-thing on it will create an excit-ing Live show; obviously youare ready to hit theSpring/Summer concert cir-cuits. Are you looking at head-lining any dates, or do you feelmore comfortable in sharingthe stage with some musicalfriends?A: We plan on doing it all. We aregonna be doing alot of shows withWARRANT & FIREHOUSE...Celebrating the anniversary of theBLOOD SWEAT & BEERS Tour of1991. That’s gonna be a party. Weare hoping to tour Europe andJapan as well.

Well!?! Do you want some good ol’ Hard Rock!? You got it with Trixter’s “New AudioMachine”. The original line-up of this New Jersey quartet have been rocking it out sincetheir 2007 reunion — and it shows! “New Audio Machine” brings back all of those rau-cous sounds Trixter let loose the first time around. The years between 1983 and nowseem to have evaporated — the group sounds just as energised and fresh as twentysome years ago! Opening with the rockin’ “Drag Me Down” and ending off with thehigh energy of “Walk With A Stranger”. “New Audio Machine” is just that: churning outa steady stream of no-nonsense, powerful rockers that will find you doing the ‘hard-rock shuffle’… Feet amovin’! & fists a pumping! Full of hard hitting rock, melodic vocalsand fantastic harmonies; this hook laden return shines ever so brightly. Trixter areback! And with a brand new V-12 fuel injected engine that keeps pounding out thoseanthemic rockers that we are in such dire need of! “New Audio Machine” — it just maysave your rock n’ roll soul! Bruce Atkinson (90/100)

Focus on: TRIXTER - New Audio Machine (Front iers Records)

band. trixteralbum. new audio machineInterview with. Steve Browninterviewed by:. bruce atkinson

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Vitale Nocerino: Could you takeus through your new PHENOME-NA album “Awakening” andsome of the ideas / storiesbehind the songs?Tom Galley: Smash it up – repre-sents what is happening in a largepart of the world when developingcountries are governed by corruptofficials. Reality – was inspired by aradio program on alzheimers.Homeland – a song written by Melwhilst on tour in America withTrapeze. Going away – relationshipbreak up. Gotta move – this songwas written in tribute to many oldblues songs. How long – infidelity

and disappointment in relation-ships. Shake – this was inspiredby 1960’s rock and roll. Fighter –Not just a boxing song but a par-ody of life. Dancing Days – look-ing back at a time before marriageStand up for love – a relevantthought.VN: How has the reaction interms of reviewes and fans tothe album? TG: Early indications from review-ers and fans are very favourableand hopefully will continue.VN: You have a lot of specialguests in your album. Can youplease presents them to ourreaders?TG: Rob Moratti had guested onthe last album “Blind Faith” and Ipersonally think he is one of thebest melodic rock singers of the

present time. Ralph Scheepers whowas also on “Blind Faith” bought hisimmeasurable talent to this album,his fellow Primal Fear band mem-bers also contributed on guitar andbass on some of the songs. I haveworked with Lee Small over a num-ber of years and watched him devel-op into a world class rock singer ashis performances on this album andthe new “Shy” album proves. TobyHitchcock’s powerful delivery on“Reality” is a great addition to thealbum along with Mike Slamers con-tribution on Guitar. JamesChristian’s vocal on going away re-inforces his reputation as a great

rock singer. Mike Dimeo gives agreat performance on “shake” andTerry Brock is outstanding breathinglife into “Fighter” giving his individ-ual delivery alongside SteveNewman on Guitar. Coldspell do amagnificent job of “Dancing Days”and Chris Antblad delivers a superbmelodic vocal on “Stand up forLove” backed by the GothenburgChoir.VN: Where do you get yoursongwriting ideas from and whomusically is an influence on you?TG: Most of the ideas for this albumhave come from real life situations.Some of the songs original formswere based in rock blues and havebeen re-worked into a more con-temporary format. Having workedwith my Brother Mel for many yearson Trapeze and Whitesnake tracksthat influence will always be there. VN: What are your plans for thefuture?TG: In every interview I have donesince the “Psychofantasy” album thequestion always arises when am Igoing to do another album in theconcept spirit of “Phenomena 1”? Ihave been working with my song-writing partner, also Tom, for thelast 2 years on a new project thatincorporates the related ideas wehad for the first phenomena album,a storyline that could be interpretedthrough live song and visual per-formances on a large scale morenews will follow.

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Question: The band have comea long way since your demoback in 2007, has it been arollercoaster ride you just don’twant to get off? Answer: Definitely! It's a freakin'roller coaster ride which always gota surprise for you after the nextcurve and i'm addicted to it since Itook a seat.Q: “Addicted To Metal” was agreat album, did you feel anypressure with MS&P to producean album that would be itsequal, if not bettering it?A: Well, the situation was quite thesame after 'Steel of Swabia'. Wespent much blood, sweat and tearsinto this record and as we startedto write songs for 'Addicted ToMetal' we were not sure if we canever better those songs… but hellyeah, we did it even twice and I'mpretty sure that we'll be in thesame situation, writing for thefourth album.Q: How long did the album taketo put together and how longafter “Addicted To Metal” didyou start working on it?A: I think the first songwriting ses-sion took place in June, so including

the production it took us 7 months.We always write songs you know.We write songs, okay, let's say“ideas” for songs, on Tour, on thetoilette even when I'm sitting at theuniversity and I got a cool hook lineor a riff in my mind I write it downor record it on my iPhone.Q: The band deliver sleaze driv-en hard rock of the highestorder, do you find it easy toproduce the same energy in thestudio as you have live?A: Actually, you can never have thesame energy on a record than youhave live. The difference isn't thatbig on the album 'Money, Sex &Power', but still live is live, and liveis rougher and dirtier for sure.Anyways, i'm quiet exited to com-pare some live recorded songs tothose on the album.Q: The album boasts twosalutes to some of rocks great-est heroes with ‘Club 27’ and‘Dinosaurs Are Still Alive’, butwho are the band’s influences?A: Mainly the 80ies, Metal / HardRock / Sleaze rock bands like Guns'n' Roses, Skid Row, Judas Priest,Mötley Crüe, Accept, Iron Maiden,etc.

