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

Win a Blu-ray of Stephen Chow’s “Journey to the West” [ENDED]

You a fan of “Shaolin Soccer” or “Kung Fu Hustle”, well if so then you are in luck because the guy behind that movie Stephen Chow has a new film called “Journey to the West”. To celebrate the release on Blu-ray, Media Mikes is excited to giveaway one (1) Blu-ray of the film to our readers. If you would like to enter for your chance to win one of this prize, please leave us a comment below or send us an email with your favorite film martial arts film. This giveaway will remain open until May 30th at Noon, Eastern Time. This is open to our readers in US and Canada only. One entry per person, per household. All other entries will be considered invalid. Media Mikes will randomly select winners. Winners will be alerted via email.

In a world plagued by demons who cause great human suffering, young demon hunter Xuan Zang risks his all to conquer a water demon, a pig demon and the demon of all demons, Sun Wukong. Adhering to his firm belief in giving of one’s self for the greater cause, he embraces the demons as his disciples. However, in order to atone for their own sins and save the common people, the four of them must embark on a journey to the West that’s full of challenges.

Book Review “The Dark Man: An Illustrated Poem” by Stephen King

Author: Stephen King
Illustrated: Glenn Chadbourne
Hardcover: 88 pages
Publisher: Cemetery Dance Publications
Release Date: July 30, 2013

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

“The Dark Man” is not a new release for Stephen King. He wrote this poem back when he was in college and it was published in Ubris in 1969. This release is King’s poem, “The Dark Man”, re-released over 40 years with a new life than to the amazing illustrations of Glenn Chadbourne. There are over 70 beautiful full-page illustrations from Chadbourne (“The Secretary of Dreams”). Let me tell you one thing, this book is creepy as hell and if you let yourself go into its world it will linger within you and haunt your dreams. It is not the first time that I have read this poem but with the new illustrations, I felt like it was an entirely new experience. Highly recommended!

Official Premise: Stephen King first wrote about the Dark Man in college after he envisioned a faceless man in cowboy boots and jeans and a denim jacket forever walking the roads. Later this dark man would come to be known around the world as one of King’s greatest villains, Randall Flagg, but at the time King only had simple questions on his mind: Where was this man going? What had he seen and done? What terrible things…?

Cemetery Dance Publications is the publisher behind this new hardcover release. They really scored for sure, as Stephen King’s fans should go crazy over this updated release to his poem. Glenn Chadbourne images really works well with King’s words and blend together. The actual black and white illustrations are very unique and the color factor adds a lot of extra terror. Within King’s story there are twists and turns and within the illustrations there are added hidden details every page. There are many layers to this book and even though it is just 88 pages, it is jam-packed and very entertaining.

Blu-ray Review “Stephen King’s Sleepwalkers”

Directed by: Mick Garris
Starring: Alice Krige, Brian Krause, Mädchen Amick, Ron Perlman
MPAA Rating: R
Distributed by: Image Entertainment
Release Date: September 4, 2012
Running Time: 89 minutes

Film: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 1/2 out of 5 stars

When you hear Mick Garris and Stephen King in the same sentence, it is very hard to be let down. After directing this film, Mick Garris went on to become Stephen King’s go-to director helming adaptations of “The Stand” (1994), “The Shining” (1997), “Quicksilver Highway” (1997), “Riding the Bullet” (2004), “Desperation” (2006) and “Bag of Bones” (2011). In my eyes he cannot and has not failed yet. “Sleepwalkers” was also the first Stephen King film that wasn’t based on a previously published book.

This film was released in 1992 and let’s just say it definitely shows its age. Luckily, the effects in the film are still sharp and overall entertaining. “Sleepwalkers” was also one of the first movie to use CGI in order to create a morphing effect for the creatures faces. The effects were created by Apogeeus, which at the time was ground-breaking. If you are looking for cameos, this film has more cameos than an Adam Sandler film. Besides the two listed on the cover, Stephen King and Clive Barker, there is also brief appearances from John Landis, Joe Dante, Tobe Hooper and even Mark Hamill. Horror fans will have a blast picking them all out!

Since this film is 20 years old, Image still delivers a very impressive Blu-ray presentation (mostly). The 1080p looks sharp and helps this film not show its age too much. The audio listed on the case specifies a 5.1 track but instead we get its original track in DTS-HD MA 2.0. Luckily though, it sounds damn good as well, especially with the film’s score and music. Lastly if you are looking for vast extras, you will only find a standard definition trailer included. I would overall recommend for all fans of horror and King’s work.

