Dave Matthews Band and Weezer will headline the third annual Innings Festival, returning to Arizona’s Tempe Beach and Tempe Arts Park, February 29 – March 1, 2020. The amazing the two-day event brings together best in music and baseball, uniting fans and families with music nd sports legends in one event. The event will feature 18 artists on 2 stages, including performances from Portugal. The Man, Death Cab for Cutie, Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, Rainbow Kitten Surprise, O.A.R. and more, as well as curated food vendors and fun family activities. Fans can look forward to numerous appearances by Major League Baseball greats including Jake Peavy, Bret Saberhagen, Miguel Montero, Aaron Rowand and more, as well as the return of Off the Mound with Ryan Dempster, an on-site talk show featuring MLB players and musicians on the lineup. Tickets will be available beginning at 12pm local time today at the link below. Ghost Cult covered Innings Festival 2019 with Incubus, Eddie Vedder, Sheryl Crow and more which you can see our review here. Continue reading
Tom Morello appeared on the new episode of Lars Ulrich’s Apple Beats 1 podcast “It’s Electric”. He discussed his debut solo album, The Atlas Underground. An all-star affair, Morello, best known for Rage Against The Machine, Audioslave and Prophets Of Rage worked with GZA, Gary Clark Jr., K. Flay, Pretty Lights, Portugal. The Man, Whethan, Marcus Mumford, Rise Against’s Tim McIlrath, Carl Restivo, Nico Stadi, Leikeli47 and Herobust on the album. Watch the interview below.
Ex Eye’s self-titled album (Relapse) is something extraordinarily different, so hold on to your hats and brace yourself! The soon-to-be-legendary group consists of renowned, experimental saxophonist Colin Stetson, Greg Fox on drums, Shahzad Ismaily on synths and Toby Summerfield on guitar and these dudes will literally blow your mind! Continue reading
Monte Pittman is a guitarist who has consistently been a working musician over the years. Between his time touring with Madonna, he has also been working on his own solo career and recorded a few solo albums. Pittman did a few acoustic shows this past summer in LA, including an appearance on one Warped Tour date in Ventura, CA. Little did the attendees know at the time that he had his newest release, The Power of Three recently drop from Metal Blade. He explained about the making of the newest release and finding time to making his own music, including doing a brief run of acoustic shows.
“I have been working on my solo project for the last few years, which is what I initially when I moved out to LA to do. I grew up in Texas. I signed with Metal Blade Records so they’re going to be putting out my album. It’s heavy and I like being able to do all kinds of different styles. Like for Warped, I’m doing the Acoustic Basement stage. But these might be the last full acoustic shows I’ll do for a while.”
He spoke about his solo band. “I’ve got a band that plays with me – Max Whipple on bass and Kane Ritchotte on drums. Kane plays drums for Portugal, The Man so he’s out there.”
“I did this acoustic EP last year [M.P.3: The Power Of Three, Part 1 – 2012] so the first album I did was just acoustic guitar and vocals. I’ve been building it from the ground up. So with signing with Metal Blade, it’s like a new beginning…again…thinking I was getting to that next level to where I’m playing acoustic shows and then having a bass player and drummer play with me, and doing solos. That’s what led to my second album being a rock album. It built up to this point working with Flemming Rasmussen. He produced the new album and the EP I did [in 2012]. I only had a day to work with him. So we did an EP. I gave him those demos. I gave him the heavy stuff too and he’s like ‘we need to record that stuff.’ So we made plans in February , I flew into Copenhagen and recorded it. We did it in ten days. We recorded it all live and analog, like you would an album we grew up listening to on tape. It’s got that signature Flemming Rasmussen sound, which I’m very excited about. He’s one of my favorite producers. It’s the way he records it’s got that touch to it.”
Ironically, The Power of Three is Pittman’s third solo album, but the first on a record label.
“This is like my third album. In a way it’s like my first album. The first album is called The Deepest Dark . I’ve got a band page (www.montepittman.com) and you can listen to everything there. The second album Pain, Love & Destiny – it’s got the acoustic guitar, but with a band and guitar solos. I called the rock album. It’s a really stripped down EP of four songs I did [in 2012]. It’s called M.P.3: The Power Of Three, Part 1.”
He drew attention when he recorded his prior records by raising funds via Kickstarter at a time prior to it becoming a common practice amongst musicians. He took advantage of this and found new ways to reach fans of his music and getting them involved with his project.
“It was still a new thing,” he explained. “I made the goal as low as I could make it. I made it for $5,000. I got that and I could at least take that and put it out myself. But a lot of people saw it was an easily attainable amount. So a lot of people got it for $25. Then it blew up the very first day. They put it on the Most Popular page. Then other people were checking it out. This is when bands were curious to see if it would work. So in 2011 I had the most money that a rock group has made. Now people are making albums and movies. I wouldn’t do another one for an album. I would probably do one for a tour. The important thing is the incentives. One of the things that helped it was there were people teaching online. I had people buying lessons for their kids for a whole year, which adds up. It was a huge help. I played house parties. That was a lot of fun too.”
He is also well known for his “day job” as Madonna’s guitarist since 2001 on her Drowned World Tour, as well as his stint as a guitarist (on 2000’s Scorpio Rising as well as a bassist (on 2007’s Power of the Damager) in Prong. While he has experienced many major moments with her, he has learned a lot about touring and performing in front of larger audiences, and has applied that to his solo career.
“I look at it as she pays attention to details,” he said. “When we go on tour, we’ll rehearse two to three months easily before playing the first show. There’s a lot of times before we play a show, the band will get together and rehearse a week before the show. That’s one of the differences. She goes over every little detail. She knows how to get the best out of everybody.”
“What’s the best advice – pay attention to the details. I tell a lot of people what is good enough you have to go beyond that.”
From his time touring with Madonna, she has shown her appreciation towards a variety of music, and video clips of her playing metal riffs on a guitar live have popped up on YouTube.
“She likes a little bit of everything. Somebody showed me a video of Metallica from A Day In The Life, the video of them on tour from “The Black Album”. I think it’s from that where she’s at one of their shows. She told me she went to see them play one time.”
“I especially see this when she plays guitar. You see that she went to CBGB’s and those places, and she was around there in New York in the 70s. You see that in her playing. I see her as that type of artist. She could have become a Patti Smith or Blondie. She could have turned out that way, but it’s her dancing. She’s the best dancer in the world. That’s something that really stands out. It’s the way she moves. Putting that together with performing and singing at the right time with everything happening, it’s history.”
Ironically, a video clip of her performing Pantera’s “A New Level” circulated around YouTube, which Pittman admitted showing her how to play the song. “We practiced it so much it’s not doctored,” he said. “I was teaching her something about focusing on right hand technique, and also experimenting with drop D tuning. Pantera does it tuned down. You can play it drop D and it’s easy to play with one finger.”
“Dime came to a Prong show one time. He was asking if we did the song ‘Cut-Rate’. He was talking about the rhythm part underneath Tommy’s solo. The thing he was talking about, I was telling her, and it really helped her mentally. The next day at her guitar lesson she was showing me [the rhythm part]. Dimebag taught me something and I taught to her in a roundabout way.”
“It was easy to remember how the riff just builds up. Then she would just play that all the time. We were doing the song ‘Hung Up’ and at the end, she would start playing that. You have to remember the rest of the guys in Madonna’s band – they don’t know much Pantera. They just took that music and started playing to it. There’s some people who’re like ‘ that’s not how the song goes…’ – that’s not what we were trying to do is be Pantera – just recognize it as an amazing piece of music, as it is.”