Book Review: “Access All Areas: Stories from a Hard Rock Life” by Scott Ian

“Access All Areas: Stories from a Hard Rock Life”
Author: Scott Ian
Da Capo
Hardcover: 243 pages

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

Anthrax guitarist and co-founder Scott Ian has seen his share of dive hotels, dirty tour buses and decrepit green rooms. “Access All Areas: Stories from a Hard Rock Life” is a collection of his craziest stories recounting Ian’s life on the road as a touring musician. Along the way the guitarist shares his experiences and encounters with celebrities like Kirk Hammett, Dimebag Darrell, David Lee Roth and Steven Spielberg to name just a few.

As the follow up to his autobiography “I’m The Man” guitarist Scott Ian takes readers even further into the depths of the heavy metal underworld. Unlike Ian’s first book which was a more biography than tell all where “Access All Areas” is the total opposite recounting in detail some of the writers more interesting encounters. Very rarely do you get to hear let alone read in published form stories like those shared by the veteran guitarist. From his experiences as a Pro Poker player playing alongside Kiss’s Ace Frehley and ZZ Top’s Dusty Hill to a confrontational meeting with REM front man Michael Stipe. Easily my favorite excert from the book was that where Ian sets the record straight about his guest appearance on “Married with Children” which was to include a story line featuring Christina Applegate.

Over the course of “Access All Areas” 243 pages readers are treated to a bevy of laughable stories that have not been shared before. As I made my way through the book I just kept thinking that even having one or two of these experiences in a life time would be enough for most people but to be able to compile enough for a book was mind blowing. Scott Ian has certainly to this point lived quiet an interesting life full of off the wall experiences which he has candidly detailed in this book. You don’t have to be a fan of heavy metal to enjoy this book as there are plenty of other colorful characters outside of the music world that you will surely recognize making “Access All Areas: Stories from a Hard Rock Life” a great pickup for any and all.

Interview with Knight Area’s Mark Smit

Mark Smit is the vocalist for the Progressive Rock group Knight Area. The band has just released their 4th studio album titled “Nine Paths”. Media Mikes had a chance to chat briefly with Mark about the new album.

Adam Lawton: Can you tell us about the new album “Nine Paths”?
Mark Smit: “Nine Paths” is our fourth studio album, the title refers to an interpretation of the tarot where the cards are grouped into nine groups with one theme each. Each song on the album deals with one of the themes.

AL: How does this album differ from the bands previous releases?
MS: Previously only Gerben Klazinga composed, this time we have two compositions from the other band members. In general the song writing has become more of a group process which makes this album more than ever a product of the entire group. This has introduced some new influences, which has contributed to the richness and variety.

AL: How was it working with producer Neil Kernon?
MS: He is very professional, very friendly and open to suggestions. Neil is great to work with.

AL: What is your favorite track off the new album?
MS: I find it difficult to pick a favorite, perhaps The River because of its atmosphere.

AL: What are the bands upcoming tour plans?
MS: We will be playing some shows in Germany and hopefully more tour dates will follow.