Q: The band’s debut album‘Steel Of Swabia’ was justreleased in a few countries, arethere any plans for a re-releaseto the worldwide market?A: I'm pretty sure we will!! It's justa matter of time. But actually i'mmore the guy looking into thefuture than into the past, whatdoesn't mean that i'm not proud onmy past.Q: What does 2012 have instore for the band, any tours orfestival dates we should markin our calendars?A: A LOT! We all will get our cos-tum built Ferraris and a newrehearsal - mansion… hahaha… I'mjoking! Our Booker is just in themiddle of getting all the Gigstogether but what's already con-firmed is for example the Mastersof Rock in Zlin! Also we will have aHeadliner AND a Support tour,hopefully all over Europe or evenbigger… But beside the germanDates there's nothing confirmedyet. So for all the friends and fansout there, keep your eyes open forsome news on or on our Facebook site!Have a great time!

Focus on: KISSIN’ DYNAMITE - Money, Sex and Power (AFM Records)Since their 2008 debut release ‘Steel of Swabia’ Kissin’ Dynamite have been impressing theEuro-Sleaze Metal fans and when their second album ‘Addicted To Metal’ got worldwide dis-tribution, the world was indeed their oyster. Now in 2012 the Swabian rockers are back, big-ger and better with their no holds barred sleazy driven hard rock, although the band areGerman there is definitely a Scandinavian/Sunset Strip vibe going on with their music. Thealbum itself is gritty riff driven rock as it should be. A mix between Zodiac Mindwarp and TheBackyard Babies, from the opening barrage of the title track and first two singles off thealbum ‘Money, Sex and Power’ and ‘I Will Be King’, Hannes Braun and the rest of the guyslay out their stall for all to see and hear. The anthemic rock comes hard and fast with high-lights like ‘She’s A Killer, ‘Sex Is War’, the old school salutes of ‘Dinosaurs Are Still Alive’ and‘Club 27’, the latter paying tribute to the rock gods Morrison, Hendrix, Cobain, Joplin andMoon who lived fast and died young all who never saw their 28th Birthdays. If you like yourock raw and in your face these guys are for you. They shoot from the hip and take no pris-oners and deliver it with a smile and never a frown. Barry McMinn (87/100)

artist. kissin dynamitealbum. money sex and powerInterview with. jim mullerinterviewed by:. barry mcminn

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LULEY - Today’s Tomorrow (AOR Heaven)“Today's tomorrow” born almost two years ago when Luley meet up with guitarist and produc-er Michael Voss (Mad Max, Michael Schenker); soon after Matthias Rethmann (LeeZ, Silver,Michael Schenker) on bass and Chris Elbers (Gary Barden) on drums have been added to theproject. Luley is a well know singer and guitarist of renewed fame, as he fronted german Hardrock bands TOKYO way back in the '80 and CRAAFT (together with Reinhold Besser and FranzKeil), touring with huge bands such as Queen, Marillion, Level 42, and Bon Jovi just to namea few. “Today's tomorrow” showcase Luley musicianship and abilities in penning classic melod-ic rock tunes and providing cool melodies and rocking anthems in a very '80 style. Even ifsome time too melodic and soft for my tastes Luley anyhow is able to deliver a convincingalbum where keyboards and guitars share the leads, probably a more energetic productionwould have given more justice to some rocking riffs. Fabio “Deuce” Mainardi (88/100)EPICA - Requiem Of The Indifferent (Nuclear Blast)This sextet keeps scaling the Metal heights, going from strength to strength! Epica’s fifth release takesthem and us, ever higher. An exquisite aural offering continuing to marry, and masterfully so, full blownClassical elements with Symphonic Metal. “Requiem Of The Indifferent” is cinemascope in extent…Majestic in its depth, driving us to engulf its fourteen forays of molten musical rivers. The album flowsfrom one epical metal movement to another… Moving us swiftly through the swirls and vortex’s of a com-plete Metal symphony. From razor sharp Heavy Metal to whimsical meanderings, this recorded worktakes us on a journey that will touch upon every nerve. Richly textured, and finely executed, “RequiemOf The Indifferent” will certainly move Epica upwards on the ladder of international success. Being thatthis is their fifth release, I’m very pleased that it sounds so fresh. The group has so much depth in theirstorytelling, that nothing is repeated here. Vastly talented, this six-member group have dug deep andhave come up with an overwhelming story with music to match! Don’t be afraid to fully immerse your-self and I guarantee that you will no longer be indifferent! Bruce Atkinson (90/100)PHENOMENA - Awakening (Escape Music)Tom Galley has never been one to disappoint with his Phenomena projects, through vari-ous decades and scenes of melodic rock, he has stayed on top of things with all star line-ups and classy songs, representing all the great things of arena rock - the pop, the metal,the big choruses, the huge harmonies, the catchiness - it's rare that with a concept album,you can walk away with a load of tunage that you can't get out of your head, as Awakeningcontinues the standard that Galley and his cohorts have created. Awakening again provesthat a concept album does not have to be all about orchestrations, atmospheric interludes,and a story that you have to 'learn' and be 'taught' to understand, the latter is just theicing on the cake for this song collective as it mirrors Harem Scarem, FM, & Radioactivewith the big sounds of Queen and Asia to fuel the enigmatic landscape that Galley has con-tinued to create. Tommy Hash / (91/100)TOKYO - San (Yesterrock)In the early 80s hi-tech AOR was very much de riggueur and one band who did it well was theaccomplished German band Tokyo. This re-issue was their third outing and the poppiest of all theirrecords, giving an indication of the direction JoJo (the band that rose from the ashes of Tokyo)would later take. “San” combines pop, AOR, West Coast,prog moments and smooth jazz. The syn-thetic percussion and keyboards that mimic a brass section means the production does make thissound very much a product of it’s time. There is however some stinging guitar interspersed betweenthe keyboards on the infuriatingly catchy “Invisible”, “Jealousy”, “Caroline” Asia like “Summerday”and the Taxxi sounding “Liar”. This is one of four bonus tracks on this re-issue and it should real-ly have been included on the original record. “Don’t Want Your Money” and “Don’t Run Away” sug-gest the band listened to a lot of Steely Dan. Elsewhere there’s a nod to 80s Yes and Saga on “TooHigh”. A couple of the tracks come off as so smooth that they might make hard rockers nauseousbut Tokyo is a good destination if late 80s pop rock is your thing. Duncan Jamieson (78/100)SYRON VANES - Bringer Of Evil (Steelheart Memories Records)For the first time on CD, here is, in its "loud-and-proud" glory, the debut-album, “Bringer Of Evil”,originally out during 1984, and that managed to sell more than 100.000 copies in its original vinylformat. The band’ style, described by the international press as “a cross between classic NWOBHM-style and a more accessible American Hard Rock sound”, brought to Syron Vanes back then a niceshot of fame and fortune, with an extensive european tour reaching England, Germany, Holland,Belgium, Poland and, obviously, also Sweden. Their sound, a traditional, somehow Epic, mostlypowerful Heavy Metal, can recall bands like Accept, Savage, Heavy Load, Samurai and also Saxon.The production of the original record was typical Ebony Records' one (which means low budget anda somehow confused mix); luckily the remastering (made by the band itself) helps the sound a bit,and shows the band's juvenile and rough energy. The Cd-reissue version features 2 bonus-tracks,the rare compilation-track “Violation” and the unreleased demo track “Steal And Run”. As the bandsays, during the opening-track: "that's the sound of Metal! Rob "Ezy" Bone (85/100)VAN HALEN - A Different Kind Of Truth (Interscope)What could I write about the album that 99% of the MRF readers are waiting for since manyyears??? What could I write about one of the most influential band ever in this genre???They rock! They simply fu**in’ rock!!! Eddie is playing, as usual, like a God (but the live-shows will say the last word), David is the same sexiest singer in the world and the band istight, powerful and… awesome. That’s a very good album. To say better, that’s a GREATalbum! One of the best monents, in my opinion: “You And Your Blues”, “China Town”, “TheTrouble With Never”, “Honeybabysweetiedol”l and “Outta Space”. Probably not up to some oftheir past masterpieces, but - hey, that’s 2012! - and this album is GREAT. And probably thisis the useless review I’ve always written, as I’m pretty sure that all of you already boughtthis thing, right??? Good choice, mates! Primo Bonali (92/100)

