GWAR To Embark On The “Vans’ Warped Tour” Tomorrow; New Album Details Revealed!

GWAR to embark on the “Vans’ Warped Tour” tomorrow;
 New album details revealed!

For the first time ever, Antarctic Alien Overlords GWAR will hit the road beginning tomorrow as part of the “Vans’ Warped Tour.” The tour crisscrosses the United States, running through August 6th in Pomona, CA. A complete list of dates can be found below.

Last week, during GWAR’s “Vans’ Warped Tour” social media takeover, the band announced the name of their forthcoming new album: The Blood Of Gods. The record will be released this fall via Metal Blade Records. The album is a hard rock masterpiece, a new milestone for GWAR’s music that will be totally unexpected, and is going to blow people away. Speaking of blowing people, this is the first album to feature the Berserker Blothar on lead vocals! For those of you human scum that are attending the “Vans’ Warped Tour,” you will have your chance to pre-order the album before anyone else. That’s right Bohabs, just head over to the GWAR merchandise tent to pre-order your copy of The Blood Of Gods. When you give the hateful slave working the GWAR merchandise booth your hard earned cash, they will give you a special laminate that will guarantee you a copy of the CD upon release date. So act now, and spare yourself the wrath of the most violent band in universe… And don’t lose your special laminate, it’s your ticket to a guaranteed lifetime of eternal suffering!

Guitarist Pustulus Maximus did his best to explain the pre-order process: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KqsW0TnZIAk

Following their run on “Vans’ Warped Tour”, the band will make an appearance at Chicago’s “Riot Fest”, as well as two other headline dates, before they return home for a brief Antarctic slumber. Expect a full fall tour in support of The Blood Of Gods. More details on the new album, including artwork, full track-listing and your first taste of new music will be made available over the coming weeks.

GWAR on “Vans’ Warped Tour”:
June 16: Seattle, WA @ Century Link North Lot
June 17: Salem, OR @ Oregon State Fairgrounds
June 21: Albuquerque, NM @ Balloon Fiesta Park
June 22: Phoenix, AZ @ Fear Farm Festival Grounds
June 23: Las Vegas, NV @ Hard Rock Hotel
June 24: Salt Lake City, UT @ Utah State Fair Park
June 25: Denver, CO @ Pepsi Center
June 27: Nashville, TN @ The Fairgrounds Nashville
June 28: Metairie, LA @ Zephyr Field
June 29: Atlanta, GA @ Lakewood Amphitheatre
June 30: Orlando, FL @ Tinker Field
July 1: St. Petersburg, FL (Tampa) @ Vinoy Park
July 2: West Palm Beach, FL (Miami) @ Perfect Vodka Amphitheatre
July 4: Wilmington, NC @ Legion Stadium
July 6: Charlotte, NC @ PNC Music Pavilion Charlotte
July 7: Camden, NJ @ BB&T Pavilion
July 8: Wantagh, NY @ Northwell Health at Jones Beach Amphitheatre
July 9: Hartford, CT @ Xfinity Theatre
July 10: Scranton, PA @ The Pavilion at Montage Mountain
July 11: Virginia Beach, VA @ Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheatre
July 12: Mansfield, MA (Boston) @ Xfinity Center
July 13: Darien Center, NY (Buffalo) @ Darien Lake PAC
July 14: Burgettstown, PA @ First Niagara Pavilion
July 15: Holmdel, NJ @ PNC Bank Arts Center
July 16: Columbia, MD (Washington, DC) @ Merriweather Post Pavilion
July 18: Cuyahoga Falls, OH (Cleveland) @ Blossom Music Center
July 19: Cincinnati, OH @ Riverbend Music Center
July 20: Noblesville, IN @ Klipsch Music Center
July 21: Tinley Park, MI @ The Palace of Auburn Hills
July 22: Chicago, IL @ Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre
July 23: Shakopee, MN (Minneapolis) @ Canterbury Park
July 24: Milwaukee, WI @ Marcus Amphitheater
July 26: Maryland Heights, MO @ Hollywood Casino
July 27: Bonner Springs, KS (Kansas City) @ Cricket Wireless Amphitheater
July 28: Dallas, TX @ Starplex Pavilion
July 29: San Antonio, TX @ AT&T center
July 30: Houston, TX @ NRG Park – Main Street Lot
Aug. 1: Las Cruces, NM @ New Mexico State University (Intramural Field)
Aug. 4: Mountain View, CA @ Shoreline Amphitheatre
Aug. 5: San Diego, CA @ Qualcomm Stadium at Jack Murphy Field
Aug. 6: Pomona, CA @ Fairplex Pomona

GWAR headline dates:
Sept. 15: Knoxville, TN @ The International
Sept. 16: Louisville, KY @ Mercury Ballroom
Sept. 17: Chicago, IL @ Riot Fest*
*=festival appearance

GWAR online: http://www.gwar.net/

Queens of the Stone Age Announce New Album “Villians”

QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE “VILLAINS”
OUT AUGUST 25 ON MATADOR RECORDS
Preorders Live Now Including Instant Grat First Single “The Way You Used To Do”
North American Tour Dates Announced—Including Headline
Stops At Madison Square Garden, Red Rocks & More
Tickets On Sale To The Public June 22
Face The Truth At http://www.qotsa.com

“The title Villains isn’t a political statement. It has nothing to do with Trump or any of that shit. It’s simply 1) a word that looks fantastic and 2) a comment on the three versions of every scenario: yours, mine and what actually happened… Everyone needs someone or something to rail against—their villain—same as it ever was. You can’t control that. The only thing you can really control is when you let go.”—Joshua Homme

Hundreds of epic shows, memory lapses, unexplained injuries, one yearlong detour with Iggy Pop and multiple Grammy nominations later, Queens Of The Stone Age reemerge from the desert newly scarred and somehow strangely prettier with lucky seventh album, Villains, out August 25 on Matador Records. Now available for preorder on deluxe vinyl, standard vinyl, CD and digital (all formats include an instant download of first single “The Way You Used To Do”), Villains consists of the following songs:

1. Feet Don’t Fail Me
2. The Way You Used To Do
3. Domesticated Animals
4. Fortress
5. Head Like A Haunted House
6. Un-Reborn Again
7. Hideaway
8. The Evil Has Landed
9. Villains Of Circumstance

Produced by Mark Ronson and co-produced by Mark Rankin and mixed by Alan Moulder, Villains is the first full album offering from Queens Of The Stone Age since 2013’s …Like Clockwork gave the band its first #1 album in the U.S. (and #1s in Australia, Belgium, Ireland, Portugal, Scotland, #2s in the UK, Canada, Switzerland, Norway, New Zealand, Finland… but really, who’s counting?). Like the stunning artwork of returning illustrator Boneface, the sonic signatures of the lineup that took …Like Clockwork around the world and back—Founder/guitarist/vocalist/lyricist Joshua Homme, Troy Van Leeuwen (guitar, keys), Michael Shuman (bass), Dean Fertita (keys, guitar), Jon Theodore (drums)—are as unmistakable as ever, though coexisting with sufficient new twists to induce recurring double takes. As Homme himself puts it, “The most important aspect of making this record was redefining our sound, asking and answering the question ‘what do we sound like now?’ If you can’t make a great first record, you should just stop—but if you can make a great record but you keep making records and your sound doesn’t evolve, you become a parody of that original sound.”

Of his role working within such a closed and confident ecosystem as Queens Of The Stone Age, Ronson says, “Queens are and have always been my favorite rock n roll band ever since I walked into Tower on Sunset and bought Rated R in the summer of 2000, so it was incredibly surreal to be welcomed into their secret, pirate clan—or the ‘jacuzzi’ as Josh likes to call it. I also knew that my super fandom alone would not keep me in the jacuzzi. There were moments during the making of the album in which i was aware i was watching my musical heroes craft something that was sure to become one of my favorite moments on any Queens album. And to have some part in that felt like being in a dream–a very heavy, dark, wonderful dream.”

