The Rods’ Dave “Rock” Feinstein and Carl Canedy talks about new song “Great Big Fake Ones”

Media Mikes had the great pleasure recently to speak to not one but two legendary heavy metal musicians. Dave “Rock” Feinstein and Carl Canedy make up 2/3rds of the band The Rods a band which has been carrying the flag for heavy metal and hard rock since the late 1970’s. Both members have new solo albums out along with a newly released Rods single titled “Great Big Fake Ones” and we spoke with the guys recently about these new releases and their plans for the coming year.

Adam Lawton: Can you tell us about the decision to re-issue “Heavier Than Thou” and
“Hollywood”?
Dave “Rock” Feinstein: “Heavier than Thou”, and the “Hollywood” albums have been albums that wanted by the fans for a long time.  We felt that now was a good time to re-issue them.  They are both slightly different than a traditional RODS album, so I think that’s what makes them so interesting to the fans.
Carl Canedy: We’ve been in the process of re-issuing a lot of our back catalog that we own the rights to. These two CD’s in particular were something the fans had not had a chance own in a re-issued, re-mastered format. Fans have been emailing us for years asking when they’d be available. So like Dave said it simply was time.

AL:  What can you tell us about the newly recorded Rods track “Great Big Fake Ones”?
DF: There are many words that have been used to describe the song, but when Carl brought the song in, the three of us just felt that it was so funny, and just different enough to make the fans want to hear it.  You have to take it for what it is.  It’s not a traditional RODS song, but it is a very catchy tune that should make you laugh.
CC: The guys have been really cool about doing a song this since I initially brought it to them. It’s clearly a “one-off” type of song. The fans who’ve heard love it. I think as long as you realize it’s “tongue-in-cheek” you can enjoy it for what it is. Personally I love it and think it’s quite amusing. I gave it to the guys and when it came time to record it was done quickly. Rock and Garry really nailed the vocals.

AL: You both recently released new solo albums. Can you tell us about those and some of the guests who appear on the albums?
DF:  “Clash of Armor” is my forth solo release now and was done mostly by myself and Nate Horton. On my previous releases I have had quite a few guest performers. In the past guys like John West, Michael Butler, Jeff Howell and Matt Barnes have all come in to help me on various tracks as has Nate. On the song “Bitten By the Beast” from my 3rd solo release I had Carl and Garry come in. I played guitar and Ronnie James Dio did the vocals.
CC: On my CD, I have John Hahn, a Leviathan artist who is a Mike Varney discovery. I’ve known John for quite a few years as I played on his first solo CD in the “90’s. Mark Tornillo has 3 vocals, Joe Comeau has 2 vocals and David Porter has 2 vocals. Chris Caffery came in and did some soloing on 2 tracks as well as several other artists who graciously brought their talent to this project.

AL: With a career spanning multiple decades what do you find these days to be the most rewarding part of being a musician?
DF: It’s rewarding to still be able to create new music.  Of course playing live is the ultimate rush, and to know that there are still fans around the world checking out our music and wanting more.

AL: Are there any plans to perform this new material live and what type of
plans do The Rods have in place for 2015?
DF: I think I can speak for the three of us that we love to perform live, and if a song of ours merits being performed live, then we will do so.  Right now for us we take every request to perform seriously, and try to do as much as we can to make these live appearances happen, For us and for the fans as well.
CC: We do have a few dates in the works that are not yet confirmed and we have confirmed the Defenders of Old Festival in March with Exciter. We’re excited about this show as it’s the first time in years we’ve been to the NY area. Also, I love the band and the guys in Exciter so I’m looking forward to the reunion.

Hank 3 talks about his two new albums “Brothers of the 4×4” and “Fiendish Threat”

Hank 3 the son of legendary country singer Hank Williams Jr. and of course the grandson of country music pioneer Hank Williams is back with not one but, two new albums. “Brothers of the 4×4” is a two disc release featuring Hank 3’s signature country sound while “Fiendish Threat” is a single disc release of punk rock material which is very reminiscent of early Misfits material. Both albums are being released on Oct. 1st and Media Mikes had the chance to talk with Hank 3 recently about the albums and his signature sounds.

Adam Lawton: Can you tell us about the two new albums you have coming out?
Hank 3: Most of the time I write longs songs and make long records. The first album is more of a country album titled “Brothers of the 4×4”. It’s a double disc album and there are a few slow and sad songs mixed with the more happy go lucky type songs. There are also a few songs on there that I wouldn’t necessarily consider country. They have more of a Pink Floyd, spaghetti western type sound going on. There are a lot of different sounds on this record. The second release I have coming out on the same day is more of a punk rock record titled “Fiendish Threat”. That album was all done with acoustic instruments which have all sorts of fuzz and distortion placed over the top of it. The two albums are like night and day. The sounds and attitudes are quite different.