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HUMAN TEMPLE - Halfway To Heartache (Escape Music)Finland's melodic hard rockers Human Temple are back with album number 3 and pushing their musicfurther than before. Not quite straight melodic rock, not quite progressive rock and not quite heavyenough to be called metal. Whatever you want to call it – it is classy stuff. But at the same time it hasto appeal first. Fans of the band's first two albums will I think be united in praise for this opus. Thestronger production and the increased urgency of the music are two traits that deserve to be recog-nized. The album has a moody quality to it with some progressive elements (I Will Follow, Run Away,She Talks To Angels); some more straight forward hard rock moments (Bleeding Through, Our WorldOur Time, Because Of You) and some commercial melodic rock (Almost There, Like A Beat Of A Heart).For the unfamiliar, Human Temple have that distinct quirky Scandinavian trait many others from theregion have, but at the same time a very unique style that doesn't compare to any other band. I thinkit's the band's most consistent and strongest album to date and hopefully more folks into Europeanmelodic rock will take a look at this classy band. Andrew McNeice / (86/100)MIDNIGHT BLUE - Take The Money And Run (Yesterrock)The bands only album ‘Take The Money And Run’ seen only Japanese release through ZeroRecords back in 1994 that is until now. Like so many gems Yesterrock have resurrected the albumand with its remastering the album comes complete with new artwork and two extra tracks. So ifyou missed it first time round or your import album has seen better days, then this is you chanceto pick up one of the highlights of the British Rock Scene of the day. With great tracks like theopener ‘Surrender’, which highlights frontman Doogie Whites vocal prowess, the melodic bliss of‘Remember’ the keyboard infused rocker ‘Call Me’ that is very typical of the era, as is the rockin‘Till The Morning’. As for the bonus tracks ‘Hurts When We Do It’ and ‘Only Girl’ are again greatslices of Melodic Rock that really stand the test of time. This is must for fans of not only the for-gotten era, but also fans of great rock, when British bands are starting to make it in roads onceagain in the genre these albums show where its foundations began. Barry McMinn (89/100)OUTLOUD – More Catastrophe (AOR Heaven)“More Catastrophe”… Outloud’s latest is actually a gift and a big thank-you to theirfans who helped propel this young group to the top of the heap in 2011! One couldsay that “More Catastrophe” is a bridge linking the group’s ‘Love Catastrophe” to thefuture. This EP features some re-workings and three new compositions that give us aglimpse into where Outloud are going. Here is the complete tracklisting: “Saints OnFire”, “Cross The Line”, “Mr. Long Gone”, “Last Days Of December”, “Falling Rain(Flamenco Version)” and “We Run (For Piano And Vocals)”. “More Catastrophe” dis-plays a very muscular group-combined with the revealing of sides of the group we arenot all that familiar with. This release should hold us until the group finishes theirthird album later this year… Plus whetting our appetite on what promises to be a greatfull length album. Bruce Atkinson (80/100)RAGE – 21 (Nuclear Blast)That’s the album number 21 for the german metal legends Rage, and one can wonder howcan these guys be still able to write great Metal-songs after more than 30 years (they’reactive since early 1980)! Their pretty unique style, based on the typical traditional TeutonicMetal attack, catchy choruses, the rough vocals of Peavey, enriched by virtuoso guitar-partscourtesy of six-chords wizard Victor Smolski, is always there; maybe this time slightly heav-ier, but still very melodic. And very good. Songs like “Forever Dead”, “Feel My Pain” and“Destiny” are absolutely German Heavy Metal “winners” since the first listen, while a tracklike "Concrete Wall" is more into the Speed Metal style and the opener “TwentyOne” containssome (small) modern influences. The superb production helps a lot, but the songs stand def-initely for themselves. That’s an album that any Metalhead can be proud to own and playagain and again and again. RAGE on! Primo Bonali (87/100)FROZEN RAIN – Ahead of Time (Avenue Of Allies)Here we are with the follow up to their debut and eponymous album dated 2008. Since the“Ahead of Time”, opening track “Believe it or not” is inevitable to get flashes of the Americanrockers on Frozen Rain music. It's not that bad either to be honest, as the the band leaded byKurt Vereecke delivers a good, well rounded AOR album. And this is the good and the weakpoint. The band is not able to go for the extra mile, emulating their idols can be satisfying butit can hardly be a key drive to get own crowd or fans. The Belgian guys are enviable musicians,helped in this work by some friends such as Tommy Denander (Radioactive), Steve Newman(Newman) and Daniel Flores (Mind's Eye)" but they lack of originality and creative ideas, eventhe lyrics and songs structure seem be taken directly from a Bon Jovi album. If you are a BonJovi fan you'll love this album, for sure. Best tracks “Believe it or not”, “Forever” and “The lastdance ain't over” a very “cinematic” song. Fabio “Deuce” Mainardi (88/100)IAIN ASHLEY HERSEY – Vintage Love (Avenue Of Allies)Along with the reissue of the debut, here comes the re-release of Syron Vanes' 2nd album;originally out during 1986, again on Ebony Records, but this time recorded in a (better)recording-studio located in Sweden, "Revenge" features a slight change in the band’ style,going into a bit more melodic direction, still keeping the traditional NWOBHM elements intotheir songs. Anthemic choruses, intriguing arrangements and some killer guitar parts, theband was obviously looking to go "the american way", but due to some line-up changes andto the weak support of the label, Syron Vanes missed the chance and unfortunately thattrain never came back again. With a fully remastered sound, a rich booklet and 2 unre-leased bonus-tracks (“Lying Again” and “Taking Over”, taken off the band’s rehearsals-tapes in 1987), the album have past the test of time and still delivers some nicemoments... Rob "Ezy" Bone (85/100)