Longtime Queens cohort co-producer Mark Rankin added, “After the baptism of fire that was …Like Clockwork, I was excited to get into the studio again with the challenge of pushing the sound for this record, especially with the the addition of Ronson into the creative mix. We wanted to evolve the production to be processed in a modern way yet be totally organic and still performed fully live, like lifting a veil and what you thought was electronic is actually live and things are not as they first appear… What we’ve made is forward looking yet unmistakably Queens.”

Queens Of The Stone Age have also confirmed a slew of North American dates filling in the space between and beyond their previously announced appearances at Outside Lands and Riot Fest. The new shows, which include Queens’ first ever Madison Square Garden headline, are detailed below. For tour dates and tickets, head over to http://smarturl.it/QOTSALive.

For further information, keep an eye on Queens Of The Stone Age sites and socials and just let go.

QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE
“VILLAINS” North American Tour
with Special Guests ROYAL BLOOD (Sept. 6 through Oct. 24 Headline Dates)

June 22 — Rapids Theater — Niagara Falls, NY
June 24 — Amnesia Rockfest 2017 — Montebello, QC
August 10 – Majestic Ventura Theater – Ventura, CA
August 12 – Outside Lands – San Francisco, CA
September 6 – Capitol Theatre – Port Chester, NY
September 7 – Festival Pier – Philadelphia, PA
September 9 – Budweiser Stage – Toronto, ON
September 10 – 20 Monroe Live – Grand Rapids, MI
September 12 – Express Live! Outdoor Pavilion – Columbus, OH
September 13 – Stage AE (Outdoors) – Pittsburgh, PA
September 15 – Agora Theater – Cleveland, OH
September 16 – Riot Fest – Chicago, IL
October 9 – The Complex – Salt Lake City, UT
October 10 – Red Rocks – Morrison, CO
October 12 – Peabody – St. Louis, MO
October 13 – Crossroads KC – Kansas City, MO
October 14 – Roy Wilkins Auditorium – Saint Paul, MN
October 15 – Eagles Ballroom – Milwaukee, WI
October 17 – Fox Theatre – Detroit, MI
October 18 – Old National Centre – Murat Theatre – Indianapolis, IN
October 20 – TBC – Washington, DC
October 21 – Agganis Arena – Boston, MA
October 22 – State Theatre – Portland, ME
October 24 – Madison Square Garden – New York, NY

Photo: Andreas Neumann

Sheryl Crow Announces New Tour Dates Supporting Latest Album “Be Myself”.

SHERYL CROW ANNOUNCES NEW TOUR DATES SUPPORTING LATEST ALBUM BE MYSELF
Includes Intimate Club Show at the Iridium
That Will Air On PBS’
Front and Center Concert Series
Sheryl Crow Releases Official Video for “Halfway There”

(Photo credit: Marc Seliger)

 

June 13, 2017 (Burbank, CA) -Sheryl Crow has announced additional dates on her tour in support of her latest album Be Myself. She is performing a series of headlining shows and appearing at several festivals, as well as taking part in Willie Nelson’s Outlaw Tour. Crow will also perform at this year’s Farm Aid. Tickets for Farm Aid go on sale June 23 at 10:00 am ET: https://blackbirdpresents.com/outlaw-music-festival/.Please see below for all upcoming dates and ticket links.

In addition, Crow releases the official music video for “Halfway There” today. The video was shot in Nashville and Los Angeles and was directed by acclaimed filmmaker Gus Black. It features a cameo from Gary Clark Jr. who also plays leads guitar on the track. Click here to view and share. Crow explains the idea behind the song:

“The idea of the song is that even though you may drive a big Chevy truck and I drive my hybrid, or you may wear designer clothes and I wear ripped jeans, that doesn’t mean we don’t want the same things in life and the same things for our kids in the future. The message is we need to agree to disagree and just try and meet halfway there.”

Crow will perform the song on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on June 27. Tune into NBC stations at 11:35 pm ET/ PT, 10:35 pm CT.

Be Myself has been praised by The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Entertainment Weekly, Nylon, and Rolling Stone, which called it “her toughest and best in a decade” and “a full-blown return to her fierce rock-queen glory.” Be Myself is available to purchase or stream here and available on vinyl at Barnes & Noble here.

Crow will also be featured on the critically acclaimed PBS concert series Front and Center. The series, now in its fifth season, has presented an eclectic mix of Grammy, Country Music Association, American Music and Academy of Country Music Award winners, rock icons and multi-platinum sellers including Keith Urban, The Fray, Lady Antebellum, Cyndi Lauper, Dierks Bentley, Jack Johnson, Counting Crows, The Avett Brothers and more. Tickets are on sale on June 14 at 10:00 am ET here.

Sheryl Crow’s upcoming tour dates are as follows.
For tickets, visit: http://www.sherylcrow.com/tour
*New tour dates

June 20 Sprint Pavilion Charlottesville, VA
June 21 Wolf Trap – Filene Center Vienna, VA
June 23 Funhouse Fest Williamsburg, VA
June 24 North Carolina Museum of Art Raleigh, NC
June 25 Chastain Park Amphitheater Atlanta, GA
*June 26 Iriduim / Front and Center New York, NY
June 28 Beacon Theatre New York, NY
June 29 Rochester Internat’l Jazz Fest Rochester, NY
July 3 Golden Nugget Lake Charles, LA
July 4 Willie Nelson’s 4th of July Picnic Austin, TX
July 7 Ravinia Festival Highland Park, IL
July 11 The Palladium Carmel, IN
July 12 Meijer Gardens Grand Rapids, MI
July 14 Chautauqua Institution Amph. Chautauqua, NY
July 15 Casino Rama Resort Rama, ON
Sep 13 Red Butte Amphitheatre Salt Lake City, UT
*Sep 16 Farm Aid @ Key Bank Pavilion Burgettstown, PA
*Oct 3 The Fillmore San Francisco, CA
Oct 21 The Bren Center @ UC Irvine Irvine, CA

Outlaw Tour dates. More info here: https://blackbirdpresents.com/outlaw-music-festival/

July 2 Starplex Pavilion Dallas, TX
July 6 Walmart Amphitheatre Rogers, AR
July 8 Joe Louis Arena Detroit, MI
July 9 Summerfest Milwaukee, WI
July 16 Lakeview Amphitheater Syracuse, NY
Sep 8 PNC Bank Arts Center Holmdel, NJ
Sep 9 Northwell Health /Jones Beach Wantagh, NY
*Sep 10 Hersheypark Stadium Hershey, PA
Sep 15 Blossom Music Center Cuyahoga Falls, OH
Sep 17 BB&T Pavilion Camden, NJ

Website: www.sherylcrow.com

CKY Bassist Matt Deis Discuss The Bands New Album “The Phoenix”.

Photo By: Jimmy Hubbard

Matt Deis is the bassist for the recently reformed CKY. The band is set to release a brand new album on June 16th titled “The Phoenix” and will performing on this year’s Warped Tour. Media Mikes had the chance to speak with Matt recently to discuss the band getting back together, recording at the legendary Rancho De La Luna studio and what fans can expect from the band during this summer’s tour.

Adam Lawton: Can you give us some background on the reformation of CKY?

