After many years of eligibility, Def Leppard was inducted into The Rock N Roll Hall of Fame last night. Inducted by their friend and peer, Dr. Brian May of Queen, the band was gracious and overcome with happiness. Band members entering the Rock Hall include the current lineup — Joe Elliott, guitarists Phil Collen and Vivian Campbell, bassist Rick Savage and drummer Rick Allen along with founding guitarist Pete Willis and late guitarist Steve Clark. For the performance part of the evening, the band played four of its biggest hits: ‘Hysteria’, ‘Rock Of Ages’, ‘Photograph’ and ‘Pour Some Sugar On Me’. The 2019 Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame concluded with an all-star performance of David Bowie’s “All The Young Dudes”, featuring Def Leppard, Ian Hunter, May, Steve Van Zandt, The Bangles’ Susanna Hoffs, and The Zombies’ Rod Argent. HBO will broadcast a truncated version of the ceremony on Saturday, April 27 at 8 p.m. EST. Continue reading
Def Leppard dropped by The Howard Stern show for an interview and an acoustic performance of originals and covers. The band will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this week. They will be inducted by Dr. Brian May of Queen in the 34th HoF class, along with the other honorees Stevie Nicks, The Zombies, Janet Jackson, The Cure, Radiohead, and Roxy Music. Watch video of the band and their interview with Stern, and performances below.
Ghost Cult caught up with up and coming Texan band Blacktop Mojo last fall at Rock Allegiance Festival in Camden, New Jersey. Speaking to Matt James and Ryan Kiefer right after they performed, we chatted about the festival, their upcoming new record, crowdfunding with Pledge Music, building a close relationship with fans, what good publicity does for underground bands, their famous cover songs like Aerosmith’s ‘Dream On’ and Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Dreams’, how much Stevie Nicks rules, natural disasters, and more! Their current album Burn The Ships is out now via Cuhmon Records! Interview conducted by Keefy with Omar Cordy of OJC Photography. Continue reading
The ever-edgy and controversial Rock And Roll Hall of Fame announced it’s 2019 induction class. Making it in Def Leppard, The Cure, Stevie Nicks, Radiohead, Janet Jackson, The Zombies, and Roxy Music. Not making the cut from the finalists were Todd Rundgren (who like Def Leppard and Nicks factored in the fan voting) Rage Against the Machine, MC5, Kraftwerk, Devo, LL Cool J, John Prine, and Rufus & Chaka Khan. The fan voting actually carries very little weight (one 1,000th of a real vote), but plays out in public on social media. In total, an international voting body of more than 1,000 artists, including current living inductees, historians and members of the music industry, were able to cast their votes alongside the fan ballot. Factors such as the artist’s musical influence, length, and depth of their career, their body of work, innovation and superiority in style and technique were taken into consideration. What kind of Hall of Fame is it really when Rage Against the Machine or Devo can’t get in? Anyway The 34th Annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, presented by Klipsch Audio, will take place on Friday, March 29 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. Ticket on-sale dates for the event will be announced in January, though a limited number of pre-sale tickets are available to Rock Hall members. As in past years, HBO will have a Rock Hall special airing not long after the ceremony, while SiriusXM will also have a radio broadcast. Continue reading
The annual Rock N Roll Hall of Fame nominations are here and there are few surprises in the list. Def Leppard, Rage Against The Machine, The MC5, Radiohead, Stevie Nicks, The Cure, Devo, Janet Jackson, Kraftwerk, Ll Cool J, Roxy Music, Todd Rundgren, John Prine, Rufus Featuring Chaka Khan, and The Zombies are all nominated. The top vote-getters will be announced in December and inducted March 29, 2019 at a ceremony at Brooklyn, New York’s Barclays Center. HBO will broadcast the event later next year. To be eligible for this year’s ballot, each nominee’s first single or album had to released in 1993 or earlier. A voting pool of more than 1,000 artists, historians, journalists and members of the music industry will select the new class, and fans all vote. The HoF notoriously makes questionable omissions from the voting process with a seemingly inherent bias against hard rock and heavy metal with bands like Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Kiss never getting in. Motorhead, Slayer, Pantera, Jane’s Addiction, Nine Inch Nails, the New York Dolls, Bad Brains, Black Flag, Ice-T, Hole, Faith No More, Soundgarden, Primus, Smashing Pumpkins and Alice In Chains. are among the artists who are eligible, but not included. Metallica will likely be the only band that started out in thrash metal to ever get in at the present. Continue reading
Tom Petty, part of the fabric of American Rock Music for over forty years died last night at age 66 of a massive heart attack, leaving fans, friends, and family devastated by the sudden news. Petty had just wrapped up his 40th Anniversary tour with his band The Heartbreakers, last week at The Hollywood Bowl, which would fittingly be his final performance ever. Continue reading
Most modern music careers go a little bit like this. Write a good (or even great) record. Become popular. Have that “difficult second album” syndrome. Get less popular but retain a fan base. Record a third album that might have an unexpected hit. Record the same album for the rest of your career until everyone gets bored. Split up and then return and do a tour where you play the entirety of your first album because it’s a “masterpiece”. Ho, and indeed, hum.