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BAnd. Departurealbum. metaphor

Interview with. Mike Walsh interviewed by:. justine bevan

Question: Congrats on yourupcoming release, Hitch A Ride!I’m sure the first question oneveryone’s mind is why did thefans have to wait so long for a lit-tle bit of Departure ear candy?It’s been 10 years sinceCorporate Wheel.Answer: Why the wait... The first cou-ple of years with Escape Music werereally busy and productive, betweenDeparture ans Dean Fasano'sMessage projects, I wanted to dosomething different... Had just fin-ished my new studio in my home andwas anxious to produce a few singer/ songwriters I had come acrossthrough my network of New Jerseyartists. I was also working on my ownacoustic record when Khalil Turk rangme up here in New Jersey...Q: Through the years there havebeen some line-up changes withvocals. Was the intention tochange up the bands sound a bitwith different releases or is thispurely coincidental?A: Departure singers... SinceDeparture 1 we always used differentvocalists. Kenny Michaels left the

band over artistic differences, DaveBaldwin moved on to do a solorecord, Timmy Lewis lived all the wayin Florida and had to fly up all thetime... Then Khalil turned me on toAndi Kravljaca from StockholmSweden and I knew the first time Iheard him I never wanted to useanother vocalist again!Q: If there is a single released forHitch A Ride, what will it be andwhy?A: What will be a single off this recordand why... “Soldier of fortune” to meis a classic radio tune, wonderfulmusic track in the undertow,verymelodic layered guitar lines thatalmost play with the vocal. Also “Youdon't need to do this anymore”, verypowerful lyric dedicated to the loss ofour dear friend, Dean Fasano.Q: How do you feel the band hasevolved musically since yourdebut back in 1998?A: Musical evolution... Musically theband has crossed over into a newstate of cognition, a second sight soto speak.when we are in the studio(or anywhere else for that matter)we'll be doing a track and we just see

these little stares... It's like doing thesession at the Overlook Hotel...That's what happens when you makemusic with great guys like that for solong.Q: If you had to write a descrip-tive about the sound of Hitch ARide without the use of genres,what would you write?A: Departure sound descriptive... Thesound of “Hitch A Ride”... Hitch a ridecan be summed up in 3 section. Firstthe song writing. This is the first timeI have been able to write songs onmy own without someone else lean-ing over me and telling me what todo.Moreover, I have drawn many ofthese song themes through my ownpersonal experiences. Second, theawe inspiring musicians and musi-cianship that I witnessed during theproduction of this record. Dewey,Ryan, Johnny, Roy Williams and asalways, Bill Miller.Third, The additionto our family of vocalist, AndiKravljaca. I must say, I have beendoing this for 20 years and neverheard a kid like this! He fits right in toour musical telepathy. One of a kindand fits this music like a glove.

