Lemmy Kilmister passed away back in 2015, and left behind a legacy that will never be forgotten. Lucky for us, he also left behind a ton of music, and we may hear some of it before the year ends. Continue reading
Rex Brown has been teasing his upcoming solo album for many months now, and he’s just signed a worldwide deal with Entertainment One (eOne) to release that debut LP later this year. Continue reading
Rex Brown announced last month that his highly anticipated solo album would be coming in May, and we finally have a taste of the new material. Continue reading
Alissa White-Gluz is, without a doubt, one of the most versatile talents in the metal scene. From her early days with The Agonist, to her numerous guest appearances with the likes of Kamelot and Delain, and now as she fronts Arch Enemy, Alissa has proven to be a vital member of the metal community. Now she has something extra special in store for fans. Alissa White-Gluz has signed a new solo deal with Napalm Records, and will be releasing ALISSA in 2017! Continue reading
Marco Minnemann is a talented man comfortable wearing many hats. renowned for his drumming in many high-profile projects such as The Aristocrats, Steven Wilson, Joe Satriani, Levin/Minneman/Rudess (LMR), and countless others, Marco is one of the most respected musician in the world. His solo career has been equally fulfilling and affords him opportunities to be in total control of the creative process, playing all the instruments as well as handling production duties. His new album Celebration (Lazy Bones Recordings) has just been released, and we conducted a Q & A interview over email, to learn more about his creative process, how he deals with challenges in the studio, and the sound of the next album from The Aristocrats.
Celebration is a great title that conjures a lot to mind. What does the title mean to you and what creative frame of mind were you in when you began to write the album?
It started off as a writing process for an album with a fairly dark vibe around it, which I wanted to name ‘Above the Roses’. After re-listening I just didn’t feel that the album was complete the way it sounded like. So I kept writing songs and then basically made a selection of songs I thought would make a statement. And all of a sudden, voila. I had one album that I called ‘Celebration’, leading through aggressive, sparkling and into film music like vibes and missions. And then there’s the more vocal laden, dark song focused ‘Above The Roses’ I just finished now, it will come out as a special vinyl and download edition, but more of that later. ‘Celebration’ just got released and needs the attention now.
Since the topic is partially about Roses, in songs symbolically and in artwork, I thought that Celebration might be a good title.
The album is definitely diverse, but has some of your heaviest songs of your solo albums. Is that a by- product of some of your other bands you are in, rubbing off on your solo work?
That clearly would be a no, as I think that some of the material on Celebration is actually heavier than what we do with the bands I currently play in.
I mean, if we’re playing the category game, maybe then Joe Satriani could be Rock, Aristocrats instrumental Rock/Jazz, And Steven Wilson more well, prog and ambient pop/rock.
On my albums I just really compose for what is needed for ‘the mission’.
You have definitely “arrived” on Celebration as a vocalist and lyricist. Do you think this was an important step for you artistically?
Thank you. But if you look into my solo back catalogue that so far holds 14 albums, I wrote, played and sang as well. But thanks again for appreciating.
As you have become more hands on (creating, playing/tracking, producing/mixing/mastering) with each new project is it more troublesome to wear so many hats, or a relief to be able to oversee it all with confidence?
It’s great I think, because when you know exactly what you want and are able to translate it, instrumentally and production wise, then it’s a fairly seamless and rewarding process. See, my studio is pretty much dialed in to my needs. So once I have a sound in mind I really just record, then add tracks, basically mixing while doing this, and soon the ‘house’ comes together :-).And honestly, it’s so cool that meanwhile you can carry amazing production softwares in your note book. Then along with a few good audio interfaces and outboard recording gear, you can do deliver a great production, that would’ve costed a fortune about 20 years ago.
Is there a style of music you have yet to incorporate into your solo work, that you haven’t yet, but would like to try?
Hmm, I don’t really think that way. I really just do and play what I feel fits the vibe of the composition.
On Celebration, is there a single performance you can name as most gratifying to you?
Hahaha, well, I was doubling my vocals to that guitar solo I recorded on ‘How Can I Help You?’ And I’m not really a trained singer, so fuck, I was punching in numerous times in order to nail that thing. And then later I listened back and couldn’t help laughing, because it came out quite cool, and I wasn’t sure if I could pull it off at first :-). Also, I’m quite happy on how the vibe in ‘4000’ succeeded. I used the chains at the port in Marseille, sampled them and then put them in to additional reverb, undermining the vibe of these fairly ‘evil’ and dark vibes and chords in that song. I wanted to create a haunted environment. And that one came out quite intense I think, as I wanted to achieve it..