AL: This is the second time you have released multiple albums on the same day. Do you have a specific reason for doing so or do things just happen more naturally?
Hank 3: Most standard songs are two minutes and thirty seconds. That’s if you are looking to write a hit song and get it on the radio. It’s a standard format. People have told me that when they listen to my songs they get to a point where they are waiting for it to end however it doesn’t. Things just keep going but that’s how it is on some of my material. On songs like “Loners for Life” or “Deep Scars” the steel guitar just sort of caries things through and that how it is. As far as releasing multiple albums goes I have always been known for performing multiple sounds during my live shows. I usually do almost four different sounds during a single show. That’s why I like to release multiple releases all at the same time. When I tour fans get to see all those different sides of me. One other reason is I do things this way is that I feel like I have been held back in a way in relation to my career. Frank Zappa put out over 90 releases and my father has released over 120. Where I am at in my career I don’t feel I have that much on the plate so I am trying to make up for lost time in my eyes.

AL: When you’re creating multiple albums at the same time do you find that they will often play off of each other or blend together in certain areas?
Hank 3: It’s kind of different. Once I start recording I may have a feeling where I want to do just drums one day or just guitar stuff. I may warm up by playing some country and then end the day with some harder sounding material.  It’s very similar to how I perform live. Everything is one performance to me. Yes the songs change but I am still trying to give it my all throughout the whole performance or record. When I am writing the songs things do vary. If I am working on a country song I will sing things off the top of my head and then record it. Once that’s done I then go back with a pen and paper to write down what I think is a little more important. I try and make things more of a story. If I am working on rock or metal material I always do the guitar riff first and then the drums and vocal. They are both opposite with one being music oriented while the other is not.

AL: Being that you, your father and your grandfather all have unique styles do you ever try and incorporate any of their sounds into your own when working on an album or song?
Hank 3: If you were to really look at my records you will notice that each one has a specific sound or style to it. I am the guy who is doing all the recording, mixing and mastering. Things might not sound the best or the worse but it’s going to sound different. It’s all self done which that alone makes it stand on its own two feet. When I write a song it just depends on what I am going for. I am lucky enough to have created my own niche and found my own sound within going against my father and grandfather in the country music world. That in itself is hard enough. Things have happened and I have been able to create a very loyal fan base that has been with us for many years. Some people may say I sound like one or the other on any given day but I don’t think any of my material is orientated to that of my other family members.

AL: What was the lineup of musicians who played on the new albums?
Hank 3: On the country record I had Johnny Hiland do all the chicken pickin’ stuff while Zach Shedd , David McElfresh and Billy Contreras make up the rest of the guys who are on there. Zach is one of the guys who plays on both of the records. Billy played a few interesting fiddle parts on the punk/rock record while other guys like Andy Gibson played steel guitar on the country album and Leroy Troy played banjo on a track called “Possum in a Tree”. I also made my first attempt and playing some lap steel on the record as well.

AL: Do you have all the parts pre-arranged when the different guys come in or do they just come in and add their own parts?
Hank 3: It varies. I might have parts in my head that I will hum or sing to whoever is playing or when it comes to guys like Johnny Hiland he has me play him what I have and then he will do a couple passes and let me take what I like. The guys I have worked with for some time we do a little bit of everything and just go back and forth with ideas.

AL: Will these guys be the same group that will go out on the road with you?
Hank 3: Some of the guys who played on the record I don’t always get to use that much on the road. I use my band as much as possible but guys like Johnny Hiland and Billy Contreras aren’t always available but they know my door is always open. I think when you are used to playing with people like George Jones and then you come down to the level that I am at there can be a pretty dynamic difference when it comes to money sometimes. Some guys dig the environment and don’t mind making less. I try to pay everyone in the band as much as I can while still keeping the ticket prices low for the fans.

AL: When putting together a set list how do you choose which songs you are going to play being that you have quite a diverse catalog to choose from?
Hank 3: I don’t hit the stage with a set list. We have a few standards that we will always play and in between I mix in a few newer songs. With the rock record we might be a little more uniformed however I have so many country songs that I can fill up a two hour slot pretty quick. Not having the same set list every night keeps my guys fresh and on their toes. Everything is a little different each night.