Thank goodness then for Clutch. Clutch aren’t like most bands. Wait: Clutch are not like any other band. Now into their 20-something year of making smart, intelligent rock music, Psychic Warfare (Weathermaker) is the eleventh studio album from the Maryland, USA residents. Psychic Warfare sees Neil Fallon and Co in the rudest possible health, invigorating and invigorated, creatively refreshed and simply staggering and swaggering.
With their last record, Earth Rocker (also Weathermaker) delivering a veritable feast of passionate, invigorating rock music that proved that straight up rock ‘n’ roll could appeal equally to heart and head, one may have anticipated that Clutch would return with a record that sounded completely different, as has been their wont. Contrarians to the last, Clutch have taken the quality threshold set by Earth Rocker and simply upped the ante. If Earth Rocker set a new high benchmark for the Clutch boys, Psychic Warfare is the call and response that you can only have dreamt of, such is its dynamic power and prowess. In short, it’s utterly brilliant.
Psychic Warfare leaps out of the speakers, hoists you by the throat and never lets up, not for a second; punchier and harder than its predecessor. It’s as if the band has been in the gym for a few months: it’s muscular, tough, ripped. Psychic Warfare sounds like the band are not only content with sounding like Clutch, they are revelling in it. This new album has an immediate, warm sense of familiarity, one that breeds total and utter content.
The spoken word scene setting paranoia of ‘The Affadavit’ gives way to the instant Clutch classic of ‘X-Ray Vision’ which is so infectious it should carry a biohazard warning. The rest of the album just gets better and better. There are more riffs than a guitarists’ convention running throughout: Tim Sult has excelled himself with licks and flourishes that are inspired and imaginative, frenetic and pulsating: just listen to ‘Your Love Is Incarceration’ or ‘Sucker for the Witch’ and you will understand just what I am getting at.
Clutch understand tone and dynamics perhaps better than any band operating today. It’s hardly a surprise that Jean-Paul Gaster is many people’s favourite drummer, such is his ability to bring depth, warmth and structure as well as light and funk to proceedings. In lesser hands, the forcefulness of these songs would feel oppressive, repetitive. In Clutch’s hand’s, these are songs that get in under your skin, make you dance and smile: it is a sheer bloody joy.
Psychic Warfare, like all the best Clutch albums (and, already, it’s amongst the very best of Clutch’s albums) is a record packed full of wizened characters, paranoia, liquor, esoteric cityscapes and name dropping of Stevie Nicks. I have no idea what’s going on in Neil Fallon’s mind but when he produces songs as strong and compelling as this, you cannot help but be drawn into his maelstrom of evocative storytelling. He is a master of American letters; Clutch are a band of sublime brilliance and Psychic Warfare might just be the album you’ve waited all year for.
Long may they reign supreme.
Early in 2013 Scandinavian rockers Audrey Horne put the cat well and truly among the rock pigeons, with a stand-out third album Youngblood. Eighteen months further on and follow-up Pure Heavy is cooling in the racks and the band are back doing what they do best, bringing their brand of rock n’fuckin’ roll to the live stage… In the second part of our feature, Ghost Cult was delighted to catch up with live wire front man Toschie Rod and take the chance to reflect on 2014, shoot the breeze over the music scene and discuss Christmas shopping for the kids.
Moving on to other things now; apart from your own album, what’s been the best record you’ve heard this year?
Right now 24 Carat Gold (Reprise) by Stevie Nicks is utterly amazing; she is such a great singer and a great songwriter; it’s just a mind-blowingly great record. When I hear it I was (*makes jaw dropping expression*): just wow. I love the last Mastodon album (Once More Round the Sun – Reprise) – they always manage to be interesting. I love Against Me! and their last album (Transgender Dysphoria Blues –Total Treble/Xtra Mile) had great songs and she sings tremendously well; the way they are so honest about everything makes it, for me, a better record; I know that people say that it’s just the music that should do the talking and I appreciate that point of view but, here, the honesty about their journey as a band makes the record even more compelling. The other record I have been listening to a lot is Phosphorescent Harvest (Silver Arrow) by the Chris Robinson Brotherhood; he is a singer that I really admire and it’s a record that stuck in my head. I’ve also been spending a lot of time with the YOB (album- that is a brilliant record too. Jesus, there have been so many amazing records this year….
Once this tour is over, will you be heading back to Norway for Christmas?
Yes, absolutely. We will all be going back to our families. It will be nice to spend time at home just having a nice quite time with the family, the kids and some nice food and fine wine.
What do you want for Christmas?
You know, it’s funny. People often ask me what I want for Christmas and I don’t need a lot so I don’t ask for a lot. Some new vinyls would be nice and if you’re offering I can give you a list! Seriously, though, this is all about spending time with the family and having a nice time.
Have you decided what you’re getting the kids?
Oh, that’s done already. They are at the age when they want their own mobile phones so…I’m being a good dad and getting them mobile phones
Once the holiday season is out of the way, what are your plans for 2015?
We will definitely be doing some more touring. We are hoping to be announcing a big tour with a huge band for next year plus some headline tours of our own. Although we have made a lot of progress over the past few years, the best way to grow our band is to get out to as many people as possible so mixing it up by doing a big support slot as well as our own shows is probably the best way to grow our band. We have some new ideas for songs so we will spend some time writing as well. We haven’t decided whether to go into the studio or not at the moment but we probably will have enough stuff to put out an EP that can support one of the tours but its early days at the moment – you’ll have to be patient.
Words by MAT DAVIES