Fifty years ago, The Beatles released what was their final recording together, Abbey Road (Apple Records). Even though the ‘Get Back’ single sessions and the massive Let it Be (also Apple). Let it Be is always remembered as the swansong and has the epic title track ear-wormed into our souls, but Abbey Road was the last time the band would work together collectively on music. Although they were the biggest band on the planet at the time, and their relationships were disintegrating, the group made some of its best music ever on this album. Continue reading
Upon the release of its eponymous debut album in 2009, there was a serious buzz around US /Swedish supertrio King Hobo. This was largely caused by the involvement of Clutch drummer John-Paul Gaster, but that criminally ignored the input of Per Wiberg and Thomas “Juneor” Andersson from Blues-Stoner purveyors Kamchatka. Ten years later the band finally returns with sophomore long-player Mauga (Weathermaker Music) and whatever opinion the listener holds for the results, it will surely redress the balance for all three members. Continue reading
Cynic’s Paul Masvidal has long been at work on a new Cynic album as well as a new trilogy of just announced solo albums. Dubbed the Mythical Human Vessel trilogy of records, they are the first independent solo releases on his new label, Masvidalien Records, the first of the collection, Mythical, will release May 31st. Hear the first new single now, ‘The Spaces’. Continue reading
There is a scene in the Steven Spielberg film Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade where our eponymous hero faces up to his latest nemesis, known to us only as Panama Hat. Panama Hat discovers the priceless Cross of Coronado in Indiana’s pocket. He remarks:
“This is the second time I’ve had to reclaim my property from you.”
Jones responds, ever protecting of the artifact: “That belongs in a museum!”
“So do you!” cackles our bad guy.
I use this diversion to illustrate one point: namely, the understandable reverence for The Beatles does occasionally lapse into regarding them and their music as some kind of untouchable museum piece. Every note of music, every syllable of dialogue, every lyric pored over with scrupulous and studied gaze, their ardent fan base akin to music archaeologists in search of a new lens, some new insight. Continue reading
Check out all of today’s new releases in the music world! Continue reading
Anti-Flag is an institution and a treasure of American punk rock. The kind of band we need more bands to emulate and follow in 2018. After two very good albums of anthemic, activist pop-punk the band has mined for almost 30 years with American Spring and American Fall (both Spinefarm), the question is where to go next? The band chose to switch things up and have made an all acoustic album from the best of their last two albums and some well-chosen covers for American Reckoning. Although the “punk goes acoustic” isn’t new or a trend, it’s a good way to re-imagine these tracks the band is not quite done with yet. Continue reading
From the 1:57 opening strains of the first track of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club’s newest release, Wrong Creatures (Abstract Dragon/PIAS), ‘DFF’, I know I’m in for a treat. I’m instantly transported back to a Mad Max Thunderdome setting. Leather. Blood. Fire. This puts a smile on my face. I’m totally pumped for what’s to come next! Continue reading
Sir George Martin, often credited as “the fifth Beatle” for his production work with the group, has passed away at age 90, according to published reports. Beatles drummer Ringo Starr broke the news first in a series of tweets earlier today. It was Martin who actually got the Beatles their record deal, on the urging of manager Brian Epstein in the first place in 1962, which led them to be forever linked to eachother. Although he was a giant of the music world, he often shunned the spotlight and gave credit to others whenever possible. Credited with hundreds of albums produced, his innovative studio work, countless number one albums, hit singles, Academy Awards, soundtrack work (The James Bond films in particular), and comedy albums, Martin leaves an indelible legacy on the music world.
God bless George Martin peace and love to Judy and his family love Ringo and Barbara George will be missed xxx ?✌️??☮
— #RingoStarr (@ringostarrmusic) March 9, 2016
Thank you for all your love and kindness George peace and love xx?✌️?? pic.twitter.com/um2hRFB7qF
— #RingoStarr (@ringostarrmusic) March 9, 2016
Finding their own voice for any musical act is a challenging thing, and for Chilean alternative rockers The ReAktion vocalist Simon Rojas, it took him to venture to Vancouver to find an opportunity to have his vision heard. Their debut album Selknam was recently released (out via Mainia Recordings) and they also completed their stint on the Knotfest in Devore, CA.
He explained his thoughts on their performance at the fest. “It was a great experience. It was our first time playing as a three-piece and it’s important to us to bring the message to people and the kids and get in their minds with very good senses and a really good frequency…I mean guitars and really good tuning.”
“The band talks about waking. People need to learn how to love again. You know what I mean? That’s why it’s going to be the end of fights and competitions and wars. That’s what we’re talking with the band and the lyrics and focusing on that. That’s the things we’re talking about on our new album.”