Matt Deis: A couple of years ago I stepped away from the band. This was around 2009/2010. I was having trouble juggling things at the time and just couldn’t do the band anymore. A couple years went by and during that time Chad and Jess had started working with Daniel Davies on vocals. Matt Janaitis who replaced me in the band wasn’t going to be able to work with the band anymore so the guys who I had never stopped being friends with called and asked if I could fill in on a few shows. We did some shows with Daniel but ultimately he chose to step away but suggested Chad should sing. From there things just kept going I was glad to be working with them again?

AL: Was doing a new album pre-planned or did this evolve over time?

MD: Things kind of evolved out of doing those shows together. We didn’t really have a set plan outside of knowing that we wanted to play again. Music is something I just know and having worked with the guys for so long everything felt very natural and we just went from there.

AL: Being this is the bands first undertaking as a three piece. What was the writing and recording process like?

MD: We got in a room and just starting jamming as a three piece band. When we were a four piece things were kind of very, cut and paste. Ideas were just sort of thrown out and pieced together. For “The Phoenix” we went to into this dirty warehouse with a very minimal amount of gear and wrote songs that fit the three of us. We didn’t try to get too crazy with the layers or anything like that. We just tried to make things sound good as a three piece. That was the real focus throughout recording. Chad had a lot of song structures figured out going in but there were holes that we all helped to fill in. We locked ourselves in the studio we rented for pre-production and just played. Everything was very natural.

AL: What was it like recording at the legendary Rancho De La Luna?

MD: For me personally I was just amazed that we got this opportunity. I had always seen it as this magical place for a select group of musicians so to be able to step foot there was a childhood dream. A lot of albums I grew up listening to were recorded there. Needless to say I was geeking out quite a bit. How it initially came about was Chad had gone out there with some friends and ended up falling in love with the place. When he brought it up about going out there both Jess and I were quick to say yes.

AL: The bands previous album “Carver City” had a unique concept to as it does “The Phoenix”. Can you tell us about that?

MD: The past albums did have a number of lyrical ideas and concepts attached to them. We didn’t do that consciously with “The Phoenix”. The phoenix in its most open interpretation is a mythical creature that rises from its ashes. That was sort of us as a band. We all had some things we needed to work through so there is a lot of re-growth and us individually over coming what we each had going on.

AL: Tell us about the bands first single “Days of Self Destruction”?

MD: We hadn’t intended on that song to be a single of any kind really. After meeting with our record label they felt that would be a good track to give out to fans. There really was no plan to give it the treatment like you would a single however the reception it received was so good that we just went from there. That song definitely has all the classic elements of CKY. It’s probably our most straight forward track off the album as it has big riffs, a big chorus and a big guitar solo at the end. For someone who has never heard CKY before the song is a good primer as it kind of showcases what we are all about.

AL: Can you tell us about the plans for the bands run on this year’s Warped Tour?

MD: I am really excited as I think this is one of the only remaining traveling tours of this size still happening. I remember being in High School and trying to see CKY on their first Warped Tour run in 1999. Things came full circle as Kevin Lyman the tours founder brought it up as he wanted to bring back bands from years past. We were in the early stages of recording at that point but the opportunity was too good to pass up. We figured everything was going to line up with the album release so we said yes immediately. The tour starts in Seattle so we are going to do a run through Canada before hand and just work our way over. We have such great Canadian fans so it should be a lot of fun. Coming off such a great UK run where 12 of the 13 shows sold out we really can’t wait to get out there here in the States. I think there are going to be a lot of people who get to see that maybe up until now only knew of us from an older sibling. Warped Tour tends to be a younger crowd and we aren’t sure who likes us these days (laughs) so this is going to be a great opportunity for us to meet a lot of new fans.

For more info on CKY head over to www.facebook.com/ckyalliance

Arcadea Featuring Members of Mastodon, Zruda and Withered Sign with Relapse Records; New Album Out June 16th.

ARCADEA (MASTODON, ZRUDA, WITHERED) SIGN WITH
RELAPSE RECORDS; NEW ALBUM OUT JUNE 16TH

April 19, 2017 – Los Angeles, CA – Hailing from the fringes of the cosmos, Arcadea, will make their arrival known in 2017 with a debut, self-titled album due out on June 16th. Today, the synth/psych band has announced they have inked a deal with Relapse Records to release the record. Pre-orders and new music will be announced in the coming weeks.

Stream Arcadea’s previously released song “Gas Giant” now at https://youtu.be/Y36PqRQ3Jc0.

Arcadea was born when drummer-vocalist Brann Dailor (Mastodon) teamed up with upside-down guitarist & keyboardist Core Atoms (Zruda) to create a synth-laden progressive, heavy psych band. Adding guitarist Raheem Amlani (Withered) on synth, the three recorded their visionary,10 song synth odyssey at Orange Peel Studios in Atlanta, GA. The self-titled debut record will see its release via Relapse Records this June.

Unlike their other bands, Arcadea uses only keyboards in a unique blend of crushing, organic drums and psychedelic synthesizers. The music is at once electronic but not electronica, synthetic but not processed, heavy but not metal.

The album envisions a future 5 billion years from now, where the impending collision of galaxies creates a new order of planets. Where cold, distant moons pledge alliance to new suns and expanding gas giants implode into black holes. Ancient drones, forever adrift, record toxic tales of love between dying stars. Where lifeforms in suspended animation, dream among the ice rings of Saturn and cosmic war wages among gods and planets. It is in this universe that Arcadea reign supreme as the last surviving space wizards since the final extinction.

For More Information:
https://www.facebook.com/arcadearocks/
http://www.arcadearocks.com/
http://store.relapse.com/

Guitarist Brian Bell talks about The Relationship’s new album “Clara Obscura”.

Photo Credit: Renee Carey

Brian Bell is most notably known as the rhythm guitarist of the band Weezer, a group he has been a part of since 1993. Bell’s latest side project The Relationship released their debut self titled album in 2007 and are back with a new full length album titled “Clara Obscura” which will be released on April 18th. Media Mikes had the chance to speak with Brian recently about the group’s formation, the new album and their plans for touring.

Adam Lawton: Can you give us some background on how The Relationship first came together?

Brian Bell: It originally started out as a song writing partnership between Nate Shaw and me. That started basically right after high school when I first moved to Los Angeles to attend music school. I had actually already graduated and was working in the cafeteria during the time that hair metal was the big thing. Guitarists at this time were more into flash and speed as opposed to the emotion and where music has gone today where you do have a lot of soloing. My style of playing has always been more about the emotion and texture which is what drew me to alternative music at an early age. One day I am in the cafeteria wearing a Butthole Surfers shirt and this guy comes in wearing a Chameleons UK shirt. With us both being so different from the other people at the school we connected and started jamming. We wrote our first song immediately after that. At the time we didn’t know how to shop songs or anything like that but we did know how to start a band so that’s what we did. That’s when we came up with name The Relationship. It was something that can have a lot of meaning and was also something that I knew could stand the test of time throughout all the trends in music. It’s a powerful name. In 2007 both Nate and I were going through some big personal changes and we needed something to make sense of our lives at the time so that’s when the band really came together and those changes played a bit part in the writing of our first album.

AL: What can you tell us about the new album “Clara Obscura”?

BB: The title of the album is a play on words about a fictional character named Clara who maybe inspired these songs. The songs are actually a collection of many things and hypothetical/fictional situations. After we had all the songs done I was looking for a word or phrase that summed up the sound of the record. Listening back I felt there was a balance between dark and light both lyrically and modally. I started looking for words that meant what I was feeling. I kept coming across a lot of art themes so I put a few of those together and came up with “Clara Obscura” which basically means clear and obscure.

AL: Did the changes in the bands lineup impact the writing of the new record in any way?