AL: Do you have any other projects that you are currently working on, Possibly a DVD or book?
Hank 3: I have always been pro bootlegger with a lot of my fans in that I allow them to come out and record the shows. I have been letting fans do that for many years now. I recorded a song with David Allen Coe not too long ago called “The Outlaw Ways” which was released on limited vinyl. Sirius radio picked that up and was playing it which has been great. As far as books and other things I don’t feel I have hit that part of my career just yet. I am very busy being on the road and making records.

Blu-ray Review “Pink Floyd: Classic Albums – The Making of The Dark Side of the Moon”

Actors: Pink Floyd
Rated: NR (Not Rated)
Studio: Eagle Rock Entertainment
Release Date: August 27, 2013
Run Time: 92 minutes

Film: 4 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Ever since I was a kid, I have been a huge fan of Pink Floyd, starting with “Dark Side of the Moon” (thanks Dad). After listening to this album over and over and over, I never got tired of it and still never have. “Dark Side” is one of those records that just gets better every time, I can’t explain it but if you are a Floyd fan that you will know what I am talking about. “Classic Albums – The Making Of Dark Side Of The Moon” was originally released in 2003 and covers the making of this amazing album. It features great interview with with band members including Roger Waters, Richard Wright, David Gilmour, and Nick Mason. But more than that there are also great and very insightful interviews with engineer Alan Parsons, the late designer Storm Thorgerson, and tons of others. After 40 years, “Dark Side” is still one of the best selling albums in history and will continue to shine on.

Eagle Rock Entertainment is behind this Blu-ray release to be honest it just feel a little lazy. This is the first in there new SD (Standard Definition) Blu-ray releases. So basically this is just an upscaled versions of the original DVD. So it is cool to have it on Blu-ray but it is not really worth the upgrade if you already own the DVD’s. Along with “The Making of The Dark Side of the Moon”, they are also giving this treatment to the following Blu-ray “Bee Gees: One Night Only”, “Scorpions: Moment of Glory”, “The Rolling Stones: Stones in Exile”, so be wary of these as well. In terms of audio, the uncompressed LPCM 2.0 track works but I would have love to see this given a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1.

Since this was originally shot for television, it runs 50 minutes. But there is an additional 40 minutes of bonus Features included on this Blu-ray. There are extra portions on “Brain Damage”, which features a complete solo acoustic performance by Roger Waters, which is amazing. “Money” features Roger Waters and Alan Parsons discuss the song and weaved in-between is David Gilmour playing guitar and Roger Waters playing bass. “Us And Them” features the late Richard Wright talking about the song and playing solo piano. “Breathe” features a complete solo acoustic performance by David Gilmour. “Time” features Waters discusses the track and showing demo footage. Lastly “Gilmour’s Guitars” focuses on track tracks including “Breathe”, “The Great Gig In The Sky” and “Us And Them”.

Hank Williams III talks about new solo albums

Hank Williams III has recently released four new solo albums. These albums were the first to be released by William’s newly formed label Hank 3 Records. Media Mikes had the chance to talk with Hank 3 about what it was like releasing four albums simultaneously.

Adam Lawton: Can you tell us about the idea of releasing four albums simultaneously?
HW3: For me I wanted to try something different. There are many different angles. Doing something different was the first one. The second part for me was trying to make another mark in musical history. I am standing on my own two feet. People can look back on my career and see that I did quite a few different things with the family he was from. A third reason is I haven’t been able to sell a CD at any of my shows in almost 18 years. I wanted to be able to give the fans a chance to see all the different sounds and a chance to also buy them. I don’t know if I will ever have that much focus or drive to do that amount of work again in a short period of time. There are all kinds of things that prompted me to push myself a little harder and do something un-standard. I also kicked off Hank 3 Records with these releases. What better way to do it than to come out of the gate strong.

AL: What made you decide to start your own label?
HW3: Basically I am going through one lawyer instead of five or six. I have less people trying to tell me what I can or can’t do. It’s pretty simple what I am trying to do. I am making music and touring. When I get a chance to work with another musician I don’t want that opportunity shut down. I have always known my sound. Henry Rollins gave me some advice a long time ago about only really needing a good distribution company as the other stuff is already in place. I kept his words very close to me. So far things have not been an issue. However if it starts cutting into my creativity then I might think about changing it up. Right now it is just another way of trying to become more hands on.

AL: Did the writing/recording process vary at all between the four albums?
HW3: The country is always a bit more serious to me. I have to worry about pitch and the tone as well as the timing. I take that a lot more serious when I am working on the country sound. At night I would do a lot of the “ADD” and “3 Bar Ranch” stuff. It was a good way to end the session and wind things down. For a couple of months it was working from the time I got up until the time I went to sleep. Things were full on. I have always been that way when I have been working on the country stuff. You have to be sharper with that stuff. The other material I am playingmostly by myself so things are less intense. There are no outside players coming in and needing your ideas explained to them.

