Legendary British filmmaker Alan Parker, who directed such classics as Midnight Express, Evita, Mississippi Burning, Bugsy, and also immense music related films such as Fame, The Commitments, and Pink Floyd’s The Wall, has died. He was 76 years old. A statement from the director’s family says Parker died Friday in London after a long illness. We send our condolences to his family at this time.
Ghost Cult scribe Lorraine Lysen caught up with the great Arjen Lucassen of Ayreon for a wide-ranging interview a few months ago. They chatted about The Electric Castle Live project, the visuals of Ayreon Universe live, working with John de Lancie, rock operas, concept albums, Vin Diesel, Star Trek TNG, upcoming new music, and much more.
Pink Floyd legend Roger Waters will release a concert movie shot during his sold-out ROGER WATERS: US + THEM worldwide tour of 2017-2018. Us and Them is being released via 4K, HD and SD Digital, EST & TVOD on the 16th of June via Sony Pictures Entertainment. The tour comprised of a total of 156 shows to 2.3 million people across the globe, it features classic songs from The Dark Side of the Moon, The Wall, Animals, Wish You Were Here, as well as his most recent album, Is This The Life We Really Want? The film was directed by Sean Evans. Viewers on digital will have access to all-new post-feature content including two additional concert songs not included in the original feature (“Comfortably Numb” and “Smell the Roses”) as well as A Fleeting Glimpse, a documentary short featuring behind-the-scenes moments from the tour. Roger recently lashed out in the press at David Gilmour of Pink Floyd for not allowing him partner access to Pink Floyd’s website and fan community access via social media. Except for the full band reunion at Live 8 in 2005, Roger Waters Was legally separated from Pink Floyd in a court case in the mid-1980s where we argued in court and lost that he “was Pink Floyd”. Watch the trailer now! Continue reading
40 Years, Still Breaking The Wall
Ever wondered what makes a “classic band” classic? Have you ever sat down and play records of bands like The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, etc. just to analyze the components of what makes them be as magnificent as they are? Even more, how is it that forty, fifty years later their music still as intact and as relevant as ever before? This is the case with Pink Floyd, especially when we think about that four classic albums run that they had in the mid-seventies. Albums like The Dark Side Of The Moon, Wish You Were Here, and Animals, brought us records that still are in the charts and are, basically, soundtracks of our current lifestyle. Continue reading
YouTuber and personality Nostalgia Critic has filed his “review” of Pink Floyd’s classic movie musical “The Wall” based on their 1979 album of the same name. In this episode, he gets help from major Pink Floyd fans in Slipknot/Stone Sour‘s Corey Taylor, his son Griffin and musical covers by fellow YouTuber Rob Scallon. Intercut with the original film, scenes poking fun at the storyline including Griffin basically playing a young Corey, just as actor/singer/humanitarian Bob Geldof’s character Pink was portrayed by a young boy in the film! Check it out! Continue reading
Entrenched in the history of classic rock is the 1972 concert movie Live at Pompeii, by Pink Floyd. Live at Pompeii. In 2016 David Gilmour and his solo band returned to perform two shows at the amphitheater in Italy on July 7 and 8, 2016. The concerts yielded the album Live at Pompeii. Now you can watch the pro-shot video released by Gilmour of the final song of each night, ‘Comfortably Numb’, from 1979’s The Wall Live at Pompeii. (Harvest). Continue reading
Like the noble slice of pizza, a cover song, if done well, can be amazing. And if it’s not, it’s still pretty good. It’s tough to cover well-known songs and albums by famous bands because music becomes our lexicon and fans know every little nook and cranny of a track. This is the case with Pink Floyd and their iconic double album The Wall. Luckily Magnetic Eye Records and their incredible “Redux” series is here, and they always do a bang-up job of assembling the talent. Covering the entirety of The Wall seems both ambitious and a little crazy too. While The Wall is lower on my personal list of Floyd favorites, it’s as important as it is beloved by the masses. Continue reading
Mark Lanegan (Screaming Trees, Mad Season) has one of the most enduring voices in all of music. Now hear him cover a track from Pink Floyd’s The Wall from the ginormous Magnetic Eye Records tribute album, now. The Wall [Redux] includes The Melvins, Ruby the Hatchet, Pallbearer, ASG, Scott Reeder and more. ‘Nobody Home’ is streaming online now and will be available via digital single on Spotify and instant delivery via iTunes beginning October 5th. Continue reading
West Virginia’s rock veterans Bobaflex have recorded a cover of Pink Floyd’s classic track ‘Hey You’ from The Wall (Columbia). The track will go to radio only next week, with a video to follow soon after. Continue reading
With a debut album that flew under the radar, twisted progressive extreme metal outfit Voices made the ultimate statement with their incredible, expansive, complex and warped second album, the must-hear fucked up concept of London. Guitarist Sam Loynes took time out to give Ghost Cult an open top tour…
The difference between your debut, From The Human Forest Create A Fugue Of Imaginary Rain and your second opus London (both Candlelight) is monumental, both in terms of scope and quality. How do you account for this improvement?