DVD Review “Stephen King’s Bag of Bones”

Directed by: Mick Garris
Starring: Pierce Brosnan, Annabeth Gish, Anika Noni Rose, Jason Priestly, Melissa George and William Schallert.
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Distributed by: Sony Home Entertainment
Release Date: March 13, 2012
Running Time: 234 minutes

Film: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 1 out of 5 stars

Whenever a new Stephen King TV film comes up, they have been hit or miss. This four-hour adaption is definitely a hit and comes back with a great cast. The film packs all its horror in the first hour or so and then it becomes more of a supernatural murder mystery. I still enjoyed the evolution of the film and didn’t feel that it dragged at all throughout its long running time. I have actually read the novel by King years ago and I enjoy them both equally.

The film stars Pierce Brosnans as Mike Noonan, a novelist who suffers from writer’s block after the death of his wife, Jo (Annabeth Gish). Mike gets drawn to the couple’s lakeside retreat hoping to find answers but he is plagued by nightmares and ghostly visitations from Sara Tidwell (Anika Noni Rose). Sara is a blues singer who was murdered and her spirit is looking for help from Mike to solve her murder. While investigating these murders, Mike realizes that the small town has a few dark secrets of its own.

What I am most surprised about this release is that it wasn’t put out on Blu-ray. The film is available in HD but I do not know why they neglected to take advantage of the high-def release. The special features on the DVD are not impressive at all either. There are just two deleted scenes included with add nothing to the film.

Interview with Stephen Nemeth

Stephen Nemeth is the CEO of Rhino Films. He has produced films like “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” and the recent documentary “Under The Boardwalk: The Monopoly Story”. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Stephen about his films and what we can expect from him in the 2012.

Mike Gencarelli: Tell us about how you got involved with Kevin Tostado and “Under The Boardwalk: The Monopoly Story”?
Stephen Nemeth: I was speaking a film event in San Diego and he and Craig (Bentley) were there and mentioned what they were doing and it totally peeked my curiosity!

MG: Tell us about getting Zachery Levi to narrate the film?
SN: We all discussed who might be right and for a myriad reasons, Kevin wanted to approach Zach. I know his manager well and reached out to her and we made a deal.

MG: How does process of producing a documentary differ from feature films?
SN: It’s two totally different worlds. In making a feature narrative, you are sliding down a slippery slope if you begin without a finished/tight/strong script. In the doc world, some of the best ones typically begin as an exploratory journey where you just start shooting and the onion gets peeled and you discover something you perhaps didn’t even imagine/can catch lightning in a bottle etc. You also typically do not have the scheduling restraints you have in the feature world.

MG: “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” is one of my favorite, tell us about producing this film?
SN: This is a book deal in itself, really, I was offered a book deal in and around the making of this film but ultimately passed for many salacious reasons. ‘Nuff said but an overall amazing experience.

MG: How was it working with Terry Gilliam?
SN: It’s the best and the worst news to get as once he comes on board. You really do need to cede control because he has tunnel vision/very specific ideas of how it will all shake out. He’s a genius, so you sort of just need to let that happen!

MG: I am a big Philip K. Dick fan, tell us about “Radio Free Albemuth”?
SN: I’m really proud of this as its one of if not the only PKD adaptation made in the fiercely independent spirit of the author. It is very raw and authentic…not slick and so delicious for the purist!

MG: What do you generally look for in a project, when approached to produce?
SN: Is there a reason to make it/will anyone care!

MG: What else do you have planned for 2012 and Rhino Films?
SN: So much!! Prepping “Snake and Mongoose” shooting next month. I have many films on deck and seven documentaries in production. Also, “The Surrogate” gets released by Fox Searchlight in October. So we will have the next seven months promoting that special film properly!

Win Tickets to See Stephen King Live in Virigina! [ENDED]

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Mason Award Presentation: Stephen King

Friday, September 23, 2011 at 7:30 p.m.

George Mason University
4400 University Dr., MS 2F5
Fairfax, VA 22030

To celebrate the release of Stephen King’s new book “11/23/63”, Media Mikes would like to giveaway TWO TICKETS to the SOLD OUT EVENT in FAIRFAX, VA. If you would like to win this once in a lifetime chance to see Stephen King live, please leave us a comment below or send us an email and let us know your favorite Stephen King novel. This giveaway will be open until Saturday September 10th at Noon, Eastern Time and is only open to residents of the United States. Only one entry per person, per household; all other entries will be considered invalid. Once the giveaway ends, Movie Mikes will randomly pick out winners and alert the winners via email.

Bestselling author Stephen King accepts the Mason Award for his “extraordinary contributions to bringing literature to a wide reading public.” King’s literary career spans 40 years, from his debut novel, Carrie, through his most recent work, the short story collection Full Dark, No Stars. King’s next novel, 11/22/63, a time-traveling adventure surrounding the JFK assassination, is due out in November. Presented by the Fall for the Book Festival.