AL: What interested you in using different auctioneers in the back ground of the “3 Bar Ranch” album?
HW3: I have always looked at cattle auctioneers as different singers. I thought the speed of the auctioneers combined with the speed of heavy metal were a good mix. I lost more than 60% of the guys I wanted to use on that album because they didn’t feel comfortable with what I was doing. I was trying to explain to those guys that they weren’t going to like the music or understand it but I was in no way making fun of their industry. I wanted to offer inspiration to younger auctioneers in a different way. I also wanted to give maybe aspiring bull riders a different kind of music to get all amped on before going on an 8 second run. There are quite a few angles but it just goes back to doing something out of the box and different. This album is only for select people out there that might get into this kind of stuff. For me it was a lot of fun. I pushed myself to some other limits as a player. It was a good way to end all of the records.

AL: Did you use samples of auctioneers or did you actually go out and record at various places?
HW3: Basically I would have to try and track the guys down. A lot of them already had stuff up on YouTube. I would call and talk to them about what I was doing and make them an offer. Everyone got offered the same deal. It didn’t matter if you were 17 years old or one of the highest paid auctioneers out there. I just told them this is what I was offering and would they want to be a part of it. When I started losing like 60% of the guys out there I went and recorded a few local people. I did all of the Tennessee auctioneers in person. There were a few guys that were really helpful. Some of the older guys have started to see what I am doing and they have gotten a feel for what it is. I am being a little different but trying not to be disrespectful. At times people don’t quite understand creativity or art views.

AL: What has it been like playing these albums live?
HW3: It’s been fun. By the time I get to the “3 Bar Ranch” stuff we are about 3.5 hours into it. We have taken the audience through a lot of different moods already. For that last little segment it’s pretty intense. For me it’s a lot of fun. When everything is right it feels great. For now we have to work around samples of the auctioneers. One day it would be great to find the right kid who can do that stuff live and correctly. Until then we have to work around the samples. We have done 5 tours with “3 Bar Ranch” so far. There are still some people hanging out at the end of the show who come up and tell us their minds have been blown. It’s always good when you leave an impression on someone.

AL: Personally is there one of the four albums that stands out for you above the rest?
HW3: It just depends on which way you are looking at it. Creativity wise a lot more went in to “Ghost to a Ghost” and “Gutter Town”. This was only because of all the outside players and effects. There was a lot more work that went into that as opposed to “Cattle Callin” and “ADD”. It is intense but not as intense. That stuff is a little more fun and I don’t have to be as strict on myself. It’s like taking a break in a way. The hardest part out of all of this was the mixing. Each album is special to me in its own way. People seem to recognize more with my roots in country music more so than in rock or heavy metal. I try to make sure I deliver some stuff to the hardcore fans out there.

AL: Do you have any more tour plans for these albums?
HW3: We are getting ready to do a Mid-West run which will be sort of a short tour. From there we will be heading over to Europe for about a month. That will take us through mid July. When I get back from that and I take some time to put myself back together we have a west coast run scheduled for August. We are possibly trying to get into Canada as well.

AL: Do you think you will be back in the studio anytime soon?
HW3: Once I break even. I have to keep working until I break even. Once that happens and everyone is satisfied then I will be able to think about that. For me I can’t get creative until I get everything back level.

The Top 10 Albums of 2011

2011 brought a plethora of good and bad music releases to the masses and we here at Media Mikes had quite a pile of releases to choose from for our top 10 of 2011. However after great thought and debate our writers have come up with the lists below.

Adam Lawton:
1.) Wasting Light- Foo Fighters
2.) Heavy Worship- The Great Commission
3.) Worship Music- Anthrax
4.) The Truth Is…- Theory of a Deadman
5.) Set the World on Fire- Black Veil Brides
6.) Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes- Social Distortion
7.) Human Conditional- Fallon Bowman
8.) Understanding What We’ve Grown To Be- We Came as Romans
9.) Balls Out- Steel Panther
10.) A World Destroyer- Degradead

Mike Gencarelli:
1.) Anar – Marketa Irglova
2.) Chief – Eric Church
3.) Evanescence – Evanescence
4.)  Jeff Bridges – Jeff Bridges
5.) Original Sountrack – Janie Jones
6.) Original Sountrack – Midnight in Paris
7.) Original Sountrack – The Muppets
8.) Own The Night – Lady Antebellum
9.) Race Wars – mc chris
10.) Wasting Light- Foo Fighters