It’s been 10 years since Departure’s Corporate Wheel (2001), the bands third effort, wasreleased. In the theme of getting better and better as time goes on; aging like a fine wine,Departure is about to release yet another life changing album… “Hitch A Ride”, With 11 tracksin all, there is plenty of versatility on this album for the listener to enjoy. The album openswith “No Where To Go” and a melodic dynamo it is! Andi Kravljaca on vocals, Ryan Walsh onbass, Duey Ribestello on drums and Mike Walsh on guitar and keyboards make this songcome to life. This has a real eighties feel to it; reminiscent of Firehouse, very catchy lyrics onthis first track. “Soldier Of Fortune” another good one that has more of a showcase for gui-tar work, is as impressive lyrically as “No Where To Go”. “Roses” is a song that sounds likeit’s from another era; think late seventies power rock; great groove on here.”Without You”has such clear vocals, Andi could really sing here without any back up at all. Again, such acatchy lyric, and such beautiful guitar work that makes this song, and the entire album cometogether. This offering, Hitch A Ride, is a trip for sure! Justine Bevan (90/100)

Focus on: DEPARTURE - Hitch A Ride (Escape Music)

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While it took 18 years from the debut album to their second effort, Bangalore Choirgive us an amazing follow up to “Cadence” just two years later. “Metaphor”,Bangalore Choir's third studio album is a step forward from “Cadence”, David Reececalled in old friends Rikard Quist (co-author on "Silhouettes On The Shade" and"Scandinavian Rose") and lyricist Jon Wilde to write down a bombastic collections oftunes where crouching guitars and catchy melodies are on the lead. 11 songs, 11winners, from the rocking opener “All the Damage done” to the bittersweet countrysong “Never face Ole Joe alone”, David groovy voice perfectly fit in the picture danc-ing on the thigh wall of sound created by band members Andy Susemihl and CurtisMitchell on guitars, Danny Greenberg on bass and Rene Letters on drums. I may betoo much into Bangalore Choir but I do believe this is a great album indeed and Iwould recommend it to every rock fans around. Hopefully David and his band mateswill tour soon US and Europe, don't miss them. Fabio Mainardi (95/100)

Focus on: BANGALORE CHOIR - Metaphor (Metal Heaven)

Question: Hello David, and welcomeback to our pages, I'm glad we can talkagain about your amazing music. Onceagain, your performance is over thetop for me, I left you after Cadencerelease and now here we go again with“Metaphor” that sounds to me evenbetter! What your thoughts about?Answer: Well first it’s great to speak withyou again!”Metaphor” to me is a strongcontinuation of Bangalore Choir.Writingwith Andy Susemihl and Curt Mitchell Imade clear from the start that this recordshould showcase their great guitar playingabilities and to make sure that the melodiesand hooks are Bangalore Choir!So I believethis is a great record from start to finish.Q: I know I'm too much a fan of yoursbut I do believe all tracks are winners.Did you wrote all alone the songs or isthis a team efforts? Please tell usabout the writing process on“Metaphor” A: The process begins with lyric ideas, Ihave been co-writing with Jon Wilde overthe last few years and we have developedan understanding with story lines whichusually begins with a title.Then I generallysend these lyrics to Andy and he begins arough layout musically.Curt Mitchell hadsome songs nearly finished which we alladded to for the completion of the songs,Ialso wrote with Rikard Quist again on‘Silhouettes on the Shade’andScandinavian Rose’Rikard and I have agreat vibe going on he collaborated withme on the Reece Kronlund record as well.Q: Are all tracks written after the“Cadence” project or they are comingalso from the past?A: Everything you are hearing was writtenfresh.Q: What about the current band line-up?A: The line up is myself,Curt Mitchell,Danny Greenberg, Andy Susemihl and forthe U.S. Mike Johnson on drums and fortouring Europe Ren’e Letters on drums.Q: While we had to wait 18 years fromon Target to Cadence we have bee luckier this time as only two years have passed from it to“Metaphor”? How much part had your label AOR Heaven Records on that?A: My working relationship with Georg Siegl is very good he has had a very strong input with me delivering myrecords he and I will keep working together for a long time I believe.Q: I notice you put different music influences into the mix, from harder tunes such as “All the damagedone” to even the country inspired tune “Never face Ole Joe alone”, why this choice?A: ‘All the damage done’ is sort of our Thin Lizzy inspired track which everyone of us are huge fans of Lizzy andwith ‘Never face old joe alone?’Myself and Curt are big country and Bluegrass fans and Curt actually plays an oldNational dobro on that track to give it more of a natural sound and feel.Q: Since few years the '80 Metal fans are growing again, what your thoughts on the current Hard Rockmusic scene?A: Well here in America Van Halen has really ignited Hard rock again and people seem to be listening again to Rockand roll? So this really helps also a lot of groups have kept the flame burning by continuing to write and recordand tour here and around Europe so hopefully things continue for all of us and music fans?

BAnd. bangalore choiralbum. metaphor

Interview with. david reece interviewed by:. fabio mainardi

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It’s album number three for the Swedish rockers, and it’s a record that sees thembuild on the template of their previous, well received, disc “New Generation”. The80s hair metal of Warrant, Def Leppard and Danger Danger still looms large butwith the addtion of a second guitarist Ed Liam there’s a rockier, riff driven groovethat apes AC/DC added to the mix. The result is an unabashed gem of frothy feelgood melodic rock. The cheekily titled “Whiskey,Tango, Foxtrot” and “Young Blood”carry a sleazy swagger that’ll transport to LA’s Sunset Strip circa 1988. You can’thelp but be fired up by tracks like eh... “Fire It Up”. Best of the lot is theSlaughter-esque party tune “Downtown” where the band invite your sister to theirparty (It sounds like she’ll have fun there). “Heatseeker” racks up the vocal har-monies and owes a debt to Def Leppard. They’ve lost their rhythm section sincemaking ths record, but hopefully that doesn’t thwart their ambition as this is agreat rock album. Like Grunge never happened. Duncan Jamieson (92/100)

Focus on: CRAZY LIXX - Riot Avenue (Frontiers Records)