BB: I don’t know how much it impacted the writing as I was the primary songwriter on both records but as far as the band I had more opportunities this time around. I used studio musicians for the first album and they were all great players but one thing I have noticed about studio players is that they are there for the day and not necessarily there after they leave. They aren’t like a traditional band member who might go home and continue to work on things such as nuances and textures. With this second record you get a lot more of that I have a dedicated line up now made up of Jon LaRue, Justin Goings and Brandon Graham. Nate had left the band prior to the recording on the new record so we didn’t use any of his material or performances.

AL: Do you notice any differences when you are writing for The Relationship as opposed to when you writing for Weezer?

BB: With Weezer I submit songs and ideas. I will generally record an acoustic guitar and vocal and that’s it. These days I try not to over demo as I think an iphone recording of just me playing and singing is enough to sell the song or idea. If Rivers or management is drawn to it then he runs it through what I like to call “the Rivers computer” or simply his brain. After, it comes out it’s in its own unique way. I am just happy to be involved at all in that process. If it’s for The Relationship I may expand a little more on things and give space for the other musicians to fill up.

AL: Are there plans to tour outside of what has already been announced?

BB: I would certainly like to tour more however I don’t think anything has been booked yet aside from what has been announced. My schedule is very full at the moment so it’s hard to think outside of the two month blocks I set for myself. I have these two dry erase calendars which are super helpful in making sure I know what is going on from day to day. In this business you have to be able to roll with the punches so if something comes up and we are available we will do it.

AL: What other projects are you currently working on?

BB: The Relationship is really the only one right now. Last year I took some classes at UCLA for orchestration and arranging which you get a taste of on this new record but I would love to some more of that. In sort of tying in with that film scoring is something that seems intriguing to me as of late and something I think I would enjoy doing.

For more information on The Relationship you can check out http://www.therelationshipband.com/

Album Review: Anthrax “For All Kings 7-Inch Box Set”

“For All Kings 7-Inch Box Set”
Anthrax
Megaforce Records
Tracks: 20

Our score: 3 out of 5 stars

Available exclusively in North America via Megaforce Records is the limited edition “For All Kings 7-Inch Box Set” (Megaforce Records). Released in conjunction with the band’s upcoming Spring co-headline tour with Killswitch Engage the set box set includes 10 7-inch vinyl discs featuring 20 songs – the 11 finished album tracks, two brand new covers (The White Stripes’ “Black Math” and the classic Kansas song “Carry On”), six demos from the “For All Kings” track listing, and “Vice of the People,” a bonus track previously released only in Japan.

Anthrax fans still clamoring for more after the 2016 release of “For All Kings” are certainly in for a treat with this limited edition box set. Not only do you get all the “For All Kings” tracks but you also receive the demo version of the songs contained on the flip side of each seven inch. This was a feature I really enjoyed because you could compare the finished album track with the bands initial idea. Pretty neat if you’re a hardcore music nerd like me. If that wasn’t enough the band made sure to throw in some new material as well including a covers seven inch which contained easily my favorite track from the set a cover of Kansas’s “Carry On” which was paired with a unique rendition of the White Stripes track “Black Math”. That’s still not all as the band chose to also include “Vice of the People” a song originally not released in the States along with a bunch of great artwork by Douglas Heusser and Stephen Thompson, as well as band photos by Jimmy Hubbard.

The big question you might ask “is this worth the $79.99 price tag?” To that I have to say if you already have the “For All Kings” album and are happy with that you may want to save your cash and get a ticket for “Kill-Thrax” spring tour as they might not be enough “new” material here for you. However if you loved the album and want to revisit it in seven inch vinyl formatting, check out the new exclusive art work and add an extremely rare edition to your collection of metal vinyl then Yes! Clean out that bank account and purchase yourself a copy of the “For All Kings 7-Inch Box Set”.

Track Listing:
Disc 1
Breathing Lightning (album version)
Breathing Lightning (demo)

Disc 2
Monster At The End (album version)
Monster At The End (demo)

Disc 3
Suzerain (album version)
Suzerain (demo)

Disc 4
Black Math (White Stripes cover)
Carry On (Kansas cover)

Disc 5
You Gotta Believe (album version)
For All Kings (album version)

Disc 6
Evil Twin (album version)
This Battle Chose Us (album version)

Disc 7
All Them Thieves (album version)
Vice of the People (previously unreleased in North America)

Disc 8
Zero Tolerance (album version)
Zero Tolerance (demo)

Disc 9
Blood Eagle Wings (album version)
Blood Eagle Wings (demo)

Disc 10
Defend Avenge (album version)
Defend Avenge (demo)

World-Renowned Guitarist JOHN 5 Releases New Album “Season of The Witch”, Kicks off solo tour in support.

World-Renowned Guitarist JOHN 5 Releases New Album “Season of The Witch”, Kicks off solo tour in support.

“Season Of The Witch”, the brand new full-length instrumental solo album from world-renowned guitarist JOHN 5, is out now and can be ordered via iTunes, Amazon and John-5.com, or streamed via Spotify.

In celebration of the album’s release, JOHN 5 and The Creatures are kicked off their U.S. tour in Fife, WA on March 3rd. The tour will hit roughly 35 cities (with more potentially TBA), coming to an end in Chicago, IL on April 16. Tickets and VIP are available now – visit http://www.john-5.com/main/tour for more information.

JOHN 5 and the Creatures “SEASON OF THE WITCH” Confirmed Tour Dates:
3/3 – Fife, WA @ Louie G’s
3/4 – Everett, WA @ Tony V’s Garage
3/5 – Portland, OR @ Star Theater
3/9 – Sacramento, CA @ Harlow’s Restaurant & Nightclub
3/10 – San Jose, CA @ The Ritz
3/11 – Fresno, CA @ Fulton 55
3/12 – San Francisco, CA @ DNA Lounge
3/16 – Fullerton, CA @ The Slidebar Rock-n-Roll Cafe
3/17 – West Hollywood, CA @ Whisky A Go Go
3/18 – Las Vegas, NV @ Vamp’d Rock Bar & Grill
3/19 – San Diego, CA @ Brick By Brick
3/20 – Mesa, AZ @ Club Red
3/22 – Austin, TX @ Grizzly Hall
3/23 – San Antonio, TX @ Fitzgerald’s Bar & Live Music
3/24 – Tyler, TX @ Clicks Live
3/25 – Houston, TX @ Scout’s Bar
3/26 – Dallas, TX @ Trees
3/29 – Raleigh, NC @ Kings
3/30 – Charlotte, NC @ Neighbourhood Theatre
3/31 – Greensboro, NC @ Blind Tiger
4/1 – Wilmington, NC @ Calico
4/2 – Virginia Beach, VA @ Shaka’s
4/3 – Richmond, VA @ Capitol Ale House
4/5 – Cambridge, MA @ Middle East – Downstairs
4/6 – Derry, NH @ New Tupelo Music Hall
4/7 – Queens, NY @ Blackthorn 51
4/8 – Boonsboro, MD @ The Stage House
4/9 – Falls Church, VA @ The State Theatre
4/10 – Sellersville, PA @ Sellersville Theater
4/11 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Hard Rock Cafe Pittsburgh
4/12 – Cleveland, OH @ The Agora Ballroom
4/13 – Newport, KY @ Southgate House
4/14 – Indianapolis, IN @ Vogue
4/15 – Westland, MI @ The Token Lounge
4/16 – Chicago, IL @ Reggies

JOHN 5 online:
www.john-5.com
www.facebook.com/John5official
www.twitter.com/john5guitarist
www.instagram.com/john5official

Seether Announce U.S. Tour Dates in Support of New Album “Poison Parish”

SEETHER ANNOUNCE U.S. TOUR DATES IN SUPPORT OF

“POISON THE PARISH” NEW ALBUM OUT MAY 12

Seether (Shaun Morgan — vocals/guitar, Dale Stewart — bass/vocals, and John Humphrey — drums) have revealed details for the Poison the Parish World Tour, which includes headline shows and major festival appearances throughout the spring and summer of 2017. The extensive touring plans come in support of Poison the Parish, their recently announced seventh studio album, set for release via Canine Riot Records on May 12, 2017.