Fusing sounds ranging from alternative rock to electronic music to acoustic sounds, The ReAktion display a wide array of influences that makes it hard to pinpoint what they sound like. Rojas talked about whether bands they were compared to, such as Linkin Park to Radiohead and Muse, and whether they were bands he was inspired by.
“I don’t know. A lot of people say different bands. Personally I really like to play what I really like to hear – what I really want to hear, like screaming with acoustic guitars or melodic vocals with Djent riffs. There’s a mix for everything with a good message like Bob Marley or what John Lennon did. We’re trying to say that message.” he said.
Prior to the fest, the band completed their first US tour supporting OTEP. Following the tour, a shakeup in the lineup happened, which resulted in recruiting drummer Felipe Alvarez and bassist Garrett Wolf to round out the newly revised lineup.
“We did a tour three months ago with OTEP and we did 60 shows around the US. We toured for almost three months. After that we went back to Chile and we had this [lineup change] thing going on. So we came back as a three piece and this is the first show as a three piece. It went really well so we’re excited to see how it goes,” said Alvarez.
“We were four. Felipe was a touring member for a year. It’s a long story but it was different people in the band. Now we’re a three piece and we’re doing very well,” added Rojas, talking about the lineup change.
Originally from Santiago, Chile, Rojas bounced around in various bands before taking The ReAktion to Vancouver to reach a wider audience. Through mutual friends, his music was passed along to Slipknot DJ Sid Wilson, who eventually became the band’s manager.
“Almost two years ago. [We met through] mutual friends in Vancouver. We used to rehearse near the Amsterdam Café,” explained Rojas.
“These guys rehearsed in the basement of that place all the time. Sid was in town one day to hang out with mutual friends. They ended up having to work so he came there to hang out. He met up with Diego [Sagredo, ex-guitarist] who was in the band at that time and they hit it off and chatted. He listened to some of the tracks and the rest, as they say is history,” added Wolf.
Selknam was produced by veteran producer Garth Richardson (Rage Against The Machine), who also heard the band during a recording session with some students at a recording school. Impressed with what he heard, he took them on to work on songs that became their debut album at Fader Mountain Sound.
“We met with Garth, maybe three years ago in Vancouver. We met with him and did our first album called Selknam, which is out now,” said Rojas. “[It took] a whole year. They did most of the recording for all of that – the instruments in Canada and he finished most of the vocals in Chile with Garth. He went to Chile and did it with them there. That was the last bit of tweaking on the production side.”
With the downsizing of the band, the new lineup insists that aside from having less people involved, the band sounds stronger than ever.
“Simon did most of the guitars on the record. He knows how to play it but he is just being a frontman on the last tour. He had to drop the guitar and do both. [Garrett] Wolf is taking care of the bass and I play drums and take care of the sequences too. That was what I was doing before all of this changed,” said Alvarez.
Being from Chile, the band steers clear of waving attention towards their origins. Not ashamed of their home country but instead they aimed to be noticed as a worldwide act instead.
“Not too much. We’re not trying [to say] ‘We’re from Chile!’ and this is Latin American music and stuff like that. We’re from there and we’re really proud of that, but we’re trying to give strength in our message with no countries and no nothing,” explained Alvarez.
“It’s worldwide. It’s everybody – everyone. That’s it. We are one. No more flags,” said Rojas.
“Not from Santiago. From Earth,” added Wolf.
Lastly, they spoke about the differences between working in Canada versus Chile, and their thoughts on the differences between the two countries’ attitudes towards rock music. Alvarez shared his thoughts on the matter.
“Back in Chile we have…how do you say…a [backwards] cultural world. It’s really slow. Maybe 15 years and the music scene is really small. I don’t know why people from Chile love things from outside from other countries. [Maybe] because it’s cooler to listen to music from the US, but it’s growing all the time.”
“In Chile, there’s a very big festival too. It’s good. It’s really hard when you don’t know anybody. We have really good music in Chile, but there’s no business yet. For example, nobody in Chile makes tours. It goes through all of the countries and playing in all of the cities. Just a few people come. They’re into another kind of music like tropical sounding music. Those kinds of people do that, but metal and rock…”
“In Vancouver it’s similar,” said Rojas.
“A little bit but it’s got a good metal scene and stuff like that,” said Wolf.
“It’s got more of an underground scene and more studios like in Los Angeles. There’s a lot,” added Rojas.
Wolf concluded, “In Vancouver people are more willing to go to the small venues to watch a band instead of U2’s playing the stadium. Like who’s cares and we’re going to watch some local band in the area kind of thing. I think it’s a good scene to get on your feet. So it worked out very well. They met the right people it seems like for these guys.”