Question: Can you please talkabout this new fantastic albumand present it to the readers? Whythis title?A: The title is actually inspired by ascenario where the world has alreadycollapsed and Riot Avenue is the nameof the street where the character inthe song was brought up. It's about apost-apocalyptic dystopy but also withan underlying "Home is where theheart is"-theme. If you ask me theworld might not be close to a collapsebut I do think that western civilizationhas reached its peak and it's downhillfrom here. Imagine what would hap-pen if the civilized world would have togo back a couple of hundred years? Ithas happened before in history. Whenthe oil runs out, when the ice capsmelt or whatever the cause may be.The songs of this album were writtenover a period of over a year and it'snot by any means a concept albumrevolving around the Riot Avenuetheme but a post apocalyptic idea hasbeen present for a long time so it hasrubbed off on the song writing. Beinga person who really enjoys the com-forts of civilized life I'm strangely fas-cinated by concepts of world catastro-phies, wars and post apocalyptic life. Ithink it can be heard in the songs inthe sence that they're a bit harder andfaster than before and the production

is more dirty and gritty overall. All thesongs on the album except the japanbonus 'Red Hot, Red Blooded' (whichnaturally isn't available on the Europerelease of the album) were written forthis album even if some riffs and ideasprobably are from even earlier. Q: Where is the Church Of Rock?Who are their followers today?A: Church of Rock is based on the ideathat in a sense all fans of hard rockand heavy metal belong to the same'religion' with common rituals (headbanging), symbolism (horns up) andidols (whatever rock idol you prefer).In a society where they might not feela part of a community in any other sit-uations, many young people find their'congregation' in the ranks of metalheads. And the ultimate ceremony isof course praying to the 'altar', thestage, listening an awe to the'prophets' of the Church of Rock. Manyhard rock fans devote large parts oftheir lives to this and in the end that'swhat makes it possible for us, thebands, to do what we love. Withoutfollowers there can be no religion justas same as without the fans there canbe no bands.Q: What are the differencesamong “Riot Avenue” and “LoudMinority” and “New Religion”?How do you feel yourself changedsince your debut album?

On the first album, 'Loud Minority', wewere still inexperienced song writersand instrumentalists and even if I likea lot of stuff on that album I think youcan tell that it's a debut album. We dohowever still play some songs fromthat album live and the track 'Heroesare Forever' is one of the most popu-lar Crazy Lixx songs to date. On 'NewReligion' we went for a more polishedsound for the production, somethingthat worked well then but also anapproach we didn't want on thisalbum. That's why we decided to pro-duce it ourselves instead of hiringChris Laney who had produced thetwo previous albums. I think this factgives 'Riot Avenue' a very specialsound that fans of Crazy Lixx won'tinstantly recognize but I hope (andthink) they will enjoy it as much as wedo. We've always been a band thatwere inspired by old school hard rockand heavy metal and I think this timethe production follows more alongthose lines too. When it comes to thesong writing I think we've come a longway since the first album in 2007 andI honestly feel that 'Riot Avenue' is ourstrongest album so far. Not onlybecause of the songs but also the per-formance, both vocally and instru-mentally. Somehow I also feel 'RiotAvenue' is closer to defining a CrazyLixx sound that the previous efforts.

BAnd. crazy lixxalbum. riot avenueInterview with. Danny Rexon

interviewed by:. duncan jamieson

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Question: You have been verybusy what with the NightRanger release, tour and nowthis… A new solo effort: “RockN’ Roll Ride”! Where are yougetting all this energy!?Answer: I love to keep busy and Ilove music. When you love some-thing it never seems like work. I dotake some time off, but not much...After a few days I get real antsy andit's back to the rock!Q: Have you partnered withanyone else for this release?A: Robin Zander and I wrote a greatsong for my record and he sings thechorus on it..."Anything for You". Ico-wrote a couple of the songs withJim Peterik... Kelly from NR drumson several songs (also Brian Tichyfrom Whitesnake drums) and JoelHoekstra from NR plays mostelectrics and solos. Co-wrote thesong Rock n roll Ride" with WillEvankovich from Shaw/Blades whoalso plays lots of acoustics, someguitars and sings backgroundsalong with my son Colin, with whomI co-wrote "West Hollywood"... Andof course the great Brad Gillis solos

on "Say you Will" with Joel. EricLevy from NR does keys.Q: Releasing a new solo effortcame as a surprise to me, whatwith the new Night Rangeralbum and rumours of a DamnYankees reunion… What is nextfor Jack Blades? A: Well like I said I like to keep busyso I'm getting my wish! Tommyand I are halfway thru a new Shaw/ Blades record, NR shows and newmusic, my solo record... it's a RockN Roll Ride for sure.Q: In the past you have record-ed and written such inspiringsongs… Where do you get yourinspiration from?A: Thanks for the compliment...Ijust dig deep inside of myself andlet it flow. Sometimes, its hard toexplain, I feel like I just let go andlet the higher power take over. Ifeel blessed.Q: A worldwide release with“Somewhere In California”, andnow your new solo effort… Youmust be very happy with yourarrangement with FrontiersRecords…

A: Serafino, Mario and all atFrontiers are like family to me, wehave such a great relationship...What can I say? And they LOVE therock!Q: Please take a moment andlook back over your career thusfar, and let us in on some ofyour personal highlights…A: I think playing and recordingwith Ringo was one of my high-lights, also singing and playing withRoger Daltrey... And writing songswith Alice Cooper and Joe andSteven from Aerosmith... Creatingwith my pal Neal Schon, thenthere's the Damn Yankkes, my NRbrothers Kelly and Brad... Hard tosay the favorites... I've been solucky...Q: Thanks so much Jack foranswering these few ques-tions… ”Rock N’ Roll Ride”…afantastic collection, and “BackIn The Game”?... You certainlyare!... Please leave us withsome words of wisdom…A: Life is what you make it so go outthere and get it done! CARPEDIEM!!!