Tickets go on sale Friday, March 3 at 10AM local time. Every ticket order will include a physical copy of Poison the Parish. Ticket and VIP package information can be found at here.

A portion of all tickets sold for the Poison the Parish World Tour will benefit the Rise Above Fund, which is a subset of Suicide Awareness Voices of Education, the largest suicide prevention organization in the country and the band’s partner on the Rise Above Fest.

Now in its fifth year, Rise Above Fest has expanded to two days, Saturday, July 22 and Sunday, July 23, 2017 at Darling’s Waterfront Park in Bangor, Maine. Performers include Korn, Shinedown, Stone Sour, Skillet, Halestorm, Falling in Reverse and more. For RAF tickets and information, visit Rise Above Fest.

Guitarist Clint Lowery of Sevendust will augment the band’s line-up throughout the upcoming trek, adding his signature axe-work to Seether’s new songs and deep repertoire.

Support acts for the tour include: Letters From the Fire (May 2 through May 27; July 16 through August 20), Through Fire (June 1 through June 7), Kaleido (May 2 through June 10), and Big Story (from July 16 through August 20).

“We want this tour to be exciting and different — a departure from what people expect from us, while retaining the qualities that make us unique, in order to entertain the fans. It’s going to be loud, heavy, old school Seether with a couple of twists thrown in to keep things exciting.”

Seether’s 2017 international tour dates will be announced soon.

SEETHER U.S TOUR DATES:
4/29 — Ft Meyers, FL — Monster Energy Fort Rock at JetBlue Park*
4/30 — Jacksonville, FL — Monster Energy Welcome to Rockville at Metropolitan Park*
5/2 — Lancaster, PA — Chameleon Club**
5/3 — Lancaster, PA — Chameleon Club**
5/5 —Tuscaloosa, AL — Druid City Music Hall**
5/6 — Nashville, TN — War Memorial Auditorium
5/7 — Concord, NC — Carolina Rebellion 2017 at Charlotte Motor Speedway*
5/9 — Asbury Park, NJ — Stone Pony**
5/10 — Asbury Park, NJ — Stone Pony**
5/11 — Wallingford, CT — The Dome at Toyota Presents Oakdale **
5/14 — Boston, MA — House of Blues**
5/16 — Clifton Park, NY — Upstate Concert Hall**
5/17 — Niagara Falls, NY — Rapids Theatre**
5/19 — Pittsburgh, PA— Stage AE**
5/20 — Columbus, OH —Rock on the Range 2017 at Mapfre Stadium*
5/22 — Grand Rapids, MI — 20 Monroe Live**
5/24 — Detroit, MI — St. Andrew’s Hall**
5/25 — Detroit, MI — St. Andrew’s Hall**
5/27 — Omaha, NE — Sokol Auditorium**
5/28 — Pryor, OK — Rocklahoma*
6/1 — Boise, ID — Knitting Factory Concert House***
6/2 — Portland, OR —RoZone Waterfront Stage — KFBW Radio Show*
6/3 — Seattle, WA — 2nd Annual Crazy Beverage Bash at Showbox SoDo*
6/5 — San Francisco, CA — The Fillmore***
6/6 — Anaheim, CA — House of Blues***
6/7 — Tempe, AZ — Marquee Theatre***
6/10 — Saint Louis, MO —The Pageant***
6/11 — South Bend, IN — The Bear’s Big Growl Six*
7/15 — Bridgeview, IL — Chicago Open Air at Toyota Park*
7/16 — Indianapolis, IN — Egyptian Room at Old National Centre^
7/18 — Cincinnati, OH — Bogart’s^
7/19 — Cleveland, OH — House of Blues ^
7/22 — Bangor, ME — Rise Above Fest at Darling’s Waterfront Pavilion*
7/24 — Baltimore, MD — Baltimore Soundstage^
7/25 — Baltimore, MD — Baltimore Soundstage^
7/27 — Philadelphia, PA — The Fillmore^
7/29 — North Myrtle Beach, SC — House of Blues^
8/1 — Oklahoma City, OK — Diamond Ballroom^
8/2 — Springfield, MO — Gillioz Theatre^
8/4 — Saint Paul, MN — The Myth^
8/5 — Milwaukee, WI — Eagles Ballroom^
8/6 — Peoria, IL — Limelight Eventplex^
8/8 — Kansas City, MO — Uptown Theater^
8/9 — Sioux Falls, SD — The District^
8/11 — Glendive MT — Dawson County Fairgrounds ^
8/14 — Boulder, CO — Boulder Theater^
8/16 — Wichita, KS — The Cotillion Ballroom^
8/17 — Dallas, TX — House of Blues^
8/19 — San Antonio, TX — The Aztec Theatre^
8/20 — Houston, TX — House of Blues^

*Festival Date
**Featuring Letters From the Fire + Kaleido
***Featuring Through Fire + Kaleido
^Featuring Letters From the Fire + Big Story

Stephen Pearcy talks about his new solo album “Smash”.

Stephen Pearcy is the founder of the heavy metal band RATT a band whose songs “Round and Round” and “Lay It Down” dominated the airwaves throughout the mid 1980’s. Since that time Stephen has released a number of solo albums with the newest one titled “Smash” slated for release in late January. Media Mikes had the chance to speak with Stephen recently about the album, its creation and the group’s upcoming tour.

Adam Lawton: How much time was put into the creation of the new album “Smash”?

Stephen Pearcy: Quite a lot went into the album actually. We started this project well over a year or two ago. Originally it was called “Sucker Punch” and it was going to be a four song, four EP type thing. Beau Hill did the mixing and mastering on the first batch of songs and it sounded amazing. During this time I was on and off the road and we just kept writing. I finally decided to take the band in the studio to start tracking and ended up getting a call from Frontiers Records. They really liked the song “Take It” which I felt was a good schematic to start with. Things took off from there and we started re-writing some of the previous songs and also write new ones as well. Eric my co-writer was coming up with some really great stuff and at the end of the day we had enough material for a double album. We took the best ones from there and started recording about six months ago. We really wanted to make sure we had the best songs possible for this album. We didn’t want a lot of studio effects on the tracks so when we thought they were good enough we left them alone. We wanted the album to have both light and dark subject matter along with tings they wouldn’t expect. At the end of the day I think things really worked.

AL: How many songs from the first writing/recording session made it on to the finished album?

SP: We took thirteen songs. We re-recorded one as an acoustic track similar to “Led Zeppelin III” but there were actually seven more songs that we started tracking that we didn’t use. It was very hard to pick which songs were going to be on the album because there were so many good ones. I picked what I thought was crazy and different. Each of these has something different going for it. For the mixing and mastering we also did some different things as we mixed it so that even turned up to eleven it’s not going to squash out. No matter how loud you go with it your still going to be able to hear everything.

AL: Was the albums diversity something you planned or did that happen naturally over time?