You have an intense touring schedule this year with all of your many projects. How do you keep your sanity on the road?
Girls :-). hahaha. What can I say…. well, seriously, with a good and professional organization you learn to feel at home on the road. Good and comfortable travels and schedules are important.
What can you tell us about the upcoming new album from The Aristocrats?
It’s pretty much contains compositions more focused on song structures, rather than soloing, well, hat happens of course too in places, hahaha. But Tres Caballeros is a tad different once again from the last album. Actually, the difference is that this time we have a Spanish album title and wore hats in the desert :-)).
Necrophagist is like the Loch Ness Monster of metal! Do you ever have contact with Muhammed (Suiçmez)? Do you think we will ever hear from that band again, or any other project from Muhammed and yourself?
Well, can’t say too much there. Necrophagist is Muhammed’s project/band, he’s a fiend of mine. But the rest about any release can only be assumed. And I have a lot of things going on myself here, that occupy all of this and next year as well, which is a good problem to have I think 🙂
With the possible exception of a certain W. Axl Rose, there cannot be many figures who have cut such a Marmite-like presence in the music business as Scott Weiland. Even at the height of his fame and notoriety, Weiland cut an often odd figure – feted and lauded by some as a frontman non-pareil, loathed in equal measure by others. Whatever your view of Weiland and his artistic output, either in Stone Temple Pilots, Velvet Revolver or his solo work (anyone got that Christmas album?), you always got the idea that Weiland lapped it all up. And then some.
Personally, I bow to no-one in my admiration for STP’s ‘Sex Type Thing’; a rock song of genuine, unbridled swagger, and I have always been in the supporter’s camp for the super-group silliness of the Velvets. Whilst I’m therefore more likely than many to give a positive response to Weiland’s return to the musical fray, even his most vehement naysayers will have to admit that there’s still plenty of life in the man and he’s still got something to offer us. Blaster (Softdrive) is a slightly under the radar release for Weiland with his latest backing band, the clunkily named Wildabouts. Be under no illusion, this is a Weiland solo record and, as efficient and effective as rock musicians these guys are, this is the Scott show.
There’s a Marilyn Manson echo running through the glam stomp of ‘White Lightning’ and the cover of T-Rex’s ‘20th Century Boy’ is lively enough but feels like a record company compromise to me; I would have much preferred to hear him take on something from 70s Alice Cooper or Slade than this: sadly, this version never rises above the perfunctory when it should have shone.
However, that slightly regressive move aside, there’s a playful Californian surf pop vibe underpinning ‘Hotel Rio’, the alt-rock by numbers that ‘Amethyst’ offers reminds me of the 1990s but -self evidently- without the drugged out weirdness that his former band tended to offer. I’m fairly well taken by the sun-bronzed Nirvana schtick of ‘Bleed Out’ and there’s a glammy beat that pushes ‘Beach Pop’ along with a verve and effervescence.
Blaster has arrived with little fanfare and is all the better for it. Whether this is due to Weiland checking whether he has still “got it” (yes, he has) or because he’s also trying out new ideas that don’t quite fit with his “rock god” persona, I know not. Blaster is certainly a much more glammy album; it’s also a happy record suggesting that Weiland has found some artistic peace with himself. Whilst it’s not an out and out classic, given what this artist has been through, the mere fact that he has the show back on the road means we should be discussing Blaster as something approaching a triumph.
Mono lead guitarist and composer Takaakira ‘Taka’ Goto has signed with Pelagiac Records (The Ocean, Mono) for his forthcoming solo album Classical Punk & Echoes Under the Beauty, due out on April 27th. The first single ‘Delicate Madness’ is out now and can be heard below:
Taka remarked about the album, originally written in 2003, but not intended for release until now:
“I wasn’t actually thinking about sharing this album with anyone at the time. It didn’t sound like MONO, so I left it as a trail to my envisioned world, as my personal collection.”
Mono is also releasing a limited edition photo-book on April 14th, featuring 100 pages of black and white photos, 2 CD’s of live tracks from their last European Tour. Just 800 hand-numbered copied of the book will be available.