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Mr. Blades must have had a jolt of lightning hit him in the writing department!Coming off a successful Night Ranger album, “Somewhere In California”… Jack hits us with his new solo effort: “Rock N’ Roll Ride”!! This time out, mem-bers of Night Ranger are among Jack’s musical friends that play and sing on thiscollection of up-tempo musical journeys. A collection of rockers and heart-feltballads, and only the way Mr. Blades can deliver! An album worth its weight inplatinum!! Jack stretches on this record… The result of which is nothing short ofamazing! He has also collaborated with some of Rock’s elite, including RobinZander of ‘Cheap Trick”. Jack Blades has delivered one rich, varied and excitingrecorded work that shouts out that he is definitely “Back In The Game” and readyto take us all on a ‘Rock N’ Roll Ride” of a lifetime!!! Bruce Atkinson (91/100)

Focus on: JACK BLADES - Rock N Roll Ride (Frontiers Records)

ARTIST. jack bladesalbum. rock n roll ride

Interview with:. jack bladesinterviewed by:. Bruce atkinson

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Focus on: JEFF SCOTT SOTO - Damage Control (Front iers Records)One of melodic rock’s top tier, Soto’s latest solo album is a corking set of muscu-lar hard rockers and AOR tracks with glorious melt-in-the-mouth melodies. Hislast solo outing “Beautiful Mess” saw him indulge hs Prince/funk-rock side whichsplit critics. This time, as if in response to that album, he delivers a very focussedrock-set. Songs “Give A Little More”, “Damage Control” and “Krazy World” willdelight anyone who favours his heavier work with Talisman or Soul SirkUS. Hisvoice keeps getting better as does his ear for a good melody, as evidenced on“Look Inside Your Heart”, “Bonafide” and especially the swoon-tastic “Die A Little”which are the kind of tunes that his “supergroup” W.E.T wooed the rock fratenitywith a couple of years ago. Guest appearances from big hitters such as Treat’sJamie Borger and Nalley Påhlsson, Joel Hoekstra from Nightranger and Y&T’s DaveMeniketti ensures that this is an all round classy affair that’s a safe bet for manypeople’s “Best of 2012 lists” come the year’s end. Duncan Jamieson (95/100)

Artist. jeff scott sotoalbum. damage control

Interview with. j.s. soto interviewed by:. duncan jamieson

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Question: The New album“Damage Control” is a corkerwith a great balance of hardrockers and melodic AOR tracks.Was it a conscious decision,after the more eclectic“Beautiful Mess”, to make thisone a more cohesive rockyaffair?Answer: Absolutely! Most don’trealise I made BM under the pseudo-nym “JSS” the reason that I wantedto separate that sound from folksknow me under my full name... Tryto find that album on iTunes underJeff Scott Soto, wont happen. I wentfor a fresh direction to open up anew fan base who knew nothingabout me nor would ever buy mynormal approach to my albums. ButDC is a sort of montage of all myfavourite moments within mycareer... It has elements of my 1st 2solo albums I did for FrontiersRecords as well as a little Talismanand Soul SirkUS thrown in for goodmeasure. I certainly wanted to getrocking again!Q: You’re a busy man, you’vealways got a record or live workon the go. How did you find thetime to record this album.Whatwas the process for the writingand recording of “DamageControl”?A: Same as I always do, there are 24hours a day, 7 days a week for me toplay with... Sleep is not as importantas doing what I love to do so insteadof planning holidays in betweentours or recording, I gladly fill mydays and hours with the life I am sohumbly grateful to have, makingmusic and making a living from that!The recording process was quiteeasy actually, I went to a short list ofpeople I wanted to and knew wouldcollaborate with me exactly what Iwas looking to do. I had too manyideas in the end that were scaled to14 songs I was absolutely married towhich all ended up on the DeluxeEdition of DC.Q: Part of being so busy meansyou’ve worked with some othergreat musicians along the way.What tricks about song writinghave you picked up from thelikes of Malmsteen, Axel RudiPell, Schon, Cain, Sall andMartensson along the way?A: I wouldn’t say I learned anytricks at all, if anything I contributedsomething to what they do that theywouldn’t have normally had withsomeone else... Most of the namesyou mentioned are people that cre-ated the basis of what I finished withthem which means I didn’t necessar-ily bring things to the table 1st. Withthat, the only thing that comes of itis what I do to complete it ratherthan just doing what they mighthave given me as direction of whatto do.Q: You’ve got some cool guests,adding a little of their own magicto the disc. How did you getDave Meniketti (Y&T), JoelHoekstra (Night Ranger), CaseyGrillo (Kamelot) and the boysfrom Treat, Jamie Borger andNalle Pahlsson involved?

A: These are all friends and col-leagues of mine who I was happy tofinally accept contributions from.The only 2 of those names who con-tributed songs in that list were Joeland Jamie, Joel came about whenwe basically followed on a drunkenconversation of ‘we gotta do some-thing together some day’. He calledout of the blue asking if I were stillinterested in doing so and I told him“bring it on”. He’s a great writer aswell as player, he has a long careerahead of him big time... Jamie is agiven, we have so much historytogether through Talisman and evensome songs we did together for mysolo releases.Q: It’s difficult to pick out only acouple but I love “Give A LittleMore”, “Damage Control” and“Die a Little” (is that ad lib at theend a wink to Hall and Oates?).Which tracks do you think willfind their way into your live set?A: Certainly those 3 and maybesome more uptempo ones, I have somany songs to choose from noweven on a solo career standpoint butI do have a responsibility of playingsome of the standards from mycareer so it will be tough to choosein the end. I guess its best to waituntil I see how well the album isreceived because there is nothingworse than when a band goes onstage and plays 3/4 of their newalbum after it stiffed, haha!Q: You sound better than ever.How do you keep your voice ingood condition?A: Ha, thanks... I just do my best totake care of my health, I work outjust about every day for an hour, Icould use a little more time inbetween to rest my voice but thereis always so much going on that itsdifficult to actually have more than 2weeks when I am not singing but Itry. Otherwise its a very consciencedecision to keep this voice workingfor many years to come.Q: You’ve recently been on tourwith The Trans-SiberianOrchestra again. How did it goand what do you enjoy aboutbeing involved in that project?A: I’ve known the musical director,Al Pitrelli, for 20+ years, he broughtup my name when the creator, PaulO’Neill, was looking to cast a spot fora lead character on the last TSOalbum Night Castle. It was that I fitthe bill perfectly that led me to doingthe past 4 Winter tours and 2 Springtours with them. They are out cur-rently on the 3rd Spring tour everbut I had to bow out this year as Ihad too much on my plate to followup with Damage Control. At somepoint I had to give my own careerthe priority it deserves again but Iam still very much a part of the TSOfamily.Q: Talking projects, when yougot involved in the W.E.T projectdid you expect it to be as wellreceived as it was?A: No one expected any more thanwe would sell a few thousand copiesto each of the band membersrespective fans, it was quite surpris-ing to say the least. It was the brain-