SP: That was done deliberately. I wanted a lot of the songs to start off with choruses which just would get nailed into people’s heads. Some of the songs have a more laid back approach. There were times in the writing process where I would finish the lyrics for a song and decide to start over because I felt it didn’t express what the song was actually about. I was writing all the time and practically on everything I could find. From burger bags to napkins and match books I was writing on it. There wasn’t a minute that went by that I wasn’t working on these songs. Eric was writing really great stuff also and sometimes I didn’t even want to tap into my stuff because his was so good. Everything we were doing was relevant to the Smasher character which is on the front cover of the album. It’s all in retrospect to him because that’s what the record is about. What people think is good is not and what is light is dark. If people really read the lyrics they will get the idea. Normally I don’t like putting lyric sheets in albums but I am glad I did with this one as I wanted people to understand what I was saying as its all pretty heavy.

AL: Being a producer yourself can you tell us about the decision to bring in an outside producer for this project?

SP: This wasn’t the first time I had worked with Beau. When we first started working on these songs I was curious to hear what he could do with this material. He and I are friends and his schematic for producing is what I have used for years. The stuff he did was crazy so I wanted to keep him in the mix. When he wasn’t able to work on the final stuff the band sort of jumped in and we did well. Matt our bassist is an engineer so he was able to do all the recording.

AL: Who did you have play on the album with you this time around?

SP: Eric Ferentinos has been around now for almost fourteen years. He is the lead guitarist and co-writer. Greg D ‘Angelo who played drums in White Lion has been with me for about the last six years, Matt Thorne plays bass has been around since the early days of RATT going back to 1981. We also have Frankie Wilsey back on guitar.

AL: What are the bands plans to tour?

SP: The “Smash” tour kicks off in February and will run through July. We have quite a few offers for shows but I am not trying to interrupt what could happen with RATT. We will be hitting a lot of different places this time out and my motto has always been “We go where most bands fear to go”. It doesn’t matter the size of the place or how many people are there we bring the same show every time. We don’t discriminate so if someone wants there ass kicked we will be there!

For more info in Stephen Pearcy you can check out is official website at www.stephen-pearcy.com

Tommy Blardo and Frank Morin of Enemy Remains talk about their new album “No Faith In Humanity”.

Global Music Award-winning heavy metal group Enemy Remains are set to release their second full-length album on January 20th titled “No Faith In Humanity”. After a lengthy hiatus the band which features original Fates Warning drummer Steve Zimmerman along with Tommy Blardo, Frank Morin, Scott Kadish and Jeff Curtis are ready to unveil their latest creation. Media Mikes had the chance recently to speak with Tommy and Frank about the new albums creation and what it was like reforming the band after their extended break.

Adam Lawton: Can you tell us about the work you have put in on the new album “No Faith in Humanity”?

Tommy Blardo: Funny thing about that, when we signed with Skateboard Marketing we didn’t have one track written for the album, zero, not even ideas. We put a single out, “No Faith in Humanity”, and that’s all we had at the time. It was pretty scary but, I think when you set deadlines it motivates you. Everyone worked really hard on this new album. I wanted to take the band in a whole new direction, new line, new sound, new writing style, new everything! We kind of things a facelift and I think we nailed it.

AL: What were the first couple of writing/rehearsal sessions like after getting back together from your hiatus?

TB: Honestly it was weird, with Steve coming from Fates Warning and playing old prog metal stuff, it was a big change for him, but he was willing to adapt to the new modern style we are going for with hooks but still keeping his roots grounded musically with the off time changes. With the addition of new vocalist Frank “Heretic” Morin, the musical transition seemed to work very well. What Frank has brought to the table just takes so much weight off Steve and I and it really enforces the new sound we were going for.”

AL: At what point did new members come into the picture and, how have they further shaped the new direction of the band?

TB: Frank was added first, I knew we needed a vocalist that could really catch the attention of the listeners with that “radio voice” as they call it – to really fit the new style we had in mind. Scott Kadish (guitars) and Bobby Byrk (keyboards) were added a little later, but were totally involved in the whole writing process. I’ve got to say, this is the strongest line up of professionals we’ve ever had. Band practice has become fun again.”

AL: What can you tell us about the two tracks the band has released thus far from the album?

Frank Morin: I can tell you they were a pain in the ass! Tommy and Steve first approached me with the music to “No Faith In Humanity” and I got really pumped! I had been waiting to jump into a rock/metal project of this caliber for a while, so that song kind of wrote itself based on how I was feeling about the world and the people in it. “Trust in No One” was a little more difficult. It was the first time I played with progressive riffs in a 5 count. It took Tommy and I about an hour to write the hook. Both tracks, like the entire album, touch on personal issues from a singular point of view, though we all share the same ideologies on them. Like the rest of the album we wrote all the music based on the concept, and I just started with the lyrics.

AL: Do you have any touring or performance plans in place to support the release?

TB: At this point we have full press and radio campaigns hitting hard the first week of January and the release of the album is on Jan 20th. After that we have plans to tour the east coast, mid-west and extended dates throughout the west coast by summer. After that hopefully we will be jumping on as a support act for a national artist!

For more info on Enemy Remains you can check out www.facebook.com/enemyremainz

John Doe discusses his new album “The Westerner” and his book “Under the Big Black Sun”

(Photo Credit: Jim Herrington)

John Doe is a singer, songwriter, poet and actor. He is probably best known for his work with the seminal Los Angeles punk band X which formed in the mid 1970’s. 2016 has been a busy for year for Doe as earlier this year he released his first solo album in five years titled “The Westerner” along with a book chronicling the L.A. punk scene titled “Under the Big Black Sun”. Media Mikes had the chance to talk with John recently before his performance in Ithaca, NY about the idea behind his new album and what it was like revisiting the stories contained in his book.

Adam Lawton: Can you give us some background on the new album “The Westerner”?

John Doe: My friend Michael Blake who wrote “Dances with Wolves” and several other books was like a brother to me. He was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and over time couldn’t remember anything. It bugged the hell out of him but we remained close through everything and I would always go up and visit him. We influenced each other a lot in art and writing. Howe Gelb and I were reconnecting around the same as I was writing songs about Michael and using him as a character. I like what Howe has done with different peoples sound as well as his own in Giant Sand. He has really refocused the sound coming out of the Tucson area. I wanted the songs to have space and reverb so working down there seemed like the natural way to go. I had the title “The Westerner” sort in my mind as someone sent me a Doors record. The Doors were also Michaels favorite band so I began looking up stuff on them and my connection with that band goes way back. I was searching the internet and found an image done for one of their record store day releases. Shepard Fairey is the artist who did the piece and he and I have been friends for some time so I asked if he would redo the piece for me and he said yes. The original photo was shot at the Rose Bud Reservation by Aaron Huey who has an organization called “Protect the Sacred”. This was one of Michael’s main charities so it was great to be able to tie all this stuff in with the album. The album is a tribute album but it’s not sad.

AL: Was the idea to do a new solo album already in your thoughts prior to Michael becoming ill?

JD: Everything happened very organically. These days I sort of sit back and look at my watch and say “Holy shit it’s been 4 years since I made a new record” (Laughs). I always am writing bits and pieces of things but it just so happened that Michael was on my mind and I started to see how things were happening and I began tailoring things with what was going on. I loved the song Exene wrote called “Alone in Arizona”. It seemed to be kind of about Michael even though it really wasn’t. I am a big fan of Chan Marshall especially her albums “The Greatest” and “Sun”. I started doing the song “A Little Help” and realized it was similar to “The Greatest” and asked Chan if she would sing on it with me. With the song “Go Baby Go” I reached out to Debbie Harry as X had toured with Blondie and I had asked her before that if I ever had something I thought she would be good for would she do it. That song is a fun rock song and it worked out great. I am very fortunate that I am still around and that people want to come and play.

AL: Having been in the music industry for some time now aside from digitalization and the internet what has been the most notable change?