We were still finding our feet on the first record and came up with the songs within a couple of months through improvisation, which is how we write. Moving into London, the songs, again while relying on improvisation a lot in their construction, are far more considered.
We wrote London in a visual mode that became the narrative that runs through it, and we had this idea of trying to write a really ambitious piece. We wanted it to be big, meaty, with a lot of information for people to get into; to go full on with it. We didn’t want to do just another standard album, you know, seven songs, and it’s OK. Fuck that. This needed to be a serious, complete record that people can really get their teeth into.
Ambition was the main difference, really. We aimed for the stars with this one.
That’s a good word, because the album is ambitious, with no half measures taken, especially as it has a fully developed narrative and concept running through it. Which came first, the chocolate or the colour?
85% of what you hear on the record comes from improvisation. A great example is a song like ‘Fuck Trance’ that was composed completely in the moment. There was no preconception of riffs, or ideas, or anything like that, we just got into the rehearsal room after a long fucking day at work and fucking horrible journey down to the studio which is way out West London. We looked at each other, and we had it. I looked at Pete (Benjamin – guitars/vocals) and Dave (Gray – drums) and we had it. And the song came out.
The way the narrative came about was within that improvisation. When we were playing and creating it, we’d have these almost like visions, visions steeped in our non-musical influences at the time, things like Graham Greene’s The End of the Affair and the character Maurice Bendrix, who is an anti-hero that is obsessive and anxiety ridden over, of course, a woman. These reference points helped us visualize this new anti-hero as he moved through the streets of London being accosted by these various distorting events, and he’s reaching out trying to find this Megan figure that’s the object of his affection, even though she turns out to be less than agreeable.
It’s quite an abstract thing, but it was such a powerful mode of writing. When we got to the end of, say, ‘Hourglass’, when he was washed up by the River Thames after being poisoned, in our brains we desperately wanted to know where he’s going to go next! And the only way for is to find out is let’s fucking do the next song!
So, the narrative was spawned out of the visual style of writing (and) it was an amazing way to write. I don’t know, but it might even be a once in a lifetime only way of writing, because it was also very specific to where we all were in time and in our lives.
How auto-biographical is it?
Dave was very much at the forefront of encapsulating the specifics of what the narrative became. He then actually wrote the passages that you hear link the songs. It’s most personal to him, but the reason we chime as musicians and as people together is that we all have this disposition within us, this Maurice Bendrix syndrome – steeped within anxiety, very much onlookers, particularly living in London, and not feeling part of it, or feeling not quite right being within London.
I’d say that Dave was the one who related most to the anti-hero character and he brought him to life on paper but we all have over the top, vivid imaginations.
Did you reference other concept albums, perhaps something like Queensryche’s Operation Mindcrime which tells a story?
We were very aware of wanting to live up to the effect that concept records can have and the Zappa one is the one we looked at (Editor’s Note: Sam couldn’t remember the title at the time, I think he’s referring to Freak Out). Dave was keen it was a key reference point. With the theme of detachment, did you look at something like The Wall? To be honest, our influences in terms of the concept were very detached from music. JG Ballard and extending to things like Bladerunner, even Lolita to a certain degree.
So works with those feelings of being outside, or different… that detachment again? There’s a vicarious element to them. It’s very difficult to hone in on what we’ve done here, but it’s those ideas of vicarious obsessions, anxieties and distortions, all captured in an abstract narrative.
As one of the creators of such an ambitious and successful dark work of art, how are you feeling about it now?
Creatively it was daunting, but more so now we’ve done it, because I listen to London and I think “where do we go from here”? What kind of planet are we going to have to be on to live up to, or surpass this!? So for me, I do think we’re going to have to seriously consider what direction we go in next.
I think it was Krystoffer Rygg (Ulver) who said that each album he has done is a reaction to the one preceding it… So, is the response to something as complex and dark as London is maybe something lighter, catchier, more simplistic and punkier…?
It’s funny you should say more punky and poppy, because that was the idea I had. Myself and Dave are massive fan-boys of bands like Joy Division and Bauhaus and more recently to name a contemporary band I’m into, Savages, and while we’re not all of sudden become a fucking pub rock band or whatever, let’s think a little more about song based material, rather than really sprawling epic songs.
A song like ‘Last Train Victoria Line’ is in line with that kind of idea, and to me that’s the direction I’d like to consider going towards. Songs with hooks, choruses, that are a bit like Killing Joke, and a bit like Joy Division, but also extreme and out there.
Who knows what comes out when we start writing again, but I do not have any interest in regurgitating London because we ain’t gonna better that record.
Words by STEVE TOVEY