child of Serafino, president ofFrontiers, to line the 3 of us uptogether for this album, he had avision of what we could do togetherand he was right, it was a successfulundertaking!Q: You’re following up thatW.E.T record.On the debutRobert (Sall) and Eric(Martensson) wrote the materialand you sang it. Will you have abigger hand in the songwritingthis time?A: I am hoping to contribute a littleto it but as I am completelyslammed on my own items, the writ-ing and recording has already begunas we have a deadline to deliver thealbum before I get too busy. I mayhave a few tidbits here and there butoverall the process will remain simi-lar to the 1st album.Q: There’s certainly somethingspecial there. I saw your greatset at the Firefest in 2011 andfor many people W.E.T was oneof the highlights of the wholeweekend. What are your memo-ries of that gig?A: We were all nervous really, but itwas a positive nervousness. Havingnever jammed or done anything livetogether until 2 days before theshow made it interesting but weknew all eyes and ears were pointedour way so we had to deliver. It wasmagical for all of us, I had a greattime and I think the audienceenjoyed watching the band’s histori-cal debut.Q: There was an amusingmoment during Steve Augeri’sset when you came out andhanded him a guitar. Did youcompare notes backstage aboutyour time in Journey? How didyou get on?A: Steve is a wonderful person andfriend, I was watching his set fromthe side of the stage but he had noseen me there, I saw the tech waswaiting for his cue to bring him theacoustic guitar so I took it from himand said “let me do it to surprisehim”. We didn’t speak much back-stage only at the after show hang...Regarding Journey talk, we have hadmore times and hangs in the pastthat but that subject is usually notwithin our conversations if you knowwhat I mean.Q: It’s hard to believe that it’sover 5 years since you frontedJourney. With the distance oftime how do you reflect on thatperiod now?A: It is hard to believe really howmuch time has gone by already, Istill have amazing memories of mytime there but unfortunately I stillhave the same nightmares on how itended. Anyway, onwards andupwards.Q: You’re always willing to turnyour hand to something new.Any new projects on the horizonwe should look out for?A: At the moment my hands are fullbetween the new WET album, pro-moting DC, this summer tour I men-tioned and TSO, I am literallybooked with work until January2013.

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Bruce Atkinson: Before we talkabout the new record, let’s dis-cuss, briefly, the history of Epica…You seem to have a great desire tocreate and record, to the point thatthe recording studio is your sec-ond home!Mark Jansen: I'm allergic to recordingstudio's actually ;-) But I found a wayto enjoy the studio sessions. I am akind of workaholic and in the past Ithought that filling all hours of the daywould make sense in the studio butnowadays I've learned to keep the bal-ance. Sometimes work and sometimestime for a nice dinner with the guys.It's the age probably haha. But toanswer your question, we love to cre-ate. Composing music is what I likemost! It's a kind of magic. I don't know

how it feels tobecome a fatherof a baby. Ihave heard thatit's pure magic,the momentthat the babycomes out.Music is in alesser extendc omp a r a b l e .When a beauti-ful melody isborn it gives amagic feeling.BA: Continuingwith yourwriting andr e c o r d i n g ,

Epica are about to unleash anoth-er Master-stroke… Let’s talk aboutthe new record: “Requiem For TheIndifferent”… Did you change yourroutine in recording for this one?Coen Janssen: We basically had thesame routine. We went to the gatestudios again to work with the greatteam of Sascha Paeth in Wolfsburg,Germany. He is like the 7th bandmem-ber and really knows how to lift thesongs to a higher level. Also the otherengineers are like brothers nowadaysso it is really easy to work with them.Q: I love the title… What meaningis behind it?MJ: Requiem for the Indifferent isabout the way western society hasbeen developing. We have the impres-sion we're the most developed with

our improvements and progress. Butin fact we can all see that we havefailed. We lost touch with nature andinstead of a paradise we have createda dragon. We're on a dead end road.The indifferent are those who denythis. Even when things are so abvious,some keep denying the problem.Unfortunately most of them have highpositions at companies or at least a lotof interest in them or in governments.So nothing (or not much will change).Eventually we need to make thischange if we want or not because oth-erwise it's over anyway. In the west-ern world we often look at indigenouspeople in a patronizing way, like theyare "underdeveloped". I think we arethe underdeveloped ones. In spite ofall progress we booked for health careand other things we lost the mostimportant thing. To know who we trulyare. The indigenous people stillremember who they are and were theycome from. We must learn from themin order to make new steps forward.We all need each other now andthere's no room for indifference anylonger. BA: obviously you are also ready-ing yourselves for another year ofextensive touring…CJ: And it is going to be aweome! Wecreated a whole new show with a lot ofcool extra’s. We intend to make thelive-experience better than ever. Italready shows that people are inter-ested since a lot of the shows are sell-ing out at the moment.

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