JD: MTV was really big when it first came out. All the other stuff out there I don’t really concern myself with. I have Instagram and my manager does Facebook so I have a small to moderate presence with social media but if people really want to see me then I think they should come out to show as I am generally hanging around. There is so much great music out there these days that it’s hard to rise above the static. Think of the old music business like an hour glass. You had the music at the top, at the pinching point was the business at the bottom was the public. Over time the shape of the industry changes to where now it’s square. There is just so much stuff flooding people ears these days.

AL: What can you tell us about your new book “Under the Big Black Sun”?

JD: Tom DeSavia who is the co-author and my sweet heart were both telling me that I should write a book. I thought it was going to be just too much work so I didn’t really pay attention to them. One day I had this brilliant idea about how the scene in L.A. was about community and collaboration. With that I knew that I wouldn’t have to write this book all by myself or suffer the pain if people didn’t like it I could just blame it on somebody else. (Laughs) I didn’t have to be the authority on things. I liked book such as “Please Kill Me” and “We Got the Neutron Bomb” however there is not a lot of fact checking that goes into oral histories. Los Angeles was sort of a romantic place in that era so I thought it was important to have it be its own character. I really feel that everything that is Los Angeles from the weather to the cars affected the way the music sounded. After Tom and I decided to do it we got a book deal and things became real. We got paid a pretty good advance and then we knew we really had to go through with it. We started getting people together and selecting topics based on what was important to that scene and what would make people care. The big one was it was that what happened was a cultural revolution. That was Exene’s big part of the book. Dave Alvin was part of the roots scene which got pulled into punk rock so he is the expert there so, that’s where he tells his story from. Robert Lopez was in a Latino band called The Zeroes. He was not out at this time but he was obviously gay so he was able to talk about that aspect of things. Jane Wiedlin talks about where people lived and how that played a role. By doing things this way we were able to give the book a much broader perspective.

AL: The book shines a light on the L.A. punk scene as it was/is often overshadowed by what was going on in New York and London around the same time. Can you tell us a little about that?

JD: I think at some point the media picked up on The Sex Pistols and few other bands that were young and/or un-experienced who said “Fuck You”. The media then said “Ok, Fuck you” which caused them to not cover things as much. When the L.A. scene finally came around about a year and a half later they possibly had enough images and maybe had made up their mind that we weren’t going to play ball. I think bands like Blondie, Talking Heads and The Ramones just wanted to be part of music and have a career. That’s what we wanted also. It wasn’t until the hardcore scene that people felt like they had been abandoned leading to bands doing things on their own. That’s when labels like SST started popping up. Everyone had sort of a chip on their shoulder and over time L.A. punk has started to carve out its own niche which has been good. Twenty or thirty years ago I would have probably been pretty bent out of shape about how the L.A. scene was looked upon but these days I couldn’t care less.

AL: Was there a present rivalry between the two coasts/scenes because of this?

JD: Sure. I think there was a healthy rivalry between New York and L.A. and L.A. and San Francisco but it wasn’t anything to wild. I do remember Exene getting into a fight with Handsome Dick from The Dictators once. (Laughs) What we loved about the whole thing was that almost all of those bands came out to Los Angeles to play at The Whiskey. We saw The Ramones, Blondie, The Damned, Television and a few others who played out our way regularly.

AL: What was it like for X when they would travel to the east coast?

JD: It was rough at first. Exene’s sister got us three shows in NYC in 1978 after we put out our first single. We basically drove from L.A. to New York with all of our gear, played three shows and then drove home. There is a little of that in the book but it was sort of a lukewarm reception. Debbie Harry and Chris Stein came to the shows at Studio 57 and later on we got to be pals with The Ramones. It took a little while because everyone thought L.A. was just swimming pools and Farrah Fawcett. You weren’t just given a Mercedes when you moved there. It was a pretty hard scramble. It was cheap to live there at the time though so there were a lot of young people with nothing to do but create stuff.

AL: What was it like revisiting a lot of the memories from that time period, especially the ones around the time of the death of Exene’s sister?

JD: That specific event wasn’t hard to dig into as I had experienced it so deeply in the beginning. It changed everything for Exene and by relation me too. It wasn’t too hard to look back. I don’t necessarily wish I had kept diaries or anything. It might have been good? You sort of start channeling towards a certain direction and things start to come back. I think it’s all about the details. I worked with everyone who wrote for the book and I always asked for more details. I think everyone was happy to tell their story and I was surprised by quite a few of them.

AL: With your current solo tour coming to end do you have planned for the coming year?

JD: The fortieth anniversary of X is coming up next year. We have the initial schedule which consists of around one hundred shows! Usually we do between thirty and fifty shows a year so this is quite a bit more. I think it’s great! Forty years ago we put a big investment into the bank of punk rock. At the time everyone though it was bullshit but we all have been able to make pretty good careers out of that initial investment. We are one of the few remaining punk bands from that time with its original members. Everyone is healthy now which is really great. We also will be looking to put out some live material and if Exene will write some more lyrics will put out some new songs as well. (Laughs)

Album Review: NOFX “First Ditch Effort”

“First Ditch Effort”
NOFX
Fat Wreck Chords
Tracks: 13

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

Punk veterans Nofx are back with their first album in six years titled “First Ditch Effort”. The new album which is being released via Fat Wreck Chords features 13 tracks from the Nor-Cal punkers and is classic Nofx through and through with however with a tinge of maturity.

From thought provoking lyrics and tongue and cheek song tiles everything you have come to expect from Nofx is included on the band’s latest release “First Ditch Effort”. The album starts off with the 90 second screamer “6 Years on Dope” which features guitarist Eric Melvin on lead vocals. Thought this isn’t the first time Melvin has lent is voice to a NOFX track his voice sounds better than ever making wish he would sing on a few more tracks. Front man Fat Mike is no slouch either in the vocal department as he much like the rest of the band only seems to get better with age. Tracks like “California Drought” and “Generation Z” are perfect example of this as the both of these tracks show the bands cohesiveness. For listeners looking for a more somber moment in the record and/or something similar to what was found on the “Cokie the Clown” EP from 2009 check out the track “I’m So Sorry Tony” a heartfelt tribute to No Use For a Name front-man Tony Sly who passed away in 2012.

Clocking in at just over 30 minutes “First Ditch Effort” harkens back to the bands mid 90’s heyday but with a modern twist. Catchy sing along choruses and tales of aging and loss fuel the 13 tracks making up the album which is easily the bands strongest release since 1994’s “Punk In Drublic”

Track Listing:
1.) Six Years on Dope
2.) Happy Father’s Day
3.) Sid and Nancy
4.) California Drought
5.) Oxy Moronic
6.) I Don’t Like Me Anymore
7.) I’m a Transvest-lite
8.) Ditch Effort
9.) Dead Beat Mom
10.) Bye Bye Biopsy Girl
11.) It Ain’t Lonely at the Bottom
12.) I’m So Sorry Tony
13.) Generation Z

Guitarist Andy Timmons talks about his new album “Theme From a Perfect World”

Photo by Simone Cecchetti.

Andy Timmons has been performing on stages all over the world since the mid 1980’s most notably with the band Danger Danger, Kip Winger and as the musical director/guitarist for Olivia Newton-John. When not working in the studio or with one of his many projects Andy focuses on his group The Andy Timmons Band. The group has just released a new instrumental album titled “Theme From a Perfect World” and Media Mikes had the chance to speak with Andy recently about the albums creation, his creative process and the bands current U.S. tour.

Adam Lawton: What can you tell us about your bands latest album?

Andy Timmons: We started working on the record about six years ago. What happened was is we started working on “Theme From a Perfect World” and that sort of morphed in to the “Sgt. Pepper” album. That really took on a life of its own and we ended up finishing the Pepper record first. It took us a little bit of time to get back to this new record as we had been doing a bunch of live shows along with all of us being very busy outside of the Andy Timmons. We are here now after about ten years with a new batch of original material. That certainly was much too long of a stretch and we hope to correct that in the coming years.

AL: Can you tell us about the decision to do an all instrumental album?

AT: For me I think my uniqueness to music is my voice on the guitar. I have certainly done a fair share of music with vocals and such but I think guitar is what I do best and that’s really what I have spent my life doing. Instrumental music is a more pure and direct way of communicating especially if you are able to develop that connection on your instrument. With the guitar I think I am just scratching the surface really. Two of my heroes are Jeff Beck and Pat Matheny. Those guys really set a bench mark with their level of expression. There are a lot of great players out there but those two guys are at the forefront of people who raise the bar. That’s the path I am aspiring to and the band and I are just really trying to strike a deeper chord with our music as opposed to taking a more generic route.

AL: Is there a different creative process for you when writing instrumental music as opposed to lyrical
music?

AT: It’s all driven by the same muse. I am trying to create music that I love. I think the songwriting process or the guitar soloing process is really driven by that same desire. I want to create something that’s equal in quality to all the music I have taken in over the course of my life.

AL: The album has a deep melodic feel to it. Is that something that evolved over the course of making the album or was that something you consciously wanted to do?

AT: That has been sort of an ongoing growth/development. It’s been a natural progression for me. I think there have been some good songs on some of my earlier releases but what has always been in the forefront of my mind. Yes I wanted to write some good songs but I also wanted to play my ass off. With the maturing and growing process it’s clear that none of that means anything unless you have a great song. You want people to listen repeatedly and it to be something they want to hear multiple times.

AL: How do you think your songwriting has evolved since your early days with Danger Danger?

AT: It sort of has just evolved in the way it’s evolved. It’s hard for me to really speak much about that because I am so close to it. The inspirations and motivations haven’t changed that much. I do think I am getting better at reflecting the emotions that I want to get across. Not every moment on the new record has a deep meaning but there are a handful of the songs that are based around some very heavy life changing events. Everything was very much in the moment and a heartfelt document of what was happening at that time.

AL: Can you tell us about the bands current tour?

AT: This is the bands very first U.S. tour. It’s a bit crazy to hear me say that because we have been a band since 1988! It’s been an interesting trajectory for the band in that our career has sort of lived more in Europe and South East Asia. In the States things seemed a bit more daunting. We have all done higher level touring here in the states with other bands so the prospect of jumping in a band and potentially lose money didn’t seem that appealing. Doing that is fine in your early 20’s but not so much these days. Thanks to the internet and things like that people have been able to find more of our material which is great because we now are able to get out on the road here in the States. We will be out in the states for three weeks then we head over to Asia in November. We have December off and then in January we will be appearing at the NAMM show in California. I want to concentrate more on the U.S. at this point. We will still probably hit Europe sometime next year as well. There’s going to be several pockets of touring activity but Mike and I have a lot of recording we want to do as well. There’s going to be a much more ongoing creative process going forward.

For more info on Andy and the Andy Timmons Band you can visit http://andytimmons.com/

Eric Johnson hits the road to support first all acoustic solo album “EJ”

ERIC JOHNSON HITS THE ROAD TO SUPPORT FIRST
ALL ACOUSTIC SOLO ALBUM TITLED EJ

Tour Kicks Off At Jackson, MS’ Duling Hall on October 5 And Wraps In His Hometown of Austin, TX At The Paramount Theatre on November 19

Austin, TX – Eric Johnson will hit the road next week in support of his first acoustic solo album titled EJ. Thirty years after his breakthrough solo release ‘Tones’ brought him national recognition, the new release showcases nine original compositions and four covers. Johnson shares, “Ever since I was young, I’ve played piano and acoustic guitar in my private life. This type of music has always been a part of me, but I never showcased it on any kind of bigger level, like a full acoustic record. With EJ, I just decided to be more honest with myself and everybody, and show more of my personal side.”

Johnson, long known for his painstaking approach to making records, used a much more immediate attack for the self-produced EJ. “Almost all of that material was cut live,” Johnson explains. “Some of the songs I actually sang and played at the same time – just live in the studio. Recording this way gave it more of an honest realism and organic emotion. Especially on the acoustic, you just have to get in there and play.”

On the original compositions “Wonder,” “Fatherly Downs,” and “All Things You Are,” Johnson frames his voice with his prized 1980 Martin D-45, a gift from his late father. He plays the steel-string on his superlative instrumentals “Once Upon a Time in Texas,” “All Things You Are,” and “Song for Irene.” He conjures the beautiful, pensive tones of “Serinidad,” another original instrumental, on a Ramirez nylon-string guitar. A spirited steel-string arrangement of Simon and Garfunkel’s “Mrs. Robinson” rounds out the solo guitar tracks.

Johnson recasts another Simon and Garfunkel favorite, “Scarborough Fair,” for voice and piano, and plays piano on the originals “Water Under the Bridge,” “November,” and “Wrapped in a Cloud,” an ensemble track with acoustic bass, cello, drums, and percussion. In a move that’s sure to surprise his fans, Johnson rearranged Jimi Hendrix’ “One Rainy Wish” for guitar and piano, capping the performance with a jazz-inflected piano solo. Rounding out the record is Johnson and guest guitarist Doyle Dykes’ superlative cover of Les Paul and Mary Ford’s 1951 classic, “The World Is Waiting for the Sunrise.”

Throughout his career, Johnson has approached music as a healing force, a way to enhance a listener’s consciousness and conjure joy and inspiration. “That’s what I’ve always appreciated most about other artists,” he says. “Some artists inspire us to wake up and get back to the clarity of consciousness. With this record, I’m trying to do that too, because I appreciate it so much in other people.”

Confirmed appearances include:
10/05 Jackson, MS Duling Hall
10/06 Atlanta, GA Center Stage
10/07 Rocky Mount, VA Harvester Performance Center
10/08 Elkins, WV Mountain Stage
10/09 Cleveland, OH Music Box Supper Club
10/11 Oakmont, PA The Oaks Theater
10/12 Annapolis, MD Rams Head On Stage
10/13 Richmond, VA Tin Pan
10/14 Sellersville, PA Sellersville Theater
10/15 Westbury, NY The Space At Westbury
10/16 Washington DC The Hamilton
10/18 Fairfield, CT StageOne
10/19 Fall River, MA Narrows Center For The Arts
10/20 New Brunswick, NJ State Theatre
10/21 Beverly, MA Cabot Theatre
10/22 Cohoe, NY Cohoes Music Hall
10/23 Shirley, MA Bull Run Restaurant
10/25 New York, NY Highline Ballroom
10/26 Londonberry, NH Tupelo Music Hall
10/27 Norfolk, CT Infinity Hall
10/28 Brownfield, ME Stone Mountain Arts Center
10/29 Londonderry, NH Tupelo Music Hall
10/30 Pawling, NY Daryl’s House
11/01 Ferndale, MI The Magic Bag
11/02 St. Louis, MO Old Rock House
11/03 Minneapolis, MN Dakota Jazz Club
11/04 Milwaukee, WI Back Room @ Colectivo Coffee
11/05 Chicago, IL City Winery
11/06 Nashville, TN City Winery
11/09 Charlotte, NC McGlohan Theatre
11/10 Durham, NC Carolina Theatre
11/11 Charleston, SC Charleston Music Hall
11/13 Asheville, NC Diane Worham Theatre
11/15 Clearwater, FL Capitol Theatre
11/16 Ponte Vedra Beach, FL Ponte Vedra Concert Hall
11/18 New Orleans, LA House of Blues
11/19 Austin, TX Paramount Theatre